The Mech Touch Chapter 862 Strafing Runs
Yet what could they do? They barely had a second to respond before the shells landed in their midst and exploded!
The wavering ranks of Roppongans and Ravienne Alliance-aligned pirates rippled as the shells blasted nearby mechs away!
As the dust and smoke faded away, the scout mechs keenly captured the damage done by the shells.
"One leader mech suffered direct hits and is destroyed! Three leader mechs sustained heavy proximity damage and have lost combat effectiveness! Fifteen mechs suffered light damage but can still fight!"
"Not bad for a single artillery volley." Captain Byrd commented. "Fire the second salvo of artillery shells at the wild gods. Let's test their defenses."
Ves studied the damage of the initial artillery salvo and found that the shells only managed to deal so much damage because the Caged Tongs were caught off-guard. The special long-ranged artillery shells the fleet shipped from orbit sacrificed impact for range. Mechs ordinarily wouldn't be taken out at once unless they suffered a direct hit, and even then tougher mechs could still keep walking.
However, the pirate mechs idiotically bunched without any rhyme or reason. They likely hadn't kept up their guard against long-ranged shelling for a very long time. The sudden artillery bombardment by the Vandal Akkara mechs served as a brutal reminder that they faced a proper mech force this time!
To their credit, the Caged Tongs quickly took action. The more disciplined mech pilots of the Caged reacted immediately and spread out their formation. The Red Tongs followed suit only after their pirate leaders gave the command, and sometimes those orders only came thirty seconds too late.
"Damn, if only we had more long-ranged shells."
"They're too costly in rare materials. The fleet only sent us this much after they squeezed their material stockpiles dry."
The biggest reason why the Flagrant Swordmaidens took the Caged Tongs by surprise was because they hit them beyond a range where they thought they became vulnerable.
After the Caged and the Red Tongs suffered from this attack in which they reacted with an embarrassing amount of confusion, they quickly grew angry. Both the Caged and the Red Tongs felt that if the Flagrant Swordmaidens could shell them once, they could shell them again!
"The Akkara heavy cannoneers are firing their second salvo!"
This time, the sensor systems of the pirate mechs alerted their mech pilots to another artillery salvo. Several mechs immediately tried to bend down or cross their arms, yet the shells didn't land on any mech.
Instead, they exploded all around the clump of twelve wild gods that accompanied the pirate mechs.
Roars of pain and fury sounded out as the shells blasted their forms. However, Ves and the other Vandals looked disappointed as the damage they inflicted was much less than they expected.
As biologistical exobeasts who grew up on a Super Earth and massed heavier than a heavy mech, their flesh was thick, dense, hard and strong. These wild gods occasionally fought against themselves, and the one with the weaker bodies always perished!
Even though the fury of the exploding artillery shells could dent or rupture the armor plating of a mech, the wild gods surprisingly endured most of the shelling without cracking their extremely hard scales. Only direct impacts managed to break through the scales, but the huge bulk of the exobeasts meant the blasts ran their course fairly quickly before they even came close to their internal organs.
Despite the fairly disappointing damage inflicted onto their bodies, the shelling still alarmed the wild gods! Neither the god beasts nor their wildling beast riders ever encountered something so foreign and alarming before!
The dwarf riders all survived the shelling despite their proximity to the blasts that would have at least ruptured their eardrums due to some unknown energy field covering their bodies. Yet even the best energy fields couldn't protect them from the psychological impact of enduring powerful explosions at close range!
"The wild gods have gone berserk! They're charging forward as well!"
Unfortunately for the enemy, the wild gods may be hiding a lot of destructive potential, but they weren't very fast! Compared to the pirate mechs who all wore heavy-duty gravitic backpacks, the wild gods fought against the gravity of the planet on their power.
This led to a strange situation where the pirate mechs clearly outpaced their wild god auxiliaries. This forced the Caged Tongs to slow down in order to keep up with the exobeasts.
"There's something up about the wild gods. Why are they slowing down?"
"The wild gods are probably their trump cards. Just think about how many wild gods we've met that can summon an earthquake or a firestorm. They are probably planning to bring them close enough for them to do their magic!"
After the Akkara mechs ran out of artillery shells, they readied their laser cannons and began to fire at the distant wild gods even if the interference in the air made it difficult for them to land a hit.
The intuition of their mech pilots and the advanced targeting systems both compensated for the initial misses. The thick and powerful laser beams quickly began to land against the bodies of the bewildered wild gods who have never been hit with lasers before.
Unfortunately, the thick scales of the god beasts coupled with their active energy fields mitigated much of the damage. Even so, every hit drained their internal energy reserves faster.
"The energy reserves of the wild gods are steadily decreasing!"
While the Akkara mechs steadily wore down the defenses and energy levels of the wild gods, the ranged mechs from both sides started to skirmish against each other.
Ves watched with eagerness as he witnessed a dynamic dance between rifleman mechs.
