Let's Play Monster Quest: Part 21c
More skirmish grinding!
Last of the monsters currently spawned. If I want to grind past this, I'm going to have to do the Tower of Valni, which... eeeh, I want to save that for the post-game. So after this we're done grinding, and it'll just be me smacking myself headfirst into the next chapter until I beat it.
Come to think of it, I don't think the abandoned fort has an actual map location. This map location instead correlates to where we saw and fought Pablo for the first time.
The team I took in this time, and also me showing off that I gave Ewan a (regular) Thunder Tome so he might be able to punch through enemy Resistance more consistently this time.
I brought Kyle because he's hilariously tough and low level, so if anybody is going to not die, contribute, and get useful amounts of experience out of this, it's him. Or Forde, but I dunno. I like Kyle's design more, including his Monster Quest coloration.
Starting map setup. I shuffled Colm about beforehand, but these are all the enemies I could spot.
Franz taking a couple of potshots at one Bonewalker and in the process prepping to retaliate against the Bow-wielding one.
Colm providing line of sight to the north. All I'm spotting is another Bownwalker. (That's a terrible pun and I'm never doing it again)
Tethys helping Knoll move so he can finish off the melee Bonewalker.
Then I end turn like this. Not a lot done on this first turn.
The further north Bonewalker chips Kyle. This is with a Steel Bow, too. Like I said, he's tough.
Southern Bonewalker takes a shot at Knoll, hits. Ouch, that hurts.
Other northern Bonewalker... also takes a shot at Kyle? Huh. I was expecting it to go for Colm. Misses, in any event.
My turn again, and Ewan... actually lands his hit and gets some experience. Nice.
Then it occurs to me I can have Tethys refresh him! Leading into...
... him actually finishing it off, himself! Huzzah, this Thunder Tome is actually helping!
Also notice how he has better damage and to-hit than he had earlier. The Tethys Support in action. If I was more patient and willing to consult guides and plot this crap out, I'd be using these monster grinding missions to deliberately grind up Support relationship. As-is, I really hate how that mechanic was handled in the GBA games, so no way.
It's unfortunate for me that I suspect Monster Quest was balanced on the idea that you'd both know about Support stuff in detail and be willing to sink the time and so on into it.
Anyway, over in the northeast Gilliam, Kyle, and Colm team up on a Bonewalker. I only had Colm take the kill because I didn't want to let it retreat onto the Mountain, where Kyle and Gilliam would struggle more to hurt it.
The black screen is Colm assassinating the Bonewalker, rendering the earlier damage efforts entirely redundant. I mean, he'd have doubled it anyway, so whatever...
Not my best moment.
From there the enemy turn starts, and Franz softens up this Bael. Awesome, Ewan can take that easily.
Meanwhile, the remaining northern Bonewalker ducks onto the Mountain and takes a potshot at Kyle. Eh. No big deal.
Then it's back to my turn already. Gilliam starts out by missing the Bonewalker. Slight bit disappointing, but no big deal.
Kyle actually lands his blow, much to my surprise, and though it's not obvious in the screenshot that means the Bonewalker is Poisoned. Whoo! (Not really, that just means wasting experience)
Ewan takes that kill Franz set up and... doesn't quite level. Darn it.
Tethys heals Knoll while Myrrh goes scouting out where there can't possibly be Bows. I'm a bit paranoid with her low HP and the darned fog.
I do some maneuvering I fail to screenshot and it's the enemy turn, starting out with this Bael doing an alarming amount of damage to Franz, and him setting up another kill for Ewan. Awesome.
Back in the northeast, a Bael poisons Gilliam. That's annoying.
Note that mountain-climbers can't go up those cliffs to Gilliam's left. I don't usually think about it, but when I do I always find it a little odd. Oh well.
Another Bael lunges out of the darkness and only fails to kill Franz because he dodges. He murders it and doesn't quite level.
Meanwhile, Colm's scouting has ended up drawing out an enemy Mogall. It misses, not that it would do much to him if it had hit.
My turn again! Start out with Gilliam exchanging blows with the Bael that poisoned him.
Followed by Kyle missing the Bonewalker. Meh. He'll kill it eventually.
Ewan finishes off the Bael Franz softened up and gets holy crap a perfect level.
Do more of that, Ewan!
Now I'm wondering if he actually does have good growths in Monster Quest.
Franz getting healed. Don't want him dying to another Bael out of the fog.
