How to The Dig Hard Achievement Without Vikings

If you’ve done any research on the achievement “The Dig” you’ll find that the people pumping out videos on it have not been doing the quests in chronological order and have cascaded their game to get techs to beat this achievement.  Yes it’s kind of sad but this achievement ends up being stupidly hard.

Yippee-ki-yay: Destroy 50 protoss buildings on hard difficulty

The reason why vikings are so important is because the protoss mass up Colossus, Void Rays, and old school protoss units… all of which are countered by vikings.  To cheese it even more most people are purchasing the mercenary vikings so that they are available immediately for this achievement.  However, vikings are not necessary, they’re just helpful.

Along with vikings other helpful things are:

  1. Marauder snare
  2. Increased bunker size
  3. Bunker turret
  4. Turret volley
  5. Stim pack
  6. Marine health
  7. Marauder health

If you don’t have any of these it’ll be even harder for you (however not impossible).

Step 1: Build a Defense

The defense for this mission is pretty minimalistic, what I want you to build is this:

So what I’m doing here is running three tanks two turrets and three supply depots on each side.  This is a basic anti-protoss setup.  What the supply depots are going to do is make it so that protoss are never going to be able to get line of sight on that outer tanks with their archons, immortals, and stalkers.  The depots are going to prevent zealots from owning your tanks.  It also means that none of their units ever really have line of sight and get owned.

The two turrets on the outer edge are there to handle the air attack waves.  I have turret volley so two is enough for me, you may want to build a couple more if you don’t have it.  Once you have this constructed you will be able to defend against every attack wave.

After  two waves of attack you will gain access to the cutting laser.  This is a high powered weapon that one-shots enemy units.  if you want to get the 50 buildings achievement I”d suggest using it on every single enemy unit until you are ready to attack.  Your current setup defends against everything but Colossus and Immortals so Colossus and Immortals ALWAYS have to die regardless.  You can take up to 3 archons at a time although once again I’d suggest killing every single unit until you have your army.

Step 2: Building the Invasion Army

You are going to want to act a fusion core to your barracks.  The core of your army is going to be marines and goliaths (if you have goliaths if not don’t worry about any mechs).  Why marines?  Marines counter everything, air and ground.  Similarly goliaths have equal powered attacks against ground and air making them equally strong.  Medics are sort of pointless as they usually just die from colossus spread.  You will need a lot of supply depots, a strong economy and a lot of patience.  Building this army takes some time to the end that you will want 70 units to attack with.

Why not other mechs?  The main reason if void rays.  If a void ray is allowed to attack a single target it’s strength gets ramped up to the point where it deals 5x it’s regular damage. Having more powerful units there just means you’re creating bait for void rays.  Marines on the other hand have low health pools and with stims can pack a punch.

Yes my strategy is simply to zerg them.  Make sure to fully upgrade your weapons and armor for troops and mechs as they will come in very handy.  Armor is especially potent as being able to survive three colossus beams is a 50% damage increase against a colossus that can normally wipe you in two.

Step 3: The Attack

Don’t be afraid to lose troops, you are going to lose a HUGE army here.  What you do need to worry about is refreshing your attacks.  First off don’t attack until a wave comes from the north west quadrant of the map.  You will use your cutting laser to wipe it out and then march your troops in.  Okay, here’s the important part.  This whole time you should have your cutting laser binded to a key, I use 5.  When you march in with your army have your troops eliminate his forces and have your cutting laser attack buildings that are in line of sight and in the back.  Yes you are going to send this huge army in and watch it get decimated.  All the while have your barracks and factory pumping out more units and set the rally point inside the protoss base.  After the first chunk of his army is dead chances are you’ll be able to just march through his base with less resistance.

But remember, he is constantly pumping out zealots, stalkers, colossus, void rays, and templars (which don’t have psionic storm) so be on your guard.  Keep refreshing your army and keep destroying buildings.

Make sure that you are paying attention also to the types of units that continue to attack you.  At this point archons are going to be LoL.  The only units to really worry about are colossus and immortals.  Immortals because of their high armor and ability to just soak damage from your tanks… and colossus because they’ll wipe out your tanks all the while providing line of sight to other ranged units.  Don’t feel let down if your massive army doesn’t get the achievement right away.  You have to destroy 50 BUILDINGS so keep the attack up.  Keep microing your laser appropriately by holding shift and targeting buldings and units with the thing.

