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For The Swarm
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Date: 07/30/01 12:07
Game Type: Starcraft
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Report Rating: 8.8, # of Ratings: 5, Max: 9, Min: 8
Lifetime Rating for Ling-erie: 8.1429

After browsing through the replay sections of countless sites, I dug up a few good games from, the pick of the bunch being a Zerg on Zerg game on Lost Temple. I've given this some thought and having looked back through the site's history, this is one of the least reported match ups to date. It's one that few people play in ~Nohunters seeing how half the channel play exclusively as Terran or Protoss. I've decided to report 2 games I found, both are fast and furious and both were great to watch, so lets get on with it, I bring you:

Buy me a flash editor, and I'll give you good report intros, deal?

The players in both games are new to me, so I'll just get into the action instead of making any introductions. Game 1 is more of an appetiser to game 2; it gets better as it goes along. Enjoy!

Game 1

zerat - yellow Zerg at 3:00
durex - blue Zerg at 6:00

durex opens with an overlord on 8 control before making 3 more drones. He then places a hatchery in his main on 11 control and makes 2 more drones. His initial overlord was sent to 9:00 in search of his opponent before sending it on to 12:00, while the second overlord lumbers across towards the 3:00 plateau.

zerat starts off with an overlord on 9 control before going on to morph 3 more drones, one of these morphs into a hatchery on his home creep at 11 control. He has already sent out a scouting drone to 6:00, due to run across his opponent very quickly. Instead of making the usual spawning pool, he decides that he doesn't want to waste the initiative and morphs a creep colony on his opponent's creep.

pathetic attempt to win with cheesy tactic, take 1durex doesn't even know where his opponent is at this point, so fearing an early pool (because a pool is required to convert a creep colony into a sunken colony), he pulls most of his drones off the mineral and begins to attack the colony. 5 drones can deal a lot of damage to a morphing structure, and happy that he has interrupted his opponent's mining, zerat cancels the creep colony and runs the drone back home. Both cerebrates now order up a spawning pool, with zerat adding an extractor while his opponent throws down a sunken colony for defensive duties.

The base layout of both players is such that a defensive colony could be placed between the two hatcheries, with zerat's spawning pool blocking off the third ground flank of the colony. He adds a colony shortly after his pool finishes, and continues drone production. durex begins to morph 8 zerglings with his available 4 larvae as his pool finishes, and he sends a scouting drone towards his foe. zerat then realises that he made the pool for a reason, and begins to make zerglings himself.

durex's scouting drone wanders straight up zerat's ramp, meeting no resistance at all. Not to be outdone with cheesiness, durex orders it to morph into a creep colony on the edge of his opponent's creep, but realising that it is probably in range of his opponent's own morphing sunken colony, he cancels it and sends it off to the edge of the Zerg plateau to wait for re-enforcements.

As you can probably imagine, planting a creep colony in your opponent's base rarely goes unnoticed,War, on a tiny scale and zerat sends his newly hatched zerglings to feast on the juicy drone, before ordering all hands to below his ramp. The re-enforcements I was on about are coming head on in the opposite direction, and with a strong need to avenge their fallen friend they engage the zerglings below the ramp. With greater numbers, durex is victorious, but 3 injured zerglings are hardly much of an attack force, so he sends one scouting into the enemy main instead of pressing the assault.

Both are now mining gas from their extractors, but durex has the standard 3 on gas while zerat decided that ONE drone would be enough. Good building placement: the den walls off the bottom entrance to the mineral lineThey both reach 100 gas at around the same time, with durex pulling ahead shortly thereafter. zerat has sent his zerglings to the middle of the map, feeding on the 3 that remained after that initial fight. He keeps massing zerglings eventually sending them, accompanied by a drone, to the 6:00 plateau where they sit just above the ramp. durex has begun morphing a lair, and added a second sunken colony to his defences now. Upon seeing the size of that force containing him, he quickly morphs a third creep colony into a sunken. His tech is indicative of mutalisks, whereas zerat has thrown down a hydralisk den in his main, blocking off the bottom entrance to his mineral line while topping up the drones on gas form 1 to 3.

