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A Grave Invasion
May 13 2010, 12:40 am
By: Gidoza  

May 13 2010, 12:40 am Gidoza Post #1

I made this map a long time ago. Quite a long time ago, actually. Everything works just fine, but if I made it again today, I'd probably reorganize lots of the triggers. In any case, let's talk about A Grave Invasion.

Q: Whoa, I just looked down, so I need to ask, why do you talk so much?
A: See, I like to have people know what they're doing when they play a game. This stuff is here so you know how to play and know what to do, know what to expect. If you download this map and happen to join a game I'm hosting, and then ask how to play without even reading the short briefing, I'm simply going to ignore you. Now it's true, people's memories aren't infallible so one tends to forget, so if you try to learn but didn't catch everything, that's fine, I'll help you out. If your idea of learning the game, on the other hand, is simply to have me type all this during the game instead of now, just go away.

Q: What is A Grave Invasion?
A: A Grave Invasion is a StarCraft Map. Really! "A Grave Invasion" is also a pun. See, the word "Grave" can mean "severe" or "serious", so a "serious" invasion, and on the other hand, "Grave" can mean one of those places where somebody's buried, so it'd be an invasion of Graves. This is why the two teams are made up of Aliens and Spirits. On the one hand, the Spirits' Graves are being invaded, and on the other hand, Aliens, who are always sinister creatures, make this invasion very, very Grave.

Q: What is a Jurg?
A: A Jurg is just a "Zerg", but spelled differently. Easy, huh? Well, Jurgs are very Zerg-like. They're not part of the Swarm, really they're a bunch of animals, but have a mini-hive-mind status in their own little colonies. Sort of like that episode in Star Trek: Voyager where some people who were formerly Borg wanted Chakotay to help them created a mini-collective so they could have peace again, but still not be part of the Borg. In A Grave Invasion, the fight takes place on James' World. The Aliens and the Spirits have each imposed domination over certain Jurg factions and now have them fighting against one another.

Q: How are the factions different?
A: Well, for the most part, they're not. Aliens and Spirits can both pick Heros, a few of which are different for each team, and the Jurgs on each side are exactly the same except for their starting base configurations. Both sides have exactly the same number and types of buildings, but placed differently: the Aliens' Jurg is very invasion-oriented and tends to be very aggressive, while the Spirits' Jurg is very defensively-oriented and tends to keep to itself. There's still lots of bases scattered around the map, though, and when all their colors are meshed together from the buildings, what you have is a minimap that looks very much like Spongebob Square Pants.


Q: What do you do?
A: I'll answer this question in several steps. I'll start with the direct answer: the victory conditions.

Each game, when the round officially begins, a random number is picked from 1 to 4. This number is how many victory conditions you will need to complete to win that game. The victory conditions, and their explanations, are as follows.

1. Argosy Run - In the middle of the map, there's a Vespene Geyser. When either team builds an extractor on it, the Geyser will vanish and be replaced by an invincible Reaver belonging to that team. It doesn't attack - instead, it's called the Argosy because it's in effect a big cargo container that runs around like a Caravan collecting things from the checkpoints on the map. These checkpoints are in the four corners of the battlefield, and the left and right sides, for 6 total. When a team's Argosy touches all 6 of these checkpoints in order, and then touches one of that team's Active Cerebrates (explained later), the Argosy Run is completed.

The path the Argosy takes on each team is different. For Aliens it is as follows:
Top-Right, Middle-Left, Bottom-Right, Top-Left, Middle-Right, Bottom-Left, Cerebrate

For the Spirits:
Bottom-Left, Middle-Right, Top-Left, Bottom-Right, Middle-Left, Top-Right, Cerebrate

Even when the Argosy switches teams (explained later), the Argosy retains its former visits to checkpoints. Each team needs to visit each checkpoint, but no checkpoint ever needs repeating.

2. 8 Hero Kills. Hero Kills refers to human players' Heros. If you can't understand this condition, perhaps you should not be playing StarCraft.

