Microstorage is apparently down again, so here's a quick link to my userstorage (with savestate to S10 included): http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/17261849538080863
Victory conditions: Defeat of Lester*
*At the end of the 3rd turn during the Enemy Phase, 10 additional monster Commanders appear on the map -- to which the victory conditions change to destroy all enemies
. Lester and his Pirates now become allies.
However, if you manage to defeat Lester before the end of your third turn...
Purchase one Wand in the shop for Hein, and give Cherie 2 Griffons.
Place Elwin on the left side of the far bank; Hein in the middle of the left bank; Cherie to Hein's right, with the rest auto-deployed.
Move 1 Griffon and Cherie all the way north into the sea, directly south of Lester. Leave the 2nd Griffon behind.
Use Hein's Attack buff on that 2nd Griffon. Afterward, Cherie takes out Lester's southern Merman unit to open the way for her 1st Griffon to attack Lester. One manipulation later, Lester is defeated and the stage is complete!
As mentioned above, the game typically doesn't expect you to be capable of offing Lester within 3 turns (not that it's THAT hard to pull of in real-time). Either way, much time is saved in this stage by avoiding the monster reinforcements!
Victory conditions: Death of all enemies*
*Egbert is not included in this victory condition. He CAN be defeated before he flees (Turn 2 Enemy Phase). However, this would've added at least 1 extra turn to this stage, making things much slower.
Hire Elwin 3 Horsemen; Hein 4 Archers, and Cherie 4 Griffons. Hein is also equipped with the Wand, while Cherie gets the Dragon Scale armor and the Necklace (Commander Range +2).
Elwin is placed on the second available spot below Jessica's house. Hein is deployed south along the road, with Cherie to his northwest. Auto-deploy is used for the remaining Commanders.
Starting things off, 2 of Hein's Archers rush west to take out Egbert's Hawkman Commander (being out-of-range, two are needed here to beat him). Hein then shoots a powered-up Fireball spell straight south, weakening the approaching enemy Commanders; this makes it possible for Cherie and Elwin to finish them all off in a single round. Also, Cherie's troops are able to recover at full power to attack again later on. Hein's last two Archers are then positioned southeast into the mountains to await enemy reinforcements.
During the Enemy Phase, Egbert launches a Fireball Spell of his own into the woods, setting them ablaze! This normally turns the stage into an urgent time-attack. Every round, the raging inferno expands outward by a two square radius. Any units caught inside this ring of flame are immediately destroyed.
Also, Cherie's troops are positioned in such a way as to lure the Magic Knight forward. What makes this important is that one of his Horsemen will occupy a tree tile next to the southern bridge -- which causes the approaching Mage to land right beside him. As a result, when that Magic Knight bites the dust, the Mage is also left defenseless on her left side!
Time to get busy! Elwin's Horseman kamikazes southward, taking himself and the Magic Knight's Horseman out of the equation. Elwin then finishes off the Magic Knight and hands things over to Hein, who proceeds to power up Cherie's troops with an Attack buff. Cherie's unit pull triple-duty, taking out the 2nd Magic Knight, Mage, and Serpent Knight in rapid succession.
Afterward, a single Hawkman unit shows up as a reinforcement. His time on the battlefield is short-lived, however, as Hein's other Archers, patiently waiting in the mountains, move out into the open, shooting down Mr. Hawkman and ending the stage.
At this point, Egbert technically hasn't left the map yet (he's programmed to leave during turn 2's Enemy Phase). This doesn't seem to bother Elwin and Jessica, however, as they proceed to ignore him and his remaining Armored Soldiers and continue on with the story!
Victory conditions: Death of all enemies
Give Elwin just 2 Horsemen. In this order, give Hein 2 Guardsmen, 2 Archers, and 2 more Guardsmen; this will be a crucial troop placement for this stage. Finally, give Cherie the maximum allowed number of 6 Griffons.
Place Elwin on the far-left side (in order to access the secret stage as fast as possible). Hein is positioned at the very top, with Cherie deployed directly underneath him. Finally, Jessica is manually placed on the far-right. All others auto-deploy.
This stage was tough! Lots of different strategies were tested in order to make this one work.
