Gold League Heroes
Back in our first Replay Spotlight I briefly mentioned a 40+ minute Gold League game on Dasan Station, and ever since I’ve been wanting to return to that replay and do a full spotlight for two reasons. One, I find lower league replays entertaining because there is greater strategic variety. Unlike the higher leagues where only the best strategies are used, anything can work, and in this replay both players make use of that liberty. Secondly, it helps remind us that StarCraft is a game and ultimately is meant to be played for fun.
So let us commence the gif-ridden spotlight of GenDude vs Zeratul: https://sc2replaystats.com/replay/3167998
Our Terran player, Zeratul, starts the game off with a bang, making use of the short rush distance and narrow choke point of the map, Dasan Station, with a proxy 4-rax that walls off the map to keep him safe from counter-attacks.
A cheese, you might think? Nope! Zeratul just really wants to play it safe, opening double gas to get the fastest possible Planetary Fortress back at home to accompany his defensive proxy 4-rax. In this age of StarCraft you have to play to the map, and Zeratul doesn’t plan on being caught by any cheesy Zerg plays just because the map has a short rush distance.
But the Barracks wall doesn’t last for long, and the Planetary Fortress main comes in handy, saving Zeratul from an early death to a Roach Baneling attack, and a follow-up attack is held similarly with the addition of some Widow Mines, Siege Tanks, and Missile Turrets.
Zeratul continues the special tactics with a ninja base to the bottom-left, but despite this, things aren’t looking too good for our Terran player. If we take a look at the mini-map, the Zerg is being given the freedom to expand everywhere and build up a monster economy.
But wait — let’s take a closer look at that hidden base!
That’s right: a secret hoard of Liberators. And if you’re not prepared for Liberators, they can quickly shut down both mining and larva production at every base. This new turn of events forces the Zerg to take action, counter attacking with his entire army.
In for the Long Haul
Despite Zeratul’s surprise Liberators, the Zerg player GenDude ends up 100 supply ahead, killing two of Zeratul’s Planetary Fortresses. But Zeratul isn’t about to give up — bunkering up his remaining bases, he prepares for the long haul.
Despite initially capitalizing on Zeratul’s defensive nature by expanding frequently, GenDude doesn’t move past his first 5 bases very quickly. Questionable engagements like the one above combined with Liberator Harass means that while still 120 supply up, GenDude doesn’t have much of a safety net if things go wrong.
And now, 28 minutes into the game, GenDude is only just about to discover Zeratul’s first ninja base — where he is now working on new special tactics of another kind.
It’s Anyone’s Game
Thats right: Hyperflight Rotor Banshees. GenDude throws his Swarm — mainly ground units, lacking detection — at Zeratul’s defensive location in a panic.
GenDude’s supply melts, and in seconds both players are for once on even supply — and equal economies and banks. It’s anyones’ game.
Zeratul’s Banshees fly around picking off Hatchery after Hatchery until GenDude is left permanently crippled: he has no more Hatcheries, and no money to make a new one. He will never mine again, and neither will Zeratul, leaving the fate of the entire 47 minute game in the handful of rag-tag units you see below, with a few additions from their bank of supplies.
For a while, it seems both players are at an impasse: The Zerg has a Ultralisk Cavern huddling with two Spore Crawlers near a remaining Creep Tumor, safe from Banshees. Meanwhile, the Terran army is cornered but invincibly turtled.
But eventually, our Terran player Zeratul makes a bold gamble, sneaking past the Zerg army to lay Siege to the Zerg’s last buildings.
But that last Mutalisk has the last laugh. In a dastardly genius move, GenDude un-burrows his spore crawlers and moves them to safety, preventing the Tanks from getting the kill. Zeratul is left with too few units to defend, and ultimately loses the game.
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- Sc2replaystats.com staff
Post written by Justin “TheSkunk” Purdy