Part 25: Chapter 3, Part 1: North Sofia
It was close, but we'll be starting off with Alm. Haven't seen his group in awhile.
Music: World Map 3
Alm has 10 units in his army and an assortment of equipment.
Let's get this started.
Lots of enemies this time, including a few promoted units and a female class we haven't yet seen. We have almost no cover, and can only heal 9 HP each turn with Silk; should be a blast. But first -
A brigade from Rigel is closing in. Fortify our defenses! Scatter our foes and pick them off one by one!
The most difficult battle to date comes with a pre-game speech from Alm. Now let's look at the enemies.
The wizard is the same that Celica fought at the end of the last chapter, with Recover and Dora. The cavaliers are all level 1 and will close towards us pretty quickly.
The center group has two knights that will be tough to kill and dish out a ton of damage to us. The four soldiers and two archers are all level 1, nothing to worry about too much.
Zack is a pretty big upgrade over the other knights (+2 Power, +2 Defense). Only our magic attackers will really have a chance against him, but fortunately he starts pretty far away and moves slowly.
The upper left corner holds a Witch, a special enemy-only magic class. She's strong and fast and all but immune to magic, plus she has another trick up her sleeve that we'll come across soon.
We need to be aggressive here. The goal will be to try and eliminate as much of the center group as possible before the other enemies converge on us.
Robin dodges an arrow.
A terrifying sight in other Fire Emblem games, here Claire just shrugs off 4 damage.
Unfortunately we can only bring about half our army to bear this turn. Cleive takes out one archer by himself, then Claire and Python team up to wipe out the lead soldier, and Robin and Gray team up to kill the other archer.
Not a bad start, but the enemy phase is going to hurt.
Python can double attack the knights for 1 damage now at least.
Robin gets impaled by one of the knights. Fortunately the other one can't reach anyone.
A soldier moves up to attack Cleive, who immediately counters for 22 damage.
Gray fights off two attacks from another soldier, but misses his counterattack.
One of the cavaliers is able to reach us, beating up on Gray some more. Gray misses again.
Another reaches Claire. Bad idea for him - Claire has the Knight Killer equipped, and makes short work of him.
The battlefield is a mess now. Time to pick off some stragglers.
The first time through, I got a little too aggressive and Claire took one too many attacks after the enemy phase.
This time, I have Silk heal up Claire to start the turn.
She goes on to demolish another cavalier.
Ugh, terrible. At least when she died she got Speed and Luck first.
Gray is best used against these knights, since not much else we have can hurt them.
Luka finally reaches the battle, landing a couple of hits despite the low hit rate in the forest.
Future knight in the making here. Kind of a waste really since the knight's base Defense is 12 anyway.
Our biggest handicap so far has been Cliff starting so far away from the battle. He finally gets in a shot here to take out another soldier.
Alm moves up but doesn't attack, since he's pretty well outmatched by the knight. Robin retreats for now since he's hurting pretty bad. Cleive manages 8 damage in his two attacks, but takes 9 damage in return.
Not sure why I bothered with this. An archer trying to hit a target that's hiding in a forest is a pretty pointless task. Python did land his second hit but it was only 8 damage, not enough for the kill.
We've still got two knights, two cavaliers, and two soldiers to deal with, and the wizard is about to join in as well.
The witch throws a curveball, teleporting behind our lines, then moving in and attacking Force in the same turn.
She looks like May's pink sister. Unfortunately May never learns the teleporting trick.
One of the knights targets Alm, but he has enough HP to weather it for now.
The other knight also connects with Alm. He's still got 10 HP left though so he should make it through the turn.
Alm gets targeted by a soldier as well, but it only manages 4 damage. Alm does 14 damage this time after only being able to scratch the knights. Good thing we got rid of the archers - no one else can get to Alm this turn, now.
One cavalier goes after Luka for just 4 damage, while the other gets all the way down to Python for 8 damage.
The wizard reaches the battle at the end of the turn, landing a shot of Dora on Luka. All in all, we weathered the assault pretty well.
