Starport Openings (vs. Zerg)
The Starport can be very effective against the Zerg race.
Basic Build Order
- 10 - Supply Depot
- 12 - Barracks
- 13 - Refinery
- 16 - Orbital Command
- 17 - Supply Depot
- 21 - Factory
- 22 - Refinery
- 27 - Starport
You can streamline this build to get specific units or tech structures. Add-on's like a Reactor or Tech Lab can be built using different building and then swapped to acquire the desired production capabilities.
In a standard 111 build, 1Rax 1Fact 1Port, build a Viking as soon as possible. If you have walled off well and built Marines and Hellions for base defense, you can use the Viking to scout the Zerg base. Avoid Queens, and hunt for Overlords. If you have 2-4 Vikings, dropping them behind the mineral line to take out drones can be damaging.
The objective of the early Viking harass is to distract the opponent, and possibly do some economic damage. It can be paired with Hellion harassment, or combined with dropships to control the air and keep the opponent occupied with harassment.
The build again requires a 111 build and a solid wall-off of your base. It is gas-heavy, so building a second Refinery quickly is essential. As soon as possible, build Banshees and tech cloak. If the Zerg fast expands, harassing mineral lines at the FE and the main with separate Banshees can be difficult to counter.
The obvious counter is to get Overseers, and use Queens/Mutalisk/hydra to defend the drones. If you have Vikings, it is possible to take out the Overseers and destroy their detection.
Although this harassment can be powerful, Queens are very strong against Banshees. Because this build is gas-heavy and takes a bit of time, if it fails, a counter-attack on your base can be devastating. If the Zerg builds fast Mutalisk and has a few Overseers, the Banshees will fall quickly without doing much damage.
The key to this build is getting out two Banshees, as a single Banshee will be heavily damaged by one Queen, and quickly fall to two Queens, as it is becoming more popular for Zerg players to build extra Queens for spreading creep and casting infuse. Performed correctly, you should be able to build a pair of Banshees before significant AA has been produced. It is typical for your opponent to be in the process of building their Hydralisk Den or Spire when your Banshee(s) arrive. Sniping these buildings is critical if you want to maintain pressure with this build.
Note: Going for a double Starport directly after your Factory will increase the speed of getting your second Banshee. This is know at a 2 (or double) port Banshee build and is effective because a Banshee is able to kill a Queen one-on-one. Thus if the Zerg player only has two Queens the Banshees are free to do a lot of damage.
The 111 build is most effective on maps with long rush distances but short air positions. Maps like Scrap Station allow for very fast drops or Banshees. If the spawn positions are further apart, such as on a map like Xel'Naga Caverns, then the Starport can be placed in a "proxy" location to shorten the distance the units must travel. The faster the Banshee(s) or Viking(s) reach the Zerg base, the more effective they will be.