After check in comes " Weapons Check " where the safety people check out your boffers to make sure they are safe.. well none of the stuff that my friend or myself made checked out. You see, we followed the directions on the associations website.. and while they've updated the printed rulebook.. they haven't bothered to update the PDF on the website.
Just to explain to the un-initiated, the components of a "boffer" breaks down like so.
1) 1/2inch PVC Pipe
2) 3/8inche Pipe Insulation
3) Duct Tape
About 5$ worth materials. However those were the old ingredients.. the ones I made my sword from.. materials left over from repairing an outside water faucet. the New materials are basically the same.. but ever so slightly different.
1) 3/4inch PVC Pipe
2) 5/8inch Pipe Insulation
4) Gaff Tape
What this results in is a weapon which is spongier and dosen't have the solid plastic thwack of the duct tape due to the Gaff Tape being Fabric backed. Even with these new materials the price is still not all that much higher. Maybe 8$.
Only problem is, as I said.. they hadn't bothered to update these requirements.. Or mention that you can't typically find 5/8ths pipe insulation in your average store in the South East. The Winter's don't normally get cold enough to warent it, so stores don't stock it. Gaffer's tape likewise isn't available in your average DIY either. But then we come to it, after all the bluster about saftey and what not.. my cynicism began to rear its ugly head. They "Now have Boffers available for purchase at all events ".. Right ok so trying to turn a few extra bucks .. not a big deal. So I wandered over to the " Store " to see what they had available. They had 3 Sizes of Boffer, Daggers, Short Swords and Long Swords, " Crafted by a world renowned Boffer-smith " for the low low price of 20$ for a dagger.. or 30-45$ for a sword.. a Far cry from the cost of materials.. and having made them myself before this event I know they don't take hours to make.. I wound up borrowing one from another attendee.
After all this I was feeling a bit peckish so I went to the " Tavern " to see what they had available.. and walked out with a serviceable cheeseburger(.75cents). It wasn't all that great but I was so tired and so hungry by that point that I just couldn't find fault.
Supper over, we all got together for " Opening ceremony " in which the rules and requirements are laid out etc. After this a " Noobie Adventure " is run for the first timers.. where we slew some " Goblins ".. or really a couple of people in green tunics.. and with this my " What the hell did I get myself into " meter gave up the ghost.. an hour or so of this and I couldn't take it anymore and turned in for the night at about midnight.