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- Anathema


Unlikely Alliances
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Author:Elated
IP:c-66-41-XXXX
Date: 02/15/03 05:02
Game Type: Starcraft
Labels:Image Heavy(1), Starcraft(1), Gorgeous(1), Flashy(1)
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Report Rating: 9.2, # of Ratings: 4, Max: 10, Min: 9
Lifetime Rating for Elated: 9.3333
Unlikely Alliances


PRELUDE: Well, here I am. I'm Elated and this is my first report. I was originally going to rant about how stupid most first time battle-reporter intros are, but Kat told me that doing so was even more stupid and I agreed with him. So I'm pretty much screwed over in the intro department. =/ To make matters clear, this is not a War3 report. Nor will I ever do a War3 report. Playing War3 is like watching paint dry and watching a replay of War3 is like watching a replay of paint drying. War3 battlereports are better, but since I can't stomach the game I doubt I'll ever be making one. SC > War3. Thank you.

There we go. With that out of the way, I'd like to jump more or less straight into the meat of the report. Just be aware that this report is not meant to be an exhibition between pro level players; this is an account of a solid good game between more or less average players. It was played for fun and it WAS fun; I just hope that I've managed to convey the atmosphere and action clearly to you guys (as well as girls and possible transgender people). That said, you're obligated to read. Start. Now.

Oh yes, one more thing: Because I've been going for a more panoramic feel with the pictures, Minimaps arenít directly incorporated into the images. At various points throughout the text you'll run into this symbol: Click it, and you'll get a popup of the current minimap.

The first few minutes are uneventful. Neither side opts for a double rush and quick win, so the early scouting finds GangstaCookies fortifying his ramp and g.ShiNe walling in. Meanwhile, Eclipse has been doing a standard tech to Templar while I am going for hydra/lurk.

The first real troop movement of the game occurs when 18 M&M slip undetected by a Zergling scout at the Terranís second natural, filing by single file just outside of its sight range. A late overlord finds GangstaCookies with a nearly completed spire; Eclipse hastily throws up several photon cannons around his mineral line and gets enough time for them to finish when six mutas hunt down a retreating overlord and dispose of it. This done, they alter course and head for Eclipse's mineral line.

Meanwhile, Eclipse gets a sudden shock when he scouts the group of M&M massing below his ramp. Because he has mainly speedlots, he realizes the cliff is of limited value and pulls back to more open ground. As he does this, the six mutalisks dart in from the right through the back of the mineral line but are scared off by the four cannons and emerge from the far left side of the base. Utilizing this distraction, the Marines stim up and file up the ramp. Things begin to look grim as two zealots die before even reaching the M&M, and I send my speedlings to assist.

However, the situation quickly changes as the speedlots prove to be too much the marines -- despite focus firing, and a bit of medic blocking micro, the Protoss emerge with 3 damaged zealots and all his dragoons intact. The mutalisks, which had to come the long way around the base to avoid the cannons, arrive too late and retreat in the face of the now five dragoons at the base.

Naturally, we decide to counter. I redirect my speedlings heading to Eclipse's main and send them and the majority of my Hydras at my main to meet up with Eclipse's troops outside GangstaCookies' base. The enemy Zerg has a well fortified ramp with three sunken colonies, a number of Zerglings, and the mutalisks lurking somewhere close. We figure our chances of taking the ramp are decent, and when all troops have arrived, attempt to ascend it. The Zerglings are disposed of relatively quickly, and the situation begins to look bad for GangstaCookies.

To buy time for his sunken colonies, he uses hit and run tactics with his mutalisks to tie our troops up at the ramp. They take several volleys of fire, giving time for the sunkens to do more damage, then run away, returning a few seconds later once the AI had shifted attention back the the sunkens. Through these costly, but effective tactics, he fights the assault to a standstill. Eventually, our casualties are high enough that we no longer have any hope of taking the two remaining sunkens and newly hatched Zerglings, so we pull back the remainders of our troops ... directly into g.ShiNe's M&M/Tank reinforcements. Needless to say, we lose what's left of the force.

