Monday, August 26, 2013

Riverside Breakdown

I apologize for interrupting your downward spiral into self-loathing as you endlessly watch a loop of Miley Cyrus demonstrating that degradation and celebrity have become synonymous terms. (What do you mean you don't know what I'm talking about? Last night's awards show?) And here I foolishly thought years ago Jerry Springer was a sign of the coming Apocalypse. Best revel in your ridicule while you can as it won't be long before having an uncharitable opinion is deemed "hate" and even a whiff of thoughtcrime will get you ostracized from what's left of society--if you're lucky. And now back to paintball ...

First it ought to be noted that the Riverside layout isn't unique. In fact it's the result of an obvious trend that began in Dallas. It's just that Riverside proved to be the most successful effort to date--based on the assumption the goal is to promote fast paced, exciting action and minimize long drawn out points. In comparing the four designs that comprise this season it should be relatively easy to note their similarities and after we review the key features that came together in Riverside to more fully understand the elements at work or those characteristics that might not have worked quite so well.

Key #1: Open shooting lanes OTB. Peeps gots to die, and the mo' da better. No better way to speed up points than create mismatches of numbers and field position--and no better time than off the break. To be fair I do think an effort was made to balance out those open lanes by moving Home upfield and reversing the TCK to make it harder to live behind, especially for more than one player. However the upshot is that actually helped free up the OTB laners by opening the area where a laner could set-up. [The pink cones are visible lanes and the red arrows are additional narrower lanes that illustrate, in part, the variety of positions shooter could take up OTB.] But we've seen this before, haven't we? Or something quite like it? Well, yes and yes. Sorta. the key here is that the wide open zones expose areas where everybody runs regardless of primary. (You may recall that in past breakdowns we've discussed spacing between corners, wires and inserts as the critical relationships in devising running paths that avoid or limit laning opportunities. Well, here the best lanes catch everyone. Whether you are running snake or corner the open zone allows you to be targeted before the two paths diverge significantly.)

Key #2: Limit the inserts inside/out contain utility. Traditionally both the insert bunkers that feed the wires and other interior bunkers allowed players to try and control movement wide by being able to either counter wire positions or control gaps between the bunkers feeding the wire or making up the wire. Hence inside out contain. Bunkers positioned inside the field shooting wide and able to contain or control movement on parts of the field. On the Riverside layout--not so much. For example not the bunkers in green. Normally these would the basic contain position. Here the green 'cones' illustrate areas a player in those bunkers can't readily see or shoot at. (On the D-wire elevation comes into play as the blocking bunker is only a Temple but even so the contain MT cannot stop movement up the wire until an opponent has reached the fifty construct.) [Note: the two green bunkers can cross up and cover the other's usual zones but as the distances stretch out the contain value is reduced, short of a constant stream of paint.] See the blue Temple and intervening blue Mini-race. (Here elevation, low props with players on their knees, block the gap but still expose the Temple player to the opposing corner Can.) A player has partial visibility but must gunfight his mirror in order to control movement.

Key 2A: The intend or unintended end result is that most early in the point match-ups and movement promote gun-fighting along mirrored positions and up and down the wires. Which in turn promotes more eliminations or gives up critical field position that often as not resulted more and faster eliminations. Note the D2 in yellow. Without a strong support position to help keep the forward player alive he must protect himself and you can see that as a player moved up the D-wire so too the number of positions to be contested.

Key #3: Draw action into the middle (center) of the field. The advanced forward position of the Home TCK invites a center player to continue the move up the middle and making it almost automatic is the fact that each of the mid-line positions offers contain and control lanes that largely don't exist anywhere else on the field. The quicker the normal tactical play of the game pushes a player upfield the sooner the standard counter is employed--somebody gots to go bunker out that fool. So either one side takes control of a point by pressing the center in coordination with their initial laning efforts or counter action creates faster eliminations.

There you have the 3 keys to promoting some trainwreck paintball. Now go back and watch a match or three from Riverside looking for how the keys influenced the points and games and in no time at all you will be able to predict the action as or before it unfolds because you will more fully understand the dynamics at work.

Later this week breaking down the MS World Cup Paris-Chantilly layout.


Nick Brockdorff said...

Miley Cyrus can't scare me..... the notion of Baca watching the MTV VMA can :D

Baca Loco said...

That would worry me too. Rest assured it was just the usual rubbish in my news aggregator.

Anonymous said...

What about the "breakdown" in Riverside predictions where the Russians show up to play and take 3rd place even after their captain got sidelined with an injury?

People have been writing off the Russians all year and they pulled out some tough wins.

Baca Loco said...

403 Anon
They had an excellent come back event. See Key 2A to explain part of the reason why. And for more check out old VFTD post,

Brad said...

Great read. thanks for this Paul.