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


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Bowman13 Jul 2016 7:46 a.m. PST

Move the conventions around the country like is done with Origins and other conventions.

Origins has been on Columbus since 1996, GenCon has been in Indianapolis since 2003. Once they stayed still, they really grew the attendance.

You need people from other parts of the country and make it a national organization.

I'll disagree. Seems to be an unsupported statement.

The regional HMGS system isn't getting the job done.

I'm a member of HMGS. The only other regional groups that had conventions that I attended are HMGS-GW and HMGS-MW. They both seem to be doing fine. Check out how Little Wars is growing.

Al Swearengen13 Jul 2016 8:15 a.m. PST

Rotating conventions is insane. As others have pointed out, it isn't done anymore, and that's for good reason .

Ceterman13 Jul 2016 8:22 a.m. PST

Holien, Tell your Grandmum, HAPPY BIRTHDAY from me! (I shouted so's she could hear me!) ;)
Peter

TheKing3013 Jul 2016 2:49 p.m. PST

People making nine hour trips, six hour trips, etc. Most of you guys are so NE focused that you don't get it. You have to drop the East and just have HMGS.

North Eastern Centric mind set is part of the problem. The membership has to increase. Grow or die. Be inclusive by moving the conventions around the country. But I am sure that will never happen. Don't want to move it out of driving distance for the board.

Wow. Where do we start with this? In short, HMGS runs conventions. Sure, they talk about growing the hobby and all the other fun stuff but their bread a butter is conventions.

So the product that HMGS offers is – conventions. You need to attract the most people possible to have a successful convention. So, where do they have the best numbers? I'll let you answer that for yourself.

If you're going in trying to change people's minds and show them they need to attend a convention in FB, you need to sell them on that idea. So far I haven't seen anything selling people on FB. It seems the demographics aren't strong enough to support Historicon in FB.

You now have three choices….

1) Leave the convention there and watch it die. The dealers are getting fed up with the lack of sales and the attendance seems to be dropping slightly.

2) Try to sell the convention to the membership. Problem with that is there is so much bad will connected to the whole FB move it's a very tough sell.

3) Move the convention to a location that is better suited to the membership. I believe anyplace above DC would work out well for the membership in general.

Again, this is just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

DOUGKL13 Jul 2016 3:30 p.m. PST

I did not renew when things changed and limited me to one con per year and it's a day trip at that. There was no reason to continue membership because there was no discount to offset the dues.

Bowman13 Jul 2016 6:29 p.m. PST

Seriously? Move Historicon around the country to make it a "National" convention? Sounds like another ill-thought out "Let's take it to the Next Level" argument. So Old Glory, or Brigade Games ( to pick two examples) are going to cart all their stuff onto a cargo jet and fly to Portland Oregon one year, Cincinnati Ohio the next, and then to Atlanta Georgia the year after that?

What about all the great GMs that put on awesome games every con? (Check out XinTao's Austerlitz game for what I mean). You think they will fly all this stuff around the country because you think a national convention is a good idea? Have you thought any of this through?

TheKing3013 Jul 2016 6:49 p.m. PST

So Old Glory, or Brigade Games ( to pick two examples) are going to cart all their stuff onto a cargo jet and fly to Portland Oregon one year, Cincinnati Ohio the next, and then to Atlanta Georgia the year after that?

I thought they did this with a covered wagon…..

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP13 Jul 2016 7:25 p.m. PST

"These threads always amaze me and it is pretty simple IMO. There is a club which you pay membership and you get the right to influence (by voting)…"

Perhaps not. You can vote people onto the BOD, but you need a majority of 4 board members to get anything done. On top of that, you never know what position candidates might hold once elected, so even the vote is a mixed bag at best.

"… or to be more active by volunteering, that is the way the club operates. (and many others)."

The certainly helps make the cons work, but it does not really impact policy or direction. Still, they always need volunteers to help out – from staff positions to gamemasters.

Winston Smith14 Jul 2016 9:52 a.m. PST

The people who think Historicon should be a "national" convention do not realize that HMGS had always been HMGS-E. It has always been regional, tied to the Northeast AND the Washington area.
Other clubs were simply "allowed" to use the HMGS name in their regional names.
I probably got that wrong. grin

All of HMGS's officers and BOD are from the region. It ain't moving. I wish it would move closer to me, but that's only to make it more convenient.

Suggesting that HMGS, a regional convention, move to Atlanta or Vegas or Houston, is as silly as suggesting that NASHCON move from Nashville to Jersey City.

Early morning writer14 Jul 2016 11:01 p.m. PST

HMGS was, without question, promoted as a national body. East was to be but one chapter. Never much caught on here in the west because we had our own active community and regional conventions so didn't need that 'distant' organization. But there are many chapters. That it stuck so much to being an East focused group is what kept it from really being a national unit. And, no, I was never a member. But I did try to get information about starting a chapter out here – and all of my communications fell on deaf ears or blank screens. And this wasn't all that long ago. That is when I knew HMGS was in real trouble. And I suspect this questioning thread is a symptom of that demise.

Though the real challenge is that the average gamer is a cantankerous individual in a very general way, even the more congenial ones. Strange little hobby at times.

And why wouldn't a manufacturer want to visit the west coast – we have 50-60 million people out here and if there was a truly major convention with major vendor support people would travel to it? We already travel from Vancouver BC to San Diego and points between. Of course, with the internet, fewer and fewer vendors can justify convention presence – just plain common and good business sense. Until you think about getting the unaware aware of your product. Those who say doing so is a bad idea really mean "I'd have to spend more to attend or not go" so their responses are intensely personal than a real rational advancement of the discussion. But there is a name for that – humans. Nasty little Bleeped texts, those.

Oh – and if TMP membership statistics are to be believed, California has by far the largest contingent of gamers in any one state or any one country's sub unit.

(and, yes, I am aware there is a southwest and northwest chapter – and even a single individual holding tight to the 'west' designation but he's never done anything with it to allow it to develop much)

Ottoathome15 Jul 2016 3:46 a.m. PST

Early morning Writer

You are completely wrong.

HMGS was originally just HMGS, created and run to make a convention where mini-gamers weren't tolerated and shoved into a corner. There never was AT THE START any idea to make chapters and that there would be a national chapter. The founders were too busy keeping their convention going. Later after a few years when interest picked up elsewhere the whole thing of "national" organization, and regional chapters came up. HMGS would franchise the name to other areas, but it was largely up to those areas to make it on their own, though some persons in the other areas had the idea that HMGS' treasurey was something they could make free demends on to get a new car or put in little Muffy or Buffy or Fluffys college fund.

The real problem is that it ran up against the demographics of time and space and curmudgeoness.

Personal logo edmuel2000 Supporting Member of TMP15 Jul 2016 5:14 a.m. PST

To add one thing to what Otto said concerning the forming of HMGS, it was also originally much more targeted than "mini-gamers." HMGS was specifically formed to run a convention for HISTORICAL miniatures, for reasons that Otto outlines. That's it. I was struck by how clearly this is stated when re-reading the announcement in an old Courier magazine.

Bowman15 Jul 2016 6:55 a.m. PST

And why wouldn't a manufacturer want to visit the west coast……

Bit of a disconnect from reality there, huh? It's not that the vendors don't want to visit the west coast, it's that it is not economically feasible for them to do so for a convention setting. You said so yourself two sentences later. Thanks for making my original point.

Ottoathome15 Jul 2016 8:40 a.m. PST

edmuel2000

You are completely correct. That was the intent. I MUST however add the caveat that back then what they termed as "historical games" were not what the hyperventilating proponents of "historical" are today. They were quite tolerant of games using Imagi-nations, hypothetical scenarios, and match ups between Aztecs and Wars of the Roses armies. The only thing "verboten" was sci-fi, magic, and what was then the denizens of D&D .

I remember no less a person and hard liner as Pat Condray defending me when I put on the Elvish Civil War at an Early Historicon. I was using Ral Partha Elves as Burgundians (becaue they LOOKED like High Burgundian figures. I even used two Saurian Behemoths as Elephants, according to normal Elephant rules.

In spite of all the hyperventilating hyperbole here, once you get to know the Society of the HMGS in real life, they tend to be a really great bunch of guys.

It doesn't matter where you are. It doesn't matter what your interest. You can and WILL have a convention if you can get people to do THE WORK!

Trust me, after starting up two conventions from scratch, it's NOT the money, it's the WORK. This is how I run The Weekend so that it can be done pretty much by one person, (myself) and doesn't need a staff. Back when, when people came along and were looking for money from HMGS to start up a convention, what they almost invariably were shot down on was not a plan, but no one had an organization or even a group who would do the work.

And that's the reason why few people have conventions in their area. They don't want to do the work. I don't just mean the guys in the organization who will put it on, I mean attend it and put on games and events. Money is easy to get $1,000 USD will more than do you for capitalization for a one or two day convention. But getting people to do the work and come!


