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"Meadowlands Expo Center for Historicon 2018 " Topic


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Rangers Lead the Way28 Mar 2017 3:36 a.m. PST

Check this site out plenty of hotels within walking distance and numerous restaurants. Close to airport for our Southern friends.

Dynaman878928 Mar 2017 4:44 a.m. PST

Historicon 2018 is going to be at the Host in Lancaster. The NJ site was sold and cancelled the contract.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 4:59 a.m. PST

He probably knows that part. Two of the nearby Hotels have rooms at a $180 USD+ per night rate. Doubt that will go over well.

Puddinhead Johnson28 Mar 2017 6:53 a.m. PST

Historicon 2018 is going to be at the Host in Lancaster. The NJ site was sold and cancelled the contract.

I don't think the site that was sold and cancelled (which was in Somerset, NJ) is the same as the site the OP is referring to (which is the Meadowlands).

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 7:09 a.m. PST

Hmm. I still think it would be more helpful to discuss the Historicon location for the years for which we don't already have a contract, and more useful to mention the location to the HMGS-East BOD than to mention it to people who don't get to make the decision.

(Me? Leave Historicon at the Host. Move Cold Wars to the FCC, keeping it safe from late-winter storms. Then if you can find a northern venue accessible by rail, hold Fall In there, so the New York and New England crowd doesn't have to drive in short days and potential bad weather. We run three conventions: having Boston and Raleigh fight over Historicon like two dogs with one bone is tiresome.)

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 7:31 a.m. PST

FCC? Federal Communications Commission

ViscountEric28 Mar 2017 7:49 a.m. PST

Looking at the booth costs for B2B shows as well as those open to the public with paid admission, I'm trying to figure out what gold depository we would need to rob to keep costs to the miserly levels most of us prefer.

When the HMGS cons generate as much excitement as Kosherfest, we can revisit it.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 8:49 a.m. PST

Fredericksburg Convention Center, Bobgnar. The more useful of the FCCs. Modern America suffers from a severe acronym shortage, as both the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the Dirt Track Racing Association can tell you.

Dynaman878928 Mar 2017 9:05 a.m. PST

Isn't Historicon for 2018 already booked at the Host?

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 9:13 a.m. PST

The board will be looking at 2019 sites by late fall if not earlier.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 9:38 a.m. PST

Dear Rangers.
Have you checked out costs to rent?
Seasonal availability?
Mandatory Union labor?
Etc?

We are cheap tightwads, we middle aged wargamers.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 10:03 a.m. PST

People seem to ignore what others are telling them. The FCC is not popular with attendees or vendors. The same was true when a con moved to Timonium. If you want a con south of DC, the FCC isn't it.

Completely unsolicited I had several dealers tell me this was going to be their last year attending.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 10:23 a.m. PST

The most popular venues are always the ones a 15 minute drive from home.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 10:34 a.m. PST

I can't speak for others but I prefer a con further away than closer. When it was going to be in Baltimore I thought I'd just go home at night which was kind of weird.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 10:43 a.m. PST

Completely unsolicited I had several dealers tell me this was going to be their last year attending.

HG, at which venue?

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 10:45 a.m. PST

Move Cold Wars to the FCC, keeping it safe from late-winter storms

The Northerners still have to drive through the late winter storms. This just makes the drive farther.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 11:12 a.m. PST

Bowman, I can't keep northerners out of late winter storms. And the FCC is too long a drive for me from Indiana. But it's more convenient to the Raleigh-Durham element of HMGS than the New York suburbs, and it's not going to actually be in the path of a late season snow, as sometimes happens with Cold Wars at Lancaster. I think by most standards if you use a south and a central location, you'd put the late winter/spring convention south and the summer convention central just to minimize storm damage, but we've been doing the reverse for years. (And let me tell you how much rail access to a Jersey site is worth if you don't live in the Boston-Washington corridor. My home hasn't seen a passenger train in about 30 years, and there are a lot more like it.)

If I were advocating for my own convenience and preferences, I'd say hold three conventions a year at the Host and be done. But all at one site is not good policy for the chapter. It leaves us vulnerable to any failure of the site, of course--but HMGS East so well spread out. Anything actually convenient to Massachusetts is a real stretch for North Carolina. But instead of saying "OK, we'll get one convention handy, one doable and one really too far, but handy to other members" everyone seems determined to treat this like a wargame, where the other fellow's loss is my win.

