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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Axe Throwing and Magic for Dom's Birthday!

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to try some things I had heard much about: axe-throwing and playing Magic: The Gathering! It was my great friend Dom's birthday, and I was excited to spend time with him and try something new!

Axe-throwing leagues seem to have sprung up around the Toronto area, and likely in many other places in Canada and the US recently. It is exactly what it sounds like; you throw axes. 

We went to the Backyard Axe Throwing League, B.A.T.L. (get it?), and I found it to be better organized than I expected. The building was clean, and open, with many "lanes", and a friendly staff. The place had a very "sawdust and lumberjack" feel even though I'm sure neither of those elements were actually present.

There were only a few of us, guys, and we went full "manly" men, some of us wore plaid, all of us were shouting things, and getting really excited about the whole event.

Of course we were serious about things, we were throwing sharp axes after all, but there was a great sense of camaraderie and competition. 

It turns out it is actually very easy to throw an axe, and to throw it well. I joked with my friends that I likely had more experience with axes than any of them, having grown up in a rural environment where chopping wood and starting fires were weekly, if not daily, activities, but that I had never thrown an axe before.

We were throwing hand axes, hatchets, and we went back and forth between one and two-handed. The technique is very simple and the only thing catching most of us off-guard was the act of following through. When I play darts, I release the projectile and extend my hand toward the board, however when I throw an axe, I'm supposed to keep moving my hand downward, this helps establish the right spin of the axe. It was tough to remember to do so.

One interesting "twist" on the rules of the target board: there was a "clutch" spot, a green circle which was worth extra points, but only on the last throw of a match, and only counted when it was called beforehand.

So, we threw axes, we had fun, and Mike ended up winning the tournament, earning the title of manly man. It was a great event, and I kind of want to set up my own board, and/or go again some time.

Afterward, we had a late lunch at the Pickle Barrel, or as we affectionately call it, the Gherken Firkin, met up with more people, talked about superheroes, movies, all sorts of fun stuff.

Then most of us went back to Dom's place to play Magic: The Gathering. This is a collectible card game, like Pokémon, where players use unique cards and strategy to defeat their opponent. It is similar, in some ways, to Dungeons and Dragons, drawing off of the Tolkien-esque fantasy genre, and involves cards with spells, creatures, and "magical" effects. I had heard of the game, but never got into it myself, mostly because it can be an expensive hobby.

Each card is unique and in order to play, you need many of them. On top of that, the more you have, the more options you have and the better you will be at the game. I've never really been in a situation in my life where I could afford such a hobby, but I was excited to try it out with my friends.

The rules were complicated, but I was used to that from other games, so it wasn't too bad. We had fun strategizing, working with and against each other, and I ended up winning! I played mostly a defensive game but once I had enough resources, and an understanding of the game, I swept my opponents. 

I'm sure Dom is reading this now hoping that I will become just as interested as he is in continuing to play Magic. However, my stance hasn't changed that while it seems like a lot of fun, it's just out of my price range at this point. Still, I hope to play again with my friends in the future.

And that's it. Just wanted to share some of our adventures. It was a lot of fun and I'm thankful to have such great friends who help me experience more out of life.

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

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