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Jotari

Does the Wooden Cavalry suck?

Does The Wooden Cavalry suck?  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. Does The Wooden Cavalry suck?

    • It sucks!
    • It's great!
    • I am entirely indifferent on the matter!
    • I am entirely undecided on the matter!?!


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So it's come to my attention recently that Chapter 13 of Shadow Dragon has something of a bad reputation for heavily featuring a gimmick that wasn't present when the chapter was originally designed. And that's true. Ballisticans didn't have super long range in the original Dark Dragon (this chapter was removed in Mystery of the Emblem). But this is actually something that really surprised me when if first played the NES game. I never once suspected this chapter was designed without the long range enemies in mind. Indeed in it's original incarnation it's a rather boring chapter as it's just three avenues you can safely walk down with little fear of the low move enemies. I find that they leave gaps open where not every enemy covers every other and they're not so powerful as to be able to one shot most of your party (though I don't think I've ever played it in hard 4 or 5). In fact the enemy has serious accuracy issues. But even assume most attacks hit, careful positioning and physic should give reasonably reliable results. Hell I even bring fliers to this chapter as wyvern knights movement out range the attack area of ballisticans and you can fly right up and attack them if you find the gaps in which they aren't covered by other ballistica. I find Thracia ballista more annoying as they always cover each other and are commonly placed in mountains that only a vulnerable flier can reach (thankfully you can dismount when you reach them, but then you're trying to take them down with low sword ranks).

Anyway how do you feel about this chapter? I'd go so far as to say I rather like it. Provides a different sort of challenge to break up the game.

Edited by Jotari

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I'm kind of neutral on it. I don't love the map's design, but I don't hate it either. It's just hell for fliers since there's so many ballistae.

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Option 4: They're a mixed bag that I'm torn on. In fact, @Jotari can you please add torn/mixed as a fourth option in the poll?

On the one hand, a chapter where the player has fight what basically amounts to the medieval fantasy equivalent of an artillery division is an inherently interesting premise with a ton of potential, and I do think that the chapter lived up to at least some of that potential. I do think it of all chapters probably best embodied the lesson of guiding your units carefully. I like that it makes you have to be especially careful with flying units and want to rely more on your infantry and cavalry. It's definitely an idea I would like to see return in a future FE game. 

That said, the chapter can be a bit of a slog to get through. It's not difficult; it's just that it can take quite a while to get through. There are certainly gaps, but most of the time, if your units are in a spot where they can attack 1 ballistician, they are in range of 2 more.

Edited by vanguard333

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I enjoyed this chapter. I wasn't very enamoured of SD's map design overall, but this map felt inspired with a clear purpose and was fun and memorable for me.

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You´ll find me having said this map sucks, but alltogether it´s just boring?

As in unless you WANT to plan around the ballistae and devise a plan so that lets say... Ogma or Barst or any other low move unit (maybe a frailer unit like Merric/Linde) get some work in, that doesn´t involve warping around, the easiest method to this map is probably just send in General Sedgar and Wolf and be done with it. The only difficulty in this mission is getting Astram out alive.

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I'm inclined to say the top option, though as I try to see alternative perspectives that are within reason, I can't say it's wholly terrible. It would be a lot easier if SD didn't nerf the old Avoid formula, consistent dodgetanking would be much feasible then.

Although, ballistae spam in FE is perhaps not the best idea, considering the existence of permadeath. Minimizing casualties is unacceptable unless it's zero casualties for many. Sufficiently massed and layered ballistae make things can be more bothersome than fun, because there will be few ways to keep to zero deaths.

I might say that the very late TRS chapter where you recruit Hagar, which is closer to the FE1 interpretation of the Wooden Cavalry, is a better way to handle "brigades of high durability shooty enemies". That chapter is without a doubt more fun than Runan's two or three second-split typical ballistae chapters, where it's leave the small fry behind, and run through the gauntlet with my handful of great units + Runan. And no, abusing Sunflame to turn the Artillerymen into Wicker Men is not the reason I like the Hagar chapter.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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It's certainly not the worst chapter I've ever played. It's certainly not a good one, though.

On higher difficulties, it requires quite a lot of patience to complete because most of the units who can deal significant damage, (Mages) get OHKO'd by at least a few enemies, and Beck moves one tile at a time, so getting him to attack anything takes quite a while.

