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TotW #11 - How to Use Early Spore Mines

By raaar - 12th August 2009 - 18:39 PM

Welcome to the latest Tip of the Week. I will be discussing and showing you how early-game spore mines can be devastating to your opponent's Tier 1 army and can swing the game hugely in your favour from the word go, and even win you a few fast, cheap victories if you're lucky.

The spore mine squad is something that I have seen very little of in 1.5 so far, and something which is generally used incorrectly or to little effect. Most spore mines are generally produced as a bi-product of screamer-killers simply because they are free, and are charged head on at the enemy, hoping for a retreat or some cheap kills. What I'm going to present to you here is a totally different use for spore mines, in a way that the enemy can do very little about and not even notice what's happening until it's too late.

The basic BO is Hero (LA in this case) + Hormagaunts -> Hormagaunts -> Spore -> Node +3 Generators -> wargear/upgrades.
This can be varied by throwing in a Termagant before the spores and building up your gens more slowly.

Note that this is only really viable versus other Tyranids, Orks, and Eldar. Against Marines, the results varied too much to be reliable.

The basic idea of the strategy is relying on your ability to swarm lone squads early on while they are capping and force a hasty retreat, directly into your spore mines. You will need to take some time to learn the retreat paths on maps and which specific "choke points" outside their base are the best place to hide your spores. With any luck you will be able to catch the lone squad so off-guard that you may even be able to kill it off without the spores, throwing in a flesh hook to finish the last retreating member. If this is the case, you can then use your spores on the second squad you come across (which will most likely move to your position with his hero in an attempt to force you off). Following this, just march up to his power farm and drop it, then tech up ASAP and grab a 'Fex to seal the deal. Gaining this 1-2 squad advantage so early on often results in players conceding, and often flaming you for being "lame", or "creative" as I like to call it!

Example #1

This first replay is basically how I came up with the idea. I was playing a 'Nid LA mirror, and actually played truly terrible. I felt that I was gonna lose this game due to way too many idle units, lack of micro, lack of care for my units and just general awareness (I didn't even know what the hell was capping my power farm). So I figured I'd just build some spores and see what happens, giving me the idea in the first place.

Example #2

This second replay is me just adapting on my strategy, again in a LA mirror. I basically rushed down to him and used spore mines to seal the early victory.

Example #3

This final replay is yet further adapting on the strategy, using a Termagant after the spores as well, in order to use Crippling Shot to lock down the Warboss. Barbed Strangler warriors were also thrown in to further lock down the Warboss, as the replay comment explains.

As a final piece of this short spore mine guide, I would like to share with you a personal favourite of mine, in the form of a 1.3 spore mine clip from my early RA days:

Thanks for reading, and I wish you the best of luck with your spore mining!