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What makes Historicon the largest historical miniature con..

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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 8, 2004 12:17:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

Having studied the state of the hobby and the conventions around the
world I think I can say that Historicon is the Granddaddy of them all.
Why is that? We have dealers from mostly the eastern USA (Brookhurst,
Eureka, and Old London War Room being exceptions to the rule). We run
3 1/2 days of gaming and have over 300 games and 100 or so dealers
(80-100) can't remember the number of tables (150?). We have been
doing this for twenty years and are close to maxed out at the current
location (Some may not agree). Salute is larger in attendance but
can't touch the number of games and dealer and floor space. Plus we
are Historical Miniature and have minimal "alt" gaming events. We run
three conventions a year Fall In occurring in November, Cold Wars
March/April, and Historicon in July. Attendance at these three
conventions is several thousand. Is there a market for more historical
based gaming? Why does our smallest convention (Fall In) so out
perform other historical conventions around the country and the world?
I am so impressed with the quality of the games at our conventions
over the past several years. Some of the terrain set ups put displays
I have seen in major museums to shame. I think much of the credit for
the improvement of games does to the various groups on the INTERNET
such as the yahoo groups GMSN, and others that are rules related,
JRIII, Grande Armee, Volley and Bayonet, Classical Hack and many many
others. Why is it that other regions of the US do not have
conventions of this scale? I would expect the west coast to have as
many wargamers as the east but I do not see it reflected in the
numbers I see from dealers on line and in marketing research. What do
you think?
VR
James Mattes
HMGS-East VP for Marketing
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 9, 2004 1:34:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

>Why is it that other regions of the US do not have
>conventions of this scale? I would expect the west coast to have as
>many wargamers as the east but I do not see it reflected in the
>numbers I see from dealers on line and in marketing research. What do
>you think?
>VR
>James Mattes
>HMGS-East VP for Marketing

Jin, You need to get away from the East coast for a while! 8>)

My observations:

1. HMGS East has been doing "Historical Only" con the longerst. It makes sense
that they get the lion's share of the attention.

2. There are larger cons than H-Con is the USA (and besides Origins and
gencon). It's just that they cater to all gendres of gaming and are supported
by the same. In Denver, Ghengis Con, Tacticon and Ben-Con all feature
historicals. Nobody out here turns them away. Besides that, there are two local
historical clubs also putting on historical mini-cons, twice a year.

3. Not all folks enjoy playing games in such a large venue! I have attended 4
of those cons and have no desire to play in a game. This has also been echoed
by fellow Colorado attendees. We go to shop and socialize; we do our gaming at
home! 8>)

4. HMGS-East is to be commended for putting on cons. That said, con's only
cater to the converted. What efforts are undertaken for the other 343 days of
the year to promote Historical miniature gaming? Perhaps there are programs,
but hard to see from Colorado.

5. IMHO, the worst service the East cons do are to kill sales for regional
stores. More than one retail store owner has told me that they refuse to carry
historicals because when they did, the gamers would use thier store as a
showroon, but make their purchases at the cons! I hear the woes of locals that
cannot get our products locallly because the store will not carry them. It's a
"dog-chasing-it's -tail" situation! It also doesn't help that no pure
historical distributors exist where a store can "get it all".

6. Mindsets: It doesn't help to read about HMGS -East politics in national
forums! Living in Colorado, it denigrates the efforts to accomplish positive
goals. While it's probably impossible to stop politics in such a large
organization, the politics can be kept more "in house". We ahve a hard enough
time promoting the hobby without exposing potential newbies to the "leader"
(HMGS_EAST) and having them see the petty bickering. (OK, petty to one more
interested in learning about new periods, game systems, etc than dirty
laundry...which has little if any effect on a gamer outside of East's
boundaries.

7. It would be nice to see HMGS _ East work closer with the US manufacturers!
There is soooo much potential for mutual benefits than an entire posting
subject can be launched on the topic by itself!

I hope this items add to the discussion and provide an "outsider's" view that
you may not otherwise get. It will be interesting to see what follow-on posts
it generates.

Best,
Tom Dye
GFI
GFI/Minifigs: www.minifigs.com (303)361-6465
Attactix:Bill@attactix.com (303)699-3349

Makers of Minifigs to the Americas!
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 9, 2004 12:13:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

Jim,

I've said this before, but I'll say it again. Your basic underlying
assumption is wrong - the West Coast does not have as many gamers as the
East because it doesn't have as many people. While much of what Tom says is
true, the biggest issue is pure demographics, eg, 25%+ of the US population
lives within a day's drive of Lancaster. Looking at the NE US, from OH east
and Virginia north, you have a total population of 78.7 million people. Now
look at the followning states in the West - CA, WA, OR, ID, UT, NV and AZ.
This is an area that is nearly twice the size of the NE US (perhaps more),
but with a population of only 55.6 million, you have a much smaller
poulation density track. I mean for Pete's sake tiny NJ has a greater
population than any state out there except California.

Looking at a chunk of the West coast about the same size as the NE US, I'd
bet you are taling about 30 - 35 million max, or about half the population
of the East.

With these type of numbers its going to be real tough to pull Historicon
type numbers for a historical pure convention.

Regards, Bill Gray, HMGS East


"DYE4MINIS" <dye4minis@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20040608173428.19877.00000657@mb-m02.aol.com...
> >Why is it that other regions of the US do not have
> >conventions of this scale? I would expect the west coast to have as
> >many wargamers as the east but I do not see it reflected in the
> >numbers I see from dealers on line and in marketing research. What do
> >you think?
> >VR
> >James Mattes
> >HMGS-East VP for Marketing
>
> Jin, You need to get away from the East coast for a while! 8>)
>
> My observations:
>
> 1. HMGS East has been doing "Historical Only" con the longerst. It makes
sense
> that they get the lion's share of the attention.
>
> 2. There are larger cons than H-Con is the USA (and besides Origins and
> gencon). It's just that they cater to all gendres of gaming and are
supported
> by the same. In Denver, Ghengis Con, Tacticon and Ben-Con all feature
> historicals. Nobody out here turns them away. Besides that, there are two
local
> historical clubs also putting on historical mini-cons, twice a year.
>
> 3. Not all folks enjoy playing games in such a large venue! I have
attended 4
> of those cons and have no desire to play in a game. This has also been
echoed
> by fellow Colorado attendees. We go to shop and socialize; we do our
gaming at
> home! 8>)
>
> 4. HMGS-East is to be commended for putting on cons. That said, con's only
> cater to the converted. What efforts are undertaken for the other 343 days
of
> the year to promote Historical miniature gaming? Perhaps there are
programs,
> but hard to see from Colorado.
>
> 5. IMHO, the worst service the East cons do are to kill sales for regional
> stores. More than one retail store owner has told me that they refuse to
carry
> historicals because when they did, the gamers would use thier store as a
> showroon, but make their purchases at the cons! I hear the woes of locals
that
> cannot get our products locallly because the store will not carry them.
It's a
> "dog-chasing-it's -tail" situation! It also doesn't help that no pure
> historical distributors exist where a store can "get it all".
>
> 6. Mindsets: It doesn't help to read about HMGS -East politics in national
> forums! Living in Colorado, it denigrates the efforts to accomplish
positive
> goals. While it's probably impossible to stop politics in such a large
> organization, the politics can be kept more "in house". We ahve a hard
enough
> time promoting the hobby without exposing potential newbies to the
"leader"
> (HMGS_EAST) and having them see the petty bickering. (OK, petty to one
more
> interested in learning about new periods, game systems, etc than dirty
> laundry...which has little if any effect on a gamer outside of East's
> boundaries.
>
> 7. It would be nice to see HMGS _ East work closer with the US
manufacturers!
> There is soooo much potential for mutual benefits than an entire posting
> subject can be launched on the topic by itself!
>
> I hope this items add to the discussion and provide an "outsider's" view
that
> you may not otherwise get. It will be interesting to see what follow-on
posts
> it generates.
>
> Best,
> Tom Dye
> GFI
> GFI/Minifigs: www.minifigs.com (303)361-6465
> Attactix:Bill@attactix.com (303)699-3349
>
> Makers of Minifigs to the Americas!
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 9, 2004 12:18:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

vojvoda13@yahoo.com (James Mattes) wrote in message news:<de8334fc.0406080717.4f0fea16@posting.google.com>...
? I would expect the west coast to have as
> many wargamers as the east but I do not see it reflected in the
> numbers I see from dealers on line and in marketing research. What do
> you think?
> VR
> James Mattes
> HMGS-East VP for Marketing

It is so nice to see the HMGS East Marketing director congratulating
HMGS-East on its marketing! Self-congratulation is an HMGS-East
tradition (See Scruby Awards).

Why would you think there are as many wargamers in the West? Broadly
speaking, 2/3 of the US population is East of the Mississippi. The
population density per square mile along the Northern Eastern seaboard
is several multiples higher than anywhere in the West save Los
Angeles.

The number of wargamers is strictly a fixed percentage of the
population, as is true of any small, esoteric, hobby. There are more
scrapbookers in the East,too! Before you congratulate yourselves too
much, also consider that HMGS-East has an added benefit of a
concentration of multiple historical battle sites of some historical
interest. It is also located within one driving day of the majority
of wargamers in the US. These factors seem to be more determinative
than any wisdom shown by the overly proud few.

You might also observe that HMGS East, in its steadfast goal of
limiting the risk of any new ideas, input or leadership from any other
locale, has effectively discouraged the growth of wargaming. Noting
the apparent lack of any measurable gain in the number of historical
wargamers-they have been successful in this regard.

HMGS-East has, after all these years, seemed to have learned how to
replicate the same identical convention every year. No surprises, no
changes, no innovations, and few new faces. One could attend once
every 5 years and never miss a thing, save for a few offerings at the
dealers' tables.

But never worry, there is absolutely nothing HMGS-East can do to
destroy Historicon-sheer inertia and population dynamics will protect
you.

As for Tom Dye's complaint about HMGS-East politics; I think most
gamers would say that one of the few benefits of convention fees and
dues is the entertainment value of watching the self-centered few
wrangle over the inconsequential in pursuit of the laughably low
stakes of control of HMGS-East. Add to this the self-protective
stridency of their claims of not being a national convention (which
might just demand national input and the representation of new voices)
and you have a nice little comedy of manners. The amused auslander
might say they are endearingly parochial.


BJ
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 9, 2004 6:50:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

"Col \(Ret\) Bill Gray" <hmgs1@hmgs.org> wrote in message news:<UrqdnfhX69ZvY1vdRVn-jw@comcast.com>...

> the biggest issue is pure demographics, eg, 25%+ of the US population
> lives within a day's drive of Lancaster.
>


This alone accounts for the attendance at HMGS-E cons. With that kind
of population density, it puts a couple thousand gamers at Historicon
on a par with a largish club meeting in most parts of the Midwest,
when figured as a percentage of the nearby population. Perhaps the
question should be "with those demographic resources available, why is
Historicon so small?"

