Or perhaps the off the raehl solution would be a better title. I'll let you decide. Related to this week's Monday Poll I want to take a minute to comment on raehl's preferred "fix" as expressed (many times in many places) but most recently in the thread hijack over in the PBN News section. (See Monday Poll post reference for Jan 23)
Before I start let me surprise a few of you (and bore the long time regulars) by stating (again) I am not opposed to limited paint in every possible competitive scenario. In fact, I think it's not only a viable option in certain circumstances but a desirable one as well. More on that later.
I do however think that 'limited paint' is a misnomer. All competitive paintball games/matches are played with limited paint--each team is limited to the paint they bring onto the field. (If raehl's notion of "wasted" paint were in fact correct there would be teams that chose to compete using much less paint but it isn't--and they don't.) And, of course there is no rule that requires teams or players to match another team's paint totals. What 'The raehl Solution' advocates is restricted paint; a set amount per team per point/game.
What is the point of restricted paint? To achieve a substantially reduced, nearly fixed cost for paint in a competitive scenario. The claimed benefit is to make the game more affordable and therefore more attractive to more players. Which is a worthwhile goal but there are other consequences of making such a change.
When he first began advocating his restricted paint idea he did so without qualification. It appears he may have learned something over time--see example in this post, Movement vs ROF,--as he has qualified his restricted paint proposal with a spacing change between props--in the PBN thread hijack. It's "growth" but it's also insufficient. Change doesn't occur in a vacuum--as raehl acknowledges when suggests he'd also space the props differently.
I'm not going to break this down in great detail--it would be a much longer and considerably more tedious post than it's already going to be. My objective here is to simply make it clear that restricting paint isn't so much an "answer" as it is the beginning of a whole different set of issues that would also need to be resolved.
So why would the props be spaced differently? Because as the game is presently played it is ROF and volume of paint that inhibits free movement. Take that away and you must open the space in order to try and regain a neutral balance. (Assuming such exists today. And it does at some levels of play.)
Slightly O/T this is the core of the problem with Brockdorff's solution and desire for a universal game. His notion of something like a standardized ROF at 6 bps is swell for lower division play but completely impossible for pro level competition.
Going back to the raehl solution: If the spacing is opened up all of a sudden we no longer have room for all our props and at a minimum the result would further limit the number of choices for placement of transitional (or insert) props. So, if it is necessary to reconsider spacing the game either loses some number of props or the field dimensions need to be adjusted too. But there's a problem with that as well. It seems the raehl solution is okay with more or less whatever ROF and ramping or uncapped semi etc. [Because the paint sum is so restrictive careful consideration must be given to its consumption.] However, once the spacing has been adapted some gaps will become virtually insurmountable and if I, as the player, have a high expectation of getting an elimination even if it costs a quarter of my paint then I'll do it. Which leads us inevitably to the conservation of that limited supply of paint. Each paintball becomes more valuable but only so long as it remains unshot. Consequently by its very nature heavily restricted paint games become defensive in that there are very good reasons to not shoot your gun.
At this point raehl, he of 'The raehl Solution,' will say, "Perfect!" as that will free up more movement and create a more free flowing game blah blah blah. [Which it would likely do for beginners and those just getting involved in tourney type play assuming all the other conditions were modified harmoniously. And this is why I think there's a place for restricted paint--but that's as far as it goes unless the end goal is to play a different sort of game.] For experienced players the results would be dramatically different because the risk/reward values will be dramatically different. Assume for a moment a player with superior gun skills. What is his motivation to move? Every move puts him at risk and the closer he comes to his opponent the less effective his relative skills differential becomes. (Just like now for many low division teams where ROF and their lack of skill & training produce a greater risk in movement than there is reward for moving--hence the tendency to spray & pray in their primaries.)
This is where Mr. Peabody & his boy Sherman give raehl a ride in the Wayback Machine to say, 1997 and he can revisit what his version of the game would look like--300 foot long fields & 25 minute games--except of course they were even then playing with as much paint as they chose to carry.
Next time, 'The Brockdorff Fallacy.'