The scenario:

Your opponents throw a good group of 6 in the upfield. Your team leans over the pile of wood and have no clue where to start. You know that getting the kubbs away from each other is the main defensive strategy, but in this case, the group is good. Too good to rely on spreading out the kubbs. You wonder what other factors you should consider when righting kubbss an opponent has thrown. Have you ever considered how the facing will effect play?


Facing:

Facing refers to the angle of a kubb when standing, relative to the angle of attack. Baselines will be setup to always have a side facing, while thrown field kubbs will have varying facings. Below is an example of two different facings you may see from your line of sight, while attacking kubbs:


One of things you will want to consider when standing kubbs defensively is the facing reletative to your opponents' potential angle of attack. Corner facing kubbs have more surface area showing and may topple even if the throw is off a few centimeters. We discussed the angle of attacking the king in a previous blog that may help you understand the impact further. I have also seen people attacking the baselines at an angle to garner a few more centimeters of surface area on the long game. Facing can come into play not only for attacking the king and baselines, but comes into play as well when attempting a multiple hit with 1 baton.

But more important to just getting space between kubbs when standing them defensively, consider the facing as it relates to hitting more than 1 kubb with 1 baton (doubles and triples or more). Consider these two examples of a potential double line:



So example A, if hit square on the side face of the front kubb, is an easy double for an opponent. The front kubbs trajectory will go through the 2nd kubb without a doubt. Example B, however, is a little more difficult. If the attacking baton is off the center just slightly, the baton veers one way, and the kubb rolls the other. A more creative and skilled approach would need to be taken by the attacker to take both of these kubbs down with one baton.

Here's a likely example to B (post baton hit):


Awww snap! The baton hits the right side of the kubb, making the baton angle away from the 2nd kubb. Alternately, the baton hitting the right side of the kubb forces the kubb to veer left of the 2nd kubb. Shucks! Only a single.

While this example is the easiest to visualize, being able to look at 6 or 7 kubbs laying down and understanding how the facing will effect your opponent in getting multiple hits with 1 baton will take practice and thourough review of all the potential standing options. You ever wonder why some teams seem to take longer than others standing kubbs? They may be factoring in facing (and potentially other factors as well)... 

As you continue to defensively stand kubbs remember the options you were unsure of, watch the result as your opponents attack the group, and learn from any mistakes you make in standing the kubbs. Sometimes randomness and luck will make the right decision look very, very wrong. Make sure to understand the difference between skill and luck.

So now, back to the scenario we started with....you go forward with a kubb to provide a corner facing to your opponent. You then take a differenet kubb and put in right behind the corner facing kubb. The others just make sense to spread them out into a fence.

Success! You occupy your opponents batons and your baseline is unscathed. Now it's your turn to make a woodpile. Drill away!