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A Report For Two
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Author:Anonymous Reporter 1
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Date: 08/04/04 08:08
Game Type: Starcraft
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A Report for Two



Introduction

Hello there, and welcome to yet another Badme Battlereport. This time, it's a Doubleheader, both games starring the fabulous Korean, Boxer. Enjoy the following tales of warfare and triumph, and bring something to snack on: It'll be a long, bumpy ride. Mozilla is the preferred Browser for this report: Firebird works well, IE tends to mess up the borders and some of the alignment. Overall, though, you poor IE users should be fine. If you have a 56k, the triple animated Gifs might play out of sync, but hey...what are you doing viewing Battlereports.com with a 56k?



Game One: Rocky XVI

This is a nice little TVZ that I downloaded off of Yaoyuan a few nights ago, starring everyone’s favorite Terran, Boxer, and that scary Zerg player, Oov. GLHF

Early Game

Boxer starts as Terran on the 12 o’clock main, drawing the very manly pink color. Oov starts on 3 o’clock as the Red Zerg . Opening Build Orders are as follows: (For Zerg, I’ll refer to what the supply counter reads after the drone morphs, for Terran and Protoss, I'll refer to what the supply counter reads at the start of construction):

Boxer: Depot on 9, Barracks on 11, Barracks on 12, Depot on 15, Refinery on 20.

Oov: Overlord on 9, Spawning Pool on 11, Extractor on 10, Lair on 15, Hydralisk Den on 15.

Boxer’s build order is very standard; the flexible Double Rax Infantry. Could lead up to Dropships, fast Tanks, fast Science Vessel, fast Expand, whatever. Overall, very conservative. Oov’s on the other hand is more interesting. Instead of a double hatchery with or without an early expansion, Oov is massing lings for some harassment, with a secondary focus on fast Lurkers. With the positions this close, a fast expand might be too dangerous to execute. Same goes for 1 base early powering.



Oov’s Overlord immediately discovers the Terran outpost half a minute before Boxer’s SCV explores his Zerg counterpart. Although the Overlord makes it out of the Terran base alive, the SCV quickly succumbs to Zergling claws and Drone spines. Oov then orders the Zerglings to scamper into Boxer’s base and cause as much havoc as possible. Unfortunately for them, Boxer has 6 Marines loitering at his Barracks (how do you pluralize ‘Barracks’?) at this point, and with his superior micro, he chases the Zerglings off, killing 3 in the process and preserving all of his men. Oov orders his Zerglings to retreat and link up with his wave of reinforcement Zerglings, and Boxer gives chase. After an impressive display of battlefield feints and misdirection coming from Oov‘s Zerglings, he outmaneuvers the slower Terran army and mounts Boxer’s ramp for the second time.






The defense this time? 2 Marines. The 5 surviving Zerglings quickly terminate one Marine’s life, but Boxer deftly dances the other one, distracting the Zerglings and buying his army enough time to head home. With the ominous threat of the entire Terran infantry bearing down on them, the Zerglings run to Boxer’s SCV line. Sadly for Oov, they’re only able to take down 1 SCV and 1 Marine before overwhelming firepower ends their short careers.

Sensing a shift in momentum, Boxer prepares his sizeable infantry division for immediate counter-attack. Medics have arrived at this point, and StimPack research finishes during the long, hard trek to Oov’s base. Unknown to Boxer, Oov has teched to Lurkers at this point; two of them are planted firmly in front of Oov’s ramp. As a distraction, he orders a reserve wing of 5 Zerglings to assault Boxer’s ramp at precisely the same time that Boxer’s troops come ambling past Oov’s lurkers…which aren’t firing. Boxer stims his firebats and fights off the Zerglings, but now Boxer’s strike force is directly on top of the Lurkers. Boxer has fallen into Oov’s trap perfectly; all that’s left is to pounce.




