The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword

by Melth

Part 35: Chapter 25 and The War Room Part 27 (HHM Bonuses)

The second additional chapter in Hector’s story (interestingly, the first additional chapter, Talon’s Alight, was precisely 10 main levels ago) is far easier than the first. It’s another breather chapter and quite fun, though it really doesn’t advance the plot in any way. On the other hand, it does tell us a fair amount more about the Black Fang.

People often say this chapter is sort of an homage to Genealogy of the Holy War’s style and chapters, though having played a few of those I wouldn’t say there’s really THAT much similarity. Yes, there are multiple castles on the map and you need to get a unit onto each one. That’s… about it. This is a very FE7 level in terms of actual design- relying more on difficult terrain and well-placed problem enemies than sheer size to create its pacing. And like on many FE7 maps as you’ve doubtless noticed, the air drop is king. Fittingly, this chapter presents your chance to get your 4th flying unit.

Chapter Summary:

Unlike Talons Alight, we definitely find out why this chapter only happens in Hector’s story- though the details are mostly revealed at the end. Hector began investigating the Fire Emblem’s location and believed an informant who was probably actually a Black Fang spy, while Eliwood distrusted the information and immediately suspected that the King or some other palace insider was probably responsible. Eliwood said they should just go directly to the royal palace, while Hector detoured south to this ambush.

Sonia is a darned competent adversary, unlike Ephidel. She knows we’re coming and she’s prepared a dangerous trap and she’ll dedicate any available resources to making sure it works. In this case, she seems to have either planted the false information to lead Hector here to begin with or got wind of where he planned to go and realized she could put together an ambush and possibly kill him.

And where Ephidel did things like throw away dozens of soldiers and refuse to commit the men and resources necessary to finish Eliwood while he had the chance, Sonia does things like free useful prisoners because they’re competent.

The man in question is a psycho named Pascal. He was the Count of Landskron in Bern until he apparently massacred all his villagers on a whim. Despite him being EXACTLY the kind of horrible noble the Black Fang likes to claim they oppose, Brendan Reed took him in and even made him one of the Four Fangs (Presumably, it is Ursula who eventually replaced him since we know the Reed Brothers were around from the beginning and Jaffar replaced Jerme) . But after he repeated his massacre the village to kill one target trick too many times, the Fang decided he was bringing them bad publicity or something and locked him up.

Pascal mocks the Fang’s supposed principles, seemingly recognizing that the Fang does not and never has actually abided by them.

And he’s quite willing to lead this ambush in exchange for his freedom.

Hector et al. have arrived, Lyn and Eliwood fairly confident that his information is wrong but willing to check just in case. And that’s when they realize they’ve been surrounded by most of a hundred warriors waiting in ambush.

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth saying again that the Black Fang demonstrates real competence on the intelligence, logistics, and propaganda fronts. As long as morons like Ephidel or Linus aren’t at the helm, they stay one step ahead of everyone- or even completely manipulate the whole party into a rather awesome ambush. And they do this despite three out of the four fangs having just been lost or incapacitated in a single day.

Shame they can’t fight worth a damn, but that’s exactly how Legault himself characterizes them: they’re assassins, not warriors, and they have to count on surprise or numbers.

The War Room, Part 27:

This is long overdue but I should finally explain what “HHM” bonuses are and how they work. To sum up, in Hector’s Hard Mode –and only Hector’s Hard Mode- every single enemy has bonuses to all of their stats. This obviously makes them more of a challenge without providing more XP (as upping the numbers or level of the enemy would do).

Like most things relating to stats in Fire Emblem, the bonuses are random. They are generated for every single unit when you first reach a new chapter (so you can’t alter them by just restarting, but you CAN alter them by saving in a different slot and restarting the previous chapter).

To understand how they work, you first need to understand how pre-bonus stats work. Essentially every (non-boss) enemy in the game has a base and a growth rate in every stat- just like your characters. However, these bases and growths are not unique for each enemy. Instead they’re the same for all members of any given class.

Those two charts have the base stats and growth rates of every single class in the game. These apply to every enemy and ally who isn’t a named character since named characters have pre-defined stats.

The upshot is that even on, say, Eliwood’s normal mode no two enemy cavaliers necessarily have EXACTLY the same stats, but their stats are likely very similar.

If you know much about the growth rates of the actual characters, you’ll probably notice that the enemy ones suck in comparison. This is one reason that the game often becomes easier as it goes along.

