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"Cold Wars 2024 Cancelled?" Topic


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21 Jul 2023 6:17 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Cold Wars 2024 Cancelled" to "Cold Wars 2024 Cancelled?"

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TSD10121 Jul 2023 5:13 a.m. PST

Rumor is they couldn't find a venue and volunteers were in short supply. I guess the membership meeting will be interesting.

Disco Joe21 Jul 2023 5:19 a.m. PST

Instead of claiming that it has been cancelled why not wait until a decision has actually been made.

Northern Rebel21 Jul 2023 5:32 a.m. PST

Although I agree the outlook doesn't look good, I have to agree with Disco.

14Bore21 Jul 2023 8:10 a.m. PST

Don't start a panic prematurely

HMS Exeter21 Jul 2023 10:33 a.m. PST

Don't start a panic prematurely.

That's deep man.

I'm reminded of a Soviet emigré who explained a gallows joke about nuclear war drills.

"All citizens will place a white sheet over their heads and proceed slowly to the nearest cemetery."

"Why slowly?"

"You wouldn't want to start a panic."

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2023 11:04 a.m. PST

Maybe it's just me, but I find discussions more interesting when they include facts.

That said, if HMGS continues to postpone announcing the dates and places of conventions, and activating room blocks, it won't be necessary for them to cancel any.

Egoodlander21 Jul 2023 11:22 a.m. PST

I would hate to lose Cold Wars. Its our favorite con as we get to game. Our group volunteers at FI to help with Toys4Tots. The last CW I went to was 2020 which I think was the last one held I think. I asked earlier for info since I didnt see info on the website. I can never attend HCon (3 times in 20 years) so CW is our favorite. I will hope there is news from the meeting.

14Bore21 Jul 2023 1:23 p.m. PST

There is a time to panic

TSD10121 Jul 2023 6:08 p.m. PST

So anyone attending the membership meeting tonight able to confirm/deny the rumors I've heard from several reputable people now while wandering around the con?

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jul 2023 9:57 a.m. PST

Confirmed.

Regards
Russ Dunaway

Double G Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2023 1:51 p.m. PST

That's a shame, thanks for confirming Russ.

Mini Wanderer Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2023 2:11 p.m. PST

HMGS couldn't find a director nor could they find a venue. Unfortunately it was a forgone conclusion.

14Bore22 Jul 2023 5:01 p.m. PST

Very sad now becoming a regular convention visitor

Egoodlander22 Jul 2023 7:37 p.m. PST

Any spring conventions in PA or northeast to try instead? Should start a new thread but figure many may have the same question.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2023 9:00 a.m. PST

Well, we may now panic at an appropriate time, which is much better.

1. Might be time to revisit con director compensation.
2. Possibly time to rethink our ideas of appropriate venue. The Ike was still up and running last time I looked. So was the Fredericksburg Convention Center. The Penn-Harris is too small even for our dwindling numbers as a full convention, but it might work for a specialty convention--ACW, WW2, Napoleonics--if we stuck to the designated specialty for the year. What else have we got within the HMGS(formerly)East sweet spot? Ideas anyone?

R

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2023 9:08 a.m. PST

P.S. Egoodlander, I'll be interested in what response you get--but not optimistic. There was for years a sort of dance as Cold Wars, Little Wars and the SYWA Convention all tried (a) not to land on the same weekend (b) ideally, to be the first northern convention of the year, so everyone had money and (c) NOT get caught by the last blizzard of the season. I think it worked out to about a 10% chance that whoever got the earliest weekend had snow-reduced attendance and took a serious financial hit. Head north and east from Philly, and the earliest safe weekend gets closer and closer to Historicon.

TSD10123 Jul 2023 2:59 p.m. PST

Are convention directors like elected HMGS positions where you can only serve a certain number of terms?

SultanSevy23 Jul 2023 3:09 p.m. PST

As for other conventions, I know of the Williamsburg Muster which is held in FEBRUARY in Williamsburg, VA., and Scrum Con which is DC-area and was held in APRIL this year. Both are heavily miniatures focused.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2023 3:33 p.m. PST

TSD101--No, convention directors are not elected HMGS positions. They are usually people who wander down a dark corridor and get talked into the job.

TSD10123 Jul 2023 4:28 p.m. PST

No, convention directors are not elected HMGS positions.

