Your question above is the the basis of the point I have been trying to make in this entire argument. They absolutely make a difference and play into the the effect captions. If they didn't, no one would spend the money, time or effort on them. I believe that unless your band performs musically and visually with absolute perfection, with the current BOA methodology/score sheets that are now in place, you better have the props and storyline to help capture as many of the effect points as possible. Several have been all over me disagreeing, and in theory, I agree that a band can be good just playing and marching. I actually would rather go back to the previous ways where those two things were king. But in the recent world of KMEA and all the changes incorporated, and to prove a point, let's just look at the results of this past weekend and then lets see what happens this coming weekend. Let's just see how many bands in the competitive classes (in particular 3A and 4A) make the cut for finals without props etc. I'll bet that all 8 bands in those two classes will have props etc.