I just got back from Historicon, and am in definite need of recovery. It was a wild few days with a lot of walking, standing, and especially staring. The place was, frankly, overwhelming. I had gone there with what I thought was a huge and well-crafted board, but it was puny in comparison to the enormous and masterfully crafted boards made by others. My most recent expansion to Command Combat happened to be the theme of this year's Historicon, 1863, so we were given a special location right at the front where people would pass by and see what we were doing. But before I even got to my game, I was blown away by all the other amazing games and set-ups. I felt a little emasculated by the huge displays, and knew that mine would never compare, even though it had such a prime spot in the convention center.
It seems people are more into war gaming, and in particular, miniatures, in the east. Someone explained to me that in cold temperatures, people tend to play more, which is why there is less gaming in Southern California. It seems to be true, as the conventions, such as Kubla Con and Celesticon in San Francisco, are bigger than the ones in LA.
One of the brighter spots for me was that I was invited to play Fire and Fury with Richard, its inventor. We spoke about researching and building our games, and it just was really nice and fun. I don't see us as competitors, but rather people who both invented games we hope people will try. Far from wanting to compete with his game or Johnny Reb, I dream of a day when I walk into a convention and see all three games being played side by side.