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.


Seven Years War Association Convention - Part I

I made it!  Years of trying or hoping spring break schedules would line up and they finally did.  So game listings and shopping list in hand I arrived, prepared to be impressed.  I was not disappointed.

The quality of the miniatures and terrain was generally amazing.  So much love and attention paid to detail really heightened the experience.  There was Sanderhausen in 15mm with Final Argument of Kings (I played in this one):
And Falkirk in 15mm by John Read with Age of Reason:
An AWI battle by Legion of Honor winner Jim Purky using Sons of Liberty:
and Action Near Radeburg with Ken Bunger and Jurgen Olk using Tricorne:
Things aren't as grim looking for the Austrians in the game above as it might appear.  Units that were hidden or otherwise out of view weren't put on the table immediately.

In my game, a carefully researched historic refight, it turned into a battle of maneuver.  The cavalry viciously clashed with the French triumphant.  In this case quantity won out over quality.  As a result the infantry on both sides were largely unengaged until the Hessians were backed up against a dense forest with an impassable river behind that. 
They beat the Parley and to prevent unnecessary effusion of blood, I took it upon myself as the cavalry commander to grant them honors and let them march off with a three hour head start.  They then set up this picture opportunity of them marching off:

Quality sellers were in attendance and I dropped cash with George Nafziger, RSM and another shop I regretfully forget the name.  Books, miniatures and accessories were in large quantities, in and out of the period.  Eureka had tons of gorgeous miniatures with them, but alas are a bit pricey for my teacher's budget.

Afternoon/Evening games were the Battle of Suckenplatz using With Drums Beating and 10mm figures which I seemingly didn't get a picture taken.  Prussians vs. Russians in 25mm by Jude Becker using Age of Reason:
A Konig Krieg 15mm and Last of the Mohicans skirmish game in 25mm that I apparently also failed to get pictures of.  We were supposed to play the Battle of Bungwash in India Friday night.  The tenth engagement in an on-going loose campaign for control of India, the French had won nine of ten battles.  Clive was sacked long ago and now the besieged have issued forth to drive off the "French" and their allies.  Alas, too many key players were eating or otherwise indisposed so the game master, Jurgen Olk made the executive decision to put it off to Saturday morning.  Unfortunate for me because that was already the time slot that had the most interesting games, but that was the decision.  In the meantime, here are some pictures of the pre-game set up.  Talk about a colorful period!
Bungwash besieged.
French siege train
French Sepoys and Indian leaders
Company Sepoys
My mob of unformed future heroes and accompanying rocketeers.

I'll post all the pictures to my Picassa account later and give you a link in my part II report.  As the saying goes, the best is yet to come.