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So I've been a long time lurker on this forum since Fates first came out. I played the hell out of Awakening and Fates during my first couple years of college but I was either playing on casual or resetting on unit deaths. I always considered ironmaning a game but never really had the drive to, but with a couple FE youtubers lately have been streaming iron man runs and I figured I might as well give it a shot. I decided on running Fire Emblem Fates Birthright on Lunatic mode since it was the game I had the most experience with, it's a little easier, and I plan on running Conquest on Lunatic soonish and I figure it will get me familiar with the systems in general.

After a couple failed runs due to my negligence with my Corrin, tonight i was able to knock out the last couple chapters and have my first Iron man under my belt.

This has been one of the top gaming experiences i have ever had. While ironmaning Birthright might not seem like much to some people on account of the game's general lack of difficulty, it really pushed me to my limits. as a more casual Fe player it was really rewarding unlearning a lot of the more lazy ( I hope that's not too harsh a word) habits I usually employ when playing. there was this back in forth with most chapters where I either needed to be really aggressive, defensive or mostly some sweet mix of the two. I ended up losing about 9 or so units through out the course of this run and I got to say, there's this weird sensation I got with every death; like the guilt and frustration was there, but there was this feeling of excitement as I got to play around with the units I had to fill the hole. I definitely got a new appreciation for a lot of Fates' systems.

 

A few thoughts/highlight's in no particular order:

Ryoma is a monster of a man and probably saved this run. It's been said a hundred times, but Ryoma is such an amazing unit and there is weird comfort in knowing that if Ryoma goes into a hallway filled with enemies, he's gonna hold the line no problem. It's great to have a dodge tank that actually dodges.

Alongside Ryoma, I got to give props to Saizo, his right hand man. I lost Kaze very early and later Kagero in the mid game and this dude pulled his weight and then some. Ninja's are a weird thing in fates since they suck when your fighting them, but they are so powerful in your hands and they can really turn the tide. Saizo had insane level ups and between him and his son (with hinoka as his the little guy was hitting like a train) it definitely solidified the importance of ninja's in my mind.

another class that has moved up a lot in my book is the spear fighters. I mean they were always useful in the lower difficulties but swap utility is something else on lunatic. There were a lot of times that I was able to get a necessary kill or heal in because I got a swap conga line going. I ended up having three with me through most of the end game and I was glad I did. I really hope that they continue to implement movement abilities in future games, they add a much needed and honestly fun layer to the typical player phase ballroom blitz. 

I ended up losing Azura rather early in the game and dude did that make things more interesting. Losing a dancer is always a blow but fates is basically built around Azura being there. Despite all the difficulty of not allowing Ryoma or Corrin to attack twice in one round, losing her made me appreciate my other units a lot more. not being able to rely on having one of my powerhouses to get a second turn was a huge wake up call and really allowed a lot of otherwise meager units to really shine and contribute. I definitely plan on keeping her alive through through Lunatic, but it was a unique moment that reverberated through out the late game. 

Staff utility made so much of a difference. On Lunatic the enemies have such a massive amount of stats that I found myself really relying on those late game staves. Hexing, Silence, and Rescue staffs honestly won me this run on multiple occasions. The only reason I was able to one round dragon Garon and not lose half my units was because I hexing rodded (Is that even a verb?) him Much like movement abilities, I didn't see there utility until Lunatic but now I can't imagine playing with out them.

Last but not least is the most surprising and odd takeaway from this run, on of my new favorite units: Reina. She wasn't the most powerful or useful unit on me team. Honestly I ended up benching her quite often. But throughout this run I ended up losing a lot of my go to units (Kaze, Rinkah, Kagero, Silas) and Reina just fit in in a lot of weird ways. She wasn't a power house by any means, but she came in clutch in a lot chapters. Not in a crucial way like save Corrin or preventing a game over scenario, but defintley made things easier. Be it allowing one of my other units to reach across the map to cinch a kill, dodging every single enemy archer that took aim at her, or getting the most unexpected but beneficial crits on this run. she didn't do everything, she doesn't have as much fire power as other heavy hitters and there were more than a few chapters when she was just sitting around, but she has come out of this run alive and one of my new favorite units. If you ever have an empty slot in one of your runs defintley consider using her, she'll surprise you.