Just as the last sunken finishes out of his view (because he didn't scout first), zerat orders his 14 zerglings into the fray. Against him are 3 sunken colonies and 5 zerglings of durex, Routed, and forced to retreat.who has also just added an evolution chamber to the back of his base. The zerglings charge in followed by that drone, which begins morphing an offensive colony on the edge of the creep. Sadly for him; his attack gets massacred very quickly leaving him with a half-made creep colony and his opponent morphing a lot of zerglings. This doesn't bode well, so he quickly cancels the creep colony and runs the drone back home to where his first 6 hydralisks are morphing.

durex starts morphing a spire in his main as he chases the drone away, he also adds a creep colony near his tech for mutalisk defence. Suddenly his scouting ling dies to a hoard of needle spines, and he realises that his opponent has gone mass ground. With 6 hydras in the first wave coming towards his base, he quickly begins morphing a lot of defensive zerglings. He sends them into a good flanking position right underneath an enemy overlord north of his ramp, while zerat sends reinforcements to join his ramp containment of 6 hydras and that damned drone again. Back at home he has hydralisk speed upgrading in his den.

durex is morphing a queens nest at the far back of his main, hatching mutalisks, upgrading zerglings speed and melee ground attacks in his evolution chamber at the same time; his tech under the watchful eye of an enemy overlord. Then zerat makes his move: instead of trying to buy time for his colony to morph by sacrificing troops, he morphs the colony near the mineral line while keeping the hydras behind in order to defend it. The first placement is too near to the sunken defences, and he re-lays it a little further back, in range only of the second hatchery.

If you remember the zerglings, then muta/ling totally owns mass hydralisks17 zerglings and 3 mutalisks take offence to his morphing the creep colony into a sunken colony, and they charge in, routing the small attack force in seconds. durex also adds a hydralisk den to his tech spot and he proceeds to rape the 2 scouting overlords that zerat left floating around for too long. zerat realises he has lost his edge here, and he throws down a hatchery at the 12:00 mineral-only, only to be discovered by a scouting overlord and a roaming scourge about 3 seconds after it started it's morph. This makes him extremely paranoid about a mutalisk assault, and he sends a control group of hydralisks to the 12:00 main plateau to intercept any aggressors and killing the scouting overlord above his new expansion.

But if you leave the zerglings behind, your mutalisks suddenly become very ineffectiveWith +1 attack zerglings and an airborne pimp squad, this expansion would have probably been an easy kill with all hands put to the task, but durex is too busy taking his natural to worry about that, and he's content to get his +1 air attack and hive started. With about 8 mutalisks he finally decides to harass a little, sending them all to the plateau of his opponent's main. Sadly, a large group of hydralisks defending there shoo them away, and without zergling support they can't hurt the 12:00 expansion, so he runs away to the centre.

Seeing those troops running west (towards 9:00) zerat decides to patrol into the 6:00 natural in the hopes that his opponent hasn't made any zerglings to accompany his air troops. This hope is dashed when around 24 zerglings turn his attack away very quickly. zerat sends 8 hydralisks to the 9:00 plateau check out where those mutalisks went while sending the rest of his troops back to his valley. Those mutalisks had actually run around to the top island and over the 12:00 main to the enemy expansion, where they begin to pick off drones and attack the hatchery. zerat's hydras persuade them hide above the top right cliff.

His hive completed, durex has the adrenalin gland upgrade just finishing for his zergling, and +2 attack on the way. He begins to position them in such a position as to flank the enemy hydralisks in the event of a frontal assault, and fully expecting lurkers to kill his zerglings, he cancels the air attack upgrade and begins to research overlord speed. With about 26 hydralisks at the 6:00 choke, zerat is preparing to attack, but he is pre-empted by the opposing cerebrate who sends several zergling to distract the hydralisks while he sends his entire flank force to 12:00 to deal with the expansion.

