Part 16Playing Through:
Im really just not fond of killer weapons- or critical hits in general. While there are countermeasures available like attacking from range, thats not always feasible. And even that doesnt work against enemies like, say, Scott with his handaxe. Having to work through a whole level only to face something like a 20% chance of being instant killed anyway is just not good game design (other FEs had it too of course. Every single enemy druid with Luna on HHM was a nasty threat, for example).
And in the hands of the player, criticals are powerful but unreliable, making things more a matter of luck and less of strategy.
Well thats pretty nice. My cavaliers are really both speedy.
You know, Ive been doing this trade trick a lot just assuming everyone knows what it is, but possibly some of you are new readers who havent read my in-depth talk about advanced trading tactics (http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3701153&pagenumber=4#post441803201). One of the better War Rooms I think.
Anyway, the short version is that Lance attacks with one weapon (the iron sword here) and then Shin moves in next to him to finish the enemy, but first trades with Lance to switch the javelin to the top of Lances inventory. That means that when the sniper attacks on the enemy turn, Lance can counterattack even though he used an iron sword on his own turn.
Lalum gets an adequate level helping Gonzalez attack.
He finishes one enemy off with his handaxe, putting him in range to take down one or more of those archers.
Lilina moves right on in to attack this guy. On a map full of chokepoints like this, every square of ground can matter. Plus I dont mind generating extra wounds for Ellen to heal.
Everyone just move in, but the two cavaliers (Treck in front since I want him to do more fighting next turn) drop the dancer along further. You should almost always be doing this kind of rescuing if youre not fighting; keeping the dancer at the front of the group is extremely valuable. Well thats the turn.
Ray moves up and listens in on Flaer (who up till now looked like the boss) talking to Aine.
This is the second boss switch this level!
And this is just an incredibly dumb reason. Its arguably even stupider than Narshen flying off out of castle Araphen. Then Narshen was ignoring an enemy attack and disobeying orders to go just do whatever he wanted. Here Flaer is ignoring the mission hes explicitly here to do and said he would do to go fulfill his duty in a totally self-defeating way.
I mean, hes going to report to Narshen about the Lycian army. Why not wait five minutes so he can report the outcome of this absolutely critical slugfest at which he needs to defeat the Lycian army?
Narshen! I ran here as fast as I could to tell you that I dont know anything at all because I didnt stay at my post for 5 minutes before coming here to report nothing!
He somehow hears Ray waiting outside the door which is across a giant room from him.
Its the stupidest cliché. And its even stupider here. YOURE INDOORS.
What is even the point of this? They have him implausibly overhear Ray and then implausibly decide it was nothing for no reason at all.
Now you tell us. Its only a minor nuisance in this case, but I really dont like how this game switches bosses on you mid-chapter several times. You cant really beat Aine without good preparations, but you dont have any idea what his stats are until youre a turn into the level. Its just a pointless forced restart on your first time playing. At least its only on turn 2.
Didnt those 5 guys see him walk right up and eavesdrop? Maybe he looks like wind to them.
Apparently he hasnt been doing that up till now? How did he even get in here then?
Eclipse! Now even more useless than before! Its basically incapable of hitting anything ever. I dont think you can break 90 hit with any level 20/20 character even with maximum accuracy support targeting a person who has 0 speed and luck and is on a plain. And no enemy is ever likely to even get to 10% against even my slowest characters.
Phew. Theres really nothing I can do here; I have to let that priest fire away and hope for misses or for targeting unimportant people.
It was important that I let the sniper attack Lance first, not the other way around. That ensured the enemy priests didnt bother healing the sniper. That in turn gave Lance a chance to attack and weaken it enough for Shin to now finish it. Thats worth a use of this precious bow, because otherwise the priests (and the 100 HP wall) can let the sniper tank me.
Well that sucks.
Fir kills the knight easily.
And Chad does another trade swap so her armorslayer doesnt get wasted on a random fighter.
Although my knowledge of the enemy longbow AI (that archer has one) is imperfect, I think this bait should work. Basically, Chad has the lowest Def here and is a thief, both of which I think the AI likes to target. So instead of staying safely put, it will move into a dangerous spot to attack Chad, letting someone else then attack it next turn.
