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When it comes to family, it's better to gain a deeper understanding of each other through confrontation than to maintain an apathetic calm.
— Welkin Gunther

Welkin Gunther was born in the small town of Bruhl, the son of the First Europan War hero and General Belgen Gunther. He enrolled in a university to study natural science, and while there decided to focus his secondary military education on tanks. After the Second Europan War broke out, he left school to help his adopted sister, Isara, pack up and flee the advancing Empire. The Empire attacked as he was doing so; after fighting through the initial wave, he took command of his father's tank, the Edelweiss, and bought time until the town fell after an artillery bombardment.

Welkin was then conscripted as a Second Lieutenant, and placed in charge of Squad 7 of the Gallian Militia, and was allowed to keep command of his tank. He won the respect of his men by leading successful and inventive campaigns against the Empire. One such battle was in the Barious Desert, where he ran into the Maximilian, Crown Prince of the Empire, and his durable, massive tank, the Batomys. After a long struggle, Squad 7 took the tank out of action.

After several successful operations, Welkin and Squad 7 were sent on a suicide mission to reclaim a strongpoint that guarded the Empire's sea supply lines. Despite the mission's success, his sister lost her life in the battle. With morale at an all-time low, Squad 7 was ordered to retake Bruhl, Welkin's hometown. With that boost in motivation, Welkin was then deployed to Naggiar Plains. After stopping an artillery barrage Squad 7 held off Selvaria Bles, a Valkyria who entered the battlefield after single-handedly destroying a Gallian tank regiment, long enough to complete their objective. Despite Alicia - his Sergeant and love interest - receiving an injury and subsequently awakening as a Valkyria, the operation was a success.

Later, Welkin would lead Squad 7 on another suicide mission to reclaim a border fort that would fully cut Imperial supply lines. They took a frontal assault as a diversion to allow a train filled with explosives to blow a hole in the entrance, and they then funneled in. They took the base with an all-out assault on its defenses, and captured Selvaria Bles; the general sacrificed her life to set off her Last Flame, which obliterated the fort. Maximilian took advantage of the situation and unleashed the Marmota, a massive armored vehicle that bulldozed all in its path.

After trying and failing to stop the Marmota with traps, Maximilian takes the Gallian capital and a superweapon hidden within. Welkin and Squad 7 lead an assault to disable the Marmota, succeeding and eventualy vanquishing Maximillian himself, who used technology to replicate the powers of a Valkyria. He retired from the Gallian Militia as the small nation's part in the war came to a close, a decorated war hero and still a Second Lieutenant.

Battle vs. Irving Morrell (by Leolab)[]

Prologue[]

“Someone’s head’s going to roll…” Morrell muttered as he watched a small group of soldiers file off of a ship. They had sent him across the pond, as they called it, to help their German allies. Actually getting there had been one fuckup after another; a bureaucratic mixup hadn’t sent him orders to report to the docks until a few hours after he was supposed to be underway, and the ship they bundled him on afterwards had been tossed about by a freak storm. His reflections were interrupted by the Infantry captain leading the troops on the ship with him.

“Your orders, General?”

“Hmm… best to assume hostile territory. Your company had the captured Stovepipes, right?”

“Yes. Storm brought us down to barely platoon strength, though.”

Morrell grimaced, and surveyed the area. “Need a damn map…” he muttered, and then looked out at his soldiers. “Split your platoon up into three. Half of your stovepipes and four more soldiers with Lt. Griffiths and the Mk. 2.5, the other half with you plus whatever you need, and the remainder with me.”

“Sir,” Captain Rhodes said, stiffly. Morrell sighs, having given the same reaction to his superiors all too often, and condescended to explain.

“My Mk. 3 can take out any barrel that’s thrown at it. The Mk. 2.5 was having trouble back home, so I want to be sure that squad can take out armor.”

“Sir,” Rhodes said again, this time with respect and slight embarrassment. “Chester!” he yelled, waving a sergeant over while trotting towards his men. Morrell let out a satisfied chuckle, and climbed up his barrel and into the cupola. As he eased himself down, his loader gave him a questioning look, asking for orders.

