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Basic Micromanagement Techniques

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Basic Micromanagement Techniques Empty Basic Micromanagement Techniques

Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2010-08-04, 17:46

As most of us know by now, micromanagement is the key to deciding the outcome to many tactically important battles. Unless you're that stupid and are bringing a knife to a gun fight, good micro can benefit an army as much as an armor or weapon upgrade. Please suggest any others that you may know.

Focus Firing: This is one of the simplest but most vital technique, if you play virtually any RTS at all then you should know and use this on a regular basis. When you are fielding a mass of ranged units, especially with hydralisks, the combined attack power of all the units added up is usually more than enough to completely destroy a single enemy unit. So why not put that to actual use? Whenever you engage in battle, just order all of your troops to attack one enemy at a time, refocusing on another unit when the target dies. Each individual unit killed counts, because it decreases the maximum amount of damage the enemy can dole out to YOU at once. It also cuts down on survivability of expensive long term units like battlecruisers, giving the opponent no time to dance them out of harm. The only units you should NOT use this technique for (besides melee troops) are siege tanks, hellions, and ultralisks, because of their splash AOE damage(Yes, Ultralisks do splash damage now). Despite the fact that the Colossus has a splash attack, focus fire still benefits them because you can retarget their thermal lances into the bulk of an infantry force so the beam sweeps over a larger portion of units, dealing out maximum damage.

Dancing: Also done with mostly ranged units, though you can use it with melee in certain cases too. Basically when you are facing a horde doing a head on attack and they outnumber you, it makes sense that they will take down a lot of your troops fast. To prevent this, retreat any units that are getting dangerously low on hp and may die in the next few seconds back out of the range of the enemy and behind the protective envelope of the rest of your troops, stopping the attack on them. This allows them to continue fighting and keeps up your maximum attack capacity. The reason this technique is so popular and effective with pros is that unlike in real life wars, most players don't really bother or think to flank or surround your army. Unfortunately this does not work if you are facing air units, unless you can somehow run wounded out of their line of sight without them giving chase. The Stalker was obviously made specifically for this, as Blink allows you to dance even when your army is in a tight cluster with no way to move back. Focus Firing is anathema to this, killing off units before you can retreat them, but they are not mutually exclusive. If you can do both at the same time you are truly a micro master* and can turn the tables on a seemingly hopeless battle.

Kiting/Raiding: These have slightly different context and setups, but both retain the core principle of using fast units to conduct hit and run attacks and attempting to avoid or mitigate as much damage as possible from counter attacks. This is a high APM skill and should only be attempted with a good macromanagement support (meaning you can continue to fortify and develop your base(s) at the same time*). Typical raiding units include reapers, hellions, stalkers(with blink), and zerglings(use overlords to drop them in, unless you think you can win with a quick large rush). Raiding is where you quickly sneak past enemy defenses into their base and try to kill as many worker units as you can to damage their economy. Usually as soon as you see units rushing to defend the workers you should bail out and run for it, but if they are protoss and do not have stalkers yet you can still linger for a minute or so while their zealots attempt to fruitlessly chase you down.** Kiting is performed in an empty battlefield, where the enemy is marching units with slow movement or inferior range, like roaches(bad range) or immortals(slow). You move your raiders forward, squeeze off a quick shot and then run back before they can get in range. Rinse and repeat until they are all dead. Marauders work well for this too because their concussion grenades slow down units that get hit.

*Like me.
**Trying to raid against me is unwise and wasteful, as I have recently taken up the habit of stocking photon cannons behind my mineral patches so my probes can futz around in ignorant bliss.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2010-08-08, 18:51

quick important comments:

kiting: kiting with melee units is practically impossible, considering if they have range they can just shoot the melee from afar while the melee has to run in to do damage, hence kiting is best done with hellions and reapers, maybe stalkers, but they don't have as high a speed as the terran kite units.

