Posts Tagged ‘Conventions’

HMGS-PSW Fall Campaign October Surprise!

Thanks to hard work by some of our rank and file members our Fall convention, October Surprise! will be held on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at the National Guard Armory located at 1351 W. Sierra Madre Ave., Azusa, CA. 91702. Doors will open at 8 AM for set-up, games will run from 9 AM to 9 PM, take-down and clean-up until 10 PM.

(follow the link at the bottom of the page to read more)

Summer Offensive an Unqualified Success!

“Hit the Beach”, our Summer offensive was a great success.  Held at the California National Guard Armory (thanks Sam!) in Manhattan Beach.  The event was put together by Adam Hammer, Steve Reid, Harmon Ward (and cast of others).  The games started at 9am and by 10am there were approximately 60 gamers in attendance.  By the end of the day it was rumored that total attendance was 100!

(follow the link at the bottom of the page to read more)

Of Kamikazes and Campaign Books (Part 1)

or Why I’m Always Playing the Same Game

Some of you may have noticed that for the last couple of years I seem to always be playing the same game, set in the same theater and time period. Here’s the story.

Airplanes, particularly those from WW II, have always held a special fascination for me. Perhaps it’s a result of growing up near Van Nuys Airport; the old T.V. series Baa Baa Black Sheep definitely had something to do with it. Back in the long, long ago it was the board game Dauntless (when it was published by Battleline, before being bought by Avalon Hill) that brought me into this wonderful hobby. Though I’ve gamed in many different historical eras over the years WW II has always been my favorite, with the aerial aspects of the war at the top of my list. Maybe it’s because of the tremendous technological innovations (biplanes to jets in roughly five years), maybe it’s because a Pratt & Whitney engine sounds so awesome, maybe it’s just because the F4U Corsair is so cool! Whatever the reasons WW II aerial combat has always been my version of The Precious where the hobby is concerned.

(follow the link at the bottom of the page to read more)

New Officers Elected

Elections were held at October Surprise! in Azusa on 20 October 2012.  The Current HMGS-PSW officers are:

John Harrell – President

Steve Reid – Vice President

Tim Keennon – Secretary/Treasurer

The Occasional Messenger – October 2012

Thanks to hard work by some of our rank and file members, HMGS-PSW is pleased to announce our next convention. The Fall Campaign: October Surprise! will be held on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at the National Guard Armory located at 1351 W. Sierra Madre Ave., Azusa, CA. 91702. Doors will open at 8 AM for set-up, games will run from 9 AM to 9 PM, take-down and clean-up until 10 PM.
For those of you who attended our recent Hit the Beach June event this will seem a bit familiar – the location is different, but the room we’ll be using is the same HUGE size, @ 7000 square feet! We’ll have plenty of room for games, vendors, and flea market tables.
Please note that this is a change of date and venue for us. In other words we won’t be back at the Boy Scout Hall this year.
Admission is $10 for members / $15 for non-members. Please bring your membership card with you!
We’ll have the usual lunch and dinner fare, and we’ve got 4 vendors lined up!
Flier and event submission forms are here:
THE Preliminary Event Listing (PEL) has arrived!!

October Surprise! 2012 PEL final version in .pdf


Please send event submissions to Steve Reid at: frog (at)
Flea market table/vendor requests to Tim Keennon at: Tim (at)
Contact either of these guys or our Vice President Harmon Ward at: hjw (at) if you have any questions.

I have heard that HMGS/PSW had some "scurvy" members but Joe Nachio take it up a notch!

If you missed the recent HMGS/PSW “Winter Campaign” convention you missed a great convention! HMGS/PSW first attempt at having a convention at this time of the year was quite a success given the fairly short concept to execution time we had. For this convention0 returned to our old “digs” at the Glendale Boy Scouts facility near Los Angeles California. After a year of “floating our conventions around the Los Angeles / Orange county area we decided it was time to “gather the Clan” back in familiar territory and have some fun, and fun it was.


Fred Rosenberg a Familiar face at HMGS/PSW convention use’s that face to impersonate a confederate commander!


There were tons of familiar faces spread through out the convention as well as many new faces as we picked up almost a dozen new members! Friday was missed by me as luck would have it I was nursing a cold. The “infamous” HMGS/PSW games board left storage courtesy of the manpower provided by Steve Reid (and his truck), Steve Gausche, and Paul Petrov. Unloading and setup was handled by Convention Manager David Dandridge and un-named HMGS members, thanks guys.


The convention was wall to wall games from early Saturday morning to break down Sunday despite some prominent faces missing over the weekend. This reinforces the fact that if we all showed up and had one more vendor we would bust the seams at the current Boy Scouts facility! As it was we had the main hall with 8 full time games going, the conference room with several and also the basement awash in navel battles.