Regards,

Jeff
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2004 1:31:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

vojvoda13@yahoo.com (James Mattes) wrote in message news:<de8334fc.0406091950.6a53f68a@posting.google.com>...

> Gosh you would think folks could read the thread title before going on
> a personal attack. The question was "What makes HISTORICON the
> largest "HISTORICAL" miniature convention in the free world."

BJ: Gosh, it would be nice if you gave any thought to your easily
answered questions prior to asking them. It would also be peachy if
you had a better comprehension of the replies by several respondents.

>
> Broken down here are the five questions I posed to the list:
>
> Why is that?

BJ: Mssrs. Gray, Jones, and Knudsen answered that softball question
pretty well.

>
> Is there a market for more historical
> based gaming?

BJ: Probably not. The hobby is so small that any research sample is
hard to validate. I have seen zero data that would support growth.
Certainly HMGS-East has never demonstrated that they have had any
effect in that regard.

>
> Why does our smallest convention (Fall In) so out
> perform other historical conventions around the country and the world?

BJ: An unsupported contention-though, if true, the demographic
arguments presented by Mssrs. Gray, Knudsen, and Jones seem logical
and adequate to explain the "success" of the HMGS-East conventions.
>
> Why is it that other regions of the US do not have
> conventions of this scale?

BJ: See above. You did read the replies?
>
> What do
> you think?

BJ: That you show little aptitude for research, marketing, or basic US
demographics.
>
> VR
> James Mattes
> HMGS-East VP for Marketing
>

>
> >
> > But never worry, there is absolutely nothing HMGS-East can do to
> > destroy Historicon-sheer inertia and population dynamics will protect
> > you.
>
> Why would you assume that East is trying to destroy Hcon in any
> manner? Fall In! maybe if you believe the hype of some but I really do
> not see the means, motive or opportunity (the three characteristics of
> terrorist threat analysis) for East to undertake such actions.

BJ: Again, a failure to understand English. There is NO implied
conscious will on the part of HMGS-East to destroy Historicon in my
remarks, simply a statement that no matter what HMGS-East does,
Historicon, et al will endure. HMGS-East seems to have NO
demonstrable will other than the continued role of the Usual Suspects.
The conventions will not decline in size or numbers, but probably
won't grow. They won't be any more tedious, but not any less tedious.
In short, the role of HMGS-East other than hosting the event- will
have little effect pro or con on its quality or existence.
>
> >
> > As for Tom Dye's complaint about HMGS-East politics; I think most
> > gamers would say that one of the few benefits of convention fees and
> > dues is the entertainment value of watching the self-centered few
> > wrangle over the inconsequential in pursuit of the laughably low
> > stakes of control of HMGS-East.
>
> I am really sorry that you feel that those of us who are interested in
> the charter of the organization and have taken our own time to promote
> the hobby are only (in your words) self-centered and only after the
> control of HMGS-East. Perhaps if you care to I can send you an invite
> to join the marketing team?

BJ: Team? I guess you're right... If the Marx Brothers, Abbott and
Costello, Martin & Lewis, George and Gracie are teams, then, so should
be the HMGS-East Marketing "team."
>
>
> Add to this the self-protective
> > stridency of their claims of not being a national convention
>
> Now that is my position not the organization per say. I don't want
> HMGS-East to be National. We serve the needs (via our three
> conventions and outreach via support of the affiliated clubs) of our
> members and promote the hobby in our region. I will gladly assist
> other chapters where I can with materials, labor and resources at my
> disposal for the promotion of the hobby.

BJ: Well, that's worked well! Just silliness, I guess, to think the
largest organization dedicated to wargaming should have an active role
in the growth of the hobby outside of the Baltimore/Lancaster axis.
>
> Can't we all just get along?
> VR
> James Mattes
>
BJ: No whining-please!
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2004 1:59:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

vojvoda13@yahoo.com (James Mattes) wrote in message news:<de8334fc.0406091950.6a53f68a@posting.google.com>...

> Why is that?

I'll answer with my opinions, as someone who always wanted to attend
Historicon but hasn't managed it yet.

Assuming it is the largest historical miniatures convention (I don't
know what's happening in Germany, for instance, which regularly gets
over 100,000 attendees for their big board game convention), I'd say
there are two main reasons: demographics and timing.

The convention is in the U.S. north east. The population density has
already been stated on this thread. Also add the population of
southern Ontario, which is also within driving distance of the
convention (I used to live in Toronto; I'm now in Louisiana).

The convention is held at the height of the North American vacation
season.

There's also the reputation of the convention. People know that it's
the big historical convention and so it becomes the big show to attend
if you can only attend one.

(Well, some people know. In 2000 I was running some miniatures games
at GenCon. I was signing in when a player came up looking for
historical games. The head of Miniatures HQ said there were a few, but
not many. He suggested that if the guy wanted historicals he'd be
better off served going to Origins as it was the "big historicals
convention". At that point both me and the guy he was talking to said,
"No, Historicon," in unison. The Miniatures HQ guy admitted that he
knew very little about conventions other than the Andon/WotC events.)

> Is there a market for more historical
> based gaming?

I would say yes, but then again I'm stuck playing solitaire as there
is virtually no one around here that I can play against (though I
haven't looked at joining any groups in Jackson, MS, or Shreveport,
both of which are about 2 hours away). I'm dying to play again, so I'm
definitely part of an untapped market.

> Why does our smallest convention (Fall In) so out
> perform other historical conventions around the country and the world?

Again, I don't know about "the world". Demographics is probably the
big advantage for Fall In. It's the only HMGS convention I ever
attended, and that was because it fit into my schedule the year I went
and it was a day's drive from Toronto.

Will I attend it again? Perhaps. I like the Gettysburg location
(definitely a plus for me, as my wife liked the area) and so that is
probably also part of the draw.

However it's no longer a day's drive away, but closer to about 20
hours. Bayou Wars and the Texas conventions are much closer to me. I
would be at Bayou Wars this year but they changed dates at the last
minute, and I had other things come up. I'm guessing that it's much
more likely I'll attend Bayou Wars in upcoming years than Fall In.
Since more people are closer to Fall In than Bayou Wars, it doesn't
surprise me that Fall In gets more attendees.

> Why is it that other regions of the US do not have
> conventions of this scale?

Population density.

I live about five hours from Little Rock, Dallas, Houston, Baton
Rouge, New Orleans, and Memphis. You sure wouldn't want to put a
convention here in northeast Louisiana, though, as the number of
locals (up to 2 hours away) simply isn't enough to sustain a
convention. Those cities have at most one other city within a 5 hour
radius. How many big cities are within 5 hours of Lancaster PA? I know
Baltimore and Washington, but that also puts New York in range too,
doesn't it?
June 13, 2004 12:41:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

vojvoda13@yahoo.com (James Mattes) wrote in message news:<de8334fc.0406080717.4f0fea16@posting.google.com>...
> Having studied the state of the hobby and the conventions around the
> world I think I can say that Historicon is the Granddaddy of them all.
> Why is that? ...... Is there a market for more historical
> based gaming? Why does our smallest convention (Fall In) so out
> perform other historical conventions around the country and the world?
> Why is it that other regions of the US do not have
> conventions of this scale? I would expect the west coast to have as
> many wargamers as the east but I do not see it reflected in the
> numbers I see from dealers on line and in marketing research. What do
> you think?
*NJH: I doubt you could be any more patronizing and condescending to
the rest of the very fine historical conventions around North America.
I'll try to explain this again for the geographically and
demographically challenged.

States like Washington and Oregon are geographically larger than all
of New England, yet their entire population is smaller than that of
Boston, MA. In Washington the three largest cities Seattle (560,000),
Tacoma (200,000), and Spokane (200,000) added together do not have a
million inhabitants.

A good day's drive on the East Coast can get a person from Portland,
Maine to Washington DC (BTDT). Out here, (from Seattle or Portland) it
will get you to Idaho, if you go across the narrow part of Idaho (from
Seattle) you might just make it into Western Montana. A good day's
drive from Seattle might just get you into Northern California, with a
wee bit of luck.

On the West Coast, distances are so great and the population so
sparse, the fact we have a convention at all is a minor miracle.
Sometimes we only have one or two people coming from the rural areas
East of the Cascades. Oops, that's another issue, the Mountain ranges
only have a half dozen passes, most of which are closed in the Winter.
And, East of the mountains we have the desert, which can be really
nasty at times.

So next time you sprain your wrist patting yourself on the back for
having the very good fortune to plop your convention in the middle of
the most densely populated part of the USA, you'll have a little time
to contemplate the difficulties of pulling together a convention
without a population base to support such a venture. Next time you
wish to engage in a self-indulgent exercise, please do some basic
homework before hand. And, remember California is not the entire West
Coast, despite what people may say and think.

We do very nicely out here in our log cabins where we play historical
miniatures by candle light. However, we don't appreciate the
disrespect that we receive from Eastern Hobby Officials who have
failed to do rudimentary homework. If you want to be a cheerleader for
HMGS-East, be my guest, but don't do so at our expense.

Cheers
Norris Hazelton
President, Northwest Historical Miniature Gaming Society
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 13, 2004 4:19:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

NJH wrote:

> So next time you sprain your wrist patting yourself on the back for
> having the very good fortune to plop your convention in the middle of
> the most densely populated part of the USA, you'll have a little time
> to contemplate the difficulties of pulling together a convention
> without a population base to support such a venture.

I know of a number of communities similar to gaming that have given
up on having one huge west coast convention and had good results
from having smaller "north" and "south" gatherings - some
alternating years, others alternating seasons.


Robert Huff
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 13, 2004 12:21:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

djcoaltrain@aol.com (NJH) wrote in message news:<aa3d875c.0406121941.1981b485@posting.google.com>...
> vojvoda13@yahoo.com (James Mattes) wrote in message news:<de8334fc.0406080717.4f0fea16@posting.google.com>...
> > Having studied the state of the hobby and the conventions around the
> > world I think I can say that Historicon is the Granddaddy of them all.
> > Why is that? ...... Is there a market for more historical
> > based gaming? Why does our smallest convention (Fall In) so out
> > perform other historical conventions around the country and the world?
> > Why is it that other regions of the US do not have
> > conventions of this scale? I would expect the west coast to have as
> > many wargamers as the east but I do not see it reflected in the
> > numbers I see from dealers on line and in marketing research. What do
> > you think?
> *NJH: I doubt you could be any more patronizing and condescending to
> the rest of the very fine historical conventions around North America.
> I'll try to explain this again for the geographically and
> demographically challenged.

<<snip>>

BJ: Yet another fine reply. It is HMGS-East's long standing lack of
understanding of anything West of the Appalachians-especially, and
particularly, concerning the hobby of Wargaming, that boggles the
mind. It is this myopia that has led to a general devaluing of the
contribution of Western wargamers to the hobby and its history.

