Friday, July 22, 2011

11th Bronze match - 22 July, 2011.

Terrans just like to drop me..... but to be fair, so do I.

My opponent Bloodhunter, went mass Marine with Medivac support.
I expanded and teched to Hydras and drops as per usual.

Even thou I got additional Queens, spread creep, and placed a few Zerglings around in order to see them, I should have done the same with my Overlords so I could have seen it coming.
To be fair, they did brush up against my sight, but I wasn't paying enough attention to catch it.

"That's..... really annoying."

Either way, a bunch of Marines dropped into my expo and wiped out the drones there, but I managed to counter with my Roach and Hydras before they could kill my hatch.

I then remacroed my drones into my 3rd, and got more Roach/Hydra.
Once my drop tech was up, I as usual dropped into the back of his base and as usual they never see it coming.
I even spread a little creep just out of spite.

"That's.... really annoying."

Got to do a little better watching my minimap and positioning Overlords.
But I did get my Zergling portrait for this win, so that was something.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

10th Bronze match - 21th July, 2011.

Hey, another Terran, and one who didn't suck, how about that?

My Silver Terran, SonofThor, did something rather annoying in this match.
He Blue Flame Hellion dropped me, and boy do I suck when I'm under pressure.

He did terrible, terrible damage, and yet, I still won convincingly.

"Oh god, it BURNS!"

His Hellions came in, roasted most of my expo's drones, then went into my main, and did the same.
I think I killed two of the three hellions, he killed some 30 drones....... yeah, I suck.
Even when I had a bunch of Roaches, I still lost all these drones.

"If only I could lift off....."

When I finally shooed him out of my base, I remacroed and took and ninja expansion and got Hydras. He on the other hand, even thou he had an early CC, he didn't expand for the longest time.
All he did was put on a ton more production, which he couldn't possibly use, a built up a few Marines and Tanks.

"Pay back's a bitch."

Once I was back on my feet, I dropped a mid-size army in the back of his base, and his own buildings prevented him from getting back into his own base except in single file.
By that time half his base was gone, and while he mopped up my first force, my second wave hit his expo and after killing a ton of SCV's, I caught his tanks out of position and killed them with minimal losses.

"Single file, no rushing now."

He then called GG.

All in all, he did very well with his Hellion drops, more due to me sucking under pressure.
However, his extremely late expansion and poor base layout kicked him square in the ass.

I on the other hand need to work on my ability to deal with pressure.
First I think I need to build a few additional Queens early on, so I have something to fight back with, esp as the early pressure that seems to be mostly screwing me up is air based.
Given my current build, I can easily afford it.

Got to try and not lose 30 drones next time.


9th Bronze match - 19th July, 2011.

Another one sided smackdown.

But it's a Terran this time, Silver apparently, I don't believe it, this guy sucked ass.
My opponent NOS, rushed for Vikings even thou he had less then 20 SCV's........ and sat on them the entire match.
He must have had 12 Vikings by the end of it, fat lot of good they did.

"Hey Vikings....... how about you use them? How about now? Now?"

He also had a obsession with Missile Turrets, I don't know why he was expecting Muta's.

"Paranoid much?"

I on the other hand just expanded all over the map, and did my usual Roach/Hydra drop play.
Of coarse this gutted his main, and he even landed his Vikings in a vain attempt to stop me, even thou I wasn't paying any attention at all.

"Where are thou's Turrets when you need them?"

I ended up pulling back and remaxing and pushing his PF and wiped him out.
There really was nothing to this game. I macroed up, and went in and kill him, the end.

Some people just suck I guess.


Monday, July 18, 2011

8th Bronze match - 18 July, 2011.

My first ZvZ since I've been playing in the 1v1 Bronze league, and it was an interesting, while slightly nerve wracking experience.

My opponent Jules, a Gold level Zerg player opened up with a ton of aggression getting his gas before pool, and start pumping nothing but Lings while getting speed.
No expo, nothing but pure Ling aggression early on.

