Friday, August 27, 2010

MS Paris '10: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

There will be a lot of good, bad & seriously ugly when this event is played. This layout very heavily favors offense and the more aggressive the better. Even playing defense on this field requires some aggressive movement. It also forces each team to commit to a strategy off the break that will, as often as not, result in a bloodbath--assuming both teams have decent gun skills.

The issue in a nutshell is limited shooting lanes, a modest back center Home bunker, lots of open space and not a lot of options once a point is underway. The choices OTB will be take up territory and get to the wires asap or delay with as many guns up as possible and try to cut your opponent down fast and first--and then get to the wires asap. But let's talk about defense (and it's fundamental futility) first.
Home and the D-wire corner are tall cakes. [EDIT: Nope, D-wire corner is regular CK which means its only utility is as a breakout alternate for a bump upfield. Also significantly reduced ability to contain on outside of wire.) Isolated cakes. Both can serve useful, if defensive, functions in an ordinary game plan and are often taken as primaries almost by default--it's what everybody does. In this case however the risk is quite high that players will stay with those bunkers much too long. (Btw, Home is really only viable for D-side rotation control after the break.) If these bunkers are used in any sort of primary role it must be done with the understanding it will be used to delay the opposition and then serve as a launch point to a secondary bunker. Otherwise players will get stuck in them and subject to multiple angles of attack from ever-widening lanes and almost certain elimination.
Take a look at the purple SD. Along with Home it is the only marginally effective control bunker on the D-side. As will prove obvious on examination it is a high risk play susceptible to cross field attack that also cedes the gun-fighting (edge control) contest to every bunker on the wire. The only remaining alternatives for the defensive-minded are the upfield/middle MT and the brick connected to the center M. The MT has limited D-side effectiveness and if you're going to risk the move to the brick to try and lock down the D-wire odds are your plan is also to push your player into the 50 dorito as well. The reality is the D-wire is a race to the 50 because defensive control of the wire is delaying tactic at best and because the snake can decimate the D-side of the field very quickly unless contained.
Now look at the red Temple. It is the only snake-side bunker capable of contesting with your opponent's S1, S2 and snake 50. (And here is where some will be tempted to use the D-side upfield MT as a snake counter but unless you also commit to playing the D-side as the strong side [3 players that way] all you end up doing is weakening your D-side effort and risking a blown wire by creating a mismatch--in favor of your opponent--from the sound of the horn.) As such expect it to be the one bunker on the field that will almost always be occupied and given that it offers some excellent cross field angles as well I can see some enterprising teams doubling it up early as a change of pace and reasonably safe alternative to doubling Home. It also works as a feed into the snake or a launch point for a highway move. The real risk of the red Temple is that players will hesitate to leave it when the time comes to finish pressing the attack.
Time to switch to offense and check out the green bunkers. The green bunkers can bring eliminating fire to bear on the crossfield and backfield of their opponent. Otherwise the majority of bunker placements encourage contesting each wire individually. The result will be that offensive teams will push to reach the green bunkers first and fast. And on this layout accessing a green snake wire bunker should be quite easy. That means D-side players will be at high risk very quickly. The snake corners cannot contest movement up the snake until the opponent reaches the 50 as is the case for every other bunker except the 50 snake MT. As a consequence this field will see heavy action in and around the snake as it offers the most accessible dominating shots.

If you have any specific questions feel free to post them in comments or drop me an email.


Tor said...

D-wire corner is a small cake..
Otherwise great post.

Baca Loco said...

Thanks, Tor. Now it's virtually useless.

papa chad said...

I don't get how you could even play dorito side. I'd love to see some footage from this event.