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Why is this such a big deal?

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I'm sure most of you are familiar with Micaiah's plan at the end of Part 3 Chapter 12.

I'm not sure if this is still around, but I've been reading some Micaiah related threads lately and I don't understand the fuss. Mages have been incinerating people since FE1, so what's so special about that incident?

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I had to look up the script and I assume you mean this?

Quote

Sanaki:
“Confusion is exactly what Lekain wants. Daein is merely a pawn in his scheme. But there is one thing I do not understand. Why use such horrible tactics? Oil and fire? What is that girl Micaiah thinking?”

Does it ever say that was Micaiah's idea? I have a feeling it was someone else just blaming it on her, like Izuka maybe?

Magic just burns one person at a time, pouring oil on a whole army and setting them on fire would be much worse. I'd assume.

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12 minutes ago, Dragoncat said:

I had to look up the script and I assume you mean this?

Does it ever say that was Micaiah's idea? I have a feeling it was someone else just blaming it on her, like Izuka maybe?

Magic just burns one person at a time, pouring oil on a whole army and setting them on fire would be much worse. I'd assume.

Seeing as Radiant Dawn's your favorite game, I'm surprised you didn't know what I was talking about. 

It just did in the script you posted. Even more oddly it came from Sanaki, who's prefers fire as her weapon of choice.  

I still don't understand. What's the difference between incinerating people at the same time and doing it multiple people individually?

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21 minutes ago, Køkø said:

I'm sure most of you are familiar with Micaiah's plan at the end of Part 3 Chapter 12.

I'm not sure if this is still around, but I've been reading some Micaiah related threads lately and I don't understand the fuss. Mages have been incinerating people since FE1, so what's so special about that incident?

She was trying to incinerate the perceived "good guys" that the viewer knows and are likely close to. 

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2 minutes ago, omegaxis1 said:

She was trying to incinerate the perceived "good guys" that the viewer knows and are likely close to. 

I don't mean the fact that she tried to  kill the "good guys", I mean that a lot of people,ingame and out, seem to be appalled by the usage of oil and fire. Why is this so horrible when fire magic exists?

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9 minutes ago, Køkø said:

Seeing as Radiant Dawn's your favorite game, I'm surprised you didn't know what I was talking about.

Just because it's my favorite doesn't mean I know all the dialogue or play it constantly.

Sanaki is being kind of a hypocrite there if she uses fire magic, yeah. But royalty, which she is, does tend to be that way.

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Using fire magic is essentiall like wielding a sword. 1v1. Oil and Fire is more the "kill them all in one swift sweep" kind of thing.
Comparing that to our time, the Fire Magic is maybe equivalent to stabbing someone with a knife or shooting them, while a method like Oil and Fire would be aquivalent to usage of bombs or chemical weaponry. You can probably see the difference.
I think Sanaki was pointing out the ruthlesness of Daein by resorting to such "unfair"/"dirty" or immoral tatics.

Edited by Mariode

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20 minutes ago, Køkø said:

I don't mean the fact that she tried to  kill the "good guys", I mean that a lot of people,ingame and out, seem to be appalled by the usage of oil and fire. Why is this so horrible when fire magic exists?

 

11 minutes ago, Mariode said:

Using fire magic is essentiall like wielding a sword. 1v1. Oil and Fire is more the "kill them all in one swift sweep" kind of thing.
Comparing that to our time, the Fire Magic is maybe equivalent to stabbing someone with a knife or shooting them, while a method like Oil and Fire would be aquivalent to usage of bombs or chemical weaponry. You can probably see the difference.
I think Sanaki was pointing out the ruthlesness of Daein by resorting to such "unfair"/"dirty" or immoral tatics.

It might be that. On a moral sense, oil and fire are considered to be a more appalling form of killing someone as using just normal fire magic. Plus, it could also be the case that since fire magic is magic itself, the fire's temperature might be easier to control, so it could even be much less lethal. I dunno, just possibly. 

