Ok, this one is gonna suck. Another Friday Fight Breakdown, going over the USA 10 v 10 loss to France. And god damn, I’d forgotten some of the mistakes I made in this. It’s not a great performance by the US in general and me in particular. Ugh. well, lets just fucking do this.
Ok, so, to set up, USA is coming into this after a bad loss to Denmark and some confidence in our flanking based on it working well in the later rounds on the first day. So, since the 10’s were our smaller and quicker team we thought we’d abandon the usual tactic of, form an echelon and wait. The plan was to send a number of flankers deep, let them run around and create chaos, and hope we could make something out of that. Rounds 1 and 3 that fails. Also, not an excuse but alot of us were injured and may explain some of the plays that happened.
Here we have the first round. I’m going to try and do this in images when possible to to help, but I highly suggest going back and watching the actual plays, not just reading. Also don’t use the slide to navigate use the links or edit the time manually. You can see at the end of the URL, it has a list of numbers that correspond to hour, minute, and second of the video. Just enter the second you want and press enter. So much less painful than trying to search in a 9 hour video.
So, initial line set up happens at https://youtu.be/1s1l8KdCEUQ?t=4h19m47s, when Al, on the USA and the Camera perspectives right, and Randy, on the left, move up one rail each, the rest of the lines forming inside them. 4 seconds later you can see Eric Sari make the call to send the troops. He’s wielding the mace with the blue punch shield covered in stars, basically completely center.
So, let’s take a look at how the play is going to develop.
The red arrows here show the long runs. Both Myself(on the left) and Damion(on the right) take off at a decent pace and push deep. The blue arrows indicate short slow runs. Dale(inside left) who I believe is nursing a knee injury in this fight, trots after as does Balin(outside left). As you can see all 4 of us rush that hole in the French line. I’m not sure if that was the original plan, send all the flankers at one spot or we all just saw the same opening and went for it. Either way, it gets fucked up real bad.
We can see the response here. 2 French men slide right(our left) cutting off the hole and forcing Damion and I to engage. The one in the middle starts to come in, then decides to leave us and make a break for the back field. He lines up with Sari and Jukes him.
So what we have here is 4 Americans closing in on 1 Frenchman. The french react by sending 3 in, 1 who peels off. This means we have 4 fighting 3 there. The other 6 US are currently holding in reserve. If this was a planned play the hope was probably that the French would either over commit to the flankers or the Flankers would be able to punch through to the back field of the French. Either way it opens the French left side to a charge from the American right wing. As you can see though, that doesn’t happen.
Watch from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s1l8KdCEUQ&feature=youtu.be&t=4h19m51s through 4:19:59. You shouldn’t need to slow it down but feel free…See how bad that went?
Let’s break it down.
Starting on right, you can see the French line has now moved to collapse in on the Flankers coming in. However the American right side is too weak to take advantage of this move. They have moved up, but they can’t really charge safely. There is 1v1 engagement where each of the 3 fighter on that wing has a man with a direct line of threat to them.
Coming in slightly we see Glacken, in the Black helm and black armor charging away from the right. That is the weak point and he’s moving away from it, hoping that he can catch the Frenchman standing in the middle(spoiler he can’t). This means that any tactical advantage we got from overloading that left side, which I’ll talk about in more depth in a bit, is now gone. By choosing to attack the strong part of the French line we basically make this a chaos match where we hope our individual fighters can pull out victories.
Unfortunately even that plan puts us at a huge disadvantage. The French simply have better field position. That guy Glacken is charging, is currently holding 3 Americans from the fight, without putting himself in too much danger. That’s a fantastic ratio. And don’t forget our buddy that snuck through the line. Everyone turned their back on him, which means he gets a free shot on the right wing.
And on the far left we see where everything really went to hell. We see Randy a single rail up from his previous position. He has no one he is threatening and no one he is supporting. If the echelon shape held he should be in line with Al, which would place him on the Frenchman marked with the Red 1. Or He could have moved into the center to attack the now weak right side, giving us some size and numerical advantage there. But where he is leaves him out of the fight and when combined with the other 3 pulled out the fight we see some serious shit in the far left corner.
Those green numbers are the Americans. The red numbers are the French. They don’t have enough to 2 on 1 all of us, but they can put 2-3 fighters on any 1 of us if they want to. That is not a good situation. Damion and I are both supposed to be being mobile and we’ve both gotten stuck in, meaning we are unable to open up opportunities for each other or the rest of the team. We are fighting our worst fight, static stand up. Basically it couldn’t have gone worse.
