Last time I began to play often to plat/diamond/master players... Not too often, but still I saw a lot (especially on 4 players maps, in both ladder and custom games) that Protoss players do VERY early expansion. I would name it "1-pylon" expansion. Idea is following: build 1st pylon and once have enough money - build nexus on natural, after that - continue usual build.

If not scouted and managed in time - he will win (just because has 1.5 better economy). If scouted - at least for me - it is hard to manage. I didn't expect such kind of audacity: last few month of play I saw Protoss players do either 1-gate-gas-core, or 1-gate-gate-gas-core. For any of this case you could delay scouting a little.

I have ALMOST deny that, but failed due to mistakes in micro. Still, that was very doable...

For terran players: in my experience, 2 rax expand is very powerful strategy, but I found out that players do 1 rax expand!!! and still fill comfortable... still risky, in my opinion: if you scout that in time and don't expand your self but invest in army - you will be able to kill him in 8-9 minutes...

Question1: how viable is this strategy of NO-ARMY expand

Question2: how to apply this strategy on practice for a) Protoss, b) Terran. As Terran you can wall-in, but for Protoss, how to prevent scouting?

Question3: Probably the reason why opponent decided to do a no-army FE is/was opponent confidence in own skills (in such kind of matches my opponent was slightly favored) and he tried this cheese strategies just for fun?

Thanks, any thoughts are welcome!

1 Answer 1


*Assuming that you're playing as a protoss.

The expansion is dependent on the map and the opponent you face.

Against zerg on a large map like Shakrus Plateau, the 1 pylon, nexus expand is viable (unless they go 6 pool), because it's almost guaranteed that the zerg will expand as well. It's also because it's a long travel time for them, and a small ramp, they will usually also have a cannon or two to help protect against high aggression for this build because as you put it, they will have a smaller army.

To answer your questions: 1. See above. It is really map dependant, you wouldn't do a 'no-army' expand on a map like Xel'Naga Caverns against terran.

2a) In a PvP it's generally a bad idea to go this build, a 4 gate will crush you like no tomorrow. I normally see this type of build almost exclusively in PvZ. Because of proper scouting they will either respond with their own expansion and you're in for a long term game, or they will apply quick pressure.

2b) Not really sure what the question is, are you asking how to prevent other races from scouting your base as protoss against this build? If so, you really can't, the amount of time required to get a wall to stop a scout is too long. On one base play, normally you chronoboost a stalker to stop the scouting probe/scv/drone, but if you are going for this fast expand, you can't do it. They will see that you are going this build.

3) I don't understand this question.

  • JKMach, thank you. BTW, I've tunes 3rd question.
    – Budda
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 22:21
  • 1
    A 'no-army' FE build isn't so much a cheese strategy. It is taking a risk and getting a higher economy faster which in turn allows a faster tech tree, more units, or higher tech units if you don't apply early pressure. A no-army build is a very technical build, it's almost always, pylon, nexus, forge, pylon, gateway,cannon to start. Then the build deviates from there. It's an economy build, not a cheese build.
    – Sorean
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 22:36

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