During the course of the battle, Eclipse expanded to his natural and fortified it with several cannons and another gateway. We soon scout both enemies in the process of taking their own naturals, leaving me the only one without an expansion. Since I'm able to support my own natural, I jump onto the expansion band wagon and start moving troops down the ramp to fortify the grounds first.

About half my troops have made it down the ramp when out of no where, a fairly large number of muta/ling smashes into my own forces. This was a surprise, but probably more so for him -- I imagine he attack moved and had not expected to meet troops outside my base, so luckily for me he ended up attacking with a muta/ling line rather than a muta/ling swarm.

There is a rather bloody battle as he tears apart my first wave of hydras, but by targeting the mutalisks I am eventually able to beat off the muta/ling force with only about a dozen casualties. My troops happily continue on, only to have three arclite shells slammed down their collective throats. A force of three tanks and a little over a dozen M&M has sieged up at my second natural, so I pull back and wait for Eclipse to get in a flanking position.

Eclipse has a solid Zealot/Dragoon/Templar force hovering outside of tank range. Seeing this, g.ShiNe pulls his infantry over to the right side of the tanks to guard against the more threatening Toss units. This is fruitless, as Eclipse and I both converge and sandwich the small expedition. I'm able to kill the unprotected tanks quickly. The infantry, already outmatched against the Protoss, are easily overwhelmed without tank support; a mostly pointless psi storm kills some remaining M&M for style points. This leaves me free to expand safely to my natural, which I do as soon as possible.

After this swift victory, retaliation is obviously in order. Fearing cliff tanks, we decide to hit the Zerg again, and group outside of his base. A short distance away, GangstaCookies frantically morphs sunken colonies at his now prosperous natural expansion, watching the troop buildup outside his base with a cliff overlord. He holds his several groups of Zerglings back behind his sunkens, which now number six -- three on the cliff, and three at the natural, and waits for the attack.

When all our troops have gathered, Eclipse's and my combined forces advance into the base. A sunken is destroyed almost immediately, along with several Zerglings and mutalisks, but a ripple of uncertainty runs through the battlefield when a Templar is incinerated by an arclite blast. As both sides exchange fire, another round of arclite shells slams down on our troops, then another. Finally, after killing the majority of the Zerglings/Mutas, Eclipse and I mutually decide not to commit our forces to a costly, and possibly fatal, push up the cliff and withdraw from the valley. I hate tanks. =/

As we pull out, we pass by g.ShiNe's reinforcements, who are also on the retreat. More specifically, my dozen or so remaining Hydras meet up with ten-plus vanilla marines (no medics) ... which inexplicably stim, run away, stim AGAIN, then stim a final time and stop to engage my pursuing Hydras. Instantly, four Hydras are blown away before I get a shot off, but sadly, good upgrades don't do much for the 10 HP marines and they promptly crumple into so many little blood-stains.

Despite the retreat from the 3:00 natural, Eclipse and I are feeling fairly confident in our control of the game. That is, we feel confident until the first tank shells begin raining down on Eclipse's natural. A probing shuttle reveals that the enemy Terran has been quietly building up turrets, a bunker, and two tanks on the ridge, and that it's protected by a flock of mutalisks. To compensate for the impending destruction of his natural, Eclipse expands to the upper left island, in addition to getting his second natural expansion up and running. Meanwhile, I expand to my own second natural, and we both begin preparations for a major assault on the Terran.

A scouting ling finds heavy fortifications at g.ShiNe's second natural; the Terran has expanded again and is setting up barracks' and supply depots around his mass of tanks, bunkers, and M&M. Deciding that it's important to deal with this before he can really reap the mineral benefits of the expansion, Eclipse and I mass our respective forces of Zealots/Goons/Templar and Hydra/Ling/Lurkers outside the base. We figure that with Eclipse's 32 zeal/goon and 7 Templar and my several control groups of troops, we have enough manpower to simply overrun even the most tenacious defense.

