Monday, 9 July 2018

Wallenover, the Final!

General Bazyli Antonin Unpronunski gnashes his teeth in ire.
'Not on the map?' he shouts. 'But we've been over this ground already! I mean, quite literally, that we have walked over this ground and it was solid, and now there is a marsh here! How can that be! Magic? The work of a very large flock of incontinent sheep? An unwanted visit from Biffo and His Great Piddling Circus?'

Of course, Unpronunski is not the first general in Mittelheim to have been confronted  during a fight by an unwanted geographical obstacle that wasn't on his map. But he seems at this late stage in the battle to be taking it particularly badly. Unpronunski gesticulates wildly, red faced, agitated, sweating like Martin Luther at a Jesuit barbecue.
'How can a marsh appear on ground that my troops have already walked over? Surely that is physically and logically impossible?'
One of the general's staff officers, Adjutant von Hardtpumping, takes his career, and probably also his life, in his hands by interrupting the monologue.
'But we have a card or two up our sleeves, though general. I should think our opponent will be smiling on the other side of his face when we play them ...'
'We wouldn't want them up our sleeves!' says Unpronunski snarling, 'after I've taken them and shoved them up our opponent's ar ....'
'General, you must calm down ...'
'I mean right up it,' shouts the general, miming vigorously the action with his arm.
'That would indeed be quite far up,' agrees his staff officer. 'But in the meantime, what orders should I issue?'
'Bah!' says Unpronunski. 'There's nothing for it but to continue the assault! Order our two flanking units into the marsh: We must hope that we have both the time and and a sufficient break in my temper to permit me to order them further forwards later!'
(Below, at the top) In front of the general, two regiments splosh quickly into the marsh.

(Below) The remaining two regiments Unpronunski orders forwards in a vigorous bayonet charge!
'Forwards my fine fellows!' urges the general.
'I suddenly have a warm feeling,' says Hardtpumping.
'You're optimistic about the outcome of our attack?' asks Unpromunski appreciately.
'No sir,' replies the adjutant.  'I've wet myself.'

At this late stage in the battle, the ensuing combat is like that that one might see between two wrestlers locked in an engagement, if it turned out that they were not wrestlers, but actually a pair of inebriated ducks trying to honk one another into submission. (Below) Finally, outnumbered two-to-one, Orlok's regiment is routed from the battle, but not before they have sufficiently disordered one of their attackers so that it, too, quits the field.

(Above) In front of the Wurstburpian columns stands the red-coated Vulgarian troops of the Grand Prior's Regiment. The original regiment was a militia unit in the service of the Herzo-Carpathian army, raised by Grand Prior Valerian Vafa in 1690. The Grand Prior himself had not lasted long, what with the weight of his responsibilities, and the weight also that resulted from a diet consisting mainly of pastry products, with green introduced only if he happened mistakenly to drop his pie in the grass. But the honourific title remained. With Wurstburpian morale now lower than something that was already really quite low indeed, Rentall senses his opportunity. (Below) He orders the Grand Prior'sRegiment forwards with the bayonet. With a cheer, the Vulgarians march forwards.

With clerics long ago expended, and in some disorder, and without the attacking benefit of their bayonets, the Wurstburpian situation is perilous. Moreover, as battle is joined, the Vulgarian unit pushes forwards its grenadier contingent.
Unpronunski cannot see the fight from his position. But soon Adjutant von Hardtpumping rides to his position with news.
'Their grenadiers are advancing forward, whereas our grenadiers have shrunk from combat!'
'And our privates?'
Hardtpumping blinks. 'No change from this morning, as far as I'm concerned.'

Nearby, Death looks down at the carpet of bodies strewn across the meadow land. Some, the lucky ones, are actually dead. But many more are merely mainly dead, having received wounds that should under normal circumstances have been mortal but which now, for some reason, don't quite seem to have carried them off. Mainly expired and partially disarticulated Wurstburpian musketeers crawl  hither and thither, moaning and wriggling like English Members of Parliament after a little lunch-time drink.
Death sighs. 'This just can't get any worse', he says, fairly sure as to the source of this necrotic naughtiness.
'Wheeeeee! Look at me! Look at me!', says Cheese, bottle in hand.
Death turns to look at him.
'I've got no clothes on! I've got no clothes on!' shouts Cheese, waggling his scythe with one hand.
'Look at that', says Death ruefully. 'I was wrong.' He gestures admonishingly at Cheese. 'Nakedness and playing with scythes don't mix well. Stop this!'
Giggling, Cheese hares off across the battlefield. 'Chase me! Chase me!' he shouts.
Death stares at his scythe for a moment, and then rather awkwardly, tries to sweep the blade through his own neck. The weapon passes through him as if he were incorporeal.
Death sighs. 'It was worth a try, I suppose.'

(Above) The Vulgarian charge ends with the rout of the Wurstburpian musketeers. With their collapse, the Margravial morale also breaks, and their army begins to stream from the field!
Rentall slaps his thigh.
'Dish ish a most convinshing victory! Da field of battle ish littered with da enemy dead! Order da purshuit!'
'Huzzah!' cries Cameron von Muller.
'Pip pip!' adds Duke Neucheim.
'Gottle a geer!' notes baron Tostov, reflectively.
Meanwhile, general Unpronunski looks on in despair.
'I am in Hell.' He looks around the battlefield and then sighs. 'No, actually Hell I suspect has better views.'

Hurrah for general Rentall! A convincing victory for Vulgaria and for the forces of the Vulgarian Convention!


  1. Damn and Blast -! After your first report on this particular battle, I placed a small wager of two hundred guineas on Wurstburp to win. It seemed that the Vulgarians would simply be rolled over by the Wurstburpians - but it was not to be! One has to suspect foul play, or at least play by fowls, when marshes appear in the midst of perfectly dry fields which have already been traversed over...Nonetheless, Van Rentall is proving himself a doughty opponent and I shall have to petition the Burggrave for another Tax farming concession to make up my losses!

  2. One should never bet on the chances of anything in Mittelheim except, perhaps, the appearance of something that's not on the map, and the likelihood of some strange smells.