I play protoss and I have huge difficulties doing macro and micro at the same time.

When I play one base, I usually scout and counter, and then with some control, I trash opponents bigger army. But if I go macro (early 3rd base and building more production facilities) I totally loose it.

I have no problem keeping my money (relatively) low, keeping my army composition fine, but I lose, even if I outmacro someone by 40% I still lose, because they just trash my armies with micro.

I split my armies, walk into heavily protected areas, or lose my main against a small harassment.

How do you manage your base and army and fights if you go heavy macro? How should I train for this aspect?

2 Answers 2


Ok, so it sounds like you actually have two problems.

  1. How do you deal with the little things
  2. When do you expand

I'm going to address the second one first.

Don't expand if you're still dealing with harassment and large armies. Expanding is very much BW style play and largely is designed around the concept: Expand when I have Map Control. If you don't have Map Control and you try to expand, what's going to happen is that your opponent is going to shut you down with some small task force (like 12 Reapers or 8 Muta). You're going to respond with your whole army and he's going to pull away with little or no losses. So if you're losing expansions to harassment, chances are you just don't have the map control to expand.

Next you talk about how you're losing larger armies (40% to micro). Almost everything your army does requires 0 attention from you, except combat. If you're engaging in a situation where you will lose (split army) your response should be retreat to somewhere you can win. If this means sacrificing an expansion, sacrifice it. If you're walking into an unscouted position, retreat. Scouting is a far more valuable use of your time in these situations than micro is.

Now, if you're losing because your Zealots are in the back and your Stalkers aren't blinking, and you're running into storms, then the problem you're really having is how you macro. You should be building and organizing your units as part of your macro. If you're building your Zealots behind your Stalkers and leaving them there, that is bad macro.

Finally, if you are engaging a scouted opponent and thinking that you should win, then give over most of your attention to this battle. Perhaps build things via hot keys only, but don't move your screen for more than a second. Big battles require a lot of attention, and you should give it to them.

You also mentioned harassment in a couple of contexts so let me give you some good advice. Photon cannons are not designed to stop harassment, they're designed to delay it. It is far better that his Mutalisks spend the time to kill 2 photon cannons, than you build the 8 photon cannons to stop this raid. Use defensive structures as a delaying tactic.

  • 1
    Good answer. Learn to macro your base with hot keys. The only time you should be jumping your screen back to base is to place structures. Always try to know where the enemy's main army is. Scouting and "picket" defenses (random cheap units spread across the map) are your best bet to keeping one step ahead of your opponent. You might also want to have a small reserve force that can deal with harass units. Sep 1, 2010 at 19:24
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    I actually spend most of my time on my scouts, and any free time I spend on my base. The only time you really want to pay attention to your army is when its fighting, otherwise it's just wasted attention.
    – tzenes
    Sep 1, 2010 at 19:28
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    That sacrificed expansion can really tell a lot about his army. You may know he has thors but not sure exactly how many. Well 8 of them just stomped you expo supported by marines. Pretty clear indicator of his ratios.
    – Robb
    Sep 1, 2010 at 21:56

This isn't a "real" answer, but it was too long to go into a comment, so don't bother wasting votes on this.

Learning Zerg will teach you exactly what you need to manage this kind of simultaneous macro and micro. There's just so much you have to manage on multiple bases (Queens, etc.) in addition to your army, which will make going back to Protoss much easier in comparison. With Protoss, you can kind of get away with focusing on microing your army, as you can frontload unit production with Warp Gates. Both other races have to backload unit production.

  • 1
    If you make a "comment answer" like this, you probably want to make it CW to protect yourself.
    – C. Ross
    Sep 1, 2010 at 18:43

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