|"Skill is imbalanced"|
|1v1: Conventional, Unconventional|
|Date: ||04/11/03 03:04|
|Game Type: ||Warcraft 3|
|Labels:||Image Heavy(1), Warcraft 3(1), Great Writing(1), Long(1)|
|Report Rating: , # of Ratings: 3, Max: 9, Min: 8|
Lifetime Rating for Augury: 8.7727
First things first: A bit of chit-chat, introduction, starting commentary, etc, before we begin. If you're familiar with The Lost Temple and don't care to read this spiel, you can skip down to the "Commanders" section by clicking here.
I had originally planned to post my first battle report a couple of weeks ago, but I decided that I wanted to put out something of a certain measure of quality, and so more time was spent on detailing the flow of the game, and such. Now that I have nearly completed the report and am writing this "intro" as a finish, I think that I may have moved onto overkill in different ways, but that'll be left for the commentators to remark upon. As can be expected of most first-time reports, the reporter may not choose the greatest game, have the reporting techniques squared away, have coherent writing skills, or adequate html or image-editing knowledge. Regretfully, some of those will definitely apply to this report, because I was over-anxious to get started. Although the game is not played by the strongest of players, there are some humorous and strategic points that can be found within. As for the rest of the aforementioned, I've tried to develop a different style from those I've observed on this site (or compiled them together and added a twist), and I apologize in advance should my writing format of jumping from one point of view to another be difficult to follow - this is the first time I've attempted any serious writing outside of academics. Ultimately the ideal is for a reader to enjoy the work, so hopefully this will be an enjoyable read!
With that said, I would like to credit the existence of this battle report to Shockwave[xpow], whose last fanfic "For Honor" originally hooked me to battlereports.com years back. The quality reporting (albeit scattered throughout some toilet waste "reporting") that certain individuals lend to the site have also kept smurfs like me coming back to read more. And lastly, a source code from this site that helped me realize that the backbone of a webpage was tables has definitely launched my interest in html and therefore, the eventual production of this piece.
Onward to the game!
The Map: Lost Temple
Augury is logged on as a level 13 Human player at the time of this game. "Augury" supposedly doubles as a non-serious account and a smurf account, but his opponent probably doesn't know that. Lounging in the Human Castle on the Lordaeron server one afternoon, Augury is enjoying listening to the spineless trash talk that is being thrown around the channel. Occasionally, a game is created with observer slots, which he joins. Eventually, boredom sets in, and he replies to a one dcHorangi, who enters the channel with a "anybody else up for a game?"
Clicking here will link to Augury's record in a new window.
dcHorangi is also a Human player. He sports a knight icon and is level 16 solo at the time of this match. From his profile, an observant viewer might notice that dcHorangi also has experience in other races. As Augury goes lowballing with "I'm at the epitome of rust" in pre-game chat, dcHorangi decides to humor him by commanding the Night Elves. Lowballing. Dirty, dirty. But hey, Augury hadn't played a game in weeks.
Clicking here will link to dcHorangi's record in a new window.
- Build peasant
- 3 peasants to gold
- 1 peasant to wood
- Altar, queue to wood
- 6th peasant: wood
- Goldminer: farm, queue to gold
- 7th peasant: wood
- a woodcutter transfers to gold
- 8th peasant: wood
- Peasant production stops
- Blacksmith at 130 wood
- a woodcutter transfers to gold
- Goldminer: barracks as gold approaches 240
- Peasant production resumes
- Altar: Mountain King
- 9th peasant: wood
- Woodcutter: militia, scouts Eastern position
- 10th peasant: wood
- Peasant production stops
- Barracks finishes with 350/30 in bank
- Riflemen production starts
- Mountain King finishes summoning
- Later, 2 farms + one more peasant
- Build wisp
- 4 wisps to gold
- Altar, queue to wood
- Moon Well, queue to wood
- 7th wisp: wood
- 8th wisp: gold
- 9th wisp: scouts in counter-clockwise direction
- Altar: Keeper of the Grove
- 10th wisp: wood
- 11th wisp: wood
- 12th wisp: wood
- 13th wisp: wood
- Upgrade to Tree of Ages starts
- Wisp production stops
- Ancient of War
- Keeper of the Grove finishes summoning
- Ancient of War uproots for defense
- Moon Well
- Upgrade to Tree of Ages completes
- Altar: Demon Hunter
- Moon Well when second Moon Well finishes
- Scouting wisp: Offensive Ancient of War (hidden)
- Research Nature's Blessing
- Ancient of Wind
The pressure begins from the point when the Keeper of the Grove (Keeper) and the Mountain King are summoned. Both players send their heroes towards their unscouted location in a "blind" hero assault. They meet each other halfway, northwest of the temple. The time is 2:25.
dcHorangi had spent his Keeper's ability point on the Entangling Roots spell, and his intention was to strangle three to four enemy peasants to gain an early game resource advantage while covering for his upgrading Tree. Meeting an enemy Mountain King halfway to the objective waypoint is about the worst thing that could happen to this strategy. Mountain Kings hurt a whole lot more than Archmages in hero dueling, so the Keeper continues onward to the northern gold mine in hopes that Augury is blind and has no micromanagement skills. However, Bandis Forgefire, being the smart little dwarf that he is, stops advancing towards the western base and happily hacks into the centaur.
(Actually, he was on attack-move and Augury didn't notice the Keeper until he was nearly at his ramp - which is when the hammer is thrown.) A nameless rifleman (rifledwarf?) scrambles from the barracks towards the base ramp and begins firing at the Keeper as it charges into the Human base with the Mountain King in tow. The second storm bolt slams into the Keeper just before it manages to cast entangle, but the spell is cast on a goldminer shortly thereafter when the Keeper comes out of stun. dcHorangi decides that he does not want a dead hero early in the game and begins retreating to the east, where Larodar catches another hammer in the rear. Although the Keeper manages to continue retreating down the eastern ramp and ahead of the two dwarves, dcHorangi either doesn't notice that the Mountain King is drained to 30 mana points or he feels a strong urge to feed his hero some moon well fluids. Either way, Larodar reads his town portal scroll and appears among his Night Elf trees moments later. Augury's four remaining gold miners trample over the skeleton of their colleague as they continue their duty. A woodcutter receives a change-of-orders notice and joins them.
