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  1. I'm starting this thread because the target shape thread was becoming even more hijacked than normal and because I wanted to address something specific. There was a comment made about whether the "top shooters" would accept a stage or two written to the so called standards of CAS original style. Insinuating that the big and close movement was driven by or put in place for the "Top Shooters". Nothing could be further from the truth. There is a hiearchy in CAS skillsets and rankings. I'm spitballing numbers here; but bear with me. There are about 10 - 20 shooters in our game that "could" and are expected win overall at any shoot they go to. Call them group one. There are probably 200 - 500 shooters in our game that "could" pull an upset on any of these 20 shooters and beat them on any given day and while not expected - would not be a complete surprise. Call this group two. Group one and two are well skilled, well equipped, disciplined and well practiced. They may have preferences, but they mostly don't care where you place the targets or their shapes. They are mostly unfazed by array, sequence or setup. And then there is group three. This is the group of shooters that are pretty good. Can put together stages and sometimes matches but no one believes group three are running down group one or two. Group three is a large vocal group of several thousand shooters. The Big and Close movement was championed by this group. And here is why... Big and close target placement is the BEST possible way for anyone from group three to ever run with anyone from group two or three. When stages are fast and targets are close. Misses and mistakes all have greater value. I will use myself as an example - I consider myself a group three shooter. I regularly shoot with a fantastic shooter, Quickly Downunder, whom I consider solidly in that group two placement. I cannot beat Quickly straight up. He is better than me. Faster, more accurate. So my goal is to try to stay within 3 seconds per stage of him - knowing that Quickly (just like every other shooter in groups one and two) is human and capable of making a mistake. It doesn't happen often - but if the targets are close enough and the sequence fast enough and I do my job well enough - Quickly (or anyone from the top two groups) might just allow me for one stage to be competitive with him. Push the targets out, increase the difficulty and I am well aware of my own limitations - I have zero chance of running with a group one or two shooter. The top shooters are not one trick ponys; they are capable of handling any challenges thrown at them. Big and close exists so the less than shooters might have a chance. As for groups four and five, etc. The groups clamoring that target distance and difficulty will bring them into the mix? It won't. A fact of our game is at any "Cowboy" acceptable distances - accuracy is infinitely easier to master than speed. So the next time you want to blame top shooters for a big and close stage... Or a stand and deliver... Or a monster target dump... It probably wasn't a top shooter that asked for it - but more likely a group three shooter looking for the chance that they could somehow get closer to those shooters. I'm a group three shooter and I'll admit it.
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