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About Balcerzak

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  • Birthday 04/23/1983

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    Eden Prairie

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    Blazing Sword

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  1. "Ride?" Jade echoed, a hint of disbelief in her tone. "That might be the right idea, but if we can't defeat it, I'm not leaving you behind to trade futile blows with it." Leaning and reaching down, the zombie grabbed hold of the vampire knight and helped to lift her up, where she settled astride the nightmare behind her. Turning to the others, she called out, "The dullahan seems to be slow moving, so keep your distance and it should be fine. I'll be back as soon as I can... with its head!" Jade rescues Lavinia and moves to 4,15
  2. Chapter 40, 2 turns Total Turns: 167 After a fun Puzzle Robo we're up to a respectable amount of money again after only one chapter, despite having splurged on finishing Layzner's weapons and Buster Gundam's with only about 60k to spare. I'll probably need to start working on Kaiser and Great's blue bars here soon if I want to keep posting solid turn benchmarks, but the question is how soon? I have Allenby coming after next chapter, and I probably can't ignore upgrading the Archangel forever... Some of my support bots are still untouched as well (Venus and Baybull I'm looking at you.) Getting to 10 for the "all weapons rank S" bonus is good for essentially a free parts slot (on some maps two if there are different terrain enemies), but support bots only tend to fight in emergencies AND they have four parts slots to begin with. I feel like Bay and Venus can continue to wait. AA though, that's where I worry, especially if I end up taking one of its splits at some point. I highly doubt I will, because Ruri Zeal is overpowered, and because Archangel just lost half its subpilots and is a neutered version of its former self, but... sometimes map design can really thwart your initial expectations. I tried watching some youtubes of the splits, but with the pace of the playstyles I could find, I couldn't make any real good judge of turncount differentials. The Tekkamen finale looked awful though, since I don't have him drafted and he was basically thrust into a one-on-one that looks difficult to get out of. But again, it was only a casual viewing. I'll have to cross those bridges when I get to them.
  3. Jade had not expected a fox to sneak up on her. Not that she was in a well hidden sniper nest by any means, but... she had been intently concentrating on doing the job and doing it right. Results had in fact exceeded expectations, so the zombie had just slipped into a little self-congratulation before quickly being startled out of it. "If you have to end up fighting me, I don't think my aim will be your biggest concern," she smiled ruely, following an unintended meaning behind the compliment. "But I thank you all the same, and may that day never come." Turning to the siren at her side, she changed the subject. "I'm going after the centaur with the massive bow next, if I can't finish the job, can you follow up, Gabriela?" Then, heading back into the fray, she slowed as she reached Lavinia, and apologized for earlier. "Sorry I rushed too far. Here, I'm not sure if you need it or not, but... I grabbed it for you before leaving the wagon behind." Jade moves to 2,9; activate Convoy, deposit Barbed Straight Sword, withdraw Iron Bow; trade Iron Bow to Lavinia; fire Pistol at Centaur 5; Canto to 3,10
  4. The sound of Lavinia calling after her and the jostling noise of the woman's armor as she did her best to keep pace on foot combined to elicit a bit of guilt for Jade. The feeling grew slightly worse, and tinged with worry, as more of the centaurs flowed past her position than she'd anticipated. She'd thought she'd do a better job of holding them off at the pass, and was a little disappointed in herself. But that disappointed feeling melted into concern at the final realization she was actually hemmed in on all sides; Deep Vermilion barely had enough space to turn around without bumping into one of the half-man half-beasts. For the moment her injuries were not severe, so that was one blessing. And she was not alone, an ally just cut down one of the foes, opening a window for escape. Another blessing. Wait... it was the thief? Biting her lip Jade briefly considered moving it out of the blessing column and into the cursed column, but then she thought better of herself. Her significant faults aside, the young lizard seemed to have a good enough heart, she shouldn't treat her ill forever. "Good work," the zombie called out, hesitating slightly then adding, "And thanks!" The most significant foe of the bunch seemed, to the merchant's untrained eye, to be the significantly heartier breed of skeleton soldier with the wickedly barbed weapon. The fact that it was slashing away at Lavinia had nothing to do with it. How could it? Several of the centaur archers were also aiming arrows at the vampire. Jade wasn't playing favorites, but the wight needed to go! To make that happen she needed more space, a bit of quiet, and some time to aim her rifle. Something in her gut told her its higher caliber would be much more welcome than the ammunition her six-shooter could fire. Nudging DV with her knees, they turned about, dashing through the opening Taliyah had provided, and coming to rest between Gabriela and the newcomer. Circling about again to face her prey, Jade took careful aim and fired. Jade moves to 2,6 and rifles the wight
