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Onmi
Jul 12, 2013

If someone says it one more time I'm having Florina show up as a corpse. I'm not even kidding, I was pissed off with people doing that shit back in 2010, and I'm not dealing with it now in 2016.
Wait people assumed that Erik was doing anything but bullshitting? Or misunderstanding the situation? That's... odd.

Regardless, I agree that this is the better version of Chapter 4 for 1 reason. No Rutger. If FE6 was your first game (as it was for me) then you knew Rutger was coming, but at Chapter 4 you didn't necessarily know reinforcements were coming as they were, or that they were going to move when they spawned, or even what a drat Myrmidon is (That being the game to debut the Swordfighter Split didn't help)

It also didn't help because it necessitates going slower when most of the battle would be happening in the middle of the map, AKA prime Rutget loving distance.

It's one of those things that yeah they tell you, but on your first time through your still can't be prepared for.

So yeah, I'd say this version of the map is much better, because it maintains the same type of progression and focus (Village at the top and bottom, two units to recruit) without the overhanging grim reaper of run enders that is Rutger.


Erik is a character I feel that was doomed by his FE6 appearance, but they still could have done something interesting with and failed to. I feel like having him be a traitor (again) just sort of makes him really lame, and really he only survives here to go on to betray everyone 20 years later. And one could have set him up as having been a Loyal or even pleasent person who decided to do that in FE6 because of what happened to his father and family name. But no, he's just a traitorous dick because he's a traitorous dick 20 years later.

I guess they don't want to make you feel retroactively bad for killing him.

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Manatee Cannon
Aug 26, 2010



Priscilla is the second best anima mage in the game, statistically speaking. Nino beats her out (Erk is in last, followed by Pent if you're curious. I'm not counting Athos). In fact, she might actually be the best offensive caster on average unless you grind out Nino due to having anima, a horse, and being recruited so early. Nino and Serra are the only ones that can claim to be as good a dodge tank and Prissy falls in the middle on defense (though every mage's defense is garbage, most will be around 10-12 once capped out). Shame she's stuck on healing duty until promotion.

Incidentally, Erk will have the lowest magic of any caster in the game at 20/20 on average.

edit: oh, right. I forgot Renault. Erk will usually have 21 magic at 20/20. Renault will have approximately 14. :v:

Manatee Cannon fucked around with this message at 12:22 on Feb 22, 2015

Fatcat214
Feb 19, 2015

Party Poogie
One more chapter, and we get to see our lord and savior again :dance:

Also, reading this LP really made me realize just how slow I actually play Fire emblem

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Sorites posted:

Jumping down from reading the War Room to say this:

I really appreciate you explaining your reasoning so thoroughly, all the way from principles down to examples. A lot of informative LPs stop at the game-mechanics post.

I've played Fire Emblem extensively, and done a lot of challenges, and this is still a blast to read. It gives me the same kind of fun I get from well-done exposition in a mystery or sci-fi story: "Here is how it works, and here is what that means for you."

Rock on.

e: One bit of con-crit. If I actually hadn't played FE7 before, and especially if I'd played other FE titles, I would probably wonder why keeping Merlinus alive was so low on your priorities. It gets explained later, but maybe that moment of "bwuh?" would be averted by putting Merlinus's breakdown first.

Then again, I wonder how many FE7 newcomers are even left on the forum after the various LPs, so :shrug:


Thanks, I really appreciate it. When I first started writing this LP I figured there wouldn't be much of an audience for the War Room sections, which is why I decided to separate them out from the main text rather than making them part of the Battle Preparations & Map section to begin with. I'm glad to know people have been enjoying them.

One thing I'm finding is that I can't seem to find any arrangement of the LP sections that doesn't leave questions unanswered. Like if I introduce characters before the map, people will be wondering where the heck these people are. But if I introduce characters after the map, people will wonder who exactly this "Priscilla" person I can recruit is.

If I put this war room section after the characters section, then I would have put it after the Battle Preparations & Map section, which would leave my preparations unexplained till way after the fact, but on the other hand you're right that it's really unclear why keeping Merlinus alive is lowish priority. I'll probably go back and edit in a note about why letting him die is ok if absolutely necessary while I continue to try to get the table of contents to work.



Onmi posted:

Wait people assumed that Erik was doing anything but bullshitting? Or misunderstanding the situation? That's... odd.

Regardless, I agree that this is the better version of Chapter 4 for 1 reason. No Rutger. If FE6 was your first game (as it was for me) then you knew Rutger was coming, but at Chapter 4 you didn't necessarily know reinforcements were coming as they were, or that they were going to move when they spawned, or even what a drat Myrmidon is (That being the game to debut the Swordfighter Split didn't help)

Erik is a character I feel that was doomed by his FE6 appearance, but they still could have done something interesting with and failed to. I feel like having him be a traitor (again) just sort of makes him really lame, and really he only survives here to go on to betray everyone 20 years later. And one could have set him up as having been a Loyal or even pleasent person who decided to do that in FE6 because of what happened to his father and family name. But no, he's just a traitorous dick because he's a traitorous dick 20 years later.


Yeah, it seems that pretty much any time someone wants to make a list of reasons that FE7 is either overrated or outright bad. they bring up this bit and call it a plot hole. Imo, there is a real plot hole of sorts later on the game which I'll be bringing up, but they seem not to notice that one. Actually, now that I have my new "Ephidel is canonically an idiot" theory, that second one might not be an inconsistency either. But we'll get there.

Rutger was definitely something of a nuisance to recruit if you were trying to move fast, but I regard the situation with him as very similar to recruiting Guy. In both cases the character is of course a semi-dangerous myrmidon with a killing edge and surrounded by enemies such that you can't lure them out alone. But in both cases the game has made it fairly clear who you need to use to recruit them and that character has solid or very good movement, making it easier than it could be. In Rutger's case I think the best tactic to take is to try and let him and his group run at you but stop just short of your position (it's even worth moving back a bit if you have to if you aren't trying to max rank). Then you have all your forces ready to slaughter his men en masse with no movement difficulties and Clarine can recruit him. Because she's so squishy, getting her out alive can be a little tricky and might require a rescue from Marcus or something, but I never found it to be that hard.

I think the problem Erik ran into really was that in FE6 he had pretty much no depth and was just a general traitorous jerk. That game didn't really develop its villains, or for that matter most other characters, to the level FE7 usually did. So come FE7 they knew the guy turns into a traitorous jerk and pretty much nothing about him. That he has a personal dislike and grudge against several other Lycian territories and marquesses as a result of mutual enmity as children and having had his father killed by Hector (and it's totally Hector. That Wolf Beil has Darin written all over it) goes a long way toward explaining his later behavior. Plus in FE6 we learn pretty much nothing about Laus, it's just another random Lycian territory, but in FE7 we learn enough to realize that it was another major power center and perhaps outright a historical rival to Ostia. So in my opinion FE7 does a pretty good job of explaining both why Erik turns traitor again later on himself and why he was left alive in the first place to do so.



Manatee Cannon posted:

Priscilla is the second best anima mage in the game, statistically speaking. Nino beats her out (Erk is in last, followed by Pent if you're curious. I'm not counting Athos). In fact, she might actually be the best offensive caster on average unless you grind out Nino due to having anima, a horse, and being recruited so early. Nino and Serra are the only ones that can claim to be as good a dodge tank and Prissy falls in the middle on defense (though every mage's defense is garbage, most will be around 10-12 once capped out). Shame she's stuck on healing duty until promotion.

Incidentally, Erk will have the lowest magic of any caster in the game at 20/20 on average.

edit: oh, right. I forgot Renault. Erk will usually have 21 magic at 20/20. Renault will have approximately 14. :v:

One minor thing I don't think you're considering here is that magic power matters surprisingly little for most purposes. Enemy Res is so low in general that you don't really need a lot of Mag to kill people. What's more important in a mage in my experience is having the durability to hack it on the front lines. Priscilla is pretty bad in that department, solid dodging aside. She's got something like 10 less HP than Erk at 20/20 and less Def too. Meanwhile she's somewhat ahead in dodge but both are pretty solid.

