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    Build Order Guide by J.Chen

    Updated: 01/01/70 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

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    *           Starcraft Build Order               *
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    *           Maintainer: Jack Chen               *
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    *     Contact: silverpaladin@geocities.com      *
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    I. Disclaimer
    II. Introduction
    III. Hints and Tips
    IV. Terran Basic Build Order
    	- Marine Rush
    V. Protoss Basic Build Order
    	- Zealot Rush
    VI. Zerg Basic Build Order
    	- Zergling Rush
    		- My Analysis
    	- Mutalisk Rush
    		- My Analysis
    
    I. Disclaimer:
    
    This FAQ is written by and maintained by me (Jack Chen).  I do not mind anyone 
    distributing this FAQ, as long as this FAQ is distributed in it's unaltered 
    form.  If you would like to post this on a webpage, please contact me first; I 
    would like to compile a list of sites of where this FAQ can be located (I can 
    also alert you to when a new version of the FAQ will come out).  
    
    I also am looking for contributions.  Obviously, I am not the God-above-all 
    Starcraft Player.  Heck, most of my games come against either the Computer 
    and/or my friends (whose strategies I have documented and developed counters 
    for).  Also, I am not a very good Zerg Player.  If any of you would be willing 
    to assist me in this FAQ, I would be willing to give credit where credit is due.  
    E-mail all suggestions/contributions to me (Jack Chen) at 
    silverpaladin@geocities.com.  Thank You.
    
    II. Introduction:
    
    	This page is designed to help beginning players develop a good build 
    order.  As most players can attest to, the first 3 minutes of the game can be 
    the most important moments of the game.  Many times, your victory/defeat can be 
    ensured through the first few minutes of the game (of course, a quick 
    Zergling/Zealot/Marine rush *CAN* win the game in the first few minutes).  This 
    guide will hopefully help you build up a strong defended position in the 
    beginning game that may lead to a stronger position throughout the middle/end 
    game.
    
    III. Hints and Tips
    
    	-Don't focus on production exclusively.  Most newbies I see are of one of 
    two categories.  They either go *MAD* on peon production or they build no peons 
    beyond their starting four.  Don't do either.  Focusing on peons exclusively 
    will ensure that a quick Marine/Zealot/Zergling Rush will kill you quickly and 
    not building enough will ensure that you will not develop fast enough in the 
    middle/end game.
    
    	-Almost without fail throw up 2 "unit" buildings (Gateway, Barracks, 
    Hatchery).  Trust me you *WILL* need it.  Unless your strategy if *VERY* 
    specific (i.e. Carrier/Scout assault or Ghost/Nukes) building the buildings will 
    be *VERY* important.  You will be able to scout out the map with your additional 
    units, be able to throw up defenses faster and indeed, assault your opponent 
    earlier and with more forces.
    
    	-Do not *STACK* your first 4 peons.  Note that only 1 peon can mine a 
    mineral from any given direction.  Having 4 of them just means that one of them 
    mines and the others wait in line.  Click on them seperately and send them to 
    seperate mineral patches.
    
    	-Build your first peon *AFTER* you have assigned your 4 beginning peons to 
    their jobs.  Building it first will just mean you will have to wait for your 
    second batch of 50 Minerals to come it.
    
    	-Don't wait until your 9th unit (or 10th if Terran) to build a Supply 
    Depot/Pylon.  Build your supply units at least 2 units down (ie. Terrans build a 
    Supply Depot at 8 food, Protoss builds it at 7 food).  Note that the Zergs are 
    exempt from this as they can just turn their peons into buildings to free up 
    food.
    
    	-Don't build up a Refinery/Assimilator/Extractor right away.  That 
    deprives you of 100 important Minerals.  Wait until at least you have 200 
    Minerals free in the bank (Free means that you have *NOTHING* to do with the 
    money).  Unless you are focusing of a Gas intensive strategy (Templar/Archon 
    Rush), you'll do better saving the 100 Minerals
    
    	-Build Defenses close to base.  I see people throwing up Bunkers half a 
    screen away from their base.  What does that do?  They can just rush past your 
    bunkers and take out your supply line.  Build at least one defense that has 
    enough range to cover your peon lines.
    
    	-Do not queue up too many units.  That eats up your resources 
    early...resources that you cannot waste early on.
    
