Part 51: Coda 6: Siding with RuggaCODA 6: SIDING WITH RUGGA
Let's pick things up at the end of Banner Saga 2, right before the parlay between Rugga and Meinolf.
Except this time, let's side with Rugga instead of the king.
The former governor's eyes look full of mischief.
Without warning, Rugga pulls his cloak pin dagger and lunges at King Meinolf who shifts slightly, the blade only piercing his side. Before anyone can react, Rugga slinks behind his fighters who are charging towards Hakon and King Meinolf.
: This is a damn shame. But I have to get my people inside those walls. You would...depths...you are doing the same thing. This is leading, right?
: I'm sorry it's come to this. Joined banners or not, we were clansmen.
And so we lose all our varl, along with Ludin and Yrsa. It's a defensible choice, I guess, but also one that cripples us and makes an enemy of our former friends. All because Rugga and Meinolf are a bunch of idiots.
Whatever; we'll just overwatch 'em to death.
Alette has gotten kind of bloodthirsty!
The enemy party includes Ludin, Yrsa, Hakon, and Meinolf. Along with a few generics. Each former hero comes with his/her equipped item; you'll get it if you down them. Killing Meinolf will end the fight.
Fortunately, it seems like downing any of them doesn't kill them.
Alette's not kidding. Meinolf can't take damage while king's guards yet live. They take health damage instead of him. And Meinolf regenerates armor.
Gimme back that Worldhook, Yrsa.
And that Eyeless Rift, Ludin. (Amusing that Egil got the kill here.)
You get Dagr in this fight. I figured I'd have him down the King.
This is the same fight as in the other branch, except now we're on the opposite side. We're trying to take the city alongside Rugga, rather than push back Rugga's assault.
And this fight is BULLSHIT.
The smart play here is to have Oddleif take out enemy archers. Otherwise Alette will get picked apart by Bird of Prey before she can set up a proper overwatch trap. And the coming fight is a pain in the ass.
This makes it...slightly less awful.
Eirik's coming on this one because it's gonna be a slog, and we need a willpower battery.
Oddleif's under AI control over there in the corner. She won't really do anything of use. Hakon's still here. Not sure if he'd have been replaced with another varl had he gone down in the previous fight.
Meinolf is poisoned again. And he'll take 1 damage every turn. And...that's kind of how we'll kill him because otherwise it's just awful.
You can't, Hakon. Nobody can. He's as good as dead; we just don't know it yet.
Here is why this fight sucks: Kingsguards will enter the field every other turn, and they have 15/16 stats for armor/strength. They clump up next to one another giving everyone shield wall. Meinolf gets a modified version of Ubin's "Stronger Together," where he can force adjacent units to attack everyone at once.
They soak up any damage to Meinolf.
If we had a 20+ strength monster with high crit, we could maybe burst through Meinolf's armor and knock him down. But that's something that really only a varl can do. And, well...the varl aren't on our side anymore. Maybe this fight's better with Ludin dead so that you keep the varl as you side with Rugga. Here, though...I briefly considered letting everyone die while Eirik was in stealth, and then just resting until Meinolf succumbed to the poison. It's THAT much of a pain in the ass to fight this battle.
Seriously: the field is just strewn with kingsguard corpses, and they never stop coming.
Eventually Meinolf ends up low enough on strength that Alette can take him out.
It's not enough to get us inside, though.
: A nasty affair, taking over a kingdom.
Rugga is near you, rubbing the stump of his missing hand.
: I wish I could've done more today, but I doubt the king will last much longer inside the walls.
The closed gates, the stench of death - all of it threatens to turn your stomach and make you sick.
: I'm...I'm glad we're still alive through all of this, but...
: I know.
: We fought so hard to get here. For what?
: We made it to Arberrang, but not inside. We're no better off out here than in Boersgard.
: It wasn't supposed to be like this. We were going to save everybody.
: I'm glad the varl were able to make it inside, but I hate being separated from them.
Oddleif's eyes look as empty as you feel as she slowly glances around.
: What now?
