[How to Cheese… Well] Ep. 6 Proxy Marauder Expand

The video will explain how to do the build, how to do the push, and various variants that you can use when deploying this.  This build is somewhat unique in the series because it isn’t necessarily a cheese but it can be and on top of that it most definitely has cheesie play in mind.

In this post I will explain the history of this build and if you’re interested in how to do it well, click the video.  As always these cheeses do not require insanely high APM and are done in such a way that even the newest player can do this.

As for the history of this build.

This build is entirely terran vs terran.

The very first proxy cheese to come out was the reaper bunker rush.  The idea here is that because both players are presumably fast teching to tanks the other player will not have adequate defenses against this.  Because it was proxied the reapers would show up as the enemy barracks was being built.

To do this build a player build barracks before supply depot, cut SCV production and got two very fast reapers out.  The enemy terran was forced to defend against reapers using SCVs, not the best.  The goal of the build was to build a bunker in the enemy base and create foothold for more reaper aggression.  If the terran could effectively micro his SCVs against the reaper long enough he could position his marines to take out future reapers.

The first big nerf to try and hurt this build was to slow down reaper build time.  This ended up changing people from going proxy reaper into 5-rax reaper.  So they changed it so you could no longer barracks first, barracks would not require a supply depot.  Additionally they made reaper speed require a factory.  This last one was an odd change because they might as well have just removed reaper speed.  After this major nerf everyone stopped using reapers deemed “cheese reapers.”

The next stage in the evolution of cheese was the 2-rax marauder rush.  This cheese was effective on Scrap Station because of the two destructible rocks in the middle of the map that gave instant access to the enemy’s base.  It was pretty much like proxying all the time.  The rush was insanely efficient because marauders were just too powerful early game.

After Scrap Station was removed from the map pool marauder rushes sort of just vanished.

Players were favoring heavy marine rushes or marine/hellion rushes.  Proxy play for terrans was mostly dead because of how easily beatable it was.

But alas, something changed.  Blizzard removed almost every small map from their map pool.  This brought cheesie proxy play back to the forefront.  You saw proxy hatches, proxy gateways and most importantly, proxy rax.

With maps being so large the risk of being counter attacked with very low and so there was no reason not to proxy buildings.

The proxy marauder rush was potent and powerful.  After a Korean at MLG debuted it in America… everyone was doing it.  NASL and IGNPL were clustered with people doing the proxy-marauder expand build.  It became stupid that you would see five matches in a row of the same two players both doing proxy marauder rushes against each other constantly.

The build was weird and awkward, but it worked.

There Will Be Cheese!

If many of you are excited about the launch of Wargames: European Escalation be forewarned… there will be cheese.

Cheese is a build order win in which the opponent intends to win entirely by using non-typical tactics.

There is not a strategy game that has come out in the last 20 years that has not involved mass cheese in multiplayer.  From the 4-pooling of Starcraft, to the Tanya Rush of Red Alert, to the tower rushing of Warcraft 3, to the bunker rush of Starcraft 2 all RTS games experience cheese.

Cheese is a way that more experienced players pick on newer players.  It is a teaching method on how to play.  As players get beaten by cheese they will more often prepare for cheese.

Let’s take a simple game like Starcraft 2 and how cheese has actually built this game.

So in the very very early beta everyone was harvester rushing.  This means taking your first six units and just attacking with them.  After a while harvesters were given more health and did less damage.  This made harvester rushing less viable.

Next zerg players started using banelings en masse (and only banelings) to destroy every single building and unit.  As a response the baneling was made to deal less damage.

When the game went live everyone was bunker rushing, 5-rax reaper rushing, marine all-inning, proxy rushing, 4-gating, 6-pooling, 10-pooling, and cannon rushing.

Out of these cheeses the only ones to get nerfed were bunker rushing and 5-rax reaper rushing.  The others stayed in the game and players learned to adapt to them over time.

