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General thoughts on Battalions

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What did you guys think about about Battalions? What was the best battalion, in your opinion? Were they too strong, too weak or perfectly balanced? How did they compare to the pair up mechanic from Awakening and Fates?

Edited by UNLEASH IT

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Okay so battalions aren't balanced. Some like Claude's war battalion or Stride are pretty OP, while plenty of others barely warrant mention.

I however love these things. Mainly because of their stat modifiers (and if they can hit more than two areas on a monster). They allow you to boost units where they'll need it (say you wanted to increase Warp Range. Oh wait some battalions actually give enough to get you +1!), provide their own charm boost if your unit needs it and the gambits are varied.

I legit loved how these things worked out (even if I never used gambits as much as I could) and a more balanced version could become a staple and I'd live. Although playing War for the Weak disappointed me as all the battalions were distinctly not as Duscar as they should have been.

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I think they were handled fantastically in Three Houses. Definitely the best new gameplay idea from that game. Authority basically served as a gateway to huge stat additions and gambits, and the gambits themselves are great too since you can knock down groups of enemies and allow yourself one turn of free positioning for squishy units. I also love the non-combat gambits, allowing units with low charm to still contribute. Integrating Charm in to gambit accuracy and avoid was a great idea, though I wish there was some way to further reduce an enemy's gambit hit past 30, since those gambits are murder on Maddening. You could have avoided the attack altogether, but losing a unit wasn't ultimately your fault with such a low rate. Just bad luck, like getting nailed by a random 2% crit.

I also like the narrative implications of battalions. That instead of a big army clash being your 12 guys against 30 bad guys, it's twelve platoons commanded by your units. Now army clashes are believable with the larger scale, and I've been asking for better attention to scale in Fire Emblem for many years.

I wouldn't be too hasty to dump them onto just any Fire Emblem game though. 2x2 and 3x3 monster battles are probably not going to be a standard moving forward. Three Houses is a game where the customization of units was the key focus of the game. I don't expect later entries will require feature so many layers of customization, so in order to un-complicate Fire Emblem, you gotta make cuts somewhere. Or just be more responsible about your game's depth and introduce new elements gradually rather than all at once. The first week of Three Houses was kind of a mad house with players not understanding basic mechanics because there's just so much to absorb on the customization side.

I look forward to a day where units can be one thing with unique strengths rather than a blank slate ready to be turned into the most optimal physical or magical class. Perhaps instead of equipping a battalion that you've purchased like any weapon, every unit leads a battalion unique to them that grows in its own way. Providing relevant stat boosts, gambits, or even personal skills unique to them. Maybe introducing them at a slightly later stage of the game where the stakes and scale of the conflict have been raised and your units aren't just village small frys but major commanders of an army. 

Edited by Glennstavos

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i kinda don't like them, imo they're too unbalanced, in the most basic sense: they either fuck you up really hard, or they make you absurdly OP, and in my book, this is not "balance"

don't get me wrong, it's fun to use stride, that one batallion that gives DC and other OP batallions, and i never complained about holy weapons being unbalanced in Genralogy, but this is a completely different situation for me: a brand new mechanic, whose damage, accuracy, avoidance and defense are ALL determined by ONE single stat

Genealogy's regalias are simply very strong weapons, but batallions are a mechanic which imo the game didn't need at all, and which wasn't given enough development

it really looks like, with the new console's power (which btw is not that amazing), they desperately wanted to give you the feeling of an actual war with many soldiers on a battlefield, but to justify this, they had to come up with a whole new mechanic, which hasn't been given enough thought as it would've needed

i really hope they forget about batallions, at least until they have the time and resources to make it an proper game mechanic and not a "press button to further break this already broken game" function

gambits looked really interesting though, too bad they scrapped them

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1 hour ago, Yexin said:

gambits looked really interesting though, too bad they scrapped them

You're referring to formations from the first trailer, are you?

I'll be honest, I had my trepidations about them based off that. As is, I do think rebalancing needs to be done, but my own experience of them makes me think their stat tweaking beyond Charm is one of the things I would love to see return.

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Never thought about comparing them to Pair Up, partly because Adjutants are a very limited Pair Up. 

 

Battalions are another piece of equipment, one which I think needed some UI tweaks for accessing IIRC. Usually, I ran +Str/Mag and +Avoid ones, +Hit was usually secondary, +Res was junk, and +Def was inferior to +Avoid except on a Def-tank b/c getting hit drops Battalion durability but dodging doesn't.