3. Destroy All Enemy Hives - Again, very, very simple. Also, Hives will heal nearby Heros at 1:30 and 0:30 on the countdown timer.

4. Control 7 Active Cerebrates - Very simple again, but I'll explain how to get Cerebrates and what they do later.

You may also win the game by simply making sure the enemy Jurg controls no buildings.

Now I think we should go a little into process.

Here's how the game works in practice: You've got your Hero on the field, whatever it is, and any Jurg unit you touch that belongs to your computer ally, becomes yours. Yes, that's right, you capture your computer's units, in a small area around your Hero called the Sphere Of Influence. Then you use these units to go and kill other units. You can also capture Sunken and Spore Colonies, up to 1 Drone, and 2 Overlords. If all the units of one type get too far away from your Hero, they revert back to computer control. The "too far away" point is beyond your Hero's Sphere Of Control. This area is roughly the screen's size.

Teal touched a few zerglings and got them.

He touched the rest, and now he's got all of them!

When you kill units, you get Minerals, and also some Gas that is roughly one fifth the value of the Minerals.
When you raze buildings, you get Gas, and also some Minerals that are roughly one fifth the value of the Gas.

It's then quite simple, really. Capture computer units or Sunkens/Spores, and go out and kill things, make money, and use that money to win. Somehow. Well, we'll explain that "somehow" right away.

The next thing we need to get acquainted with is Hero picking. It doesn't work the same way as it does in other games, because this method is designed to help you as much as possible. Unfortunately, most people don't want help, so they lose. There's no point in feeling sympathetic towards such a person.

When the game starts, you'll be centered on an area where all the Heros are for picking. The first time you go to the beacon, the Hero info is displayed for you. The second time you go to the same beacon in a row, you pick the Hero. Got it? Go to the beacon twice in a row to get the Hero. Good. You may also pick a Random Hero if you like, but there's no bonus if you do. If the timer runs out before you pick a Hero, one is randomly picked for you.

Okay, so what can all these fancy-schmancy Heros do? Well, they're not as nifty as Heros in other games, of course, because alot of this game depends on the Jurg units you use. However, the Heros are obviously quite important. Here's what you can choose from.

Heros Available On Both Teams (can have any number per team)

Keep in mind that m is minerals, and g is gas.

Golden Zoid (Zealot) - Very High HP (second best), no armor, 2 damage (+4).

1. Regeneration (75m, 450g): Heals the Hero up to your current HP level (HP are upgradeable).
2. Call For Aid (150m, 900g): Summons a Carrier, 2 Goons, and 2 Dark Templars. These units teleport back to the Golden Zoid if they leave its Sphere Of Control.

Comments: Golden Zoid is a virtually completely useless Hero early in the game, but as upgrades mount, it can eventually become capable of taking on armies and bases by itself.

Sun Priestess (Ghost) - Medium HP, 2 armor, 9 damage (+4).

1. Regeneration (75m, 450g): Heals the Hero up to your current HP level.
2. Healing Light (35m, 260g): When the player has less than 29 razings (building kills), this ability will heal all team Jurg units on the map, and standard buildings. When the player has 30 razings and up, this will heal Sunkens and Spores, Hives, Cerebrates, all summons, and mercenaries for the entire team.

Comments: This is a fairly reliable Hero even with very few upgrades. Using Mercenaries (explained later) with upgraded Healing Light and the Priestess' self-heal can allow her to do significant damage without Jurg aid.

Barracuda (Scout) - High HP, 2 armor, 5 Ground damage (+5), 4 Air damage (+6).

1. Teleportation (60m, 475g): Teleports the Barracuda and all nearby Jurg forces right out of the battlefield.
2. Hivebomb (265m, 1500g): Instantly destroys all enemy Hives in your Sphere Of Influence.

