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"Cheap Wargamers?" Topic


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robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 6:45 p.m. PST

Hey! All you guys whining about "cheap wargamers" in relation to convention sites! Break out your pocket calculators and work out how much labor and materials they chipped in out of pocket to put on the games at Cold Wars. The entire miniature wargame convention system is based on the assumption that hundreds of the "cheapskates" will spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars and months of time to build terrain boards, purchase and paint troops, practice-test games and haul the completed game hundreds of miles for awards varying from flat nothing up to a free $25 USD admission and a plaque.

Time to give it a break guys. It's not being cheap to prefer spending money in the dealers hall or the flea market rather than on trendy food and an expensive motel room which will look just like the bargain one once I turn off the lights. We call this "prioritizing." And if your priority is a luxury suite and fine dining, attending wargame conventions is not a good way of pursuing these goals.

Skeets Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 7:07 p.m. PST

Robert, thanks for saying it like it is. Some people, particularly the complainers, who don't know or realize the time, effort and money game masters spend for the love of the hobby between conventions. I would even hazard a guess that they never would game master at a convention or even for their local group.

Neli Creoruska03 Apr 2018 7:56 p.m. PST

How many gamers put on games at conventions? Now how many gamers attend the convention who don't put on games?

Your example doesn't rebut the point.

Codsticker03 Apr 2018 10:30 p.m. PST

What is this all about?

Oberlindes Sol LIC03 Apr 2018 11:24 p.m. PST

I have the same question as Codsticker.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2018 4:09 a.m. PST

Cod sticker, Oberlindes, if you track any of the threads relating to US wargame conventions, you won't go far without someone drooling over a more expensive venue--and then complaining that "cheap" wargamers complain about motel rental, parking fees and a lack of modestly-priced restaurants in the vicinity of the convention. As I wrote, it makes me wonder what they imagine the point to be. If my dream vacation involved expensive restaurants and luxury accommodations, I certainly wouldn't want 3,000 wargamers around. They lower the tone.

Neli, I think the answer to your question is "most of us" or maybe "all of us, eventually." Figure between one in ten and one in five at any given convention, and while there are some you can count on at every convention, a lot of the cast rotates. I don't expect a gamer still building his armies to put on a convention game, and unless you've got Duke Seifried's flunkies, you'll eventually get too old to haul around all that lead.

But "cheap" is relative. Do you know of a hobby which puts more reliance on the unpaid contributions of the attendees?

Dynaman878904 Apr 2018 4:28 a.m. PST

Wargamers ARE cheap, otherwise the search for a convention venue would not be so constrained by price as to limit us to a handful of sites.

Perris070704 Apr 2018 5:22 a.m. PST

How many wargamers are rich? I, for one, am not. As a teacher I barely make the lower middle class. I regularly drive over a thousand miles to attend Historicon as often as I can, but if was moved to an expensive site I could not afford even that one trip a year. Not with a family at any rate. If that makes me "Cheap" so be it. Sorry.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Apr 2018 5:50 a.m. PST

Most hobby conventions rely on thousands of hours of unpaid labor from their members/attendees/volunteers. For example, re-enactors, model railroaders, scale modelers, coin and stamp collectors, etc. We are by no means unusual in that way.

Think too of the arts – theaters, operas and museums rely on huge amounts of financial support as well as volunteer hours.

@Skeets: I disagree. I think *most* gamers DO appreciate the time and effort involved in putting on games and doing all the grunt work to make a show happen.

I'll admit: I'm one of the complainers. My issue is the settling for a moldy, run-down dump like the host. I've been to conventions that cost about the same as the HMGS East shows but were in far, far nicer locations.

GaryCon, the D&D convention, is of similar size. It is in the lovely Grand Geneva resort.

Nashcon, admittedly much smaller, is in a very nice chain hotel.

Little Wars is now out of the barn and in a nice, well located hotel.

Advance the Colors is in a local history museum, with a hotel across the street.

So for me the calucaltion is just a bit different: I'd rather give up spending $100 USD in the dealer hall to get a location that I'm not afraid to eat at….

