The heart of any Terran operation, the Command Center serves as the headquarters unit of the Terran force, and is where your SCV units are deployed from and will return their collected resources to. As a headquarters unit, Command Centers are obviously heavily fortified and difficult to destroy, but a successful attack on an enemy Command Center will definitely set him well back in terms of economy.
The Command Center shares the capability of lift-off with many other Terran buildings. By lifting off, the Command Center can float and redeploy itself elsewhere on the map. This capability allows the Command Center to not only escape attacks, but also be constructed in the safety of your own base before redeploying itself on an expansion site, securing it immediately. Augmenting this flexibility is the Command Center's ability to garrison up to 5 SCVs, allowing a Terran Commander to save some SCVs from a raid, or to immediately get an expansion going once the Command Center has deployed.
The Command Center has 2 available upgrades. The first, the Surveillance Station, should be a structure that classic Starcraft players are very familiar with. By upgrading the Command Center to a Surveillance Station, the structure's sight range is greatly increased, and it is able to use a Scanner Sweep ability that is able to reveal any targetted area on the map, much like the ComSat Scan of classic Starcraft. The second upgrade is the Planetary Fortress, which gives the Command Center tremendous defensive capabilities by increasing its armor and arming it with a powerful defensive turret. Upgrading Command Centers of key and often-harassed expansions will put a huge damper in an opponent's offenses and make your economy much harder to attack. Choosing between these 2 upgrades for the correct Command Centers will be key to conquering your opponents. It is also to be noted that these upgrades are upgrades to the actual Command Center itself and not an add-on like the Tech Lab or the Reactor, and is thus permanent and not removable until the Surveillance Station or Planetary Fortress is destroyed.
This simple building supports the endeavors of the Terran by providing increasing the population cap of the Terran, allowing the Terran the ability to field more troops. In this respect, it is identical to the classic Supply Depot from original Starcraft. However, the Supply Depots of Starcraft 2 gets a new twist. In Starcraft 2, Supply Depots can submerge underground, allowing ground units to move over it, and then raise itself above ground again to block off access. Effective use of Supply Depot modes for base-walling would be essential to preventing enemy units entry into your base or key areas.
Built over Vespene gas geysers, this structure allows Terran players to extract the valuable resource to fund their units and technology. It is currently unknown whether the Terran Refinery would have something to distinguish itself from its equivalent structures on the Protoss and Zerg sides.
The first military building available, this building is where infantry such as Marines
are built. One would want to place it down promptly in order to proceed further in the tech tree as well as protect oneself from any early attacks.
The Terran Barracks, like many other Terran structures, is able to life-off and float in the air before redeploying in another location. This provides for some interesting flexibility for the Terran race. While the Protoss Gateway
can be destroyed in an early rush, the Terran Barracks can lift off and float away to safety. The lift-off ability also provides some offensive option to the Terrans. If a Terran is your enemy, be certain to keep an eye out for one of these landing in the back of your base. If you don't, you may have a swarm of Marines surprise raiding your economy. Lastly, a floating Barracks can be used as a sturdy if somewhat slow scout, allowing you to spy on the opponent's tech choice or extend your sight range - perfect for artillery such as the Thor
and siege tank.
Like all other production buildings, the Barracks is able to be fitted with either a Tech Lab add-on or a Reactor add-on. Information about these add-on structures can be found in their appropriate section.
Available at the bottom of the tech tree, the Engineering Bay functions much like its identically named counterpart in classic Starcraft, advancing the Terran's defensive technology and surveillance technology. With the construction of the Engineering Bay, the Missile Turret and Sensor Tower
would be available for construction, and the Surveillance Station and Planetary Fortress upgrades are made available at the Command Center
. It is unknown whether the infantry upgrades will remain in the Engineering Bay, but such an option is likely.
Available after the Barracks, the Merc Haven is a unique structure that requisitions the Reaper unit. Unlike the generic method of Terran construction, the Merc Haven has a "charge-up" timing for each Reaper, after which the "charged" Reaper is then stored in the Merc Haven. Each Merc Haven can store up to 4 Reapers. When needed, stored Reapers can be trained extremely quickly, so a player can rapidly deploy 4 Reapers from a single Merc Haven if necessary, or instead choose to produce a steady stream of Reapers and constantly leave room in the Merc Haven to allow more Reapers to be stored. This also means that with multiple Merc Havens, the Terran can spawn a sizable force of Reapers out of nowhere extremely quickly to surprise the opponent.
Unlocked after the construction of the Merc Haven, the Shadow Ops replaces the Covert Ops add-on from classic Starcraft. With a Shadow Ops and an attached Tech Lab, the Barracks can produce the Terran Ghost
, a specialized sniper capable of cloaking and calling down Drop Pods and Nukes. The Drop Pods and Nukes are Ghost abilities stored in the Shadow Ops, and each Shadow Ops can store one Drop Pod and one Nuclear Missile at any one time.
The Drop Pod ability allows the Ghost to call down a Drop anywhere within range, summoning 6 Terran Marines
to the drop site to aid in the battle. The Nuclear strike ability is similar to that of the classic Starcraft nuke, marking an area for a Nuclear Missile strike that deals tremendous damage in a huge area of effect. Losing the Ghost in the process of calling down a Nuclear Strike would cancel the Nuke, but the same does not apply for the Drop Pods. Multiple Shadow Ops would likely allow for multiple Drop Pods and Nukes to be used.
