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"Fall In verdict" Topic

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Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2017 7:48 p.m. PST

I didn't get to go this year, but I am hearing there were fewer and less visually impressive games. Fewer dealers. Lower attendance. Less energy.

So what is broken with our HMGS cons? Why can't we have something like Salute?

saltflats192906 Nov 2017 7:57 p.m. PST

The only dealer i missed was Eureka. Otherwise I found everything i was looking for.

Lord Ashram06 Nov 2017 8:36 p.m. PST

I don't know, but the aging of the hobby, combined with the advances in technology, dont lend to a rosy outlook for conventions and the like, I feel? I'll always enjoy pushing my soldiers around, but…

TSD10106 Nov 2017 8:50 p.m. PST

For a change, there were more games Saturday evening than Friday evening. Running at 7 PM Friday, with the exception of 1 other game I had the back half of Distlefink to myself.

On Saturday the same room had games everywhere.

peterx Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 3:05 a.m. PST

Well, I was at Fall In on Saturday and it seemed busy in the game rooms, dealer hall and Wally 's Basement. It seemed like the usual number of players and games. Keep in mind, Fall In and Cold Wars have lower attendance than Historicon historically. In any case, Distlefink was busy with games on Saturday, and my game, "What a Lovely Day!" ( a Mad Max Fury Road game) was well attended too.

Meveeder07 Nov 2017 3:12 a.m. PST

I don't agree with that at all. I've been to many Fall In conventions and I believe that not only were there a ton of entertaining games, even on Saturday evening , many of the games were very visually impressive. I'm not so sure there is anything wrong with the conventions at all. Things ebb and flow with peoples taste and interest. I had a blast this past weekend and look forward to next years.

P.S. I'm not too sure about the graying of the hobby…. I believe that this has always been a gray hobby.

Chris Palmer07 Nov 2017 3:17 a.m. PST

Very interesting assessment from the original poster, as I had just the opposite feeling while there. Everywhere I went seemed humming with activity, and as has been mentioned Saturday was much more active than usual. In our club room every game was full Saturday night which is a rarity. In fact we didn't have a game canceled due to lack of players all weekend.

When I was in the dealer hall, there was no empty dealer spots like usual, and commerce seemed to be good at most all the booths. And the crowd was bustling in the dealer areas when I was there. Likewise the flea market sessions all seemed well attended.

I know I'm just one person, but I thought the energy was at an all time high compared to recent shows.

Edit: Just wanted to add that I find the "greying of the hobby" statement interesting, as I was just musing over the fact that just about every photo I took at the con has a kid to two playing at one of the tables in it.

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 3:35 a.m. PST

Wait…the OP didn't go. The responses, so far, are from people who WERE THERE.

They have a different opinion……hmmmmmm. Well I am sure someone else will come along who was there and also feels the sky is falling on our conventions as well.

I'll just wait here for some data.

WarWizard07 Nov 2017 3:48 a.m. PST

I was there Friday and Saturday. I thought the show was well attended. And I agree some very impressive games. Petrex's Mad Max looked really cool. As soon as I walked near the table I thought that HAS to be Fury Road.

Also there was a Roman Chariot game with the a 15mm stadium and figures that was the best interpretation I have ever seen. There looked like there were a thousand spectators viewing the event.

I was really in awe of a lot of the work that went into the details for a lot of games, not just the 2 I mentioned.

And I really like the changes to the dealer hall. It is not done yet, needs better access and carpeting but I am sure that is in the works. Should be even better by Cold Wars.

I really did not feel there was a drop in dealer attendance. I easily found everything I was looking for. I even told my wife I felt like I really blew my budget. Spent more than my usual convention allowance. But hey I had a great time and only purchased what I needed for existing projects. So tried to stay focused.

Anyway was an excellent show and I hope all the dealers made out well.

Lord Ashram07 Nov 2017 3:48 a.m. PST

I was also surprised that Saturday night was busier than Friday night. Friday night, the main room was half empty… not used to that.

Dynaman878907 Nov 2017 3:49 a.m. PST

I was there Friday morning and the number of games seemed on the lighter side then. About a third of the tables were empty in Distelfink. When I left it was just a few tables empty for the afternoon game sessions. The game I did see where nicely presented for the most part.
One dealer was already on saying he did excellent business.

VonTed07 Nov 2017 4:12 a.m. PST

The dealer hall was much nicer I thought (perhaps opening the doors and letting fresh air in helped), but the gaming rooms still are confusing mess of locations, layout, poor quality and poor ventilation. Why in the world can't the convention use the conference room/stage? It would be much nicer to spread out the basement flea market and games.

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 4:37 a.m. PST

Wasn't the issue with the convention room and stage a problem of lighting? That back in the day they had to bring in tons of lamps and such?

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 5:14 a.m. PST

I'm encouraged by the feedback. My not going was due to my schedule not any kind of boycott . But I do worry about graying, the depletion of dealers compared to five years ago and how Distlefink always seems half empty on Friday and Saturday night. I was at Cold Wars and I will still go to the cons whenever I can. Just hate to see them atrophy away

historygamer07 Nov 2017 5:29 a.m. PST

"But I do worry about graying, the depletion of dealers compared to five years ago…"

Actually, the dealer hall seemed packed/sold out. Now whether anything would appeal to any particular person is completely subjective. I think the hall is going to look great once it is complete.

"…and how Distlefink always seems half empty on Friday and Saturday night."

Now that would be a true statement, but I would say that is due more to a management decision than anything else. For instance, the Distlefink was indeed half empty Friday night (I sat there eating dinner in it around 8pm), but the upstairs gaming area by the front desk had at least three large to very large games going on which makes no sense to me. Move all the games into the main area and leave the dark cave area near the front desk for dining. Not enough seating to sit down and eat. There was also a game outside the ballroom too.

Saturday night the Distlefink picked up around 7pm (my game was already running and I was watching). I would say it was about half full, but again, games were going on upstairs and in the foyer outside the Distlefink. Both are management decisions and I would urge that placement of games in these areas be reconsidered as it makes no sense at least to me anyway.

"I was at Cold Wars and I will still go to the cons whenever I can. Just hate to see them atrophy away."

Can't comment on overall attendance. That is always hard to guess. The flea market was packed Saturday and when I went to the dealer hall Friday afternoon and a good bit Saturday during the day it was busy. It was also pretty busy Sunday. I do think they should drop the badge requirement Sunday. Who cares if someone comes in at that point to do some last minute shopping. It would be a nice bone to throw to the dealers who can't start closing up till 11 or so.

redbanner414507 Nov 2017 5:44 a.m. PST

Con was great. Tons of games and the dealer hall was nice and busy. I do think dealers are not going to continue hauling stuff to cons forever as internet sales constantly expand but that's an unsolvable problem.

Rotundo07 Nov 2017 6:10 a.m. PST

I was tethered to Diselfink all of Friday. 7 am until 12 am due to GM responsibility. Gradual business befitting a school day. Saturday was a normal Convention Saturday crowd wise. Many day troopers Started to peter out on the hour staring around five pm. I had a flea market table.Seemed pretty brisk.

jtkimmel07 Nov 2017 6:23 a.m. PST

Regarding the number of vendors, there were 55 at Fall In this year, including several that had not been to Fall In before. The hall was nearly sold out, only one table was left.

bhall389 Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 9:09 a.m. PST

I thought the crowd was a little light on Friday, but continued to pick up through the Con. All of the games I played in were full, and the presentation of those games was awesome.

It felt like the dealer hall was full, but laid out differently than I'm used too. It didn't keep me from spending too much money though.

The flea market was packed as always, at least when I got into it.

We make the pilgrimage every year, 10 hour trip one way from Southwestern Ontario. This year did not disappoint, I had a fantastic time.

We also finished off the weekend with a quick trip to Antietam, which I also enjoyed.


Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 9:59 a.m. PST

"Regarding the number of vendors, there were 55 at Fall In this year, including several that had not been to Fall In before. The hall was nearly sold out, only one table was left."
"It felt like the dealer hall was full, but laid out differently than I'm used too. It didn't keep me from spending too much money though."
"Actually, the dealer hall seemed packed/sold out. Now whether anything would appeal to any particular person is completely subjective. I think the hall is going to look great once it is complete."
Milhouse, maybe you should rely on you own senses and impressions than on potentially biased/jaded opinions. Please do come next time and see.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 10:06 a.m. PST

Ok I just got back home from Fallin. Here my take.