Two riflemen join Forgefire and the four dwarves make their way towards the western plateau as a loose counter-attack force. As the skirmishers cross through the temple grounds, they spot the familiar Keeper going in the opposite direction. Certain that the sounds of battle won't wake up the nearby sleeping gnolls, the dwarves attack the Keeper, who continues on his way as if nothing had happened.
"Blunderbusses...," the Keeper muses. "As if they would stop me." Larodar runs on, soon outdistancing the dwarves. He knew that his commander, dcHorangi, had begun summoning a Demon Hunter back at base. The Hunter would show these dwarves right. Larodar galloped up the northern ramp, where a fourth rifleman met him. He nimbly dodged the rifleman as the dwarf attempted to cut him off. With the short-legged Mountain King and company well behind him, the Keeper is able to unleash two Entangling Roots spells before fleeing eastward. By now, nightfall is in full swing and Larodar can only see four riflemen in pursuit. He assumes that the Mountain King must be stuck behind due to the notoriously poor pathing that dwarven discipline has produced, and with hit points in the double digits, he doesn't pause to reconfirm. The scouting wisp that dcHorangi dispatched earlier has also begun to build an offensive Ancient of War in Augury's base. Unfortunately, Larodar runs just past it and two of the riflemen change target to deal with the upcoming threat. With only two riflemen running after him just out of firing range, Larodar breathes a sigh of relief, deciding that his life is worth more than his fellow wisp. As he silently mourns for the death of his wisp-friend (he had known it since the moonwell building times...), an angry Mountain King appears in the gloom ahead...
Augury coldly orders the Mountain King to storm bolt the enemy hero. The Keeper crumbles, and the three dwarves in the expansion's valley return to base and eliminate the growing Ancient of War. The corpses of the peasants in his base are barely noticeable to the commander's eye as the orders for a Keep upgrade are given. His Night Elf counterpart starts researching Nature's Blessing and building an Ancient of Wind in his quarter of the map.
dcHorangi's newly summoned Demon Hunter is suitably named Bloodwrath, but instead of taking immediate revenge for the death of his fellow hero, he decides to kill the trolls in the northwest sector of the temple grounds. dcHorangi also begins building his second Ancient of Wind as the first researches Talon adept training. A Tree of Life starts growing at his ramp to ready for a future expansion, with the uprooted Ancient of War moving northward to act as support. Bloodwrath picks up a Tome of Agility +1 and Slippers of Agility +3 from the fallen trolls, and returns to base to heal. When the Demon Hunter leaves base, the Tree of Ages begins upgrading to a Tree of Eternity.
Meanwhile, another rifleman has emerged from the Human barracks, and Augury sends his army of six dwarves towards the south east goblin lab to loot the ogre lord residing there of whatever precious item he's holding on to. His blacksmith begins researching the Black Gunpowder upgrade for the riflemen. To keep tabs on his opponent, a woodcutter is sent through the Night Elf base in militia gear where he spots a growing Ancient of Wind and Tree of Life. The dwarven army then clears all the ogres at the south-east lab, where Forgefire absorbs most of the damage taken, reaches level 2, and obtains an Ankh of Reincarnation.
By this time dcHorangi's Keeper has revived and has reached the northern plateau. With a lone riflemen on base defense, the hero casts Entangle on the returning scouting peasant with a vengeance. Bloodwrath isn't far behind, and enters the base just as the Keeper makes a strange move and leaves to the east. The rifleman's new black gunpowder-armed blunderbuss seems to make no difference to the Demon Hunter as it runs past the dwarf. Ripping into a peasant, Bloodwrath notices that the Human's Keep has finished, and that the peasants are building structures as if he were not even there. Strange. Larodar had left too. Then dawn breaks, and the rest of Augury's army teleports in. The hero promptly shreds the wretched peasant and flees eastward. With his agile skills, Bloodwrath makes shame to the Mountain King's pathetic attempt to cut off his retreat. He sees Larodar ahead circling around the plateau clockwise and gets wind of the plan. Back at base, the Tree of Life uproots and advances towards the trolls guarding the expansion's mine, where the Ancient of War is already working on the creeps.
Augury's Altar of Kings begins summoning an Archmage and the smith moves on to researching Studded Leather Armor as the dwarven army circles back left. Our Human commander decides that the growing Tree of Life that he spotted earlier is a larger threat in the long game picture than the current hero pressure, and his army exits through the south ramp, passing the Keeper as it returns for more harrassment tactics. Augury notes that the Keeper has 110 mana - only enough for one Entangle spell.
The riflemen fire off a volley or two at the passing Keeper before continuing in a southwestardly direction. The Demon Hunter attacks a rifleman at the ramp, but heads up into the Human base when the dwarves ignore him. dcHorangi is attempting to lure Augury back north to prevent him from intervening with his expansion venture, but when the riflemen continue south he decides to exact revenge by killing all of Augury's peasants. However, he is unable to do so because the woodcutters change into militia gear and flee southward. Two of the militia get away, and dcHorangi claims the life of the entangled peasant and another that is beheaded by the Demon Hunter, leveling the hero up. As the two Night Elf heroes approach the gold mine to finish their work, the Archmage is summoned out of the Altar of Kings and they turn their attention to the hero. With an entangle, several slashes, and
two mana burns, the Archmage is quickly lowered to 79 hit points. The wizard immediately rushes south when the entangle wears off, and his attackers pursue. The goldmining peasants sigh a breath of relief, and continue slaving away.
Forgefire and his army of eight riflemen reach the end of the western expansion's valley just as the Tree of Life slaps the remaining troll to death. The riflemen focus fire upon the Ancient of War which is already weakened at 400 hit points, while the Mountain King picks up the two treasures that the trolls were holding: Gloves of Haste and a Potion of Invulnerability. The doomed Ancient of War lasts ten
seconds before its core can't withstand any more damage, and it implodes into a mass of scattered wood and leaves.
As Larodar and Bloodwrath pursue the human wizard towards the western expansion point, the Tree of Eternity completes upgrading, druid of the talon production commences, and research towards Talon mastery begins. The Archmage pauses a few moments before entering the western valley corridor and the Demon Hunter seizes his chance, mana burning the wizard and finishing his work with two quick slashes. The two heroes reach the opposing army as the Tree of Life is struggling with 319 hit points remaining. The Mountain King has only 134 hit points, but just before the Night Elves come into range he drinks his Potion of Invulnerablility. The entire blue-clad army then turns on the Demon Hunter, and with only a little over 300 hit points to work with, dcHorangi is forced to teleport out of there within seconds. Left without any support, the beleaguered Tree of Life is neutralized quickly and Augury moves his forces back towards his home base.
