Part II: Veni, Vidi, Vici, or "That was easy"
by semioldguy and Last Romantic
+ Show Spoiler [Victims] +
While waiting in the lobby for Karune to arrive, I took a picture of the press there. GG.net, broodwar.de, pcgamer.com, sc2forums.com, sclegacy.com, and various others: two dozen-odd representatives from all over the world came to wade into battle in the vast unknown world of SC2. They announced a 2v2 tournament to be held at 2PM; semioldguy and I put our names at the top of the signup list.
I played maybe 15-20 games that day, ranging from quick dual-gate manly wins to longer 200/200 hydra/infester stomps. Semioldguy played a few less, since he was busy taking pictures and updating our progress on TL. Regardless, from the first friendly game of the day to the last battle of the tournament, we never once called ‘GG’ to another site. This is our story:
The Pride of War
First game I played was a PvZ against semioldguy on a two-player ashworld map. The nat was close, guarded by a choke, with a faraway elevated multi and a closer island multi for each player.
I FE’d, but my timing was a bit off – not only do you start with six probes and 10 total supply, but probes mine 6 minerals at a time, which alters build timings somewhat. This trend – ‘normal’ SC1 builds not really working out cleanly in SC2 – was expected, but threw me off a bit.
I scouted him 9-pooling, but defended with cannons. He ran by and picked off a couple probes before I cleaned up the incursion. Around this point I finally realized that my zealot blades were pink, and my pylon was pinkish-red. Brushing aside my annoyance, I progressed into a +1 speedlot build with the odd stalker for defense, forgoing phoenix scout and simply cannoning both main and nat.
Mutalisks came and caused me some disturbance. Stalkers have same range as upgraded dragoon, but are weaker HP-wise; they defended the mutalisks with some help from cannons and my hastily-made cotton-candy archon [which both of us initially thought was a DA]. I imagine that if muta micro were still possible, he could have done more damage – fortunately, Blizzard hasn’t yet figured out how to put that in.
My zealot/stalker/archon counter got lost a couple times, but enough parts of it found enough of his expos and persuaded him to concede shortly after. Some things I noticed: Build timings are going to come out differently. Mutalisks came before +1/speed; FE timings are a bit different – it really is a different game.
After our time in interviews with Chris, Dustin and Sam we headed back to the LAN room to finally get to play some of the game. Sure, we got to play one game before the interviews, in which Last Romantic was the victor. In that first game I only used the units that were also in the original game as I figured I know how to use these units best and to see if they played differently. I wouldn’t make that mistake again. When I was harassing LR with Mutalisks, the control on them was nothing like the original game and I spotted what I thought was a Dark Archon. I went to pick it off with my Mutalisks, but then it attacked them. It was an Archon. LR just happened to be red so it looked like what I would expect a Dark Archon to look like. I didn’t make that mistake again either.
in the rush of seat-grabbing, this image came out rather blurry; we were all too eager to play
When Last Romantic and I returned, we got in on a couple of 2v2’s for practice. Any of the worry that might have been in my mind was washed away after we completely annihilated a couple other teams. I don’t remember much else from these first games other than some crazy macro and that the Phoenix was not nearly as good as I remembered from Blizzcon.
Last Romantic and I then joined a game to explore the Zerg tech tree. We basically thought up unit combinations and threw them at each other to see what would happen and how effective certain things were. We tried the effectiveness of attacks between units, we would send in an estimated attack against an estimated defense and try to modify the attack until we could break it. This is about when we decided that Roaches were ridiculous. Roaches with ling support are easy to get to fast and a powerful early game combination. We set up another ZvZ game in which the premise was LR would try to Roach rush me and I would try to stop it.
Of course knowing exactly what was going to happen I got an early queen and set up enough static defense along with some Zerglings to hold off the first assault. The next wave did a little more damage, but I held that off as well and had teched to Roaches myself (in retrospect, had I gone straight to Hydralisks, which are Lair tech, I would have likely demolished any of the next attacks). The third wave of Roach/Ling was just too much for me to handle. I lost my queen and could not recover as more reinforcements came in. It seemed like a solid strategy. I liked it.
The next few 2v2 matches we worked on a specific build order. The one we came up with is the same build I used for every game in the 2v2 tournament. This is about what the build order ended up as for me each time: Spawning Pool at 13 drones, followed immediately by an Extractor. Keep making drones until I had enough for a second Hatchery. When the Spawning Pool finished I would immediately begin a Roach Den and then back to 14 drones before I would stop drone production for Zerglings. By then I have enough spare resources to make a Queen, in case she was ever needed. When the Roach Den was done I just keep pumping mostly Roaches with a few Zerglings interspersed as well as doing level one upgrades for both units.