The myth of "Wally's Basement" as some sort of Big Bang that began
wargaming in the US as we know it-is a self-congratulatory bit of
propaganda. The potted histories of wargaming that come out of the
East are so geo-centric as to be laughable. The hobby's lack of any
objective history( Any history, for that matter) is odd for an
activity supposedly motivated by an interest in history!

I note that the main award the association gives is the "Scruby
Award" named for the one man that probably had more to do with the
growth of wargaming in the US than anyone else. He was a Westerner
from Visalia, California. It is also instructive that NO ONE from
West of the Mississippi has EVER received the Award. Only a couple of
recipients are from West of Lancaster, about as many as have been
given to Englishmen from farther East! It seems the eyes of the
HMGS-East group only look to the East.

There are hundreds of attendees and vendors from West of the
Mississippi that schlep figures and terrain thousands of miles to
HMGS-East venues with little or no moral support or recognition from
HMGS-East. HMGS-East is so caught up in their own world view that they
see little difference between their loading an SUV with four boxes and
driving a couple of hours and the travails of the Westerners that do
attend.

The parochial atiitude of the Lancaster Few, coupled with cronyism and
the worst sort of regionalism, has robbed the hobby of opportunities
for growth and new ideas that one would expect from the largest and
oldest hobby venues.


BJ
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 13, 2004 5:13:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

djcoaltrain@aol.com (NJH) wrote in message news:<aa3d875c.0406121941.1981b485@posting.google.com>...
> vojvoda13@yahoo.com (James Mattes) wrote in message news:<de8334fc.0406080717.4f0fea16@posting.google.com>...
> > Having studied the state of the hobby and the conventions around the
> > world I think I can say that Historicon is the Granddaddy of them all.
> > Why is that? ...... Is there a market for more historical
> > based gaming?

> *NJH: I doubt you could be any more patronizing and condescending to
> the rest of the very fine historical conventions around North America.
> I'll try to explain this again for the geographically and
> demographically challenged.

Norris please don't take some individuals spin on my posting and
attach it to me. My question was world wide. See title of this thread.
I did pose the question of why there were not other conventions in
other regions of the area.

Demographics. Bill Gray and I have exchanged posting on this for
several years since I did a comparison of locations of members around
2001. I see our (HMGS-East) membership reflecting where our
conventions are not where the membership is located.

As to the Population per square mile it has some merit and was part of
the question I asked. I also do not buy it lock, stock, and barrel.
Other conventions of smaller hobbies, trade shows, etc are not all in
the NCR. Why is that? Would they not draw more members/visitors to
their conventions if they were? I see some factors in the proposal
that it is due to population destiny, but I do not think that is the
decisive factor. One other factor I have looked into is disposable
income and free time. Federal employees and those associated with the
Federal Government (and yes I have been both in the past) have I
believe a disproportional amount of each to the general population of
the continental United States.

I have lived in the West and I am from the Southwest. I have driven
hours to game in friends homes and to shop in various game shops.
Prior to the online trend I will note for the record. I have also
driven and flown to conventions around the country. No, not many were
historical miniature game cons but the point is the same. Driving
distance is a factor but I think it is as much a rationalization as it
is ground truth.

As for Marketing and promotions (FTR I consider myself the HMGS-East
promotion guy) I am not in the marketing role, as I do not sell a
product or service but work towards promoting the hobby.

As for California I will have to go back and check but I do not think
I was ONLY referring to Ca. I think TX and Illinois are two areas that
have strong historical gaming communities in the past.

Perhaps the reason HMGS-east has such strong conventions is the
volunteer base that support running the conventions and promoting the
hobby.

As for the log cabin remarks I think you should look back over the
past several years worth of postings on the net I have made regarding
the conventions and hobby before you state I have not done my
homework. Because I do not reach the same conclusions as you does not
mean my dissertation is any less valid. Nor the fact that I am a
member of HMGS-East.

If you really do feel I was in some way slighting you or others
outside the beltway I offer my apologies. I do feel that some who have
responded here and on other locations are being too thin skinned
VR
James Mattes

> Cheers
> Norris Hazelton
> President, Northwest Historical Miniature Gaming Society
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 13, 2004 5:40:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

highwiremedia@earthlink.net (Bob Jones) wrote in message news:<73e9b810.0406100831.2dfd6982@posting.google.com>...
> vojvoda13@yahoo.com (James Mattes) wrote in message news:<de8334fc.0406091950.6a53f68a@posting.google.com>...

I was just going to let this go but I have to ask. What makes you so
mean spirited in all your postings? The one time I have talked to you
and through folks who have told me about you in the past I did not get
the same impression. If you want to tear down my comments fine.

> BJ: Gosh, it would be nice if you gave any thought to your easily
> answered questions prior to asking them. It would also be peachy if
> you had a better comprehension of the replies by several respondents.

If I knew all the answers why would I ask these questions?


> > Broken down here are the five questions I posed to the list:
> > Why is that?
>
> BJ: Mssrs. Gray, Jones, and Knudsen answered that softball question
> pretty well.

Three views from three individuals who you agree with. Is your
argument that it is so because they say so. Perhaps you could
recommend or put forth some not so "softball" questions on the
subject.


> > Why does our smallest convention (Fall In) so out
> > perform other historical conventions around the country and the world?
>
> BJ: An unsupported contention-though, if true, the demographic
> arguments presented by Mssrs. Gray, Knudsen, and Jones seem logical
> and adequate to explain the "success" of the HMGS-East conventions.

My statistics are from number of games run, dealers, attendance and
other data I have been able to gather the past few years. I will give
you if there is a convention in Plano Texas (one of my homes so don't
accuse me of slamming Plano) that is not on line I might now know
about it. Quality of the convention experience is a subjective factor
that I did not use for this analogy.


> > What do
> > you think?
>
> BJ: That you show little aptitude for research, marketing, or basic US
> demographics.

I think you know what the question was about not some barb you can
attempt to stick on me personally.


> > > As for Tom Dye's complaint about HMGS-East politics; I think most
> > > gamers would say that one of the few benefits of convention fees and
> > > dues is the entertainment value of watching the self-centered few
> > > wrangle over the inconsequential in pursuit of the laughably low
> > > stakes of control of HMGS-East.
> >
> > I am really sorry that you feel that those of us who are interested in
> > the charter of the organization and have taken our own time to promote
> > the hobby are only (in your words) self-centered and only after the
> > control of HMGS-East. Perhaps if you care to I can send you an invite
> > to join the marketing team?
>
> BJ: Team? I guess you're right... If the Marx Brothers, Abbott and
> Costello, Martin & Lewis, George and Gracie are teams, then, so should
> be the HMGS-East Marketing "team."

You will have to forgive me if I do not pass on your platitudes to
those on the marketing list.

VR
James Mattes
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 13, 2004 5:49:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

agoodall@hyperbear.com (Allan Goodall) wrote in message news:<ebc7b176.0406100859.3324d37b@posting.google.com>...
> vojvoda13@yahoo.com (James Mattes) wrote in message news:<de8334fc.0406091950.6a53f68a@posting.google.com>...
>
> > Why is that?

>
> (Well, some people know. In 2000 I was running some miniatures games
> at GenCon. I was signing in when a player came up looking for
> historical games. The head of Miniatures HQ said there were a few, but
> not many. He suggested that if the guy wanted historicals he'd be
> better off served going to Origins as it was the "big historicals
> convention". At that point both me and the guy he was talking to said,
> "No, Historicon," in unison. The Miniatures HQ guy admitted that he
> knew very little about conventions other than the Andon/WotC events.)

Yes that is too true. Part of my objective in conducting outreach via
Yahoo groups (some may know me from there) is to make sure I never see
another posting that asks what is Hcon.


>
> > Is there a market for more historical
> > based gaming?
>
> I would say yes, but then again I'm stuck playing solitaire as there
> is virtually no one around here that I can play against (though I
> haven't looked at joining any groups in Jackson, MS, or Shreveport,
> both of which are about 2 hours away). I'm dying to play again, so I'm
> definitely part of an untapped market.

Have you checked the Yahoo groups. I know we have a listing of clubs
in Ms.

>
> Will I attend it again? Perhaps. I like the Gettysburg location
> (definitely a plus for me, as my wife liked the area) and so that is
> probably also part of the draw.

I agree Gettysburg is one of my favorite places on the face of the
Earth.




>
> > Why is it that other regions of the US do not have
> > conventions of this scale?
>
> Population density.

See my other posting about this below.

> I live about five hours from Little Rock, Dallas, Houston, Baton
> Rouge, New Orleans, and Memphis. You sure wouldn't want to put a
> convention here in northeast Louisiana, though, as the number of
> locals (up to 2 hours away) simply isn't enough to sustain a
> convention. Those cities have at most one other city within a 5 hour
> radius. How many big cities are within 5 hours of Lancaster PA? I know
> Baltimore and Washington, but that also puts New York in range too,
> doesn't it?

Why are other hobby type conventions so successful in locations such
as Las Vegas where the nearest living thing are the three headed
aliens at NTS.
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 12:56:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

>BJ: Yet another fine reply. It is HMGS-East's long standing lack of
>understanding of anything West of the Appalachians-especially, and
>particularly, concerning the hobby of Wargaming, that boggles the
>mind. It is this myopia that has led to a general devaluing of the
>contribution of Western wargamers to the hobby and its history.
>

Hey BJ. While you are spot on, IMHO, I also offer two reasons for this:

1. The obvious: H-Con, Cold Wars and Fall-in are HMGS_East cons; while many of
us see them a "National", in reality, they are merely regional cons. HMGS-East
has made that clear so many times....(that there is NO "National
Organization"....so they MUST be regional cons.

2. YOU were a founding member of the Colorado Military Historians (what, some
30 years ago?) You are among the few remaining that have the history of the
corporate experience in Colorado. Why not write a narrative of what gaming has
been like out west for all of us? After all, you DID post:

<<The hobby's lack of any
objective history( Any history, for that matter) is odd for an
activity supposedly motivated by an interest in history!>>

Greg Skelley has a fine collection of old newsletters that could be
helpful....besuides also being another founding member.

My point is that you are uniquely qualified to write such a history, being one
of the founders out here. Ever think that perhaps why HMGS-East is always
referring to Wally's Basement is just an attempt tto educate how THEY got
started? Who else has ever spouted THEIR origins? We (westerners) should do the
same so others can see that East does NOT have a monopoly on organized play in
the USA!

As I see it, HMGS-East is rightfully proud to share their experience in the
hobby. Likewise, why shouldn't others? It could actually give hope to those
that aren't close to any clubs like CMH, CHG, HMGS- Anywhere, that they , TOO,
can get a club started.

Just an observation, Bob. Request you give it some thought. Am sure a lot of us
would be willing to help with such a project.