I get this all the time with "The Weekend." I have people come up to me and say "You know what wold really be great!!!!!??? If you had a Umpires, Ego's and Liars Tournament!!! I tell them, "It sure would. Tell you what I'll give you the space and the tables and you organize it, get the games, schedule them, and get the attendees!!!" Then I stand back and watch the wild interest and excitement in their eyes die the death of a dog.

And THAT is the salvation of the HMGS and the BOD. No matter how far gone it may be, no matter how incompetent it may be, there are always a few people who are willing to knock themselves out for others and do the work needed. Not enough, and not as often, but… there is always a remnant who does it.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Jul 2016 12:40 p.m. PST

I MUST however add the caveat that back then what they termed as "historical games" were not what the hyperventilating proponents of "historical" are today. They were quite tolerant of games using Imagi-nations, hypothetical scenarios. . . In spite of all the hyperventilating hyperbole here . . .

. . . said the Master of Breathless Hyperbole. I have never met, either in person or online, a single historical gamer who didn't think that these were perfectly acceptable approaches to historical wargaming. While the rest of your post is a correct and sensible assessment of what makes a convention successful, this characterization of historical gamers is beyond ridiculous.

Ottoathome15 Jul 2016 2:41 p.m. PST

You obviously have not read much on TMP. They surface from time to time.

Early morning writer15 Jul 2016 6:53 p.m. PST

Well, Otto, this isn't the first time someone's said I was wrong but I don't recall if anyone else ever proved me right so fast in their saying I was wrong as you did. I did not claim HMGS started as a national body but that they very much did promote themselves as such – at least for a time, perhaps during the big 'lead law' scare emanating out of New York state: "Later after a few years when interest picked up elsewhere the whole thing of "national" organization, and regional chapters came up." So, thank you for supporting what I said, even it wasn't your intention.

And, Bowman, I still hope you continue to gloat when you arrive at a convention to find almost no vendors there. I fear that is something we will all see one of these days soon, perhaps very, very soon. Though you do seem to be ignoring my comment about vendors falling away and then losing the chance for new business – but such is likely to be inevitable with costs rising and internet sales advancing. There are sound economic reasons for internet sales for certain business models – and few as significant as within this niche hobby we all share.

But ultimately, the hobby is likely to thrive, just in a different way without large regional conventions underwritten by the attending vendors. Sorry HMGS, organizers and members both – but this does seem to be coming. But who knows; we all get the privilege of being wrong from time to time.

No intention to start anything with anyone, certainly, but I believe I had valid points. That does not mean other view points are invalid. Nor is character assault ever in order – unless someone really, really gets out of line (but that's the editors job). Though Otto, for one, has never shown any lack of ability to stand up for himself.

Bowman15 Jul 2016 7:05 p.m. PST

And, Bowman, I still hope you continue to gloat when you arrive at a convention to find almost no vendors there. I fear that is something we will all see one of these days soon, perhaps very, very soon. Though you do seem to be ignoring my comment about vendors falling away and then losing the chance for new business – but such is likely to be inevitable with costs rising and internet sales advancing. There are sound economic reasons for internet sales for certain business models – and few as significant as within this niche hobby we all share.

I'm not gloating. No idea what gave you that idea. I am also concerned about the health of the vendors. If you bothered to read my comments on this thread, you'd see that I suggested that HMGS take some of their war chest and use those funds to offset the costs to the vendors.

The suggestions to move Historicon to various parts of the USA is an unworkable and poorly thought out alternative. My comments were directed towards that idea. HMGS is a local organization, as others have explained.

TheKing3015 Jul 2016 7:16 p.m. PST

And, Bowman, I still hope you continue to gloat when you arrive at a convention to find almost no vendors there. I fear that is something we will all see one of these days soon, perhaps very, very soon. Though you do seem to be ignoring my comment about vendors falling away and then losing the chance for new business – but such is likely to be inevitable with costs rising and internet sales advancing. There are sound economic reasons for internet sales for certain business models – and few as significant as within this niche hobby we all share.

The answer is really pretty easy. Here are the steps:

Put the convention in a location that generates revenue for the dealers.

Leave the convention there.

Watch the dealers make money and be happy.

Oh – and get rid of the "Next Levelers". They know who they are.

Pirate190015 Jul 2016 10:31 p.m. PST

My old knees can not take the stairs at the Host. Va's nice but see knees as to the drive time. I might just be too old an warn out ;)

mgluteus16 Jul 2016 7:49 a.m. PST

I have blown my Saturday morning reading all 5 pages of these comments. Rather than try to answer any specific post I will list a few thoughts that come to me in my 48 years as a Historical Miniature gamer ( I discovered the hobby late – age 34 – thanks to Bob Beattie.

