The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword

by Melth

Part 30: Chapter 22 and The War Room Part 24 (Enemy and Ally Turn Order)

Absolutely the biggest, most ferocious battle to date. If you don’t thin the herd, the enemy will easily slam into the 50 unit cap and stop spawning reinforcements. Meanwhile, you have almost a dozen useless but brave allies with bizarre AI.

It’s really the allies, rather than the enemy, that present the big tactical surprises on this map. Yeah the enemies are pretty tough and very numerous, but they fight conventionally and this is a very ordinary map. But when your allies start blocking you, stealing your kills, and luring the boss to unexpected areas, things get tricky fast.

Chapter Summary:
Uther, the Marquess of Ostia, arranges to meet the group halfway rather than in Castle Ostia which is full of spies. Hector, Eliwood, and company are waiting to meet him in a fortress on the Ostian border when Nils suddenly collapses. Around that time, the infamous mercenary Eubans –who was working for Marquess Laus and doesn’t know he’s dead- hits them with a huge surprise attack. Meanwhile, the Black Fang elite is manipulated into preparing to attack Eliwood.

The gang’s all here! At their mountaintop fortress in Bern, Brendan Reed and his wife Sonia, Nergal’s minion, meet with the Four Fangs: Jaffar, Ursula, Lloyd, and Linus. She tasks them with hunting down and killing Eliwood.

And she acknowledges that he and his group are actually a huge threat and to be taken seriously. Her brand of intelligent, practical villainy is really refreshing after Ephidel’s idiocy. And again, I like that Nergal and his minions are actually proactive.

This quick conversation reveals a lot of tension and distrust within the group. While Sonia has Brendan in the palm of her hand, his sons Lloyd and Linus do not trust her and go so far as to question whether their father really approves of the orders she’s giving.

Meanwhile, back at the plot, everyone is chatting while they wait for Uther when Nils suddenly falls unconscious.

And that’s when Eubans- the semi-legendary leader of the mercenary company who attacked on Chapter 15- shows up with his whole army. Heath- and indeed many of the others- are not keen on attacking Eliwood here when Marquess Laus has disappeared and they’re all on the run from Ostian forces, but he insists.

And he stupidly tries to strong-arm Heath into fighting despite Heath not wanting to hurt the women in the group by threatening to turn him in to the authorities in Bern (from whose army Heath deserted BECAUSE he was ordered to attack women and children). As Sealen remarked 9 chapters ago, Heath isn’t cut out to be a mercenary, but Eubans is a quintessential one.

Of course they are. No soldiers whatsoever were posted at the gate or anywhere near the actual entrances to the fortress. Again, people in FE games just have no grasp whatsoever what castles are FOR. This whole scene, of course, is reminiscent of the last time Eubans’s company got inside a fortress we were resting in and surprise attacked.

The War Room, Part 24

Since this chapter is the first since Whereabouts Unknown to have non-recruitable green allied units and is the first period where they’ll fight even if you’re playing well, this is a good time to talk about turn and movement order- and about green units for that matter.

The most basic thing to understand of course is that the game cycles through the Player Phase, Enemy Phase, and Allied Phase in that order every round. Blue, Red, Green, in that order. BRG. If you mistakenly think the green units go before red, you could make some very poor tactical decisions, so make sure you remember. I’ve played long enough that it’s obvious to me, but maybe the following silly mnemonic might help the less experienced: if you remember the right order, then you’ll get to BRaG about your easy victory.

Now within each phase, what determines the enemy (or allied unit) movement order? Well generally they go in the predefined order that they were loaded into the map. This starts with the boss and you can check what order the rest go in by clicking R on the boss and then tapping down to go through the full list in order.
But from what I’ve seen on this chapter, I believe there is an exception to this rule (I’ll try to test it further in the future since it’s contrary to the way I thought things previously worked). It seems that if an enemy cannot currently attack ANYONE, that enemy will be skipped for now and then will be checked again later in the turn order.
For example, imagine that Lyn is currently at a choke point and is up against a fighter and a wyvern rider. Suppose the wyvern rider is first in the turn order (which you found out by clicking R on the boss and then tapping down until you found both units in the list, running into the wyvern rider first). What happens on the enemy turn? Well the wyvern rider’s turn comes up first, but it can’t attack anyone. It doesn’t just wait in place or move and then wait, instead it is skipped for now. The fighter attacks Lyn. If the fighter isn’t killed, then that’s that. But if the fighter IS killed then the wyvern rider realizes it can now attack Lyn and does so.

