Sunday, August 3, 2014

Gunfighting Objectives

If you missed it (or skipped it) take a quick look at 'Gunfighting: Positions of Advantage/Disadvantage' as a primer for this post. Whereas last time the focus was on drilling to improve your gunfighting this post will explore different aspects of gunfighting in order to more fully understand how to incorporate effective gunfighting into your arsenal. (A blog search using "gunfighting" will also turn up some past posts on the subject for those who are interested in learning more.) And if you missed those posts the first time around--given that some are a few years old--I probably ought to review terminology briefly too. For now I'll limit the definitions to 'edge control', 'contain', 'vision', 'suppress' and 'support'. Edge Control refers to any situation where a player is able to maintain gun up vision over a portion of the playing field. Sometimes this goes uncontested by an opponent but mostly it is contested--which either requires gunfighting to maintain or giving up the edge. The edge is the portion of any prop being played at any given time. Contain is the active effort to deny an opponent's movement. In most situations that means getting wide, moving from the interior of the field toward a wire. Vision in this application is simply that, being able to visually survey a portion of the field. (Vision is also a subset of communication.) Suppress is the active effort to keep an opponent from bringing their gun--and paint--to bear. And Support  is the directed effort of an insert or push (back player) to advance their lead (front) and keep them alive.
Gunfighting objectives. Edge control is critical because it is a position of advantage and allows the player to act instead of react. Having and maintaining edge control allows a player to perform the contain, suppress and support functions. (Think for a moment how a player's role [job] directs the player's decisions and actions and the puzzle pieces should begin to fall into place. More about roles another time.)
It should be readily apparent why contain is worthwhile but let's review some reasons anyway. Effective containment not only fixes one opponent's position but frequently also denies other opponents an opportunity to move too. And a a fixed opponent has limited options while allowing you or a teammate to work for a killing angle. Contain also, in many situations, frees up the lead to more aggressively press for a field position advantage because they aren't being directly countered.
Suppress, like contain, describes both the approximate action and the circumstance or the objective. In both cases it's some volume of paint that performs the function so in order to distinguish the differences it is important to recognize the purpose. With contain it is to deny an opponent the ability to move. With suppress it is the act of denying an opponent the ability to shoot his/her gun. Suppress maintains edge control and more importantly helps free up the lead to move and acquire kills.
Support is unlike the others in that it encompasses all the actions taken by the insert (support) or back (push) in helping the lead move around the field and work for eliminations while staying alive. Effective support begins with edge control--which in turn allows the insert to freely (relatively of course) perform the assorted support functions. The difficulties arise in that most opponents are attempting to do much the same thing and the support player is often bombarded with choices about how best to do the job over the course of a single point.
Which brings us back to knowing your role.

If you have any questions related to gunfighting etc. (or the terminology) post them up in comments and I'll do my best to answer them.

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