This article concerns StarCraft/StarCraft: Brood War gameplay. You may be looking for:
Armored Infantry Trooper
C-14 rifle (most common)
15 (7.5 with Stimpack)
4 (5 with U-238 Shells, and +2 to range when in a bunker)
The marine is the basic infantry unit of terran forces.
The marine is the most versatile tier 1 unit in the game. Compared to the zealot and the zergling, the marine is medium cost, is the only one with a ranged attack, and can even hit both ground and air units. They do normal damage, making them useful against all types of armor, and are even more effective in large numbers. Stimpacks further increases their effectiveness by greatly increasing their movement speed and reducing their cooldown to almost nothing, at the cost of 10 hit points, enabling marines able to dish out a surprisingly large amount of damage before being killed. In Brood War, medics exponentially increase the effectiveness of marines since stimpacks can be used more liberally, and damage can be healed. Infantry upgrades throughout the game increase the marines' effectiveness by 50%, giving them one of the biggest boosts in the game.
Marines are commonly partnered with medics in the strategy "MnM". The medics allow a more liberal use of stimpacks, which greatly enhance the marines' damage output. This can be considerable as marines are cheap and plentiful. The infantry groups may block chokepoints and counter air harassment; they are a useful component to a combined-arms force. In addition to researching stimpacks and acquiring medics, U-238 also enhances the marines lethality.
Against lesser opponents, using attack move is sufficient to bring the marines to bear; the marines should focus fire on stronger units. Attack moving a combined group of marines and medics may be tricky since the medics may "charge" ahead when the marines stop to fire; the medics only stop if a unit requires healing.
The effectiveness of the marines is reduced against very strong enemy attacks that overwhelm the medics' healing. As marines are fragile an ability to quickly fall back from such threats can destroy a MnM group; MnM micro is one of the most difficult challenges in the game.
When encountering burrowed lurkers or defilers about to attack through dark swarm, stim the marines and retreat immediately. The medics will chase after the marines on their own to heal them. Additional support may be needed to produce favorable conditions to resume the infantry attack.
Marines have strategies available throughout the early, mid, and late game. In the early game, a single marine and SCV can start a dreaded bunker rush. If the terran goes supply depot, barracks x2, refinery, and academy, the first medics can assist a very dangerous attack as well. This play is very common against the zerg before mutalisks or lurkers can be produced, with the goal of forcing the opponent to waste money building defensive sunken colonies to prevent off the attack, at no cost to the terran. A siege tank (if you still have time) or additional marines can provide increased pressure against the sunken colonies and threaten a win.
If you choose a different early game strategy, marines become your lone defenders. At this critical stage of the game, it takes finesse and confidence to compete against the stronger melee zealots and zerglings, who will quickly kill your small numbers of marines if they can get close. So keep your marines away! Make opponents waste precious time chasing your marines around. Against zealots in particular, you can run your tiny marines between buildings or through your SCVs line. Many times those fatty zealots get hung up or have to take the long way around, all while you get free shots in before running back to the other side again. Take advantage of the marine's ranged attack, and hide marines in places where those zealots can't reach or zerglings can only approach one at a time. Common places include behind a building block on your ramp, behind 2 hold position SCVs blocking your ramp, or vertically in between your command center and first barracks. Depending on these mazes makes early building placement crucial for terrans. Don't be afraid to practice and watch pro videos to learn how to fight off these early aggressors. The marine's job is to give the terran time to get the tech to force the next phase of the game.
Occasionally you will also see marines use bunkers on the defensive. These bunkers give additional hit points to the marines inside, but are expensive and can only cover a static area. Bunkers are usually used to buy time or cover chokepoints where an attack is guaranteed. Remember that you can't stim marines inside a bunker, so leave them outside the bunker before an attack, and stim and bunker up as soon as the attack hits. Marines inside the bunker are outranged by static defenses like sunken colonies, so careful placement of bunkers is critical. Many games are decided by aggressive zerg sunken colonies placed just out of the range of bunkers, slowly being built into the terran's main as the marines are forced to fall back. If you're feeling foxy, many players when they see a bunker will assume it is full, so by leaving them empty you can sometimes fool the opponent into thinking you have a stronger defensive force then is actually there. Placing bunkers behind supply depots is also a good strategy, sometimes forcing zealots and zerglings to have to walk around a supply depot block to reach a bunker full of marines. Placing another bunker next to the supply depot block and filling it with marines and firebats could also prove very effective against melee enemies, even ultralisks.
In the mid-game, marines and dropships make incredible harassers, a key part of terran's mobility. A dropship of 6 marines and 2 medics with stim can destroy a base with minimal defenses before the enemy can react, and flee without any casualties. Against the opponent who tries to expand, taking advantage of the terran's typical defensive stance, marines and dropships are the perfect counter. Larger numbers of marines and dropships, if they can safely land, are capable of strong strategic attacks with little threat to the turtling terran, able to outflank the enemy's position and wiping out the enemy's main infrastructure, in multiple locations at once.
In late game, epic numbers of marines can easily provide front line defense for tanks and science vessels, particularly in terran vs. zerg matches. Since they produce so quickly and cost only minerals, marines are also fast and cheap reinforcements, allowing the terrans to stay on the offensive. Marines can aggressively push across the map unless confronted with large numbers of their counter units, or spread out and nip overextending bases in more places then the opponent can react.
Individually, marines are easy to pick off with almost every other unit in the game, but in larger numbers with medics they are a fearsome, dogged threat. Counter marines with heavily-armored, high hit point units such as battlecruisers and ultralisks, which take little damage from marine attacks. Sunken colonies are similarly effective in numbers of approximately 1:4. Marines are also vulnerable to units that deal splash damage like lurkers, reavers, and siege tanks, and area effect spells like psionic storm. Fast units controlled to execute hit-and-run attacks (vultures, mutalisks) can pick off marines before they can do much damage. Marines are also much more vulnerable when flanked, when they don't automatically focus fire the same units and can't retreat so easily from threats. Speed upgraded zerglings, hydralisks, and zealots in particular are best used for these sorts of surround attacks against marines and medics. Dark templar are also deadly in flanking marine groups given that they can cut through a marine in only one blow. But, many times, the zerg player has no choice but to use dark swarm and plague to break a chokepoint guarded by marines and tanks. While pushing a MnM force back, keep a careful watch for marine-loaded dropships, and try and destroy the delicate craft before the marines have a chance to land. Irradiation is also fairly effective against clustered marine groups.
In most cases, marines fare poorly against protoss units given that many protoss units inflict high damage compared to their terran and zerg counterparts.
- Counters Hard: dropship, missile turret, science vessel, valkyrie
- Counters Soft: Wraith, SCV
- Hard Countered by: battlecruiser, irradiate, spider mine, vulture, siege tank (siege mode)
- Soft Countered by: firebat, goliath
- Counters Hard: corsair, shuttle
- Counters Soft: probe, scout
- Hard Countered by: archon, carrier, psionic storm, reaver
- Soft Countered by: disruption web, dragoon, zealot, dark templar, photon cannon
- Counters Hard: devourer, overlord, spore colony, scourge
- Counters Soft: drone, hydralisk, mutalisk, zergling
- Hard Countered by: guardian, lurker, sunken colony, ultralisk
- Soft Countered by: dark swarm, ensnare, plague
- Increases marine attack range by 1 (to 5)
- Boxer, the Emperor, was often considered to be one with his marines. He invented almost all of the techniques with marines known today, and continues to proxy barracks or dropship marine almost every match.