His pride hurt, Bloodwrath hoardes all the moon well water for himself, leaving none for counterpart. The centaur opens his mouth to protest but is quickly silenced with a angry glare from the Demon Hunter. Losing to lowly dwarves. How could a Demon Hunter bear such standards? As Bloodwrath runs off north, Larodar collects the six druids of the talon lounging around within the base and commands them to follow with him. The group of eight reaches the expansion where they find a broken Tree of Life quickly decomposing into the soil. They pause in regret, and the Keeper is about to give a funeral speech when Bloodwrath decides to vent his anger on a group on gnolls on the western entrance of the temple grounds. The Keeper and druids follow to support him, and the army moves northward to exact true vengeance after the creeps are dispatched. dcHorangi begins growing a Tree of Life at his natural expansion, intent on securing a second source of income. The Ancients of Wind steadily train druids of the talon, and the Talon mastery research finishes while the Elven army is en route to their objective. With the Ancients' rally point fixed onto the hero, druids begin reinforcing the advancing army one by one. dcHorangi's official orders had been to cover for the restarting expansion, but he understood. Those Demon Hunters had tempers.
The two militia had been able to calm their imminent heart attacks when the dual elf heroes swept right past them, being driven on killing the Archmage. They'd made some half-hearted swings at the Elven heroes to appear as if they were trying to help, but once the wizard was just about out of sight, they quickly ran back to the town hall. Nobody cared about peasants, and they didn't want to die. Although the Human encampment had been assaulted several times by the enemy Keeper already, it still was far safer than loitering outside of the Human sphere of influence. Of course, they would be punished were they to skip out on their work duties, too. The pair was joined by another ill-treated denizen of Lordaeron's empire in woodcutting duties, and as they labored away they heard the jubilant cheers and boasts of the victorious army, all laced with that funny dwarven accent that their allies had. When the happy voices turned to battle cries and death screams soonafter, the workers put their heads down and worked harder, hoping for the best.
Forgefire grinned wickedly. There was nothing like a day of throwing hammers at elves and hacking up their trees to make him happy. His entourage followed him as they returned to base, making a stop at near the north east goblin lab in preparation for some more ogre-murdering. But something got to them just then and there. Perhaps it was the noonday sun burning upon their cloaks, or maybe it was the near-drunken feeling that they were experiencing from a successful skirmish and the arrival of studded leather armor. It could've been because this time, the ogres were completely awake, and not asleep. Forgefire would later blame it on commander
Augury having a brain fart at that moment, but the world will never know. The creeping expedition upon the northwest goblin lab became a complete disaster, leading to a rout where only two of the original eight dwarves survived when the fighting had died down. Earlier, the dwarven army had been able to creep the southeastern lab sucessfully because Forgefire had planted a hammer into the ogre lord at the start of the battle, invalidating its shockwave spell. That did not occur this round. The ogre lord guarding the southeastern lab happened to be a good smelly cousin of this current ogre lord, and he had gotten wind (literally) that someone had murdered his family. When this ogre lord spotted the dwarves, he had eyed them suspiciously and made them pay when the first few appraoched him. Forgefire snapped around to see bloodlusted ogres raining down upon his unprepared army and fired off his hammer, but it took too long and the shockwave was released. A rifleman fell instantly, and a second screamed death before Forgefire got his smart dwarf brain working again. Ordering a retreat, the dwarves regrouped at the bottom of the southern ramp to shoot up the ogre lord. The ogre led them back to the left through his companions before falling, and Forgefire advanced to level 3 while collecting the awaiting ankh of reincarnation. Two more riflemen fell as the group moved back to the right to form up a respectable fighting formation. The dwarves felled one more ogre, and Forgefire started becoming anxious since he was approaching 100 hit points. Then the Night Elf army slammed into the weakened group from the south, and all hell broke loose.
Augury's forces: One Mountain King, one Archmage, and five 1/1 Riflemen, all hurt.
dcHorangi's forces: One Keeper of the Grove, one Demon Hunter, and seven master druids of the talon.
Forgefire is cut down almost immediately, leveling up the Keeper. Simultaneously, the weak-willed Archmage suffers a mana burn and teleports away as his fellow hero crumples. The two remaining creeps are slaughtered shortly after the retreat, and Augury's hero reappears alone among an angry Demon Hunter and company. As Forgefire revives, he is swept into the air by a cyclone, and Arcanister charges down the ramp to re-engage. He retreats back up the ramp only moments later, unable to bear the focus fire directed at him. dcHorangi had kept the Mountain King out of play with a second cyclone, but with the Human forces now absent, his troops surround the dwarf as he falls back to earth. The Mountain King has a
short-lived second chance, but is able to unleash two thunder claps and storm bolt the Demon Hunter before he is dispatched.
"Unbelievable," thought Bloodwrath as he cut up the insolent dwarf for the second time. "There is a second cross on that ground!" The Hunter had heard of reincarnating demons, but never had he encountered a mere dwarf that refused to die. As he thought through how this situation was even possible, he noticed that the weakling mage had appeared with a support of five dwarves on the ramp. Bloodwrath cursed and turned his attention towards them. The only thing stopping this clash from becoming a complete rout was that annoying cross protruding from the ground. First things first. The green penis of drainage shot out from the elven hero, and he was upon the Archmage a moment later.
Arcanister falls quickly as a level 2 hero, placing a few druid kills under his belt before ceremoniously
falling off his horse (it's always the horse that dies, the wizard just falls off pretty and ascends into the sky). The newly reincarnated Mountain King is ignored this round by the druids, which allows him to deal damage through another thunder clap. The remaining riflemen focus fire upon the Keeper as he receives a storm hammer, and the elven hero lets out a groan and collapses. Druids start falling left and right (after all, they did go through three thunderclaps and random blunderbuss fire) and as the cooldown for the storm hammer ends the last of the Mountain King's mana is used to bolt the Demon Hunter into hero purgatory. The remaining two druids flee back to base, and only two riflemen pursue along with a now-level 4 Mountain King. The Human camp begins an Arcane Sanctum.