Registration was good

Host ( I didn't stay at the Host)
New tables and Chairs are very nice. Cant say much as to the building's renovation is 1/2 done. It was very hot in the large Rooms on Friday. Food was pricey but good.

Dealers Area was nice and getting even better.

Games ok but only a couple of games really caught my eye.

Attendance seemed lighter.

Poniatowski Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member07 Nov 2017 10:49 a.m. PST

In my very biased opinion….
The vendor hall was sold out…. yes, the space was a little smaller. THANK YOU to everyone who helped out when we found out. We had the most vendors at Fall In! EVER this year for it being at the Host.

The midnight Madness flea market was more than a success… it will be happening next year too. To all of the vendors who participated.. THANKI YOU! I hope you sold well…. I know I bought form 2 of your… a book form one and some cannons from another. IN truth, there weren't a LOT of tables sold…. I think 14 pre-reg and then 20-30 more maybe…. but the attendees were packing it in…. I spoke to many who did VERY WELL. AND.. to those nay-sayers who are going to pipe in.. but it was only busy for about 1-1.5 hours…. I will say this… with fewer sellers, it was easier to see everything in a much shorter time…. so yes, it kind of died early as everyone worked their way through quickly because of there being fewer sellers…. next year there will be more and I will be offering it to vendors yet again. Same pre-reg discount and most likely a discount on site too… just because it is so late. There will be a few changes…. most folks asked for an earlier time frame… possibly 8-11.. I will NOT move it to overlap the vendor hall in any way….

On the Host center…. it was much better, there were inconveniences yes, but you could tell everything was going in the right general direction.. I cannot wait to see it by Cold Wars! I was rather disappointed of them running out of beer early, etc… but these are the growing pains of having new people who do NOT understand our needs…. One the plus side…. the serve yourself I heard was a big hit… I know some sanitary foks were a bit put off by "others" handling the serving utensils, BUT…. holy crap.. they LOST money on me…. I filled my plates…. lets leave it at that…. and.. I di not get sick, I ate the seafood salad, it was very good. On the food side…. I was shocked that the restaurant was closed to only bar food on Saturday!!! This will not happen again….

ON games…. we had a rather large number of GM's cancel or plainly just not show up this year.. more than all 7 years TOGETHER before.. yes, all 7 years combined. I am in the process of reconciling the no shows as legit cancellations or just as no shows who still came to the show…. as a side note…. my heart was crushed when the "Shevradino a prelude to Borodino" was a no show or cancellation….. I sooo looked forward to this game!!!! Anyway, yes… there were a rather large number of empty tables.. I am trying to get to the bottom of why.

I did see a lot of beautiful games…. BEN HURt was very pretty indeed, as were so many others….

In the end.. thank you all who attended as a GM, EXHIBITOR, PLAYER just a BASEMENT DWELLER….. and especially Toys for Tots!

Now… onto attendance…. rough numbers at this time place the show at roughly 1760 plus or minus….. that is not down a lot. It just seemed that the GM's missing really affected the look of the show. At this time I do not know for sure.

I cannot think of much else to say.. thank you to my staff…. we had some hiccups that need fixed, but all in all I would say it was a successful show. So, thank you all.


Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 10:50 a.m. PST

The show was good.

Russ Dunaway

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 11:02 a.m. PST

It's funny how perceptions are:

The vendor hall was sold out…. yes, the space was a little smaller.

My perception was that the room was bigger. The room seemed more open and it was filled with vendors. I'm surprised that the vendor hall was actually smaller.

I think Historygamer mentioned this on another thread, but blinds may be needed for the large glass wall……especially at next years Historicon. Overall, the vendor hall is much nicer now.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 11:04 a.m. PST

So what is broken with our HMGS cons? Why can't we have something like Salute?

Like having participation AND demonstration games? No thanks. Seriously, I think it is apples and oranges.

Dynaman878907 Nov 2017 11:33 a.m. PST

> My perception was that the room was bigger.

It is the windows – another common trick would be mirrors, either of those makes a space look larger.

TodCreasey Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 1:14 p.m. PST

This was my highest spending Fall In/Cold Wars in years as pretty much everything I wanted wasn't there. Far fewer of the vendors I don't care much about and far more of what I do.

