In Another Life Chapter 7: Triumph Of The Maneuver/
In Another Life Chapter 7: Triumph Of The Maneuver
Proofread by Yin Jing
Heaven is really depressed. The Marquis finds there are no huge catapults on the city wall before he dares to place his catapults at such a close range.
His 500 archers will compete with w.a.n.g Ping's 1000 archers. Although his army has no advantages in number, as the defending side, it boasts of a good location. Occupying a commanding position, they fight w.a.n.g Ping's army to a draw. But once the 6000 infantries come on stage, Heaven will be understaffed.
100 scaling ladders are placed. The wall is covered with thousands of ant-like people. w.a.n.g Ping's archers seriously restrict Heaven's people, therefore a tragic hand-to-hand combat ensues.
A few rounds later, more than half of w.a.n.g Ping's 6000 infantries are killed and wounded. The two sides both suffer heavy losses. Having seen the victory, Marquis w.a.n.g Ping withdraws troops with a wave of the flag.
According to the post-war report sent by the department of maneuver, the interference caused by the stones from the attacking side results in a loss of 1100 people of the defending side. What's worse, 1730 people who were killed or wounded by the catapults have quitted the battle immediately, while on the Marquis's side, only 3400 people quit the battle sequences, and 3 catapults are damaged. The proportion is less than 1 to 3!
Heaven protests to the department of maneuver, but the latter just gives him a brief answer: the judgment is fair.
My G.o.d, there are still more than 3600 people on the enemy's side! They haven't even let the heavy cavalries fight! What if w.a.n.g Ping launches an all-out attack tomorrow? Once he bursts the gate open, even if only 1000 heavy cavalries enter, they can kill Heaven's 2000 light cavalries easily--- heavy cavalries are mainly used in rushing and killing on the battlefield. Their superior armors almost prevent them from all the arrows.
In the other command post, w.a.n.g Ping looks at the report in his hand. He smiles at his subordinates and says, "The young man is too naive!"
Heaven pats himself on the head. "Standard method won't work when you're fighting with an old fox. I must make a surprise move, or the battle will be over tomorrow."
There are 3000 people or so in my army, while more than 16000 people in w.a.n.g Ping's. So why not take the initiative and launch a surprise attack on him?
The herald drinking water beside him almost chokes to death. Even though it's just a wargame, a fight on paper, he is still taken aback by Heaven's audaciousness and recklessness. He transmits the order and reports to the department of maneuver: the defending side decides to make a night attack.
Under the cover of darkness, 1000 light cavalries leave the city stealthily. On the battlefield, speed is their advantage. As for them, five miles' journey is a piece of cake. Based on the scouts' intelligence, the attack aims at their left camp, where catapults and scaling ladders are placed.
The light cavalries dash into the left camp rapidly. Instead of killing people, they set the camp on fire. One after another, torches stained with burning oil are flung to piles of supplies, tents and catapults. Once their task is finished, they flee without hesitation. The camp is soon enveloped in flames.
It never occurs to w.a.n.g Ping that with just about 3000 people, Heaven dares to make sneak attacks. As an experienced general, he did leave 4000 light cavalries as lookouts, but he put them in the main camp. When he realizes and starts to chase the cavalries, the latter have run out of the firing range, that is, less than 200 meters. But the cavalry in the rear still holds a torch, seemingly giving directions to the enemy.
w.a.n.g Ping orders his men to chase with all their strength. When the defender's light cavalries are 500 meters away from the gate, Heaven's second plan begins. The 50 catapults on the wall line up, then launch three rounds as well. As soon as the last torch of the defending side enters the 400-meter range, pieces of stones are flung away. Everything on the attacking side is thrown upside down. Unlike what happened by day, once the foregoing cavalries fall down, the cavalries behind smack into them too. All of them collide. Unable to stop the horses, most of the light cavalries fall down from their horses, so their charge formation is in a mess. At that time, Heaven's light cavalries swing back and make a second attack, while another 1000 light cavalries rush out of the city. These 2000 light cavalries rush at the chaotic enemy. A cavalry without horse is a sitting duck, so a few charges later, there are just about 300 enemies left. Not until now do w.a.n.g Ping's heavy cavalries catch up--- for heavy calvaries, speed is their biggest drawback. Well, it's also understandable, since their armors are too heavy.
