The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: Binding Blade

by Melth

Part 6

Once again, the writers prove incapable of not spoiling a surprise attack before it happens and thereby ruin the effect. This chapter really has a pretty good premise and several very good scenes to it- a few of the best in the game in my opinion- but the cool story concept is executed very badly.

Although it has several flaws, I still consider this the first all-around good chapter. It’s almost completely redundant in story with 4, but 4 was bad, so 4 is the one at fault there. And the map is finally designed well enough and has enough stuff to do that it isn’t just boring. In fact, it’s pretty fun

Chapter Summary:
The random encounter over, the group gets back to trying to go to Ostia. They pass through Thria and are ambushed by Wagner, an advisor to the Marquess of Thria who betrayed and killed his liege. In the process of defeating him they meet Sue, granddaughter of one of the chiefs of the tribes of Sacae, and together they hurry on to Ostia after hearing it’s in a state of civil war.

I’m surprised FE7 ignored this in Hector’s story in particular.

Same as the “great skullduggery behind the scenes” bit before 4 and several such moments in FE7, I think giving away the surprise ambush before the chapter begins is bad writing.

This is the first map where one can do Battle Preparations, and all chapters from now on have the camera circle the map before those begin. Not sure what the point of this is since you can just scan it yourself at leisure while doing the preparations.

Anyway, most of the actual story of the chapter comes AFTER battle preparations here (and often in the future), but I’m going to put it first here and elsewhere to maintain the chapter summary unbroken. In my opinion it’s much better this way. Learning about the ambush or whatever is going on is way less interesting after you’ve already studied the map layout, decided who’s going to be fighting, and even picked out what gear you’re going to kill the villain du jour with. And for that matter, it’s doubly anti-climactic because after completing battle preparations, one wants to do the darned battle rather than now sit through the story.

And here’s Cath, whose theme was used for Dorothy and Saul last chapter. It’s not used here. I… have no idea what she’s talking about since this castle is absolutely full of treasure and she will, in fact, be running around trying to steal it in a minute here.

She overhears this guy Wagner setting up an ambush for Roy’s group, who’ve arrived. And are maybe already in the castle but not?

He also orders that Guinevere be taken alive and alludes to having Sue prisoner.

Apparently Bern is no longer letting just anyone betray Lycia and switch to their side. We haven’t really heard of Bern’s armies doing anything at all since chapter 3 and they won’t do much till after 8. If they’ve been conquering Lycia, they’ve been very quiet about it. And also not very destructive since the country will apparently be back to normal after the Etrurians join in. Maybe they really have just been sitting around doing absolutely nothing but wait.

It would be more interesting if we hadn’t already chosen gear, units, positions, and tactics for beating Wagner and seen his troop positions. And been told he was going to ambush us 3 times before seeing the guy.

An Unexpected Caller ( is playing now. It’s hilariously inappropriate. Also they seem to already be in the castle?

Roy is faintly suspicious and starts talking things over with Merlinus. This chapter begins in media res in a mildly confusing manner. It’s unusual for the writers to do something like skip over the actual meeting with Wagner and start with the characters talking about that in the past tense.

You mean besides being the most obviously evil hooded dark wizard we’ve ever seen?

Roy picked up on some odd details like that during their offscreen conversation apparently. Having it offscreen kind of ruins the effect. If we got to see the same evidence he did then we could either feel clever together or think it all makes sense in hindsight, just like any good mystery story. But instead this is the writers basically telling us Roy is smart or perceptive instead of showing it to us.

And apparently Wagner said this too.

Ugh. You know, Merlinus has always been the cautious and suspicious person up till now. This would really have been a good chance for him to be right about something with him pointing these things out to the young and inexperienced Roy. But instead he goes out of character to be a trusting fool and Roy becomes the wary one the one time that’s appropriate. It’s ridiculous and makes the Merlinus-Roy relationship which is the only lasting one in the game ever more annoying.

