[Home]Crossmead Spiral

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Crossmead Spirals come in two major forms; the 'regular' or 'spinwards' Crossmead Spiral and the 'outward' or 'widdershins' Crossmead. The regular Crossmead is a bit dated - it has even been described as 'cumbersome' - and nowadays several tactics that successfully stall such a manoeuvre are known. On the other hand, successfully getting a Widdershins Crossmead above the third spin in a stable formation gives access to full cross-planar tunneling. If well-executed, this may even occur at quantum level. It grants many more tactical options than the Pettengale Sweep and is almost impossible to block.

A particularly devastating use of a Crossmeads Spiral was when Graeme Garden got from South London to North Africa in a single move. That was a near-perfect example of a Widdershins Crossmead - made all the more interesting because it was disguised as a series of shunts right up until the final leap.

Safety note: Some readers may recall the horrendous 'Crossmead' disaster of 1987 where four MC players were seriously injured as their (Outward) Crossmead Spiral got dangerously out of control, spinning wildly and bringing everything to a premature end. This tactic is not recommended for use below club level unless all participants have been properly trained and have taken suitable safety precautions. Note that a Spiral must be executed with military precision, but once it builds up some momentum, trying to stop it is like throwing a baked bean at a charging rhinoceros. (Which also explains why it can be dangerous when attempted by inexperienced players.) By comparison a Pettengale Sweep is an ephemeral creature, trivial to deflect.


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Edited September 21, 2004 9:47 am by Kevan (diff)