Thats not what I am asking, maybe I should be more clear.. I am asking if they are LIKE elected positions where you can only serve so many years. Its important to know if there's someone who wanted to do the job but couldn't because of such a limitation, or if there was no one at all who wanted to take on the task.

Northern Rebel23 Jul 2023 8:43 p.m. PST

@robert piepenbrink

"Dwindling numbers" – Robert, roughly what is the current membership of HMGS?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2023 3:31 a.m. PST

TSD101, there has never been a limit on how many times one could be a convention director. There appears to be a fairly sharp limit on how often they can be talked into it. Hence my suggestion that we consider sweetening the passage.

Never saw total membership numbers, Rebel. Attendance numbers at conventions seem to be down by about a third from peak. But good luck trying to look up the numbers for past cons. Someone knows, but no one says.

billclo24 Jul 2023 4:10 a.m. PST

Given what I know Joby went through with the hotel room fiasco, plus all the stuff I don't know about, I think that convention director should get some sort of compensation. Con directors seem to put up with a lot of grief.

I can see why they might have had to cancel Cold Wars. Stinks, but there it is.

I'm not aware of any cons I would consider attending in the early spring timeframe – I have a fairly restrictive area I would consider driving in, not going to drive more than 3-4 hours, and I am not interested in flying (particularly if I am going to try and GM some games).

There are other cons in said timeframe that sorta cater to what I am interested in (sci-fi minis mainly), but they are either pricey (Adepticon tab to fly to Chicago, 4 days hotel, food, admission, etc, is pushing 3000 $), Pax is a no-go for me due to mask mandates and pushy wokeness. Gencon is too big, its hard to get a room, and the 9 hour drive is a killer for this old guy. Origins is a maybe if I can swing it, borderline too far to drive, but there are issues with Origins as well.

So I expect that my gaming opportunities are going to diminish.

HMS Exeter24 Jul 2023 4:51 a.m. PST

"Membership" numbers have never meant anything in HMGS(E). People join just to get the discount on getting into the cons. Only a handful ever vote in the (E) elections. I never do. The nominees are always people I've never heard of. We're a big group. I "know" only a few dozen, even by reputation.

The meaningful number is attendance. Up to about 2005, Historicon was above 2500. I think we once exceeded 3000. Cold Wars was less, maybe 2000ish. Fall In was less, maybe 1500-2000. These shows were normally the same place every year. HCon and Cold Wars-Lancaster Host (Wyndham). Fall In-Gettysburg.

When the decision was made to move Historicon out of the Host/Wyndham things all went to hell, and attendance along with it.

Since then, our cons have bounced around from location to location like a pauper in a pay toilet, and attendance has sagged. It is possible, albeit difficult, to get attendance info but it's pretty meaningless as the frequent moves confound any effort to discern trends.

Covid was not helpful.

A BROAD "C+" generalization of current attendance is likely…

Historicon – 2000-2250
Fall In – 1500
Cold Wars – eff if I know

The old gray mare just ain't what she used to be.

Historicon's recent stabilization in downtown Lancaster may enable it to build back some. The HMGS(E) powers that be seem determined to try. Fall In seems well situated back at the Wynd/Host.

Cold Wars can't seem to catch a break.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2023 6:58 a.m. PST

That's--kind, Exeter. I can still remember showing up at the last Host Cold Wars, and being given--as though it were some sort of prize!--an announcement that they were dragging the convention about three hours' drive further east. I remember thinking "they may have done it: this may be my last big con." And so it's proven. I haven't given up, but they're sure not helping.

DeRuyter24 Jul 2023 9:10 a.m. PST

I can still remember showing up at the last Host Cold Wars, and being given--as though it were some sort of prize!--an announcement that they were dragging the convention about three hours' drive further east. I remember thinking "they may have done it: this may be my last big con." And so it's proven. I haven't given up, but they're sure not helping.

Any reason you can't make it to Historicon for your big con? It is the biggest of the three after all. All aspects of the Lancaster venue are better than the Host IMO. This year it seems to have been well attended with a lot of great games running.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2023 10:44 a.m. PST

"All aspects of the Lancaster venue are better than the Host IMO."

The official line, deRuyter, but not what I'm hearing from friends, who tell me about bad parking, serious troubles loading and unloading for the flea market, and nothing the equal of the Longhorn--or even the Host's restored restaurant--for dinner. Rooms at the facility are legendary--unless the word I'm looking for is "mythical."

