Hi guys! Hope everyone had a good weekend! Mine was, I saw Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. If you haven't seen it, it is definitely one of the best movies I have ever seen and encourage you to go see it. Best line in the movie, “What an Asshole!” when you watch the movie you will understand!
Being fast doesnt mean having high APM
So today I am going to talk a bit more about macro and other things you can do to help speed up your game. Having high APM does not mean being able to click at a very fast rate, it’s remembering what to build or train, and when to build it. It also means keeping an eye on your resource bar and your supply. You need to make sure your money is low. The way I think about how much money is too much is this. What is the most expensive unit I can make at that point? If I have more than enough minerals to make that unit, I have too much.
So here is an exercise I have been doing to help increase my APM. This is something Day9 had mentioned in one of his dailies. You can find his videos and more at http://day9tv.blip.tv/. Ever since I’ve been doing it, I’ve noticed my awareness has gone up, and time has slowed down while I’m playing, if that makes sense. Here is what he suggested, "Don’t stop building Workers, Probes, or SCV’s."
What I had been doing...
Now to just make a quick point, before I did this, I was using 3 Probes in each refinery and 15 for minerals 21 total, it worked out pretty well. Up until I wanted to expand, then I had to do a mad rush for more Probes, to make that expansion viable.
When I continually built Probes, I noticed I had to pay attention to timing; I always had to be making Probes, meaning making sure my nexus was busy for 5 minutes took priority over everything else. This simple act changed my build order up, but allowed me to be more observant of what was going on around me. I noticed I had enough money to indeed build that Cybernetics Core shortly after the Gateway came up, getting an assimilator up early was something else, I started seeing right times for building placement and when they weren’t right.
I know his is kinda vague, but just try it yourself. Keep your build order you like, and just change it by making sure having at least one Probe building at all times.
What changed when I did not stop building Probes?
One of the biggest things I noticed was that I can early expand, with a sizable army early on. The few extra Probes I had from continuously building provided a slight boost to my economy over time. So around 6-7 minutes in I can start an expansion and still have a sizable army to defend or harass with. By the time it is up, if I have been continuously building Probes, half of the Probes I have can be transferred to the new expansion. Several more will still need to be trained to take advantage of the gas deposits. You should always strive to have 2 separate bases for income. At this level of play its hard to manage 1 base let alone 2, so you never know when one will be taken out, or if you’re not paying attention they will simply run out and you will have to wait to get your income at that rate again.
I dare you....
My challenge to you, practice this, continually make Drones or whatever your weapon of choice is, and watch your resources and food count. Time buildings so as soon as you get the amount you need, a drone is ready to build it at that spot. Don’t get supply blocked either! When you are within 6 supply of your cap, build another depot, Overlord, Pylon. The constant watching and waiting will make you more aware of what’s going on. Keep your money low! Is it getting high? Build a building, train a unit, or get an upgrade going! If you have money, SPEND IT!!!!!!
I will post a replay up soon hopefully of what it should look like. J