Congratulations everyone on a terrific
Mercenary Wars VII. The weekend warriors (literally) have returned, and
while nursing our sore muscles and bruises we can recount the exploits
and foibles of various battles.
Following every Merc Wars, there seems
to be much discussion involving the concept of "fairness," and it is
about that concept I would wish to offer a few comments.
First of all, I would remind everyone
about the reason we go up there every year and do this is because its
fun! The "enemy" is not really the enemy, but friends that we enjoy
sharing adventures with. Sure, it's fun to win, but it's also fun when
your friend wins. I think we are all gracious enough to be pleased for
each other's successes.
Secondly, it is irrefutably impossible
to make everything perfectly, exactly fair in this game. To do that
would involve wires and computers as in an Olympics fencing
championship. Personally, I know that sometimes I haven't called hits
that I should have taken, or gotten confused in the count during
battle. Can anyone say differently? We all try to be as fair as we can
be, but in the heat and pace of battle it is not possible to always be
As well, shots that to your eyes
appear to be "good" may be registering in the mind of your opponent as
"blocked" or "garb" or "tippy." How can we expect everyone to evaluate
each stroke in exactly the same way each time? If we stand back far
enough to see the battle as a whole rather than nitpick the judgment on
every single stroke, it is easier to remember the fun in all this.
The same may be said of the relative
difficulty of clues, weapons and armor supplies, team members or
numbers, timing of battles, and camp location. Try as we may, it's
never going to be exactly equal!
Your organizers work for months to
prepare things to be as fun (and fair) as possible. Then the big
weekend arrives and we load up our vehicles to busting and drive into
the mountains. We get to spend two days fighting, feasting, singing,
spying, marauding, raiding, and otherwise making merry until we are too
exhausted to move.
Some of our company came home with
bright tournament badges hanging from their belts, or shining silver
cups, or prizes awarded for swordsmanship. The luck was with them this
year, yes - but all of us came home with other treasures - like the tale
of Gawain and the Green Knight, or the dulcet tones of recorder music
wending through the trees, or the sweet taste of mead, or the joy of a
battle well fought.
I don't know about you guys, but I had
I can't wait for next year.