So, on average, what might a level 11 male cavalier enemy have for stats normally? Well for each stat he has a base, plus he’s gained 10 levels, so on average he has his base + 10x his growth chances. The results:
27.5 HP, 8.5 Str, 6 Skill, 7.8 Speed, 3 Luck, 7.5 Def, 1.5 Res, and 9 Con.
Of course, enemies (other than bosses) actually pretty much always have 0 Luck regardless. Now here’s a level 11 Cavalier on HHM:

Well he has no luck (enemies pretty much never actually have luck apart from bosses), but he’s actually well above his averages- significantly so in many cases. Is that just a lucky cavalier? No, he has HHM bonuses! The simplified version is that his stats are 5 levels higher (the truth is more complicated, but pretty much the same on average). Just remember the 5 generic levels higher rule of thumb and you should be fine. So he has stats like a level 16 normal mode cavalier. Let’s check what those are supposed to look like:
31.25 HP, 10.25 Str, 8 Skill, 9.2 Speed, still actually 0 Luck, 8.25 Def, 2.25 Res.

As you’d expect, some of his stats are below that and some are above that. Enemies get RNG blessed or screwed same as your own characters. Here’s another HMM cavalier of the same level:

Different stats, but still similar to the averages. And something very similar happens to bosses. Note that each boss has their own predefined base stats for their level, but then they effectively gain 5 generic enemy levels for whatever their class is. Here’s the boss of this chapter to demonstrate:

He’s supposed to have 48 HP, 17 Str, 13 Skill, 10 Speed, 11 Luck, 13 Def, and 8 Res. His stats are higher than expected by just about the amount you’d expect for a guy gaining 5 generic paladin levels. Many guides and the Fire Emblem Wiki will list out HHM stats for various bosses and the like, but these are actually just averages and the real stats may- and probably will- vary. This rarely matters, but there are a few cases I noted- like Wire in chapter 11- where a single point more or less of a stat could actually completely alter the approach you need to take. Lastly, something similar applies to characters you recruit as enemies:

For example, this guy. On Normal mode he’s supposed to have 40 HP, 17 Str, 12 Skill, 13 Speed, 10 Luck, 11 Def, and 3 Res. You can see that mine is better by approximately the amount you’d expect for him gaining 5 generic warrior levels. and you can see they list HHM stats for him which are similar to, but not quite the same as, mine.

So what does this mean? Besides that HHM is harder than the other modes, that is? Well actually it doesn’t really matter much at all beyond the early levels.

That +5 levels is pretty much a flat average bonus. Which means it makes up a decreasing % of the final stats of the people you face.

Early on, your people are underleveled and a point more of enemy speed might be enough to prevent them from doubling while 4 or 5 more points of enemy HP might well turn a convenient 2 hit kill into a more troublesome 3 hit kill. Later on you completely outclass most enemies, and a few more points makes no difference.

And it also means that characters you recruit as enemies like Guy, Raven, Heath, Geitz, Vaida, etc. are a bit better in HHM than in other modes. This is a small thing, but it does sometimes help. Guy in particular loves his potential 2 more Str and Heath benefits a ton from 1-2 more speed.

Now I mentioned earlier that the whole +5 levels thing is a simplification of the truth. I haven’t actually looked at the code to check the truth for myself, but I was told (and my cursory checks suggest it’s true) the following:
Each enemy unit does NOT use the exact same generic class growths for its HHM bonuses. Instead, each unit uses those growths x a random number from about .8 to about 1.2 (a different random number for each growth). Further, they don’t actually grow or not grow randomly for each level. Instead, the resulting randomized growth is multiplied by 5 and the unit just gets that- or gets 1 more point with the remaining fraction % chance. For example:

Maybe for cavalier 1 the random number is 1.1 for HP. That makes its ‘growth’ rate for the bonuses 82.5%. Multiply by 5 and you get 4.125 HP. So the cavalier DEFINITELY gets at least 4 HP over the normal mode amount and then it has a 12.5% chance to gain an additional 1 for a total of 5. If the random number was .8 then the ‘growth’ rate for HP would be .6. Multiply by 5 and you get a flat +3, so that cavalier definitely gains +3 HP.

So the upshot is that the bonuses only vary by about 2 or so at most, rather than the potential 5. Still, it's basically the same as the +5 levels simplification.

