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.
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.