Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Richmond Cup Layout

I know, I know, I said it would the Millennium field layout--so sue me. (No, please don't.) Turns out our friends from Canuckistan are playing their 'real' Xball championship this coming weekend and requested VFTD take a look if I would be so kind--and being that kind of guy, well, here it is. As to the Paris-Chantilly layout--later this week.

For those of you unfamiliar with the CXBL it is played old Xball style, 25 minute halves and 15 bps. This matters because it affects the pace of play (a bit more methodical) given the extended time clock and lack of a race to element. As with any field using the 'technical' snake elevation is a critical consideration. Broadly, elevation is both a player's line-of-sight and height relative to the positions and players across the field. For example, a prop that allows the player to stand up offers a fuller field of vision and some line-of-sight, stream-of-paint advantages over players on their knees or tucked into the snake.
The top diagram (R Cup 1) illustrates the basic shooting lanes OTB along with the Home bunker's ability to counter the opposition snake reasonably effectively. The actual tournament lanes will need to be examined very closely as a few of these lanes depend on precise bunker placement and any deviation will alter those lanes. Note on the D-side the blocking Pin closest to the A can be shot over the top by any taller than average player and reach the back corner. It should also be noted that lane C (D-wire) is the least obscured lane but also the most difficult to execute and that alternative laning options to shoot the D-side should be explored--like the crossfield shots set-up behind the snake side Can & MT, for example. Expect teams to keep a Home shooter.
The middle diagram (R Cup 2) illustrates two competing characteristics of the design. The blue arrows show the diversity of primary bunkers available OTB. And the green fill in some of the possible secondary moves that follow. The way to take advantage is to very closely fieldwalk all the possible rotations and identify the opponent's positions that can contest your movement. These are your primary targets for elimination. (Note the best run to the A appears to be on the snake side but unless the opponent is routinely edging the back center or running & gunning wide it won't matter much. Also the early A-side play is as a counter to D-wire movement.) The thick orange arrows show blocked lines-of-sight that preclude direct gunfighting. This is particularly important on the snake side of the field as it will allow nearly free movement until a player reaches the T snake insert at which point the opponent can contest the gap with varying degrees of effectiveness. (See orange arrows and Home shooter lanes.) One effective way to respond to the layout is to have the T insert player turn his gun on the inside positions contesting the gap and slingshot a player from the MT into the snake. Alternatively a player in the corner TCK suppresses the opponents ability to contest the gap and the T insert player makes the quick bump into the snake. The key is to neutralize the opponent's ability to contest the gap.
The final diagram (R Cup 3) shows Home plus the basic support positions. By support I mean the bunkers the insert players use into the mid-point or longer (of a game) in order to help push the wire lead forward and keep the lead alive. The positions in red are the least contestable and consequently may be considered the best positions to play the support role from. (This is not necessarily always correct. Situational paintball can alter the standard equations and ineffective individual play can render moot positional advantages.) Those in orange can be contested directly and/or have limited ability to perform the complete support role. The blue indicates active or offensive support whereas the others are primarily defensive in nature. (I'll explain in a minute.) Why don't I show either Can as capable of laning crossfield? In the case of the dorito side Can because a player there can't see an opponent making the move into the snake until they are diving in thus they must maintain a near constant stream of paint to prove a useful deterrent to movement. It can be done but not very effectively for very long. The snake side Can playing the cross is essentially living behind the player's gun which is less than ideal. And should not be undertaken lightly. On the D-side the SD and Can are orange because they have limited ability to contain the opponent's movement and because they both are susceptible to suppressing fire from the corner TCK. On the other side the orange support positions have better contain lanes but may also come under even more aggressive fire from the snake corner TCK. And here is where elevation plays a critical role on this layout. The snake side MT can strngly counter the corner TCK, shoot the outside edge of the insert T and put paint on a player diving into the snake only when standing. Dropping to a knee or tucking in low and tight either reduces the laning effectiveness or takes it away completely.
When support players take up the blue positions their role becomes offensive in that the goal is to use those positions to help force their leads into wire positions and protect them as they are able. The other support positions are equally defensive in nature. Keep these factors in mind to use as keys to know how to respond to changing situations.
Finally take into consideration when you are either in close out mode or defending against the close out that there is a distinct limit to how far an opponent can move in your snake. If you know who the snake can shoot (and can't shoot) and can keep them in place with one gun then the greatest risk of losing the point comes from the D-wire.
Good luck to all the teams competing.

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