I will definitely agree that Priscilla is hardcore in a non-ranking run. The Raven-Lucius-Priscilla triangle is the third greatest force in the Elibe universe after Glass and a character who has yet to be introduced. With the addition of support bonuses her dodge is really through the roof, meanwhile the group is entirely self-sufficient due to having 2 healers and can tear apart any physical or magical threat due to having access to both huge physical and magical damage. But in a ranking run she's not viable at all because she'll gain so few levels as a troubadour and will quite possibly never be promotable.


Talking about just stats here and ignoring movement (which clearly favors Priscilla) and usability (which makes it completely one-sided in Erk's favor), I would argue that Erk compares pretty well to Priscilla. He starts out with a small HP lead which rapidly grows into an enormous one. I'm not looking at anyone else to compare to atm, but looking at that horrible 20/20 35 HP I think Priscilla might actually have the worst HP in the game. She's a single point of Mag ahead of him at all levels pretty much, so little difference there either way. She enjoys a solid 3 point lead in Skill, which is next to useless. Erk has a pretty huge 4 point lead in Speed, made all the bigger by his higher Con if you ever try to use anything but Fire. In Luck she has a gigantic advantage of 16, this is her main asset as a character. This means she nets out to about +8 dodge compared to him (8 less from speed, 16 more from luck, ignoring possible weapon speed penalties). 8 is nice, but it's not the kind of thing that will save her bacon in a tough fight. He has about +2 Def over her, which is respectable if not that significant. And she has much higher Res. That would matter more if there were more magic-wielding enemies and if there weren't people like Lucius running around who are better yet in that category.

All in all, just looking at the basic stats, Erk seems far superior to me. Priscilla's greatest advantage is in accuracy, but Erk will never miss most opponents because Anima has huge accuracy anyway and his skill is great regardless. Erk has a gigantic durability edge over her due to +10 HP and +2 Def while she only gets +8 dodge chance. And Erk is much, much faster than her on the rare occasions that that matters. Meanwhile their magic power is pretty much the same.

8 movement is great, but the trouble is that Priscilla can't put it to use the way people like Sain or Heath can. Look at her horrible defenses. You cannot have her charge in ahead of your lines. That movement is nice for keeping up while healing and will occasionally be useful for maneuvering when a big fight is going on, but is not as big an advantage as it is on people like cavaliers who can be trusted to stand up to enemy fire.

So supports aside, I'm inclined to say that Erk is superior to Priscilla even if you ignore the fact that she's borderline impossible to use on a ranked run and that he can be trained up on Lyn's story if you wanted. It's admittedly pretty close though.


Fatcat214 posted:

One more chapter, and we get to see our lord and savior again :dance:


Actually, you'll have to wait 4 for that.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Re: Organization of sections

What if characters got their breakdowns in the first break in gameplay after they mechanically join? Merlinus's breakdown would be just before the War Room, since his convoy is now available; Priscilla's breakdown would be at the end of False Friends to be after she joins but not to interrupt the flow.

e: Or, if it's better to have consistency, character breakdowns could be in the first Preparations after they mechanically join. Athos would have to be a special case, but he would kind of have to be a special case anyway.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Sorites posted:

Re: Organization of sections

What if characters got their breakdowns in the first break in gameplay after they mechanically join? Merlinus's breakdown would be just before the War Room, since his convoy is now available; Priscilla's breakdown would be at the end of False Friends to be after she joins but not to interrupt the flow.

e: Or, if it's better to have consistency, character breakdowns could be in the first Preparations after they mechanically join. Athos would have to be a special case, but he would kind of have to be a special case anyway.

That's a thought. One problem is that then often a whole level will go by before I tell you about a character I've been using if I recruit them early in a chapter but not at the beginning. Raven, Canas, Fiora, etc. come to mind. To be honest, I think I should just stick with the present system of having a dedicated characters section to introduce people on the level they first become playable (or important to the plot for NPCs and such). There shouldn't be another really confusing case like Merlinus anyway.


Oh, by the way, I think I got the table of contents sorta working with the new system someone proposed. However, it now seems to link only to the specific chapter posts on their own with no way to see the comments that followed or anything.

RBA Starblade
Apr 27, 2008

Going Home.

Games Idiot Court Jester

quote:

So supports aside, I'm inclined to say that Erk is superior to Priscilla even if you ignore the fact that she's borderline impossible to use on a ranked run and that he can be trained up on Lyn's story if you wanted. It's admittedly pretty close though.

Since you mentioned them, how much do support bonuses end up mattering in a max-rank run of HHM, if at all?

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Melth posted:

Oh, by the way, I think I got the table of contents sorta working with the new system someone proposed. However, it now seems to link only to the specific chapter posts on their own with no way to see the comments that followed or anything.

You're linking to the postid. You want to link to the pageid with a # bookmark. You can find that URL by clicking the # button in the corner.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Sorites posted:

You're linking to the postid. You want to link to the pageid with a # bookmark. You can find that URL by clicking the # button in the corner.



I think I might have tried that with my first version of the table of contents. That's what ended up only linking to the top of the page instead of to the actual chapter post. But possibly I just don't understand what you mean, can you give an example?

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Here's a link to your post just now.

Here's the code for the link above:

code:
[url=http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3701153&pagenumber=6#post441891673]Here's a link to your post just now.[/url]
Some (generally outdated or otherwise bad) browsers just don't know what to do with the # references, so they won't scroll down to the post no matter what you do. It's a problem.

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

Melth posted:

I think I might have tried that with my first version of the table of contents. That's what ended up only linking to the top of the page instead of to the actual chapter post. But possibly I just don't understand what you mean, can you give an example?

Click on the Link that is on the quoted user's name.

Melth posted:

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?goto=post&postid=441877689#post441877689
Link to your latest update ^
Same as clicking your username in this quote


Quote your update, preview, copy link on your name and blammo.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Sorites posted:

Here's a link to your post just now.

Here's the code for the link above:

code:
[url=http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3701153&pagenumber=6#post441891673]Here's a link to your post just now.[/url]
Some (generally outdated or otherwise bad) browsers just don't know what to do with the # references, so they won't scroll down to the post no matter what you do. It's a problem.

Thanks, I think I got it working!

Arbitrary Coin
Feb 17, 2012

:minnie: Cat Army :minnie:
2nd Battalion
I generally found that in the GBA games defense honestly doesn't matter after a while since the way True Hit and the Dodge formula work out turn mages, myrmidons an other squishes into perma dodge tanks that can never get hit. I'm guessing enemies in Hard mode have quite a bit more skill though

The Shame Boy
Jan 27, 2014

Dead weight, just like this post.


It's pretty neat that Merlinus actually has supports, and that almost all of them are him and whoever you have standing on guard duty (in my case it was usually Marcus) just talking about random crap because guard duty is boring but nessecary.

Manatee Cannon
Aug 26, 2010



Melth posted:

So supports aside, I'm inclined to say that Erk is superior to Priscilla even if you ignore the fact that she's borderline impossible to use on a ranked run and that he can be trained up on Lyn's story if you wanted. It's admittedly pretty close though.

I brought up his magic because it amused me (also, incidentally, you said that Prissy would have far more magic than Sera when they actually tie). She's better than Erk as a dodge tank and that is what is important. She'll have four less speed but literally twice as much luck (30 compared to about 15), which is her real advantage. Except for the horse, obviously. She'll have two less defense, which is one dragon shield, and her health can be fixed in a single angelic robe. Erk, on the other hand, would require seven goddess icons to compare. She also has much more res. You're focusing too much on defense when none of the mages have any in the first place; taking hits is just not what they're there for. You can have her charge ahead as much as Erk because he doesn't have such an edge defensively that he's in any position to take hits that she wouldn't, only he will be more likely to actually take them. And it's harder to move him away in a pinch..

