Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Replay analysis 20 March 2012

Replay is here


Ok, so this is just a catalogue of fail. It illustrates just how bad I am at the moment. My opponent was in silver league by the way, and he absolutely destroyed me (I have won TvT games against platinum ranked players not too long ago).

Let's start with the positives - the build was ok to start with. I could have added more barracks earlier, but the idea of 1 rax expanding with gas before orbital is fine. That, frankly, is the only positive I can take from the game.

Starting with the opening drop which took out two tanks in exchange for some marines, I kept losing engagements and getting further and further behind. The tragedy is that I could have cleaned up that stupid position of his by my base really early by simply attacking it on the low ground - I'd have killed both his tanks and all his bio on the low ground. I could have prevented his getting the gold up.

What, if anything, can I learn from that fiasco? Well:

1) My macro slipped really badly during the crisis management I was having to do. I need to work on that hugely - I simply was not building units fast enough. That contain should not have killed me - I should have build more units and broken out.

2) The hidden base was a stupid idea. I could easily have defended my normal third base with tanks. That lost me the game.

3) Don't try to engage a contain piecemeal - you lose lots of little battles. Better to macro up, keep the opponent at arm's length and wait for the perfect moment to strike.

4) I forgot to bind my engineering bay to a hotkey. Upgrades on the marines are key to this build.


So where has it been going wrong?

I’ve been in gold league since I stopped blogging last summer. I feel that there are a few reasons for this, but a big one is that the community as a whole is getting better at the game. I’m a better player now than I was back then, and yet I’ve stagnated. The purpose of this blog is to enable me to get better at a faster rate than everyone else.

I have been a mech player in TvT and TvZ for some time. I don’t particularly like mech in terms of its “look and feel”, but I do think it’s easier to play.

In TvP I experimented with mech for some time, but I could never really make it work and so I do what everyone else does – bio plus medivacs and vikings. I really dislike the pure bio style in this matchup – I hate that you can’t control space, and that the protoss can just kill you with his tech. You have to go bio because gateway units crush everything else, but as soon as the protoss gets colossus or HTs then you need exactly the right kind of counter tech and you need to use it perfectly, or you are just dead.

Anyway, enough QQ. This is about positivity – what can I do differently.

I want to play a marine-tank-medivac style in all three matchups. So that’s what I’m going to do, even if I lose games while I'm getting the hang of the style. My opening I think will be a 1 rax FE in every matchup – that keeps it simple and I can practice refining the build and gameplan.

So – how to get there? I think I need a more focussed approach to my practice, so my new schedule when I get online will be:

1) Begin with some micro exercises – either a marine split, or one of the micro trainer maps.

2) Build order and multitasking training. I will spend 15 mins practicing my build order in a custom game with no opponent. The idea is that you rally your units to the centre of the map, and only look at your base for a split second to build something, then switch back to your army.

3) I’ll then play 2 to 3 games, although I’ll stop if I lose 2 in a row.

4) I’ll pick one game and analyse it on here.

5) I'll play 1 more game to try to put right what I did wrong.

Hopefully this will help me improve.

Marine-tank gameplay

The goal of marine-tank play is to take up a good map position and force the opponent to attack into your tanks. Meanwhile you trade marines for your opponent's gas units and harrass via drops to try to damage their economy and tech.

So my goal will be to expand quickly and to protect that economy from early aggression. I will get my infantry upgrades and tech and once I have that I will try to move out.

I won't try to push and win, but the goal will be to contain my opponent on two bases while I take a third and get a supply lead. All the time I'll keep trading small squads of marines for damage to my opponent.

I will try tonight, and my next post will be my first draft build order.


OK, so it's been a while. Nearly a year.

I've not updated this in a long time, but I'm in a place where I think I need the blog again - I simply don't seem to be able to get into platinum league, my APM remains stubbornly in the 40s, and I'm in the middle of an epic losing streak.

So it's time to take stock. My goals for this blog:

1) Work out how I want to play the game

2) Work out builds that let me get there

3) Practice those builds to death

4) Review my replays and analyse them to see what I can do better

5) Practice my micro

6) Watch and analyse pro replays to see what they can teach me

7) I'm also playing some 2v2 these days and I might talk about that too.

8) I am *considering* getting some professional coaching. We'll see about that.

First proper post later today.