Lowering The Supply
The retreating druids are joined by two of their kin, and one sends Forgefire airborne to cover their retreat. A couple minutes pass as dcHorangi regroups his forces and revives his heroes. Augury decides that his force is too weak for a counter-attack and moves towards the fountain of health at the center of the temple grounds to heal. Arcanister is resummoned and he joins the group as the blacksmith begins upgrading to Refined Gunpowder. The group, minus the two veteran riflemen left at the fountain to heal, move to the northeast merchant shop and clear the creeps there. Four woodcutters at the main base are sent in militia gear towards the army as it continues onward to clear the northeastern gold mine. Priest production starts at the Human main base, and the Mountain King acquires a circlet of nobility from the creeps while also buying and using a scroll of healing at the merchant shop. The militia begin an expansion when their equipment wears off.
dcHorangi's forces head towards the southern expansion point when the Demon Hunter revives, but moves northward towards Augury's main base instead of clearing the creeps. Larodar emerges from the altar when the army is walking around, and he follows the group as it penetrates the northern base. dcHorangi begins growing a Hunter's Hall.
At the northern ramp, a reinforcing rifleman is attacked by dcHorangi's forces, alerting Augury of his opponent's location. The elves press into the base, but follow a newly-trained priest eastward. The Human army had circled around through the natural expansion when the elves were spotted, and now they charge up the cliff to meet the opposing force just east of the Human structures.
Augury's forces: One Mountain King, one Archmage, six 2/1 Riflemen, three initiate priests, and one red drake.
dcHorangi's forces: One Keeper of the Grove, one Demon Hunter, and eight master druids of the talon.
Forgefire immediately summons the red drake, and the battle goes underway. dcHorangi targets the Mountain King at first, but then cyclones him after his Demon Hunter is
hit with a hammer. The Archmage lets out a blizzard, and the druids move southward to dodge it. When the Demon Hunter comes out of stun, the focus fire from the riflemen cause him to run. The druids then keep both Human heroes cycloned, and the battle becomes one between the riflemen and the drake against the druids and the Keeper. With no Demon Hunter to take the damage for the group, the druids begin to fall from focused rifle fire. After three cyclones on each of the enemy heroes and several death grunts from the fallen druids, the spellcasters don't have enough mana to cast another cyclone and follow the example set by their great demon-fighting hero by running. The centaur and three druids in critical condition make it out of the northern plateau, and the dwarves, wizard, and dragon follow them all the way back to the western expansion valley. During the battle, dcHorangi starts a Tree of Life in the southern plateau's western ramp in preparation for a second expansion. A third Ancient of Wind and two Ancients of Lore also start growing in the Night Elf main base. The human smith begins upgrading to Reinforced Leather Armor as the battle ends, and Arcanister stops at the Goblin Lab to reveal gold mine locations. Scans confirm the presence of a Tree of Life at the Night Elf's natural gold mine, but the placement of the growing Tree of Life in the southern area of the map allows it to continue growing undetected. With the enemy expansion in sight, Augury's troops move in and begin hacking away at it. When no reinforcements arrive, the Tree falls, which gives enough experience to the Mountain King to reach level 5.
The red army had regrouped by the wells and emptied them in preparation for another encounter. Their absence in the western valley was explained by the uprooted Ancient of War. Unfortunately, their orders have been set to Move in Formation. The slow Ancient of War delayed the whole group, and it had taken several moments too many for dcHorangi to correct this and get the main bulk of his army moving forward. As the Tree imploded, the Night Elves finally appeared at the top of their ramp and swept northward.
Augury's forces: One Mountain King, one Archmage, five 2/1 Riflemen, three initiate priests, and one red drake.
dcHorangi's forces: One Keeper of the Grove, one Demon Hunter, and nine master druids of the talon.
Revenge appears to been exacted as the battle begins. The Archmage tries to blizzard the druids, but he is silenced along with the Mountain King with cyclones. Demon Hunter slashes and talon attacks bring down two riflemen fairly quickly, and the remaining three riflemen hardly seem to be dealing any damage.
However, the dwarves had been focusing all their efforts on the Demon Hunter, and he was forced to retreat with under 50 hit points. The Demon Hunter then makes a crucial mistake and turns back into the battle, promptly earning him three blasts from the blunderbusses and bringing about a second suicide from the elf. At face value, the battle still appeared strong for the Night Elves. Another rifleman had fallen, leaving the battlefield with a Keeper and eight druids against two riflemen, three priests, and the drake, with the Mountain King and the Archmage flying around overhead. At this point the battle reached a critical point. The Mountain King and the Archmage both landed as the druids ran out of mana to cyclone. In a moment the tight group of elves succumbed to a thunder clap and a well placed blizzard, killing the entire army within five seconds. The lone Keeper retreated up the ramp. Things looked grim for dcHorangi.
The Ancient of War that had stalled the Elven army previously was now posted at the top of the ramp, and attacked the Human's mixed army as they entered the western plateau. The Mountain King follows Larodar into the base about half way before Augury recalls him and the remainder of the army out north, deciding that the trees would be take too long to destroy with the weakened army. Augury commands his troops to move to the north entrance of the temple, where they kill the unsuspecting gnolls and level the Archmage up. During this time, the drake unsummons and a second Arcane Sanctum begins construction at the main base.
Larodar was visibly shaken. The Moon Well water was hardly helping him from shivering. Orders were coming in from his commander, but he took a moment to close his eyes and concentrate, purging the death screams (and grunts) of the druids from his mind. A druid of the talon approached him. The druid was the only one of his kin present in the base. The centaur nodded sternly to his fellow elf - Right. The orders. Larodar made his way to the southern expansion. The Tree of Life that was growing earlier had finished and was unleashing its wood upon the local trolls. Several slaps and plant-choking techniques later, the hero finished exterminating the greenskins. Feeling alone, Larodar looked behind him and noticed that the lone druid that had come along with him now lay broken on the ground, blood escaping from his body. More pangs of regret shot through the Keeper. If he made it out of this situation alive, he would have to make sure that his reassignment would to be a commander who cared about the small details. As he picked up the treasure, gloves of haste, he moved northward to meet up with Bloodwrath, who had revived only moments earlier. The Tree of Life moved on to the expansion where it started entangling the mine, leaving a scroll of the beast lying on the ground unclaimed.
dcHorangi swore under his breath. He had lost his army repeatedly because his druids had run out of mana and the Demon Hunter kept dying too fast. He wouldn't get beaten in the third battle. This one was important. He needed to secure his expansion. Recent reports had brought to his attention that his gold mine was low on reserve, so a crucial time slot was approaching in the matchup. To assure victory next battle, he cleared the southwest merchant shop, making good use of cyclone to neutralize the trolls and take the creeps one at a time. He then emptied his coffers into the merchant's stock of healing potions, buying two for the Demon Hunter. Of all items, the golem drops a Wand of the Wind, which the Demon Hunter collects. An adept druid of the claw is trained from the Ancients of Lore to support the army with roar and rejuvenate.
