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I'm a new player (ranked low in the Bronze League).

How do you determine what your opponent up to? I have trouble keeping my scout probe alive, but analyzing what I see is even a bigger issue. Even if I scout I have pretty much no idea what the opponent is doing (with the exception of cannon, or proxy rushes).

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Duplicate: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/2386/… –  StrixVaria Aug 21 '10 at 14:56
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Related, yes; Duplicate no. –  alexanderpas Aug 21 '10 at 15:15
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this question isn't a dupe. it's main focus is on how to interpret what you see. the supposed dupe is more about how to see. –  Peter Recore Aug 21 '10 at 15:48

2 Answers 2

up vote 21 down vote accepted

I breifly discussed what key things you should look for in another post, but I figure I will provide a more complete answer here, broken down by opponent's race:

Zerg

Things to watch for:

  • When does he build his spawning pool? An early Spawning pool (eg after 10 Drones) can mean a rush or early agression, where as a later spawning pool (eg 14 Drones or after Hatch) is usually a more Economic based play, and you should look for an expansion.
  • When does he get gas? Early gas (eg before the spawning pool) usually means speedlings, possibly a quick Lair. If he gets his gas right after his spawning pool, this might mean some Roach play
  • When does he expand? Almost all Zerg expand, but if he doesn't you maybe looking at some 1 base Muta play. If he does expand early (eg at 16 drones or after Spawning Pool) usually this means more Macrobased play looking for an economic advantage

Protoss

Things to watch for:

  • What does he build after his first Gateway? If you see a second gateway, get ready for a early or timing push (usually 7 minute mark). If you see a Cybernetics Core, you may still be in for a timing push or a Cheese
  • When does he get gas? A lot of Protoss will get their gas around the time of the Cybernetics Core, but if you see him getting both, that's a warning that he might be looking for Void Rays.
  • Where are all his buildings? Protoss frequently like to hide Dark Templar Shrine and Stargate, so if you're in his base and you expect him to have more "stuff," start asking yourself "is he proxying?"
  • Does he have an early Forge? Early forges can be a sign of cannon rushes, but a slightly delayed Forge can be the sign of Proxy Gateways. In both cases you're going to have to scour the map.

Terran

Things to watch for:

  • Where did he build his first Barracks? If there is room for a tech lab, watch for Marauders possibly early Reapers.
  • Did he rush a Factory? A lot of Terran players will go factory right after their Barracks. This usually signifies Hellions or Mech play, though sometimes its part of a 1:1:1 build
  • How much gas does he have? Like Protoss, a lot of Terran will take a gas after their Barracks, so that's not unusual. However, taking 2 Gas is unusual and you should watch out for it.

This is not an exhaustive list, just some of the basic things to watch out for.

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Just something to add to the Zerg list since i stumbled upon it twice today: If you scout and he has many drones but no spawning pool it usually means he tries to expand somewhere. Use your scout probe to check the closest expansions. He will be vulnerable for a short time. –  dbemerlin Aug 22 '10 at 14:37
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"If you see a Cybernetics Core, you may still be in for a timing push or a Cheese" ... or simply Stalkers? Doesn't seem to be anything unusual about getting a cyber core right after the gateway finishes. –  Lotus Notes Aug 23 '10 at 17:52
    
@Carl Stalkers would be a nice Timing Push. I'm simply using the term here to indicate "Normal" play. –  tzenes Aug 23 '10 at 19:20
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If you see an early Forge, watch out for a canon rush! –  ripper234 Sep 5 '10 at 13:42

Work on creating a fairly exhaustive list is going on here.

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