Focus fire: Very important:
a) if you are in the endgame and you are massing ground range units , when they go to combat only 4 lines or so of unit will be able to attack the target because of the range. in the endgame if you are massing melee units (like ultras), you are probably pretty screwed from something like a wall with siege tanks as they just mow down the lines.

b) aside from void rays with their continuous fire, and I guess carriers, you should try not to overkill units because that is just a waste of damage, for example, 6 siege tanks attacking 1 hydralisk, when you could try to disperse to 2 different targets or in the best case to 3 targets. I can't stop overkill very well because it takes a hell alot of good fast micromanagement but lowering the overkill damage you do can drastically affect how you do against an opposing force.

also a note about void rays: endgame mass of these right now is nigh unstoppable because the continuous beam makes them super nub friendly and easy to use, and not just easy to use but because the beam powers up it makes them crazy. very little overkill damage, very high output of damage very fast, can get a nice speed upgrade, with good chrono boost use you can churn them out in good time, and of course being units with shields they can last for multiple battles. Right now aside from managing to nuke the mass there is nothing to stop it that will end in our victory (extreme photon walls may prolong your life in a match but they wont win the match, turtling only really works for protoss).

Right now the best way to stop a void ray masser is to strike around when the warpgate have been made, otherwise the mass will quickly gain in number become unstoppable).
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2010-08-09, 00:49

a strike when the ray mass isn't up to 20 yet with battlecruisers and lots of infantry will also work. Got r4ped one day in 1v1 and barely held out for the next 10 minutes.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2010-08-09, 13:07

if they mass battlecruisers on you in the mid game they:
a) have crazy economy management
b) you clearly did not do any scouting/harassment - or you would have prepared Razz

but yeah supposedly mass marines is the best counter to void rays, only because the void rays will do lesser damage, against a mass of battl cruisers and marines, if the rays survive after firing down the cruisers their lasers will be at full power and will mow down the marines.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2010-08-09, 18:55

true dat, i usually never scout my enemies unless i'm finding out where they are or photon camping them. oh plus my photon wall was a bit thin that game, like just 6 cannons spread out with 3 or 4 pylons, and they had a thor.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2010-08-10, 01:59

believe it, btw this is note, if you can spare the resources upgrading the void rays makes them crazy good, with their speed upgrade they become the fastest unit in the game (maybe the hellion is a little bit faster, but the void ray can fly so : P) and with armor and weapon upgrades they are simply unstoppable. endgame rays > endgame carriers, while the carriers have better damage in smaller numbers, the voidray damage seems to stack pretty damn fast, and comparing the costs + population + time it takes to create, the void ray becomes easily superior.

btw not only is speed boost great for being pretty much everywhere at once but it is also great for being able to reinforce the lines, with the stargate rally set on a voidray on the frontlines and some good chrono use you can keep beefing up the line.

btw 49 void rays = overkill, knocked out 2 players who were both using mass bcs, and they got fried. bc's are great against mutas, hydras and other similar units with medium health. Units that have lots of health or are good against high health units make the battlecruiser worthless, in another words the battlecruiser is pretty much only effective against midgame unit masses, stuffs like marines, hydras, mutas, stalkers, etc.

I wonder how archons would do in multiplayer, honestly I havnt seen one nor used one, i bet they would be crazy against zerg considering zerg buidlings themselves are organic. by god! I think i just figured out a way to make the templar tree useful into the late game! imagine being able to effectively warp in an endgame unit like the archon into the field. hmmm this will require some testing.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2010-08-10, 08:06

templars are useful in endgame, its mostly proz that use them, a bunch of psistorms will mash a heavy mech army. the archon's bio bonus is only like 10 which allows it to smack down ohko zerglings, 35 splash is nothing to laugh at but its only really good against zerg, who will always outnumber you if you are using a pure archon force, and they are not a good idea unless used wisely against the other races. a fully charged ghost can use EMP rounds to take down their shields to infantry level protection, having all their protection in shields is also their greatest weakness, just be glad its no longer the all shields emp from a science vessel like it was in sc1. protoss and terran only have a few bio units that won't be used very often if at all in endgame, plus archons are basically a feeding ground for prismatic beams. My main thesis for the archon's uncommon use is that its primary role is a meatshield frontline charger to counter bombers like the siege tank, but the immortal is better used for it costing a bit less and having the hardened shields.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2010-08-11, 00:01

the difference is that the archon has more of its total health regeneratable, with roughly the same total health as the immortal (350) but something like 340 is shield which means with good use they can last long (supposedly).
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2010-10-17, 20:32

Again, Archons are mostly obsolete as a heavy assault unit, Immortals have the hardened shields which make them essentially tank killers, the only advantage archons have besides the rechargeable shield is the ability to attack air, and for that they have piss-poor almost melee range. The whole air unit thing just reminds me of how much I want to whine about Immortal not being able to hit air.
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