We’re mere days away from the launch of one of the most anticipated
games in PC history. If you weren’t in the beta for
StarCraft II, I feel sorry for you. The reason being that you
might come matched up against one of us who has played the beta for
months and understands every aspect of the game. To
even stand a chance, you need a strategy, or at least a general
plan. You have to adapt, but having an initial emphasis can
make your units that much more threatening, and make your opponent
react to you instead of vice versa.
The best defense is a good
offense. Remember that and pressure your opponents into
making mistakes and giving you control over key resources and points on
M&M – The basis of the Terran army lies in the
infantry. Marines are a powerhouse en masse, or with
something to distract your opponents from killing their fragile
behinds. Marauders are tough and posses the ability to slow
units, which make up for the otherwise slow infantry. They
benefit from the same upgrades. They can both
stimpack. They were designed for each other. You
can even add another M in the Medivac to provide mobility and healing
support, necessary once you start hammering Stimpacks.
Reactor Rush – This build concentrates on two things—Marines and
Hellions, and nothing else. While it may sound like
you don’t have good anti-armor units, Marines are more than a match for
the first Armored units that hit the floor. Your main goal is
to strike hard and fast, and don’t let the game progress to higher tech
units. Higher tech units laugh at Marines
and Hellions generally. You can win the game with superior
range and unit control rather than a real strategy!
Fast Banshee – Involves an extremely fast refinery build, and
from there straight into the tech required to hit Banshees.
This dominates if not scouted, and loses badly when it is. So
your goal is not to let your opponent get any intelligence on you while
you go for this. You’ll have to manage your SCVs very
carefully, making sure you have enough minerals to produce more SCVs to
match your mineral and gas needs as they arise. Don’t bother
with cloak and hit your opponent hard and fast. One banshee
will beat one Queen, so this can outright kill an unprepared Zerg
The Baneling Bust – You only have two units for this strategy,
Zerglings and Banelings. All you need is Zergling speed to
make this work. Start massing up for this as fast as
possible, and move out when you have about 15 zerglings and 7-8 extra
to convert into banelings on site. You want to hide the
Baneling nest, and research Zergling Speed as you build the Baneling
nest to establish map control and kill scouts. This works
best against Terrans, but can work against Protoss that wall off as
well. Send in two Zerglings with your Banelings to act as a
distraction for units and defenses, and blow a hole in their wall
effortlessly with the Banelings. From there, gauge if you can
surround and kill the defenders (likely if they teched) or you can
otherwise make the most of your new situation, such as by expanding.
Roach/Hydra – There isn’t a lot of tact to this strategy—your Roaches
absorb the punishment, and your Hydralisks dish it out. When
executing, you want about an even number of each unless your opponent
is heavy on anti-armor or air, and then you want to favor
Hydralisks slightly. Positioning is the key to success, and
making damn sure you don’t get flanked or cluster your units too
closely when AoE comes into play.
Fast Mutalisk – The hardest part about executing a fast Mutalisk build
is surviving that long. Once the first batch of
mutalisks is out, you have to pick and choose your targets
carefully. You won’t have all day before your opponent’s
anti-air begins to pose a threat, and then forces a retreat to your
main forces. Hit them hard and fast, and expand while you
have their attention.
The Sentry Counterattack - Your goal with this is to catch your
opponent on unfavorable terrain. Get in there and force their
units to behave in ways they don’t expect. Most of all, deny
retreats! Slaughter those left behind in no time,
then take the fight to your opponent while reinforcing and
setting your rally points at their front door.
Air Rush – Obviously this goes along the same lines as the Banshee
build. Keep it hidden! The sooner you get
out that first void ray, the sooner the game will end. One
way or another, games will be short with rushed air. If you
don’t like the idea of charging a laser every time you want to attack,
Phoenixes can do the same thing, but not to buildings or massive units.
If you are having trouble building a charge, remember that
you can attack your own units to build it.
Stalker Break – Terrans love to wall in, but just like StarCraft 1, a
few Stalkers can hit them hard early and force repairs. Do
what you can to pick off any repairing workers or units as they
spawn. This is rarely a strategy that can
kill an opponent, but you sure as hell can delay their tech pattern.
The number of Gateways you go for on this will determine how
intense (and vulnerable if it fails!) your attack will be.
Want more details and strategies? Head over to the StarCraft II Guide Portal!