The top 20 in the RT ladder is fiercely contested and today we had an impressive battle between #12 zarathoustra and #13 Kurdistan49. It also represented a fight between arch-rival clans Outlaws and 101st. https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=13267228
Both K and Z go for the same ftb 1-2 combo in the southeast. Z's third pick in that area is probably excessive and he ends up with 2 non-producing picks in that region. K takes an uncommon 4-bonus in the isolated but expansion-poor north and Z takes a 4-bonus in the southwest near K's third pick.
Z trades control of the southeast for isolation in the southwest but this allows K to take an 18-12 income lead at turn 8. Normally that's surrender time, but Z has massive expansion and leap-frogs K to make it 19-18 on turn 10. Z follows with a nice choke-point blockade to slow a large stack from threatening the new income. Suddenly it's an interesting game.
The next 10 turns is a slug-fest in the middle of the map. Despite Z's impressive comeback from a huge income disadvantage K eventually takes it.
wp both players.