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Apr 2018 5:51 a.m. PST

Incidentally, back when I went to the east coast shows I never stayed at the host. I prioritized and stayed at a very good hotel in a historic old building, with a great restaurant. Nice accomodations and meals are not incompatible with conventions…

jdpintex04 Apr 2018 6:56 a.m. PST

+1 Extra Crisp

TSD10104 Apr 2018 7:36 a.m. PST

Its a silly notion put forth by people who need something to argue about.

I don't consider trips to the cons a real vacation, and thus I will not spend real vacation dollars that I would use for one. I come with a budget and if the trip will go over that budget, I simply don't go. The best locations have choice, both low end and high end to satisfy most convention goers. No one is holding a gun to anyone's head and forcing them to sleep or eat at the Host. My group and I do neither. There are plenty of quality hotels and quality eating establishments nearby. If they chose not to, THAT IS ON THEM.

historygamer04 Apr 2018 8:26 a.m. PST

RP said:

"…..Break out your pocket calculators and work out how much labor and materials they chipped in out of pocket to put on the games at Cold Wars."

While GMs are attendees, you may find that they are indeed a subset of the overall attendance population and might have different views than the average person that just simply attends.

"The entire miniature wargame convention system is based on the assumption that hundreds of the "cheapskates" will spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars and months of time to build terrain boards, purchase and paint troops, practice-test games and haul the completed game hundreds of miles for…"

Agreed. I hauled in 7 large containers, plus Styrofoam pieces and ground cloth. It took 1.5 hours to set up my game. I could put a lot less effort in and get the same recognition from the sponsoring organization. I'm pretty sure that they use games listed in the PEL in the hopes of attracting attendees.

:… awards varying from flat nothing up to a free $25 USD USD admission and a plaque. "

Really, very few awards are handed out in relation to the number of games. HMGS cut the gift vouchers for winning GMs, so other than a statue, you don't get much recognition from the organization – not even an electronic generated thanks after the con.

I slightly disagree with Extra Crispy's take:

"Most hobby conventions rely on thousands of hours of unpaid labor from their members/attendees/volunteers. For example, re-enactors, model railroaders, scale modelers, coin and stamp collectors, etc. We are by no means unusual in that way."

HMGS volunteer staff get rooms and food in exchange for their efforts. As a GM I put in the same amount of hours on site and usually get nothing in return except free admission (but I have to be a member first), which the staff also get as well. Not saying I should get the same, but saying I don't get much.

Re-enactors all haul the same stuff to an event, so you can't compare that to wargame conventions where your average attendee simply walks in and walks out. Further, if you study the convention program, you'll see a good number of GMs run their game more than once – meaning they put in even more time (e.g., 100 GMs could be running 200 games). In other words, all re-enactors are more or less equal. Now the site usually profits by charging an entrance fee, but sometimes the re-enactors get paid some sort of stipend for their efforts. I know this for fact as I organize and run small and large re-enactments.

I belong to a model railroad club also, and the group puts in a lot of hours setting up, running, and taking down their platforms, but they are not the main reason most attend a model railroad show – unlike a wargame convention related to the GMs and the games they run. The set ups are also not participatory, as only the owners get to run their trains.

I can't say what most players think of the GMs. I have had most thank me for my efforts. A few offer to stay and help clean up – though that is rare.

I'm not saying I'm looking for anything more, which is probably a good idea given that it likely isn't coming anyway. I would also note that as a GM, I have a hard time going to any local convention and paying to get in to set up my games. I really don't play much in other people's games, so not like I cost anything either. That said, I find most local cons run by groups are really a chance to showcase their own games, not others.

Lord Ashram04 Apr 2018 8:46 a.m. PST

I'll be honest, the only time I frown is when people complain about a nice venue over a disgusting venue, and then in the next thread gleefully talk about tens of thousands of unpaintng Miniatures they have. If money is an issue, why do you have unpainted lead?

