TvP: INnoVation’s Banshee and Tank Two Base Timing

INnoVation just qualified for WESG 2018 about an hour ago. His two base timing build against Dear caught my attention when I was watching the qualifier live.

Build order

14 – Supply Depot
16 – Barracks (fake proxy)
16 – Refinery
17 – Refinery
@100% Barracks – Reaper and Orbital Command
20 – Supply Depot
@100 gas – Factory
@100% Reaper – Lift Barracks and place it back in base
@100% Factory – Tech Lab
@400 mineral – Command Centre (@100% – Orbital Command)
After Barracks landed – Reactor
@100% Tech Lab – Cyclone
@150 mineral – Starport (next to Factory), then Supply Depot
Build Supply Depot accordingly hereafter.
@100% Reactor – Marines (constant production
@100% Cyclone – Lift Factory and build a Tech Lab
@100% Starport – Place Starport onto the first Tech Lab; Banshee and Cloak (Constant Banshee production)
@100% Tech Lab – Siege Tank (constant Tank production)

Move out with everything when you have three Siege Tanks. Pull some Scvs with you for the push. Rally Banshee and Siege Tank across the map.

Transition out of this by building Barracks, Command Centre, and Engineering Bay accordingly. The first vod shows how INnoVation executed his build as plan, while the second vod shows how he reacted when Dear went for an one base all-in.

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Discussion

This is a meta build that takes advantage of the knowledge the opponent has for the current metagame. As we have already seen in Home Story Cup (HSC) recently, Terran still do proxy builds, but they choose to do fake proxy or only proxy the Barracks. You can read more about that in this article. INnoVation uses a fake proxy opening in this build by building the Barracks near his base, so he could lift it back in base easily. He had shown in HSC that he had an all-in follow up with this set up (see vod below), so the opponent has to be wary of different options.

He transitioned quickly into an expansion after he put down his Factory. This is essentially a quick tech into an expansion. If INnoVation were to build the Barracks in base, he is not maximising the value of early double Refinery to create information gap in opponent’s decision making (read more about it here). Indeed, other Terran players have adopted the same approach that, if you were to go for a quick tech opening, you proxy the Barracks.

TaeJa had shown something pretty similar to this in HSC (see vod below). He proxy his Barracks closer to opponent’s base instead of doing a fake proxy (i.e., building the Barracks near your own base). He tech up to Factory quickly on two Refineries, then he put down a Command Centre. He made a Banshee and some Siege Tanks. The key difference is that TaeJa did not plan to make a timing push. The tech units he made are mainly for him to fill the transition gap to build up his mid game army of bio and Medivac. This is evident in the fact that he produced just one Banshee and made a Raven instead.

In contrast, INnoVation made some adjustments to the details. First, he had his Barracks near his base, so he could produce Marine in base a lot earlier than TaeJa. Second, he continued to produce more Siege Tank and Banshee for the push. Dear was expecting INnoVation to play it conservatively like TaeJa, and he got caught off guard by the push.

It is worth pointing out that, in the first vod, INnoVation put down additional Barracks in the transition phase. There is nothing wrong with that as Terran need to put down two Barracks and a third Command Centre to converge to the 3-1-1 on three bases convergent point. In my opinion, it is better to put down the third Command Centre before the two Barracks. This is because those units he used for the timing attack would be traded away (unless he wins with it), and he would have to be defensive on his end by building more Siege Tanks. He cannot move out in the mid game until he has Stim and Medivac (which is an established paradigm in the match up).  Due to the trade with the push early on, Terran’s bio army would be pretty small by the time Stim is done, and it is risky to move out. If Terran were to stay defensive when Stim is done, then why not prioritise the third Command Centre for better economy while they build up sizable bio army to match the later Stim timing. You can read more about the rationale behind the choices in transition to 3-1-1 on three bases in this article.


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