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Lessons in Macro, part 2
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Author:Gamma Ray Burst
Date: 07/12/00 07:07
Game Type: Starcraft
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Report Rating: 9.4, # of Ratings: 5, Max: 10, Min: 9
Lifetime Rating for Gamma Ray Burst: 9.3077
*Disclaimer: I don't really know what Dr.Zchivago's face looked like when he was a teenager.*


What, no introduction? Well, in this case, the transition is the introduction. This is because you absolutely have to have read Part 1 of Lessons in Macro in order for this br to have its maximum effect. Originally, I had planned to release Parts 1 and 2 together, but the length of Part 1 as well as my impatience convinced me otherwise. And now for a brief description of the players.

RaBiD~GoPhEr: In game 1 (played on Rivalry), Gopher powered so hard that at one point he had hatcheries at three of the four mains and two of the four naturals. However, he was naught but a one-unit-wonder, as he produced only hydras out of his numerous hatcheries. As a result, good micro from his opponent, CooCooPooPoo resulted in a rather embarrassing defeat. Of course, we all know the real reason Gopher lost: he spelled his name in alternating caps in a vain attempt to make himself seem as retarded as Benjy Compson. At the end of the last game, Gopher proclaimed that he knew why he lost and that he would make sure he would fix his problems for game 2. But he still spells his name with alternating caps...

CooCooPooPoo: Ah, the valiant hero of game 1. Fighting back from near-insurmountable odds, CCPP man-handled Gopher despite mining out only one base and never even attempting a second expansion until the game was in hand. Using excellent unit combos and impressive troop positioning, CCPP abused a 5 to 1 kill ratio over Gopher to slowly but surely trample every last one of Gopher's bases in what was truly an amazing comeback.

CCPP did pull of a miracle in game 1, but can he do it again? Moreover, will Gopher allow him to? Ladies and gents, take a seat and kick back your feet, because it's time to find out.

And now for something completely different

Races and Map

Gopher again picks zerg, spawning at the 9 o'clock position of... lets just say he spawns at 9. CCPP, on the other hand, chooses toss and warps his nexus at 3.

What? You want me to tell you what map they're playing on? Umm, how bout I don't tell you, and we pretend it's on some cool map no one's ever heard of? Oh well, that won't fly. You probably guessed it already... =(

A lot of people in this country pooh-pooh Australian table wines.

Building Up

Immediately after cloning off his 4 drones to separate mineral patches and starting a 5th drone at his hatchery, Gopher sends his overlord southeast towards the 6 main. Gopher then starts an ol on 8 and build drones to around 12 control, at which time he begins morphing a hatch at his natural expansion. Gopher builds one more drone and has it start on a spawning pool when his second hatch is nearly half done. As far as scouting goes, Gopher relied on his overlords at the beginning of the game, stationing his first ol at 6 (I guess it was too tired to move on towards 3) and floating his second in the general direction of 12.

CCPP used a more or less standard build for p v z, going pylon on 8, gate on 10, another gate on 12, and a second pylon soon after that. He finally scouts after his first zealot has been produced (not rallied to his choke!), sending a probe clockwise around the map. By the time that probe reaches the zerg expansion at the 3 natural, CCPP has 5 zeals on hold position at his ramp. However, they don't stay there for long, as CCPP knows that he cannot allow Gopher to power as much as he did in game 1 and still hope for victory.


This is a pity, as many fine Australian wines appeal not only to the Australian palette, but also to the cognoscenti of Great Britain [and America]. I think not. CCPP, hoping he can catch Gopher trying to power too hard, orders his first 5 zealots to attack the zerg expansion and take it out. Unfortunately, CCPP decides not to bring along any probes to accompany his zeals. Also, he doesn't count on transit time from his base to Gopher's: when CCPP's zeals first set out, Gopher has just finished a creep colony and has zero zerglings.

However, in the time it takes those zeals to traverse the map, Gopher has finished his sunken and morphed 8 lings. Also, Gopher cleverly micros his lings dancing them away from the zeals, forcing CCPP to decide whether to attack the sunken or pursue the lings. Once CCPP focuses his attack on the sunken, the lings are brought back to hit the zeals from behind. As a result, Gopher loses only two lings and the sunken, while all the zealots are sent back to Aiur.