Personally I like a nice venue. I like staying in the venue, so I can have a few drinks and still walk around and look at great toy soldiers. I like a nice clean hotel room that I don't get skeezed out it. I like a nice meal. I willing, and able, to spend a bit more for it.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2018 9:19 a.m. PST

EC, I had no idea that when I attended the Museum of Natural History or the Smithsonian, I was expected to bring my own dinosaur every few trips. Obviously I'll have to do better in the future.

Similarly, I thought the coin and stamp people were just showing of their regular coins and stamps. But convention games are a little different from what I play in the guest bedroom/game room.

As for the Host. I don't feel much like defending the place after Cold Wars. You had to expect 20 years of deferred maintenance to be disruptive. But I don't think it had to be as disruptive for as long as it's been. But the "wargamers are stingy!" theme song is not played exclusively in relation to one building.

A wargame convention is about games, vendors, the flea market and learning--lectures and painting classes. All these are put on without charge to HMGS, and the vendors and flea marketeers pay. But instead of discussion about how we can improve those, I read constant calls for nicer motel rooms and more expensive places to eat--and continual sniping by the fine dining crowd that they are being deprived of gravlax, lobsters thermidor and in-house masseuses by the stinginess of the plebes. The plebes, meanwhile, have spent the last six months building a 1/32 Fort Zinderneuf in the basement, painted a company of the Legion and a complete horde of Bedouin and transported the whole thing 500 miles so everyone will have a nice time at the convention.

Time we focused on priorities.

historygamer04 Apr 2018 9:29 a.m. PST

+1 to RP

dapeters04 Apr 2018 1:58 p.m. PST

This is a my hobby, as such money spent on figures much less transportation, food and hotel is money not spent on the family. So if one wants to call me cheap that's fine, but if one is using it has some sort of shame, sorry I do have priorities. And yes I to have lead and plastic that I am not sure when I'll get to. But I because of the proverbial pile I real cut down what I buy and this last CW I did not by anything.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian04 Apr 2018 6:36 p.m. PST

For me a Con is $500 USD out of pocket to start. If I drive that goes to gas/food as well as a room. That is before "impulse buys". I'd go to a couple a year if I could afford it.

This has been the same for @ 15 years. The only way I have been able to go to the HMGS cons was to piggyback on a business trip (only had to pay train fare).

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Apr 2018 8:52 p.m. PST

" I like a nice meal. I willing, and able, to spend a bit more for it."…………….Which is what I'd expect as you're a Lord afterall.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 5:02 a.m. PST

I read constant calls for nicer motel rooms and more expensive places to eat--and continual sniping by the fine dining crowd that they are being deprived of gravlax, lobsters thermidor and in-house masseuses by the stinginess of the plebes.

I don't believe you read anything of the sort and you are building a strawman. Instead, I read less hyperbolic comments such as given by dapeters, TSD101, Extra Crispy and Perris0707 on this thread. This hobby is different things to different people. How they spend their discretionary income is no one else's business.

BTW, the cost for the Lancaster CC seems to be established at $145 USD per night for the 2019 con. According to the BOD, the cost for a room at the Host for the same time in 2019 will be $149. USD We seem to be getting more for less.

Lord Ashram05 Apr 2018 5:36 a.m. PST

Hah! Double G, I'm a lord in name only… in the regular world, I'm an elementary school teacher:). But I am generally super frugal (some might call in cheap) and I never go on vacation or out to dinner or anything, so for the one or two weekends a year I get away from the wife and kids… I want to have as nice a time, across the board, as possible:)

historygamer05 Apr 2018 5:43 a.m. PST

The room prices at both facilities need to take into account the 11% additional taxes, so a room night of $145 USD, with the $15.95 USD taxes now totals $160.95 USD per night. The tax rate would be the same at the Host.

Just saying, total room prices at either facility are markedly more than past conventions at the Host. So the impact might be more day trippers or more people staying off site at cheaper surrounding hotels.

