Part 45: Chapter 29 (part 2)Playing Through:
The first thing that strikes you when you play this map is its awesome musical theme. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqK_WxZz-sk
There are few more dramatic and fitting tracks in the game, and most of them are concentrated in these last few chapters. Some are more fun to just listen to, but I dont think any sets an atmosphere the way this one does.
Well the details dont much matter as long as she and Erk end up in the bridge area, so here she goes.
Priscilla carries her and then Erk takes and drops her with each of them wielding Elfire. Theyve entered the blue spawn region, so bishops and monks will start coming out of the middle fortresses.
Not much for Hector to do but pull Priscilla out so the monks instead get beaten up by the 2 mages.
Lucius also has few jobs early, so I might as well drop her.
Eliwood moves on north. He has entered the second spawn trigger zone, creating Valkyries.
And for the more interesting moves, Canas uses Barrier on Dorcas. Barrier is a staff that has the same effect as Pure Water but at half price and also gives some XP, so its a much better deal. Basically the target gets +7 Res for 1 turn, then that decreases to +6 the next, and so on down to 0. When its handy, its very handy, so I generally save the staff and dont use it often.
And Ninian uses Filas Might on Dorcas. Note that the Barrier staff effect is NOT a condition, so he can have both. Dorcas is now seriously buffed up, with +7 Res and +10 damage.
Hes still barely adequate. If he missed this handaxe throw I would just restart and use a different strategy since this is important.
He got the kill! Now my original plan was to leave this shaman here alive and have both of them die to the buffed up Dorcas (with Barrier he can just barely stand up to them). The problem is that hes also in range of the bolting bishop, and that 3rd hit will kill him. And the odds of all 3 hitting are still very high because his avoid is horrible.
So Fiora takes this one out instead. Theyve entered the 3rd and final spawn trigger zone, creating shamans and druids. This will get the enemies flooding out at maximum possible speed, which also means Ill finish killing them at the earlier turn. Itll be more intense, but over quicker. The idea is to also get Vaida spawning quickly, but thats easier said than done because the zone that makes her spawn is watched over by the two staff druids.
Well that sucks.
On the enemy turn, Dorcas also gets an awful level. But I expect that from him.
Ouch! Well 1 shot of Purge down. Depending on how the Bishop moves it might or might not be possible to take him out before he runs dry.
And the Valkyries appear. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AlEvy0fJto
Look at that speed! These guys double most of my team, and only 1 person even among my best units (Sain) can double them and thats because he was blessed with like +8 speed over average. Unlike most really fast enemies, these guys actually dont wield heavy weapons, so thats their real speed. Oh and I just noticed right this second that for some reason their Con and Aid add up to 25 like a mounted man instead of 20 for a mounted woman. Strange.
Also look at that Res. Canas will hit them with about 9 damage hes significantly blessed in Mag. Nino? Wont scratch them with Elfire. Lucius wont with lightning or shine. Erk barely does. And their Mag is more than high enough to 2-hit kill most low res units.
Those guys are nothing. THESE Valkyries are the real threat. Most characters CANT even get the speed to double these people. Most mages will never get to 24 mag at 20/20. Fortunately these elite Valkyries are found only among the initial group, the ones that spawn are all level 8.
Alright, turn 2 begins with Eliwood running into a forest and preparing to take down this small mage squadron. Then hell be perfectly positioned to move to the fort.
And Fiora get to the vendor. First things first, she buys numerous Fire tomes.
Back in the main area, Priscilla keeps Dorcas on his feet and gets a classic Priscilla level. She actually turns out much like these Valkyries if you somehow raise her to their level, but thats not really as useful on your own team.
So a LONG time ago in chapter 13s War Room I talked about the details of how trading works, and I also brought up tangentially that there are several rarely used and talked about advanced tactics you can do using Merlinus once he can move. This is one of them, seen at long last. Like 20 squares away, Fiora bought fire tomes and I made sure she had her inventory full first so they all got sent to Merlinus immediately. Then he moves into a position Nino and Erk want to be next to. And then Nino moves up and takes the fire tome and uses it, just like with trading.
When last you saw Nino, she was but the learner, but now she is the master and is weakening people to feed to even weaker allies.
Which pays off immediately. Hell need all the Mag he can get to hurt these enemies.
Erk too visits the merchant and at last equips himself with some Fire tomes. Hes back!