'Black Stump Bordeaux' is rightly praised as a peppermint flavoured Burgundy,

Phase Two of Build-Up

After losing the initiative in the last battle, CCPP is forced on the defensive. His cy core finishes and he starts a third gateway as well as a citadel of adun. However, he still does not have his zealots rallied to his choke. CCPP builds a few goons from his gates, then researches range and starts a forge. Eventually, when he has around 7 zeals and 5 goons, CCPP expands to his natural.

Meanwhile, Gopher elects to build up his economy rather than trying to overwhelm his opponent with mass zerglings. Gopher's troop count remains low as he uses his large resource intake to start a second hatch at his main in addition to a hydra den. By the time CCPP's nexus has started at his natural, Gopher has 10 lings, 5 hydras, and numerous drones at both his main and natural.

whilst a good 'Sydney Syrup' can rank with any of the world's best sugary wines.

Gopher hopes that his initial victory will put CCPP into enough of a defensive position that he can start an expansion at 12 without any sort of defense. However, CCPP is not as dumb as Gopher hopes him to be, and sends a scout zealot to scout for just such an expansion. Rather than try and preserve the expansion and put his main at risk, Gopher cancels his hatch at 12. He uses the money he got from that to start his third hatch at his main (4 total) and begin upgrading to lair.

'Chateau Bleu', too, has won many prizes; A little later on, Gopher orders 8 lings to accompany another drone to 12 to clear out any reconnasaince troops CCPP may have stationed there and make another try for an expansion. However, it is the absence of those lings, as well as Gopher's still-low troop count that allow an incredibly brave (and lucky) zealot to penetrate Gopher's defenses and run all the way through his main, providing valuable scouting info!

Besides amazingly microing a single zealot through Gopher's base, CCPP also starts a pylon surrounded by 3 cannons in front of his choke and then begins warping in his templar archives and robotics facility. Finally, he starts researching the weapons upgrade at his forge.

And so, phase two of build-up ends, as Gopher begins to ominously gather his forces (comprised of almost solely hydras) in the middle of the map.

not least for its taste, and its lingering afterburn.

The First Bloody Battle

'Old Smokey, 1968' has been compared favourably to a Welsh claret, whilst the Australian wino society thouroughly recommends a 1970 'Coq du Rod Laver', which, believe me, has a kick on it like a mule: The first big battle of the game occurs when Gopher's hydras in the center reach critical mass. At least two control groups of hydras and several zerglings catapult towards the choke at 3. And CCPP doesn't have a single dt, templar, or reaver. However, what he does have is home field advantage, and he exploits it to the max. The zealots and cannons engage the lings before the hydras are really in position, and so the lings don't do much damage at all. When the hydras finally get in position, they are forced to fight the zeals, cannons, and goons in a cramped area. Also, some of the goons are on hold position at the edge of the ledge to the 3 main, and so work very effectively against the hydras that have no ol to use as vision over the cliff. CCPP fights off the zerg forces with one zeal and 5 goons remaining.

That one zealot quickly rushes off to scout the map, as CCPP is well aware that Gopher's attack may have merely been a diversion to allow an easy expansion to get started. There are only a few drones mining at 12 when the zealot reaches its destination. After quickly dispatching the drones, the zeal begins to attack the hatchery. It doesn't take long for Gopher to react, however. He morphs the 3 idle larvae he had there into zerglings, and, well, 6 lings owns one zealot.

The Action Resumes

8 bottles of this, and you're really finished -- at the opening of the Sydney Bridge Club, they were fishing them out of the main sewers every half an hour.Well, not quite yet. In the time after his first attack, Gopher has been building troops almost non-stop (rallying them to just outside of CCPP's choke), and once the lings clear the zeal at 12, he decides to build another hatch, this time at the 12 natural. Also, Gopher morphed two evo chambers a little while ago and is now upgrading 1/1 for his hydras.

CCPP, meanwhile, has finished his templar archives and is producing dts as his main troop of choice. In addition, he has started the second weapons upgrade at his forge.

Once again, Gopher's hydras have reached critical mass. Because he has been producing troops constantly from the 4 hatcheries at his natural and main, he grossly out numbers CCPP. However, Gopher has still not upgraded ol speed, and the nearest one is on the other side of the map. He is totally without detection...

Of the sparkling wines, the most famous is 'Perth Pink'.

I never imagined 6 dts could cause so much damage. They nearly single-handedly take down the opposing forces. Really, all the cannons and goons do is stall the hydras while the dts rape them completely undetected.

