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No Mercy. Part One
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Date: 09/06/00 07:09
Game Type: Starcraft
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Report Rating: 10.0, # of Ratings: 5, Max: 10, Min: 10
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[o]Mr.X vs. [EPIsode]:-=V=- Game 1

All games of this best of 3 had to be played in a single night (night in Bulgaria's Time Zone), and [o]Mr.X had already played a lot of games against :+:jolly:+:, :+:kevin:+:, 1st~Kakaru and others... It wasn't even night anymore - it was actually 8 AM already, and I remember I was so tired I forgot to take screenshots of the Scores at the end of this particular game, so you can imagine how exhausted [o]Mr.X was. But seeing [EPIsode]:-=V=- show up at clan -X17, the Bulgarian knew he HAD to play him. For those who couldn't see the Flash movie - [o]Mr.X told me about losing 3 Zerg vs. Protoss KBK games to that player in the past...

Beating [o]Mr.X 3 times in a row with Protoss is something exceptional, he rarely loses this matchup as Zerg no matter who his opponent is. And that happening in KBK preliminaries, I guess Mr.X wasn't pleased. To sum it up - that Korean is GOOD, he might be a pro gamer. Of course now both would try their best for those reported games and I knew it would be great to watch. Here's the pregame chat...

No surprises with the map - Lost Temple. =] With KBK being the main goal for most top players lately, there is no chance of another map getting really popular. Remember the live finals of that tournament are played on Lost Temple only. When [EPIsode]:-=V=- finally downloaded the observer version of it, [o]Mr.X started the game. Both players didn't want to leave anything to chance, so they had selected their best races. Korean Protoss master [EPIsode]:-=V=- warped in at the 12'o clock position, and top Zerg player [o]Mr.X spawned at 6.

The Korean started aggressively by building his first Pylon close to his ramp in order to shorten the way for his Zealots to the enemy base. His 10th Probe started a Gateway there and was sent on a scouting mission counter-clockwise. Soon a second Gateway was built. At the Zerg base Mr.X opted to expand to his natural, morphing his 12th Drone to a Hatchery there. His Overlords were scouting the map as usual, and he soon started his Spawning Pool when he had 12 control again .

Since he didn't find his opponent at 9 and no Overlord came from 3, [EPIsode]:-=V=- already knew where Mr.X was, so he sent an additional Probe directly to 6, and his two peons arrived there almost together and started attacking the morphing Hatchery. Mr.X knew this was a serious threat and he immediately sent 3 Drones down the ramp to try chase away the invaders. That was a serious fight they had there and even if the Probes were outnumbered, the Korean player managed to kill one of the Drones without losing a Probe. One of the remaining 2 Drones was morphed to another Hatchery.

Soon the first Zealot arrived and started hitting one of the two morphing Hatcheries. Here it was Mr.X turn to do some micro, the single Drone he had at his natural was hitting the Probes whenever they tried assisting the Zealot and running when the Probes turned to retaliate. While this was going on, the Spawning Pool and one of the Hatcheries were finally completed and the 4 available Larvae that Mr.X had been intentionally saving up started morphing to Zerglings.

At his natural where all the fighting was still going on, Mr.X used his Drone  to start a Creep Colony as soon as his first two Zerglings jumped out of their Egg there. The Zerglings attacked the Probes that had already seen so much action, but [EPIsode]:-=V=- saved them again! He ran them away a bit, and he also commanded his Zealot to start hitting the morphing Creep Colony.

Mr.X didn't like that and his Zerglings attacked the Zealot... But [EPIsode]-=V=- reacted fast and attacked the Zerglings. Boy, those guys microed so well! Mr.X ran the Zergling that got hit away in time, and as soon as more Zerglings arrived on the scene, the Protoss forces had to back off for a while, until 2 more Zealots joined the little offensive force. Note only one Drone died after so much fighting...

Now the Korean charged again, and he used some great tactics to kill some of Mr.X's Zerglings - he blocked the way of the majority of them with his Probes and ran the Zealots around one of the Hatcheries, were they met up with just 3 Zerglings and slaughtered them, while Mr.X managed to kill only one of the Probes before the other one ran away. Now finally there was some brutal fighting between the 3 Zealots and 8 Zerglings without anyone trying to run away. 2-3 Zerglings died and the Sunken Colony finally came online, chasing away the Zealots once again.

