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"i'll play red hunters but noway will i play blue"

Lessons In Macro, Part 1
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Author:Gamma Ray Burst
Date: 07/04/00 09:07
Game Type: Starcraft
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Report Rating: 9.5, # of Ratings: 4, Max: 10, Min: 9
Lifetime Rating for Gamma Ray Burst: 9.3077

Good evening squire.


Smurfing with my pen name, GammaRayBurst, I was simply looking for a good game to do a battle report on. But, as luck would have it, no one seemed to be interested in playing a game. After hanging around in nohunters for awhile, I gave up and joined a 2v2 on Dire, looking to satiate my desire to bash some newbies. Well, that game went along pretty smoothly, but that's not what I'm here to tell you about. By the end of that game, one of my opponents was talking a good amount of trash (he accused me of turtling :P) in spite of the imminent destruction of his base. My pubbie partner took great offense to this, and demanded a 1v1 to prove who was the better player. My partner and I met up with the guy in channel gopher after the game, and the game was soon created on Rivalry. But first, a little about the players...

RaBiD~GoPhEr: Merely by examining the ultra-cool way he spells his name (using alternating caps, in case you're ridiculously incompetent), one can tell this guy must be a starcraft god. Right? Right? Maybe not... Anyway, in the afore-mentioned 2v2, Rabid played much better than his partner, so I figured he'd put up a good fight.

CooCooPooPoo: Wow! Not only does he have a frickin' sweet name, but he was also my partner in the last game. He can't possibly go wrong, can he? We'll see.

Opening Game

Good evening.The map is the infamous Rivalry, second in popularity only to Lost Temple (and Hunters, I guess) among those that actually know how to play starcraft.

Gopher picks zerg and spawns in the bottom right starting spot. CCPP, on the other hand, prefers to let destiny take its course, and winds up with terran at the bottom left start location.

CCPP's initial build order is pretty much what I'd expect in a t v z: depot on 8, rax on 10, depot on 13, rax on 14, refinery on 15. The interesting thing to note here is how CCPP does not wallin his choke. However, to make up for it, he does rally all his units to his choke. He might be planning on getting a quick tank with heavy medarine support, or he might be going for a defensive build with an early academy for reconnaissance. Meanwhile, Gopher morphs an overlord on 8, then sends a drone at around 12 control to his natural to create a new hatchery there. He then starts a spawning pool on 13. Around the time the spawning pool completes, Gopher orders two drones to morph into an extractor and a new hatchery next to his first hatchery in his main. Once the hatchery at his natural has finished morphing, Gopher maynards 5 drones to begin mining there. He is most certainly attempting to power like whore (what a bitch!).

Scouting, who does that?

Is, uh, is your wife a go-er, eh, know what I mean, know what I mean? Nudge nudge, know what I mean, say no more.Well, apparently CCPP does--however, luck is not on his side, as he orders his scv to scout clockwise, meaning that the little bugger won't find the zerg brood till it reaches its final stop. The scv comes to the bottom right corner of the map to discover 5 drones mining at the newly-formed hatchery. He quickly scurries up the ramp and towards the zerg main. Sadly, CCPP's brave little scv met his maker at the hands of two zerglings, but not before relaying the valuable scouting information back to headquarters that Gopher planned on powering like the 5 dollah whore that he is.

Ok, so, as it turns out, Gopher scouts too. Hey, they're not total newbies after all! Gah, I spoke too soon: the overlord that Gopher had been using to scout the terran base has been left wandering without orders a bit too long. CCPP's marines eagerly pummel the helpless overlord full of lead until it explodes in a vast bubble of blood. Still the overlord managed to reveal CCPP's two rax, refinery tech plan.

In this next phase of the game, Gopher puts down two sunkens, fearing an early medarine rush. After morphing a handful of lings and sending them to defend his natural, Gopher begins the Lair upgrade at his main, and soon afterwards creates a hydra den, with the obvious goal of lurkers. At the same time in the southwest corner, CCPP contructs an academy followed by a factory and then a comstat station. Once the factory completes, he immediately starts a machine shop.

To Tech or to Power

For the moment, each player chooses to power, with CCPP and Gopher taking the 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock expansions, respectively. At this point, however, their build orders diverge, as CCPP elects to tech up by building a starport and a 3rd barracks, followed by a science facility. Once the sci facility has finished the starports begin to blink and I'm led to believe CCPP is creating sci vessels to accompany his large contingent of marines, medics, and tanks.

Yet, on the other side of the map, Gopher has chosen to forgoe any further tech in the immediate future. Instead, he starts his third expansion, this time at the top right main. Back at his own natural, Gopher morphs two evolution chambers. Also, it is important to note that Gopher now has two lurkers burrowed just in front of the hatchery at his natural, in addition to the large group of hydras and zerglings stationed there. Lastly, Gopher runs a zergling around the map to scout for any opposing expansions. It is only a matter time before that scout zergling happens upon the terran cc and mining scvs at 9 o'clock...

