Sunday, 24 of September of 2017

Achievement Hunters: Custom Outmatched

In these episodes of Highlander's Achievement Hunters series he looks at the entire category of Custom Outmatched achievements.

100 Achievement Points Total

2 Insane AI

The first to be examined is the 2 Insane AI achievement. In this, you need to defeat two Insane AI at the same time. Luckily, you don’t need to defeat any more of these at once, but this is hard enough.

Naturally, we’re going to use our Photon Cannon rush strategy again, but like an episode if Idol, map selection can really make or break this. I find that people naturally tend to select a 2v2 map when trying to complete this, however there aren’t any in the map pool that are as effective as: Tempest.

Tempest, if you get a close spawn position that you scout first time, has an exceptionally close starting position for your two enemies. The AI also start divided from each other and both have a low ground position that has easy access to both opponents Nexus’. Ideal really!

The beautiful thing is, if you are having trouble with this achievement and find your enemy isn’t in a close spawn location, that’s fine. You can just start again. Once you do get it, you’ll find it is the easiest map by far.

Make sure you select both your opponents as being Protoss, of all three races they are the most vulnerable to a cannon rush, compared with Zerg who have creep and Terran who have such early game range units.

As per all Cannon rush strategies we will be pulling a probe off the line ASAP and sending him off to build a proxy Pylon outside the enemy base on the low ground to be followed by a Forge ASAP. Whenever you can, build and chronoboost Probes, as long as you don’t delay any structures. Once you have a Forge up, build two Cannons on the low ground with an approximate 10-15s gap between commencing the two. Try to keep your buildings designed so that it is difficult for melee units to attack you cannons, without compromising the range of your Pylon power or your Cannons reach.

Then, just before your first Cannon completes, build a third Cannon on the high ground. By the time the Probes arrive, the enemy will see the completed first Cannon and waste even more time running down the ramp after it only to find themselves out of their depth. Like dominoes, your 2nd cannon will have completed (this is why we waited 10-15s), leaving the enemy Probes having bitten off more than they could chew.

Meanwhile, keep pushing with your Cannons, leap frogging with the construction of Pylons and Cannons towards the enemy Nexus.

The important note to keep in mind, is not to spend any longer on your first opponent than is necessary. The moment the AI’s Nexus is within range of Photon Cannons (or is expecting to be once some more warp in), move onto the remaining enemy without delay.

We then use the same strategy, being a little more conservative with our Cannon usage, using 4 or more Cannons before pushing further forward with a Pylon.

If you feel you have done well, but cannot make the final push towards the enemy Nexus, not all is lost. Your last ditch effort can involve teching immediately to Void Rays and try to use Hit & Run tactics on the enemy Nexus whilst avoiding engagements with the main army. You will have some time up your sleeve while the enemy attempts to destroy your existing cannons, however they won’t last long.

 

4 Very Hard AI

This is a very difficult achievement to attain and luck plays a significant component, especially since the release of patch 1.4 and the Immortal range buff that came with it.

We will be playing on Megaton for this one, with all our opponents being Protoss once more.

Again, we are going for a Cannon Rush strategy but this one will be a bit more difficult.

Pull a probe off the line at about 7 supply, your objective is to get as much early game mining in as possible without getting substantially supply blocked. Then build a Pylon on the low ground of the opponent nearest the small back entrance. Get a Forge up ASAP and using the same strategy as before you will be getting two Cannons on the low ground and as they are completing get a cannon on the high ground. Whilst doing all of this and keep squeezing in Probes (using Chronoboost if available) wherever you can, you’ll find you have more scope to do so compared to the 2 Insane achievement, as the additional mining time at the start will mean you’ve had more probes mining.

Note: Earlier online tutorials recommend pushing heavily up through the middle, but this is too difficult since the AI handle aggressive structures better than they used to.

Your third Cannon (that one on the high ground) should have prevented all mining, so we can consider that opponent completely dead. The ideal mentality here is to consider the best path to take down all opponents ASAP. If we consider the nearest opponent (whose mineral line is quite exposed) our second opponent and his only living neighbour the third opponent, you should be moving towards the nearest possible point to your fourth opponent, whilst still being in range of your third. The idea being, this should make an efficient arc which has built up from your very initial cannons and will move right down the middle of the map. An easy mistake to make is to focus too hard on the next opponent and not on the most challenging end goal. In moving this way towards your third opponent, it will only take a cannon or two to completely disable your second opponent, without more than one additional pylon.

Always be sure to only build Cannons where it is intelligent to do so, it you feel you cannot place a cannon in a position where it will be very useful, simply spend the money on probes or if your mineral line is saturated then save for more cannons in the right places later.

Now, here is where the luck component comes in. Sometimes your third and fourth opponents will include Immortals in their unit mix, if that is the case the achievement is very difficult to attain. They are very effective against Cannons. By this stage, it’s up to you as to whether you continue with Cannons, or if you wish to attempt a transition at home into Void Rays with a plan to hit and run their main base. If you feel the enemy is too hard to overcome, you can always restart and hope for better luck next time.

The enemy does not do a good job of it’s expansion timing, so after the 20 min mark you should be keeping in mind that they will have or will be expanding, likely to their nearest expansion. A pylon and a couple of cannons will do the job here. By preventing this, they will be getting mined out and not have the wisdom to expand as you can.

An alternative strategy, put forward by Artreides of the Team Liquid forums is to play TvZZZZ on Lava Flow expand immediately to an island and build mass Thors to starve out the 4 enemies taking advantage of the ultra cost-effective exchange between Thors and Zerg air.

 

If you have a request for an achievement you would like to see covered or have any questions/comments about this one be sure to leave a comment below!


About the author:

G'day, i'm ZiggyD, founder of learningsc2.com. When I started LSC2 I was in Bronze so I know what it's like to be a beginner. With this experience I hope to make learning Starcraft 2 easier for new players and to assist the growth of eSports. I'm also a fulltime YouTuber as well! For updates of what i'm working on you can follow me on Twitter at @ZiggyDStarcraft



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