The plot thickens.

Well that’s at least something of a surprise; it could easily have been one of Wagner’s men.

She reveals what she heard about the ambush.

Dramatic irony!

Darn, she gave it away. That would have been a great chance for a real surprise even if they wanted to give away that there was a trap set. They could have made it look like Orun was the mastermind so there’d be at least something unexpected happening.

Double ugh. Now he switches sides again so that he’s always wrong. They have him trust everyone untrustworthy and suspect everyone honest no matter how little his inconsistency makes sense. It’s a cheap way to make Roy seem smart and it doesn’t work, instead Merlinus just looks like a moron who is wrong 100% of the time and completely useless at everything. Why is he Roy’s advisor instead of Marcus? Ok wait, Marcus is also full of bad advice in this game. Know who might be cool? Eliwood (The greatest knight in all of Lycia). Picture still sick but recovering Eliwood accompanying Roy on his journey and helping him make good decisions while also making sure he grows into a good leader in his own right. And then maybe going out to fight in the late chapters as one of your endgame uber pre-promotes. Just not Merlinus.

The whole make Merlinus incredibly dumb so Roy seems smart correcting him tack is also completely pointless when they have legitimate ways to make Roy seem smart, like this one. Having Roy outwit Wagner like this to make him reveal his trap is cool.

So here’s where the writing gets pretty good for a while.

Roy and Wagner have a little talk in the courtyard.

Wait, weren’t they just in the castle? Anyway, we see that Wagner is willing to be pretty close to the fray when his ambush starts; he’s not necessarily any kind of coward hiding behind his subordinates.

Roy lays out the bait, saying they just got a message about something important and have to go.

And to make sure Wagner has no other reason to ask them to stay (as well as confirm whether Orun is alive or not) he says he’ll tell Orun that it’s not Wagner’s fault they’re hurrying on.

Wagner plays it safe and sticks to his story there, but Roy has him on the defensive now.

Roy says in that case there’s no reason to stay longer, so they’re going to just leave.

So Wagner is out of options and attacks before they escape.
Speaking of escape, Roy, Dieck, and the others could totally just kill him now. He’s right there. But they let him walk away.

Saul points out that if we leave, they’ll give chase. I mean, that’s fine though, they’ll be disorganized and out of their ambush spot and fighting in the open where we have the advant-

No, you blockhead, that’s what they want! Their whole plan was designed around having us fight in the castle where they’re strong and we’re weak! Why would you choose to fight on their terms when the whole point of your plan was to make them give up their advantage? Geez, one of the few clever moments in the game- and meant above all to make Roy look smart- and then they make it all pointless by having Roy be an idiot. Darn. Maybe the writers will have their act together when the prequel comes out. They do.

But for now there’s Battle Preparations!

Battle Preparations & the Map:

Secondary Objective: Recruit Sue with Roy
Secondary Objective: Talk to Cath with Roy
Secondary Objective: Steal Cath’s Lockpick
Secondary Objective: Build up supports
Secondary Objective: Get the 3000 Gold from the bottom leftish chest
Secondary Objective: Get the 5000 Gold from the mid left chest
Secondary Objective: Get the Unlock Staff from the top left chest
Secondary Objective: Get the Silver Lance from the bottom right chest
Secondary Objective: Get the 2000 Gold from the other bottom rightish chest
Secondary Objective: Get the Killer Axe from the mid rightish chest
Secondary Objective: Get the Goddess Icon from the other mid rightish chest
Secondary Objective: Get the Shortbow from the other other mid rightish chest
Secondary Objective: Spawn and kill all possible reinforcements
Reinforcements: Complicated. First of all, some spawn from near Wagner on turns 8, 12, and 16. Additionally, there are 2 soldiers, a knight, and a mage in the top left and top right rooms. 2 soldiers, a knight, and an archer will spawn in the bottom left and bottom right rooms 2 turns after their doors are opened. Finally 3 soldiers, a knight, an archer, and a mage will spawn near the bottom after ALL player units move north of the spawn trigger line. What’s wonderful is that in almost all of these cases one either has time to get ready before the enemies appear or the enemy spawns too far away to attack immediately. This is about the best FE6 ever gets about making reinforcements reasonable.
Turn Limit: 20. Actually not that much time. See, there are 16 doors/chests that must be opened to accomplish all objectives and only one player thief. Even if you have a ton of door keys, there are still 8 chests alone and they’re spaced far apart. And there’s fighting to do on the way. Problematically, many of the chests on this level contain gold- which can’t be stolen back under any circumstances- and most of the rest contain weapons which could only be retrieved from Cath by killing her. So you can’t let Cath do any of the work except opening 1-2 doors to rooms with no treasure.
Units Allowed: 9 + Roy + Saul + Dorothy (Enough to do the job comfortably)

