Chapter 3253: Iron Crusher
A slow change was taking place on the battlefield.
The Larkinsons, Glory Seekers and Crossers were still being suppressed at almost every turn.
Only the struggle between ranged mechs remained fairly even, but that was because there were too many defensive options available to the ranged mechs.
However, even if the Slug Rangers had become preoccupied, that still didnt change the fact that the Molten Rangers and the Hivar Roarers were downing more enemies than the expeditionary fleet!
It took all of their effort for the Larkinsons and their allies to slow down the dwarven advance.
The enemy mechs were so sturdy and powerful that they were far harder to defeat than pirate mechs or other rabble!
The power increase afforded by coordination became a lot more significant when it was applied on a large scale.
It was not necessarily scary to fight against lots of dwarven mechs.
It only became a problem when their mech pilots seamlessly worked together and combined the capabilities of their machines so that they covered for each others weaknesses!
For example, the Hivar Roarer strategy was relatively simple yet extremely difficult to deal with for the expeditionary forces.
The Crumbleshells sounded ridiculous at first, but the combination of high defense and constant damage output at medium range was extremely effective at suppressing mechs that werent able to break through their defensive envelopes.
The Molten Hammers were even more refined in their synergy.
Although they did not possess the power to hit back at ranged mechs, they were practically invincible at close range!
The combination of Molten Furies, Shieldbreakers and Magmatars served as their base models upon which the foundation of their combat approach rested upon.
As long as the Molten Hammers were able to field a sufficient amount of all three mechs, they were able to augment their strategy with various different specialized mech models that each added a bit of extra flexibility to the mech division.
For example, when the Molten Hammers noticed that the center of the human battle line was beginning to buckle, they soon dispatched their largest and strongest offensive mechs!
It took a lot of time for these heavy melee mechs to fly to the front.
Their mobility may be terrible, but in a relatively static situation like this, the dwarves were in their element.
The threat of their slow but steady advance had forced the human mech forces to play on their terms.
“The Forgehammers have arrived!”
“Let Vulcans might ring true in this star system!”
“Hammer their mechs to pieces!”
The Forgehammer mech regiment was one of the slowest but also most offense-oriented units of the Molten Hammers.
The Forgehammers had long acquired a reputation within the Ferril Provincial Army for being the biggest powerhouse mechs that average mech pilots could use.
They were the dream of every Molten Hammer mech pilot that preferred to go on the offensive rather than the defensive.
Nothing exemplified the Forgehammers more than their Iron Crusher heavy mech.
Each of them possessed strong arms that wielded strong and heavy hammers.
Wherever they passed, every other mech reverently made way.
Though this exposed some defensive loopholes as a consequence, any attack that landed on their thick armor simply bounced off or inflicted negligible damage.
The frontal armor of the Iron Crushers was almost as thick as the main shield of the Molten Fury model!
“Strike the iron!”
The massive heavy mechs simultaneously swung their hammers straight onto the damaged and stressed shields of the Bright Warriors and other human mechs!
Some Avatar and Crosser mech pilots feared getting hit by these massive hammers wielded by the oversized dwarf mechs.
They ceded ground in order to evade the deadly blows.
However, some mechs werent able to retreat in time or did not have space to do so.
The outcome of these defensive mechs were severe as the solid hammers impacted straight onto their shields!
Some shields shattered.
Other shields dented.
In every case, the mechs that got hit by the Iron Crushers all bounced backwards, sometimes even colliding against other friendly mechs in the process.
The power of the Iron Crushers was too much!
Though their attacks were slow and could easily be dodged, in increasingly cramped battlefield conditions or in situations where their foes werent able to move away, they were fantastic at breaking stalemates!
Of course, this was bad news for the expeditionary forces as the collapse of their center columns was accelerating.
Not a single melee mech could withstand the blows of the Iron Crushers and escape unscathed.
If a mech did not shatter from getting hit, they would almost certainly get knocked back by a very hefty distance.
This was enough for the dwarven mechs to advance closer to the expeditionary fleet!
Of course, they were not without their weaknesses.
Though their defensive capabilities were formidable, they were not heavy space knights and lacked the characteristically tough physical shields of the latter.
Their extremely low mobility and flexibility also made them vulnerable to attacks from their flanks and rear.
Even a light skirmisher was able to take them out of the fight.
The light mech just had to approach the rear of an Iron Crusher and attack the vulnerable flight system that was only moderately reinforced against attacks.
The Molten Hammers werent stupid though.
The Iron Crushers was one of the prides of their mech division and always surrounded them with multiple escorts.
The only way to suppress and possibly destroy the heavy mechs of the Forgehammers was to direct heavy firepower towards these indomitable mechs.
The heavier the caliber, the better!
“We cant let the Molten Hammers collapse our center too soon.
If they manage to cleave through our lines, they can split us up and put us in disarray!”
Out of helplessness, the Larkinsons were forced to direct their ranged firepower to suppress the Iron Crushers.
Average ranged mechs didnt cut it.
The Transcendent Punishers performed better but werent the most ideal solution.
Only the Eternal Redemptions were able to slow the advance of the Forgehammers.
