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Convention Report: Cold Wars 2019

Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:56 pm

From Thursday 14th March 2019 thru St Patrick’s Day on Sunday the 17th, I joined 1850 of the faithful and attended Cold Wars 2019, the winter convention of the Historical...

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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:18 pm

Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:01 pm

Yes the Host, now a Wyndam, renovation creeps along in no discernable order. The parking was horrendous with even more debris and dumpsters taking up spaces. Someone helpfully blocked the non muddy access to the parking field on Saturday as well.

Looking forward to Historicon at the downtown Lancaster convention center - gladly paying $7 for parking in a covered garage! The Little Wars YT preview really answered some questions and the space is well great.

The Isandlwana and Rorke???s Drift games were fabulous looking and used "The Men who would be Kings" rules. I was running games myself so could not watch or play, luckily the game masters are from my area so maybe I'll try out the rules.

P Howarth
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Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:23 pm

Whilst an interesting article, I'm left wondering again, as to how many UK shows the author has attended. Whilst comparing multi-day conventions put on by a large organisation to (usually) one-day shows organised by local clubs is a case of apples and oranges, there often seems to be a myth espoused that British shows don't promote participation games.

There are a number of events on the UK wargames calendar which are 100% participation (Hammerhead probably the largest number of unique games), not just tournaments. Now why not all games at all shows aren't participation and why the ones which are usually last for an hour or less is due to a number of factors.

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Re: <t>Convention Report: Cold Wars 2019</t>

Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:42 am


You and I are actually in violent agreement, and I know that.
I was speaking in a general sense based on comments from all my British friends, most of whom have made it over to this side of the pond. No names due to privacy, but these include my colleagues in the HMGS LOH, the staff of The Wargamer (prior to Joe when it was still part of Matrix/Slitherine), the staff of Wargames Illustrated (I write for them) and the Pike and Shot Society (Honorable Webmaster). One of the chaps in the latter group, a BFF of mine, actually articulated the very same thing in the Arquebusier when he did an after action report on Historicon.

I am sure they were also speaking generically, thinking more of major conventions than smaller fare. When us colonials think British conventions, we think Salute, not Hammerhead. When you chaps think of US conventions it usually means Historicon, not Southern Front.

Thanks for making an excellent point, however, and I will certainly take that into account for the future.

BTW, alas the last British convention I attended was Rhinecon, sponsored by the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). It was a different experience, with the convention staff actually acting as umpires for individual games, but in those days the British attendees, at least, wore dress shirt and tie, so you can imagine how long ago that was.

Colonel Bill

P Howarth
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:03 pm

Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:13 pm

Thanks for your response, but with respect, I'm a bit confused as to what we're agreeing on. If it's that generalisations aren't helpful then I'm fine with that. There are many reasons for the format of UK shows and gaming itself, just as in the US, I'm sure. The key one is that many shows aren't really about gaming on the day for a lot of UK wargamers. I find it hard to believe that most of us don't have several clubs within 60 minutes' radius and I've never had a problem finding people local to meet up with.

If American gamers are under the impression that Salute is typical of UK shows though, then that's a big misconception that could do without being encouraged. It's the 900lb gorilla of shows with 9000+ attendees, ~150 traders, 100+ games, (60% participation) and still put on by one club, like most. There are many shows of varying types and sizes across the country and these two pages seem to have most covered between them. ... ames-shows and

Hammerhead (which has been 100% participation for over ten years) provides around 70 games and almost 60 traders for the 5 hours or so that ~1500 punters are there in numbers. I wouldn't class that as small fare. Whilst I do feel feel that demo games have a purpose of their own at many UK shows, as this is an international site there may be those reading who are debating whether to attend one. As someone who regularly puts on participation games I would hate for them to think that their only option is to watch people play or attend tournaments.

As for me, I'm quite looking forward to attending Crisis next year, if I can make it.


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