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Double Trouble: An Introduction to 2v2 in StarCraft 2

By Lynskey - 25th December 2010 - 15:13 PM

Happy Holidays Star2.org!
Our present to you is this Feature on Teamgames in StarCraft 2.

Why play 2v2?

Because itís fun. Itís social. Itís different. Itís good if youíre stressed out playing 1v1 ladder games and want to keep playing. While the fundamentals of the game donít change completely when you play 2v2, there are still some major differences and a lot of subtle but quite powerful ones compared to 1v1. While a good grounding in 1v1 games will mean that 2v2 should come pretty naturally, there are still a few things to bear in mind.

Playing with an arranged team is far more fun than random; although random has a charm of its own, as long as youíre prepared not to take it too seriously. Playing with a random partner can be tough against an arranged team and a lot of the time can be quite frustrating so itís best to go into it with a pretty relaxed attitude. In both types of game it tends to be a bad idea to use your normal 1v1 builds, not only because you will more than likely be facing two different factions, but also as you and your ally can forgo certain units as long as one of you is covering an important area such as anti-air, detection, anti-mech and so on. Working out complimentary unit mixes between both of you in the early and midgame is a fun thing to explore, a lot of teams take a ďyou mass X, I mass YĒ approach and it can be very effective. Having a more complex mid and late game unit mix that makes sense is vital so you arenít overcompensating in a specific area and can deal with anything the late game can throw at you.

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The Quirks of 2v2

Easy Natural Expansions
Most of the 2v2 maps feature a very easy to take natural. Several of them are behind where the playersí ramps are or even behind a shared wall. This encourages a lot of players to early expand which is sometimes wise, but a lot of the time can make you weak to early pressure. Working out when to expand is one of the key skills to learn in 2v2. Taking a third base is tricky on every map, often giving a Zerg player a tough time in longer games.

Split Ramps and Shared Ramps
This is the main difference between the 2v2 maps. As an obvious and general rule, shared ramps encourage turtling and passive early game play, while individual ramps encourage early aggression with a view to taking out one player. While this holds true, it is possible to play reverse psychology and look to attack a shared ramp early and play a defensive game on a map with isolated bases. The former is easier than the latter but both rely on your opponent over compensating for the obvious benefits of each type of map.

Resource Trading
Resource trading is one of the most powerful weapons at your disposal in 2v2. There is a tendency for random teamed players or even arranged team players to cling onto their minerals and gas when donating to an ally can be a very strong way to play. Usually this involves donating gas to enable one player to get a high tech unit out quickly or to produce a critical mass of a harassment unit earlier than normal. I have seen some teams trade all their resources to one player, but this can be risky as when their opponentsí army size collectively passes the 200 food mark they are at a disadvantage.