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Clash of the Titans
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Author:Anonymous Reporter 1
IP:pcp05313XXXX
Date: 11/25/04 06:11
Game Type: Starcraft
Labels:Image Heavy(1), Starcraft(1), Gorgeous(1), Great Writing(2), Pro Player(2), Long(2), Strategy Focused(1), Flashy(1)
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Report Rating: 9.0, # of Ratings: 5, Max: 10, Min: 8
Lifetime Rating for Anonymous Reporter 1: 8.0645



Cheesy Flash Movie / Starcraft Pong

Introduction

Hello, welcome, take a seat, why don’t you? I was planning something witty and hilarious for my next Battlereport (as apparently I have quite a good number of fans), but you'll have to content yourself with ROFLCOPTER and the corresponding game, ROFL ATTACK. So yes, it’s that time again. Time for another Badme battlereport of professional Starcraft players. Read, enjoy, comment.

Players

Alright…if anyone here doesn’t know of Boxer, kindly read my last two reports, all of which have starred him. Aka Lim Yo-Hwan, aka that guy who made $300,000 one year, aka that guy who has a personal fanclub known as ‘Lim Yo-Hwan’s Dropship’. He’ll be playing as the picked Teal Terran this game.

It’s somewhat (but not really) forgivable, however, if you haven’t heard of Fisheye[pg]. He’s the top German player of the game, and a several-time competitor in the World Cyber Games. For a professional player, he has surprisingly low average APM: only around 120, which is a true testament to his accuracy and strategical thinking. Fisheye chooses the Red Protoss for this game.

Short Preface

This game was played on a map which I’m not sure everyone who visits this site will recognize: Jim Raynor’s Memory Jungle. I’ve included a link to an overview image (courtesy of wgtour.com), and am about to launch into a short description of the important aspects of the map. Which I will now do. And hopefully stop typing like this.

The first thing you should notice about this map is the general lack of open ground. Althogh there are definite possibilities for flanking maneuvers due what I like to call the ‘carved path’ nature of the middle, they tend to take more time to execute than on a map like Gaema Gowon or Lost Temple. Secondly, the natural expansion is a mineral-only, with each bases’s gas expansion farther away from the plateau ramp and much more difficult to protect. This puts a bit of a damper on fast expansions. Thirdly, with the exception of the mains, every single resource node on this map has a raised ground area above it, leaving the expansions ripe for the possibility of turbo newbies/cliffing attempts. With high ground this important, it becomes difficult to cover all of your expansions while also macroing back at home and mounting an attack.

And with that short preface…we begin!

Early Game


Both players clone off their peons perfectly as the gods themselves (and the observers, but who cares about them) silently bear witness to the proceedings. Boxer draws the 9 o’clock main, and Fisheye has 12. With starts this close, it’ll be difficult for Boxer to try any fancy Dropship escapades: He’ll need Tanks, and fast, to deal with his opponent’s first attack.

Boxer’s scout soon discovers his opponent; Fisheye had scouted the other way, though, and finally discovers a completed Depot/Barracks wallin waiting for him at the 9 o’clock entrance. Boxer is now pursuing a double Factory Tanks build order in response to Fisheye’s one Gateway Goon, and it’s well that he does. The first Dragoon pops out and beelines for Boxer’s encampment while the Terran’s first Machine Shop is just starting to build. He’s distracted for a few seconds by Boxer’s surviving SCV, and ends up killing the little bugger. I’m not sure whether losing the SCV was intentional for Boxer. Although it’s generally accepted that a surviving scout’s later information can often win you the game, that Dragoon is going to reach the wall before Boxer is prepared for it. Every second is vital.

But that doesn’t occur to Fisheye. He hangs back his Dragoon and waits for a second before trekking to the enemy base, which gives Boxer all the time necessary to construct a Tank. The Dragoons immediately turn tail before reaching Boxer's ramp, abandoning their robotic companion to certain crispy death. Sucks to be a Probe.

