Historicon 2017, the numbers

Just a quick data analysis, as I have been making a point of checking actual quantitative data before I make statements about trends.

This is a count of what events were scheduled at Historicon 2017, held at Fredericksburg, VA.  I present these with some caveats.

  1. It’s based upon the PEL release data provided me by Bill Rutherford in June, roughly 21 June 17.  This is the data that makes Guidebook work.  It does not account for cancellations or additions at the time of the show, so there’s a fudge factor of roughly 1 or 2% at most.
  2. I am using HMGS’ categories for events, as we categorize them in the PEL and Program booklet.
  3. I can’t fairly add “Other” (which there was one of) to either Historical or Non-Historical
  4. Historical events were categorized as: 19th Century, Age of Piracy, Age of Reason, American Civil War, American War for Independence, Ancients, Colonial, Dark Ages, Early 20th Century, English Civil War, French & Indian War, Inter-War, Medieval, Mexican War, Modern, Napoleonic, Pike & Shot, Renaissance, Seven Years War, War of 1812, World War I and World War II
  5. Non-Historical events were categorized as: Fantasy, Future, Horror, Pulp, SciFi, and Victorian Science Fiction
  6. I’m not counting Tournament games, there is no way to know how many there were.
  7. Methodology: I sorted events by category in MS Excel, then ran a CountA function for number of games in a category, then a SUM function on the category counts.  There is nothing particularly complex about the equation.

Historical Count

For a grand total of 415

Non-Historical Count

For a grand total of 111

Further Breakouts (historical, then non-historical)

To sum this all up, you can say with some confidence, that based upon the original events data, roughly 21% of it was non-historical gaming events.



  1. Interesting – is it possible to reshuffle the data into timeline order, perhaps along with any “time locked” non-historicals (Vic SF with 19th C, for example)? I’d be curious if there are any bulges in the timeline.

  2. They paid to play, right? So, wargaming is really what HMGS is about these days. I’ll bet with we dropped the entry of Historicals to 50% and forced to Non historicals to pay 1.5 times entry you’d see a major drop-off in non historicals. But people have seemed to forget what the meeting in Wally’s garage many years ago was about.
    Stephen Phenow
    ex President PSW

  3. Not really seeing your point here Walt. I see the argument on your FB page. I agree we missed the boat on becoming Adepticon and bringing in the kids. However had we done that we would have ceased to be Historicon. Historicon has always been Middle aged guys playing mostly historical games. We have more sci-fi than we used to and that’s good. But my point is that the Middle aged Demographic isn’t changing as it should with age. Wally and Pat and the Founders have all passed on. They were the original middle aged guys. I find Historical gamers come back to gaming after a break period in their 20’s to play in their 30’s. Thus we stay Middle aged guys playing historical minis and sci-fi.

    • Drew? (You have the advantage of me). There is no point to make here. People often make some pretty varied statements about trends at conventions, based upon their own observations. Since I have access to the numbers, I started publishing the counts. Eventually we will do this enough to have real trends. That’s about it.

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