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Hector Hard Mode S Rank: Electric Boogaloo

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Back we go!

I'm sure some of this forum's inhabitants will remember my attempt at S-ranking HHM from about half a year ago. Things were going... alright, although I underestimated the Funds rank quite a bit, which was going to make balancing my surplus in Tactics (as in "turns to spare") with getting all the treasure in the final maps a fairly narrow game. I was still cautiously optimistic that it'd be enough and then my laptop died. Well, not quite died, but I had to format the hard drive, which lost me quite a bit of not-crucial data - I do make regular back-up saves of my Documents folder, but that's not where I store my game saves. :(:

This wasn't exactly helping my enthusiasm for the HHM run (and Fire Emblem in general, to be honest), so it took me a while to pick up the series again, but at some point between Christmas and New Year's Eve I played through Lyn Mode and decided to make this the basis of a New and Improved (tm) attempt at finally finishing a Ranked run of HHM. Just to make sure that I wouldn't have two half-finished attempts lying around these forums, I did type up some short summaries of the chapters, but wanted to wait until I'm getting close to my previous progress (which was right before Hector's promotion) until I present them here on the forums. Well, get close I did - finished Pale Flower yesterday evening - so here is the start of my New and Improved (tm) run!

...after giving due credit to both @Florete and @Balcerzak for their logged runs here and here, which I primarily used as guidelines for which turncounts to shoot for, but Bal's log in particular is really elaborate for when I actually need a little nudge to find a working strategy.

  • LHM Stats
Spoiler

But let's start with my LHM results - nothing truely spectacular, I don't think, but there was a bit of pre-planning involved. First the stats:

	Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	WRank		B/W
Lyn	8.44	22  9   10  13  7   5   0	B		36/15
Sain	10.36	26  13  6   11  7   6   3	C Sw | D Ln	61/46 (fairly close to B/C Wranks)
Kent	3.28	21  6   7   9   2   5   2	D Sw | E Ln	16/5
Florina	8.81	27  9   12  12  10  4   6	C+0.9		47/29 -- got the rope

Erk	8.83	23  9   9   12  3   4   7	C+0.9		40/28 -- got the ring
Serra	2.32	17  3   5   8   7   2   6	D+.5		0/0
Rath	8.62	26  8   10  10  5   7   2	B		18/8
Nils	7.02	18  1   0   15  16  8   9	-		2/0

Lucius	3.78	18  7   6   10  2   1   6	D+.2		5/2
Matthew	6.32	22  7   5   14  4   3   0	D+.8		18/8
Wil	2.62	base
Dorcas	3.10	base

Wallace 12.00	base

The Exp targets should be fairly easy to spot - primarily Sain, but I also intend to get some good use out of Florina, Erk, and Rath (hence the B WRank). Matthew (for the earlygame) and Lyn (for going to Linus' FFO) were also supposed to get some Exp, although both of them probably could have gotten a bit more than they did. Serra and Lucius don't need any LHM levels to function in the main game and Nils takes away some of Ninian's potential Exp because I do want to visit 19xx this time.

Matt proccing Str is also much appreciated for the first couple chapters where every bit of offense can count, although getting one or two points of Def would have been even better for him. Lyn is fairly blessed - two extra points of Str and more physically bulky than one would expect - so it should be easier to get her to ~Lv.16 in time. Florina only got the Angelic Robe because I her Str doesn't seem to be an issue [Note: Future Me disagrees with this sentiment], while Erk's does.

Future Me also wants to add that keeping Kent at Lv.3 is actually something that he would recommend in this context. He obviously won't carry your HHM run, but thanks to his movement and partial WTC, he still doesn't have much problems picking up some levels for the Exp rank.

  • My Good Resolutions (we shall see if I can keep 'em)
Spoiler

Well, since Future Me is copying this from the Editor, he already knows, but won't tell. :lol:

  • Be more concientious about turncounts. My biggest issue in the first attempt was Funds, but I wouldn't mind having more wiggle room in the Tactics rank for stuff like getting more treasure in 30, going to 32x and...
  • ...going to 19xx. Nils danced in front of Serra for like 25 turns in chapter 10 to make this happen, which I am sure was very awkward for everyone involved. Also unpleasant, given that it kept raining. There's at the very least 20k in funds to be stolen, which (in addition to the XP) seems like a good deal for ~10 turns.

  • Try to dump less XP on Hector. With the Jeigan actually stealing XP, Hector did a LOT of the combat that otherwise would have been a Marcus stomp.  This lead to him almost capping out in New Resolve (Lv. 19.20) and fully capping out in Living Legend. In this run, I'd like him to be able to gain XP during Genesis.

  • Fight Linus first. Not looking forward to training Lyn and Eliwood, but 3-turning FFO also got me a 1064 XP deficit and cost me some funds, as well - I skipped the Silence Staff (1200g) and Wallace (1500-4500g depending on the Elixir charges that he burns). Maybe I should have leveled Lyn up a little more in her own mode, but it'll be fiiiiine. ;):

  • Focus a bit more on my longterm combat units, in particular Sain and Raven. I was playing the Low Level Challenge quite heavily, which was good for my XP rank, but left me with somewhat underwhelming firepower later in the game.

  • Maybe not waste all that money on Farina. I still want to, but I'll see if my Funds will look better than last time at that point of the game.

  • All the other garbage plays that I can't remember after the 4-month hiatus. ;):

Alright, stay tuned! I plan to post two chapters a day, probably starting this evening (it's 9:23 AM here, so 9-12 hours from now). I obviously can't implement any advice, but I still appreciate any comments and criticism :):

Note: Since using the spoiler function apparently doesn't work well with direct links to individual posts, I'll just add a * after each chapter's number - so Ctrl-F for 7x* would get you to that chapter if I had made notes for Lyn Mode. Exception: Chapter 11 and 12 because for some reason, I'm not allowed to edit that post.

Edited by ping

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Focus a bit more on my longterm combat units, in particular Sain and Raven. I was playing the Low Level Challenge quite heavily, which was good for my XP rank, but left me with somewhat underwhelming firepower later in the game.

Chapter 25 gives you enough experience to comfortably promote those two units along with a flier by itself if you decide that you want to spend the turns to recruit Farina.

Quote

Maybe not waste all that money on Farina. I still want to, but I'll see if my Funds will look better than last time at that point of the game.

If you plan your turn count out well enough you can trivialize funds by abusing the FFO arena.

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Need to finish my S rank playthrough at some point, but don't feel like it, too many other good games that I feel like playing. Anyway, for some advice, I recommend that you switch between Kent and Said as you go in levels. I got a bit careless because I wanted to make Kent lv 20 as soon as possible and he ended up hurting my experience rank a bit.

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4 hours ago, samthedigital said:

If you plan your turn count out well enough you can trivialize funds by abusing the FFO arena.

This is definitely very good advice that I still only want to take if I absolutely need to. ;): I dislike GBA arenas on a conceptual basis since I think that Fire Emblem's general game design works better with limited EXP and money. Of course, arena abuse is limited through the Tactics rank in this context, but I still want to try to visit arenas as much as the "natural" flow of the chapter allows (i.e. I won't delay a clear in order to visit the arena). An arbitrary measurement for an arbitrary rule, obviously, but I will try to abide by it.

  • Chapter 11
Spoiler
  • 8/0 turns (8/0 in total) - 264/0 EXP (264/0 in total) - Funds: more than zero
  • fielded: Guess.

Already we are making progress ;) One less turn, one more stolen Lockpick, and (irrelevant as it may be) a couple more XP than last time. Past me probably needs to be dope-slapped because he never checked the thief's behaviour - letting him run towards the NE-most door allowed me to steal both items from him.

I went west first (really don't think there's much point in trying to plow through the south) with Hector going straight towards the boss, collecting a bit of XP along the way. With some RNG abuse (Hector would need to dodge the boss at least once) and no stolen lockpick, a 7-turn would have been quite feasable, too, but I want to go without savestates and as such without too unreliable moves further into the fight. I did reset (and arrow-wiggle a bit) so that Hector kills the Archer closest to starting location on T3, though. Even if Matthew would be able to take the kill otherwise, Hector needs the dropped Vulnerary down the line.

	Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector	3.31	21  8   5   5   3   8   1	9/4
Matthew	6.65	22  7   5   14  4   3   0	1/0

 

  • Chapter 12
Spoiler
  • 6/8 turns (14/8 in total) - 652/550 EXP (916/550 in total) - Funds: w/e
  • fielded: all of them.

Another turn shaved off - last time, the boss surprisingly (to me, at least) went south instead of west after I had already sent off Marcus northwards, which caused me the seventh turn. This time, things went according to plan, resulting in the better TC and a bit less chip XP. :lol:

Turn 1 had a bit of enforced luck going on (again through resetting and arrow-wiggling for a good RN string) to make sure that Oswin and Hector kill the closest brigand with 1-2 range weapons and also hit all three retaliation strikes on EP. As an unplanned, but welcome, side effect, Eliwood (who I rescue/dropped on the fort) crit-killed the southern peggy.

Turn 2, Matthew, Oswin, and Hector mopped up the nearby enemies in such a way that Matt shields Hector from the merc. Thanks to Lyn Mode, he survived the merc plus the closest peg knight with 3 HP remaining. :): Further south, people team up to kill the two enemies in range (brigand+archer). Lowen moves ahead to pull and retaliate against two more brigands, Marcus moves further ahead to remove one more Peg from the equation.

Rest of the map was fairly straightforward - the scrub squad cleans up the southern part; Marcus and Lowen go north, taking Eliwood with them; Hector goes a bit NE-wards to lure the remaining enemies (including Zagan, who does go west this time). Matthew sells the Red Gem and buys two swords, one lance and one axe. Marcus weakens the boss on T5 EP, bringing him to 8 HP, which is enough for Lowen and Eliwood (with a trade-chained Iron Sword) to finish him off.

	Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector	4.32	22  8   5   5   3   8   1	16/6	-- no Spd and no Def yet :(
Eliwood	3.09	19  7   7   8   9   5   1	6/4
Marcus	1.15	base				3/2
Rebecca 1.00	base				0/0	-- she contributed 8k to Funds!

Lowen	2.92	base				5/2
Bartre	2.37	base				2/1
Oswin	9.42	base				5/3
Serra	2.88	17  3   5   8   7   2   6	1/0

Matthew	7.46	22  8   5   15  5   3   0	5/2

 

 

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  • Chapter 13*
Spoiler
  • 10/12 turns (24/20 in total) - 1144/750 EXP (2060/1300 in total) - Funds: Still hidden
  • fielded: Yes.

Continuing the trend of one less turn per chapter: ten instead of eleven turns this time. I split up the group with Eliwood, Hector and the Axe Bros taking the western route, while everyone else slugs through the south. In hindsight, Oswin would have been better on the left side - he was pretty shafted by his movement going south and the western group could have done with a bit more sturdiness to make things more reliable. As is, I had to rely on Dorcas hitting a Sword Cav at 40-45 hit at one point...

Well, I won that gamble, so I didn't have a reason to see if Oswin would have improved things. :lol: Instead, I can be fairly satisfied with the overall results so far - three turns shaved off in the three first maps, with virtually the same total XP count as before. Exp distribution is still fairly even, but honestly, it's not like I'm going to promote any of these units, so I really don't regret letting Rebecca taking a few kills. She even managed to kill a weakened Peg knight! Is this the power of x2 effectiveness?!

I'm also fairly happy with how Lyn Mode is helping out Matthew: the additional Str allowed him to kill an archer on T2 with only Rebecca chipping for him during EP and the additional HP let him survive a Soldier plus an Archer (i.e. one group of reinforcements from the southern forts), even though he dodged the archer anyway in the only instance where this would have mattered.

Otherwise, nothing really special about the chapter. Marcus had to do a bit more work than in ch.12 (10 fights, 5 kills) and sadly had to use two Silver Lance charges on the boss to chip him during EP 8 so that Hector was able to kill him on the next player phase. Having Hector 1v1 the boss on EP8 and PP9 wasn't an option because I wouldn't have been able to remove the Sword Cav spawning on T8 - he and Boies would have been able to 2HKO Hector.

	Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector	6.30	23  9   5   6   4   9   1	25/9	-- Speed Proc!
Eliwood	4.43	19  7   8   8   10  6   2	13/8
Marcus	1.51	base				13/7
Rebecca	2.25	18  5   5   6   4   3   2	5/3

Lowen	4.81	24  9   5   8   3   8   2	15/7	-- that's 2x Str and 1x Spd procced :)
Bartre	3.49	30  10  6   4   4   5   0	8/3	-- and that's one amazing first level-up!
Oswin	9.58	28  13  9   5   3   13  3	7/4
Guy	3.48	25  8   13  13  5   6   1	4/1

Serra	3.76	17  3   6   9   7   2   7	1/0
Matthew	8.49	23  8   5   16  5   4   0	13/4	-- +1 Def!
Dorcas	4.24	31  8   7   6   4   3   1	7/2

 

  • Chapter 13x*
Spoiler
  • 8/7 turns (32/27 in total) - 1137/700 XP (3197/2000 in total) - Funds: * * * * *

Completely undeserved clear, I'll be honest. Around midway through, I got myself into that unsolvable "I really need to heal, but I really, really need to kill that enemy" situation, which then solved itself by at least 3 crutch dodges, including Serra dodging a nomad while at 4 HP (sitting in a forest, but still) after I decided to try out the "kill" option. I'll take it though, especially since those daring suicidal strats lead to a rout and as such a good XP harvest. And also because this chapter and I won't become friends any time soon, I'm afraid.

Strategy-wise, I had Matthew mostly keep the enemies in the SE busy by himself, with Dorcas assisting him in actually taking some kills towards the end of the chapter. This was still somewhat reliable - iirc, he had to dodge one out of three attacks by a nomad at one point, but it really could be worse.

Guy cycled around the SW towards the boss, ultimately taking the boss kill (relying on one of those crutch dodges because I marched him into the range of a too large group of enemies in the process). Dorcas helped him out a little before he went over to Matthew, hitting, among other things, one weakened Myrm with a hand axe. This one wasn't really crucial, though, because it only allowed Guy to vulnerary up on that turn - it might even have been counterproductive since it enticed me to send him too far north. ;):

The rest of the group just punched northwards, mostly reliably, except when I put wounded clerics into enemy range. The biggest mistake (that I keep making, too :/: ) was probably sending Marcus to save the village when he really would be needed to thin out the enemies on the boss's island. Something like Lowen+Eliwood would probably suffice to at least distract the brigands and beeline to the village.

	Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector	7.25	24  10  6   6   4   10  1	34/12
Eliwood	5.99	20  8   9   8   11  6   2	23/13 -- perfect conditions to rig a level-up! ;)
Marcus	1.75	base				19/12
Rebecca	2.78	18  5   5   6   4   3   2	8/4

Lowen	6.54	25  10  5   9   3   8   2	27/13
Bartre	4.08	31  10  6   4   4   5   0	12/5
Oswin	9.94	28  13  9   5   3   13  3	11/6
Guy	5.71	27  8   15  13  6   7   2	17/4

Serra	4.44	18  3   6   10  8   3   8	3/0
Matthew 10.14	24  8   5   18  7   4   0	32/9
Dorcas	5.09	31  9   7   6   4   3   1	13/5

 

 

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@Critical Sniper I think B/W stands for Battles and Wins, which are important for the "Combat" rank. He is mostly being thorough by including it, the only time I have ever seen that rank drop below 5 stars was Mekkkah's negative growths run where he went out of his way to avoid kills (to reduce experience gain), and even then it only dropped to 4.

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7 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

I think B/W stands for Battles and Wins, which are important for the "Combat" rank. He is mostly being thorough by including it, the only time I have ever seen that rank drop below 5 stars was Mekkkah's negative growths run where he went out of his way to avoid kills (to reduce experience gain), and even then it only dropped to 4.

^this.

I really don't waste any thoughts on the Combat rank and I will always go for the additional chip EXP if I can, of course. I only list B/W to give a little indication who did how much work. For example, I think it's interesting that a "held back" Marcus still has about as many kills as the units that I did focus on.

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  • Chapter 14*
Spoiler
  • 8/10 turns (40/37 in total) - 1234/850 XP (4431/2850 in total) - Funds: I could have checked, couldn't I?

I swear I'm not actively trying to aim for exactly one less turn in every (non-defense) chapter! In fact, I initially tried out killing Erik as soon as possible - successful in that I killed him on T4 PP, but less than useful since I still needed 9 turns to clean the rest of the enemies, despite ~300-350 EXP worth of reinforcements not spawning. You see, the leftmost enemies (two cavs, one nomad) will aggro in T4 EP, right before the rain starts - but only if Erik is still alive, probably because the cutscene with Darin betraying his son wouldn't make much sense otherwise. And since 300 lost XP in exchange for zero turns doesn't seem like the best deal ever, I didn't keep that clear. ;):

After that, I had to abandon two attempts - first one was all my fault because I didn't send anyone to the northern village and the rain made it impossible to bait the 2nd and 3rd brigand away from it; second one was a nasty string of RN that made Dorcas miss a peg knight whose AI then went into healing mode (i.e. she flew towards the forts without any chance to her). Argh!

My general tactic: Rebecca and Eliwood (who I rigged a HP/Str/Skl/Def level-up for - good enough, although he really needs some Spd) clear the way towards Erk, with Eliwood attacking the soldier from the south, which pulls one merc upwards, who will then pull Erk because Eliwood got him into oneshot range, so that Serra can recruit him on turn 2. I do like this part :lol:

Otherwise, the Axe bros deal with the lance users in the rear (with Matthew sticking around to steal a vulnerary off the Knight) and the pegasus reinforcements - Vulnerary in the inventory if needed, but they were fairly dodgy in the eventual run. Matt does get attacked by the initial two Peg Knights for his efforts (could have avoided one of them, but I wanted him to catch up to the main group as fast as possible), but otherwise, Dorcas and Bartre handle this part of the map fairly well despite Bartre still getting doubled after his speed proc last chapter.

In the main group, Lowen and Marcus rescue/drop Oswin ahead so that he may Actually Contribute despite 4 move - and another sturdy unit is useful to have around, especially since Lowen goes north and and Marcus south to secure the villages and, in Marcus' case, to go shopping (in total: heal x3, fire x2, iron bow x1, iron sword/lance/axe x3 each). The main group just pushes forward, dancing aroud Eric's range before the rain starts - it's so, so much easier to push through the enemies than it is in FE6. And apparantly, I pushed a little better than I did last time, since I managed to fairly reliably clear the last enemies on T8 PP. ;):

Oh, bosskill went to Eliwood this time, which actually put him slightly ahead of Hector XP-wise. :): iirc, the Rapier dealt 12 damage, so it was fairly easy to set up, too.

	Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector	7.87	24  10  6   6   4   10  1	34/12
Eliwood	8.12	23  9   11  10  12  8   2	33/19
Marcus	1.79	31  15  15  11  8   10  8	20/12	-- one fight and zero kills this chapter :o
Rebecca	3.91	18  5   6   7   5   3   2	14/7	

Lowen	7.78	26  10  5   10  3   9   3	38/18
Bartre	5.69	32  10  6   5   4   5   0	19/10
Oswin	10.52	29  13  10  5   3   13  3	18/9
Guy	7.01	28  9   17  13  7   7   3	25/9	-- four level-ups w/o Spd! FE7 RNG is bugged!!!!!

Serra	5.10	19  3   6   11  9   3   8	3/0
Matthew	11.13	24  8   5   19  7   4   1	38/11
Dorcas	6.61	32  9   7   6   4   3   1	21/10
Erk	9.35	24  10  9   13  3   4   8	5/3	-- came out of LHM with 883 XP and the Energy Ring

Prissy	base 						-- didn't visit the village

 

  • Chapter 15*
Spoiler
  • 8/0 turns (48/37 in total) - 879/0 XP (5310/2850 in total) - Funds: * * * * *
  • fielded: Erk, Matthew, Marcus (RHS) | Hector, Priscilla, Lowen, Serra, Guy, Bartre (LHS)

Fairly good harvest, if I may say so myself :): I killed Sealen on T6, so all reinforcements except two cavs spawned and at the end, only one Hand Axe Fighter was alive.

Generally speaking, I tried to plug the two upper 1-tile chokepoints with only one unit each - Erk on the right (who had everyone in that area killed in T3 because he doubled and one-rounded everything except for the merc, including a nomad) and Guy on the left (who got hit more often than I would have liked, but the enemies moved in such a fashion that Priscilla could safely heal him despite the Hand Axes), with everyone else pushing south. That does include Matthew and Marcus - Matt opened the door to the right so that the enemy thief would go straight towards the treasure room and Marcus immediately carried him over to the main group.

Other than that, there isn't all that much to say, honestly. I did steal the lockpick (and Matt still had a free turn to kill the thief for XP), so I got most of the funds out of the chapter. The bosskill went to Lowen with Marcus chipping for him (and a rescueable healer in range if Lowen had missed). Dude is turning out really good so far. :):

		Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		8.26	25  11  7   7   4   11  1	43/16
Marcus		2.24	32  16  15  11  8   10  8	31/17 	-- Str proc!
Lowen		9.86	28  12  6   11  3   10  4	50/23
Bartre		7.17	34  11  6   7   5   6   0	28/15

Guy		8.62	28  10  17  14  8   8   4	41/15
Matthew		11.62	24  8   5   19  7   4   1	40/12
Priscilla	3.66	16  6   6   8   7   3   6	0/0
Serra		5.76	19  3   6   11  9   3   8	3/0

Erk		10.32	24  10  10  14  3   4   9	14/11	-- +2 Mag

 

 

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I tried.  Really, I did.  If the heading thing bothers you that much, take out all the text, put in some placeholder, save that, then re-edit the post.  Or I can do it for you.  But I strongly suggest you save the contents of those spoilers, in case I screw this up.

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11 hours ago, eclipse said:

I tried.  Really, I did.  If the heading thing bothers you that much, take out all the text, put in some placeholder, save that, then re-edit the post.  Or I can do it for you.  But I strongly suggest you save the contents of those spoilers, in case I screw this up.

It's probably easier if I just post the stuff about ch.16+17 again in this post (preferably without being stupid again) and you delete the one from yesterday. (I'd edit it to say "delete me", but, y'know... ;):) In any case, thanks for the effort :): 

  • Chapter 16*
Spoiler
  • 7/7 turns (67/56 in total) - 937/1100 XP (6247/3950 in total) - Funds: * * * * *
  • Fielded: Hector, Matthew, Eliwood, Marcus, Rebecca, Lowen, Erk, Priscilla, Lyndis's Legion

First time I cleared the map in the "required" seven turns :) With Eliwood taking the bosskill, no less! I had to scrap a previous run with some good Numbers (8 turns, 1000+ xp) because in my infinite wisdom, I forgot to visit the Red Gem village and was a bit salty about that, but I do consider this clear a small improvement.

For the first turn, I pretty much have my basic strategy set in stone - Wil pulls the two Peg Knights south of the boss, someone with 1-2 range (Lowen in this run) pulls the two upper Pegasi further to the west and someone (Hector) pulls the last remaining one. The only interesting part was that Matthew with a 2-use sword equipped managed to lure away a Merc that would otherwise have attacked Hector. And I'll never admit that it was complete coincidence and not cunning strategy that I stumbled upon this opportunity! :lol:

For the rest of the map, Lyn's group completely sticks to the south of the map, dealing with the brigand reinforcements and with Kent and Wil trying to get some combat in whenever it was safe. As a reminder - Kent came out of LHM ridiculously underleveled, which allows him to gain 152 XP over the course of the battle with onle 4 kills (and 2x chipping, 2x ballista targeting him iirc). He and Wil also buy a bunch of javelins and hand axes (and a few basic weapons).

