The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest

by midnight_lasagna

Part 48: Sakura

After 5 chapters we finally begin our assault on the country we're supposed to be invading! Time to actually fight some Hoshidans. Not Nohrians, not our allies, not even some random foxes. I can't wait.

Meanwhile in Chapter 22 of Birthright, Corrin and co. are about to be mugged by Shura in the middle of the streets of Nohr's capital for their legendary weapons. Getting to hear the extremely good endgame map theme a chapter earlier is your reward for making it this far in this gruelling path.

There's Fort Jinya, the first map of BR. Except this version's bigger because it's a lategame map now. Unfortunately it seems my army forget to bring their mounts?

Healing who? We have not fought a single Hoshidan since we got here! Although I guess there were those Faceless who killed a few soldiers...

Here's the first of four maps where we fight our way through to Hoshido's capital. Our opponent here is Sakura, although the actual boss is Yukimura, the Hoshidan strategist... In role. That's not his actual class.

This map splits your army in two, with both sides meeting at the very end. The left half is full of bulky axe users, the right has a mix of mages, puppets, and fliers. Only Yukimura has to be defeated - Sakura remains out of the way and requires some effort to reach, although she will harass your army with staves throughout the chapter.

I tried to make a map of which locations trigger what reinforcements but it very quickly became an incomprehensible mess of colours. Basically, getting a little into each side of the map triggers some reinforcements on that side, reaching the top area with Yukimura triggers reinforcements from various forts on both sides. Each reinforcement trigger causes two waves to appear for two consecutive turns, so blocking the forts for one turn and then moving off of them will only stop one wave and not the second.

Here's Yuikimara. He's got high stats all around, he's fast, and he's on a fort. His personal skill increases the hit% of all of his allies by 5, which might not seem like much but it does amount to something.

What's most interesting about him is Spendthrift and the one Gold Bar he's holding. Trying to bait him into attacking you on enemy phase will be a lot trickier thanks to his +10 attack and defense, but at the same time if you try to kill him on player phase and fail then you'll be eating a big attack in retaliation as well as debuffed defenses thanks to his weapon. You really want to make sure combat with him doesn't last more than a single phase.

Sakura's got high stats, but she won't attempt to engage you in combat unless you stand next to her. What she will do is hit you with Freeze and Silence from afar, and then heal her allies when she's out of those. Taking her out gives you a neat stat booster so it's worth the effort if you can.

What is funny is that she's got a Songstress exclusive skill in Voice of Peace. All it does is effectively boost her defenses a bit, but it does feel even sillier than all the Nohr exclusive skills enemies have had before. She's also got Sol and Miracle to make defeating her a bit harder.

On the left and on the right are Hana and Subaki, Sakura's retainers. Unlike in BR or Rev they are very competent here and should be treated as bosses themselves.

Hana has Duelist's Blow and Armoured Blow to make her very tricky to bait out, plus Rend Heaven to potentially deal even more damage on a hit. You are absolutely not going to double her with anyone. Units like Xander can tank her hits, but they'll struggle to hit back in retaliation.

Subaki's not nearly as tough. Aegis can potentially stop bows from killing him, but otherwise he's just got high stats and mobility without any particular gimmicks. His stats are very wonky for a Falcon Knight, with high strength and defense but bad speed. His whole personality thing is being a perfectionist who desparately overcompensates for his flaws so it's fitting he picked a class that boosts what he's bad at and doesn't do much for what he's good at.

Finally there's 3 different launchers - shurriken ballistae - that are manned by Mechanists who don't move. Launchers don't deal much damage but they do lower your defenses by 5 each on hit. You're going to be in range of at least one of these guys for most of the chapter.

Dragon veins scattered across both sides of the map allow you to lower walls on the opposite side, opening up paths on that side to then lower walls on the other side, and so on. The rather cryptic message about Sakura means that when you trigger the final wave of reinforcements right at the end of the map she'll activate her own vein, rebuilding every wall you destroyed and potentially trapping you.

So you must split your army carefully to wage an assault on two different fronts, alternating between dragon veins to slowly advance on each side, making sure not to overextend or else you'll be destroyed by reinforcements...

Just kidding, how you actually beat this chapter is you stick every unit on the left and don't deploy anyone on the right. You still get to bring your whole army if you pair them up in preparations! There is absolutely no reason not to do this unless you're trying to get as low turn counts as possible, there's no time incentive and splitting your army just makes it harder to deal with reinforcements. Fight half as many units with twice the army and then if you're still hungry for EXP you can swing around to the other side before seizing. The walls don't even matter, they help you as much as they hurt you and this way you don't have to worry about them coming back up.

Laslow promotes into Bow Knight and Xander gets a speedwings. Now he's faster and he's got more movement thanks to his pair-up partner!

The one consequence of pairing everyone up is you need to waste time splitting them all up again, but when there's no time pressure at all it's just a minor annoyance.

Oni Chieftans might have fearsome physical attack power and bulk, but their magic sucks. Baiting them from range is easy to do with all the walls in this chapter.

