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"Former HMGS members - What will bring U back?" Topic

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11 Nov 2017 3:18 p.m. PST
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TRUgamer06 Jul 2016 10:01 a.m. PST

We've all heard the anecdotes of former HMGS members who never bothered to renewed their membership for various reasons that I will not go into.

Come forward and tell us why?

If our organization is going to better serve its membership, we will need to hear from YOU! HMGS wants you back.

What do we need to do to bring you back?

Please limit responses to only former HMGS members. If you are inclined, please provide your actual name so we can lend some substance to this informal poll. This will be a relatively small sample as it is.

I do not intend this to stir up any animosity, simply state what it would take to bring you back to the HMGS.

Please share with your friends not on the TMP who may not see this and ask them to respond.

Also where do you live? (forgot to add this)

Thank you in advance.


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 10:10 a.m. PST

For me there is only one reason to be a member. That's reduced fees at conventions and I don't go to as many as I used to.

JasonAfrika Inactive Member06 Jul 2016 10:20 a.m. PST

I am so disgusted with HMGS that I would not take a free lifetime membership handed to me on a silver platter. HMGS staff are some of the most arrogant, rude, unhelpful people that I have ever met. I stopped going to conventions after 20 years of attendence for that reason alone.

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 10:25 a.m. PST

I only know what I read here on TMP re: HMGS-E and it's always about how Historicon shouldn't be in Virginia. (This Virginian doesn't subscribe to this myself but my membership waxes and wanes.)

Sundance06 Jul 2016 10:25 a.m. PST

Winston has it. There is really no reason to be a member if you aren't hitting three (or more) conventions a year, and even then you really don't save much – $20 USD or $30 USD bucks over three cons? There were other reasons I dropped my membership among them the arrogance and ignorance of the HMGS officers and con staff, BS reasons for not sending refunds for flea market tables in a timely fashion (like MONTHS! I think I finally received my refund somewhere between November and February for a table at Historicon.), the last year I was a member I did not receive the quarterly journal even after complaining to HMGS that I wasn't receiving it (not that it's worth anything, but if you're going to say you get it with membership, at least send it to your members), the fact that the journal, such as it is, was nothing but a big rag for the officers' buddies to "publish" useless stuff in, and there is no reason for a non-profit to raise fees in order to increase its bank account (and I'm talking over and above the costs of putting on the cons I understand those cost money in advance) IT's NON-PROFIT! At the point I dropped my membership, they reported $24,000 USD over and above the cost of the cons. And there were others. So, yeah, there really isn't much that's going to get me to rejoin HMGS. It's basically political corruption on an amateur scale.

avidgamer Inactive Member06 Jul 2016 10:31 a.m. PST

The leadership was bungled so badly when Pete was the president I have no confidence that things will change, even long after he's been gone. Also, as stated above, you get very little benefit for joining. I can only make 1 or 2 shows a year so there is no reason to join.

Dynaman878906 Jul 2016 10:40 a.m. PST

Same as Winston, only thing I care about is the cons.

kallman06 Jul 2016 10:43 a.m. PST

Currently I am not a member because I now live in Texas and therefore attending one of the big cons back east is currently unfeasible. The other reason I had a membership was to allow me to game master at the convention which in turn meant that if I ran enough games I got into the convention for free. If I make it back east I would renew as long as the policy continued for game masters.

M1Fanboy06 Jul 2016 11:00 a.m. PST

Honestly, I do not like the complaints about Historicon being in VA, and I do not trust some of the current BOD with my money.

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 11:01 a.m. PST

Why exactly do you want us back? You already have a
big-O-pile of money…

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 11:06 a.m. PST

What avidgamer said. A number of my friends and I (approximately 10) gave up our memberships after Pete screwed things up. it really rankled us that after all that happened he was still named a "Special Guest" at one of the shows. It seemed like a thumb in the collective eyes of the members.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 11:14 a.m. PST

I have no reason to join. The amount of money in the bank strikes me as excessive, and the politics and in-fighting of a group of people who play with toy soldiers is embarrassing. I am, however, happy with my regional chapter and will continue to support them.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 11:28 a.m. PST

I think HMGS would do much better if it really considered itself a National Club and hold their conventions (like H-Con and Cold Wars) across the country. Yes, I know the HMGS East puts on those cons in their geographical areas, but to many of us,it does not seem a national org.

