Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Examining the new snake props

The diagram is the first practice layout delivered to the public by Sup'Air. The use of the new snake bunkers mirrors the original photos and should be accepted as a reflection of Sup'Air's conception of how the new snake will play generally--although other configurations are possible. My objective isn't to claim the new snake bunkers are unplayable--they aren't--but to clearly demonstrate that the new bunkers are not an improvement--as was predicted here earlier--and also have other drawbacks.
(The issue of how and why this change is being made is a separate issue. Over at PBN AG's U.S. rep has claimed comments made here at VFTD are "allegations and untruths" they will not respond to. When confronted with a Lane Wright quote also on PBN, in a different thread and forum, along with some clarifying questions AG has chosen so far not to respond to those either. Nor has AG commented here at VFTD. Until such time as AG can demonstrate errors of fact VFTD stands by the content of all prior related posts.)
Two shooting zones are highlighted in gold. They are the zones available to the snake side insert T and snake corner. Between them they cover the majority of the snake (as does the MR snake feed.) I have highlighted the T instead of the MR because the corner cannot contest the insert T's shooting zone. the result of this is the insert T has more or less free play to cover the snake. Now if you examine the green and purple lanes between the snake and various crossfield props you can see who the snake can shoot at and who can shoot back at the snake. (The dotted line indicates at least a partially obstructed lane at best.) But that's not why I included those lanes. Where the lanes connect to the snake indicates the approximate position of the snake player in order to shoot into and across the field. Contrary to the idea the snake player will be called on to use the whole snake the lanes make it clear that there are key spots where the snake player will expose himself coming over the top and that the insert T can shoot pretty much all of them.
[Keep in mind this is the sample field AG put out to demonstrate their conception of how the new props will play.]
Take a close look at the snake 50--and beyond. Can the opponent's side of the snake be played at all if there is any opposition on the snake side of the field? One other characteristic of the new bunkers is to make them nearly unplayable past the 50 with a risk that so vastly outwieghs any reward that it simply won't happen given this layout. The problem isn't limited to this layout either. It's inherent in the bunker conception. (And, FYI, if the MS field layouts continue to be as compact as the recent ones the new snake will be even worse than in a PSP application.)
The bunkers highlighted in pink can't be targeted from the snake--although Home may be dependent on precise placement of Pins & Can. The D-wire feed MT however will end up being played constantly to contest the D-corner and the feed gap to the wire without any concern from across the field. To a large extent the reverse is true of the bunkers in green given they have been specifically blocked from contesting the designed shooting spots out of the snake which will limit their utility. Given their exposure to cross field angles and inability to battle the snake good teams will have little reason to play them. The overall impact of the effort to make the new snake props playable is a failure and creates an utterly predictable pattern of play on the rest of the field--slow play at that unless multiple bodies drop OTB--and this is the sample Sup'Air put out first to show off their new props!
Looking beyond this single design a couple of other things ought to be apparent. The effort to incorporate the new Adrenaline Games snake concept requires the rest of the field layout to be designed around making the snake playable. This in turn will limit design options until such time some of the traditional snake bunkers are incorporated again at which point AG concedes the new bunkers were unnecessary.
And if we backtrack a year we know that the PSP, with the rules changes of 2010, intended to have field layouts be more inclusive (old, fat & slow) but also encourage aggressive play. Last year's layouts were neither. Why not? In part because the league found using Sup'Air to create field layouts was convenient--and, bottom line, apparently nobody involved in the process knew what the consequences of the designs was going to be. But shouldn't Sup'Air at least understand the consequences of their designs? And if they don't are bunker changes just a crapshoot too?
Whatever else happens the PSP should take this opportunity to take control over a key element of the league's product and identity.


Anonymous said...

Adrenaline Games makes 90* Bend.

World stops.

Anonymous said...

a lot of good could come of this if the PSP sacks up and moves away from sup'air/tries something new, but i just dont see it happening. We're going to see the good ole boy system at work here.