"Dead giveaway to early ling aggression."

I however saw this with my scouting overlord as it was Metalopolis, and my instinctive reaction was throw down a early pool, and build an auxiliary hatch on top of my ramp instead of expanding, because what I needed was larva, not another mineral line.
And man was that the right decision.

"I love you ax-hatch, smother them with your fatness."

When his lings push, the few that I had just wasn't enough and the 4 remaining lings could have done a lot of damage, if my 2 Queens hadn't sandwiched them between my ramp and my ax-hatch, picking them off with ease.
I then positioned them on the ramp and held position preventing reinforcements from getting up.

I continued to get lings until my Roach Warren got up, and quickly started pumping as many Roaches as I could, while I scoated with my lings and saw he STILL didn't have an expo.
I thought this was really odd, so I look at his 3rd, still nothing.
Ran into his base and holy batmat Baneling, there we're a lot of Lings and Banelings being morphed.
Needless to say, I knew a big push was coming.

"That ling must be pissing himself right now."

I got another Spinecrawler on my ramp (thankyou ax-hatch), and switched from drones back to pumping nothing but roaches while I got the +1 attack.
By this time I had my expo up, and easily had twice as many drones as he did.
Building so many lings off of one base makes you unable to build any drones as you just don't have the larva. But I didn't have that problem.

So when his force made it's attack, we traded forces pretty well as I backed up to the wall with my spines stabbing his lings in the eye, and I came out with about 6 roaches left.
But I was able to easily remacro up a massive roach force and found his ninja expo with a few lings.

"Good thing Roaches kill Banelings, eh?"

Why he didn't just take his expo, I'd never know.
But I just ran up and killed it with my roaches as I took a 3rd.

He counter attacked with his lings, but I had more roaches at home and I easily defended, then I walked into his base uncontested as he GG'ed.

The thing about early aggression is that you had better hope you do a ton of economic damage, otherwise your opponent is going to be in a massive lead and will likely smash you a little later on, just like I did.

It could have gone the other way in all honesty, but my instincts we're bang on and I reacted correctly. Especially the auxiliary ramp hatch, that saved my ass.
Got to remember that against early Zerg aggression.


7th Bronze match - 17 July, 2011.

Hey, my first loss, how about that, I'm not immortal.
It was against a fucking Diamond player..... you heard me, a Diamond player.
Something is just plain wrong with this matchup system for a Bronze leaguer with a handful of wins under his belt to be thrown up against a bloody Diamond player with some 400+ wins..... agh.

Rant aside, it was a lot closer then it felt at the time.
Don't get me wrong, he manhandled me, and my reaction to several situation was just terrible, but when the final push came, I almost held it off.
So at least macro wise, I'm apparently up there with the Diamonds, how about that.

My opponent, cGLuvi, a Protoss expanded pretty early, as did I.
But because my scouting was god awful, I didn't see his quick Voidrays until they we're right on top of my natural expo.
My response was awful, not only did I lose a whole lot of drones, but at least 2 Queens and my expo...... yeah, I'm pretty terrible under pressure, esp when I've never been in that situation before.

I did eventually repel them, fortunately my 3rd was up so I just transferred the surviving drones.
I managed to build up a pretty decently sized Roach/Hydra army and retook my natural, but when his large army of Voids/Pheniox's/DT's and Gateway force push towards my base, my force just wasn't quite large enough and fell.

"Can I call a time out?"

"Never a welcomed sight."

Then his DT's destroyed my mineral lines so I couldn't re-macro up, and I called GG.

Overall, my macro was decent, but my scouting and reaction to the Voidrays was terrible which set me up for the later loss.
It could of gone a lot better, but it's not nearly as one sided as some games I've been in.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

5th & 6th Bronze match - July 16, 2011.

Well, I had a few more games the other day, against even more Protoss, and yet again, it was pretty one sided.

Macro people, marco.

