A Year of Starcraft II

Replays For Review

I decided to do a duo of replays from each race, one loss and win vs P and T, and two losses vs Z.  I feel like this will help point out my problems better, perhaps. Reviewing them myself, I see problem areas already.  In the Entombed Valley ZvZ loss, I made too many drones towards the end.  If those were roaches or lings, I perhaps would have fared better.  In the ZvP loss, I had way too few drones until a minute or two before my opponent attacked.  The shorter ZvZ is a classic case of my crappy micro, I believe.  It was also included because a redditor (Rexel) was my opponent and was adamant that I upload it to Reddit.  Hopefully this post and my cross post to StarcraftFeedback will suffice.

It is obvious too, from watching these, that I have decided on a open to use across the board- 14g 14p.  It was suggested to me by a masters player who helped a few times and I have had success with it.  I think that sticking to so much ling/bling/muta is a detriment rather than a good plan.  I thought it would help me focus on my play issues, but don’t know if it’s working.

Thought this new site might make it easier to upload, but was basically the same as simple SC2.  Hopefully it’s just as easy to download.  Could not figure out how to do a pack, so the individual links are:

ZvZ – Loss

ZvZ- Loss

ZvT- Win

ZvT- Loss

ZvP- Win

ZvP- Loss

I don’t expect any incredible revelations from this, really.  I am thinking, though, that the problem most pointed out by those who comment will be worked on for a week.  Then, I will move on to the next most suggested problem.  A sort of coaching by vote.  I’m still at a loss for why I’m stuck where I am.  It is the sum of all the little things that lead to my losses, but why I win one game, but not the next eludes me.  I feel overwhelmed with problem areas, and don’t know how to fix my game, so any suggestions are appreciated.


15 responses to “Replays For Review

  1. Tim Gray February 3, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I haven’t had the chance to review all the replays, but one issue I’ve noticed is that how come you never go tier 3 units? Zerg’s tier 3 units are really cost efficient and will wreck your opponent if they don’t respond correctly. Also, assuming you have enough supply available, building a bunch of T3 units will easily take care of excess gas instantly, which you will need to kill your opponent.

    • redditpickedmyhobby February 3, 2012 at 2:00 am

      It’s a good point, and something I’ve not tried working on yet. I think I don’t use them enough because I’m not sure when I should start, etc. Is there a timing Tier 3 should be out at?

      • Tim Gray February 3, 2012 at 10:32 am

        Pros usually get T3 at 18 minutes. But since we’re not pros, I would start at 15 minutes trying to get to T3. At that point I make an infestor pit if I don’t already have one. If you make a spire at the same time you upgrade to hive, both will finish at the same time. You can immediately morph a greater spire when hive finishes. By the time I get T3 units out, it’ll usually be around 18 minutes.

        Also, make sure you have at least 3 bases and they are all saturated before you start.

  2. LC cent February 3, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I watched the second ZvZ game. (vs Judaism)
    And it just seems like you lack a basic gameplan.
    In general when you ZvZ there are a few things you need to keep in mind imo. First of all, attacking (midgame and lategame) is risky buisness, since infestors are extremely strong defensively. Second, upgrades are extremely important. Probably more so than in most other matchups.
    Third, there should be a composition which you try to reach in the midgame, being roach hydra infestor. This composition is only hard countered by infestor broodlord, but transitioning to that should be for the lategame.
    Fourth, spine crawlers are extremely strong, high hp high dps and once you get on 3-4 base you should consider setting up a defensive line with a few spines just to give yourself a defensive advantage, this is especially true if you get ahead on bases/drones compared to your opponent.
    I believe that the matchup should be played fairly defensively, with focus on fast bases and upgrades. Harassing with burrowed roach/infestor can be extremely strong, but attacking with the full army is not something that should be considered unless you feel like you’re quite far ahead either in army or upgrades compared to your opponent. What I try to do in my ZvZs mostly nowadays is to get a fast third (if I play roach hydra), like really fast around 7-9min, while poking with speedlings and then just play fairly defensively with a bit of harassing if I see the opportunity for it.
    What I’m really saying is, try to think of what you want to accomplish in the games, and try to avoid midgame attacks unless you’ve done something to get ahead earlier in the game.
    Midgame/lategame attacks/movement : Make sure to get an overseer in front of your army so you can keep an eye out for where his army is, otherwise nasty suprises might wait :/

    Basically what I’m saying is: make sure you know what you’re trying to accomplish during the games.
    I am a fairly defensive player myself, so the above things might not be for you, but general things should still apply.

