Thursday, August 30, 2012

What to scheme when you're scheming

One very common issue a lot of new players face when they try to improve from beginners to intermediates is that they never really have a plan on how to proceed with the game, but rely on the opponent making mistakes which they can hopefully recognize and punish.

Yes, it's pretty easy, and after playing for a while you soon begin to recognize when you can punish, and how to keep yourself safe. But when these sorts of players somehow get handed the advantage, when they get some breathing space, when they somehow gain initiative, they tend to waste it by mindlessly attacking a crystal, or making a few meaningless hits and backing off, or throwing more units out there.

I've therefore picked a situation in one of my recent games, where i managed to get into a neutral position, after he took out one of my units in a trade. I had quite a few options open to me, and I'll go through each of them and my throw processes through each one - hopefully, you'll find this setting out of thought process helpful!

So this is the position at the start of my turn - since we're doing a DE v DE, I've set out all the HP counts just so you guys can follow along. =) I had a VM protecting my equipped imp on the bottom, who got taken out by the opposing imp and phantomed. So it's my turn now - apart from my buff imp being in danger, who I need to take care of, there's not much else threatening at the moment. I can't see any obvious moves to make, either. How do I make something happen? What's my plan?

At this point, I know that he's used both his soulbombs (this game was done pre-patch, so no handy reinforcement count for me!), he's got 1 scroll left, and one more imp in his hand.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Puzzle No. 4: Mind the gappe please, mind the gappe

Right, so the new TF2 map has been out for a while, but I haven't really gotten too many games on it yet. I know, I know. Each map has its own little gimmicks though, and the TF gimmick is pretty big! The crystals are far back and spread apart, and it's hard to get anything going. So, noticing that people tend to clump their units up, I tried getting some VM splash going.

Can you spot my mistake?