With the advent of Warcraft Three, the community has been infused with new life. ~CattleBruiser~ has come back to reporting and rating, talented new reporters have come out with exciting new reports, and the BR.com forum has been filled with intelligent and reasoned discourse. Seeing such a rejuvenation of the community caused me to ask myself a question -- when had I ever done something noble for the community?
Thinking back to my previous reports, they all seemed aimed at bringing me greater noteriety, or simply making fun of the conventions of BR.com. I was greatly saddened by this realization, and hence decided to write a new, pure battlereport, free from propoganda and jibes at the denizens of this fair website.
This then is my opus, my gift to BR.com. I present to you...
It was a normal day on battle.net. I was hangning around in the well lighted but not too bright channel, using my standard bnet alias -- punknbeans. I was without a partner, yet eager for a non-LT contest. After creating a few games without luck, I was finally able to sucker Ph33r^-_-^This. into joining. I was immediately frightened, since I recognized that he could not have picked his bnet alias recently... too many disallowed characters... and therefore must have been an expert. That plus the amazing smily face hidden in his name...
I mean really, anyone who can come up with something like that must have gotten an SAT score of over 1570. Anyhow, despite being psyched out, I proceeded to press start, and the game was on.
The map was Triskelion, a three player map from the Broodwar folder. For those unfamiliar with it, there are start locations on the low ground in the top corners and the bottom middle (forming an inverted triangle shape). Two ramps lead up from each start position, onto a plateau which connects the bases and in turn surrounds a lower area with six expansions. Finally, the middle is high ground, with a final expansion site, but no ramps.
As the initial lag died down, I realized with dismay that I had recieved a command center, and four scvs. Now, I can hear those of you who read my first report groaning... "Not another poorly played Terran game," you're thinking to yourselves. Well... I assure you, my play of this game was just as poor as... wait a second... err... that is to say... well, just keep reading, you'll see.
My start position was top right, and as yet I had no idea what race I was facing. I built a depot with my 8th SCV, and when he was finished with that task, I had him build a barracks. This occured as I sent my number ten SCV out to scout. In a display of Starcraft skill seldom witnessed outside of Korea, I succesfully executed the vaunted 'shift-right-click' combination that sent my little worker off to scout the two open mains in a counterclockwise direction.
As I began building a refinery with my twelfth SCV, I noticed that my scout had just driven by a Protoss probe. This was just the piece of intelligence data that I needed! Now while my usual tactics in a TvP game include such gems as wetting myself, and offering 'cyber for ally?', this time I considered something different. I had heard a lot of talk recently about a so called 'heavy metal' tactic being used by some of the more reckless players on battle.net. Now the only heavy metal I had heard recently was some Helloween last summer, but I decided to risk trying this strategem nonetheless.
For those of you interested in the dry details of this highly risky tactic, I present you with a composite "build-up order", which details the order and time frame in which certain buildings were procured.
Once again proving his meddle as a memeber of the Starcraft elite, Ph33r^-_-^This. executed the fabled '8 mineral steal'. His probe entered base, as if merely scouting, but that was just a cover for his more nefarious intention. Quickly darting between the SCVs in my mineral line, the probe suceeded in mining 8 minerals, and then slipped out of my base, heading for home. Thinking those 8 minerals had probably cost me the game, my fingers hovered over the 'alt' and 'F4' keys. Before I could depress the keys however, I came to a realization -- that little probe had stolen, and that was wrong, and it needed to suffer the consequences for its actions. I would be the hand of justice, even if it cost me everything.
Before I could act on my vigilante urges however, I needed to find out from where the probe had come. As luck would have it, my scouting SCV discovered the Protoss base in the second position that it visited. The valiant SCV was able to discern two functioning gateways along with a cybernetics core materializing before being chased out of the area by a single zealot. The SCV positioned himself on the ridge overlooking the Protoss base and contented himself with sending back reports of how little enemy activity there was in his sector.
A few moments later, the marine on sentry duty above my ramp was assaulted and killed by another lone zealot. Anticipating a full blown attack on my base, I withdrew the three remaining marines into my mineral line. No attack on my main materialized however, so I was able to turn my attention to the single vulture I had produced which was speeding towards the Protoss main. Rather than rushing into the bowels of the base however, I simply used to the vulture to lay mines on the two ramp exits.