A new form of cheese would come for terrans called “SCV/marine rushing.”  It was illustrated best by SlayersBoxer who made a bunch of marines and took most of his SCVs and attacked with them.  He found that he could maintain marine production and SCV production with MULES while attacking in.

Eventually nerfs were made to gateway units and marines to make the two most popular cheeses  unusable.

The developers had a hard time deciding what is a legitimate tactic people can prepare for and what is not.

The same will be true in this game.  I made a video detailing a very specific and popular build in beta that many people were yelling calling CHEESE CHEESE.  I said clearly it will work on noobs because noobs will not protect their FOB with anti-air.  People have already en masse adapted to this and left anti-air at their base.

Another common cheese is on the Hell Highway.  People will just mass up artillery and pound your units.  Since they’re going to be clumped up they will do insane damage.

This will continue on.  I can imagine that recon units being so fast will also be used to cheese.  I can see helicopter used for more cheese (helicopter all in go).  These are not going to be balancing problems.  These are going to be problems players have to learn to counter.

For now we’re stuck eating cheese.

Cheese It: Fortress Rush

This is the fifth and final episode of my cheese guide.  Yes cheese is delicious but fattening and is just bad for you.  This series of articles focuses on the strengths of these tactics and how to overcome them.  This article focuses on the most underused cheese in the game, the Fortress Rush.
Cheese #5: The Fortress Rush
The most powerful defensive structure terrans have is the fortress.  This is an optional adjustment to the command center that transforms it into a 2-way cleaving machine.  It is extremely effective against all tier-1 and tier-2 units.  In high level play in TvZ match ups a command anti-ultralisk strategy is to build three command centers and just build a line-up of fortresses to wipe out his powerful ground force.  These command centers are very tanky and very fast to be repaired.
This strategy requires: one engineering bay, one barracks, one refinery and a lot of workers.
The biggest strength to this tactic is that everything looks BUSINESS AS USUAL.  The engineering bay needs to be hidden off to the side.  Early engineering bays are kinda weird and no one will believe that.
K so you have your setup.
Build one marine
One whole marine
Not two
just one.
You will need a nice surplus of resources but at least 125 minerals and 125 vespene gas to build the thing.  So what you are going to do is load up 5 SCVs into your command center and lift it off.  You will float your barracks and command center off.  Land your barracks in the corner of his base and start pumping out some marines.  Land your command center as near his main building as possible.
Your marines are going to attack his forces.  You will have your five SCVs pop out and work on repairing your command center as you transform it into a fortress.  Once the fortress is made it will wipe out his forces, his harvesters and his main building.  I say his of course because girls don’t play Starcraft 2, don’t be silly.  Anyway.  From here you will start stealing his minerals and pump out more marines.  You can finish him off from here.
The Terran Defenses
Fortress rushing a terran is generally a pretty terrible idea.  They are the easiest and most equipped people to deal with this tactic.  First off for all races you are going to have someone on the Xel Naga tower anyway because you’re a good player who values scouting information over a slight increase in harvesters.
You always take the Xel’Naga tower that will give you information on the direct path to your base.  So you are going to see the most ridiculous thing possible, a floating command center and a floating barracks.  Now of course you are a good player right?
He has wasted 125 minerals on a barracks.  This means that by this point you will have a barracks with a tech lab, some marauders, a second barracks and some marines.  Send your marauder to take care of any forces he has.  Your marines are going to start to work at his floating command center.  He will either have to dump the SCVs and repair or lose his command center.  Wipe out his SCVs and when this monster lands in your base your marauders can wipe it clean with nothing preventing it’s immininent destruction.
Let’s say you’re not a good player.  I mean not all maps are friendly for this kind of scouting.  Let’s say he catches you a little off guard and you suddenly see this floating ballista of doom heading towards your base.  Well you will have some power here.  First off use some SCVs to block off him building too close to your base.  You have no idea how stupid of an advantage this is going to be.  This fortress is going to be so stupidly out of place and it just won’t work.
