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FoxTenson
03-23-2008, 06:37 PM
With another release from KEOI we are left with a brand new style of gameplay a bit different then their standard fare. With this has also come a great deal of questions, and confusion about the game, but also some troubles that seem to ail some folk. Having played this game for a bit now and exploring the different facets of the world, some advice to those having trouble, or seeking a faster path through the game, would be nice to share. I will share my tips for all, and any others are more than welcome to add to them!

Learn strengths and weaknesses of the units.
It's important to use the chart provided when pressing the back button in game, to learn just what units can take on what, and what units to watch out for. This is invaluable when attacking a base or enemy wave, as having the wrong unit can spell disaster in a heartbeat.

Pay attention to English and French defense units.
Both sides have preferences over what units they use to defend their bases, even if it doesn't seem too obvious at first, you will notice greater numbers or certain units then the other side uses. English love bows and longbows, Trench love rapiers and cavalry more so for example. Knowing these habits ahead of time will drastically improve your ability to overtake bases.

Learn the most dangerous units
Learn which units are the most dangerous to your health regardless of weaknesses and strengths. Sometimes it doesn't seem to matter. Cavalry is annoying no matter what, and enemy commanders' units can take you out in seconds. Halberds, Cavalry, Camels, chariots, elephants, and magic units fall into this category. The best advice is to focus only on the leader to disband the unit. Javelin barrage is good for taking the leader out in one or two attacks along with some grunts. Otherwise raise your attack and use your leader to focus on the leader, using your most powerful attacks, to kill him and save your hide. For cavalry, elephants, chariots, and camels, wait for the leader to charge you, then either stun him and swarm attack, or throw a javelin barrage straight their way. They are annoyingly hard to target otherwise.

Research skill is godly.
Focus most of your SP on the research skill as soon as possible, try to even out your leveling so as not to lose out on the extra SP granted by the skill per level. At the same time it's important to level some other skills that help you stay alive and level faster, namely leadership, attack, and defense. Do not spend the extra SP unless you can easily spare it for the skills however, if you gain 100 SP or so in a level, it is unwise to spend 100 SP on attack when you need 400 for research, save the SP, it will pay off in the end.

Hire vital units.
Unless you plan to level other units, fill all three slots with units that are vital to winning. Cavalry for reaching bases and targets quickly, spears for quickly overtaking bases, and either another spear unit, or a sword unit. If you plan to level another unit, only waste one slot to avoid being without a useful unit in the heat of battle.

Hired Units are for more than just commanding
while your hired units are vital to your own survival by staying in a group, they are also very important for drawing the fire from a huge attack force. If you find yourself overwhelmed, summon some hired units but leave them under their own power. They may not fight as well on their own, but the drawn fire will save your life many times, especially when fighting an enemy commander.

Level the big four.
Swords, bows, cavalry, and spears - the big four. These are the most imporant units to level up and keep above the enemy average level. Not only are they more capable of tearing through units, but each has a an important niche you will need to succeed. Horses can traverse the map quickly and flatten all but the commander of most field units with a charge attack. Bows are important in many battles where the enemy will assault you with cavalry units, and most high ranking commanders are also cavalry. Swords must be raised due to it being your default class, it may not be as capable of tearing through units as spears or cavalry, but if you neglect it your leader will be felled quickly, often in one hit, when you have to go it alone due to lack of units, or unit being wiped out. Spears are the big guns for base overtaking, which we'll get to next in:

Spears are your saviors
Spear units are godly, specifically units capable of the javelin attack. Weaknesses, commanders, overwhelming odds, nothing can stop a well leveled spear unit once you learn how to use them. Berserker Spears are the best units, followed by roman spears, then the normal spear units. Focus your SP after maxing research on leadership, inventory, attack, and the javelin attack. A single javelin barrage will kill a base commander or a commander of a stronger unit in a single attack, and most commanders with two or three. Boosting attack beforehand can fell the black prince in 3 barrages, and even Joan of Arc in 4 or 5 attacks.
Always have a spear unit on standby.

Quick Leveling
For the big four, always take on the hardest missions you are capable of finishing and tear through large units. Don't focus on the bases till it is vital to do so, find the large towns with large unit spawns and travel around it, taking out groups of 100 or more in combos. Combos are the key when you start to surpass the average enemy level. For the other units, you can power level by simply kamikaze attacking much stronger units and keeping your leader away from the fray. Use your special attacks as much as possible as these generate much more experience then normal attacks. Long spears seem to be an issue for many, the best way to level these is use the thrust command one one of the larger units around a large base. Draw them in close and thrust, then lay the spears down. You'll do very little damage, but level quickly. Remember to stay back from the unit or you'll likely be killed along with them.

