Part 8: Battle 4: Escape From Campbell Castle
Emperor Sauzer has escaped to the north, taking Princess Yoyo with him. A portion of his forces have been left behind as a rear guard, and have been alerted to our position.
Terrain: The terrain in this area is heavily wooded and has a large ridge of mountains in the center of the operational area. Foot mobility will be slowed as a result, and there is a significant risk of fire due to a lack of rain. Our forces are backed against a narrow river, making retreat difficult if not impossible. Key terrain locations for this battle are the narrow passes in the mountains and the castle itself.
Disposition: The enemy's main body is situated to the northwest, in order to cover Sauzer's retreat. This body is composed of heavy infantry, skirmishers, and has an attached medical team. This element is approximately section sized, but has indirect fire capability and is heavily armed. A squad sized element of light infantry is positioned south of this force along the river, but should present no great difficulties.
A third element, made up of a full squad of mages with medical support and skirmishers is positioned to the north, prepared to flank any attacking forces with indirect fire from the rear. In addition, scouts report having sighted the enemy's supreme commander in the area, accompanied by bodyguards.
Enemy's most likely course of action: The enemy's main body will most likely remain in place until we begin to approach their position. Both the light infantry and mage forces are likely to begin moving toward our position.
Enemy's most dangerous course of action: The enemy may choose to concentrate their forces, using their light troops to lure our forces and then withdraw back toward the main body while their mage unit moves to flank our pursuing forces.
The Kahna Resistance force will conduct an assault on the enemy main position to the northwest immediately in order to break the enemy lines and continue pursuit of Emperor Sauzer and Yoyo.
Concept of Operations: Our main effort, composed of Matelite, Lukia, and Sendak's teams will move west and north, destroying the enemy light infantry on the way and assaulting the enemy's main body. At the same time, Byuu will lead his knights to deal with the enemy flanking forces and then rejoin the main effort. Frenze and Reeve will remain at the castle in order to secure the location and act as a reserve if necessary.
Scheme of Maneuver: Details of the scheme of maneuver will be left up to individual commanders.
As our forces begin to move out, enemy troops reveal themselves to the south, across the bridge. As all other units are tasked for the main objective, Frenze and Reeve will be required to deal with this threat on their own.
The enemy is deploying a new type of mage in this action, who appear to be the antithesis of the ice mages they have used thus far. Luckily Frenze and Reeve are equipped to deal with either.
Lukia is the first to make contact with the enemy, using her unit's most powerful magic to begin weakening the enemy troops.
Inky compounds the enemy's misery with Hellfire, leaving the enemy severely wounded and on the brink of death.
At approximately the same time Byuu begins to attack the enemy mages situated to the north. Benefiting from Pinky's enhanced capabilities he vaporizes two groups in the first attack. Pinky moves up and adds his own contribution.
To the south Frenze and Reeve cross the bridge along with Sue and begin attacking the enemy's newest forces.
The enemy's light forces are unable to close with Lukia's, and her mages utilize earth magic to destroy two groups.
Inky weakens the final group with his Hellfire, while Clyde finishes them off with thunder.
The enemy's commander reveals his presence as he departs the battlefield. That's one worry removed.
The new mages are capable of using petrification magic, but it has no effect on Sue.
The enemy's healers show their cowardice, using their healing magic on themselves and leaving their friends to die.
Byuu and the knights finish off the last ice mages in hand to hand combat while Pinky continues to attack the enemy's healers.
Frenze and Reeve are surprisingly capable in close combat, but are unable to completely destroy the enemy forces.
It is evident that Sue is going to need more training, as she utilizes an attack that actually heals the enemy's mages.
Realizing that Frenze and Reeve might be in trouble, Lukia builds an ice bridge across the river to allow Sendak to come to their aid.
The march northward continues for most of the main effort, while Byuu and his group finish off the enemy's healers directly. The skirmishers are only a small threat on their own, especially with Pinky active in the area.
Frenze and Reeve are forced to retreat to an outbuilding after an enemy attack causes severe damage and petrifies one of the mini-devils.
Realizing that he will be unable to reach the lancers in time, Sendak tells Flammie to operate independently and use his best judgement while heading back to rejoin the main effort.
Flammie immediately demonstrates the wisdom of the decision by flying over and healing Sue.
The enemy's heavy forces have begun to move, only to receive a full-powered fire spell for their trouble. The forest is set ablaze, a problem only compounded when Inky sends more fire toward the enemy.
Matelite and the heavies can't reach the enemy yet, but Clyde has no such difficulties. Unfortunately, this only serves to make him a larger target.
Frenze, Reeve, and Sue continue to face difficulties to the south but are at least able to keep the enemy busy.
A powerful healing spell from the enemy undoes much of the damage our forces have caused. Taking out the healers has to be a priority.
Pinky realizes this and comes over to give the enemy medics something to think about.
Evaluating the threat to Clyde as greater than that faced by Sue, Flammie flies back and again acts as a healer.
This might be a premature judgement, as Sue continues to demonstrate remarkably poor decision making skills.
Matelite and his group finally reach the battle and immediately begin reducing the enemy's numbers.
Slowly but steadily the enemies troops are whittled down, while the flames continue to spread in the forest.
The enemy's lower ranking commander, Zomberd, joins the battle and begins attacking Pinky. He's unexpectedly powerful.
Luckily Sendak and the rest of the healers come within range of our battered forces at about this time.
Frenze and Reeve are finally able to make some progress, destroying two of the enemy flame magi while Flammie returns now that Sendak is in range of the main force.
Between Lukia's constant bombardment of the enemy and Matelite's attacks, the enemy forces at last begin to fall apart.
Their problems are only compounded by the fact that they're trapped in a burning forest.
The enemy group makes an ill-fated attack on Matelite's crew that ends with their complete and total destruction.
Sue is forced to retreat, but while the enemy skirmishers pursue Frenze and Reeve destroy their magical capability. Although it will take some time, this portion of the battle has been decided.
Having run out of mana, Clyde returns to the devastatingly effective strategy of simply clawing his enemies to death. I really think he's happier that way.
Byuu is finally able to rejoin the battle, finishing off the enemy unit to the south of Clyde has he comes in.
Frenze and Lance go on the offensive, but Sue is unwilling to commit herself.
Now that the enemy mages have been removed, the lancers can use their more powerful fire based techniques to ruin the skirmishers.
Zomberd's group concentrates on Matelite's, but finds itself unable to break them.
In order to shorten the overall battle Matelite's group finishes off the last healer and severely weakens the skirmishers.
Sue finishes off the last two skirmishers in the southeast corner with a blast of fire.
The protracted length of the battle is starting to tell on our troops. Only two of Lukia's mages have the mana to cast an ice spell at this point.
Zomberd is still continuing to resist, even with 80% of our forces concentrated on him. Byuu and Pinky soften the enemy up, but the final blow goes to Matelite.
Zomberd withdraws, claiming to have fulfilled his objective in delaying us.
If he's not lying through his teeth, it's probably incorrect to call this battle a victory.