StarCraft® II

Zerg Multiplayer Guide: Compilation(Now in PDF)

(Sticky)

The PDF version of the guide is a little cleaner, has had more spelling checks, and has been thought about a little more then these forum threads. It is the distilled version:

http://pdfcast.org/pdf/zerg-beginners-guide

The Beginners Guide - Compilation

Disclaimer: This is the guide for the new and clueless. If you are a diamond league player, this guide is not for you.
Your advice, and comments, are appriciated, but keep in mind your tactic of microing 7 groups at once, while keeping production high, wont be needed yet for the target audience of this guide.

1. Philosophy, how the game flows
Before we begin we should establish "game flow".
There are 3 stages in the game. These are usually counted in approximate minute count.
The reason behind the stages being measured in minutes instead of reached tiers, is because tiers can be reached at very different speeds depending on what tactical advantages and disadvantages you are prepared to take/make.

Phase 1, or "early game": first 5 minutes approximately.
Phase 2, or "mid-game": at end of 1 phase, til approxiamtely 15 minutes of passed game time.
Phase 3, or "end-game": everything after phase 2.

2 Heuristics of game flow and a little math:

2.1 Early game
Early game is about infrastructure. Infrastructure means drone count, and refinery building(s) and drone assignment to these.
Early game is about getting drones into play, and keeping them there.
A crippled infrastructure will lose you the game.
Early rushes/proxy/towering(cheeses - more on these later) are just a tactic to disrupt your infrastructure and "strangle"/"starve" you, before your production and infrastructure becomes a threat.
An opponent can usually only do these at a cost to their own infrastucture, so fend it off without losing too many drones, and you will have an advantage.

Mid game: you should have a stable most likely increasing infrastructure, since you should have an expansion from early game(going for that much needed second harvesting expansion).
A sizeable low tech army, or small, but if you scouted, optimal army for your opponents units.

end game: Your tiers should be maxed, or you should have pushed your enemy to a starving point on their original expansion(s) (Plural if they got their natural up -> this is always bad).
If they got their natural expansion running, you wont be winning.
You should have cleaned at approximately 2 harvesting spots (Maybe more).

2.2 Optimal harvesting:
Most, if not all, multiplater maps have the following setup:
8 mineral crystals, and 2 gas vents.
3 drones pr mineral, and 3 pr refinery is the optimal harvester count.
A hatchery placed at a starting point, will have have an ideal harvester count of 30 drones.


2.3 Production:
The zerg race's most excellent feature is its ability to create all units, from just 1 type of production facility.
A hatchery will spawn up to 3 drones at any one time (each larva spawns at a rate of 15 seconds to a maximum of 3).
A queen at a hatchery can cast a spell that will produce 4 larvas in addition to any present at the hatchery.
The spell that is cast to create the larvas takes 40 seconds to complete on a hatchery.
The mana regeneration matches "spawn time" precisely.
So you create 1 extra larva pr 10 seconds. If you keep casting the spawn larva spell on a hatchery.
That approximates a total production of 9 larva pr hatchery pr minute.
3 from the respawn - and 4 from the spell.
Due to cap at 7 and and if no larva are present when the spawn spell "pop" the 3 larva from the hatchery's normal larva production is halted, as it automatically puts the larva count over the 3 larva limit.
It is a little unrealistic to use this for calculation, since in addition you wont keep your production running constantly to keep this rate up, I will use 7 at the approximate maximum of larva. This is higher for more experienced players.

The pit fall is, you tend to see a single building and think you don't need anymore.
That is only true for buildings that arent towers, or production facilities, and people forget that a hatchery is a production facility.
A Terran or protoss player will have several building types of a specific production facility, like 3 barracks, or 3 factories, or both to quickly regain losses.

3. heuristics of logistics:
Your army size depends on your supply count, the little number in the top right of your screen.
Your overlords are your only source of supply at 8 pr overlord at a total maximum of 200 supply.