Nick Brockdorff said...

As a layout, in terms of being playable, it works.

However, and this is what I have been saying all along, to make it work, they are forced to put a lot of big props on the snake side, to block out lanes, which in turn makes it the worst field ever, in terms of spectators.

The notion of introducing a bunker, which forces you to put a lot of tall probs on the snake side, is flawed from inception, for a spectator friendly format like Xball.

They could solve it, by putting a very tall grand stand at each field, and then having higher netting.... but come on, how far are we supposed to go, to make a bad bunker work? :D

Anonymous said...

I feel like with the extended feild length and the inclusion of the new snake props the points will slow down even more. I sense a lot of games going to time next season.

Scott said...

PSP is the premier national league in the US right now. But, by not having an individual that is not affiliated with Adrenaline Games/Sup Air be in charge of their field layouts and new bunkers that will be implemented into the PSP shows an extremely poor business practice.

At the very least, the PSP/Lane should have seen this bunker change before the new year AND have the ability to approve or deny the bunker "upgrade" kit.

I understand that Adrenaline Games is a business simply trying to continue to bring in more money, and they also have valid reasons for wanting to change up the snake. But this "upgrade kit" lacks research, innovation, and definitely goes against PSP's attempt to attract "older" or "bigger" players into their league.

Either way though, PSP still seems to be off to a really good start with 101 out of 141 teams that are already paid to play in Galveston. If PSP does get a lot of feedback about the changes after Galveston, hopefully they'll do something about it.

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand all the anger about this. It may be that the snake is made more difficult to play. I suppose if you used to have bunkers with big windows in them so you could see what's coming, and suddenly we took away the windows, you'd complain we're making the field less playable. If the snake is a little harder to play, that's not a bad thing. My feeling is the new design will create more action on the sideline, along with some potential for obvious cross field shots. But it makes it harder to pull off cross field shots. Big deal. It means other areas of the field will get emphasis in play.

This can very well be a good thing. Just because we're all so used to battling up and down the fortress snake and being able to hunker down and live there until someone digs you out, doesn't mean it's what is best for the overall flow of the game on the field.

Baca Loco said...

You shoulda stopped where you started, "I really don't understand.." 'Cus you don't.

Anonymous said...

This just enrages me more and more.
The new bunkers are a complete monumental POS.

Anonymous said...

How small are we going to make bunkers until only people who are 2 feet tall can play? If you're 6' tall (2 meters), not only can't you play the snake, you can't even lay down in it and not get shot.

It's bad enough that most of the bunkers you have to play from your knees or laying down. Sure it makes it so spectators can see the players, but it makes for very boring games. For there to be movement, players need to be able to be on their feet - this is what makes for great run throughs and quick action. Play on your knees if all gun fights and holding lanes.

We already know paintball is more fun to play then watch, so I never got why we would want to make it easier to watch while taking away the playability of the field. Who are we catering too here? The player or the person watching?

We need to bring back larger bunkers you can stand behind. What about a bigger center 50 bunkers you can actually play? Lets bring back the playability of the field and *stop catering to spectators and to TV* (you're not still clinging to that hope are you?)

Nick Brockdorff said...

Paintball games being watchable, is a big part of making paintball events fun.

It would totally suck, if you went to events for the obligatory 30 minute tour of the trade show, your own games - and nothing else.

Paintballers are discerning spectators when it comes to paintball games, and if we make games slow and boring, and obstruct half the field for spectators, it is going to completely remove any atmosphere from the field.

What we want, is bunkers and field designs that make games interesting to watch, even when it is two "unknown" teams playing.

There are plenty of large bunkers in the field kit - we just need the small ones to actually be playable... which means these new "angels" (and in the MS fields the Small Ms) have got to go.

Any league should strive for all bunkers being playable, and by playable, I mean you should actually be able to fire your gun from them, without being forced to be flat on your stomach, like it was 1990 and you were hiding out behind a low pile of branches wearing your ghillie suit.

