Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pictures From Germany & France

Last week I visited parts of France and Germany and thought I would share a few pictures of our trip. The week was mostly spent exploring the Christmas Markets of the area as well as sampling the cuisine. Every meal was a treat and the sites were very memorable.

Colmar France(2 Pics): Examples of the 'Little Venice' area during the holiday season.

Stuttgart Germany(2 Pics): An example of a Christmas Market

Hohenzollern Castle, Germany: Hohenzollern Castle is the ancestral seat of the Prussian Kings and German Emperors as well as the Swabian branch of the Princes of Hohenzollern. It ranks among Europe’s most famous and popular castles. The stunning panorama of the picturesque landscape has already been admired by Emperor William II. (1859-1941) who visited the castle several times and is said to have uttered “the view from up here is truly worth a voyage”. -

 Strasbourg France(2 Pics): The cathedral is awe inspiring and the riverwalk is breathtaking ......

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Off To Germany For The Week

My girlfriend and I will be in Germany all next week visiting friends and possibly even drinking BEER! If things are a little quiet here you will know why. I hope you all have a great week.


Toy Train Conversion

Yet another idea from Doc M. is his use of toy O scale trains. Wow, what a boon for miniature gamers. I bought one off the internet and had a small conversion I wanted to share. I wasn't forward thinking enough to take a before shot, but toys being what they are do not alway have every element that we would like for our games. We usually overlook things because we can't beat the price. Well, in this case the train engine didn't have any room for the engineer to stand while operating the train. There was a molded cover at the very back of the engine where the batteries are inserted. I removed the battery assembly and discovered it is mostly empty space behind and plenty of room for a platform. I also looked through my junk box and found an old piece of construction equipment that had two plastic ladders that are perfect for the platform. I think it came out pretty good.

I even used the molded battery cover with the boiler dials on it.

Below is the set I purchased and when I get the whole thing painted I'll post the results.

My New Docks Have Arrived

After seeing Doctor Merkury's docks and how well they worked in his pulp games, I needed some too. He found his at a hardware store (I think) after Christmas one year on sale and got a great deal on them. The brand name is Lemax and after looking at about a half dozen different places that sell this type of stuff this year and every year since (and not finding any) I decided to purchase them from the internet. I ended up with 7 pieces which should cover any 'down at the docks' pulp scenarios and several others that come to mind as well. I think they look great!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Battle of Stonne, France - May 1940

Thursday night I finally got to do some historical wargaming with some friends I haven't seen in 2 years (where does the time go). We played Battlefront WWII from Fire & Fury Games which are my rules of choice for Company level WWII action in 15mm. Our host is using 20mm figures and vehicles which work equally well.

Historical Background (May 1940):
After breaking through at Sedan, German forces were to move south to a line of ridges to protect the southern flank of the German advance prior to a westward advance to the English Channel. The village of Stonne was part of this southern flank and the plateau it occupied represented some amount of tactical value since it overlooked the local area for miles around. On the 14th of May and into the 15th, the German forces fought to a standstill around the village of Stonne against the occupying French forces. After a volley of attacks and counterattacks the German forces eventually occupied Stonne in the evening hours of the 15th. On the 16th another French counterattack briefly contested the village. After this the French never again had the opportunity to seriously disrupt the Germans.

This scenario represent the final French counterattack on the 16th of May. The French forces approach the village from the south and the German forces are already deployed in the village of Stonne.

Table layout

The French advance has barely started and the German mortars have begun pounding the French infantry.

Soon machine gun fire erupts from the second floor windows of the village and the French infantry on the east side of the advance make for some cover in the woods.

A French commander contemplating his position.

Meanwhile, on the west side of the advance some German armor reveal themselves as they open fire on the French armor.

The 81mm mortars immediately lay down smoke to cover the infantry advance.

In the middle, the French infantry are ambushed by some very tough German troops.

The French infantry are getting chewed up as they approach the German armor for an assault.

One of several mortar barrages attempting to silence the German machine guns and the French infantry advance on the east side has successfully assaulted the first of many buildings. You can see the German forward observer running in the open back to the village.

On the west side the French infantry have recovered enough to mount yet another bloody assault on the German armor.

On the east side the French infantry continue their advance on Stonne by moving to the next wooded area where they will have to advance on the village in the open.

Light French armor maneuvering on the German armor's flank has gotten the Germans to change position.

French infantry assaulting the eastern end of the village.

An armor orgy results in the destruction of the German armor as well as many of the French armor as well.

The French assault on the village is working. Most of the German occupants are either dead or running down the northern slopes to safety.

The hard fought and costly French victory would be short lived though. When German reinforcements arrive, the French will lose control of this village until the allies return several years later to liberate the area.