Judging that the mines offered some early warning of any excursion from the Protoss base, I decided to move out from my base. Taking four vultures, I pushed up the ramp, first driving back, and then dispatching the single zealot that had maintained his position there. Reversing course, in an attempt to confuse Ph33r^-_-^This., I ordered the vultures towards the orange base via the low ground in the middle of the map. Seconds later, a tank and an additional vulture tumbled off the production line and were also ordered towards the orange main. These two however decided to take the high road, and so were seperated from the main vulture force.
The old proverb was proven true, as the vultures on the low road were in the chips first. Coming to the second expansion along their route of march, they discovered a Nexus, pylon, and warping forge. Since I had no other forces handy, I decided to attack this burgeoning settlement with only four vultures, planning to make a hasty withdrawl should the Protoss cavalry arrive. Strangely, Over the next minute, no Protoss troops arrived to contest the area, and my four vultures were able to raze the entire expansion.
Meanwhile, my scouting SCV had linked up with my arriving tank and vulture on the high ground to the east of the Protoss main. The SCV set about constructing an engineering bay, and I had visions of the floating building acting as forward observer for a battery of seige tanks, enabling them to pummel the Protoss probes. There were only two problems. The first was that I had not yet researched seige mode. The second was that at that very moment, Dark Templars were inflitrating my base. I decided to deal with both of these problems simultaneously. First, I selected the machine shop add-on attached to my first factory, and ordered up seige tank research. Next, through micro that amazes me to this day as I think back on it, I placed mines adjacent to my academy, which not only eliminated the Dark Templar threat, but also managed to destroy the vulture that laid them.
An expansion was also created.
Evidently Ph33r^-_-^This. didnít take the hint, as another pair of Dark Templars found their way into my main. Thankfully I had several newly produced vultures sitting around with their load of mines, and once again was able to lay mines around the templars as they attacked my outlying depots.
Having dealt with this latest threat, I felt it was time to resume the offensive. Four vultures were dispatched to join the tank and pair of vultures already sitting on the ledge above the Protoss main. The tank finally seiged up, but ironically, even with my engineering bay providing targeting information, it was out of range of the Protoss mineral line. The tank did succeed in pulling two zealots though, who were quickly dispatched as they tried to ascend the cliff. Two Dark Templars had a bit more success, and were able to kill the tank before being dispatched themselves by the escorting vultures while the SCV accompanying them ran interference.
My spotting engineering bay was now put in jeopardy by the approach of a half dozen dragoons. Turning to the east in an attempt to escape, the engineering bay led the dragoons into a small minefield which killed half there number, but even this was not enough to save the bay. Three dragoons were left victorious guarding the ridgeline that just moments before had been occupied by my tank.
Luckily my factories had not been idle, and a force of eight vultures led by a tank was moving up to counterattack. This group made short work of the remaining dragoons on the high ground, then paused for a moment at the top of the ramp leading into the Protoss main. The tank driver made an important tactical decision at this point -- he decided to seige up on the ramp, thereby denying its use to the enemy. Of course, this also denied the use of ramp to friendly vultures, who proceeded to conduct a series of time trials along the top of the ridge line. Meanwhile, the tank comander managed to take a couple of dragoons down with fire before he paid the price for his foolishness.
Seeing that the enemy had switced to heavy dragoon production, I ordered my factories to re-tool to produce solely tanks. A fourth factory was being constructed at my expansion, and workers were actually beginning to harvest minerals from the new site. Additionally, I had procured a science facility during this most recent skirmish, and was beginning to produce science vessels with EMP research being conducted as well. Overall, I was feeling rather confident at this point. Unfortunately, that feeling didn't last for long.
One of the vultures that had survived the ramp fiasco decided to head to my expansion to provide some defense. On the way there however, he ran into a photon cannon... not just a photon cannon however... an entire Protoss expansion, thriving in the low ground on the west side of the map. Moments after this revelation, a dragoon wandered into my now defenseless expansion. He wasn't waving a white flag either...
