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View Full Version : Suggestions on how to win the final battle (spoilers)



quartex
01-24-2014, 03:54 PM
I just spent 4 hours trying to win the final battle, in vain. This has gone from being fun to just being frustrating. I'm now usually reliably able to defeat Bellower the first time, but get absolutely pummeled in the second battle. I know I need lots of armor break and after watching him kill Triggvi at full armor with 1 hit I decided I needed more Varl in my lineup.

I'm using
Mogr lvl 4
Iver lvl 4
Hakon lvl 4
Oddleif lvl 3
Rook lvl 5
Alette lvl 5

I have a bunch of + armor break items so Iver can go 8 armor break, and Mogr and Hakon do 4. But in the second battle the Varl can only take 2 hits before dying, and Bellower likes to stun my guys right when they are about to do a big hit. I once got him down to 5 armor, but my archers weren't close enough to do piercing, and so I couldn't get his strength down fast enough.

I have pretty good items (having collected an item from almost every Godstone). I'm guessing the best solution is to go back a ways and starve my caravan in order to collect more renown and upgrade more units to level 5. But somehow I don't think an extra point or two is going to make a big difference. Should I be using Eyvind - I got the impression that he sucked at armor break and his arc lighting doesn't seem very useful here. I'm most successful when I use the other dredge as blockers to keep Bellower from getting to my archers. I tried killing all the other dredge, but by the time I got to pillage mode in the first battle I only had 2-3 units left, and they died quickly. Should I be trying to be more defensive in the second battle and kill all the other dredge before bellower?

Just curious what strategies worked for other players. I really enjoyed the last part of the game, but this final battle is to just a bit too hard.

In most of these battles I was trying to be honorable and make Rook shoot the arrow to save Allette. Should I be doing the opposite to take advantage of Rook's "Mark Prey" ability in the second battle? My feeling is that he'll only get one chance to use it before Bellower squashes him like a bug.

quartex
01-24-2014, 04:36 PM
Update: I finally beat the game (on what felt like my 10th try) by using Eyvind. His arc lightning gave me the edge I needed to knock Bellower's strength in the second battle down from insane to just dangerous. (of course he got killed by a dredge after his second arc lightning) But Mogr managed to knock off just enough armor for Alette to do 18 damage in one hit and kill Bellower, just as pillage mode began (which is usually the sign I'm dead). I loved the final cinematic, and of course want to go back and see if I can win the game with Alette shooting the arrow. But that's a test for another day. I have no idea how I would win the final battle on hard mode (perhaps by starving my caravan the entire way?)

darkwolf
01-24-2014, 05:33 PM
You can actually go back and resume your completed game, to start just before the bellower fight. There you can change the difficulty and try it again for kicks.

I actually found the hard difficulty fight easier for Bellower. Bellowers stats stay the same, you just have slightly stronger and larger Dreadge. Of course the normal Dreadge are easier to control/wound, and are positioned such that it is easier to zone out the boss.

I too found this fight frustrating, and it forced me to use prior knowledge of the fight and min/maxing to beat it rather then continuing to play the game in role play/immersive mode as I had been. Used the same lineup you did, except didn't take Eyvind as his lighting skill had previously behaved unpredictably for me, often damaging my own units to much.

Daniel M. Kane
01-24-2014, 06:18 PM
I focused on doing small but steady direct damage to Bellower's health via coals, bleeds, and 100% accuracy specials (like Hakon's humble rank 1 special). In the context of that strategy, Eyvind probably would have been a good choice. Don't remember why I didn't take him... maybe just because he's so fragile. I did get trashed the first time, though (well, the FIRST first time it bugged on phase 1 and I didn't get the silver arrow action). While this gave him tons of turns, it steadily reduced his ability to ruin my life (and prevented the other dredge from doing anything useful).

balnoisi
01-24-2014, 08:29 PM
first time i got there, on a normal mode game, i struggled a few times. maybe 4 or 5. i was probably thinking about the tactics too much, that was wrong.

on my second playthrough, in hard mode, i didn't break a sweat. organized my units and positioned them for what's coming. Bellower will react to every attack received, so don't even mind about any other dredge ( perhaps maim the closer one to pass the time ) they can actually be useful obstructing their boss' path; and once you start with the Sundr you will stay with him 'til the end of the match. then it becomes a simple straight full attack sequence. you want to make him take as long as you can to reach your units, so put some big dredge in between.

every single attack is aimed at breaking its armor down to 0 or close. small hits do nothing for he heals quickly. then he will insta-kill the first two-three-four of your guys, but that's alright with his armor dropped now all it takes is one or two attacks to send him crying back underground with his black tail between his legs. just time it so your ranged units are useful at full effect, puncture and all of that. no worries about injured characters, no nothing, pretty mindless combat just hit him with everything you've got.

