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I wrote down YourRoleModel�s advice of "If you lose all your buildings and units you�ll lose on a 3"x5" notecard that I take out and read before every game."

The Perfect Storm(s)
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Date: 02/03/01 04:02
Game Type: Starcraft
Labels:Image Heavy(1), Starcraft(1), Pro Player(1), Long(1)
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Report Rating: 9.0, # of Ratings: 4, Max: 9, Min: 9
Lifetime Rating for xld.aldogrez: 8.8276

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I'd observed (orky)Priest play against -Vampyre- (which Priest won pvz), and when I went to work on the images, half of them were messed up =[. I logged onto bnet, and did nothing for a while, every once in a while doing a /who clan -X17 and /who clan orb, until I saw Priest in X17. I messaged him and told him what happened with the pics, and he said that sucked, but he also asked if I wanted to obs him and TillerMaN play. I quickly agreed and joined the game, my fellow observer being IceGod.

Before we begin, I've added a little bit of info on each of the players.
(orky)Priest is a member of the orky pro team whos website can be found here, and has also written a PvZ strat guide at XGamers which can be found here. He's a pure toss player, and has a very distinct strategy.

TillerMaN is from Glasgow Scotland, and is a top tier gamer. He's very good at macro/micro, and if you're interested, Fox Bane and Nobo did a three game series with him against Mark4 a while back, and although the pics are missing on some, the text is still entertaining. You can find them here, here and here.

I'd also just like to add that I'm just observing one of the many games between these two friends. Anyways, back to the game.

Priest chooses Protoss and warps in as white toss at the 12:00 start position, while Tiller randoms to purple Zerg and mutates his hatchery at 6:00.

The builds are standard, with Priest making a pylon on eight supply, a gate on ten, and sending the probe that warped in the gate to scout. Tiller expands to his natural on twelve, bringing an extra drone down in case of a pesky probe, and a pool on thirteen.

The scouting is normal except that Tiller sends his overlord to 9:00 first, and had Priest been there, he wouldn't have had to scout. This is why many people now send their overlord to 9:00 if they're at 12:00, 3:00 if they're at 6:00 and vice versa.

This doesn't matter however, as Priest finds Tiller on his second stop, and has a look at Tiller's base. It's a bit late for Priest to kill Tiller early game, because of his decision to tech, getting gas on fourteen, and a cycore on sixteen.
Priest sends his first zealot down there anyways, but Tiller made lings with the first two larvae from his main after the pool finished as well as a morphing sunken colony at Tiller's natural. The zealot kills one drone before attempting to go back to his own base, but the sunken gets in three hits because of the placement of it. The zealot explodes into blue flame from the sunkens attack as the probe hovers away free of injuries.

Priest makes another zealot and places it at his ramp when his probe sees a ling coming. The placement of it is bad though, and is not commanded to hold position, so the ling manages to sneak through and see the stargate Priest made. The ling has a good look around before scampering back out of Priest's base.

Priest made the stargate soon after his cycore finished, and as soon as it warped in he began making a corsair.

The sair finishes soon after the ling leaves, and Priest immediately flies it down to Tiller's base. Tiller had been collecting gas for a while, but for some reason did not make a hydra den after he saw the stargate. Tiller does begin morphing one in soon however, but unfortunately it begins mutating the second Priest's sair arrives. The sair disruption flares two of Tiller's overlords to death before Tiller's hydra den finishes and he turns three larvae he'd been saving from his main into hydra eggs. The sair flies over to Tiller's natural and begins attacking an overlord before it's driven away by hydras.

Priest expanded to his natural during the overlord raid, and he also techs up to templars after adding another gateway.

Tiller mutates an evolution chamber in his main and begins researching +1 range attack. He also puts down another hatchery above the one in his main, bringing his total to four, which is the same number of gates Priest has at the same time.

Both player's unit counts are pretty low, Tiller with a handful of hydras and a few lings, and Priest with three zealots and two temps.

Priest decides it's a good time to start upgrading, and he warps in a forge and begins researching +1 attack a little after Tiller begins his upgrades. About the same time Priest's forge warps in Tiller expands to his mineral only expansion with an overlord and thirteen hydras to guard the morphing hatchery.

Priest made two DTs, but Tiller figured he would see something like this from Priest, and has overlords where they're needed. Priest finds this out as he sends in a DT to try to scout, and is quickly forced to pull it back before it's killed by the hydras.