Actually, I deliberately skipped the first LCCC Historicon. I'd taken point at Gettysburg, Fredericksburg and Valley Forge, and I thought it was someone else's turn to cope with teething pains. When word came back from backchannels that every problem I'd warned against had gone wrong, and word came back officially that everything was perfect and no changes needed to be made, my enthusiasm fell off rapidly.

The tempting one is Fall In at the Host, but for either one of them costs are rising faster than inflation or income, the drive feels further as I get older, and the percentage of historical miniatures games keeps dropping. As long as I could go to a convention and reserve my room for the next year, momentum carried me forward. Current policy of offering the room blocks late and briefly and official discouragement of the flea markets doesn't help.

Add three nights stay at a current venue to mileage from Fort Wayne, and I'm out about better than $1,000 USD before I make it to the vendor's hall, and about 20 hours behind the wheel. For that sort of money, HMGS could at least act as though they were interested in me showing up. They mostly don't. It might still happen, but between Cold Wars 2020 and Fall In/Historicon 2021, the conventions went from "of course I'll be there" to "things would have to break just right for me to make it." My story, and my story only. But the numbers suggest that a lot of people have similar ones.

I'm sorry. More vicious than I meant to be. I'm sure many people are doing what they can and being very poorly rewarded for it. But more and more it looks as though the people running the conventions have a view of a good convention which is very far from mine. There's not much of a cure for that.

Mind you, if a friend called tonight and said, "we'll drive out in my van, take turns driving and split the costs" I'd go even to the LCCC. But those friends are mostly dead, and the survivors aren't driving that sort of distance.

Martyn K24 Jul 2023 11:36 a.m. PST

Different people will have different views. What pleases me may not please everyone, so I certainly do not claim to speak for everyone who attended. However from my perspective:

I arrived on Wednesday early, pulled straight up in front of the LCCC, left my blinkers on and checked in. I found a cart and took two full loads of gaming material straight to my room. The room was spacious and clean. I then took the cart back, got into my. car and took it to an almost empty parking garage for the weekend.

I found an excellent spot for breakfast less than 1 minutes walk from the front of the hotel. New Holland Coffee Co. It did excellent Bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches which were large and some great coffee at a reasonable price.

Food in the area was great with some fantastic stuff at the Southern Market a few minutes away. I had multiple meals here at a wide selection of vendors. Chicken and Broccoli Rabe sandwiches, Beef Pho and Chicken Tikka Masala to name a few.

One night we ate late at a local Chinese. Another we had a group meal at a bar a few yards from the hotel. We ate on the roof deck with a great variety of custom Tacos and Quesadias. The Korean Pork and Kimchi Taco was fantastic.

The convention space was good, my only comment is that lighting could do with improvement.

The bar was great for meeting friends that I have not seen since the last convention. A real central location.

Packing up and moving out was always going to be a problem with cart availability and busy elevators if you wanted to leave between 8am and 9am. So I asked for, and they gave me a late 1:30 check out. I spent the morning making model kits with friends which is something we often do on a Sunday morning to finish a convention. By the time I started to move out at 12:30, the lobby, parking in front of the hotel and elevators were empty. So pack up was just as easy as arrival.

So for me, LCCC works well as a convention location. I understand that it may not be to everyone's liking.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2023 2:53 p.m. PST

Excellent description, Martyn. But…

You got in and out quickly and easily by arriving on Wednesday and leaving at 12:30 Sunday. That means four nights at the LCC rather than three and then (for me) Sunday night on the road somewhere in northeastern Ohio. It would add about another $250 USD to my trip costs.

Nothing wrong with different tastes in food, but in years of post-LCCC comments, nothing described seems to cater to mine. If there's a steakhouse, an American cuisine restaurant or even a good burger joint in the vicinity, no one's ever mentioned it.

A bar is just flat wasted on a stodgy old-line Methodist. Neither I nor the bar profit by it.

And none of this addressed the game and flea market problem.

Half the problem is at my end, I'll grant you. The Host is vastly more attractive between games with an excellent steakhouse and grilled chicken. But by the time I get back from the September trip to Nebraska to visit the grandkids, money and energy will be in short supply, and rooms quite probably unavailable.

But HMGS (formerly East) also feels less and less like a community whose interests and tastes I share. No good complaining about a shortage of historical miniatures players when you fill the schedule with zombies and box games.