Considering the Zerg have the fastest build time of all races, you can repopulate your supply count faster then any other race. This next bit is important!
Edited by Knobtremor on 28/08/2010 10:28 BST
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3.1 Supply count
That means you will max out your supply count with 30 drones and 20 supply worth of zerglings(40 zerglings total) - and your supply is theoretically maxed due to overlord starvation(50/50 supply).
Now notice your build time of an overlord(25 seconds), and consider again that it will supply you with a total of 8 extra supply, that will grant you an additional force of 16 zerglings.
But if you attack and got your 40 zerglings killed(with speed that isnt unrealistic travel time+fight time) you would have 20 supply for an additional 40 zerglings in the same time it takes an overlord to hatch?
Your mineral gathering rate will allow you to more zerglings then the 40 you just spent! (20 units(40 zerglings) = 400 minerals, and you make 450 pr 30 seconds on a full harvesting hatchery)
You just dont have supply for them.
So get your units killed, and try to make as much damage as possible with them of course, dont just waste them (unless you really need the supply for some AA or another imnportant counter!).
You aren't always required to expand your supply limit constantly, attacking is more often the correct option. You will win by attricion.
Plus an attack will reveal things your very early game scouting could have missed! (Or things that have happened since you where there last).

3.2 Supply versus production
Most players will try to match/beat their opponents unit count before an attack, so they can destroy his entire army in the attack.
This is usually a mistake for a zerg player.
First of all, you are surrendering initiative to your opponent.
Secondly, if you attack and kill 1/3 of his army, you can still rebuild your army before he can counter, provided you have enough larva and ressources to repopulate.
The 40 dead zerglings you lose fighting, have now have released 20 new supply you can repopulate with new units!

Lets say his build time is 6 seconds slower, and has "only" 3 barracks going for marauders(approximate 30 seconds build time to the zerglings 24 second build time).
He can only produce 3 at a time, that allows him 6 units pr minute, versus your possible (if you have 3 hatcheries with queens) 21 units worth of larva. (21 hydra or 42 zerglings)

21 larva converted to zerglings will cost you 1050 minerals.
That leaves you starved for about 3 supply worth of units for a full minute.
But 12 seconds extra (for the additional 6 units on the terran example) leaves you with an addition 15 minerals in 12 seconds = 180 minerals. Which is more then enough to start the production of the last 3 zerglings.
If you are creating just zerglings on 1 full harvesting hatchery (and 2 non harvesting hatcheries), thats a total of 3. Three. THREE hatcheries. Queened!
In order out-produce your ressource gathering rate.
Going for just zerglings, and no upgrades.

Ask yourself before commiting to an attack or building additional overlords for supply:
What is my supply limit? Do I have larva capacity to rebuild it with the ressource gathering rate I have?
if you have 2 hatcheries at full capacity, thats 1800 minerals a minute, in income.
Converting it all to zerglings requires 36 larvas pr minute.
provided its 7 larva pr hatcheries pr minute(with queens) its 5,14 hatcheries required to out-produce your income!

Stockpiled minerals are potential units, but thats what they are. Potential!
Potential units do squat against invading armies! You should aim to keep your mineral count and gas count as low as 500 constantly.

Example:
Lets say in early game you want to keep your mineral stockpiled below 450 minerals at all times, and you gather 450 minerals in about 30 seconds. Your infrastructure made it to optimal levels, and your ready to use this to your advantage:

Zerglings buildtime is 24 seconds, but lets just say that they complete in 30 seconds.
450/50 = 9 units(18 zerglings). Thats nine units worth of zerglings for 1 hatchery thats harvesting at full capacity.
for two hatcheries, thats 18 units(36 zerglings) in 30 seconds, thats 72 zerglings a minute.

You can do this math at for any other units, but gas is a restricting factor here, and in early game you will at some points try a zergling push.
You cannot invest solely in infrastructure, that leaves you open for attack.
You cannot defend, because a turtling zerg is basically dead in the water.
So there is nothing left to do but to attack.
If you aren't attacking, your doing it wrong ;)
Edited by Knobtremor on 10/08/2010 10:35 BST
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4. Tactics & build order

Your build order will depend on what kind af initial tactic you wish to deploy.
If you invest heavily on drones, you will steal lots of larva that could have been units, but they will generates a lot of minerals.
If you invest in too many larvas to form attack units you will cripple your mineral/vespine gas supply.
This balance is the hardest to maintain throughout the game. The top players usually stop their drone production at around 63 drones. and they have 3-4 hatcheries sometimes more.

