I have to hand it to Satelight they pulled a Halo Reach scenario in that I was left hoping somehow some way enough of them would make it out. Even as casulaties mounted I thought that Yui, Yamshiro, and Izumi would have survived and would soon begin the long road to crazed BETA hunters Alas in the grim future of the 1990s there is only REAL WAR and the outcome was exactly the kind you would have expected when students were tossed into combat. Many otome died this episode and many more grunts were crushed beneath a stampede of Tyranid biomorphs. I still find the Tyranid units to be horribly broken, but they are a weapon of little subtlety they have the numbers and then reaped a fearsome toll of Imperial Japanese troops. Sadly while the BETA aren’t pulling any punches the humans seem to be riddled with scruples and are conducting this war for survival as if they fully expect to have all their troops home by Christmas. Artillery seems to have a much more devastating effect than absolute defense lines that seem to be made of tissue paper, but I am not seeing Soviet style massed barrages. I understand that shelling cities is a hard thing to do, but unless the Americans are also hoarding the Fire Direction Center there should be no reason why artillery can’t be used judiciously.
If a college student with a radio and binoculars can land 105mm shells almost on top of tank platoons in WWII then why for the love of the Immortal Emperor do they tremble at the sight of their own big guns? For all this prattle about Sun Tzu, clearly they forgot that he who defends everything defends nothing. Also territory is meaningless you kill the enemy then the ground is for the taking. Quite why they don’t do reconnaissance in force to identify staging grounds to pummel mercilessly with 105mm or better high explosive shells is beyond me. I guess they just love their absolute defense lines, the troops maybe brave but the leaders seem to be dumb. Granted they are all ersatz fighter jocks, but come on where are the minefields, entrenchments, obstacles, and kill zones? If this is about the cost of the Emperor’s artillery shells then they should have put all those refugees to work in the munitions factories and cranking them out 24 hours a day. Every major population center should have doubled as a massive arsenal where the implements of war should have been cranked out to the delight of the Machine God. I guess they simply don’t enforce that commandment where they were supposed to be at work at the appointed hour… Perhaps it is time that those who are found wanting should find new purpose as servitors and servo skulls.
So yes the death toll was horrendous, Shimako and Aki did not last ten minutes, and Izumi and Yamashiro are eaten before Yui’s eyes. Their instructor actually had two eyes the whole time but he too had a taste of the pineapple salad and was soon KIA. I have miscalculated on this one, I had been worried that this would soon degenerate into a quagmire of fanservice but that has been averted with the massacre at Kyoto. The outcome was a forgone conclusion but the battle played out like a last stand that Space Marines would be famed for, only there was no victory against impossible odds, only bitter defeat. As much as this was about the nature of this war, it was just as much about Yui’s loss of innocence. On the one hand I feel terrible that Yuki had to see all of her friends die, and had to witness Yamashiro get eaten alive because she did not have the will to shoot straight. On the other hand this prevents Yui from ending up like a smug played out Jesus Yamato, and I look forward to her campaign of revenge as she speaks little and is only concerned with wiping out the BETA to the last ripper swarm. Yui will hopefully not get all self-righteous considering her first command ended in a complete disaster. Maybe the memory of it will haunt her and drive her ever closer towards madness so that she can suffer the Red Thirst and Black Rage as +2 Attacks and +1 Strength the charge will tip combat in her favor. If not then Relentless, Feel no Pain, and Fearless should prevent another abject failure.
I am not sure where the swarm moved on to in the morning but it does seem odd that they had time to collect and bury the dead. Given the multitude of dead BETA I am disappointed that the humans have not also resorted to biological warfare to save themselves. Unless the BETA have gasmasks there should be little holding back the humans from using poisonous gas tactically or at least as some form of defensive grenade. As much as this Laser Class is shooting down ICBMs there are still cruise missiles. For the truly desperate there was also Atomic Annie and the Davy Crockett. Speaking of recoilless rifles of ridiculous destructive potential I am disappointed to see the utter lack of dug in infantry fighting back with recoilless rifles, towed artillery, and heavy mortars. Granted they are comparatively small to the monsters they fight, but in an urban combat zone dug in infantry would have been a nasty proposition for the destroyers as infantry would have been best suited to flank them and hit them where it hurt the most outside of artillery. Outside of infantry the Imperial Guard should be looking to upgrade their tanks to Demolishers, Eradicators, Exterminators, and Standard Leman Russes. Adding Griffon Mortars, Basilisks, Colossus, and every Hellhound variant they can find.
Hopefully this will be the last of the time skips, with any luck all the new TSF jocks will be here to kill BETA, kill BETA, and KILL MORE BETA instead of being frisky. The only body count I want to see is the one made up of xeno corpses piled high as ad hoc defenses. Remember when fighting Tyranids go for the synapse creatures, and that krak grenades can now be used against monstrous creatures.