Like Light or Jerme’s version of Pale Flower of Darkness, much of this map consists of closed rooms which you can’t see into until a thief opens the door. Shockingly, this isn’t actually used to spring horrible traps with giant armies of concealed enemies.

The reinforcements in this level are not easy to understand without actually looking at WoD’s excellent summary, , and that plus all the closed room mysteries make it hard to do a proper ranking run of the chapter without already knowing everything about it.

However, it’s still pretty fun playing casually and is even cool to try to max rank once you know how everything works. I consider this one of the best-done chapters in the game. It presents a fairly reasonable challenge level, does not rely particularly on ambush reinforcements despite having a golden opportunity to, has enough optional objectives and a short enough time frame to accomplish them to be interesting, and has a map design that encourages interesting tactics.

And being the first chapter on which one is actually allowed to do Battle Preparations helps a lot toward making this the most tactical chapter so far.

Here’s the first formation I actually get to choose:

Units Brought:
1) Roy. Required and provides good support to Lance and Alan. There are also a fair number of knights which he can be moderately effective against. Still, he’s not very useful.
2) Dorothy. Required and moderately useful for ranged damage vs the many soft targets on this level. Much better than Wolt, but she needs someone to trade her a lighter bow.
3) Saul. Required and arguably the best healer in the party for now, but he needs a non-Mend staff.
4) Alan. Probably my best overall unit. With his weapon variety, javelins in particular, movement, support bonuses, and good stats, he’s effective against every enemy on the level except maybe knights.
5) Lance. Not as good as Alan, but still pretty useful.
6) Chad. Indispensable for his thieving abilities. Not a bad warrior either, but he’s going to be too busy to be allowed to fight.
7) Lugh. Beginning to come into his own as my best and most versatile ranged attacker.
8) Dieck. At a disadvantage since so many people on this level have lances, but still highly effective.
9) Rutger. Roughly on par with Dieck now that he can’t dodge tank very well. Despite swimming upstream against weapon triangle disadvantage, the two of them make a surprisingly versatile team due to the variety of swords already available.
10) Lot. Arguably my best infantryman on this chapter since every enemy pretty much has lances and he’s become very fast and solidly tough and strong. His hammer in particular is very nice against the numerous knights.
11) Clarine. The other good healer, plus I want her building support with Rutger and Dieck if possible.
12) Ellen. Bad even at healing, but I’m often going to have 3 separate groups fighting so I’m going to want 3 healers. That’s best for XP grinding too.
Notable Units Rejected:
1) Marcus. The enemies took a nosedive in power and numbers fought at once. Meanwhile, my other units have gotten much stronger, so I no longer need him softening people up.
2) Thany. I’d like to bring her, but I need a small and elite group to handle this level efficiently and she’s garbage against knights and several other common enemy types. And there are too many archers mixed in with the enemy forces. Plus flying isn’t much help on this map.
3) Merlinus. Totally unnecessary now that I can do battle preparations to give people the gear they need at the beginning.
4) Ward, Wolt, and Bors. Oh I am so glad to be able to kick these losers off the team. Ward will now be a water boy, Bors can cheerlead, and Wolt gets to dress as Peggy the Pegasus, our loveable mascot.

