Sunday, March 19, 2017

MEANDERING AT COLD WARS 2017

The Vendor Hall at Cold Wars Humming on Friday Afternoon
I just returned from Cold Wars 2017 held in Lancaster, PA. As usual, this trip was up in the air until late, and the decision to attend came at the last moment.  As usual, I'm happy I went. While things are still fresh in my mind, I'll share this report of my meanderings.  I wasn't systematically recording and logging things, so I hope it may suffice for those who can adjust expectations downward sufficientlyWhat few observation I do make are intentionally limited to what I saw and aren't intended to weigh-in on any of the issues surrounding the convention or the site. As usual, for the images, you may clix pix for BIG PIX.

If you have been following the discussion in the community, there has been much buzz about the state of the venue (the Lancaster Host Resort).  I got lodging nearbye, so I can't comment on the work that has been done on the rooms, but from my perspective as a longtime attendee, it basically felt like the Host that I have known--only without the makeshift heating plant pumping  away and other ramshackle and patchwork stuff in evidence.  In short, it felt familiar. There was renovation going on in some of the wings, but that didn't impact me and I didn't explore there.  One thing I did notice is that the lighting seemed dimmer than I had remembered, particularly in the Distelfink Ballroom, where many of the games seemed to be in almost partial darkness

The brisket, roast pig, and fried chicken dinner set up on Friday...
...the usual food service was in operation during the event.  Many have raised complaints about this operation, but I have always found it more than adequate (maybe my expectations have been lowered sufficiently).  Downstairs was the usual sandwich/hot dog/burrito and beverage concession operation going full time, and upstairs (pictured above) the carving stations came online for both lunch and dinner.  The ice cream bar rolled out every night at 9 p.m. to top things off (shifted to downstairs as opposed to upstairs where it used to be).   For other options, we hopped across the street, even given the snow the sidewalks were clearAs always, the bar provided restorative Gin and Tonics throughout.  Worked for me!

The Saturday morning registration line...
Upon opening Saturday, the usual line formed outside of registration. This cleared up by 10:00 a.m. I had pre-registered and gotten my badge on arrival Thursday night, which went smoothly enough.

The tournament room (left) and the flea market (right) on Friday...
A camp of one of the more serious tournament competitors, no doubt
...The flea market was good this year, meaning that I wound up spending too much money.  Despite not having a list, I came away with quite a haul from this convention, both from the vendor area and flea market (more on that in a bit). Perhaps next time I should have a list in order to contain myself!  

 The Distelfink Ballroom on Friday night (left) and Saturday night (right)...
....The main gaming area of the convention is the Distelfink Ballroom. It was full on Friday night, but on Saturday at around the same time (around 7 p.m.), about half the tables were empty. This is something we've noticed in the last few years and is something of a new trend--Saturday during the day is still strong, but Saturday night doesn't seem to be "prime time" like it used to be (maybe my recollections are tainted).  Still, there was plenty of gaming to be had over the course of the convention, regardless, and from what I saw and heard, getting into the games was not a problem (I don't know how many went short on participants, so I'll leave that discussion to other places). 


 Connecting with Colleagues and Seeing Old Friends...
George visiting with Frank
...games aside, I met and caught up with old friends, as I always do--and as many others do as well.  As the years go on, this simple human dimension seems to grow more important and others less so, at least to me.  For a few days, the community comes together, and this benefit seems to me to easy to forget amidst all the other issues.  I'll step off of my soap box now and shift to my takings and the games...


 The Swag!

...The above isn't quite all of it (I left off pictures of exciting things like a bunch of bases and a jar of wonder wash). Like I said, this was a good convention as far as stuff goes.  Top left: I picked up some bare trees from Battlefield Terrain Concepts: a new item.   I also picked up a smattering of 6mm trees and hedges (got from the flea market), and a bunch of ready-painted gew gaws to scatter on the table (barrels, etc) that will come in handy for any number of black powder-era skirmish games (to include some chests and a chest full of coins: something to fight over!).  Top right:I picked up Bloody Big Battles to inform my 19th Century gaming, as well as a reference on the Cossack Wars from the Nafziger booth and a reference on the War of the Austrian Succession from the On Military Matters both. Bottom left: it happens that I've had a jousting game project on the back burner for some time for want of figures.  In this flea market there were several people unloading knights suitable for just such an occasion--so for the price the bucket of coins that I had converted to bills just before coming to the convention, I scored a bunch of those (kismet!). The jousting project now moves from back burner to...somewhere not on the back burner! Bottom Right: finally, if you are a follower of this blog you will recall the rousing game of Nuclear War that was had during RobbieCon in September. Well, there just happened to be another vintage copy of this excellent game among the stacks in the dealer area, this one with an intact spinner. For a few shekles I scooped it up: the next time we play we'll have a spinner that really spins! 

The Games!

What follows is a series of shots that I took of the event (most were on Friday).  Apologies for not having consistent information.  Hope they provide some eye candy....
An interesting harbor and city set up...
Another fantastic Bruce Weigel ultra-realistic terrain board...
A double-blind WWII game (left) and a 28mm Eastern Renaissance Game (right)...
The Great War in 28mm (the round artillery base is very interesting)...
Napoleonics in the snow...

 The H.A.W.K.s room, buzzing as usual (left), and F&I period garb in the Distelfink (right)...and some other pix with no names (below).... 




 BUSTER SAYS....
..for another report, check out Mark's Blog.

2 comments:

  1. Those knights are well above average for quality you normally find in the flea market. Good score.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great report, thanks for sharing this wonderful event!

    ReplyDelete

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