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This week, we’re analyzing:
MULES – They are integral to keeping the terran war machine well funded, but they come at the cost of potentially crucial Scanner Sweeps and even Supply Drops. How do you efficiently get the most out of MULES?
Strategy, tactics, and skill. At the heart of StarCraft II are the legion of skilled tacticians and brilliant strategists leading armies of zerg, protoss, and terrans to war across the scarred battlefields of the Koprulu Sector. Knowledge is power; the greatest commanders throughout history earned their victories not merely by virtue of strategic brilliance, but also by applying themselves to rigorous study of warfare and the tactics used by those who fought before them. You too can tap into this valuable resource, and that’s where StarCraft Art of War comes in.
Are you a veteran player? Are you new to StarCraft II and striving to improve your skills? In this weekly feature, we invite players of all skill levels to ask questions, share their tactics, post replays, and provide advice for understanding, executing and defeating today’s most popular strategies.
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Art of War Rules:
Hey you two above me, I'll make the same comment as I did in the last Art of War:
This is the only threads we know that blizzard actually draws feedback from. Don't !@#$ around inside it with rubbish/childish posts.
Edited by ArtVandelay on 2/9/2012 7:33 PM PST
Mules really come into their own in the late game. The key is to start killing off your SCV's once you have enough orbitals to constantly produce enough Mules to fund your late game army production. This will free up supply and allows you to field a significantly larger army than any late game zerg or protoss is capable of fielding.
Edited by CwnAnnwn on 2/9/2012 7:42 PM PST
I've had a game where I unloaded all my banes on Terran SCVs...Im pretty sure there wasnt any SCV left...and yet....he recovered...miraculously...
Why?? its because his macro was bad...he was not using his CC SP efficiently...gee...so Terran just got an advantage coz he was not playing efficiently...
I still won...but...the game stuck to my mind...and I almost raged quit...it was not fun...getting an upperhand like that but Terran still kept on chugging...it FELT LIKE BEING KICKED IN THE NUTS =D
I am so glad that the Art of War has finally covered Mules. Now just to be clear, I understand 100% that Terran ---ABSOLUTELY NEED-- Mules to be competitive in Starcraft 2... Mules are extremely important for offsetting the Larvae/chrono systems of the other 2 races. I understand that the Mule is just a means to an end, a *fix* if you will to the SCV build time and the slow production of SCV's in general... They are there because they have to be there to offset chrono, larvae/inject power droning and SCV build time. HOWEVER, I do see a problem with them. I think that the mule situation is dismissed far too quickly simply because they are so very important to Terran... I think that this is the wrong way to approach the situation.
Mules create a situation where mass minerals can be collected quickly by spending energy, which is slowly generated and stockpiled over time. The biggest problem with mules in my opinion is the gold base advantage. A Terran can stockpile energy, fly a CC to a high yield base and drop multiple mules @ the one time, generating an absurd income in a very short period of time. There is no way for a zerg or protoss player to compete economically with this type of play. From the moment those mules are dropped, the income of the terran player skyrockets giving them an absurd advantage.
The second problem I have with mules is the scaling of the units. As the game progresses the mule advantage becomes larger and larger. At first the mules are balanced in a way to even up the playing field. Given that an SCV that is building a barracks isn't mining, and has effectively lost 45 minerals worth of mining time, 20 for a supply depot and 20 for a refinery. It takes 2 full duration mules to make up for the lost mining time, and to offset chrono/larvae/inject droning. Everything after those 2 full duration mules is very very slightly offsetting these things and is essentially money in the bank. Once a Terran has established a 2nd base he has doubled his Mule count.... As the game progresses every extra base is a higher ability to oversaturate mineral lines, a higher ability to establish a much larger economy in a very short period of time. Every extra orbital becomes free money.
The third issue I have with mules is the harass proofing aspect. Terran is the only race that can lose every single worker they have, yet still reinforce a push off of 2rax indefinitely with no banked resources.
