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.


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.


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.

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.

Screenshot2014-02-07 14_32_43
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.

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. 😉