Download the Liquipedia app here!Download the Liquipedia app to follow Brood War!Want personalized updates on Brood War esports? Download the Liquipedia app on iOS or Android to never miss your favorite tournaments and matches!
Liquipedia app match pages updated! Liquipedia app match pages are overhauled! Download on Android or iOS! Liquipedia app's match pages got completely revamped with game data, standings, VODs and more! Download the the latest version on iOS or Android and read our update blog here.

Three Factory Vultures

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki
[e][h]Terran3Fac Vult/Mines
Strategy Information
Popularized by:


Themarine used this build in 2002 in GhemTV Gosu Invitational where he defeated a newcomer now known as by.01 who has been involved in the scandal. This build is used at high level TvT but has faded nowadays because of the innovative power of the 1 Factory FE.

The goal of the Vult/Mine is to surprise your Terran opponent with a strong timing attack, particularly after they do One Factory Expansion or 1 Port Wraith. It exploits the build time of the Vultures and lack of gas to attack at a time when the Terran has few to none Tanks or offensive units to defend. Vulture attack is used to kill enemy Vultures/SCVs/Marines, while mines are used to kill Tanks or Goliaths.

As a timing attack, it therefore depends a great deal on hiding the build and the rush distance. In addition, the layout of the map plays a role as well. Maps with wide chokes that Terrans tend to expand early on and which lend themselves to contains suit this build well.

It should be noted, that while this build is aggressive, it is not all-in. The goal is to transition into the mid game as the aggressor with a contain if at all possible and double expand if possible.

Build Order[edit]

  • 9/10 - Supply Depot
  • 11/18 - Barracks
  • 11/18 - Refinery (scout)
  • 15/18 - Supply Depot
  • 16/18 - 1 Marine (rally at choke)
  • 18/26 - Factory, marine
  • 20/26 - Factory, marine
  • @100% Factory - Vulture and then Machine Shop
  • @100% Factory - Machine Shop
  • 22/26 - Supply Depot
  • 25/34 - Vulture, Speed upgrade (From this point build vultures as money allows from this factory, rally factory to choke)
  • 27/34 - Machine Shop
  • 30/34 - Depot
  • 32/34 - Factory, Mines upgrade (From this build build vultures as money allows from this factory, rally factory to choke)

Build Order Clarification[edit]

Number of Marines[edit]

3 marines are enough for any cheese.

Vulture Micro[edit]

This attack requires you to micro well and lay mines. If the opponent has not yet expanded, lay mines to prevent a Command Center from easily going down, and set up a contain, with the goal to prevent the Terran from clearing the Minefield and/or relaying the Minefield whenever possible. In many cases your opponent will be forced to tech to Comsat to expand, or sacrifice units. Because of this, you should keep your Vultures close enough that they can snipe Marines before they can defuse, prevent SCVs from building Turrets and in general being as annoying as hell.

If the Terran did expand, and didn't wall, you are in for some fun. Siege tanks are your first priority, and you must lay multiple mines around them to get your kills (two mines will kill a tank). Goliaths can be beaten in the same way. Vultures must be focus fired, and all your Vultures should lay all of their mines throughout the base - specifically near Factories, chokes and mineral patches.

In TvT, mine laying is a little different than TvP mine laying. Because of the faster rate of fire that mech units have, the ideal way to lay mines is in such a way so that multiple mines are triggered when something walks by it.

Transition to Mid Game[edit]

This build is not as flexible as the 2 factory vults but alot deadlier. Based on what you saw when you attacked, and how much damage you did (as well as the nature of the map), you can diverge your build accordingly. Because of the surplus of gas from not producing gas heavy units like tanks or goliaths, you will find that massing factories is extremely easy and very profitable. The map control provided by laying mines will protect a third expansion until a stronger force is available. It is generally not advisable to continue producing Vultures into the mid game, as Comsat and larger army sizes will allow your opponent to defuse mines and defend from harassment.


Wraith/Dropship defense[edit]

If the opponent did not expand, it is recommended to build a Engineering Bay or Armory as early as 28 supply to defend against Wraiths or drops. Some hints that he might be going wraiths - He has fewer ground units than he should have - He went 14cc (the most common follow up after 14cc is 2port wraiths) - He is turtling and shows no intention of taking his expansion - He walled

Wraith Follow-up[edit]

Another option is to build one or two Starports, and abuse your stockpile of gas and force your enemy to defend a fast attack from both the ground and the air.

Siege Contain[edit]

In general, players switch to two Factory Siege Tanks with Siege, and take their natural soon after attacking. You will rely on setting up an aggressive contain outside his natural with either Turrets or Goliaths for anti-air. The natural expansion can be taken before siege tanks are started if the player feels comfortable.

Counter To[edit]

Soft Counters:

  • 1 Factory Expansion
  • 1 Port Wraith

Hard Counters:

  • 13/14 CC with no wall
  • 2 Port Wraith
  • 1 Port Wraith
  • any unorthodox FE

Countered By[edit]

  • wall-in at natural or main

Notable Maps[edit]




The mentality is to use many vultures to criple and maybe even kill the terran with the first 4 vultures, if he gets tank the next 2 vultures can lay mines. As defense the wraith will be very late because when a player sees 4 vults killing his wall he usually cancels starport and get bunker at scv, don't try to kill the bunker but try to get tank fast.

Take map control with mines and vultures. Force him to turtle or else face heavy SCV losses. Make sure you get your command center up and working before he does. Scout and prepare for any harassment from him. Proceed to mid-game by securing map control and taking your third expansion.