HotS: How to Counter Early Marine Aggression in PvT
The Protoss vs Terran early game is one of my favorite things in Starcraft 2 (Heart of the Swarm or Wings of Liberty). As Protoss your goal is to take a safe but fast expansion to be able to deal with anything Terran can throw at you. Scouting is crucial and micro can play an important role in defending early aggression or in dealing some damage yourself. In this guide I explain one early game situation that can arise in a PvT 1 Gate Fast Expand – early marine pressure.
Check out the video above for a full guide to micro and strategy for dealing with early Marine attacks in PvT. It also goes over how to follow up with your own counterattack and how to bust a bunker with gateway units. In this article I’ll go over some other important points to know about this sort of situation.
Scouting with your first Zealot and Stalker is crucial. If you see a few marines and no Barracks add-on then you can assume the Terran is either looking to expand with some light Marine pressure or is looking to tech up to Starport or Factory on 1 base. Have your Stalker(s) hang out near the Terran expansion to find out which. If by 6:30 there is no expansion it’s time to head home to prepare for any drops or air attacks.
If your opponent pressures with Marines like in the video above then the best way to deal with it is to send Stalker out to meet him as close to his base as possible. Stalkers out range and outrun Marines so the more space you have the longer you can kite them. It’s possible to kill off a large group of Marines with only two Stalkers.
If you kill off a few of his Marines and scout his expansion then you can potentially follow up with a Gateway unit attack of your own. Simple take your expansion and make 4 Gateways total. A light 2-base 4 gate pressure can be enough to break the front of an under-defended Terran, especially if you can use a ForceField to prevent the repair on the bunker or wall.
Don’t over commit, if you sense you can’t break the front just pick off whatever you can and start teching to either double Forge + Twilight Council or Robotic + Colossus.