Part 49: The Peddler Merlinus
Another one where nothing changes, so let's jump right into things. 13x is painful on HHM.
The biggest thing is that you are going to be assaulted on all sides. Tons of brigands to the southeast, there are mages and myrmidons off to the west, and there's a seemingly never-ending flow of nomads from up by Puzon. Holding your ground, saving the village, and killing Puzon is practically impossible. It's doable, but it essentially requires Marcus going to the village and soloing that entire side while the rest of the troop can work on getting to Puzon; it's just not practical at all.
What it comes down to is this; you've basically got to choose between getting a boss kill and getting to the village. And considering that the village holds 5000G, and this is Hector Goddamn Hard Motherfucking Mode, that's not a choice at all.
First thing to do is to set up our positions. Matthew and Dorcas will be covering the brigand corner, with Guy coming over later to relieve Dorcas. For now, Guy and Bartre are covering the lower left side.
Oswin is going to be carting around Merlinus this time around. Usually Marcus is a better choice so Oswin can be useful in combat and get some experience, but Marcus has some very important work to do this chapter.
Lowen covers one bridge, and Marcus the other. Now, we wait.
This will be Lowen and Marcus's mission. If you want to have any hope of getting to the village, you need to set out for it almost immediately.
They also waste no time breaking down the snag to let them attack from the west.
Bah, mages. Oswin takes one for the team and puts him down as we block off the side entrance.
Unfortunately, with Marcus having gone for the village, it means we've had to abandon the bridges for the time being. Thankfully, Lowen's right near there to take most of the heat from the northern enemies.
A little Fire Emblem AI quirk is that most enemies will always choose to attack someone who's in range now over moving closer to someone who's not in range, even if that person is otherwise a priority target. So if you can get a survivable enough unit far enough away from your main group, you can distract the enemy. Lowen isn't that far away here, but he'll sure slow some guys down.
And here come the nomads. This is where the chapter really starts going to hell.
Serra patches up Eliwood for the first level of the chapter. It's underwhelming, but more speed is fine by me. It'll let me throw her into even more dumb situations and come out unscathed.
28 base avoid!
Effective damage: always your friend.
Marcus saves the village for some much needed funds.
IMO, this is something you should consider resetting for if necessary.
And Lowen trades blows with a myrmidon for a good level.
Well, this is a problem. Fortunately, the brigand right below him is using a Steel Axe, so Lowen can double him and clear the way for Marcus.
One's first instinct would be to think "thank fuck for that HP growth just now!", but of course HP growth doesn't actually heal you. But still, that's cutting it awfully fine.
Now, all Marcus has to do is not die horribly.
I always thought mounted units being rescue-able was one of the silliest goddamn things. Well, I guess it's only silly until it saves your ass...
So, Marcus. Something about not dying horribly? It turns out to be very difficult.
Hey, look at that. A Lv 5 Guy with the same strength as our Lv 20 one from Eliwood's story.
Those sure were good times.
You and I must have different definitions of "good."
And he still has to survive another two turns. Wonderful.
Funfact: Marcus in a forest tile while carrying someone has about a 50% chance to be hit by these nomads.
And now the nomads have found Guy. Thankfully, that was the only one in his range.
Just think. If not for his hard mode bonuses, Guy would be dead right now.
Only one more turn! Just have to get through this last mess.
Matthew performs the valiant deed of blocking the nomads from both Marcus, who flees south, and Guy and Dorcas in the southwest corner.
Matthew's safer than he looks. At most one of the nomads can attack him, for ~10 damage, and there's a brigand with a hand axe in range (though I can't tell from looking at the screenshots if he's in melee range or just... range... range. If both a nomad and the brigand hit Matthew, he would die, but since the brigand has chances of about 30% (before "true hit" correction), that's not likely to happen.
Less than that, actually. He was taking 5 from them while he was in the woods, so it'd only be 6 HP a shot, and the brigands are good for about 10 HP on him, should they have a small miracle and hit. Considering he had full HP (23, I believe), he couldn't have possibly been killed.
And it wouldn't be a HHM map if Bartre didn't nearly die at the last minute.
Of course, all that talk about Matthew was academic, because the brigand attacked first, and from range, thereby blocking the nomads from being able to attack Matthew.
If you're really, really about these things, you can try and deliberately engineer situations like this by baiting enemies higher up in the turn order to attack from spots lower enemies need to attack. If.
Map clear, but there's someone we're forgetting about, I think.
In an alternate timeline, Guy has come to challenge Puzon.
And Puzon kind of hurts.
4 HP, 2 Str, Skl, Spd, and 1 Def, Res. This is pretty much the worst possible outcome for Puzon's bonuses, because he's already as fast or faster than most of your units, and his Steel Sword is both accurate and powerful.
It takes a turn or two, but Guy is happy to acquaint Puzon with the business end of his Killing Edge.
And by the way? Fuck you, alternate-timeline Guy.
That's just great.
You know, I actually got the village when I did the run that killed Puzon. Lowen and Serra got worse levels, but I think everyone else turned out better. I probably should have just kept that run, but alas.
Resets this chapter: 0
Total Resets: 1