I think I'll skip the math this time because I can explain things just as well without it for this week in particular. Last week we talked about macro (building lots of units), and this week we looked at macro from another angle. The idea is to look at the entire process of manufacturing units to look at the bottlenecks.
Professor Feng emphasized that the entire point of good macro is to create units you can USE. Units that sit around not attacking, don't help. Piles and piles of minerals in your bank don't help. These things are only potential, but we have to cash in the potential to create an actual effect. Here's the six-step process of macroing up some useful units:
- Get income (minerals and gas)
- Make buildings that can produce units
- Make sure food/supply is high enough (supply depot / pylon / overlords)
- Produce units
- Get units out of your base
- Actually USE the units in battle
Think of this like an assembly line where a bottleneck at any point will shut down the line. Also note that dropping the ball at a certain point does NOT negate the steps before it, but does shut down the steps after it. If you forget to build pylons at step 3, for example, everything after that is stalled but any work you did on building your income is still valid. It's just that that work stockpiles in the form of "potential" that you'll have to cash in at some later time once you fix your assembly line (build the pylons).
Professor Feng also asked us to think about how at each step, we can imagine some theoretical "perfect" execution on our part, but we can also imagine making a lot of mistakes. For example, you can imagine building every single probe at the first possible moment, never putting any in a build queue, never missing a probe. But you can also imagine forgetting to build a probe for a few seconds here and there, or wasting some minerals queuing them, etc. So there's some range of possible executions here when you take human error into account. Remember that EVERY step has this range.