You can use this knowledge to significant effect sometimes. For example, suppose that Lyn can equip either an iron sword or a lancereaver and she’ll be attacked in a chokepoint hallway by either the fighter or the wyvern rider but can’t just go next to one immediately. Further, suppose she won’t kill either of them with her counterattacks (typical for Lyn really). This means that exactly one enemy will attack her, so it’s optimal to equip the weapon that enemy is bad against. If you know the wyvern rider goes first, then you know you should equip the lancereaver. Otherwise you should go with the iron sword.

Another example was seen on Chapter 11 where killing the boss ends the level. On that chapter, the boss attacked and was killed by Hector so the chapter immediately ended and I won- even though Hector was in range of several enemies who could have killed him.

You can similarly apply your knowledge of the order green units move in and the fact that they go after the enemy to get some tactical advantage, but first you should know the following information about green units:

First, there’s no consistent pattern as to which green (allied) units will actually charge across the map to seek out and destroy the enemy and which will stay put unless an enemy comes into their movement range. Unless you happen to already know in advance, you should probably assume they’ll do whatever is least convenient for you.

Besides generally fighting very badly, they NEVER gain XP from fighting. This is true even of recruitable allied units like Rath on this chapter, so letting green units fight- let alone get kills- is pretty much always a waste of XP. That said, occasionally the waste is worth it. You can let green units soften up an enemy for you to kill more easily, minimizing their XP theft. Their terribleness often makes this as simple as making sure the enemies they fight aren’t badly injured to start with.

And lastly, note that the green unit AI seems to have exactly the same crazy priorities as the red one: they will gleefully attack anyone who can’t fight back, but are even fonder of suiciding one by one to a powerful unit that together they have a tiny % of actually killing. In general they have no grasp of the possibility of missing on attacks, so they will choose to target someone who they could kill if it wasn’t for the fact that they have a 0% chance to hit and who will definitely counter and kill them over a completely defenseless person they could hit with 100% accuracy but couldn’t kill.

Battle Preparations & the Map:

It’s a big one, but a lot of it is empty space where no fighting will take place. It’s also a very crowded one. That’s nearly 40 starting enemies and more are on the way. And you have 6 alllied Ostian knights + Rath is about to arrive as a green unit with a couple of other allies.

From all the locked doors, you might think there’s really just going to be one big front to fight on, but actually loads and loads of the enemies have door keys and they will destroy the broken wall on this chapter. On turn 1, both left doors will be opened first thing and the right broken wall will fall. Curiously, even though there are 3 fighters with door keys nearby, no one will EVER open the right door under any circumstances.

You’ll also note that this map is pretty wide open, has quite a few ballistae and enemies with bows, and its only notable terrain features are the kind of walls that block air units as well as ground ones. This is not, in short, a map that flying characters are very good for. The fact that the enemy wyverns are very numerous and outclass your pegasus knights doesn’t help matters.

Despite appearances though, this map is actually quite straightforward. It’s just one huge fight on 3 fronts with some characters to recruit, not a lot else going on. There are 2 chests, but they’re fairly easy to get to first and the enemy thief thankfully goes for the Brave Axe first instead of the 10,000 gold which you couldn’t get back under any circumstances. No hugely valuable items you have to steal. No reinforcements from behind. No fog of war (3 of the last 5 chapters had fog!). No incredibly tight time limit. They even gave you a solid number of units and some allies who do contribute a little bit toward winning the fight, even if they ARE also a nuisance.

The enemy are pretty dangerous, but not quite as much as they could be. The biggest threat on this chapter is not actually the wyvern riders, it’s the gigantic number of assorted magic users pouring out of the bottom middle. Very few characters can stand up to magic attacks, so you’d better bring some who can. Now the reason the chapter is easier than it looks is the enemy equipment:

Almost EVERY enemy has reaver weapons! If you don’t notice that while setting up, then you pretty much instant-lose, but you deserve that because checking the enemy equipment is absolutely essential for a ranking run.