That's a cool minimap, attack is the best form of defense

Forty +1 attack cracklings stream across the map to 12:00 while at the same time 26 hydralisks flood into the 6:00 natural. Both expansions fall in a matter of seconds leaving both cerebrates at a loss of what to do next. Fortune favours the bold, apparently, so they both ignore their hive clusters and roll their armies forward towards their respective enemy mains. With now about 50 zerglings (some were left spare before), and the +2 attack upgrade just kicking in, durex has to overpower around 10 hydralisks, a sunken colony and any resistance the drones can provide. With nearly 30 un-upgraded hydras (with range and speed), zerat has to overcome a control group of cracklings, what will be 5 sunken colonies when he engages, and any drone resistance that is provided. Both players have practically identical funds, 600 minerals and 1000 gas, but only zerat is producing troops to augment his defence.

Yet again, Not such a cool minimap, but you can see how devastating mass cracklings areboth forces engage at exactly the same time, and is quickly becomes apparent that the +2 attack and adrenal gland upgrades are going to be the deciding factor in this war of mutual annihilation. If nothing else, durex simply has a lot more structures than his opponent, and thus has an advantage to begin with. As the troops dive in, durex throws down 2 more creep colonies, probably not likely to survive the morph, but they will take precious time to kill. Carelessly both cerebrates allow their respective forces to dwindle and kill the larvae on the way past. It's not long before 10 structures remain on the 6:00 plateau and only a half hit-point hatchery stands at 3:00. Yet more sunken colonies and 6 zerglings erupt in durex's main, whittling the hydralisk attack force to less than half of what it was, and eventually the extractor falls at 3:00 leaving not a single structure left standing on the remains of zerat's creep.

But, for some reason, the game doesn't end.......

Haha, go zeratSuddenly the penny drops for durex, there MUST be another building! Frantically, he sends his zerglings across the map to 12:00 and 9:00, and then, almost as an afterthought, he sends a couple around the 3:00 plateau before going off down the ramp. 2 more sunken colonies hatch in his main taking the 12 hydralisks there down to 8, still firing on the structures. The hive falls, and then it happens, looking back over the map, durex sees a foreign structure, an un-identified blob above the ramp in the corner of the 3:00 plateau. All hands (well, claws actually) are sent to remove Asdf, that was close =[it before his own base falls, as what are now only 4 hydralisks at 6:00 have free reign over the structures there.

4 hydralisks just couldn't do the damage fast enough however, and the result is that zerat's last building falls to cracklings just before it finishes morphing. The game was won by 5 buildings in the end, all the sunken colonies morphed at the death managed to stop the hydralisk attack force in it's tracks, leaving durex the victor presiding over the lost temple.

GG! But it was only the warm up for the real war:

Game 2

Sin.D)_Haplo - white Zerg at 9:00
Sin.D)_Xtorez - orange Zerg at 3:00

Haplo kicks off with an overlord on 8 control, he then follows up with another drone before pulling off the extractor trick to get his 10th drone building sooner. He throws down a hatchery at his natural expansion on 12 control (with the hatchery guarding the main ramp at the 9:00 spot). He then starts an extractor on 12 and a pool on 11 control in his main.

Xtorez starts the ball rolling with making an overlord on 8, followed by an extractor on 9 control. He sends a drone out towards 9:00 to scout, and once he reaches 12 drones, he throws down a pool below his hatchery. With his scouting drone, he finds his opponent's main, but he arrived just too early to see the drone at the natural expansion spot morphing into a hatchery. In an effort to disrupt his opponent's build as much as possible, Xtorez orders his scouting drone to morph an extractor on Haplo's geyser; he also places a creep colony down at home.

Before his offensive extractor is complete, Xtorez decides that he can better use the drone, seeing how his pool is nearly finished but his opponent's is less than half done, so he cancels the extractor and begins to morph a creep colony there instead. At the same time he morphs the creep colony at home into a sunken colony and begins to upgrade his hatchery into a lair. Haplo takes several drones off from mining to attack the offensive structure, which morphs into a sunken colony when it is finished. It is able to complete its transformation and destroy a drone before it erupts in a fury of blood at the hands(?) of the enemy workers.

