There’s a concept called ‘noggin’ in a map called ‘Fastest’ in the popular game StarCraft.
Normal gameplay in StarCraft requires the player to mine minerals far away from the main headquarters. Workers traverse to and from the resources back to the base. The game regulates the minimum distance that main bases can be built in order to prevent players from mining resources too fast. Each base only retains 9~10 resources, which forces players to build multi-task in order to acquire more resources.
But this is not the case in ‘Fastest’ where players are able to construct over 50 resources in close proximity to their base. That’s why multitasking is not required, and players are able to solely focus on managing troops and invest everything into one-for-alls. There are players that are obsessed over this map to the point where there are certain streamers that only play on this map.
The interesting thing about Fastest is the concept of “Noggin” where once a main base is destroyed, unlike other maps, the base cannot be rebuilt in the same location. If your main base is destroyed by the enemy, you’re restricted by the system and must rebuild your base much, much further from your resources. Resource efficiency drops by over 50%.
For these reasons, it’s important to protect my “noggin” and crush the other player’s “noggin”.
Professional streamer Brain is exceptional at making these plays happen. But these techniques are easy enough theoretically but much harder when you actually try to apply it. When you play on the ‘Fastest’ map, you’re too preoccupied with fending off the enemy at the entrance. But based on my personal experience, no matter how good you are at defending, you can never win the game by just defending.
This is especially true when you’re being pushed back. It’s the worst possible choice you could make. Once you’re pushed back, the enemy’s attacks become stronger, and you become unable to save your other troops. It also becomes easier for your enemy to break your ‘noggin’. Your troops are taken out one by one and you’re driven to the point of defeat.
But the more you’re driven back into this situation, the more you have to break open your opponent’s noggin. Skilled players all know this and appropriately order their troops to the frontlines. This is a risky move where the main base’s defenses are put in danger, endangering the entire defensive line.
But even in situations like this, you have to tell yourself that the situation will only get worse if you don’t break your opponent’s noggin. A 0% chance of winning is very different from a 50% chance of at least giving a shot at something.
There are times when I watch Brain play and the opponent has invaded deep into the resource production line all while Brain is busting the opponent’s noggin. But once the opponent’s noggin has been destroyed, their resource production efficiency drops significantly, resulting in Brain’s victory.
Similarly, there are times when we’re so busy defending ourselves that we limit what we can actually do.
It’s important to realize what it means to break ‘noggins’ in each situation. Secondly, it’s important to know what elements can be sacrificed without busting our own noggin. Just sitting there and doing nothing but defending is pointless. It won’t get you anywhere.
For example, many startups experience a decline in quality and various bugs due to lack of R&D manpower. But focusing solely on fixing all the hitches and issues will only use up all of your resources and run you to the ground.
The ‘noggins’ of rookie startup companies are substantial elements such as “product”, “funding”, and “marketing”. Trying to break the noggin of one thing can only naturally lead to deficiencies in other areas. It’s important to recognize personal limits and focus on flipping the situation by bashing ‘noggins.
I hope you’re able to discover what your ‘noggin’ is, how you can break it, and what factors you’ll need to consider.