As the elven army purchased items from the southwest merchant, Augury's army moved towards the
southeast lab from the eastern plateau. The Human army had recently cleared the gold mine to prepare it for a second expansion. The trolls just south of the eastern plateau had also been killed, netting the Human heroes a tome of knowledge, a potion of invulnerability, a tome of intelligence, and a mantle of intelligence, of which the first two were given to the dwarf. While peasants begin a town hall at the eastern gold mine and a workshop at the human main base, the Archmage makes use of the lab to scan possible expansion points. Long Rifles are researched when the workshop completes. From the scans, the Tree at the southern expansion node is revealed to the mixed army, and they move westward to destroy it. The army passes through the southern plateau but ignores the golem and three trolls camped there.
Augury's forces had just moved out of the sight range of the Night Elves, who had attacked the southern entrance to the temple grounds just after restocking at the merchant shop. As they cleared the resident gnolls, a reinforcing priest moved through their formation, heading south to group with his fellow priests. Bloodwrath and company show no mercy as the priest is mana burned and entangled. With the priest's death, dcHorangi's heroes both level up to level 4, and the position of the Human forces are revealed. Within the minute both players receive notice that their main gold mines have expired.
Nilas Arcanister led the charge down the slope towards the rooted Tree of Life. As the dwarves and elves of the Human Alliance came spilling into the valley, the wizard spotted a treasure lying in the dirt. Picking up the scroll of the beast, the Archmage read its incantation and a loud roar flowed through the troops, strengthening their damage a considerable amount. Arcanister narrowed his old eyes as the Tree uprooted. Calling upon the heavens, he cast down a blizzard to destroy the five wisps that were now attempting to repair the dying tree. He did not notice the red army closing in quickly from the north, as he was intent on extinguishing the life from the energy-filled wisps. Forgefire brought the Tree down to critical health with his storm bolt as the Archmage's blizzard ripped the Tree usunder. Arcanister made a ninety-degree turn and witnessed the green light for the second time...
Augury's forces: One Mountain King, one Archmage, eight 2/2 Riflemen, and four adept priests.
dcHorangi's forces: One Keeper of the Grove, one Demon Hunter, twelve master druids of the talon, and one adept druid of the claw.
Forgefire charged towards the druids. He felt the wind pick up, as expected. Although frustrated, the dwarf understood. These weakling elves could never take on a dwarf king unless he was isolated. Only a few shots of anger flowed through his soul as he retained a grip on his weapons within the high-speed winds. What was that bonehead commander doing? Taking care of an old man?
Augury panicked. The Archmage's health was draining at an incredibly fast rate, and the rifles and priests were stacked all the way up to the trees at the southern border of the expansion node. With the Archmage stuck, the commander became paralyzed watching the wizard run around like a helpless sheep on crack as the Demon Hunter tore him to pieces.
The Mountain King got hit with a cyclone, and the mage fell. Then the Demon Hunter that the whole of the army had been focusing upon drank a potion and received the rejuvenation spell.
Seconds passed. The Human commander kept trying to activate the invulnerability potion when the Mountain King returned to earth as dwarf and priest screams bled out of the sound speakers... and finally after several unsuccessful attempts and increasing number of death grunts, the reactions sprang into place. Cornered into the bottom-left area of the expansion node, seven riflemen and a priest ran straight through the enemy army in a desperate retreat
as two druids of the talon are shot and the Mountain King hits level six in mid-air.
Bloodwrath laughed as he cut apart the last priest. He finally had some proper support, and the entire enemy force was focusing on him. As he pursued the trailing riflemen, he heard a clear ring behind him. The Mountain King had landed and was able to activate a divine shield. The Demon Hunter shot a glare at his companions as he received a hammer to the head.
The five remaining riflemen moved back into the fray and fired upon the Hunter. Forgefire moved in for the kill. Even with a thunderclap, the Demon Hunter comes out of stun at 52 hit points and drinks his last potion.
The remaining three riflemen hold their ground, intent on getting at least one important kill from the battle. A few shots and a swing from the Mountain King is able to bring the Demon Hunter below 225 hit points, and Forgefire finishes the Demon Hunter with a storm bolt. The dwarves flee north, where one is killed and another entangled, leaving the Mountain King and a single rifleman the sole survivors from the Human camp. Oddly, there were over five druids of the talon nearby that had enough mana to cyclone the hero, but the Mountain King is lucky and he gets away clean.
Both players have accomplished important goals at this point, albeit not significant enough to declare an absolute victory. dcHorangi had finally crushed Augury's army. The previous battle could have almost been considered textbook-perfect for a druid of the talon strategy, except for the fact that the last hero to die was the Demon Hunter instead of the Mountain King. On the other hand, it shouldn't be forgotten that just prior to the battle Augury had destroyed dcHorangi's last source of income. The tragic part of the whole thing is: had the Elven army won such a decisive victory in any of the earlier battles, the game would've fallen into their hands - while the Human army had instead constantly avoided the main Elf base. As it is, with the loss of the main gold mine, the Night Elves were left with only 540/983 in the bank. Timing is now crucial. With Augury retaining a fighting force of only two units but also the owner of two expansions, dcHorangi's ability to now capitalize and turn the balance of incoming revenue will make or break the game.
dcHorangi uproots his Tree of Eternity and it proceeds towards the western expansion node. He also starts a Tree of Life at the southern expansion again, choosing to start a second expansion attempt instead of reviving the Demon Hunter. The elven army forms up and watches the enemy activity through the fairie fire on the blue-clad rifleman. The two dwarves run through the temple grounds, exiting through the east and beelining for the merchant shop.
