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Background:

My evil 10,000 year old Nature Mage Erilius has escaped the desert and made it back to the furthest outpost in his Rainforest kingdom. Upon entering his makeshift Magic plant tower ,his large, Insectoid acolytes inform him that they discovered a powerful spell in his collection of magical scrolls. The power it grants him is…….teleportation! He can teleport instantly into any place within fifty feet of his original location. The only downside is that he has to wait for two minutes in between “jumps.”

He has heard news that Aran, our hero, has linked up with his Uncle, the King’s army, so he goes out to join his 3rd army of Felinus (a subset of homo Sapien more vulnerable to mind control evolved to have cat like features in the forest) on the field of battle. His original invasion force equaled roughly 3 million magic wielding Felinus. Aran has something he wants….Flaming Sword of Türbrik.

This sword has the power to create fire along its length and control said fire along with any other fire within a ten foot radius. The sword is not limited by the regular limits of magic (it has unlimited amounts) and the only limitations on its power is the ability to multi-task by it user and remain in control of the fire (which is directly correlated to your patience, sobriety, and self control). Legend has it that whoever holds this sword will save his species which is why the Nature Mage Erilius wants it so bad

His benevolent, magically-adept race solved our starvation by putting permanent fertility incantations on the fields. After the Elves and Humans grew in numbers they overwhelmed and destroyed his species for reasons unknown. He was the only one to survive and he fled across the desert to an unknown forest where he has resided, growing in magical power for millennia waiting for the right time to strike back and get his revenge by driving us to extinction.

He divided his army into 3 pieces of 1 million each and sent the other two to attack and burn the countryside in the human and elven kingdoms. He has 1 million soldiers. The Felinus all have magical powers (Which I will tell about in the Magical Rules part of this question).

The Felinus are arranged in a scattered formation (think about how the ancient Gauls went to war) along a wide plain.

A long, thin ridge overlooks this plain on which the Humans have centered their defense. The Human king has a combined allied force of 50,000 knights, 100,000 archers and 150,000 disorganized regular infantry armed with halberds, long swords, spears and pikes from both his and the neighboring human kingdoms. He has positioned his 20,000 pikemen on the lowest slope of the ridge. The 50,000 halberdiers and 30,000 spearmen are arranged in a near perfect line directly behind them. The knights are directly behind the lines divided into five units of 10,000 each and are formed into diamond formations prepared for a charge. The 50,000 swordsmen are positioned in the hilled forest on both sides of the vast field to protect the flanks. Each flank has a separate unit of 20,000 archers to back the swordsmen up. The king has positioned the rest of his archers (did I mention that they use the long bow) along the length of the ridge to rain down holy hell on the Felinus camp.

Upon seeing the entire 1 million strong Felinus army and learning from his scouts that the powerful Mage has entered the camp to join the battle the human kings in the command tent agree that staying here will be suicidal. After all, Erilius can control the trees and the animals in the forest which is where the flank defense is located. If the flanks fall the Felinus will surround and crush the human alliance here and now. The human coalition leaders (comprised of the kings and most powerful vassals) look at a map of the region and decide to retreat to an abandoned mountain fortress 75 miles to the north to make a stand.

Then an army of 10,000 Elven Archers/Magicians (Elves are naturally good at magic and have a set of powers to be described in the magical rules section) This significantly bolsters the human army. The elves decided to aid us after the Mage kindly removed the head from one of their envoys. My coalition still wants to escape to the mountain fortress and now the elves are here to help.


Magical Powers:

I need to establish a few rules. First off is that there is a spirit world. All people go there when they die and there is a Heaven and a hell half. Most people achieve heaven, but the crooks of the world go to hell (people who like to steal, rape, and kill. People who have no choice go to heaven). The hell half is crammed to the brim and is watched over by Spirit Guards. The dead often escape and try to hide in the bodies of humans via possession, although most people have enough will power to unknowingly reject the evil spirit (even newborn children have they much will power).

Using magic weakens will power temporarily and the more you use it the more vulnerable you are to permanent possession. Magical prone races like the Felinus, Elves, and the Mage (the Mage moreso) have massive resistance to possession. Humans, Dwarves, Hobbits, Mini-Dwarves, and Fae are all vulnerable, however.


Felinus powers:

  • Blend in nearly perfectly with environment
  • Change colors like a Chameleon
  • Run like a cheetah (literally, dropping like a cheetah on all fours and reaching speeds of 112-120 km/h or 70-75 mph)
  • Limited (four feet) telekinesis

Elven powers:

  • Levitate
  • Fly for about five feet
  • Blend in with environment
  • Shoot flaming arrows

Nature Mage Erilius’ powers:

Control all living things (both flora and fauna) within a 100 foot radius. He can cause plants to grow at near infinite speed if the conditions required for its survival and growth are met (i.e. Enough water and nutrients are present and there is sunlight).

