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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:
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
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.
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
control, and I
was able to expand again to the 9:00 mineral only without conflict. I also teched to cracklings.
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.
(This conversation can only get better. For my answer to 'What
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:
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.
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
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
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 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
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.
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.