The fourth issue I have with mules is the complete lack of punishment for sloppy macro. Every chrono that a protoss misses is wasted income/delayed tech/units. Every inject a zerg misses is a loss of production ability and income. A terran can stockpile energy and drop mules at any time with little to no punishment. You can argue that a late mule is delayed income, however it still produces the exact same amount of minerals.
The fifth issue I have with mules is less about mules themselves and more about the energy on the Command centre. Why exactly does the Terran CC have the ability to stockpile 200 energy? Thats 4 mules...... A nexus can only stockpile 100.... Why do terrans have the added macro advantage of stockpiling double that of Protoss????????
Anyway in conclusion I personally think that the mule issue is brushed off far too quickly and never given the attention it deserves, specifically because it is so crucial to the race... I think that it has in fact damaged the race overall. There are many many different alternatives to the mule which could be used to even the playing field in terms of lost economy for the Terran race through building time and competing with larvae/inject/chrono. I think these alternatives should be investigated and at least trialled.
I honestly believe that a lot of the nerfs to terran could have been avoided if the economical advantage of mules wasn't so drastic.
Did you know that 4 mules is the equivelant of a fully saturated main?
Did you know that mules make terran mine with 25% more efficiency off of one base?
Did you know that once you have 4 orbitals in play, you are gaining 1200 minerals every 1 minute 30 seconds?
Did you know that a terran player can pull every worker he has and still produce off of 2 rax using nothing but mules, continually reinforcing his push?
Did you know that an orbital command has the ability to store 200 energy, which is 4 mules worth of energy?
Did you know that 4 mules dropped at a gold expansion is the equivelant of 48 marines in 1 minute 30 game time?
Did you know that 300 mules clears a full mineral field in 30 seconds?
Daxx didnt make these threads with the intention of getting feedback though. It's just for players to help each other out and learn.
Edited by Rayleigh on 2/9/2012 8:49 PM PST
Why isnt anyone paying attention to the massive tesis Rockstar wrote above?!?
@Rockstar: BRAVO!! MAGNIFICO!!! IF I WAS GIRL, I WANT YOU IN ME!!! (Im a dude btw)
The thing that bothers me with Terran is exactly what Rockstar pointed out in his massive QQ/theory-crafting:
With Zerg and Protoss, once all the workers are killed, its game over.
But Terran....even if his SCVs are wiped out, he just needs to wait a few seconds for the CC to get enough energy and spawn a MULE...from there, he just makes more SCVs. It's retarded. If Terran has this skill, Zerg should be able to transform buildings back to drones too.
Probably should have been a thread on Orbital Command Energy and not M.U.L.E.s, but he knew the risks... I guess.
I any case, Orbital Command Energy management is a key part of the Terran economy. M.U.L.E.s can fund around 15-20% of a Terran player's mineral economy (One OC per fully saturated base), so it is important to keep up with cycles unless you need the energy for something else.
A number of Terran players tend to let some energy slip on the off-chance they need to use Scanner Sweep. Whether this is for Detection or Tech-Spotting purposes, it depends on that player's strategy. However, it is important not to rely too much on Scanning for either of these purposes as it cuts into your production rate of Infantry or Hellions. Ravens and use of air units can get you plenty of useful detection and scouting capability, which some Terran players neglect to use.
When placing your M.U.L.E.s specifically, you need to watch out for a couple of things:
- Make sure you don't chew up a single patch by M.U.L.E.-ing the same patch each time. It will cut into your income later. Try to put it on a different patch each time.
- Even though they are temporary, M.U.L.E.s can be a priority harassment target due to the amount of income they bring in. Make sure to have your M.U.L.E.s at a safe base just in case your opponent decides to hit you there.
