Historicon 2009: A whirlwind of fun


Due to pressing needs of day to day life, involving job-hunting, I had to cancel volunteering this year and concentrate on interviews (succesfully, I might add).  Bob Giglio was very understanding about the whole thing.  So my usual three day travelogue will be greatly shortened.

I arrived on Saturday, with the intention of just doing a one day shopping trip, but leaving the options open to crash on a handy floor.  I got objective #1 taken care of handily– I bought expansions to the Uncharted Seas game, wargames factory chariots (cheap!), lots of cheap terrain bits, and some stuff for my kids to paint when I do the annual gaming camp.  Miss Katie Gibson (daughter of my friend, Steve)  has been making excellent little rubbly bits for out of Hirst Arts’ castle maker system.. I bought a bunch of these.    She was earning her ticket to GenCon.  I wish I could get Annie that enthused!

I missed the General Meeting– not because I wanted to, but because I came up for Saturday and got there afterward.  Not much happened– people are bitter about the HISTORICON move to Baltimore, and did the stand up and yammer thing.  I am convinced that anti-Baltimore sentiment probably voted John Drye and Dudley Garidel off the board of directors, which seems fundamentally flawed.  Don’t you want people who are intimate with the planning of a process around to actually execute it?  Where was everyone TWO YEARS AGO when this plan went into motion?   I’m hearing a lot of complaining now.. mostly from some vendors who say they are not coming.  I am also hearing some common sense statements like “Well, I’m going to give it a try.  If it sucks, I won’t be back.. but it could be a lot of fun, so I’ll go at least once”.  Shrug.  That’s about all anyone could say.  It’s done, folks.  The contracts are signed.   Go, or don’ t go.. but there’s not much else to say– it’s going to be in Baltimore next year whether we like it or not… and I’m not planning on deliberately having a bad time to prove myself right.  I’ve got better things to do with my precious time.

On a side note, they presented me with a plaque in abstentia, proclaiming me to be a Life Member for the Cold Wars years.   That was nice of them.

I did drop in the painting university tent run by Heather and her crew for a sculpting class run by Don Goddard.  That was a highlight for me.  I would like to get into this in more detail.. it’s not so hard to do that it is impossible, it just needs practice.

Games– well, one day does not give you a lot of choices.  I did get into a pretty decent game of Trebia, Hannibal’s first major victory against the Romans on the Italian continent.   I was the Carthaginian Left commander, and we did pretty well– not from any tactical genius on my part.  It was mostly because the Romans sucked so hard and so much.   It’s a tough road to hoe when you are on the wrong side of a one-sided contest.   The Roman players did a very decent job with what they had– which was poor leaders and numerical superiority with bad troops.  We stampeded some elephants into them, which halted their advance on the wings, and counterattacked on both sides with cavalry.  The center was a slugfest, with not much decisive happening.   The rules were the GM’s home brew.  They did the job, but they were not as easy to pick up as he maintained they were (frequently) and the game did not exactly run itself.   Mechanically it was a decent set of Ancients rules but it needs a good edit for process flow– I had to flip back and forth a lot to figure out what to do.

After Trebia, I had a quick dinner from the take out and met up with Lindsay Gault in the bar with Del Stover.  We had a beer, then another beer, then maybe another or two.  Bob and Cleo showed up with the usual crowd of suspects, and we yammered and pontificated.   Del and I hatched a plan that riffs off of my Tibetan Corpse Racing Olympiad game– basically reverse the chariot to be pulled by zombies with a baby out front as a lure.  So we’re putting that one one.  We got very excited at the notion– it’s so poltically incorrect it’s nauseating.

There was a commotion going on in the bar.. Simone from Casemate Publishing was being bastianadoed by the crowd to hold some sort of cross-dressing contest involving one of her pink tops.  She steadfastly refused to change into it herself but apparently many MEN did.  Ah well, you know, they did give us Monty Python.

Got to talk to a bunch of people I dont’ see often– sadly, didn’t bump into Otto Schmidt but once.  I did see Pete Frechtling, Jim McWee, Pete Panzeri, Bob G., Bob and Cleo, Del, Lindsey ( a rarety!  and he had some crash space for me.. thanks, man!), and the usual crowd of delightful dolts that make up a HMGS convention.

I crashed at the Presidential (?) which is a short walk away– didn’t move my car for two days.  Did a flea market run and another run on the dealer’s room in the AM, and then nosed into traffic heading southward.  I find myself less jet-lagged than usual this week.. usually it takes a while for my body clock to adjust to a convention’s worth of drinking and late hours.  I guess the shortened schedule is (bleagh) good for me.

Even though it was only a day and a half, a little big of HISTORICON beats no HISTORICON at all by a country mile.  Well done, well done to Bob Giglio and all his staff leads and workers for making H’con a lovely experience.

Pictures: I took a few with a very crappy cellphone.  Rather than repost them here, you can view them on my Facebook Photo Album page in the “Geeks 2 Gether 4 Ever” album.

One comment

  1. I missed seeing you there, Walt. I was too busy running my games on Saturday to notice a lot of people, so it was nothing personal!

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