Monday, November 7, 2011

2011 World Cup Asia layout analysis

I know I said I wasn't going to do any more of these for a while but Mr. Allan Phang of PALS (and much more) made a special request--and it is World Cup Asia--so here you go.
This layout fits a recent trend of more technical and demanding fields coming from our friends at Adrenaline Games. (Which isn't a bad thing.) (I don't know if they were responsible but it looks like it.) The one unfortunate element to this layout is the MTs filling the four corners. (See Orange.) Largely because this layout will encourage a team's defensive tendencies and those MTs will look like impregnable fortresses off in their corners. The other characteristics trending toward defensive choices are the two MDs positioned on either side of the breakout. Add the fact that neither the first snake or the D-wire offer many clean kill lanes but will either be difficult to get into or hard to stay alive in and a defensive game plan begins to look like a good option. Then there is the fact that many of the props in the Home 30 look like they give you opportunities to cross up lanes all over the field. (If you divided the field into thirds, from wire to wire, the Home 30(s) would be the sections at each end, approximately.) However, on closer examination I think you'll discover that the Pins, along with some other intervening props, do a good job of allowing lines of sight but break up the shooting lanes well enough to make a lot of those cross field lanes only marginally effective as a feature of your game plan or general strategy. (In addition, a commitment to cross field lanes will tend to give up rotations on the wire. What I mean is many of the bunkers that appear to give cross field opportunities are also the same bunkers that allow you to contest movement on the same wire.)
I am not suggesting that a team shouldn't choose to play this field from a primarily defensive posture. I wouldn't but it might be the proper choice for some teams. The deciding factor is the relative skill, across each team, when matched up with their opponents. In order to play this layout aggressively it will be necessary to contest key edges and dominate certain lanes--along with getting the advantage OTB more often that not.
How you and your opponent play the Pink Zone OTB will be critical to your success or failure. The placement of the Home Can well up into the mid-field increases the risk of keeping laners inside but it would be a mistake to assume teams won't attempt, at least on occasion to keep laners at, or near, Home to shoot lanes OTB and take their primaries on the delay. As a unit your team needs to be prepared in advance to make necessary adjustments from match to match. For example, there are a number of ways to counter inside laners--with edgers, by matching them and being more patient, attacking the center to cut off the ability to get wide late or by getting wide and turning wide guns back inside. Of course the options are more sophisticated than that too. For example, your opponent is running snake OTB and to assist the runner they are stepping out an edger to take anyone in the Home Zone off his lane. You have two good counter options for this: your Home laner shoots a close lane aimed at the edger and a second laner steps off the board shooting the snake lane, or, Home continues to shoot the wide lane and your counter is the step off player who looks to shoot the edger. (For more detail look here & here.) [I was looking for past posts on countering laners OTB and didn't find any--which doesn't mean they don't exist in the archive somewhere--but maybe a follow-up is in order.]
Let's talk about the Red TCK. The run is to take it slightly wide, gun up, and come back into the TCK while defending yourself by shooting the zone around your opponent's TCK. The Pins will handle the rest and if you, as a team, run either the snake corner or the snake often enough to keep your opponent honest the snake TCK will become an easy primary and the natural secondary in the progression into the snake. (However, the corner also offers a good option for making the bump into the snake.) Sure but why is the TCK red? Because it is likely to be the critical control bunker on the snake side of the field. If you can control the TCK, or get routine eliminations from it, you will stymie your opponents attack and if you can contain a primary opponent in the TCK you pin his teammates in their primaries as well. Don't get me wrong, you have to deny the snake first and foremost but assuming you are doing that consistently all snake attacks will revolve around movement into and out of the TCK.
So what's up with the Green Brick? It could be the key to successfully playing this layout. It is relatively easy to make this prop as an occasional primary--go for it too often OTB and your opponent will be expecting it and have a gun dedicated to stopping you--or a quick fill as a secondary from a number of other primary options (Home Can, D-side MD and insert Temple) and once a player is in the Green Brick that player has a number of active options. It offers a good crossfield lane on the snake section one to two gap, snake two and the gap between the corner MT and the first snake section. And it also can function as an offensive transition prop by being a launch position to move into the center of the field or rotate from the inside out over to the D-wire. Given the gap between the D-wire SD and the 45 Temple the Green Brick offers an excellent alternative means of reaching the 45 Temple particularly in concert with another teammate's active support.
One last note regarding the Orange MTs. When pushing to close a point out the corner player(s) must close the gap between themselves and their lead players. A failure to do so reduces your active offense, reduces the number of players and guns your remaining opponents must contest and could result, if you lose a lead, in giving up a body unnecessarily along with a big chunk of field position. The inclination will be to stay in the MT--it must be resisted--and the MT player must move upfield to support the close of the point.

I hope this helps some of the participants in their preparation for this coming weekend's competition and good luck to everyone competing in the event.  


Alexandre DOSCH said...

what can i say ? nothing because i so much like your analysis ! in fact i'm maybe wrong but i didn't know your blog till today and i discovered it by facebook thanks to the asia cup which leaded me to this article.
What do i like in your analysis ? nothing and everything ! in fact it is the fact that you share your view and show to people the way some can think about a layout ! Since many years i'm just fond of Paintball and i try to explain to my guys how important, crucial, vital it is to take time to understand and feel a layout. I'm fond of analysis, thinking about different line up, different "starts" for my team to lure the opposite team and the opposite prebanker and runner....
Well my only regret about your article is that i don't know who did it ? :) baca loco ? who are you ? :) My other regret, i would have loved to be in your side of the field, to take a beer and speak about paintball, strategy, layout and structure of a team :)
Anyway, have a good way, and don't stop this, because we so much need it !

Alexandre DOSCH said...

baca loco is PAul Richards ? maybe i should have done this search on facebook before i put my comment on your blog, i would have been less stupid ! Anyway, one more time thanks for your thinking, and maybe you will not believe me, but last week i used on my team's private forum, one video of Damage viewed from its pit zone. I used it to show to my guys that what i asked them to understand about different line up, different starts, different combination of play was just used by some of the best teams of the planet :) so thanks you for that too !

Baca Loco said...

Hey Alexandre
I'm glad you found VFTD and I'm happy to hear that it is a help to you and your teammates. There are probably close to two dozen field analysis posts in the archives and if you ever have any questions don't hesitate to ask. Who knows, I may even have an answer.