Now reavers are quite formidable weapons- more dangerous than the poison ones that made the wyverns last time survivable- but the trouble is that they’re easily countered. If only 50% of the enemies had reaver weapons and the others had iron or steel, this chapter would be extremely hard. But since ALL of them have reaver weapons and since the weapon triangle is not merely reversed but DOUBLED and reversed for reaver weapons, you can take on huge numbers of enemies safely by just matching lance enemies with sword charaters, etc.

Also, the enemy wyverns are actually lower level and slightly weaker this time, which helps.

Objective: Protect Nils (He’s in a 100% safe spot so don’t worry) for 11 turns or Kill Eubans (the boss)
Secondary Objective: Recruit Heath with Hector or Lyn
Secondary Objective: Recruit Rath with Lyn
Secondary Objective: Get the 10,000 Gold from the left chest
Secondary Objective: Get the Brave Axe from the right chest
Secondary Objective: Steal the enemy thief’s lockpick
Secondary Objective: Visit the secret shop
Reinforcements: A very large number of many, many types of units –mostly wyverns and various kinds of magic users though- scattered all around the bottom and bottom left and bottom right parts of the map. They all stop by turn 8 or 9 though.
Turn Limit: 11 (Remember, if you actually wait out the 11 turns on a survival chapter then it counts as 12. If you kill the boss to end it early though, it counts as the turn you actually won on). A very cushy time limit, it’s easily winnable with plenty to spare.
Units Allowed: 8 + Hector + Eliwood + Lyn + Isadora. Wow, that’s a ton of units! More than enough, especially since you have all those allies and can recruit 2 more in the chapter.
Units Brought:
1) Hector. Required. He’s surprisingly ineffective on this chapter since lance users with axereavers predominate while sword users are rare. That’s just as well, mine is about 20 XP from level 20 anyway.
2) Eliwood. Required and suddenly AMAZINGLY useful because so many enemies have axereavers. And he has the Str to actually deal damage to wyverns once he has that edge.
3) Lyn. Required and pretty bad. She’s just too weak to hurt most things even with the doubled weapon triangle advantage. Plus she has to run out of her way to recruit Rath, so she can’t do much fighter.
4) Isadora. Required and surprisingly awesome. She’s just good enough that you don’t need to worry at all about her and just bad enough that she’s good for feeding kills to other people without slaughtering the enemy herself. She’s like an early game Jeigan is supposed to be. Plus she’s great for rescuing people around.
5) Sain. Yes, he’s back, but actually more in a support role. He’ll mostly be here to rescue people around and to kill exactly 2 problem enemies on the left flank so that I don’t need to commit a huge force there to take control of it. He’s also my insurance in case things go bad on one particular front and I end up needing serious muscle.
6) Canas. This is Canas’s chapter. Sain could not do what Canas is going to do on this level. No one else in the game is anywhere near as good as taking on giant hordes of enemies that are like 75% mages with 25% weapon users thrown in. I hope to get him to level 20 and promote him to Druid at the end of the chapter, but we’ll see. In any case, he’s definitely my MVP this time.
7) Ninian. Ninian continues to be astoundingly good. I’m not really using her to her full potential this chapter, but she still makes possible maneuvers I couldn’t even attempt otherwise. Ninian use is essential for seizing control of the left front early, which you need to do to recruit Heath and get the treasure. A Ninis’s grace before charging into the bottom middle hordes would completely seal the deal and let me use someone other than Canas there, but I think I’ll use her to feed more kills to Heath instead.
8) Raven. Like Eliwood and Lyn but better. Raven is awesome here.
9) Legault. Could be a decent fighter with so many axereavers about, but I’ve already got a total of 4 sword specialists, so he’ll just be on treasure and theft duty.
10) Guy. Yeah, Guy is bad as usual, but he’s usably bad here and that’s something, right? And this is the best chance I’ll get to give him more XP so as to get to Jerme’s level.
11) Priscilla. Definitely need a healer on this chapter and Priscilla remains better than Serra at just about everything.
12) Lowen. Actually, I could easily have brought many other people in place of Lowen, but honestly I just really want to see if I can actually use him this run. In any case, his fairly versatile set of weaponry and solid defenses mixed with non-terrible offense makes him an attractive character for a map like this. He’ll mostly be on breach-blocking duty, nothing glamorous, but he’s darned good at that.
Notable Units Rejected:
1) Dorcas. There are like 2 units with lancereavers on the level and 20 with axereavers. And he’s not good at the best of times.
2) Dart. Slightly better than Dorcas, but same problem.
3) Florina. She’s bad this level. Florina with iron lance vs wyvern rider with axereaver is a very bad matchup. Plus there are tons of nomads and ballistae about. She’d be good against the magic users in the bottom if it weren’t for the fact that several knights will be mixed in.
4) Fiora. Florina but worse, as always.
5) Serra. I could use 2 healers, but I do want to avoid Kenneth’s chapter and I’d rather have Lowen.
6) Erk. Tempting for taking on the enemy monks and mages, but don’t be fooled. He can’t take even 2 hits from enemies with actual weapons, and he’s going to need to take 3 or 4.
7) Lucius. Even worse than Erk for this purpose. Sure he’s immune to magic, but a stiff breeze with an iron sword will knock him over.
8) Matthew. Only one thief really needed here since the treasure is nicely concentrated and there’s not much to steal.

