Sunday, April 8, 2018

SYW Association Pictures - Part I

My Battle of Zorndorf game - Minden Miniatures


The Seven Years War Association held its 34th annual convention over the weekend of April 5th through April 7th at the Waterford Estates Lodge in South Bend, Indiana. There were 23 games hosted by a very talented group of game judges spanning the years 1703 to 1781. 

I hosted the Battle of Zorndorf game on Friday and Saturday with the Prussians winning convincing victories on both days. It was their cavalry that made all the difference in both games. I also had a dealer booth for the Fife & Drum and Minden Miniatures figures and I enjoyed chatting with old familiar customers and cultivating a few new ones with some free sample figures.

I have a lot of photos from the convention, so I will break up the recap of the convention over two or three posts.

Let us take a look at some of the convention games with the picture captions telling the story:

Jude Becker's Marlbourian game set in 1703. Combat General rules were used.

A closer view of the superb terrain and figures in Jude Becker's game.

Dean West's 15mm Battle of Breslau, using his Final Argument of Kings rules.

Paul Petri's Battle of Chotusitz using Volley & Bayonet rules and well painted 1/72 plastic figures.

Marshal Maurice de Saxe arrives onto the battlefield with his escort of uhlans.
Ed Phillips created this vignette using largely Minden Miniatures figures.

18th Century medical ambulance vignette by Ed Phillips.

The Redoubt d'Eu at the battle of Fontenoy. This was a spectacular looking game with excellent terrain and lots of the Crann Terra Miniatures War of Austrian Succession figures. Kaiserin Krieg rules and around 1,000 miniatures were used in this game.

The French defenders of Fontenoy.

The British and Hanoverian battalions getting ready to attack their French adversaries at Fontenoy.

Tod Kershner's version of Fontenoy, using 20mm plastic figures and his Age of Reason rules.

A close up view of one of Tod's British cavalry regiments.

Tod's rendition of the town of Fontenoy. I really really like the look of this town,
especially the windmill in the center of town.

A picture of my Zorndorf game, using Minden Miniatures figures.

Russian Horse Grenadiers and Cossacks attempt to hold the Prussian Puttkamer Hussars at bay in the battle of Zorndorf.

Many of the convention attendees arrive on Thursday evening to set up their games for the next day, set up dealer booths, or simply to socialize and catch up on the doings of long time friends. Since the venue is booked for Thursday through Saturday, we had a couple of games scheduled for Thursday evening - this being done for the very first time in the history of the convention. Paul Petri really stepped up by hosting two games on Thursday, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. It was a great  idea to take advantage of the open time and space to run a game. I hope that next year there will be a few more Thursday games.

The quality of the terrain and figures plus some challenging game scenarios were very impressive to me. A couple of games really checked all of my boxes including Jude Becker's Marlboroughian game, Steve Dake's 40mm FIW on the frontier game using 40mm Triton figures, and both of the Fontenoy games. I was very busy running my game and manning the dealer booth at the same time, so this limited my wondering around time during the convention. Thanks go to my nephew, Alex Akers for assisting me in both the dealer booth and judging the game. This way, we always had one of us in both places at the same time.

Steve Dake's Pontiac's Rebellion in 40mm using the Triton Miniatures figures.
40mm fort in Steve Dake's game.
Triton 40mm Indians are brought to life under the skillful brushwork of Steve Dake. The word "awesome" is used a lot, but these figures truly are AWESOME!

Late Saturday afternoon, we held a panel of old Grognard association members in which the history of the of SYWA was discussed along with their philosphy on rules writing and development. The panel consisted of Ken Bunger and Bill Protz, both of whom were instrumental in starting the SYWA, Tod Kershner, author of "The Age of Reason" and many other historical era rules, Dean West of Johnny Reb and Final Argument of Kings rules, and me. A lot of good discussion, ideas and history were exchanged back and forth during this session.

Professor Fritz does a little bit of 'splainging in front of the crowd.

After a break for dinner, we returned to the convention hall to play in some light hearted and fun skirmish games. Tom Miller/Dan Hoodin hosted an old school French and Indian War game using Charge rules. Thom Osborne put on a really small skirmish game set during the AWI using Forager rules. Each player managed 3 or 4 figures and each figure had its own unique personalty/skills/traits that made the game fun. Ken Bunger hosted a large Tricorn game with 28mm figures and the Battle of Breslau continued on from the afternoon game.

Alex and I played in the Charge game set somewhere on the frontier during the French and Indian War. Alex played the French and I had some Indians. A British foraging party was ambushed by the French and Indians and then we carried on towards the fort/supply base of the British, who were seemingly protected by a couple of warships, one huge and the other smaller.

I was holding my Indians back a little bit after conducting a successful ambush of the foraging party. At this point two kids about 12-something joined the game and added more Indian warbands to the game. They rushed forward down the road and when they reached the clearing in front of the warships, they surged forward to charge the British garrison. This spurred me out of my lethargy and I joined in the charge towards the British regulars. In short, we made short work of them. Kids have a contagious energy in games and they really made the game work because they had no fear.

Saturday Night Charge Game set during the FIW

Tom Miller's terror of the Great Lakes - a large tall ship armed with cannon having a  range of 6 feet.

Herb Gundt and Ed Phillips have a good laugh during the Saturday Night Skirmish Game

Exceelent terrain in Herb's skirmish game

I was glad to see some games on Saturday night because in recent years, members were bugging out on Saturday afternoon rather than staying over for the evening session. As far back as I can remember, Saturday evening used to be when the best of the best games were scheduled for prime time viewing and playing. Also light, fun skirmish games were presented as a sort of after-dinner apertif. Somehow this tradition has withered away, but I am hopeful that we will see more skirmish games in the evening with more people staying at the convention for Saturday evening.

I will post another thread showing more pictures of the Fontenoy game of Fogleman/Goetel which featured hoards of Crann Tara War of the Austrian Succession figures as well as pictures that I took during my two Zorndorf games.

Stay tuned for more and do come back again for Part II.


  1. Nice to see all those Tricorned lovelies!The tables all look spectacular!

  2. Thanks for sharing. Those are some great tables!

  3. Sounds & looks like a Great weekend.

    Those Trident 40's are a joy to paint.

  4. Great photos and narrative! Looking forward to Part II.

  5. Wonderful recap of the 7YWA annual meeting. The pictures were terrific and convey a sense of what went on. Well done.

  6. Such a pleasure to see this wonderful and opulent tables with miniatures. I enjoy it! Thank you for sharing this event with us, Alter Fritz.

  7. Well written and illustrated report Jim.
    Plus, I enjoyed playing in Zorndorf #2 Saturday. Thanks a million for all you did. Respectfully,
    Bill P.

  8. Some lovely looking games there, so thanks for sharing the pics:)

  9. Jim, thanks so much for your annual participation with great games, dealer stand and follow up pictures. As the guy who organizes this event, I really appreciate it. Ken Bunger

  10. Also I want to recognize Dannie Fogleman and Dick Goettel for the great Fontenoy game.

  11. And one more thing, the tentative date of next year's convention is the first weekend of April. Check back for final confirmation.

  12. Fantastic blog entry Jim and it appears that this particular show was stunning all round.

  13. Looks and sounds like you had a great time Jim. Nice photos and wonderful looking games.

  14. Those are some fine games Jim. Good to see Herb too!

  15. Jim,
    Excellent write up, excellent looking games and exactly what a convention weekend should be like. Even more determined to get out there now