Mr.X noticed the Zealots were injured and chased after them with some Zerglings (he had hatched some more and he wanted to put them to use). But soon the Zealots were four, so [EPIsode]:-=V=- didn't try to run away but rather counterattacked the Zerglings and killed most of them, losing just one Zealot. 2 Zerglings remained and they ran south, but just as I clicked on one of the Zealots and noticed he was at 15 HP or so, Mr.X seemed to notice that too, so the Zerglings returned and finished off that unlucky Zealot, then both combatants withdrew their forces.

Had the rush finished? Not at all. [EPIsode]:-=V=- was still pumping mad Zealots out of his two Gateways and gathering them close to Mr.X's base. With the remaining cash he started an Assimilator and later a Cyb.Core. Two Overlords were carefully noting everything that was going on at the Korean camp =]. Mr.X added a second Sunken Colony at his natural. I guess building a couple of Sunkens instead of Zerglings is better when powering, since a Sunken really costs as much as 7 Lings and it's stationary, but it takes just one Larvae to make it instead of 3 and 1/2. The Larvae he used to morph more and more Drones...

Soon he added yet another Hatchery, again at his natural. Meanwhile [EPIsode]:-=V=- was massing Zealots close to Mr.X's mineral only. An Overlord was watching there too, but the Korean did something neat - he was gathering half of the Zealots a bit further away, thus probably fooling Mr.X into thinking there were only the ones at the mineral only.

I think this move worked, since when Mr.X moved his Overlord to the north and finally noticed the 5 extra Zealots, he hastily started a third Sunken and as soon as he had the Larvae he ordered some Zerglings as well... [EPIsode]:-=V=- felt that this was the best time to launch his attack. He had 11 Zealots and a Probe at that time, and Mr.X just two Sunkens and 6-7 Zerglings... That looked pretty bad, it was obvious Mr.X would lose a lot in this battle. Little did I know that I was just about to witness a stunning display of unit control and coordination on both sides...

The Zealots attacked, but [o]Mr.X reacted immediately, and his Drones shielded his Sunkens very nicely. [EPIsode]:-=V=- was no fool though, he ran away and returned as soon as Mr.X commanded his Drones back to mining. This time around the Drones didn't have enough time to cover the Sunkens as effectively as before.

The Korean player had splitted his Zealots into two separate groups so that they didn't bunch up, and they tried reaching the Sunkens... Mr.X was trying his best too, defending against both groups simultaneously. Drones and Zerglings were blocking/fighting the mighty Zealots. Finally one of the Sunkens was destroyed, but 3 Zealots had died too.

Then, the third Sunken finally came online, and seeing his glorious attack miraculously turning into a disaster, [EPIsode]:-=V=- ran the rest of his Zealots away... but Mr.X wouldn't let him go! The Drones that were first blocking the way to the Sunkens, now surrounded the Zealots, not letting them to run away and getting free hits at them! The Korean had to use all his skill to clear a way out of this mess and save most of the Zealots.


And he did so! While the Zealots were running away, something really weird happened - I saw one of the defending Zerglings dying to a Sunken!!!! I was like, wtf?!? But then I thought about it... guess what, it turned out amidst all the fierce fighting against the two separate groups of Zealots Mr.X was also microing his Sunkens and made that little mistake at the end... Wow now that's some fast clicking! You can see this Zergling's blood in the last frame of the animated GIF =].

So at the end of that battle Mr.X had lost 1 Sunken, 3-4 Zerglings and 1-2 Drones, and [EPIsode]:-=V=- lost maybe 5-6 Zealots and retreated the rest heavily damaged... While the Zealots were retreating, a Dragoon was produced at the Protoss base, killing both of the Overlords there. Next, a Citadel of Adun and a Forge were warped in.


Down at 6, Mr.X was powering further, adding one more Hatchery at his main, an Extractor at his natural and finally a Hydralisk Den. Then it was Hydra massing time. Note that Mr.X usually builds 5 Hatcheries before his Den and he has about 40-45 Drones at that point. [EPIsode]:-=V=-'s strategy was very interesting, after his Citadel he started a Templar Archives and when it was finished, immediately a Robotics Facility. He was producing Dragoons meanwhile, and he built a Cannon at his ramp.

Soon he had a DT and a High Templar, and he sent the DT on a scouting mission towards 9. He checked out the main there, but there was nothing... Meanwhile [o]Mr.X sent an Overlord and a Drone towards 9's natural, with expanding in mind. After checking out 9's main, the DT went to the natural and passed by the Drone without attacking it, because it wasn't close enough, even if it was in the range of vision of the DT. Amazingly the Korean player seemed to have noticed that on the minimap, because he returned the DT and killed the Drone.

