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WNS Week 3: vVv vs StyleCraft

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This week we had another exciting episode of Wednesday Night StarCraft. We had some intense back and forth matches, with a final score of 3-3, StyleCraft's final player unfortunately being unable to show. As with last week, I'll give a brief analysis of each game.

Replay Pack

Game 1: Titan(Z) vs Seig(T) on Shattered Temple

Titan spawns in the 3 o'clock position, Seig spawns in the 9 o'clock. Titan opens with his signature speedling expand, with Seig opting for a 1 rax hellion expand. Titan scouts Seig's hellions with some lings, and when Seig arrives at Titan's natural, Titan is able to quickly force Seig's hellions into a corner, killing them with pure ling and a few queens. Titan is able to drone hard behind this and gain a large advantage.

Titan breaks the rocks at the gold immediately after this skirmish, and makes some lings and banelings to secure map control. Titan also adds a spire to do some muta harass and shut down drops. Meanwhile, Seig takes the expansion in the upper left corner, and begins massing a marine/marauder/medivac/tank force.

Seig begins pushing at the 15 minute mark, but Titan is nearly maxed with a huge muta/ling/baneling army, and has creep covering the entire middle of the map, stretching from his natural nearly into the naturals of the other three bases. Approaching 200/200, Titan sets up a huge flank on Seig's army and attacks, killing most of Seig's army, and most importantly, taking out all but three tanks, leaving two in the deep red. Seig continues his push despite the losses, and Titan's reinforcements swiftly destroy Seig on the creep.

In this game, Titan macroed very well, and Seig's opening which relied on hellion harass to do economic damage failed. Given the relatively easy to defend natural on shattered temple, I believe Seig's opening is poorly chosen here.

Game 2: Titan(Z) vs lkjewq(Z)

Titan spawns at the left base, with lkjewq spawning close by air, at the southern base. These spawns are good for ZvZ, since both players have complete information for a long time, resulting in fewer games lost to chance.

lkjewq opens with an unusual 13 hatchery, with Titan going for a 15 hatch at the gold, one of his innovative builds on metalopolis. lkjewq makes a fast roach warren, with Titan opening ling/baneling, a strong opening given the massive mineral advantage he obtains by having the gold base. Titan stops at 22 drones before pumping pure ling/baneling, and destroys lkjewq, even catching all of his roaches out in the open.

lkjewq was probably surprised by Titan's opening, and did not respond optimally to it. By expanding to the gold base, Titan is going to have a very difficult time defending early pressure, but will quickly pull ahead in resources. If Titan is ever allowed to go on the offensive, lkjewq will probably lose the game, since this eliminates Titan's main weakness, and his economic advantage will allow him to win.

Since lkjewq does not see a spawning pool, extractor or hatchery at Titan's expansion, he can know that Titan is probably taking the gold expansion without directly scouting it. Given this information, he should save larva to immediately produce 8 when his spawning pool finishes, and use the larva advantage from the early hatchery, as well as Titan's weak defensive position to end the game before Titan can effect an economic advantage.

Game 3: Titan(Z) vs GenX(Z) on Xel'Naga Caverns

Titan opens with a speedling expand, with GenX opting for the more aggressive quick baneling nest, possibly in response to Titan pulling his drones off of gas after 100. Titan adds one drone back to gas after initially pulling all three, to try to trick GenX, but this was ineffective.

Since GenX has baneling/speedling against Titan's pure ling, there is very little Titan can do, though he attemps to get a baneling nest of his own up. Unfortunately, this is far too late, and GenX has already managed to do economic damage and trade cost-effectively with Titan. When Titan is finally morphing banelings, GenX has twice as many lings, an equal number of banelings, and two additional drones.

Although GenX succeeds in winning the fight at Titan's natural, Titan goes for a ling counterattack, killing all of GenX's drones and queens. GenX has done the same in Titan's base, though, and in the end Titan is down to four drones vs GenX's twenty zerglings, and calls the GG.

Game 4: Time vs GenX on Shakuras Plateau

GenX spawns in the lower right, with me spawning in the lower left. GenX goes for a 15 hatchery with a fairly late gas, so I decide to skip the first zealot and go for a 1 gate expand. GenX makes a quick spine crawler, so the initial stalker does no damage, while GenX's initial lings run into my base, causing a lot of lost mining time, but relatively few probe losses. GenX makes many queens and drones hard, playing the Spanishiwa style. I scout with a probe, seeing a drone going to plant a third hatchery, and several lings.