Comments: The Barracuda does not start with the speed upgrade, the player will have to do that. The Teleportation special, it should be noted, effectively counts as a heal, since all Heros heal upon re-entry into the battlefield. This Hero, due to the fact that it's fast, flying, and can teleport if the gas is available, can be very difficult to kill. The Hivebomb serves to help completing the Hive condition, or you can simply disrupt opponents' ability to heal by making their Hive explode right in front of them before the heal time comes up.

Pit Fiend (Archon) - Ultra High HP (highest), 3 armor, 25 damage (+8).

1. Power Of The Depths (90m, 830g): Makes the Pit Fiend invulnerable for about 30 seconds. This ability can be stacked.
2. (passive ability) - Pit Fiends receive +30% income.

DISADVANTAGE: The Pit Fiend may only upgrade its Weapons/Armor/Shields once.

Comments: The Pit Fiend is effectively a solo Hero from the moment the game starts. It will annihilate everything without even needing help from Jurg. However, since it can have a maximum of one upgrade, it basically gets weaker as the game progresses, which is the polar opposite of most other Heros. The income bonus associated with the Pit Fiend means that, come late game, this is an excellent Hero to invest in Jurg upgrades with.

Heros Available To Aliens Only (max 1 on the team)

Decimator (Observer) - Very Low HP (2nd worst), 2 armor, no attack.

1. Torpedo Launch (70m, 205g): Creates 14 Scourges at the Decimator's location.
2. Bomb Frenzy (85m, 400g): Creates 5 Infested Terrans at the Decimator's location.

Comments: Vision and speed need to be upgraded. Decimators have no real need for Overlords. Even though this Hero flies and is invisible, its HP are genuinely horrible, so one needs to be careful. Its two specials, however, make it an excellent Hero-killer. Bombs are also good at knocking out enemy defenses, Hives, Cerebrates, and large armies in general - gas providing, of course.

A Decimator dropped some bombs on Orange's Hero. Going to the help beacon gives information on the Decimator's specials.

Prophet Of Salril (Tassadar Templar) - Low HP, 5 armor, 6 damage (+9).

1. Burst Of Energy (25m, 340g): Restores the Prophet's energy to maximum.
2. Mind Control (120m, 590g): Any enemy Jurg in the Prophet's Sphere Of Control not owned by a human player instantly switch to the Prophet's control.

Comments: The Prophet is slow and weak, but it makes up for this with its abilities. As most Jurg units have VERY low hit points, Psionic Storm usually barbecues just about everything it touches. Mind Control can be used for sustained attacks on enemy bases: when the enemy Jurg sends help to "defend" its base, take the defenders, the Jurg sends more, you can steal those, too…

Alien Commandship (Corsair) - Below Average HP, 0 armor, 3 damage (+3)

1. Fleet Intervention (200m, 1150g): Summons a Carrier, a BattleCruiser, a Scout (anti-ground), another Scout (anti-air), and a Valkyrie (tanking unit). These units teleport back to the Commandship if they leave its Sphere Of Control.
2. Encompassing Shield (130m, 1470g): All of the Commandship's units within its Sphere Of Control become invulnerable for about 20 seconds. This effect is stackable.

Comments: Carrier Capacity, Disruption Web, and Corsair Energy all need to be upgraded. Encompassing Shield makes everything except the Commandship invulnerable, so it needs to be used carefully. Overall, this is a very powerful Hero, but its Specials are costly.

Bleeb (Vulture) - Average HP, 3 armor, 15 damage (+7).

1. Minelay (100m, 320g): Places a Mine at the Bleeb's location. These Mines have a damage rating of 5000, so anything they touch dies. Consequently, they need to be used quite carefully, because the Bleeb can end up dead, too.
2. (passive) The Bleeb has no respawn time, and Jurg units and Mercenaries the Bleeb controls are not killed when the Bleeb dies.

Comments: Vulture speed needs upgrading. Bleeb is an excellent Hero-killer or army-killer with Mines, but if not careful, can hand the other team the Hero Kills condition by committing suicide too often. Mercenaries are valuable because they only ever die naturally, and major assaults continue even if the Bleeb doesn't.