After talking with Sigaty/Browder/Didier, we were loosed on the machines. At this point, my memory grows hazy as to who, exactly, I played – but I remember bits and pieces of the games, and will try to reconstruct them.
1) A teamplay 3v3 in which I massacre all three opponents with mutaling and some assistance from semioldguy. Zerglings are incredibly strong – 100/100 for speed upgrade which also gives you +1/+1 on all your lings = imbalanced. Mutalisks are a trip to control [frankly, cannot be done the same way] but I just made 2 groups [well, 24. They fit on one key] of them and attack-moved with 40 or so lings to clean people up. I didn’t really learn much from this game, except that ling upgrades are quite strong.
2) I cannon rushed someone; it works much the same way as cannon rush in SC1 but has the added bonus of leapfrogging ability [warp]. Pylons are weaker, 200/200, but cannons are stronger, 125/125. The maps had some nifty placement spots for cannons, so rA should still be able to have a ball with that.
3) In a test game with semioldguy, I attempted some semblance of a queen rush – but queens walk way too slowly to have any real attacking capability. I also experimented with roach power, guardians, ultralisks, lurkers, nydus worms, what-have-you. The most interesting conclusion we reached was that roach/ling can stomp all over any early-game defense zerg can put up. I was able to break a queen, 8 swarm clutches (the new, weaker sunken/spore combination) and about 20 lings with a handful of roaches and a group of my own lings.
4) This led us to play a real ZvZ, in which we both roach rushed one another. Roach rush is something like this – first 50 gas to roach den, next 100 gas to zergling speed/+1/+1; keep making lings, save larvae when roach den is about to finish, and make 6 roaches [they cost 25 gas and like 100 minerals each]. Go in and kill people – if it doesn’t work, go for mutalisks since zerg has no real anti-air capability. I won the roach war with slightly better micro [surrounded his first few roaches with lings] but I found roaches to be quite damage-resilient.
5) Sog and I also played a T/P vs Z/P game which was kind of silly. It involved me macroing to 200/200 tank/jackal/thor while he got a crapload of warprays/phoenix. We walked over their paltry forces about 15 minutes in to their exclamations of ‘whoa, that’s a lot of tanks’. Sieging 20 of the new tanks at once is really quite amazing. It can blow lots of shit up. Macro is a tad easy, though. You can queue 10 depots at once, then occasionally just press 3t4j and macro perfectly. I found myself not really making use of my full handspeed. As for whether or not it was an efficient unit mix – I really have no idea. We outnumbered the enemy 10:1; I don’t think it’s really relevant what units you use at that point.
6) There were some other silly macro wins involving hordes of colossi, masses of hydralisks, vast armies of manly zealots – basically I wanted to demonstrate that unit production is too simple: someone like me, who only started playing the game in the morning, should not be able to macro that well [granted, I am a passable SC1 player, but my SC1 macro is weaker than my SC2 macro; something that took me that many years to train should not be eclipsed by one day of gameplay]
7) There was one close game where semioldguy and I faced off against GG.net’s Raistlin and his Terran partner ‘GeneralMengsk’. Due to my badly-placed detection, Raistlin wiped out my nat defence with DTs and then sent in a wave of zealot/immortal, which did a number against my defending jackal/tank. The analogous matchup is somewhat in favor of Protoss now; despite approximately even numbers, he was able to destroy my cc and push me back to my choke. Up in the north, semioldguy was not faring much better, as the opposing Terran’s cliffed tanks and Protoss reinforcements blew apart his natural nexus and sent him reeling.
We fought back with iloveoov-style macro and some secret expansions; eventually I figured out how to make comsats and from then on my tank push combined with semioldguy’s air was inexorable. I split my 200/200 army in half, and didn’t even really need siege to smash through the enemy defences for the hard-fought W.
We decided that semioldguy would roach rush while I'd do whatever the hell I felt like doing as a random player. With that, we went into the 2v2 tournament bright-eyed and ready for anything.
The seats of the victors. Trivia: we had Microsoft Opticals; everyone else had Razers.
