Part 11: Update XI - Insert Training Montage Music HereUpdate XI - Insert Training Montage Music Here
So before we start the chapter proper, we need to get into a skirmish. Not because I need more experience or anything, just because I need to buy some staves from the shop beyond that monster.
Interesting: Skirmish maps start you at a different position than the mission that took place there. Was it that way in vanilla? I have no idea, I don't remember a single skirmish map from vanilla.
Also, here's an interesting thing: Every monster here has 100 gold for you. The boss would have a lot more. Later skirmish maps have even more money. That's the idea with the maps - missions give more EXP, skirmishes give more gold. We'll revisit this at a later date, for now, we just escape. I then buy the staves I wanted and a bunch of 1-2 range weapons just for good measure.
Now, let's get to the actual mission. Stupid shit awaits.
So, first of all, before we start the map, let's talk about this hero guy in the middle of the map.
He's got an energy ring. I want that energy ring.
He's got 15 speed.
Colm has 10 speed. So, if I want that energy ring, I have some work to do. First of all, I can give Colm two Star Seals, since both Ephraim and Eirika started with one, so that should boost his speed by 2.
Now I still need 4 speed on Colm to hit 16. Let's see if we can manage that. The boosts to everything else should also be very useful.
Then, as the map starts, Tana is brought to her cell as usual, but this time, there's no door, but instead a berserker that hangs out there to keep her from leaving.
He's not boss tier, but can be pretty fierce. That'll be something we have to deal with eventually.
First of all, I realize that an iron sword isn't going to cut it, so Colm gets the killing edge. This should also help quite a bit in training him.
We set up in a defensive formation to see which of the enemies ahead of us move.
The answer is none of them, but the cavs from the bottom have now joined in. So let's just wait again and let those cavs get in our face first. I have a suspicion this map will take forever anyway.
We manage to leave a cav with 1 HP, so that sets up Colm's first kill. Not pretty, but it gets the job done.
Well, he got speed. That's all that counts right now.
Artur also gets a level from taking out the other cav.
Colm gets another kill and another level, making good progress.
Natasha levels from healing again.
And Ross levels from fighting a knight on enemy phase.
Another weakened mage means another kill for Colm, but no level this time.
Setting up kills for Colm does get a bit ridiculous at times. I use Franz, Forde and Ephraim to whittle a knight down to 4 HP, but that's not enough for a Colm kill without a counter (he does 3 HP damage to the knight), so I check Vanessa, who does 4 HP exactly with a double javelin hit, but only 2 HP with a double slim lance hit. So of course she then crits twice, doing 4 HP of damage and killing the knight. Bah.
After cleaning out that group, nobody moves on enemy phase, so I guess it's our turn to approach them again.
Garcia levels up after killing a knight together with Gilliam. I kinda thought Garcia would end up on the bench sooner or later, but he seems to be hanging on, and seems to be the most likely hero crest recipient right now.
Kyle gets all the important stats killing the other knight.
Eventually, we whittle down the units here until there's just one archer left, who will be part of some training exercises.
So we give Colm an iron sword and let him whack at that archer for a bit.
And while Colm does that, we unlock the door and start setting up the Amelia recruitment.
Surprise! Reinforcements! Those fighters could theoretically be interesting for Colm, albeit threatening as well. The pegs we'll just let Ross deal with.
Colm levels up again trying and failing to kill the archer with the killing edge.
We set up in a somewhat risky way, where either Colm or Forde will take some damage from the archer, hopefully funneling the fighters into attacking Colm and dying.
Colm of course gets hit by the first fighter, but thankfully doesn't kill the fighter so the second one can't get to him.
And of course, because this is Sacred War, the reinforcement wave repeats. This complicates matters a bit.
Colm kills the archer, opening up a spot for Natasha to walk in and heal Colm so he hopefully doesn't die.
Natasha levels again.
Meanwhile, I think Ross won't have any problems with the pegs, though I decide to send Ephraim in just in case, not like we're moving on right now anyway.
Colm levels on enemy phase by killing the fighter, but he gets hit too, and he might die here. So this might get ugly. Thankfully, the next fighter misses and Colm doesn't kill him.
Ephraim levels while fighting the pegs.
And Colm levels again killing the last fighter. He should be ready to steal from the hero, even if he didn't get speed on this level.
We set up an unarmed Gilliam to lure Amelia in, then rescuedrop Ephraim over to be ready to recruit her. I completely forgot Franz can recruit her as well. Oh well.
Gilliam does his job.
And Ephraim does his.
Amelia - Recruit:
DEF: 3 (+1)
STR: 45% (+10%)
SKL: 45% (+5%)
SPD: 45% (+5%)
LCK: 55% (+5%)
DEF: 35% (+5%)
RES: 30% (+15%)
Amelia... is still Amelia. Nothing much has changed here from the start. Her growths got a big boost, though, so she should stay competitive in the long run, even if she has to be babied for a while. And once she gets going, she'll be ground pounding your mom like nobody's business.
