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"Mark4 WAS still trying to think of ways to micromanage a single observer to victory."

Hot Bug on Ghoul Action
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Date: 03/18/05 02:03
Game Type: Warcraft 3
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Lifetime Rating for Landon_Fox: 6.6667

Hot Bug on Ghoul Action

We apologize for the title. All responsible personnel have been sacked. Unfortunately only the irresponsible are left to bring you this battlereport.

Early Game
Mid Game
End Game


I've recently been trying to figure out which race I want to play. Random has helped some, letting me experience many of the different matchups. I must say that the atmosphere has really changed since I played last. I stopped seriously playing online since before frozen throne came out. When I was playing, heavy creeping and final showdowns between massive armies was the call of the day. Tonight I wasn't in one game where I was not attacked early and often. So much for all those creeping patterns I came up with.

I've been trying to learn to command humans. Maybe it's just me but they seem to be the only faction with anything even remotely resembling common sense. Listen orcs, I don't care how much rugged endurance you have. Nor do I care about your savage might. Put some damn armor on! Mr. Sword does not discriminate. He cuts through green skin with ease! Same goes for you elves too. Leaf bikinis will not stop three feet of determined steel. I mean, even the arch-mage has some armor.


At least the undead have the excuse that they don't feel pain or bleed to death from severed limbs, but don't think you're getting off the hook that easy! Look at the humans. Look at their buildings. They use stone and some very good masonry. Now look at the undead. Rickety contraptions and condemned buildings don't exactly ring my "impregnable fortress" bell! You orcs are guilty of this too.

Pitiful. Pitiful I say!

Unfortunately I have found out the hard way that I do not have a bottomless pit of micro with which to fling at any problem. I have not yet figured out how to micro five acolytes to victory over a dozen knights, although I'm certain someone has somewhere. So after losing plenty of levels I finally figured out footman fighting may just not be my thing.

To solve this problem... well... you'll see soon enough!

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Early Game: Hit the Ground Fighting

This match is a fight to the undeath between two chosen undead players on twisted meadows. HellThorph blights the lower left corner while me, myself, and I am summoned into the lower right corner. The game is on my honorable adversary!

I was planning to go death knight and crypt fiends, but once I saw two undead players on the loading screen I scraped that plan. Since I would not be able to use death coil to snipe his units, I would only be getting half of the benefit. Since I had been having a miserable time with footmen I definitely did not want to try my hand at ghoul fighting. That meant the dreadlord was right out. So it was a choice between liche or crypt lord. I wanted something sturdy for the attack I knew would come, so Anuberak it was! It was good to be the king. With my plan determined, I started a build order with an alter, crypt, ziggurat, and graveyard in that order. Not the most efficient really, I'll need to improve on it.

My opponent was quite ready to take up the ghoul's challenge, and opted to use a dreadlord. His beginning construction was crypt, ziggurat, alter, ziggurat. After this he scouted with his single wood cutting ghoul. He chose the direction wisely and found my base. However, I saw which path the ghoul came from and was able to accurately guess his starting location. The ghoul peacefully returned home.

My graveyard completes just as the massive bug arrives. Since I don't have any corpses to turn into beetles yet, I opt to make a few. I take out the two gnolls above my base with ease and start on the three gnoll pack when HellThorph finally knocks on my door.


I have:

  • Level 1 Crypt Lord
  • Three Carrion Beetles
  • Two 0/0 Crypt Fiends

My worthy adversary has:

  • Level 1 Dreadlord
  • Seven 0/0 Ghouls
  • Two 0/0 Skeletons

No good will come from this.

The ghoul rusher heads into my base and makes for an acolyte. The acolyte tries to talk his way out of it saying he just "accidentally" picked up the wrong colored cloak. Mr. Dreadlord splatters him. The other acolytes take one look and flee for their unlife to just a few feet away. The army of ghouls have turned their attention to tearing down my gold mine. Fine, don't kill my units. Suits me just fine! I order my lumber ghouls to scratch their backs and my creeping army finally gets home. Seeing that he might actually break my mine I start to repair it. A red ghoul dies! The lead acolyte gets slept and the rest bunch up behind him trying to get to the haunted mountain. My gold mine explodes in a wisp of blue runes and the dreadlord town portals.



I am not a happy fox.

I have just been bitch slapped. I'll be honest that this demoralizing attack almost convinced me to quit. Maybe I'm just stubborn but I decided I was going to make him earn his win. You want my base? Come and take it!

Fortunately there were enough resources on hand to begin reconstruction immediately. Next an acolyte is queue up. At this point I decide I absolutely must slow him down or I am in deep, deep trouble. Since he only targeted my mine my army is intact. There is going to be a counter attack.  Oh will there be a counter attack! The crypt lord gets up a full load of beetles and the bugs head out looking for payback. HellThorph's closest expansion is checked first to make sure he didn't early expand then the blue team heads to his main base. Time to lay down the law.


