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"Make Historicon Great Again!!!!!" Topic


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civildisobedience23 Mar 2017 8:41 a.m. PST

1. Leave the conventions where they've always been the most successful. Stop moving them around, and allow some time for things to settle back to where they were. Some damage probably can't be undone, but let's see what a couple of calm years in the optimal location can achieve.

2. Focus on game quality. I may take crap for saying this, but I find the quality of many games to be lacking (and, yes, others are very good). GMs who don't want to control their games shouldn't run games at cons. One problem gamer can ruin 4-6 hours for 8, 10, 12 other people. Every game doesn't have to be a work of art, but I've seen people put masking tape down for roads on bare wood tables. Seriously? HMGS should put more emphasis on supporting GMs and maybe try to create some kind of quality filter. I know that's more difficult than it sounds, but I think people would stay Saturday night for a game they really wanted to play.

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2017 2:06 p.m. PST

The con experience is different for nearly everyone. My primary goals are gaming and shopping.

I have run 3-4 games per con for close to 25 years. I would say that the terrain and miniature quality has been steadily improving. Since I a free market person I would not suggest a filter. I think a GM guide might be helpful. Tricks hints and suggested standards.

I do use the GM storage at Fredericksburg. Especially for Fredericksburg it is critical. In general I am pretty self sufficient, I can carry all my stuff and usually have friends to break down. I run enough games that I typically try to get a stable table.

Other people come down for tournaments. Some guys will drive 5 hours to hit the dealer hall and flea market then turn around and head home. Some folks game nonstop, others work the dealer hall or hawk wares at the flea market, even some that seem mostly to socialize. I can't tell them how to enjoy the con

Ottoathome23 Mar 2017 3:09 p.m. PST

My point was not who did what but only that it HAS been tried and HAS been done and the reasons for its discontinuance is that it requires dedication, voluntarism, and time. The cash required by the Help desk was minimal.

But a greater question arose out of its operation and I was there and part of it, one of the volunteers and helpers and that was that on the whole its services were underutilized and largely done without by most of the gamers who had already been past masters of putting on games at cons.

We found that the GM's needed little help in putting on their games and already did it quite well, had their own carts, handled their own haulage and preparation quite well and were already masters at it and we had little to help with. They also brought their own friends to help them unload. Indeed, I do remember talking to a lot of GM's who were very sad to leave the Lancaster Host because it was "the devil that they knew, and they knew every twist and turn of the place and what corridor they could go down and which they could not and which rooms were easy to get into and which were not.

Also they knew their games well and there was nothing anyone could teach them about putting them on.

If you want to encourage the GM's then all you have to do is say "Thank You!" Say this by featuring games in the newsletter, putting in battle reports, not just a picture with a non-descript caption. Let me give you a hint. I told Panzeri when he was making out the GM awards, don't say "French and Indian War Game" or "Napoleonic Game" but say This award given to Joe Yabatz, for his excellent Relief of Dingleberry Game." The GM did the game, the game did not do the GM. Same way when you put an article in the newsletter don't just show a picture of the figures which says nothing. Show a picture of the guy standing behind his table, being congratulated and thanked by the President or some official of HMGS or the convention, handing him the certificate. Show the GUY. You can add a picture of the figures if you wish but always show the GM. We call this type of photo shot in the newspaper trade "the grip and grin." Its highly popular. Make sure you show the guy, tell his name (get the spelling right), show all smiles, have a grand pooh-bah of some sort there in addition to the GM and tell a little about the game. Say where the guy comes from (there may be other gamers in his area, and if he wishes contact information.

That is recognition and thanks.

The toy soldiers are not the stars of the show, the game masters are.

Another example. DO REAL STORIES IN THE NEWSLETTER.

