Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Of Bats and Crickets

A great movie about a man who
should, by all rights, be dead.
Our last lecture was about swords. While a real sword is extremely effective, most people don't have access to an acceptable one. This lecture is about an implement to which almost everyone in the United States and Europe has access. If you go into the garage of any suburban home you will find a bat of some kind. Depending on the country it will be either a Baseball Bat or a Cricket Bat. For our purposes there really isn't much of a difference. They are both long, blunt, heavy sticks with handles optimized for gripping.

Both bats are extremely effective as weapons against those infected with the ZPlague. The are heavy. They are blunt. They are excellent at cracking open zombie heads to destroy the brain, which is what you have to do to stop a zombie. Bats are also iconic weapons when it comes to dealing with zombies. The hero always has a baseball bat at some point. Thanks to Shaun of the Dead we can see that Cricket Bats have much the same appeal.

It may not slice and dice, but it will
crush the hell out of a zombie skull.
Baseball bats come in two types. Both have their advantages, but I prefer metal bats over wooden bats. While wood bats may be harder, denser and have more mass and weight to put behind the swing, they are wood, and as such they can break. Metal bats are not as heavy. They are not as dense, but they will not break through continued, intense use. Bats made of metal don't hit as hard. It takes more effort to crack a zombie skull and spread the grey matter across the street, but you can do so for much longer. Metal bats will dent. They may bend. What they won't do is crack in half. A wooden bat is always in danger of shattering. Plus, you won't be tempted to throw a metal bat into a fire to keep yourself warm.

Cricket? You gotta know what a
crumpet is to understand Cricket.
As an American, I don't have the experience with cricket bats that I do with baseball bats. Looking at the construction of the bat, however, I can see where there are many similarities, but also many differences. Both have handles that are, as I said previously, optimized for gripping. This is essential. No one wants to try to kill a zombie in front of them only to find that the incredibly powerful swing they executed has caused their bat to seek employment on the upper floors of the parking garage next to which they're standing. Cricket bats differ from baseball bats in one important way. While baseball bats are cylindrical, ensuring maximum pressure is exerted no matter how the bat is turned, cricket bats are flat. This doesn't make them any less effective. It just means the swing used has to be more precise and of a different nature. The defender cannot let the cricket bat turn at all while swinging or they risk having the blow glance off at an angle.

So you see, either of these weapons are excellent simple weapons to defend yourself with. When it comes time to choose, pick the one you're more comfortable with. For Americans that clearly means a baseball bat. Metal for preference. For Europeans, I have no clue. It may not be an issue. Hopefully the zombie plague will be limited to one continent. I doubt it, but I hope.

This has nothing to do with the lecture.
I just think it's amusing.