I have yet to witness a tournament kubb game where the king was not attacked head-on. I have yet to attack the king in a competitive environment, namely due to hesitance from deviation. Luckily for me, my partner takes care of (in my opinion) the hardest part of a kubb game....winning. 

This blog is two-fold. One, to continue to engage you, the reader; the kubb enthusiast, in thought and discussion. Secondly, to go through the process of examining a potential change in competitive strategy on my part. 

I have missed the king more times than I can recall. I am so bad at king shots that I pretty much require 2 batons in hopes of winning a match. I missed the king TWICE in a match recently that cost us (Team Fuh-jar-radar) a final 4 spot in the recent Minnesota Kubb tournament. The king hates me. We are nemesis.

I am almost to the point of not even trying to get better. Practice ain't fixing the issue. Perhaps analyses, geometry, and physics can.

A kubb pitch is 8m by 5m. The king is 4 meters from the baseline. Attacking the king from the middle of the baseline is a 4 meter shot. Attacking the king from the far right corner (for a right handed person) is about a 4.7 meter shot.

17.75% more distance to throw from the corner. See below:

Assuming an Old Time Games King, from the far right corner, the amount of surface area I can see is 11.659 cm, assuming a 58 degree angle at which I'm taking the shot from (right corner pin to center of king). From the middle, the amount of surface area I can see is 8.25 cm. To see the most surface area, I'd need to be at 45 degrees, which would take me about a meter out of bounds.

41% more surface area to hit from the corner. See below:

And the numbers on surface area assume the patch of attack is directly above the corner pin. The surface area increases further if your release point is outside the physical boundary of the pitch, which is very possible based on your arm length, foot placement (it HAS to be fully in bounds) and style of throw. See below:

Geometry then tells me it's a better shot from the corner, as the benefits to surface area (41% increase) outweigh the risks of distance (17% longer shot). But what does physics say?

From the middle, let's say I attack the king using X energy. I could probably get away with using < X energy, but I want to put enough into it to keep it on the throwing plane.

Do I need > X energy if I attack the king from the corner? My gut says no, but I am not a physics major....yet. I strongly feel like the amount of energy that is averagely put in a baton throw is enough to topple the king near-equally from the corner and from the center. I would expect less than a 2% increase would be needed to equalize a corner shot from a center shot. If there are any physics students or professors that could quantify this number, that would be pretty cool.

Attacking the king from the corners vs. the centers, assuming a trajectory from corner pin to center of the king. There is a significant favorable difference in surface area showing from the corner (RED), a smaller unfavorable difference in distance (BLUE), and (assumption based on experience) an insignificant unfavorable difference in additional power (of what is already used to keep a baton on the throwing plane) required to topple the king.

I have seen shots glance the king from the corner, spinning it a bit, but not toppling it.

Consider the same shot, with the same off-target deviation; It would be a complete miss from the center.

But there is the human element:

I still attack kings head-on in tournament play, and in local ranked matches. Why? I'm comfortable with it, and I am concerned about changing strategy in a competitive environment. There is something to be said for comfort in a competitive environment where you are already on edge and outside your comfort level. Will I change to throw at the king from the corners? I don't know. Perhaps I will begin attacking the corner if I have 2 batons left to attack the king with. I'm missing king shots now, so there's isn't a better time to change tactics. Perhaps my math is fail. Perhaps my assumptions on energy are off. Perhaps the next game winner I take will be from the corner.....I don't know yet.