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"Just as the big smile hits my face I happen to glance back to my base. Hmmm. What the heck are ten mutas doing coming in over my probe line?"

A Late Night Study of the Good Book: The Book of HeartCutter
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Date: 01/21/01 07:01
Game Type: Starcraft
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Report Rating: 9.0, # of Ratings: 5, Max: 10, Min: 8
Lifetime Rating for DrAwesome: 9.0000

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1:00 in the morning: school tomorrow, homework to finish, sleep to catch up on, but then again, there's StarCraft to play. After spamming the bots and the 3 other people in ~NH (afk of course) for a game, I decided to play a public Lost Temple 1v1.

Under my brand new ladder name, TurboPlastic (note: this is a melee game - I was still working my way up to 10 wins), I meet up with a guy named SaberWulf[fe]. He had a great melee record, but, as I have learned so many times before, never judge someone by their record.

We exchanged a few pleasantries and quickly got the game underway, with both of us selecting random.

And away we go! Weee!

Map: The Lost Temple

Me: White Terran at 3:00... great. I always go random, in hopes that I'll get Toss or Zerg, which I suck with way less than terran. I didn't leave the game or anything, though, because, in order to improve my terran game, I've been reading up on some of HeartCutter's infantry strats; especially this one.

Him: Protoss at 12:00... great!

Thoughts of imbalance swirled in my head, as I quickly changed gears to a more heavy metal strat. My build order was: (only important buildings included)

8 - depot at ramp
10 - rax at ramp
12 - depot at ramp - finishing wallin
22 - 2 factories

At about the time that my second marine finished, I began a bunker at my ramp, a bit to the side of my barracks. It finished right when 4 zealots showed up below my ramp. Frantically moving my 3 marines into the bunker, I looked in horror as I realized that there was a small gap in my wallin right next to my bunker. My SCV charged to fill the spot, arriving just in time to block the path. The zealots, not knowing what to do, milled around for a minute, before SaberWulf[fe] decided to retreat what he had left. One more zealot died in the retreat.
Soon afterwards, I began building my 2 factories, just to the north of my wallin, as well as an engineering bay to thwart those spooky samurai DTs, just in case I was forced to face them. A few tanks rolled out (no vultures) and I started a starport, in an attempt to turbo-newb or elevate tanks to the gully.
A dropship popped out, 2 tanks were loaded up (sloppy I know), and I sent the little package north. Upon seeing a fully functional natural, I unloaded the tanks on SaberWulf[fe]'s cliff and blew away every last probe, the assimilator, and the nexus. When I first unloaded on his cliff, however, I realized that I was behind in the resource game. I started a turret at my natural, moved some tanks down, and began a command center on my cliff.
My earlier plan to tank the gully was finally executed, with 3 tanks, 1 turret, a bunker and an SCV on the cliff, and a dropship taking tanks down by 2s. A half dozen Speedy zealots charged into the low ground push and quickly ended my first tank drop. After he retreated, I unloaded 2 more, but this time didn't siege. Just my luck, 5 goons and only 3 zealots attacked me, once again taking down my 2 tanks. Third time's the charm, however, and 1 tank survives the zealot bum-rush.
My 2 tanks on the natural cliff finally killed off his expansion at about now, and as a little present from my friend saber, they got 4 zealots dropped on their heads. The tanks quickly went down, but before my vision cleared, I saw the shuttle head south - towards my main. I pulled one tank off the gully push, as well as 8 or so marines and moved them into position beneath my CC right as the zealots dropped at the back of my mineral line. They took down 2 SCVs and a couple of marines by the time 2 of their number died. He sent them back north, curved around, and sent them behind my minerals, south, towards my factories and started attacking a machine shop, which was out of range of my tanks. They managed to take it and a few more marines out before finally being blasted back to Aiur.

A little rest... for 30 or 45 seconds

My expansion got into full swing at about the same time that I started construction of an acadamy for medics and firebats, a turret and bunker at my main CC, a science facility, and a second barracks.
I was teching and pumping out some tanks and marines, when I noticed an orange blip on my mini-map, just south of my expansion. A fresh science vessel, spotting for me, saw a shuttle unloading a high templar and a dragoon on my cliff. Psi-raid... doh! There were probably 20-30 probes mining heavily at my exp, so I quickly unseiged 2 tanks sitting at my ramp and moved them south. They sieged and blew away the templar seconds after it loosed a storm on my probes. Maybe 10 or so probes died, whereas all he lost was a templar.
Looking back at my mineral stores revealed a huge surplus once again, so I sent a worker south to a spot in between the naturals of 3:00 and 6:00 to build a CC as close to the island as I could. When the CC finished, I lifted it off and started to fly it south-east. I was greeted by a corsair. I continued to fly, and did make it to the island in time, but right when I arrived at the island, the dragoon from the shuttle over my natural was dropped off. I landed, under heavy plasma fire, and quickly loaded up 8 marines into a dropship back at my main. When they were dropped off, I blew the dragoon outta my way, and started on SCV production. With my first 2, I made turrets, and with my third I made a bunker, which actually proved to be a major use only a few minutes later, when SaberWulf[fe] dropped an archon and a dragoon on my island.
Seeing the corsair made me realize that my protoss opponent had all three techs already. I realized that he must have expanded somewhere else by then, so I dispatched 2 marines to the 6:00 and 9:00 bases. At the 9:00 base, I discovered 2 photon cannons warping in. My marine was dead before I could sneak in around the cannons, and didn't get any more useful information. I loaded up a dropship with a tank and four marines and, instead of dropping on his expansion, I fly over his base. Idiotic you say? Yes, but I actually made it all the way across his main, gaining some important recon, and then dropping them off in the gully on the left side of his base. The tank sieged, and after a few moments of pounding on the extractor, my entire force was defeated by some unseen DTs.
The book of HeartCutter explicitly states that letting a protoss opponent get more than 2 mining bases is suicide. It was time for something drastic - so I started a nuke silo at my natural.