After Thought

After you’ve completed this achievement you should also try out the Brutal difficulty (if you haven’t already) of this map.  The difficulty curve isn’t that much higher.  In fact the only new things are one carrier on air waves (meaning you can’t just ignore air rushes anymore) and templar using psionic storm on your troops (which you also cannot ignore).  By far this was the hardest achievement I ran into so far as it required ridiculous amounts of micro and macro and constant attention to detail.  If you fail at this the first time around don’t fret and try and cheese it like everyone else, it’ll come much faster than starting the game from the beginning.


Starcraft 2: Harassment Types

Everyone’s favorite and least favorite addition to Starcraft 2 is no doubt harassment units.  If you remember Starcraft had two harassment units total, speed boosted zerglings and vultures.   Due to map designs however it was never practical to harass their harvesters.  However due to new unit types and new map designs (no more flat maps!) in Starcraft 2 harassment is now an amazingly powerful option.

Before going any further I will define a harassment unit.

Harassment Unit: Any fast unit that can attack a player’s economy and leave without engaging slower enemy forces.

I think that definition is broad enough to explain all the different harassment units.


Helions: This is the fastest unit in the game.  It is however the worst harassment vehicle.  Helions only escape is their insane speed.  This means they move in attack for a few seconds and then get out.  To their benefit they have an attack that can hit three units at one time meaning they can wipe out huge packs of harvesters in seconds.  As a bonus though they only cost 100 crystals each so if you make 3 and wipe out 6 harvesters you’ve profited.  Countered by stationary defenses.  These units requiring so much more microing than any other harassment unit.

Reapers: Recognized as the ultimate harassment unit.  These units can jump between higher and lower levels on the map.  They are armed with grenades that do heavy damage on buildings and armored targets and low damage on weaker units.  They are however very fast units (same speed as mutalisks).  However with this powerful combination this means that enough of these units are going to be able to destroy harvesters and their command centers without them being able to destroy your reapers.  Reapers are countered by bunkers/cannons/spine crawlers placed near harvesters as they have very low health pools.

Banshees: Similar to reapers these units do heavy damage to armored targets and buildings.  This means that once they clean up the harvesters if they’re still not caught they can wipe out buildings too.  Downside? They are very high up the tech ladder requiring you to build a barracks, a factory, a starport and a tech lab attached to it.  You also need to research cloak if you want them to effectively get out of there.  They can ONLY attack ground targets making them extremely vulnerable to air superiority fighters and hybrid air-ground fighters.  They are also weak against detectors and stationary anti-air structures (turrets, spores, and cannons).


Pheonix: These are air superiority fighters with a very unique move, graviton beam.  Graviton beam allows them take units off the ground and place them in the air.  This makes them a very fearsome harassment unit because it means they can counter air superiority fighters and hybrid ground/air units.  This means the only way to counter this unit is with stationary anti-air structures…. of course your SCVs has to be able to build them without being lifted in the air and destroyed right?  Spores are going to be very strong against them of course.

Dark Templar: These units are unique in that they can remain permanently cloaked.  However they can only attack ground units and are extremely weak against everything.  Any detectors is near instant death for these units.  Another down side is that when stationary they automatically attack any units in proximity, this means you have to move them into proximity of their harvesters fast and hope there are no detectors there.  A player has about 5 second response time to dark templar so they have to be moved away from the area of destruction and harassing other things quite sporadically.


Speedlings: Zerglings on their own aren’t fast enough for harassment.  But if you spend 100 crystal and 100 vespene gas to upgrade your zerglings attack and movement speed.  You can also upgrade them to having burrow to increase their survivability.  At a cost of 25 crystal per zgling this is the most cost efficient form of harassment in the game.  Speedlings are the fastest unit in the game and can destroy harvesters in seconds before they move on to their next victim.  With burrow they can find undeveloped spots in the enemy bas to burrow and strike again.These units can countered by stationary defenses and air units.

