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"Historicon: How Historical?" Topic


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657 hits since 20 Jan 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian20 Jan 2018 2:55 p.m. PST

If you were in charge of Historicon, what percentage of events would be required to be strictly historical games? Not sci-fi, not fantasy, not alt-historical, not VSF…

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Jan 2018 3:06 p.m. PST

The exact percentage of willing game masters that applied to run historical games.

I would probably have the "game master awards" more focused on historical games, or the historical theme for that year (does Historicon do that?), but not limit the actual games available to be played. Incentivize rather than regulate.

peterx Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2018 3:19 p.m. PST

+1 to Etotheipi. That is exactly how Historicon, Fall--In, and Cold Wars are run in regards to games and what genre they fit into. In addition, all the tournaments are historical wargames as are all the awards for games.

Dynaman878920 Jan 2018 3:29 p.m. PST

I would make it 100% historical or change the name. Then again I have 0% chance of running Historicon. Which even I consider a good thing.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2018 3:47 p.m. PST

+2 to Etotheipi. IF HMGS NE's membership wants a all Historical convention. Start running games and stop complaining about all the other genres.

23rdFusilier Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2018 3:56 p.m. PST

"The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, Inc. (HMGS, Inc.) promotes the study of military history through the hobby of historical tabletop miniature wargaming as a registered non-profit 501(c)3 charitable educational membership organization." From the Wikipedia entry.I

I would have a convention set up to follow the original idea of why HMGS was founded.

Katzbalger20 Jan 2018 4:10 p.m. PST

And you can learn things about military history from alt-history scenarios and games--so still in keeping with original idea.

+3 to Etotheipi.

Rob

peterx Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2018 4:38 p.m. PST

Actually, I enjoy alt-historical games, near future games, fantasy, post-apocalyptic games, and sci-fi games as well as good old historical wargames. I have played and run historical, fantasy and sci-fi games at Historicon, Fall-In, and Cold Wars and enjoyed all those genres. If you want more historical games, run more historical games, but please don't whine about "not having enough historical games at these cons". These are all volunteer affairs, so get up and create the change you would like to see. My rant is done.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2018 5:37 p.m. PST

Historical games only. Strive for each of the traditional and most popular periods to be represented by a variety of rules at every time slot. Demo games don't count even though they are invited to have a game.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2018 6:22 p.m. PST

Where do you draw the line?
What about VSF?
Pulp?
Red Star White Star?
Near future?
Flintloque?
British intervention in the American Civil War?
French intervention?
Japanese Anerican Naval War In 1925?
Flames of War tournaments where the final rounds have US Airborne Fighting British Parachute Regiment?
How about Ancients tournaments with Samurai Fighting Vikings?
I can go on, but none of the above are "historical".
Would you wipe out all tournaments?

+4 to the guy whose name I can't spell.

If you don't like it, run for the BOD and change things.
But for now…

peterx Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2018 7:38 p.m. PST

This question got me thinking…how many pure "historical wargames" were
played at an average HMGS con? Well, I picked a random guide from my collection, Cold Wars 2014, and I counted the games. 348 games over four days. 255 were historical wargames, or 73%. The other 27% were other types of games. 38 sci-fi games or 11%. 17 fantasy games or about 5%. 12 pulp games or about 3%. 6 zombie games or about 1.5%. 4 Victorian sci-fi or about 1%. 2 sport games or about .5%. 14 games that were pirate, kid games, or other types of games that I couldn't put into another catagory, that was 4%. So, overwhelmingly, historical games were played at that Cold Wars con. Of the other games, the pure sci-fi and fantasy added up to 16%. All the other games had some historical or present day elements, including the zombie games which usually take place in an alternate present, alternate past or alternate near future. Who does it harm to include these other games in HMGS East cons? In my opinion, the non-historical games help the hobby attract new players, younger players, and female players, and I think that is a good thing.

