Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.
Home Field Advantage
They've got more than just the crowd on their side


(permanent link) added: 2011-05-29 01:02:15 sponsor: RainRequiem edited by: surgoshan (last reply: 2012-07-30 07:53:32)

Add Tag:
"Theres no way to anticipate every danger; you need a backup plan for when things go wrong. Thats why home-court advantage is so important."

In a Real Life Sporting Event, a Home Team or Home Field Advantage refers to the slight edge given to a team playing on their own turf in a match. This exists because of the subtle differences between various sporting venues and the home team already being accustomed to their own court or field or rink, and also because the crowd at a game will usually overwhelmingly support the home team, thus presenting a psychological advantage. While it can give a slight boost to the home team or bring the away team down by a small margin, usually this is not enough to make much of a difference in the game's outcome.

But, in fiction, something so mundane would be boring or require some over the top effects to work like they want. So what do you do? It can be as simple as taking the above mentioned subtle differences and making them such large alterations that it throws the away team off completely. Perhaps the psychological advantage is huge, rather than small. Perhaps the game awards points based on popularity. Perhaps the game and field are complex enough that every field is unique (like golf) and deadly (not like golf)

You could set the playing field itself against them (again, like golf, only it's alive and maybe trying to kill you). All that matters is that whoever is battling on their own turf has a serious advantage that poses a legitimate threat to the other side's winning chances. Often involves Geo Effects, taking advantage of the terrain.

Of course, this isn't just about sports. If the bad guys attack the hero in his home, he's bound to have a few tricks up his sleeve. Even if he doesn't have anything prepared, who knows his home better than he does? Perhaps you're a local hero and everyone supports you, actively or clandestinely, in your fight against the rampaging killbots. Perhaps you're a Physical God, and you're home is literally part of you. The possibilities are endless.

Needs More Examples, could also use a quote and a picture.
Anime and Manga
  • The main thing about being challenged to a parts war in Air Gear is the challenged team know their own territory and can also set traps and use the environment against the opposing team.
  • The Unlimited Blade Works spell of Fate/stay night basically invokes this trope, turning the battlefield into one that's perfect for Archer or Shirou to battle in.
  • Fairy Tail has Tenrou Island, the holy land of the eponymous Guild where any mage with the Fairy Tail crest is given a large boost in magic power as long as they're on the island. Well, it WAS that way anyway...
  • In YuYu Hakusho, the first of the 4 Sacred Beasts, Genbu, can use his powers over earth to meld with the stone that composes the castle and move freely through it.
  • In Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, the Melone Base is one for Shoichi and his forces because the base itself is his box weapon and he can rearrange it as he chooses.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS has the Saint Cradle, which gives an edge to the combat cyborgs because they aren't affected by the huge magic dampening field all around the ship.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Babidi's base can simulate various environments and his henchmen use it to their adventage (although it fails spectacularly when a Heavy Worlder henchman tries increased gravity against Vegeta.)
  • Crocodile from One Piece puts his sand powers to best use in the dessert of Alabasta. The dessert is also where he is least likely to encounter his Kryptonite Factor, water.

Comic Books
  • For the Green Lantern comics, the living planet Mogo is a planet sized Home Field Advantage. At least, while it was still alive.
  • Played with by Superman and other Kryptonians, who have a Home Field Advantage anywhere near a yellow sun.

