My crazed mind continues.
So instead of stuffing the Fire Emblem cast into one battalion, I spread them out all over other units. This I’ve found is a little different than the battalion idea, in many ways for the better.
- I can sideline physically incapable units.
- I can go across all levels, rather than from “private” to “Battalion commander”.
- I can make the protagonists argue amongst each other about strategy in ways that they couldn’t as small-unit commanders.
- From a meta example, I can put them in different technology levels in a way that’s easier than “Hey, you’re WWII cavalry now, then you’re a Gulf War battalion, now you’re a modern light infantry one!”
- Pegasus knights as pilots, anyone?
Ok, so I have two pictures that sum up my constant challenge to turn “technical” writing into “descriptive” writing.
The challenge is how to turn this:
So, here’s the thorniest question the FE Battalion faces. What to do with casualties.
Using an old public domain military spreadsheet, I calculated a force of the same size and planned equipment as the battalion would be deploying to fight a defensive engagement. They smash their opponent, a larger yet foolhardy force attacking with far worse skill and equipment. The opponent is crushed (becoming combat-ineffective after only one day), they lose only four dead and some more wounded, most of whom can be saved.
Under normal circumstances, the replacements would be easy. But since the battalion’s cast involves a fixed number that can never grow higher, even lopsided victories like this turn into phyric ones. Thankfully, I can use the power of plot to regenerate the battalion between battles-after all, for obvious mechanical reasons, FE:Heroes has no permadeath whatsoever.
So, I beat the story mode of Fire Emblem Heroes on normal.
Now to give my thoughts on the game. See, for what it is, a free to play mobile hype-building game, it works well. To complain about the simplified gameplay, much less the business model, seems unfair. And to a degree I’m not the game’s target audience. (Not that I’m not a Fire Emblem fan, quite the contrary. I’m just somewhat wary of free to play games)
Now for what my biggest legitimate complaint against the game is. What little there is of the plot. I can understand an excuse plot “summon the heroes to fight the heroes summoned by someone else”. But the game moves just beyond the sweet spot of essentially no plot at all into a repetitive “Sorry I’m contracted to fight you-OW!-Ok I’m not!” mode, and just enough dangling threads to be annoying without being mysterious.
Plus the ludonarrative dissonance is incredible. The story needs to be bare bones in order to accommodate whatever heroes the player gets in the random summoning system. Fair enough. This leads to stuff like one hero slashing apart his own son. Without the slightest comment. It’s a little off-putting.
That being said, the game is still enjoyable, and it’s spurred along my persistent Fire Emblem Battalion concept. Not only is the hero summoning a good reinforcement to whatever excuse plot I come up with for how they all end up in the same place, but the voice acting and detailed drawings humanizes many of the previously dull characters. This means it’s going to be harder to just say “throw the dull ones onto the casualty lists”.
It’s bad form to have that sort of effect anyway. I’ve seen stuff where you have developed characters you know will live and undeveloped ones you know will be killed off. So I guess, thanks to the game for for pushing me in the right direction 😀
To put the FE Battalion on the offense or defense?
I’m leaning towards defense. A basic foot infantry battalion is more capable in defense, especially in closed terrain than it is on offense against a heavier conventional foe. Then again, I’m considering putting them in a mechanized battalion, because a foot one is simply too limited.
I don’t want to put them in some sort of special forces unit, even though bizarrely it’s what arguably fits them the best.
Now for the enemy. In military terms, this is easy-it’s the Circle Trigon/Krasnovia/Donovia. In other words, an enemy made as a bland opposing force in an artificial battle. Good for artificial battles (and it’s not like the canon FE games are the most deep and intricate anyway), not so good for character development or a sense of meaning.
Now for what their parent regiment/brigade will be like-will it be composed of other high fantasy turned-soldier transplants? Regular troops regarding it as a weak link?
Good news is I have a command staff.
Robin as CO.
Cordelia as XO
Mark as Operations Head
Matthew as Intelligence Head
Merlinus as Logistics Head
Oh no, I’ve stacked the staff with people from my favorite game (FE7) and the most popular (Awakening)! :p.
Now to figure out where to put the more problematic ones…
FE characters have some anime physics and a few superhuman strength feats. I call them “Captain America level”, but their lower durability means they can’t be wasted in a line unit. At least if I wanted to be practical.
So, my insane, twisted mind is taking the playable characters of the heroic fantasy series Fire Emblem and forcing them to work as drilled soldiers in a more modern battalion. Trained in technologies, these confront a level of war they could not understand before.
There are roughly 500 playable characters across every Fire Emblem game. Enough to fill a small-medium battalion. Several large problems are:
- Age and condition. These range from the very young to the elderly.
- Division of labor. These people range from kings to lowly nomads.
- Willingness to go into the more drudgerous parts of the unit (support, etc), which ties into the above point.
- Degree of support the FE Battalion would have from higher levels.
- Overall objective and type of opponent they’d be facing.
Another question mark is what the basic type of battalion it would be. A boring but effective plan would be using the healers as the basis for a medical unit and using the rest as just guards and clerks to support them. But since logic got thrown out, I might as well have them be a line unit.
A mechanized one, with the horse-mounted fighters as vehicle crews and the footbound ones as dismounts? Or a lighter one that takes advantage of their experience in less-developed conditions?
And finally, which of the heroic commanders would get to lead the whole unit?
My count was preliminary and either ignored or double counted the same characters appearing in different games. But it’s around that number.
This is actually clear. It’d be a conventional conflict against a powerful but not too powerful OPFOR.