Part 44: BF39 Gates of Bronquia
Even through the Court Magician Eudy's heavy cannon fire, the Royal Army managed to rejoin Milanor's detachment and defeat General Emelia's reinforcements. They broke through the Gates of Carnage, thus capturing the Fortress of Ishnad where General Baldus had confined himself.
Sensing that the Royal Army had the upper hand, Emelia and Eudy retreated back to the Imperial Capital. Baldus remained behind, gathering the survivors to form a shield in front of Bronquia's Great Gates, the last line of defense for Imperial territory, and dug in to await the Royal Army.
They just won't stop! Geez...
General Emelia and Magister Eudy are under attack!
Open the gates! Let them in!
First thing that gets done, is giving Yggdra the Marchen Wings. They won't do anything for her now, or even next level. They're entirely there to cover the third mission.
And this looks like the perfect item for Durant to face Baldus with.
Durant also takes the Golden Spear to bring him out of double-digit morale.
This is another fort mission great for Yggdra.
There are Imperial forces blocking the gate!
That old guy again! He really is a shield, huh?
Beyond here is our goal: the Imperial Capital of Flarewerk...
Emelia and Eudy get the first turns. The immediately retreat to Baldus.
S-Sir Baldus! Why did you open the gates!?
I won't abandon you two.
But the Royal Army came in right after us!
C'mon, Eudy, let's get 'em! Together, we can do it...!
Absolutely not. You two will return to the Capital.
Whay!? You want us to just leave you here!?
You don't need to worry about us! We can still fight!
Who will protect the Capital if they breach these lines? We must protect His Majesty. That is our responsibility.
...This is the land where I grew up. I know it intimately. Thus, I have the advantage. I must stand fast here.
...Alright. If those are your orders...
Do not worry. The enemy will not pass by me. Tell that to His Majesty. I'm counting on you!
General Emelia... Let's go.
Master Baldus! Please, don't do anything silly.
Sir Baldus! Take this... It's... It's the least I can do.
Magister Eudy and General Emelia have retreated.
I see... Thank you. Now I can fight without fear.
Forgive me for getting you all involved in this.
It's an honor, Sir.
We must hold this ground until the girls are safe. After that...
The enemy! They're here!
So they've finally arrived... Let's show them what it means to attack Bronquia's Shield!
Luk aside, Baldus is the strongest foe we've faced yet. We can drop his stats to 5,4,4 after stealing Werdna, which still leaves him a formidable foe. Added to that, Baldus has High status, meaning we need to take him out with one counterattack, and one of our charges. Making that a chore is his 40% Fort defense, as well as his card Ace Guard. He'll quickly reduce the effectiveness of large unions by blocking our charge, giving him an early lead.
Thankfully the rest of his soldiers are less impressive, coming in with an average of 3's.
I start the attack with Crusade, which is a questionable move. It's a very good card to use on Baldus when it's time to defeat him. A union of Milanor, Kylier and Yggdra with Crusade are sure to walk out completely victorious, and deal a good amount of damage.
Nevertheless, the three fencers all take a loss, but are protected by the Fort GEO enough to survive.
Durant smashes through Baldus, but all damage he deals is entirely superfluous right now.
Baldus attacks right back. The three fencers are defeated with ease.
Durant takes a loss, however. Even with the Knight Killer, guaranteeing maximum combat effectiveness, Baldus's MAXed rage bar, and his brute strength, bought him a victory. Even so, Baldus's Ace Guard has a decent Pow behind it, which makes him capable of dealing decent damage.
Hey, this could really come in handy.
Milanor grabs the only hidden item in this map.
And Yggdra leads the charge to defeat the first Golem. They're mostly a nuisance, requiring you take out their decent morale one at a time before you can get to Baldus.
Yggdra doesn't stand for it.
Because of our position between the two Golems, the remaining one attacks Yggdra, and is destroyed.
Day breaks, and Baldus is in the open. We could just blitz him with our power cards, but if we're not careful he can just regenerate the damage on his turn. It's possible to drop him in one attack, but it poses some challenges.
Instead, we're going to spend this turn moving everyone closer. When evening comes, we'll get into a defensive position with Steal. Milanor will deal huge damage, and also weaken Baldus by taking Werdna. Night will fall on our turn, which gives us the perfect opportunity to defeat the weakened General. A union with Elena, with Bloody Claw and the Rainbow Arc (ignores Geo), will finish him off.
Until then, let's let Durant level up some, by challenging Baldus solo.
Sir Baldus, let us face one another like knights!
You are truly a worthy adversary! Come!
Ouch! It's hard to pierce Baldus's 6 Gen, and as the battle progresses Baldus only becomes stronger. Durant, on the other hand, fights at Max already. These fights against Baldus depend on gaining an early lead.
Durant fares better on Baldus's turn.
Our turn comes around. It's time to form a defensive union. Yggdra will lead, and Milanor will be a part of the union to steal from Baldus.
Baldus! Do not resist, and I will spare your lives.
...I have many fond memories of this land. The way you surely must of Paltina. There is nothing sweeter than to die defending one's home!
We do nothing right now, as any damage we deal will be wasted.
But Baldus will attack us on his turn. Yggdra, with the Fort , has a good chance of victory. Milanor, of course, will be near-unstoppable.
Yggdra couldn't quite pull through. No matter; Milanor will deal enough damage for this plan to work.
Even Milanor has some issues dealing with Baldus. He steals successfully, but it was a close battle.
While getting into position for the final attack, Elena stops by Baldus.
