GWFC 1st Season Playoffs
#3 War Machine [WM] defeats I Guild I [iGi] – April 16, 2006 - Report #2
By Michael Thompson
The following is a second article on the War Machine vs. I Guild I Semi-final match.
Game one in this semi-final match between War Machine [WM] and I Guild I [iGi] sees WM defending on their home map, the Frozen Isle. WM are running 2 Warriors, 3 Mesmers, an Elementalist and 2 Monks. iGi have 2 Warriors, 2 Elementalists, a Mesmer, 2 Monks and a Necromancer/Warrior flagger.
This game made it clear why WM uses Frozen Isle. They like to play a very aggressive split strategy which forces the opposing team onto a defensive footing from the start of the game. Initially this was just a single Warrior who pushed into iGi's base and took out some NPCs. iGi responded by keeping one of their E/Mos back to defend.
For much of the game, we saw WM and iGi fighting around the flag stand area as both teams used different strategies for flagging. While iGi ran the flag constantly, WM only sent a player back for the flag when they no longer controlled the stand. For iGi, this ensured that they were almost always ready with a new flag as soon as WM capped, giving them a minute and a half buffer should WM have pushed them back at any point. For WM it gave them added pressure as they waited for iGi to cap.
Around the 8 minute mark, WM sent their second Warrior to iGi's base. Now, with 2 WM Warrior's threatening the iGi flagger, iGi sent a Monk back to assist both the flagger and the defending E/Mo. With the rest of the team still at the flag, the lone iGi Monk had to contend with two of WM's Warriors. They proved too much for the Monk, who fell in battle. But iGi still managed to get the flagger to the stand to cap.
The battle at the stand continued, with both teams capping the stand and neither gaining a morale boost. IGi, however, made frequent kills, showing just how much more powerful they are in one-on-one combat.
As this continued, WM suffered more and more DP. Eventually, at the 24-minute mark, a defending iGi made some kills near their base as they capped the stand. From there they returned to their base to chase out an attacking WM split and continued to press forward, forcing WM to retreat into their base. A lone WM flagger capped the stand, only for the waiting iGi flagger to take the stand back again. From there, iGi were able to hold WM in their base until they secured the morale boost at 27:30.
No Attribute - Signet
Signet. Resurrect target party member. That party member is returned to life with 100% Health and 25%% Energy. This Signet only recharges when you gain a morale boost.
With higher morale, more firepower and recharged Resurrection Signets, iGi appeared to have the upper hand. However, during the course of the game, WM reduced iGi's NPCs to 3 archers and both bodyguards. WM had lost only one archer, giving them both bodyguards and 7 archers. When Victory or Death (VoD) finally arrived, it was WM who had the upper hand. At the flag stand they were able to wipe out iGi's NPCs and secure a boost. After suffering some deaths at the stand, iGi retreated to their Guild Lord. WM capitalized on this, and by the time iGi reached their Lord, only one player (an E/Mo) remained. With plenty of time before the rest of the team resurrected, WM took down the GL. Game one went to a very aggressive War Machine.
Game 2 saw iGi defending on their home map, the Druid's Isle. Builds were relatively unchanged from Game 1, except for one or two changes to secondary professions.
Again, the battle was joined on a map that favours the split strategy; quite surprising considering that iGi's team build is more of a spike build than a split build. Their tactics during the match also indicated that they are more comfortable fighting as a whole team than as two separate split teams.
In this game we saw a lot of the same tactics as Game 1. Again, WM were very aggressive and split very early on. One key difference between this map and the last one though, is the size. The Druid's Isle map is a little smaller and allowed iGi to be more aggressive in their defense. They were able to move quickly from the flag back to their base to fight off the attacking WM split.
As we saw in the first game, iGi spent most of the game playing defensively even though they had more offensive strength and were able to get more kills, putting WM under immense pressure. WM was relentless in their attack, however, even threatening the iGi base with only half the WM team alive. iGi spent a lot of time running between the flag stand and their base. This harassment from WM continued for much of the game as iGi racked up more and more kills and WM grew gradually weaker.