Dark Templar on the Move

Suddenly, the momentum has totally changed; CCPP now has total map control with his 6 dts (at least until Gopher gets speedy ols. But that won't happen for awhile) and makes good use of it. The first thing he has his pimp squad of dts do is head for the 12 main and raze it to the ground once again. Without detection, the dts rip through the zerg defenses and make short work of the expansion at 12. At this point, I'm thinking the dts will then go straight for the 12 natural and eliminate the newly-made hatch there (which would equalize the expansion ratio), but CCPP forgets to check that spot, and instead sends the dts south towards the 6 main.

This is a bottle with a message in, and the message is BEWARE!. This is not a wine for drinking -- this is a wine for laying down and avoiding. On the way there, however, the dts stumble upon some more hydras without detection (remember how Gopher had his hatcheries rallying to just outside of CCPP's choke?) and boy do they know what to do with them. When the overlords finally get on the scene, there isn't a single solitary hydra left. Ouch. After dealing with the hydras in the middle, the dt squad moves on to the 6 main. Once they have verified that there is no zerg expansion there, CCPP has them return home to defend against future zerg assaults.

Despite this tough setback, Gopher is by no means out of it. Far from it in fact. He has finally, finally gotten speed for his ols, and his hydras are upgraded to 1/1 (CCPP, in contrast, has finished the second attack upgrade and is working on the third). Because CCPP is content to simply sit back in his base and build units, Gopher is allowed the time to regain map control and build his army up again.

More Carnage. A Lot More Carnage.

I swear, Gopher is like some sort of chemical reaction that is in a state of perpetual repitition. All he does is build hydras and throw them at his enemy. This time, he's using 3 control groups of hydras to attack a few of cannons, about 8 zeals, the pimp squad, two reavers, and (the real danger) 6 templar. Maybe, maybe, if the hydras were able to surround the toss forces on all sides and attack at once, well then maybe Gopher would have a chance. Unfortunately, that is not the setup. Basically, the hydras crowd each other in the choke, making the scarabs and storms that much more effective. Well, at least it makes for a nice animated gif. =)

Another good fighting wine is 'Melbourne Old-and-Yellow',

During that battle, Gopher's main ran out of minerals. To compensate, he started an expansion yet again at the 12 main and maynarded most of his drones to the 12 natural (that CCPP still doesn't know about). CCPP uses the time he gained from this victory to send a probe to the bottom right island and start up an expansion there. And predictably, he sends a scout to the 12 main, but not the 12 natural. Gopher tries to anticipate his opponent's next move by sending a group of hydras to the 12 main. However, this cuts the size of his containment force (his troops are still rallied to the outside of CCPP's choke) in half.

Toss on the Offensive??

which is particularly heavy, and should be used only for hand-to-hand combat. CCPP immediately takes advantage of the reduced number of hydralisks outside his choke and makes a move to break out of his containment. A control group of speedy zealots accompanied by one reaver easily take down the meager group of 12 hydras gathered just outside CCPP's choke. However, the hydras focus fire on the reaver and are barely successful in their effort to destroy the giant slug. Nevertheless, the reaver dies and the zealots have to do whatever they will do without its splash damaging support.

In a peculiar manuever, Gopher has the group of hydras at the 12 main move out of the way of the zealots leftover from the breakout battle. In fact, the two sides pass by within a screen of each other, but do not engage one another. As a result, the zeals go unfettered into the 12 main and raze everything in sight. By the time Gopher sends enough reinforcements to take out the zealots, the hatch and all the drones mining there are gone. A little note here is that at this time CCPP has 0/0/3 zeals and Gopher has 2/2 hydras.

Gopher, Teching?

Quite the reverse is true of 'Chateau Chunder', which is an Appelachian controle, After losing his expansion at the 12 main for the 10 billionth time, Gopher starts to get a little smarter. First, he decides to expand at the 6 main this time. Second, and by far more important, Gopher has completed a spire and has a few mutas at his disposal that make the important discovery that CCPP is mining the lower right island expansion. Also, Gopher is upgrading his lair to a hive. Finally, Gopher makes 6 queens, although for now they just float near the bottom right island, building up mana.

CCPP, on the other hand, is feeling more and more cramped. He has a number of probes doing nothing in his main, but his natural is already saturated with probes. He desperately needs another expansion, so he goes on the offensive again. This time, he brings 6 goons and two temps in an attempt to destroy the zerg forces at the 12 main (comprised of hydras and a few mutas). Initially, the goons do well against the hydras with the support of several well-placed storms. However, units seem to flow in constantly from Gopher's hatcheries, and the toss troops are worn down until they are finally beaten back before doing any damage to Gopher's resource intake at all.

specially grown for those keen on regurgitation -- a fine wine which really opens up the sluices at both ends.

