ºIn randomed Zerg versus Protoss, nine pool or fast expand are the best options. The Protoss player probably won't expand incase he is fighting a Protoss versus Protoss match-up.
ºIn randomed Zerg versus Protoss, the Protoss will make two gateways or 1 gate tech, so you may want to get a faster than normal gas. This is especially true if your opponent makes two gatways.
Randomed Terran Versus Zerg, Terran or Protoss
ºIn randomed Terran versus Zerg, Zerg has to make a somewhat early pool, to counter a possible enemy zerg, which you can exploit by fast expanding to gain an economic advantage.
ºIn randomed Terran versus Terran, the Terran player will most likely already do a mech build while walling-in.
ºIn randomed Terran versus Protoss, the Protoss player can't expand incase he is fighting a Protoss versus Protoss match. You can expand to gain the economic advantage.
ºIn randomed Terran versus Zerg, you should get an engineering bay instead of a factory.
Randomed Protoss Versus Zerg, Terran or Protoss
ºIn randomed Protoss versus Zerg, the Zerg will likely get an early spawning pool incase he is fighting a Zerg, which means you can exploit this by fast expanding.
ºIn randomed Protoss versus Terran, the Terran player will likely get fast gas, wall, or fast expand. This means you should not make many zealots.
ºIn randomed Protoss versus Protoss, you do not have much advantage because the Protoss will likely get dragoons anyway.
Protoss Versus Random
ºProtoss player should have one base, two gateways, with early dragoons -or- one gate tech. Regardless, you should have few zealots. Depending on the skill level of your opponent, you should decide what to do. If you think he will try to exploit fear of the unknown by attempting to get a macro advantage, than you should opt for one strategy over the other.
ºProtoss player will likely not cannon expo beacuse he might be facing a Terran. This means he might be less likely to fast expand as well.
ºProtoss player's 2 gate build order is risky incase he is fighting a Terran who walls.
ºProtoss player's 1 gate build order is risky incase he is fighting a Zerg who masses zerglings.
ºFast expansion is not an option because it would require cannoning, which would be dumb to do against a Terran, and fast expanding against a Protoss would cause you to lose. In Protoss versus Protoss matches players should never expo.
Terran Versus Random
ºThe Terran player should get gas because there is a 2/3's chance the enemy is Terran or Protoss.
Terran is perhaps at the biggest disadvantage here because he defends differently against all races. If he makes two barracks, he can be at a disadvantage against a Protoss or Terran player. If he makes an early factory, he can be at a disadvantage against a Zerg player. The best and safest option is for Terran to go for a mech build here.
ºAlso, the player will likely wan't to do some sort of factory supported expansion because the Terran player can fall behind macro wise.
Zerg Versus Random
ºYou have to get a somewhat early pool incase your enemy is a Zerg player.
ºThe early pool can help against a potential Terran or Protoss enemy who may fast expand.
ºStandard 12 drone fast expansion is risky.
Random Versus Random
ºIf you randomed Protoss, you should either get two gateways fast dragoons or do a one gate tech.
ºIf you randomed Terran, you should get fast gas and do a mech build or factory expo.
ºIf you randomed Zerg, you should do a somewhat early spawning pool incase you are figting a Zerg.
Why can't Protoss fast expand when facing random?
First, he might be facing another Protoss player. Second, he can't forge first incase he is fighting a Terran player.
In Starcraft, island maps have not made it to the professional scene and ladders because Starcraft is too imbalanced to play these in fair games.
