Part 43: Chapter 28x (part 2)Playing Through:
First things first, Florina takes down this sniper. The only possible way to do it is with a silver lance. Expensive, but worth it, since the alternative is to give the XP to the overleveled Heath (using an iron lance).
Ah, the joys of a lousy Florina. At least shes pretty strong.
So Bartre moves down to this exact spot- thats fairly important as youll see. Then Canas heals his promotion wound for easy XP.
Watch closely, youre about to see a nice trick.
Heath moves to pin the left archer, then Fiora flies next to him and Florina and re-equips. I want both wielding iron swords to maximize dodge chance vs Bolting, but its also key that Fiora end up with the silver lance. Depending on the formation the mages take, this may be the only safe way to beat the sage.
Then she takes Canas
And drops him onto this exact space. Dropping right would be much worse- Canas would have a higher chance of being silenced and Fiora would end up further from the action.
And she then finishes moving.
Well that silence staff range is massive, but Canas is in a good position to dodge it. More importantly, look how awesome this formation is:
I took down the sniper with my lowest level flyer, completely shut down the whole archer island so that the survivors cant do ANYTHING, got Canas in position to heal anyone who gets injured with bolting, put Canas as far from the Silence as possible so as to max his dodge chance, and put all 3 flyers in position to slaughter the mages or sage next turn. Plus, long term, Canas is where I need him for and physicing of Bartre or the top group and to be rescued and carried by the returning flyers.
Oh and heres the Bolting range. As you can see, Bartre is juuuuust outside of it, but is in the range of many or most of the Pegasus knights as intended
Hes not an immediate problem, but this sleep staff shaman is important to pay attention to. Thats a giant range at 11. Critically, he can cover much of the mage and sage island, which will really complicate my plans to wipe them out.
Heres Sonias supposed range. Of course, she doesnt leave that throne so the real edge of her range is the square Ive marked. She can cover most of the bishop island, and that will be a big problem later on.
And the bishop range while Im at it. A mere 8. Much more manageable than that shamans.
The ballistae are much less of a problem but still dangerous to fragile people.
Alright, back to playing, Jaffar just runs up and Hector re-equips him. Critically, I do NOT let Jaffar keep his elixir. Its key that he end up with 3 empty inventory spots so that he can loot all the top right chests with the lockpick Ill give him.
That done, Kent moves by and rescues Hector.
7 move ftw, Ninian dances so Kent can move again and drop Hector right where I need him.
Which is on that particular staircase. Hes wielding his halberd and Kent has an iron lance because that pirate has a swordreaver.
Hector can not quite kill either of these guys with his Halberd, leaving them alive for Kent or Nino.
Speaking of Nino, this move and rescue looks pointless, right? After, the square Priscilla carrying Nino ends up in is the same one Nino could get to on her own, right?
Well, no. See, even though Matthew cant do any fancy cavalier tricks like continuing to move after taking Nino, he can still just take and drop her immediately. She net gains 2 squares of movement from that. Plus Priscilla got to be further up than if Nino had just taken the spot shes in. You should use rescue-dropping a lot for small movement advantages like this.
So as you can see, the north team advanced VERY far. Hector went 15 squares, Kent went 14 dancing for units that have rescued someone is nicely double-effective like that- Nino has gone 7, and everyone is equipped and ready for some serious fighting. Meanwhile, the flyers + Canas completely dominated the archer island and are in position to wreck the enemy mages, while Bartre is ideally positioned for fighting the pegasi while staying out of Bolting range. Yeah, I think this is pretty much the best possible turn 1 ending formation really. It plays out like poetry in motion as they say. Of course, its all downhill from here. In 15 turns my army will be a broken wreck of people with 5 HP scattered randomly across the map.
I dont know why they went for Florina instead of Heath. I mean, Heath has like10 less Res. On the other hand his dodge is higher, but it seems pretty clear the enemy doesnt actually check dodge chance.
Bartre has an easy time vs the Pegasus knights. The falco knight is a different story really.
