Human vs Bot matches: Zergling rush

Iruian is a Brood War player who likes to help the bot coders with strategic advice. He even has his own bot, Antiga. He also frequently plays against the bots himself. Last week he shared some replays on the BWAPI Discord channel, of him playing against some of the top Brood War bots.

I have uploaded the replays to Google Drive. This post will be about the following games. You should also check out these games. They’re awesome.

In these games, Iruian uses 4-pool, and in one case 9-pool against Krasi0. Krasi0 is a terran bot, and quite possibly the strongest Brood War bot at the moment. It is currently at the top of the SCCAIT Ladder. Iruian manages to win every single one of these games. At this point, you are probably thinking, didn’t you tell us Brood War bots have figured out how to beat rushes? When it comes to other bots, they can reliably beat any rushes. Against a human player, however, they aren’t quite there yet.

This means that bots are inferior to humans, both in their ability to hold of rushes and also in their ability to perform them. I also think that it is quite possible that some bot will figure out how to perform better rushes and beat even the top bots with them.

Here are some skills that Iruian uses to beat Krasi0, which I have not seen a bot use properly:

  • Kill a single SCV or marine and quickly back out before the lings are surrounded by the remaining SCVs.
  • Have different groups of lings go for different goals. For instance, Iruian sends a few zerglings to take out a bunker, while the rest attack and distract the SCVs.
  • Properly judging which buildings are defended by a bunker and which aren’t. There are some bots which will occasionally run some units past the enemy defenses, but very few of them know exactly which buildings are safe to attack and which aren’t.

I would love to see what a bot can do when it knows how to do all of these things. These skills should be very useful outside of rushes as well.

5 thoughts on “Human vs Bot matches: Zergling rush

  1. Hey! Thanks for the article and for singling out my bot in this particular AI failure. It’s a well known issue that my bot easily folds to early game aggression.
    Could a bot be made to stop such sophisticated zergling-rush early game shenanigans? Yes, sure. Has it been a priority till now – no, I don’t think so. In bot world, a blind bunker is all you need to stop a 4/5 pool and call it a day.
    How do you think your bot or any other Terran bots would fare against Antiga (the human player) performing these tactics? I hope that some other bots have better SCV / marine early game defense than mine.


  2. I think most bots would fare poorly against a sophisticated zergling rush like this. Iron has very nice SCV control, so maybe he would do better. I’m not sure he would be able to hold it off though. I honestly don’t think there is any other bot that would even stand a chance.


  3. What is the result if you put it up vs my bot. My bot plays 10 rax instead of the usual 11 rax, so it should be able to get out a marine earlier to help defend.


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