Ferrous Oxide Wars
A Reporting Experience brought to you by x]FS[x
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome, to my second battle report. My first one was a starcraft FFA with Maareek and Wakiki, which
turned out a respectable 6.5. I turn my sights now to the RTS that has on and off preoccupied my attention for the past
three years, Warcraft III, though more off than on. This is a battle report documenting my return to battle.net, and
the game reported is my first one back. It is not the closest game in the world, but it is by no means a blowout.
The report will be done in the first person, as if I was playing the game, meaning there will be no analysis of my opponent
that I could not derive from my viewpoint
All screen shots are with the fog of war on. The game is riddled with numerous mistakes and dumb moves on my part.
To make up for the lack of strategical depth, I will also attempt to use subtle humor and a decent writing style to improve your
Path to BNet
The following is everything I went through to begin playing again. It is not crucial or pertinent to the report in any way
and can be skipped at the disgression of the reader:
The journey to start this report is filled with frustration and anger. It all began about a week ago on my own personal computer.
It's a powerhouse by most standards, filled with near top-of-the-line merchandise purchased less than a year ago. I went to
open Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne from my desktop at the time, and alas, I did not have the CD inserted. I had recently
come back from college about a month before, and I had assumed everything to be somewhere in my room. I checked the CDs
I brought home and found the Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Collector's Edition disc in one spot, the RoC CD-case with CD-key in another,
and The Frozen Throne CD-key in yet another, but no Frozen Throne CD. Surely it had to be in my room, the only place where
I have put anything from college. An hour long search of every cabinet, drawer, and orephous in my room yielded nothing
but 43 dirty socks, and a collectible gold septim. I checked the basement, attic, my car, my kitchen, and even the furnace
room for even a trace of the elusive disc. But I was no closer to getting that elusive cigar promised in that famous adage,
'close but no cigar'.
About three hours into the great search, I began looking online to see how much a new disc would cost. This has become a
disturbing practice in the past few years--purchasing game discs I already own. I saw that it was only $9.99 at GameStop
and kept it in the back of my mind as a last-resort option. Since the game was still installed on my computer, I looked for a less-honorable solution
to the wanted disc. Within another 20 minutes, I had the necessary things to play the game without actually using the disc
that I actually own. Finally, I was ready to play. I opened up the game and was greeted with black flashes all over the screen.
Very odd I thought to myself. I reset my computer, patched the game, and opened it up again, only to be greeted with the
same problem. After nearly an hour of testing different things, I arrived at the problem. My $279.99 nVidia 7900GT, had decided
to retire after only 9 months of service. Currently my video card is in the process of a 3-week long RMA. Realizing that
I would now have to play on my other computer, I knew I had to either find the lost expansion CD, or buy a new one. A new round
of searching ensued, but 90 minutes later I was on my way to the GameStop 25 minutes away to buy a new one. Two hours, and $10.54
later, I arrived back at my home. It had been 72 hours since the War3 itch had started, and it still had not been satisfied.
I turned my eyes to the computer in my kitchen. 1.1 GHz, 512 mb of RAM, and a four-year-old video card greeted me.
I hoped for the best and began installing Reign of Chaos on the computer. I watched merrily as the magic blue bars consistently rose towards the ultimate goal. I guessed at the percentages as the bar increased
50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, I got out my Frozen Throne disc, 90%!, ONE HUND...... Error: Cannot Read E:/Movies/OrcEd.mpq, my jaw dropped.
After the giant fiasco
that resulted in the shut down of my gaming computer. The only disc that I originally had, failed on me. I tried numerous reinstalls
in both CD drives, and even tried installing from the Hard Drive. I spent the next hour on the phone with tech support and
searching online to see if I could get a stand-alone from either Blizzard, or a friend. Neither option proved fruitful.
I abdicated into the night and slept. I awoke to the sound of my alarm on Day 4, and text messaged my friend asking if
I could borrow his RoC disc. I sped over to his house, got the disc, and returned to the installing grind. RoC installed like a dream,
and surprisingly, my newly purchased frozen throne disc installed without a hitch as well. The game was installed, IT WAS GO
TIME!! I went into the game, and was greeted by a frame rate that would even seem slow to a christmas tree running a race. The game was unplayable
even at the lowest settings. I did some quick thinking and stopped by my old computer collecting dust on the floor in my room
and extracted the ATI 9600XT buried inside. I replaced the ailing video card of the computer in the kitchen and turned it back
on. *BEEEEEEEEP* screeched the hard drive.... That's odd, I thought. I shut off the computer, and started it back up... *BEEEEEP*
FANTASTIC! The computer won't even start. I put the old video card back in with tears welling up in my lacrimal glands.