Battle Preparations & The Map:

Things are going well. I cannot stress enough that you should check this every single chapter. I certainly am, I just don’t redundantly post it again and again. You should also check after every single promotion and the like.

The stars alone don’t tell you that much though. So, you have to do some record keeping yourself.

For one thing, it’s imperative that you actually keep track of your turn budget for every chapter and your deficit or surplus, like I do.

Survival and Combat are generally non-worries of course.

For XP theoretically you just need to count up the total XP gained over the base level for every single one of your characters. So if my Bartre is level 6 with 74 XP and I know he joined at level 2, then he’s gained 474 XP. Needless to say, checking that for everyone is time consuming. A bigger problem is that XP gained in Lyn’s story doesn’t count, so you can’t get an accurate result unless you wrote down the exact level and XP each of your Lyn’s story characters ended at. Yeah, I don’t bother with that. Just assume that you’re always like 1 XP from disaster and do everything you can to gain more XP at all times. Unfortunately, this is often close to true.

Funds you should definitely check, though it’s a little tricky. Don’t do it the dumb way and actually total up the value of every door key and 2 use javelin in your item list and compare that to the total funds of each chapter you’ve done. No, let the game do the math for you. What you do is check that you have 5 stars, then use a promotion item, then check if you still have 5 stars. Repeat until you drop to 4. Restart the chapter without saving (or rewind if you’re on an emulator or whatever). Let’s say you used 5 normal promotion items with the last one dropping you to 4 stars. That means you’re between 40,000 and 49,999 in surplus.

If you need more accuracy, use 4 promotion items and then sell lockpicks (remember, each sale is -600 not -1200) until you drop to 4 stars. And then you can restart and continue that with cheaper and cheaper items.

Do remember to check the actual value of the items you’re selling, using, etc. You don’t want to get confused and think an angelic robe is actually worth 10,000 or forget that an Earth Seal is 20,000
And above all remember to restart or rewind without saving and undo all the wasted funds!

To demonstrate my technique (and in preparation for thinking about Farina), I executed it to nearly maximum accuracy this time.

I was able to use:
1 Earth Seal
5 stat boosters
And then sell:
1 stat booster
1 elixir
1 pure water
12 charges of vulneraries
And 7 charges of torches
That let me maintain 5 stars. One more door key dropped me to 4. The total value of that stuff is 61,900. So I’m somewhere between 61,900 and 61,924 over budget.

I worked hard and earned a lot of surplus, which means I can promote who I want - including being able to promote Eliwood. Still, I could lose that 60k edge in short order if I get sloppy and wasteful. Don’t make that mistake. Always reserve at least 10k of surplus- 20 is better.

Oh and Market is now a 6 star general.

Alright, alright, here’s the actual map. I was wrong last chapter about how rarely Lake terrain comes up, because that’s Lake too.

You can see that between the peaks and the rivers and the lake, the map is pretty much divided into three sections with one castle each.

To the southwest the ground is rough and everywhere you’ll need air units to get your troops around. The enemy doesn’t have much of an air force of their own, but they do have a whole battery of clustered ballistae. Even Heath will need to watch his step around that many.

While the real boss, Pascal is at the top left castle, the other two have well-equipped and leveled minibosses on them. That bishop’s purge is particularly troublesome.

Other than that, the enemy are quite weak and, even more helpfully, quite unvaried. There will pretty much only be pirates in the bottom left, pretty much only cavaliers in the top left, etc. So all you need to do is pick your hard counters to those unit types and let them go to town.

The only real surprises here are that a recruitable character will fly in on turn 5 and that the bosses move. This is pretty much unheard of for people who start on gates. Strangely, the bishop actually doesn’t seem to though, only Pascal and the Warrior. Perhaps the Bishop would too if not killed before its purge ran out.

So because that bishop doesn’t actually move, the true range of its purge is only out to the selected square. That’s much, much less troublesome.