Maybe neither of the healers are worth it in a ranked run, but I do think you give some units far too little credit.

Arbitrary Coin posted:

I generally found that in the GBA games defense honestly doesn't matter after a while since the way True Hit and the Dodge formula work out turn mages, myrmidons an other squishes into perma dodge tanks that can never get hit. I'm guessing enemies in Hard mode have quite a bit more skill though

Nah it's still true there. Dodge tanks are amazing in FE7.

FPzero
Oct 20, 2008

Game Over
Return of Mido

In my last FE7 run I attempted to use Erk. I'd never used him before because he never seemed to turn out right for me but I was willing to give him another shot. He underperformed for a bit, then I benched him, later bringing him to an arena chapter down the road just to see how he'd turn out at level 20.

The man was -3HP, -5 Magic, -4 Skill, -6 Speed, -1 Luck, -4 Def and +1 Res.

And that's the story of Erk and why I never see him as a usable unit. Possibly the worst I have ever seen a unit turn out in the whole series. Needless to say, the Guiding Ring went to someone else.


Regarding Erik and his placement as on the map as a red unit in the cutscene, I think it's unavoidable. From a technical perspective, we once tried making an enemy turn from Enemy to NPC and an NPC turn to Enemy. If I'm remembering right, for some reason, the game just doesn't like doing either of those things and hangs when you attempt those commands. Could IntSys have fixed that to work properly? Probably, they're the ones coding the engine. But since they didn't, here we have this situation where you can tell Erik's a bad guy even before he outright says it. That, or he's dumb enough that he forgot he'd painted his horse red before riding out to meet Eliwood.

Smiling Knight
May 31, 2011

FPzero posted:

In my last FE7 run I attempted to use Erk. I'd never used him before because he never seemed to turn out right for me but I was willing to give him another shot. He underperformed for a bit, then I benched him, later bringing him to an arena chapter down the road just to see how he'd turn out at level 20.

The man was -3HP, -5 Magic, -4 Skill, -6 Speed, -1 Luck, -4 Def and +1 Res.

And that's the story of Erk and why I never see him as a usable unit. Possibly the worst I have ever seen a unit turn out in the whole series. Needless to say, the Guiding Ring went to someone else.


Regarding Erik and his placement as on the map as a red unit in the cutscene, I think it's unavoidable. From a technical perspective, we once tried making an enemy turn from Enemy to NPC and an NPC turn to Enemy. If I'm remembering right, for some reason, the game just doesn't like doing either of those things and hangs when you attempt those commands. Could IntSys have fixed that to work properly? Probably, they're the ones coding the engine. But since they didn't, here we have this situation where you can tell Erik's a bad guy even before he outright says it. That, or he's dumb enough that he forgot he'd painted his horse red before riding out to meet Eliwood.

I think Tate and Klein's soldiers in 6 11a turn from red to green. So may be check out the code on those guys?

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Manatee Cannon posted:

(also, incidentally, you said that Prissy would have far more magic than Sera when they actually tie).


No, I said she STARTS with far more magic than Serra. And she does. At join level, Priscilla has 4 more magic. This is 200% more than Serra has at join level for what % terms are worth.

Comparing level 3 to 3, she has 3 more magic. Which is still double Serra's. It takes Serra all game long going from 1 to 20/20 to almost but not quite catch up. Which is not even getting into the fact that anima hits harder than light.




Manatee Cannon posted:

She's better than Erk as a dodge tank and that is what is important. She'll have four less speed but literally twice as much luck (30 compared to about 15), which is her real advantage.


As I pointed out, this is a net +8 to dodge. That is all. Remember, speed x2 + luck x1 is the base dodge rate. So being 4 points ahead in speed negates 8 points of luck deficit for dodging purposes. See War Room 2 and 4 for more information if you want.

Furthermore, that +8 is the difference at 20/20. For most of the game the difference is much smaller. It starts at a mere +3.4 when both are level 3 and is somewhere around 6 when each is level 20 unpromoted. So they're both almost equally dodgy for much of the game.



Manatee Cannon posted:

She'll have two less defense, which is one dragon shield, and her health can be fixed in a single angelic robe. Erk, on the other hand, would require seven goddess icons to compare.

Don't pretend Goddess Icons and Dragon Shields are equal in actual usefulness- nevermind that both are a horrible deal in a ranking run and completely off the table. And also nevermind the fact that you could just give those dragon shields and angelic robes to Erk and pump him up by just as much...



Manatee Cannon posted:

She also has much more res. You're focusing too much on defense when none of the mages have any in the first place; taking hits is just not what they're there for.

You can have her charge ahead as much as Erk because he doesn't have such an edge defensively that he's in any position to take hits that she wouldn't, only he will be more likely to actually take them. And it's harder to move him away in a pinch..


I did mention she has much more Res. I also mentioned enemy mages are quite rare compared to enemies using physical weapons. What's more, they often have terrible magic power. A solidly leveled Erk will typically be immune to the magic of everyone who isn't a boss.

And actually there are several mages who take hits decently. One of the many things that makes Canas good is that, while no Oswin, he actually has good HP and defense for a mage. Enough that you can trust him to take on a small wave of enemies and survive. Don't pretend that there are no gradations of defense between "dead in 1 hit" and "invincible". Have I pointed out recently that Priscilla winds up with 10 less HP than Erk on top of less defense? The best argument you can make in her defense is that the difference starts off much smaller. And all she has over him to defend her is +8 dodge, which also starts off smaller


So the two are not equivalent in toughness. There are many situations in which Erk will survive and Priscilla will not. There are many more where Canas will survive and Erk will not, but we'll get to him.

And this is on top of her being unusable as any kind of fighting unit in any run where you care about speed. To get her to 20 troubadour would take 154 heals. That ain't happening before the game is nearly over, if ever, unless you plan to sit around for 10 turns at the end of every chapter doing nothing but heal people's boo-boos. Even then it will take many, many chapters. If all you wanted was to get her to 10 troubadour- thereby permanently crippling her compared to a real mage (among other things, you get to enjoy 5 less HP, 1.5 less def, 5 less res, and a total of 14 less avoid so that Erk actually comes out ahead in that too)- you would still need nearly 70 heals. That's more than 70 turns on which someone is injured and she can heal them and no one else (like serra or one of the people you can have promoted by then) can do it. Do you know how many chapters further along I'm going to be in 70 turns? Let alone the real number required to get her 70 heals? Me either. It looks like I'll be on the Dragon's Gate. Again, that's assuming you can heal with her every single turn including the first one. So on the dragon's gate you can finally promote your level 10 troubadour into a valkyrie and actually have her start contributing. By then Erk- or a better magic user- could be 20/1 easily and running over any opposition you want.

You could have her chew up your torch staff and eventually barrier and whatnot for slightly better XP gain, but it's still not much of an improvement.


So in summary, you're correct: if you feed Priscilla several of your best stat-boosting items, spend hundreds of turns creating injuries for her to heal and carefully babysitting her, and then do not throw her into serious danger even as a 20/20 unit, she can be about as good as Erk.

Onmi
Jul 12, 2013

If someone says it one more time I'm having Florina show up as a corpse. I'm not even kidding, I was pissed off with people doing that shit back in 2010, and I'm not dealing with it now in 2016.

Smiling Knight posted:

I think Tate and Klein's soldiers in 6 11a turn from red to green. So may be check out the code on those guys?

