Meanwhile, in Wings of Liberty...
A WoL Battle Report
A WoL Battle Report
I match against a guy called "[5CaRy]Tornado." I was planning on doing my usual engi bay hatch block, but (and I'm curious how often this has happened to you Terrans out there) I accidentally rallied my SCV to the ramp on 8 supply instead of 9, so I decided to change my strategy.
Woops, guess I'm 2-raxing.
Now I have some strange experiences with 2-raxing. I really reliably get the hatchery. Like, almost every time I do it. Then I fall back, expand, defend any inevitable baneling or roach bust follow-up... and then go into a crazy long game where it feels like I'm behind the whole time. I have no idea how this happens. I thought conventional wisdom was that if you got the hatchery, your victory was assured, short of some dumb 1-base all-in. At any rate, things start off a little different - he scouts the 2-rax. And doesn't even bother with the hatchery.
"What the... Command needs to get their head out their ass! They had 'good intel' there'd be Zerg here!"
Alright, skip straight to the 'defending the 1-base all-in' stage. I wall off his natural with three bunkers, and keep my marines there for a little while in case he wanted to just quickly escape with a few speedlings and run to my base before I could get up any kind of defense.
After a minute or so, no attack came, so I sent all but one marine home, and salvaged all but one bunker so I could see what was coming and when. Sure enough, a hell of a lot of speedlings swarmed out, killed the bunker, and ran across the map to morph into banelings and try to kill me. I'd had time, however, to kill the destructible rocks at the bottom of my ramp and build a depot and bunker there.
5 banelings for an empty bunker and an incomplete depot? Value.
Sitting behind my high-ground wall, I held with ease, then proceeded to take my natural while getting up 5 barracks. Meanwhile, one of my proxied barracks had been floating around his bases taking a look; he had only just started to get drones on his natural, and had no tech besides zergling speed and a baneling nest, and was trying to take a third.
As stim was completing, with combat shield and +1 on their way, I moved into his third with a big clump of marine+marauder. Even though he saw me coming across the map, he didn't bother with any banelings. He started to morph them when I showed up, but I just killed the base and started walking home. Frustrated by this turn of events, he sends out his speedlings and banelings (without centrifugal hooks) to try and catch my force on its way back - a bad idea, because I just dealt with the lings before the banelings even showed up, and then chased them down with stim.
One of the strangest chase scenes you'll ever see.
So I'm golden, right? I held off the 1-base all-in, I killed his third, I even killed a bunch of speedlings and banelings fairly easily... I can just sit back, tech to medivacs with double ebay, and then go win! Which I start doing, when I see this outside my base.
This is what I mean when I say I have some strange experiences with 2-raxing. I start off denying his base, he goes for a one-base all-in, it fails miserably, and then somehow I find myself in a situation like this one:
I survive the attack, but lose every SCV in my natural, and have my marine/marauder count almost completely reset. Now it's 27 SCVs to 48 drones, and he's on three bases with a Hive half-done. I get one production cycle out, and move out on the map, only to be greeted by 60 speedlings. Of course, I have enough medivacs to shoot at them until I'm surrounded, pick up, drop on the other side of a cliff, and repeat, but then with my whole army out in the middle of the map in regular old non-boost medivacs, he just heads toward my natural, which, after the last attack, has no bunker or wall-off, and only 5 marines ready to defend. I tuck my marines behind what buildings I have left, block with the 6 SCVs still at my natural, and hope my next round of units spawns soon.
Three things went in my favor for this defense, however: first, he didn't have any banelings. Second, a fresh round of 6 marines and 2 marauders spawned fairly quickly. And third, [i]he never upgraded his units past 1-1. The result was that half his lings ran around the top and died while attacking SCVs; the other half ran around the bottom to kill the newly spawned units, then attacked the engineering bay until they, too, died.
