I caught up with CoH 1v1 Tournament Winner
and All-faction Level 20 Player, DrHorse
, late Saturday night, a week after his triumphant victory. Here's what he had to say about Tournament tactics, RUKA clan, and Cockroaches:APF|Reborn:
First off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?DrHorse: My name is Alex, and I'm from Moscow. I'm 20 years old and studying history at the university. I enjoy strategic games (not only computer games, but also chess). I've been playing on the internet since 2003. History, philosophy, and football are things I'm fond of also.
Playing Chess in a Dug-Out, Nikolai Pavlov, 1942APF|Reborn:
From the show, 'Play and Passion in Russian Fine Art', St.Petersberg, 1999
Ah a fellow chess player! I played chess once in St.Petersberg. Blitz chess! What's your favorite chess opening?DrHorse: Well, I like Roy Lopez for white and French Defense for black.APF|Reborn:
Very traditional!DrHorse: Gambits are also nice. But I'm very conservative, in fact.APF|Reborn:
I'm a fan of the King's Gambit myself, and the insane Latvian as Black. But, let's talk about the 1v1 Tournament. I had you as the #1 seed, by the way. But you wound up as #2 in the bottom bracket. How were the early games on Saturday?DrHorse: Saturday started as an easy day and ended in an unexpected way. First, I should have played with Hysterya, but he got some technical issues. We had a nice conservation in Vent, I hope I helped him a bit to solve his problem. He forfeited and I got further. Rounds 2 and 3 were not very hard, these games were under my control and there were no surprises.
A quick disposal of WoH|Martinmaster in Round 3DrHorse:Interesting things began in round 4.APF|Reborn:
Against Gaughan...DrHorse: Yes, Gaughan almost got me. It was rather late, and I had been waiting for a long time. Gaughan and Fatebomb played some insane games in round 3, so Billy was in good shape, while I became a bit sleepy.
I think most of us enjoyed that great first game of Round 4. Now tell us, what in the world inspired you to go for a Flammenwerfer?!DrHorse: Usually I go T3, but here I lacked fuel. I didn't expect constant pressure, lost volks and map control. Hordes of cockroaches all over the map troubled me a lot, so I realized I need some vehicles to stop that. Going barbeque seemed the best idea in such a situation.APF|Reborn:
And then his suicide M8s came. He did a mass of damage with each cataclysmic mine. I think on the second one, you knew it was there, and you were trying to micro your Pak away from it, and the actual act of the Pak turning set it off and it killed everything! Little dramatic moments like that make CoH a fantastic game.DrHorse: Yeah. I enjoy suicide m8's myself, but here Gaughan used it against me.APF|Reborn:
Did you cry when you lost the "BBQ"?DrHorse: That was a pity. Such a heroic vehicle deserved a monument, but died in 2 shots. APF|Reborn:
I noticed that even though Gaughan was using M8s, you never put a Schreck on your Grens, and instead opted for an LMG (which did tons of damage). What was your reasoning?DrHorse: M8s are bothersome insects, but nothing more. Rifles were the real trouble.
Perhaps the best game of the Tourney, Round 4 v GaughanAPF|Reborn:
Your KT had a hell of a run in that game too. Can you talk a little bit about that unit and how you like to use it?DrHorse: I have dual feelings about the KT. Sometimes I think about the Tiger Ace and miss it. Of course, the KT is free and has tons of health... but the Ace was a real death machine. The KT is just a big moving fortress. I prefer the original Tiger, in fact.APF|Reborn:
Yeah the KT is so slow... very frustrating.DrHorse: It's very good vs. tanks and AT guns, but I prefer the Tiger I tearing infantry into pieces of meat.
Winner of the Wittman Award, DrHorse' Panther with 28 Inf kills & 3 Tank killsAPF|Reborn:
Let's move on to Sundays games. You faced 3 of the best players in CoH these days... MagpiesFlightX, HQStorm, and Morello.DrHorse: Yes, these games weren't easy.APF|Reborn:
Magpies handed you your only single defeat of the tournament, but you guys lost the replay! How did that game go?DrHorse: Thx god this replay was lost, cause while playing that game I was cursing all the time.APF|Reborn:
Why?DrHorse: It was full of epic fail... Well, losing 3 snipers early game doesn't help much. The first sniper managed to kill only 1 engi... APF|Reborn:
OuchDrHorse: I decided to move a bike there to help him. So, the bike moved my sniper into flamers and he was burned.APF|Reborn:
YikesDrHorse: A bit later I lost 2 snipers on a single mine.APF|Reborn:
So that was the first game on Langres. What were the factions?DrHorse: I was Wehrmacht, Magpie played US.APF|Reborn:
Did he use Morello's Engiespam strat that he used on 12azor?DrHorse: Yes. Snipers are a good counter, but I lost 3 of them in a frustrating way. He got map control. Then these Greyhounds troubled me a lot with these 5% bugs... they just refused to die.APF|Reborn:
Down 1-0, your back was really against the wall. How was the second game, your Brits vs. his Wehr?