I guess I'll just have to suffer with a subpar frame rate.... *BEEEEEEEP*.. Not even the old set up worked anymore. My
life flashed before my eyes as the computer that everyone in the house used began to crumble before my eyes.
Goodbye four years of financial data, pictures, and programs that had long lost their respective discs. I put my head on the desk
and went for broke. I unplugged everything inside the computer, and plugged it back in. My finger trembled over the power button...
Success!!! The taste of victory was so sweet that I craved more. I shut it off again and put in the superior 9600XT. Power...
Success!!! It was my first good break in the past four days. The problem? I don't know, and I don't care. The computer started up very quickly. I opened the frozen throne.
The game patched, and ran smoothly. I entered battle.net and had finally come to the point where I could play a game. I took
a deep breath and clicked on "Play Game." I selected One vs. One; Human. "Find Game"...
I was playing on a smurf under the name of UConnTO, a combination of my school--the University of Connecticut--and my initials. Though I hardly consider it a smurf
as I usually reserve that title for good players who want to practice anonymously. My first arranged match on battle.net in about six months paired me against a Level 14 Undead player by the name of G.EyE.
The map was Lost Temple, and I cracked each of my knuckles one at a time as the game loaded, knowing that I would have clunky movements from lack of practice.
Lost Temple is very similar to the starcraft version, with bases on 12, 3, 6, and 9, and a natural expansion at each. The
main difference is the added expansions in the lower left and upper right of the map, though they are rarely taken in a game.
The usual progression for a creeping player, as usually is the case by Human players, is either a fast expansion to the natural,
or creeping the green creeps in the center. Creeping in the center is dangerous and beneficial at the same time. The danger
is that you can be creepjacked by a harassing player, or even another creeping player with ease, and the outcome can often
be disasterous if you aren't paying attention. The benefit is that all the creeps are close together, and you can reach Level 3
very quickly this way. Also, the placement of a Fountain of Health in the middle makes injuries negligible. There is also
everything that can be desired placed on the map as well, goblin merchant, mercenary camp, goblin observatory, and a tavern.
Historically, Human vs Undead has been my worst match up. I am never quite sure what to get, and I was sure that a long hiatus
would not help my chances in improving in the match up. I thought of several routes G.EyE could go. The fact that he was
Level 14 meant he had some experience, and would probably follow a similar strategy as the majority of battle.net players. I knew the one
thing I could count on was the Death Knight, and likely fiends and/or Destroyers later in the game, my least favorite
units to play against. I hadn't kept up with War III in at least six months, and so I figured my two safest options were either
two rax footmen/rifles, or one rax rifles/footmen with Priest support, both with the Archmage. You would only get priests
in this case because of the usefulness of dispel magic against many undead units, healing magic, and the absence of buffs that
could be devoured by Destroyers. I chose on the path of Footmen and Rifles, not really knowing how to use them against Undead
I spawned my Town Hall at the 9 o'clock position, and quickly massacred my split. I sent all five to gold, then all to build
a barracks and then all back to gold again. I eventually decided on 3 to gold, with one building an altar, and one building
a barracks. I later found out, this is definetly not the most efficent path. My first built peasant popped out and I sent him
to build a farm with all subsequent peasants being sent to gold until I had five mining, and the rest were sent to lumber.
Two Minute Warning!!
*Whistle blow* This is the Two Minute Warning. At two minutes I assess my position to find myself greeted by 11 peasants, 1 footman, and
a Level 1 archmage with Water Elemental. My base has progressed relatively slow compared to what I remember in the past.
I decided scouting was for wimps, as was base defense. I figured lumber and farms was the best defense, and preped my meager
army to creep the middle.
A second footman popped out and I sent my units and the archmage to the center to creep. I have always enjoyed fast expanding on Lost
Temple, but I had not the slightest clue on how to do it anymore, so I took the more conservative approach, and ventured
into the center. Normally by this time I would have been scouted, and would be being harassed by the very persistent Death
Knight. Yet he was no where in sight and I gained a bit of confidence, figuring my opponent was at least no pro. I began creeping
the middle clockwise and gaining experience.
I turned my attention back to my base, and set up a Blacksmith for rifles, a Lumber Mill for guard towers, and the arcane
tower I should have built two minutes before. I even got ambitious and sent a militia'd peasant to find the enemy. I heard the noise of my Archmage gaining a level and gave him brilliance aura and
continued him on his creeping tirade. After dabbling in my base for a few more seconds I looked down at the minimap to check the
progress of my units. My retinas were greeted with a blob of pink.