What to do with marines/marauders?  Go look for his barracks.  Destroy it with any marauders/marines he has.  Cool.  You just wiped out a key asset.  So he warps his command center into a fortress…. oh what do you do.
You probably won’t be able to wipe it out before he can make it into something nasty.  So.  You’re going to move.
You’re moving.
Lift up your buildings and just GTFO.
Bring your command center off to your natural and bring your barracks with you.  Take all your workers away and just business as usual.  He now has a landed fortress that can hit nothing (except maybe supply depots) and is really far away from the mineral line so he just won’t have that much production.
All he really has right now is an engineering bay, a few supply depots  a lot of workers and an out of place fortress.
So you might as well send your army off to go wipe out his engineering bay and supply depots.  Anything to give you an advantage.  You can either just tank him down or go for banshees depending on where the bloody fortress is located.  Either way your opponent will be lost on resources and lost on supply.  While you have quite a few structures of value to your name he will be at a loss.
The Zerg Way
Pst, you can’t fortress a zerg.  If you see a command center heading towards your base you are dealing with someone who is completely retarded.  First off you type LoL at them.  You will have some zerglings out, just head to his base with them and destroy his engineering bay before he can land.  Alternatively use your zerglings to destroy his supply depots so he cannot make marines.  ALTERNATIVELY just type
LoL at him.
There’s really nothing that a terran can do if they’ve attempted to fortress rush a zerg that will work.
Oh God It’s Protoss Time
This tactic works best against protoss players largely because of their weak defenses against it.
The fortress rush will not work on a protoss player who has built a single cannon.  However said player has invested 300 minerals in getting a cannon up and in a real game that’s just not a worth while investment.  So you are either going to be 2-gating, 3-gating or 3-gate roboing.  These are all pretty powerful tactics for protoss players.
If you are 2-gating you’re in a pretty bad spot.  You’re going to send your zealots off to his base thinking he has a 1-up on you.  In all reality this fortress of doom is heading to his base and there’s absolutely nothing he can do about it.  If you’re a 2-gating toss it would appear you just got 1-upped in the cheese department.  For shame!
Anyway.  If you are 2-gating your best hope right now is to limit where he can land his orbital defenses. Yes keep sending off your zealots and get rid of all of his  supply depots.  If you see his workers leave them alone.  You want to supply cap him so he cannot build any marines.  If you can spot his engineering bay try and take that out before he lands.
If you pull that off you win.  If you cannot supply capping him is going to be your best bet.  This means he won’t be able to send marines out to hurt you.
As well similar to our terran strategy you will want to place probes in areas where you do not want him to land the bloody thing.  You will want to wipe out his barracks when your forces get back and MOVE SHOP.  I’m sorry but there is no way you are taking this fortress out.  Just move all your probes before the thing is fully created.  You should have been saving minerals and not investing in more zealots.  Your current 2-gating army is enough to wipe out what you need to.  Create a nexus at the gold or as far away from your base as possible.  Of you wipe out his barracks build a forge as soon as you can and place some photon cannons near your surviving structures.  You are going to want to tech up to colossus and create an army of zealots and colossus.
He is going to be disadvantaged because he is starting over with a very long distance to the mineral line.  You will be disadvantaged because you have to wait on your new Nexus to form.  I know it’s kind of cheesy but when I’m doing this I usually take my probes and just go steal minerals from a completely different mineral patch so my new main lasts longer.  But anyway his disadvantage will be greater than yours.
Once you get a robo immediately build an observer and see what he’s doing.  If he’s getting tanks you will want to get pheonixes instead of colossus.  Phoenixes will harass his mineral line, his tanks and his marines very effectively.  Storm into his base and wipe out this fortress of doom.