Lurker spines suddenly erupt without warning, engulfing the perplexed and surrounded Terran troops. A few fall to spines, but Boxer’s reaction is swift. Sounding a general retreat over the death cries of his infantry, Boxer saves the vast majority of them from destruction, losing only 6 Marines. The Lurkers now push forward, engaging in a deadly game of advance-burrow-fire-unburrow with Boxer’s units. The Marines rapidly dart in and out, aiming to catch the Lurkers above ground long enough to kill. Boxer’s micromanagment takes down one Lurker and heavily wounds the rest, but his brazen tactics mean that his infantry are very rapidly dying. His remaining 2 medics run out of energy nearly immediately, and it looks like Boxer has lost this battle. Oov immediately reinforces his Lurkers with several Zerglings, aiming at luring the Marines to stop long enough for the Lurkers to rip them apart. It looks like its working, and Boxer is forced to retreat his depleted units back to his ramp…and the conveniently placed Bunker+Turret Combo. All of Boxer’s original strike group is eradicated, but Oov loses most of his Zerglings and one more Lurker. The rest of the Lurkers retreat out of range and burrow, aiming to contain the Terrans.




And with the end of that battle, we move on, towards the

Mid Game

Update

The in-game clock now reads 10 and a half minutes. Several important developments: Oov expanded at his natural during the previous fight, and he’s still containing Boxer with 2 Lurkers and 2 Zerglings in front of Boxer‘s ramp. Boxer has teched, netting him an Engineering Bays, a Factory with Machine Shop, a Starport, and a Science Facility. Upgrades stand at 0 Weapons/1 Armor for the Terrans and 0 Melee/0 Missile/0 Armor for the Zerg. Due to the nature of Zerg macromanagement, it's difficult to tell who's ahead at this point, and even though Oov is of course behind on supply (38 vs. 50), he's slightly ahead in 'pure' future unit-production power. On the other hand, Boxer has a Science Vessel under production, and if he can field multiple Siege Tanks, he will threaten the unit matchup. Mass however, definately favors Oov, as he's very heavy on Lurkers and Boxer only has 1 Tank, without Siege Mode researched.

See those three little red dots on the minimap, just off to the left of Boxer’s plateu? They’re Oov’s Overlord and 2 Lurkers, which he’s using to attack Boxer’s Refinery. Sadly, Repair allows the Refinery to stay completely functional under the attack, until Boxer's second Tank scares the Lurkers off. Boxer’s also pretty sick of those stupid Lurkers trapping him in at his ramp, and blows them up good with his Tanks and Science Vessel. Oov starts a 2nd Hatchery in his main after this defeat, bringing his total production centers up to 3.



It’s at this point that Oov decides to step things up from containment. Obviously, with Tanks and Science Vessels, there’s no way he’ll be able to keep Boxer bottled up, and now Boxer’s tech and unit count threatens to take the game from Oov. In a truly massive application of force, He simultaneously drops off 2 Lurkers next to Boxer’s Refinery and 3 next to his Academy. These Lurkers proceed to hack away at the Terran infrastructure. The Lurkers at the Refinery are taken out in short order by the Siege Tanks, but the ones over at the Academy prove more difficult to remove from commission. Countless SCVs are tossed around like rag dolls, and due to Boxer’s base structure, the only way to approach the Lurkers is through narrow lanes between the Academy, Barracks, and Depot. Many Marines and Medics pay the ultimate price, but the Lurkers are eventually brought down. Boxer also loses his Refinery and Academy, making this a spectacular victory for Oov.



Boxer is irritated. There’s no denying that. With no gas mining, no Medic production, and only ten SCVs, it's do-or-die time. But how to finish off his wily enemy? All Boxer has left now are a control group and a half of m&m, a few scattered tanks, a Science Vessel, and a Dropship. If he waits for more Dropships, Oov will have time to rebuild his forces. If he directly attacks Oov’s main, he’ll have to contend with the bulk of Oov’s army, face high ground advantage, and deal with any defensive structures that Oov has. There has to be a better way.

And there is. Boxer begins shuttling all of his forces are onto Oov’s cliff using that one Dropship of his, aiming to bring the game to an abrupt close. It’s a dangerous move: While performing the Elevator, Boxer’s units are cut off from each other, sometimes in the Dropship, sometimes on low ground. If he shuttles up 2 Tanks and Oov sees it, he can kill the Tanks before Boxer has a chance to save them. The units wait until two nearby Overlords are killed before beginning the maneuver, silently praying for a peaceful journey. Halfway through it, however, the tiny yelp of an approaching Zergling ruins any attempt at secrecy, and Boxer is yet again threatened with army destruction.



