Hey there everyone, Markco here with my first post at Super Game Bros. Jhaman and I have been playing a lot of SC2 lately, even taking out some great players from as high up as master league. In our long journey to learning SC2, we are coming across truisms in the game that all players can relate to.
For this post I'd like to talk about the truth behind the effectiveness of harassment and "cheese." In reality there is no such thing as "cheese" because you cannot cheat at starcraft 2. However, there is such a thing as an economy destroying all in scenario that many players use to get into the master leagues. The way it works is that your opponents can alter their builds to be ultra defensive or they can lose the match in five minutes. Common cheeses include bunker, cannon and spine crawler rushes. Others include two hatcheries pumping out zerglings or even a proxy hatchery. Two players going all marines and zealots is another common and very powerful early strategy that cripples both economies but more often than not catches opponents completely off guard.
I'm coming to the realization from seeing these cheese strategies that you must have an early playstyle that either counters or is cheese itself. You cannot simply scout and hope to spot everything, you need to instead open up with units that beat common tier one cheese and counter their pushes. Just think about what happens when you do spot cheese: you bunker down and attempt to survive. Why not instead go on the offensive with units that counter them and do so from the get go instead of waiting to spot the cheese? Marines/marauders, roaches/zerglings and zealots/sentries all do well countering the early pushes of cheese players.
By opening with a counter to cheese I can then adjust my build to fit the situation. If a player is instead teching then my early push will kill or cripple him. Why not learn from the cheesers and punish anyone who isn't prepared for early pushes? Next, I can move on to building harassment units that compliment my main army and act as economic doom for my opponent. It all starts with the cheese though, you have to be able to either counter it or do it better than your opponent. From what I've seen, starcraft macro determines the outcome of the game more than anything else, and it all begins with a cheesy opener.