On my first playthrough, I didn't give everyone Bats until later, sometime after Grond redux where Petra was an utter terror b/c she was so difficult to hit with 100 Avoid. I was too concerned about costs of replenishing Bats to use them, even as I became drowning in hundred of thousands in money. Subsequent runs were better, I equipped Bats from the start and I saw them for the good they are.

Nonetheless, I didn't use Gambits that frequently, to break Demon Beasts, to attempt to weaken or immobilize a strong foe, and a Stride once in dozen years. I never used this "Retribution" people seem to adore, anything rare, even if it replenishes for free, I'm often miserly with.

Battalion-related Abilities never saw use for me. They're too finicky since you can't control Bat durability- either it drops and eventually the Bat retreats, or you replenish it to full after every fight- not good for Bat Vantage & Wrath.

 

Can't say I love Battalions, can't say I'd want their return, but neither do I wish them gone forever. I'm ambivalent, neutral.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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I liked the Battalion system in this game. It provides another depth to the your strategy and can make things more interesting than just having your big man walk over everything. Somethings like Avoid stacking can get pretty broken though, especially when enemies do it, but at least there are battalions that give accuracy. I get that in Maddening they want things to be challenging, but it gets pretty mundane to not be able to use your gambits 90% of the time.

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7 hours ago, Dayni said:

You're referring to formations from the first trailer, are you?

 

yeah, exactly

sorry for that lapsus

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It was a very good idea. Finally, your character isn't alone anymore but as a squad with him and it feels more like a real war than a one to one battle. The stats modifiers was one of the best thing to have too. 😄 Sure, some are overpowered but enemies have some too. In Maddening, it's very useful to have some overpowered battalions to keep up with some insane stats. Imo, it should be in every FE game now 🙂 

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I think battalions are a good add-in to the game. However, not every map was suitable for them (like Flayn's rescue) and limited actions with them made them feel too much like a trump card.

I think that each character should have access to battalions depending totally on their class, separating physical, magical and hybrid; cavalry, flying and infantry; and melee and ranged. Then have each character learn some personal gambits that could only be used with certain battalions. That way you'd get a new layer of choices, like using the OP class or a slightly worse class with a more and more varied gambits.

I think that adding these details would keep the personality of the characters for those who like that with a wider range of choices in each map, and the personalization capacity for those who like min-maxing.

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They're good. I'd try to rebalance some of their abilities and work on some battalions with passive abilities. I particularly enjoy how enemy battalions can force you to think on your feet. It punishes relying on enemy phase because you can't counterattack a gambit, and getting a unit taken out of the action by a low-accuracy gambit can totally change your strategy in the same way that a critical would, without the permanent death.

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I only really used them if I had made a major booboo. Pretty OP imo. They were handled much better in Cindered Shadows, where battalions were unit specific, and played a huge role on some of the maps (Ashe in second last and lords against final boss). 

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Broken ones notwithstanding, I really like the flexibility that they give the player. But really, in general limited uses aoe/buffs are a pretty cool idea for FE, be it from battalions or something else. I did welcome that shakeup of the formula in any case, it made 3H's gameplay feel very fresh.

On 4/4/2020 at 11:43 PM, Yexin said:

this is a completely different situation for me: a brand new mechanic, whose damage, accuracy, avoidance and defense are ALL determined by ONE single stat

If you mean Charm, it doesn't affect defense and barely does attack.

Edited by Cysx

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As already mentioned, I loved Gambits from a visual stand point: Being able to be surrounded by soldiers makes it feel like a war game. Yes, some are absurdly strong, but nothing to the point I considered breaks the game, unless you are doing Stride + Dance for one turn clears. I hope they return for future games. 

Edited by ZeManaphy

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On 4/4/2020 at 4:21 PM, Interdimensional Observer said:

Battalion-related Abilities never saw use for me. They're too finicky since you can't control Bat durability- either it drops and eventually the Bat retreats, or you replenish it to full after every fight- not good for Bat Vantage & Wrath.

You can choose not to replenish a specific battalion if you do your replenishing through the Marketplace menu. When it prompts you, "Do you want to replenish five battalions?" or whatever, say "No", then go to the Marketplace menu and choose the specific ones you want to replenish.