I think that was a major setback for X, since he was just planning a large Hydra/Ling attack and he probably wanted to expand during it... Instead he used the extra cash to upgrade to Lair and build a Queen's Nest later. The DT went to the center of the map and saw some Hydras making their way north, and [EPIsode]:-=V=- immediately warped in 4 more Cannons at his choke! He also had 3 High Templars and another DT at that point.

Now the Korean master was about to do something extremely cool... As soon as he had a Shuttle, instead of just defending his base from the Zerg assault, he rather loaded a Dragoon, a High Templar and the second DT and headed towards 6. As he arrived at Mr.X main,  not even a single Hydra was there since all had been sent to the center of the map. The lethal cargo unloaded and [EPIsode]:-=V=- started laying waste to the Drones that were frantically trying to run away.

The action got very complicated and I was amazed of the multitasking capabilities of both players - I was watching/taking screenshots at the Zerg base, where [EPIsode]:-=V=- was carefully microing his units and Mr.X was reacting to that, he was running his Drones and building units from his Hatcheries. On the other hand I could clearly see Mr.X launching his attack at the same time, he was probably hoping to surprise his opponent.

That was to no avail - it was amazing for me to see the Korean storming Drones at 6 and Hydras at 12 all at the same time! Stuck between all the buildings, many Drones died to the two storms that the lone High Templar had energy to cast, and some more died to the DT. Roughly about 10 Drones were killed and the rest didn't mine for a while, before 6 new Hydralisks hatched and chased the invaders away.


At 12, A huge group of Hydras and the Zerglings that had survived the battles at the beginning were now demolishing [EPIsode]:-=V=-'s Cannons, but as we all know Hydras tend to bunch up in such situations and the first defending storm hit them very badly, inflicting the maximum damage a storm can do to Hydras. Now Mr.X started spreading them but the damage had been done. So far the mighty army that Mr.X had before the attack managed to just destroy 4 Cannons, a Pylon, a Dragoon and 1-2 Zealots. Another well placed storm and the rest of -=V=-'s defenders did short work of the Hydras. Before they had died [EPIsode]:-=V=- ordered his Shuttle to go to 6 once again.

Mr.X seemed angry now, he sent his new group of Hydras on another attack. As the Shuttle arrived at his mineral line, Mr.X noticed it in time and ran his Drones away while some Hydras were running from his natural up the ramp in an effort to chase away the Protoss strike party. [EPIsode]:-=V=- once again did a very good move, he left his DT on the ground but flew the Shuttle with the High Templar and Dragoon to Mr.X's natural were ALL the Drones had gathered now, because the ones that ran from the main were sent to work at the natural... Mr.X was dealing with the DT at that moment so the Korean managed to kill a huge number of Drones with another Psi storm.

To maximize the damage he was doing, [Episode]:-=V=- also placed his Dragoon and Templar on the ledge overlooking Mr.X's natural, and since the latter didn't have adequate defense against this, the mining was brought to a halt and all the Drones moved to the main...

Indeed [EPIsode]:-=V=- felt pretty confident now, so he decided to expand. While the Nexus was warping in, the second wave of Hydras  that [o]Mr.X had sent made it to 12's entrance. The little pack surprisingly did quite some damage due to more careful micro that time around, and the Korean actually had to cancel his warping structures before managing to dispatch the Hydras. 3 Dragoons, a High Templar and 3-4 Zealots lost their lives to the Hydras in this attack.

Another interesting thing to note is that Mr.X sent some Drones to work at his natural during the fighting at 12, hoping that his opponent wouldn't notice that and storm his workers, then when it ended he ran them again away.

Next a Hive was started evolving at the Zerg main... The goal - Adrenaline Glands. Another little group of Hydras was sent to attack once again, but [EPIsode]:-=V=- was now building +1 attack Zealots with speed and  lots of Templars, so Mr.X had to retreat them a bit and wait for reinforcements. He had managed to burrow 2 Hydras at [EPIsode]:-=V=-'s natural, so he saw the Korean was again warping a Nexus there. Indeed as ever Mr.X didn't share vision with me and you can't see his burrowed units on the pic =].


Then the Korean did one of his dreaded Templar drops once again, killing some more Drones at 6's main... Mr.X wouldn't give up though, he tried another attack with about 20 Hydras he had now! But two perfectly placed storms decimated this force with the help of some Zealots... Now [EPIsode]:-=V=- started merging some of his Templars to Archons.

