Part 49: Chapter 4, Part 6: Fear Mountain
Mara the witch leads a strong group holding Fear Mountain. Alm fearlessly charges ahead anyway.
The mountain divides the enemy army into two groups, with a single witch holding the small fort and sitting on a recovery tile.
Mara looks a little ill. She's a higher-level witch than we're used to, and only has Aura so will counter with it for 26 Magic Attack whenever she's attacked. However, Aura's heavy and has a high HP cost so she's not as threatening as she appears here.
A couple of barons are guarding Mara, and the knights scattered around the map are a bit higher level as well. They're still pretty tough for Alm's army, but will fall quickly to magical attacks.
The snipers and paladins are normal grunts, and not a problem when handled carefully.
I'm sending the magic users north first to deal with the knights along with some support for the sniper. A few strong physical units hold off the eastern front, where the enemy paladins will arrive first due to their higher Movement.
And another dick move from the game - Mara can summon 1-8 witches for free. Those witches can teleport and wreak havoc all over the place, though the AI generally doesn't use them very well (probably intentionally so).
Still using the mountain to maintain two separate fronts here. Both paladins will reach on the enemy phase and attack Matilda and Cleive, who are holding the Steel Lance and Knight Killer, respectively.
Matilda does her job, but Cleive whiffs and is double-attacked. Should've probably had Matilda use the Knight Killer instead.
With the barons and sniper up north hanging back, the knights here are easy pickings. Ryuto and Dyute soften up each one with Excalibur and Aura, respectively.
Cliff finishes off one of the knights, but I don't have anyone close enough to finish off the other one this turn.
Matilda finishes off her paladin opponent, while Claire gets a lucky crit with the Holy Lance to wipe out the other one.
I remember that Silk can actually attack and knights have low Magic Defense, so I give her a shot. She gets two attacks in with Nosferatu and gets lucky and lands both.
I don't want to get too spread out here, so I'm just going to wait for the eastern group to make their way forward - both snipers will reach us on the enemy phase.
Both snipers go after Alm, but only one shot lands, for 5 damage. Alm has the Regal Sword, as usual, so will heal up that damage at the start of the next turn. Which is right now.
The snipers don't fare very well when Alm can fight back. He does 32 damage to this one.
Force and Robin are attacking the other sniper here. I'm not really expecting them to do anything more than not get themselves killed, but both are at 99 XP so it's an easy level.
I've been spoiled by Celica's doubled-gains, but these are actually pretty good levels for these two, considering both average well under two stat gains per level.
Python and Claire team up to finish off the sniper.
With witches coming in from the north, and knights headed in from the east, I need to reverse my formation a bit. The magic-users head back to the south for a swap.
Alm dodges another sniper for the only action on the enemy phase.
Dyute is the only mage (other than Silk) who can reach the knights, so she starts out the turn with a shot of Aura for 24 damage. Unfortunately the knight starts off with a rather impressive 40 HP.
Alm's on a roll, taking out another sniper.
My anti-witch squad forms up, and Python takes a shot at the lead witch but misses.
Force and Luka are keeping the knights away from the mages, but it's Alm who's going to be taking all of the hits.
The sniper does 7 damage to Claire, but she'll heal up most of that with the Holy Lance.
The first knight smacks Alm pretty good, and at this point I realize that if all three land attacks on him, he's toast. He does counter for 16 damage at least.
The second knight misses, and Alm's counterattacks combined with Dyute's Aura earlier in the turn is enough to finish off the knight.
The third knight connects on Alm, but the fourth knight is too far away to do any damage so we survive the turn.
Oh and Cliff dodges a fireball from a witch. I took the Bolt Sword off of him, since it's not of much use against witches.
Cleive and Claire take out the most immediate threat in the area, the last of the snipers.
It's worth a nice level for Claire, though her Speed is unusually low for a pegasus knight.
Matilda is more than strong enough with the Steel Lance to take out a witch by herself.
Her level isn't as strong, but she's still got way better stats than most of Alm's army.
I was trying to have Cliff set up a kill for Python, but he got greedy and pulled out a crit to take the kill for himself instead.
Python has to settle for taking off 10 HP from the last witch in the area.
With the knights already weakened from Alm's strong counterattacks, Dyute and Ryuto are able to finish them both off with their magic.
One of these levels is much better than the other. Also, Ryuto picks up Lightning magic for some extra range when needed.