Boxer decides to send another SCV out to check on his opponent before selecting which course to take. If Fisheye is trying a containment, he’ll have to do something to break out eventually, but as of now he'll be safe. However, the SCV finds the enemy Dragoons loitering back at their home ramp, lazing around on lawn chairs and sipping a few Buds. It’s enough of a defensive posture that Boxer decides to take his natural expansion, while switching over to Vulture production. As any Terran early expansion is, this is highly risky, but even more so on in this situation. Not only are the distances close, but the expansion is vulnerable to cliffed attacks, and it doesn’t have gas. Although he’ll be able to churn out many Vultures soon, Tank production will lag. But hell, this is Boxer, and mines are just one of his many specialties. Unlike wallins for Ender.

One of Fisheye’s Dragoons stumbles into a mine while patrolling outside his plateau, warning Fisheye that he’ll need observers. Actually, the mines are a warning system for Boxer: in a highly innovative tactic, he’s laid several mines out in a line, stretching all along the path from Fisheye’s base to Boxer’s. Unless Fisheye decides to take a longer route, he’ll give away his intention to attack to Boxer as soon as his troops start moving.


But Fisheye is no idiot. He’s taken his natural now, too, and with the map-hacking powers of observers, he’s spotted Boxer’s new Command Center. With the help of another observer, his pure Dragoon force moves out towards Boxer’s main, killing mines and a helpless Vulture along the way. However, the little robotic camera has noticed a fair amount of Tanks covering the fledgling base, and Fisheye wisely opts for a conservative play: containment.

It’s not long lasting. More Tanks arrive, and Fisheye knows that preservation of his army is far more important than overly committing to a breakable containment. He orders his Dragoons home, and runs into Boxer’s harassment group of 6 Vultures along the way. They exchange a few shots before overwhelmingly deciding that peace>war.


What’s that, in the distance? Can it be the MidGame? No, can it? I think it is.

MidGame

Update

The in-game counter approaches 10:00, and here’s the minimap:


Fisheye has again expanded, this time taking the gas expansion right above the 3 o’clock main. It’s a good place for an expansion: far away from Boxer and spitting distance from his other expansion. Those little Teal squares at 3 and 6 are actually Boxer’s Ebay and Barracks, which is another sneaky way to delay a Protoss expansion. Boxer is only mining from his natural and main at this point, and he’s down on the supply count (80 to 99). However, a much larger portion of Fisheye’s units are probes, and with only 4 Gateways compared to Boxer’s 5 Factories, he’s behind on production. Plus, Boxer’s army is composed nearly completely of Tanks; Fisheye has nothing but Dragoons. Now Boxer reaches a question:

What do you do when your army is larger, your units can own the other guy’s units, and he has a better economy than you?

Boxer’s obvious answer, of course, is to attack. In a display eerily similar to the previous game vs. Nal_Ra, Boxer’s Tank army pushes forward at a fantastic clip, forcing the Dragoons to retreat all the way home. Siege engines click into gear, Turrets commence weapon systems checks, and the few bikes Boxer has produced craftily lay their spider mines. In seconds, the area in front of Fisheye’s plateau is occupied by a huge Terran push.


But Fisheye has a handle on the situation. Even before his 2 observers discovered the Terran attempting a break out, his 4 Gateways began warping in Aiur’s finest: speedy Zealots. Plus, his superb unit control means that his Goons retreated at the first sign of danger, so Boxer still has zero kills on this push. Like a pugilist against the ropes, he’s trapped in at his ramp…but ropes offer the opportunity to bounce back.

