KowabungaGo

One of the best things in Starcraft 2 is beating someone who talks shit for no reason.  And that brings us to today’s post!

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Usually people just say “glhf” at the start of every game.  I think it’s annoying, particularly “hf”…they don’t want you to have fun, they want to kill you.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  I prefer AHOY.  Or THE BEES ARE READY TO STING.  You know you’re up against a lunatic when those come out.

Anyway, I’ve been on a good run recently, 21-11 in my last 32, which has taken me to the top of the gold league rankings.  Not that gold is anything to brag about.  But, if you have to be there, it’s good to be king of something.

One thing that’s been happening almost every game is that terran players walk into my base at around 10 minutes and kill the expansion nexus.  If I stay down there to protect it, they drop me.  But this guy thinks sniping a nexus is some big achievement.

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I should’ve seen it coming. 10-10:30 every game. The observer did its job. Whyyyyy
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And where’s my army?
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Up the ramp.

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Oh come on man, what happened to good luck and have fun?

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Not even mad. Commentary’s just annoying

After that, he just sat back and let me do anything I wanted…rebuild the second base, take a third base, make archons, etc.  I decided to attack right when I got 3/3, at which point he was at 2/1.

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I’d like to thank him for A) building too few vikings and B) leaving them to be killed without any support from the rest of his army.  Maybe that’s one big reason he lost, instead of the excuses he gives later.

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The only reason the vikings were there was to destroy the colossi; instead they all got destroyed and left half of the colossi alive.

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…And his whole army’s dead.

Meanwhile, zealots were in his third base and killed all the workers there, meaning that in any scenario where both armies died, I would have come out ahead.  It’s nice to have a pylon off to the side they can warp in from.  Maybe he should scout a little more.

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And here come the excuses.

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And so another mid-level player loses and decides to blame racial imbalance than his own lack of skill.

A few reasons he lost:

1) Not enough vikings

2) Letting his vikings die

3) Letting 18 probes die at the third

4) Falling way behind on upgrades.  If you’re at 2/1 when I’m at 3/3, that means I’m at least 220 seconds ahead on weapons, and 410 seconds ahead on armor.  What were you doing for 6 minutes 50 seconds?  You killed the nexus, which you seem to think is basically a game-ender.  You also have to take advantage of it.

5) Not trying drops.  I’m not that great against those.  I even reminded him that they exist during the game, and he still didn’t do it.  Instead he just sat back and let me win.

Until next time, when hopefully I’ve been promoted…

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Nobody Tells Me How Stupid I Can Be!

If you ever want to get promoted to say, Masters 3v3, the most important thing is to NEVER get demoted for inaction.

I used to be Platinum, but got demoted to Silver just for not playing and still haven’t made it back.  The reason?  Some truly horrible mistakes by my allies.

Sure, the other team should have some really bad players too.  But season to season, unless you play a truly massive number of games (say, 400+ to get the margin of error down around 3%), you can get a streak of bad luck that’ll ruin your season.

Sure, sometimes it’s my fault we lost.  But if my score is equal to both of my teammates’ combined, it probably wasn’t me.

The best way to overcome a streak of bad luck is to learn to salvage games.  In Gold, there will almost always be mistakes that let you back into the game (unless you’ve been matched against a 36-time Masters player…been there, done that).  So let’s go into one such game.

So the first thing this guy does is announce that he’s doing to cannon rush.  Risky, but it can work.  But this one has literally all the features of a bad one.  It kills nothing, there is far too much money spent on it, and the forge is placed next to the enemy base to boot.

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The most you should hope for from a cannon rush in 3s is to delay your opponent.  In 1v1 pro games, it doesn’t work against Terran at all because they can just block the ramp (cannons can’t shoot onto the high ground without something to see up there), and they have high-damage early game units.  Against Protoss, you might kill him outright on Yeonsu, but as long as you look for it around 2:00 you should be fine.  Against a zerg, you can’t cannon close enough to his base, so you might kill his expansion, at best.

The one wrinkle in 3s is that you could get a Zerg teammate to send an overlord to give you high ground vision.  But again, if you scout your base for it at around 2:00, you should be fine.  And since overlords are among the slowest units in the game, they’re easy to spot.

So anyway, as you can see this guy couldn’t get high ground vision because the ramp was blocked, so the cannons on the low ground were useless.

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He made it worse by building cannons below his ramp.  Again, if you don’t have high ground vision, cannons can’t hit anything up there.

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All the other team has to do is attack the pylon from the south–the cannons would be out of range–and all that money’s wasted.

What to do now?  I had to come up with a plan that would get Teal back to an equal game, i.e. have as much income/army size as our opponents.

The first thing was to get him to expand.  Since he just wasted 1,000 minerals on a cannon rush that achieved nothing, he’s always going to be behind his opponent.  The best thing to do is to expand and hope his allies can bail him out.

You always want to A) expand as fast as possible or B) do enough damage to justify waiting.  Since his attempt at B didn’t work, his only remaining option was A.

Next, I followed the maxim “when behind Dark Shrine” and sent Dark Templars out to try and buy time while simultaneously expanding to the top left gold base, hoping they wouldn’t notice.  It was a desperate move, but one that paid off as they killed 16 drones.  Since it’s hard to get a third base on this map, Zerg will have fewer drones (because he has fewer larvae) so the losses hurt more.  I also sent a couple to teal’s base to protect him.

