Part 17: Battle 8: Defense of the DamnShipTask Organization
Quick Response Team (QRF)
Indirect Fire Support/Active Reserve
Enemy air units en route to the lagoon of Mahal have detected our approached and are attempting to perform an interdiction on the DamnShip.
Terrain: The only defensible location on the DamnShip is the flight deck. The flight deck is a single large, open space with no noteworthy obstacles or concealment that can be used to disrupt the enemy's attack. There are no defined avenues of approach; instead, the enemy will be able to approach from any and all directions. Because of the uniformity of the flight deck no particular terrain can be singled out as key terrain. In regards to DamnShip as a whole, however, the flight deck represents key terrain in that it is the only possible method of boarding the ship.
Disposition: The enemy is arrayed in a large semi-circle around the flight deck, with the only opening in the circle being over the engines. The enemy's forces are composed of approximately ten large gargoyles and a single large dragon accompanied by an escort of juvenile dragons. The enemy does not regularly send troops along with their air units, giving us a considerable advantage in command and control. In addition, the enemy is at a definite disadvantage due to a lack of long range firepower. If the large dragon in nominal leadership of the enemy formation is defeated the rest will likely scatter and abandon their activities.
Enemy's Most Probable Course of Action: Due to their limited long-ranged attack capability, the enemy will most likely tighten their perimeter and attempt to engage our forces in hand to hand combat.
Enemy's Most Dangerous Course of Action: While the enemy's long range capability is weak it is still present. If the enemy were to remain at a standoff distance and concentrate their fire on our most vulnerable units their efforts could result in an unacceptable loss of personnel.
The KRF will conduct defensive operations on the flight deck of the DamnShip when the enemy attacks in order to prevent the Imperial Air Force from either gaining control of the DamnShip or reinforcing Imperial defenses on Mahal.
Concept of the Operation/Scheme of Maneuver: Our forces will contract into a tight defensive formation to draw the enemy in, then concentrate our fire on each enemy as they approach. When the opportunity presents itself our QRF will lead the way in a breakout aimed at the enemy's leadership.
Immediately after we come up to the deck and begin to pull in together for safety Flammie makes an unexpected charge straight at the outer ring of enemies.
For a moment I'm worried that he'll be swarmed, but those worries turn out to be rather ill-founded. While less well-armored dragons might be in trouble, Flammie at least is safe where he is.
Once the enemy comes a bit closer we start to move toward the bow of the ship. Now that the circle is tightening the enemy gargoyles are close enough for multiple hits from each attack.
Now that the relatively weak nature of the enemy's gargoyles has been revealed, there's less pressure to focus on a single enemy. Differences in individual reach make it more practical to attack the enemy piecemeal.
The gargoyles have little offensive power, but have a surprising amount of endurance. Despite the number of attacks leveled at this small group 3 still survive and are concentrating on Pinky.
Matelite and the rest of security team have to come in and use their more powerful attacks to finish off one gargoyle. While our dragons are great for group attacks on weak targets, nothing replaces a personal touch on tougher creatures.
The first couple dragon escorts start their approach, and the lead element of the QRF goes out to meet them.
Rather thank backing up Byuu, Pinky decides to obliterate the last gargoyle in front of us.
The escort dragons also like to get up close and personal, although these exchanges hardly go in their favor.
Matelite's group comes up behind and mops up the other dragon from that group.
While the rest of our forces try to bring down the other group of dragons, the outermost parts of the enemy perimeter are coming at us from behind.
The enemy's sole attack that can be used at a distance or in close combat is a blast of air that isn't exactly intimidating.
The so-called security force is becoming an unholy terror when it comes to attacking powerful enemies. If we can acquire more light armor knights to increase their speed, they might become a steady part of the main assault.
With his matching temperament Clyde makes no bones about getting in close with the lead dragon. It's a beautiful beast with a wide variety of elemental attacks... I wish we could somehow bring it over to our side.
With the escort dragons essentially dealt with the rest of our forces can concentrate on keeping the gargoyles from making a nuisance of themselves. A few of them are playing smart and using a distance attack on us.
Clyde makes a mistake and for some reason decides to use an earth elemental attack. In a battle between two flying dragons this is hardly helpful.
The last pair of gargoyles have been kind enough to stand next to each other so that we can more easily whittle down their health.
At last Sue is able to finish off one of them with a well-directed ice breath.
The last gargoyle fights on stubbornly, even though by now it has to know that there's absolutely no chance of its survival.
In a rare show of good sense the lead dragon pulls away from easy reach of our troops, forcing Pinky to move in for a mid-air battle.
Unsurprisingly, the dragon doesn't have any eloquent last words.
We are victorious as the final gargoyle flees desperately, unlikely to ever return to the Granbelos empire or make any report of the battle.