|"No lessons learned. Thanks for reading, and may the good mojo be with you."|
|Just the Facts|
|Date: ||10/19/99 06:10|
|Game Type: ||Starcraft|
|Report Rating: , # of Ratings: 4, Max: 10, Min: 9|
Lifetime Rating for Fractal_Wave: 8.2537
The Map: Tried Tested and True...Chevrolet. No, actually it's Lost Temple. Surprise.
Fractal_Wave(hey that's me!): Selects Zerg...and switches to Terran at the last second. Ends up with Blue Terran at 12:00
T_Mac: Selects Random...and swithces to Protoss at the last second. Ends up with Brown Protoss at 9:00
I am in serious trouble from the get-go. Not only has my 'covert' switch to Terran been busted by T_Mac switching to Protoss, I am stuck with 12:00. And, T_Mac scores the 9:00 spot, the best on the map.
12:00 is bad because a Terran cannot get an add-on at the natural expansion. Also, there is no consoilidated choke point to guard, like at 6:00 and 9:00. Not a pretty picutre. Although, tp be fair,tanks on the outlying do ledges get a lot of range on incoming troops. And the mineral line is far enough away from the cliff that turbo newbies can only hit refinery...and the Command Center. Doh!
9:00 rocks the house because there is only one choke to guard for both the main and the natural. Also, if a terran tries to turbo-newbie the natural, the tanks can only hit the gas and a few peons, unlike 6:00 and 3:00, where a few tanks can stop production cold.
But enough ranting, on with the game!
Phat and Whacked with Downright Booty
As I am dealing with a protoss, I aim for heavy metal. At least four factories per expansion, please. The build looks something like this:
-8th SCV builds supply depot at choke.
-9th SCV scouts to find the evil protoss scum.
-10th SCV builds a barracks at choke, hopefully finishing the wallin.
The proper build goes then continues: Refinery, Bunker at choke, Engineering Bay, Turrets at choke, Factory, Acadamy, Factory or something like that. I'm world-famous for getting builds wrong and creating new ones that don't work at all.
However, T_Mac decides to be cruel. A probe slips past the wallin and scouts the base. It sends an encrypted "heavy metal" message back to T_Mac, who makes the following deductions:
"Factories require gas. In fact, heavy metal requires lots of gas. Thusly, as I have many a terran-infantry killer at hand, I should deny him gas."
"How could a lone probe, in hostile territory, accompolish this?"
Back at the ranch, the Lone Ranger recives an encrypted message with T_Mac's instructions. I, however, have made the same deductions as T_Mac, just a split second slower.
An SCV dives towards the vespene geyser, desperate to set up a refinery before T_Mac's probe warps his assimilator in. As the SCV reaches the geyser, a glowing warp field springs up on top of precious vespene. T_Mac has won this round with his ~very~ offensive assimilator.
"No heavy metal for you"
These leaves me with a dillema. Do i switch to hard infantry, when the protoss have such convinient Infantry-Killing devices at hand? Reavers, High Templar with Psi-Storm, Dark Templar. All rip through massed infantry like a hot knife through butter.
Hmm....Well, I know that I require at least a bit of defense from any zealot rushes. A bunker goes up at the choke, and is filled with marines. The way my wallin is set up, only 2 or 3 zeals can bang on the bunker at a time, and my SCVs can easily repair that much damage. The problem at hand is that if I send too many marines to kill the assimilator, my bunker will get powered over by zealots. I get two marines in my bunker, send the 3rd to kill the assimilator along with an SCV, and then fill the bunker.
Remember my scouting SCV? He's check 3:00 and 6:00 and found them empty, so, logically, T_Mac is at 9:00. (me & tmac are beign damn logical so far, hey?;) He moves to the edge of the 9:00 cliff and begins building a barracks right where the 9:00 cliff meets the 6:00 cliff. Yes, I'm going to attempt the very silly, rarely deadly, always amusing Barracks Float! (sounds like some sort of sideshow attraction, doesn't it?)
As my first barracks hovers stealthy (well, as stealthily as a gigantic building can...) hovers up and lands on T_Mac's cliff, the SCV begins building a second barracks.
At home four zealots came wandering past my choke point, took one look at the wallin, asked T_Mac for danger pay, didn't get it, and contented themselves with scouting my natural and then going on strike for better wages. I think they might be still there, waving signs and chanting "For Hire!"
Alright, so that pun sucked. Work with me here people. It's past midnight.
Finally, the assimilator goes down to an scv and a marine. A refinery is finshied in record time, and 4 scvs are thrown on to gas. An Engineering Bay has been made, along with a turret at my choke, and an Acadamy is not far behind. The terran war machine is getting ready to rock. The 80's synth rock that usually blares through the command center speakers has been changed to AC / DC's Thunderstruck. T_Mac is about to feel the Thunder.