Now what to do over here. Gonzalez killed one of the nearby archers and the other went elsewhere (its the longbow one), but theres still a lot of ranged attackers to deal with and the best way to move speedily forward is unclear.
Ive said it before, but its worth saying again: when youre confused as to what the best move is, its helpful to take the obviously needed moves first. Like moving the right side group and now taking this XP heal. That makes it easier to think smart about the more important choices.
Lilina killing this guy is another fairly obvious move, the only alternatives require spending either Lalums dance or one of my rescue-capable cavaliers turns.
Now its easy to figure out what to do. First Lalum dances (without moving into the furthest possible space, since I need that one for someone else).
Gonzalez just waits over here.
Which lets Alan take him and then Treck (javelin at the ready) drop him.
And then Lilina moves in. Bam! Excellent movement progress, three competent attackers ready to start tearing down that ranged group, AND theyre all standing in support building formation.
Just as planned! Well, almost.
But even with him right where I want him, hes tough to kill. Particularly since (surprising me) he chose to hit Chad from 2 range rather than 3.
So now I have a problem where I kind of need Chad to attack from his current square so Fir can finish that fighter, but if I do that then I cant kill the archer (or make progress).
I ultimately decided to just burn 1-2 uses of the killing edge. Worth it for the time and trouble saved.
Well thats kind of disappointing.
With the path clear, Chad runs up to lure the next archer, but not the final one because getting shot by both could be trouble.
Another longbow shot takes care of this pest. Notice that I always try to make sure I only need a single hit to get the kill. Its good to conserve your tactically useful weapons like that when possible.
Now to the left front. I had some pretty bad accuracy luck all in all, and its prudent to kill some or all of these people before moving along.
Well no luck with Gonzalez. I should make as much progress with the others as I can, so Alan picks up Lugh and then Lalum dances so that he can immediately move and drop Lugh. This can be a VERY effective use of dancing. Afterall, its kind of like getting to dance for 2 units at once.
The enemy priest uses his uber-long ranged physic staff to heal the shaman Lugh hurt.
And Chad just loiters around, his job done for now.
Lance moves into the perfect range to lure the longbow user.
Fir gets to work on this wall. She can deal 20 per turn with her iron sword, but its really tough. Still, those two juicy priests are worth it.
So no one I have (other than Alan) can accurately kill this shaman. What to do
Alan carts Lilina out of the way and
Gonzalez finishes with 75% odds instead of 25%. This is one of those rare rescue techniques I mentioned back in The War Room Part 41 (http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3716259&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=8#post444925952)
And Treck and Lalum keep him moving too.
Im ahead of schedule so Chad is just hanging out. I dont want to open that door just yet.
Shin is healed up before his next fight, which Ive mentioned is good for maximizing the total amount of heal XP you can get.
Meh. Not bad I guess.
Shin has enough power to finish this one without help.
With Lalums help, Ellen does some more healing.
And everyone crowds in in support formation. I believe the warrior hidden over there moves after the fighters, so it probably wont move at all now. That should make this easier.
It worked. Shin kills this random priest off so Lance can move through and reunite with Alan and Roy at last.
These fighters are easily dispatched one by one.
Gonzalez goes for it. If he misses, its no problem since Alan can just move Treck out of the way and let Lilina fire instead.
Lilina takes a minor risk here. The chance of both handaxes of the survivors hitting her is <5%.
Got to maximize the healing XP gained. And thats the turn.
Darn, Lance falls asleep. No big deal though, he doesnt have much to do for a bit.
Enemies seem to love sleeping targets. Alan runs over and weakens the hapless warrior who tried to kill his buddy.
And hes amazing.
Shin helps next, taking the shot from here so that Ellen can heal his level up 1 HP.
Which she does.
And that was all to feed the kill to Treck since hes my lowest level guy here who isnt incredibly easy to train.
Lilina weakens this one.
And Roy has nothing to do but wait. The point of this formation is basically to keep the handaxe away from Ellen.
Caths theme plays as she does a little poem.
And now shell run right to Chad.
The sleep staff hits again. This is marginally more of a problem.
I didnt bother having Saul send his Restore staff west though. Those guys arent going to cause any trouble by being asleep and I need him here anyway. Fir has finally opened the wall.