When the last of the troops have arrived, we commence the assault. At first, everything goes smoothly -- the lurkers are able to burrow successfully and wreak havoc with the SCV population, and Eclipse's troops are quickly on top of the defenders. Two successful psi storms rip through the lines of infantry, and the heavy defenses at g.ShiNeís second natural are completely overwhelmed. Our losses, while mounting, are relatively insignificant compared to the vast number of starting troops. All in all, it made for a glorious battle scene:

Even as he sieges yet another siege tank on his ridge, g.ShiNe can see that, based off the ease with which his natural was shredded, he'll need help. It comes in the form of a massive wave of muta/ling which swarms in from the northeast and throws itself on the Hydras and Dragoons cleaning up what's left of the second natural. The majority of the Zerglings on the left side are shredded by my lurkers, but on the right side there is a vicious fight as they engulf the defenders.

As the line of Hydras and Dragoons gets beaten back by the mutaling, Templar are summoned to the area and unleash several psi storms. The enjoy moderate success, but GangstaCookies manages to dodge them with his mutalisks and finishes overwhelming our troops. The remaining templar casts its last storm, which ends up killing basically everything -- the last of the Zerglings, the already half dead mutalisks, a few of our troops, and itself. Thus, both the majority of our force at the second natural and all of Gangsta's force mutually annihilate each other.

Microing the Templar causes Eclipse to lose control of the fight at the Terran natural, where a few cliff tanks and a squad of M&M are somehow routing our attack. There is a near constant hail of arclite shells blasting down from outside psi storm range, and the infantry are making ascension of the ramp a near impossible task. The real low point of the whole fiasco comes when our troops, distracted by a frantically repaired bunker, run around like decapitated chickens while the tanks take them to pieces. Eclipse returns to the scene after dealing with Gangsta's mutaling and finds a pathetic collection of mostly dead zealís and Templar busy being killed by the tanks. He quickly psi storms everything in sight with the remaining Templar energy and fries several SCVís and M&M before the last of the expedition is finished off.

After seeing our assault end in such a debacle, both Eclipse and I decide frontal assaults have been at best unsatisfactory and that we need to change our tactics. I start loading up my Hydras for a drop on one of the two, and have the majority of them in overlords when I become aware that the enemy Terran has sieged up outside my base and is in range of my hatcheries. There are four tanks, and more then a handful of M&M, and they are positioned fairly well with the temple wall protecting their right flank.

I unload my Hydras and wait for what troops Eclipse has rebuilt to arrive. Meanwhile, GangstaCookies comes over and methodically broodlings my Lurkers, leaving me with only Hydras vs. the heavily upgraded M&M + tanks.

This fact turns out to be moot -- without any real support from his ally, g.ShiNe, good positioning or not, is rather outnumbered. The lethal combination of short range zealots and long range hydras is simply too much to handle, and a well placed psi storm further devastates the Terran troops. I begin reloading my Hydras, all the while wondering what my enemy Zerg counterpart has been up to and why he hasnít been helping.

The answer is just around the corner -- or, more accurately, just over the hill. Returning home, Eclipse's Zealots run into a large number of Zerglings trying to slip into his base, and more alarmingly spot eight guardians breaking horizon over the eastern cliffs of the valley. The Zerglings are handed fairly easily by the 3/1/3 Zealots, but the Guardians are a different matter. Currently with no Dragoons or Archons, Eclipse has to make do with his High Templar. Without hesitation, they drain their energy and blanket the area with nearly a dozen psi storms.

GangstaCookies, both reacting and anticipating, manages to dodge this flurry of storms with some crazy micro and even kill several zealots and Templar, only losing a couple guardians (through the rest are all damaged). Throughout this time I have been gawking rather stupidly at the display and am only jolted to the realization that I, in fact, have troops which can help my ally when Eclipse types, "OMFG WTF HELP." =P I quickly unload my overlords and send Hydras to assist. Seeing that he can't take my force, Gangsta withdraws his damaged Guardians to the safety of the cliff. Knowing the damage guardians can do from higher ground, I don't pursue.