Best,
Tom Dye
GFI
GFI/Minifigs: www.minifigs.com (303)361-6465
Attactix:Bill@attactix.com (303)699-3349

Makers of Minifigs to the Americas!
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 1:02:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

>Why are other hobby type conventions so successful in locations such
>as Las Vegas where the nearest living thing are the three headed
>aliens at NTS.

Just an opinion, but I'm thinking b/c more than the hobbyist can have fun in
Vegas. I mean, it is alright for single guys (say in this hobby) to drive
someplace for a long weekend if they have no family commitments.

But, if someone with social obligations to family/girlfriend/other, wants to
go, the other people need some outlet as well. At least in most relationships
with which I am acquainted.

So, by hosting events in Vegas, the whole family (in whatever form) can find
something to do. Also, it can be sold to everyone at home as a "vacation"
rather than just a game (in the context of this hobby).

Anyway, just a thought.

BTW: in answer to your reply to one of the other replies to your post, yes, he
does have to be nasty, it is his habit in many cases, not all, but many.
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 1:02:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

samvanga@aol.com (SamVanga) wrote in message news:<20040613170208.13966.00000872@mb-m18.aol.com>...
> >Why are other hobby type conventions so svccessfvl in locations svch
> >as Las Vegas where the nearest living thing are the three headed
> >aliens at NTS.
>
> Jvst an opinion, bvt I'm thinking b/c more than the hobbyist can have fvn in
> Vegas. I mean, it is alright for single gvys (say in this hobby) to drive
> someplace for a long weekend if they have no family commitments.
>
> Bvt, if someone with social obligations to family/girlfriend/other, wants to
> go, the other people need some ovtlet as well. At least in most relationships
> with which I am acqvainted.
>
> So, by hosting events in Vegas, the whole family (in whatever form) can find
> something to do. Also, it can be sold to everyone at home as a "vacation"
> rather than jvst a game (in the context of this hobby).
>
> Anyway, jvst a thovght.
>
> BTW: in answer to yovr reply to one of the other replies to yovr post, yes, he
> does have to be nasty, it is his habit in many cases, not all, bvt many.

BJ: After many visits and rvnning a covple of conventions ovt there,
yovr svggestion brings forth sheer dread. The problem with Las Vegas
is that if yov don't want to gamble; and if sheer tasteless excess
makes yov slightly navseovs, then yov're S.O.L. Not to mention that
the place is abovt as devoid of any history( or at least any that the
local Chamber of Commerce wovld want to talk abovt) as any place in
the US. I'd love to see Bob G. deal with the L.V. vnions! I svppose
some people wovld get excited abovt Wayne Newton singing one more
chorvs of Danke Shoen to the missvs, bvt Las Vegas is jvst a big
Wal-Mart with slot machines, silicon titties, and neon overload.

How abovt Visalia? :-)

The West has great cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and
Denver. All with "Real" History, local color, and taste, and yov
wanna show these Eastern lads Las Vegas! Egad!

That's as if the first tovr for vs Westerners wovld be centered on
Atlantic City!


BJ
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 1:17:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

Other conventions of smaller hobbies, trade shows, etc are not all in
the NCR. Why is that? Would they not draw more members/visitors to
their conventions if they were? I see some factors in the proposal
that it is due to population destiny, but I do not think that is the
decisive factor.


That's a no brainer to test that theory! Just hold Historicon somewhere out
west! (Say, St. Louis?)

<<If you really do feel I was in some way slighting you or others
outside the beltway I offer my apologies. I do feel that some who have
responded here and on other locations are being too thin skinned>>

Appology accepted. As for being too thinned skinned, suggest you go back and
re-read the tone of your original posting. It sure came across the way folks
have been responding to it!

There are too many other folks in the USA that continue to work hard to promote
Historical miniature gaming besides HMGS-East.(Yes, I caught the part about the
"world", but the respondants seem to all be Americans--and perhaps one or two
of our Canadian bretheren). To suggest that their efforts are not resulting in
being serious contention to East's cons came across as an insulting comment.

You received some very good and serious feedback regarding demographics
(including distances) that seem to be more than valid. But you cannot say that
"historicon sized" cons aren't happening across the country due to the lack of
committment from the con organizers! I usggest that perhaps the opposite is
closer to the truth! Because of the demographics, they have to work harder to
influence far away gamers to make the trip. The fact that so many of the cons
seem to be growing is proof that their efforts are working! (Imagine what THAT
kind of dedication could do for East"s cons! )

I see this whole interesting discussion leading to support for a national
organization, where the talents of all of these folks can expand the corporate
knowledge for not just putting on cons, but overall promoting of the hobby in
general.

Of course, that would also result in HMGS-East losing some control over things,
and I don't see East being willing to give up that power, easily. I feel that
the dominating feeling there is that they have worked too hard to get to that
point; let others learn and do on their own....which results in posts like
these. (Which is a shame for American and Canadian Historical Miniature gamers
as there is a distinct lack of leadership with an "all encompassing" vision.)

Just my 2 scheckles worth, Jim.

Best,
Tom Dye
GFI
GFI/Minifigs: www.minifigs.com (303)361-6465
Attactix:Bill@attactix.com (303)699-3349

Makers of Minifigs to the Americas!
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 1:21:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

One last thought just struck me: "Well, why doesn't some other chapter or
organization step up to the leadership role and organize a national movement?"

Answer: Probably for the same reasons why you don't see countries like Uganda
spearheading anti-terrorist efforts in Indonesia. (They aren't affluent enough
to succeed.)

Just another thought.

Tom Dye
GFI
GFI/Minifigs: www.minifigs.com (303)361-6465
Attactix:Bill@attactix.com (303)699-3349

Makers of Minifigs to the Americas!
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 1:44:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

Jim asks:
<<Three views from three individuals who you agree with. Is your
argument that it is so because they say so. Perhaps you could
recommend or put forth some not so "softball" questions on the
subject.>>

While be it far from me to actually come to the defense of Bob Jones and his
barbed style of communications on the internet (he's much different in
person...a Jeckle and Hyde situation to be sure!) but he does have a point!

As you can see, there are more than three that think like he does on this
subject. So here is a non-softball question for you:

Why not hold Historicon in a more centralized location in North America? (Like
St. Louis?) (And PLEASE don't give me the "It's too far for us to travel" bit
as Historicon sees hundreds that travel from all across the country to
attend....why can't East gamers do the same?) Such a convention would provide
some hardball answers to some of the questions you are trying to seriously ask,
here.

Think of the potential for the good of the hobby! I know of folks that would
attend if Historicon was much closer. Attendance wise, the potential is there
to actually see a modest incease in attendance....from NEW faces with new ideas
and games.

Yeah, I know it won't happen under the umbrella of HMGS-East, But the fact is
that SOMEONE will one day do it. Have to admit that the idea is worth bantering
around, isn't it?

Best,
Tom Dye
GFI
GFI/Minifigs: www.minifigs.com (303)361-6465
Attactix:Bill@attactix.com (303)699-3349

Makers of Minifigs to the Americas!
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 8:34:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

Sorry, but I would NEVER take my family to Vegas -- not that that
matters any more as the kids are on their own these days. As for
"stuff" to do, my kids got a bigger charge out of Gettysburg than almost
any where else we went (go figure). This is not to say they went
willingly but once there . . .

Personally, I think the East Coast venue would not improve significantly
by moving to, say St. Louis. True you'd pick up some folks but you'd
also loose some folks.

Seems to me facilities are THE biggest deal for these events. I could
be wrong here but why not identify actual facilities / price em /
identify other attractions AND THEN talk about a change.

This whole discussion appears to be putting the cart in front of the
horse.

Disclaimer: This message is my opinion only and is not intended to
offend anyone nor specifically address any particular post. Most of
all, it is not directed at Sam.

Hope you all had a good weekend and got a game in.

mjc



SamVanga wrote:

>>Why are other hobby type conventions so successful in locations such
>>as Las Vegas where the nearest living thing are the three headed
>>aliens at NTS.
>
>
> Just an opinion, but I'm thinking b/c more than the hobbyist can have fun in
> Vegas. I mean, it is alright for single guys (say in this hobby) to drive
> someplace for a long weekend if they have no family commitments.
>
> But, if someone with social obligations to family/girlfriend/other, wants to
> go, the other people need some outlet as well. At least in most relationships
> with which I am acquainted.
>
> So, by hosting events in Vegas, the whole family (in whatever form) can find
> something to do. Also, it can be sold to everyone at home as a "vacation"
> rather than just a game (in the context of this hobby).
>
> Anyway, just a thought.
>
> BTW: in answer to your reply to one of the other replies to your post, yes, he
> does have to be nasty, it is his habit in many cases, not all, but many.
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 9:10:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

dye4minis@aol.com (DYE4MINIS) wrote in message news:<20040613171738.15979.00001025@mb-m16.aol.com>...
> Other conventions of smaller hobbies, trade shows, etc are not all in
> the NCR. Why is that? Would they not draw more members/visitors to
> their conventions if they were? I see some factors in the proposal
> that it is due to population destiny, but I do not think that is the
> decisive factor.
>
>
> That's a no brainer to test that theory! Just hold Historicon somewhere out
> west! (Say, St. Louis?)

While in theroy St Louis is central it is also in HMGS-Midwest's back
yard. They do a fine job with Little Wars and I would not want to do a
run on the bank in their turf unlike some. I do not think the
membership would support HMGS-East selling/giving/loaning etc Hcon to
an other chapter or National organization. For one the only real
resource is the name and date. Other than that all the assets are
chapter assets, and resources. I would think any large convention run
about the same time as Hcon would only work if it were far enough West
to draw those dealers and gamers and GMs that consider it too far to
travel to Hcon. Dallas would be my city of choice if I had to start
looking in the West. San Francisco is a Great town, and there are
others. Last I checked I think Dallas is a right to work state as well
;-)
VR
James Mattes
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 9:11:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

<<Personally, I think the East Coast venue would not improve significantly
by moving to, say St. Louis. True you'd pick up some folks but you'd
also loose some folks>>

True, but one never knows. I think that it would be interesting to try. I
definately believe that there are more historical gamers within a days drive to
St. Louis than where it is now. That would include as far awa y as Chicago,
Denver, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Ohio, parts of Kentucky, Indiana etc. there
is a considerable number of historical miniature gamers within a days drive.

Only the most dedicated from the East would make the trip, but the potential
exists for the show to be just as big a success....but with many NEW faces.

Remember, there is a considerable number of gamers that travel (by air, mostly)
to H-Con from all over the USA. Anyone from HMGS have any stats as to exact
numbers? If so, that many East gamers would have to attend to keep things
"equal" in tthose that support East's cons. (Which I doubt that many would come
to support a con outside their HMGS-East region.)

Las Vegas is quite a successful venue for "other" cons. Perhaps not as good for
a Historical con, I admit!

best,
Tom Dye
GFI
GFI/Minifigs: www.minifigs.com (303)361-6465
Attactix:Bill@attactix.com (303)699-3349

Makers of Minifigs to the Americas!
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 9:11:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

What not have two? One east coastish and one west coastish.
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 12:55:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

Actually Tom, I think you are likely off in terms of the number of
available gamers for a St Louis show. Using the JTR figure of a day's
drive = 6 hours, here are the following stats via MS MapPoint
segregated by Census Bureau MSA.

