I've been getting back into SC2 again lately, and finding myself facing much tougher opponents than I remember facing back when I played last year. I was something like mid-gold then, and am mid-silver-ish now. Fortunately I never stopped watching SC2 matches, so my game knowledge has at least stayed fairly fresh.
Anywho, I'm currently reading The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin (which you have probably heard recommended by Day), and it's just full of great info. I've decided to start tackling the basics in my SC2 play. Specifically, that means larvae and overlords.
This is the first match that I decided to concentrate on larvae and overlords as much as possible. Watching through the replay, I see the following issues... - The Terran sets up a bunker at around 4:30, and it throws me off enough to pile up 4 larvae and 400+ minerals. - There are a couple times leading into the midgame where my injections pop, but I'm not immediately making units. I've actually gotten fairly decent at remembering to inject -- that should be a cue to spend larvae though. - The first really major pileup happens when I'm getting my third populated. I spend down all of my larvae at 9:27, and then don't spend more until 10:36, after two rounds of inject larvae. During this time, I'm setting up a couple tech structures and moving drones around. I end up with 1500/1000 for resources. Yikes! - (Interesting obvservation... Having a bit of money banked doesn't appear to be actually THAT terrible, since I'd need it for my next round of larvae. The important thing is remembering that INJECT = SPAWN!!) - (Another observation... Three queens' worth of injected larvae makes for 12+ larvae at once, so if I see around two rows of larvae, I'm doing well enough spawning them. On the other hand, I haven't completely missed a round of larvae unless I see two pages of larvae when I go to spawn.) - At 13:00 or so, I start making more tech structures again, and doing a bit of scouting, and my larvae spending totally drops off again. At this point, I feel like I have more larvae than I can spend money on, but I reckon that will be resolved by having a better mixture of units. - I never really get my larvae down to zero again, and really pile on a lot of minerals. I end up maxing out at around 17:00 and decide to attack so that I can free up supply for brood lords.
The big take-away is that INJECT = SPAWN. That's just something I have to drill into my head. Only AFTER injecting and spawning should I worry about anything else, including building tech structures and whatnot.
(Following this is a horrible loss against an early-aggressive Zerg. Was in the mindset to learn and not play, so this wasn't a game worth analyzing at the moment.)
Base races are never comfortable, but holding off Romulus' early pressure felt good. I felt I did really well with injecting and spawning together, but last time it was generally when I was setting up tech structures that my macro slipped, so let's see how I did here.
- First and foremost, I really screwed up my opening and was microing drones terribly. Most notably I forgot my 15ish overlord which meant an early supply block. Blah! - I generally apparently run out of money before being able to morph my last couple of drones. I don't even pull ahead of my opponent in drone count until after the 8 minute mark. I guess that's the power of an early expand for Protoss! - I go a little overboard on overlords, but I'm of the opinion right now that too many is better than too few. - I actually have a very smooth transition into making units so that Romulus' first attack doesn't decimate me. - I miss my first round of larvae at around 13:30, but my money isn't astronomically high as it would usually be. I'm at 156 supply going into 14 minutes, while my opponent is at 81. - I max out at around 15:00, and again decide to attack to free up supply. This unfortunately ended up timed poorly with when my opponent decided to attack me, and ended in a gross sort of base race, which won't really teach me anything useful to the "larvae and overlords" topic.
Okay, that's enough analysis for the time being, I think. It was enough to see that I have a very simple mental habit to form (inject + spawn), and even in a single game it was apparent that it pays off. Once I spend a few more games forming that habit, I can go back to worrying about other things.