Monday, September 12, 2011

Starcraft 2: Adding Harassment to a Build

One of your goals in every Starcraft 2 match should be to keep your opponent on the defensive, even when, and ESPECIALLY when you don't have many units on the field.  Unless you are going for an all-in push, you will be vulnerable to timing attacks while you get your economy going.

What you want to do is harass, so plan for it!  Here are some examples:

  • Mech?  Hellion drop or driveby.
  • Bio?  Early 2-rax pressure, or marine drops
  • Heavy air?  Banshee harass.
  • Lategame?  Nukes or Ghost drop with snipes.

  • Twilight Council tech path?  Dark Templar.
  • Robo first?  Try some warp prism drops or warp-ins.

  • Muta harass (typical)
  • Baneling drops on mineral lines (my new favourite)
  • Zergling run-bys or counterattacks whenever he moves out
  • Infestor drops
  • Burrowed Roaches or Infestors

The most common mistake to make when figuring out how to add harassment to a build is thinking that you have to add a lot to your build.  Try adding as little as possible.  If going heavy Roach, add Tunneling Claws and no more.  If you're going Mech, don't try to marine-drop - just use Hellions as obnoxiously as possible.  If you're doing a 3-gate robo, don't feel that you have to add DTs - just drop or warp some Zealots.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Starcraft 2: Roaches do not stop Bunker Rushes

I was trying this new(er) Zerg build order:
  • 15 pool
  • 14 gas
  • 16 hatch
  • 18 Roach Warren
  • 18 Overlord
  • 18 Overlord
  • 8-10 Roaches
  • Queen
... but it's still weak to a bunker rush IF YOU LET THE BUNKER FINISH.  The Roaches do NOT counter a completed bunker (unless you can hit it from the high ground, maybe), and DEFINITELY does not counter the ramp double-block.  I suggest going Banelings if you get contained, and break out ASAP and counterattack - you'll be too far behind otherwise, especially if your expansion hatchery is destroyed.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Starcraft 2: ZvT Troubles with Thor+Hellion

I had an interesting game against a Terran player, where I could have held off his pushes with better building placement and better scouting.  I was actually ahead in economy the whole game, but just couldn't fend off the last push (due to poor micro).

The replay shows that the Terran player was doing a 1-base push the whole time, where Zerg was on 2 bases.  I think what did me in at the last was larvae - I had tons of resources but no way to spend them.  An in-base hatch would have been the answer.  Ah, beautiful hindsight.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Starcraft 2: Making the Wrong Counter in TvZ

So you've scouted, you saw Roaches, so you make Marauders.  Then a mass of 12 Mutas comes into your base, wipes out your few marines, and demolishes your base.  What happened?

It's easy to make assumptions based on what you see.  It's important that you keep checking your opponent's army composition.  If you watch GSL, Day9, HuskyHD, or read my previous blog posts, you may have heard the phrase "scout the front".  Most players keep their armies near the front of their base, for the sole reason that it's where the attack usually comes from.  This positioning means that by sending a single cheap unit to die, you can scout your opponent's army composition, and you should do it on a regular basis, so you aren't surprised.

Buildings can't tell you everything, especially against Zerg!  Don't rely on the fact that he build a Roach Warren that any Roaches will come out of it.  Some buildings are "just in case" structures.