The good guys have:

  • Level 2 Crypt Lord
  • Five carrion beetles
  • Four 0/0 crypt fiends

The opposition team has:

  • Level 2 Dreadlord
  • Eight 0/0 ghouls
  • One 0/0 skeleton
  • One nerubian tower
  • Halls of the dead

I spy two buildings summoning in. One of those buildings happens to be in violation of zoning regulations and I place a stop work order on it. The local residents get pissed off by this and come out in force. I queue up some focus fire with my fiends and let my bugs do some tanking up front. My crypt lord is immediately slept, but a beetle nips him and he wakes up. My turn dreadlord. Six ghouls find themselves floating through the air on a subterranean spike.

The ghouls begin surrounding some of my fiends that are in a bad position. Unfortunately my fiends started targeting the dreadlord after killing one ghoul, a mis-click that will hurt me. I wanted to kill ghouls! I'm getting kills, but my spiders are being killed or forced to retreat.

HellThorph pulls back and I head out. My tower chilled crypt lord ends up guarding the rear. The dreadlord moves forward for a surround and kill. Realizing the danger I call off the retreat and step up to the fight. However I miscalculated his intent and he heads straight for my already bruised spiders. The brutal beatdown that follows sees the rest of my trained units dead, but I kill all but one of his ghouls and plenty of skeletons thanks to a replenishable supply of carrion beetles.

All told I lost four crypt fiends to seven ghouls. That's an okay trade at best, but now neither of us have an army and my gold mine is back up. And since I have an unlimited supply of level two carrion beetles now, I'm hurt less by the lack of troops than he is.  Red has put his full support behind vampiric aura and you need some ghouls for that to work.  I've bought some time, but I'm not back in the game just yet!

I need an edge. My quick conclusion is that my edge will be an expansion. The gold mine to the northeast of my base should do the trick. Hmm. You know, I think the creeps there are blaring their music too loudly at night. I better go and lodge a formal complaint. Once the creeps are evicted, I send an acolyte up to start the gold mine. I don't know it, but my worthy adversary has not expanded yet. I'm back in the game! Now I just need to stall long enough for my expansion to pay off.

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Mid Game: Back and Forth

If you were expecting a lull in the action, you will be disappointed. My worthy opponent was going to make me earn my stalling time, and earn it I will! No sooner had I gotten back from creeping the expansion was he at my doorstep with another army!


The good guys have:

  • Level 3 Crypt Lord
  • Three carrion beetles
  • Four 0/0 crypt fiends
  • Three 0/0 lumber ghouls

The opposition team has:

  • Level 3 Dreadlord
  • Seven 0/1 ghouls
  • One 0/0 meat wagon
  • Two initiate necromancers
  • Two obsidian statues

As soon as I see his army I immediately start two towers upgrading into spirit towers. He opens with his meat wagon bombarding my crypt. Since he had mainly melee I get ready to hit and run his meat wagon to death. He decides he will have none of that and charges. I don't have mana for impale, but I diligently dispel sleep via beetle bite. I need my beetle dispenser in there taking hits! Since all my units are bunched up, HellThorph is able to do surrounds on my fiends. Some are surrounded, others flee into my base. I like the later because the ghouls spend some time running around and not actively attempting to kill me until he selects a new target. Free hits are your friend! While this is transpiring, my lumber ghouls flank him and hit the more vulnerable meat wagon and necromancers. Finally the towers finish and start smacking him down hard. However, he turns his surround on my crypt lord and he is forced to intra-base portal. The opposition decides it has had enough and retreats, with his necromancers coving their retreat by making skeletons from my graveyard.

The crypt lord sees a heavily damaged obsidian statue on retreat and decides he absolutely must break it. My army immediately charges with intent to destroy. This time it is the red team who turns to fight. My already heavily wounded crypt lord is slept and eliminated. However, this victory came with a great price. My oversized bug was standing in front of the base defenses. The rest of the opposition forces were slain.

We both received heavy reinforcements during this brutal battle, but in the end the towers cost HellThorph dearly. He left with only his dreadlord and a necromancer. I still had five beetles, four fiends, and three ghouls. I get the alter to do its thing and scout for expansions with two beetles. They find nothing. My undead spider king finishes his resurrection process and we take off for a counter strike. I also queue up a liche. My opponent has been using a lot of small melee units. The splash damage should be of great value against them and the slow effect should combine with impale to minimize damage to my own troops.

Unfortunately my worthy adversary had not been idle while I regained my hero. He has amassed an army in record time.


The blue team has:

  • Level 4 Crypt Lord
  • Five carrion beetles
  • Six 0/0 crypt fiends

The red faction has:

  • Level 4 Dreadlord
  • Nine 1/1 ghouls
  • Five initiate necromancers
  • Two obsidian statues

I take offense to his tomb of relics and put a removal order on it. This brings out a swarm of local protesters. I pull back my spiders and move up the beetle brigade to tank. My spiders take on the necromancers and statues while the ghouls are distracted. You know, I severely underestimated how many ghouls there were. My crypt lord is surrounded and killed. Okay, that was not the best tactical decision I've made.  Since I don't want to engage without a hero, I pull back. At least I got a ghoul and a necromancer.