And the moment of truth. Even at the best range I could engineer and with Canass massive and blessed res, this guy still had a solid chance to silence him. Theres really no way you can get your staff avoid high enough on any unit to be safe on this chapter.
Anyway, if Canas had been hit Id have had to restart the chapter and do a different strategy instead.
Well, unexpectedly, no one got hit by Bolting so Canas has nothing to do but heal Florinas level up injury while also stepping on the ballista.
Ugh, I have serious problems here. The enemy formation is basically the worst one imaginable for me. The sage for some reason moved away from me far enough that hes now covered by the sleep staff not only at melee but at javelin range too. And by the wyvern lord for that matter. Meanwhile, the mages are blocking for him well too.
As Ive said before, sometimes you should just make the obvious moves first so that the rest is easy to figure out. Having Florina, my rear flyer, attack one of these mages is a no brainer.
Ultimately I realized I just CANT take out that sage. Only the silver lance has the power, but the wielder of that will then get slugged by several wyverns. That would waste a lot of gold as well as probably result in death.
So the bottom situation is terrible. The 3 bolting mages are dead, but the silence sage is still alive. If he hits Canas, I have to restart. Fiora is on the very maximum edge of Sleep range, but thats exactly what I want. She has great Res and with this distance, her dodge chance is good, so I can start wasting his ammo.
Canas of course has blocked the ballista and the two nearby archers now have no choice but to 0 damage him and then die.
Back to the top, Matthew has to weaken this guy for Nino, though the Swordreaver means hell probably take a nasty hit.
Nino makes his risk worthwhile with a great level. Keep it up!
I need this paladin dead and I need him fed to someone low level. And Ive got a plan!
This plan involves Hector in Berserk range. Thats alright. Thats good even. I mean, I dont know if hell actually take the bait or not since from what Ive seen the enemy is totally unpredictable in deciding to fire with a staff or not. But if he does, thats one less Berserk for him, and I can restore Hector easily.
Kent gets the damage boost hell need.
And he moves in, giving Hector back his handaxe so that he can fight the incoming nomads.
Wow, thats a sweet level!
Not much for Priscilla to do, so she just heals Nino.
On the enemy turn, Fiora scores a lucky critical and takes out this attacking wyvern.
Kents Filas Might continues to help him prepare another round of badly injured enemies to harvest.
Awesome! So with my highest Res unit at maximum possible range, I got this guy down to a 35% chance to hit. Not exactly rosy, but I have no choice but to take it.
Sweet, the berserk bishop went for it.
darn it. I thought about restarting, but decided to see if I could get him cured instead.
Its a status effect smorgasbord. Silence, Poison, Berserk. Only Sleep is missing. Well the night is still young. The end of my well-healed army is already coming to an end. Every turn spent Restoring is one not healing, and that quickly adds up into a bunch of injured guys.
Bartre continues to fight, injured, and now wyverns are showing up.
Finally I can take him down. Of course, I could have last turn, but then Fiora would have been killed by the wyvern lord.
But NOW she can be rescued out immediately afterward. Florina picks up Canas so he can be dropped off and cured later. You might be tempted to have your flyers just keep pushing through the south. Dont fall for this. First of all, theyll be trapped by wyverns. Second, you need them on the top area. Third, theyre probably too high level so youll be losing XP.
Heath has a javelin ready. While holding Fiora hes too slow to double anyone, giving me a chance to weaken these mercenaries without killing them.
Plenty of easy kills waiting, Nino gets this one.
Solid. Def is nice and shes usually short on it.
Kent takes on one of the survivors.
Priscilla fixes Hector up.
Except for Nino, pretty much all my characters get terrible levels on this chapter. This is pretty much typical Priscilla though.
Well, got to keep pressing forward (and block this bridge)
Theres a wyvern incoming, so Jaffar and Matthew haul Priscilla back a square or two.
Bad except I desperately need Def right now.
Hector is berserk again.
Even promoted, Bartre really cant handle a few level 12 or so wyverns. Dart at level 10 was already mowing down swarms of them.
And Hector is restored.