Objective: Reach all 3 castles (Have any units you want wait on each gate)
Secondary Objective: Get the Elysian Whip from the village
Secondary Objective: Recruit Farina if funds aren’t a problem for you.
Secondary Objective: Do some shopping
Reinforcements: Many. There are some conventional early pirate spawns in the bottom right area to threaten the village and a few cavaliers from the top middle fortresses. Late in the map, 6 or so pegasus knights will spawn from the top right in pairs. Much more significantly though, gigantic swarms of units will be spawned out of the castles if one of your units gets close to them. 5 pirates will spawn at once from the bottom left castle, 4 monks for 5 turns from the top right castle, and 5 cavaliers for 5 turns from the top left castle. That’s about 50 reinforcements right there and they can easily swarm and overwhelm the unprepared- particularly if you don’t know that they’re triggered by proximity rather than time.
Turn Limit: 0 (It’s another 0 requirement chapter. This one is probably worth taking a decent number of turns on due to the vast amount of available XP)
Units Allowed: 10 + Hector. That’s more than enough, very generous of them.
Units Brought:
1) Hector. Required, but max level. He’d be highly effective against the cavaliers since almost all of them have lances, but plenty of other people can handle them too. There’s consequently not much for him to do but talk to Farina.
2) Canas. Primary healer and trouble-shooter.
3) Eliwood. The first lord promotion item is about to become available and I have enough funds that I can promote him if I want, so I’m going to get him the 30 XP he needs to hit level 20 on this chapter.
4) Raven. Essentially here for the same reason as Eliwood; he’s close to promotion and just needs a little more XP to get there. Plus training him a bit more will help me unlock Jerme’s version of chapter 27.
5) Erk. I gave Erk the Afa’s drops and now we’ll see if he can make good use of them. The huge horde of monks on the right flank is something he’s good at dealing with and that Bishop will be fairly ineffective against him too.
6) Guy. Yes, Guy is pretty bad and my particular Guy is terrible, but you see all those pirates and all those forests? THAT’S the kind of thing Guy is perfect for. He has the accuracy to guaranteed hit and the dodge to give the enemies 0 hit chance given forest bonuses and weapon triangle advantage. Plus only 1 pirate has a handaxe, so his inability to counter at range isn’t a problem. This is a great chapter to level him up 5 or 6 times to get more Jerme’s chapter XP.
7) Bartre. Yes, Bartre. Yeah he’s terrible, but he’s almost ok vs pegasus knights given some support. And, again with some support, he can take on those pirates in the lake one on one because they have enormous weapons that slow them down to just 1 point faster than him. Critically, the enemy is spread out enough and lacking enough in air power that he’ll never have to fight 2 or more at once if he takes beach guarding duty. And he’s extremely low level, so he’ll gain lots of Jerme’s chapter XP.
8) Florina. Recently promoted so I don’t want to use her much at all in combat, but with her shiny new 8 movement she’s now fantastic for rescue-dropping- and this chapter requires a lot of that.
9) Fiora. Like Florina only worse! But she gains slightly more XP than Florina so I will use her a bit and try to get her the rest of the way to level 20.
10) Heath. Better than every pegasus knight combined, my Heath is amazing. He’s also high level, so I won’t make a ton of use of him, but I will probably need him to efficiently beat the 30+ cavaliers in the top left because he has the perfect combination of stats to wipe them all out while taking minimal damage.
11) Ninian. Whenever you want to do mass rescue-dropping or train weak units, you should always bring Ninian. On this chapter she’s amazingly useful because Fila’s Might and Ninis’s Grace are absolutely perfect for dealing with vast hordes of one enemy type.
Notable Units Rejected:
1) Dart. It’s a trap! Remember, that’s not ocean- which Dart can move through well- that’s LAKE. He goes through it at 1 square per turn. It will take all map long for him to get anywhere. And he’s not much good vs monks to begin with. While he could be ok against the bottom left pirates or top left cavaliers, his glass cannon nature makes him poor at fighting such huge numbers too.
2) Dorcas. He wouldn’t gain as much XP as Bartre.
3) Priscilla & Serra. On this chapter, Canas alone can keep everyone in tip top shape pretty easily because most of my units won’t be taking damage at all. Priscilla also can’t really stand up to the ballista bolts that may be fired at Canas. And I don’t want either Priscilla or Serra gaining much XP at the moment since I need to make sure I get Jerme’s chapter.
4) Lyn. If I wasn’t trying to get Jerme’s chapter, she’d be great for the bottom left same as Guy and I could have sent her instead or along with him. But any XP she diverts from him would be a problem right now.
5) Legault and Matthew. They too could be good alternatives to Guy on the bottom left, but there’s nothing to steal so they’re not really worth bringing.
6) Rath. Almost no air units and the closed in terrain makes him not maneuverable enough to fight effectively. Plus, unlike last chapter, almost all the action will now be on the enemy turn.
Alright, I’m now flush with new equipment of all kinds. Everyone has a vulnerary again, everyone’s got plenty of iron weapons and javelins and the like. Merlinus is nearly overflowing, so several people are carrying gems and promotion items and the like.
Raven has a steel sword along with his iron one for when he just needs a bit more power, as does Eliwood and Eliwood also has a Longsword in case it helps with the army of cavaliers.
Since he’ll be fighting a long time alone against many enemies he takes several hits to kill, Erk has three or 4 anima tomes.

