19 September 2016

Pictures from Malbork Castle part 2

Part two of this picture heavy visit to Malmbork Castle. Here you will see pictures of the armory, oriental weapons display and pictures from the inner castle.

Enjoy!

18 September 2016

Pictures from Malbork Castle part 1 of 2

During my recent brief trip to Poland we went to Malbork castle as I really wanted to see the headquarters of the Teutonic order having read about them when I was younger.
We went on a rainy day but I still got some great pics - turned out I took nearly 300 pictures haha.

The castle was badly damaged during WW2, but has been restored and some parts of it have been finished just recently - such as the large chapel standing in the old part of the castle. I can't recommend this castle enough as you get immense value for money. The entry tickets were around 40PLN per person "during season" however there are no extra fees anywhere in the castle except for the clocktower if you want to go up and watch the view. You get a superb audioguide in English which has a built in GPS so that the audio guide tells you stuff about your current room and location, and you don't have to walk with a big group of people - Caroline and I walked by ourselves and our tour of the castle took roughly 3 hours! The place is huge!!

09 September 2016

Muskets & Tomahawks 200pts demo game

I will most likely run a demo game of Muskets & Tomahawks next weekend, so today I sat down and tinkered with some army lists, unit stat card etc and ended up going to the club with Caroline and re-learned the rules. After all it had been a LONG time since I played M&T which is a shame since it is such a great game.

We played a small 200pts battle using the lists below

British
Irregular Officer with musket 25pts
2x6 Colonial Militia = 36
8 Torries = 40pts
Indian Leader with musket = 20pts

6 indians with bows = 42pts
6 indians with muskets = 42 pts

205pts


French
Light Troop officer with musket and with two talents = 37pts
Local Leader with pistol with two talents = 25pts

Locally raised militia 3x6 militiamen = 54pts

Compagnies Franches de la Marine x10 = 80pts
Deployed as Irregulars, armed with muskets and tomahawks

196pts

Had forgotten the finer details of the game so it took some time before we had a good flow of the action. During the first turn it seemed as if most troops were unable to be hit, but then I reread the shooting rules and sighed in relief when it said you always hit on 6's, though the damage outcome can be reduced or negated. That made the game quicker and less cumbersome. With rules explaining and re-reading sections of the rulebooks it took us roughly 2 hours to play this game with 200pts of troops on each side.

The French Marines supported by the militia ended up badly beaten as most of the militiamen were wiped out by British allied indians.

In this demo I also got a chance to deploy some of the wonderfully painted models that I had sent to Artmaster Studios (and from which I also recently purchased additional highlanders and indians to boost my collection and troop diversity options).

This was also the first game where I was able to field my 4Ground houses that I bought and assembled well over a year ago! Time really flies...

We both had a good time, and I got some ideas for the upcoming demo in terms of troop composition and custom scenario objectives.

08 September 2016

Pictures from visit to Westerplatte

Just came back from a vacation, which saw both excursions to Knossos, Westerplatte and Malbork Castle - so of course I took several hundred pictures :-D

In this post I will show the pictures from Westerplatte, and also pictures of the Polish Postal office in Gdansk.

Worth mentioning is that you can get to Westerplatte by land (taxi, buss or bike) and you do not have to buy tickets for that ridiculous pirate ship tour of the canal to get there. Our hotel tried to push that tourist trap but we went by cab which is both cheaper and more convenient.


There is no entry fee or anything to walk the grounds of Westerplatte, there is a tiny museum in one of the remaining guardhouses but it is from what I read not worth it. Instead it is better to focus on walking around the small peninsula trying to imagine the 7 day action of 1939.  It's a weird feeling walking around the grounds where some of the first shots of WW2 were fired.

Not much remains of the defenses, ruins of guardhouses, barracks and bunkers. The largest ruin belongs to the so called "new barracks" which was one of the larger buildings on the peninsula. It was hit with a bomb and the damage is clearly visible when you walk inside that particular ruin (there are walkways inside allowing you easy access).

It's hard to imagine how the Germans could navigate the Schleswig-Holstein battleship in that narrow canal (which has been widened since the war ended), but you also have to force yourself to imagine what it must have been to be under point blank fire from the ship, the German positions across the canal and from smaller ships out at sea while at the same time being bombarded by Stuka bombers and fighting off assaults from land.




While walking around in the ruins of the barracks I picked up a small piece of rubble, it was not planned but I got this idea that it would be very nice to have a small piece of this historical site on display at home. Pretty happy with the end result.





We also made a short stop at the Gdansk post office, which also saw action in 1939 during the "defence of the Polish post office in Gdansk".  It still serves as a postal office, and part of it is a museum, though it was already closed for the day on the day we went there.



I will post pictures from Malmbork castle and our trip to Knossos next.

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