I would like to note about the way both players were scouting the map - [o]Mr.X was checking out most of it with Overlords (each one patrolling between 2 mineral deposits). Some Overlords were stationed at spots where they could warn in case of another drop, and some were at gosu "hidden" spots like over the Temple's walls, so Mr.X knew what was passing through the center of the map. He was also sending lone Zerglings on suicide dives into his opponent's army to check out what kind of units he has. [EPIsode]:-=V=- was using his shuttle as a scouting unit whenever he wasn't doing his deadly drops, and he was scouting with his DT's at moments too.

Back to the action - the Korean had 10 Zealots, 3 Dragoons and an Archon now and started making his way south with this force. He stopped a bit before reaching the center of the map and waited for 4 High Templars to join the party. After losing so many Drones and not being capable of expanding, Mr.X was producing Cracklings now(for those who are not familiar, that means Zerglings with Adrenaline Glands researched).

He didn't even have an Evolution chamber though, and [EPIsode]:-=V=-'s Zealots had +1 attack, so they needed just two hits per Zergling to kill it... 16 Cracklings and a Hydralisk met with the powerful Protoss army in the center of the map... looked to me like they'll get slaughtered before killing anything, especially after they passed right through a Psi Storm, but Mr.X used his powerful surrounding tactics that we have seen before, so he managed to split the Protoss units and at least kill the Dragoons before the Zealots(that were covering the High Templars at that time) could save them.

[EPIsode]:-=V=- had his expand finally up and working exactly when his main base dried out. He maynarded his huge number of Probes to his natural, so he had a relatively good resource flow now unlike Mr.X that had his natural from the start of the game but was losing his workers to the great Psi drops all the time. Due to the same fact the Zerg main still had some Minerals left, but the Drones were bunching up so Mr.X sent them to his natural - the Dragoon on the ledge was hitting them but Mr.X couldn't do anything about it since he didn't have Ventral Sacs researched yet (remember he had aimed to upgrade to Hive first.

5-6 Drones were still doing their job at the main, and they became victims of yet another Templar drop... Probably some will say "Why didn't Mr.X build two Sunkens to defend his main base?"  Well I thought that too but seconds later I knew those Sunkens can't save you from a player with such good micro like [EPIsode]:-=V=-'s - next the Shuttle headed to the natural, and first the Dragoon, then the Templar landed amongst 3 Sunkens there, and some Hydras arrived too... Well... that single Dragoon drew enough fire to let the Templar storm a good number of Drones and even escape merely.

You can imagine [o]Mr.X was in a desperate situation now. Because of an Overlord hidden in the center of the map, he knew where the bulk of the Protoss army was, so he took his last small Hydra/Ling group and waited at 12's mineral only. The Korean built a Pylon and Cannon at 3's ramp, he was obviously planning to expand at 3's main. He now had 16 Zealots, 2 Archons, 2 High Templars and a Probe in the center and finally moved this army to 6's mineral only, where he started building a Pylon and some Cannons. The Korean had 4 Gateways now, 3 at his main and 1 at his natural.

While this was going on Mr.X launched his desperate surprise attack with the hidden Zerglings/Hydras. Some Templars and the Cannons at 12's natural were enough to stop this with ease...

Now Mr.X noticed the Cannons that were warping in so close to his natural, so he sent some Zerglings that he had just hatched to stop this... He managed to do that but those Zerglings were his only fighting units besides his Sunkens and after he lost them [EPIsode]:-=V=- patrolled in and after some resistance by the Drones it was over... After some bloody explosions [o]Mr.X said "gg" and left the game.

I would like to note this was one of the greatest games I have ever observed, that sunken micro of Mr.X at the beginning of the game and the great drops of [EPIsode]:-=V=- were very exciting to watch, it was amazing... I think it's impossible to create a report that can make you feel the way I felt while watching those players.

Those guys were pressuring each other so hard and scouting everywhere, and they wouldn't let each other expand. That's what actually decided the game - [EPIsode]:-=V=- managed to keep Mr.X from taking more than his natural and he took his own natural as well. What helped him do that? I think his amazing multitasking and micro allowed him to do his effective drops that were destroying [o]Mr.X's economy. If you would like to study the complicated battles that were going on all the time, take a look at the animated minimap... It will help you understand how intense this game was.


Special thanks go to:

The players, for their phenomenal performance - [o]Mr.X and [EPIsode]:-=V=-
My Lead Beta Tester: Crusador - Thanks man, for cheering me up and testing all the nonsense I'm producing :)))
All the guys that helped me with opinions at the forum and at the Bulgarian #broodwar IRC channel...  =]
Music used for the intro: Haddaway, Fly Away

Game 2



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