Roaches: Roaches have the ability to move while burrowed.  They also have insanely high regeneration rates when burrowed.  So you burrow them and move them into the enemies base, then bring them up kill all harvesters and then move away so they don’t get scanned.  These are ground only fighters making them vulnerable to air.  They are however not vulnerable to stationary defenses as they have strong anti-ground attacks.  This also means that they are going to be able to harass buildings after done with harvesters.

Infestors: Infestors have no attacks of their own, they are threatening entirely by their abilities.  While burrowed they can launch infested terrans .  Each infestor with full energy can launch four infested terrans.  This means that 8 infestors can launch 32 infested terrans.  Infested terrans despawn after a while but they can attack air and ground.  This means that while your infested terrans are doing their job your infestors can move off while they’re dealing with your infested terrans.  Infestors are weak against every single unit but can only be spotted when a detector is around.  However as an added bonus they have a very large line of vision meaning that if an army of terribly powerful units is heading their way they can parasite one of them and use it’s own forces to wipe them out.

Mutalisks: Mutalisks are very fast and have a chain attack that will bounce.  Each bounce does less damage than the last.  This means that small groups of mutalisks can wipe out tight packs of harvesters very quickly.  Mutalisks however are very vulnerable to air superiority fighters, ground to air fighters and stationary anti-air structures.  However because of their very high speed anything that can possibly hit them will not be able to hit them if you hit and run fast enough.

And that’s all of the possible harassment units this game officers.  Good hunting.

Find this helpful?  Check out my other guides:

– Four Hatcheries on Zero Hour
– How I Got Unbreakable
– How to win a Medium Difficulty AI Match
– Surviving the Rush
The Crafty Art of Cannon Rushing

The Crafty Art of Cannon Rushing

If you want someone to yell the words “noob” to you as fast as possible there is no surefire way but a cannon rush.  Cannon rushing is a protoss only strat, although there has been moderate success by zerg players planting spines on enemy creep.  This strategy is entirely noobish but it’s really funny to see people fall for it.  When you fall for it, it’s not so funny.

If you don’t want to be hit by this check for probes every now and then if you are protoss.  What I’m going to show you here is how to cannon rush succesfully!

Step 1: Economy

If you are going to cannon rush you are going to need crystal, this means NO GAS AT ALL.  So you will want to build a total of 9 probes minimum before you build any cannons.  After that hold off on making new probes.

You want to get your probe in and make sure it is NOT SPOTTED.  This means not being within their range of vision.  Zerg are cannon rushable but it is very expensive and not worth your time.  If your probe gets spotted there is a higher probability that this will not work.  If it gets spotted you’ll know because they’re going to send their harvesters after your probe to try and finish it off.  But don’t worry you have an economy back home that makes sense pumping out crystal for you.  So although your initial strategy may fail you can move on and just win the game with a strat people won’t hate you for (or maybe they still will).

While you are cannon rushing you will be very vulnerable.  Make sure your partners are aware of this and make sure they know to build units to defend you.  The easiest way for a team to counter a cannon-rusher is to send a few units to their base and kill off their probes.  No economy=no new cannons.  It also means them eliminating one of the players from the game.  So keep in mind that you will need to communicate to your team mates that you are cannon rushing and that they should build units to help you with.

The only things you will build in your base are one pilon and one forge.  Please do not build your forge where you are cannon rushing.  This will only increase the chances of you getting caught.

Step 2: Placing your first Cannon Pilon

Before you do anything take one of your 5 starter probes and head for a hidden crevice of an enemies base.  Watch these two replay shots.  One is of what everyone sees and one is only what the victim sees.

What everyone sees
What my victim sees

As you can see by these two illustrations I have picked a point where the fog of war is to my benefit.  This is also a type of map where all party members are stacked on top of each other so there’s actually very little space to put these things.  I had to resort to putting the pilon and the first cannon on the first floor then moving up to the second floor.  You want it so that your first pilon (preferably) is going to be able to reach their main base with your cannon range.

Here is another illustration of good pilon placement.

Once again the place where I have placed my pilon is out of their normal range of vision.  As you can see he (like everyone) is building his base towards his entrance way so this place ended up being perfect.