“First order of business is to find a town and liberate ourselves a map”


A few days later

Welkin Gunther and the members of Squad 7 came to a halt under forested cover overlooking a field, dotted here and there with hills and trees. The war had ended, but the capital had received reports of a few stragglers to mop up.

“So what’s this group been up to, Welkin?” Alicia asks, getting her rifle ready.

“Raiding. It came out of nowhere and took command by surprise, especially since they don’t seem to have any ragnite.”

“No ragnite?” Largo interjects, “Then they won’t have armor. They’ll be sitting ducks.”

“Must be why they sent us after them rather than restocking our ragnaid,” Welkin replies, “Now Intel says they’re on the other side of that field. Once they emerge, let’s push them back out of Gallia. Alicia, Rosie, Largo, take six soldiers each. Rosie, you’re with Zaka. Alicia, with me. Largo, between Zaka and I. Squad Seven, move out!” Welkin ducks into his tank as his squad forms up as directed, and they enter the field.

Combat[]

Note: Tank Crews are not counted in the tally. Each "tank" is represented by only one "person" slot.

Irving Morrell: Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey Grey

Welkin Gunther: Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue Light-blue

“Hold your fire…” Morrell says, watching as the Gallian forces come closer to the tree cover his troops are stationed in, “And watch out for the lances. We don’t know what they do yet.” He peers through his field glasses as the Gallian troops in blue advance, unaware of his position. The green-grey his own men wore disguised them, until they were close enough to… “Fire at will!” he yells, and his men obey.

The center of his lines opens up first, the sharp report of their Springfields shattering the air. Most of Squad Seven ducks, and the scouts start firing back. It takes them a split second to locate the Americans’ firing position, and that lets one of Morrell’s men shoot a scout just under the throat, mortally wounding him. Light-blue. A shocktrooper breaks off her advance and scrambles to see if he’s alright, and waves towards the back of the lines. “Miss Medi-”

One of Morrell’s men shoots her in the face, cutting off her shout. Light-blue. As he works the bolt to chamber a new round, however, another scout empties his magazine at him. Four bullets catch him, and he collapses. Grey. A shocktrooper opens fire, spraying her submachine gun in a short arc and killing another American soldier. Grey. Welkin and Zaka both send soldiers to reinforce the center line, and Morrell gives the order to move out as he sees the enemy forces thinning on their flanks.

Lt. Don Griffiths commands the Mk. II.V Barrel on Morrell’s right flank, and leads the charge against the Shamrock. His gunner fires at the Gallian light tank, but the round glances off the front plate and flies harmlessly to the side. The Shamrock quickly traverses its turret as Griffiths ducks inside and fires, sending a mortar round towards the barrel. It scores a direct hit on the closed cupola, and the fragments bounce off the armor plating. One hits an American soldier, who starts screaming and tries in vain to recapture his intestines. A burst from a shocktrooper puts him out of his misery. Grey.

The shocktrooper ducks back under cover before the barrel’s machine guns can draw a bead on her, and starts to lay down suppressive fire. The other members of Squad Seven on the flank join in, as a lancer takes the opportunity to slip around. “You see a tank, I see fireworks,” she mutters, as she kneels and balances her anti-tank lance on her knee. She braces herself and pulls the trigger, absorbing the recoil as a spring launces the warhead, which then engages the rocket. It slams into and through the weaker side armor of the tank. “I got one!” she exclaims, pumping her fist in victory. Exultation turned to shock as the rocket hits the magazine, igniting all the ammo inside in a massive, fiery roar. Grey. The explosion throws several of Morrell’s men on their backs, and draws attention from the entire battlefield.

In the small lull, one of Morrell’s anti-tank men rights himself and fires his stovepipe, hitting the Shamrock in the driver’s compartment. The explosion kills the crew, and sets the tank on fire. Light-blue. “Gusenerg! Schwimmer!” Chester Martin shouts, waving the two submachine gunners over behind the Mk. II.V’s debris.

“What’s up, Sarge?” they ask, “Why’re we back here?”