4.1 early game (first 5 minutes or so)
usually this is the beginning game where, once you know your build orders by heart, you will be mostly aware of what the other players are doing. You must relinquish 1 drone, at least, to scout your opponents.
What this scout will provide you with is information. What tactics are the other players deploying, and what is your countering tactic. This is also the usual time for what has been dubbed "cheese" tactics.

4.2 Cheese tactics
Any tactic that ends the game before either side has had a chance to get an infrastructure up on 1 hatchery.

4.2.1 Protoss will build towers close to your base. Either contain you, or simply tower into your base.
They will sometimes place a pylon in a forward position and then warp in units. Sort of like a nydus worm.
Sometimes their entire base! This is known as "proxy". Effectively reducing the LONG walk zealots have to perform to get to the opponents base considerably.
This is actually more succesful then most cheese tactics, and can be hard to counter if they go underdiscovered for even just a short while, if a zealot is out before you see it. you will be in trouble, remember this is in the first 5 minutes of the game, but a protoss can have many units out in 5 minutes. so can you, but if you are relaying on the distance to slow his attack if he goes "lots" you will have a real @*#@-storm in your base quickly.

4.2.2 Terran can do much the same with build/flying a barracks to your location, and fill bunkers. (They will go for your gas and cripple your ability to tech)
A specifically nasty tactic is building a bunker near the mineral field/gas vent and filling it with reaveers! They will take the refineries down quick, protected by the bunker they are armoured. The scv that completed it can also be protected in the bunker, and when/if he retreats from bunker range, you can exit it, and repair any damage.

4.2.3 Zerg's cheese tactics is a 6/10 pool run. (6 pool, means you dont build drones, since you start with six 10 pool, you build 10, then lay down your spawning pool), then wait til they have harvested enough minerals to create a spawning pool.
Then immediately upon completion of the spawning pool create 12 zerglings and send them off to harass or kill an unprepared opponent.
This usually works until about somewhere in silver-league then your opponent will catch on and figure out how to counter this.

4.3 Scouting
so... what to look for. When you scout the enemy's base look for the following. Usually the refineries say much:

4.3.1 Terran (no refinery) means an early marine push. If both refineries are up, odds are they are teching into air(drops?-medivacs) or some other vehicle. If they only have 1 refinery up, they are going for maraduers. uually they combine them with marines. This will sometimes lead to a tactic called "mmm". (medivac marine marauder) This gets special mention, as it is extremely common, and very effective.

4.3.2 Protoss. If a protoss player is building refineries, they are teching. They dont really require gas for anything until after the cybernetic core. Which means if they dont have one, they could be heavy into infastructure, or more likely, a zealot rush. If they have one, they are going early stalkers, and are ripe for a chesse-zerg rush.

4.3.3 Zerg. The hardest to read on refinery aspect, because you need gas for anything that isnt a zergling. Zerg still reads much like a protoss player, if a zerg player isn't going gas, then he is most likely zergling rushing. which means you should be able to counter with a zerg/roach combo, or if you feel like microing a zerg/baneling counter.
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4.4 Conclusion
So.. no refinery = likely "cheese" rush. (I hate this word, no tactic is cheesy unless it really doesnt work, I'm beginning to see it more as an honorary title by those whom it works against.)
The buildings themselves will of course tell you what is coming unless its a terran opponent.
If a terram oppent has 2-3 barracks up, expect mmm. If he has 1 barrack, but 2 factories, its vechicles(tanks or flamethower bikes) and marines. if its 1 barrack, 1 factory, 1 shipyard he is usually going for a madivac marine or banshee rush.
Zerg players are the easiest to read on their buildings.
Did they go roach or baneling - just spawning pool? Did they start their lair upgrade? These quiestions will tell you excately what a zerg player is doing. Zerg are the easiest player to read on buildings - if they have a building that grants them access. Expect that unit type. And therefore you most work the hardest to remain undiscovered.