We haven’t had a chapter that was really nothing but a huge knock down, drag-out fight since Pirate Ship- and even that was different in that the enemy forces were actually overwhelming. These are even more numerous and better armed, but we’ve increased in power so much that they’re much easier. Really it reminds me most of Chapter 14: False Friends. It’s going to be pretty refreshing and fun and a good chance to get some leveling done.

Legault is almost a no-brainer. Usually I’d be putting someone like Ninian in that spot, but in this case there’s no point since Hector is the one who really needs to get left fast and he starts really far back. He doesn’t actually have a lockpick of his own; there’s no need since I plan on stealing the enemy thief’s one promply.

Now Isadora is going to start 3 spaces right of Legault and she desperately needs someone to hand her an iron sword. I don’t want her or Sain to do much fighting, but I do foresee needing them to eventually pull Hector back from the left front once Heath is recruited so he can be used to weaken Eubans. Meanwhile, it’s absolutely imperative that I get Hector above the left door on turn 1, and that’s absolutely impossible without some rescue-dropping, so I’ll have Sain and Isadora drop him into a good position for Ninian to dance him the rest of the way. Ninian is only as far forward as she needs to be for that purpose.

Canas’s big job comes after the first wave is dealt with, so he doesn’t need to be in the front line. He also only has a single Flux tome and no backups, so I don’t want to use him more than I need to (which is a ton).

Raven and Lowen are the ones I want using their swords to tank the initial axereavers, so they get those front spots. Raven doesn’t need any special swords to be effective, so I just give him iron with a backup of steel for when he needs a little bit more damage. Lowen will be doing serious tanking duty so he gets a vulnerary as well as a wide variety of weaponry. Guy is useless and just there to be fed what XP I can spare, so he goes in the back. He’s got a killing edge so that he can actually kill things with more than 1 Def. Similarly, Eliwood has the new Wyrmslayer. It would have been useless last time, but now that it has weapon triangle advantage to increase its damage by a total of 6 per hit relative to last chapter, it’s pretty great. Lyn has an iron bow which she’ll give to Rath because he really needs one.

All of those weapons are of course quite pricey relative to iron but I’m way ahead on funds. Furthermore, sometimes you just need to hit really hard -just like sometimes you really need to hit at 1-2 range. The common maxim that max ranking HHM requires using only iron weapons is completely stupid. If you want to max rank HHM, you’d better NOT only use iron weapons. Iron should be your bread and butter, but everyone should probably have at least one special weapon at all times for special purposes. Use your super-effective weapons and your Xreavers. Definitely use your Wolf Beil and Rapier and Mani Katti. Buy javelins and handaxes in bulk. Use Luna. Heck, use Nosferatu or Thunder or whatever lets you get the job done. Use steel or killer weapons or even silver when you have to. Just don’t use them except when they’re necessary: when they save you turns, when they let you beat enemies you absolutely need death right now, when they let someone weak net a kill and get some precious XP, etc. And make sure you use trading to switch back to iron or the like so you don’t waste any uses.

Healers never have much to do on the first turn, so Priscilla starts in the back. She’s packing an iron sword as well as the member and silver cards. Those are all for Isadora since I plan on having Isadora stay out of the fight after the initial few turns, and she might as well go check out the secret shop for me.

