Macroeconomics vs. Micromanagement

Posted by Shinji_Rarenai (73 posts) -

I'm still playing Terran this season, but I just can't seem to get out of the Silver division. I have been using the builds that LGRipper had taught me, along with the ThorZaIN build from Day[9]'s video. Last night, after I lost a number of Terran vs. Terran matches, one of my opponents suggested that I look at this Team Liquid forum thread by filter: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=330787I didn't have time to look at it that night, but I did take a look later the next day. I read the thread and watched the first few of his YouTube videos.

The thread stresses that macroeconomics ("macro" for short) is more important than micromanaging your units ("micro") in StarCraft. The idea is that groups of well-controlled units might perform marginally better than a like number of units, but overall, it's more important to have a bigger army. Ignoring the battles to create a stronger economy can actually end up winning more games than really good micro.

The build he shows isn't hard - basically you build as many marines as you can, and you do a basic 1 barracks fast expand. You should start building your expansion by 3:45 in the game. After the game, you need to look at when you expansion was started and check how many SCVs you have at the 10-minute mark. Sounds easy, right?

Then he showed his build. He's a Master division player, and was able to make 52 SCVs and 49 marines by the 10-minute mark. He was actually attack-moving directly into his opponents base without micromanaging his units, and managing to win against most Bronze and Silver opponents.

Since I already had 20 replays from Season 7, I started by looking at my old replays to see what units I had and how many SCVs I had built by the 10-minute mark. I also listed what my opponents had at that point.

The results were surprising. For my "best" 1/1/1 build, I was able to make 17 marines, a hellion, 4 siege tanks (without siege researched), a banshee, and a raven. My "ThorZaIN build" got 11 marines, 4 siege tanks, and 2 medivacs. The best Protoss opponent I played has 7 zealots, 4 stalkers, 3 sentries, and an immortal. An army of 48 marines looks a lot more impressive than any of these.

I also looked at my SCV count. Apparently, I'm forgetting to keep building SCVs. I don't know when I start to forget, but when I looked at my replays, I usually only had 28 SCVs at the 10-minute mark. I didn't think I had awful macro, but I thought it was a lot better than it was. The 50-SCV benchmark 10 minutes into the game started looking really difficult.

Instead of playing against the computer like filter suggested, I went straight into the ladder games. By ignoring the other building types and building a command center much earlier than I was used to, I managed to make 43 SCVs by the 10-minute mark on my first try. I had 32 marines as well, but I might have lost some to banelings earlier in the game. I played six more games after that. I would regularly get more than 40 SCVs by the 10-minute mark, but getting to 50 proved to be sort of difficult. I managed to do so on my seventh try. (Note that, according to filter, you are supposed to be able to get 50 SCVs every game.

Of the seven games that I played, I won four games and lost three. I lost one to a quick baneling/zergling bust. I lost another when I sacrificed a lot of guys to cannons as my marines attack-moved into his base. He eventually built enough collosus to be able to counterattack and kill my entire army. I lost another game because my army kept moving into siege tank fire. (I gave up on the no-micromanagement thing. I'll move my marines around to avoid photon cannons and siege tank fire, but I'll still concentrate on macroeconomics over micromanagement.)

Some of my opponents quit the game without a polite "gg" ("good game") and some raged that Terrans are overpowered. I have to say that I found it hard to defend against mass marines, but there are good counters - banelings, infestors, collosus, and siege tanks. It's possible that it's just hard to get enough of those units by the 10-minute mark to mount a good defense.

We'll have to see how this build does in the long term, but at least for right now, it seems like it's working. I'm playing (and beating) more Gold division players. Maybe this will be enough to promote me before the end of the season.

#1 Posted by Shinji_Rarenai (73 posts) -

I'm still playing Terran this season, but I just can't seem to get out of the Silver division. I have been using the builds that LGRipper had taught me, along with the ThorZaIN build from Day[9]'s video. Last night, after I lost a number of Terran vs. Terran matches, one of my opponents suggested that I look at this Team Liquid forum thread by filter: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=330787I didn't have time to look at it that night, but I did take a look later the next day. I read the thread and watched the first few of his YouTube videos.