To me, and many others, the big question is the ability get stuff in and out of the new facility. The facility looks great, but that question still remains loading and unloading for vendors, flea marketers and game masters alike. This issue was one of the main killers for moving the con to the BCC some years ago.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 6:28 a.m. PST

"I don't believe you read anything of the sort and you are building a strawman. Instead, I read less hyperbolic comments such as given by dapeters, TSD101, Extra Crispy and Perris0707 on this thread. This hobby is different things to different people. How they spend their discretionary income is no one else's business."

Agreed; gee sorry Robert, not sure where you're reading the hue and cry for luxurious rooms and five star dining. Not sure how the lack of those things has anything to do with wargamers being cheap (your words, not mine).

Based on my sales at the HMGS conventions the past 15 or so years, I find them anything BUT cheap, far to the contrary as a matter of fact.

I've said it a million times, so I might as well say it again; no one is putting a gun to anyone's head to stay at the Host or dine there, there are dozens of hotels and restaurants in the area.

As far as where people choose to dine while at the convention; it's a matter of personal taste, we all eat where we want to eat, no one is forcing me to dine at the Golden Corral or Sonic, I eat where I want to eat.

This whole thread is bit out there to be honest, I really don't get what point you are trying to make frankly.

Ok, carry on…………………….

McKinstry Fezian05 Apr 2018 11:12 a.m. PST

+1 Double G & Bowman

"How they spend their discretionary income is no one else's business." I believe that says it all.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 1:30 p.m. PST

Double G, do you read the threads you post on?

TMP link


Note especially Neli Creoruska, lindrp, Winston Smith, Dynaman8789 and CoffeeCooler. At that point my handwriting goes illegible.

For what it's worth, I also think everyone's discretionary spending is their own business. But sniping at wargamers in general is slander, not discretionary spending. And holding conventions in more expensive venues so people can indulge non-wargaming tastes is very much the business of everyone else who's going to be stuck in that venue. I don't care if our better-heeled colleagues have Japanese beef flown in by private plane. I care very much that you can't buy a modestly-priced breakfast in the convention motel, the choice of fast-food lunches is very limited, and most of the available restaurants look to be charging more for dinner than I would plan to pay for a day of eating out when I travel. And I'll by no means be the most cash-strapped attendee. But all this is of no consequence, evidently, so long as the foodies can indulge themselves.

And anyone who wants to spend the money in the dealers hall instead of a restaurant is evidently a cheapskate.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 3:31 p.m. PST

"Double G, do you read the threads you post on?"

Nope, I just like to throw @#$% against the wall to see what sticks.

"I don't care if our better-heeled colleagues have Japanese beef flown in by private plane."

I'm more of a Mongolian BBQ fan, or don't YOU read the threads I post in?

"I care very much that you can't buy a modestly-priced breakfast in the convention motel, the choice of fast-food lunches is very limited, and most of the available restaurants look to be charging more for dinner than I would plan to pay for a day of eating out when I travel."

If you're talking about the Host; for the BILLIONTH time, then don't stay at the convention motel, or better yet, what is preventing you from going across the street to IHOP? Again; if you mean the Host, there are loads of lunch and dinner options in the area.

When I go to toy soldier/wargaming shows, I generally expect to spend 50.00 to 60.00 a day to eat; like death and taxes, it's a certainty and I do not eat fast food, nothing fast about it other than how fast it passes through your system, which would explain the condition of the men's room at the conventions by Saturday.

" But sniping at wargamers in general is slander, not discretionary spending……..And anyone who wants to spend the money in the dealers hall instead of a restaurant is evidently a cheapskate."

I've never said either of these things; hope your comments aren't directed at me.

Just sayin………….

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 4:47 p.m. PST

I'm not sure what the point of any of this is . I travel a lot for business. Lancaster PA is as cheap as it gets. Some hotels are cheaper than others. Something for everybody food wise . Short of staying in North Philly there really isn't anything much cheaper.

