Part 3: Unit Analysis #1 (Starter Edition) and Mission 1 - To the Endless Sea of Stars!Alright, heres what we have here: Kazuma, in his Valhawk, surrounded by 5 mooks in crappy mechs. Lets take a look at them:
A Mobius, from Gundam SEED - 3000 HP, 100 EN, 900 Armor, 110 Mobility.
A Delphinium from Martian Successor Nadesico - 3300 HP, 150 EN, 1000 Armor, 90 Mobility.
A Taurus from Gundam Wing - 4400 HP, 170 EN, 1100 armor, 100 mobility.
Yeah, they dont stand a chance.
Weak HP, weak stats all around, their pilots dont have any skills whatsoever (even though some of them are capable of shooting down projectiles, they cant use it without the Shoot Down skill).
Now, this part will be what I'll call Unit Analysis. I'll go over the units we've just received and their pilots to explain what they can do and how I like to use them.
This will include information on the pilots skills (those give the pilot different effects in battle. Ill go over them as they come along as there are several of them) and information about the pilots spirit commands (spells that pilots on the field can use. Do note that spirits are level based so a low level pilot will not be able to use all of his).
If you dont care for this nonsense, skip ahead to the next update which will cover the mission itself.
Now, let's look at our loving family:
Valhawk is your standard real, with good stats all around. His most important stats are mobility (needed to dodge), Energy (needed to use EN-based attacks) and Movement capacity (number of spaces you can move in a turn). Armor is irrelevant for the Valhawk because it shouldn't be getting hit in the first place (rule of thumb for real robots: dodge).
As it was shown, it can change form into his Airforce (plane) mode for added Mobility and Movement as well as having Flying capacity making it the ideal form when using it in gravity missions BUT the Cross-Combat mode does have slightly higher attack. In Both modes it's got both ranged and melee attacks and Kazuma excels at both. He acts as the main pilot and Mihiro acts as his operator/sub-pilot (which is SRW-speak for "spirit command battery")
Kazuma comes equipped with the following Pilot Skills:
- Prevail Lv2 (底力) - Your stats go up as your HP goes down. Standard issue for main characters as it justifies those times when they are getting pummeled and pull a surprise victory. The higher the skill level, the higher the bonus.
- Shoot Down (撃ち落とし) - Depending on the difference of your Skill stat with the enemy attacking you, your pilot can use his mech's gun to shoot down an incomingattack. Mind you, this will only apply against projectile attacks . Negates the damage if it activates.
- Sword Cut (斬り払い) - Depending on the difference of your Skill stat with the enemy attacking you, your pilot can use his mech's sword to cut/parry the attack. Mind you, this will only apply against projectile attacks and sword attacks. Negates the damage if it activates.
- Shield Defense (シールド防御) - Again, activation depends on your Skill stat compared to your enemy. If it activates, it will only reduce the incoming damage BUT, if your mech can use this skill, it will always activate if you Defend against an incoming attack.
- Assist Attack Lv1 (援護攻撃) - If you attack an enemy and right next to your guy, there's a pilot with this Skill, he can follow your attack with one of his own. Some limitations apply, though. The Supporter needs to be in range and the attack needs its usual energy/ammo to fire. Also, damage multiplying spirit commands do not apply to support (it'd be way too abusive that way) and a damage penalty is imposed. I believe a support attack hits with 60% of its original power (before enemy defenses are applied). Nevertheless, it's still very useful and should be used when possible unless it'll put your guys in danger.
- Assist Defense Lv1 (援護防御) - Same as Assist Attack but for defense. When your guy gets attacked, if someone next to him has this skill, they can be called to take the attack for him (taking the hit as if they've chose the Defend option, reducing in more damage reduction). A useful, if situational skill. Obviously, you cant have a real robot like Valhawk doing that oftenly as he cant take that much punishment.
- Focus (集中) - Adds 30% chance to dodge and hit to your pilot for 1 turn. Standard issue and very useful skill for the entire game, specially to your dodgy units. It costs 15 SP so you cant go crazy spending it but it's cheap enough to use with minimal oversight.
