Friday, July 20, 2018

Historicon 2018: Final Thoughts

Another Historicon has come and gone.  Overall I had a grand time and think it was a really good show.  To be honest I came in with some real apprehensions as I preferred the Fredericksburg site over the Host.  While the con seemed more active than last year, it was hard for me to determine if attendance was up or not so we'll have to wait to see the numbers when they come out.  I'll organize my thoughts into the standard Good News / Bad News format.

1) Con Management - I thought HMGS did a superb job running the con in difficult circumstances with the Host's construction.  The new registration system worked perfectly - scanning your code to register was brilliant.  They were also much more active in managing the gaming area as I had someone come up and check to see if I really ran my game 5 out of 6 times that were on the schedule.  At least we'll be getting some data to asses no-shows (both GMs and pre-registers) rather than the idiotic ramblings on TMP.

2) Loading and Off Loading - I was located in the Distelfink room and getting all my stuff in and out was really easy - much easier than Fredericksburg.  That answer likely varied a lot based on which room your were assigned.

3) Convention Vibe - not to get all new aged on you but I thought this year's event had a lot more energy than previous ones

4) Seeing my gaming friends - always a huge plus for any event and also enough motivation to push through the things that make putting on a con game hard.

5) The Host is showing some promise - I can't believe I typed that last sentence.  I have not been the biggest fan of the Host but I did see a few signs of life.  My room was reconfigured and was actually very nice.  There has been a lot of basic infrastructure work but I suspect there is a lot more to do and don't have high hopes things will be much improved by Fall In.

Bad News:
1) The Host is still a dump - it may not remain so (maybe) but they really shouldn't have held a convention there given it's current state.  I realize HMGS had no choice after the NJ site fell through so I'm glad the HCON was held, but the Host's management showed poor judgement in having the event given the state of their facility.  The worst offender was the food vendor who was just terrible and very customer unfriendly.  There was effectively no food onsite.

The vendor hall was nice once you got in but the walk was long and I saw a number of people struggling, especially if they had weight or mobility issues.  I stopped several times to help a guy get back from the venue as the walk back was uphill.

2) Game cancellations - this seem "seemed" to have a lot of game cancellations - 30 or so a day.  I find that puzzling and don't believe that people are going through all the trouble register a fake game just to save the tiny registration fee.  Sadly gamers of a certain age may flock to silly conspiracy theories.  Still we may get some better info here based on the GM checking that was done at the con.

I am now planning to attend Fall-In (but not run any games) so there has been some improvement with the Host.  It's been years since I've attended Fall-In or Cold Wars and that was due exclusively to the state of the Host.


Maashes Caisteal said...

Yes come to fall in. Fall in is better than the other 3. Cold Wars suffers from crappy weather more years than not.

Ray Rousell said...

30 games cancelled!! That's a hell of a lot!