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Title: [A] Small Teams All Welcome (8p)
Host: Nobody
Game version: Zero-K v1.12.6.0
Engine version: 105.1.1-2511-g747f18b
Battle ID: 1941365
Started: 26 days ago
Duration: 3 minutes
Players: 4
Bots: False
Mission: False
Rating: Casual
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Team 1
Chance of victory: 58.2%

Team 2
Chance of victory: 41.8%


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23 days ago
Observations gathered at GoogleFrog's request.

Southwest had a player build Revenant first, vs. Spider and Cloak.

Pre Revenant, Southwest is already slightly behind because Northeast can assert map control with a few Glaives and is expanding in all directions.

The first Revenant fight (2:30) was an intervention in a Commander duel at roughly midfield, where Izirayd's commander killed team Northeast's Glaives while some Gnats locked down the blue Commander and the Revenant finished it off. Jumping away didn't save the commander because the Gnats chased it down. Locusts likely would've had about the same effect as the Revenant. Team NE tried to Widow Izirayd's Commander but the Widow didn't arrive until all their DPS in the area had died.

The second Revenant fight (3:00), having not repaired, was an attack on the other blue Commander and some Ronin. The Ronin were easy pickings but the Commander came within a second of killing the Revenant before it died. The Revenant only completed the assassination and escaped because it could hide behind cliffs, and because two Reavers in the area moved to into the adjacent lane instead of grouping up with the Commander.

As of team Northeast's resignation at 3:37, they were even in economy with roughly twice the mexes because they were expanding with workers uncontested along the map edges. The Revenant had retreated to repair and the second one was not done yet. Each side had control over one commander wreck. However, the damage to the Ronin army in addition to the lost Commanders left Northeast temporarily unable to contest Southwest's two forward Commanders.

Throughout the entire game nobody built any dedicated anti-air. One Picket in the Northeast startbox might've been a precaution against Blastwings.

The main lesson I'd take from this game is that Ronin squads can't do anything against a Revenant.
+0 / -1
I fail to see meaningful analysis here, I only see a recap of events with a most unsympathetic and unempathetic conclusion.

I would like clarification on two statements specifically.

Locusts likely would've had about the same effect as the Revenant.

Why do you believe this?

Throughout the entire game nobody built any dedicated anti-air.

I assume you say this to imply hastily building dedicated AA within the first few minutes actually counters the gunships. If that assumption is true: why do you believe hastily building dedicated AA within the first few minutes actually counters the gunships?
+0 / -0
When I watched this game live I expected the north team (opposing the Revenant) to win for the first two minutes (as you can see in spectator chat). At the fifty second mark this is the map from North's perspective, having chased off a few scouting fleas from AUrankmankarse (in red) and hence having determined one enemy factory:


(I can't be bothered getting a full-LoS image for this moment. Suffice it to say that outside of their high ground South has one singular flea and North, with their commanding map control, knows there is nothing more meaningful than Fleas lurking around.)

We briefly saw one weaver at the top of South team's ramp. It was deterred from expanding by a single glaive. I think even at this early stage we can at least begin to suspect something fishy is going on. At this point it might be just an Ogre rush or something else relatively tame.

RUrankizirayd's commander (in yellow) chases off our glaive and begins to expand to the natural.

In the next minute or so AUrankmankarse's commander comes out to the middle mex, but nothing else interesting is happening. We have seen no combat units from AUrankmankarse even on radar (although in reality he has a few Venoms just outside our radar and vision) and we have seen no units from RUrankizirayd at all. This is what we see at the two minute mark:


I think at this point alarm bells should be going off in one's head. We still haven't seen anything which makes South's slow start make sense - which means there's something we haven't seen yet. Given what we know, it's probably either a Widow or (more likely) something out of RUrankizirayd's unknown factory, since it must have been building something.

This is the global line of sight:


After this GBrankDasFapitale's recon commander (in green) walks into the south-east lowground alone, while the Glaives/Ronin/Venom army goes west to harass AUrankmankarse's com. GBrankDasFapitale's com gets caught by the Gnats, Revenant, and RUrankizirayd's commander, and although some Glaives arrive around when the Revenant does it is too little too late. The game is now out of control.

I haven't taken control of the replay to test it, but I expect that if the recon commander does not go lowground and the cloaky army stays a bit closer, RUrankizirayd does not get a kill here. Either the Glaives would be in range to fight the Gnats before the Revenant arrives, or the Gnats would slow down to arrive with the Revenant and hence not force an early jump. I would be very confident of beating the Revenant if the Venoms were also a part of the fight.