Martyn K24 Jul 2023 3:59 p.m. PST

Robert, I totally get it. What works for me, may not work for others.

I did not discuss the flea market as it is not my thing.

As for discussing the ratio of historical games, I will not go there. Suffice it to say I am an historical gamer and try to put on historical games at every convention. If you ever decide to come back to an HMGS East convention, you are always welcome in one of my games.

TSD10124 Jul 2023 4:45 p.m. PST

Between the few gentlemen commenting on Host vs LCC

1. Ease as a GM. As someone who runs multiple games nothing beats unloading into the back of Distlefink and traveling 40 feet to my table to set up, no matter the time of day. Fredericksburg probably comes next followed closely by Valley Forge (as long as you aren't trapped in the bowels of the building). LCC's unloading has gotten better than the first year with the reserved parking and front entrance, and isn't nearly as bad as it used to be, but is still last in my eyes.

2. Parking. Host wins as long as you get there very early, otherwise it can suck. But that's the same with LCC and whether or not you get into the attached garage.

3. Room quality. I have no idea what the renovated rooms in the Host (Wyndham) are like. I imagine they are quite decent now. The rooms at the Marriott are excellent. No issues of any kind other than the occasional long wait for an elevator depending on time of day. At the Host you can quickly walk from most sections to the gaming areas.

4. Flea Market. Host wins hands down due to the many entrances right there that you can unload from. I've never tried to sell anything at LCC. Valley Forge seems the worst for this because you have to take the elevator or stairs and drag your stuff a ways.

5. Con food. LCC wanted $4 USD for a 12 oz soda. Yikes. Not sure what the Host's prices are now. Both Host and LCC have a Starbucks now for your morning coffee if you need it and don't mind their blends. The (in)famous Hall Pig looked to be better than what the LCC was serving during its limited hours. I need someone who has sampled both to comment on that one. I do think the area around the Host has restaurants more appealing to the tastes of the average gamer than downtown.

Host/Wyndham is my preferred venue but as the kinks have been somewhat worked out of LCC its not a bad second choice.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2023 5:56 p.m. PST

TSD101, I was one of the select few who caught the Host right at the end of renovation before pricing went through the roof. The new rooms are first-rate--ugly, but first-rate. I have no idea what they were thinking of when they bought the carpet and that wall covering as far as color or pattern went, but there's nothing wrong with the materials nor with any of the utilities.

Host restaurant prices were unremarkable--which is good--and the adjacent Longhorn is a true blessing. (Can't speak for soft drinks. I always bring my own big bottles to cons.)

Thank you very much for your kind offer, Martyn. We'll see how things go.

HMS Exeter24 Jul 2023 6:18 p.m. PST

Strangely, the Wynd/Host rooms lack microwaves. An odd omission for the 21st C.

Don't overlook the CoffeeCo, just east of the Wynd/Host. Really nice breakfast. Oddly, they're only open 7a-2p most days.

My gaming group opted to stay at the Wynd/Host this year and commute in. Long story. I don't see us coming at all next year. Longer story.

YMMV

WarWizard25 Jul 2023 3:15 a.m. PST

I attended Historicon 2023 and here is my personal experience.
I did not stay on site. Stayed about 10 minute drive distant. I was able to park in the garage Thursday and Saturday morning. Friday I parked in a lot only a block away, very easy walking distance. I received a voucher which covered parking cost, so thank you HMGS.
Brought my own soft drinks and bottled water in cooler with ice packs. 'Cause I have to have COKE, and not sure if they would have any on site. (And after I saw $4 USD a soft drink, I made a good decision there). Went across the street for lunch at the Amish market. There is a great selection and variety of food there. Had either a Italian or Turkey sub, which were excellent and less than $8.50 USD. So affordable.
I played in some great games. This show there were SOME really awesome games presented. I thought player attendance was high, and the selection of games available were some of the best I have ever seen. There was a Banquet of games to choose from, something for everyone.
Due to ease of parking and easy access to off site food choices I have no issue there.
As mentioned, the lighting was poor in some rooms, especially the Commonwealth. Not sure if anything can be done about that.
I thought the move of the Flea Mkt to the 7PM Saturday evening time slot was a fail. Hardly any sellers attended that time slot. But I understand wanting to try something different to see if it works.
The HMGS Staff were all very helpful and I have to thank them for their volunteer work. Really appreciate all they do. They are amazing!
I think The Marriott layout is very easy to navigate, once you are on site. Plenty of rest rooms, and I think the cleanest restrooms of any convention I have ever attended.
If your not staying on site, navigating downtown Lancaster weekdays can be tricky due to the heavy traffic congestion and one way streets.
Would I prefer the Wyndham (old Host) location? YES. But overall I had a great time and a positive experience. So thank you fellow gamers!

