Part 30: Invasion
The quest to put Garon on a chair begins. "Invasion" is a slightly confusing title considering the optinal castle battles are also called invasions. I don't even think we manage to do any invading this chapter.
Garon's plan is to send Corrin over to invade and then maybe help her later if he feels like it. I think this is just yet another step in his "get Corrin killed" scheme, it doesn't seem like a very sound plan for an invasion.
Deployment slots are getting tight... Some of my units have mostly useless support partners that can be dropped as soon as they hit S rank, but I really could do with a couple more slots... or less units. Keaton has to stay behind to make room for Felicia, Leo's support partner. Hopefully I can marry off Odin and ditch Nyx as soon as I'm done with this.
But who needs other units when we have this guy? Remember Gunter? Yeah he's old news. Xander is Gunter but better. Amazing base stats, super cool personal weapon, and actual growth rates too. His one problem is that unlike his siblings, I'm pretty sure Xander has no funky internal level shenanigans that give him better EXP gain than you'd expect. He's not going to earn EXP from defeating anybody.
Every game has its boat map, and this is Conquest's. Although unlike nearly every other boat map there's only one boat, and no fliers to harass you. Just like the last two, this chapter's got a defeat boss objective... but where are they?
One of these green units is actually the boss in disguise. You have to talk to each one in turn to find the impostor, and it'll always be the last one you try. They won't move and all the enemies will ignore them, so you don't have to worry about saving them. Which is good because otherwise they'd all die turn 1.
While the left side of the map is a mix of Fighters and Mages, the right side is a mess of status staves and effective weaponry. These two Adventurers won't move but they will harass you with staves from a distance. There's also a mix of Armourslayer and Wyrmslayer wielding mercs among them, so be careful about who you send to fight them.
The impostor is not among them, therefore they must be... among us?
There's a 10,000 gold reward at the end of the chapter that will decrease by 300 at the start of every turn. Beating this chapter quickly will give you more gold, but this chapter is also a great place to train up your units... there's plenty of enemies with low bulk that can be easily isolated. So you could think of this as a choice between gold or EXP, you either blitz through with your strongest units or you take the time to feed your worse ones kills and get less gold at the end.
The right hand side of the map is definitely the hardest. Xander can one-shot a lot of the enemies here and take no damage in return, although he does fear the Adventurers with Shining Bows. He'll also earn pretty much no EXP for taking them out.
Leo can pick off the units that are hanging out just outside the range of the two stats staves. Defeating the staff users will be easier when there's less enemies around them...
This wasn't necessary, but he did it anyway. What is Brynhildr supposed to be, anyway? According to the game it's a tome that can manipulate gravity, but unless this was the apple tree that allegedly dropped an apple on Isaac Newtwon I don't see what making trees appear has to do with that.
My original plan was for Odin to nostank the top half while Leo takes the bottom, but this Hero would absolutely slaughter him. I don't think any of my units particularly want to deal with this guy...
Corrin's now somewhat overleveled, so I'll have her be a support partner for Elise. I really need to promote her soon and without Arthur she's going to struggle to do much otherwise.
I don't really have much of a plan in mind here. Getting killed by the boss when he suddenly unmasks himself at the end sucks, so I'd prefer to have all my units ready to deal with him, which means I'm probably finishing up one side of the map first. So I guess I'll have most of my army take the left side while Leo and Odin slowly lure enemies out of the danger zone on the right.
Don't be too intimidated by the timer. Gold is nice and all but there's no huge rush. After this chapter begins a gauntlet of much tougher ones so it's ideal to make sure your army gets some EXP here.
Bolt Axe Elise is a very powerful damage dealer so long as she can actually hit her target. As a Nohr Noble Corrin boosts magic on pairup instead of strength, so she's especially helpful for her.
I want Xander to support Peri but I don't want to waste him on a defensive pair-up, so he's staying in attack stance as much as he can. Any kills he gets would be a waste but at the same time I want him always ready to bail me out of a tough situation if I need him to.
The high density of high strength and high magic enemies might make this side of the map look scary, but there's not much overlap between their ranges. Unfortunately they do have a lot of seal skills that mess you up a little. The mages on the raised platform have Seal Defense to soften you up for the Fighters...
Leo and Odin can't quite block this chokepoint with only the two of them, but they do a good enough job together. Odin's Nosferatu and Leo's high bulk will keep them alive so long as they don't step into the green zone. Putting them next to each other like this also builds support ranks, just in case I ever want Vantage Leo.
This pair-up is the deadliest thing on the map. One half has a Silver Sword, the other has a Shining Bow and a bunch of seal skills. Even Xander would crumple under the combined might of Enfeeble and a fast magical attacker.
This Fighter's running around with a Kitsune only skill. I guess he's some kind of pirate foxboy? It would be funny if enemies with these skills were weak to Beast Killers.
Unfortunately I can't always avoid using Xander. That poor Dark Mage died for a single point of EXP.
