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I see players shift-click move their units back and forth all the time in replays online. Why do they do that? Wouldn't a hold position command achieve the same thing?

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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

A unit moving back-and-forth is can be harder for enemy units to kill (especially with melee units).

A common example of this is in PvZ when Protoss sends a Probe to try and block Zerg's Hatchery. If the Probe was stationary, it would be a lot easy/quick to kill it; for this reason, Protoss players shift-click and move their Probe all around the Hatchery location to stay alive as long as possible, thereby delaying Zerg's Hatchery.

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Plus, a patrolling unit covers more ground with its view, making it somewhat harder to sneak by it. –  Orc JMR Oct 6 '13 at 2:56
    
That's a good point. I didn't including anything about Patrolling because the OP seemed adamant that it was shift-click moving. –  TylerAndFriends Oct 6 '13 at 3:20
    
Okay, then I'll elaborate that by "patrolling" I mean walking to and fro, regardless of game order it was accomplished with :) –  Orc JMR Oct 6 '13 at 4:01
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Also, in ZvZ, if you shift-click banelings, they won't explode. If you hold position, they'll detonate when your opponent tries to waste your banelings by sending in one zergling at a time. –  sorbet Oct 11 '13 at 1:06
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The shift-move, or the "queue" command, can have different meanings.

Shift-move:

  • To scout different locations around the map, so the scouting unit checks out more places and dont go somewhere in a straight line.
  • To scout around your own or the enemy base.
  • To block off the enemy trying to expand or similar buildings.

Shift-attack:

  • To focus fire a group of units, by killing them one by one. Example: TvZ Shift-attacking Collosi with Vikings has a better outcome than just attack moving into them. It saves you time, and enables you to focus on the other units with your other troops.
  • To scout attack, and clean up Pylon, Overlords and such.
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Might want to check your grammar on paragraph 2 point 1. I can't change just one thing like that. lol –  jacen.garriss Oct 7 '13 at 12:05
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shift clicking your units around lets the unit move while you go back to your base and keep your macro up and you don't have to worry your units getting surrounded and dead

this is crucial during early game harass/scout to keep the harassing/scouting unit alive

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