His 4 Tanks are soon on high ground, as are 8 scattered Marines and Medics. The majority of his infantry, however, is on low ground, with 8 Marines and 6 Medics down there standing by for liftoff. There’s no way for Boxer to save his troops now or cause any significant damage with them if Oov brings his entire army to bear.

Unforuntately for Oov, his army isn’t at home. Instead, he has them posted just outside of his natural, lying in wait for the likely route of Boxer’s vengeful attack. Even if Oov acted immediately, Boxer’s units will be in his unprotected base long enough to cause deadly damage to his economy, and that’s assuming that Boxer’s army will lose to Oov’s in a pitched battle. With that thought in mind, Oov knows that there’s only one course of action to take.

Counterattack.

Mere seconds after the first Arclite Cannon rounds penetrate the Zerg Lair at 3 o’clock, Lurker spines slash into Boxer’s base. Unfortunately for Oov, the Bunker at the top of Boxer’s ramp again ruins his day, killing a Lurker and several Zerglings. Swiftly, he moves his remaining forces and runs them over to an unprotected area of Boxer’s base, in range of the Starport and the Engineering Bay. Due to battle loss, Boxer has only 3 Marines left for defense in his entire base, with no remaining Tanks or Medics. Even while overwhelming force pounds Oov's base into a mashed, bloody pulp, Boxer's main is also threatened with destruction. Ordering up as many fresh Marines and Zerglings as possible, Boxer and Oov will now have to micromanage two raging battles, simultaneously.






At this point, however, Boxer is playing for the win, while Oov is playing for a draw. And it’s something that apparently Oov doesn’t realize. Instead of reinforcing his Lurkers with his 12 newly-built Zerglings, he hesitates for several seconds at his natural, possibly considering a final, desperate stand. A futile gesture, and one that costs him. A Tank suddenly pops out of the Factory and Sieges, threatening to squash Oov’s last chance at staying in this game. Seconds later, that control group of Zerglings from Oov's natural lay waste to the Tank…but it’s too late. Both Lurkers have fallen, the Zerglings die to Marine reinforcements, and Oov’s base is a smoldering wreck. GG!

Lessons Learned:

1. Lurkers require amazing micro to fight against with pure infantry. It’s one of the reasons why I think that most fair-to-middling players have trouble handling them, but with someone like Boxer, it’s almost humourous how easily he handles the threat.

2. If you have no chance at saving your base, and you have to destroy your opponent’s to stay in the game, commit all of your attacking units to do so. Oov’s Lurkers could’ve done quite a bit more damage if that pesky Siege Tank was killed by the Zerglings.

3. Allied Lurker is extremely hax if the Terran has no detection. Hell, until you get Science Vessels, if your opponent can pull off Allied Lurker and you don't have the micro of Boxer, you're in major trouble.

Game Two: Rocky XVII

Ego was kindly showing me a bunch of professional replays last night, of which I decided to pick one and Battlereport it. Most of them were simply quick kills with impressive micro (pros rarely let other pros rebuild, obviously), which are fun to watch but not that interesting from a reporting standpoint. Taking matters into my own hands, I loaded up yaoyuan.com and sifted through the replays until I found a nice little Terran vs. Protoss game. The players? Boxer and Nal_Ra: champions of their respective races, facing each other on the familiar battlefield of Lost Temple. GLHF.





Early Game



Boxer urgers on his Blue Terran SCVs as he realizes that he’s drawn the 9 o’clock main, while his fancy Teal Protoss opponent commences battle preparations at the 3 o’clock plateau. Opening build-orders are by-the-book:

Boxer: Wallin Depot at 9, Wallin Barracks at 11, Refinery at 12, Depot on 15.

Nal_Ra: Pylon at 8, Gateway at 10, Assimilator at 11, Cybernetics Core at 14, Pylon at 15.

