Friday, December 31, 2010

Void Rays

My favorite unit in the whole game of SC2 has to be Void Rays. Hu sen guaiya siha. Meggai na biahi esta na Siha gumoggue yu' gi duranten gof mappot na huego.

In my early days of SC2 they were my only hope against the harder levels (VH and Insanne) of AI difficulty. I could never make as many land units as the computer and photon canons don't last very long against masses of anything, and so Void Rays would be my salvation. I would fly them around sniping the enemy bases, slithering into their buildings and either taking out their command center/nexus/hatcheries or taking out key buildings to hopefully prevent them from building certain units I wanted to avoid. In those early days I lost plenty of Void Rays by staring down stimmed Marines, a scary gaggle of Hydras or Stalkers that seemed like they were on heroine, forgetting that they weren't fully charged or that Void Rays are freaking guaguan, expensive and so they shouldn't be thrown away in a battle which odds are good you will lose.

But naturally when you first get VR, they are like gekpu na yommok na guakka ni' gailaser gi i tatalon-niha, or for those who don't speak Chamorro, big flying cows that have lasers strapped to their backs. Void Rays are incredibly powerful if you can get them early. A two gate rush, with a fully charged Void Ray is a sight to see and gives you a powerful advantage. But as the game goes on, a pack of Marines or a handful of properly microed stalkers can instantly turn that very costly flying cow into vapors.

Early on I would not get a fleet beacon and flux vanes until I had five or six Void Rays, but now I've made a habit out of getting it after my first two. Although VR were both weakened and flux wanes made slower in recent patches, having vanes for my VR makes a huge difference, especially since I've started trying to play more FFA games against 5-7 VH or insane computers. Having that ability to move in and out quickly of a base before the huge mass of units the computer inevitably makes and marches around is essential since in those free for all matches, that mobile mass tends to make expansion difficult to impossible.

Unfortunately in the early games that myself, Leevin and Davis would play, my Void Rays would often save the day, but it became for me a crux, something which I could always rely on to win a game, but would also make my play one-dimensional. For most games I would make 20-30 units and end up with 300-400 kills, because all I was making were probes and VR. When I would try to actually make other units I would find myself feeling irritated when my meager forces would be magalamok ni' i AI, or swallowed up by the ferocious AI, and pine for my regal fleet of Void Rays. Thankfully now I've started to work on other strategies, but my favorite unit is still the Void Ray. And whenever we end up playing a level where we aren't sure what the best strategy will be, I always say, "I'm canoning up and going VR, good luck you guys."

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