Fnatic Breakdown - Naama vs HuK
Posted 2012-08-13 Bleys
Fnatic Breakdown - Naama vs HuK
Welcome to the Fnatic Breakdown, a series where we select, analyze, and detail a recent game with a featured FnaticRaidCall player. For the very first one, we chose a game from Summer Assembly 2012 between new member FnaticRC.Naama and HuK from team Evil Geniuses.
The match was a Best of 5 against HuK and it was the first match for either player in the group. The winning player would be in good position to advance, the loser would be in serious danger of being knocked out of the tournament. The series came down to a final map, Ohana. The choice was HuK's because he lost Game 4 and appropriately chose a map that generally favors Protoss over Terran.
Obviously I was confident about my chances against HuK. I had just won two maps, so I just thought "I can take this if I just won't become nervous." Ohana is a really good map for 2 base pushes. It's a map I definitely prefer against protoss.
Naama begins Game 5 in the bottom right corner of Ohana as the red Terran, HuK the bluee Protoss across the map in the upper left. At the 2 minute mark, Naama uses a cute trick to prevent his opponent from scouting his base - he begins the next Supply Depot and leaves it unfinished to block his ramp, while using that SCV to scout HuK's base.
Upon entering HuK's base with an SCV, Naama could see that the initial Zealot had been delayed in favor of an earlier Cybernetics Core and more Probes. Reacting to this knowledge, Naama begin building an Engineering Bay at the Protoss natural expansion. The building is never intended to be finished - by cancelling it when the Protoss units have knocked its health very low, Naama will delay HuK's expansion for a frustrating amount of time and with a minimal cost of minerals.
After making a few Marines, Naama added a Reactor onto his first Barracks and a Bunker at his natural ramp to protect the Command Center he was building there. With the help of the Engineering Bay block, Naama managed to start his Command Center before HuK can throw down a Nexus. In a tight game with top tier competitors, every edge counts.
A well timed scout at the 5 minute mark informed Naama that HuK had taken his natural expansion and just started mining from second gas. At the same time, Naama began building a Factory back home. That scouting SCV was killed however, and HuK began his Robotics Facility immediately after. Warp Gate research would finish shortly, but that first Gateway was the only unit producing structure in HuK's possession. The build from Protoss is greedy, using Chronoboost on his Nexus and making constant Probes rather than creating more unit producing structures. In fact, HuK had a significant harvester advantage when the expansions finish for both players.
The discrepancy comes from the fact that Naama decided to use his minerals in other ways. A small squad of Marines began a march to the east and north that will take them around the sight of the Xel'Naga Towers and hit HuK without warning at a time when Naama knows the Protoss has very few combat units. Just as HuK's workers finished their transfer to the natural, Naama's Marines stormed the front!
I saw HuK doing a Sentry after the first Stalker and Zealot and knew that the Stalker was somewhere out on the map so my Marines would be able to do some damage. I didn't expect to do that well with the push so I was obviously very happy about it.
The problems for HuK are obvious. First, he needed to land two *perfect* Forcefields to block off the ramp, and his are a fraction off. Second, you'll notice in the Units tab that HuK doesn't really have any troops. 2 Sentries deal practically no damage and the only available Stalker is clear across the map where it had been checking out Naama's front. While the poke with the Marines was only able to kill off a few Probes, the mineral-only Marines were able to take down both of HuK's Sentries and prevent mining for quite some time. While HuK's reinforcements were enough to hold, Naama pulled a little farther ahead.
HuK would soon be trying to produce Colossi, but Naama's push disrupted his normal economic timing and the Protoss was still operating on just the two Vespene in his main base. Meanwhile Naama had floated his Barracks away from the Reactor and had replaced it with the Factory, pumping out two Hellions at a time while still producing Marines and Medivacs. As soon as Naama had four Hellions on the field, he moved them out on a path that once again avoided the vision of the Xel'Naga Towers, but this time circling around the south and west.
If you look at the Minimap, you'll see that HuK's vision falls just short of spotting the Hellions moving out. A neat route to use in your next ladder game, to be certain. Naama took his third gas at 7:45, before HuK had started on either of the Vespene Gases at his natural. The limited gas count for Protoss meant that HuK was forced to choose between making Sentries or Colossi and he opted for the Colossi, so when Naama's four Hellions showed up there was no stopping them from entering the natural.
I knew he wouldn't be able to stop the Hellions because he lost those first two Sentries. Doing that much damage to his economy was expected from those Hellions.
HuK quickly threw a Forcefield on the ramp to his main to deny Hellions the opportunity to make havoc there. That will do nothing to stop the Hellions from destroying HuK's mineral line at the natural however, losing 15 more Probes before finishing off the four Hellions. Just as those Hellions were dying, Naama also began dropping in the Protoss main, only to meet and be deflected by the first Colossus on the field.
The drop was driven off with almost nothing lost on either side, but the economic damage was severe - Naama now held the worker lead 37 to 26. There were no workers left at all for HuK at his natural expansion, and now Naama had a significant lead. While all of this harassment was happening, Naama had also taken his fourth gas (compared to HuK's two) and began teching to Cloaked Banshee.
I expected him to go with Colossi since he didn't have that many units. I didn't have to change my original plan in reaction to what he was doing. I knew he needed to attack because I was so far ahead economically and decided to fortify my defences.
As the Cloak research neared completion, Naama moved his first Banshee into the Protoss natural just as HuK's forces were moving out and quickly followed with a group of four Hellions. The strategy of unrelenting pressure was certainly working, as HuK once again lost all the Probes at his natural.
When the 11 minute mark arrived, Naama had killed 27 Probes and had double the harvester count, 44 to 22 in favor of the Fnatic Terran. Now HuK was in desperation mode and both players knew it. There was no way for the Protoss to recover from such economic damage, especially since there was still a Cloaked Banshee destroying Probes in his main base. The only option was to push out and see if he could break Naama's front.
I had the Cloaked Banshees, Bunkers, and Siege Tanks. I was 100% sure I was going to win at that point.
Two Bunkers and a few Siege Tanks and Banshees were enough to make HuK back off and regroup for a final attempt. Every second the game went on would extend Naama's lead, so the window for HuK was now or never. HuK began his push right before the 13 minute mark, and Naama held with a great concave and more troops.
The incredible aggression by Naama during the entire game paid off, as HuK was unable to successfully defend himself from every prod. Each time Naama moved out with a force, HuK's Probes and gas intensive units would disappear while the Terran would only lose a comparatively small amount of minerals each time his troops were finally cleaned up. That gave him an advantage that kept growing with each successive Hellion run-by or Banshee over a mineral line. By the time HuK moved out, Naama had only to hold a strong defensive position and the game was his.
Beating HuK felt really good. Especially when it was the first game of the tournament for me, it felt good to start with a win. I haven't played him many times, a few times in the Korean ladder when I was there. That's why I didn't really know what to expect from him.
I want to say thank you to all the Finnish fans at the event. It was a really great feeling when the local audience was watching my games and cheering every time I won. I'd also like to thank all of my fans, FnaticRaidCall for sending me, and all of our sponsors for supporting me.
The Fnatic Breakdown series will continue, but we would like to thank Naama for his fantastic play and willingness to sit down and talk about the game in-depth. Stay tuned to Fnatic.com for more updates about Naama and future editions of the Fnatic Breakdown series.