The Good Die Young

Introduction

Lingoral: its like getting a burger with poo in it
NotDialtone: masterfully described
NotDialtone: you should write reports
NotDialtone: marvelous language skill

And so I did:

There I was, writing a report. With EldritchEvil. On a Mark4 vs. Louder game.

It was good times - but suddenly a few employees at Blizzard decided to pull everyone's collective leg, and release a new patch, mysteriously breaking the replay.

Well at least we won't be bothered by floating drones anymore! Can't tell you how many games that lost me! *Sigh*, that pretty much butchered my will-power as far as battlereporting goes, until I happened to cross paths with Keanu_Reaver. Keanu was (and is) busy with joining clan [cF], which involves meeting the "clan council", learning members' real names and all kinds of other stuff that makes me giggle. I was able to tear him away from his efforts and play a game with me - hooray!

Players

"Better laugh with the sinners,
Than cry with the saints."

I'm a protoss player, I like reavers, DT's, long walks on the beach and a cold beer. I'm presently playing more competitively than I've ever had, sparked by WGT, where I'm presently pursuing both 1v1 and 2v2 fame, the latter with EldritchEvil. Whether I'm a good player depends by which standards you measure. If you're thinking about the current ~nohunters crowd, I'd say I'm probably one of the better :p

Keanu_Reaver is a longtime br.com'er, and has written a few report himself, most of which are fairly good. He plays a decent zerg, likes joining big clans with hilarious requirements and has a funny first name.

The Map

EldritchEvil: My friends are all like, dude it's just a game,
I'm like RRAAAAARGGGGH

minimap

Gaema Gowon is one of the newer maps that are getting increasingly popular, probably due to WGT as well. It's layout is somewhat remiscent of Lost Temple, but there's a few important details that makes it less terran-friendly.

Firstly, dropping the natural cliff is possible, but it's reachable by a ramp, making quick drops possible, but effectively eliminating the total encampment of a cliff.

Islands are also eliminated, and a huge flat area in the middle makes for a perfect staging area - flanking attacks here are deadly.

Generally, a really nice map, and one I hope to play a lot more, instead of Lost Temple. Download it here.

Commence!

"I always thought massage involved women. Don't you just love automation?" -Dibbler

And with a long intro like that, I feel it's time to get the game going. I drew the bottom right spot, with a fancy light blue protoss. That's right, bitches - normal colors are officially not cool. Speaking of that, Keanu got himself a paltry, yellow hatchery in the top right.

Keanu sends his overlord to the west, leaving me without spying overlords for at least some time. Keanu chose zerg beforehand, and I go with my own favorite anti-zerg build: Single gate pumping zealots, and a quick climb up the ladder of techness. The constant zealot pumping can hold off all but the most determined 3 hatch ling rushers, and with early protoss tech, you can deal a decisive blow with either reavers, corsair or speed zeal/templar.

Keanu does a hatch / pool / gas / hatch@exp build, stopping his gas collecting after getting the 100 necessary for ling speed.

I assume this strat was devised after his drone paid an early visit to my base. I placed a probe at the ramp to block any scouting, but lost my concentration, and ended up letting the drone in :( I briefly considered conceding the game right there, but figured Mark4 would be ashamed.

Keanu massed two control groups of zerglings before long, and ran south to test my ramp defense. Five zealots, and a dragoon, used to pop an overlord, stood guard - Keanu wisely retreated.

Slow early game?

"You're old enough to kill,
but not for voting.
You don't believe in war,
but what's that gun you're toating?"

With the early threats over, our plans became clearer. After getting a cycore, I did a quick citadel / templar archives, getting zealot speed and two high templars in the process. Early gas mining really paid off here. The two templars fondled each other a bit, before decided to merge. 'Till death do us part, eh?

Speedy zeals combined with an archon make very quick work of zerglings, and if there aren't too many sunkens present, many of my PvZ's end with this first attack. The timing is extremely important; go too early, and his early lings will be able to hold you off. Even worse is a late attack, zerg's powerful lair tech will make quick work of it.

With 9 speedy zeals, one archon and a dragoon, I headed out in an attempt to surprise Keanu. He spotted me during my trek north, and was frantically putting sunkens down, while spawning units. His zerglings made a bad attempt at a pincer move, and ended up charging in a line formation, albeit from two sides. This effectively decimated their strength in numbers, and the lings were almost all cleared with only minimal losses. I fought my way through four sunkens, two of which were still morphing - buying keanu valuable time. When my troops descended on the last sunkens, the mining drones surrounded it, and fresh lings were brought in.

A quick evaluation of the situation deemed it hopeless (read: I panicked), and instead of manually targeting drones, I hurried up the ramp to Keanu's main base. On the way up, he gave his tech away: two mutalisks targeted my archon, and with a great explosion, my main tank (15 kills, sniff) was dead. Running into his base, I was joined by two dark templars from my main, and I headed directly for the spire. Suddenly, mutalisk popped from all of the surrounding eggs - the zerg fleet had just quadrupled, and now eight mutalisk were determined to save their nest.

