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I have always thought that a counter attack meant an attack that Player A does as Player B is doing a big push. In other words, a counter attack by definition can only exist as a response to an attack.

However, I have seen a lot of casters (including day[9]) use the term counter attack as a synonym for speedlings harassing mineral lines, regardless of whether the non zerg is attacking. Is this just a misunderstanding on my part, or has "counter attack" become equivalent to "harassment"? If so I pine for the days of more precise language.

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Have an example cast? –  Raven Dreamer Jul 21 '11 at 5:49

4 Answers 4

It doesn't have to be a big push...

A lot of mid game is based around positioning. Where your army is in relationship to your bases, the opponent's base, etc. Sometimes just moving your Protoss death ball up to towers leaves yourself open to a counter.

I'd need a more solid example to demonstrate why caster X called it a "counter," but usually it's a counter against some other play the opponent is making. Even if that's just positioning...

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Alright, so, a counter is anything that is done specifically based on predetermined knowledge. In effect, if I notice that my opponent is building a large number of phoenixes and have scouted his base with no ground units being there, a counter could be as simple as sending in those speedlings to disrupt his mineral lines (terrible example why anyone would build that way is beyond me, anyway). Yes it's harrassment since it isn't attacking any direct attack critters and is mainly effecting his supply and not his "military" it's also a counter-attack because I saw he was acting one way, and exploited (ie countered) it using what I thought was the best means to.

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Okay, so first off, let's be clear here: "Counter" != "Counter-attack".

A counter-attack is specifically an attack launched in retaliation to an attack made by ones opponent. It may be a simultaneous push, in an attempt to draw his offense away and back onto defense, or it may be a response after successfully withstanding an attack, knowing that he's unable to push again and you can afford to leave your base less well-defended for a while.

A "counter", in general, by contrast, refers merely to an action taken in opposition to something else. Harassment is a counter to economic expansion. Building Phoenixes up might be a counter to seeing an opponent going for Mutalisks. In this context, a 'Counter', is an action being taken to thwart your opponents plans - regardless of whether that's a direct military strike on either players part.

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A counter attack is typically occurs after a heated engagement with your opponent. For example, if your opponent attacks you either outside of your base, or in your base and you finish the battle with a superior army size a counter attack would be taking your remaining army and attacking your opponents base or forces immediately.

The general idea is attacking right away after gaining any advantage from successfully defending or engaging your opponent when it's not in their base.

Yikes, talk about run-on sentences.

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