Hello there my slippery sand-sloths! I am “here” today to bring you a nice and shiny “battle report” of a solo ladder game I played about a month ago on Twisted Meadows!!! (Feel the excitement). Now as most Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne solo ladder players will tell you, the variety in strategies that gamers use these days is somewhat lacking in originality. Scratch that, there is no originality at all in watching replays of “the gosu” players and then not just copying there strategies, but using the same ones game after game after game...
And so, when a match-up comes along where one or both players use “different” or “unusual” strategies, it gives me wood.
That being said, I shall now present a report of what happens when the two sexiest heroes in the game, the Goblin Tinker and the Blademaster, fight to the death in a battle filled with hate, love, passion, cowboys, bunnies, and abominable snowmen!
And now, without further ado (feel the... cliche), I bring you... the player introductions!
ViolentVBC: NE, Lv 34, rank 227
Violent is a Night Elf (NE) player overflowing with Warcraft 3 skills. Born on the streets of Rhode Island, Violent lived his life chillin’ with homies, pimping hos, and drinking entire 2-liters of Dr Pepper in a single sitting. Faced with adversities from the very start, Violent learned at a young age how important it was to be able to steal vodka from hobos, climb into 5th story windows to “acquire” valuables, and nab walkers (to add to his extensive collection) from senior citizens. Always ambitious, Violent decided to try his “happy hands” at Warcraft 3 one day, beating the computer(easy) after forty consecutive tries. It was obvious he was going places.
ThOr[pOx]: Orc, Lv 34, rank 250
ThOr[pOx] is an Orc player who likes other men. As a child, he was beaten by both his grandma and the Orcish Overlord of his commune. After performing Satanic rituals, he was able to betray (and destroy) his best friend Bilbo and steal his precious copy of Warcraft 3. Lies, deceit, and pizza parties were all that Pox knew, and thus he excelled at them and became known as the “Shifty-eyed Badger of Warcraft.” Losing game after game, POx fell back on his “devilry” (see Satanic rituals) and was able to temporarily gain exceptional Warcraft powers. Powers that would not go away unless Pox was defeated in-game by a being of pure brilliance and sexiness. And that very thing came to pass in this fateful ladder game...
This battle report is obviously of a game where good (ViolentVBC) is pitted once again against evil (ThOr[pOx]). Who will win this time around in the age old battle!?
At the beginning of the game, my opponent and I did not talk. We knew already that if I lost, the fate of the world would be in the hands of the evil ThOr. But if ThOr lost, his Super-Warcraft Skills spell would be broken and the world would be safe once more. I knew what I had to do...
Immediately I started a nice Tavern Hero/Archer build, with a delayed alter and a faster Ancient of War (AOW). I built said AOW right next to both the wisps gathering lumber and the row of moonwells I had begun to construct, so that if a harassing enemy hero wanted to kill my wisps, he would be continually bludgeoned by the AOW while every wisp that was hurt would be healed by the auto-cast moonwells. This gives me a nice “no micro” (I play NE, what do you expect?) way to keep my base safe from harassment so that I can go creep the map and get the much needed experience and items for my Tinker.
Now ThOr starts with a not so typical, yet still widely used, “Orc VS Night Elf” build order, in which he doesn’t even build a barracks until after he has started upgrading his Great Hall. If any other race tried this, they would be very vulnerable to a well executed rush, but not so with Orcs. ThOr knows that a peon-filled burrow with hero support will be able to fight off a Tier 1 rush with ease. ThOr tries something a bit different than most Orcs with his hero choice though; whereas most would make a Farseer as their first hero, and immediately scout/harass an enemy base, ThOr went with the rarely seen Blademaster (BM) and then went to... harass my base.
His “scouting” methods were faulty though (you’ll see this again later in the game), and he actually sends his BM all around the map looking for my base (why not just send one peon to scout?). He doesn’t do too well either, and surprisingly enough runs to a non starting position gold mine and gets attacked by its creeps (It is obvious his “Super Warcraft Spell” is wearing off...). But eventually, he does find out where my base is, though it is so far away from his BM that he looks for my army instead (so that he can try and harass me as I creep).
While ThOr’s “playtime with creeps” was going on, my Tinker was busy slaughtering the orange level gnoll creep camp furthest from the Orc base (I had less to fear from a harassment there). I make a wisp gather lumber beside the southeast Mercenary Camp, and then hire a happy forest troll shadow priest (long title) in order to dispel the Farseer wolves that I was sure my opponent had. Seconds after I hire that priest, the curious Bladmaster runs to the Merc Camp and kills my innocent wisp.