After dropping Canas and having Ninian dance for Priscilla, so is Canas. Now Ive got 2 restorers ready to go in one area.
Gotta keep training Nino. Thats pretty much 50% of what I do for the next 10 turns, just weaken stuff so Nino or Kent can kill it.
Another one for Kent for example.
So its the end of turn 4 now. As turn 5 begins, bridges will open to the two lower middle islands shown here, and I need to be ready. Hector and Kent are ready to keep injuring the cavalry, and possibly also agro some statuses from the bishops. The flyers and healers are pretty much just piled up wherever there was space. And Jaffar and Matthew have little to do till next turn.
Fiora gets a pretty bad level from being attacked. Oh well, shes been good up till now most of the time.
And Florina is berserk. Darn. That was unexpected, since Hector should now be 100% or something since hes closer.
One wave of wyverns put Bartre at 6 basically. Now he has nothing for it but to retreat, drink a vulnerary, and cross his fingers.
First things first, Mathew steals the gem. Now I can kill this guy and his lackeys. But theres just too many enemies- particularly on the chokepoint- to deal with.
Theres no room to maneuver without having Fiora kill this guy first, also freeing a space for restoring Florina.
Done with that. There is now no more Berserk.
So she rushes out to kill the Sleep staffer before he can get to work.
So the thing at this point is that I cant make forward progress till turn 10. But I cant even do that unless these enemies are all out of staff uses and bolting and ballista bolts by then. So I need to keep people positioned to keep all enemies firing at all times. This was a bad place for Florina who isnt in Bolting range now.
The top group forces their way down that lane.
Well thats no good.
Not much else to do and hes getting pretty injured.
So Kent is now in range to agro 1 or both ballistae. The berserk and sleep and silence staff people are all gone, except the druid. He has 2 uses left. But Ive already made my biggest mistake of the chapter: Florina cant agro Sonias Bolting. Thats a problem and it will hurt me later since shell forever have 1 more ammo than everyone else Im trying to run out.
Turn 6, Bartre is still injured and still busy trying to keep the wyverns off people. Their numbers just seem neverending.
Now I think I want Hector aggroing the ballista- and the wyvern rider too perhaps.
So Im really having trouble with that hero and his mercs. I have no low level able to kill him, few available high level people and theyre at a choke point. At the very least, I have to carry Matthew out of there and then finally steal that last item.
Ninian can help.
And Kent got shot, so Canas heals him.
So Florina can kill him at last. And now she can agggro the boltings too. But so can Matthew. And hell be instant killed. Cant have that.
Well not good, but better than almost anyone else is getting.
Fiora comes to save the day, killing the wyvern nearby.
Heath actually uses Rescue to Rescue someone. Meanwhile Im basically just avoiding the mercenaries for now until I have some low level people without much to do.
Just isnt as awesome as Tell me are you afraid to die?
Darn. Oh and Sonia hits like a truck.
So suddenly, heres this turn 7 crisis. Bartre is at 6 HP and out of help range, Florina is asleep, Ive got a wyvern lord and a hero breathing down my neck, ballistae firing on me, bolting firing on me, and I need to KEEP everyone firing or the chapter will take too long to complete.
Bartre just makes a run for it, drinking a vulnerary.
Theres really not that much to say anymore. I just keep throwing nearby units at the enemy, keeping Sonia and the ballistae firing, not putting vulnerable people in their range, and going out of my way to give more XP to Kent and Nino.
Heath got hit hard, but luckily Canas can patch this up.
And I finally arranged for Nino to kill the wyvern lord.
Another pretty bad level.
Fiora weakens another one for Nino. I decided to leave Florina sleeping. It doesnt change much here and no one can get in range.
Another easy kill.
I put Heath in sleep range last turn deliberately, hoping the druid would use his last charge. But he didnt. He just did nothing instead. So now I have to worry about him for another turn. Perhaps the enemy wont use status staves on a character whos holding someone? That would be an interesting discovery. On the other hand, he didnt use it on Ninian either. When the AI is being so unpredictable its hard to tell why it does anything really.
At long last I can start killing theses pests.