Cheese It: The Marine Rush

Well this is part four in a series dealing with cheese, how to do them and how to beat them.  This is going to help you understand what the strengths are in this cheese and how to beat it.  Today’s cheese is, marine rush!
Cheese #4: Marine Rush
There are two formulations of these cheese, one is for a small map and the other is for a large map.  On a large map you build 2-3 barracks (no reactor or lab).  The benefit here is you will have the same advantage (production wise) as the person who is on defense.  As well you will have the advantage of only making units while they are trying to build some sort of tech structures.  Terrans are building tech labs and fusion reactors.  Zerg are building roach wardens or hives.  Protoss are buildilng a cybernetic core.  The advantage given is that they are going to have 2-3 extra units on the person who is building tech structures.
This is a “sort of” all in strategy.  You are investing a heavy amount in this working.  Much like the zealot-rush all-in or the 6-pool all-in there are ways to survive this strategy’s failure.  But if the person is smart and pushes your base you will lose.  A huge advantage in this strategy is the ability to fly these barracks out of the path of your opponent and land them somewhere safe (not your base of course).  All the while the second your opponent pushes on you, you can actually just re-proxy them with your ground army
You have a legion of marines (starts with 3 builds up fast) engaging your base, what are you going to do to fend them off?
The terran defense
If you are a terran hopefully you have done the regular starting build order and gone with a tech lab and pumped out your first marauder.  Marauders are tankier than marines, have higher range and also have the snare.  So this means with a little bit of micro (running your marauder away and attacking every 2.5 seconds) you will be able to out-micro his marines and kill them all.
You want to keep pumping out marauders.  Marauders are going to win the day for you.  Try and get them on the high ground if at all possible.  Keep in mind if he gets repelled he will just try and build up stupid amounts of marines (now getting fusion cores and what not) because he legitimately believes this to be an all in.  If you can get to 3-4 marauders just push his shit in.  Find his barracks with one SCV and bring your marauders to it.
But let’s say I’m right and he’s dedicating to an all-in.  He will have gotten himself some gas and gotten some fusion cores, maybe even a tech lab.  BUT by this point you are building a FACTORY.  You will swap your barracks’ tech lab for your factory so you can start pumping out tanks and getting siege tech.  If you are unable to find where he is proxying from you need to wipe out his new ground army once and for all.  If you have tanks, marines and marauders you can just out-play him.
He will be forced to either say GG or get wiped out by your marine/marauder ball while your tanks hold your base against anything he can throw your way.
The Protoss answer

