Part 35: Chapter 25 and The War Room Part 27 (HHM Bonuses)
The second additional chapter in Hectors story (interestingly, the first additional chapter, Talons Alight, was precisely 10 main levels ago) is far easier than the first. Its another breather chapter and quite fun, though it really doesnt 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 Wars style and chapters, though having played a few of those I wouldnt say theres really THAT much similarity. Yes, there are multiple castles on the map and you need to get a unit onto each one. Thats 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 youve doubtless noticed, the air drop is king. Fittingly, this chapter presents your chance to get your 4th flying unit.
Unlike Talons Alight, we definitely find out why this chapter only happens in Hectors story- though the details are mostly revealed at the end. Hector began investigating the Fire Emblems 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 were coming and shes prepared a dangerous trap and shell 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 theyre 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 Fangs supposed principles, seemingly recognizing that the Fang does not and never has actually abided by them.
And hes 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 thats when they realize theyve been surrounded by most of a hundred warriors waiting in ambush.
Ive said this before, but its 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 arent 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 cant fight worth a damn, but thats exactly how Legault himself characterizes them: theyre 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 Hectors Hard Mode and only Hectors 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 cant 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 theyre 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 isnt a named character since named characters have pre-defined stats.
The upshot is that even on, say, Eliwoods 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, youll 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 hes 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 heres a level 11 Cavalier on HHM:
Well he has no luck (enemies pretty much never actually have luck apart from bosses), but hes 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. Lets 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 youd expect, some of his stats are below that and some are above that. Enemies get RNG blessed or screwed same as your own characters. Heres 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. Heres the boss of this chapter to demonstrate:
Hes 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 youd 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 hes 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 youd expect for him gaining 5 generic warrior levels.
http://fireemblem.wikia.com/wiki/Geitz 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 doesnt 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 havent actually looked at the code to check the truth for myself, but I was told (and my cursory checks suggest its 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 dont 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 dont redundantly post it again and again. You should also check after every single promotion and the like.
The stars alone dont tell you that much though. So, you have to do some record keeping yourself.
For one thing, its 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 hes gained 474 XP. Needless to say, checking that for everyone is time consuming. A bigger problem is that XP gained in Lyns story doesnt count, so you cant get an accurate result unless you wrote down the exact level and XP each of your Lyns story characters ended at. Yeah, I dont bother with that. Just assume that youre 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 its a little tricky. Dont 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 youve 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 youre on an emulator or whatever). Lets say you used 5 normal promotion items with the last one dropping you to 4 stars. That means youre 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 youre selling, using, etc. You dont 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 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 Im 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. Dont make that mistake. Always reserve at least 10k of surplus- 20 is better.
Oh and Market is now a 6 star general.
Alright, alright, heres the actual map. I was wrong last chapter about how rarely Lake terrain comes up, because thats 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 youll need air units to get your troops around. The enemy doesnt 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 bishops 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 doesnt 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 doesnt actually move, the true range of its purge is only out to the selected square. Thats 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 arent 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. Thats about 50 reinforcements right there and they can easily swarm and overwhelm the unprepared- particularly if you dont know that theyre triggered by proximity rather than time.
Turn Limit: 0 (Its 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. Thats more than enough, very generous of them.
1) Hector. Required, but max level. Hed be highly effective against the cavaliers since almost all of them have lances, but plenty of other people can handle them too. Theres 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 Im 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; hes close to promotion and just needs a little more XP to get there. Plus training him a bit more will help me unlock Jermes version of chapter 27.
5) Erk. I gave Erk the Afas drops and now well see if he can make good use of them. The huge horde of monks on the right flank is something hes 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? THATS 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 isnt a problem. This is a great chapter to level him up 5 or 6 times to get more Jermes chapter XP.
7) Bartre. Yes, Bartre. Yeah hes terrible, but hes 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 hell never have to fight 2 or more at once if he takes beach guarding duty. And hes extremely low level, so hell gain lots of Jermes chapter XP.
8) Florina. Recently promoted so I dont want to use her much at all in combat, but with her shiny new 8 movement shes 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. Hes also high level, so I wont 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 shes amazingly useful because Filas Might and Niniss Grace are absolutely perfect for dealing with vast hordes of one enemy type.
Notable Units Rejected:
1) Dart. Its a trap! Remember, thats not ocean- which Dart can move through well- thats LAKE. He goes through it at 1 square per turn. It will take all map long for him to get anywhere. And hes 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 wouldnt 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 wont be taking damage at all. Priscilla also cant really stand up to the ballista bolts that may be fired at Canas. And I dont want either Priscilla or Serra gaining much XP at the moment since I need to make sure I get Jermes chapter.
4) Lyn. If I wasnt trying to get Jermes chapter, shed 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 theres nothing to steal so theyre 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, Im now flush with new equipment of all kinds. Everyone has a vulnerary again, everyones 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 hell 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 youll see.
I want Eliwood leveled before Raven just to make absolutely sure he does hit level 20, so hes 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 shes standing light right behind Fiora while she does.
Fiora points out that Farina isnt here so its kind of weird and pointless to bring her up right now when they have a battle to fight.
Another one of Florinas sisters who doesnt 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. Shes 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 shes 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 shes 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, hell 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. Ill get into why thats 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 hes quite aware of that, and mocks the Fang hypocrisy.