It's okay, the kills he makes make the map safer for my weaker units to play in. Niles's growths have really gone downhill ever since I reclassed him.
The chokepointy nature of this map also helps make it ideal for feeding units EXP. In most games boat maps mean constant harassment from flying units with no respect at all for chokepoints, so it's a nice change of pace.
Elise continues her bulky streak, Nyx dual guards herself a bad level that doesn't matter, and Silas finally gets defense. This chapter is going to be like 50% level ups.
Jakob grabs a rather un-Strategist level and gets a cool rally. Rally Resistance should help a lot in this chapter.
Now for the slightly tougher part of the left side of this map. Berserkers and Sorcerers with overlapping ranges. The top part of the map has a single tile where the sorc can hit but the zerk can't, but the bottom corridor isn't as kind.
This is where Xander comes in handy. His high luck and unique sword give him high crit avoid, and while his resistance isn't good, his HP is enough to tank a magic attack or two. The Berserker doesn't threaten him at all.
Unfortunately some enemies have a tendency to walk back into formation if you lure them out and then don't kill them. It's a little rude.
That's green unit number one inspected. I just noticed that the generic Lancer uniform's helmet looks like a lemon juicer, and now I can't unsee it.
Leo would also be a good candidate for luring enemies over but he's currently occupied. At least unlike Xander he earns EXP from defeating half a map by himself.
Not the best level, but I can't complain about the mixed bulk.
This game would be so much more difficult if the enemy understood how dual guards worked. More often than not they'll happily throw their strongest attacker against a unit with maximum gauge. Also that is an absurdly huge sword.
Odin hits level 20, and makes me realise I forgot to teach him Vantage to pass onto his daughter... Now I'd need to promote him if I wanted to do that, and since he's probably getting replaced I'm not sure I want to spend the resources.
That's a capped stat! Odin also capped his skill but that's less impressive. The "rally speed" boost here is actually from Bloodthirst. I don't have any speed ralliers yet.
Leo inspects soldier number 2 and gets caught in the Freeze zone. Nobody's going to attack him like this, but he will be stuck there for a while as the staff's only target.
"Just use Xander" will be the solution to many problems going forward.
The combined boosts his sisters give him make him completely impervious to physical damage. If a Berserker refuses to attack you out of fear then you can safely say you're hot shit.
Everybody's getting close to promotion now. Will I have enough Master Seals?
That's the left side all cleaned up! I'm sure there's supposed to be a unique set of dialogue for each green unit you examine but for some reason I'm getting repeat lines for 2 and 3. Strange.
Only one guy remains, and he's the sus one. Most of the enemies on this side are still here...
At least Leo's bully has finally ran out of staff juice. Now to waste many turns (and gold) moving the rest of my army over here...
Inspiration gives +2 damage dealt and -2 damage received to your allies within 2 spaces. It also stacks with Gentilihomme, which adds up to -4 damage taken for girls near Jakob. It is a pretty good skill!
It would have been more efficient to take out both halves of the map at the same time, but this way is at least safer. My precious gold...
Xander gets his resistance rallied and crushes the Enfeeble guy in a single blow. I could have done this at the start of the map, but then he'd have been frozen...
...and attacked by the Shining Bow Adventurer. Or not? I guess he could instead hide behind his Hero friend who barely deals any damage, that works too.
I won't complain. I guess he didn't want to be OHKO'd in retaliation? Normally the enemy doesn't care about that...
Elise and Peri both hit level 20. Just need Silas and Niles to hit their level cap now.
Time to crowd around the boss while Azura takes her sweet time to join up with the rest of the squad. Maybe I should have had someone ferry her over.
There's the impostor. A bow unit with a killer weapon and Counter. He'll appear on the map the instant you talk to the last guy, which can be a really nasty surprise if it happens near the end of your turn. He might not be able to move but he can attack at 1 range with his Mini Bow.
Thankfully the Mini Bow can't attack at range so I can have all my ranged attackers pile on him from a distance.
And, as always, you can't Counter if you're dead. That's Silas at his level cap now.
Not the best gold reward I got have gotten. But think of all the EXP I got!
Turns out the guy with a unique portrait and personal skill is plot important. Who knew? Azura's kidnapping by the Hoshidan royal family does add some moral greyness to them, even if it was done out of retaliation.
Merciful lord that I am, I decide not to kill Shura. Sparing him gets you a new unit and his inventory, killing him gets you a pair of Boots. The boots are honestly worth more, but I like to recruit every character I can when playing FE... Not having a valuable statbooster also saves me the agony of having to make a decision on who to give it to.
Your siblings will fall over themselves praising you if you do decide to kill Shura. I guess it's probably the wisest choice considering the guy's a master of disguise who's loyalty is extremely questionable, but it does also make them all seem like bloodthirsty maniacs. Which they might be, come to think of it.
This is the man who's life I weighed in favour of a pair of nice boots. Was it worth it? Maybe.
Next time: Putting off The Ninja Chapter to go be a good parent