BoMB – Band of Maniacal Brothers
Desert Strike HOTS - StarCraft II Custom Game

Desert Strike HOTS - StarCraft II Custom Game

StarCraft II Division Returns!

I am reviving the StarCraft II division! Huzzahhhhh!

Mostly I just wanna play Desert Strike, haha. I’m gonna start inviting people when they show me they can be cool for extended periods of time, and not be rageaholics. Meanwhilst, if you’re already a BoMB member, and you wanna play Desert Strike with me, hop on SCII with me, and let’s do it! It’s a beast of a good time when you’re doing well, and it’s still a ton of fun when you’re not. It’s a lot less nerve-wracking than normal SCII, and a lot less disappointing when you lose as well… (since you can always blame your teammates! … jk, lol)

But, what is Desert Strike?

Desert Strike is a StarCraft II Custom Map in the Arcade section. It is a 3v3 tug of war game. You place units in your designated area behind the spawning area, and they all spawn periodically and head towards the other side of the map, to attack the enemy. At its core, the game consists of knowing what units to build and when, the timing of when to upgrade units weapons and armor, switch tactics, micro your special abilities via the ability console, and much more, but the main goal is to counter the unit composition of the waves of units of the opponent on the other side of the map. If you can do a good job of that, you’re golden.

The game ends when you kill the base of the enemy team. Games can range from 10 minutes on the short end up to 40 minutes on the long side of things. To find it, open StarCraft II, click the Arcade tab, and then the Browse button.

Hey, there’s more than one Desert Strike!

Desert Strike HOTS screenshot

Yep! Since Desert Strike is very popular, there are more than a few flavors of the game which have been made over the past seven years since StarCraft II was released, such as Desert Strike Square Edition, Desert Strike Turtle Version, Desert Strike 1338 Mod, Desert Strike Legacy, Desert Strike Azure, and others. Each of these has differences (some larger than others) which can make the gameplay vary wildly. Almost all of the flavors of Desert Strike are fun and worth playing, and they consistently rank in the most-played games in the Arcade.

We play the “Desert Strike HOTS” version, which is consistently at the top of the Arcade queueueue (pronounced “kway-way-way-way”) pretty much exclusively. Its official forums can be found at and they include a general discussion area, strategy tips, update suggestions for the developer (Tya), and links to his other game projects.

How to Play

The absolute best way to pick up the basics is to play a few times. You will experience what is written above in the introduction to this post, and more. Once you’ve gotten a feel for the game, you’ll feel like you’re terrible at first, but it’s not too hard to improve your play rapidly. Desert Strike is easy to learn, and hard to master. There are many topics of improvement, but since there’s so much to discuss in terms of nuanced strategies, I could go on forever (and I don’t want this post to be super long). Instead, I’ll just link to some guides I’ve found online. Look these up, and you can  also learn more as you play more~!

However, once you get all that knowledge under your belt… one of the harder things to figure out when beginning to play, is whether you did well in a game that just ended. You can use the Score Screen as usual, after exiting the game by clicking the “Victory” or “Defeat” button displayed at the end of a game, but all this will tell you is how many units you killed or lost, and obviously, killing an Ultralisk is not the same as killing a Zergling. Also, the Resources scores are pretty worthless, as are most of the other statistics… However, there is a better way to tell how well you played!

Measuring Your Performance in a Game

Instructions to view Military Mineral Value Killed in Desert Strike

I have found that the most efficient Desert Strike players are the ones with the highest military mineral value killed, compared to the value they lost. This statistic is available in a post-game statistics screen provided directly in the game. So if you’re trying to find out how you did during the game, wait for the enemy base (or your own :'( haha) to blow up, and then follow these instructions (click the picture for a larger view):

  1. Don’t click the “Victory” or “Defeat” button yet (this will exit the game!)
  2. Go to the “Kills” tab at the top of the screen
  3. Compare the “Military Mineral Value Killed” and “Military Mineral Value Lost” numbers next to your name. If the “Killed” value is greater than the “Lost” value, you performed well, especially if the margin is great. If the “Lost” value is greater than the “Killed” value, you did poorly, especially if the margin is great.

Come Join Us!

Desert Strike HOTS is a ton of fun, whether you do well or not. You can often find me on there, marathon seshing in this game for hours. My grand master plan is to make friends, invite people to the clan, and hone our skills in this game together. Once we get enough people in the clan playing this, then at least 3 of us will be online at any given time, and we can play 3v3s with clan mates any time we are online, and we can all help each other improve and begin crushing opponents each and every single game. <3

For Aiur,


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