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The authors want to hammer the point that Micaiah is capable of being ruthless if the situation calls for it so they want to emphasize on this by having characters point this out. Also oil + fire is worse than just fire alone. Though legendary magic tomes should be even worse so Sanaki does sound like a hypocrite. 

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2 minutes ago, Icelerate said:

The authors want to hammer the point that Micaiah is capable of being ruthless if the situation calls for it so they want to emphasize on this by having characters point this out. Also oil + fire is worse than just fire alone. Though legendary magic tomes should be even worse so Sanaki does sound like a hypocrite. 

Well, like I said above, since its magic, you might actually have a control over how powerful or how hot the flames are. Keyword being might. But it stands to reason that its possible. I mean, Wind Magic can be used to kill others, but in the Drama CD, we see Laurent using it just to push Inigo and Gerome away from one another. 

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Just now, omegaxis1 said:

Well, like I said above, since its magic, you might actually have a control over how powerful or how hot the flames are. Keyword being might. But it stands to reason that its possible. I mean, Wind Magic can be used to kill others, but in the Drama CD, we see Laurent using it just to push Inigo and Gerome away from one another. 

It's more merciful to use a lethal attack than a not so lethal attack. One kills faster than the other but I suppose oil and fire is so hard to control that it might be more painful than any form of fire magic. 

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15 minutes ago, Mariode said:

Using fire magic is essentiall like wielding a sword. 1v1. Oil and Fire is more the "kill them all in one swift sweep" kind of thing.
Comparing that to our time, the Fire Magic is maybe equivalent to stabbing someone with a knife or shooting them, while a method like Oil and Fire would be aquivalent to usage of bombs or chemical weaponry. You can probably see the difference.
I think Sanaki was pointing out the ruthlesness of Daein by resorting to such "unfair"/"dirty" or immoral tatics.

I get the gist of what you're saying but I can't say that it applies. 

The real world equivalent would be dropping a thousand knives or bullets on an army below, because bombs and chemical weapons are completely different in essence. I just don't think that a mass fire is any less moral than an individual one, they're roasting people alive all the same.

And I don't see how Sanaki can call Daein ruthless for using fire when she does this to people.  

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Icelerate said:

It's more merciful to use a lethal attack than a not so lethal attack. One kills faster than the other but I suppose oil and fire is so hard to control that it might be more painful than any form of fire magic. 

Exactly. If a person doesn't die outright, they would literally be screaming in absolute agony as they feel their flesh burning to charcoal, even getting to their eyes. Not a great way to die. 

Of course, this might have been how the Valmese army had met their demise in the sea battle, when the oil ships exploded on the entire fleet. But hardly any of the players cared for that. Though likely many died instantly, and the rest jumped off the ship. 

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Magic is a normal part of the FE world and FE combat. If the developers wanted to be consistent on fire use in warfare, they would have to either make magic a suspect thing. Or, make no one bat an eye at a fire attack- which is how Dynasty and Samurai Warriors handles it, a fire attack is a good strategy through and through. And while DW whitewashes some things (Liu Bei doesn't slam his baby against the ground), it does let its tacticians be individuals of mixed honorability and treats this as a sort of norm.

Back to those two choices, the former would require a good world building effort to be exerted, one which would contradict what we know of PoR where no abhorrence for mages is found. The latter would make those of sensitive modern morality take issue with Micaiah's action, because FE is supposed to be a gentle idealism wins out world.

I'll call gameplay-story segregation here as odd as it seems. In gameplay, using a fire attack is okay. In story, outside of magic in one vs. one combat, it is not. And the point of making the attack out to be immoral in the plot is to show Micaiah is- faced with an impossibly strong foe that she must use forbidden tactics against. That the Blood Pact is so evil and binding as to force her to do this. And that she is so selfless as to be willing to stain her reputation with such immorality for the sake of Daein's survival. It does also show she has talent as a tactician.

 

1 minute ago, omegaxis1 said:

Of course, this might have been how the Valmese army had met their demise in the sea battle, when the oil ships exploded on the entire fleet. But hardly any of the players cared for that. Though likely many died instantly, and the rest jumped off the ship. 

