What makes Historicon the largest historical miniature con..

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
41 answers Last reply
More about what makes historicon largest historical miniature
  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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!
  6. 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?
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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!
  17. 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!
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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!
  22. Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

    What not have two? One east coastish and one west coastish.
  23. 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!
  24. 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).
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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!
  31. 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!
  32. 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
  33. 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)!
  34. 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!
  35. 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!
  36. 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!
  37. 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
  38. 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
  39. 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!
  40. 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
  41. 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
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