I've pieced together a picture of just some of the activity that went on., and even that is missing another 5-6 storms that happened far below. Thankfully for you 56kers, I was kind and decided that a 550x850 images was pushing it. :)

Once Eclipse is again equipped to handle a guardian threat on his own, I again go back to loading Hydras. Meanwhile, we scout a naked Terran expansion at the lover right island. I offer to go kill it, but Eclipse declines and instead detaches a single shuttle to take care of it. It turns out to be far more amusing that way. Four Zealots are dropped off on the island and have a field day. The 20+ SCVís put up a valiant fight, but they are all massacred and fail to kill a single Zealot. Oddly enough, no help but a single mutalisk arrives, and g.ShiNe is forced to lift off his command center and move it away.

I am just about all loaded and ready to drop when a Terran expedition wanders into the middle of the map and sets up camp. I am forced to unload AGAIN (this is the third time) while Eclipse and I deal with the threat. The Terran force is fairly substantial, with over a score of upgraded M&M&F and multiple tanks and at first our troops are mowed down. However, as more and more of our forces flow into the area, the tide turns. The infantry are pushed back to a temple wall, then surrounded and ripped to shreds. Yet another well placed psi storm dispatches several of them in one blow, and the remaining M&M and tanks are quickly mopped up.

ONCE AGAIN, I load up Hydras in preparation for what I hope will be a game ending drop, and miracle of miracles, I actually finish (OMG!). There is some debate about whether I should hit the enemy Terran or Zerg. I don't like the potential prospects of trying to drop into M&M and Tanks, so I head up through Eclipse's base with my twelve overlords full of Hydra/ling, turn right at the top of the map, and come straight down on the north part of Gangsta's main. The guardians are there healing, as well as many cracklings which flow in from the lower half of his base.

I conveniently pick the worst possible place to drop, placing my troops in a small hole created by three buildings and effectively creating large barriers between the out of range guardians and my hydras. I quickly stop unloading, move directly under the Guardians, and drop the rest of the troops there. The entire thing is a bloody affair, but I'm able to establish enough of a beach head to kill the initial resistors and eventually beat off the defenders with heavy casualties.

After the first troops, there are oddly few defenders. After the fighting has died down, Gangsta's buildings start exploding in that strangely squishy way that Zerg structures do. I (and presumably Eclipse) begin to feel vaguely relieved. From now on, it's just a matter of finishing off the crippled Zerg and handling the tenacious, yet manageable Terran. From now on, we can power in peace. From now on ---

This period of happy innocence lasts a total of two seconds before I hear a vaguely disturbing "Your base is under attack" message, glace at the mini map, and slam the space bar in time to see the last of my main disappear. As I watch in horror, a huge swarm of cracklings and mutalisks descends from a cluster of enemy overlords parked at bottom of my base and overruns my spare defenses. Suddenly, the fuzzy feeling of a satisfying win dies painfully with the rest of my main as it crumples in a series of quick, bloody explosions.

I have a around 40 Hydralisks and a number of Zerglings stationed outside my main, and half of them are suddenly in combat with the largest Terran force yet -- over two score M&M and a compliment of tanks and science vessels appear outside my second natural, and there is a confused firefight while I try to send troops which are already fighting to counter the force in my main. To sum it up, I am completely owned. Eclipse, who has just finished scouting and razing an expansion at Gangsta's second natural, comes immediately to my aid. Outside my second natural, he encounters g.ShiNe's substantial force and massive fighting erupts between the Protoss and Terran armies.

As Eclipse's reinforcements deal with the stimmed M&M&F and d-maxtrixed tanks, my troops which weren't killed by g.ShiNe's Terran prematurely engage the enemy Zerg swarming across my flattened main. It's an ugly battle -- out-flanked, out-upgraded, and out-numbered, my army is completely overrun. The few survivors, stragglers who got caught in the back during the fighting, turn tail and run, followed closely by the vicious hordes of cracklings.

The situation is desperate and is as follows: Eclipse has finished dealing with the Terran force at my natural but at heavy cost -- whatís left of his troops are heavily damaged and clearly would be unable to take g.ShiNe's swarms. I have about six mostly dead Hydras which are busy running towards my ramp with the huge swarms of cracklings nearly overtaking them. The game looks over for me; the odds are hopeless and Eclipse's couple Zealots, single Archon, and single Templar with energy won't be much help save for some sort of miracle. . .

