Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Heart of the swarm

So, after the bright new dawn of me deciding to blog about my SC2 experience, I logged on last night and played three times. I play Terran, by the way. Two of those games were against zerg, and there were two defeats. In my other game I played and beat a pretty awful turtling terran (I should say that I beat him even though at one stage I managed to nuke my own army by accident - I was trying out ghosts for the first time!).

Game 1 - vs Random on Shakuras Plateau

This guy rolled zerg and 6 or 7 pooled me. I always, always wall off when I face zerg, and do so slightly earlier than normal - I build my supply depot on 9 supply instead of 10 supply, and then send that worker to scout. The reason for this is that cheese is so common in lower leagues, especially by zerg players. I get those 6 zerglings turning up early about 50% of the time I think.

The problem here was that I built my second supply depot in the wrong place so there wasn't a complete wall off, and took a while to cancel it and rebuild. At this time my scout reached his base and I saw a couple of zerglings - I thought "shit, 7 pool!" and frantically tried to rebuild my depot but the zerglings arrived about half a second before I replaced the supply depot in the right place. In my panic I hadn't started building my marine from the barracks and the zerglings were in my mineral line before I even started to do that. Sigh.

What to learn then? Well make sure the wall off is in place! I might also not scout with my worker after the first depot is built but wait until after the barracks is built. It's a slightly later scout, but should mean I have more minerals and can therefore complete the wall faster.

Game 2 - vs Zerg on Blistering Sands

Another defeat. This time against a non-cheesing fast expanding zerg, who baneling busted me off two bases and killed me with a pretty large swarm of roaches and mutas.

I actually started quite well here, with an infantry push on about 6 minutes that killed the queen at his natural, the lings protecting it, and a bunch of drones. I then left him alone for ages (huge mistake right there) and when I pushed again at the destructible rocks at his back door I saw a few roaches lings and banelings shuffle past on the way to my base. I stopped hitting his back door to intercept the push, and I killed all the roaches and banelings although the zerglings cleaned up my infantry. Again though, I left him alone, and when I eventually expanded (so, so late) he just charged forward in a mass and went through the front door like a hammer.

So what did I do wrong? I was so, so late in expanding. I didn't harrass the FE enough, I had far too much gas and not enough minerals (hint - build SCVs!), I didn't tech to siege tanks in time to repel his push. I was too slow too slow too slow. Bah. This one hurt to lose, because I *knew* I was messing up. I perhaps got complacent after the first push, even though I know that if your opponent expands and you hit them hard at their expansion, any damage you do is only making up your economic disadvantage, not putting you ahead.

Nevertheless, I had been determined to push at about 5.30 with whatever infantry I had, and I did that and it worked well. I did the same in my next game against the terran player and took two supply depots and put him firmly on the defensive. The difference was that in the second game I followed it up with more aggression and eventually won. I think I'll do that all the time in future.

I think I need to decide on a build order and try to stick to it. At present I'm trying to do lots of different things ("maybe I should make some hellions..."), or to decide on the fly how many production buildings I need or when to expand. This not only makes all my builds a bit rubbish, but it's hard to learn what I could do better each time. My next post will be my build order from now on.

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