Part 45: Battle 21: To Clear the Way
Effects/Obstacle Clearing Force/EOD
Medical/Heavy Weapons Squad
Gudolf has retreated to a fortified position inside his castle for a last stand in the hopes of defeating our forces once and for all.
All attempts to resolve the situation peacefully have failed.
Terrain: The interior of the Granbelos castle is layed out as a long corridor with multiple twists and turns, spikes, and unknown traps and other obstacles. Avenues of approach are severely limited, but the turns in the corridor can provide concealment and restrict enemy fields of fire and prevent observation. Key terrain for this battle, then, will be the control mechanisms for whatever devices can be affected as well as the last concealed location before each group of enemies.
Disposition: The enemy has arranged themselves in two groups, with a smaller screening force to the front and a larger force possessing cannons and other indirect fire weapons arrayed in front of Gudolf. All varieties of enemy troops are present for this engagement including mages, infantry, and medical capabilities, although the last group is limited to Gudolf's area of operations.
Enemy's most likely course of action: The enemy will most likely attempt to resist in place, occupying their fortified positions and playing a passive rather than active role in defending the castle.
Enemy's most dangerous course of action: The situation could be complicated if the enemy were to conduct either a fighting retreat back toward Gudolf's position or if Gudolf's forces were to move forward to strike at our flank or set up an ambush in the corridors of the palace.
The OFF will conduct a clearing operation to destroy all Granbelos forces within the castle and defeat Gudolf in order to put an end to active resistance within the Granbelos Empire and allow for uncontested passage to Altair.
Concept of the Operation/Scheme of Maneuver: Our forces will make a disciplined, steady advance through the Granbelos castle with the four clearing teams leading the way. The obstacle clearing team will destroy any traps and obstacles in the way and will provide fire support when no other tasks are pressing. This responsibility will be shared by the medical/heavy weapons squad. All attempts will be made to utilize the enemy's own weapons against them.
As soon as we began to move, I started to get a bad feeling about the glowing eyes on the statues in the walls. I paused and called for Anastasia's team to blast it with lightning, just to be sure.
Had I failed to heed my instincts, I can only imagine that the consequences would have been... painful.
Noting that one of the enemy troops had foolishly positioned himself on what appeared to be a trap door, I decided to investigate the strange switch nearby on a hunch. A scream and a thud proved that I was right.
As the rest of our forces moved up, I decided to check the treasure box that we had ignored earlier. For some reason, Gudolf had left extremely valuable weapons and armor scattered around the palace. Further chests included a Chobham armor, Invincible, and Prinzeugen. The enemy's position on either side of the hallway provided an opportunity..
Which Yoyo and Sendak exploited. The answer to many tactical questions is now Bahamut.
Anastasia and the rest of the mages followed up with a poison spell...
Which Clyde imitated on the other group. Unfortunately for the enemy, they just don't have the strength to stand up to us.
We advanced on the now unprotected mages, but unfortunately couldn't close on them immediately. The narrow hallway bunched us up, but luckily the enemy's spells weren't as powerful as some of the other attacks we're weathered. To further trivialize them...
They made a poor decision and spread their attacks.
We continued our inexorable advance as Clue demonstrated another strange transformation. His version of the Black Dragon seems to be more reliable than the native form.
Yoyo and Sendak called out to Leviathan and managed to destroy the rest of the enemy mages. While their element might have protected them from Bahamut, it opened them up to another avenue of attack.
A barrage of attacks ended the two soldiers who had been protecting the mages, with Mist finishing off the last.
This battle saw the introduction and subsequent destruction of a new enemy, which Sue managed to take down.
Why she decided to sit down on a bunch of spikes when there were three un-spiked squares around the enemy is beyond me.
However, Clyde did the same thing a few moments later as Matelite liberated a Chobham armor. I think our dragons are a bit masochistic.
As we moved forward, Clyde was also the first to engage the enemy forces around Gudolf.
The enemy had some kind of strange magic that seemed related to the gravity magics we've seen elsewhere, but its inaccuracy meant that we never saw its effects.
Clue finished the first group off with another form we'd never seen again. Death through a swarm of flies is probably one of the least pleasant I can imagine.
Working quickly, my group was able to dispatch one of the enemy's javelin groups before they could cause any damage to the rest of our troops.
Matelite and the Royal Guard attempted to duplicate the feat on the other group, but weren't quite able to accomplish it. They're better against single large targets than anything else..
Luckily Mist's group was able to pick up the slack. For the first time our assassins tried to use a death attack in battle, but failed. Since the javeliners were dead, it wasn't an issue.
The enemy mages and cannons weren't able to range on our troops, but instead spent their fury on the dragons who were well able to stand it.
It was tempting to use Bahamut to damage the cannons, but first a group of enemy mages had to be dealt with. Once they were defeated, however, nothing prevented us from blowing the cannons apart.
Through the combined efforts of Matelite and Mist's groups, the first set of cannons were destroyed..
The second cannon managed to survive to pester Clue, but their days were obviously numbered.
The enemy's healers decided to step in, for once actually healing their comrades instead of themselves. While there's a lot wrong with Gudolf's tactics, at least he was able to utilize healers properly.
Gudolf was also able to strike at our center, but with no other offensive capabilities he wasn't terribly threatening.
He was also an excellent central point for Bahamut's wrath.
The enemy's healers were burned to a crisp in an instant while Flammie restored the damage that Gudolf had managed to inflict.
Bikkebakke's group was able to finish off the cannons, completely stripping the enemy of their indirect fire capability...
Clue and Sue wiped out the very last remnants of the enemy's healing units immediately afterward...
And as soon as she'd had a rest, Sue killed Gudolf's bodyguards as well.
Gudolf refused to leave his throne as we surrounded him to deliver the final blow. Unfortunately, we couldn't approach from the sides or rear due to the size of that bloody chair.
Clue seems to be rather fond of this form. I'm not sure if that's worrisome or not.
Our best attacks were only barely able to phase him...
But at last I was able to deliver the final blow and put him down once and for all.
Granbelos is fallen, and the war is over. After these years, I never really expected to see this... much less to bring it about with my own hands. Even though that war is won, our struggles aren't quite over..
It was too much for Palpaleos to bear... he collapsed before the throne. As long as he doesn't try to claim injury again, I won't call him out on it. After some rest, it was time to investigate the hole in the sky.