Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Perspective of Race Part 1

Now that I have played all the races I think that it will be interesting to look at how players of each race react and perceive encounters in the game. For example how a Zerg responds to a push of marines and siege tanks and the mentality of each player. Of course I'm only basing this on what I've seen from my games and pro games so we may see things differently.

When a Terran slowly advances with siege tanks and marines the Zerg player will often respond with a zergling baneling combo. The Zerg sees this as a desperate defense on their behalf, biding their time waiting until they have enough forces to survive the first siege tank volley and surround the enemy units. The Zerg has to micro their lings to take out the high damage dealing and high costing siege tanks and their banelings to take out groups of marines. From the Terran's perspective it's an attack against an insurmountable force that moves ridiculously quickly and requires precise placement of both marines and tanks. Banelings are also terrifying as just a few can kill a large group of marines very quickly. Marine splitting isn't as easy to do as it looks and requires the Terran to put some time into reducing the damage banelings achieve. Also it's terrifying for the Terran every time they unsiege as this is when they are most vulnerable and also when the Zerg is most likely to attack.
Spreading out units is vital for Terrans to keep them alive.

Across leagues mass muta is a very popular strategy. For the Zerg using mutas requires skill to dart in, do some damage and leave without losing any units. However to the other two races they are a major annoyance as their speed makes them very good at guerilla warfare and makes leaving your base dangerous. From a Protoss perspective mass muta is a difficult strategy to deal with as really it requires blink stalkers and some sentrys with guardian shields. Photon cannons aren't great versus mutas as they can't be repaired like the Terran missile turret can be. Phoenix are the only air unit which are good against mutas but they require a lot of microing to keep them alive. Archons can be good but slow moving, have a short range and are very expensive. Storms are good too but as mutas are so fast and spread out alot after the initial attack they can be difficult to hit. When I was playing protoss I thought that mass muta was a cheap strategy, however with the added perspective of playing Zerg I can appreciate that it's not so easy to do.
Even with blink most probes are killed before the stalkers arrive.

Mutas are easier to deal with as Terran as marines are quick, easy to build and with stim take down mutas very fast. Also a thor's javelin missile attack does a strong area damage, has a very respectable range and can be repaired if attacked. Missile turrets can also be repaired so a few of them in a mineral line can shut down muta attacks fast as the SCVs can respond quickly and start repairing. Even though mass muta is less effective against Terran, in my eyes, they can still be a major nuisance by attacking unprotected buildings or reinforcing units. Mutas are very gas heavy so it takes a lot of time for their numbers to reach the critical level where they can't be stopped, but it's normally the opponent's fault for not attacking the Zerg by then.
Thors and stimmed marines are a great answer to mass mutalisk.

Force fields are pretty important for early game Protoss defense and also great for blocking off enemy reinforcements when the Protoss does go on the offensive. To a Protoss forcefields require precise placement for maximum effectiveness and to prevent wasting energy. However as a Zerg I always thought forcefields where overly effective as a single one can prevent any units from your main helping in the defense of your natural; if you lose your natural early on your production is cut in half. It is difficult for a Protoss to utilize forcefields effectively, considering the speed of Zerg units, but they can be devastating against an early game Zerg as most of their units are melee or have a shorter range than stalkers.
Forcefield on ramp prevents essential reinforcements from defending attack.

Against Terran forcefields are often used to prevent units from retreating and then zealots and stalkers can be used to deal a lot of damage. I was never very good at this and more often that not blocked my zealots from attacking with badly placed forcefields. That once happened in a PvP when I had a zealot heavy army and they got sandwiched between two set of forcefields and they all died. Forcefields can be effective agaisnt a marine heavy army as stalkers and sentrys outrange them but with lots of marauders they are less effective and with good medivac micro they can become dramatically less useful. Forcefields also can be used to prevent SCVs from repairing crucial bunkers.
Forcefields prevent outnumbered units retreating to the main force.

I am of the opinion that the best way to understand any match up is to play both of the races involved; to get a feeling of both sides of the conflict. It's not until you play a race that you appreciate how difficult a strategy can be. If this turns out to be popular I will do another one of these in the future. As always thanks for reading and please feel free to leave a comment and/or follow me. Also what do return visitors think of the new theme?

1 comment:

  1. Interesting read, thank you for taking the time to write it out.