Usually, you need to decide your plan for the game based only on few small things:

  1. type of the map;
  2. the opponent race (Zerg, Protoss, Terram, Random).

You need to begin implementing your strategy on the 11-12 of supply. The only option to receive any information about player till that time is scouting with 6-7th worker (that is seldom reasonable thing).

So after building (or beginning to build) your first spawning pool/barrack/gateway you already should decide:

  • for Zerg: gas+speedlings OR FE OR 6 pool (Zerg player should do decision earlier, as 6 pool is also often viable strategy);
  • for Terran: 2nd rax OR gas+2nd rax OR gas+factory;
  • for Protoss: 2nd gateway OR gas+core.

What are key factors to make strategy for match?

Any other thoughts are welcome!

  • 4
    This question is far too broad to cover properly. – Sorean Mar 31 '11 at 22:42
  • I think the best answer is the one you already gave: map, matchup, and reacting to the opponent. What more of an answer could you expect without asking a more specific question? – tenfour Apr 1 '11 at 0:38
  • -2? oooh... Too broad? Don't you guys need to try to think a little? and try to express yourself? – Budda Apr 2 '11 at 1:51

So, I think the problem here (and the reason people are downvoting) is you're asking the wrong question. If you were a Professional player, then you'd have multiple builds for each map/matchup combination so as to be unpredictable. If you were an Amateur player, then it doesn't really matter which build you choose, picking one and sticking with it is the best you can do to get ahead.

Most importantly, you should know your build by the loading screen.

Its a fairly easy mistake to make, you get in a match and you scout your opponent and you try to radically shift your build. In fact, its a mistake even pro players like TLO, Day9 and iNcontroL make. You see an opportunity and you try and adapt some other build, that you have practiced a couple times, but haven't ironed out yet, and you get eaten alive. Actually, let me tell you a story:

A Story about Tzenes

I played in a tournament rather recently and I got matched up in the round of 16 against a Terran player in a Bo3. Going into this my plan was simple: Game 1 I'll do some rush, try to catch him off guard plus make him think I'm bad, then settle into a more standard Game 2 and 3. So Game 1 I pull a 7 Roach Rush (yes I think its a bad build, but I wanted him to think I was bad), and I just out Micro him. Game 2 I settle into my more standard 15 hatch, I expand to 6 bases to his 3, but he manages to get a key drop off and catch all my Broodlords, mows through my not yet morphed Banelings, split the map and forces an early GG. So now I come to Metalopolis for Game 3.

Now I hate Metalopolis as Zerg, I think it is my worst map for ZvT, I think the thing is horribly unbalanced unless you can get cross positions, and even then its hard to stop a Terran from splitting the map. Going in to this, my plan is: 15 expand -> early Roaches -> Roach/Hydra drop -> Muta. So we spawn and sure enough its close positions, so I send out an early Drone scout (10) in case he's rushing, and I see he hasn't walled off yet. Not only that, but I manage to micro my Drone so he places his Rax out of position, there is a hole big enough to drive an Infestor through sideways. So I see I'm at 15 Drones, 200 Minerals, and I go screw this 15 Pool, 14 Gas, SPEEDLINGS!

Remember how I said you shouldn't switch plans half way through the game? Well, sure enough by the time me first 10 lings pop, ling speed isn't finished (normally its 14 Gas, 14 Pool so it finishes at the same time), so by the time they get to his base, he's thrown up 2 more Rax and safely walled himself off. Ouch. So now I have to fall back on my original plan of Roach/Hydra, except I don't have my Roach Warren down, my Expo is half done, and all I've got for defense is 10 lings (and he's looking ready to move out. So I throw down a Spine Crawler, demonstrate superior control, and hold off his initial push. Except, by now he's expanded and is throwing down a Starport, and I don't even have my Lair yet.

I won't bore you with the rest of the match but its a long row of me being behind and trying to hold on, till I finally tap out to be done with it.

So here's the moral of the story boys and girls: "Don't switch your horses mid stream."

  • I don't think this is a compelling reason not to switch strategies. I think it's safe to say you should not switch to an early pressure build because it's way more risky as you demonstrated. And you should not switch to a build you are not equally as comfortable with. But otherwise, why not? For example if you're Protoss and you've been there done that with 4gate, now you're trying to perfect your 2gate expand. You see your opponent FE, if you want to win, just switch to 4gate and beat them. You switch the build when there's nothing to lose by doing so. – tenfour Apr 1 '11 at 10:12
  • @Tenfour, a 4 Gate is a very nice follow up to a 2 Gate Expan, its part of the standard Early Gate/Expand BO. It's very much like transitioning from 4 Gate into Colossus play. But my story wasn't about that, the story was closer to: Double Stargate transition to Double Robo off one base. Transitions like that are kludgy and will get you beat in the long run. It's worth noting that I was very comfortable with both 14Gas and 15Expand, but trying to switch from one to the other mid game is what caused my downfall. – tzenes Apr 1 '11 at 16:30
  • Oh, I may have misread your comment. If you meant 2 Gate Expand, and then cancel the Nexus and switch back to a 4 Gate, then no you shouldn't do that. You're not going to get the polished 4 Gate you're used to. You won't have the Chronoboost for the warp tech (as that's not part of a 2 Gate Expand), Gates 3 and 4 will be delayed, you won't be able to do the nice switch into double Gas for your follow up push, and worst of all, unless you've practiced switching between builds, your mind set will still be stuck on the wrong build (most likely throwing off your expo timing). – tzenes Apr 1 '11 at 16:50
  • That last comment brings up an interesting thought (to me, at least, it seems interesting), but I wonder about the merits of actually practicing the act of switching between builds. – Grace Note Apr 1 '11 at 17:20
  • @Grace, you can and it will reduce some of the mental problems related to switching, but the windows where you actually can switch are very narrow, and more likely than not you'll never be in a place where you want to and can – tzenes Apr 2 '11 at 4:03

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