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Hi, I've started an Awakening PT yesterday and could barely stop from playing to the point I've beaten Yen'Fay this morning while having started an hour before dinner. My rules are: Normal mode (beginner because I don't want to reset the maps), NO MOUNTS, NO PAIR UP except if you need the movement to get to an ennemy and kill it whether or not your unit is paired up (just as if the unit had moved and been danced would play in GBA Emblem), no same chapter master seal for same GBA promotion item (hero crest, knight crest, ocean seal, sage ring, archer arrows, elysian whip), which I flexed a little during the Valm Arc when I had Gregor and 10/10 mercenary Cordelia promoted (I considered my FEMU Echidna the bolt axe hero to be a prepromote I had left her lv 10-10 mercenary until after ch10 and promoted her just before chapter 11 but since she was only allowed to use bronze axes she couldn't fight Gangrel, used an arms scroll at C axes to get to B in order to bolt things). I used a third hero crest on 10/10 myrmidon Lucina just before chapter 16 (Fort Babirussa). I use a full roster; NO PARALOGUES at all, NO ENCOUNTERS, but Anna's shops are allowed, NO MAGIC TILES this one I broke 3x but only because I had no choice and didn't use the item I got from it, sold it for a miserable amount, another time I got 20 exp and the last one I don't even remember but it didn't give me an item. My team: strategist Echidna (+spd -def) up to ch3, reclass at 10 mercenary, used until ch8 when she reached lv 10; Chrom who lagged behind for quite a lot of time at level 13 until he gained 5 levels in ch12 and 14 to get to 18 and I sealed him right before Mila's Tree where he didn't fight at all; Virion who lagged behind until Valm arc started and his killer bow allowed him to gain 8 levels in 2 or 3 chapters, promoted right before Babirussa (he got shit level ups until 13 then 6 good ones, 18 str 19 speed at sniper 19/1). Lon'Qu was a great help but got left behind since Sai'Ri is basically to him what Conquest Xander is to Conquest Silas, there's no point is using Lon'Qu when Sai'ri's stats are equal or better everywhere but in def (she lost by 1 in def to 18/1 Lon'Qu while she won by 6 in HP and 2 in res, 2 in speed, lost by 1 in strength and didn't require me to give any exp/promo item to get there) and I had Lucina as a 2nd swordmaster; Gaius was promoted at level 12 into assassin for passage before reaching the 2nd final boss map of Valm (currently lv 12, 3 more levels to go and only 1 massively hard chapter to do it), he's decent with 21 str, 33 skl and 27 spd and B swords/bows, I used a forged max Mt bronze bow until C rank (8 Mt). Cordelia got good halfway through mercenary when her def got to 13 (around level 5), got strength like a crazy girl (27 str at 10/10/5 hero) and has enough speed to double all mooks and nearly enough for the bosses, she kills Valm arc heroes in 1 round with iron swords...they have 42 HP, 19 spd and over 10 def... Nowi is my mixed tank as she is most of the time, not amazing offensively but she's a Mordecai with good res after 10 level ups without gauge management. Gregor was promoted at level 19 at 16 speed for 19 speed before the boat map, he a tank more than anything else; Olivia was used until she hit level 7 and decent speed/luck since she's Lucina's mother (luck +4 helps with ennemy crits and all other options were either mounted or inappropriate since Lucina didn't want a magic mom, and Echidna doesn't marry a lord AFAIK), Henry is too funny not to use him, without pair up he's much worse since he relies on his HP, def and skill to do anything with trash tier speed and average magic at best, but he's funny, I just regret IS being so lazy, Ruin doesn't even have a proper magic animation, GIVE ME BACK GBA MAGIC ANIMATIONS INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS! or at least the Radiant Dawn animations, much faster than GBA ones but less impressive. Hell, Levin swords are literally the user lifting an arm and the lighting coming from nowhere...please 2013 was a falling down from the animations that were made more than 10 years ago...especially with Ragnell, Alodite, wind sword and tempest blade having real magic sword animations... I digress. My healers were Lissa promoted level 12 into a sage with forged wind to OHKO wyverns in 10 and 11 (it works, also she had 11 def