StarCraft® II

How to react vs Forge Fast Expand

Posts: 398
Mainly looking for aggressive styles that I can use versus this. What types of harassment can I be doing against this early game, or what can I do to break it down?

I've been trying to get early roaches with lings and try to break through, some attempts are successful. Others fail leave me caught using only roaches for a good amount of time.

Also - If anyone has any all around advice for this, still open to non-aggressive styles vs ffe

PS - I usually aim to get SwarmHosts/Hydras or SwarmHosts/Corruptors vs Toss...if it effects what advice is given (welcoming any army comp though)
Edited by JiDestro on 6/20/2013 5:22 PM PDT
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Posts: 4,857
FFE is a safe starter for Protoss.. due to the wall off there's not a whole lot of options for early harass.. however these is great options for map control, you can move Overlords to his 3rd and 4th and start dropping creep, you can take your 3rd and drone up hard.. thing is you gotta scout and see what he's doing. If he makes robo after his cybernetics core is done, expect an all-in.. if he makes Twilight expect either Blink Stalker all-in or Dark Templar from Dark Shrine.. if he makes 2x stargates expect phoenix -> voidrays with possibly an oracle or two to try to snipe your workers

Anyway basically the most common thing Toss tend to do after FFE at our level of play (Gold League) is the Immortal Sentry all in. Things to look out for, what time do they take their gas at the natural.. if they have both gasses down on their natural prior to or just around 7:00 expect the All-In push.. also you need to fly an overseer or sacrifice an overlord to peek into their base it is so vital.. because the first attack can actually come as early as 7:00 if they decide to pressure you with zealots and a small number of stalkers..

Usually though they'll be doing the standard Immortal Sentry which means they'll get robo as soon as cybernetics core is done, they'll get one zealot to complete the wall-off then they'll pump sentries. After the robo is started they'll make like 4 or 5 more Warp Gates.. they'll get like 8-12 sentries, 3 Immortals and an observer from the robo, and they'll fill the rest up either with Zealots, Stalkers, or both.

This all-in pushes out between 9:00 and 10:30 (10:30 being the absolute latest). However it's not common for any kind of pressure or even for them to scout when they're going this route.. so they are very vulnerable to the Swarm Host all-in, provided you land the Nydus outside their base no latter than 8:30 usually all they'll have is a few sentries and their first Immortal or two which can NOT defeat the two swarmhosts / 5 queens at all.

However one thing to look out for when doing the swarm host rush/contain is that they may break down rocks and exit their natural, go around your swarm hosts, and then just enter into a base trade.. they could also escape out the same path and take their 3rd while you're killing your natural.. so its important not to let it become a base trade IF they do that, you can always retreat your swarm hosts and queens back to your base through the nydus and try to hold your base.

Now if they are doing the OTHER two-base all-in.. the one with collosus... what they'll do is send Zealots out occasionally and force you to make zerglings and/or roaches.. this will cut your drone count behind and they don't really intend to kill you with this (but if you're not defended you WILL lose your 3rd or natural) but they really just want to delay your tech, delay your worker production, and buy them time until they can get 2 or 3 colossus out with maybe 2 or so Immortals maybe 6 or so sentries and a bunch of stalkers. That will usually attack anywhere from 11:00 to 12:30... it's considerably harder to hold off, but it's also much riskier for them because it gives you time to get mutas which will shut it down.. IF you are able to hold their first couple zealot pokes.. if the zealot pokes do their damage you'll be behind getting mutas out and probably die.

So the swarm host all-in is really more of a coin toss. I'd say you have about 50/50 chance of killing them then and there depending on which build they're going they'll either attack you before you are ready, or they won't.

It's much more safe to just play macro ... get your 3rd asap when you see them do FFE, poke in and get vision around 7:30 keep your 1st overlord where it can see their gas timings.. try to spot if they're going stargate or robo or freakin dark shrine or what.

You need to get roach warren up pretty fast when they do FFE imo, you can cut some workers to get like 6 or so Roaches for any early zealot pressure, ofc you need ling speed as well. Many suggest getting baneling nest too but I almost never use banelings in ZvP (maybe that's why I'm stuck in gold >_>)

You want to get an evo or two and at least get carapace armor +1 before any kind of timing ie you want it DONE and starting your next upgrade I'd say no later than 8:00 which means build it around the 6:30 or 7:00 mark.

From here it deviates depending on what's your style.. some say get a hydalisk den make some Roach/Hydra fill in excess minerals with lings when you're out of gas, poke at their wall but hit and run dont' over commit don't get trapped by forcefields basically just harass just to annoy and delay them, macro up behind it and make ready for a tech switch to hydras. Nasreth taught me that one... start out the early/mid game with Roach Ling Hydra or just Roach Ling, but you basically get your spire soon after your first group of upgrades/roaches are done, and then just try to fully saturate (cont
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(cont form last post)
and then try to to fully saturate all 3 of your bases including gas, and prepare to make a huge group of mutas as much as you can after the first engagement, which usually won't be an army trade, but will be a them trying to poke out of their base, spamming force fields and ultimately running back into their base.. because yeah any lings/roaches you produce should park near the ramp to their natural you want to DENY any chance they'll take a 3rd and also know the INSTANT they leave their base it's VERY important to position and rally here.. but don't get caught out of position etc you need to be aware of the minimap so you can focus in and take control of your forces as soon as you see them move out.

