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Getting Caught Off Guard

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So on the negative, what do I do if I hit an aff, that I may have not prepped for, and may not even have links to T or generic DAs, or may not be able to run the arguments I need to due to a judge.

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I mean, it's always useful to have a generic Process CP / Ptx whenever you get caught completely off guard. I'm not sure what that process CP would be for this year, but I'm sure that a camp will put one out [or someone on this site has ideas].

 

If the aff doesn't link to politics, then... then, well, that hasn't happened to me before, so I'm not sure : P

 

Throughout last year, though, whenever we hit a new aff, the 2NR was almost always either the Security K or impact turns -- those are both useful generics to have -- impact turn debates are also just really fun and awesome haha

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Its usually pretty easy to have a 3 generic go to strategies:

1) politics + CP

2) process counterplan + DA

3) two or three K strategies

 

As a last ditch effort you can use a backfile check (ie Malthus or death good or other counterintuitive arguements).

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normally teams that surprise you with those affs, that barely link to DAs they are prep out to answer the generic strats

 

English please.

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English please.

 

If a team has a plan against which most opponents would be unprepared, then that same team would most likely be prepared to answer any generic arguments that would be thrown against them.

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normally all teams are prepped against almost all arguments

 

The obvious answer means that you have to go one or two steps deeper than they have.

 

Also, just be better at comparison & integration & big picture.

 

I remember watching a camp lecture on strategies that win the most:

1) counterplan + DA (that doesn't link to the counterplan or links less to the counterplan than the affirmative) + case

2) critique.

3) topicality/theory

attempting to winning debate on disadvantages alone is generally not going to be a good long term strategy. And realize that most judges have a different threshold and understanding for theory/topicality debates--this is usually only a good strategy to get them to link to your DA or K....or if you have a pretty clean kill (ie obvious violation that doesn't link to the whole topic)--the most egregious example of this is a truely extra-topical affirmative.

 

This should focus you a bit more on prepping for counterplans--if you don't already.

 

I think one of the best strategies which is underutilized is realizing how cards in affirmative files (particularly systemic change affs or fix the system affs) are often arguments for the neg (ie their aff won't do much of anything). Also, in general using the mechanism the aff uses as a means to win debates (or at least take out large parts of the affirmative). Making quality analytic arguments--using true and/or historically and/or intuitively grounded arguments.

 

What does this get back to.....identifying argument by 1) type 2) impact 3) grounding/credibility. Using argument type (or schema) to isolate what are the types of arguments which are made against--using argument similarity (ie link story) to your advantage. For instance, social movements disad has certain assumptions about it which its smart to point out. The immigration disad (from a couple years ago) which relied on us having a low economy had certain fundamental issues. Understanding argument patterns or schema can help you see the strengths and weaknesses in arguments.

 

Focusing on the offense....but extending the defense and implicating it. It shouldn't take much time to extend your defense on the aff. case.

 

And on the aff....set your aff up to answer the counterplan (ie an advantage or two which explains why US is key linked to your solvency mech). Also, add-on, add-on, add-on......and having a nuanced way to answer the case negative. Understanding that literature when taken as a whole.

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What's a process Counterplan?

 

It's a counterplan that uses a different process as compared to the affirmative. For instance, say that the aff just says something generic like "The United States Federal Government should substantially increase investments in transportation infrastructure through an executive order". The process counterplan would be to do it through Congress, the Supreme Court, etc. Of course, there would be some kind of net benefit (maybe a politics DA or some kritik).

 

They work best when the aff actually does specify what process they're using. This is opposed to when the don't specify. Usually, the negative team will try to say that the aff must be going through "normal means" because they didn't specify in their 1AC (or you can ask in cross-ex, and they may say normal means). The neg will then read something about what exactly normal means is, and there'll be some kind of net benefit from that.

 

The reason that I say that it's not as affective when the aff doesn't specify is that normal means is kind of a weak argument. The aff could clarify in their 2AC by saying "We are doing it through the Supreme Court/Congress/etc. That means that the counterplan IS the plan, and it's non-competitive."

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Assorted agency and/or mechanism based counteplans might fall in a gray area definition wise--I don't ever remember hearing anyone call XO a process counterplan--but its possible it is one (definitions, see below)--for instance its possible to be both I guess.

 

Process counterplans like consultation or 9-0 Supreme court ruling.

 

Just an FYI:


    • Plan Inclusive Counterplans (PICS): does one or more parts of the cp and says the excluded parts are bad
    • Process counterplans: does the aff through a different process
    • Agency counterplan: does the aff through a different agency
    • Advantage counterplans: does something to solve just one specific advantage, not the entire case (→ plank counterplans)

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Assorted agency and/or mechanism based counteplans might fall in a gray area definition wise--I don't ever remember hearing anyone call XO a process counterplan--but its possible it is one (definitions, see below)--for instance its possible to be both I guess.

 

Process counterplans like consultation or 9-0 Supreme court ruling.

 

Just an FYI:


    • Plan Inclusive Counterplans (PICS): does one or more parts of the plan and says the excluded parts are bad
    • Process counterplans: does the aff through a different process
    • Agency counterplan: does the aff through a different agency
    • Advantage counterplans: does something to solve just one specific advantage, not the entire case (→ plank counterplans)

fixed for you.