Yeah

MUS2 0x33 - Set the Music to the Recruit Music
TEX1 0x957 - Display the text of Roy recruiting Klein (You will never do this because Clarine is 100% better for the job)
REMA - Remove text bubbles
CUSI 0xF 0x0 - Change Klein's alignment to Blue
CUSI 0xD8 0x40 - Change Klein's Troops (All of them share the same character slot) to NPC
CHAI 0xD8 [0x6,0xC,0x0,0x0] - Change Klein's Troops AI to 'Escape'
ENUF 0xD - Make the ID unavailable (so Roy can't talk to Klein again)
MURE - Return the music to how it was before
ENDA - End Event

0x47 is supposedly the NPC faction code in FE7. But honestly, given some issues we've had with Eventing, I'd be shocked if it wasn't something else

Worthleast
Nov 25, 2012

Possibly the only speedboat jumps I've planned

I'm enjoying this. I discovered FE7 by accident and it still is one of my favorites. Never tried ranking, because supports are just too fun.

I appreciate the explanations of your thinking as well.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Folks posted:

dodge tanks

Thing about dodge tanks: They actually work as (or almost as) well as defence tanks, but you get the most screamingly frustrating resets from them. Losing Hector because he just took more damage than you thought from a group of Heroes is annoying, but you basically understand why you lost. Losing Lyn to a displayed 5% hit makes you want to bite your own leg off because it doesn't feel like your fault.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Sorites posted:

Thing about dodge tanks: They actually work as (or almost as) well as defence tanks, but you get the most screamingly frustrating resets from them. Losing Hector because he just took more damage than you thought from a group of Heroes is annoying, but you basically understand why you lost. Losing Lyn to a displayed 5% hit makes you want to bite your own leg off because it doesn't feel like your fault.

Yeah but that's an irrational reason not to rely on dodging. Dodging is very valuable and is sometimes essential. However, dodge tanking as a primary means of staying alive is only viable in the late game. Enemy accuracy starts off enormous because of the huge hit bonuses of iron weapons and grows very slowly -or even falls if they start equipping less accurate weapons. Ally avoid starts off low and then grows quite well throughout the game. You can dodge attacks in the early stages, but not very often. In the late game, your dodgey units can easily reduce enemy hit chances significantly below 50%- and sometimes to 0 if you can grab some good terrain or huge support bonuses (not available in max ranking runs).

In the early game, having high Def and enough speed that you don't get doubled is king.

Later on, high defense is... still actually completely awesome. But dodging becomes a significant part of your overall defenses. You can calculate out the expected damage you'll take from a group of enemies with not much more difficulty than just the damage you'd take if you assume they'd all hit. As a good rule of thumb, I suggest using the displayed accuracies for this purpose rather than the true hit ones because enemy chances to hit will often drop below 50 by this point which means that the displayed accuracies will overrate the enemy capacity to damage you and thus make you less likely to lose characters to enemy luck.


The trouble I have with what Manatee is saying isn't the idea that dodging is an important part of staying alive but that Manatee is talking like Priscilla immediately jumps up to 20/20 and like the 74 or so avoid she has at 20/20 is 1) complete invulnerability despite horrendous HP and defense and 2) totally not in the same league as Erk's 66 avoid. The unarguable fact of the matter is that Erk is far easier to level up than Priscilla is. Priscilla requires an absolutely massive investment of effort to create situations to grind her up to level 20 troubadour even if you don't care about turn count. And the result is not necessarily even better than Erk.

Let's imagine these 20/20 characters fight a level 20 enemy cavalier with an iron lance. You know, the kind of character who should be absolutely effortless for them to defeat since they're 20 levels above him. That guy is looking at about 103 hit with his HHM bonuses. And this isn't like a myrmidon with an iron sword or anything, this is just an average cavalier- not even promoted- with an iron lance. He's also looking at about 24 damage with his lance.

So he has about 29 displayed to hit Priscilla and 37 on Erk . If hit, Priscilla takes 14 damage out of her 35 HP. Erk takes 12 out of 45. On average, this means Erk takes slightly more damage. But he has much higher HP so they each take about the same number of imaginary cavalier attacks to die (about 15 considering true hit). And this is a bad case for Erk. Against more accurate enemies - like people with swords or, you know, anyone who's even remotely close to their own level, the true hit formulas are going to make the difference in avoid rates matter less and their ability to actually reduce damage or take less matter more.

Crunching the numbers on a mercenary with an iron sword of level 20 with HHM bonuses, we're looking at Priscilla dying to 7 and Erik dying to 10. So a huge advantage for Erk there. Conversely, Priscilla will have an edge against brigands. But at this point those are no threat to anyone. Each will be able to take out dozens.

I'm done arguing this because the numbers back me up. At best you can argue Priscilla and Erk have approximately the same overall tankiness at 20/20. But against enemies that are a more serious threat, the calculations say Erk has an edge. You know, on top of actually being a real unit for most of the game and not needing any special treatment to even become functional.

Melth fucked around with this message at 04:10 on Feb 23, 2015

Onmi
Jul 12, 2013

If someone says it one more time I'm having Florina show up as a corpse. I'm not even kidding, I was pissed off with people doing that shit back in 2010, and I'm not dealing with it now in 2016.

Melth posted:

Yeah but that's an irrational reason not to rely on dodging. Dodging is very valuable and is sometimes essential. However, dodge tanking as a primary means of staying alive is only viable in the late game. Enemy accuracy starts off enormous because of the huge hit bonuses of iron weapons and grows very slowly -or even falls if they start equipping less accurate weapons. Ally avoid starts off low and then grows quite well throughout the game. You can dodge attacks in the early stages, but not very often. In the late game, your dodgey units can easily reduce enemy hit chances significantly below 50%- and sometimes to 0 if you can grab some good terrain or huge support bonuses (not available in max ranking runs).

In the early game, having high Def and enough speed that you don't get doubled is king.

Later on, high defense is... still actually completely awesome. But dodging becomes a significant part of your overall defenses. You can calculate out the expected damage you'll take from a group of enemies with not much more difficulty than just the damage you'd take if you assume they'd all hit. As a good rule of thumb, I suggest using the displayed accuracies for this purpose rather than the true hit ones because enemy chances to hit will often drop below 50 by this point which means that the displayed accuracies will overrate the enemy capacity to damage you and thus make you less likely to lose characters to enemy luck.


The trouble I have with what Manatee is saying isn't the idea that dodging is an important part of staying alive but that Manatee is talking like Priscilla immediately jumps up to 20/20 and like the 74 or so avoid she has at 20/20 is 1) complete invulnerability despite horrendous HP and defense and 2) totally not in the same league as Erk's 66 avoid. The unarguable fact of the matter is that Erk is far easier to level up than Priscilla is. Priscilla requires an absolutely massive investment of effort to create situations to grind her up to level 20 troubadour even if you don't care about turn count. And the result is not necessarily even better than Erk.

Let's imagine these 20/20 characters fight a level 20 enemy cavalier with an iron lance. You know, the kind of character who should be absolutely effortless for them to defeat since they're 20 levels above him. That guy is looking at about 103 hit with his HHM bonuses. And this isn't like a myrmidon with an iron sword or anything, this is just an average cavalier- not even promoted- with an iron lance. He's also looking at about 24 damage with his lance.

So he has about 29 displayed to hit Priscilla and 37 on Erk . If hit, Priscilla takes 14 damage out of her 35 HP. Erk takes 12 out of 45. On average, this means Erk takes slightly more damage. But he has much higher HP so they each take about the same number of imaginary cavalier attacks to die (about 15 considering true hit). And this is a bad case for Erk. Against more accurate enemies - like people with swords or, you know, anyone who's even remotely close to their own level, the true hit formulas are going to make the difference in avoid rates matter less and their ability to actually reduce damage or take less matter more.

Crunching the numbers on a mercenary with an iron sword of level 20 with HHM bonuses, we're looking at Priscilla dying to 7 and Erik dying to 10. So a huge advantage for Erk there. Conversely, Priscilla will have an edge against brigands. But at this point those are no threat to anyone. Each will be able to take out dozens.

I'm done arguing this because the numbers back me up. At best you can argue Priscilla and Erk have approximately the same overall tankiness at 20/20. But against enemies that are a more serious threat, the calculations say Erk has an edge. You know, on top of actually being a real unit for most of the game and not needing any special treatment to even become functional.

