We don't always like being nonplussed

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ogre Battle Part 4: Fight it Out!

Okay, so our ducks are in a row, except those ducks are actually gryphons and samurai, and it's time to tackle our first real stage.

That would be here, in the area known as Sharom. (Or, going by the English-language blurb at the beginning of the game, "Shalom.")

The boss' castle is here...

...and we're all the way over to the southeast. Now, we have to defend our base- if it's taken we have to retreat and start the stage over. Your units recover HP when sitting in liberated cities. So the general rule of thumb is to send a couple units or more to each city you intend to keep on the frontline in order to make sure you keep them. Since the major cities are in a straight line, you can inch your way towards the Castle Sharom town by town, fending off enemies as you go.

See this town? This town is important, even though it's off the beaten path. For one, it provides a buffer between your base and sea-based units that may come to attack you. Secondly, and most importantly, this is the shop town. The shop town has healing items and Revives and other goodies that a revolutionary army really needs. Get it early and hold onto it for dear life.

The shop has a 50HP and 100HP single-target cure, an item that will return a unit to base if it's in danger of being annihilated, a hideously expensive Revive that we'll try not to need for a while, and an item that summons all deployed units to FLAIL's location. For now we're gonna grab some of the 50HP heals and hopefully leave it at that. If you can hold a Roshfallian Temple the resurrections are almost always cheaper... but if a unit leader dies it can't do anything but limp back to base until the leader's revived. So odds are good you'll need a revive sometime.

We pull the World card at the second town. Any stat-altering cards we draw now affect all characters in all deployed units. Could be good, could be bad.

Also, remember that High Sky unit?

He finds the hidden Roshfallian Temple that will, if I recall, give us a key item for use much later in the game.

Yup! It was called the Star of Heroes in the US version and here it's... the Tinkle Star. I'm just gonna assume they meant Twinkle and try not to think about it.

...must be a yellow star.

Here comes the opposition! Ogre Battle has a fog-of-war effect, possibly the first game I ever played to have one. You can only see enemies if you have a unit within a certain range. These two aren't all there is. They're just the beginning.

...and sure enough there's another Wizard behind them. Time to see how my planning worked out. Sammy the Knight is first up, and though no kills are scored on either side, he wins by dealing the most damage. The first unit is repelled!

Sammy wipes the floor with a second- a Wizard and a single Hellhound. Low-ALI characters are weaker in daytime, so that helped. Since the enemies were low-ALI characters of equal or higher level, Sammy and his Fighters gain some ALI of their own and possibly some charisma. But they took a fair beating, so I settle them towards the back of the town so the Samurai or Valkyrie can take the next one. Landis wins against a Wizard and Giant, but one of his fighters bites it. Good thing we're camped out in a temple! 360 Goth and we're right as rain. Meantime, I've got Lanselot coming up to the front. We're not going to be able to advance for a while, but he has a score to settle. I have to use him judiciously here, though, as he's a higher level than the rest of the troops and is in greater danger of losing ALI, which he'll need to become a Paladin later on.

The big advantage we have here is that a lot of these enemy units are put together crappily: front-row Amazons and back-row Knights only get one hit each, just for examples. Since we can actually read the stat blocks(kinda) and know where to put who in order to maximize damage, we're doing well.

Sure enough, some Valkyrie with a gryphon comes over the water towards our base. She bumps into our shop-town defenders first, though, so she's thoroughly pre-chewed before FLAIL enters the fray. Finishing them off is enough to level everyone in the unit, and knock FLAIL's alignment up another few points to 69 out of a possible 100.

And on that note, we're going to leave off for today. Tomorrow: the troops advance!

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