Is there any way to have workers spread out to all nearest crystal straight away at the start of a game? Selecting all workers and sending them to 1 crystal node makes them all swarm to that node after which they start to spread out. This seems inefficient and inconsistent with their otherwise intelligent behaviour.
This really depends on your Actions Per Minute (APM). Your best bet is to first send them to a central mineral node, and then split them off in groups to different mineral nodes mid transit.
An alternate method is to select idle worker (F1) and individually hit a mineral node. However this prevents them from moving until you tell them where to go.
I've seen the computer player individually split each worker to a different mineral node at the start of the game, but their APM is well over 9000.
I do the following on the start of every game:
- Fast click the CC/Nexus/Hatch and create a worker.
- Drag-click, select ALL workers (6) and send them to a single mineral patch.
- As they move to the mineral patch, drag-click and select 2-3 workers and send them to a mineral patch at the end of the row (top or bottom ends).
This ensures 2 things: I keep the CC/Nexus/Hatch busy ASAP creating a new worker, and I try to spread the workers out to un-occupied mineral patches.
You actually have a decent window of time for this. Think about it: the whole point to doing this crazy fast-click-drag-move-click-select-send move(s) is to have 50 minerals in the bank by the time the 1st worker is completed out of the Nexus/CC/Hatch. It's to keep the center busy building workers (no down time). The window at which this occurs after sending units to minerals is tight, but not so tight that the delay the workers impose by moving to un-occupied mineral patches will throw it off too much. If your good, you can nail it every time and the CC/Hatch/Nexus won't have any "down time" and you'll have that first 50 minerals in the bank ready to buy the next worker.
I believe that this article on teamliquid is an answer for your question.
Summary: if you can fluently split your workers - do it to warm up. But you'll not take a big advantage with this.