- Invincible (不屈) - The next attack that hits your character will have its damage reduced to 10, no questions asked. This spirit command is specially useful because it lasts untill you take a hit so it can be used as a nice safety net in case some mook gets a lucky hit in. Its cost has been greatly increased since the Alpha/OGs Games, taking a whopping 20 SP per cast. You probably want to save this for when you're sending Kazuma up against an Elite Mook or a Boss, who will have higher hit %.
Mihiro has only one spirit command right now and, as a sub-pilot, she's more support-oriented:
- Gain (努力) - Basic support spirit, which will double the target's experience received from the next battle. Should be used when you're about to take out big enemies to maximize the effect. Costs 40 SP which is pretty much everything Mihiro has right now.
Conclusion: You can't go wrong with the Valhawk, it's a great unit and it can be used in any situation. Kazuma is a competent pilot who will only get better as he levels up. You dont really have a choice whether you want to use it or not (it IS the main character) but it's certainly a unit you'll want to field. Also, I really, really love his music.
Now, over to the other side of the spectrum: the Valstork is, as it was already said, a Battleship/Carrier.
It's tailored to be a ranged attacker/supporter, hitting enemies from far away where they can't hit back but it doesnt need to stay there. It has high HP, higher armor, high EN and low Evasion (cant expect a battleship to be dodgy now, can we?). Units can also go inside the ship for some HP/Ammo/EN refill(not a full refill, mind) at the cost of 10 Morale for each turn spent inside. This needs to be used with care as Morale is needed to unlock use of your stronger attacks in battle and having low morale results in stat reductions, so watch it.
Bless is the ship's captain. So let's go over his skills first:
- Prevail L3 (底力)
- Assist Attack L1 (援護攻撃)
- Commander Lv1 (指揮 ) - This skill gives the unit a Command Aura, which increases the evasion and accuracy of every unit inside it. As the skill's level grows, the aura gets a bigger area of effect and a bigger stat bonus. Its a staple for any ship captain and the main reason why you dont keep your ship in the back row.
This here is a command aura. Its currently at range 2.
Now, for spirit commands, battleships have several people inside, which means it has several people that can offer spirit commands. The Valstork has 4: Bless, Shihomi, Akane and Horis (nope, not Carret).
Bless's Spirits are set to the attacker archetype but in a different way:
- Invincible (不屈) - Costs 20 SP
- Fighting Spirit (闘志) - This skill makes it so you have 100% crit rate for one turn. Doesnt stack with damage multiplying spirits. Useful at the early game but not so much after you start getting the stronger spirits. Costs 30 SP so it's right out the window when you need to spend your SP on more important things.
Akane's spirits are also offensive and made to complement Bless's. She has:
- Strike (必中) - For one turn, your unit has 100% accuracy (bypassing enemy skills, too). Essential to big units with crappy accuracy like battleships and super robots. Costs 20 SP.
- Guts (ド根性) - For 30 SP, restores all of your units HP. Akane's SP is 38 right now so youll want to save this for a big emergency./list]
Shihomi fills in the spot of the group supporter. Pretty much every single battleship in an SRW game has, at least, one person like this:
- Trust (信頼) - Heals the targetted unit for 2000 HP. Standard heal, decent cost at 30 SP. Shihomi has 58 SP now, so she'll need one level or two to break 60 and get more usage (there are ways around this problem but not right now).
- Mercy (てかげん) - A skill that you'll never, ever use until THAT mission comes along and you need it. Then, you'll be thankful someone like Shihomi has it. When used it'll stop you from killing your target, keeping at at 10 HP (Provided your Skill stat is somewhat higher than theirs). Costs a measly 10 SP.
- Accelerate (加速) - Increases your Movement range by 3 for your next move. 5 SP. Useful all over the game, use it to get in range of enemies, out of range of enemies, in range of allies, to get to target areas, etc, etc, etc.
- Scan (偵察) - Displays the information of an unknown enemy, reduces their evasion by 10% for one turn. That last bit is what makes this a great skill to have around. You'll fight quite a few dodgy enemies in this game and this skill can spare you a headache. Costs 5 SP so there's no reason not to use it.