So how should it have gone? Well, this would have been nice.
The Green Arrow is the route I should have taken. The Red Arrow is the route Damion should have picked based on what my route opened up. The two white Arrows coming off Dale show his two options, while the 1 white Arrow off Balin shows his target. Each Blue arrow show a route those fighters should have tried to take, in an effort to get to back rail, turn ass to rail, and reform the unit. Ok, now why would this be a better play?
So the 4 flankers on the left here in the red circle
have three targets, in the blue circle. There are two possible threats, highlighted with blue arrows, but they are past the line where they can affect the play before we get our first few hits in. Due to the lone nature of the 1 in green, he is the primary target. All 4 of us could possibly get there, but at the very least, we can put 3 on him and drop him fast. However, because the primary purpose of this play was to sew chaos and because we are best in the open, not in static fighting, at least one person needs to try to get to the backfield. That person should be the first one in, and based on that reaction, the others make plays.
The first one in is most likely to get through, as the French line will still be reacting and only 1 person will likely be able to grab him. In addition, if they pay too much attention to that first 1, the French open themselves up to attacks from the other 3 coming in. It’s possible all 3 French grab the first one, in which case the best option is the 3 flankers leave him and continue on, but that is exceedingly unlikely. Instead they will most like either get stopped by the closing hole and need to figure out new routes or have an opportunity to check, grab, or trip a Frenchmen on their way to the back field(or other best option).
I was the first one in, and if you watch you see me get mildly tied up but still make it part way into the back field. My mistake and possibly the mistake that cost us this round, is I stayed tied up instead of trying to get separation and continue running. That is a continual struggle of mine, to not fight the guy right in front of me if I have a better option.
So based on that run, something should open up for Damion on. He picks whichever target looks better, hit him, and then he should have also taken off. He starts well, but then makes a similar mistake to me, deciding to hold ass to rail where he is safe after breaking contact with his fighter. This has been a useful strategy in the past, sending a small tough guy with good feet to draw aggro, so that the big bruisers can come in from behind. However it fails this time and really probably was a bad play call because of our desire to mix things up in their back field.
Dale should pick up a target based on how the the play opens. If the guy on the rail moves in on me(like he did), Dale should cut to the inside where there will either be a hole from the guy who moved in towards me or a target to hit, hopefully knocking over or at least, keeping him off me and/or Damion. If the rail guy stays, Dale should try to engage him, keeping him out of the play for a few seconds before finding a better place to be.
Balin has one move. Go engage the guy on the rail. Either he get there alone and keeps him from getting into the mix or he gets there with friends and gets to lay some axe on a mother fucker.
Back to the original play.
If Randy moves across now, he threatens that main line. They can either deal with him or they are opening themselves up to a freight train of flesh. If he can push through to the corner, he can draw aggro from 2,3, hell 5 guys and survive. That will also fuck up any line cohesion the French have.
Eric and Glacken, if they just charge the middle, they may get a quick takedown, but if they don’t they’ve froze those middel guys leaving their backs exposed to the flankers coming in from behind. Again if they get to the rail, they can hold on, regroup and find a buddy to help.
Brandon and Parker, the two inside on the right wing, can both charge the same guy, and if he can hold up to that they can bounce him off the rail, giving Brandon a chance to start chopping while Parker hold him. That leaves Al 1 v1 with their rail man and he should be able to win or survive that while driving that guy to corner, where if Randy has made it he can grab him letting AL start to chop.
Now, no plan survives initial contact and some shit would go wrong in there. However every line creates opportunity for someone else, in addition to being a threat itself. It makes every American out there essentially multiplied in danger. So even when some of it gets stopped or fails, enough of it should have opened good opportunities that we can get momentum somewhere else to carry over to where the plan failed.
https://youtu.be/1s1l8KdCEUQ?t=4h19m56s This is where it starts to go wrong. Up till about 4h and 20 minutes.
The Green is what happens. The red is what should have happened. Balin sees a Frenchman coming for our backfield and turns to run back and intercept him. However with Eric and Randy right there there is no reason for him to come back, especially when there is an open back right in front of him and he’s using a 2 handed axe. That guy should be Eric’s to handle, but Randy should be heading straight into him, forcing him to make a decision. Randy should leave him and continue on to the main mass, while Eric can make that same decision if he manages to box the French out, and can get back quicker, but he needs to handle him.
