Part 3: BF3 West Orlando
Milanor's old fiend Kylier destroyed a key structure at the Jaws of the Wolf, which blocked the Imperial Army's pursuit. Thanks to her, Yggdra and the others were able to escape the Black Knight Leon, and safely reach Orlando Plains.
Once there, they found the Royal Cavalry under attack by the Imperial Court Sorcerer Eudy, with only Durant's unit remaining...
I don't believe it... It was quite sizable before...
Well, they won't hold out much longer. What's the plan?
Boss! We're back!
So, how's it look out there?
The Royal Army is nearly sunk. But the 3rd Calvary is still putting up a good fight...
The 3rd Cavalry... That's Durant's unit!
They're doing their best, but they're short on manpower. We might be able to help if we hustle.
Alright... All men, to battle! We've got to get there while there's still an army to meet!
You won't last forever, so you might as well give up now. If you surrender, I'll spare your lives.
Surely you jest! A Royal Knight never surrenders! We will give you one last chance to withdraw.
Well, aren't we brave? Good luck, tough guy... you'll need it. Get them! Finish off what's left of the Royal Army!
Boss! The enemy can use magic!
Keep up your guard, guys! If we don't join up with the Royal Army, we're in trouble.
The first part of this mission shouldn't be too hard. The few knights in the way will fall easily enough to Milanor, and the Fencers should be a fair fight for Yggdra. Let's see what kind of damage we can -
Or not. The enemy fighters get the first round.
Here's our first look at our new man. We have the advantage in Gen and Atk, so there's not too much to worry about if we can't get to him right away.
And the battle starts off in our favour. Durant shrugged off the charge thanks to his 3 Gen, and manages to knock off one knight. Knights are a large class, so instead of 8 characters, they only have 4, but with roughly double the strength.
We're winning, but only because of the random number generator. It's easy, and quite common, for the enemy knights to win this fight, and we can't do shit about it not even set Durant to aggressive.
Durant pulls through, as we expected. The enemy knight still has morale, and will be around to annoy us longer.
And he's going to sponge our exp until we rescue him.
Durant's turn now. He's not going to do anything.
Time is of the essence in this mission, especially if I want the quick clear MVP bonus. To do this in the 32 turns it requires, it's imperative I clear this group out ASAP, since both the melee group and the witch group have separate turns. Including Durant's, that's 3 turns for every 1 of mine added for the quick clear count.
That being said, Revolution has 10 move, and 1300 power. It's enough to get both Yggdra and Milanor into the fray, and if I do slightly more than 80% damage, I will kill this knight in one round. There's no ability modifier, since Milanor's attack equal's the Knight's gen, so I'll need to win 5-0, and add my 40% for head alive.
Milanor in action
Christ, that'll do it. Milanor gets credit for the first critical hit in the game. Based on your luck, you have a chance to perform one of these on your charge. If successful, you will deal your regular damage and defeat the head in one shot.
Afterwards, you have a few seconds of free damage to deal, while the enemy is stuck in a state of panic.
We get a 10% bonus for a critical hit too. My plan was pretty risky. A 5-0 vs a knight is quite possible, but it would've been a gamble. If this didn't work, I'd have to shave off turns elsewhere to make up for it, since this knight kill was pivotal in my plan for part A.
The witches use up their turn staying still, thankfully, followed by the knight's turn again. They go after Durant.
Durant is victorious again, and removes this knight from the map. We're down to one knight, and two fencers..
One of whom moves in on his fallen ally's position. This gives Yggdra an opening to attack that fencer, without needing to fear an attack from the other.
I pick Mirage A 4 move, 1350 power card. I don't plan on using this card much beyond this level, but I need a low move card with high power to crack this fencer's 910 morale. Yggdra has a bit of an advantage in the Gen department, but her Block Counter is much more important. I'm confident about her offensive ability, but I don't want her to be targeted by a fencer on his turn.
It takes most of a skill bar, but I manage to beat the fencer 3-0.
24 + 10 + 40 is good for 74% of 1350, or 999 damage. If I had lost even one more Valkyrie, I'd only be doing 891 damage. This battlefield has been going overwhelmingly in my favour so far.
Durant's next defensive rotation has him take out a fencer. Because of the Knight's weapon advantage, and large size, it's not uncommon for them to take a critical hit and still defeat a sword user. With the knights out of the way, Durant doesn't have a lot to fear.
One knight left. He's holding a Medallion, which is the basic morale restoring item. I don't want to waste any turns doing this, so I move Milanor to a location beside Durant, and I give myself enough movement to put Yggdra next to Durant as well, in case of a failed assault.
When I think about it, this is a damn near impossible attack. With 6 members alive (48%) and the head bonus, I'd normally to 1276 damage. The knight is also on a town, though, and gains a 20% defensive bonus. Never the less, I pull out the big gun and go for it. Worst case scenario, I get some Exp and Pow.
