In the last article that I wrote, I remember mentioning how I will talk about the power of scouting in StarCraft II, so here goes!
Scouting, is one of the most important tools necessary in a game of strategy like Starcraft II. Building your economy and an army is surely important, however if you build an entire army based around fighting against Marine+Marauder, and you find out that your opponent has gone for air-based play, you are going to be in deep trouble when he flies directly over your base and starts pummeling you from above.
Scouting as Terran
Terran has the scanner sweep, through the orbital command center, that will reveal an area of the map (including burrowed/cloaked units) to the terran for 12.3 seconds. However, this will deny the use of a MULE drop. A MULE drop, for those who don’t know, is a temporary unit for the Terran forces that is able to mine 350-400 minerals over 90 seconds (depending on the distance of the mineral field) and do repairs. This is regarded as very expensive during the early stages of the game, and only necessary if you have little to no information.
Note: make sure you know which base your opponent is at on a 4-player map before scanning a random one! The only other way a Terran can scout is through walking/flying a unit into the opponents base, and seeing what army composition the opponent has, and countering accordingly.
Scouting as Protoss
Protoss has a few units that they use for scouting. The Observer is the main unit, being permanently cloaked it has the ability to fly in and scout the base before the opponent knows what has happened. Whilst this observer is very difficult to see whilst stationary, the shimmer is a giveaway whilst the unit is moving.
The Phoenix is also a viable scouting unit – being one of the fastest units in the game. Phoenix’s can dodge the army of the opponent and get out of harms way before anything can go awry. The final way that Protoss can scout their enemy is through the use of the Sentry’s Hallucination ability.
This ability must be researched at the Cybernetics core and allows the sentry to use it’s energy to spawn a fake unit. Whilst this unit will attack an enemy unit within its range, it will not damage the enemy unit. Using this ability to spawn a Phoenix, you have an energy based unit that can quickly fly over to the opponents base and scout. Even if this unit dies, there is no real monetary loss.
Scouting as Zerg
Zerg maintains knowledge largely through throwing units at the opponents base. Overlords, though slow, can fly in through the base during the early game and scout opening builds before there is a significant anti-air presence. Later in the game, Overseers can be used to spawn changelings, a unit that will change its appearance to the opponents color and basic unit. This can be hard then told to follow an army, and is very difficult for anyone to spot this.
When scouting and observing what the opponents army is composed of, seeing the units and technology that the opponent has can be even more beneficial, as their ability to tech-switch into a different army can prove to be the final nail in your coffin.
Well, I’m tired and slightly hung over – I hope you still love me, because I still love you for reading my article.
For the next few guides I shall start to focus down on how to react to what you’ve just scouted.
Hugs and Kisses,
Was this a bit too advanced for where you are at now? For more basic Starcrat II knowledge be sure to check out Inner’s Starcraft II What You Need to Know. If you like eSports then join the discussion of what video game would you turn pro for.