Be prepared to repeat this argument infinitely when Nino shows up, also be glad you're not playing FE8 and having to explain Amelia and Ewan.

Nihilarian
Oct 2, 2013


Onmi posted:

Be prepared to repeat this argument infinitely when Nino shows up, also be glad you're not playing FE8 and having to explain Amelia and Ewan.
Those two join a hell of a lot sooner than Nino and even without the infinite grinding in the game they're pretty easy to get up to par.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!


I always think of this as the first unique chapter of Hectorís story, but of course itís technically only the first additional chapter since Another Journey (Chapter 11) was unique to Hectorís story but replaced Chapter 11 of Eliwoodís story. Itís a chapter with a reputation as being very difficult. Thereís some truth to that, though itís not really a matter of strategic difficulty so much as just tough enemies.

Chapter Summary:
After defeating Erik and realizing Marquess Laus and the rest of his army had slipped away, Eliwood and Hector rest in castle Laus and try to find where Darin had escaped to as well as take care of business before giving chase. Suddenly they come under a coordinated attack by an elite group of mercenaries working for Darin who had already infiltrated the castle.




Itís not 100% clear why this chapter only occurs in Hectorís story, and I think this narration is the best explanation we get. With Hector in charge they dally a bit while he (presumably) tries to contact Ostia or give Oswin a chance to and otherwise spend more time in the castle than they would if Eliwood had his way. Probably in Eliwoodís story the mercenary group attacks the castle to find Eliwood already gone.




Are castles EVER actually used for their intended purpose in the FE series? In every chapter I can think of that involves the player on the offense against one, the enemy either ignores the fact that they have a castle and sallies forth to meet you in the field or apparently just leaves the gates open and fights you corridor by corridor on the inside. Or both in the case of Noble Lady of Caelin and then Whereabouts Unknown later in this game.
Every time the player is on the defensive, the enemy is almost always inside the walls already somehow. Or you sally forth to attack them on the field outside.
Itís like the writing staff has no idea that castles were built to keep people out without having to actually fight them fairly.




Marquess Pherae told Eliwood about this infamous mercenary group a long time ago. This also ties in this chapter to one a good deal later in the game.




The enemy discuss their plans briefly and Heath tells Sealen to be careful and avoid getting killed after explaining heís going to go secure the escape route in case things go wrong. Although we see a decent number of conversations among them, we donít learn much about the structure of Eubansís mercenaries other than that Eubans is at the top.
We do know that both Heath and Sealen have men under their command and I suppose this chapter suggests the two are rough equals in standing since none is giving orders to the other. Apparently they donít know each other well since Sealen finds Heathís concern for his safety to be strange coming from someone he knows so little.
Perhaps this means Eubansís company is large enough that theyíre usually divided into smaller groups doing multiple distant missions at once. This would also explain why Eubans himself doesnít appear to be here- though on the other hand Sealen implies that heís taking orders from an officer higher up as he relays his battle plan and itís stressed that Eubansís company is loyal to Marquess Laus.
If they appeared only in a single chapter (Kinshipís Bond), the company could simply be dismissed as unimportant to the story, but they make 2 appearances in HHM which piques my interest enough that I kind of wish they got a third. It seems like an interesting group and a more credible danger as an army than the Black Fang.

The War Room, Part 15
Now would be a good time to talk about Supports and their role (or lack thereof really) in max ranking HHM.

For those of you unfamiliar with the FE series, nearly every game in it includes a way to have your characters form special bonds with each other often called a Support relationship. Besides that the conversations between characters as they develop their supports are often the best way to find out more about the lives and personalities and secret backgrounds of the characters in the game and besides that developing the highest possible support level often changes what happens to those characters in the epilogue (e.g. they marry or travel together as best friends instead of going off on their own), Support relationships also have beneficial mechanical effects.

Exactly how one acquires Support relationships and what they do varies greatly game by game. In my opinion, the GBA titles have some of the best and most interesting support conversations to unlock, but perhaps the worst system for unlocking them. Hereís how it works:

Each character has a hidden (until late in the game when Nils can tell you it) and predefined list of other characters theyíre capable of supporting. Many of these are exactly what youíd expect. Priscilla, for example, can support her brother Raven and her bodyguard Erik. Some are less so. Priscilla can support Guy and Heath as well as others and thereís no particular indication in advance that that would be the case.

Once you know whether your units in question are actually capable of supporting each other, the way to unlock the conversation is to have them finish their turns next to each other for many turns.

How many? That depends on each individual pairing of units. Every possible support relationship has its own base number of Ďpointsí and its own growth of Ďpointsí per turn. Each time the points accrued = a new multiple of 80, you can have one of the units move next to the other and click Ďsupportí to have them talk to each other. Each unit may have no more than 5 total support conversations ever and no unit may have more than 3 support conversations with any given other unit. Each conversation had will increase those unitsí support level from nothing to C to B to A level support, which will be noted under their inventory.
A few caveats: no pair of units may have 2 conversations with each other in the same chapter. They can continue to accrue points but will not cross the threshold to the next level. Further, no units can gain support points at all in Lynís story.
How do you know how many points a pair of units starts with and how many they gain per turn? Honestly, you should just consult this chart: http://serenesforest.net/blazing-sword/characters/supports/

So now you know how to unlock support conversations, but what does having a support relationship actually do? Well have you noticed how on their stats page, every character has ďAffinĒ and then an elemental symbol of some kind? Thatís the characterís Affinity type. Each Affinity has a suite of bonuses to damage, defense/resistance, hit chance, avoid chance, critical chance, and/or enemy critical chance reduction. For each level of support two units have, they each grant both themselves and their partner that set of bonuses. These bonuses apply only while the two are within 3 squares (so longbow range) of each other.
You can check the exact bonuses granted by each affinity among other things here: http://serenesforest.net/blazing-sword/characters/supports/calculation/

So thatís how you get supports and what they do. But how does this affect HHM max ranking? Well to be honest, it really doesnít. Donít get me wrong, supports are fairly powerful, but you will have a very hard time acquiring any of them except a handful like Lyn/Florina and Eliwood/Hector that start out almost ready to go. Your units are all going to have different things to do at all times and your formations are going to be a matter of whatís necessary to defeat the enemy and not have anyone die. Very rarely will you have the luxury to just stand any two units you want to next to each other for more than a single turn in a row. Most supports take about 30 turns to reach the first level; itís only a handful that can be done in 20 or less. And even 20 turns of any given 2 units standing next to each other is more than is likely to happen before the end of the game considering how often you need to scatter your troops to achieve numerous objectives or switch up which people you bring.

Furthermore, even if you do manage to unlock some conversations before the end of the game, youíre frequently going to have no choice but to send those units to opposite ends of the map or outright not bring one or both of them at all and therefore not get the bonuses you worked so hard to unlock. You are not allowed to bring many characters to most later HHM chapters and support bonuses are not worth bringing someone otherwise useless for.

Acquiring support points should probably be one of your lowest priorities, but if you do happen to see a chance to, say, stand Hector next to Eliwood with no tactical downside, then do it. If that happens a few times, youíll be able to have them converse the next time the two are in the same place and donít both need to spend their turn doing something else. And then theyíll each get to enjoy small but non-negligible bonuses when theyíre together for the rest of the game. Thereís no downside to that if it can be arranged, so go for it, but donít sacrifice speed or XP or anything to build up supports.

Battle Preparations & the Map




Always check your ranking. I wonít show mine from here on unless thereís something important to note, but you definitely want to check yours every chapter first thing. You really want to catch any problem as far in advance as possible so that you actually have a chance to solve it. Because this is a 0 chapter and takes 8 turns and thereís no way to build up an 8 turn surplus by now, Iíll drop to 4 tactics stars after this chapter but Iíll soon have dug myself out of that hole and begun saving for 19xx.