Where's the Blood?!?

As soon as Gopher sees CCPP's expansion at 9, nearly a control group of hydras are sent off along a direct path to take out the terran mining capabilities there at all costs. However, the direct path that the hydras follow has them go right by the ledge of CCPP's main, which is chalk full of terran infantry and tanks. At first, it looks like the hydras are running back the way they came, but it soon becomes apparent that they are going to avoid the deadly ledge and take the back way to the expansion at 9.

Because it appeared that the hydras were heading back to the zerg main (or perhaps simply because CCPP was not paying a whole lot of attention), no terran troops were sent to protect the new base to the north. So, when 8 hydras ambushed the naked expansion from the north, CCPP could do nothing except try to float his cc away. If you're like me, at this point you've given up hope on the game. I, in fact, almost stopped taking notes on the game. But, for some strange reason, I continued. Maybe that reason was the large blue mass just above CCPP's natural...

Hey, I thought we were gonna get some blood!

Yes, that big blue blotch on the above mini-map is CCPP's marine/medic/tank/sci-vessel force finally moving out to attack something. A few marines and medics break off from the main group to kill the remaining hydras that just destroyed the sole terran expansion. As those 8 hydras get severly raped, Gopher begins morphing another hatchery, this time at the top left main, making what would be 4 expansions for the zerg. However, he does not have the time to set it up, since CCPP begins the first seige of the game before the hatch has finished morphing. CCPP is very careful in setting up his attack, putting tanks on either side of the bridge leading to Gopher's natural and filling the bridge up with marines and medics just out of range of the lurkers attacks. A third tank is brought up onto the bridge, in range of the two lurkers stationed there a waaay long time ago. With the Sci-vessel providing detection and added range for the tanks, the seige has begun.

It does not take long for the tank to bring an end to the two lurkers, but Gopher does get enough time to prepare the worst drop in recorded history. Three overlords full of hydras drop right next to the tanks and medarine force. Unfortunately for Gopher, hydras don't do so well one at a time against the combined might of a large group of marines and medics. To add insult to injury, CCPP irradiates one of the overlords, but it doesn't really change the outcome of the battle anyway (since the terran forces were already going to dominate). Despite this latest victory for CCPP, he decides not to press onwards into the zerg natural, buying enough time for Gopher to morph 7(!) lurkers on the spot (the guy has 3 expansions after all). By the time CCPP moves his infantry accross the bridge, the lurkers have finished morphing. Though the terran troops fought valiantly, 8 marines, 4 medics, and 3 tanks are no match for 7 lurkers with hydra support, especially when the lurkers can attack the main force out of range of two of the tanks which were left behind the bridge. In the end, all the terran forces are decimated at the cost of only 3 of the 7 lurkers and a handful of hydras.


While the first bloody battle of the game was concluding, several other events occurred around the map. First, yet another hatch at an expansion finished morphing, bringing Gopher's total potential resource intake to a whopping 5 expansions, plus his main node which is still not mined out. However, it is important to note that only 3 expansions actually have drones mining, and all but one are naked. Also, at around the middle of the seige, Gopher's hydras and lurkers got the attack and armor upgrade, putting them at 1/1.

Also during that first battle, CCPP flew another cc to the 9 expansion and resumed mining there with a few scvs (mostly on gas). Moreover, it became apparent that CCPP had been constantly making troops during the seige, because as soon as his first attack was finally repelled by Gopher's lurkers, he set out for the top right main with approximately 12 marines, 6 medics, 4 tanks, and 2 sci-vessels. The ease with which that force steamrolled through the three hydras Gopher had stationed there is not even pic-worthy.

However, as that is happening, Gopher sends a gigantic force of 6 lings southward from the hatch at the upper left natural towards the 9 expansion. These 6 lings proceed to (once again) disrupt the mining process, as CCPP is forced to lift his cc and run his scvs back to his main. However, the lings follow the scvs back to CCPP's main and are promptly destroyed by the arclite and gauss rifle fire of tanks and marines. The result is CCPP loses a little mining time, but not a significant amount.

So what the heck is Gopher doing?

Well, as soon as Gopher sees the huge terran force lay waste to his upper left expansion, he spends no time in sending everything, and I mean everything, at CCPP's main. Apparently, Gopher felt that since the majority of CCPP's troops were off killing one of his many expansions he would be able to end the game in one swift stroke. However, he makes a few tactical errors.