You guys always have a picture of the dealer hall. You could run the same picture from the early years we were there and no one would be any the wiser. Why not do featurettes say a dozen on various vendors and rotate them. Pay special attention to the old ones the new ones, and again use the same sort of personal recognition. Act like you're happy to see the new ones and even happier that the old ones have come back. Let the dealers have a say and note their new lines and what they are doing this year and what they are featuring. Next y ear pick up a few others. Do the same at the Flea-Market with the vendors, what they sold, why, what they still have.

I am willing to bet not one toy soldier drives themselves to the convention or pays an admission fee and does not rent a single hotel room. The convention is a human event and if you want people to get excited, then get excited about them, and feature them. Maybe it's time to start promoting and celebrating the people in the hobby before they die and you print an "In Memorium." The convention is a human event and it is the humans that come and spend their money and the humans that come and have a good time.

It's called old fashioned journalism, making extraordinary stories out of very ordinary people. This is what we do at the Weekend, with the After Action Booklet. Because it's a small convention I try and put in at least a page with a few photos of EVERY game we had. We also lard it up with articles on war games, humorous articles and some of the more ridiculous and hilarious incidents. It works. I wind up with a 48 full color booklet on the convention which we PUBLISH in print. You guys can't do the whole convention that way, but you don't have the publishing costs we do so since you are doing it free electronically the sky is the limit for you. It's shameful how little actually gets in.

Oh yeah, and don't just interview your friends.

For example. Let's assume you have a guy who puts on what looks like a crude game on "The Creature that Ate Sheboygen:" crude cardboard boxes for office building, dinkey toys for police cars and civilian vehicles bare-bones stuf. Do a story on him on the possibilities of minimalist gaming. You don't have to have a hugely detailed battlefield to have fun,.

For example, find some kid who's putting on a game and drop someone there to watch how it goes and take a nice photo spread and write a good report on it, showcasing that its done BY A KID! Maybe then we can dispense with this delusion the hobby is dying out.

For example, if you are interested in women in the hobby, do a story on the women who are in the convention hall, if they are sitting there bored to tears while their man is acting like a 12 year old, or a woman who is putting on a game.

For example if you see a game where people are sitting around with expressions on their mugs like their do just died sit down as an interested bystander and find out what's going wrong and write a report on what THEY say, but don't mention the game or the GM.

There's a thousand interesting stories going on at each convention and people eat this stuff up.

Don't believe me? Watch reality television.

Otto

A guy

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2017 5:25 p.m. PST

I don't know about other gamers, but, unless I am very strapped for time, I've considered it a courtesy and a "Thank-you" to the gamemaster to help gather up the minis and take down the terrain at the end. This give the GM a sense of acceptance and a bit of feedback on his scenario. It also takes it out of a game situation and adds more social interaction, which is one of the draws of a convention.

Rangers Lead the Way23 Mar 2017 5:28 p.m. PST

Otto,

I think the magna carta was shorter.

Night Owl III23 Mar 2017 9:49 p.m. PST

National Tour? Like these folks: trainshow.com/schedule

CSherrange24 Mar 2017 4:22 a.m. PST

I would love to see one of them move west to the Pittsburgh/ Cleveland area. Lots of folks from those regions, and we're either driving west to Chicago or East/ SouthEast to the HMGS cons. I'll go wherever they are, but there's lots of cheap space around to host a con

historygamer24 Mar 2017 5:49 a.m. PST

Shouldn't the local HMGS chapter (Great Lakes?) being putting together such a show?

Blutarski24 Mar 2017 6:15 a.m. PST

Civildisobedience makes an interesting point regarding game quality. Just as craft fairs are juried to ensure quality of exhibits, I wonder whether a similar or related approach might benefit a wargaming convention. I concede that the mechanics of doing so are by no means clear. Perhaps games judged to be of superior interest/quality/attractiveness are given special consideration with respect to hall a/o table location. Worth thinking about IMO.

Otto also offers smart and insightful advice about ways to better show support, appreciation and respect to hard-working and enthusiastic game masters and also about generating some buzz and excitement among attendees. Worth some consideration as well.

B

wargamingUSA Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2017 6:51 a.m. PST

Hey Otto, a lot of good thoughts crammed into that post. Hey CSharrange, I think Pitt is the probably the outer limit for East but agree with your premise.

I'm wondering why the East marquee convention, Historicon, can't consistently be at one location along the I-95 corridor with a second convention out near Pittsburgh… and keep things at two conventions per year. Maybe HMGS-E needs to clearly define what "east" is? How far north, south and west does the "East" AO encompass.

I also wonder why in the heck the flea market can't run as a single nightly session from 6pm to say, 9pm, on Friday and Saturday nights so it's actually more accessible to the majority of attendees and even dealers who may want to grab a lost treasure for themselves. Daytime flea markets for those that just want to drive-in and shop for the day are not a critical element of event success.

I don't know about "juried" entries, but HMGS certainly could put out a quality booklet establishing minimum convention game standards… that also contains scenario and presentation tips for GMs. Maybe would encourage some new GMs and help appeal to potential hobby participants (hey, isn't that part of the organization's charter? might also be helpful to other HMGS chapters that could order copies at cost.).

In the same vein, a quality, hardcopy, Historicon AAR focused on participants and standout games seems like it would go a long way towards creating a positive vibe… and provide another marketing tool for use with potential gamers.

Two cents worth.

historygamer24 Mar 2017 8:12 a.m. PST

Lots of good ideas here, but I have to wonder if any have gained traction with those in power?

I suspect the ideas generated here slip between the cracks – or lanes of responsibility. Those on the BoD look at some of the ideas as those in the purview of the CDs, while the CDs perhaps look at it the other way around – or are too busy to consider new ideas. I don't know, but many of these ideas have been posted here before and they resulted in….

The problem is that there are no SOPs, conventions, like wheels, seemed to get re-invented every few years. Lessons learned are forgotten or lost in the shuffle (of changing volunteers). The BoD is always distracted with looking at the next best place – sometimes out of necessity, sometimes out of interest.

I wonder if the BoD (or select members of) every sit down with the CDs as a group to discuss new ideas, figure out what works and what doesn't, etc., then write these up to pass on to future BoDs and CDs?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2017 9:34 a.m. PST

What is to be gained by telling other people how to game and what their games are supposed to look like? I don't have a problem with minimalist games and masking tape for roads. Who are you to tell me how to play my game or what it should look like? A minimalist game is a more realistic option for a lot of gamers, especially new gamers, who will want to spend their limited discretionary income on miniatures. THIS is what you can do right now -- not three years and two thousand dollars from now. If the games are getting played, others don't mind as well.

Poniatowski Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2017 10:29 a.m. PST

Wow!!! A lot of great stuff here… I might even say slooow down so I can write notes.. thank God this isn't in real time discussion!

I could try to answer a lot of these questions, but other have done so quite well. As a rep form HMGS/CD, I will say a lot of what is being discussed here is what is being discussed within the BoD. Even discussions of moving one of the shows further West…. Pittsburgh was seriously considered if they can meet our needs and pricing…. They even spoke of moving into my neck of the woods… I quickly said that wouldn't be a good idea…. that would be too far North and West….

Please, trust me when I say they are working to get things done AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY…. they are working toward what is best for HMGS, not their own agendas… Sustainability, the greying of the hobby, location, everything…. that is why I like the BoD so much right now!

I only ask.. with elections coming up, please research your candidates, get to know them and cast your votes wisely! I am NOT saying anyone running is bad…. please do not think that! We just need folks doing more research when they cast their votes is all… be involved! Get Involved! We want YOU to make the difference…..

Speaking of greying…. Fall-IN! 2017.. Lancaster Host… always looking for new blood and volunteers! I won't do this forever and anyone who replaces me, I want to have the same drive and integrity that I do!

doug redshirt24 Mar 2017 10:52 p.m. PST

Pittsburgh might tempt me back. I will never go to the Host again. I have some standards after all. Gaming in the Host is like playing the Super Bowel in that sandlot outback. Sure you can do it but why. This is the 21st century, time to move on from the 60's. The WBC moved on from the Host to south of Pittsburgh.

historygamer25 Mar 2017 3:01 a.m. PST

Where did they go?

