StarCraft® II

Tips on Standard PvZ Macro play

Posts: 33
Replay included: http://drop.sc/290838
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Hello everybody, I just recently attempted to play a standard macro game against my Zerg buddy on a practice game. I tried to hold off a Stephano Roach-Ling Fast Max, but my micro slipped and I messed up my forcefields. However, I still think I would not have been able to win even with if my micro was perfect. Additionally, I did not scout with a probe because my friend is easily tricked into thinking I was performing an Immortal-Sentry all-in. I do think an Observer scout would have been good though. How can I secure a third base macro-wise? As in more powerful economy, upgrades, or army. Thank you.
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Posts: 318
Three major factors in your loss:
-scouting
-micro/positioning
-production at the point you took your 3rd

Scouting:
1. Although it didn't contribute to your loss this time, probe scout has no connection to the immortal sentry all-in. Do it every game. You aren't Parting, any 1-2 base play could have killed you.
2. The first thing out of your robo should be an observer if you are playing macro game. You need to know if zerg will play for late game or attack, and adjust your sentry/cannon count accordingly.
3. Control the xel-naga on your side of the map as much as possible. If the zerg is forced to produce extra units early to kill your zealot that only works in your favor.

Possibly the greatest factor in you losing was the fact that you had no idea what was going on until the zerg was at your front door. Your units were out of position, you weren't prepared to forcefield, and your unit composition/production was wrong because of this.

Micro/Positioning
1. This should be obvious to you, but you lost almost all of your army while move-commanding without killing anything at all. You did this numerous times. I believe that you were trying to target-fire with your whole army instead of a-moving, causing 90% of them to shuffle around without attacking, or moving back when you should have stood your ground or stutter-stepped backwards (you panicked and ran away from fights you could have won)
2. Kill your rocks faster and position army better. You should be working on the rocks with your first units and have it down in time to take your 3rd base. Zerg could have killed your 3rd with just 12 zerglings had he noticed it earlier. Despite knowing a roach army was at your front door, you put your whole army in front of your base where zerg could get a 80% surround. You should leave your army at the ramp between natural/3rd, with 2 sentries to forcefield natural ramp, and sim city your 3rd on the far side with gateways to make a choke near the ramp. It is all about minimizing how far your army has to move to defend both fronts.
3. Army composition. You need 8-10 sentries to defend a roach/ling attack, and you had 4. You can warp in stalkers/zealots after establishing the sentry count. The smaller the surface area to forcefield, the less sentries are required. Sim city and scouting are also a factor in this (if you see 4th base/tech you can skip sentries and tech faster). However, you are vastly underestimating the power of the immortal. You ran away from some fights that you could have won or traded very efficiently against.

3 base production:

Your macro/build was actually pretty solid on 2 bases. But your minerals were really starting to pile up at the point you took your 3rd (which was late). You tried to mask this by over-building pylons and photon cannons, when you should have been adding gateways.

You want an eventual gateway count of 11 on 3 bases. Pylon near your nexus (rather than part of 3rd base wall) and add 4 gateways to wall. Pylon should go down the same time as nexus and wall should begin as soon as possible. You can add 1-2 cannons behind this wall if you like (and a couple pylons to reinforce it) but those 4 extra cannons at your natural were not necessary at all. A good gateway wall to make your forcefields more effective will actually be far more useful than cannons in defending and get you to 3 base production much faster as well. Keep in mind that if you had made those gateways early, they would have been ready in time to reinforce vs. the attack.
Edited by Pesto on 1/4/2013 7:30 AM PST
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Posts: 33
Thank you. I think you have some really great advice there and it will help me next time. I have another question. What should my army composition be? You mentioned that it was incorrect.
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Posts: 318
I was just referring to the sentry count. As I said, you need 8-10 sentries vs. an attack like that, and you had 4. You need to be able to keep them alive and have your zealots and immortals tank the damage. You can start adding stalkers after you have the right sentry count - you want the sentries earlier so they build up energy.
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Posts: 1,367
<--- Did not watch the replay

But I can give you a few pointers on holding a roach/ling max.

Pesto has given you great advice.

Scouting is going to be your best friend against this + Sentries + Immortals.

I personally go w/ 2 observers first, out of my robo. My first observer scouts the Zergs tech. My 2nd observer usually just chills at a common rally point for the zerg. This observer just sits there, so I can see if the zerg is massing roaches/lings, which would be a clear indicator of a roach/ling max, or really any sort of agression.

Once you see their army move out with that observer, I will take the observer, and move it outside my base. This REALLY helps against zerg players who like to mess aroudn w/ their attack.

Knowing that they are splitting their army, half to your natural, and half to your 3rd, is important to know (which the observer will let you see)

But knowing this pressure is coming, is extremely important. If you see it, you need to begin chrono'ing immortals, nonstop. Depending on how long the zerg applies pressure, I will go sometimes up to 5 immortals before switching to colossus. Usually stopping at 3-4 if its just 1 push.

Getting sentries early is also very important. Having energy for forcefields will be just as important as having the immortals.

One thing to keep in mind though, is you need to be careful not to just blindly mass sentries/immortals, without scouting. (obviously if ur immo/sentry all-in, its a different story)

Reason why is.... if you plan to take a 3rd, and don't scout... and get yourself 8-10 sentries, and are chrono'ing immortals....

You are dead to mutas.

Having the first observer verifiying the zergs tech is what will save you here. If you see spire, stop sentry production, and begin making stalkers + teching to blink ASAP.

But not to derail onto a muta discussion, just something to keep in mind before you mass sentries/immortals blindly thinking it'll keep you safe to take a 3rd.
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