|"I'll be afk for a while...gotta grab a snack. Lurkers aren't very filling."|
|Date: ||07/06/03 07:07|
|Game Type: ||Warcraft 3|
|Report Rating: , # of Ratings: 3, Max: 10, Min: 9|
Lifetime Rating for ~CattleBruiser~: 9.3900
This is the twentieth report.
To mark the release of The Frozen Throne and the four year anniversary of www.battlereports.com, I've decided to write the first expansion pack battle report of 2003. Had I been
ambitious, I would have made another CattleBattle Production like The Warcraft Report, but since everything is better with only a modicum of effort, I've settled for slapping a Halp Halp label on this billy and rushing it out the door. This game was played yesterday evening, and you can watch the replay (now fortified with added chat inanity!) by downloading it here (1.10 required).
Since this is a relatively new release, there may be units and items that you are unfamiliar with. To help improve your reading comprehension skills, new terms will be linked to their associated page in Blizzard's expansion compendium. A few choice details will also be included in the text here, for people who don't like following links.
By now, you should know the drill. If you enjoy the dry, technical overview of the battlefield (Ó la CB),
turn to page 12 continue reading. If, however, you think romance shouldn't be in action movies and details interfere with carnage (Ó la Zerg~Ling), skip ahead several pages to the battle section.
|Incredibly Long, Detailed, and Pedantic Map Overview|
(4) Turtle Rock
There are four starting points in classic 2v2 layout, and four expansion mines in the center surrounding a tavern where you can hire neutral heroes. The central mines are very easy to patrol in a single circuit, so two more mines are placed at the extreme corners of the map. There are also two Goblin Merchants which sell a bevy of oddball items, including tomes of retraining which allow your heroes to reallocate their skill points (see also Hacks: Diablo 2 Trainers).
The map is inhabited by a myriad of creeps, such as gargantuan sea turtles, ogres, Howard Dean, and trolls. Memorizing the positioning and strength of creep camps is no longer a concern, as the Frozen Throne features a minimap toggle that marks the camps based on their relative difficulty.
Random Human, bottom right
Random Undead, lower right
Roaddog begins in the southernmost spot and builds his Altar of Kings and a Barracks, followed by two
farms. While constantly pumping peasants (to fulfill Frozen Throne's increased lumber importance), he throws up an Arcane Vault, which is like a do-it-yourself Goblin Merchant. Each race's shop sells race-specific items, such as the Human's Staff of Sanctuary.
Meanwhile, fatalblow summons a Crypt, Graveyard, and Altar, followed by two ziggurats for supply. Like
Roaddog, he's enamoured with player shops and builds a Tomb of Relics next.
Roaddog sends his first footman and a militia man in separate directions to scout and soon stumbles upon the Undead base on the neighbouring plot of land. He follows up immediately with an Archmage and footmen, hoping to catch fatalblow before his Dreadlord is fully trained. (This imbalance may be rectified in 1.11, as you will be able to eject partially-trained units during emergencies. They will have only a small percentage of their hitpoints and may occasionally attack their own allies, but in a rush situation, retards are better than nothing).
With the aid of a water elemental, the Human army attacks the Tomb of Relics. After a back-and-forth game of Red Light Green Light, fatalblow's ghouls manage to delay the assault until the Dreadlord is completed. He storms into the fray just as one of the ziggurats upgrades into
a Nerubian Tower.
The slowing effect of the Tower's cold damage forces Roaddog to rethink his attack, and he pulls out a minute later with no major casualties taken or inflicted. He takes the opportunity to upgrade his Town Hall (which now requires much more lumber than before) and continues footman production. fatalblow chooses to remain at Tier One, and pumps more ghouls from his crypt. He buys a Rod of Necromancy from his Tomb of Relics, which gives the Dreadlord the ability to raise skeletons from a corpse.
Both players send their armies a-creepin', first tackling the sea turtles near their bases.
Roaddog simultaneously builds a Lumber Mill and Blacksmith back home while fatalblow finally upgrades his Necropolis to a Halls of the Dead. To speed up his creeping, Roaddog returns home and buys a Scroll of Regeneration, which he uses immediately, and a Lesser Clarity Potion, which he saves for future mana-less emergencies. This particular potion allows the hero to regenerate 100 mana over a period of thirty seconds. It's categorized as a non-combat item, which means that attacking or being attacked while using it will cancel the effect.