The most important part for the main group's advance is probably Marcus killing the four-cav squad coming from behind the boss right on T2 EP, which makes the area sufficiently enemy-free for Florina to carry Hector into ballista range safely (2x effective damage, so scary!) on T4, which then allows everyone to get into position on T6 - Marcus in range to chip the boss (Silver Lance, 2 hits @75%), Florina in range to rescue Marcus away, Eliwood in range to finish the boss (1 hit @74% needed and he doubles) and Hector to immediately seize. The only unpleasant parts are the ballista hitting Florina (dealing 20 damage, so the LHM robe was needed) and Priscilla missing a little bit of healing XP because she was needed to rescue/drop.

		Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		8.72	25  11  7   7   4   11  1	48/18
Marcus		2.74	32  16  15  11  8   10  8	44/26
Lowen		10.59	29  12  6   11  3   10  5	54/26
Matthew		12.38	24  8   5   20  7   4   1	44/12

Priscilla	4.23	16  7   6   9   7   4   7	1/0
Eliwood		8.95	23  9   11  10  12  8   2	35/21
Rebecca		5.21	19  5   8   9   5   4   3	19/11	-- she got a couple kills set up for her this chapter
Erk		10.90	24  10  10  14  3   4   9	20/15	-- +2 Str

Lyn		9.11	22  9   11  13  7   5   0	7/4
Sain		10.55	26  13  6   11  7   6   3	3/1
Kent		4.80	22  7   7   10  2   5   2	8/4
Florina		9.15	27  9   13  13  10  4   7	4/1	-- +7 HP

Wil		3.54	21  7   5   6   6   5   0	6/1

 

  • Chapter 17*
Spoiler
  • 11/18 turns (66/70 in total) - 1020/1100 XP (7267/5050 in total) - Funds: * * * * *
  • fielded: Hector, Matthew, Marcus, Lowen, Oswin (to farm reinforcements), Priscilla, Lyn, Sain, Kent, Florina

Setting up a rescue chain to ferry Matthew from one treasure room to the other has always been my favourite part about this chapter. :lol: Not that it's particularly challenging or anything (I learned to count to 7 recently, which makes the positioning of the cavs so much easier), but it always feels very rewarding to have a unit traverse most of the map in only one turn.

The more important challenge is definitely the opening - how to kill the three inital enemies while countering as many of the incoming archers as possible  and to get Priscilla forward as fast as possible. The latter seemed to work out a little bit better than last time - in previous runs, Marcus usually had to block Raven for a turn before Priscilla was able to reach him, but not this time.

I still got the same turncount (probably because the non-Marcus units still didn't move much faster) and around 40 XP less than last time; the latter probably because I didn't field Serra as a second staffer even though she probably could have healed someone almost every turn. On the plus side - I was able save all three Caelin soldiers for some Funds this time and giving Lyn the bosskill (after some Wolfbeil chip on the previous EP) puts me well towards Linus' FFO.

		Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		10.05	26  11  7   7   6   12  1	55/21
Marcus		3.44	32  16  15  11  9   10  9	60/34
Lowen		11.19	30  12  6   12  3   10  5	58/28
Matthew		12.38	24  8   5   20  7   4   1	44/12

Priscilla	4.89	16  7   6   9   7   4   7	1/0
Oswin		12.08	31  14  10  6   4   14  5	39/15
Lyn		11.21	23  9   11  15  8   5   0	14/9
Sain		12.23	28  14  7   12  7   8   3	15/11

Kent		5.40	23  7   8   11  2   5   2	12/5
Florina		10.12	28  9   14  13  11  4   8	9/5	-- +Robe
Raven		5.38	28  10  14  14  2   6   2	2/1
Lucius		3.78	base				0/0

 

  • Chapter 17x*
Spoiler
  • 5/10 turns (70/71 in total) - 692/700 XP (7997/5750 in total) - Funds: * * * * * -- that's five stars in all categories! :):
  • fielded: Hector, Eliwood, Lowen, Erk, Florina, Raven, (Canas)

Went with a quicker, XP-poorer 5-turn clear here, which also cost me the Sleep staff. Maybe I could have gotten both it and the Lancereaver by rescuing someone with Florina? But all the remaining units have been rather busy, so it certainly wouldn't have made the fight any easier. The overall XP harvest seems OK - the high-leveled pirates are all dead, but I never had an opening to go for the magic users and the Killer Bow archer. I got the bosskill as well - Lowen chipped with a horseslayer on EP (doubling Damien - and since Damien moves first on EP, you can safely put Lowen in the chokepoint on the south) and Erk killed with a Thunder crit - unplanned but not unwelcome, because I would have had to rescue Erk and retreat to the starting location anyway.

Hector's low speed did bite him in the arse here, since he got doubled by some of the pirates - it's only one below his average, but it's actually pretty borderline in this chapter. As such, he couldn't really do anything much - unlike Eliwood, who collected about 170 XP during the chapter. :): Raven got about the same amount by clearing the northern pirates, plus one more in the center on the final turn.

		Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		10.27	26  11  7   7   6   12  1	59/21
Lowen		11.54	30  12  6   12  3   10  5	61/29
Erk		12.98	25  10  11  15  4   5   9	24/19	-- +Ring
Raven		7.08	30  10  15  14  2   6   3	11/7

Florina		10.12	28  9   14  13  11  4   8	9/5	-- +Robe
Eliwood		10.66	24  10  12  10  14  9   3	43/25
Canas		8.86	base				3/1

 

  • Chapter 18*
Spoiler
  • 9/11 turns (80/83 in total) - 1205/1450 XP (9202/7200 in total) - Funds: * * * * *
  • fielded: Hector, Oswin, Lowen, Canas, Raven, Florina, Priscilla, Matthew

I still think this is one of the harder chapters in the game. I had a bunch of failed attempts before I decided to lay the game aside for a day or two. And then I got a quite satisfactory run right away - two turns off in this chapter seems pretty legit, even if it comes at the cost of a bunch of XP (although my XP gain in my 11-turn clear last time wasn't that much better, actually).

I think the main mistake I used to always make was to overextend on the first two or three turns. Trying to kill the closest mercs on PP and counter as many of the shamans and archers on EP as possible - and then get in one hell of a mess when the four peg knights would make the entire lower area of the ship unsafe. I always got through it some way or the other - usually by applying a healthy dose of Marcus, I suppose, although I somehow managed without him last time. ;): But just staying on the stairs with Oswin and my (still pretty buff) Lowen makes this a whole lot easier. The only bit of additional Player Phase Offense on T1 was Canas Fluxing the right merc before getting rescued out of there because Flux + Jav!Lowen was a KO (as well as Jav!Oswin + Jav!Lowen on the other merc, so that one died on EP, too), but 2x Jav!Lowen was not.

There was still some luck involved: Lowen only survived the first EP with 3 HP remaining and because he dodged one of the five enemies he had to face, for example. And, of course, it's literally impossible to reliably kill the boss. :/: I'm sure Ironmal players just looooooove the guy. Without the risk of Lunacrit, the bosskill would have been quite reliably, though: Florina dealt 10 dmg on EP7, Matt 12 dmg on EP8 after stealing the Speedwings, then a healed-up Florina got the kill on T9 PP. This obviously left a bunch of enemies unkilled (the 2nd wave from the southern ship only got one javelin thrown at them, for example), but I don't think it would have been worth it to stick around two more turns just for the experience.

		Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		11.25	27  12  8   7   6   13  1	67/27
Lowen		13.33	32  13  7   12  5   10  5	81/44
Raven		9.07	32  12  16  15  2   7   3	24/14
Florina		12.36	30  9   15  14  11  4   8	22/13

Priscilla	5.82	16  7   6   10  8   4   7	3/0
Matthew		14.10	26  9   6   20  8   4   1	52/16
Canas		10.12	22  12  10  9   7   6   10	12/7
Oswin		13.22	32  14  10  6   5   15  5	53/19

 

 

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  • Chapter 19*
Spoiler
  • 7/10 turns (87/93 in total) - 1240/1100 XP (10442/8300 in total) - Funds: * * * * *
  • fielded: Hector, Matthew, Lyn, Sain, Lowen, Florina, Bartre, Erk, Priscilla, Kent, Lucius, Canas, Fiora, Dart

Again, lower XP gain in favour of a better turncount. Although this time, the XP gain was significantly lower than last time ( which was 1571 XP in 9 turns). But it's still above the chapter's recommendation, so I'll take it, especially since one of the saved turn was a bit of a gift by RNGesus - Lyn had to hit a ~50% on Uhai on EP (and not die to a crit before that). Before, I had both Hector and Lyn hit their attacks on PP (while Uhai had the Longbow equipped) so I felt lucky ;): Afterwards, Sain, Lowen and Matthew all whiffed against the Nomad reinforcements and I felt significantly less lucky, but Lyn did pull through. ;): It's a good thing that Uhai attacks first, too, because otherwise Fiora would have been in range of the unkilled Nomad while still carrying Hector away from that scary, sword-wielding, crit-happy, Hector-doubling man, so Lyn missing would very likely have caused a reset, too.

The rest of the group was mainly there to collect the XP from the other areas of the map - Kent and Lucius were able to easily farm the pirate reinforcements for a bunch of experience, while Dart, Bartre, and Erk took care of the Peg Knights spawning in the NE. Well, Dart and Bartre did, with Erk sitting in the background just in case both of the axe users would get into the pegasi's KO range. In hindsight, Serra would have been better in this slot. Canas helped a bit early on with his strong 2-range chip in order to push through the initial enemies to the south, but kinda sat around uselessly afterwards. I'm honestly surprised he even saw as much combat as he did (8B/3W in this chapter), but I suppose he did get attacked on the early enemy phases a few times.

Given how the numbers look right now (very good on Tactics, less good on XP than last time, idk how Funds look in comparison), I'm pretty sure I want to go to 19xx. I will also try not to RNG abuse on Kishuna, but honestly - I'm not sure if I'm willing to reset for a legit clear if it requires multiple crits or a lot of sub-50% hits to connect. We'll see, I suppose :/:

		Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		11.85	27  12  8   7   6   13  1	73/30
Matthew		14.23	26  9   6   20  8   4   1	55/16
Lyn		12.76	24  9   12  16  8   5   0	20/13
Sain		13.75	28  15  7   12  7   8   3	36/18

Lowen		13.73	32  13  7   12  5   10  5	87/45
Florina		12.71	30  9   15  14  11  4   8	25/15	-- +robe
Bartre		8.70	35  11  6   7   5   6   0	38/20
Erk		13.34	26  11  11  15  4   5   9	28/23	-- +ring

Priscilla	6.38	16  8   6   10  8   4   8	4/0
Kent		6.30	24  8   9   12  2   5   2	21/5
Lucius		6.16	21  8   8   12  3   2   8	9/6
Canas		10.80	22  12  10  9   7   6   10	20/10

Fiora		7.24	base				2/1
Dart		9.20	35  13  9   8   3   6   1	9/3

 

  • Chapter 19x*
Spoiler
  • 10/10 turns (97/103 in total) - 1219/1000 XP (11661/9300 in total) - Funds: apparantly forgot to check, but probably * * * * *
  • fielded: Hector, Lowen, Kent, Marcus, Priscilla, Raven, Matthew, Fiora

Yeah, screw that. In the end, I needed too many 50-60% hits to connect, as well as two KE crit out of three tries in order to kill Kishuna, so I did make a save state before attacking him. If I recall correctly, I had Matt, Raven and Lowen attacking with the KE (with Fiora and Priscilla ferrying it between them) and Marcus connecting a Silver Lance hit (16 dmg) to bring him down. If it wasn't for Shadow Dragon, this would be my least favourite Gaiden requirement in the entire series, and that's without taking the almost equally dumb "grind Nils in LHM" part of it into account. Ugh. :/: 

The rest of the chapter went fairly nicely, though. Marcus x Hand Axe is one of the very few FE ships that I can really get behind - he and Lowen were spearheading the advance most of the time, with everyone else following them to pick up the scraps. Well, except Kent, who stayed near the start to kill the Axereaver Pegasi (and two of the reinforcement mages, while blocking one fort to avoid getting overwhelmed) for a good chunk of XP. Kishuna's entourage was good for a good chunk of both chip and kill experience, too, so I'm quite happy with that part of the battle.