Contact at +4:45
I moved my screen with a vicious click to the center of the Lost Temple, and quickly deposited a load of feces into my new
shorts. Looking back at the battle in the replay I believe I held the advantage, yet in my terror, I quickly ignored that
fact and headed for the hills. He had a Level 2 Death Knight, and 3 ranged crypt fiends, against my handful of footmen and
Level 2 archmage. I lost a footman by the time I finally clicked over, and failed to kill one enemy unit as I fled clockwise around the
center towards my base. During the battle my scouting peasant had found the enemy base on the 6 o'clock position. Though
I never even looked at what buildings he was building and as a result failed to forsee his teching.
Following the first contact, I put up a second barracks, started some Guard Towers, and researched defend knowing that against the piercing damage against
the fiends, it would come in handy. The downside to defend in that situation is the ability for a footman to get nuked and
targeted by enemy heroes, especially against someone whose microing ability is diminished, like people who haven't played in
six months. That is what I noticed in the first battle,
my micro hurt more than helped, I made countless misclicks and constantly
moved units that didn't need to be moved, and overall did no help whasoever. Anyway, I set out creeping where I had left
off in the center, though I quickly encountered G.EyE
who I assume had never left the area and finished creeping the rest of the middle.
I had a couple rifles, a handful of footmen, and my archmage to his 4 fiends and death knight. Once again I blew the advantage,
microed my guys around a hail of fiend spikes, lost a footman, and wasted my Town Portal. Oh, and I forgot to get my item
from the creep I had just killed.
Rust tastes awful.
It was only a few seconds more until Pink followed up the skirmish with a full assault on my main. Once again, looking back
on the replay, I feel I had a significant advantage against his Death Knight, 4 fiends, and Lich. I blew "home court" advantage,
and a unit count advantage. I set my footmen to "Defend" making the fiends piercing attack near useless against them,
but I slowed them to 30% of their normal movement speed and they were slowly picked off by his two heroes. The nuking power of Ice Nova/Coil was too much for my weak footmen and rifles. As had been
the case in previous engagements, I constantly focused on his heroes which I knew in my heart was wrong to do because a quick-moving
strength-based hero with undead aura--which increases movement speed by a small percentage--such as the death knight is extremely hard to take down, especially without any type of stunning. I foolishly followed him
and let him dictate where he wanted to fight the battle. I was carried away from the protection of my towers to the ramp outside my base.
Then much to my dismay, an obsidian statue comes waltzing into the battle, and I immediately knew destroyers would soon follow.
I considered throwing in the towel right then and there, because my track record stated that I had about a 95% chance of losing
against them. But of course, I never give up.
Even though I poorly executed the defense of my base, I still fended him off and made him sustain a near equal amount of losses,
so hope was not lost. I knew in order to beat destroyers, I had to gain a superior economy, produce anti-air, and stifle
his expansion hopes. I sent my archmage over to the arcane vault that was just erected and picked up a scroll of restoration.
The scroll restores 200 HP over a period of about a minute. This makes recovering from constant Lich Nova blasts pretty quick and easy.
I let the scroll simmer for about 45 seconds and sauntered over to my natural expansion to gain experience, and set up a new base.
My archmage finally gained level three on the attack and I picked up level 2 water elemental. I was rewarded with a tome of health and a ring
of protection x2--decent weapons considering the low HP of my hero.
While this may seem obvious to most warcraft players, I
would just like to point out why I went with level 2 water elemental instead of getting level 1 blizzard. This is because
using both creates a severe drain on mana which low level brilliance auras could not hope to keep up with. Blizzard requires
your hero to channel, or stay in one place while casting and the combination of Lich/DK and the range of fiends makes that
a for-sure instakill of your hero. Also, level 2 water elemental is obviously more powerful and does more damage. Knowing
that my enemy would likely go destroyers which have piercing-vulnerable light armor, having the 35 damage piercing attack of the water elemental is a huge boost to any
human army. Only when Level 8 rolls around should a player work into blizzard, although there are on rare occasion
game plans that call for using blizzard as a first skill instead of water elemental.
Well it was ten minutes into my first game and I must say I was not pleased with how I had played. I had no expansion up,
a very low tech, tier 1 army of footmen and riflemen. I only had 6 rifles, 6 footmen, and a level 3 archmage, accompanied with
0/0/0/0 upgrades. It was around this time when I knew I had to take action so I gathered those units and marched towards the
six o'clock position and attacked his main.