Victory after Victory
The Map, 'Belshir':
We couldn’t get a picture of the map itself, as we weren’t allowed to take photos of the screens, but here's a rundown of the four-player map that we used. Spawning locations were in the four corners, on low ground, but no cliff near the resources to worry about. There is a choke between the main and the cliffable nat with two adjacent entrances. There were expansions at clock positions on high ground between the main and nat; you needed to destroy a 2000-hp rock barrier to reach it. Also, there were high-yield mineral expansions at 3 and 9 o'clock, closer to the center than the high-ground expos. The area in the middle was mostly open with some doodads, neutral observatories and such. The map was 128x128, IIRC - a middling size.
So, the 2v2 tournament. We played four different teams, in four different games – it’s a bit hazy, but I’ll try to remember what happened. Beforehand, a couple other representatives were discussing whether or not TeamLiquid was favored to win the tournament; semioldguy and I smiled and let the games speak for themselves.
This report will be from my own memory and point of view. LR should have a parallel account from his own viewpoint if you want to match ours up to one another. I don’t remember everything from these specific games as there were quite a few games played throughout the day and it sort of all runs together in my mind.
TL_semioldguy/R!TL_LastRomantic vs Z/RP team.
I spawned top right, semioldguy took bottom right, the enemy Protoss was top left, and the enemy Zerg was bottom left.
I opened two-gate upon scouting the opposing Protoss’s 2-gate strategy; the initial zealot skirmishes were fought to a draw; I perhaps had a zealot or two more, but waited for semioldguy’s roaches and lings to arrive before pushing in. We smashed through the defending zealot line with roaches and zealots, while other roaches and lings held off his ally’s reinforcements. Upon destroying the pylon [200/200 hp; destroying them is more sensible now] we went in and massacred his probes.
The zerg attempted a counter at my base with a control group or so of zerglings; I fought it off with 4 stalkers and some micro [I had teched and expanded while killing the other P], losing only one stalker and fending off the attack. From then on, it was a simple case of pumping units off of two bases and attack moving for the win.
As we sat down to play, our opponents groaned about having the misfortune of being paired against Team Liquid in the first round. Intimidation had already been infused without having said a single word. Excellent. That’s just how it should be.
Both randoms spawned as Protoss. I went with the Roach build described above and then we both moved out. Roaches, Lings and Zealots tore through the first player with minimal losses. We poured the surving army as well as the reinforcements immediately into the other opponent’s base and the game was over in less than 12 minutes.
TeamLiquid 1:0 Other Sites
TL_semioldguy/R!TL_LastRomantic vs T/P team.
I warped in as Protoss again, bottom left, while semioldguy took his Zerg at bottom right. Their Protoss came in top right, while their Terran was top left.
I opened with two gateways at my natural after scouting the Terran’s wall-in and Protoss’ two-gate. With marines and zealots headed towards semioldguy, I opted to counter at Terran’s base with my zealots. Distracted, the enemy Terran neglected to micro at home, leaving his marines outside his wall and failing to repair his depots. Manfully swiping their blue psi-blades, my zealots tore into soft Terran flesh in a manner Reach himself would have approved of.
After the carnage was over, semioldguy was near-death with a queen and two roaches, while I had a half-dozen zealots and a couple stalkers. We sent our forces to the other Protoss, who barely defended with cannons and zealots. I waited a couple minutes to gather up more stalkers, and eventually attack-moved over the remaining enemy to claim domination of the battlefield.
By the end of this game we had a handful of people crowded behind our computers watching us. Since I had a good amount of spare APM, I was semi-chatting with semioldguy through parts of the game. He was more sensible and responded with very curt one-letter answers. Spoilsport.
Last Romantic came out once again as Protoss. This was probably the most intense game. For me it was anyway. I doubt LR had any problems this game. As my Spawning Pool had just finished two marines come walking into my base. I grab all of my drones and surround them. The Marines try to escape, but my drones have them trapped and the Marines can’t do much other than spin in circles. With only a couple drones lost I send them back to work.
I make a couple drones to replace the ones that fell in battle and continue with my build as normal, but with one slight change. I make my Queen early. If the rush is followed up, which I expect it will be, then I will probably need its support. Sure enough about eight or so of both Marines and Zealots come marching in like they own the place, my Queen having just hatched begins making a couple defense structures while the few Zerglings I have hold off the intruders a bit longer. The two defensive structures I make go down pretty quickly and there about six of both Marines and Zealots left. I pull all of my drones again and have a couple Roaches that are just now starting to morph. I send the zealots chasing after a couple unlucky drones while the majority of my forces go in to remove the fragile Marines. My last drone is destroyed just as my Roaches hatch, the Marines are now blood splatters and five Zealots remain. With a bit of micro I get rid of the Zealots.