at 12/1 sage wtf but only 13 spd), now level 18 or 19, and Mirabelle (yes I know it's Maribelle but I like fruits) who got 10/mage 10/sage and is now level 10. Maribelle literally has the highest attack in my whole team before even unlocking tomefaire, but I mostly use her for support (14 range staves FTW). Miriel got ditched around chapter 8 and Ricken around chapter 9-10. I've recruited everyone in the main story and they didn't die in their recruitment chapter. Panne has been very useful from ch7 to ch15, then I used her less due to ennemy def and HP taking a huge boost and their damage taking 10 points of boost in 3 chapters. Waiting for the beaststone+ to help her, she's level 22 with good stats (high hp good str high skl/spd good luck 16+1 def and same res as everyone else not named Cordelia, Nowi, Echidna, Lissa or Maribelle who all range bewteen 10 and 17 res). As for difficulty, well, with the self imposed challenge, I find normal to be the most balanced difficulty. Ennemies aren't overly fast and tanky as they are in hard and lunatic, the big roster means I can't get too overlevelled unlike lowmanning, hell I feel like playing Radiant Dawn easy mode, where sometimes is easy, sometimes it's not (especially when I gave 50% of the exp of every chapter past the prologue to FEMU, she actually solod the prologue). The hardest chapters were 8 (stupid desert movement restriction with swarms of mixed attackers), where Gregor nearly died, 11 where Gangrel has incredibly high stats even in normal mode, none of my units could double him even at 22 speed! He even doubled half of my units...well, I sacrificed Gregor, but the guy was like Rambo, he dodged an 83% hit from Gangrel on the 2nd attack, was left with 2 HP or something like that, next turn he one shot a wyvern on PP with wyverslayer and on EP he dodged the other wyvern coming at him and killed him on counter, GREGOR IS FCKING RAMBO! My Nowi with Lissa's Barrier took from 0 to 2 damage from the mages and Lissa and Panne ganged up the sage before he could do anything. Chapter 12 was easy, chapter 13 was like WTF warriors have 35 attack and snipers 28! Lissa sniped the great bow archers and she sniped the snipers who tried to snipe her but were sniped instead by her sniper sniping skills, Henry did a good chunk of the bottom side fighting, while the promoted units and Panne did all they could to secure the kills on the strong ennemies and Echidna trained up to C rank in axes by soloing the top-left side with a concoction. Chapter 15 was far easier than expected, with less reinforcements and no spawn moving reinforcements I could prepare for them and feed Gaius and Virion a good chunk of the flier kills. Chapter 17 was hard due to mixed offense and mixed defense on the ennemy team, my silver/killer/levin sword Say'ri with 1 magic power gained 3 levels and Gaius boss abused because I really really really want him to get passage before chapter 20. Chapter 17 boss has 34-35 attack with 24 speed, 13 def, sits on a throne and her valkyrie res is no joke. Chapter 18 made me get Gaius from North-West to East with the last rescue use I had, which allowed me to open the rescue chest (I didn't even know it was a rescue staff), which I transferred to Panne, who then gave it to Mirabelle in the middle, opened the South-Eastern chest with Gaius before rescuing to the Western one, then opening the energy drop chest before being able to open the Nrth-Western one without it falling in the lava, that was the hardest part since ennemies could be chokepointed except the beastkiller/bow vulnerable griffons who didn't make me cry at all, most fail class of all times, 0 reason to go there except the lv 5 skill...oh wait, I can't use mounts and pair up, no reason to ever use this class. Yen'Fay was so busted, none of my units could tank and kill him, either he doubled them or he could crit them and they had garbage hit rates. That's where my lv 3 sniper Virion got the most broken niche ever, he killed him with 95% hit with the great bow dropped in chapter 13 while Yen'Fay couldn't do anything, I'm glad he doesn't move and is a swordmaster, with hero defenses it would've been hard. Yen'Fay in normal mode has 28 or 29 spd, 35 or so attack, very high avoid (Henry of all people had less than 80% hit on him with C rank thunder magic although he had 23 skl and both sorcerer skills putting the boss down by 25 avoid). If you