: Well, we can't stay out here. As much as I'd like to sleep, we'll have to get behind those walls. Somehow. And then there's the Darkness.
...The rest of this is identical to the final conversation between Alette and Oddleif on the Meinolf path. The scout runs up, discovers that Canary's people murdered everyone in Tolir, it ends on a cliffhanger and we go to Iver vs. Bolverk at Manaharr.
So let's throw that fight, shall we?
This took a while. If you don't remover the Bellower buff from Bolverk, he's damn near invincible. Pretty sure Iver could've done it with better luck, but I wasn't really trying anyway.
So really all that changes is you don't get a chance to throw Bellower in the river before running away.
Which means that when the Serpent arrives to revive a dead Bolverk...
He awakens right next to Bellower. And removes the Silver Arrow that Rook gave his life for.
This in turn will get Krumr killed next game.
And that's it for Banner Saga 2's iteration of this path. We'll pick things back up in Banner Saga 3 by importing our save file.
: Alette. They're almost ready with the battering ram again. Get up.
You're exhausted. The gates of Arberrang have been closed to you and many other refugees, and now you've joined an uphill battle to change that, both literally and figuratively.
: Thinking this through.
: Don't. There's a wall between us and Arberrang. Simple. Ah, I know that look. "Of all the choices I could have made, why side with Rugga?"
: And you couldn't let King Meinolf abandon thousands of us out here, with the dredge on the horizon and the darkness closing. Let me make this easy for you. Once we get through that wall, we go our separate ways. You won't see the governor of Boersgard again.
: Depends on whether we succeed today.
: What's the plan?
: At my word, clansmen start fires further down the wall. That should split their attention from the gates. Archers behind my shields as they run the battering ram forward.
: They'll be waiting to greet us with swords and axes.
: That's why you're here. Who knows? Maybe they'll lay down their blades at the mere sight of the hero from Skogr.
: And if the gates stand, again? Even if we bash our way in...
: It won't stand, not this time. Trust me. Just remind your horse folk whose side they're on, will you? They're making the rest of us uneasy.
This is where the lack of development time for Banner Saga 3 really shows. A few missing conversations, an abrupt ending, and the Rugga path almost immediately going from "Rugga's a dick but he has a point" to "Rugga is irredeemably evil and you're gonna get railroaded onto the one true storyline." Which in a series where most choices have meaningful and lasting consequences, is some "You chose Anderson, but Udina is Councillor because we said so" levels of dumb and lazy.
So let's get this over with. Tiny roster...
All we have to do is get into the city. The map will keep throwing reinforcements at us, but with a horseborn we'll just race up before they can do much to us.
As in the Rugga fight at the beginning of our canonical BS3 play, there's a giant fire hazard that comes into play thanks to someone tipping over a brazier.
Yeah, yeah. I'm on it.
Tons of these guys will pour through the gate. And if they were smart, they'd just stand on the one square that's my victory condition. But they're not smart.
Ro'Ech with a -aggro item means they just kinda ignore him as he dashes up and in.
And that's that.
Seriously--that's all that's really different. Because now Meinolf's gonna send Petrus out to let everyone into the city, just as he did when we went out and captured Rugga ourselves in our canonical Saga.
He's not real happy to see us, unlike the other version of this conversation, but it doesn't change what happens--everyone gets to come in, Rugga in chains, and we'll go talk to Meinolf.
As we went in, we had the "Canary killed everyone" conversation. Wanted to see if this would get rid of Canary or ALL horseborn.
: Mistake. You need horseborn, we not need you.
Canary screams as she departs, parting the crowds as her horseborn look for a place of their own.
: Better find some blankets or something to cover Scathach and our other friends, for now.
: Good idea. To most of these people they're all the same.
So...we just lose Canary.
We meet up with Hakon as he greets Fasolt.
Hakon doesn't join us here, though. I suspect he'll only join in the Raze event if we bribe them with supplies. But other than a distinct lack of heroes, it's all about the same from here on in.
We do get Ludin and Yrsa back, which is kinda nice, at least.
And that's that. I can't think of anything else to show off that isn't an enormous pain in the butt to get triggered.