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This is probably more relevant for Protoss and Terran players, and a similar Zerg question can be found here.

Obviously each build order is different, but you never see build orders which take you past 40-50 supply (and that's on the high side already). For instance, how long should you sit on 2-gates or 3-barracks prior to adding new ones when your build order is "2-gate" or "3-Rax" respectively?

In my own games I find that although I can execute the openers well, once I get out past 40-50 supply, I find myself adding more Gates or Robotics Facilities, because I want to get more units now, but I often wonder if sitting on 2-gates (just as an example) longer would result in a larger army and a stronger push because I would have more minerals/gas for units.

So, certainly unit composition being produced will have a significant effect, but what is the average number of Tier 1/Tier 2/Tier 3 buildings each base can support with saturated mineral/gas lines, and what is an indicator that I have too few of any of the tier 1/tier 2/tier 3 buildings and should add more when transitioning past the standard race specific build orders?

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As is common with questions like this you're asking the wrong question. Your question shouldn't be: What's a good mid-game BO, but rather: how can I make good decisions in mid-late game –  tzenes Nov 30 '10 at 17:18
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up vote 7 down vote accepted

So there is no good answer to this question, or it would already appear in the larger build order questions on this site. Unlike the early game (which is well defined) mid to late game doesn't have an easy answer, and anyone who gives you a BO past 20 is a snake oil sales man.

Even in the Zerg question you linked the answer was: What ever feels best.

Let's look at some of the basic Protoss builds and how they progress:

4 Gate

Usually this build is very all-in, and you're banking on winning early. However, if you do enough economic damage with a 4 Gate, but don't win you can still be at an advantage. At this point if you pressure more you're going to end up against a higher tech opposing force and probably lose, so you can expand here and maybe add on a Robo or two more Gateways.

3 Gate

One of the great things people like to do with 3 Gate is provide pressure so that they can expand. This sets them up with a nice little force as they transition into the mid game. Once expanding there are some people who like to progress to 5 Gate + Robo, or 3 Gate + Double Robo, or even (recently) 3 Gate + Double Starport. There is even a nice 4 Gate + Robo to provide pressure so that Protoss can take a third expansion.

You probably notice a number of trends between these two builds, even though I picked two builds that could not be more different there were a number of important ideas:

  • Your Production must be proportional to your Income. If you have less production than your income you need to have a plan for it (eg. setting up to expand). If you have more production than your income you need to be aggressive
  • Don't over commit. When you're ahead, your number 1 priority should be to get more ahead (ie. expand)
  • While you always need to tech (ie. Red Queen Hypothesis) teching takes time, so don't forget that in your calculations.

Now you'll notice that a lot of what's being discussed is Income vs Production and there are a couple tools you can use to help you out:

Remember: To get good at Starcraft you need to get good at Execution and Decision Making, not get good at following a road map.

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It is definitely an income vs. production question and I think I realized that more as I was writing it. My main issue is generally I make my first say 2-gate push, and I macro while my units are making the trek to the opponents base, but once I start micro-ing my units, I just haven't learned well enough to switch back and warp in new units while microing in their base. Thus, once my initial army has been dealt with, I come back to an excess of minerals. I find myself dropping extra gates as a result, instead of using it for an army, which is what my question was trying to address I guess. –  kazzamalla Nov 30 '10 at 17:30
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Have you seen this wiki?

There is a ton of information that you might find useful.
Most of the build orders listed there explain the goal, and how to transition to different tech trees, among other things.

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I have seen and spent a lot of time there :) It doesn't answer the fundamental question though, which is how to know when it is time to add more. When am I getting more minerals than I can spend on units, so that it is more beneficial to expand outside my build order (2-gate for example), and add a 3rd Gateway? –  kazzamalla Nov 30 '10 at 17:06
    
@kaz, fair enough, I'll leave this answer as reference though –  jmfsg Nov 30 '10 at 17:08
    
Yeah, Thanks, definitely a great site for a lot of good info in a pretty easy to digest manner. –  kazzamalla Nov 30 '10 at 17:09
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