Only one knight left in the eastern group. There's a baron lurking to the north but no one's in his range, so he's going to go back into the fort on the enemy phase.
The last knight attacks Robin, who's just fast enough to avoid a second attack.
The weakened witch retreats into the hills. Not a bad strategy, really.
Ryuto kicks off the turn with a critical Excalibur to blow away the last knight.
Dyute's the only one that can reach the witch down south, and her Aura is just strong enough to break through the witch's high Magic Defense. That extra point of Magic Power she just gained made the difference.
Mara is summoning witches slowly at this point, so I move ahead cautiously to keep drawing them out while trying to avoid the barons. The eastern group is gone, so I'll be able to regroup for a stronger push in a couple turns.
And Mara chooses this moment to come up with six witches. That witch.
The witch that had been summoned previously, teleports down south to take some shots at Luka. He's got 24 HP and takes 11 damage per attack, so he'd still survive two attacks, but my healing capacity is rather limited here so I'm glad he was able to dodge one of the fireballs.
Silk's been busy healing pretty much every turn, and this one is no exception.
Ryuto and Dyute team up again to take out the vagrant witch.
Trying to maintain a position to assault the witches as they leave the fort, while keeping back from the barons until my top mages can get back up to the front.
One of the witches teleports down to attack Ryuto. He's actually in pretty bad shape thanks to casting Excalibur so many times, but he dodges one of the attacks.
Another witch teleports over to take a shot at Claire. Her Magic Defense is pretty high so this attack isn't too troubling; the witch would've had much better targets elsewhere. Like the almost-dead Ryuto.
There's a witch down south, three in range in the north, and the baron is lurking nearby as well.
Python and Cleive take out a witch.
Dyute weakens the southern witch. She'll probably retreat on the enemy phase now.
Another great level for Dyute.
Rather than go after the remaining witches in the north now, I'm going to let them come to me so that the baron stays out of the fight for now.
Alm is attacked by two witches but dodges one of them. One of the witches had teleported from within the fort.
Another witch takes a shot at Claire. The southern witch is content to do nothing this turn.
There are four witches in the immediate area that need killing, with another one lurking near the barons.
Dyute needs to move north anyway, so she follows the retreating witch and finishes her off.
Alm takes out one of the northern witches, and Claire finishes off another after Matilda missed one of her attacks.
This time, Cliff does set up the kill properly for Python.
Ready to draw out the last two witches, and maybe a baron.
Mara summons a single witch, while Alm fends off another fireball.
Flying Matilda takes care of Alm's attacker.
Much tighter formation now.
One of the barons comes out to play but can't reach anyone. Meanwhile Alm fights off another fireball.
Matilda takes care of the witch, leaving me with several attackers that can focus on the baron.
Cliff has the Bolt Sword again, and uses it to inflict 16 damage on the baron.
Two shots of Excalibur from Ryuto bring the baron down to just 4 HP remaining.
Even Gray can be useful in this situation, and he finishes off the baron with a 6 damage fireball for 70 XP.
Not terrible, unless you compare him to Ryuto or Dyute.
Python weakens the witch a bit to wrap up the turn.
Cliff draws in the second baron, hoping for a strong counterattack.
The baron hits hard, but gets the worst of the exchange.
The witches are still falling hard for Alm, but Cleive presents a better target this time and takes 12 damage.
Alm starts off with some witch revenge, and Claire takes out another witch that's still in the fort.
Ryuto and Gray finish off another baron, leaving just Mara. Python takes a shot at her, just because.
A single witch is summoned on the enemy phase.
Claire and Alm have no problem with the witch. Python does some more scratch damage to Mara.
The witches are all over Alm, as Mara changes her pattern here to attack him instead of summoning more witches.
I retreat but Mara only has eyes for Alm. Luckily she missed or Alm would be toast right now.
Ryuto and Python bring Mara down to 2 HP. At the same time, Matilda and Claire have claimed the fort and its recovery tile. Since Aura costs 6 HP to cast and Mara has no source of healing, we've effectively neutralized her. All she can do now is summon more witches for easy(ish) XP farming.
Of course, she immediately summons six witches to help her.
I'll spare most of the details from here, but you can see that I was only able to fully kill off four of the witches, leaving two behind to do some damage on the enemy phase. One goes after Alm, the other cowers in the corner. Mara runs off and hides.
Cliff gained a pretty crappy level attacking the leftover witches.
