Thursday, September 4, 2014

NAX Finals Layout

Our friends to the North (eh!) will be playing for the CXBL's Richmond Cup and the season title on the layout to the right. They will be playing Old Skool Xball at 15 bps. In looking at this layout VFTD won't be offering an analysis beyond pointing out a few characteristics I expect will feature in how the layout plays and aspects of play that teams can expect to see repeated routinely.
The orange arrows indicate potential lanes OTB. The snake side lanes are often narrow and may or may not be duplicated on the event field(s). It won't matter much, particularly for taller laners. With the limited choices in primary bunkers the issue will simply be can the laners get their lanes in place quickly enough to do some early damage. The opportunities are there. If not teams should focus on denying the Temple insert and snake OTB and focus on containment on the snake side and let their center and/or dorito attack do the heavy lifting. It's going to be more difficult to get wide OTB on the dorito wire as there are solid open lanes to shoot. The only counterbalance is the gap between D2 and the corner Can (run it deep and up) but a good lane between D1 and the Pin is perfectly placed to get a corner runner or a runner attempting D2 OTB. Also on the d-wire it is possible for teams to break short to minimize initial risk and it wouldn't surprise me to see that tactic employed much of the time. (And when it is the opponent should press the center and trap the team trying to play safe.) This layout does however lend itself to breakouts of opportunity by which I mean guns up immediately shooting designated lanes followed by movement to primaries that aren't predetermined but chosen based on the effectiveness of the initial lanes.
Perhaps the best feature of this layout is that it invites attacks up the center particularly to the d-side of the X and the fifty MT. Alternately the centerline MT can be used to lockdown wireside rotations and stage a counter run-through if your opponent moves aggressively to the X early.
The bunkers marked with pink surrounds are the principle mid-game contain and control positions (plus the d-wire corner Can) but as can be seen are of limited effectiveness particularly on the d-wire. The centerline MT (containing the d-wire) is strong as long as the opponent is denied the snake. Otherwise it's the TCK which is so close to the centerline of the field that is is open to attacks from superior angles virtually everywhere on the d-wire, especially the corner Can. On the snake wire both the upfieldl Temple (Aztec) and the Can have line-of-sight on the back of the snake though the Can is slightly obstructed (gotta play it standing up) On balanced breakouts teams will settle in for longer points with the critical gunfights defending and attacking entry into the snake and the gap between D2 and D3.
The bunkers marked in green display the disparity in effective attacks between the d-wire positions and the snake. Even from snake fifty there aren't as many good shots and angles as D3 has from the dorito wire. The mid-line MT offers shots on both the d-wire positions and snake wire positions but otherwise it's better to press the d-wire than the snake in terms of rewarding shots--though to be fair some of the shots from D3 require a high wrap and those may be hard to achieve much of the time.

And now for something completely new. Rating the layouts from 1 - 10 on some varying factors. Plays Fast. (promotes quick points) Fun to Play. (players enjoy it) Easy to Ref. (clear and open lines-of-sight) Balanced. (allows teams to play their way) Spectator Friendly. (solid action and exciting play for the knowledgeable fan)
Plays Fast: 5 (Laning OTB will be decisive)
Fun to Play: 5 (Likely to be highly repetitive)
Easy to Ref: 8 (snake will cause some problems as will 50 MT)
Balanced: 3 (design encourages offense but limits creative attacks)
Spectator Friendly: 4 (too repetitive)

Got suggestions for other values that ought to be considered in rating a field layout? Let's hear 'em.

6 comments:

Mike said...

I like that new rating system and breakdown. Gonna get the Chantilly layout done in the next week?

Baca Loco said...

yes

NStoer said...

From someone who has practiced this layout.. you're basically right on the money

Except the centerline MT (pink) is strong, regardless of a snake. I'm not super effective in it if they have a 50 snake but I can still play tight enough to stay alive.

Baca Loco said...

What can I say? Tiny players or lousy shots? :) A 50 snake and either D2 or d-side corner Can ought to be able to put an hellacious pinch on the centerline MT.

NStoer said...

Small addition

No one played the 50 snake, was either their snake 3 or the other team's snake 3.. and if you got in the other team's snake 3 you basically smashed the dorits

Anonymous said...

The layout worked for Vicious. They beat Heat back to back to win the tournament.