Priest now becomes aware that Tiller might be massing mutas and/or might be preparing a lurker drop, or he forgets to build a pylon, because he spaces out about 5-7 cannons throughout his main and natural. He also adds two more gates, bringing his total to six, more than Tiller has hatches.

Both players decide to expand again at the same time, with Tiller attempting to expand to 9:00's natural, figuring if he can secure the only way in to 9:00's main, he can later expand there too, especially since Priest doesn't even have a robotics facility for shuttles. Priest chooses to expand to 3:00's mineral only, trying to keep all his units in one place, which this expansion will allow him to do. Only Priest gets his nexus up however, as Tiller's drone meant to make the hatchery was cut in half by a DT. The DT gets in a swipe at a hydra before Tiller realizes the overlord he brought along wasn't in range to detect the templar.

Tiller's overlord speed upgrade soon finishes, and he decides it's time to attack. He groups his hydras into two full control groups, and one more of about eight and heads off to Priest's base. The upgrades are in Tiller's favor as all his hydras are 1/1, while Priest only has +1 attack. It looks like the battle will also be in Tiller's favor, as he has 32 hydras to Priest's 10 zealots and three templars, but the templars have enough energy for two storms each. Tiller attacks first, using the hit and run tactic, trying to kill as many templars as he can before they can get off storm. Priest is very experienced with zeal/temp though, and tries to surround the hydras while drawing the hydras closer by moving the targeted temp back. Neither player takes any heavy losses for a little bit, each pulling back their units when neccesary, until Priest casts two storms exactly where they needed to be. The one storm kills only two hydras, but the second was cast as the hydras were attacking, and kills or significantly weakens a whole control group. Priest then brings down three more temps with a storm each, and casts a virtual blanket of storms over Tiller's hydras. Tiller sees the templars coming, and pulls the hydras back just as the storm is cast, avoiding a loss of about eight hydras. Tiller finishes off what's left of the zealots, and begin attacking Priest's nexus that had just finished warping in, but Priest is constantly making units out of his six gates, and soon six goons dance down to the action, but without range or the help of storm, they only manage to kill a few hydras. Priest gets enough mana for three more storms soon after the goons go down, and manage to kill quite a few hydras. Priest loses three of his temps before he summons an archon from the last two, and brings downsix more goons, which he orders them to get rid of the remaining survivors from Tiller's swarm.

At this point I thought Tiller would mass units a little longer, but instead he orders about twelve more hydras to attack Priest's base, but nine of them die quickly to goons and an archon, while the other three retreat. Priest lost a pylon and a cannon in the previous battle, and warps in another pylon above his nexus, while Tiller sends a drone up to the 9:00 main, and begins mutating into a hatchery.

Tiller soon has 12-16 more hydras ready to go, and he once again heads toward Priest's base. Priest doesn't have all his units in the same spot when Tiller attacks, and this costs him the battle. The hydras quickly get rid of the archon and also kill the six goons there. You can see the goons below his ramp in the minimap.

Priest moves four more goons he has below his main ramp down to the battle, but they arrive after the other six have already died, and the four new goons quickly die too. Priest has three more goons below his ramp now, but decides to save them to defend his main and natural, instead of wasting them trying to protect his now naked expansion. Tiller is now making hydras as soon as the larvae is available, and soon has two control groups of +2 attack hydras destroying the nexus at 3:00's mineral only. Priest now has more zeals/temps, and both players try to lure each other into storms. Tiller manages to kill one temp that doesn't get off a storm in time, and kills another just as it casts storm. The battle rages on with Priest casting storm after storm, and Tiller doing his best to dance around them. Tiller suddenly takes half his attacking force and sends it to the 9:00 main. The DT that killed the first drone that tried to expand to 9:00's natural ran up the ramp after the hydras retreated, and Priest ordered it to stay in sight of 9:00 main expansion. The DT is now swiping at Tiller's finished hatchery at 9:00, and this is why Tiller sends about eight hydras up to save the hatch. I'm not sure why color=purple>Tiller sent so many hydras to get rid of one DT, but he probably didn't want to have to micro any there, instead wanting to focus his attention on the main battle.

Priest gets rid of the six hydras Tiller left, and begins warping in another nexus, determined to mine from there. Priest's pylon he had warping in above the nexus is now finished, and he warps in three cannons to protect it. Tiller also invests in some stationary offense, and mutates five drones into sunkens, defending both 9:00 main and it's natural. Priest also warps in a nexus at his own mineral only. The 12:00 mineral only is a great place to get a mining edge on your opponent, along with islands because for most people it's the last place they'll check.

