Landing heavy forces along with a command HQ, the Alliance had, as usual, plenty of air support.
The dogs of war moved to meet them, fielding heavier mechs, along with a Rommel tank and one of their fighters.
The Alliance took an aggressive stance in the air, flying circles around their adversaries, but unable to do much more than harass them with light fire. When they got a bit closer, they'd release their bombs.
Fritz still doesn't have his damned fighter on a stand, but there it is, apparently skimming the ground dangerously.
When the enemy had reached the center of the area, the three bombers let loose their payload...
A solid hit, but the return fire was nasty...
Still, the enemy was weakened by the attack, and the Alliance felt bold enough to advance.
The enemy was more cautious...
As the ground forces maneuvered for advantage, a high stakes dogfight lit up the sky, with the Alliance's two light fighters always seeming to wind up in the enemy's kill slot, but a single large laser made it difficult to finish the job.
But when the heavy fighter was chased into the path of the Alliance's ground forces, it was knocked out of control, crashing into the mountainside. Unfortunately not before severely damaging the heavy tank. With its motive system damaged, it became not much more than a heavily armored bunker.
Unopposed in the air, the Alliance still felt confident of victory.
The ground forces waited for the enemy to advance.
And slowly, through the smoke, they were sited cresting the hill, avoiding the immobilized vehicles and making for the mobile HQ!
The Alliance's lone mech was the only force that could pivot to meet them.
And indeed, the ended quicker than anticipated as a lucky headshot killed the mech's brave pilot!
With that, the HQ sounded the retreat.
The air force fought hard to slow the enemy down, but it could only do so much.
Faced with an approaching battlemech, the command staff bailed out and dissolved into the forest, leaving behind valuable information on their forces' deployment throughout the sector.
The Dogs of War, noticing that the force sent to attack them had left only a skeletal garrison on their home world, saw a rare opportunity. If they could manage a landing on that planet, they could seize the supplies stored at the local militia base, which according to the captured intelligence would be enough for them to repair their badly damaged force. It was risky, but that is the nature of war.
To be continued...