There is this situation, where I would like to separate some of my troops at a location, and pull the rest of the main group somewhere else. The larger group should stay assigned to the current control group, whereas the new guys (2 to 5) will get assigned to another group, to access them later.

These two groups are to be stationed far from each other.

How do I do this efficiently?

I have tried picking a couple of units from the back of my crowd and assigning them to another group by Ctrl+2, but I don't know how to regroup the larger crowd into control-group 1 again. Boxing them is always difficult, since there is little distance to the new group.

  • Related question: gaming.stackexchange.com/q/6246/4182 (does not help me on this one, though)
    – DrFish
    Commented Jan 4, 2011 at 15:00
  • Why doesn't calling up group 1 again and shift clicking the relevant units, then rebinding, work?
    – tzenes
    Commented Jan 4, 2011 at 16:35
  • @tzenes: I don't think I understand. How would I know which units I just removed from the larger group, so that I can remove them? Or do you mean, I should first remove them from the crowd by shift-clicking, then move the crowd "away" so that I have the remaining guys standing apart?
    – DrFish
    Commented Jan 4, 2011 at 17:40
  • @Bora: That's another way to do it. Please note that units can be pushed while doing that, but I think they would resolve to their original position none the less. I've once had quite some Marauders push an unsieged Tank through my Wall and down the ramp during the heat of a battle... :-/ Commented Jan 4, 2011 at 20:37
  • @Bora: Your question is vague in some sense: You want "some of your troops", also stated as "a couple of units" separated, but what you really want is to "split your troop in smaller troops regardless their compositions". You seem to think that boxing them is difficult, but it really isn't, you might want to practice it a few times in the unit tester if it really costs you time in a match... Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 1:02

4 Answers 4


Usually I do the following:

  1. Press '1' key to get my 'BIG' group (lets consider 30+ zerlings);
  2. Send whole group to required location (attack or move to potential opponents expands);
  3. Press Shift key and click on 1-2 units in group (this way you exclude few units from current selection, in current selection you will have almost whole original group excluding 1-2 recently clicked units);
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 (send whole grope to new location and exclude more units from group) if you need to send different samll groups in different locations (useful to get map vision);
  5. Do 'move back' command to group (units excluded from group earlier will go on their destination while all other units will remain currently selected and will actually keep on previous position);
  6. Press Ctrl+1 (to rebind to the same group number all units except of 2 that were commanded to atack/move forward).

As a result, '1' still keep whole group, your group will be on almost the same place when it was in the begging, required units go into required destination point, these units are excluded from the main group. If you need to grad these units in another group - in 2-3 seconds you will be able to select them easily (as they will be separated from your main group).

  • Everything you are talking about is absolutely opposite to what I said :). I send whole group far away because then I will get everybody EXCEPT of those 1-2 BACK. and actual order "TO GO" will be received by only those 1-2 units. All other remain on the same place. In 5 actions (that can be done less then in 1 second) I will exclude few required units from group and send them where I want they to go. And you don't need to reassign them to the main group. PROBABLY you want to assign them into new group... but it is easy:
    – Budda
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 22:24
  • It is easy as they will go out from main group, they will alone w/o other units mixed... and you will be able to easy 'hunt' them for assigning into new group. And that doesn't seem more complicated then getting part of group in one direction - assign it to 1 group, "select and assign the remaning units" - more harder as original group can stay together with a bunch of other units... so you need to separate them somehow...
    – Budda
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 22:27
  • you don't need to select FROM a moving group. You will just need to select WHOLE moving group. In the same time you don't need to 'UNSELECT' other units from this group. Also, you can't task your units to go to non-far-away location and select them after they arrive (5 seconds should be enough to separate them from original group).
    – Budda
    Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 17:00
  • 2
    Now on step 3 (Press Shift keys and click on 1-2 units in group) you should click not on the moving units (that is really pretty hard), but on the unit icons that are displayed in the center-bottom part of screen (usually you see 3 rows 8 unit icons in row). It is pretty easy to unselect units from group in this way (you just need to keep 'shift' key pressed). I will edit answer to take attention to that fact
    – Budda
    Commented Jan 11, 2011 at 22:55
  • Removed the comments and downvote, removal through the unit icons is a nice idea. Still, extra effort is required if you want to have the control groups assigned as specified in the question... Commented Jan 15, 2011 at 18:50

There's no quick way to do what you want (as in, automatically assign to a new group at the same time you move out of their current group). You have a few options if you want to avoid box-selecting (although I don't know why you would, it's quicker).

