The second season of Probots has finished and it is time to take a look at the games. For the semi finals we have MicroMachine vs SarsaBot and HjaxAI vs dmytrobot. The semi finals are best of 5, while te finals are best of 7.
MicroMachine vs SarsaBot
MicroMachine is currently first on the ladder, with some awesome reaper micro into banshee harassment. SarsaBot goes for a more macro oriented style.
SarsaBot does a nice job keeping out the reapers from MicroMachine, using just lings and queens.
SarsaBot goes for a ling counter attack, but MicroMachine has hellions ready and defends with ease.
But SarsaBot has a trick up its sleeves. A handful of zerglings manage to take out the tech lab on the starport.
Normally, this should not be a big deal, MicroMachine doesn’t need the tech lab on the starport; the hellions are doing a fine job of cleaning up the lings even without the banshees. At any rate it could rebuild the tech lab without much issue. However, there is a bug in the code for MicroMachine. It doesn’t know to rebuild the tech lab and gets stuck in its build. It does make some more hellions, but it quickly starts floating resources. SarsaBot takes it time, but eventually it techs up to roaches. It keeps sending in small attacks and finally ovewhelms MicroMachine, which can’t keep up with its limited production.
The second game, sadly shows another bug of MicroMachine. This game is played on the map ParaSite. Now this map breaks the python bots and was taken out of rotation on the bot ladder. MicroMachine isn’t python, but it also has a bug on this map. Sadly the author never found out, since it didn’t face this map on the ladder. MicroMachine for some reason refuses to mine from the main base. It immediately starts long distance mining from its natural expand. The result is a rather short game as MicroMachine can’t get anything up in time to defend against SarsaBots lings.
The final game is very similar to game one. SarsaBot manages to snipe the tech lab and MicroMachine doesn’t know how to handle it. It does make some hellions. The hellions don’t dare to engage the spine crawlers from SarsaBot though. They have some trouble staying out of range though, and they keep taking hits.
SarsaBot doesn’t manage to finish the game quickly, however MicroMachine doesn’t manage to take its natural base. Eventually it runs out of minerals. By this point the scvs from MicroMachine decide to start mining minerals from a base at SarsaBots side of the map.
Most of the SVCs get killed, and SarsaBot finally ends the game.
SarsaBot goes on to the finals. Sadly MicroMachine mostly lost to bugs. SarsaBot cleverly managed to exploit those errors in the code. I think its a very important lesson: Making a solid bot doesn’t just require strong play. Your bot also needs to be able to cope with various situations. If your bot breaks down in certain situations you can be sure that other bot authors will find out about it and exploit it.
HjaxAI vs dmytrobot
The next series is between HjaxAI and dmytrobot. dmytrobot is best know for its probe rush. However it is also capable of other strategies and the authors of the bots get the chance to make some adjustments to their bots between rounds, so it could have some completely new strategies. HjaxAI is traditionally a macro zerg. Hjax, the author of the bot has created a new version of its bot in java. However, it is not allowed to participate as it was not ready in time for this tournament. HjaxAI always used to lose to probe rushes, however Hjax has improved his old bot so that it should now hold those rushes as well. Lets see how this turns out!
dmytrobot has left its probe rush behind and now goes for a zealot rush instead. HjaxAI puts three spine crawlers up in its natural. during the round of 8, HjaxAI went up against a different zealot rush bot and beat him.
This time there are too many zealots though. They overwhelm the spine crawlers and quickly take out the base for HjaxAI.
This time HjaxAI goes for a quick spawning pool and sends his first six lings to attack. dmytrobot already has zealots out, but they don’t know to defend, so at first only one zealot engages. Finally the lings get too close to the remaining zealots and pull more of them into the fight. The lings get cleaned up, but they do manage to take out a zealot and a gateway, slowing the attack for dmytrobot. HjaxAI builds the three spine crawlers in its main this time. Together with the queens and zerglings it manages to hold the zealot attacks.
HjaxAI has trouble getting up its natural though. Each time it tries, the zealots get on top of it and take it out. HjaxAI doesn’t even cancel it and loses a lot of minerals. In the end, both bots end up mining out in their main base. dmytrobot knows to do long distance mine, whereas HjaxAI doesn’t dmytrobot eventually takes out the defenses of HjaxAI as it can’t replenish the lost units.
This game, HjaxAI loses its natural ealy on to the zealots, but it decides to make roaches, which could turn the tide. The past two games we only saw spines, queens and zerglings to hold off the zealots.
The roaches come out just in time to defend the main of HjaxAI from the zealots. The next wave of zealots manages to take out the roach warren though. With only a limited number of roaches to defend, HjaxAI does not manage to hold off the zealots and the series ends 3-0 for dmytrobot.
The finals will be dmytrobot vs SarsaBot. As I am writing this the finals have already been played, so expect another blog post on that soon. Other than that, there is also the end of season tournament for the ladder, so make sure to watch that tonight at 21:00 UTC!
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