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"Ideal wargame convention site - in the abstract" Topic


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922 hits since 13 Apr 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Grumble8710614 Apr 2018 8:46 a.m. PST

The discussion about Historicon, the Host, etc. prompts me to ask. If you could create the ideal site for a wargame convention, what would it look like?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 9:26 a.m. PST

Hmm. Going to depend a lot on ideal wargamers and how many of them there are. On a first hack--
--Everything under one roof and abundant parking for daytrippers.
--A large gaming area much like the Distlefink, but with even better lighting and sound-attenuation measures
--More or less the same thing for the tournament crowd, but not both in a double-size room.
--"Break-out" rooms similar in light and sound-reduction for the various clubs.
--A lecture hall with rising tiers of comfortable seats and a good sound and light system for the speaker.
--Craft classes to be held in a tiled area, sacrificing sound quality for easy clean-up.
--Flea market accessible from the parking area by two-wheel cart. No stairs and if possible no elevator. The Cold Wars arrangement, in which it was possible to walk past every display without back-tracking, may be an improvement.
--Dealer's hall like a loading dock in a good factory or warehouse--lots and lots of vehicle access. Again, there needs to be some way to walk it efficiently. I think I might have missed some booths at Cold Wars this time.
--Rooms on site to be clean and contain at least a bed a desk or table and sufficient light to let us gloat over our purchases. Phone and Internet access. Don't see the point in the TV myself, but a lot of people do. Some way to play new purchases from Belle & Blade?
--Food. Ideally, a modest breakfast for $5 USD or a bit up, a decent lunch for under $10 USD and a sit-down dinner available for $25 USD, with higher prices available for those who insist on such.
--On-site bar, and some place--if not the bar, the lobby?--where one can sit down and talk with friends, or even look through and mark the events list.

This assumes a full-bore HMGS-East scale convention of multiple thousands. As you scale down toward the SYWA's more or less 100, some functions are dropped and others merged, requiring compromises.

Mick the Metalsmith Inactive Member14 Apr 2018 9:35 a.m. PST

An on-site bar and a place offering a bit of vegetarian food, even if just pizza. Other than that I just need some large tables without music or a tv blaring, and a clean and maintained rest room nearby.

rmaker14 Apr 2018 9:49 a.m. PST

Non-union dealers hall.

princeman14 Apr 2018 9:52 a.m. PST

The best convention site I ever went to was the University of Wisconsin Kenosha. Great food, plenty of space, massive parking lot and private rooms for spontaneous gaming.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 9:56 a.m. PST

Is Abstract Pennsylvania a one hour drive from where I live?

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 9:56 a.m. PST

"--Food. Ideally, a modest breakfast for $5 USD USD or a bit up, a decent lunch for under $10 USD USD………."

I know of a place that has both of those; the local state prison.

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 10:09 a.m. PST

(1) Parking, ample and free
(2) Loading dock-type access for dealers and GMs both
(3) Gaming areas connected or combined, just not spread out too much with other events/people in between
(4) Access to decent food and drink, whether on site or nearby (but parking better be great if nearby instead of on site)

civildisobedience14 Apr 2018 10:11 a.m. PST

Don't forget it needs something to complain about.

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 10:20 a.m. PST

Double G, come now.

For a $5 USD breakfast , half a mile from the Host you can get a breakfast sandwich at the WaWa. Our only great value place for breakfast here in West Leb , Sharyl's is at least $10 USD per person. Like a good 5 cent cigar….

Ideal but ultimately impossible location? Well, a few years ago one of my professional groups had their annual conference in Vegas. I'm not suggesting Vegas but when they had it, the hotel next door was hosting the annual AVN awards.

In a perfect world our location cooincides with a porn/stripper convention.

#historigiggity

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 10:58 a.m. PST

"Don't forget it needs something to complain about."

Got it covered in another thread…………..

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 11:03 a.m. PST

"For a $5 USD USD breakfast , half a mile from the Host you can get a breakfast sandwich at the WaWa. Our only great value place for breakfast here in West Leb , Sharyl's is at least $10 USD USD per person. Like a good 5 cent cigar…."

I've kicked this around a bit; at Dunkin Donuts, a large hot coffee and a breakfast sandwhich is almost 7.00.

Where on God's green earth are you getting a decent breakfast for 5.00?

The mind reels.

"In a perfect world our location cooincides with a porn/stripper convention."

You need professional help; either that, or run your coconut down to the local fix it shop in your town and get that loose screw tightened.

And I can talk to him like that because he's my cousin, so no doghouse for this Double G…………….

