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While watching pros play (MLG, GSL,etc) I notice that sometimes a player will move a probe/drone/scv right through the other player's mineral line. I have yet to see a pro try to kill this drone as it passes through.

When someone does this to me, I often have my drones all attack the scout, killing it pretty much instantly. I am only gold, so if I can manage to do this often, I am sure a pro could. Is there a reason they don't? I know I lose mining time, but I feel that I gain by not having to worry about what that scout is doing, esp if it is a probe or scv that could be used to harass my early hatch.

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Sending all your workers to try to kill a scout; even if it's already in your mineral line, will probably put you down more than the 50 minerals your opponent lost, as that could be 5+ seconds times 10-15 workers. At 43 minerals/worker/minute, that's barely break even, plus you might be losing the opportunity cost of spending your APM elsewhere.

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So the problem you're running into is that you're trying to kill a Gold Level Scouter. Most people as this level only queue up a few way points and go back to their base to do something else. Often times they'll do silly things like send their Probe right through your mineral line, instead of around the back, or ignore their Probe until it takes a hit or two.

Once you get to higher levels you run into people who have higher micro skills and avoid obvious traps like those you're describing. Even though you'll occasionally get a surround on them they know things like the mineral trick (harvesting from a Mineral patch gives harvesters unit walking) and easily avoid death.

More often than not, killing a Probe (before you have attack units) is a waste of your time unless its trying to become bothersome.

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SC2 has waypoints? Good to know. I was wondering how many decades it would take for Blizzard to catch up with the 90s in terms of RTS features. –  Sparr Nov 27 '10 at 19:47
    
@Sparr Warcraft 3 also had way points, but I understand what you mean. –  tzenes Nov 28 '10 at 0:49
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Didn't SC (1) have waypoints too? –  Josef Sábl Nov 28 '10 at 15:07
    
your answer was just as good as nick's, but it looked like Nick needs the bonus rep more than you do at this point :) –  Peter Recore Nov 29 '10 at 20:46
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@Peter it is not a waste of time to kill a Probe if you can kill a Probe. The loss of scouting information heavily outweighs the loss of minerals from mining (not to mention you can group 6-7 Drones and get an easy surround with minimal loss). The problem becomes killing that Probe. Against a good player it is not feasible. –  tzenes Nov 30 '10 at 22:46
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