I wrote in the most recent Ob Sec newsletter that every event that we run at Ob Sec has been my favourite for one reason or another. The ones that are probably most dear to my heart are 2015 Masters, our very first event, and 2016 Line Breaker down in Albany.
Funnily enough Line Breaker was one of our smallest events, it was 4 hours away and it was my first time being that far away from my children and I spent it with 20 random guys and one girl (other than me!) staying in drafty dorms in the middle of winter (well close enough) during freezing Albany nights (I don’t do cold well). While it was one of our smallest events it was one that proved the most challenging logistically. I’m painting a pretty awesome picture of it right? I mean what is there not to love?
The thing is, there was nothing not to love. It was a great weekend away. We had 13 Perth players, 8 Albany players (M started out as ringer but after playing round 1 with one of the new players to the event that elected to pull out of the event and play the rest of the event as intro games with M and because of the small size of the event this was something that could be easily accommodated).
We arrived Friday late afternoon with most of the other Perth players and found a majority of the Albany boys set up doing last minute painting (I was still relatively new to the ObSec events and I was pretty sure that one of the guys playing was a regular attendee at ObSec events so I was teasing him about painting the night before the event, he was laughing along as the Perth based player I thought I was teasing walked through the door. You know those moments you wish the ground would open up and swallow you whole, yeah this was one. Oops!). By the time we had found food the Perth players and Albany players were fast friends. While some of the guys there carried on painting (and assembling) their models, many broke out board games or CCG or just sat around sharing stories, sharing a laugh and sharing a drink.
The next morning most of the players turned up for breakfast and it was great to see the Perth players and Albany players interacting, chatting and winding each other up as the trash talking and laughter started as the food was served.
The Big Day
The event itself is not memorable to me as a TO, with 20 players I did my best to ensure that Perth players were paired with Albany players wherever possible which posed some challenges but otherwise meh, it was an event. The players gave good feedback about the event, they had fun, there were differences to the way that Albany and Perth players were used to playing which was interesting for all involved.
After the event is where the fun really started for me. Majority of us sat and shared a meal, having 15 people sit around a table and eat is a great way to create a shared experience. After the food some who were feeling worse for wear (either self-inflicted from the night before or for one unfortunate player due to illness) disappeared off to the dorms leaving 8 or 9 of us in the hall playing games (Cards Against Humanity – the look on the players faces when someone suggested playing CAH – ‘um have you ever played this before Emma?’ ‘no’ ‘ummmmmm ……’ hahahaha), and sharing stories and laughter.
I don’t want to portray the event as one great big booze up but I will admit there was a fair bit of alcohol consumed by some. One player, who was clearly as excited by the idea of sleeping in a dorm as I was, had decided he would head into town and get a hotel/motel room for the weekend rather than stay at the dorm so he didn’t bother to bring linen/sleeping bag/anything to give warmth. He made a wise decision not to drive that night and instead risked hyperthermia by sleeping in his car (after drunk purchasing on the Forgeworld – as with many a night spent drinking there was a little man conceived that night, he arrived in traditional time, 28 days later via UPS!) The stories about naked ar$es and baked beans that another player shared will sadly live on in my memory for years to come, another player mixing alcoholic ginger beer, rum and MY honey whiskey (oh god I just remembered the vile whiskey that one of the players brought and shared the first night, it was like licking a bon fire! How he and M drank that I will never know! Sorry, back to the weird mix of alcohol) and his version of Cards Against Humanity turned into a charades version that should NEVER be repeated (but somehow it was repeated at least 3 times that night, again a mental picture that is sadly going to be with me for many years to come). For WA Players who see Sam from Albany – ask him for his impression from this event, its a doozy! – Massaen
I don’t have anything to share about the actual event, I couldn’t even remember how many players we had attend, I had to double check with M, I don’t remember how many points the games were or how many games were played. I do remember all the stories from both nights, I remember when the party finally broke up that last night losing 2 of the players somewhere between the hall and the dorm and saying to M ‘where did they go? We have to go back and find them!’ to which he responded ‘they are grown men Emma!’ ‘yes but they are OUR grown men!’, and then the next morning checking to make sure the hypothermic player hadn’t died during the night and despite the sore heads that stumbled in for breakfast on the Sunday morning everyone pitched in to help clean up the kitchen and hall before more stories were shared and then we finally drove home. That for me is what made Line Breaker one of my favourite events. That for me is what the ObSec community is about, not necessarily the drinking, rather the time spent together chatting, laughing and getting to know each other.
So… whats that all mean then?
As well as sharing fond memories, I do have point to this blog post. We have had a few people sending us queries about whether the price for Line Breaker changes if the players choose not to stay in the dorms down there. Sadly it doesn’t. The venue charges us for the night regardless of whether the players stay or not. I know that this doesn’t seem fair to the Albany players, you may not want to stay at the venue, and you have a perfectly good bed at home (no doubt without the drafts and with the added benefit of heating). Trust me, given a choice of staying in my own warm bed or sleeping on a bunk bed in a cold dorm (I feel I should qualify that I was the only one other than the hypothermic player that was this bothered by how cold it was and we will be going in a warmer part of the year this year – although please bring bedding! It wont be THAT warm!) I know which I would choose. If it makes you feel better, the Perth players have petrol costs as well as 8-10 hours drive time depending on where they are coming from. That being said, we aren’t coming down to Albany to run a regular run of the mill tournament/event. The point isn’t to come down set up at 7, start at 8, finish at 5 and all go home by 6. The event is a whole weekend community gathering. The 4 games will be fun but for my money that wont be a patch on the fun during the times we are together when the games aren’t playing, the nights before, the night of the event and the morning we go home. While I can completely understand the appeal of going home each night, I really do encourage you to stay and experience the whole event.