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Once you have a decently size ground force (~ 6 troopers?), you want to start upgrading them, right? Now ... if you're seeing some concrete threat like Mutas or Tanks, then you'll want a specific upgrade like Blink or Charge.

But ... assuming you haven't found any concrete intel at this point, what do you lay down first, Twilight Council or Forge?

While Forge in itself isn't that expensive, you can't seriously plan to build both Forge and Twilight Council and and have enough minerals / gas left to buy upgrades at both.

One advantage of Twilight is of course enabling High/Dark Templars. So ... how (and when) do you decide which of them to get first?

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What protoss units are called "troopers"? Stalkers I assume? I'm guessing this is probably just a translation thing :) Also you should specify if you are doing this off one or two base. If you go early expand you can easily afford to go both forge and twilight council. It depends on the map, your opponent race, what tech path you are choosing, and what you've scouted. –  Sorean Nov 9 '11 at 16:37
    
@Sorean - I just meant ground units, didn't refer to any specific unit. The question is of course at one base, where you have to choose. –  ripper234 Nov 9 '11 at 18:40
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3 Answers

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I'll try to cover as much as I can in this answer.

As I stated in my comment it depends on what race you are playing against, what you scout, and when you are trying to get both these buildings. Map size also factors into your decision as well.

Since you are referring as to having to make a choice, I'm going to assume that you are trying to do this off one base on a relatively smaller map so all answers below will be tailored around that assumption. If it's a big map (like Tal'darim Alter) you can quickly get a second base and do something like a +1/+1 + charge or blink attack.

So what race are you playing against.

Terran If you are playing terran that is going a heavy bio start, a forge is a good choice with a small zealot, sentry, and stalker army. Getting a quick +1 armour will reduce marine damage to zealots to 1 with a guardian shield up (Guardian shield reduces damage by 2, zealots start with 1 armour, marines attack for 5) making them that much stronger against against a bio army.

If you scout them and they're going a tech route then it will boil down to what you plan on doing with your army and what path you will be choosing. Archons and storms do significant damage to a terran army late game. The same can be said if you go with colossi and upgrades if they don't have vikings either.

Zerg This is a tough one to make a choice because zerg can swap so quickly with their army composition. The safer choice between the two is to go forge first with a +1 attack upgrade. The +1 attack allows for zealots to 2 shot zerglings instead of 3. This increases the effectiveness of zealots versus zerglings by 33%.

That said, if they go roaches and you're heavy zealot, they can be kited forever on and off creep so you need to make sure you are fighting on your terms. A few sentries thrown in will stop them from running away so you can deal your damage. It does also mean that blink stalkers will have a significant advantage over roaches as well. Even charge would work too. But it depends on what their army composition is so you sort of need the most well rounded army possible.

Keep in mind, late game, storms are very helpful versus the swarm.

Protoss Again this comes down to army composition. If it's a stalker vs stalker fight, the player with blink will win (assuming properly blink micro).

If one of the players goes the colossi route later on, the one with the forge early with early attack upgrades will destroy the army of the guy that doesn't have the upgrades.

This mirror match-up is difficult to theorize without scouting information. If you see a forge upgrading you need to get one in response, if you fall behind you will lose. It really depends on what you plan on going for a build.

Generally speaking though forge is the safer bet. You can get quicker upgrades, and if you scout a Twilight council and dark shrine you have access to dropping a cannon to save you from Dark Templars as well without having to spend the money on a Robotics Bay and get an observer.

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You shouldn't be thinking "I get some troopers and some upgrades.".

Base yourself on what you need to do and what is the best to perform than situation. If you play defensive you probably want more Sentries to block the ramp, while if you play aggressive you want the right mix of Zealots of Sentries based on what you are up against. Sorean outlined some...

Let's suppose you are not planning on early DTs (cheese) or HTs (later game units)...

For defensive play, it makes sense to start of with a Forge and +1 Armor; also, cannons.

For aggresive play, your should have an intention. Denying an expansion, taking down supply or even having the chance to win the game are possible choices. In most cases you would probably go for a Forge and either get +1 Attack or +1 Armor first based on the situation. You should get an idea how a certain upgrade affects your units againt other Tier 1 units; for example, in PvZ the +1 Attack helps a Zealot to kill a Zergling in 2 hits instead of 3. Sorean outlined more...

There aren't much cases where you would go Twilight instead, one that would make sense is when you planned on blinking inside the main using an observer. However, you shouldn't be getting blink because you can blink your Stalkers back easily because it will go at the cost of their HP / Damage. Your intention is to do as much damage while losing the least of your units in that early push...

You should be thinking "I'm going to attack/defend this way, using these units/upgrade(s)."

The other upgrades can follow up while you expand simultaneously, 'cause that gives you the edge... Update, might not be relevantt: Please note that the cost of several Forge updates have been decreased in the latest patch!

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Basically, you get both around the same time => As soon as your natural starts mining.

While getting blink or upgrades from one base is certainly possible, it will cut heavily into your already very limited army production.

After that it depends on what army composition your want to have, what race the opponent has and how you want to play (turtle style or heavy aggression).

Personally, i would most of the time go with forge first for +1 weapons against Zerg/Protoss and +1 armor against Terran and once the upgrade is started it's time for the Twilight Council followed by blink and +2.

However, getting Blink earlier allows you to play more aggressive, especially in PvP, so it's not a bad choice to go blink first.

In summary: It's situational.

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