This more aggressive defensive play by iGi did pay off in the end. By the 30-minute mark, they had not only prevented WM from taking out too many NPCs, but they were able to kill some enemy NPCs too. At VoD, WM followed a retreating iGi out of their base and even managed a kill, but with more NPCs now at the flag stand, iGi had the upper hand. From here iGi proceeded to wipe out WM's NPCs, keeping the stand and ensuring boosts. At the 34-minute mark, iGi defended the stand with their NPCs to block WM from entering their base. With some players suffering full DP and having no more NPCs, WM admitted defeat by leaving the game, thereby giving iGi a much-deserved victory. Game 2 went to a defensive, yet powerful, I Guild I.
For Game 3, it was War Machine's home map, the Frozen Isle, once more. Again, both teams' builds changed only slightly from Game 2, for the most part both teams stayed with the same primary professions.
As the game began, War Machine went into a 4/4 split, forcing iGi onto a defensive footing right from the start, as we saw in the previous two match-ups. With one half of the WM team attacking the iGi base and the other running flags, iGi chose to split into a 6/2 formation, giving them an advantage at the flag stand while leaving enough support at the base to defend. Using this advantage, they were able to push WM back in no time and secure an early morale boost.
Around the 4-minute mark, both teams fought it out at the center of the map. WM took this opportunity to run a flag and regain control of the flag stand. iGi responded, and we saw an exciting 2 vs. 2 battle at the flag stand. Here, with WM in control of the stand, WM's Warrior and Mesmer were able to drop the enemy Warrior and Elementalist. In doing so, they prevented the enemy flagger from reaching the stand.
With those two players down and the two WM players moving back to join the rest of the team at the center, iGi retreated into the GL area to defend. This allowed WM to boost. However, iGi was able to prevent any NPC losses and hey drove back WM when their players resurrected at the shrine.
WM then split again and continued to harass the enemy base. At the stand, iGi continued to pressure WM, and despite the stand trading hands several times, were able to ensure a boost. iGi spent much of this game running between the flag stand and their base as WM continued to attack and retreat, hoping that iGi would make a mistake that would allow them to kill even more NPCs.
That mistake never happened. By the 30-minute mark, iGi had lost only 3 NPCs. However, iGi was forced to run the flag just before VoD, leaving little defense at their base. WM capitalized on this and held the NPCs at the base long enough to drop a bodyguard and two archers. By the time iGi's NPCs reached the stand, WM had the upper hand. Their NPCs were both more in number and had a height advantage. Using this added pressure, WM were able to kill iGi's remaining NPCs and force iGi into a retreat.
iGi made another push towards the stand and capped the flag. The final battle continued as both teams awaited the arrival of their Guild Lords. When they arrived, WM and their NPCs piled on the pressure and forced iGi to retreat again—leaving their Guild Lord to die at the hands of WM's NPCs and winning the match for War Machine!
It's clear from this match that in a head-on contest, iGi had the advantage. Their coordinated damage proved more powerful than WM's pressure. However, WM's split tactics grew too troublesome for iGi. iGi were constantly on the defensive and seemed to be reacting to whatever WM did, rather than pressing forward to force WM onto the defensive. In the end, WM played for VoD, ensuring NPC kills and doing just enough to stay alive and keep iGi on the defensive.
Both teams played exceptionally well and showed just how much they deserved to be in the semi-finals. But now we look forward to an exciting final between The Last Pride and War Machine!!
Michael Thompson is 23 years old gamer who originally hails from South Africa and is now living in the UK. A proud member of The Amazon Basin guild, Michael enjoys both the PvE and PvP aspects of Guild Wars. His favourite classes are the Warrior and Necromancer, and he admits to being "pretty rubbish at playing a Monk." Michael's in-game name is Mickey of the Basin.