My first match of the night was against TUMICHAEL, which like a lot of Bronze Protoss I've seen, just couldn't decided on what units he wanted..... so he just got everything.
His tech was all over the map, and while his Phoenix's did a little bit of damage, they didn't even begin to cover the cost of getting them, which ate into his ground army.

"Cute, ineffective, but cute."

So when I rolled into his base with all my Hydra's, between getting all thous air units and his tech being all over the map, his puny ground army didn't stand a chance.
Pick something a stick with it. If you get air tech, make sure you do a ton of damage or don't even bother with it in the first place.

"Stargate and Robotics and Twilight, oh my!"

Even if he just used them to pin me back in my base and took an early expo, that would have been fine. But no, his expo was late too.

All that matters in the end is who has the bigger army.

"Nice forcefields."

My second match was against kennypowers, who could of been the same person as the last guy, because he made all the same mistakes, and even a few new ones.

Again, his tech tree was all over the place, and even thou he got a lot of gateways early, he just couldn't afford to produce out of them. So there was long periods of time where he could have been building units, where instead he got tech he didn't need.

"Just going out on a limb here, but did he need that Dark Shine?"

For example he got DT's, which in the final battle didn't amount to jack shit all, because I had detection. Every single one of those DT's could have been a sentry, and he would have been much better off...... not well off not to get rolled by me, but at least he could of held off one of my forces.

"But wait, there's more!"

Yeah, I dropped half of my army in his back door, and I still won the push at the front hands down.

Long story short, don't get to many different tech building, you won't be able to afford to use them. Streamlined armies are going to work a lot better.

"You'd think he would of seen this coming."

PS: Replays uploaded.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Terraria has stolen my soul!

I just can't e arsed play SC2 tonight, becaue I just bought Terraria, and I haven't stopped playing since.
It's just bloody addictive.

I'll try to make up for it tomorrow.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

3rd & 4th Bronze match - 14 July, 2011.

Had two matches today to make up for not playing yesterday.
Even still, I walked all over both my opponents.

My first opponent of the night was a Terran called Audi.
He fancied himself a gold player, and I believe him. First opponent that could actually macro..... well, somewhat.

I did my usual early expand and scout.
Saw he wasn't being aggressive, so I went ahead and macroed, got some roaches and knocked down my back door expo's rocks and took an early 3rd.

What I didn't know is that he had already done so and had taken it as is natural expo.
Good on him.
"Clever girl."

He eventually made a push with a rather decent size force of Marines and Marauders, which I saw a mile away and added a good lot of Hydras to my Roach and Queen ball.
When he got to my backyard, I ate him alive, but he had the good sense to pull back with what he had left.
"Fighting a Zerg on his own turf? Good luck with that."

I then setup for a drop, got more Hydras, and took two more bases just in case.
I quickly hit max and made a final two pronged attack, first pushing a bunch of Hydras toward is 3rd and engaged his forces, but with 2+2 upgrades, my Hydras dominated.
In the mean time my drop began to ravage his base, to which he tapped out.

At least he put up a fight.
"Faint with the left...."

"......knock his teeth out with the right."

My second opponent was a Protoss called illuminatiBP, and man did he suck.
Pro tip, don't try to get every tech tree option. When I finally got in his base he had a little bit of everything, but no where near enough to spend his money.

"Agh, what a mess."

I early expoed and scouted, and saw yet another fast forge..... what is is with Protoss and their early forge? Well, he use it to get 4 cannons and fast expo.

"Kind of a dead giveaway, isn't it?"

So I just took a 3rd because I knew he could do a damn thing about it.

"Safest expo I've ever taken."

Went straight for Mass Hydras and drop tech, and took 2 more expos.
Had a feeling he was doing DT's so I got an overseer and some Spore Crawlers.

"Hydras give great hugs."

I dropped in the back of his base and tore him a new asshole.
And he had virtually nothing to fight with but a couple of DT's..... which died very quickly.
The few Voidrays he had went straight for my Hive, but I called back a few Hydras and transfused it to keep it alive. The voids dropped, and he tapped out.

