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A Terran unit in Starcraft.

Size: small
Supply: 1
Minerals: 50
Gas: 25
Armor: 1
HP: 50
Ground attack: 16 concussive, friendly-safe splashing, +2 per upgrade level
Air attack: no
Cooldown time: 22, 11 if stimpacked.
Range: 2
Sight range: 7
Build time: 24 (different time unit than cooldown)

A Firebat uses a flamethrower in short bursts. This gives them short range, and their attack being 'concussive' means it doesn't damage large units worth beans (one-quarter rate). Why does this unit exist? Splash damage. Against packed groups, firebats work wonders. Thus, they are a weapon of choice against hordes of zerg, especially zerglings.

Their front line role gives them rather high life insurance premiums, a condition which can be ameliorated by bunkers, medics, defensive matrices and, should the opportunity arise, commandeering enemy dark swarms.

In the late game, Firebats cease to be as useful as Marines, largely due to the advent and probable dominance of air units, which the firebat cannot touch. Also, late-game zerg strategy may involve Ultralisks taking on old Zergling responsibilities - Ultralisks are too big to let the splash damage multiply, and are too big for concussive damage to take much effect.

However, a Firebat can be at least modestly useful even so. Put a defensive matrix on it and have it stand in a chokepoint. That will give your siege tanks plenty of time to chew the ultralisk up from further back. And if your defensive matrix wears off, the splash damage from the siege tanks will be at half strength (the main reason not to use a Goliath for this purpose).

I do not use Firebats heavily, but against the possibility of either a zergling or zealot rush, I will stow one firebat in each bunker, just in case. Others have used them to take out entire zerg bases, unsupported. That buildings take 1/4 damage from the firebats' concussive attacks was only a real impediment against the initial glut of sunken colonies, which are easily overwhelmed by infantry rushes anyway. After that, mopping up is easy because the firebats can kill eggs before they hatch, preventing the construction of reinforcements.

Also, Firebats are one of the two Terran units capable of firing into a dark swarm. If you suspect that your zerg opponent likes to get clever, this is one reason to keep them even into the late game.

Figures taken from http://www.battle.net/scc/GS/, independently verified by me. Interpretive text is original.

The Firebat action figure (or statue, as is my preference to these sorts of toys) is part of Blizzard's newest 'Starcraft: Series 1' line. It's about 8.5 inches tall. He's everything a Firebat should be.

He's bigger than the Marine figure by an inch or so and his legs and feet are thicker and rounder than the Marine, giving him a solid base to stand on. Unlike the old Marine figure, the guy inside the Firebat, who's face can be seen if the visor is flipped up, it looks like a person might actually fit inside it (if it were actual size, of course).

There is only one removeable part, the huge fuel tanks on his back. A thick tube connects to his shoulder. The Firebat also has huge gauntlets (kind of look like Hellboy's hand) that are fitted with the actual flamethrower.

The Firebat is entirely red (of course), with yellow bat shapes on its knees and yellow flame decals on the helmet and shoulders.

The guy inside the Firebat (whose face you can see) doesn't look anything like the Firebat portrait in the game. He seems like the kind of guy you'd see driving a big pick-up truck in Texas or something. Someone who likes their steak well-done. I would have preferred to see him with a grimace on his face and a cigar in his mouth, but he seems to be emotionless and a fake cigar might be against some kind of anti-tobacco law, so they couldn't put it in.

It was funny to note that the first person to look at the Firebat asked me if it had been played with already. I said that it had just come out of the box (I can't stand to leave them sealed) and that it was supposed to look that way. Sure enough, there are deliberate silver scuff marks painted on. Battle-damage, I guess.

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