Part 8: BF8 Black Rose Domain
The battle at Florand ended with the Royal Army victorious, and the principality of Embellia essentially ruined.
What was one small battle was rapidly becoming a giant vortex, dragging in everything around it.
The Royal Army headed north for Verlaine Hills, a former Fantasinian territory. When they reached the eastern portion, the Black Rose Domain, a tremendous sound split the sky, and flames arose in the distance.
Rosary, the scion of the house of the White Rose that rules the western area had begun invading the Black Rose Domain with her supernatural golems.
Verlaine Hills, Princess. I would guess this is the Black Rose's domain. It is governed by Roswell, of the house of Branthese.
Sheesh, there's a real commotion going on here... Hey! What the hell is that?
Lord Roswell! It's an ambush! Our towns are being attacked!
Golems!? Is the Empire here already!?
The people are under attack!
This isn't good... Well, what are we doing sitting here?
First things first, nobody has any equipment anymore. We've lost a few stats with the loss of our starting gear. Let's take a look.
Most notably, Nietzsche has lost 1 Atk, and Yggdra has lost 1 Gen. Not terrible, but it all adds up. Milanor and Yggdra are getting a little low on the morale front too, so let's fix that.
That should put Milanor at 3827, and Yggdra at 2386 sufficient to handle a few losses. I hold on to the medallions if possible, especially if I have items I won't use sitting around. Since medallions restore based off a percentage, you'll recover more back when your max is higher.
I may as well help out Durant, too. His morale is fine, but his Tec is becoming a little annoying. This Goat Milk will increase his Tec permanently by 1 when he eats it.
Nietzsche might not be sticking around too much longer, since we're getting new characters not too long from now. Queen Emelone's Gungnir lasts for 4 maps, and will give Nietzsche a huge boost in that time. Nietzsche's also the only one that can wield it, so if I don't use her in the future it'd be a waste not to use it now.
So... There must be a puppet master here somewhere.
What, he just sits back from the shadows? What a coward! Still, we don't have time for a search. Let's just bust 'em up.
Crap! They're destroying that town!
Hurry, everyone! We must stop them before they claim more victims!
Rosary is a Witch, which we're already familiar with. She's pretty beefy here, and won't go down easily. She also has a 4 Luk, meaning only Nietzsche can take her Lucky Broom through combat. A Witch vs an Undine isn't a fight I'd wager we'd win, so it will be a steal target at some point.
The Golem is none too exciting. His name is Sodom, apparently. Gomorah is the other one. There's nothing wrong with misplaced biblical references.
We can see they destroy objects, and that's anything from a bridge to a town. They're also immune to status ailments. They're weak to lightning and Valkyries, but we don't have any of those at our disposal. Yggdra does have an advantage against them, though, so we'll use her to deal with them. They also have the Lump weapon, and slow movement. Slow moving characters can only move one tile per turn; Lump is neutral to everything but spell casters, and only spell casters are good vs Lump.
We have to defend Roswell, here. By the looks of it, he can take care of himself. He's a necromancer, another staff user.
We need to rush Yggdra up as fast as possible to take care of the North Golem, since he'll reach his target first. We're moving East around the fork so the Golem doesn't box us in. Next turn we can get in position to attack with Yggdra and Roswell.
Rosary sends her minions closer. We'll have time to kill the North one, and then defend the middle village.
As planned, Roswell is brought in second against the Golem. Yggdra takes care of it on her attack, but it survives with a few hundred morale.
Roswell deals with it just as well, and the Golem is destroyed.
The remaining movement this turn is spent to bring Nietzsche to the middle, and Milanor starts moving up.
Meanwhile, Rosary keeps her steady advance towards the village. Yggdra will get there on our next turn, so it will remain safe.
Damn bounty hunters... They just don't know when to give up, do they?
It's payday! Get ready, Princess!
And now these two chucklefucks are back. We're going to have to deal with Mizer before the Golem, but we need to keep the town safe as well.
He's not too threatening, and either Nietzsche or Milanor can take his new boots. Since our cards will refresh after we defeat the Golems, Steal will take his boots faster, and give us the movement we need to one-shot this putz.
Yeesh, don't take it so personal... A job's a job!
I don't suppose you'd just hand over the Princess, huh?