We set up the weaponless Gilliam again to lead in the hero we want to steal from. He doesn't take a lot of damage. Now, let's steal.
...uh, what? We... can't steal. I suppose this means that the stat boosts from the Star Seals don't count for stealing calculations. Bollocks.
Then I stopped recording because I had to do something else, then forgot to start recording again at the beginning, so some parts are missing. The key parts are this:
Colm got Amelia's speed ring to boost him to 16 speed naturally. He then steals the energy ring from the hero.
And Amelia gets the energy ring. She also gets the Star Seals for a bit of a boost. The hero gets killed by a few of our units.
Gilliam then moves in to take out the remaining knight.
And Lute takes out the mages.
We then start luring one of the archers out with Seth and Gilliam.
Of course, I forgot that Gilliam had a javelin and almost killed the archer, but still, that's some experience for Amelia.
And she gets her first level of many.
I fuck up a bit more with the second and third archer, but at least Amelia gets another level out of it. We'll find some more stuff she can beat up on.
Now, here's the thing with that berserker: He doesn't move, and he doesn't have a ranged weapon. So we'll have somebody plink at him from a range.
We try Amelia for a while, but, uh, it doesn't go well.
She gets a level sniping a weakened merc, though.
Amelia's next assignment is this steel lance knight that doesn't move. She'll farm a lot of EXP from this guy.
Meanwhile, Lute whittles down the berserker.
Amelia gets another level.
And Lute levels after killing the berserker.
And Kyle levels after taking out the myrmidons up top. Levels all around!
Colm starts pilfering the chests. I only too late start realizing that maybe I should be more careful with his lockpick and maybe use the fucking unlock staff I bought.
Another level for Amelia.
Another chest for Colm. Everything has kind of slowed to a crawl while I grind up Amelia. While we're here, let's look at Tana.
Tana - Pegasus Knight:
LV: 10 (+6)
HP: 27 (+7)
STR: 10 (+3)
SKL: 12 (+3)
SPD: 15 (+2)
LCK: 12 (+4)
DEF: 9 (+3)
HP: 55% (-10%)
SKL: 45% (+5%)
SPD: 55% (-10%)
LCK: 50% (-10%)
DEF: 30% (+10%)
RES: 30% (+5%)
So, Tana got a big level boost. She's going to be a solid contributor alongside Vanessa right off the bat. Her growths ended up a bit more balanced, as seems to be a theme with this hack.
Colm gets another status booster, which is always nice.
Amelia is still whittling down that knight.
Eventually, she kills him and gets another level.
And meanwhile, Natasha heals a bit and levels as well.
After moving forward a bit, Amelia gets surprised by a moving archer, but she can take him out on player phase for another level. Only one left now.
Our real units start moving forward, taking out moving units and checking what units don't move for a potential target for Amelia. Franz levels while doing so. He might be ready for promotion soon.
Gilliam levels after getting surprised by the warrior standing in Gheb's room. I guess I didn't check if he had ranged weapons.
Did I bring up that 18 is now the unpromoted cap? 18 is now the unpromoted cap. I guess it's supposed to further encourage early promotion or something.
Checking the situation vs. that warrior, I suddenly don't like my odds so much, so I move Gilliam away. Meanwhile, Franz cleans up at the bottom.
And Amelia gets her final level after attacking the archer that doesn't move. So that'll be everything done that she needs to do this map.
Franz keeps working on the units down there while dodging the warrior's range and levels again.
Lute sits down in the warrior's range to start whittling him down, since we can just safely position Natasha behind her and have her heal every round.
You'll also note the support option. I've deliberately not been taking any supports so far. I will sit on those for the entirety of the regular game, probably, and grind the ones I want out during the postgame after I have a good idea of what units I want to use and what combinations work best. In my first playthrough, I messed up some supports and ended up with some characters that had completely useless supports, and I want to avoid that this time.
Since Lute doubles, she takes out the warrior fairly quickly and gets another level. She's looking pretty promotion-ready, too.
Franz takes out the remaining two mercs, leaving only Gheb to deal with.
+3 HP, -1 STR, +5 SKL, +3 SPD, -1 LCK, -1 DEF, +4 RES and +1 CON compared to his vanilla hard mode counterpart. He's also picked up a bow, giving him a ranged option and making him somewhat more dangerous. Not as dangerous as he'd have been with a hand axe, but hey.
Taking him on in melee is not recommended, I'd say.
Natasha levels again after healing up Franz. She might be promotion-ready too.
So, the strat for Gheb is pretty simple. Ross, Lute and Artur attack him from range, then get rescuedropped (which is why I have Vanessa, Franz and Seth set up nearby). They'll then do the same thing again next turn and repeat until he's dead.
Ross is looking pretty damn good.
And Artur nets the kill...
...and a garbage level in the process.
And that'll be the chapter! This one took quite some time, which I guess makes sense if you're grinding a recruit to level 10 and grinding your thief up several levels for some stupid plan that didn't even really work. Next time...