Friday, April 5, 2013

First Day at the SYWA convention

Siege gun emplacements made by Ed Phillips. The fascines were made from straw brooms.

I arrived in South Bend, Indiana around 4:30 Thursday afternoon and quickly set up my display booth for Fife & Drum Miniatures and unloaded the painted figures and terrain for my AWI game on Friday. This year, I packaged everything into bags of 3 to 6 figures and reduced the number of SKU's from 100 to about 30 product codes. This way, I was able to pack everything into seven moderate sized boxes which easily fit into the trunk of my small car, leaving room for all of my game paraphernalia. That's a big plus for me so I think I will reorganize the SKUs for F&D and start selling figures in bags going forward, rather than as single figures. It makes life easier for me as well as the customers at the booth as they can rummage thru the bins and pick out the figures that they want.

Convention organizer Randy F. told me that we had 83 visitors for Friday, which is a little bit ahead of our usual Friday numbers. Saturday is the big convention day, so we should surpass 100 tomorrow.

I ran my game twice, in the afternoon and again, downsized, in the evening. The British won the first game that features 4 brigades per side, while the American team came back to win the night cap game, in a 2 brigade per side game. I used my trusty old Fife & Drum rules on one side of one sheet of paper -- I always use these easy to learn rules at conventions. By turn 2 the players are almost running the game by themselves .

I will update my game report when I get home Sunday. I use a different version of Blogger for my iPad and it is a bit clunky and hard to place and size pictures, compared to my desktop version of blogger.

I did not have much time to do a lot of shopping, but I did see a lot of good looking figures at the Eureka USA booth. Their new Suvarov's Russians range for the 1790s is to die for as they are gorgeous figures. They may be sculptor Alan Marsh's best work to date. Eureka also had a range of cartoonish SYW Prussians that I was tempted to buy, but managed to resist the urge. For now at least. :). I bought some Eureka American dragoons for the AWI because I haven't added them to the Fife & Drum range yet. The two ranges look to be very compatible so I will gladly use them in my American army.

Ed Phillips had some terrific wagons, carts, vignettes and siege gun emplacements shown in the blog today. Wonderful craftsmanship and creativity on Ed's part. I put in an order for a few things from Ed and will collect them at Historicon this summer. Yes, we are going to Historicon with the Fife & Drum range and we will run a couple of games as well. I hope to have some special figures available only at the convention booth for Historicon. Stay tuned for more on this later.

Well, it's time to hit the hay and get ready for day two of the convention. Bill P. is running a BAR French & Indian War game of the second battle of Quebec in 1760. The roles are reversed as this time the British are in the city, sallying out to attack the French on the Plains of Abraham. Should be fun!

A view of my AWI game in progress. The British have to march the length of the table from the top of the picture to the bottom. Rebels launch an attack from the right hand table edge.

Hessian Jagers run into militia and some Continental line defending the town at the end of the road.

The American brigade commander on the right flank is not pleased at the trend of the battle.


  1. Thanks for the informative report Jim.I hope you all have a superb second day which I look forward to hearing about...
    best wishes

  2. It looks nice! I wish I could go to a wargammes convention, they are few and far between in Japan. At least, English speaking ones.

  3. I am mightily impressed by the games being offered. I had made some comments on Day 1 but did not have the proper Google password to get posted. I do now...

    Have you made the Fife and Drum rules available outside of the convention? Enquiring minds out thisaway would like to know.

    mike cannon