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While it wasn't unheard of to deploy aerial mechs in larger numbers at the same time, it was not conventional.
Aerial mechs were more fragile than landbound mechs, and flying high easily exposed them to enemy fire. The greater their numbers, the more enemy fire they attracted.
This was why they generally tended to shy away from the areas where the heaviest fighting took place.
With potentially hundreds of not thousands of rifleman mechs and artillery mechs on the field, a significant proportion of aerial mechs would get chewed up before they managed to deal any damage.
Even if the aerial mech units outnumbered the enemy, enough of them would still get shot down to make any victory bittersweet!
However, at this stage of the Komodo War, neither sides wanted to back off. The emotions of the Hexers had always run high, and the fervor they drew from the Blessed Squires only exacerbated their aggressive tendencies!
The Fridaymen also fought back harder. The constant defeats in the initial stages of the Komodo War seriously damaged their morale. If the Fridaymen kept fighting cautiously, public confidence in the soldiers of the Coalition might drop to a precarious level!
Not only that, many of the Fridaymen mech pilots had begun to lose confidence as well. If they developed an impression that the Hexers were truly superior in battle, then it would only be a matter of time before the Hegemony won the war!
For these reasons, even if it cost the Fridaymen dearly, they decided to ramp up their aggression.
The confrontations between the two sides became more heated. The Konsu Clan's mech forces no longer tried to cover as much terrain. Instead, they grouped their mechs more and more until clashes involving thousands of mechs at a time became a regular occurrence!
At the scale of these kinds of battles, expert mechs always showed up. Due to the slight numbers advantage of the Fridaymen, the Hexers always suffered a disadvantage!
During one engagement, a mech regiment of the Hex Army came under assault of the Oni Guard!
The Fridaymen prepared well. They not only brought at least 1000 more mechs, but also gained the assistance of a foreign expert pilot.
As the Hexer mech pilots on the ground desperately fought to fend off the enemy mechs, in the air three mechs were tangling against each other!
The Hexer expert mech desperately fended off the Konsu Clan's two mechs through various means. The outnumbered mech managed to hang on by relying on its resonance shield and energy shield to block the enemy attacks, but both of them were already reaching their limits.
Once the Hexer expert pilot lost the protection of those shields, her opponents would make quick work of her mech!
Though the regular Hexer mech pilots deeply wanted to help one of their heroes, the 3000 Oni Guard mechs advancing on their positions didn't give them any room!
"Hold, sisters!" A Hexer commander shouted. "Reinforcements are on the way! Don't let these Konsu boys break through our lines!"
Artillery shells exploded in mid-air as they were intercepted. Laser beams and positron beams raked the shields of the defensive mechs up front. Auxiliary mechs threw off the aim of the enemy ranged mechs. Blessed Squires all endured focused attacks as their glows infused friendly mech pilots with determination. An increasing amount of craters and downed machines complicated the terrain.
As the losses on the Hexer side mounted, a large cloud rapidly approached the battlefield.
"Help has come!"
"Take heart, sisters! Command has not abandoned us! Fight on and keep these Fridaymen in place!"
Over 500 Hexer mechs approached. As they neared the battlefield, the Oni Guard commanders became confused.
According to the observations of their scout mechs, the approaching aerial mechs consisted almost entirely of Valkyrie Redeemers!
No one had ever seen so many copies of the new mech model in one place!
"Where did they get all of these Valkyrie Redeemers?"
"That's not important! We must shift our ranged attacks against the incoming threat. The Hexers in front of us are already flagging. It's this new threat we need to guard against!"
Many Oni Guard ranged mechs no longer assaulted the beleaguered Hexer mech regiment. The damage they managed to inflict on the landbound Hexer mechs was already significant.
Instead, the Fridaymen mechs began to turn their guns towards the approaching cloud and fired!
A large number of Valkyrie Redeemers came under attack. Owing to their shields and armor, they initially managed to hold on. The small number of auxiliary mechs in their midst also helped foil the enemy attacks, but with so many mechs, their effectiveness was limited!
"Focus fire! These aerial mechs are tougher than the other ones!"
The Fridaymen ranged mechs each received specific targeting instructions. With ten ranged mechs aiming their weapons at one Valkyrie Redeemer each, a small number of aerial mechs quickly became overwhelmed!
Individual mechs fell out of the sky. Many times, their mech pilots managed to eject without problem, but there were some cases where the cockpit had already been breached!
With the sheer amount of firepower the Oni Guard had at its disposal, the rate of losses for the Hexer reinforcements quickly mounted.
Aerial mechs were aerial mechs after all. In order to make them fly, all sorts of compromises had to be made. Aside from imposing limitations on their mass, much of their capacity was taken up by their flight systems and numerous other auxiliary components such as energy cells and heatsinks.
Yet despite this fact, the Valkyrie Redeemers still did not drop as fast as the Oni Guard liked. After losing a hundred mechs, at least 400 of them had arrived close enough to begin their attack run!
"Watch out! Those witches will dive on us! Disperse and prepare to meet their charge!"
Even though the Oni Guard ranged mechs intensified their fire, the Valkyrie Redeemer mechs did not relent!
As the swarm of aerial mechs swooped downwards, their third eyes each emitted a narrow beam at the ranged mechs!
Several hundred Fridaymen mech pilots became discomfited.