Loved the updated vendor hall, much more pleasant. First game I played 3 excellent games – there is usually one stinker but the 2 Fire and Sword and one Triumph game I played were great.

7 of us from our club went the verdict was universally good. Very much looking forward to Cold Wars.

Only downside was at least 2 (that I know of) game registrations being lost and games not being run (including mine) so there may be an issue with the registration system for GMs. Talked to the director and he is going to keep a close eye out at Cold Wars to make sure it is not some larger issue.

Xintao07 Nov 2017 1:21 p.m. PST

Thanks for the info Dan.


cleo liebl Inactive Member07 Nov 2017 3:01 p.m. PST

Didn't go to New Hampshire last weekend but heard all sorts of stuff about it. People were leaving, mainly due to the two typhoons which hit the coast and destroyed all of the electricity in the state. My condolences to Mr. Milhouse, for I heard that his house was destroyed by the erupting volcano, and the dinosaurs ate nearly everyone in his neighborhood. Isn't making up negative foolishness about something you know nothing about fun?

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 4:48 p.m. PST

Actually the weekend before a major storm hammered Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, close to 750,000 homes without power for several days, some parts of Maine still don't have power.

Good job trying to be snarky; more like an epic fail.

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 4:59 p.m. PST

Hey Cleo, I've been going to the cons for 15 years and I've watched the trends . There are a lot fewer dealers and attendees than previous years. There used to be a waiting list for the dealer hall. Deleted by Moderator I would've like to have gone to Fall In but had work commitments. Deleted by Moderator

historygamer07 Nov 2017 5:47 p.m. PST

I used to compile attendance data for the cons. Here is some past attendance data for FI:

97 1317
98 1275
99 1284
00 1248
01 1637
02 1954
03 1502
04 1290

War Scorpio07 Nov 2017 6:02 p.m. PST

Overall I would say it was a fine convention. Yes maybe a bit light on Friday, but built up and was strong on
Saturday. The new tables were a welcome change. The Host is undergoing renovations and it's a good sign for positive things in the future. The Dealer Hall was much improved. Lighting seemed a little better but it was hot in some of the rooms. Gaming was about on par, which means some great enjoyable ones and some you wish you choose differently.

My wife came down and enjoyed shopping at the upscale outlets, plus we had our usual steak dinner at Texas Roadhouse. My son and his friend also attended Saturday and we played together in three games. Memorable times.

Thanks to the HMGS staff for their efforts, it paid off.

SultanSevy07 Nov 2017 6:18 p.m. PST

I went to the convention on Friday and Saturday, both days spent shopping at flea market and vendor hall.

Friday seemed more lightly attended, but Saturday was jam-packed -- I couldn't find a parking space in the BACK LOT until someone left! Definitely tons of people shopping on Saturday.

I thought the Vendor hall seemed BIGGER not smaller (probably a trick of the eye due to more light being let in from the windows), and all the major vendors were there (except for Eureka). Once they get carpeting and food in there it will be great.

The renovations are going slow, but the HOST is an old building, so it's bound to take extra, unplanned time fixing it up. All in all, it's going in the right direction.

Poniatowski Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member08 Nov 2017 4:48 a.m. PST

Tod… I am sure some of your By Fire & Sword fun was kicking my butt right off the battlefield. You absolutely crushed me! It was a pleasure playing with you! I am sorry I missed the second game!

I am working on 2 armies.. Ottomans and Polish/Lithuanians…. I am still very new.. when you get some stuff together and want to try a pick up, I would be happy to play. I need to learn more. PM me anytime!

TodCreasey Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2017 5:28 a.m. PST

Excellent choices – I am working on Muscovites now myself Poniatowski. If it is at Cold Wars I will likely try and get into a game there too.

cleo liebl Inactive Member08 Nov 2017 1:03 p.m. PST

Graying of the hobby? recruit more women. We NEVER gray (than you. Lady Clairol)

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2017 5:10 p.m. PST

Hear, hear, Madame Leibl!
(I tried to use color to "youthify" my looks, but the pigment was too hard to remove when I was done with it. Where in the instructions does it say you have to have _hair_ to apply the dye to?????