5. Teching
Sometimes a player will knowingly leave themselves open for a cheese tactic in order to tech to a level where you early army will be useless or inferior. Protoss can do void-rays, but its an extremely slow rush, and easily detected.
The terrans are much more dangours. They have 3 buildings that create all their units, which makes them very unpredicable and therefore much harder to counter effectively.
Zerg can go mutalisks which is sort of effective against protoss, especially if you use them to harass instead of attack units, combined with minerals surpluss spent on zerglings a combined assault with mutas in the harvesting field and zerglings on the front/exp will cripple most protoss players. This requires you to be left alone for sometime, and usually fails past bronze level. (unless its a team match.)

6. Early game build detailed for zerg

First a little philosophy. Your build order determines what tactic you will employ. So learn your opponents build orders.
There really is no excuse to only play 1 race. You might as well play random and learn all build orders. This will make your scouting information more valuable to you.

Now to "the" build order: unless you are going for a cheese tactic this should be your "spine" of a build order:

build 9 supply worth of drones.
1 overlord. (the 10 drone you build is usually an effective scouting unit)
fill to 15 supply of drones.
1 spawning pool.
1 refinery(once it is complete take 3 drones from minerals and put them on gas)
fill to 15 drones.
1 overlord.
fill to 17 drones.
1 queen.
After this it is up to you, how you want to "mix it up". (I use this build for most games unless im trying something new)

Well, once you have had a few games, and analysed a few replays, you can start to modify this on your own, or completely disregard it for new ideas or tactics.
But you can use this as a mold in the beginning, since it wont really leave you handicapped in any meaningful way.

during this build order you can choose to build tech upgrades for zerglings(speed). lay a evolution chamber and go for some early upgrades(both?). Evolutions chamber upgrades are not to be underestimated! (especially if you make it to mid-game). upgrade your lair? shouldn't really be done before your queen is out. Queen first, the larva really is a must.

in addition this build will let you fend of many of the "mid-speed" rushes(cheeses). Some of the other zerg "really fast" rushes can be tough. Use your drones as an attack force. Make the opponent fight you in the mineral field. Surround your oppoent - lead them in and surround them. This will see you through many early rush tactics.
If your queen is up, defend it. Its worth approximately 12 drones. This is considering you have the ressource to still utilize the extra larva it will bring. btw, 1 queen is rarely enough, you will want to expand creep, and once you get more health intensive units like roaches or flying units the heal ability is awesome.
(also 2 queens healing each other is something of a health battery).
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7. Mid game tactics:

assuming your drones are harvesting at maximum capacity ;) 30 drones if you have 1 hatchery harvesting. 60 if you are on 2, 63 if you went nuts for that extra gas on an extra expansion.

the 2 full hatcheries are pretty much required for the zerg. You can't really hope to lock yourself in... And teching directly for air is just too damn risky in any game thats at the beginning of silver league or above.

If he has a specific set of units like mmm, then build the counter units until you can inflict at least some losses. Not enough to defeadt his entire army, just about a 1/3 should do it. Then have the larva to spawn the same-ish army upon the first army's demise, recreate it as much as gas allows, and attack again, wear them down.
Your opponent should not be on 2 full expansions, unless its another zerg, which means you can fight them down if your unit mix is right, and your production high.
If you unit count is not approxiamte x3 higher then your opponent, you will most likely lose.

And remember you can never let up on the larva production. If you learn one thing from this guide, that is the one lesson you should take away.
You can have unlimited larva on a hatchery this way(The actually limit of larva on a hive is apparently 20 larva, this I havent verified yet).
If you max out your supply at 50/50, you can keep spawning larva while your army moves, once they are down at the enemy base you will have larva enough to rebuild almost immdiately.
When you are up there anyway pushing - you have a proxy tool too. The nydus worm will decrease travel time for hydra/roaches to a laughable level. for him it will feel like you had double the army because there was a new one there in about 30-45 seconds. If you keep the balance just right -< you wear them down. with 4 hatcheries - larvaed up (3extra drones) -> thats 6x4 = 24 hydra in one build session. directly into the nydus, and out close to his base = immediate disaster for his infastructure!
Especially when he just lost 6 marauders to your 8 roches and 12 hydras. with him having gotten 2 new still in production or just out, in the same amount of time.
You must overwhelm, or you die out.

