Thursday, July 19, 2018

There and Back Again; a Historicon Holiday!

This year I took off the Monday and Tuesday of the week of Historicon, in addition to my usual Weds - Friday. I figured this would take off some of the pressure during the last 2 weeks or so before the show. Unfortunately (?), the weather was spectacularly nice for the week before the show, which lead to me spending a lot more time outdoors and not enough working on my "Gamer's Tan". What is more, is that Dr. Tim flew overt from Scotland Monday night, and stayed with us until we departed for Historicon late Wednesday AM. I am afraid I wasn't the best host, what with getting everything ready for my games. Tim helped me do a test layout for my To the Strongest game ion Tuesday, which helped a lot. Finally, ready or not, we had to depart for Lancaster!



Along with Tim and myself, and our personal effects, we brought the figures for Tim's three Jacobite Wars games, and all the stuff you see stacked up here, which includes at least 1,000 28 mm figures.


View of the cargo from the other side. Not included: another 400+ Punic Wars troops that I had Barry bring down for me. Thanks, Barry! Anyway, the drive to Lancaster, a mere 4 hrs with moderate traffic , was a very welcome relief from the 6.5 to 7.5 hour drive to Fredericksburg in heavy traffic.


We arrived in Lancaster about 3:30, and were able to check into our room at the Host shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, it turned out to be about as far from the main part of the hotel as possible - a 700 yard walk! After making one trip from our room it became clear this was not going to go well, so we unloaded directly from my car at a nearer entrance. Still, it was actually MORE convenient to stay somewhere *else* in past years, and pull up to the loading dock behind the ballroom. 
The Host itself was in the process of major renovations... as expected. Our room was perfectly acceptable, aside from being distant. I understand some attendees got displaced to another hotel as there were fewer rooms available than expected. As many have commented, the food was a big step down from the best the Host has done in past years (I was last there in 2009), although in all honesty it was certainly edible and convenient. There were far fewer "dining" options there than in past years, in part due to space constraints from the ongoing  renovations. Of course, there is no shortage of eateries in the area.

Although Historicon will be in Lancaster once again next year, it will be at a new site in downtown Lancaster. I had hoped to visit it to scope it out for next year, but there was not enough time for me to do so. Regardless, the shorter drive will remain a huge plus for those of us coming from the Northeast!

I started setting up the 12 tables for my Snappy Nappy "Campaign in a Day event) Wednesday about 5 PM; with help from Russ, Dan, Tim, and later James, we got the terrain all laid out by about 8 PM. I also brought over all of the troops and other materials needed for the game Wednesday evening, but waited until early Thursday Am to set out the troops. Afterwards, we made use of the Host's bar area for dinner and shooting the breeze. Both Tim and I were quite tired and retired at a reasonable hour Thursday. That was when I discovered that my back was incredibly sore and stiff from carrying so much stuff such a long distance so many times. Fortunately, a hot bath and some Tylenol improve things enough to run the Campaign event from 10 - 4:30 on Thursday (report forthcoming separately).


It was at that point that we discovered that my large tackle box with well over 100 dice in it was no where to be found. Unless it got swept up into an as yet un-examined box during the game set up, it appears that it may have been absconded with by persons unknown. At least if that finally proves to be the case, it is the easiest of all such possible losses to replace, and probably the cheapest as well. Fortunately, Russ had a Dealer's Badge and was able to get into the dealer area Thursday AM before it opened officially, and procure a supply of 10 sided dice (used exclusively in Snappy Nappy). I later hit the dealer's area Thursday AM for some polyhedral dice sets (used in Field of Battle), as did Tim. 


Tim ran the first of his three Jacobite Revolt 1745 games Thursday night (more on that in a later post), while I used the time to take down the terrain and sort out all of the troops so that they would be ready for my Friday evening game. Once I finished, I watched Tim's game, which was a blast!


While in the dealer area for the dice, I picked up a few bottles of the excellent Valejo acrylic metalics that I was running low on - Bronze, Silver, and Brass. it for these, not so much, IMHO, for most other colors. 


Also at the dice vendor, I picked up this set of needle files for $6. 


On one of my few trips to the Fl;ea Market, I picked up these hedges. With the "buy 2, get one free" deal they had, I of course bought three!


