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When and when not should i wall in?

In some replays i've watched casted by Day[9], he says things like "Oh i generally wouldn't wall in here" etc etc. However, my understanding of what type of situation 'here' is is quite poor. So while i was under the impression walling in my main was a sound strategy, the experts suggest otherwise.

So, to be thorough, what are the benefits/drawbacks to wall in, and for what match-ups?

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Is 'never' a valid answer? As in, the only time you need to wall in is against 7 pool, and you should never run into that –  tzenes Oct 14 '10 at 16:28
    
@tzenes I assume you mean that as Protoss, since as Terran you're only really walling others out? –  WillfulWizard Oct 14 '10 at 17:20
    
@Willful in all my games of Terran I've never actually needed to wall in if my opponent wasn't going 7 pool. I have don't it a couple times as a precautionary measure, but largely it wasn't necessary. –  tzenes Oct 14 '10 at 17:26
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@tzenes: Since it can only help, I don't see why you wouldn't. –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Oct 14 '10 at 17:55
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@tzenes: I still don't understand; since early terran units are ranged, and since later on harassment at your entrance should be a non-issue assuming you have control of at least your natural; and since depots can be lowered, I still don't see any down-sides. –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Oct 14 '10 at 19:23

5 Answers 5

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The link contains extensive information about walling including: definitions, competitive use vs the various races, building/unit placement and the associated disadvantages. I hope this is useful and apologize again if i am doing something wrong here but I'm kind of new to this forum.

http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Walling

Playing AS - AGAINST

TvZ - Walling against Zerg is common to prevent zergling run bys thus preventing scouting and harassment of your mineral line.

TvP - Against Protoss you can wall off early if you are expecting a zealot rush from a proxy gateway or a 4gate rush build.

Generally as Terran walling is effective because you can use supply depots and liftable buildings to create a gate that you can control rather than a wall.

PvZ - Same as TvZ you want to wall in to prevent run bys. The difference here is that you want to leave youself a gap (1 unit wide) to allow your units to leave the base later. You need this gap because you cant move your buildings once they are planted. A zealot is a very effective plug for this gap as zealots are vastly superior to zerglings 1v1 and the zerglings will be unable to get a surround.

PvT - I refrain from walling as Protoss against Terran because I find that it just places my buildings in front of my attacking units thus enabling the Terrans to abuse the range advantage at the early stages of the game. It seems more important to have my buildings near my mineral line to prevent drops and lower the distance defending units have to travel to respond to threats.

Zv Any - walling in with buildings is nearly impossible (at least impractical) at the early stages of the game. Later high health units like roaches can be placed at the tops of ramps or in chokes to limit the enemy movement through these already small areas.

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Usually we allow them if you provide a summery of what you linked (in case it goes stale) –  tzenes Oct 15 '10 at 17:39
    
+1, great summary! –  Wikwocket Oct 15 '10 at 20:49

If you're going up against Zerg as Terran or Protoss, some form of a wall is advisable to prevent Zerglings running clear by your main choke and harassing workers. Terran can just use buildings, Protoss should make a 1-2 wide channel and have a Zealot hold position in it

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I almost exclusively wall-in versus zergs. The 24 lings/banelings push is very hard to stop once they're inside your base by trivial matter if they can't get in.

Also, in maps where the natural expansion is very close to the main, I sometime wall-in below the ramp so I can protect my fast expansion more easily.

The downside to wall-in is air. When your units spawn far from your minerals, your workers become more difficult to protect against mutas and voids and medivacs. While the rushes are an all-in strategy (player failing a rush is most likely to lose) and thus, not favored by higher level players, air attacks are almost inevitable, or at least, a serious possibility in virtualy every game

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I think Day[9] generally applies a "why would I do this?" mantra to SC2 so I'm guessing that when he says "I wouldn't wall in" he is thinking about the why.

Walling in is a fine strategy but it certainly doesn't always need to be executed. For example in a 1v1 of TvZ you can usually exepect a zergling attack so it is often best to wall-in. If you scout and early expo, walling-in may not be as critical but often I always see wall-ins for TvZ.

Team games also come into play. Noting your location (are you in the back?), how much effort it would take to wall a shared base ramp and what your team's strategies are will be reasons to wall in or not.

So again think "Why do I want to wall-in?"

To echo tzenes' comment, walling-in is a strategy that is often used but certainly not required.

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When deciding if you want to wall in you need to consider a few things:

1) Is your opponent likely to be aggressive? If so you probably want to wall in to prevent the early harass. It is hard to guess what your opponent will do so early, but scouting is very important and seeing a six pool is a clear sign of early aggression. So the key is to scout your opponent early to know what he is up to.

2) Do you want to be aggressive from the beginning? Then perhaps you don't even need to build a wall. Of course you really need to have a good build and micro. But a proxy barracks helps immensely when you want to harass your opponent with reapers or a bunch of marines early on.

3) Consider the map - is it large or small? On small maps, rushes are much more effective since you can get to your opponent fast. On large maps, where there is a big distance between you and your opponent rushes are much weaker, since by the time you get to your opponent he already has some forces (and probably more than you sent).

3) Does your main base have more than one entrance? If so, walling in is much less effective, since you still need to guard that second entrance.

4) Walling in has also other disadvantages - you have most of your forces and static defense on one place. So it is much easier to harass your mineral line with banshees/mutas etc. Also, Colossi can easily bypass your defenses and roast your base while you are unsieging your tanks... It also reduces your mobility.

5) On some maps your natural expansion is much easier defended than on others. Many high level players build some kind of a partial wall under the ramp leading to their main - this servers two purposes - it still is a wall that can help fend off early attacks, but at the same time does not reduce your mobility and allows for fast expansion which is then much easier to defend.

6) If you wall in very quickly, you can prevent your opponent from scouting your base. This can lead to a small advantage if you were able to see what he is doing. Before he can scout your base (with overlords/changelings, scan or observer/phoenix hallucination) you can do something nasty - like a fast banshee or whatever. Remember though, you really need to see what he is doing to make something out of this small advantage.

This is not an exhaustive list and is intended only to serve as a guideline what to consider when playing Terran (some of the things apply to Protoss as well, but i play mainly terran...). Deciding whether to wall in is a matter of preference and play style and is also affected by the map, your opponent and other factors. Use the advice in this answer to help you make a decision but do not follow it blindly.

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