Part 35: Battle 16: The Reclamation of Kahna
Following our successful repulsion of the otherworldly forces threatening the Church of Memories, Granbelos revolutionaries have taken up positions in the countryside that threaten the vicinity around Kahna Castle.
Terrain: Our position around Kahna Castle affords us several natural advantages for use in the defense. In the first place, the lake surrounding Kahna Castle presents a formidable obstacle that the enemy has no real method of breaching. This narrows the avenues of approach to a single long bridge crossing the lake, and ensures that we will have full visibility of any enemy forces attacking our position. This bridge, then, is the most key terrain for this battle and must be secured.
Disposition: The enemy has formed three main groups to our west, northwest, and northeast with significant forces in each group. Each group comprises a section sized element, giving the enemy equivalent strength to a small company. In addition, the enemy has extensive indirect fire and magical capabilities available. The troops that the enemy has deployed are among their best, and the groups to our west and northwest have two generals embedded to strengthen their spines and coordinate actions. To our northeast, Gudolf himself has taken charge of the enemy's mages and healing capabilities.
Enemy's most dangerous/most likely course of action: The enemy will most likely attempt to bring their forces together and force a crossing of the bridge to Kahna Castle, massing their forces in order to punch through any resistance we can offer in order to put an end to our movement.
The KRF will conduct an aggressive defense as the enemy approaches in order to defeat the coup attempt led by Gudolf to allow Sauzer to regain control of the empire and put an end to the persecution of Kahna.
Concept of the Operation/Scheme of Maneuver: In order to prevent the enemy from massing at the bridge and overrunning our defenses, the KRF will utilize unconventional methods to create a second avenue of approach to the west while the enemy is distracted by the bridge. Once we have successfully crossed the lake we will engage the enemy generals and their entourages in combat and defeat them in detail before they can unite and pose a significant threat to our operations. Myself, Matelite, and Mist will lead the three assault teams to engage the enemy, while Anastasia provides fire support. Yoyo and Sendak will utilize their summons in order to damage the enemy when prudent, but will initially be active in creating a bridge across the lake. Finally, Barclay and the lancers will act as our reserve and guard the rear while we move in on the enemy. The first enemies engaged will be Zomberd and Lestat, followed by Irvine and Barbarela, and finally Gudolf
As soon as our forces were mustered, we began work on the difficult task of building an ice bridge to cross the lake in a west south-westerly direction. The lake was somewhat narrower in that direction, and the position would allow us to flank our first targets while avoiding being caught between two of the enemy forces.
The assassins under Mist's command were surprisingly helpful in the endeavor. While their abilities must be centered around them, they have an excellent area of effect and can create widespread changes in the terrain. I can only imagine the havoc they'd wreak inside a building.
However, in order to complete the crossing in a timely manner Palpaleos and I had to intervene and bridge the final gap to allow our forces access to the enemy's positions.
The delay occasioned by the bridge building process managed to keep most of our units out of the fray, but Pinky had rushed forward and as a result bore the brunt of the enemy's retaliation. Lightning bolts rained down on him repeatedly, but he didn't really seem to take any notice.
As the enemy tired, our striking forces rushed across to engage them at close quarters. This was a bit risky since we hadn't been able to wear the enemy down, but I felt that our forces could handle it.
Unable to reach the battlefield themselves, Yoyo and Sendak ended up having to expand the ice bridge once more in order to allow more troops who could reach the enemy to cross over.
Our immediate efforts focused on defeating the escorting forces around both generals. While the two general were undeniably more powerful than their associates, by reducing the number of enemies attacking we could gain more control over the battlefield and reduce the number of casualties.
The dragons weren't always so, considerate, however, and instead went for Lestat and Zomberd as often as anything else. I couldn't complain, however, as they tended to weaken and distract the enemy leadership at any opportunity.
Clyde in particular got a great deal more enjoyment out of going after the small fry and terrifying them before finishing them off.
Between our advance and the enemy's counter attacks, the battle soon descended into a melee and a slugfest as both sides rushed toward each other.
