Baron decided that it was best for him that only one flamethrower was made for his own personal use. This is due to the extreme difficulty of wielding it that is best left to Baron. The repeating crossbows were a different story altogether with Baron having them mass produced. The preparation time that was given to both sides were not enough for Baron to fulfill his quota, therefore he did something that was unexpected. He took a small detachment, left the geographically superior land that he was given with the intent to stall the enemy for as long as he could.
This was by no means an easy task as Baron only took about 100 greek triremes with him. Against the 800 or so Persian ships, they were an almost insignificant force, nearly laughable. However, Baron only made his presence be known by his opponent Xiao Li. He would not engage if he had to, just his presence alone made it clear that he wanted to draw Xiao Li's attention from something else entirely.
Xiao Li was someone that had always been cautious, but now that he was on the attacking side he could not be cautious forever. Plus, now that the enemy general was right there in front of him, he had to think about his next course of action before committing his forces to anything major, such is his way. He thought for half a day before deciding that it was best for him to stay his hand and just to wait for his rival to make the move since he also needed the extra time to prepare his blueprints as well.
A day passes by, two days, three days, finally Xiao Li had had enough and with his preparations complete, he set out his fleet to counter Baron. He had not been living under a rock, there were a lot of rumors going around about the combined forces of Meng Tian, Baron, and a few others that had actually managed to take down Bai Qi, one of the 4 co-leaders of the Yellow Wang faction. Xiao Li always listened to these types of rumors, this way he could pay extra attention to those who seem to be rising to the top of the social hierarchy within the Chinese community.
Luckily, he had heard about how although Baron didn't have the most contributions out of his group within the aerial portion of the tournament, he did do quite a few things that could be considered quite extraordinary. All of this led Xiao Li to the conclusion that Baron must be quite the witty general who needs to be studied more seriously than the others that he had fought before. Which were mostly beginners.
So, once his preparations were done, he immediately had his entire fleet chase after Baron. No matter how much he tried to pursue though, the Greek ships within Baron's control were way too fast and small to ever target efficiently. However, Baron's fleet was always just outside of Xiao Li's fleets arrow range but close enough that they could make constant eye contact with each other's ships.
Xiao Li knew where Baron was leading him, the place where the actual battle of Salamis was. He wasn't afraid of Baron though, the reason being that he had what he believed to be an ace up his sleeve, a couple of missiles cleverly hidden between his ships that could fire with deadly accuracy. There were only a couple of these so he waited for the best opportunity to do it, and he believed that time would come when Baron's fleet was closely grouped together like he planned they would be once he entered the straight. These missiles weren't very modern nor could they hit targets that were over 1 kilometer away and that was already pushing it, but they were the best blueprint in his arsenal, and plus, missiles even dated blueprints are still considered pretty rare within the Chinese community. This, of course, doesn't hold true if you were within one of the top factions, then it only becomes a matter of connections.
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The Persian fleet under Xiao li followed Baron's Triremes for another full 2 days before finally entering the strait that would hold the decisive clash between the two sides. This 2-day chase was due to Baron's fleet sailing to all sorts of weird places that only made sense if they were stalling for time. Xiao Li had been in this sim a couple of times and he knew that the best course of action for the defending side was going to be to let the majority of the ships through and swarm them with their superior quality of soldiers. However, Baron would sorely disappoint in this matter and instead let almost all the ships in before making a move.
Xiao Li was puzzled by what he was seeing, he did not think that Baron was so much of a beginner that he would use the most effective by the book tactic for this map that he was momentarily shocked by the lack of response. Then it all seemed to go wrong for him, in an instant he was surrounded by multiple units that were very spread out on the two sides that surrounded the strait. They immediately let loose volley after volley of crossbows that their shadows momentarily blotted out the sun.
He quickly snapped out of his trance and sprang into action. First, he had ordered multiple ships to dock onto the two islands that were surrounding the strait and slaughter everyone there. Then he began to let loose a couple of his missiles at Baron's general direction to show off just what he had in his arsenal. At this point, the Greek triremes had yet to leave their docks and instead it looked like they weren't even planning on using those ships at all.
Then the reckoning happened and at least a few hundred ships came in behind them to flank them and cause mass panic.
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