Units Allowed: 9
Objective: Protect the throne for 7 turns
Secondary Objective: Kill Sealen, the boss, to get his Dragon Shield
Secondary Objective: Get the Silver Axe from the left treasure chest
Secondary Objective: Get the Mend staff from the right treasure chest
Secondary Objective: Steal the lockpick from the enemy thief
Secondary Objective: Kill as many enemies as possible to maximize XP gain
Reinforcements: There will be a large number of enemy reinforcements but they stop if the boss is killed. I killed Sealen around turn 5 or so and didnít count the exact number of reinforcements I fought, but it was substantial. There might be as many as 12 axe fighters and 8 cavaliers (both quite well armed with a variety of weapons) and about 6 total myrmidons and mercenaries by the end of the level if Sealen isnít killed.
Turn Limit: 0. Itís another 0 chapter and this time thereís absolutely no way to finish faster than 8 turns (remember, the game counts an extra turn at the end of most survival chapters)

Itís a fairly small but complicated map with a lot to do and a large number of dangerous enemies- including a ferocious boss who moves. Making things more troublesome than they had to be, a locked door divides your forces and leaves 3 of them stranded perilously close to the boss and his longbow. Since no door keys have yet been available, only Matthew or the enemy thief (who will actually prioritize it) can open this door.

The top area may look safe, but donít be fooled: not only are a large number of axe fighters about to break down the left cracked wall and charge in, but the nomads near Sealen will soon charge upwards after that mercenary opens the top door.

Meanwhile, hacking through the enemy lines to get Matthew to the treasure room Ė let alone stealing the enemy lockpick- takes a significant share of your 7 turns. And since the enemy thief will steal the silver axe first and then the mend staff (and both count as weapons), itís impossible to ever acquire both if the thief is allowed to steal both.




This is the first chapter since Lynís story on which you must choose not to bring some of your troops, and itís absolutely essential to choose well. At long last Iíll be able to dump Rebecca and Bartre from the team!




One very important consideration is that Matthew may not be ABLE to steal from the enemy thief. In which case the enemy thief could, in fact, actually steal from Matthew and thereby screw you over completely for the rest of the story. Fortunately, because my Matthew is quite well leveled, he enjoys a decent speed advantage over the enemy thief and thus is capable of stealing his lockpick. Always check this kind of thing on HHM. On some chapters the enemy thieves are 20th level, meaning you can only steal from them if your Matthew has maximum speed already.




After a lot of thought (and a first attempt where I tried to not bring Marcus at all and ran into trouble as I expected), I ultimately concluded that something like this is the best starting formation. Itís best to put many of your fast units in the bottom section of your formation so that they can escape to safety from Sealenís huge range. Alternately, you can have Matthew open the door and let them out. That exposes him to enemy fire, wastes his time, makes the enemy thief go for the treasure sooner, and can leave your bottom units wasting their turns running in a loop around to get back to the fight.

I've decided that this is actually for the best though because I need the thief to go for the treasure faster, rather than slower, in order to efficiently steal his lockpick and kill him and then claim it all. Further, Marcus and Hector can get Matthew back out of range and then begin shredding the nearby units while aggroing Sealen to kill later. My initial strategy of planning on Hector alone slaying all the top units and then making a run at Healen simply would not work because Hector is too bad at quickly killing the mercenary while not getting torn up by the mage.

Oswin and Lowen are my best tanks vs lance users at this point since Marcus and Hector are occupied, so the two of them start close to the front. Eliwood, Guy, Erk, and Matthew are my other solid combat units and will need to be in the fray one the initial tanking is done. Their specific positions donít really matter much at the start since they want to stay back behind Oswin and Lowen on turn 1. As the guy with the best ability to double-attack and the best defenses, I decide on Guy to hold the line against the axe fighters when they appear. Meanwhile, Priscilla (helped by Eliwood probably) will cart Erk to safety.




This is one of the biggest problems Iím facing. Due to some bad luck with my other units that I mentioned last time, as well as this one turn on 13x, I had to use about 6 more Wolf Beil charges than I want to have by now. I can only use 4 more forever and Iím going to want to use it on Bauker, Bernard, Uhai, and Darin. So Iím in trouble any way I slice it on one of those chapters. Probably I can find a way to not use it vs Bernard by having Sain do the heavy lifting and maybe vs Uhai by having someone slam him with the Horseslayer instead.

Other than that, gearing up is pretty simple. Priscilla gets a heal staff, some handaxes are taken from people who arenít in the chapter and put in storage, but most people really have what they need already. Just in case I get a chance to lure Sealen down south instead of north, I give Oswin the horseslayer, but my first try of this chapter told me that that probably isnít a good idea because none of my units are good enough at killing the mercenaries and myrmidons who will block by path to him.




And as the map begins, Oswin gives some correct advice. However, my goal isnít to defend, my goal is to slaughter everyone wearing red and steal everything that isnít nailed down. In this game, sometimes the best offense is a good defense though so Oswin will see fairly heavy use.


The Characters




ďWeíll attack from the front and send another unit behind. We want to drive the enemy into a state of chaos. The ambush units are concealed as ordered. When the enemy splits its forces, we strike. Thatís all. Go.Ē ĖSealen, Chapter 15


What a piece of work is Sealen! How noble in damage, how infinite in movement! In speed and defenses how express and admirable! In accuracy how like an angel! In valuable drops, how like a treasure chest!




Sealen is a lot like Puzon in that heís a totally optional boss whoís a lot more dangerous than most of the people youíve fought so far, because of both solid stats and good weaponry. But unlike Puzon, this map is designed to favor him. Heís able to control a huge area with his giant movement and the unmatched 2-3 range of his longbow. And unlike Puzon, he drops an item so valuable that thereís really no choice but to fight him. Only Hector and Oswin and (to a much lesser extent) Marcus can stand up to his attacks with that steel bow. No one can retaliate while he uses the longbow. And he plays pretty smart and doesnít make it easy to trap him (I tried that on the first run and it just wasnít feasible given everything else going on and the mercenaries and myrmidons and cavaliers running to his aid).

Like most Sacaens, heís fairly taciturn. He gives short, staccato orders to his men and has little else to say about anything. We know that he doesnít expect his fellow mercenaries to care if he lives or dies- and thinks to himself that Heath is not cut out to be a mercenary given that Heath does care- and that heís at least capable of ordering the execution of a rather complex and sophisticated plan. He might or might not have been the one who concocted it too. Evidently, Eubans trusted him with a fairly large and important command so he must be well-reputed in the group. Other than that, we donít get a chance to learn much about him because he has so little to say.




Have I mentioned his darned range? Not only is the whole bottom starting area covered, but any attempt to fight the southern reinforcements is going to be severely hampered by having to stay out of that or get shot dead unless your name is Oswin.

Playing Through:




Mostly because I need to make the enemy thief move toward the treasure room sooner, I decided that the first thing I have to do is open this door myself.




But that would make the mage go for Matthew rather than someone with a handaxe, so Hector runs to his position near the door and rescues Matthew and then Marcus takes and drops him before returning to the spot heíll be luring Sealen to. Remember, cavalry can move, take someone rescued, drop them, and then keep moving.





On the left front I just put Oswin on point and had Priscilla and Lowen get Erk to safety. Now comes the trickiest turn of the chapter. As you can see, I have a huge number of troops bearing down on me from the south as well as Sealen and a ton of men moving north for Hector. I need to thin the herd and establish a defensive line. If I can do that, the enemy to the south will crumple up like aluminum foil. That will let me spare Guy- and maybe someone else- to stop the soon to be rapid flood of axe users.




You may have noticed that Matthew was the rear unit of my southern contingent and now Iím having him attack first. Thatís generally a good tactic. If you have the rear units move up and attack first, youíll typically be able to attack with everyone. On the other hand, if your front soldiers move up to the enemy and attack them first, you might end up in a situation where your back soldiers canít reach the remaining enemy so their turns are wasted. Avoid that situation.
Oh, and itís a bad level.