Heros Available To Spirits Only (max 1)

Harbinger (Shuttle) - Below Average HP, 1 armor, no attack.

1. Both the Harbinger's Sphere Of Influence and Sphere Of Control are larger. It is therefore much easier to acquire units, and much easier to keep them.
2. The Harbinger can act as a huge transport, loading and unloading all units in its Sphere Of Control at will. This ability is free (Load is Special 1, Unload is Special 2).

Comments: Shuttle Speed needs to be upgraded and is extremely expensive. Though this isn't a strong Hero in terms of HP, it can raise huge armies in a relatively short time and cause lots and lots of damage with them.

Wight (Defiler) - Ultra Low HP (worst), 3 armor, no attack.

1. Time Flux (30m, 600g): Adds 55 seconds to the countdown timer, and is stackable. This is useful to extend the respawn time of enemy Heros in particular, and also disrupts Cerebrates' ability to produce units.
2. Wailing Scream (50m, 1350g): A random enemy Hero is selected and teleported with all his nearby Jurg forces directly to the Wight's location.

Comments: With Wailing Scream, the Wight can become an effective Hero killer by setting up traps that eat the enemy Hero alive. However, since the enemy's army comes with him, this ability can sometimes seriously backfire. Wights have Plague available early in the game, which can completely decimate an enemy Hero's HP.

Visionary (Firebat) - Average HP, 1 armor, 14 damage (+10).

1. Pathfinding (100m, 500g): If anyone on your team has an Argosy Controller, and the enemy team controls the Argosy, this ability will instantly take over the Argosy.
2. Sight Of The Seer (300m, 3275g): This ability need only be used once. It grants your entire team vision of the enemy team for the rest of the game.

Comments: The Visionary's splash damage makes it really good at taking down basic Jurg forces, and since the Terran Infantry Upgrades are rather inexpensive, it can get quite strong quite fast. Permavision with the other team is, obviously, quite useful.

* Dreadnought * (BattleCruiser) - High HP, 4 armor, 12 damage (+7).

1. Hand Of Death (335m, 1625g): Instantly destroys an Active Cerebrate under enemy control. You do not have to be near it.
2. Aura Of Fear (170m, 1000g): All enemy non-Hero units in the Dreadnought's Sphere Of Control die.

Comments: While not as powerful as the Pit Fiend, the Dreadnought is capable of holding its own against a number of forces with the use of its very expensive upgrades. Yamato and energy need researching. Aura Of Fear is nice for taking out enemy Summons or Mercenaries, and Hand Of Death can be used to prevent the opponents from reaching the Cerebrate conditions.

Comments About Heros

-When your Hero dies, all your troops die with it, unless you're the Bleeb.
-It takes roughly 2 minutes for your Hero to revive, unless you're the Bleeb.
-When an enemy Hero dies, each player on your team receives 700 minerals and 700 gas.
-Remember that Hives heal Heros at 1:30 and 0:30 on the countdown timer.
-Hit Points are upgradeable, the starting value is 26%.

Air Heros generally don't take well to Spore Colonies.

Once everyone picks their Heros, the old Hero-picking area will suddenly vanish and a bunch of new things will appear all over the place. Here's the stuff you'll need to know.

The Crystals

When you pick your Hero, you'll find your screen centered in an area with four crystals. Once the game starts, these crystals are how you get to the battlefield.

Aliens, Before 10 Minutes: All crystals except bottom-left will lead to a base.
Spirits, Before 10 Minutes: All crystals except upper-right will lead to a base.
After 10 Minutes: Each crystal will correspond to a corner of the battlefield. If there exists a Hive on your team anywhere in that corner, the crystal will bring you there. If your team has no Hives, then any crystal will bring you to the field.

The Dropships

As Aliens, just to the left, and as Spirits, just to the right, of the Crystals, will be a Dropship. This is your "Specials" Dropship. In it is a Reaver and a Goliath. The Reaver is Special 1 and the Goliath is Special 2. Drop the unit of the special you want to use that special. The special will only fire if you have the money, of course, however, if you don't have the money, the unit will stay on the ground and wait until you have the money, at which point it will fire automatically. If you don't want this to happen, you'll have to load the unit back inside yourself.

