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Big Game Hunters Teamplay Guide

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(Quoted from GuitarGosu over www.bghers.com)

"Yesterday I was undefeated in 20 games, 15 straight with the same team. Most were pub stomps, but a few celebrities show up in games as often happens. Obviously I'm not setting any records here; a few years back I streaked 25 wins with a set team. I'm pretty pumped up about it, I've been stacking wins with pub teams but streaking is amazing.


Which leads me to ask, what is your longest win streak?


Now, it goes without saying, if we played 15 or 25 straight in-house games, we probably would NOT have won 100% of them, so please don't interpret this as beating the war drums of my own superiority. In fact, my allies had higher APM then me & typically scored higher by killing more units & buildings. My role, as usual, was primarily mass & map control, which is how I tend to play anyway. Regardless, when a team wins 15 games straight, it can be worth asking why or how a team is finding so much success.


The first thing that I noticed with this team is good/perfect splits & handling of personal affairs. Base layout was proper, workers were intelligently engaged & build orders were solid. The second thing I noticed & enjoyed was early scouting, regardless of race, by 2 or even all 3 of us, one of the most frequently ignored ventures in SC today. The third component I appreciated is strategic conversations at the beginning of games. "Go rines; I will Goon; are you 9 pool?" etc. These fixtures were critical to our success, particularly the early assignment of responsibilities, which I will proactively apply to future games.


Last night truly emphasized the value of gaining early advantage. In expert games, slight shifts in power early-on have major late-game ramifications. That said, a few probes lost can spell the difference between victory & defeat. So, existentially, the early game is about saving your teams "probes" and killing the other team's. How?


Well, something is going to happen in the early-game, even if that something is "nothing." That said, everyone's role here will vary between "nothing" & "something". I believe the general rule is, as long as "somebody" on your team does "something", they can cover "somebody" on the other team doing "something." So bringing this into focus:


My Team is PZT. Our spots & opponents, are YES, irrelevant. Let's say my Terran wants vultures; my protoss is going to zealot out. Why? Cover the terran in case he gets rushed. WTF else can I do here? Cannon my own base? Tech also?- then we're really screwed by the rush. Again, teams can be discussed in terms of the team itself, & hypotheticals can be offered & debated in general terms without any regard for external circumstanes IMO, & last night reinforced this assertion.


One way or another, my team was on exactly the same page, running plays like a well-oiled machine. I seemed to think my Zerg should pool early if my allies are teching, & my allies were in total agreement. Check the scoreboard if 'one-size fits all' strategies seem like the hallmark of a newb. Was it by sheer chance that I happened to cover an allies Dragoons, which happened to devastate anything in their path? No, this was part of a devious plan to dominate BGH. Your damn right the timing was good.... the lings were only around as long as they were needed before dying out, at which point Dragoons entered the scene long enough to return the favor.


Herein is my challenge: I believe (opinion) that good teams share certain intangible characteristics such as chemistry, timing, similar 'philosophy' or outlook, which are worth examining or even taxonomizing. How else can you explain 15 straight wins? Luck? There must be a formula.


Or, you could take away all my credit and say "your opponents were newbs & your allies carried you." You are quite right though: if opposing team had two experts & one average, they are still at a disadvantage if my team has three experts. However, isn't that what RTS games all boil down to? All competition comes down to 'who has the upper hand', and SC is no different. I swear, the most important endeavor in BW is gaining this advantage early.


When you are the chip leader in poker, no one can beat you in a single hand- they don't have the stack. They can only pick you apart to defeat you. As long as consecutive hands aren't forfeited, failure is impossible. That said, teams couldn't even touch us. Games weren't even close, even when 2/3rds of opponents were household names in the world of experts.


Honestly, I did offer my opponents their of their team. "Who do you want?" and they would pick. Granted, choosing between two chumps, even if you get the better one, he's still a chump. However, there is not much I can do about this other than offer you a selection. Perhaps I can hire Boxer to play on your team next game, I'll have to see how much he charges.


This brings us into another segway, namely players who bitch about their team post game. I can understand the frustration- one known expert we competed against two or three times ended up with sub-par allies each game & was pissed. That's fine, you're pissed and you say something. The seg-way is this: don't bitch at the host "newb host" or some shit because you lost the game. If there is a newb in my lobby, say something BEFORE the game. You didn't notice? Neither did I. Don't wait until the end of the game to say "newb host" because you got stuck with a scrub.


It would be intellectually dishonest to vehemently deny any such formula for success, considering the proliferation of Ling/Dragoon, Zealot/Vulture type team strategies that successful teams engage in. I'm hoping, if your so inclined, to see further observations in this regard. What makes a team successful? Is their a set formula? I guarantee that if we engaged in discussing every 3v3 match-up on BGH that was hypothetically possible, 99% of us would agree with the vast majority of the strategic assessments made. Thereby, given our propensity to agree, I postulate that there is a formula of which we may only be partially cognissant of. The goal here is to materialize it."

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