As I've said on this blog more than once I don't play competitions any more there is too much "unhistory" for my taste- also I suspect that they'd also be a bit intense and the idea of "learning the rules" fills me with dread but that doesn't mean I actively dislike 'em I merely CHOOSE not to involve myself in them.
Going further why - if I am as sniffy as these chaps imply- why over the years have I sponsored and or given prizes for several such competitions. Indeed the current Trophy given for the individual champion at the Donnington show was originally donated by Old Glory back in the mid 1990s.- that's the big armoured kinght thing on the show handbills .
We sponsored the then World Team Championships for around a dozen years or more through the 90s and noughties as well as giving prizes for some of the games and displays . I've also give army size prizes for competitions at War Torn and Smoggycon Hardly the actions of a chaps who hates competitions ...
Over the years I've found the organisers of such tournaments to be without fail nice chaps doing their thing is sometimes trying circumstances,
What do I mean trying circumstances- well larger tournaments often look like a wargamers sweatshop-with those lines of identically sized symetrically terrained table but you try getting all those tables and all that terrain in the right place at the right time in the right order. Try getting all of the games to finish on time when some dweeb just won't realise he's beat... The temptation to slap pillocks like that silly HAS to be resisted.
Try correlating all the results when one or more competitions has over run its allotted time (that same dweeb again) and the whole show is winding down and chaps want to get home. I've seen organisers grinding teeth in frustration and usually mild mannered blokes(not me) effin and blinding . Not a job I'd fancy..
Over the years I've dished out the prizes at these competitions and that can be trying- but sometimes fun too Back in the 90s I'd give a prize of a bottle of good champagne to the best Dressed team at Derby - just for a laugh- I was sick of seeing scruffy arsed gits shambling up to the stage for a grimace and a limp handshake.. Now this prize was I think ALWAYS won by the South African team- who turned up in Springboks blazers and ties. looking as if they actually gave a damn. Nice one lads .
Indeed on the whole- though the situation did improve markedly over the years -the worst of the limp wristed scuff always tended to be English. The Italians ,Spanish, French and Belgians (these are the nations I remember there may have been others ) seemed to have more about them and looked as if the actually cared about what they did.
So all in all I'm not anti- competition at all- however I'd maintain that a minority of the competitors really need a personality transplant ...
A few examples
Mention has already been made of those who over run their games and keep the rest waiting- at Derby this could be for well over an hour. There were years where my crew and I didn't get away until well after 7pm always waiting for some chaps who was fiddling about keeping the other 100 +competitors waiting before the prizes could be awarded. The because of said dweeb some chaps who were due prizes didn't hang about and did a flit- not always even having the manners to inform the organisers that they were off .
-The Absolute Nadir ...At one of the earliest Derby shows that we sponsored Rus Dunaway- the CEO of Old Glory US and I though it would be a nice idea to give a couple of large 15mm armies to the 2 top prize winners. these were substantial 15mm armies well over 1000 figures each . . Now these were given with no strings attached so what did the mannerless limp wristed tosser who won one of the prizes do
Walks up to me- somewhat later (he may even have phoned as well )
" I don't want these . I'm not interested. I want something else " - The memory of my utter distaste for this arsehole lingers on even after 20 years.
So if I am occasionally a bit sniffy about some COMPETITORS is it any wonder .
However now a story about competitions which truly wrings the heart .
Derby again - one of the last shows at the University.
As it happened my kid brother had driven up from London to see me for a few jars on the Saturday before continuing on back to our Parents
Now at this time he drove a shiny new Aston- Martin DB9- surely the coolest motor on the planet.
So Sunday morning he and I drive into the show- raising the odd eyebrow the while. I start work and he has a look around to get some idea what his big Bro' does for a living before leaving around lunchtime.
with me so far?
Now in the early Afternoon one of the organisers comes up to me and says
"Is that your brothers sports car out there in the Car Park- its on fire !"
Now this was some poor chaps TVR-a make which had a bit of a reputation for electrical fires . and it was by now in a bit of a state ......
Later the prize giving
The owner of said smouldering TVR comes up to receive his SECOND prize
for the FLAMES OF WAR competition...