My Historicon .. the highs were very high, the lows very low

Gee, Beav, how was HISTORICON?

Disclaimer:I got a phone call from Bill Rutherford tonight, saying that the phrase "Major PP" was considered offensive by readers. Not to any Individual, but to all individuals serving in the Armed Forces with the rank of Major. If you are such an individual, I apologize. "Major PP" is simply a shorthand for "Major HMGS President P." and is meant as a lighthearted nickname, much like how the people on CONSIMWORLD combine my first name and last initial as "Walto". Any inference that is drawn from the confluence of rank and initials is entirely groundless and not meant as a slur on our great nation’s many fine majors. To be honest, I was shocked anybody actually reads this thing, and probably didn’t think on it very hard. Again, my apologies.

First day (Wednesday)

I got up to HISTORICON Wednesday around 6 PM, in time to help out in the registration area, stuffing program books, schmoozing and saying hi to everyone.
I was a volunteer flunky for John Drye, the HISTORICON director, and did my bit, working here there and everywhere, the same old stuff. Didn’t do any gaming the first night, but did partake of the time-honored tradition of getting pissed at the hotel lobby bar with some of my cohorts, which is always a fun time.

I crashed in my hotel room that I purposely requested be in the back of beyond, in a room that reminded of what I would wake up in after a four day drunk in Cleveland. They need to remodel those rooms with a brighter color pattern.. they are quite dark and dank.

Thursday day

Worked a shift doing scut work suited for my flunky status for HISTORICON, which suited me just fine, thankyewverymuch. Got lunch, found a reason to visit the dealer area (har har)… and many hours were lost…

I ended up buying some stuff, notably some keeno FT-17 models from HAT plastics. Unlike the gawdawful RPM(?) models I already have tried to build, these have six (6!) pieces, go together in seconds and look really great. And they are two tanks in the eight dollar kit. I bought two of them, now I have four tank companies.

I also bought a SKIRMISH ELITE book on the Russo-Polish War to support my R-P game I’m working on, to be played with RED ACTIONS.

I visited the Marxman for the FT-17s, and also picked up some big 54mm(ish) plastic guys for that little notional RETURN TO LILLIPUT game I’m working on. Spoke with Steve DeYoung about working on terrain bits for this game and I’m duly impressed. The big 54mm truly look “Gulliverish” compared to Heritage 6mm figures and I think this game will kick ass. I’ll take some comparison pics and post them here later. Orignally I was going to select 28mm Victorian figures for the big guys in this game, now I think I’ll go with 54mm plastic zulus, indians and such. They are all dressed in loincloths and dancing around madly like they are stomping on little lilliputions. This is going to look great!

Anyway, didn’t get into any games Thursday day, and I hung around to make myself available for the Board of Directors for the Great Convention Director’s vote-off of 2005. Oh, you don’t know about that? That’s because I’ve not mentioned it in public since COLD WARS. Background: I was asked by Fred Hubig, president of HMGS, to be convention director of HISTORICON. I like the HISTORICON show’s time of year much better than COLD WARS (which I am in charge of at the moment), for scheduling’s sake it’s far easier with the family being out of school and such. So I said yes, with enthusiasm. Two weeks later Fred called me on my cell phone at my son’s soccer game to inform me that James Mattes (the promotions VP for HMGS) had blocked that appointment and that the decision should be made by the incoming board of directors (voted in between Cold Wars 05 and Historicon), not the VP for CONOPS (Fred). So Fred was rescinding his offer, with the codicil that likely I would be the HISTORICON CD anyway, I had his support, and yadda yadda. I grilled James M. about this and was told that he supported me too, but felt that we needed to canvas for new candidates because we are so thin with directors right now. Fair enough. And in the two or three phone calls I got from Mattes in the following months(!), he acted as if I would be the natural choice for HISTORICON, soliciting inputs for the new historical theme and etc. So now you have the background for Friday night (see below).

Thursday evening

The first night (THU) the board met for several hours and reconsituted itself with new officers in place. This went rather late.