And no one’s gear is about to break! It’s wonderful! Everyone is decked out with iron weapons and javelins/handaxes and more, all in perfect condition.

The Characters:

Our allies, the famous- and invariably terrible- knights of Ostia. The level 1 knights you fight early in the game could beat these guys. They’re mostly just good for blocking you and slowing you down and stealing your kills. And for once there’s no bonus if you keep them alive, so let them all get massacred quickly. If there’s one thing they’re good for, it’s attracting enemy fire.

Rath will also be rejoining, along with a pair of much more competent but ultimately still fairly mediocre allies. Each of them is about on par with a single enemy each. Rath himself is pretty solid on this level due to all the flyers and his always respectable movement and stats, but it’s going to be hard to recruit him while also using Lyn.

“[Attacking women and children] is something no knight, no man, could do without shame.” –Heath, Chapter 22

A renegade from Bern’s wyvern knights who joined Eubans’s mercenaries and now is deserting from them too, Heath is a courageous and principled (if perhaps kind of sexist considering that women regularly fight alongside men in this setting) man. His most interesting relationship is really with his country. It’s clear he misses Bern and was proud to serve in its armies, but he was disgusted by an atrocity he was ordered to commit and decided he would rather abandon his country than continue to serve while its military leaders were so corrupt.

Look at those stats. He’s lower level but better than those overwhelming wyverns from last chapter. I think he has more Def than my level 17 or so Florina and 12 or so Fiora combined. And more Strength than either of them too. Heath is, bar none, the best air unit in the game. Which makes him quite possibly the best unit in the game other than Canas. His only trouble is his low starting speed. His growth is respectable and his massive strength, HP, and Def will allow him to take on just about anyone, but until his speed grows a bit he won’t really be able to one-round kill people well and that means it’s hard to feed XP to him.

Oh and this one time I realized that his hair –other than being green- looks just like David Bowie’s did in Labyrinth and now I can’t un-see it.

“I will serve with my very life.” –Isadora, Chapter 22

Another of the impressively skilled and loyal knights of Pherae, Isadora was left behind to guard Eleanora, but was sent to aid Eliwood after word of Elbert’s death reached his wife. She was engaged to Harken, another knight, and seems to have been trained by Marcus, who respects her but is definitely her superior in the group.
She basically never talks outside her supports and almost no one else has anything to say about her other than that she’s apparently beautiful, so it’s hard to learn much about her personality, but her supports are actually pretty great.

Don’t use Isadora. Marcus had better stats when he was level 1 and Marcus sucks. Her only real asset compared to him is her speed, but her absolutely horrible Con for a paladin negates much of that that if she uses anything but an iron sword.
On this chapter you have to bring her so you might as well put her to work, but in the future she’ll never be useful. Worst paladin in the game, hands down.

“I live and breathe the air of war! I can’t be beaten!” –Eubans, Chapter 22

One of my favorite minor enemy characters, Eubans is a sleazy, unprincipled, cynical, but darned competent mercenary. His men are loyal and disciplined because of his leadership and they’re a fighting force far superior to most of the regular armies you’ll run into.

Other than being way too loyal to Marquess Laus for some reason, he’s actually pretty mercenary- which is rare for mercenaries in this series. Most mercenaries we run into in FE are heroes or anti-heroes at worst with a strong sense of morality and a reason to fight other than money. In other words, they’re not really mercenaries. Eubans’s company are a lot more like, say, condottieri in renaissance era Italy really were, and I find that refreshing. It’s nice to see at least one group of mercenaries portrayed as little more than a gang of assassins with better weapons and military skill.

Eubans doesn’t really get much of a power boost in HHM, though he does now move. As long as you know that, he’s not that hard to deal with. His stats are solid all around, as is his weapon the semi-unique Spear, but he’s not a threat to any character who should be fighting a boss at this point.

Playing Through:

Hector moves up so Isadora can rescue him and then let Sain drop him.

Sain does his part, dropping Hector just at the edge of Ninian’s range.

Which will let him most to precisely in front of the left door-exactly where he needs to be.

And a space was left so that Priscilla could move forward and trade with Isadora. Isadora will give up that angelic robe and get the 2 cards and the much cheaper silver sword.

