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.


  1. It was a fantastic event because of all involved.

  2. Well said! Here's too next years but hopefully without the epic Noah style storm lol

  3. You left someone out Gaj, as would be expected with you being the gentleman you are - thank YOU Gaj. There, it's been said, I know others would echo the sentiment.

  4. Recognising the people involved is a great way to show that their efforts were appreciated.

    An admirable gesture Gaj :)

  5. thanks for the very kind words Gaj

    1. Here; here!! I entirely agree; I would also like to express my thanks to all who made it such a fantastic weekend!

  6. Heartily agreed on all counts. Nice one Gaj.

  7. Totally and utterly agree. Oh, and it was me that spoke of the quality food and service. Its was superior to every show I have ever been too, not only in quality but also price. I know a great many other people were appreciative of the meal served on the Saturday too.

  8. Class act, Gaj! A really great post! I think it is gentlemanly behaviour like this that elevates the whole oldhammer movement into a shining example of what an utopian gaming culture can be! Also, a big Thank You from the outside community that enjoyed looking in at the whole glorious dreamfest was BOYL.


    Private W.

  9. Bravo! I agree with everything said here, everybody helped make the weekend fantastic from start to finish but without you, Gaj and the Ansells, it may never have happened so the biggest thanks have to go to you both (all?).

  10. A perfect post, thank you for writing this as it eloquently praises so many people who were involved in making this such a fantastic weekend. A really positive spirit has been fostered.

  11. Very eloquently put - might I add my thanks to all concerned and of course to you as well.

    Do we really have to wait a year for the next one?!

    1. No need to wait at all! We are always open. We just need advance notice for food.


  12. I wholeheartedly agree with those wise words Gaj and I must add one massive thank you to you too for making the link between our community and the Ansells (and with the Foundry more generally).
    You've made possible last year's dream into this year's reality by hosting me and you've helped make the community able to enjoy one splendid time of good behavior, good models, excellent laughs and sharing.

    Thanks a lot.

  13. Cheers Gaj! Thanks to all involved for making a weekend that exceeded all our wildest expectations!

  14. Hear, hear! Admirably expressed sentiments, Gaj, and ones with which I wholeheartedly agree.

  15. YEs good work. I was contemplating speakiong a formal thank you after the painting contest, but felt a bit like it might go down light a lead ballon so refrained!

    IM just really happy to have attended, I had so much fun its impossible to express. It was great meeting the folks behind the online community.

    I think the only bad parts for me were my off colour references and other sociopathic clangers, which were taken in great humour and the spirit of brotherhood!

    Just a really fun time, and I cant believe the staggering quality of the models on display.

    Add on top of this the sheer and utter brilliance of the Ansell family. I mean, THEY GAVE US A FREE MODEL EACH! I must say, I also happen to think it is the best sculpt Kevin Adams has done, really his best work, and I have one! Im so very happy.

    BUt seriously, how was it possible to put on such an amazing event FOR FREE and give away a model? I am staggered at the generosity if Foundry.

  16. Seconded and thirded !!! Special thanks to the Ansells and all at Foundry. Top job all round!

  17. Cheers chaps - thanks for the kind comments! Arrangements have already begun for BOYL 2015!