This formation is optimized for quickly getting my forces onto all 3 fronts at once. With 3 air units + Ninian I can drop 2 people wherever I want immediately. Heath and Ninian are positioned to drop Erk on the right and Florina and Fiora can drop Guy on the left- while also taking down a problem enemy for him as you’ll see.

I want Eliwood leveled before Raven just to make absolutely sure he does hit level 20, so he’s in the lead where he can immediately aggro the ballistae and start running them out of ammo, take down a pegasus knight, and provoke the top left reinforcements into spawning. Raven will come up behind him soon after, as will Canas, while Bartre deals with the pegasus knights and pirates one by one.

As the battle begins, Florina reminisces about her other sister. And… for some reason she’s standing light right behind Fiora while she does.
Fiora points out that Farina isn’t here so it’s kind of weird and pointless to bring her up right now when they have a battle to fight.

The Characters:

Another one of Florina’s sisters who doesn’t look like her, Farina is confident and skilled but greedy, kind of an irresponsible loner, and a bit of a black sheep in the family. She’s also kind of embittered against previous employers as a mercenary and expects to treated to be treated with contempt or as expendable.
Most of her supports consist largely of her being greedy and trying to trick or manipulate them out of money or treasure and assuming everyone else is the same. Honestly, she ends up looking like kind of a joke character all in all, though her supports with Hector do at least give her a motive.

A lot of people talk like Farina is by far the best pegasus knight, but really she’s not that different except in terms of much, much better Def. Her strength lead is small, though not insignificant, and she kind of lacks in speed compared to them but will still get plenty eventually. So overall yes she’s better, but not by that much.
She does compare favorably to non-HHM Heath defensively because while her HP is lower, their Def is comparable and her Dodge and Res are better. On offense she has some serious trouble competing with his massive str and ability to wield heavy weapons. And of course with his HHM bonuses and earlier join time, Heath will generally be much better than her. In fact, he’ll be faster than her when her iron lance penalties are factored in.
Ultimately, she is definitely worth using in non-ranking runs despite her late join time, but the trouble is that she charges you 20,000 to join. I’ll get into why that’s definitely not worth it as she arrives.

Called “The Beast” when he was one of the Four Fangs, Pascal is a vicious psychopath who massacres whole villages of people on a whim. So of course he fit right in with the rest of the Black Fang for a while- and this was back in the pre-Sonia days. Pascal is really the proof that the Black Fang was never not horrible and that everything they say to the contrary is just wishful thinking or propaganda. And he’s quite aware of that, and mocks the Fang hypocrisy.
He’s a pretty fun antagonist while he lasts and it’s a shame we don’t see more of him in my opinion.

Other than sucky Res, Pascal is a decent upgrade over Eubans, but really not as much as his +8 or whatever it was levels should get him. He’s pretty tough and hits reasonably hard, but is basically not a threat. Eubans was already easy to deal with and in the chapters since then, my characters have gotten a lot stronger.
That said, you need to know that he moves. If you don’t know that, he will ride right off his gate and run up and instant kill one of your weaker people

Even if they’re not in the front line thanks to that spear! But yes, being the only boss in the game who’ll move off a gate is a nifty trick. Lloyd will pull a similar but even more horrible version of this technique later on as you may see, but Pascal is the first to do anything remotely like this.

Playing Through:

First thing, I move Eliwood into range to get all 3 ballistae to fire at him. He has the Def to take it and I need them to run out of ammo ASAP. Once they do, my flyers will rule the skies. I also need him to immediately aggro and kill that pegasus knight so that she won’t threaten Bartre next turn.
Furthermore, in this square he’ll cause the massive cavalier reinforcements to begin spawning immediately. The sooner they finish spawning, the sooner I can finish the map and it’s a 0 chapter so speed matters a lot.

Those ballistae are a serious threat to Bartre, so I need to stay out of their way while letting that pegasus knight hit him.

