Zerg Hex places 2 Zerg players against 6 Terran players, (see Map). It's recommended that you play a few games of Terran before attempting Zerg to learn the mechanics of the game mode. The Zerg team wins by destroying the Command Centres of all Terran players. If a Zerg player quits you'll receive all unit control and resources which is a good thing if you had an unskilled teammate. Ways to win with Zerg will be outlined below but it involves a fine balance between Economy and pressurising the Terran.
Income Calculator (new)
(Patch 2.14, Feb 2020) Here is a Zerg income calculator preset on how to generate the maximum possible income. (It just comes down to keeping spawners and spires in balance in terms of income). It's a spreadsheet that you can download in the File Tab, so you can modify it yourself. I gave everyone Edit rights so you can keep it up to date and improve the formulas within it. Consider making new sheets for different strategies, etc.
- For each player path a spawner to each of their side gas and then into their base. This will slow their early game expansion and give you vision of what they are doing. Do this by selecting the spawner, hold shift, then right click on the side gas, then right click up the ramp of the terran.
- Mineral Extractors give you 30 resources per min and you get 1 mineral per spawner on the map (team mates spawners count as well).
- Build early game spawners close to / behind your front line spawners. On the front line they are more efficient as units don't need to travel as far, however they are also more vulnerable later.
- Upgrading spawners will increase the uptime of its production when built far enough away that they would otherwise reach the maximum unit count before the first produced unit dies, but give you no additional resources. Upgrade when you know it's going to do something (force more terran spending on defense, stop terran pushes, break through the wall of a terran etc).
- Build more valuable / upgraded spawners further back near Large Spines Crawlers so they can be safe. Always upgrade these the moment they're done.
- Build your Mineral Extractors in base.
- Avoid building Firelings or more spines. They are expensive and tricky to utilise. Resources may better be spent on spawners or Mineral Extractors if you're not well experienced. Learn how to use firelings before you waste resources on them. If you really need an early defensive unit and are unsure about the firelings, then make 2 Hydralisks and use them to deter Terran offensives (especially reapers). Note: Hydralisks are slower and take damage off creep.
- Minerals income (per minute) = 80 (Hive) + (30 + [spawner count, including allied]) x Mineral Extractors ---- In a side note; you get fined for a few hundred minerals when a terran dies/leaves before 11 minutes--- In short, you always want to build some spawners, even if you just want to maximize your income.
- Never build mineral extractors when each mineral extractor gives less income than building four slowling spawners. You'd help your teammate's income, pressure terran, AND have more income yourself.
Sample Build Order (Credit to Moander)
If you want to mass Strikelings, then build them to the Right/Left hand side of your Hive (the big open space with a Hatchery).
This gives a massive income and relatively low pressure. Strikelings can be massed to destroy undefended buildings/ walls quickly, push players that are running out of energy, or to assist in defending against a Terran push. They are, however, totally useless against a defended wall.
However, this gradual increase in pressure is easy to deal with as terran if they noticed the trend, so against experienced terrans this will most often fail to deny lowground gas. You will need to survive the large midgame push by massing spawners or teching up to primal roaches before they hit.
Hyper Aggressive Opening (Credit to DroneRush)
This build is designed to sweep pro and mediocre terrans off the lowground hard and fast.
This build depends heavily on your control and map awareness, as the execution requires some micro and fast decisions on when to switch target. Send your 6 extra spawners first to mid, then to the sides, only changing targets if the terran built a wall or was pushed up the highground. If you're lucky (or against average terrans), you will also kill a few army units before they notice the mass of creepers heading their way.
Against only mediocre terrans, split the 6 spawners to two terrans. Only some of the best terrans can defend the original 4 spawners plus the extra 3 right from the start, and even then it'll massively slow down their expansion.
While you basically slowed your income by slightly over a minute, terrans will lose more than a few minutes worth of income due to the lack of refineries and losing whatever they built on the low ground, freeing you up for a large number of extractors before you need to go back to spawners.
Most of the actually competent terrans will not wall off early, so you can quickly push one back up the ramp then switch target without giving the second terran time to wall up. This can potentially be game ending, as many mediocre terrans will start turtling after being pushed back a couple times, and this leaves you to deal with the pro terrans without threat of the terrans being able to punish you.