Step 3: Build Cannons!

Complicated thus far.  In the last screen shot you see I have one cannon built and two building.  The one cannon built doesn’t actually do anything for the most part.  It’s purpose is to protect the cannons ahead.  So what will end up happening is your opponent will spot these two cannons (as the first cannon is not in their vision of sight) and send their harvesters and army off to try and kill it.  You need at least one cannon to defend your efforts or otherwise you are done.

In the above the victim decides to send all of his zealots and probes in hopes of rocking my cannons.  Of course by the time he actually sends them I have my second pilon up and cannon rush is unstoppable.  I am ashamed to admit that someone beat me but the player below beat my cannon rush.

As I said this is a two-layered cannon rush where one cannon has to start on the bottom.  As you can see he sent all of his SCVs off to kill my probe.  My mistake here was allowing him to corner my probe.  I should have moved it down to the second level as soon as I saw the SCVs coming after me.  You need to make “outs’ for your probe so they he can kite people coming in to attack him and then build fresh towers.  Luckily in this match these two cannons ended up killing off near 20 of yellows SCVs before his team mates inevitably came and shut down these cannons.  It was such a huge hit on yellow that I built up 20 void rays, 6 carriers and a mother ship to wipe out their entire team 1v3.

And that’s how you cannon rush someone.


– Never cross their field of sight.
– If you think they spotted you it’s not worth the risk.
– Once you have a cannon next to their command center/nexus start working on your economy and tooling to beat your other opponents
– Never cannon rush in 1v1

Find this helpful?  Check out my other guides:

– Four Hatcheries on Zero Hour
– How I Got Unbreakable
– How to win a Medium Difficulty AI Match
– Surviving the Rush
Harassment Types

Four Hatcheries on Zero Hour

I did this achievement last night thanks in part to this video:

In this video it starts at around 10:00 (out of 20 minutes).  This is because until the 10:00 point you are not going to be destroying hatcheries.  He is also doing the no structures destroyed/salvaged achievement at the same time.  So let’s pretend you’re just out for four hatcheries.

Start off the match by salvaging your two front bunkers.  This is going to give you extra income to get your economy and army rolling.  It’s also strategically smart.  It’s easier to defend one point from two armies then two points from two armies.  It’s simple tactics (sup fighting on two fronts).  With this extra income you are going to want to build a tech lab and a fusion reactor on your two barracks.  This is going to up your marines production and allow you to make medics.  Early on try to make as many medics as possible.  You are going to want roughly 1 medic to every 3 marines.  You are going to need a refinery to pump out some gas.  As well try and make about an additional 15 SCVs.

When you have spare crystals look at your supplies if it’s under 20 make more supply depots.  Select one SCV and while holding the shift key push B (for build) and (S) for supply depot.  While holding the shift key click on multiple locations.  This is going to make this one SCV work at constructing multiple supply depots without ruining your otherwise perfect economy.  If your supplies are fine you’re better off increasing your marine production.  Build a barracks and a fusion reactor.

There is no such thing on this map as too many marines and medics.  The whole map is just marines and medics.  You are going to want to rescue the three crash survivors.  Run up to their spawn locations before they spawn and sit there.  Also take their awesomely cool resources they left behind.  On the final one (on the west/left side of your screen) make sure to tuck in as far as possible.  The reason for this is that a wave of units striking your base goes by here and if they’re not tucked in the units will come all at once and destroy your army.  Tucking will make sure they come 1 to 2 at a time.

The first hatchery you are going to hit is south west of where the last crash survivors are.  At this point those deadly tenticals will be everywhere.  You are going to want to have a full army of medics/marines ready at your base to launch north.  They are going to clear out all the tenticals along the way and assist in taking out the hatchery.  Move your armies forward by hitting A (for attack) and hit the ground.  This will make your units attack anything in that area.

When you get to a hatchery select all your marines and get them to focus a hatchery.  Hit Ctrl+A on the ground only if units show up.  There are tones of tightly packed structures there so don’t waste your time on them.  You are there for hatcheries and keeping your units alive.  There are three hatcheries in this area guarded by 5 spines and a tone of enemies who are constantly spawning.  After all three are dead casually walk away while attacking moving to eliminate any chasing units.

