The Battle of Stromson Forest was a major battle that marked the beginning of Operation: Hollow Storm as the COG forces traveled to Landown to launch an assault on the Inner Hollow. This involved a mass transport of Assault Derricks, King Ravens, APCs and Centaurs escorting thousands of Gears from Jacinto City through the Locust occupied Stromson Forest and Landown Highway in order to reach the city of Landown. The Locust met with the COG forces by Nemacysts and mortars, Reaver squadrons, several Brumaks and Corpsers and thousands of Locust Drones.
Order of BattleEdit
In Gale of 14 A.E., the Coalition of Ordered Governments launched the Lightmass Offensive, an operation utilizing the Lightmass Bomb to destroy the Outer Hollow and the Locust Horde. However, the cities of Tollen and Montevado mysteriously sunk and the Locust incursions on the Jacinto Plateau became more occurring, signaling to the COG that the Locust not only survived, but returned with a greater force which was enough to sink the entire cities. After the Siege of Jacinto City, the COG feared that Jacinto would be the next target by the Locust to sink, leaving humanity with no safe place left on Sera.
The Coalition devised Operation: Hollow Storm, a massive assault on the Inner Hollow and destroying the Locust stronghold once and for all. In order to launch thousands of Gears into the Inner Hollow by using the Grindlifts, the Coalition ordered a mass escort to the nearby city of Landown that was occupied by the Locust in 5 A.E. during the Winter of Sorrow. It was decided based on historical context as well as stragtegic, being the nearest place on the Jacinto Plateau that the Locust could dig through.
The plan was for a massive column of Derricks carrying numerous squads of Gears and supported by large numbers of fighting vehicles to assault the town and establish a foothold which the Gears could drill down to reach the Inner Hollow and destroy the Locust breeding grounds and their leader. The COG massed thousands of Gears, ranging from fresh recruits, conscripts and former prisoners to hardened veterans. For Chairman Richard Prescott and the COG leadership, this was humanity's last stand. After fourteen years of being locked in a brutal war of attrition, soon humanity would not have the strength to defend Jacinto any longer and the Coalition was desperate to finish the war for good.
Battle of Stromson ForestEdit
After the COG forces left the staging area, they began Operation: Hollow Storm. Immediately after leaving the COG-controlled territory, the columns came under heavy attack from the Locust air units and mortars, taking heavy casualties including many of their King Ravens and Assault Derricks. Despite these initial losses, the COG task force pressed on, destroying all Locust opposition that they encountered. The Derricks like Rig 314 broke down and were forced to stop and repair, slowing the human advance and leaving them vulnerable to the mortar attacks and Locust ambushes.
Many of the columns such as Rig Group 3 suffered from assaults from the Locust forces hiding in the now burning woods and from Emergence Holes. The Derricks rolled in onto a Locust staging area with dozens of sink holes and the Locust Drones began capturing Derricks (Including Rig G53) with grappling hooks and tried to use them to destroy the remaining COG forces, even as the Brumaks attempted to prevent the Gears from crossing the bridge.
Traversing the Landown HighwayEdit
The COG forces endured, carving their way through the enemy ranks and moved on until the Locust reinforcements just south of Landown brought numerous Brumaks and Corpsers with them. After a bloody battle, the COG forces finally reached Landown, having suffering from significant casualties for their efforts, yet having broken through the enemy lines and left thousands of dead Drones and dozens of larger Locust creatures slain in their wake.
- Gears of War 2 (First appearance)