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 11:14 a.m. PST

As a vendor, please no loading dock unless there are sufficient options without it. Too few trucks unloading. Most of us unload from trailers, vans and other vehicles that are not high enough to benefit from a loading dock. I do not need to lift 1000's of lbs. of product up onto a loading dock. I want to put it on my large cart and roll it into the facility (flat is best without dangerous slopes).

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 11:41 a.m. PST

Actually, GG, an IHOP will get you two eggs and toast with coffee at 4.95. You can do a little better at a McDonald's. And any of the usual fast fooderies will get you lunch for under $10 USD except for Five Guys. Would it make you happier to think $7 USD breakfast and $8 USD lunch instead of over $5 USD and under $10 USD? Then you can go carp about something else.

Winston, I'm not sure about Luzerne. I believe Abstract PA is about a two-hour drive from Normalcy, OH--Warren Harding's home. (He always wanted to return to Normalcy.)

BTC, you're right, and I should have been more specific. I've sold enough dock equipment. In our perfect facility, most of the dock positions would be at the lower cube truck height, not the higher one usually used for tractor-trailers. Time was, I could have given you both heights in inches. We'd be even less likely to get an arrangement like that than we could be to get most of the other features I listed, of course.

rmaker14 Apr 2018 11:51 a.m. PST

Princeman, if you're talking about UW Parkside, it was a terrible site for the dealers AND the convention administration. Plus, it's no longer available since they run a full-time class schedule in the summer.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 12:09 p.m. PST

"You can do a little better at a McDonald's. And any of the usual fast fooderies will get you lunch for under $10 USD USD except for Five Guys."

A lot of words come to mind when I think McDonalds, "better" is not on that list.

As I've explained to you before, I don't do fast food; if something is going to kill me, I want it to be a jealous husband, not a Big Mac.

But do carry on.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 12:21 p.m. PST

Milhouse, I'll see your AVN awards event and raise you
a spouse-swapping event.


TSS ran Southern Front one year at a Double Tree which
hosted Front on one side of the facility and the spouse-
swappers on the other.

The wives of TSS were NOT impressed…

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 12:45 p.m. PST

Bahahaha! You couldn't make that up Ed Mohrmann

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 12:49 p.m. PST

And no Dawghouse for Double G. Yes we poke fun at TMP members but we also , most definitely, poke fun at each other :D

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 1:18 p.m. PST

Ok MY Example of a good location for a gaming convention is Recruits in Lee Summit MO Held at the High School.
1 Large well lighted Gym.
2 School sized Bathrooms
3 Food that is both cheap/good from the school's snack bar.
4 Lots of Free parking
5 Easy in and out access for Dealers
6 Cheap Motels nearby
7 lots of local fast food and Restaurants.
8 $5 USD for the whole weekend

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 2:03 p.m. PST

Southern Front Swinger : "So…wanna swap wives?"

Milhouse : " Depends. Can your wife paint a couple of hundred 20mm artillery horses ?"

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 2:03 p.m. PST

I sure remember those Southern Fronts Ed! We have had quite a few interesting shows over the years. Besides those two, we had the NAACP event next door, numerous weddings, a rehab conference and even a shooting at the hotel one year in Durham. Looking forward to 2018 with the new dates/location.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 3:13 p.m. PST

"Actually, GG, an IHOP will get you two eggs and toast with coffee at 4.95."

You left out "5.00 with the tip."………….if I ate that for breakfast, I'd be hungry by the time I got to my van in the parking lot.

I'm a heavy tipper everywhere I eat, especially places like IHOP as those wait staff are often single Moms, kids in college or older women on a fixed income, it's not like any of them when they were little kids daydreamed about being a waitress at IHOP, so act accordingly when it comes to tipping.

Treat others the way you'd want to be treated, pay it forward and all that jazz, life it too short.

Personal logo Kaiju Doug Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 7:21 p.m. PST

We have the ultimate site for our historical war gaming show, Drums at the Rapids. Check it out at fortmeigs.org

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2018 4:12 a.m. PST

Let me get this straight, GG. We were discussing ideal convention facilities. I listed 11 features, one of which was food. Your response was that I had listed an impossible price for breakfast. When that didn't fly, my price turned out to be immoral--because I don't discuss my tipping?

You can do better. You've attended enough conventions in enough facilities. Surely you have some insight into what features are necessary or helpful?

thomalley15 Apr 2018 4:30 a.m. PST

Where on God's green earth are you getting a decent breakfast for 5.00?
At the "Jolly Roger" here in Nags Head, NC. $1.99 USD (.99 if veteran). 2 Eggs-Served with Homefries or Grits or Baked Apples & Toast. Off-season only. And Coffee is extra.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2018 5:01 a.m. PST

Ok, then let's leave the silliness of expecting an large hotel, connected to a convention site, serving a $5 USD breakfast.