The moral of this story? Don't early expo if you don't build any production in order to spend you 3K worth of minerals.

ps: click the names for the replays.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Strategy for the Bronze League.

Since I'm in Bronze, and thus I'm directing this towards other Bronze players, I think it would be a good idea explaining what my strategy for winning in Bronze is.


That's it, really that's all it takes.
The problem with 95% of Bronze players, is that they just can't macro very well, and this cripples their ability to do really much of anything.
So when they go up against someone like me, who is fairly decent at macroing my little heart out, they can't hope to produce the shear number of units that I can field.
And so they get crushed effortlessly.

So, how do you macro?

It's pretty easy, just follow these steps.

1: Don't supply block yourself. Meaning always build more supply long before you hit the supply cap. Don't worry too much about over producing supply until you get a hang of it.

2:Produce workers consistently. Unless your gearing up for a big attack, your CC/Nexus's/Hatchieres should be build more workers at every moment in time until your mineral line is saturated. Try not to cue, but it's still better then not building at all.

3: SATURATE YOUR BLOODY MINERAL LINES! This is by far the most common macro problem I see in Bronze. Mineral lines with maybe 10 or 15 workers on them...... no wonder your broke. A saturated mineral line is 18-21 workers, not including gas.

4: Expand early and often. Zerg can afford to expand right off the bat at 15 on most maps, if not at least within the first 5mins of a game. Terran and Protoss do have early expo builds, but they are generally safer on one base, but they should expand within the first 10mins of the game.
If you can afford to get an expo, get an expo.

5: Hotkey your structures, and use your damn hotkeys. If you want to macro well, you have to use hotkeys, no way around it. Learn what the hotkeys are for your race, and use them.

That's the basic gist of it. Fortunately all of this can be learned from practicing against the computer, or thru the singleplayer campaign.
It just takes practice, and soon enough it because quite natural to be producing a ton of stuff, and your APM will also naturally increase.

If you learn to macro well, you will roll 95% of your Bronze player opponents, regardless what unit or strategy you use.


Just too damn tired.

I like to play Starcraft 2 regularly, every day if I can.
But writing all day and having a hard day at work, I'm just too fucking tired.

I just want to crawl into a ball and watch Digimon or something.

I'll make up for it by playing double tommorow.


2nd Bronze match - July 12, 2011.

My second match went much like the last one, except my opponent (dimpoTERROR) at least had the balls to make an attack.

I expanded early as usual, he cannon walled himself in, which made me a bit nervous because I thought that he might either try to cannon rush me or go voids or DT's.
But no, he just sucks.

Despite this, I did the usual drone scout on 9/10, followed up with 4 lings when my pool was done.
I grabbed the Xel'Naga tower, put one at his expo, and the other two just outside after poking in.
Feeling safe, I just macroed up and got Roach tech, got to Lair and got Roach speed.

Then I saw him pushing out, and built 4 Spinecrawlers, and built a ton of Roaches.
Of course like all Bronze players, his macro was dreadful, and so I hulk smashed his army effortlessly.
He GG'ed...... and stayed around.

"Your odds don't look too good mate."

So I made a poke with my Roaches while checking all the expos and taking a third, when I saw he had cannoned himself in I just got Overlord drops and dropped in the back of his base and found quite a few Voidrays.... but not nearly enough to stop me from gutting his base, so he made his last ditch attack.... and ran headlong into a bunch of Queens.

"Knock knock, guess who?"

One key point to note is that my instant reaction to smashing his army was not to hastily rush up and kill him, even in this instance I knew full well that I could. I could have lost a lot of forces if I rushed.
My reaction was to get even further ahead by getting an expansion, and denying him his.
In this situation, patience is a virtue. When ahead, get further ahead.

"Gee, you think?"

That's all for this game.
Here's the replay as per usual.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

1st Bronze match - July 11, 2011.

I decided right from the get go that I wanted to start in Bronze, and work my way up.
So I forfeited all of my placement matches, and started at the bottom of the barrel.