Dale manages to jog through an opening that appears in the scrum there, but it requires him to cut a huge angle to get behind the line. If he cut inside to that hole there he has a quicker route and even if he gets picked up, he’ll do it in a way that keeps that part of the line out of this left corner, so it stays open enough for us to work or run out of making plays on the right.
And this is where it all goes to shit
Again Green is what happens and red is what should have happened. I’m the little green arrow and I just walk to the rail, then head back to engage 1 guy who can see me head on, in the chaos that is that left corner. If I instead continued plowing though I might have been able to open something up on that right flank for my boys over there, but I get tunnel vision and fuck it up.
Damion is sitting on the rail and after a few seconds runs to our own back field probably to chase someone down. Well, that doesn’t really yield much, and the same thing can be said. If he had instead come straight across the field he could have possibly caught the guy in the middle and at the very least made the 3 French facing our right flank either turn to engage him, opening them for a charge, or dropped one them himself. These two lack of plays turn into the end for us.
https://youtu.be/1s1l8KdCEUQ?t=4h20m1s from here to the final whistle it’s basically no chance.
So just to walk through the steps, That guy who got behind and got left? Yeah, well now he’s got a free shot. There goes parker. And in the corner you can barely see Glacken charges straight into a guy on the rail, stands in front of him, and the guy he left behind quickly come over the top to lariat him down. You can see it from a good angle here. https://youtu.be/1s1l8KdCEUQ?t=4h20m4s
The majority of the team gets stuck up in the far right corner and for 6 second Eric tries to bring folks to the ground leaving his back facing the field.
Eric drops and now it’s 3 down for US and maybe 1 French down, but we’re all tied up and basically useless.
Dale(or is that Sean? Has it been Sean the whole time?) breaks out of the corner only to be pig piled down. Takes someone with him, but that makes it 4 to 2. Not great. If you keep watching you’ll see my axe get stuck in a dudes armor and I just can’t figure out how to get it out. That’s the danger of the axe. I manage to survive and free it, by breaking the dudes armor looks like but it’s alot of work and I take alot of damage.
One of the few interesting things that happens here is Randy holding the big French guy for Balin.
Note the Shield being free? It’s so hard to punish if your opponent can move a big object in the way. So when holding a person for a punisher, if possible find a way to attack the shield side or to hold the shield in one spot. For Randy here that would have meant letting go of the head and using his shield arm to try and trap the French shield. An axe head can be used to hold it down. Sometimes you can switch positions. Here it’s much harder.
If you find yourself punishing in this position, realize that the only free target is the calf. Dangerous. The back of the knee and foot are illegal targets, but if you take the time to place your shots, it’ll force them to react and your grappler might put them down.
This is mildly interesting. I get bent over, and chopped at. Note how in my squat I place my forearms on my knees. I also have my weight as far back as I can go, dropped my ass as much as possible, pressing into the guy behind me and the rail for support. Even though my back is bent, my shoulders are over my thighs, which are over my feet. This is a very stable position.
About 1 second later I eat a kick and the guy behind me pommel strikes me. That strike shifts his weight and the kick shifts mine. This means I have a have second that I can move with more freedom and when I feel that pressure change I can stand. Get used to being held in positions like this and practice moving whenever you feel the pressure change. Doesn’t help me much here as they are able to over balance me again and then finally pull me down. There’s 2 guy left but nothing interesting happens.
So what did we learn? That you can lose a fight in the first 10 seconds if you fuck up your initial engagement…Flankers need to stay mobile. You can’t get boxed out of the fight no matter who you are. When you pick an engagement it needs to be the one you can get the most support or offers help to the most of your buddies. And you can’t leave enemies free.
Anyway…that was rough. Sorry to my fellow Lionhearts if it feels harsh. I know alot of us were broken, I know we were trying a plan we had barely worked before, and I know that I’m a major reason it fucked up. So if you feel like I’m throwing shade on you, I’m not. Next week I’ll do round 2 and if it isn’t this long round 3 as well.
Some people have requested I try this as a John Madden style video. I just found out I can do that in iMovie so I may give that a try either next week or the week after. If you think you would prefer these as video let me know. If you think there’s some benefit to doing it in prose, let me know that too.
To everyone going to Nationals in 2 weeks, I’ll see you in the lists.