Knoll trivially murdering the enemy Mogall. It doesn't even touch him.
Enemy turn! Gilliam exchanges blows with the Bael again and... gets a pretty poor level. I seem to recall his HP growth is over 100%, which would mean he actually effectively only hit one growth. And yeah okay his Defense is already capped, but ouch. I'm also noticing his Luck is a bit poor, particularly considering Monster Quest's approach to crit chance. Yikes.
BAEL OUT OF NOWHERE MURDERING EWAN.
Or it would have murdered him if his last level hadn't given him Defense. Lucky!
Meanwhile a Tarvos lunges out to suicide on Franz' blade, giving him a nice, solid level. I'd really like his Luck to be higher, but his offensive-oriented stats are capped or nearly capped, and his defenses aren't actually bad. If I'd been doing a better job of feeding him kills in earlier missions, he'd probably be a bit of a terror right now.
A Gargoyle lunges out of the fog to die to Artur's Flux. Hooray, more Dark experience!
My turn again, and I open with Kyle landing another improbable hit on the Bonewalker. Sooo close to a level, too.
And to my astonishment, Gilliam actually grabs the kill!
I don't want to do this, but I have Colm butcher one of the Gargoyles, because otherwise this situation could go bad places.
Holy crap is Colm a complete monster. I mean, yeah, he's on a Mountain right now, but jeez.
Artur wipes away the other Gargoyle, which I only catch it has a Killer Lance when I have him targeting it. Yikes, that could've gone really bad places.
Ewan backs away from his Bael and potshots it. I have a plan! In retrospect it's a dumb plan that I should've handled differently -specifically, I should've had him fly south, not deeper into the Peaks- but-
Tethys is on the case with Physic! Because infinite Hammerne means I don't care anymore.
Meanwhile I decide to feed the wounded Bael to Knoll. I think I was more impatient than anything else.
Enemy turn again, and a Bael goes for Kyle, who is hanging on a Peak. It misses, which is good, because holy crap I didn't realize it would do that much damage to him if it did hit him, and he gets a pretty solid level out of missing it. He's not actually doing so bad, compared to Gilliam. He can't catch up on Defense, in terms of having the same Defense Gilliam has at Gilliam's level, but he's got nine levels to cap his Defense so that's a quibble. Better Luck three levels below, better Speed, better Resist, only one Skill behind and one Strength behind... in retrospect I probably should've switched my focus to Kyle earlier. He's currently got like 10 HP less than Gilliam, admittedly, but I'm pretty sure all my Baels have over 100% HP growth, so he could still potentially hit the HP cap by level 20 promoted.
Now I'm annoyed at how much time I spent trying to feed Gilliam experience. Maybe I should bring Kyle along on the chapter and just have him cart around the Stone Shard to make up the stat difference.
Anyway, enemy turn, and my ill-considered maneuver leads to the Bael trading blows with Ewan from the protection of a Peak. Ewan gets one hit in, misses the other one, and gets hit in turn. Darn. If I'd been smarter, Ewan would've killed it just now.
Meanwhile, Artur gets rushed by a Bael because I didn't think much about his current position. Whoops. It misses and dies horribly, so t's not a big deal, and... wow, he has a lot of HP, doesn't he?
Franz getting shot at and missed. Glad it missed, because it would've been really irritating for a low-chance Poison Bow shot to land.
My turn, and I open by having Ewan... miss twice. Dangit. That's inconvenient.
Tethys heals him, even though I'm genuinely tempted to have her refresh him instead. But no, too risky.
In retrospect don't know why I sent him west of the Bael like that. For all I know something would lunge out of the fog at him. Unnecessarily risky. Also representative of why I don't like fog missions.
Anyway, Franz murders the Poison Bow Bonewalker easily enough.
Kyle gets passed the Stone Shard by Colm and attacks this Bael unnecessarily riskily.
I'm stupid, so Myrrh is literally my only unit carrying any self-healing items, and Tethys is not close enough to heal Kyle. This was long odds of going wrong for Kyle, yeah, but unnecessarily risky.
I end up basically passing my turn from there, aside from getting Artur out of the line of fire nd all, which leads to the Bael suiciding on Kyle. Awesome.
Meanwhile, Ewan finally dodges a hit and wipes out the Bael at last!... and still doesn't actually level. Ugh, this is why I don't like grinding on monsters. You just don't get much experience, for the threat level.
Gilliam dodges a hit on raw awesomeness. By which I mean luck.
