What is Bring Out Your Lead?
BRING OUT YOUR LEAD is the annual gaming event that brings together the best of the tabletop retrogaming community.
There will be demo games, participation games, a spectacular amount of vintage fantasy and science fiction miniatures on display, old-school gaming paraphernalia, great beer and much more.
The event is open to casual moochers, as well as the hardcore Oldhammer fanatic, so feel free to drop in and see what’s going on.
…And, whilst the event is all about celebrating old games and old figures – any and all games and figures are welcome
How much does it cost?
BOYL is completely free! Foundry have generously allowed us to use their premises at no cost whatsoever, and as a result, there is no cost to you. This is the reason that BOYL is different to a normal wargames event:
It means you’re not a customer – you’re a guest of Foundry and the Ansell family. And that changes everything – you’re not entitled to a table, or a game, or an event miniature, or anything like that. of course, you’ll be able to get all that stuff*, but as a gift from Foundry, or a kind oldhammerer, or by sheer happenstance – not because you’re a customer. Please remember this and act with grace, kindness and humility as a result.
*See the BOYL seems …woolly. Why is it woolly? FAQ for more on this.
Where is it?
You can find BOYL at this address:
The Carriage Court
01636 526 886
Note that this is a rural address, so some satnav systems get a little confused. We’d recommend using the address as opposed to the postcode, just in case.
What's the deal with the painting contest?
As you may or may not know, Bring Out Your Lead is NOT A TOURNAMENT!
…except, uh, for the painting contest. Which is pretty haphazard, really. Officially, BOYL never actually offers a painting contest, but we’ve ‘not’ offered one every year now and it seems to be catching on. Of course, we’re ‘not’ offering one this year either, so when you ‘don’t’ enter, you won’t have to worry about the fact that we ‘don’t’ have any categories, as follows:
- Best Single Miniature
- Best Squad
- Best Large Thing*
As there isn’t a cost and there isn’t a painting contest, there aren’t any prizes either. Unless there are. Look, just put stuff you’ve painted that you like in the cabinet and hold thumbs, okay?
*Thing here could be: dinosaur, tank, wayward child, bloodbowl diorama or anything else that really doesn’t fit into the other two categories, but is, y’know…bigger than them.
**Judges can do this sort of thing. Sometimes, you may not even know you’ve entered a category until you’ve won it.
How does trading work?
This is a VERY IMPORTANT POINT, so pay attention, kids.
We DON’T allow trading on the Foundry premises. This is a change from previous years, where the position has never really been clear, so trading has sort of happened just a little bit on the side.
We clarified this with Foundry last year and together established a position that we’d not allow trading to accommodate two things:
- Foundry is still a shop in it’s own right. Given that we’re not being charged for the premises and the many benefits it offers us, we think it’s a little cheeky to transact directly in front of them, without allowing their due competitive advantage their premises should provide. If we were paying customers, the view might well be different, but we’re not – we’re guests of theirs and feel it entirely right to respect their commercial nature.
- We want to prevent people from attending just to trade. We’ve not seen this before, but as a pre-emptive move, we want to eliminate the possibility of people coming just to ‘set up shop’ and then shove off. Remember, BOYL is free – this drives a culture of kindness, generosity and general good-spiritedness you won’t see at any other wargaming event. That culture could be corrupted by wanton and unchecked opportunism by figure traders, so we’re putting it in check.
But hang on! I’m not an opportunistic evil figure trader – I just want to save some postage costs and see if I can get a figure or two!
Quite right, and we know that.
We (and Foundry) are very realistic about this and understand that people want to trade old lead, most of which is out of production anyway and so clearly not competitive to the Foundry product range. We get that. This is very much a spirit-of-the-law principle – of course you’re going to talk about trades and uhm-and-ah over figures you see on the tables that you wouldn’t mind getting your hands on.
This is a key part of Oldhammer. So a few figures here and there are fine. We couldn’t stop that even if we tried, so we won’t.
What we’re asking is that you don’t conduct the actual trade on site. Don’t leave a tray full of miniatures with a price and a contact name on a table somewhere. Don’t exchange the figures or cash on site. You can talk about the trade all you like during the event, but please conduct the actual transaction at the pub later.
