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Western Europe

© 1999-2000 Imminent Storm of NEWST.

Chapter Six: Battle

Our spotter VTOLs picked up the advancing column of enemy tanks just after dawn on the 21st of September. We had been working all night in preparation for this battle--we had to keep the enemy a good distance from the FRA base. Transporting reinforcements in, rather than building them close enough for immediate entrance into battle, was not appealing to HQ. Defense of the FRA base was top priority. Our spotter VTOLs picked up that the enemy had managed to set up and secure a landing zone for transports 10 to 15 miles north of the FRA base, so enemy reinforcements should be expected. Then, early-warning radar picked up a large group of enemy VTOLs gathering near the enemy tanks. From the radar profiles, we gathered that there were anywhere from 15 to 25 strike VTOLs on medium bodies, and about 10 bomber VTOLs (judging from their slower speed) using heavy bodies. We immediately scrambled our VTOLs to intercept.

Our tanks departed, not long after the VTOLs, to intercept the enemy tanks before they could reach the FRA base. We had managed to muster 2 full divisions of heavy and medium tanks; the 4th Armored Division was made of two retribution tracked groups at 15 strong, each having 9 rail guns and 6 pulse lasers; and also had two Vengance tracked groups at 25 units strong, with 10 mounting Gauss cannon, 10 mounting Scourge, and the other five mounting SAMs and flak. The 12th Tactical Armored Division was the newest in our army. Sporting a group of 10 of our new Wyvern units--5 with pulse laser and 5 with Scourge--it is the most advanced division in our army as well. Supporting the Wyverns would be three Tiger hover groups at 20 each, 10 with Gauss cannon and 10 with scourge. Finally, the 12th had two support groups; 1 AA group, and 1 artillery group. The AA group consisted of 10 tanks, 5 with Stormbringer and 5 with SAMs. In terms of sheer numbers, we had the advantage. However, the power of their Dragon and Wyvern tanks gave them an edge in armor that we did not have.

The first engagement in this battle was between our VTOLs and theirs. Their strike VTOLs were flying at mid altitude, around 5,000 to 6,000 feet; while we approached at high altitude, roughly 10,000 feet. The wing leader for our VTOLs timed the attack perfectly. We swooped down on the enemy VTOLs and took out 2 as the rest broke formation. The wing leader ordered our VTOLs to break formation and fire at will. Both ours and their VTOLs were using retribution bodies, so we were evenly matched. The plan was to use a "distract and sneak" tactic with our VTOLs; so far, it was working. As their VTOLs were busy fighting ours, a group of friendly strike VTOLs and bombers passed by at very low altitude, no more than 200 to 300 feet above the ground. They would sneak by and attack the enemy bombers while our bombers attacked their AA tanks.

We really caught the enemy by surprise when our second group of VTOLs began shooting at their bombers. We quickly downed half of their bomber force as our own bombers made a low pass over the enemy AA tanks. Most of our bombs hit home, knocking out 2 of their Wyvern SAM tanks. As the other 3 SAM tanks opened fire, the bombers made one more pass, knocking out 1 more SAM unit; however, we lost 2 bombers. At least the enemy bomber force was no longer a threat. We bugged out back to base, while the dogfight between our first VTOL group and the enemy was still going on, both sides still equally matched.

At about 13:00 hours, we engaged their tanks. The 12th Division moved in first, fanning out two of the Tiger Hover groups to the sides. The third hover group stayed in the center, with the Wyvern group behind them. The enemy massed into a tight wedge formation, with the Vengance hover units in the front; the Wyverns were behind them in the wedge with the 3 SAM tanks in the center; and the direct fire units and the Plasmite flamers on the sides. The Dragon units took up the rear. It seemed that the enemy was using a brute-force strategy. Our division commander ordered the side Tiger hover units to rush forward and attack the enemy from both sides, while the center group would egange in close-quarters combat with the lead tanks to grind the whole formation to a halt. Then, the Wyverns would move in to provide extra firepower. The Sensor units for the artillery groups would stand back and designate targets for the artillery.

The plan was executed flawlessly. The Hover units distracted the heavy tanks, while their speed allowed them to surround and isolate enemy units. The center group moved into point-blank range of the Vengance hovers, causing them to get jammed up. The whole formation halted as planned, and the artillery had a field day pounding the hell out of the enemy. But we were suffering losses as well--too many losses. So, the 4th Armored division split up to create two equal forces. Then, they moved in on both sides of the enemy, helping turn the tide in our favor. News came; yet more enemy transports had landed, and more enemies were on the way. We had to take out that LZ and soon. But we were still engaged in this battle, having few units to spare. We would need a brilliant attack to take out the LZ while fighting off the enemy units, but we were fresh out of ideas.