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"Historicon for the first time." Topic

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Areas of Interest


1,287 hits since 8 Jun 2018
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NickNorthStar08 Jun 2018 7:47 a.m. PST

I'm coming to Historicon from the UK for the 1st time this year.

Any advice, suggestions, recommendations? If you're in a factious mood please don't reply LOL

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jun 2018 8:05 a.m. PST

Have fun!!!!!

Brian9808 Jun 2018 8:20 a.m. PST

Great to hear you are coming. Hopefully, I'll get to catch up with you at Brigade Games booth. Have a safe trip.

Personal logo Dervel Supporting Member of TMP Fezian08 Jun 2018 8:50 a.m. PST

It's a great convention and it depends, are you coming as a player, shopper, vender or a bit of everything.

From my experience with UK conventions, Warfare is very similar in my opinion with a wide selection of tournaments and lots of participation games (play the whole game 4 hours maybe, not take a turn and move on). Historicon is larger.

I go to the East coast conventions mostly to play a particular set of rules and to shop. In between game sessions just wander about and take in all the great games.

The flea market is a spectacle all it's own and worth a look even if you don't buy anything.

Please stop by the Triumph area and introduce yourself. It is in the Distlefink which is a main room for lots of eye candy. Also, try to hit the various club rooms off the main paths, lot's of really cool games that you can easily miss.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP08 Jun 2018 8:51 a.m. PST

--If you don't have a room at the Host, try for something very close by. Parking can be tricky, especially on Friday and Saturday.
--They'll give you a magazine-size events list on arrival. Take a few minutes to look through it and maybe mark the things you're most interested in, and keep it with you. There have been shortages late at a convention.
--A few minutes to look through the maps and walk through the building might be a good idea. You don't want to miss part of a lecture because you lost track of where the Hopewell Room is.
--If you're planning to play, pack a ruler and a tape measure. Yes, you can buy them there, but it's an extra inconvenience. GM's are usually good about dice.
--Games and food will depend on your interests. Your profile lists many periods and they can't all be top priority. Tell us what's top of the list and we can maybe recommend some top-ranked games and suitable restaurants.
--Try to visit the flea market AKA "Wally's Basement" at least once a day. Dealers are fairly predictable and will provide by mail, but the flea market can provide unique or out of production items--things you have to have but didn't know existed.
--Don't worry that you'll miss something. You will, of course. You'd need to be six or twelve people to do everything you might wish.
--Wackmole's right: have fun.

zoneofcontrol08 Jun 2018 9:58 a.m. PST

HMGS, Inc. who puts on Historicon has a link to the events going on throughout the weekend. Events are broken down into "Games", "Tournaments", "Hobby University (painting classes) and, "War College" (lectures). Please note that this is not the be all and end all. Some games will drop out and others added and these don't show up on the website or in the program book.

When you arrive, there will be a Registration Area and an events desk. Here you will be able to catch up on any changes to the published schedule. You can check here periodically as it gets updates as necessary.

As mentioned, there is a lot going on all day, so do go thru the Events List ahead of time to make a schedule of what you'd like to see and do. You will notice that some games are repeated so that can help scheduling around two or more conflicting events.

There is food and drink available onsite but you are within easy walking distance of a number of other options. If you are renting a car, there are even more within easy driving distance. Again, as mentioned above, parking on site can be difficult at times so keep that in mind if you move your vehicle. If not staying on site but at a nearby hotel/motel, consider leaving your vehicle there and walking. I usually stay across the street and leave my car there for the duration.

NickNorthStar08 Jun 2018 10:02 a.m. PST

Pack a tape measure. Good advice.

I'm at the Host I think, I'm coming over with Dan, owner of WI, and A&M Perry, they did the booking side of things, I'm the passenger.

I've no job to do, so I'm a visitor/ player/ shopper. Games? play everything, you might lose me on 20th Century Naval, but apart from that…

The flea market sounds interesting.