I need to emphasise this point: Foundry do NOT charge us for the facility, which is why BOYL is free, which is what drives the culture of BOYL and makes it the event it is. Please do not jeopardise this position. It would be great to trade at BOYL, and we get that. But having a free and long-running BOYL is far more important (we think) than any benefit short term trades would bring you.
BOYL seems ...woolly. Why is it woolly?
BOYL is woolly!
Downright chaotic, even.
And that’s the way we love it!
BOYL is the result of the curious collaborative spirit of oldhammerers that all just want to make it the best gaming experience they can have. Those same gamers also have kids, jobs, families, painting schedules and assassins* to avoid. That means they, whilst they’re doing their best, they may or may not be able to do something they proposed for BOYL.
Equally, because there is no money involved in BOYL, there is no money with which to formally arrange anything, or otherwise secure a commitment from anyone that goes beyond their best endeavor. Everything we have is as a result of personal effort put in by a gamer or five, or the Ansells and the people of Foundry.
We’ve found that the attendees are comfortable with just this level of ‘control’, and no more. So that’s how it stays.
Anarchy at its best, really.
*Okay, maybe not that last one.
What's this year's event mini going to be?
You’ll be talking about Olivia, then.
You can see here here.
Just how are Foundry involved in BOYL anyway?
In the first instance, it is chiefly because they offer us the use of their venue for free. So, because they don’t charge us, we don’t charge you. Which completely changes the tone of the whole event – because you’re a guest with passion, not a customer with an entitlement.
Further to that, they have all the facilities we need. We don’t need to move tables, scenery or food – they’ve got it all there. And parking. And operational toilets.
But there is more to the story. You may not know it, but the Ansells, and indeed Foundry, have a long history with Games Workshop and Citadel, and as such, have a deep connection with Oldhammer and what it means. Ask one of them when you see them – they’d love to tell you all about it.
Finally, they’re really (really!) central in the UK. So, it seems… fair. We suppose.
It’s worth noting that although Foundry don’t charge us for the venue (or tables, or parking), they do charge for the food they offer. We think that’s pretty fair, especially as the prices are quite reasonable and they happen to be a licensed premises 🙂
What about the catering I've heard so much about?
Foundry put on a superb catering offering at very reasonable prices.
In the mornings, they will cook Bacon, Sausages and Eggs for the purposes of your perfect breakfast butty*.
In the evenings, they will normally cook a few curries (one being vegetarian) and chilli con-carne.
Throughout the day, they offer sandwiches, salads, chocolates and snacks and have a well stocked bar, which includes all common soft drinks and a sound selection of beer, cider and wine. Of course, there is tea and coffee on hand as well.
All meals are served on real, actual plates, with real, actual metal cutlery to go with it.
Also, Foundry are flexible with catering, so if you do have special catering needs or allergies, they are super-happy to accommodate you. Please do give them a warning, though, by giving them a call or sending an email at least a week before BOYL.
*That’s a sandwich in International English.
How do I get in touch with someone regarding BOYL?
There are two ways:
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send a private message to me on the oldhammer forum – my forum name is ‘weazil’.
Disclaimers, privacy, data collection and photographs
Bring Out Your Lead is not connected with Foundry in any way. We do not represent each other, nor are there commercial or other binding agreements between us. Our relationship with them is entirely informal.
We cannot stop people from taking photographs. If you do not want to be photographed, we think it entirely reasonable that you ask the photographer in question to stop, but we won’t be enforcing this on your behalf. Of course, most people will be taking photographs of the miniatures, most of which are just high enough to feature your crotch in any given picture, so you’ll probably be okay.
It is worth noting that most of the photographs taken at BOYL will be published on a plethora of blogs and soclal media sites. Simply, if you don’t want to be photographed, you’re safer to avoid the event.
The data collected from you during the booking process (chiefly name and email address) will NOT be shared with Foundry or anyone else. It is simply used to manage the table and game bookings and for contact from the event organiser in the event such contact is required.
Finally, the organisers of Bring Out Your Lead are private individuals, acting only to advance the interests of their hobby. We are not professional events organisers. We apologise if this disappoints. We accept no liability for, well, anything, really.