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP25 Jul 2023 7:47 a.m. PST

Strangely, the Wynd/Host rooms lack microwaves. An odd omission for the 21st C.

My experience in post-COVID travel is that many hotels removed these during the Great Downtime, especially if they were renovating. Less expense and hassle for the hotel, and it drives concession sales.

Double G Supporting Member of TMP25 Jul 2023 8:28 a.m. PST

No matter where the cons are located, whether flea markets are held during the day or night, how easy it is to load/unload, etc, etc, not everyone is going to be happy.

HMGS does the very best that they can; as others have stated, hotels post COVID are doing what they can to survive, just be happy there are Historical conventions, period.

Which of the three (now two, at least for 2024) people attend is their choice, no one is forcing anyone to attend any of them.

Travel expenses, meals, etc, etc are all part of the process.

Sorry some don't have microwaves, fridges, etc, etc; again, they are doing what is best for them to survive. I suppose if they offered such items at an added cost, people would be upset about that too.

At the end of the day, they are running a business and trying to make a profit anyway that they can.

114th Pennsylvania Supporting Member of TMP25 Jul 2023 8:47 a.m. PST

My experience was great at Historicon.

Hotel room was Great! Clean and got double beds.

Food onsite- Breakfast at Starbucks and one at the tournament area. rated OK, but expensive.

Food Court up the street was Fantastic- Chicken Cutlet sandwich, Chicken quesadilla, Herb Chicken and MAC & Cheese, Rice Pudding, Waffles & Ice cream. I recommend it all! (Taste and Pricing)

Parking was no issue and after 4 days it was Free of charge!

Games- I ran 1 Theme Game, 1 Historical and 1 NON-Historical (Oh the Humanity!) 2 were for kids but I got no Kids though I saw a lot of them. All games were for 6. I took 7, 8, and 8. So no issues there.

Other Games- The 7 PM games on Thursday evening were effected by the first Flea Market at Night. I was the only one who showed up to the game. GM said he was sold out of ticket. So we made a pact and both went to flea Market- when we returned around 8 we had more players to play the Game- Great time. Friday Morning my game was a no show. So I worked on getting other from that game into other games. Saturdays games were all rocking.

Hobby U- Took a class on painting ships- had a great time learning tricks and got a good start on a fleet. I can Recommend classes at Hobby U.

War College- I attended a Seminar on Scenario design and research. It was good and gave me some ideas.

HMGS Members Meeting- I was one of 20 that attended and 7 of them were board members, 1 Convention Director, and two volunteers at the show to get a quorum. So anyone that POST here about problems with Conventions, HMGS and other things- I have no sympathy for ya, cause you weren't there. Cold Wars is a no go.

HMGS Awards- There were a lot of Amazing Games again this years as I walked around- there were lots of people gaming and lots of eye candy games. My complements to All the GMs that ran games at the Show.

Vendor Hall- Was well attended and I spent my share of money and saw all my vendor friends.

Volunteers and Staff- Everyone was amazing- I know they had some issues to over come, but I had a great experience.

Some points:
1) I heard the Vendors liked the Flea Markets- I felt it cut into gaming, which is what EVERYONE uses when asking them if they are go to the Members meeting!
2) I heard there was an issue with the Pod, I did not miss it only for the carts to move stuff- they were at a premium
3) Saturday night Flea Market was a bust- like 4-5 sellers- Sunday mornings flea Market was much better! (At least 20 sellers)


Final wrap up:
I heard attendance was over 2200, waiting on final numbers.
I like the LCCC and will continue to go, but the Wyndham/Host feels like home.
Congratulations to all that helped to make this show happen, very nicely done.

Milhouse25 Jul 2023 9:33 a.m. PST

Sounds like Historicon is recapturing some mojo which is great. Still Fall In and especially Cold Wars feel iffy. But it also feels like the small regional cons are doing ok.

I think in the post Covid world table top gaming and hobbies are quite vibrant. I imagine its just a matter of aligning the cons to what works for attendees.