That little gambit was really elegant. No movement was wasted, no one started further forward than they needed to, everyone ends up in the perfect positions and with the perfect gear to do their jobs. And my other units were free to just begin their advance.

The enemy also just spends their turn moving up, so at the start of turn 2 Rath and his group arrive. It’s about time WE got some reinforcements for once isn’t it?

As so often happens, turn 2 is the big one. Look at this massive wave of enemies! But critically, most of them can be chokepointed off to fight later and only a few of the people in the middle are armed with something other than axereavers. So I’ve got a plan…

First, I need to break through this wall of enemies to get to Heath and talk to him.

Sain is in position to ride over and kill the other wyvern- and no one else could possibly do this, it HAD to be Sain. He goes to the left side of Hector so Ninian can dance for Hector on the right.

See all those mages? I’d better equip a handaxe to deal with them before talking.

Heath get!

I gave Hector an iron lance for Heath, just like I gave Priscilla an iron sword for Isadora and Lyn an iron bow for Rath. ALWAYS come with gear ready to trade to recruitable allies who don’t start with the stuff they need. If you don’t think ahead like that, you’ll really be hurt bad.

Thanks to the miracle of doubled reverse weapon triangle, Legault can actually win a fight against a wyvern rider on this chapter. For now he just needs to block this spot though.

So remember how I had a war room about enemy move order? Here’s where that matters. Those wyvern riders with their dangerous axereavers and that cavalier with his lancereaver go before these 3 fighters. So if Lowen attacks with his lance and kills this swordreaver fighter, he gets 1 kill. Then he’ll immediately be slugged by a wyvern rider and won’t make any progress for like 3 turns. If Lowen just waits, then the fighters should all suicide to him and he’ll get 3 kills. That’s what would happen if the enemy actually went strictly in list order anyway.

So with Lowen out of the way, Guy can finish this knight he weakened- but only with his killing edge. Oh well. One nice thing about the killing edge is that criticals can save you money.

The nomads HAVE to die. That’s absolutely essential. If they’re alive, I’m going to lose Priscilla or someone. But if I can kill both nomads and at least 1 cavalier, then there’ll basically be no one but a bunch of axereaver enemies facing a wall of swords they can’t hope to beat.

I really got a huge number of criticals on this level. Like 15 by the end I think. Most were at completely unimportant times like this.

Raven killed the other nomad, Lyn killed the other knight, and Canas killed the right cavalier. But Canas can only survive 3 lancereaver hits- not 4- and his offensive power means he’d end up having to fight all 4, so I need to get him out of there.

Isadora drops him back down and then moves in to complete this semi-wall. Priscilla can be hit by the cavalier, but that’s fine. All the other enemies are up against people they have a 90% chance to miss. This turn was really a good demonstration of a lot of the damage reduction tactics I talked about in The War Room, part 18.

Even Lowen can wreck enemies who have the wrong reaver equipped!

Oh. Oh darn it. I JUST realized as I’m writing that this guy drops his armorslayer. And the green units killed him! So the armorslayer was lost forever and the game didn’t even tell me! DARN IT! Man, I would have restarted if I’d noticed that had happened before now. That’s a whole 1260 gold and a really handy weapon down the drain. And it was 100% avoidable. All I needed was for Canas to kill the left cavalier instead of the right…

Well I guess that makes up for the money loss more or less, but I’m still kicking myself. Letting that cavalier die to the knights was, without question, the stupidest move I’ve made in this whole LP.

Heath is strong enough to outright instant kill some weak enemies like this thief. Hail the prince of the skies!

Mages are a big threat to Hector all throughout the game and this chapter is full of them, which is one reason he’s not very good here. Fortunately, he can instant kill some of them if he gets the drop on them.

And Sain takes out this last remaining threat. The left flank is now pretty much completely under control. All that’s left is to loot the treasure and visit the secret shop at my leisure and to feed as many kills as possible to Heath with Ninian’s help.

Isadora’s position last turn was of course carefully planned to let her move here. This will let me have Sain rescue Hector, move him nearby, and then have her drop him so I can use him a few turns from now. Meanwhile she can go shopping- or help Heath out.

Priscilla needs a vulnerary after getting hit by the armorslayer, meanwhile Canas moves into position to tank about 12 guys- mostly mages.

A nice level for Raven, taking down the wyvern rider nearby.