The problem is the difficulty comes exclusively from recruiting Astram. Completing this chapter is not hard as long as you're patient, it just takes a long time. It is a cool idea, but it's not interesting to play.

Edited by Benice

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I'll admit, it's not the absolute worst designed chapter in the series, nor the worst chapter I've ever played, but it comes pretty damn close on both accounts. Simply put, ballista spam is not fun to deal with, considering permadeath is a thing. While the game is generous enough to give you Beck, who comes with a weapon that's effective against ballisticians, at this point, he's stuck on a point of the map where it'll take a while for him to attack anything.

1 hour ago, Jotari said:

In fact the enemy has serious accuracy issues.

That's only true if they're using Stonehoist - everything else ballisticians can use has 70 base hit or more.

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When an enemy's attacks hurt like crazy, there's three ways of dealing with it:

1. Take the hit and patch up later.
2. Find a way to attack such that the enemy can't counter.
3. Bait and dodge.

The third option is a little scary for everything that isn't Stonehoist.  You're mostly stuck with the first option, since the terrain options are limited.  Second option is basically "how many Warp charges do you have?".

Needless to say, if I wanted to deal with that much RNG, I'll play a gacha game.

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8 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

Option 4: They're a mixed bag that I'm torn on. In fact, @Jotari can you please add torn/mixed as a fourth option in the poll?

On the one hand, a chapter where the player has fight what basically amounts to the medieval fantasy equivalent of an artillery division is an inherently interesting premise with a ton of potential, and I do think that the chapter lived up to at least some of that potential. I do think it of all chapters probably best embodied the lesson of guiding your units carefully. I like that it makes you have to be especially careful with flying units and want to rely more on your infantry and cavalry. It's definitely an idea I would like to see return in a future FE game. 

That said, the chapter can be a bit of a slog to get through. It's not difficult; it's just that it can take quite a while to get through. There are certainly gaps, but most of the time, if your units are in a spot where they can attack 1 ballistician, they are in range of 2 more.

As you wish.

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It's a bit of a "vibe check" on whether you've been training any high-defense units. Namely, Generals. I'm fine with it, because I generally have at least one or two Generals by that point (and if you snuck into 12x, you likely have Horace). In Hard-5, my General Cord walked through the lines of fire more-or-less unscathed. Also, I appreciate how Beck gets to show off from the moment he joins. And there's the challenge of bringing Midia to recruit Astram, while keeping her out of range of too many ballistae, since she's pretty frail.

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I like it because it's the one moment in FE11 where the reclass system can be used strategically to put some units in a worse class which is preferable to benching them outright. Can't have fliers anymore, they gotta be something else.

I haven't played the DS game since it came out. Is Beck trapped in his little mountain range after you recruit him? That cracks me up every time. Wish they didn't censor the elephants though.

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7 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

I haven't played the DS game since it came out. Is Beck trapped in his little mountain range after you recruit him? That cracks me up every time. Wish they didn't censor the elephants though.

Yes, Beck is still trapped. But he can still Thunderbolt a bunch of things from his zone.

And whatcha mean the Pachyderm weapons got censored? Were they actually riding elephants that we've never seen in FE since? Did they shoot elephants? Were these specific ballistae unfortunately very phallically shaped?

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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14 hours ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

It's a bit of a "vibe check" on whether you've been training any high-defense units. Namely, Generals. I'm fine with it, because I generally have at least one or two Generals by that point (and if you snuck into 12x, you likely have Horace). In Hard-5, my General Cord walked through the lines of fire more-or-less unscathed. Also, I appreciate how Beck gets to show off from the moment he joins. And there's the challenge of bringing Midia to recruit Astram, while keeping her out of range of too many ballistae, since she's pretty frail.

Unfortunately, most of the good male units are in set A. The only good set B males off the top of my head are Barst, Sedgar and Wolf. Even with one or more of them, as well as Beck, that does nothing to change the fact that it's an unfun slog that practically encourages warpskipping, especially since Beck is stuck in a terrain-heavy portion of the map, which means if you want him to attack anything, you are gonna take a while. 

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3 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

And whatcha mean the Pachyderm weapons got censored? 

Oh is that what they call it? My mistake then. Good translation.

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