Part 48: Battle 23: Welcome to Altair
Main Effort/Lead Element
Strategic Reserve/Flanking Element
Upon landing in Altair our forces have been assaulted by more of the unknown monsters that invaded Orelus. Before we can unravel the mysteries of this place, these enemies must be dealt with.
Terrain: The surface of this lagoon is riven by deep chasms which can be navigated through bridges of questionable origin. These bridges may constrict movement and limit our avenues of approach, but provide the fastest means of transit across the battlefield. The battlefield is also covered in areas by dense forests, providing a possible obstacle and fire hazard. Finally, the enemy has occupied a plateau on the eastern side of the battlefield that grants them a commanding position on the battlefield and that constitutes key terrain for this battle.
Disposition: The enemy has deployed a screen of weaker undead troops in front of a variety of spell casters that we have never encountered before. In addition, the enemy has an Alchemic type dragon in reserve near the enemy leader. While the undead hardly present a problem, the enemy's capabilities remain completely unknown.
Enemy's most likely/most dangerous course of action: The enemy will most likely use their undead troops to slow our advance and force our troops to gather on the bridges, then attack with magic. Once our forces have advanced closer to the enemy's position the Alchemic will attack at an opportune movement to cause the greatest possible damage to our forces.
The OFF will conduct an attack on the enemy lines as soon as possible in order to pass through their defenses and gain the freedom to explore Altair more thoroughly.
Concept of the Operation/Scheme of Maneuver: Our main effort, composed of my squad, the Royal Guard, and Mist's squad will advance to break through the enemy's undead troops and threaten their mages. Sendak's squad will provide support for this effort, while Bikkebakke and Anastasia's group follow and finish off weakened enemies. Once the enemy commits their reserves Matelite's groups will engage the Alchemic while the rest of our forces attack the enemy's leadership.
Through a fortuitous accident in our initial deployment, Sendak's group was perfectly placed near the northernmost bridge and in range of the first concentration of enemy troops. The enemy troops were concentrated closely enough that three of them were caught in a single casting of Bahamut along with a portion of the forest.
The attack so severely damaged the skeletons that Anastasia's group, Flammie, and Inky were able to finish the first three off.
Having decided that I wasn't exactly interested in seeing what the enemy mages could do first hand, I lead Palpaleos in attacking them from a distance.
Even our attacks followed by Pinky's weren't quite able to destroy a single group... but the fire that Pinky sparked managed to finish them off.
Any expectation that the enemy's mages would be idle while waiting for us to come within range was destroyed when they began to cast spells. The enemy worked in teams with the first team using magic to create an entirely new group of skeletons...
While the second team transported them instantly into attack range of our fighters.
The skeletons were more difficult to destroy at close range. Despite their best efforts, the Royal Guard were only able to destroy a single skeleton before they could strike.
Unfortunately for the skeletons, however, being teleported into the midst of our formations virtually assured that they were destroyed in short order once we had a chance to respond.
The mages were going to present a significant problem if left to their own devices, so we stepped up our efforts to deal with them. One survived from this group...
While Matelite's group only managed to defeat a single enemy.
Luckily Mist's group and Sue could come from behind and clean up after us.
That action wasn't exactly without cost... being at the forefront of our advance, Mist was within easy range for a group of Ring Commanders...
And close enough for the Alchemic to blast them with its signature technique, Burning Earth.
The entirety of their group collapsed in a smoking heap, and Sue fled the battlefield in confusion. We'd have to look to the battle first and to our friends afterwards.
Our forces were too scattered to strike effectively at the enemy mages, so we paused in place before making another push against them. They didn't appear inclined to move, and all of our remaining forces were outside of their range.
While we waited, something odd happened. I hadn't realized how exactly Clue was copying other dragons. Despite what I'd thought, he even copied Blinky's tendency to fail spectacularly.
Realizing that we weren't coming in to their trap, the enemy started to move forward... right in to a raging fire. I appreciate stupid enemies.
After we cleansed the latest batch of skeletons, the enemy ended up extremely clustered at the bottom of the plateau..
and immediately afterward the Alchemic pulled ahead a bit, so we began the process of weakening it.
Sendak and Yoyo took full advantage of the cluster with Bahamut while placing themselves in very close proximity to the Alchemic.
Anastasia's group followed up to destroy one group of the undead by their favored method of dropping a comet on them...
While my group destroyed the final group of mages.
This Alchemic was tougher than the last one we'd dealt with. Matelite's group couldn't defeat him even after all of our dragons had used their breath attacks on it and it had been caught in several powerful spells.
Bikkebakke's group finally caught up to the rest of us and succeeded where the Royal Guard failed.
Clue was the first of our forces to meet up with the now isolated enemy leader. He appeared to be some kind of mage...
The most annoying enemies are the ones who use gravity related abilities and magics, since those are effective even against dragons. Clue was too fast for this one, however.
With no fear of being attacked from behind or flanked, we could surround the last enemy and really lay into him at last.
For a mage, this enemy was ridiculously tough. All of our attacks couldn't quite kill him.
Matelite's group faced him and received a Bagdem spell to the face for their trouble..
And even Bikkebakke's group couldn't complete the task of demolishing him.
Instead, Clue decided to continue his new habit of stepping in at the last moment to defeat enemy leaders. His last words indicated puzzlement regarding the return of Bahamut and the other Holy Dragons. Considering the number of times we summoned them on the battlefield, I can only assume he was heavily distracted until the very end.