The witch and wizard have joined the battle, but we still have a couple turns before Zack gets here. Let's make the most of it.
Silk is our only source of healing, and she can only manage 9 HP each turn. Going to have to carefully manage the group's HP totals, here.
I was trying to figure out who had enough Speed to double-attack the witch, who has an Attack Speed of 5. Alm and Cliff are the only ones, given that Claire and Cleive each have equipped weapons slowing them down. And Cliff won't do any damage with his Bolt Sword against the witch's insane Magic Defense. But Alm is really low on HP....
Ok, so first Silk spends her healing on Alm this turn. He was in the most dire need of it, anyway....
Alm then goes after the witch, misses both of his attacks, and then eats a fireball to undo all of the healing.
In the meantime, Force comes through and takes out another soldier.
The knight has enough HP to survive two lightning bolts from Cliff.
Cliff is still amazing. Without the Bolt Sword, his Power is up to 10 now.
Gray comes through with another critical kill, finishing off one of the knights.
Hitting people in trees is hard. She does land her second attack at least, but it's not enough for the kill.
The second knight has just 4 HP left, and Cleive has enough Power with the Steel Sword to take away the rest.
Eh, could've been worse.
Now this is more interesting. At his current stats, if he promoted immediately, he'd gain 2 HP, 2 Speed and 1 Magic Defense. Might be worth it - Speed is his weak point right now. I'll give it until the next shrine.
Robin's able to finish off one of the cavaliers.
Well that was pretty useless.
The turn was going pretty well, so I decided to screw it up by moving Python out of the forest to attack the cavalier from melee range and get double-counterattacked.
I think I was trying to protect Luka from the wizard. Except the wizard can still reach him. And Luka couldn't finish off the cavalier anyway. Whatever.
One soldier and one cavalier are still alive, but severely wounded. The wizard and witch are both unscathed and ready to cause a world of hurt on the enemy phase.
Lucky - the witch decides to stay in the forest and target Force instead of Alm, and then misses entirely.
This attack is actually a bit of luck as well - Silk is still near full health, and with the Leather Shield weathers the attack pretty well. She misses her shot of Nosferatu, though.
Some more survivability for the healer.
The wizard also prioritizes hiding in the forest rather than getting a sure kill on Luka. Cleive has just enough HP to survive.
Five enemies remain. Two near death nobodies, two tough magic-users hiding in forests, and a souped-up tank.
Cliff is the best counter to Zack - two shots with the Bolt Sword takes off 28 of his 40 HP. That's just enough for Gray to pick up another important kill.
Well, the boss is toast. We've got 8 units left to try and take care of the rest. Luka and Robin are low on HP, so they safely finish off the likewise wounded enemies. Unfortunately we can't heal them both so we need to finish the battle this turn to make sure we don't lose one of them on the enemy phase.
This attack is safe enough for Python. Just glad he landed even one attack with that terrible hit rate.
Alm's still the only one that can double-attack the witch and actually do damage, so easy choice here, too.
He gets in one hit, and as a bonus even dodges the fireball. Notice how on the second attack Alm actually triggered a crit (the flourish with the sword and leaping attack are clear indicators) but still misses the attack.
Hey, at least he got a good level out of it.
Anyway, the witch is now weak enough that Cleive only needs to hit once to get the kill, and he does so on his first try.
Silk healed up Force. It's down to Claire and Force to finish off the wizard. I just need to have each one land just one of their two attacks....
And there's two. Except I miscalculated and the wizard actually still has 1 HP left. Fortunately he can't actually cast any spells in that condition, so he just makes a futile attempt to run away on the enemy phase.
Claire's been a trooper this battle so I give her the final kill.
That battle was actually legitimately difficult (at least in terms of keeping everyone alive) since I haven't been doing any extra fighting.
Up next for Alm is a group of wizards in the woods.
Or we could go take Celica's group to clear out some thieves from the beach. Your choice!
Pick the next update here: VOTE
Both groups' rosters are now in the second post of the thread, here, for reference.