The so-called "Gundam Rush" is one of the oldest and most prominent one base strategies by Terran. It aims to punish a Fast Expanding or fast teching Protoss in the early stages of a game. However, it also enables Terran to transition into the mid game, if Protoss is able to defend early on. Although being somewhat dated, the opening is still of use on several maps in modern Terran vs. Protoss.
The Build is named after the Korean professional V-Gundam, who developed and popularized the strategy. He was seen as one of the greatest Terran vs. Protoss specialist in the early days of StarCraft Brood War. Whenever a Terran decided to play aggressively early on, the Gundam Rush (also Bamboo Rush) was the most prominent Build used. In later years more variations of this Build were used. In modern Terran vs. Protoss the Gundam Rush underwent some sort of renaissance against 14 Nexus openings with slightly altered timings. However, since Dragoon control improved and the maps grew in size, the Gundam Rush lost much of its potential over time.
The Gundam Rush has only few problematic timings. The first decision a Terran has to do is to decide when to scout. It's possible to scout around 9 or 13 Supply. Scouting earlier enables Terran to obtain information about the opponent earlier and thus most likely avoids defeats against cheese strategies, whereas the 13 Supply Scout enables Terran to attack slightly earlier. The second somewhat important step of the Build Order is to temporarily stop SCV production when the Machine Shop is 70% completed. This means one SCV less than usual is built.
Once the Siege Tank and the first Vulture are ready, Terran immediately leaves his base with every Marines he built and two or three SCVs. The Factory without Machine Shop continues to build Vultures, while the other builds Siege Tanks or Vultures, depending on the situation. Every newly trained unit is directly routed to the attack. The attack is not designed to directly kill the opponent. Instead, the first units are used to drive the Protoss back to the Protoss base. It's not necessary to attack the Protoss Natural Expansion or Main Base straight away. The troupes are rallied in front of the opponent's choke point and prepare to fortify a position, from which important buildings can be sieged down by the Siege Tanks, once the Siege Upgrade finishes. From there on a contain is upheld as long as possible.
If the original attack fails, Terran is left with the option to expand himself, while using the Vultures to obtain map control and to threaten Protoss with backstabs. If Terran is able to raise a contain but otherwise not strong enough to break the Protoss defense, a third Factory can be added. Usually, expanding means the safer transition than a forced decision via additional unit reinforcements from a third factory.
The three Factory solution is most times used against a 14 Nexus, if Protoss is not cross positions. If done correctly, Protoss will not be able to hold his Natural Expansion Nexus long, as the ongoing pressure is too much to handle from only few gateways and low tech. Most important for Terran in such a situation is to hit a timing for the first attack wave (preparing to contain), in which Protoss has Dragoons without Range Upgrade.
Theoretically speaking, only two Gateway Dragoon Build Orders mean a direct counter to the Gundam Rush. However, these are usually not considered to be a hard counter, as the outcome of a play depends strongly on both players ability to control their initial units. From all potential Protoss openings Bulldog and a conservative Reaver Drop opening are the most effective. Both enable Protoss to bypass a contain early on and/or enable him to cut off reinforcements via Shuttle.
Against greedy Build Orders such as fast Dark Templars or expansions off one Gateway on small maps the Gundam Rush is highly effective, if the initial units are controlled well. Also, the 14 Nexus builds can be punished if the Terran's timings are all hit perfectly. However, in the case against 14 Nexus Builds, a flawed execution will also mean a lost game to Terran.
Generally speaking, the Gundam Rush might work on any map. However, long path ways between Terran and Protoss base mean a high disadvantage to Terran, as a contain takes longer to be set up. Complicated terrain and tight choke points also mean an additional disadvantage for Terran, whenever bridges come into play; a map like Destination is good to set up a contain, but bad to actually shoot at the important Natural Expansion Nexus.
|Gundam||Pj countering the Gundam Rush against Gundam himself. Replay works in 1.16.1.|
|Strelok||Taken from a WCG Game. Strelok uses the Gundam Rush against a top level foreign Protoss. Replay works in 1.16.1.|