Part 39: Chapter 3, Part 14: Northern Forest
First, some leftover business from last time.
Saber and Leo get their promotions. Kamui and Jesse will have to wait.
With the extra Speed, Saber doesn't really have any weaknesses left. Leo gets a sizeable HP boost and a bit more Speed as well.
Atlas becomes a Cavalier, gaining some Speed but more importantly a ton of mobility. He actually has the third-highest Power in the army, too.
But they're not who we're here to see today.
Alm's stuck with a re-used map from the first chapter, and lots of ranged attackers. We're allowed to use the entire army this time, but Robin/Gray/Luka are pretty useless at this point so won't actually see any action.
The witches and snipers are nothing new, but potentially dangerous en masse.
The boss here is another Bow Knight. Good thing we already fought one, or I would've been surprised by the natural 5 range in a battle that has far less cover or room for error.
The first time around, I rushed forward to try and hold the bridge. Trying to hold a chokepoint against an army exclusively made up of ranged attackers is a bad idea, and Matilda suffered for my hubris. Although I never would've picked up on the romantic sub-plot between her and Cleive, otherwise. I had considered just letting her die, since in a few more battles she'll be able to revive, but the poor strategy bothered me enough to re-do the battle.
Cleive is deliberately positioned to draw out the sniper to its maximum range. The witch will follow as well.
The enemy army charges, but is spread out enough that we can mostly handle it in waves.
Alm's strong enough now that he can take out a sniper in just two attacks.
He gets a weird level out of it, but more Defense is at least useful.
Matilda and Python take care of the lead witch.
Witches are worth a lot of XP, and Python get a pretty good level out of it.
Cleive could block the bridge, but I made that mistake last time. It actually works out better to let the archers through, so that the back ranks of our army can work on them while the top units go after the bow knight boss.
Of course, that leaves us open to some attacks, but they would mostly have happened anyway.
Three archers are exposed to our army instead of just one. Also key - the bow knight is right next to the bridge. Last time he was further to the right, hiding in a tree and very difficult to hit.
Ryuto takes out the lead archer with two shots of Excalibur.
Alm clears off the bridge.
Cliff is fast enough to double-attack the bow knight, and tough enough to not take much damage from it. He ends up dodging the counterattack and getting a crit on his second attack.
Not a great level, but as we saw with Saber, Cliff's Speed will fix itself at promotion time.
Cleive takes the opportunity to cross the river and finish off the bow knight. He's also still just out of the witch's range, assuming she doesn't teleport.
Same level as Cliff.
Python and Claire take out another archer, and our side of the river is clear.
Both snipers hide in the trees, taking shots at Alm and Cleive, but it's really just mop-up from here.
Alm fords the river for an attack on the sniper. Despite the forest he lands both shots for the kill. (Alm and the mercenaries are the only non-fliers that can cross the river, but it takes 4 movement to do so.)
Ryuto steps up to wipe out the last remaining archer.
Cleive and Cliff team up on the last sniper, but between the two of them only land one of their four attacks.
Matilda and Claire take care of the witch, who never even got to attack in this battle.
Just the one sniper left, and he can't do much on his own.
This image is not a mistake. Silk still had 99 XP from the shrine, so I wanted her to at least get the 1 XP needed to level. She's actually fast enough to avoid double-attacks here, and only takes 8 damage.
Alm's healer is faster than most of his army.
Claire ends the battle.
She gets the same level as Silk.
Back on the world map, a small group of paladins forms up to go after Celica. They won't have a chance to leave, though, because Celica's storming Mila's Temple next.