Desperate, I improvise and at the ramp, morph my few Hydras into lurkers at hoping to buy some sort of time. All forward motion stops; blocked, the cracklings halt and compress into a huge, condensed, thrashing mass. I stare at them and watch the lurker eggs hit points drop. . . and then suddenly a psi storm flashes over the heaving backs of the lings. They are packed like sardines and they die in a second. There is a flurry of screams and a huge amount of blood, and one Templar, casting two storms, gets nearly 50 kills as it single handedly wipes out 90% of the force. In an instant, the entire perspective of the game is changed.

All the momentum is altered. A lurker egg pops and the remaining Zerglings swarm down the ramp, where several zealots and the archon bravely hold their own. The Zerglings die, and after a brief but intense micro battle involving an archon, a newly arrived templar, and a flock of mutalisks, the mutalisks pull back to heal a bit. g.ShiNe throws another force of infantry and M&M, but it's hastily put together and unable to match up with the small force of Zealots and High Templar. While they are fighting, the remaining mutalisks come in and murder the majority of my drones before the archon and high templar return and scare them off.

As it stands now, I am more or less crippled, as is GangstaCookies. Eclipse has a badly damaged force in my base that has been in nearly constant skirmishes for the better part of the last few minutes, but a good flow of money. It seems that if the enemy is able to keep up the pressure and kill me, they'll have time to take the map and deal with Eclipse. Knowing this, Eclipse takes a lull in the attacks to move his troops from my base and leaves me to fend for myself. He is determined to bring the battle back to enemy territory, and gathers his battle worn troops and fresh recruits to the middle of the map in preparation for an assault.

Unfortunately, the middle is occupied. Eclipse runs into a Terran contingent setting up base around the Lost Temple. There are several bunkers protecting an assortment of tanks and a scattered bunch of M&M. The fortifications are not completely set up, and Eclipse catches them before they're ready for combat. It's a fairly even fight until once again the psi storms flash around the field and devastate whatever they encounter. In a matter of seconds, the Protoss sweep through the last of the Terran troops. Then, to our utter shock, g.ShiNe swears and offers a "GG," then leaves. Once again, our emotional level takes a U-Turn -- we go from preparing for a desperate attack to being in full control of the game.

When we viewed the replay after the game, Eclipse and I saw the reason for g.ShiNe's sudden departure: unbeknownst to us at the end of the game, when they threw troops at me, their situation was as bad as ours. Failing to finish me off had left g.ShiNe in a bad situation: he had only a handful of infantry and a couple tanks to defend his extremely over saturated, nearly mined out second natural expansion. It was clear that he wouldnít have been able to withstand another attack and that once his center force was wiped out, he wouldn't have posed any sort of threat.

His partner, GangstaCookies, is in a similar predicament. My drop hurt him more that I realized. He has been frantically trying to rebuild from the loss of his second natural, and, having run out of minerals at his natural, is long distance mining while the hatchery builds. He has no real offensive force remaining. After discovering and finishing off the drones and morphing hatchery at his second natural, we pour into whatís left of his main base. He defends it to the last with a small defense of guardians, queens, cracklings, and sunken colonies, but they aren't nearly enough to hold off the troops pouring up his ramp. Once the defenses are gone, his tech buildings disappear in a series of bloody explosions, and he's eliminated with a "GG." Forty five minutes after the conflict began, we finally stand victorious over the Lost Temple.

And there we have it: my first report. I hope you enjoyed it, or at least spent a moment gawking at the pretty pictures. Some people might be interested in knowing that with over 1500 units produced this game, over 1200 bit the dust, and that over four dozen structures were burned (melted, splattered, chewed, etc.) to the ground. Eclipse produced the fewest units but got by far the most kills; I registered the most units produced and the least kills with the most units lost. =/ Our opponents fell somewhere in between. I don't imagine that g.ShiNe or GangstaCookies (unless they frequent this site) will ever have any idea I've reported this ancient game, but I'd like to thank them for playing an enjoyable game, and to thank you for reading it.

Until next time,


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