Even Origins and GenCon have made efforts to hold their events where it's more easily accessable to more of their attendees.

That being said, I am still in Germany so anywhere in the good old USA would be lost on me (until I get stationed back there). I have been to 4 cons at the Host since 1992 and always had a great time. But you did ask what would bring me back to HMGS.

Sundance06 Jul 2016 11:38 a.m. PST

GMs get in free? I know that was a policy years ago – didn't know it was still the case. I was told a few years ago GMs have to pay like everyone else. I guess it makes sense, though that you have to present a certain number of player hours to get in free. Must be why only the officers' buddies are allowed to schedule enough hours to get in free.

Ceterman Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 11:45 a.m. PST

Okay, here goes…
I've been to every H-Con since about 1992 or 93. I've lived in VA my entire life. Never once did I bitch about ALL the Cons being in PA. Never once did I bitch about ANY of the Cons being in PA. I packed up & went. By about 1997 I had recruited 3 of my friends We all went & all joined HMGS. All 4 of us. Then about 1998, I started bringing games & GM'ing. I've won many awards including the Osprey Award. Over the past 3 or 4 years, I actually just went, once, without bringing a game or putting COUNTLESS hours into it, painting, building, play-testing along with spending large amounts of cash to do it right. I must say, I've had some rules lawyers & nit pickers play in my games & really muck things up for nearly all involved, but at least they came to the show. I still joined HMGS. But to tell the truth, I'm really sick of all the whiney ass bitches from (mostly) NY, PA & everywhere else up North with your "It's Gotta Come Back To PA" bs. Personally, I think there are enough "real" things out there that can ruin any day, any time, any way. We don't need ya'll to ruin Historicon. So I say, "Stay out & stay home. We need people who appreciate what we do, not more "Poor Poor Pitiful Me's, It's SOOOO far away from me now!" Just stay home & go to the other 2 Cons that are only 1 or 2 hours from you. Now, before you get all re-bent outta shape, I know it's not 'ALL" of you, just "A lot" of the same people, over & friggin' over again. And Winston(not saying you are one of those), if you actually put on a game, HEY! Whatta ya know! You save $25 USD a Con. Seems like that's $75 USD-100 per year if you go to that many cons. I go to 1. H-Con. I join HMGS every year. Sometimes I GM & save another $25. USD Sometimes I just go & enjoy the hell outta the show.
Rant over…

Disco Joe Inactive Member06 Jul 2016 11:52 a.m. PST

"Even Origins and GenCon have made efforts to hold their events where it's more easily accessable to more of their attendees."
And for Origins most of their attendees live in Columbus and for GenCon most live in Indianopolis. Is that correct?

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 12:03 p.m. PST

We don't need ya'll to ruin Historicon. So I say, "Stay out & stay home. We need people who appreciate what we do, not more "Poor Poor Pitiful Me's, It's SOOOO far away from me now!" Just stay home & go to the other 2 Cons that are only 1 or 2 hours from you.

There are allot of people that have taken your advice. Look at the numbers for Historicon. Even better – less people mean less sales for the vendors also. But hey, you said it yourself. You don't need us.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 12:13 p.m. PST

For me, hold it some place accessible and without toxic mould and fumes.

These years, I'm far more likely to travel to Origins or GenCon very much because they are more easily accessible. They draw large numbers of attendees from around the continent and even the globe because of this.

Overwhelming convenience factor = within shuttle bus distance of a major airport = easily accessible from anywhere.

Coming from New England, Fredericksburg is not a drive I am going to make, and it is no where near an airport. Have not, and will not, go to Historicon there.

Lancaster is on the edge of my driving range for a convention. But that driving time is really not worth it to then not be able to breathe very well while I'm there because of the mould and the sterno fumes. That site has deteriorated way too much over time to want to go back.