  • He has telekinesis
  • He has limited telepathy (e.g. Those trained well enough can block him from their minds)
  • He can fly up to 10 feet off the ground for a max of 1 ½ minutes.
  • He can temporarily (think 10 minutes) assume the form of any known animal
  • He can control rock and transmute it into any type of rock or mineral(think turning coal into diamond, granite into coal, or rock into iron)(kind of like the earth benders in Avatar The Last Airbender) but cannot reuse the same piece of rock (one and done, so to speak).

Aran Stronheart our hero has the following powers:

  • He can fly like the Mage
  • He can use telekinesis within a 30 foot radius.
  • Use the Flaming Sword the Mage is after to make and control fire.
  • Resist mind attacks better than others.

Other Rules:

  • Medieval tech level only (obviously)

Question:

What is the most effective (least deaths, less time for Erilius and his Felinus to catch up) way to get the army out of this suicidal situation and to the mountain fortress? Take note that Erilius has spies ready to arouse his army if the humans are obviously fleeing.


Linked:

How to Escape a Horde of Worms Using Magic with Minimal Injury

How do I Draw the Elves Into the War?

How to Defeat a Nature Mage?


Map:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Are the Felinus attacking, or just standing around? Do they have complete line of sight on the human army as they try to retreat to the mountain fortress? And are they fighting defensively, or offensively? $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Mar 26 '15 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ @DaaaahWhoosh The Felinus are camping on the plain under the ridge. They are attempting an invasion and have been at a stand off for weeks before Erilius arrived. The people have been evacuated to the Western mountain cities for protection and the coalition is ready to withdraw, but if they withdraw in plain view the Felinus will swarm them. The Felinus are fighting from an aggressive stance. They can see the majority of the army stringed along the ridge, although the swordsmen and archers in the woods are not viewable. $\endgroup$ – the_OTHER_DJMethaneMan Mar 26 '15 at 15:16
  • $\begingroup$ They are in the south side of the ridge and the army wants to retreat to the north. I am currently making a map to better describe their situations. $\endgroup$ – the_OTHER_DJMethaneMan Mar 26 '15 at 15:17
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    $\begingroup$ A million guys is a lot. Assuming they're spaced 2m apart and 100 yards deep, the battle line would be a literal marathon. For scale, the landings at Normandy involved around 150,000 Allied soldiers. The Battle of Stalingrad involved around a million soldiers on each side (of a 100+ mile front). Even the entire American Civil War involved around 3 million soldiers, on both sides. Without radio or even telegraph, Erilius is probably going to spend most of his time telepathically managing troop movements. $\endgroup$ – 2012rcampion Mar 26 '15 at 15:46
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    $\begingroup$ There's a ton of detail here, which will take a while to process. However I wanted to give you a +1 for the system of magic where the price of doing magic is that you weaken yourself to possession by others (the dead). That's actually a really neat little check on the power of magic, and I don't think I've seen it before! It would be a darn shame if you had more questions about that side of magic that I could sink my teeth--- I mean, "assist you in your worldbuilding endeavors" ;-) $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Apr 16 '15 at 15:13
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The humans run. The elves use their camouflage ability to hide, shoot from cover, and move without being seen and slow the Felinus and mage down. Guerrilla style. They also use their flaming arrows to start burning the forest behind them, weakening the mage and giving the Felinus something else to think about.

The human archers with longbows have a maximum range of upto 1200 feet. Give them horses and they could split into 2 groups, leapfrogging each other. First group fires, second group gallops 600 feet ahead, stops and fires several volleys while first group gallops past and goes another 600 feet. Proper use of terrain could help them a lot. And they only really need to leapfrog when the Felinus start to catch up.

The Felinus are fast, but if they are like cheetahs they don't have much stamina, so they can either move fast or move stealthily. Also, they have to get up the ridge, which would slow them down a little.

I've heard it said that a human can run 100 miles faster than a horse can run 100 miles... 75 miles is a long way, but these soldiers are used to walking/marching everywhere, and if they drop some gear like tents and such they could move fast.

The mage can control nature, but only within a radius of 100 feet, so he still has to be cautious since a barrage of arrows from hidden elves or humans would have more than 100 feet range, and would give him a bad day. His teleporting would help, but it only gets him 50 feet closer, and the 2 minute cool down would stop him from escaping quickly if the elves or humans target him. It's hard to dodge 10,000 arrows, and their range is greater than his.

IIRC, the mage got the Felinus cooperation by controlling the leaders, not the individual solders, so they might use caution instead of mad rushing. Especially if there is a firestorm from elven archers ahead/around them.

Alternate:
They make a stand. The mage is going to have his hands full managing that many Felinus, the human and elven archers could thin the heard a lot, and the mages range is actually pretty short compared the the range of a long bow. If the mage goes after the forests he'd have to deal with a lot of arrows, and since Aran Stronheart can fly too, he'd be able to counter/distract the mage en route. Having the high ground and the ridge gives the humans/elves a little advantage.
It would be tough, but not impossible, and that mage does have to careful of getting to close to the archers.