Film
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean series has at least 2 enchanted ships that give this. Davy Jones can move through the Flying Dutchman at will, while Blackbeard or rather, whoever has his sword can manipulate the Queen Anne's Revenge and, if Barbossa's exposition is to be believed, ay other ships they encounter, at will.
  • In Space Jam the Looney Tunes have the game in their world, which means they have free reign to use all of their wacky and dangerous antics to help them out.
  • O'ren certainly has the advantage in Kill Bill. Part of that advantage is her personal army and right hand Dragon.
  • Deconstructed by A History of Violence (as it deconstructs most violent tropes). When murderous mobsters come knocking on your door, your house is just a house.
  • When the bad guys come calling in Conspiracy Theory, Jerry's prepared. Not only does he have numerous warning systems, he also spent a great deal of time turning his home into an instant firetrap, allowing him to escape, but which was set up in such a way that it didn't spread to other apartments.
  • The Matrix Reloaded. The Trainman is much more powerful than normal in the underground subway area he controls. He's even more powerful than The One (Neo).
Trainman: You don't get it. I built this place. Down here I make the rules. Down here I make the threats. Down here, I'm God.

Live-Action TV
  • Michael Westen takes advantage of this a number of times on Burn Notice, and often mentions it in his narration.
    • In the first season episode Wanted Man, Michael takes advantage of knowing Fiona's home better than an intruder, and waits for him to trip over something Michael tripped over earlier.
    • In the first season episode Hard Bargain, Michael takes advantage of the fact that a meeting is in his loft, and so when it goes bad, is able to get his hands on a weapon.
  • The third season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one huge HFA. The mayor is giving the commencement address at Buffy's graduation, which is also where his Ascension is going to occur. In response, the Scoobies organize the entire senior class to fight off the Mayor's vampires and hold the Mayor at bay until Buffy lures him into the library, which they've already filled with explosives. He dies.
    • In a sixth season episode, a demon breaks into the Summers home and proceeds to trash it while attempting to kill Buffy. She slowly maneuvers it into the basement where there's less stuff to break, and also a convenient weapon (in the form of Full! Copper! Repipe!).

Literature
  • At the end of Tom Clancy's Clear and Present Danger, the American Special Operations team initially slaughters the cartel soldiers sent to kill them. However, the cartel soldiers wise up and start using the familiar terrain to their advantage and turn the tide.
  • In Quidditch Through the Ages it's mentioned that this is the reason standardised iron hoops were brought in instead of baskets; teams kept setting their home pitches up to give them an advantage.
  • In the Iron Druid Chronicles druids are very Genre Savvy about this. Atticus has some very powerful enemies looking for him so he spent at least a century setting up his defenses. He befriended all the local nature spirits, allied himself with the local vampire lord and the local werewolf pack and put multiple layers of magical and mundane protections on his home and workplace. His ultimate home field advantage comes from an arrangement he has with Morrigan, one of his pantheon's Death Gods. As long as any battle he is in takes place under the jurisdiction of that god, Atticus cannot die in it. Unfortunately his enemy is just as Genre Savvy and goes to extraordinary lengths to nullify all those advantages including making sure that the final battle happens where Morrigan has no jurisdiction and cannot interfere.

Mythology
  • Alcyoneus (a character from Greek mythology who also appears in The Son of Neptune) has the ultimate home field advantage - he's immortal while in his homeland.

Real Life
  • Militaries deliberately take advantage of terrain wherever they are. Nations' borders have historically been drawn by geography determining where it would be too difficult for one side or the other to cross into, take, and hold enemy territory. Usually at rivers and mountains. In campaigns, the home field advantage is based on the fact that the aggressor has to move into hostile territory and then either find supplies (often destroyed by the defender) or bring them in over the long distance from home through said hostile territory, where they could easily be destroyed by the defender.
  • Historians generally agree that the American Revolution was Britain's Vietnam (though they may never use those words). They won every battle the French weren't involved in, but they had no real hope of winning the war. America was on the other side of the world, meaning they couldn't respond quickly or meaningful to events on the ground, and every victory cost them hearts and minds. Hell, the mere presence of "foreign" troops in the colonies was one of the first causes of the conflict!
    • See also: virtually every conflict in which an underdog has held off a vastly superior invading army.