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 12:15 p.m. PST

Same as above. I only joined to get the Cons discount. Once the Con went south, so did I.
Honestly though, I never was treated rudely or with anything but kindness by the staff. I'm not even a gamer, but I used to love to marvel at all the games and their scenery. Just wandering from room to room, at the Host, was a treat.

I know people bitch and moan about it, but I never cared about the politics one iota. For me, they put on a good convention and that's all I ever cared about.

Ceterman Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 12:15 p.m. PST

Hey TheKing30, I also said "Now, before you get all re-bent outta shape, I know it's not 'ALL" of you" & if you will notice on another thread, I think about the Host, I completely agreed with you and your "I'm convinced that "enjoyment" is a state of mind. If you determine to have a great time, you will. If you determine to be critical of a location, then you're probably best off staying home.For the three cons I attend, I pre-determine that I'm going to have a good time. So far, it's worked." statement. I wasn't talking about you. Or was I? Which way are you going here? Oh & also, I've talked to several longtime vendors who have had GREAT H-Cons at Fburg. And some who have not. I bet the same could be said in PA.

TRUgamer06 Jul 2016 12:24 p.m. PST

If you are a current member… Not really interested for the purposes of this topic.

Only former HMGS members please:
Why did u leave HMGS?
What would bring u back?

Rants in this context are permitted.


Condottiere06 Jul 2016 12:43 p.m. PST

Move H-Con north again to a better venue than Lancaster.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian06 Jul 2016 12:43 p.m. PST

Never was a member. Still get emails for all the events (last Con I attended was 2008)

stecal Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 12:47 p.m. PST

What is the purpose of HMGS anymore? Is it relevant when you can lookup & find everything on the internet? So I am paying a membership fee to subsidize those gamers who still feel the need to attend conventions like its 1975?

Why doesn't HMGS have free "associate" memberships? Those people who want benefits of con discounts can pay the membership fees.

Ceterman Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 1:16 p.m. PST

Well TRU, get ready for more "Move H-Con north again" answers. That's it.

grtbrt Inactive Member06 Jul 2016 1:31 p.m. PST

I will be a former member as soon as mine expires -fall-in.
I only rejoined because it supposedly the only way to get a flea market table – based on what I saw and was told ,that is untrue ,you just need to know the flea market organizer .

I had previously stopped being a member for many of the reasons that others have said
a) There is no benefit (material or emotional or financial ) to being a member.
b) utter mismanagement of HMGS and its 3 conventions . Especially for a supposed non-profit whose stated purpose is to run those conventions. If members cared enough to ask for an investigation HMGS would be in serious trouble . Why should I continue to give money to an organization that has no accountability nor any idea of what it is doing ?
c)The people that are selected to be ,and present themselves as ,the faces of HMGS (registration, and most of the staff I have dealt with ) are arrogant ,rude and in some cases just idiots . I understand arrogance IF there is a reason to be arrogant .
d) Lack of relevance in the current gaming culture .

To bring me back :
a) Make HMGS relevant again – do only 1 or 2 conventions and do them well .
b) Hold the BOD and volunteers accountable for the major mistakes they make
c) Financial accountability and transparency -at every level

I don't really care where the cons are -just run them better and more efficiently than they are being run now .
Ttake a look at other cons that are growing and try to learn something rather than saying " we are HMGS ,you have nothing to teach us ,"

Yes, I do know what I am talking about – I was a professional event planner for 20 years(from 200 attendees to 50,000 +) and still run events for Non-profits.
And I sit on the board of a number of non-profits so am aware of regulations ,and permissible actions.

Flakbait06 Jul 2016 1:48 p.m. PST

I am a member but often ask why. I recently renewed again but didn't see much sense in it. So someone tell me why to renew again when it is time. Tell me more than the one benefit of saving some money on a con. Sometimes life gets in the way and I don't get to a con that I preregistered for. So the money is lost anyway. What else is there??? I don't see it.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 1:49 p.m. PST

To put my answer in the form of a poll selection:

Why did I leave: Locations

What would bring me back: Locations.

