Season 5 Week 3/4
This was a bit of a lazy couple of weeks both in RAGL and for myself, so two Frontline Report issues were merged into one. Also the forfeit count is really taking its toll as Happy, WaRRyKeR, jvk, BullE and MrZuerg left the season due to various reasons, and lazarus was not to be seen around for enough time to pick up 3 strikes and be disqualified.
On a positive side however, some of the games around were quite entertaining, so let’s stick to that.
Badger Hills is probably the most grenadier-active map out there, maybe because there is nothing much else to do around. Bain’s grens failed miserably though, and 1-ref buildup by both players continued as normal. Well, mostly normal as you don’t really see there positions like tesla camps right into the early game natural.
Maybe that’s for a reason, cause the cliffcamp was dismantled… only for another one being brought up at LaKulta‘s main. Still, this approach by Bain seemed excessively aggressive as LaKulta destroyed more assets in the process than he lost and had the better and more gradual economy scaling. So after the dust settled, the game was mostly even with LaKulta having a slight asset advantage.
Bain continued his low eco game with going into T3 on just 5 ore trucks (10 for LaKulta). The equalizer came in the form of a demo truck by Bain, which destroyed a big chunk of army and allowed him to push through the top expansion, but only that. Next swing came from LaKulta at Bain‘s main where he dispatched a small force and managed to raze the only War Factory. Bain got ahead in mass there, but this attack held him back and gave LaKulta a much needed breather. Then he did another frontal attack, but hasn’t achieved much going too deep and being whittled down by artillery fire. Still, a nice curtained V2 attack got him a plus by destroying both Tech Center (GPS ticking) and Radar Dome and denying an almost built nuke too.
Having been reduced to T1 and a lone helipad, LaKulta had nothing much better to do than to drive a zerg onslaught from all sides, destroying every piece of base or army he could get and trading as much as possible while being ahead in map control. This time, parabombs saved Bain from an infantry wave on his main base.
This madness continued a bit more, and finally low macro emphasis started taking its toll on Bain, as he was sent into low power and surrendered being dragged into fights on multiple sides.
There was also a second game on Borrowed Time. Bain and LaKulta took the same expanding route to the bottom-right, resulting in a trench war at the right expansion. Hasn’t brought Bain any benefits again, while LaKulta also expanded with a double MCV (one original) elsewhere. This of course meant a stretched defense line which was used by Bain attacking multiple sides and succeeding with dismantling most of the top expansion… while losing the one at the botom. The yoyo continued with both players attacking different sides of the map, losing and winning battles all over the place in a chaotic motion that is hard to describe in text. At min20 mark Bain managed to grab both top and bottom patches while also holding the middle and driving LaKulta out of it. This was a decider in the game, as Bain closed it by destroying LaKulta‘s main.
To add to a couple of mirror matches there is a game between these two on Stanitsa. Allied mirror, both go double ref, both build a ranger for vision, take opposite sides of the map, expand, have tanks for support… But then at minute 7 bµg was slightly better/lucky at positioning, which allowed him to snipe some harvesters off of a outside main mine of Jur and immediately pull out to defended area. Jur used this to attack the enemy main but hasn’t succeeded, only trading evenly. bµg‘s attempt at basepush was futile due to earlier artilleries coming out for Jur. So the battle of attrition began with neither side being able to launch a side attack powerful enough not to leave the main frontline undefended. Somehow during this bµg managed to get tier3 and Tanya out, which helped him withstanding the onslaught. And this was the point in time where the economy difference started to kick in as Jur wasn’t paying enough attention at restoring the ore truck and refinery count, so it was 7 against 4 and a huge assets lead for bµg, which was enough.
Soviet mirror this time on Pitfight. Some bad trades from both sides as middle expansions are taken, bµg is taking the lead in tech as Jur is busy expanding. Nice attempt from bµg to try and grab middle gems right away as it’s rarely seen in plays. Also a good tank driveby on the side coupled with an attack on single-mine expansion, forcing Jur to run his army back and forth. Somehow bµg also managed to do a significant asset damage there although not pulling back right away looked like a clear mistake. Still it was even at this point as Jur had better eco even while not having a mid gem mine. And exchanging that middle base for the one-mine expansion destroyed yet again was quite effective, as it not only removed the main income source for bµg but also stretched the frontline while bµg‘s tech structures weren’t exactly on a safe spot. Jur was merciful and left Radar Dome in red, allowing his opponent to stay in the game for a while longer – not a thing you should be ok with having 3-5 yaks in your assets. And then – a massive clash of main forces in the middle, with both side’s tanks iron curtained and heading their way. This meant another depleted one-mine refinery destroyed for Jur, but another Tech Center and mid base destruction for bµg which was final now.
Game of Borrowed Time spurred some uncommon expanding into the middle by both players. Polaris might have had a better deal here with cutting Lucian out of the bottom doublemine but he decided to go balls deep straight ahead instead, desintegrating Lucian‘s army and base into pieces. If you want a Move of the Week nomination that would be it!
The game on River of Gold was slightly more conventional this time, with Polaris trying to distract Lucian from paying attention to rocket APC in his backyard, but ultimately forgetting about it himself for some time. Aggressive basepush got a lot less spoils than in previous game as Lucian had just enough time to put a ref to nearby ore and transfer all the trucks there while dealing with threats one by one. Basepush wasn’t inflicting enough damage and Polaris didn’t expand elsewhere much either, so Lucian managed to hold for a while, but not for long as the occasional retaliation attack by him got caught pants down, and that was it.
Double salvo on Borrowed Time by these players. This time LaKulta was put up against another kind of style in the likes of Lucian. Over-ambitious expand into the middle was quickly razed by Lucian, and that threw LaKulta back quite a bit as he had depleted his main and no other eco in sight. Second attempt for LaKulta to raise an expansion was also destroyed at the bottom. Further attempts at salvaging the game did not bring any positive result.
Switching positions for the second game, LaKulta also picked Ukraine this time. Possibly, he was planning on utilizing V2/Yak heavily in this game (and he built 3 V2s), but a massive infantry force in an all-out move proved to be too much to be stopped by them.
Playing unconventional colors with Unano in bleak green and Sotsch in a slightly darker version of Smitty orange, this match ought to be a serious Minions table decider.
First game on Trapped went an allies mirror. Both players picking their side oils first and then converging on the middle one; rangers cancelled each other out, but Unano also dropped two light tanks into the mix, so Sotsch just destroyed the derrick leaving it out of contention. Still relying on LTs (now 3), Unano managed to scare the MCV move off on the right while expanding left which also forced Sotsch to unpack in an uncomfortable to mine position. The vector of attention then turned left with Sotsch pushing forward with a good force, MCV in its ranks and building up hinds already. One of expansions and a conyard went down there, but the money Unano had already gathered were enough to keep parity. At the same time Unano expanded northeast where Sotsch hasn’t yet moved and was now locked out of resources again. Stalling the game for a while and slowly destroying Sotsch’s forces one by one, Unano managed to tip assets much into his favour and coupled with a huge tank force broke through and won.
Back to somewhat more traditional dark red and Barf yellow respectively, Unano and Sotsch played the second game on Stanitsa, this time also switching to a soviet mirror. Unano chose a risky 1-ref build here and held the advantage by building up flanks just in time against Sotsch‘s superiour early game forces. Still, assets and eco wise both were absolutely tight until the first engagement at the top were Unano basecreeped with teslas and Sotsch‘s counter-basepush got low-powered. This allowed Unano to hold an edge a while longer as he got up to T3 and started tesla production. V2s helped with shocks somewhat, but only so much, and a demo truck misfire by Sotsch hasn’t helped his progress either, destroying half his forces, defenses and crippling the top basepush severely. V2s were good against shock troopers, but tesla tanks were hard to stop as Sotsch invested in a big Yak fleet which did surprisingly low damage around, probably because of a lot of mismicro on his side.
Just for the sake of posting a final satisfying gif here, games themselves were quite fun, I suppose I won due to mechANIC making more mistakes than me, especially in terms of managing high-cost assets, although I’m known myself to dump a lot of stuff into needless fights.
I’ll be out of the loop for the next 2 weeks, so next Frontline Report will likely be not earlier than the end of the rest week, wrapping up the first part of the season.
We are probably to finally see some action going on in Masters next week as 4 of Masters players will be over with OpenRA Team Tournament by May 4th. Watch out for that final as well, Team USA vs Team Germany should be all kinds of interesting one.
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