Al Swearengen25 Mar 2017 7:35 a.m. PST

7springs.com

About 45 minutes east of Pittsburgh.

A lengthy missive from the convention director on venue selection.

link

historygamer25 Mar 2017 9:58 a.m. PST

Oh right. Don't think that would work for hmgs.

Al Swearengen25 Mar 2017 10:57 a.m. PST

A lot of WBC attendees were skeptical but once they got there, an overwhelming majority were quite happy with the move after the prior several years of Host debacles.

TSD10125 Mar 2017 11:21 a.m. PST

I will never go to the Host again. I have some standards after all. Gaming in the Host is like playing the Super Bowel in that sandlot outback.

Outlooks like this are what started the move to Baltimore and almost bankrupted the organization.

historygamer25 Mar 2017 12:49 p.m. PST

To be fair, the last year at the Host the con was packed. That said, that was a long time ago now and obviously time changes many things.

doug redshirt25 Mar 2017 1:17 p.m. PST

TSD101. My money and it is up to me if I want to waste it on a junker like the Host and the experience I get being in that building. So it is not my fault that they wanted to move to Baltimore or down south. All HMGS ever got out of me was the pittance that they collect for the weekend.

Which by the way is too little. I go to boardgame conventions where the price of the show can be $90 USD to $150. USD HMGS undercharges for the weekend. They really need to charge more to help cover the expenses. Just think what they could afford to get for a convention site, charging 2000 members $80 USD for the weekend. I don't think the price has changed since I last attended over a decade ago.

Like I said this is the 21st century, let's change to meet it. Why has board gaming and fantasy/sci-fi miniatures grown, yet Historical except for FOW has stayed the same?

As for 7 springs, I have two friends that go to the WBC every year. They thought it was a major step up from the Host experience. They are waiting to see after this summers WBC for a final verdict. But they are very positive about it.

TSD10125 Mar 2017 2:45 p.m. PST

Sure an increase is in line, but attendance is falling like a rock, so lets jack up the price 200%? I wonder how that will go over. Probably the last nail in the coffin right now.

Board games require a fraction of the space of most miniature games run at the con, so its not really comparable.

EJNashIII25 Mar 2017 3:17 p.m. PST

Frankly, what was the deal with the freak out about Baltimore? They hold Brony-con, the nation's biggest my little pony convention, there, with no issues. Same with comic-con. As far as price, we are generally far cheaper than the other genre conventions. If attendance is a worry, maybe we officially open it up to board games, too. Hell, a good quarter of the flea market for cold wars was board game stuff, anyway.

historygamer25 Mar 2017 4:40 p.m. PST

Comparing board gaming to miniature wargaming is watermelons to apples.

For CW I had five large plastic bins for one 10 foot table, started setting up at 1:30pm for a 3pm game. I had 7 players, often 10, in my games. The space requirements and ease of access are much greater than board games.

doug redshirt26 Mar 2017 11:27 a.m. PST

Hmmm don't really want to start comparing board games and miniatures. We usually run 6 player board games on a 6 x 4 game table at the local store. So the same space as a lot of miniature games. The average number of players we have on games at board game night is 4-6 players. The last board game convention I went to had over 2000 people in a space just a little less then the Host, but in a modern hotel. Next year that con is moving to a larger space that can hold many more. It's third move in less then 10 years due to growth. While Historicon has done what in the last 10 years?

I have run 10 player miniature games too. I have set up down to 15 minutes at the most. I just preload my units and terrain so last in is first out. But I run games that can be completed in 3 hours. Nothing worse then playing in a convention game and time runs out after 2 turns of moving 12 inches. There is an art to running convention games and being a good GM.