And anyone in remotely heavy armor drowned, which is never a good way to die.

The whole point of that tactic is make Robin out to be a genius, and to do something cool for the players to awe at. There is no questioning of the morality of this act, because Awakening doesn't care about that. It isn't trying to be realistic and a little gritty like DW, obviously Awakening is supposed to be gentle ideals win out (Robin-Virion Support).

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12 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

And anyone in remotely heavy armor drowned, which is never a good way to die.

The whole point of that tactic is make Robin out to be a genius, and to do something cool for the players to awe at. There is no questioning of the morality of this act, because Awakening doesn't care about that. It isn't trying to be realistic and a little gritty like DW, obviously Awakening is supposed to be gentle ideals win out (Robin-Virion Support).

Very true. 

However, granted, it was the only solution they had. It was either that or face certain annihilation. Robin's plan was to make sure that they make it through and stop the invasion of their home, which Valm was doing and wasn't even willing to negotiate. Plus, this tactic is in fact used in real life. 

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Just now, omegaxis1 said:

However, granted, it was the only solution they had. It was either that or face certain annihilation. Robin's plan was to make sure that they make it through and stop the invasion of their home, which Valm was doing and wasn't even willing to negotiate. Plus, this tactic is in fact used in real life. 

I'm not disagreeing with this. It was a valid tactic, and good that Robin used it from a strategic perspective.

I admit my portrayal of it was flavored by a dislike of Robin and a tendency to view any tactical success of theirs as an "I'm special!" moment. Maybe if Robin wasn't an MU and hence didn't have to have any moments cast like that at all (because every time Robin is special, you the player are special; inspirational, but I could do without the self-help), it'd be less of a problem. Or so I guess. I'd need to replay Awakening to see if my criticism is justified.

And having mentioned Dynasty Warriors before, well one of the biggest most epic and cherished battles of the Three Kingdoms period is the Battle of Red Cliffs/Chibi. Cao Cao (Walhart) the juggernaut who has reunified northern China into the Kingdom of Wei (Valm), is moving to invade the south using rivers. Sun Quan, with some support from Liu Bei (although Romance of the Three Kingdoms exaggerates the significance of Liu Bei and his tactician Zhuge Liang), doesn't want Cao Cao to reunite China, they each want to do it themselves. Cao Cao is inexperienced in naval affairs, but Sun Quan's Kingdom of Wu is, and between Huang Gai (I will call him Frederick here) and Zhou Yu (whom I shall call Robin), use some trickery and a major fire attack to destroy Cao Cao's fleet and send him packing in a hasty, bloody retreat north.

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I can't find the script on SF, but I am fairly certain she makes a statement about wanting to keep casualities to a minimum in the first place since she doesn't understand why they are fighting.... then she learns that they shouldn't be fighting in the first place but Pelleas was tricked. Then she almost slaughters an entire army after finding out this information. And her plan would have worked too if she was willing to sacrifice Sothe

Edited by DarkDestr0yer61

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1 hour ago, Mariode said:

Using fire magic is essentiall like wielding a sword. 1v1. Oil and Fire is more the "kill them all in one swift sweep" kind of thing.
Comparing that to our time, the Fire Magic is maybe equivalent to stabbing someone with a knife or shooting them, while a method like Oil and Fire would be aquivalent to usage of bombs or chemical weaponry. You can probably see the difference.
I think Sanaki was pointing out the ruthlesness of Daein by resorting to such "unfair"/"dirty" or immoral tatics.

Bombs on enemy troops is far from frowned upon in modern warfare. Any country locked in a war does it ALL THE TIME. The US dropped upwards of 35,000 bombs last year, and under Obama in 2016, 25,000 were dropped.

You can make some commentary on America's eagerness to drop bombs, but bombs are far from "unfair"/"dirty" tactics in modern warfare. Unless you're using them to wipe out civilians and commit war crimes, not many powers in the world are going to bat an eye.

