Thursday, May 22, 2014

On Vacation: The Incursion into Holland


Our recent stay in Delft, Holland was superb. The picturesque canal town provided the perfect setting for a bit of R&R from our highly stressed visit of the UK.  ;-P

One of the whimsical canals of Delft.
During our time in Holland we managed to fit in a visit with the storied members of the 'Royal Dutch Waterbicycle Detachment' (aka: Mike (MiniMike), Rob and Jacco). They treated us to a fantastic meal at a wonderful restaurant set along the North Sea beach in Noordwijk (The Witsand Strandclub) where we ate, drank and thoroughly enjoyed eachothers' company.

Mike (with charming elfin smile) and the radiant Lady Sarah at the 'Witsand' restaurant.
A few days later Mike, Rob and Jacco invited me for a game of 'Chain of Command' in Mike's wonderful gaming room. The scenario was set in Normandy 1944 with American paratroopers pitted against a pincer attack consisting of German Heer troops and Fallshirmjager.


The game was fabulous and certainly looked the same. It featured Mike's new terrain matt from Barrage Miniatures which was absolutely gorgeous to play on. The excellent terrain along with the wonderfully painted miniatures (contributed from all three of the guys) really was a feast for the eyes.

Me admiring the wonderful terrain.
Rob and I played the Germans while Jacco and Mike controlled the American paratroopers. I won't get into too much detail here as I think Mike is going to provide a batrep on his blog in the coming days. But as a thumbnail sketch, the game opened with Jacco's Yank paratroopers pinning down my first section of Fallshirmjager who were hunkered in a house on the village outskirts. Nonetheless, I managed to get my artillery observer into a decent position where he could call in some directed mortar fire on the American positions near the center of the position. 

My Fallshirmjagers stepping off from their jump off points (sneaky artillery observer at the top room)
The barrage pinned many of the Americans down and the diversion allowed me to slowly infiltrate deeper into the village under covering fire. On the other side of town Rob had a really terrible bout of luck when he was caught in the open when Mike managed a series of interlinked ambush manoeuvres. Even when Rob tried to 'grab the enemy by the belt' with a close assault the dice didn't come through and his troops suffered heavy casualties.

Resistance is Futile: Rob (left) still not realizing that the the Fates had him in their crosshairs...
A paratrooper in the hedge is worth two... how does that go again? Rob's German infantry (lower left) getting lit up by American paratroopers in the hedgerows.
After about 30 minutes of gameplay all what was left of Rob's force was smoking boots and a bemused panzer Mark IV going in reverse off the board. As can be well imagined, Mike was exultant and rubbed his hands in glee, anticipating the future propaganda, er, balanced report (yes, that's it) that would emerge from his blog sometime during the coming weeks. I really felt Rob's pain.

While I was making slow progress with my attack I feared that I would have a pretty hard go of it facing both elite American platoons. So we called the game there and sat back with a few bottles of plonk to chat about the hobby and made plans for a future get together.

Me along with the core members of the Detachment.
It was a wonderful day out and I really can't thank Mike, Rob and Jacco enough for their fabulous hospitality along with a great afternoon of gaming. Again, thanks so much guys! I hope we can do it again soon.

Next up: Continuing on our travels to Spain and my meet-up with some great hobbyists from the Madrid area! Also, I'll give an update on my recent submissions to the Lead Painters' League.

43 comments:

  1. Awesome! Globe trotting wargaming meet-ups. What a great trip.
    cheers

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    1. Thanks Kiwi, we've certainly been having a wonderful time of it!

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  2. Wonderful stuff mate! Looks like great fun and there's nothing like a free meal with quality company.

    So when are you visiting down under? I've already got the tent up in the back yard...

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    1. I'd be there in an instant Millsy, though I know the words 'Sarah' and 'Tenting' are mutually exclusive. :)

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  3. So the internet, really DOES shrink the globe! Looks like you had a fab time with the Waterbicycle Boys!

    You're definitely welcome if you do make it to Oz...

    PS. I've still got a broom-handle Mauser wielding mariachi chap to send you...oops! I'll send it ASAP

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    1. No worries Johnny - no rush at all and thanks for the invite!

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  4. Sounds like an excellent trip, Curt.
    When you come to visite good ol' Germany then try to make a stop in the Rhine-Ruhr-Area. You'll be heartly welcome!

    Enjoy the rest of your trip!

    Cheers
    Stefan

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    1. Definitely! You will certainly be on the hook when the German Campaign goes into planning stage - thanks for the offer.

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    2. See you then, you're heartly welcome, indeed.

      Cheers
      Stefan

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  5. Curt is turning into the new Alan Whicker..

    Sounds like a grand time in the Low Countries!

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    1. Ha! If I could just have his longevity I'd be delighted.

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  6. Sounds like a great few days, looking forward to the Peninsular instalment!

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  7. Sounds like a wonderful holiday you're having! And that game looks tremendous!

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    1. Yes, we're having a great time, thanks! The game was a real treat indeed.

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  8. The more this hobby road trip goes on the more envious I am becoming! Look at that Hobby room - outstanding!

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    1. Mike's hobby lair was very nice indeed and the gaming was excellent (all helped with the wonderful company and healthy doses of food & wine)!

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  9. The adventure continues, great looking game, Mike is such a nice guy!

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    1. He is indeed. I've been very lucky being able to meet so many great fellows - your own good self included, Francis!

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  10. What a great trip! I'm green with envy.

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    1. It's been great fun being able meet up with so many great folks from the community.

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  11. Great looking game and trip, look forward to seeing more. Continue to have fun.

    John

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  12. Looks like a great trip, beautiful report!

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    1. Thanks Phil it has been a fun month away!

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  13. Glad your having a raving time, very jealious, that game looks great!

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  14. Sounds like you are having a really exhausting vacation without any proper time for relaxing :) That game looks great too. Might have to buy one of the mats from Barrage minis myself too.

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    1. The mats are fabulous. I met up with Alf from Barrage Games and the man is an absolute perfectionist. A real credit to the hobby.

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  16. Greaty game. Mini Mike's photos of his games are stunning so see it live must be amazing!! Good to see you in Madrid, Curt

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    1. It was a pleasure meeting with you Benito. I look forward to more beer and tapas (and perhaps a game) next time we're in Madrid!

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  17. Fantastic trip! Great people, places, food, games... Good times! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Jason, its been great fun and I've enjoyed being able to blog about these meet-ups.

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  18. So you managed to get a picture when it was not raining! It was great to have you over and we sure had a good time. It's these meetups, visits to rejects Hq, chats at shows that make me happy I started a blog in the first place. Enjoy the rest of the trip...

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    1. Actually we managed to get several very nice days in Delft. Not brilliant sunshine to be sure, but very nice for walking around. Madrid and Barcelona definitely made up for the sunshine...

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  19. Nice to see your adventures in the old world. I am really enjoying this tour of yours, very well deserved after the hard work from the painting challenge.

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    1. Thanks very much Clint - it has been a real treat for both Sarah and myself.

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  20. A European gaming tour now that sounds like fun! Great looking game as well!

    Christopher

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    1. It really can't be beat. Such wonderful, generous people, each a credit to the hobby.

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  21. What a great adventure you are having in your holidays! Fantastic that game table, too.
    I´m sure you are going to have a very nice time in Madrid, too.

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    1. Thanks Juan! I was really hoping we could have met but we'll definitely be back (and closer to your part of Spain I suspect)!

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  22. Envious of your trip and that battlemat. It looks amazing.

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