Priest gets both expansions up and running, and moves his troops, made up of six high temps, ten goons and a control group of zealots, down to Tiller's mineral only.

Tiller has decided to switch to a hydra/ling combo, and adds another evolution chamber behind the geyser at his natural for melee attack upgrades. Tiller now has eleven hatcheries, two each at his main and natural, five at his mineral only, and one each at his 9:00 main and natural expansions, while Priest still has six gates.

Priest runs into a control group of hydras Tiller meant to flank him with, and decides to pull back for now and wait for his templars to catch up. Priest has had the zealot speed upgrade since the end of the last attack, and the zeals along with the goons quickly outrun the slow templar. The temp get there soon enough though, and after the hydras dodge one storm, Priest casts another one which kills a large clump of them. Tiller now attacks with about two control groups of twenty-four lings from his mineral only, but microing another control group of hydras from the 9:00 natural. Priest displays nice micromanagement, moving his zealots and archon to attack the lings, and moving his goons back to engage the hydras, and at the same time storming Tiller's clumped up hydras. Priest also does a good job of storming Tiller's lings, placing the storms in front of his zealots and archon, so the storm weakens the lings as they run through, but no damage is dealt to his own units. Priest kills the first wave of lings, and Tiller quickly makes more hydras and lings from the nine hatches at his main and naturals. Priest's templars lay down the law though and hydras crumple into a mass of flesh from psionic shockwaves. The lings don't get stormed this time however, and the cracklings rip into the goons and archon, managing to kill one of each before psi blades and goon fire mop them up. Priest is also forced to use one more storm to get rid of three hydras about to kill a goon in the red.

Priest's temps are all out of energy, so he makes three archons, leaving only one templar to storm. As long as Tiller continues making mostly lings Priest will be OK, but with only one templar he could easily die to mass hydras.

Tiller now pulls a nice move and sends six hydras he's had at 3:00 to prevent Priest from sending a probe there over to Priest's 3:00 mineral only expansion. Priest casts a storm over them, but Tiller simply moves the hydras out from under the storm. Priest has no attacking units there, and he either doesn't have enough energy for another storm or doesn't want to waste one on such a small amount of hydras. Either way, Tiller manages to kill about 700 minerals worth of probes before a few zeals get rid of them.

Priest attacks a little after the hydras begin attacking, and his 1/0/2 units encounter a large mass of +2 armor lings. Priest's first zealots quickly fall to the lings, but the archons cut through them one after one, the lings only managing to kill archon before reinforcements from Tiller's 9:00 bases show up in the form of hydras. The hydras draw Priest's fire, and being able to get close enough before being killed, the cracklings make quick work of the remaining units.

Tiller counters, and his first wave of units are quelled by a few nicely placed storms. Tiller has eleven hatches though, and that's thirty three units at a time, if larvae aren't already being made into units. tiller quickly has a new army at his command. The new army is sent at Priest, and as he tries to fight back wave after wave of lings, Tiller sends in hydras, making matters worse for Priest. The templars aren't very useful against lings, and their aren't very many hydras to storm. Priest's units fight off the swarm for a bit, but with only one archon, his units can't hold out for long. Tiller's sends a few lings and hydras over to take down Priest's expansion at 3:00's mineral only, and after trying to dance his temps, Priest knows he's outresourced now, with his natural and mineral only as his only economy. Priest gives a gg and leaves as his nexus explodes into blue flame.

This was an excellent game to watch, and I think Priest could've held his base longer if he'd had more storms available. Both players did everything needed to win, the only thing Priest could've done better would have been to had a few reavers to help clean up the lings. Tiller didn't use any queens to get rid of the temps or ensnare, and with those two spells the game could've been over a little quicker also, the templar being the equalizer between the Protoss and Zerg. Tiller also exploited the zerg's fast unit production, having 40 more units at his command in less than a minute.

Priest has godly storm placement, in the game with -Vampyre- he killed around 140 units, while only losing 12. Again, if priest's temps had been charged a little more, the game might have had a different outcome, or at least lasted longer.

Priest has expanded when needed in every game I've watched, and is very good about being covert about it, as he almost always expands to 12:00's mineral only.

Overall both players played superbly, and after the game with -Vampyre- I interviewed Priest, even though he didn't win the game with Tiller.
It gets rather tedious typing the interviews word for word, so this time I'm just using the screenshots, sorry modem users ;[

Thanks for reading everyone, and please comment!


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