The elves let them go, understanding that destroying expansions is far more important that trying to kill a level six mountain king posted at a merchant shop. The army sets off, exiting the temple grounds as dawn breaks. They aim for the the most likely expansion location: the northern expansion node.
The northern expansion node is inhabited by four trolls.
The night elf force, minus the Demon Hunter and two druids of the talon that had fallen, enter the northern valley and attack the trolls. dcHorangi is careless, and he loses a druid to the creeps. The Keeper reaches level 5, and collects a potion of greater healing and guantlets of ogre strength +3.
Forgefire scanned through the merchant's wares. The previous encounter had left a bitter taste in his mouth, and he knew that they could've won if he was grounded. With the avatar ability now at his disposal, there would only be a need to activate it and still have enough mana to use spells. The dwarf's eyebrow arched as he zoned into the invisibility potions. Those could work...
Augury bought an invisibility potion and a potion of mana, and used the latter. Concerned about re-engaging the opposing army before his force was rebuilt, he moves his dwarves from the merchant shop towards the northern temple grounds via the eastern entrance so they could join up with his priests. The Mountain King takes some small-arms attacks from the locals, but the creeps don't pursue him. Even with fairie fire on Augury's units, the human forces are not attacked by the elves. As the Archmage revives and moves south to join the army, the elves clear the northern expansion. The barracks had been pulling full production shifts ever since the earlier battle ended, and now four riflemen and two priests assisted the human heroes in clearing the center creeps guarding the fountain of health. As blizzards fall, thunder claps released, purges cast, and guns fire at the heart of the lost temple, a peasant scout traverses through the Western plateau noting the absence of the Tree of Eternity.
Hindsight is always 20/20, as they say. From repeated inspection and thought of the Night Elf strategy, a conclusion can be made: The only unit within this Elven arsenal capable of absorbing damage effectively is the Demon Hunter. Without the Demon Hunter, most clashes would result in unfavorable casualties. Because of this, a critic might excuse our Night Elf commander for not pressing on his advantage. However, there are two points of interest. The first is that dcHorangi knows exactly where the main human army is due to his fairie fires. The second is that his lack of scouting after the early game has left him without a definitive position of where Augury's expansion is located. With the main gold mines busted, and the Human army obviously still able to continue production, dcHorangi makes his next move.
The Night Elf commander leaves his army at the northern expansion and moves his Keeper into the northern plateau to entangle peasants.
Good Lord, what was this guy thinking?
The minimap shown above notes maynarding peasants heading to the second expansion at the eastern plateau. Those peasants were the five from the original gold mine, leaving only three peasants and a newly-produced rifleman at the northern plateau for the Keeper to kill. In addition, Augury had over 1000 lumber in reserve, but hardly any base defense at either expansion.
Augury ignores the Keeper and finishes clearing the center of the temple, leveling his Archmage to level 5. The Mountain King picks up Slippers of Agility +3 and the Archmage adds a Health Stone to his inventory. The Human forces move north to intercept the elven army, reinforced to five riflemen and two priests. A bit of dancing around the cliff ensues, with the Night Elves eventually circling counter clockwise and fleeing southwest through the south ramp. The Mountain King uses his invisibility potion pre-emptively, but no battle occurs. The Human castle completes, and research on Imbued Gunpower starts.
dcHorangi finally has enough gold to start reviving his Demon Hunter. The Keeper and druids circle around the temple and enter the southern plateau. They see the creeps guarding the southern gold mine and decide not to attack.
Meanwhile, Augury clears the northeast and east sections of the temple, netting a Gauntlet of Ogre Strength +3 and a Tome of Experience for his Mountain King. The Human army then moves towards the southeast goblin lab to make good use of the reveal, but they find that their counterparts had the exact same idea in mind. The Keeper and company flees west, but not before entangling the Archmage for good measure. The wizard had let off a warning blizzard at first sight, alerting dcHorangi to the new level 3 blizzard power stored within the mage's frail body.
With battle avoided a second time, both sides don't stick around, and each head to the merchant shops across the map. The Night Elves buy two potions of healing, which the Keeper transfers the the just-revived Demon Hunter. The group then proceeds southwest and creeps the corner mine's creeps. At the northeast merchant shop, the Humans buy one invisibility potion for each of the two heroes. After a tentative scout is sent, four peasants are relocated to the northern natural expansion and commence contstruction of a town hall. Dragonhide Armor starts being researched at the blacksmith, and mortar team production begins.
Augury proceeds to the northwest goblin lab and scans out six locations: the island corners, the western and southern expansion and main bases, and the southwest gold mine. From these he learns of dcHorangi's two expansions and his army's location at the bottom left island. The decision is made to attack the southern expansion node again, and the army sets off by cutting through the temple center, not wanting any unpleasant flanking surprises.
Meanwhile, the Demon Hunter picks up a Circlet of Nobility from the fallen golem and the hero and his colleague purchase more goods at the merchant shop on their way back out. The Demon Hunter adds another potion of healing to his inventory, while the Keeper buys a scroll of protection for himself. The army moves out of the pathway and towards the temple, where they spot the Human army just south of the grounds. As both commanders realize the opposing army is close at hand, the decision to bring the game into a decisive battle is mutually agreed upon. With each side sporting the largest armies yet seen along the entire course of the match, the final conflict commences in the pathway between the temple and the southern plateau's cliff. A victory for the Night Elves would place them back on top and give free reign to dominate with advanced technology and map control. A victory for the Humans would allow continuation onto the obliteration of the Elves' final sources of income. All the cards are on the table.
Death is Imminent
Augury's forces: One Mountain King, one Archmage, eight 3/2 Riflemen, four master priests, and one mortar team.
dcHorangi's forces: One Keeper of the Grove, one Demon Hunter, twelve master druids of the talon, and four master druids of the claw.
Okay, so the top is completely out of proportion but the images line up correctly at the mid-breaking point... nice camera angle.
Then again, I do wonder how many people would miss the queerness of the picture had I taken out the gray borders and pasted the top two pics together. Ah, too lazy for that. You can only get so much out of MS Paint.
Each of Augury's heroes drink their invisibility potions as they reach the front line. The elves start laying into the rifleman, and dcHorangi searches for the Mountain King he doesn't see, cyclone ready at hand. Arcanister breaks invisibility first with a blizzard, and Forgefire follows suit by casting storm bolt (!) on the Demon Hunter instead of avatar.