The thread stresses that macroeconomics ("macro" for short) is more important than micromanaging your units ("micro") in StarCraft. The idea is that groups of well-controlled units might perform marginally better than a like number of units, but overall, it's more important to have a bigger army. Ignoring the battles to create a stronger economy can actually end up winning more games than really good micro.

The build he shows isn't hard - basically you build as many marines as you can, and you do a basic 1 barracks fast expand. You should start building your expansion by 3:45 in the game. After the game, you need to look at when you expansion was started and check how many SCVs you have at the 10-minute mark. Sounds easy, right?

Then he showed his build. He's a Master division player, and was able to make 52 SCVs and 49 marines by the 10-minute mark. He was actually attack-moving directly into his opponents base without micromanaging his units, and managing to win against most Bronze and Silver opponents.

Since I already had 20 replays from Season 7, I started by looking at my old replays to see what units I had and how many SCVs I had built by the 10-minute mark. I also listed what my opponents had at that point.

The results were surprising. For my "best" 1/1/1 build, I was able to make 17 marines, a hellion, 4 siege tanks (without siege researched), a banshee, and a raven. My "ThorZaIN build" got 11 marines, 4 siege tanks, and 2 medivacs. The best Protoss opponent I played has 7 zealots, 4 stalkers, 3 sentries, and an immortal. An army of 48 marines looks a lot more impressive than any of these.

I also looked at my SCV count. Apparently, I'm forgetting to keep building SCVs. I don't know when I start to forget, but when I looked at my replays, I usually only had 28 SCVs at the 10-minute mark. I didn't think I had awful macro, but I thought it was a lot better than it was. The 50-SCV benchmark 10 minutes into the game started looking really difficult.

Instead of playing against the computer like filter suggested, I went straight into the ladder games. By ignoring the other building types and building a command center much earlier than I was used to, I managed to make 43 SCVs by the 10-minute mark on my first try. I had 32 marines as well, but I might have lost some to banelings earlier in the game. I played six more games after that. I would regularly get more than 40 SCVs by the 10-minute mark, but getting to 50 proved to be sort of difficult. I managed to do so on my seventh try. (Note that, according to filter, you are supposed to be able to get 50 SCVs every game.

Of the seven games that I played, I won four games and lost three. I lost one to a quick baneling/zergling bust. I lost another when I sacrificed a lot of guys to cannons as my marines attack-moved into his base. He eventually built enough collosus to be able to counterattack and kill my entire army. I lost another game because my army kept moving into siege tank fire. (I gave up on the no-micromanagement thing. I'll move my marines around to avoid photon cannons and siege tank fire, but I'll still concentrate on macroeconomics over micromanagement.)

Some of my opponents quit the game without a polite "gg" ("good game") and some raged that Terrans are overpowered. I have to say that I found it hard to defend against mass marines, but there are good counters - banelings, infestors, collosus, and siege tanks. It's possible that it's just hard to get enough of those units by the 10-minute mark to mount a good defense.

We'll have to see how this build does in the long term, but at least for right now, it seems like it's working. I'm playing (and beating) more Gold division players. Maybe this will be enough to promote me before the end of the season.

#2 Posted by supermike6 (3540 posts) -

It's surprising how well that style works, especially if you just 1-base it against zergs, since they are never prepared for attacks that happen before the 8-minute mark, and if you are just constantly attacking they crumble real quick. It's a good way to just work on your mechanics, but personally once I reached platinum I have started just playing Random and dicking around instead of trying to improve. I guess that's just the kind of player I am.

Good luck!

#3 Posted by MacEG (253 posts) -

Good read. I'm a bronze level player and still learning how to learn..... if that makes sense.

Online
#4 Edited by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Gotta built that muscle memory. Hotkey your CC and every 30 seconds or so, hit that hotkey and S. You've basically got to get it to the point where you don't think about building SCVs anymore, it just happens.

#5 Posted by haffy (673 posts) -

Don't repeat the same build, especially cheesy builds. Mass marine is pretty easy to beat, the only thing it has going for it, is it's usually unexpected.

It doesn't really help you learn the game either, and you'll eventually get stuck in a rut. Just learn the standard builds and deviate from them when you feel like it.

TvP MMM and add vikings/ghosts when you need to.

TvZ/TvT Marine/tank/drops. Add vikings when you need to for each.

