Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SYW Convention, a roller-coaster of emotions

Well the Seven Year's War Convention is over and I have returned to Huntington after an exciting and excellent adventure. Let me start by saying I had a great time and enjoyed meeting all of my fellow gamers.

As the title denotes this trip truly was a roller-coaster of emotions. My wife and I finished packing things up on Thursday. We found a room rate on-line that saved us $20 so Huzzah. We left Friday morning and headed for South Bend. Around Kokomo, Indiana we ran into a detour that added an hour to our trip, Boo, but that is ok, the Duchess Scenario was scheduled for the evening game so I was pretty certain we would make it. We checked into the hotel at about 5:30 p.m. and were given free parking for signing up for Holiday Inn Rewards, Hurrah, I did a quick change grabbed my Duchess figure and headed for the hall. I was informed that the Duchess game had been moved and played earlier in the day, Boo.

I got to meet Randy Frye, Der Alte Fritz and Bill Protz Huzzah, and they told me it had been a fun game. The pictures to the left are of the Black Scorpion Miniature the Governor's daughter who was to be the duchess but will now fulfill her primary role as Cavenderian ambassador to Monte-Cristo. Jean-Louis email me your physical address and I will send her to you ASAP. I also hand-delivered our ambassador to Hesse-Seewald but forgot to take his picture prior to giving him to Der Alte Fritz. I did take one (1) picture of the ambassador during the bring your own battalion (BYOB) game but as you can see from the picture a British bayonet got in the way, Boo.

You can make out most of the Cavenderian diplomat to Hesse-Seewald he is in the gray coat and yellow small cloth, behind the nicely painted British.

I met some really nice guys from Iowa who were running a 15mm game with modified Napoleonic rules, I was the Prussian far right flank and demonstrated and attacked to draw the Russian defenses. Our commander's plan worked perfectly and we won the game, Hurrah. The picture to the left show my orderly final position.

This convention is quite different, the median age appears to be about 50 and alcohol was drank freely by the players, a gentlemanly atmosphere indeed, Huzzah. When I arrived I noted several gentlemen in coat and tie and so the following day I wore my Sunday's best.

I returned to my room and was greeted by my lovely wife and a couple cans of Fosters. The room was clean and neat but the temperature was a bit warm for our taste and the air conditioner could not overcome the warmth, Boo, however the view was nice, photo left.

Next morning I got dressed, tie and coat, collected my 28mm Bavarian battalion and headed down to the convention floor to play the BYOB game. I stopped by the vendors tables and saw a bag of 15mm Jacobite Scots and a book on the 1745 Rebellion and decided I would pick those up later after the game, I met some more folks and took some photos of the games.

Here is a photo of some beautifully painted 54mm Hussars included in a skirmish game ran by a fellow named Paul, I believe if wrong sorry. He told me they were using the Brother vs. Brother rules-set. I later found out he was a founding member of Venture Miniatures and is currently working on a set of rules with Brent Nosworthy author of Anatomy of Victory.

This is a picture of a gun emplacement in the 54mm game it was very inspiring to watch. I wish Paul and his group success and look forward to reading his rules.

The photo on the left is a skirmish game using Game's Workshop's Old West Rules. I have used their Lord of the Rings rules for skirmish and if you have played any GW skirmish rules you can understand the flavor. This was my favorite story line for a game all weekend. Seth and Chad from the Chicago area told me the story of Von Hanky, a funny little general figure that they had purchased a few years ago at the convention. While riding the elevator up to the 14th floor Chad had dropped Von Hanky and he plummeted 25,000 feet (to scale) down the elevator shaft, Boo, however they bought another Von Hanky figure and he has been showing up all of the globe in different scenarios ever since, Huzzah. Is he immortal or does one Von Hanky pass his name to the next sans, the Dread Pirate Roberts. This scenario had Von Hanky arriving to take command of the British army in North America and his carriage is being attacked by native Americans who fear the mystic warrior.

Photo of a naval battle fought using the Warfare in the Age of Reason second supplement naval rules. I picked up a copy myself. Very nice display of ships in line here.

Lovely siege game. Did not get much info on it. However, I have learned from reviewing these pictures that I need a tripod.

Another good looking skirmish game. Finally it was time for the BYOB game. Bill Protz had me set up my Bavarian battalion on the far left of the French lines with a Austrian battalion provided by Mike of Seattle, Washington (fantastic guy, very outgoing and excellent gamer) and a battalion of French. I requested that my Bavarians be rated as Green not Veteran as I had never played before and Bill granted me the rating of "Trained" This would prove to be an excellent rating as I have played linear warfare for a while with some training but definitely learned a lesson at this game. People stopped by before the battle and gave me compliments on the Bavarians, much appreciated. Finally it was time to begin. My wing commander, Seth, suggested I wheel my Bavarians right to allow the Austrians to move into line beside them before advancing on the British position. I obliged very carefully aligning my newly painted troops into a perfect line. My battalion gunners loaded some round shot and fired.

