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Dr Ian Plummer

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The ‘Bombard’

Ball positions at the start of the bombardRecent discussions on the Nottingham list gave an open-cannon solution to a situation which frequently arises at the start of a game under Advanced Rules.  If the opponent starts the game with a supershot opening (1st ball near peg) then the opponent will frequently shoot in 2nd turn to hopefully ~9” south of Corner 2. The first player then attempts to roquet that ball.  Either of those balls may reach their mark, but all too often a ball ends up on the corner spot and another some way south of it. 

If the northerly ball is hit in 4th turn, the safe simple and reliable solution is to play a little stop shot pushing the croquetted ball a foot or two out of the corner whilst getting a rush on the southern ball to hoop 1.  This however leaves a difficult-to-retrieve ball near Corner 2.

A number of players described an alternative strategy which places a useful pioneer near hoop 2.  I quote one description below.

After the bombardStephen Mulliner writes:

Assume you are taking croquet with Blue from Red which is on the Corner 2 spot with Yellow about 12” south of Corner 2.

Instead of doing a tiny split stop shot to get a rush to hoop 1 on Yellow, which will move Red only a very short distance into court, aim Blue-Red so that Red will contact Yellow half-ball on the left. Now play a split stop shot firmly enough to send Blue about 3’18” in into the yard-line area. Yellow will be bombarded either off the court or into the yard-line area about 2 yards south of where it was. When Yellow is replaced on the yard-line, Blue will have a useful rush to hoop 1 and Red will have gone several yards into court.

Precise distances and the aiming point will depend on how you play your shots, the balls and the court but that should be a guide to help you practice it.

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Updated 28.i.16
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