Gil Bates Inactive Member06 Jul 2016 2:34 p.m. PST

mimo-----I thought I saw you running screaming out of the place due to "…mould and the sterno fumes…" plus don't forget…"Coffee grounds, potato peelings, Brown bananas and rotten peas, Chunks of sour cottage cheese, bacon rinds and chicken bones, Drippy ends of ice cream cones, Prune pits, peach pits, orange peels, Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal, Pizza crusts and withered greens, Soggy beans, and tangerines, Crusts of black-burned buttered toast, Grisly bits of beefy roast. The garbage rolled on down the halls, It raised the roof, it broke the walls, I mean, greasy napkins, cookie crumbs, Blobs of gooey bubble gum, Cellophane from old bologna, Rubbery, blubbery macaroni, Peanut butter, caked and dry, Curdled milk, and crusts of pie, Rotting melons, dried-up mustard, Eggshells mixed with lemon custard, Cold French fries and rancid meat, Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat."

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 2:38 p.m. PST

One benefit that HMGS has abandoned was its newsletter. Once a year it had a membership directory sorted by ZIP code. That's how we recruited our local club.
But that was more than 12 years ago, the last I saw such an issue.
I guess HMGS has more important things to do than provide an actual service to its members.

Oh, ceterman? Back when I did attend regularly, I did put on games.

nazrat06 Jul 2016 2:44 p.m. PST

"Must be why only the officers' buddies are allowed to schedule enough hours to get in free."

Utterly untrue. I get in free every con I attend and I wouldn't know a Board member if they were sitting on me. The same can be said for every friend I have that GMs at the cons. Why does this Board conspiracy crap come up every time a convention rolls around? Take off the tin foil hat. come out of Mom's basement, and rejoin the normal world, whydontcha?

Personal logo BrigadeGames Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 2:48 p.m. PST

I have said this before – I wouldn't care if it was in VA or not as long as sales are consistent or growing.

There was a dip when we went to VF, but that rebounded the next year nicely.
There was a dip in VA too the first year. Then a little growth. Last year in VA was a barely break even trip. If I figure in my labor, we lost money.

This will be BrigadeGames last show at Historicon in VA if sales do not rebound. This means attendance needs to rebound as growing sales are always linked to attendance.

If I do not attend as a vendor in 2017, I would still attend, but to game and hang out with my buddies. My site would run a sale and I would save over 5K in expenses and do as much in sales over the same timeframe. The benefit is that I save the weeks of effort and the adrenaline charged week of Historicon. Yes, I know, I am nuts for attending based on the issues presented above.

I am ever hopeful.

We have a bunch of new product as always.


TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 3:26 p.m. PST

Oh & also, I've talked to several longtime vendors who have had GREAT H-Cons at Fburg. And some who have not

The problem – you have two very big vendors saying Historicon is a losing proposition – Brigade Games and Old Glory. On Military Matters no longer attends Historicon.

A solution that works for everyone needs to be found. My belief is that once H'Con was moved to FB, allot of people realized they simply don't need that convention.

So the million dollar question is this – how can you make Historicon popular again?

Sundance06 Jul 2016 3:43 p.m. PST

Curiously, Ceterman is the only person posting so far who is whining about the location! How ironic! Especially since his posts didn't address the OP in any way, shape or form.

KPinder06 Jul 2016 3:45 p.m. PST

I have been a member off and on for more than a few years. I backed out a long time ago, mostly out of resentment toward the "old guard's" attitudes toward certain factions of the hobby. I reasoned I'd rather be a customer than a member. I'd have more leeway to carp. It's more fun to be outside the tent peeing in, than inside peeing out.

Several times I have gotten "slammed" into membership. I paid the non member rate, which is the same as the renewal + membership entry, so I got dragooned into joining anyway.

I'm currently a member, just cause I got tired of fighting it, besides, the discount is all right.

For reasons that passeth all understanding the NE membership decided to drop out rather than try to reverse the move south with ballots. Whatever.

I will be at HCon. I live outside Baltimore. I don't expect to have all that great a time as I will be 1 of exactly 2 people from my group who are coming.

If my understanding is right, F'burg was chosen as the least bad of a slate of crappy choices. 1000+ people have voted against F'burg with their feet.
I don't think anyone would have been upset with F'burg if the con had taken off there. Sadly, it apparently hasn't.

