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Fernaorök

What are some tips you'd give to a beginner?

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Ok, so I'm pretty new at Fire Emblem. I played Birthright and part of Conquest, Revelations and Awakening like 4 years ago, and some weeks ago I decided to do a marathon and try to play all the games. I've started with FE7 normal mode and FE8 hard mode (yeah, at the same time) and I think I'm doing OK so far. But I still have a lot to learn. I have to reset like twice every three chapters or so. I already know the basis (check enemy range, let the enemy attack first if you can only survive to one hit, weapon triangle, magic trinity, etc.), but I'd really appreciate it if you guys could share some of your tips with me.

Thanks in advance!

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Don't be afraid to use your Jagens, Marcus and Seth - especially Seth, whose growths are extremely competitive. If a problem needs to be solved, they can reliably solve it. Personally, I like to leave them as my last action on most turns, ready to put out fires if things go wrong.

Always assume things will go wrong. Don't hinge everything on hitting, say, an 80% shot. Sure, that'll work most of the time, but if you keep tempting fate, it'll bite back eventually.

Because enemies tend to be weak, particularly defensively, the GBA/DS FEs are very EP-heavy; that is to say, a lot of your killing is going to come from enemies running into you. This can be a good thing, if you have someone really tanky who can clear out swathes of enemies at once with a handaxe, javelin or magic - as the GBA thrown weapons are pretty competitive for stats, and the 1-2 range is hugely useful - but it can leave you open to being swarmed. Be careful that a guy won't kill so many enemies that they leave themselves open to being overrun.

Trade and Rescue are your friends. Trade being a free action means you can shuffle around adjacent companions' equipment before attacking or waiting, including switching new weapons to the top slot - which means you can do things like have someone attack with a silver lance on PP (Player Phase) to destroy a single hard target, before being switched to a javelin to handle archers and mages on EP (Enemy Phase).

Iron, steel and thrown weapons are your workhorses, but don't be afraid to use more expensive weapons earlygame - that's where you need the boosts most.

Edited by Parrhesia

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General:

Always have a backup plan. 

Don't be afraid to use your Jagen units when things get hairy.

Check enemy equipment. A knight is generally a good matchup against a mercenary or a myrmidon - except if the latter units are using an armorslayer. Then you're in trouble.

Don't be afraid to use stronger weapons or effective weapons when you need them.

Trade is helpful to swap weapons for enemy phase.

Foot axes are more likely than not bad units; about the only exceptions are Barst (from the Archanea saga) and Nolan (from Radiant Dawn).

The more babying a unit needs, the less likely it is that they're worth it.

Game specific:

Axes and their users suck. (Binding Blade)

Equipment weight cuts directly from your speed. (Shadows of Valentia, pre-Thracia games; also applies to mages in Thracia)

A unit's constitution stat affects their ability to use heavy weapons - using weapons that are much heavier than a unit's constitution (e.g. having Florina use a Steel Lance) is generally a bad idea (GBA games, Thracia 776)

Rescue can be used to extricate units from danger or to make it so that more units can get a chance to attack a boss. (GBA/Tellius games)

Higher ranked weapons have drawbacks. (Fates)

Killer weapons aren't worth it. (Radiant Dawn, Fates)

Camilla is the only worthwhile axe unit. (Fates Conquest)

Forging an effective weapon can solve a lot of problems. (Shadow Dragon/New Mystery/Awakening)

Getting the true ending requires getting certain items throughout the game. (Mystery/Binding Blade [The items in question are weapons, so do NOT break them!!!]/New Mystery)

Pay attention to enemy skills. (Conquest especially, but can apply to other FE games where skills are a thing)

Edited by Shadow Mir

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Don't be afraid to be patient with your planning and triple check your moves. It can be tempting to move a unit right away but if you don't properly check how the enemy moved, you could be unintentionally opening yourself up to a big retaliation.

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Replay Conquest on Hard Classic. If you like its gameplay, various other games will feel easy (or boring) in comparison.
Hyperbolic, yes, but I do believe it.

For Conquest, a basic rule is to Check. Enemy. Skills. They will kill you.

You know what? I may join you in your quest to play older Fire Emblem games, for I tried Three Houses for a couple of hours during the weekend, and did not find it engaging. I will give it more tries, but not right now.
Earlier this month, I asked other members to recommend me other challenging FE games. Thus I have various options to check out.

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Along with most of what already been said, I would add:

