Chapter 2640: Two Unpalatable Battle Plans
In summary, Golden Skull Alliance was able to field around 10,000 mechs.
The enemy strike force should have brought around 6000 mechs.
That was a substantial disparity in numbers, but Ves did not take pleasure in enjoying a numbers advantage.
He knew quite well that around 3500 mechs that belonged to his clan were basically cannon fodder!
The disparity in quality was too big.
The Valkyrie Redeemer was valued at around 400 million hex credits, while a typical Princess Jecka sold for 59 million credits.
The old adage of \'you got what you paid for\' applied here.
The feeble second-class commercial mech models in the hands of the Larkinsons might be sufficient to fend off space pirates and ordinary riffraff, but they were quite inadequate against the crack troops of the Friday Coalition!
What was even worse was that the Golden Skull Alliance was badly behind in terms of expert mechs.
Where did you get these numbers Calabast looked skeptical as Ves announced the numbers.
Don\'t tell me you…
Ves loudly coughed.
I cannot provide assurances that the enemy fleet has truly brought 11 expert mechs.
However, I don\'t believe we can rely on other sources, so you can either believe what I said or make an unsubstantiated guess.
The choice was simple.
Even though the source of this information was sketchy, the Larkinsons and the Glory Seekers instinctively felt this number should be close to the truth.
It makes sense for the enemy to have brought so many expert pilots. Colonel Ariadne judged.
Ever since the Friday Coalition enlisted many foreign expert pilots, our enemies have been more liberal when it came to deploying them on dangerous missions.
In fact, there is a good chance that most if not all of the expert pilots in the enemy strike force consist of foreigners.
The Coalition can\'t risk its heroes.
Its native expert pilots are not just combat assets, but also propaganda material.
While there weren\'t any Crossers in the meeting, Calabast had already studied up on the Praetor Clan and Planat Clans.
It\'s impossible for the two Garlaner clans to bring too many expert pilots this time.
Their Becker Tribe is practically a shadow of its former self.
The Praetors and Planats have lost several expert pilots in previous conflicts, so they should prize their surviving ones more.
Besides, they still need to keep most of their high-ranking mech pilots at home in order to avoid showing any further weakness than they have already done.
Do you have more evidence to support your assumptions or are you just pulling facts out of thin air Commander Melkor of the Avatars of Myth expressed his skepticism.
He did not fully trust Ves\' uncertain source nor put too much stock in Calabast\'s spurious guesses.
Calabast smirked at Melkor.
It just so happens that I have reasonable proof to back up my assessment.
In the Garlen Empire, expert pilots are rulers and warlords.
They do not hide in a carrier or military base for months on end.
Garlaner expert pilots are greedy for power and eagerly exercise their authority.
I have tasked my Black Cats to scour the news from the Becker Tribe.
It turns out that least several expert pilots of the Praetor Clan and Planat Clan have not appeared in public for more than a month.
The Garlaners could be playing a trick on us. Captain Vraken warned.
It is impossible for them to be ignorant of the fact that it is easy to track the whereabouts of their expert pilots through the news.
If I was in their place, I would have employed some body doubles or just fabricate a number of false news articles outright.
The galactic net and the news couldn\'t be trusted.
As long as they fell into the hands of humans, they were always susceptible to human interests.
That said, these unreliable news sources still served useful indicators.
Ves crossed his arms.
It is very plausible for the Fridaymen to commit 7 to 8 expert mechs and the Preators and Planats to commit 3 to 4 expert mechs.
That totals 11 expert mechs, which matches the number I gave earlier.
The Glory Seekers and Larkinsons became more convinced that they would truly be facing this many expert mechs.
It was difficult to maintain confidence when faced with such an awful disparity in numbers.
Expert mechs may be different in quality and expert pilots always performed at different levels, there was no way the enemies brought any weaklings.
With just 5 expert mechs on the side of the Golden Skull Alliance, that meant that 6 enemy mech mechs could effectively terrorize the battlefield!
If the Fridaymen and hostile Vicious Mountainers abused their numbers advantage to gang up on Venerable Brutus and the Crosser expert pilots, then the chances of the latter surviving wasn\'t good!
Once the defending expert mechs fell in rapid succession due to being outnumbered, the enemy expert mechs would then be free to coordinate with the regular units to massacre the remaining opposition!
How could the Larkinsons and Glory Seekers possibly prevent this devastating outcome
Colonel Ariadne Wodin did not lose her composure.
She quickly came up with an overall gameplan.
Ladies and gentlemen.
Our opponents are powerful.
If the enemy strike force managed to emerge right on top of us, then it is very likely they would have won.
However, they have transitioned a bit further away, buying us precious time to prepare and plan ahead.
We must utilize this opportunity to the utmost to thread the needle.
If the number of estimated expert mechs is accurate, then we possess a powerful advantage. Calabast stated with a bit of confidence.
The enemy doesn\'t know that we know, so they should not be on guard against any special measures that specifically targets their expert mechs.
Perhaps they think we are wracked with uncertainty right now because of our inability to determine how many exceptional machines they can bring to the field.
While that was true, the intelligence advantage did not offset the absolute disparity in strength.
The expert mechs should not be easy pickings!
To achieve victory, we can pursue two possible battle plans. Colonel Ariadne projected a drawing board where she quickly drew two different scenarios.
First, we can allocate all of our expert mechs and as many standard mechs as we think can keep the enemy expert mechs busy.