Sysiphus Inactive Member20 Jan 2018 7:47 p.m. PST

I see, 'Middle Managment Techniques 101' paying its dividend as those wanting a change are blamed for not making that change happen.

Any lack of "Historicity" can be pinned squarely on the "Camel's nose under the tent" activity of Princess Ryan's Spacemarines!

Perhaps the non historical genre of games can be housed in a separate area, with appropriate signage of course.

peterx Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2018 8:27 p.m. PST

Oh, dang! I forgot to include the tournaments! There were ten historical tournaments during Cold Wars 2014. They don't list each game, so I can only guess it may be hundreds and hundreds of additional historical games. In fact, the DBA tournament alone has nine time slots and with 80 tables in their area. There could be a possible 720 DBA games over the four days. I doubt they have that many, but maybe there were 400-500 games just in that single tourney. The historical wargame count just shoots up through the roof at this point. The percentage of non-historical games at HMGS events was microscopic compared to the vast hordes of historically based wargames. Ok, my point is proven, and I can rest now.

So, if you still are unhappy, start your very own pure blood historical wargame con. It could be fun, and there would be: no unsightly fantasy games, no nasty sci-fi games, no sticky kid games, no gory zombie games, and no depressing post-apocalyptic Warboys messing things up either.

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2018 8:54 p.m. PST

This topic has come up again and again. Find another dead equine to flog.

Sysiphus Inactive Member20 Jan 2018 9:11 p.m. PST

:-)

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jan 2018 5:16 a.m. PST

those wanting a change are blamed for not making that change happen.

The alternative being everyone else owes you to make things the way you want them, but you have no responsibility and have the right to override the decisions of the people actually doing the work.

Dynaman878921 Jan 2018 5:39 a.m. PST

> Oh, dang! I forgot to include the tournaments!

At the last Fall In the Warhammer tournament area seemed to be the largest single tournament area, though the DBA and FOW areas combined were larger still. So even the tournament area is shifting away from historical.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2018 10:37 a.m. PST

"Perhaps the non historical genre of games can be housed in a separate area, with appropriate signage of course".

Perhaps the 27% of non historical game masters go off and make there own convention. See Adepticon in Chicago for the opposite demographic.

Historical wargames was 73% but how many actually showed up and ran there games.

Its time for the back benchers in HMGS NE to stand up. Start putting their money and time in running games at thier Conventions.

zoneofcontrol21 Jan 2018 11:15 a.m. PST

What is an "HMGS NE"?

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2018 12:07 p.m. PST

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society New England chaptor

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2018 4:42 p.m. PST

I'm having difficulty understanding why seeing a zombie game at Historicon bothers people.
Back at Penn State we would have a massive Ancients game in the afternoon, play D&D Saturday night, and Diplomacy on Sunday.
It never occurred to us that Thou Shalt Not Mix.
We also managed to squeeze in a boardgame.

My GASLIGHT games are always 95% historical minis with the rest bring the weird stuff.

Dynaman878921 Jan 2018 4:58 p.m. PST

Was your Penn State group called HistoriPEN?

peterx Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2018 7:21 p.m. PST

If the con is Cold Wars or Fall-In, the 5-7% of games that are not historical doesn't bother you? Because the name of Historicon has' history' in it, then the 5-7% of games that are not purely historical disturbs you!? Despite that fact you and any con attendees do not have to play in any games that are not historically based? Just the fact that they are present in the Historicon galaxy of games in tiny amounts is upsetting?

Dynaman878921 Jan 2018 7:27 p.m. PST

> Because the name of Historicon has' history' in it

More the fact it is the HISTORICAL Miniature Gaming Society rather than the exact con name itself.

No – it does not bother me, I happily take pictures of the Battletech, Fantasy, and Zombie games at the cons, there are also more than enough historical games to play as well. If that changes someday in the future I will simply stop going.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jan 2018 4:52 a.m. PST

Perhaps the 27% of non historical game masters go off and make there own convention.