fight this boss in a full roster balanced exp no pair up run, don't expect everyone surviving without a cheese strategy, Yen'Fay outstats everyone at this point due to Amatsu dealing physical damage with 5% bonus crit and he has vantage even in normal mode to fck you up. Waiting with impatience to see what I'll need to bring into play for chapters 19 and 20, 19 being the stupidest of stupid map designs, open plain with tons of promoted cavalry reinforcements from all sides of the map, them benefitting from fort bonuses when they spawn while you benefit from being surrounded from all directions all the time by 30-ish damage mixed offense paladins, great knights and dark knights. And the boss is quite hard to deal with If I remember well, he's not that fast but not that slow either for a great knight special class and he tanks well, has high damage and ignores effective weaponry... I hope Maribelle, Lissa and Henry can deal with him (Henry's 61 crit rate with ruin is so funny...when it crits, I bought a ruin tome from Anna's shop before breaking the one he comes with and I used Nosferatu to help my healers who already needed 3 turns to heal everyone). Tip for newcomers to no pair up full roster balanced exp Awakening runs: buy healing items. Lots of them. If you have money, buy more healing items. This game with this playstyle is as rude on you as Radiant Dawn, promoted ennemies take a massive boost to their offense and defense and silver weapons really hurt. Without grinding for def, your units with 40 -50 HP still die in 3 hits from physical attackers and 2 from magical attackers. For real. In normal mode. Pair up is THAT broken, letting you bypass this level of offense is completely crazy. Don't start me on hard mode, I abadon ship long before the final chapters of the Valm arc in hard no pair up full roster, because everyone dies in 2 hits from everything or else gets surrounded by the hordes of ennemies and killed inevitably. I find the hardest chapters in normal Awakening no pair up no lowmanning are nearly as hard as Radiant Dawn normal mode. Especially if the only spotpass items you can buy are magic swords and axes and magic axes require fcking B-rank to even use them. Chapter 12 paladins have 15 def, that's 6 more than bow knights, and they hit hard. Raise and use Nowi, there's no better advice I can give to the mixed attackers issue on a plain without chokepoints when paladins and dark knights all have 35-ish attack and dark knights can attack from 2 range, rendering turtle formation useless. Buy pure waters on ch17 shop, 5 res isn't bad when there are so many magical threats and most of your units have <10 res, literally anyone wielding magic is a threat lol. Forge if you need more offense, forges last for a while (hell 20 ruin uses last me 5 chapters and I didn't forge it at all). Use Virion. He looks like a shitty unit, but when you face 1-2 range ennemies with high speed you can't double and high damage and crit (Yen'Fay typically), longbow is the best way to deal with them. Killer bows also OHKO falcons with little strength level ups from Viron until chapter 15, then silver bow OHKOs them, probably even with base Virion since they have 39 base Mt on anything with wings. Panne is very useful, free horsekiller with 18 Mt, 3 more than rapier, just by reaching level 15, which is easy (the ch10 boss isn't very dangerous and gives her good exp after being poked, and she can get her 2nd beaststone from him, I like killing him with her, she doesn't care for his dialog because he's a human and she wants to take her beaststone so hard that she kills for it). Prepromotes help, Frederick didn't help me because he was forbidden but he would have been helpful until midgame with that sweet def, but his speed getting high early on can result in him stealing kills which is annoying, and he still gets doubled by Gangrel no matter what. Hammers are also very common in ennemy hands and beastkillers exist. And magic. High damage magic. That's it, most fun I've had in a while by playing Awakening (even funnier than the last time I did something similar with that but with mounts allowed, this was 1 or 2 years ago, posted about it in the same section). If you want to share your experience, if you like that or not, etc, let a com so other people interested in Awakening challenges can read it and find something less boring to do than galeforce/nostank Emblem!