My 1st match was on Xel'naga Caverns against a Protoss named Tempest.
My strategy was simple, macro, build a lot of Roaches, and maybe a few Infestors, and go kill them.

Oddly the game ended without conflict. He quit as soon as he saw my army, I assume he pissed his pants because he was so far behind.
Not because of anything I did, but because his macro was crap.

"Oh dear! That's a lot of Roaches."

He fast cannon expanded, and he still had fuck all probes.

This is the number one problem I see with every Bronze player.
They can't macro.
They don't build enough workers.
They don't build them regularly.
If they do expand, it's massively late.
They get production late, and never enough.

These all add up quickly, and when they finally push, their army is pitiful.
And as a macroing player, I tend to one sidely smash them when this occurs.

"This is what a mineral line is meant to look like when you expo."

"Ah, probes dude, where are your probes?"

If your new to the game, or just in Bronze, the first thing you MUST master is macro.
Nothing will get you out of Bronze quicker, then just having a ton more crap then the other guy.

Quick tips:
  • Saturate you mineral lines ALWAYS! This means get 18-21 workers. (that 2 1/2 rows of workers when selected)
  • Gas geysers should have 3 workers on them.
  • Build workers all the time until all your mineral lines are saturated.
  • If your mineral line is saturated, it's probably time to expand.
  • Hotkey your CC's/Nexus's/Hatcheries, as well as your production facilities.
  • It's ok to have more production then you need. Too little and your totally fucked.
  • In general it's ok to have way too much of something, then not enough.
  • Just build a ton of stuff, it's really doesn't matter what.

The way I am going to approach Bronze, is just to show that you can win almost purely through macro alone.
I'm going Roach heavy atm, but I want to mass Queens...... Yes, Queens..... just to prove my point that you can win with anything if you just have lots of them.

Who needs tactics? I have mass Queen.

Here's the replay.
On a side note, I save every single match I have and watch them after the fact, no matter what happens. It's a good habit to have.


4v4, 3v3, and 2v2 play history.

Before getting into 1v1's, I wanted to feel comfortable just playing first.
So I started with 4v4's, then 3v3, and lastly 2v2, before moving onto 1v1.

And even though Day(9) once said this is the order you should start playing Starcraft 2 after the singleplayer, I never really did until World of Tanks 15v15 showed me what a clusterfuck random mutliplayer can be, and how I really don't give a shit anymore.

So I started with 4v4 and played about 10 games or so.
The highlight game I had was the very first which was such a ridiculous game that lasted an hour.

Almost right off the bat two of our allies leave, but I never realized it. Fortunately they both had a good amount of workers plus gas, so me and my last ally got crazy income.
Of coarse I had no way to spend so much money, but I teched quickly to Mutaling and started poking while my ally started getting mass Thor's.

In the end he mopped up with a ton of Thor's while I harrassed most of the time, until I finished them up with mass Ultralisk + Nydus worms.

Then I went onto 3v3, playing a dozen games.
I think I had the most fun here, as it didn't feel quite as clusterfuckery as 4v4, or as rush orientated at 2v2.
My highlight game was a simple and straight forward game, where I was given time to macro with an early expo, and after my allies held off an early tank-marine push, we countered and smashed them.

One ally went with mass Mutalisk, the other had a bunch of Stalkers.
I dropped with Mass Queen with a dash of Hydralisk.
Yeah, Mass Queen. And I gutted his base, even when his Stalkers came back to defend.
Queens with transfuse, and a couple of Hydra's are stupidly tough.

Even got a message after the game from one of my allies who thought it was hilarious.

Lastly before 1v1, was 2v2....... I really hated 2v2.
Only played 6 games before dropping it like a sack of hammers.
Most of the games ended with pissy little rushes, and I just fucking hate rushes.

The only game of note was where my ally rushed, and hurt the enemy Zerg drone line, before his Protoss ally defended and threw him out. With both the enemy and my allies economy in shambles, I expanded really early and got a butt ton of Lings and Banelings.