Everyone is packing vulneraries just in case. Most healers have both Heals and Mends or will after trading (Clarine has a spare Heal for Saul).

Roy, Lance, Alan, and Lot will force their way right through the middle with Saul for healing. Lance and Alan should be able to counter and kill both mages on the first turn, then the four of them will have an easy time with the knights and soldiers. Depending on how easy, I might just charge right through into the throne room and clear that out too. After that they’ll be moving to meet Cath and possibly prepare to carry Chad around. Roy has an iron sword and his rapier; Lance and Alan both have iron swords, iron lances, and javelins; and Lot has an iron axe, a handaxe, a steel axe (in case I want to soften a target for someone else), and the hammer.

Rutger and Dieck, healed by Clarine are positioned to take the left. They should have an easy time, so they’ll trigger their bottom left reinforcements early and then move to help anyone else in need. Clarine has a door key for that purpose. Dieck has his iron sword, an iron blade, and an armorslayer. Rutger has iron swords and a killing edge. The two of them will trade those weapons pretty often.

That leaves Chad, Dorothy, Lugh, and Ellen to take the right front. That group is obviously pretty feeble, though they should be able to handle the weak resistance the enemy will present. However, they won’t trigger the bottom right reinforcements until the middle group is ready to help. Oh and Lugh has an iron bow for Dorothy.

The Characters:

A moderately dutiful priest of St. Elimine’s Church but a shameless skirt chaser and a man with little regard for the rules. I’m not actually sure if Elimine’s priests swear vows of celibacy, but at the very least it’s considered gauche for them to be constantly flirting with every woman they come across.
He’s actually one of the best developed characters in the game and many of his supports are pretty awesome. His C support with Dorothy in particular suggests he’s both rather clever and a pretty good person, his reputation aside. Furthermore, it’s clear that although he sometimes abuses his station as a priest, he’s actually a true believer (Unlike Oro) AND he actually gets results. Not only did he succeed in his mission to make sure the Fire Emblem was in good hands, but he also has an extensive list of people he’s convinced to join the church to present to Yodel.

Also, he’s one of the best healers in the game. This is not saying much, but still. Besides having superior mag to the others clear up to level 20 or so (and a decent and growing lead over Clarine), he’ s also respectably durable (waaaay more so than either of them) and extremely fast. Clarine has a horse and better support options and more luck, but when mobility isn’t an issue, Saul is just better. Except for when I need lots of healers, Ellen is off the team for a while.

Also immediately joining the team is Saul’s straight-laced and devout bodyguard. She has no patience for his womanizing and thinks he’s a disgrace to the church. Oh and in their A support she points her bow at him and threatens to kill him and acts like that’s his fault. That’s pretty crazy.

In general, I’m not fond of her supports. They make her out to be extremely shy, none too competent, and completely lacking confidence or pride in her skill with the bow, her role in the church, or her identity as a non-noblewoman. This is rather different from the competent, serious young woman proud of her important mission and usually one step ahead of Saul whom we see before she joins the party.

She’s the best archer in the game, but that is an utterly worthless station to hold. For one thing, bows still suck. For another, she doesn’t even play in the same league as the nomads. She’ll still be providing pretty solid fire support on this chapter and if she happens to get some stat blessings, she might be around longer. At the very least, it shouldn’t be awful to add her back in later and train her up for some XP.

Not really joining until the chapter is basically over, we have the first of the aforementioned nomads. She’s the granddaughter of Dayan, the Silver Wolf of the Kutolah tribe, and thus possibly the daughter of Rath. Like most Sacaens, she’s serious and stoic and loyal to her tribe, in which she was already something of a leader. She’s basically a female Roy talking to Lance/Alan in her supports with Shin and in fact I’d say she’s pretty similar to him in general.

