Just finished the game earlier and it got me thinking. How important is the gas for Swann?
Earlier, my ally (Artanis) didn’t build the assimilators at the second expansion. I asked him if he planned to build those assimilators at the second expansion for the vespense harvester. He said he not planning to because he didn’t like having too much gas sitting in his bank. He pretty much went mass Dragoon.
I said ok. I went back to my macro/micro and let my ally do whatever he want. A little later, I noticed I’ve been gas starve more often but we still beat the game. Like I said earlier, is gas important for Swann? Does it take 4 bases with harvester to unleashed Swann full potential?
Not important at all. It’s something like 33% extra if you have all 8 Geysers set with Vespene Drones. That’s over the course of a game on average. So that means any appreciable amounts that counts for any given time frame, those 2, 4, or 6 vespene drones will net a player a few hundreds extra gas at most.
Where if you’re finding you’re “lacking gas”, it is definitely not due to vespene drones being 8/8 or x/8. It is due to a need for better optimization on build order. Like as in:
Should I be building 2 armories at this moment?
Should I be researching weapon and armor (most likely no for armor, especially if u’r trying to save some gas).
Do I really need those 6 tanks at 7min? Or should I be getting Concentrated Beam for less gas?
It’s the very reason why some people have trouble with Swann. And why many believe adamantly Tank/Herc is life.
And Anc’s point is all too real. I too hate it when allies ping for dumb vespene drones like their life depended on it. Mastery choices aside, I would never want to bother spend even 80 extra minerals on “having excess gas for no reason” while I can be doing something else, knowing that I can do more for the mission. Meanwhile, some people have all 4 of their vespene drones harvesting since 4min and onward, yet they make nothing but mineral units that cost no gas.
IMO if your ally is rushing you to get gas very early into the game, just ignore them, but you should always put those drones when you can. Swann is very gas heavy. If they ask some time in the mid game, you should do it. Many commanders could use the extra gas. Some examples that may not really need it are Stukov and Raynor.
It depends on your build and how tight your timings are on your upgrades. Upgrades are the big thing that soaks up a lot of gas and if your ally doesn’t take their geysers quickly it can delay your upgrades.
It can also limit how many Science Vessels you can make, since they are the big gas soak unit that you want a bunch of.
Worst case scenario, you’ll have to mix in some Helbats or something and keep getting the other important units and upgrades while you’re gas starved.
The extra gas IS important, but only if your macro is on point. If you aren’t hitting your upgrades fast then you don’t really need the extra gas as much.
Make sure you don’t EVER sacrifice your own ramp up on gas drones. As was said, they can be plopped down later, and is generally why many Swann players go for the drill upgrade mastery.
As for importance… It’s a bit mixed. If your ally is willing to mix up their build order some, they could potentially get some high tech units out or special upgrades at critical times. A P1 Artanis, if he played his cards right, could take advantage of it to get a Templar out earlier with an upgrade to melt an attack wave.
HOWEVER… Most players aren’t willing to change their build orders on the rare occasions they’re paired with a Swann. Hell, most raynor’s don’t want tech add ons due to how much it throws off their timings. It has the potential to open up some playstyles or build timings, but most won’t notice it.
It depends on the build you are going in a particular game. If you are going for the standard herc / tanks build + mass Goliath, then you won’t be gas starved. With Cyclone + Wraith build you won’t get gas starved either. However, if you do a Thor build (which I do against certain comp) then you will need all 8 gas drones early on. For me, I always have all 8 gas drones by mid game.
Other times I could think of when you are gas starved is when you used too much immortal protocols. Swann is usually mineral starved in early game and if you do everything right, you shouldn’t have any issues with resources.
Also you could had asked to build vespene geysers on the 2 that he’s not using.
Every commander needs gas, some more than the other. There is no real reason to skip it and banking it is never a bad thing.