I went through the back door and finished off the poor Zerg, which was having a really bad day, and poked at the Protoss before his forcefields forced me to fall back and mass up.
In the mean time I took 2 more expansions.

Then the toss pushed one of my expos, and I just overwhelmed him with pure numbers and crushed his army, and he called it a day.

When I was finally sick and tired of multiplayer, I went onto 1v1..... which I'll cover on the next post.

My review, Starcraft 2 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 machups, is really a complete custerfuck.
The game just is not built around it, nor balanced for it. And so rushes are very common, and pure stupidity ensues.
On the bright side, you can do just about any stupid strategy you want and get away with it...... if you don't die within the first 5 minutes of the game that is.

I think I'll stick with 1v1, because at least then I can improve my gameplay.


My Starcraft 2 history.

Here's the rundown of my history with Starcraft 2.

I got a betakey way back in the second phase of closed beta from Blizzard, even thou I don't remember ever signing up for it, but I guess I must have. But it was a pleasant surprise all the same.

I never really got into Starcraft: Broodwar, and never really knew the multiplayer existed, even though I had been playing RTS games since I was a kid.
That being said, I really quite enjoyed the gameplay of Starcraft 2, and got hooked quite early to watching casted videos of it, namely HD and HuskyStarcraft, and later Day(9), and a few others.

Thou lately LifesaGlitch is quite funny.

Incidentally I never really got into laddering, and just preferred to watch instead.
I did play a little, and I was ok I guess, but I was just too intimidated to really get into it.
That, and I don't have a competitive bone in my body.

When it launched, I bought it immediately, which is rare for me. I played through the campaign, messed around with the editor, and a few custom games, but I never really cared for them.
But still no laddering, and I couldn't quite get attached to the community because there was still no chat channels at the time, which was just epic stupidity on Blizzards side.

Eventually they did put out chat channels, and I grew a little closer, but still not enough to ladder.
I did practice a bit all the same, I just didn't really play against people for the most part.

Eventually however I found Starcast, and hooked up with their community, and listened to their podcast, I started to play a little bit, but again not enough to want to ladder.
I played through the campaign for a second time on hard and got all the achievements just to prove I could, realizing that I really am not half bad at this game.

Incidentally what got me into laddering wasn't Starcraft 2 or the community, but rather World of Tanks. Being a competitive 15v15 PvP team game, I found it really easy to get into and shoot people in the face, even thought losing would often cause me to experience temporary incoherent rage.
Hurt my hands and broke at least one keyboard during my stay.

But thanks to WoT, I realized that I don't really have any good reason to avoid SC2 laddering, as WoT was causing me just as much rage as anything SC2 had done. So it felt like it was time to get into Starcraft 2 laddering as a regular thing.
(after a few more single player games)

And so, for the last month or so, I have committed myself to play at least one ladder match per day, which after a little hesitation and nervousness, I started to feel at home.
I do still get a bit of a shiver down my spine from time to time, but I just have to force myself to push the 'find match' button, and then pure habit takes over from there.

On the gameplay front, I really am not half bad, but I'll cover that in the next few posts.

In short, if your like me and you find it just hard to sit down and play Starcraft 2 because your intimidated, set up a regular time each and every day to play at least one game.
Start with 4v4, then move on down through 3v3, 2v2, and lastly 1v1 when your sick of the rushes in 2v2.

It works.


Re-Inventing the blog.

I've decided that I need to redo this blog, as I just have not been using it for like a year or so.
Mainly I think because I didn't have anything regular to talk about that I thought was interesting.

Well, I have something now. (even though I would bet my bottom dollar that there are plenty of blogs like this by now)
I decided to make it a Starcraft 2 focused blog, showing my step by step progress up the ladder, featuring each 1v1 league battle I participate in, and what my thought process was at the time.

Since I play at least one game a day, it will be a daily thing.

While I may also go on about other topics from time to time, I think I'd rather just keep it simple and focus of SC2 for the time being.

PS: please ignore everything bar the Vindictus stuff that came for this post. :p