Early protoss game is very weak against early terran game.  This is becuase marines or marauders can kite zealots and stalkers take bonus damage against marauders, who can also snare them to make sure they cannot retreat.  So when a marine army comes barreling down your door there’s not going to be a lot you can do.
Let’s say you’re going the prototypical protoss build.  You have 2 gates, one cybernetics core and one vespene gas down.  In a protoss vs. terran match up the first unit you will make is probably always a stalker.  Stalkers deal with a large group of units including  reapers and marines.  After your first stalker comes out you’re always going to make a sentry.
Sentries are very strong in early game as the force field will allow you to retreat, isolate his forces or block off ramps from marines and marauders from driving into your base.
You should most indefinitely do the challenge “Psionic Assault” to get some practice on what I’m asking you to do.  You will like any good player be sending out constant scouts and will either see his army coming or find his barracks.  Xel Naga towers are super cool to hold.  Remember like everything if you look in his base and he has nothing built 100% guaranteed he is proxying you.
If he has stuff in his base keeping a Xel Naga tower will be powerful in telling you when his marine army is barreling into your base.
Okay so have you done Psionic Assault?  No crap well here’s how you do it…. in 5 seconds.
Sentries have a very overpowered ability called force field.  Force field creates a physical intrusion that blocks the path of a unit.  You place the force fields and the BOTTOM of the ramp so that the person cannot move up the ramp at all.  If they are unable to move up the ramp they will not be able to gain sight on your units.  This means your stalker and army of sentries will be able to freely fire at his army of marines.  You will still be out-numbered but by getting this early damage out and wiping out 2-3 marines you will gain the advantage on him.  This means you will be able to up your production rates and just build an overall larger army.
The ONLY thing that he can possibly do to hurt you is add two tech labs and get some marauders out.  But you’re smart right?  You wil have that probe that has been sitting at a Xel Naga tower going around looking for a grouping of barracks outside of his base.  You are going to do something totally awesome here… split your army up.  One or two stalkers heading to his base and the remainder of your force tangling up his army.  You are going to wipe out his economy and lose the remainder of your army.
That sounds horrible.
But you will be producing more and more units, he won’t.  He will either have to deal with the stalker threat and lose his barracks or lose his command center and lose the game.  It is an unanswerable riddle that he will be caught in.
The Zerg Solution
Zerg are going to have the hardest time dealing with marines.  If you are 15-pooling like all the pros this means by the time has marines out you will have a few zerglings, a spawning pool and a lot of production.  It’s a good thing you scouted right?  If you see him building no barracks in his base it means similar to every other example that he is proxying you.  You don’t have enough zerglings to knock out his proxy, really only a 6 or 8-pool is going to give you a chance at catching his proxy.  REALLY you are not going to be able to beat an MM ball with a 6 or an 8 pool on a large map.
So you have figured out that he is proxying you.  Even if you find out where the barracks are you won’t be able to beat it there, too many marines.  So what are you going to do?
The big problem advantage to a 15-pool is that you are going to have large amounts of resources and nothing to spend them on.  Most people who 15-pool do an early expand with two queens which will quodrouple production.  Your turning point in beating a racks proxy is when you’re about to fast expand… and you don’t.
No you’re not going to fast expand.  Instead you are going to invest that 300 minerals on SPINE CRAWLERS.  Stack them up and build them very close to your hatchery.  You need time before his marine ball comes and wipes out his forces… I mean those spine crawlers aren’t going to just build on their own.
In your normal build you should have TWO QUEENS at this point.  So two queens, six zerglings and three spine crawlers (in production).  So his ball comes in your base.  This is where good micro play comes into work.  Your queens go in first and try and soak damage, send your zerglings after (different flank otherwise you’ll block off your own queen’s exit strategy).  When a queen gets to 1/3 health move it back then re-engage.  The other queen will soak damage.  You will probably lose one of your queens here and maybe even some zerglings.  But you will have your spine crawlers up.
Now as a point of regular zerg strategy you are going to have a creep tumor down.  You need to extend your creep to the entrance of your base… and fast.  Once you ahve repelled that first attack you want to move your spine crawlers to the ramp of your base so that they will get some free shots on him.
If he sends a second wave you’ll be far better prepared, couple more spine crawlers, an extra queen, high ground and on top of that you will have MORE DRONES producing more minerals.  After the second wave you can move your spine crawlers agai n(extending your creep even more) and get your second expansion.  Roaches are going to be your friend here.
You will not gain any significant advantage.  Instead you will bring the game back to even.  Zerg are the easiest race to harass as every loss of a drone or a queen is a huge loss in production and potential building structures.  You cannot destroy his barracks with zerglings because he can simply lift them off.  The best you can do is send some zerglings into his main and try and wipe out his harvesters but it is possible he may have blocked off with supply depots and can just repair them up.  In TvZ match ups terrans have a lot of ‘outs’ against zerg and unfortunately as a zerg player you need them to make mistakes to win.
I think next time I’ll start with zerg, sucks ending a blog post on such a gruesome note.

Cheese It: 6 Pool

The 6-pool is part three in this series of Starcraft 2 cheese.  I have done a little guide on “Surviving the Rush” but that was meant for a largely junior bronze level.  We’re talking about diamond cheesing here.  These are people who are going to be able to effectively use their zerglings to knock out your stuff.

Cheese #3: The 6-Pool

The strength in this particular cheese lies in the fact that it comes out so early in the game.  By the time the zerglings come at you, you will be constructing a barracks, a gateway or your spawning pool will be laid down.