The picture to the left shows my Bavarian and Mike's Austrians moving into position. What pageantry what fun, Huzzah.

Then the beginning of turn 2.

A thunderous noise and a cloud of dust and, "behold the dreaded black Hussars". The Hussars smashed into the Bavarian battalion gun killing the crew and overturning the gun and then rolled up the Bavarian flank hacking and slashing, Boo. Bill had me roll for my officer's command ability, I rolled a "6" Hurray!!! Colonel Franz Richard Gatterman would be exceptional. I rolled for moral and it was over. The picture to the left is the last thing the Bavarians saw that day as they fled and were ridden down by the Black Hussars, Whimper. Another glorious page in the Black Hussar history an ostentatious beginning for IR-Kurprinz. I am already plotting to raise Taxis Cuirassiers to protect my Bavarians next year. After the routing someone should me how to refuse the flank, Huzzah! The remaining two (2) battalions would spend the rest of the afternoon fighting with the British. The British player was a great guy and I am ashamed that I do not remember his name.

Left, a picture of the British occupied town.

As I had not eaten all day and my battalions were not in a crucial position for the scenario we ducked out a little early for dinner and went to a great Irish pub for Shepard's pie, Huzzah. Before we left though I stopped by the main room to pick up the Jacobites and the 1745 book and the vendor had left, Boo. Almost forgot I got to meet Travlos in person from the Morea blog. Really nice guy and I look forward to doing battle with him in the future. Final thoughts, the convention is a really unique and fun experience and I would highly recommend any of you that can attend try to do so next year. Back to painting 15mm Ottomans for now.


tradgardmastare said...

Thanks for a very interesting account- I am most envious of those who attended! Maybe one day!
best wishes

Bluebear Jeff said...

My thanks also. Many, like myself, live in a remote area and will never get a chance to attend . . . so it is great to get at least a vicarious taste of what it is like.

-- Jeff

Gallia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gallia said...

My Dear Prinz Geoffrey,
Compliments to you and many thanks for playing in the BYOB BAR game last Saturday. It was a pleasure meeting and getting to know you. Pray DO please return next year with the Bavarians, Prinz Taxis K├╝rassiers and your wife.
Cheers and applause,

Capt Bill said...

Very nice report, thanks!

Der Alte Fritz said...

Excellent convention report. I might be tempted to borrow it for our new annual SYW Association Journal and publish it therein.

Sorry about the rough treatment that my Black Hussars gave your Bavarians. Had I been commanding them, you would have been able to drive them away.

Fitz-Badger said...

I, too, offer my thanks for an excellent report! :-)

Prinz Geoffrey said...


My wife has pointed out several grammerical errors and spelling in the post. If you want to use any portion of the report please feel free, I could even re-write it specifically for the journal if you would like and submit it to you in microsoft word for editing. On a personal note my first wargames journal articel will be out this Spring in Dadi@Piambo.

Martin said...

Hey Geoff,

That is one OUTSTANDING Duchess miniature! Now that I've seen her, I understand why so many people were willing to escort her to her destination! Ha, ha, ha!

East Riding Militia said...

Nice write up, you mentioned the game played with the guys who did a Napoleonc set of rules. I have those rules and quite like them, could you please give a run down on how this set played.

Prinz Geoffrey said...

Very smooth rules, there were a couple of quick debates about the rules between the designers but very fluid. One side goes then the other. Most of my time was spent with cavalry charges and reacts. I really liked the way the horses would become fatigued (blown) was their term. It was a brigade level game with written instructions with rolls determining when the rules would arrive but usually within two (2) turns. If you could remind me of the name of the napoleonics rules I could do a proper write up. Terrain really did not seem to matter. All Prussian units were treated as line, grenadier or guard. I was thinking the Prussian fussilier regiments should have been a little poorer but this was a brigade level game. Remembering more as I type. They were a nice set of rules and if they have a system for assigning your own points values to troops I would probably buy it.


Snickering Corpses said...

Did you ever get someone to proxy battle your fleet action? I can't promise I can do it, but if no one else has stepped up send me the details. You have my email.

Prinz Geoffrey said...

Yes, captain bill is going to do it. Thanks for the offer though if for some reason he can not then I will contact you.

East Riding Militia said...

Thanks for the run down of the rules. Napoleonic Commander is the name of the Napoleonic (suprise) set. Again a Brigade/Division level set. Combat is worked out by assesing threats against a command ad thee command reacting to the threat depending on how great it is. A very fluid and easy to understand set of rule tht give a good game. The only downside (for some, it does not bother me) is that there is little 'chance' in the system. A single variable of 0 to -5 in combat.

l'Comte de Artois said...


I am glad oyu enjoyed yourself at the convention. I am sorry your Bavarians was handled so roughly their first time on a table. However as a side joke of the story when the unit was rode down they where placed by the registration table. There was at least ten people that asked if they where for sale after that. The Bavarians really look nice.