The official Bosskill went to Fiora, after Lowen weakened him and Prissy rescued him out of the way. He tried to Bolting Matthew to death (another piece of RNG - disp. hit should have been only 35-40%, if my quick maths are correct, but still), so both of them easily doubled him.

Ranking-wise, yet another "faster, but less XP" chapter. It might be showing that (i.) I think I might have overvalued XP on my first run and (ii.) I'm having the upcoming zero-requirement chapter in mind that I didn't visit last time. Speaking of chapters that I didn't visit last time: Jerme-XP is currently ahead of Kenneth-XP by more than 700 points. It's still quite some time away and it's not like I'll ever stop deploying at least Priscilla, but I really, really don't want to deal with a snowy rout map, so I should maybe keep half an eye on this.

		Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		12.72	27  13  9   8   6   13  1	79/33	-- finally! Spd procced again!
Raven		10.66	33  13  16  16  3   7   3	29/17	
Fiora		9.64	23  9   13  14  7   6   8	10/6
Marcus		4.56	33  16  15  11  9   10  9	80/42	-- that's more than 100 XP in this chapter :o

Kent		8.64	26  9   10  12  2   5   2	32/13
Priscilla	6.82	16  8   6   10  8   4   8	4/0
Matthew		15.32	27  9   7   20  9   4   1	63/19
Lowen		16.07	35  13  8   14  7   11  6	101/53

 

 

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  • Chapter 19xx*
Spoiler
  • 8/0 turns (105/103 in total) - 1142/0 XP (12803/9300 in total) - Funds: * * * * *
  • fielded: Hector, Lowen, Raven, Canas, Fiora, Matthew, Bartre, Priscilla

me: "Geez, Teodor is sturdier than I remember, even with the Eclipse equipped. Welp, either both Hector (@Devil Axe) and Barte (@Steel Axe) hit their ~40% attacks to allow Fiora to get the kill, or I'll have to reset and make sure that Lowen gets to the throne quicker... Nah, I should just field Sain or Raven to begin with..."
Hector: *crits*

And no, it didn't backfire, either. :lol: I still ultimately scrapped that clear in lieu of a slightly better overall run, both in tactics (-1 turns) and EXP (20 more), though. The bosskill still went to Hector, unfortunately - this time because Raven didn't crit on either of his KE hits and Hector with an Iron Axe just barely had enough Atk to finish Teodor off. Had Raven scored a crit, I technically would have been able to seize on T7, but I only got the last treasure chest on T8, anyway, so it doesn't really matter, except that Hector is getting closer to Lv.20 already...

Strategy: Matt steals the Chest Key to the right of the starting position, with Lowen trading it away so the thief doesn't steal it back and then throwing a javelin so that said thief will suicide on Matthew during EP to clear the way - I initially planned to try and punch through that 1-tile wide corridor with Lowen, so I had Fiora get the Chest key from him and then Canto out of Archer range, but even Lowen with his bulk couldn't reliably survive all the punishment that you get, especially since even the Ballistician decided that Lowen was the best target to shoot at. So in the final run, Lowen instead killed the Sniper for XP (Lowen just so doubled him!) and then caught up to the main group to chip in against some thiefs. Matt obviously has to take the roundabout path, but he still arrives fast enough to steal both the dragonshield and the lockpick from the thief who opened the SE chests. With Fiora getting the remaining chest, that's pretty much all the treasure secured.

All things considered (and despite the FoW), the chapter really isn't that hard to beat. I still rigged the first turn a little bit to make things easier down the line, with Canas and Raven killing the nearest thief at rather meager hitrates (Lowen chipping with the Javelin wasn't exactly 100% reliable either) and I would also have rigged Canas to dodge one of two AK attacking him on the first EP, if this wouldn't have happened naturally on all tries. :lol: And with that out of the way, Hector Wolfbeiling the Sleep Troubadour on T2 and Raven killing the Balistician on T3, the rest of the chapter went fairly smoothly.

		Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		14.42	29  15  10  8   7   14  2	88/35
Fiora		11.25	25  9   15  14  8   6   9	14/10
Priscilla	7.83	16  8   7   10  9   4   8	7/0
Matthew		16.32	28  10  7   20  10  5   1	69/20

Lowen		17.30	36  13  8   14  7   11  6	111/57
Bartre		9.71	36  12  6   8   6   6   0	45/22	-- dat Speed :o
Canas		12.77	24  14  11  11  7   7   11	31/15	-- he's been doing really well, too
Raven		12.55	34  14  16  16  4   7   5	38/23

 

  • Chapter 20*
Spoiler
  • 11/16 turns (116/119 in total) - 1574/2100 XP (14377/11400 in total) - Funds: * * * * *
  • Fielded: LEH, Matthew, Marcus, Lowen, Bartre, Serra, Priscilla, Sain, Lucius, Fiora + Legault

This one was pretty identical to the last run - same turncount, same-ish XP (22 more than before) and the same problems that I always have with this map. I think that my opening works fairly well, as does my reinforcement handling, but towards the end, I never get a good balance between recruiting Legault, sending enough firepower to deal with Darin quickly and safely, getting the Member Card to the Secret Shop ASAP, getting some XP from the reinforcements that come from the East... The timing never quite comes together and I always feel like I should have saved another turn, gained another 100-200 XP, or gotten to the southern Secret Shop in a timely fashion (which I didn't even bother with - I never really had a problem with my lack of Killer weapons in my previous run, so I'll try again without them).

Oh well, it's not like the numbers are horrible, so I'll just take it and move on. :] There is some good about this clear, too - in particular, I managed to give Lyn both bosskills, which makes it all but guaranteed that I'll go to Linus' FFO when the time comes. It also means that Hector did not get Darin's XP, so maybe I'll actually be able to have him earn a few points in Genesis.

Like in the last run, I start the map with Fiora flying as far ahead as possible with a Horseslayer to get some heavy chip on the first cavalier. The numbers are a bit closer this time, but she still survives cav+mage+longbow with exactly one HP remaining if all three hit her. This part unfortunately can't be done by a cav or Marcus because their movement is impeded by a forest tile.

Lyn and Eliwood kill the closest AK, with Eliwood stepping in range of one of the western Knights, as well. Bartre is stepping in the NE corner of the starting area to lure one of the Nomads to attack him, removing him from the big chokepoint later.

On T2, I position Lyn and Hector on the front in such a way that only Cameron can attack Lyn - thanks to the move order on EP, a cavalier moves to the only spot that she could be attacked at 2 range from. Lyn 3HKOs Cameron, so she can finish him off on T3 PP without getting healed (and Healer Actions are a bit sparce in this chapter). Marcus and Hector, both carrying Hand Axes, take the front this turn to make sure Lyn and Fiora are safe from the nomads. After that, it's not too hard to break through the remaining enemies with some effective weaponry applied when needed.

Meanwhile, Priscilla has Unlocked the southern treasure room for some XP, with Sain killing the Archer and boosting Matt north after he got the Brave Bow. Bartre takes a gamble and 1v1's the Killer Bow Archer, sitting in the forest to make things a bit less scary for him. Priscilla will also unlock the door to the central room (to farm some XP from its reinforcements) and the later the other two doors - partly for the XP and partly because it was quite useful to have the tiles next to the doors available for other units. ;)

In terms of reinforcements: Eliwood takes care of the Mercs from the central room, which he actually does quite well against thanks to his decent Def. The shamans spawning from the same spot are lured away from him and killed through the wall by some units in the main group. Lucius deals with the Archer reinforcements - he dodges the first one (and Prissy would have been in range if he hadn't) and 3HKOs both while doubling, so he didn't have much trouble. After that, he relieved Fiora from her Mage duty because she was being whittled down (and both healers were busy that turn). Bartre moves away from the Archers and kills a couple Pegasus reinforcements instead - since half of them spawn with Steel Lances, he doubles and kills those on EP and can just finish the Slim Lance ones on PP.

And as I already said - the main group does not do quite as well. I send Lyn through the treasure chamber to recruit Legault with Sain and Matthew helping to punch through the enemies (and Serra to heal them when needed), but when they went through the broken wall, the enemies clutter in an awkward way and Matt has to go north to steal the Member Card before opening the chests because I wouldn't be able to recruit Legault before the thief would have escaped... It still kinda works out, but I probably could have gotten both the chests and the Secret Shop at least a turn earlier, which would have saved me a turn...

...because I did have Marcus whittle down Darin to the point where Hector could have Wolf Beiled him to death on turn 8 or 9. But since I had to stall anyway, Lyn takes the kill instead (she deals 2x5 damage to him, iirc) with Lowen poking him a bit for some extra XP and a bit of reliability (Lyn would have been allowed to miss 1/4 attacks thanks to that extra damage).

		Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		14.83	29  15  10  8   7   14  2	94/39
Eliwood		11.83	25  10  12  11  15  10  3	52/30
Lyn		15.95	27  9   15  16  9   5   0	34/22
Priscilla	9.13	17  8   7   12  10  5   9	7/0

Matthew		16.99	28  10  7   20  10  5   1	76/20
Bartre		11.94	38  12  7   9   6   6   1	60/30
Marcus		5.19	33  16  16  11  9   10  10	93/50
Sain		14.60	29  15  8   12  7   8   3	47/25

Lucius		8.27	22  8   9   13  3   3   8	19/11
Serra		6.67	19  4   6   11  9   3   8	3/0
Fiora		12.56	25  9   15  15  8   6   10	28/15
Lowen		18.05	37  13  8   15  7   11  7	121/64

Legault		12.21	28  9   14  17  10  9   4	1/0

 

 

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  • Chapter 21*
Spoiler
  • 5/9 turns (121/128 in total) - 849/1200 XP (15226/12600 in total) - Funds: * * * * *
  • Fielded: Hector, Eliwood, Ninian, Erk, Dart, Florina, Fiora, Priscilla

In contrast to chapter 20, which unfolded pretty much the same as last time, I tackled this one completely differently. For reference: Last clear were 14 turns and 2290 XP, although Priscilla and Serra spamming staves contributed almost a quarter of that XP gain. This time, I went for the quick-and-dirty clear with only one staffer (who didn't even use a single Physic charge - just Heal, Mend and one Barrier on the first turn).

The thing that was mostly similar to last time is the role of the magic user - then Lucius, now Erk - who doubled all of the flyers and was able to chip them down to the point where even Eliwood was able to kill a wyvern rider. Unfortunately, Lucius isn't as speedblessed this time, so he only would have doubled a few of the flyers, so there's a little bit of lost XP thanks to Erk's higher level. Still, Erk was absolutely amazing on this map, chipping like crazy and even one-rounding with the Thunder tome when necessary.

For example, he basically did all the work on the first EP - he had to dodge one out of three flyers in order to survive, but thanks to his chip damage (and some liberal use of the Devil Axe on Dart), I was able to clear all the flyers around the arena on T2, even though Florina and Fiora were busy visiting the western villages (while killing the Monks around those on EP). Florina also bought six of all the basic weapons (except iron bows, of course), which worked out pretty well since she didn't double the northern Monks with a Javelin, but was able to finish them while sitting on the Armory.

The rest of the map was really easy - T3 was just some mop-up work; on T4, Erk walked into Oleg's bow range (which, combined with poison damage brought him down to just 2 HP) and finally, on T5 Legault stole the Hero Crest, Erk and Fiora brought Olug down to 2 HP and Eliwood took the bosskill. Meanwhile, Dart visited the Arena and killed a Soldier and a Wyvern Rider (Oof! shouldn't have taken the risk, honestly) for 1530 gold in total.