For years "The Host is a dump. The Host is dump". Now that it's getting fixed "The Host is too expensive "

When I can go I stay at Country Inn of Lancaster (not in bunk beds with Double G as some of you think). Cheap, friendly , clean and conveniently located next to YPs where I can have a couple of tighteners before I call it a night. Works for me. Everyone is different

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 5:51 p.m. PST

I recall my early years at shows as a young married man. I would always split a room with a friend to control costs. We always hit Walmart the 1st evening in town and shopped for most of our food for the weekend. We grabbed plenty of lunch meet, bread, condiments, fruit and snacks to cover most of our eating needs. We splurged on one meal a day (usually a big hearty breakfast) at a local restaurant. We did what we had to. Eating at nicer restaurants and having more expensive tastes came later.

The point being that there are always options to attend a show with a tighter budget.

Oh and Milhouse, sorry I just pictured you and Double G sharing a bed…..

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 6:44 p.m. PST

"Cheap, friendly , clean and conveniently located next to YPs where I can have a couple of dozen Coors Lights before I call it a night, then look like hot garbage staggering around the dealer hall the next day because I'm a degenerate boozebag."

Fixed it for you………………..

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 6:45 p.m. PST

" I would always split a room with a friend to control costs."

Yeah, that's way too much information, but thanks for sharing………….."those aren't pillows"………….

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 8:52 p.m. PST

Double G you know I'm not a "morning person"!!

Tumbleweed Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 9:16 p.m. PST

"It's not being cheap to prefer spending money in the dealers hall or the flea market rather than on trendy food and an expensive motel room which will look just like the bargain one once I turn off the lights."

…as long as you don't see a couple of dozen tiny phosphorescent eyes staring back at you in the dark.

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2018 6:22 a.m. PST

@Tumbleweed. Lol!!

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2018 6:25 a.m. PST

Scene: Saturday morning at Fall In

Double G: "Jesus. You look like a bucket of smashed @$$#0!5s!"

Milhouse : " Yeah, but I feel fantastic."

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2018 7:06 a.m. PST

And holding conventions in more expensive venues so people can indulge non-wargaming tastes is very much the business of everyone else who's going to be stuck in that venue.

But all this is of no consequence, evidently, so long as the foodies can indulge themselves.

Again, Robert what's with the strawman arguments? You seriously think Historicon moved so that, "….our better-heeled colleagues have Japanese beef flown in by private plane"? You make some good points, like the lack of an inexpensive breakfast, but it's obscured by the over the top hyperbole.

Like I explained above, come 2019, the room rate at the Marriot at Penn Square will be $4 USD less than at the Host. And no one is forcing you to stay there.

This whole thread is bit out there to be honest, I really don't get what point you are trying to make frankly.

+1 Double G

TSD10106 Apr 2018 12:40 p.m. PST

We should keep it in perspective. When we're all at the gaming table together enjoying our hobby, no one is going to care if you stayed at the Ritz Carlton and dined on steak and lobster, or you bedded down at a Knights Inn and had a burger from McDonald's.

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2018 1:03 p.m. PST

"We should keep it in perspective. When we're all at the gaming table together enjoying our hobby, no one is going to care if you stayed at the Ritz Carlton and dined on steak and lobster, or you bedded down at a Knights Inn and had a burger from McDonald's".


True, we only care that you showered, changed your clothes and used deodorant. :-)

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2018 1:04 p.m. PST

TSD101 has got it .

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2018 5:05 p.m. PST

BTCTERRAINMAN for the rebound!

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2018 6:21 a.m. PST

True, we only care that you showered, changed your clothes and used deodorant. :-)

BTCTerrianman for the win!

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2018 8:54 a.m. PST

At some time in the far distant future, at the entrance to every gaming room, flea market entrance, and vedor hall door, we will develop a semi-permeable force membrane or a stable cloud of nanites, or selectively-filtered matter transmitter that , when passed through, will retain dirt, bacteria, external body oils, sweat, and other undesirable substances from whoever passes through it. Till then, TheKing30 has it about right.

