Friday, 29 October 2010

Scorched haven analysis !

Scorched haven is a quite balanced map or at least one of the least cheesy and allin-ish. this is due to the fact that your natural expo is easily accessible and defendable (in comparison to high orbit for instance); and the distance between yours and your ally's base is fairly close. I personnaly believe that this map favors heavily the Protoss and Terran combo because Blinker harass is viable and Colossi get great mobility on all those side cliffs. Your bases are also quite protected from ling runbys or the nydus canal.

Now while the natural is easily defendable and you can almost always secure a third for one of your allies the other 3rd pushes you further into the battlefield. In the middle of the map there are two gold expansions which might look easy to capture and create a contain but in fact are extremely dangerous. This is because of the other two attacking paths and the distance between your bases and the golds. Moving towards the middle will open new attacking routes for the opponents while expanding towards the top or the bottom side of the map provides a stable map control to compensate for the lost extra minerals.

Deadly allins should be treated with extra care on this map. You might be looking protected but force fields blocking your ally's ramp or banelings walling can be lethal. Ideally you want to have your units gathered in the middle while you gain vision of the "unsafe" paths via overlord spreading, pylons and obviously the side Xel'naga towers. Notable to mention that you shouldnt in almost any case try to wall off the area in front of your natural with your production structures.
a) In an allin they get to snipe your production structures.
b) The choking usually tends to trap your own units more than it does your opponents'.
c) Even if you have a lingproof wall you've already contained yourself too much creating problematic pathings while fullfilling the role of those lings without having to face them.
d) Those kind of walls get you really immobile against light air harass and increase the effectiveness of nydus busts (obviously due to limited vision of your base). Theoritically you want to spread your buildings around the edge of your base.

Now the non mutual choke point doesn't allow for extreme tactics like feeding etc but overall you often get to play some nice macro games on scortched haven and i would characterize it as one of the most solid maps on the ladder pool.

As a Zerg player you need to get your creep spread well cause it's of vial importance to connect your two bases with that more vulnerable to counter attacks third. If you are facing a zergless combo you could perhaps 15hatch-14pool safely and do the double queen/double tumor defending the ling-bling. Responding to Ling-Bling with roach allin is surprisingly stronger than in the majority cause you only need 3 roaches to wall off your ramp. While the game procceeds it is strongly suggested that the third safe expansion is left for the zerg player while the protoss or terran should expand aggressively. The difficulties in spreading the creep so long having a really risky production structure (meaning the 3rd hatch) and the comparison to the effectiveness of a repairing Planetary Fortress or Cannons and Warp-ability makes a huge difference. That exposed third is the first thing your opponents will attempt to harass / counter attack.


As a Protoss player you can fairly easily pull a lot of those aces off your sleeves with all those proxies and hidden techs (like hiding a proxy Dark Shrine or Stargate away from your opponents possible vision). Immortals from experience tend to feel a bit clumpsy on this map whereas Colossi or Stargate play is rewarding. High Templars provide great map control and compliment any army composition. You can easily gain the placement advantage in a battle because of all those cliffs and choking you can create with force fields.


As a Terran player its easy to defend an early allin with 2-3 tanks (with a standar economic factory build) along with a few marines and a couple of bunkers/spines if needed. Position them in the narrow low ground between your bases and they could do wonders against early pushes on the 7th-9th minute mark such as 4 warp gates. Also because you can counter both of the armies effectively your ally is free to counter attack their base or tech to stronger unit safely giving you a huge advantage towards the midgame. Drops are also very effective on this map due to the big open air space north and south of your opponents' bases. You can successfully drop your units behind their mineral line while your opponents' army is being blocked by their own structures and the time it takes to respond.


On the other hand if you are going for a heavy mech play you can easily contain your opponent if you siege up outside theire base since you got the concave while they are forced to cluster.

You can download the replay right HERE!!!


Conclusion: Overall and regardless your gameplay/combo I wouldn't suggest veto'ing this map from the ladder pool. There are are some cheesy tactics that can be pulled off (like proxy behind their natural or double raxxing a zerg's choke or hiding a stargate/shrine) but there is also that strategical part of the game where you fight over controlling the map. I'd deffinately say that it overall favors the zergless combos and it should be harder just a little more for the PZ combo (but it's so dominant it hardly matters :P)

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Welcome to the 2v2 state of the game indepth review!

 Hello everyone, I would like to welcome you on this new blog about Starcraft 2 for all of you the competitive players and those who just enjoy playing 2v2 with your friends and want to improve. Now there are many places out there where you can get information about Starcraft 2, watch replays and shoutcasts and read on the latest tactics for 1v1 games. But I am not sure if any of you have difficulties discovering the new 2v2 trends and improving your gameplay. This blog will serve the exact purpose.

 With weekly updates we will follow the paths of AcidRain (myself) and Honoratus on their 2v2 ladder games and the ESL leagues, discuss on tactics and how to react on different combos, analyze the map pool and of course have famous 2v2 players being interviewed about the state of the game.

 Your feedback and your participation will be welcome. I hope everyone enjoys the articles and finds this blog both informating and entertaining to read. There is a lot of work to be done. Farewell till next update :)


For this week we are following our own team "It was 7pool" (previously known as Psi Stormed) through our ESL 2on2 Cup games. This is the game of round 1 against clan Infestation. The game is cast in Greek by Cowboy Starcraft. Be sure to visit his youtube channel and subscribe at Http:// and watch the daily reports.


This game was played in patch 1.1.1 where the Reaper and 5rax reaper builds were dominant in 2v2. Our opponents are trying to Proxy 9 reaper and 3gate Stargate us expecting us to go ling - bling - bio. Honoratus responds early enough once I scout the barracks missing and the early gas on Terran base. Now we are certain we are about to face a proxy reaper which is quite deadly if you opt for a later barracks or a 14 pool.
Now a lot of you will characterize this game as cheesy considering your 1v1 experiences. That can be partially true. I would characterize 2v2 more of all-inish rather than cheesy. Basic openers are known amongst the players and early options are limited due to the stupid map design (that by the way will be fixed by December according to Blizzard). Early expands are usually punished by an abuse of units and overteching usually gets you killed.
The interesting thing in it is that you get to play a really micro intensive game, adjust to low economy and sychronize with your ally. Nothing much to say about this game. It feels kinda one sided but mostly because protoss respond wasn't as sufficient as expected and reaperling gave us the pure map control. Enjoy.