This is not a tabletop. Let's try for a little compromise here.

civildisobedience28 Mar 2017 11:20 a.m. PST

I'm constantly amazed at the utter lack of acceptance that these shows perform better in Lancaster. Let's move one to a barge in the middle of Lake Eerie. How about Beirut? I don't think HMGS has a show there.

No, better. How about in my front yard? That would be easy for me. How about it?

civildisobedience28 Mar 2017 11:21 a.m. PST

And nobody wants anything to do with the Meadowlands. Not on cost, not on proximity to anything (there is none).

TheKing3028 Mar 2017 12:42 p.m. PST

And nobody wants anything to do with the Meadowlands

Especially Jimmy Hoffa…..

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 1:14 p.m. PST

Bowman at least three or four dealers have told me that this was going to be their last attendance (2017) at the FCC, regardless of what HMGS did. I won't out them but they were all major vendors at the show.

RP I love how people who live hundreds of miles away are going to tell those of us who live in the DC area what the weather is like in March. So I'll tell you since I live here. Many of the heaviest storms in recent years have come late in the season in March. They shut down the area for a day or two. Most recent storm, just a few days before CW I was off work for one day, sometimes more. They do not have the snow removal equipment in the region even to deal with a small snow fall of a couple of inches, so they weather it out, shut down, and all starts back up a few days later.

Point being CW is: a.) better held in late March or early April, regardless of venue, b.) not a good idea in the northern VA/DC area in early to mid-March.

civildisobedience28 Mar 2017 1:38 p.m. PST

Weather is always going to be a potential factor for any convention held in March. This year, the later date almost moved into the path of a storm rather than improving anything. Every so many years, we'll have a weather incident. There's nothing to be done about that. I've never missed a CW due to weather, though I recall one hairy drive.

Yes, the later you push it the less chance of weather issues. But do we really want all three cons right on top of each other?

Also, moving south does nothing at all to help, since so many of the attendees are coming from up north anyway.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 2:00 p.m. PST

Civil, you may mean it doesn't help you. Certainly moving the convention out of the area prone to snowstorms will help some. A wargamer ought to appreciate the difference between "doesn't help everyone" and "doesn't help at all." That's pretty much what saving throws are.

I missed CW exactly once due to weather, by the way--totaled the car trying to drive north from the DC region in 2015 and couldn't get a replacement in time.

I worked in DC 1989-94 and 2003-15, Historygamer, and didn't miss work for Snowmageddon. I know exactly how miserable DC region snow removal is--and how bad DC drivers are on snow. I also know how rapidly the weather improves headed south. The maybe 100-150 miles north-south between Lancaster and Fredericksburg makes a serious difference.

TheKing3028 Mar 2017 2:12 p.m. PST

Civil, you may mean it doesn't help you. Certainly moving the convention out of the area prone to snowstorms will help some. A wargamer ought to appreciate the difference between "doesn't help everyone" and "doesn't help at all." That's pretty much what saving throws are.

C'mon now. This was tried with Historicon. It didn't work. Why? It was too much hassle for the attendees coming from the North. Now let's throw in the unpredictable weather that March has to offer and we'll really see the number crash and burn.

You can look at this many different ways. In the end, the FCC was a failure. Attendance declined each year it was there. Changing the month isn't going to help.

NOTE: The failing of FCC has nothing to do with the people running the convention or the attendees who tried so hard to make it work. It was the location – pure and simple.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 2:39 p.m. PST

Quit bringing facts into this discussion! :-)

thomalley28 Mar 2017 2:44 p.m. PST

It is not "location pure and simple". I know at least 6 friends from Tidewater area of Virginia who have stopped going, even though it's closer. Death, sickness, retirement or nearing it, kid's in college, job losses. It will be interesting to see what the numbers will be back at the host, but don't expect to see the numbers for 2007 again.

thomalley28 Mar 2017 2:47 p.m. PST

It is not "location pure and simple". I know at least 6 friends from Tidewater area of Virginia who have stopped going, even though it's closer. Death, sickness, retirement or nearing it, kid's in college, job losses. Or like me, just lost interest in the conventions. Don't feel I really get anything from them anymore. It will be interesting to see what the numbers will be back at the host, but don't expect to see the numbers for 2007 again.

