Part 29: Day 67: Collapse
The people have spoken. There shall be no rest for the caravan.
It takes us about half a day to reach the battle.
I see no reason to stop charging every fight. I need Renown!
Let's try out a few of these new people. There's an old familiar face here, too!
I'm about to the point where I would pay for DLC that removes this formation from the game.
On the left: A Flame Slinger and a Spark Slinger. On the right: A Slag Slinger, a Sun Slinger, a Blind Slinger, an Inferno Slinger, and two Vicious Grunts. In the middle: Me, at Poor Morale.
This is going to hurt no matter how I do it.
Our severely drained Will pool greatly limits our tactical options. My general plan is to move to the west, taking out the foes on this side, then deal with the east.
The Spark Slinger hits Oddleif with a shot that shuts down her Exertion usage for the turn.
Krumr drops him down to injuring range in one hit. It's so nice to have varl again.
Oddleif, unable to exert and not having any visible enemies she can predict the movement of, pokes the slag slinger for a little more damage.
Unfortunately, the east front slingers are already coming into attack range.
I'm not afraid to score kills right now. I need Willpower and I'm badly outnumbered.
A distant slinger moves forwards, remaining out of range.
And there goes all of Iver's Willpower! We need to drop that Colossus's Armor down as fast as possible.
Fasolt is here, by the way. What is he doing this far from Grofheim?
In the immediate sense, he's burning all of his will to do another 4 Armor damage to the Colossus.
And taking 4 Armor damage in retaliation.
Krumr can't reach anyone, so he uses his ability, Forge Ahead, to push Iver up to the top of the initiative.
Good thing, too - the Flame Slinger got some bombs planted underfoot. Iver moves out of the way and shaves that Colossus down to the point that he can really hurt it.
Oddleif guesses that the Sun Slinger is going to move forward to attack Onef, so she lays down a trap.
It does not work. The Sun Slinger stops one tile short and hits Onef for 3 Armor damage.
Any four of those dredge can saunter up and tear off half of Onef's Strength right now. His only decent option is to fall back and form a shield wall with Oddleif, giving them both a little protection.
I am outnumbered by units that can remain dangerous, even at low Strength. I'll consider this a victory if any of us come out of it alive.
It works, at least in the sense that Onef isn't attacked. Fasolt's Armor is falling fast, though.
A well-placed armor hit from Fasolt sends shockwaves down the entire enemy line.
The enemy Flame Slinger drops some bombs around us, and I forget to capture the animation for the 50th time in a row. I'll get it eventually.
This is still in bomb range, but I need to start putting some damage out, and Fasolt can't get anywhere safe and still hit anyone.
Krumr spends his last point of will to sprint over the bombs and hit the one who dropped them.
Despite not serving its original purpose, Oddleif's arrow trap catches a Grunt as it tries to come around to hit Fasolt!
And Iver beats the Colossus down to the point that it can't meaningfully hurt him or Krumr. The Colossus responds by moving around but not attacking anything.
If I had known I was going to roll this terrible formation again, I wouldn't have brought Oddleif along. She's at her strongest when we have a cohesive front line to work with.
Still, though, her hit sends another Armor shockwave down the line.
Onef is useful right now in that he has 6 Willpower - enough to exert himself a lot even when morale is low.
This is admittedly a risky move - half those enemies can do him some serious damage.
Another armor hit for Fasolt. That's fine.
One of aforementioned enemies who can wreck Onef is going next, so Rook cuts them down to size.
And there's Sunstrike! Even if it was targeting someone off the edge of the screen. I declare it good enough.
Fasolt gets to a space that SHOULD be out of bomb range, and cuts that slinger in half before it can act. It retaliates by poking Onef for one Armor.
Krumr kills this jerk. We're still outnumbered.
What's more, those armor pokes to Onef are starting to add up - the number is behind the horn, but that sling attack just did five Strength damage.
Iver continues beating the Colossus into submission, three Strength at a time.
That last slinger is in combat range now, and Fasolt's Armor is getting dangerously low.
Okay, NOW the numbers are even, courtesy of Oddleif.
Onef can't get his killer backstabs in any more - he's down to 4 Strength. Instead, he forms a shield wall with Fasolt and does a little Armor damage.
Fasolt is down to 4 Armor, even with the shield wall.
Rook forms a second Shield Wall with Onef, and drops the next acting slinger down to 1 Strength...
...not that it matters, when he's dishing out hits like that.
Fasolt kills a Vicious Grunt, and gets Armor poked in return.
And there's the payoff on all that Armor damage. Fasolt is not long for this world.
Nearly got the Colossus down!
And Fasolt falls.
Taking out this flame slinger is a high priority right now - it's one of the two remaining enemies with good Strength. We should be careful about getting kills right now.
Then, the Colossus makes a staggeringly bad move,slamming out four damage to Iver and four damage to TWO of its allies.
With Onef's current stats, Run Through is worth using even when it does one damage - the alternative, a Break attack, would have done the same Armor damage and not hurt its strength at all.
Lucky break - Onef needs all the Strength he can manage right now to survive.
Now there's only one enemy with high Strength!
That's the first damage Rook has taken in this fight, actually.
Colossus is now an excellent turn sink for the enemy.
And Onef goes down.
Annoying: Slingers don't shatter when hit. Still, I need to focus that guy down at all costs.
Iver's down to one Armor. Ironically, his primary foe of the moment can't do more than one damage.
Okay, time to start chaining kills together.
It might actually not be enough to avoid further casualties, though!
You take a moment to survey the battlefield. The enemy is being pushed back all the way down the line.
Ha ha ha ha no.
This was a messy battle, at least partially because it's been weeks since I had one.
This is the second time I've been sent to find a varl who is heading my direction with humans in tow.
What are dredge doing up here?
Gods, does nobody know what's going on around here? They leveled Grofheim to the ground. We've been losing ground for days, Jorundr's in Einartoft now. They sent me to gather Krumr and the rest from Wyrmtoe when we ran across this bunch of slag. And there's a lot more where they came from. Is this all the varl you've got, Krumr? What've you been doing, eating each other?
Many went to Blotsbalkr. Are you telling me Grofheim is completely gone?
And Vognir's dead. Slag on our heels. The varl you sent off north are probably dead. The world's ending. Come on, this is old news. We're gathering in Einartoft. That's where we need to go right now. Wait.
Fasolt takes a long moment to look out over the caravan of men, women and children behind you.
Unless you're a king or a mender, humans don't set foot in Einartoft.
Now isn't the time for this discussion.
Dammit Fasolt, who cares about that? What in the depths happened at Grofheim?
Before Fasolt can reply, a low rumble grabs your attention, growing louder by the moment.
"Go!" shouts Fasolt, taking off toward Einartoft. Don't stop until you reach Hadrborg!"