Here’s the new line up:

Fred Hubig: President (phew)
Fred Haub: VP Conops (a very quiet guy and kind of shy.. I can work with him)
HMGS President P.: Executive VP
Bill Rutherford: doing the same ol’ same ol
Jim Birdseye: Education and Outreach
James Curtis: Treasurer
James Mattes: Communications and Newsletter (moved out of Panzeri’s control)

The Convention Directors were not named that night. They all had to wait for his Pete to show up. So I gave up hanging out to give inputs to the BOD and went and got into Norbert Brunhofer’s incredibly fun Comin’ Aboard, Like It or Not! game. This was a fun, lighthearted ancient naval game in 28mm scale, very much “in yo-face” kind of thing and I had a great time with it.

Comin' aboard, ready or not, at FALL IN 03

Later, I hung out on the Veranda with Rick, Paul, Heather, Bill and Mitch. For once, the conversation wasn’t about HMGS poltics, and we shot the shit and just yucked it up.

Paul in the murky dark

Hey, Heather... did you ever see that movie THE RING?


I had to work Friday in the afternoon, did a bit more shopping in the AM. Found some bitching Elvish glider thingies (a GW product) for dirt cheap in the flea market. They look like they might work in a Martian game, so I picked them up.. all of them.

Friday night, didn’t wait to hear from that ol’ gang of mine and weaseled my way into Alex and Jen Bagosy’s wonderful Tel-El-Kebir game which proved to be a great fight and the natives did their best to cut me to pieces. (RECAP HERE) Here’s a pic below to tease you with. My friend, Bill Alderman (from Prezcon) also attended, and we had a delightful time killing things… well, okay, being killed.

In the midst of this Fred Hubig and Bill Rutherford seek me out, and interrupt to tell me they had bad news. The Historicon Director’s job had gone to another person, as I suspected was what Mattes was setting up all along (and not without a rather strenuous fight from a lot of concerned parties that demonstrated more how much they didn’t like the other candidate rather than feeling conident in my humble abilities, I’m certain).

I shook their hand and told them it was a pretty stupid decision and a shoddy way to treat a volunteer, but it was their own to make and I respected that and would assist the other guy in doing what needed to be done to make Hcon a success.

From a certain party I got the vote counts, which were largely predictable. Pete, James Curtis, James Mattes and Jim Birdseye against. Fred Hubig, Fred Haub and Bill Rutherford for. It turns out that Mattes led the effort to get the other guy elected, based upon testimonials and eye witnesses. Mind you, James is the same “Walt guy” who called me a few times to tell me how much he supported me for the position. The capper: He approached me in the bar later and said: “I really f*cked you on that one, didn’t I?” to which I replied, “Yes, you really did, and I won’t forget it”. We haven’t had that follow up conversation yet.

And so, yet again, stayed up but not quite as long and as boozy as the previous couple nights. Off to bed a tad earlier than other days so far. My system appreciated it..

Saturday dawned.

That inevitable Saturday morning torture heaved into view, the HMGS East membership meeting. They introduced the next pack of savvy, motivated types to lead us into the future:

Sans Fred Hubig, who is at the podium, that’s (L-R) Pete Panzetti, James Curtis, James Rattes, Jim Birdseye, Fred Haub, and Bill Rutherford. I take some encouragment in the fact that Dr. Jim Birdseye is the same guy who wrote VIKING LOOTERS, which is one of my favorite convention games. That means the guy has to have a sense of humor. (And no, no sour grapes if he didn’t vote for a total stranger for Historicon CD.. it’s not surprising)

Other than that, it was uneventful and long. The new HISTORICON director hoved up on his hind legs and did a spiel about his convention. He’s made one bad staffing choice, but I suspect people will tell him about that.