Furthermore, if this fight had started a bit closer to North's base unknownranknanouf's Widow would have arrived in time to stun RUrankizirayd's commander, although I think RUrankizirayd would probably not even choose to commit the commander to a fight starting on the highground.

If GBrankDasFapitale's com doesn't get caught here, and assuming the Revenant doesn't suicide trying to catch it, what happens next? Who knows. I think I would give North team the edge, but there is still a lot of game to play.

tl;dr: I think that north team had enough information to at least guess something nasty was coming, and play a bit more cautiously. North knows they have an expansion advantage over South at the two-minute mark and do not need to get adventurous to maintain that advantage.
+1 / -0

23 days ago
USrankcabinboy I would like to see you have a go at analysing games before you get all interrogative. Try it before you nitpick it. Besides, four Locust does kill the commander.

The commander was just that out of position. I think AUrankAdminAquanim is on the money about the need for caution when so little of the other side has been scouted. Locust likely would have been a worse opening in general, but how much worse is a good question to consider.

All I would add to the analysis above is that North didn't really respond to the changed game. Cloaky continues to make a mix of Reaver and Ronin rather than switch to Glaive when the Revenant is revealed. These units end up doing nothing to save the second commander, or to exert any pressure. So I'm not sure I'd agree with USrankBuckymancer on the lack of dedicated AA, but I would agree on the lack of any sort of counter being built.

It was also a bit weird that North went hard into Ronin with a Widow on the field. I wouldn't have thought these units work well together to kill a commander (given Venoms are around), and give up map control.

Stepping back, I think we're at the point where the question is how difficult using Revenant "deserves" to be, given the difficulty of countering it. This is a tougher question than whether Revenant rush is a stable dominant strategy. It might be OP enough to be that dominant long term, but I haven't seen the games justifying that take.

+1 / -0
22 days ago
https://zero-k.info/Battles/Detail/1941465 There is also this game, you can analyze it too. It's a little deeper, for example the fleas were blocked
+0 / -0
22 days ago
The absence of anti-air units isn't a criticism or an opinion, it's a fact.

The interesting question is why there wasn't any. Mostly, there wasn't much time. From the first gunship sighting to the resignation was just over a minute. There were very few things Northeast could have made that would've been able to intervene in the second battle quickly enough to matter. Tarantula and Gremlin are two options that could, since they're faster than riots and have long ranges. Glaives would also work. Northeast chose to build a Redback, a Warrior and a pair of Ronin, none of which helped repel the Revenant.

While AA could have helped save the Commander, it's not necessarily the best overall option. @Nanouf also tried to defend Northeast's last commander with a Lotus, but only about forty seconds after the first Gunship sighting. This was too late and the Lotus never finished. As a result, the second Commander's effective assistance for the extended duel with the Revenant amounted to a single Glaive even though it was surrounded by Ronin and mexes. It should go without saying that forty seconds ought to be plenty of time for a Commander to build a defensive position far more robust than a single Lotus if the defender appreciates the threat promptly, even if it spends part of that time jumping over Revenant salvos. So that's the part of the replay that's an argument Revenant is overpowered, as it was acting as a solo agent. Four Ronin, a level 1 Commander, a Glaive, three Metal Extractors and an almost complete Lotus nanoframe failed to keep the Revenant from taking four passes to collapse the position and destroy most of the mobile value within.

If Gremlins or a Tarantula aren't good enough to build promptly in the face of a Revenant player who's, and this deserves emphasis, also been seen using other gunship units, that's a balance issue that isn't Revenant specific. I do not think this replay demonstrates that particular point.

As far as the Locust alternative goes, DasFapitale's commander was way out of position, stunlocked, and without a jump. Southeast just needed a reasonably efficient damage source there that wouldn't keel over in the face of a few Glaives or a Venom. Gunship doesn't have much in the way of cheap DPS across the entire factory, but I judged based on rough math that Locusts would probably be good enough to get the kill. A Locust game would play out differently - instead of threatening the other Commander immediately afterwards, they'd probably poke around looking for vulnerable expansions, which team Northeast had three of.

Finally, while I didn't notice this on the first watch, Southwest's Commander radars were vital throughout the game's fighting because they let the Revenant duck out of range or over a cliff and still keep track of its targets and threats.
+0 / -0