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Dark Templars, after getting 16 kills to buy us some time.

In the meantime, Teal not only took the bottom right gold base, but also the base near mine, so I couldn’t expand.  Thanks a lot buddy!

Teal and I both lost our gold bases (I ended up losing mine three times), but we followed up my cardinal rule above: expand, or do enough damage to justify waiting.

Teal loses his gold base, but since he has so many probes/more bases, we're still ahead.
Teal loses his gold base, but since he has so many probes/more bases, we’re still ahead.

Sure, Teal lost the gold base, but he still had just as many bases (and far more probes) than our opponents.  Since Red and I bought him so much time, Teal just made probes and had no army whatsoever until 13 minutes in.

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Nice of us to protect him while he built up probes 🙂

So in essence:

  • Teal’s cannon rush fails.
  • The other team fails to take advantage of their window of opportunity and lets Red and I buy enough time for Teal to get back into the game.
  • Red forces Purple out of the game with a few drops (the mistake we were looking for).
  • I spend the whole game getting the crap beaten out of me while Teal builds up his Void Rays.
  • We walk over them for the win, because they never took a third base and lacked the resources to build something to counter Teal’s Voids.

Hope this helps somebody out there.  Good luck to you 🙂  Unless you’re up against POOOP clan. 😉

You’re Bad, And You Should Feel Bad

I don’t get why people rage quit in Silver League: you’re just not that good.  It’s only Silver League, nobody there is supposed to be that good, get better.  But sometimes you get people like this guy:

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He’s saying that I have no skill because all I had to do was attack move to defeat him.  I think it was his terrible decisions all game long that cost him.  You be the judge.

First of all, the game was protoss vs. protoss on Yeonsu.  If you’re not familiar with it, a lot of bizarre things happen on it.  You can cannon rush from the low ground (which even works in pro games…link opens in new window).  And there are lots of reeds to hide things behind.

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In four games on it so far this season, I lost my nexus to a cannon rush (won anyway…thanks oracle).  

Someone proxied a gateway in the reeds, which I didn’t find even though I was looking for it.

Another guy seemed to think that if he killed my nexus with blink stalkers, I would just leave the game.  So he threw ~15 of them into the task along with his mothership core, of all of which were killed, and the only thing they killed was my nexus.  I immediately rebuilt it and sent in everything I had, and he just left.

And this game.

First mistake: Gateway timing

I made my first gateway at 1:44, but he forgot to do it until 2:05.  That’s 21 seconds behind and a major mistake.  If I was doing an aggressive oracle or dark templar build, either one of those could kill all his probes in 21 seconds.

Second mistake: Chrono boosting Warpgate when you fast expand

He built a nexus at 3:19, even before his cybernetics core.  If you do that, it doesn’t make sense to chrono boost warpgate technology.  Why do you need it so quickly if you’re not going to immediately follow up with a lot of units?  He should’ve been chrono boosting probes until he had 44 (the magic number for mining two bases).

Third mistake: Twilight Council (into blink) as his first tech choice…at 6:36

In Protoss vs Protoss, stalkers get worse and worse the longer the game goes on.  Why?  Because zealots with charge, immortals, archons, large numbers of void rays, and colossi all crush them.  The only viable strategy is an early blink attack, when zealots won’t have charge, there won’t be many immortals, and stalkers have space to run away.  If he wanted to do this, he should’ve made his twilight council at around 3:42 (that’s when my cybernetics core finished).  Instead, it was almost three minutes later when I was well prepared for them.

Fourth mistake: I start +1 Ground Weapons at 7:03, He doesn’t even build a forge until 9:06

In other words, he is 2:48 behind me on weapon upgrades.  So sad.  If he had all that money by expanding first, why not use it?  He didn’t even start +1 attack until 10:43, when his forge had already been done almost a minute.

Anyway, onto the final fight.  He tried to expand again at 11:36, which I shut down by marching my chargelot/immortal army in there.  I go back to the middle of the map to try and fight on open ground, because choke points favor him.  Instead, he plays right into my hands.

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Uhhh…he probably should’ve stayed at the top of the ramp.  Most of my zealots couldn’t have hit him.  Any stalkers they did hit could’ve been blinked back.  Instead, he goes to open ground, which is the last thing he should’ve done.

(NOTE: I know I said stalkers are terrible in pvp, but I have five from when he tried to take down my expansion before I had charge and I needed units.  They’re still bad).

(NOTE #2: Looking at my resources/supply, I realize I could’ve had four or five extra archons in this fight.  Definitely something for me to improve on…that gas should’ve been doing something.  But luckily stalkers are terrible, so I didn’t need them).

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He’s already lost four stalkers in the first six seconds.  My +2 weapons upgrade was almost done, but I didn’t even bother to wait for it.  That’s how bad stalkers are vs chargelot/immortal.

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Now he’s lost 20 stalkers in 16 seconds.  Maybe he thought those time warps would be a lot more effective than they were.

Final units lost stats:

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Lessons Learned:

#1: Stalkers are horrible in PVP (what else?)

#2: Don’t be slow, have a plan.  E.g., if you build a forge, start using it immediately…otherwise why’d you build it?

#3: If you make zealots/immortals in pvp, gas will tend to pile up.  Add archons.

(End note: zealots aren’t that great in late-game PVP either, because archons/colossi destroy them.  If you can get away with building those instead, do it.  They work great against stalkers though).