Durant takes a quick step to drink the Goat Milk, and returns the Glass Bottle to our inventory. He then moves in position to attack Mizer with Milanor.
Yggdra won't be needed against Mizer, so she can head to the town with the last of our movement.
Please, stay calm! We'll save you!
We have a good line against Mizer now. Milanor will lead the charge, and steal his boots. Nietzsche and Durant will follow up, and should provide the strength needed to take him out entirely.
He has 4100 morale, against Steal's 1700 power. Since he only has 2 Gen, and all of our fighting units have 3 Atk, we'll deal bare minimum 58%, or 1050 (Durant will do 64%). Steal will give Milanor an additional 20%, or 340 damage. That's a minimum of 3600 damage. I'm confident we can pick up the extra 600 through a numbers advantage against him.
Getting paralyzed would be annoying, but you lose status ailments when the situation changes, and none of these characters are needed to defend the last town.
This is what happens when you get hit by a Flash Attack while charging an X Skill. You lose your charge (not your skill gauge) and have to redo it. It can make a bad situation worse when you really need to get a skill off.
Milanor does get it out, and bring Mizer down to 2432 morale.
Nietzsche is gunning for a spot on the team, and ends this fight in seconds. Mizer is down to 433.
Durant gets shocked, but still finishes Mizer.
We have one movement left, and I want Nietzsche to support the North lane above Yggdra. We'll slowly move her out there.
Neither Rosary or Roswell do anything during their turns. The Golem just stares down Yggdra, so with Shield Barrier, Nitezsche moves up to support Yggdra. The Golem doesn't stand a chance.
What the...!? They just crumbled into a pile of rocks.
...The magic was lifted. These rocks are their true forms.
That voice... Was that the White Rose's...?
I'm betting that's the master of those pet rocks.
...It's the White Rose Army!
Why are the two houses at war? What could have happened...?
Hey, that's not all... Isn't that the Imperial Army!?
By Jove, you're right! It IS the Imperial Army!
So the Imperial Army is helping the White Rose start a war?
It's quite possible. Remember, the Empire was also behind the Undine affair.
We cannot let the Empire have its way! Let us stop this invasion!
Hmm... We can't very well retreat in front of our employer. Let's move out.
That man... It's Russell, the Astral Fencer. What is one of the Five Dragon Generals doing here?
Five Dragons? What are you talking about?
I refer to the five strongest generals in the Imperial Army.
Hmmm... Sounds like he's the guy we need to beat to end this quick.
Russell gets the first move. His faction's card is Item Break, and it does exactly what it sounds. If their Tec is greater or equal to your Gen, it permanently destroys your item.
One of Russell's Fencers move up to attack Nietzsche, and drags Rosary into the conflict as well. Rosary is up against Roswell, so no problem there. We don't want Rosary to fight Yggdra though. Even with Shield Barrier, Rosary is just plan better than Yggdra. The plan will be to keep Nietzsche passive as long as possible, so she doesn't outright kill the Fencer.
And it pays off nicely.
Roswell doesn't fare too well against Rosary though. He loses a chunk of morale, but it's no big deal. If we could use Shield Barrier it would be an easy battle, but we have no control over guests.
Yggdra is in a close battle though. With no weapon advantage either way, the enemy quickly becomes stronger with their Rage bar. As soon as Rage activates, I bring up Shield Barrier. It won't last the whole time, but it will take the brunt of the increased damage. The Fencer will try to use Item Break, but Yggdra doesn't have anything equipped.
Russell uses the remainder of his movement, and sends the other Fencer towards Milanor and Durant, with a Valkyrie in position to assist.
Right away, Sir!
About damn time you help out in the defense of your territory.
Russell's goons aren't anything special. The Fencers are 2,2,2,1 and the Valkyries are 1,2,3,2. But the general himself is quite capable of making a mess out of anyone here. He's equipped with the Zantetsu, so if we want it we need to either steal it, or have Nietzsche deal the killing blow putting Milanor against Russell like we did with Aegina in BF3 would be suicide.
Regardless, we're in a shitty position. We need to finish the level on or before the 23rd turn if we want the quick clear bonus, which only gives us this turn, and the turn after. Aside from that, we want to steal Rosary's Lucky Broom. With that Fencer in the way, Milanor will have to run around the Eastern path to get to Rosary, who will also have a Valkyrie, and Russell joining her union.