The game here is only using your starter 6 drones to mine 200 minerals then make a spawning pool and pump out 6 lings.  So to recap they are spending 350 minerals to make 6 early zerglings to terrorize your base.  What this means for you is that you will have 5 more harvesters and a building down.  So to defend this you will have one building,  and 13 harvesters… great.

Terran Defense

As a terran you will have a supply depot and SCVs.  This means your key resource here is going to ironically be your own supply depot.  In most high profile matches you will see the first supply depot oddly placed to the side of the command center in the path of the gas closest to your ramp/entrance.  This is not a coincidence or an idiotic play.

The supply depot is an acclamation of what we all know to be true, if you get 6-pooled you will not be able to wall off in time.  What the supply depot is create a smaller arch for his zerglings.  This means that you will have one SCV vs. one zergling and they will be unable to get a surround on you but you will have twice as many SCVs attacking as he has zerglings (6 vs. 3).  You will have a barracks and a refinery being made while this is all going down.

Once you have defeated the first wave of zerglings you will have less and less chances.  You need to get out some quick marines and pump out more SCVs.  You need to slowly seal off your ramp from the on-coming zerglings.  Keep in mind zerg have to choose between  drones or zergling so while you are taking heavy losses from these zergling waves you are not going to see an increase in his economy.

Once you get the wall off the game is actually over.  You can now safely develop your marauders and create a small ball.  While you’re doing this he is trying to develop an economy but is so far behind you that he will not be able to catch up.

Protoss Defense

Protoss have quite a few options available to them.  By the time the 6-pool is inc it will depend on what you are building.  At 150 minerals you can choose between a gateway and a forge.  The best choice will always be a gateway because it will allow you to build a mobile army that can deal with his if he doesn’t 6-pool you.  By the time his 6-pool comes in you will have:

One Nexus
One gateway
One Pilon
14 Probes
One zealot in production
One assimilator

So you need to slow him down the best you can.  Your hopefully building your structures close by.    So you’re going to throw your probes into him.  If he’s a decent player he’s going to try and micro them back and forth to try and slow down your econ.  You have to sort of jostle with him.  Move your probes to the furthest mineral patch when he runs away and get some minerals.  Move them back in.  You will have your one super awesome zealot in production.

Once your zealot comes out just push him in the face with your probes and zealot.  If he sends more zerglings it’s a lot of rinse and repeat.  Get minerals where you can but try your hardest to to lose as few probes as possible.  If you can get 2-3 zealots out you win.  If you can’t well, you need to work on that probe micro.

Cheese It: The Z Rush

Welcome to part 2 of of a series on surviving and bringing on cheese.  As said in the first article this stuff happens at all levels of play so it’s not exactly something you can just ignore.  The second in this series is one of the most common cheeses, the Z rush.

Cheese #2: Z Rush

This cheese is so potent that the zealots are getting nerfed back to compensate for it.  I would like to say that the cheese is not just a Z rush.  If someone is 2-gating in their base that is NOT a cheese.  This is a legitimate non-all in tactic that will allow them to continue even if their attack fails.  By the time their zealots hit your base you will have more units than him and because of this it is defendable.

The undefendable tactic is an all-in proxy gateway rush.  Well here is it being defended at a pro-level:

The strength to this is tactic is in how meaty and strong zealots are.  One zealot can take on 2 marines, 5 zerglings and most secondary tier-1 units.  Similar to the cannon rush one probe is all you will need.  This player in the video has not totally all-ined he is bringing one zealot and building gateways just pretty obviously in his base.

The scary Z rush (similar to the scary cannon rush) happens in locations where you would normally not scout.  The key to getting a Z rush if you NEED to scout it.  If you see a probe acting fishy (moving but not scouting your base) he’s either cannon rushing or proxying you.  If you go to his base and he has no gateways there it means he’s planting them near your base.  If not it means he’s going to wait on warp gate tech.

So once you’ve identified that he is proxying you will want DEFENSES.

