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Friday, May 2, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect... Eventually

I've had a bit of luck when it comes to Starcraft II (SC2.) It turns out that several of the IT engineers who work in my company's data center back east play SC2. We've been able to set up weekly play sessions of two to three hours most weekends of the last two months. This has really helped me to get a firmer grasp on SC2 game play. I am far from perfect, in fact I suck only slightly less than I did before, but at least I can now suck while putting some DPS on the enemy.

One of the things I really love about SC2 is its replay feature. I can go back through any game and watch as it develops with an omniscient overview that can tell me whether my builds were too slow (typical) or right on time (rare.) It also gives me a chance to see just how well certain of my forces did against various opponents. This has basically brought me to the belief that Terran Marines are cannon fodder, but in sufficient numbers they are excellent cannon fodder. They also really, really need Medivac support. Controlling ground and air units at the same time is a skill I really, really, really need to work on.

Along with Marines, I like to send Widow Mines. My only issue with them is getting them buried fast enough on a meeting engagement. Army control is an art in SC2, and I'm not much of an artist. But when they are in position and buried, they are a real pain in the ass for the other side. :-)

In the interim, I've taken a shine to Marauder combat. These mech-enhanced Marines are tough. They can go in with or without Medivac (though all Terran barracks units are better with Medivacs.) With the Marauders, I like to send a few of their larger brothers, the Thors. This is a potent ground attack team. They can chew through just about anything. Medivacs won't heal Thors of course. But, I discovered they are repairable in combat. Just send a few SCVs with your attack force and set them to auto-repair. They will repair all your factory produced weapon systems as they take damage. Of course, they don't last long in a general melee. Another option is to keep them just out of range and bring them in to heal whatever survives the melee. Or do both, it'll keep your units fighting longer. Isn't it great to be a noob? The rest of the Starcraft community has known this for years. :P

And as with all things in SC2, it's all about timing, timing, timing. I find that my timing sucks. I need to get faster at assembling an army and getting into the enemy's face. But when I do manage to at least get there, slow or not, it seems my noobish builds are actually working somewhat. As evidence, I present a gallery of our gaming session last Saturday. Though there are three of use facing off against one AI, be assured the AI is at least a Very Hard opponent. That's the lowest level AI we take on. ;-) Enjoy!

[gallery type="rectangular" columns="4" ids="2439,2440,2441,2442,2443,2444,2445,2446,2447,2448,2449"]

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