Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Bring Out Your Lead! 2013

Broadly speaking, there are two camps of people in the Oldhammer community.

There are those of us we went to Foundry for the Bring Out Your Lead! 2013 event.

And there are those that didn't.

If you're in the former camp, your sleep pattern has probably only returned to normal around about now.

If you're in the latter, no doubt you continue to gnash and wail as you ponder the emptiness of your life. as you read this you might be looking at your partner, thinking, 'why? I thought you loved me...'

Perhaps you're considering espionage against your employer, in revenge for their selfish, damning demands that coincided with the coming together of the oldhammer community?

Sick kids? Boarding school. No, it's final, dear. They should have known better.

Still, the thing went well enough that it seems likely it might even happen again. So keep 'em sweet, kids. You have work to do.

So lets talk about the weekend. Everyone else is doing it. I didn't take any pictures, which as we all know, paint at least one thousand words each. Instead, I shall just resort to the words.

The first thing that stood out to me about the event was how disappointing everyone was visually. Without doubt, every single oldhammerer stubbornly refused to look even remotely like the person in my imagination. Citadel Collector? No beard, no leather hat. Harry? Tall. Clean shaven. Jovial beyond measure. Warlord Paul? Not a goth. Skarsnik and Old Lead? No detectable body odour, despite this being the entry requirement for his employer. Erny? Too small. And too young. Nico? Not an actual golden demon.

No, frankly, I think the community could have done a little better to fit the people in my mind. We can't all simply go around looking like we* do. This sort of thing is not on.

*By we, I mean you.

Now, I could rattle on about games, or figures, or lucky dice rolls, but what I really want to spend some time on, is the uncategorised. The little bits that just stand out in my head.

Like picking up Skarsnik's Citadel Giant.

I literally stroked the Great Spined Dragon under its chin. It grinned.

I was given dice with the Warhammer For Adults logo after Norse asked me if I knew who Gaj was. Turns out I did ;)

They even roll sixes occasionally.

I held a Chaos Dwarf Juggernaut in my hands.

Slann. I saw Slann. Actual, real Slann. They really, really made them.

There were other things. I learned a new phobia. It seems I break into a cold sweat every time a jezzailachi fires.

Warlord Paul and I discussed the perfect pitch conditions for throwing dice. I can safely conclude that the conditions on my tables were not suitable.

I remember discussing self-cooling homes with Bryan Ansell. I'd never even heard of these before. And I come from a hot country.

I specifically remember us dithering around deciding where we were going to go to eat at the conclusion of the day. Get this: Diane Ansell - for whom angels and wargamers alike sing - offered to feed us all.

I remember the Holiday Inn screwing up two out of four hotel bookings. I remember Harry taking the suddenly roomless and bedless Norse in, saving him from the brutal streets of Nottingham.

I recall drinking a frankly disgusting pint of Punk IPA and relatively good one of something else I don't unfortunately know the name of.

When moving from one put to the other, a complete, arbitrary stranger decided to join our group. That's how cool we are. We dismissed him, of course. Idiot.

We bumped into the Perry Twins. I think they must have guessed what we were, because they evacuated shortly afterwards. With glee, some oldhammerers sat in their seats. Not out of fanboydom, you understand. It was a crowded place.

I remember the call for last orders.

Curiously, of all the typical early morning venues that the typical Sunday Morning patron might consider, Skarsnik guided us to the what must surely be the most famous landmark in Nottingham - the twenty four hour Greggs. We all queued up in an orderly fashion, because the place had a bouncer. Classy.

Harry the wise, decided not to have a steak bake like the rest of us. He held true to English tradition and discovered Master Doner on the other side of the road. In a fit of kindness, he shared a bite with Thantsants and myself.

We walked all the way to the hotel, before the feeling of being cheated overwhelmed us. Thantsants and myself bade good evening to the other revellers before returning to get our own kebabs. There are just some things that must be. Steak bakes at 01:45? These don't need to be.

Thantsants, Harry and myself then sat down in the reception bar and resolved most of the world's problems. Syria? Sorted. Recession? Check. The state of education? Even now, we await a response  to our proposals from David Cameron. We eventually stopped out of exhaustion, unable to bring ourselves to cure cancer.

Next time.

Sunday introduced Rick Priestley. We joked about the pictures of him in the 3rd edition rulebook showing wargamers how to engage in commerce.

He also hinted that the chaos dwarf juggernaut did in fact have a set of rules for it.

Tony Hough walked us through the stories in his portfolio.

Dreamfish borrowed a Slann army. We played. I actually, really, honestly and for-real played against a Slann army. A whole army. As you already know, Dreamfish is not native to England. So I did the right thing, of course; I lost. So magnanimous was I, that I specially arranged that seven chaos warriors were routed by some human slaves. There are not many people that could engineer that, let me tell you.

I remember discussing the event with Bryan. He gave me some advice. He suggested that the event organisation was too wordy. Wargamers will just sort it out, you see?

Mixed in with all of that? Drinking, eating, swearing, laughing, gawking, staring, pointing, gaming, winning, losing, drawing, gasping, sighing and measuring.

There was fun.

So really, all that remains is to say thanks.

Thank you, oldhammer community, for being the easy going, good humoured and benevolent lot that you are. You made the considerable lack of organisation on my behalf seem like an elite military operation.

Thank you, event organisers: Orlygg, Dan, Thantsants, Padre, Harry, Citadel Collector, Golgfag, and Erny. You made things happen.

Diane Ansell: I know I speak for all of those present when I say thank you for your provision. Your instincts are spot on - there are thirty or so happy, well fed and watered gamers to attest to that.

