Friday, December 20, 2013


Dorothy, Rocket, Smokie and I want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy 2014. We hope you will have a GREAT time with your family and friends plus enjoy some well earned down time on Christmas and News Year's Day.
I also want to take this opportunity to say a BIG 'Thank You' for your continued interest in my adventure stories and games You keep me going! I greatly appreciate the trust and confidence you have shown in my endeavors and look forward to more plus your companionship in 2014.
Once again, THANK YOU, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Bill and Dorothy
Rocket and Smokie too




Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Our game group will restart the SYW on December 14, 2013.
Date: October 14, 1756 (December 14, 2013)
Location: Saxony

Situation: Prussia's Frederick II invades Saxony. This time however, the Saxons don't entomb themselves at the great encampment at Pirna. They are instead free to maneuver hoping to stop Frederick or escape into Bohemia. Austria is sending assistance.

Rules: Batailles de l'Ancien Régime 1740-1763 {BAR}
Scale: 1:20. Frontage/miniature: Infantry 3/4" and Cavalry 1"
(We usually use 1:10 BIG battalions, but BAR plays well at 1:20 too)

Appearing will be some of the oldest SYW units in the USA from collections dating back to the 1970s. They have not gotten to play much. However, this will be their second outing in 2013. For their first one in almost two decades see:

Der Alte Fritz (Jim P.) is busily strengthening his 1:20 Minden Prussians while I am adding only a second squadron to the Saxon Leibkürassier Regiment. I had hoped to finish my Eureka 28mm Prinz Xavier regiment but this will not happen.

At the moment we have twelve eager players in the game with five others on standby should some of the twelve excuse themselves from the game.

This should be a photo extravaganza.
Oh. A question from the back row. Yes?
Questioner: "Bill what have you been up to since the last post here?"

Answer: Aside from a painting funk from January into the summer of 2013, I was happily painting for, setting up and photographing sets for and writing new short stories for the Colonial General Pettygree blog. See:
If you have not seen these, you may be pleasantly surprised with no holds barred characters and story.

More Answers: Otherwise there was a a lot of activity in Napoleonic Iberia; rules, games and painting. Also Chuck and I have been painting miniatures for a totally new blog story set in the South Pacific but I've promised myself not to talk about this much. This should debut in early 2014, God willing.

I also wrote and photographed an article for Charles Grant's THE WARGAMERS' ANNUAL 2014. My title was CAVALRY ON THE TABLETOP. It starts with what I think are stunning images of my 9th Bengal Lancers duplicating the 1898 21st Lancer Regiment charge at Omdurman.

The publisher made the photos absolutely HUGE. This added a lot to atmosphere. Maneuver, the charge, hand-to-hand combat and recovery are described by a first-person participant in the charge, Winston Churchill. You will see my lancers do what he said! Kudos to Winston for his style - not me.  There is a lot more to the article; other cavalry topics. You might want to buy the magazine for Christmas! Lots of good writing and images in this issue.

And perhaps we all needed a pause from SYW activity for a while. We've done some very interesting and satisfying X-Wing combat in Outer Space, a 1940 Battle of Britain air game, two road trips to Earl's and also Randy's homes and played a couple of 20mm American Civil war games. The most recent saw the metal and plastic regiments my sons and I painted in the late 1990s getting onto the table with House Rules. The boys were age 14 at the time. See the left side of the blog for other fun games played.

However, we will be back to the SYW very soon.
Your remarks are as always very welcome below.
However, I'm moderating them because of a relentless spammer.

Monday, June 17, 2013

SYW NEWS: June 17, 2013

   Dec. 27, 2012:  Lobositz at Der Alte's Home (BAR Rules)
   Feb. 9, 2013:  1:20 Game at Gallia (BAR Rules)
   Apr. 5-6, 2013:  1760 Escalade of Quebec. (BAR Rules)*
   Apr. 5-6 2013:  Austria vs Prussia. (Tricorne Rules)*

* The annual SYW Assn. Weekend in South Bend, Indiana.

   There was a gratifying increase in the number of Russians painted by Michael M., John M. and John B. Thank you guys for your trust and confidence!

1. Restart the SYW before 2014.
  Hopefully in late August or October for game #1.
  Plus the annual game on Dec. 7, 2013 for game #2.

2. Future painting for me:
  Saxon Prinz Xavier Battalion (Eureka)
  Saxon Leibkürassier Garde 2nd. Sq. (Eureka)
  Saxon 6 Pdr. Battery (Eureka)
  French Arquebiussier de Grassin Squadron (Eureka)
  Horseholders: Bercheney's Hussars and Fischer Dragoons. (Eureka)
  French Cuirassiers du Roi (Suren)**
** These fellows have been lanquishing unpainted for 4-5 years!

