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I see a lot of words flying about when talking about StarCraft 2 strategies. Things like Rush, Timing, Contain, Push, 6Pool, Cheese... It would be quite helpful to have a list of the accepted vocabulary in one place.

What are the common terms used when talking about StarCraft 2 strategies and playstyles, and what do they mean?

Here are a compilation of the answers:

  • Build Order: A rough plan for which structures and units to get in the early part of a game. Build order's seldom extend past engagement with the enemy, but will sometimes account for likely transitions later in the gam.
  • Economy: The units, structures and positioning used for gathering Minerals/Vespene Gas (or any other resource in other RTSes)
  • Macro: The process of continually producing offensive units, or the unit producing structures that allow you to make those units.
  • Micro: The process of precisely controlling the units of an attack force to do the most damage possible. For instance, this could be focus firing on high value units in the opposing army, or moving ranged units just out of range of melee units.
  • Unit Composition: the different types of attack units in an army. An army is said to have good unit composition if the different types of units synergise well together, each one covering the shortcomings of the other.
  • Transition or Tech Switch: changing the unit composition of your army to adapt to your opponent's weaknesses.
  • Map control: Being in a position strategically where you are able to move your units and get view of a larger area of the map than your opponent. Having Map control is advantageous because it allows you respond to enemy troop movements before they reach your vulnerabilities, and deny your opponent's expansions while having free access to them yourself.
  • Meatball: Marine Marauder Medivacs combination
  • Tier: Units in which level of tech
  • Going Tech: going for tier 1.5 - 2 - 3 units
  • Rax: Short for barracks an early Terran structure for producing infantry
  • Gate: Short for Gateway or Warpgate, and early Protoss unit producing structure
  • Pool: Short for Spawning Pool, the building required for Zerg to build Zerglings
  • Ovi: Short for Overlord, a unit which supplies Zerg

Acronyms:

  • gl: "Good Luck"
  • hf: "Have Fun"
  • gg: "Good Game". This is the usual way to concede defeat.
  • mmm: See Meatball above
  • T: Terran
  • Z: Zerg
  • P: Protoss
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1  
I think this would be more useful as Community Wiki. –  gfr Aug 14 '10 at 15:54
    
Please take an example from this one: meta.cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/36/… –  Ivo Flipse Aug 14 '10 at 16:30
2  
Metagame, Theorycraft –  Wadih M. Sep 20 '10 at 20:29

4 Answers 4

Off the top of my head, here are some terms that describe strategy:

  • Build Order: A rough plan for which structures and units to get in the early part of a game. Build orders seldom extend past engagement with the enemy, but will sometimes account for likely transitions later in the game.
  • Economy: The units, structures and positioning used for gathering Minerals/Vespene Gas (or any other resource in other RTSes)
  • Macro: The process of continually producing offensive units, or the unit producing structures that allow you to make those units.
  • Micro: The process of precisely controlling the units of an attack force to do the most damage possible. For instance, this could be focus firing on high value units in the opposing army, or moving ranged units just out of range of melee units.
  • Unit Composition: the different types of attack units in an army. An army is said to have good unit composition if the different types of units synergize well together, each one covering the shortcomings of the other.
  • Transition or Tech Switch: changing the unit composition of your army to adapt to your opponent's weaknesses.
  • Map control: Being in a position strategically where you are able to move your units and get view of a larger area of the map than your opponent. Having map control is advantageous because it allows you respond to enemy troop movements before they reach your vulnerabilities, and deny your opponent's expansions while having free access to them yourself.
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from http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Definitions

Rush

Optimizing production to reach a specific amount of units quickly, usually with the intent of early pressure on the enemy. A rush is not considered as do-or-die as an all-in. If a rush fails, it's still possible to recover.

Timing Attack

Maximizing the value of an offensive by attacking during a specific time window where the opponent is weak. For example, a Zerg player will typically cut army production while a Spire is being built to save larvae/resources for Mutalisks. Attacking while the Zerg is saving larvae/resources is consequently more effective.

Contain

An army of units left outside of the opponents base to prevent expansions or to limit the player from map control. "Contain" is usually prefixed by the units used for the contain, such as MMM contain, Roach contain, or Stalker contain. This strategy asserts map dominance and allows the player performing the contain to expand while the enemy cannot leave his base.

Push

Slowly forcing the enemy to retreat and gain more ground, f.e. by leap-frogging Siege Tanks or using Point Defence Drones to inch forward.

Cheese

Cheese is a negative expression which refers to a strategy that is highly unconventional and designed to take one's opponent by surprise. In general, cheese is nearly impossible to defeat if it is not scouted but easy to defeat if it is scouted.

The #Building jargon for builds looks like this:

  • 6 Pool = build a Spawning Pool once you have 6 Drones
  • 10 Pool = build a Spawning Pool once you have 10 Drones
  • 13 Pool = build a Spawning Pool once you have 13 Drones
  • 13 Gas = build a Vespean Extractor once you have 13 Drones
  • 12 Rax = build a Barracks once you have 12 SCVs
  • 12 Gate = build a Gateway once you have 12 Probes

You should start to see a pattern. Its worth noting that the names of a strategy are sometimes written like: 3 Gate. This doesn't not mean build 3 Probes then a Gateway, but rather the strategy revolves around building 3 Gateways.

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3  
6 pool and so forth does not normally mean morph 6 workers and then morph a spawning pool, rather it means make workers until you reach 6 supply and then morph the spawning pool. Since you start the game with 6 workers, 6pool means to make the spawning pool immediately, without making additional workers. Same goes for the rest. I'm sure that's what you mean to say, too. –  TokenMacGuy Aug 15 '10 at 2:58
    
These abbreviations are a bit much. It is that hard to call a Gateway a Gateway? Rax for Barrack just sounds lame.</rant> –  Wavy Crab Aug 15 '10 at 6:00
    
@Wavy Crab: irritating though they may be, those abbreviations are in common use, and are used here for educational purposes. –  TokenMacGuy Aug 16 '10 at 5:08
    
12 Rax = build a Barracks once you have 12 Drones -> SCVS –  Mischa Kroon Aug 16 '10 at 15:24
    
I've never heard "Timing Attack" or "Push" used like how you describe it here. Timing Attack means that you attack as soon as an important upgrade (or unit) is finished. For example, building up an army of stalkers and arriving at the enemy's doorstep the exact moment that Blink is finished researching. As for "Push" I've always heard it being used as in "Mid-game Push". It's much later than a rush, but it's somewhat all-in as they probably did not expand, did not prepare for late game, but will crush you with the huge amount of units they have in the middle of your weak transition phase. –  Lotus Notes Aug 16 '10 at 17:51

Meatball -> Marine Marauder Medivacs combination

Tier -> Units in which level of tech

Going Tech -> going for tier 1.5 - 2 - 3 units

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Above the very lowest leagues, most players are very polite. They are also very terse. Some common abbreviations are used in chat for a friendly (though fiercely competitive) match.

The following expressions are often used at the beginning of a match.

  • gl: "Good Luck"
  • hf: "Have Fun"

The following expressions are often used at the conclusion of a match.

  • gg: "Good Game". This is the usual way to concede defeat.
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Even the computer says "gg" when it's about to lose. –  Wavy Crab Mar 6 '11 at 8:24

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