Expansion WaRzZz Yo!
Ownage + Ownage = Owned

I clicked on my covert ops on my science facility. Its lockdown time. I take a small handful of m&m&g, tanks, dropships, and science vessels and send them out towards the 9:00 natural. My infantry upgrades at the time were 1-1 and my mech was still at 0-0. It had become pretty obvious to me that I had switched gears from metal to infantry, so I continued to upgrade and produced 2 more barrackses to accompany my previous 4.
Back to the attack. Right as my tanks siege up outside the protoss cannon defense, a hailstorm of interceptors break out above me. No problem.
From thier vantage point on the cliff, the carriers were able to easily avoid my newly aquired lockdown, but as soon as my vessels spotted for the ghosts, I quickly locked one of the 3 or 4 down. As the others retreated back, I thought that I had just won the expansion. Unfortunately, 15 mixed protoss ground units cut into my severely depleted forces. Stim and siege took out more than a fair share of the ground units when all of my infantry died. Remembering my science vessels, I dmatrixed my last remaining tank 3 times, and actually managed to kill the remaining 4 or so dragoons. Soon after, a few carriers rain on my parade, and finally take out the infidel tank.
After the battle I got a message from my expansion: a nuke was done. I grabbed up another group of infantry (no tanks available, however) and once again moved out towards the 9:00 natural. As soon as I got in range, 4 carriers on the cliff began harrassing my troops with complete impunity due to my lack of spotting science vessels. I ran my troops back a bit and ordered a few vessels to assist me in the battle. When they arrived, I once again charged in, and I actually managed to lock down all 4 carriers, with only the loss of a few marines and ghosts. Feeling good about myself, I poured the 20+ mixed infantry in to his natural and began work on the nexus. Thats when the psi storm hit. Directly on top of my forces, I lost over a dozen infantry to 1 storm. I knew the battle would be over soon, and I didn't want to allow the carriers to simply come back from lockdown, so I clicked some buttons fast, and let loose a nuke right in the middle of them. Before it could drop, unfortunately, a few zealots, aided by observers, cut down my last remaining ghost. DAMMIT!
Sick of the massive defense at 9:00 cutting me up, I decided to be a little risky and moved out a group of maybe 20+ infantry, 4 tanks, and a science vessel towards 12:00, the protoss main. After sieging up my tanks with a bit of backup from the gully push that I had started earlier (remember that?), I stimmed and charged in, only to find 8+ carriers on the cliff. No problem. A few lockdowns later, he retreated the few he had left. My troops had been seriously cut up by then, and with some speedy zealot reinforcements, I lost all of my men, only managing to actually kill 1 carrier. Bah.
By the time the last battle was over, I already had another group of 20 marines and medics ready to move out. I sent them back north to 12:00 and charged up the ramp. Stim + 2-2 infantry upgrades + medics + lockdown + 1 psi storm = a hell of a lot of dead marines. Just a minute after the battle, I had another group of marines ready to go. This time I brought along a SV (to deal with the few DTs he had gotten), but the minute I entered his base, a little ripple of orange waves exploded from the vessel. I saw a dark archon run off and a science vessel turn orange. Mind control... shit! A few psi storms and d-matrixed templar later, most of my force had died.

