Unit Spotlight: Roach

Statistics

  • Cost:
    • 75 Minerals 25 Gas
    • 2 Supply
    • 1 Larvae
  • Combat
    • Weapon Ground Only
      • Damage 16(+2)
      • DPS 11.2 (+1.4)
      • Range: 4
    • HP 145 Base 1 Armor
  • Sight: 8 Range
  • Speed 3.15 (+1.05 Glial Reconstitution)
  • Speed on Creep 4.09 (+1.36 Glial Reconstitution)
  • Cargo Size 2
  • Tags
    • Armored
    • Biological
  • Upgrades
    • Glial Reconstitution
      • Lair Required
      • 79 Seconds to complete
      • 100 minerals
      • 100 gas
      • Increases roach movement speed to 4.2 while unburrowed and to 4.4 while burrowed under creep
    • Tunneling Claws
      • Lair Required
      • 79 Seconds to complete
      • Roaches can move while burrowed at a speed of 2.8
      • Increases health regen of roaches while burrowed to 14hp/second

Strengths

The roaches strength comes from its high health and base armor relative to it’s required tech and cost. This makes them good against many units that do multiple attacks be attack animation or units that have very fast attack speeds.

Roaches are powerful units because they can tank a lot of damage, however it is often important to have a supporting unit that deals more damage such as hydralisks, lurkers, or ravagers.

One strength of the roach is their relatively low cost to make. At only 25 gas and 75 minerals it is easy to mass a low of roaches quickly, making it possible to hit a 200/200 supply roach max with 3 base saturation by 8:30.

Roaches also have increased health regeneration while burrowed underground and with the tunneling claws upgrade can move while burrowed. This makes them powerful harassment options in the mid to late game as the roaches become units you want less of in your army. This means they can be effectively used and then replaced with stronger tech units.

Weaknesses

The roaches main weakness comes from its supply cost, damage per second and movement speed. First, each roach costs two supply and due to their low DPS this means they scale poorly into the late-game. In the late-game large roach balls just do not output enough damage or have enough range and speed to keep up with other late-game armies. Terrans will have tanks which greatly outrange the roaches and deal massive damage to them (due to roaches being armored) while Protoss can tech to air units, immortals or disruptors which all destroy roaches. While roaches can be viable in the early to mid-game their use greatly drops off in the late-game because of high supply cost, low range and low damage.

The armored tag is a weakness to the roach because it means it will take more damage from +damage to armored units such as the immortal or the siege tank. With this tank it is possible to hard counter primarily roach based armies with specific tech units in much lower numbers.

Next is the roaches damage per second. The roach has an extremely low dps which means it takes them awhile to kill key units such as immortals and it takes them a long time to kill units being healed such as marines or marauders with medevac support.

Finally the roach has a slow movement speed without glial reconstitution and it isn’t much improved even with the upgrade. This means that it isn’t able to catch many retreating units like Terran bio balls, cyclones, hellions or Protoss gateway or robotics facility units.

The roaches low range of 4 impacts all of these weaknesses, the low range means that they are difficult to mass effectively in the late-game as it becomes increasingly harder to get all of your roaches dealing damage, the low range means it becomes more difficult to pick off important tech units like the siege tank and the immortal as it can be difficult to reach them, their dps is partially low because some roaches in the back may not fire and they need to get closer to the enemy to fire. Finally they would be able to chase down units better with a larger range which would nullify the speed weakness.

 

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