Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Aussie Super 7s, event 1

VFTD has never done a field analysis for the kids down under---at least I don't remember doing one so here it is. But before this goes any further this is absolutely and categorically the last one--for now. And now means for the foreseeable future. (I try to get out and you keep pulling me back in.) There are plenty of breakdowns of past major league events (and others) in the archives. While not the same thing those interested in learning or picking up new ideas will hopefully find previous breakdown posts helpful.

This layout is the MS Fuengirola Beach event in 2009. I'm going to focus on the OTB lanes, OTB dead zones and necessity to get guns up and rolling. With the exception of the four corners it is a very compact layout with a very strong snake. That compactness and the likely tendency of teams to want to play and fill the corners will allow for some very aggressive play we'll talk about shortly.
Diagram a charts some of the breakout lanes. They lanes have been matched to a relative shooting position. For example position A is shading the wireside of D-side Temple insert. Anyone in position A is either crouching and moving up into the T or still on the move to the wire but momentarily delaying. By reviewing the arrows it's easy to pick out specific lanes. In the example you can see that A is laning the corner and/or D1 gap. A can also lane inside the wire MT. Positions B,E & F are blocked from a Home shooter which allows B to stand up and shoot over the Temple if/when no counter lanes are being shot into that zone. Keeping in mind that any lane that can be shot can also return fire which makes the timing on your OTB delay lanes critical. The place most players get into trouble isn't shooting the delay lanes, it's in staying in that spot too long. Good teams and players will catch on--particularly if you use the same breakout too often--and find ways to counter your laners directly and indirectly. For example, let's say your standard D-side breakout is corner or D1 with a laner at Home that seconds into the T or MT. You are also holding a shooter back in E or F. A strong indirect counter lane could run the D-corner deep and lane the E/F zone before moving up into the corner prop. Positions E & F indicate that the Pins can be played either close or well behind allowing for primaries upfield in the MT, or along the run to the snake or out to the corner. With regards C & D the center M and blocking bunker placements provide a margin of safety that the Home bunker (MC) might not otherwise and allow for two Home shooters. Given the spacing up to the Home prop the best option is to stack your shooters. Each side shooter should come off the board laning while moving up into position but it isn't a prop you will want any of your players to stay in overly long. And your breakouts should account for your Home shooters secondaries. (Be careful of secondaries that require a teammate to move first so that Home fills the vacated spot. It's a common tactic but can get you into trouble on this field with the Pins and limited numbers of insert and feed props.)
There will be some inclination on the part of a lot of teams to want to cross up some of the mid- and backfield props. On its face that isn't necessarily a mistake but can easily turn into one. Crossfield lanes are less effective than closer ones. (D'oh!) And worse, tend to instill a defensive and/or reactive mindset while limiting your offensive options. (Guns committed to the cross can't help push the snake player that extra knuckle.) Use crossfield lanes sparingly at most and primarily as an option for countering your opponent's effectiveness if nothing else is working. Having trouble containing or battling on the D-side go ahead and cross up the midfield MT but make it conditional. Get a D-side kill switch back. Lose the snake corner, switch back. And so on.
Diagram b highlights a few props and some shooting lanes. The snake corner is red because it is an essential bunker. It can feed the snake and inhibit your opponent's movement in the snake and as such must be played. However that doesn't mean it must always be an OTB primary. There is no reason you can't mix up your breakouts enough to remain unpredictable. That said, if and/or when snake corner isn't in filled the upfield MT needs to be in order to hold the opponent's snake player in check. The red lanes indicate the opportunities the snake knuckles circled have to eliminate or pressure opponent positions. (A review of D-wire lanes don't offer comparable opportunities.) The red path (running highway) indicates that there are a number of options for running down snake players on this field. (Any time there is no inside/out gun defending a highway run is a doable option.) The orange lanes indicate options for bouncing paint off the Pins into opponents indirectly. The orange props will be played with high frequency despite the fact each has limited utility. The issue with each is while they provide some unique opportunities they also will tend to slow the game play down. The thing to keep in mind is the close spacing on the wires and the mirrored pairs of midfield standing props. The standing props provide interior upfield movement lanes and the close spacing encourages aggressive plays; bunker moves. In order to take full advantage of the aggressive potential it's important that your player spacing allow you to take advantage and control the field when you force trade outs.
Guns up OTB. (All 5!) Be patient when you delay--let the other guy run into your gun. Mix up your breakouts. Control the snake. Act, don't react. Nothing to it. 

1 comment:

Nick Brockdorff said...

FYI, when we played this:

Clever teams often took the centre of the M off the break, to control the snake side from there, the cake inserted in the middle of it, allows you to play that safely, if you stay low.

Clever snake backs ran the back line, to square 3 from the edge, to put pressure on back centre and the snake side MT - before dropping into the snake corner.