Cheese strat denied, but at the cost of a drone and mining time

As soon as the enemy is cleared from his creep, Haplo begins another hatchery in his main, bringing his tally to 3 now. He also begins an assimilator on his main's gas supply, but neglects to mine it for a short time. At Xtorez's base, the lair finishes and a spire is thrown down, he also sends a drone to his natural, accompanied by 6 zerglings, to begin an expansion. Sadly for him, Haplo has been constantly producing zerglings at home, and is rallying them to his opponent's valley. The expansion attempt is aborted and the defensive Zergling retreat to the safety of their sunken colony. Realising that he is probably under threat from 3-hatch lings, Xtorez begins a second creep colony in his main, and soon after a second hatchery.

Nicely walled off sunken colony thereRealising that he's probably under the threat of early mutalisks, Haplo begins mining gas in his main, starts an extractor at his natural, and begins to morph an evolution chamber in his main for upgrades. He also begins a 4th hatchery on the 6:00 plateau and a hydralisk den at home when he has the gas. Xtorez didn't conserve any larvae, so once his spire finishes he is forced to begin the laborious process of hatching mutalisks very slowly as that larvae become available. He decides to send the first 3 to his opponent's natural, where a creep colony is morphing into a sunken colony. While this is going on, Haplo is attempting to use his zerglings to force his way up his opponent's ramp. Xtorez concedes the high ground advantage in favour of retreating to what are now 2 sunken colonies in his main.

MessyThis is sufficient to drive the attackers back to the top of the ramp, where they play a kind of pseudo-containment game. Upon seeing the lack of air defence in his opponent's natural, Xtorez sends 3 mutalisks in to remove the morphing sunken colony there. Haplo responds to this new finding of a quick spire and early mutalisks by placing another creep colony at his natural, upgrading his main hatchery to a lair, and cleverly cancelling the And upon being assaulting the spore colony, the mutalisks were forced to retreat in the face of a noxious green gas, primarily methanemorphing sunken colony, turning it into a spore colony instead. Inexplicably, he cancels the second creep colony and returns the drone to his main, perhaps foreseeing the loss of this expansion, but the 3 mutalisks never increase in number, the spore colony completes, and is enough to drive the annoying birds away.

Xtorez decides that now would be a good time to invest in zergling speed, and for some reason he ups his drone count on gas from 4 to 5. He manages to pop the odd overlord with what are now 5 mutalisks above his opponent's cliff, but the appearance of hydralisks and the beginning of a second spore colony persuade him to leave for good (I won't mention the defenceless main). Contrary to standard S&T thinking, zerglings do NOT own mutalisks, however many you have In a decision to commit to air, he pops out 4 scourge for scouting and to deter his opponent from going mutalisks, and upgrades +1 flyer attack in his spire. He also finally sends his now 6 mutalisks home to rid himself of the zergling containment. One of his scouting scourges discovers the naked 6:00 expansion at around the same time.

Realising that he has lost containment, Haplo sends his hydralisks into the fray to scare off the mutalisks from chasing his zerglings around. He succeeds in stopping them attacking his natural, but this was never really the intention, as a stream of over 24 orange zerglings and 2 mutalisks plunge into the 6:00 main and raze everything to the ground in no time. Seeing that he has lost this investment, Haplo just leaves it and pulls his troops home while beginning the speed upgrade for his hydralisks. Xtorez has just been adding to his troop count while placing a hatchery on his main plateau, and another at his natural expansion. He has also added a hydralisk den at home while taking the time to scourge a couple of his opponent's overlords.

Bye bye expansion, you'll be missed by all

Haplo decides to try and re-take the initiative, sending around 16 hydralisks and a couple of zerglings to his opponent's valley. He tries to force his way in through the choke point, but a sea of Xtorez's speedlings with mutalisk support rout the attackers leaving not a single one alive. Such a shame that hydralisks can't attack air and ground targets simultaneouslyHaplo begins to research range and ground missile attacks for his hydralisks, while expanding to his mineral-only. Xtorez has taken the time to gas his natural and place a sunken colony right in the miner's path (so he needs five drones on gas here too), while at the same time switching to pure hydralisks from his 3 hatcheries in his main, and drones from his expansion. Having not seen the hydralisks yet, Haplo is adding to the spore colonies in his main, while getting a queen's nest and a second evolution chamber. He also begins to defend his new expansion with sunken colonies and the vast majority of his troops. Finally, he begins and fortifies a second expansion attempt at the 6:00 main while upgrading to a hive at home.