Assault on Pink's Main (+10:00)
On my way to his base, my units swung through his natural to make sure that he had not expanded yet, and seeing no signs
of life, I continued to the east into his base, and was met with little resistance. Not sure what exactly to attack first
because I was sure his army could not be far away, I focused on the first thing that I encountered, his Tomb of Relics. It went down quick and I
delved deeper into his base to attack a stubborn spirit tower. Thirty seconds into the assault, pink entered the base and engaged my units.
He turned two of his three obsidian statues into destroyers and the magic damage boosted by its "Orb of Annihilation" ability which grants
20 bonus AoE magic damage which absolutely tear apart my heavy armored footmen.
Our forces were near evenly matched so I continued to fight. I again made the fallacy of focus firing on his death knight
which he proceeded to run into the protection of his tower-guarded base and pummel my units into submission. I quickly had my
riflemen focus the destroyers which they made relatively quick work of, with heavy casualties as the death coil and ice nova
rained down heavily. Also to add to the frustration he made sure to coil his weak units at the most inoppurtune times. The
battle lasted for over two minutes with more units constantly entering the battle. Seeing that I would not win the battle, and
that I had not yet lost it, I retreated back to my base with five rifles and my hero and began putting up an expansion at my natural, and finally began
upgrading to a keep which I should have done at least five minutes before hand.
His second hero, the Lich, was quickly raising in level and as soon as he hits level 3, I knew the level 2 ice nova would
be absolutely devestating on my army. To counter, I began teching to more advanced units and also added a mountain king
with storm bolt to stun the lich and follow up with focus fire. Due to my lack of scouting the absolute entire game, I sent
my entire army to scout his natural expansion just for good measure, knowing that if he didn't have one there I likely had
the economic advantage, and there would be a chance to redeem myself with a victory. But of course there is always a downside
with scouting with your entire army when you have no town portal.....
Pink Razes my Expansion (+15:40)
Pink stormed into my expansion with a high tech army, and two level 4 heroes. He had an army of destroyers, obsidian statues pumping out
restore mana, and he began adding abominations. Seeing this combination of units made it hard to ignore the blinding truth
that had been filling up inside of me... I was too far behind. I watched helplessly as my expansion was razed, not even the
four guard towers could put a dent in the opposing army.
I raced back to my base, and put up a workshop in order to get flying machines, a highly-effective anti-air unit. Having
flying machines instead of riflemen would also protect a portion of my army from the devestating ground attack of the abominations.
Money was scarce as I entered into low upkeep and only had my main
gold mine, which was running desperately low. Food supply was also low and I was unable to maintain constant unit production. Luckily though
G.EyE had decided not to press the attack and retreated back to his base. I quickly set up my expansion again and began to creep
the lower left area of the map.
I gained level four on the creeps and I received one of my favorites items, the book of the dead, which grants a small undead
army of skeletons to the user. About a minute earlier I had sent a peasant around the map and it eventually arrived upon
my enemies expansion at the natural of the 3 o'clock base. Curiously enough, he had a necropolis at the expansion and I could
only guess at why it was present, as it is not necessary to haunt the gold mine and begin harvesting resources.
Attack on G.EyE's Expansion (+20:25)
I sent my army to the expansion and quickly eliminated the acolytes as I saw the town portal of G.EyE target the necropolis at the base.
Perhaps it did have a use after all. His enormously powerful army ripped through my rifles and flying machines. A battle of
this scale was far too hectic for me to properly micro on my first game back. My heroes were targeted, nuked, and killed, and my flying
machines webbed and eliminated. My army crumbled as G.EyE used a book of the dead of his own and made quick work of me. I could
only laugh at myself and say gg. My first game had ended in a horendous defeat.
Knowledged Laid Down Upon Me
- Learn a proper build order
- Tech quicker
- Expand Quicker
- Get upgrades
- Improve Micro
- Those table things that list the unit type and amount are pretty cool in my opinion
- This battle report is better than my first one
- To my beautiful girlfriend who proofread this report
- To Zerg~Ling and his CSS tutorial, it made my life so easy
No Man's Land
Then came the time between this game and my next. After my embarassing play in game 1, I headed on over to wcreplays.com to pick
up a pro rep replay of a human. I found a highly rated game with 4K.ToD, one of the best human players in the world. Who it was
was really irrelevant as I just wanted to see his build order. The game was great either way, and seeing his start activated
the good ol' hippocampus, and the memories came flooding back. Four to gold, and one to altar. Next peasant, Barracks, next, farm.
With renewed confidence I booted the frozen throne back up and entered a game. I was originally going to report the next game
in this report as well, but I went into more depth and length that anticipated in game 1. As a result, I will improve over
the next couple weeks and hopefully deliver a more exciting match.
Constructive criticism is very welcome, and thanks for reading.