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A Tale of Two Pimps
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Author:Dino Din
IP:dynamic-XXXX
Date: 09/30/01 12:09
Game Type: Strifeshadow
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Report Rating: 7.0, # of Ratings: 1, Max: 7, Min: 7
Lifetime Rating for Dino Din: 7.2222


Okay, before you go posting "Ooh cool BR for your first time!" in the comments section, shut the fuck up. Most of you barely got a scintilla of knowledge about BR.com in spite of what you front. I been here when your daddy was posting BRís so I donít need that. Just sit down and listen up. Secondly, if you donít understand StrifeShadowís units, tech tree, and/or resource model go to http://www.ethermoon.com and read up on their game. If you donít like reading more than you have to, or are just very lazy, Iím not going to explain any of this to you. So donít talk about being confused. Also, please excuse my sloppy pictures, all I had to work with was MS paint and something to convert the files. Enjoy.

Okay letís give a little background on the two players in this game, and why they are, as the title suggests, pimps.

First thereís Artius. This cat tricks out code all over this place and bitch slaps bugs into oblivion. Nobody in SS denies that he IS the man, second to none. The penultimate player with plenty to spare and hoes always at his side. Heís really the main man behind SS, though Zileas, his bitch, is sorta tricked out as the front man. Anyways, the basic idea is, you donít want to be caught with the back hand of Artius, Ďcause it looms large. Also included in the bitchdom of Nigga Artius is BR.comís own YourRoleModel and .Praetor.

I, Dino Din, am the other player. ĎNuff said.

The Map being played on is Man Maker, a rare good Zileas map. Itís quite dynamic with many tough choices involved. The mainland consists of three areas. Two are cliffs running along the edge, and the middle has a depression. The middle provides a great amount of aether, but the the outer sides have the extra mine site that you will need in any kind of extended game. Also two large islands are present, where if you can hold them, provide a large payoff. The map is quite balanced, while siege seems that it could dominate, multiple ramps and somewhat open spaces allow for other units to still be perfectly viable. The islands and divided land also make air a good option.



Both of us select random, and each receives Accursed.

Youíre the Right Side, Heís the Left Side, Oh NoÖ.



Map begins with pretty basic SS openings, which is to say, 3 immediate towers and a peon scout. However, I immediately opt for troops from my town hall, where as Artius builds 3 more towers towards the center aether pools. Once my first slasher is completed it charges at Artiusís peon scout near my town hall. It runs a little, but is quickly killed when another slasher appears from the town hall. During this time I have built two towers extending to the right, a much more conservative strategy than Artius, and withdrawn my peon scout from his base. Whereas my opponent has built another tower in the middle. We both create blightstones immediately to bolster our forces, and I head for a mine as well, aiming for tech units.

Almost a minute passes before I take my only two slashers and charge towards the expanded towers Artius built. Iím hoping his army is small, and I can diminish he resource advantage. My slashers first meet with a lone red one of redís. Through a series of micromanagement Artius is able to force my men to pursue his unit into his base until he can produce more troops. But while he is managing to bat off those two, I bring another 2 slashers that attack one of his expanded towers. He does manage to attack and kill one of these assailants, but I also level the tower. After a long series of run-arounds within Artiusís territory, my last slasher escapes. The ultimate result is one dead tower and slasher for Artius and two dead slashers for myself.



Tough Choices



During the end of the first encounter, I construct a Strifeshadow node, and Artius finally completes a mine. We both have quite a sizable force of slashers pumped from two blightstones each, and have the similar intentions. The orders are given, and both armies charge out of the base. Artius gets a slight head start, and decides to select an evasive attack, using the higher hills to sneak around into the backside of my base, whereas I elect for a more manly approach, charging through the middle, direct to his expanded towers. The two forces pass right by each other, though my forces are completely unaware. In spite of his longer route, Artius reaches the backside of my base before I make that final click for my troops to attack. Quickly I gather my troops, that were at a safe distance from the edges of my opponentsí territory, and return to defend my base. Immediately prior to this attacked I constructed two towers up the middle to grab a nice amount of aether. Artius troops quickly level one of my primary towers on that chain. My troops quickly return, and kill the attackers, with no more losses. So while Artius does manage to slow down my primary resourcing slightly, the loss in units far outweighs his gains. During the battle, and slightly after Artius constructs a Strifeshadow node, a third blightstone, and a Spirit Beacon, while I build an Ebon Boneworks. Also note, that Artius mine is producing solid Ikon, while my mine continues to function at the default 50/50 level.



