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"2019 Convention of the SYWA" Topic

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810 hits since 29 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Jan 2019 4:15 a.m. PST

Just a couple months until my favorite convention of the year, and my workbench is covered with stuff being built and painted for my events.

Photos from last year's convention:


Check out the Facebook Group:


or the official notice, reproduced below:


APRIL 4 6, 2019
Waterford Estates Lodge, 52890 S.R. 933 North
South Bend, Indiana 46637 (574) 272-5220

As always, there will be many land and naval miniature wargames representing the entire 18thC – Anybody in a Tricorne Hat! New game masters are very much welcomed. Potential Game Masters should contact Tod Kershner at

The convention is well attended by dealers and flea market tables selling miniatures, terrain and books from various historical periods. If you wish to reserve a dealer table, please contact Ken Bunger at We welcome all vendors. This is one convention where dealers can also play in the games!

Admission at the Door: $35 USD for the convention. $25 USD for one day.

Convention Hours: 8:30 a.m. to Midnight on Friday and Saturday. Many of us arrive Thursday afternoon for socializing, libations and informal gaming. Most dealers setup on Thursday and we will try to schedule some games.

Hotel: Special room rates will be available later this year. Please tell the hotel that you are with the convention. A restaurant/bar is in the hotel.

Further Information: Contact Ken Bunger at To schedule a game contact Tod Kershner: We will post updates on or The Seven Years War on Facebook. We also post on the TMP message board.
We encourage all, whether interested in our period or not, to attend a great weekend of wargaming and socializing at our expanded venue.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2019 8:47 a.m. PST

I really want to go to this.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2019 10:02 a.m. PST

Soooo tempting!

I have to be in The Big Apple for work then – stupid work!

Just wait till I retire I guess

Sounds amazing

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2019 3:55 p.m. PST

Always a good convention. Looking forward to it.

GamesPoet Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2019 7:58 p.m. PST

The pictures from last years convention look like they show some good games. : )

18th Century Guy Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2019 6:18 a.m. PST

Just made my reservation! Haven't been in at least 10 years and I'm really looking forward to it.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Feb 2019 7:14 a.m. PST

I will be there as both a vendor (Fife & Drum/Minden Miniatures) and as a game judge. I'm looking forward to another great convention.

historygamer01 Feb 2019 9:15 a.m. PST

Oh, I wish I could go. :-(

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2019 11:11 a.m. PST

A convention I'd like to attend, but am unlikely to do so until I retire.

I do find it's ironic that the Convention is more than willing let The Wargaming Company attend (obviously for a fee) and sell products, but are forbidden from putting on a game demonstration of ESR. Something to do with camels and tents I'm told.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Feb 2019 6:03 p.m. PST

Now, Elliott . . .


Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2019 6:14 p.m. PST

Perhaps the wrong era?

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Feb 2019 9:05 p.m. PST

RAF: The operative words are:




Last year the company that you are championing wanted to host a Napoleonic Wargame. I don't believe that any further explanation is required.

TheKing3003 Feb 2019 7:31 a.m. PST

That was worth a good giggle.

JohannvonHuelsen03 Feb 2019 8:09 a.m. PST

The games at the Seven Years War Convention are far broader than the convention's name indicates. Most years games range from the 1670s to the late 1780s, including beautiful games staged in Europe, the Americas, and the Indian subcontinent. The statement, "anyone in a tricorn hat" is not particularly helpful, as soldiers did not wear these hats throughout the entire era. If we seek to create a clearer definition of games we accept, using the term old-regime, or between 1648-1789, might be more helpful. Furthermore, vendors offer games, figures, books, and terrain for every possible era and genre. It is a uniquely intimate and social convention making it a personal favorite of many who attend, myself included.

Last year, the Napoleonic company in question, The Wargaming Company, received a series of unsolicited requests from attendees, and multiple notifications from the game coordinator, Dean West. Dean said he might cancel the convention due to a lack of games. As a result, The Wargaming Company stepped up and offered to run a Napoleonics game at their booth or as a pickup game if it was appropriate and would help the convention. Dean shared this offer with the attendees. Most remained silent, many voiced support, some had reservations, and at least one indicated it might ruin the convention altogether. The Wargaming Company then withdrew their offer to run a pickup game as they were not seeking controversy, or to harm anyone's convention experience.

At the convention last year, Warlord ran a series of feudal Japanese samurai games in their booth to promote their new skirmish system. Unless we are going to start telling vendors what they can display on the tables they have paid for, we probably need to let them run demonstration games. Obviously, they would not do so as headline games, but as small demonstrations on their tables.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the convention this year!

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2019 5:00 p.m. PST

The games at the Seven Years War Convention are far broader than the convention's name indicates. Most years games range from the 1670s to the late 1780s, including beautiful games staged in Europe, the Americas, and the Indian subcontinent.

Sure, but using your own criteria, this would exclude the Napoleonic Wars.

Unless we are going to start telling vendors what they can display on the tables they have paid for, we probably need to let them run demonstration games.

I don't get the logic. Is someone restricting what vendors can bring?

Let's assume Warlord wants to be a vendor. They should be able to bring any product they want. That's a business decision. However, if they want to put on a game I'd suggest a Black Powder game in the Tricorne era, as you have indicated above. A Hail Caesar or Bolt Action game wouldn't be as appropriate, imo.

As an aside, I'm still trying to get to the convention. I doubt a Napoleonic game would affect my fun, or anyone else's. I'm sure the organizers will make the correct choice on what sort of games to allow.

JohannvonHuelsen03 Feb 2019 5:19 p.m. PST

Yes, absolutely, that date range would preclude the Napoleonic era. It would include games set after the Thirty Years War, and before the French Revolution.