    	-Keep your peons busy!  Having them sitting around does *NOTHING*
    
    IV. Terran Basic Build Order
    
    1) 1 SCV - Mine
    2) 2 SCV - Mine
    3) 3 SCV - Mine
    4) 4 SCV - Mine
    5) 5 SCV (50 Minerals) - Mine
    6) 6 SCV (50 Minerals) - Mine
    7) 7 SCV (50 Minerals) - Mine
    8) 8 SCV (50 Minerals)
    9) 8th SCV Builds a Barrack (150 Minerals)
    10) 9 SCV (50 Minerals)
    11) 9th SCV Builds a Supply Depot (100 Minerals)
    12) 10 SCV (50 Minerals) - Mine
    13) 9th SCV should be done with Supply Depot.  Mine
    14) 8th SCV should be done with Barrack.  Build another Barrack (150 Minerals)
    15) Build Marine (50 Minerals)
    16) 11 SCV (50 Minerals) - Mine
    17) Build Marine (50 Minerals)
    18) 12 SCV (50 Minerals) - Mine
    19) Second Barrack should be done.  Move 8th SCV to Mining
    20) Build Marine (50 Minerals) with Barrack 1
    21) Build Marine (50 Minerals) with Barrack 2
    
    At this step, you are very well developed and you have 4 Marines for defense.  
    That may not be a lot, but it can deter an very early attack.  At this point, 
    you can split your strategy up to the following:
    
    1) Marine Rush
    
    	Marine Rush
    
    Basically follow up the Marines with even more Marines.  I usually wait until I 
    have roughly 8 Marines before I start the Rush.  Note that this strategy works 
    best on small maps (64X64...I especially like Blood Bath) because Marines are in 
    the unenviable position of being the weakest (Hit Point - wise) unit (2 
    Zerglings come out of 1 egg...totally 70 hp while the Marines are at 45 hp).  
    This strategy works best against a Zerg Player, but against a Protoss Player, 2 
    Zealots helped out by Probes can easily destroy your force.  Continue to Rush in 
    troops...8 Marines will *NEVER* win a game for you.  Their goal is the destroy 
    as much Drones/Defense as you can so that another Rush (this time with about 12 
    Marines) can take them out or the Rush after that.  I find it easier to use the 
    8 Marines to establish a "beachhead", then just set the Barrack's Rally point 
    inside the enemy's base.
    
    It is extremely helpful to throw up an Academy and an Engineering Bay quickly.  
    The Additional Range and Stimpack is very useful and the Engineering Bay allows 
    you to get in extra licks.
    
    Remember that Rushes are like a hammer.  The first blow may not kill them, but 
    it weakens them.  You have to constantly batter them with more waves of troops 
    in order to beat them once and for all.
    
    	Defenses against the Marine Rush
    
    The weakest link of the Marine Rush is that the Marines are extremely weak.  
    Building 2-3 Zealots is enough to stop a Marine Rush cold.  With the new cheaper 
    Sunken Colonies, the Zergs have a very viable method of stopping the Marine Rush 
    (you'll need at least 2.  If you have only 1, the second wave of Marines will 
    take it out).  Terrans have the best defense against Marine swarms; The bunkers 
    are a veritable wall when it comes to taking out Rushes.
    
    Other strategies will be discussed furthur in a later installment of this FAQ
    
    V. Protoss Basic Build Order
    
    1) 1 Probe - Mine
    2) 2 Probe - Mine
    3) 3 Probe - Mine
    4) 4 Probe - Mine
    5) 5 Probe (50 Minerals) - Mine
    6) 6 Probe (50 Minerals) - Mine
    7) 7 Probe (50 Minerals) - Build Pylon (100 Minerals), then Mine
    8) 8 Probe (50 Minerals) - Mine
    9) 9 Probe (50 Minerals) - Build Gateway (150 Minerals), then Mine
    10) 10 Probe (50 Minerals) - Mine
    11) 11 Probe (50 Minerals) - Mine
    12) 12 Probe (50 Minerals) - Build Gateway (150 Minerals), then mine
    13) 13 Probe (50 Minerals) - Mine
    14) Gateway 1 is done. Build Zealot (100 Minerals)
    15) Build a Pylon (100 Minerals)
    16) Build Zealot (100 Minerals) with Gateway 2
    17) Build Zealot (100 Minerals) with Gateway 1
    
    At this point, you have the following branches available to you:
    
    1) Zealot Rush
    2) Carrier Assault
    
    Zealot Rush
    
    Basically, quickly throw up 4 Zealots and send them out for your opponent.  *DO 
    NOT* stop under any situation; Your Zealots can easily wind their way across a 
    Bunker losing only 1 troop.  Chase down their Peons and slaughter them.  
    Continue to build more Zealots in the meanwhile.  By the time enough resistance 
    is mounted to kill off your 4 Zealots, you should have about 6-8 *MORE* Zealots 
    in your base.  Send these in too, slaughtering off peons as you go.  Bypass all 
    defenses until you have killed off all of the peons.  Usually after 3 or 4 waves 
    of Zealots, your opponent should be crying "uncle".  I've tried this strategy 
    and it works well on every map (even 256X256...although that required me to 
    clear up a beachhead and build 2 more Gateways closer to the opponent's base) 
    except for Ladder Maps.  The winding routes eat up too much time and you *WILL* 
    be slaughtered by a more numerically superior force.
    