Milanor makes the run. We could attack now, and steal as much as we can. In this position, Nietszche would join the fight. Milanor would be up against Rosary and Russell, which would be our two steal targets. At best Milanor might win against Rosary, but more likely we'd see two heavy losses.
Durant will just charge straight through, and take up position to battle the Valkyrie. It doesn't happen a ton, but it can be extremely useful to abuse Durant's Horse movement type, and run through enemy units.
This doesn't look too bad. Milanor will have some trouble against Rosary, but the other clashes are overwhelmingly in our favour.
The hardest part about using Steal in a time like this is Milanor has to charge up the entire skill gauge by himself by going passive. By the time he fills the gauge, he's down in headcount.
His 3 Atk helps balance things out, but stealing her item won't tip the scales in this encounter. Milanor goes down to 3257 morale.
Durant has no issue taking out his Valkyrie opponent, and she is removed from the map.
Nietzsche, on the other hand, is in for a fight. Russell is equal in Atk, and nearing Max. If we had attacked Russell, or one of his goons, directly, he could use Item-Break and destroy the Gungnir. Since we attacked Rosary, though, the entire enemy union uses her card Doll Craft. Doll-Craft is restricted to Witches only, so we don't have to worry about it.
It's a close fight, but Nietzsche prevails. Russell will take another good round of attacks to go down though.
And we're getting close to two more level-ups.
Russell calls his Fencer back to attack, uh, Durant? Interesting suicide play. Although it does line up Russell to attack Milanor, which is going to be a shitty fight.
Durant doesn't have anything to worry about against Fencers, so he stays Passive. Milanor can use this to at least pretend to have a fighting chance.
Russell takes an early lead. This isn't something we can come back from, but we can try to minimize our losses.
He reaches Max soon enough, and tries to use Item Break. With a Tec like he has, there wouldn't be a thing we could do against it.
Another loss for Milanor. We managed to hack down three Fencers, and thankfully Russell's card is weaker than Rosary's.
But it's not all bad news. We used the Goat Milk on Durant on the right time. He gained a point of Tec this level, which would've been wasted if we used the Goat Milk afterward.
There's a reason they call him the Astral Fencer.
At this rate...
Preparations complete, Sir!
A bright red light shines down from the sky and deals damage equal to 25% of their current morale to every single opponent on the field leaving our units unscathed.
Wh-What the hell!?
What just happened!?
Someone set up us the bomb.
I-It's a magic attack like we've never seen!
I don't know what that was, but it gave us out opening!
Now is the time! Attack!
This turn is do-or-die time for the quick clear. Russell has to go down, and I'd like Rosary to go down as well. We have her item already, but she'll leave her card behind if we can defeat her now. It's not a big deal, either way, but it can be nice to have. This won't be a priority, though. I'd rather get the MVP bonus and skip the card, than miss the bonus.
By attacking Rosary head on, again, we'll bring Russell into the union. This is the only way we can attack both this turn. It would be nice to use Shield Barrier, since anyone would have a good chance at defeating Rosary with it.
Time for some quick math. Russell is sitting at 1302 morale, and Shield Barrier is just under 1800 Pow. Nietzsche will have to deal the killing blow so we can get the Zantetsu, and she has 3 Atk vs Russell's 2 Gen.
That gives us an Ability Difference Mod of +10%, meaning at bare minimum Nietzsche will deal 58%, or 1044 damage. Each surviving Undine will deal an additional 8%, or roughly 150.
With Shield Barrier, I don't see that as a problem. It will also give us enough movement to collect two items, and move Durant into a position to attack Rosary as well.
You're the ones who saved us from the golems!
Nietzsche moves up to the village, and back down again. Yggdra moves off her village, and back on. Each of these villages you save from the golems can give you an item, depending on your Rep. The lower village has an alternate item for low total rep (less than 9).
Durant will step to the side a little, to fix the union ordering. If he was close to Milanor, he'd be against Russell, and probably finish him.
Note the blue tiles. When we have friendly artillery, like Roswell's ankh, blue indicates where it will fire. Red tiles, on the other hand, represent enemy artilery.
