Saturday, 15 October 2011

Life in the Middle 15/10/2011

So as it turns out playing Terran isn't as easy as I always thought; you have to work as hard as the other races to perfect your game and come out on top. Also using silly strategies isn't the best way to start as a new race on a new account in the highest league you have ever been in, I lost a lot. So my first update may not come with the best win to loss ratio and I may not have stomped many noobs but every game I played taught me a new lesson about how to be a better Terran. Zergs's advantage is in overwhelming numbers, Protoss' is in out teching the enemy whereas Terran's strength seems to be in multipronged attacks, with a core army to hold everything together.
In one of my silly games I think someone tried to PF rush me without an engineering bay...

I've lost a lot of games now, after an 80% win-rate in my placement matches I'm down to 43%, but I have had a chance to try a lot of different types of strategies and use all the Terran units. I was surprised by how effective late game reapers were for harassment, by how difficult it is to use banshees against a Zerg and by how long TvTs can last for. The other two mirror match-ups are very volatile and any small mistake can quickly cost you the match; both PvP and ZvZ are very micro intensive compared to TvT. It's nice that TvT goes at a slower pace and gives you time to think and allows for later game play.
Turns out EMP isn't an instant win.

Recently I have been placed against silvers so that shows how precarious my position in platinum is. I moved house when I started the blog and have been having latency issues so that may be part of the reason I'm struggling but it's probably also due to be just having no idea what to do in certain situations. For example I was playing a games earlier where I had MMM with some siege tanks against roach hydralisk and I had no idea what units would be better suited. As Protoss I know to get colossus or high templar but as a Terran I wasn't sure what to do so just kept doing what I was doing. In the end it came down to a misclick by the Zerg player that allowed me to kill half his army and then take the attack to him, so I'm still not sure if what I did was the best I could do. I always thought that you should never use hydralisks against a Terran but for many points in this game I was inches away from destruction so they seem quite effective.
A misclick allows me to clear this army up and win the game.

For some reason 62% of my games so far have been against Terran so I'm starting to get used to that match-up though I can still be caught by surprise. My standard strategy has been to only get out a few marines whilst getting a fast factory but I'm wondering if this is the best way to play TvT as it leaves you open to early aggression. I played a game earlier where I was marine rushed before I could get more than a single marine and hellion so I think a slight change in build is required. In the future I'll probably delay my factory a bit to get out more marines and a bunker first to hold off early pushes, but maybe all I really need is better control of my units and a greater game sense that will come with experience.
There is a reason mech is standard I counter after this and win the game.

So far my experiences of playing against Zerg have shown me that they will macro like crazy unless you harass them them throughout the game and force them to make units when they don't need to. When you watch the pros play you see the Zerg players usually go zergling, baneling, muta but in the middle leagues you can't predict what you are going to see; not everyone tries to emulate the pros and you can be literally challenged by anything. Likewise with Protoss anything can happen because not everyone pays attention to the standard way of approaching each match-up. Hopefully by the time I do my next update I will have been able to play a fairer proportion of Zerg and Protoss as I'm still unsure of how to play these games.
Even though my performance has been poor I've still climbed the league.

So far I've gone from rank 100 to 61. I'll do another update next week to let you know how life in the middle goes. Please feel free to leave a comment and check back soon.

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