My first love is and always will be miniatures. Yes it is much easier to just open a box and lay out a board game, no prepping, painting and basing of miniatures. I just love the sight of miniatures on a nice table though. Metal will always beat cardboard. Yes I am a metal purist, can't stand plastic.

Instead of comparing Apple's and oranges it would be better to figure out what can be done to grow Historical miniatures. I can remember when the schism happened between board games and historical miniatures. FOW is a good example of doing something to grow Historical. SAGA was another.

Rangers Lead the Way26 Mar 2017 11:51 a.m. PST

Brony-con………

historygamer26 Mar 2017 2:23 p.m. PST

So are the board game cons competitive?

Why do you think they have grown?

Interesting as I seem to recall some years ago they were a dying hobby.

vagamer63 Supporting Member of TMP26 Mar 2017 7:02 p.m. PST

Historygamer,

As I recall, when Jay Hadley was President of HMGS that BOD spent an entire year writing SOPs, as well as a complete "Lessons Learned", and Convention Manual for future CDs! Wonder what happened to those?

Much has been made of attendance the last time Historicon was at the Host, however many seem to forget that was also the 25th Anniversary Celebration! Which was why attendance topped the 4000 mark. I believe it's safe to say we won't be seeing such numbers anytime soon.

There are many in the vocal minority currently patting themselves on the back with the return of Historicon back to the Host next year. As was announced at the CW Membership meeting HMGS got a little better deal then the Host offered, because all three shows will be at the Host in 2018! Yet, the current BOD is already talking about moving at least two of the shows to other locations if they can be found! If CW & FI shows ARE moved to other locations I believe it's safe to say a newly refurbished Host will substantially increase any offer made for future Historicons well above the most recent one they made. It was said to be "north of 20k" for 2018! You think that might impact prices, attendance, and Vendor turn out? More likely then not, I think!

Boardgames are still living and breathing very well contrary to what others have predicted! It was pretty obvious by the number of boardgames being purchased in the Vendor Area at CW!

I've been hearing about the "greying of the hobby" for over 35 years, and frankly the whole discussion is getting old! No pun intended either! To be honest I don't see HMGS doing anything much different now then it did 30 years ago, yet many seem to expect different results! Time has a way of writing the end of that story, I believe!

Rangers Lead the Way26 Mar 2017 8:07 p.m. PST

The idea of the post was to get IDEAS from the membership of how we can improve H-Con. Here is one, a hospitality area for the vendors that would include a continental breakfast when they arrive and coffee and soft drinks during the day.

doug redshirt26 Mar 2017 8:54 p.m. PST

Big board game cons are BGG in Dallas, Dice Tower in Florida and WBC. In Germany every fall you have Spiel where 174,000 people show up to see what new boardgames are coming out. So no board gaming is not died, only growing. In fact the largest growing faction is women. We are talking over a third and I can see in 5 years where half the board gamers are female.

Fantasy and sci-fi miniature games are going strong too. And we are not just talking tournaments either. For e very tournament gamer you have 10 or more who justs plays for fun. I see new rules and miniatures every month. Someone is buying and painting them.

Maybe historicals are too restrictive and too old fashioned in the rules churned out. One of the reasons I like to take a moment in history and run with it. Then build armies for new battles. I mean how many times can you refight Waterloo or Gettysburg? But what happens if the South starts the Civil War in 1852. Then what happens in 1932 when they refight.

I guess what I am saying is if all we do is look back to 1998 as the glorious year of 4,000, how do we grow. I was there by the way, got a shirt that says so. Let's look outside the hobby and see why they grow.

jdpintex27 Mar 2017 2:14 a.m. PST

I was at the last Historicon at the host. It was atrocious as a venue. I would never return to that dump. Maybe it is better with far less people, but I don't see how.

I agree that the cost is ridiculously low for the entertainment value. Charge more for attendance, drop the fees to the vendors so more come, and find a decent place.