  1. Slightly over-level two or three units:  a lot of FE is about experience management when it is limited.  Think of them as your Queens on a chess board... that you never, ever sacrifice... SLIGHTLY over-level, if this is over done you’ll waste experience.  Use the level of the enemies on the map to judge what “slightly” means.  Use your strong units to vanguard a strong enemy formation.  Consider these strong units may also lure enemies, weaken them for others to kill, sometimes they’re so strong they need un-equip weapon, take the hit as other units go for the kill and experience.
  2. Remember multiple units may attack within SAME square:  if your unit is strong enough to kill enemy unit, that square becomes open for another unit to attack, then another... and another, AND ANOTHER.  Consider if your unit will survive all multiple attacks.  Do you actually want to kill them all in same turn with same unit or spread the experience among your other units?
  3. Do the opposite of what enemies are doing... most of the time.  If they are standing still, move into their range to lure them to attack.  If they’re charging towards you, hold ground let them come.  If they are REALLY charging at you overwhelmingly maybe you’d rather retreat to the limit of their attack range and slowly weaken their charge with counter attacks until it’s manageable.  This can be tricky cause you don’t want leave units vulnerable.  Be careful when moving units in offensive retreat to leave units you intend to be attacked at the correct enemy attack range, and that moving a unit does not open a path for another you did not intend to be attacked.  If you move too far and enemy can’t attack you in their phase, you may have wasted a turn to weaken their charge.  If you ever charge at the enemy, always consider the new enemy units that are able to attack.
  4. Don't totally trust game’s enemy attack range display, if it has one.  If an enemy unit has ranged weapon, its attack range may not display properly if there is an enemy unit in a spot the ranged unit may move into if that enemy wasn’t there.  If that unit blocking the spot moves or is killed, ranged unit can move in and attack farther than the enemy attack range displays.  Also, the display usually does not update for moving your own units opening a new path for enemies.  I think I’ve noticed Three Houses actually updating this, tho am not sure.
  5. Splitting the party is usually a bad idea.  Even if the map heavily suggests that you should, sometimes you don’t HAVE to.  And the side you don’t go for ends up running towards you wasting a few turns moving, you’ve already overwhelmed one side with the full strength of your army, and by the time the other side arrives they’ll meet the your entire army again.  Your units are safer when they are together.  You gotta judge carefully the goal of the map vs the safety of your units.  Sometimes it’s necessary to split the party when you’re rushing an objective.  COUNT ON reinforcements arriving soon to overwhelm your split parties.  Get the objective done quickly and reunite the army asap.
  6. Recognize when the map wants you to rush.  Usually its something far from your position in the map (a treasure, a house to visit, someone to protect, square to arrive...). Plan your rush from FIRST turn usually involving a flier or strong cavalry that lone rangers to that far objective.  If it SEEMS like you can take your time to it, ITS ALL A PACK OF LIES!!  99.999999...999% of the time bandits appear to claim it if one doesn’t consider it during the first turn.
  7. Doors... you don’t have to open all of them... unless you have to.  If there are alternate routes, closed doors can block enemy movements if you leave them closed.  Until a thief comes along and opens it...  Even an enemy unit with a key in its inventory will not open a door to benefit enemy movement because...  “Alright, soldier!  You’re gonna hold on to this key but never EVER use it.  Guard it with your life and stand near the door it may open such that our enemies may grab it from your corpse and easily access the door and open the way for our assault! Bwahaha!”  “But sir!  What if I just open the door and...”  “SILENCE MEANS NO TALKING!!”
  8. Manipulate the AI:  it is often helpful to anticipate how the enemy will behave and use it against them.  Sometimes you may want enemy to place themselves in certain squares or move in a certain direction.  The AI tends to go for units they deal more damage, units that can’t counter attack, sometimes they go for the Lord regardless.  Most definitely units they will kill... but don’t sacrifice your units... unless you HATE that ally... but still that’s mean :(... If a thief grabs a treasure you wanted, often times they’ll go for the nearest next one.  If that treasure happens to be behind your army, you haven’t opened the treasure yet, and you leave a path for the thief to “pass by”,  the thief will likely come straight towards you through that “little opening”...  “Hey, fellas!  Am just passing through.  Don’t mind me!”  *WHACK*  Loot treasure off thief.  Unless it was gold!  Thieves immediately transfer funds into international bank accounts and don’t have the funds available in their bodies.

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The vast majority of FEs allow you to experiment and get away with it.  Yes, there's a "better" way of beating the game, but you don't need to hyper-optimize things unless you're doing a 0% growth run of FE12 Lunatic or something.

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On 7/31/2019 at 7:36 PM, starburst said:

You know what? I may join you in your quest to play older Fire Emblem games, for I tried Three Houses for a couple of hours during the weekend, and did not find it engaging. I will give it more tries, but not right now.
Earlier this month, I asked other members to recommend me other challenging FE games. Thus I have various options to check out.

I don't have a lot of experience so I don't think I could give you a lot of advice. But from what I've read, the best games to start (excluding newer ones, like Awakening) are FE7, FE8. I'm playing FE8 in hard mode because it's way too easy, even for a beginner, but FE7 normal mode is still challenging for me.

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An extremely useful tip I find, that will keep you from a lot of game overs, is to highlight every single unit individually, and turn on the full enemy unit range.

EAe1TFp.jpg

 

Look at my starting situation here. I'm surrounded by enemies, a lot of which can attack my party from their starting positions. I need to kill some enemies on turn one or some of my weaker units are probably going to die. So what do I do?

EHPnSoJ.jpg

I try to find a set of enemies I can kill without putting anyone in attack range of any enemies who won't die by the end of the turn. After some experimentation, I find that I can kill these four enemies without anyone getting hurt as long as all four of them die. Presto, suddenly I have a game plan for turn one and a safe zone I know I can move my allies to.

From then on, it's a matter of deselecting enemies as you plan to deal with them, treating the red zone as extremely dangerous until you check the specifics of who's in range of it. That way you'll never place any units in range of more enemies than you were expecting.

Unfortunately, Path of Radiance is the first game to implement this feature, so in earlier games you have to check this manually. But this general premise of keeping track of enemy attack ranges and not overstepping your strength is important to keep in mind regardless.

So a better piece of advice for you would probably be this:

Always assume things will go wrong if possible.

If you have a unit with 30 HP and you have three enemies who can do 10 damage at a 33% hit rate, you are risking a reset by putting them there, and you rarely have to. While games vary in how well they stick to this philosophy, in the well-designed games there is always a strategy that won't end in you having to risk a reset, you just have to look for it. There will be times you'll be forced to take risks to proceed, but if you have time or space to come up with a better strategy, try, because there nearly always is one.

Edited by Alastor15243

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