There's a rumor starting to circulate that Double G and Milhouse may appear at FallIn.

🤫

DeRuyter25 Jul 2023 9:34 a.m. PST

"All aspects of the Lancaster venue are better than the Host IMO."

The official line, deRuyter, but not what I'm hearing from friends, who tell me about bad parking, serious troubles loading and unloading for the flea market, and nothing the equal of the Longhorn--or even the Host's restored restaurant--for dinner. Rooms at the facility are legendary--unless the word I'm looking for is "mythical."

Well Robert several people who have been to the LCCC have commented above, but I'll add my specifics:

1. Rooms at the venue are scarce agreed. Nothing stopping you from staying in dozens of other locations whether hotels or AirBnB. Not much different from the Host if you couldn't or didn't want to stay there.

2. Flea Market. I pulled up right next to the flea market room unloaded and then found a parking spot on the street a block away. Just as easy as at the Host.

3. Parking. This year I drove from home every day and had no trouble parking in a garage right next door to the LCCC. Every day arriving at 10 am. HMGS provided vouchers so it was free as well.

4. Food. Simple food tastes I get it, but burgers and steaks are certainly available downtown. Okay not at Longhorn prices but you don't have to take risk life and limb crossing Rte 30! (jk) The restaurant at the hotel has a good burger as does the Irish pub around the corner. There is a food hall and farmers market within a block as well, with excellent takeout pizza among other things. You don't have to eat the "foreign" food.

So, I and others in my gaming circle, have had the opposite experience your friends reported to you. Perhaps some people just don't like cities or large towns for their events, I get it. I think someone already posted this, but the BoD has a difficult task when selecting venues, exacerbated by the Hosts recent difficulties, because they won't please everyone.

Your reluctance to try the new venue is understandable but that is not the fault of HMGS or the BoD. I don't care for the VFCC and didn't go to CW, but I don't blame the BoD for choosing that venue.

Grumble8710625 Jul 2023 2:44 p.m. PST

In rating LCCC versus the "Host", another factor to keep in mind is the amount of gaming space available at each.

The Sunday morning flea market was a hoppin' place! It was the only one where I could sell (and, indeed, the only one I could attend) because the rest of the time I was either volunteering or running games.

I'm sad to see Cold Wars go away. However, due to travel I could not attend this year and for the same reason could not have attended next year if it had been held. So I'm kinda part of the problem.

Over the years, I have volunteered for more conventions than I can remember. The job of the senior staff is usually stressful, complex and largely thankless, in my observation. I have no trouble understanding why it was not possible to identify a Director for Cold Wars 2024.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP25 Jul 2023 4:45 p.m. PST

Yeah, I've gone to some fairly outrageous lengths over the years to catch the Sunday flea market myself. Stuff turns up that simply can't be had any other way.

DeRuyter, when's the last time you visited the Host? (A) There's been a stoplight for maybe the last ten years, and (B) the Longhorn is on the same side of the highway anyway. Possibly you're thinking of the Golden Corral? A nice enough venue when you're hungry enough, but not to be compared with the glory which is a Longhorn. We can discuss the notion that anyone not liking a downtown conventions site must be some sort of hick allergic to stoplights at another time.

And while everyone cheerleading for the LCC, I should note that Little Wars TV is also saying nice things.

YouTube link

Agreed convention venues are tricky and imperfect and you can't please everyone. Cold truth is, if they'd swapped this year's--a summer convention at the Host and a fall one at the LCC--I'd almost certainly have made the summer one. But you'll notice that over the years most of my sniping at the BoD has been over late announcement of choices and even later availability of room blocks.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Jul 2023 10:10 p.m. PST

Something that I have noticed here is that those that are "preferring" The Host (Wyndham) are seeing it through rose colored glasses.
All you have to remember is that many of the rooms not only were dirty/nasty, but had mold. For those with health issues this was a major concern. Day trippers didn't care, as they weren't staying there anyway.
Also remember…
Many times the AC, plumbing, etc, wasn't working in the rooms.
The building would essentially fail and inspection for disability access.
Many times the bathrooms were a mess.
Many times there was no cooling etc in the main rooms.
Staff was generally uncaring and sometimes downright rude.
Lighting issues in the game area also.
And sometimes the food was just "blech"….

