With the Mobile Armored Corps set up in a defensive position, it was only a matter of time before the Martians came back. And they did. A large force of assault and scout tripods made their way towards the LIC. This was backed up by a couple of Slavers with drones in tow, and four Grenadier tripods at the rear. And it was the Grenadiers that opened up first, sending shock cannisters high into the air towards the Humans. But whilst they hit their targets, the Humans survived the onslaught with no casualties. The advance continued.
The commander of the MAC force immediately ordered the repair crew to get the LIC moving. The report came back that it would take a little time to get the repairs done (3 turns). “Then you’d better get on with it!” was the reply. The commander continued to issue orders, and then the Humans went to it. The tanks moved forwards and opened fire, scoring several hits. Two scout tripods vigorously exploded. After the initial salvo, the tanks took up defensive positions around the LIC.
After the initial success of the tanks, the Martians doubled their effort, and advanced on the LIC. They opened fire and this time the heat rays were devastating. Three platoons of Mk IIIs and one of the Mk IIs were turned to molten slag, leaving the LIC open to further attack. However she seemed to have some luck on her side, as the Grenadiers opened fire again with their shock cannisters but failed to damage her. The Martians continued their advance relentlessly.
With the LIC open to attack, it was time to call up the reserves, and on they came. The commander issued orders to several units to make all speed towards the Martians, to give the LIC some support. And again the gunners aim was true. On the left flank an assault tripod erupted and the accompanying scout tripod was caught in the blast. In the middle of the field, a scout tripod that had weathered multiple attacks previously came to a halt. On the right flank a squadron of Rough Riders sped out from behind a building to surround a scout tripod. The tow cables flew high into the air, and two of them tangled the legs of the Martian.
The Martians continued to advance and attack. The Humans suffered at the hands of the terrible and deadly heat rays, with several units taking casualties, and some of them turning to run. Again the Grenediers opened up on the LIC with shock cannisters, and again they hit with precision but failed to breach the armor. The advance continued.
The Humans responded. Word came back from the repair crew that the drive was almost ready to go. The commander responded, instructing them to get it working. He also had words for the gun crew of the main gun, who had yet to fire. “Get that gun firing NOW!” There was some good news at the rear, as a platoon of Mk IIIs appeared. Thank goodness for the industrial might of the US! Human units moved to protect the LIC, and opened fire. In amongst the tanks came several units of infantry almost out of nowhere. They left cover, and charged into the thick of the fighting.
A squad of Doughboys took on a black assault tripod towards the left of the field, and succeeded in their assault… a little too well. The tripod exploded furiously, taking with it a scout tripod (who duplicated the explosion of it’s bigger comrade) and the entire unit of Doughboys! But that wasn’t all. One of the MG squads in the building died in flames, and two of the Mk IIIs by the side of the building were turned to ash.
In front of the LIC another squad of Doughboys got too lucky. Grenades blew, and something caught inside the assault tripod. It erupted. The chain reaction killed a third of the squad, as well as two thirds of the platoon attacking the next tripod. The LIC survived the blast, but it was going to need a new coat of paint if it survived the battle. The scout tripod that had been so resiliant in the early stages of the battle couldn’t repeat the feat. It exploded and took the remaining Doughboys with it.
With the tide of battle turning, the Humans pushed their advantage. The word was received that the LIC’s drive was operational, and the commander’s order to get moving was acted on immediately. With a deafening roar, and a whoosh of steam, it headed at full speed towards safety. The surviving Human units moved to protect the behemoth. Another scout tripod exploded and took with it a drone and a Mk III tank. The Doughboys caught in the blast were thankful for the Flivver ambulance supporting them, as it managed to save one of the two elements who were also in range of the explosion. Then a breakthrough came on the right flank, as a sole Mk III took out the Slaver tripod. The drones around it slowed and stopped.
The Martians hadn’t finished yet, and attacked. But previous damage took effect and two tripods fired wildly, actually hitting their own machines and destroying them. The Grenediers opened fire again, but this time they were without the scout tripods targeting the colossus, and they failed to hit the LIC. In a final act the assault tripod behind the LIC opened fire with a sweeping heat, and took out most of the rear guard forces. It swept across the ironclad, the armor at the rear twisted and buckled slightly, but held.
With their numbers depleted, the Martians turned and retreated, leaving the remaining Human units to escort the ironclad away form the devastation. The LIC was saved, but at a heavy price. Hopefully after a complete refit, it would be ready to exact revenge for all the lives lost in the battle to save it.