Staredit Network > Forums > SC2 Melee > Topic: How do I play Z
How do I play Z
Jun 4 2011, 6:27 pm
By: Sand Wraith  

Jun 4 2011, 6:27 pm Sand Wraith Post #1


So I might be playing SC2 more this summer. Maybe.

I attached my most recent replay so that you can see how much of a newbie I am.

How do I play Z? I know I forgot my Queen early game, so that led to a much smaller army and shit, but in general, how do I macro? Even when I used to play SC2 more, I wasn't really sure of builds and such. Should I scout with Drone or Ovie? I got supply blocked a bunch too. This, I know I can work on easily.

Anyone feel like teaching me Z?

Metalopolis (3).SC2Replay
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Jun 4 2011, 7:21 pm ClansAreForGays Post #2

I'll get you into Diamond. Add me.

vs T : My own custom cheese build that I'm sure you'll love.

vs P : 12 pool. Your 6 lings will take out that 1 blocking lot with proper micro I will show you. Roach transition and/or expo.

vs Z : +1 att lings will beat all plat & lower.

Jun 4 2011, 7:24 pm Roy Post #3

An artist's depiction of an Extended Unit Death

Disclaimer: I am a Silver League player (placed in Bronze, then worked on my game, went to Silver in ~10 games) that always plays Random.

The lack of a Queen early game is honestly what killed you. It's hard to give advice based on the replay, because when you make a mistake like that, it really doesn't show how you would play otherwise. Here's some notes, though:
- You went for your first gas much too early. I would have thrown down the Spawning Pool first (I like to go 10-pool just to get my Queen out early). If you noticed, you didn't spend the gas until you reached 200 (you used it on a Lair, which only requires 100 gas). The build would have been perfect if you got Zergling speed as soon as you got your first hundred gas.
- You were lacking in hotkeys, aside from your army. What I like to do is have my Hatcheries on one and Queens on another, so I can quickly inject/select larvae. (Side note: if you have a group of Queens selected and tell them to inject a Hatchery, it will pick the closest Queen, so you don't have to worry about it). You can use the backspace key to automatically move your screen between bases, which is quite useful for Zerg.
- Hydralisks (although I know you like them) weren't the appropriate response when you saw the factory tech appearing. Hydras are great against Barracks units, but put them in front of a tank and it's lights-out they require support (normally Roaches) because they're fragile.
- In general, you do not want to engage an army with your units off of creep. Your main and natural weren't connected by creep, which can sometimes be a problem.
- Having more than one Queen per Hatchery will help with creep spread. Creep is also a great way to gain vision.
- Your scouting Overlord!!! You do not want to lose those 100 minerals and cause a supply block so early into the game. When you see the Barracks producing a Marine, you have overstayed your welcome (likewise, when a Cybernetics is up and a Gateway is producing, or when a Spawning Pool is up and the Hatchery is making a Queen).
- You did a great job with hovering Overlords around the edges of your main.
- Your APM is not too shabby.
- You had good saturation on your Main, but you needed quite a few more drones on your natural expansion.
- Upgrades are relatively cheap and benefit you greatly.

Regarding "How do I macro?":
- Try to always have a Queen injecting your Hatchery. It's easier to manage multiple bases if all the Hatcheries are injected around the same time. (See the hotkey tip above)
- If you're not comfortable taking a third base, stick with two. If you're floating a lot of resources and are nowhere near max supply, make a macro-Hatchery in your main. However, you should consider grabbing a third, even if it's only for gas.
- Drone up as fast as you can. You want to have enough resources income to quickly resupply yourself after losing your army in a battle.

Regarding "Should I scout with Drone or Ovie?":
- For this map, your scouting was absolutely correct. If your opponent had not spawned close-by-air, you should send a drone to locate him.
- Generally, you want to send your Overlord towards their base. If it's a long distance, I would order it off to the side of the base so they can't snipe it with early Marines/Stalkers/Queens. You can sacrifice it later if you feel the need to scout.
- If it's a long distance, send a drone.
- If you're going against Zerg, you can spread Overlords around the map, as air-attacking units don't normally appear until mid-to-late game, and this is a good way to see the map. I usually don't do this, though, because I'm always nervous about my poor Overlords dying.

