Part 76: Victory or Death
Not a whole lot has changed, at first glance. There are a few more wyverns, a lot more snipers (most of them uncomfortably close to Killer Ballistae, which are exactly what they sound like) but otherwise it's standard endgame fare. Raven, Bartre, Priscilla, Guy, and Eliwood head north to pick up Renault; Hector, Kent, Karel, and Fiora are going through the center, though Fiora will mostly be focusing on getting to the village; finally, Nino, Canas, Lyn, Karla, and Farina are taking the eastern path.
I still envy you for not having to deal with psuedo-3D camera angles that let you get these pretty maps.
Even now, I dont know what they were thinking with that.
Anyway. Killer Balistae have 12 Mt, 65 Hit and 10 Crit. Theyre not quite as bad as the Killer tag implies, but you dont want to get complacent.
For posterity's sake, there is a third tier for ballistae called an Iron Ballista, which occupies the space between regular and killer ones. Garden variety ballistae have 8 Mt, 70 Hit, 0 Crit, and Iron ones have 13 Mt, 65 Hit, 0 Crit. Iron ballistae start showing up around Four-Fanged Offense, and Killer ballistae are almost exclusively delegated to endgame maps.
Limstella is an odd beast, because somewhere in between Eliwood and Hector's story, they manhandled her into having legal stats for her class. She's up by 2 HP, 3 Mag, 1 Skl, 1 Spd, but her defense has fallen from 24 to 21, her resistance is down from 27 to 25 (both of which are the Sage caps), and her Con has been dropped from 7 to 4. I really, really wish I knew what the hell was going on with that, but
Of those stats, the Con drop is the most immediately important (and beneficial), since it means youre looking at 2 less AS required to double. Really, though, these little concessions arent that important; by this point, the difficulty is determined more by how well you managed to train your guys back when the enemies being numerically tougher was important than it is by the enemies being numerically tougher.
Good god that sentence is monstrous but goddamn it is properly formed.
: What? A tactician? Well, either way, don't be shy. If you need work done, use me. I do not enjoy battle, but I have my skills.
Wait, she comments on Art? Seriously, besides a few comments from the Lords here and there, how often does anyone actually acknowledge the Tacticians existence?
IIRC several units make a very brief acknowledgement of Art, usually please direct my every move or something.
Pretty much every unit gets a little "Hey, I'm XXXX, tell me what you need to do, Art," the chapter after they get recruited.
Our first turn is nothing but setup movement, so enemies of note. This guy pretty much requires you to use a flyer for the center village. He starts close enough that the ruins will be destroyed on the fourth enemy phase, and the only way through there on land leads through a Wo Dao swordmaster and a Silver Axe/Light Brand hero, to say nothing of actually reaching the bandit with those fortresses and forests in the way.
Do Ballista/Killer Ballista get a bonus against flying like bows do? Because honestly Im not exactly keen on sending air units into the middle of medieval SAM sites to catch up with the enemy Bandit before he looted an all-important house/ruin unless there was no other realistic option.
They sure do! And they tend to hurt! If you have a reasonably dodgy flyer and/or a Delphi Shield on hand, however, the task is somewhat less daunting. Besides, the things are unmanned and there are only so many Snipers on this map, so...
Moving north triggers these nomad troopers, though thankfully they're a one-time deal.
Hope you didnt go North with a flyer because BAM! Suddenly a no-fly zone appears.
The center causes the bishop and friends to appear. His buddy to the north is actually dangerous, but the reinforcement crew are garden-variety idiots who couldn't hurt a knight if they tried.
Let's start by taking out the trash. The very well armed, highly leveled trash that's already eaten a blow from Kent's Silver Lance and is still well above half health.
Bears repeating, in case anyones forgotten: Morphs have zero luck, and thus zero crit-evade, so anyone with a crit-boosting passive and/or support and/or Killer weapon can seriously clean up. Hmm... do we know anyone with all three of those?
You and your postulating Fedule. I swear, you're just making up units at this point.
