Monday, April 8, 2013

Seven Years' War Convention Report: Fun, Family and an Overview of Events

Dinner at the Seven Years' War Convention

Dear Reader,

Every once in a while, its a great pleasure to be a historian. Amid all the papers to write, research to do, and classes to teach, you get to have some fun. (And to be honest, most of the rest of it is fun as well.)  This weekend was the 30th annual Seven Years' War Convention. While primarily a place for wargames, this convention also has a great many book sellers, knowledgeable individuals, and downright fun. For the past few years, my cousin Peter, and I (along with both of our fathers), go to South Bend for this convention.For the wargamishly inclined, fear not, there will be a lot of pictures of the event in a subsequent post.

On Thursday, I arrived in order to help Dean West set up his Sandershausen game. I have researched the battle of Sandershausen extensively, and recently published an article on the battle in the Journal of the Seven Years' War Association. Dean is a really great guy, and setting up the battle was a lot of fun. He has some beautiful wargaming terrain, which helps make the battle look realistic. From there, we all went out to dinner at the Cafe Navarre, a local restaurant in South Bend (pictured above).

On Friday, Dean put on the Sandershausen game twice, and there were many other games, which I promise to post pictures of soon. While the French defeated the Hessians in the first playthrough, the Hessians were able to hold their own in the second battle, winning the game for the first time in the history of the scenario.

On Saturday, Dad, Uncle Ray, Peter and I went over to the Fiddler's Hearth, a local Irish restaurant. Peter, as always, ordered Leg of Lamb. Here he is, trying to get through the meal!
Sorry Peter, I just couldn't resist. 

After the meal, we returned to the convention for the highlight of the trip, the meeting of the convention members, and a lecture by Dr. Christopher Duffy, the leading Seven Years' War historian. He recently published a new book, The Best of Enemies: Germans and Jacobites, where he destroys the notion that the Hessians should be villianized for their role in the '45. You can buy the book from John Brewster of Bitter Books at their website, here.

The Mitchell Cup went to Jim Purky, of Der Alte Fritz blog fame, for his excellent American War of Independence game. Also, Jim Mc Intyre, a professor at Morraine Valley in Michigan, restarted the Journal of the Seven Years' War Association

In the next couple of days, I will be posting about more details on the various games, (with photos), and a in depth discussion of Dr. Duffy's lecture.

Thanks for Reading,

Alex Burns


  1. Sounds like a great time was had by all! Looking forward to reading more! I was very impressed by your article in The Journal of the Seven Years War Association-nicely done!!!!

  2. I am glad you enjoyed it, thanks for reading!!

  3. I am sad that I could not make it. So please post some more pictures so I can feel bad and make sure I make it next year.

  4. I am sad that I could not make it. So please post some more pictures so I can feel bad and make sure I make it next year.