I’ve said time and time again that it’s important to check the inventory of all enemies while deploying. One reason is so you notice any stealable goods. Another is so you notice all boltings and sleep staves and so on. And lastly you need to notice things like reaver weapons or super-effective weapons. Or worst of all, both! This pirate has a Swordslayer. This is an axe that is like a swordreaver axe except more accurate, cheaper, and super-effective vs mercenaries, myrmidons, etc. It’s a truly fantastic weapon and it will eat Guy alive if you send him out here and don’t know this pirate has it.

What I need to do is make him fight one of my lance-wielding pegasus knights and immediately die while still dropping Guy in range of the ones with normal axes. My formation was carefully designed to let me do that.

But that pegasus knight had better stay out of ballista range! This square right here is the sweet spot. No ballistae can fire on it, and the swordslayer pirate can reach it.

As I’ve said before, you should have your infantry who will be rescue-dropped start behind the cavalry and then move in front of them. That’s what I’m doing here.

So Florina carries Guy and then Fiora takes and drops him. He’s in range to trigger the pirate reinforcement spawns too, just as intended.

And since she’s a mounted unit, she can keep right on moving and get to this ideal square right here.

Now Erk. I need to use Ninian and Heath to drop him, but I need Ninian to stay out of the displayed pegasus range so that the pegasus goes for Bartre instead.

Erk is already positioned for Heath to pick up of course.

With Ninian’s help he reaches the spot next to the vendor (which will grant Erk a minor terrain bonus) and stops to re-equip both of them. In particular, I need Erk to have Thunder equipped instead for this particular round so he can 2-hit kill that pirate.

Heath gets out of range of all the enemies so they’ll go for Erk.

Even Guy can handle this one! It’s idiot proof!

Well decent. My Erk has had great Magic and Res but sucky speed so far. At the present, as he’s about to fight dozens of monks, that’s just what he needs.

Suddenly cavaliers!

And pirates! For some reason, every single one of them has a hammer. So… no threat to Guy AT ALL. Sweet.

Erk gets a Divine. Up till now I’d fought several enemies with them but could never have acquired one myself. It’s not really helpful at all though. Most non-lightning light tomes weigh WAY too much so they slow Lucius and Serra down horribly. It also costs an absurd 100 gold per shot and does very little bonus damage compared to lightning. Really, pretty much any tome that isn’t fire, thunder, flux, lightning, or luna is terrible.

Shamefully, Bartre is too weak to even 2-hit kill a pegasus knight. Oh well, this kind of thing is what Filla’s Might is for.

Actually pretty good. Bartre’s growths are quite nice, mine was just unlucky.

There isn’t much for Hector to do but move in to talk to Farina when she arrives.

Wow! My guy had gained 0 Str and Def up till now but how he got both at once.

Eliwood moves into a convenient forest JUST outside of Pascal’s range to take on the first few cavaliers. There’s really no ideal chokepoint on this level for dealing with them. You’re pretty much going to have to either use 2 people and have only 1 get terrain bonuses or get no terrain bonuses and fight enemies who have them or stand way further back than you want to.

Fiora and Florina are too high level to use much, so I can have the two of them do things like just repeatedly rescue-drop Guy around.

This location will let him aggro the bottom pirates sooner-otherwise he’d be boxed in by the ones near him for a while since he can’t kill them fast.

There’s the enemy purge range. Again, the bishop doesn’t move so the true max range is where I put the cursor. I’m going to want to waste those Purge shots so Erk doesn’t have to tank them, but unfortunately Heath is just short of being able to take 3 hits himself.

Sweet! This is a very unusual Erk.

Turn 3, I put together my wall and heal Eliwood up. Notably, Raven has an iron sword rather than a steel sword equipped. With the steel sword, he would kill the enemy cavaliers with his double attacks. This would allow like 10 of them to attack him in sequence, killing him. With his iron sword he stops just short of killing them so he only has to fight 1 (plus the ballistae). He can take that many hits just fine.

Ninian buffs Bartre to deal with the pirates, now I want to rescue-drop her back out of pirate range so that the pirates go for Bartre rather than her.

The enemy attacks and Bartre finally gets a proper Bartre level.

And suddenly Guy is amazing. Too late, man! After I get to Pale Flower of Darkness you will never again see the light of day!