Method 1: Establish Small Group First

This will ensure you don't have to make a 'useless' move, but you click a lot more if you refuse to box-select.

  • Hit escape to clear out your current selection.
  • Shift-click (click while holding the shift key) each unit you want to add to your small group.
  • Hit Ctrl+2 to save your new small group.
  • Move them to their remote location.
  • Hit escape to clear out your current selection.
  • If you refuse to box-select the remaining units on the screen, shift-click each unit you want to put in the large group. You can see why a box-select would be much easier.
  • Hit Ctrl+1 to save your new large group.

Method 2: Establish Large Group First

This involves a possible small movement of your large group, depending on your click accuracy.

  • Hit 1 to select your large group.
  • Shift-click each unit you want to move out of that group.
  • Hit Ctrl+1 to save your new large group.
  • (Optional) Move your main group away.
  • Hit escape to clear out your current selection.
  • Shift-click each unit you want to add to your small group.
  • Hit Ctrl+2 to save your new small group.
  • Move them to their remote location.
  • You lost me at the shift-clicks, my friend.
    – DrFish
    Commented Feb 16, 2011 at 22:23
  • @Bora Exactly. Box-selecting is so much easier. If you replace the shift-clicking with boxing, it becomes something you can do a lot more smoothly. If you're unwilling to box the units and shift-clicking is tedious, then I'm not entirely clear what kind of option you would consider appropriate. The only middle-ground is "selecting all units of type x and putting them in another group".
    – Shaun
    Commented Feb 16, 2011 at 23:18
  • I was actually expecting something like "drop the selection from the current group and add them to the next group, downsizing the first group", a "split" button so to say. Wouldn't it be nice?
    – DrFish
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 7:33

Please note that you don't have to draw the box around the units, but that it's sufficient that the edge touches the unit. You can even start dragging on top of an unit so selection is really a quick hold-drag-release action. Furthermore, if you accidentally select the other units, you can remedy that by making it more easier: Run them out of the box in a perpendicular way to the edges, this gives us:

  1. Select and assign the units to the separate group.

  2. Move the separate group away in a horizontal or vertical direction (N/E/S/W).

  3. Select and assign the remaning units as the new main group.

There won't be a more efficient solution unless you request Blizzard to add a key combination which allows you to remove multiple units from a control group.

  • @Tom my mistake when you said shift-click I assumed you meant click not drag.
    – tzenes
    Commented Jan 4, 2011 at 16:52
  • @tzenes: Yeah, made a typo there, sorry. :-( Commented Jan 4, 2011 at 16:55
  • That is what I am currently doing. Sorry, but this does not help: I don'need a method where I won't lose much time with drawing boxes and shoving groups around.
    – DrFish
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 18:38
  • How does this make you lose time? -- With X and Y the number of the groups: Select units, CTRL+Y, separate them. Drag a box, CTRL+X. -- Let's look at an use of this, you want your ghosts separated out of your M/M: You double click a ghost (short), hit CTRL+Y, run them behind the army. You have assigned them and separated them at the same time! Then, you'll probably want to do something with your army, during a smooth mouse movement you hold the mouse button to draw the box and hit CTRL+X right after. Your army is reassigned and you are ready to continue your macro and micro... Is 1 or 2 sec. Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 21:17
  • There aren't any selection methods implemented to exclude a group from another group, so there is no faster option available. Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 21:25

Use Shift

split your groups into separate groups, then select pressing [small group number] and press Shift+[big group number]

This will add the smaller groups to the bigger group, while still keeping them separated.

  • -1 This will add the smaller group to the larger control group, thus no disjunct separation. Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 17:14
  • since noone is getting your question, I think you asked it in the wrong way. as said IT DOES add them to the bigger group, but you still have them on the separate groups.
    – Draiken
    Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 18:19

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