People have been building walls to keep out invading armies for centuries, with varying degrees of success. Real life, the movies and especially in StarCraft a good wall can make the difference from surviving that ling run by or not.
All 3 races can use walls but not all walls are created equal and If you’ve watched any pro games it may look like magic to know where to place the buildings. But really there is a science to how they all fit together so we’re going to take a look at what it takes to build the Perfect Wall in StarCraft II
Ins and Outs of Walling Off
Walling or Walling-in refers to the use of buildings in StarCraft in order to make a choke more narrow and thus easier to defend or even completely blocking it off. Mainly used defensively but can certainly be used offensively, it’s purpose is always the same, to give you the advantage and your opponent a disadvantage in a fight.
Before we talk about building walls there are some basic building blocks you got to know. There are 3 classifications rules for buildings, actually scratch that, there are 3 classifications rules for buildings plus a couple of scenarios that do their own thing but we’ll get those later.
For now, you just got to know that Buildings come in 5 by 5, 3 by 3 and 2 by 2 all starcraft buildings fall one of these classifications and how you build them together will determine what kind of wall you make.
Ground Units also fall into 3 categories, small, medium and large.
Got that? Alright, Let’s talk types of walls, keeping with our themes of 3, you’re either making a Solid wall, a hard wall or a soft wall. Solid wall, means no units are getting through, a hard wall or sometimes called semi-wall means only small units are getting through think banelings, zealots or scvs and a soft wall where only small and medium units make it to the other side that’s your immortals or hellions, sorry Ultralisk, you’re just too big.
So let’s build some walls
Forming Your Wall
If you’re new to building walls, one thing that will make this part easier is turning the building grid setting to on in your options. Cause we are about to connect some blocks. Go to settings, Gameplay, locate the display build grid option and turn it on.
Ok so, for a solid wall where no unit can get through you can put together 2×2 and/or 3×3 building one adjacent square away to form your wall but with 5 by 5 buildings requires 2 adjacent squares to be connected.
For a hard wall, where only small units getting through, you place buildings diagonal from each other. The exceptions are 5×5 buildings, because the way their grid works if built diagonally form no wall at all.
Now if you’re looking to make a soft wall, you need only place buildings 1 square apart. You can change it from a soft wall to a hard wall by placing a small unit in between the two buildings and set it on hold position to prevent it from running away. Once set, nothing is getting in unless that unit dies or you move the unit out.
Important to note that units spawn in the direction of your rally point, so don’t forget to rally inside your base unless you want your units on the outside of your walls
So remember when I said there were scenarios that do their own thing? Well, Spore crawlers are one of them. Spore crawlers, though they are 2 by 2, when placed next to each other instead of a solid wall they form a soft wall letting all medium units except tank go through. Oh, but it doesn’t stop there, if you build them diagonally from each other all ground units are getting through except Thors.
When it comes to building your wall and interacting with the map’s terrain there are some additional rules you’ll want to keep in mind. Easily enough, unbuildable terrain the squares near the bottom of ramps that you can’t build anything on top of work just like buildings, so you should treat them like that.
Now if you’re building beside Mineral patches they create a solid wall, even if you place it diagonally.
While Vespene geysers are also different in that if you build diagonally from it , it forms a soft wall and not a hard wall. Ah, hello stalkers.
One last thing on Terrain. When it comes to ramps, the requirements differ from the top of the ramp to the bottom. The top requiring more squares to close off than the bottom. It looks deceptive but the corners don’t actually need to be covered will form a solid wall
While all races can build walls, each race uses walls differently and for different reasons. There are a lot of scenarios to build walls so we’ll cover some of the most common for each race. Keep in mind some of the requirements can change based on the map.
For Terrans, building walls are practically a right of passage, they build walls more than the other races due to supply depots being able to lower as well as most of their buildings are able to lift off. The common Terran wall is made up of two supply depots and a barrack at the top of a ramp, but also when up against Zerg you may see them use depots and a Command Center to wall-in their natural. As you can see Maru doing that here against Dark
Protoss walling in is also common with different combinations at the top, but it wouldn’t be uncommon to see Gateway, Cybernetic core and a hold position zealot holding the ramp. But on certain maps, Protoss will move this up to a choke in their natural making it easier to defend. Also, certain Protoss players such as Printf are notorious for using their wall knowledge in creating devastating Cannon rushes by using terrain to their advantage
With Zerg It’s rarer to wall off because you want the units to be able to move around quickly, and free but when they do it is often to stop early game rushes, Zergling Run bys or Hellion Harassment using different combinations of Evolution Chambers, Roach Warren and a queen to hold the line. Both Elazer and Armani end up using walls in their ZvZ to control their natural’s ramp.
How you build your wall will be based on the race you play, the build order you’re doing and importantly the map you’re playing on but hopefully, we gave you the calculations you need to keep your base safe and your opponents out.