TheKing3028 Mar 2017 4:22 p.m. PST

It is not "location pure and simple". I know at least 6 friends from Tidewater area of Virginia who have stopped going, even though it's closer. Death, sickness, retirement or nearing it, kid's in college, job losses. It will be interesting to see what the numbers will be back at the host, but don't expect to see the numbers for 2007 again.

That's six out of how many??

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 4:44 p.m. PST

"That's six out of how many??" Seriously??

I can count at least 20 gamers that I have gamed with in the area that only attend the cons on an irregular basis. Most don't see the need to attend the cons as there is nothing special and they do not enjoy gaming at cons.

So how do we make the conventions a better experience and bring some of these types of folks back?

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 5:24 p.m. PST

"Most don't see the need to attend the cons…"

Back in the day we all did. The internet didn't really exist as an option to buy product yet. If you wanted to see stuff you couldn't get any other way you went to the con, and also played in games while there.

"… as there is nothing special and they do not enjoy gaming at cons."

So to beat my dead horse some more why don't they enjoy playing games there? Too noisy? Game tables jammed up against each other? Lots of "eh" looking games? Not enough of the type of games they like to play?

HMGS has no data on what games are full, and what go empty, what show up, and what don't (across all the cons, or year in and year out). They have no idea what periods appeal to people, and what don't. There is no screening of games, or tracking of the ones that are there.

Yes, it would be work. But the games are HMGS' main product, and as a business (and they are a business), they know virtually nothing about their product, as it appeals to their customers. Taking every game that wants to register is not a business plan, it is the easy way to put together a convention and proclaim it filled. But apparently it isn't filled with the right product.

civildisobedience28 Mar 2017 6:00 p.m. PST

Yes, of course moving it south will help people from the area it is moved to. That is self-evident. But I think we've had enough of the "it will make me happy if it is moved close to me" nonsense. There is only one spot that has not BLED attendance, and that's central PA. And Lancaster, specifically.

But we could have a few more "move it to my backyard" experiences. Maybe we can get attendance down to the point where we can hold the con in the bathroom of a Starbucks.

TheKing3028 Mar 2017 6:04 p.m. PST

"That's six out of how many??" Seriously??

I can count at least 20 gamers that I have gamed with in the area that only attend the cons on an irregular basis. Most don't see the need to attend the cons as there is nothing special and they do not enjoy gaming at cons.

I'm serious as a heart attack. We dropped over 1000 attendees when we moved to FCC. Moving Historicon back north can only help.

This being said, there is still allot of work to be done to make Historicon something special again. We need to attract some more manufacturers like BTCTerrainman, Old Glory and Brigade Games. I'd love to see Badger there with their line of paints, compressors and air brushes. How about Gripping Beast or Foundry? Firelock Games (located in Florida) has a nice pirate game that would appeal to our core customers. I'd like to see less "hobby stores" in the vendor area. I don't feel they have the same draw as a manufacturer.

I still say the Hobby University isn't the draw it could be. It's nice but it could be SO much more. One only has to look at Adepticon or Gencon for ideas.

Did I miss anything?

vagamer63 Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 6:24 p.m. PST

I went to the first two Historicons at the FCC, not a fan of the place! Was it convenient? Yes – right off I 95! Lot's of Lodging and other amenities? Plenty! Was it a good place? Not really, it was a giant metal & brick box with nothing more to offer on the inside then lot's of noisy space!

If it snows in the DC area, you can pretty much bet there will be even a minimal amount of snow in Fredericksburg! One inch of snow, and in VA everything, and I mean everything shuts down and/or closes! The last two weeks of February, and first two weeks of March are the prime time for snow in VA. Long story short – moving either CW or FI to VA would be a waste of time and energy, PERIOD!!

Numbers – Being in fairly regular contact with a number of Groups in VA & NC there are probably around 300 – 400 who gave up on HMGS and their conventions years ago. There are probably another 200 – 300 more who have declared that Historicon 2017 will be their last HMGS Convention! The main reason given now, is the total and complete animosity that arose from the Boycott, and antagonism raised by our Northern brothers over the move of Historicon to the FCC. All the accusations about "stealing" the show, arguments over traffic, and general acrimony raised in the numerous discussions on TMP and other Forums pretty much drove the nail in the coffin for many towards HMGS. It's a bitterness that won't go away any time soon!

