Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Thanks For The Memories

From General Pettygree

Some may remember Bob Hope's theme song, Thanks For The Memory

Bill's version goes like this. 

Thanks for the memories,
For our many 2019 companionable games,
Good and dreadful dice
And chuckles when someone said,
You won or you lost.
How fun it was.

Thanks for the memories,
Listening to music CDs and Alexa's serenades,
Colorful little people on the table
In early, late or all-day games,
Plus puzzling and good rules
And games we hope to play.
How terrific it was.

We who could laugh over big things
Were occasionally parted by small things.
I wonder if we did the right thing.
Oh well, that's life I guess.

Thanks for the memory,
Of faults that you forgave and
For scenarios gone astray.
Thank you very much.

Thanks for the memory,
For shared collections and homes,
Of cats, dogs and grandchildren dropping by,
For compelling hopes and plans,
Understanding spouses,
Good chow and birthday cake.
How terrific it was.

Thanks for the memory
for skirmish, medium, BIG and Spectacle games.
Fun car rides to away games.
About miniatures we hope to use
And rules we've yet to try.
How compelling this was.

Very glad I know you,
See you in 2020, God willing.
Thank you for these memories.

Monday, December 23, 2019



Thursday, September 26, 2019

Dervish Swarm Sinclair's Square

Date: 25 September 1929/2019
Location: British Museum Site B, Near El Wil-Yam
Situation: Eleven Days After The Dervish Swarm Victory

Story: General Pettygree Studios
Homage: Alfred Hitchcock "Very Light"

Before reading Dervish Swarm Sinclair's Square you may want to sequentially read:
Dervish Swarm posted 15 September 2019
Dervish Swarm The Harbor posted 16 September 2019
Dervish Swarm Into The Interior posted 17 September 2019
Dervish Swarm and The Dispatch Rider posted 20 September 2019
Simply scroll down for them all.

25 SEPTEMBER 1929/2019
Piquet Outside The Square

"D'yah here that rustling by the stream Duncan?"

"Huh? --- No mate. --- Can't say I do."

" A malingerer you are. Wake up. I heard someth'n metallic too."     

"Insulting me again, Robert? --- And the answer is no."

"All right then. Keep a sharp eye if you can, with the sun com'n up now."

"I hope that dispatch rider the Colonel sent out brings a relief column."

"Uh --- It don't matter now mate --- cause...."

"Here come them Dervishes. --- We gotta warn the Colonel."


Colonel Sinclair's Square awaits the foe atop the mound at
The British Museum's Site B excavation.

The right-most enemy body began crossing a shallow creek
disordering them a mite while....

Another crossed the same creek just to the left.

Both deployed skirmishers firing ineffectually into the square.

Another face of the square contended with a third skirmisher force.

Covering massed swordsmen who eventually charged through to
the zareba protected by thorny bushes, sandbags and Seaforths.

The Highlanders encouraged by Colonel Sinclair repulsed them. 

While to the right massed sword and spearmen
rushed forward intending to scale the corner tower.

On the opposite corner, tribesmen
worked around a different zareba section.

But back on the right flank, orange-sashed natives we first saw
suddenly shifted away from the square facing a new direction. Why?

Because three days before, the dispatch rider though....

 Almost downed by a Dervish piquet arrived
at General Pettygree's headquarters up the Dongolo.

"Cavanaugh. Glad to see you. Not too grievously wounded I see.
What is your report?"

"Sir. Colonel Sinclair sends his compliments respectfully requesting that a relief column be dispatched to Site B. The Dervish, Sir, have us surrounded. He dared not risk a retreat overland given the odds and our many wounded."

"Well Sir, that's a fine situation. Get some food and sleep. And....
Are you well enough to lead the 9th back to Sinclair in three hours?"

"Yes, General."

"Very good. The rest of the Army will march at dawn."

The 9th Bengal Lancers arrived in the nick of time
led by Captains Dyce-Powers and Cavanaugh.

They immediately charged and routed the foe. 

Which fled and was cut down in the pursuit.

"Cavanaugh! That was the grandest charge since Waterloo!"

"Right you are Dyce."

After this the Dervish lost heart and abandoned the battlefield. General Pettygree arrived two days later and eventually withdrew the entire command up the Dongolo River relinquishing the region to the Dervish Empire.


Thus ends Dervish Swarm told by model soldiers in five episodes in quick succession for your enjoyment.

Next Things

Your remarks, if you please --- below.

Thank you.

**********          **********          **********

Friday, September 20, 2019

Dervish Swarm and The Dispatch Rider

Date: 14-15 September 1929/2019
Location: British Museum Site B, Near El Wil-Yam
Situation: Aftermath of Dervish Swarm Victory

Story: General Pettygree Studios
Homage: Alfred Hitchcock "Very Light"

Before reading The Dispatch Rider you may want to sequentially read:
Dervish Swarm posted 15 September 2019
Dervish Swarm The Harbor posted 16 September 2019
Dervish Swarm Into The Interior posted 17 September 2019
Simply scroll down for all three.

 He Must Get Through

Late on 14 September 1929
After being defeated by the Dervish Swarm, the Imperials retreated to excavations at The British Museum's Site B. The ranking officer, Colonel Sinclair of the Seaforth Highlanders, ordered formation of a fortified irregular square on the mound there within fallen ancient stonework. The men further strengthened it by placing thorny vegetation around the perimeter making a zareba.

"Fortunately the foe has not pursued us but there is no guarantee they will not come during the night nor out of the rising sun in the morning. Best to stay in this strong defensive position rather than retreat up the Dongolo River and get caught in the open. But we need a volunteer dispatch rider to gallop for a relief column for our long term survival. Go find one." 

"He will depart tonight under the light of a waning gibbous moon."

"Confusion to the enemy, eh, Captain Cavanaugh?"

"Aye and maybe the Dervish will solidly bed down for the night to recover.
They took grievous punishments earlier today."

"We'll wait a bit yet for more darkness
an' then give you a proper send off."

"Sir, we heard something out there in the dark."

"A boar perhaps?"

"No telln', Lieutenant."

"Well Sir, best you ride lest the enemy has
prodigious time to report our presence out here."

"And react to my departure."

"Godspeed Captain. Off you go, Sir."

"Thank you Lieutenant Stewart and Scotsmen.
I'll be back, God willing, with relief."

"He must get through. Time's run'n out."

"Aye. Pray for that English officer."

But out there in the growing darkness....

"Blast, you cunning rascals --- a snapshot for your insolence!
There, one down.
Now gallop like your life depends on it Dinah. Heyaaah!" 

"Another one down.
The river is coming into view --- must get across fast."

"That's it Dinah. Into the Dongolo."

"And escape!"

"We need to pass through that gap.
Let's take it easy for now, my girl,  an' rest a bit."

"Well you chaps are certainly out this morning."

Cavanaugh charged and fired.

The leading warrior took a bullet and fell from his camel.
The other man turned to pursue but his spitter was no match for Dinah.

"Away now Dinah. --- Fly!"

They passed through the rest of the semi-dark morning with relative ease.
As the sun, not yet up, began to dimly illuminate the Earth....


Starting with photo #4, miniatures are mostly  54-60mm Britains, John Jenkins Designs or Armies in Plastic.

Next Things

Will Cavanaugh and Dinah get through?

Next Story: Dervish Swarm Sinclair's Square.

Your remarks, if you please --- below.

Thank you.

**********          **********          *********

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Dervish Swarm Into The Interior

Date: 14 September 1929/2019
Location: El-Wil-Yam Village On The Dongolo River
Situation: Dervish Swarm Fords The River
Rules: Batailles de l'Ancien Régime BAR Adapted for Colonials

From the Scenario by Chuck The Lucky
Adaptation by General Pettygree Studios
Homage: Cecil B. DeMille "Light"

Recommendation before reading the above story:
Read Dervish Swarm posted 15 September 2019
Afterwards read Dervish Swarm The Harbor posted 16 September 2019

**********          **********          **********          **********

British Museum Site A 

The greatest adventure story ever told about the Mafrican Continent

14 September 1929 began tranquilly enough. Excavation had not yet commenced at The British Museum's Site A. The caverns discovered in the escarpment two years before were still yielding treasures at an indolent but acceptable pace. Archaeologists, their families, cooks, diggers, a few adventurers and not a few amateur Egyptologists casually strolled about in conversation in the relative cool of the morning. The sun would soon force less arduous activities. Even the great statue of Anubis appeared comfortably at ease.

Rupert Cunningham was at work though. After breakfast he resumed painting a scene from the  Dongolo River nearby. It with other artwork already completed would be transferred by camel caravan up the Dongolo and then taken to the port city of the same name. Finally a slow steamer back to southwest England and the Port of Bristol would deliver his precious visual histories to his employer at The Bristol Gazateer. Subscribers of the paper could not have enough pictorial news about the digs here and also at Site B three miles away. 

However, near ten of the clock breathing stopped and every eye turned eastward where a shocking continuous cannonade rumbled in from El Wil-Yam Harbor. Everyone wondered at its meaning.

Professor Beresford arose with breakfast in hand exiting his tents to view smoke rising from distant Fort Dongolo and its supporting tower. Through grey black powder clouds billowing up into the air he could just observe a flotilla bearing in toward the docks. "Abominable nuisance!", was all he could say. Then more thoughtfully....

"Well, the Seaforths a few hundred yards away are aware of something amiss and have formed square. They will make things right --- protect us. We can surely count on Colonel Sinclair." 

Along The River Nearby

Moments later after Egyptian bugle and drum calls
sounded in the village.... 

The Seaforths reformed into two lines facing houses populating the Dongolo shoreline. The reason?

A Dervish horde on the opposite bank was hurtling toward....

A wide ford in a narrowing in the river.
The 2nd. Egyptians only barely managed to form behind the river wall
and issue a devastating rapid fire volley.

The Dervish were disordered. Yet on they came in a maddened frenzy to burst through the red fezed infantry. More volleys dropped even greater numbers of the foe. Indeed for a time they were thrown back the devastation was so great. 

But they surged forward again.

Soon the IX Sudanese joined the Egyptians at the wall.
The blue jackets beat off several Dervish charges.
and then....

Great guns of the Dervish arrived firing into the village and beyond.
And then....

A second horde appeared on the sand bar near the ford across the river.

They all....

Crossed the ford desiring to throw back Imperial defenders.

It was not without difficulties that they did so because the Imperial infantry stood solid far longer than thought possible. The natives barely noticed the advent of a bi-plane firing machine gun bursts into them.

Suddenly it was all over. The Imperials were overwhelmed with survivors fleeing back....

To the Seaforths....

In the interior. A good thing too because....

To the left the 1st Egyptians were retiring from the harbor hotly pursued by the foe.

 And to the far right....

A new body of the enemy rounded the escarpment....

Heading toward the excavations at Site A.

 This understandably set the civilians there into a panic.

But fortunately they were protected by the timely arrival of the 1st Sikhs
forming to the right of the Seaforths off the top of the photo

Indeed the new horde outran its supports....

And paid a dear price whilst....

 In the air Lieutenant Gridley pushed the stick forward....

And  gave the Dervish more hot stuff."

My dear readers it only remains to verify what you have by now concluded. The Dervish have won. At this moment they are regrouping to consider next strategems. Meanwhile, Colonel Sinclair, the ranking Imperial commander ordered a retreat to the mound at The British Museum's Site B. The Dervish did not pursue.

An irregular square protected by ancient fallen stonework and dried thorny vegetation formed the perimeter for the night.

Tea was brewed and food distributed among the men.

"Gentlemen, stay vigilant through the night. Everyone will sleep on their rifles. Send out the usual pickets and pray to God Almighty they do not come in the moonlight. Hopefully Lt. Colonel Coote had the good sense I know him to have to send gallopers from his Guides Cavalry for reinforcements." 

Hey Charlie.
Yeah, what is it mate?
Do ya suppose them Dervishes would attack at night?
Nah. They's scared of the dark.
You sure?
Get some sleep.


Thank you --- all of you --- for taking the time to look in and/or write here, in several chat rooms or personally to me. I am very grateful for your interest, trust and support for The Adventures of General Pettygree.

I could never do this alone.

Chuck L. designed the scenario, supplied miniatures and terrain.

Keith L. also provided terrain items and the celebrated Dervish collection owned by Peter Gilder.

Earl K. rode in with his Guides Cavalry.

Naturally the Pettygree Collection was on the table as well.

And the others, Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz), Greg B., Dan E., Morgan E., John B. and Gary C.with the rest of us provided cheerful and companionable witty fun while doing what we are supposed to do; move historical miniatures and throw dice.

Everyone brought chow and goodies to share.

My dear wife made Sloppy Joes and ordered the scrumptious and themed birthday cake.

Next Things

Read the story from the perspective of Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz) here:

Story resumption in a few weeks at Site B after we plan the tabletop game.

Your remarks placed below, if you please.

**********          **********          **********