Random player here, need a little help

Posts: 2,700
I understand how to play Zerg, for the most part. I feel like my micro and macro aren't bad, but I'm looking for a couple of keys things that might help me play Zerg a bit better. I've played more Terran and Protoss as they have similar playstyles, and fit my style better.

I have a hard time knowing when to do certain things.

Do I use any of my first queens to plop creep or do I use it all on injects?

What is a good timing to use mutas against Terran or Protoss.

What is the latest hive i should get? What is a good time to have it?

How do I manage supply after most of my drones are made? Do I just try and tech straight up to BL's?

How many drones do you generally transfer upon expanding?

What are timings for gases? (2 at 6, 3 and 4 at X:XX, 5 and 6 at X:XX)?

What are good times to send in scouting overlords?

I'm just not too straight on the macro and how to react to pressure quickly enough.

If anyone could answer any of my questions or just offer some advice, I would appreciate it.

Thanks.
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Posts: 1,009
your first queen should be for injects. your second queen should drop a tumor (usually!). it has to do with making sure you have enough larva to drone up and maybe make a few lings for scout+poke

timing on muta? 9 minutes. don't make more than 8-9 of them unless you're planning to do a muta based build. but going muta delays your tech because it's precious gas, and lasts only as long as they don't counter it (and you know how to do that, so i'm not going to patronize you).

latest hive: 18 minutes. that's latest~, with a lot of back and forth pressure (if he blink stalker all in'd you and you're still fighting, for example). should be closer to the 14 minute mark unless you're rushing some form of hive tech.

managing supply has everything to do with your plan. do you want to tech up to brood lords straight up? that's dangerous, you know. might want to gradually introduce them, in case your opponent scouts the greater spire and decides to push, or is blind countering it because he knows it's coming.

drone transfer: i'll leave that up to people with better mechanics than me. i usually only transfer a few (5-6) if at all. but i'm betting it has to do with how saturated the base you're transfering from is.

gas timing depends on your opponent, in my experience. if he's going for a crazy all in, our meta is designed to defeat it with as little gas as possible (we rely on queens, lings, and crawlers). i have a lot of success with one gas at 17 food, and then a total of 3 gas as soon as i go lair (my second or fourth hundred gas, depending on if i made banelings. my first hundred is lingspeed).

good times for overlord scouting: 6-7 minutes for the trademark sacrifice. but your first overlord should go to their natural, and your second should go to yours (to look for cheesey type of stuff). unless it's zvz, in which case start spreading immediately.

the trick to reacting to pressure quick is recognizing your opponent's build, reading his timings, and then getting early information on when he pushes out. also don't get too far behind in units for your drones. it's nice to have that economy, but losing the game because you just made a round of drones instead of roaches is pretty crappy.
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Posts: 2,700
Thank you very much, that is a wealth of knowledge that will help me a lot!
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Posts: 1,736
Do I use any of my first queens to plop creep or do I use it all on injects?

It depends on your build. A gasless 4 queen build against Terran I'd recommend injecting with the first 2 queens then creep spreading with the next 2. A 3 base expand against Protoss FFE its not a bad idea to drop creep with the first queen at least once, I like to do it twice. Two early hatches and trying to get 3 queens just makes you too mineral poor to use all the larvae. If you can't spend all the larvae then sometimes its not worth having the larvae.

What is a good timing to use mutas against Terran or Protoss.

Never? I kid, I kid. Mutas are a tough unit that require a lot of good control in order to get the most bang for the buck. Frankly I find them more useful to just build like 5 and try to force a response out of the races. If you can get someone to build a bunch of turrets or a bunch of cannons they paid for themselves.

What is the latest hive i should get? What is a good time to have it?

Impossible to answer really. It depends on how aggressive your opponent is playing, but I prefer to, at the latest, have hive finished by the time +2/+2 completes so I can go straight into +3/+3. Hives earlier than 14 minutes are very macro aggressive and you can easily lose to a player that sees it and tries to punish you.

How do I manage supply after most of my drones are made? Do I just try and tech straight up to BL's?

I never try to tech straight to broodlords. Broodlords are very gas intensive to build and you still need a functional army to hold. Really it just takes practice knowing when its safe to try to push for broodlords, but I would recommend having your 4th and 5th down before you make the push for the transition.

How many drones do you generally transfer upon expanding?

None. With a standard 15 hatch opening you will have 18 drones on minerals by the time the hatch is complete. I just rally new drones to the natural.

What are timings for gases? (2 at 6, 3 and 4 at X:XX, 5 and 6 at X:XX)?

Depends on the kind of game you're trying to play. If you want to be ultra aggressive you get gas sooner. Standard timing against a FFE is 2 at 6. With a 4 queen opener in ZvT its 2 gas at 5 mins. ZvZ you almost always have to get gas even sooner to prevent ling all-ins.

What are good times to send in scouting overlords?

For both ZvT and ZvP I like sending the overlord in at 6:30. However in ZvP I don't sacrifice it until 8 mins. Against Terran I want to see if they're building 2 more factories, indicating mech. For Protoss I check at 8 mins because I want to see if the second immortal is popping and if their army is nothing but sentries.

You need to look at sacrificial overlords as if/then decisions. Whenever there is a time in your build that you need to make a choice of "if he's doing this, then I need to do that" that's when I send in the overlords.

I'm just not too straight on the macro and how to react to pressure quickly enough.

You really need to get used to keep Zerglings moving around the map to see what the hell is going on. If you're familiar with the hellion banshee opener think of it like your hellions. You're poking in seeing how big the army is and what they're doing with it. If you don't all 3 races will just walk up to your natural and kill you. If you're responding when they're attacking its too late.
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Posts: 3,892
How many drones do you generally transfer upon expanding?

None. With a standard 15 hatch opening you will have 18 drones on minerals by the time the hatch is complete. I just rally new drones to the natural.


To give another perspective on this, some people like to transfer about 7-8 or so drones just to have more even mining between the main and natural. That way, the main base doesn't mine out as quickly, so the need to start mining minerals at more vulnerable bases is a little farther off.
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Posts: 1,121
Drone transfers:
More than 2 drones per patch is sub optimal. If you have a base that doesn't have 2 drones per patch, you should transfer them there. This rule applies for the entire game.

Most players will hit 2 drones per patch and rally new drones to another base. If they make a building they replace the drone and rally the egg to the replacement spot. It's the easiest way to stay on top of it.
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