Hana won't aggro until one of your units is in range of at least 3 of her squadmates (including herself), or you take down one of the units near her. Sometimes enemies break their own rules if they can get a kill so I'd make sure nobody who could die stands near her even if you don't think she'll move.

An okay level, but Jakob's going to be replaced pretty soon. Both his children will likely be better healers and combat units...

The Blacksmiths can be lured though. Entering the little room they're in will cause a bunch of reinforcements, but with my whole army here it'll be trivial to farm them for EXP when they spawn.

High HP and low res make them perfect targets for Nosferatu. Ophelia's stats have been increasing rapidly, maybe soon she'll be tanking entire armies like her father could in the earlygame? Even now her physical bulk is worse than her dad's, but tonics and Seigbert can fix that.

I was wondering why it was so hard for my units to double Blacksmiths and wow, these guys are fast!

Blacksmith is a really weird class and I'm not 100% sure what their stats are supposed to be like. I think they made Onis promote into them because there weren't enough sword classes in Birthright, but they're just kind of a weird class concept in general. I guess they're like slower, tankier Heroes? Only a little slower, but slower still. A bit like Hector's promoted class in FE7.

I feel like Corrin changed her bane from resistance to speed while I wasn't looking. I was hoping this class change would fix her mediocre speed...

Vantage can work well on Corrin, especially when you're trying to keep her in VoF range, but I don't have room for it in her skillset right now.

This little danger area here is out of range of Hana and her posse, but is in range of the launcher and multiple of Sakura's staves. You can leave someone here for multiple turns to wear out of all Sakura's staff uses, but the launchers will never wear out.

Reinforcements appear in two waves each. I accidentally occupied one of the forts, stopping one set from spawning and losing some potential EXP : (. This set can easily be farmed, but later in the map you will want to block forts to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed.

The launcer range makes it hard to tell where's actually safe and where isn't. It's best to highlight all the enemies you're scared of so you can tell where you'll get attacked from and not accidentally leave Azura in range of an enemy.

Yeah Leo's just here for support points and heartseeker now. Extra levels will make him more useful, but I'd rather he not take EXP unless he has to. So he's just hitting this guy with a sword to impress his girlfriend.

Ophelia is absolutely shredding all these big beefy axe dudes. This chapter is very much an EXP goldmine so there will be a lot of these screens!

Yeah you can silence Leo, it's fine. Please target him instead of literally anyone else.

Finally! Now that Silas has D knives I'm not sure who to spend the Arms Scroll on anymore, maybe it could go to Peri? I imagine lances will be her main form of attack, but letting her use Steel Axes and getting the accuracy boost from C axes might not be a bad idea. Otherwise it's just going to go to waste... I could give it to Camilla once she goes WL, but with the Dual Club she doesn't really need lances that much.

Nina's stats are very high and yet I don't really feel as if she has any valuable niche right now. But this'll all be worth it when she gets Spendthrift and reclasses back into Bow Knight!

I could send Xander in to tank Hana's squad, but the magic attacks from the Onis would sting a little. I said earlier that they're not very good but Xander's resistance is also not very good.

Be careful when you walk through this corridor because this guy has Tomefaire and Shurrikenbreaker and he will attack anyone who's in range. The Onis might be weak but this guy hurts!

Xander gets two rallies and rushes into to bait. Azura also gets sheltered since the enemy might attack her if she stands here... I'm not 100% sure, but they might.

It's fine. He doesn't need to be anywhere else!

Oh, so they would have killed Azura! Good thing I moved her then. Instead they get to be sweet EXP.

Thanks to rally res Xander doesn't have much to fear. The launchers could have targeted him but didn't... I don't know why.

Now to muscle through all these jerks. They don't have a lot of res but they do have a lot of HP.

Hana might be fragile, but you do have to actually be able to hit her in order to kill her. You can try for WTA but she can also swap to her Dual Katana to have that backfire horribly on you.

Maybe I'll soften her up from a distance first. Sadly I've got nothing to debuff her speed...

Azura can buff the skill speed and luck of an attacker.

But this still doesn't fill me with confidence. Camilla's going to get absolutely shredded on enemy phase if she misses!

Oh I forgot to actually go for this hit. Sometimes 50% hits!

Xander may not have much, but at least he has his health.

Oops! Sakura does have Silence doesn't she. And now Ophelia's in range of attack...

That was a poor move on my part. She dodged and only one of the launchers targeted her, but I didn't know either of those things would have happened at the time. In some games silencing a unit unequips their magical weapons...

Not this one though. So you can't take away a tome's stat boosts by silencing the user.

Taking out these guys is top priority. Entering their little box at the top of the map will trigger a huge wave of reinforcements, but attacking them through the wall will not. Annoyingly however you do have to take out both of them before they'll stop firing.

Well Shurrikenbreaker is sure helping this guy hit Silas, but it's not helping him dodge. I thought I'd misread what skill it was when I first saw his 100% hit chance.

