Sunday, March 10, 2019

GenghisCon and lack of Historical Miniature Games

Why the lack of Historical Miniature games at Genghis Con?

I attended Genghis Con in Denver from 2000 to 2016.  I stopped attending after attending the Sister convention to Genghis Con...Tacticon in 2016.  Why did I stop attending these conventions in Colorado?  I was done with paying to only run games at the conventions.  Yes, some years I did pay for a visitor badge ($10) to attend.  I am of the opinion now that if all I want to do at the convention is run a four hour historical miniature game, why should I have to pay?  I guess you could argue that I should pay something for using the facilities.  My counter argument is maybe only the players should pay.  Unlike board gaming, we typically do not join in the game, we run the game and have sunk a lot of money and time into making the scenario/game.

I am not alone in no longer interested in attending Genghis Con or Tacticon.  Our club membership and many Historical Miniature Gamers throughout Colorado have stopped running games at the conventions.

I think there are other conventions which will do a better job than the management of Genghis Con, like Hexacon.  I'm sure there are other game types which are doing great at Genghis Con, but Historical Miniature Gaming is not.  I want to host games at Genghis Con, but under the current pricing scheme, I have no interest.

So about the 2019 Genghis Con pricing, how does the convention compare to the Colorado Military Historians club:

Genghis Con
Single day: $35.00 plus $1 per game
Saturday, 9am-2am
Assume 3 slots, each 4 hrs each (12 hrs)
Cost per hour: $3.17

Colorado Military Historians
1 year membership: $50.00
12 meetings, each 5 hrs each (60 hrs)
Cost per hour: $0.83

Based on this comparison, you are paying about four times as much for one hour of Historical Miniature gaming at Genghis Con compared to CMH.  The game experience is exactly the same. Genghis Con was better back in the day; for example a winner of a game would get actually get a  trophy.

For gamers out there that want to play some awesome Historical Miniature games in Colorado, I recommend visiting CSGA in Colorado Springs or CMH in Denver.  Also Hexacon, West Wars or Veteran's Wars conventions.

Maybe some day I will host a game at Genghis Con again.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Hexacon 2019

I attended my first Hexacon convention in Colorado this year.  It was fun to attend a local gaming convention again and see all the action.  At this convention, I think the largest group of gamers were the boardgamers.  There were also plenty of RPG gamers.  The miniature area was very sparse, which worked for me.  Lots of space and chairs for my 28mm Philippine-American War game on Saturday.

 Link to 360°
Boardgame room (click picture for 360° view)
Miniature Area (click picture for 360° view)
This is the second year of the convention with a smaller attendance compared to GenghisCon or Tacticon conventions.  This is not a bad thing.  Probably easier to manage all the action.

RPG room

Vendor room
Some positives about this convention:
  1. Cheaper.  Weekend badge comparison: Genghis Con 2019, $52.80 and Hexacon 2019, $25.00.
  2. I was NOT forced to pay for a weekend badge when I only wanted to attend to run a single game.
  3. Boardgaming room was humming with activity and had lots of games to choose from the library.  RPG areas looked very active.
  4. Miniature area was in a quiet open area.  Lots of visibility for gamers walking by.  

New boardgame
Potential negatives:
  1. The RPG rooms appeared to be pretty tight and potentially loud.
  2. Almost no vendors with little stock, but maybe that is just me not seeing anything of interest.
  3. Attendance on a Saturday afternoon appeared to be light based on the space available.  I had two players for my game that supported four.
Ancients miniature game
Gaming not found at the convention (not necessarily a bad thing):
  • Dedicated train game area
  • 40k games or tournament
  • Video games
  • Magic
I think this convention has a lot of potential and I look forward to running games at the convention in the future.

1899 Philippines miniature game

Monday, January 21, 2019

Cruel Seas Discussion

I was able to get in a game of Cruel Seas (new WWII small ship rules) at our club meeting thanks to Bill.  I enjoyed the game.  Even though I had a good time, I don't see myself getting into Cruel Seas.

Recently there has been a very active discussion on Facebook regarding the new Cruel Seas wargame rules and ship models from Warlord Games.  Opinions have run the gamut.  I do not own the rules and do not have any of the models.  Based on knowledgeable Gamers, the rules and models are flawed.  I think this will be fixed in time.  Some Gamers felt that the negative opinions of the rules and company are driving new naval Gamers away from the naval gaming.  I disagree.  Everyone has games or companies they like or dislike and it is okay to express your opinion.

Let's say a Gamer says a ruleset is unplayable and strongly recommends avoiding it.  A new gamer should still give it a try and see what they think.  Hopefully this does not mean the gamer has to shell out a ton of money just to try the rules.  My example of this is when I tried out Blitzkrieg Commander years ago.  I knew that some people did not like it and gave all sorts of reasons what was wrong with it.  Well, for me the rules got me back into WWII land gaming.

How about a naval rules story; Once upon a time I was a naval wargame newbie.  My first miniature naval game I joined in was a Seekrieg IV game.  I had fun and enjoyed the rules.  Later I heard all sorts of complaints about the rules.  Some would say a complex rule system deters new naval Gamers from naval gaming.  No, if the game is fun it does not matter.  Sure, a simpler ruleset is easier to get everyone into naval gaming.  Also, I'm sure if someone did not like Seekrieg, they would give a different ruleset a go.

Another topic that has come up related to Cruel Seas is the historical accuracy of the rules and models.  In this day in age, there is no excuse for this.  Leave the historical inaccuracy to Hollywood.  The excuse that it is okay for a simple naval ruleset (mainly for new naval Gamers) does not fly.  Call it a fantasy naval ruleset.  I'm sure the majority of Cruel Seas is accurate.  The rules can be customized to add accuracy.

Rushing games to market that are not fully vetted is an issue in the video game market.  Not sure this was the case with Cruel Seas, but it does happen.  Blitzkrieg Commander III miniature wargame rules had so many complaints that they switched authors and are publishing a revised edition.

I have not read any books specifically on WWII small ship actions.  I have read about the Italian and German small ships that attacked the Operation Pedestal convoy.  This type of scenario with Cruel Seas ship models would not work based on the size of a typical game table and the size of British escorts and merchants.  I'm sure there are lots of other historic smaller engagements that would work great.  Maybe someday I'll read a great book that describes these engagements.

I recommend trying out these rules.  I think you will have a fun time.