    I find it useful to build a Forge quickly.  The extra damage *REALLY* helps and 
    by building Cannons, it helps stop the opponent's attempt at a MAD (Mutually 
    Assured Destruction...they rush you too trying to kill you before you can kill 
    him).
    
    	Defenses against a Zealot Rush
    
    Now this is the hardest Rush to stop.  Zealots are strong enough to rush past 
    Bunkers and live, and 2-3 of them can take out a Sunken Colony with no problem.  
    The Protoss cannot get enough Photon Cannons up fast enough to stop a Zealot 
    Rush.  The best way to deal with a Zealot Rush are as follows:
    
    1) Play Ladder Maps
    2) If Terrans, shoot straight for Firebats.  Firebats *TOTALLY* demolish 
    Zealots.  3 Firebats can take 2 Zealots to school.  If you build Bunkers, build 
    them by your peon line so that the Zealots cannot just run past your Bunkers.
    3) Zergs have a diffucult time.  The best way is not feasible.  Building up rows 
    and rows of Sunken Colonies will be detrimental to the long term game of the 
    Zerg.  Zergling are too weak and Hydras are too slow.  The best way is to split 
    up the force among Undergrounds (at least 3 Underground Colonies) supported by 
    Zerglings.  Even then, the second and third wave of Zealots might be able to get 
    through.
    4) Protoss have just 1 counter.  Go for the Zealot Rush also!  It takes too long 
    to build enough Photon Cannons for them to be effective.  Throw up as many 
    Zealots as you can and back them up with Shield Batteries.
    5) Pray to whatever God you worship that your opponent messed up his build 
    order.
    
    Other strategies will be discussed furthur in a later installment of this FAQ
    
    VI. Zerg Basic Build Order
    
    1) Zergling Rush - Brian Kern (Wingchild@earthlink.net)	
    
    1) Drones 1-4 -- mine.
    2) Start Drone 5. Move your overlord out and take a best guess stab at 
       the location of the enemy, while scouting immediate terrain.
    3) Just before 5 is ready, start six. When 5 comes up, make him mine.
    4) When 6 comes up, have him mine - once. By the time he brings it back, 
       you ought to have 150 minerals. Turn 6 into a spawning pool.
    5) Get another 50 minerals, make a sixth drone again. Have it mine with
       the other five.
    6) When your spawning pool is nearing halfway done (or just past it), 
       you'll have 100 minerals. Make an overlord. This slows the process
       by approximately ten seconds, but provides food support that you need
       to keep a failed rush from crippling you.
    7) The overlord will finish just about the same time, or just after, the
       spawning pool - within five or six seconds after the spawning pool is 
       up, you'll notice that you have 150 minerals and three larva handy.
       You guessed it; six zergling.
    8) Move the stupid overlord somewhere safe. When the six zerglings come
       up, select them, and use the Move command to send them into an enemy
       base. Naturally this works best on small maps, but if you aren't 
       playing a good player that knows his rush defense, this can even work
       on 256x256 maps.
    
            Now the basic upshot is that you've got six units up and looking to
    cause death within the first two minutes of the game. On a standard map,
    128x128, if you know where (generally) you're going to find your
    opponent (sometimes helps to look at the map beforehand in StarEdit),
    you can have your zerglings there before any meaningful defense is
    mounted. 
    
            Terrans typically will have a barracks up, maybe even a marine or two
    .. sometimes three, if they moved fast. But if you concentrate your
    zergling attack, six zerglings can drop three marines. And the Terran
    will keep making marines, and eventually he and his SCVs will kill your
    force, but not before you take an SCV or two with you. 
    
            By the time your six zerglings die, you've made another six back at
    your base (why stop production at the end of the build order!) and
    they're already en route. The Zerg, with their ability to make three
    units in a sitting, can keep a hell of a unit flow going. Note though
    that if you don't punch through and deal death to SCVs within the first
    two to three waves, that you're probably dead and buried .. those
    marines sure do a number on Zerg.
    
            -
    
            Versus Protoss, you're not in real good shape. Best bet is to kill all
    their probes and ignore any Zealots they have out. (well, that's true of
    Terran, but the reason is different.) Two Zealots, with their shields
    up, will smack six zergling to the point where either all are dead, or
    only one or two badly wounded ones survive. Zerglings were not made to
    fight Zealots. Ever.
    
            So try to cripple the production. .. always a good idea, anyway.
    
            -
    
            Other zerg notes.
    
