Saturday, 10 December 2011

Life in the Middle 10/12/2011

This week started off really well but after winning a lot of games in a row I started getting matched against a lot of Platinum players and I simply couldn't keep up. After the brief win-streak I slowly started losing the majority of my games before picking myself up again. Towards the end of the week I was performing really well again, winning eight out of the last ten games I played, but this has shown that I am not yet ready to go up to Platinum. It has also shown me that I shouldn't get complacent because there are always people better than you to put you in your place and I was getting lazy last week because I was winning so many games. Yet again I finished 2nd in my league but it has been a real struggle to just break even.
Still a rank 2 Gold.
This week I noticed how little Terrans react to what you are doing; generally they seem to stick with their plan from the beginning of the game, which may be well thought out, but it means you can win a high proportion of games just by reacting to what they do. I like going 2 Rax into Factory for this very reason; you can apply early Marine pressure, and sometimes win through that, but it is not an all in strategy and so you can expand behind some Siege Tanks and be safe for a while to macro up. If the opponent goes 3 Rax you can defend it with a bunker before getting Siege Tanks out and crushing them. If they go cloak Banshees your attack comes before they have cloak and you can be well prepared for their arrival. If they go Seige Tank Viking you can distract them before getting out your own and playing a standard game. I won 82% of games like this last week and 75% this week so for now I am going to stick with this strategy.
I find that 2 Rax into Factory helps you deal with anything in the early game.
I think the most important part of TvT is knowing what your opponent is doing because Siege Tanks and Marines have such high DPS that drops and sneak attacks can cripple you in seconds, so to me scans are worth more than M.U.L.E.s. I probably over scan but I'd prefer to lose the minerals than be surprise at what's coming. Likewise in TvZ I probably over scan looking at their main to see what tech they have in the early game, and whether they have a Greater Spire or Ultralisk Cavern in the late game, but I think that it is definitely worth it. Having said that, Zerg often notice when you over scan and build their tech in other places. I played a game where I was certain there were no Broodlords because I kept scouting the Spire so I was completely unprepared when they arrived; my opponent must have built and upgraded a second Spire. In TvP I don't think scans are as useful but it is always nice to know when a Robotic Bay or Templar Archives go up.
That awekward moment when nine unexpected Broodlords appear outside your base.
In general I have been playing much better versus Zerg which is great as they are the match-up I'm least comfortable with, even though they are the race I have played against the most overall. Last week I lost to every Platinum Zerg I played and only won 46% of my ZvTs, this week I beat 3/5 of the Platinums I played and won 55% overall. The main problem I am having is with Mutalsiks; whenever I leave Marines in my base to defend they attack my forwards troops and wipe them out and whenever I rally all my Barracks to the front line they initiate a base trade situation and I always underestimate how quickly all my stuff will die. Mutalisks often seem to kill me after I try to move into the main so maybe I should be less greedy and retreat at that point and expand? I'm a great fan of Tastosis' "When you're ahead, get more ahead" saying but against Zerg I always want to keep pushing and not give them a chance to re-macro up.
I'm always too greedy with my first army, I should do damage then retreat and expand.
This week I have been having a lot of problems versus Protoss, which is a shame because last week was the  first time I felt confident against them, but this week my win-rate versus them has gone down to just 33%. Admittedly six of the games I played I was up against Platinums but I also struggled against Golds too. I played the same person three times in a row and lost the first two times but won the third game after a lot of fighting backwards and forwards, even though he didn't gg I was proud of myself for beating my first Platinum Protoss. Even if I build a lot of Vikings I always lose to Colossus, as my troops always seem to have melted away by time the Colossus are killed, can anyone offer some advice?
I don't even know how to approach an army like this.
Last night I played 21 games in a row but I didn't want to stop because I was performing badly, so I ignored the rising Sun, and kept playing until I was doing better. When you start a loosing streak do you prefer to stop playing or to stick with it and play through the losses? Despite how bad every loss would make me feel I decided to keep playing and tried to keep a positive attitude throughout, though every gg came through gritted teeth I made sure I always said it. I think gl hf is important at the beginning of a match as a reminder for both you and your opponent that it is a game and is supposed to be fun.
Thanks to How Cheese Fails I managed to survive an all in Nydus Worm in my base.
If you enjoyed this article then you can follow me on twitter at @RobinTerran. Check out my other articles including my Updated Terran Impressions and the Story of How I Got Into StarCraft. Thank you for reading.


  1. About the colossi vs your troups. Make sure to never, ever engage heads on. When you're fighting vs Colossi and you have a good number of vikings, make it look like you're going in for the kill, and when shits about to shoot pull your entire bio force back but leave the vikings shooting at the colossi, preferably not from where your bio army is but from the left or the right. This forces him to pull his colossi back or get fucked instantly. If he does blink his stalkers, and you have your vikings to the left or right, you can freely stim your marauders in and snipe them.

    Maybe some difficult micro for gold but this is by far the best way to deal with colossi.

  2. I too am a gold Terran. You're probably a little better than me, as I've only been playing for a week and a half and just last night cracked into the top 8 of my division. A big reason I've gone from rank 12-25 to top 8 is sort of...general concepts against the various races.

    For example, I had to learn that TvZ is a war of attrition, it's all about who can trade better. Rarely will I make one devastating push. So as a result I've attempted to mold my play style after IMMVP. Something I noticed he did against DRG at MLG Anaheim is never move his rally point, and move out with a lot of medium sized armies instead of one large one. With a medium sized army macroing up at your base, you can just stim your dozen or so marines and fend them off. Here's a link to a VOD.

    And, since the caster sucks, the replay.

    You'll see what I'm talking about at 8:50(youtube time). MVP moves out with some units, but not all, and when the caster selects his rax' you can even see the rally points are set to right in the base. Eventually he loses that army, but you see at 10:30 he moves out with another medium sized army after trading efficiently. DRG tries to counterattack, but guess what, MVP has another medium sized army back at his base. The ZvT muta/ling/bling is known as 'Losira style'. So it makes sense then to look to the guy who practices with him all day to to figure out how to crush it.

    You'll lose your medium sized army eventually, but ideally you'll make that zerg fucker pay for it. For my first attack, a 10:00~ minute tank/stim/combat shield push, I go for a third. If there isn't one, I feint an attack at the natural and then fall back while trying to get my own 3rd up. I've found that taking my army into his base and going for the kill almost always ends poorly for me.

    I've got nothing for PVT. Their AOE abilities wreck me so bad. It seems like the matchup requires a level of micro I'm just not capable of. Cloaking ghosts and moving up for an EMP while spreading my army in an arc while attacking from an ideal angle with my vikings is just too much for me and my 35 APM. It's to the point where I'm considering switching to 3-rax stim all-in and 1/1/1 until I'm a better player.

    And lastly, as for frustration, I find it's important to be cognizant of diminishing returns. When you notice that you're getting worse with each successive game, it's time to pack it in.

  3. @Heretic
    That video was great and really helped because, although the caster is a bit annoying, he focuses on MVP's perspective. Your analysis was also really good and helps illustrate MVPs awesome play style and what he's actually doing, I will definitely be trying to imitate this soon. Thank-you for taking the time to write this out I really appreciate it.

    I will try this tactic against Protoss though I always seem to be caught out of position when I get attacked and caught behind stuff. I think that just practicing will help and eventually I'll be able to do it but your description was really useful, before I was mostly clumping up my Vikings with my bio.