    Early game: avoid getting roaches so early, banelings are better defensively in the early game since you don’t need to get them blindly in the same way you do with roaches (as long as you have a few lings in your base to morph, banes will be ready in time if you see him move out of his base with mass zergling) . And roaches also gives you very little mapcontrol compared to speedlings.
    In this game you got fairly behind on drones early on because you built like 7 roaches which did nothing to put pressure on your opponent.

    Mid game: As I said, attacking like this is extremely risky when you have no advantage.

  3. Verity February 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Looking at your ZvT loss now. Noticing a few things early on.
    1) You scout no gas and lose your drone, get some lings out asap to scout if he will rush you or go early CC. Which he did and got a huge economylead in the beginning.
    2) Take drones of gas after you get enough for lingspeed when doing this opening.
    3) You play very safe. He had less army than you and couldn´t move out, but you still made two spines. 2 spines = 300 minerals = 6 drones.
    4) Get Xel´naga towers and keep them.

    What you do well is macro. You get a lot of income, have three bases fully saturated and that is good. But when you go ling bane muta, get additional macro hatcheries with queens for larvae. You don´t float more than 300 minerals for the first 10 minutes or so, which is very good, but then your money start to bank up. Pros get 1 additional hatch. I get 2, you could have gotten 4 or 5.

    Get 2x evochambers and your spire hotkeyed to the same hotkey for easy upgrades. You can afford double upgrades on two bases.

    You ran your muta away from three hurt marines, only to return them when turrets was rebuilt, you could have killed his main easily. Else, never attack marines and medevacs without lings. Lings get shot, but mutas survive.

    The last and most important thing is engagement and unit control. Using ling bane muta is difficult, and a good or a bad engagement means everything for this composition. I would say this is mainly why you threw this game. Everything else I´ve said until now was just picking at details.

    Your lings banes and muta must smash into your opponent when he is off-guard. Your banes must hit the marines while the lings tank damage and mutas deal damage. This i find easier with two control groups. A-move everything, then select banes and just move-command them into the marines. A good surround makes everything better. See replays from pros in order to understand this. One good engagement at the end and you would have won 😉

  4. Verity February 4, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I meant double upgrades on three bases. 😉

    PS: You can go tier 3 when you got enough gas income to do this. 3-4 bases.

  5. Nehor February 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    You know what helped my ZvZ recently (I’m plat, so this is from a common, struggling perspective and not any great wisdom)? I started doing all-ins every game: 14g14p into speedling/baneling aggression.

    Before, I just hated ZvZs – either I’d get killed early on, or I would play a long, drawn out game that I’d end up losing anyway. Going all-in takes the pressure off: no matter if you win or lose, odds are it’ll be over quick.

    Oddly enough, I won quite a bit of games with this. It does destroy the occasional 6/7 pool, and does decently well against opponents with poorer micro. You can imagine that once my MMR rose a bit, I started getting stuffed. But you know what? After 10 games of seeing my aggression stopped cold, I was no longer scared of playing a normal ZvZ: I knew not only what I needed to survive the baneling wars, but I also knew the other guy was on a timer – if he couldn’t kill me before my better macro kicked in, he was gone. This confidence carried over to the rest of the game.

    Now I agree with all the crap about macroing our little hearts out. I’m just saying that if you’re lacking the internal conviction that macroing works, try being the other guy for a while. You’ll go back to macro with a new perspective.


  6. xanxan February 10, 2012 at 1:18 am

    I think hatch first is better for ZvT. Seemed to me you had unused larva too often, and after early game floated money when there was nothing else to do. Maybe you don’t have long enough game plan, spending money and all that gets much easier when you know what you need to be doing next. Ofcourse you know all this, maybe you usually play better, but if you want out of gold, you can’t make these mistakes, and it really isn’t all that hard to stop making them. I hope you watch carefully replay of every loss.

  7. Chris February 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Just watched the ZvP. I’m only halfway through, but at the 10:50 mark you have 24 drones and he has 46 probes, and no units have been lost by either side. I’m sure you know you should be wayyyy higher than this, at least as high as your opponent if not higher. This really kills you, because even though you’re spending your money well, your income is soooo much lower (half, in this case) than your opponent’s. You can’t even make many drones at this point in the game because you have no money to make more. Your economy never exponentially exploded properly.