Hes a pretty fun antagonist while he lasts and its a shame we dont 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. Hes 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 dont know that, he will ride right off his gate and run up and instant kill one of your weaker people
Even if theyre not in the front line thanks to that spear! But yes, being the only boss in the game wholl 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.
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 wont threaten Bartre next turn.
Furthermore, in this square hell cause the massive cavalier reinforcements to begin spawning immediately. The sooner they finish spawning, the sooner I can finish the map and its 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.
Ive said time and time again that its 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. Its a truly fantastic weapon and it will eat Guy alive if you send him out here and dont 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 Ive said before, you should have your infantry who will be rescue-dropped start behind the cavalry and then move in front of them. Thats what Im doing here.
So Florina carries Guy and then Fiora takes and drops him. Hes in range to trigger the pirate reinforcement spawns too, just as intended.
And since shes 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 Ninians 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 theyll go for Erk.
Even Guy can handle this one! Its idiot proof!
Well decent. My Erk has had great Magic and Res but sucky speed so far. At the present, as hes about to fight dozens of monks, thats just what he needs.
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 Id fought several enemies with them but could never have acquired one myself. Its 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 isnt 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 Fillas Might is for.
Actually pretty good. Bartres growths are quite nice, mine was just unlucky.
There isnt 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 Pascals range to take on the first few cavaliers. Theres really no ideal chokepoint on this level for dealing with them. Youre 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 hed be boxed in by the ones near him for a while since he cant kill them fast.
Theres the enemy purge range. Again, the bishop doesnt move so the true max range is where I put the cursor. Im going to want to waste those Purge shots so Erk doesnt 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. Its all the not-quite good stats but at least its 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
Hes 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 its 23 or something but this is only turn 4 so theres 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 Ill 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 didnt miss.
Well Eliwood reached max level so I dont 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 Ravens old spot. Hell 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 hes on a roll.
Did you think it was a lot of cavaliers last time? No, that wasnt a lot of cavaliers. THIS is a lot of cavaliers. More on the way! Now its turn 5 and I dont really have more time to kill, so I need to start thinning them out immediately. If youve been reading the previous logs carefully, you might already know what Im going to do.
Man, even 2 cavaliers can really do a number on Raven if they hit. Better heal him up. Thanks to Canass 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 Florinas help.
Now Eliwood moves up to this precise spot.
Raven pulls back a square to this one space semi-chokepoint and takes Eliwoods more durable steel sword. This means that hell 2-hit kill those cavaliers, so hell have to fight every last one of them with each doing 12 damage.
Ash nazg gimbatul!
Well now thats 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 cant continue fighting with his next steel sword. That was enough progress for 1 turn though.
Yeah, this is the weirdest Erk Ive ever seen, but I like it.
So Farina tries to join up at the beginning of turn 6, charging an exorbitant 20,000. I dont 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. Theyre kind of a problem for Erk so I want to have one of my own flyers intercept them, but I cant 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 Ive got a better idea. Raven did ok, but now watch the master at work!
That warrior moves! Id 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. Hes really a speed demon isnt he? With HHM bonuses hes supposed to have about 14 now- still more than enough to double these guys, but much lower.
Fiora still really cant 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 hasnt been doing anything lately. Thats because those darned enemy pirates keep walking back and forth instead of getting to shore. Id 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 hes kind of stuck.
Another good level for Guy. Hes 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 Erks white gem. Honestly, shes worth 20,000 or so. Its a high price to pay, but shes a very valuable unit. Whats more, shes fairly low level and easy to train so shes great for your XP ranking- which is really the hard ranking to max most of the time.
But its a trap! You should NEVER recruit Farina on a max ranking run! A fair number of people make good arguments for why shes worth 20,000 and theyre probably right. Whats theyre 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. Thats 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 hes way better but totally not worth that price!
There hasnt been much to report about Erk other than that he continues to slowly fight the hordes of monks. Its about time I tried to push through to that village though.
Hector delivers my message that we dont have and are not going to acquire 20,000 so Farina storms off.
Id 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 hed then be attacked by the 2 archers AND a cavalier AND Pascal. That would kill him by 1 HP. Yeah, hes 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, its time I aggroed him and prepared to end this.
. Best Heath ever!
Best Erk ever! Granted hes still slow and more fragile than he should be, but thats 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.
To take down Pascal, Raven needs some more damage.
And Heath finishes him off.
Fiora doesnt have a javelin because I dont want her taking Erks kills here, so she takes the whip and then moves on up.
Guy takes the fortress. I think its turn 9 now.
So Erk took more hits to kill those monks than I expected since I didnt actually have a chance to have anyone else help him and he actually broke or nearly broke all 3 of his anima tomes. I dont 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 its too late.
Nice! You know, these are pretty much the best level ups Ive 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 Im delaying my win to get more XP.
Yay! Theres the speed Erk needs. Now hes almost average in that stat.
With that done, Florina takes the second fortress.
And raven takes the last one. I couldnt kill those 2 remaining pegasus knights because of Bartre suckage, but just 2 guys arent worth another turn- unlike the 5 or 6 guys I killed by waiting till this one. Unfortunately I dont think I took a screen shot of what turn it actually is now. I think 11.
As usual, Lyn criticizes Hector.
As usual, shes unjustified in doing so since she evidently didnt 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 didnt have enough time to feed to Bartre.