Solid. It’s all the not-quite good stats but at least it’s all of them.
Compared to his level 20 averages, my Eliwood has:
+.8 HP, +.45 Str, +1.5 skill, +.4 speed, +4.45 luck, +2.3 Def, +4.45 Res
He’s actually above average in everything, though not by that much in some of the important stats. Oh well, pretty sweet all in all.

Did somebody order THIRTY CAVALIERS?
Actually it’s 23 or something but this is only turn 4 so there’s another 12 or so on the way. So this is the main challenge of this map really. That many cavaliers with steel lances could kill ANYBODY if the person had to fight them all at once. I can fight them just a few at a time at this chokepoint, but then it will take me like 30 turns to finish this map. Plus the enemy will reach the 50 unit cap and stop spawning anything so I’ll miss out on XP.

No, what I need is a way to make a character do the impossible and actually take on like 30 cavaliers at once and live.

Last turn Heath moved into Purge range both to start soaking up the enemy ammo and to finally begin the monk spawning. Now he needs to get back out of there since the Purge didn’t miss.

Well Eliwood reached max level so I don’t want him fighting anymore. Time to switch things up.

Eliwood pulls back and Raven takes his protected forest spot.

And Ninian gets an awesome level while allowing Heath to move into Raven’s old spot. He’ll have to take some ballista shots, but he can survive that.

After getting healed that is. Now critically, Heath can actually 2-hit kill those cavaliers with an iron lance and doubles them, so they would all go for him and he would die thanks to 30 iron lance hits and the 3 ballistae, except that they would much rather go for Raven who they can hit much harder.

Farina pops up.

Guy gets another great level. Suddenly he’s on a roll.

Did you think it was a lot of cavaliers last time? No, that wasn’t a lot of cavaliers. THIS is a lot of cavaliers. More on the way! Now it’s turn 5 and I don’t really have more time to kill, so I need to start thinning them out immediately. If you’ve been reading the previous logs carefully, you might already know what I’m going to do.

Man, even 2 cavaliers can really do a number on Raven if they hit. Better heal him up. Thanks to Canas’s awesome magic power, even a heal staff restores a lot of HP in his hands.

Heath actually gets out of there, rescue-dropping Canas with Florina’s help.
Now Eliwood moves up to this precise spot.

Raven pulls back a square to this one space semi-chokepoint and takes Eliwood’s more durable steel sword. This means that he’ll 2-hit kill those cavaliers, so he’ll have to fight every last one of them with each doing 12 damage.

Ash nazg gimbatul!

Well now that’s the Guy we all know again.

Raven gets just the kind of level up he needs right now.

Look at him taunting that poor sap who now does 0 damage to him!

13 cavaliers down. Unfortunately, he missed one of them on the forest earlier so he can’t continue fighting with his next steel sword. That was enough progress for 1 turn though.

Yeah, this is the weirdest Erk I’ve ever seen, but I like it.

So Farina tries to join up at the beginning of turn 6, charging an exorbitant 20,000. I don’t have that, so she decides to just loiter in the area in case I decide to sell my treasures and hire her.

Pegasus knights have begun spawning. They’re kind of a problem for Erk so I want to have one of my own flyers intercept them, but I can’t do that as long as the ballistae are still operational- which was why it was so important to start running them out of ammo early.

Ta-da! Just in time.

I still have a ton of cavaliers to kill and this longsword would save some time, which is why I brought it.

But I’ve got a better idea. Raven did ok, but now watch the master at work!

That warrior moves! I’d forgotten about that until I got to this point.

Fiora kills some enemy pegasus knights for a pretty solid level.

Heath meanwhile is invincibly killing ALL the cavaliers and gets another great level up. He’s really a speed demon isn’t he? With HHM bonuses he’s supposed to have about 14 now- still more than enough to double these guys, but much lower.

Fiora still really can’t handle enemy pegasus knights well so I have to pull her back after a single round and heal her.

And Ninian dances, so she can fly another sortie immediately. This will let me eat up more Purge as well as keep those darned pegasus knights off Erk. You may also have noticed that Bartre hasn’t been doing anything lately. That’s because those darned enemy pirates keep walking back and forth instead of getting to shore. I’d like to have him go for the cavaliers and finish a few of them instead, but I need him to stay where he is to lure those pirates back so he’s kind of stuck.

Another good level for Guy. He’s actually AHEAD of HHM Guy in Str now. Which still kind of sucks as you can see. Plus getting blessed so late in the game really is not helpful when he was a worthless load on my team earlier.