Early gamer numbers: When Bob and I decided to start a magazine in 1969, we wrote to Jack Scruby, then the LARGEST manufaturer of figures in the US for his mailing list so that we could send out free samples. He gracefully sent it with 42 names!

The Courier: If I was publishing it today, it would be an E-Zine supported by advts.

HMGS: was originally founded because the large gaming conventions of the time gave Historical Miniature gamers short shrift – Moving a Ancient tournament at the last minute in to a Chem Lab where the tables were covered with equipment to make room for an overflow of board games quickly comes to mind. As does Origins voting cardboard counters as the best new "Historical Miniatures" one year.

The idea (then) was to have a knowledgeable, friendly venue for Historical Gamers and to spread the word about Historical gaming – we advertised, put flyers in Boardgames at hobby shops, ran demos at local libraries, etc. and slowly built the hobby. Everyone in HMGS realized that in self-interest it paid great dividends to grow the hobby by supporting the conventions and the people who made out toys and getting more members. I submit that this is even more important today.
Dick Bryant
"Charge! There are no lead widows."

CriticalGeek21 Jul 2016 9:18 p.m. PST

I will preface my reply to the thread's question with the following information:

1. I live in the Kansas City area. Thus I am far away from, pretty much, any decent conventions.

2. I am not a huge convention-goer, due to #1 and due to traveling/hotel costs/low amount of vacation accrual from my job.

3. Within the Kansas City area I am 45-ish minutes away from the closest game store that sells any miniatures, and precious few of those are historical.

4. Due to #3, at least in part, there doesn't appear to be much of a Historical scene in my area.

5. Due to all of the above, that makes me, besides roping my father into playing, a solo hobbyist and historical wargamer.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was a member for exactly one year, when I first decided to focus solely on Historical miniatures. I chose to not renew my membership around 6 months into my membership year. I did not see the value in it, and I don't mean getting free stuff or anything like that. There was simply no reason for me to be paying for it. I can't/won't go to conventions back east and I don't tend to buy from the vendors that do provide some sort of HMGS discount.

I did not feel part of a community. I feel like I am more a part of video game community (which I hardly interact with at all) than I did being a "member" of HGMS. Member? Member of what? There were no quality discussion boards, no newsletters that were given even a modicum of effort. I know how much effort layout actually takes and it isn't that hard, but some of the newsletters I read during my membership felt like they were written by high school level individuals full of angst and defensive justification of their pet organizational decisions.

I got this vibe after only 6 months of limited interaction (not by choice!) with HMGS. I don't really know if you could win my membership back because you don't offer anything I would be interested in.

You don't offer:

– A quality newsletter/periodical the likes of The Hobilar or Slingshot.

– Community outreach to increase awareness of the hobby. (If you do/did then I never heard about it as a member!)

– HMGS-specific battlefield tours (think something like a geek nation tour combined with a mini con based around a particular battle.)

– There are no news updates, industry updates, or even actual HMGS updates.

– There are no HMGS approved paints/supplies for beginners. (Think teaming up with The Army Painter to point beginner's in the right direction.)

– No community, no real society.


I am really rambling at this point. I guess HMGS just isn't for me, but I struggle to see who it is really for except for the hardcore of the hardcore convention goers that happen to live within a comfortable driving distance of the 3 conventions. Otherwise, why bother? There is no other point to HMGS in my mind.

My name is Howard Kings, if you want to check my lapsed membership credentials.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2016 5:50 a.m. PST

CG: +1

Personal logo BrigadeGames Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jul 2016 2:53 p.m. PST

Otto hit the nail on the head. Anything can be done if someone WANTS to do the work. The problem is that very few want to do anything anymore.

As a former Cubmaster, Scoutmaster and Committee Chairman in BSA for over 16 years, I saw a significant decline in the number of willing parents to support their own boys in that program. Myself and fellow scout leaders were even recruited for vacant recreational soccer coaches when the town with 250 kids in soccer could;t field enough coaches. 75% were also scout leaders. And this "job" was easy. Show up, pretend you know something about soccer, and substitute kids every so often.

A convention takes work. Otto I am sure loves it. One would have to in order to sacrifice the time and expense involved. Now after a number of years he has a good following of attendees. Clearly a win.

Look at any convention.
Notice a trend?
The decline in GMs and a large number of "showcase" games is part of the same problem. Very few want to put in the work necessary to even put on a game anymore.

So if you want to run a con and see if you can do better, go for it.

