If you didn’t make this year’s Queen of Hearts you missed walking onto a site alive with decorations, significant props such as the castle, and bridge. The staff has a shed with on-site storage that allows for more extensive structures than most events have which really add to making it feel truly unique and special.
You missed two tough teams of similar sizes (I never heard the final count), taking to the field over and over again despite the blazing sun. You missed seeing skin burn and faces turn red from exertion, but attitudes staying generally good. You missed group wins bouncing back and forth throughout the day, and people pushing themselves to their limits, both in the group and individual tournaments.
You missed a surprise storm that sent people scrambling to pull weapons and gear into cover. You missed getting cozy with the large group crammed into the hot (and frankly smelly) tavern. You missed pouring out onto the lawn in the refreshing light rain to patiently await Team Kara’s trapper entrant, “Polly”, as she lumbered down the road.
You missed non-coms that included a second strong trapper entry (that likely would have won another year when the competition wasn’t as stiff), beautiful craftsmanship, lovely ladies dancing, and the winning bardic, an original and well performed song that relied on insults for humor.
You missed fiercely five man battles on Sunday, with squads so closely matched that many of them had to run to three fights to get a best two out of three.
You missed Queen’s War’s rules being modified for the first time ever (after an hour it switched to needing to have two wins in a row to get someone up).
You missed Kara (Betty Marshal), a player since 1991 and a former Dutchess of Glendale (an event that predates QoH that it was modeled on) being named the 2015 Queen of Hearts.
You missed laughter, hugs, bumps, bruises, broken weapons, some grumbling and complaining, and even a few tears. You missed memories being made that will stay with those of us that were there for years.