"Hey Clark thats not candy"


Many of you have heard that there was a bit of a flap with the scouts as on Tuesday I received a call from them informing me that they had “somehow doubled booked the hall on Sunday” and then asked if we could move out of the hall and use other rooms on Sunday! I told them that moving was out of the question as we would never fit and certainly dealers would not be able too or want to move. This hung in limbo with no solution until Friday where Dave informed me that they asked if we could be out by 3pm sharp on Sunday afternoon, they would wave the hall charge as recompense. We told them that this was acceptable and we would work with the “Boy Scout” group coming in as best we could. In the end it all worked out and we even made some friend within the scouting group as several of their “boys” came in and played while the parents where setting up a huge obstacle course in the parking lot. One boy even went home with a new copy of “wing of War” and I fully expect to see him back as a HMGS/PSW member in the future! Many of the Parents, Scouts, and family members came through the hall to check out the games and ask questions about what we were doing. We were also approached by some of the scout leaders about doing some demo games for their troops at a later date.



Many of you have heard time and time again about the “greying” of the hobby and to a point it is but there is hope as I can see more and more young gamers showing up at our conventions. Of course some have little choice like Clark who’s father is Dave Dandridge our convention manager. Clark is already a veteran gamer and can take down gamers twice his size and 5 times his age easy since he has been gaming with the “Dogs of War since he was old enough to walk!

Next time you come to a con bring a nephew, son, grandson or any child you know and introduce them to miniatures gaming!








Harry Morris, his grandson, and John Denny from the "Bengal club" enjoy some "AK-47"


As I look over the PEL and think about what games were planned and what games actually came off I am glad that several were indeed canceled for one reason or another. We would just not have had the room! That’s a good thing! It bodes well for our future plans to expand our convention into larger facilities. There were also many HMGS/PSW member who are normally at conventions who could not attend this one and with their absence and the games they put on attendance was diminished but once again if they HAD showed up where would they have played as there was no room and most of the games played had FULL participation already! Clearly we are reaching a critical mass in our plans to “move on up” to bigger “digs”


As I said Friday night was missed by me in a effort to save strength for Saturday / Sunday as well as presiding over the HMGS/PSW meeting Saturday night. There were at least 4-5 games planned and played ( AK-47 , Check Your Six, Flames Of War 20mm Race for Massina 1943, and once again pretty well attended for a Friday night!


Jim Svette built this great 15mm ACW terrain suitcase! remove troops and trees, fold up and walk away! I'm "stealing" this!

Saturday Started of with a bang with a full house gaming by 9am! Several Civil War 15mm games were running, Jeff McArthur was demonstrating his ACW rules, “Death in the Boccage” 20mm WWII (Crossfire), So you want our Nuke?” (AK-47), “flying over Flanders” (Wings of War), Sweepers Man your Brooms” (Check your Six), “Stones River” ACW 15mm (Fire and Fury) with Jim Svette’s award winning terrain! Because of late registration there were many other games that did not make the pel being played at this time that I saw, 1/2400 WWII navel with around 10 players, Doug Kendrick running his 28mm Samurai skirmish, and others….


There were Pirates galore at the "Dogs" pirate game, I believe I counted over one dozen! Tim Daun or "Greyhair" the pirate king suveys his domain.


Past HMGS/PSW president Chris Snell ran a tight ship as he kept the "Pirate" game moving along.

Harmon, Skip Gardella, his wife, and several other volunteers manned the pans at noon whipping up a great lunch menu for hungry con goers! Hats off to these folks who not only keep us fed, happy, and at the gaming tables instead of wandering the mean streets of Glendale looking for some eats! This “volunteer effort does all that and puts some cash into the till at the end of the day!


After the feast the gaming raged on with the arrival of the much anticipated “Dogs of War” group and their Mega “Pirate” game! Just awesome and as always a crowd pleaser. The “Dogs of War” games are always a group effort and it shows wonderfully in all the ships and figures, many of the ships were scratch built or at least heavily modified with literally “boatloads of  nicely painted figures. I was told the big Spanish Gallion had over one hundred figures itself. Chock up another “Centurion” award for the “Dogs of War”!A Clash of Empires Game (Macedonians vs. Greek city States in Revolt) was run in the “Board Room” as well as Mark Delidukas 20mm WWII game using Fire and Maneuver rules.


There were many other games run that you President just did not get around to seeing or remembering (we need a volunteer to do a con write up and take pictures)


The evening brought our HMGS/PSW meeting and elections. Elections saw the re-election of the current officers (unanimous) and discussions of the future expansion of the convention. Jim Svette was awarded a Centurion award for his American Civil War game setup (a giant folding suitcase!) and the also the “Dogs of War” were seen to pick up another one for Pirates!


A wise man once said a picture id worth a thousand words so no more words, just pictures!


Yours in Gaming,


Bill Witthans

President HMGS/PSW

Tanks for the memories! A dreaded "long" barrel Panzerjager IV moves out.