Ottoathome22 Jul 2016 7:10 p.m. PST

Dear Lon

One correction. The weekend had GM's falling over each other to put on games. Since next years convention theme is "The Civil War" which is a very popular period, we already have 8 games scheduled. 2018, "Naval War" is also getting two people signing up. The key to getting the people to do it is simple. GET OUT OF THEIR WAY! They'll do it all on their own.

To answer your hypothesis though-- NO! I don't like doing the work, but I know if I don't do it won't get done, and I'd rather have it that way than no conventin at all. But I've gotten it down to a system and there isn't that much work that has to be done AT the Weekend. Most of it can be done before.

However, you are correct with the lack of volunteerism among people today, and I honor you at both your coaching and scoutmaster avocations.

I don't mind the people who don't want to do anything just come and play. They're the "Tramps" in my taxonomy of gmers, "Vamps, Tramps, and Mules." All the GM's (Mules) LOVE the tramps. God bless em! Can't have enough of them. They come, play, aren't demanind, happing to be there, have minimal demands, and gleefully play what is put before them. Can't get enough tramps. It's the Vamps that you have to watch for and generally all have the same attitude "I want you to put on a convention I can attend, and complain about." You have to have the same thing in the Dealer; world. You love the guys who come and look, poke around and buy. You don't need them to buy $2,000 USD each, but fifty heare, a hundred there, it adds up. The Vamps are the ones who come, paw your merchandise, make snide foments like "Well I WOULD by your 1807 French but you made them with Type A Brandenburg Cuff, rather than Polish Cuffs, and I don't think you quite captured "ιclat" of the period. Have you ever thought of hiring a professional sculptor, your stuff Is nice but the ones from Ruttingpig Miniatues are much better! I'd buy some of your still but I have to pay off my vet bill this month as my cat has a complex….."

TheKing3023 Jul 2016 5:40 a.m. PST

You don't offer:

– A quality newsletter/periodical the likes of The Hobilar or Slingshot.

– Community outreach to increase awareness of the hobby. (If you do/did then I never heard about it as a member!)

– HMGS-specific battlefield tours (think something like a geek nation tour combined with a mini con based around a particular battle.)

– There are no news updates, industry updates, or even actual HMGS updates.

– There are no HMGS approved paints/supplies for beginners. (Think teaming up with The Army Painter to point beginner's in the right direction.)

– No community, no real society.


I am really rambling at this point. I guess HMGS just isn't for me, but I struggle to see who it is really for except for the hardcore of the hardcore convention goers that happen to live within a comfortable driving distance of the 3 conventions. Otherwise, why bother? There is no other point to HMGS in my mind.

My name is Howard Kings, if you want to check my lapsed membership credentials.

You bring up some excellent points. Now, what to do about it? Can you do any of these things? I know taking all these on at once is like boiling the ocean. However,

Do you have any talents writing up a newsletter? Maybe on a quarterly basis? I'm sure the BoD would be able to give you information that you can use. Perhaps you can spotlight a vendor or a specific figure line?

HMGS sponsored battlefield tours – that's a tough one. That would definitely cost money. However, maybe someone can organize something with a tour group?

What I'm going for is this – you have allot of great ideas. These are things I didn't think of until you mentioned it. Instead of walking away unhappy (and watching HMGS lose a resource), is there anything you can do to help?

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2016 8:59 a.m. PST

– A quality newsletter/periodical the likes of The Hobilar or Slingshot.

Like many volunteer organizations, HMGS has struggled getting people to submit articles. They do have a newsletter, or used to. To me it lost visibility when it went electronic.


– Community outreach to increase awareness of the hobby. (If you do/did then I never heard about it as a member!)

There have been many efforts over the years by HMGS members to reach out – including involvement with History Day, putting on games at different venues, and a college scholarship fund. I am sure there were/are others, but honestly, I don't really know if they accomplished anything.


– HMGS-specific battlefield tours (think something like a geek nation tour combined with a mini con based around a particular battle.)

Not sure why HMGS would repeat what is already done at battlefields around the country. I believe they organized a tour once when the con was at the Ike in Gettysburg, but they got complaints from dealers about taking people off site during con hours. I kind of get that.

– There are no news updates, industry updates, or even actual HMGS updates.

See newsletter above. Overall though, you are correct. This used to be covered in various hobby publications. The old Courier comes to mind.

– There are no HMGS approved paints/supplies for beginners. (Think teaming up with The Army Painter to point beginner's in the right direction.)