Now, on with the mission!
I may have downplayed these guys a wee bit because they can actually get a decent chance to hit Kazuma in his Cross-Combat Mode (Airforce mode would pull a 20%). I dont like a 1/4th chance of taking a shot this early in a mission (and like any turn-based strategy game, the RNG gods will oftenly take a piss on you and make a 5% attack hit).
So let's use Focus to make that go away.
Now, you may notice that Ive moved Kazuma closer to the pirates, thats because those 2 Mobius (the two enemies on the right/leftmost corners of the formation) have a 2-6 range missile attack and, with my current Morale, I cant use anything to hit them back at that range. As such, I move him close so that hell be in range to counter any of them when they come after him.
This Taurus has a bit too much HP to take out in one shot.
So, I'm gonna shoot him with the Valhawk's Beam Shot Launcher to soften him up for a kill when he comes after Kazuma in the Enemy Phase.
: You're using the Trailers as a front for crime? You greedy jerks!
: You're about to get an up close and personal look at the true Trailer spirit!
Click the Image below to see it:
As mentioned in the OP, due to some technical issues, well be stuck with these GIFs for a small while well get proper videos by mission 9, so
As expected, he survived with just over 1500 HP and proceeds to counterattack.It ends as predicted.
Now, the Valstork is rather far away so lets get him closer to the action so they can help out (mind you, dont move the Valstork into point-blank range. Its cannons have a minimum range of 2 which means they cant counter attacks range 1). The AI in this game follows those classic priority lists from oh-so-many strategy games and they are programmed like: Low HP > Low Armor > High HP > High Armor. However, battleships have priority for them if they are in range because it's game-over if a battleship is sunk. Because of that, I know they'll be coming after the Valstork next turn.
I make sure Akane casts Strike and also have Bless use Invincible to prepare for a counter-attack.
Those two Mobius are going after Kazuma since the Valstork is too far and theyve no post-movement attacks. He has no chance to hit Kazuma, well be countering with our Beam Shot Launcher.
Mihiro decides she wants her time in the spotlight, too.
Click the Image below to see it:
That's a dynamic finish. Some attacks in many SRW games receive special kill animations when the enemy gets destroyed. It's always satisfying.
Someone is brave enough to try to take on the Valstork.
: Been a while since we've been in combat. Everyone in position?
: I'll locate the enemies and forecast their tactics!
: Okay, sis! Horis, don't rock the boat!
: I can't turn down a request from Akane! Let's do it!
Click the image below to see how he fares against Big Daddy:
Bless is not impressed and responds with All-Range Multi Beam Launcher.
Mind you, those letters at the bottom when the attack hit meant that it was a critical hit, putting an end to this crazy pirate.
The Taurus that Kazuma weakened in his turn also thought he could fare better against Bless. He couldnt.
The next Delphinium is in bad luck because Blesss morale is high enough that he can use the Valstorks best attack: the Dual Proton Cannon.
His missiles do a wee bit of damage but its still nothing major and hes gonna pay tenfold for it.
Click the image below to see much carnage:
It also has a dynamic finish and Shihomi, Akane and Horis get a level out of it.
This last Mobius tries to take on Kazuma. I guess he didnt see what happened to his friend.
He survives the battle despite having a Beam Shot Launcher shoved up his ass.
The Pirates are easily defeated and the last one pleads for us to spare his life.
Kazuma points his gun at the pirates direction but only shoots near him, lest he be as bad as the pirates.
He sternly warns the pirate that the Trailers value human life, and that people have to help each other if anyone is to have a chance of survival in space.
The pirate, suitably cowed, vows never to forget this good deed - but Kazuma tells the guy to not misunderstand him all of them are still gonna face some some stiff punishment back at Bit.
Bless has already made the necessary arrangements with the Bit folk, and commends his son on a job well done.
Before Kazuma can bask in any praise, however, a new foe shows up and starts blasting.
