Advanced strategy guide : Reaction
Advanced strategy guide : Reaction[edit | edit source]
Up until now, we have seen how to play our game, and reduced our opponent to basically a number : his threat. But that game is played with two players, and your opponent is also going to try to play in the optimal way. The goal in this article is to keep an eye on his turns, and not let him do as he wants.
The surprise offensive[edit | edit source]
If you have determined that the set should be high economy, but your opponent still goes for an aggressive line such as Fastimus or Elyot Animus, then you may not be able to follow your initial strategy. In this case, forget about the 3rd Engineer you were aiming to build (or have already built) and fall back on a lower economy. Don't take too long to retaliate after setting up your absorb, as lower economy builds will have difficulties defending against even small amount of threat. Chances are that, if you have analysed the set correctly, your opponent's aggression will not succeed due to the strong absorb/soak.
On the other hand, if you have evaluated the set as a medium or low economy and you see your opponent building a 3rd Engineer, go for a more offensive line in order to force your opponent to defend instead of expanding his economy.
The perfect threat[edit | edit source]
Obviously, the bigger threat, the better, but try to aim for the exact amount of threat that your opponent will not like to defend for on the next turn. For instance, if your opponent has 2 Engineers and a Wall (5 defense total), try to set up an attack for 8 : when your opponent will defend, a single Wall will not suffice, and he will have to add something to his defense : a Rhino, a Forcefield, holding a Drone ... All things he'd rather not do. Instant pressure units like Grimbotch or Fission Turret will be good for setting that perfect threat.
Preparing for a strong impact[edit | edit source]
Some units in the game have really high burst damage : The Wincer, Antima Comet, synched Scorchillas ... The downside is that they take time to build up, so you can anticipate. Defending these often require you to think a turn ahead. On the turn before defending the blast, count the total amount of attack your opponent will be able to send you on the next turn (including buying new attackers). Then, count the total defense you will have at your disposal on your next turn (including buying Prompt defenders such as Wall). If you're short on defense, then start building preemptive defense a turn before. That can be either overdefending on this turn, or buying non-Prompt defense such as Engineers.
Anticipate a big purchase[edit | edit source]
That looks like the same as the previous paragraph, but the situation is slightly different. Here, we assume that you have a strategy requiring a powerful unit, such as Amporilla or Vai Mauronax. Such units pack a punch, but they cost a lost of resources and they do nothing for your defense. In the same way as before, count how much damage your opponent is able to throw at you on the following turn and how much you will be able to defend (taking into account the resources locked by the unit you aim to your purchase). Once again, buy preemptive defense if you need, even if it means overdefending or floating Gold, in order to enable you to purchase your big unit safely no matter what your opponent does on his following turn.
In the same way, look carefully at your opponent if he's aiming to do the same (usually getting double Animus, or triple Blastforge for an Odin) : on the turn he prepares, see if you can get enough threat to stop him from purchasing his unit by massing damage. Sometimes, he will not be able to defend if he wants to buy it. That might delay him, or even stop him from buying it for good if you keep the pressure high. In many cases, such a disruption of his plans will often lead to a stronger position.
To sum up : Keep an eye on what your opponent's doing, and try to do to him what you would not like to have done to you if you were in his place !