“You haven’t seen a barrel brew, have you?” one of the anti-barrel men jeers, “There’s a small hole here. Take a look.”

The two lean in, peering out as the fire in the Gallian tank reaches the magazine. The morbidly cheerful popping as the bullets cook off one by one is punctuated with a wet thud when one of the rounds rips through a shocktrooper’s throat. Light-blue. “That’s what’s up,” Martin says, “Barrel brews up like that, you duck for cover. Should set off the big guns soon, so sit tight for a bit.”

Morrell, commanding the other flank personally, receives word on what the lances can do. He files that away in his mind as he continues the tank duel with the Edelweiss, neither the enemy gunner nor his own able to get a hit in. He’d be standing and looking out of the cupola, but a graze on his cheek from an enemy soldier, wearing a bright red hair cover of all things, had dissuaded him. “Can you put an HE round on the other side of that tank?” he asks his gunner, “I don’t want the infantry there trying anything.”

“I can try,” the gunner says, and relays the order to the loader. Morrell takes a look out of the viewports, and spots a Gallian lancer taking aim.

“Belay that! Lancer at 3, take her out!” The turret traverses as quickly as it can, and the gunner fires a few fractions of a second after the foe. Luck is on his side, however, and the round hits the lancer’s rocket in midair. The tank crew lets out a whoop, and the spectacle restores some of Morrell’s men’s morale. An infantryman pops out and fires a couple bullets, killing the unlucky lancer. Light-blue. Another infantryman clambers up the barrel, and Morrell opens a hatch to speak to him.

“Can you get us a little closer to the enemy barrel, sir? The boys and I have an idea to deal with the infantry behind it.”

“Can do, Corporal,” Morrel says, “Just make sure it works.” He ducks back in and gives orders to his driver as the infantryman rounds up the others. Morrell charges the Edelweiss, machine guns blazing. As soon as they get in range, the two infantrymen throw their grenades, flipping up and over both tanks. The three Gallian soldiers hiding behind it jump out of the way. Alicia lands behind the Edelweiss, but the lancer and shocktrooper lie exposed.

“Weinshank! May! Now!” the infantryman yells, and the two soldiers with Thompsons rake their foes with bullets. Light-blue, Light-blue. Alicia climbs onto the Edelweiss, which, now lacking infantry support, goes at full speed to reinforce the center column. Welkin fires a mortar round as a parting blow, which hits the Mk. III’s tracks. The fragmentation takes out the soldiers using the barrel for cover, and wrecks the treads. Grey, Grey, Grey, Grey. Welkin quickly loads and fires a smoke round, covering his retreat. Morrell throws the hatch open, and gets out of the barrel to help his crew replace the track.

On the opposite flank, a series of loud explosions signals that the last of the Shamrock’s ammo cooked off. Chester counts to five in the lull, loads a fresh clip into his Springfield, and waves his squad over, giving instructions to prepare for the enemy. On the other side, the remaining 3 members of Squad Seven on their left flank creep out of cover. “Looks like they’re gathered behind the remains of their tank,” the scout says, “Are you two thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Barious?” the Lancers ask in unison. The scout nods, and the two Lancers fire their rockets at the top of the wreckage. The blast overbalances the chunk of metal, and it starts to tip over. Chester yells at his men to run, but the anti-barrel men don’t make it. Grey, Grey. Chester and his soldiers start firing at the Gallain militia, the higher volume of fire from the Thompsons keeping their foes at bay, until they have to reload. The Scout takes advantage pf the pause and fires a few shots from her rifle, hitting one of the infantrymen in the eye. Grey.

Chester, enraged, immediately draws a bead on the scout. He fires, works the bolt, and fires again. The second round rips through her arm, severing the brachial artery. She bleeds out in seconds. Light-blue. The lancers, seeing their squadmate die, break off a rescue attempt to retreat towards the center column. The soldiers with the Thompsons finish reloading and give chase, Martin following close behind. A burst hits both Lancers, and they go down, bleeding.