Another Tarvos lunges out of the fog to die on Franz's blade. He doubles it, you see. He doubles basically everything on this map.
Back to my turn again, and I start by having Kyle recklessly charge forth and take a swipe at this Poison Claw Bael. I keep kind of hoping he'll get an assassination, but he never does in this skirmish. Alas.
Myrrh finally arrives to pass off a healing item, which Gilliam puts to good use.
Ewan gets help moving on up.
Enemy turn again, and we start with the Poison Claw Bael attacking Kyle. By which I mean missing and dying. Because hiding out on Peaks is awesome.
Then the other Bael joins the fun, and it's just as ineffective. In fact, this one gets doubled!
On my turn Kyle finishes that second Bael off, and gets a level equalizing his Strength and Skill to Gilliam's while he's still two levels behind -and there's that +2 HP, confirming he has over 100% HP growth! So now all he's actually behind on is Defense -probably won't actually matter- and HP.
Yeah, I'm thinking I'm going to be using him for the mission itself.
Tethys heals Kyle.
Then nothing much happens, and I don't remember to actually screenshot the turn ending.
Next turn, and now Tethys is revealing a bunch of stuff, including... really? Ugh. The lower Gargoyle is the boss, but in neither of those screenshots did its boss shield get caught. Annoying.
I maneuver to be baiting out some enemes and end turn like this.
Tethys being viable bait is hilarious.
I mean, seriously, look at this. This Bael can't even touch her, and it would do less than 25% of her health in damage if it did hit. She's ridiculous.
Meanwhile that Bonewalker... goes and suicides on Franz? Whoops, I thought it would go for Gilliam. Underestimated weapon triangle's allure to the AI.
Also a Mauthe Doog that has no ability to hurt Tethys. It could hit her, it could crit her, but it can't do damage. She's crazy good. I should use her as bait/a tank more often.
Then a Tarvos lunges out of the shadows to... haha it can't even hurt Gilliam. Ouch.
Meanwhile, that Bonewalker to the northwest is wasting its time on Tethys. Can't hurt her, has awful odds of hitting anyway...
My turn at last, and I start out by having Kyle murder this Tarvos.
Which wasn't actually the intention but I didn't notice the whole 'Stone Shard murdering cavalry' thing until I'd already clicked in. Whoops. I was actually trying to set up another kill for Ewan!
Instead, Myrrh softens up the Mauthe Doog and Ewan finishes that off. I was actually ready to have Tethys re-move him if that's what it took, but the RNG left me alone, and indeed Ewan got another amazing level. I'm definitely leaning toward thinking he actually has really good bases and I just had underwhelming luck on his earlier levels. He may yet be good!
Knoll softens up the Bael, and Ewan gets a re-move after all to then finish it off. Nice.
Then Franz vaporizes the Bonewalker.
Then I start checking Gargoyle ranges. Oh, and Colm went exploring to the northeast to see if anything was there, but nope.
... Kyle' positioned to bait out the boss Gargoyle. Ouch. And he got doubled, which I didn't properly screenshot.
Then to my surprise a Revenant lunges out and... suicides on Franz, who crit-kills it outright. Huh. I was expecting it to steal his promotion item.
I spend a bit fiddling around, trying to figure out who to feed the Gargoyle boss' death to, and the numbers weird me out. Eventually I actually look at its statline:
Yeah, that's three stats capped and a third nearly capped when it's level 13. Oh, and its HP is near the player cap, for that matter. This thing is ridiculous. So yeah, Monster Quest messed around with the skirmish settings somehow. I'd kind of figured it left them alone... and hey, maybe it just messed around with some other data structure they draw upon. I dunno.
But having established this thing is a serious threat I shift my focus away from 'who do I want to give the kill?' to 'make it die now.'
So I start by having Artur break out his Divine Tome to shave off more than half its health. The dodge is a nice bonus.
Then Franz comes along with his effective weapon and... misses and takes a good chunk of damage. Dangit.
Alright, so Myrrh comes along, accepts being doubled because she's just that tough, and she actually wipes off a chunk of its health.
To my pleasant surprise, Kyle is able to secure the kill, and does so. It nets him a nice level. Now he very nearly outperforms Gilliam straight-up, while still being a level behind!
From here it's basically mop up. The two Gargoyles are all that's left, and they're no threat. I took screenshots, but... no level-ups or Weapon Skill-ups occurred... so... whatever.
Next time, we probably actually move on with the plot. Hopefully.