This issue is not what product vendors can bring, but whether or not they can run demonstration games at their tables. Last year, we told The Wargaming Company not to run a demo Napoleonic game, and then said nothing when Warlord demoed their Samurai game.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2019 6:20 p.m. PST

Last year, we told The Wargaming Company not to run a demo Napoleonic game, and then said nothing when Warlord demoed their Samurai game.

While the constant warfare of the Senduko Jidai was now over, there was some Samurai warfare during the Tokugawa Shogunate. This would fall into the period that you indicated.

Of course, no one wore a tricorne. wink

JohannvonHuelsen03 Feb 2019 7:33 p.m. PST

Absolutely it could, but somehow I think Warlord was just demoing their new game. No one was wearing a Tricorne, but I don't really find that to be a compelling theme to conduct a convention around. Cocked hats (the more accurate term for the hat commonly refers to as the Tricorne) were worn into the French Revolutionary Era, and not worn by armies which are allowed at the con, such as the Nine Years War.

I don't care if people are demoing whatever on their dealer tables, but I think we need a clearer policy for what games are accepted.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Feb 2019 8:33 a.m. PST

I've been a member of the Seven Years War Association since 1986 and what has always made our convention unique is that it has probably been the only Wargame convention that focused on a particular period of time, but what would I know.

We used this model because SYW and FIW games were often crowded out at other conventions and it was rare to find games in that period at other venues. You weren't around there Alex when we started the annual convention so you probably don't have an appreciation for what it was like to find SYW games or to find historical information about the period in the pre-internet days.

We would share historical sources and information during the convention because unlike today, there weren't many English text sources for information.

I published the SYWA Journal for 7 years during the 1990s and helped with the running of the convention. We have always been financially viable, usually make a modest amount of money from the convention which we rolled over as a deposit on the site for the next year. A couple of times we lost a small amount of money and so members would chip in enough money to cover any loss.

We used to offer dealers free tables as an inducement to bring them to our convention, only later charging them a modest fee to cover the cost of renting the tables. I paid for Christopher Duffy's airfare and hotel fare out of my pocket to bring him over to,our first couple of conventions. He enjoyed his experience so much that he began to pay his own expenses and he returned every year ( until a couple of years ago when his health made it difficult to travel overseas).

You/we can play Napoleonic or ACW games at almost any Wargame convention in the USA, so our convention has always been unique in its focus. This is one of the attractions of the convention. Opening it up to,other periods would remove the uniqueness of our convention. Why attend a little convention in South Bend when you can go to Cold Wars or Little Wars or even Adepticon, all of which are slotted within a week,or two on either side of our date.

I think that newer dealers and prospective game judges should know a little more about the history of the association and the convention. This would give them a better appreciation of what we are all about. The dealer in question had no problem with canceling his game when we explained all of this to him.


JohannvonHuelsen04 Feb 2019 9:48 a.m. PST

At no point have I suggested allowing convention games beyond 1789. At no point have I suggested, "opening the convention up to other periods" What I have asked for, is clarification about whether or not we want to allow dealers, such as Warlord, to run demonstration games on the tables they have paid for. If you think that we should not, I would be willing to support that, I simply ask that we develop a policy and uniformly apply it.

Believe it or not, as a professional historian, I do have a sense of what life might have been like before the internet.What you have done above is list your resume and misrepresent my position. I already knew the former, and don't appreciate the latter.

I wasn't alive when you started this convention, you got me there. You don't need to act as though these suggestions on how to run the convention are a personal attacks on you. On the whole, I don't have a problem with you, Jim. You design the most beautiful miniature figures for this era on the market, and I'm well aware of your many contributions to this convention, as well as the hobby at large. We are very grateful for them.

Prof. Duffy greatly enjoyed his time at the convention, and frequently mentions it in our correspondence, and asked after everyone when we met in London this summer.
Since I started attending the convention in 2011, I have greatly enjoyed its fellowship and specificity.This is why I have been assisting Jim McIntyre with the Journal since 2014. This is why I run the facebook group and blog-site for the convention. There is something (that you all created back before the internet) that is truly valuable about this convention. I look forward to many more years of the SYWA Convention, and can't wait to see everybody again this year.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2019 2:57 p.m. PST

The Facebook page states:

"The Seven Years War Convention
Where: South Bend, IN
When: Late March/Early April
What: Tabletop Wargaming, welcoming games from The War of the League of Augsburg to The Battle of Marengo (1800)"

Since the games offered should fall in between the above period, perhaps the demo games or games set up by vendors should fall under the same restrictions.

dbf167604 Feb 2019 6:25 p.m. PST

I've been attending off and on for nearly 25 years. While I'm sure I might have missed some, I don't recall seeing any games set before 1700 or after the American Revolution. There is no reason to over analyze this, especially on the forum. If a newcomer is interested in going, this is the period that they can expect the games to cover.

Yellow Admiral04 Feb 2019 11:39 p.m. PST

A convention I'd like to attend, but am unlikely to do so until I retire.
Get on with that, would you? You're needed at the SYW con!

- Ix

Yellow Admiral05 Feb 2019 12:07 a.m. PST

If we're going to point out problems with the SYW con, what it really needs is more players, especially younger ones. If you're reading this, you should go. grin

It is a really unique little convention, and it deserves to carry on after the old guard have thrown their last morale roll. There are plenty of in-period games, it would help to have more players to play them.

I just hope to get a second chance to play John & Tod's sprawling WAR Culloden game. I have never seen a more boring battle turned into a more exciting game. It looked great, took a lot of players, and drew a crowd of hangers-on. That game should be a repeating fixture of this con.

- Ix

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