They reach them, and find one shot in the back of the head. Light-blue. He was the lucky one. The other was still alive and struggling; the bullets had torn her windpipe, but missed any important blood vessels. She lay gasping and gurgling as Chester approaches, and reaches out a hand. He looks at her and immediately shoots her in the face, crossing himself afterwards Light-blue. “Jesus…” one of his soldiers mutters, doing the same.

“That happens to me, I’d hope the other guy ends it quick.” The other says, looking queasy.

“Let’s continue around this way,” Chester says, changing the subject, “If we hit them at the back, it’ll give Captain Rhodes some relief.” A cluster of shots right afterwards makes them hit the dirt, and they try to keep as low a profile as possible as they advance. It doesn’t help, as the next grouping hits Chester in the back, killing him. Grey.

Alicia squeezes off another few bursts as she rides on the Edelweiss, forcing Morrell’s reinforcements to keep their heads down. She hit another one as they came closer, and held off firing once bullets starting hitting the tank. Grey. Welkin turned the Edelwiess’ machine gun on the remaining man, and cut him down. Grey. Captain Rhodes leads Morrell’s center column in a fighting retreat, trying to hold out in the woods until their general fixes his barrel.

Now outnumbered and with the Edelweiss turning to bear down on them, the Morrell’s soldiers find themselves struggling. Their troubles are only compounded when a grenade explodes nearby, killing two of Rhodes’ men. Grey, Grey.

“Wish we had artillery, Captain,” one of the survivors complains, “With Kachellek and Hayer dead, we’re pretty much sitting ducks.”

“I wish we… ah. But we do.”

“Sir?”

“What’s General Morrell call that thing you’re lugging around all the time?”

“‘Goddamn man-portable artillery’ I think it was… oh.”

“Exactly. They’re nearing the tree line; I’ll provide some cover fire, and you three launch your stovepipes at the enemy. On my fifth shot,” Rhodes says, slapping a new clip into his Springfield. He shoots five shots in an arc, and on cue the anti-barrel rockets fire. They stagger their firing, giving each other time to reload as the rockets explode in a deafening roar, mulching earth and flesh alike. As the explosions fall silent, the entire attacking force had been obliterated, save for Alicia and the Edelweiss. Light-blue, Light-blue, Light-blue, Light-blue, Light-blue, Light-blue, Light-blue, Light-blue, Light-blue. A mortar round from the Edelweiss crashes through the trees, killing the remaining anti-tank men. Grey, Grey, Grey.

Rhodes curses, glancing again at the smoke cloud that hid his commander. He curses again; until that clears, it’s all up to him. He waits, using the scattered corpses as cover to bait the Edelweiss into coming for him, and grabs a grenade. As it gets nearer, he ducks around it, unnoticed. Unfortunately for him, however, the Edelweiss’ turret swivels and spots him before he can climb onto it. A burst of machine gun fire cuts him down. Grey.

Welkin opens the hatch and scans the battlefield. “This… this is the heaviest fighting we’ve seen,” he says, looking at Alicia.

“I know,” she replies, “And what’s worse is, I don’t think these people were with the Empire.”

“You’re right,” Welkin says, looking at the man he just killed, “I’ve never seen this uniform before.”

“I wonder who they were. Why they fought us. And so… ferociously.”

“I guess we’ll never know,” Welkin says, somber, and surveys the field. He turns back to at his sergeant, starting to speak. Blood splatters on him as an armor-piercing shell rips her in half. Light-blue. He freezes, mouth open in horror.

“Two degrees to the left,” Morrell says, and his gunner corrects it as the barrel’s driver charges out of the smoke screen. The barrel fires again, this round ripping through the Edelweiss’ armor and detonating the magazine. Light-blue. He grunts in satisfaction as the last of his foe burns, and ducks in to talk to his crew. “That was a hard fight,” he says, “And we can count ourselves lucky to be alive. I don’t think, however, that we have enough fuel to get anywhere.”

“So what now, sir?”

“We abandon the barrel and make our way back to the ship on foot. We need to get this back to the General Staff.” His men comply, piling out and looting the battlefield for weapons and ammo.