Ordinarily, they should have been able to continue their attacks somewhat, but the rapid descent of so many aerial mechs cast a growing shadow on their hearts. Their fire slowed as they felt personally targeted by the diving Hexer mechs.
Shells burst in the middle of the diving swarm. Several Hexer mechs spun out of control, yet the remaining ones showed no sign of relenting. As the diving machines were just about to reach ground level, each of them simultaneously launched all of their Starburst grenades throughout the enemy formation at once!
"Teach them humility!"
In the final descent, the Valkyrie Redeemers each broadened their glows until they encompassed almost the entire enemy formation!
Each Oni Guard mech pilot paused for a moment. Just an instant later, the Starburst grenades exploded!
At the same time, the Valkyrie Redeemers simultaneously unleashed their shock pulses!
The combination of three different disruptive effects finally overwhelmed the famed determination of the Konsu Clan. Almost every affected Fridayman mech pilots blanked out for a couple of seconds.
Such a pause was fatal!
"DEATH HAS COME!"
Over three-hundred spears ran through three-hundred Oni Guard mechs!
Whether it was melee mechs or ranged mechs, hardly any of them were able to resist the force of a diving mech. If the struck mechs weren't downed in a single hit, then the follow-up attacks quickly took care of them permanently!
As the combined effects of the broadened glows, Starburst grenades and shock pulse slowly wore off, the Valkyrie Redeemer mechs rapidly lifted up into the air, thereby preventing the recovering Fridaymen mechs from mobbing them from every direction!
"Damn!" A Konsu mech commander cursed. "Our lines are disrupted!"
The dive attack dealt a devastating blow to the order of the Oni Guard mechs. Many of the mech pilots were still trying to regain their wits, all the while the besieged Hexer regiment gained some valuable room to breathe!
What was worse was that many of the Valkyrie Redeemer mechs were still intact! Even though hundreds of aerial mechs had already fallen, the remainder still posed a considerable threat, especially when they were already diving in for another charge!
The Valkyrie Redeemers didn't give the Oni Guard enough time to reorganize their defenses. While they hadn't climbed high enough, their dive still came across as threatening.
Having seen numerous friendly mechs getting impaled without being able to muster up a resistance, the Konsu mech pilots became more and more apprehensive.
As the glows of the Valkyrie Redeemers enveloped the entire formation again, the shadow in their hearts grew even more!
"Shock them again!"
Just before the aerial mechs struck their opponents, they released yet another pulse. With so many mechs releasing all of these pulses, not even the most prepared Konsu mech pilots were able to hold themselves together.
The shock attacks were too strong!
Due to the reduced force of this second dive attack, only around 200 Oni Guard mechs suffered a fatal hit. The Valkyrie Redeemers did not linger a second longer and immediately pulled out their spears and launched into the air.
The Konsu Clan mech pilots became incredibly frustrated by this hit-and-run attack.
This time, the Hexers specifically targeted the enemy ranged mechs, thereby reducing the Oni Guard's ability to shoot down any aerial targets!
"Protect our ranged mechs! Don't let us lose our means to shoot them down!"
It was hardly any use. When so many Valkyrie Redeemers swooped down in unison, there was no way to avoid any damage!
Spears continually impaled into hapless mechs whose mech pilots couldn't fully concentrate.
Though the Valkyrie Redeemers eventually exhausted their capacity to release their Shock And Awe Pulses, their glows were already sufficient to disrupt their enemies.
More than a thousand mechs had fallen in rapid succession! This was a devastating loss to the Oni Guards!
Not only that, the Hexer mech regiment that used to be under siege had suddenly surged forward again.
Despite their battered and exhausted state, the Hexer landbound mechs ferociously assaulted the ragged Oni Guard mechs!
More casualties fell among both sides, but the Fridaymen were by far the worse off as they constantly needed to watch for attacks from above!
Though only 200 Valkyrie Redeemers were left by the time the Oni Guard sounded the retreat, not a single Hexer among them believed that they had lost!
The only tragedy that caused them to pause was that their side had lost their expert pilot. Another Hexer had sacrificed her life in order to stall the enemy expert pilots.
Though the two victorious Fridaymen expert mechs could have unleashed a slaughter, it was a bit precarious for the two of them to attack so many intact mechs.
The Valkyrie Redeemers had made too much of an impact for them to feel any confidence in taking down the Hexers entirely!
This was not the only engagement where the Valkyrie Redeemers were deployed in greater numbers. Across multiple planets, many Hexer commanders experimented with grouping them together in larger and larger numbers.
To their utter surprise, it was considerably more effective than they thought.
The suppressive glows they emanated was not only versatile, but also extremely effective when employed in large numbers. Though there were some instances where the Fridaymen mech pilots managed to resist the heavy suppression, these cases were too few and far in between.
As long as the Valkyrie Redeemers combined their glows with their Starburst grenades and their pulse ability, hardly any prepared defense managed to hold together!
The Hexers became more accustomed to the Valkyrie Redeemer's capabilities. After using them in many different scenarios, the Hexer commanders eventually concluded that they were much more useful in the thick of battle!
When large groups of Valkyrie Redeemers were paired together with other units, the combination often resulted in overwhelming victories!
The Friday Coalition's momentum slowly stalled again. Despite the help of so many foreign expert pilots, the Hexadric Hegemony finally regained their optimism!
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