Both sides moved across the mildly hilly and uneven terrain at full speed with their gravitic backpacks flaring at full.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
While the Caged Tongs may have their priorities skewed when they decided which mechs to service and to what extent, they weren't silly enough to neglect the maintenance of the gravitic backpacks.
Both sides didn't spare any effort and expended their energy cells at an alarming rate. The laser rifleman mechs strafed at full tilt while firing their laser rifles. The frontline mechs, of which the Red Tongs fielded a considerable amount of them, ran with their legs aligned in an oblique angle while their barrel-like torsos pointed straight towards their foes.
The enormous distance, the interference in the air, the passive and active ECM systems built into the mechs along with pilot errors all resulted in very few hits from both sides. The strafing runs looked dramatic as laser beams turned the battlefield into a light show, but they hadn't entered into medium range where the frequency of hits actually rose to a meaningful level.
However, the distant duels still continued as the ranged mechs from both sides restrained each other. If one side stopped firing, the other side would be able to take their time to aim and land accurate hits.
Therefore, the ranged mechs never stopped running, because halting literally meant being blasted by a hundred or more laser beams in the next three seconds!
"Our ranged mechs are holding back our opponents and have gained the edge!"
The duels tilted slowly towards the Flagrant Swordmaidens due to their numbers and quality advantage.
However, the most dramatic factor skewing the ranged duels into the defending side's favor was the substantial difference in maintenance levels!
When Ves peered at the footage of the enemy mechs relayed by the scout mechs, he recalled the time when he accompanied Walter's Whalers in the Glowing Planet campaign.
The local Cloudy Curtain gang paid so little attention to servicing their mechs to the point where their mech technicians were lazy bums. They didn't even hire a chief technician to keep their maintenance crews in line!
What Ves predicted came to pass. Their cheap, awfully maintained mechs folded easily during high-intensity battles.
This crucial difference played out again this time as some of the mechs of the Caged and the Red Tongs crumpled or collapsed after suffering only three or four laser hits that just so happened to land on their weak points.
A dozen mechs already folded, and even more started to fall as the enemy crossed the expanse.
"Some of the wild gods are activating their powers! The wild gods are speeding up somehow!"
One of the massive exobeasts somehow glowed in yellow and spread that glow towards the other eleven wild gods. This caused them to abruptly run five times faster!
That was a massive boost in speed!
"What is happening?!" Captain Byrd immediately demanded.
"We've detected temporal anomalies around the wild gods, captain! They are marching at the same speed, but a time field is distorting the influence of time upon them so that they are effectively gaining more ground!"
"How long can that wild god keep that time field up?!"
"Not too long, ma'am! The energy levels of that wild god is dropping drastically! It can only keep it up for ten minutes at most!"
That still allowed the wild gods to eat up a lot of distance. The Akkara mechs already blasted the bonded exobeasts with lasers as frequently as possible, yet the thick-skinned and thick-muscled beasts were like giant slabs of alloy in their damage-absorbing capacity as long as they kept their energy fields up!
Even starship plating succumbed faster than their abundant flesh!
"Facing twelve wild gods is like facing twelve expert mechs." Ves spoke out, putting a light damper on their moods. "While they aren't actually equivalent to expert mechs, at the very least their resilience is on par. However, just like expert mechs, they can't sustain their energy fields for long if they suffer too much damage."
Their heavy mechs just needed to continue pounding on the wild gods in order to exhaust their internal energy reserves. Unlike sacred gods, the wild gods mostly powered their abilities through their murky crystal and the energy suffused throughout their bodies. That effectively meant they ran out of juice a lot quicker.
Yet would the heavy mechs be able to exhaust the wild gods now that they moved five times faster all of a sudden?
Another wild god activated his powers. An obscuring mist formed around the wild gods that enveloped their forms and blocked most of their sensors.
However, this didn't deter the Akkara mechs at all!
"Feed back the sensor data to our processors and send the results to the Akkaras!"
An ample amount of scout mechs kept their sensor systems pointed at the wild gods. While they mostly captured garbled noise, they fed back the data to the mobile headquarters where powerful processors rapidly calculated the real-time positions of the wild gods hiding within the field of mist.
The lasers continued to land upon the bodies of the humongous wild gods without stopping!
"Captain, the Swordmaiden melee mechs have moved from their positions! They're charging forward to meet the Caged Tongs into battle!"
"What?!" Captain Byrd rose up from her seat. "Those numbskulls! It's not time yet! We haven't cleared the wild gods yet!"
The Swordmaiden mech pilots took no notice of the original plan. With waves of enemy mechs about to descend upon their lines, the aggressive female mech pilots no longer held themselves in. They gave in to their urges and charged out without any regard for strategy or timing!
Half of the Vandals cursed at their pig teammates. Couldn't they just follow a single battle plan without turning into mindless battle maniacs?
Having spent a lot of time with Ketis, Ves understood the impulsive nature of the Swordmaidens a little better than others. They spotted weakness among their foes and attempted to close in on the enemy before they regained their composure.
It wasn't a half-bad solution, but the problem was they dismissed the threat of the wild gods!
"We need to do something about the wild gods now!"