Contrary to popular belief, Rushing is an art. It is a fine
skill, honed to perfection, timed just right, and always generates a
lovely response from your opponent as they leave. Of course,
you can just build some Zerglings and go to town, but an ill-timed rush
spells instant defeat. If you want get to end the game early,
you have to execute perfectly and have the right strategy and timing!
The moment of glory. A
successful rush is bliss... so long as you're the one performing it.
Step 1 – I
want to rush.
Rushing is not something you decide on the fly. Rushing is
decided within the first minute of the game at the
latest. There are two main reasons for
o Rushing demands an early scout, even on 2 player maps. You
cannot rush your opponent when you don’t know what you’re up against.
o Rushing demands a build order that involves an early unit producer
rather than supply structure, unless you’re Protoss.
Remember, your goal is to hit them before they can stop you, so the
sooner you can produce, the better!
Step 2 – I need to scout.
Rushing builds will send a scout as early as their 8th
worker. You cannot rally Zealots to random corners of the
map. Not only is the opponent possibly not even there, but
you might run into their scout, who will immediately see the rush
coming and prepare.
Corollary – You must deny their scout. A scouted rush gives
your opponent the valuable minute that they need to prepare an early
Step 3 (optional) – I
need to Proxy.
Proxying is the fine art of building your units at your opponent’s
doorstep. Usually you want to try and hide this as long as
possible, so common spots are behind expansions and generally NOT in
the path that the AI route that a scouting worker would take.
A scouted proxy gives your opponent time to react, and time is
everything when the rush is coming.
Zealot rushes generally will proxy. Zerg pretty much cannot
(too expensive/risky), but sometimes you’ll see a Terran Proxy.
Step 4 – I need to
divert my resources to the right things.
You have no reason for gas in most rushes, and if you do, likely no
more than 1. Since you are skipping your gas geysers, you can
cut worker production entirely after about 16-18 and have your entire
economy dedicated to production for the rush. Teching
otherwise diverts resources from what you’re trying to do - end the
game early - and can cost you the game if your rush fails!
Step 5 – I cannot get
When the rush is being prepared and about to go, you MUST make sure you
keep ample supply on hand to keep full unit production up.
With 4 gateways, that’s a Pylon every 30 seconds.
Getting supply blocked as Zerg is even worse and can totally
destroy your rush’s chances of success.
Step 6 – I need to time
my attack at a vulnerable point in their build.
This is a hard one to teach, but every build has a vulnerable
point. Perhaps the Zerg just started an Evolution Chamber and
Lair tech, and that’s when you need to strike. Perhaps they
just threw down an expansion and haven’t seen your horde waiting just
outside it. Maybe the Terran player just dropped a Factory
and Engineering Bay and is spending cash on tech and upgrades instead
of Marines and Marauders.
That moment of weakness may only last 10-20 seconds. That
moment of weakness is your time to end it.
Step 7 – I need to
Of course, when it all comes down to it, it’s a Micro War.
This is especially true of most early rushes since they involve very
few units, and each one that dies is a devastating
blow. Make one team your production, and the other,
your units. Produce, rally to the fight. Duck in
and out, and strike one unit at a time. You have superior
production so you can afford to take a few losses, but you MUST gain an
advantage quickly with this. The longer the fight goes on,
the higher the odds of a high tech unit coming out that will ruin your
day. Don’t be reckless, but don’t be patient once the fight
begins either. If you can slip 4 zerglings by the
fight and into the worker lines, do it. Your goal is to cause
as much chaos and damage as possible to neutralize his advantage over
you, and possibly deliver a game wining blow.
Rushing is harder in StarCraft II than it was in the original
StarCraft. The units are so finely balanced that
everyone has a fighting chance early, unless they don’t build enough
fighting units! Rushing can capitalize on that, but it only
takes one hellion, or one air unit, or one of any countless other units
to turn your rush into fodder for the promoting of their units and a
quick defeat. We’re only a month from launch, so stay frosty
and get ready to rush for the 2nd phase of the StarCraft II beta,