Man, my level ups on this chapter are pretty great in general. Erk finally starts getting some speed again.

Alright, so I could totally raise the cash to recruit Farina by selling these 2 spare hero crests and Erk’s white gem. Honestly, she’s worth 20,000 or so. It’s a high price to pay, but she’s a very valuable unit. What’s more, she’s fairly low level and easy to train so she’s great for your XP ranking- which is really the hard ranking to max most of the time.

But it’s a trap! You should NEVER recruit Farina on a max ranking run! A fair number of people make good arguments for why she’s worth 20,000 and they’re probably right. What’s they’re missing is that she actually costs 40,000! 20,000 in cash requires selling 40,000 worth of stuff to acquire. Or alternately put, you could use the silver card to buy 40,000 worth of assets with that 20,000. Nobody is worth 40,000 just to get on your team. That’s enough money to promote 4 other people who would otherwise have to be level 20 and uselessly unpromoted in the end game. The 50,000 total required to buy and then promote Farina is enough to pay for using DART and he’s way better but totally not worth that price!

There hasn’t been much to report about Erk other than that he continues to slowly fight the hordes of monks. It’s about time I tried to push through to that village though.

Hector delivers my message that we don’t have and are not going to acquire 20,000 so Farina storms off.

I’d rather Bartre fight that pirate who finally got to shore from here.

So Heath could kill this archer from here, but the trouble is that he’d then be attacked by the 2 archers AND a cavalier AND Pascal. That would kill him by 1 HP. Yeah, he’s tough. You know what he CAN survive though?

Yeah a total of 3 archer hits with steel bows is no problem for him. Now as I mentioned before, Pascal moves and with the cavaliers all dead, it’s time I aggroed him and prepared to end this.

…. Best Heath ever!

Best Erk ever! Granted he’s still slow and more fragile than he should be, but that’s an absurd amount of bonus magic power and resistance.

Guy finishes the warrior off.

And Florina and Erk prepare to get that village and then kill the bishop.

Meh, not so good. She turned out well though. As I mentioned in her early levels, her gains of strength and no speed at first were very bad back then but meant she would turn out very useful later.

Holy cow!

To take down Pascal, Raven needs some more damage.

And Heath finishes him off.


Fiora doesn’t have a javelin because I don’t want her taking Erk’s kills here, so she takes the whip and then moves on up.

Guy takes the fortress. I think it’s turn 9 now.

So Erk took more hits to kill those monks than I expected since I didn’t actually have a chance to have anyone else help him and he actually broke or nearly broke all 3 of his anima tomes. I don’t have a silver card ready, but I am NOT going to repeat my stupid greedy mistake of not buying Canas fluxes.

Bartre gets another actually good level. Too bad it’s too late.

Nice! You know, these are pretty much the best level ups I’ve ever seen. Believe it or not, I actually had a reputation among my FE playing friends for winding up with amazingly terrible characters. Now almost my whole team is turning out great or at least average.

Now Raven is almost level 20, which is one reason I pulled him back and had Heath do most of the cavalier fighting. These last 2 kills should take him to 20.


Alright, now I could have won a turn or two ago but I’m delaying my win to get more XP.

Yay! There’s the speed Erk needs. Now he’s almost average in that stat.

With that done, Florina takes the second fortress.

And raven takes the last one. I couldn’t kill those 2 remaining pegasus knights because of Bartre suckage, but just 2 guys aren’t worth another turn- unlike the 5 or 6 guys I killed by waiting till this one. Unfortunately I don’t think I took a screen shot of what turn it actually is now. I think 11.

As usual, Lyn criticizes Hector.

As usual, she’s unjustified in doing so since she evidently didn’t realize this was a trap any sooner than he did. And as usual, Eliwood politely tells them to stop pointless arguing and get out of here before a second wave or something comes.

Total Restarts: 15 (On my first attempt I used Filla's Might and an iron sword for Raven vs the cavaliers while keeping him on the forest. It had about 70% odds of success- more cheaply and with more cavaliers dead too- but he died to the last cavalier)
Turn Surplus: 14 (I THINK. Actually I appear to have lost the screenshot where I checked what turn it was at the very end. This is the worst case estimate.)
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, those 2 pegasus knights at the end of Crazed Beast that I just didn’t have enough time to feed to Bartre.