I was outraged... Not only had he killed a unit that has done no wrong to tree, bird, or midget, but he had killed that unit with the despicable Blade Master (the Orc hero I fear the most). In my head (where else!?) I’m thinking “Oh great, bats...” (many Orcs who use the BM tech straight to bat riders, while towering up their base), but my fingers are busy typing “I hate you!” to ThOr. Sadly, an unplanned typo (yes... people plan them sometimes) made it come out “I hate yopu!” and so all its meaning was lost (ThOr probably thought Yopu was some new Japanese pop band).
After this failed insult I cried and died a little inside, but I soon collected what was left of my pride and began to creep the eastern Goblin Merchant. I usually kill the Merc Camp creeps at this time (if I’m on Twisted Meadows), but I needed to buy some Dust of Appearance to deal with the Wind Walking BM... so to the Merc Camp it was!
While the BM was looking for Night Elf units to kill, ThOr had finally gotten a barracks up, and nearly had his Great Hall completely upgraded. He hires a forest troll berserker from the now wispless (darn him!) Merc Camp, and then finally stumbles across my creeping army.
Up until this point, my creeping had gone on undisturbed, and my Tinker was nearly to level 3. I continued queuing archers to join my army, finished building a Huntress Hall, and then started a 2nd AOW by the time I realized there was a Blademaster attacking my army. I screamed in horror and kept on attacking the creeps of cruelness while vainly trying to run my injured archers away from the wrath of the BM. I decided that it was high time (another cliche, score!) to kill that blasted BM, so I tried surrounding him with archers and then focused their attacks on him.
Sadly, two archers were killed in that attack. Their screams pierced my very soul and then echoed around inside my nearly empty head. And even worse, those kills made a nice little hole in my “archer net” that BM was able to slip through and safely flee to his base, leaving me to finish off the remaining creeps and collect the “spoils” (among which was the Scourge Bone Chims, giver of a pseudo-vampiric aura to melee units). Since I had an almost all ranged army (excepting the Tinker and his clockwork goblins), I considered selling that item for the nice sum of gold I would get. But, I decided against it not knowing whether or not I would need to use bears or even mountain giants later in the game.
Having spare resources, and doing pretty well army-wise, I decide that now would be a great time to upgrade my Tree of Life to a Tree of Ages.
ThOr rejuvenates the HP and Mana of his BM with a Healing Salve and Lesser Clarity Potion bought from his Voodoo Lounge, and then hires a Naga Sea Witch from the lonely Tavern. He then runs his army to the northwest mercenary camp where I am just finishing off even more creeps. And so, the first real skirmish of the game happens, and ThOr actually has a grunt in his army!
I am “creep jacked” once again, and am at a slight disadvantage this time around. With the Naga’s Cold Arrow skill, any injured units focus fired on will be moving far too slowly to actually escape the battle. And with the Wind Walking BM running about attacking archers, my army is in mortal danger. So, thinking quickly (hahahah), I run my army towards the Naga, and when half of my aspiring army is around the “victim Naga,” I rapidly push the “m” key, surrounding the poor innocent Naga who only wanted to kill people... is that a crime!? My Tinker is pretty low in health, so I use the Invincibility Potion I just gleaned from the creep cadavers, and then deftly finish off the entrapped Naga.
ThOr, I don’t know... He must have lost whatever effects were left from the “Super Warcraft Skill” spell (that I’ve mentioned time and time again), because he makes an “ultimate” bonehead move here and runs his BM away from the battle... and into some gnoll creeps! He takes this as a “creeping opportunity” and tries to micro his low HP BM and grunt around so that he’ll kill the gnolls of grandeur. And much to his dismay, and my hilarity when I watched the replay, his BM actually dies to the gnolls!
I have no clue about ThOr’s “fun with creeps,”(or I would have pressed my advantage, probably winning the game right there) so I’m busy attacking the western Goblin Merchant creeps. I am pleasantly surprised that I received yet another aura item for my troubles, the Lion Horn of Storm Wind (gives all units +1 armor), and a Lesser Tome of Experience.
At about the 9 minute mark, I decide to attack the Orc base. I add the wonderful wonderful Pandaren Brewmaster (the envy of all heroes) to my army, and buy a Healing Scroll. I leisurely traipse towards good ol’ ThOr’s base, and see his army getting ready to creep his eastern natural expansion. ThOR sees my army too, and runs away from it fast. One poor kodo beast is not able to make it away from my army’s wrath, and so the Orc spent those resources just to give me some experience points (hooray!).
