Saturday, July 28, 2012

Napoleon's Secret Weapon Revealed - Le Chant de l'Oignon

Perhaps some of you may have already seen this entertaining little video on Burkhard's blog, but it's just too much fun not to post it on my own.  :-)  It features Le Chant de l'Oignon, which apparently was one of the favorite songs sung by Napoleon's Imperial Guard while they charged on the battlefield.

I certainly sang about a lot of silly things when I was in the Army, so it comes to no surprise that some of the most feared infantry of the time sang about eating onions.  Although parents in France might frequently implore their children saying, "Eat your onion soup if you want to become big and strong,"  the thought of Napoleon's Elite singing about loving fried onions while killing Austrians, etc. is pretty hilarious.

I did some quick research via Google and the only thing I came up with in my extensive two minutes was that according to legend the song originates shortly before the Battle of Marengo.  In the story (my translation), Napoleon came across some grenadiers vigorously rubbing something on crusts of bread.  When he inquired what was going on, they revealed the "something" was an onion to which he replied, "Ah ! Très bien, il n'y a rien de meilleur pour marcher d'un bon pas sur le chemin de la gloire!"

(Subtitled version starts at 1:05)

Le Chant de l'Oignon                              (The Song of the Onion)

J'aime l'oignon frît à l'huile,                       (I love onion fried with oil,)
J'aime l'oignon quand il est bon,               (I love the onion when it's good,)
J'aime l'oignon frît à l'huile,                       (I love onion fried with oil,)
J'aime l'oignon, j'aime l'oignon.                (I love onion, I love onion.)

Au pas camarade, au pas camarade,       (Let's charge comrades, let's charge comrades.)
Au pas, au pas, au pas.                           (Let's charge, let's charge, let's charge)
Au pas camarade, au pas camarade,       (Let's charge comrades, let's charge comrades.)
Au pas, au pas, au pas.                           (Let's charge, let's charge, let's charge)

Un seul oignon frît à l'huile,                      (One onion fried with oil,)
Un seul oignon nous change en lion,         (One onion we change into a lion,)
Un seul oignon frît à l'huile                       (One onion fried with oil,)
Un seul oignon nous change en lion.         (One onion we change into a lion,)


Mais pas d'oignons aux Autrichiens,        (But no onions for the Austrians)
Non pas d'oignons à tous ces chiens,       (No onions for all these dogs)
Mais pas d'oignons aux Autrichiens,        (But no onions for the Austrians)
Non pas d'oignons, non pas d'oignons.    (No onions, no onions)


Aimons l'oignon frît à l'huile,                    (Love the onion fried with oil.)
Aimons l'oignon car il est bon,                 (Love the onion because it's good,)
Aimons l'oignon frît à l'huile,                    (Love the onion fried with oil.)
Aimons l'oignon, aimons l'oignon             (Love the onion, love the onion.)


The tune did get stuck in my head for a day.  It is kind of catchy, and I love the part about the Austrians getting no onions.  I don't know if I'd want any future French opponents singing this song across the table top while we played, but I might consider giving his Imperial Guard units a +1 to something if he did.  :-)

Grumble...  grumble...  onions...  grumble...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Meltdown in July - Marines vs Xenos

Meltdown in Minnesota!!!!

The number of days of oppressive heat here in Minnesota early in the month I'm sure broke some kind of record, but that was nothing compared to the action going down on the 11th of July where the mighty Ultramarines and Space Wolves took on the unexpected combined xenos threat teaming savage Orks and calculating Eldar. (gasp!)

The Wrecking Crew!!  Eric, Josh, and Chris
(Well, mostly Chris 'cause he's so big.)

As mentioned in an earlier post, my old college buddy Chris was back in town and looking for a big Warhammer 40k smash 'em up to kick off the newly released 6th Edition.  Also, more on the game prep, terrain setup and rules, teams, and the scenario can all be found here:  Big Game Prep & Decanting Spirits

Perhaps a bit too late to be reading the rules... for the first time.

