Intro to StarCraft II: Zerg 101

This week will be our first ever Not Enough Resources Game Night! Join us on September 27th at 8PM EST to play  StarCraft II, a free to play PC title that can be downloaded here. Even better, we will be streaming this event on Twitch for everyone to witness our tomfoolery live! We setup a very basic, very simple discord server for everyone to use, which includes both voice and text chat. You can also add Ryan and Dylan on Battle.net. Ryan can be found at the handle RyanMHolt#11539 and Dylan can be found at  Scampi#1197. While it may seem daunting to try a brand new game, don’t worry, we have got your back!

Not sure the creepy, crawly Zerg are for you? Here is our look at Terran basics.

Spawning is different than building

The key difference between the Zerg and the other two races is that everything comes from larva. This means that the Zerg have their own weird resource management that other races do not, but that shouldn’t detract you! The main idea behind the Zerg is that of the swarm. On a one to one basis your units will be weaker, but because they are cheaper to produce you are essentially playing a numbers game. Heck the default unit, the Zergling, spawns in pairs of two instead of one at a time. Another unique Zerg only mechanic is that all buildings must be placed on Creep, a goopy, purple substance that radiates from any Hatchery you build. So how are these two mechanics handled? Enter the Zerg Queen.

Queens can be built for 150 minerals from the Hatchery after you have built a Spawning Pool. A good ratio to keep in mind is about 1.75 Queens per base. This is because Queens have two very important abilities, Inject Larva and Creep Tumors. Inject Larva allows Queens to add four additional Larva to any Hatchery after a handful of seconds, and Creep Tumors allow you to expand your Creep beyond it’s initial radius. More Larva means more units, so prioritize that if you can. Also, to help keep up with early game production, after you build a drone and an overlord at the start of the game, build a second base right away.

Other than the Queen, things operate in a pretty standard fashion. Need Roaches? Get a Roach Warren and your set!

The Zerg Swarm

Your goal is to outnumber your opponent.

Like I mentioned earlier, Swarming is the key. Generally speaking, don’t let Terran out produce you, and don’t let Protoss out expand you and you should do decent enough.

Unlike Terran and Protoss though, there is no generally accepted build that does well in a variety of situations. A lot of Zerg strategy is reactionary to what your opponent is doing. Are they going for a bunch of light units with low armor like Marines? Go for Banelings. Are Immortals pounding on your base? Zerglings and Mutalisks should overwhlem them easily.

One final word on Zerg armies though? Very few units attack air units until you get to your Lair, so try to set up some spore crawlers in your base and keep your Queens on hotkeys.

Zerg in Co-Op

Kerrigan is the basic Zerg leader in Co-Op, and features her as a hero unit thrown into the fray. Focus on a lot of Zerglings and later Hydralisks to deal with air units and you should be fine. Zagara is based a lot on building other expendable units, like Zerglings and the air suicide Scourge units. Her unit cap is small, so try to sacrifice as many units as you can. Abathur is incredibly technical to play and is mostly about giant macro control of the map through tumors, both vision expanding and destructive. Dehaka allows a single hero unit to absorb the powers of enemies he eats while growing into a Kaiju, giving a satsifyingly overpowered experience. Finally, Stukov plays as a mix of Terran and Zerg, allowing infested units to swarm to a point and overwhelm the enemies.

I am a Colorado based freelancer and graphic designer who loves games, movies and technology. I love seeing cool characters do cool things. My wife, son and two stupid cats keep me grounded. Follow me on twitter @RyanMHolt.

Ryan M. Holt

I am a Colorado based freelancer and graphic designer who loves games, movies and technology. I love seeing cool characters do cool things. My wife, son and two stupid cats keep me grounded. Follow me on twitter @RyanMHolt.

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