May it be that there are never leftovers at your table. 

Bryan Ansell: Again, thank you sir. The whole thing felt like a visit to a benevolent uncle's wargaming store by a vast number of excitable nephews. We felt welcome, understood and appreciated.

May it be that you always have the correct change. 

Marcus Ansell: Frankly a legend. For free, you have put facilities at our fingertips that we could not have achieved with money, fame, political influence or sexual favours.

May it be that your socks always match.

So, to the Ansell family: It is hard to truly describe the warmth with which you hosted the event, but it felt like a family. No facility in the world can meet that feeling.

Thank you.


  1. Hugely, poetically enjoyable and just makes the feeling that I've turned up just as the last reveller leaves the party all the harder to bear! So hope there is a second helping of 'Old Skool' tomfoolery.

    1. Thank you, Mr Goldsmith. I've just come across your blog. It seems we both have an interest in Nurgle. Shortly, when I complete the other things on my blog that are outstanding, I will post up the peculiar Nurgle army that never featured at the event. My desperation will make you laugh...

      I think we all hope there would be a second helping of this event, as well as little mini ones in between.

      Anyway, welcome!

  2. Too small? Six foot not good enough, or did you imagine me fat(ter)?

    Nicely summarised with out photos.

    1. Er...yeah. That second one. A little.

      Good news is you disappointed! Gotta be good news, right?

    2. Yeah, I only type fat...must hit the keys too hard.

  3. A very eloquent review Gaj, well done. I am taking every opportunity to join in thanking the Ansell family too, so thanks very much to your and your lovely staff! Btw, you really should have taken that Chaos Warrior rout check on a firm to hard surface!

    @deangoldsmith the future looks very bright indeed for the Oldhammer revolution, are you on the BLOOD forum yet? It's the 'it' in Gaj's links above. Join one of the local Oldhammer groups. Next year will come around quicker than you realise too!

    1. I believe you're right, Warlord Paul - the surface was clearly unsuitable for the larger die I used. Schoolboy error, really.

      Thanks for echoing my appreciation to the Ansells!

  4. Hi Gaj, Good style report :)
    what do you want to explain with "He suggested that the event organisation was too wordy. Wargamers will just sort it out, you see?",I don't understand?

    Thank you, bye Nico.

    1. He means really all you need to do is provide a venue and the theme, we are all intelligent enough to sort a game out before hand or on the day if necessary. It's actually the way we went in the end after much discussion.

    2. Hi Nico

      Thanks very much - and a very special thank you to you for travelling all the way as you did - you made excellent time!

      As for the meaning, I think he was suggesting I was trying to manage too much stuff. Which I was. Having left it to just 'sort itself out' - well, it kind of did. We'll know for next time :)

  5. Yeah, I would also like to express my gratitude and thanks. It was a hugely enjoyable weekend: great gaming, great people and great miniatures. Cheers from Denmark!


    1. Mr Martin! It was great to have you and Claus over - I'm sorry we didn't get to talk more (or that my warband didn't get to beat yours into next weeks newspaper...)

    2. There you are. I think I found your pending account on the BLOOD forum. I just activated it. Enjoy.

  6. Sounded like a great time. And yes, I am envious.

    1. Mr Sean - I'd like to say things like 'actually, it was all overrated' and 'the old miniatures on display were frankly dull' - just to make you feel better.

      But I just can't. It was a great time. Start earning those brownie points now, so that you can get an exit visa for the next one!

  7. Lovely review Gaj, especially the little details. Although I did had my doubts about you a couple of times, you made up for it in the end. I'm glad you weren't the guy I imagined you'd be ;)

    1. Hey D

      Good to know! I'm glad I wasn't the guy you imagined me to be either (120kg and a gimp mask, was it ;P)

  8. A splendid report. Clearly everyone who is anyone was present! Gad! Where does that leave me : (

    I plead oceanic difficulties and yet I still cannot sleep soundly!

    But enough of this. The important bit, the REALLY important bit, is this: Was anyone subject to the Trouser Leg Ritual?

    1. Trouser Leg Ritual. Hmmm.

      No, I've drawn a blank. What the hell is that?

      Whilst I imagine we might be able to arrange an event somewhere in europe, I'm concerned that a trip to the Antipodes would break most of us (myself included -that's a Divorce with a capital 'D' right there...)

      And yet it would be lovely to have had you along!

  9. I would pay serious money to see pictures of this event! It sounds like an amazing and wonderful Oldhammer dream come true!

    1. There are plenty on my blog and plenty on the BLOOD forum. How would you like to pay me? You did say serious money yes?

    2. There are plenty on my blog and plenty on the BLOOD forum. How would you like to pay me? You did say serious money yes?

    3. There are plenty on my blog and plenty on the BLOOD forum. How would you like to pay me? You did say serious money yes?

    4. Three times, Erny? ;)

      Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

    5. Dude. Whilst we all have to acknowledge that the recession is still biting, I still couldn't bring myself to charge you money for the pictures.

      Places you can look for free would be:

      http://wargamesfoundry.com/ (includes a shot of me, so that how you imagined me to be will be blown to shreds!)

      or, as Erny has suggested, here:


      Most of the oldhammer blogs are buzzing with these things too, so you should be able to get some shots from there.

    6. Thanks, Gaj! Excellent pictures there. And, like you mentioned in the post, I don't think anyone looked quite like I might have expected! :)

  10. Cheers Gaj - filled in a few blanks from the Saturday night ;)

    Still feeling that warm after glow - so thanks one and all - especially the Ansells and your good self for a truly awesome (I think for once that particular adjective is warranted!) weekend.