There's no need to hesitate, young assassin. Come!
Yggdra and Elena will lead the charge, and likely finish off our foe. If not, we'll have Ace Guard to deal with. Milanor and Kylier should be able to deal enough damage to fight it off, so they'll come next. Just in case, Durant comes in last.
Yggdra takes a quick lead, and keeps it.
She doesn't deal enough damage to stop Ace Guard, though, which may give Elena some grief.
Yggdra walks out with a victory.
Elena can't pierce Ace Guard, but Baldus can't counterattack either. They start off on even footing.
Elena fights a little stronger than Baldus, thanks to Night . It will be even when Baldus reaches Max.
Eventually, Baldus is left solo.
Baldus' Steel Cavalry has been annihilated!
Princess, the Fortress of Ishnad is ours!
They Holy Sword is amazing! The Empire doesn't have a chance!
We're invincible as long as the Holy Sword's on our side!
Let's march to the Capital and show them a thing or two!
You're really going to stomp through innocent towns? We drove them back from here. Isn't that enough?
With respect, Lady Kylier, we cannot leave the Empire alone. Unchecked, they would think nothing of invading us again.
Don't you get it? If you go out those gates... You'll be the ones invading.
What about it, Princess? It's your call.
For the justice I swore upon the Holy Sword, I will advance.
Justice!? What are you talking about!? This isn't any kind of justice I ever heard of!
Be that as it may, we cannot stop now.
Yours isn't the only justice in the entire world! You think your Kingdom has been here forever? If your precious justice is an absolute... What's to stop the people here from carrying out their own?
Cool it, Kylier...
You've been to Lost Aries. You saw that it's like now! Know how that happened? A little war over justice. You're not the only one who lost her home, Yggdra. My race was exiled there by the Kingdom... That's why...
That is enough, Lady Kylier!
What would you have us do? As Durant says, the Empire will only resume its invasion.
They will continue this war until one side falls. I cannot sit idly by as they slaughter my people.
Our bridges have been quite literally burned. I do not condone what my ancestors have done. I apologize for what has happened to you. Nonetheless... I am responsible for the people of the Kingdom.
...Enjoy your invasion. You'll excuse me if I don't help. I'm through with you and your rotten Kingdom!
I hear what you're saying, but she's under a lot of stress...
I know... I must sound so stupid and idealistic.
I don't know! I thought maybe I could change the Princess's mind. If she wanted to, she could do so much...
She means well... No one has a purer hear than Yggdra.
Milanor... If you're going with them, be careful, okay?
Thanks, Kylier... for everything.
Well, I'm gonna take off...
...Alright. I'll see you around.
Item Manual: Unlocks the item list in the extra contents, after beating the game. Also restores a decent amount of morale.
Werdna: One of Durant's end-game items. Always Ace is fun, and three bonuses to stats. Also lasts for 3 maps. Unfortunately his other unique items are more fun, so Werdna will stay in the stable.
Beauty that drove the goddesses mad with envy... Those who draw near shall fall into the abyss. - Endomayla the Enchantress
It does a good deal of damage, at Tec+4, and starts powerful at 3200. Unfortunately, with only one swamp map in the entire game, you'll rarely, if ever, have the chance to use it. Still, Pamela can bust some heads with this thing, if that's your game.
Regarded by some to be among the hardest levels of the game, Baldus can be incredibly tricky. Firstly, he has 6 Gen. That will almost always put you at an Ability Modifier disadvantage. It also makes it difficult, and occasionally impossible, to steal from him. Depending on how your MVPs went, it's quite normal to have Milanor with only 4.x Tec, which you will never be able to increase enough to steal from Baldus, since you need 6. It also kills any use Gravity Chaos, or other damage cards might have.
Secondly, Baldus has a 40% GEO. Almost half of all damage you deal to him will be ignored.
Thirdly, Baldus has Ace Guard. Depending on who you bring, and how strong they are, Baldus might be unbeatable in combat without your charge/counter.
Finally, Baldus has High status. At the start of each of his turns he will regenerate to full, and he always starts in Rage mode, making him harder in battle.
My general strategy involves clearing out the trash, which isn't difficult. From here, you need two solid rounds of victory. Since he is restored to full on the start of his turn, it means you have his attack, and your next attack to finish him. Bring in a small union with people with weapon advantages, and that give him disadvantages. With just an advantage he'll catch up quickly, as we saw with Durant. Milanor and Kylier are perfect, as are Mistel or the Staff users, but only if their stats are high enough.
If you still have Crusade, now is the perfect time to use it. Have Milanor lead the union, with Yggdra second, and Kylier last. Milanor will win easy. Because of High Status, Baldus will likely use Ace Guard against Milanor. It doesn't matter for Yggdra, because she will be reduced to one unit, and then win with Crusade. It will stop Kylier's counterattack, but she'll face Baldus at a -1 Penalty. If you don't have crusade, just defend with a strong card that gives you any sort of advantage. Damage cards are likely out, as is anything that opposes the enemy Gen, but Banshee's Cry, Kiss of Death, Fortune, etc. are all good.
Now that Baldus has taken some losses, hit him back with everything you got. You probably won't have a second chance, depending on the cards you used so far, so if this fails you may not have powerful enough cards to succeed on another try. Throw everyone that has a chance of winning into the union, but most reliable units first.
If for whatever reason this won't cut it, you may need to make the defensive union bigger. You'll probably suffer more losses, but a few more victorious clashes might be all you need.