CSherrange27 Mar 2017 2:52 a.m. PST

Glad to see there's some consideration for Pittsburgh and it's surroundings. There's larger ski resorts that can be had for cheap in the summer (with lots for non-gaming family members too, like bowling, swimming, kayaking, hiking, etc.) and smaller expo/ convention spaces like this- link

historygamer27 Mar 2017 5:15 a.m. PST

If HMGS were to experiment with raising prices, they should do it either for CW or FI, move to a much nicer facility, and see what happens. Like Hcon at the FCC, you'd have to give it at least a three year run to understand the full effects.

Raising prices is a gamble, and at least one of the reasons I don't attend Hcon any longer – and I'm not saying I'm poor either. It is a value consideration – is the $25 USD one day admission to go, look, shop, perhaps judge games – worth it? That does not take into account the gas and drive time spent getting there. It would be curious to see one day attendance at the FCC vs one day attendance at the Host for past Hcons.

historygamer27 Mar 2017 5:38 a.m. PST

vagamer63:

Yes, I raised the missing Hadley SOPs a short while ago here. There seems to be a lack of corporate knowledge transfer.

In regards to the last years at the Host, no expenses were spared, nor program neglected, to get the numbers up to get ready to move to a bigger facility. I'm not sure what an HMGS anniversary means to anyone, but I do know the dealer hall was packed to overflowing including jamming some into the bottom of the pro shop building. That said, it might have been the high water mark. Hard to say.

I agree about all three cons at the Host, but it is my understanding it is not the BoD's intent to have all three there circumstances forced it on them. It will be curious to see what happens to attendance. Unlike some, I always enjoyed FI at the IKE, warts and all.

I agree about the old sob story about the greying of the hobby. I hear the same about train shows, yet they keep packing them in at Timonium every February.

I also agree about not doing much new either at any of the cons. Of course the devil is in the details about what those new things might be, and if they might work.

I completely disagree about the sob story (from others, not you) about historicals limiting the attendance unless the goal is that bigger is always better. HMGS had a mission, and still is largely following it. That said, there is no limit on any type of miniatures games at the cons, and non-historical games have approached 30% at times, with no resulting bump in attendance. I'm not saying to limit them, but I am saying they have not proved to be a panacea to dropping attendance. It could be that times have just changed.

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 6:30 a.m. PST

Repeating a suggestion I made on a previous input thread for a previous convention:
Give Vendors a price break depending on how many of the last few years they have attended the cons. Grandfather in those who have registered and shown up for the last couple of years. Brand spanking new vendors pay full price first con, with an additive sliding scale per convention (5%?) they attend counting toward up to a (25%? 50%?) maximum. So if a brand new vendor attends all three conventions for three years in a row (40%), then two more, that vendor now only pays half of the standard fee. This would start to decrease if the vendor missed more than two conventions in a row, back down to 35% discount at that point, so they would have to keep up their part of the bargain by showing up.
This would take a little of the pressure off the vendors, who are one of the draws for coming in the first place.
Meanwhile, please do NOT savage the flea market or replace the afternoon session with a night session. ADD a Friday or Saturday night session, in the Distelfink if necessary. In fact, he noise won't be as bad as gamers gaming make, trust me, and the gamers and onlookers can breeze by in off moments and make purchases on the quick. Everybody wins.

historygamer27 Mar 2017 6:35 a.m. PST

I'm not opposed to an evening flea market, but there will have already been three previously. Do you really think any good stuff will be left at that point, or that people will want to set up again for a third time?

It is commonly held conventional wisdom that the best flea market is the Saturday morning one, but after that one…. it is just left overs.

wargamingUSA Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 8:52 a.m. PST

I'm no marketing guru.. but it seems like the suggestion I've cut-n-pasted below actually discourages new vendors and potentially new companies with new products.

