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"Tipping Point?" Topic


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1,042 hits since 28 Mar 2017
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Comments or corrections?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 6:15 a.m. PST

Guys, I think those of us who regularly attend the HMGS-east conventions have about beat to death what changes we'd like to see. But since we show up regularly, making us even happier to attend doesn't help the numbers much.

Let's hear from the others. All those of you who have not attended Cold Wars, Historicon or Fall In within the past--let's say five years--what could be done differently which would cause you to attend? Within the limits of the possible, please: different locations within the HMGS-East area for instance, but not moving the convention to London.

The rest of us, let's try only to ask questions for clarification, and not shoot down the ideas of people who might actually grow the cons.

Personal logo Buckeye AKA Darryl Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 6:27 a.m. PST

I haven't been to a Cold Wars since the late 90s. I do not think it is a matter of changes, but gaming group dynamics. While a few of my gaming buddies still attend East cons, we do not rent the van and pile in like we used to. Also, my personal gaming choices have changed dramatically, meaning I do not game as much as I used to.

Location of course can be an issue. I enjoyed the Host, back in the day. I never made it to a Fall In at Gettysburg, although that idea really does appeal to me (con locations close to historic sites).

Some of the other "problems" I had was with registration, having to stand in lines even if I pre-registered. That can be frustrating.

Not sure if anything would pull me east again.

Perris070729 Mar 2017 8:06 a.m. PST

As I get older the 1200 mile drive to the east coast has become "less" appealing. Main reason that I used to go was to see other's painted armies and hit the dealer market. The games that I attempted to get into were always full and so I spent most of my time wandering around watching games. I agree with Darryl on the other points as well.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 8:42 a.m. PST

This is a great topic; am curious to see the reasons why those who are no longer attending are not and as Robert said, let's leave this just to non attendees and their reasons why, there could be a lot of helpful information here as to what changes need to be made to bring those folks back.

I suspect one of the reasons why attendance is falling is the same reason attendance at the toy soldier shows I attend is falling; we're losing gamers/collectors to sickness and death and the number of new gamers/collectors is not climbing at a rate where those we lose are being replaced.

And I don't want to hear about how some cosplay/fantasy/sci fi/neo maxi zoom dweebie/star trek convention is growing in numbers so HMGS cons should be too, it's apples to hand grenades, nor do I want to hear about how the hobby is not greying as all collectible/hobby related activities are bleeding participants as baby boomers die off and millennials grow in number.

Great job Robert; ok, let the reasons why fly……….

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 9:26 a.m. PST

I have never been to an "East" convention, so I am not sure if you want my opinion or not…

1) I don't know if I want to make the drive.

2) I have a finite amount of money and vacation time, which I may want to spend on something else.

3) Child visitation impacts half of my weekend decisions.

4) There are a lot of complainers, making it hard to sort out reasonable complaints v people who just like to complain because the event does not revolve around their preferences.

5) I don't care for preregistration. If I register in time, I get one game per day. What do I do for the rest of the time if other games I am interested in are full? I can very easily see myself getting shut out of other games, being left with a lot of time to kill.

The whole thing just strikes me as an expensive crap shoot.

Mako11 Inactive Member29 Mar 2017 11:10 a.m. PST

A major geological/tectonic plate shift, to bring the East Coast closer.

Probably won't happen, and if it did, we might not survive it.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 11:14 a.m. PST

I've been a dealer and/or gamemaster at many of the East conventions (in some years, all three) but none in the last ten years or so. I was never bothered by the limitations of the venue, nor the driving distance (I've never lived less than 300 miles from Lancaster), nor the cost.

Two things . . . 1) The mismanagement by past Directors with its lost focus, political infighting and ill-conceived "bigger is better" strategies, and 2) The gradual shift of the membership's predominant attitude from "what can I do to help this organization meet its goals?" to "what do I get for my money?" turned HMGSE into an organization that I felt no longer represented the hobby well to the public. This left it hamstrung in any attempt to fulfill its primary purpose, and made it an organization I no longer wished to support.

While the efforts of recent Directors have been admirable and may well turn things around, I have seen no corresponding improvement in the members' attitudes. (If you doubt this, simply consider how many of the complaints and suggestions in related threads are about how to make the conventions better/cheaper/more convenient for the complainant and his buddies.) In the meantime, other organizations have been doing fine work supporting and promoting the hobby in their own regions, and are more deserving of my time, effort and resources.

