Sunday, April 7, 2013

Seven Years War Association Convention - Part II

The second day of the Convention saw numbers to reportedly the highest total since 1994.  Certainly an encouraging thing.  After a good night's rest I was prepared to help the French finish the job against the East India Company and evict Britain from India once and for all.  To my surprise I found myself portraying the Compte d'Estaing in command.

One of the fun modifications to Tricorne was a series of event cards, one drawn for each side each turn.  Some were blank, some were good, some were bad.  Our first card had a shot ring out and the Indian Prince commanding our cavalry slumped over in his howdah, dead.  "It came from the Highlanders!" was shouted by the Prince's nephew as he dumped his uncle from the elephant.  A dice throw later and the entire mass of the new Prince's cavalry launched itself forward in search of vengeance.  They could also have milled about with morale -2 with other results in between.
The great siege cannons roared at Bungwash and the French/Indian left lurched forward in rambling masses of mostly unformed infantry.
In the middle the best infantry awaited developments as the Jesuits promised eternal rewards for those who fell in battle and I took a drink of water from Gunga Dink.

In other games getting underway we had an attempt to retake Quebec in 1760 using Batailles de Ancien Regimes by Jim Purky and Bill Protz.
And a 10mm game using Black Powder, the Battle of Dornzorf by Steve Verdolia.
The visually stunning naval game of Suffren vs. Hughes in the Bay of Bengal by Jeff Knudson.
A "what if" variation of Zorndorf by Todd Fisher using Revolution and Empire in 15mm.
And Iroquois Terror at skirmish level by Todd Kirshner.

Meanwhile, back at the jungle, the cavalry clash initially didn't go in our favor but numbers ended up telling.  On the left our mobs beat their mobs and the great cannons ran off the Sepoys they were facing. 
Surrounded and destroyed!

As if my mutual signal both sides began a general advance.  The Sepoy contingents clashed, a detachment of sailors drew the fire and ire of opposing Sepoys, and my blue-jacketed heroes to be moved forward to also draw the first fire of the Highlanders as the cavalry attempted to turn the Company flank.

Things appeared to generally going favorable for us despite some wretched morale tests by yours truly, when the random card was drawn.  The "Spirit of Riki-Tiki-Tavi" infected the unit closest to a Company opponent and an automatic charge occurred.  It of course fell to my blue heroes who, in my official report fell upon the Highlanders with such vigor that not even the famed claymore could halt them.  In reality in testing to stand, the Highlanders rolled a zero-something and disordered themselves.  Their fire stopped my heroes who had to fire a volley.  Because they were disordered the Scots had to test again for the casualty and routed away.
Elsewhere on the table things just collapsed for the Company men.  The next campaign game will either be for Madras, the last possession, or perhaps a French invasion of Senegal.  Alas, it may be without the Compte d'Estaing.  The last random card of the game said "French commander in chief felled by stray shot."  I don't know if I pulled through or not.

I went out for a sandwich with a friend, planning to play another game of Final Argument of Kings, this time in 25mm.  Alas, when I got back a sign-up sheet for Burkersdorf had appeared and it was full.  I made no ado of it and moved on, only to discover later that they had added players.  Drat!  On the other hand, I was quite fatigued from my long Spring Break and took a power nap in a chair.  :-)  It seemed like a couple of scheduled games didn't happen or I missed them.

I had a chance to get into another sailing game but decided to shop, visit and observe.  It again was impressive and dramatic.
The Battle of Burkersdorf mentioned above had some really impressive troops and terrain.  A segment of the battle, the Prussians were tasked with driving the Austrian artillery and limited supporting infantry from redoubts and a village.

At one point in the assault, not one, not two, but three Prussian battalions were sent tumbling back down the hill by the stout Austrian gunners and fusiliers.

The event was capped by a short meeting, award of the Legion of Honor to Jim Purky for continual dedication to promoting and enriching the hobby (congrats Jim!), and a talk by guest of honor Professor Christopher Duffy on the development of the division system.  Informative and amusing it was the perfect end to the day.  Professor Duffy was a real treat to meet and I got him to autograph his book that had the greatest impact on my understanding of the period.

This convention is unique in my experience since it was devoted to a specific century of warfare.  So everyone there was of a like mind and if this is one of your interests, I heartily recommend it.  Sorry if I've forgotten to mention anyone or anything.  It was a very full weekend.  All the pictures I took can be found in a Picassa album here.



  1. Once again, great looking pictures...Quebec and the naval battle are excellent!

  2. Great to be able to game with you at the SYWA convention. Sorry you were unable to get in to Patrick Lebeau's "Attack on Luetmansdorf" scenario on Saturday. I was disappointed when I did not see you at the table. However, Patrick had a particularly large number of gamers who wanted to play in his game. Patrick and I are pretty excited about the 25mm version of FAK, and plan to stage a larger battle next year. I'll be looking to buy 25mm Prussians and Austrians at Historicaon. Will we see you there?

    Your tactical skill was quite apparent to all in the first Sandershausen game on Friday. Your generalship in command of the French was near flawless. Never have the whitecoats gained a more decisive victory in this scenario.

    Great blog post, as usual.


    1. Very enjoyable weekend and games. I didn't mind too much missing the game, better to let others get a taste.

      I don't anticipate being at Historicon. Always on my mind but never quite making it.

      Thanks for the compliment. High praise indeed. Vive le Roi!

  3. Dear mike thankyou for the swell pictures and participation in the game . I hope everyone had a good time. Oh yes destaing will recover.

  4. What is the Legion of Honor? As I wasn't there I was not aware of it and no one has stepped forward to tell me that I won something. Oh we'll...

    Excellent convention report Michael -- a joy to read

    1. Being it was my first time I'm guessing that a plaque will be added to the big bowl trophy in your name. Dean West was called up to make the announcement but they quickly realized you had left already. Words of high praise were offered regarding to your promotion of, and dedication to the hobby. I'm surprised no one has said anything yet. It struck me as being a big deal, but they may still be recovering from the work and stress of the event.

      Thanks, glad you enjoy the blog.

  5. Mike I am honoured you chose my india game for youe cover.We were remembering back to our 1990's atlantic convoy action,when you flew your fliegergruppe of He-111's straight over the convoy reeking havoc,and humming the intro to the "Battle of Britain". aah memories. ..Oh yeah contrary to your own orders..Horrido.. and take care glad you were at the con.

  6. Top Blog and fantastic scenary!

    favourite blog ever