Also don't pay attention to league. Playing in a higher or lower league or against opponents in different leagues doesn't really mean anything. You'll know for your self when your getting better at the game.

#6 Posted by Slag (4074 posts) -

The thread stresses that macroeconomics ("macro" for short) is more important than micromanaging your units ("micro") in StarCraft.

Absolutely, just look at Grubby. He was the man in Warcraft III given his insane micro, but in SC he's merely elite since his macro is not as strong.

You can get to Platinum with bad micro and good macro, but the reverse is definitely not true. Sc is primarily a numbers game. It's all about getting numerical advantages on your opponent, which means building faster, replenishing faster and picking engagements where you have tactical advantages (upgrades, visibility, numbers etc).

advanced marine micro is useful, but not really important until you get fairly high up. About the only unit you really need to get good with micro is siege tanks, since if you don't space them and deploy them properly their effectiveness can be severely limited. Or just don't use them often.

Apparently, I'm forgetting to keep building SCVs.

You want to advance, you need to fix that pronto. As a terran you should always be building SCVS and pumping MULEs. I think this is what is the core of your problem right now.

You cannot win consistently without a lot of SCVs constantly mining

He was actually attack-moving directly into his opponents base without micromanaging his units, and managing to win against most Bronze and Silver opponents

I would not recommend doing this.Switch primary mental focus to micro mid combat, but use your hotkeys to keep pumping units during fights. You always be making something.

You should never completely neglect either aspect of the game.

btw personally I'm not into Thorzain's style. I think Bomber, MVP and MarineKingPrime have much more interesting, versatile and easier to replicate play styles. You might wish to check them out.

best of luck duder!

#7 Posted by Time_Lord (714 posts) -

I'm A Silver League Protoss I have a hard time defending mass marines like that you need to force field perfectly and see it coming other wise you lose lol.

#8 Posted by Shinji_Rarenai (73 posts) -

@haffy said:

Don't repeat the same build, especially cheesy builds. Mass marine is pretty easy to beat, the only thing it has going for it, is it's usually unexpected.

It doesn't really help you learn the game either, and you'll eventually get stuck in a rut. Just learn the standard builds and deviate from them when you feel like it.

TvP MMM and add vikings/ghosts when you need to.

TvZ/TvT Marine/tank/drops. Add vikings when you need to for each.

Also don't pay attention to league. Playing in a higher or lower league or against opponents in different leagues doesn't really mean anything. You'll know for your self when your getting better at the game.

I appreciate the advice, but that's actually not the point of the article. He's stressing the SCV production over the army, period. An attack by 10-minutes is by no means, cheese, and it's also easy to take out if they attack earlier. The one thing that I found really impressive, though, is that an all-marine build can actually beat a zergling/baneling army with just attack move. You just gotta have enough marines, so that he runs out of larvae... :)

I actually found that it was hard to get to 50 SCVs at 10 min unless:

  1. I don't forget to build them.
  2. I queue an "extra" one a little before the first one finishes, so there's no "lag" between then.
  3. I have to expand a lot more quickly than I'm used to. If you don't start to expand by 3:45, then you can't hit the 50 SCV mark.

I did watch Day[9], and read a lot, and everyone says, "Always make workers." This was the only video I saw, though, where it actually sets a benchmark...

I also "graduated" to the "Silver-level" build. Instead of just mass marines, now he wants you get a factory down so that you can push at the 10 minute mark with a mix of marauders and marines, two medivacs, and stim 10 seconds from finishing. I found that this one was a lot harder, and as soon as I try and build the other stuff, my SCV production goes back down to the mid-40s...

Anyway, I appreciate all the comments. Hopefully someone else finds this video useful. I really like it.

#9 Posted by Shinji_Rarenai (73 posts) -

@Slag said:

Apparently, I'm forgetting to keep building SCVs.

You want to advance, you need to fix that pronto. As a terran you should always be building SCVS and pumping MULEs. I think this is what is the core of your problem right now.

You cannot win consistently without a lot of SCVs constantly mining

I totally agree. I was just surprised how much of a difference it could make. I thought I was making SCVs constantly, but you don't really know until you look at a replay, stare at your command center/nexus/larvae, and then count the workers at the 10-minute mark.

