Friday, July 22, 2016

Another Year, Another Historicon...

For those of you who are lucky enough to experience Historicon, you know how fantastic of an event it is; and for those of you not lucky enough to experience it, all I can say is if you do have the opportunity (even if it is if the slimmest of chances) you have to try to go at least once.

This year saw me officially run my first ever convention game, and though a bit nervous about it, everything turned out brilliantly - so much so, that I was talked into running another game on the last night of the convention, which ended up being even better than the first (the first was great too - very simply, I learned a lot with the first on what to do and not to do with the second). We'll definitely be running more games next year.

It was great to see and talk with old friends, and really great to meet and create new friendships. I think that is really what I love about Historicon the most - being with so many people who have a common interest and passion for the hobby. That's what is really missing at home; I can count on one hand (and use only two fingers) the number of friends who share the same interest in miniature gaming as I do.

Above and below are photos of Miles Reidy's (one of the old friends) excellent table for his War of 1812 game. I've played in at least one, though usually more, of Miles' games since I started to attend Historicon and he continues to set the bar each year, and I try my best to copy his philosophy for con games. He also won an award for this game; three years running with an award I believe! Well done Miles!

Each year there is the usual rumblings about "historical" games going by the wayside at Historicon, and I certainly didn't help that by throwing up my Ghostbusters figures and the Stay Puft Marshmallow man for a few hours while I waited to run my second game of The Chicago Way on Saturday.

I did this purely for fun. It was great to see people pass by and smile or laugh a bit, and it certainly was neat to talk to people about it and to see so many people take some photos of them. As the below chart indicates, those purists who fear us pulp, fantasy, sci fi, horror, etc. game masters are taking over the event, clearly you can relax. For me personally, I will always be first and foremost a historical gamer, but I also absolutely love the pulp era. I could easily see me creating a game for the Scooby Doo gang, Jonny Quest, or Ghostbusters (that would probably have to fall under 'other' for a category) for Historicon. Why? Because it would be fun, and that's why we're all there right?!

My overall photo for the purchases over the weekend. Each year, I've done better and better in regards to spending money at the convention. My first year it was sensory overload and I was mortgaging my house to buy more and more stuff!

This years two big purchases were from Bob Murch and Wargames Illustrated. First, Bob's Pulp Figures. This line of miniatures has so much character, it is an absolute must have for those of you into the Pulp era - I picked up six packs of figures - paying for 5 and my 6th was free. All from the Gangland Justice line, I got Bugs Malarachy's Mob, These Guns For Hire, Two Bit Hoods, Boys In Blue 2 (so now the Police will have a tommy gun!), News Hounds (more citizens), and Femme Fatales (my soon to be Agent Carter is in this group!). Can't wait to get these figures painted up and on the table.

My next big purchase was a year subscription to Wargames Illustrated. It's a pretty expensive magazine honestly, and I usually only do back issues because of this. The vendor hall is generally where I fill in all my missing issues, but this year WI had a one year subscription for $99 that included a $25 gift voucher to Battlefront Miniatures and also an exclusive figure of a young Winston Churchill. It was the $25 gift voucher that did it for me as I used that to pick up all my back issues, basically for free. I even had a money left over which I used to grab the WI exclusive High Tide At Gettysburg set. A pretty good deal overall.

Wally's Basement (the conventions apply named flea market) continues to be absolute chaos when it first opens, and I really stay away anymore because of that. It is shoulder to shoulder, and the aisles are just jammed. Maybe it would be a little better if there was a designated route everyone took around the tables to look at everything; everyone start on the left, work your way down and then turn right and come up the middle, the turn left and work your way back down the last aisle. I'm sure it would be impossible to do or police, but everyone going in opposite directions just causes chaos. I did manage a few bargain purchases. First was three bags of Zulu casualties for only $9 - I think casualty figures add a lot to a table, and always try to have some for whatever type of game I'm playing. My other find was 5 German figures (I'm going to rebase them as I like round bases for my skirmish games much better). The brush work is absolutely phenomenal on these, and can't wait to use them as objectives in a pulp style WWII game.

And my free figure from Warlord for attending the event - "Into The Valley Of Death" from the Charge of the Light Brigade.

Overall another absolutely brilliant Historicon! It was great to see and talk with Miles and Mike again, and also Rick Horner from last years DMH games. But it was even better to make some new friends through The Chicago Way game - Edward Bardill, David and Kalissa Skibicki (who had an absolutely amazing Bolt Action table which I took a lot of photos of and are in my other two Historicon posts), and Rosyln (who apologies I never caught her last name on her tag) who I spoke to a bit over the event about TCW and was able to get her in my game Saturday night - I know she told me she bought quite a bit of TCW items, so best of luck with the game! It was also really neat to see a lot of photos of my table on the HMGS Facebook page, miniature pages, as well as in several blogs.

I was able to get home just in time to feed the horses, who were quite happy to see 'the feed guy' back home by my reception when I walked in the barn.

So, next up... the Conneaut D-Day event in Northeast Ohio. This is the largest WWII living history event in the country, with this year over 2500 reenactors participating. It literally is like stepping back in time. This is my way of keeping the memory alive of my grandfather who served in the 82nd Airborne, 508th, D Co. and jumped on June 6th into Ste. Mere Eglise. My impression is exactly what he would have worn on that fateful day; I even had dog tags made that have his name (before he changed his last name) and serial number on them.

I'll be focusing on trying to get into some sort of shape for our annual Allied/Axis football (soccer you silly Americans) match at the event, ala the movie "Victory", as I haven't run or kicked a soccer ball since indoor finished about two months ago. But I'll also be chipping away at some painting and building as well, as I think I need to make The Chicago Way board more modular, with each individual building being based separately; this will allow me to change the layout and not have the permanent board get a bit stale with gameplay.

As always, thanks for looking!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Historicon Day 2.5 and 3

Just another quick post with more photos of tables on Friday afternoon and Saturday. Again, lots of absolutely amazing terrain and models - and this is just a small example, I can only imagine how many really neat tables I completely missed.

I'll probably do one more post on the overall event and my purchases, and then my AAR's on the two games I ran.

Thanks for looking!