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A Passive Game: Testing Maynard's Strat
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Author:el_sux0r
IP:0-1pool2XXXX
Date: 07/05/03 04:07
Game Type: Starcraft
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The Passive Game

The Passive Game:  A Field Test of Maynard's Strategy

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Throughout the history of competitive Starcraft, there have been many giants of intellectual capacity.  Players like Zileas, Mr. X, Grrrrrrr, and Tsunami have awed and dazzled us with their style, mixing fearsome fighting ability with shrewd tactical canny.  Yet, above all of these gurus stands a man named after a dog, the only one of his kind to have an ubiquitous maneuver named after him.

The one and only Maynard:

                            Congo line with a cause.

[Those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about are urged to try out something called 'BattleNet' before attempting to read the rest of this.]

Yes, Maynard in his day was - and still is - famous for his 'resource whoring.'  Indeed, Maynard's approach to war echoed that of the ancient sage Sun-Tze, who held that the best way to win was to do so without firing a single arrow.  But as the Art of War progresses and evolves, tactics must change, and there comes a day when even the fundamentals of conflict must be called in to question. Will Maynard's oldschool, passive-aggressive, expansion denial tactics still hold water?  Or does the future belong to the brash guns blazin' approach? This was the question I sought to answer.

To accomplish this end, I logged on one Friday night to Bnet and opened a pubbie game.  Not wanting to intimidate any of the Bnet regulars who might recognize my name, I kept the title as simple as possible:

The name says it all.

Oh dear, I scared him off.

Despite the great lengths I went to to avoid appearing fearsome, the first player decided he did not want to face an opponent with an amazing 7-19-1 losing record, and promptly left.

 

What is this 'werd' of which you speak?  I am but a simple sux0r.

The second person had fewer qualms, and so the game was underway.  I, el_sux0r, received blue Zerg at 11:00, and my opponent, henceforth referred to as NotBob, was dealt a brown Nexus at 6:00 for this Random vs. Random on the map Challenger.

In an unexpected turn of events, my canny opponent decided to ask for a temporary truce, and I obliged him.

 Such crafty disposition!

Since I intended on sticking to an expansion denial strategy, my build order was 9/10 extractor trick, followed by an expansion hatch at the 3:00 mineral only.  Not wishing to leave things entirely to chance, I called up a group of 6 zerglings to guard the choke outside my opponent's base, and provide early warning for any of his expansion attempts. 

However, at this point in the game, my opponent was content to concede map control, and I was able to expand again to the 9:00 mineral only without conflict.  I also teched to cracklings.  NotBob appeared to be quite talkative throughout this process, and so I humored him by responding to his many lengthy queries.  He, in turn, dazzled me with his subtle interviewing skills.

Take pride in our country. (This conversation can only get better.  For my answer to 'What game race,' read on.)

At this point in the game, your intrepid narrator controlled all of the mineral patches on the map, except for two off-center islands.  It appeared that this was shaping out to be a true test of resource control strategy.  However, as is often the case with the fortunes of war, Fate dealt an unexpected blow.  Continuing to reassure my opponent that I was nothing to be afraid of, I asked for a two-minute pause to use the bathroom, to which he graciously agreed.  As soon as I returned, however, I beheld the not-unexpected treachery that always accompanies a pause in a pubbie game:

"Your deity is blue?  Fascinating."

This treachery, if the replay is any indicator, entailed building a small fleet, and reenacting the Last Flight of the Osiris. Ah, charming.  As a knee-jerk reaction, I hotkey attack-moved the cracklings I had amassed outside the choke to charge the base.  Fortunately for the Protoss, NotBob's gosu tactic of walling himself in in a limited mineral game proved sufficient to repel my expeditionary force.

l33t pylon placement, my friend.

While I had not counted on massive air, it soon became evident that that would not be a problem at all.  Grabbing one of my previously-grown Queens, I flew around his base for a look, parasiting one of his probes in the process.  It became clear that he had built cannons exclusively at his choke, and in fact, had not even bothered to get any ground forces whatsoever.

Does this sound familiar?

At this point, I could have simply dropped him by loading my Ultras into my fully upgraded Overlords, but I kept my focus on the mission.  A drop wouldn't prove our theory one way or another, and in the spirit of experimentation, I refrained from doing anything so blatantly aggressive.  Indeed, the nature of this experiment demanded that I pursue a war of attrition.  And so it was that I proceeded to AFK for the next five minutes to get a snack.

Upon my return, I reflected that I had been gone from the game for longer than I had expected.  Returning, I braced myself for the worst:  Surely my opponent had thrown up a Robotics Support Bay, and gotten Reavers to wipe me off the map, or more predictably, a Fleet Beacon and Carriers.

Thus, it was with some curiosity that I beheld this:

Corsairs vs. Lings. . . a tough call.

Corsairs and scouts.  Hm.  No doubt fearing a massive counterattack, and wanting to conserve his minerals, my opponent opted for a low-tech approach.  After running my speed-upgraded ultralisks around for a bit, and taking note of the fact that his scouts had no upgrades, I rallied all my troops to the east to be loaded into six overlords for the drop.  In NotBob's base, the mineral supply had finally run out.  In my main, it had run out several minutes ago.  Gamely, he withdrew his corsairs and continued to press the attack with his armada of three (yes, 3) scouts.

However, at this moment, NotBob was struck by a revelation.  Troops cost minerals.  Where had his minerals gone?

But how could this be?  How could he be out of resources?  Surely he hadn't run through Big Game Hunters' allotment of 50,000 minerals yet!  (This was BGH, wasn't it?)  He had the upper hand the whole game . . . surely he had to have more resources than his opponent. 

Behold the power of the Maynard strat.

Unable to perceive what had dealt him this cruel blow, NotBob abruptly left to contemplate the whimsical nature of Fate.

Thus, ladies and gentlemen, you have it.  Definitive proof that Maynard's resource denial strategy still holds, even against the most cunning opponents on Battle.net.  Until next time, this is el_sux0r wishing you a happy Fourth of July weekend.

Thank you, thank you.


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