Posted by The Kubbmaster General on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 Under: Variants
By competition rules the first team to throw uses all 6 Batons (unless they topple all 5 Base Kubbs with their first 5 Batons) and this is considered by some players to be too much of an advantage (the Kubbmaster General included). “Four to Start” limits the opening team to only throwing 4 batons on the first turn, with each team throwing all 6 thereafter. In most social games or games amongst beginning players the extra two batons probably won't make that much difference, but at higher level play it can mean a LOT! Consider an opening team able to hit 2 out of 3 when throwing at baselines, starting with 4 batons they will average just over 2 and a half hits on turn 1, with all 6 they will drop 4! That’s the difference between healthy competition and starting the game with a HUGE hole to scratch & claw your way out of. This has the effect of making the opening throw at the King for sides & order immensely important as throwing first bestows a huge advantage. When I first discovered this game the rules I read included Four to Start and that’s how the Des Moines Kubb club played for years until we started training for the 2010 National Championship and discovered the competition rule. We've been playing by competition rules ever since (gotta practice how you'll compete!), but just about all of us like Four to Start better. We have already brought up our opinion on the matter with Eric at Wisconsin Kubb, and who knows? Maybe one day this “variant” will find its way into the official rules!