People down south may resent HCon's history in Pa, but it's in the BosWash megalopolis. F'burg isn't. There is a reason Taylor Swift doesn't do concerts in Montana.

Tragically, we all lost Architects of War this year. Brigade Games has just put us all on notice for 2017. Cons live and die on 3 legs, games, attendees and vendors.

If Brigade Games can turn a profit at Fall Inn and Cold Wars, but not HCon, even the die hard F'burg boosters need to step back and take a hard look at the viability of life below the Potomac.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 4:39 p.m. PST

I started attending when the con was held at the Penn Harris, there was no 'internet' and the only way to literally see new product(s) was to be there paper catalogs with drawings were the norm.

Fast forward, today: as Grtbrt stated, there is no real benefit (that I can see) to re-joining.

I've watched the organization for years: it's a soup sandwich of complete mismanagement. It's the best example of a hobby 'old boys club'.

Other organizations have realized that changing cultural norms and technology can be dealt with to bring off successful cons. One only has to look at the NMRA, AMA, IPMS, etc.

Ceterman Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 5:24 p.m. PST

Sundance, I believe this Il Condottiero, nevinsrip & miniMo all talk about their dis-like of the location. And as Flashman14 says, on TMP, if you read it at all, MOST of the posts about H-Con are nothing but complaining of the FFC & the move away from their home states. So there. I'm NOT the "only" one as you so well put it. Of course, as Nazrat points out you get the occasional, out to lunch, "GM conspiracy" theory answers. I believe Winston also is one who stopped coming because of the move. Correct OFM? I don't wanna put words in your mouth. But ya know what, I think he lives in PA. Ya know, like I said, I went for nearly 20 years to H-Con up North. Didn't bitch, complain & had a blast, every year. I plan on having another blast this year. Sorry you can't or should I say, choose not be there to enjoy it with me, we could settle this with a die roll!

TMPTMPTMP Inactive Member06 Jul 2016 5:36 p.m. PST

Haven't been a member since joining once in 1993. Won't be a member ever again. Has nothing to do with where cons are held (although I thought the Host had seen it's better days long, long ago), or what vendors attend what cons, or the excess funds in the HMGS bank, or the charges to members for cons.

What I got for joining in 1993 was a newsletter that was infrequent to the point of being non-existent, filled NOT with gaming news, or upcoming events around the country or news of manufacturer ideas for new products, BUT with whiny, insipient, mewling, juvenile postings on why so-and-so should NOT be on the BOD or why such-and-such should be appointed Imperator Ludori and other character assassinating ramblings of weak and febrile minds. I will not again give money to any organization that presents itself so unprofessionally or serves me so poorly.

Fool me once, your fault. Fool me twice, my fault. In other words – there ain't no second chances!!!!

TMPTMPTMP Inactive Member06 Jul 2016 5:45 p.m. PST

P.s. What does it matter whether Hysteriacon is in F'burg or Laimcaster? I attend a con an average of once every 5 years and see no differences in the program or presentations or orchestration at those events. If HMGS was presenting professional entertainment events, they would be going out of business.
Maybe HMGS needs to look more at upgrading their Con formats than worry about how many members of a niche hobby wandered in off the street. 1 REALLY bang-up, thought-I-was-in-Vegas con might do more to revive the con attendance than the continued frittering of resources on 3 mediocre cons.

Ceterman Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 6:43 p.m. PST

Oh & by the way, IF the Host is rebuilt & IF Historicon is held there in the future & IF I join HMGS that year & IF I'm still alive, I'll be there also.

Sundance06 Jul 2016 8:04 p.m. PST


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2016 8:09 p.m. PST

Ceterman, Ceterman, Ceterman…
Stop putting words in the OFM's and my mouth.
I have to make a last minute decision if I want to go down. And my limbs and knees are getting old and stiff. So I don't want to drive 6 hours by myself.
Even the two remaining Lancaster cons are a last minute decision.

So stop making up motives for me that you known nothing about.

AllegoryoftheCave Inactive Member06 Jul 2016 9:07 p.m. PST

Only former HMGS members please:
Why did u leave HMGS?

