How do you scout/harass/attack/deal with choke points in early->mid game in Starcraft?

After some introspection, I've realized the bane of my Starcraft online play -- I wait far too long to attack (and re-scout), because of an unconscious requirement I impose that I can only attack when I have an army large enough to break through my opponent's choke point.

As such, I wait far too long, and scout far too little (since I can't get past the choke point beyond the initial early-round scouting, what's the point other than to check the map for expansions?).

  • Depends on the race you're playing. Protos can get an pretty early observer as well as any other desired air unit (phoenix) to just scout around. Zerg can get extremely early zerglings to squeeze through their defence/choke poins, as well as the obvious observer. Terran dont really have a good 'early' scouting unit besides the scv because the marine are later then zerglings and so the enemy will probably have walled in before then. Vikings take to long to build to make for early scouting so i guess terran comes down to harassing early game. Apr 29, 2013 at 11:36
  • The main thing that helped me when learning to scout properly was requiring that at all times I knew what units my opponent's army consisted of and a rough idea of where he was keeping it. It's very very difficult to "over scout", as long as you at least make an effort to keep scouting units alive.
    – Decency
    May 1, 2013 at 4:02

1 Answer 1


How do you scout/harass/attack/deal with choke points in early->mid game in Starcraft?


All races have 2 scout timings. The first with the worker and an additional one related to your race's tech that usually occurs around the 7 min mark.

Terran: Has scans very early which are not effected by chokes. The most standard scan timing is as soon as your second base has been transformed into an orbital.

Zerg: Most builds come with the assumption you are going to suicide 2 ovies into your opponents base around 7:00 to scout your opponent. Again doesn't care about chokes because they fly.

Toss: The first observer, stargate unit, or an hallucinated phoenix. Again all these hit around 7:00 and don't care about chokes.

But all you need to stay alive and pick your game plan are these two scouts. The first worker can scout any cheesy play such as proxy shenanigans or very early all-ins such as 4-gates. It also allows you yo scout how economically they are playing. If a Terran gets gas expect drops, mines, or hellion. If a toss has lots of chrono expect a 4 gate, if a zerg mines gas past 100 expect banes or roaches.

The 7 min timing lets you scout any tech based all-ins aggression. DTs, Immoral based all-ins, hellbat drops, 12 min roach maxes can all be identified based on this scout timing.


All harass units either fly (banshee, oracle, mutas), are cloaked (banshee, DTs) or are very fast (zerglings and hellions). Flying units and cloaked units are not effected by chokes very much and very quick units are opportunistic, dashing in when the enemy moves out or other units draw them away from the choke.

Harass units are very mobile and as such are also great for scouting. If you plan to open with a build that allows early aggression often the 7:00 min scout timing can be skipped.


As a general rule there is usually no reason to attack a player on 2 bases with the intention of killing them. Notice most of the maps are much more open around the 3rd. If a player id on 2 bases and its not very early in the game they are focusing on tech or army over econ and will be very hard to break.

The exception is you have a large econ advantage and can afford to trade the units inefficiently to finish of your opponent.

If you play a opponent who sits and guards their natural choke the entire game you counter this behavior by taking 4-5 bases and then simply smashing his door down with an overwhelming number of units.

  • also, terran can fly a building to see the 3rd timing and/or army composition. Apr 29, 2013 at 20:29
  • This was only a good idea in wol against Protoss because factory units were terrible against toss. However, hellbats are an excellent counter to zelots. Making hellbats is a much better idea than floating your factory off. Apr 29, 2013 at 20:35
  • 1
    Although I agree with you that DT's are "immoral all-ins," I think you meant Immortal. ;)
    – Wikwocket
    Apr 30, 2013 at 4:14
  • Yeah I wrote this on very little sleep and there are very many typos and spelling errors. It's quite terrible actually. I'll come back and clean it up this evening. Apr 30, 2013 at 11:12
  • What is a hellbat drop? May 2, 2013 at 16:06

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