But it was I that got the final laugh - there were no overlords nearby! With a final slice, the two dark templar made the spire collapse in a sea of creep, blood and bitter hatred. Grinning madly, I targeted Keanu's Lair, hoping to bring his tech to a standstill. Unfortunately, an overlord finally arrived, and the dark templars were murdered.

Action, Reaction

"Stopped into a church,
I passed along the way.
Well, I got down on my knees,
and I pretend to pray."

With my attack coming to an end, the situation wasn't looking too shabby. In the midst of the battle, I had expanded to my natural, got cannons up in my main for anti-mutalisk, and massed a good deal of goon, for the same purpose. These countermeasures proved their worth as Keanu swung by with his mutalisk to do some damage, but had to return home, empty handed (or empty winged, whichever you prefer).

Keanu was quicker to respond than I had expected - I figured he would do as most zergs and sunken up while powering / expanding, but instead he regained the initiative by spawning a lot of zerglings from all three hatches, and attacking my still warping expansion with an impressive ling/muta force.

Keanu wasted no time, and with good hotkey timing, brought his forces in for the kill. As the ling/muta forced descended on me, I realized my blunder: too many dragoons. Dragoons only do half damage to both these units, and are notoriously bad at handling zerglings. Luckily I had a single archon up front that could take the brunt of the assault, and fry lings as they poured in. Quite the starcraft cookery.

My recently finished 1+ upgrades helped tremendously, and after dancing their little spider legs off, five dragoons remained, all heavily damaged from the attack.

The following few minutes brought an unsteady peace. I got my expansion up and running, and fortified it with plenty of cannons - mainly fearing raiding mutalisks. Keanu tested my defenses with mutalisk fly-by's several times, but was convinced to retreat with a healthy dose of plasma in the face. Kinda like robot porn.

Quite. Keanu added a hydralisk den after seeing his mutalisk forays become ineffective. Lurker tech is the other lair tech that can be extremely effective against protoss. It's absolutely deadly versus zealots, and storm can't handle lurkers alone, especially not if the zerg positions them well.

On a side note, my extreme paranoia towards mass mutalisk provoked me into getting corsairs, probably not the wisest choice, but I've lost to too many muta/ling combos ;)

How detection is imbalanced

ZerG~LinG: Anyone here read "Eats, shoots, leaves?"
Dibbler: Porn book?

After getting my first couple of storm-handy templars out, I always get a DT or two. They're great for scouting. and can catch plenty of zerg off-guard. It also forces them to get ovie speed, and have at least two overlords around their armies at all times.

My first DT proved it's worth when it found a newly started hatchery at the top left main. An ovie was nearby, but no fighting units. With 40 damage a slice, the hatchery had to to be cancelled, and the drone was put in the dead book, filed right after disco and dreadlocks.

I had moved my army in a containment position just outside the zerg natural; this gives me control of his movements and makes templars even more effective in their defensive position. It wasn't long before Keanu noticed this, and broke out with his newly acquired lurker tech.

Without detection, I stormed like crazy, engulfing a unlucky dragoon in process. My troops were fighting the lurkers like endersshadow makes wall-ins. Not very well at all. My plan was to delay the attackers long enough for me to get observers. Thanks to my goon-heavy army, I was quite successful, and the lurkers never dared burrow anywhere near me.

I finally started an expansion at my mineral only - long after Keanu had. Or so I thought. The other half of the wretched zerg lair tech was hot on my heels, and harassed the warping structure while I was fiddling with lurkers. Foolishly cancelled and had to restart it immediately after, cannons now in place.

Cheeky Bastard!

Lingoral: Damn, my Starcraft is broken.
Dialtone: Perhaps this is a chance to see the world from a different side, ponder 0n the ever changing nature of things, meditate on the essence of the universe?
Or look for porn on google image search. Either one is good.

The situation was as follows; we both had two expansions, Keanu was setting up another one at the top left main (again), and we both had our forces out and about for a walk in the middle. Map control was going to matter everything as we fought to claim new expansions - neither of us could bring the other down with a direct assault.

A confrontation was inevitable, and with neither of us liking to play hide and seek, we clashed just north of my natural. His muta/lurker/ling/hydra combo, facing off against my *deep breath* zealgoonarsonsairs.

We traded the first blows just above my natural, but as the battle continued, I surged northwards. Keanu tried hitting and running with a massive mutalisk force, but after losing a few to sairs and misc protoss ground units, he decided instead to throw lurkers into the mix, along with a control group of hydralisks. Three high templars went overtime and stormed left and right - mutalisks, hydralisk and lurkers all got a piece of the cracking lightning. Sadly, these maneuvers cost me most of my zealots, but left my massive dragoon force virtually untouched. Keanu had suffered a blow to the gut, and lost practically everything from his lair tech army.

