I’m going to kick this blog off with a nice solid piece about Terran strategy basics in Starcraft 2. I know that when you first start playing any RTS (real time strategy) game, especially on the net against other real players (instead of the predictable AI), the main goal is always to get better fast! So you start watching the pro matches and checking out the strategies that they are able to pull off against their opponents.
Although never a bad thing to do, it’s really easy to forget about the basics of the game, and begin to think that you’ll start winning as soon as you master one certain strategy. But Starcraft 2 is a dynamic game, and one tactic just won’t do it for you, especially once you start facing harder and harder opponents. You’ll need to be able to adapt fast and think on your toes, and you won’t be successful unless you first get the basics down.
So what do I consider “the basics” ?
#1: Learn the Starcraft 2 Terran Tech Tree
One of the first things you need to do as Terran in Starcraft 2 is to memorize the tech tree. Like all the tech trees in Starcraft 2, they aren’t overly complicated, but it’s still important to know exactly how to get each unit that you’ll have at your disposal. If you don’t know this front to back, you’re going to run into huge problems when your opponent starts getting mutalisks and you don’t even know how to build Thors.
And even if you’ve played Brood War or the original Starcraft before, SC2 is quite a bit different with new units and upgrades so don’t assume that you know everything right off the bat.
I’d suggest going through and playing a few games as Terran against the computer on easy and build every building and make a few of every unit in the game so you know where they came from and how you got them out. Pay attention to the upgrades you can buy and which buildings lead to which units.
#2: Study the Zerg and Protoss Tech Trees Too!
Just because you’ll be playing Terran as your main race, doesn’t mean you don’t need to know about the Protoss and Zerg races. You’ll undoubtedly be pitted against these foes more than once in the future, so you must know what units they have and how long it takes to get there. If you skip this part and don’t know that Protoss can get Dark Templar, you’re going to be very surprised when a bunch of invisible guys tear your base apart, as an example.
Do the same thing with Zerg and Protoss as you did with Terran. Learn the tech trees and play games against the computer making every building, unit and getting upgrades so you know what comes from where and what kind of enemies you’re going to be up against.
#3: Figure Out The Unit Counters
As well as knowing how to get each unit in the game and what buildings they come from, you’re going to need to know which units counter each other. Starcraft 2 is put together so well that every unit is strong against some units and weak against others. The Terran units are very diverse and if you want to win you’re going to have to know what units you need to counter your opponent and lead yourself to victory.
The best way to figure this out is to learn about each unit in the game. You’ll notice that every unit has some attributes prescribed to them, things like light, armored, biological, psionic, massive. You’ll also notice that certain Terran units have damage bonuses against certain kinds of units. The Terran Marauder for example, does 10 damage per shot, but against armored units they do 20 damage (twice as much!). This makes the marauder the perfect counter to go up against enemy roaches or stalkers, but not so much against smaller units like zealots, marines, and zerglings.
It’s soooo important to know all this so you can scout your enemy’s army and produce the right Terran units so you’ll be able to overwhelm your opponent’s army and march on to victory.
So before you go out and start watching Pro replays like a madman, get the basics down and get some practice in playing the game so you can get a feel for the game and what you should do in certain situations.
This is the first of many posts to come where I’ll be discussing beginner as well as advanced Terran strategies in Starcraft 2, so stay tuned!
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