HellThorph is emboldened by his victory and gets set to charge. Just before giving the command he notices that I had regrouped under the command of my new liche. He calls off the charge and creeps a mercenary camp. Thanks to this I get my crypt lord back just as he attacks.


Me, myself, and I have:

  • Level 5 Crypt Lord
  • Level 2 Liche
  • Two carrion beetles
  • Eight 1/1 crypt fiends

HellThorph has:

  • Level 5 Dreadlord
  • Six 1/1 ghouls
  • Ten 1/1 skeletons
  • One 1/0 meat wagon
  • Four initiate necromancers
  • Two obsidian statues

This time the attack is from the north. This time I also get the tanking aspect right for once. My heroes and beetles form a phalanx between my buildings that protects my more vulnerable spiders. Unfortunately a few spiders were up front and they were swiftly mobbed and destroyed. Frost nova lays down the smackage on the hordes of weak skeletons. The line slowly falters and spiders get surrounded and taken down, but not without tearing gaping holes in the enemy line first! Once all the ghouls and most of the skeletons are gone, HellThorph high-tails it out of there with his dreadlord, three necromancers, and a meat wagon. I've still got both heroes and six spiders. I also lost my tomb of relics in this attack. Revenge is sweet I guess.

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End Game: Deathblow

I'm convinced that my opponent isn't going to change from mass skeletons, so I need to get up a counter and quick. I start a new tomb of relics and some slaughter houses at my expansion. I plan to get destroyers for their dispelling abilities. I burrow my fiends because most of them are wounded. While my army is healing, my worthy opponent creeps a gold mine for an expansion. That is a wise move considering our mains are about to go bust. Unfortunately for him, scouting beetles find his expansion attempt. But before I can move to deny his expansion, I must take care of his army that my other scout beetle found!

My opponent suspects an expansion and checks for one. He finds it but is scared off by my spirit towers and other buildings. We meet on neutral ground for a final showdown. Unfortunately for the opposition forces, they have no units capable of hurting my destroyers.


Needless to say, his army is crushed.

About this time my gold mine becomes infested with militant PETA agents. Not even the undead are willing to deal with that. We unsummon the mine, back away slowly, and look for an alternative source of revenue. The only other creeped mine that I know of is HellThorph's expansion. I intend to take it from him and move in my acolytes during the fight. That should be enough to demoralize him into quitting. My army moves to deny his expansion, waking up a number of creeps in the process. He now has an abomination and a fiend for anti-air. Too little, too late. His expansion is wrecked faster than a VW bug in a demolition derby. My honorable opponent concedes the game.

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Now that the game is over, here are my afterthoughts on the matter.

Never give up. As much as I wanted to when my mine was destroyed, I was able to turn the game around and in the end I harvested more resources than my opponent! Because I stuck in the game, I learned some very valuable lessons. One such lesson is that three ghouls is not enough. I didn't have enough structures, ziggurats, and wood to build them. My gold was constantly piling up and it should have gotten me killed. As undead, I don't need to worry about building too many lumberjacks because I can always include them in my army later.

The crypt lord rules. I don't care what the "in" strategy is or what is considered gosu. It can be countered with area dispel and that's fine by me. I am not gosu and my footman micro sucks. A bottomless pit of autocast summonable footman is a godsend! The value is just incalculable beyond belief.

Impale and frost nova are a vicious combination. Impale stuns while frost nova chills. Assuming that chill takes out 25% of your attacks, an eight second chill would be the same as two seconds of stun. Combine the two spells and you've got a whopping six seconds of area effect stun with no unit cap and area of effect damage on top of that. That is impressive. That is very impressive. To keep your spider king in mana, you'll need an obsidian statue. The statue will also keep your liche in mana so you probably won't need dark ritual.

Surround and kill really stuck it to me this game. I need to formulate a method to evade it. If I can just get enough free hits the weak ghouls will die. One possibility if I get my liche faster is frost armor. The armor will slow the ghoul's attack speed and make them do less damage. The surrounded unit will still die, but I'll get in more hits. Frost armor is autocast, so it won't take any micro either.

I really like building at my expansion. The defense does very well when you have towers behind a wall of buildings. After so many buildings you will devolve into sprawl which is poorly defended. By building at your expansion, you vastly increase the defense of both bases.

Finally, I should never write a battlereport without a strong dosage of caffine in my system!  The jokes and playful language just doesn't come as readily when I'm not wired.  I went over it again later but I still feel this one just doesn't have the playful attitude of my last report.  No problem.  Now I know what to do next time! Furthermore this is the last time I use the html editor. It took me forever to get the unordered lists looking correct.

If you wish to contact me, you may do so at:
  • AIM: LandonFoxx
  • ICQ: 50686210
  • Yahoo: Landon_Caragas_Fox
Well, that's all for now. A replay can be found here. I welcome criticism and praise on my writing style and game play.

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