Then, for the Battalion Vantage/Wrath combo, if you're careful with how you position and use that unit, it's possible for their battalion to stay in the red zone for several battles in a row.

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I like battalions in 3H, but hope they won't return this same way in next installments. While I was okay with the gameplay of battalions I can't say I loved it. It mostly just feels weird that adding another 20 men (or however many there are in a battalion idk.) to a fight only gives its commander a slight boost. Having your unit 1v1 an opponent with or without battalion only alters the battle slightly, while one is actually 1v1 and the other looks like 21v1...

I love the idea of having large armies clash in FE, 3H might have given this visually with battalions, and I love that already, but I want to feel more impact.

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5 hours ago, whase said:

I like battalions in 3H, but hope they won't return this same way in next installments. While I was okay with the gameplay of battalions I can't say I loved it. It mostly just feels weird that adding another 20 men (or however many there are in a battalion idk.) to a fight only gives its commander a slight boost. Having your unit 1v1 an opponent with or without battalion only alters the battle slightly, while one is actually 1v1 and the other looks like 21v1...

I love the idea of having large armies clash in FE, 3H might have given this visually with battalions, and I love that already, but I want to feel more impact.

This. Give a huge bonus to the battalion user when they go against anyone without a battalion. Also, battalions should either be more expensive to maintain or not require gold to replenish. The current prices just felt like a monthly tax without any strategic sense.

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They're alright. My sentiment on them is similar to Pair-Up in the sense that I wouldn't mind seeing the mechanic return in a future title with some refinements and expansions, but I also wouldn't care if it remains a quirk of Three Houses.

The stat boosts were helpful, although they never really changed how I approached a map, and gambits were pretty fun to pull off. For better or worse, though, the limited amount of uses meant I tended to save them for monsters, bosses, and any strangling enemies to preserve a weapons durability, which made me realize how little they affected my overall strategy. I am glad that the game doesn't necessitate their use, but I do wish that battalions had a much more noticeable impact. My opinion might change if I ever decide to try Maddening difficulty, but that won't happen for a while.

The only thing I'm largely negative about regarding battalions is the presentation. I'm not talking about how there are more soldiers present than just your 15 units, giving the impression that battles are now on a much larger scale compared to past games. That never bothered me in the past, but more power to you if you like that. Rather, there were a few too many visual hiccups that took me out of the experience. They disappear and reappear on a whim, the animations are a little too simplistic, looking less like trained soldiers fighting to the death and more like amateur stuntmen trying to make the background look interesting, and them retreating every time their commander was killed made it seem like Foldan has the least loyal soldiers in Fire Emblem. Graphics aren't everything, of course, but these issues were a lot more distracting than they should have been.

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I was initially mixed on Battalions since they seemed like a superfluous addition compared to Pair Up or the Formation attacks we saw in the game's initial trailer. However, after replaying Shadows of Valentia (which is the most similar game to Three Houses), Battalions are a good addition. 

In Shadows of Valentia, there were many situations where you couldn't make use of the weaker units in your army on player phase since enemies would wail on them on enemy phase. This did have the side effect of making the player create formations to minimize enemy counterattacks, but this was hardly useful if the enemy used bows / magic or if the map was too cramped. Additionally, movement could be annoying in Shadows of Valentia, since Mounted units had drastically higher movement than infantry. This made in much easier for them to get ahead, but often meant that non-ranged infantry units could rarely see combat on some maps. Additionally, since most enemies don't die in one round of combat, sending your mounted unit to tackle a hoard of enemies was usually futile, since it often meant they'd hit one enemy, get damaged in return, and then get hit by a bunch of enemies on the next turn. It was easier to just slow your own army down to help facilitate kills on player phase and alleviate the pressure from your mounted units. 

Gambits (and some of three houses other gameplay systems) mostly address these problems. They make it super easy for weak units to contribute on player phase, since a strong unit can soften up a hoard of enemy's with a Gambit AOE attack, letting someone else easily get a kill without much risk. Positioning is still important, as Gambit boost increase the reliability of the attack. Stride, combined with hit and run shenanigans with Canto & easily accessible positional combat arts, makes it easier for Infantry / Armored units to see combat on most maps. Again, positioning is important, as you can give a higher number of units Stride boost depending on how they are placed. 

The stat boosts Gambits provide are also a nice bonus to help units that have been RNG screwed by giving them guaranteed stats.

Edited by FoxyGrandpa

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