    There are a few decision-making things that cause you to be low on drones, such as at 4:45 when you make extra lings for no reason. (You saw the gas, so you know he’s not proxying mass zealots or something. You can also send your overlord into his natural to see what he’s building without fear early on, then move it back to your safe spot later.) There didn’t seem to be a need to put guys back on gas when you did, since your gas remains high even through the 10:50 mark. You had a super super early 3rd followed by evo when you still had larvae on the ground that could have been drones. This is called “cutting” workers, and if you’re cutting workers early in the game you’d better have a strong reason for doing so (such as terran doing 11-11 raxes), or you’re going to end up behind in the mid and late game. Having your 3rd hatch up 5-10 seconds earlier didn’t seem to bring you any advantages.

    However, mostly the problem is unused larvae sitting there that could be drones. You’re doing well injecting, but keep that larvae used up. A part of this may be that your APM is very low. I think this is natural if you’ve never stood over the shoulder of someone good playing. I know that was true for me, and I know Boxer said (paraphrasing) “when I went to my first tournament, I saw people playing very quickly and didn’t understand why they moved so fast. Then I learned the importance of speed.” Don’t know what area of the country you’re in or if anyone here can volunteer to show you, but if you can stand and watch someone good play (at least diamond, hopefully masters), it might change your whole outlook on how you play at a fundamental mechanical level. Get faster!

    I’m only 10:50 in, but you’ve already lost when you’re at 24 drones vs 46, so hopefully understanding this helps!

  8. tim gray February 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Watched both zvt and zvp losses:
    Short version: Work on your scouting and macro.

    Long version:

    1) Initial scout – You scout your opponent initially for location, but you don’t seem follow up and find out what build he is doing. When scouting early on, you need to know whether your opponent is doing a 1 base build or a 2 base build. Knowing this information will allow you to have the proper build in response, have enough drones, and not over make lings for defense.

    2) Xelnaga towers – Initially, you would take the towers with your lings as the game begins, but after your opponent kills them you never actually retake the towers. When playing zerg it is absolutely essential you know when your opponent is coming to attack you.

    3) Map awareness – When playing zerg it is extremely important to have vision of your opponent at all times. You want to know exactly when your opponent is expand, when he is moving out, when he is dropping, etc. This will help out with your engagements as well. When playing against terran you want to attack his army before they are seiged up.


    1) Proper build order based on initial scout – It seems that you use the same build order in all of your match ups. This is okay, but if you want to improve you will need to use different build orders based on what you scout. For example, if toss forge fe, then you will need to get a third immediately and drone up til around 8:30 minutes. If your opponent just 1 bases, then you can probably drone up til 30-36 food before making units.

    2) Less offensive units earlier on and more drones – You tend to overbuild lings in the beginning of the game and then build a bunch of spine crawlers for defense. This is OVERKILL. You only need a max of 1 spine at your nat and 4-6 lings early on. Depending on how aggressive your opponent is, you can either make more drones or more lings. Some aggressive openings include 11/11 2 rax, 2 gate, etc. But 80% of your games won’t include this opening, so building more than 1 spine and 6 lings will hurt you early game.

    3) More drones – In both games you are behind your opponent in workers. This is partially due to over making lings and spines early game and not droning hard enough when your opponent goes FE. When watching replays, anytime you have less workers then that means you need to drone up harder earlier on.

    4) Spend your larva – later in the game past 10 minutes, you usually end up with 20+ larva. In your ZvP game you had 30+ larva. This is absolutely unacceptable. You had 1k+ resources at the point and all this larva you can use. Your injects are pretty good, but you need to spend your larva a lot better.

    5) Mid/late game macro – your early game macro is ok since you keep your resources at around 200, but as the game progresses your macro usually slips a lot. You end up with 1k+ resources and a ton of unused larva. The initial army you make is usually fine, but after it dies, you don’t reinforce as fast as you should. Zerg’s units are fairly weak so you would need to make multiple big armies to throw as your opponent to wear them down. If you aren’t instantly remaxing your army when your current one dies than you will be in big trouble and lose the game if your opponent’s army isn’t dead yet. Anytime you have a ton of resources/larva stockpiled means your macro needs more work.

    If you work on all of these, then you’ll be plat or above guaranteed.

  9. slacker February 22, 2012 at 7:24 am

    How’s progresss going?

  10. Justin Etchell March 4, 2012 at 9:32 am

    00:14 [All] LeTemps: glhr
    15:25 [All] Cloud: fuck you

    I laughed.

  11. badges March 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    2/3 of the year already gone. Wow. Keep it up man!

  12. ruiwui March 8, 2012 at 5:16 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: