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Micro Your Macro: Week 2

August 3rd, 2011 by

You know how I said in Week 1 that we could tell how much better I was getting via the in-game league rankings? Scratch that, it seems Blizzard are determined to thwart my efforts by starting a new season! Could it be the time I accidentally urinated on Allen Adham’s feet? The antman can’t be sure, but one thing he does know is that last week’s progression has swirled down the urinal leaving him back at square one. There was one glimmer of hope, when I was asked to compete in one placement match to determine my starting league. I thought if I could show my worth, I could leapfrog my way into Silver. It seemed my opponent had the same idea: after my cloaked Banshee’s laid waste to his mineral line, he responded in gallant fashion by sending his builders all over the map to build lone structures to prolong the inevitable.

After the final rogue SCV was found cowering in the corner of the map, eventual victory was mine, and the spoils. For I would now be known as antman of the… Bronze League. Great. With this week being a fairly tortuous one at work, I’ve had trouble finding the time to build my ranking up again. In a perfect world the ranking system would somehow account for tactical knowledge and variety rather than number of total wins. That brings me neatly onto another point that really sticks in my craw: Cheese. In basic terms, cheesing is bypassing the normal flow of a game, favouring the very early or massive production of basic units to rush your opponent, overcoming a considered long-term economic build with pure numbers. It seems the Bronze league is rife with cheese, particularly Protoss cheese, those fanny-headed feckers have been driving me crazy this week. Do they not know the staggering depth of SC2? I guess I’ve been somewhat spoiled by watching the best in the world in my frequent livestream watching. I suppose the number one argument to my gripe here is the intelligent use of scouting. By moving one my own SCVs into their base at the start of the game I can likely gauge their intentions. Unfortunately my lack of knowledge of the other races severely impedes my decisions to counteract their “strategy”. Something must be done


With a little help from my friends

After putting my feelers out on Twitter I was surprised when so many closet Midlife Gamer SC2 players came out of the woodwork. And lo it came to pass that myself @_antman_, @huntervp. @DuggyDarko, @Kainelor, @Shatnerzbassoon and @chrismohan clashed heads in a battle royale. Although it wasn’t strictly competitive and more for the lols, it was really good to see some of the other race’s advanced units and tactics not normally seen in the cheese fields of Bronze. It was also good to don my “coaching hat” and share the little knowledge I have picked up. Needless to say I was on the foul end of a devious swarm of burrowed roaches more than once (that will teach me to have a few missile turrets knocking around).


This week’s homework: iTerran

To bolster my extra-curricular livestream viewing I have decided to embrace all things SC2 on my iPhone. Starting on the App store I found the free Starcraft 2 Guide Book. Although some of the information isn’t entirely up to date, particularly some of the example build orders, I found reading about SC2 theory and fundamentals quite enlightening. In particular I found the Terran Macro Guide fairly useful as it mathematically broke down the income/expenditure for various builds, highlighting the urgent need to expand if you are to have a strong army, one base alone cannot cut it, plus by having several Orbital Command Centres I will have more scans available to me for scouting purposes not just for the enemy build but getting a heads up seconds before a battle could make the difference. To occupy my thoughts while driving the Cornish countryside I subscribed to another podcast, the StarCast no less. Fortune was smiling upon me as the past 3 episodes have concentrated entirely on one race per show with 3 guests in high leagues to offer both their wisdom and social awkwardness, bless em. Still, it was good to hear about what’s new with the Zerg and how Protoss Sentries are far too overpowered.


Curse you Protoss Sentries!

The Matches

As previously mentioned the end of season 2 and start of 3 has wiped all of my hard work from week 1. Five wins on the trot saw me at the edges of the top 25 of Bronze, alas all for nought. It seems the new season has also brought several players keen to leave the Bronze League and full of tactics from the high-ranking GSL event. My win/loss ratio is back down to around 1:1. I think I am my own worst enemy by trying to emulate my Grandmaster Terran heroes, I inevitably end up getting steam-rolled by a mass of tech 1 units. That combined with my lack of late game progression and hesitation to build more production facilities for each expansion is often leaving me losing the battle of attricion my games seems to end up as. I think it is time to go back to basics if I am going to have any sort of success. Failing that, I could always go with the crowd and cheese them mofos, observe!

Week Start: 48th in Bronze League.

Week End: 50th in Bronze League.

Note: This ain’t fair! I was doing so well when the season decided to go and end! Next week my pretties, next week.

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8 Responses to “Micro Your Macro: Week 2”
  1. avatar GoddTodd says:

    I have absolutly no experiance with this game but I find your journey utterly amusing to read.

  2. avatar ShatnerzBassoon says:

    Another great article Ant.

    I was going to suggest Starcast, I have been listening to it since the game launched and quite apart from the quality strategys I find Garrett, Mork and Kyle most amusing.

    Incidentaly… in your honour I shall hence forth be rage quiting all games I loose agains Protos with ”GG you fanny headed fecker’

    Hopefuly catch up with you on Starcraft Sunday if not before :D

  3. I have this installed on my Mac but I’m too scared to play it.
    Am very much enjoying these videos, I want a longer hardcore video next time…. not to mention I’m looking forward to seeing you finally get creamed.
    Also, whats the chance you’d be able to show us what 2V2 is like with a little help from the massive?

  4. avatar antman says:

    Don’t let the videos fool you, these videos are likely the highlights of the week, not a fair representation, I get nailed a lot. I may film a longer match.
    On the 2v2 front: It would be relatively easy to knock up a video. If I throw a copy of Fraps to one of my other players then they can record they SKype audio while I record video stream.

  5. Sounds like a plan is coming together :)

  6. avatar Chris Mohan says:

    What I’m finding fascinating is that unlike other games where I am playing to keep up with the joneses, this feels like a community effort. Would be nothing better than us all to rise to silver level together.

    Another part of it seems to be how we all focus on different aspects. Clever strategies vs macro building (where you just build so much stuff, you wear your oppoent down with attrition), and really one is as effective as the other.

    The next step for me, as I work on my macro game, is to put some measurables on my builds. How much food and supply are really good players at when they hit the 7 minute mark. I feel like I should be able to match that if undisturbed.

    The 3v3 matches were a blast even though (unsurprisingly) we were thrashed. I might do a commentary of the game that unexpectedly quit, because I am still unsure what went wrong.

    Loving this series Ant.

  7. avatar antman says:

    I dunno Chris, I got into a really low time when I reviewed how the professionals do things. Not just because my APM would likely be in single numbers but the fact that Bronze players don’t play like the pros.
    In most GSL matches it is quite rare if a player isn’t on their 3rd base at the 10 minute mark, however if you try to get a 2nd base before 10 minutes in Bronze, you will likely be over-run as those 400 minerals would’ve been spent on extra tier 1 units.

    Don’t get me wrong I love a bit of macro, the Terran strength lies in massive amounts of free minerals from the Mule which is most easily spent on Rax and their units. My love for Marauders comes from nailing so many Protoss with a realtively simple marauder build with a few marines for air support and a few ghosts to EMP those fanny-headed feckers.

  8. avatar Chris Mohan says:

    I noticed that with expanding in bronze. Weird that you get penalised at worse standard than higher levels. I suppose it is all about working out your counters and trusting them at this level.

    Good scouting, and denying your opponent access to good information is the main aim of the game really when you break it down. Seen your movie for this week, and it shows this as a good example :)

    Terran vs Terran is really my worst matchup by a distance. Which is difficult because its the most common one :)

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