Thursday, August 5, 2010

HOWTO: Perfect Terran Proxy Build Order - Starcraft 2

Today we take a short break from our normal broadcasting to talk about a bit of gaming strategy.

In Starcraft 2 a "proxy" means you fore-go building in your own base and instead build your unit producing structures nearly on top of the opposing player. Timing is everything when using a proxy, so it is best used in maps where you know the starting location of your opponent(s). The following proxy build order is something I have been perfecting since the game was in beta and with the right amount of micromanagement I have found it rarely looses.

If you have never read a Starcraft build order before, the number before each listing is the number of SVCs you should have before building each object. In this particular build order the item listed in bold should be constructed in your starting base.

8 - Barracks
10 - Supply Depot
10 - Marine
10 - Barracks
10 - Marine
10 - Marine
12 - Bunker

The two key elements to any successful proxy are speed and micromanagement. As soon as the game starts, select five of your six starting SCVs and have them get to mining - the sixth SCV (your builder) should begin making his way to just outside the enemy's base. At the same time while all this is going on, get your first two additional SVCs building at the command center.

Most maps are large enough that by the time your builder SCV is outside the enemy's base you should have 150 minerals to get your first barracks building (if not wait a few moments). While that is building you should have time to build two more SCVs, followed up by a supply depot back in your home base.

As soon as your barracks finishes it should start producing marines - all of your barracks should be constantly producing marines until the match is over (which in a perfect world will be just a few more minutes). Now you have to wait around a few moments to gather resources, your first marine should finish and you should get your second training. Sometime between your first and second marine you should now have enough minerals to get your builder started on a second barracks. While he works on that make sure your first barracks continues to pump out marines and to ensure a steady cash flow once you get into combat you will want to produce two more SCVs as soon as you have the funds.

With 12 miners going you should have enough minerals to get a flow of marines building at your second barracks and throw down a bunker just outside their ramp. Right about the time you get your fifth marine your bunker should be finishing up - this is where the micromanagement begins. Take your group of five marines and attack forward into their base. If you meet heavy resistance, attack and then fall back to your bunker - if your opponent is a poor player (or not paying attention) you can bunker your marines and easily kill off their units.

That is the core of the build and typically enough to throw most people off their game. The key in winning the game from this point forward is to keep almost constant pressure on the other player by attacking with your continuous flow of marines. In terms of expanding more, you should have more money than just two barracks can drain, I typically construct a second supply depot at my starting base, a few extra SCVs, and then a third (and possibly a fourth) barracks at my proxy.

If you are having an issue with pushing all the way into the opponent's base right away, I've found constructing a second bunker at the top of their ramp you can retreat to does wonders. Also important to remember is that if you kill off all of a player's offensive units gun it for their mining line before destroying their buildings. A decent player will most times order their miners to attack what is left of your marines - do not let them surround your squad. Micro back and forth (lure them all the way back to your bunker if you can) dealing what damage you can to their miners in the mean time.

That is the jist of it - pour your stream of marines into their base until they quit or are wiped out. Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you - if you find something that works slightly better, let me know! I am always looking to improve my game :)

~Jeff Hoogland


  1. You do realize that such builds often leave you horribly defenseless at your base, which certain builds - especially your Zerg all-in 'ling pushes - will be able to take major advantage of. And if the person you're playing against bothers to patrol around his base early on your build is either ruined or - best case - you keep the SCV and are just a few moments behind the opponent in terms of resources.

    Granted, this isn't as bad as, say, a Protoss throwing in a proxy pylon and warping in Zealots and Stalkers 5 minutes in or a Zerg doing a 6 'ling all-in rush or the Protoss blocking off your expansion route with cannons. But generally I frown on such things.

  2. You know what they say - the best defense is a good offense. The early 6 ling rush can be a problem, but with the right amount of micro you can typically win that battle...

  3. I'm not so confident with the word "typically" in that statement.

    "Rushes," as they are called, can be expected 4-5 minutes into the game, and unless you have a handful of marines or a photon cannon or two, prepare for the zergling push or the helion raid.

    That being said, the right build can be extremely effective. I've seen massive hydralisk armies and endless fleets of void rays dominate the competition. But inexperienced players reading this post and thinking "hey this might not be a bad idea" deserve to know what to expect.

  4. More like IF they realize what is going on. Building up outside their base gives you an awesome advantage, most times by the time they spot it, it is too late for them to counter.

  5. I got proxy Pylon'd once, now I have critters on constant patrol right from the get go, it solves all these problems so handily. Just use a single drone/scv/etc to keep patrol around the edge of your base and first expansion, and then once some units get pumping, rotate that worker for some low level offensive critters.

  6. I dont know about you guys, but I always build on my ramp.... So not only will I be faster (as I stick to my base) I also will know your there...

  7. usually I scout with early with a drone, so I leave my base and see what you are doing. then I a) delay your construction and destroy you cause I have more lings and you have no bunker or I b) build crawlers to defend your rines and run with the lings to your main and destroy your eco. after that I mass lings or go for roaches and you are done.

    when it is not scouted, it can work pretty well.

  8. Wtf.. if you guys don't like the strategy and "smacks [his] punk ass", then why don't be glad that people like him do these strats?.. I mostly stick to the same strategy, but I'm definitely gonna try out this one.. That's why SC2 is fun - all different kinds of strategies work.

  9. The real counter to this strategy is to keep your cool, defend your wall, and instead of building marines/zealots/zerglings to counter, get higher tech units like tanks, or just cannons, as a protoss. Then use those from the protected position up at the top to destroy the proxy base, using the mobile units (marines/...) to force the marines there out of hiding. Wall-in usually just encourages turtling by the other player, and there are other ways to get out of your base than the ramp.

  10. I have done that strat before...although while I have a barrack building away at the enemys encampment I also make sure I have a barracks building at mine to stave any type of early zelot,ling stress your eco down hard though but it works and keeps you from getting over run by early rushes as well as gives you a chance to have a fallback plan if you *need* extra reinforcements early....maybe taking 5 or 6 mins tops