Several of Duke's presentations are available for sale. They are "The Alamo", "The Wild, Wild West", "Custer Meets Crazy Horse", and "The American Civil War" with Duke's 15mm "Confederates." He does expect to make available one more "Americans and Apaches - Geronimo and Cochise" in several months. If you would like an "Uncle Duke", this is the time while he is still with us.


Personality Figures – Duke Seifried
By Chris Scott
October 2007, Miniature Wargames magazine

Salute ’07 kept up its tradition of attracting some of the biggest names in wargaming as visitors; among them this year was America’s most famous gamer. Indeed, thanks to the Internet there can be few wargamers in the world who have not heard of, or seen the work of Duke Seifried.

Now aged 70+ he remains active as ever as an artist, designer, sculptor, painter, diorama maker, model builder, product developer, game designer, writer, public speaker, musician, music arranger, entrepreneur and gamemaster. With his spectacular demonstration and participation games being regular ‘star attractions’ at Conventions across America including Origins, Historicon, Gencon and Games Expo (2007), Duke is perhaps the greatest showman of our time for miniature adventure games, a term he coined to describe his games as extravaganzas and inter-active museum displays you can play on; and playing in an Uncle Duke game is considered the highlight of a convention for many attendees.

Duke came to the fore in the hobby as the driving force behind several firms in the early pioneering days, namely Der Kriegspielers, Custom Cast and Heritage U.S.A., and he joined friends at TSR (Dungeons & Dragons) during their heyday! He also ran a service group called Creative Concepts which advised a number of toy companies in product development and original pattern making for action figures. Like Dan Featherstone, Duke has been the proud recipient of the internationally prestigious Scruby Award from HMGS (Historical Miniatures Gaming Society) and the coveted Hall of Fame “Callie” from GAMA (Game Manufacturers’ Association); these and numerous other awards attest to the fact that Uncle Duke, as he is affectionately known, is one of the major pioneers and contributors to the success and growth of our hobby.

He is also well-known for his professional musical activities. He is a guitarist with the Jack Farina Big Band which has been playing Swing for almost thirty years and Duke has often featured on solos alongside some very well-known musicians. He is a first-class arranger and a noted jazz guitarist, fronting a couple of jazz groups under the name, Cool Jazz, and can describe their range of musical style in technical detail well into the early hours. He also keeps up to date in modern music, conforming the Digi-Tet Duo making and performing electronic wizardry vibes.

When you talk with Duke you cannot fail to be impressed by his boundless enthusiasm for wargaming; he is always so positive and always forward looking. At a time when most people would be thinking of relaxing and taking it easy, Duke is dreaming of and getting involved with a project called ‘The Las Vegas International Game Museum’. He has a wide range of ideas organized into a number of principle groups: 1) Miniature adventure games dealing with historical, science fiction and fantasy subjects; 2) Board games, roughly divided into several categories including family games and the standards; Chess, Checkers, Go, etc.; 3) Card games,; 4) Role-playing Games; 5) Games of Chance; and, 6) Computer Games. He is planning to display historical, fantasy and science-fiction subjects in stunning miniature presentations, which include flights of the fantastic found only in the imagination of an author; a moviemaker or a game designer! Typical of the man, he argues that “there are no limits in creativity to the presentation of the graphics and action found in role-playing and card games. From the familiar family games of past ties to the latest imaginative board game we will be able to feature the expanse of ingenuity our minds can conceive. What an interesting array of history and now-time we can offer a visitor!”

America’s Salute is Historicon and this year Duke took something a bit smaller than last year so as not to be a problem to the hotel venue, but still needing a 6’ x30’ table! It was a prestigious North-West Frontier game based in the Second Afghan War of 1887 and featured a number of interesting sites such as All Musjid (an ancient run-down medieval fortress; a Pathan Vilage, the Kohat Pass, a Pathan Watchtower, the beautiful Indian-style City (curiously named Dombai), a Secret Cult Temple for believers in Kali and the broad Khyber River not to mention a host of assorted Pathan Tribesmen, some Fanatics, an Afghan Army and three determined British/Sepoy Columns led by luminaries of the time. Also at Historicon he provided an interesting seminar dealing with Ancient Battle Orders and Tactics. In addition to this he is supplying Origins ’07 with four big participation games also on similarly amazing terrain and run by his friends and fellow-enthusiasts called ‘The A Team’ or ‘Uncle Duke’s Crew’.