Raising Renown
Renown is important when advancing the plot and number of stars. You will likely not have to worry about gaining enough before the last story battle of the current star, but raising it faster seems to generate more story battles at a faster rate. always spend the maximum amount of days you can on a mission, overtaking bases away from the main target. The last day focus all your efforts on the goal at hand, you'll have full renown in much less time. Side missions are good for money, but the renown boost is hardly noticeable.

Story missions and gossip
These will always show up with an exclamation point next to them. Always take them, always listen to them. The longer you put them off the longer the game will take, and some stars, especially 2 star fame, have many MANY of these. If you have full renown, always take the easiest mission possible when no story missions are at hand, it doesn't matter how hard it was, just that another was finished. If you wish to follow a certain side, only take that side's missions, you will have to take a few for the other side on occasion, but so long as you keep fighting for your preferred side during normal missions and major story missions, where you choose a side, you should arrive at your preferred side's story conclusion, and special weapon.

Weapons, armor, and items.
Always upgrade armor ASAP, even if it means sacrificing unit weapons and shields, if there is a book on sale buy that first however. If your leader dies you lose the mission, so armor is the most vital to purchase. Purchase weapons and shields for the big four first, spears especially so, then use spare money for the rest, or units you want to level. Always purchase pennons that: revive units, boost attack, and boost defense. The others seem neat, but these will save your life more then charming troops or running faster, which is what cavalry units are for.

New unit books
Besides the final two, these are not as hard to get as one might think. Larger bases spawn the red chests more often, and killing a major commander in battle guarantees a red chest, and most likely a book. Major commanders also respawn at certain bases, so if you want, leave said bases to harvest the commander over and over again, this also tends to grant strong weapons, armor, and book pages. Two commanders have always dropped books I needed for me when felled: the black prince and Joan of Arc. Be prepared to fight these two with many backup units as they can devestate you in seconds. If they do not show up during the mission, don't waste time looking for them, they do not always spawn.

Bladestorm
Bladestorms are activated when your moral reaches it's peak, either from felling many units, gathering a chalice item, or tagging deer in the field. I find bladestorms more useful for traversing the map, then I do for fighting. They can be useful when fighting commanders, or rushing to a base commander to take him out quickly. If you are leveling weak units, wait for a bladestorm before rushing them into an enemy unit, they will stay alive for a little longer then normal, perhaps granting a few levels more.

Continued...

FoxTenson
03-23-2008, 06:39 PM
Taking over a standard base
focus on the unit commanders with shields overlaying their icon, don't rely on either side to arrive in the base to spawn the commander for you. Sometimes even the presence of your allies won't even spawn him for you to kill. If you ever find yourself with a single base point left, or even a few left, but lack units to kill to drop it, check the map for nearby units and stand in the center of the base, they will close in to attack if from the same base. An easier method is to leave the base and walk a short distance away, after the right distance a new unit will spawn, often with one or two shield icon units. Check for bow units on the rooftops and walls too, if no more shield units spawn, they are likely the culprits and only another bow unit can take them out.

Taking over a large base
Large cities can be a pain to overtake, due to needing siege weapons to break in, and the number of enemy bases that constantly attack in waves, destroying what siege units you have out. On these missions it's important to take over the smaller bases surrounding the large base to stop the enemy flow, and provide more siege units, use your first day or two to do this. Most shield icon units are found outside the base, and constantly spawn, take enough out before heading inside, as there are very few shield icons units inside, and those present are often vastly more powerful than those outside. Some cities, namely Paris, you will have to take out these units to spawn the base commander. Beware of major commanders, as they usually guard these bases, and most of the time are shield icon units as well.

Defending a base
Much like the larger base overtaking strategy, take over every small enemy base you can around your base, then focus on the larger bases. Leave these as a barrier to protect your main base. Once you have done that, STAY AT YOUR MAIN BASE! This is important, as even if it seems the enemy cannot breach your barrier of towns, major commanders like Joan of Arc and the black prince WILL spawn near your base and can overtake it in minutes or less, often before you can make it back to stop them. They will spawn multiple times, so you cannot let your guard down until you have successfully completed the goal of guarding the base and no longer need to worry about it. there are only a few missions and side missions that require this, but these are the hardest ones you will face.

Last but not least, save after every mission!
It may seem common sense, but sometimes the missions can be so easy so many times in a row, many people get overconfident and forget to save, or just neglect it. This game sometimes has instant death from nowhere syndrome, and if it hits on a vital story mission it can really ruin your day if you haven't saved in awhile.

I hope this helps those having a bit of trouble, remember if you have any other advice to please add to this! This is a wonderful game and fairly simple to get most of the achievements on if you learn how to get through the rough spots.

master_kaos
03-23-2008, 10:17 PM
Nice post. Really gives some helpful advice to new people to this game.
I know when I first started I had no idea what was going on and was constantly dieing.
I still die time to time.. Usually when I try to bite off more than I can chew or leveling low level units vs very high level ones.