RULES: Batailles de l' Ancien Régime 1740-1760
Three unique descriptions of BAR were conducted by miniatures taking readers on a tour with photos, captions and conversation below. You've never seen anything like this before! Fun too!

Some of you know I also do Campaings of General Pettygree Colonial and the Napoleonic Campaigns in IBERIA blogs. Naturally these take time away from the SYW. A few months ago the Pettygree Colonial story resumed plus Der Alte, Curt B., John M. and I have been raising British for Iberia. As much as I like the SYW
it is important to pause from time to time. I've been gaming the SYW since the late 1960s so we've had a great long run - and - it shall continue.

Votre Serviteur,


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Quebec Falls To de Levis

Date: April 1760
Location: West Side of Quebec City
Situation: What If Scenario
On April 5-6, 2013 The Seven Years' War Association held its annual wargame weekend at the Magnuson Hotel in South Bend, Indiana USA. I arrived Thursday evening to have dinner, chat and catch up with friends. Games were held on Friday and Saturday allowing an easy drive home Sunday.

Just under one hundred people attended to game the mid-18th Century featuring North America, India, Europe and the ocean blue. The celebrated Christopher Duffy spoke Saturday and there were a number of good vendors.

Background For The Game I Hosted:
In April 1760 the French Army left Montreal to recapture Quebec. The British formed to oppose General Levis a couple miles to the west of the city at Sainte Foy. The French won the battle and the British retreated behind the walls of Quebec.

Afterwards the French laid siege to Quebec hampered by insufficient artillery though it was said walls were weak. Murray's British garrison was sickly and low on supplies. A waiting game ensued as the frozen St. Lawrence River thawed. Quebec would ultimately be controlled pending the arrival of the Royal Navy or not. Historically the British arrived to resupply and save the garrison. Not wanting to storm the walls after this, the French retreated back to Montreal.

Our what-if scenario changed things this way. The French Navy arrived first, Murray refused terms of surrender and a renewed bombardment....

Caused two breaches.
(Miniature Building Authority castle walls)

After which the French formed up, gathered ladders and prepared to storm the city. One example was Battalion 2/La Sarre initially formed in open column of divisions before it marched toward the wall.

In the distance from left to right Canadian milice with battalions 2/Royal Roussillon, 2/ La Sarre and 2/Berry come closer. The 60th Royal Americans wait inside the walls to fire devastating volleys as the French come through the two breaches.

2/Berry arrives at the wall and is about to raise scaling ladders. 

Ladders were scratch-built from bass wood and Elmer's wood glue. They were made wide and rungs were separated enough so miniatures could be easily placed on them for a fun old school look and feel.

2/La Sarre came through the breach first, becoming disorganized as it climbed over rubble. A semi-circle of British Brown Bess muskets met them  and La Sarre routed back through the gap never to return.

Behind La Sarre 2/Royal Roussillon is just about through the breach. The 44th Foot mans the wall on the left versus Canadian milice and brave Woodland Indian allies on the other side of the wall.

2/Royal Roussillon routed to the rear when it was charged by a division of the 44th Foot shown at the top middle of the image. Meanwhile 2/Berry climbed onto the wall mostly unopposed, closed up taking its time to get into formed close order and prepared to fire.

Not shown is the 42nd Highland battalion marching to assist the British right flank. It had been posted to the left of the main gate taking on the Woodland Indians.

Soon General Murray asked for terms. General de Levis granted them and the battle ended. Quebec was restored to France.

Left to right standing: Yours truly Bill P., Paul Q., Rolf R. and Chris C. Seated are Brad C., Noel V. and Brent O. Chris brought an adult beverage to toast our companionable players. (Let me know if I have any one's name mixed up) Thank you VERY much for participating!

1) Paul, Rolf, Chris, Brad, Noel and Brent - if you want to make comments, please do at remarks below.

2) Noel did extreme execution with the huge mortar in the middle of the image above.

3) I do believe we all had a lot of fun. The game had an old school appeal about it because of the big battalions, bombardment, collapsing walls and scaling ladders.

4) Rules: Batailles de l' Ancien Régime 1740-1763 known as BAR. The game was played in three hours.

5) Thank you Der Alte Fritz (Jim P.) who provided all terrain except for the walls.

6) We had additional fun when Brent had the commander of 2/La Sarre charge through breach rubble up onto the rampart to point the way through the breach!

7) All French white coats are 30mm Willies, the 44th Foot is 30mm Stadden, the Royal Americans are Front Rank.

8) Your remarks are welcome below!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Just for fun, here is Rocket being inquisitive. 
He is ten months old now and a great pal.


No it's not Godzilladog. It's Rocket our ten month old Dalmatian. 
He has "liver" (dark brown) spots. 

Here he is sneaking by Castelo Vasco de Gama in Lisbon, Portugal. We are getting ready for a Napoleonic game in Iberia. I set up the castle to see how its looks with some new wall sections from Miniature Building Authority.