Sakura's Silence has ran out but she's still got her Freeze. There's no need to rush so I'll waste all of its uses before I advance any further.

Just in case this does trigger reinforcements, I'll occupy this one fort before attacking (it doesn't).

Ophelia's getting so much combat done today! Now I'm starting to understand what all the hype was about.

All forts blocked, all staff uses gone. Some units will come from the forts at the very bottom of this side, but there's a small distance between them and me.

Oh, Yukimura's a bit tougher than I anticipated. I don't have to defeat him now, but giving me a way to instantly end the chapter is nice just in case the reinforcements overwhelm me.

A danced Camilla is my best bet to weaken him. Even if she misses, she'll still hit him with Savage Blow and allow another unit to get a boost from her personal...

She hits once, he misses. I think that's an okay outcome.

Camilla's strength gets sealed which might be a problem for her later. At least she avoided the other debuffs.

I had to fetch Jakob to allow Elise to OHKO him to make things less risky, but I'll be honest and say I had no plan at all if she missed both shots. I probably would have gotten her killed...

Reinforcements are about to rush out en masse, but now I can leave any time I want! I still need to shake down Sakura for her magic powder at the very least though.

Blacksmiths from the bottom left, a mix of Onmyoji, Puppets, and Falcoknights from the right which will now aggro on me. The rightmost enemies are much tougher than the left ones, which is part of why I didn't split my army!

Oh and now I have this launcher all to myself. Toys with sharp edges are perfect for terrorising younger siblings.

All the scary reinforcements will be coming through this easily manageable chokepoint, so I'll let them come to me instead of rushing ahead. The seize location is still in reach in case things get hairy...

Xander will plug this fort to prevent wave two from spawning while also luring all this Blacksmiths that can barely hurt him at all.

I shall let the EXP roll in... That's her magic and luck capped! I checked her averages and while I can't quite remember how many boosters I gave her, I think she's slightly ahead in magic and luck, about on par with defense and resistance, and severely screwed in HP when taking into account the robe I gave her. Interesting.

These guys spawn inside Sakura's closed off room on wave two. They'll break through the wall and approach my army, but in the meantime I can pelt them with sharp objects from safety.

Xander's not been getting much strength or defense, but it's not as if that matters too much. He's got enough already.

I'd like to bait the Oni and Onmi pair if possible... Or at least one of them, since there's two. Two pairs of guys shouldn't be able to come from one fort!

This single woods tile makes for a good place for a chokepoint. Silas's bulk isn't super high, but thanks to Corrin and Sol he'll hold out for a while. I can also rally him and boost him with Inspiration from safety here.

Sakura's out of offensive staves but she can still heal people. Not by much, but she can.

Wow! He skillfully avoided all the stats I wanted him to get! I know ninjas don't have good strength or defense but he's been slacking on those.

This is one of the coolest skills but it's not actually... good. Instant kills are great and the animation is incredible but the activation chance is way too low to be reliable at a quarter of a unit's skill. It also can't activate at the same time as Sol so I don't want it potentially screwing me over.

This is about the level of opposition Silas is facing. There's one guy with a Calamity Gate but for some reason he insists on using Rally Magic instead of attacking.

Corrin got speed! Nice.

Astra can build dual guard gauge with each hit so it's actually not that bad at all in Fates as far as offensive skills go... but it's still a bit too unreliable for my tastes. Also I had enough trouble with Dragon Fang screwing me out of EXP.

Sol MN Silas's ability to shred Falcon Knights will 100% come in handy for Chapter 24. He's one of the few reasons I'm not dreading it, him and all the great fliers I have.

Yeah all the actual strategy for this chapter is over. It's just EXP.

Yes, finally! Camilla is now significantly stronger against most enemy types. I can finally reclass her...

I think Azura's starting to cap stats too. Parents only boost their kid's stats so much in Fates, but her kids have got to be getting a lot from her.

The initial wave is now gone and I can advance on the rest of the map. I'm really happy to see this jerk go!

I do feel a little bad about this... But it's for the good of all of us! And for your Spirit Dust.

You never get to fight Elise in any route... It makes sense given her character and her role in the story, but I would have liked to have seen what skills they gave her.

Capable of self defense or not, this doesn't feel like a very fair fight.

I am very glad Ophelia's getting bulk and speed, but where's the magic? I guess I do now have 2 Spirit Dusts I don't know what to do with...

This'll be my last turn on the map, so I sent everyone forward with no regard to safety knowing I'd end it before enemy phase. I could rout the rest of the chapter but the longer I play the more potential for error I give myself. I don't want to have to restart because I got greedy!

This was the easy chapter. The next 3... Oh boy.

Even in all out war, nobody dies... I would feel bad if you killed Sakura here so I guess that's okay.

LOL just kidding Garon decided to show up with an actual army and he killed all our hostages because he's evil. Sakura, Yukimura, and the two retainers were kept alive at least! So nobody with a name or face died.

Next time: Two of the ocean's grey waves