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"Cold Wars 18 Review (" Topic

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940 hits since 20 Mar 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Colonel Bill Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2018 9:19 a.m. PST

My Cold Wars 2018 report, to include a link within the article to a Onedrive folder with some 350 images (yes, with a bunch from my own event, but I figure I'm entitled :) ).



Colonel Bill

evbates21 Mar 2018 9:34 a.m. PST

Thanks for sharing.

Poniatowski Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member21 Mar 2018 9:57 a.m. PST


Personal logo Hollywood Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2018 9:58 a.m. PST

Thanks for sharing this.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2018 10:45 a.m. PST

Good read.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2018 11:06 a.m. PST

Good article. One comment however:

"Unfortunately I did notice a malady that seems to have been contracted from our tournament playing Ancients brethren. While the miniatures themselves were fantastic, easily meeting or beating our British cousins in this regard (unlikely -ED), a growing number of people continue to neglect terrain. And here we are talking in some cases a paper sheet as ground cover with terrain details simply (and badly) painted on."

I was an ancients tournament player for over a decade. I must say I have never seen sheet of paper with terrain details drawn on it. Ever. Is this a one off or is it indicative of the tournaments games today? I'd have my doubts.

I'll tell you on the other hand, some veteran wargamers have some some crazy ideas about ancients terrain. They would pass by and snicker at the paucity of the terrain features. They want Zama and Gaugemala to have the same trees, fences, bushes, rivers, and roadways as their WW2 games have. Try to tell them that Alexander the Great and Darius picked the site of Gaugamela specifically due to the lack of terrain and you'll get rolling eyeballs. The goofiness goes both ways.

But I admit, the paper terrain is lame. I'll guess it was a tutorial game of DBA for a newbie? If so, I'm OK with that.

[/mini rant] wink

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2018 6:08 p.m. PST

Bill my experience:

1. Registration I was pre-registered and approached the new on-line/automatic stations with my pin # in hand [as instructed and supplied on my invoice]. I was surprised when told by the attending staffer that the Pin #/QR code scan was not necessary. In this day of information hacking, this was, I thought, a reasonable way to protect an attendee getting their badge, not someone else. Now it can be argued that the likelihood of someone absconding with another's attendee identity is remote. If that is so, then do away with pin numbers altogether. But I think it's not unreasonable to provide that level of security. So, did you have to enter a pin? or scan? Did they change registration procedures during the convention?

2. The Flea Market/Wally's Basement, IMO, was below par due to its location and lack of accessibility as well as the poor ambient conditions due to the nature of the space. Yes it was like looking at painted figures in a coal mine. If you didn't have a miner's helmet, or use the flashlight app on your phone, you had a hard time assessing potential purchases [where painting quality/details might be important, anyway]. I was informed by Heather that had the Convention Team known this space HAD to be used for the FM, she would have arranged for additional lighting, as it was [imo, desperately] required. Friday night there were sections that were devoid of overhead lights in a space that was completely painted black, except for the stage [the only bright space in the room]. Those light cans were some 20 feet overhead and had low wattage/lumen lights because it was a nightclub/showroom environment. Adding more did not do much on Saturday, in my opinion. I am glad to hear for Historicon that supplemental lighting will be brought in.

The access issue, though remains a concern for me anyway [full disclosure, I have come down with a bad back that has limited my "vertical" time in transit]. The only way into this space, was a direct assault up approximately 14-15 steps…or a fabled indirect approach through a freight elevator, that one caught in the back of the kitchen! [isn't there a saying about not wanting to see how food is…oh nevermind]. Now, there is a new elevator going in by the Lampeter Room [think tournament/old flea market area]…that might? maybe? address the Show Room access issue [how do handicap people access that space today?…I mean they host events there, or have in the past].

3. The Hotel staff, I was told by some of the staff, were bare bones. That is why they could not: change our bedding from the cigarette burned sheets we had; provide us with bedspreads and blankets [ok we finally, by chance, tackled the housekeeping staff we had communicated with 8 hours earlier to get some blankets]; give us hangers for our clothes, provide us with a TV remote that worked; of course the refrigerator and TV stopped working [I suspect a tripped breaker for that outlet] anyway. And no phone to call down to the desk to keep inquiring about any of the above. Oh yeah, the wi-fi was non functional in our room, and for me, spotty in the gaming area as well.

