The Order of Battle

To my fellow citizens:

It has been my observation that our capabilities, while formidable, are often reduced in effectiveness due to the chaos of the opening moments of a battle. I would propose, and only with the support of my fellow citizens, that we should commit ourselves to the roles in which we are most comfortable, so that we can move into formation as quickly as we our able and deny the Tiyagan scum the initiative. Below is strictly a proposal, and I submit it in hopes that it be critiqued and refined in the extreme.

The Vanguard: Anyone capable of holding the line, soldiers in particular, are needed in the Vanguard. The rest of the battle plan revolves around the Vanguard remaining stable and stationary, and not losing focus attempting to deal with changing conditions on the field.

The Support Line: Artificers and Apothecaries are ideal. The focus of the support line is to provide elemental pressure for the Vanguard, while supporting the ferrying of wounded and empty fire arms to triage, so as to alleviate the pressure from the Vanguard on that responsibility.

Triage: The critical component of replenishing our forces and resisting attrition. Those capable of providing medical support should always report to triage, focusing on restoring our fighters, from a distance that balance risk against ensuring efficient reinforcement. Attrition on the field is magnified by the distance wounded have to be ferried for treatment. I would also propose that those capable of loading weapons, but not able to contribute to the other Vanguard or Skirmisher line, report to triage to keep the gunline supplied.

Skirmisher Line: A dual purpose squad focusing on opening a flank to pressure the enemy, and withdrawing to respond to new developments without undermining the vanguard.

Gun Line: Shock and awe, as Hobbes has taught you. The impact of firearms in single combat is greatly diminished in comparison to a massed volley. Having the gunline available to punch a hole in the enemy lines is of critical importance. Additionally, allowing them to trust the support line to reload there weapons while they defend a flank will allow them to increase there effectiveness, possibly even having a second volley’s worth of guns available for the Support line to feed them.

Command: I understand that we are all free citizens and the thought of submitting to command of another citizen is a difficult proposition. However, this has more often than not lead to de facto leaders shoring up the effort only in the direst of circumstances. My proposal would be for the Navy and Mercenaries guild to agree upon commanders for the volunteer irregulars at the start of the festival, with the town council reserving the right to veto the proposals if they deem appropriate.

Additionally, I have observed the following individuals taking on leadership roles in crisis, and would recommend any of them for the role:

Overall Command:
Amity Harlowe

Vanguard Command:
Lilly Ferris

Skirmisher Command:
Jonathan Heysel-Bright
James Corvid

Gun Line:
Mr. Hobbes

Triage:
Czeslava

Support:
Addie Ornelle
Nathrach Quigley

Additionally, for those who are willing to support a more organized line, I would be willing to supply some amount of arcanum to your efforts from my personal reserve.

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The Mercenaries’ Guild has been discussing running free or very cheap self defense courses for citizens who are less combat oriented. I will work to set up a workshop in battlefield skills for Dawning 1720.

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Ms. Ferris, would those courses be more battlefield tactics, or actual combat training? If you plan to offer the tactical side of courses, I am willing to offer to work with any of our local citizens on the physical side of combat, but don’t want to step on your toes if that’s what you plan to offer.

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I intend to run a basic training regiment - basic strikes, blocks, and footwork - this Dawning, for all those not confident in their sword work, as well as any Lessons that there may be interest in.

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I believe the surgeon’s guild should discuss who among us is best suited and desires the role of head of Triage. Czeslava tends to prefer a mobile triage unit, and their skills as a field medic in training are formidable. Myself, I believe I will be focusing on Ambulatory training, which is best suited to a stationary triage center. Thus I would humbly nominate myself to this role, and in my absence ensure that triage has a strong voice to guide them. Of course I defer to Czeslava as head of the surgeon’s guild.

  • Ms. Dr. Bethany G. Morris RKN
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I’d be interested if someone could run knife fighting, dual wielding, guns, or elemental darts.

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Noted - I’ll see what I can make happen

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I’m not one to volunteer myself for battle, but seeing how if you all die, I will presumably also die, I thought it was worthwhile to point out that coordinated Spiritualist flanking is now possible given the advance studies of a number of our more spiritually inclined citizens.

One, or preferably many, spiritualists can now Walk With Spirits through the entire enemy line, position themselves behind the enemy, and then reappear corporeally behind them. If well coordinated with the Vanguard, this may be a highly successful way to confuse, down, and separate our enemies. Even doing this alone worked for me a few times this past festival, though it does put spiritualists in a highly vulnerable position. This strategy, in order to not kill me faster than other horrible things on this island, requires support from the painfully corporeal fighters among us.

Should you like more complex, and therefore doomed to fail, plans, I can offer another suggestion. The incorporeal state is impossible to differentiate from the corporeal one. Should you wish to waste the enemy’s bullets, a false vanguard of spiritualists can easily take the first wave of bullets, pass safely behind enemy lines, allow the vanguard to safely step forward and then proceed with the above plan.

But then again, no plan survives contact with the enemy. Perhaps we should simply return to desperately fending for ourselves and preparing the graveyard.

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This is an excellent proposal Prudence. I hadn’t considered such an option. If we were to provide such a squad with loaded guns and poisoned blades, they could likely hold against the counter charge long enough to survive and regroup with the vanguard.

