It’s difficult to not get predictable when you face no serious challenges. Iron sharpens iron they like to say. It doesn’t make sense but it sounds good which is what’s important for saying. I think that’s likely why the Invincible initially employed such simplistic tactics. If you never lose why should you change?
The Invincible, to their credit, adapted when faced with the threat of my new battle doctrine.
After the Battle of Defcon City smaller skirmishes repeated the pattern of that battle. The Invincible could not successfully engage Lucien’s modified vehicles when arrayed defensively. Several of our machines were lost when they disobeyed orders and were lured into traditional running battles.
This led to an attack on one of our defensive “squares” by 5 Invincible aircraft fielding some equivalent of a heavy machinegun. If they had bombs, rockets, or better weaponry of any kind they could have easily negated our strategy. As it was, their air power has to expose themselves to fire to make their strafing attacks. Even so they destroyed 4 converted vehicles before retreating with only minor damage in return.
This pattern was repeated several times, in what I believe were test runs, before our next serious engagement. Lucien and I discussed the possibility of anti-aircraft weapon deployments but couldn’t implement any plausible ideas in timeother than what amounts to 30 mm shotguns.
Using their mobility advantage a force of 50 Invincible machines bypassed our defenses forces in the north and approached Scrapbridge while simultaneous a group of 76 came from the east. With Gunmetal City behind enemy lines Scrapbridge is our main source of munitions and technical support.
88 of our vehicles were in place to intercept and hold until additional forces could be brought in. Once we had deployed our corrals 23 Invincible aircraft attacked. The air attack was combined with a tactic I had been concerned about since the inception of this idea, suicide ramming attacks. Several wooden vehicles that may have been purpose built for this reason were driven at full speed in the anchoring vehicles on the edges, destroying them and disrupting our fields of fire.
A third element was the heavy use of a never before seen vehicles that are essentially self-propelled catapults. As of yet these siege engines have not deployed explosive payloads, but caltrops and scrap metal raining from the sky is proving disruptive enough to be effective.
The advantage that Lucien and I had created was extremely short lived.
The battle of Scrapbridge was technically a victory as the city remains in our hands, aided in large part by the simple fact that the height of buildings allowed for additional defenders to bring attacking aircraft under small arms fire. The Invincible retreated after similar damage on both sides had been inflicted, perhaps 40 vehicles lost, which realistically makes this a defeat. We cannot afford a war of attrition. All indications are that they can.
I feel our only course of action at this point is to find and target the Invincible airfields and neutralize their air power. Towards this end I will be flying back over the mountains along with MGP. He has logged some hours Bonanza Model 35 in the old world and hopefully will be able to pilot another craft. Assuming we don’t get shot down in the attempt.
I’m also eager to speak with Ela. She often has unexpected ideas that sometimes prove surprisingly innovative.