So yeah, RNG-dependant clear, but so short that I was absolutely fine resetting for the obligatory Devil Axe mishap. :lol:

		Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		15.16	30  16  11  8   7   15  3	97/42	-- 2 points below average Spd really hurts :/
Eliwood		13.65	26  10  13  12  15  11  3	59/35	-- Def-blessed, but rather meh otherwise
Ninian		7.53	18  1   0   15  16  8   9	1/0	-- she took 0 damage against a monk :D
Erk		14.55	27  11  12  15  4   5   9	38/27	-- +LHM ring

Dart		10.85	36  14  10  9   3   6   1	17/9
Florina		13.53	31  9   15  15  11  4   8	30/17	-- +LHM robe
Fiora		13.19	26  9   15  15  8   7   11	32/17
Priscilla	9.76	17  8   7   12  10  5   9	7/0

 

  • Chapter 22*
Spoiler
  • 9/11 turns (130/139 in total) - 1455/1700 XP (16681/14300 in total) - Funds: * * * * *
  • Fielded: LEH, Sain, Kent, Lowen, Legault, Canas, Serra, Priscilla, Ninian + Isadora, Heath, Rath

I suppose that after overkilling the XP rank last time, I'm now on a great path to overkill Tactics. ;) At this point, I'm actually significantly behind my last run's XP count despite the additional 1000 XP from 19xx. However, I'm still fairly close to Balcerzak in this regard, so I'm feeling confident that I'll get to the 40k XP that I'll need in the end without too much trouble.

For this chapter, I more or less copied my initial unit placement from last time. Sain (with Ninian's help) carries Eliwood towards Heath and blocks the door (that Priscilla opened) so that he can kill two fighters and damage one wyvern on EP. Kent and Isadora put Legault on a pedestal on the NW pillar after Legault gives Isadora some less expensive weaponry - Legault needs every tile that he can get (to the point where Priscilla has to Physic Sain on T2 despite starting the turn two tiles away from him, just because Legault absolutely has to take the tile directly north of Sain) so that he can steal the thief's lockpick on T3. Finally, Lowen and Hector rescue/drop Lyn to move her past the two green Knights. Only Serra and Canas have to stay a little bit behind the rest of the group.

T2, Sain kills the wyvern that he has been facing (he 3HKOs, so he can affort to whiff once) and Isadora uses her full movement to kill the second wyvern that blocked Eliwood recruiting Heath. Heath immediately chips against a nomad (which also boxes him in, so a miss wouldn't have been the end of the world) so that Canas (boosted by Ninian) can kill him through the wall. The main group on the RHS just generally kills enemies and advances a little bit. ;)

T3 is the most RNG dependant part of the clear - the enemies MUST attack some of the green units and even so, Ninian had to dodge a wyvern in order to survive - probably. She didn't get attacked by anyone else, but that's because an enemy nomad killed a green unit instead. Not sure how he would have decided if Ninian had been in KO range, too.

T4 is when the great Lowen show started. ;): Dude's really blessed offensively and he's tanky enough to just move ahead with a javelin equipped and kill all the magical enemies while chipping against the Knights. By turn 6, only four Knights were remaining in that area, which wasn't difficult at all for the rest of the group to mop up.

Further to the west, Isadora tanked the western entrance, blocking the Mage reinforcements and just using an Iron Sword to prevent the wyverns from ever hitting her. Legault had taken the Member+Silver cards from Sain, so after he was done, he went and bought a couple chest keys, barrier staves and a second Unlock. Everyone else moves east to catch up with the main group.

On turn 7, Lowen draws Eubans westwards and on T8, he is pulled to the more open part of the map (basically where he starts in Eliwood Mode) by the merc from Rath's group - who actually survived and went to kill a wyvern on the final turn. :lol: I screwed up my positioning and gave Eubans a forest tile to attack from, which did make the boss kill significantly less reliable. Lyn hit+crit him, though, which made the rest a lot more reliable again - Sain did some additional chip damage so that Eliwood was able to finish him off, with Canas (60% hitrate) and Lowen (2x 57% and OHKOing) standing ready in case Eliwood had missed.

		Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		15.87	30  16  11  8   7   15  3	107/49
Eliwood		14.87	27  11  13  12  16  12  3	63/37
Lyn		16.50	27  9   15  17  10  5   0	41/26	-- She isn't even Def screwed, holy shit
Sain		15.66	29  16  8   12  8   8   3	60/34

Kent		10.12	28  10  11  12  2   7   2	44/18
Lowen		19.84	38  13  8   16  8   11  7	151/82	-- still debating whether or not to promote
Legault		13.20	28  9   15  17  11  9   4	5/1
Canas		13.85	25  15  11  11  7   7   12	41/23

Serra		7.91	19  5   6   11  10  3   8	3/0
Priscilla	11.33	17  8   9   13  12  5   10	8/0
Ninian		8.44	19  1   0   16  17  8   10	2/0
Isadora		1.85	base				17/10

Rath		9.65	27  8   10  10  6   7   2	5/4
Heath		7.96	32  13  10  9   7   12  1	5/2

 

 

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  • Chapter 23*
Spoiler
  • 8/9 turns (138/148 in total) - 1181/1200 XP (17862/15500 in total) - Funds: * * * * *
  • fielded: Hector, Eliwood, Fiora, Erk, Heath, Serra, Ninian, Legault + Hawkeye

If I were allowed to ask only one question to the developers of Blazing Sword, it would be "Reinforcements in a FoW Desert Rout map?! WHY?!?!?!" During my last run, I wondered why I always found FE6's desert map so much more tolerable than this one and I think I've found my answer. In a Seize map, you can at least stay away from the spawing points and push towards the throne, but in FE7's case, especially in the context of a Ranked run where you do care about turncounts, you have to run towards them instead, with units that are either bad against enemy Mages (i.e. Heath) or Wyverns (i.e. Fiora). Now that I think about it, as much as I like HHM Heath, "not having Milady" might be a factor, as well. ;): Maybe I should have moved Erk along with those two, but it's not like he has the bulk to face multiple Wyverns on EP, either.

Erk did have a very busy first EP, anyway - two Mages and one Wyvern, one of which he absolutely needed to dodge. But with the Thunder tome, he killed one of the mages and the wyvern and weakened the Elfire+Guiding Ring Mage significantly, so that he could kill him immediately after Legault stole the Guiding Ring on the following PP. I also had to face the Killer Axe boss twice in Melee range (once with Legault, once with Hawkeye) to get him into Heath's killing range with the Axereaver. So yeah, not the most reliable clear in the history of FE...

I made good use of the reset trick to let Fiora and Heath (and Hector - Ocean Seal on T1) collect the treasure to 100%. Problem with that: Opening the items menu seems to burn some secondary RNs as well, so no Vulneraries allowed. :/: Most of the time, I was able to keep them in Serra's Physic range (iirc she healed 2x Fiora, 1x Heath), but Fiora still had to dodge one out of two Wyvern attacks at some point. They did a bunch of enemies that Pent had left alive, although my strat against the wyverns was mostly "err... lure them towards Pent, I guess". And Pent was also responsible for making this an 8-turn clear by killing the shaman that Fiora had previously failed to defeat.  :]

Second bosskill went to Eliwood, who was actually fairly useful on the first couple turns against the knights and the brigand near the starting location. He's at the awkward spot of Level 16.93 now, which is a shame because I don't think I'll want to field them in Genesis. However, since Lyn and Hector are Lv.16 as well, I only need to feed Hector two full levels in 23x, which still seems reasonable.

		Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		16.08	31  17  12  8   7   16  3	109/50
Eliwood		16.93	28  12  13  13  17  13  3	79/45
Fiora		14.46	27  9   15  15  8   7   11	48/21
Erk		16.22	28  12  13  17  4   6   10	52/35

Heath		10.98	34  14  12  11  8   13  2	17/8
Serra		9.58	20  6   8   11  12  3   10	6/0
Ninian		9.25	19  1   1   16  18  8   11	3/0
Legault		14.00	29  10  15  18  11  9   4	12/2

Hawkeye		4.30	50  18  14  11  13  14  10	3/0

 

  • Chapter 23x*
Spoiler
  • 12/25 turns (150/173 in total) - 1973/650 XP (19835/16150 in total) - Funds: * * * * *
  • LHS: Rath, Fiora, Ninian, Priscilla -- RHS: Hector, Hawkeye, Legault, Serra

This one took me a while, both because I took a bit of a break between first try and final run and because that final run was a bitch to plan out. Kishuna moving in different and awkward positions, combined with some stat fluctuation compared to last run, made the first couple turns pretty difficult and occasionally RNG based.

For example, in my first couple attempts Priscilla's Mag is too low to heal Rath out of KO range of the Bolting Sage - and for the final clear, where I used Ninian's dance to Mend instead of Physic and going for another kill, Kishuna stayed very far to the left for the rest of his appearance, muting the sage. I honestly have no clue how Kishuna's AI works... I'm like 99% sure that Prissy was able to use Unlock on T2 on my first HHM attempt...

Anyways, Hector going into the chapter on level 16 instead of capped out was really nice. With the Brave Axe, he was able to one-round pretty much everything for great XP gain, although his hit rates left a bit to be desired. He and Hawkeye did almost all the combat on the RHS, including three of Kishuna's body guards. Like last time, I could've shooed Kishuna out prematurely (with Rath or Fiora, this time), but not without getting myself in a bad spot. If I will need those funds (and funds were the most tight rank last time), I'll keep the safe though - the dropables on the reinforcements are pretty valuable, after all, but I don't think I would enjoy finding a working strategy with that side objective in mind. ;):

All in all, the RHS didn't have much trouble - the worst part was probably Serra getting one-shot by the closest Bolting Sage, so she had to use some Pure Water on T1, which caused him to nuke Hector to 4 HP instead. Later in the chapter, Serra got targeted by the Silence user twice - not sure about the hit rate, since I play without animations, but I think Priscilla with her paltry staff range would have had a difficult time covering for her, so those dodges were probably pretty significant, as well.

And as probably every HHM player remembers, the LHS has three Luna Druids in total. Fuck that. Also, Rath didn't do as well as last time - looking at his stats, I believe he previously had +2 Str for most of the map, which had certainly helped things. But despite that (and his durability issues), having a Brave Bow on a mounted unit in this chapter is still really good, though, if only for the ability to one-round walls. Fiora did about as good as was to be expected - she did miss some one-round-KOs, but OK-ish physical offense combined with good magical bulk is still appreciated. Marcus would have made the chapter so much easier, though. ;)

Ninian was also about as good as to be expected, i.e. very good. This is really a great chapter to field a dancer - small group, PP-heavy and it's great to be able to choose between third attack and second staff use every turn.

		Lv	HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		19.84	34  17  14  9   7   17  4	121/56
Hawkeye		6.54	51  19  14  12  14  14  11	14/6
Legault		14.22	29  10  15  18  11  9   4	14/2
Serra		11.14	21  7   8   12  14  3   11	7/0

Ninian		10.25	20  1   1   17  19  8   11	3/0
Fiora		17.69	30  9   17  18  9   8   12	63/29
Priscilla	13.20	18  10  9   13  13  6   11	8/0
Rath		15.50	32  11  13  11  7   8   4	24/14

 

  • Some thoughts that I had before finishing chapter 24 after a 2-3 day break:
Spoiler

Well, this chapter is giving me a harder time than I anticipated. Not because it would be hard to beat, but the timing on the reinforcements, combined with the zoning from the Bolting sage, makes it quite difficult to push forward and finish in a timely fashion. Few of my units particularly fancy being hit by a 32 Atk Bolting - Barriered Fiora would survive with 17 HP, but she fares really poorly against the wyverns, barely surviving if a Steel Lance hits her (and being 2HKO'ed even from full HP) and doing shit damage in return (9 Str at lv.17...).

On the plus side, this is an incentive to think about who to promote - with "not Fiora" most likely being part of the answer to that question. In particular, I'm looking at my cavaliers: I was initially planning to promote only Sain, who is sitting at Lv. 15 at the start of the chapter, but Lowen might be a good candidate, too - he's only 16 XP away from capping, so I won't field him if he doesn't go Pala, but thanks to his amazing Speed (he doubles all of the Mercs on this map!), he would be great to have right now and also much better longterm than he usually is, even though his other stats are average at best.

So, as things stand now, I expect to use these promotion items:

  • 2-3 Elysian Whips: Heath, Farina, ?Florina?
  • 1-2 Knight Crests: Lowen, ?Sain?
  • 1 Guiding Ring: Priscilla (don't think it's worth promoting Serra)
  • 1 Hero Crest: Raven

And yes, the list does include Farina. I can be quite stubborn. ;):

As an aside: I am very happy to be able to type "Lowen" and "amazing Speed" in the same sentence.

