Saturday, 19 November 2011

Life in the Middle 19/11/2011

This week above all I have learned the importance of being in a comfortable position when you play. I've come home from university this weekend so I have been playing Starcraft on my laptop instead of on my desktop so it feel slightly different. I played six games whilst sitting on the floor with my laptop on  a coffee table and managed to loose all six games, though I disconnected from the first one. On the other hand playing at my desk I won eight out of the nine games I played so it goes to show you need to be comfortable whilst you play. This week I have gone from 35 to 22 in the Gold league.
Slowly climbing up.

I started the week trying out a 2 Rax build, which you can read about here, which I have continued to stick to as the base for what I do but I've stopped following to it so religiously and play a lot more re-actively. Before I would do exactly what the build said, even if I saw that my opponent was going for early pressure, as I was trying to learn that specific build but now I am much more flexible. I much prefer not following a build too precisely as it allows me to play how I want to play though it probably does means that my macro slips a bit and that my build is less efficient. Quite often I took advantage of Zerg players not making enough units in the early game by putting down extra barracks, on top of the original two, and trying to overwhelm them for once.
I have been playing on low settings to prevent my computer from exploding. 

I think in the past I have often underestimated how vital air superiority is in TvT. Until this week I often didn't build a Starport until very late in the game and even then I didn't focus on controlling the skies, but having out a lot of Vikings is really important for stopping drops and giving sight to Siege Tanks. However having an army to back up your air dominance is also very important and you should not forget to build ground units too as Vikings and Medivacs are pretty useless without support. I played a game earlier where I was camped outside my opponents expansion with Siege Tanks and Marines for the majority of the game whilst we fought for air control. In the end I lost the battle for air superiority but my ground forces far outnumbered his and his extra Vikings were useless; though me being on three bases also helped. Before switching on some MLG last night I thought I would play some quick games but the fifth game I played turned into a 72 minutes long TvT. Quite early on I lost most of my main to a drop but expanded to my natural and then a gold and another base whilst my opponent took every other expansion on the map (Xel'Naga Caverns). Throughout the game I was doing drops and running around my opponents blockade to take out SCVs and production facilities and in general I played a lot more cost effectively than him so despite all odds won.
A good balance between your air and ground army is important.

It seems to me that Protoss are very strong in the early and late game but are often quite vulnerable in the mid game. Protoss are the least likely to expand early on and so in general get a lot of units out very early on and so can apply a lot of pressure; with a forwards pylon they can also rapidly reinforce. I know I need to get better at getting SCVs to repair but I'm still struggling to prevent early pressure from destroying me. I always thought that Marauders hard counter Immortals but I'm starting to realise that Immortals counter Marauders instead. I have started to upload all of my replays on my Robin account to Starcraft Buddy so that they can be easily shared online and so that I, and anyone who is interested, can look at the statistics generated by my games. When all the games are uploaded i'll make another post and announce it on my twitter.
Immortals with their range of 6 obliterate building defenses.

Against Zerg I am much more comfortable playing against Banelings as my ability to split has greatly improved and before when I encountered Banelings I would stop producing Marines as I always lost them. However I often underestimate Banelings, if I am kiting them, and stop pulling back too early and unnecessarily lose units. Recently I have been having a lot of success with applying 2 Rax early pressure with Marines; if it's going well I put down some extra barracks instead of an early expansion and just keep applying pressure until I win. An advantage of applying early pressure is that it stops Zergs from macroing too hard in the early game and becoming unstoppable. I played two games in a row where this worked. The first game I saw that there was no early expansion down and no overlord at the ramp so I put bunkers at the bottom and kept pushing up and retreating to the bunkers. He eventually managed get through but by then I was on two bases so could get a big enough army to finish him off. In the second game he didn't take any gas or expand but built early spines instead. I contained with Marines and then Siege Tanks as he tried to use Infestors then Banelings then Mutas to get out but failed each time. I finished him off as I was taking a third and he was annoyed at me for being slow and boring but what am I supposed to do when he plays so defensively with 5-6 spines?
When he went for a Baneling bust to break out but I spread my units behind my bunkers to limit the splash damage.

If you liked this post then please follow me on twitter at @RobinTerran and 'stumbleupon' me with the button below. Also check out my other articles, including my 2 Rax article and my preview of Skyrim. Please feel free to comment in the section below and vote in my poll at the top on the right. Now back to MLG.

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