[TCP]Mathmick - Melee Map Design - Most Valuable Poster
http://sea.battle.net/sc2/en/blog/36798 - The Most Valuable Poster program info
Edited by TCPMathmick on 2/9/2012 9:55 PM PST
I was watching this replay, and the Terran player had 20 workers behind and was ahead by around 1000ish income. Gas was the same. I checked all bases, and no weird 5000 drones in one mineral patch going on. So just saying, MULEs are a VERY VERY powerful unit that Terran has. During the early game, MULEs give Terran the edge they need since their units are more mineral heavy (especially from the Barracks). It is kinda like Chrono Boost or Spawn Larva abilities for the early game. In cheeses or even just super early aggression, MULEs can really help sustain reinforcements, as I see heaps of Terran players from like Gold below forget about MULEs, and not end up getting enough reinforcements during early aggression, where I hold super easily even when I'm 100% unprepared.
During the mid-game, with a timing push or something, MULEs also help with getting enough minerals for additional reinforcements, even if they're just Marines. MULEs can also be called down into the battlefield to help repair key units like tanks, or even Thors (if you decide to get them a bit early).
In the late-game, your SCVs will start to eat up supply. For Zerg, drones can turn into Spines or Evo Chambers, make units, and then cancel them (if you're stockpiling). I guess the equivalent for this is as a Terran are MULEs. Use up some of your SCVs during an attack for repair, or just send them to death. Keep SOME SCVs at least, for gas and a bit more income, but with enough Orbital Commands (depending on the situation, just experiment yourself, you'll see), you can use MULEs for your main source of Mineral income. If one of your bases run out of Minerals, no worries, just lift off and then saturate it with MULEs. This is reeeeeeeeaaaaally helpful when it comes to Ninja expansions, or with your 4ths and 5ths, because they are so much harder to defend, at least you can instantly get a lot more money from the expo while you had it there. You also don't lose too much from losing all your workers (with having to remake them etc.). When Protoss players have a ninja expo up, and it is fully saturated, if it is found and completely killed, he/she will not only have lost the 400 minerals and mining time, he will have to remake all the probes, while no SCVs need to made, only waiting time for energy (which WILL stockpile in the late-game no matter how good you are.) Also, in the big battle, calling down MULEs to help repair is like getting Medivacs for your Mech.
A few things though, when calling down MULEs on mineral patches, experiment and take a look at how much minerals they take, and experiment with the mineral distance. Sometimes, your MULE will collect more from the closer mineral patch, but depending where, I've noticed MULEs collect a bunch of minerals, and then die while holding it. You REALLY don't want to get to that situation, so experiment and take notice to that. Also aim to spread out where you land your MULEs, because if you make one mineral patch disappear, then there are less mineral patches to mine from, meaning your mineral mining won't be so optimized.
Another thing is, when your Planetary Fortress is under attack, quickly get all the SCVs mining to repair, and then call MULEs for repair! Also, if you see some Banelings rolling in on your Marine army, call down them MULEs to absorb damage (if they guy isn't paying attention) hahahaha. But in more practical terms, if you have vision to Banelings, call MULEs down on them and it should kill 2 Banelings (I'm not sure if that's fully cost effective on your side, but why not :P), and MULEs can also be called down to draw siege tank fire away and do splash damage on the opponent.
But yeaaaahhh, Zerg's my main, Protoss is my second, and I'm actually really bad at Terran, so there are probably more smaller cool tips out there to mention, but I hope that helps? :)
Edited by Blackhawk on 2/10/2012 3:48 AM PST
Tehehe.. I was wondering if this thread was gonna go crazy and all. :3
MULEs are quite an impressive ability given to CCs. It is true that they are helpful in the early games, but I less likely take mules during the late game, unless necessary (Like, low on minerals, and you need to make some buildings and units, and your SCV's aren't able to replenish that fast, because a harass was had some time ago.).
I'd like to get MULE's when it's just some early time in the game, or that my opponent is so sufficient at blocking me from expanding. But when I'm on 4-6 bases, I don't see the need.
Mid to Late game, I prefer the Supply drop, and most importantly, the Scans.
Chrono is just better, IMO.
Spawn larvae..... Meh... I have a tendency to build additional Hatches... But I admit, I find the ability better...
Edited by tFcNoViCE on 2/10/2012 4:42 AM PST
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