Zerg Roach - Lore and Stats
Though there is no existing lore for the Zerg Roach as of yet, the statistics are readily available.
Rapid Regeneration: The Roach regenerates health at an extremely fast rate while burrowed.
Glial Reconstruction: Increases the movement speed of all Roaches.
Tunneling Claws: Enables the Roach to move while burrowed.
Organic Carapace: Increases the health regeneration rate of all Roaches
Roach Strengths and Weaknesses
Though the Roach requires more tech than Teir 1 units like Marines and Zealots, they are an effective counter to those units because of how quickly the Roach prerequisites can be met. Though Roaches require gas, the Roach Warren does not, allowing it to be built quickly and cheaply after the spawning pool. This, along with their relatively high armor and high attack, makes Roaches very powerful in the early game. A push with even a small number of Roaches early on can end the game if your opponent is unprepared. Though Marauders and Stalkers will hold their own against Roaches, they are both more expensive, and Roaches can be built in higher numbers. This makes them powerful even into the mid and late game. Their upgrades make them especially useful, since they can be used for sneak attacks with burrowed movement and can burrow mid battle to regenerate quickly and emerge in the back, attacking vunerable casters or long range artillery.
They are, however, weak against anti-armor units like the Immortal and the Terran Siege Tank, and suffer from a fairly small range. This will make using them against Marauders tricky, since they’ll get more hits in, especially with concussive shot. Units that deal AoE damage, like the Colossus and the Ultralisk, will be a large problem, and since Roaches cannot attack air, they are vulnerable in that respect as well.
Roach Tips and Strategies
The Roach is an essential part of one of the most powerful and effective Zerg builds currently in game - the Roach/Hydra ball. It is a simple idea - Roaches are tough, short range units that take the hits for the deadly, but weaker Hydralisk. Since the Hyrdalisk is effective against air, this is a powerful strategy against most opposing armies. Early Roaches also allows the Zerg player to put pressure on, especially against Protoss, who lack a solid counter to the Roach until Immortals. Keep in mind that because of its popularity, there are many common counters to this build - they include the Immortal push, Marines/Marauders/Medevacs and Baneling/Mutalisk. If you encounter these combinations, it is wise to include some Infestors, Banelings or Mutalisks to strengthen your force.
In addition to being a powerful ground force, Roaches can be used to effectively harass mineral lines and attack enemies' weak spots. Using their burrowed movement, a crafty Zerg player can sneak roaches into a base or behind their main force to attack isolated units and destroy workers. Just because they become weaker late game does not mean that Roaches need to be sidelined - explore all possible uses for their strength and utility.