Sunday, July 14, 2019

Historicon 2019: I had a blast

Historicon 2019 is in the books.  In my humble opinion, it was one of the best HMGS events I've ever attended.  The new venue in downtown Lancaster was a HUGE improvement over The Host and I really hope HMGS locks that facility in with a long term contract.  There were some issues with the facility but nothing that would make me want to even consider going back to the Host for any reason.

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.

Facility Assessment:
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.

Surprisingly, the game won an award on Friday, which is due to the quality of players overcoming the bumbling GM.  The award is greatly appreciated.  There is, however, some controversy on the award as Steve form the club is claiming the flashing led lights used to make ship fire was the real reason the game got an award.  He's probably right.....

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)


Stew said...

Running a game 5 times for 10 players each is certainly going above and beyond for being a game master. Well done and glad you had fun. ๐Ÿ˜€

TamsinP said...

"Huzzah!" for your prize! And another "Huzzah!" for surviving running those 5 games and still enjoying it :)

BigLee said...

You've got more energy than me that's for sure. Looking forward to a detailed write up of the game, it looks fantastic.

Ivor Evans said...

Brilliant stuff Miles! It was great to see you again and congrats on yet another award - you're going to need a bigger cabinet for all of them ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

bogdanwaz said...

Congratulations on the well-deserved award, Miles! As previously, I had a great time playing in your games.