Expert's Opinion[]

Welkin's weaponry was superior to Morrell's, but his commanding ability was inferior. In battles with large numbers such as this one, commanding ability confers a larger advantage than slightly better weaponry.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Battl vs. Joe Conti (by LB&SCR)[]

Snow Fall[]

Northern France, 1944. Winter time.

Once again, a light snow was falling over the Ardennes Forest, reminding all the GIs who were standing out in the cold that their homes were across that great wide ocean of the Atlantic... and the distant thunder and cracks of guns and artillery reminded them that the enemy was even closer, just through the woods. Young Daniel Hall breathed onto his hands and rubbed them together as he looked at the sky. No sun at all. He let out in a coughing fit as the cold snuck through his uniform and started sapping at him. "S-Sarge *cough* how much longer are we going to stand guard out *hack* here?" The young man asked. Daniel Hall, "Danny" by his squadmates, was barely 18, and had arrived in the nick of time for D-Day.

The Sergeant, who went by Jan Summers, however, was the opposite. Supposedly in his mid-forties, rumors flew that he'd experienced the horrors of the Great War before somehow joining up again after Pearl Harbor. Summers only smiled and rubbed his hands together. "We are here, until the Lieutenant calls us back or the Huns decided to start a party~" The man's face broke into a smile, and even Hall couldn't help but smile; because the Sergeant's moods were always contagious. However, Summers quickly elbowed Hall in the side. "Here come's the LT, look like you now what you're doing." Even when serious, he made people smile.

Conti trudged over, dressed in Junior CO Winter Gear and carrying his Thompson in one hand. "At ease, both of you." He said, and both of them relaxed in the slightest bit. "You guys can pack up, our Regiment is being relieved, because the 116th's been requested for some special duty. I'm not at the liberty to explain more at this time, but you can get moving." Conti then jerked a thumb back at a group of Jeeps and Trucks that were pulling into the outpost. "Those boys are from the 1st Infantry, so this place will be well looked after." Conti then trudged onwards to spread the news, and Summers just grinned goofily at Hall.

"Come on, Dannyboy. Let's go get some good chow and see what this nice new assignment is." He said, elbowing Hall again, before walking off. Hall clutched his rifle close, and took off after his squad leader, the mention of chow already making him warm on the inside.

Strange Patrol

"Belgium", 1944. Still (kinda?) Wintertime.

The trucks clanked and clunked as the convoy slowly made it's way down the road. "You know, I think we're going towards the Germans." An Engineer said, stating the obvious... again, and making his compadres groan. One of the other Engineers just sighed and looked straigh at him.

"This is the only time I've ever actually prayed for Artillery!" He snapped, plunging the truck into silence, and the guy sighed before taking his hand and opening the flap of the truck, looking out. "Heya... fellahs. Do you know when it stopped snowing... or being cold?" He asked, before opening the flap wide and showing the other engineers in the truck the view. It was nice, flat ground, and while snow was still sprinkled the ground, the sun was out and there was not a cloud in the sky. The eldest engineer whistled. 

"Lookie at that... if only Carson was here to see this..." He said.

---///---

The trucks eventually trundled to a stop, and as the men of Able Company started to clamber out of the trucks, Joe Conti stood and observed the area. Lots of trees, with a wide plain out in front of him. 

"Lieutenant Conti, I can't express how sensitive this mission is." The strange Colonel looked at him from behind glasses. "Soldiers in Belgium have reported sudden strange changes in the landscape. We at first thought it may be something in the air or maybe a German Weapon, but other trips to the area have had the same result. You and you're company are going to be the first to get an active look at this area. You won't be able to bring any AT Guns, so we're attaching some Paratroopers and even some Rangers to your Company. We may even be able to requisition some Armor Support and other things for you, but no promises."

Conti rubbed the back of his neck as the conversation flashed through his head. Strange indeed, but he was here on this mission. He looked back as Riflemen gathered together in on little grouping, as the rearward trucks brought up the paras and his former fellow Rangers...

TBC

Expert's Opinion[]

TBW

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Michael Wittmann (by Tybaltcapulet)[]

TBW

Expert's Opinion[]

TBW

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

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