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"The" PIC + Cap K + generic T (like Increase = pre=existing) + generic case advantage turns and defense

 

It's kind of the epitome of laziness with arguments

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"The" PIC + Cap K + generic T (like Increase = pre=existing) + generic case advantage turns and defense

 

It's kind of the epitome of laziness with arguments

 

Do that, except "go deep" like nathandebate said. Also, make those arguments twisted. Make your version of the Cap K + T + "The" PIC function completely different than anyone else's.

 

It's hilarious if they think you're being super lazy so they read a block that's nonresponsive to your innovative version of an old argument. This was my strategy on aff with the military topic.

 

Also you forgot the politics DA with the States CP.

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I remember watching a camp lecture on strategies that win the most:

1) counterplan + DA (that doesn't link to the counterplan or links less to the counterplan than the affirmative) + case

2) critique.

3) topicality/theory

attempting to winning debate on disadvantages alone is generally not going to be a good long term strategy.

 

Do these data really exist, or is someone just generalizing from their experience (what I suspect is really happening here)?

 

Obviously trying to win a disadvantage alone is a poor strategy, but if you mitigate probability, risk, or magnitude of the aff, then you're in a good position to win with a disad. On a topic like this, I'd expect there are a good half-dozen generic solvency take-outs that could be blocked out to last all the way through the 2NR. Make the aff prove why they don't apply (since their first reaction will be to dismiss them out of hand).

 

I realize the OP said in cases where he may not have a disad link, in which case I would roll with my favorite meatball K. I'm just interested in defending the disad/mitigate case strategy as a viable one, if for no other reason than I'd rather listen to this debate (which is still grounded in the topic literature) than a bad generic CP debate (which is usually won by the aff anyway-- generic CP answers are the first things small affs block out, since this is what they hear the most).

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Matt, I think you ask a great question.....but I think its a bit deeper.

 

Its really a thought experiment or model of sorts. Its a helpful estimation based on the mechanism & patterns of decision-making by the norm of judging in the community.

 

Its not a question of does the data exist--its a question of:

1. What is most defensible from a debater perspective?

2. What fits with the ways in which judges make decisions? (ie their method or algorithm of making decisions). AKA Offense/Defense paradigm

3. How can the negative adjust for the multiple advantages the aff has and make adjustments for the aff having the last speech?

 

The exact numbers aren't a question. Its a comparative question--not an exact science. Its only a comparative or priority based one.

 

For instance, #1 & #2 are relatively close in number or very close (in fact they may be flip-flopped on occassion)--#3 though is probably far less often.

 

Heres how those numbers might play out:

1. 37 % Counteplan + Disad

2. 37% Critique with alternative or Framework

3. 10% Topicality or Theory for the neg.

4. 6% other

 

Margin of error +4/-4

 

Those are all cooked up numbers--just in the ballpark. One key caveat: and for teams that are good at #1 or #2 when matched with judges which prefer their style.......are obviously as a general rule best served by using that style.

 

It was mostly to point out that DAs alone can't win debates. Also, counterplans set up two key things for the neg:

1. possible element of surprise and/or ground shift

2. creates good research focus tradeoff (ie 2 to 3 hours to prep a counterplan versus far, far, far in depth on case debate)

3. creates great time tradeoff in general

 

One other way to think about it is it shifts the language of try or die from the aff....to the negative.

 

Its important to realize this....because it can slightly alter which disads you research, block out, run, and go for in the block and 2NR. Although you still want to look legit out of the gates with your other DAs & positions. The same goes for case arguments that link to the counterplan versus that can be net benefits to the coutnerplan (ie specific solvency turns that link to the aff and not the negative). Those can be huge in the block & the 2NR.

 

In terms of:

Obviously trying to win a disadvantage alone is a poor strategy, but if you mitigate probability, risk, or magnitude of the aff, then you're in a good position to win with a disad.

 

Technically the list should probably have more layers--ie that include other options. For instance Counterplan + Disad + Case mitigation, which is an even more effective strategy. But the point of the list I included was just to say that wrapping your strategy around 1) counterplan 2) critique strategy is probably best. Those are the main two options.

 

Thats why when someone says you're going to hit a politics team....its important to know their go-to counterplan strategies as well. That inevitably will be where the differential between the two teams will likely take place--although certainly its going to happen on all 3 sheets of paper (case, disad, counterplan).

 

Does that explain it better? What should I clarify?

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Delay CP (the most underrated cheating tool ever)

 

Have the 2NC spend 8 minutes on the perm and theory and have the 1NR spend all five minutes on the politics DA, focusing on winning uniqueness (which controls the link).

 

That would probably actually dominate.

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Have the 2NC spend 8 minutes on the perm and theory and have the 1NR spend all five minutes on the politics DA, focusing on winning uniqueness (which controls the link).

 

That would probably actually dominate.

 

Assuming, of course, that your net benefit is a politics DA and not something like a solvency deficit.

 

Here's my take on what to do if you're totally caught off guard. Use a kritik that you know really well. Hopefully, it'll be one that is very unlikely to be known by the affirmative team. This will give you the opportunity to be prepared for all of the most common responses. I mean, when you first read a strange philosophical work, the first thought is likely why that could not possibly be true. The good thing about going in depth would be that you know all of the right responses to those "logical" answers.

 

Personally, though, I've only been in straight policy teams, and as such, I go for a counterplan with some extremely strange net benefit (think of the "The" PIC or the Federal Government/federal government capitalization PIC). Hopefully, the aff will be caught off guard as well and will make ridiculous responses.

 

It's not just about making arguments that the aff against which the aff is unprepared. It's also about knowing how they'll respond (hopefully not at all).

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