Nice. This is a really good Kent. Though if I had to choose a stat for him to be blessed in it would be speed rather than Str. He cant really double anything.
Florina has been taking heavy fire from bolting, ballistae, and that wyvern, but Ive got to wake her up first of all.
Darn it! All my actually important characters are getting terrible levels this chapter, the only people doing well are Nino and Kent.
Speaking of Nino, another awesome one for her as she continues to kill every weakened enemy I can get my hands on.
After a dance, Canas heals Florina back up too.
So Its turn 8. At first glance it looks like Ive made really good progress and will have an easy ime from here on, but its not really true. The problem really is that Sonia has one more turns worth of Bolting ammo than I wanted because I didnt get Florina in her range a turn earlier, which means I cant really move when the bridge pops up on turn 10.
Meanwhile, many people are poisoned and nearly everyone is badly injured and the bulk of the enemy reinforcements have yet to spawn. Its going to be tricky to win by 16 at this point.
Another awful Bartre level.
Even Heath gets in one the terrible level action!
And Matthew, though at least he gained multiple bad stats.
Yes! That frees up Canas to heal her or something instead now.
Uh oh. Those bottom wyverns apparently dont just wait around. Yeah, this is a huge problem and almost worth restarting over. Because hes over the water, I cant actually kill him preemptively.
And that means I have to pull everyone who isnt tough way back at a time when I need to be pressing forward. This is going to cost me turns. But its tough to see what I could really do about it. I could agro him while going for the mage island near the beginning, but even Heath cant kill him efficiently and I need the flyers to return north promptly, and theyd have to fight him under the threat of that sleep staff.
I could try to keep Heath further south in this part of the chapter to fly out and attack him now, but again Heath cant actually kill him effectively and Heath would be killed by Bolting + the other wyverns + the wyvern lords counterattack. Or Florina or Fiora or whoever I sent in to finish off the lord would be.
I almost ran Hector in here to begin forming a defensive line, forgetting thats in Bolting range. Theres just so much stuff to keep track of on this chapter
Kent kills this last right wyvern while I think about what to do.
Definitely need Heath at full strength.
Huh, thats actually pretty good.
So I had Fiora rescue Hector back and then set up this defensive line with people who can take at least one hit from a wyvern lord. Note that I was careful to make sure that Canas stayed in Bolting range. Ive got to keep her wasting her ammo.
Turn 10 now, Bartre continues fleeing from a pair of wyvern riders like someone who isnt a promoted unit with weapon triangle advantage against them.
With some help from Jaffar, I can give this kill to Nino.
Kent gets in on the action too and gets an actual level from another wyvern. This guy is getting quite strong.
I need to get that island cleared out as fast as possible because I need Heath to get back into the real action soon, but it needs to be made safe for Jaffar to loot. The problem is some of these archers have longbows and others will waste a whole turn dismounting from their now empty ballistae so they wont attack Heath now and die.
Previous runs of this map showed me that I have to pull out the big guns here and use Canas. At this narrow chokepoint, the three generals can stalemate anyone else for like 4 turns.
An Fiora drops Hector closer to the action. Hes pretty good against Generals himself it I can find a spot for him.
So its turn 10 and I just have not made enough progress. Id like Canas several spaces further down the bridge and everyone else piling on too, but the ill-timed attack of the wyvern lord screwed up my plans badly. At least every single long-ranged attacker is finally neutralized.
Turn 11, Heath grabs Jaffar and hurries back with him.
And the massive top left reinforcements begin. Bartre is going to have a terrible time with them because he cant dodge and he has only mediocre Def, but hes got to do it and Ill have to physic him or something. First hell need to retreat more for a heal though.
Canas couldnt even kill these guys quickly, so Nino finishes one. With Ninian I can kill another this turn which will make it a breeze to get by the final one next time. Thats fast enough since most of my group still isnt ready to move along the bridge.
Nice. Everyone else may be doing awful but Nino isnt disappointing.
