Part 24: BF19 Karona Outskirts
After returning from Machina Bridge, the Royal Army prepared to save Yggdra by assaulting Castle Karona, where Gulcasa has confined himself.
The Imperial Army had fortified its defenses, placing Inzaghi's mercenary unit outside the main gates with Court Magician Eudy's cannons to back him up.
Someone saw a girl resembling the Princess in Castle Karona. She seems to be at the Tower, inside the castle...
That's not much to go on... but it's better than nothing.
Wow, that's a pretty big castle.
It's a castle city. The defenses will be formidable.
Hey, look... It's those mercenaries again.
Check out that cannon... They mean business this time.
They shall be excellent practice, then.
The Royal Army's here! At last, some action! It's payback time!
Going with the popular vote, Mistel will be in the party first. She's lacking in both level and stats here, so we'll work on that. Durant will come in second, with Rosary in third. There will be one key fight for Rosary to do, otherwise I want Mistel to get as much experience as possible to bring those stats up.
The level starts off against Inzaghi's mercenaries, and they're all weak melee units. Mistel should be able to win against them all.
During the second phase of the level, we're up against some melee, and Witches. The melee will still be no problem, and we can fight the Witches with Mistel and card support.
Mistel also still has the Mowing Scythe equipped, so she fights with no battle penalty. We'll put that to use, and have Mistel do almost every single clash, with Milanor and Rosary only supporting specific issues.
Since we're trying to maximize Mistel's Exp, and thus combat, we'll be ignoring the Quick Clear MVP bonus. We'll gain more stats from the levels than the bonus provides, anyways.
It's time to use this Treasure Map from North Paltina. This is the only time it has a use, and can only be used for a brief period.
I also need someone, other than Milanor, with 4 Luk. With these Winged Sandals, Rosary will do the job. The GEO 0% actually comes in handy on a handful of levels, but the stats will be more useful to us now.
Mistel is still geared, and Durant doesn't need anything. Mistel and Rosary both take a medallion, hitting 2068 and 1551 morale respectively. Durant's loaded with more than 5000, and Milanor's sitting at 1675. It's not a lot, by any means, but with that cannon making a mess of the place, I'd rather not waste anything.
Careful, everyone! Keep an eye on that cannon unless you want to get shot!
Inzaghi is as unremarkable as usual. His goons average in the 2's, so they're perfect targets for Mistel, who rushes up towards Inzaghi.
My! You talk about people like they're fish or vegetables...!
Wh-What's with you...?
We could demolish this entire courtyard with Shield Barrier, but with Mistel in the group it's worth it to power up Oblivious Dawn, her signature card.
It's used to great effect, to either Cancel Inzaghi's Banshee's Cry right when he casts it...
Or use the ability to deplete their bar anyways. Depending on the timing, both can be appropriate.
Between liberal use of Oblivious Dawn and Aggressive mode, Mistel walks out of this 4-0, but no enemy is destroyed.
Durant runs past everyone into the safe zone, since he'd take massive damage from that cannon. Milanor ducks behind Mistel, to make her a more enticing target.
We also see the Treasure Map in action. South of the cannon, we see an indicator. We can only see this if Milanor has the Treasure Map equipped, and if he's currently selected to move. Anyone else moving there will not find the item, regardless.
The hard part of this item is that as soon as Inzaghi is defeated, Milanor loses the Treasure Map. We'll need to thin Inzaghi's ranks enough, notably the eastern Bandit and Fencer, for Milanor to get to that tile in time.
At last, an excuse to use my cannon battery... Ready!
She's a little excitable. Since our troops are so low on morale, she only deals a minor amount of damage.
Inzaghi attacks Mistel, as planned. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a safe place for Milanor, so he gets dragged in as well. Even worse, Inzaghi is against him. Will he finally get his revenge he so longed for?
The other fights were in our favour. The two bandits were eliminated, and the Knight is near death.
The other Knight moves south, to box in Milanor.
With a slight reshuffle along the southern border, we can get everyone in the union. Both Knights are defeated.
And with our left-over movement, we position like this. We still want them to attack Mistel, and she's alone in that case. If they decide to attack Milanor, though, we have a full union, and Gravity Chaos at our disposal. The AI generally favours to attack smaller unions, so this should work out.
Again, this is barely a scratch.
And our defensive plan worked. Mistel wins both encounters, and brings Inzaghi down to 3360.
Mistel finishes off the Fencer, and keeps poking away at Inzaghi. I don't want Inzaghi to die yet, so I use weak cards. Someone with 3 Luk is needed to take his item, which leaves Milanor and Rosary. We also need to use the Treasure Map still.
One level is out of the way.
After the fight, Rosary heads to Durant along the Castle Wall, saying Hi to Inzaghi on the way.
Heheh... This time, you'll see what I can really do!
You again? I'm bored of your antics.
We have some extra movement, so Durant remembers his manners and comes back to say hello, as well, before returning to his old post.
Prepare for another beating, Esq. Inzaghi!
Heh! Maybe this time, I'll beat you!
It's Eudy's turn again, but this time with the cover of darkness she can't fire her cannon.
Inzaghi smashes his face against Mistel again.
You know, it's dangerous to leave this lying around.
You'll regret making fun of me, jerkwad!
Mistel charges that final Fencer with Mind Change, clearing the way for Milanor.
Whoah! So it wasn't a fake.