Although both creeping armies tackle their nearest
expansion at roughly the same time, Roaddog's army finishes first, and manages to surprise fatalblow's men with dangerous sea turtles at their backs. fatalblow wisely flees immediately and gets chased all the way back to his main base. The Human army camps outside for a few seconds to keep fatalblow honest, and then quietly sneak back home to purchase another Scroll of Regeneration.
It's six minutes into the game now and both sides are looking healthy. Roaddog is sitting pretty at
35/42 supply and has a nice army of 0/0 footmen. fatalblow's ghoul army is also 0/0 and he stands at 29/40
supply. As if on a timer, Roaddog begins his Arcane Sanctum just when fatalblow starts his Slaughterhouse.
It's also time for heroes. Roaddog trains a Mountain King to accompany his Archmage and fatalblow trains a Crypt Lord, one of the new heroes introduced in Frozen Throne. It's very apparent that creep experience has been tweaked, since the primary heroes are still Level 2, despite their creeping (this is a good thing for battle reporters everywhere, because it means more player on player action).
After a couple aborted base attacks, the parties return to creeping. fatalblow finishes off the turtles at his nearest expansion while Roaddog takes a circuitous route to the northern Goblin Merchant. He's awarded with the Lionhorn of Stormwind (+1 armor to nearby units) and sets up a Watcher Ward from a Rune of the Watcher right outside the shop. Meanwhile, he's adding a mix of riflemen and adept priests to his army. fatalblow upgrades his Halls of the Dead and adds an obsidian statue to his army to help keep everyone alive and full of mana. He decides to head to the northern creep spots, but runs into bad luck when his obsidian statue rallies to his army directly over top of the Watcher Ward.
Roaddog's army scrambles to catch up and arrives just as fatalblow has engaged the ogres and trolls. With no way out, the Undead Dreadlord is forced to use up a Scroll of Town Portal to escape being pincered. But as a farewell gesture of love, the Crypt Lord manages to get off one last Impale on the Human army before disappearing.
|For the love of God, stop creeping.|
Roaddog mops up the leftover creeps and then returns to fatalblow's base with an army of footmen, two riflemen, and a priest. Defenses are light, since the Halls of the Dead is still upgrading and fatalblow had sent his army back out to creep again. While two banshees and the Nerubian tower put up a token defense, Roaddog directs his men to focus fire on the Temple of the Damned which had gone up during the Creep Show. When fatalblow finally returns, the Human army regroups and attacks the Tomb of Relics, enhanced by a Scroll of Protection. Roaddog also takes the opportunity to covertly plant a sentry ward near the edge of the base.
Despite the added armor from the Scroll, fatalblow uses fancy footwork and three successive Impales to destroy the footmen and most of their support. One last ride on the Crypt Lord's massive spike compels even the staunchest riflemen to turn tail and Roaddog flees the scene. He tries to set up a second front at the river, but fatalblow continues to press him back, aided by two obsidian statues which are constantly pumping life and mana into the Undead troops. fatalblow manages to reduce both Human heroes into the red, but some indecision on which to surround gives Roaddog time to use a Scroll of Town Portal. (Town Portal scrolls in Frozen Throne now require five seconds to activate, during which time the hero cannot be targeted).
Roaddog stays in his base, licking his wounds while upgrading his Priests and training Knights. A workshop is also erected, since seige plays a much more critical role now. fatalblow returns to his base and begins adding abominations to his army. With the modified armor types in Frozen Throne, piercing attacks no longer do extra damage to heavy armor, so tier three melee units are now viable. Roaddog takes advantage of the Arcane Vault to heal his bloody ass, but fatalblow isn't so lucky. The last attack destroyed his Tomb of Relics and he takes this time to create a new one.
Since fatalblow emerged relatively unscathed in the last battle, he decides to send his army of mixed ghouls and abominations out in search of creeps and expansions. This is all seen by the watchful eye of Roaddog's sentry ward and he immediately launches an attack with the most balanced Human army ever conceived -- one that would make any Theorycraft denizen proud. His squad wanders into fatalblow's unguarded base just as fatalblow engages the difficult creeps in the lower left corner. The situation is made more tense by the fact that fatalblow no longer has a Scroll of Town Portal, since secondary heroes are trained with empty inventories now. Roaddog attacks the first thing he sees which, luckily for fatalblow, turns out to be an unupgraded ziggurat. The whole of his army surrounds and destroys the defenseless building, and even a newly trained Paladin gets a few whacks in.
By the time fatalblow's Crypt Lord has waddled his obese carapace to the nearest Goblin Merchant, Roaddog has nearly destroyed another ziggurat. fatalblow activates his Town Portal scroll immediately, trusting that the time delay will be long enough for his army to arrive from their creeping. They teleport back to the Undead base where they clash with Roaddog's Inner Fired forces.
