Friday, August 7, 2009

Campaign Cup 09: Playing the Field

The snake side of this layout is nearly identical to the PSP's MAO '09 layout. (The only differences are a "missing" pair of beams and the placement of the Can(s) feeding the angled snake segments. The practical distinction comes in moving into the snake sometime after the break. At MAO a second angled beam connected the snake segment with the Can. Here, it is possible to contest any delayed move into the snake although the majority of contesting lanes can also be directly countered.

The objective in playing this snake ought to be a race into the middle segment in order to apply real pressure across the field and force your opponent to counter. It is important to contest the first move into the snake because it will prove more difficult to deny the next bump into the middle segment. At this point the difference in the position of the feed Can--compared to MAO's layout--allows a Can player to contest the move around the end Temple into the snake.

Okay, so how do you attack on this field? A good laning team will eat your lunch if you only try to make standard breakout primaries. (Though I confess I've no idea how many good laning teams there are at 10 bps there will be some at 12bps--and not purely as a function of the ROF.) The gray areas indicate zones where a home shooter can't shoot. This means, among other things, you can delay inside these zones and discount the home shooter temporarily.
The zone behind the pins is especially effective because it can only be directly contested by a player in a similar position. Positionally a player can shoot the snake gap and/or use your pins to edge the opponent's home shooter. And, as an inside gun you have the option to rotate outside or upfield with limited opposition early in the point. The gray mid-zone, behind the feed Can, offers a corner to Cake zone to work with the option cutting into your corner or up to the Can(s). This zone shooter can also edge off the home shooter. Making the corner play guns up allows you to zone the feed Can and/or Cake, round the corner and take the snake. And realistically it's the feed Can that can deny that option with an opponent playing tall and shooting down. Otherwise it's a simple matter of crawling into the snake. (Keep in mind that crossfield D-side shooters may be able to compromise some of these options some of the time--but that's when you push upfield on the D-side.

In practice find the zones and see what your options are. Roll your guns and see what you can make of these additions to your snake side attack.

One other item of possible interest. I expect more than a few teams will want to keep two home shooters much of the time and the opportunities to edge them off their lanes or eliminate them should be part of any game plan.

Finally, the key to executing any of the guns up breakout options is patience and commitment.

Have fun.

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