  5. They had nearly finished putting to rest the wild dogs, and for once Jade was finding herself in agreement with the lizard thief. It was a bit of a shame. Both the fate of the animals, and the fact that their feelings had actually aligned. But that surprise was quickly interrupted by the rude arrive of a small fey. Or, well, one who was rather tall for that race, but short irregardless. ...Did her height even matter? The real sticking point was the attitude! "Look, I'm just trying to make a living here," Jade joked to ease the pain of prejudice. Sure she knew the woman had likely meant the host of... things currently making these ruins a menace. But that didn't really make it better. As the newcomer hopped, skipped, and flitted past, though, the zombie's gaze followed after, and caught sight of what seemed to be a dangerous threat. "Gabriela, don't..." she called out a warning to her slightly better known companion, then turned to see it was possibly too late. "Don't stray too far ahead," she finished anyway, then waved an arm in the direction of the threat. "A pack of centaur archers. It's not safe." Turning to Lavinia, Jade continued, "I'm going to try to draw their attention. If you can back me up a little, and try to think of a better plan..." There was a slight pause as she batted down a nagging worry in the back of her mind, "...That'd be lovely." Jade moves to 1,8 uses Revolver on Spider Eye 3, cantos to 3,10
  6. Chapter 38, 2 turns Chapter 39, 2 turns Total Turns: 165
  7. The dogs were almost cute, and if the situation had been different, Jade's reaction surely would have been too. "Another time, another place," she uttered softly, shaking off the one who had ineffectually been biting her hand, before pivoting and firing her gun at another that had tried slinking around the group's flank to strike at the less defensive members of the party. It was a shame not to push through them and continue forward, but there was a little too much chaos for trying something like that right now. Jade 2,5 pistol dog 4, canto back to 1,5
  8. "Seung-Min," Abby was testing out a new way of addressing the asian as she radioed over comms to get her attention. They had been getting along better, using her rank, her surname, or god forbid her callsign was just too formal. But... this was also going to take some getting used to too, felt a little funny still. Well, it was the first time, so that makes sense. "Mmmmm, proposition for you," she continued. "Second verse, same as the first? Little bit louder, and a whole lot worse? You, me, and Hexis now instead of Poesis? Wanna go at?" The new data that had been sent to them was figuratively burning a hole in her pocket. Abby Valor, 13,14 Rebellion Hexis
  9. Chapter 36, 2 turns Chapter 37N, 3 turns Total Turns: 161
  10. Lavinia's comment was one hundred percent unfair, and Jade could practically feel her ears burning. And to think she'd been worried about the vampire being upset! The zombie only managed a noncommital "Mmm," before the other had disappeared, hopping down from her perch and vaulting the impediment blocking the cart's progress, leading the rest of the expedition onward. As for Jade, she was a little loathe to just leave the wagon behind if she could help it. After watching the others file out, over, and beyond, she gave the fallen log a heft. Two actually, the second after she reluctantly stopped holding back her full strength. But it didn't budge, ...or well, not enough to remove it from its place across the path at any rate. "Stupid tree," the zombie muttered, giving it a parting kick as she returned to the wagon to gather up at least a few things that might be needed. She unhitched the 'mares, too. While she'd be taking one with her, riding it solo like at the arena, the other deserved more freedom to move about, and so Burnt Umber was given a long lead, and more than able to roam around the immediate area as she saw fit. "It won't be too long, girl. DV and me will be back before you know it." Then, switching out the hauling harness for a riding saddle and securing a bundle of assorted weapons behind it, Jade swung up and the pair were off to catch up to the others. The soft jangle of keys on a ring was a new accompaniment, and maybe one that would prove unnecessary--how many hauntings brought along material possessions, after