Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Starcraft 2 - Remembering What "All-In" Means

Ever try an all-in, and then think you can come back from it?  There is no better way to frustration and the desire to BM your opponent than the thought that his build is unfair because your all-in failed and you couldn't come back from it.

This situation happened to me the other day when I did a Roach/Ling all-in against a Protoss FFE and then railed at the unfairness of a 2-Stargate FFE build.  Now - if I had made Hydras, this would be much less of a problem.  However, after spending that much gas on Roaches, and cutting economy to get enough Roach/Ling produced, there's no way to truly come back from mass Void Rays - Spore Crawlers get picked off gradually, as do Queens.  The Void Rays deny anything else until you get swarmed by Gateway units (even just Zealots + Voids will kill you at this point).

What you have to remember when you choose that strategy is that if it fails, and you can't continue to push because he's hard-countered you (meaning his units will just crush yours no matter what you do), you might as well leave the game right then.

Monday, November 7, 2011

FFE and the Roach All-In

I've come across a dilemna regarding the Protoss FFE - at the time you decide to all-in, you cannot tell if they are going double Stargate (your Overlord won't be there in time).  If you try to Roach-Ling all-in the Stargate build, you will lose, because you won't have enough to stop that many Void Rays (even multiple Queens die too fast to that many Voids).  Even if you do a lot of economic damage and balance the scales, 5-6 Voids will take your base apart.  Throwing up a ton of Spores doesn't work because they can simply avoid them or pick off buildings outside your Spore Coverage.  Your only way out is to build Hydras, which requires a Lair, which you won't have if you tried a Roach attack.

I suspect Protoss players are gravitating towards this build because it forces Hydras, which are slow, cannot counterattack worth crap, and are vulnerable to Zealots (which Protoss can make after spending all their gas on Void Rays).

Time to give up the Roach-Ling all-ins...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Starcraft 2: How Platinum is Different From Gold

Well, I've played a LOT of Starcraft 2 over the past 3 weeks, and what do you know?  I got promoted to Platinum in Season 4.  Yay me!

Now I have a whole new set of problems.  First, I'm losing a lot more.  No one likes losing. Most of all, I'm losing to "early air strategies" against Protoss and Terran.  But WHY am I losing?  I'm losing because:

I'M NOT SCOUTING PROPERLY!

What does this mean?  It means that I scout too late, don't scout BOTH the front AND the main base itself, and I don't Baneling Bust against tech builds, which should be a tool in my arsenal.

Scouting the front is important because it will tell you things like army composition, and it will tell you about impending early-aggression builds such as Hellions.  It will also tell you whether your own early aggression will pay off, such as "how many bunkers or cannons or spines did he build?".  I suggest scouting the front at the 4, 5, 7 and 10 minute marks, at minimum.

As a Zerg, you should be floating an Overlord into your opponent's main base at about the 30 supply mark, which should give you an idea about his tech.  If you're smart about the direction your Overlord comes from, he should see SOMETHING before being shot down.

Taking Xel'Naga towers is another important one.  I lost a game because I Roach-Rushed RIGHT BY A TOWER I didn't hold, giving my opponent the time to build Bunkers and Marauders, and then crush me with Banshee harass and a follow-up Marine-Tank push.  /facepalm

So... while Macro got me to Platinum, it's not going to get me into Diamond unless I get smarter about scouting.