What would get me to attend again? Maybe if HMGS starts moving towards serving its original purpose again instead of expending all its energy on members who think that its purpose is to entertain them. Maybe if I saw a significant movement among the members to get off the bus and push instead of complaining that the bus is not moving fast enough, or it's too small, or it doesn't stop at their house, or the seats are not comfortable, or it's not colorful enough . . .

Dynaman878929 Mar 2017 11:36 a.m. PST

Somewhat flippant but true answer – hold it close to Atlantic City. The expense of travel is not worth the time to game or shop since I can do both of those more easily at home.

civildisobedience29 Mar 2017 12:36 p.m. PST

War Artisan makes some good points.

There is nothing to be done about people who will only go if it is close to them. That's a personal choice unlikely to be changed by anything feasible.

There isn't much question that events of the last seven years have left bad feelings in a lot of places, and of course, no one every admits to a mistake or goes back and says to someone else, "you were right all along when I was ridiculing you."

When people get angry, they lose the good-natured attitude that makes them overlook issues (like the incessant problem with the registration lines) and focus on the good. We had a lot of bad seeds in HMGS over that time, including one particularly distasteful moment of some imbecile from the BoD coming on here and posting that he was going to leave a report but instead he was going to stomp off and have a snit because people had complained on here.

There is NO place for that kind of thing.

Fortunately, it feels like the current BoD members are a MASSIVE improvement. You get people coming on here all the time now, trying to keep people informed and up to date. As the convention location drama has unfolded, information has been freely disseminated (and quickly). This compares extremely favorably to the (figure out what I really wanted to say here) who shepherded HMGS's decline.

So, amid all the negatives, one thing that is a clear positive is we finally have some people in charge who are clearly trying to make things better. That alone is a huge change for the better.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 1:07 p.m. PST

I've attended HMGS conventions for about 20 years, both as an attendee and as a dealer.

During that time, I've yet to not have a good time at any of them, have yet to not find something for my collection and have also had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with literally dozens of people that had I not gone, I would never have formed friendships with, both dealers and attendees.

I get to spend some quality time with my cousin George (Millhouse), we literally have a ball at these cons, a laugh a minute, Sundays are awful for me as my fun comes to an end.

During that entire time, I've never yet concerned myself with or let the attitude of the BOD have an effect on the time I had, it doesn't concern me or bother me in the least, what they do or what their attitude is does not come into play for me.

That sentiment makes zero sense to me, but that's just me.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 2:18 p.m. PST

I stopped going to Historicon after twice at Fredricksburg. First the drive is too long but worse, once there, the acoustics in the bulll pen room are just too bad. Got sore throat from trying to talk and head ache from trying to listen.

Personal logo Striker Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 3:26 p.m. PST

I'll probably hit Historicon once just to go but the others are too close to "weather events" for me to make the haul from Wisconsin. So for me the drive is the key considering I have other things to do that take less time to get to.

skinkmasterreturns29 Mar 2017 5:43 p.m. PST

The last East convention I attended was 2010. I dont have a clearcut answer why I havent attended,other than I just havent felt like it.

jdpintex30 Mar 2017 1:46 a.m. PST

I've gone every other year since 2010. I go when I've accumulated enough airline/hotel points to make it a free trip.

I'm hesitant to go this year as the last Historicon was missing a good number of dealers. I really go to buy all sorts of shiny things from a large number of dealers, especially purchases that aren't worth it from an online perspective (due to shipping, order size, etc).

I also go to play in games using rule sets that I haven't played to see if I should jump in or not. The host and FCC are about equal with cancelled games in my experience. Best convention has been at Valley Forge.

I haven't attended FI nor CW due to when they are scheduled and my dislike of the host. There are better regional conventions. This is also becoming true for Historicon.

Will probably attend this last Historicon if I can fit it in.

thomalley30 Mar 2017 5:05 a.m. PST

Second the reason of, just stopped. Have better things to do. Last year I walked Hadrian's wall. Just got back form Italy and am going to New Orleans and Denver later in the year. Buy my 10mm stuff on line and game every month with my local group.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian30 Mar 2017 5:15 a.m. PST

Every one that I have been to is because I got someone else to pay airfare (added days to work trips). I'd go again if I could.

doug redshirt31 Mar 2017 9:36 a.m. PST

The hotel is a dive. The quality of the gamemasters dropped. Got into too many bad games. I could care less about the quality of the terrain or figures, it is if the game is fun to play.

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