You are not going to the final hatchery right away.  The last hatchery has a nydus worm which means more units to hit.

While you were attacking those three hatcheries you better have been building units because you will want THREE FULL ARMIES to take out the final one.  Take your army home and clear the path on the right side to the worm.  Keep building units (only marines).  As they get made send them north to join your army (you’ll need it).  This’ll help you push past that nydus worm.  There are three hatcheries.  You only need ONE.  Once you have your one run back to your base attack moving when enemies are around.

You don’t need to finish the level but you can if you want.  With an army this big you probably won’t get overwhelmed in the end.

Find this helpful?  Check out my other guides:

Harassment Types
– How I Got Unbreakable
– How to win a Medium Difficulty AI Match
– Surviving the Rush
– The Crafty Art of Cannon Rushing

How I Got Unbreakable

At first look I though the Unbreakable Achievement in Starcraft 2 was going to be the hardest one, but I got it.

Unbreakable: Have one unit kill 40 enemy units before dying.

It sounds rough because well you’re imagining yourself having to baby sit one unit quite a bit.

What do you need?

Two things, a high armored unit and something to heal/repair it.  You’ll want something that is going to bring carnage to the world.  As well you have to do this in a 2v2, 3v3, or 4v4.  It just won’t work in 1v1.  The problem with 1v1 is that after you bring down so much devastation people just leave.


  1. Collosi with SCVs
  2. Battlecruisers with SCVs
  3. Ultralisks with Medivac
  4. Thor with SCVs

I did mine with Thor and SCVs.  I’ll say the battlecruiser idea will be the least successful because ground troops will just cleave down your SCVs.  You want something on the ground that does tones of damage.  So to that end ultralisk/medivac, collosus/SCV and Thor/SCV are your best bets.

I built 4 thors total and brought 7 SCVs with me.  I marched my thors with SCVs on auto-repair and following the second thor (at all times).  If the enemy focused on one of my armored units the seven SCVs instantly healed it to full.

I should also note that a scout is going to be useful.  I ran with a scanner.  The reason for this is that people’s main bases are built up on high ground (usually) so things like tanks/cannons can potentially clip your healers if you don’t start attacking as soon as you’re in range of them.

Also note that sometimes your tanks will take stupid amounts of damage and it’s not always wise to just make an endless push.  If one of your units is orange/red just stop and let the medivacs/SCVs do their work.

It took me three attempts to get this with the first two having people leaving early.

And that’s how I got Unbreakable!

Find this helpful?  Check out my other guides:

– Four Hatcheries on Zero Hour
– Harassment Types
– How to win a Medium Difficulty AI Match
– Surviving the Rush
– The Crafty Art of Cannon Rushing

Starcraft 2: How to win a Medium Difficulty AI Match

I was playing medium difficulty AI matches to finish off the four achievements associated with it.  But of course little did I know they were single player achievements.  I got to see people fail horrible at medium difficulty AI matches and luckily finishing a number of them in a row garnered me an achievement.  The main problem is that new Starcraft players are doing the campaign on normal then jumping into the online content which requires faster reaction and more efficiency.

Computers are not like players.  Players require attention and so a lot of the tactics that work best on players are ones that will distract them or work on them while they’re distracted.  A lot of these tactics won’t work on computers (reaper rush for example).  So if you want to beat a computer in under 15 minutes I’m going to tell you how to do it.


Go to my tutorial on Surviving the Rush.  In it I give valuable information on how to plant your buildings.  If you are going against zealot/zerg enemies this style of laying your buildings will be obscenely valuable and make you impossible for medium AI computers to kill you.

The weakness of the medium AI is that they take too long to hit you and when they do hit you their attacking force is predictably weak.  They take longer to advance through tiers of units and so your focus will win the day.  Terrans take the longest to win.

Start off by building your anti-rush supply depot stack.  All the while you are constantly making SCVs to increase your production.  You should build a barracks as your second building and pump out marines until an attack comes.  Your marines are placed behind your supply depots so that once the attack comes the depots are between your marines and any melee.  The computer may run or will get wiped out by this efficient defense.