Several "unknowns", small and very fast, make their way onto the scene, and blow the pirate away.
Kazuma gets quickly flustered that he didnt even notice the incoming attack until Bless yelled.
Akane says that they look nothing like anything she has seen before.
Of course, Horis says that they wouldnt be "unknown" if she HAD seen them she calls him stupid again and says that she knows that!
Quatre sees that they're human-sized and wonders if they could be Tekkamen, perhaps?
Bless notes a superficial resemblance to the Radam commanders, but Kazuma is less worried about who they are and more worried that they're on the attack.
With little choice, Bless orders an attack with maximum force on these unknown interlopers.
Mihiro is worried about Kazuma but he tells her to keep her eyes open: these vicious, hard-to-hit foes will pounce if you give up an inch.
Since its still the enemy phase, they get to move first. Kazumas close enough for a couple of them to take some shots at him.
: Come on! Quit zipping around, that's no fair!
: Don't let his speed trip you up, Kazuma!
Click this image to see FIRST BLOOD!
I counter the first one with Plasma Execution. Its not enough but its close.
Hm, this one could be bad. These enemies have massive accuracy with their point-blank attack (Remember, Ive focus on so this wouldve been 65% otherwise).
Lets try tempting the RNG gods and see if we can get in some free damage with Ley Blade.
Click the image below to see the attack:
Kazuma gets a crit (Ley Blade does have a high ratio) but the enemy lives with his health in the red.
His buddy comes over, trying to use the same melee attack.
Since we dodged the last one, Ill counter this as well because one hit will not put us in any danger now (and well be able to heal with Shihomi when our next turn comes):
Heeey! That theres a sword cut parrying his attack.
Also, heres Ley Blade properly.
Click the Image to see it:
Still doesnt kill but at least they level up.
Carret warns that the container hatch is opening.
Shihomi notices something leaving the Valstork.
Out pop two Gundams, of course, piloted by Quatre and Duo.
Horis wonders if they intend to flee while we hold the enemies but Bless knows that its not: Quatre and Duo quickly get in touch the the Valhawk and offer to help fight.
Duo quickly apologizes to Kazuma for misunderstanding him hes now seen what real Trailers are like.
He reveals his real name: Duo "Grim Reaper" Maxwell.
Relations repaired, Quatre notes that these unknowns may be yet another new menace facing mankind, and urges a hasty disposal.
Kazuma is more than happy to oblige but asks Quatre to stop with the honorifics and just call him Kazuma.
Hell, yeah! Anyone thats watched Gundam Wing loves these two (well, at least Duo and his Gundam Deathscythe).
Ill go over them in detail later but heres the short version: Gundams are really dodgy and accurate. Duo is the offensive based one and Quatre is tailored to be a support, though he can hold his own in the front lines.
Also, lets take a look at our mysterious enemy.
Hm, nothing too impressive but they do have enough HP and armor that they cant be oneshotted.
They arent a big threat but, as I said above, their melee, point-blank, attack has a +40 accuracy modifier which explains why it got such high numbers even with focus.
Best to take them from outside that attacks range.
I use focus with everyone and turn Kazuma into his Airforce mode for extra mobility in case they get up close again and I dont luck out.
Both enemies that attacked Kazuma in melee are weak and Quatre is in prime position to finish one of them off with his best attack Heat Shotel.
Click the Image to see it:
Duo shouldnt be left behind, so he nabs one and we get a chance to show off his best attack Beam Scissors.
Click the image below to see it:
I never get tired of this attack.
Bless tags the enemy with another Dual Proton Cannon. A crit should be enough to kill it but I dont count on Bless getting lucky crits every time, so lets use his Fighting Spirit spirit command to boost that chance up to 100%.
Click the image below to see the effects:
Three guys left but only Kazumas left. Im gonna bet here that none of these guys are gonna try to get in melee range if Im close enough for them to use their stronger, less accurate, attack. So I position Kazuma and weaken one of them.
They all take the bait and attack at range. I kill the one I weakened in my turn and tag the full-health one, in the middle, with Beam Shot Launcher.
