Events: Mercenary Wars 7 Debrief

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 completely accurate.

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 a blast.

I can't wait for next year.



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