And that’s just what he does. The majority of his Zealots charge head-first into battle, content that their imminent death means that their companions will live for that much longer. All of the Vultures and mines are immediately fried, and with them gone, the Dragoons also plow toward the Terran army. Suddenly, Boxer’s position looks precarious: He simply doesn’t have enough Vultures to deal with the threat of the Zealots, and reinforcements are slow in coming. After several tense seconds of back-and forth exchanges, enough Tanks die to make the formation breakable. Then Fisheye plays his trump card: flanking the side of the remaining Tanks with a reserve squad of 6 Dragoons, which he hid away at the 3 o'clock gas expansion. Without the remaining Tanks concentrating fire on a single clump of Dragoons, Fisheye’s forces are free to rip them apart. A Zealot-carrying shuttle helps with the mop-up, and the battle is over. It’s a surprisingly cost-effective victory for Fisheye: Although he’s lost nearly all of his Zealots and a fair share of Dragoons, Boxer’s push (and units) are completely pulverized.


It’s the type of defeat that would make any normal player type out ‘gg’ on their keyboard and leave the game. But this is Boxer. He gathers together his replacement Tanks and Vultures at his natural, Sieges, Mines, and waits.

Not for long, though. In a short while, he’s got a new strike force ready at his natural, ready to kick some shiny Protoss ass. This time, however, caution is required. If he loses this army quickly, he’ll have nothing left to fall back on. With the cunning of a patient predator, he starts a slow, three-pronged push across the center of the map, covering all of the possible ground paths between Fisheye's main and Boxer's. Fisheye tenaciously counters with a storm raid on Boxer’s natural.


With troop counts rapidly increasing, I think it’s time for another update. Wouldn’t you agree?

Update


Here’s the strategical situation: It’s 17 minutes in. The map is now divided sharply in half, with Boxer’s Teal army occupying the entire left, and the Red Protoss horde stationed opposite on the right. Both players have been content to to sit back and expand/power like a dirty whore: Fisheye has 3’s natural and the 3 main, while Boxer finally takes his gas expansion. In addition, he’s starting another Command Center over at 6’s natural, and wisely closes the path to it with Vultures and Mines. Attempts at speedy bike harassment have failed at every single one of Fisheye’s expansions, but the sheer number of Tank/Turret dominating the center of the map make any attack mounted by Fisheye doomed to failure. By dividing up his forces in an attempt to simultaneously push all three paths through the center, Boxer's position had first appeared highly vulnerable. Fisheye misreads Boxer's troop placement and the game tempo, however, and does not force a confrontation at any of Boxer's weakened positions. Bad choice. In a few short minutes, there will be no way for Fisheye to flank the push, and very little his Zealot/Goon army can do against it.

Boxer knows it, too. He silently orders his truly massive army of Tanks to advance directly out along the top path of the map, supported by a huge group of Vultures. Fisheye’s Zealots try to engage, but numbers overwhelm and they retreat after a few losses. Boxer’s push now extends into the heart of Protoss territory, and threatens several places. He could push the 3 o’clock gas expansion, which has a terrified and trapped group of Dragoons there for defense. He could push the 12 natural and main, where nearly all of Fisheye’s Zealots are located, cut off from their long-range support. Without the synergy of a combined Dragoon/Zealot force, Fisheye looks helpless.


But not if you flip over to his side of things. He’s been MAXED for over a minute now, and there’s a reason why his ground units are outmatched: Carriers. Fisheye has three of the Yellow Blimps of Doom hanging in his base, augmenting their armament with more Interceptors. Every second which Fisheye delays Boxer with his ground troops, his starfleet becomes stronger. Every second which Boxer hesitates against this unknown threat, his lack of anti-air becomes a deeper problem. The clock is ticking, and this time, it's against Boxer.

But the calm before the storm cannot hold forever, and finally, things burst into a thousand points of brillant light. That’s Boxer’s Vultures and Tanks, facing a buffeting hailstorm of fire from 3 Carriers worth of Interceptors. Boxer finally switches production over to range-upgraded Goliaths…but it’s too late to save anything in his push, and it’s all he can do to build enough to save his main from total destruction. He instead decides to throw his Tanks and Vultures at Fisheye’s ramp, causing as much damage as possible before they die. All of Fisheye’s Zealots go up in a cloud of blue smoke, and he loses a fair number of Dragoons. While these Protoss deaths are regrettable, they’re survivable. Not so for Boxer. With roughly 60 supply of his units perishing, he’s in extreme danger.