Xtorez has also added a queen's nest in his main along with an evolution chamber and 2 more hatcheries. He expands to the 12:00 natural while massing troops just outside of his choke. Haplo has decided that he's had enough of those annoying zerglings, Denied!and with the final upgrade in his hydralisk den completed, he begins to morph 4 lurkers at his main defences. Xtorez takes his mineral-only expansion, and begins to move his troops more confidently towards the centre of the map at the SAME TIME as Haplo is doing the same thing. They square up either side of the lost temple just outside of each other's site range before Xtorez orders nearly 4 control groups of random ground towards the 6:00 main. Both players are aware now of each other's armies and expansions, and with a much larger force, Xtorez is getting prepared to sack the defences at 6:00.

This is where his lack of overlord speed begins to hurt him, as 3 lurkers placed next to a sunken colony at the expansion are enough to deter Xtorez from taking advantage of his troop count, so he retreats back to the middle of the map with a few losses, and tears apart Haplo's relief force on the way. Clever zergling micro gained him FIVE WHOLE KILLS!   gg no re =]But again, 1 hidden lurker is enough to stop him from holding the centre of the map, and he retreats to the overlord cover in his valley. While upgrading to a hive and adding a second evolution chamber at home. Haplo sets up a nydus canal from his natural to help assist in defending his 6:00 expansion in the future, while cleverly using one of his zerglings to bait 4 or 5 of Xtorez's over his hidden lurker in the middle of the map. Seeing excess in his funds, Xtorez adds FOUR more hatcheries in his main and begins morphing lurkers and producing hydralisks and drones en-masse. He also fortifies his mineral-only with sunkens and lurkers while researching spawn-broodling for his newly produced queens.

Both cerebrates have mined dry their main bases, and have fully saturated all expansions, when Haplo sends a small contingent to the top left island to expand. Good timing there Sadly, Xtorez's scouting force of five mutalisks own the three hydralisks defence, and the expansion is stopped before it was even started, with all hands lost except for the hidden lurker. In response, Xtorez takes the 12:00 main just after his opponent expands to the 6:00 natural, but Haplo has been displaying better macro and begins to rally his hydralisks in a crescent around the left and bottom of the temple. Xtorez now has 13 morphing or active hatcheries to mass troops from, and he sets up a scourge patrol to prevent expansions to the island later on. Haplo decides to use his hive tech to the full, and adds one of those rarely seen structures to his 6:00 base: a defiler mound. Xtorez has also used the hive tech, and has upgraded to a greater spire at his main.

I was going to throw in this huge base shot of Xtorez's main, but it looked cluttered and killed the download time, so i'll just link it so you can get a look.

Haplo is constantly pumping out units now while waiting for his defiler upgrades to be researched. Kill our infested brethren less we all fall victim to the hideous disease that doesn't actually hurt us at allXtorez, unsure of his opponent's forces, sends his 2 queens down to the 6:00 natural, and hovers them over the cliff there. Seeing no troops, he sends them around to the bottom of the 6:00 main. Here he begins hurling parasites at the hydralisks there that are on their way to the front. Haplo must have had theses units selected, as almost immediately afterwards, he sets his hydralisks to kill their infected brethren there and then. Two hydralisks are lost before the queens are encouraged to leave, but not without getting off 1 last parasite on a hydralisk. This one passes unnoticed, and Xtorez is given a little more information about enemy troop movements.

Xtorez has 200/200 control of troops now, but none of his new hatcheries have rally points set, so most are scattered around his main plateau. Haplo has 165/168 control, but his troops are all rallied to the centre of the map, effectively giving him map control. Yummy, drone soup =]Haplo has 7 hydralisks in defence on his natural cliff, but Xtorez is determined to interrupt his mining, and drops 2 lurkers near the edge, running them down to the top of the mineral-only take pot shots at the drones there. 5 drones and 2 hydralisks fall before the assault is stopped, and the adrenalin gland upgrade completes for Haplo. 2 more lurkers are loaded up for a second raid, but remain in the overlord at the 3:00 mineral-only for the duration of the game, forgotten about by the cerebrate. Xtorez knows he'll have to use his troops soon to take advantage of his full control limit, so he sets up for another offensive. 12 hydralisks with 1:1 upgrades make their way towards 6:00, but the bottom half of Haplo's crescent, consisting of a slightly greater number of 2:2 hydralisks discourages them from pursuing the matter, and they slither back to the defences.