Lugh attacks the fighter and moves to recruit Ray next move.
Roy opens the door.
Lance is healed.
Meh. At least she finally started gaining Mag.
And the reason I didnt have Ellen heal from dance range: Im instead using the dance on Alan. Hes carrying the sleeping Noah. This lets me move Noah along so that hell wake up in a good spot, but I do need to make sure he gets dropped immediately. Status counters dont count down while youre being rescued.
Oh, thats nice, the priest finally missed.
Next turn! For some reason this priest actually moved toward Fir when she opened the door, which made my job easier.
On the left Lilina and Gonzalez are traveling together to catch up with Treck and build support as they move to intercept the coming reinforcements. Youll notice that I basically wiped the entire map clean by turn 7 or something. If you have a good strategy and use rescuing well, its an easy chapter. Otherwise its a slow mess.
Lockpick stolen! Mwahahaha. Now shell just sit around for a while.
Ray is recruited.
He has to make that difficult and get in some callous remarks about everyone and everything first.
Roy heads over toward the disappointed Cath.
Fir kills the last priest.
This is actually a semi-legit warning, which I appreciate. There are still some problems. One: some enemies also come from the northeast. Two, there are later unannounced reinforcements from the throne room too which are quite dangerous as you deal with the boss. The third problem youll see shortly.
Every little bit counts.
Roy preaches at Cath a bit. And now we learn that I definitely forgot to actually talk to her on chapter 8. Otherwise shed join now. Darn, I had her trapped and Roy ready and everything, cant believe I forgot. Oh well, it doesnt really matter.
She voices an entirely reasonable dislike of nobles and their taxing the peasants for their own gain.
Roy gives a justification were apparently supposed to think is legit but which totally isnt for a dozen reasons.
Lalum is turning out poorly.
But its something to heal.
Now that Cath is done with, Chad gets the gem.
Roy walks back.
And rescue chain! Hes immediately dropped right outside the throne room.
Treck finally wakes up; the group continues together.
And the bottom reinforcements spawn on turn 12. Im ready.
Just as planned! Those wyverns have javelins and they cant resist the closest target in range which is the completely deadly Shin. 2 wyverns dead immediately. And he can then walk down and kill the next with the longbow easily if I deem it necessary.
My turn, Shin moves down to be ready and Chad gets another chest.
Fir is doing great.
But this guy is doing better. This is the third reason the reinforcement warning is not good enough. A level 15 promoted enemy at this point in the game is just crazy. Thats actually even better than the already insane Robart. I mean this guy hits harder than the dragon. Its not even close actually. And hes way faster too. Fir can barely double him. And he even breaks a stat cap for good measure! Enemies are not this strong at the end of the game.
Its not enough to know reinforcements are coming, you also have to know that for no good reason one of them is 15 levels above everything else on the chapter in order to strategize properly.
The dragonslayers move in.
As does Lilinas group. That hero is very formidable, but hes only level 1 or something. Strong and very fast but not completely overpowering and capable of OHKOing many of your tanky units like that warrior.
Although I could kill the wyvern, Im not going to. Its just the one, so Fir should be able to handle it.
Shin moves up to be ready for the next wave.
Reaver weapons are MUCH worse in this game because they only reverse the weapon triangle, rather than also doubling it. Plus the weapon triangle is weaker than in FE7. So reaver weapons are roughly 1/3 as good. But that will do in this situation.
Although Im not attacking now, I check the numbers to make sure I know how much damage I can do exactly.
Because this is not acceptable. One more point of HP, Roy
Fir downs the warrior at last. You can see she was actually in danger. I didnt even know hed be THAT strong, I figured hed just leave her at like 2 HP or something. Enemy stat gains can vary a fair amount so theres no way to be totally prepared for hard mode reinforcements.
That is really disappointing for having kill the most dangerous enemy ever faced completely solo.
This is really not a good Gonzalez so far. His starting bonuses were pretty good, but hes had 2 HP only levels and counting.
The wave is nearly finished, but another one is coming (with another uber warrior). Fir gets healed up as she keeps fighting.
Now its time to go to work.