He is cycloned a moment later, but the Archmage is ignored, allowing precious 50-damage waves of blizzard to fall upon the druids of the talon.
dcHorangi scrambles to bring his druids from the northern end of his group down into the battle, and two of the druids of the claw let out a roar to cover the entire formation.
The Demon Hunter evades many rifle shots but can't dodge them all, and uses two of his three potions early in the battle to cover while micromanagement focus is directed elsewhere. Two druids of the claw are dispatched to deal with the annoying mortar,
and a rejuvenation is cast upon the Demon Hunter. At this point eight waves of the blizzard have fallen and druids of the talon begin falling on the elves' left flank. This cause of alarm directs the commander's attention to cycloning the Archmage - and he misses the Mountain King as it returns to earth!
Augury takes full advantage of the pause and corrects his previous mistake by now activating avatar on the Mountain King. Only ten seconds have elapsed since first contact, yet the numerous micromanagement demanded of the players cause each to forget certain aspects, including mana burns, entangles, phasing out hurt riflemen, or targetted healing with priests. Both commanders completely forget about touching base operations for the next minute, and their full focus is poured into the battle at hand.
dcHorangi watches in disappointment as the Mountain King activates avatar. The whole being of the dwarf consolidates into a single grey stone color as the Mountain King grows nearly twice in size.
Bloodwrath takes a storm bolt hit as the avatar traverses the battlefield to also lay a thunderclap in for good measure. The druids of the claw are ordered to keep a steady flow of rejuvenation on the Hunter, and the Archmage is cycloned again when the waves of blizzard
start falling. As the Night Elf army moves in closer and starts focus-firing upon the riflemen, the dwarves switch target and shoot down two druids of the claw before aiming at the Keeper. With a storm bolt to seal his fate, the centaur falls within six seconds from being targetted,
the potion of greater healing and scroll of protection left unused.
With the Mountain King and the Demon Hunter dishing out the damage on each side, the two heroes go to work in a race for "who can kill the other guy's troops fastest." The druids of the talons fall first, with a blizzard support blanketing the now mana-drained druids in combination with one hack each from the dwarf. The Demon Hunter and two druids of the claw bring down rifleman after rifleman,
and when the druids of the talons fall, two riflemen and three priests are left in mid-health conditions to maneuver left in an attempt to avoid damage.
The Humans then turn on the two remaining druids of the claw and kill both of them while the Demon Hunter nets only a priest, running left right afterwards. Before falling, the last druid of the claw casts rejuvenate on the Demon Hunter. Both the Demon Hunter and the Mountain King leveled up during the fight, bringing the Demon Hunter to level 5 and the Mountain King to level 7. The full-health Demon Hunter is the only Night Elf force, and as he runs westward a glance is thrown over his shoulder and he realized there are two heroes, two riflemen, and two priests behind him.
Reviewing the situation, dcHorangi decides to return and destroy the weakened units since his Demon
Hunter is in decent condition. Bloodwrath kills a priest, mana burns the Archmage, and follows that up with a cyclone from the wand of the wind he's carrying. The Mountain King levels a storm bolt into the Elf hero as it nearly manages to cut up his next victim. The near-dead rifleman moves right to avoid death, but his fellow rifleman left in his place isn't so lucky. As Bloodwrath picks off the other Rifleman, the Mountain King comes out of avatar status and is promptly cycloned via the last wand of the wind charge.
With the Archmage in yellow-red health status and only four units on the ground, the Demon Hunter drinks his last potion of healing and starts working on the old man in an attempt to score a hero kill. Demon Hunter: Roughly 400 hp. Archmage: Roughly 200 hp. Mountain King: 60 mana. The Archmage has level 2 brilliance.
With the Mountain King at 65 mana, the Demon Hunter goes for the kill with a mana burn. Unfortunately, the spell only saps 58 mana, leaving the Archmage alive for the moment.
The Archmage consumes the health stone for 500 hit points.
With no hope left in the battle, Bloodwrath flees west. The combined attacks of Forgefire and the remaining rifleman had been able to reduce the Demon Hunter's health to 234 hit points. The rifleman fires at just about 600 range. 227 hit points. The human commander focuses, and doesn't let his finger slip. The Mountain King casts the storm bolt as the priest lowers the Demon Hunter another 3 hit points...
The Archmage hits level six with the death of the Demon Hunter. Augury immediately moves south, taking advantange of his victory. While the small force works on razing the enemy expansion, Augury notices the buildup in his resource storage and builds two barracks at the northern expansion node, and gets his production centers working.
Four druids of the talon move out from the western plateau and attempt to save the defenseless expansion, but when they meet the Human forces they decide against it, and cyclone the two heroes before retreating towards the east end of the map. dcHorangi begins dryad production from his Ancients of Lore, which have now moved to the Western expansion node along with an Ancient of War. A druid of the talon is sent to the northern plateau, and scouts the northern expansion node. Meanwhile, the Humans finish off the Tree of Life, and a new one is started at the southwest gold mine to compensate.
Joined by reinforcements, the two blue-clad heroes progress towards the western expansion node after finishing off the wisps. Five riflemen, five priests, and four mortar teams enter the western valley with the two heroes and blast the residing trees to pieces within moments. Seeing no resistance, the formidable force continues on into the Elf main base where the mortars get to work.
The Night Elves had scouted the two mines on the east side of the map, and moved their total forces just northeast of the temple after acquiring two Potions of Healing for the resummoned Demon Hunter. In a last-ditch effort the small group of druids of the talon, dryads, and one Demon Hunter assault the northern expansion,
killing all the goldmining peasants working there. However, the mortars on the western plateau finish off the buildings with incredible speed, and as a newly summoned Keeper of the Grove is killed and the last building falls,
Augury activates Arcanister's Mass Teleportation spell to destroy Demon Hunter and his skirmishers.
Bloodwrath sees the blue light and immediately runs westard, leaving dryads behind to take cover fire (or die in martyrdom... nah, not really). Forgefire manages to storm bolt the Hunter moments after teleporting, but Bloodwrath manages to get away nonetheless.