During all of this my main army of 9 marines, 4 marauders, and 5 medivacs sat stupidly in the middle of the map before I realized, "hey, I should probably go kill him." I ran up to his third again and was greeted by a spine, a queen, and a bunch of zerglings, at which time I had the opportunity to learn (if I hadn't before):
2-2 marines with medivacs basically don't die against 1-1 zerglings. I knew upgrade advantage mattered, but I didn't realize just how dramatic the difference is. A zergling normally does 5 damage with a 0.7 second cooldown, for ~7 DPS versus the medivac's 3 hit points per second. With the marine's armor advantage, though, that's reduced to 4 damage per hit, or ~5.7 DPS, for an effective DPS in each case of ~4 and ~2.7. Clumped together, most marines are only hit by one zergling at a time; marauders get hit by more, but they also have more HP and another point of armor. Plus whenever a zergling dies, whatever unit it was hitting gets a moment of uncontested healing before another zergling fills in.
So I kill the base, and as I'm running around to see if he's taken any other bases, I see something I don't think I've seen in a very, very long time:
A 1-1 ultralisk.
At one point we might have taken for granted the ability to kill ultralisks with marauders, but having played LotV beta, I felt appropriately grateful as I killed this lone ultralisk with ease, killed the third base he was building, and lifted into the main to kill tech structures until he gg'd.
My next game was on Ohana against... [5CaRy]Tornado. I hadn't gotten to use my engi bay block against him, and since Ohana is a small map, I decided to opt for the aggressive version: build my rax a little closer to him, watch the third bases, and then when he decides to expand to his third instead of his natural, try to kill it with bunkers. I lost one marine to lings, however, so I wound up with a bunker and two marines slowly whittling down the hatchery. It got down to 250 HP, before at 7 minutes, he broke the bunker and killed the marines.
Meanwhile I've got my low-ground bunker set up for a 1-base all-in... but he's just taking four bases, getting double upgrades, and upgrading to lair. Once again, I've got my 5 barracks, so I've gotta go make something happen. I get out 28 marines and 5 marauders with stim, and I run across the map to his third - and once again, even though he saw me coming, he didn't bother to make banelings.
This guy seems to severely overestimate the combat effectiveness of unsupported lings.
I kill the already-weakened third, and start to back up, only to find 14 zerglings just starting to morph to banelings. I kill the coccoons, and he gg's promptly.
I know Tasteless always says "banelings morph in real time," but don't believe him. I hear that guy has like zero passion.
My next game, you guessed it, a TvZ on Ohana against [5CaRy]Tornado, who, for the record, is a very mannered individual. It can be very frustrating to keep on getting matched against the same (kinda cheesy) opponent, but right at the start of the game I see this:
More like [Manner]Tornado <3
It's funny how when you play the same person repeatedly, you start to fall into this sort of rhythm, where you get in the same situations over and over.This game opened pretty identically to the last one - I engi bay block, he expands to the third, I get bunkers and try to kill it, but only manage to damage it before he busts the bunkers. This time on my follow-up push I sent my marine+marauder to his natural, and again, even though he spotted me moving across the map, he didn't make any banelings.
Seriously, dude, what are you not getting about this?
I kill his natural, but eventually he gets out enough lings to kill my army. The bad news is, this time he's got +2 attack and +1 carapace on the way, while I'm only half-done with 1-1.
Then another situation from a previous game repeats itself: I move out with a marine/marauder/medivac army, and I'm greeted in the middle of the map by a lot of speedlings. Just like before, I pick up into the medivacs; and just like before, he takes hits as a cue to go attack my natural. Unlike last time, though, he's got a lot of banelings and an upgrade advantage. Meanwhile I've got a bunker with 3 marines, an army in medivacs in the middle of the map, and a couple tanks (but siege mode isn't quite done researching).
The result: After the clean up, it's 70 drones to 30 SCVs, I've got 2 tanks, 4 medivacs, and a handful of marine/marauder... and he's just starting hive.