Meanwhile, at my two-barracks firebase, they're playing Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap) veeery queitly. The troop count is up to 7 marines, two firebats and a medic. They have the drugs. It is time to ROCK.
The troops stim themselves up, turn the volume up, and fly in to T_mac's probe line at the speed of sound. The probes promptly run like the dickens to T_Mac's natural expansion, where there are zealots, cannons and other scary things.
But you know what? Among other things, a Nexus is noted for it's lack of mobility. One almost never sees a moving Nexus. Although I'd be willing to bet that this one reaaly wanted to be elsewhere during the next few seconds. Another dose of stim is delivered. Sheilds melt like water. Blue flame is everywhere. The Nexus is dead. Long live the Nexus.
Fractal: 7 marines, 2 firebats, one medic. Stim packs avaliable and used gratuitously.
T_Mac: a whole whack of probes, a nexus, one badly placed photon cannon.
WINNER?: Fractal, by a whole damn lot.
Intangibles: T_Mac has been shocked out of his wits. Out of nowhere, a Terran pimp squad has appear in the MIDDLE OF HIS BASE and is tearing shit up like there's no tomorrow. His brain probably won't be functioning too well for a few seconds.
A major morale boost for me. Who says that Protoss own Terran? This attack has put me back in the game. I lost my gas for the build time of an assimilator. T_mac has lost an entire resource node for the build time of a Nexus. Score one for the good guys
Regrattably for the Black Ops. Squad, a herd of 7 zealots crashes into them and then through them. The barracks take off to head back home, but are intercepted by two dragoons and are prompty popped. Ah well, they served their purpose.
Back home, the minerals have been piling up. A command center is ordered up to float to the top-left island, and a second Factory is built to float to T_Mac's cliff and tank his mineral line. By the behavior of his probes and the fact that he wasn't totally demoralized by the loss of his main nexus, odds are on that he's taken his natural. This is not allowed. However, a word from T_Mac has the factory moving back to base as fast as it's jets can carry it.
"I saw that"
I am unsure as to whether he meant the Factory or the Command Center, or maybe he didn't see either. Or maybe both. Care to comment T_Mac?
Down the Ramp
As I still have far to many resources at home, I set up two more factories, bringing the total to 4, and pump out tanks, with a few vultures here and there. After a lull in the battle, I decide to move out.
My two vultures speed out of my base to scout, and run in to a firebase of T_Mac's: Two Cannons supported by one Pylon. Otherwise known as tank bait.
My tank squad rolls down the ramp, and one particularly stupid tank driver moves within cannon range. Cursing and swearing, I order him back. As my tanks seige up, I am shock to see a horde of protoss groud troops speeding towards me.
Up The Ramp! Up the Ramp!!!!
I do a fast about face, realizing that I have been baited like a fishing line . A few tanks stay segied to hold T_Mac's forces on low ground. If he pushes his way through my ramp defenses, I am so much dog meat. Naturally, the tanks clog up on the ramp, and only a few make it up unscathed. My low ground troops are scrap metal, my bunker has been recycled, and my last tank goes up in flames...as 4 new tanks pop out of my factories and "ready to roll out" echos through my ears. Yeeeehaw.
The remaining zealots and dragoons are reduced to blue goo, and I breathe a little easier. And, then disaster. the tell-tale "fwoom" of carriers echos over my expansion at the island. 3 carriers pour their cargo on to my base, drowning it in a sea of interceptors. oh poop.
Fractal: 7 confused Seige Tanks, 2 Vultures, 2 Marines. / 1 Missile Turret
T_Mac: 7 speed-upped Zealots, 8 Dragoons. / 3 Carriers
WINNER?: T_Mac, by a bunch.
Intangibles: I don't know if T_Mac meant to do this, but he did bait me just excellently. I was expecting to deal with 2 Cannons, basically tank target practice. Then, with my tanks all clumped up, only one tank on my cliff, this tide of protoss washes over me, and switches me into panic mode. I survived, but at a huge cost. Micro-ing my tanks up my ramp and preventing them from running over each other was a huge waste of time. Should I have fought from the low ground and ignored my ramp? I didn't want to do that, for should i lose, my ramp would be tank-less. Also, if I had left my tanks as they were, a single pis-storm would have killed all of them. As it turned out, T_mac was templarless, but it was a threat I couldn't really ignore. Thoughts?
T_Mac could feel extra smug during this attack, 'cause while I was frantially defending my main, my expansion was gone. Score one for the bad guys. Also, the mental bonus of having Carriers vs. a Terran is a big one.
I know that the Carrier doom squad is only minutes away. My factories turn from tanks to Goliaths with Charon Boosters. If only I had invested earlier in a Science Facilty and Covert Ops, as Ghosts with lockdown would be the perfect answer to the Protoss juggernaut.