Now, my troops, sensing a possible, advantage, charge back up the middle to return to their original task. A slight skirmish ensues when they encounter an unforseen amount of red slashers near a defensive babbling inferno. The green slashers attempt to keep the battle at a safe distance so that the static defense does not join in, while Artius attempts to bring the invaders towards his defense. Eventually red reinforcements quickly change the tide of battle, and somewhat foolishly, Artius brings down a dire changeling to mop up. Very few red losses ensue, and only a tiny few of limping green slashers escape. So unlike, Artiusís attack, I am unable to damage Artius at all, while I lose about an equivalent portion of slashers compared to redís previous assault. During this battle Artius has managed to build a ghost ship transport and sent a lone peon to the left island for a huge expansion plan. On the other side, a small green bone juggernaut is being escorted by a few slashers, a zombie, and a pair of shade tyrants along the left hillside towards Artius.



Thereís hardly a moment of rest, as Artius hears a loud crack on his southernmost aether tower. The juggernaut is in position. Without losing a moment my zombie escort begins the constructive of Ooze traps on the upper cliff, and Artius brings his full army to bat off the attack. Quickly the cannon destroys his outermost tower, then his babbling inferno, and then another tower falls. By now Artiusís slashers are on the cliff, have run through, and Ooze trap, and encounter the cannonís escort. His slashers greatly outnumber mine, and even with a the few leaping blights cast, the battle is hastily lost. Only 1 shade tyrant from green escapes, and a red peon returns to the site to dismantle the few active traps. The battle is not a complete loss, as it cuts off a significant aether supply for red, however, by the battleís terminus, Artius has a full fledged island expansion with static defense on the way.



Immediately following the conflict I also begin the construction of an island expansion. Then, a minute later, I search the other island with an empty ghost ship, but due to lack of attention the ghost ship is killed by redís static defense. During this, Artius has rebuilt his lost towers. He then take a ghost ship and loads it with a zombie, a slasher, and two archers. They all head to the southern island, in hopes of squashing what Artius assumes will be a new expansion. When he finally arrives a babbling inferno has just completed, but he is able to deliver the payload regardless. The transport retreats with only an iota of life remaining and the zombie in its hull. Artius then manages his troops to portions of the island not yet covered by defense, and manages to kill a zombie and an aether tower. One of his archers survives, and retreats to a tiny corner of the island with only a few hit points remaining. A little later, a slasher is produced from the town hall on the island and kills the archer.



During this island bout, I had sent forces to the center of the mainland preparing for another invasion of Artiusís territory. With almost no pause, and before the last archer on that island is even killed, I charged the troops into battle. The two forces collide in neutral territory. On greenís side sits two juggernauts, three shade tyrants, and several slashers. Red has two changelings and several archers and slashers. Red is able to defeat the green invasion again, but one of the juggernauts, and all three of slashers are able to escape, while red loses both of his changelings.



Digging In



The two sides take a relatively long pause in the action now. I have just completed an Infernal Hive, and begin construction on two more blightstones at my base, and a Mirror of Beyond on my island. Artius builds two Infernal Hives, with clear intentions of building locusts to punish my lack of archers. Each side has a small army of their previous tech, which means green tyrants, juggernauts, and slashers, while red has slashers and archers. Red has abandoned dire changelings completely. Both have about equal production capabilities currently, and a nice stockpile of about 2500-3000 aether each, with 1000 ikon and arikon as well. Both have their islands, which means two mines, (Artiusís second mine is at 50/50 default unlike his first.) The battles so far have gone slightly in my favor, but Artius has slightly higher aether production than I do. No battle has caused any sort of massive destruction, and most have involved parts of the attackers retreating. The game is still very much in the balance.

I spend the stored resources on a large amount of expansion on the mainland. Taking the mine on the right hillside and build aether towers to draw from the rich resources there as well. I then fortify the area with Ooze traps and infernos. After this fortification my four blightstones advance towards the northern part of my base. I also build a Spirit Beacon and begin the construction of archers, while my tyrants build a few tainted wisps. Artius elects to spend his huge resource savings on a locust army, which is quickly able to build from his two upgraded Hives. Then, the strangest event occurs. Both sides begin loading up transports with ground troops, and head for their opponents respective islands nearly simultaneously. Artiusís troops land slightly before mine and I even have the decision to not invade, but seeing the expansion as already lost, I do not alter my troopsí course. Both expansions are easily leveled with almost no losses to either attackers. After Artius completes his attack, he attempts to strike at the invaders of his own island with his locusts, but after encountering the large amount of archers, he withdraws.