Since my first attempt to post this battle report on the 18th was lost in the Warp (See: Blogger Demons & Going Retro) I've decided to keep the writing to a minimum and  include more pictures (Clicking on them makes them bigger!).  Mainly because I've forgotten most of the details in what was a learning battle for me anyway.  :-)  It certainly was a good time and playing Space Marines made it a bit easier for me to play my first 40k battle in ages.

My backup plan for not reading the new rules...

Deployment effectively lined up Eric's Ork against Johua's Space Wolves and Chris's Eldar across from my Ultramarines (Chris's minis).  Battling Chris for most of the battle was nice since I don't get to see him that often.  It also means that bragging rights for crushing his Eldar last even longer... Not that we knew what we were doing or anything.

Deployment and opening moves.

The two headed Xenos horde came at the brave warriors of the Imperium hard and fast.  Here I found out how forgiving Marine armor is, and good they are at shooting fragile elves in the open.  The Orks on the other hand took the beat stick out on the Space Wolves early and often.  Josh's saving grace was that he still had reserves to play, but would they be enough...

Josh's Wolf Lord went down early in the game and Eric's rocket launched Stormboyz were all over causing death and destruction.  I took a more conservative approach to setting up fire lanes in my AO, while nothing seemed to go right for Chris's Eldar.

"You should have consulted your Farseer!!"

 Chris goes "Maui Warrior" on us.

The Eldar ignore thousands of years of discipline and training and get caught up in the aggressiveness of the Orks, while apparently there was a cursed area on the table over by Josh where the dice only came up "ones."

All in a days work for the Greenskins!

The new rules do bog down a bit in close combat, but by the end of the game things were picking up.  Flyers are a great addition to the game especially now that they can leave the table and come back on again.  Eric's Bommer was a menace, but the pilot kept getting distracted by pretty clouds and forgetting to shoot.  Oh well.

Although it took awhile, the reserves started coming in.  Chris's Warp Spiders turned out to be only a flash in the pan, but the Space Wolves start making things interesting for the Orks.  A lone Farseer managed to hold up an entire quad of my Ultramarines while the machine spirit in my Land Raider is in dire need of getting its targeter recalibrated.

Josh's reserves arrive while I reveal my secret weapon:  a Stuka!!

Despite being a large game as well as a learning one, the new 6th Ed. rules ran pretty smoothly.  They also allowed me to do fun things like land a scout squad on top a tower, and generally seem more realistic in their approach.  I still have a lot to learn as my army was pretty much on auto-pilot the whole night, but I can see why all the kiddies start out with Space Marines.  :-)  The Imperial Guard should be tons of fun though.

The game ends in a bloody stalemate.

We ended the game at the end of turn 5, as the night had already gone on too long for a Wednesday night.  At the time the Xenos were up by a couple of victory points, but it was still too close to call if the game had gone longer.  Regardless it was a great way to kick off 6th Ed. and the night's action was a blast.

Good times, thanks guys!

The evening's sponsors/refreshments...mmmmm, yum! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Converting the Stormtalon

Space Marine Stormtalon

When Games Workshop released a batch of new fliers earlier in the year I thought that the Necron Doom Scythe and especially the Ork Bommer were instant hits out of the park.  While I liked the Stormtalon, it suffered from the same stubbiness that the Stormraven has that kept me from loving it like the others.

While my Imperial Guard already have the sweet Valkyrie/Vendetta Gunship, it's always fun to think how I could convert the Stormtalon model for my own uses.  A quick Google search reveals that I'm not alone in my thinking, but a good conversion to me is one that looks like the kit came that way in the first place.  Which brings me to a recent post on Excommunicate Traitoris that fits the bill quite nicely.

Included below are a few others that I found during my brief Google image search that I figured would be fun to pass along as well.  Clicking on the picture will bring you to the original blog/forum entry.  Enjoy!

Hmmm... definitely something to think about.  :-)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Prussian from the Top!

 (Click banner for more info)

It's time to finally get my 1813 Prussian Army going and what better place to start than from the top.  I've always planned to knock out a few command stands first so the painting challenge (theme: vignettes) over at the La Bricole forums is absolutely perfect for me to get Old Blücher and the boys going.