Anonymous said...

Incorrect Nick. 99.9% of all players never see a tournament event. Therefore it would be very VERY arrogent of us to force those players to play on fields that cater to that .1%. I'd estimate that 70% of fields in the US that have an airball field use PSP bunkers - and the average players obviously aren't liking as reflected by the number of teams we're not seeing show up at events. Recball is growing like crazy (ask Valken or Tippman) while tournament ball is struggling to add teams and stay alive.

Take a deep breath, pull your head out, and think about the sport as a whole, not just you playing your the next tournament. It's about paintball as a whole, not you.

Mark said...

Whoopeeeee! We're the .1%ers!!!!!! Take that OWS! And my mom said I'd never amount to much.

nickgibson said...

The gfoa realesed there first layout using the new snake. Its right here and it looks pretty useless to me.

Nick Brockdorff said...

Yes, 99,9 % of the players never see our game........ because it is too damn expensive!

And you think new bunkers that increase field cost and increase paint consumption..... is a good idea WHY exactly???

Seems to me that DECREASING cost would help with growing the attendance..... instead of them going the scenario route.

Anonymous said...

Oh Nick, Nick, Nick..

I think paintball is a lot different in Denmark then in the US buddy. It's cheaper in the states, and it would be in Europe as well if it wasn't for the crazy VAT and other taxes. That case of paint that costs $30 USD in California cost almost the equivalent of $60 USD in Denmark.

The prices aren't what's chasing people away. It never has been. Paintball is a luxury, like golf, or going to a spa. If you don't have a job, you won't play regardless if it's $5 or $10 cheaper per day. And do you really thing playing 2 or 3 extra games a day of race-2/x-ball would make that big of a difference to players?

"Oh wow man, now I can get in those extra 3 games since they lowered the ROF to (6/8/10)bps! Sweet, I'm going to head out to the field with my $1500 gun, $200 tank, $150 hopper now and play!"

You can't honestly think people think like that right?

Go to a huge scenario game and watch people with $1500 guns shooting full auto, dumping several caes of paint per day into the woods. And that's after they traveled from other states and booked their hotel to stay in, paid for food, etc.

Now that I think about it, those expenses sound very similar to a paintball tournament don't they?

How many people were at LL4 last year? How about D-day?

Players want to have fun. Period. And right now run is running around in the woods shooting either their $1500 gun at full auto, or enjoying their pump.

We've limited the players too much, and hence we are where we are today. Bring back the fun, and the players will return. Keep catering the game to that top .1% and you'll keep getting the same results.

Hey Baca, what's the definition of insanity again? I think some people have forgot.

Nick Brockdorff said...

Pictures are up:

Nick Brockdorff said...

Why do you keep posting anonymously? - Would be nice if you put your name behind your views.

Anyway... Nope, paintball is not that different in terms of price in Europe.... a 30 dollar case may cost 35 over here, but that's about it.

As for paintball being a luxury, that is only true because we have made it so, and it's where scenario games differ greatly from tournament ball.

You CAN compete in scenario games, with low cost equipment and low paint consumption - it's just a question of what playing style you adopt.

You cannot in tournament ball - we have made it a high volume shooting game, even at the lowest entry level, where you have no chance of competing, without dumping a case of paint down the field every point you play.

Field designs, bunker shapes and ROF has made it that way.

It's not 2 or 3 extra points a day that will make a difference, it's the paint bill being cut in half, over the duration of an event, or a practice, that will allow more players to compete in the sport.

Paintball has gotten too expensive for people WITH jobs - and we need to fix that.

(and to clarify, when I say "paintball", I mean tournament style paintball)

As for your infantile attempt to appear intellectually superior:


Anonymous said...