Gopher uses the famed line dance technique, getting expected results: not a single solitary marine is killed in the first wave. Ouch. The second wave doesn't even try to make it up the ramp to certain death. Instead, the 8 or so hydras choose to sit outside the terran natural and wait for CCPP to maynard some scvs over to resume mining at 9. When he does, the hydras follow in hot pursuit. All is going well for the hydras at first, but it doesn't take long for CCPP to order a few of his marines and medics to intercept the hydras and make short work of them. A few more scvs are sent to mine, and the expansion at 9 is back online.

Who's in control now?

Duh, CCPP is. He has just fought off a huge assault from his opponent with relative ease, and he has a seemingly-indomitable force of terran troops that could steamroll right through the zerg bases. At first, I thought CCPP would simply send his forces straight southward and roll right through the zerg expansion at 3, but apparently he was afraid the previous zerg attack on his main would do more damage than it did, so he ordered those troops to return home, just in case. By the time he realized it was not necessary, the troops were already onto the middle section of the map, and CCPP, finally having 1/1 upgrades for his marines, decided to go straight for the jugular: Gopher's main.

This time, CCPP is a little less catious approaching the zerg natural. The first marine he sends in wanders too close to a sunken colony and quickly bites the dust. However, the tanks seige up and begin to blow everything sky high, including two evolution chambers and the previously-mentioned sunken. Gopher reponds to this imminent threat by attack-moving 12 zerglings into the terran forces. The results of this failed attack are 12 big red splotches on the ground. Yuck. But perhaps that was just a delaying tactic, for now Gopher has gathered about 10 hydras on the ledge of his main and just to the left of the bridge between his main and his expansion at 3. These hydras have been upgraded to 2/1.

Oh please, as if there's any question. The tanks start firing on the hydras to the north, and they engage the tanks in battle before the hydras on the ledge are in position to attack. However, they only move in far enough to attack the tanks; they don't move right up beside them where they can avoid being hit. So, the tanks take care of those hydras fairly easily with a little support from rines/meds.

Once the first group of hydras starts attacking the tanks, Gopher scrambles to get the rest of his hydras on his ledge in position. But they run into each other going down the small ramp, and CCPP has most of his medarine force waiting for them at the bottom. It is an ambush, and as soon as the first group of hydras is destroyed, the tanks begin raining fire on the lower group of hydras, of which there is quickly no more. The result: a whole lotta zerg blood, not a whole lotta terran blood.

With the conclusion of this battle, the game is all but over. CCPP knows about each of Gopher's final two expansions, and the rest is clean up. A force of two marines and two medics is enough to take down the upper left expansion, and two tanks accompanied by 4 marines raze the expansion at 3. All that is left now is the zerg main, which falls very quickly after the terran forces demolish the last defensive stand, a group of 12 hydralisks.

And now for the minimap animation:

Man oh man, how could this have happened? As Gopher himself would point out:

So what went wrong? Well, for one thing, he could have diversified his strat...

And it would have helped to have gone up the tech tree, maybe even gotten cracklings and queens with ensnare. But that's hard when this happens..

Damn, I mean, I hate it when I forget to make a queen's nest 30 minutes into a game! Well, anyway, I figured it'd be a good game to do my first battle report on, because it was pretty damn close, and there was the amazing swing in power, too. So, being the polite gentleman that I am, I asked the players if they minded if I made a battle report of the game:

asdfsldfjki! &$%#$%! ARGH!

Apparently, Gopher is afraid people will think he sucks too hard (ok ok, it's not totally inconceivable). However, he boasts that he can do better the next game.

I eagerly offer to watch and br a second game, so that Gopher can prove just how much of a fluke that last game was. With this promise, Gopher finally agrees to allow me to br the first game. *Breathes deep sigh of relief*

And for those of you keeping score at home, I ask you to pay particular attention to the unit scores and resource scores of each player. Note how CCPP had a 5:1 kill ratio over Gopher, and how Gopher had a 3:2 resource ratio over CCPP. Also of interest is that both players collected the same amount of gas. This probably factored into Gopher's lack of tech.


So, the question remains, has Gopher actually learned anything from his defeat? Or will he forever remain mired in his "power all over the map and make only one type of unit" strat? Only one way to find out: look for "Lessons in Macro, Part 2" to come out sometime next week. That will feature game two, the rematch between RaBiD~GoPhEr and CooCooPooPoo and will provide the answers to both those questions.

Another question that seriously needs to be asked: when will the raters stop drooling over Diablow 2 and read and rate some of the brs that have been produced lately. I was hoping to get at least one rating on this br, but it seems like the past ten reports haven't been rated at all. I mean c'mon...

And the last question: What is a Gamma Ray Burst? Well, to put it simply, it's the second largest explosion in the universe (behind only the Big Bang!). If you are interested (which I highly doubt) then you can go here to learn more.

Till next time,

Gamma Ray Burst

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