 

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  • Chapter 24* (Linus)
Spoiler
  • 11/22 turns (161/194 in total) - 2439/1650 XP (22274/17800 in total) - Funds: * * * * *
  • Fielded: Hector, Lowen, Serra, Priscilla, Sain, Florina, Raven, Lucius, Canas, Dart, Ninian, Heath + Geitz.

Alright, here we go :): Took me a while, but I found a pretty robust strategy for the first 6-7 turns, which allowed me to be a bit more reckless after that to get the 11 turn clear while still getting some decent XP.

Turn 1 starts with Heath and Sain killing the merc right to the north, while Lowen (with a little help from Ninian) rescue/drops Raven to their left to block the Hero, who doubles Sain and Heath. Both carry iron weapons - Raven because he would die to Merc+Hero+Wyvern if he killed the initial Merc and Lowen because it worked out fine, so I don't change it, even though he is carrying Marcus' Silver Lance with him. Like this, the hero is forced to attack Lowen, exchanging minor damage (well, Lowen is 3HKO'ed, which I consider minor when talking about a Silver Sword Hero).
The wyvern, together with a second one from near the SW island, go for Canas instead, who has to dodge one of their attacks. The risk is rewarded with two dead Wyverns - Canas only doubles about half of the Wyverns on the map, but one-rounds easily when he does. This, combined with 1-2 range for the occasional EP action and some heavy chip against other units make him so much more valuable than any bow user could be in this chapter.
Dart moves east into the forest and the range of three mercenaries, ready to do some damage with the Swordreaver. Everyone else stays slightly behind, while Florina uses the downtime to visit the southern vendor.

Turn 2, Lucius kills two of Dart's enemies - Ninian has to go east to safely recruit Geitz anyway, and with Dart killing the third Mercenary, she can dance for Lucius just outside the range of the last remaining Merc. Florina kills the Merc that Raven had weakened in the North, the Hero gets chipped by Lowen (who hits Lv.20 with that) and Canas (so good chip damage!), while Raven just chuggs a Vulnerary and equips a Lancereaver - the Hero will attack him on EP, putting him in KO range of a nearby Wyvern, but the Reaver reduces the latter's disp. hit to only 22.
Sain and Heath kill a Mercenary, with Heath choking the point SE of the northern vendor. Every time I replay this map (which isn't that often since I usually prefer Lloyd's FFO), I'm a little bit confused that there is a path here, but not between the two buildings. ;): Hector does some minor work by pulling the S-most wyvern, who doesn't seem to move otherwise and would harass Dart and Ninian on their way east if left alone.

On EP, Lucius gets attacked by a merc that Dart then kills on Turn 3. On PP, Lucius gets a bit of help from Hector and Ninian to remove two wyverns - he might not do as much damage as Canas on this map, but he does double all the wyverns and doesn't need that much prior damage on them to finish them off. And despite his frailty, he does survive a Steel Lance hit. Fielding him over Erk was still a bit of an investment, but the return was almost 300 XP on Lucius, which my lv.16 Erk could only have dreamt of. :):
Canas and Raven are able to finish off the Hero on their own, which frees Lowen to promote. :): Sain advances a little bit to the west, killing one Merc with PP+EP and chipping the other remaining one on EP. He isn't all that tanky, but he does survive three hits and after Florina kills the only nearby Wyvern (Raven left him on 4 HP, which even Flo can kill...), there's none of those fuckers in his range.
Oh, and Heath finishes off the merc that attacked him on EP. I didn't make much use of his flying utility this chapter (unlike Florina, who did a lot more running around) except for the last 2-3 turns, but he is one of the best candidates to choke that point, at least until the pirates arrive. He (and Sain) can 2HKO the mercs on the map with Iron and Heath has some nice physical bulk to go with that.

Turn 4, Dart and Ninian get in position to recruit Geitz next turn, with Hector joining them to help out with the enemies.
Meanwhile, the main group is threatened by three Wyverns, while the Bolting Sage still blocks any advance. Canas and Lucius have to take part in the defensive formation, but it's possible to move them in a way that both can only be attacked from one tile and since neither of them one-rounds... It would have been even better if Canas would have doubled that particular wyvern, since the third wyvern couldn't reach him (he went for Sain instead) and the first one obviously goes for Lucius, but alas... ;):

Turn 5, Geitz is recruited. Ninian has to stand in one Wyvern's range, unfortunately, but she dodges him on EP (and isn't one-shot anyway, but this does allow me to put her in harm's way again later). I'm going to be brief here and just say that the Axe Trio is going to fend off incoming Wyverns and Pirates, with Dart taking kills when possible (and safe). And other than Hector getting the village at some point, that's all they're going to be doing. Hector is carrying an Elixir for emergencies, but forest terrain and a bit of RNG blessing is enough to keep them alive. Hector obviously caps very early in the process, but his chip damage still allows getting some kills with Dart instead of Geitz.
In the north, the three Wyverns are killed, while Lowen gets Barriered up, rescues Raven and cycles west around the armory, still outside of Bolting range.

Turn 6 is when he charges ahead all on his own, pulling the Sage towards him. Between promotion boni, his natural bulk and the Barrier, he has no trouble surviving the Bolting plus multiple Mercenaries and on the final run, he even dodges the Bolting for good measure. ;): The rest of the group cuts a way for him on Turn 7 so that Lowen can kill the Sage with Marcus' Silver Lance.

The rest of the map isn't that exciting anymore (and I stopped making turn-by-turn notes, too). Lowen burns a couple Silver Lance uses on the two Heroes flanking Linus (and Sain manages to snatch both kills) before Lowen decimates Linus :D Well, he could have - Lowen actually doubles here, chips with two Silver Lance hits on EP and would have been able to take the kill on turn 11, but instead, Canas Fluxes him to the point where Sain can gobble up another big chunk of experience. :): His disp.hit is 77, but Lowen would have been able to make up for either of the two missing.

Oh, and meanwhile, Florina visits two of the other shops (Lucius takes the Silver Card for a second to visit the northern Vendor) and gets the villages, while Raven does three Arena fights - a Brigand and two Shamans for a total of 2100 gold. And obviously, everyone who can gets a bit of XP, does so. ;):

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		20.00		35  18  14  9   7   18  4	125/57
Ninian		11.37		21  1   1   18  20  9   12	5/0
Serra		12.63		22  7   8   13  15  4   11	7/0
Priscilla	14.64		18  11  9   14  14  6   11	8/0

Heath		13.83		36  15  12  13  8   13  3	34/17
Florina		14.62		32  9   15  15  12  4   8	37/22
Lucius		11.20		25  9   11  14  4   5   11	30/19
Sain		18.61		31  18  9   14  8   9   4	74/41

Dart		14.74		40  16  12  12  5   6   1	40/23	-- Holy Skill, Batman!
Raven		15.08		36  16  16  18  5   7   6	38/29
Canas		15.57		26  15  11  12  7   9   12	53/29	-- Really Blessed. :o
Lowen		20.00/2.40	42  15  11  17  10  15  9	165/87

Geitz		3.66		45  19  14  14  10  11  4	11/6

 

  • Financial Report
Spoiler

Aaaaand it's time to check my finances before Farina makes me a fair and reasonable offer. Fuck. *Three Hours Later...*

Alright, if I'm not mistaken, I am sitting at 412275 gold worth in items, plus 5445 in liquid gold. Farina costs 20k, so assuming that I liquify 30k worth of items into 15k gold, I will sit at around 382000 gold. Still five stars, but barely: the requirements at this point (and after Crazed Beast, too, since it's zero requirements) are 374400 gold - i.e. 7-8000 gold leeway. Still - wayyyy better than last time where recruiting Farina put me ~30k below the five star requirement. So welcome abord, girl! :lol:

And for what it's worth: Hector's Wolf Beil sits at 4 uses, so that's 4600 gold (taking into account the 600 gold cost of one Hammerne use). The Rapier has some money in it, as well (10 uses left -> 3900 gold), although I expect that the Brave Bow and Lance might be better targets.
And in the other direction, I do have to keep in mind that I only promoted one unit so far and that at least four others will follow, so that'll be 40-60k gold into the drain. But hey, it'll be fiiiiiine :lol: If I'm not mistaken, I will be fairly close to Balcerzak's Funds status (he was at +18k after Crazed Beast and there's 12500 gold to be had in that chapter) and while he already had two promotions at that point, I sure as hell won't be promoting Eliwood. ;):

(honestly, I might have if this wasn't a Ranked run. I like his promotion and he has been growing quite nicely, especially his Def. But he still isn't worth two regular promotion, I'm afraid)

(and no, Farina technically isn't worth four regular promotions, either, or five if you count her own)

 

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  • Chapter 25*
Spoiler
  • 9/0 turns (170/195 in total) - 2408/0 XP (24682/17800 in total) - Funds: * * * * *
  • Fielded: Hector, Lowen, Bartre, Serra, Guy, Erk, Priscilla, Kent, Raven, Lucius, Ninian, Heath, Farina

I still find this chapter a bit weird, almost superfluous, both in terms of story (don't they just follow a wrong lead with absolutely zero payoff?) and gameplay. I mean, given how my current status is, I am grateful for the free XP and funds (let's ignore Farina for a second here), but the map design is just so simplistic, at least when it comes to enemy placement. There's only axe users in the SW, so any semi-competent sword user can stand on a forest and laugh at their futile attempts to hit them; there's only Steel Lance cavs in the center, so a tanky axe user mostly counters those (althogh not quite as hard, as there's a non-forested point to be choked) and you'd need to invent a new word to describe how hard all of the pegasus sisters dominate the monks to the east. I suppose there's the pirate reinforcements, but outside of a Ranked context, there's little reason not to have a Falcoknight (i.e. a sword-wielding flyer that is virtually immune versus Monks) at this point and even if you don't, Axereavers are a thing, too.

So let me just briefly summarize what happens: Guy and Kent deal with the pirates (who cares about Halberds if there's forests and WTA to be had?) with only the warrior being a bit of a threat - he 2HKOs both of them, but with hitrates well below 50%. He does hit Kent once, but only when Kent sets up for Guy to take the kill on turn 8, so he doesn't have any opportunity to attack him again.

In the center, Bartre pulls Pascal on T3 with a hand axe eqipped. On T4, Lowen chips in a little for Raven to take this bosskill - I do want to promote him before too long, or, more specifically, before BBD. Cutting through the cav swarm quickly does require Lowen to take a bunch of kills (*checks B/W count* SEVENTEEN KILLS?! :o: ), but Bartre in particular still gets some nice XP. Speaking of, Bartre did have some risk of death on T1 when he killed both pegasi on EP - if both of them hit, one ballista hit would be enough to finish him. He did survive one peg plus two ballistae, though, albeit with exactly one HP remaining :D

And in the east, a barriered Heath switches between Javelin and Axereaver to protect (and visit) the village. There is always some spot that exposes him to only Monks or Pirates, so he can do so quite efficiently. When Farina shows up, he just kills a couple pirates, with Serra healing him when necessary. Speaking of, she and Priscilla use Physic when needed, Heal whenever possible and use Barrier if there's nothing else to do.

Hector is carrying a spare Javelin for Farina, as well as Afa's Drops (because Blatant Favouritism), and she goes off to kill some monks, as well as the Bishop boss with a Killer Lance crit on T7, which does allow three or four monks to attack her uncountered on the following EP. She only procs +1 Spd in her four level-ups, but also gets +2 Str and +2 Def, so that's still quite a decent start for her.