It always comes down to food! The "reward" for having your ship go down to Davey Jones locker!



Wargamerabbit (WR) has returned back to his warren from a successful HMGS-PSW convention. Hats off to the HMGS-PSW team which effectively created the convention from nothing to a full convention in one month (Bill, Harmon, Matt & David). Pictures and some quick game comments observed by WR:

HMGS-PSW Winter 2012 Con main room. Right view from main stage.

HMGS-PSW 2012 Winter Con main room. Left view from main stage.

Friday Night:

WR’s first game was Friday night. Titled “Breaking the San Fratello line; Sicily 1943″. Over the years, WR has collected a large collection of 20mm (1/72) miniatures. Enjoying the popular Flames of war game system, WR has adapted 15mm FOW to the large miniature scale of 20mm. Full game details can be found in WR’s blog site. Link & Link…. but here are some action pictures…. Read the rest of this entry »

HMGS/PSW's convention manager Alex Webster and member Steve Reid enjoy a game at the HMGS/PSW Gateway convention.

Dear HMGS/PSW members,
It is not often that my association with miniatures brings me sadness but at this moment I feel a sadness and sense of loss hard to describe.. Most of you who have been around HMGS/PSW or the southern California miniature gaming scene for any amount of time have met, talked to, or been helped in some way by Alex Webster HMGS/PSW convention manager and member for as long as I can remember. On February 14th, 2011 Alex passed away from natural causes at his apartment in Lancaster California, a great loss to gaming and HMGS/PSW in particular.
As I sit here trying to formulate my thoughts about Alex I find it hard to find a place to start. To say that Alex was under appreciated, to say that there might not be an HMGS/PSW today if not for Alex, to say that Alex was the “Heart” of HMGS/PSW would be an understatement.
He was always ready to engage in conversation with old or new members upon any subject you might think of. He cared about HMGS/PSW in a way few of us care about anything, and he did it with out much praise. I can’t remember every seeing him with out a smile. Alex was not a saint, he had faults like us all but he was quick to recognize his failures and always resolved to do better next time. He was a great help to me when I became HMGS/PSW’s current president always there to bounce ideas off of or answer my questions about HMGS/PSW past and present. I have a tough time thinking about not having Alex there in the wings and how we will ever replace him. The fact is that we never will…. I wish I had taken more time to know him better.
Yes Alex was the Heart of HMGS/PSW, something you took for granted, hardly noticing, but sorely missed if he skipped a beat! He was always there maybe not always strong, but always steadily beating in the background. It was Alex who kept the doors of our conventions open for the last few years and closed them after we all left. I feel that we have all suffered a loss that we will only truly appreciate as time goes on.
Here’s to you Alex! And may you get a soft seat at the Great gaming table.
Bill Witthans,
President HMGS/PSW

PS, I you have any thing you might like to share about Alex please leave a comment here or email me. I would like to assemble some thoughts on Alex to share at a future memorial service. I also have had many emails about Alex and I am going to paste the member messages here as a tribute to Alex. I hope the posters don’t mind.

Alex was happy playing in any game from ancients to Sci Fi!

STRATEGICON gaming convention at the beautiful Sheraton LAX (well much better than the Radisson!) hotel Presidents Day Weekend Feb 18 – Feb 21. This is the springtime version of the convention we held our “Fall Campaign” at and I hope we can have a good showing there at this spring convention as well! Come pre-run you’re HMGS/PSW games there! HMGS/PSW members get in for $10 with a valid / current HMGS/PSW membership card!

And by the way I am about to send out those much delayed cards to those I owe cards to! If you need to re-new please contact myself or our new Treasurer Matt Denny!

Yours in Gaming

Bill Witthans

President HMGS/PSW


PS, rumor has it that the “Kaiser” will return to his “roots” and run a 20mm WWII game ala 10+ years ago!


Cant wait to join HMGS-PSW? Need to pay your dues? Just want to slide HMGS-PSW some extra for the "good work"? You can now do it here by Credit Card, Debit card, or your PayPal account. Safe fast and helps us to keep HMGS-PSW strong! To join COMPLETE; Name, Address, Phone #, and then simply click to pick the Membership level below and complete payment.

If you have a problem or question email us here.
Member info email


NOTE: This is a SUBSCRIPTION and you will be billed one year from the date you joined for your next year. This is a really good thing for HMGS-PSW as it allows us to serve you better and cuts down on our paper work! It is a great way for us to be stronger by having more up to date membership and a better idea of what the "real" head count is in HMGS-PSW. You can always ask for a refund and withdraw within 30 days of any billing cycle should you not want to continue with us! You may also decline the repeat billing during the initial process, but why would you want to you know your going to want to stay with HMGS-PSW!

If you would rather just send us your check you can still do that by going to the "About HMGS-PSW" tab and clicking on "join HMGS-PSW" from the drop down menu fill out form, and mail.

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