Also returning from classic Starcraft are the Terran bunkers. While packing no weaponry on its own, the bunker provides armored cover for up to 4 infantry units which can garrison themselves inside the bunker and fire from it. This allows for the Terran player to cover an area with strong defense not only due to the decent armor of the bunker, but also because units within a bunker can continue to be effective even after their shelter has been destroyed. This property of bunkers can also make them an effective tool in an early attack, making it much harder for an opponent to break out of an early containing move.
Unlike the Protoss, who have a defensive structure that can hit both land and air, the Terran Missile Turret is only capable of shooting air units. Be wary, however, as these structures are highly efficient in their job and even a few can deter a Mutalisk
raid or a Reaver drop. While the turret seems to function the same way as its classic Starcraft counterpart, the Missile turret has lost its detection capabilities, thus the Terran commander would need to place Sensor Towers
nearby to detect cloaked raids.
The Sensor Tower is a new structure in Starcraft 2 that functions as the static detection building, much like Missile Turrets
did in classic Starcraft.
The Sensor Tower can be upgraded to a Radar Dome. The Radar Dome retains the Sensor Tower's detection capabilities, but also extends a wide area-of-effect Radar sweep around it passively. Enemy units under the fog of war in this Radar area will be marked as red dots, and you will be able to track their movements within this area (but only as red dots, as the Radar does not remove the fog of war). This will give the Terran Commander advance warning as to any incoming raids so that he can redirect his forces quickly and prepare the appropriate defense.
The Terran factory, available after the construction of the Barracks, is where mechanical units such as the Siege Tanks
are created. Functioning much like its classic Starcraft counterpart, the Factory has the ability to lift-off and redeploy itself. This allows for certain "proxy" strategies much like what a floating Barracks can pull off, except with arguably more effectiveness as Factory units pack that much more punch. Like any other Terran production structure, the Factory is able to be upgraded with a Tech Lab or a Reactor.
Tech Lab and Reactor
Veterans from Starcraft: Brood War would be familiar with the add-on system of the Terrans, where Machine Shops, Control Towers, Physics Labs or even Covert Ops stations could be added on to structures to unlock new units and new technology. In Starcraft 2, the add-on system has been completely reworked. Now, all production structures have access to 2 possible add-ons, the Tech Lab or the Reactor. The Tech Lab grants the structure high-tech units as well as research pertaining to that structure. For example, a Barracks fitted with a Tech Lab would be able to produce Medics
, and that particular Tech Lab would have researches such as Stim Pack and U-238 Shells (Marine Range) available. The Reactor on the other hand gives the outfitted structure 2 separate build queues, meaning that 2 units can be produced from that structure simultaneously. Each structure can only be fitted with one add-on at any one time though, so producing 2 high-tech units from the same structure simultaneously is not possible.
The flexibility of the add-on system in Starcraft: Brood War is maintained and amplified in Starcraft 2. Add-ons can be abandoned and then re-used by lifting your buildings away and deploying another building adjacent to it. For example, if you had a Barracks with a Reactor and a Factory with a Tech Lab, and you needed to produce Medics and increase your Viking
production, you can simply lift both structures off, and redeploy them adjacent to the appropriate add-on to benefit from their abilities. It is likely that landing a production structure adjacent to an abandoned enemy add-on would allow you to use it as well, much like the way add-ons worked in Starcraft: Brood War.
The Armory is the Terran's tech building for all mechanical units, being available after the construction of the Factory. Like in classic Starcraft, it is likely that Terran Vehicle upgrades would be researched in the Armory. The Armory also allows construction of the Cobra
, a fast attack ground/air attack hover craft, at the Factory.
Available after an Armory, the Munitions Depot serves as the pre-requisite to the mighty Thor unit. With the construction of a Munitions Depot, the Terran Player is able to build Thors using SCVs, afterwhich the Thors can be used as deadly mobile fortresses to tear down enemy units. The Munitions Depot also houses an upgrade for the Thor, the 250mm Cannon, which allows the Thor to deploy its shoulder-mounted cannons to deliver a barrage of artillery fire that can decimate bases from afar at the cost of energy.
Much like the Starport of classic Starcraft, the Terran Starport constructs all of the Terran's air units, including the Dropship
, and the mighty Battlecruiser
. Unlike the Starport of old, however, the Starcraft 2 Starport has the option to upgrade into a Starbase in a similar manner to a Command Center upgrading to a Planetary Fortress. The Starbase is essentially a flying Starport that is able to produce units while flying, as well as provide the ability to restore the energy of a friendly unit. Combined with the energy-consuming abilities of the Thor, Nomad, or even Battlecruiser, effective use of the Starbase would surely make the Terran arsenal much more lethal.
Deep Space Relay
The equivalent of the classic Starcraft Physics Lab, the Deep Space Relay is available after the construction of a Starport, and allows the production of the dreaded Battlecruiser
from a Starport with the Tech Lab add-on or a Starbase. The Deep Space Relay also likely houses the 2 Battlecruiser weapon upgrades, Yamato Gun and Plasma Torpedoes.