Must     consume      expensive units     ..!With 173/197 control, Haplo's consume upgrade finishes in his defiler mound, and he quickly sets his defilers to eat some of his hydralisks (not zerglings for some reason) to bring them up to full energy. With Dark swarm as a free spell, and Plague researched first, he's all set to do some serious damage. At the same time, Xtorez finally gets his 12:00 main working in full order whilst the places a hatchery at the mineral-only below. He has been on full control for a short time now, and is not willing to just rest, so he sends the bulk of his hydralisks to just outside his valley entrance to his main, forming up for what looks like an attack on the 6:00 expansions. Once again, he isn't alone in setting up for an attack, as Haplo sends 5 suicide hydralisks into the 3:00 mineral-only defences. They tell him of sunkens, tightly clustered hydralisks, and the odd lurker, hidden from view.

Seizing the initiative, despite a distinctly lower control limit of units, Haplo sends his defilers to the gap at the top of the temple walls. About time reallyThey are joined by around twelve 2:3 hydralisks and 4 overlords for detection. Once the overlords are in place, the front defiler casts a plague over the 8 hydralisks and the sunken colony on defence. The hydralisk AI makes them retaliate by charging the defiler, only to run into the backing group of hydralisks there. Xtorez is quick to react, puling them back behind the defences there, but you can never be fast enough when your hydralisks are only at 2 hit points, and half of them die quickly. White hydralisks pour into the breach in the defences, only to be exposed to a similar sized defensive army that had been camping out behind the temple walls.

Ok, which smart ass brought the baby defilers along.. C'mon, own up!Lurker spines fly up through the soil, reminding Haplo to bring his overlords for the ride. At this point, Xtorez realises that this is more than a small attack, but a full-scale assault on his expansion. His natural has just dried up and he has started his own defiler mound on the 12:00 plateau, but his 3:00 mineral-only expansion is the door to his current economy, and he throws all available hands in to deal with the threat. This is where the problems begin for both sides: Haplo sees the size of the oncoming army and quickly throws up the protective veil offered by 2 darkswarms, covering his army. Xtorez realises that he can't even hurt his opponent while this lasts, and he runs his lead hydralisks, the ones taking all the enemy fire, under the darkswarm. Now both sides go at it, needle spines firing, exploding on the enemy creatures, doing absolutely no damage at all. Neither side are getting any kind of advantage although Xtorez has twice the troop count involved. He soon sees this and runs two lurkers into the fray. They burrow under the temple grounds and use their ranged melee attack (go figure) to begin removing the enemy hydralisks, detected by the enemy overlords, but protected by the darkswarm; both exceed 10 kills before they perish.

At this point it's just becoming a hideous debacleThis is where the flank comes in. Haplo brings up the bottom arm of his flank to surround what was effectively Xtorez's flank on his own army. All of Xtorez's hydralisks have been firing and they have acquired their targets, a unit that they will focus their fire on until it is destroyed. Haplo's relief force smashes straight into the side of this attack, and they acquire targets that are NOT under the darkswarm cover. As a result, they quickly begin making inroads on the preoccupied enemy army, and the result is that Xtorez's similarly sized army is demolished by one of no greater size, inflicting precious few damages back on his enemy. This was epitomized by two zerglings getting 4 kills each on an army of hydralisks.

Trying to find out the cause of this, I look towards the orange main. There I see 10 hatcheries all with 3 eggs next to them. Xtorez had attack-moved his troops in and turned instead toward his macro, neglecting any micro at all. Haplo however had at least one egg growing at each of his 8 hatcheries, and he had been microing his spell casters and troops too. Once both sides realise the debacle caused by mutually fighting under darkswarm with ranged units, they each pull back to let it pass.