all? But they were light enough it didn't hurt to be prepared. One last check to make sure nothing was loose, would fall off with a quick reposition of her shield, or when she went to reload one of her guns, and then reassured and confident, she led Deep Vermillion past the roadblock, and made her way to catch up to the others. A bit of a late arrival, Jade has missed Bridget's flying entrance, and even Marina's call for people to hold their ground and let the foes come to them. As the zombie brought up rear of the group, she simply saw a large pack of wolves advancing somewhat menacingly on some of whom she viewed as the more delicate of their members: Gabriela and that lizard thief, to be precise. Better put a stop to that. Xalrei would probably be right behind her to help too. ...Hmmm, maybe if she downed that skeleton, the animals would be distracted by the bones. Worth a shot! Jade moves to 1,6 fire her Pistol at Bow Skeleton 5, canto to 1,5 (also withdraws Chest Key from convoy to item slot)
  11. Unfortunately, a good point was brought up on how a good rain would act to sort of lance the boil of whatever magical build-up was happening. And so, while Jade wasn't happy about it, she grumpily relented. "I suppose. Nothing special going to be spoiled by getting a little wet, unlike some shipments I've had. Still..." a sigh and a pleading look to the sky, "If it could manage that without thunderbolts and lightning, I think everyone would be the happier for it." Actually, given that the zombie was feeling a little uncomfortable thinking about the subject, she decided to take the advice being offered to someone else. Tweaked of course for her needs and circumstances. It probably wouldn't do anything really, just peace of mind, but she rested a hand on the top of Lavinia's thigh. If the vampire objected she was going to just stave it off with a 'what, it sounded like a good idea' look and accompanying shrug, but before it came to that an outside force interfered a bit. While Nessraya was doing some teasing of her own, before there was enough of a gap in conversation where Jade might expect some joking comment or slight pushback, but several seconds after contact had been initiated, the wagon ran across a rather larger root than normal in the path, and quite a jostle commenced. In the back it almost certainly was enough to knock shoulders against shoulders, or elbows against chests, or who knows. Up front, it took an innocently resting hand on the top of a thigh and wedged it rather deep in between the one and its mate. Not at all what she'd intentioned, and obviously embarrassed, Jade quickly retracted it, an awkward cough punctuating things. "R-Right, apologize for the bit of rough ride, but, aha, we are off the main road and while this path is better than just rolling right into the underbrush..." A look further ahead and the merchant's train of thought suffered another bit of derailment. Was that a downed tree up ahead? It was just coming into view, so they had some minutes before they reached it and would have to clear it away, but. "Hmm..."
  12. Been a very long dry spell on updates here, several reasons for that but I'll just hit you with the highlights. I figured out a good strat for a chapter 36 clear, and then was super impatient to see the results of the several long-awaited bits of game that had been getting slowly worked up to: Layzner secret character join, MC robot mid-season upgrade, etc. I did some super lazy, rush clears without even saving to just skip ahead and see what shook out. Gale and the Greimkaiser were a lot more disappointing that I was expecting. 3 mod slots, 3 parts slots, and a robot that only slightly better than the Baybull, and without the ability to repair or resupply. I'm not sure why I initially picked going for him, when I find Julia's spirit list much more appealing. I guess I had no idea what I was doing. Another big disappointment was that given how I had allocated my subpilot choices during the first half of the game, when returning in the Bellz Brigandy, Calvina didn't have access to the final attack with a Melua sub until after I'd gone all the way past clearing Chapter 43. That long of a delay is pretty badly unacceptable, even if it may or may not turn out to strictly cost turns (again, I just did bumrush clears to find the full ramifications of my earlier choices). The final, much more minor, cause for complaint I discovered was the pilot I had been using as Archangel's main disappeared, taking her ace kills along with her. With three defects, I decided "you know what, I can do better", and began slowly replaying from a fresh beginning, following my posts in thread as a template for basic strategy, with small revisions here and there. While the bulk of the tweaks were either to correct for the new secret requirements, or related to a different subpilot choice on a given map, or to just try to better optimize money or xp income, one major development was found and I saved a turn on chapter 28 with the new attempt. I'm including summaries in the spoiler that follows, mostly text given that images for the original attempts are already pretty well documented earlier in thread. Chapter 35 cleared. Total Turns: 156