Actually, that was not stated. ~27% of the games (excluding tournament games, later identified) were non-historical, not 27% of the game masters. There wasn't a cross-walk of games to GM.

More the fact it is the HISTORICAL Miniature Gaming Society rather than the exact con name itself.

Does it bother you that you can get a glass of water at the Steak and Ale restaurant?

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2018 8:35 a.m. PST

I think the bugs are multiplying and evolving.

Dan

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2018 8:54 a.m. PST

Where do you draw the line?

I'm having difficulty understanding why seeing a zombie game at Historicon bothers people…

Winston my friend. It is not that hard to do. I have seen it done. There are all the obvious ones to leave out, 40K, Battle Tech, D & D, Magic all the usual suspects. The rest is on a case by case basis. There is not one hard line to draw. It is up to the convention management.

For example, I would rule out VSF but if I had a slot I couldn't fill then I may sneak one in. Ancient tournaments, I would leave them alone unless they had something like Klingons verses Greeks. Flintloque? I wouldn't have it but its up to the con. mgt. Hypothetical Game? Want the British at Gettysburg. Sure why not. Just don't have Orcs storming the angle.

Years ago a historical gaming club in Dallas ran a convention I think called "Skirmish" they wanted to do a one day convention devoted to historical gaming. With just a couple of exceptions it was all historical and it was packed. It was just great.

Winston, why can't we have an all historical convention? I don't understand why people oppose this. In my opinion they are two distant hobbies. Having a non-historical gaming at a historical gaming convention is like inviting Model Railroad hobbyist to a Star Wars convention.

If you want to have a general gaming convention then go start one. I just love the idea of an all historical convention. It's a different crowd. It's a different hobby. It is called Historicon for a reason.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2018 9:01 a.m. PST

Like minded individuals coming together to celebrate history and gaming. I don't see a problem with this. Why would anyone oppose this?

Dynaman878922 Jan 2018 9:13 a.m. PST

> Does it bother you that you can get a glass of water at the Steak and Ale restaurant?

Why would it? And what does this have to do with the subject?

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2018 9:46 a.m. PST

It's not about historical miniatures. It's not about miniatures. It is about the subject, the genre if you will. Why should the Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention have sessions on the American Revolution and the Napoleonic wars? They shouldn't. Why do you hate history? Why do you hate America?

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2018 10:27 a.m. PST

70-80% of HMGS convention games are "historical". Whatever that means.
Last time I checked, Lee did not win at Antietam.
Nor did Hannibal lose at Cannae.
Yet, all these results are possible in a game. Does that mean that they aren't historical Games?

Let's make up a +/- 15% statistic and say that 25% of the gaming tomevand floor space at a convention are tournament games. Insert usual Samurai vs Vikings comment here.

I will keep saying it until I'm blue in the face. Why do people who have never run for HMGS office want to enforce their vision of a convention on those who want to play a GASLIGHT game?

Do you think I could have dragged my 10 year old son along if he could only play a division commander at Austerlitz?

Why do you hate history?

And why do you wish to exclude what "kids today" want to play? Haven't you ever heard of the "greying of the hobby"?

Sometimes I think Old Fart gamers are like Josephus. "Here. You old guys kill each other off. I'll help. And I'll kill myself when you're all done."

doug redshirt22 Jan 2018 10:30 a.m. PST

Sorry. I play with toy soldiers. Some are in sort of historical uniforms. But that is about as close as they get to being historical. What ever rules I use to push them around and do combat, usually have not very much historical accuracy to duplicate history. Don't remember Grant or Lee sitting at a table and rolling 6 sided dice to determine the outcome of a battle.

I really hope no one confuses what I do on the table as anything close to what a real battle is. I was in the military for 20 years in the medical field and I know what war does to a human body. I much prefer my opponents to be rolling dice then to be firing real rounds at me, that would be a little too historically accurate.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jan 2018 10:44 a.m. PST

> Does it bother you that you can get a glass of water at the Steak and Ale restaurant?

Why would it? And what does this have to do with the subject?