Chemical weapons are a whole different topic. These ARE explicitly banned, and most of the world has explicitly agreed to not use them. Oil and fire is not remotely close to chemical weapons. Burning to death in oil will be a painful death, but it's a pain you have to experience for maybe 1 minute or so. Chemical weapons were banned because they were so inhumane that seeing them inaction caused nearly every leader on the planet to go "Oh, that shit's fucked". Stuff like people bleeding from their eyes while their skin slowly flakes off before they finally die as their organs liquefy days later. Any time anyone uses chemical weapons(See Syria two years ago or Iraq under Saddam), it prompts IMMEDIATE action from world super powers.

So yeah, I don't think Micaiah's actions were necessarily extreme, given her circumstances.

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32 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

I'm not disagreeing with this. It was a valid tactic, and good that Robin used it from a strategic perspective.

I admit my portrayal of it was flavored by a dislike of Robin and a tendency to view any tactical success of theirs as an "I'm special!" moment. Maybe if Robin wasn't an MU and hence didn't have to have any moments cast like that at all (because every time Robin is special, you the player are special; inspirational, but I could do without the self-help), it'd be less of a problem. Or so I guess. I'd need to replay Awakening to see if my criticism is justified.

I get it. But if Robin is a guy that studies tactics so much and plays games that utilizes tactics, can you consider Robin to actually be a Stu? He's very flexible in coming up with ideas that are effective because it's established into his character. Heroes and Warriors emphasize that even more. So I don't consider it a Stu trait, but rather something befitting a tactician which Robin is. 

35 minutes ago, DarkDestr0yer61 said:

I can't find the script on SF, but I am fairly certain she makes a statement about wanting to keep casualities to a minimum in the first place since she doesn't understand why they are fighting.... then she learns that they shouldn't be fighting in the first place but Pelleas was tricked. Then she almost slaughters an entire army after finding out this information. And her plan would have worked too if she was willing to sacrifice Sothe

Actually, going by that, it just occurred to me. The shock of what Micaiah was doing might not be because it's much of an inhumane tactic, but rather it's completely out of character for Micaiah. From what they heard, Micaiah was a kind woman that loved her nation and is hailed as a Priestess of Dawn. And now suddenly Micaiah is willing to utilize such a vicious tactic involving oil and fire, it's something that might completely contradict the kind of person that they must have heard of.

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It's my main issue with Micaiah critics. Yes, the tactic isn't honorable, but it IS war. "All's fair in love and war" applies here. It's a bit out of character for her, but at the same time, it also reinforces her love for Daein, which is totally in character for her. I think it makes her more dynamic, but whatever.

However, she did say she wanted to keep casualties to a minimum, and that kind of plan puts it at a maximum instead. But, she may have referred to Daein's troops, not the enemy combatants. Or it could have just been a bluff for the enemy to retreat. 

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1 minute ago, omegaxis1 said:

I get it. But if Robin is a guy that studies tactics so much and plays games that utilizes tactics, can you consider Robin to actually be a Stu? He's very flexible in coming up with ideas that are effective because it's established into his character. Heroes and Warriors emphasize that even more. So I don't consider it a Stu trait, but rather something befitting a tactician which Robin is. 

A tactician should be successful very true, otherwise they aren't much of a tactician. And Robin did mess up with the Emm rescue. So they aren't perfect. I'd never use the Stu/Sue language by the way, I try not to deal in tropes.

If I compare Soren to Robin, Soren gets praised too, and might actually have a more perfect record (which isn't good if it is 100% perfect- for the greater good I need him to make a few mistakes) than Robin, but not being an MU, and Soren being antisocial I'd say the praise is presented differently. Does anyone ever tell Soren he is amazing to him? Behind his back to Ike yes, but to him directly? Soren I don't think likes being praised (and honestly, this is somewhat like myself being an introvert and disliking praise), not that Robin gloats about it, they don't (if anything I vaguely recall deflecting praise to Chrom as Robin's usual reaction).

I admit though that come Robin vs. Soren, Soren will lose. A popular MU vs. a lord's loyal servant, the MU will win. I'm okay with this. All I can hope is that it's a loss close to a draw so nobody is really offended by it. 

