I was up in the Poconos for several days for a long overdue family vacation. We swam, took boat rides, long nature walks, played board games, played with our infant grandson, and ate very well. Very relaxing!
My last trip to the Poconos a few years ago was far less enjoyable. I drove the 2.5 hours from my home in York to a wargaming convention, MEPACON if I recall the name correctly. It was at an American Legion hall or some such establishment near Wind Gap, PA. I knew I was in trouble when the folks walking into the convention were all discussing orcs, dragons, wizards, and the like. No one was sporting T-shirts with historical motifs. Sure enough, I set up my 15mm ACW miniature wargame of Barlow’s Knoll from Day 1 of Gettysburg only to learn that 1) I was the ONLY historicals gamemaster in the entire mini-con 2) No one had pre-registered for my event and 3) there were no takers for walk-up spots. The convention promoter was kind enough to compliment my layout and take some nice photos (which he graciously sent to me), but after an hour with no interested historical gamers, I packed up, hauled everything to the car, and repeated the long trek home – a totally wasted Saturday. No one invited me to play in their fantasty games, or even took the time to try to explain what Warhammer is. There and then, I decided I would never try to run a historicals game again at a primarily fantasy convention – the dice may be the same, but the genre and interests of the players are diametrically opposed to historical gamers.
I used to not mind fantasy games at Historicon or Cold Wars, but the Wind Gap experience left me totally disinterested. I will never again set foot in a fantasy con, and will stick to the big historicals conventions – a lesson learned the painful way.
Thank God this trip to the Poconos was far more interesting and fruitful!