The Let's Play Archive

The Banner Saga Trilogy

by FairGame

Part 16: 8-2: You Can't Use Overwatch on Geography


So...last time we cleared some driftwood and hoped we'd have a clear path to Ormsdalr. Obviously we're not going to, so let's see what bullshit happens.

You look at Iver, surprised by his optimism.
: And I might sprout wings and start flying.
: Would that make up for your missing arm?
: Hey. I get to make jokes about losing my arm. Not you.
: I suppose that's fair. So, what are you worried about now?
: I think you should make use of this trainer and his tent that we haul around everywhere. You can't hesitate anymore when it comes to killing others; not when it comes to protecting your own. Let's bank the ships and make sure you're ready by challenging your skills.

Ugh, a training tutorial. Did you not see how I just crushed the previous fight, game?

Fine, whatever man. If you're gonna force me. battles. You don't have to win. Battle will end when you meet all the conditions necessary.

They seem to've tweaked this training battle from when I played on PS4. Getting the enemy to line up so that I could land a heavy imapact on 3 was NOT difficult this time. They also didn't kill the archer as their first move so that a puncture hit was impossible.

Anyway, I've already shown you how puncture, shield wall, and heavy impact works. There's no point explaining how training goes.

Ohhh. Well that's interesting.

Training battles in general do not reward renown. But doing the specialized missions the trainer offers will, one time per campaign per mission only. So...we're gonna do more of these as they unlock. But first, Eyvind!

: Not a bad festival trick, right? Care to give it a try?

: Mending? Me? Uh...
: Ha! I think I said exactly the same thing the first time a mender asked me to try.
: I thought you had to be born under a Blood Moon or be from a certain clan.
: It certainly helps if you suckled from a she-wolf as a babe.
Eyvind smiles.
: Anyone can be a mender. But the training can be...difficult.
: I'm not sure I like the way that sounds.
: You've already completed many of the lessons: tending to wounds, endurance trials, focus amid distractions. It comes naturally to you.

: But a lot of others here have done the same.
: And your ability to always think of others is something that sets you apart.
: Oh.
: You'd have to practice, day and ni--
Eyvind looks up toward the unmoving sun.
: You'd have to practice quite a bit. It wouldn't be easy. It might not even be popular with the clansmen. They're a little skittish around Juno and me.
: You're not making it sound that great.
: I've never been much of a recruiter, but mending has its advantages, both on and off the battlefield.
: Like using lightning to bring down an ancient varl bridge?
Eyvind grins and picks up the armor.
: Hopefully not. Anyway, mull it over and we'll talk about it again. I've got to check on the fighter who was wearing this.

Well...this didn't happen in my Rook game. Interesting.

Back to training. Gonna teach me how to use Thread the Needle.

That was...not difficult.

Worth the payoff though.

We're going to promote Krumur to level 5. For reasons. The same reasons are why he's going to carry the +2 armor/turn accessory.

And Bersi to level 5. For reasons. The same reasons are why he's going to carry the Namejs' Ring.

Alette's "Overwatch" is now level 2. I'll spec her into "Lucky Shot" when she hits level 9.


And, newly empowered, we hit the river again.

She hands you a piece of fruit. "They may not know how to fight, but they can keep us alive by keeping us fed..
Every few days, clansmen will forage for food. Seems like each clansman is worth .05 supplies, so with 511 clansmen we're getting around 25 supplies each time. Which is enough to keep us fed for...another few days. In other words, we're self-replenishing right now.

We don't need whatever this bullshit is.

Nothing happens. No one dies. I don't get anything.

Random event #1. Y'all voted to be cautious, so...

They seem on the up and up. And we haven't really met any evil varl.

We gain +12 clansmen, +12 fighters, and 1 varl.

Random event #2. We said not to separate families onto other ships, so instead Alette tells them to keep the children close.

Fixed event. Always happens.
: They might resupply us for our trouble.
Iver cocks an eyebrow. "And who will resupply them when they realize the trade routes are blocked by dredge?" You give him a look and wave the ships to shore.

"Keep going!" Bolverk growls. "We'll see what the dead are carrying!" The varl's comment defies tradition, but so do many things about him.
...however, Alette was voted to be cautious. Smells like a trap. We'll turn back.

Which turns out to be a smart choice. These men were planning to rob us while we were trying to rescue them.
: What about burning your village?
"It's empty," he says. "Others went north days ago, taking what little was left. Not sure what stopped the trade carts or where all the fish went. But those buildings are only good for signaling for help now."
: I don't trust you to join us. But we'll leave you with a meal.
The man looks like he has more to say, but keeps quiet and nods his thanks. He and his people have finished the food before you even push on. Rugga does not look impressed.
Not sure if Rugga wanted us to take them aboard, or not even bother with a simple act of charity. I think "cautious, but not downright callous" is a half-measure and we need to commit if we're going to look like a firm leader.

Fixed event.

