Understanding Convergent Points (Part 2)

miscellaneous

This post continues from the previous post and discusses the advance concept of convergent points.

Although I have previously referred convergent point as a benchmark in terms of the production buildings you should have based on the number of bases you own to have optimum production. Importantly, it is also a benchmark that you should converge your build to.

Converge your build to the convergent point

You often see progamers have different build orders, but they eventually converge back to a standard convergent point. Take the two base with expansion convergent point as an example.

– 3x Barrack
– 1x Factory
– 1x Starport

You can open with one barrack expand, two barrack aggression, or 1-1-1 openings. But you should still converge back to three barracks, one factory and one starport, assuming you are not playing mech.

Let say, you open with 1-1-1 and have one barrack, one factory and one starport. In order to reach the convergent point, you build two more barracks.  Simple.

Another example. You open with one barrack expand. So you will need to add two barracks, one factory and one starport to get to the convergent point. However, it is inefficient to just put down all four buildings simultaneously. You need to choose to build either two barracks or a factory and a starport first. Subsequently, you will build the missing pieces to reach the convergent point.

In short, you can have a different build order, but you should still build the necessary buildings to reach the convergent point in order to have optimum production.

Must I reach one convergent point before I move to the next?

If you look at the above one barrack expand example, you will notice that it does not reach any of the one base convergent points before it reaches a two base convergent point (refer to part one). Therefore, the answer to the question is no. However, things get more complicated when you choose to play a macro game.

Usually (almost always), you converge to a two base convergent point before you reach a three base one. For example, you open with one barrack double expand (barrack-command centre-command centre). So your convergent point should be

– 8x Barrack
– 2x Factory
– 1x Starport

The most efficient way to reach the above convergent point is to reach a two base convergent point first by adding two barracks, one factory and one starport. Then, build the necessary buildings to reach the above convergent point (add another five barracks and one factory).

Of course, you can still reach the above convergent point without bypassing a two base convergent point by building seven additional barracks before you build a factory and starport. But your army composition is less effective and your expenditure of resources is less efficient.

To sum it up, it is fine to skip a one base convergent point, but not a two base convergent point.

Unique convergent points

There are unique convergent points apart from the typical ones listed in part one. For example, in TvZ, one barrack and one factory with reactor on two bases. You can open with 12/12 Reaper, or 14CC, and you will still reach the convergent point of one barrack and one factory with reactor. This is because reactor Hellions in the early game is considered as a staple for TvZ. Subsequently, it will converge to a typical convergent point listed before.

Upgrade

I did not include engineering bay or armory in the listed convergent point as a way to simplify things. However, there is also a convergent point for upgrade buildings.

One base

– None (unless you want to build turrets)

Two bases

– 1x Engineering Bay

or

– 1x Armory

Three bases

– 2x Engineering Bay
– 1x Armory

Explanation

Upgrade is less flexible than production in terms of convergent point. You can literally take this list as a rule of thumb.

The more units you have, the more effective upgrade is.

Stats upgrade is not needed for one base play. It is more beneficial to spend the 100 mineral and 100 gas on unit instead.

You will not see a pro builds two engineering bays and does not have a third base. Usually, you hit a +1 timing on two bases, and +2/+2 timing on three bases.

Summary

Convergent point refers to a benchmark in terms of the production buildings you should have based on the number of bases you own to have optimum production.

You can have different openings, but you should still converge to a convergent point accordingly. It is fine to skip a one base convergent point, but not a two base convergent point.

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