The question that comes up when publicising the NAF is “why join”, and I’ve typed out an answer often enough that I might as well make it permanent. I joined the NAF quite a few years ago, and didn’t particularly think twice about it – something like “a BB organisation? I play BB, sign me up!”. But it seems that other people want a bit more, so here is my thinking (not necessarily in order of importance).
- Joining is pretty cheap! Obviously it’s all relative to income, but it’s not very much, so the actual amount of benefit I would have to get from it would be pretty small to justify the joining fee.
- You get something nice as a joining gift. When the coloured block dice were the standard item, this made joining a no-brainer for most tabletop players. Since then we have had the NAF coin and the Fame token, both high quality items, along with branded NAF dice. All of these mark people out as belonging to the global BB community.
- The NAF provides tournament winner trophies, which are often highly-valued by those who win them.
- You are partially funding a “Blood Bowl lending bank”. Various large tournaments need their venues booked well in advance, for amounts running into the thousands. These costs are covered by the tournament fees, but the NAF puts up the money up-front, and gets it back afterwards. Without the access to funding, these large tournaments would be difficult, if not impossible, to stage.
- There is money available for individual small projects, such as the BB fliers, and if any member has a good idea, there is a resource available which could make it possible. This could apply to tabletop and online projects.
- You are making a centralised resource possible. The website costs a certain amount to keep going, as does NAF OBBLM, and there is a 10,000 address mailing list. Without subscriptions these would rely on individual contribution to keep going, which is viable but not necessarily sustainable, for example if an individual decided to pull the plug. This leads to the wider importance of continuity, in that the NAF is bigger than an individual.
- Once you have joined, there is a record of all the tournament matches you play, along with nice touches like the grid of which races you have done well with, and your head-to-head against other coaches. This record is also used to generate an individual ranking for each race for each coach, so you have one way of comparing yourself against the best in the world!
- Members are able to stand for election, read all the bits of the forum, and vote in elections, to decide on who runs the NAF.
- The NAF has a global network of individuals committed to BB, who can support any new tournaments in the area.
If there’s anything I’ve missed, do comment below!