Naturally, some of these counter attacks represented spectacularly bad decisions on the part of the enemies making them.
Although our own attacks weren't always a shining beacon of success...
Once their supporting units fell, Lestat and Zomberd became easier prey. Lestat was the first to go; while Taicho desperately wanted to finish him, Rush ended up delivering the fatal blow with a Saint Pulse.
Matelite's group had to be content with the only mildly offensive Zomberd, who they brought down in a flurry of axe blows and dark smashes.
Having defeated them, we could claim their armor as spoils and see what the emperor's best had been using to protect themselves.
Note: Hello 3rd or 4th best armor in each category.
The first two generals were finished off at almost exactly the right time, as the rest of the enemy forces were essentially lined up for a change to get at us.
As the first of the enemy lancers got within their range and attacked the mages and our healers, something about the terrain gave me an idea..
First, we withdrew back to the extreme range across the ice-covered inlet...
While Pinky bravely rushed forward and held the enemy back for a few precious seconds.
As the enemy came closer we bided our time...
And when they stepped out onto the ice we struck.
Fully a quarter of the enemy's forces were left to flounder in the icy water as a result.
With a we charged forward to eliminate the remainder.
Anastasia and the rest of our mages pulled out some new tricks to punish the enemy, calling down a comet from the heavens to strike at them.
Once again the enemy's generals were left isolated while our strongest teams moved in to finish them off.
Irvine and Barbarela were far more skilled than Zomberd and Lestat, and even isolated they were still far from helpless.
Matelite led the attempt to strike down Barbarela, but was ultimately unsuccessful.
In the end she was finished off by Sue coming in and using Death's Undead, despite the fact that Barbarela wasn't undead.
Just like the other generals, Barbarela had excellent armor for us to help ourselves to.
Seconds later Irvine fell to a combination of attacks from Palpaleos and Rush.
Contrary to popular rumors, Irvine didn't in fact have the sword Excalibur in his possession. Of course, we kind of had an idea that those were just rumors... what he did have, however, was the legendary lance Longinus.
Note: Second strongest lance in the game, and holy elemental. I believe that having an Invincible, however, we already outclass it. Still, with 4 lancers it can find a home.
In the meantime, our destruction of a large portion of the ice bridge has had two results. In the first place, the enemy has lost some troops...
And in the second place one of the healers with Gudolf had gotten confused and went in one direction while the rest of Gudolf's forces had continued west without crossing the bridge. Seeing that the healers were isolated, I committed the reserve and our mages to dealing with them.
Since the rest of our forces were somewhat disarrayed, Pinky flew up and conducted a delaying action while we redeployed to receive Gudolf.
After Inky and the rest of the mages finished basting the Cure Comrade with lightning, Barclay and Blinky worked together to finish the rest of the unit off.
Once their mission was complete, Pinky pulled back and let Gudolf and his minions come forward. For some extremely puzzling reason they kept their healers out in front.
Naturally we capitalized on this as quickly as we were able.
I don't even want to speculate on why some of them were carrying the things they were carrying into battle.
As the enemy's numbers dwindled, Gudolf himself attacked Mist's group. Out of pure curiosity I attempted to use a Trick spell on him...and to everyone's astonishment it actually worked and put him to sleep.
By the time Gudolf awoke, he was alone and surrounded by our troops.
Perhaps the oddest thing about dealing with Gudolf (once we'd completely isolated him) was the fact that someone who made such a big deal about showing off power was actually a mage above anything else.
That's not to say that he wasn't tough to put down... it took several of our best attempts to finally finish him off.
In the end, however, it was Pinky who defeated him. The spear that he had been carrying wasn't particularly impressive compared to the Longinus or the Invincible... making one wonder why he was even carrying it.
To put to rest any questions of his insanity, Gudolf made a proclamation to Pinky and then ran away, cackling madly. I don't really know what more there is to say about him than that.
We were victorious, and the Granbelos command structure had been decimated.