Boxer needs time for those Factories to start cranking out the Goliaths, and time is something he can purchase readily. He orders a half a group of volunteer Tank/Vulture to attack several exposed targets of Fisheye's, with silent prayers that Fisheye stumbles into the hidden trap. Boxer’s expansions are completely open to assault from ground and air, and with all of 4 Goliaths, there’s no way that he can cover everything. However, if Fisheye is distracted long enough in saving his own bases from destruction, Boxer will have time for those 8 Factories of his to crank out several more sets of Goliaths. The Sieged-up Tanks make quick work of the 3'clock natural's Nexus, and with further shelling attempts at the 3 gas expansion, Fisheye faces a choice: Save his economy, or press the attack?



Luckily, Fisheye falls perfectly for the chess-like sacrifice. Interceptors swarm over the helpless Terran Tanks, blindly pouncing upon the sacrifical pawn and saving Boxer. As the last of Boxer’s decoy attacks crumble, another control group and a half of ranged Golaiths plod menacingly onto the field, bristling for revenge. Carriers, Zealots, and High Templar spar in the center with Tanks/Goliaths for a bit, but with this many Terran units, there’s simply no way for a head-on strike to do any damage. Carriers reverse thrusters and slowly retreat from the battle as Zealots follow obediently behind. Fisheye vents his frustration by again storming Boxer’s natural, and prepares his units for further fighting.

The peace is fleeting. In a minute and a half, Fisheye has 8 Carriers and a sizeable ground army. It’s now or never. Zealots and Goliaths clash over the frightening din of Arclite cannons and a heck of a lot of little blue blaster thingies. The Zealots are soon gone, but Goliath wreckage also begins littering the battlefield. The last few mechs die to a well-placed storm, and with zero Carrier casualties on the Protoss side, it’s not looking good for Boxer. Thankfully, a micromanagment miscue on Fisheye’s part brings his heavily wounded capital ships up in the front of the charge, which are easy prey for Boxer’s newly-produced 8 Goliaths. After losing half of his expensive fleet to sheets of screaming missile fire, Fisheye decides to break engagement and orders a general retreat.



But the fighting isn’t over at other portions of the map. High Templar unleash storms at both of Boxer’s 6 o’clock expansions, killing a healthy number of miners before the brave little peons run. Proving once again that psychic abilities and fancy robes are no match for the power of redneck construction workers in big frickin’ armor, the workers are quick to kill their tormenters.

Fisheye follows up this success with a 4 Carrier raid on the 6 o’clock main. All of the SCVs fall, but Boxer is quick to react. The massive number of Goliaths that thunder into battle absolutely rape the slow-moving flyers. Fisheye’s proud fleet is reduced to one 20 HP carrier, and he’s forced to back off.



And with the timer on this replay approaching the final third, we’re left with the

Late Game

Update


Eagle-eyed vision of the field coming at you. The area now is relatively peaceful, but believe me, it won’t stay that way for long:

Zones of control are roughly similar to the start of the middle game; Fisheye controls the right, while Boxer controls the left. Fisheye is down to 2 mining bases at the 3 main and the 3 natural, while Boxer has a few minerals stored away his main’s natural and gas expansion. He’s also mining from the much-fought over 6 o’clock main and the 6 o’clock natural. Surprisingly, the only 2 unclaimed resource nodes on the map are Fisheye’s gas expansion at 12 (too fearful of Terran proximity and cliffing), and Boxer’s gas expansion at 6 o’clock (too fearful of Protoss proximity and Carrier raids). Upgrades stand at 1 Weapons/1 Armor for the Terran Vehicles, 2 Weapons/0 Armor/0 Shields for the Protoss ground warriors, and 1 Weapons/0 Armor/0 Shields for the Protoss flyboys. Boxer has 127 supply occupied; Fisheye has 146. Armies are relatively equal, however Boxer’s SCV count is quite a bit lower than Fisheye’s probes.

