It is an exciting time for Starcraft 2 AI. There are currently two tournaments on the way. The AI ladder is about to have an end of season tournament and for Probots the group stages have finished and the Round of 8 is under way. In this blog post I will cover the first two matches of the round of 8 that were played yesterday.
SarsaBot(Z) vs Spacemen5428(Z)
The first match of the day was SarsaBot vs Spacemen5428. The matches in the round of 8 will all be best of three. Both SarsaBot and Spacemen like to macro up and they each take four bases before any real action happens. Spacemen does try to build a proxy hatch, but SarsaBot is having none of it:
Despite what little success Spacemen has with its proxy, it still keeps sending drone after drone to try and get the proxy up. Even though no Hatchery actually gets started this does cost him a lot of workers. The first attack by Sarsa involves a large amount of Speedlings. The base only has a single Queen for defense and quickly gets overrun.
The Speedlings continue on to attack the third. Spacemen barely holds off the attack with a number of Roaches, but takes heavy losses in the progress. All drones at his third are dead. SarsaBot is now in a dominating lead. It still sticks to Speedlings against the Roaches from Spacemen, but its economy is so far ahead that it doesn’t matter. The final attack from SarsaBot hits at multiple places at once. The Roaches get surrounded, while at the same time the Lings enter the natural and third.
The economy for Spacemen gets destroyed at the same time as his Roaches get cleaned up. SarsaBot wins game one. On the plus side for Spacemen, it does finally get of a proxy Hatch at SarsaBots tenth base.
Game two starts out much the same, with Spacemen trying and failing to build a proxy Hatch. SarsaBot goes for a fairly early Ling attack at the natural, but some lings and queens from Spacemen chase them away.
A second attack a bit later takes out a Queen and some lings, but doesn’t do any serious damage.
After this both bots macro up for a while. Sarsa does a better job at it though, both taking more bases and getting more workers. Eventually it attacks. Again we get Speedlings against Roaches, and again the better economy from SarsaBot gives it an edge, despite the fact that Roaches should counter Lings. The Roaches do manage to get in a good position on the ramp, but they eventually get overrun by the large numbers of lings.
SarsaBot wins the series 2-0.
Tyr(Z) vs MicroMachine(T)
The next match is between MicroMachine and my own bot Tyr. MicroMachine is a terran bot that goes for early reaper harass and follows up with banshees. For this tournament I created a Zerg version of my bot. Tyr knows a number of different strategies. In this tournament it mainly uses a 12 pool drone pull cheese build. It also has a number of more standard strategies it can use. Against Terran it can also do a Hydra Lurker build.
In game one my bot chooses the Hydra Lurker build. However, it correctly identifies that MicroMachine is going for some form of rush (a reaper rush in this case) and decides to make some early Roaches to hold. My bot holds the reapers fairly well, only taking small losses and keeping the reaper count low.
Then, however, the Banshees come in. With only two Queens for anti air, my bot doesn’t stand a chance. My Roaches and Zerglings also do not realise that they cannot attack air units, so they just stand around under the Banshee to get killed.
The current ladder version of my bot actually only gets a few Roaches when defending aggressive Terran builds and then goes for Hydras, so it does a little better against MicroMachine, but it still loses most games. This game at least is a win for MicroMachine.
For the second game, my bot uses the 12 pool build. The drones sadly get pulled quite early and they arrive before the Zerglings, making the attack much weaker than it could be. MicroMachine already has his first Reaper out and his micro allows the Reaper to stay alive against my units. My bot does manage to take out all of the workers from MicroMachine.
At this point, however, MicroMachine has four Reapers left alive and they kill my remaining units without trouble. Since my bot doesn’t have any units left it GGs and leaves the game. MicroMachine moves on to the next round.
I am a bit dissapointed with the overall performance of my bot in this tournament. It was an early version of my Zerg bot that wasn’t too polished, but it also didn’t get to show all it can do. My newer version already does better overall on the ladder, but it also isn’t nearly as good as my Protoss bot. I hope I will be able to make my Zerg bot stronger in the future.