Scouting Your Enemy: What to Watch For
The absolute most important thing you need to do in your Starcraft 2 career is scout your opponent. The most common strategy of scouting, as Protoss, is to send your probe out to your opponents base after you start construction of your Pylon at 9 (standard in every build). Depending on what you find, you may need to alter your build to compensate. Below are some common things to watch for, many of them courtesy of Emo from this thread: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/375107556
This is taken from the perspective of "What you see when you get to your enemies base." Always set some waypoints at the enemies base (hold down shift and right click around their base) so that your probe can keep moving and gathering scouting information. This makes it hard for your opponent to kill your probe until they have some type of ranged unit, and can provide crucial seconds of information. Skilled Protoss players may even attack the SCV constructing the Terrans first barracks, forcing them to pull another SCV off the line. Remember, you have shields that regenerate, use them!
*Gateway close to finishing, still no gas - Possibly a double gate, means early Zealot push. Keep your probe alive to confirm.
--- You need to either out number his Zealots, remember you will have distance on your side, or get your wall in complete and a sentry out ASAP to hold them at your ramp while you create Stalkers to shoot them from the high ground. This push will be quick, so be prepared. If they commit fully to Zealots, Void Rays can win the game early if you are confident at your ramp.
*Fast double gass - Stalker/Sentry from a 4 gate, or a 3 gate Robotech.
--- You need to play the faster 4 gate, or 3 gate Robo. Again, be prepared to hold them at your ramp with a Sentry while you construct the biggest force, and then push hard. Make him waste units to your high ground advantage. This should be a standard timing attack, so prepare well.
*Gateway close to finishing, one gas - Generally a standard 4 gate build. Keep your probe alive to confirm, note when the Cybernetics Core goes down.
--- See the above, same strategy
*Fast Expansion before a spawning pool - Macro oriented build
--- Get 2 gateways and chronoboost about 5 Zealots to take down the hatchery, get a Cybernetics core and proceed into a 4 gate or 3 gate robo. Keep the pressure up and get the early win.
*Spawning pool is almost done by the time your damn Probe arrives - The 6 pool, FAST zerglings
--- You need to build your Gateway at 10 instead of 12 in this instance, something I do against almost all Zerg opponents nowadays since 6 pool is so common. Chronoboost out your first 2 Zealots and you should be able to hold, make sure your wall is zergling-tight. Continue producing Zealots until you have 4-5 to hold off any aggression, continue with a 4 gate or 3 gate robo for the early win. Economy is on your side.
*Spawning pool at a normal time, no fast expansion, gas finishing - Expect Roaches
--- 3 gate robo is very good against roaches, but you should be ok with a 4 gate build as well. You should have time to respond with your standard build.
*Gas after spawning pool has completed - Speedlings and possibly banelings
--- Same as above. Don't clump your army to minimize baneling losses.
*Spawning pool at a normal time with an expansion shortly after - Standard Zerg opener.
--- Apply early pressure with any of the above openers, try to destroy the fast expansion to minimize his economic advantage. I like the Void Ray build here, or Phoenix.
*No gas, 1 Barracks finishing, another under way - Mass marines
--- Produce your Zealots early, get a few Stalkers and Sentries, push.
*No command center - High yield.
--- He lifted his base off and more than likely placed it at the high yield, or an island base. Scout the other available bases, tech to a quick ground push or air, win early.
*1 Gas, starts building 2nd barracks - Mass Marine/Marauder
--- Proceed with standard openers, push early. 3 Gate Robo or 4 Gate are good choices, avoid Void Rays unless you are attempting to force him to build more marines (don't expect to finish the game with a VR).
*1 gas, starts building a Factory right after Barracks- Expect 1/1/1 build, a versatile Terran build consisting of 1 Barracks, 1 Factory, 1 Starport.
--- 3 Gate Robo is a good choice, push early or you will have trouble with sieged up tanks. 1/1/1 lends itself well to early cloaked banshee harass, make sure you have a cannon at your mineral line or an observer. Void rays can be effective if the marine population is light (common if going straight to cloaked banshees), just make sure you can detect his harass. Stalkers and sentries are effective here as well to hold off aggression.
Edited by DaKung on 09/08/2010 18:04 BST