Sunday, July 14, 2019
Historicon 2019: I had a blast
The convention "vibe" felt a lot more active and positive to me - I know that's a pretty subjective measure but it's an important one. Also contributing to my very positive experience was this convention was the first I attended as a member of a club (with Little Wars TV) and that was a blast. It also made running the games a lot easier and I'm very grateful for the all the help I got from the club.
As with past Historicon's, I focused on running my game multiple times and didn't play in any other games - I was just too tired- being a GM can be taxing. It's also a great fun as one gets to pretend to be both a big top circus ringmaster and carnival barker all rolled up into one. I ran my game "To Catch a King" 5 times and had an average of 10 players per game. A majority of my players were people who have played in past games I've put on and it's always very gratifying to see them come back for more. I really couldn't have asked for a better group of players during the con.
How did the Marriott Hotel and Lancaster Convention Center do as venue? As indicated above, it was a big improvement over any of the past venues I've attended a Historicon at (The Host, Valley Forge and Fredericksburg). The Hotel food was good and there were a ton of dining options within a 5 minute walk from the facility. Off-loading and then loading all the stuff I need to put on a big game was very easy. Parking worked (I used the Hotel's valet service). Lighting was good and I didn't get exposed to killer molds, food poisoning and/or asbestos - you know, the standard "Host Experience".
There were some issues that could be improved on:
1) For some reason the up escalators from the first to the second and second to third floors were not working. There was adequate elevator service for those who have mobility issues but if you were in a hurry you needed to walk up the stationary escalator. I think the hotel, after seeing the condition of the average convention attendee, made a decision we all needed a bit more cardio in our daily lives.
2) Better maps for finding the loading docks. Maybe this is just me, but I struggled to find the loading area to unload when I first got there and ended up doing so at the hotel entrance. It wasn't a problem as I was valet parking and gave the attendants a nice tip but it would have been easier if I could find the GM loading ramp. Lets chalk this issue up to a 50/50 between unclear instructions and my stupidity. OK 49/51
3) About midway through my last game on Saturday, one of my club mates mentioned we all needed to be packed up and out of the gaming room we were in by midnight Saturday. I had originally planned to do the game take down Sunday morning and never noticed the time restrictions. In the end, it wasn't a big problem and I had a lot of help from the club to get packed up but the instructions on when we needed to be out should have been better communicated.
That's it for issues - Please HMGS make the correct decision and stay at this facility.
I'll do some more detailed posts of the game but I was really pleased with how it played. I'm pretty sure next years Historicon game will be Napoleonic also!
Coverage of the Game:
OnTableTop (aka Beasts of War)