Battle of the Goldfields
|Battle of the Goldfields|
|Part of the Coalition War|
The Battle of the Goldfields was the second large encounter between Imperial and Axionite forces during The Coalition War, located in the highly contested Duchy of Lorraine-Kaedrin. The Battle was a result of an Imperial push into the region, where they intended to lift the siege of Metz, the capital of the Duchy, after it had been couped by pro-imperial forces a few months prior. The Battle was a resounding victory for the Axionite Coalition, with many great vassals of the Empire declaring their independence shortly after the battle.
The leadership of the Axionite Coalition positioned their main force in a strategically defensive position, their Dwarven heavy infantry, Staunton, Ruric, Snow-elf and Lotharingian light infantry, Savoyard cavalry and Staunton and Ruric longbow-men atop a slightly inclined area. Their Imperial foes took positions in a field of wheat, dedicating their veteran soldiers on their flanks as they feared an early Axionite Cavalry charge on their flanks, with the centre filled with less equipped and trained recruits.
The Imperials were forced into beginning the battle, as the defenders of the city of Metz were close to surrender, and moved up their infantry in a continuous line with their few cavalry regiments dedicated to engaging any possible Axionite cavalry attack. Staunton and Ruric long-bow men, with favourable wind and position, rained countless arrows upon the Imperial position, the Imperial archers unable to return effective fire. After running out of ammunition, Staunton and Ruric are said to have moved forward and picked up their enemies arrows that had been unable to reach the Axionite line. After this exchange of fire, Grand King Bastion Ireheart and Grand Marshal Jorik Grandaxe lead their heavy dwarven infantry into a charge against the centre of the Imperial army. Supported by Staunton infantry on the right flank and their Orcish counterparts on the left flank, commanded respectively by King Tobias Staunton and Rex Zlash’Lur, the Imperial army, lead at the centre by Emperor Philip Frederick, engaged in fierce fighting amongst the golden wheat fields as they attempted to hold against the charge. Savoyard and Snow-elven cavalry charged around the right flank, before being engaged by the numerically-disadvantaged Hansetic and Wood-elven cavalry as the northmen and elves attempted to stop any encirclement of the Imperial army.
As the battle dragged on, Staunton and Orcish forces struggled to push on the right and left flanks, soon being reinforced by d’Amaury reserves, commanded by the Arch-Duke John d’Amaury (soon King John d’Amaury of Lotharingia).The Imperial centre, where new Imperial conscripts faced veteran, well trained and armoured dwarves struggled to hold, with the Emperor and Ser Leopold’s presence improving moral, however the centre would soon devolve into small pockets of Imperial soldiers becoming trapped and many fleeing from the battlefield.
With the Dwarven forces now free, they split their forces and aided their allies on the right and left flank, the veteran Imperial soldiers holding well against the assault. As the Savoyard cavalry overcame the Hansetic cavalry, they ran down small pockets of Imperial soldiers attempting to flee the battlefield, with a few Savoyard cavalry men claiming to have sighted the Emperor fleeing with his bodyguard shortly after the collapse of the Imperial centre.
As the Imperial infantry maintained their position, they suffered heavy casualties whilst inflicting many on the Axionite forces. Rumour spread amongst the Imperial right flank that Philip Frederick had fallen in battle, and moral plummeted leading to a complete surrender, however the Imperial left flank still persisted. After countless hours of fighting, the Imperial left flank, without leadership, still fought on bravely until they were left with a mere fraction of their original force, before laying down their arms after the leaders of the Axionite Coalition promised them fair captivity.
The Axionite victory at the Battle of the Goldfields effectively broke Imperial capacity to launch offensive campaigns, and lead to a plummet in confidence in Philip Frederick and his Imperial state. The Ducal capital of Lorraine, Metz, soon after fell after her Imperial defenders heard of the Imperial loss at the Battle of the Goldfields. Axionite forces offered extremely generous peace terms to great vassals of the Empire, including the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska, the Westerlands and the Imperial protectorate, the Dominion of Malin. All would accept, with the Duke of Mardon, and more importantly Baron of Cantal, uncle to Philip Frederick, swearing fealty under King Tobias of Courland, opening the road to the heart of the Imperial state, Johannesburg.