[Fixed] Application for research initiative

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[Fixed] Application for research initiative

Post  MXG on Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:24 am

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the double post; my first post lost all of its formatting and the URLs were removed. To get around this, I removed the www from the links, so you'll have to copy them into your browser manually. :/

My SC2 alias is MXG.138. I am a 2800 point Diamond player with my primary race as Protoss. While I am aware that your think-tank is Terran-focused, I strive to have a strong understanding of all three races. I love to spend my free time analyzing games and strategies. For these reasons, I am very interested in joining your research initiative.

My profile can be found at sc2ranks.com/us/541461/MXG

One aspect of strategy I would like to discuss is Thor usage in TvP. I first became interested in Thor usage for TvP when I realized, if I followed Janook's TvP build, I could crush Protoss players slightly better than myself using minimal micro.

For reference, Janook's TvP build is at gosutrolling.com/2010/11/janook-build-unstoppable-tvp-strat

I think that Thors could work extremely well in a build that isn't all-in as well. Thors have numerous qualities that allow them to wonderfully complement a Terran bio-force:


  • Strong forcefield placement is essential for Protoss players to divide and destroy a stimmed bio-based push. The Thor's ability to crush forcefields is something that can add a great amount of power to any MMM push.

  • Typically, Terran deals with Colossi by making Vikings. However, this eats into medivac production. Secondly, at the risk of oversimplifying things, it becomes a battle between sniping Colossi while preventing the blink stalkers from destroying all of your vikings. The use of Thors can potentially make blink-stalkers much less powerful.

  • 250mm strike cannon can serve as a viking substitute. I'm imagining that the Terran could make a primarily MMM composition while maintaining a 1:1 Thor-to-Colossus ratio. With a range of 7, I'm picturing that a Terran could initiate a battle using the following plan of attack:
    1. Begin engaging using your stimmed bio force.
    2. As soon as the FFs get thrown down, move in your Thors to crush the FFs and use a 250mm cannon on each Colossus.
    3. With the Colossi stunned (and then destroyed), your bioball can really tear through the remaining stalker-heavy gateway force. Once the Colossi are down, the Thor's base DPS of 46 can help clean up the remaining gateway force.

  • A factory is required to get to a starport. However, it is not fully utilized in a bio-heavy army. I have seen you make use of the factory by floating it to an obscure spot and creating hellions; Thor usage would provide another use for this factory.

  • Thors have a relatively low build time (compared to Colossi). This means that you would only have to match factories to robo facilities on a 1:1 basis to maintain an even Thor-to-Colossus count, even assuming the Colossi are being constantly produced and chronoboosted perfectly.

  • The Protoss may overreact to your Thor production and produce lots of immortals. This would both eat into the Protoss' Colossus count and would be easily stopped by a marine-heavy bioforce.

As a disclaimer for my replays, I haven't been able to ladder as much in the last week or so (due to midterms). Therefore, my mechanics are somewhat sloppy in these recent replays, especially the one on Backwater Gulch. For example, it didn't quite register to me that my opponent randomed Terran until after I threw my gateway by my ramp. However, here are two replays of games I've played recently.
sc2replayed.com/replays/141756-1v1-protoss-zerg-metalopolis
sc2replayed.com/replays/147214-1v1-terran-protoss-backwater-gulch

I hope to hear back from you soon, and I'm excited for the opportunity to be at the forefront of strategic innovation in Starcraft II!


Best,
Max

MXG
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Re: [Fixed] Application for research initiative

Post  qxc on Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:31 pm

Your analysis doesn't seem to take into account that colossus can kite thors almost indefinitely and also ignores the possibility of storm both of which are very real threats.

Additionally do you have a build order that transitions into said strategy? What upgrades are best?

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Re: [Fixed] Application for research initiative

Post  MXG on Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:29 pm

I was going to playtest this build thoroughly, but this week has been awful in terms of midterms...