But just when you start to fall into a rhythm facing the same person over and over, some magic happens that throws you into a situation that you've never encountered against each other before. In this case, I decided to head along the right side to do a surprise attack on his third. Meanwhile, he sends his 70 lings and 17 banelings along the left side to kill my third base that just started up. All of a sudden, it's a base race.
So, on my side of the map first: I've got some 6 marines, 2 marauders, 2 medivacs, and a tank to defend. They don't stand a chance.
That's my natural, although it doesn't really look like it's mine at the moment.
I wasn't especially responsible about lifting off my buildings before the lings killed them, but I did manage to save my main orbital command and four barracks. With the two medivacs, I also rescued 11 workers from my main. Barracks, orbital command, and SCVs went to the base on the right side of the map, just north of my main.
Now for his side of the map: my main army consisted of 18 marines, 4 marauders, 4 medivacs, and 2 tanks. Tanks are too unwieldy in a base race anyway, so I sent them to the cliff on the north side of my main to see if they could shell a few banelings and help with the defense (but my main was mostly dead by the time they set up anyway). Then my bio stimmed and went to kill his undefended third. Around the time his lings were entering my natural, I finished killing it and headed toward his natural, where a few spine crawlers at the bottom of the ramp outside his natural slowed me down for a moment. As I headed into his natural, I scanned the ramp into his main (only seconds before the lings in my main forced me to lift off my last orbital command); he had spawned a batch of about 30 lings and 26 of them were in their coccoons morphing into banelings. And I had no way of knowing how close to done they were.
I should say that while the conventional wisdom is "never base race a Terran," and that wisdom probably still holds true, I think he was playing it out right. Terran's advantages in base race scenarios are well-documented, but here's an often-overlooked one for Zerg: base races necessarily involve fights happening on both sides of the map, and in a low-micro situation, Zerg's army is way better than Terran's. That means all Zerg has to do is squeeze out a few banelings at home, initiate the base race, and then wait until the Terran army seems unattended and roll over them with banelings. Zerg defends, Terran doesn't, and the game's over.
Unfortunately for him, I was watching my army at this particular moment, and I knew full well that if I didn't kill off his surviving bases with this army, then I had lost. So I went up the ramp, keeping the medivacs directly overhead, and double-clicked a marine so I can evacuate in case the banelings suddenly spawned.
I somehow come out of this fight with 17 marines and 1 marauder intact, and proceed to start killing his hive and tech structures. Meanwhile back at my base again, the lings have killed off everything that hasn't floated down toward the base to the north of my main, where there are 4 barracks, 11 workers, 2 tanks which have just started shelling the lings in the main, and an orbital command. Over at the base north of my main, I set up the 4 barracks to surround the tanks, and leave one medivac with them in case the barracks get knocked down and the tanks need to be picked up; the other medivac sits by the SCVs, which start mining. When Zerg scouts this base mining, he sends over a swarm of lings and banelings to find this:
8 of the SCVs and the orbital command could just lift when his army showed up, while tanks shelled the banelings freely. If he decided he really wanted to kill the tanks, he could have his lings attack the barracks for a while, but they'd get shelled the whole time they were attacking; and when they did finally break through, the tanks could just unsiege and get picked up by the medivac. With just 10 supply dedicated to defending that base, he was forced to retreat.
Meanwhile my army finished killing his main, and went to kill his natural, where there was only one drone mining gas. My marines auto-attacked the drone for a moment but I decided to keep my army on move command to see where the drone pathed to with its gas, now that his natural was dead.
Take us to your leader...
Based on the drone's movement, his hatchery must have been at the base just south of his main, so I headed there. There were 4 spine crawlers and a to defend, but all of his lings and banelings were busy over at my new base getting repelled by the tanks. I killed them and started attacking the drones as his army dashed back across the map to meet mine. I positioned the 13 remaining marines behind the minerals to minimize surface area.
Eager to save his drones, he rushed in with the lings before his banelings showed up. The lings all died, leaving all 13 marines still alive, and he gg'd out. Well played, [5CaRy]Tornado![/url]