Or... for General Pettygree Colonial Blog fans, it is Fort Grant on the NW Frontier. Despair not.The general will return. In the background is part of a temporary model railroad layout set up for my two grandsons.

What's this great aroma Dad? 
I don't know. Shouldn't you get back on the floor Rocket?

What did I do?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


BAR: Batailles de l'Ancien Régime 1740-1763 and More!

This third post provides more insights about BAR. For fun and brevity several miniatures from my collections will speak for me. You have questions. They have answers.

For Part 1 see:

For Part 2 see:

We resume again with our celebrated scouts, Troopers Ham and Corey, 10th Hussars, on leave from The Campaigns of General Pettygree [Colonial] Blog escorting BAR inquirers to the drill field.

Trooper Ham: "This way yer honours to the drill field. Just ahead you will see something different, something some surely may not know."

Trooper Corey: "That's the ticket mate. Set the record straight."

Trooper Corey: "This is a four battalion brigade of Bill's Seven Years' War  French infantry. Miniatures are usually based six miniatures per base, the whole lot on removable underlying movement trays for speed of turn resolution; one tray to move instead of five per battalion."

Trooper Ham: "Aye and notice each battalion is in two ranks numbering 27-28 miniatures. One miniature represents twenty historical men. (1:20) Some folks think BAR is only for BIG battalions of 48+ miniatures formed in three ranks at 1:10. Not so."

Trooper Corey: "Some officers understandably missed that important nuance about BAR."

Trooper Ham: "That's one reason why Der Alte Fritz and Bill thought it would be informative to have a 1:20 SYW BAR game on 9 February 2013. The most important reason though was...."

Trooper Ham: "To use 1:20 units languishing in their collections. Here are two Der Alte Fritz (Jim P.) French battalions of twenty-four "Old Glory" 25mm miniatures each plus two artillery sections in that game."

Trooper Corey: "Here we see French horse (foreground) soon to engage Prussian heavy horse all from Jim's collection."

Trooper Ham: "The game had about seven hundred miniatures per side, commenced at 11:00am and concluded at 4:00pm with a pause for lunch."

Trooper Corey: "Seated left to right: Curt B, Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz) and Chris K.  Standing left to right: Kurt D., Michael M. and Bill P."


Trooper Corey: "We're in luck Sirs. That Gallian chap with Bill's Quick Reference Charts is going to demonstrate how to efficiently and easily fire artillery. Fast! Quiet now."


Trooper Corey: " Two different coloured sets of D6s are thrown per cannon at exactly the same time. You don't throw one pair and later throw the other. That wastes time. Sort by colour as shown. White = 7. Straw = 5."

Trooper Ham: "Modifiers are next. A lot of chaps can do this easily in their heads. For our purposes we'll use dice to show adjustments. Reds are negatives. Apply all of 'em at exactly the same time. Don't do one gun and later do the other even if you have more cannons in the battery. It wastes...."

Trooper Corey: "They get the drift mate. Distance To Target: -2, Veteran Crew: +1, Target Moved 10" or More: -1 and 12 Pounder: +4."

Trooper Ham: "The left cannon finishes with 9 and the other with 7. Next we go to the Quick Reference Chart and I do mean quick."

Trooper Ham: "The chap on the left is pointing to the round shot line."

Trooper Corey: The other two lads point to the modified firing scores of  7 and 9. They will each run down their columns and find."

Trooper Corey: "Each cannon possibly hit two miniatures each in the target; total four. Saving throws are next for the player commanding the target. He will throw four D6s needing  5s and 6s to save a miniature. One ought to be saved resulting in three casualties."

Trooper Ham: "Aye. But the fun thing is - you never know what will happen. Plus and this is BIG, target player saving throws offer him chances to affect results with lots of companionable fun; groans and laughs. The target player really gets into it you see - as do the rest."

Trooper Corey: "Alright then, let's go to the cavalry drill field next. That Guides officer...."

Trooper Ham: "Aye mate, but we'll save that for the fourth and last installment. We'll add infantry fire too.

Trooper Corey: "But infantry fire is the same as artillery fire with an extra difference for speedy play."

Trooper Ham: "Next time."

1) For more information about BAR see:

2) Cannons are from the SYW 28mm range offered by Elite Miniatures. Peter Moreby has 4, 8 and 12 pounders. See:

3) Crews are Willie, RSM, Garrison, Eite Miniatures and Redoubt. See how they all fit in with each other, tall, short, thin and not so thin? It's okay. More variety that way. We like basing arty. crews singly but you don't have to.

4) Questions and remarks welcome below.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


BAR: Batailles de l'Ancien Régime 1740-1763 and More!

This second post provides more insights about BAR. For fun and brevity several miniatures from my collections will speak for me. You have questions. They have answers.

