Book 2 Archive


2010-05-09

Book 2 - Text 23


Although it would surely mean the turning point in this war, Tramennis did not relish the coming eradication of the Croakamancer and her flyers. It was not his kind of action.

He wished the wild Queen would have stayed one turn longer, just to advise. But that was what wildcards did. Such players as Jillian act seemingly at random, and Titans help your plans. Besides, while all of Jetstone owed their very lives to that woman's remarkable magic trick, the card shark in him suspected that they should count themselves lucky to have done this well, with her in the game. She was a dangerous force.

No, the invaders in his airspace were his problem. He would lead the fight, He would stack with the casters and shoot down Ossomer. Or what used to be Ossomer...the Queen's attitude about Ansom had also left him many vexing questions. Perhaps he would have to seek some answers before sprinkling the city with Ossomer's dust.

However.

At the moment, on the other side of the river stood a simple ground force that he badly outmatched. This was the kind of fighting the Kingdom was founded upon. This was how Ansom had crushed Stanley time and again, relentlessly overwhelming with mass infantry, bolstered by leadership.

No Jetstone warlord could resist such a target. To be a Prince of Jetstone was to love an infantry fight, and it had been entirely too long.

He only now realized how long. He'd spent sixscore turns or more on Father's diplomatic errands, first forming and then keeping intact the Royal Crown Coalition. He hadn't led a battle of any significance in all that time. How were his instincts?

Fairly sharp, he felt. After a moment's consideration, he ruled out involving the casters. It was tempting, but they were dinner forks, and this was the salad course.

Likewise, the archery units would need to conserve every remaining arrow to put between a dwagon's eyes. They were out, too.

"What we ought to do," he told his leadership council, "is mainly use the heavies."

There were some frowns at that. Ossomer had preached infantry so much that the specialty units had come to be looked upon as a secondary tactical option at best. But Tramennis pointed out that with superior leadership, they could take the sourmanders and cloth golems into the adjoining hex and plow untouched through any unled stacks, take out the enemy's remaining leadership, and it would be over.

"Heavies will be useless against flyers, so let us use them here where they will do the most good," he said, to uncertain nodding.

In moments, they had assembled. There were five stacks of stabbers, led by lower-level warlords who could use the experience. Behind that stood three stacks of heavies with two warlords each. These included several formidable tchotchkes and some really fine cloth golems. There were battle bears, G-RAFs and LFNs. Tramennis chose to ride in the pocket of a tankeroo. He was tempted to bring in the Dollamancer just for healing and leadership bonus to the golems, but this much was already enough to overwhelm.

At his command, horns. The infantry spearhead advanced in ordered silence, so very unlike Haggar. Jetstone did not rock. Behind them, the golems lurched and trundled in.

Ofttimes, as he entered battle, Tramennis would take a moment to think of friends he had lost to the enemy he was about to face. In past turns, this had helped him to focus on sticking his sword through people. But while Gobwin Knob's terrible army of man-golems had certainly claimed his brothers, and many of his friends and compatriots, it did not help to think of them now. He was all too afraid of meeting them again here.

Instead, he spurred his mount and hopped jarringly forward toward the bridge, thinking about salad.

He quite enjoyed a nice appetizer salad, and with the turn coming early, he'd had no opportunity for breakfast.

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