Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gunfighting: Positions of Advantage/Disadvantage

Despite the importance of gunfighting in the modern competitive game it's an easy skill to practice. (Assuming of course one has some paint, a place to shoot it and someone to shoot it at.) It is an individual skill that easily integrates into the team conception of the game as long as the player understands his (her) role in a given point or play.
Rudimentary practice only requires some number of different inflatable props arrayed on a field and the previously mentioned somebody to shoot at (who will always be shooting back at you.) I recommend playing only one side of the prop at a time and shifting positions as needed in order to practice with both your right and left hand in the dominant position. The reason for this is that seldom in a game situation are you able to play both sides of a prop at will when gunfighting. I also recommend mixing up the props so that you are constantly challenging yourself to play both difficult to master props and positions but also to be comfortable and confident routinely gunfighting from positions of disadvantage relative to your opponent. As much as we would like to control when, where and how we engage an opponent the game frequently doesn't work out that way so it's important to practice for as many eventualities as possible.
For most practice situations the distance between the props being used should reflect the distances that occur most commonly in game situations. (Remembering that as the distances shrink is when we switch to a more traditional snapshot because as the distances close the confrontation takes precedence over other game elements like edge control and contain. Although if we have a teammate positioned to control our opponent direct confrontation may be delayed.)
Another related opportunity presents itself in this practice scenario; one of gauging effective distances. The contain aspect of gunfighting requires first edge control and then vision. Next comes the decision of where to focus attention. Normally this is a space between props, a distance that must be covered in order to get wide or shift sides, etc. Often unconsidered is just how effectively can the contain player get paint into the space being covered (and where to shoot to have the best chance of eliminating any player attempting to break contain.) As might be expected the reverse also applies. What is the likelihood of clearing this gap given where the contain shooter is positioned? A simple and practical way to get a good idea is to set up those situations and find out. It will turn out that if the distances are long (given the playing field parameters) if the contain shooter doesn't have paint in the air typical gaps can be crossed more often than not. Of course all that depends on the quickness of the player moving and the response and accuracy of the contain shooter but running this simple experiment will more often than not give less experienced players more confidence in their ability to move.

Next time, Gunfighting Objectives.  


Anonymous said...

what a teasing post.. Can't wait for part 2.

Baca Loco said...

Sorry Anon but I am routinely told by various and sundry well meaning well wishers I tend to write posts that are too long for the limited attention span of the modern reader. I'm not sure my audience is the modern reader but I'm trying to find a happy medium. Or else I'm just slacking.

Anonymous said...

Slacking - Definitely Slacking!

sdawg said...

These posts are interesting, but I am not sure I understand exactly what you are visualizing with the terms you are using. Please define the following terms:

edge control



Baca Loco said...

Point taken. Some (probably) fairly large percentage may not be familiar with the terminology so in the next gunfighting post I'll do the definitions too.