Personal logo vonLoudon Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2018 6:43 a.m. PST

Remember when rooms were $60 USD to $75 USD dollars a night? Split with a buddy or two and not bad at all. Now the rooms at the Host are about $150. USD I paid more to get cancelation which at my age sometimes happens through an online room vendor. Now I'm retired. I make less money and also have somewhat less expenses by not commuting etc. But I'm gradually getting to the point where I'm not going to make most of the trips like I used to. And neither are a lot of my wargaming friends. All of this has come to quite a lot of expense over the years. I never thought of it as cheap when I looked at my paycheck. I often had to charge things to be able to attend. And I'm still paying for some of those convention stays with interest. We are a niche industry of the gaming industry. I think we do what we can to keep this going and we have come a long way from the beginning of our organized hobby. Pat Condray's articles in MWAN on the founding of HMGS tell the story pretty well, with maybe some errors due to people's memories, but I think we ought to be proud of what we have accomplished together and things will change. The country and the world have changed. During that time at least we had some very good times and memories together. And remember, your $5.00 USD membership fee was over thirty years ago.

Personal logo vonLoudon Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2018 6:53 a.m. PST

I'll relate what I think might be a funny story about attending cons. In my job for the first twenty years, I often had no choice of weekends off. Even later when I transferred jobs, that might happen for a while. This was a seniority system. I used to run into a former supervisor of mine at conventions. He was a wargamer or modeler. Luckily he never asked me about my work schedule or having leave since he knew my about situation in general. This happened several times over the years. I wonder if he really knew? I never heard anything about it.

Foxhole Terrain Company Sponsoring Member of TMP19 May 2018 7:20 p.m. PST

There are those who game, those who run games, and everything in between. The same can be said about most hobbies.

Where else can gamers go and
1) Meet fellow gamers from other places than your hometown.
2) Meet game designers
3) Play in new, different, and interesting games
4) Exchange great game ideas for terrain, painting, game play, etc.
5) Purchase painted figs in person instead of photos.
6) Meet dealers and manufacturers – old friends and some new one.
7) Sell some unused stuff

And finally, I see our hobby as a fellowship.

Everything is expensive no matter where you go. I prefer to have a nice, clean place to meet and game with folks. I am starting to see more families at cons I have been to in the south. I prefer a nice place for my family. We don't need top of the line, but I believe a person feels better in a nice place, not just a hotel, but anywhere.

In general we all pay for this hobby in many different ways.

I believe you cannot put a price on friends.

TheKing30 Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2018 6:30 a.m. PST

I believe you cannot put a price on friends.

Oh, mine cost me 20.00 a day. And I have to pay for meals.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP22 May 2018 6:09 p.m. PST

How many wargamers are rich?

Defined Rich?

I would not say that I am Rich but I fall into the upper part of being well off. So money is not a major issue for me.

But individuals will complained about everything.

Now I lucky I will be going to a Con this weekend but it is like 25-35 minutes from my house so I get to sleep at home. Food will come from a local store that is like 10 minutes away.

I will get to meet individuals that I haven't seen since last year and depending on which games I take part in might even get to game with or against them.

Kimber VanRy Supporting Member of TMP22 May 2018 8:32 p.m. PST

My recent experience developing 3 hour 28mm scenarios at conventions goes like this:

About 200 miniatures at $2.50 USD a piece is about $500. USD The there's paint, terrain and materials to build various odds and ends. I usually need a book or two, too. All in, maybe about $600 USD-700 in hard costs.

Then there's time. A mini takes me about 45 minutes, so that's about 150 hours of painting. Add to that the time to build terrain maybe another 10+ hours. Research and writing can run to another 20-30 hours, and there's there's hours of playtesting and revisions. All in, over 200 hours to develop a three hour game. It's hard to put a dollar figure on my time but at 200 hours, any decent hourly rate would add up fast.

Over time, things scale as I'm able to repurpose some models and terrain from one game to another. That said I easily spend at least half of the above money and time on each game. I ran three games at Cold Wars..so, do the math.

There are easily many games at cons even more invested than mine, so in a large convention room you easily have five figures worth of invested GM money and thousands of hours of time. When I play games at a convention, having run them myself, I completely appreciate the investment of the volunteer GMs.

This is just my experience and I'm detailing it for context. It's my choice to spend my money and time this way, and I've found people in the hobby along a huge spectrum. I'm looking for an ROI in fun at conventions, and I always find it in some way.

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