@Slag said:

He was actually attack-moving directly into his opponents base without micromanaging his units, and managing to win against most Bronze and Silver opponents

I would not recommend doing this.Switch primary mental focus to micro mid combat, but use your hotkeys to keep pumping units during fights. You always be making something.

You should never completely neglect either aspect of the game.

btw personally I'm not into Thorzain's style. I think Bomber, MVP and MarineKingPrime have much more interesting, versatile and easier to replicate play styles. You might wish to check them out.

best of luck duder!

I agree. The guy who made the video was just doing it to show that micro isn't as important. It manages to get him through Bronze and Silver games. I think that (at least for me) I naturally look at the battles anyway, so if I try to remember to macro, at least I'll have my emphasis in the right place. I have been hotkeying the buildings, but for some reason, when the game gets further along, I stop making workers. It's more "retraining" me to remember the macro side, and the rest will be by instinct.

I'm really just using his build as a template, so that I can compare it against how many SCVs, units, and buildings that I "should have" at the 10-minute mark. Between that and the "attack with what you got at 10 minutes" it's making the games a lot quicker, and a lot more fun.

The downside is that I can't have as many beers when I sit down to play now. :)

#10 Posted by Green_Incarnate (1788 posts) -

Yep absolutely. You can almost ignore builds and strategy till platinum league. Before playing multiplayer all I did was practice macro mechanics against the computer. Choose one simple build. Always be making workers and spending all your money and gas. Don't forget to mule/chrono/inject. Don't step up to multiple bases unless you can spend all your money on one base. It's pretty boring practicing this way, but repetition like this is the fastest way to get better.

#11 Posted by Giantstalker (1538 posts) -

I just want to say that this video series has single-handedly got me back into SC2.

I'm only at Silver but it's given me a lot of tips, pointers, and benchmarks to work for. This is a lot more fun than just floundering around and losing every game due to no long term strategies/techniques (ie; macro).

Interestingly it also has made the game more of a challenge against myself than the actual opponent at times. Really having fun with this.

#12 Edited by Slag (4074 posts) -

@Shinji_Rarenai said:

I totally agree. I was just surprised how much of a difference it could make. I thought I was making SCVs constantly, but you don't really know until you look at a replay, stare at your command center/nexus/larvae, and then count the workers at the 10-minute mark.

oh yeah man, amazing what you can see in replays isn't it?

For me the challenge before I stopped playing all the time was getting my worker transfer down to my expansions right. Once you get used to making them right, you'll notice that you'll need to make sure you don't have too many in the Main too long as it gets mined out. In longer games, having too many workers on exhausted mineral fields is lethal as it's like not having SCVs at all.

(FWIW I peaked so far at Gold in 1v1 plat in 2v2, but my gaming bud was a high diamond)

@Shinji_Rarenai said:

I agree. The guy who made the video was just doing it to show that micro isn't as important. It manages to get him through Bronze and Silver games. I think that (at least for me) I naturally look at the battles anyway, so if I try to remember to macro, at least I'll have my emphasis in the right place. I have been hotkeying the buildings, but for some reason, when the game gets further along, I stop making workers. It's more "retraining" me to remember the macro side, and the rest will be by instinct.
I'm really just using his build as a template, so that I can compare it against how many SCVs, units, and buildings that I "should have" at the 10-minute mark. Between that and the "attack with what you got at 10 minutes" it's making the games a lot quicker, and a lot more fun.
The downside is that I can't have as many beers when I sit down to play now. :)

oh yeah duder, I'd say SC is 70% macro maybe more. It was a little tough for me since I had gotten used to heroes from WC3 as it had been awhile since I played broodwar. eventually you know you'll probably want to focus a little on battle tactics, but that won't benefit you until your your economy down.

btw I personally felt the best template to learn off of for me was the MMM build as it's called. It's pretty versatile and flexible if things go awry.

http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Terran_Strategy

what's nice about it is that it can branch into several other ones since you'll have a Rax, Fac and Starport. Which allows you to learn something from games where you may be lose (cause you experiment with other units).

In particular I found this variant had about a ~80% success rate on Bronze players and ~65% on Silver when I used it as an open.

http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/MMM_Timing_Push

the annoying thing being of course, when it works you get accused of cheesing, which is ridiculous since it's 8-10 minute attack.

oh and drinking and sc2 never usually works out well sad to say. :(

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