So, yet another Historicon has (mostly) gone by, and I have to say, I had a great time. Think what you like about HMGS East, about the only way they actually effect me is in how they run their cons, and so far, I think they have done a great job. There was a lot of complaining about the move to Baltimore next year. I don't know-- the host is a bit of a dump, but it has a nice atmosphere. I really take it for granted that we'll be able to drink beer at our games for Historicon, and it sounds like we won't next year. That will affect a lot of people's enjoyment. No more coolers (or mini kegs!) at the game tables. The free kegs on Friday night might have been a bit much-- I heard one guy was found passed out on some stairs and the police were called in-- but they were still appreciated. Anyway, 2009 ranks up there as a great con for me.
My thoughts-- it was fairly crowded. There seemed to be no fewer games than normal, and several people, including myself, had problems getting reservations into the games they wanted. The preregs slots were gone very quickly. Like most years, however, every game I walked up to was able to make room for me. I think every GM should prepare to take 2-4 people beyond the published limit, just in case.
There were a lot more air and naval games than in years past. Personally, I think modern micro naval games are just morally wrong. Just paint some toothpicks grey and throw them on a light blue bed sheet, why don't you. But, obviously, many people enjoy them. And Wings of War was the definitive pick-up game of the con. I've never walked around and thought, "Wow, yet another game of" whatever before, but WoW was really all over the place. There's always a good number of pick up games, and the only game I saw played more than two or three times was WoW. And it was played much more than twice.
And the people at Historicon are friendly. A guy I know only through online, who plays no historical games whatsoever, showed up with his son. His son is very interested in WW2 and Flames of War in particular. I helped where I could, but I'm not really into FoW. We went to the dealer area and looked in a vendor selling FoW. Pretty soon, another customer was answering his questions about what to buy. It turns out, this guy is Bob of I-95 Gamers and helping to run the FoW tournament at Historicon. And though my buddy was just at the show for a few hours and thus had missed every single FoW event, Bob promised to run him through a little demo. He did, and really made my buddy's son's day. He walked out obviously having had a wonderful time and wanting to come back next year.
Despite being here for three full days of gaming, I was never bored once. Not one second. In fact, I have to say, I simply couldn't do everything I wanted to do. Despite not getting in quite as much gaming as I could have, I still missed one flea market session completely, didn't spend as much time in the dealer area as I wanted, only sat down to eat once or twice (I kept sandwich stuff in a cooler in my room-- I hope Baltimore has decent ice machines!), didn't get to take as many pictures as I wanted, and never made any of the interesting sounding painting classes, or-- despite having Scott Bowden, James Arnold and John Gill sessions on the 1809 Danube campaign (my main Nappie interest)!!
It was inspirational, it was fun, it was great to see old friends again and just hang out with them. I have some trepidation about Baltimore-- it's a lot of money to spend to not enjoy the show-- but some part of me will definitely want to go next year, just for a chance at this again. And if it sucks, maybe we just all go to Cold Wars instead.