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Infrastructure: Part One Hundred and Ninety Six by Imperator-Zor Infrastructure: Part One Hundred and Ninety Six by Imperator-Zor
For the most part the advance on the city had gone off well for the Drow forces. There had been a few scattered and inaccurate cannon shots which had claimed a few lives and did spook a fair number of soldiers, but they were firing blind, the Dragonknights had done a fair job at subtracting from the city's artillery positions (even if a few of them did fall from the sky) and the forces had been very loose. For the majority of their forces, what was important was to close the distance. Even so, there were some exceptions. As such  kilometer or their march over abandoned farms and pastures, horn signals were given and so along the vanguard assembled into fifty formations.

The basic formation was specially contrived for battle in the age of rifles and had a few successes in the usual small wars the Drow ended up fight. Each one had fifty Janissary in three ranks with five drow handlers behind them. The two ranks in the back each had sixteen men armed with a breechloading rifle of some sort. The first however was unarmed save for a typical Janissary short sword, though he did have a large runic shield and both breast and back plate that had been given a buff to strengthen it up. Both of which being things that the Dark Elves usually saved for themselves. Most of them formed a barrier up front while two on the sides guarded the flanks. About twenty meters behind each of these formations  marched in a few files a couple platoons, a seperate components of the army but still working closely with these shield walls. Mostly these were more janissaries, but a few had drow shock troops behind them.

Soon after these formations passed the mist screen began to give out and the Infrastructural riflers began firing on the oncoming tsunami of slave soldiers that were now treading across the fields. They leveled their rifles, aimed, fired, reloaded and repeated. At the extreme distance of a kilometer and some irregularities in the terrain not every shot hit and not every hit was lethal. Even so, hundreds of charging Janissaries fell from the first fusillade alone. They returned fired to the Trenches, though they managed to achieve little besides some suppression and slowing the Infrastructural's rate of fire. It took the Infrastructural troops a few salvos to notice that the tight formations moving at a slower pace were not taking damage, even though they were at the front of the charge while sending a continuous stream of lead.

Inside the shielded formations their was tension as the first bullets slammed against the shields, only to be stopped in flashes of light and multi-colored lightning. The first hits resisted without incident turned this into bravado. Behind them the riflemen leveled their weapons through small round gaps towards the top of the shields and fired. Each of them were among the best hands at reloading and could get off seven to eight rounds per minute, much higher than the haphazard reloading on the run that the other janissaries were managing armed with rifled muskets more often than not. A few others had found some scrap of cover to reload from, but they were stationary. Their shielded formations combined both the firepower with (admittedly somewhat reduced) mobility while providing cover from fire to other soldiers on the march. Even so, their durability was not unlimited. Depending on the range, each shield could take five to eight rounds before the runes that gave it it's strength failed. After that, the fairly transient spell used to reinforce the breastplate would stop a round or two before being broken and finally a combination of whatever remained of the shield, the shieldbearer's armor and his body would provide a some cover to the rifleman behind him in his last moments.

Previous-Infrastructure: Part One Hundred and Ninety Five
Next-Infrastructure: Part One Hundred and Ninety Seven
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November 23, 2014
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