Second Alternate:
Erilius is after the sword, so Stronheart flies off another direction to lure the mage away, which weakens the Felinus army a bit. Gives the human army a better chance.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'd think the longbowmen would waste a lot of time dismounting and getting into formation in your leapfrog plan, if they could even manage it without getting in each other's ways. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Mar 26 '15 at 15:57
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    $\begingroup$ @AndyD273 Longbows were typically too long and unwieldy to be used from horseback. Compound bows were more often used by mounted archers. Japanese horsemen used the yumi, where the asymmetrical shape reduced the impact of the horse when firing the shot. There was a king (can't remember his name) who mounted his longbowmen so they could deploy faster, but they dismounted before firing. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Mar 26 '15 at 16:58
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    $\begingroup$ @AndyD273 I'm not sure the overall time, but I know from personal experience that doing a flying dismount takes only a few seconds (and I'm not a seasoned rider). The rate of fire for the average bowman is about 10-15 arrows per minute. Getting back on the horse is going to be the difficult part, especially if a flying dismount was done (the horse doesn't stop). One minute might be optimal conditions for a seasoned horseman. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Mar 26 '15 at 17:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre Is it viable that the sheer size of the Felinus army would be a disadvantage? I am not sure how this works in armies, but in regular crowds in densely populated areas such as New York panic spreads like a wildfire. $\endgroup$ – the_OTHER_DJMethaneMan Apr 17 '15 at 15:37
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    $\begingroup$ @DJMethaneMan Depends on how well-trained the individuals are. Panic in a crowd occurs because one person is afraid and runs, which instigates a fight or flight response in nearby individuals. The more people who choose the flight response, the more likely the next person will. Soldiers were typically trained not to panic or break formation, but if these are conscripts with a few days of "How to Soldier 101" there will be a higher chance of panic and disorder (also desertion). $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Apr 20 '15 at 12:39
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They could trick them into thinking they retreated. The goal is to avoid the imminent attack right? It doesn't matter if they actually retreated as long it's what the other camp believes. By the way when I say humans, I mean the whole allied bunch.

Plan A Not necessarily the best, but I kind of liked it. The human/elves have to be under pressure, both camps know they are going to be attacked any day.

First Subterfuge:Humans leave minimal(sacrifice) or no forces on the ridge but place dummies to make believe they are still there. -This will be obviously figured out. And mostly likely will lead the felinus army to believe they are retreating

Second Subterfuge:Humans use the forest to advance into flanking positions. Some reports (or scouts that dont come back) warn the felinus army of their movements. All of a sudden the felinus army discards the whole fleeing scenario, it also explains why they didnt leave troops on the ridge, they need em all to match the size of the army below. (poor military plan - replace by any thats better, its not the point either way)

Third Subterfuge: There is no attack. The felinus prepares for it but it doesnt come. Instead the allies hide, using the forest and movement that was under very little supervision (because who expects a flanking attack to flee before it even starts.....)

Result: The felinus army that poorly kept track (or not at all) of the humans preceeding the expected flanking attacks simply no longer knows where they are and kept guessing as to which part of the whole thing was the faint. Maybe they just fled right off the start and the reports of the flankings were of a small detachment left behind. Maybe they used a spell. Maybe they are still about to get attacked.. etc...

I'm not entirely certain if some ability would make all of above redundant, but with numbers that large (on both sides), you can't conventionally "retreat" in any way.

It could be a diplomatic retreat (if the whole famine thing isn't 100% solved you could exploit that), or any other political stunt.

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The lack of defendable flanks would result in an almost slaughter of the entire army. So how (using mundane means) would you fight back? Well first, the enemy’s “general” or guy you wold have to take out is a very powerful NATURE mage.

Rule 1: Avoid having to make any fight or flight where there are plants.

His limitation is definitely range. 100 ft? If said army had any good archers, they could very easily hit him at three times that length. If we assume his is the typical messiah or god complex victim, he also won’t be wearing heavy-type armor (plus casting in armor is way to hot). A simple flight arrow could kill him and an accurate shot could be made at almost 300 yards (900 feet or 274.2 meters) easily outside of the range of the resident evil mage.

Rule 2: When outclassed at a given range, find a range where you outclass the enemy.

Now, if we were talking his ability with plants was the only thing to deal with, the whole arrow idea is a great one. You have someone like Wil or Halt from Ranger’s Apprentice in your army, then thwang, one very dead mage. However, he also has telekinesis.

Rule 3: Telekinesis sucks to fight.

Due to this, you might have to get owl-fletched arrows or else he can hear and deflect it easily.

But, of course, a sniper shot to end the villain simply is just boring. So you want to have an army escape? Roman base the sucker. The humans have a great advantage here. They have basically as much wood as they want, plus the hero can make and control fire. Get a bunch of sharp pointy things (like 5-ft. long stakes) and barricade the front while scorching the forest around you. If you have horse archers (which works. Look at Native Americans, they hunted buffalo on horse back) you play leap frog with two squads. This allows you to A. cover your butt but also B. Thin their ranks as the rest of the force retreats. After a day’s worth of travel, nothing the Felinus army can do will catch up, they’re built for sprinting (read: like cheetahs), not cross-country.

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