god I hate those flying bastards
I realized the one part of deep 6 that I was leaving out: the ghost. A group of infantry gathered outside of the 12:00 main as I cloaked 3 ghosts and sent them in. An immediate lockdown on the vessel made my ghosts invisible to the 3 or 4 carriers backing up his templar. Low on energy, I simply killed the SV, sent my 3 ghosts further in, and assassinated the templar without using anymore lockdown. With the cleared path, my infantry charged in. I stimmed and began immediate work on the gateways, when the carriers showed up again. Five of them. Five lockdowns and a dozen stimmed marines later, the carrier threat was finally removed from the game. My remaining forces simply chipped their way through what few tech buildings and starports he had left in his main. It was mined out, and he did have 2 more expansions, but I must've stalled his production. Rebuilding all those tech buildings can take a while.
During the previous battle, I had done a few things. First, I had expanded to my mineral natural. Second, I had comsatted and found that my protoss friend had begun an expansion at the top left island. Third, I had scouted out the 9:00 natural with a marine and had found nothing. Whatever he had was still behind his 2 cannon defense. After building up a little more, I decided the time was ripe for an attack. I was hoping to take out him out in one map sweeping blow. I mustered up 30+ mixed infantry and 6 tanks and sent them towards nine, right as I loaded up a ghost and a few marines in a dropship. It was time to actually make a nuke work.
I sent the dropship towards the top left island as I moved out my main forces. I figured that I would send them towards 9:00 and set up camp there. Not expecting any real resistance on the way there, I just attack-moved outside his mineral natural and looked away. Unfortunately, he had gotten the same idea that I had had and had decided to attack. What must have been 25 goons and 10 zealots met me at the temple. My forces were split and unprepared, and I believe that Terran really rely on being set up properly. Due to tank seiging, bunker and turret building, comsat preparing, etc, being given time to set up can sway a battle's outcome tremendously. As I haphazardly sieged my tanks and stimmed my infantry, he simply charged and was able to take out my forces with an extreme minimum of losses on his part. I lockdowned a few goons and blew away a couple, but not nearly enough to slow down the juggernaught. When the protoss troops got to my mineral natural, they rolled through it, pounding down the few m&m that I had built up. When his men were assaulted by a dozen or so tanks that I had moved to a perfect position on my ledge, he turned tail and returned to the center of the map. I had taken out more than half of his attack force, but he had taken out all of mine. Thank god I was using deep 6 - I had another one ready in just a minute.

End Game
I Actually Successfully Use a Nuke... Finally!

I was down to 2 expansions (both almost mined out) and a completely mined out main. I could only assume that he was also almost out of minerals at his 9:00 main and natural. But then again, he had just established another expansion hadn't he? Oh shit! I looked back up to the top left, and, surprising saw my dropship alive and well, hovering over the water. He must have been microing too hard to see my dropship, and/or do anything about it. I unloaded the marines and ghost and quickly painted his nexus red. The nuclear launch detected message popped up as I stimmed and pounded away on the protoss nexus. I had swapped the element of surprise for a clean kill. If my ghost wasnt destroyed, with the extra damage from the marines, the nuke would completely take down the nexus. Seeing as how I was on an island, I decided it was a good course of action.
The nuke went off without a hitch, effectively evening up the playing field. We were both down to 2 almost mined out expansions, and I didn't know about him, but I had a few thousand minerals and gas in surplus. I once again grabbed a few dozen infantry and a couple of tanks. A slow push into the center of the map annhilated the remaining dragoons. Pressing onward, I sieged up in front of his natural and begin taking potshots at the defending cannons. Thats when 2 dozen speedy, semi upgraded (1-0-2) zealots charged out and simply stomped my tank/marine combo. frantically clicking around my base, I queued up a few firebats in every barracks. Before a single one could pop out, however, the zealots were in my natural, pounding away at the SCVs. I was out of minerals at every node, and was working solely off of savings. Had he known that, I'm sure he would've charged up my ramp right away. With firebat reinforcements, I held off the attack and once again pushed on his natural.
When I arrived, i happened to see a blur slowly walking towards my forces. Doh! Dts. It had been so long since I'd seen them, that I had no science vessels with me. A quick click of 1-s, however, gave away his element of surprise. My firebats roasted the DT and moved on.
Obviously not enjoying seeing his DT deep fried, 10 zealots, 7 DTs, 3 goons, and 1 high templar charged my force of 3 tanks, 5 firebats, and 7 marines.
With a storm, he won the battle, but by that time, I had another group of 20 infantry charging across the map, ready for revenge. Yadda Yadda Yadda, he conceded, and we had a small chat about TvP. He claimed that it was the hardest matchup and that he consistently lost it.

Whatever =)



Lessons Learned:

For SaberWulf[fe]:
- TvP is a difficult match if the terran can successfully survive to mid/late game and can implement ghosts
- Don't rely on carriers to finish a terran. I see more and more these days, a protoss relying upon carriers in mid/late game to finish off a terran by using cliffs etc. If you are gonna go Carriers, make sure that you hide them; also, make sure that your opponent can't get ghosts. A few lockdowns can win a game very fast.
- If someone is going mass infantry, go mass high templars. More storms woulda seriously spelled out trouble for me and forced me to switch tech to factories, which would seriously put me behind.
For Me:
- Deep 6 is definitly a viable strat vs protoss.
- Use more vultures and tanks. Often I would find myself wishing I had a tank around to assault from afar, or a vulture to lay a mine trap. Against higher level players, I woulda been screwed with only sporadic 2 factory production.
- Put more time and effort into nuking. Nukes can turn a game. 1 successful nuke is hardly something to brag about. Had I been more careful and focused, I could have gotten off a lot more.
- Don't limit yourself to 1 strategy. I would have been in trouble if my opponent had switched to a templar/zealot/goon combo and I would have probably not been able to handle the storms or switch techs fast and efficiently enough.

I hope you enjoyed and maybe learned something. I plan to have the micro wars tourney finals out soon :\. I've finished the heavy coding for them, so writing it up shouldn't take too long. Go ahead and guess what I am gonna do with coding ;).

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