            It's a wise idea to highlight your hatchery, and do a ctrl-1 on it, to
    map a keyboard hotkey. I recommend that for all hatcheries. (All
    buildings for all races, actually, but it's much easier with Zerg since
    hatcheries are the only unit producing buildings.) When you have three
    larvae and the necessary minerals/gas, hit 1, S, and the unit hotkey
    letter to make all three larvae into another three units.
    
            This is great during the rush, cause once you've set your initial six
    into the fray, you can type 1, R (for set rally point), and make it
    somewhere inside the base .. then 1, S, Z and make another six zerglings
    while you're directing the fight inside enemy territory. As your
    zerglings die, your next six already started jogging, so you can hit the
    enemy just that little bit faster.
    
            Also helps during the endgame, when you're staging huge troop movements
    or if you're just mass-assaulting someone's heavily fortified base with
    hydras and zerglings .. doesn't matter what they've got, if you send
    enough muties/hydras/zerglings to the same location, the base -will
    fall-. Having five or six hatcheries, all rallying, means having fifteen
    or eighteen hydras/muties .. or a whopping 30-36 zergling, every minute
    or so, streaming at the base's wall.
    
    	Analysis
    
    A very viable strategy, it strikes fear into protoss players everywhere.  I've 
    used it, and if utilized fast enough, it becomes diffucult even for a fast 
    protoss player to counteract.  If done correctly, you should have 6 zerglings to 
    1 zealot.  Kill the Zealot, and then strip mine his peon line.  Eventually your 
    Zerglings will die, but not before killing at least 4 peons.
    
    Against Humans, it's even faster.  You'll kill 2 marines (if he's fast enough) 
    but then you'll hit the SCVs.  You'll be lucky to take out 2 or 3 of them 
    because they're so tough (for a peon).  Against, Humans, I'd recommend another 
    strategy
    
    A good defense for this is to play on a big/ladder map.  Zerglings are 
    tremendously weak and a few level 2 units can tear up a mass of them.  
    Otherwise, as soon as you see the zerglings approach, group both your warriors 
    and peons in an all out effort to eradicate them.
    
    2) Mutalisk Rush - Peter J. Manalo (pook@mail.com)
    
    Drones: First 4 - minerals
    Larvae:
    *build 5th - minerals
    *build 6th - (Do not build 7th until 6th is hatched) build extractor
    *build 6th(2) - (you lose your first '6th' when you build) minerals
    *build 7th - (extractor should be done or almost done) gas
    *build 8th - minerals
    *build 9th - build spawning pool
    
    *At this point YES you'll be at 9/9 until you build the spawning pool.  That
    gives you enough time to get 150 minerals.
    
    *build 9th(2) - minerals
    *build overlord with next larva (you'll still be at 9/9 until the overlord
    hatches)
    *Once overlord is done you should have 150 minerals and 3 available larva
    *build 10, 11 and 12 - gas
    *Once spawning pool is done, you should have 150m and 100g
    *upgrade hatchery to lair
    *build 13th drone and when it hatches you should have 300 minerals or real
    close to it.
    *have 13th drone build 2nd hatchery (if you have a VERY close expansion,
    like in (ugh it's so overused but I'll         use it as an example)
    Hunters, build the 2nd hatchery there.
    *build 13th(2) drone once the hatchery starts and once this drone hatches,
    your lair should be just about done
    *have 13th(2) drone build spire
    *build 2 overlords as soon as you have 200 minerals
    *** Once the lair is done, you should have both hatchery and lair with 3
    larvae each and ALMOST 600m and 600g
    *build 6 mutalisks
    
    From here, you keep building mutalisks until about 30/34 or 32/34 and then
    build another overlord.  Also get another expansion going or start making
    drones for your expansion if you built your 2nd hatchery near minerals or
    gas.
    
    
    As I said, it's not a fool proof build.  If I know the opponent is a good
    REAL fast rusher, this will not work, but for those who'll wait to rush
    until 8-12 marines, they'll be met with 12-16 mutalisks on a 96x96 map.  Try
    it and let me know =)
    
    	Analysis
    
    A very fine maneuver.  It caught my opponent off guard and allowed me to destroy 
    his base utterly.  However, when I tried it again, he got wise to it and threw 
    up early game Photon Cannons and teched to dragoons ASAP.  This move is a 
    dangerous gamble to pull.  By shooting for mutalisks, an early game level 1 unit 
    rush can kill you, but if you survive, you'll be able to tear chunks out of his 
    army.  
    
    It works only against the Protoss.  Try it against a handful of marines and you 
    will lose.  Against the protoss however, if they don't suspect an air raid and 
    focus on zealots, you will certainly have a field day tearing the Sons of Auir 
    apart.