Welcome to another fun filled edition of the Cub Report!
In this episode, we find out what happens when I give the Cub my old computer.
A short while ago, the Cub’s computer took a data dump, and left us scrambling to come up with a replacement.
We ended up getting me a new computer, and passing my old one on to him, leaving us both with an upgrade.
The only thing I had to do to get the computer set up for him was to install the backed up Minecraft game/world saves for him.
So, hey, Portal is on the desktop, he played that a bit. And it had World of Warcraft, of course. And I installed a painting program for him to get his art on.
Over the weekend, he was bored, and asked me what this other icon on the desktop was. Starcraft II? What’s that?
More importantly, can he play it?
Sure. Why not? He’s ten, he can give it a shot.
I explained to him that it wasn’t a World of Warcraft style of game, instead it was like a science-fiction version of Warcraft III, which I let him play a bit a year or more ago.
“You make a base, fortify it, build armies and go out to smash other bases.”
Okay, cool. He’s excited, he wants to try it.
I set him up with a fresh start in Campaign mode, and let him at it.
He did a few missions in campaign mode, but he didn’t really care for it.
“Is there any way I can just do a battle? I build a base and the bad guys build a base and we fight?”
Why yes… yes there is.
I showed him how to set up a match against the AI, the different variables, how to browse Blizzard maps, what team AI was and all of that.
Then I let him go to it again.
He got his butt handed to him by the enemy in his first match. He was kind of upset.
So I told him that if he’d like, I’d replay the battle, and show him some of the things I do to defend my base, build resources and kick butt.
I sat down, he had Terran set up against Terran on a 1v1 map, and I showed him how you can set up your SCVs to harvest minerals and gas, build more SCVs to farm faster, send an SCV down to another nearby mineral site to start a second command center and bring in more resources, and have a couple SCVs off on their own building missile launchers, barracks and bunkers with Marines around the perimeter.
I showed him how to group armies with Ctrl+#s, I introduced him to the concept of avenues of approach, and how to upgrade weapons and armor and perform research.
I showed him how some forces can only attack ground targets, some can only attack air, some reveal the surrounding area, and some units can attack both types.
Then I built a force of 5 Battlecruisers and turned the keys of the kingdom over to him.
He likes Battlecruisers.
He played several more AI matches over the weekend after that. He tried some of the 2v2 maps, with an AI on his team and two AI opponents, and also one match with two AI buddies on his team with one lone little AI victim.
Does everyone do that at some point? Set up a completely one sided and horribly unfair situation where the poor bad guy is just screwed right out of the gate? It’s not fun to actually play, but it seems like a rite of passage for an RTS game, gives you plenty of time to build up impregnable defenses, a ridiculously large and overpowered army, and then have the AI bad guy die because your two AI allies lost no time in zerg rushing him?
Anyway. He had a lot of fun.
He loves the battlecruiser, he likes the looks of the Thor but I don’t think he’s built them much. So far he seems to go for dominance of the skies rather than open-field tank battles.
He likes the Viking, he asked me if I knew that the Viking was a flying gunship that can land and transform into mecha. Very cool. Also, there are medic ships!
I came in on him last night, he was whooping it up, I wanted to see what trouble he was up to.
He’d started a 1v3 battle, with 3 Terrans against his one Zerg force.
When I popped my head in, he was grouping zerglings into armies. Lots and lots and lots of armies. And giggling.
“I’m going to send THIS army to scout the enemy camp, and THIS army to attack his weak point, and THIS army to cover the way to the enemy base so I’m not surprised, and THIS army to defend my ramp here, and THIS army….”
Okay, so, note to self. Do NOT buy a second copy of Starcraft II. I can just see getting my butt zerg-rushed from thirteen different armies while still trying to finish building my first barracks.
Also, those giant things that Zerg can make that look like dinosaurs? Why can they burrow? He was building them, burrowing them and giggling.
Why? Why make something that massive a sneak attack? “La la la, walking along the trail, all is quiet, HOLY CRAP INSTANT MUTANT RHINOS ARGGGHHHH!”
My son likes the Zerg more than the Space Marines?
That’s just wrong, man.