Boxer decides to buck tradition and forego early scouting, gaining a minor economic boost in the process. Nal_Ra’s probe checks 6, and seeing nothing of great interest, marches over to 9 o’clock. One of Boxer’s hardworking SCVs is on sentry duty at the ramp, but the vile probe evades the SCV’s clutches. Boxer’s barracks isn’t done yet, but the probe is unable to enter the Terran base due to the wallin. After a short period of hot SCV-on-probe action, Boxer finally decides to start scouting with his sentry miner. This leaves Nal_Ra’s probe free to chip away at the Supply Depot. The lights in the barracks flash on, and the probe wisely backs off, leaving a pleasant parting gift of a Pylon at the 12 mineral only. At the same time, Boxer’s SCV discovers the Protoss encampment at 3 o’clock… and is summarily executed by the Dragoon standing guard over the probes. Point, Nal_Ra.

Instead of an early Double Gateway Goon build, Nal_Ra decides on investing in Goon Range, producing Dragoons out of only one Gateway for some time. The reasoning soon becomes apparent. Two Dragoons skitter towards 9 o’clock on their mechanical legs, bent on harassing Boxer’s wall. One Dragoon mounts the treacherously narrow ramp, spotting for the more cautious one remaining on low ground. This minimizes risks: Although the overall damage rate is lower due to missed shots, only one of Nal_Ra’s Dragoon is in any danger from defending fire. Not that it matters. Boxer only has a single Marine for defense, and as his Supply Depot buckles and heaves under the sustained fire, it’s not looking good for our intrepid Terran commander.





After a good 200 hitpoints of solid pounding is dealt to the flaming Depot, Boxer’s Tank finishes production, and is immediately ordered to defend the besieged base. The Dragoons try to cause whatever damage they can before they’re forced to disengage, but with the superior range of the Siege Tank’s guns, it’s not going to be nearly enough. Nal_Ra (not willing to give up the Battle for Boxer’s Wallin that easily) retreats his two battered Dragoons down the ramp, but confidently orders them to hold position at Boxer’s natural. Ra’s deadly assault team is soon supported by a fresh Dragoon, while Boxer decides to switch production for the time being. Overworked and abused machinery finally cranks into high gear as upgrades to Vulture Speed and Spider Mine research begins. This early choice in switching unit production is a bit questionable; Speedy Vultures with mines can wreck Dragoons through rapid offensive mine deployment, but not if the Dragoons have range and their numbers are roughly equal to that of the Vultures. Then again, this is Boxer.

My suspicions are rather bluntly confirmed as Boxer quietly lifts his Barracks to release his three Vultures on the bloodthirsty Dragoons. However, due to either _extraordinary_ timing and/or plain dumb luck, Nal_Ra’s Dragoons decisively reclimb the 9 o’clock ramp at exactly the same time. Boxer’s tiny force of Vultures have the speed enhancement, but Mines are still at least half a minute away. Mineless Vultures vs. Dragoons?





The result isn’t pretty. Boxer is forced to quickly land the Barracks; both denying Dragoons access to the soft underbelly of his base _and_ boxing his Vultures in between the enemy and his own buildings. The Vultures desperately seek an avenue of escape while their bikes crash and burn. Only one heavily damaged, slippery Vulture manages to escape the terrible snafu. Hale but demoralized, the thankful Vulture driver heads out of Boxer’s main…but in desperately microing his Vulture to freedom, Boxer’s attention flagged for the merest fraction of a second. That’s enough time for Nal_Ra to march his Dragoons flat up against the wallin, close range with the already damaged Tank, and blow it to shards of scrap metal. Boxer’s last stalwart defender, a Marine, ends the life of a heavily wounded Dragoon in retribution for the death of his comrades. Sadly, one Marine (no matter how heroic) simply can’t stand against the kind of overwhelming firepower brought to the table by two Dragoons; red blood stains soon join the blue. The two surviving Dragoons now casually blast away at the Depot, completely unopposed. Boxer has two more Tanks nearly completed in his two Factories, but the Emperor of Terran appears uncharacteristically worried. Will his new replacement Tanks rescue his wallin, and possibly the game?