Terran defense

For Terran you will want to prolong your second barracks.  You will want supply depots blocking off your entrance way and SCVs pulled off the line ready.  You can send SCVs out to see where his gateways are planted for your later counter attack.  You are just going to repair your structures aggressivelt (2-3 SCVs doing this) and have your marines pummeling into his line of zealots.  At the same time you will be dropping a second barracks and getting some marauders out.  At no point lift off your initial barracks and build any tech or fusion reactors.

Your counter attack will come once you get some marauders out and you’ve beaten a wave of zealots.  With marauders there is nothing he can do to beat you.  Marauder SNARE will tan those zealots.

Zerg defense

As zerg you’re going to be in a hard spot.  You should always have some lings in the game.  I always 15 pool and get 6 lings.  You are going to use the same scouting technique and when you find it you will need to get up SPINE CRAWLERS and QUEENS.  Now keep in mind you still have your lings, they won’t be wasted.  I should note I usually get speedlings so I handle this a little easier.  When you see the z rush coming in with your out bound lings you will want to KITE THEM AWAY.  Use your zerglings to harass them and draw them away.  Most people use attack move.  At some point if he wants to succeed he will have to not attack move and you just keep harassing him and drawing him away.

You need to be GETTING TIME.  The more queens and spine crawlers you have the better off you will be.  At some pont you will want to just let his zealots come in.  Don’t use your queens for larvae.  You want to pool your energy for transfusion.  By the time he hits you should have at least 2 queens and 5-6 spine crawlers up.  Shouldn’t need too much micro to beat him but if you do transfusion (from queens) your spine crawlers to keep them up.  If you can beat one Z rush you can beat them all.  Do not waste any more resources on defenses if you can beat that first Z rush.

Instead build a ROACH WARDEN.  Roaches can kite zealots and are beefy just like zealots.  It means you will be able to out-micro him very easily.  You will probably want a second hatchery if you have the minerals so you can pick up even more roaches.

Protoss defense

The hardest way to fend off a Z rush is as protoss.

There are many ways to do it.  If you discover it early enough you can just build up zealots of your own and place them at your RAMP.  At the ramp it will be one zealot vs. one zealot and a perfectl even battle.

But let’s say you discover it kind of late.  A regular build for a protoss is pylon > gateway > pylon > cybernetics core.  Well now you’ve built yourself an effective tool to fend off this rush… sentries.

Sentries have an ability called “force field.”  Force fields can be deployed on the ground to block off the path of a unit.  With force fields you can block off the Z rush and use your ranged units to knock off these Z’s.  Alternatively you can have a couple of cannons built two assist in this sentry shield strategy.

If you have any zealots and it’s just too late you should use these zealots similar to the lings, just kite the zealots away from base.

If he keeps sending zealots at you if you are deploying these tactics you are in a serious win.  He will be spending resources and you will be losing little to nothing, building up a huge army to just trump him down.

Hope this was helpful.  Third in this series of articles will be surviving the dreaded 6-pool the first and only of our zergling cheese strategies.

Cheese It: Surviving Early Cheese

I started writing this and at some point I realized there was a lot of different cheeses and each race has to take it a little differently.  So I’m going to turn this into a multi-part series.  First up on the list is a classic cannon rush.  From this you should get how to DO them effectively and how to defend against them.

So a person cannon rushed me and my team mates are yelling “RELOCATE RELOCATE.”  Of course this is not how you beat the cannon rush as Protoss (what I was) over Zerg  that is entirely a Terran solution.  I had scouted his probe and knew some sort of cheese was inc whether it was zealot rush or cannon rush so I built a forge in preparation with some zealots pumping out.  Regardless to say, I beat the cannon rush but my team mates were so distracted thinking I was playing poorly that they didn’t build units (and we lost).

The truth is there are ways to beat these cheeses, they’re all-in tactics that are actually easy to beat… and I’m going to tell you how.

