Mech, as the name suggests, is a unit composition based mainly upon vehicular (factory based) and air (starport based) units. It is a very strong unit composition that can be used to great effect on ladder. Due to their high armour and damage output, an opponent cannot simply cannot fight against mech in the same way against bio. Similarly, mech cannot be used against an opponent in the same way as bio.
Bio (infantry/ barracks based units) tends to be very disposable, cheap and quick to produce. Often, players will trade their bio very cost efficiently for opponents’ more expensive units i.e. banelings, mutalisks. This leads to the notorious “parade push”, endless waves upon waves of infantry marching ever closer to the mining bases of the opponent. This “parade” style works very well for bio, but the same cannot be applied to mech.
Instead, a whole new strategy must be employed.
Mech units are expensive and slow to produce, meaning that the loss of every unit is hurtful to the overall strength of the army. If the mech army, at any point in the game, is destroyed, the game is all but forfeit, due to the fact that the time required to reproduce every lost unit is much longer than that required for the opponent to replenish their units and outright kill you.
Therefore, mech players must be careful with every unit movement and position. From player to player, different styles of mech are used. For example, a player may adopt an extremely defensive stance across four bases and make mass air units, including ravens and battle-cruisers (so-called “ebola mech” due to its difficulty to counter and its tendency to prolong games). This style has been used by players such as Avilo, Goody and Hack. An extremely aggressive style may be used, to fully utilise the strength of early game mech i.e. hellbat timings and hellion run-bys as displayed by Bbyong.
Below is a basic build order for mech players to follow that can then lead to them either being aggressive in the mid-game or passive and defensive.
|15||03:05||Queue up the 2nd reaper|
|20||04:05||Queue up the 3rd reaper|
|24||05:00||Reactor (on the barracks)|
|26||05:50||Swap the factory and the barracks|
|32||06:20||Tech lab (on the barracks)|
|33||06:35||Two hellions (assume constant hellion production beyond this point)|
|38||06:50||Supply depot (assume constant depot production beyond this point|
|39||07:05||Swap the starport and the barracks|
|48||07:35||Cloak banshee upgrade|
|83||09:55||Research double upgrades from armouries|
|93||10:20||Take 3rd base|
|100||10:55||Double tech lab (on factories)|
Instantly build two refineries upon taking the third base.
Upon saturating the third base, minerals and gas may begin to rise, even with constant unit production. At this point, two more factories should be built.
At 14 minutes, a 4th or 5th command centre may be built, depending on the situation.
If the opponent has decided to build a spire (NB: in a normal TvZ, all zergs build a spire), an engineering bay and turrets will have to be built. Mutalisks normally appear on the map at about 11 minutes.
Beyond this build order, players may decide to attack upon completion of tier two upgrades or to expand to the fourth base and begin to make extra starports for an air-terran transition.