With apologies to Captain Haddock from the Adventures of Tintin series of books – what the blistering blue barnacles is the above picture of?
It is dear reader an internet access point as recently installed on the grounds of Schloss von Peter by Inspire Net Limited. It is located part way up the hill behind the main building of Schloss von Peter and has line of sight over some big old pines and across the road to a repeater located on the neighbours property. The cable runs down the hill to a modem/wifi router situated centrally in Schloss von Peter.
By way of back story the government off New Zealand have a much trumpeted rural broadband initiative but its impact on the residents of the upper reaches of Paekakariki Hill Road has been a big fat nothing. <Mutter mutter.> At least Schloss von Peter had a broadband internet connection – even if it could be a bit patchy and hardly of stellar performance. Most of the other residents did not or were suffering through satellite internet connections. The joys of rural living.
Fortunately the circumstances of the residents of the upper reaches of Paekakariki Hill Road are exactly the sort of situation that Inspire.net are well practised at resolving. A local network has been created and it positively flies compared to the service von Peter himself and family used to receive. No longer will heated ‘discussions’ be had between The son & heir and von Peter himself as they accuse each other of thwarting their own attempts to use the internet.
Schloss von Peter is dead (or will be) – long live Neu Schloss von Peter
Of course having finally gotten that necessity of modern living – a decent internet connection – it is now almost time to move on. The Family are pleased to confirm the confirming of their purchase of Neu Schloss von Peter in the sleepy little seaside village of Paekakariki. For those where a little knowledge is a dangerous thing Paekakariki should not be confused with Paekakariki Hill Road which hosts the current Schloss von Peter and is just down the road and up the hill. Further details to follow in due course.
Another international visitation
And of course it is important – nay imperative – to let the dear readers know of the domestic arrangements of von Peter himself as occasional visitations are hosted at or in the general vicinity of Schloss von Peter. von Peter himself has now been involved in several visitations – either as the host or visitor – of fellow wargamers whom he has become acquainted with over the internet and he has yet to have a bad experience.
The latest such visitation was by Phil and his wife Gill/Jill* from Chicago. von Peter himself and Aphilla The Hun first met several decades ago – yikes! – in the Yahoo group The Friday Night Fusiliers where shared interests and attitudes became apparent. This once vibrant group has sadly fallen into disuse but Phil and von Peter himself have kept track of one another over several other sites. Well … at least von Peter himself has kept a note of Phil’s various adventures. 8O)
* Sorry Gill/Jill but how you spell your name is a mystery to von Peter himself. Your husband Phil is obviously totally to blame for failing to pass on this information. 8O)
To track some of Phil’s gaming output you can snoop in on a couple of his blogs …
A very enjoyable evening was had wining, dining, chatting and lauging at first Schloss von Peter and then at Finn’s Pekakariki cafe / restaurant / bar / cinema / hotel. Phil and Gill/Jill are welcome back whenever it suits them.
“The player takes the role of a general commanding a large army in a famous or fictional encounter. Units represent large forces such as brigades of infantry or cavalry and concentrations of massed artillery.”
These rules have been coming for a while – which is not meant as a criticism from a crusty old von Peter himself as developing rules, testing rules and getting them produced takes quite a bit of time – with the occasional “bump” in the promotion stakes.
The latest “bump” has been the release in the first of an expected series of podcasts by Sam about the rules. Blücher Podcast Number 1 runs for just under 15 minutes and is an interesting enough listen.
Kudos to Sam for a well produced and spoken podcast. A dashedly fine first up effort.
STOP PRESS – Blücher Podcast Number 2 is now available. Sam’s not messing around!
Note that the images in this section are “borrowed” from Sam’s website.
Fury the movie – some thoughts and some spoilers
The son & heir and von Peter himself took themselves off to local cinema to see Fury as a father – son outing. Fraulien von Peter herself had been invited but had politely yet firmly declined. If von Peter himself were to be honest he did not have high expectations of the movie and so he was pleasantly surprised to discover that he was being drawn into the story and rather enjoying himself.
The movie did not glorify the war and certainly did not portray the Americans as angels. As one would expect the violence was was hard to hide from. Head shots seemed to be a particular favourite of the cinematographers. And wherever the production company got its German anti tank gunners from they should demand their money back! What terrible shots!
The scene with the Tiger did perturb von Peter himself somewhat. Why did the Tiger charge towards the Shermans. Surely with its armour and armament keeping its distance would have been the better option. And what effect does a glancing or non penetrating hit by a Tigers main gun have on the crew of a Sherman, or for that matter the effect on the Tiger crew of Sherman rounds bouncing off. Would they be a little stunned? Not according to the film where the crews carried on as if nothing had happened.
And the SS battalion at the end of the film seemed to have plenty of panzerfausts while marching along the road but seemed to loose them while attacking a solitary unsupported disabled tank. Their leaders deserve to be shot … and presumably were at some stage.
von Peter himself knows that this is Hollywood but he cannot cease to hope to see realism win out over keeping the audience happy. von Peter himself knows that he is a dreamer.
But for all this the film is worth a look.
The son & heir was on study leave** and for stress relief was reading some historical fiction set during the Second Punic Wars. This was so inspiring to the still developing brain that it requested permission to apply paint to some of the Late Romans that von Peter himself has stashed away under the gaming table. They may not have been Republican Romans but they were Romans and they were the best available option.
** The observations of von Peter himself were that The son & Heir had the leave bit well sorted but that the study bit was a bit more of an elusive concept! 8O)
The thought of finally getting some of his Late Romans painted after so many years by someone who is turning out to be a half decent painter had a certain appeal to von Peter himself. So it was with a deep sense of generosity and philanthropy that von Peter himself handed over six – because it will be sixish figures to a base – trial figures. 8O)
The paint has been applied and an attempt to apply the Little Big Men Studios decals to the shields has been made. Being Late Romans of less than perfect uniformity some have larger shields and some have smaller shields and so the decals too come in two sizes. The larger decals have worked a treat but the smaller ones have proved to be less than totally compliant. To be fair like the figures some of these decals are several years old now but still failure is not to be tolerated!
Complaints have been laid with the artisan who seems to be totally immune to such utterances. Worse the artisan has expressed dissatisfaction with the paint job and wishes to repaint them! von Peter himself would much rather that the artisan tried a differing pallet on other figures so that the numbers of painted figures grew rather than the layers of paint on a few figures. Late Romans do not have a reputation for uniformity so the mixing of the two paint regimes within a unit does not unduly worry von Peter himself. Time will tell what the protracted discussions will resolve to.
No pictures yet as the six trial figures are still attached to their painting bottles … and some of them do not yet have their shields decorated with pretty decals.
Oh … and The son & heir is no longer on study leave. He has finished his exams and has now completed his secondary schooling. Next year it’s university for him … assuming that his application is accepted. To be very cliched – where have all those years gone?!
Until we meet again …