Not sure if HMGS is in the business of endorsing a specific paint brand. Would be a huge conflict of interest with the various dealers who sell various paints. They do host Hobby U, or Painting U – which is excellent, especially for new people to the hobby.

– No community, no real society.

In a way, the members vote for the board members who steer the direction of the cons. While you don't always know what you are getting when you vote, at least members can vote.


I have a simple suggestion for HMGS. Hire a professional photographer to take photos of the cons – games, wares, etc. Let the photographer sort through the photos. Have a contract that requires a certain number of photos being turned back to the organization for posting on their facebook and webpage. The excuse I have heard is that relying on volunteers to take photos is uncertain at best and that they often don't have time to sort through the photos later.

I would also suggest re-creating a webpage with photos. HMGS does not do a good job having a web presence with pictures.

Winston Smith23 Jul 2016 9:14 a.m. PST

If all HMGS does is run conventions in a stable and acceptable manner, that's all I ask.
Why do we need bells and whistles? We don't.

CriticalGeek23 Jul 2016 10:31 a.m. PST

[QUOTE]What I'm going for is this – you have allot of great ideas. These are things I didn't think of until you mentioned it. Instead of walking away unhappy (and watching HMGS lose a resource), is there anything you can do to help?[/QUOTE}

Hi TheKing30,

I would love to help out with a periodical, at the very least. I disagree with others that a physical periodical isn't viable, but it certainly needs to be closer to a Print On Demand model than anything else.

I suppose my problem is that it would be like working on a periodical for an organization in Canada or the UK. Sure, I'd get the satisfaction of creating an awesome periodical, but the decisions those organizations make don't effect me one iota. That's how I feel about HMGS. It really is HMGS (East). National organization I would not call it.

I'm not discounting the possibility, and if any of the BoD wants to contact me about it I would be more than willing to discuss it, it would just require some thought.

Edit: How to you properly quote someone on here? Thanks!

Ottoathome23 Jul 2016 10:58 a.m. PST

Dear Critical Greek

THERE ALREADY IS A NEWSLETTER! It is admirably managed by Bob and Cleo Liebl. They would be eager to print almost anything you write. If you don't know them then you can get in touch with them simply by sending them your e-mail. I will send it to them for you if you wish.

Of course Make enough noise here and they will eventually find you. They occasionally scan TMP.

All you have to do is WRITE an article on war games.

I also write for them.

A physical periodical is quite do-able.

I already do one quarterly on my own.

TheKing3023 Jul 2016 11:22 a.m. PST

Edit: How to you properly quote someone on here? Thanks!

To begin:

less than <
q
greater than >

To End:

Less than <
/q
Greater than >

Winston Smith23 Jul 2016 12:29 p.m. PST

Otto.
I have been a member on and off for the past few years.
I have never received the "excellent" newsletter.
It can't be that HMGS doesn't have my address, because I keep getting ballots in the mail.

Ember52 Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2016 12:55 p.m. PST

Winston,

For at least the last several years the newsletter has been in electronic, not print, form. PDF versions of the last 6-7 years of newsletters are available in the Member area of the HMGS ym site.

Bowman23 Jul 2016 2:13 p.m. PST

I have never received the "excellent" newsletter.

Try to keep up, Winston.

But I totally agree with:

If all HMGS does is run conventions in a stable and acceptable manner, that's all I ask.
Why do we need bells and whistles? We don't.

Running the conventions is hard work. This, by far, should be the first and the important responsibility. Let's get that right first. Everything else is mere bells and whistles. You want to know what's going on at HMGS? Then check out the website.

Ottoathome23 Jul 2016 2:34 p.m. PST

Dear Critical Geek and Winston Smith

I have contacted Bob and Cleo expressing your desire to become involved with writing articles for the newsletter. They will be asking you for your e-mail.

I look forward to reading the articles you contribute.

Otto

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2016 5:54 p.m. PST

They have (purposely?) made it harder to check anything out in HMGS since they deleted the old open web page in favor of the have to sign in YM site. They didn't have to do that, but they did. You cannot blame the membership/attendees for not keeping it up since there is a barrier now to easily get to the information.

CriticalGeek23 Jul 2016 6:15 p.m. PST

To begin:

Thanks!

Dear Critical Greek

THERE ALREADY IS A NEWSLETTER! It is admirably managed by Bob and Cleo Liebl. They would be eager to print almost anything you write. If you don't know them then you can get in touch with them simply by sending them your e-mail. I will send it to them for you if you wish.

Of course Make enough noise here and they will eventually find you. They occasionally scan TMP.

All you have to do is WRITE an article on war games.

I also write for them.