Elwin starts us off, setting his AI to 'Move' while heading straight north up the steps. Lester then gives Cherie's unit an Attack buff, passing things off to her as she lands below to the southeast of the Ghost (while setting her AI to 'Defend'). This Ghost was a pain
to take out; very tough enemy Commander with an annoying attack style that tends to take out units before they can strike him. One Griffon is then sent up to take out the guarding Wraith. Another immediately moves in to weaken the Ghost down to 7 HP (yep, just 7), who then gets destroyed.
From here, the action is momentarily halted as two of Hein's Guardsmen position themselves out-of-range to the northwest, in wait of the soon to be approaching Great Slime. Hein then shoots a Fireball straight north, weakening the Ghost further while sending his last two Guardsmen to the other side of the Temple. One last Griffon is then called forth to finish the Ghost off for good. Jessica is then moved up the right staircase before ending the round. She will be acting as a support Commander, buffing allies with her Attack spells.
Great Slime 1, who foolishly moved itself next to a torch-wielding Guardsmen, is immediately killed off, opening the way for Elwin and his troops to continue forward. This tactic is repeated again on the other side, as Guardsmen -- even when out-of-range -- can easily take care of a max level Great Slime without taking any casualties in return. Hein then moves directly beside, setting his AI to 'Defend' to save time on manually moving his Archers.
After Cherie is positioned, one of her weakened Griffons is placed to the northeast toward the inner-sanctum. Any troops positioned past this staircase cases Egbert* to appear in the southeast; which in turn, causes the two Living Armors and the Lich to begin moving during the Enemy Phase. Making Egbert appear early moves things along quite a bit faster.
One last detail in this round. No troops were moved past the left-side staircase, with the approaching hellhounds. Doing so causes the 1st Living Armor to move down toward Elwin; definitely not a good idea!
*Quite a strange event can occur if you're able to defeat Egbert before he reaches the Dark Rod. At a minimum, this would require the capability to hire Ballistas (which aren't available until the Class 4 tier). Since this is a speed run though, Hein is nowhere near being able to hire these units yet.
For those curious, check out this playthrough by ladyabaxa where a glitched-out version of Egbert appears upon being defeated:
Similar baiting tactics were used to draw out, and melt, the last two Great Slimes. Elwin and Hein then move directly onto their respective staircases, while Jessica Attack buffs Cherie and her Griffons. Cherie is then strategically positioned to the right of the Bone Dino, just southeast of the upper staircase. This places her just
out of the Lich's range, who would normally blast her with a Meteor spell. Kamikaze tactics are then used to take out the resilient Master Dino with 2 Griffons.
With the Hellhound now in range, Elwin's Horsemen are then put to use, sacrificing themselves to take these monsters out! Jessica then continues her support role, buffing Hein's Archers in order to shoot down the nearby Lich. Cherie is then place just outside of the inner-sanctum, with her remaining Griffons ordered to surround her.
Elwin continues to move closer to the tile that will give access to secret Scenario ?1. Both Living Armors, with their multitudes of Gargoyles, are now closely clustered together beside Cherie. Hein and Cherie both then decimate them with Fireball and Tornado spells. Cherie lands the decisive blow, earning enough XP to promote up to the Class 3 tier. I chose Dragon Knight in order to keep her high flier movement, while also giving her Griffons a boost in their ATT and DEF bonuses. This makes them powerful enough to weaken the Living Armors without relying on Attack buffs. The 1st Living Armor is dealt with in this fashion, while the 2nd is weakened down to 2 HP for the next round.
A little bit of time has to be bought now in order for Elwin to reach the secret tile. Hein weakens the Living Armor down to 3 HP (who healed during the prior Enemy Phase). This is a very tough Enemy Commander, who has a fast attack animation, to boot. In this game, having a quick attack animation (despite the battle animations being turned off) is a massive advantage -- meaning that enemy troops can be destroyed even before they can reach you in battle! Attack speeds range from painfully slow (Warlock) to instantaneous (Princess/Aniki).
Elwin is one tile away while Cherie weakens the Living Armor again down to one HP.
Elwin reaches the tile and activates the secret stage! The last Living Armor is now taken out to end this Scenario...
At this point, I've gotta say that this game ain't getting any easier! It looks like most of the "easy" stages are done (i.e. where I can blitz through the main Commander in 2 rounds). Nonetheless, I've still got some tricks up my sleeve. This next stage should be a fun one! S?1 takes Elwin and Co. into the dreaded 'Temple of Muscle', where a group of flaming bodybuilders known as 'Aniki' attempt to make things dangerous (and fabulous!) for the crew :D