"Give Vendors a price break depending on how many of the last few years they have attended the cons. Grandfather in those who have registered and shown up for the last couple of years. Brand spanking new vendors pay full price first con, with an additive sliding scale per convention (5%?) they attend counting toward up to a (25%? 50%?) maximum. So if a brand new vendor attends all three conventions for three years in a row (40%), then two more, that vendor now only pays half of the standard fee. This would start to decrease if the vendor missed more than two conventions in a row, back down to 35% discount at that point, so they would have to keep up their part of the bargain by showing up. "

Al Swearengen27 Mar 2017 10:28 a.m. PST

I *think* GenCon has a "new vendor" discount to encourage vendors to give the con a try and if they like it, pay full price in following years. I'd agree the proposal would potentially discourage new vendors. Also, as time wore on, with minimal new vendors trying out the con, revenue from the dealer base would shrink if higher and higher loyalty discounts kicked in.

I don't know who said or thought boardgames were dying off. That's nonsense. The board game industry has seen year over year double digit growth for a number years now. Many of the largest Kickstarter campaigns across all categories are for boardgames.

To historygamer's question, some board game cons are competitive, but most feature mainly open gaming and demos. WBC, while built around competition, has seen a lot of its growth come on the open gaming side. Once they took over more space at the Host and dedicated it to open gaming is when they saw some of their biggest increases in attendance.


"Comparing board gaming to miniature wargaming is watermelons to apples."

"The space requirements and ease of access are much greater than board games."
Nobody ever said they were the same. But the overall venue selection criteria for both board games and minis are very similar in a lot of ways – witness both HMGS and WBC using the same facility ( HOST ) for many years, in some instances overlapping . When the most recent contracts came up for renewal, both organizations were forced to consider the Host as a possible candidate, warts and all. There isn't a lot out there that fits the diverse and somewhat unique needs of gamers of any sort .

As far as space and access. On the space side, there are some boardgames that are quite large – I've seen some wargames so big players have had to crawl on the table to reach the center. And for some events, the convention organizer has to predict attendance and make sure there are enough available tables to get everyone playing the same game adjacent to one another, as some events attract over 200 people.

Access – most board games are a lot more portable obviously. But some GMs haul around a lot of stuff – multiple copies of the game in question, laptop, dry erase boards. They managed at the Host, 7 Springs was a huge improvement in terms of access. Its just a little more spread out than the Host in terms of gaming areas as well as distance from hotel rooms to the convention. Its all under one roof, just a much bigger facility. The handicapped attendees were very grateful for the improvement.

The site WBC moved to this past year has a number of improvements over the Host ( granted, a low bar to be sure ) . HVAC was vastly improved, as was lighting in the gaming hall. The hotel staff was extremely accommodating, and took care of what few issues arose very efficiently. The onsite food options are much more numerous than the Host, but at a slightly higher price – 20% I'd guess off the top of my head. For those who prefer. there are abundant slopeside condos nearby with full kitchen facilities, allowing attendees to bring and cook their own food if they want.

I admit the geography would be a challenge for those coming from points east of Lancaster – it adds about three hours drive time. For most WBC attendees, this isn't a big deal since the vast majority attend for the entire week, so what's an extra three hours. For a long weekend type of con, that's a tougher proposition. They did negotiate a shuttle to the airport at $20 USD each way, which is a pretty good price considering the distance ( a little over an hour from Pitt airport IIRC ) .

And it is more remote. For those used to sleeping in a el cheapo hotel and eating fast food off Rt30, those places exist – they are just 20 minutes away.

I'm not saying 7 Springs is the answer. But its worth a look just to know what's out there esp if HMGS plans on more geographical diversity.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 11:00 a.m. PST

What's the point of having THREE flea market sessions on Saturday.

Seriously?

My point in suggesting a nighttime flea market session on Saturday was twofold; give people a reason to stick around and give dealers a shot at all those swell bargains we hear so much about but never get to see.

What flea market seller is going to want to stick around for three sessions, that's long day, plus as Historygamer pointed out, there will be nothing left by Saturday night if you still run two during the day.

This attitude of don't change a thing about the flea market is such backward thinking, unbelievable.