However, this build work would work ideally in a 1rax FE so you don't fall behind the Toss in terms of income if they 1gate FE.

The best upgrades are infantry weapons/armor and vehicle armor. The attack is less important as Strike Cannon is key.

While Colossi technically CAN kite Strike Cannon indefinitely, from the two games I playtested this, it's pretty hard to kite a 7 range spell with 9 range Colossi, especially if you engage in an open space and bring your Thors in on an angle.

This build doesn't handle HT well, the same way that vikings don't handle HT. Ghosts (ideally cloaked) are still necessary to EMP the HT before an engagement.

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Re: [Fixed] Application for research initiative

Post  Patou on Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:40 pm

Hmmm, I always loved how thors can effectively shut down immortals and colossi in theory, and I also think the 250mm cannon is underused, but I don't know if it could be done in a real game, because Thors have a big disadvantage over colossi: they can't walk over units. This is problematic when it comes to include them in a bio army. They will either be blocked behind, unable to get on par with the colossi, or they will get surrounded by chargelots if are on the frontline. I am not talking about the kiting of the colossi here, but simply that it is a little bit too hard to get your thors close enough to them.

Have you thought about flanking them with thor drops? Since you don't have vikings, he will be less likely to have stalkers balls, so he couldn't shut down your medivacs. In this way, you can get close enough, stunlock the colossi by the side, while the protoss can't do a thing since the zealots will probably be on the MM ball. Plus, you will probably have more medivacs than usual (because of the lack of vikings), thus allowing you to keep some behind for healing and send the others to drop the thors. I haven't tried this strategy since I am not a terran player and I would not know how to optimize the BO to get to do this, but it would be nice to see it in action Smile I made a screenshot on the sc2 map editor to illustrate what I meant:



Basically, what you could do is initiate with your ball so the zealots need to attack, then you flank. I don't know how much damage your bio will take until you are able to micro this drop, but this would pretty much solve the range issues thors have. It's only a theory, but I would be ready to try it anytime if you want to test it for good (both your original one and the alternative I suggested if it's needed). This could be a nice twist to for the TvP matchup (especially since HTs are getting nerfed, colossi are gonna be used a lot more).

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Re: [Fixed] Application for research initiative

Post  MXG on Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:58 pm

With the abundance of wide-open areas in the current ladder map pool and from some extent of playtesting, it seems one way to handle it is to stim and run around the tossball and have your thors move straight in. The colossi, with the longest range, will move the least, and your thors can 250mmcannon them to death.

As you said, drops could make this even easier, as they could definitely be used to guarantee the 250mmcannon lands. Just flank with drops (drop them right before the engagement), move in with your bio, and then activate the 250mm cannons on the colossi.

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Re: [Fixed] Application for research initiative

Post  Leargle on Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:03 am

At 300/200 and 100/100 for each drop, are you sure vikings wouldn't be a more cost effective option?

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Re: [Fixed] Application for research initiative

Post  MXG on Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:09 am

The drops aren't necessary though, and thors retain their usefulness well past colossi death.

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Re: [Fixed] Application for research initiative

Post  Patou on Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:41 pm

And thors make you control the game better. If you go vikings, he can continue to make colossi and go either phoenixes or stalkers to kill your vikings. But if you go thors, theres a chance he will need to go immortal, thus reducing greatly the number of collossi he has. Plus, les MXG said, thors are still very usefull after the colossi are dead so you are less afraid to overproduce them.

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Re: [Fixed] Application for research initiative

Post  Patou on Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:19 pm

Oh, and while we are there, I just wanted to link to this thread qxc made as a unit testing thread/recruitement sample:

sc2research.niceboard.com/t91-sample-thread-thor-vs-protoss

Basically it shows that thors are quite useful against most Protoss units, where vikings would be useful against only colossi. It also shows how many thors shots are needed to kill each unit. I thought it could be useful to add to your strategy plan, if you haven't read it yet.

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Re: [Fixed] Application for research initiative

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