Saturday, June 12, 2010

MS London 2010 Layout

And now for something (not completely) completely different. (But not the same either.) There's some basic Home breakout lanes identified. And some key bunkers that will help illustrate how & why this layout will play the way(s) I am about to suggest. The reason I'm not picking out a couple of keys for playing this field is because this layout has some unique qualities and the way I would prepare to play this field is not what I expect to see from the majority of teams and players. It is predominantly a high risk, low reward, technical field. It will encourage teams to be cautious as it penalizes careless or sloppy play. (And by that I mean anything short of superior individual technique will suffer harshly--except when both teams are technically weak.) It is also likely to be a counter-punching field in that it will be possible to close out points very rapidly once one team gains a numerical advantage. Fast points will (mostly) be the result of guns up breakouts. Teams that can effectively run & gun OTB will have a significant advantage--and I mean effective, not, gee we think we're pretty good--but that only marginally mitigates the risk factors that apply to everyone. What multiple guns up OTB does do is increase the reward potential. Given that, there is a good chance CPL teams will also tend to play conservatively.

There are excellent shooting lanes from Home on the "snake-side" of the the field (Left side of diagram.) and with the less than stellar primary options, and the fact Home is an MT, I can see teams going high/low with laners OTB doubling up the snake-side followed by the low shooter ducking into one of the midfield MDs. On the "D-side" the Aztecs are only partially effective lane blockers and there are some creative running lane options; for example, a run toward the D-side corner cutting up to the wire Can. Alternatively, rounding the corner and taking the wire Can.

One of the key complications (see props surrounded by orange squares) is that the majority of the stand-up bunkers are between the 30s. The effect will be to further limit visibility to many of the primary bunkers. On the flip side that should make movement easier but without the ability to confirm positions on the field added to the fact there are lots of "sneaky" shots all over the field the net effect won't facilitate aggressive play. (By sneaky I mean lots of blind shots, available gaps when players work their bunkers, etc.) The placement of the Cans in particular will test players' skill. They can be played, particularly the D-side Can, but they are also very susceptible to inside angles and staying alive in them will often require a compromise that neutralizes their utility. The other props that can be played standing (in orange circles) are the TCKs and the Home MTs. Given the rest of the layout most teams will automatically keep at least one player at Home. The center field TCKs are playable during close-outs while the D-side TCKs are playable anytime but very high risk without the same measure of reward.

The blue props are the Maginot Line of defense (along with Home) and as such will be occupied more often and for longer periods than most of the rest of the bunkers on this field. Fortunately they will prove to be somewhat more effective than the original Maginot Line while sharing some of the same deficiencies. It won't be ideal. It probably won't even be comfortable--not much on this field will be. (Some teams will also prefer the CK or corner Aztec to the risk posed by the wire Can but they are isolated bunkers with poor vision and will invite the opponent to take territory.) Much of what I expect is teams taking up mostly defensive positions and then trying to move the numbers in their favor with an elimination or two before pushing upfield. (A Euro tendency anyway.) Which brings us round to the snake--such as it is. With this snake there can be only one. Either one or the other team controls it, or nobody does. Both teams will not be able to "share" this snake and since it delivers so few "guaranteed" kills access is unlikely to be a high priority until numbers favor one team or the other.

Those are my predictions regarding this layout. If you have any specific questions I'll be happy to give them a go. There is no doubt that this field will separate the men from the boys but I don't know that even the winners are going to enjoy playing it very much.


Anonymous said...

Can't argue with you on any of the aspects you describe besides no one enjoying to play. ;)
At last it is not another "circle with a M in the middle" field.


Anonymous said...

cannot wait for PSP to take over.....the milleniums have proven disorganised and overpriced, therefore not proving value for money to the player!

Anonymous said...

new field layout looks interesting though!

Baca Loco said...

Anon #1
Perhaps that was my bias showing. ;)

Anonymous said...

I have played this field like 4 times now, each practice lasting 3-4 hours and I find it insane how you can read from a 2d paper layout the field so right. I'm not kissing ass, because I'm anonymous internet entity.

Could you please make a blog entry on how do you proceed on reading fields at 2D so well without playing them?

ps. Field is fun for first day of playing, because its new and exciting. After training on it, its random tendencies and absolutely garbage points become evident. It's a field where you win, you wonder why you won so badly, even if you win consistent. It's not a fun field to play.

Baca Loco said...

Anon #4
That's actually a difficult question. It's a combination of things; experience, ability to visualize spatially, capacity to translate the geometry of the game into an understanding of how positions will play, etc.
Here's an example; How do I know the midfield Aztecs shading to the D-side are only partial lane blockers? Because I know, given there position, it is possible to shoot effective paint over and around them because I've seen it hundreds if not thousands of times.
Not much help I know but there isn't a secret formula.
One thing I have recommended in the past is using the 3D simulations at Warpig to help in visualizing layouts as they frequently post up 3D sims of the MLP layouts.