Saturday, 31 December 2011

Life in the Middle 31/12/2011

My meteoric rise to the top of my Platinum league and straight into Diamond may have to be but on hold for a while as this week I struggled to maintain even a 50% win-to-loss ratio let alone exceed it. Do I even want to even go up to Diamond? I'd have to change the name of this weekly piece to something like 'Life at the Beginning of the Top' or 'Life After the Middle' and I am terrible at coming up with names. Over the course of the last week I have been kicking around the top 15 of my division reaching as high as one but always falling down. This week I finish as 7th in my Platinum division.
Only a small increase in rank this week but a lot of experience gained.
Overall I am finding the leap up to Diamond much greater than the oneup to Platinum; I've only played four Diamonds this week but I only won one of them. The Diamond that I did beat was a Terran, which is my best match-up by far, but it wasn't a very satisfying game as 2 Rax early Marine pressure finished him off. I think that my main problem with Daimonds at the moment is that my macro slips too much for me to be able to keep up with them, far too often I forget to build SCVs and drop M.U.L.E.s. I struggle to keep up with Platinum players macro let alone Diamonds, so that's what I will focus on next week.
TvT is my speciality I won 76% of my games making up for my poor TvZ and abysmal TvP.
An interesting question is whether early aggression can be considered cheese if it is followed up by a legitimate strategy? My Terran and Zerg openings are both 2 Rax into Seige Marine followed up by a (relatively) fast expand. Quite often the opponent is unprepared for the initial Marines, who can cause quite a lot of damage, so leaves before they see my Tanks rolling in so to them it must seem like cheese. The build is not all in as the expansion is quite quick and it can easily be held off by a single bunker or well positioned spine. It takes advantage Terrans who go for tech over units in the early game and of a Zergs who don't scout well. Against a Zerg the Marines don't have to do damage as it forces the opponent to produce lings which greatly affects their economy.
The initial attack killed a Hatchery the follow up won the game.
Despite Protoss being my first race I now wish that they didn't exist; they are driving me crazy. I only won 32% of my TvPs this week. I've tried various builds including 1 and 2 Rax FEs but no matter what I do I always seem to be outnumbered by the opponent and then forcefields split my army anyway. When it comes to Protoss my game sense is so off that I can never predict how many troops the opponent should have or when Colossus and High Templar could start appearing. Despite scouting as much as I can I always feel blind as to what to expect from a Protoss army. The thing I dislike most about TvP is how useless Mech is and how you pretty much have to go bio.
Storms and Colossus are the bane of my life.
I got a  Razer Deathadder for Christmas so maybe that part of why I have been struggling so much more this week than last, as I get used to it using it, but I also think it's because I am playing a higher class of player who I'm not quite yet ready to face. If you enjoyed this article then you can follow me on twitter at @RobinTerran or follow the blog from the pane to the right. Thank you very much for reading and happy New Year.  


  1. I find TvP is actually my best matchup, by a long shot. I've been working a lot recently on army splitting, and I've gotten pretty good at it. Quite honestly, if you properly split your bio, you can avoid storms that way - but the best way hands down is to get ghosts. I still can't figure out how to use snipe effectively, so I mostly just emp the HT. The only time you really need cloak on your ghosts when going for the EMP is when the opponent has collosus.

    Even if you don't get off all the emps you would like, if you send six ghosts running up to a pack of HT, the protoss will be panicking trying to save them, then if you split your bio and A-Move you can kill them pretty effectively, even eating 3 or 4 storms accross all of your bio.

  2. Celebreth here again! Nice progress up the ladder this week! Diamond is indeed a huge step up from platinum - remember, diamond players are the top 20% of the playerbase! Keep at it :) You should be getting close to a promotion if you're facing diamond players already!

    Against Zerg, I can give you the tip - constant aggression. That's the best and easiest way to destroy a zerg player. Drop everywhere, constantly, unexpectedly, force him to stay on the defensive, and you should have an easy time :) Never underestimate how strong marines are against the Zerg race.

    Against protoss, it's a bit trickier. Once they hit a certain number of units, it's VERY tough to fight back against them. My advice would be similar to fighting Zerg players - keep the aggression up. The more probes and pylons and tech you can kill, the better.

  3. To beat TvP stick with that 1 rax FE into heavy mineral/marine army. Don't be afraid to use the first 10ish marines for a bit of pressure. Sure hte first time this fails you'll think it should be cut from the build, but dont do it. If he fast expands, you'll punish him.

    Also, when these marines arrive, move command all the way up the ramp before firing, otherwise you'll get marine split. Or, just camp his expansion for a bit while you take yours. It will put him into a weird position. Either he will have to add infastructure and feel stuck on 1-base longer, or he will just expand later with a weird surplus of money.

    Once he gets collosus/hightemps you basically have to be a better player to win. Dual dropping his workers, or even a reaper in one worker line and a drop in the other, then running in and smashing his nat / third and getting the hell out is my standard operating prodcedure.

    Basically, once he has collo/temps he can beat you in a straight up fight even if you absolutely have better positioning. Only thing that will save you is if he has 0-0 vs your 3-3 and that does not happen now that protoss upgrades are so cheap. (150/150 for a damage upgrade that affects all gateway and most robo units... wow)

    Also, keep in mind the 1 rax FE build can lose entirely to the 6:30 DT rush. It's total cheese and virtually undefended even with the 2 orbitals you'll have because any amount of micro will win him the game. Just stay strong if you face this garbage opener and don't let it make you change your style.