Gather 'round, fellow br.comers. 'Tis a tale of man who was once lost, and now found. A man who for several months was on the verge of imminent destruction, after a brutal manhandling by Warcraft 3. He lingered on chat rooms, pretended like he had a career in the print design industry, attended school and other such trivial things. Then finally, by the beginning of the new year, a return to the game known as Starcraft marked his re-entry into the coveted halls of the Gosu. The land of treacherous turbo-newbies, blatantly imbalanced bunkers, terran tomfoolery, predictable protoss on protoss.
And zerg... Zatchathewan.
Tonight's match is a Protoss on Zerg skirmish, featuring such celebrity players as Lozer-X and... Myself. The setup is as follows:
A keen observer will have noticed important thing: This isn't temple. Instead, it's the map you go to, when idiots wont join your pro maps, and everybody agrees that LT is overplayed. Rivalry (click for huge overview) is littered with crisscrossing bridges, AND has ramps leading to each of the mains. This is to terran what Digimon is to Pokémon. Barely a fucking challenge.
Horrible analogies aside, let's meet the players.
His girlfriend just broke up with him. Two days before valentines day. So if I lose, it's out of pity. Played a good deal of games with him, hacks in Micro UMS', likes making fun of newbs, ladder score of 1111.
Seeing how I'm writing this thing; I declare myself the star of the show. Returned to Starcraft in january after a fair bit of time away from gaming in general, too busy cuddling my powerbook. Ladder career taken off, 1236. Appearing on behalf of the lovable warsmith.org
Blah, blah, blah GO.
As mentioned above, I found my brownish nexus in the bottom left hand corner, and started with the game with my trademark horrible split. It's been known to make koreans cry. My scouting probe went clockwise around the map, and thus didn't find Lozer until a few minutes had passed. As such, I was opening against a random player, and went with my standard build vs. random. Pylon, gate, then gas and core while pumping zeals from the single gate. With this build, you can handle the ling rushes, keep up fairly well with a 2 gate protoss, maybe even surprise a terran - and you have the opportunity of teching fairly fast or slapping down two more gates and pumping zeal/goon. Finally arriving at the southeastern zerg main, I spotted an expansion still morphing, and a finished pool in his main. Upon leaving with my probe, I caught a glimpse of a third hatch spawning just beside his expansion one. Roll on zerg whoring.
In response to this, I teched to speed zeals and high temps, hoping to overwhelm what was going to be a fairly limited early mobile zerg army.
Instead of researching storm, I decided to get two quick temps instead, and merge them for a Archon. Bringing a single dt and about 8 speedy zeals, I charge eastwards in my hopes for an early win. Incidentally, Lozer was planning a similar fate for me - about 12 hydras were crossing the bridge from his plateau almost perfectly timed with my own army. (Cue Agent Smith voice) It is inevitable. The hydras naturally got off the first few shots, but the upgraded zeals ran straight past them, while suddenly unleashing psi blade ownage. Lozer danced his hydras back and forth while my archon and DT caught up, eager to do some damage. The massive splash damage from the archons shockwave brought down a pair of hydras, and Lozer decided to make a run for it - having lost 6 hydras and only killing a single zeal. I eagerly followed them across the bridge to his expansion, and was met with more vigorous defensive spirit. The combination of an overlord an a sunken became the death of my DT, and Lozer spawned more hydra/ling from the two adjacent hatcheries. Taking casualties, I ran my forces north in desperation, and managed to save 5 zeals and the archon.
My attacking force, now deemed the retreating force, ran northwards to check for expansions (in retrospect, having the bulk of my army scouting wasn't particularly smart). Lozer noticed this via a floating overlord, and sent his hydra/ling army westwards, arriving just in time to see my new expansion still warping in. My defence consisted of a single cannon, and a godlike high templar that managed to kill six hydras and a ling with a single storm, practically cutting the zerg army in half. While Lozer was bringing down the cannon and pylon, my "scouting" army scrambled to get home in time. Before they did, Lozer forced me to cancel my nexus, thus badly delaying my economy. When my army finally did arrive, along with some newly produced units the threat was easily disposed and a new nexus was constructed.