Expecting ling/infestor play, I decide to do a quick two base all-in with blink and several sentries. GenX sends lings behind my army trying to pick off proxy pylons, but there is already one situated at the upper middle expansion. I attack into his third base, killing a hatchery and chasing down 3 queens. Unfortunately, he comes in from behind getting some nice fungals while I am controlling my units poorly, and I fall incredibly far behind. From here, he continues to macro well and make ling/infestor and wins the game easily.

Since I was going for a two base all-in and his third was not even mining yet, I should have just attacked into his main, going for the kill before there were several infestors out. Attacking his third definitely destroyed any chance I had of winning this game.

Game 5: aLeJ(P) vs GenX(Z) on Tal'Darim Altar.

aLeJ spawns in the upper left, and begins a wall at his natural to forge fast expand. GenX goes for a hatch first. Upon seeing this, aLeJ throws up a three pylon wall and begins cannons to force a cancel on GenX's hatchery. GenX cancels and builds and spine crawler in his base to break out.

Meanwhile, GenX builds a hatchery in aLeJ's base with his scouting drone, and makes a roach warren. aLeJ fails to scout his base for the proxy hatchery in time, and GenX begins pumping roaches and a queen from the hatchery. aLeJ can do nothing to stop the roaches, and gg's quickly.

After forcing a cancel on a zerg's expansion, a protoss player should always scout their main and outside their natural for any sort of proxy hatch shenanigans, as well as scout the map for a hidden expansion. This basically wins the game on the spot, as the zerg can only go on to do a weak one base all-in from here, which is of course not effective on a map as large as Tal'Darim.

Game 6: Murder(T) vs GenX(Z) on Testbug

If you only watch one game from this series, this is the game to watch.

Murder spawns in the 11 o'clock position, with GenX spawning at 3 o'clock. Murder opens with an aggressive 2 barracks expansion, building the barracks at his natural. GenX opens hatch first, and is forced to make a spine crawler and several lings to defend. Neither player takes many losses from the initial marine pressure, and the game is about even after the opening.

GenX adds several queens and three spine crawlers, then drones up to 49 drones before beginning ling production. Murder adds a third barracks and techs quickly to siege and medivacs. Murder pushes out with his first two tanks as GenX begins his third base. They trade armies, Murder coming out ahead in supply, but GenX is able to finish his third, and has the energy upgrade for his infestors completed.

Murder begins breaking the rocks at the southwest gold expansion, while GenX builds several infestors and zerglings to take control of the center of the map. Behind this control, GenX quickly techs to greater spire. However, despite his early drone lead and quicker third base, GenX has not made many drones, opting instead to get infestors and broodlords quickly. Murder is ahead in workers, and with mules and a third base at the gold, he will quickly pull ahead if GenX does not capitalize on his tech advantage.

Murder has scanned GenX's base and sees the quick hive. He knows that his economy is strong, but that if GenX is able to pressure him he will lose quickly to the broodlord/infestor doom army that GenX will soon have. Murder goes on the offensive, dropping GenX's main to get his army out of position while pushing onto the creep with marine/tank. Murder clears most of the creep tumors and targets down some infestors. Broodlords complete morphing and force murder to retreat, but GenX plays overly aggressive, losing several of his infestors to kill relatively sacrificial marines.

GenX rallies all his hatcheries to the center and pushes onto Murder's gold with six broodlords, two infestors and some lings. However, GenX crucially blunders by morphing the remainder of his coruptors into broodlords, allowing three vikings to kill eight broodlords. Murder has lost his gold base, but is ahead 50 supply. Murder moves out with eleven tanks, some marines, and five vikings to secure the center and take the gold expansion again. GenX only has ling/infestor remaining, so can do nothing to stop murder as he closes the gap in workers.

Both players begin taking their fourth base, and GenX abuses the high ground behind Murder's gold to kill a ton of SCVs with fungal growth. At the same time, Murder drops into GenX's main to draw back the zerg army, and moves his tanks outside of GenX's natural, preparing to go for the kill. Murder gets sieged up before GenX can respond, and GenX attemps to attack into the line of thirteen tanks with pure ling/infestor.

Needless to say, that doesn't go very well.

Murder takes out GenX's entire army, and having cut right between GenX's natural and his third and fourth bases, he is in a great position to kill the reinforcements as he slowly pushing his way into GenX's main and ends the game.

Game 7: Unplayed, no show by SC's final player. :(.

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