Another little thing that will affect folks from VA & NC is the start this summer of construction on I 95 that will turn the Left two lanes between the Rappahannock River to DC into Toll Lanes. The money raised from that effort will be used to add another lane, in both directions, to I 95. After which, that stretch of the road will all be tolled to raise funds to extend the HOV Lanes from DC to Fredericksburg, as well to help pay for road maintenance along the corridor. Least that is the plan our current Governor revealed thus far. So that will no doubt impact the decisions of those who might want to travel north to the occasional show. No doubt a lot of traffic will be looking for alternative routes!

So feel free to locate all three shows anywhere you like north of the Mason Dixon line! Whatever makes you happy is just fine by those of us down here!! We have plenty of shows in these parts to keep us gaming happily all year round!

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 6:36 p.m. PST

So you went to the first two Historicons after it was moved to the FCC and you didn't like it because it was held in a giant metal and brick box that was loud and noisy, ie, a convention center.

So 300 to 400 people you know gave up on HMGS a long time ago and another 200 to 300 will stop going to Historicon because it's moving out of the FCC, the place you said you don't like.

Tough crowd you hang with, guess there's no pleasing them.

Or you.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 6:57 p.m. PST

Historygamer, some good ideas there. I suspect certain types of games could be encouraged--actually asking people to run particular rules, periods or time slots might help. Same with seminars, and Hobby University actively seeks new course suggestions. But didn't we do all this over on "Make Historicon Great Again?"

I wouldn't worry too much about "empty" games. Not many people are going to raise armies, build a terrain layout, playtest a scenario and haul the whole thing hundreds of miles there and back for free if no one shows up to play the game. At least I doubt they'll do it twice.

Despite your comments, this is not quite a business.

TSD10128 Mar 2017 6:59 p.m. PST

Yes, lets move Fall In, the smallest of the 3 shows, to Fredericksburg, an expensive option that is becoming unfeasible even for the trademark show of HMGS.

How can anyone say this with a straight face?

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 7:01 p.m. PST

I don't think much account should be taken from those who got discouraged about an HMGS con by reading posts on TMP. Sound like wargaming snowflakes to me.

I've had friends drop out too, for a variety of reasons. It has always been that way. Always. I remember working with BoDs looking at data on the people who came a few times, then didn't. Yet even then the attendance was going up. People come and go. FCC (not the federal agency) was never able to attract or maintain people, for whatever reasons.

To my knowledge, HMGS never considered itself a southern organization. It was founded in the DC area, where it held most of its cons. FCC may just have been too far south – a bridge (Wilson) too far. Timonium didn't work out either, but you can't blame that on being too far south. People just made a decision ahead of time, and after, so it was a one and done.

Moving Hcon back to the Host may only be a part of the solution. A lot more than that will be needed to keep attracting people.

civildisobedience29 Mar 2017 8:59 a.m. PST

VAgamer,

I understand why gamers from the south would be annoyed about all the rancor, especially since most of them had nothing to do with the move.

Do you similarly understand why gamers from areas closer to PA were angry to see the convention moved after 25 years of growth and success in the old location? I know many of those people who never went to Fredericksburg, but continue to go to the other cons.

TheKing3029 Mar 2017 10:51 a.m. PST

So feel free to locate all three shows anywhere you like north of the Mason Dixon line! Whatever makes you happy is just fine by those of us down here!! We have plenty of shows in these parts to keep us gaming happily all year round!

That's great!! I'm so happy for you!

Personal logo BrigadeGames Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 11:35 a.m. PST

"Fall In, the smallest of the 3 shows"

Actually, this is not true anymore.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 11:51 a.m. PST

vagamer63,

What you say makes sense, but I really question your comments of:

The main reason given now, is the total and complete animosity that arose from the Boycott, and antagonism raised by our Northern brothers over the move of Historicon to the FCC. All the accusations about "stealing" the show, arguments over traffic, and general acrimony raised in the numerous discussions on TMP and other Forums pretty much drove the nail in the coffin for many towards HMGS. It's a bitterness that won't go away any time soon!

You are making it sound like someone is fighting the ACW all over again.