ST LOUIS:

St Louis - 2.6 million
Chicago - 8.2
Indianapolis - 1.6
Louisville - 1.0
Cincinnati - 1.6
Nashville - 1.3
Memphis - 1.2
Kansas City - 1.8
TOTAL - 16.7 million

LANCASTER, PA:

Cleveland - 2.2 million
Pittsburgh - 2.3
Richmond - 1.0
Rochester - 1.0
Hartford - 1.1
Providence - 1.1
New York - 8.9
Philadelphia - 4.9
Baltimore - 2.5
DC/NVA - 5.1
New Jersey Aggregate (there are 5 MSA's in this state) - 8.3
TOTAL - 38.4 million

Bottom line is that within a day's drive or so, Lancaster can count
over twice as many bodies as St Louis. In fact, within three hours the
Lancaster total is still 29.7 million, or some 13 million more people
than St Louis can count at 6 hours. Demographically I just don't see
it happening, though obviously there are other factors to consider.

And while Jim and I may have to agree to disagree on this point, I do
have to say there is something in his assertion that HMGS East
membership is driven by the proximity of our conventions. A LOT of
East members don't give a damn about politics (actually, good for
them:)  and join the Chapter simply because they get discounts to
attend some first rate conventions, all three of which happen to be
reasonably close by. If you magically put Historicon (and East) in
Seattle, its very likely the majority of your membership would then
come from the Washington, Oregon, Northern California areas. My only
proviso would be that since that area of the country is less densly
populated than where Historicon sits now, your overall Chapter
membership is likely to be much less. There would still be lots of
gamers in Philadelphia, they just wouldn't be members of the Chapter.
Thus the two issues of Chapter numbers and convention numbers are very
interrelated, and in this regard putting Historicon in Lancaster kinda
boosts both sides of the equation in an almost chicken-egg sort of
way.

And finally one thing I will back up Jim on is attitude. Jim requested
information, period. I saw nothing to suggest a demeaning or arrogant
perspective towards anyone. Heck, I looked at my own response and
thought it perhaps a bit too blunt (apolgies here). Really, we're not
discussing anything here that will impact on world peace or even the
price of a Frapachino at the local Starbucks. Can we lighten up a bit?

Regards, Bill Gray








dye4minis@aol.com (DYE4MINIS) wrote in message news:<20040614011109.16349.00001017@mb-m29.aol.com>...
> <<Personally, I think the East Coast venue would not improve significantly
> by moving to, say St. Louis. True you'd pick up some folks but you'd
> also loose some folks>>
>
> True, but one never knows. I think that it would be interesting to try. I
> definately believe that there are more historical gamers within a days drive to
> St. Louis than where it is now. That would include as far awa y as Chicago,
> Denver, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Ohio, parts of Kentucky, Indiana etc. there
> is a considerable number of historical miniature gamers within a days drive.
>
> Only the most dedicated from the East would make the trip, but the potential
> exists for the show to be just as big a success....but with many NEW faces.
>
> Remember, there is a considerable number of gamers that travel (by air, mostly)
> to H-Con from all over the USA. Anyone from HMGS have any stats as to exact
> numbers? If so, that many East gamers would have to attend to keep things
> "equal" in tthose that support East's cons. (Which I doubt that many would come
> to support a con outside their HMGS-East region.)
>
> Las Vegas is quite a successful venue for "other" cons. Perhaps not as good for
> a Historical con, I admit!
>
> best,
> Tom Dye
> GFI
> GFI/Minifigs: www.minifigs.com (303)361-6465
> Attactix:Bill@attactix.com (303)699-3349
>
> Makers of Minifigs to the Americas!
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 1:41:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

>Not to mention that
>the place is about as devoid of any history( or at least any that the
>local Chamber of Commerce would want to talk about) as any place in
>the US.

I always make a point of revisiting the Hoover Dam (a whole subset of history
in its own right) when I go to Vegas. And, the Grand Canyon really is both
(grand and a canyon).
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 2:29:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

Quite some number of years ago now, WRG ancient rules were ascendant
and had a large following with a national championship. This was not
DBA, but whatever edition the original rules were on then.

There had been a spate of complaining about the national championship
always happening on the East Coast, and Ghenghis Con in Denver was
asked to host one. I was President of DGA at the time, and being a
dedicated miniatures gamer we decided to give it a shot. We were told
that there would be a large number of gamers come to this, that Denver
wasn't that far, etc.

We rented a significantly larger hall, and dedicated around 30 tables
to the tournament. This was based on what we were told would be the
turnout.

In the end, maybe 10 people came from the East Coast for this. The
supposed fanatics that would "always" go to the national tournament
didn't show.

The East coast folks just won't come to our shows. Is it the
distance? Is it "Eastern snobbery"? Have they become so used to
great shows in their backyard that the concept of going to a con in
the midwest, or worse yet California, just doesn't register? Who
cares?

They won't come. Period. That means we either haul our butts back to
Historicon, or support our local cons. Or, perhaps, both.

I was planning on going to Historicon this year. I decided against
it, for several reasons. I have decided, based on what I hear about
Little Wars in MWAN, to go to that next year. It sounds like a good
con, and hey, I can drive it in a day from Kansas City.

Griping about the "Eastern Conspiracy" is a waste of time. Either pay
the airfare or go to the local cons.

Bill McHarg
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 2:29:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

Bill McHarg <wmcharg@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message news:>
> They won't come. Period. That means we either haul our butts back to
> Historicon, or support our local cons. Or, perhaps, both.
>
> I was planning on going to Historicon this year. I decided against
> it, for several reasons. I have decided, based on what I hear about
> Little Wars in MWAN, to go to that next year. It sounds like a good
> con, and hey, I can drive it in a day from Kansas City.
>
> Griping about the "Eastern Conspiracy" is a waste of time. Either pay
> the airfare or go to the local cons.
>
> Bill McHarg

BJ: Perhaps you're right, Bill. But, given the distances and
geographic limitations of the West, perhaps what we should do is what
Westerners have always done-innovate!

What about a Virtual Convention?

Pick a certain Saturday and Sunday in Mid-winter( No Lawn or
"Honeydew" tasks) and call it the "Western US Virtural Convention."
Every group In The US will schedule games on those same two days with
each group sending the particulars of title, period, scenario, rules,
and start time to a single e-mail source. This will be put into a PEL
to be sent to all participants. Note that the convention could be
World-Wide in its "Attendance."

Each scheduled game will have a GM who will be required to send a
battle report on that battle back to the coordinating e-mail point.
These battle reports will be assembled into an after-convention
document that will be e-mailed to each particpating group.

If one wants to incorporate a bit of the sense of travel and meeting
new people, a group could work out a trip to a nearby city as an "away
game." Denver gamers could travel to Colorado Sprrings or Vice-versa.
San Francisco could do a home and away with San Jose. Seattle,
likewise, with Vancouver or Portland. The only requirement is that a
basic report on the event be sent at the end of the day to the
coordinating point.

In addition, a convention web site will be created that will have
pages added for sponsors and vendors with special convention discounts
for any purchases made. The Convention website will feature photos
and graphics about the convention from the participating groups and
highlighting the vendors' products. This will be present year-round
to coordinate the convention activities and provide a ready source for
vendor advertisements. Vendors will pay a small fee for placement on
the site.

Fees will be charged to pay for the time and effort of coordination,
and the small expenses of web-site creation. However, you can avoid
the expense of gas, the "Odors" of the mass gaming venues, and being
accosted by drunks in the Lancaster Bar. Most gamers at Historicon
spend the entire event nailed to a chair at one table with a group of
guys whose names they never learn-this could actually be MORE social!
It could easily set a record for attendees, and set a pattern for a
new form of convention. I also think that a report containing data on
a wide range of gaming related information, that we presently lack,
could easily be created with little effort.

A contest could be run for its title. Winner gets a virtual Maserati.


BJ
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 5:07:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

Why does Historicon have to move outside of the NCR? Why not allow the dynamics
of the hobby and the abilities of the regional organizations to drive
development of new cons that suit there situations and let HMGS-E continue with
their two or three regional cons.
I have been involved with some of the past efforts to develop a national
organization and I have to tell you I don't think a national organization is
viable.
That said I hope that some of the more visionary and reasonable folks within
HMGS-E eventually overcome the political and personality problems that plague
the chapter and that the concept of "stewardship" takes hold. HMGS-E could do a
lot to lead the development of the hobby, other chapters and other cons if they
chose to.
While I appreciate the one post that spoke of LW as a possible national
convention I think the key to LW current success is that HMGS-Midwest looks to
put on the best convention (convention as an overall experience or event not
just a game/dealer forum) it can for gamers in the midwest... they are
focused... and that has been the key to success.

Quality not quantity!

Bill
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2004 9:47:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

Bill McHarg wrote:

> The East coast folks just won't come to our shows. Is it the
> distance? Is it "Eastern snobbery"? Have they become so used to
> great shows in their backyard that the concept of going to a con in
> the midwest, or worse yet California, just doesn't register? Who
> cares?

I have no answers to any of these questions, but this line of thinking
raises a point: how come gamers *will* travel across the country to GenCon
and Origins?

Admittedly, those are "all genre" gaming conventions and not historical
miniatures conventions. Don't know what their attendance is like these days
but not too many years ago they were pulling in attendance in the 20,000
range, with attendees coming in from all over the US. Is the implication
that role-players and card gamers are more likely to take a cross-country
trip to a gaming con than historical miniatures gamers?

DLF

--
David Ferris
www.irvania.com

Who among the gods is so hard-hearted
that he finds joy in your torment?
-- Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 15, 2004 8:59:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

>Griping about the "Eastern Conspiracy" is a waste of time. Either pay
>the airfare or go to the local cons.
>
>Bill McHarg

I agree Bill. Hcon moving west? Why? From what I see at the eastern
conventions, those who really want to make it to the convention from the
west/west coast will make it. All you'll get with a version of "Hcon West" is
a show that draws poorly, and is weakly supported by dealers. Oh yeah -
dealers - that small part of the HMGS East shows that draws the big crowds.
How many dealers do you think would show up at a Western convention....maybe
only those located in the west/midwest? Not many want to load up their trucks
and drive more than a day with their inventory.

As far as other activities in the immediate convention area - that's not why
people go to conventions. They go to game, to see their friends, to buy - not
to dine, nor attend the opera, nor be culturally enriched. If that location
happens to fall on the east coast, in the heart of the population center - so
be it.

