That Time I Won a StarCraft Game

StarCraft was fun as long as I played against friends (I always lost, but remind me sometime to share the anecdote of the one exception).

Games I've Found Addictive

Back in high school there were some six or seven guys I used to play with between classes. I was always the worst player by far. When playing against the AI I would beat one opponent hands down but be completely crushed against two. The contrast here is that most of the others would regularly beat three AI opponents or more. In our games against each other I was so bad that nobody was even interested in being allied with me; I was just a footnote on the field. Someone to run over as they passed by. I still loved our games. The banter was great fun.

This was pretty much the only multiplayer experience I had of StarCraft until one time in Sydney during my backpacking days. A bunch of us had gone out for a night and for some inexplicable reason me and another guy started talking games and I confessed that I loved StarCraft but was absolute and utter crap at it.

He considered himself a good player and convinced me to hit an internet café later that night to play a match. We chose a big map: eight starting zones and just as many close expansion points. No AI, just me and him. He was playing as Terran and I as Protoss, our favourite factions respectively.

I was nervous as hell, convinced that he would rush me any minute. Subsequently I generated a handful of Zealots as fast as I could, and also sent out Drones to several corners of the map just to have a chance to rebuild when he inevitably razed my original base.

Here's where I started to get confused. With my Drones acting as scouts of sorts I soon found his starting base, and saw that not only did he have quite few military units (only a few Marines), but he had also held back on creating more SCVs. This severely hampered the rate at which he could mine resources. On top of that he'd spent some resources on buildings that aren't really relevant that early in the game. And he hadn't expanded at all, not even to the closest location.

I didn't understand his strategy, but he'd been really confident of his ability before the game so I figured I'd wait and see what was going on.

My expansion had soon grown to something like four extra Nexuses and was amassing resources at a furious pace. Now, in any strategy game hoarding resources is bad. It just shows that you aren't producing buildings and units fast enough. I didn't fall into that trap: I produced Zealots, Dragoons, more Drones and Pylons.

Meanwhile he wasn't really making much progress. I almost forgot about his little corner. Then he sent a wave of Marines and Firebats, inevitably running into a large force of Zealots and Dragoons and being summarily crushed. At that point I felt like I'd seen enough of his strategy and decided to go on the offensive. I sent in a number of full groups of military units, quickly killing off all of his units and starting to hit the buildings.

Terran buildings can fly, albeit slowly, and he used this ability to try to escape. That, however, doesn't work so well when you're entirely surrounded by dozens of units in all directions.

He didn't speak to me all the way back to the hostel.

-- CC0 Björn Wärmedal