Since I’m not fond of bow users, I’ve never actually used Sue. Looking at her stats, she has bad Str to be using low Might weapons like bows and swords, but is possibly still usable due to her spectacular dodging ability. I’ll give her a try for XP if nothing else.

Shows up here but isn’t recruitable yet. To get Cath to join you need to talk to her with Roy 3 times on different chapters (she shows up on up to 6). I think that’s fairly interesting, though it would be more so if she were 1) harder to talk to and 2) more worth the effort. She’ll get a proper introduction when she joins.

As a dark mage and advisor, Wagner was contractually obligated to betray his liege. Why so many/possibly all of the realm’s soldiers were willing to take Wagner’s side is left unclear- particularly since they didn’t even have any kind of guarantee they’d be allowed to join Bern. Maybe Orun was a terrible leader in some way. Wagner himself doesn’t seem so great.

Back and at least arguably better than ever, Flux is now much lighter, 1 Might stronger, but 10 accuracy weaker than in 7. The weight difference in particular prevents Wagner from being totally unthreatening since he gets to use his full (and impressive for his class) 12 speed. He’s still pretty darned easy to deal with.

Playing Through:

At long last I can do battle preparations. Now I can really get to work. Dorothy and Lugh move up to just out of mercenary range with Dorothy getting a shiny new iron bow so she doesn’t have to use her heavy steel one.

On the other side, Rutger is in the fore since he has better odds of dodging and should double. Saul takes his new heal staff from Clarine, remaining in position to support the middle.

The two cavaliers, javelins at the ready, move to the exact edge of the enemy mage range. I checked the numbers before choosing this formation and they can each double and kill the specific enemies they’re matched with. Roy and Lot just move up behind them.

The camera pans to one of the left rooms and we see the as yet unseen Sue overhearing the fighting going on.

Alan and Lance make short work of the mages.

Lot kills one enemy, making room for Saul to heal Alan, and then it’s time to move up and take new defensive positions.

Unfortunately, Dorothy is far too weak to get this kill. I want to take this dangerous looking position because moving 1 right would be worse: both of those soldiers have javelins. And you can see that in the middle my cavaliers are tanking- but have moved into the clearing area to guarantee I can move freely next turn to finish the enemy.

The left group quickly forms a wall, dispatching the last mercenary at the same time. And that’s the turn.

Now that they’ve got real support bonuses, Lance and Alan aren’t even that bad against knights.

Most of the enemy soldiers have javelins so they’re moderately annoying to get rid of.

I make an opportunity to toss Dorothy a kill. As you can see, she’s decently effective on offense against soldiers already- more than my truly bad characters.

Chad can’t kill that other one though, I have no time to spare, so he’s got to open that door.

On the left flank, the iron blade is passed around to give whoever needs enough damage to one-round kill enemies.

Rutger finishes this one and the left side is clear.

I’d rather save Lot and his hammer for the other, less injured knight but Roy can hurt that one more due to its lower Def, so Lot handles this one instead.

This Lot is really becoming a speed demon. I’ve never actually used the guy before so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but he’s proving surprisingly good. No Gonzalez obviously, but good.

Even with supports and the several good levels mine has gained recently, Roy is still bad. But juuuuust good enough to finish off an injured knight with below average def while being hit for half his HP in return.

And Lance finishes the last one. The center is clear.

Pretty good. Mine was behind on Str. And that’s the turn.

I’d left Lot (with his handaxe traded to the top of his gear of course) just at the edge of mage range to lure this guy, but apparently he’s one of the non-moving enemies.

So Lot and Alan take the fight to him. Alan has a javelin which is almost broken equipped and an iron sword next in his inventory. That way he won’t sweep the whole room of mages and javelin-wielding knights and then die on the last one or anything.

Chad gets the first chest.