I'll probably linger around Lon's stand as a base, so please come over and say hi.

Grumble8710608 Jun 2018 11:14 a.m. PST

Welcome, Nick!

As you look at the Preliminary Events listing (PEL), if you already know what games interest you most, it's worth preregistering (to save money on the registration fee) and also because the (new as of this year) policy allows you to pick two games for each day. Once onsite, you can go to the Events Desk and pick a third game for each day.

Online Registration is now open. It closes June 27, 2018

Once you get to Historicon, at the Events Desk we'll be glad to (try to) answer your questions and do what we can to help you be aware of what's going on at the convention. As others have said, it's easy to miss a lot because there is so much. We'll be glad to help. I plan to be at the desk each morning of the convention. On Thursday and Friday afternoons, I'll be running WW1 games.


surdu2005 Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Jun 2018 12:33 p.m. PST

Come by the HAWKS room and play some games with us.

Personal logo Dervel Supporting Member of TMP Fezian08 Jun 2018 12:59 p.m. PST

Oh, and I should mention if you have a few days in the area, Lancaster is pretty close to Antietam and Gettysburg Battlefields.

At least within striking distance. Both are worth a visit.

Perris070708 Jun 2018 1:03 p.m. PST

Both Antietam and Gettysburg are worth the drive. Gettysburg has changed dramatically (for the better!) since I first visited there in 1989.

NickNorthStar08 Jun 2018 3:04 p.m. PST

We're thinking of maybe doing some Revolutionary War stuff. Is the museum in Philly good? The Brandywine Battlefield?

WarWizard08 Jun 2018 3:26 p.m. PST

Welcome. Brandywine Battlefield is very underwhelming. You could head east to Valley Forge, then take I-76 into Philly for the American Revolution Museum. I have not been yet but I know others that have said it is very worthwhile.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP08 Jun 2018 3:57 p.m. PST

I have good memories of Valley Forge--no not the convention, but the National Park. Trenton is pretty built over, but there's Washington's Crossing. As remarked, the ACW battlefields are generally better preserved.

KPinder08 Jun 2018 10:24 p.m. PST

Hopefully, you are coming for the full 4 days, not just 1. I shall never be able to wrap my head around the UK 8 hour con.

The HCon website has an event list, a vendor map and pre-registration info. I CANNOT urge pre-registration too strongly. The "at the door" reg line can be a killer.

Look thru the event last and reg for some games. You can often get into a game just by showing up, but it can be a crap shoot.

Map out a shopping strategy/shopping list for the vendor hall. Sadly, some top tier vendors aren't going to be coming because of new space problems in the vendor hall. Arrange for lots of cash. The vendors sometimes have WiFi issues, and the flea market is all cash. If the flea market is the same place it was in March a strong pocket flashlight might be helpful.

I second the notion of rooming close by and being cautious about moving your wheels, for fear of hitting a parking problem.

Lancaster in July can be wicked hot, and you WILL be outside at least a bit. Dress comfortably. Bring lots of socks. Plan on showering often, but understand not everyone else will. Expect to do a lot of walking. The con is a bit spread out. There will be a fair few stairs and 1 good sized hill.

Stop often and just breathe it all in. Don't be bashful about asking questions, especially about event site geography. The con book will have a map, but it's sometimes hard to interpret. We can be a fractious bunch in here but at cons you'll find us all pretty accommodating.

On-site food options are pretty basic. It's not 4 star cuisine, but there's food and plenty of it. There are also some fair to good options within a reasonable walk.

Not all 4 days will have the same vibe. Much has to do with when people arrive and when they start to clear out. Thursday is mellow. Friday is more crowded and busy. Saturday is the big day, until the evening, when things start winding down. Sunday, lots of people with long journeys will leave at first light. Sunday is mostly last minute shopping and packing out.