A physical periodical is quite do-able.

I already do one quarterly on my own.

If it was the same newsletter that I read when I was a member, 2013 I believe, then it left me rather cold. The layout looked like it was done in Microsoft Office and, as I said the articles trended towards leadership chest thumping about their own pet projects or defending organizational decisions in an off-putting manner. I am not poo-pooing the work that has been done, as you haven't seen me doing anything, but the question was asked of why I felt membership was lacking and a QUALITY periodical was definitely on my list. This is, of course, coming from the solitary wargamer who lives much too far away from the actual HMGS action.

Dear Critical Geek and Winston Smith

I have contacted Bob and Cleo expressing your desire to become involved with writing articles for the newsletter. They will be asking you for your e-mail.

I look forward to reading the articles you contribute.

Otto

Thanks, Otto, I look forward to discussing it with them.

Ottoathome24 Jul 2016 4:09 a.m. PST

Dear Critical Geek and Winston Smith

Just send me your e-mail to sigurd@eclipse.net and I will pass it on to Bob and Cleo.

Otto

Winston Smith24 Jul 2016 8:24 a.m. PST

Don't be cute Otto. I wasn't asking to contribute, and you know that.
But if it makes you feel better…
I was saying that I never received it in the mail.

TheKing3024 Jul 2016 8:50 a.m. PST

Wow. Someone understood my instructions. And they were correct no less. I've finally reached a milestone in my life.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2016 12:41 p.m. PST

Otto:

What really is the point? They don't email the newsletter to members and you have to jump through the hoops of the YM site to get to it (I think). The newsletter is just another example of diminishing value of membership – which is what this thread was all about.

If I were going to spend my time writing an article I would want to make sure people might read it.

Charlie 1224 Jul 2016 4:13 p.m. PST

HG's idea (newsletter as e-zine with a notification email to the members) is best option. Several groups I'm in do just that. And yes, the HMGS web presence needs a heavy overhaul. Going through the YM site is a pain and doesn't make any sense.

Unfortunately, the bigger problem is the content. My experience was the same as CriticalGeek's; the newsletters I got were a sad piece of work that wasn't worth reading. True, getting content is always a problem, no matter the subject area. But as HG pointed out, what's the point of submitting an article if it never gets read.

As for the "paper vs e-zine" silliness: I'll leave that to what Dick Bryant said (who's forgotten more about publishing than any of us will know):

The Courier: If I was publishing it today, it would be an E-Zine supported by advts.

'Nuff said….

Ottoathome24 Jul 2016 4:21 p.m. PST

Dear History Gamer

That all is true. But they COULD make it available to anyone if they wished and that is what I am campaigning for. It would require so little to do and it would be some sort of advertisement. Another example of corruption.

Charlie 12. E-zines are "no zines." No one reads them.

That's why the Weekend sends out 8 page quarterly bulletins advertising the convention. There is a chance they will be read.

Charlie 1224 Jul 2016 4:53 p.m. PST

There's been a (largely misinformed) thread about "how do we get the vendors to come back". The raw truth is that you may never get them back no matter what you do.

The raw fact is that consumers and retailers are living in a new age. The net has the negated the need for a physical presence. Any retailer with a robust virtual presence (and a lot of gaming companies have one) can do everything (more, in fact) than the traditional brick-and-mortar store (and cons) without the gawd awful overhead to contend with. If you don't believe it, then just check-out the Christmas sales; ecommerce has grown to become a major force in the seasonal sales while brick-and-mortar has eroded.

And the new demographic that we're supposedly trying to draw in the hobby is far more comfortable with ecommerce than the Deleted by Moderators that frequent this board.

Bottomline is that for some vendors you could drop the table cost to zero and they'd still not come back. After factoring in all the costs, it's just not worth it for them.

Charlie 1224 Jul 2016 5:11 p.m. PST

Charlie 12. E-zines are "no zines." No one reads them.

As always, misinformed and flatly WRONG.

Otto, I have subscriptions to 50+ professional, general and hobby journals and newspapers. NONE are paper. ALL are online. And in some professions (like mine), YOU CAN'T GET A PAPER JOURNAL.

Otto, you're a dinosaur. And just as irrelevant. This is 2016, not 1986… If Dick Bryant says paper is dead, that's good enough for me (and he knows far more about the field than me… or YOU).

What's you next "brilliant" idea? Start a buggy whip factory?

TheKing3024 Jul 2016 7:05 p.m. PST

Charlie 12 – don't underestimate the power of one on one. There is a reason there are allot of companies that still don't allow you to work from home.