Early / Mid-Game
- Use left and right front spawner pathing to path past side gasses so you spread the Terran force and then when you see an opportunity, manually attack gas expansions.
- Watch for low energy, upgrade spawners or pull some units to push the weakened player back into base / destroy them.
- Deny Terran Gas expansions: This is a Zergs Top-Priority! Terran will attempt to expand outside of their base and secure gas. Zerg have a number of gas blockers around the map in more remote locations that may be attacked later. Make spawners and rally them through these Gases if the blockers are destroyed.
- Don't abuse F2, it will give other Terrans an opportunity to expand and build walls if you pull all your units. Rather manually select a bunch and send them so you still maintain some pressure.
- Always check the terrain bridges to the left and right, you can leave a drone or rally a spawnling through there. It's a favourite place for terran to place some farms and sheep if they feel confident. Alternatively don't check straight away in the hope that they will have some sheep to eat when you get there.
- Be sneaky: Use micro to attack batteries / sheep / undefended walls. Killing batteries is huge as it denies Energy to the Frontline
- Don't get tunnel vision, look for opportunities and have map awareness.
- Be sneaky: When you tech up to stronger Zerg units it can be a good idea to hide the fact. Create a number of spawners and upgrade but don't path them to the enemy just yet. Collect a strong force and then path spawners and send in the large mass. You'll often wipe out a player or force them back into base because of the huge increase in damage and armour.
- Be careful getting unit upgrades when you don't need them, rather lull Terran into a false sense of security and then drop a bunch of upgrades at once to completely destroy or push someone back.
- Attack upgrades aren't useful early game, as your units rarely get to attack anyways and when they do, it's usually due to a lack of energy, so you have plenty of time to deal Damage.
- Balance economy and spawners.
- Speed upgrade basically increases the rate your units spawn when your spawners are idling for a significant amount of time.
- Primarily try to get mass slowlings for income and only enough brutalisks to push the terrans back up the ramp. Once all terrans are turtling, creep forward and either break the wall with omegalisk or snipe the defending units with hydralisks with the help of the special ability of Nests to grant highground vision.
- Attack upgrade helps when your units are chewing on the wall but not breaking through, but otherwise it is still useless.
- Hydralisk can be very useful when you have a lot of units pushing, but are somehow being held back. Use them to snipe units / batteries or help destroy walls. They get more lives over time, or can be upgraded to start with more.
- Slowlings: Make a stupid amount of slowlings. It doesn't sound that threatening, but it's ridiculous. Seeing is believing. In the event Terrans can actually hold, the mass of bodies will prevent them from pushing. This is a not Troll strategy, it works very often as Terrans have a hard time getting Gas Expansions as you are constantly adding more lings. Even if you didn't kill the terran, the massive number of spawners makes your mineral extractors extremely efficient, and will drain the energy of the terran.
- Banklings: Tech Armor 1 early and evolve Banklings, then use the Banklings for eco. This is similar to the slowlings, but more risky as the terrans have a window of free time at the start of the game. It is also a unsustainable strategy, as the extra income each bankling spawner provide doesn't increase with the Mineral Extractor count while the base income of each spawner does, and tankling spawners costs more supply than slowling/creeper spawners. Effective against a terran massing reapers without an Armory.
- Adaptive: Using the Build order above as a guide, make spawners when Terrans are being too threatening and Eco when you can. Focus on denying Gas, rather than actually killing much. Aim to start teching at around the 3k mark.
- Vanilla: Vanilla as in this is how you play zerg in versus: build extractors in waves of multiple supply upgrades, then build spawner the same way. When you build a wave of spawners, you will often catch a terran by surprise and do actual damage to their infrastructure, and when you eco the terran's overreaction over your mass spawner will cause them to make excessive defense that's useless as you didn't increase pressure.
Use Tier 1 buildings for shielding the Nest. By placing them between your Nest and the Terran base, you make it harder for the Terran to Snipe your Nest.
Use Tier 1 buildings for shielding the Large Spine Crawler. Building Spawner around them makes it a bit harder for Terran to Snipe. If you're lucky, the Terran army eats a hit or two more.