I had a small reaction force ready at my main. A vulture with five tanks and a science vessel were immediately dispatched to my expansion. The science vessel was a fortunate addition, as the task force ran into two DTs en route. They were eliminated at the cost of one tank. The vulture ran into the lone dragoon at my expansion before the tanks could get there, so I was down a vulture. Four tanks was still enough to make short work of a single dragoon, and after assigning an SCV to clean up the mess, I ordered the remaining tanks south, intending to attack the Protoss expansion. Of course, on the way there, the four tanks ran into another pair of DTs coming from the two gateways at the expansion site. Three tanks continued the march, and finding no more resistance, set up in seige mode on the ridge overlooking the expansion site.
While this bombardment was taking place, I ran out of minerals at my main. A convoy of SCVs set out for my expansion site, one of which stopped off at the top-middle of the map to build another command center. There were no resources around, but I figured I could lift the building and float it to the large expansion on the high ground in the center of the map. Right behind my SCVs came a column of five tanks and five marines, intent on reinforcing my position at the Protoss expansion.
Of course, just when I thought I had everything under control, all hell broke loose at my main. As my tanks left, a dozen and a half dragoons started picking their way through the minefield in front of the entrance to my base. Rather than turning back to defend my main, I decided to write it off as lost, and reinforce my assault on the Protoss expansion. Support was needed, as Ph33r^-_-^This. had a single scout taking shots at my seiged tanks. Thankfully scouts have a cooldown rate that is measured in geological epochs, and none of my tanks were destroyed. My five marines arrived and destroyed the scout for the loss of two of their number.
With the arrival of these new troops from my main, I had amassed a force of nine tanks, three marines and two science vessels which proceeded to crush remains of the Protoss expansion. As that work was complete, the group was joined by a goliath from the factory at my expansion.
Right about then, the dozen and a half dragoons in my main finished off the last of my depots, and turned west, obviously heading for my expansion. Rather than contest them, I thought that I should go attack the Protoss main. The race was on.
As I ordered my strike force south, I attempted to build some more units to defend my expansion turned main. Unfortunately, the destruction of so many depots at my former main left me with more units than supply, and I scrambled to get some mroe depots built.
It was not to be.
Dragoon after dragoon poured into the base, unperturbed by the fusion cutters of my desperate SCVs. Meanwhile, my troops reached the Protoss main, and finding it devoid of resistance, proceeded to attack. It had come down to this, a slugging match, to see who could inflict the most damage in the least time. The SCVs at my base made a break for it and were able to draw off six dragoons in pursuit. Ph33r^-_-^This. dispatched another six dragoons back to his main to contest my attack.
For some reason, the dragoons pursued my science vessel, which backed away past my tanks... this was not healthy for the dragoons. A moment later I understood the preoccupation with the science vessel, as several dark templars popped out of the remaining gateways. This cost me a pair of tanks, but the destruction of the Protoss main now seemed assured. Meanwhile, my base was still being dismantled. My escaping SCVs however had led their pursuers into another little minefield, ending the pursuit permanently.
My tank fire destroyed the last pylon in the Protoss base just as phase disrupter fire destroyed the refinery in mine.
The game was over right?
No, I sighed with relief, I still had the command center I had lifted into the middle of the map. I was still in the game!
But wait, this meant that my opponent still had a base somewhere on the map. I only had the command center, with an scv frantically trying to build a barracks in the high ground. If Ph33r^-_-^This. had any sort of production facilities already in operation, I would be hard pressed to defend myself from even a single zealot drop.
I sent my two remaining science vessels around the map, looking for any hint of a Protoss encampment. You can imagine my surprise when I saw this....
I was shocked. Needless to say, I think we both realised that the game was over at this point. We exchanged "gg" and I watched the score screen come up.
It had been quite a game.
Some thoughts on the game:
1) Always scout the map thouroughly.
Err... that's about it.
Thanks for enjoying this battlereport. I hope that its simple, no-frills format has been a breath of fresh air for you, the report reader. I think I shall go fry an egg.
This has been a Viaduct production.