All one has to do is go back through TMP to see the issue that The Host had before it was bought out. If you don't want to do that, then just read the reviews on TripAdvisor, or Yelp, or something, and it should shake you back to reality.

Also remember, now that Wyndham has bought the place and remodeled and upgraded it, do not expect it to be "the same old prices that The Host had".
(I say this because we seem to be a notoriously cheap bunch)…

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Jul 2023 5:52 a.m. PST

"those that are "preferring" The Host (Wyndham) are seeing it through rose colored glasses." (Why the quotation marks around preferring, Murph? Are all preferences you don't share somehow invalid?)

But surely true to a degree in my case. Three generations of my family have roomed at the Host, and my son and daughter in law became engaged there. It was my first big convention, and until last year I never missed a Host convention if I was in CONUS and assigned east of the Mississippi. The carpet was sometimes worn, but the staff until very recently was always friendly and welcoming. It seems a little churlish to have experienced all that and only remember the dirty light switch, the year the AC was wonky and the time the power went out in the Tennis Barn.

But I am also--or was--a professional analyst. The Host is on a major highway, impossible to miss. If you failed to reserve a room, there was always one within easy walking distance. The restaurants varied, but there was always good American cuisine within walking distance. The public spaces are very well suited to our purposes. Poor layouts--and I can remember a few--were usually our fault and nothing to do with the facility.

Our hot new choice is a downtown address. Try it without a navigator, and with the GPS directing you down a closed street, or wrong way on a one-way. There appears to be only a single nearby motel, so unless I get very lucky, I get to commute into limited parking every day--though Martyn was kind enough to show me a solution for an additional $250. USD As for the repeated drum-banging for the hot (in both senses) eateries--no. Just no. Lancaster County, and there isn't even an Amish restaurant? (If I ever feel an urge to eat kimchi again, the Army can draft me and send me back to Korea. Probably not even then. It's sauerkraut gone terribly, terribly wrong.) Reports of the gaming rooms at the LCC tend to be tepid at best. Oh, I'm sure it can be made to work, mostly. But I see no way in which it is objectively superior to the modernized Host--which is why Murph uses the past tense throughout.

As for room prices, I never expected the spruced-up Host to charge what we paid in the old days. I have been a little surprised at the size of the jump. Host or LCCC, my room block rates are about a third higher than I pay for much nicer rooms in the middle west by just showing up and presenting my V.A. ID. In New York City or Washington, I'd expect that differential. It seems a little high for Amish country.

If we really were a cheap bunch, Murph, we'd stay home. I know gamers who've never attended a convention. But $60 USD extra a night is $180 USD not available for the flea market.

ND Arkie26 Jul 2023 6:34 a.m. PST

Rerouting this back to Cold wars

There are a number of things to remember regarding the cancellation .
A) various members of the BOD (past and present) have been trying to get rid of Cold wars for a while now. For various reasons -some of which make sense

B)The Con director is appointed by the BOD -and is usually someone that is in their circle .
There have been a good number(6+ I know of personally,4 of them qualified ) of people that have volunteered to do the job. In almost all cases there has been no response , not even" thank you for your interest ,we are moving in a different direction"

C) The venues chosen have been awful and potentially chosen for that very reason (if one is a conspiracy monger )

D) dwindling numbers – perhaps ,but attendance numbers are like any statistic . They are easily manipulated – as an example look to see what HMGS releases as "official" attendance numbers and then compare that to the reports of numbers by the fire marshals and the hotel . The last 2 will be very different from the 1st.

Overall I think the cancellation of Coldwars is a natural culling. And that HMGS needs to look at the other 2 with in a realistic mindset – and make adjustments.
Pay an event consulting firm a onetime fee to analyze and make recommendations for improving .
I do realize that this will not happen – too many egos and unwillingness to be upfront about any issues whether it Monetary or malfeasance or just personal corruption.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Jul 2023 7:27 a.m. PST

Thank you, ND. Any idea why Cold Wars? I think over the years, Fall In has been the problem child.

My own inclination is always to look at incompetence before considering conspiracy. I have no special information: it's just so much easier to screw things up than to get a plan to come together. (And never getting a response from the BoD is pretty much the norm.)

Consulting firms are usually called in to have an "outside expert" recommend what the people paying them already want to do. In this case, I'd expect a recommendation to "save HMGS" by somehow de-emphasizing historical miniatures gaming, with details to taste. There's a lot of that going around.

