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If I spawn at the 12 o'clock position typically the mineral line is above my hatchery/nexus/command center. The workers have to run all the way around the structure to get those sweet blue crystals. If I spawn at 6 o'clock, they're right there.

This seems like it would also affect future drones hatching from eggs on the wrong side of the base.

Doesn't this result in faster mining in the southern bases?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

There are always some differences in starting locations. Hatchery position is only one of many. Another things - ramp position, configuration of air zone over base (on some locations it's usually bigger that others).

I believe that even on high-top-levels such things aren't statistically significant.

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2  
yea I think the most significant difference is Terran's ability to build add-ons on the wall. –  tenfour Aug 8 '11 at 12:09
    
If the small amount of time is not significant, why do professional players split their workers up when they initially assign them to mineral harvesting? –  Chris Rasys Aug 3 '12 at 17:29

As others have said, it is unfair but insignificant in the long run. Even very early rushes are likely unaffected by the half-second difference in initial worker routing times. Other seemingly random AI decisions are likely make a bigger difference.

On northern positions however, you have a small advantage in that units attacking your units or base from below are more exposed to targetting. From the south, units close to the bottom of cliffs are partially occluded by the edge of the cliff itself because of the camera angle. This is especially noticeable when doing a cannon rush strategy where the first cannon starts below the cliff.

Basically, this is one of a very large number of very small and rarely significant bits of the game left purely up to chance.

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The starting locations are not fair, but they are assigned randomly.

You are guaranteed the same amount of minerals and gas and the same choke size. Other than that everything might vary:

  • Workers initial spawning position relative to minerals
  • Orientation of choke / ramp (important for Terran)
  • Natural torwards or away from your opponent (important for Zerg)
  • Cliff (from base) towards or away from opponent (important against Terran - Reaper / Tanks and Protoss - Blink)
  • etc.

But most of these issues are insignificant on the long run, because you have the defenders advantage (aggressor has to walk to your base) and because important matches are played in a best of X fashion.

The best way to cope with that is to know all the pros and cons of your and your opponents starting location and exploit them to your advantage or take precautions against the weaknesses.

E.g. TvZ close locations is very good for early 2 Rax pressure, but TvZ far locations is very good for Zerg 3 base play.

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you'll lose like a second or so per worker, but that is only the first time, when the worker spawns. In aggregate it is probably a very small difference.

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2  
Actually I think once you set a rally point, do newly-created units spawn on the side of the building closest to the rally point? If so, you only lose ~1 second for the starting 6 workers. –  Wikwocket Aug 8 '11 at 23:39
7  
@Wikwocket, that's true, but only for Protoss and Terran. –  Rotsor Aug 9 '11 at 16:17

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