Matthew will need carrying to get in position, so its time to pick him up and drop him near the chest. That will also give me a chance to agro some of the enemies south of the generals and begin thinning them out, which I really need to do if Im going to go fast. Also notice that one pirate there. Hes been in the water pretty much all map long, running back and forth as he cant make up his mind about what direction to go.
Fiora is now blocking the general, so Florina can drop Matthew safely.
Well Ninos second general level isnt exactly good, but magic power is handy to have.
Next turn, Heath drops off Jaffar and rushes back to the action.
Bartre moves to engage the first reinforcement wave.
And I had forgotten Jaffar was injured by the wyvern lord and am now forced to physic him. Darn.
Nino kills the last general and the path is cleared.
Florina rushes the pesky Luna druid who used to have Sleep. At least his crit chance is low. On the one hand, Im running late and I really, really need to pick up the pace by having good units taken down the shamans and whatnot quickly so I can get Matthew ready to steal the chest keys. On the other hand, I dont really have many good units left uninjured and my flyers are about to be busy and I dont want them hogging the XP anyway.
So Fiora just weakens this guy for Nino instead of killing him with a javelin while blocking the south bridge.
Bartre actually does well against this falco knight, and kills it in one round. My Bartre is significantly behind on Str, so this has been a problem for him.
Oh look, another not that good level. I really need Def and Speed mostly, but at least the Str is nice.
Bartre is still up to his neck in dangerous enemies and will be for the foreseeable future.
Jaffar loots the Fenrir.
The big problem at this point is that I cant actually use Canas, Hector, or some of my flyers to clear out the problem enemies. They have to fly and rescue drop Hector and Canas near Sonia or I wont win on time. Meanwhile Bartre and Jaffar are elsewhere. That leaves my army severely understaffed as hordes of enemies appear.
Well Fiora will need a heal to stay in the fight.
These 4 reins per turn are going to keep spawning for a while. Theres no one counter to pirate + cavalier + nomad and the nomads in particular could pile up and then pose a major threat to my all-important flyers. Meanwhile theres just too many people to slog through to get Matthew near the thieves. The really annoying thing is that I need to make sure I never completely block the path to the chest from now on or the thieves might just leave.
Meh, Ill take it.
Well Strength at least! Because I had that brief run of awesome levels, my Bartre is roughly average overall despite his terribleness this chapter. So he sucks, as average Bartre does on HHM. But hes finally reached the required level 5 to fight Karla so I never have to use him again. For now he does need to fight the remaining reinforcements though.
The archers move to block the chests, So Jaffar has to kill them.
Bartre drinks a vulnerary, but its not nearly enough. He cant dodge so he takes like 30 damage a turn.
Canas is dropped off in range to fight Sonia and Fiora is ready to drop Hector, but things are a mess. Fiora will be at like 8 HP after one of those wyverns hits her and Canas will be busy. And shes poisoned. Florina is at bad HP and tied down trying to kill nomads as they spawn. Bartre is more than half dead. Jaffar is stuck on an island. That leaves me only Kent, Nino, and Ninian to kill several units per turn and allow Matthew to steal chest keys. Its not looking rosy.
Well, Ive got the first one now.
So heres the situation at the end of turn 12. Its only going to get messier until Heath and Fiora can return, but theres only 2-3 turns left anyway.
Next turn, Canas has to heal Bartre while moving to engage Sonia. Mine didnt gain any Mag this chapter, which is a shame. If he had, he could kill her in just 2 hits with Luna.
Jaffar acquires Thors Ire. This is the 3rd ring for Ninian and the first worthless one. It grants +10 crit to whoever its used on. Pass.
Florina edges away from that remaining wyvern but keeps killing nomads.
Matthew steals the second chest key after the others hack through some enemies for him. Problematically, Kent isnt strong enough to 1-round kill those pirates, so theyre starting to pile up.
Sonia attacks and Canas smashes her. No crit to save me money, but oh well.
This archer wouldnt move off the chest, so Jaffar has to kill him too. Darn. Now I cant win by turn 16.
Next turn, Canas finishes Sonia and gets another awful level. If he keeps this up hell be average before long. Which is to say, still the best unit in the game.