Im gonna finish this third guy in style, though. Time to show Kazumas best attack in Airforce mode: HeatEdge Exploder.
Click the image below to see it:
Of course, it has a dynamic finisher.
Theres only one weakened enemy left and Im gonna finish it off with Kazuma but, to get the most of it, I have Mihiro cast Gain on him to double the experience earned.
Time to show the Cross-Combat forms strongest attack: Jet Flowsion.
Click the image below to see it:
Strangely, it doesnt have a dynamic finisher despite the fact that nearly every other attack has one (aside from its crappy Beam Vulcan which Ill almost never use).
After killing all the enemies we get some consumables: 2x Propellant Tank (Replenishes EN), 2x Repair Kits (Restores HP) and a Cartridge (Restores Ammo).
They are not very useful because you need to equip them as a part on an unit and that unit can only use it on himself or on someone else thats right next to him.
The last enemy unit attempts to flee.
However, before Kazuma can pursue, Tekkaman Blade appears... or so Duo thinks for a moment.
It is yet another unknown.
Click the image below to see slicin'-and-dicin':
Whoever it is quickly pulverizes the enemy but doesnt say a word to us.
Kazuma is still confused when Duo says that the unknown is heading right towards them!
The unknown ignores them, though and quickly leaves the radar range..
Luckily it didn't mean you any harm, and Bless orders everyone back to the ship.
Looks like Kazuma won't have any shortage of fodder for his log...
Bless is very mortified that his customers ended up helping save his butt.
Kazuma points out that the Gundam pilots sortied on their own but that doesnt make it any better as it was the Familys duty to keep them safe.
Quatre agrees with Kazuma that it was their own choice.
Besides, Duo says he's feeling lucky even to have met the legendary Hawkeye, much less fought by his side.
Horis is impressed that the deeds of Bless's bygone youth are so widely known, and Bless informs him that his youth isn't very bygone yet!
Quatre and Duo apologize again for confusing these Trailers with space pirates, and there seem to be no hard feelings.
Kazuma allows that the true Trailers are very few in number nowadays, and there are plenty of people who seem eager to rub the Trailer name in the mud with their actions.
All that being said, Bless offers to ferry Duo and Quatre to the Earth for free, as personal repayment for helping during the battle.
Both Kazuma and Horis panic at this they are in DIRE need of cash right now but, before they can protest any more, Duo quickly accepts.
Bless assures his people that an occasional vacation from work is good for the soul.
Of course, being Trailers, they will have to find other ways to profit from the trip along the way, but for now, Duo and Quatre are getting the free ride.
Kazuma tries asking Duo for more info about his father's famous deeds, since neither Bless nor Galent talk about the old days.
Bless still won't have the old days discussed, especially since there's a schedule he wants everyone to hurry up and realign to after all, the Trailer maxim says that "Time is Money, and Money is Time".
He quickly places Duo and Quatre in charge of monitoring engineering and subpiloting - since they're no longer customers but peers, theyll have to work until they get to Earth!
They can be honorary Trailers, Kazuma thinks, and while Duo thinks hell always be Grim Reaper at heart, Kazuma thinks those small details arent important to them.
Blesss theme starts playing for the departure!
The family performs a ship-wide system-check and everything is good.
With that, Bless proclaims full speed ahead towards Earth with Kazuma inwardly being really excited to see it.
Meanwhile, some mysterious people (one apparently called Applicant(thats the masked one)), are headed for the Solar System.
They muse over how this backwater system is nevertheless the focus of a many-way power struggle, on a galactic scale.
The Radam, the Mechanoids, and even the Eviluders are all in the mix, which would make life easier for Applicant as long as what they're seeking is here.
However they will not be acting upon their arrival: the leader says they must wait eight Earth months before acting in concert.
Still, Applicant is directed to wipe out the humans in the meantime, to keep things from going awry.
The leader hopes that this voyage proves profitable, for the sake of all knowledge and culture.
Next update, I'll be going over several of the many menu options as well as doing the Unit Analysis for Duo and Quatre.
See you all then.