Calling people who visit this thread Deleted by Moderators? Really? Shows very little class.

Charlie 1224 Jul 2016 7:22 p.m. PST

don't underestimate the power of one on one. There is a reason there are allot of companies that still don't allow you to work from home.

After working 20+ years in retail, yes, I'd agree that the "personal touch" is still valid… to a point.

Buying habits are changing. Ecommerce has become the norm in some fields and will continue to grow in others. And while the "personal touch" is all well and good, this is still a bottomline business. You can do all the face to face you want. But if the bottomline comes up red, then what's the point?

Example: Long time retailer friend was working his booth at Cold Wars a few years back. We were discussing the biz when a customer walked up. He ask to see some figures and Dan dutifully pulled them out and handed them to him. A couple of questions were asked and answered. And then the customer says "Thank you, I just wanted to see the figures in person. I'll order them online from the manufacturer." And walked away. Dan sighed and looks at me and says "And I came 1000 miles for THAT?". When he got home, he ran the numbers for past 5 years that he'd attended the cons as a vendor. And his overall net profit was negligible. Small wonder he stopped coming as a vendor. BTW, his website has shown healthy sales growth every year that's been running.

As for your comment about work from home: Completely irrelevant to the retail scene (and a lot of others). In fact, for many firms, working from home is the rule. That's the way the things are done now, get use to it…

Calling people who visit this thread Deleted by Moderators? Really? Shows very little class.

OH PLEEZE…. Get real. Read the damn threads…

Ottoathome25 Jul 2016 4:08 a.m. PST

Academia still does it the old fashioned way. They know. Publish something in the print version of a scholarly journal and you get credit and people sit up and take notice. Publish it in the e-version of the same journal, you get nothing for it. Those things don't even get peer review, and none of them make money.

You get what you pay for. If your paper isn't worth putting on paper, it's worth nothing.

Unfortunately my real experience trumps your uninformed opinion every time. As I said. Been publishing a paper newsletter on wargames for over a decade.

As for your alleged experience in retail, I can assure you that after 40+ years in industry and publishing I have YET to find an e-publication of a newspaper or magazine that shows a profit. They all are money losers for their publishers. But don't believe me. Go look at the closest thing to our own hobby which is Model Railroading. It supports TWO excellent full color magazines, Model Railroader and Model Railroad Craftsman, AND related ones in Railfan and others. They both have print, mailed editions which make money. My wife used to work for Model Railroad Craftsman and they had very strong sales in print but their e-zine versions always lost money.

If model railroading can support two such magazines, we should be able to support one. The real reason we can't is that war gamers are incredibly cheap.

As for Dick Bryant, he ran his own magazine into the ground. I hardly think that's a recommendation to follow his opinion. But to be fair, he had to go begging for content every few months, and gamers were just as cheap for him. He had constant complaints that a person would copy his magazine and give it to friends or pass it around the club. So it's not really Dick's fault. It's yours.

Don't believe me? Look at all the enthusiasm for 3D printing. Gamers want it so they can rip off miniatures. Of course that won't work because they're too cheap to buy the 3D printers. Can't tell you the times I've been at the booths and the guy next to me is asking the vendor to break open 24 bubble packs because he likes only one figure in them.

Blutarski25 Jul 2016 6:06 a.m. PST

Otto wrote – "As for Dick Bryant, he ran his own magazine into the ground."

….. Really? Perhaps you have secret insider knowledge unknown to others. The last I heard from Dick was that he had decided to let the Courier go because he had lost his support group and found that running it more or less solo was just getting to be too much hassle in his advancing years.

….. Re "ripping off miniatures", 3D is an expensive means of doing so. I'm sure you recall that copy-casting of figures was endemic from the earliest days of the hobby. There are individuals who still have thousands of such pirated figures in their armies.

B

demiurgex25 Jul 2016 6:28 a.m. PST

Well, that's one of the most ludicrous arguments I've seen on this board yet. There's hundreds of academic resources online for peer reviewed papers, including major universities such as Oxford.
oxfordjournals.org/en

And many of them are behind pay walls. There's some argument on whether that's a helpful practice in academic circles – open sources are more freely distributed.

For example, here's a paper on publication bias in medical journals from JAMA – the Journal of American Medical Associations: link

Several companies do nothing but sell online databases to academic institutions, such as EBSCO.

IT is a dominant fact of life at university, to the point where many don't accept paper period. Everything has to be posted online to count.

The great thing about free speech in this country. You just let the people talk and they prove their level of expertise on the subject.

Your credibility on this issue is wanting.

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