I spent last weekend in Fredericksburg VA to attend the mothership of all the miniature wargaming conventions, Historicon. I had missed the meeting one year ago, so I was somewhat eager to join back the fray, and what a great time I had! It was real pleasure to meet old friends, make new ones, playing one game or two, and did some financial damage at the Vendors’ Hall.
In wargamers’ fora there was some apprehension about the new location, south of the Beltway and away from Historicon traditional Pennsylvania’s grounds. Well, the new location worked very well for me. It was an easy flight in and out Washington Dulles Airport, and a relatively easy drive from the airport to Fredericksburg on Friday, and back on Sunday. Some traffic on I-95 on Friday, but I still made the 55 miles or so in about 1h 15min. I stayed at a Best Western about 10min drive from the Fredericksburg Expo, site of the convention. The hotel was simple, clean, functional, and $75 per night. The drive to the Expo was a short trip across a busy mall area (which, incidentally, offers many diverse dining options.) The Expo itself is a large and functional structure, with plenty of space for game tables, and an adequate Dealers’ Hall. Food options on-site were fine – what you would expect in a convention center. Many people loved the opportunity to walk to a Wegmans across the street from the Expo; I didn’t, but apparently the large store had much to offer for food (and drinks…) Some people complained about the noise and din in the large gaming space; it was a mild annoyance, but not a major problem for me. The only complain would be the bathrooms: too few, and not serviced during the day so that by night-time they were in precarious conditions. This is something that can be fixed next year.
Attendance was good, in my opinion – but it is hard to gauge it in a very different space. If you have eight cramped rooms with six games each, you have a very busy convention; if you have 60 games in one large space that can accommodate for 100 of them, you are showing 25% more games, and yet the space may feel somewhat less busy than in the former case. It will be interesting to hear the report on attendance by HMGS-East.
2 hours ago