Although Fire is more cost-effective, I let Erk keep both it and his Thunder tome because sometimes- especially at the low levels- just a little bit more damage can help a lot and be worth a fair amount of money. Here it weakens this knight enough that even Matthew could probably kill it now and nets Erk a solid level up.




A great level for Lowen. Heís been pretty meh so far, but this really isnít bad for a level 5 cavalier.




By the end of the turn, you can see I wiped out most of the enemy and established some good defenses. Marcus ran south to weaken one enemy, but his huge moment will let him get back up to Hector in short order.
Really, this is a straightforward map tactically. Just attack the enemy as efficiently as you can and hope your troops are good enough to handle them.




Since Hector has a lot of fighting to do, I have him use a vulnerary and keep his handaxe at the ready.




Marcus takes the opportunity to hit Sealen for just under half his health. This will make it much easier for him or Hector to finish Sealen in a turn or two.




And hey, Marcus gets an excellent level for Marcus out of it. Of course, Iíd rather heíd gained less XP but I couldn't really prevent enemies from suiciding to him instead of my weaker units on the chapters where I needed to get him to a village fast.




Perhaps Iím forgetting, but I donít think my Guy has gained a good level up yet. Or even a decent one. Yeah, I just compared him to his HHM starting stats and heís gained 3 HP, 2 skill, 2 speed, 2 luck, and nothing else in 3 levels. Thatís barely even average for those stats. Oh well, I never intended to use him much longer anyway.




So the southern units have swept their way through most of the enemy and Guy (with a little help from Matthew and Eliwood) is tearing through the fighters at a decent rate. The enemy thief is injured already so next turn Matthew and Eliwood can take his lockpick and kill him. Having the enemy thief do some of the work opening the door and the first chest saved 2 turns on Matthew for fighting- more than making up for the 1 turn I spent opening the other door so the enemy thief would go this way.




Next turn, Matthew takes the lockpick.




Eliwood finishes the thief for a great level




So I score a silver axe




Erk gets another great level. Heís slow at the moment, but that will surely change in the near future.




Well not great, but all in all he gained pretty much every stat in 2 levels this chapter so thatís nice across the board.




With a bit more help from Marcus first, Hector finally takes Sealen down with his handaxe and gets yet another bad level. My early great luck with him has basically been eroded down to average overall by the recent string of terribleness. Heís still slightly faster than expected, but heís really lagging in defense and resistance among other issues.




Iím running out of turns and want to make sure every single enemy dies before the end. If both of these fighters decide to go for Guy, I wonít be able to kill them both in time without Marcusís help up here. The bottom front has enough firepower to definitely kill everyone next turn.




Yes indeed, just after killing the last enemies down there, Matthew gets the last treasure.




And Eliwood takes down the last enemy. Unlike the Wolf Beil, his rapier is still in decent condition even though Iíve been using it willy-nilly.




Thatís that! Iím not really sure what enemy units heís talking about. Maybe heís hallucinating from losing so much blood tanking for everyone.




And Hector is ready to get back to the plot next chapter.


Total Restarts: 7. My initial strategy to have Hector kill the top units and then fight Sealen alone was just not workable because he took too long to kill the mercenary. My backup plan also failed because even though Oswin could lure Sealen to attack him, it was impossible to surround and kill him since no one could take out the mercenaries and myrmidons tanking for him. That kind of thing is impossible to know without playing the map and finding out since you canít view the reinforcementsí stats while planning. So I had to restart that time and use this strategy instead.
Turn Surplus: -6 (Back in debt again because this chapter will always cost you 8 no matter what). Fortunately I now have 6 chapters to undo this setback and start building up a surplus in preparation for 19xx.
Things I Regret Missing: The lockpick on chapter 11, that darned archer on chapter 11, this one brigand who attacked Marcus on chapter 12, 2 more brigands who ignored everyone else to attack Marcus on chapter 13x, and 2 archers who ignored Hector and Dorcas (DORCAS!) to attack Marcus on chapter 14. Nothing was really missed on this chapter. Even if I had allowed more reinforcements to spawn, there would have been no way to take any more out on that last turn really.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

quote:

Are castles EVER actually used for their intended purpose in the FE series?

There's a chapter in FE9 where you try to man a fort but are undermanned and can't. There's a chapter in FE10 where you actually man a fort, but the mechanics reward you for charging out to kill the boss within the turn limit.

Apart from that, I can't think of one.

Onmi
Jul 12, 2013

If someone says it one more time I'm having Florina show up as a corpse. I'm not even kidding, I was pissed off with people doing that shit back in 2010, and I'm not dealing with it now in 2016.
Man this is such a filler chapter. Also I believe Eubans title in Japanese is bird-related so "Talons Alight" fits more, but I could be wrong.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me

Nihilarian posted:

Those two join a hell of a lot sooner than Nino and even without the infinite grinding in the game they're pretty easy to get up to par.

I just got Amelia and was impressed with how well she could handle a steel sword Cavalier in her introductory chapter on Difficult. Let her handle him while other units took out other targets and it gave her a nice lead on her class change.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!
Without actually chiming in on whether Nino or Ewan are good options, I'm just going to point out that their join times are comparable. There are 9 more chapters after Ewan joins and 7 more (not counting Battle Preparations but counting The Value of Life) after Nino joins, but she does so as a level 5 mage and it will take you at least 2 chapters to get Ewan to that level. You may also wish to consider the existence of Fila's Might and Ninis's Grace in FE7.

Onmi
Jul 12, 2013

If someone says it one more time I'm having Florina show up as a corpse. I'm not even kidding, I was pissed off with people doing that shit back in 2010, and I'm not dealing with it now in 2016.

Lotish posted:

I just got Amelia and was impressed with how well she could handle a steel sword Cavalier in her introductory chapter on Difficult. Let her handle him while other units took out other targets and it gave her a nice lead on her class change.

Lotish, there are no Steel Sword Cavs on her debut chapter

Lvl 9 Cavalier: 27-29 HP, 7-8 Def, 1-3 Res
1x Iron Sword- 14 Atk, 101-105 Hit, 19-22 Avoid, 2-3 Crit
2x Steel Lance- 19 Atk, 81-85 Hit, 2-3 Avoid, 2-3 Crit, 4-5 AS
1x Heavy Spear*- 18 (36) Atk, 82-86 Hit, 9-12 Avoid, 2-3 Crit, 3-4 AS


Okay...

Now lets look at Amelia, on the same chapter


Amelia
Lv. 1 Recruit- 16 HP, 2 Def, 3 Res
Slim Lance- 8 Atk, 94 Hit, 14 Avoid, 6 Crit, 4 AS


Can't double any of the cavs, ORKOed by all but the Iron Sword, Who she has a 72 minimum chance to be hit by who does all but 3 of her HP in 1 hit. This is the single Iron Sword Cavalier, as the Steel Lance and Heavy Spear Cavs will ORKO her with 67-68 Minimum chance And in response she's doing.... 0-1 damage.

So Lotish, I'm just going off statistics here, but what the gently caress FE8 are you playing... and can I have it?

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Onmi posted:

Lotish, there are no Steel Sword Cavs on her debut chapter

Lvl 9 Cavalier: 27-29 HP, 7-8 Def, 1-3 Res
1x Iron Sword- 14 Atk, 101-105 Hit, 19-22 Avoid, 2-3 Crit
2x Steel Lance- 19 Atk, 81-85 Hit, 2-3 Avoid, 2-3 Crit, 4-5 AS
1x Heavy Spear*- 18 (36) Atk, 82-86 Hit, 9-12 Avoid, 2-3 Crit, 3-4 AS


Okay...

Now lets look at Amelia, on the same chapter


Amelia
Lv. 1 Recruit- 16 HP, 2 Def, 3 Res
Slim Lance- 8 Atk, 94 Hit, 14 Avoid, 6 Crit, 4 AS


Can't double any of the cavs, ORKOed by all but the Iron Sword, Who she has a 72 minimum chance to be hit by who does all but 3 of her HP in 1 hit. This is the single Iron Sword Cavalier, as the Steel Lance and Heavy Spear Cavs will ORKO her with 67-68 Minimum chance And in response she's doing.... 0-1 damage.

