Part 50: False Friends
Two conversations this time around. The first is after Erik approaches Eliwood and Hector refuses to meet with him.
: No. He's treating with Marquess Laus's son, Erik.
: Is it wise for you to be away at this time?
: Erik's a contemptuous peacock. He's intolerable. And he made a show of riding from the castle alone. Something feels odd.
: That is unusual. I've been thinking, my lord... Laus is blessed with clear water and fertile ground. See the shade its tall trees and grasses cast? Ideal for hiding soldiers, don't you think?
: You're right, Oswin. I'm going to take a look around.
: Very good. Let's split up and double our ground. One more thing, my lord!
: What is it?
: Do not let yourself be distracted. Keep your guard up.
: Ha ha ha. Yes, Mother. I will.
And then we jump back to when Hector interrupts Erik and tells Eliwood about the ambush.
False Friends has undergone some rather serious changes. Out immediate concern is the mass of troops that start in our camp.
Good work there, Hector.
Hey, let's be fair. That could have been where Oswin checked, and we all know that Oswin isn't so gung-ho on random violence.
The south has pegs, and the western-most fortress will immediately spawn a pirate for the first two or three tuns.
Priscilla's village has more guards, but still nothing too worrisome.
And Erik's main force has been reinforced a bit. Quantitatively moreso than qualitatively.
Erik has inexplicably been given a Horseslayer instead of his Silver Lance. I guess it's meant to counter someone sending in Marcus or to surprise Lowen, but it's not even close to a Silver Lance. Seriously, if they wanted to make a change for hard mode, either don't make the Silver Lance droppable, or give him a Javelin/Short Spear to give him a ranged attack.
As for his stats: 4 HP, 2 Str, Skl, Spd, 1 Def, Res. The nice thing about cavaliers is they aren't really good at anything, so he ends up still being mediocre, just with slightly higher stats. In addition, even with his increased speed, he's still losing 3 AS from the Horseslayer, which puts him at a quite manageable 7 AS. He can't even double Bartre.
And to cap it all off, it means you get a free Horseslayer when all is said and done. Not too shabby.
And of course, Erk is still hanging around, so Serra will be by to indoctrinate him into the crew.
Fortunately, there's like one guy between you and Erk, so at least it isn't going to be a mad rush rescue like Fire Emblem sometimes likes to give you.
Bartre, Dorcas, and Oswin work on cleaning out the soldiers, and they'll be serving guard duty for Merlinus when the pegs come around.
Lowen, Hector, Serra, and Erk (once we recruit him) are going to heading toward the center of the map. Eliwood is going to go behind them to get the northern village.
I don't have stats for that soldier, but somehow I can't see him being a mortal threat to Erk.
He's not. 12 damage, and Erk can double him in response.
And finally, Marcus, Guy, and Matthew are going south. Marcus is heading for Priscilla's village, and Guy and Matthew are going to the beach to cut off the pirates heading for said village.
Fortunately, rather than fight on, Erk retreats toward our camp, where Serra is waiting.
There we go. Now, about that whole mess of soldiers to the south. My first time through Guy tried to help out by killing an archer, but even with Lowen in the area, he ended up getting swarmed and bit it. Oh well, only one reset. This time around, we're going to leave them to Lowen and Hector.
Another Fire Emblem AI quirk; when given two units to target, the AI will always go for weapon triangle advantage when all else is equal (ie, no one can be OHKO'd), so soldiers are quite likely to target myrmidons. The +15% hit chance pretty much neutralizes the myrmidon's natural dodge advantage. That combined with Guy's low defences make him irresistible to AI lance users.
The more and more I hear about these AI "quirks," I question how schizophrenic the AI developers must have been. I mean, that's good, something I would expect out of a proper AI. But then they also have the whole "Attack anyone if possible, even if they can't do damage or there's a better target just out of range" thing.
Almost appropriately, Lowen gets Luck after dodging the last soldier's attack. Now the archers can't kill him this turn.
Somehow I find levels where you only get luck worse than levels where you get nothing at all. It's like the RNG is saying "hey, isn't this unit fortunate? "
Well it is an extra 1 Avoid and Crit Avoid. It's not totally useless.
Now this is a problem for Matthew. Not helping is that he's at a mere 8 HP. Thankfully, Guy's right there to take his place.
Again, weapon triangle is serious business. Here, Matthew not only can't counterattack but also now loses 15 avoid vs the pirates. Not nice.
It actually improves his odds against the pegs, since they no longer get the weapon triangle bonus, but the pirates are much more dangerous. They'd probably do about 13 or 14 damage if they hit him.
With the brigands right behind us, it's better for Eliwood to just turtle up in the village for a couple turns until they get killed off. The Iron Blade will still be right there when we're done dealing with them.
A good-ish level after Rebecca kills a peg. Unfortunately, all it means is she hits for 4 damage on most enemies instead of 3.
Hey, that's a 33% increase!
Erik still doesn't get any reinforcements (well, a few pegs pop up in the southern fortresses, but that's not what he was hoping for), but this does mark a change in his AI. After this, he'll start actively moving toward your units, but at the end of this turn the rain starts, so he's still well out of range for a few turns.
Eliwood's life not being in danger this turn, he grabs the Iron Blade. Erk is quick to dispose of the brigand.
Marcus also takes a waiting approach with the village, but it's moreso to wait out the rain and kill off the cavaliers coming for him. Priscilla would probably be fine at this point, but Nomads have higher movement than cavaliers/troubadors in the rain, and I wasn't going to take any extra chances on a run that was going well for the most part.
Well, it's not perfect, but it's much better than some of his other levels.
Damn it, I want the other 13x Guy back.
Erik heads north, rather than toward the center. I guess he figures Eliwood is the better target?
Chasing sword users, I guess. When you're packing a Horseslayer you can't carry, you need every advantage you can get...
Essentially a perfect level out of Dorcas. Bartre, start taking notes.
This Dorcas is doing alright. He's average in everything and just about ahead in HP, defence and speed.
Dorcas turning out would be nice, but he had his time in the spotlight last run. So I'm not too worried on how he turns out.
And just as quickly, the rain stops and Erik decides that he really does like Hector better after all. Make up your damn mind.
OK, fine, the AI is just being stupid here. Either that or it has some very odd priorities that are conflicting all to hell.
With the rain gone, we get Priscilla and head back to camp.
And this isn't even with Hector in a forest or anything. Erik really is that useless.
I guess he forgot that the traditional AI tendencies are implemented for a very good reason.
As demonstrated above. I mean, for god's sake that was against Bartre.
Well at least we got something good out of this.
Eliwood's group retreats to take advantage of the choke point. Lowen getting mobbed doesn't do anyone good, and Erk and Eliwood are too fragile to be taking several hits a turn.
Time to put that 5000G to good use. First on our shopping list is a pair of swords and one of everything else.
Goddammit, come back where I can kill you!
Guy finishes the rest of our gold. A Fire tome, Heal staff, and 4 mores sets of vulneraries. You can never have too many vulneraries.
Tanking even harder. He's about at the point where we can throw him into just about any physical situation and he'll be in good shape.
Hector had, up until this point, been behind some of his averages (his averages being actually quite good), but now he's all caught up in everything except speed.
Mediocre. Speed is about the only notable thing here.
Wait, three enemies left? Two are the peg knights, where the hell is the last guy?
Huh, why didn't you come out with all the others? Oh well, someone will be around shortly to kill you.
And now we wait.
This is why rout maps are silly.
In the meantime, this happens. Unusual, but now that Priscilla's here, Serra's main use is going to be backup healer. HHM is too dangerous to not use both of them when possible.
...And there we go.
The other new conversation happens after Erik tells Eliwood about Laus' plan for rebellion and Eliwood runs off, with Hector in pursuit.
: Oswin! Did Eliwood pass this way?
: Lord Eliwood? He ran through that gate and went outside.
: I see.
: Lord Hector! A moment, please.
: What is it, Oswin?
: Let us return to Ostia. The rumors... I've heard that... Lord Hector, I cannot approve of helping Eliwood...or Pherae...any longer.
: What are you saying?
: We must think of Ostia's well-being. If Marquess Pherae was involved in a rebellion...
: Oswin. You will take back those words.
: Lord Hector, I appreciate your feelings...
: I know Eliwood's father very well. I'm telling you that he is a man worthy of our trust. You are in my service! Do you not feel you should follow my orders?
: Your duties to guard me come second to this. Return to Ostia, Oswin. You've done your duty. ...Thank you.
: ...My remarks about Marquess Pherae were improper. I apologize completely.
: Oswin? Stop! That's enough! You need not bend your knee to me!
: My lord, I would swear my service to you.
: Service...to me?
: Please accept my lance as your own. Then return it with your blessings.
: Oswin, you...
: I am a knight in service to Castle Ostia. Until now, I have only offered my lance to Lord Uther. Yet...I now wish to offer you that same service. Please grant me that honor.
Restarts this chapter: 1
Total Resets: 2
Well, it had to happen eventually. There was no way I was going to go all the way with only one reset.