This is my general build for Zerg:
- 10 Pool, 9 or 10 Overlord
- Once pool is up, make a Queen
- Many, many Drones
- Expand
- Start second Queen before expansion is up
- Spam Drones again (there's an Overlord or two in here somewhere)
- Send first Queen to expansion a bit before second Queen is up
- When expansion is up, send some drones (depending on mineral-line saturation), throw down two or three spine crawlers

I like this build if I want to get a good economy going (even though it's not an economy build). Of course, this varies, and you shouldn't follow it by-the-book but rather find something that works for you.
New build:
- 9 Overlord
- 14 Hatch
- 15 Pool
- 16 Extractor
- Drone/Overlord until Pool is up, start Queen(s)
- Roach Warren

Changes based on what I see from my opponent, but I've been favoring early Roaches.

P.S.: Some other responses you may get in this thread may say things like "You need to scout more; sacrifice those Overlords," "You absolutely must spread creep everywhere," "Go with this exact build," "Expand immediately and always have one base above your opponent." While these may be good advice for higher-level players, it is almost complete garbage until basic game mechanics are mastered. (For example, I was playing ZvZ and the other player was determined to have a third base, but it was never populated because he couldn't handle the macro. I would waltz in there with a group of Lings and Roaches, destroy the Hatchery and the 1-2 drones he had there, leave, and come back later when he built another Hatchery).

Edit: I'd like to point out that I'm the only one who's actually watched your replay, so I'm not just giving generic advice.

Post has been edited 4 time(s), last time on Jul 16 2011, 11:35 pm by Roy.

Jun 7 2011, 5:48 pm NicholasBeige Post #4

Disclaimer: Everything I say is wrong and CecilSunkure knows the absolute best :awesome:

I find Zerg the most fun race to play (but also the most intensive). A lot of the problems you mention in the OP are solved through just experience and becoming situationally aware of your race mechanics. I played Zerg for about two months and loved it, I highly recommend the Ice Fisher a.k.a Spanishiwa build. You basically delay gas until you've efficiently saturated your 2 bases (around 40 supply). Then you smack down your 4 gas and go for whatever tech path you desire. I personally love it because of the high queen count you rely on, Transfuse is imba when used properly and can really turn the tide in early aggression you face.

Along the general lines of 'how I play zerg' is simply take map control, take bases, steam-roll your opponent. Zerglings in the early game give you decent control of watch towers and almost all opponents will wall-in against Zerg due to counter-attacks. That's generally your first expansion guaranteed, whether you go pool first or hatch first is very map dependent. I then like to either tech to Nydus/Infestor or Muta with my Ling/Bane main force. The Muta's enhance your map control and force your opponent to make precautions in his mineral lines. The Nydus is a great tool for grabbing an island expansion or just an extra threat you can wave at your opponent. In rare cases I don't go Muta or Nydus and this is usually when my opponent is ahead and he managed to do some economic damage to me in the early to mid phase. In these cases I get overlord speed (as always) and transport, alongside banelings with +1 attack upgrade (as always) and try do a devastating drop on their main or natural.

Finally, you have to distract your opponent. With Terran you can just go all out medivac drop because medivacs and bioball are a potent combination. You can't just go all out mutalisks to his mineral line because you'll be shot out of the sky by marines/thors. This is especially relevant when doing baneling drops as Zerg. Overlords are not that fast, so you want to threaten his front with a large-ish zergling/baneling force and keep his attention - and then send your overlords to drop on his workers. Also, use mutalisks to intercept reinforcements (especially relevant versus Terran). When he is containing you, your Mutalisks are not going to be of much use at the actual contain due to the high number of marines. So you'll want to pick off units on rally with your mutalisks while you stall and get a critical mass of Banelings.

General hotkey setups I use are
1 - Main Army (ground - Zerglings / Banelings / Speed Roaches)
2 - Air (Mutalisks, Corrupters)
3. - Fancy shit (different groups of zerglings / overlord drops / burrowed baneling groups)
4 - ALL Queens
5 - ALL Hatcheries

You can select 4 (all Queens) and cast Inject Larvae from the minimap. This requires some accuracy / speed, since if one queen doesn't have enough energy, another queen will attempt to make the journey to your targeted hatchery. But if you do it quickly enough each queen will inject the nearest hatchery and remain nearby.

I highly recommend you check out PhoenixWerra's live stream, ironically, now that I'm telling someone else to watch it, it isn't up. But it usually is, so go over and just watch his play style. Very clean and efficient macro - he makes it look effortless, and before you know it he's got 5 bases, a maxed army and +2/+2 upgrades. Other than that, Day9 VODs will help you improve immensly too :)


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