ºP and T>Z on Island Maps
Zerg players get screwed on island maps because their unit/tech combos are too expensive. A lair costs 150/150, drop upgrade costs 200/200, speed upgrade costs 150/100, then you need fully upgraded hydralisks which is 100/100 and 150/150. Additionally, Zerg cannot expand on island maps as fast as other races because they have to research the necessary upgrades. Zerg has a macro disadvantage because of this. Finally, Zerg cannot tech to more than one thing because they don't have enough gas too. Also, Zerg players can very easily lose their overlords on island maps by corsairs and wraiths. After a certain period of time their map control is limited until overlord speed. Most of the Zerg units are highly gas expensive. Mutalisks are the most effective when used in conjunction with zerglings. However, since the game is on an island you cannot use zerglings obviously. Corsairs steam roll mutalisks on islands. Vulture spider mines and high templar psi storms can prevent or annihilate Zerg doom drops. Even though Zergs have the most mobile air units, have scourges, free transports, and abundant transports, Zerg still do the worst on island maps. Even though Zergs can transport larger armies more easily, they do not have a significant advantage on island maps. If a Zerg decides to get mutalisks, it forces him to go out of his way. Having drop and speed researched on his overlord is already needed for expansions. Here are some examples of gas intensive Zerg units: 100/50 for a Hydralisk Den, 200/150 for Spire, 150/100 for queen, 25/75 for scourges, 100/100 for mutas, 50/150 for defilers,
ºT>P on Island Maps
Terrans can make turrents on their small islands which can make Protoss drops really difficult to accomplish. Terrans have faster and more effective drops. Terrans can fly buildings for map control. Terran can fast expand after 14 scvs while Protoss has to wait for a shuttle. This gives Terrans a huge advantage in the early game which Protoss players may not be able to catch up to. Terran build orders are normally barracks, factory+/-addon, starport+/- addon, +/- armory. However, Protoss will have to go out of a linear tech tree to get counters. Protoss have to make the two buildings for reavers, a templars archive for hts or dts, and observers for mines or wraiths. Terrans benefit from having less room, while Protoss needs open room for attacks and drops. Turrents, wraiths, and goliaths make it extremely easy for them to defend against drops especially with goliath range. Also, Protoss players will need their 200/200 speed upgrade for shuttles a lot of times. Dropships are faster than shuttles which is a big advantage. Dropships can fit better units than shuttles. An example is 4 goliaths vs. 2 dragoons. Another example is 4 goliaths > 4 zealots. Another example is 4 vultures > 4 zealots. Siege tanks can make Protoss player’s life even more miserable when they have to counter them. Goliaths have better range than dragoons have against air. Their rate of fire and attack makes them better. Protoss players have to waste alot of much needed gas in the early game stages of an island map. Terran players can prevent drops by using their turrents which are half the cost of cannons. Any good drop spots could quickly be exploited by a Terran player by a Protoss player's base. The first ten minutes are a killer for a Protoss player. If there are good positions for it, a Terran player can nuke without risking much in the late game. Protoss players map control from observers is limited by turrents and Terran players scanning to kill the spotted cloaked units. In comparison, Terran players can use scans and buildings to scout much easier. A Terran player can make one wraith as fast as they can to stop any Protoss shuttle drops with attack and move micro. Creating a stargate would cause the Protoss player to go out of his way. Also, battle cruisers ability to yamato and science vessels ability to EMP Shockwave can argubably cause Terran air to be better than Protoss air.
ºP>T on Semi-Island Maps and Big Islands
Protoss players benefit the most from large spaces on the islands. Protoss players normally have to play for the late game on island maps because it takes them longer to tech. If Protoss can tech arbiters they will "own" with recalls and stasis. Also, stasis will have a large effect on the late game. Late game mind control can prevent drops from occurring. Protoss players can send their scouts before their shuttles before dropping. This is so the scouts act as meat shields and tank the damage. Testie had a 104-0 winning streak on Neo Forbidden Zone in WCG. Protoss players can send their observers around the map for better map control. Protoss gateways cost significantly less than factories when you combine the costs of minerals and gas. This contributes to a Protoss advantage in PvT on semi-islands.
ºT< P on Semi-Island Maps
On semi-island maps, like Neo Forbidden Zone, Terran has difficulty holding a second expansion. In most Semi-Island Maps, where the only islands are mains, third expansions are generally far away from the first expansion. Terran has trouble defending three bases from carriers, especially when they are far away from each other. Also, Terran is at a disadvantage because he has to defend so many locations from drops. Terrans do not have a mobile anti air unit. Terran players have to put goliaths in dropships for mobility. On maps where the fighting is done on the ground, Terrans are forced to get tanks and goliaths incase Protoss gets carriers or drops, instead of tanks and vultures. Tanks and Vultures are a far better combo than Tanks and Goliaths when battling ground troops.
ºRandom > Protoss on Island Maps
Protoss has no map control until they can tech to their map control observers. Most of the time, they have to tech to a corsair first thing.