Going into the 10th minute, I had three gates pumping a constant mix of zeals, temps and DT's. I decided to all but exclude dragoons for now, because of the multitude of bridge and narrow areas that would cause the goon AI to work overtime and the game to crash out of their sheer stupidity. Wanting to strengthen my economy, I scouted the bottom middle of the map - the plateau linking our two bases. Lo and behold if it isn't zerg whore number one expanding his empire of cheese.
Not wanting to wait around for sunkens to pop up, I rushed my 10 zeals, single archon and a mix of DT/HT to bring it down swiftly. Arriving there just a few seconds earlier was Lozer's 15 hydralisks, eager to take up the fight. The zealots rushed in, and some careful aiming with my psi storms, the hydralisks army started to crumble. Lozer was quick like fox - dancing his hydras back and forth to use his advantage now that I didn't have any goons. It was quite effective, but ultimately useless as the zealots matched them in number and as such, could be assigned to go after one each, more or less nullifying any advantage they might've had. Lozer retreated four hydralisks back into his, by now, veritably impenetrable sunken maze formerly know as his natural.
I then proceeded to further secure my position by setting up a good deal of cannons in the bottom mid, while warping in a nexus. Meanwhile Lozer evened out the resource race by starting an expansion in the east.
On a larger scale, things weren't looking too shabby for myself. Having equal economy with a zerg wasn't bad at all considering I was wielding imbalance like deadly weapons of mass destruction with every high templar in my army. It was obvious that Lozer would be teching to something other than hydra/ling, because they tend to fare rather badly against a more advanced toss. Lurkers were a good guess considering my mainly zealot army, lurkers are known to cause havoc against closely packed zeals, and Lozer knew it. Ultralisks were expected to show, but certainly not for a few minutes more. Defiler was a possibility, but storm still had the upper hand over a pack of zerglings hiding under a cloud - no matter how orange it was. I started warping a robofac for observers, but quickly found another thing that demanded my attention...
Having five overlords casually floating towards your base is almost never a good sign. I scrambled most of my troops together and hurried back to my base. The zerg incursion landed on my main plateau, and split into two groups; one went for my probes in the main, and the other shot my expansion probes from the overhanging cliff. Ouch:
A lot of my main probes were saved thanks to the early warning, and the combination of a cannon and DT present to take up the fight. I didn't expect the hydras being able to hit my expansion probes though, and he managed to bring down 6 of them before i could react and send them to safety.
Finally, my army arrived on scene and dealt with the hydras without too many losses. Still, Lozer had just showed me exactly what cost efficiency is, spending a few hydra/ling on virtually stopping my income, and killing a pylon or two.
With the majority of my forces cleaning up from the recent drop, Lozer was able to pick up the momentum and charge into my new expansion in the bottom middle. My only defence was two cannons and two zealots. Oh, and one High Templar with full mana :)
Lozer's lings quickly surrounded the cannons, and were made easy targets for a well-placed storm, although too late to actually save the cannons. Hydras followed close by and started shooting from the bridge. Five of them clumped up together - another no-brainer for the experienced high templar which upped his total kills to 10 and ultimately made Lozer redraw whatever he could salvage.
By now, the game was completely open. Lozer was expanding to the top right main, leading the resource race. Further strengthening his position was his number of peons compared to mine; the recent raid hadn't been very favorable for me while I hadn't even touched his drones (kinky) during the entire game. On the other hand, my standing army could probably take on twice his in an open fight, both due to my more advanced tech, and my 2-1-0 upgrades (weapons, armor, shields). Lozer had so far only upgraded his hydralisk, who were now 2-0 (weapons, armor). The thing is, Rivalry rarely makes open fights a possibility, and favors well guarded bridges over frontal assaults.
Lozer has the building-placement skills of a retarded toad.
A scouting probe had revealed the zerg expansions to the northeast, and I dispatched five zealots, as a way to harass and possibly bring down a hatchery or a few drones. This little venture turned out to be extremely effective, as the highly upgraded zealots tore through the drones, and made mincement of Lozer's casual ling reinforcements. Finally, he was forced to run a more potent force north and deal with the zealots.
Seeing about 20 ling/hydra decend upon my helpless zealots, I took my cue and ordered a full frontal attack from the bottom middle island. Zealots, a few dragoons and high templars rushed across the bridge and tore through the minimal defences there. Small groups of hydralisks were quickly berift of their miserable existence with a few storms, and the two hacteries were destroyed.