There are several other tactics I’ve pondered, which hinge on such levels of coordination:

Glue gun volley’s to cement enemies in choke points while triage refreshes the vanguard. Hobbes deployed this successfully against the drowned souls.

Pain Volleys: Artificers with shrapnel grenades can flurry pain into an enemy line, temporarily collapsing them. Should the Vanguard advance quickly enough to exploit this, the enemy would have to get to their feet with spears at their throats.

Gun Volley’s to Lead the charge: If Hobbes gun line fires at the same time and each manages to select a different target, the Skirmisher line could be ready to move behind the survivors and push them into the vanguard. It may allow us to clear the entire field before the enemy can reinforce their position.

Kill boxes: If the vanguard could position at enemy breach points and ingresses with spears, they could use natural walls to prevent the enemy from bringing Fire Arms to bear against them, and force the enemy melee fighters to advance into our own shooters.

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That’s an excellent point, and I apologize for my lack of experience and insight into the skills and specialties at the towns disposal. Thank you for the clarification.

Thank you for the effort you are putting in to help ensure that we are as prepared as possible in our new role as a war front. I have a few observations from where I experienced things. I am not a strategist, but I hope they are useful.

Triage experienced difficulty moving up to match where the fighting was (or at least, farther than I would have preferred) for a couple reasons:

  • One, cannon fire kept knocking most of those providing medical care out of commission, which meant our average response time on turning around people back to the front lines was reduced to below what I would have liked. I’m not sure there is a way to counteract this, as triage is stationary for extended periods of time and that will make us a target. I welcome suggestions.

  • Two, we experienced harassment from Tiyagan soldiers on both sides that caused interruption in medical care. This is, of course, something to be expected in any fight, but it did highlight that defensive skills are not something many of us who were at triage specialize in.

  • You are absolutely correct that having an engineer at triage loading guns is invaluable. Not only does it mean a steady supply of firepower for the firing line, but in the case that an enemy combatant reaches triage, it means there is likely a loaded gun or two that can be put to use against them if need be. This happened several times during our fight with the Tiyagans and I would like to thank Amaryllis for fulfilling that role exceptionally well. Her assistance was crucial.

  • Medical services tend to be split between mobile and stationary triage. I am unclear what the state of mobile triage was during this past festival—for that, I will defer to my cousin Czesława—but as far as organizing the stationary triage, Dr. Morris has done an exemplary job in the past and if it comes to a vote I would definitively nominate her.

  • I like the previous suggestions about training the populace, and I wonder if it is possible to run mock combat scenarios for practice. I myself am not a fighter, and my expertise lies in getting as many people out of surgery as safely as possible. If the situation demands I learn other skills, then so be it.

If anyone has specific questions or concerns for my cousin in her capacity as head of the Surgeon’s Guild, please send me a message and I will do my best to relay your information.

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In past experiences, I have found a stationary triage can be very well supported with a few dedicated members.

If we could draft a few people, say scholars, apothecaries, or others with low combat potential, we could have them running the wounded. They can pick up and carry those on the front or mid lines to the back where the “immobile” triage sits.

In that case, we may want one or two dedicated combat support. Those would need to be people who have the ability to focus solely on detecting threats to the triage point and not get wrapped up in watching the rest of the battle and attempting to assist. These do not have to be particularly strong fighters as they should not be fighting a large army only one or two stragglers who branch off. They merely need to hold them off while shouting for help.

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Additionally, it’s probably worth designating who specifically peels off to support triage in the case that they need help, so that the entire Vanguard doesn’t fold in on itself.

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I’m not sure where this would fall, but people collecting components for artificers is also useful. I usually alternate between that and dragging bodies to triage, myself, as needed.

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Countess Annaliese, your efforts doing that are incredibly appreciated. Thank you so much for collecting materials for us artificers.

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Bringing the triage protection a handful of venom vials should hopefully bring that to a minimum. I’ll work with the support team on tactics.

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It may not be a bad idea to pair the more mobile skirmisher force with the spiritualists to accomplish this. Once they have walked through the enemy line and broken them it would be reasonably easy for us quick fighters to wedge our way in between the gaps to provide support for the spiritualists and maintain the fractures in the enemies formation that they created.

However I would like to avoid what I witnessed in the chaos of that first battle against Tiyago where a significant group of our forces got pinned behind enemy lines and we were helpless to get to them, to help or tend and triage was left significantly behind, subjected to canon fire and very little defense. Trying to scatter the enemy by breaking their line also breaks ours and it could leave the spiritualists pinned and in danger.

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The “spiritualist distraction/coordinated strike team” plan is a good one, though I’d want people to stay aware that we’re weakened after we come corporeal again, and we’ll need extra support and defense in the minutes after using that tactic, seeing as our ability to defend ourselves or make one of our usual quick escapes will be wrecked

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That seems very reasonable. I feel more comfortable with the Skirmisher forces regardless, given that they are currently proposed to be led by my Captain.

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I would like to add my thanks to everyone who did the same fetching bullet casings and components for me. It was invaluable not needing to worry about finding my next casing while loading my current gun or tending my current patient.

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