I'll stand by my earlier recommendation: if we can't find another suitable venue of the same size in the same general region, pick a smaller site and specialize the convention. Offer a weekend no WWII gamer can miss, and you might be surprised who shows up. The next year, do ancients.

ND Arkie26 Jul 2023 8:32 a.m. PST

No ,I have no idea of why Cold wars – Perhaps they all want to go to Adepticon or the SYW convention ??

I tend to agree -incompetence before conspiracy, BUT they are not mutually exclusive. Allowing something (project, friendship or convention) to wither on a vine because of willful negligence is a prime example.

Usually consulting firms would be given parameters such as
a) keeping historical miniatures the prime focus,
b) does having onsite food make a difference
c) what percentage of attendees need/want an onsite sleeping room
d) expense reductions and over staffage adjustment in regard to volunteers and staff
Things like that.

I like the idea of themed small conventions .

HMS Exeter26 Jul 2023 10:27 a.m. PST

Fall In came into being because east coast gamers started chewing their figures over the 8 month dry spell between HCon and Cold Wars. I have to suspect the vacuum of no Cold Wars will eventually have a similar effect.

I have to imagine that the internet is buzzing from Baltimore to New York. "The Romans have bugged out and Britain is ours once again."

Expect a proliferation of 95 corridor "Game Days," Fri-Sat mini-cons and maybe even a Fri-Sun Communi'Con at some hotel with a ballroom.

These will inevitably be small and chaoticly mounted, but may gain traction.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

ND Arkie26 Jul 2023 11:56 a.m. PST

Exeter,
I detect the slightest amount of sarcasm.
I really don't think most gamers are aware of the Coldwars situation. Years of HMGS lethargy and feet dragging concerning dates and locations of the shows have conditioned people to not notice or care. They might notice around march 2024.

No need for new shows -there is no void to fill. There are plenty of other shows and I think most are better (or at least more attractive to me and my friends and family).

But I am, perhaps, a minority in that view- I am only 22,but my family have been gaming for decades ( My grandad was in the basement for the 1st meeting of the NEWA in 1969)

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Jul 2023 12:02 p.m. PST

Quite right about the compatibility of conspiracy and incompetence, but I feel quite sure they're not showing up at the SYWA Convention: no one's pushing box games or zombies there, and these seem to be the current HMGS-favored solutions. Adepticon would be another matter. You'd have to check with the zombies.

I'll admit to being cynical about consultants, but like being paranoid, sometimes one just isn't cynical enough. I would be very surprised if our hypothetical consultants were told clearly and firmly that HMGS exists to promote historical miniatures gaming. I'd expect weasel words along the lines of "promote strategy gaming" or "remembering our traditional focus on miniatures." Think of Saruman as a role model, as he proposes he and Gandalf sell out the West. But I'll be surprised if anyone not on the BoD ever sees the consultants' marching orders.

I expect you're right, Exeter. If we lose two years, you certainly will be. Fortunately for me I'm only about two hours from the SYWA Convention.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Jul 2023 1:10 p.m. PST

"(Why the quotation marks around preferring, Murph? Are all preferences you don't share somehow invalid?)

To answer your question Robert, it was late (2:10 am when I made that post), and I was tired.

As for your question, no preferences I don't share are NOT invalid. Although I could point that out a bit in some of what you write.

I do admit and applaud you for saying "These are my preferences and what I like, and what I don't like, hence this is why I want this."
Your opinion though does not carry the decision making vote.

"(If I ever feel an urge to eat kimchi again, the Army can draft me and send me back to Korea.")

Just finished a jar of Kimchi this week. My wife loves the stuff. And I miss Korea at times.

"Oh, I'm sure it can be made to work, mostly. But I see no way in which it is objectively superior to the modernized Host--which is why Murph uses the past tense throughout."

As I said, I used the past tense because it was late and I was tired.
Plain and simple Robert. If you abhor the LCCC that much, then either A: Join the HMGS BOD and work to change the location, or B: Simply don't go the convention and wait until it goes to yet another location.

"If we really were a cheap bunch, Murph, we'd stay home. I know gamers who've never attended a convention. But $60 USD USD extra a night is $180 USD USD not available for the flea market."

We have a lot of members with champagne tastes but only a beer budget but are only willing to pay bottled water prices.
That's obviously from a lot of the past discussions here on everything from convention prices, to food prices, to magazine subscriptions, and the prices of figures.

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