7.1 Zerglings / Hydralisk
There are strength in numbers, it helps thinking of the zerglings as a fist:
4 zerglings are the cost equivilant of 1 zealot. if you take 1 zergling vs 1 zealot at a time, the zealot will eat 4 lings for breakfast. If you can surround 1 zealot with 4 zerglings(like a making a fist), the zealot will go down. This is because the other 3 zergling that are attacking, are attacking "for free", no damage given during their dps. This is the way you should think as a zerg player.
Burrowing is an underated tactic. if you have a hydra zergling combo, try luring the opponent over a field of burrow zerglings. Having just eliminated the attack firezone of ranged damage, and having surrounded the opponent, the zerglings go for maximum effect. (plus charging in with the hydra while the lings are taking a beating will ensure the hydra get to kick at least a little ass.) This should maximize the zergling effectiveness.
When a player gets units around the entire group of the opponents units, you will often hear it refered to as "A nice surround".

Remember if you have a mass army of hydra, the surround tactic still holds. the 32 hydras behind the 4 in the middle of the choke point arent doing any damage. Surround your enemy - get in as close as you can. be it from burrow or drop or something else - this is what you should go for. Hydra is also your most effective AA weapon in early mid-game. Later on Curropters are by far superior their curroption ability, combined with focused fire will take down any capital class air ships.

7.2 Queens
I cannot mention it enough. You need 1 queen pr hatchery to constantly spawn larva. This will keep a queens energy at 0. So those queens can't really use other abilities then spawn larva.
You will however need more queens.
You need additional queens to spread your creep and for occational healing on units/buildings with large health pools. (Like ultralisks, spinecrawlers, broodlords, other queens, an so on).
Expanding your creep is vital. The more you expand it towards your enemies base the earlier you will be warned if he tries to counter, with what he will try to counter. Spreading it on your platform, will prevent towerings or pylon warping.
Edited by Knobtremor on 10/08/2010 10:44 BST
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7.3 Mutalisk
Mutalisks are an excellent harrashment unit. But not much else. Unless its zerg vs zerg. Stalkers/marines make them too vulnarable if you just leave them standing attacking a building. They should go for workers, or "nibble" assaults on units that can't protect themselves or to divide marines.
Mutalisks can be used as support unit, just make the attack with the ground troops FIRST!
If the ground troops have Anti air units, make sure you target Anti air units, if you are deploying mutalisks. If a protoss player has 4 stalkers, and 8 zealots. but you have 4 mutalisks and 32 zerglings, you will be hard pressed. But controling their fire to kill the four stalkers will take them down so fast, your flyers can worry about the zealots afterwards, and you should be able to rebuild your zerglings relatively quickly - compared to the opponent.
To help gage this a zergling takes about 24 seconds. A zealot has a build time of 33 seconds. can build 3 zerglings from 1 hatchery and that will match, 1½ gateways of production of zealots(at optimal terrain usages). But when did you see a protoss player that didnt have at least 3 gateways? and also a starport production line, plus a robotics factory? at least in midgame?
If you are stuck with just 2 hatcheries, you will loose. Your production simply will not keep up.
What about when you have to go air and ground at the same time, they use the same production facility. you will need at least 4 queened hives by mid-end midgame, or you will be overrun. And staying at four will likely match you up with your opponent not tip the scales in your favor. from 2 full harvesting hatcheries, its no uncommon to run 5 hatcheries of production, providing you can use the 2 harvesting hatcheries for productions of other things then drones.

7.4 Roaches
Roaches are your life battery.
use them as front line troops with hydras behind them for maximum effect, remember to move them in - and THEN attack. if they block their allies behind them from doing ranged damage, they aren't of much use. plus the acid thing is really nasty on organics.
The roaches also have a stealth attack.
Did your opponent forget to tower his chokepoint to his base? if you burrow your roaches, and have the move ability, you can sneak them under the units into the base of the enemys mineral field! Also micro them when you have the regen ability for that extra staying power.

