A particular game at the most recent DreamHack motivated me to figure out a good way to spread workers to negate Hellion harass (I'm sure a lot of people know which game I'm referring to). Blue flame Hellions have the ability to melt workers, particularly if they are lined or bunched up. It seems that, at least in the games I've seen, most peoples' response to blue flame Hellions is to run their workers around in circles in one big group, which unfortunately often leads to them lining up for lots of splash damage (especially if you click on a mineral patch, which causes them to stack). You can move them around in separate groups to attempt to limit this, but it's still not very optimal.
I didn't spend a whole lot of time on this, so there may be a faster and/or more effective way to accomplish the goal of separating workers to avoid the splash, but I have never seen it used so I thought it was worth posting (I apologise if it's already known). It is obviously inspired by the F1 worker split, and is fairly simple.
Here are the steps:
1) Select all of your workers (box them or ctrl-click) 2) Hit S (or whatever Stop is for your key setup) 3) Hold down F1 (select idle worker) 4) Right-click somewhere at the edge of your screen, but within your base 5) Right-click somewhere else at the edge of your screen (I think it's easiest to go around in a large circle on your screen. There may be better patterns)
Update: Shikyo has pointed out that you can perform all of the move commands while holding down F1; there's no need to press F1 repeatedly. This greatly simplifies things.
Keep clicking around your base until all of your workers have been moved. It can take a few seconds to do for a fully-saturated base, but the result is that your workers are all over the place and can't be splashed to death. It's also fairly hard to screw up as long as you hit S before hitting F1. Just keep holding down F1 and right-clicking around the screen.
As you can see, a Hellion would really only be able to hit 2 or 3 Probes at a time even if it was perfectly positioned, and it's quite easy to micro those Probes around without having to worry about the rest. It took me 6 in-game seconds to perform this with 20 Probes (ignore the timer on the screenshots), and that includes moving the screen to the base via the minimap.
You may be able to improve it by alternating the distance that the workers move so that the pattern is less of a circle and more of a checkerboard, but that's more complicated.
There is a potential issue with this technique, though: any idle workers you have will be moved as well. This is probably a benefit if you just have idle workers lying around for no reason, but it'll move any that you've deliberately positioned unless they're on Hold Position or are holding a Xel'Naga Watchtower. Edit: Thanks to Clamps for the correction.
CherubDown has been kind enough to create a video demonstrating how to perform the technique:
On November 27 2010 22:26 Talin wrote: I would imagine this becomes a bit too messy and time/action consuming to perform with 30-40 Probes though, considering you still have to control your units to deal with harassment as well.
This, should be pretty hard spamming F1 like a madman and still kill off the harassment properly.
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Usually you're gonna have much more probes when hellions are dropped so it'll take longer. I am thinking from the time you hit 's', you give time for hellions to take a few pot shots. What you usually want to do is micro a few probes and try to block/surround the hellions (sacrificing these, while the others escape) Your army should clean up while you lose at most only those few probes.
Invictus Singapore. November 27 2010 22:37. Posts 1689
One thing Day9 points out a lot is that you can sim city around mineral lines to block hellions (or any other unit) from moving into the workers. Sim city also would help with drops because it forces the drop to a small area which makes defending from the drop(s) much easier. This would be a lot easier to do than trying to micro 20+ workers, and also, if you spread out the workers around the nexus it really just gives the hellions more places to go to kill probes (even if it's only a few at a time).
Shikyo Finland. November 27 2010 22:53. Posts 20178
You can do this alot faster if you just hold down F1 and click around. Let me try how long it takes for a mineral line with 24 drones. About 5 seconds after stopping them on the first try... and I'm not even a good player.
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