There are 48 units in StarCraft 2. Through next Friday, we're highlighting seven of our favorite pieces of sci-fi military equipment in Blizzard's follow-up. Third in our series is the penny of the hive mind, the Zergling.
What it is: The pinky finger of the Zerg's many-armed menagerie
Build cost: 50 minerals
Build time: 24 sec
Requires: Spawning Pool
Real-world analog: African, ankle-gnawing ants
Best against: Marines, resourcing units
Worst enemies: Zealot (Protoss), Colossus (Protoss), Siege Tank (Terran), Hellion (Terran)
Advantages: Raw speed, cheap, can morph into Banelings
Disadvantages: 35 hit points (that's almost half of a Terran SCV),
Quote: “[sound of unsettling hatching]; [insectoid scurry]; [slurp].”
Who it's for: Impatient players that value aggressive finesse over cerebral, prepared strategy. Pushing “all-in” with a Zergling rush can be an attractive tactic, but if you fail, the invested resources could leave you defenseless against higher-tiered units.
Metabolic Boost (100 minerals, 100 gas) - Increases Zergling movement speed
Adrenal Glands (200 minerals, 200 gas) - Increases Zergling attack rate by 20%.
Plasma Shields (200 minerals, 200 gas) - Increases armor.
The pawns of their race, Zerglings are the embodiment of the overused, oversimplifying battle call “Zerg rush!” They rely on overwhelming numbers and raw speed to deal death by a thousand cuts. Also see: the oldest trick in the StarCraft book.
A brood Zerglings often attack before an opponent is fully scouted; players that employ a Zergling rush rely on the speed of their early economics to crank out a pile of cheap attackers. The best defense against a 'Ling swarm (other than countering with armored units) is scouting your opponent and protecting your base by blocking entrances.
In the early and mid-game, Zerglings' ability to transform into a suicide unit, the Baneling . At the cost of 50 minerals and 50 gas, 'Lings become acid-filled, volatile bulbs that detonate on contact, unleashing painful splash damage on anything nearby.
(Front page Zergling art by Mr.--Jack .)