Nexus Wars is one of the most popular and longest-enduring games in the Starcraft 2 arcade. The Arcade is the interface players use to play custom games and maps that use the Starcraft 2 engine and units, and Nexus Wars is one of the most popular games.
Here are the rules and objectives of the game:
- Everyone starts out with 1 worker that cannot be targeted by enemy units.
- The Worker is a light defense unit that is primarily used to build structures.
- Players start with a small amount of resources and can use these resources to build structures.
- Once complete, buildings will automatically train a steady stream of units. These units will automatically run to the enemy’s base and attack the enemy’s units.
- If no units are left alive and you are at the enemy’s base, your units will start attacking structures.
- The game ends when one team’s Nexus falls to the enemy’s units.
- Each “round”, players are given resources based on their structures. Each structure provides players with anywhere from 1 to 12 minerals, depending on structure type and cost.
- Players can also build a Pylon which only produces minerals at the end of each round. It can be upgraded to increase income.
- Players also get some resources for destroying enemy units.
- Players can use extra resources to get hero units and upgrades.
The Best Units to Get
In Nexus Wars, there is no real “best” unit. Technically, the best unit is whatever counters the structures that your opponent is building. For example, if the opponent is making Archons, you can make Thors and do well. If your opponent is making Thors, you can make Brood Lords and do well.
However, it is best to stick to the same type of units. This way, your upgrades benefit all the unit types. For example, if you go for Protoss, you will want to try to stick to Protoss ground units. Switch between Archons, Colossi, and so on as needed based on your opponent’s unit composition.
Additionally, you almost never want to sell your buildings. If the opponent is making units that counter your units, add on new buildings to counter your opponent’s units, but do not try to delete your old buildings. You will lose income and that will put you behind if you do that.
Generally, you will want to get units that have a long range, deal splash damage, or benefit immensely from upgrades. You generally also want to go for big units. Marines and Zerglings are worthless late in the game. You need ranged units that will nuke the melee units and smaller units before they ever get in range.
Since Nexus Wars is 4 on 4 and there are two “lanes”, you will likely share a lane with one other player. You want to try to pick unit combinations that work well together. For example, if your partner is going for Battlecruisers and Vikings, you know the big weakness will be mass ground units that are strong against air units. You can add on Brood Lords yourself, as Brood Lords complement Vikings and Battlecruisers.
All About Upgrades
Getting an upgrades advantage is one of the easiest ways to win a match of Guild Wars 2. If you stick to the same unit types and focus on staying alive while you max out your income, you can then start pumping upgrades. Upgrades go all the way up to +10/+10 in Guild Wars 2. Once you start getting a several point weapon and armor upgrade advantage, your units will melt your opponent’s army.
Note that units which get more than +1 damage from a round of weapons upgrades get stronger over the course of the match. For example, the Thor gains +3 of damage on its ground attack whereas the Stalker only gains +1. A 10/10 Thor will be much better against a 10/10 Stalker than a 0/0 Thor will be against a 0/0 Stalker.
Using the Nuke
The Nuke is your life-line in Nexus Wars. You start with one, and once you use it, the only way to get another one is to get out the Odin. The nuke instantly destroys all enemy units within its range and it has quite a large range, making it a “get out of jail free card”.
If you have to use your nuke defensively before the enemy uses at least 1 nuke, you messed up somewhere. The goal is to get the enemy to use all of their nukes before you use any of your own.
If you can dry up all the enemy nukes and still have your own nuke, there is a strategy play that will result in an instant win. If the enemy’s units are trying to push up into your base and the match is about equal, eventually your units and your enemy’s units will cluster around your ramp and reach a standstill. If you use big units like Thors, the ramp will be blocked entirely and the units will really cluster together.
Once you have a huge mass of units in your base, you can nuke the opponent, even if you are in no danger of moving. Your huge mass of units will then march across the map. This is often 5+ rounds worth of units. When these units reach your opponent’s base, your opponent will only have 1 round worth of units. If they have no nukes left, it is game over.
While most pick up matches do not last this long, Hero units are an excellent way to spend extra resources after you have maxed out your particular unit of choice and its upgrades. Hero units have very high HP and damage and come with a special set of abilities.
All the hero units are great and worth the price. Hero units benefit from upgrades, so you generally want to stick to the hero unit that benefits from the upgrades you have already researched. The three units are the Archangel (a Viking), Kerrigan (a small Zerg ground unit) and the Odin (a Thor).
The Archangel’s primary advantages are that it can fly and that it deals an insane amount of DPS when it lands on the ground. When in the air, it really does not do much damage, but has some powerful abilities. When on the ground, it uses vehicle weapons as upgrades, not ship weapons, so it pairs best with a Terran player who went for Factory units like the Thor.
The Odin’s primary advantage is that it comes with an extra nuke that regenerates every 5 minutes. However, it is so big, slow, and clunky, that it is hard to use on offense late in the game. There is no real micro involved with this unit, it is basically a walking nuke. It does allow you to use nukes to clear the enemy’s forces though (you can use the nuke on offense), making it a popular unit just for access to the rechargeable nuke.
Most players seem to prefer Kerrigan, although it is hard to overlook the advantage that the nuke provides. The reason Kerrigan is so popular is that her unit model is so small, she is much more microable than the other Hero units. She can quickly move into and out of battle, making her a much more active hero. The Odin and Archangel are big and slow units, so they do not really offer the player any micro opportunities.