Confident after a resounding victory in the middle, marched towards Keanu's natural, with 10 goons and a templar. When I started moving, Keanu had about... two hydralisks. When I arrived, Keanu used his enormous amount of hatcheries to pump out 30+ zerglings in one go. I moved into the natural, but found myself swarmed by the little critters. I took a sip of my coke and shouted to no one in particular: "Nuke 'em Rico!".

I waited for the blast for a few seconds, covering my ears - before I noticed my last units were frantically retreating from a massive zergling army.

Head over heals, the zealots scrambled to make it out alive, but were miraculously reinforced by a single templar that proceeded to rack up around 23 zergling kills before being sniped by a few hydralisks.

Meanwhile, I had sent a few dts and zealots to dispatch the top left zerg expansion, but was routed by an astounding number of zerglings. The observers I brought along made a grim discovery, Keanu had been a busy whore, and expanded to the top left natural as well. When this came online, he'd be up by one expansion, and with my natural running dry, things were looking desperate unless I could claim another expansion.

Why Potatoes > Rice

Lingoral: good luck.
NotDialtone: i don't need luck
NotDialtone: i have skills
NotDialtone: luck is for the weak of heart
NotDialtone: luck is what the unwashed masses call gosu
NotDialtone: um no wait i think that's the other way around
NotDialtone: its what the unwashed masee oh fuck it

Keanu could smell victory cooking, and decided to pour in ultralisks for a delicious meal of Zerg ownage. Meanwhile, my protoss stew was getting cold. Speaking of stew, apparently it also means "whorehouse", or a district of bordellos. Thank you Merriam Webster.

I had been favoring unit training over expanding, and I now planned to put my units to good use by laying waste to the new zerg expansions in the top left. Or so I planned.

Keanu had already reaped the rewards of having a better economy, and six (6!) ultralisks along with over a control group of zerglings dropped by. I had started archon production and had two along with me - archon are a must in fighting ultra/ling, they're just about the only protoss unit (save carriers) that can hold its own against rampaging ultralisks. Trouble is, I only have one active gas source, and can't train enough to match the ultralisks.

We exchange blows briefly, but Keanu steamrolls my units, losing only a single ultralisk.

Keanu then wastes no time in assaulting my natural expansion. It, however, is heavily fortified with cannons, blocked by a myriad of gateways, pylons and the nexus. At the same time, fresh zealots arrive from all my gateways, and miraculously, I end his attack prematurely, killing all the zerg units with virtually no losses!

In a heartbeat, I feel like the tables have turned, and I pull a desperate move to get new expansions up, and get back in the game.

First, I'm hungry for gas, but I've got a large build-up of minerals, and I plan to make good use of those. I pump zealots like mad from my gateways, and get a probe over to the bottom left natural. I make a pylon, with the intention to warp in a multitude of cannons. My building placement here ensures protection for both the mineral only, natural and the bottom left main. I grab the two latter immediately.

My pulse is racing, and it feels like ages before the pylon finishes, and I start warping cannons, then gateways in front for blocking. This setup can be extremely strong against zerg - once you have an expansion well fortified with cannons, it gets near impossible for a zergling army to even get close. I hold my breath.

FECK.

A damn zergling scout patrol finds me while I'm still warping in cannons, the first ones are barely half done. I send all my zealots to make a stand, desperately hoping that the cannons will be online when the inevitable onslaught arrives...

 

 

 

FECK x 2

The ultra/ling army pours into the narrow choke, and overwhelms the zealots. The zealots look over their shoulders and see the still morphing cannons, almost materializing.

Sadly, the cannons finished just about the time all zealots were dead, and Keanu exterminated my expansions.

With my final hope brutally extinguished, I slowly exhale and send Keanu a well-deserved "gg".

Game Evaluation

A.k.a, "Lessons Learned" is so 1999.

A very close match, and I must commend Keanu on his very consistent and solid zerg. It feels great to play a game without any weird coincidences, or luck playing a major part, Keanu simply played better, and smarter.

When I look at the game, I feel like I had control several times, and was unable to use it for a decisive lead. When Keanu had the initiative, he expanded and teched to ultralisks, I should have used mine to contain with my (then) strong mix of units, while expanding. I also hesitated when it came to stopping his new expansion forays in the top left, something I could have done at the time effectively, instead of wasting units on testing his natural defense. Fighting constant reinforcements from hatcheries, and sunkens, is a bad situation when my advantage was fairly small.

The End

Hope you enjoyed the report, I highly encourage you to do three things now:

First, if you don't comment on this report, you'll be executed by way of defenestration.

Second, visit The Warsmith, where wild kittens roam.

Third, get on battle.net! Whoever said ~nohunters was dead hasn't been on lately.

 

- ZerG~LinG