7.5 Banelings
Banelings are your bunker busters. When your opponent tries to wall themselves in, 5-6 of these usually opens the "door" unless it is too well defended.
remember to get their timing right - because if the all activate on the same building, but it only took 3 to take it down, you have just wasted half you bunker busters.
Banelings are also very effective against a bioball (or mmm).
Banelings that are burrowed can also be thought of as a minefield. raise them while the enemy is above. If they kill them, they still explode and kill everything.
If you have a baneling burrow, right click the icon for un-burrow, and it will go to "auto-cast". This will make the baneling unburrow like a spidermine did in sc1.

7.6 Infestors
We do have a "cliff jumper" alternative, its just too high up the tech tree to be effective, but the spawn infested terrans from the infestor, will throw them over the "cliff edge" you just need a little overlord vision.
but 1-2 infestors will take out his mineral field quick if they have full energy, and its worth their supply cost, if you have the capacity to do a little micro-ing on the side.

8. End game.
I hardly ever make it this far, but some lessons have been learned:

8.1 Broodlords
A violent addition to your ground unit attack. The are basically the source of a permanent surround in any ground combat.

8.2 Ultralisk
Very tough on armour units, like siege tanks or pretty much any protoss ground unit. Health batteries extraordinare. Support them with queens for a life force that just will not be stopped. It takes 8 siege tanks in siege mode to take one down. They need to hit ultralisk at the same time. If even 1 heal lands between the 8 hits, it stays up.
Edited by Knobtremor on 11/08/2010 13:43 BST
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9. Turtling: So you want to try it huh?

Its quite hard to get defence up. Your teammates have to back you up. No way can you hold out solo against 2 opponents, let alone 3.
Sometimes sacrificing yourself(still pulling your drones to safety), while your allies go for one of the attackers base instead of helping you, will take you and an opponent out at the same time, making it an about equal sacrifice. All you can do is save all the drones you can and hope to rebuild.

If you think your allies are terrible, or you don't think they will help you one bit, the trick is queens and spine crawlers. Queens can heal spine crawlers too(they can heal buildings). They dont spawn with enough energy to heal. But thats why you need more queens then you have hives.

Expanding the creep is so important when you turtle that you can safely ignore spawning larva at least once, maybe twice, but thats a little risky - will let you get more vision faster, depending on if you queued a second queen immediately to pick up the larva slack.

In this one instance it is okay.

Because the mineral cost of spinecrawlers is so high, that you will empty out your minerals reserves in no time because it will spend so many ressources.
You should be able to safely keep from building 1, maybe two overlords for supply, because you wont really need supply for spine crawlers, as they count as buildings. (which you can heal :) ) And spinecrawlers need to stay on creep to stay alive.

You need to fill the entire platform you are on in order to reach to places quickly with the lings you are about to build between the spinecrawlers.

So 2 queens, and spinecrawlers, add up with first 4, then 8, then 12 zerglings to chase harrasing units in your harvesting field. Of course, spine crawlers should be placed in this area, but your opponent might have reavers. You really do need the zerglings. If they pool all their units you may still go down.

If that happens:
Run with all the drones you can.
Drones are your infastructure, all buildings are expandable if you are completely overwhelmed.
Screw everything that can't harvest, and run for a "of the beaten path" expansion.

Conclusion:
Get 6-8 spinecrawlers up. 2 at your field, 6 at your choke point, if its small (prey they arent smart enough to run past them, if you arent blocking your ramp with units). If its large, go for cluster your buildings together and protect them with emphasis on defence on your mineral field. They might be able to take down a building or two, but that will leave time for your team mates to respond to the threat, and thats pretty much all you can hope for.
This however makes it quite impossible for you to assist with anything but a lousy set of zerglings, but if they do come for you, be happy in the knowledge that you will have ruined their attempt at an easy kill, and made it excessively expensive, -- it will then be up to your team mate(s) to take advantage of this oppertunity, and take out the attackers.

If you do survive, invest in an infastructure to get your minerals up again fast -> throw down a quick hatchery in proximity to your spinecrawlers and original mineral field, and get your drone count up fast. Then pump zerglings to quickly get a harrasment force up, or alternatively, forget about the extra lair (of course you should at least an extra queen to help populate it, if not get one).
Go for 2 refineries. tier up to mutas and go for a mineral harassment that will buy your team mate(s) enough time to get what ever their doing into motion.