I'll delve into the Order of Battle that I'll be using my intial guide more in a future post (Hint: von Horn's 7th Brigade), but other than the typical division and brigade commanders, I also wanted to do a Corps (Yorck) and Army level command stand.  Other than the fact that future multi-player games might require them, I've always wanted to paint up a Field Marshal Blücher stand regardless.  In game terms I see him as more like a random event appearing to lead some reckless cavalry charge.  ;-)

Although I'd love to use this opportunity to get more stands painted up, I'm starting with Blücher for now and I'll go from there depending on how life, hobby, and the pursuit of happiness goes in the next two months.  I'd probably knock out General von Horn's stand next, but we'll see.

Most the minis I'll be using are from Perry Miniatures, and above is the obligatory "nude" picture if the figs showing the very beginning of the project.  I'll be doing a bit of chop shop on a few of these and breaking out the green stuff to adapt the various Perry Nap. officers and horses to fit my needs.  WIP pics to come.

The oval base is 120mm X 90mm, and will feature Marschall Vorwärts, followed by his ADC Graf von Nostitz, and a Feldjäger officer joining a Hussar officer and trumpeter to lead a cavalry charge.  Looking forward to getting started tomorrow.  :-)

I'm on it like Blücher!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Big Game Prep & Decanting Spirits

Prepping for the big game!

Well, tomorrow night is the big game and I've been putting some finishing touches on the War Room to get everything ready.  As mentioned before, my old buddy Chris is back in town, and he requested few months back that I organize a big battle of Warhammer 40k for him to kick off the brand new 6th Edition while he was in Minnesota on leave.  He also used the game as motivation to knock out 2000 points of Eldar, which with big kudos to Chris, he managed to accomplish!

Last time Chris was in town was 4-5 years ago and we played a huge four player game of Warhammer Fantasy down at the shop.  This time I have my game room all set up and roped in two of my local gaming buddies, Josh (Space Wolves) and Eric (Orks), to join in on the fun.  With Josh and Eric being more experienced veterans of the recent editions of 40k, I decided it would be best if they would pair up with Chris and I who haven't played for awhile.

The battlefield:  An Industrial wasteland, or something dangerous like that...

With this in mind I also decided to field Chris's Old Skool Ultramarines so that along with Josh, the genetically enhanced warriors of the Imperium could face the unholy xeno alliance of Chris and Eric's Eldar and Orks.  Yeah, don't ask too many questions, just go with it...

Each of us will field 1500 points for a combined 3000 a side.  With that in mind we set up just enough terrain to make things interesting, but not too much to clog things up.  The terrain will also include a few of the cool new rules for being a "dangerous theater" such as a nasty toxic waste dump (Dangerous  terrain) and having some of the storage vats/tanks being able to blow up if you take cover behind them.

For the game scenario, we'll be using the Dawn of War set up and fight a slightly adjusted Emperor's Will scenario from page 130 with two objectives/Comms Relays (page 104) in the middle and 24 inches from each side.

Every game room needs a decanter set, right?

The final bit I'd like to share in this post is one of the more recent additions to the War Room: my new decanter set.  Perhaps a bit silly and bit gentlemanly, I was inspired earlier in the year to get one while I was reorganizing the room back in March/April.  At the time I was also watching a bunch of old Hogan's Heroes episodes and virtually every one had Klink, Hogan, ans Schultz drinking Schnapps from one.  Now I wanted one too!  :-)

"Gentlemen, today's fox!" 

I thought it would be a neat game room tradition to start to have a little toast before our battles.  I'm not a big drinker so my experience is pretty limited.  So the problem now is what to put into it?   Unlike the Schnapps in Col. Klink's office, American Schnapps is more like a trip to Candyland.  For now I went with my brother's initial suggestion and picked up some Buffalo Trace Bourbon.  However, I'm up for any suggestions for the next war.  Recommendations anyone??