Although the druids of the talon had returned to cover for the Demon Hunter by cycloning the Archmage (Arcanister was trying to cut off the Demon Hunter's pathing), Bloodwrath ends up at the rear of their formation anyways
as the elves flee out the south ramp of the northern plateau. Pursuing behind them is the Human army, with a now-level 8 Mountain King - avatar activated - leading the group. This allows Forgefire to get in another storm bolt when moving down the ramp, but the Demon Hunter's agility allows him to continue ahead of the dwarf. It seems as if dcHorangi decides to give up right about now. With an inferior army and only a base growing in the southwest mine, the Night Elf commander knows that the game is over. The Night Elves stop at the fountain of health, and the Mountain King closes. The Demon Hunter doesn't drink any potions. Bolt, Clap, slash.dcHorangi leaves the game shortly after his Demon Hunter stabs himself, at 36 minutes 53 seconds into the game.
Click on any of the following to open in a new window:
1. Early game scouting
Both players do a good job of sending a peon unit to scout the starting locations. This enabled them to do their "blind rush" into the unscouted location - only one location has to be scouted on Lost Temple so the hero knows which direction to attack (of course, scouting two would be better, but only one is really necessary when the hero emerges).
2. Early game pressure
The choice whether to creep or hero pressure when the first hero is summoned is dependent on race matchup and hero selected. Since Night Elves will invariably tech unless using huntresses, most will hero rush a Human to cover for the teching. If not, The Lost Temple is a small enough map for a Human to rush a Night Elf early game as well. Creeping in a HvNE matchup for either side would be risky, allowing an offensive hero pressure to possibly do real damage.
3. Keeper of the Grove
dcHorangi's choice of a Keeper as first hero is very effective against Humans building Archmages and footmen, but in this case the Mountain King is a perfect counter-hero for him. If a Keeper is summoned first the Night Elf player must utilize him to the fullest by killing as many peasants possible, since Keepers will not be dominant forces in mid-game battles when they range from level 3-5. Also, dcHorangi's move in investing the ability points into Thorns Aura was a poor decision, since the only melee unit Augury controlled was the Mountain King. Even against footmen, Thorns Aura wouldn't be too great of a choice because of the low feedback damage the footmen would receive.
4. Strong Creeping
As demonstrated in the northwest goblin lab, players may want to reconsider creeping a strong group when they do not know their enemy's whereabouts or if their force will barely defeat it without careful micromanagement. While creeping fast may gain good experience and items fast, it also holds high risk if the army is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
5. Tech Timing
dcHorangi shows a very strong move when he attacks the Humans right after his talon mastery is finished researching. Right when a player reaches a key top technology, chances are that they can catch their opponent in a "down time," where the enemy needs a minute or two to acquire the proper technology to combat yours. Had the ogre lords at either end of the Temple dropped items other than ankhs (or potions of restoration) for the Humans, dcHorangi would have won a decisive victory right there, allowing a complete change in the course of the game.
6. Mid- and late-game scouting
Most players will remember to scout early game, but they don't follow up with a checkup method of the enemy's strategy. The cost of sending out a scout unit is low in comparison to the potential a mid- or late-game scout can reveal. Augury's scout that saw the growing Tree of Life allowed the Humans to counter the fast Night Elf expansion before it became too strong to defeat quickly. dcHorangi's lack of scouting past the initial wisp caused him to not know where to strike after winning an important victory.
7. Planning expansions in advance
In pressure match-ups such as this one, it is important to get ready for an expansion well before you're able to build one. When Augury clears the top-right gold mine island, he has militia moving towards that location already. If extra peasants hadn't been trained at the main base earlier, and the militia sent out 20 seconds later, the Night Elves would've caught them on their way and alerted the expansion venture to dcHorangi.
8. Expansion location
In a map such as Lost Temple there are a few expansions near enough to a main base that is accessible and can be reinforced comfortably, such as the corner mines (northeast, southwest), and a natural expansion for the main base adjacent to yours. Placing an expansion nearby but not at your natural expansion spot may fool an opponent that scouts your natural and assumes that you haven't expanded, or in this case: save your expansion when you lose your army and the opponent hits your natural.
9. Using neutral buildings
The use of neutral buildings can play key roles in determining the outcome of a matchup. The merchant shop can allow a player to win a battle by simply buying a potions, or save their army with a scroll of town portal. The absence of any purchase towards scrolls of town portal in this game was a mistake made by both players that could've saved each of them at various points. In this game, back-to-back battles featured the same amounts of troops facing off against each other, but the outcome was changed by items (red drake, and potions of healing). Goblin labs can also be exploited to great effect with its reveal ability, which Augury abuses in this game. By spending less than 200 gold, the location of enemy key points can be found instantly, saving precious time. Zepplins and sappers can also be a powerful tactical force, but neither player was unconventional enough to use these tools.
10. Going for the long game
When a player defeats their opponent's army, it may not always be the best idea to continue onto their main base (especially if they're undead!). When Augury withdraws from attacking dcHorangi's main base after razing the expansion for the second time, the retreat and acquisition of a second expansion served him better than if he had taken the time to destroy a few buildings. Of course, a player needs to recognize if the strategy used is "a one-shot deal," that can only attack at a given time period (such as certain tier1 massing strategies).
11. Hero targetting selection
Hero targetting is crucial in a battle. dcHorangi enjoyed success every time he targetted the Archmage first in battle, while he lost his crucial battle by allowing the Archmage to score about five to seven druid of the talon kills with his blizzard. On the other hand, Augury's tactic of targetting the Night Elf "meat shield" (the Demon Hunter), proved to be successful only in the early stages of the game when there was no potions of healing or rejuvenation for backup. The cyclone targetting on the Mountain King was very effective in removing him from the picture, and leveled the playing field (or perhaps tilted it in dcHorangi's favor).
12. Basics for micromanagment
When there is too much to command, a player may want to just fall back on what works in battle micromanagement. In the 29:00-31:00 battle (critical point), dcHorangi's focus on the druid of the claw's roar and rejuvenation spells caused him to keep track of cycloning the Mountain King, allowing the Humans to swing the battle. If dcHorangi had simply stuck to cycloning the Mountain King and Archmage that battle, he would've had a good chance of winning the game. Also, don't entangle healthy Archmages with level 3 blizzard... especially if you're using druids of the talon!
The Miscellaneous Stuff
1. This battle report is 3.63MB total, and contains 99 images.
2. All pictures were edited using MSPaint.
3. This battle report is a product created over a 3-week period, and was inspired by a slow-moving finals week.
4. I enjoyed creating this work. Immensely.
5. The replay of this game can be downloaded here. A new window will open if you click the link.