The plan down here has largely been for Gonzalez and Treck to just tank long enough to let Lilina do most of the damage. Its working well.
Treck could move in and attack, but its actually better to stay here. This way at least one enemy must go for the more dangerous Gonzalez instead. Oh and note that that shaman only had an eclipse tome, which is why Its not attacking.
Fir has suddenly begun to be quite disappointing.
The Brigands weird and unusual crit animation is pretty much never seen outside this game. Gonzalez surprised me with this one.
This will be the first of many Gonzalez criticals, though hell probably get most of them once he promotes.
That skill bonus is definitely appreciated.
The next wave of wyverns also fall prey to Shin as planned.
Disappointing. Lilina has done well but overall I think my levels for this chapter have been fairly sub-average.
And Lugh has arrived. He and Ray have been walking across the map in support formation with moderate Lalum assistance and arrived just when I hoped they would.
Fir starts at 99
And finishes at 99. 100 XP gained! You dont see that every day!
Wow! Now theres a level. Makes up for the really disappointing one from the first uber warrior.
The left side is now completely under control, so Lilina opens a door rather than fight.
Which lets Treck get the kill from support formation.
My luck turned around pretty much the instant I complained.
Ill shut up about it now.
I pulled Fir out and let Ray get a kill.
Chad unlocked the door. Hell come running to get more supports.
Alan has been making good progress turn by turn, but now reinforcements are coming so he hauls Ellen out to safety.
Lilina loots the flux tome.
Tons of firepower is now ready for this wyvern.
Chad and Ray can talk even though Ray is already recruited.
Lugh already told him this exact same story about what happened to their orphanage. Inexplicably, Ray is still completely surprised by it.
Hey! We are pure ownage on these islands, thank you very much! Show some team spirit!
Lugh kills the wyvern. Ive decided I want to promote him soon (and I also didnt want to use another Nosferatu to get the kill, but thats all Ray has available).
Treck attacks the helpless shaman.
And misses so Lilina takes it from here.
Alan walks back and finishes Aine after a turn of killing helpless fighter reinforcements.
Alan continues to think hes a green cavalier.
Lance kills another fighter for good measure.
I have no idea what synonym for use is abbreviated Cnt
Sweet bonuses! Alan is the first promoted unit. And I did this now because unless I misremember, you cant actually use items in the slugfest preparations screen in this game.
Saul does another heal and gets another pretty darned bad level.
Shin kills another fighter.
Only 3 enemies remain and one is Cath. I stole everything, looted everything, killed almost the maximum possible number of enemies, did it with mainly lowish level units, kept almost everyone in support formations the whole time, didnt even use my precious Wyrmslayer, and it was all clockwork smooth and elegant.
I got 26 levels despite there being almost no enemies on the chapter, by the way. Guess what? Thats a fail. By 400 XP. The requirement for this chapter is absurd. You couldnt succeed it if every single enemy you can fight by turn 20 gave 75 XP. And most of them arent even as high level as the guys 2 chapters ago!
Anyway, I think that was one of my more complete victories, but it was still a really boring chapter. Sure it was cool when my units arrived exactly where I needed them to slaughter the reinforcements just as they spawned and so on, but that there was an 8 turn walk to get there made it less fun. This game just does not have good level design.
First Chad and now you too, Roy?
That warrior WAS pretty brutal, but I think we can beat the next one easily if we know its coming. Oh wait, he meant the dragon that was barely a problem at all even though we didnt use dragonslaying weapons.
After telling Roy to stop carrying on, Elphin states the obvious.
Sure do. Like Lycia could be invaded any day. Could have happened last week even.
But first a sideqest!
Elphin suggests taking a detour to grab Armads instead. Roy is apparently unaware that one of the legendary weapons is the personal weapon of the king of Bern. Even though he uses it in battle in public whenever he fights, which seems to be pretty often.
Well its time for the second legendary weapon chapter.
Total Restarts: 3 (No retries here either)
Turn Surplus: -9 (Lost 5 turns due to the oddly low limit here. Doesnt really matter though)
Things I Regret Missing: A couple of uses of Marcuss silver lance on Rude, a Chapter 5 nomad Marcus had to kill, two Chapter 12 fighters I couldnt kill since I needed supports built elsewhere