Nope. Without any SCVs on repair duty, the sputtering, burning Depot finally collapses, and the path to Boxer’s base is laid completely and utterly bare. Another Dragoon rushes to join Nal_Ra’s squad, and from many perspectives the game appears to be over.

Then the tanks join the fray. Opening up their powerful guns for what appears to be their final few seconds of life, they both fire desperately…and two of the fearsome enemy walkers become blue puddles.. It looks as though Nal_Ra has completely forgotten to keep track of how healthy his front-line troops are! Boxer’s SCV scampers over to rebuild the Depot, and the reinforcement Dragoon is forced to retreat pathetically, tail firmly inserted between legs. In just over three seconds, Nal_Ra’s dominating control of the game slips out of his grasp. He lets out a silent curse as he acknowledges the situation.











But Nal_Ra is no chobo, no newbie. A grizzled, peak-level professional, Nal_Ra knows a thing or two about trickery, beginning a Nexus at 6 o’clock… Just a stone’s throw away from Boxer’s main?! What is he planning? I don’t know yet, but we’ll find out in the





Mid Game

The situation:

It’s roughly six and a half minutes into this match. Both players have suffered battle defeats, leaving game control roughly even. Unit count stands at 42 for Boxer and 41 for Nal_Ra, but Boxer’s definitely losing the unit matchup, with only two tanks to his name. A few scattered Vultures now patrol the map, and Boxer is distributing mines out in a seemingly random fashion. Any possible advantage this may provide quickly evaporates as an Observatory warps in, successfully countering Boxer’s strategy. Base count stands at 1.5 for Boxer (Main and Natural coming on-line), 1.5 for Nal_Ra (Main and 6 o‘clock main).

The game quiets down now, as both players are perfectly content in kicking back and focusing on army production. But it’s Nal_Ra that makes the first threatening move, setting up his Dragoon forces into a containment right outside Boxer’s mineral only. In retrospect, this is quite a good move for several reasons:


1. It conserves and protects Nal_Ra’s army while slowing down push attempts that Boxer might throw at him. The threat is obvious: it will take some time for Boxer to get in range of Nal_Ra’s base with a slow push if Dragoons slow his progress, during which Ra can simply expand and power to his heart’s content. Boxer will end up behind in base count, and soon will be facing hordes of units.

2. Boxer has no clue that 6 o’clock exists. Nal_Ra has done an excellent job of killing Boxer scouts before they can head south, depriving him of vital intelligence. Because his scouting Vultures saw nothing at Nal_Ra’s natural, Boxer will most likely assume that Nal_Ra is massing off of one base for a quick attack. Therefore, all he has to do is expand earlier than Nal_Ra to gain power, hold out against his opponent’s stronger army long enough to take advantage of greater power, and eventually outmass with his superior economy. His suspicions are further ‘justified’ 8 minutes in, when one of his scouting Vultures discovers nothing at 12 o’clock.

Hoping to capitalize on his opponent’s miscalculations, Nal_Ra expands again, this time to the 12 o’clock main. This way, if Boxer plays defensively and powers, he’ll be playing right into Nal_Ra’s hands by allowing him the time necessary to set up an economy at 12 o’clock. And three bases>two, especially when they all have Gas.

On the other hand, containments only work when enemy units can’t get out. And when Boxer secretly slips two scouting Vultures and an SCV outside of his mineral only and around the unsuspecting Dragoons (Nal_Ra has the upper flank and the center path of the Temple covered by Dragoons, but the lower flank is devoid of any units), a crack appears in Nal_Ra’s plan. Boxer’s SCV hightails it to 12, and discovers the new base warping in. The Vultures both head to 6 o’clock, only to be killed by defending Dragoon fire. With that, Boxer realizes that he’s made a critical error in interpreting the power/mass relationship of the respective forces. In fact, _he’s_ the one with the superior army at the moment, but it won’t stay that way for long. In literally seconds, he’s gathered together every last one of his offensive units for the decisive push.





It’s exactly the right time. Nal_Ra’s 6 o’clock base, while set up earlier than Boxer’s natural, did not have the numbers of probes necessary to make it profitable for some time. Nal_Ra actually transferred a control group of probes all the way across the map to 6; a risky move strategically (thankfully for Ra, Boxer didn’t discover it) and economically. However, these probes could not build up Nal_Ra’s economy in time before the push came.