When the Iron Crushers began to get targeted by the ultra-heavy rounds fired by the Penitent Sister cannoneer mechs, the dwarven heavy mechs finally showed weakness!
Occasionally, a bright and powerful beam landed on the Iron Crushers as well!
Unlike the attacks unleashed by average Bright Warrior mechs, the powerful positron beams fired by the Amaranto never failed to burn through the armor of the Iron Crushers and take them out right away.
However, before Venerable Stark could continue to pick off the threatening hammer-wielding mechs, her position behind the Graveyard fell under an intensive bombardment!
“Dont even think about killing my brothers!” Venerable Leiva roared as her Gauss Baron continued to pepper the Graveyards heavily-battered surface with continuous artillery fire.
“A masterwork mech is wasted on you, tall folk!”
So far, the Amaranto and the Gauss Baron were the only expert mechs that made their presence known.
Everyone could sense that would soon change.
The only question was which side would expose their expert mechs first.
The side that put them to use first would lose a lot of initiative.
If it wasnt necessary, it was best not to expose them too early.
“These humans wont last much longer.
What can a bunch of cannoneer mechs do They still have to defend themselves against our Slug Rangers.”
“They should have brought at least twice the amount of mechs to stand a chance against defeating us.
“We dont need to disturb Venerable Orthox at all if this battle proceeds at this rate.
How many expert mechs can they muster when they dont have the backing of a state”
Though the Vulcanites had plenty of reason to feel confident, the expeditionary forces werent losing as much confidence as they should.
They all had their reasons to believe that they would become the eventual victors of this tough battle.
The Glory Seekers put their faith in the Superior Mother whether they were winning or losing.
They were still human and could still experience fear, despair and other negative emotions.
However, their strong faith in the Superior Mother along with witnessing her might in a previous occasion had given them a rock-hard belief that they would never be led astray!
Whether they lived or died, it was worth it to get noticed by the greatest Supreme of the Hexer state!
As for the Crossers, they fought for other reasons.
Pride and family were two major reasons why they stiffened their spines.
However, what truly kept them going was the respect and awe they held towards Patriarch Reginald Cross.
As long as their leader entered the fray, he would quickly be able to teach the dwarves a lesson! Short of a dwarven ace mech showing up, the Crossers were relieved that not a single enemy could defeat their patriarch!
As for the Larkinson Clan, their reasons were much the same.
The mech pilots did not entertain any notions about giving up because there was no escape and because their families were counting on them.
Each of them shouldered the future of their people and they could never afford to let the dwarves claim their victory.
To lose this battle was to lose everything!
The stakes couldnt be higher for the Larkinsons.
This was why they began to develop a lot of anticipation for what might be happening next.
Will the Larkinson Clan show off the might of its battle formations
Though no one communicated with them about this topic, it still hung in the minds of every mech pilot of the expeditionary fleet.
The situation on the battlefield was not ideal to perform those massive attacks.
Even though the expeditionary forces tried their best to compress the dwarven mechs together, the Molten Hammers and the Hivar Roarers did not let the tall folk dictate their movements.
The dwarves tried their best to follow their own plans, which did not entail backing up and letting themselves get pressured all the time.
Anticipation continued to build up as time passed by.
The Penitent Sisters and the Swordmaidens had already been moving around for a while now.
They previously circled around and pretended to act like ordinary reserves.
It wasnt until a few moments ago that they had built up speed and begun their final approach.
Did the dwarves know
This question hung in the minds of every human mech pilot.
It didnt seem as if the Vulcanite got wind of what the Larkinsons might be doing.
The dwarven mech formations had compressed to an extent and there were certain sections of their battle line that had become a lot more congested with mechs!
General Verle even commanded additional Transcendent Punishers and the Eternal Redemptions to open fire on the Molten Hammers.
The more the dwarven mechs came under bombardment, the more they pressed together in order to form sturdy shield walls that heavily neutralized incoming fire!
The only pity was that the Hivar Roarers were much more difficult to compress.
They also split their units into two separate wings.
Their mechs were significantly more dispersed as they employed drastically different battle approaches.
“It will have to do.” Ves quietly muttered.
The dwarves still didnt appear to have a clue.
The mechs that would be engaging their battle networks had camouflaged their actions well.
Even their approaches didnt appear so notable.
The situation at the front had grown urgent that many other mechs were beginning to move forwards.
Ves still wasnt sure whether it was the right decision to go through with this move at this time.
Even though General Verle judged that the current situation couldnt go on much further, exposing two of the Larkinson Clans most powerful battle formation in this relatively early stage might not yield the maximum effect.
Still, the prospect of taking out a lot of enemy mechs when they were still dense and numerous was too hard to resist.
The longer the dwarves enjoyed a substantial edge in numbers, the more they could leverage this advantage to skew the balance even further!
Instead of allowing that to happen, the Larkinsons had to do their best to even the scales.
At least, that was supposed to be the logic behind this move.
The main matter of concern for Ves was whether they were squandering a resource that could have been spent on greater threats.
“Where are the dwarven expert mechs Will we be able to defeat them if we have used up our cards”
Ves dreaded the answers to these questions.
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