As Aliens, just above, and as Spirits, just below, the place where the Hero picking was, you will find another Dropship. This is your "Massing" Dropship. While there's many reasons to control units manually in this game, you may want to use your masser quite frequently. This does not work like a normal masser. If you unload the unit, and there are no enemy units in your Sphere Of Control, all Jurg units you own will swarm to your Hero. If at any point an enemy unit enters your Sphere Of Control, the unit will be loaded back into the Dropship and all your units will charge the enemy.

The Minerals And Gas

As Aliens, just to the right, and as Spirits, just to the left of the Crystals, are pieces of Minerals and Gas, with a Civilian. These resource chunks are where you can buy Mercenaries to help out your Hero. Mercenaries are not limited by Spheres Of Control, and so can travel anywhere. Here are the details.

Marine (200m, 1425g, max of 1): A unit with low HP but very High armor. Its fast attack rate and good damage are sure to help you kill lots of units and earn money.

Arbiter (2100m, 250g, max of 2): These have huge shields and impressive damage. Good for Hero killing.

Tank (1750m, 1000g, max of 3, must purchase while all tanks unsieged): HP and armor aren't incredible, but the damage sure is. A Hero taking a wrong turn can be easily killed. These are particularly most effective at taking out enemy bases, however. They need protection, or they'll end up dead.

Infested Kerrigan (675m, 525g, max of 4): Has all the spells Infested Kerrigan normally has. Benefits from Jurg upgrades, so with enough upgrades these can become powerful forces all on their own. Vulnerable due to melee combat, of course.

Some Mercenary Tanks levelling a base.

A Grave Invasion V1.983.scx
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Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on May 13 2010, 12:55 am by Gidoza.


May 13 2010, 12:41 am Gidoza Post #2

The Powerups

Finally, at the place where Hero picking used to be, you will find five powerups, a Civilian, and a beacon. The beacon is simply a help beacon providing info. If you go to it, it will turn help "on". When help is on, none of the powerups will work. The beacon must be visited again to turn help "off". Here are descriptions and comments of each of the powerups.

Five Drones (100m, 5g, Uraj Crystal): Creates 5 Drones at the location of your Hero. This ability may seem mundane, but remember that you can only capture one Drone at a time. Drones are necessary for constructing buildings.
-Any buildings that are not a Creep Colony or a Hatchery will instantly be handed over to your computer ally. This is useful for helping your computer rebuild when he's been severely damaged, or in some cases these buildings can simply be used as walls or cannon fodder.
-Creep Colonies can be built for defence purposes in Sunkens or Spores. Creep Colonies always remain in control of the player who built them until they morph.
-Hatcheries are useful for more than one reason.
-> For starters, you need them to build Hives, so the enemy doesn't destroy all your Hives and complete a victory condition, and also so you have healing bases readily available. A Hatchery is 150 Minerals, a Lair is 100 Gas, and a Hive is 650 Gas.
-> Secondly, your Jurg ally needs Hatcheries to build lots of troops for you to use. A Hatchery remains under your control until you get far away from it.
-> Third, you can make Overlords with a Hatchery if you need a detector in an emergency.
-> Finally, if your Jurg ally is severely beat up, you may find that his AI doesn't "work" anymore. You'll need to build a Hive to reset the AI. Once that's done, all the AI's Overlords will explode, at which point you'll need to build him a few Overlords. You can use this to help your computer recover.

Wall under construction.

A finished wall.

Purchase Argosy Controller (140m, 260g, Psi Emitter): If your team controls at least one Active Cerebrate, a Dark Templar will be created at a random Active Cerebrate. If the other team has control of the Argosy, you will need to touch it with one of these Dark Templars, or "Argosy Controllers", to take it over.