Only now do I notice the real focus of Xtorez 's attentions, he had used the war in the centre as a distraction for a guardian raid at the 6:00 natural. short-lived, but affectiveWhile morphing the guardians out of site above the cliff he had used a queen to put a parasite on one of the drones for vision before sending the fliers in. All of the drones working there, the extractor, the sunken colony defence and a few hydralisks fell to the assault, but the guardians were destroyed before they got the chance to finish off the hatchery, leaving it at half hit points. Xtorez finds himself mining only from the 12:00 expansions, and all his troop production coming from the hatcheries on his main plateau. Haplo is making units from all of his hatcheries, mostly in his main but with more at the expansions than his opponent. He is also rallying to the centre of the map, unlike Xtorez, whose hatcheries are mostly not rallied at all.

Once the darkswarm wears away, Haplo reinitiates hostilities at the same place, sending in more and more hydralisks towards the expansion. The orange hydralisks can be seen sneaking under the darkswarm while the white hydralisks are pre-occupied elsewhereXtorez 's relief forces begin to turn the tide against the white cerebrate, and Haplo is forced to throw up another darkswarm over his attacking hydralisks. They destroy the immediate defensive troops, but then veer out of the darkswarm's protective shelter. Upon seeing this, Xtorez sends a group of hydralisks below the temple wall to and runs them under his opponent's darkswarm, stealing the benefits of the spell from his opponent. Haplo can do nothing to prevent this as he has no melee troops to hand, and just pulls back out of range and circles his troops around the top. Here he begins assaulting the expansion from a new angle, and as soon as the darkswarm wears off in the centre he sandwiches the enemy below it with troops from 3 sides, the temple wall blocking off the last exit.

Haplo now has the assault firmly in his grasp, and he brings all of his troops (he has been constantly been producing throughout the assault) to the expansion and crushes the last defences there, beginning to fire on the hatchery itself. Xtorez suddenly realises his lack of rally points, and sends nearly 2 control groups of idle hydralisks in his main to the front line. The problem here is that they arrive in a single-file line along the edge of the of the temple wall, running into a pack of enemy units, and as soon as they begin to bulk out a little in numbers, Haplo throws yet another darkswarm over his troops. This time it is well placed, and Xtorez cannot flank and run troops under it, he is forced to fight straight up in a hopeless battle or concede the hatchery to his foe.

Ok, the image SHOULD change with the mouse-over command..!

He ends up making the worst possible choice, and concedes his army in defence against an invincible enemy. Xtorez loses his expansion and retreats with only 4 hydralisks from the 20 or so he sent in to start with. Haplo doesn't push into the enemy main though, that thin choke point lined with lurkers could be most disagreeable for a frontal assault. Dangerous occupation, being an alien devoted to serving the swarm.. average life expectancy is probably about 20 secondsInstead he rallies his troops on the blood of their fallen brethren, and sends them north towards the expansions at 12:00. Xtorez begins long-distance mining his mineral-only expansion while trying to figure out what went wrong. Then 2 of his lurkers on the 12:00 plateau warn him of the new danger: 0ver 2 and a half control groups of hydralisks bail into the 12:00 expansions. On the Plateau, 2 badly placed lurkers are not enough to slow down the now fully upgraded enemy, whilst in the valley 6 hydralisks are swept aside as the attack continues. Sending all available troops now to protect his only available income, Xtorez meets resistance from a band of hydralisks at the site of his old expansion, slowing his relief force down.

In no time at all the two mining hatcheries fall to the white hydralisk army. The relief force of Hydra/ling sent by XtorezMessy pic, just thought i'd throw it in there arrives just in time to witness the purging of all of his drones, so he removes the three troublesome defilers from the fray leaving only the enemy troops. Charging up the ramps into the 12:00 main Xtorez confronts an army at the top of the ramp. Once again he's caught his opponent in a single file formation, and uses his own re-enforcements, his 12:00 main army and his 12:00 natural army as a three-way pincer to cut through his opponent as he tries to scale the ramp.