The Undead forces cast Sleep on the neophyte Paladin and quickly surround him for the kill. However, the Mountain King takes that moment to pull out his staff (not that one) and teleports the newbie back to the safety of his base. It was lucky that Roaddog had purchased that Staff of Sanctuary earlier in the game.
With excessive use of Impale and a Wand of Lightning Shield, fatalblow once again decimates Roaddog's front line. However, Roaddog chooses not to run this time, and presses the attack with a few riflemen and a newly healed Paladin (who evidently is loving the Arcane Vault). With a tasty combo of Holy Light and Stormbolt, fatalblow's Level 4 Dreadlord is destroyed, and only then does Roaddog retreat. The Human remnants fall back to the river again, and fatalblow chooses not to give chase. The battlefield falls silent again and this reporter hopes that no one decides to go creeping again.
Roaddog is anxious to hold the upper hand and charges back into fatalblow's base less than a minute after his retreat. The Dreadlord is still being revived, but fatalblow has an imposing group of abominations, ghouls, banshees, and an ogre magi he possessed on a whim. Of course, no fight would be complete without the Level 3 Crypt Lord and his lurker-esque attack. Both sides draw an equal amount of casualties but the obsidian towers and a bloodlusted Crypt Lord give the win to fatalblow. His enemy retreats, and a newly trained siege engine (like a steam tank but with different letters) chugs away from the fray, unused. This time around, fatalblow finally kills the wily Mountain King and the Paladin limps away with severe injuries. The Archmage is still in good health, being a pansy on a horse.
fatalblow chases Roaddog all the way back to the Human encampment where knights and priests are constantly being trained. Realizing that Roaddog will abuse the Arcane Vault again should he attack, fatalblow chooses to take the path of least resistance (more creeping). His army clears the creeps at the southwest Goblin Merchant while a lone acolyte expands to one of the central gold mines. It should be noted that both main mines are under two thousand gold now. It should also be noted that Roaddog almost expanded earlier in the game, but the peasant just stood in the woods with lumber on his shoulder for a spell before returning home. (In 1.11, peasants who routinely carry lumber around will gain hit points and wenches).
As you can probably guess by now, Roaddog decides to attack the Undead base again after healing. In fact, there might be an imbalance in the game where Undead players can only creep and Human players can only throw themselves against ziggurats and die. However, that will be left for Zileas to worry about, or as an exercise for the reader at the end of the report. Roaddog moves quite stealthily across the map, but then spoils the surprise by chasing a rallying banshee with his entire army. This time around, fatalblow was right next to a Goblin Merchant, but lacked the funds necessary to get a Scroll of Town Portal. As a result, he had to hoof it all the way back across the map to defend his base.
This battle is particularly viscious, and all of the ziggurats were already destroyed when fatalblow returns. The Black Citadel was still firing with its new cold damage, but its damage output is greatly reduced now. The first target of the Undead's ire was the Level 2 Paladin. The Mountain King attempts to pull his Staff of Sanctuary trick again, but misses and teleports a priest instead. The priest appears next to his Castle, slightly confused, while the Paladin is ripped apart and disappears.
The Human forces are surrounded one by one and mauled by the overzealous ghouls, all except for the Archmage and a siege engine. The siege engine does an about-face and does a kamikaze attack in fatalblow's base while the Archmage runs back to his Vault.
At this point, Roaddog is in poor shape. He has one remaining hero, two being revived, a priest, and two newly-trained spellbreakers who can steal buffs and feedback enemy spellcasters. He only has 128 gold in the bank, which is not enough for a new town hall, but he could ostensibly sell his archmage's inventory back to the shops for 450 more. Meanwhile, fatalblow has an expansion up and 800 gold in the bank. He also has a full army, including a Level 5 Dreadlord, a Level 4 Crypt Lord, and a new Level 1 Death Knight. Seizing the day, he charges into Roaddog's base, intent on ending the game with a win.
Roaddog fights valiantly, but even his revived Paladin can't stop the power of a Level 4 Crypt Lord well on his way to Level 5. As a last-ditch effort, Roaddog converts all of his peasants into militia and attacks. fatalblow merely retreats until the militia have returned to their peasant state, and ends the match with a lovely finishing move.
A valiant fight, indeed, but after twenty-five minutes, fatalblow eradicates the remaining heroes and seals his victory.
This report is the fifth in a series of reports by "Halp Halp, i'm beng reprssed!" Productions, an offshoot of CattleBattle Productions.