Kent gets an awful level from a pirate.
Fiora is terribly injured but nets a decent level. She needs all the Str she can get.
Im really running out of spare inventory space, nearly everyone is completely full. In this situation, I desperately needed Matthew able to steal but Ninian cant quite reach him this turn so I had to have her take Florinas stuff away instead and then have Florina trade with him.
That accomplished, I net the 3rd chest key.
Final turn! Matthew has already stolen the final chest key. Now its time for Florina to go for this thief.
And in the last tricky operation of the level, Ive realized that I have NO people with inventory space left in the area. The only one on the whole team with free space is Hector and hes elsewhere. So theres no choice but to drop something to get the speedwings.
With a trade chain, I got this 1 use javelin over to Matthew. Ill throw that away as he loots the chest after Ninian dances.
Yeah, I never had a chance to kill this pirate. He spent the WHOLE map just walking back and forth in the water never making it to land.
So heres the scoreboard. That pirate and one archer on the treasure island remain alive, but theyre no big loss. Its turn 17, so one turn after the ideal finish (mostly because of that incident with the wyvern lord and with Sonia not running out of Bolting at maximum speed. Honestly, Ill take it. This is my 8th full play of the level and while Ive managed to win on turn 16 before, I always had to leave more enemies alive and not steal one of the chest keys to manage it. And Im absolutely sick of this chapter.
Outside, we retrieve this Jan fellow. He really is a coward, otherwise hed join us and wed finally have a brigand on the team. I could go for Gonzalez 2 right now. Theres even a perfect level for raising a brigand coming up.
He and Nino reflect on the late Brendan Reed.
And Jan reveals that Brendan already knew much of Sonias past including that shed murdered Ninos parents and lied about it. Man. This just makes Brendan MORE of an idiot. He gives Ephidel a run for his money.
And they say their farewells.
As Requiem plays once again.
To Brendan, Sonia, Jan, and her old life.
Hector pulls Jaffar aside and tells him how much he hates him, but says hell agree to let Jaffar travel with them because Eliwood wants that.
And one of Hectors best short speeches begins as he tells Jaffar that he will kill him if he ever does anything remotely suspicious, because Eliwood is too kind and trusting for his own good.
And an interesting moment. Limstella teleports back into the water temple to visit the dying Sonia. The latter still doesnt admit to being a morph. Why DID we leave this woman alive though?
Yeah, usually we saw Limstella warp in and take the quintessence of that last boss we killed, but Sonia is a morph so she cant do that? So what is she here for? Is the dispassionate and professional Limstella actually here to mock Sonia and rub it in her face that yes she really is a morph?
Or is this perhaps just her cold way of saying goodbye?
Probably its the former. I guess Sonias taunting and jerkishness over the years must have really annoyed her.
And Limstella leaves her to die, still claiming to be human with her last breath.
Its finally over! Lets review the outcome: I got every chest, stole every single item (including all 4 chest keys), finished 11 turns under time, killed all but 2 enemies, and got about 8 levels worth of XP more than required. Its a resounding victory, and yet I still feel like I lost somehow.
When I beat Whereabouts Unknown or Battle Before Dawn I felt like my strategies and cunning plans had carried me to victory and I was proud of the win, but on this chapter theres just nothing to be proud of. Theres no way to maintain formations, theres no way to really keep playing tactically as your army is forced to split up like 6 ways and deal with vast hordes of enemies. You just have to hope for misses with the status staves and rely on brute force and high level units you just throw around wherever theres a problem to secure victory this time. And that makes the win feel hollow.
Total Restarts: 33 (Yeah, I had to redo this chapter 12 times. Any time you screw up the slightest bit on this chapter someone gets killed and you have to restart. Theres no room for error and no room for mistakes and there are way too many moving parts to keep track of)
Turn Surplus: 29 (Looking good! If I can add one or two on Cog of Destiny then I can really take my time and get maximum XP on 30, 32, and 32x)
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, 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 would have acquired if not for a stupid minor mistake on chapter 22, 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, and the confused pirate and final archer on Night of Farewells.