In no particular order> BoD Drama. The demise of the newsletter. The move of Historicon. Other options for fun with less travel time. Opinions on how I should spend *my* vacation time and money from people with views like Ceterman's going back to the Baltimore move fiasco.

What would bring u back?

To HMGS? Nothing. At least nothing short of the wonder and awe I felt in the late 90's when I joined and the camaraderie of many friends who enjoyed the same. That ship has sailed for many of us.

I go to GenCon now as my big gaming con. It's further, but easier to fly than drive, and I find better value in the journey. To each their own.

snurl106 Jul 2016 9:22 p.m. PST

I resent the comments that convention staff are rude and arrogant.
I have been on convention staff. I have good friends who have been convention staff. We are nice to everyone.
We are VOLUNTEERS, pal, and maybe you could cut us a little break. Or maybe even say "Thank You" after we take care of your requests and demands.

I urge YOU to volunteer for just one convention, you're a member, aren't you?
After you sit on the other side of the table then you will see just what rude and arrogant really looks like.

And as far as conditions at the Host, I have personally picked up piles of trash off the floor that was less than ten feet from a trash can. There is no excuse for that. Maybe you are used to having servants at home, but you are out in public, act like you were not raised in a cave.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jul 2016 4:15 a.m. PST

After many years of membership and attendance at dozens of HMGS-East conventions as a dealer and gamemaster, I found that the organization's interpretation of its purpose and its view of how the hobby should be represented to the public had drifted so far from my own that I could no longer support it.

Bring me back? Sorry, that ship has sailed.

Sysiphus Inactive Member07 Jul 2016 4:37 a.m. PST

1. make you conventions drivable from the greater northeast.
2. go back to a convention that is Historical only.
3. Too many kids, limit under 16 attendance.
4. Get some computer software that works to get folks registered in a decent amount of time.

Ceterman Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2016 4:40 a.m. PST

Whoop-de-doo. Nice comeback. Pretty much what I expected. On second thought, I don't think I want to play with you.

Ceterman Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2016 5:01 a.m. PST

Winston, OFM, Mr. Smith,
My limbs are as old as yours, I bet. 60 to be exact. I know about driving 7.5-8 by myself to a Con also. If it's all so last minute, sounds like you don't need or want to join HMGS. Like me, why comment?

+2 for snurl1

Drusilla1998 Inactive Member07 Jul 2016 5:05 a.m. PST

I became a member of HMGS, back in 1985/6, when it was much smaller and easier to manage and I don't envy the volunteers who choose to run the organization now, as it is a thankless mission.

Only the passion for gaming, to help others, organize events, and love for toy soldiers keeps these people involved and I say thank you.

However, like many, I have let my membership lapse, but for me it is just because of tardiness and life just getting in the way.

I will be renewing my membership, as I believe that we should just support an organization, whose main interest and purpose is to expand this beautiful hobby I've chosen.

Besides, the membership amount, is probably what I waste in bad food in two days, so i'm better off anyway! Lol….

I am from New Jersey and I don't attend Historicon in Va, but for me, it's simply because work doesn't allow it. As much as I don't like the drive, I would attend in a heartbeat if I could, so everyone enjoy!


Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2016 5:30 a.m. PST

But ya know what, I think he lives in PA. Ya know, like I said, I went for nearly 20 years to H-Con up North. Didn't bitch, complain & had a blast, every year.

With all due respect, as a Canadian, I snicker at the attempts to make this a North/South refight.

As I see it the complaint isn't that Historicon moved south. I don't think any one has an issue with Fredericksburg or Virginia specifically. The complaint is that the premier convention was moved away from the main population density that supported the conventions and the vendors in the first place. We now have a lower number of attendees, the loss of some important GMs (the Hawks, among others), the loss of vendors (OMM, among others) and the potential loss of some long time vendors (Brigade among others).

There is really no reason to be a member if you aren't hitting three (or more) conventions a year, and even then you really don't save much $20.00 USD USD or $30.00 USD USD bucks over three cons?

Cart before the horse, isn't it? The point of joining isn't so you can save some $$ at the convention. The purpose of joining is to have an organization that puts on the conventions in the first place.

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