Figures. It was a great fight on our end, but not enough. I can let the knight attack Milanor on his turn, but that will drain 4 more turns on the clock, and I'm already on turn 11.
Whaddya mean, who are we!? We're here to save your bacon!
Help...? You're allies!?
I'm Milanor, the leader of these lovable scamps. Who's Durant?
I'm here to return something you lost.
Princess!? You're safe...!
These men saved me... It is good to see you unharmed as well.
That I am... However, my ranks have been somewhat thinned.
Fortunately, my pride as a Royal Knight has suffered no damage! Princess, this is for you.
This is... the White Phoenix! The Fantasinian flag...
The White Phoenix stands for justice. You are the throne's sole heir... the Kingdom's last hope... The Royal Cavalry shall fight alongside you to the end! We are at your command!
B-But... What should I...?
You want what's yours? Then, there's only one thing to do...
...I understand. To defeat the Empire that took our homes and families... To bring peace back to our Kingdom of Fantasinia... I hereby form the Royal Liberation Army!
Long live the Princess!
I will fight for Paltina until I breathe my last!
Durant joins the party, and brings with him Ace Guard. It's pretty much awesome.
Bronquia has placed a blockade on Paltina, our capital. However, they have not yet attacked the eastern regions... We should retreat to the east and regroup.
Sounds about right. We're short on manpower.
I understand. We shall make for the east, then.
Princess! The Imperial Army is giving chase! Their lead force is Eudy's sorceress unit!
Tch... They don't make it easy for us, do they?
Princess, in order to safely advance east... We must attack our pursuers to prevent them from following.
He's right. If there's enemies ahead, we could be caught in between.
Very well. Let's engage them here!
We all on the same page? Good... Now let's get 'em!
They won't escape me! I was so close... If it wasn't for those meddling thieves...
Magister, they seem to have taken refuge up ahead!
If we let them escape, then it was all a waste of time!
Their haste is their undoing... They couldn't stay together.
Now's our chance. This should be a piece of cake!
Esq. Milanor, please take care of the Princess. I'll--
No. I'll fight with you.
Don't worry about her, Durant. She can handle herself.
It'll speed things up, too.
...Very well. Please be careful, Princess.
Thank you, but you need not worry.
Shit, that's a lot of text. Anyways, Durant's mention of formation finally opens up the main mechanic of the game unions. Whenever a male unit starts an attack, any friendlies within two diagonal spaces join the fight. Likewise with females any friendly within two spaces vertically or horizontally join. The same holds true with the enemy forces. When the battles start, each unit gets paired off vs. an enemy in the union.
Let's take a quick look at the enemies. Fencers are 1,2,2,1, and mostly just in the way. Witches are 1,1,3,2 that high Tec can cause a lot of damage on a charge, and they have a full weapon advantage against anyone of our units. Thankfully, they have low Gen and Atk. The Knights are all 2,2,2,1, but this one is on a bridge.
Knights have ( O Bridge ), meaning he will be one mean son of a bitch to fight. He'll have his +4 levels, meaning he's on equal footing with Milanor and his axe advantage. Bridges normally give a 10% Geo Defense as well, but Knights gain 20. He will be one tough nut to crack. However, I want that bridge before the witches show up, so Durant can abuse it.
Fucked up the screen shot here, but Yggdra found a Kokorinut.
Now we can see a union in work. I move Milanor just up and right from Durant, and have Durant start an attack. We can see Durant is against the first Knight to his left, but diagonally down from him we see the bridge Knight joining the fight. I pull out Mirage again, mostly for its power. Both of our characters should be fairly well off against their opponents, but now that unions are in play, skill and rage gauges change.
Any leftover skill after a battle with be transferred to the next person in line. The same holds for rage. Since the enemy will likely have at least one full rage bar when the battle on the bridge starts, that Knight will be near Red Star efficiency. Milanor can't repel firepower of that magnitude. With Mirage's four movement, Milanor will also have a full skill bar, and should be able to even the odds.
The battle splash screen shows how many units are on each side.
Durant makes short work of his opponent, and Mirage is strong enough to go for the kill. One thing we can see here is large units each count as two small units on the Surviving Units modifier.
Milanor does surprisingly well against this knight, but it's all thanks to the RNG. Both sides have equal attack, and equal strength, so it could have been anyone's match. The hefty 20% Geo defense keeps the Knight in the game, though
And all units that participate in battles (not just the union) gain exp.
During the Witches' turn, they shamble back and forth, just blowing movement.
The Fencer comes up to lead his side's union. He'll be no match for Durant, but we have equal strength on the next fight.
We can see where this is going. Normally the Fencer would've been able to deal at least one damage to a spear user on their charge, and likely did here, but since the Knights are double strength, none go down.
Milanor's fight goes well too. This is what I was expecting on the first round a very close battle. It will be enough to finish him off, though.
This knight was the group's leader, which you can generally tell by who holds a medallion. When the leader goes down, the rest of his team usually retreat.
Whether it was worth it to bum rush him, causing two untouched units to retreat - or not - was worth it, I can't say. It would've been an easy 80 card power, and some Exp. I got pretty focused on the clock, though, and the witches can be a real pain in the ass.
That was dangerous... Someone could have been hurt.
This turn I use Banish (7 Mov, 1240 Pow) to have Durant take the bridge (and the dropped Medallion) and have Yggdra pick up one more item. It's a little risky using her in this stage, since she never has the combat advantage.
The near Witch attacks Durant, and has a decent charge. Durant's counter does equal damage. Luckily, I have the bridge, and a decent skill bar, so I can keep the advantage.
The first Witch falls, and the second steps up to Durant. Meanwhile, a Witch in the back row takes over the western bridge. It's unfortunate, since I want Durant to take that one when it's time to press forward.
Using Sanctuary (8 Mov, 1100 Pow) I move Milanor into a position to assist Durant against this Witch. We can see here I have two members in my union, but the enemy only has one. Starting in the second battle, she's highlighted yellow indicating a battle penalty. Every battle after the first in a given union, that character starts with one less unit. Milanor will only be up against an 8v7, thus giving him the predicted advantage.
I also move Yggdra up to the front, but not in a position to join the union.
Durant wins his battle, but due to Sanctuary's low power the Witch survives.
And Milanor gets a nice 8 vs 7, as planned.
But Damn, he needed it. Even with their pitiful stats and our advantage, I was expecting to lose that as I watched it.
Using Steal's massive 12 movement, I throw Durant and Milanor up to battle the next Witch. I have some extra movement to keep Yggdra on item duty, as well. This hunter trades the fur I stole last level, and gives me a Fur Coat a much nicer item.
I don't have a bridge to help Durant any more, so this battle vs the Witch doesn't look good at all. Thankfully Durant starts with 3 Gen, to counteract the Witch's 3 Tec, and Durant's 3 Atk blows the Witch's 1 Atk away.
Near the end of the fight I double check the Witch's morale. There's no way I can kill her in this shot, with Steal's 1120 power. I decide to spend the rest of the battle in passive mode, so Milanor has a fighting chance. Durant, and his potential 4 vs 1 advantage, can afford to slow things down. I manage to build up 34% that Milanor can use next fight, and he'll need it.
Equal charge and counter damage, and the Witch is nearly in Max. Thankfully we're up to 65% skill, so we can do this whole thing in aggressive. We also have double the Witch's attack, so it'll be close.
I just want to reiterate how lucky I've been this battlefield. So many of these clashes could have gone either way. This is as perfect a run as I could have asked for.
I was expecting Eudy to be a bitch and take the bridge I had just cleared, but she does the even worse option for me, and takes the village which gives her a 20% Geo Defense instead. She's quite a bit stronger than her forces, too 2,2,3,3.
Such was not my intention.
It's time to take out the hammer, Mind Change. It will take two good clashes to finish her. I have Durant go first, because he's slightly stronger than Milanor right now. That extra Gen and Atk go a long way.
Well this is shitty. Witches gain fire damage while they're in Rage mode, and Eudy has a staff equipped that increases fire damage. It may have been a close fight, until this popped up.
You just can't help losing some times. The only place I would've stood a chance would have been on the bridge, but Eudy wouldn't budge. This early mission can be quite difficult, because with a lack of equipment and no card powers, we have nothing to gain an advantage in this situation.
Milanor, being the total gentleman he is, wrecks Eudy. He finishes this round 5-0 against her, but she still has 650 morale to go. With Mind Change's now 1546 Pow, I'll be able to defeat her with even one surviving unit (48%).
No... The battle has just begun.
Most named characters, if not all, have a variety of speeches with every one of your party members. These are triggered when you stop adjacent to them, and are altered depending on if you win or lose.
Eudy comes straight back with an attack of her own. Even with her combat penalty vs Milanor, she's looking to win both fights.
Witches objectively have the best animations in the game
And no matter how good your defense is, this will happen... a lot. There are a few items that can stop critical hits, but you can't predict whether they will matter or not.
Again, Milanor doesn't take any shit from her.
And here's something nice. Since Eudy won last round, her entire Rage bar is empty. This will be an easy fight from here on.
That was turn 22. We're in good shape to take on whatever bullshit they have planned now.
Princess, shall we give chase?
No time! Looks like another company moving in!