Base this decision on what your allies are doing, if they expect to stay safe, while the opponents go for you, you can't help that, eventually some air power will show, so you can't turtle like this forever.
If you want to be of use, get the harassment army up, and go kill harvesters. Use sneak attacks. You will be behind in infastructure, and it will be extremely hard to catch up.
But you should be able to focus much more on micro, with just 1-2 lairs up. And surprise attacks in their mineral field will annoy your opponents greatly. Do not underestimate what damage this does in an team vs match.

The only "real solution" is: play with friends.
Join a party, and queue up together for matches. You can always count on your friends to do the right thing, since you can plan responses.
Edited by Knobtremor on 11/08/2010 12:52 BST
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10. Hot keys:

This link explains it all:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74i2ILf70mk

11. Avoid proxy or towering:
Practice scouting your immediate platform and natural expasion area for pylons. If you see one building -> get it. take drones of mining and kill it, make him waste the 100 minerals, and hope you can move fast enough that it will balance out your own minerals harvesting loss. If he is "proxy" from the middle of the map, go for speedlings, and press right back. remember to get nice surrounds whenever possible. If he gets close to your base, let your queen(s) attack from a distance, while your zerglings take the damamge.

12. Figuring out new tactics
So you want to invent a tactic of your own? Build times, and mineral calculations can be done by watching replays.
There is a timer on the replay progress bar, and whenever a unit or spell is in "production" a little progress bar will show up. If you clikc the building with the progress bar, the bar is visible in the status bar (where you see selected units) hover your mouse over it, and you will see how many seconds you are into the production of the unit, and the total time required to produce the unit!

If you liked "Zerg Multiplayer Guide (what else would it be?)" This is the cleaner written version, with a little fact checking involved. I hope the extra work will earn us a sticky ;)
Edited by Knobtremor on 09/08/2010 22:09 BST
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Wooooow..... All I'm saying is wooooow!

You sir, win the awesomesaucejar of the month! Great topic! (Even though I didn't read through everything, two thumbs up for taking intiative to help beginners!)

Much love!

=)
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Community
Nice initiative Knobtremor, I'm pretty sure your extensive guide will help a lot of people!

This thread is now officially Sticky due to its awesomeness!
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This is awsome man, I've learned more in 10min reading your thread than in days of game!

Thanks for that! :D

Note: in 7.4 you mentioned that:

if you burrow your roaches, and have the move ability, you can sneak them under the buildings into the base of the enemys mineral field!

I checked and that doesn't seem to work, roaches can't sneak under buildings. They must exploit breaches in the enemy's defence like all other ground units. Still a great sneaky way to destroy one's mineral supply line! :D
Edited by SuperSalad on 11/08/2010 10:32 BST
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A true work of genius, well done!
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Thank you, that was a very informative read indeed!
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This is awsome man, I've learned more in 10min reading your thread than in days of game!

Thanks for that! :D

Note: in 7.4 you mentioned that:

if you burrow your roaches, and have the move ability, you can sneak them under the buildings into the base of the enemys mineral field!

I checked and that doesn't seem to work, roaches can't sneak under buildings. They must exploit breaches in the enemy's defence like all other ground units. Still a great sneaky way to destroy one's mineral supply line! :D


Fixed. Brain stopped working *drools*
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Intermediate tactics was moved To another thread:
Edited by Knobtremor on 11/08/2010 15:38 BST
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Thanks for the awesome beginners guide! I'm new to the game and can use some tactics ;)

When is the best time to start an expension? Do I need a small force first to defend it or a spinecrawler? I've noticed a lot of rushers using 10pool or a group of zealots that own me in te beginning. How can I best counter?

Thanks alot.
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Hellforce

I usually start my expansion around the 20-22 supply filled. But it depends on what tactic you are going for.
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It's a really cool topic, thank you very much!
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Thx a lot for this great guide, but i really would appreciate a pdf version of your guides :D
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awesome and extensive, one question tho, how many queens you devote to spreading creep? And in what priority, connecting your expansion or going in direction to your enemy?
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