So yeah, those are my thoughts on my first Iron man. A little long and self indulgent, but hey what's the internet for if we can't gush about the nerdy shit we enjoy? big thanks to the community for bringing this fun way to play to my attention, Looking forward to Lunatic Conquest run in a couple weeks after I take a much needed break from Fates. 

Take care all and stay safe out there!

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Well, congrats! Conquest Lunatic is sooooo different from Lunatic Birthright like you have no idea, it's much better designed while Birthright kinda just throws enemies wherever.

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13 hours ago, This boi uses Nino said:

Well, congrats! Conquest Lunatic is sooooo different from Lunatic Birthright like you have no idea, it's much better designed while Birthright kinda just throws enemies wherever.

Yeah, I've seen some stream's/let'splays and it seems like a different beast entirely. Gonna do some research so i'm not taken completely off guard. But yeah I feel that  Birthright just kind of throws a lot of enemies at you and calls it difficulty. I managed to beat up to chapter 11 a few years back, so I have some familiarity with it, but I did find it different than birthright lunatic as I was going through. Thanks for the heads up though!

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15 hours ago, AsexualPotato said:

I decided on running Fire Emblem Fates Birthright on Lunatic mode since it was the game I had the most experience with, it's a little easier, and I plan on running Conquest on Lunatic soonish and I figure it will get me familiar with the systems in general.

Birthright is a lot easier than Conquest. It has an entirely different game design. Try Conquest Hard first, to know the game, then go Lunatic. (Both higher difficulties play the same, and about 90 % of what you do in one will work in the other.)


That being said, congratulations on your iron man campaign, mate!
I have never been able to complete one; I always end losing someone "irreplaceable" here or there. Then I just restart and continue playing as usual. 😬
Since I replay Conquest often, I have my own "no-restart records" and I try to improve them. Still it does not compare to the planning and mentality of an iron man, for replacing fallen units was never an option.

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Congratulations on completing your first Ironman run! I remember doing mine a little under two years ago, and since then I've loved to do ironman runs of several games in the series. It definitely changes how you approach certain aspects of each game.

19 hours ago, AsexualPotato said:

I plan on running Conquest on Lunatic soonish and I figure it will get me familiar with the systems in general.

I recommend doing a run-through of Hard first on Casual mode. Conquest may be fair, but it does not pull any punches in the difficulty department and isn't afraid to make you pay for even minor mistakes. You'll be in for a challenge, but if that's what you are looking for, you'll be in for a treat. I'd say that in terms of pure gameplay, Conquest is the best in the series.

4 hours ago, starburst said:

That being said, congratulations on your iron man campaign, mate!
I have never been able to complete one; I always end losing someone "irreplaceable" here or there. Then I just restart and continue playing as usual. 😬
Since I replay Conquest often, I have my own "no-restart records" and I try to improve them. Still it does not compare to the planning and mentality of an iron man, for replacing fallen units was never an option.

Huh, I might actually try that sometime. My impression was that Conquest is really good at giving the player a balanced set of characters in terms of gameplay and making sure that the majority of the time if something goes wrong, it was the players fault, with the rest of the time being typical Fire Emblem bullcrap (high hit rates missing, low ones hitting, and crits activating when you least want them to, and so on). On the flip side, there are also a crap ton of things to keep track of, which in turn increases the number of areas in which someone can make a mistake  and the game can get pretty cutthroat about unit availability. That's a good system for seeing how far one can get in a ironman run without having to worry about the game becoming unwinnable if it reaches that point. And setting a new record is encouragement to keep improving. Again, I might try that the next time I get a chance to play Conquest.

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Nicely done! I Ironmanned Revelation-Hard a few months ago, and it was a really fun experience. Tried to invest in Rinkah, but lost her to a 3% crit... agh. Also lost Sakura, Azura, and Corrin's partner Shura. Anyway, planning to Ironman Birthright sometime in the near future, after finishing Three Houses.

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