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Nov 2017 5:52 p.m. PST

I recall that in MWAN magazine circa 1984 we were all talking about the greying of the hobby. Some things never change.

vagamer63 Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2017 7:35 p.m. PST

Heck, I can top that Fritz, I've got a copy of "Wargamer's Digest" circa 1973 where Gene McCoy speaks to "the graying of the hobby"!!! The best part of getting older, is having the hair to turn gray many are not so lucky!!

Borderguy19008 Nov 2017 9:32 p.m. PST

My son and I attended and had a great time. I felt Friday was a bit light, and it did seem a bit fewer games all weekend, but there was a lot of energy. All six games we squeezed in were excellent. Scatterlands, Bolt Action Z, Hunting the Fuso (and sinking her), Operations near Caen, Civil War action, the Sand Pebbles. Not a stinker there. All six had nice to beautiful terrain, great minis and enthusiastic GMs.

Disappointed we couldn't find the Trench Wars game Saturday evening, but that's life.

Anyone who says there wasn't energy wasn't in the Sand Pebbles game(s). That thing was hopping!

This was our third year attending and it got my son so excited he has spent the last three days working on models and painting, so I call that a huge success.

Can't wait for next year!

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2017 10:35 p.m. PST

Here spake Borderguy190: "This was our third year attending and it got my son so excited he has spent the last three days working on models and painting, so I call that a huge success. Can't wait for next year!"

_This_ is what we want to read more of--energy, inspiration, anticipation, family entertainment. All winning components for a continued hobby existence.

BTW, wasn't the Trench Wars setup right by the entrance to the Distelfink, around D-15 or D-16? Something big with oodles of entrenchments was parked there.

Tom D109 Nov 2017 12:06 p.m. PST

Yes, the Sand Pebbles game was great. Kudos to Pete and all the GM's

Personal logo BrigadeGames Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Nov 2017 1:23 p.m. PST

We had a good show.
Sales were better than last year.
The dealer hall changes were welcome.

Fall in has always had a slower vibe which after the craziness of Historicon is welcome.

Games looked good but yes there appeared to be fewer.

Dan and his team did a great job.

As someone mentioned, the hotel had screwed up any beverage planning for the bar. This is a recurring theme and for the life of me I can not figure out how they can't figure out how to properly prepare a bar for the arrival of 1000-2000 patrons. Even coffee in the dealer hall was non-existent until after noon, and then only in small dixie cup sized cups. The Hotel staff seemed to know they were being laid off for 3 months and with that in mind I am surprised any showed. The ones I interacted with were great.

Looking forward to Cold Wars.

Personal logo BrigadeGames Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Nov 2017 1:25 p.m. PST

"Wargamer's Digest" circa 1973

I read that religiously and had a subscription.

KPinder09 Nov 2017 3:32 p.m. PST

The Trench Wars game "Treat em Rough" was at D48, right next to the rear door, the one that led out onto the parking lot.

historygamer09 Nov 2017 5:57 p.m. PST

I think the hotel was on minimal staffing in anticipation of the shut down. I don't we'll honestly be able to judge the refurbished Host for another year.

Poniatowski Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member10 Nov 2017 4:36 a.m. PST

I had a correction, apparently they are not going to shut the whole hotel down to play catch up, but rather only sections of it to work on. I was told this is actually common practice during the off season. I didn't know that.

Either way… only time will tell. I hope for the best.

jsmcc9110 Nov 2017 4:50 a.m. PST

This was the first Fall-In that I have been too since 2008 for family reasons and I can tell you that I had fun and it was great to see many of the people I have missed for years. I helped out a vendor that are good friends of mine and the new look for the dealer hall was a welcomed site. The show is always more low key compared to any of the other shoes, so it was a good time to relax and catch up with friends. I know that where I worked, we were very busy the whole time and all of the customers were great to talk to. Everyone was in a great mood and seemed to be having a good time. I will give the new changes to take effect before I comment on the future of the Host.

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2017 6:59 a.m. PST

<I had a correction, apparently they are not going to shut the whole hotel down to play catch up, but rather only sections of it to work on. I was told this is actually common practice during the off season. I didn't know that.>
I hope the Host doesn't go all "Overlook" on us.
All work and no play makes Dan a dull boy.
All work and no play makes Dan a dull boy….

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