Sensing victory, I ran up the ramp towards the zerg main, only to be met with the piercing spines of no less than six lurkers, well played and spread out. With desperate storming i took 5 lurkers to their deaths, but a single was left to guard the immensely important tech in the zerg main. A near death experience for Lozer-x, while I scramble to get a Robotics Facility up. Not having observers 20 minutes into the game isn't particularly good, and with the mistake Lozer got the oppourtunity to build his tech elsewhere, namely along the east side of the map, where he controlled two functional bases.
A short hiatus followed, where I expanded in the west, and Lozer took the top right natural. With this, our income remained equal, and the game could go either way as Lozer started morphing his first mighty Ultralisks.
While waiting for observers, I remained outside the old zerg main, denying him of his natural, and hopefully containing the lurkers. Lozer made several attempts to break this containment, with a combination of cracklings and a few ultralisks. At this point however, he only had a single attack upgrade, and neither of the speed/added armor ones. That being the case, the ultralisks were no more than "4-ton sacks of shit". Bob_The_Newt
Meanwhile, Lozer was erecting strong zerg defences at his middle right expansion, with a mix of lurkers and sunkens to guard the narrow bridge.
An observer finally arrived, and I climbed up the ramp to the zerg main without losses. As the smack was being layed down on the zerg Hive, two ultras popped out from their eggs, and hurried into an overlord to make a daring escape. I grinned and ran all my dragoons after it, but it barely escaped over the water. Or so it thought.
Lozer hadn't been on the initiative for a while, and for a good reason too; his ultralisk speed upgrade set in, and along with an army of cracklings, four ultralisks completed mauled my western expansion. A control group of zealots were sent to intervene, but I obviously underestimated the ling/ultralisk combo, and the zealots were brutally surrounded, and killed. The ultralisks were taking the blunt of my zealots, while cracklings applied gratious ownage. It worked like a treat for Lozer.
Having regained the initiative, Lozer goes on an expanding frenzy, first taking the 12 expansion, then the top left natural, and finally a drone is being sent towards the top left main. Fortunately (for me, anyhow), a zealot hanging around intercepted it. The same zealots spotted the morphing hatchery just below, and i dispatched a small force of 4 HT's, and some random zeal/goon. Lozer responded with all his zergling might, but because of a lack of gas, only included a single ultralisk in the mix. As the two forces collided near the bridge, a weather forecast rang out. A storm was coming. <3 Breeze
I counted atleast a few ^^'s and "omfgimchokingonmyownspit" comments from the observers after that one. In one, spectacular move, Lozer had managed to throw the bulk of his army into hell on earth.
By now, I had around 10 gates running, and zealots were being continually pumped with hotkeyed macro. As we went into the 30th minute of the match, I raced my 20 or so 2-2-0 zealots nortwards, with appropriate HT support. I found the zerg expansion almost completely naked; a grand total of five creep colonies were the only thing holding me back. Within seconds the expansion was trashed - Lozer threw a small force of lings and a couple of ultras at me, but the end was fast approaching, and he conceeded the match with a GG.
GG Lozer, and thanks for a nice round of games. I feel obliged to say that he won the other game we played. It appears that Lozer has a way of dieing in a more spectacular way though.
A few thoughts
- I didn't peon raid at all - very big mistake. Storm raids could have been extremely effective. This is definetly what sets the really great players apart from the okay ones.
- The map means everything. This almost goes without saying, the bridges played an important part in all the major battles, and probably went in my favor because of the super effectiveness of psi storms.
- My macro sucks. After the 20minute mark, I start getting sloppy with my macro, and I don't have near enough gates. There's no excuse for having 1500 minerals in the bank when they could've been 15 zealots.
- So much for "Broodwar Quickie", it ended up being quite detailed and long :o
- <3 Storm.
Hope you enjoyed
That's it for tonight, hope I kept you attention the entire way. I think you'll see a few more LinG reports before long, namely a War3 TFT one that's been collecting dust while being 90% done for a few months, along with a SC 1v1 featuring a well known br.com persona.
Things you can do now:
Get on B.net and play me