Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WCA: The Layout Reviewed

The layout fundamentals feature traditional wires with a long connected snake and an inline dorito wire with the now commonplace midfield stand-ups as playable lane blockers. For the first time that I've seen it the feature center prop is a giant A (that appears to have open space between the bases. Squared edges around the A's base will provide more cover that the standard X and should be be larger than any individual base of a Millennium style M.) Attacking the center of the field OTB is a viable option for the occasional change of pace breakout though I would expect attacking the snake side from the A to be more effective than the D-side. The center of the field can also be used to counter-attack. (More on that later.)
This time around I am going to highlight a few options available given the details of the layout beginning with some suggestions for getting extra guns up on the breakout in combinations that might catch your opponent off guard. First look a pick positions marked A. One is a Home shooter and the other is on the move laning as a delay option. The Home shooter is laning for an opponent delay or a move upfield to the Can. This leaves the wide lanes option to be shot by the A delay. The A delay's position allows the shooter to shoot for a wide runner or the insert props of CK & fill Can. (The alternative to counter the delay shooter or repeated moves into the upfield Can adds an extra shooter in the immediate vicinity of Home and increasing the risk of elimination.) The snake version (C) of the same concept has Home laning inside of the forward MT while the delay shooter picks up the wide lanes. Looking at the B lane options (on the D-side) we have Home shooting the strongest optional lane [insert props] paired with an edger who comes off the board at the sound of the horn shooting paint straight at the opponent's mirror then edging the paint stream into the opposition Home. Similar snake side options (D) provide optional lanes on both snake side and D-side targets--and reflect the optional move potential into the forward (green) MT. The larger concept is to mix & match shooting lanes in compatible ways that minimize the shooters risk and still contain/control the opposition and defend teammates breakout runs. The examples given aren't the extent of the possible combinations.
Next up is the idea of repositioning Home. When the "Home" bunker is used proactively--as opposed to being the defender of last resort--as the second strong side support gun and "extra" push gun moving the Home shooter [push player] upfield early can help bring the attack to your opponent more effectively and incidentally improve your mid-game defense. On this field the green MT is the principle alternative Home. It delivers a gun down look at the snake and some decent contain lanes across to the D-wire. It also allows the MT to rotate to the snake wire if needed and as a solid position to attack the center from--particularly against teams consistently playing Inside/Out. I am not suggesting this as a standard gambit but as a highly functional option that will help you press the attack and keep the opposition guessing. 
Now I want to encourage everyone to play on your feet. Look at the green snake TCK. (And insert Can on the D-side.) The inclination of many players as they work up a wire is to play low and play it safe. Oftentimes, particularly in a snake it is necessary to play prone or in a tight tuck, and the same happens in doritos of all sizes when exposed to multiple guns. Given that the snake knuckles are TCKs the opportunity exists to play on your feet and increase your control, vision and ability to press your attack. (I'm not suggesting it's easy, only that it is worth making part of your game.) Take advantage where advantage exists. The same applies to the dorito wire with 5 MDs, more or less, lined up. Clearly it isn't always possible to play tall but being on your feet can open up your game. Push the envelope in practice and reap the rewards when the matches count.
Finally, OTB keep track of players getting wide (or not). Make a commitment in practice to include communicating this information across your team immediately. The reason is simple. Teams playing Inside/Out can--and should be--attacked directly when they make that choice. The counter attack options are to mirror positions, attack the X (or A) or take up a position like the D-side insert Can to wrap and contain. Alternatively wide guns (primaries OTB) can wrap and gain edge control over the inside guns that will allow additional teammates to get wide.

Okay, I cut a few corners in explaining some of the above details. If there are any follow-up or related questions post 'um up in comments and send them into the mailbag. Good luck and practice your gunfighting--it's gonna come in handy.


Tiffany said...

Do you see greater advantage having an edger (B1) lane back into home than having him go a step farther, to use C for a bit of dead space, and laning cross field into snake corner? This seems to be the widest lane on the field. Second question, do you find crossing lanes otb to compromise their effectiveness? Especially as part of an inside out game plan to take advantage of the widest lanes. Could shooting the lanes in a high/low fashion help?

Anonymous said...


As an individual player would it be more better to know the shots for the entire field? Or if I were a snake player should I focus on my job and just look at those shots? I would like to know how to look at a field and break it down better.

Mark said...

Sure would've been nice to have you cover our field since we shellacked nearly every other afffiliate league this year (59.3333 avg.). Oh wait, we have not asked. Doh, my bad!!!

Baca Loco said...

It's raining again--oh, wait, it's Mark's tears. I thought you guys just used the latest WCPPL layout? :p

Q1--nothing wrong with shooting that lane. The risk is that if it's done too often you expose that shooter to a mirror focused on eliminating your shooter and he never sees it coming.
Q2--no, but that presupposes that part of preparing covers stuff like that when a team is working on their breakouts. Also, there's nothing wrong with doubling up lanes either.
Q3--depends on the spacing. On the WCA layout it might be worth trying now and again.
OTB laning choices ultimately must focus on serving the game plan. Choices are almost limitless.

At a minimum you must know all your shots from the snake. You must also know who can shoot at you depending on where you are in the snake. From there it isn't a big jump to knowing the rest of the field. The more familiar you are with teh whole field the more valuable is the info communicated to you by coaches and teammates.

Anonymous said...

Can you explain counter punch paintball, or inside out game plan, outside in? or any other styles? what does like 1, 2, 3 player position mean?

Baca Loco said...

Check the archives during the last couple of months for posts in the Basic Tactics series. You should find answers there.

Anonymous said...

Do you think snake players should try for the second MiniA OTB or stop at the first?

Baca Loco said...

Oct 1 Anon
There's nothing wrong with going to either mini-A. The second mini-A has a couple of ways to run to it. And if you're going to the second one you might as well go to the snake unless your opponent shows a pattern of being able to get into the first mini-A and get a gun up on the gap between mini-A 2 and the snake. Ideally you will want to be able to mix it up so you can take advantage of what your advance scouting tells you about your opponent.
I do think both minis and the snake are make-able.