I honestly think that HMGS East conventions have had their attendance affected
by the internet - why spend a few hundred $ to go to a show to see the dealers
room when you can order via the internet, from any vendor in existence, and
have the stuff in a matter of days? Maybe what the hobby needs is more
dedication to the hobby at the individual level - groups that regularly meet
without the need for politics, clubs that have more than a handful of people
that are the only ones who put on games, hobbyists with positive attitudes
rather than "been there, done that", less bickering, more enthusiasm, more
participation, less sniping....

But then, where would RGMH be?

Brent
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 15, 2004 9:22:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

Well it's a no brainer that Historicon will never move outside of the region.
really, why should it? After all, it IS a regional con.

It WOULD be nice to have a national convention, that is away from the East
Coast. I had suggested St. Louis as the population center of the USA is just
south of that, for the past 2 decades. (DoD recruiting stats.) (Close to Cape
Girardo, Mo.)

Using the talents of many other HMGS chapters' corporate knowledge, combined in
a concerted effort, would make an awesome con. But first, HMGS has to agree to
do a national organization and realize that cons are not the only (nor BEST)
way to promote hsitorical miniature gaming 365 days a year. (I also know that
dreaming is free!) 8>)

Dallas, Tx.= Easily reached by air travel, there must be a lot of decent sized
convention sites available, I know there are some historical gamers there, and
also know that there are few shops that carry historical there, too.

Col. Gray: While not many East members would probably attend, midwesterners and
westerners would make up in numbers....new faces to be counted. Could finally
prove/disprove the theory that there are only so many historical gamers in the
USA, based upon East's attendance records and whatever wacky formula that seems
to get used to project numbers with.

Truth is that NOBODY has a clue as to just how many of us there are! Not
everyone attends cons....even when they are held in their backyard. BUT, the
numbers game should be important and meaningful to an organization that claims
to represent historical gamers. Sure wish we manufacturers had a way to count
heads with some kind of accuracy, but we don't either. Because of this, any
demographical stats are also suspect. (Even and especially mine! Mine are based
upon numbers that I can verify and only represent a small segment, too.) My
scrubbed database has 1, 973 entries. Of which, 175 are stores (of which only
about 34 have ordered in the last 6 months....leads me to believe that many
have gone belly-up; verified a few with other manufacturers that also arrived
at the same conclusion.) The rest are indivdual customers.

That said, and being a realist, the closest competition for quality and
quantity cons outside of East is Little Wars (Chicago) and Enfalade (San
Francisco). There could easily be a couple more, but suffice to say that
pinning a percentage of historical gamers to population is not a valid model
anymore. Too many other factors (like availability of products at the local
level, quality of club leadership/motivating activities and the ability of a
club to satisfy the needs of it's members comes into play. These are all
factors that are irrespective of "population". (Which I believe you alueded to,
Bill.)

Please note: I have noticed that there are fewer game stores that carry
historicals on the East Coast than ever before. Have been told by existing
shops that they will no longer carry historical minis as the store only served
to be a showcase; purchases were being made at the cons. Yet I hear customers
on the East coast complaining that it is hard for them to find historical in
their area. Do you think that only having minis readily available at the cons
is "the" best way to promote historical miniature gaming there? Since I am over
half the country away, do the local clubs work with the local stores to get
minis for them? How do the "newbies" get started? Forced to mail-order? just
wondering.

"I have a vision"...to where an organized effort is made to spread the word
about historical minis throughout the land....where a gamer can visit his local
store and oogle over the new releases (like in the old days!) and meet new
like-minded folks. Perhaps HMGS CAN move in this direction? Maybe another
organization might step up to the plate? All I am saying is that the time has
come to recogize and do something about this real need for the hobby. Who will
"lead"? IMHO, cons are not the best way to reach more folks....they tend to
"preach to the already comverted".

The Origins crew are making some inroads in presenting our side of the gaming
hobby to dissimilar interested gamers, and seem to be well received. More games
and preregestered gamers for them is verifiable data that reflects that there
is a lot of interest out there. I guess that shows that cans can be a good
tool, but what do you do for the other times when a con is not happening?

Just some food for discussion. thoughts?

Best,
Tom Dye
GFI


GFI/Minifigs: www.minifigs.com (303)361-6465
Attactix:Bill@attactix.com (303)699-3349

Makers of Minifigs to the Americas!
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 15, 2004 9:24:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

<<I have been involved with some of the past efforts to develop a national
organization and I have to tell you I don't think a national organization is
viable. >>


Care to share why a national organization is not viable, Bill?

Tom Dye
GFI
GFI/Minifigs: www.minifigs.com (303)361-6465
Attactix:Bill@attactix.com (303)699-3349

Makers of Minifigs to the Americas!
June 15, 2004 9:08:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

hmgs1@hmgs.org (Col R Bill Gray) wrote in message news:<8df3aec7.0406140755.7bcfb2ec@posting.google.com>...
>
>
> And finally one thing I will back up Jim on is attitude. Jim requested
> information, period. I saw nothing to suggest a demeaning or arrogant
> perspective towards anyone. Heck, I looked at my own response and
> thought it perhaps a bit too blunt (apolgies here). Really, we're not
> discussing anything here that will impact on world peace or even the
> price of a Frapachino at the local Starbucks. Can we lighten up a bit?
*NJH: Blunt, direct, even abrupt are acceptable as long as they
acknowledge the realities of life, geography, and demographics.

Allow me to explain why I was miffed by the original post:

Having studied the state of the hobby and the conventions around the
world I think I can say that Historicon is the Granddaddy of them all.
*NJH: Yes, true enough. Cheerleading is alright, after all, "it ain't
braggin' if you can do it." But then, why tell everyone what they
already know?

Why is that?
*NJH: This is a question for which the answers are readily available.
An atlas and a quick visit to the official state internet sites will
provide all the data necessary to answer this question.

We have dealers from mostly the eastern USA (Brookhurst,
Eureka, and Old London War Room being exceptions to the rule).
*NJH: That's because the dealers who attend are located on the East
Coast.

We run 3 1/2 days of gaming and have over 300 games and 100 or so
dealers
(80-100) can't remember the number of tables (150?). We have been
doing this for twenty years and are close to maxed out at the current
location (Some may not agree). Salute is larger in attendance but
can't touch the number of games and dealer and floor space. Plus we
are Historical Miniature and have minimal "alt" gaming events. We run
three conventions a year Fall In occurring in November, Cold Wars
March/April, and Historicon in July. Attendance at these three
conventions is several thousand.
*NJH: More cheerleading. More assertions that are well known to
knowledgeable hobby members. Why state the obvious?

Is there a market for more historical based gaming? Why does our
smallest convention (Fall In) so out perform other historical
conventions around the country and the world?
*NJH: Ah, now we get to it. The implied questions is, We're so great
how come the rest of you can't be as great as us? It's a "when did you
stop beating your wife question." now my knickers are beginning to
knot.

I am so impressed with the quality of the games at our conventions
over the past several years. Some of the terrain set ups put displays
I have seen in major museums to shame.
*NJH: The real statement is that the quality of the games at East cons
are superior to those of other cons, because East games are better
than museum displays.

I think much of the credit for the improvement of games does to the
various groups on the INTERNET such as the yahoo groups GMSN, and
others that are rules related, JRIII, Grande Armee, Volley and
Bayonet, Classical Hack and many many
others.
*NJH: The real statement is that somehow the other cons have not
benefited from internet access, or we're not bright enough to even be
aware of these sites.

Why is it that other regions of the US do not have conventions of this
scale?
*NJH: Now we really get to it. The real statement here is "We're
great, our cons are great, our games are great, our displays are
great, dang everything we do is great - why can't the rest of you
slubs be as great as us?"

I would expect the west coast to have as many wargamers as the east
but I do not see it reflected in the numbers I see from dealers on
line and in marketing research.
*NJH: This betrays a lack of critical thinking. The situation should
have been obvious to even the most casual observer. The situation is
that the West Coast has fewer people and they are spread out out over
a greater geographic distance. A little homework and he would have had
his answers. The answers are intuitively obvious to any person who has
visited the West or can read a map.

What do you think?
*NJH: I think Mr Mattes is a "rookie" to marketing and has explained
himself in another thread, and I accept his statement. I merely post
here so that you may know how the message was perceived by me. I also
know that the people who put on conventions in the West work their
butts off and deserve far more recognition than they get. Regarding
the success of HMGS-East, well we've both been around long enough to
know that it's a bit like baseball. Those in charge every now and then
make some real boneheaded decisions and cause a lot of grief, but
their incompetence is transitory, whereas the hobby is permanent. I
also think it's quite easy to win a World Series with the Yankees, the
real test is can it be done with the Red Sox or Cubs? Right now East
is the Yankees, but think of what grand things us poor rubes in the
other regions could do with the resources of HMGS-East. When you're
blessed with a host of riches it's not becoming to boast or ask why
others aren't equally blessed. L.I.U. but one really shouldn't rub
another's nose in that fact.
Cheers
NJH
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 15, 2004 10:40:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

omanbt@cs.com (OmanBT) wrote in message news:<20040615005938.08222.00001010@mb-m12.news.cs.com>...
> >Griping about the "Eastern Conspiracy" is a waste of time. Either pay
> >the airfare or go to the local cons.
> >
> >Bill McHarg

BJ: I think we can all agree that a West Coast Convention is not a
good idea. What is a good idea is a little more thought and
sensitivity on the part of HMGS-East and Historicon as to the needs
and contribution of Westerners, as well as the needs of the hobby
beyond the legendary 300 mile radius of Lancaster.

>
> As far as other activities in the immediate convention area - that's not why
> people go to conventions. They go to game, to see their friends, to buy - not
> to dine, nor attend the opera, nor be culturally enriched. If that location
> happens to fall on the east coast, in the heart of the population center - so
> be it.

BJ: I think there is room for a wider range of reasons than this.
Certainly, for some, a good meal and conversation with friends is a
good enough reason to attend. Certainly a visit to Antietam or
Gettysburg with a friend is a good thing. I can name dozens of
attendees that wouldn't get caught at a game table for hours without
great thought-especially the old hands! While I do, indeed, enjoy
Opera and enjoy visiting an art museum, I can honestly say that I
never expected to endulge either interest in Lancaster.

>
> I honestly think that HMGS East conventions have had their attendance affected
> by the internet - why spend a few hundred $ to go to a show to see the dealers
> room when you can order via the internet, from any vendor in existence, and
> have the stuff in a matter of days?

BJ: I agree. This particularly true the farther one is from Wally's
basement.

Maybe what the hobby needs is more
> dedication to the hobby at the individual level - groups that regularly meet
> without the need for politics, clubs that have more than a handful of people
> that are the only ones who put on games, hobbyists with positive attitudes
> rather than "been there, done that", less bickering, more enthusiasm, more
> participation, less sniping....

BJ: <<Chuckle>> I've been in the hobby nearly 40 years and this
paragraph has been written many times. Why would one expect a hobby
based on the chaos and competition of war and battle to be a placid
one? Add to this the contesting interpretations of history and
politics(often the same thing) and the rather arguable premises of the
typical rules and one should not be too surprised.
>
> But then, where would RGMH be?

