Part 47: Battle 22: Situation Critical
Quick Reaction Force
Forces native to Altair have scrambled to intercept the DamnShip in order to contest our passage and either force a retreat or destroy our ship outright.
Terrain: Based on the enemy's deployment our forces will be forced to fight on the forward portion of DamnShip in extremely restricted conditions. We have clear observation and fields of fire on the enemy, with the sky itself presenting our greatest obstacle. Our avenues of approach are limited to the surface of the ship while our enemies can attack from any and all angles. The concept of key terrain in this battle relies on drawing the enemy within reach of our forces and dealing with them there.
Disposition: The enemy has arranged itself into two wings on either side of the ship's prow with a central force comprised of winged dragons and a centaur type enemy. This central force is the enemy's main strength and only realistically long-range force, with the rest of the enemy's forces being short ranged attackers.
Enemy's most likely/most dangerous course of action: The enemy will most likely attempt to close in on our forces in an enveloping attack with their forward wings and hold our attention while their main effort strikes directly at our center across the bow of DamnShip.
The OFF will conduct defense in depth to repel boarders and defeat the Altairan forces assaulting our ship in order to allow our passage to the nearby lagoon.
Concept of the Operation/Scheme of Maneuver: Our forces will move to obtain local superiority over the enemy by concentrating on one wing of the enemy's forces and disable or destroy as many troops as possible. As the enemy attempts to encircle us we will break through to the front toward the enemy's center and annihilate their leadership.
Looking at the lay of the field, two things became immediately clear. First, that the layout of the enemy's forces made it easier to attack to the starboard side of DamnShip and second that the enemy had failed to space themselves widely enough apart that Bahamut couldn't strike at least two of them even before they closed in.
Our forces lined up along the side of the ship and concentrated on the closest enemy fighter, with one exception...
Clue took off straight from the port side and crashed directly into the enemy's forces on his own. In reflection, however, I wasn't too worried about him.
As the enemy closed in they focused on Pinky, with even less effect than usual...
And on Clue. Two of them flanked him, but they couldn't really do much damage and it kept them out of our hair.
I couldn't have asked for them to bunch up better for dragon attacks, Bahamut, or for Anastasia's group to drop a comet on them.
The Royal Guard was able to destroy one of the flyers...
While Mist and the rest of the lighter forces ended one that had been the subject of numerous area attacks.
Bikkebakkes group finished off yet another. We were tearing through the encircling forces, but the enemy's main group hadn't made a move yet.
Before we knew it, the only enemies remaining were the main group, a single straggler attacking our forces, and one enemy engaged in an aerial duel with Clue.
Bikkebakke's group moved again, and then there were none.
As we all crowded toward the front of the ship one of the smaller dragons came forward to attack us.
Bikkebakke's group was the target of its aggression..
But it was now alone and in range of all of our attacks. The results were about what one would expect.
It was becoming more and more obvious that the last few enemies wouldn't move in until we gave them a reason to. Sendak and Yoyo called Bahamut to let them know we were here.
The tactic worked, but left their group exposed as the dragons led the enemy charge.
In order to conserve their strength Yoyo and Sendak summoned Hyperion before pulling back.
Clue was the first to meet up with the Gatekeeper. He wasn't terribly impressive.
The dragons had some of the same powers we'd seen in the skeletal dragon from so long ago, but weren't terribly durable.
With a blast of lightning the last dragon fell out of the sky and left the Gatekeeper alone.
Rather than play a long-ranged game with the Gatekeeper, we fell back en-masse to tempt into occupying a position we could assault.
Once he was within reach, the Royal Guard made an assault but couldn't quite finish him off...
and neither could Bikkebakke's group.
Surprisingly enough, it was Clue who managed to finally defeat him. For once, the enemy's last speech wasn't cryptic nonsense. Our passage to the lagoon was clear.