Monday, August 25, 2008

Head to Head Shootout

With regional qualifiers in full swing and the regional finals within sight, the Big Buck game is about to take a different swing. The regional finals and the Championship rounds aren't going to be Pappy's usual game. These matches are all about some head to head competition. That's right, we're talking about a good old-fashioned shootout. Nobody wants to go down in the first round and look like some BBH rookie. All you prospective qualifiers and champions would be wise to brush up on your shootout game. With that in mind, here's some tips and strategies for when you're playing head to head.

Shootout Stragegy #1: Take it ALL
Rookie shootout players often make the mistake of trying to stick to just their side of the screen, be it left or right. Giving away half the scene is a quick way to handicap your score. Why settle for only three out of six bucks? Be dominant and take the entire screen. If anything, taking over your opponent's half of the screen is integral to winning a shootout. Every buck and every critter is your target. Leave nothing for your opponent. Clean em out!

Shootout Strategy #2: Say Hello to my little friend!

Shootout is a much faster paced game. Two players gunning for the same bucks makes it hard to wait for that perfect shot. Not to mention that with six bucks plus some critters, there are a lot of targets to shoot.

No time to think. No time to line up that ace shot. Its more about a fast reaction time and a fast trigger finger. Light those bucks up! A cleanout is a quick way to take the lead or pull off a big come back.

That being said, there are a few downsides to the machine gun strategy. The first is that if you hit first but don't down the buck, your opponent has a brief window of opportunity to steal your kill. Most of the time two shots will be enough to drop a buck, so if your opponent is always getting that final shot, its going to cost you. All your shot does is soften that buck up. So if you're going to break out the machine gun, you need to continue to aim for those kill shots at the head and heart.

The other downside to using the machine gun method is the negative effect on your accuracy. In shootout, a marksman award is given for an accuracy of 50% or higher. This award doubles the points earned for accuracy. That's a huge difference. In shootout, a 49% accuracy earns you 49 points per buck while a 50% accuracy earns you 100 points per buck. That's a big difference for only a single percent. You're earning anywhere from 51 to 151 points more per buck for a high accuracy. So even while rapid firing into those bucks, you should definitely try to maintain a 2 shot 1 kill ratio.

Shootout Strategy #3: Revenge of the Critters
Critters can be your best friend or your worst enemy. All depends on how many of the little buggers you can blast. Just like there are more bucks per stand, some stands will have even more critters. Its not uncommon to see stands with 7+ critters in a shootout match. Nail 9 critters and you've got 2050 points just in critters! Its actually possible on some stands to get more points in critters than you could get by nailing all six bucks!

Definitely be mindful of the frog log for those easy critter points.

Its almost key to remember those critters. Letting your opponent get them all is a big mistake as critters increase in value the more of them you kill. Even stealing away a single critter can be a major swing. While that first critter is only 50 points for you, it could potentially mean 450 points less for your opponent. Minimizing your opponent's gains is almost as important as secure your own points.

Shootout Strategy #4: Bonus Game Comeback
Even if you're behind heading into the bonus, it is possible to pull off a last minute victory. Just as with each stand having double the bucks, many bonuses have an increased number of targets. Additionally, the total possible points for a shootout bonus are double the norm. A double perfect is usually worth 2000 points. In a shootout, a double perfect is 4000 points!! Its not an easy feat to achieve especially with your opponent gunning for targets, but a solid performance on the bonus can change the outcome in a shootout match. Speed and accuracy are key. Yet, some good strategy can also help. If its a bonus with a clear pattern, figure out where you opponent is aiming and try to stay a target ahead. Stealing even a few shots can help push you ahead and can throw your opponent off their rhythm.

Shootout Strategy #5: Don't Give Up
Falling behind early in a shootout can be devastating to a player's morale. While its advantageous to grab an early lead and keep it, being behind in a shootout is no reason to abandon hope. Stay calm and remain focused. The pendulum can swing back quickly in a shootout match. A single doe shot can change the entire game and give you an opening to recover. A big critter stand or a quick cleanout can turn the tide back in your favor. Fight for every point until the very end.

As the regional qualifiers approach there end, take these tips to heart and practice up on your shootout game. Hopefully, they'll help get you closer to that $10,000 grand prize and the coveted Championship trophy.

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