Seeing the enemy's heavy cavalries, Heaven withdraws his troops. The heavy cavalries rush to the scene as soon as the drawbridge rises. What greets them are a pile of huge stones. Even though they are immune to arrows, they can't do anything about the stones --- no one can survive while being smashed by a heavy stone weighing dozens of kilograms, much less a stone with an impact force!
Heaven really feels like laughing while seeing the department of maneuver's report! It says, "The sneak attack succeeds. The attacking side loses 3700 light cavalries, 380 heavy cavalries. In the left camp, 300 infantries die, 60 catapults are ruined. 110 scaling ladders are ruined, since they are stacked together. The defending side just loses 80 light cavalries." What a triumphant night attack!
w.a.n.g Ping is so angry that even his mustache starts to shake. He thought that even if he lost his 4000 light cavalries, Heaven's 1000 men would have been killed. In this case, Heaven will have about 2000 people left, which can not match the strike of his 12000 men. It never occurs to him that Heaven not only raids him but also sets a trap! Most of his light cavalries are lost.
"Fine. How dare you to play tricks on me? I'll teach you a lesson!" The more the Marquis thinks of it, the angrier he grows. At a stroke he tears the report apart.
The next day, the attacking side turns out in full force. As for the defending side, its formation on the wall is almost the same as in the first day. The only difference is that 20 catapults have been placed.
Looking at infantries on the wall, Marquis w.a.n.g Ping snorts. "Reckless! I'm not in the mood to play games with you. Give out my order, all of the heavy cavalries make a close formation! Infantries follow the heavy cavalries and archers shoot arrows when you are 50 meters outside the city! Attention, everyone! Start to siege!"
With w.a.n.g Ping's order, the troops go forward slowly. The arrangement is very sensible--- heavy cavalries are not afraid of arrows, besides there are just few catapults on the city wall. w.a.n.g Ping's infantries are following the cavalries. Once they enter the city, no one can stop them!
The battle would have been over if this plan has been used in the first day. However, it won't work today. As soon as the heavy cavalries arrive at the 300-meter range, 10 barrels fall from the sky. Rather than huge stones, this time, what inside them is the burning oil. The barrels fall accurately in the midst of those heavy cavalries. With the help of the barrels' fragments, the oil is everywhere. Torches are tied to huge stones, thrown away by Heaven's 10 catapults. In a flash the 300-meter range outside the city is engulfed in flames.
Suppose light cavalries are here, they can scatter immediately. But heavy cavalries are sluggish, and now their armors are covered in blood. Their horses, which are also covered with armors, aren't clever enough to resist the fear of fire. With flames all over their body, horses run around. Some of them even burst into the infantries' formation! All at once, the rampaging heavy cavalries and the fleeing infantries make the battlefield slip into chaos.
Now or never! Heaven gives order immediately---open the gate and all the light cavalries chase at full strength!
A staff officer of the department of maneuver comes in, with a report in his hand. "Commander of the defending side, the maneuver is over. You are the winner of this wargame!"
When Heaven comes back to the hall, he sees a completely different light in the generals' eyes. However, Marquis w.a.n.g Ping looks sullen.
Heaven feels something strange. He hastens to salute the Marquis. "My Lord, I know I have lost on the very first day. You make it easy on me so as to train my ability to command, that's why I can edge out you by accident. I really appreciate your great kindness."
The Marquis stares fixedly at Heaven. Little by little his expression softens, then a smile steals over his face. "Hhhha, this time I lose. But I have had a good time! Little do I think burning oil can be used like this. Good boy, you have a promising future! What a pity it is that you won't join the army! All right, I approve of your going to the capital and taking the final exam!"