Spent a few turns letting Mara run around aimlessly before she finally did something - she summoned a single witch to her side. It was immediately killed.
A few turns later I have her surrounded so she can't run anywhere, with maximum access for killing off any summoned witches as efficiently as possible.
And of course Mara decides to test my theory by summoning seven witches. Well, easy XP, at least.
Terrible level for Claire out of that rush. She really needs to step it up.
Five of the seven witches are killed at once, leaving two behind that can actually attack us now.
And Mara summons six more witches right away. At this point I'm seriously considering just finishing off Mara and ending the battle, but Alm's army really needs some more levels. Cliff and Claire end up taking the attacks from the two witches leftover from earlier this turn - there's not much room for them to maneuver.
Matilda gets some more Speed by killing the first of the eight witches that are now on the field.
The very next attack yields another dead witch and a pretty terrible level for Alm.
And later in the same turn Dyute gets her third level of the map and her third straight gain in Magic Power.
By the end of the turn only one of the witches is left, though the box formation has been broken. Even Robin and Force got in on the action by finishing off weakened witches. The last witch attacked Cleive while Mara made a run for it.
Mara summons seven more witches for us to play with, so let's not disappoint her.
Force get the last of seven kills in the turn, and gains a bit of an odd level. I've been able to kill the witches more efficiently using my weaker units as finishers, and they're finally getting some steady XP out of it. Force can now promote into a knight.
After a couple of turns with no action, I've got the box formation around Mara again, and she fills it with another seven witches.
Cleive immediately picks up the worst level of the map.
Robin picks up a level cleaning up a witch that Cliff had weakened. More Power is fine, but more important is the fact that Robin can now be promoted to a Paladin, which would give him more Power, Speed, Defense, and more.
Luka likewise gets a level from finishing off a witch, this time one that Python had weakened. He's also able to promote into a knight now.
The rest of the witches fall without incident.
Mara summons a single witch a few more times, but nothing troubling. I give Gray the kill on Mara at the end of the final (40th) turn.
The resulting level was not really worth it.
Well, that wasn't so bad.
Ambush! The group of witches that formed up a few battles ago advances and attacks Alm!
We're in the defensive spot this time. Also notice that only ten units of Alm's army are here - Robin, Gray, and Luka all got left behind. We're being attacked by five witches, backed up by three Slime-wielding wizards and two level 5 myrmidons.
The enemy also gets to attack first, since they initiated the battle. Two witches attack Claire and Silk - one of them is wielding lightning. I guess she's supposed to be the leader of the group or something.
We've got Force, Matilda, Cleive, and Python in the south, but only one witch is headed their way right now.
Claire wipes out one witch, while Cliff and Dyute take out the other.
Simple advancement from the enemy phase, not even any teleporting.
Python was going to soften up the witch here for Force, but he missed one of his attacks. Matilda takes the kill instead.
Dyute gets rid of the lead wizard with a critical Aura.
After three straight levels with Magic Power, I'm okay with her getting some Speed here.
Ready for another round.
The remaining enemies charge ahead. I could've done with them spreading out a bit more, though.
The southern group rushes ahead to try and help.
Claire isn't much good against the myrmidons - she's weaker and slower - so she takes out this witch instead. She gets a level out of it that isn't that great (just the one stat) but she can now promote to Falcon Knight. (Yes, I forgot to grab her stats page again.)
The myrmidons are the biggest threat here, since they're fast enough to double-attack everyone. Alm lucks out with a crit to eliminate one of the myrmidons immediately.
Ryuto, Dyute, and Cliff all combine to take out the other myrmidon. Just two wizards and a witch left - I'll be in trouble if they all gang up on someone and land all of their attacks, but it's pretty unlikely.
Claire and Alm both dodge despite being entirely encased in slime. Maybe they're really just behind the coil here rather than inside it.
The last witch here isn't much threat by herself, but she misses anyway. Three straight dodges, nice and lucky.
On the player phase now, Claire kills another witch.
Alm takes out one of the wizards, dodging the slimy counterattack.
Cleive reaches the main battle just in time to massively weaken the last enemy. He also dodges the slime-counter. Four slimes, zero hits.
I give Matilda the final kill. Mostly because she was close to a level. More Defense is pretty nice for her.
Alm's finally free! It'll be the Fear Shrine next for him.
Celica starts to explore the Lost Woods.