BJ: Probably Lancaster(sigh)!
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 16, 2004 10:11:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

Don't know how this keeps coming up. And obviouly James Mattes can't
be taking credit for the success of the EAST convention programs when
their growth years were from 1983-1998, before he got into that end of
things.

Attendance at COLDWARS, HISTORICON, or FALL IN! is disproportionate to
what occurs in other regions. However, demographics doesn't
necessarily account for everything. Curiously when ORIGINS was on the
EAST Coast (the demographic center of the universe) it was a lot
smaller than it became in Columbus Ohio (believed not to be the
demographic center of the universe.) Enormous gaming conventions have
occurred in such places as Milwaukee Wisconsin.

A couple of years back I set out to list game clubs in North America.
By far the largest number(30), and among the most game shops, were in
California. HMGS PSW has struggled. HMGS WEST was more attacked than
supported by the clubs in central CA. HMGS Rocky Mountain was buried
under the big Colorado conventions-drawing attendance of less than 100
compared to thousands for Ghengis Con, TACTICON, etc.

I've seen and heard the notion that HMGS EAST is the cause of hobby
shop problems. Hobby Shops have to follow the trends, and HM gaming is
not now, never has been, and probably never will be the fad hobby of
any decade. For all that, many hobby shops that do sell historicals
sell at HISTORICON. And our experience at smaller regional HMGS
conventions (NASHCON, SIEGE OF AUGUSTA, RECON, HURRICON, BAYOU WARS)
has been that HM oriented hobby shops find it useful to show the flag
.. In fact, of 40 tables at RECON 04 25 were taken by hobby shops. Most
HMGS chapters list affiliated shops and clubs.

As for preaching to the converted, that's not all bad. Having
thousands of HM gaming enthusiasts getting together to game, shop, and
hang out with wargame buddies energizes the hobby.

Sometimes it works better to support HM gaming at the mixed
conventions. But that doesn't diminish the value of the HMGS
convention programs.

Pat Condray


dye4minis@aol.com (DYE4MINIS) wrote in message news:<20040608173428.19877.00000657@mb-m02.aol.com>...
> >Why is it that other regions of the US do not have
> >conventions of this scale? I would expect the west coast to have as
> >many wargamers as the east but I do not see it reflected in the
> >numbers I see from dealers on line and in marketing research. What do
> >you think?
> >VR
> >James Mattes
> >HMGS-East VP for Marketing
>
> Jin, You need to get away from the East coast for a while! 8>)
>
> My observations:
>
> 1. HMGS East has been doing "Historical Only" con the longerst. It makes sense
> that they get the lion's share of the attention.
>
> 2. There are larger cons than H-Con is the USA (and besides Origins and
> gencon). It's just that they cater to all gendres of gaming and are supported
> by the same. In Denver, Ghengis Con, Tacticon and Ben-Con all feature
> historicals. Nobody out here turns them away. Besides that, there are two local
> historical clubs also putting on historical mini-cons, twice a year.
>
> 3. Not all folks enjoy playing games in such a large venue! I have attended 4
> of those cons and have no desire to play in a game. This has also been echoed
> by fellow Colorado attendees. We go to shop and socialize; we do our gaming at
> home! 8>)
>
> 4. HMGS-East is to be commended for putting on cons. That said, con's only
> cater to the converted. What efforts are undertaken for the other 343 days of
> the year to promote Historical miniature gaming? Perhaps there are programs,
> but hard to see from Colorado.
>
> 5. IMHO, the worst service the East cons do are to kill sales for regional
> stores. More than one retail store owner has told me that they refuse to carry
> historicals because when they did, the gamers would use thier store as a
> showroon, but make their purchases at the cons! I hear the woes of locals that
> cannot get our products locallly because the store will not carry them. It's a
> "dog-chasing-it's -tail" situation! It also doesn't help that no pure
> historical distributors exist where a store can "get it all".
>
> 6. Mindsets: It doesn't help to read about HMGS -East politics in national
> forums! Living in Colorado, it denigrates the efforts to accomplish positive
> goals. While it's probably impossible to stop politics in such a large
> organization, the politics can be kept more "in house". We ahve a hard enough
> time promoting the hobby without exposing potential newbies to the "leader"
> (HMGS_EAST) and having them see the petty bickering. (OK, petty to one more
> interested in learning about new periods, game systems, etc than dirty
> laundry...which has little if any effect on a gamer outside of East's
> boundaries.
>
> 7. It would be nice to see HMGS _ East work closer with the US manufacturers!
> There is soooo much potential for mutual benefits than an entire posting
> subject can be launched on the topic by itself!
>
> I hope this items add to the discussion and provide an "outsider's" view that
> you may not otherwise get. It will be interesting to see what follow-on posts
> it generates.
>
> Best,
> Tom Dye
> GFI
> GFI/Minifigs: www.minifigs.com (303)361-6465
> Attactix:Bill@attactix.com (303)699-3349
>
> Makers of Minifigs to the Americas!
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 17, 2004 9:50:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

> Hobby Shops have to follow the trends, and HM gaming is
>not now, never has been, and probably never will be the fad hobby of
>any decade. For all that, many hobby shops that do sell historicals
>sell at HISTORICON.

TD: Pat, I agree with all you said but this. Last Historicon that I attended,
(2002), I didn't see all that many. (I'm talking brick and mortar variety.) Of
the ones that attend, what percentage of the stores that carry historicals do
they represent in the East's region? (remember that Brookhurst is not from the
region.)

<< In fact, of 40 tables at RECON 04 25 were taken by hobby shops.>>

TD: Curious, who took up the other 15 tables?

<<As for preaching to the converted, that's not all bad. Having
thousands of HM gaming enthusiasts getting together to game, shop, and
hang out with wargame buddies energizes the hobby.>>

But it could always be better! 8>) (Like more seminars that discuss game design
techniques, new research, intros to new periods, etc.) I find it a shame that
the hobby needs a convention to have it energized. (Which, as you mention,
seems to be very true!) Is this what you are saying? If so, could it be an
indicator of a deeper problem with the hobby?

<<Sometimes it works better to support HM gaming at the mixed
conventions.>>

TD: Indeed! It's a great way to recruit new members and wave our flag in the
faces of those that seem to have forgotten that we even exist!

<< But that doesn't diminish the value of the HMGS
convention programs.>>

TD: (Part of the above thought.) Indeed it does not!

My concern is the number of HMGS members that have to rely on visiting the
dealer's room to see and buy new releases. (Because they have no local stores
to patronize the rest of the year.)

We manufacturers have been forced to compete in cyber-space. The days of
visiting your local shop on a nice saturday afternoon to recon what's new is a
dying experience. This has resulted in those that have the best looking
websites doing the best buisness. Last time I checked, when in a store,
customers would choose between the best looking pack of minis, even if there
were two of the same on the wall! The actual quality of the minis don't seem to
matter to some, they are now just interested in seeing pictures. No pictures,
no sale. One could be producing the best sculpted minis in the world, but many
will never experience them if the company does not post pictures.

How does that hurt the hobby? In such a case as above, if the sculptor doesn't
sell his work, where is the motivation to do more? The standard of sculpting
stagnates (or even degrades) due to lack of pictures. Competition is not
allowed to flurish as in the days of "stores".

Do I have a long term solution? Yes.-Support the stores-let the "other" gaming
genres know that we are still going strong. Do I have an idea how that can be
accomplished? Nope. Just stating an observation. By defalt, I do feel that HMGS
should take a leadership position on the matter and look past "this and the
next con" to better organize and grow the hobby. While it may seem like a "raw
deal", who else is there to turn to?

See you at H-con, Pat? We'll be at tables "36".

best,
Tom Dye
GFI
GFI
GFI/Minifigs: www.minifigs.com (303)361-6465
Attactix:Bill@attactix.com (303)699-3349

Makers of Minifigs to the Americas!
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 17, 2004 11:39:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

Tom

I certainly don't think it is a shame that hobbyists' enthusiasm for
their pastime is reinforced and energized by gathering with large
numbers of like minded people. That seems to be the case with all
areas of common interest. Frankly, I think the hobby would go downhill
rapidly if there were no hobby related conventions, but I very much
doubt that the people who flock to the games and products at
HISTORICON would suddenly, and with equal enthusiasm, search out and
haunt the nearest hobby shop. If they did, they would probably find
either model railroad and radio controlled aircaft (my nearest hobby
shop-30 some miles away) or alternative gaming stuff.

My comment about more than half of the dealer space being allocated to
retail game shops was specifically about RECON 04, one of two HMGS
SOUTH conventions held in Tampa every year. Since it attracts gamers
from all over the state, but more heavily from the Tampa Bay area
(broadly defined) and is quite economical, the shops get to show the
flag as well as sell things. HISTORICON is more analagous to ORIGINS
in its range, though it is a "Regional" convention founded by people
essentially from New England through North Carolina. Since it is the
biggest and best* of historical miniature gaming shows. Still, it does
not apply GAMA rules to exclude on site competition (last I heard.)

See you at HISTORICON.

Pat Condray (WKPP)

*A slight disclaimer with respect to bias. I started the HMGS
HISTORICON twenty years ago.


dye4minis@aol.com (DYE4MINIS) wrote in message news:<20040617015045.10848.00000071@mb-m25.aol.com>...
> > Hobby Shops have to follow the trends, and HM gaming is
> >not now, never has been, and probably never will be the fad hobby of
> >any decade. For all that, many hobby shops that do sell historicals
> >sell at HISTORICON.
>
> TD: Pat, I agree with all you said but this. Last Historicon that I attended,
> (2002), I didn't see all that many. (I'm talking brick and mortar variety.) Of
> the ones that attend, what percentage of the stores that carry historicals do
> they represent in the East's region? (remember that Brookhurst is not from the
> region.)
>
> << In fact, of 40 tables at RECON 04 25 were taken by hobby shops.>>
>
> TD: Curious, who took up the other 15 tables?
>
> <<As for preaching to the converted, that's not all bad. Having
> thousands of HM gaming enthusiasts getting together to game, shop, and
> hang out with wargame buddies energizes the hobby.>>
>
> But it could always be better! 8>) (Like more seminars that discuss game design
> techniques, new research, intros to new periods, etc.) I find it a shame that
> the hobby needs a convention to have it energized. (Which, as you mention,
> seems to be very true!) Is this what you are saying? If so, could it be an
> indicator of a deeper problem with the hobby?
>
> <<Sometimes it works better to support HM gaming at the mixed
> conventions.>>
>
> TD: Indeed! It's a great way to recruit new members and wave our flag in the
> faces of those that seem to have forgotten that we even exist!
>
> << But that doesn't diminish the value of the HMGS
> convention programs.>>
>
> TD: (Part of the above thought.) Indeed it does not!
>
> My concern is the number of HMGS members that have to rely on visiting the
> dealer's room to see and buy new releases. (Because they have no local stores
> to patronize the rest of the year.)
>
> We manufacturers have been forced to compete in cyber-space. The days of
> visiting your local shop on a nice saturday afternoon to recon what's new is a
> dying experience. This has resulted in those that have the best looking
> websites doing the best buisness. Last time I checked, when in a store,
> customers would choose between the best looking pack of minis, even if there
> were two of the same on the wall! The actual quality of the minis don't seem to
> matter to some, they are now just interested in seeing pictures. No pictures,
> no sale. One could be producing the best sculpted minis in the world, but many
> will never experience them if the company does not post pictures.
>
> How does that hurt the hobby? In such a case as above, if the sculptor doesn't
> sell his work, where is the motivation to do more? The standard of sculpting
> stagnates (or even degrades) due to lack of pictures. Competition is not
> allowed to flurish as in the days of "stores".
>
> Do I have a long term solution? Yes.-Support the stores-let the "other" gaming
> genres know that we are still going strong. Do I have an idea how that can be
> accomplished? Nope. Just stating an observation. By defalt, I do feel that HMGS
> should take a leadership position on the matter and look past "this and the
> next con" to better organize and grow the hobby. While it may seem like a "raw
> deal", who else is there to turn to?
>
> See you at H-con, Pat? We'll be at tables "36".
>
> best,
> Tom Dye
> GFI
> GFI
> GFI/Minifigs: www.minifigs.com (303)361-6465
> Attactix:Bill@attactix.com (303)699-3349
>
> Makers of Minifigs to the Americas!
June 17, 2004 12:16:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

