Friday, April 29, 2011

2011 Millennium Bitburg

This is a very unforgiving layout and I would be interested, after the fact, to watch some divisional teams try to play this. Any team that can do a halfway decent job of getting numerous guns up OTB has a distinct advantage. The shooting lanes are wide open and there aren't a lot of primary options--which means, among other things, teams will have to play the corner CKs (sometimes) whether they like it or not. (See the blue bunkers. More on them in a second.)
The giant M is intentionally offset. It is the same in the 3-D representations as well as the grid. I have no idea why but I can show you a practical application or two because of it. (The pink sections on the M indicate the approximate placement of the open space between legs of the M. The critical calculation is not whether or not the Pins close to Home can shoot through those spaces--they can--but whether or not the mini-Ms can shoot the opposing Cans on the crossfield--which it appears they cannot. If, for whatever reason, any mini-M is able to put backside pressure on an opposite crossfield Can it will change the dynamic of how the field (or that half anyway) can be played. (More on that coming too.)
Let's focus first on the principle lanes available (in red.) With a symmetrical, if slightly offset, design the same core lanes exist on both sides of the field. Additionally if you look at the orange lanes you can see that shooters at the board can turn and shoot nearly identical lanes. The ability to double up lanes creates a real challenge OTB for any opponent. The counter is to edge the Home zone hard on one or both sides. The counter to edgers is to use the Pins (on each side of Home) on the crossfield as the Pins protect the shooters and the crossfield exposes the edgers. What the offset M does is provide more protection for players floating in the Home zone--and is represented on the diagram by the extra shooting position charted between the board and the left Pin. The offset also provides more cover to the Home shooter OTB.
Once the point (game) is underway teams are going to be tempted to keep a player or players Home simply because they will be able to pound the lanes and gaps to limit their opponents upfield and wire movement. If this technique is used carry a lot of paint because a near constant stream of paint must be maintained in the gaps. (There are reasons not to do this but given the design the layout sets up repeated contests that require the players to gunfight and control edges in order to make moves and for teams that aren't proficient gunfighters will find this field frustrating.)
Returning to the blue bunkers it is necessary that the corner CK be an occasional primary. If it isn't then laners OTB will be able to focus on just a couple of lanes and gaps with likely dominating effect. (Similar discussion about spacing here in the recent NCPA layout.) Optionally a player could use the corner running lane to confuse laners and periodically hook up into an alternate prop. And perhaps surprisingly the corner does offer a couple of pluses. There are viable bumps into the T (feeding the snake?) and the snake anchor MD. In addition anytime the CK is the widest player there are a couple of good wrapping shots as well as blind shots on the upright bunkers; Can & MT. It is primarily a case of making the best out of a generally undesirable position.
Finally let's look at the green Cans. The lower risk option for playing one or both Cans is on the cross but as with playing Home to contain opponent movement it will be necessary to keep the paint coming as the Can player will not see a moving player in time to shoot them if the paint isn't already in the air. The better play, the offensive play, is to play the Can straight up where gaps can be dominated even though it is possible for more than one gun to contest the Can player at one time. It must be played very tight and with economical movement but it is more than possible. The Can is also a good launch point for inside/out rotations to the (snake) MD on the wire.
To conclude: breakout tactics will be a cat & mouse game (if you're lucky) with heavy guns up most of the time followed by lots of gunfighting match-ups and most points extended, if they last more than 15 or 20 seconds, by teams playing 3 on 2's or 3 on 3's which should turn into lose a critical gunfight, lose the point. Lastly, be careful of all the low elevation props as it will be easy for players to get buried (and blown up) in bunkers like the mini-Ms and CKs.

If nothing else this layout will help make ordinary players better or it will expose just how ordinary a player really is.


Roel said...

We played this layout two weeks ago at the NPL (Dutch Paintball league), it was just released a couple of days before the event so not a single team had the chance to play on it yet.

We reffed the M3 event on saturday and saw a huge difference in play compared to the M5 the next day, duh makes sense right...Anyway, as you mentioned, the corner run was a good way to get wide on the field and change up the runs for the OTB runners. I personally enjoyed playing the field but I am worried about how it will be played at the Bitburg Millennium event. Probably a shitload of shooting and not so much moving, the way we all prefer to play right? NOT!

Baca Loco said...

Thanks, Roel

Bjorn said...

We had a big practiceweekend on it.

Teams are going to save shitloads of money on paint on this field. Its very easy to get kills otb. Dont think there were any extensively long points on it all day.