This gives us the "Gormr Statue," a rank 6 relic that does knockback on strength attacks of 3+, gives 1+ strength, and also will per kill. Given what y'all said about Alette overwatch and knockback, we'll be trying this out.
Back on the ship, the clansmen discuss your whole experience along with all the nuts they collected. Smiles appear on most faces.
We get some renown and morale to go with the artifact.

We approach Godstone Aselei.
: Carved rock on a vacant island. Aselei's godstone almost looks...lonely.

Welcome to Godstone Aselei. You know the routine--we do something correct, we end up with an item. We also learn more about the lore of this world.

: She is the curves of every river, a guide for those of us travelling unfamiliar lands." The skald runs a finger over small etchings in the stone. "Inscriptions from all those who were lost, but found a way back home with her help.
: Some say her stone shows the struggle of leaving the familiar to see what's over the next hill.
He looks at the ropes tied around parts of her and smiles.
: Before the gods died, her stone supposedly stood tall and moved a few steps each year, so people are always trying to make sure she stays put.
He looks at you, grinning.
: Have you the strength to hold her or a gift with which to entice her?

You return to where the clansmen have set up camp and see someone, a woman in torn robes, slip from your tent. She blends in with the other famlies, and, after making sure nothing is amiss in your tent, you let it go.

We don't get an item. Oh well.

We are, however, forced to make camp and address the clansmen vs. fighters dilemma that got brought up with Oddleif earlier. I don't like how few fighters we have.

So we train 200, losing 200 clansmen in the bargain. We're no longer a self-sustaining caravan, but we also shouldn't die horribly in war battles. Training takes several days, which count as rest days for morale and injury purposes. It's fine.

So let's go see what Hakon wants.

: So they've all armed themselves and are running from something, but what?
: Hakon's becoming a dredge scholar, trying to understand the motivations of our enemy.
: It's just strange that we've never seen their women fight until recently. Good thing, too. We might've lost the great wars.
You think about what to say.
: What were the wars like?
: A great deal of killing on both sides. Imagine waking up to dredge attacks every night. Back then, the sun actually set. You'd wake up to a sound and see nothing but glowing eyes around you. Yngvar probably told you we never got close to pushing them back to the depths they call home.
: Actually, Iver has never said much about the past.
: Oh?

: Well, he's probably got more stories than you could hear in your short lifetime.
: Has anyone ever tried to talk to a dredge?
Both varl look at each other.
: There are rumors that some have tried and been killed in the process.
: A lot of nonsense. Skald tales about the sound of a dredge's voice making your skin fall off.

: We were too busy killing to worry about a fireside chat. Besides, they only ever make warbling sounds.
: I guess if anyone has talked to them, it'd be the Valka. But good luck getting them to give you a straight answer.
: Juno says there's a darkness coming.
: But what Valkas say and mean aren't always the same. They speak in riddles and prophecy.
: Still, it might explain why the dredge are everywhere, like someone kicked an antill. Maybe whatever's coming hit them first.
: Or maybe it's just a new tactic for a new war.
: If they've learned to crack the ground and call a giant serpent...

: I'll leave you two to figuring out the big issues.
: You should know the clansmen have been talking about us killing women and children, dredge or not. It's not sitting well with everyone, which is probably the way it should be.
: I say if it's us or them, we make sure we're still standing. I'm bothered more by your decision to destroy Einartoft's bridge.
: Let it go, Hakon. It was the best decision at the time.
: To collapse a bridge that cost thousands of varl lives to build? If it weren't for your damned horns, Yngvar, I'd swear you were an overgrown human.
The two giants begin trading insults and you step away, letting them vent.

Nothing to be done for it. Let's keep moving.

Had we separated fighter ships and civilian ships, we'd have a lot of dead children right about now.

This is the item for Godstone Aselei. It's just delayed in arriving.

Oh. Shit. Well, at least we recruited Nid last game. With her crazy sharp eyes I guess we get advance warning.

What happens if you don't have Nid, I wonder?

Very pretty!

And very deadly. The serpent has clearly been through here and completely just sundered the land.

As we approach the waterfall, we do some checks against our actions on the river.

Telling those thieves to fuck off keeps us alive. Not having civilians without fighters on a single ship means that everyone manages to row to shore.

This event could've had boatloads full of civilians go over the edge. We never got the "your boats are broken" event.

I don't think this one is avoidable.
The longships are too spread out to command a unified landing. Amid the chaos, you look at those nearby. Some of your shieldbangers look ready to rush the dredge. Bolverk and his company are close to you, hauling their sealed cart off the ship. You consider you options.
I don't consider for long.
: Follow me! We'll push them back!
Everyone on the longship jumps out as one. Rocks from slingers clack off shields and soon you're engaged in the chaos of battle.

So let's see what knockback can do with Overwatch, shall we?
By the way, that artifact we got? Aselei's Trail? +2 wil, +2 strength. Good, not great.

Bolverk's here but not playable.

We've faced much worse than this.

Except...this mission introduces some new shit.

