This could get a bit crazy….
At first look my eyes are drawn towards the snake side with a smile– they brought the Diamond back. Love that. From the limited look I get at the layout on my computer screen, it looks like it’s going to be fun to play.
When the layouts get released, everyone is doing the same thing I’m doing right now–Sizing up the field, making comments about how awesome or how stupid they think it is, trying to figure out what they’re going to do when they get to practice and start trying out plays.
So immediately, on my first glance, I like it. But that’s just because it has a diamond on the snake side, which is a throwback to the first Hyperball fields in the states. Hyperball was, basically, giant black tubing chopped up to create speedball fields; it was the precursor to Airball, and was how Pro paintball was played from ‘97 to ’01, a short window, yes, but that’s where this snake shape came from. Chicago tournaments were legendary for the Diamond.
Ok, enough history, I also like fields where there’s a logical progression to the bunkers and you can fight your way forward without have to run through gigantic gaps in order to make important spots.
First question I ask myself is when I look at any field layout– How Attackable is the Snake/Diamond side?
Well, it looks pretty damn good, at least on paper. There are 8 different options of spots, not all of equal quality of course, but lots off different places to run to. The more options there are, the harder it is to shoot the front guys off the break. The harder it is to shoot the front guys, the more bodies make it in alive and the crazier the battle gets over there. Which makes it more entertaining to watch.
Also, it does look like the back Aztec on the snake side is going to be able to battle directly with his mirror and the 50-yard line. As a back guy, you want this. I used to hate when there would be a back bunker where your mirror is blocked out, and blind shots are able to just come screaming in. This would force you to play the incoming streams of paint and not your mirror, thus you don’t have a snowballs chance in hell of controlling anybody.
Not fun, man, give me a fight. I think that’s what this field is going to be. With lots of options of attack, I think this one could be a solid battle.
It’s going to be a crazy jousting match for the players who are running up to the tall temple in the middle on the snake side. They can shoot back at the shooters, the guy running out to their mirror, and shoot at the snake side front guys. That’s going to be a gunfighter’s bunker. Lots of points could be won or lost by the guy who ends up at this spot.
And that diamond, don’t even know where to start, so many options. Typically options mean the smarter, more experienced snake players will win most of the battles. At practice you will need to do a bunch of reps to figure out the best plan for this side. How makeable it is off the break? Do you want to try and get into the cutout on the 50-yard line, or is it better up inside, past the 50? Do you want two bodies in there, three, or one in with one more right behind? How crucial is the back bunker? These answers will only come from practice reps.
Next question: How is the Dorito side going to play? Fast, slow, Counterpunch to the snake side? Well, the back little cake on the Dorito side looks like garbage. Don’t think too many guys will be able to produce from that spot. Dorito 1 is a little far to make off the break but who knows, with all the guns on the diamond side, you might be able to just walk in there. The two standups– the tall temple and the stand up can– should see a lot of action. Though I’m not sure if you can stay alive once the other team makes it past the 50-yard line diamond.
The Dorito side is pretty open, but since there’s most likely going to be a lot of madness going down on the snake side of the field, smart players are going to be able to take advantage of the guns shifting. Fast, explosive, and smart D-side players, like Tampa Bay Damage’s Chad Busiere could have a tournament with this layout. Good timing is going to rule the day on this side of the field.
And don’t sleep on the center of the field; it could see some work. Teams have been making big moves up the center all year, and this one is going to be no different.
But all of this is just conjecture, you never know how it’s going to go down until you get out there and play. We’ll be checking with the pro captains, players, as well as the top divisional teams to see how their plans are coming together as the practices start to get under way the next couple of weeks.
And then we can really start to break things down.