Paradise remains in friendly hands and we were allowed to land.
Nate has assumed control of our forces, forming a tribunal to oversee operations with Madcat who is now leading the Road Hogs (action item, find out how that happened) and Boss representing the sedentary power groups (action item, found out how that happened).
After our departure Fortykills assumed command with Everett and Noah in support of her (action item, find out why they supported her). Fortykills gathered a force of roughly 200 vehicles and 1700 fighters (1000 unmounted) to meet the Invincible on Route 5 north of Hope. Fortykills may have wanted to protect medical supplies provided by Hope.
I believe MGP has to the most accurate accounting of the Invincible force at this engagement, placing their total numbers at approximately 300 vehicles and their crews.
Based on my interviews Fortykills was placing total faith in the 70 mm cannon retrieved from the facility under Wyo, which had been mounted on a purpose built armored fast attack vehicle. Based on after action interviews I can surmise no battle plan that Fortykills prepared other than to rely on this firepower to carry the day.
Our forces were ambushed in transit outside of Hope, which had already been seized by the Invincible. This initial attack was made up of around 2/3rds of the total Invincible total force in the area, around 200 vehicles. Local assets had warned Fortykills that Hope was already in enemy hands but these claims were dismissed as Invincible disinformation. Noah and Everett supported her in this assertion.
Relatively few vehicles were destroyed in this initial action on either side. Upon coming under attack our forces splintered into three groups, two roughly evenly sized retreating in disarray, one to the southwest and the other the northwest, while a third group of the remaining half (100) machines staying together and in operational order.
The main Invincible battle force pursued the group fleeing to the NW and was in turn chased by the half of our armored column that stayed together.
The Invincible force caught and destroyed the fleeing NW element and were in turn attacked from the flank and suffered major damaged, fleeing south along Route 5 to a numerically inferior force. Estimate roughly 50 vehicles on each side lost in this exchange.
A second Invincible force of 50 machines was dispatched from Hope to relieve the pursuit while our foot element, which had not been engaged yet, came up the road from the south to block the retreating main body of Invincible.
Our SW element had rallied and attacked the Invincible sortie from the south while they were engaged from the west by the main body, a third Invincible force of 50 machines move out of Hope in support. The result of this fighting was nearly a total mutual loss of all machines involved.
The fleeing Invincible column retired north of Hope as our infantry took possession of the field, inasmuch as the term has any meaning in this type of fluid engagement. Hope was liberated after a short resistance by the overmatched Invincible garrison.
Results – Hope in allied hands, loss of nearly 200 vehicles plus crew, including the 70 mm cannon, against similar losses by the Invincible ~200 vehicles and crew. Given the numeric superiority of the Invincible this can be seen as nothing other than a catastrophic defeat for our forces.
After the battle Fortykills abandoned her leadership position and returned to the mountains with no further communication. Everett was killed in the battle. Warren suffered a minor injury as well and died of an infection. Rich is a non-combat fatality due to dysentery.
Potential lessons learned – The Invincible combat doctrine appears to be the use of fast attack vehicles only. No value is placed on infantry, which were able to turn back the Invincible in this engagement by sheer weight of numbers. The Invincible seem to have no use of artillery or heavy armor. No Invincible air power was present, this may indicate that their air wing is highly limited numerically and/or that their airbases are not well situation to support action this far south.
My brain told me that NAL is slang/whatever for Not At All, but apparently I just made that up.
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Someone is always the first to try new slang.