They seem to be nothing more than a loose band of rabble... Destroy them, men! Charge!
Are they a pursuit unit as well?
Probably. We should deal with them while we're at it. Let's show 'em what we got!
Oh good, it's their turn first.
And Milanor is boned. She's going to crash against the brick wall that is Durant, though.
No surprises here.
Aegina is quite the beefcake. She's also a contender for the most annoying character to fight against. We see her all the fucking time, and her items / cardskill will end us if we don't take every precaution. Her guards are only 1,2,2,2.
I don't take any offensive move this turn, but I get Durant in front of Milanor, and bring Yggdra up. She will participate against Aegina, who is the odd Valkyrie out in this picture. The enemy Valkyries attack us, and it will be the two of them vs. Durant.
The first battle doesn't hold any surprises.
But here's a shot at the second. Durant, while having a battle penalty, still fights at full strength. This is another advantage to large units they only receive a penalty every other clash.
Again, nothing to see here.
Let's take a look at Aegina. Her special characteristics should look familiar, since she shares three with Yggdra. However, the game gives us a big fuck-you here; she has an equipped item. Look at her weapon. Now look at her luck. Milanor is the only one that can defeat her and take her item. He's also up against a statistically superior fighter, plus fighting against a weapon disadvantage. I'd advise skipping it.
If you come near me, I shall strike you down!
Hmph... Do you think a little girl like you is a match for us?
Here's what I'm thinking:
Revolution is powerful enough that Aegina will die after a 50% victory, and a 100% victory. I can pretty much control exactly by how much Yggdra wins, so it will be close to 50. The only one capable of dealing 100% against her is Durant, and that's only with a critical hit not likely. Therefore, she should be at the brink of death, and any additional win should knock her out.
Because of her position, Yggdra can pull Durant and Milanor into a union against her. Milanor is on the safety of the village (in case he loses) and Durant is on his bridge to get as close as possible to that 100% victory. I also want Yggdra first because she has Block Counter, and another really powerful advantage against Valkyries.
Milanor is third in the union, giving him a two-unit lead vs Aegina. Having Durant second also lets me fill my skill gauge, because holy fuck Milanor will need it. Might as well go for it.
Yggdra's charge isn't too bad.
Aegina drills the fuck out of her though. By the time her Rage bar fills once, it's a 5v5. This is Yggdra's time to shine, though. Valkyries deal holy damage while in Rage, and Yggdra is immune to holy damage. Flash attacks still deal damage, but those are suitably rare.
I gain a 3-man lead in during that time, but Max mode disables elemental damage again.
And it's still a stupid close battle.
Right about where I expected. A 100% victory would almost kill her now, but Yggdra was slightly under 50%.
Durant is in good form when the Attack phase starts. I let him go passive.
But fuck, Aegina drills into him too.
She's on the brink of defeat, though. Pretty much any victory will take her out.
This is just a war of attrition, now. I have double the man-power; she has double the strength.
The skill bar is almost empty. If we're going to have any chance at this, Aegina will have to fall now.
And she does. This was also a fight that could have gone horribly her way even with her 2-man disadvantage.
Yggdra bags a nice level up from this. She gains one small star in both Gen and Atk.
What? How!? They're not even real warriors...
Commander Aegina! It's dangerous to remain here!
The quick clear bonus limit is 32 turns. It looks like I have room to spare, but if I had even took one more turn to kill that knight in the first segment, that would've added four more turns. One extra turn to kill the knight commander on the bridge in the second, and that would've added 2 more.
I hope this sword will be worth it. Spoiler: It will be. I also picked up Eudy's Flame Staff, from the village where she dropped it.
And it will be because of this.
You're not bad with a sword, y'know that?
I was just desperate...
Still, we can chalk up the Liberation Army's first win.
Plus, we've bought ourselves plenty of time. Let's use it well and get some distance between us and here.
As you say.
I was unbelievably lucky for most of this battle. I usually lose a handful more encounters, which pushes the elusive Quick Clear out of the way. I put in about 10 good tries in to get it this well. They ranged from slow, to Durant losing 5 encounters before I even rescued him.
Versus Eudy: Durant on a bridge will counter her weapon advantage, and with his high Gen/Atk, the fight goes smoothly. She crits a lot, though, due to her luck.
Versus Aegina: Durant, on a bridge, with Aggression will basically trivialize her. Milanor's fight against her is always a risky gamble. She can easily counter for 6 or so damage. Yggdra is competent against her, but only on the offense. You also need to resist going aggressive, because she'll resist your holy damage as you resist hers.
Overall, this is an annoying level. There are only two terrain pieces you can exploit, and you can't gather much of an advantage elsewhere. If this was 10 missions from now, and I could use equipment and cards, I wouldn't think much of it. This early on though, you feel the sting.