 

49 minutes ago, DarkDestr0yer61 said:

I can't find the script on SF, but I am fairly certain she makes a statement about wanting to keep casualities to a minimum in the first place since she doesn't understand why they are fighting.... then she learns that they shouldn't be fighting in the first place but Pelleas was tricked. Then she almost slaughters an entire army after finding out this information. And her plan would have worked too if she was willing to sacrifice Sothe

I think the keep casualties to a minimum line went back to 3-11, when the Senator inspector tells Micaiah to continue fighting and destroy the bridge and she disagrees, which would kill many Daein soldiers on the bridge. SF doesn't have the script for that chapter though. 3-12 says nothing of keeping casualties to a minimum though. The closest thing she says is:

Micaiah:
“The apostle’s army has incredible numbers. We wouldn’t stand a chance taking them head-on. They would march right through us. We need to give Pelleas more time, but if we hold back, the senate will know we’re up to something. For now…let’s just try to draw this out a bit and stop the apostle’s army.”

3-13 does have her admit she messed up when she broke down for Sothe though.

Micaiah:
“I can’t! I thought I made up my mind… I thought I’d do anything for Daein! But then I saw Sothe taken from me, and I saw him fall… I was powerless to do anything! I’d taken so many lives as a general, and yet, when I thought of Sothe dead…”

Pelleas:
“Even if it hadn’t been Sothe in front of you, you would have reacted the same way. That’s the kind of person you are.”

Pelleas:
“Individual lives taken before your eyes weigh more heavily than the many lives taken during the chaos of war. If that life is someone dear, the burden is even worse. It’s only human. Isn’t that true?”

Pelleas:
“Micaiah. It’s your caring soul that I admire. That’s why I want it to be you.”

 

I also think part of the issue with Micaiah's fire attack, is that the player and even Micaiah herself knows who is on the right- Sanaki and the Laguz Alliance, the Senate obviously isn't and she hates them too. Her enemy is the Senate, but she has to kill the good guys. And Sanaki intentionally was trying to avoid battle with Daein while passing through, so she was acting neutral to Daein, her fight is only with the Senate, and you don't attack neutrals in warfare.

Soren by the way set fire to the Begnion Central Army's supplies, and nobody had a problem with that, why it was his biggest success of Part 3. You are told not to kill the Senators, though Soren puts it in cold diplomatic and not humanitarian terms.

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3 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

A tactician should be successful very true, otherwise they aren't much of a tactician. And Robin did mess up with the Emm rescue. So they aren't perfect. I'd never use the Stu/Sue language by the way, I try not to deal in tropes.

If I compare Soren to Robin, Soren gets praised too, and might actually have a more perfect record (which isn't good if it is 100% perfect- for the greater good I need him to make a few mistakes) than Robin, but not being an MU, and Soren being antisocial I'd say the praise is presented differently. Does anyone ever tell Soren he is amazing to him? Behind his back to Ike yes, but to him directly? Soren I don't think likes being praised (and honestly, this is somewhat like myself being an introvert and disliking praise), not that Robin gloats about it, they don't (if anything I vaguely recall deflecting praise to Chrom as Robin's usual reaction).

I admit though that come Robin vs. Soren, Soren will lose. A popular MU vs. a lord's loyal servant, the MU will win. I'm okay with this. All I can hope is that it's a loss close to a draw so nobody is really offended by it. 

I wouldn't say that Robin will win just cause he's an MU. See, one thing that Robin excels at that Soren is lacking in is that Robin has far more social skills and always takes the time to learn her comrades and befriend them. Robin comments that having a good relationship is good as you understand their strengths and weaknesses as well as boosting some morale and holding more trust. This goes perfectly in regards to how when Skrimir insisted that they don't negotiate with Begnion, Soren didn't even try to convince him otherwise. The lack of good relations between Soren and Skrimir cost their tactical advantage. 

Also, Robin also tends to be more flexible than Soren in terms of laying out plans. 

