Sunday, July 17, 2016

Back from Historicon 2016

I left from the home a bit later, circa 9 AM ( I discovered a dead car battery circa 7:45 AM; excellent service from Triple A to replace the battery and have me on the road in a little over an hour!). I picked up Jared in Tarrytown, NY about an hour later, along with his one large tub of figures etc. for the Russian Civil War games he was to run with Field of Battle, 2nd edition. Starting off later than intended, the trip took about 7 hours this year, but only South of Washington, DC, was there very heavy traffic on I-95 (as usual). Jared made a most agreeable traveling companion as we discussed wargaming, history, convention sites, liberal politics, theology, sociology, education, medicine and population health, and personal backgrounds...among many other things! We were just about as chatty on the way home, with the talk focusing on future wargaming projects and preliminary plans for games to run at Historicon 2017; thus both trips flew by subjectively! Tim flew in from the UK and met us at the hotel, also being delayed and thus arriving in Fredericksburg about 7 PM. Shortly thereafter, we headed over to the Convention center to get our badges. As we were all registered as GM's this took less than 5 minutes, but even on Wednesday night the line for pre registered attendees seemed quite long - I'd estimate a 20 - 30 minutes wait. We questioned why convention badges couldn't be mailed to attendees in advance, or even downloaded as a pdf file. Perhaps something to think about for the future in terms of convenience, decreased wait time, and decreased demand for volunteer staff. Thereafter, we met Eric B. and headed out for a nice dinner and pleasant conversation.

    There will be a number of blog posts forthcoming about the convention, but we both had a great time as usual, running and playing in games, scouring the flea market, and of course shopping in the dealer area. The show was very well attended on Thursday especially. Once again, games were on the short side on Saturday night. There were many great looking games, and plenty that I am sure that I never even got a chance to see, as I barely entered any of the side rooms at all. It seemed a little noisier in the main gaming area this year, but still tolerable, especially compared with the first year there (2012 ?). The Air conditioning also seemed a bit less effective this year in the main gaming area only, but not unbearable like some past July days at the Host in Lancaster. There were quite a few new companies in the Dealer area this year, which was good to see, and some previous exhibitors were missed, which was not so good. Jared attended the members meeting and reported that the main topic there was preliminary discussions around holding each of the three HMGS East conventions (Fall In, Cold Wars, and Historicon) at a different site,. in order to draw from a larger population base - Fredericksburg, Lancaster, and a new convention center in Sommerville, NJ (which also happens to be where I did my residency training in Family Medicine over 30 years ago). I will just say that I'd be thrilled with Sommerville as a site, as it is probably only about 2.5 hours drive away, and is very do-able for gamers from almost anywhere in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, and of course, New Jersey itself. It is about a 30-40 minute drive from Newark International Airport.

    I ran four games this year, "The Assyrian Came Down Like a Wolf on the Fold" (Egypt vs. Assyria) and "Ye Who are the Warriors of God" (Hussites vs,. Catholic Crusaders) with To the Strongest!, on Thursday AM and Thursday evening respectively, "The Great Cavalry Action at Liebertwolkwitz, 17813" with Field of Battle, 2nd edition on Friday night", and "The Engagement at Klagenfurt, 1809" with Piquet: Les Grognards, 2nd edition at 7 PM on Saturday evening. Posts about each of those will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

Just unloaded the car, so here's what I brought down, plus my personal bag, laptop, Jared's Tub, luggage, and laptop!  It all fit in quite nicely, actually!

I didn't buy too much this year. 50 Old Glory French Line infantry in Bicorne from Freddie A. in the Flea Market, 1 pint of the Gale Force 9 economy Masonite bases (especially the 40mm rounds) for about $20, and the rest from a new merchant at Historicon, Stonehouse Miniatures. A Sphinx (they have a lot of nice Egyptian and Mayan/Aztec themed terrain items - temples, pyramids, Egyptian Gods, etc), a 2 story 28mm stone house, and some resin wall sets to make 6 feet of walls (they have at least 4 different styles. Also a bag of  "pottery" Jugs for ancient battlefield decoration. Their prices are quite reasonable, too!


  1. Replies
    1. Quite a haul of wargaming supplies back and forth; not too heavy on the purchases this year!

  2. Look forward to more posts on this. Sounds like a great trip.

  3. Replies
    1. Hope to have them up soon; I can feel the sleep deprivation from the travel and games catching up to me now, so it may be a few days before the first AAR.

  4. Peter, you were a busy guy at Historicon! I very much look forward to seeing each of you BatReps or photo spreads from each of your umpired games. As for bringing back the loot, I think you exhibited great restraint.

    1. I am *always* a busy guy at Historicon, Jon. I'd say that 4 games in 3 days is about average for me; SEVEN Games in 3 days (with a LOT of help from my friends) at Historicon 2009 was the all time record... definitely never to be repeated. Remind me next year not to do more than three. Well, OK, if one game is a repeat, I could do four or...

    2. You have the constitution of a young buck!

    3. As I have said before, the convention is so much easier than my job, there's no comparison whatsoever! Actually, it's the prep time BEFORE I ever get there that is demanding, as long as I continue fortunate to have quite a few helping hands at the show... Barry, Tim, Jared, and others this year.