Wednesday, May 19, 2010

WCPPL #2 Layout

This is a reasonably well balanced field with virtually no wasted bunkers in the sense that every prop can be played at almost any time. In particular the interior props are nicely conceived and uniquely playable during any phase of the game play. My only real question is how effective the snake positions are relative to their risk. They are fine when one side or the other is able to use them to dominate play but in an even up, highly contested scenario snake play devolves to a battle for control almost to the exclusion of its other properties. Again, not a defect but could result, with less experienced teams, in slow playing the snake side. The other factor that could tend towards a defensive or counter-punching play style is the fact Home has excellent control lanes on the D-side of the field and decent angles, given the orientation of the CKs in the snake, for suppressing a snake player.

The red lines show the basic OTB lanes from Home and the effective lanes Home has on the D-side to inhibit and/or control rotations up field on that wire. The orange lines display the most effective lanes the snake offers although both the back of the snake and the brick are playable. Countering the OTB lanes is the forward position of Home from the start and the bunker spacing at both corners. With the edging options available and the position of Home it is possible to neutralize or limit the effectiveness of the OTB lanes and add to that the corner spacing which will tend to force teams to shoot either a deep lane or a shallow lane and the result should be largely neutral even as it rewards speed, skill and tactical diversity.
And providing the basis for much of the tactical diversity are the green highlighted DZs (dead zones) that offer an almost infinite variety of hesitations, delays, and lane or zone shooting options that can also mask the primary bunker choice gives well schooled players and teams the opportunity to adjust and maneuver on the fly. (In the next week or so I'll break down how to use DZs as a variable element in a fixed breakout.) Also, with respect to DZs I mostly use the term as it applies to a standard Home shooter but in reality there are frequently multiple DZs with overlapping blindspots and the very best DZs are those that are blocked from as many positions on the other side of the field as possible. Even so the standard DZ allows the player to ignore the Home shooter and focus on some other objective during the initial stages of a breakout.
Returning to an earlier observation about interior bunker placement I've surrounded a couple of props in blue as examples. The Can, while being a high risk position, can be played from the beginning of a point due to the angles (and elevation) that are blocked. For instance the back of the snake has a shot but not a guaranteed kill. The brick has a better angle but the intervening Temple means the Can can safely be played low. So that movement thru the snake diminishes the Cans options and effectiveness but don't immediately eliminate the position. And proximity to other props means a Can player has viable movement options as well. Similarly the MT is a lane blocker, an alternative upfield move that can attack or contain the snake (or even access the snake) it offers proximity gunfighting but isn't at significant cross field laning risk until an opponent gains the 50 Dorito. This layout could also serve as a very good general practice field.
Despite elements that could conspire to slow things down there is no question this field favors the aggressor but then this is xball (Or Race 2) after all. And isn't that the way it ought to be?


Mike said...

In watching the tournament it did seem that the layout forced payers to go down the right or left then through the middle.Getting control of the snake did seem like a major part of the play.As soon as one snake player was out another one was inserted. Dorito one was important too when it came down to defending home field. The most ballsy play was a rush off the break where a player shot down center field and dived through the car wash to get the the fields opposing center temple.He didn't make it.The field did favor the aggressor.

Baca Loco said...

Thanks, Mike