Tuesday 12 August 2014

An Open Letter of Gratitude


I just thought I'd write to say Thank You. With an upper case T. and Y, of course.

Thank You is one of those curious phrases that covers the frankly banal to the life changing, without changing much to account for it. It is a phrase of broad scope. It is fit for use when you're given your change at the kebab outlet and it is equally fit for use when you receive your knighthood. I presume - I've never had my nomination taken forward for that.

But enough about me! Let's talk about you some more.

To the community, I want to say Thank You.  I consider BOYL to be a massive success. Chiefly, that would be down to there not being any knobbish behaviour. The Foundry was filled with gentlemen, scholars, Chico and even some ladies, who did a stirling job of not looking bored.

Thanks for granting your opponent the benefit of the doubt.
Thanks for asking before you picked up someone else's model.
Thanks for not dropping the model, or for fawning at the feet of the owner when you did.
Thanks for keeping the game going when the rules threatened to lock you up.
Thanks for answering the questions of the others around you.
Thanks for sharing your figures and your dice and your pens and your measuring tapes.
Thanks for making laser noises and silly voices as appropriate for events on your table.
Thanks for remembering the names of those you met last year.
Thanks for asking the names of those you didn't.

Thanks for taking accountability for the fun of the other players on your table. 

Thank you.

There are special mentions, of course. There should always be special mentions. That's how you manipulate people into doing the same awesome thing next year, you see. I would encourage you to encourage them by also saying thank you.

So, to Antipixi - thank you. You stepped into the breach and made sense of the various games that were forming, choosing to organise them neatly on the forum for us - a huge help all round.

To Whiskey Priest - thank you. With such a powerful and terrifying voice as yours to command, we all sleep a little better at night knowing you use it only for the power of Good. Thanks for herding the oldhammerers together for the photo. And the scenery. F**k me, the scenery...

To Just John, Cheetor and TheOttoVonBismark, who no doubt had to endure withering stares from anti-terrorist police as you explained what exactly an ork was and why they might be lurking in your luggage. They crossed land and sea to join us, hailing from that other fair jewel, Ireland - thank you.

To Asslessman, who also crossed vast tracts of mother earth to engineer himself a table side seat in five separate games - thank you. A stirling guest, generous and polite and most, most welcome. And, through the selfless and admirable steering of the Killdozer 5000 to victory, he also enabled a dream for one stuck in the Antipodes, confounded by timezone, money and the selfish incapability of the human race to devise a working long range teleporter...

...which leads me to Captain Crooks! Unable to make the journey himself, he instead posted his models all the way to Asslessman and then proceeded to create high quality hand outs and suggestions for use in the Gorka Morka game. For all this he gets nothing but the faint fragrance of BOYL! 2014 on the base of the Killdozer. The ultimate GM - thank you.

To Citadel Collector, who besides supplying most of the artillery for the siege attackers, also allowed us all to gaze into the terrifying orifice of his asscannon, painted in the powerfully striking colours of black and white, supposedly in a nod to Malal, but no doubt actually just to make it hard to steal - thank you (and damn you!).

To Tony Yates. It's one thing to see your drawings. It's another to see you making drawings. On demand. Just for the sake of the thing. I know a lot of people commented on how good it was to talk to you, both whilst you drew and just as you wondered about. We look forward to your return next year - thank you.

To Wargames Foundry. For not being 'one of them'. I don't believe anyone experienced anything but warmth and generosity from the people of Foundry. At no point was there a 'them-and-us' feeling - which is why I've not separated you out in this note, you see. You lot were as much BOYL participants as the rest of us! To Martin, Shaun (Shawn? Sean?) and Rob - thank you.

To Kev Adams. For making the oldhammer goblin. Especially for us. Our own special event figure! For showing us your new greens and talking through the concepts - thank you.

To Diane and her team. I saw it mentioned somewhere on the blogosphere / internet and I believe it to be true - there is no wargames convention in the world that offers the same catering. Your team were courteous, patient and efficient. Dinner, again, was a huge hit - thank you.

To Marcus and Bryan. I don't believe you do know what you've enabled for us. I don't believe that understand the value of what you have made available to us as a community. I suspect you have an idea, of course. Like us, you have a love for toy soldiers. But it is more than that, you see. Perhaps you know what, but just not how much. Words, especially the Thank You ones, are unfortunately overwhelmed and spent when it comes to quantity. Still, thank you for being patient with us during the organisation. Thanks for making suggestions as you did, for providing the tables, the tent, the toilets, the parking, the lighting, the tours, the explanations of the moulding process, the figure cabinets. For the painting prizes - I think those took everyone by surprise! For the concept sketches and unreleased greens and the aluminium Mighty Fortress and the sphincter beasts. For inviting us back next year - thank you.

So there you are. Thirty expressions of gratitude, completely unfit for the job, but all I have to offer. I suspect that I speak for the entire Oldhammer community when I say it finally: Thank You.