The game is Starcraft II played in a series of 1v1 matches, with the winner being the first to four victories. The map is Metalopolis, which features four starting positions behind narrow ramps, and two gold mineral expansions in the center. The races are randomly determined, just like real life generals. The players are Tom Chick, ranked 5th in his division in the silver league, and Kelly Wand, who has one of those dragon icons in Warcraft III but hasn’t even played the stupid campaign in Starcraft II.
The score so far: Tom: 0, Kelly: 1
Game two, after the jump
Tom: Terrans again. Bleh.
Kelly: After Tom and I flirtatiously lie to each other over the headset approximately three times apiece about which races we drew, via my headphones I dimly hear an SCV asking Tom to butter his biscuit. Haha, Tom’s Terrans again. This’ll be like making candy from a baby. Goddammit, I love the Zerg. I love playing them. I love listening to their sweet, irritable chitters and splorts. I closely identify with the Zerg: they live in their own filth, enjoy being dominated by a hot chick with a scorpion tail, and want to kill everybody. Cavalierly I decide to launch a quick ground assault while cleverly keeping Tom’s wits scattered by droning interminably on over Skype about how bad the Star Wars prequels are. We’ve already played six games tonight, most of which I’ve won. Even Tom’s got to be feeling tired. I think he gets up in the mornings now. Religious people are so quaint. Great, our bases are right next to each other again. I continue scouting the rest of the map with my drone though, just in case anyone else is playing.
Tom: The natural Terran opening is to wall yourself in and spit out a few defenders. As I’m doing this, Kelly’s roaches and zerglings attack. Cute. I’m sure that’s devastating back in bronze league.
Kelly: Tom fends off my ground attack the same way U.S. soldiers do in r.l., by cramming military barracks together at the tops of natural ramps to use as sandbags with troops firing through them from behind. Since Tom’s gone to such trouble to wall himself off, I take it he’s turtling to either tanks or air. Since he griped last game about tanks having to research their siege mode, I’ll assume the latter. As he talks and talks, I decide that the all-time queerest word Tom overuses in his speech is “prudent”. I obtusely decide to park my main force north of Tom’s base to “contain” him instead of just flinging my bruisers at his sole bunker and capping an easy win.
Tom: Let’s see, now that the opening moves are out of the way, what am I feeling today? Kelly made fun of my fusion core last time. I think I’ll show him fusion cores. I hunker down to get me some battlecruisers. At least I know he’s not going to blink up here with any stalkers this time.
Kelly: Goddammit, I hate the Zerg. Whereas Protoss stalkers can blink their way into bases from a variety of hilarious angles with an aerial spotter and Terran tanks can just punch holes through fortifications, those dumbass Luddites the Zerg have to be dropped in via overlord. (Or apparently via something called “nydus canals” but since this isn’t a water map, I ignore that.) Plus, ridiculously, you have to research the overlords’ ability to transport units around in their scrotal sacs. I don’t get this. They either have the acreage in their danglies or they don’t, what’s to “learn”? Tentatively I post a few vulnerable looking clumps of hydras around Tom’s base to scout for his inevitable expansions and hopefully terrify him into thinking I’m dumb while drumming my fingers and impatiently waiting for my overlords to “learn” the simple art of cargo space. I have one of them about to sluggishly ferry hydras midway to Tom’s neck of the woods when a pair of battlecruisers show up in my base and start blasting. My few hydras trickle in belatedly and get wedged between structures to die in battlecruiser crossfire. Only when I watch the replay will I remember the overlord full of four hydras sitting just above my main base, hovering uselessly and neglected. I think maybe I’m the one who’s tired.
Tom: After an uneventful sitzkrieg, the two battlecruisers I languidly drifted over to Kelly’s base are merrily trashing it, unopposed. At first. Kelly’s army — I guess you could call it that — trickles in to defend.
Kelly: The game’s already over and all because I committed the trifling oversight of zoning out for a mere 25 minutes. I call that crappy game design, Blizzard. But a ringing endorsement of my bong’s.
Tom: Battlecruisers are great because they’re so distracting. When you see a battlecruiser, looming huge in the sky as big as Russia herself, it drives all other thoughts from your mind. Oh no, a battlecruiser! Priority A-one triple alpha is to do whatever it takes to shoot it down! Two battlecruisers doubles this effect. This lets me march in a modest combination of marines, marauders, and hellions to attack from the other side. But look, they’ve found Kelly’s expansion base at the foot of his ramp. They begin dismantling it handily while Kelly throws unit after precious unit at the implacable battlecruisers.
Kelly: I may have lost the war but at least manage to take out both his battlecruisers with hydra spittle before his ground forces run roughshod through my undefended hive. Haha, two imaginary Russian-accented pixels in Tom’s computer are now widows. This is the baggage Tom will be struggling under for game 3. And unfortunately for one of us, baggage, Tom will soon find, is my middle name*. (When I quit out, Tom accuses me of bad form for not telling him, “gg” first like the A.I. does, and like Tom didn’t after game 1. Predictable.)
Tom: 1. Kelly: 1.
*As an infant, I was smuggled into the country by train inside a hollow golem**. Long story.
**Which didn’t require any research on the golem’s part. Just sayin.