My friend describes this with Leo, and it applies to Soren as well. Both of them plan out long and strong plans that when executed right, is very effective. However, this also makes them unable to be ready for cases where the plan falls apart. But Robin allows for more plans that are more flexible but not as strong as Soren and Leo's, but still well thought out, but it enables him to make adjustments to the plan if anything goes wrong. 

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1 minute ago, omegaxis1 said:

I wouldn't say that Robin will win just cause he's an MU. See, one thing that Robin excels at that Soren is lacking in is that Robin has far more social skills and always takes the time to learn her comrades and befriend them. Robin comments that having a good relationship is good as you understand their strengths and weaknesses as well as boosting some morale and holding more trust. This goes perfectly in regards to how when Skrimir insisted that they don't negotiate with Begnion, Soren didn't even try to convince him otherwise. The lack of good relations between Soren and Skrimir cost their tactical advantage. 

Also, Robin also tends to be more flexible than Soren in terms of laying out plans. 

My friend describes this with Leo, and it applies to Soren as well. Both of them plan out long and strong plans that when executed right, is very effective. However, this also makes them unable to be ready for cases where the plan falls apart. But Robin allows for more plans that are more flexible but not as strong as Soren and Leo's, but still well thought out, but it enables him to make adjustments to the plan if anything goes wrong. 

Fair enough. Soren being rather apathetic to most things (like he'd care whether the Senate or LA won?) and being a mercenary probably doesn't help him. Since he has to serve his employer and do as they ask. He fits himself into whatever ridiculous situation they want rather than do the other thing. -Then again, does he always? He did have this exchange back in 3-1:

Soren:
“The Flaguerre survivors will have warned Mugill of our advance. That’s so obvious, even you must have anticipated it. You don’t have a plan?”

Skrimir:
“Do not mock me, beorc boy. Why should I bother with plans? No soldier would cower behind stone walls after being challenged to a battle! We will issue a challenge, and they will meet it. We have no need for plans!”

Soren:
“Do you realize how completely absurd you sound? The enemy did not build the fortress so they could stand outside of it. They will not come out of their own accord.”

Skrimir:
“But– Those beorc cowards! They will hide from us?! What do we do? I do not know how to fight cowards!”

Ranulf:
“Don’t you get it? That’s what we’re trying to decide! Think, Skrimir. Just try.”

Skrimir:
“No! That’s your job, Ranulf! You’re my second in command. Think of a way for me to use my strength! Anything else is a waste of time. I’ll be training outside. Tell me when you have a plan.”

Although here, Soren did have Ranulf's backing on cooling down Skrimir. Come 3-4, Ranulf and Tibarn side with Skrimir (Why Tibarn?! you having to punch every one of your lackies into submission would be no problem Mr. Laguz Broken Royal), and Ike the passive guy is willing to go along with them too. So it was Soren vs. the 3 leading Laguz in the Alliance and his passive liege. Ranulf and Tibarn deserve a little blame here for shutting out Soren's good idea (although we all know the Senate would have rejected it), but your point still stands I think.

 

The silver lining, Soren does have capacity to grow and improve. As this old favorite bit of script mentions:

Strategist (*)

Tibarn: Your strategist is something else. Does he have some kind of magic hat that he pulls all his crazy ideas out of?
Ike: Well, I do pay him plenty for them.
Titania: Soren said this mission would fail without help from the Phoenicis Army. We’re asking you to take a very big risk, King Tibarn.
Tibarn: We can handle it. We can do anything if it involves teaching those vermin in Begnion a thing or two.
Ranulf: Soren has even answered some of Skrimir’s more insane requests. He doesn’t listen to a word I say, but when Soren talks strategy, he’s all ears.
Ike: Is that why he hasn’t been complaining during the briefings?
Ranulf: He says he looks forward to what the little strategist will say next. It looks to me like Soren’s charmed his way into the most powerful position in this army.
Titania: I’m glad to hear it. He’s changed, hasn’t he?
Ranulf: Yeah, I think so. He still doesn’t say much, but he’s a lot more at ease these days. He used to be completely closed off, rejecting anyone who tried to get close. Like he’d lock himself away, all alone in his own little world.
Ike: We all lost and gained something during the Mad King’s War. Maybe it wasn’t a complete waste, after all.
Ranulf: Do you think we’ll feel the same way about this war when it’s over?
Ike: Who knows? We’ll have to survive it first.
Ranulf: Fair enough.

