Wednesday 24 August 2016

Alpha Sapphire take 2

I do have a horrible habit of abandoning games. I set Pokemon Alpha Sapphire aside months ago and by the time I got back to it I couldn't remember what I was doing, where I was going or where I'd been. So a few hours wandering the Routes and stumbling into towns I'd already been to after I just deleted the save files and started again. It started off as a Nuzlocke run but since I haven't finished this game I decided that was a dumb idea (but if I finish this before Sun and Moon come out, I might do a Nuzlocke for Pokemon X).

I like the idea of a Nuzlocke run but I also like the idea of finishing this game and it strikes me as being one or the other, really.

Anyway, here I am, new Pokemon trainer Erin (yes, female character again, its sort of a thing with me) starting my journey through the Heonn region. I've beaten my first gym leader, Roxanne of Rustboro and her Rock-type gym. I've also received the gloriously broken Generation VI version of the EXP Share, which makes life so much easier. If they nerf that thing in Sun and Moon I am basically doomed.

Anyway, the new team at this time stands as follows:
Ace the Marshtomp (Water-Ground)
(yes, I power level early)
Dusty the Dustox (Bug-Flying)
Toby the Shroomish (Grass)
Snowy the Poochyena (Dark)
Kemosabe the Zigzagoon (Normal)
Redfeather the Taillow (Normal-Flying)

I've got pretty good type-coverage so far. Not a perfect team by any means but there are plenty more routes and plenty more gyms to go before the Heonn League. Kemosabe look set for a future of HM-slavery and unless Redfather gains some decent attacks soon he's PC-bound what with his typing being completely redundant.

And I don't like the Shroomish's design. Most Grass-types I love but as soon as something better comes along he's gone. Not even a better Grass-type, I've beaten the Rock gym and that's the main reason to have a Grass-type. Who knows what I'll find on the Routes of Hoenn? Not even me, since I seem to have completely forgotten everything about this game. Having gotten my arse kicked by a couple of Grass-types, however, I am painfully aware that I need a Fire-type on the strength.

Just makes things more interesting, frankly.

(images from Bulbapedia, the resource that allows me not to get killed fifty millions times when I enter gym battles). 

Monday 22 August 2016

Mercenary Tactics #1: The Slayer's Oath

I don't want a Dwarf army. I like Dwarfs but I've tried to collect Dwarf armies before and they don't work for me. As evocative and fascinating as their background is, as much as I love their character they are just not an army that plays to my strengths. Their lack of speed means they have a defensive style of play that just doesn't suit me.

Luckily, Matt and I have been talking about mercenaries recently. More specifically, we've been talking about bringing back the old 25% allowance for allies so we can use mercs in our regular games just to shake things up a bit.

First unit on the docket...
image from the Avatars of War webstore
Avatars of War Dwarf Berserkers or, as everyone else calls them, plastic Slayers. Painting them as not ginger does not change that. And just look at that banner: its huge, its over the top, its fantastic.

Slayers are one of my favourite Dwarf units: shamed Dwarfs sworn to die in battle but, being Dwarfs, they can't just get in the way of the enemy and die. No, a Dwarf does something he has to do it right! If they have to die in battle they'll fight to win and they will only die if the enemy can genuinely beat him. They'll go up against the biggest, the most dangerous things they can find.

They also make great mercenaries for the army I want to pair them with: my Bretonnians.

Wait, what?

Okay, to explain: back when Dogs of War were a thing Bretonnians were the only army that couldn't take them. Their honour code forbade the use of mercenaries who fought for money. Slayers don't travel fighting for money, they fight to reclaim their honour and a Bretonnian general can understand that. There is a concept of penitence amongst Bretonnians even if the rather nihilistic honour code of the Slayers might not translate all that well.

Actually, the relationship between Bretonnia and the Dwarf holds in the Grey Mountains fascinates me. Its never been addressed in official background, I don't think and I want an avenue to explore it. I've ordered a box of Berserkers and they'll be taking the field alongside my Bretonnians and Empire. Maybe there'll be more units, though I don't think it'll run to much: a couple of units, a character or two, definitely a Gyropcopter (I love the new Gyrocopter).

But yeah, now I have to work out how to paint orange hair.