On the plus side, the beds were new and comfortable, so were the pillows. The bathroom was sans mold and gobs of caulk. The lights all had bulbs in them!!! and the A/C either was a sauna or an icebox..all at the same temperature setting! [just change the setting from Heat/Cool].

Now, for Historicon, when attendance should be higher, they better address the parking situation. The current parking spaces around much of the hotel proper were taken up with heavy equipment and large material storage containers, dumpsters and mounds of construction debris. If the golf course is open this summer, anticipate those parking spots to be reserved for that use.

The Hotel has time to address a lot of this "stuff". I hope the BoD keeps track of progress and sets some performance expectations in these areas. [as an aside, I wonder if the Wyndham franchise the Host is pursuing, will allow them to keep bathroom linen that have Holiday Inn labels?]

So, thats my sitrep from my part of the front.

zoneofcontrol Inactive Member21 Mar 2018 8:08 p.m. PST

Col. Bill-
Nice AAR, good read.

Had no idea you were unhappy with the con. That's news to me. Please post more info so I can make my decision on attending Historicon.

Personal logo Colonel Bill Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2018 7:07 a.m. PST

Bowman – Triumph.

47Ronin22 Mar 2018 8:23 a.m. PST

Nice review, Col. Bill, as usual.

Two points:

1) 1889 in attendance? If that's what HMGS told you, that's what they told you, but it didn't feel that way to some of us. The fact that HMGS could come up with a number for publication so quickly might be attributed to the new badge printing system.

2) Heather is the first female director for Cold Wars. IIRC, Pat Shields was the first female CD of an HMGS convention (Historicon) back in the day (early '90's). As the self-appointed heir to the late Pat Condray's role as unofficial HMGS historian, I'm duty bound to correct the record when necessary. If others want to correct me, please do so.

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2018 9:09 a.m. PST

Had no idea you were unhappy with the con. That's news to me. Please post more info so I can make my decision on attending Historicon.

yeah, I kind of thought someone would take that beyond what I stated. Nowhere in my report do I state I was UNHAPPY with the CONVENTION. I was going to expand on that, but felt my post was long enough already.

So, let me be clear. I was not unhappy with the convention.

I just noted, factually, in the little glitches that were real. The vast majority was about the facility conditions.

I ended with the observation that the Host [and most of those glitches above are their responsibility] has time to address the various facility deficiencies.

I hope our BoD takes a position of close overwatch and demand for good communication [my impression was the BoD was not informed of the state of the facility until they arrived] with the Host. Historicon has a greater attendance, and some of the conditions will be exacerbated by that.

But that has nothing to do with the "convention" per se.

Enjoyed it as ever. Bought stuff, talked with friends, enjoyed good beer at Lancaster Brewing [bought two cases even of their Double Chocolate Stout], good food.

What's not to like?

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2018 12:58 p.m. PST

and who would have thought our Cold Wars was better placed [weather-wise] on the third weekend of March vice the 4th weekend?

Lancaster received 10 inches of snow on Wednesday, 3/21/18.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2018 1:05 p.m. PST

Bowman Triumph.

Bill, that was the other group with "walk-up" demo tutorials for people who had never played before. This is in addition to their tournament games. Perhaps you are conflating the two?

Personal logo Colonel Bill Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2018 9:05 a.m. PST

Wow, I was here during Pat's tenure and I just don't remember that. However, I'm close to 63 now and have been diagnosed with terminal CRS disease so there you are.


47Ronin24 Mar 2018 11:53 a.m. PST

Many have passed through the HMGS ranks, even at the highest levels, only to "fade away" as The General once said.

Not everybody makes as big an impact on HMGS as you do, Col. Bill.

47Ronin24 Mar 2018 12:02 p.m. PST

+1 to the comments by rmcaras, especially with regards to the weather and the condition of The Host.

Case in point: the staffing at the Sat. breakfast buffet was totally inadequate to meet the needs of HMGS. You had to (almost) steal coffee, silverware, cups, etc. from other tables. That lack of service had nothing to do with the ongoing construction. If anything, The Host should have hired some of the kitchen staff from the closed Continental Inn and put them to work on a temporary basis for the weekend.

We'll see if things improve for Historicon.

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