Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Battle.blog - Game Over, Man

Loss 2. Significantly less entertaining than the first.

I’m beginning to rethink my decision to always select my army randomly. Why? Because as much of an embarrassment as I was as the Protoss, I suck even harder as the Terrans. Within a minute and a half of play, one of my two allies asked me, “WHITE[.] WTF[?]” Punctuation has been added to show where he had enough time to hit Enter but not enough time to think of our good friends grammar and punctuation.

After three or four minutes, my other ally, a fellow Terran, was nearly wiped out but managed to stay alive by airlifting his buildings, then cleverly returning them to their original location after the enemy left. I would do well to remember this tactic.

Somehow, I'd managed to avoid conflict for a full five minutes. I was busy figuring out how to build medics when I was rushed by a squad of vultures. Let’s pause for a second and review that: “…rushed by a squad of vultures.” Who the HELL uses vultures? I was under the impression that the Medic, a Brood War expansion unit capable of healing Terran infantry, rendered all the vehicles (save siege tanks) as obsolete as Beta Max or Vista (oh snap!). And here I was, getting assaulted by a bunch of futuristic motorbikes. One of my allies – the one who earlier managed to call me a fuck-up with only three letters – was kind enough to remind me to repair my bunkers. I immediately followed his advice and repelled the attack. How he had time to correct my ineptitude while simultaneously building units, assaulting a nearby enemy expansion base, and researching new technologies to make his alien priests even more powerful is completely beyond me.

Unfortunately for me, the vulture pilots I gunned down had the foresight to generously sprinkle the entrance to my base with spider mines. Spider mines are these annoying little things that hide in the ground, wait for your troops to walk by, then jump up and rush toward the hapless victim(s) before exploding. The sound they make is unmistakable, the carnage undeniable. Just one of them can easily take out three or four marines marching in close proximity. This meant that when I dutifully sent an infantry squad to aid my nearest ally, they were obliterated right outside my front door. It’s basically like the old “water over the door” prank, but instead of water its acid and there are at least fifteen buckets of it.

While my allies - players certainly superior to me - called for aid, I dispatched marines to "search for mines." Twenty guys later I was sure I had a safe path. Just as I managed to field a tactical group of marines, medics, a siege tank, and a vulture for good measure (a motley crew, to be sure), one of my allies fell to an invading force. Thirty seconds later my other ally left. I’m not sure either of them was technically eliminated. I imagine they left, sickened by my failures, never to play StarCraft again. They're probably doing a raid right now.

I lasted for another five minutes. In that time, I used a single wraith to eliminate an enemy that had already been severely crippled by my allies. Again, I emerge from this loss with a simple moral victory. One of my enemies turned on his ally for sport, using a massive legion of dragoons to level the guy’s base to the ground. He cried foul but was silenced when his last structure was destroyed and he eliminated.

Both his allies destroyed, my enemy finally turned his attention to me. (Un)Fortunately for me, he didn’t attack right away. Instead, he constructed an impregnable wall of dragoons outside my base. These units, four-legged machines imbued with the souls of fallen soldiers, waited patiently on my doorstep. The funny things about dragoons: they continuously bounce. Imagine a Berlin Wall made entirely out of this guy. Outnumbered and completely hemmed in, I raised the white flag.

I don’t expect to win my next match. But if I can get through it without any of my allies yelling at me, I’ll consider it a moral victory. At least I’m not playing on Xbox Live.

Record 0-2