The Let's Play Archive

The Banner Saga

by ProfessorProf

Part 9: Day 9: Hogun & Mogun

If we let the village leader have his way, everyone dies.

Iver steps forward. The thugs hesitate. As you pull your axe you notice that Alette is nowhere to be seen.

It would probably be smarter to bring Tryggvi along for variety, but I want the brothers to get a proper chance to shine in their first engagement.

As cool as this opportunity looks, I don't think it would be a great idea to split up this badly. This fight is harder than it appears.

The main considerations I have for this formation: Having all of my archers protected while having both enemy archers within range of my melee fighters. Let the battle begin!

If I really wanted to, I could actually kill that archer on the first turn. Iver's just that strong.

I don't fancy the idea, though - it would put the enemy units at a 3-to-2 turn advantage.

Instead, I carve a chunk out of the Thrasher, which is a new kind of enemy unit. Hogun and Mogun are both Thrashers.

Egil is going to play lure again. I could hit the archer, but:

1. Doing so would cost Egil a point of will from movement.
2. At 7 Strength, the archer isn't really much of a threat to any of us yet.
3. That would leave Egil within punishing range of four enemies.
4. Just being this close will hopefully make the archer panic and fall back again.

So instead of those things, Stone Wall time.

On the other side, meanwhile, Iver is doing an admirable job at tanking. The Thrasher takes 1 point of Armor damage in retaliation.

This move probably won't be hugely useful - I mainly want to see whether or not the enemy AI is smart enough to walk around Rain marks.

The test is inconclusive - instead of advancing on Egil, he turned around to join the ranks fighting Iver.

Stats-wise, the brothers aren't great. The only difference between them is that Hogun has 2 more Armor, while Mogun has 2 more Strength.

For now, no special moves, just forming a shield wall with Iver and dropping the archer to 3 Strength.

Possibly knowing that running won't help her, she makes the best of her doomed position by harassing Rook.

Mogun forms a shield wall with Egil, otherwise not acting.

The second enemy Backbiter uses Run Through to get a decent hit off on Iver. He's starting to not look so good.

Rook isn't in position to do anything particularly cool, but now that he has 2 Exertion and 2 Break, he's shaping up to be a very nice Armor shredder.

SHIT. Important tidbit I overlooked: Enemy archers have Puncture, just like mine do. Iver has taken a lot of Armor damage this turn.

Now, let's see if this works like I think it will work.

It does! Iver uses Battering Ram to knock the Backbiter into Oddlief's trap. Cool, but admittedly only does 1 point each of Armor and Strength damage.

More importantly, it broke up all of the enemy shield walls.

This isn't that much of a hit, but it turns out it's still pretty important...

...because the Backbiter follows it up with another Run Through on Iver. 4 Armor, 2 Strength remaining.

The other archer is up next, but Oddlief can't reach that one. I'm not sure if Iver is doomed or not, because I'm still hazy on how Puncture works, mathwise.

Well enough, it turns out.

I think my mistake with Iver was on the very first turn - he moved too deep into the enemy formation, letting them surround him and form shield walls.

Okay, before this gets any more painful, let's see what these brothers are good for.

The Thrasher active ability, Bloody Flail, hits four times in a row, each hit doing either 1 point of Strength damage or one point of Armor damage at random (I think the last hit is always Strength, but I might be wrong). The fourth attack does +1 damage for each ally adjacent to the attacker, which in this case was none.

Thanks, little girl in the previous update!

Mogun could have easily killed her, but I'm not quite ready to begin the death cascade that marks endgame yet, so instead I'll leave her with 1 Strength.

The best role for any injured unit is as an Armor breaker. The computer knows this.

Dangerously low on Armor, Rook falls back to the only tile that Thrasher can't reach in one turn.

This works well - instead of chasing Rook, he turns around to poke at the armor of my much sturdier northern front.

For his trouble, he is weakened to the point of uselessness.

Seriously, I should make that girl an honorary hero.

Okay, time to wrap things up. Starting with the Thrasher, because he's the furthest down the initiative order.

Careful! If I kill the northern Archer or eastern Backbiter now, then the western backbiter (7 Strength, 7 Armor) will be able to get a turn in before Rook. That could cause some serious damage.

So instead, he kills this one!

If this battle wasn't almost over, I'd be worried about that.

And with that, the enemy has nothing left to threaten me with.

Rook's active, Mark Prey, is a great choice for when he's low on Strength and you really need to kill someone.

Hogun softens the last one up, and Mogun deals the killing blow.

Egil promotes.

+165 Clansmen
+22 Fighters
+10 Renown
+30 Supplies

I feel bad for the rest of the village, but there's only so much we can do.

Day 9 begins with a much larger caravan. The new supplies and the new mouths to feed from the last couple days about balance out, leaving us with 17 days of supply.

Oddleif has gathered up the long banner from the caravan, and smiles warmly as she passes it to Alette.

What's this about?
I was hoping you'd sew up the banner with everything that has happened since we left Skogr. Come find me another time, Rook, and we'll talk.

Before you can comment, she departs.

Oh. Then that means...

You're both quiet for a moment, while Alette unfurls the banner.

Oddleif has been teaching me how to sew.
She speaks pretty highly of you.
Can we read the part about mom?

You nod. On the banner has been sewn the story of the families who have lived in Skogr throughout the years, just as is done on every banner in every town.

I wish she were here. But I'm kind of glad she isn't.

The section of banner about your family is short, but Alette has been sewing in colorful designs.

Why do you say that?
So she doesn't have to deal with... all of this. Dredge. Leaving home. And... why did you have to kill those men? In the village?

Because... the dredge are terrifying. Every time we have to fight them I just want to run. But... I don't want to kill a person. Please.

Alette smiles at this, then her face sinks again.

I guess I would do it, if I really had to. But, do we have to?
I know what you mean.
Yeah, I know. Dad... I think you're doing a good job.

She hugs you. ou spend the rest of your time together, sewing new verses into the banner. For better or worse, the story of Skogr is your burden now.