Before the islands are even finished off, I take a group of archers and slashers on the mainland, and charge them up the middle. Artius quickly responds with his locusts, and due to a lack of significant amount of archers, I pull the troops back, losing only a few. But then I take a small group of slashers, and fling them at my opponent. Artius moves his locusts off my retreating archers and onto the new attackers. The slasher attackers actually manage to handle quite well against Artiusís slashers and locusts. This time allows me to bring a large reinforcement group of archers into the battle. Once they arrive, red finally demolishes the slasher frontline, but then more green slashers arrive behind them escorted by three shade tyrants and three tainted wisps. Several leaping blights move down ranks of red slashers, and Artius manages to keep his locusts in the battle by having them fight stray green slashers that have headed too far into his domain. Eventually the reinforcement troops plow through the first lines of red slashers, and some locusts are hit by a leaping blight. This forces them to retreat to Artiusís blightstone center to heal. Without their air support, the red slashers are quickly mowed down. The green troops advance and destroy the outer towers of Artius. More reinforcements of slashers and locusts are built, but the green tide surges. More successful leaping blights force Artius to continue to cede valuable territory. Once another way of locust repair satisfies Artius, he begins to assassinate some of the tyrant invaders. As they are low on mana, he is able to kill all three while taking damage from the archers. Some green juggernaut reinforcements arrive and damage some of the slashers and buildings, but Artius quickly disposes of them with his now pimp squad of locusts. More green archers arrive and force Artius to use his locusts to just attack any green troops that stray too far from cover. With some slasher aid heís almost able to beat back the assailants, but then transports arrive on the hill near his base. I had just returned a large portion of my island invaders. The red locusts fall back into the recesses of their base once more. Archers combat freshly produced slashers right near Artiusís blightstones. Now aware of the possibility of further reinforcement, the locust squad heads to their commanderís former island expansion, and manage to kill a transport full of slashers and a lonely juggernaut. He returns to his base and is finally able to kill the very last of the invaders.



Though the battle is won by red, the cost is enormous. He is now drawing aether from only two pools, one of which is about to run dry, and heís at least two towers from the closest new aether pools. A brief lull ensues while green gathers slashers, archers, and tyrants towards the middle of the mainland, and Artius begins considering offensive options with his locusts. The pause is very brief. Artius charges in first with his locusts, striking at greenís aether towers. Once I see the locust attack, sensing a chance to fell my opponent for good, I take my center troops and invade. Artiusís base is quickly overrun as he can provide little support. He is able to destroy a significant part of greenís base with his locusts, and manages to escape one zombie on a Ghost ship to the southern island. However, he only has 50 aether, and thus his plan is thwarted. Finally greenís ground troops kill redís Fortress of Despair, and having no buildings left, Artius is declared the loser.



Game Analysis:
Provided youíre part of the SS beta, you can download the replay from BR.com. Most would look at this game and see battle number 8 (as defined by the pictures), which is the battle right after the island expansion destruction, as the turning point in the game. Clearly it is the part where one side gained a significant advantage, but in of itself, was not the major reason for the gameís outcome. During the island fight, both sides lost equal amounts of resources, but Green had a significant amount of expansion besides the island. Red was only drawing from a few aether pools after his island collapsed. This is critical, as red often had a surplus of aether, which he could have easily spent expanding on the mainland. The second critical mistake by red, was not, as he at point says, that he should have expanded to the southern island after crushing it, but rather that he should have brought his troops from there to the mainland. The balance of armies was so close that if he had those troops at battle 8, he could have possibly begun a campaign in Greenís territory. It is somewhat to Greenís credit that this second mistake was made. Immediately after the island attacks, the pressure was never removed. Artius needed to constantly manage his troops, and in the heat of battle, forgot about his island troops. Artius never constructed a single trap either, these could have helped him a lot seeing the huge amounts of fights on his territory that were very close. As a result, though he is a pimp, Artius encountered a bigger tougher one that day.

A final note: For those of you who were able to follow this but do not play StrifeShadow, you may be a bit misled by the length of time between battles. With one exception (the islands assault) every battle is literally right on top of each other. This is because build time relative to combat time is a lot different than Starcraft. This is true in almost all SS games and results in really intense gameplay, especially in 1on1s.

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