And why? Storm raids. Even as the Carriers finish their hard-won passage home, no less than THREE storms crackle over the human engineers: at Boxer’s 9 o'clock natural, his 9 o’clock gas expansion, and his 6 o’clock natural. He doesn’t have Starport tech, so unless he can finish building one, his economy will simply get wasted. Some of the Templar end up with kill counts over 20 (!!!), and as Boxer is forced to sink more and more of his dwindling resources in replacement peons, he’s realizing the dire straits he’s in.


Still, he actually has substantially greater cash inflow than his Protoss opponent, and if he can hold on to those bottom 2 bases, he’ll be set. Then the Protoss combined arms force comes a-knocking…

A dozen Dragoons, a few Zealots, an Archon and 2 Carriers travel towards the last hope of the Terrans. Boxer has anticipated the move and is ready. His remaining push force consisting of 6 Tanks and a 18 Goliaths move on the intercept, and Fisheye is forced to engage.

Once again, Fisheye's units receive contradictory orders, and his Carriers are temporarily seperated from the rest of his army. They finally reach the battlefield, only to discover the utter rout of the Protoss. The Zealots and Archon are slaughtered in seconds, leaving the unsupported Dragoons to be fed into the meatgrinder. The Goliaths give chase, managing to bag another Carrier before returning to the relative safety of the Tanks. It’s a disaster for Fisheye: unless he can kill those bases at 6, Boxer can out-resource him, power, and field far larger armies than Fisheye can handle.


And what has Fisheye been doing during all of this? Sinking all of his cash in a brand-new Dragoon/Carrier army at his old main. Boxer’s force is now primarily composed of Vultures/Goliaths. Both players are slowly running out of resources to fall back on; this clash will be final.

Boxer again brings his units down to protect the 6 o’clock bases. He tries to draw Fisheye’s army and fleet out into the open ground by throwing down spider mines along the right side of the map, and hoping that Fisheye will start a mine-killing sortie. The Protoss do, but Fisheye cunningly sees through the plan. He moves his forces up, and marches toward the Terran 9 o’clock base along the top path, where he runs into…more mines. Boxer brings his forces up to fight, but Fisheye frustratingly turns tail and runs. The map is now wiped clean of the Terran mines, and with his enemy confused, Fisheye secretly whispers battle commands. The target? 6 o'clock.

Showing either astonishing powers of prediction, an ability to read minds, or hacking, Boxer moves his entire army on an intercept course with Fisheye's units. If Boxer can batter Fisheye's army enough to convince the Executor to retreat and regroup off of his nearly mined-out expansions, the Protoss economy will simply collapse. If Fisheye can destroy the bases at 6 o'clock, Boxer will have no income. Both commanders feel the cold steel of their enemy against their neck. It's now or never.

Howitzer shells tear through the heavy Dragoon armor, and Goliaths ready their missile racks. Zealots and Dragoons both tumble against the withering fire, but then the Interceptors stream into battle, launched from four Protoss capital ships. Tanks at first flare into burning wrecks as blaster shots resound against their armor, but in seconds Boxer has brought in his reserve wing. There’s an unnaturally large amount of Goliaths down there, and Interceptors explode all around the Terran/Protoss clash. Boxer lets a wry grin light up his face, at a battle closely fought, and an enemy overpowered. And then Fisheye brings in his secret weapon:

Storm!

He’s got no less than SIX High Templar down there, and Boxer can’t target them under the Carriers. Raw psionic energy crackles over the fighters, devastating mech hulls and trashing armored plating. Boxer tries to retreat from the unholy barrage but I do not fucking CARE whether you have 300 APM and approach Starcraft as a career, you can not move through your own units. Massive numbers of Terran vehicles explode, and the outcome looks bleak for Boxer. Of the entire Terran defense force, there remain no more than 7 Goliaths…while the Protoss airfleet is nearly unscathed. In seconds, the appearance of a close game has been brutally crushed under the rippling energy of Psionic Storm.