I've been to Europe, all over it. I know what the paint prices are. Paint is a lot more there than in the US. I remember seeing Evil at nearly $90 USD a case when I was in Copenhagen. It's $50 in Los Angeles. Cheap practice paint in Germany was almost $60 USD a case, and it was the crap I'd shoot back in California for $28-$30. If you're getting $30 paint for $35 in Denmark, you're getting a really good deal.

I admit, I don't get my info from statistics from tournaments or anything like that - but from simply going to many fields all over the US and seeing how players are playing and what they enjoy. Restricted ROF, field layouts, penalty boxes, score boards, gun chips, etc, etc, etc - it's all crap and only placates those who are already "in it".

People are simply going to play what they think is fun. I don't know why you refuse to acknowledge that fact.

Again, what's the definition of insanity?

Reiner Schafer said...

Anon (Feb 10 anon), you didn't actually make a comparison of cost to play tournament vs. scenario games did you? Have you asked how many times per year the average scenario player at DDay plays? Have you asked them how many times they practice? What would htye practice? Breakouts? sliding? Snap shooting? I guess they could practice lumbering or ambling.

The point being, that most scenario players only play a few times per year, especially the ones going to destination events such as DDay. For them to layout hundreds or even thousands of dollars for an event like that is not nearly as big of an issue as the tournament player coming up with money for practice paint every week (or twice a week) on top of his tournament costs.

Reiner Schafer said...

Continuing to stay off topic, does it handicap a competitive team if they don't have as much paint to play and practice with as other teams? If so, could that in part explain why European teams tend to not fare quite as well as American teams when going head to head at various levels of play? Even at $35-$40/case would mean that the average team isn't going to have as much practice paint as teams paying $28-$30. Just a thought.

Nick Brockdorff said...

LOL @ Mr. Anonymous

Don't quite know where you went in Copenhagen, or when.... but these days, Evil type paint sells for $ 60.

As for your other "points", I don't quite understand why you equate high cost to "fun"?

Personally, I do not believe paintball have to be just for the rich, to be "fun" :)

I have a sneaking suspicion your name is Owen - and if that is the case, this debate is going nowhere, because you will never agree to anything I say, irrespective of the content ;)

Nick Brockdorff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick Brockdorff said...


Absolutely, on practice paint.... though we don't really get to compare US to Euro teams outside the Pro bracket much, and for the Pros it's less of an issue.

Biggest issue for most Euro Pro teams is weather... as most are forced indoors during winter, which means they are either handicapped by playing a small arena, or have to travel to and queue up for game time in the few full size ones.

- We're rooting for global warming over here ;)

Reiner Schafer said...

Yeah, I figured that would be the case for pro level players, but still, players having less paint to practice with in general would have an effect on everyone else and even those moving up to the pro level. Once they get to Pro, they might catch up, on the other hand, they may always lag behind just a bit (speaking in generalities of course...there are always exceptions).

Canada has some of the same problems as our European cousins.

Anonymous said...

From those pictures that are posted it looks like someone standing tall in a corner could shoot anyone who isn't doing anything but laying completely flat on the ground in that bunker.

It looks like it be pretty easy to hold that side down and make it practically unplayable.

Anonymous said...

They were not going for playability, most likeley more of a 'we need to make some change, why not the snake' type of thought process.the change was driven by financials, not anything to do with the game.

The snake is too strong, all they need to do is make it less playable.. ie harder to get to and have to wrap/back up to get good shots, not make the bunkers themselves hard to play. the way they did it you have to make the whole layout 'snake friendly' or those guys get owned.

would have been a lot easier to introduce a doll house or mini carwash. that would cater to bigger guys and depending on how they use it not matter at all to game play

Anonymous said...

Playing this snake is going to be horrible. You can't shoot inside without getting your face blown off and the snake is going to consist of only wire battles. Plus you can't even move up past the 50. It's taking one of the most exciting playing spots out of game completely.

Anonymous said...