Eliwood and Guy team up and like magic, the enemy forces have just disintegrated.

Except, you know, for this massive swarm of reinforcements started appearing a couple of turns ago. Canas is going to have his hands full for a little while.

Sweet! Now every single enemy –literally every single one, which includes 3 people with actual weapons- who attacked Canas this turn hit him. And he still survived, because he’s Canas.

Sweet! Speed is all I need right now.

I changed my left flank plans this turn, having Hector and Sain help out a turn longer, but thanks to Ninian- and Isadora waiting- I can still get the two of them out immediately.

I’ve also decided that I may have Legault do the shopping. After checking the numbers, he can just make it to the secret store on turn 8, which is about when I want to end things, so that works out nicely. Isadora can help Heath instead.

So Sain and Isadora basically switch places and Sain and Hector approach the middle front where a third wave of mages and more is coming. And Legault does what he does best.

Sometimes you need a steel sword. Sometimes you need Mend instead of heal. When Canas has to go fight another 8 or so people including 4 with reaver weapons is one of those times.

This knight actually has a steel lance. Crazy, right? And since I didn’t get that armorslayer, I have no way to easily beat the thing- Eliwood’s Rapier is nearly broken remember. So there’s nothing for it but to block it in till Hector or Sain can deal with it.

Lowen holds the line and gets a good level. And Canas kills another swarm of people while not much else goes on.

Turn 5 and the horde has been cut down to size. From here the rest of the chapter is largely mop-up and me trying to squeeze out the maximum possible XP.

Legault gets the gold.

Isadora’s badness pays off nicely, since it lets her set Heath up to get kills.


Not awesome! Canas killed so many people that he basically consumed an entire flux tome on one chapter. As a sidenote, that tells you how little XP enemies start to give on hard mode. Even my low level guys are barely growing.

Lyn finally gets around to recruiting Rath. There’s just been too much to do.

Thaaaaaat’s Guy! Not a single point of Str or Def in 6 levels.

Hm, what do do. I want Ninian back on the middle front, but she can’t get next to Sain for him to rescue her with maximum efficiency. There’s a solution though.

Sain just moves one left and waits. Now she dances for him. Now she’s next to him and he’s ready to rescue her.

So between Sain and Hector, she’s dropped where she needs to be. Canas has torn apart almost all the enemy, so it’s down to people who aren’t even a major threat to Guy.

The turn after recruiting him, I have a chance to give him the iron bow. I also brought a longbow just in case because I didn’t remember that he started with one.

Rath outclasses enemy archers at join level.

Meanwhile on the main front I check out Eubans’s attack range. The guy moves and I need to make sure he moves in the right direction in order to kill him efficiently, so I need to make sure I don’t just wander in.

Again, Guy has to use the killing edge to do any damage. Fortunately he gets another crit.

I mentioned a long time ago that sometimes you can use the inaccuracy or weakness of handaxes and javelins to your advantage. This is one of those times. Hector has a solid chance to miss at least once, which will let me kill this nomad with Canas while expending only 1 use of Flux instead of two.

Ultimately I went with the iron axe, but the same result. Hector reaches level 20 and his final stats for most of the rest of the game. He’s pretty average overall. Slightly good Str and Skill, slightly bad luck and Res. Good speed, bad Def.

Next turn, Ninian gets a level as she helps Eliwood get some needed kills. Every little bit helps.

Awesome! Just what I was hoping for. Thanks, Ninian. I sure hope he doesn’t use the amazing stats you helped him get to accidentally kill you or something. As long as Eliwood’s next 4 levels are at least average, I think I might actually splurge and give him the first heaven seal. He’s turned out really excellent overall and I have truly staggering amounts of assets at the moment.

The longbow is really a great weapon, weak and expensive though it is, because it lets you get kills or weaken enemies in situations where no one else could even attack.

It’s all thanks to longbow!

That darned green mercenary is going to lure Eubans next turn, so I’d better pull him the other way this turn. Sain is positioned to lure him to a spot where I can easily trap him and fight him at my leisure.

And Legault reaches the secret shop, so I can kill Eubans and win any time now. I pick up a ton of chest keys. I’ve been hurting for lack of them up till now since apparently the game basically just doesn’t give you any on HHM. I bought 4 or so sets- enough that I could open every single chest from here on with one if I wanted to. I also bought a pair of physic staves. They’re pricey, but sometimes they’re absolutely necessary and you need more.