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		20.00		35  18  14  9   7   18  4	126/58
Ninian		12.27		22  1   1   18  21  10  13	5/0
Priscilla	16.31		18  12  9   14  16  6   13	14/0	-- had to dodge a couple ballista hits
Kent		13.06		30  11  11  14  3   8   2	60/24

Bartre		15.56		41  13  7   12  7   8   1	82/42	-- full recruitment run Y/N? Not gonna 
									   pretent his Spd is anything less
									   than ridiculous.
Guy		11.51		31  12  18  17  9   8   5	51/20	-- it IS funny that Guy is almost as 
									   stronk as Bartre, though :D
Serra		14.02		24  8   8   15  16  5   11	7/0
Heath		16.12		39  16  14  13  8   14  3	50/27

Lowen		20.00/3.87	42  16  11  17  10  16  9	189/104
Erk		17.20		28  12  14  18  4   7   11	62/41
Raven		16.84		37  16  17  18  5   7   7	58/35
Farina		16.17		27  12  14  15  13  12  12	23/16
Spoiler

(just kidding about the full recruitment, btw ;):

 

  • Chapter 26*
Spoiler
  • 12/11 turns (182/206 in total) - 2514 XP (27196/19300 in total) - Funds: * * * * *
  • Fielded: Farina, Heath, Dart, Ninian, Wil, Serra (LHS) | Sain, Kent, Bartre, Raven, Priscilla (RHS) | LEH, Pent, Louise

Still not a big fan of this chapter as a whole. The Ranked context makes it a bit more interesting because of the added question of "How can I milk the most XP out of it?" (my answer being "by fielding a lv.3 archer"), but I still think that it thoroughly destroys the feeling of "defend against a superior foe" when the chapter also introduces a unit that can practically murder the entire map on its own. :/: He didn't in this run, though - only one fight (and one kill, naturally) for Pent, but 18 fights, 16 kills and 724 XP for Wil instead. :lol: Unlike last time, when he only went through the two western ballistae's ammo, he actually joined LEH in the north this time and it was possible to give him two kills per turn more often that I would have expected. Since LEH are far, far away from one-rounding any wyverns, it was fairly easy to reliably pull three wyverns from their northern rally point for Will and some other dude (usually Eliwood with the Wyrmslayer or Dart) to kill.

Other than that, I'll just go through the rest of the line-up real quick:
Heath more or less solo'ed the SW part of the map, although he needed Priscilla to Physic him up more often than I really would have liked since I'm still slightly paranoid about the Funds rank. ;): But his Def was high enough to tank both Nomads at once, so it didn't really matter that there wasn't any help coming from the SE part of the map. Well, it mattered a litte because in the end, one wyvern (whom Heath didn't double and couldn't attack on PP because of HP management) and the two cavaliers (which I really should've just killed early in the chapter, but eh) did survive the fight.

Bartre, the Xmas cavs and Raven dealt with the SE part of the map. For the continuous wyvern steam in the second half of the map, Bartre remained on one of the forts alone, while the other three dudes pulled the damaged wyverns further towards the center of the map to gang up on them there.

Farina went for the magic sextett in the NW right at the start of the chapter - despite Serra using Barrier on her, she was still brought down to 4 HP twice - once by the Sage plus the Luna Shaman (and iirc the mage also still dealt one or two damage) and a second time by the Sage plus a single Wyvern. Later in the chapter, she honestly wasn't all that good since her damage rolls against the wyverns were rather lacking and she didn't double them (and didn't proc Spd in her two level-ups, although I shouldn't complain too loudly given her other stats).

Dart just walked over to LEH, doing a little combat on the way and then chip some wyverns and kill some others. ;): He didn't gain a huge amount of XP, but it was nice to have some unit that is decent, but still doesn't one-round (or almost one-round) wyverns like a certain Etrurian couple.

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		20.00		35  18  14  9   7   18  4	140/59 -- 14 fights, one kill this map
Eliwood		18.10		29  14  14  13  18  13  3	87/48
Lyn		16.76		27  9   15  17  10  5   0	46/26
Pent		*/6.30		base				1/1

Louise		*/4.37		base				7/3
Sain		19.50		31  19  10  15  8   9   5	86/46
Kent		15.18		31  12  13  15  4   9   3	77/31
Bartre		16.78		42  13  8   12  7   9   1	96/44

Raven		17.70		38  17  17  18  6   7   7	66/43
Heath		18.30		41  18  16  13  8   14  5	74/38
Farina		18.16		28  13  16  15  15  14  13	40/24
Dart		16.37		40  18  13  12  7   7   1	55/27

Wil		10.78		25  9   9   11  9   6   1	24/17
Serra		15.90		24  8   8   16  16  5   11	7/0
Priscilla	18.24		18  13  10  14  17  6   14	14/0	-- 2 out of 15 possible HP procs :o
Ninian		13.37 (heh)	23  1   1   18  22  10  14	5/0

 

 

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32 minutes ago, ping said:

(don't they just follow a wrong lead with absolutely zero payoff?)

Correct, and Hector is the one who finds the lead and insists it's true, which is why it is Hector Mode exclusive. But I have to agree that this chapter is painfully filler in narrative, if with a fun design before you consider the enemy placement.

Wow that Farina is tanky, I mean Heath is better here, but Farina is doing okay outside of Spd issues. Your Bartre on the other hand looks like a Mercenary with his poor Str and high Spd. Lucius is 2-3 points Mag screwed. Rath is 3 behind on Spd.

 

I've been reading most of this, since I do find Ranked runs impressive. I could never do one- the EXP rank and Hard Mode's reduced unit slots are just too much for me to try it.

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9 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Wow that Farina is tanky, I mean Heath is better here, but Farina is doing okay outside of Spd issues. Your Bartre on the other hand looks like a Mercenary with his poor Str and high Spd. Lucius is 2-3 points Mag screwed. Rath is 3 behind on Spd.

I didn't even realize how bad Lucius' Magic has been growing. But to be fair, it's a lot less weird than him proccing Def four times... :lol:

Farina's Spd issues are indeed a bit annoying because I'd really like a flyer that doubles everything, but yeah, she's still pretty darn good most of the time. HHM Heath is just amazing in general, especially in this run where his low base level is actually an incentive to field him instead of a (small) detriment.

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Sorry for the delay, but I'm kinda procrastinating with chapter 29. Fuck those status staves. :lol: (that and I'm kinda hooked on Europa Universalis IV again, so that's where most of my video game time goes atm).

  • Chapter 27
Spoiler
  • 15/18 turns (197/224 in total) - 1834/1550 XP (29030/20850 in total) - Funds: * * * *
  • Fielded: Hector, Ninian, Priscilla, Serra, Heath, Raven, Sain, Farina, Lowen, Pent, Canas, Legault + Harken

Welp, FEWoD just cost me a rather promising run :D Although, to be fair, using the false information was part of why the run went so well. In particular, Harken's google-translated character page says that only the "Druid, Sage, Bishop and Shooter above" count for Harken's or Karel's appearance, so I had Raven kill the General right above the starting point and when the Purge Bishop hugged the wall in order to hit Canas (who killed the Jav!Knights around the general and therefore lagged behind quite a bit), I happily had Sain throw some Javelins, as well - one dead prepromote is allowed and the General didn't count, right?? Well, no, because the "Sage" in FEWoD's list refers to Eliwood Mode and apparently, the General in HNM and HHM replaces him with regard to Harken's/Karel's appearance. OH WELL

*later that day...*

Alright, I got virtually the same outcome that I commented on with "the turncount is probably too high by one or two" - same turncount, practically the same XP (29 less this time! Oh noes!) and again with all Lockpicks stolen and all treasure chests collected. I again lost one turn by some sloppy positioning towards the end of the chapter - Sain killed Kenneth on turn 13 with a clean Silver Sword 2HKO while Kenneth was still holding his Purge tome, but Hector was positioned in such a way that he couldn't reach the throne even on T14. Or rather, he would have been able to if Ninian would have boosted him by only two tiles, but Legault only looted the first treasure chest on T13, so without Ninian, he would have made this into a 15-turn clear, given that all three chests contain quite valuable items. :lol: I am a bit miffed about that, but a total surplus of 27 turns at this point makes this suboptimal play a bit easier to swallow. ;):

To give a short rundown: I still had Raven and Canas deal with the Armour Knight squad - on the previous attempt, the Purge bishop only walked into my range because Canas was just barely entering his range after finishing the last Knight, so I just assumed that this wouldn't happen again if the whole group moved in a single cluster and that it wouldn't be worth it to run from the General and hope that the Bishop does a stupid again. Fighting the AK group was fairly safe - Canas stood on the forest with Raven blocking the entrance to face the General (who had 25 disp. hit on him, thanks to the Lancereaver). Once the General died (two rounds of combat against Raven plus some chip by Canas), only one AK was able to attack Raven from 2-range, so all the others suicided on Canas instead (who also faced <30% disp. hit thanks to the forest tile).

Heath and Farina went east to face the wyverns and chuck some javelins through the door for XP. Serra accompanied them for healing and also opened the door fairly late into the chapter so that Heath and Farina can kill the Hero standing behind it. Weirdly enough, a unit standing right to the south of the door seems to attract the enemies behind it even if they don't have 2-range and even after the door to the North had been opened. Killing the Hero let Farina reach level 20, while Heath still has 5 awkward XP missing - I think I will still try to get them before promoting him in BBD. Gotta get those green numbers, eh?

And everybody else just walked North veeeeery slooooooooooooooooowly. I tried to accelarate things a bit with a little bit of Dancing and Rescueing, but it's still such a slog. :/: Lowen and Sain (who reached Lv.20 and promoted fairly early in the chapter) took the front, with Sain getting Barriered to survive a Wyvern plus a Purge hitting him. Raven reached Lv.20 after killing both the General and the eastern Sniper (and a couple unpromoted enemies, of course) - I had initially planned to have him fight Kenneth, but because I am very smart, I completely forgot that I put the Hero Crest in some benched unit's inventory when I had some storage issues earlier. But Sain was ready to make up for my mistakes and just one-rounded Kenneth - not completely reliable, but still with 70-ish disp. hit. Priscilla also capped but didn't promote yet, but that's because she did a little bit of rescue/dropping instead. ;):

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		20.00		35  18  14  9   7   18  4	142/60
Ninian		14.79		24  1   1   19  23  10  15	7/0
Priscilla	20.00		19  14  12  14  19  6   16	16/0	-- she leveled HP! :o
	      ( 20.00/1.00	22  16  13  14  19  8   19 )

Serra		17.39		25  8   9   17  18  5   1	7/0
Heath		19.95		42  19  17  14  8   14  5	95/46
Raven		20.00		41  18  20  19  7   7   9	81/54
	      ( 20.00/1.00	45  18  22  21  7   9   11 )

Sain		20.00/3.65	36  23  13  16  10  11  6	109/56
Farina		20.00		29  15  17  15  16  14  15	55/34	-- a Falcoknight with Speed
	      ( 20.00/1.00	34  17  17  15  16  16  17 )		   as her worse stat! :D
Lowen		20.00/4.67	43  16  11  17  10  17  10	204/112

Pent		*/7.02		34  19  22  17  14  11  16	7/4
Canas		17.47		27  17  13  13  8   9   13	65/38
Legault		15.32		30  10  15  18  11  9   5	17/3
Harken		8.21		41  23  21  18  12  16  11	2/1	-- he killed the NW sniper

Since promoting all the candidates drops my Funds ranking down to four stars, I shall do a "quick" rundown on how bad it looks.

    *processing...*

Well, I'm sitting at 444842 gold in items (plus a paltry 1109 liquid), which is about 20k below the current requirement of 464800. So it is a substantial deficit, especially considering that Heath is going to eat another 10k very soon and I'm honestly impressed that Balcerzak was sitting almost 20k above the 5 star requirement at this point. He was going to promote three characters during BBD, so that narrows the gap, but I still seem to have some trouble with my money management.

 

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The heck Farina? She is the slowest of the Pegs in FE7, but she isn't supposed to be just one point above her base Spd. 20/1 is supposed to be 17.6. Chance of seven levelups without proccing Spd = .50^7 = 0.78% chance. Did I do the math right?

At least she has Def and Str, one above on the Str, and two above on the Def, Res is +1 too.

As for Funds, I forget if it was HHM or EHM or an NM run, but I got 5*s everywhere (but EXP if it was an HM run) and 4* on Funds, I must have been so close! I blame my use of Killers and Silvers in the final battles, even though I wasn't keeping track of money in detail.

