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"Back from the SYWAcon - with photos" Topic

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1,366 hits since 3 Apr 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Apr 2017 6:12 p.m. PST

Well, it's over for another year . . . 2+ days of eighteenth century goodness.

The annual convention of the Seven Years War Association, now in its 34th year, is far and away my favorite convention experience of the year and has been for many, many years. Allow me to explain why (or, if you don't care what I like and just want to see the pictures, skip to the link at the end of the post):

- A comfortable venue. The Waterford Estates Lodge is an aging but well-maintained establishment with all the usual amenities of the top-shelf hotels and a helpful, friendly staff, but at a very reasonable price.

- A relaxed atmosphere and somewhat informal schedule which affords the freedom to shop, talk, or step out for a bite and a drink, or winding down after the day's events are done in the comfy atrium chairs or the hotel pub, catching up on life's happenings or discussing (surprise!) history. There's plenty of time since many of the attendees show up on Thursday night before the convention officially begins, and don't head home until after a long, late breakfast on Sunday a very extended two days.

- Dozens of historical wargames, beautifully executed and masterfully guided by experienced gamemasters, many of whom are the authors of the rules being used.

- More than a dozen vendors with every new and used thing a historical miniatures gamer needs figures, rules, terrain, paint, books, flags virtually every table has something on it that I want.

- The "Krieg Akademi" presentations, which tie the fabulous games to the history that they represent, this year featuring 1) Alex Burns comparing the camps at Hochkirch, Germantown, Bunzelwitz and Valley Forge and 2) Jim McIntyre on partisan Johann Ewald in the Seven Years War. (More are planned for next year).

- Old friends who share my passion for military history, some of whom fly in from all over the country just for this event, and some of whom I only get to see on this weekend.

- Making new friends among those who are drawn to this event by the very things I find so appealing, knowing that we will find an instant connection through our shared interests.

There's an album of captioned photos from this year's convention on my Flickr page. I didn't get to photograph every game (running multiple events myself keeps me pretty busy) but I got most of them. (Note that you have to click on the photos to go to the slideshow in order to see the captions).




Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2017 6:21 p.m. PST

What great pictures! Lovely miniatures and beautiful scenery. Maybe next year (sigh).

JasonAfrika Inactive Member03 Apr 2017 6:23 p.m. PST

Great looking games!

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2017 6:34 p.m. PST

The pictures suggest a lot of the games are in 28mm--is that accurate?

Doug MSC Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Apr 2017 6:50 p.m. PST

Beautiful Photos!!!

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Apr 2017 6:55 p.m. PST

The pictures suggest a lot of the games are in 28mm--is that accurate?

About half of them, this year. It varies.

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2017 6:55 p.m. PST

Great photos Jeff ..loved your game and conversation.

Grignotage04 Apr 2017 5:26 a.m. PST

Great pics, thanks for sharing!

While I was scrolling through, I thought, "hmmm, is this convention all 18th century stuff?" Then came back here to ask and saa the convention title…duh.

95th Division Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2017 7:45 a.m. PST

Thanks for posting – great pics. Across the board, these are beautiful looking games. I am working on AWI 28mm figures and terrain. I may have to check this convention out next year. Very good write-up. Thanks again.

jambo1 Inactive Member04 Apr 2017 10:18 a.m. PST

Great pics,many thanks for posting them.

clifblkskull Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2017 8:55 p.m. PST

Thanks for posting Jeff
Excellent looking battles

Buckeye AKA Darryl05 Apr 2017 4:10 a.m. PST

Excellent pics, really captures the feel of the games and the con. Strangely while I was an active con goer in the 90s, I never made it to the SYWA convention…I might just have to make it next year!

michaelw989 Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2017 5:58 a.m. PST

Absolutely spectacular photos!!! Your photography of the gaming at the convention really delivers!

DinOfBattle205 Apr 2017 12:24 p.m. PST

Maybe it is me, but the photos are really blurry, is that happening for others?

huron72505 Apr 2017 3:36 p.m. PST

I made it for the 1st time and it was fantastic. I'll be back next year.