pcondray@xtalwind.net (Pat Condray) wrote in message news:<b19c3c6.0406161711.20007555@posting.google.com>...
> Don't know how this keeps coming up. And obviouly James Mattes can't
> be taking credit for the success of the EAST convention programs when
> their growth years were from 1983-1998, before he got into that end of
> things.
*NJH: Perhaps he refers to the entire HMGS-East membership?

> Attendance at COLDWARS, HISTORICON, or FALL IN! is disproportionate to
> what occurs in other regions. However, demographics doesn't
> necessarily account for everything. Curiously when ORIGINS was on the
> EAST Coast (the demographic center of the universe) it was a lot
> smaller than it became in Columbus Ohio (believed not to be the
> demographic center of the universe.) Enormous gaming conventions have
> occurred in such places as Milwaukee Wisconsin.
*NJH: Any HMGS convention could easily double it's numbers, if they
also provided space for TGWAG. However, that's not our mandate.
Origins became enormous when it parked it's little pooter in one place
and stayed there, year after year. I'm sure FI and CW could increase
attendees, if they stayed in one place - everyone knows it's harder to
hit a moving target. Origins is successful for a variety of reasons
proactive key administrative personnel and a permanent location are
probably the most singular.

> A couple of years back I set out to list game clubs in North America.
> By far the largest number(30), and among the most game shops, were in
> California.
*NJH: While there may have been 30 clubs, how many people per club.
Also, how many people were in more than one club. Club density does
not immediately translate into gamer density, unless it can
established by looking at the membership roles for duplicates.

> I've seen and heard the notion that HMGS EAST is the cause of hobby
> shop problems. Hobby Shops have to follow the trends, and HM gaming is
> not now, never has been, and probably never will be the fad hobby of
> any decade.
*NJH: HMGS exists to promote the hobby. The facts are that B&M
historical shops are closing, and that increasingly fewer shops have
an inventory of historical miniatures, and several historical lines
have ceased production. This does not engender confidence in our
promotional efforts. If the purpose of HMGS is to promote the hobby,
then in the light of declining sales and figure availability shouldn't
we ask, "What are we doing wrong? What aren't we doing? How can we
reverse this trend?" I don't lay the woes of an entire hobby/industry
at the feet of HMGS, but if we "sell" our organization as a
promotional entity, than we rightfully should ask, "Why is everything
going to hell-in-a-hand-basket on our watch?"

> As for preaching to the converted, that's not all bad. Having
> thousands of HM gaming enthusiasts getting together to game, shop, and
> hang out with wargame buddies energizes the hobby.
*NJH: I'd also add the word "Reconnect." We also reconnect with one
another.
Cheers
Norris H
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2004 6:39:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

>*NJH: HMGS exists to promote the hobby. The facts are that B&M
>historical shops are closing, and that increasingly fewer shops have
>an inventory of historical miniatures, and several historical lines
>have ceased production. This does not engender confidence in our
>promotional efforts. If the purpose of HMGS is to promote the hobby,
>then in the light of declining sales and figure availability shouldn't
>we ask, "What are we doing wrong? What aren't we doing? How can we
>reverse this trend?" I don't lay the woes of an entire hobby/industry
>at the feet of HMGS, but if we "sell" our organization as a
>promotional entity, than we rightfully should ask, "Why is everything
>going to hell-in-a-hand-basket on our watch?"

There are less brick and mortar hobbies stores like there are less Brick and
Mortar any type of specialty stop. Blame the internet, superstores and an
economy that "slowed" for a few years for that. If you can blame HMGS for this
and expect them to undo what they did wrong so that all would be better, then I
think you have vastly overstated HMGS' power .
I am also not sure about the declining figure availability. Compared to when?
3 years ago when almost everybody had more disposible income or 10/20/30 years
ago. I can buy a full range of ACW figures in 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, 20mm, 25mm,
28/30mm and 54mm. was that true 15-20 years ago?
could you also explain the "Why is everything going to hell-in-a-hand-basket on
our watch?" comment. you obviously feel that the hobby as a whole is
significently worse that it was in the past. a view a lot of people don't share

larry
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2004 9:05:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

<<I am also not sure about the declining figure availability. Compared to when?
3 years ago when almost everybody had more disposible income or 10/20/30 years
ago. I can buy a full range of ACW figures in 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, 20mm, 25mm,
28/30mm and 54mm. was that true 15-20 years ago? >>

This is true. There ARE more choices for figures, scales and periods than ever
before.....if you are willing to purchase via the internet, mail or live close
to a retailer that actually stocks some of it.

THAT is the real problem: fewer outlets that are willing to stock them.
Manufacturers, if they want to survive, MUST do more direct to consumer sales.
This discourages stores to carry much of a selection. Conventions also have
become a venue to see and purchase figs in the flesh. Defacto retail stores. In
some cases, the sales for minis at the cons have far surpassed sales in the
local stores. Depends on where you live and how many manufacturers the cons
attract.

While we DO have the best selection, ever, just think of how much bigger the
hobby could be if more hobby and game stores across the country (and Canada,
too) stocked historical metal minis? How much larger could we grow our ranks
from the exposure to the "What's this wargaming?" crowd that still doesn't know
we even exist, but yet we frequent the same stores?

There's a potential to be explored there!

best,
Tom Dye
GFI


GFI/Minifigs: www.minifigs.com (303)361-6465
Attactix:Bill@attactix.com (303)699-3349

Makers of Minifigs to the Americas!
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 19, 2004 6:49:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

NJH startled all and sundry by ejaculating the following words of wisdom

>> How many of us in the pre-internet days waited endless months for
>> special orders that never arrived?

> *NJH: But we were already in the hobby. And, back then historical
> figures were part of almost every hobby shop. Now it seems the money
> makers are GW, CCGs, RPGs, and paints/accessories, with historicals
> and boardgames fighting for last.

For a long time in NZ everything including GW stuff evolved mail order.
Usually from the UK. RPGs have been better supported at times, however the
GW shop in the city where I live seems to have negatively impacted this
market space.

FoW being a local product seems to be breaking into the toy and model
stores.

--
rob singers
pull finger to reply
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
June 19, 2004 1:49:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

"Ty" <tbeardSPAM@tyler.net> wrote in message news:<10d695absife355@corp.supernews.com>...
> "NJH" <djcoaltrain@aol.com> wrote in message
> news:aa3d875c.0406180758.db9ca1f@posting.google.com...
>> My experience is exactly the reverse of yours. In 9 years of online
ordering
> I have had only two negative experiences. Amazon.com sent me the wrong
> shipment of books. They immediately shipped out a new shipment and that was
> that. In a recent ebay transaction, a game I bought lacked one of the books.
> The seller offered to refund my money, but instead I kept the game and he
> refunded half the price (I had another copy of the game and was buying this
> one for parts).
>
> > How many new hobbyists are lost because they got burned by some thief
> > on the internet or they got backordered?
>
> How many of us in the pre-internet days waited endless months for special
> orders that never arrived?
>
> --Ty

I agree with everything in Ty's note, but would add that environment
and socialbility are also two determinants.

GW does create an environment aimed at pre-adolescent boys and is a
highly social community within the the larger world of all wargames.
In fact, I think fantasy of all types tends to be more "store" based
and more social than historical gaming. This could be because of the
larger economic relationship between fantasy gamers and stores-they
sort of take care of each other in a mutually beneficial way. It is
also true that GW figures and rules are totally dominant. This makes
conversation and interchange between the gamers easier(they share a
language) and makes it far easier for stores to stock the basics and
neccessaries.

Historicals are another animal. Differences in accepted rules, figure
scales, and periods played, almost guarantees a fractionalization of
Historicals into many discrete groups-which often have little contact
with each other. Whereas the collective numbers of GW players may be
in the thousands, and all are generally supportive of each other,
historical gamers are found in dribs and drabs of four to six gamers
even in larger cities.

Most historical gamers are quite happy with their "seperateness";
finding distinctions based on period, scale, rules, or even
nationality, quite agreeable. They are quite happy in a smaller,
self-affirming group that is in total agreement that 15mm late period
Napoleonics using 'Empire and Volley' rules are quite the thing, and
that those fools that live on the South side of town that play 28mm
Colonials using 'Bayonet the Ragheads' rules are barely in the same
hobby.

Because of the uniqueness of their needs and the miniscule numbers in
any discrete group, the internet has been a godsend. They have no
need of a larger group. They have little need for local contacts as
the internet allows them to converse with the other Empire and Volley
gamers in Maine and Buenas Aires. They have no need for a local store
since they can order direct from suppliers.

They are happy on their island. If one does go to Historicon one can
see this play out perfectly. There are three thousand gamers with
each gaming table made up of four to six gamers playing one period,
one rules, in one scale, The three thousand attendees are all alone
together. The largest group (DBM) is often quite apart from everyone
else. Certain rules sets have their own room. Historicon has few
events that require the attendees to meet on common ground of any
sort, and many who attend play only a couple of games, often with
familiar rules and primarily with people they know.

Historicon gives the illusion of a large collective endeavor, but it's
really 600 seperate conventions held simultaneously. About the only
shared experience is the dealer room shopping, and even that is a
bunch of individuals circulating with bags seeking their "deal." Each
barely notices the others around him, in their concentration to find
that one one two things they can buy.

Perhaps Historicon could think about new activities that might
engender a greater sense of community, but that may be a wasted effort
on historical wargamers.


BJ
!