Monday, December 8, 2008 - "Join Me and Together We Can Rule The Galaxy"

Two matches to report today. The first: my third loss. Not much to say about this one actually. I remember starting a match, it going south pretty early, and then it was over. It happened so fast that I forgot to save a replay. Or maybe I didn’t so much “forget” as I “got so disappointed in myself that watching a replay would’ve been worse than watching The Pacifier.” Moving on…

The second match was my longest to date. It came in at a whopping 22m36s. I was dealt the Protoss again, and I think I’m getting more comfortable with the race. Success as the Protoss depends a lot on your ability to maximize efficiency with their unique construction system. Because they’re a race of some crazy intelligent religious fanatics, they build structures by warping them in from another dimension. It’d be like you wanting a house and just taking an ax, cuting a hole in the fabric of space-time, and pulling a McMansion through. I always feel a little bad when I do this. I mean, what if I’m taking someone else’s building? I know I’d be pissed if I were in the middle of fighting some kind of alien vagina monsters and all of a sudden someone stole my base via an interdimensional rift. Troops are created through similar methods, which means I’m just waiting for stuff like this to happen. Anyway, the wormholes don’t need to be maintained, which means a single unit can start a bunch of structures and they just build themselves. Very efficient.

So here I was, being efficient, gathering resources and amassing a sizable brigade as soon as possible. My team consisted of myself as Protoss and two allies, one Zerg (Blue) and another Protoss (Brown). We were up against two Zerg armies (Red and White) and a Protoss (Orange). Since Protoss are the most expensive, slowest units to create, and Zerg the fastest, time wasn’t on our side. Therefore, Brown and I agreed to zealot rush one of the nearby Zerg armies. At five minutes on the dot, we gathered our troops and marched…on no one. We’d stumbled upon one of the few empty bases the map had to offer. After standing around like idiots for a few seconds, we went next door and began stomping on White’s relatively weak base.

In moments we were looting White’s base like it was a Wal-Mart during a blackout. His few defenses put a dent in our forces, however, allowing his buddy Orange to swoop in and mop up our squad before moving on to my base, which was, as usual, defenseless. With my troops depleted, Orange ravaged my base unabated. I was under siege for a good minute or two before my ally Blue stepped in with a force of hydralisks (which are basically just the bastard children of the Cobra Commander and Scorpion) and flushed out the invading force. Two of my valiant probes escaped the carnage and started up a base in the south while my remaining buildings suffered repeated attacks from Red’s cloaked lurkers. It was like my own personal Battle of Britain, if Britain had sent two of their best ironworkers to rebuild the army in Iceland.

I spent the rest of the match basically observing my allies engage in total war against our enemies. At one point, a flight of overlords carrying hydralisks flew over my base, before changing direction to attack my ally. I only understood it upon watching the replay: my opponent had waypointed their attack route. By holding shift, you can issue multiple commands to a single unit, which s/he will carry out in succession. My enemy’s superior planning actually saved my ass. I watched the fight drag on for another ten minutes, sluggishly gathering resources, building one zealot at a time. Unable to commit any troops, I was an ally in name only, a Tonga, if you will.

My allies overwhelmed Orange’s frontlines, forcing his withdrawal by destroying half of his buildings. Red was the next to fall, collapsing under the weight of Blue’s newly acquired Ultralisks. These Mastadon/Sabertooth Tiger hybrids are the Stretch-UV limos of the StarCraft universe. They’re luxury items, a good indicator of when someone’s got a game locked up. Now was my chance. I descended on the weakling White, just as he tossed a huge white flag. He asked us to ally him for the win. Effectively, by switching teams at the last possible moment, he gets credit for our victory. My teammates left the decision up to me. Taking pride in knowing I could’ve crushed him with my massive ten-man army, I checked the little box that made him my ally. VICTORY!!!