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TSO-C/D - Day 6 - The Siege

2018 Session C/D-MiddlesTinkering School StaffComment

The day of the siege is finally here, and teams can hardly wait to get started. The castles are mostly done, but there is much work to be done on the siege weapons. At 4 pm sharp the queen will commence the siege, so tinkerers rush to get started. Teams get to work by planning for the day, and crafting strategies for the siege.

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Team Piki finishes attaching the canvas to the outside of their castle.

Vince pokes out of a hole soon to be covered with canvas.

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They decide to keep a hole for look-out purposes.

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In the forest, Nooi decides to add gargoyles to scare off attackers.

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The gargoyles strike fear in all who look upon them.

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Nooi pushes ahead with their siege weapon. They look to improve their launching release mechanism and the track for the projectile.

Measurements are in order.

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Over in the Sun Kingdom, the ballista is being prepped for test fires.

Mads sews a pouch for the projectile. The pouch will be attached with ropes the ends of the arms of the ballista.

While it is crunch time, there is still time for play. We have some fun with chainmail.

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Even the collaborators jump in.

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The morning passed quickly. With all the hard work, we are all in need of a short break, so we go down to see the animals.

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Future shepherds?

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With the animal visit done, we return to the build site for the final push before the siege.

Piki continues to test and refine their ballista.

The ball we are using as a projectile kept getting stuck with the cloth pouch, so Piki decides to switch to a cup. In their tests, they have trouble with the ball's exit from the ballista and the distance the ball travels. Making constant improvements, they hope the ballista will be effective come 4 o'clock.

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Nooi builds and adds a guiding track to their slingshot.

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Soon enough, they are ready for their first test fire. They are using a bolt as a release pin which they soon find is hard to pull due to the forces on the bolt. With some wiggling, they manage to pull the pin and launch the ball. The ball flies through the air. The test is a success, but there is worry that the range isn't enough.

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Soon enough the siege is only an hour away. Pressure builds amongst the teams.

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Realizing the ballista is not going to be enough, team Piki adapts. In a last ditch effort, they remove a torsion spring and arm from the ballista to repurpose it as a catapult.

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Without much time, they scramble to make it functional. They use a shop bucket as a holder for the ball. However, on the first test the bucket breaks. The clock strikes 4 and they have no alternate holder. 

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The time for the siege arrives. As this is a contest and not an actual war, the siege functions more like a spectator sport. One team attacks the other teams castle with their siege weapon. The defending castle is empty. All not involved with the operation of the siege weapon stand behind a line which is deemed safe from projectiles. Each attacking team will get three shots with their siege weapon and one shot either thrown or kicked. There are three targets worth 10, 25, and 50 points placed on the castle. A miss of a target but a hit on the castle is worth 5 points, but a complete miss is worth none. Team Nooi elects to attack first, and starts positioning their slingshot.

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Nooi works together to fire their first shot.

The first shot lands about halfway between the slingshot and the castle. Nooi hopes for the ball to roll and hit the castle (a valid hit). However, the ball is launched with backspin which causes the ball to stop forward progress upon impact. Nooi prepares for a second shot, hoping for a better outcome.

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The second shot is similar to the first; Piki's castle still stands tall. Nooi sets up for the final shot. The pin is pulled and the ball sails farther, but the distance is not enough. Nooi's score comes down to the kick or throw. Jasper is chosen to represent his team, and he decides to kick the ball.

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The shot misses just left of the castle. With 4 misses, Nooi receives 0 points. Now, it's time to see if Piki can do any better.

Without a proper holder for the ball, it is tough for team Piki to launch the ball effectively. The first shot bounces short of the pinecone moat. It rolls for a bit, but is stopped by the moat. To the delight of team Nooi, the pinecone moat has served a functional purpose. The second and third shots produce similar outcomes.

Like Nooi, Piki's score comes down to the kick or throw. Nate is chosen to represent team Piki. Due to Nooi's wall, Nate is forced to throw the ball.

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The throw sails to the right of the castle, meaning Piki scores 0 points.

The siege ends in a tie which feels like a fitting end to a week full of equal effort from both teams. Still recovering from the excitement of the siege, we reset the worksite and head down for dinner.

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We close the night with a fire and s'mores. Memories from the week are shared and jokes are cracked. Tired out from the day we head to sleep, some of us in our castles.

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