Play by Play: The DeMusliM Contain Break

Written by Offsajdh
Oct 05 2011, 8:31 AM EDT

alt text Tally ho! It's time for tea, trousers, and top-hats together with everyone’s favorite British player, the jolly good EG.DeMusliM. His stunning 83% win rate makes the Queen of England proud, and today in his honor we will do a play-by-play analysis of how he successfully breaks out of a siege-tank contain. The match in question is a TvT on Shattered Temple, but the solid play demonstrated can be loosely translated to be helpful in any contain regardless of map or the race you play.

We will see DeMusliM Anticipate the attack, Position his forces accordingly, Recon the assaulting force, have a quick "Oh shit" moment but remain Patient, then Utilise the high ground and ultimately Breakout of the contain in one fell swoop. This whole thing adds up to the acronym: “A PRO PUB”, something that I’m sure every Englishman can raise a drink in appreciation of. Bring out the fish & chips, time to get down to business.

03:00 - 07:30 In-game Time.
Anticipation: Based on the map and spawn positions, DeMusliM reviews potential strategies that his opponent may employ and calls out an early tank push as the most threatening one to worry about. His own 1-Rax expand build is quite fragile to that kind of early mech aggression, so he scouts for additional information while also preparing to handle the attack should it arrive. He looks like the fellow Brit and psychic Charles Xavier as it arrives.

Anticipating the likely moves of our opponent through the use of common information (map, spawn positions, meta-game trends, etc.) allows us to narrow down the list of likely threats. But remember, it is equally important to understand the weaknesses of our build as well as its strengths.1

07:00 - 11:00 In-game Time.
Positioning: The enemy is moving out and DeMusliM does not have enough of an army to take it on straight up. He needs to let his early economic lead build up into an advantage in unit count, but to do this he needs time, and in order to gain time he cannot yield ground needlessly (like the French). Positioning becomes key in slowing down the enemy advance, and is especially effective versus slow Siege Tanks.

By positioning his army in a wide arc with individual units spread out, it becomes too costly for the attacker to advance without first stopping to siege up. A small force properly positioned can do significant damage to careless advances by the enemy. DeMusliM positions his army outside the entrance of his natural and backs up step-by-step, prolonging the contain as long as possible without suffering any significant military losses throughout.

109:00 - 12:00 In-game Time.
Recon: The contain is established and the opponent is slowly advancing towards DeMusliM’s natural base. But as the grip tightens, a regular examination of the enemy’s positions and army strength is conducted through the use of individual stimmed marine rushes and the occasional scan. There is always a chance to catch the enemy’s tanks unsieged, allowing for a highly cost-effective contain break. But luck does not need to be on your side to make the cost of a marine or scan worth it; the information gained during this part is crucial for deciding when and how to break out. We can see DeMusliM prepare for a breakout but change his mind after a last second scan, wherein he sees that he does not have enough to take out the opposing army, thereby forcing him to wait and continue to build up. Game saving decision based on good reconnaissance. Winston Churchill approves.
11:10 In-game Time.
Oh Sugar!: For some reason “Oh Shit!” is too foul for the soft-spoken Englishman despite having confidently stated earlier: “How do you breakout of a contain? You fuck it up...”. In any case, unexpected Siege Tank fire is raining down on his troops, so instead of beginning a doomed breakout attempt, DeMusliM chooses to move his units farther back. Remaining calm under direct fire (just like James Bond) is vital for success since it all too often results in units thrown needlessly to their grave. Structural damage can be repaired or rebuilt, but the units required to break the contain must survive these “Oh Sugar!” moments so that the true breakout attempt has enough punch to be successful.

11:10 In-game Time.
Patience: DeMusliM didn’t panic while under fire and thus survived. And instead of becoming rattled and rushing his forces for a quick attack he instead moves them deeper into the mineral line. New information lets DeMusliM know that he needs more units to break the contain, which by now has added Bunkers. This patience to wait for the correct time to push out without losing your nerve is hard to acquire, but comes with practice. Command Centers, Nexuses, and Hatcheries all have a lot of health, just like medieval castles, meaning you can let them take a couple of hits before beginning to worry.

12:30 In-game Time.
Utilise the terrain/high ground: The time is nigh. But for a breakout to be as effective as possible we need to use everything we can to our advantage, and that includes the terrain itself. In DeMusliM’s case he positions his three Siege Tanks on the high ground to both deal and absorb a lot of damage. Map terrain tends to favor the defender, and if it does we need to make sure we capitalize on the situation just as if our name was Wayne Rooney. No advantage should be left unused!

12:30 - 13.00 In-game Time.
1 Breakout: For King and Country! At this point the Siege Tanks have moved up and begun shelling the natural Command Center as well as the mineral line. Stalling much longer is not an option. DeMusliM sends out everything he has, and leads out with the workers from his natural to tank the first shots of siege tank fire. You can see them storming the bunkers, drilling away while the splash damage from the surrounding tanks assist in destroying their target. This cannon fodder is the great equalizer, but it comes at a very real cost; avoid using them unless strictly necessary as it will set you back quite a bit in the long run.

A PRO PUB: So, as long as we anticipate like Charles Xavier, remain cool like James Bond, and recon like the British SAS, we could earn entry to A PRO PUB and have a pint of ale with the pride of Britain, EG.DeMusliM. Until then we can marvel at the surprisingly good teeth he has for an Englishman with a sugar obsession, while also collectively celebrate his concurrent #1 rank on both the European and American grandmaster ladder.

300 years ago, Horatio Nelson, a British royal navy officer, was shot in his arm and had it amputated. 30 minutes after the arm had come off he was back on deck shouting orders to his captains once more. 3 months ago Benjamin “DeMusliM” Baker fell while running a friendly relay race and injured his elbow. He had a beautiful Miss America contestant immediately tend to his wounds, something I’m sure a certain Vice Admiral Nelson would have killed for, yet it still took Ben a while to get back to his old self. So he might not be tough as nails, but no-one can argue that he lacks skills now that he’s back.

We expect great things from you DeMusliM, you're awesome, and we would offer you good luck with the phrase “break a leg” if we weren’t so worried that you’d actually manage to do it literally.

Written by Joel Hakalax