Robert you wrote:

--A large gaming area much like the Distlefink, but with even better lighting and sound-attenuation measures
--More or less the same thing for the tournament crowd, but not both in a double-size room.

What's wrong with a double sized room, as they had at the FCC and the VFCC? A screen separated the areas in the FCC, but (most) everything was in the main room at the VFCC. I have run tournaments in both those venues and didn't find this to be a problem.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Apr 2018 5:09 a.m. PST

"At the "Jolly Roger" here in Nags Head, NC. $1.99 USD USD (.99 if veteran). 2 Eggs-Served with Homefries or Grits or Baked Apples & Toast. Off-season only. And Coffee is extra."

Outside of 1861 to 1865, ya'll southerners have it made.

So at .99 cents a throw, the profit on that breakfast is about .04 cents, but hey, if you serve several thousand people a day, you'ze got it made.

And like the IHOP reference, that breakfast wouldn't put a dent in my stomach, I'm a growing boy, I'm 6"2", 240lbs or so, work out five days a week and I like to eat, so a 1.99 two egg and grits breakfast is not in my wheelhouse. If I bring my pet squirrel to a show, she'll love that breakfast and will be full until dinner.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Apr 2018 5:20 a.m. PST

"Let me get this straight, GG. We were discussing ideal convention facilities. I listed 11 features, one of which was food. Your response was that I had listed an impossible price for breakfast. When that didn't fly, my price turned out to be immoral--because I don't discuss my tipping?
You can do better. You've attended enough conventions in enough facilities. Surely you have some insight into what features are necessary or helpful?"

Sorry to take this exercise in futility of a thread off topic and it is so because NO MATTER WHERE the conventions land, someone, somewhere, somehow is going to find something to complain about.

That said, as a vendor who vends at the conventions, I want a dealer hall that is easy to load in and out of, has functioning AC in the Summer and is well lit.

That's it.

I don't want cheap hotels where you pitch a tent and shower outside or a host university where you sleep in a dorm room in bunk beds and come home with your freckles moving around, .99 cent breakfasts with grits, a gaming area with individual cones of silence that drop from the ceiling to cover each game or any other pie in the sky nonsensical requests.

I expect to pay 120.00 to 150.00 a night for a hotel and drop 60.00 or so a day on food, this is 2018, not 1918.

Lord Ashram15 Apr 2018 6:00 a.m. PST

Ideal?! Oh, okay, we can do that…

Beautiful hotel with well-lit rooms with large TVs and built-on game systems.
A great in-house bar and a pair of fantastic restaurants… one with affordable home-cooking, one with higher end foods
Huge game halls with comfortable flooring, great seats, and perfect bright lighting.
A Korean spa built right into the hotel.
A spacious vendor hall with bright lighting and wide aisles.
A HUGE parking lot, but laid out in a way that nothing is too far away.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Apr 2018 6:59 a.m. PST

"Ideal?! Oh, okay, we can do that…
Beautiful hotel with well-lit rooms with large TVs and built-on game systems.
A great in-house bar and a pair of fantastic restaurants… one with affordable home-cooking, one with higher end foods
Huge game halls with comfortable flooring, great seats, and perfect bright lighting.
A Korean spa built right into the hotel.
A spacious vendor hall with bright lighting and wide aisles.
A HUGE parking lot, but laid out in a way that nothing is too far away."

That seems pretty reasonable my Lord, I'll make sure the hotel has your pipe, ascot, smoking jacket, silk pajamas and slippers all laid out in the room upon your arrival, are you coming by your usual mode of transportation, horse and carriage? Let me know and I'll have the stable boys get some hay thrown down into one of the stalls from the loft.

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2018 7:41 a.m. PST

I think we know who will be the Lord's "jesters" :D

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2018 8:16 a.m. PST

Bowman, my feeling was that as you rose above 50 tables in a room, the noise level and the difficulty of finding a particular table increased. It could be both problems are solvable, but certainly as the size of the room increases, the more you need to worry, especially about noise level and clearly marked numbered tables.

Actually, Ashram and GG, I think it's a worthwhile exercise--especially if we can sort out "ideal" from "magical." We won't get everything, and some people will always complain, but if we can sort out what we really need, the way rmaker and BTCterrainman have been refining the dealers hall requirements, it improves our chances of getting it, or at least remembering to look for it.

The tricky part is the trade-offs. The convention where everyone knows one another is not going to be the convention with every dealer in the business and a huge choice of games, and the convention without sales during gaming hours is not the one where you can do what you want when you want. I'm inclined to think convention food is a trade-off, which is why GG and I keep butting heads. The "fine dining" locations seldom have much for wargamers on a budget, and the reverse--though right now the vicinity of the Host isn't serving either group very well.

