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Kaga-Style Chapter Starts

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So I finished Thracia 776 recently and just started playing Tearring Saga and a trend that the games share is that they will let take an overlook of the map and the enemies, but they will not tell you where your starting position is. When first playing Thracia I thought it was a technical limitation, but as I played more I realized it was a deliberate choice. For those who don't know some chapters in the game will have your units positioned in certain ways to create map scenarios that you have to overcome.

A slight spoiler warning ahead and an example is at the end of a certain chapter Leif sends out half of his army to spearhead an attack with him and the rest of his forces following behind after they get some rest. The next chapter begins with you choosing your units and managing their equipment and then the chapter starts with Leif and half his men at the top of the map, the other half in the middle and a huge and expanding enemy force at the bottom. You'll then notice this is an escape chapter (with Leif starting on the escape point) meant to simulate that the advance troops are running back to base away from the enemy.

This seems like an easy win if it wasn't for the fact that you didn't know where your units would spawn. The units running from the army of mounted units could all be infantry with you mounts all up at the top. Still too easy? There are thieves and endlessly spawning brigands attacking houses all along the sides of the map out of the way of the escape point making it harder to get back to base. On top of that there is a recruitable unit among the enemy that makes it necessary to engage them if you want the new unit and you'll want them since they come with a leadership star and due to events in the story you could be down one and if you decided not to recruit a certain someone the map before you have technically lost two.

I'm bringing this up because I found it interesting that they were able to make such an interesting map premise that works really well in the narrative and put real tactical challenges along the way aside from just really strong enemies. Most of the enemies chasing you down aren't that strong, but the number of them will eventually whittle down you forces unless your careful. At the same time I also found it really annoying to have no idea how my units would spawn or how to optimize my strategy without restarting. Tearring Saga does the same thing so and since Fire Emblem hasn't done this since I'm guessing this is a Kaga thing, hence the name of the topic.

So my question is what do you guys think of these types of chapter starts? Do you think they would be fun to implement in another game (I don't know if Berwick or Vestaria Saga have them)? Maybe some suggestions on how to better implement them in a more fair way?

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I like the premises of Thracia 776, especially with regards to the use of minimum deployment to facilitate it. There's also the slew of meaningful side objectives that manage to keep something as overpowered as multiple infinite-use mobility staffs in check. Thracia 776 deployment however is total BS.

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The rescue mission in C19 is the only good use for this mechanic; the way it appears in C24 and the Final map is absolutely atrocious and has no real story purpose. Heck, Even more than any statisctal advantage, taking Ced>Cyas is worth it simply because his deployment is locked in those maps instead of Cyas who could show up somewhere useless (granted that Cyas has the staff rank to rewarp)

C20 is the other notable map with a drastic effect due to the locked rooms, but IMO the super weak enemies in that map give you plenty of time to correct even the worst formations.

I think the seperations in Chapter 9 ad 13 are more positive game design, but it's partly because that the seperated units are entirely new rectruits/stock charathers and thus more controlled than in the other Thracia starts.

I don't see the point in extending this to more FE games. Some games have split up deployment slots that you are still alowed to swap people in (FE12's end mapstook this sto the extreme of all four corners. ) Even t hough the units clearly use different entrances to the castle and have walls between them. 

 

 

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This is one of the things from the Kaga era I personally dislike.

Not the idea of not knowing it from a blind perspective, but more specifically if you can't change the deployment order at all. While some will argue for it as a strength in terms of making it a situation to overcome, from a gameplay perspective I think it's a restrictiveness that causes more harm than good.

It is one of the things I especially despise with Thracia, mainly because at least with the others (maybe not DD) it can be moved around. Chapter 19, which you mention as a good example is a particular case imo. You're not allowed to decide who would have gone on this mission to Alster that causes the map because of how this map's deployment is laid out, which I think doesn't make sense in story and can leave you with a bad group in the bottom who can't handle much of anything that's coming from the south. If Thracia wasn't as manipulable as it is I think it might have prevented me from finishing the game, something I cannot say for nearly anything else in the series.

It's not like post-Kaga FE never did this either: Light in BS didn't let you know how your units would be laid out (though you can manipulate this). As an aside someone could not realise that you can move your unit's positions in BB in the map (though in neither case can you say they use a split deployment quite like Chapter 19)

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