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2 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Fair enough. Soren being rather apathetic to most things (like he'd care whether the Senate or LA won?) and being a mercenary probably doesn't help him. Since he has to serve his employer and do as they ask. He fits himself into whatever ridiculous situation they want rather than do the other thing. -Then again, does he always? He did have this exchange back in 3-1:

Soren:
“The Flaguerre survivors will have warned Mugill of our advance. That’s so obvious, even you must have anticipated it. You don’t have a plan?”

Skrimir:
“Do not mock me, beorc boy. Why should I bother with plans? No soldier would cower behind stone walls after being challenged to a battle! We will issue a challenge, and they will meet it. We have no need for plans!”

Soren:
“Do you realize how completely absurd you sound? The enemy did not build the fortress so they could stand outside of it. They will not come out of their own accord.”

Skrimir:
“But– Those beorc cowards! They will hide from us?! What do we do? I do not know how to fight cowards!”

Ranulf:
“Don’t you get it? That’s what we’re trying to decide! Think, Skrimir. Just try.”

Skrimir:
“No! That’s your job, Ranulf! You’re my second in command. Think of a way for me to use my strength! Anything else is a waste of time. I’ll be training outside. Tell me when you have a plan.”

Although here, Soren did have Ranulf's backing on cooling down Skrimir. Come 3-4, Ranulf and Tibarn side with Skrimir (Why Tibarn?! you having to punch every one of your lackies into submission would be no problem Mr. Laguz Broken Royal), and Ike the passive guy is willing to go along with them too. So it was Soren vs. the 3 leading Laguz in the Alliance and his passive liege. Ranulf and Tibarn deserve a little blame here for shutting out Soren's good idea (although we all know the Senate would have rejected it), but your point still stands I think.

The silver lining, Soren does have capacity to grow and improve. As this old favorite bit of script mentions:

Strategist (*)

Tibarn: Your strategist is something else. Does he have some kind of magic hat that he pulls all his crazy ideas out of?
Ike: Well, I do pay him plenty for them.
Titania: Soren said this mission would fail without help from the Phoenicis Army. We’re asking you to take a very big risk, King Tibarn.
Tibarn: We can handle it. We can do anything if it involves teaching those vermin in Begnion a thing or two.
Ranulf: Soren has even answered some of Skrimir’s more insane requests. He doesn’t listen to a word I say, but when Soren talks strategy, he’s all ears.
Ike: Is that why he hasn’t been complaining during the briefings?
Ranulf: He says he looks forward to what the little strategist will say next. It looks to me like Soren’s charmed his way into the most powerful position in this army.
Titania: I’m glad to hear it. He’s changed, hasn’t he?
Ranulf: Yeah, I think so. He still doesn’t say much, but he’s a lot more at ease these days. He used to be completely closed off, rejecting anyone who tried to get close. Like he’d lock himself away, all alone in his own little world.
Ike: We all lost and gained something during the Mad King’s War. Maybe it wasn’t a complete waste, after all.
Ranulf: Do you think we’ll feel the same way about this war when it’s over?
Ike: Who knows? We’ll have to survive it first.
Ranulf: Fair enough.

Yeah, Soren has improved, but he still only thinks the world for Ike only. But Soren does have acute observations, so he can notice some stuff on people. However, without the ability to fully develop a bond with them, there will be limits that can be exploited. Soren is still a very brilliant tactician, nonetheless. 

I would like to see Robin and Soren having a Support if they ever get together on a Warrior's game. 

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It's a matter of in-universe context. Fire magic is seen as a natural part of war in FE, likely as natural as a gun to us, but oil and burning is still seen as something pretty horrifying.

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