Nal_Ra’s observer silently bears witness to the rising tide of blue…and sputters as the Terran army hurries on past. What?! This isn’t a push! It’s a outright bum rush! Boxer’s need for speed outweighs general push concerns, and without laying mines, or setting up more than 2 turrets, he throws his nearly pure Tank army forward. Nal_Ra’s 2 Weapons/0 Armor/ 0 Shield Dragoons yield ground to the 0/0 advancing vehicles, reach the center of the Temple and pause. What the hell?! This isn’t the plan! With resolve this time, they stop and prepare for battle. But Boxer will have none of this pussyfooting. To keep the momentum firmly pushing forward, he simply takes out individual Tanks from the pack to siege, while keeping the majority moving. Once Sieged Tanks reach the back of the push, Boxer unsieges and rushes them up to join with their companions. Nal_Ra’s Dragoons are utterly helpless against such Blitzkreig tactics. Without any Zealot support, they’re forced all the way back home, losing several of their numbers along the way. The true scope of this offensive is utterly breathtaking. In just over a minute, Boxer’s forces have gone from turtling inside his natural to sieging up right in front of Nal_Ra’s!



Mouseover time, baby.




And where are Boxer’s Vultures? Why, raiding 12 o’clock, of course! They mine the defending Dragoons, intercept a probe transfer, kill some cannons, and wreck every last one of the miners. It’s the type of multi-front warfare that can only come from one of the game’s greats.

Nal_Ra suddenly realizes how dire his situation is. From confidently powering up with firm map control and a superior economy to now barely hanging on to life, Ra has to do something, and drastic. Gathering together his hastily assembled Speedlot militia, his shuttle, and his Dragoon army, he attempts to flank the push with his Dragoons while dropping Zealots on top of the Tanks. But it’s too little, too late: the five Zealots to his name perish nearly instantly under concentrated Siege Tank fire, and the Dragoons don’t fare much better. A High Templar claims a Tank with Storm, but even that is no more than a futile gesture.





And still the Executor holds firm. He has one base mining, some units, 6 o’clock...and his honor. A handful of Zealots and Dragoons march down the 3 o'clock ramp and straight into the waiting jaws of death, aka Arclite Shock Cannons. Boxer sets up a truly massive Siege Tank containment force at the 3 o‘clock natural, while diverting his attention elsewhere: 6 o’clock. Immediately opening up yet _another_ front to the war, he throws down mines, turrets, and several Siege Tanks in preparation for a push. He’s mining from his mineral-only now, too, and can support the multiple armies required. Nal_Ra throws whatever remaining troops he has at the push…but it’s over. With 12 o’clock wrecked, the gateways of his resource-dry main mined by Vultures as Siege Tanks stand guard outside, his opponent expanding to both islands, and now his only remaining source of income threatened at 6, Nal_Ra concedes the game.



Lessons Learned:

1. Expanding and/or powering too much is astonishingly and immediately dangerous against a player who understands how the power/mass equation works.

2. Unit matchup is key, especially in TVP. If Nal_Ra simply had a few more Zealots when Boxer started his push, he could’ve bogged it down with flanking attacks, drops, etc., long enough for his superior power to come into play.

3. Intelligence is drastically important. If Nal_Ra had kept Dragoons at the lower flank of Boxer’s exit and prevented scouts from reaching 12 and 6, it’s doubtful that Boxer would have pushed with such urgency.



Thanks to:

Epoch, for showing me the awesomeness of Justify alignment for text. Oh, and not proofreading my report. Thanks for that.

Methix-, and all of the other fencers who corrected my many, many factual errors in my previous fencing reports. Thanks guys, I really had no clue that I made that many ;)

Zerg~Ling and EldritchEvil, for telling me to screw over the 56kers with the animated Gif stuff. Thanks guys! :)

Everyone from NH: Yadda Yadda Yadda.

Johnny_Vegas, and everyone halping out in the site redesign. You guys rock. Yay Brownie Points!






Yes, I did steal this end pic from my previous Report. So sue me.

That's all, thanks for reading!


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