Priscilla was too weak to fully heal Dorcas so Canas takes over. Canas, of course, could have healed Dorcas to full immediately if I used him first, but theres more total XP generated this way.
These first 2 turns are fairly bland, mostly just a matter of the enemy and I running towards each other and killing a few minor foes.
One of the two bottom leftish Valkyries has a sleep staff, as noted on the map. Since their magic power isnt that good, the Valkyrie staff users arent a giant threat by and large. Having this one miss Nino is nice, but not necessary. Ill be keeping everyone packed in a fairly tight ball around my restorers when possible.
They called me mad when I gave Erk the Afas Drops. Mad! But I showed them!
Things are heating up. Eliwood grabs the fort. With its defenses and healing, he can stand up to the Valkyries almost indefinitely.
And Fiora passes through the armory. Again, they dont have javelins or handaxes for sale, so Im going to have a bit of a javelin shortage come Sands of Time.
And she continues her move, stopping at the village.
So, heres the turn 3 central situation. Things are looking pretty rough and I have only this one turn to stabilize them or I lose.
First, Canas needs to weaken that Valkyrie. Then either he with a dance or perhaps Erk can finish it.
Oh, or that.
Priscilla keeps Lucius going. These monks and the troubadour are not really important except insofar as some are in my way. Whats really key is to prevent any more Valkyries riding in.
Lucius was going to weaken a guy for Dorcas but instead killed him. Im not really fond of crits as a game mechanic honestly. The unpredictability can completely screw up your strategy.
Now that left Valkyrie has a sleep staff, and enemies with staves will NEVER attack as long as they could use a staff instead. For that reason, I dont need to worry about it for another turn or two. So instead Ill have Canas start dealing with the northern one.
On second thought, this guy with Purge left himself open for a tag team attack, I can take him out now.
And the north pass is blocked. If I can clear that space the Valkyrie is now standing in, I can just park Erk or Canas there alone in the future.
Now that the pass is blocked, heres the range of the bolting guy- sole remaining long-ranged attacker for most of the map. As long as Dorcas stays out of that, he should be fine.
And thats the spectacular range of this sleep wielding creep. Ive got 2 turns to block that pass, plenty of time.
Dorcas kills an injured monk, leaving only one. One is no threat to even him.
That druid you may have seen approaching from the west has Luna. Actually, almost every starting shaman and druid on the map has Luna. But thats particularly dangerous in the hands of a druid. Merlinus, though, has the luck to negate any crit chance. I may use him to sponge a hit or two before the end.
Speaking of every shaman having Luna, the ones going after Fiora all do.
His avoid is great A hit wouldnt have been problematic anyway, the key was just to make sure the druid came that way.
More things to heal for XP.
The enemy apparently has the same thought and undoes the handaxe wound Hector gave that troubadour. Darn, no feeding it to Dorcas now. They arent too smart with their staves, but every single Valkyrie on the chapter has one- usually a physic. If they were smart with them, youd never kill anything.
Now THIS was important. My whole strategy really depends on Eliwood dodging- or not being targeted by- this one Valkyrie with the berserk staff. If he IS hit I cant cure him, so hell stupidly charge off his fortress and then get slaughtered. I was thinking about giving him a Pure Water, but decided the odds were in his favor enough I shouldnt need it.
Doesnt matter, Canas could have just cured her.
Id like this guy dead, but theres no way to kill him in one turn. Perhaps Ill get a second chance. Furthermore, Ive noticed that the Valkyries arent diverting to go to Eliwood as Id hoped. Ill have to lure them in groups.
As Id hoped, the chokepoint square opened up and Erk is able to move in. He can hold that position more or less indefinitely now, leaving me to concentrate on the other passes.
Barring a roughly 6.4% of losing right here, same as any time I fight a guy with Luna, this should make it possible to give a very juicy kill to Dorcas or the like.
After actually checking the odds though, it seemed most prudent just to dance for Canas and heal him and have him do it himself.
Ooh, not bad. More speed is nice. My Canas is really getting too high level though. Ive been careful not to use him to fight for most of the game, just healing, but theres still a lot of XP he picks up killing or injuring bosses and other problem enemies.
Just some mopping up to do mostly.
Or, once again, I could get a crit while trying to weaken a unit for someone else
Dorcas gets this one instead at least.
Another bad Dorcas level.
Remember those 2 druids at the top of the map, way on the left? Heres how enormous their staff range is from there. They control almost the whole field.
At the village, Fiora runs into Murdock who immediately recognizes this group the one which is illegally running around near the Shrine of Seals and fighting a giant battle there- as the one that saved Zephiel.
Now I didnt point out the druid range for nothing. Fiora is injured, too injured to really make a go at the top Valkyries safely. Plus I calculate shell need more javelins. So Ill start retreating her, but I have to avoid the sleep staff druid. Even with her 20 Res and at the edge of the druids range, the odds are extremely good that hell affect her.
Fighting continues in Erks pass and he gets a good level.
Eliwood dodges again, as expected.
And Priscilla dodges again, but thats still less important.
I THINK I have some of those guys after Eliwood now. If so, I want them to fight him here rather than in the woods.
Bolting range. It looks like theres no chance of killing the guy before he runs out of charges.
So many crits this level. This one is actually helpful though.
Weakening more guys for Dorcas. That Valkyrie has no more sleep staff, so it will now attack.
But Hector needs healing.
So does Canas
And now to dance him into place blocking the pass.
And Fiora blocks this one.
Canas heals her as he moves in and the defenses are complete.
Thats a pretty good level. More Def is very nice on someone like Erk.
Fiora also gets a pretty good level, though she really could use more speed.
And now, Eliwood goes up against a Valkyrie! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vbehfrf9hU
It still gets another attack since these guys double everything-
Huh. Well that went unexpectedly well.
Id be annoyed at Eliwood gaining so few stats since promoting, but right now he needs the speed.
Heres the scoreboard as turn 6 begins. There should be 1 more wave of reinforcements left, spawning on turn 8.
Ugh, the other Valkyries again lost interest in Eliwood so Ill have to run over and remind them he exists to pull them his way.
Fiora takes down this one, the one that once had the sleep staff, and the western side of the map is much safer.
Priscilla gets Fiora ready to resume her previous mission. Remember, having her come back here at all was a HUGE set back. She was supposed to be fighting the top left Valkyries by now, but she didnt dodge any attacks. This detour sets me back maybe 4 turns.
On the main front, I keep making what opportunities I can to train the weak people and then rescue or dance them out. There arent many.
And theyre never really rewarding.
These are spawned shamans so they dont have Luna, so I can switch to let Lucius fight them after a heal.
Another dull enemy turn passes with no much happening. Theres no good way to thin the herd of Valkyries, Erk does almost no damage, and they sometimes heal each other so no progress is made. Its a really boring map to talk about.
A great level at least, that will make this easier.
I spend all of my time just rescue dropping people like Priscilla around so she never gets attacked.
And finding ways to occasionally actually kill a Valkyrie. Like 1/turn at best with Canas working to help.
Another excellent level up. Im going to give all the credit to Afas drops.
Dorcas gets some less broken gear from Merlinus, Canas keeps Erk going, and the boringness continues.
Dorcas will be fighting that last shaman in the bottom leftish.
Fiora is finally getting back to work. And theres no more time to waste, so I positioned her at the edge of Sleep range. I need that guy to run down and then start Sleeping my other units so hell run out of charges.
Hector pulls Priscilla out of the fire again. Most of my units have no real things to do but to just pick each other up and drop each other, and occasionally take a potshot at a Valkyrie. If I ever stopped doing that, Id stop making even this incremental progress.
Eliwood continues to try to pull more Valkyries off the main pack.
Sweet, theres the uber-druid at work. You can see that even in almost the best imaginable circumstances he has good odds to put her to sleep. Hopefully hell go for an easier target in future turns now that more are in his range.
Got to take every chance I get to kill Valkyries, which isnt many. If I ever injure one severely without killing it, it gets healed. So I have to make sure they dont get to low enough HP will still alive that that happens, instead making sure they die to counterattacks or that Erk just does enough damage with a switch to Elfire to bring one down.
Fiora skirts the edges of the map.
And the new sleep range is everything.
Def for the def god!
Just what Lucius needs on this level.
Last time something unusual happened: there werent enough people to drop Priscilla after once again picking her up! What a twist in my routine! So this time I drop her and then dance her.
I want to start luring those heroes down, so I move Merlinus in. He has about 70 avoid and solid HP, so he can tank fairly well.
Best Erk ever? Best Erk ever.
Yes! As Id hoped, the enemy druid goes for someone who isnt Fiora.
9 turns, nothing accomplished. I havent even managed to trigger Vaidas reinforcements yet, so its not like Im close to the end of the map in turns of minimum time even.
Eliwood is running low on Valkyries, time to lure more. Theres ANOTHER wave coming. This one here is the last one though.
Merlinus wasnt able to lure any heroes last time, so, again, no progress was made. Now he moves here to allow some possible trade chaining.
Canas gets out of the way and un-sleeps Priscilla.
See, Erk needs 2 things: another Elfire tome (his started with few charges) and a massive damage boost. Otherwise Ill never get anywhere. Merlinus and Ninian here will let me accomplish both.
Now he can finally do some real damage. Of course he still cant double them
Wow! With Elfire and Filas Might, he can be almost as good as Canas with a lower crit chance for 1 turn!
The barrier staff has gotten passed around a few times, but now Priscilla needs it for Lucius, so she gives him the flux for Canas.
Those druids have Nosferatu, not Luna, which is actually almost as bad. They still hit like trucks. Even with this buff and his massive base Res he still takes massive damage.
And Priscilla would almost be instant-killed.
Fiora doesnt charge this turn. Im still pretty sure that druid will sleep Priscilla or the like instead of her, but if he DOES go for her, I dont want more than 2 Valkyries attacking.
darn. Well thats that. At this point I should have restarted. So much had gone unluckily wrong that I was going to finish about 6 turns late in a best case scenario. On the other hand, I had some really great level ups- some of them actually on important people- and Dorcas had never missed despite his awful accuracy. So I decided to see if I could turn things around.
AWESOME! Eliwood has gotten no really good level ups since promoting, in fact he got mostly terrible ones. So bad that he went from ahead in every stat to actually behind in some. This level up doesnt undo all that damage, but it does push him back up to average in the stats hed been falling behind in. His Luck and Def and Res remain really high.
That whole Filas Might thing accomplished basically nothing, but heres another kill.
Eliwood, on the other hand, is WAY better off now. That level up was just what he needed. Now he can kill many of these guys in 2 hits and they no longer double him.
I am running out of Filas Might, but theres no choice. If I dont use this, I will sit here for 20 turns and still have Valkyries left. Ive got to break through Luciuss side and start sweeping the rest of the map. For one thing, Vaida wont even spawn till I do.
More turns on which 90% of my units just stand there and rescue-drop people away from the front lines.
Sweet! My Erk has gained absolutely absurd amounts of Mag. And he used to be behind on speed- that really crippled him for much of the game actually- but now hes not only caught up but ahead. In fact, with this level hes fast enough that he can double a few of the slower Valkyries.
A bad level, except for the Res on this chapter.
And he hits max level killing the last shaman/druid on his front. Thanks, Filas Might + Barrier!
Fiora is in trouble. She wont wake up forever and two Valkyries are whaling on her. But look how beautifully empty the map is now!
I can spawn Vaida soon, so Dorcas and Hector run back to get into position.
At long last, someone doubles a Valkyrie! And for something like real damage too.
Merlinus has actually been really unlucky this chapter and never dodged anything; this is the second time Ive healed him.
No time to waste. Ive spent so much time getting nothing done that at this point I will kill everything on the map with Canas if I have to.
That druid is trouble. It can deal 27 damage, un-missing, to anything with a 10% chance of instant-kill. The heroes are nothing in comparison.
Canas dont care!
Whoo! I think my Eliwood is actually going to cap his Luck. And his speed is average again, while his Def has become amazing.
Hes broken through! Well not quite, but close to it. He can just charge left at this point. Unfortunately, that druid didnt actually attack Canas, so I still have to deal with it this turn.
Hector and Dorcas keep running south.
More Ninian trading things out of Merlinus.
Yeah, Ive burned way too many of these on this chapter accomplishing almost nothing. THIS time it will make all the difference though. This time Erk is fast enough to double, so with this buff hell 1-round kill them with 100% accuracy.
And of course the obligatory constant picking up and dropping of Ninian/Priscilla/etc.
Nino has actually gained almost no XP this level. See, Lucius was actually just better than her at lower level and had weapon triangle advantage so he handled the shamans. And she couldnt scratch the Valkyries and would have been instant killed in return. So she basically did nothing all chapter up till now.
This is my only chance really, I HAVE to kill this druid while it has Eclipse instead of Luna.
The other druid at last enters the fray.
Hooray! Canas hasnt really been managing his usual amazingness lately, its nice to see that turning around.