Step 1: Actually do the Cheese

No matter what you have to understand the cheese.  You need to figure out what maps it will work on and what maps it will not.  You need to figure out on the maps what are good spots to put your cheese and what are bad spots.  Evidently you also have to FAIL at it.

If you are playing in platinum or diamond and you see people do these tactics they’re not doing them because they’re bad they’re doing them because they work.  They actually work EXTREMELY well.

Here is a match of SockE vs. HuK (two of the top players in the world) where HuK gets proxyed DIRECTLY NEXT TO HIS MINERAL LINE.

So yes at all levels these strategies work.  But as I said they are ALL IN strategies so if they fail that may just be game.

Cheese #1: The Cannon Rush

The cannon rush is extremely effective.  In Starcraft cannons were very weak and just went unused.  Players built units and not defenses.  Starcraft 2 buffed turrets, cannons, bunkers, spine crawlers, and spore crawlers.  These have very high health and do very igh damage against low-healthed tier one units (marines/zerglings/zealots).  Additionally the cannon rush is powerful because one probe can carry out this entire attack with warp in structures.  An alternative and powerful alternative to this is planting 2-3 spine crawlers in an enemy zerg’s creep (behind his mineral line).  It’s really hard to catch.

The key to DOING a cannon rush is having your forge in your base and planting a pylon in their’s.  The forge will want to be near the entrance of your base or the entrance of your first expansion (if the distance on the expo is possible).  What the cannon rusher wants to do here is make it look like he is playing very heavy turtle or a forge fast expand.  Here’s a video of some German kid doing a forge fast expand:

This is for your opponent’s benefit.  The idea here is you want to make the person think it’s business as usual, you’re just building some overly defensive stuff or you’re looking to early expand.  The cannon rusher willl want a cannon in his base at some point but the important part is the pylon.  The pylon gets built in a place where a person would not normally path to.

Different maps have different spots.  The cannon rusher even has to pretend it’s business as usual and have a probe do some scouting.  When I cannon rush I build one cannon that will be next to my pylon usually a full level below when I push in with cannons it comes like a bat out of hell, my opponent freaks out and starts doing some very radical play.

Terran Play

So what sort of radical play is going to beat it.  If you’re a terran you lift off and relocate.  Bring your barracks to HIS base and start pumping out marines and get rid of his production (or close to his base).  The command center needs to get air lifted somewhere distant.  If the protoss player is dedicating to this all in he will follow your command center and keep up the cannon rush, just move around more.  Your barracks will be doing the work against his undefended main.

You need to land your barracks somewhere he won’t see, essentially using his own tactics against him.

Protoss Play

As protoss you build a forge and build some cannons.  You will probably lose some gateways here.  You have to sack them and build some cannons around what buildings you can salvage.  Your new cannons will nuke out his newly spawned cannons.   From here you need to get a robotics facility out and get out some immortals.  You need to bring your immortal in to attack the cannons then pull back as it’s shields get low.  Let it’s shields build up then attack again.  Your advantage here is that your opponent has invested somewhere around 2,000 minerals in a cannon rush whereas you have built a strong economy and might have sacrificed 300 minerals in gateways and 200 minerals in pylons.

Zerg Play

Zerg? SPINE CRAWLERS.  Bulid 4-5 of these things.  Unlike the cannons these are not a huge investment you get them with your spawning pool and they will be mobile for when you build an expansion.  You will probably want to build a second hatchery in your base and get up some banelings.  Banelings will cost you roughly 50 minerals and 25 gas each.  You will need 2 banelings for each cannon and you will need to set them in control groups to sort of just run to the cannons.  The cannons will be fairly clumped up so aim your banelings to hit multiple of them.  Economy wise you should be doing well against this… on top of this you now have baneling tech (okay not the best against protoss).

Extend your creep when you can and take out the cheese.  He may survive but now it’s just a regular 1v1 game where you have some mineral advantage.

My next article on this set will be on the Z rush!