 

Now good luck with Battle Before the Dawn of Insanity! And then the Water Temple, no, not that Water Temple, this one is even worse. And then you get to Call o- woops, wrong CoD. Why is it called Cog of Destiny anyhow? I get what it means, just not how it applies to the circumstances of the plot at that moment. And after that is WHY ONLY ONE OPEN UNIT SLOT, TWO WAS TOO MANY? And then Archers As Numerous As Sand Grains of Time, and then a shopping spree, and then an epic open air penultimate battle, then Berserker Beefcakes in the Silence, and lastly the final battle.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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Quote

I get what it means, just not how it applies to the circumstances of the plot at that moment.

They get the gears of fate turning by convincing Bramimond to open the seals on the Divine Weapons, which sets the stage for most of FE6, I'd guess.

Then, too, they had saved saved Zephiel's life (much to Desmond's displeasure), setting the stage for the final scene of FE7 as a prologue to FE6.

Edited by Paper Jam

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On 14.2.2019 at 3:52 AM, Interdimensional Observer said:

The heck Farina? She is the slowest of the Pegs in FE7, but she isn't supposed to be just one point above her base Spd. 20/1 is supposed to be 17.6. Chance of seven levelups without proccing Spd = .50^7 = 0.78% chance. Did I do the math right?

It's not quite as bad ;) There's eight different ways of proccing once in eight tries (Xooooooo , oXoooooo , ooXooooo , etc), each with a chance of 0.5^8 (0.5^7 for the misses, 0.5^1 for the proc), so chance of exactly one Spd proc was 0.0312 = 3.125%. The chance for zero Spd procs is only 0.39%, so she had a chance of 96.5% to proc Spd more than once. Her averages before promotion with the Ava's Drops are the following:

30.4 HP | 14.4 Str | 16.6 Skl | 18 Spd | 14 Lck | 12.4 Def | 14.8 Res
vs the actual stats:
29 HP   | 15 Str   | 17 Skl   | 15 Spd | 16 Lck | 14 Def   | 15 Res

...so she's doing fairly well except for, y'know, the most important stat. :lol:

  • Chapter 28*
Spoiler
  • 16/15 turns (213/187 in total) - 1499/1800 EXP (30432/22650 in total) - Funds: still * * * *
  • Fielded: Priscilla, Farina, Heath, Ninian (LHS) | Hector, Legault, Raven, Sain, Lowen, Pent (RHS)

Hmm.... the numbers on this clear seem good enough, but I still feel like there's some possible improvements, at least if I'll have to revisit this in case my Funds ranking is a bigger problem than I am anticipating right now. First, switch Lowen and Farina - Lowen fares much better against Maxime (Farina gets doubled if she wields anything other than an Iron Sword or Slim Lance) and doesn't get zoned by the Snipers coming from the south. Second, let Legault go west and just spend two Chest Key charges to get the eastern treasure. Same as last time, I didn't get any lockpicks this chapter, which is easily more wasted funds than paying 600 gold to open two chests.

To quickly go through the chapter: Killing Maxime was terribly unreliable - Heath chipped three times (on EP and twice with his Short Spear) with less than stellar hitrates for Farina to take the kill. Jaffar had one particularly dangerous Enemy Phase on T3, in which he got reduced to 8 HP and dodged two additional attacks. I didn't rescue him when Farina and Heath arrived on T6 (they had to stay out of Sniper Range on T5) because him thinning the enemies was still useful (and I also wanted to use all of my own units freely). Priscilla pulled her weight by lighting up the surroundings, healing when needed and killing the thieves that looted the Brave Lance and the Boots. The two other thiefs escaped because Legault already looted the eastern treasure room and my units on the western side had more pressing stuff to do than attacking fleeing chunks of EXP. ;):

On the RHS, Legault only opened the door on T3, but I don't think this made a huge difference. Raven and the Paladins immediately rushed ahead guns blazing, making room so that Hector can be rescue/dropped right outside Bolting range on T4, so that he can recruit Nino T5. Well, her Healing AI made that a moot point since she actually ran right in front of him on her phase. Good thing Enemy Phase comes before Ally Phase in this game. I still fumbled a little bit here by putting Raven in Ursula's range, but he dodged like a boss and wasn't in KO range, anyway.

Regarding Zephiel, only the first Fighter (who carries an Iron Axe) reached him before Lowen rushed in front of the throne room (or at least close enough to pull the Swordreaver dude) on T6, so no problems there. Lowen and Raven both went west to help dealing with the rest, while Sain dealt with Ursula - Hector served as a decoy for her Bolting (he has -2 HP / -3 Res on Sain at that point, but still survived with 8 HP) and on the next PP, Pent lit up the area and Sain 2HKOed with the Silver Sword at 77 disp. hit. This does waste four additional uses of the Sword, unfortutately, since two of the Mercs surrounding Ursula were still around and suicided on Sain on EP.

Back to the LHS, Lowen took point at the stairs towards the Earth Seal as soon as he arrived at the scene. He still needed to be Physiced up twice thanks to the sheer number of enemy mages (which was supplemented by Lowen running out of 1-2 range at some point), but on T10, he also managed to chip down one of the two General reinforcements into Nino's killing range for almost a full level's worth of Exp on her. <3 Happy music starts playing on T11 (i.e. only the Druid is left) and the remaining side objectives are taken care of on T12 - Nino talking to Jaffar and Legault, who got carried west by Sain after the bosskill, stealing the Earth Seal. Killing the Druid wasn't even that risky - he only had 3 crit on Farina (unless I misremember things - does the dude really only have 6-7 Skl?), who chipped with a Javelin to avoid doubling, just to get a little bit of extra Exp in. ;): And in the remaining turns, Priscilla used a couple basic heal staves because why not, but no additional Torch charges because I don't think the XP is still worth the cost per use post-promotion.

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		20.00		35  18  14  9   7   18  4	143/60
Ninian		16.10		25  1   1   20  23  10  16	8/0
Priscilla	20.00/3.53	24  18  14  15  20  8   21	25/5
Heath		20.00/2.38	48  20  20  17  8   15  7	109/54

Raven		20.00/2.49	46  18  23  21  8   9   11	91/62
Sain		20.00/5.57	37  24  13  18  11  11  7	125/69	-- nice
Farina		20.00/2.95	35  18  17  16  17  17  18	65/41
Lowen		20.00/7.19	46  16  12  18  11  17  10	232/122	-- he's already at B Axes

Pent		*/7.65		34  19  22  17  14  11  16	9/4
Legault		15.56		30  10  15  18  11  9   5	18/3
Nino		5.97		base				1/1

 

 

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  • Chapter 28x*
Spoiler
  • 15/28 turns (228/267 in total) - 2765/2250 EXP (33294/24900 in total) - Funds: * * * *
  • Fielded: Hector, Nino, Ninian, Priscilla, Heath, Raven, Farina, Pent, Legault, Florina, Dart + Jaffar

Such a goldmine for the Tactics rank :):

Dart, Nino, and Pent stay behind to deal with the initial Pegasus trio, the Wyvern reinforcements from the south (with Heath taking a little bit of pressure off of them at some point) and finally the Pegasi coming from the north. After a level-up or three, Nino is able to survive one hit from the unpromoted enemies, so most of the time, she is positioned so that she can be attacked by only one enemy on EP. Pent heals when needed and only fought (and killed, obviously) one wyvern during the entire chapter. In the process, Dart caps his level shortly before the battle is over (he started at lv. 16.37), while Nino gained ~7 levels. And since that's all that they've been doing for the entire chapter and the only really dangerous EP was the very first one (Dart survived with 4 HP and had to dodge a hit or two, despite a Barrier boost), I don't think I'll need to mention them again. ;):

Turn 1, the flyers took care of the three bow users near the starting location - Heath 2HKO'ed the Sniper with a Steel Lance, Farina easily kills one archer and Florina relies on a Killer Lance crit to get rid of the other - I still think it's valid to fish and, if necessary, reset for T1 crits - otherwise, the main group goes north. They pretty much move with the pace that the (dis-)appearing paths dictate, while the flyers make a little detour to get rid of the Bolting mages (and the Silence sage) and catch up with the rest at T5 when the path to the Mercs, Hero, and Bishops appears. Heath dodges a Sleep from the Druid in the south when he enters his range in order to one-round the Sage between the Bolting mages - not run-endingly cruicial because Florina could have rescued him to either Pent or Priscilla, but still important because all the flyers' actions during the first few turns were useful.

On T5, Legault immediately steals the Blue Gem from the hero, who then gets disposed by Jaffar chipping him with an Iron Sword and Heath using the Brave Lance for the kill. Only one of the Mercs survives, but only with 5 HP, so he suicides on EP (I forgot to write down who against). Both Bishops tried their luck with their status staves - Jaffar gets hit by Berserk, while Florina avoids getting Slept. It's a good thing that the rolls weren't reversed because like Heath before, Florina wasn't in Priscilla's range, so I would have had to rescue her at some point. Not right away, though, because she wasn't able to get a kill anyway and just threw a useless Jav at the last Merc, while Farina killed the Sleep bishop.

T6, Ninian gives Legault a little boost to steal the Angelic Robe, after which the way towards Sonia is kinda barred. Going southwards via rescuing would have been very risky thanks to the Sleep Druid, the group of Wyverns and their overlapping ranges. Instead, Heath gets the Delphi Shield and in position to deal with the enemies in the NE, while Florina rescues Legault, ready to fly him to the three chests once Heath has done his work. I screw up around this point - I wasn't satisfied with just burning Sonia's Bolting charges, so I at least wanted Farina to pull one of the Wyvern in the South. Little did I know that this group is interconnected (or has a zone-triggered AI change, idk), so suddenly, all the wyverns are in range - or rather, I am in their range, with too few tanky units to build a watertight formation, while the water is blocking me from attacking them on PP. In the end, I got lucky and Priscilla dodged a lethal 51% Silver Lance hit by the Wyvern Lord.

This happened on T9, so I was able to continue South immediately afterwards. The wyvern lord got killed by Priscilla's counterattack, three Hand Axes thrown by Raven and Hector and finally Farina grinding her Sword rank. ;): Raven goes south - the plan was to whittle down the three Generals with his Iron Axe, but I get lucky again (although it wasn't nearly as important as last time) and he gets three crits on EP, allowing me to already mop them up on the next player phase. Legault also gets dropped on T10 - Heath killed all enemies except for the Longbow archer, which Florina kills over the course of two turns while she is waiting for Legault. She needs to carry him back because I didn't remember bringing a second Lockpick for Jaffar to open the southern chest. Like this, Jaffar can trade the lockpick from Legault on T15, instead of waiting for the nearby thief, which would have cost another turn.

For the bosskill, Raven attacks Sonia with a Silver Sword on T14 Player Phase - she only 3HKO's him and Raven deals 4x10 damage (88 disp. hit) in retaliation, bringing her to 11 HP. Heath then chips at her with an Iron Sword, which allows Raven to take the kill with Iron, as well. Gotta watch that Funds rank, right?

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res	B/W
Hector		20.00		35  18  14  9   7   18  4	152/62
Nino		12.91		25  11  13  15  14  6   10	22/14
Ninian		17.60		26  1   1   21  24  11  16	8/0
Priscilla	20.00/7.07	26  19  16  15  22  9   21	38/16

Heath		20.00/5.42	50  22  22  17  9   17  8	132/69
Raven		20.00/6.44	49  20  24  21  9   10  12	122/80
Farina		20.00/4.97	37  18  19  17  19  17  19	79/51
Pent		    */8.28	35  19  23  17  14  12  16	10/5

Legault		15.92		30  10  15  18  11  9   5	21/3
Florina		16.03		32  11  16  16  12  4   9	44/27
Dart		20.00		42  20  14  14  8   7   1	84/41
Jaffar		13.63		base				6/3

 

 

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If only Farina joined promoted with better stats, then she would be worth the money. I don't understand why some people do hire her, when you already have both Fiora and Florina, but to each their own.

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