Milanor is at a slight disadvantage against Rosary, still, but we have Shield Barrier. We'll need to stay passive a little to completely charge it, but due to its low movement it will already be about 2/3d full.
Milanor goes passive off the start. If we're using Shield Barrier, we might as well time it for when Rosary enables Rage, to shave off that extra damage.
We pull out a victory, but not a huge one.
Nietzsche, on the other hand, has no trouble. It takes a little time to go passive, but thanks to the Gungnir's [Skill Time 2X], Shield Barrier persists for the rest of the battle. Russell is defeated with skill to spare.
Durant starts his encounter with Rosary in Max. Doll-Craft deals 2 Units (or 1 Large) worth of damage, and would summon a Golem if the player used it. Durant gets Shield Barrier on soon, and emerges victorious. Rosary takes 1300 damage, but is safe at 1200.
One more victory like that would have taken Rosary out, so it might have been beneficial to get Yggdra in on the action. We'd have to consider movement (Shield Barrier didn't have enough) and the fact that the barrier itself brought these victories. No other card in our inventory could've brought that sort of advantage to each encounter. We'll just have to let Doll-Craft slip away for now.
Princess, the enemy is in retreat.
That light saved us... What was it?
Hey, you know some guy named Roswell? He wants to talk. Said he wanted to thank us.
Roswell... The head of Branthese house, of the Black Rose.
I see. Let us hold an audience with him.
I'm extremely grateful. A favor like that must be repaid. What can I do for you?
You are welcome. We must ask you something... Why did the White Rose Army try to invade? I had heard that relations weren't so strained before.
She... Rosary... seeks our Ankh.
I trust you saw the light over the battlefield? The pillar of light that rained down upon the enemy... That's the work of our Ankh.
The might of the Ankh is unparalleled. Whoever holds it wields an incredibly destructive power.
Empty Bottle: You can wear it like a hat, awesome. You lose Gen, and foes get a 50% critical hit rate against you. This has a use, but it's not to equip.
Tough Boots: It lasts for 1 map, and there's exactly one map with poison marshes.
Mage Ring: Your skill gauge raises automatically while this is equipped, so it's a nice ability. It lasts 1 map.
Dowsing Rods: You need these in one specific battlefield to find some items, but it lasts for a brutal 8 maps. [O React to an Item] is needed to see and pick up certain items.
Lucky Broom: This can give a decent spread of stats, and it lasts for 3 maps. It can help with taking items from enemies.
Zantetsu: O > Golem is, well, I think there's one more golem in the entire game we fight. Two stat ups, though.
Swordsmanship honed in war... At they strike even demon bones crumble. - the Legendary Hawk
Item Break: In theory this can be a good card. Some bosses have big fuck-off items, that really inflate their stats or abilities. But why break it when you can steal it, or take it off them? It starts off with nice power, and it has decent move. Despite that, we have better movement cards, and more powerful cards. We won't be using it.
Like Battlefield 3, there seems to be a lot of AI decisions that can really kill a lot of time. Mizer can do some weird moves; sometimes he runs up to Rosary and hides there, other times he makes a beeline towards your start location. Russell's forces can also be unpredictable. It also doesn't help that there are generally 4 factions on the map, giving you 5, maybe 6, of your own turns to clear it quickly.
One thing to note is that if you kill both golems on your first two turns, Mizer will not show up. That would save some turns, for sure, at the cost of his boots.
Vs Mizer He's more forgiving this time, since he only has 3 Luk. The paralysis isn't a big deal most of the time, because you lose it during the situation change when you defeat the golems.
Vs Rosary She's not hard, but time consuming. Nietzsche's at an inherent disadvantage being weak against her Fire attack, and Yggdra is really weak at this point. Shield Barrier and Ace Guard make her a manageable fight, and although she attacks with Fire, she is not weak against Ice Blizzard isn't a shortcut to victory. She has a high Luk, so you'll likely need to steal her item, not loot it.
Vs Russell None of your spear users should have any issue, but I can't see Yggdra faring well. You just need to watch out for Item Break, by either timing it so you don't have anything equipped at the time, or using Shield Barrier. If you don't have anything equipped, having him use Item Break is to your advantage, since he'll drop his Rage.