On top of all that he also a thoroughly nice guy who has time for everyone and is genuinely always pleased to sit and chat with anyone, even with absolute beginners. No wonder he has indeed become a living legend!


Duke has an impressive but lengthy resume. You may want to scroll down and look at the subject galleries and then come back to this area.

By Chris Scott

HISTORICON 2010 is expected to be one of the largest historical miniature gaming conventions ever staged and will include hundreds of elaborately staged wargames from all time periods, a giant exhibitor hall offering thousands of hobby products, a variety of tournaments, internationally famous speakers at the convention’s War College, informative workshops, flea market bargains and many more features.

HISTORICON, originally planned for the Baltimore, will now be held at the Valley Forge Convention Center*, Philadelphia 8–11 July. The Convention Center, overlooks the picturesque, rolling hillsides of the 3,600-acre Valley Forge National Historical Park, features and boasts more than 138,000 square feet of exhibition space, and its newly finished renovations, elaborate banquet facilities and meeting rooms will be the setting for one of those iconic moments in the history of wargaming. After sixty years in the hobby the internationally acclaimed wargames master Duke Seifried is retiring from presenting his magnificent series of spectacular games and is planning to stage a last huzzah with an extravaganza of games. Duke is not well but a recent meeting with the Doctors has allowed him to make a last massive show before, as he puts it, “I ride off into the sunset.”

In concert with HISTORICON ( managed by Convention Director Bob Giglio) ‘Uncle Duke’s Diamond Jubilee’ will be a major feature of this year’s show, with a special area dedicated to this attraction. The plan is to offer a mass of games and already plans for hiring a monster truck to transport the array of terrains and figures are underway. Duke’s usual support crowd, the ‘A Team’, are gearing up for the event and other experienced gamemasters are being enlisted to help out.

Initial planning is for 25mm games featuring: Egyptians/Hittites, Assyrians/Babylonians, Carthaginians/Republican Romans and Imperial Romans/Barbarians representing the Ancient World. Normans/Saxons and Vikings/Saxons for the Dark Ages and a SIEGE, a game of the Middle Ages. The time of the Renaissance is depicted in AZTECA! with Aztecs & Conquistodores. There will be French/Indian War and AWI for 18thC America. ‘Uncle Duke's Napoleonettes’ will service Austrians/French 1809 which will also be the only 15mm offering. Representing the Colonial Wars will be Dervishes/British & Egyptians in SUDAN. Zulu/British at Isandlwana & Rorke's Drift. Pathans & Afghans/British & Sepoys will battle on the Northwest Frontier. Duke is also considering a reduced scale ‘Jolly Roger’ with ships and Islands/Pirates to give a naval flavour to proceedings, and a final entry might be an ‘Alamo Adventure’ as he has completed the diorama and acquired all the figures but is not sure he can get them all painted in time. All these armies will be for sale and will include all other subjects in his collection including David & Goliath, Greeks and Persians. Tolkien LOTR armies, Boers, ACW 15mm Confederettes, El Cid (his newest) and a number of others. To those with substantial chequebooks this too is a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire some top quality figurines and scenics from the hands of a master.

The promotion for the event feature will read, ‘Uncle Duke's Diamond Jubilee - End of an Era.’ It is Duke’s intention “to go out with a big bang!” What else would you expect from such doyen of the hobby? [For those youngsters not in the USA who haven’t heard of Duke, read the ‘Personality Figure’ article in MW #194 October 2007.

Once you’ve reached Philadelphia, the centre is easily accessed by the PA Turnpike, Routes 76, 476, 202, and 422. Its picturesque suburban setting offers 2,500 free parking spaces. Connected to it is the 328-room Radisson Hotel Valley Forge featuring four distinctive restaurants. Numerous other hotels are also in the area. The Valley Forge Convention Center has been ranked "One of the 25 Most Active Convention Centers in North America" by Meeting Magazine.

For additional information, please visit WWW.HISTORICON.ORG.
* Yes we all know it should be Centre!

Submitted for publication by Don Perrin,


During a special ceremony, GAMA (Game Manufacturer’s Association) recently awarded their coveted Callie Award for the outstanding new historical rules release for 2005 to Duke Seifried for his “Uncle Duke’s Napoleonette,” a well-designed, easily playable offering that features a unique Napoleonic flavor for the less experienced gamer and moves faster for the seasoned campaigner. A Yahoo website (UncleDukesNapoleonette Yahoo Group) has been established to provide a forum for questions and discussion.



The prestigious GAMA (Game Manufacturer’s Association) Annual Banquet was held recently at the Drury Hotel at the Columbus, OH Convention Center, naming “Uncle Duke” Seifried their 2005 Hall of Fame recipient.

Well known rule-writer, Frank Chadwick, himself a former Hall of Fame recipient introduced Seifried. Chadwick expressed surprise that Seifried, a pioneer of the industry hadn’t received the award previously. While most notables in GAMA and the gaming industry specialize in one area, Uncle Duke has done it all, amassing many firsts, including:

A true Renaissance Man, Seifried’s extravaganzas of historical and fantasy games are the number one draw at every event he attends. His artistic talents in building dioramas of movie-set quality are breath taking! As a game master, his commanding Paul Harvey-sounding voice, spectacular lighting & other special effects, along with his flamboyant, charismatic flair for the dramatic keep players and observers spellbound! For gamers, he presents “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

Rather than the usual, expected acceptance speech following his induction into the GAMA Hall of Fame, Seifried dropped a bombshell! He challenged the “movers and shakers” of GAMA and the industry to fund a museum where all types of games could be played, displayed and used for entertainment and education. A gift shop on the premises would contain merchandise provided by vendors to help defray costs. Columbus, OH home of the GAMA Conventions currently owns several appropriate buildings that would accommodate this type of venture. It is realistic to expect gamers to flock to the city year-round, adding to the tax base with tourist spending. Seifried offered to donate his largest, most spectacular “Lord of the Rings Extravaganza,” valued at $50,000 to show good faith in the success of this achievable goal!



Duke Seifried is now 81+ and somewhat failing. However, He is as active as possible as an artist, designer, sculptor, painter, dioramist, model builder, product developer, game designer, writer, public speaker, musician, music arranger, entrepreneur and gamemaster—perhaps the greatest showman of our time for miniature adventure games, a descriptive he conceived to better describe the fusion of Kriegspiels (War Games) and Role playing games.

He was the driving force in several firms in the early pioneering days: Der Kriegspielers, Custom Cast and Heritage USA. He joined friends at TSR as EVP during their heydays! His service group, “Creative Concepts,” served a number of toy companies in product development and original pattern making for action figures.

His “EXTRAVAGANZAS” have often been the major headliners at Origins, Historicon and Gencon, as well as at countless other shows. Playing in an Uncle Duke game is considered the highlight of a convention for many attendees.

Duke has received the prestigious Scruby Award from HMGS (Historical Miniatures Gaming Society) as well as a special award named in his honor: The Duke Seifried GAMEMASTER OF THE YEAR award. He has also won the coveted Hall of Fame “Callie” from Origins (Adventure Gaming Arts and Design.) These and numerous other awards attest to the fact that Uncle Duke is one of the major pioneers and contributors to the success and growth of our hobby. He has indeed become a living legend!

Duke has been dealing with a theoretically terminal disease described as Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis which was diagnosed a number of years ago. He was given only two years to “get his affairs in order”, but his enterprising wife, Annette, managed to get him on a revolutionary treatment program with a German doctor. A regimen of shots and drops made of his own blood and urine has been implemented this past year. The treatment is obviously most beneficial. Duke is still here! In October 2015, he has suffered a major relapse and his health is now questionable.

Thanks to Chris Scott for the earlier bio which is now able to be updated currently.