The full strength of the Protoss military bears down on the 6 o’clock bases and proceed to crush them like a rotten watermelon under a dump truck. A few haggard Goliaths mightily put up a defense against the invaders, but no ballads will be sung about their 5 second defeat. Every base is destroyed, the Command Centers are both toppled, and the Terran survivor count? 0.

But…damnit, Boxer never gives up. He’s actually taken over 12’s gas expansion, and as the previous battles were occurring, he’s prepared a special surprise for his Protoss friends. As 2 Weapons/2 Armor Tanks and Goliaths make their final stand at Boxer's main, no less than twelve Ghosts sneak towards the front. To quote one overly-hyped Korean game commentator: "LOOOCKDOWN!!!”

In seconds, every single one of the now 9 Protoss Carriers is rendered useless. Tank shells blitz the Dragoons, Goliaths and Vultures help as much as they can with their weaponry, and Ghosts..well, the Ghosts die fast. Boxer has only 6 Tanks and about a control group of Goliaths left versus well over 2 control groups of Goons: It’s not looking good.

Surprisingly enough, the sheer amount of fire it takes to kill a bunch of Goliaths, Ghosts, and Vultures gives the Tanks enough time to let loose with several resounding volleys. By the time the Tanks are devoid of support, over a half of the massive Dragoon force is brutally owned, and most of the rest are very heavily wounded. In what must have left the Terran drivers weeping for joy, the surviving half a group of Dragoons decide to retreat from the last 2 Tanks.

Those tears must have flowed for a different reason when the Carriers came out of lockdown several seconds later.

Boxer’s units and economy are exhausted, and he knows it. GGs are exchanged, and the battle is over.

I hope you enjoyed. I don't really have many end-game thoughts; it seemed like Boxer was always slightly behind: on resources, mass, and power. It was his raw micromanagement skill, powers of prediction, and instincts that kept threatening comebacks throughout this match. My hats off to both players for an excellent show.

This report took me awhile. I used an absolutely ridiculous amount of programs, wasted far too many hours writing this when I could've been wanking off to porn, and spent three days learning Flash during the summer for the intro movie. Thanks to:

Cold_Fusion, for both helping me touch up several pictures, and for digging up outstanding backgrounds for the collages. You win at life.
Blitzkreig_ For major Flash help. You rock, sir.
Keanu_Reaver, aka Nei[cf], for being an all-around nice guy, and making me feel better about my nonexistent TVZ skill. Oh well. I'll get you one of these days.
Boxer and Iloveoov , for displaying an overwhelming amount of class in this year's Starleague final. After the last game (in which Oov won), both players apologized; Oov for beating his mentor, and Boxer for disappointing his fans. They've both got my respect.

Mattzarella, for general hilarity. Pity he's vanished off to the deep pits of AIM for weeks.
Gamma Ray, an excellent Power Metal group, with sci-fi/fantasy themes. I used "Anywhere in the Galaxy" for my Flash; I recommend "Armageddon" if you can find it.
SJ Productions, for the Pong sourcecode.
Johnny_Vegas , for single-handedly keeping this site alive. Everyone, click some banners for him, alright?
Members of op ~nohunters: For providing a source for good gaming and great companionship for years now. Nobody does homosexual FFAs like we do.
Epoch71, for proofreading.
Not many thanks to:
Clickteam, for making one of the shittiest, most bug-filled programs I've ever used. I'm talking about The Games Factory, an 'easy' game-maker program that I used for SC pong. Don't let them sucker you into paying 30 bucks for it; it isn't worth 5.
Poor_Lil_Newb, for being a terrible proofreader. 'Thanks'.



Until next time. Badme, out.


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