Thanks for that, Karel.
The guys too busy watching over his little sister to properly level up.
The poor mage in the corner demonstrates the 50-unit cap, as his other 3 mage buddies and a sage disappear into the aether.
For whatever reason, the wyverns gather together before moving in on an enemy. Except for that very last wyvern lord, because he is a colossal asshole. Silver lances fucking hurt.
To keep some heat off of Farina, Kent moves out to the center. The swordmaster can only do about 6 damage, and he's not fast enough to double, so that's a non-issue.
These nomad troopers are so nice, lining themselves up like that. Let's give them the welcome they deserve. Guy starts by killing the lower-left one, and Eliwood kills the general to clear a path. Priscilla attacks the lower-right trooper, but fails to critical, so Raven finishes the job, while Bartre kills off the knight.
In the southeast, there's not much we can do aside from bracing for impact from all the wyverns. Farina kills the wyvern lord, and Nino heals her up as she and Canas move to the front lines. Lyn and Karla both step back out of the wyverns' range to spare me as many headaches as possible.
It turns out that Fiora is a more tempting target than Nino. Who knew? It's not even like she had her Killing Edge equipped, she's using a javelin... The rest of them dutifully suicide right into Nino and Farina.
The enemies from the corner reach us right about now as well.
In a previous run, the mages from before decided on well-done Karla for dinner, and it took all of my effort to not just soldier on like nothing happened.
Frustration only another LPer can understand: those wonderful moments where something rather inconsequential happens and youre in the middle of shrugging it off when you realize that to satisfy your readers you have to start all over again.
Elsewhere on the internet: TenaCrane quietly laughs to himself.
This bandit is an asshole. He spawns after the third enemy phase, and he'll destroy Renault's village in another three turns. Standing in our way are the remnants of those nomad troopers, plus another three heroes, and even then we'll be pushing it to get Priscilla there in time.
Yet another trap for the unwary, or the first time player. Its amazing how much turn-by-turn perfection the Fire Emblem series can demand at times in a game that relies so heavily on the RNG.
I forget, is time quite so tight in Not-Hector-Hard-Mode? I dont remember this being an issue before...
I don't think so, but aside from Eliwood's story, it's been years since I've played this myself, so I can't really say.
So let's get to work, because that's a bit of a tall order.
I said, let's get to work, Eliwood.
Isnt Eliwood your quasi-useful lord? I love how you got screwed on all three mission-critical units.
Oh christ, this is going to be fun. At least Bartre has the excuse of attacking with a Killer Axe to a Steel Sword, but even then he had a mid-70's hit chance with a 50+ crit rate. Guy shows them how it's done, and Prissy moves up to the forest to bait some heroes.
First village saved. She moves west so as to not tempt Mr. Killer Ballista over in the east.
This, I believe, is another of those things that any sane player would probably skip if not for the Completionist Instinct, or if they were recording an LP for some reason.
Kent attacks the swordmaster a second time, and Farina comes in to pick him off. How incredibly helpful, Farina.
Nino kills a paladin and maxes speed.
Prissy trades blows with a hero for the least useful level. Thankfully, she nukes the other two, making our job much easier.
The asshole next to the sniper is the Purge bishop. The one next to Fiora has a berserk staff, though why he doesn't use it is a mystery I really don't care to know the answer to.
So, it's been quite a while since Hector's done anything really useful, let's see if we can salvage him in any way possible.
Hey, look at that. Not great, but it's a start.
The games just blatantly taunting you at this point. Its the biggest level youve gotten so far on this map, and yet its for a semi-useful at best level for a plot-required unit that will most likely never get the stats to be anything other than a liability.
Hectors not complete deadweight yet. Only mostly so. Even when a units been screwed, a few decent levels has a pretty big effect.
This would be a bit more motivational were we not rapidly closing on the endgame.
Jesus, three Killer Ballistae weren't enough for you? Had to go the extra mile and include Bolting too?
And think, this was with the enemies mostly killing themselves on us. If they didn't, you'd have to have a flyer save this village too. At any rate, we get our favorite bishop back.
One last stat-up for the road.
And thus, the Purge asshole was no more.
Oh Delphi Shield, how I love thee. This hit was specced for 30 damage on Fiora, if you're curious.
And now, it begins. If it's possible to be more of a dick about reinforcements and enemy placement than Cog of Destiny, Victory or Death gives it a damn good effort. The Valkyries in the southeast corner are mostly harmless since we have Lyn and Karla in the immediate vicinity, but the shamans are kind of a dick. Thankfully, that pattern only spawns in for two turns.
Bah, to an experienced FE or Tactical-RPG hand this is just familiar They surrounded us! Weve got them exactly where we wanted them! territory. Or it would be if it werent due to the sheer scale of reinforcements. Just so its clear (like it wasnt to me at first), the edge of the map reinforcements are continuous.
Karlas killing rate is a little less reliable than I'd like, but with Nino there in case she doesn't critical, these two can be beaten down before they cause any trouble. Canas isn't sticking around; he's heading north to head off Limstella.
Because wrecking balls powered by forbidden secrets and unholy pacts have better things to burn their power on than fodder. At least Karlas getting fed kills.
The druid is packing Fenrir, so I'm treading pretty cautiously here. The warrior has a Devil Axe/Steel Bow, so he'd have to hit in the first place (and then hope he doesn't fail a 30% check) to be any kind of threat.
In another act of mystery, the Bolting asshole and all the ballisticians have a huge fucking hard-on for attacking Karel, and it doesn't make any fucking sense. Farina has lower (or equal, it's in the same ballpark) defense, and Kent definitely has less resistance. And yet, every single one of them will go out of their way to attack Karel if he's in range.
Lyn murders more magical girls on horsies to not get defense for 23 straight levels.
Something something less than one.
Where Eliwood is right now is very important, because he's just outside of Limstella's Bolting range. This is a safe spot that he'll dutifully occupy for the next several turns.
There is a god, though I'm not sure if he's mocking me or showing mercy right now.
This is Fire Emblem. Definitely mocking.
Now, the kid gloves have come off. Victory or Death is done playing nice, and you're going to have to claw your way to Limstella while fending off reinforcements from 4 fronts at once. This all starts at roughly turn 8, and you have until turn 20 to seize the gate.
So waves of girls on magical sparkle ponies down south and up north, with flying magical sparkle ponies added as well, waves of Wyvern Lords coming in over the eastern mountains, and a giant WALL of Shamans between you and the boss? At least the Shaman Wall only gets 2 waves of reinforcements...before that area starts spawning Generals and Knights, and then later Cavaliers and Paladins.
This is basically a study in playing offensively and defensively at the same time. Or, rather, since youre dealing entirely with units who can either fly or deal ranged damage, defense in any context other than numerical survivability goes out the window, and its just a matter of finding a unit who can counterkill reliably while also not dying.
Which, given that our team is mostly physical units and a majority of the enemies that are actually threatening are magical...the unit in question that can kill and not die is basically theoretical at best.
And as if dealing with the reinforcements wasn't enough, this is roughly what stands between you and Limstella.
Fuck you ballista man.
Kent gets a lucky crit and kills the second sniper. And strength!
These guys are the biggest pain in the dick of them all.
My original plan was to have Guy and Priscilla move east to go after Limstella, while Raven and Bartre held the line here, but even with Raven nearby, Bartre's not so good at dodging. Eliwood, on the other hand, wandered into Limstella's Bolting range and was left with 2 HP. To his credit, he proceeded to dodge two ballistae, the sage's Bolting, and two falcoknights before getting hit by the last possible enemy who could have hit him.
This time, I'm taking a different approach. Since this is by far the hardest of the reinforcement spots to hold, I'm leaving everyone from the north route there, and instead bringing up Canas, Kent, and the pegs to deal with Limstella. The wyverns will be mostly distracted by Nils and Hector (though not Karel, even in the woods he faces 40% hit rates from the wyverns and he lacks the HP or defense to deal with five of those hits a turn), and once the valkyries from the southeast corner finish, Nino and Merlinus will come up to deal with the wyverns as well.
I hate you all.
Doesnt he have Strength capped and Speed damned near there? At this point, why get upset over one lackluster level on Guy?
Yeah, Guys pretty much immune at this point. If anything, its good when crap levels get eaten by him so that the precious few good ones can go to people who actually need them. Like-
Farina puts up a much better level.
That puts all the ballistae out of commission.
I love how the clusterfuck of EVIL ROBES has been replaced by a clusterfuck of MASSIVE ARMOR. Of course, that just means Canass attacks will rip them up even faster when they suicide on him.
This is a Bolting from Limstella, and it puts Farina in a very bad position. Canas is blocking all the knights from the north, but there are five wyverns right below her, and if any two of them hit, she's done. So of course, the first one hits her and I have to watch her kill 4 more wyverns at 5 HP the entire time, then get attacked by the Bolting sage.
Priscilla is going to max luck and she will never be hit by anything ever.
Around turn 10 or so, we switch to cavaliers and paladins by Limstella, and the valkyries from the south stop coming. Nino moves north to actually make herself useful.
Renault's Fortify staff may not heal much (22 HP), but it's incredibly handy for patching everyone up after a round with all of these assholes. The falcoknights love Priscilla, and the valkyries hit Guy and Bartre, so everyone usually ends up taking at least one decent hit per enemy phase. If you've forgotten, Fortify heals everyone within [Mag/2] tiles of the user for [Mag+10] HP, making it far more useful than Renault will ever be.
And just wait until you give it to someone with an actual magic stat!
It's a bit sparse, but I'm not going to say no to more speed on Bartre. He also picks up Bows-C, so while he may not reach the Brave Bow (a fact that greatly saddens me), Killer Bows aren't anything to sneeze at, especially when it's coming off of a warrior's strength stat.
Canas, you do so know the way to my heart. That's skill capped, at any rate.
Its the monocle. Only a truly skilled man can wear a dapper monocle like that.
Very nice. Be nice if she picked up a little more defense, but not much is going to hit her in the first place now.
Starting around turn 12, these guys show up. Why, I have no idea, because cavaliers stopped being threatening somewhere around chapter 20, and there's all of two of them per turn.
Time for one final push. With any luck, most (or all) of these guys should suicide into Kent and his Silver Axe, and we'll be able to hit Limstella next turn.
Guy becomes the dodgiest motherfucker by capping speed.
On turn 12 (13?) the reinforcements switch to only those cavaliers, so while everyone else cleans up, we can deal with this bitch. Fortunately, we got her while she was still using Bolting, so we can more or less hammer on her without consequence.
It's not a one turn kill, but it's pretty close. In hindsight, I should have used Fiora's spear instead of javelin, had Kent attack from range, and Farina go in with the Killer Lance, but it doesn't really matter.
For whatever reason, she decides to attack Kent instead of Farina. Farina's javelin is broken, so she couldn't have fought back, but I'm not complaining.
And that's the story of how I was screwed out of a Fimbulvetr tome and got two Boltings instead. Of course, that's not the end of the chapter. Now, Hector has to haul ass to the ruins so we can finish this up before turn 20 (for reference, this is turn 14 right now).
Does killing Limstella actually stop the reinforcements in that region? Or do they keep pouring onto the map after she dies?
One last level before we put an end to this.
Wait, did Karla not get any levels from the slaughter, or did you just not care? I havent seen her stat screen at all during this.
Would you have put Karla anywhere near the enemy?
Hey, I gave her a shot. She fucked it up, and then the second (and third, and fourth...) time around, she didn't kill enough magical horsie girls to level up. It's not my fault the game shut off her flow of easy experience the turn before she would have gotten a level.
And that's a wrap. Time to go to Light and put an end to this shit, once and for all-
-oh look! A shiny! What's over here?
Resets this chapter: 3
Total resets: 42