Man you guys have no respect and/or knowledge of scenario and rec ball teams. I would wager they might even out number tournament teams in todays game. Just goes to show that you've only living in your own worlds. Sure that scenario team isn't practicing break outs, but they are practicing. Try leaving the air ball field for a weekend a heading out to where the other 99% of the player are..

Sure, while 2/3 of the 3000 people who show up at D-day may plays only a few times a year, that still leaves us with 1000 people who are still playing every weekend, traveling to events and doing the same things you guys are. But like a tree falling in the woods, if you don't see it, you think it doesn't happen.

Wake up. Tournament players are a small fraction of players who play every weekend. When I played nationally we would shoot that 1 case of paint we got and then head home. That was practice. Before and after that time it was pretty much the same, except I paid for that 1 case. You guys are living in a cave (or in Nicks world, Denmark).

And seriously Nick, stop lying. I'm looking at a paintball web site from Copenhagen right now that's selling a case of Evil for $98 USD and a case of DXS Gold for $94 USD (5.6 DEK = $1 USD). If you're getting it cheaper, it's because you have a deal, or your not paying VAT.

You guys belong here on paintballs Fox News - it's where the VERY vocal MINORITY try and out shout everyone else, as that somehow proves they are correct.

PS. I don't know who "Owen" is.

Reiner Schafer said...

I think I have plenty of respect for non-tournament players. Scenario and rec ball teams aren't outnumbering tournament teams in my part of the world... and we don't have very many tournament teams. Yes, 99% of the paintball played here is not tournament ball, but there sure aren't many players playing with the commitment (time and money) that the average tournament player needs.

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with non tournament has to do with tournament players playing this horrible snake prop in tournaments. Stick to the topic

Baca Loco said...

Anonymous Scenario Clown
Ever noticed the sub-title to this blog? There's plenty of places scenario and rec players can go chat about issues relevant to them. This isn't one of them.

And you're wrong about that tree in the woods. I heard it. I know you guys are out there playing GI Joe--I just don't care. :)

Nick Brockdorff said...

Dunno what website you went to, but here:

DXS Gold @ Dkr. 350
Exchange rate is 5.8 right now (was 6.0 when I posted last):
$ 60.35

So stop calling me a liar - and check your facts before trying to be clever

Devon Stuart said...

I played the practice layout today using 2 beams making a T to simulate the new bunker and I've got to say it is probably one of the biggest mistakes bunker choice wise. Newer / less experienced players don't come close to having the technical skills to play it and get shot almost immediately after getting into it, and the upper division players just sit and shoot down the tape if they aren't just laying there. Not to mention the fact that on this specific layout all snake play stops once one team enters the snake 2. Very, very poor choice for the PSP if they opt to go with the new kit.

Nick Brockdorff said...

Remember, the new beams are lower than the old ones - so in reality, it will be worse ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey you can get great prices from your own sponsor. Nice. I'll be in Europe in a couple weeks and I'll check in. When I was in CPH last year those were the prices I paid at the field I was at, and those are the prices on several other sites for northern european distributors (stratec, sissos, etc) as of 2-3 days ago.

Anyhow, you guys talk amongst yourself. Try and figure out the best way to relive the failures of the last 5 years and wonder why they still don't work. Err I mean figure out how to "save" paintball. lol!

The Fox News of paintball. Whoever first used that to describe this site, I need to buy them a beer. It just fits.

See you all in HB and France.

Nick Brockdorff said...

The price you see is the public selling price on DXS Gold, for anyone.... and that price has been the going rate for over a year.

The company is not one I am involved with - quite the contrary..... So yeah, you were wrong - so sorry if someone overcharged you on paint :)

As for the rest of your post, that just seems like petulance, so it is not really worth commenting upon.

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on the new layout that's been put out, Baca?

Baca Loco said...

See new post--Last Word ...
If you had something more analytical in mind you'll have to wait until after the event.

Wickwaregxso said...

See new post--Last Word ... If you had something more analytical in mind you'll have to wait until after the event.