Immerse yourself. Make some new friends. Enjoy.

capncarp09 Jun 2018 9:17 a.m. PST

Best bet is to talk to people, ask about your interests: favorite beverages, good places to eat, how to get around, where local stores or services are located. This will not only get you information, you may pick up a new friend or two in the process. In fact, some of us are either relatively local to the con or extremely familiar with the area from sheer experience. Ask away right here: we won't steer you wrong,usually.
If you are interested in Native American history, there is a recreated Susquehannock longhouse about 4 miles away in Water Street, just south of Lancaster itself.

Russ Lockwood09 Jun 2018 9:20 a.m. PST

>some Revolutionary War stuff

There's a small, but well-stocked Revolutionary War museum operated by the Swan Historical Foundation at Washington Crossing (yes, where Washington crossed the Delaware) inside the NJ state park.

If you drive into the park (entrance off County Hwy 546) and pay the fee ($7), you can park next to the museum. Alternately, you can park near the foot of the bridge (NJ side, about 100 yards upriver) for free and walk over State Hwy 29 on the pedestrian bridge. This exits at a few period preserved tavern and buildings (may or may not be open) and allows you to walk on a 'preserved' section of 'road' Washington used to attack the Hessians in Trenton. The unpaved 'road' (paved walkway next to road) runs between the river and museum.

In addition, the David Library of the American Revolution is a few minutes up State Hwy 32 (the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River). It is a research library, but its collection of records, microfiche, books, and other, US and British, is quite extensive, in case you have a yen for doing a spot bit of research. Occasionally has exhibits. Free parking and entrance.

Battlefield of Princeton is relatively intact. Jerry's done a great job of expanding the battlefield park's borders, but it is next to Princeton and so in a relatively developed area. Bring a map to orient yourself. There is a period house there, but not a visitor's center per se. That said, if you're there, a walk around Princeton University is a pleasant stroll -- The Firestone Library usually has an exhibit worth seeing. One sec…

Learning to Fight, Fighting to Learn: Education in Times of War -- An examination of higher education in wartime at Princeton University and beyond from the French and Indian War to the Vietnam War. Now Through June 30. Ends a bit early, but past ones had an extensive collection of mapping Africa, history of maps, and so on.

Brandywine battlefield is relatively developed, and I visited about 10-12 years ago, but if you're in the area, still worth a stop. It won't take that long. I was impressed with the Sanderson Museum, about 200 yards upstream. If it's still there, it's a house packed with his collection of battlefield bric a brac, autographs, and all sorts of what not.

Not much is left at Trenton. The Barracks (French and Indian War) last F&I barracks left may be worth a stop, but its inside is less museum than architectural preservation. It's across the street from the Trenton visitors center in Old Masonic Hall. Trent House is colonial event spot. Rall House (where he died) has been moved a couple times. Battle Monument was closed for long time, opened briefly, and is currently closed, so you can't go to top for a look around Trenton.

Monmouth is a proper battlefield park with visitor center and so on. If you are that far east, worth a couple hours. They renovated the VC about 5 or so years ago.

Valley Forge is worth a stop, too, for winter camp life. :)

capncarp09 Jun 2018 10:15 a.m. PST

Russ Lockwood--"Not much is left at Trenton."
For American Civil War buffs, the Swamp Angel that bombarded Charleston is located at Cadewalader Park in Trenton.


Grumble8710609 Jun 2018 8:46 p.m. PST

If you are interested in Native American history, there is a recreated Susquehannock longhouse about 4 miles away in Water Street, just south of Lancaster itself.

That would be Willow Street. Don't want to misdirect our esteemed visitor! grin

Grumble8710609 Jun 2018 8:52 p.m. PST

Valley Forge is worth a stop, too, for winter camp life.

The house where George and Martha Washington stayed at Valley Forge is nicely preserved and open to the public. And there are several reconstructions of the winter cabins used by the troops, as well as a decent little museum. Big artillery park, too, and some earthworks still discernible.

shthar10 Jun 2018 2:26 p.m. PST

Get a monday eve return flight. That way you got time to mail back everything that you can't get on the plane.

