StarCraft II - How To Be Effective At 2v2 Team Matches

Posted Wed, May 05, 2010 by Stow

Team battles can happen one of two ways--with a friend you can trust, or with a random guy that probably has Down Syndrome.  Whichever the case may be, there are some simple tactics that work in the team combat of StarCraft II.  A team cannot operate individually or you'll just be singled out and taken out by a group that actually has some team play basics down.  Popular strategies and devious tactics both have their place in games bigger than 1v1, as you'll soon find out.

One of these will never be seen in 2v2 gameplay.  Can you spot the zerg unit that doesn't belong?  Hint : It's too big to get by your allies' units!

Rule #1 - Scout
 
This is normally a given, but on the majority of multiplayer maps and all of the multiplayer maps of the beta, there are only 4 starting locations.  This means that your scout will go to the right place and find someone no matter what.  Finding out what they're doing is the true meaning, and if you see your opponents going for a strategy with good synergy, you need to quickly work to counter it.  Scout early, and scout often.  It doesn't matter if the scout makes it into their base, just by dying to their units you'll have a good idea of what to expect if they attack within the next minute or two.  However, this goes for both opponents.  If your teammate isn't scouting, you need to do it for them and scout two people.  Going Vikings to counter a person's heavy air may seem like a good idea, but not if his teammate is going mass Stalkers.
 
Rule #2 - Communicate
 
While this may not be a problem with your friends you actively choose to team with (hopefully), random team games will pit you with someone who has no idea of what you're capable of, what you're going, or how to tie their shoes.  Certain strategies can work only in team games due to having another player to help defend you from early aggression, and your teammate must know that you're going to forego early units and defenses for a fast tech unit.  Played well, this card can get you a great advantage or win the game.  However, if scouted or rushed, you will be a smear on the planet without your ally establishing a solid army and defenses.
 
Rule #3 - Cooperate
 
Unless you are truly dominating, a 2v1 will result in a horrible loss at any given time.  When blows are being exchanged outside of raids and harassment, your ally needs to be there for you and you need to be there for your ally.  Don't wait for that one extra unit, or upgrade to finish.  If you don't jump in, your ally will have nothing left and that force will then 2v1 your army.  It's okay to be selfish if you cannot possibly save them, but don't expect things to go well after that unless you have exceptional defenses and an ace in the hole that could possibly even out the matchup.
 
Rule #4 - Macromanage
 
Fights in team gameplay are won and lost with hordes of units punching and shooting each other in the face. There is very little room for error in your macromanagement, and you need to constantly be expanding your economy, production, and unit count all at once. Timing pushes are much weaker in team games because even if you overpower the target of your timing push, you will liklely be flanked in short order after thinking you have the advantage. There is strength in numbers, especially with an ally at your back.
 
Making the most of teamplay maps
 
Almost all 2v2 maps start you next to your ally and have a shared ramp, entrance, or otherwise easy to defend area.  This can be great for preventing scouting in both of your bases at the same time, for funneling forces into a strong defensive line, and enabling a safe expansion for both of you.  Note all of these and think about how we can abuse them when attacking an opponent relying on each...
 
Reapers Dominate Choke Defenders - Those relying on a choke far away from their base will be easy, easy targets for Reaper play.  You can gun down tons of workers and pretty much take that player out of the game for the longest time.
 
Choke Defenses Can Backfire - Using units such as Colossi and Psi Storm, you can do massive damage to the opponent  as they funnel into the narrow entryway they left to their base.  If they attempt to push out against this and fail, all it takes is a simple push for victory!
 
Containment is Dangerous - You might have a powerful row of defenses at your choke, but your enemy might line up a set of tanks and defenses of his own right out front.  This leads to a stand-off where that player likely owns most of the map, and thus the resource advantage will eventually drain you.  Successfully containing your opponents and breaking contains setup by your opponents are two of the key aspects of team gameplay.
 
Terran Walls are Fragile! - The almighty supply depot can hold off a wave of one player's forces while under repair, but if a group of Banelings come in and blow your door wide open, you're in a really bad position!  Doubly so if the teammate has Zealots waiting outside for an opportunity.  Don't get complacent behind walls and don't let yourself get contained!
 
With the release only mere months away, it's time to start practicing for the real deal once the game launches!  Hopefully you can come up with an actual partner, and not a random partner.  Though even with a person you know, I can't guarantee success, but this is a good start to what you need to be aware of at all times when playing against multiple opponents.  See you on the new Battle.net 2.0!
 
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