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What is a good strategy if our partner leaves in the first 5 minutes?

I play 2v2 regularly with my friend. His computer can be flaky and will occasionally freeze within the first five minutes of the game. I also sometimes have to unexpectedly drop out early in the game (married life).

As high bronze we don't have the APM or knowledge of the other races to effectively manage both at once. How should we proceed?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Start by getting your ally's base up to full saturation, and then ignore it and play as if you are on two base yourself. So immediately get your two-base tech and production up.

With the additional income, you will have a window of advantage because you can tech up more quickly than a normal game. To illustrate, for example you're zerg and your ally disconnects right at the beginning of the match. You will be able to build a spawning pool extremely fast with the additional income, making a 6-pool even faster than it already is normally.

So, play an aggressive game, keeping supply counts low and keep your opponents distracted. Do a stim timing, blink timing, etc. Stay in (or close to) battle, where micro is most important. This is your advantage being one player on the same economy as your opponents having to juggle armies. Two players controlling units in a single battle is not as efficient as one because you have a vision of your unit positioning, when to retreat, etc.

You can play on even footing until your supply maxes out. Your opponents can continue producing units while you're capped at 200. So, try not to get to that point and kill them first.

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We've been talking about that window of advantage, and possibly going with an all-in push during that time. Thanks for laying this all out. – Stephanie Oct 11 '12 at 0:01
You'll also want to utilize static defenses to protect your ally's workers. Smart players will immediately try to harass them, so build a couple of cannons, bunkers, or spine crawlers for defense. You can use your ally's race or yours, whichever you think will be better. – Decency Oct 11 '12 at 4:25
The biggest problem I have with using your ally's race is you cannot see his supply count. – tenfour Oct 15 '12 at 8:20

You basically have to commit to an early push. In longer games your Micro and Macro will slip as you have to control two races.

Popular strategies are:

  • Left players race becomes the dedicated resource race that only expands and your main race becomes the aggressive race.
  • Mirror build. For this your buddy has to play the same race as you and have almost the same opening. You just build everything twice at the same time for both players.

The mirror build does not give you any benefits, but the first strategy gives you the following bonuses:

  • You can tech faster as you have access to 4 gas.
  • You need to tech only once, thus you save resources. (e.g. you can go 8 Barracks with Stim with 1 gas)

If your buddy has Zerg or Terran you have to invest in a Pool or a Barracks to get Queens or SCVs. While you could build Zerglings or Marines they will not benefit from your upgrades.

Popular builds are:

  • Mass Marine (and Marauder)
  • Mass Roaches
  • Mass Stalker
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Apart from learning how to control two players at once, I'm really not sure what you can do. Your best bet might be lots and lots of special tactics. Do drops all over the place and other sneaky things and hope that your opponents can't manage. If you're in high bronze, your opponents probably won't be very good at defending against those kinds of things.

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Thanks, a banshee rush is about as sneak as I get. I'm still working on effective drops. – Stephanie Oct 11 '12 at 0:02

Choose maps with shared bases - less need for static defense.

On the contrary, don't get into battles often. It's more difficult to macro and micro at the same time when you're managing two bases (building supply and workers on both sides). Timing pushes with a certain tech level (e.g. stim, combat shields, 1/1) will probably work best.

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