Toss on the Defensive...

It's never good to be on the defensive this late in the game, but that's the position CCPP finds himself in. He has to scramble to build two stargates when he sees the mutes. I'm sure this threw him off a little, as he probably expected wave after wave of hydras and nothing else. Still, if he can manage to pull of a major victory in a decisive battle, he's not out of it. And knowing Gopher's tendency to throw away units, perhaps this is not that much of a longshot. Then again...

As the last goon melted into the land, Gopher's hive finished and he quickly began morphing his spire into a greater spire. Almost as soon as it is finished, Gopher morphs 8 of his mutas into guardians. CCPP, however, notices this with a nicely positioned observer just out of range of Gopher's detection but still in range of his attack units. Because of this recon, CCPP was better able to prepare for Gopher's next attack, which consisted of three nearly simultaneous phases.

Real emetic fans will also go for a 'Hobart Muddy',

The first wave was a brute force attack on CCPP's main using guardians in an attempt to take out a good number of CCPP's defending dragoons on the upper ledge of the 3 main. However, a few good storms from CCPP as well as decent control of his goons beat that off without great difficulty. Phase two was a much more tactical strike: the 6 queens that Gopher made quite some time ago had now collected enough mana to broodling 3 of the 6 templar that CCPP had defended. This ended up being a crucial manuever, being that phase three was overrun what was left with every single hydra Gopher had. Had CCPP had those three templar, he could have at least stopped the zerg from destroying the natural expansion at 3 and prevented Gopher from entering into his base. Even though CCPP managed to beat off the remnants of Gopher's hydras using a dt and reaver with 11 kills each, the game was pretty much over at this point.

and a prize winning 'Cuiver Reserve Chateau Bottled Nuit San Wogga Wogga',

Clean Up

CCPP has been cleaned out of units, and only has one expansion. Gopher has two expansions in full operation and is starting up another on the top left island. In addition, he is capable of making many more units much faster than CCPP. Therefore, it is only a matter of time before Gopher sends in some more hydras to finish off CCPP's main. When a group of guardians with devourer support begin taking out the cannons at CCPP's bottom right island, CCPP knows the game is over and conceeds with a gg that is returned by Gopher.

which has a bouquet like an aborigine's armpit.

And here's the spiffy animated minimap:

That's it.  The sketch is over.

And the final scores. Not quite as interesting as last time, but what the heck. The most important differences between this game and the last game as far as scores go is that Gopher improved his kills ratio to CCPP's kills ratio and he harvested much more gas this game (which allowed him more freedom to tech).

Now the br is over.

Post Match Analysis

Wow. These two games were incredible to watch. Right after the second game was over I was pinching myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Both games were practically identical for the first half, but were drastically different in the second half. In the second half of the first game, Gopher continued to build nothing but hydras. Even though he owned most of the map at one point, he ended up losing because he did not get the higher tech units necessary to beat a half-way decent terran. In the second half of the second game, Gopher managed to go up the tech tree, and made use of queens, guardians, and devourers. By getting air, he forced CCPP to devote some money into corsairs. The queens served their purpose by destroying half of the templar in the last meaningfull battle.

I know these guys aren't the best starcraft players in the world, but the games were so close and illustrated such a good point that I absolutely had to report them.

At the beginning of game 2, CCPP announed that he could not play a game 3, so the winner of game 2 would be the winner of the series. Thus (in spite of spelling his name like a castrated retard), Gopher is our winner! Congrats dude, you earned it.

Another note: I tried to keep the same theme pic-wise for this report as the last one because originally I planned to introduce the two brs together as one Lesson in Macro. In retrospect, this was the right choice, but I still wanted to keep a somewhat consistent theme going.

One other note: Gopher and I played a 2v2 pubbie game after the two games I br-ed, and we dominated :) So Gopher is pretty cool, for all my ragging on his name.

Ok, there are some more notes: try as I might, I just couldn't find any empty space! Damn...

Keepin' thos notes going: Go here to find out what a Gamma Ray Burst is.

Final note: I put a ton of time into this, I hope you enjoyed it! Please comment on it. That's the main reason why I do these.

-Gamma Ray Burst

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