The reinforcements on this level are really problematic. We went from 0 enemies to a big crowd of dangerous ones in just two turns over here. While I figure out what move to make there, I make the easy moves on the eastern front instead.

It’s a trap! Eubans took my bait. Ninian allowed Sain to get to the other side of him- and she acts as the perfect bait to make him attack someone who won’t prematurely kill him. Meanwhile Eliwood and Canas will block him in, allowing me to fight anyone else I want to freely.

Everyone piles in just outside of his range, ready to harvest any reinforcements and kill him next turn.

On the western front, I tried what I thought was a good strategy since it should have let about 4 enemies die to Heath. Instead, they all went for Isadora even though they had a 0% chance to hit her… This guy was the only one who fought Heath.

Next turn, I had to use the wyrmslayer just this one time to get the kill. That’s some pretty sweet damage. Last chapter I’d have been looking at just 12 or so damage due to level differences and the massive importance of the weapon triangle for super effective weapons.

It’s turn 9 and I have killed every single enemy who will ever spawn on the map except for 1 more wyvern to the west and Eubans. Time to finish this.

Luna is already showing its great value for assassinating bosses even though Canas isn’t even promoted yet.

Pretty good; I’ll take it.

I guess that must be the job of the one remaining wyvern rider. That’s the chapter finished! Now Uther arrives and no one acknowledges that a battle just happened 5 minutes ago.

Uh… wow, Uther is kind of a jerk really. I mean, it was one thing that he refused to help earlier- he had his political reasons- but to now lie to the grieving Eliwood’s face and say he was POWERLESS when in fact he could have helped in many, many ways but decided not to is just cold.

And Eliwood will never know the truth it seems. I’m surprised Hector doesn’t have anything to say about this since he’d been yelling at Uther to help out earlier, but I guess he really does care about not causing political trouble for Ostia.

They explain things to Uther and then talk among themselves while he confers with his aides.

And they realize that since they didn’t bring back any proof, it probably won’t be possible to unite all the nations against the common threat.

Uther calls us back and lies again. He doesn’t help at all really. No funds. No men. No intelligence about what’s going on. I really don’t get why he doesn’t at least give you some money- Ostia has tons and tons to spare as we see later. Or maybe one more trusted retainer or something could join the party. Either of those things would make him not look like a useless, lying jerk.

And talking with Ninian, they discover that he may be in Bern- bad news since if he’s able to get control of Bern, he’ll have the strongest army on the continent on his side.

Now Uther gives us some completely cryptic advice to head out to Nabata and meet a “Living Legend.” Would it kill this guy to help the group save the world? Like using just a smattering of his tremendous wealth to fund them? Or maybe some of his political influence? Or his huge army? Or maybe just telling them who he’s sending them to see and why?

Later he and Hector have a rather tense and charged conversation- but civil at least, unlike their previous shouting match. Previously it looked like Hector was just impetuous and wild and Uther was the reasonable one, but recent events have really made Uther look like a rather self-centered schemer with no respect for his allies. Hector’s honest and courageous leadership might actually be better for Ostia, wild though he is.

Total Restarts: 12 (I made one stupid mistake on my first run where I just forgot to have Lowen drink a vulnerary. Since there was nothing wrong with my strategy, I restarted and did everything the same and the result was what you see)
Turn Surplus: 8 (Turn 9 is pretty much the perfect turn to win this chapter. +2 turns and you got the chance to kill every single enemy).
Things I Regret Missing: The lockpick on chapter 11, that darned archer on chapter 11, this one brigand who attacked Marcus on chapter 12, 2 more brigands who ignored everyone else to attack Marcus on chapter 13x, and 2 archers who ignored Hector and Dorcas (DORCAS!) to attack Marcus on chapter 14, like 10 more enemies I could have killed if Hector could have survived one more turn on chapter18, and Uhai who decided to take a 100% chance of death to Sain over a free hit on Hector, the chance to finish shopping properly with my silver card on chapter 21, the armorslayer that I have acquired if not for a stupid minor mistake on chapter 22, and these 3 wyvern riders who decided they preferred a 0% chance to hit Isadaora and then 100% chance of death against her to fighting a low level Heath.