So Lotish, I'm just going off statistics here, but what the gently caress FE8 are you playing... and can I have it?

Maybe Lotish is doing a different route from you?

Onmi
Jul 12, 2013

If someone says it one more time I'm having Florina show up as a corpse. I'm not even kidding, I was pissed off with people doing that shit back in 2010, and I'm not dealing with it now in 2016.

Melth posted:

Maybe Lotish is doing a different route from you?

I checked the opposite route as well, there aren't even cavaliers on chapter 9 eirika (Her 'debut' chapter) there are on Chapter 13 Eirika (your last chance to recruit her), who exclusively use Iron Lances

Lvl 12 Cavaliers: 30-31 HP, 9-10 Str, 7-8 Skl, 8-9 Spd, 4 Lck, 7-8 Def, 2-3 Res
Iron Lance: 16-17 Atk, 96-98 Hit, 20-22 Avoid, 3-4 Crit

and while I can't find her stats (She's level 4 rather than 1)

and Amelia's averages for Level 4 are

HP: 17.8
Str: 5.05
Skl: 4.2
Spd: 5.2
Luck: 7.5
Def: 2.9
Res: 3.45

Unless her joining stats on that chapter are massively different to her averages (In which case I can't find it documented anywhere) then she's not doing much better against the level 12 Cavs.

The enemy units for Eirika chapter 9 are


x8 Mercenaries (Lvl 9)
x6 Pirate (Lvl 9)
x5 Archers (x3 Lvl 8, x2 Lvl 9)
x4 Soldiers (Lvl 8)
x2 Fighters (Lvl 9)
x1 Myrmidon (Lvl 9)
x1 Shaman (Lvl 8)
x1 Sniper (Lvl 2)
x1 Warrior (Binks)
Reinforcements: x1 Pirate (Lvl 9) start of turn 2
x1 Mercenary (Lvl 9), x1 Mage (Lvl 8), x2 Archers (Lvl 8) at the start of turn 3
x1 Mercenary (Lvl 8), x1 Soldier (Lvl 8), x2 Fighters (Lvl 9) at start of turn 4
x2 Fighters (Lvl 9), x2 Mages (Lvl 8), x3 Soldiers (Lvl 9) and Amelia at start of turn 5

On Ephraim 11

x5 Knights (x4 Lv. 9, x1 Lv. 10)
x2 Fighters (x2 Lv. 9)
x6 Archers (x1 Lv. 8, x5 Lv. 9)
x5 Soldiers (x5 Lv. 9)
x4 Cavaliers (x4 Lv. 9)
x4 Mercenaries (x3 Lv. 9, x1 Lv. 10)
x1 Myrmidon (x1 Lv. 10)
x2 Priests (x1 Lv. 9, x1 Lv. 11)
x4 Mages (x4 Lv. 9)
x2 Shamans (x2 Lv. 9)
x1 Recruit (x1 Amelia)
x1 Warrior (x1 Gheb)

And on Eirika 13


x6 Soldiers (Lvl 12)
x6 Archers (Lvl 11)
x4 Cavaliers (Lvl 12)
x4 Armors (Lvl 12)
x2 Priests (x1 Lvl 10, x1 Lvl 13)
x1 Mercenary (Lvl 12)
x3 Rangers (Lvl x2 Lvl 2, x1 Lvl 3)
x1 Great Knight (Aias)

I'm not trying to be hostile, I'm just confused.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me

I did Ephraim's route, and some of the reinforcements have steel swords:


She has enough defense and, by the time they spawned, enough speed to not be doubled or killed in one hit, so it was trivial to let one of those guys wail on her while Natasha healed her to full every turn and someone else blocked the way to Natasha. Amelia was too enticing a target for him to go for anyone else, and so while everyone else was handling the rest of the map, she could just train on that guy until pretty much the map was over.

marshmallow creep fucked around with this message at 05:51 on Feb 23, 2015

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!
I'm also confused since my (distant and perhaps imperfect) recollection is that cavaliers are Amelia's nemesis for a long time. She can barely scratch them and they instant kill her or nearly instant kill her and double her if she's not using a slim lance. And their huge maneuverability makes it hard for her to even move around with them present. Iirc it was best to spoon-feed her a diet of lukewarm, pureed 1-HP mercenaries and ginger ale. Even that had a high failure chance since her accuracy wasn't any good.


And I will step in and say I consider Amelia to be definitely not worth it for purposes of the main campaign. Waaaaaay too much work for a mediocre unit. Ross is mediocre but available early, easy to train, and has a great class (Berserker). Ewan is amazing, available late, easy to train, and has a great class (Any option you want). Amelia is available fairly late, hard to train, and has no really special classes available, just a bunch of pretty good ones.

Onmi
Jul 12, 2013

If someone says it one more time I'm having Florina show up as a corpse. I'm not even kidding, I was pissed off with people doing that shit back in 2010, and I'm not dealing with it now in 2016.

Lotish posted:

I did the Ephraim's route, and some of the reinforcements have steel swords:


Man Serenes has one use as a resource and it doesn't even detail Reinforcements...

You're still facing 59% hit chances, that seems really drat dangerous with 66.79% true chance, to be... frankly, 2RKOed.

There's absolutely no way she's soloing that without at least a healer. I of course don't have his stats, you do. But if it's anything like the others, then you're still facing 1-2 damage total per hit.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me

I didn't say she solo'd it, though I can see how my wording may have been confusing. Still, I didn't need Natasha doing anything else by that point, so it worked out well.

Onmi
Jul 12, 2013

If someone says it one more time I'm having Florina show up as a corpse. I'm not even kidding, I was pissed off with people doing that shit back in 2010, and I'm not dealing with it now in 2016.

Lotish posted:

I didn't say she solo'd it, though I can see how my wording may have been confusing. Still, I didn't need Natasha doing anything else by that point, so it worked out well.

Okay, then yeah if you lock yourself into a choke point with Natasha drip feeding heals, now it all comes together and the confusion lifts.

I mean... your best bet is to sit there and let them kill themselves, but still, I would not call this a win for Amelia. but I should clarify that as much as I say "Amelia is such poo poo." I still do use her myself.

Nihilarian
Oct 2, 2013


Literally every time I've used her she became the dodgiest loving general, it's amazing. You need to baby her for like, a map, maybe two, and then she's fine to start contributing.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!
To bring up an FE7-related topic, you may recall me mentioning several chapters back that, contrary to popular belief, one has more turns to complete HHM than HNM. One reason people have the opposite impression is that in the early chapters HHM allows fewer turns, but it more than makes up for it later.


I looked up the turn requirements and put together the following spreadsheet showing how many more turns one has on the hard mode version of each chapter, including a total at the bottom for each of the different routes.









Right now the lower early turn time limits are hurting me. In Normal mode, I would actually be right back up into a turn surplus after Noble Lady of Caelin the way I usually play, but in Hard Mode it's not possible to shave off that many turns since the limits are so much lower. I won't be in surplus until after Whereabouts Unknown. And on The Port of Badon I'll suddenly get a huge lead for free because I can totally win that chapter in 4 turns no problem. That will let me play a bit longer on Pirate Ship to butcher the crew of the southern attacking vessel instead of needing to kill Zoldam just before they arrive while still building up a nice reserve in preparation for 19xx. I forget how long that chapter generally takes me since it's been forever since I played HHM seriously, but I'm pretty sure I'll finish it with a surplus. One that will only grow as 25 approaches courtesy of the hefty bonus number of turns to beat Linus in.

What really seals the deal is +18(!) turns on Night of Farewells.

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marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me

Wow. They must have really expected that chapter to be hardcore.

I mean, it still might be, because I have no memory of it by this point, but that's a huge jump in turns allowed.

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