Just as ThOR begins making raiders in his newly build beastiary, I enter the Orc base, throw down a Pocket Factory, and then proceed to maim, kill, and destroy anything I see. Which is actually just a Voodoo Lounge... I take this quick interlude from actual unit engagement to start teching to Tier 3, with an Ancient of Wind going up beside my moonwells.
In a good move on ThOr’s part, he runs into his base on my archer army’s left flank and starts killing the engaged, enraged, and not quite in-caged elves. I focus my attention onto the Orcish grunts, but a well timed Naga Forked Lightning casting hits three of my archers (the archers were forked...) finishing one of them off. I continue attacking the Orc menace, but my Pocket Factory is way out behind my army, and the mechanical goblins are too busy attacking the Beastiary to be of any help in the battle. I force my Pandaren to cast Drunken Haze as much as possible, giving my archers a bit longer to live through the battle with the grunts and raiders missing many of their attacks. My Panda gets dangerously low in HP, so I have him retreat towards my base. ThOr decides to use a raider’s ensnare abilty, and I feared for the life of my Panda. To my surprise, the ensnare was actually aimed at an archer, and so my Panda was able run back to my base safely.
More archers die... More grunts and raiders die, and eventually ThOr focuses his energies on trying to kill my Tinker. Not wanting to lose my favorite hero, I am forced to use up my town portal (TP).
ThOr and I take a momentary break from killing each other, and use it to resupply our armies and creep yet again. ThOr continues to make grunts and raiders, while I am finally mixing Druids of the Talon (dotts) into my force.
With my Tree of Eternity completed, I make some more wisps and start building my Chimera Roost. Then, I attack the Orc base once again! ThOr defends his base, and does an excellent job of it... I thought I had a unit advantage at the time (though the replay proves me wrong), so I honestly belived this would be the “finishing battle.” With that in mind, I got lazy, and made the mistake of leaving my army within range of the peon filled burrows. Needless to say, the burrows and a couple castings of Forked Lightning from ThOr’s Naga were enough to destroy nearly all of my army. And this time, when my low HP Panda tried to escape , he really was ensnared and then finished of by a Naga Cold Arrow to the back of the head... Poor Panda, I loved you like a pedophile loves babies... And in exactly the same fashion. As my Tinker took more and more damage, I was forced to TP once again. I very nearly killed the Naga before warping, but I guess it was not meant to be and she survived.
The fact that she lived while so close do death enraged me, so I healed at my moonwells and then ran my army back to the Orc base on a badly planned mission to assassinate the Naga threat. I feared the game was over anyway, and wanted to go out with a bang. Okay, I’ll admit it, I really just saw the low HP Naga with my Fairy Fire and thought for sure I could kill her and survive. And so I stopped thinking completely (er... take that figuratively), and did a little suicide attack on the now healing Naga.
“Suicide attack” fits this “skirmish” perfectly, as my entire army including the Goblin Tinker died in this ill-fated assassination attempt (Cold Arrow, Ensnare, and Wind Walk is an excellent hero killing combo...). There was actually a point in this battle where I could have saved the Tinker, you see I cycloned the BM with one of my soon to be dead dotts. My Tinker then fled the Orc base and made it all the way to the Merchant Shop. In the split second I had to buy an item, I could have purchased a Town Portal and then lived. Or, if I wanted to spend 100 less gold, I might have had time to buy both a Lesser Invincibility Potion and an Invisibility potion, casting invisibility while I was already invulnerable, because there is a small time lapse before invisibility kicks in (in which my Tinker would have died). But no, I decided to take the “cheap” route and buy just an invincibility potion. I thought for sure the 2 skill points I had in the Tinkers Engineering skill would be enough to let him outrun the orc units, but nope. The raiders kept in stride, and the potion wore off. Then ensnare was there, in my hair, everywhere... (and even in my lair). R.I.P. Tinker!
The only thing that kept ThOr from running to my base and finishing me off then and there was that a single chimera had made its way to the battle, “frightening” ThOr away. He went back to his base, healed up, took the time to scout for expansions with his BM, and then started massing troll headhunters to “deal” with the chimera threat.
Both of our goldmines were running low, so as soon as my Tinker was revived, I went to creep my natural (and hoped to expand there). ThOr on the other had was confident he had the game won (and he should have), and didn’t bother expanding at all. Instead, he came to my base with a “doomsday army” full of headhunters, grunts, raiders, and one (!?) batrider. Behind this army were peons for towering, which seemingly always spell doom for whichever player is being towered (in this case me).