Worked the convention registration room for a while, and then worked canvassing together a team for COLD WARS 2006, which surpringly went very well:

Convention Director: Walt O’Hara
Convention Assistant Director and Staff Coordinator: Ruth Torres
Staff Hotel Rooms and Assistant Staff Coordinator: Pat Shields
Web Developer: Bill Grey
Vendor Guys: Michael Betts (vendor packets) and Neil Schlaffer (vendor locations and map)
Pre-Registrar: Frank Preziosi
Flea Market: Jim Leflar and company

I’m psyched, this is a good team.

Did a little bit more shopping, buying some fakirs and arab street performers (to go with my CIRCUS WORLD Cheshire family), some Prussian mounted generals (for Prussian-Texas campaign in GASLIGHT). some odds and ends.

Went out to dinner with Bill and Margaret Alderman, after cocktails in their trailer across the street at the campground. We couldn’t get in at Dieners diner, and went to a family place in Intercourse (snigger). It was great! I also visited the little kitschy souvenier shop next to Dieners and picked up EVERY in-scale pencil sharpener souvenier golf cart they had, and some neat inscale rowboats.

Bill and Margaret were up on my invitation, working staff diligently and having a great time. Bill was shilling for PREZCON, and I didn’t have a problem with that. They dropped me off at the hotel in time to get ready for a game of “Steel Bonnets” courtesy of Lindsey Gauld, an old friend of mine (an very Scottish, so you know where his sentiments were in this one).

(This took place in the back room of the bar, an ideal location considering the beer we were consuming at a rapid pace) SEE THE RECAP HERE.

I didn’t witness the legendary Orest Swystun-Rick Etvedt argument that proceeded to shoving match and required hotel security to resolve.. but kind of wished I had, it sounds as if it had lots of entertainment value. It had a slight reprise with Orest repeatedly trying to approach Rick after the fact (after he had been warned off) to either apologize, or get into a heart to heart discussion with. I was just coming back from dinner when this happened, but did catch Orest trying to have a follow on with Rick. Amusing stuff.

Got to speak with Corny Rutherford from the Ren Faire crowd, she is ecstatic about the success of the first two outreach weekends (the Battle Barn guys from Williamsburg and Brian Whitaker and myself). Brian is quite primed to repeat the performance and hornswaggled me into coming along. This time for two weeks. Fine by me, I had a great time doing this event the first time.

Had a very short talk with Bob and his close associate, Neil.. assured him that I pursued the job of HCON director not out of a sense of rancor but because it looked like fun and paid the same big wage as a CW director. It was a positive discussion and we shook hands like gentlemen. We are now pursuing a joint AMISH RAKE FIGHT THREE
project, featuring an assault on the Host itself and the stunning denoument taking place in the lounge on the first floor lobby. I bought the golf carts for this one, as a legion of irate golfers will be the last line of defense for the Host. I am also
acquiring a new figure, THE RATMAN OF LIMEHOUSE, by Copplestone Castings, to represent our newest addition to the pantheon of ARF villains: James Rattes. I’ll figure out a way to make him wear a two-color turncoat, in keeping with his namesake’s proclivities.

So I’m named COLD WARS 2006 guy officially and for sure, which is something. I’m going do a great job on COLD WARS, and am looking forward to it.


Woke up late with a pounding headache (no surprise there, when you hit the sack at close to 3 AM). Deconstructed Otto Schmidt’s wonderful display cases, did some final cleanup work at the front desk, browsed the flea, and headed straight home for a long snooze on Sunday night.

Now, there’s going to be a follow up photo album, as soon as I post the last of the piccies to my FLICKR account, and a couple of battle reports. So lots of stuff to come yet.

In the meantime, there’s some more photos at Miniature Wargames DOT Com, a site I generally don’t like because of the many links and commercial content. He is Johnny on the Spot with the photos, however.


  1. Well from Orest Swystun’s perspective, there was no legendary shoving match. I wanted to follow up with Rick to schedule a time for a follow on as we both agreed but he was too busy.

    Amazing how stories get out of control.


  2. LOL.. Hi, Orest. Well, you wouldn’t believe how I heard it, the first time. But as I said, I wasn’t there.

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