Ok. For the past month I've been trying to leave a comment and the system just kicks it out. No email notification or record on my dashboard like there should be. It's something that seems to be happening to many blogs and Google is looking into it. Sorry if anyone has tried to leave comments and not been able to.
Historicon and the prep for it ate a lot of my time, so there haven't any games to post. Now regarding Historicon in Valley Forge...
I was pretty damned skeptical about going there. The vendor costs were prohibitive for an operation as small as mine is right now, so I went as a general attendee. On Thursday I had a really hard time figuring out what to do with myself since I wasn't chained to a booth. I wandered, talked with people, looked at some of the really visually impressive games that Duke had set up and eventually found the club rooms.
*Gripe number one: the vendor/ general gaming area is a really circuitous, confusing walk from the club gaming rooms. Someone showed me the sneaky employee only way, but when I tried it myself I got lost and had to ask employees who didn't speak much English how get out. Twice.
I ended up playing a pick-up Napoleonics game of Volley and Bayonet that a friend of mine was running. My experiences with Napoleonics have not been very good. Could have been the game system, maybe it was the guy running it, or probably both. But... this was a blast! Thanks, Jake.
Friday morning was more of the same I-know-I-should-be-doing-something feeling for the first two hours. Again I wandered around aimlessly. Well, except for my purchase of the Volley and Bayonet rules. I sat in on Don Goddard's (Wee Sparky at TMP) beginner sculpting class. This was also a blast. The information was very well presented. Good tips, references and some hands on experience with the putty. If you are interested in sculpting or converting miniatures, I highly recommend sitting in on this class.
*Gripe number two: Concession food here sucks, the restaurants charge about 150% more than I'm used to paying for comparable food at Lancaster, the water fountains were all shut off and the water stations were few and far between.
I had food with me for lunches so the whole cost thing wasn't a big deal. Most evenings I went out for dinner. I can highly recommend their Lone Star, The Indian/ Pakistani place and the Irish pub. Prices were only slightly higher than Lancaster or eating out in Pittsburgh.
The rest of Friday was spent helping out with the jousting tournament and attending another seminar. The tournament was big fun for me, but I'm not sure about all of the English knights that were flying off of their horses due to a misunderstanding about critical hits. Be sure to ask Frank Sciulli the author of the rules, to add in Rod's "We Hate the English" variant when he publishes them.
The seminar was the Perry brothers. I was quite disappointed by it. They're fun to listen to, but the information was simply a quick slide show of making a 3 up sculpt for plastic miniatures, here's what we've done with Peter Jackson and here's a little teaser of what's in the works. It was good to put faces to the names of two of my sculpting heroes, but the seminar just wasn't what I was hoping.
Saturday was a blur. I met up with several clients throughout the day and delivered their commissions. I had long conversations with friends and played Hour of Glory in the evening with several other friends. This, too was an incredibly fun game. Thanks, Larry.
Sunday was strange not having to pack up and deal with last minute customers. I got to visit with friends and say leisurely good-byes instead of the usual farewells in passing while we load our vehicles.
My two gripes are minor and can be overcome with a bit of preparation and forethought. I really enjoyed the venue overall. It was cleaner than the Host. The staff everywhere I went was really helpful and courteous. The gaming areas were big and well lit. I found myself not missing the Host at all and will probably go as a vendor next year.
Bye for now.