Today I am sharing a recent cannon rush of mine from Star Craft II. I am not normally a “cheeser” (that is someone who attempts to score a victory in the quickest rush fashion possible), but after the winner of the Star Craft II championships used a cannon rush to win his opening match, I have been playing around with it.
This cannon rush was not a textbook rush, though there are many different forms, but it was a fun rush because of the back and worth that left its success in doubt until the very end.
In my opinion, the most important move that determines how successful a CR will be is when you release your probe. When you watch the video, I had determined where I wanted to set up my first pylon and sent my probe within the first 10 seconds of the game. The quicker you send your probe the less the likelihood is that the other team will be building their wall. This was the case in this game as well. My probe gets in before they move to construct their wall.
Oddly enough, my opponent sent out a probe to scout us and we passed in the area between our bases. He knew I was in his area somewhere and sent his probe searching. In the photo you can see just how close this CR was to failing.
My opponent misses me by inches on the board. Now some people save time when CRing by building the forge with their first pylon in the enemy base, I usually do not. I build it by home nexus in case the rush fails I can still defend my nexus.
Once the forge pops. I begin to drop my cannons. I feel that it is important to set the cannons in a configuration that protects the pylons as well as attacks. I think it is crucial in the success of the CR. Some people will simply push out from their original pylon and attack. I tend to build out from the original pylon with an eye on protecting the pylons and the probe. If you get attacked from behind and lose your probe it is all over. My usual pattern is drop a pylon, then drop 3 cannons in a line in front of it and then immediately drop another pylon right in front of the cannons. That way you if you get attacked by range on the original pylon the cannons are still active and can defend your probe. This picture illustrates my pattern.
I drop the first pylon right against the tree-line. This is the spot I recommend for this map. I provides a good dark spot to begin at. I then drop 3 cannons in a line, and another pylon right in front. It provides protection for my probe and keeps my cannons activated. It was lucky I did too. When I was finally discovered, the zerg sent his/her queen over to attack the original pylon. Having the two pylon system may be slower but it kept me in business.
This is where the CR was fun. Once they discovered me, I had to play it safe to stay alive. The terrain opponent chose to build bunkers to contain me, a wrong choice in my opinion(should’ve went tanks), but the Protoss opponent built immortals (the right choice). Now my mission was to keep the probe alive long enough to kill the one nexus I was creeping to before the Immortals destroyed me.
At one point the Protoss that I am attacking decided to rush my probe with all his probes and I narrowly escaped back to the cannons. That was careless on my part but I was trying to avoid the stalkers/immortals attacking from the other side.
Look at how close the Protoss was to pinning my probe in and ending my rush. This is what made this rush so fun. I escaped to the safety my my cannons which were still activated because of the two pylon system and I continued to build.
A great moment in this game was when the terrain finally decided to bring in tanks. He set one up right on the edge of my cannons. I thought I was finished, but my partner had dropped a ghost in with my cannons. When the terrain moves his army into position to end my CR, he nuked them all. It was great. Watch the video and you can see what a great back and forth this CR was.