The computer does take some time to get to you.  Do not build any expansions until you get attacked.  So what do you do while waiting?

  1. Build two refineries with maximized (3 SCVs) production.
  2. Build two factories and one armory
  3. Build more supply depots
  4. Build a second command center inside your base
  5. Upgrade your command center with scanners/MULE

Once the first attack is done bring your second command center into the new expo you want.  Have new SCVs build refineries and and cap that production at 3 SCVs each.  You shouldn’t need anymore crystal production at this point.  From here on out the only thing you make is Thor.

Thor has a unique quality in that it gives a powerful fast attack that cleaves air and ground with simultaneous air/ground attacks.  It is nearly an impossible unit to defend against.  You will be making 5 of these total.  Once you have produced 5 thors march them to the computers base and wipe it out.  The computer will have advanced slightly to a new tier.  For terrans they gain a factory without a tech lab.  For zerg they gain hydralisks.  For protoss they gain stalkers.  Nothing particularly threatening to a thor unit.


Once again you are going to want to go to the anti-Rushing guide and read up on how to build the protoss maze.  The goal of the protoss maze is to make it so that melee units have to run around structures to get to the cannons that are firing on them.  This means placing structures slightly in front of your cannons so that it’s in range of cannon fire but not too close to your buildings.  Computers will not use reapers so ignore the part about laying a cannon in your workers.

You will want a total of 3 cannons hidden behind every single building possible.  The nice thing about protoss is you will not get bored and you’ll always have tones to do.  You will not need to produce a single unit until you get void rays in this stat.  The three cannons will always scare off the enemy.  They see the maze and the three cannons and run away.  But regardless you will have to wait for the first attack before you can build an expansion.

Make sure to build a gateway somewhere between cannon 2 going up and cannon 3.  You will need a cybernetics core and then two Stargates.  You should have two void rays out before the attack arrives then runs away.  After the attack once again build your expansion.  Once you have constructed six void rays send them out.  Production tip: if you have spare crystals use the Chrono Boost ability in your Nexus to increase void ray production.  The computer will stop attacking at this point so any defense in your expansion would be a waste, just had tones of pilons to feed void rays psi.

In every map the crystals in your main base are pointed towards an edge.  Move your void rays to this edge and start attacking from here (ignoring his front defense).  In PvP you will want to ignore confrontation but in this you won’t.  Void rays take time to ramp up their damage so start by attacking a refinery.  Once the anti-air units come out quickly take them out and make your main focus his command center/hive/nexus.  Once this is destroyed it’s over.


Zerg are a little unique in that your defense isn’t going to be some mental trick to deal with melee, it’s going to be bold faced defense.  Zerg have two defensive structures, spore crawlers and spine crawlers.  You will be deploying a total of two spine crawlers.

Start off by building your spawning pool at the far end of your original creep.  Once this is made build two spine crawlers a little bit away from them.  What you are doing here is baiting your enemy to attack the spawning pool all the while allowing your spine crawlers to get a free hit on the enemy.  You may lose one spine crawler but don’t worry about rebuilding it.  The enemy will either die or run away.

After your two spine crawlers are up you are going to want to build a queen (located at any hatchery).  The queen is going to allow you to spawn more units at once through a low energy cost ability.  You will also want to cap out your vespene as production as well.  Once you have enough resources upgrade your main hatchery to a hive.

After the attack is done and gone create an expansion and cap out vespene production there too.  You will want to create a Spire (in advanced buildings).  Start massing up mutalisks. You may get attacked again just use your mutalisks to wipe out their army.  If their army is gone there’s not much left in the base.  Attack from the bottom (just like protoss) near the resources and raise havoc.  Take out all anti-air units first then attack their command center.  Game ends here.


Surrender will pop up on your screen if you are dominating so much that continuing is a waste of your time.   The computer will offer to surrender.

Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have much of a pattern.  Surrender can pop up when you destroy their command center.  It can pop up when you destroy all the computer’s workers.  It can pop up when the computer’s main attack force is dead.  It can pop up when you destroy some key unit production buildings (hydralisk dens, barracks, cores).  There seems to be no real pattern to it.