As the sky darkens with the hulking Carriers, my 8 goliaths move out to meet the threat. Alas, the carrier horde has increased from 3 to at least 6. This is a problem.
Fractal_Wave: 8 1/0 Charonned Goliaths, a few random missile turrets, 4 goliaths that finished building during thr caranage, a few frantically build missile turrets near the end of the battle.
T_Mac: 8 2/1(I think...) Eight-Interceptor Carriers, 4 Corsairs with Disruption Web.
WINNER: T_Mac. No Contest.
Intangibles: Despire terminal micro skils on my part, 8 Carriers will still own 8 Goliaths. Repairing missile turrets can only do so much, espcially when the turrets cannot hit the carriers them selves. Ghosts would have reaaaly helped here.
T_mac just patrolled in and owned me, while throwing a few unnessary D-Webs around just to make things easier.
"don't go anywhere without it"
So, that's the game, right? My main and expansion are gone, my last gasp of missile turrets have been D-webbed and removed, all my SCVs are dead. I'm out, right?
Wrong. A factory made it out alive, along with two tanks. Said tanks now move off to T_mac's natural expansion. Their mission is nothing less than the COMPLETE OWNAGE OF T_MAC's ENTIRE EMPIRE!
This will take a bit of micro.
The tanks seige up outside T_Mac's natural, and blow a photon cannon to smithereens, before T_Mac's counter strike team of...of...of probes moves out to kill my last, best hope for victory.
Well, I said this would take a bit of micro. I now proudly present to you the latest in last-ditch tactics from Fractal_Wave! You gasped at the audacity of the Sunken Push, now marvel at the consummate skill of Tank Dancing!
Or just laugh your ass off, as Fractal & T_Mac prove once and for all that 14 probes > 2 tanks....but not by much.
After my tanks are dead, I move my last factory over T_Mac's base, where it is blown away by carrier and cannon fire, ending a really damn fun game.
1.) I love my Rax float, although it's old already, right YRM? I've been trying to think of new ways to take advantage of the Terran ability to build anywhere and float important buildings around. So far I've heard of or seen:
CC floating to Islands or fortified expansion
Rax floating on Islands (and lost temple ;P)
Engineering Bay scouting / spotting
"Masking" important units with buildings. (Hiding ghosts under E-bays, for instance)
Offensive Bunker (see Stratus vs. [b_blade]Leader, game two, for an example.
All sorts of tricks on Showdown.
What else is there? Buildings can be flown around enemy chokes, produce a mass of troops behind their lines, and then leave. This would seem to be the answer to the lack of early Terran transportation. However, three factors combine to limit this seemingly awesome tactic.
#1.) Buildings are slooooow. It takes ages for a barracks to go any aprriciable distance. One can build the buildings as close as possilble to the distance to be traversed, but it will still take ages.
#2.) Once the building(s) are at the location, the troops must be produced. More time lost. Even if you're hitting the unproteced mineral line, you stil want to hit with enough power to kill all the drones and scare the hatchery. Running in with a single marine is asking to become drone lunch.
#3.) Finally, where can you find enough room to land three barracks with out your opponent noticing? I've been doing two on lost temple, and it remains a gamble on whether or not my opponent notices. Anymore than that would be obscenely obvious. However, I swear to god I will do this Tactic with 6+ barracks on Lost Temple before my SC career ends.
So, alas, this remains a gimmick, not a reliable game winning tactic. Although it's been causeing lots of people to check their base on lots temple, or risk checking their base in to smackdown hotel later on in the game.
If anyone can think up any other funky terran building moves, I'd appriciate experiencing them in a game.
2.) Remember the book of Heartcutter: "Do not let a Protoss get more than two geysers." As it turned out, T_mac had taken 3:00 without me noticing. Oops.
3.) Addenum to 2. Scout scout scout scout scout scout scout
4.) I need to find a good mix of barracks and factories. Maybe 3 factories to three barracks. What do the Terran masters think? I feel that Factory units are dominant vs. protoss...but obviously I'm either dead wrong or just not good enough.
5.) T_Mac needs to scout his plateau. Or put more cannons by his nexus.
6.) I need to work on expanding earlier as Terran. I turtle far too much.
7.) I think this game threw me into a spiral of weird strats...I tried an offensive hatchery on a guy a few games back, and got busted. I think I'm over it now though.
whew. hope you liked it. tactical comments, arugments, flames, praise, hard cash and hard alkyhol all appriciated.
All the best,
Melissa Joan Hart picture in title image: Photographed by Michael Zeppetllo
copyright 1999 Denis Maxim - All rights Reserved. Hope JV & M4 don't mind it....