Awaken Cerebrate (1000m, 1400g, Young Chrysalis): Around the map you will find 10 Cerebrates. These are usually "Dormant". If your Hero is next to a Dormant Cerebrate and you use this ability, the Cerebrate will become "Active". Active Cerebrates will produce a number of units for your Jurg every 2 minutes. These units can be captured like any other Jurg units. However, many of these units are "special". They'll range from "different" Jurgish units, to Medics, Protoss units, Terran units, and so on. Initially, Cerebrates will create 4 units (3 Zerglings and a Hydralisk). Every 300 kills your Jurg ally has, up to 9000, another unit is added to the pool. This is the effective "game-ender" for games that are running too long, as you will find entire armies being created at Cerebrates, and consequently you see their importance. Remember that controlling 7 Active Cerebrates constitutes a victory condition.

HP Boost: The Psi Emitter is where you receive the HP upgrades. Their cost increases with each level, but you will need these in many cases to keep your Hero alive by healing more and more at Hives throughout the game. Some Heros, like the Wight, have very little use for this upgrade except in certain situations. Here are the prices.

Starting HP: 26%
Level 1: 1200m, 225g, sets to 33%
Level 2: 1400m, 240g, sets to 41%
Level 3: 1560m, 255g, sets to 50%
Level 4: 1840m, 270g, sets to 63%
Level 5: 2360m, 285g, sets to 79%
Level 6: 3520m, 300g, sets to 100%

That should more or less cover everything. Of course, you will need to do standard weapons and armor upgrades for your Heros and Jurg units. Upgrades are generally quite expensive, but as the game progresses, you will find an abundance of resources available to upgrade everything you need, whether it be standard armies or your Heros.

Remember to take a look at all the units' hit points and damage, so you can get a feel for what counters what, what's dangerous, and what's most to your advantage. You'll do much better that way.

Enjoy the game!



May 13 2010, 12:54 am FoxWolf1 Post #3

Still one of my favorite SC maps of all time. It takes a while to learn, and can be a pain to get good opponents for, but is well-balanced and has great potential for strategic and tactical interest.

Highly recommended!


May 16 2010, 9:46 pm Dark_Nokiemens Post #4

I remember this map. I had so much fun playing it, I practically crapped my pants after my friends introduced it to me. I spent hours on it, but then mom told me to get off the computer.. so yeah. Great map, though! Worth every moment.


May 16 2010, 11:27 pm payne Post #5


Quote from FoxWolf1
Still one of my favorite SC maps of all time. It takes a while to learn, and can be a pain to get good opponents for, but is well-balanced and has great potential for strategic and tactical interest.

Highly recommended!
It's always like that with Gidoza! :(


May 17 2010, 1:44 am Gidoza Post #6

Then why the unhappy face? :dontgetit:

Or do you consider that a bad thing...?


Apr 3 2011, 2:32 am Skasi Post #7

This is epic.. I just hosted my very first game of this map as "A Grave Invasion!!" and had a full house in less than ten seconds! Not only that, I even won! :lol:

Probably because of the complexity of this masterpiece. I read through this thread before playing.
The gameplay is chaotic! That's great! It's fun! The usage of an AI to play an AoS is interesting! The numbers to! :)
Scouts killing Hives, yoy!

I'll give more feedback after some more games, hehe.


Apr 3 2011, 2:35 am NicholasBeige Post #8

A Grave Invasion? Sounds like a DVD I ren... I mean, nice map bro.


Apr 3 2011, 9:45 pm Skasi Post #9

It would be interesting to see how much resources the computer player has. So I know whether to build hatcheries next to minerals, when to expect upgrades, units, etc.

I just had teh fail game, showing off all that's bad about this map using an AI. It keeps sending units one by one through the same spot, so spamming up some defenses at key points will net players insane amounts of resources to buy insanely powerful mercenaries and easily overrun the enemy (hint: shuttle!). Who mentioned balance? :crazy:

What this map definitely needs is a manual! If it's just a transporter dropping units to activate small tutorials one by one, or something like that.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Apr 4 2011, 6:01 pm by Skasi.


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