Ellen heals Lugh after they finish off the last soldier.

That’s her first good level. But this is actually a good Ellen, startlingly. She’s still so fragile that even these nerfed enemies can instant kill her. And she barely has more Mag than Saul starts with.

There’s nothing left to fight, so Clarine opens the door to trigger the reinforcements there as soon as possible.

During the enemy turn, Alan’s javelin breaks as intended.

Which, as you can see, possibly saved him. Had he javelined down those mages, he’d have cleared room for the knights to also hit.

Chad gets the silver lance.

So, the rest of the throne room units are easy to beat. Pretty good Roy level.

It’s still not clear if those knights move or not, so I’m playing it safe.

Turn 5, Cath appears to start stealing stuff.

I keep the hallway clear for her here so she’ll keep coming this direction.

Lot easily kills throne room knight number 1.

The cavaliers drop him in range of the second and then stand in support formation.

Preparing for the enemy to arrive, Dieck equips his armorslayer.

Just as planned.

Lot wrecks the other knight and gets a sweet level.

Ok. It does like 10 damage. This line is like the beta of Nergal’s awesome “Be prepared. You are to be witness to a power that overwhelms all.”

Reinforcements are coming but there’s work to do elsewhere and I want to fight them on my own terms.

Unfortunately I had to waste two armorslayer charges on a random soldier, but that’s not a big loss. Now I can kill the others quickly and then get these three to work elsewhere.

No to open this door. I’ll have enough time to get the middle group in position to help with the reinforcements who will come in 2 turns, and this square also lets me steal from Cath and then talk to her immediately.

The top group will be all healed up and ready. And the cavaliers will be in position to start carting Chad around after he opens the top door.

And I’ve carefully avoided having everyone go north of the reinforcement line all at once, but next turn will be the time.

The first wave of top reinforcements appeared on schedule.

Cath opens the door, time for her to go.

Chad takes her lockpick.

Roy talks to her by assaulting her apparently. No wonder she doesn’t like him later.

Only if you’ve paid no attention to anything she said or did.

See you in like 2 chapters or whenever it is.

The top reinforcements are easy to deal with.

And with everyone now north of the reinforcement line, the bottom troops come at a perfect time.

It’ll be easy to stop them here.

I’m in a hurry, so I open the top right door now. I can’t quite take everyone out, but I can get close.

Lugh gets a great level weakening one of the soldiers.

Alan does too, taking down one of the throne room reinforcements.

Throne room down.
Everyone should be safe.

Dorothy’s first level is mediocre.

Saul heals the HP Dorothy gained from leveling and gets a mediocre level himself. It’s contagious.

So Cath is leaving and there’s a bunch more reins coming.

Rutger and Dieck move to block the middle reinforcements.

Rutger gets a terrible level up.

Dieck’s is much better.

Yet another chest.

Got to keep up the heals.

And another chest.

With the steel bow and her recent str level and the enemies being weakened on this level, she can barely scratch this guy. But it’s good enough.

The rest of them fall easily.

More reins appear, which is why I was out of that room.

Last chest there.

I can’t kill those reins right now, so I just block them off. That knight only has a javelin so he can’t instant kill Ellen.

Chad needs transport and the cavaliers are ready.

While not breaking support formation of course.

Another mediocre level for Dorothy, who has now begun to cross into bad territory.

If I didn’t have 3 healers, this would be much harder.

Last one down.

The band is back together.

Chad opens the next and final door with enemies. There’s one more wave of reinforcements from the top coming and that’s it.

Lot steps in with his hammer to intercept the reinforcements which are about to spawn in another turn. The rest just move into position.

Chad opens the next door. Now I can have the cavaliers carry her to Roy.

Time to recruit another character.

Introductions are in order.

He explains the situation.

Works out nicely.

Except she has no bows. This makes perfect sense. So I’m kind of surprised to see it happen in an FE game.