I quickly pulled away from my creeping, leaving the items behind in my haste, and went to meet ThOr’s forces head on (have I used this cliche once already!?). My army was all spread out (I usually have the formation option toggled off for faster troop movement), and so ThOr had a few seconds to take advantage of my “piecemeal attack,” which he instead spent killing buildings. When my whole army, which now consisted of four archers, two dotts, and a chimera, finally made it to my base, and I made yet another huge mistake.
Things were fine at first, but then ThOr ran out of my base, and I followed him... away from the protection of my moonwells (and again in piecemeal). Almost immediately, my Tinker was ensnared and focused on, and a shot of Forked Lightning went off. Not wanting to lose my Tinker again I Tped... again, and the Orc redoubled his attack on my base. In any “huge” battle, it gets hard to keep track of all of the micro-management going on, but after all of the Forked Lightnings, Cyclones, and Drunken Haze castings, ThOr’s army was hurting but mine was all but decimated... And to make matters worse, three towers were now completed (those peons had been busy)!
Luckily for me, my Tinker got to level 6 during the battle, and I was able to use the Robo Goblin Ultimate. And, since I still had a bit of resources left over (though my mine had just collapsed), I was able to keep a ring of wisps around the Tinker keeping him healed as he used Pocket factory, fled, used Factory again, and then fled again. As this was happening, my Tree of Eternity was ever-so-slowly “tree sprinting” towards my natural expansion.
When I looked back at my army, the so called “ring” of wisps around my Tinker was actually immobilizing him completely, so I moved them and then desperately attacked the towers with Mr. Tinker, clockwork goblins from the pocket factory, and an uprooted Ancient of War and Wonders. The ancients died as they always do against towers, but ThOr’s BM was grievously wounded in battle and had to retreat/heal. Soon enough though, the BM was back in my base with the rest of the Orc army, and it was my turn to do the retreating.
I am sure that ThOr has to have an expansion up by now, so I search his naturals and see that he actually doesn’t have one up yet, and has a long line of peons running all the way from his Stronghold to the gold mine of his western natural. At this time, my hope for winning the game has been rekindled, and I throw down a Pocket Factory amidst the trekking peons. I knew that if I could keep ThOr from getting enough gold for an expansion, and could keep my own expansion alive in the process, that I would be able to win in time. What ensues is a long episode of me using a factory in his peon line, him chasing me back to my expansion where he tries (and fails) to kill it, and then me chasing him back to his peon line once again (I slowly build up a Merc army as this happens).
This repeats itself until around the 32 minute mark when ThOr comes in for his final attempt to kill my expansion, but is met with a chimera, mercs, and the Tinker (who used a Staff of Teleportation to get back from the peon line attacks). Among the mercenaries I had were Mud Golems, and these were able to cast slow on the Blademaster and Naga. Then it wasn’t too hard to finish off the Naga, and then finally the BM. After these were dead, ThOr the Throttled left the game and I was declared victor!
Looking back on this game, I see that there were several mistakes made by both ThOr and me that could have changed the outcome, or even cut the game time much shorter. There are certain things we did that “great” players would never do; namely ThoR losing his BM to creeps and later wasting his “should be” expansion money on towers, and me hastily pushing an attack when I am at a severe disadvantage (did I really think I’d kill that Naga!?), and consistently attacking with little parts of my army instead of the whole. The other mistakes were smaller (the goofy scouting by ThOr, the not pressing advantages by me, etc.), but any one of them is a big thing in a game this close. Although I did end up winning this game, the in depth analysis I did of the replay in order to write this battle report actually helped me see points where I can improve my game, and I think I may actually start saving every replay I lose so that I can review those games as deeply as this one.
In closing, I’d like to write a little poem to commemorate the Pandaren Brewmaster and his constant service in my army as a kind of “suicide bomber.” May he rest in peace...
Elegy of the Pandaren
The Pandaren was drunk and strong
His weapons were fierce and his unit was long
But when it came to waging battle
The Pandaren would get the paddle
He tried so hard to kill some Orcs
He scowled at them and called them dorks
But Orcs are always throwing snares
To take our Panda unawares
Poor Panda could never get past
Level 2 (though he got there fast)
An Orcish katana then pierced through his eye
It was from a Blademaster, who watched Panda die
Rest in peace ye Panda for one day another
Might use your father in battle or maybe your brother
And kill the Orcs that ended your life
And make that Blademaster some obese man’s wife.
If you actually enjoyed my writing "style," be sure to check out my writing site sometime...