"As I understand it in many States, there are more people available for the oddball or specialty stuff due to population. Also, not three, four, ten hour drives to find a game that suits you."
And Brian said: "When you choose to specialize then you have to realize that you cut out the majority of players, and you have to adjust your expectations with respect to attendance. "
I understand exactly where Rickchet is coming from on that. It sounds like you actually had a pretty good thing going in your area for the volume of folks involved all in all. It's not quite as easy here in the states as it may look. For me, I live in Kansas City. There is effectively no milsim play here at all so if I want a Milsim game I need to drive at best 12 hours to Colorado, 15 or so to get up to Wyoming or at worst 18-24 hours to get up to Recondo. I can get funsoft most any weekend, decent CQB at a number of places withing 2-4 hours but not really any serious (non-trigger time oriented) Milsim gaming. If I want to do more mainstream "Milsim" gaming, then I get a game or two a year within about 4 hours of here.
In short, the more focused you end up getting, the more limiting you are for the events you are looking at. I think we all know that...
So how on Earth is East Wind successful down here? If I am in somewhat of an airsoft black hole, how do I get a successful Milsim event together? Well, that's just the thing, if you do not pander to the middle at all and you put together something that is as pure as you can stand then you actually have something that stands out from the crowd. When you have that, people will take the time to travel. Nearly a quarter of the NATO contingent last year were international travelers (Canadians and Brits) and many of our other attendees were traveling from the far extremes of the US like Southern California or the Eastern seaboard. If I was much more lenient on requirements, much more lax on what we were going to do, I might gain some local guys but then what I was going would not be that different than what the guys who are traveling can find locally so I would be doing so at the expense of guys who are willing to travel and I would probably have the same or slightly LOWER numbers. I really do think that producing very focused events is where it is at even when you are in a much less urbanized area.
Danke said:" Going all queer eye and saying fat people or boonie hats are not allowed is probably a bit miss-guided.
Same for re-supply or other administrative details. Guys in the military go back to the vehicle for more ammo all the time."
Nobody said fat people aren't allowed. Hell I am 43 years old now and it's been nearly 20 years since I ran my last marathon. I assure you I am plenty fat. Many of us are that way. Boonie caps are obviously an event specific thing. For US troops they were not an "issue" item so when units got them they were either an individual purchase or a unit purchase. As such, I do not REQUIRE booney caps but certainly don't mind if guys wear period appropriate ones.
Childers in his period appropriate booney wearing the uniform he wore during the East Wind time frame.
Limited ammo and resupply really is the answer. When done correctly, the point is not so much to limit the amount of shooting a unit does but to build in the need for the battle to actually be managed. When you have the event set up such that a defeated enemy cannot just run back, tag a tree turn around and hit you 20 seconds later with another Yosemite Sam charge then it's a little easier to manage things a bit. For us, that usually means consolidating after the contact, trading ammo back and forth if needed, a quick LACE report called in on the section/squads radio, a medevac call if required, then back at the HQ the leadership determines if a resupply run is needed or is practical. That's a snap for us, since we have period vehicles and a big enough AO to make use of them, other planners have differing challenges administratively and/or may have different scenarios in mind than well supplied first world armies in Europe.
I think that in most cases, when event hosts are trying to keep players away from their cars it usually has a LOT more to do with keeping the game flowing and keeping everyone immersed in what's going on rather than having 50% of the event vanish to go to McDonalds at lunch time or sitting around in lawn chairs having the Henny Penny social hour while others are having to do double duty to keep the event running.
Danke also said: "When the game admin decides to intervene and tweak the rules on the fly because the game has tilted the wrong way they better have a plan and a reasonable way to do so. Otherwise it's just bullshit."
I could not agree more. In my opinion the heart of this is the feeling that it is bad for one side to absolutely pound the piss out of the other. I personally prefer to pretty much let things come as they may. If I am getting face stomped than that means that I am being challenged (which is good) and in my opinion, I would much prefer to level the playing field myself than have it leveled for me by some admin act of god. The best way to level the playing field is to get the side that is losing to step up to the challenge rather than put annoying obstacles in the way of the side that is doing well.
Ricochet said: "A lot of work goes into these events, and changing everything on the fly to compensate is a pain. Many hardcore game organizers have resorted to either inviting teams/players that they know will tough it out, and help the game keep rolling, and others say straight out not to bother attending unless your prepared for a long game. This also gets people upset, but not understandably. Why should they want you there if your just coming to do things your way, and not to be a part of the big picture? Many game organizers are players. It's not about the money, they want to hold a specific type of event, and throw their blood, sweat, and tears, into it, but can only pull it of if everyone chips in and comes prepared. But then they get called elitist."
Well said. I will add one thought about longer "endurance" games that I feel is a shortcoming I see many game hosts falling into. As usual, there is a tendency to feel that players need plenty of trigger time to validate their existence so the pace of operations remains pretty high. As such, before too long guys start to wear out, tempers flare, guys head to the cars, unit cohesion dissolves. Next thing you know the 5% of players who paced themselves are out walking all over the AO unopposed. As a host, you need STRONG leadership that has the sense to cycle units in and out for rest and spends a great deal of time working on the logistical aspects of keeping guys in the field. If you just expect guys to show up able to run 24+ hours with no plan or upper end support you are just asking for it.
Riccochet said: "What really frustrates me is how gear and guns keep getting exponentially cheaper, and yet people still bitch about the price. I guess that'll never change. Sigh*"
I don't think it's a price issue for most of the guys who are bitching, it's mostly because it will require effort. Hell, you should see the things people whine about on the East Wind gear lists. "What, you're pissed about the USGI angle head flashlight requirement? I have some of those for sale in the classified section for $3 each!" One of the things I have noticed in many years of doing East Wind is that the guys who are pissing and bitching about gear requirements are not looking for a solution, they are looking for a reason to justify not coming. Jump through hoops and fix one problem then they will just invent another one. Easiest answer on any of this is to be polite, offer solutions and if they are not that interested, just don't spend that much time worrying about it.
J-man19 said: "This annoys me to no end, along with people posting weeks before a milsim or themed game saying they don't have a required camo so they'll just show up wearing UCP because that's all they have."
See this has an easy solution. I do not care how far you come, how exciting you are, how big your belt buckle is, you show up to East Wind in the wrong stuff you are not getting in. I do not kid about this in the least and have sent people packing (generally they just drive off to a surplus store and buy the required gear locally). If you set the standard, then have the balls to enforce the standard you'll put an end to that really damn fast. Again, those guys will bitch up a storm and fill the internet full of hate towards your event for giving them the boot and again, that is the best advertising you could possibly ask for since you'll not have to explain again that you are not kidding on gear requirements.
Danke said: "The way to recognize the signs of it is to detect some level of commitment for player preparation prior to the day beyond showing up with exact change."
Bingo. That is what we are all looking for. When the players pull their part of the load then your successes will number like grains of sand. Good milsim requires good players.