Find this helpful?  Check out my other guides:

– Four Hatcheries on Zero Hour
– How I Got Unbreakable
– Harassment Types
– Surviving the Rush
– The Crafty Art of Cannon Rushing

Guide: Surviving the Rush

This is the first of many Starcraft 2 strategy guides, this is the first of the series and is related to player vs. player matches.  This relates to all four brackets.

A zerg rush is any basic unit being launched against you early on in the match while you are virtually defenseless and cannot obtain adequate defenses.  Zerg units are: marines, zerglings, zealots, SCVs, and probes.  If you were killed by anything that isn’t one of these five then you weren’t rushed you were out played.

Few things to understand:

  1. The goal of the rush isn’t to win the game then and there.  People rush in 2s, 3s, and 4s knowing full well there are other opponents they’ll have to deal with.  The goal here is to cripple the economy of one player so that the game transforms into a 2v1. 3v2 or 4v3.  As you get higher in number of players the less effective this strategy becomes.
  2. The maps in Starcraft 2 are nearly DOUBLE the size of those in Starcraft 1.  This means that for a rush to hit your base the invading army is going to waste roughly 2 minutes to get to you.  That 2 minutes should give you the edge on them.
  3. A person who rushes is going to have an economy and more troops coming meaning they’re not that set back by trying to hurt you.

SCV/Probe Rush

What teh fuck?

The SCV/Probe rush is unique and is seen quite a bit in 1v1.  A person sends a couple of SCVs/probes off to individually attack your units.  The goal similar to that of the 2s, 3s, and 4s is to ruin your economy in hopes that you are a total idiot, but you’re not right?  Another assumption made by the person doing this is that the PvP game speed up is so fast that you will not be able to even click his probes.  I’ve rushed a couple of people so far and a lot of times they are caught killing their own units.  But you’re not going to fall for this are you?

The solution to this is simple, fight back.  He is using 2-5 of his starter probes/SCVs to take out yours so as soon as you see his little army of probes/SCVs coming destroy them all.  Don’t click them individually.  Instead hit (A) and attack the ground near them.  What this will do is get your harvesters to attack any units on the way to the area you picked.  It means you will destroy his units faster than him and you will have more of them since you will have gained an extra two harvesters by this point.

I’ve seen the SCV/probe rush once in 4v4.  It was funny that it worked as he destroyed the guys command center with just SCV/probes.  It’s one of those nice little lessons to people that you should do all the intro content before you hit up ladders.

Defending as a Terran

From here on out we’re presuming you’ve successfully defended up harvester rushes and have built something.  From here on out this guide is going to deal with the first 8-10 minutes of a match where it is presumed no one is SCV/probe rushing and you’re sitting there all happy getting your production up and have to choose buildings.

I will say this now and continue to repeat it forever.  Bunkers are not defensive structures for Terrans.  One more time.  Bunkers are not defensive structures for Terrans. When you do the campaign bunkers are very useful because the computer enemy attacks in semi-predictable waves with ample time to repair your bunkers in between.  Terran defense is going to focus around two things:

  1. Supply depots
  2. Marines

If you are initially building anything else but supply depots and marines for your defense you’re wrong.  Later on you’ll want to build a launcher near you’re SCVs to protect them from flyers trying to scour your harvesters late in the game.  But for now you are focusing entirely on surviving.

You will have to build supply depots whether you want to or not.  In Starcraft 2 supply depots have the added benefit of submerging underground and allowing your units to pass over them.  This is useful later when you have big armies of mechs that you want to get out of your base.  For now you are going to block off your base from the enemies. Most maps have these narrow corridors or door ways.  You are going to build a line of supply depots to block off this door.  Oh no they’re hitting your supply depots first.  Don’t worry, it’s a trap!

2/3 of the types of units people are going to zerg with are MELEE units.  This means with a line of supply depots and marines behind them you are going to be able to wipe out their melee units with minimal losses.  Oh crap you lost one supply depot, well he just lost his entire invasion army.  Don’t build any barracks attachments initially just keep pumping out those marines.  Stim packs and medivacs aren’t that important until later on when you have to bring the offense to the enemy.  If you have 6 marines and you’re still not attacked, they’re not going to rush you and are massing up something huge to try and take you out.

