Mixed Unit Tactics v2
by Codus Callonus
In the previous volume I discussed how the Khajiit took advantage of their varied physical abilities, as well as knowledge of the enemies' tactical weaknesses, to win several skirmishes during the Five Years War against Valenwood. I will now explain how the Bosmer retaliation was both initially effective, yet ultimately doomed to fail.
The first two battles were won by essentially attacking the Bosmer from above and below. Ohmes and Ohmes-raht emerged from hidden holes in the ground to assault the main force from behind, while the lighter Dagi and Dagi-raht distracted the Bosmer archers by raining down fire from secure positions in the treetops.
This latter point illustrates a particular blind spot of the Bosmer, that they cannot imagine an enemy holding a terrain advantage over them in forest. Especially not the Khajiit, who people often imagine as primarily desert-dwellers. But the light-footed Dagi and Dagi-raht are native to the southern Tenmar forest, upsetting these expectations.
After the second battle, survivors finally reached the Bosmer military command in the south. Once properly informed, the Bosmer adjusted their battle plans accordingly. A much larger force, including several mages, was rerouted from the Torval theater and dispatched to the north.
Not even the Bosmer are capable of remaining unseen while marching in large numbers. They can, however, mask the true size of their force. By marching in single file, controlling lines of sight, and through select chameleon and silence spells, the Bosmer made it appear as if a much smaller group was underway, similar to the previous two.
The Bosmer arrived at the battlefield and established their position, similar to the previous two fights. Rather than change their tactics, the complacent Khajiit attempted the same trick a third time. But the Bosmer had their own mixed unit tactics in mind, which were no less impressive than those of the Khajiit. Through a combination of shamanic invocations and traditional hunter tactics, the Bosmer scouts and mages had riled up the local beasts of the Valenwood wilds, funneling them towards the enemy positions.
Swarms of birds harassed the fire-casters hidden in the trees, while the warriors were flushed from their underground hideouts by spiny burrowing creatures. The Khajiiti main force, hidden behind their wooden shields in anticipation of the trap, were stampeded by a local herd animal. It was trivial for the experienced Bosmer archers to decimate the retreating foe.
But the Khajiit commander had anticipated a setback of this kind. After the initial chaos, another signal was strummed, and the Khajiit began a slow retreat. During this maneuver, they made a show of cutting down saplings and marring trees with their axes, the original offense which had spurred the Bosmer into action. Naturally, the Bosmer began a pursuit.
The Bosmer force was larger, fresher, and not burdened by the wounded, allowing them to gain terrain quickly. But when the first arrows struck the rearguard of the Khajiiti, their pace improved considerably, showing their former slow tempo to be a feint. An astute commander should have understood the significance of this, and should have remembered that this area of conflict did not have any strategic significance.
The Bosmer force chased the Khajiiti further north, beyond the range of our lookout posts around Fort Sphinxmoth. I did not witness the culmination of the struggle, myself. Apparently, the Bosmer chased the remaining Khajiit across the Xylo for several days, until the retreating company was almost cornered. At the last moment, a messenger bird contacted the Bosmer commander, ordering an immediate return to the southern front. A large force had broken through in the south and was threatening Haven. The Bosmer were thus forced to break off their pursuit.
Though the Bosmer adapted to and even took advantage of the unusual battle tactics employed by the Khajiit, they ultimately lost sight of the bigger picture. The Khajiit used a small, mobile party of skirmishers in an act of psychological warfare, goading the Bosmer into dividing and expending their forces across an inconsequential side-theater of the real war.
I am unsure of how exactly the Khajiit coordinated these skirmish attacks, though I have heard some Khajiit allude to a secret method of long-distance communication using moon sugar trances. I would dismiss this as obvious make-believe in the vein of the 'Alfiq', were it not for similar meditative communication systems used by the Emperor's own clerks.
Ultimately, the northern distraction benefited the Khajiit, who scattered their enemies' defenses using only a small company of skirmishers and ultimately secured several positions along the Xylo River, which became key in the later stages of the war.
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The sequel to the vanilla book "Mixed Unit Tactics v1". A rather inexpensive book, featuring the musings of a retired legionnaire once active in Elsweyr.
My notes from Discord:
Other than that it looks good.
While I don't have it down anywhere yet (my bad for that), I was thinking the amount of herbivores in Valenwood would be... limited, at best (all of them are either dead from overhunting or live stock animals grabbed from other Provinces). Perhaps have them being devoured by some Hydra?The Khajiiti main force, hidden behind their wooden shields in anticipation of the trap, were stampeded by a herd of local herbivores. It was trivial for the experienced Bosmer archers to decimate the retreating foe.
Wood Wizards are also able to bend & grow plants, so that's probably how they controlled their line of sight (creating literal vine-walls and such), but that's not necessary for the text to mention.Not even the Bosmer are capable of remaining unseen while marching in large numbers. They can, however, mask the true size of their force. By marching in single file, controlling lines of sight, and through select chameleon and silence spells, the Bosmer made it appear as if a much smaller group was underway, similar to the previous two.
Other than that it looks good.