The restaurant only has "Steak" and "Ale" in the title. It's the same criterion you used for HMGS.

Winston, why can't we have an all historical convention?

You can. Go have it. Why do the people who run the convention that you want to go to have to do it your way?

Like minded individuals coming together to celebrate history and gaming. I don't see a problem with this. Why would anyone oppose this?

Well, your stated reason that you oppose it is because you don't see historical and non-historical (by your definitions) as the same thing. Therefore if other people see them as the same thing, you don't care and oppose them coming together in your presence.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jan 2018 11:31 a.m. PST

Is it "historical" to see 9th Century Vikings fighting Alexanders phalanxs?

Regards
Russ Dunaway

Dynaman878922 Jan 2018 2:34 p.m. PST

> The restaurant only has "Steak" and "Ale" in the title. It's the same criterion you used for HMGS.

Wrong. I could not find Stake and Ale's corporate mission statement online, and since it went bankrupt and was bought out by a larger corporation it would make little sense now since it is just a brand name – like Avalon Hill being nothing more than a name now, but the one for HMGS goes "TO PROMOTE, AID AND ASSIST IN THE FOSTERING OF THE EDUCATION OF HISTORICAL GAMING AND MILITARY HISTORY". (all caps not mine)

And with that I leave it to everyone to have fun denying what was written as their mission statement is in any way applicable to what they actually do.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jan 2018 3:17 p.m. PST

Your statement was not about their online corporate mission statement, you focused on their name.

More the fact it is the HISTORICAL Miniature Gaming Society rather than the exact con name itself.

However, if you are not capable of seeing how the Historicon event composition relates to that mission, doesn't mean that no one can.

And, you are the one denying

what was written as their mission statement is in any way applicable to what they actually do.

not others.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2018 10:00 p.m. PST

I would require "two scoops", just like Raisin Bran.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 2:01 p.m. PST

Yet, all these results are possible in a game. Does that mean that they aren't historical Games?

Remember the old AH slogan "…you can change history." That is kind of the point of the process. It is a great way to study history. To study the alternatives and why one path was taken as oppose to another. It is a long existing staple of the history profession. Whole scholarly works are based on, what if?

This is one of the false arguments used against advocates of history gaming. It has to be completely the same as the original battle.

That's a reenactment not a game. The game part is where you play the battle out and see how the games results mimic history. It usually doesn't and that's the gaming part of Historical Gaming. It is all history.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 2:16 p.m. PST

And why do you wish to exclude what "kids today" want to play? Haven't you ever heard of the "greying of the hobby"?

Who said anything about excluding anyone? The more young people involved the better. There is no age requirement. I started when I was 13. Never played any fantasy game until I was an adult.

When I started historical gaming I was glad I had an older mentor to guide me along the way or I might have gone over to the dark side. The thing I had in common was a love of history. Loving gaming is not enough. You have to have a deep love of history. Don't have that, then a Grenadier is just another breed of Orc.

I have never accepted the notion that if you can just get those teenagers through the door and then by some kind of osmosis they will switch over to historical gaming. That is very rare. If the kid doesn't like history in school then he probably will not like it in his games.

There is no magic formula, it is either there or not. Can you cite any measurable statistic or case study that shows x number of under 18 players were converted to historical gaming? No? Yet we keep wringing our hands and get all workup about the so called "graying of the hobby".

It is not my job or any other players job to recruit young people into the hobby. It is more the responsibility of the manufactures, designers, publishers and retailers to recruit more people into the hobby. As it affects their bottom line.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 2:31 p.m. PST

Do you think I could have dragged my 10 year old son along if he could only play a division commander at Austerlitz?

That says more about you than it does about him or the hobby. My dad didn't have a clue about any of this. I would have loved to have been put in a command of a division at Austerlitz at that age. But if you have to drag your son there then what does that say about his level of interest? Probably doesn't like history. But you never know. But having to drag anyone to a game is a bad sign.

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