"Metagaming is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game." -Wikipedia
Melee Tricks/MetaGaming Examples of well known tricks in Starcraft 1 include the following:
ºSometimes you will see that a player will put a couple of scvs on hold position on a ramp with a barracks floating above them. It is hard for zealots and zerglings to get past them. Called Float Hiding. Also, you can hide spider mines or add-ons like this. i.e.= nuke silo
ºUnits like overlords can be used to take splash damage hits.
Mutalisk stacking with an overlord.
ºLurker hold position.
ºDrones getting full health back after building a geyser.
ºBuilding engineering bay or supply depot to block an enemy's expansion.
ºPopping a reaver into and out of a shuttle to diffuse mines.
ºAttack move attack move ability like vulture or wraith has.
ºSpider mines as a detector.
ºUsing spells as detectors.
ºUsing "Magical Boxes" when casting.
ºUsing burrowed zerglings for map control. Sometimes called "Infolings".
ºUsing an enemy's mine to hurt them. Do this by dragging it.
ºScourge cloning (Maximizing damage by not using 2 scourges on 1 target if warranted)
ºStarting a building and then canceling it to trick an enemey.
ºMoving back and forth with a transport, while dropping, to not lose acceleration.
ºHaving overlords in strategical spots.
ºSacrificing units, such as overlords, for map control.
ºVulture rushing past sunkens or vulture run-bys.
ºBurrowing drones to avoid attacks from enemy drops.
ºSpamming "a" click on a target with an scv slightly increases its rate of attack.
ºMorphing a hyralisk into a lurker and unmorphing it to absorb reaver damage.
ºHave a reaver shoot a scarab at a zealot while dropping both of them in a drop. The strong zealot turns into a suicide bomber. This works well when the shuttle or reaver are at low health levels.
ºAs a Terran player, you should not irritate enemy ultralisks when combating them with a lot of infantry. The zerg player can do even more damage if he plagues your marines and medics. Irritated ultralisks are more effective than non-irritated ultralisks.
ºYou can make a prison pylon to trap enemy units between their production building and pylon. Works best at corners.
ºYou can make a manner pylon to trap enemy workers between their mineral line and a pylon.
ºYou can put irritated units in overlords to stop the spell.
ºYou can do fake drops to confuse an opponent. Perhaps this could make him stay more turtled up or remove his units from an area you can exploit.
ºYou can steal an enemy's geyser to try to out tech him. Zergs can do this the cheapest.
ºYou can burrow a zergling at a fast expansion spot to prevent it in most cases. Sometimes they will just take a worse postition that maximizes gas economy.
ºYou can place spider mines near an enemy's mineral line to try to kill some of their workers along with enemy units.
ºYou can place a Zerg overlord above a Protoss enemy's ramp to prevent their zealots to get the correct positioning.
ºStimming your marines and then placing them in your bunker.
ºAdding a computer to your team at the last second in a top vs bottom game. (Just kidding lol)
ºParasiting enemy detectors to gain their detector ability.
ºPlacing overlords on top of lurkers so when Terran scans he won't see the lurkers.
ºHold position lurkers
ºMaking gateways above forge when walling to wall properly.
ºStacking multiple lurkers on one spot to decieve an enemy.
ºYou can ebay cover turrets, bunkers, or both at the same time to protect yourself from cloaked unit drops.
ºYou can kill your own comsat station and rebuild it to get a faster scan than it would take to recharge.
ºYou can place supply depots to where they make you mine minerals and gas more efficiently. However, you will want to test to make sure it doesn't make anything worse. Also, they can protect against reavers better.
ºQueens + Lurkers using ensnare against Marines & Medics.
ºIrritating high templars to kill them.
ºPulling several workers, when they are near an enemy scout, to kill the scout.
ºUsing a dark templar to pull mines and harm the enemy.
ºFeedbacking units such as wraiths.
ºUsing ensnare to decrease enemy infantry rate of fire. (Also, could be used in conjunction with lurkers)
ºBurrowing zerglings in an enemy base when surrounded, for map control, or to attack later.
ºUsing zealots in conjunction with dragoons to absorb damage in all matchups.
ºZergling runbys, even when dying.
º7 Marine and 1 Medic drops.
ºUsing workers to help partially block a recall.
ºGetting marine range upgrade so you can shoot a bunker full of marines without the upgrade.