  13. Well, the recruitment effort went well enough, it looked like. Jade had hoped one or the other would have taken a more aggressive attempt at engaging the newcomer after her introduction, but with Nessraya passively making some time for her afterward, when Taiyute approached her, that was good enough. As for now... taking a moment to look backward, at the outside of her wagon, the merchant was a little bit conflicted. Well, it wasn't actively harmful, at least, but she would have preferred more a normal passenger, on the whole. Her sigh was cut short when Lavinia signaled her to take a branch off the main road. The path lead deeper into the rising mist that seemed to be emanating from the woods, and to claim that gave her zero anxiety would be a lie. But Jade trusted in the nightmares. If there were something frightfully amiss, she believed they'd react and make it known. On the contrary, the 'mares were almost in exceptionally high spirit. That didn't stop an odd chill from settling into the zombie's bones, however. "I'm fine with you keeping the mist, as long as it doesn't develop into full-on thunderclouds..." she muttered in reaction to the vampire's wistful hope that dealing with the spirit they were here to seek out wouldn't dispel the bit of relief it was offering her from the light of day. Jade was starting to wish she'd paid a little more attention to the discussion of the rumors and the content of their business now, rather than having had to deal with other distractions at the time. Ah well, such is life... or in her case, its slightly twisted replacement.
  14. "Right..." Jade wasn't entirely sure what to make of the newcomer, and making decisions about who actually got to join the group was not in her wheelhouse regardless. Better just do some introductions, and pass that buck along to where it belonged. "Well, my name is Jade; that should do you rather than constantly having to call me 'miss'. As for Ixrathl, he is, uh... I guess traitor would the right word? He's leading a sedition movement, and this group here has been tasked with bringing that to an end. Our leaders are Lavinia and Nessraya," the zombie gestured at each as she said their name. She honestly wasn't sure who had greater authority, so just lumping the two of them together was a quick fix. "Marina there," another gesture, "...is an important uh, well... Her presence is vital to help with the nation's healing process." The Hero had been outed as such the night before, and while Taiyute had been present for that... given her lack of command of the common tongue, perhaps she hadn't quite grasped the full implications. There was a lot at play, and trying not to divert too much from the business currently at hand while still giving enough information to go off of was tricky business. Not to mention, she was essentially calling Marina out as just a figurehead, that was a bit awkward. Jade's expression reflected the discomfort that came with that. "I can catch you up on who everyone else is later, if you're given the go ahead to join up." The news from Erephis that the group intended to head to Hwein eventually piqued Jade's interest, naturally. She hadn't remembered that ever coming up before. The merchant would have to ask after that at some point. Not now of course, there were already too many people pulling the conversation in two many directions, and it was more of a footnote than the main event, what with this business about taking care of a spirit first anyway.
  15. Shaking off the worst of the effects of the psychic assault, Thorvald was pleased to see the rest of the team had continued performing great feats. Even Elaine, whose concerns he had been unable to address. Now, a message was coming in from Hannah, requesting support. "Roger that," his words were a little slower and more deliberate than normal, almost having to force them out, but otherwise there was nothing wrong with his voice. Good, that was good. "King Arthur, I'll be laying down the heat while you'll be keeping their attention. Don't get caught out unaware though!" His warning was pointless. Hannah in the Reign was breath in the wind. He needn't have worried. And more important, it looked like he'd landed a decisive shot, with the enemy craft's thrusters cutting out, and it falling into the lake with a stunning splash. He could almost picture a chubby thirteen year old calling out 'Cannonball' as he launched himself from diving board into a pool. "Well, we've clearly got a good thing going, no reason to let it go to waste," Thorvald mused aloud, then swiveled the Odin's facing, circling about ninety degrees and locking in on the other massive threat. Thorvald HEAT vs Hexis from current position
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