Everyone I talked with, from game masters, vendors to gamers, were very pleasant and took a genuine interest in this era – there is alot of positive passion here. I really liked the atmosphere.

historygamer07 Apr 2017 9:45 a.m. PST

The con looks wonderful. I am curious how attendance has been the past few years? How many attended this year? How has it done in past years? This looks like a great con. Thanks for sharing.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Apr 2017 12:15 p.m. PST

It's a small con, hovering right around a hundred attendees, down a little in recent years but back up again this year. In some ways, the small size of the con is irrelevant – if you can find enough great games to keep you busy for the whole weekend, does it matter if the rest of the con is 12 events or 1200? At the same time, its modest scope could also be viewed as an advantage since it imparts some of the atmosphere of a gathering of friends.

Glorfindel77708 Apr 2017 1:43 a.m. PST

Shows the huge amount of work that goes into this convention. Really impressed by your naval game, "Blowguns in Borneo" and the 10mm game (as I am building SYW armies in this figure size). Difficult to pick standout games though amongst the pics shown. The standard of terrain building in particular is excellent.

Thank you for taking and showing these.


historygamer08 Apr 2017 2:32 p.m. PST

Glad to hear your numbers are back up again. The games look great. Are they juried or do you allow anyone to register? I'm just curious how the con seems to get such a high level of games.

dbf167608 Apr 2017 2:58 p.m. PST

The convention has been for years only a part of the Seven Years War Association's activities, ableit perhaps the major one. The Association publishes a journal, which used to be more or less quarterly, and has been involved with several Seven Years War tours guided by the well-known expert Christopher Duffy. Duffy spoke at many conventions before his age prevented him from doing so.

While the games cover basically the period 1700-1789, most people who attend view the WAS, SYW and/or the AWI their primary period(s) of interest. Therefore, they know games that interest them will be there. There is a trophy for the best game, no one puts on a game for the purpose of winning it.

historygamer08 Apr 2017 3:28 p.m. PST

So there is no jurying of games before allowing them to register? Just amazing quality there.

dbf167608 Apr 2017 4:36 p.m. PST

Anyone who wants to put on a game may do so.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Apr 2017 6:05 p.m. PST

There is no jurying or pre-selection process aside from the period restriction, but peer pressure seems to have the same end result. The bar has been set pretty high by past gamemasters, and the expectations of the attendees are correspondingly high. I feel obligated to put my best effort into games for this convention and I suspect most (if not all) of the other gamemasters feel the same way.

historygamer08 Apr 2017 6:59 p.m. PST

Nice. :-)

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Apr 2017 9:59 p.m. PST

So many people have commented on the consistently high quality of the games at this con that I decided to put together a little 10 year retrospective of some of the most eye-catching games:


Or, if you've got time on your hands and want to see just how hard it was to pick out the best of the best, you can feel free to slog through the entire collection of albums since 2007:


historygamer10 Apr 2017 1:20 p.m. PST

Just – WOW! Thanks for sharing. :-)

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Apr 2017 4:35 p.m. PST

Nice collection of pictures Jeff. Thank you for sharing. I was busy running my dealer booth and running four games at the same time over the weekend. I am knackered from it all, but I do it gladly. The SYWA convention is the highlight of each wargaming year for me.

Here is a picture from my larger AWI game on Saturday:


Tricorne197111 Apr 2017 8:58 p.m. PST

I and Dean West have been running the convention the last 3 years. It is the convention's 34th year!! Thanks for the kind comments and great pictures. I will post more on our facebook page later.
I really want to thank those who attended this year and in particular the gamemasters and vendors on whom we rely. This year's gathering was very successful.

We started the Seven Years War association in 1977 with about 20 members including Professor Duffy. Our games were initially a part of the second GenCon, but evolved into an association and a separate convention. Many old friends to thank for this.

NEXT YEAR again at the Waterford April 6-7, 2018.

Poniatowski Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member12 Apr 2017 7:35 a.m. PST

Holy Crap…. something to truly aspire to….

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