Meet "skulkers." They have pretty shitty armor and strength, but they have HILARIOUSLY high movement. Oh, and if they're next to an allied unit, they can stealth. When stealthed, they disappear and cannot be targeted. If you accidentally run into a skulker as you try and move, it ends your movement. Not your turn. But weirdly, the skulker stays stealthed even as you trip over it. You have to do damage to the skulker or wait for it to attack you in order to make it targetable again.

I find it best to kill them.

A little ways into the battle, we're dominating, and then this guy dashes forward, slams his shield into the ground, and transforms the terrain.
: That big one's their leader. I bet they all run if he falls! we have a different mission condition than usual: defeat the leader. I don't want to, though. I want to kill EVERYTHING to get the maximum renown.
Also, that unit is called a Dredge Direguard. Its ability is to make tiles into hazards (-1 strength if you walk over any tile) that are boons to dredge (+1 armor if they walk over it.)

It's kinda hard to get a good picture of, but goddamn I start to see what you mean about Alette and knockback overwatch. That stoneguard and grunt have been trying to close ranks on me for a couple turns, and every time they get close, Alette shoots them, it crits, doing 4 damage. 4 > 3, so the Gormr Statue allows me to knock them back, ending their turn.

I let Eyvind bonk the direguard into submission. We win.

: You made some tough calls on that river. If those ships had been loaded down with more people, no telling how many we'd have lost.
: Thanks. Too bad the landing was so rough.
Hakon squints into the distance.
: Their next attack is coming and this time, they'll come in force.

: Any chance of fighting through them?
: No. Not even before the loses we just took. Best we can do is become a wall they get tired of punching.
Juno and Eyvind approach.
: There may be a way out of this situation. A gamble, to be sure, but we believe it's our only option.
: Gods. It's bad when a Valka option is the only option.

Juno gives Eyvind a look.
: So what's your idea?
Eyvind sighs.
: With Juno's help, I think I can get us across the chasm, but it won't be easy. For me or for the caravan.
: I need to help Eyvind and calm these people so they are ready to march when he is ready. You need to keep this area clear of dredge at all costs. If they--
The sound of a warhorn cuts her off and everyone turns to look. The dredge assault begins.

Fight a shitload of dredge for an undetermined amount of time, and do it without Eyvind healing our armor? Let's build some barricades.

Our victory in the previous battle lets us grant Alette lucky shot. Now she's got a decent chance to hit even the heavily-armored dudes with an overwatch shot.'s the gimmick. We've got some chokepoints thanks to the barricades. And we've got Egil and Iver. And...if anything gets to Eyvind and Juno, we're in deep shit. So let's hold the line.

The enemy force isn't all that threatening. That fire slinger needs to die because his bombs will fuck us up as we cluster around the barricades.

A little ways into the fight, more dredge start joining.

The slinger plants a copule bombs that will do 4/4 damage to Iver. That's bad, but I've got a plan.

Eyvind, meanwhile...levitates an entire chunk of land that fell from the cliffside.

So...that's the plan. Levitate the fallen ground and make a desperate crossing. While Juno uses her mind magic to keep everyone from freaking out that they're defying gravity and reliant on one man's magic not running out lest they all fall to their deaths.

More fallen land comes into range.

Slinger bombs don't explode until the slinger's next turn. Which is after Egil. So Krumr uses "Forge Ahead" to get Iver a turn before that, thus allowing him to get away from the bombs.

And instead he tempests the shit out of these hapless grunts.

OK, that's that. Just gotta clean up here.

Screenshots really don't do it justice. Alette with overwatch is some EXTREME bullshit when paired with knockback.

I'm canceling enemy turns left and right.

Eyvind screams. Turns out moving millions of tons of land with your mind or whatever is exhausting.

Wait, what? But I cleaned up! I lost 148 people? And 8 injuries? Who?

Let's go.

As the caravan scrambles from right to left, new chunks of land rise up to meet us, just barely in time to keep us from plummeting off the front.

But we're a long way from crossed over, and the dredge are hot on our heels.

Eyvind's the only chance we have of getting across this bridge. But even with Juno's calming magic, people are going to freak the fuck out. And the dredge are either fearless or stupid because they'll follow us across the bridge. So...we need to figure out a way to get across here and make it easier on Eyvind or we're all dead.

A.) Let him concentrate. This is probably tough enough.
B.) Ask if we can help. He said we had the makings of a mender, and even a fractional mender could make a difference on top of his considerable abilities.
C.) Give him advice on what giant goddamn land masses to lift, and which to let go.

A.) Let them come. We can kill dredge, if it comes to it. We can't kill gravity.
B.) Have Alette, Nid, and Oddleif try and shoot them on the run. We're not like the rest of the archers. We're precision shots.
C.) Have the varl lead a charge into the back ranks and try to knock them off.

A.) Leave it as is. He wouldn't have volunteered for this if he couldn't handle it.
B.) Drop supplies. We can't eat supplies if we're dead.
C.) Drop whatever's in the cart that Bolverk and the Ravens have been lugging since Boersgard. They're a bunch of jerks who haven't helped us anyway.
D.) Oh hey, Governor Rugga and his retinue are clumped up. We could probably get rid of them and make it look like an accident...