The same vendor had these Vineyard pieces, same buy 2, get 1 free deal... same three sets acquired!


One set of hedgerows, posing with some Brigade Games Spanish infantry. Each section is about 6" long. These are made from the green plastic scrub pads. Yeah, sure, I could do it myself - but at $1.50 per section, why would I?


The Vineyard pieces were even nicer. It is hard to see, but there is some purple flock in with the bright green. I will probably glue these to bases and terrain them, probably in groups of three. That would make 10 sections!

I ran my big Talavera game Friday night (covered in a future post), and Tim ran another, different smashing Jacobite game Friday AM. Saturday, Tim ran his third Jacobite scenario in the morning, which was once again superb, and I ran my To the Strongest! Punic Wars game with 12 players Saturday evening (once again, to be covered separately). In between them, we were able to have a leisurely meal with Gabriel and Michelle Saturday afternoon - they are such a delight to talk to, as was young Fritzi... who certainly can talk up a storm herself, LOL! We hope to see Gabriel run a Wars of the Roses game at Historicon in 2019!


Sunday morning, Tim and I hit the flea market. I picked up a few classic titles  at excellent prices, such as the above. 


and this one.


For 25 cents, a bit of pulp, too!


With Tim's flight not due to depart until Sunday evening, we had spare time to go to the dealer's hall Sunday AM, which neither of us had really explored much until then. I took advantage of the usual Sash and Saber convention deal to get 6 sets of their excellent Artillery pieces for the price of five.



Up on the balcony, we discovered a dealer selling Crusader figures - 30% off for cash pay! 
With that deal, I got enough for 2 more units of Roman (Republican) cavalry, and a pack each of Roman and Spanish (Celtiberian) commanders [one foot and one mounted figure per General pack].


We then shot the breeze for far too long with Freddy, Jeff G, Tim B, Adam H and a few others, before heading out. Although the condition of the Host was far less than perfect, both Tim and I had a great convention - one of our best ever, actually. As noted above, there will be quite a few more posts to come covering the games themselves! 

20 comments:

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    1. More than I expected to acquire, in all honesty!

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  2. Replies
    1. I am happy with what I came back with - all told, under $200 in purchases.

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  3. What a brilliant first post Peter on a gam9ng convention I am determined to attend before I shuffle off this mortal coil in around 50 years time god willing :^).

    Looking forward to your future correspondence.

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    1. Historicon is well worth the trip!

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  4. What a nice collection of purchases. Very bad form if that box full of dice was stolen. I'm looking forward to seeing the games in all their glory, especially Talavera.

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    1. I am reserving judgement until I sift through everything that came back as far as possible theft. If it is, well, the first time in almost 20 years, and it would be the objects of least value to me, and replaceable with money alone.

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  5. Excellent additions to your collection. I had to, sadly, miss out this year. I was very excited that the Perry brothers were on hand. I really wanted to meet them! Hopefully, I will be gainfully employed in time for the new venue next year! Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks for the comment Greg, and best wishes for a fufil;ling and well paid job!

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  6. Great post, nice collection of stuff, not so nice about the dice,but I guess it was the least worst outcome!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks Ian, and if the dice were indeed purloined, it is by far the least bad outcome possible!

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  7. Peter you are organized like a Nazi tank attack. Nicely posted.

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    1. LOL, and welcome, John! Perhaps "organized like Marechal Berthier" might be more apt... or at least in period! :-)

      Now I just need to get myself organized enough to do another 3 to 4 Historicon posts...

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  8. Looks like a great haul Peter! :)

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    1. Thanks, Mark. In reality, my total time shopping was probably a little over 2 hours. :-)

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  9. That is a lot of kit to transport and you ended up bringing more back !!
    Look forward to AARs as already enjoyed Tims :-)

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    1. Thanks, Garry! yes, it was a lot to bring to and from the game, although not MUCH more than my usual! :-)

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  10. With all your wonderful packing Peter, you did not show the empty containers that you must have needed for the new 'loot'! :)

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    1. True, but... Staples has been sending me "$25 off your next order of $75 or more" (usually good for a week or less), and as a Rewards member, I get free shipping for orders over $50, so I have been using them to buy more Really Useful Boxes!

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