DrHorse resorts to Brits in Game 2 of Round 5DrHorse: British games were, unsurprisingly, under my control.APF|Reborn:
After that is was HQStorm, who put your clan mate Swiex and my clan mate Marinez out of the tournament. Can you first tell us a little bit of background about RUKA clan?DrHorse: Yes, of course. RUKA clan was founded on the 10th January, 2002, in the Cossacks. RUKA started playing American Conquest and American Conquest: Fight Back, when I joined it in 2004. In 2005 we moved to Cossacks 2: Napoleonic Wars, and, finally, in 2007 it was CoH time. We are not gameclan at all, in fact. Our clan is more like a club or community of friends, not only playing games, but also meeting in real life, or helping each other, for example, in difficult life situations. We are always happy to see everybody on www.forums.clan-ruka.com -- you're welcome there.APF|Reborn:
So you know Aniketos, Sweix, Ground77, and Napysik in real life as well? DrHorse: I haven't met Aniketos yet APF|Reborn:
Sweix is an incredible player who has participated in the finals of the last 5 GR.org tournaments, but he makes a lot of enemies with pride posts and flame wars. In contrast, you seem much more quiet and relaxed. Do you guys ever try to get him to be a little less aggressive on the forums? Or is it fine the way it is?DrHorse: Yes, we do, but we are not parents to control someone. Sweix is very emotional, but everybody sometimes is. There always have been a lot flame wars and other e-peen stuff.APF|Reborn:
Do you want to clear up any of these accusations that you guys traded accounts around in that one 2v2 tourney?DrHorse: Is there any need for it? We've been in the finals of every next tourney after it. Of course it was very frustrating to face accusations when you play until 4 am and feel exhausted. It was very funny when Gogy came to our vent and started accusing us of something.APF|Reborn:
Maybe people just couldn't believe that there are so many great Russian CoH players. I don't think people knew you as well back then.
DrHorse with his Horse Army, celebrating!DrHorse: Me and Napy were in the Finals of the 2v2 tournament in September 2007, although it was mainly due to luck. Not surprising that people didn't know me, cause people only know those who post a lot of replays, write on forums etc.APF|Reborn:
Sweix was frustrated with bad lag against HQStorm in the recent 1v1 Tournament, and everybody was shocked that he lost. Did he talk to you about it?DrHorse: Yes, we were in Vent. Those lags were terrible and he said better he didn't play those games and just went to sleep instead of that nightmare. I don't know why, but he doesn't have good connection with Korean players.APF|Reborn:
In your first game vs. Storm, he tried a WSC start and a bunch of MGs on Semois. How did you deal with it?DrHorse: It's his special tactic, and I've seen it before. Sniper and a bike helped me a lot. Sweix told me Storm is very fast with Greyhound, and that was true - m8 came when I didn't have a Pak. That mine though helped me a lot, destroying its engine. Then the goliath killed another m8 and mg in a house. Nothing prevented me from t4, so pz4's rocked the show.APF|Reborn:
Yeah that was amazing. You managed to sneak back and lay one single mine in front of the little land bridge to your base, and sure enough, he went straight to it.DrHorse: I think he was hoping I didn't manage to lay it - pios were killed just after placing it! So it was a bit of luckAPF|Reborn:
Big error on his part. I guess he was trying to get into your base and harass your Kriegs Barracks before your first Pak came out.
versus HQStorm's WSC start, Semifinals Game 1DrHorse: Seems so. But I felt tired of m8's mines near my PakAPF|Reborn:
I bet! Speaking of tired, its past 4am for you now, should we finish up tomorrow?DrHorse: We can finish it today. I'm an owl, so I go to sleep late and wake late too.APF|Reborn:
Roger that. Now to the Finals. Your opponent was Morello. Many fans looked at this as a dream match-up, and you guys produced two great games. What were your feelings before the matches started?DrHorse: I was tranquil like a boa.APF|Reborn:
Heheh. Did you have any set plans going in? Like for the first game?DrHorse: I was Americans in first game. No special plans, in fact. I knew I was in good shape so I just tried to play accurately and without mistakes. Usually I make a lot of mistakes, but here I concentrated.
GR.org's 10th CoH Tournament, Finals, Game 1APF|Reborn:
I have never seen an American player do a triple-fork on Ango. You had the left secured and were attacking the houses on the right, and you came at all three entrances... in front of your base, through the hedges, and all the way down by his base, all at once. Have you done that before?DrHorse: Hehe, don't think so. Can't remember. But cockroach-style (coming from all chinks) is not so easy to counter, Gaughan showed me that.APF|Reborn:
You learn fast. Morello said after the games that he usually gives you a better fight. Is that true?DrHorse: Yes, that's true, but the thing is that I usually give a worse fight APF|Reborn:
So you were at the top of your game. Which was your most influential unit against Morello when you were Americans?DrHorse: I think it was a Ranger squad. Good both vs. infantry and pumas.
The terrible and terrific, terrorizing DrHorse, Finals, Game 2APF|Reborn:
Congratulations on your performance and your win. Have you gotten your prize money yet? DrHorse: Stim PMed me today, so I will get it soon Thx for grats!APF|Reborn:
Let's end with some good ol' GR-style rapid fire...Why do you use the nick "DrHorse?"DrHorse: Ha, you know, my first nick in Warcraft 3 was Horse-king, lolAPF|Reborn:
King's Gambit or Queen's Gambit?DrHorse: King's oneAPF|Reborn:
Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy?DrHorse: DostoyevskyAPF|Reborn:
German Beer or Russian Vodka, and what's your favorite kind?DrHorse: German Beer, but Krusovice ftwAPF|Reborn:
Would you like to say anything in Russian to friends or family? DrHorse: Nadral ghopy For more information on all the games and other CoH Tournaments,
visit the CoH Tourneys and Challenges ForumDiscuss the DrHorse Invterview