I have 61 minerals, a Queen, two Roaches, and no drones. I cancel my upgrade and make three drones. During all this time LR had amassed some of his own Zealots and managed to wipe out the cheesing and probably defenseless Terran player. Now that I didn’t have hardly anything to do, I watched as the Terran player got completely owned. LR goes on to attack the Protoss player and I send in my two Roaches. My economy is almost up and running again so I dedicate more of my resources to resuming Roach production. After a couple attempts we break into the Protoss base successfully and claim victory for Team Liquid.
TeamLiquid 2:0 Other Sites
TL_semioldguy/R!TL_LastRomantic vs P/T team.
We faced up against another undefeated team. While we were waiting for them to finish, I overheard an amusing tidbit from a couple representatives from some site I didn’t know.
Guy 1: I’m glad we don’t have to play Liquid
Guy 2: Yeah, they’re like progamers or something.
Me: *is amused*
That warmed the cockles of my heart. I finished eating a slice of pizza to power my fighting fingers and warring hands while waiting for the game to end; I caught the last bit of the game wherein Raistlin lost to DTs and his partner fell soon afterwards.
We were up against the victors of that game, a T/P team with a predilection for Dark Templar rushes. I actually don’t remember much from this game, either. I do remember that I saw the dropship healing some units and totally freaked out – I didn’t actually know it could heal beforehand. Eventually large numbers of zealots, templars, and stalkers won over the Protoss, after which the Terran conceded.
I really wish I could remember more of what happened. It was the longest of the tournament games, if I recall correctly, and our opponents put up a decent struggle – but TL’s MBS-assisted macro won out in the end.
I went with the Roach build again and LR with whatever he had been doing the past couple games, at least I’d assume so since he kept getting the same race. We pushed against the Protoss force first. After making sure he could not get his natural expansion we were repelled several times out of his main. We maintained an advantage though and kept on the offensive. Eventually we broke through and took the Protoss down.
I wish I could remember more details of this game, but I think LR remembers more here than I do. After we crush the Protoss, the Terran player stands little chance against us and we take our victory. This was probably the longest game we played at just under twenty minutes.
TeamLiquid 3:0 Other Sites
TL_semioldguy/R!TL_LastRomantic vs P/R!P team
This game was somewhat silly. I walled, they did dual two-gate zealot rush and came after me instead of sog. With the assistance of my depots and some marine micro, I beat off twelve zealots with six marines and two SCVs. I pushed out with a tank and a handful of marines; semioldguy’s roach/ling force joined me and we went to smash one of the Protosses.
Though our forces eventually succumbed to zealot/cannon/probe, we gave a good account of ourselves. semioldguy continued to harass with roach/ling while I macroed up a 200/200 jackal/tank/thor army. To my great chagrin, my tanks barely got a round off: they gg’d once my troops came in their massive glory to their front door.
We were the only undefeated team left at this point, so first was pretty much in the bag. We wouldn’t settle for anything less than undefeated though and we went into our last game with supreme confidence. Last Romantic finally got something other than Protoss as he found himself as a Terran player. I sent my first Roach/Ling to help defend against the enemy while LR went straight to metal. The pushing was slower this time around when we got to that point, but it dominated. Both opponents were Protoss, the first one we attacked had several cannons protecting his choke but we forced ourselves in anyway.
As we entered the main there were more cannons, but lings took them out quickly and everything else cleaned up the rest. Since we hadn’t bothered the other guy, I send all my new roaches to his base and scuttle them into the mineral line where they make quick work of all the probes there. I do the same at the first base with my Roaches that are still on assault, marching them past where we are attacking and camp them in the minerals. Neither of our opponents is mining at this point and before long we wave the flag of victory.
TeamLiquid 4:0 Other Sites.
that was easy
For first place we were awarded with Starcraft 2 t-shirts, Blizzard Entertainment messenger bags, the soundtrack to the original Starcraft and discs with high quality versions of the Zerg trailer and Zerg unit demonstration video.
Part III will be coming up soon: A detailed analysis of gameplay, along with a picture-tour of the new Blizzard HQ.
Love and Luck,
LR + sog
P.S. In case you guys missed these threads:
Ask LR about SC2
Ask semioldguy about SC2