At that point you switch over into strategic mode and either start massing up marines/medivacs, thors, or battlecruisers.


Protoss is by far the easiest race to rush.  Mainly because the protoss structures take longer to build.  As an added benefit if you get rushed by a protoss player they are going to have 2-3 zealots tops.  If you are a protoss you can go two routes to surviving a rush:

  1. Cannons
  2. Zealots

If you build cannons quite a few people will probably call you a noob.  It’s not your fault but in the original Starcraft cannons ended up being quite under-powered and were rocked by a hand full of basic units.  That more or less changed in Starcraft 2 where health pools are far larger on defensive structures.  If you are going cannons I should note positioning IS important.  You should build your first pilon adjacent to your base.  Your second pilon should be slightly away from that.  You are going to want to build your cannons in between these two pilons.  So what gives Troublmaker why this?

When zerglings/zealots come in most people have them on patrol or attack command.  This means that they are going to strike this pilon first and all of your cannons are going to have a free shot at one unique each.  The proximity of the cannons to your base is going to protect your harvesters.  Eventually you’ll want to place your cannons in the path of harvesting so that you can protect them from flyers.  For now it’s a melee rush you’re worrying about.

If you’re not feeling like investing in cannons maybe the zealot route is for you.  It simple, build up troops.  Zealots are unique in that they are very powerful units with low resource cost.  One zealot can take out 4 zerglings and 3 marines.  I genuinely prefer massing up zealots if my base is further away than other bases.  This allows me to deploy my mobile defenses to aid other players if they’re being attacked. But yeah I always use cannons if I’m the closest.  It depends a lot on map design whether you should go cannons or zealots.  Consider this though, the cost of two cannons is the same as three zealots.  Cannons are deployed faster but zealots are more economical.  Forge and Gateway have the exact same warp in/construction time.  This means that the choice between what sort of defense comes down to a numbers game.  1 zealot per 45 seconds at 100 crystal or 1 cannon every time 150 crystal is available.  In a rush scenario you won’t be able to choose between both.

A lot of zerg players get bogged down by 1-minded massing and will continue to stack cannons or zealots… don’t.  After you have 4-5 zealots try and expand into immortal or void rays.  Although cannons and zealots do well against marines, zerglings and other zealots they’re not going to stand up so hot to higher tiered units.  You’re fine to deploy cannons near freshly constructed buildings, but don’t MASS them just build a few.


The zerg in this game kill me, but yeah you have to be able to fight a zerg as zerg in this game.  The Zerg are no longer more likely to rush you they are only just as likely as Terrans to rush.  The Spawning Pool that is required to spawn zerglings now costs a total of 200 crystals to create.  That’s expensive.

Unlike other races when you are choosing to build defenses you are also going to take away from your economy since the same structure that builds units for one (Hatchery) is going to build units for the other.  So please do not ignore your economy in the name of defense.  Once you have enough resources do build the Spawning Pool.  Have 6 zerglings available (yes 3 made makes 6) to defend.  Why so few?  The answer is quite simple, zerg units build fast.

While a combined fleet/ground force was attacking my team mate I sent in a legion of marines/medivacs to lock down this zerg base that was giving my team mate such huge troubles.  I was making my way into his hatcheries when suddenly a legion of zerglings came in one me and wiped out my attacking force.  The 6 zerglings you spawned exist for one and only one reason, to slow the enemy down.  The Hatchery does have to be protected and so do your structures.  6 isn’t going to do anything, but if they do rush you, you should have a second hatchery by this point.  This means that he has 30 seconds to kill everything… your zerglings should last that long.

The added benefit to this is that a spawning pool is necessary to make a Hive and it’s actually just on your development path.  Later on you’ll want to make some spore crawlers (anti-air) and spine crawlers (anti-ground) which are mobile defensive structures for now though surviving is quite simple, PRODUCE!

And that completes my little guide to surviving a rush in Starcraft 2.

Find this helpful?  Check out my other guides:

– Four Hatcheries on Zero Hour
– How I Got Unbreakable
– How to win a Medium Difficulty AI Match
– Harassment Types
– The Crafty Art of Cannon Rushing