Anyone know of a place with Lord Ashram's restaurants? It doesn't seem impossible.

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2018 9:54 a.m. PST

Sgt at Arms: "Lord Ashram demands your presence!"

Milhouse: "We ain't got no presents. The stores were all closed."

Double G *cracks Milhouse off the dome*

I'm going to go out on a limb here: I think the Lancaster area is perfect. There's enough for our frugal friends. There's nicer for those willing to pay. It's located in a place that's enough of a geographic compromise that it accommodates the most members . Listening to Jon from the BoD thoughtfully walk through the search process for Double G and me has me absolutely convinced they are on top of this and delivering the members not a perfect solution , but rather given all the variables, the optimal one

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2018 10:40 a.m. PST

"The wives of TSS were NOT impressed…"
I dunno, Ed; some wargaming widows might be appreciative of an opportunity to trade _up_.

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2018 12:28 p.m. PST

It'd be tough for them, even if they wanted, to trade down.

Fitzovich15 Apr 2018 2:29 p.m. PST

Ok MY Example of a good location for a gaming convention is Recruits in Lee Summit MO Held at the High School.
1 Large well lighted Gym.
2 School sized Bathrooms
3 Food that is both cheap/good from the school's snack bar.
4 Lots of Free parking
5 Easy in and out access for Dealers
6 Cheap Motels nearby
7 lots of local fast food and Restaurants.
8 $5 USD USD for the whole weekend

Wackmole9 that sounds like a great weekend I would attend this year, but it falls on a niece's wedding, but I am looking forward to next year.

Fitzovich15 Apr 2018 2:33 p.m. PST

We have the ultimate site for our historical war gaming show, Drums at the Rapids. Check it out at fortmeigs.org
Kaiju Doug that looks great, perhaps 2019

corzin16 Apr 2018 3:39 a.m. PST

easy access to transportation, but no traffic
large well lit space with easy to walk on floors that absorbs noise
nice staff
you can BYOB. but why would you want to with the selection the bar carries, maybe even the beer delivery system the host used a few times…
everything under the same roof, but with plenty of side rooms, no stairs
a varied assortment of food and hotels close
plenty of parking that is easy to get to
oh and cheap to rent

shouldn't be hard to find………

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2018 4:02 a.m. PST

Bowman, my feeling was that as you rose above 50 tables in a room, the noise level and the difficulty of finding a particular table increased.

I'm with you on the noise, that was an issue at the FCC, as everyone knows. The tournament area was sequestered by screens which kept the noise levels down. Plus tournaments tend to be quieter on the whole. Don't remember it being that bad at VFCC, was it carpeted?

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Apr 2018 5:26 a.m. PST

"easy access to transportation, but no traffic
large well lit space with easy to walk on floors that absorbs noise
nice staff
you can BYOB. but why would you want to with the selection the bar carries, maybe even the beer delivery system the host used a few times…
everything under the same roof, but with plenty of side rooms, no stairs
a varied assortment of food and hotels close
plenty of parking that is easy to get to
oh and cheap to rent
shouldn't be hard to find………"

Oh sure, a convention site with all those features shouldn't be hard to find at all.

Off the top of my head, I know of at least zero places that fill all those requirements.

Grumble8710616 Apr 2018 8:07 a.m. PST

you can BYOB. but why would you want to with the selection the bar carries, maybe even the beer delivery system the host used a few times…

Now THAT jogged an old memory. Late one evening in the Marietta Room, a young lady walked in with a complimentary tray of small glasses containing some type of sherry, I believe. Never did figure out whether that was a promotion of some kind, or just a reward for being the room full of the best-looking gamers in the convention. She wouldn't say. Very mysterious. I've hung around for years in the Marietta Room waiting for a repeat, but it must have been a one-off. I still have several of the glasses (don't worry, they were disposable).

Dynaman878918 Apr 2018 3:24 p.m. PST

I'll sum it up for everyone. We want everything for nothing.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Apr 2018 4:40 p.m. PST

"I'll sum it up for everyone. We want everything for nothing."

Not true, I know someone who's willing to shell out 4.95 for breakfast……….

corzin19 Apr 2018 3:43 a.m. PST

and if we get everything for nothing, there will still be complaints on TMP.

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP19 Apr 2018 10:13 a.m. PST

….$5.00 with tip.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP19 Apr 2018 10:42 a.m. PST

and if we get everything for nothing, there will still be complaints on TMP.

You know, this is a discussion board. If we complain about non-existent, frivolous or silly issues then that probably means that things are pretty good in our lives.

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