Sports
  • The advantage in sports isn't all psychological. Sometimes it's an advantage from familiarity with the field itself, or the training conditions it provides.
    • I believe Green Bay has never lost at home below a certain temperature, and that the Dolphins have never lost at home above a certain temperature. That might just be apocryphal, though.
    • Golf is proverbially not against the other players, but against the course. Ergo, if one player knows the course better, he has an advantage.
    • Training in the mountains has its advantages. The air is rarefied, so it's harder to breath. Your body produces more blood cells as a result. Thus, when you go down to sea level you're like a Charles Atlas Breather, which can cause problems if your blood becomes too thick, but otherwise you're just better adapted for endurance sports. The inverse is true as well, if you're accustomed to sea level, merely being at a high altitude can be difficult, rarely fatal, and high altitude teams have a definite advantage at home.
  • American baseball. At higher levels of play, home teams try to gain an advantage over visitors by altering the field conditions. For example, if the opposing team has fast base runners the home team will heavily water the infield to slow them down.
  • Football team Hereford Town have a pitch which is actually on a slope. The slope is slight and almost un-noticeable - but it is still a slope. Visiting teams unaware of this are frequently disorientated by the behaviour of the ball as they kick it - it will travel faster and further downhill and slower and shorter uphill. This has allowed Hereford to collect the scalps of many fine teams, including Manchester United and Liverpool.
    • Football Association rules also dictate the maximum possible length and with of a football field, but allow for variations of plus or minus twenty yards. the lower division side Shrewsbury Town have the longest football pitch in England - it was even larger than the old Wembley Stadium - and its sheer size both disorientates and tires visiting teams.
  • The other wiki tells us that this is considered so important that important games like playoffs or elimination matches are either held at a neutral site, or with multiple games played on both teams' home courts. It also provides numerous examples of the strength of the advantage.

Tabletop RPG
  • Champions supplement Enemies III. The villain Red Rapier knows he isn't really powerful enough to take on superheroes by himself, so he tries to even the odds by luring them onto his own turf. He tries to trick a hero (or heroes) into entering a building he has filled with tricks and traps.
  • Gamma World adventure GW6 Alpha Factor. Jeremiah Coot has filled his base Mindkeep with all sorts of traps, including false vines that cause any opponent who tries to swing on them to fall.
  • Paranoia adventure Send in the Clones. In the Absurdly Spacious Sewer where he lives, Zhon-B-VLJ has set up many trap to bedevil anyone who tries to find him. He uses them to herd and capture the PC Troubleshooters.
  • Shadowrun
    • Shadowrun Companion. The Home Ground edge gives a character a bonus on using skills on the character's home turf. This could include the building where the character lives or a computer system a decker is very familiar with.
    • Tir Na Nog. Followers of the Ways and the Paths gain bonuses to magic use if they are within the part of Ireland associated with their Path. For example, followers of the Northern Path (Path of the Warrior) gain a bonus die for magic when in the province of Ulster.
    • The Grimoire. Druids gain a bonus to summoning and banishing spirits when within a certain distance of their sacred circle.
    • Deckers gain advantages when within computer systems they're authorized to use. Their programs always execute properly, they can gain access anywhere they need to go and they don't have to worry about IC attacking them.
  • Dungeons & Dragons. Deities are always more powerful while on their home plane(s) than they are on other planes. For example, in older versions of the rules deities had control over who could cast Wishes on their plane(s).

Video Games
  • In Freelancer, the Gas Mining Guild's main strategy in the 80 Years War was to lure the Rheinlanders into the Crow Nebula (the GMG's home turf), and then use their detailed knowledge thereof to trick them into explosive gas pockets and radiation fields and so on.
  • In Ten Minute Space Strategy, any planet with "ancient defences" trait gives in-battle effectivity bonus to any of your fleets on said planet.

Western Animation
  • In one episode of Cyberchase, the gang visits Radopolis and compete in a skate-off with the villains, where they find themselves losing at first because the competition rink is different from the practice rink due to Hacker's villainous meddling.


replies: 29

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy