Sunday, April 8, 2018



"Hello Winston! There you are. It's a pity you aren't riding with the column. How are things?"

"Good to see you Grandmaison. --- Intolerable heat, flies, boredom, isolation from my fellows and the very worst of all, inaction. But, I'll be back in the thick of things soon. Like me, the men are in a wretched funk here."

"Tell me about it and I'll report to General Pettygree."

"When can we splice the mainbrace Chief Petty Officer? The men are in a black mood."

"Busy sailors are happy sailors. Ain't that enough? --- Back to your duties then. --- "I'll speak with the Captain about your rum."

"Grandmaison. What news do you bring?"

"General, I spoke with Churchill at the depot. He is of the opinion the men are in a foul mood. Their low morale is causing reduced industriousness and worse. Specifically...."

"Have him report directly to me tonight."

"Alright Lieutenant. What's on your mind?"

"General, thank you for seeing me. The men are in a funk and...."

"So, you are in a hobby funk, sir. I daresay these orders will fix your troubles in a fortnight."

Ride With The Column More Than You Have
It's action you need, not lengthy solitary confinement. Get out with your mates more. By this I mean with fellow hobbyists sharing your interests to talk, celebrate, eat and game. It is all very fine to privately buy, collect, paint, organize and display your miniatures. We must and want to do these things. However, face to face, flesh and blood and eye to eye sharing of experiences can too often be tragically absent. Lonely and unhealthy too.

Zorndorf Game #2 game mastered by Der Alte Fritz, Jim Purky, at the 35th Annual Seven Years' War Association Weekend held April 6-7, 2018 in South Bend, Indiana. We've gathered for three and a half decades; almost the same mates for this unique way to ride with the column. It is truly unlike any wargame gathering.  In a way it's similar to a best family gathering. Maybe it's exactly that.

Bill looks forward to the annual Seven Years' War India game hosted by Jurgen O. at the SYW Weekend. Shabash!

Do more tabletop games.

Move Miniatures and Throw Dice With Your Mates More
Gaming fun, laughter, visual appeal and memories with your fellows across the table are of inestimable value. It's part though not all of the stuff of happiness. Yes, the occasional solitary game is mighty fine and right, but so much more is gained by being with other people moving miniatures and throwing dice. Here's one amazing memory.

Bill sent three French scouts to the edge of a ravine to look for the foe. Joe asked, "Bill, are all your scouts looking over the edge?" After hesitating, the trepedatious answer was, "Yes."

Shots rang out from hidden Woodland Indians. All three scouts were hit. Ouch! Everyone silently gathered around for 3xD6 saving throws. (4-5-6 = Miss, 2-3 = Wound and 1 = Dead) Bill picked up three dice, shook and cast them upon the table. --- Gasp! --- Open-mouthed. --- Three ones!

The room erupted into raucous laughter with howls lasting minutes. Bill laughed hard too and why not?

That's entertainment, huge fun and a great memory.

Friendly Painting Challenge
Are you in a painting funk; unable to lift your brushes? Well, invite your mates to join you in a Friendly Paining Challenge. The rules are simple.

Thirty day duration. Short, sweet and doable.
Paint anything, even if a miniature has been 90% complete for years.
Paint as much or as little as you want, big or small, complicated or simple.
Build something to completion.
Change plans any time.
Share results, bravos and comments.
Goal: Personal satisfaction, crossing "Finish Lines" and fun with your mates.

You know what lads? As odd as this sounds, it works. Those who participate feel a sense of accomplishment and fun. I think part of it is because we are doing it together instead of alone.

Twelve friends are involved in our current Friendly Painting Challenge.

Friendly Painting Challenge ending at 11:59 pm 15 April 2018.
12x WWII Papua New Guinea natives from Eureka Miniatures.
2xAustralian leaders; Perry 8th Army.

More Painting Challenge Results.
Japanese vehicles, infantry and a 20mm AA/AT gun.

Finally 3x prototype Republican Romans from 1st Corps and
USA WWII dismounted tank crewmen; mostly Blacktree Design. Bill overbought these!

Keep your heads down lads!
Avoid watching motion pictures and television. These are time vampires.
Listen to favorite music instead.
Set a timer and stay focused.

Plan Several Games
Well lads, we are en-route to The Northwest Frontier again with my Field Force.  I've told Bill we have needs. He and I know the prospect of future games are prodigious motivators to produce new units, terrain and what not. You know this too.

It's harder to be industrious without games spurring us on to do all the things we love to do in this hobby. Tell your mates the plan so they can get involved in some way as well.

People need people --- not just electronically --- but standing beside us to enjoy this life.

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"Alright you idlers. After taking care of the most important things in life; God, then family and next work, take care of yourselves. Will we see you soon --- in person?"

Ride with the column more.
Respectfully yours,
Bill P.

Your thoughts are very welcome below at Comments.

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Michael Mathews said...

Ride, captain ride upon your mystery ship
Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip
Ride captain ride upon your mystery ship
On your way to a world that others might have missed

Greg Rigler said...

Well said.

Der Alte Fritz said...

I seek an assignment with a snappy regiment headed for the Raj. I'm ready to ride with Pettygree.

Colonel Archibald Sinclair
First Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders

Mad Guru said...

A fine post, Bill, I thank you for writing it, and thank you Michael for nudging me to listen to an excellent old Blues Image song I never knew existed. The "Digital Commons" are like every other tool invented by man and/or woman, simply tools, to be used for good or bad depending on the human users. I think the best result to come from them is the ability to befriend those who share our interests even if they're located halfway around the world. I think the worst result despite more often than not being an accidental side-effect rather than intentional, is the reduction in the amount of time we spend in face-to-face interaction with our fellow human beings. I agree the more games we play with our family, friends, and fellow gamers, the better off we'll be. There days I find it a challenge to do so more than a few times a year, which is certainly not enough... but still a lot better than nothing! With your prodding I will make a serious effort to fit at least one more game than usual into my schedule!

Henry Hyde said...

I'm glad to hear you're on the up, Bill. I know your predicament all too well.

jurgenation said...

Bill ,you are the True Gaming poet.Always love your Blogs.Glad you played in my game,so were the British. Love your in depth paint jobs on the Colonials. Take care .

FlightDoc said...

Great advice and fine instructions for 85% of people. I would like to present another side. I chose to play solo as an escape from people. Some people are introverts and some are extroverts. Introverts gain energy by themselves; extroverts when with others. As a senior physician, I deal with other people's problems all day, either individually or as part of a hospital team. I am forced to be an extrovert to help people and solve problems. I confess I am very good at it but it is draining and after 28 years in the biz I don't get the easy problems anymore. ( Just today I had a mother whose premature infant died and she didn't have the money to pay for a funeral. Yes, I found the money.) I game solo to recharge my batteries. I am very happy with my situation and only bring this up to shine light on other reasons people game. Some solo gamers do so by choice. This is a wonderfully large hobby.
Joe Legan,MD

Gallia said...

Michael: I listened carefully to the song. Insightful and appreciated.
Greg, Mad Guru, Henry and Juergen: I always appreciate your remarks and sentiments.
Jim: Pack your kit for the next campaign. Be ready at a moment's notice!
Flight Doc: Well spoken, needed and understandable. Our hobby affords silence and refueling when needed for me too.
Very Respectfully,
Bill P.

Gallia said...

Thank you again for taking the time to write and for your sentiments. I appreciate your thoughts and time very much.
Elsewhere a contributor mentioned another reason to ride with the column. It is because we don't know when our friends are going to pass away. We recently lost George R. here. Suddenly.
The idea is to ride with the column more before there is a first or another "empty chair"/saddle.
Bill P.

DaveD said...

Your not wrong!

Anonymous said...

I will gladly join the column. I went and looked at my North-West Frontier figures, buildings and decided to build some scenery that I've always wanted. And there is always the need for another hill fort... Thanks for your blog and the inspiration it provides.
Thanks again
John S.Beardsley

Hils said...

Another great post which husband and I thoroughly enjoyed. Always a nice treat to discover a new chapter in the annals of Pettygree.

Stephen Gilbert said...

May General William Augustus Pettygree ride forever. Lovely to read yet another remarkable installment in his epic adventures. Bravo.