Swann needs it for every unit he produces (except hellbats and workers). He has a lot of upgrades that require it as well. If you go for an optimised build, you skip all gas until you get your second base up. After that you need it a lot quickly and the vespine drones help you compensate for that.
The point here is the obvious one, and that is every commander functions perfectly fine without a Swann ally’s vespene drones. As such, skipping on 80-800 minerals before 6-7min of game will mean you can redirect that resource elsewhere, like getting expansion up quicker as you pointed out. So it’s not essentially important as is asked in OP. It is, at best, a nice gestural bonus… like Chrono on non-Protoss, or Stetelites, etc.
So no, banking it is a very bad thing. The difference between an experienced player and an inexperienced one is exactly just that - no excess banked resources.
Having 4000/4000 banked is great if you’re about to get something that cost 4000/4000. If you’re just planning on getting 20 x 200/200 units, then you’ve wasted:
The time first to collect up to 4000/4000z
The time it would take for each of the 200/200 unit to produce 2 through 20.
And that’s why some Swann (or players really) are slow AF. They take 20min to make a 150/200 army while it takes 10min for another player to max out with the same commander.
I dissagree with that. With Swann I always go for fast expansion (if possible) and vespine drones and I never bank gas until max supply. As I’ve written, after focusing only on minerals in the first couple of minutes, you need a lot of gas quickly to start research and producing units - more than mere refineries can produce.
On maps where fast expansion is not possible, extra gas is even more important.
Not to mention what a huge difference it can be to a gas-starved commander such as Vorazun or Nova.
I’m not sure you understand what you’re actually disagreeing with here.
This here is exactly what I would like everyone to do. Getting a well established build order down. Why? Because with one then you only NEED the gas when you NEED TO USE IT.
I think you mistaken banking gas as a result of vespene drone’s addition VERSUS needing gas as a result of vespene drone’s addition. You seem to believe without those drones, you’d be far behind, and that’s simply not true at all.
This point has been debated for a long long time on the forum (since the dawn of Swann basically). So to specifically discuss your points here:
1 Factory is plenty for early game, which means you are producing at most 2 units at a time for at most 250gas every 36sec interval.
1/1 upgrade research possibly (even though you should be skipping the +1 armor here) so that’s 100 gas.
Maelstrom (and/or cyclone lock-on and the likes type of research), which gives you another 100 gas cost.
Science vessel(s), 1 -2 here is plenty when you have barely any units to heal. So total? At most 2 x SV for 400gas + 100gas for nano repair.
So let’s tally that up shall we? 250 + 100 + 400 + 100 = 850gas. This assumes some really poor planning, in that you're starting all of these at once for this singular minute of time frame. I'm also including 2x SV for no real reason. Regularly saturated geyser nets the player about 104gas/min each, so that’s about 416gas for that one minute of your poor planning. Let’s assume your ally had theirs up, and your extra 33% (only when 8 vespene drones are running) was given, so that’s 416 x 1.33 = 553 gas. I’m not math genius but 850gas > 553 > 416…
So what does all that have to do with anything? It means that planning with the appropriate build order, when to make factory, armor, starport, making what units, and which researches to start is important. The proverbial “no if you start all of those at once, you’ll lack gas”.
So no my dude, I disagree with you and anyone who believes vespene drones are essential for Swann to flourish at all. To put it very generalized, those 6-8 vespene drones will allow you to support an extra Factory OR Starport, and that’s it. If you can’t ‘flourish’ without vespene drones on all geysers as Swann, then that’s an issue with your build order. The math, the experience, and the actual practice simply don’t support the theory of “130gas/min extra will make or break Swann”.
Note: I’m not asking you or anyone to ‘never place vespene drones’, but between placing them at 2min, 4min, or 6min, the difference is so insignificant. Don’t believe me still? Give it a try, you’ll end up with at most a couple hundred extra gas .
In your case, I think you can build 2 refineries at his expansion and deploy the harvesters for the extra vespen, with your ally’s permission of course. There would be a mminimal impact to his vespen collection.