Personal logo vonLoudon Supporting Member of TMP10 Jun 2018 3:39 p.m. PST

What Robert P said. And pre-reg. Have a room at the Host already I hope. Don't know how much food is available during construction. Bring a flashlight for the flea market.
Above all have a good time. Should be others from your country at the con too.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Jun 2018 9:40 a.m. PST

If you are into touring battlefields, Gettysburg is about an equal distance as Valley Forge in the opposite direction. THAT is worth a visit!

But I hope you have a great time at the con! Come say hello at my PaperTerrain booth.

coolyork Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2018 12:41 p.m. PST

The largest Northern Campaign AWI battle thats in great condition is probably Battle of Saratoga in NY ! ( however it is 5 1/2 hours from Historicon ) Note : Ft. Ticondaroga is another 1 1/2 from there and is fantastic !

RWindle11 Jun 2018 5:31 p.m. PST

Saratoga, Ft. Ticonderoga are worth a visit, and if you want to go a bit further North, the ruins of Crown Point, as well.

Rev Zoom12 Jun 2018 8:39 a.m. PST

And should you ever head south, there is King's Mountain, Camden, Cowpens and several others – all much better preserved than those in the Philly/NJ area (although Monmouth is good). As others have said, go to Gettysburg.

capncarp12 Jun 2018 7:56 p.m. PST

Willow Street= 4 miles from the Host.
Water Street= about 100 miles up Central PA, beyond State College/Penn State main campus.
(Although Water Street is not too far from Fort Roberdeau just east of Altoona--it defended the Colonials' lead mining operations in that part of the state.)

Lord Hollier14 Jun 2018 12:37 p.m. PST

If you end up coming into Philadelphia, definitely go to the new Museum of the American Revolution. My daughter works there, so we got "friends and family" access before it opened last year. As a new museum built from scratch they have leveraged a lot of technology that older museums don't have the room for. I particularly appreciated the large screen display that allowed you to zoom in on items (muskets, swords, etc.) in some of the display cabinets – beats pushing your nose against the glass to get a better view of the detail.

Also, as an HMGS board member elect, let me say welcome to Historicon and please don't hesitate to ask if there is anything we can do to make your visit more enjoyable (sorry, I can't do anything about the Host!).

John Hollier

thomalley15 Jun 2018 6:30 a.m. PST

The US Army Historical Center is at Carlisle, PA; just outside of Harrisburg.
Besides it's indoor displays, there is a walking tour that traces the army for its beginning through modern times. As example there is a reconstructed blockhouse from Colonial time, a section of WWI trench, Vietnam fire base and a Iraq war check point.

capncarp16 Jun 2018 10:36 p.m. PST

Speaking of Harrisburg:
--The National Civil War Museum, just up from where Jeff Wasileski performed Shakespeare in the Park in Resevoir Park.
--The State Museum of Pennsylvania at 3rd and Forster Streets in the heart of the city. Great display about local Native American history (the Susquehannocks) and other items indicative of Pennsylvania's history.

dandiggler19 Jun 2018 2:42 p.m. PST

Don't miss Philly.
Museum of the American Revolution
USS Olympia/Independence Seaport Museum
Penn Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology
USS New Jersey (on the Jersey side of the Delaware)
Philadelphia Museum of Art (with the Rocky steps and a great armory)
and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting

And great food, especially Reading Terminal Market in Center City.

NickNorthStar03 Jul 2018 9:03 a.m. PST

I think I messed up. I registered with HMGS last night, but then I noticed pre-registry ended 27th June. Have I registered for something else? LOL.

TRUgamer03 Jul 2018 1:45 p.m. PST

The page still says online registration is open.
Assuming you signed up for HMGS and you have already created your login…

Go here:

Good luck.


NickNorthStar03 Jul 2018 2:46 p.m. PST

Cheers. Got through now.

capncarp03 Jul 2018 6:26 p.m. PST


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