Give it a shot; if it's a disaster, then go back to the same old, same old. IMO, it won't be a disaster, it will be a big success.

We don't know until we try; sometimes in life, you have to take a chance.

And this talk about moving Historicon to Pittsburg; that's three hours further west, just like Fredericksburg is three hours further south.

This obsession to move the convention away from it's core attendee base boggles my mind, didn't anyone learn from the Frederickburg move?

The mind reels.

wargamingUSA Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 1:06 p.m. PST

Double G, I think there are two trains of thought concerning night time flea markets.

Some seem to want an additional night time session so there are three sessions daily. Some, like you and me, propose only one session per day and that it be in the evening. Just clarifying for anybody who might not have read all the various posts.

(p.s. anybody running three sessions of flea market per day belongs in the dealers hall.)

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 2:20 p.m. PST

Thanks for the clarification; just so my position is clear, I'm proposing still having TWO sessions on Saturday, the only difference is one would be in the morning, the afternoon one would be moved to night.

So, still two, just one in the night instead of the afternoon.

I don't see how doing that is some sort of crime against humanity………………

historygamer27 Mar 2017 2:25 p.m. PST

Me neither. Wargaming picked up my point exactly.

Ember52 Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 5:35 p.m. PST

+1 for Double G's clarification.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 6:13 p.m. PST

I don't do much flea market shopping. I don't want evening flea market sessions as the Lampeter room becomes the open gaming Mecca then. This is my favourite part of the con. We all bring games for our friends to play, and we walk around and get into any games that look interesting, without sign ups and other formalities.

TSD10127 Mar 2017 7:26 p.m. PST

I don't want evening flea market sessions as the Lampeter room becomes the open gaming Mecca then.

You can do open gaming anywhere there's an empty table. I frequently see people throwing down board games in other rooms.

doug redshirt27 Mar 2017 9:15 p.m. PST

I don't think they were talking about moving Historicon to Pittsburgh, I think they were talking about one of the smaller cons.

Rangers Lead the Way27 Mar 2017 11:54 p.m. PST

The lampeter room would be perfect for a Friday Night kick off party, Let your dealers demo products, Friday night flea market, open gaming, giveaways, we could put out a coffee bar and deserts for the memberships in the lobby, let the BOD meet and greet. Allow the dealers FREE flea market tables to sell old stock or specials, Bring back Bugler Bob for the con, online check in allowing your badge to be displayed on your smart phone, a game master help desk with glue, dice, tapes or anything else we can think of you may need and forgot. a game master hospitality ticket allowing you beverage after your game, hand trucks and carts with volunteers to help game masters with big games carry items to and from the car. maybe a local scout group can use the opportunity as a fund raiser, even the dealers could use them if they want on sunday. we need to solicit the big manufacturers to come and demo products, have a local micro brewery sponsor a saturday night social, reward game masters with HMGS bucks if they run multiple games, get the clubs together for friendly competition on a theme game that can be judged by a special guest, reward game masters who run games on wednesday night, we need to allow hobby u to expand to be honest had no idea where they were at cold wars, a you tube channel providing updates on the con and useful videos helping first timers navigate the host and helpful tips on how to get the most out of your weekend. when I think of more ideas I will post them.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 4:04 a.m. PST

You can do open gaming anywhere there's an empty table.

Yes you can, but you missed the rest of my point. The Lampeter is the center of evening open gaming and one can join or simply watch many games, meet up with old friends, see what they have set up, etc.

Not the same as finding an empty table in a isolated room.

historygamer28 Mar 2017 5:06 a.m. PST

Lots of sacred cows wandering around at HMGS conventions. :-)

Rotundo28 Mar 2017 5:49 a.m. PST

Alright, so they move the afternoon session to night. What would be in the Flea market area until 2pm? Open gaming? Have a morning madness. 6am to 12pm. Coffee, games, and pastries? This would incorporate some decent ideas and give loose gamers some time to play. What say you?

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