Than
01-25-2014, 12:31 AM
I have to be honest, I'm not sure I'm playing the same game. Most of my characters are level 1, and I only have a few items that dropped during gameplay. All of my Varl are heavily injured, so I'm left with a few humans. Ludin is level 4. The Dredge slaughter them all, no matter who or what I field. I honestly don't think I've lost that many fights throughout the game (IE, less XP than other players)--probably no more than 30% or so. The Dredge form a phalanx around Bellower, who just kills any character in a single hit.

What the hell am I doing wrong? I'll second the sentiment that this game has gone from entertaining to just plain frustrating. It's incredibly depressing and beautiful at the same time...and yet in a meta sense I'm about ready to walk away from it.

Rensei
01-25-2014, 06:13 AM
Phase 1 (the phase of Silver Arrow):
- move heavy armored, +aggro equipped tank (Morgr or Egil preferably) forward
- move two +break equipped archers behind him
- move the silver arrow bearer after them
- close the round with varl of Your preference positioning him right behind the archers to counter knockback
- wait for Bello to close in while taking pot shots at the enemies, preventing the hardest hitting ones from actually killing Your tank
- when Bello closes in move with archer division: break + willpower, break + willpower, arrow

Phase 2 (the even simpler one):
- form a defensive wall out of tank and varl, hide the archers behind
- let the dredge do what they want and pass rounds while Bello closes in
- when opportunity presents itself (Bello moves so far archers can reach him from behind tanks, his own dredge made a corridor that You can plug with tank etc.) do a (possibly ranged) break on him
- keep breaking while You are relatively safe, spend all willpower, click on Bello to see his movement grid and check for safe spots for Your archers
- if You were lucky/smart with the positioning, You can start taking his str down before he oneshots anyone, but don't panic if 2-3 of Your heroes die
- with enough armor gone You need really only one str attack to reduce him to 10 or less hp, and turning the battle into: Your strong guy moves, his 10str, low armor Bello moves, Your strong girl moves, his 10 str, low armor Bello moves, etc - if You can lose THAT, TBS is not for You.

DON'T: bother with bodyguards, waste willpower on bodyguards, block Your own units (easier with less varl), leave Your units in positions where Bello's knockback will push them too far to attack and break the You-Bello-You-Bello chain and most of all DON'T overthink the battle (saw a guy who never bothered to check Bello's abilities, only to decide he needs to kill ALL bodyguards to counter his P2 enrage, once he finally noticed).

Bastilean
01-25-2014, 12:40 PM
Phase 1 (the phase of Silver Arrow):
- move heavy armored, +aggro equipped tank (Morgr or Egil preferably) forward
- move two +break equipped archers behind him
- move the silver arrow bearer after them
- close the round with varl of Your preference positioning him right behind the archers to counter knockback
- wait for Bello to close in while taking pot shots at the enemies, preventing the hardest hitting ones from actually killing Your tank
- when Bello closes in move with archer division: break + willpower, break + willpower, arrow

Phase 2 (the even simpler one):
- form a defensive wall out of tank and varl, hide the archers behind
- let the dredge do what they want and pass rounds while Bello closes in
- when opportunity presents itself (Bello moves so far archers can reach him from behind tanks, his own dredge made a corridor that You can plug with tank etc.) do a (possibly ranged) break on him
- keep breaking while You are relatively safe, spend all willpower, click on Bello to see his movement grid and check for safe spots for Your archers
- if You were lucky/smart with the positioning, You can start taking his str down before he oneshots anyone, but don't panic if 2-3 of Your heroes die
- with enough armor gone You need really only one str attack to reduce him to 10 or less hp, and turning the battle into: Your strong guy moves, his 10str, low armor Bello moves, Your strong girl moves, his 10 str, low armor Bello moves, etc - if You can lose THAT, TBS is not for You.

DON'T: bother with bodyguards, waste willpower on bodyguards, block Your own units (easier with less varl), leave Your units in positions where Bello's knockback will push them too far to attack and break the You-Bello-You-Bello chain and most of all DON'T overthink the battle (saw a guy who never bothered to check Bello's abilities, only to decide he needs to kill ALL bodyguards to counter his P2 enrage, once he finally noticed).
I attacked the Strength 18 guy once reducing his strength to 10, just to reduce his damage to my party. The other dredge do not do enough dmg to bother with. Otherwise the above advice is exactly how I did it.

Corvino
01-26-2014, 07:08 PM
Archers with high Armor Break and Exertion are the way to go really. You can often hit him for good amounts of Armor break from range and watch him impotently wander around behind his own allies. You do need to have built up your archers throughout the game though (which I didn't do first time around). First time I had a melee heavy party at level 3-4. It was not pretty.

