The Zentan irregulars continue to inch forwards. The Wurstburp artillery fire but, who would have guessed?, they fail to inflict any telling damage upon their advancing adversaries. The loss of a few limbs or even heads is unlikely to stop troops for whom speed, dexterity, or the capacity for logical thought are merely 'nice to haves'.
Sunday, 1 October 2023
Friday, 22 September 2023
Bulbous orders his irregular troops to advance. On the Zentan right wing, the Zentan light cavalry pass through the palace sipahis and begin to move towards the Wurstburp cavalry. In screening his best troops with his dross and making it impossible for the former to make a useful contribution to the battle, Bulbous is, of course, following one of the key principles of Zentan warfare.
(Above) Moreover, at that point in the centre where the irregular cavalry and foot meet, Bulbous may well be able to apply some combined arms attack against the Wurstburp horse. This kind of militarily effective coordination is largely unheard of in Zentan military practice, and so one reason it might fail is that the shock of doing it might require some of the Zentans to lie down for a rest. Bulbous moves his headquarters up. With his artillery and regular troops kept to the rear, the Zentan plan seems to rely entirely on their irregulars to carry the main weight of the fight. To those with any experience in modern warfare, the chances of the success of this approach might seem lower than a limbo-dancing sausage dog ...
Saturday, 16 September 2023
General Bulbous chooses to deploy his troops in a line; although it's not much of a choice, since the only other option for the Zentan army would be something called 'not a line'. (Below) On the Zentan left, Bulbous positions both of his regiments of janissaries. Here, they can continue their process of becoming elite through the expedient of never, ever moving in a battle; never fighting; and thus never taking the risk of being defeated.
(Above) The remainder of the infantry, all irregulars, are deployed in the centre of the Zentan position. Behind them are both batteries of Bulbous' artillery. That way they unable to see any targets at all, and so Bulbous will not be tempted into the foolish decision to try and fire them.
(Below) Cavalry constitutes the whole of the Zentan right wing, concentrating both the mobile elements of the army and also the most peculiar of the smells.
(Above, right) To the front are both regiments of palace sipahis. They are positioned directly opposite the Wurstburp cavalry. Behind them, Bulbous posts his irregular cavalry, consisting of five regiments. With all of his cavalry concentrated against the Wurstburp horse, it looks like the latter might be in for a tiring day.
Bulbous completes the stationing of his troops, a process which has been mercifully free of Wurstburp-style 'tactics'. With a growl from the Zentans that could be aggression or which might just be flatulence, Bulbous issues his final orders and the battle commences!
Wednesday, 13 September 2023
(Above) The infantry are deployed upon the Groeninghumpe, which is also the objective for this battle. The artillery are deployed upon Little Groeninghumpe; and the cavalry far, far away in the distance. There then commences a process of what some might describe as 'dicking about' but which in Mittelheim is known as 'tactics'. The consequence is that Unpronunski decides that his line is too far extended and his guns too vulnerable upon the hill.
Alas for the Wurstburpers, it turns out there is rather more forest than was originally anticipated; a predictable consequence when no one can remember the rules. New copses, hitherto unnoticed, suddenly spring into view near the Wurstburp line. But that's war in Mittelheim for you.
Sunday, 10 September 2023
Wednesday, 30 August 2023
'What, no clothes at all?'
'Not a stitch. But she did have three of these lizard things on her shoulders'.
'Did she say anything?'
'It was odd, Radu Pasha. One might have expected that she would say something like: "Help! Fire!"; or "Blimey, I seem to be completely starkers - has anyone got a coat I can borrow?" But she started instead to blather on about being the "Mother of Dragons" or something'.
'Really? So what did you do?'
'Well, I got her to give me one of the lizards'.
'Got her to give you one?'
'Yes - I threw my coat over her head, stole one, and then ran off'.
'You have a very liberal view, Sihirbaz, of the meaning of the term "give"'.
Radu Pasha suddenly sees something on a nearby table. 'Well', he says, 'what's this?' pointing to a publication. 'Big Balloons, eh - I thought that you were uninterested in such technologies'.
'I don't think ...' starts Sihirbaz, quickly trying to reach the table.
'Hang on', says Radu in alarm, turning some of the pages. 'The ladies in these woodcuts don't seem to be interacting with any emerging flight technologies; although ... there is a certain amount of inflation on show ...'.
The scientist pulls the publication from Radu's hands and pushes another into them.
'Why, this seems to be a pamphlet detailing how one might construct a giant balloon that can be lifted by the heating of air!' says Radu with enthusiasm.
Friday, 18 August 2023
Radu Pasha pauses, staring at the pool suspiciously. 'What's this?' he asks, trying not to get too close.
'What? Oh, that - it's really nothing', replies Sihirbaz airily. 'Nothing at all. Nothing to see'.
Radu peers more closely. 'Is there a room under this floor - a secret chamber perhaps? Because it looks like whoever that arm belongs to is trying to break through the surface of that ... pool or whatever, in order to enter this room. Or this dimension'.
Radu frowns. 'You haven't been doing something that you shouldn't have you, scientist pasha?' he says slowly. 'You haven't been delving into dark tomes full of forbidden knowledge, dreadful spells, and unspeakable horrors have you?'
As the two of them turn, the hand in the pool clenches its fist and then extends a middle finger.
'Now, what's this?' says Radu, pointing at what appears to be a very large shiny suit of armour.