But I planned for this.

More speed as he kills the knights as they spawn.

Chad opens the next door. Now there are 3 chests left (one in the far top left). I can’t get them all opened with Chad walking.

Final support unlocked and now’s the chance to use it! Just in time for the big day.

Lance is finally talking sense.

Alan is still Alan.

Possibly his superior stats.

Although one might expect Alan to just deny they’d ever lose.

And that’s the end of their supports. I liked the B one better really.

Just planning ahead a bit.

Time to start using Sue.

Lugh helps clean up one of the last couple of enemies.

Now she’s ahead on magic. Still bad.

More gold! Wonder what’s in the next one.

And Rutger goes for the boss. It’ll be easy to pull him out and replace him if this goes badly.

And even more gold. Have I mentioned the game throws it at you? I mean 3 separate chests in this one level all give gold. What’s the point?

And cavalier one picks Chad up and carries him to right next to cavalier 2.

Who takes him and moves here where Lot drops him. It’s... it’s really not that cool after Whereabouts Unknown. But if you haven’t read my FE7 Let’s Play and didn’t see me totally telegraph it, I just moved a thief something like 20 squares in one turn while also getting a chest. Which will let me grab this one something like 4 turns earlier.

Clarine gets a pretty good level healing Dieck up for the chip damage he’d taken.

The only weakness was getting overheard by a passing spy or maybe outsmarted by someone who saw the numerous clues giving the ambush away or just straight up losing the fight in your ambush killzone.

Def is nice and all, but Rutger has been getting sucky levels this chapter.

Chad gets the last chest.

And turn 20 win. An earlier victory would be possible, but I didn’t need to save the time badly and also needed most of those turns to build the final support with Lance and Alan.

So Sue explains her story.

He’s been mentioned a few times by that name already.

And she gives an explanation of Sacaean politics at the moment.

You know, it seems like most Sacaean women fight, but maybe it’s just a coincidence that 100% of the three or four we see do. It’s also peculiar that they have a policy of having people flee to a really weak country with a lot of racism toward them. Maybe Etruria is even worse? Well those Sacaean savages are all pretty dumb, perhaps they just didn’t think of Etruria.

More Sacaen politics which might never pay off at all and certainly not for like 20 chapters.

We learn later that she was actually leading the group and blames herself for them getting killed or whatever ultimately befell them.

We already know! See this here would be a perfect explanation of a plot that wasn’t spoiled for us at the very beginning of the chapter. They should have made it be a surprise Wagner was evil, let Roy figure that out on his own with some help from the consistently suspicious Merlinus, maybe made us wonder for a while if Orun actually was a traitor, and then let Sue fill in the missing pieces at the end. THAT would have made a way-cool chapter. As it is, it’s still a thousand times better than 4, which basically adds the same thing to the story. Only one of 4 and 6 should have been in the game, and it’s this one because this one has a good map.

Merlinus runs in with some bad news.

The plot has finally begun advancing once again! We’ve been in this going to Ostia limbo for three whole chapters now. And really, that doesn’t feel fundamentally different from going to meet up with Hector for chapters 2 and 3. And Bern has seemingly been doing nothing after completely wrecking the whole army and convincing a bunch of Marquesses to change sides.

Now there’s something we haven’t seen two times already!

At least it’s cool that again we see that Roy cares about Lilina. It would be cooler if other characters had personal motivations and the like more often, but Roy is a start.

Mysteriously, they never actually use or attempt to use her as a hostage in any way.

So… same as we’ve been doing? But with more exclamation points? I can get behind that. (!)

Total Restarts: 2 (One time I carelessly lost Rutger, another time I somehow misremembered Sue as recruiting automatically so I didn’t carry her to Roy and ended a turn early instead)
Turn Surplus: -19 (No change)
Things I Regret Missing: A couple of uses of Marcus’s silver lance on Rude, a Chapter 5 nomad Marcus had to kill