Friday, July 6, 2012

Warhammer 40k 6th Edition & Stuff

Only a few days late... just like if I had pre-ordered it from GW!!  :-)

Finally picked up my copy of the new 6th Edition of Warhammer 40k today.  Although local gamer excitement has interfered a bit with my enjoyment of the Minnesota Wild's huge success in this year's NHL free agency, I've been pretty stoked to getting my hands on the new book.

I started playing 40k back in the Rogue Trader days in 1991, but unfortunately 3rd and 4th Editions ended most of my enthusiasm for the game.  I sold off the rest of my armies (both painted and unpainted), but I did manage to hold on to my old metal Mordian Imperial Guard minis.  With 5th Edition really revitalizing my interest, I started to slowly work on my army last year.

Along with the release of the new rules my good buddy Chris, who first got me into all this Games Workshop crap back in college, is in town on leave from the Army and looking to play a big battle to kick off 6th Edition.  We have a four player game scheduled for the 11th, and I'm trying to get my IG force at least battle ready.  Chris is bringing his newly painted Eldar army, but also has his old skool Ultramarines ready to go even if I'm not.  :-)

Either way, I'm really looking forward to getting my Mordians rocking again and get going on playing some 6th Ed!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Don't mess with Texas the US!

It's that time of year again when Americans everywhere gather to remember how we bravely fended off the Alien Invasion of 1996, and those eternal heroes Will Smith, Bill Pullman, and Randy Quaid who first helped the country pull itself up by the bootstraps and kick ET's butt!

Regardless how you and yours celebrate the Forth of July, I wish you a safe and enjoyable holiday!  Lots of beer, hot dogs, and fireworks are recommended though.  Don't forget the Apple Pie either.

The true spirit of Independence:  BLOWING SHIT UP!

For me the fireworks started around 11:00am when both Zack Parise and Ryan Suter signed with the Minnesota Wild making my Summer dreams come true and fans all over the State of Hockey to go nuts and begin celebrating early.  (Do you really need a reason to drink beer before noon?)  Thousands of season ticket sales later, even Mike Modano tweeted that he was ready to come out of retirement and jump on the bandwagon.

That was quick!

Despite our strong tradition of fighting visitors from outer space, some took the local frenzy even a step further.  And with those few, I too will live in the moment and end this post by wishing everyone a Happy Parisuter Day!  :-)


Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Madness is Upon Me!!!!

Would you sign already?!

Even a cursory glance at my profile will tell you that I'm some what of a hockey fan.  Especially of the NHL and my hometown Minnesota Wild.  Well today at 11:00am CST began the annual craze-fest that is the start of Free Agency.  Always an interesting time, but this year the Wild are hoping to reel in some big fish in addition to a number of their top prospects they have turning pro this year.  So I'm firmly attached to the Twitter feed all day/week.

This year's big targets are Zach Parise and Ryan Suter both stars having previous connections with Minnesota.  Despite dealing with interference from those that would rather chat about Napoleonics, Hail Caesar,  Warhammer 40k 6th Edition, etc. I have desperately tried to channel my psychic brain waves in order to mentally convince these elite players to sign with my favorite team.

Come to Minnesota... come to...

Unfortunately Suter is hunkered down on his farm in Wisconsin and strangely there is something that seems to block mental activity once you cross the border.  As far as Parise, he has left his lovely home in Minnesota in order to take offers at the Canuckland office of his agent in Toronto.  There has only been repeated trips to Tim Hortons reported so far, so this might last a few days before a decision is made.  The thought of Zach playing on the Wild next season makes me willing to do almost anything to help that dream come true...

In your eyes, I see us winning...  In your eyes, the Stanley Cup...

Hopefully this detraction from my other wonderful hobby won't last too long and only be a momentary interruption to the gaming blogosphere.  In the meantime be sure to circle back around and take another look at last week's "This Week in Military History" post.  The hit counter tells me that most of you seem to have missed it.  ;-)

Update:  July 4th, unbelievably the Wild were able to sign both top free agents.  Woohoo!  Definitely excited for the NHL season to start!!