For Part 1 see:

We resume now with our celebrated scouts, Troopers Ham and Corey, 10th Hussars, on leave from The Campaigns of General Pettygree [Colonial] Blog escorting BAR inquirers to dine at The Wild Goose Inn.

Trooper Ham: "The Wild Goose ain't far now Sirs."

Trooper Corey: "Aye. They have tolderable food. The ale and claret are better than most."

Trooper Ham in a low voice. "That's tolerable mate."

Meanwhile, Four Patrons Waiting For Ham, Corey and Company At The Wild Goose Discuss Questions From The Previous Post

Captain Alan (left): "Bill and Der Alte Fritz (Jim P.) are experimenting with BAR for 1808-1814 Iberia."

Brigadier Gruber (right): "Oui but why is it not available for more Bonapartists and foes alike?"

Captain Alan: "It's future is uncertain mon cher General. No one knows."

le Comte de Kinch (left): "Does BAR offer scenarios?"

Marshall Broglie: "Bill thought it best to allow users to design their own. Published scenarios should be tested multiple times. Rarely were his played more than once. Fortunately there are ample scenarios in Battlegames magazine and publications by Charles Grant and Brigadier (ret.) Charles S. Grant, the son."

Trooper Ham: "Here we are yer honours."

Trooper Corey: "Look my brave cavalier! A lovely barmaid has brought out some tankards of ale!"

Trooper Ham: "The Wild Goose Inn. Let's Go Inside Shall We?"

Trooper Corey: "Do ye remember that native bloke with all them dice at The Battle of Dongolo?"

Private Adams (Heliograph Section): "I do."

Private Adams: "There he was trying to select the best pair of D6s he could find for his great cannon to fire at us. Bill gave 'im quite a selection. A good thing BAR only uses D6s. High numbers are always good. Low numbers are always poor. Fewer discombobulations that way. It's good Old School to boot."

Private Adams: "Speaking of natives, the American 'Red Indian' is calling for you outside."

Redstick: "I've only played DRUMS of War Along The Mohawk. We do not fight shoulder to shoulder."

Trooper Corey: "That's no problem friend. Did ye not see the 5th Foot march by a bit ago?"

Trooper Ham: "The Light Company preceded their close order brothers Indian style, as you might say. We call it in open order. BAR users can organize the way they want to."

"Everyone in the 5th Foot is based individually on metal fender washers. Most stay on underlying magnetic movement trays but they don't have to. Basing individually is an advantage because our units can be used in most any rules system. Pick the numbers you want and Bob's your Uncle."

Redstick: "I don't have an Uncle Bob."

Meanwhile Off To The Right!

Colonel Enigma: "WHO ASKED THAT?"

Lady Diana Pettygree (blue): "Somebody asked THAT question again. Did you hear?"

Lady Cherish Masquerade (pink): "Yes. Colonel Enigma will be cross and intemperate!"

Colonel Enigma: "Was it YOU?"

"Who me? No, certainly not!"

John (left) "I didn't ask. You?"

Andrew: "Are you jesting? Never in life."

Colonel Enigma: "It was --- YOOOU --- wasn't it?"

M. de Rouge: "Jumping butterballs NO!  It was the new fellow over there? I'll be going now, if you please."

Colonel Enigma: "Sooooo?"

French Captain: "I'm new in the collection. Have mercy Monsieur le Colonel!"

French Captain: "I thought BAR was only for big battalions three ranks deep. Sixty hommes or more! See the images at the very top of this blog. Masses and masses of 1:10 Gallian infantry and...."

Colonel Enigma: "Not always. Von Hardenburg here at 1:20 is only 32 strong in two ranks and based in multiples. When the grenadiers are taken away to be converged there will only be 28."

Colonel Enigma: "You may not know but Romanov Colonel Villainovich and Countess Alexandra took this smaller body to find the lost ancient City of Alexandrapour. They fought with BAR Colonial rules."

French Captain: "Even these petite hommes?"

Colonel Enigma: "Oui. Even these fine 15mm petite soldiers."

Time To Go

Trooper Corey: "That was very jolly."

Trooper Ham: "Enigma makes life interesting - confusing - mysterious. All's well that ends well I daresay."

Trooper Corey: "All right then Sirs, let's 'ead over to the drill field."

Trooper Ham: "We'll answer more questions and see a bit of infantry, cavalry and artillery drill."

Trooper Corey: "Move out, if you please Sirs."


1) Next time Troopers Ham and Corey will show infantry, cavalry and artillery in action. Probably the next post will end the series. Thank you for looking in. I hope it was informative bringing smiles and laughs.

2) BAR: Batailles de l'Ancien Régime 1740-1763 is available here:
Postage is included. I get asked that a lot.

3) If readers have remarks or questions, place them below to be answered next time. I look forward to it.