Their goal is not to defeat the Fridayman and Vicious Mountainer expert mechs.
Their only purpose is to stall the enemy machines as long as possible.
This leaves us with roughly an equal amount of mechs that we must employ to defeat the remainder of the enemy elite mech units as soon as possible.
In the example that she sketched, she basically squared off the standard mechs of the Glory Seekers and the Cross Clan against the standard mechs of the enemy strike force.
This should be an even battle at best, so there was no guarantee the Glory Seekers and Crossers could be relied upon to win this bloody clash.
A bit further away, the 5 expert mechs of the Golden Skull Alliance and all of the mobile mechs of the Larkinson Clan chased after the 11 enemy expert mechs!
It didn\'t take long for the Larkinsons to realize the ruinous outcome of this approach.
Most of our war machines consist of budget mechs. Commander Casella Ingvar reminded everyone.
Their speed, armor, firepower and other parameters are grossly underpowered.
Even if we throw thousands of them at a couple of enemy expert mechs, the latter enjoy absolute superiority.
They merely have to rely on their superior mobility to prevent the weaker mechs from mobbing them while launching attacks at a distance with impunity!
Ves added another reminded.
Don\'t forget about Venerable Ghanso Larkinson! One of those 11 expert mechs can\'t be judged according to normal standards! On the surface, the Charlemagne and the Scarra is just a single expert mech accompanied by a mech company of lesser mechs.
In reality, Unit L can unleash massive firepower at long ranges with high precision.
If we don\'t do something about those empowered quasi-expert mechs, they can easily wipe out all of the Larkinson mechs allocated to this mission by themselves!
He was not exaggerating.
There were several instances in the Komodo War where Unit L succeeded in wiping out thousands of enemy mechs when the Hexers failed to respond with expert mechs of their own!
We don\'t have many options, Patriarch Ves. Colonel Ariadne carefully spoke.
While the mechs of your clan are grossly outmatched, the outcome will hardly be different if the Glory Seekers or the Crossers are tasked with keeping the enemy expert mechs instead.
Their mechs are just slightly tougher cannon fodder when they face the unrestricted attacks of expert mechs.
If we instead deploy your weaker commercial mechs against the elite mech units of the Fridaymen and Garlaners, then there is no hope for victory in either fronts.
The mech colonel\'s first strategy may seem callous, but it was the most rational way to allocate their troops.
The sound logic of this plan made Ves hate it even more.
It basically justified the decision to use the vast majority of his Avatars, Sentinels, Battle Criers, Vandals, Penitent Sisters and Swordmaidens as cannon fodder against the expert mechs of the enemy!
No matter if the Larkinsons won or lost, they were bound to lose thousands of mechs and mech pilots at the end!
The Larkinson Clan could not afford to suffer another major loss after barely limping back from the Nyxian Gap! Ves could already imagine the Larkinson Assembly booting him out of office!
What is the second battle plan He asked.
It is essentially the reverse. The colonel replied and began to draw another diagram.
Instead of focusing most of our resources on the standard mechs of the enemy, we concentrate most of our resources on taking out the enemy expert mechs.
The Glory Seekers and the Cross Clan will concentrate several thousand of our strongest mechs and mech pilots to annihilate them as quickly as possible or at least end their ability to affect the battle.
What about the enemy standard mechs
Colonel Ariadne looked grim.
We cannot hope for victory on that front.
We must rely on the mechs of your Larkinson Clan as well as any remaining Glory Seeker and Crosser mechs that we can spare for this task.
Just as before, your job is not to achieve victory, but to pin the enemy elite mech units down so that they cannot inflict too much destruction elsewhere.
Her second battle plan was just as unpalatable as the first one.
In both scenarios, the Larkinson Clan\'s mech forces would assuredly suffer horrendous casualties!
It couldn\'t be helped.
The commercial mechs they fielded performed too poorly and the Larkinson mech pilots were nowhere near as skilled as genuine second-class mech pilots.
The cold hard truth was that the Larkinson Clan simply wasn\'t ready to fight a battle at this level!
As frustration welled up inside his mind, the rest of the Larkinson officers expressed their indignation at Colonel Ariadne\'s bloody strategies!
This is absurd! Commander Sendra of the Swordmaidens expressed her outrage.
We know what it is like to face expert mechs with ordinary machines.
We will fall like flies while failing to inflict any dent on their spotless machines!
Commander Casella Ingvar concurred.
Our Living Sentinels are not as courageous and disciplined as the rest.
We cannot depend upon them to sacrifice their lives for the greater good of the clan.
They will break and run sooner or later as the primal fear of death overrides their cognition.
Our Penitent Sisters stand ready to fight no matter the cost. Commander Valerie Chancy declared in a fatalistic tone.
The Superior Mother shall lead us to victory, one way or another.
Victory is everything. Captain Daria Maria Vraken emphasized.
No matter how many mech pilots your Larkinson Clan loses, as long as you win, the lives of tens of thousands of clansmen will be safeguarded.
With the resources at your disposal, it should be easy to replenish the losses you have suffered from this engagement.
Do not let your unwillingness to spend the lives of your soldiers hinder you from adopting a battle plan that gives us the best chance of winning this engagement.
This is not a numbers game, aunt! Calabast hit back! We are talking about real lives, here! You can\'t treat our mech pilots like most Hexers treat their boys!
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