Monday, July 21, 2014

Historicon 2014: Overview

I will have a number of additional posts over the next 2 weeks or so involving the five games I ran and the one I played in, but from that alone you can tell it was a very busy convention for me! Overall, it was a great show and I had a blast from start to finish. As usual, I am already thinking about my plans for next year!

    I left home about 8:40 AM Wednesday, only 10 minutes after my target time, and arrived at the hotel in Fredericksburg a minute or two before 3PM, coming directly through Baltimore and Washington, with heavy traffic only the last 10 - 15 miles or so. This route works as long as you can get through DC no later then about 2PM; this is the 3rd year in a row I have been able to make the trip in a reasonable time. I did some paperwork for my games in my hotel room, which was ready for check in at 3PM. Tim arrived from London a little after 4PM, and after relaxing a bit, we had an early dinner at Pancho Villa's and Warrentown road. Food was fine, about as good as you'd expect to get for Mexican style food in Virginia! We headed over the the convention center about 7PM to register and scope out the location for the tables where our games would be run. We immediately noticed the carpet on the floors of the main exhibition hall, and it was obvious then and as the convention proceeded that the addition of the carpet (along with the partitions, which were first used last year) made a major improvement in the noise level. Hardly quiet, but certainly bearable, and nothing like the noise-induced tinnitus we all had by the end of the day back in 2012! We chatted with a few friends as we encountered them, and then headed back to hotel room, as Tim needed to begin his recovery from the effects of  jet lag!

    Tim and I had the free hot breakfast at the hotel Thursday AM, and he headed over to the Convention about 9:30 AM, while I continued to work on paperwork for my games, arriving at the Convention about 11AM. I set up the table for my Galactic Knights spaceship games (post on that to follow), and ran that from 2 - 5PM, while Tim ran his WW I East Afrika scenario (likewise), with the very able and amiable assistance of Will from Monday Knight Productions. Those dual, side by side games went very well. Tim, Barry, and I had a fast food dinner in the main Exhibition hall, and then I set up the "Piquet/FoB insider" Chariot Wars Pulse of Battle game, using my Egyptians and Assyrians (post to follow there as well). That went great, and was a lot of fun!

   Friday we arrived at the Convention hall about 9:30 AM, and Tim ran his game for the second time, with yours truly playing the British reserve command for the first 2 hours or so, before turning it over to Adolfo for an hour or so, whilst I attended to an urgent professional matter via multiple cell phone calls. As my Montmirail game was to be ruin on that same table, once Tim took down his game, I started setting up the table and troops for my Montmirail, 1814 games, with the welcome assistance of Tim and Barry. I made a very brief tour of the dealer hall (seemed like fewer vendors and lighter foot traffic from a very cursory visit, during which I bought nothing more than some paint brushes and a few Vallejo colors at Sgt Major Miniatures. Tim Gabriel, Michelle and I all headed over to Ruby Tuesday's for a tasty dinner including some *vegetables*, and then returned for my Montmirail game. That game started at 7PM. and finished at about 11:30 PM (posts to follow once again), and was great fun as well. At the conclusion, we just returned the troops to their deployment areas for the refight on Saturday, and left the table set up.

  On Saturday, we arrived at the dealer hall about 9:30AM, by which time the parking lot was already packed. I ran my Montmirail game again, which ran from 10AM to about 2:30 PM, playing quite differently from the night before. After taking down the game with the help of Tim , Barry, and Gabriel, Tim and I had a tasty early dinner at the Outback Steakhouse, after which I made another brief tour of the dealer's area, purchasing some very nice 28mm wagons for Old Glory/Blue Moon; lots of potential uses for those! I also introduced myself briefly to Glen Drover, who was packing up his fantastic looking C&C based gridded Napoleonic game based upon Leipzig, 1813. I then set up and ran my second set of Galactic Knights games from 7PM to about 10:30 PM, before returning to the hotel for some much needed sleep!

  Sunday AM, Tim and I shared Breakfast with Michelle and Gabriel (and Fritzi!) at the Crackerbarrell, after which I made a brief return to the dealer hall, buying a new box of the Gale Force Nine bargain bases (40mm round - see future post on Drift Markers for Galactic Knights), as well as more D10's for Galactic Knights. I made a brief impulse trip to the Sunday Flea market, and found 4 Osprey's I'd been looking for at reasonable prices, then headed home starting at 10:30 AM. The traffic was quite heavy most of the way, so I didn't get home until about 6:15PM; timing is everything!  :-)

Asa always for me, the best part of the convention was seeing old friends, and making new ones! In chronological order, here are some pictures I snapped rather hurriedly and randomly of games and/or terrain that looked interesting;

Troubles brewing in the old West....

and on the Frontier!

Attractive, functional jungle terrain sets the mood for ???

A nice table using a plain green felt mat as the base, with lots of terrain elements set upon it. 

Very blurry picture of part of the table for the "Sword Beach" games, IIRC - they were already starting to take it down when I snapped this hasty photo. 

Beautiful figures for an FOG-Renaissance game.

Close up of some of the pike blocks.

More Frontier action

A simple but attractive winter battlefield.

Intricate terrain boards for a 15mm Amercian Civil War game, 15mm.

I took this picture to show what I thought was very clever use of irregularly shaped pieces of tan shag carpet for hills, including some with two "contours" of same. Cheap, attractive, durable, and... light!

6mm Napoleonics; I thought that the use of square blocks of contrasting colors on the felt table covering was well done and effective.

More to follow later in the week!



  1. Replies
    1. And we miss you, John. they pretty much have the bugs worked out opf the Fredericksburg site, so why not come for 205?

  2. Replies
    1. It definitely was; I have enjoyed every Hostroicon, but I enjoyed this one the most of the three in Fredericksburg! I'm hoping youi'll come fopr 2015, and run Quatre VBras with Les Grognards. Many old freinds asked about you - I said you claimesd some flimsy excuse like spending time with the family on Cape Cod.... :-)

      Anyway, we have a very solid core of Piquet/FoB gamers who can handle the chaos!

  3. Nice start and awaiting more! Sound to me like a great outing.

  4. Looks and sounds like a great con. One day I will go to one. I also enjoyed seeing the additions to your space fleets. It's something I've been waffling about. I like to use the bases to have something to hold while I paint. I had not thought of the storage ramifications.

    1. It was a lot of fun - plan to make it out some year; you won't regret it! GK actions will be up on the blog i the next 1-2 weeks as well!