Thursday, July 14, 2011

Historicon 2011 Part Five: Swag and Not So Deep Thoughts

In our final chapter, here's the stuff I acquired on my bugdet that was smaller than the "healthy food" budget for most gamers:

First off, the busts:

* No pints/quarts of bases, I guess Friday morning at Fall-in! I descend onto the dealer hall and buy them all up.
* I didn't get to talk to any mini painting services: Between fundage (20%), my one-day blur of a convention (60%), and the painters actually busy talking with customers (20%) I decided to skip this one. I have my pick and will be contacting them shortly, then singing their glories on this log, hopefully.

From the Dealer Hall

  • Gnome Wars 2.0 - If I didn't buy this, I should have just deleted this blog.

  • Eureka Teddy Bearoplanes - Smaller than I anticipated, but I'm dumb like that sometimes. The pictures definitely do them justice, and you get decals of your choice (British, American, or German).

  • Harmony Hobbies - "the dice guys" Just filled in my con game dice sets, and a pink metallic soft tape measurer for my little girl. Daddy did promise her a gift for being gone all day. Two bucks is cheap versus the fully painted Zulu army she'll demand at age seven.

Otherwiswe, my shopping list for Fall-in! has expanded very little. GW Romans and Americans, an extra purchase at Pastimes on the Square for skipping them this con, and maybe a steampunk tank from Iron Winds. Of course I have a shopping list for my "real" Tanga game, and some MBA buildings to buy, but those aren't must-haves within the next 120 days.

Flea Market - I grabbed five books out of a dollar box to make my flea market pledge. Talislanta Worldbook (and I own it already), Robot Warriors from Hero Games, Heroes Unliminted Revised from Palladium, and Arena/Advanced Arena Gladiator Combat. I do follow a blog of a guy up in Canada who has a Gladiator campaign using Savage Worlds, so this intrigued me.

Free Swag - Most people start with this in their con overview, but I figure it belongs in my list of spoils. In my Historicon swag bad with convention guide and a coupon for a free S&T I never redeemed, were two sprues of Perry Miniatures plastic Mahdists. Two figures a sprue with multiple arms and four head a sprue to choose from. Very nice, but they will go on the pile of free plastic minis I've gotten before. On a snowy day were the children are comatose, I will break them out and play around with them.

I also spent my required 30 minutes at the Hobby University, painting up a free mini. I've loved the free classes they offered in the past, but I recommend it for two reasons (1) you're sitting down after a day on your feet and (2) mid-afternoon, these guys had the only trace of AC and air flow I could find. I painted up a nice pulp pilot and helped out a gamer's mom trying to put eyes on a tiny figure. If I were a smart teenage boy (an oxymoron indeed). I would hang out here all convention long. It looked as if every teenage daughter who was dragged to the convention by their father was there painting teddy bears and fantasy figures. Teenage boy or middle-age man who can't talk to any woman, I still recommend the Hobby University and hope they keep it going for next year's con.

Ted Mosby, Architect/Aviator

After all this, all the hullabaloo about casinos, Virginia, and horrible rest stop service, what have we learned? Well, for starters, wargaming is still fun. Heck, I talked to enough dads who came to the con with their kids, and by Saturday afternoon, contented themselves with watching them scalp a few Lego men or going through their spoils with glee. The kids are our future in the hobby, and the con is still cheaper than a weekend of amusement parks or other traffic. Plus, it's (almost) air conditioned.

Moving to Virginia? That's a tough one. It's easy for my friends to say they would follow GenCon if they moved to Oakland. They already spend a considerable sum to travel to Indianopolis, a flight to California and new hotels/facilities would impede their style, but it's still GenCon. Now ask the the guys within a two to three hour drive of Indy (Chicagoland) . I'm leaning towards not going and using a closer venue (NJCon) to run games. And I'm hoping all the supposed Virginia wargamers who won't make the trip up to PA man up take this opportunity, if it indeed happens. We shall see.

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