Once you've started mutas production they'll probably already be frantically trying to counter your ground army meaning transition to colossus and more sentries etc, now you can start poking in with the mutas if all his troops are sitting behind the wall in the natural fly up and around to his main and hit his mineral line hard with the mutas.. he moves anti air up there then take your roach/hydra at the natural and poke his wall, just keep poking and harassing trying to get your 4th and maybe 5th base behind it if all went well he' still stuck on those two bases and feeling really frustrated right now... oh btw you produce nothing but Mutas from that point on.. eventually you'll reach critical mass with the mutas ie they can kill any colossus or building with almost one or two shots.. that's when you just go in and kill him.

Oh and incase they don't try to do the 2-base all in they'll still play very similar to it, only they'll move out a smaller group of units right at 9:00 to try to secure their third. They'll play more defensively in that case.

Things to watch out for... Stargate play you need spores in your mineral line and double up queens.. because it's no fun when phoenix and or oracle come and shred your workers... as long as you stay a base ahead of him and don't let him take his 3rd, 2-base Void Rays will NOT beat Muta play.. as long as you have 3 fully saturated bases you should be able to hold out with hydras long enough to get critical mass with mutas you can make more mutas faster than he can make voids and they WILL beat voids but you HAVE to wait until you have at least 12 mutas, and also for the love of god don't let your mutas die too much.. even if you only kill one or two workers or whatever when its time to run its time to run mutas are a precious commodity that must be reserved.

You can also use Swarm Hosts in macro play as well so don't be shy.. they're not ONLY for rushing.. because if you feel like you wont' get enough mutas out in time you can bring in like 12-24 swarm hosts and just utterly destroy his base.
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Oh almost forgot to mention.. if I leave this part out you'd have some pretty angry games .. if you see only one gas at their expansion and they never get a 2nd.. and/or if they get twilight council... expect the Blink Stalker all-in.. this build hits as early as 7:00-8:00 it's a VERY early hitting build.. and it can be VERY brutal can catch many zerg off guard though its mainly used for vs Terran I think. I've had it used on me as Zerg though.. if you think that's what they're doing then yeah as soon as you know is when you start pumping out speedlings.

If their attack dies, they die. That's how all-in'y that one is.
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Posts: 398
Really appreciate it man, thanks for taking the time to post that :o...good advice in there
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Posts: 4,857
Np. it wasn't supposed to be that long winded. I probably over-explain too much and repeat myself too much too. I wouldn't be surprised if everything I just typed could be summarized in like two or three paragraphs.

/edit btw At the end of the first post I say make ready for a tech switch to Hydras I meant MUTAS :D just in case that confuses you I think the next couple sentences make that clear though but yea its a typo
Edited by MrPaz on 6/20/2013 6:18 PM PDT
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Posts: 13
google the "Stephano ZvP Build"

it's amazing. destroys FFE every time
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Posts: 395
google the "Stephano ZvP Build"

it's amazing. destroys FFE every time

Which one of his boring builds?
Roach max off fast 3rd, SH turtling or mass ultraling (though latter for 1gate FE)?
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Posts: 4,155
Forge Fast Expand? You mean that play that never gets off the ground since baneling busts hard counter it bad since Naturals are usually on level ground, and zerglings can just swarm in and kill the nexus.

Then since they're teching slower....since they put their early minerals into forge cannons and a nexus they are pretty much helpless.

Why are you having trouble at all?
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Posts: 259
u can either baneling bust him or take third hatchery. if suceeding he's dead. if not be prepared to die a slow and painful death.
Edited by FreshPrince on 6/21/2013 9:46 AM PDT
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Posts: 395
FFE? That strange strategy, that is countered by safe and fast third, duh? How can you have problems with it O.o
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Posts: 10,061
u can either baneling bust him or take third hatchery.

And they keep buffing Terran and Protoss harassment methods. LOL
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Posts: 259
well sometimes busting is a free win since many have no idea how to deal with it but I haven't done it in ages
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Posts: 13
max roaches off of three base
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Posts: 398
Forge Fast Expand? You mean that play that never gets off the ground since baneling busts hard counter it bad since Naturals are usually on level ground, and zerglings can just swarm in and kill the nexus.

Then since they're teching slower....since they put their early minerals into forge cannons and a nexus they are pretty much helpless.

Why are you having trouble at all?


06/21/2013 10:12 AMPosted by lolfail
FFE? That strange strategy, that is countered by safe and fast third, duh? How can you have problems with it O.o


Having problems because if i make any attack they usually hold it off then just go and attack me while i have no army. Therefore I'm looking for more effective methods versus it.
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Posts: 10,061
How to react to FFE:

Step 1: Do whatever the f**k you want for 7 minutes.
Step 2: Scout and determine what he's doing
Step 3: Defend his timing attack at 8:00-10:00 based on scouting information
Step 4: Limit Protoss to 2-3 bases
Step 5: Win game?

And if I want to attack, or tech straight to Ultralisks in those 7 minutes?
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Posts: 308
Free 3 base saturation > kill em.
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Posts: 707
You don't "react" to openings unless it's cheese or super greedy.

FFE is neither of these.
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