*Edit* Also, has anyone tried using Ludin against Bellower? Bellower likes to walk around a lot especially after using his AOE knockback/stun, so he might end up very susceptible to the bleed effect from Impale even without his Armor being broken.

Daniel M. Kane
01-27-2014, 08:27 PM
Archers with high Armor Break and Exertion are the way to go really. You can often hit him for good amounts of Armor break from range and watch him impotently wander around behind his own allies. You do need to have built up your archers throughout the game though (which I didn't do first time around). First time I had a melee heavy party at level 3-4. It was not pretty.

*Edit* Also, has anyone tried using Ludin against Bellower? Bellower likes to walk around a lot especially after using his AOE knockback/stun, so he might end up very susceptible to the bleed effect from Impale even without his Armor being broken.
I cannot overstate how useful I found any way to do 2+ strength damage that ignored armor (bleeds, grudgewielder knockback, zero-deflect item + willpower for damage, Yrsa's coals, Hakon's guaranteed 2str + 1br with rank 1 special). If Odd is still alive, her traps do hefty minimum damage and, of course, halt his turn.

Surtr
01-29-2014, 09:42 AM
I just finished my second playthrough. Once again, I was unable to beat the two Bellower fights on normal. I think I could do it if there weren't so many other dredge covering him. But now he just lurks behind the others, performs the occasional bellow, and when my heroes finally get through the thick wall of stone or whatever the dredge are made of, they are all so beaten up that Mr. Bellower simply crushes them with a single blow.

I even leveled up Omelette the Useless Archer just for this final battle, but it didn't help much.

On the other hand, if I turn difficulty down to easy, the Bellower fight is like a walk in park. I didn't lose anybody against him on easy.

There seems to be a massive gap in challenge between these two difficulty levels. In my case, it means that normal is too hard, but easy is really too easy. It's not fun to play in either case.

EDIT: I'm thinking the difficulty level has been made with the expert Factions players in mind. It seems they complain that the game is still too easy. But many others, who have no experience from Factions, are having trouble. I'm not sure this has been a good design decision. At least not balanced.

Colleteral_Skystrike
01-29-2014, 10:32 AM
On my first playthrough, I had two failures before I finally beat Bellower. Some things I took from it:


You need to take special care arranging the turnorder within your lineup. The units with the best armor break need to act before silver arrow bearer.
Within the battle it is curcial that Bellower never gets to move directly before the silver arrow bearer. If that happens you are trapped in a vicious circle: You break Bellower's armor but he replenishes it before the silver arrow can be shot (this was the cause of my defeats). Ideally, you make sure the turn order goes the other way around. The silver arrow bearer should have his turn prior to Bellower.
In consequence, you need to be very careful not to kill Bellower's support dredge (or at least as few as possible). Maiming is your friend here more than ever. The more support dredge stay alive the more turns you get to break Bellower's armor before he can replenish it again. Moreover, this will limit the damage to your lineup since the other dredge aren't nearly as deadly as Bellower.
With a lot of support dredge alive it can get crowed which could make it difficult for your close combat units to get to Bellower. Iver's battering ram ability can be very helpful to clear the way.
Possibly the most crucial unit in this fight is Egil however. A rank 5 Egil using the Raidmaster special ability on top of maxed armor (as well as armor enhancing items (that fish chainmail got mine to 17 armor)) is the only unit that can absorb Bellower's attacks without a scratch. My strategy in every single battle in this game was to put Egil first in my lineup, charge forward and stonewall. Although the AI on normal/hard isn't all bad and will try to find another target but if you position Egil as a roadblock it will end up attacking him and waste precious attacks on him.
Mogr who has active and passive abilities allowing for increased armor break is another good choice (besides the fact that he is a good damage soaker as well).
The game forces a two archer setup upon you for this battle (Rook + Alette), I would recommend either bringing Eyvind (for his capability to inflict str damage without a prior armor break on multiple targets) or a third archer allowing you to attack Bellower at range without having to get his support dredge out of the way first. Alternatively, your last unit should be another varl. However I would recommend taking those with high armor (the old one-eyed varl) over those with high strength. High strength varl like Hakon or the tempest wielders pose the risk of killing support dredge rather than maiming them. The most useless units are the two spearmen (too squishy to soak the damage for a two archer setup). The other human shieldbearers (Backbiter, Trashers, ...) aren't as effective as a robust varl, either.
It also helps to make sure to level the right units prior to the last fight. In my first playthrough, I didn't have Egil anymore and the one of the twin trasher which I had chosen to level up had died as well. Mogr and the one-eyed varl were still relatively low rank, ...

Surtr
01-29-2014, 10:45 AM
Too bad Egil has a habit of dying before the final chapter. :(

I'm not sure I wish to play the game again just to try different leveled up heroes in the final battle. It seems like you have to play the game in a certain way from Chapter 1 if you intend to succeed in the final encounter. Obviously either my team or my skills as a player (probably both!) are inadequate for the challenge. It's frustrating that I can play all the other chapters and battles on normal and win most of the time, but the final fight is too much.

