I have noticed that Zealots are very difficult to use early on unless they have some armor and weapon upgrades, and Charge. You cannot have a mass Zealot army without Charge. It is one of those necessary upgrades you have to have. In a lot of games I tried to get zealots early on, but they always managed to get killed by a mass of Zerglings and Roaches, or a Marine Marauder push. The ranged units could be Micro’d to stay out of range of melee, which is why a lot of high level players will go for Stalkers early on. Stalkers are just a necessary part of any Protoss army, they are fast and have good range.
The reason Charge is so important is because a lot of strategies involving Protoss center around the units you can train at the Gateway. Units from the Robotics Facility and Stargate work best as support units to Zealots and Stalkers. Zealots, without Charge, are just slow moving, easily avoided targets. However, when mixed with Stalkers, the Zealots take the damage so that the Stalkers and other units in the back don’t have too. It’s the same strategy that Zerg uses with Roaches and Hydralisks, or when Terrans use Marines and Marauders. Its important to remember that these are not the only strategies to use these units in. Be creative and come up with your own.
You have to agree though, there is nothing like the site of a dozen zealots who just popped Charge rushing to the front lines.
I dare you…
My challenge to you, think of a unit that you hate to go up against. When you see this unit you cringe and get a mental block when trying to find some way to properly engage it. Common units are the Protoss Colossus, Zerg Hydralisks or Mutalisks, or the Terran Battlecruiser. Now train up a force you think would be a good counter to it. But don’t stop there, Mix units with that hated unit, perhaps some Zerglings, zealots, or Vikings, and see how you do. When you know how to properly engage your enemy, you know how to properly beat him.