How to be a bastard in StarCraft II

Reaper Harassment

The Terran Reaper is another new unit introduced in the SC2 beta. Think of theRocketeer, turn him into a cold-blooded murderer, give him twin pistols and hand grenades, and you’ve got yourself a Reaper. He can jump up and down cliffs with his jetpack and kill worker units with the greatest of ease as he zips around the map. However, place him in a direct firefight and he suddenly gets all flustered. Reapers may be one of the most mobile units available early on, but they're also quite weak.

When it comes to pissing your opponent off early in the game, nothing beats a bit of economic harassment with the Reaper. Be a typical Terran and wall yourself into your base with supply depots, toss down your Barracks, and attach a Tech Lab ASAP. Then start pumping out the Reapers.

Any Terran player worth their salt knows how good the Reaper is at hit-and-run surgical strikes on the worker line. Invade your opponent’s mineral field, take out as many gather units as possible, and then run away as fast as you can before your opponent can bring in troops to defend his base.

In the meantime, you should be pumping out more units and advancing up the tech tree while your opponent is kept busy rebuilding worker units and running back and forth as you continue to zoom in and out of his base to harass his economy.

Above: Reapers are great for harassing your opponent’s worker line early on in the match

The Optimus Prime

The Terran army now gets a 40 ft. tall battle-mech that’s driven by Arnold Schwarzenegger. There really isn’t much else to say about the unit other than the fact that it’s completely bad ass. The thing deals incredible damage to ground and air alike because… well, it’s a 40 ft. tall battle-mech.

This strat is a variation of the Protoss Proxy Pylon/Gateway. Build as few combat units as possible, scramble up the tech tree, construct a Factory within proximity to your opponent’s base, and then start pumping out Thors. The attack can occur within five minutes and the veritable cherry on top of this deliciously devious sundae strategy is that the Thor will be accompanied by seven to ten SCVs who constantly repair it.

Above: Back up a few Thors with a squad of SCVs to repair them, and bust through your opponent’s defenses

If your opponent doesn’t micromanage his defending units properly, their AI will identify the Thor unit as the greater threat and will concentrate on attacking it. This is a good thing, because it lets your Thor soak up all the damage while the SCVs keep it repaired. Before you know it, your Thors will bully their way through any buildings your opponent has built to block off the entrance to his base. Once that happens, victory will be yours.

Above: Quiet! We’re trying to sneak up on them!

Above: Husky shows just how cheesy he can be with a Factory/Thor Proxy

Be Korean

This has been the ultimate StarCraft strategy and time has certainly not sweetened it. Your opponent has been playing SC since he was a zygote. He knows every single unit counter, every single strategy, and has been scouting your base from the beginning of the match. He has an average APM of 15 bazillion and can micromanage his units to win every skirmish while maintaining his macro gameplay to grow his economy, climb the tech tree and produce more units than you every second.

On the other hand, you don’t even know what APM means and wouldn’t know how to micromanage two Hot Wheels racers, so defeat is inevitable. The great 13th century poet Dante Alighieri might have said, “Abandon hope all ye who play StarCraft with Koreans.”

May 11, 2010

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