Xtorez is now madly trying to gain control of the entrance to the 12:00 valley with his forces, but the damage has already been done, and as he sends troops in to die in single-file against his enemy, his opponent has begun rallying troops to the centre of the map, adding the force of the mighty ultralisks to the mix this time. Once the initial relief troops at 12:00 were crushed, Haplo hides a control group of hydralisks on the 12:00 plateau watching out for future expansion attempts while Xtorez finally manages to seize control of the valley below his old mining bases.

Hi there!A white overlord wandering back from the 12:00 positions flies over the entrance of the 12:00 mineral-only. Seeing the creep coming from the base there, Haplo sends 20 hydralisks from his mass in the centre of the map to 'investigate'. Unfortunately they are too enthusiastic about the finding, and destroy the hatchery and the few idle drones there. That's another cool minimap, I hope I don't need to go into graphic detail about the demise of the 12:00 mineral-onlyXtorez has taken this opportunity to abuse the Zerg's ability to swap tech at will, and has begun a mass mutalisk-spawning program. He also takes the time to broodling a drone at the 6:00 natural, in the hope that the broodlings will kill the rest of the workers there. Sadly for him, Haplo noticed this straight away, and demonstrates that four +3 armour drones totally own two +2 armour broodlings without a single loss.

Go go go revengeIrritated at the failure of his broodling pimp-raid, Xtorez decides to be a little more direct in his pursuits of levelling the resources field, and sends a control group of mutalisks in to raze the drones and the hatchery in short order. Haplo now has only one mining base, at the 6:00 main, with the odd mineral patch at his natural still being mined. Xtorez has no income at all except the 20 or so drones long-distance mining his mineral-only to one of the hatcheries in his main. He sends his mutalisks on towards the 6:00 main, ready to kill-off his opponent's economy completely. He has a free reign on the drones, as Haplo makes no attempt to save the expansion at first despite the important tech there.

Instead of worry about saving a mining base, Haplo clusters his other drones around the 6:00 mineral-only, and begins his assault. Erm.. er.. oh crap!The hydralisks at 12:00 come down the ramp and begin interfering with the long-distance mining, and with the help of overlords, the main attack force of hydralisks and ultralisks are thrown in the front door. Xtorez's immediate response is what Haplo had been hoping for. With no troops hat home, Xtorez quickly brings back all of his mutalisks from the 6:00 main, leaving the expansion mostly intact, just before 12 hydralisks pop through the nydus canal there in case the annoying birds hadn't left yet. He brings in his remaining hydralisks, cracklings and mutalisks against the rear-guard of Haplo's assault, but once the initial troops fall, he leaves his mutalisks behind. His hydra/ling army is small but manages beat even the hydralisk force in his natural. He has a bigger problem though, as in his main, going straight to work on his hatcheries, are over 20 hydralisks with better upgrades than his.

Is that your last building over there..?     ..oops!Haplo relentlessly presses the assault while simultaneously expanding to the 6:00 natural, mineral-only and the 12:00 mineral-only too. He fights off the pestilence of spawn broodling being used by Xtorez on his lead ultralisks in his opponent's half-razed main, and tries to defend his ultralisks that have just killed his opponent's natural hatchery. Eventually, seeing the futility of this kind of defence, Xtorez sends his mutalisks down to the 6:00 natural cliff, getting ready to re-initiate his assault on his opponent's economy. After sending a pair of scourge in to scout out the bases there, he gets set up for the attack. This is when Haplo finally sends another 3 control groups of random Zerg ground units into the 3:00 main, and Xtorez finally sees the 12 foot-high, luminous red writing all over the wall, and concedes the war to his cerebrate foe: Haplo.

This was a really fun couple of games to report, I think that Zerg vs Zerg is the least boring of the 3 same-race match-ups as there's so much you can do, and it's so much more frantic and hectic than the chess match that is Terran vs Terran. I'll leave it at that, as I doubt anyone wants to read some kind of debriefing, so I hope you enjoyed it, and I have a 2v2 to work on next, so that'll probably be out sometime in the next 10 years or so.

Here are the replays, have fun, and DON'T post here about how the game and the replays weren't exactly the same, cos i really don't care, sorry =/


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