Milanor's vulnerable to Inzaghi's attack this round, but with Mind Change he should be in good form.
Only Mistel is hit this time.
And Inzaghi goes straight for Milanor. Mind Change wins.
Inzaghi is down! Everyone, inside the castle! Close the gate! Quickly!
We can't just sit here while they call for reinforcements. We gotta do something...
Meanwhile, while they're just sitting there, the screen fades to black, and then back to the map.
Halt! Who goes there?
Something going on?
Um, there's a shady girl here who wants to talk to you...
Yeah, what is it?
Suspicious Person: I see you're having trouble with these gates. If that's so, then I've got good news for you... Come to the side gate at night. I'll keep it open...
Suspicious Person: Oh, and don't forget this.
Suspicious Person: That's right. Wear that, and meet me at the side gate. Once you're inside the castle, head for the Tower. Come at night, okey? I won't be there during the day...
Do you think we can trust what she says?
I'll wear the armor. I'm better at blending in. If they catch me, I'll think of something.
As soon as you get the Imperial Armor, Milanor equips it. It prevents him from joining unions at all, so he can stay a little stealthy. If you still had the Treasure Map equipped, well, now you don't.
Alrighty, time to get into position for the next night. We can keep everyone out of the cannon range now, as well.
Finally night falls, and the side door is opened as promised.
Suspicious Person: Come this way...
So where's this Tower?
Suspicious Person: It's further inside. Make sure you don't come in contact with any soldiers.
Got it. Let's go.
We have a new batch of enemies inside Karona. Most notable is Eudy, and she's the reason for having 4 Luk. We won't be able to Steal, or even fight with Milanor while he's in that armour. Rosary can handle it.
The other troops hover around the 2's, but have some 3's as well.
Oblivious Dawn had ample move for Milanor to reach the door, as well as to have Mistel charge in.
Pardon me. Milanor, please go ahead.
And now that she's in, it's time to wreck up the place. These guys use Shield Barrier, but it's easy enough to counter with Oblivious Dawn. There's also one Hunter in the fray. Unlike most melee weapons, Sycthes don't do well against them they're neutral to eachother. We still hold the advantage on offense, though.
Mistel wins every encounter, but thanks to the Fort GEO that fills everything around here, they all survive easily.
The enemy attacks back with the same union, with the same results except for the Hunter who manages to take a victory.
Shield Barrier crushes them next round, though. Only the Knight survives this, and not by much.
The Knight pushes back against Mistel, and brings the Witch trio in as well. Mistel has no advantage against the Witches, nor do they against her. But good skills, or even a chunk of aggression, should tip the battles in Mistel's favour.
The Knight falls, no problem, as do the regular Witches. Eudy puts of a better fight, and manages to beat Mistel. Even with all those cannon shots, and now two losses, Mistel has only take about 1000 damage.
Mind Change should clean up the normal Witches, now. With our 2 Tec against their 2 Gen, we should get at least 1 unit per use, but sometimes 2.
It's enough of an advantage to win all three fights. The two Witches are gone, but Eudy managed to light Mistel aflame. Just like the cannons, with her low morale, it won't deal much damage.
Eudy doesn't move after us, so we'll have to go to her. Mistel leads the way, and Rosary follows. She'll need to deal the finishing blow, after all.
Both attacks are victorious, but Rosary is on fire too.
Eudy fights back, and manages to take a win from Mistel again. Rosary cleans up no problem, though.
Mistel is close to another level, but Eudy's proving to be an annoying foe. She'll duck out, and let Rosary do the rest.
Rosary moves in with Revolution. Eudy manages to survive...
But she is defeated on her counterattack.
What's going on? What's all that noise?
R-Rebels have entered the castle somehow! We need backup to... to defend the gate!
Understood. Alright, everyone come with me!
Phew... that went well, I think. Now all I have to do is find where Yggdra's being held...
Yeah... Quick clear is like half that time... We wouldn't have been able to be as thorough against Inzaghi, and we'd have had to ignored Eudy altogether. We may have had to ignore the Treasure Map as well, since you can't attack the enemy union in such a way to clear the East side effectively.
Burnt Dud: The usual.
Iron Helm: Good if we need Critical immunity. Bad stats, though. 2 maps.
Seductive Bustier: I'm not the kind of guy that would bury this in a field, and then chart down the exact steps required to find it again. The stats are boring, but for 3 maps you regenerate morale every single time you take a step. Women only. I don't think Durant could pull off the look, anyways.
Noble Glasses: Evade Panic helps when you're dealt a Critical Hit. I guess. You get a bit of a Luk boost, though, for 1 map.
Nothing too special going on in this level. Although good luck if you're trying to get the Seductive Bustier, and the Quick Clear bonus. There's not a lot of variation in turn order you can have, to take out the Bandit, Fencer, and Inzaghi in time, while collecting the Bustier. If you miss the first Night, you'll waste at least 2 turns waiting for the next night for the door to open.
The enemies are pretty weak, as are their cards, so if you're comfortable at low morale you don't need to heal up much before the battlefield. Even at my low morale I was able to survive a critical hit in the first section of the mission, on a test play. By raising your morale, you'll lose more of it to the cannon, and Eudy's Flame if you chose to take her on.
It's handy to remember that when you're attacking the Gate Keeper and his troops just inside the castle, your union extends to south of the castle walls. You can save a lot of movement this way, at least until you attack Eudy.