Saturday, 21 January 2012

Life in the Middle 21/01/2012

Being a student and generally adverse to hard work my first week back at university took a bit of a toll on me, but I still managed to play 30 games and even won 60% of them. Nearly a third of my games this week were against Diamonds, and of these I managed to win over a half, so I'm starting to think that I wouldn't do terribly in Diamond. However, quite a few of the Diamonds I played were Terrans and TvT is where I excel. I have still yet to beat a Diamond Protoss, but I did come pretty close with the new build that will discuss below. I end this week as a rank 8 Platinum; hopefully it wont take too much longer to return to the top of Platinum and maybe sneak my way into Diamond.
Recovering well from a post exams slump.
Day[9] did a daily on EmpireKas' TvP, so I thought I would try it out, and it has since become my standard build. The build involves getting three early Command Centres off of 1 Rax, then going into drop play with fast upgrades. The built leaves you vulnerable early on, but gives you the advantage in the mid to late game with a strong economy and plenty of production. When I failed with this build it was always obvious why, either I didn't have enough units early on or left dropping until too late, so if I keep applying myself to it it shouldn't take too long to improve. I desperately need to get better at TvP as my win percentage is still below 50%.
Early bunkers are vital to surviving with Kas' build, but if you do it is well worth it.
I tried Ghosts against Broodlords twice this week. The first time I built them was reactionary, so when the Broodlords hit I didn't have enough and they didn't have much energy, so I got annihilated. The next time I faced Broodlords I was ready with Ghosts and did a lot better at killing them with a mixture of snipe and Vikings. I still lost the game but I did it with more style than usually do. I am going to stick with Ghost in TvZ as they have a good range of other uses too, but if the opponent doesn't go Infestor Broodlord are they still cost effective? Also, what's better to target first the Infestors or the Broodlords?
Ghosts are great versus Broodlords but Overseers and Infestors still make it a challenge.
I think that it is very important to use the units you feel most comfortable with in the game. For a long time I tried to use Hellions in TvZ but I found that using Marines for early aggression meant that I could do a lot more damage. Using Marines also leaves you less vulnerable to Roach counters, whilst still allowing you to get quick Tanks out. I often find that people don't know how to use late game armies effectively and think that just having higher tech units gives you an instant win. It's all very well saying, you should have x amount of y unit at z point in the game but if you can't use them well you might as well not go out of your way to get them and stick with what you are good with. A prime example of this is when Terrans get out un-upgraded Battlecruisers versus 3-3 Marines.
At multiple points in this game I should have lost but this Random's poor unit control let me pull it back.
I won 80% of my TvTs this week, so I am very happy with where that is at at the moment; I even managed to beat all four of the Diamond Terrans that I played. Check out my other articles, including In Defence of Terran which made me consider changing the name of this blog to Degrees of Polarisation based on people's reactions to it. If you enjoyed this article then you can find me on twitter at @RobinTerran or follow the blog from the pane to the right. Thank you for reading.


  1. An idea against Zerg in the early game even if you don't like reactor hellions:

    Make 2 hellions off a reactored factory just AFTER dropping your first command center, then make 2 more and rally them to your hellions. Poke in, see what happens, and if it works, 2 more hellions en-route, if not, they can defend your natural with them.

    While moving out, add 2 barraks with tech labs. If roaches are coming, make some bunker/muarader, if not, swap the techlab of one with teh reactor of the other. Get seigemode and combatshields/stim while producing 1 tank, 3 marines, and 2 scvs at a time with an expansion up.

    Really strong opener, reasonably safe against roaches, can occasionally kill tonnes of workers.

  2. Just wanted to say (as someone who just got into Plat and is playing Diamonds) that reading your blog is an awesome way to boost my own feelings of ineptitude. The writing is fun and easy to read, and good insight into how the other half (third?) lives.

    Btw, I play Protoss if you need anyone to practice that build against. =P

  3. @Commander Mader I'll give it a go, it's been a while since I've tried Hellions and I think my control has improved a lot since then. I like Marines early game as they can get there before the first spine is up and sometimes you can wedge them between minerals and kill the expo, but it never hurts to have multiple builds ready :D

    @StabbityStabb Thanks! I'm glad it's not just the occasion Terran that likes my blog :)