I did appreciate there was a good deal of attention paid to map aesthetics. Given this is what the player looks at 90% of the time, that is greatly appreciated.
There’s a lot of emphasis on magic being important, and I do appreciate how this is backed by not seeing a single magic user except Mr. Antiturtle the entire game. It also makes Gerard into an unstoppable force.
The maps have a solid existing flow, though I think there was some rough spots and bugs that a more thorough playtest could have caught. There were also a few spots where there was no text, or that text overflowed, or that text exceeded the box as well as quite a few typos.
Here are some comments on each chapter as I played through:
The map layout made me think a split was intended, but given some enemy units take 4 shots to kill, didn’t work out great. Enemies this early one felt incredibly bulky, due to everyone’s low str and would take 3-4 rounds to kill, obvious exception being Gerard who carried the team.
Anti-turtle cavs caught up way too quickly for me to kill the boss, but given they can barely scratch Gerard, they were no issue. Looking back at the chapter, the big evil druid man was supposed to spawn but didn’t, I think he got blocked by cavs who waited.
I’m not actually sure if this is a typo or an intentional joke, but either way it was funny. There was no [A] so it skips over.
Another comment is that all of the starting units and quite a few later joiners have terrible luck stats such that they face critical chance against almost everyone. I think in most hacks these days, its good form to either have only a few units face luck issues or have mitigations like hoplons, but here every time someone entered combat there were odds of instant death.
Here due to the high amount of axe units (4 axe classes?) I just had Gerard do most of the work while using Kai’s iron sword. The druid anti-turtle tripped me up as I expected only the cavs, but I barely pushed through in time. At this point all my units except Gerard struggled with damage.
Hannah is an odd unit. She has basically nothing that makes a mount good, that is she only has +1 move over infantry, she cannot rescue anyone except the archer and does not have canto, and her high con only hinders her due to aid formula. Her growths are opposite of her bases, such that her base spd is just not good enough to get lots of doubles, and her base str is terrible. Just not really a unit I wanted to use at all.
Garrot’s base stats were comparable or worse to a generic axe merc and he seems like he’s very slow to get off the ground, didn’t see much use in my playthrough.
It was around this point that the ch1 units minus Gerard have managed to hit a few speed levels and are now decent contributors, turning the painful 3-4 round kos into 2 round kos. Gerard still does most of the work here just by being basically invincible.
On turn 2 the chest key bruiser immediately starts opening chests and making most of those items except 1 (from drop) unobtainable. Pretty sure this is because most of the enemies have “wait for one turn then attack treasure then attack” AI, I assume “wait for one turn then attack” would have been the correct AI.
Unfortunately as the fighter had already looted all except one of the chests, the thief that spawned immediately made for the far chests and proceeded to make all of them except 1 unobtainable as well. I was unable to catch him due to Gerard being bogged down by seemingly almost every enemy charging the hallway. This left several turns of empty turns walking to the boss as enemies positioned in the fort all charged. I think a better flow would have been to space out the enemies more rather than have them all charge, as it is a lot of Gerard enemy phasing tons of enemies that cannot meaningfully hurt him while the rest poke a bit, and then a lot of empty space.
I feared that missing almost all the loot last chapter would make things problematic, but luckily that was not the case.
The walk through forest and terrain at the start was quite tedious. The little green section between the mountains almost feels like it gives the illusion of being passable, when it really isn’t.
Quite a few enemies in out of the way areas had stationary AI and could not move while also not being on the path. I assume this was unintentional. This includes first bow cavalier, bottm left bruiser and top left brigand and a few more.
The armory and vendor were non-functional. In fact, I don’t think I saw a single armoury or vendor which was a shame. I personally don’t like preparation store mark up, but I suppose its not a mark up when there is nothing to compare it to. Also fire, and flux appear to have odd gold buying costs which I assume is not intended.
Ronald is probably the worst unit in the cast. His str base of 8 is not higher than most, and out of the gate he is 4 round koing a nomad. His speed makes him near armor levels of slow, ensuring his damage output is not good. Can’t see anyone using this guy.
I rarely see this tileset being used and think what is done with it is pretty good.
These don’t seem like the correct terrain type. This also made travelling through this choke with this tile more difficult.
I think the flow is nice if one gets the chests and then wraps around the main room, but there are no tile changes for the door making anyone who split trapped on that side.
Kai seems like a decent but mediocre unit, not fast enough to deal large damage but pretty solid.
The paladin could not use his silver lance. This was fortunate, as with the silver lance he would kill a good chunk of my units and that’s not accounting for crits, which I believe I have no mitigation against yet.
I like what was done with the green units, giving the player a little preview of enemies to come and be wary of them.
Around this point some of my trained units were really starting to do decent damage, occasionally one rounding.
Leonara seems to blow basically every recruit we’ve had so far out of the water in every margin possible. Decent strength, great speed base, decent bulk, flight, just way better. However, she did one round Garro flying out of the fog due to her big range. I think torch or torch staff would have been nice hear to control situations such as these. However she has no canto, which I am unsure was an intentional choice.
Supply was unavailable in preps and on the map this chapter, presumably because this replaces 5x in vanilla? There are specific patches to fix this.
Herald joining was a nice surprise. He seems like a growth unit, except he seems to get promoted unit exp making him hard to train. What also makes him hard to train is the fact that he does 5 dmg to a lot of things on that map.
Top right has a mercenary with an iron lance he can’t use.
Not sure if it is intentional the boss has only range and can’t move, makes him a sitting duck for ranged attacks.
None of the houses have text but I presume that’s cause its a in development chapter.
While the map says seize, there is no throne to seize, all enemies dying do not trigger map end, and I could no progress to the next chapter (Post does say 7 chapters complete). However, I really wanted to see that Gerard promotion that I couldn’t get this map due to lack of supply, so I used builder to get past that.
I appreciate how knight def not capped so I could have this absolute unit.
This chapter I basically did the same thing as every other chapter, bait everyone with Gerard and have everyone finish off. Zephyr now has the damage the one round almost everything and has decent bulk to survive 2+ hits, so he was pretty damn strong.
Bastion mug seems pretty terrible since 6 spd and 9 str makes his offences atrocious where a lot of the chapter 1 units can outright one round or in Gerard’s case, be unkillable.
I also noticed that a lot of the other units, such as archer, wyvern rider and samurai don’t have promotions set up. Had to promote Levi since he can promote.
Seeing sword pirates is kinda neat. There was one that can’t use a rapier because it is a prf.
After these houses are visited the wrong tiles on the left appear to be used.