I don't wish to feel too frustrated when playing video games. But if there's no challenge at all, it isn't fun either.

In my opinion, the Bellower fight it the worst part of the game. Otherwise it's a great experience.

Mierko
01-30-2014, 03:09 AM
I purposely left all of my Varl campaign characters at R3 apart from Hakon as he was carrying the 5 ring necklace. This allowed me a massive renown boost once they showed up and gave me 97 Renown total in preparation for The Bellower. Rook, Alette, Odd, Egil, Iver, Krumr and Eyvind were already Rank 5. This boost of Renown allowed me to choose from almost any of my reserve heroes to rank up. I ended up with the following..

Note: I chose Bersi over Gunnulf because Gunnulf is a paper tiger with low WP. In this fight you aren't picking on fodder it is a slugfest. I intend on giving it another go with Krumr, who is my favorite Varl, but I wanted to be ready to deal AOE if needed. It wasn't.

Round 1 - Hard Mode
Bersi (10/16 AR/ST, + rank 5 str/dodge shard)
Mogr (18 armor + gold necklace = 5AB base)
Iver (+3 AB belt)
Rook (+2 AB pin)
Alette (+2 Move, -1 Aggro feather)
Eyvind (+3 Will, +1Will per turn trinket box)

I planned and had max morale when I entered the city. I line up on the eastern side with Bersi halfway lined up with the big blue dredge. This way he and Mogr can both walk directly into him without wasting exertion.

Bersi moves first to hit the eastern most blue dredge down to 17STR.

Bellower will Bellow..

Mogr moves up and hits the same blue dredge with his ability at max > 7 AB with up to 4 AB when hit.

purple dredge should stand next to the blue and attack Mogr's 19 armor.

Move Iver into place so you have 3 varl with spaces for your humans to weave as needed.

From there you have a defensive wall with solid AB on two of them and the third on the flank for the damage. Just keep rebuilding your formation after each Bellow.

Spam archers and armor break until you can fire off the silver arrow.

On Hard Eyvind only shot lightning once. He was spamming the armor buff on Mogr almost every turn.With max morale and the +3 WP item he has 17 WP! Armor spam ftw.

Round 2 is super easy.. the first time I played the game I thought I had to kill ALL the Dredge and ended up lowering the difficulty to Easy. Playing it on Hard and knowing you only need to down The Bellower made a world of difference. Build your line of Varl, spam AB and you can hit him for 15+ if Alette is stationary when she gets a shot. Just time that Puncture and he is a cake walk.

Colleteral_Skystrike
01-30-2014, 10:49 AM
It seems like you have to play the game in a certain way from Chapter 1 if you intend to succeed in the final encounter. Obviously either my team or my skills as a player (probably both!) are inadequate for the challenge. It's frustrating that I can play all the other chapters and battles on normal and win most of the time, but the final fight is too much.

No you don't. I believe the last battle is winnable with pretty much any character combo (as long as they are levelled up). Like I said in my first playthrough I had lost a lot of characters (including Egil, Gunnulf, Mogun, Onef, Fassolt, ...). There are only two characters that are forced on you: Rook and Alette. These two should indeed be levelled up. But using Rook is never a hardship since he is one of the strongest characters in the game and Alette is a solid archer (a lot of people find her useless, but in my opinion she has a pretty decent special ability).

What I outlined are just my thoughts on setups that make the last battle easier. They are in no way the only way to win it. There are two crucial rules however:

Avoid killing Bellowers support dredge. You need to maim the most dangerous ones, though.
Make sure that Bellower never moves up in the turn order so far that he gets to act in front of the silver arrow bearer. If that happens you have lost the battle since he will have regenerated his armor before the arrow bearer gets to act. You will have to break his armor again and again. The only way to break that vicious circle is to lose so many of your units that the arrow bearer overtakes Bellower in the turn order again. But with that kind of loses you likely not have enough units to beak his armor any longer. A good method to prevent this from happening (even if you kill a few support dredge) is to put the arrow bearer 1st or 2nd in your lineup.

CSRosewood
01-31-2014, 03:42 PM
Actually 2nd in your line up is the worst spot. From all my playthroughs, you are always given the first turn... followed by their first in their line up, the Bellower, meaning, whoever you put in the 1st slot is guarantee to go right before bellower.

But if you have Egil, I'd make him first, put Godscale on him, max his armor and run him past the two giant stoneguards (this is on hard mind you, don't know what you face on other settings). It's just close enough to let Bellower get a shot at him and if you used his special ability, he'll soak all the damage and you avoided that first turn bellow that negates one of your guys turns and -1/-1 armor strength to everybody.