Beta: First win, feels good

My third game against a real opponent begins with some friendly banter. I went Random and got the Zerg, while my opponent went Terran. I was expecting to get hammered again, but I decided to try my best anyway, unlike the last time when I threw the game for jokes.

I didn’t have any “build” in mind but I kept thinking of the basic rules I had heard commentators repeat: Spend your money. Build workers. Expand. Use aggression. I felt frantic, and could feel my adrenaline going at times, but apparently my opponent was even less organized…

At 6:30 in the game, I had 13 Drones and 10 Zerglings, whereas he opted to build no attack units, and instead get SCVs, a Planetary Fortress and research Building Armor. A strange choice indeed, but I suppose he was planning on using defense — which would almost makes sense, since it’s a “Novice” map where the destructible rocks make charging out into battle difficult. Still, that’s a lot of money being spent on things that he can’t really use. As the game progresses he decides to queue up a bunch of other upgrades such as Infantry Weapons, Infantry Armor, Neosteel Frames, etc. Three reapers and a pair of marines act as his army soon after.

Fast forward to 14:00 and the units stack up like this:

I have 10 Zerglings, 3 Hydralisks, 6 Mutalisks and 2 Roaches, whereas he still has only added a single Raven. My natural expansion is going strong, whereas he bypassed his natural expansion in favor of a more distant, difficult to defend one. Thanks to my Changeling scout I knew this, so I sent my Mutalisks in to clear out his expansion and see what kind of army he could defend with. As it turns out, he has some more Ravens and a Thor.

After destroying his three defenseless Ravens, which he sent in for reasons unknown, I’ve cost him 1,550 resources worth of units. A single Thor is enough to convince me to retreat, but it won’t be long until I’m attacking again. I swoop around to his main base and attack his pathetic handful of Marines and Reapers, and proceed to harass the SCV line until the Planetary Fortress drives me away. But again, this attack confirms my suspicion that now is a good time to be aggressive, so I take all my units, bust down the rocks, and swarm his main base. By doing so I manage to take out 3 more Thors and a Viking.

What I didn’t realize is that the attack animation for the Planetary Fortress doesn’t exist, so my units were being blasted and killed without me realizing the source. They just suddenly shriveled up and died with nobody around, which meant that I lost most of my army before I caught on. As I retreated with the last bunch of survivors, I had lost 26 units for a cost of 3,150 resources, whereas he had lost 28 for a cost of 4,675. Although this wasn’t a failure, it certainly wasn’t as deciding as it should have been. I was forced to rebuild, regroup and try something else.

Before long (23:00) I have a substantial attack force of Roaches, Hydralisks and Mutalisks, and I attack his expansion. Little did I know that he had constructed Missile Turrets, and converted his Command Center into a Planetary fortress — scouting really would have helped. But I blindly rushed in and got my army destroyed again. The Thors that he insisted on building more of came to his aid and I barely managed to make the trade off worth it. Something had to change.

Yes, I decide to get the gold mineral expansion and ramp up production. I have another army waiting outside his base before long, including Corrupters this time, and I’ve scouted pretty much everywhere with my Overlords and Changelings. The boost to my economy gives me more resources than I know what to do with, and I feel confident that I can plow through his defenses this time.

The attack goes well, since he had no units in the way, but simply the Fortress and Missile Turrets. Focus fire and overwhelming units make it an easy kill, but the Thors appear as usual and I’m forced to use Corruption to weaken them. This made the Roaches much stronger and allowed me to take them out, but not without my own army getting thinned.

I insisted on pushing my luck and taking advantage of his weakened state (since I had tons of money in the bank and good production capabilities to match) but there were 3 more Thors, some Ravens and… again… the invisible Planetary Fortress. It was a big mistake on my part, but I still didn’t full realize how much that building was doing to my army. I thought my units were simply weakened from previous battle and were getting taken out by the newly constructed Thor. But no, it was the Fortress again. My losses begin to accumulate, but with every passing minute that means less and less to me. I’m rich and he isn’t expanding.

The smoke clears and silence falls over the map. While I’m building my forces, I decide to un-burrow some of my old Hydralisks, and take advantage of something I spot with my Changeling: a couple of flying Vikings with Ravens just sitting in his main base. No ground units are present. I walk my Hyrdralisks into his base and shoot down some Vikings before he retaliates with Defensive Drones from his Ravens. This repels me, but I’ve forced him to waste energy and taken out some of his stuff. Psychologically he is definitely struggling.

Pretty soon my reinforcements arrive in the form of upgraded Mutalisks, and I punch through the little Defense Drones and Ravens in one swoop. From there it’s an easy ride to destroying his buildings and Fortress, as well as all the SCVs. I’ve won the game, but he doesn’t “gg”.

Turns out he has one last stand at his expansion. The Fortress is still up and he’s build more Turrets, but as more reinforcements arrive I demolish it easily and expand in the meantime. My Infestor uses his goopy stuff on the SCVs and I wipe out his world.

I wait for him to type “gg” again, but he doesn’t. I wonder if he was upset, or just doesn’t know that it’s customary. In any case, I feel proud of my victory and am glad to see how my noob Zerg pans out against a noob Terran.

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About Mr. Wolfe
Mr. Wolfe has earned somewhat of a reputation due to his commendable feats of self-restraint while discussing and analyzing the world around him.

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