The short end is that if the numbers of Historicon attendees grew over the years it was held at the FCC and that the venue was financially viable for the attendees that did come, we wouldn't be having this conversation. And Historicon would be staying put.

I remember that the northern players were (quite rightly) concerned that the move to F'burg was too far from the main constituency of the HMGS membership. We were assured that the gamers from Virginia and the Carolina's would more than make up for the shortfall. That did sound logical at the time. Alas, the numbers did not bear that out.

It took me a lot longer to drive from Canada but I came nonetheless. I'm no Yankee, but I won't be disappointed if Historicon moves north. Having said that, I'm no fan of the Meadowlands.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 12:06 p.m. PST

Bowman nailed it.

Historicon moved to the FCC and lost attendees from the north who did not want to travel that far south.

Southern gamers had the chance to make it work but chose not to come, the whole antagonism angle is pretty weak.

The whole influx of southern gamers to make up for the losses in attendance never happened; if it did, the convention wouldn't be moving.

Who cares what people think, just go to the convention, support it and forget about it, have a slippery back over it.

Forget about the past; what's done is done, it's in the past.

To quote a song, a fool will lose tomorrow looking back at yesterday; case in point, the convention is now moving out of the FCC and back north.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 1:34 p.m. PST

I had to google that line.

Dionne Warwick?

TheKing3029 Mar 2017 1:38 p.m. PST

The main reason given now, is the total and complete animosity that arose from the Boycott, and antagonism raised by our Northern brothers over the move of Historicon to the FCC. All the accusations about "stealing" the show, arguments over traffic, and general acrimony raised in the numerous discussions on TMP and other Forums pretty much drove the nail in the coffin for many towards HMGS. It's a bitterness that won't go away any time soon!

Do you have a Baskin & Robbins down there? If not, you can Google them. They have 64 different flavors of ice cream. 64. Pretty amazing. Now look around and you'll see different ice cream vendors, like Friendlys.

So what is my point? With 64 flavors of ice cream Baskin & Robbins can't make everyone happy. Just goes to show you can't make everyone happy. It's clear that HMGS can't make you happy. Maybe go someplace that can make you happy.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 1:54 p.m. PST

Absolutely Bowman, Miss Dionne Warwick.

Love TheKing30's ice cream analogy.

Could be worse, it could be the Howard Johnsons from Blazing Saddles with the one flavor of ice cream……………..that scene always cracks me up.

I guess for some of you, no matter what HMGS does, you won't be happy.

I feel sorry for you, you're missing out on a lot of good times hanging out with some great people.

That's your loss, that's your choice.

dapeters29 Mar 2017 1:59 p.m. PST

We lost a lot of members from all over after the "Next level" people decided that the Host was not suitable and tried to move it to Baltimore. The problems at Valley Forge did nothing to increase membership. Then when the move to Fredericksburg was announced, I was pretty amazed at the cavalier attitude the board had as to losing people, again this did nothing to increase membership. The offset that was anticipated did not happen, as we watched attendence spiral down each year. Yet we heard all sorts of reasons why this was happening except of course the simple logical reason. A board member came on here and tried to use the "backyard" as a thought ending phrase, but again there is the simple reality.

I am sure VAgamer there were many HMGS members who were pleasantly surprised when Fredericksburg was announced. But if you're going to point fingers and call folks rude, then you need to look closer to home. My recollection was some folks came of like daffy duck "it's mine, mine, mine" and #$%& off if you don't like it" others took the attitude that they were "owed".

The simple problem that Fredericksburg is an hour South of the DC- Boston Corridor we would have had the same problem if we had gone to Portsmouth, NH which is an hour North of Boston. Yes Lancaster is an hour West of Philly and 3 hours 45 minutes to DC, but it just 3 and a quarter from NYC not 5 hours, Boston still a stretch at 6 hours but that still better then 8 (these numbers were what I pulled up on google.)

Tyler32631 Mar 2017 1:39 p.m. PST

There are several reasons why I believe these shows are not drawing the crowds;

1. Cost to walk in the door has gotten to steep for most. Never mind driving, hotel and food cost that have to be added in for most.

2. The internet has replaced the draw to go to the shows and get your figures.

3. Gamers are staying closer to home to game rather than dealing with the above mentioned.

I stopped going several years ago and frankly have not missed them at all.

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