This guide will explain a lot of game basics in detail.
Guide to Basics
In battles, click “Settings” to determine how long battles take. “Click,” the default setting, waits for you to manually advance every attack, which is great for seeing if new units are working out and initial immersion but horrible for getting through the game quickly. Pick whatever pace works for you.
After Chapter 1, you can choose the order in which you attack the other four nations. I believe the easiest path is:
- Folk -> Glads -> Thrudheim -> Valhalla.
Need to Save
Save at the start of every single turn. You have 99 save files. Use them. Save scumming is a viable option if you suck as badly as I do, since damage and post-battle loot are somewhat randomized.
About a Girl
Any time you get a new girl (and on the first turn for Fena), click “Call” -> Mingle and / or Train. Nothing happens immediately, they just light up, but leave them on for a few turns and you’ll get events.
Note: Mingle / Train stats will not increase beyond an event trigger until you have actually viewed an event, so try to keep up with these. The Call button changes colors when you have an event available.
You have two “interaction points” per girl per turn. If you select Mingle or Train alone, that stat will increase by 2. If you select both, each will increase by 1, and if you select neither then neither will increase (duh).
You have 6 Action Points per turn. AP is only consumed by:
- Hiring new units.
- Triggering actual events via Call (not just turning Mingle / Train off and on).
Make sure you attack as your last act, because attacking ends the turn.
When Summon a Creature
Only ever summon a creature when it has a purple XD face. This gives +4 to Attack, Defense, and Speed as well as +1 to Morale, and also makes the initial summon cost (in food or magic) cheaper.
You’ll get a rating based primarily on your conquering speed at the end of each chapter, with higher ratings (i.e. a lower turn count) yielding additional resources. You’ll have to choose how to balance finishing quickly with taking your time to build up.
New Dark Army Option
The “New Dark Army” option available if you start a new game when prompted after winning (not from the main menu) allows you to keep some special commander units. Further, if you’re going the Law route, corrupting even one goddess seems to lock you out of the harem ending. Therefore, the “best” way to play the game is probably 1) Reign & Pure Love on Normal+; and then 2) Conquest & Corruption on Hard+.
Dragonstrike and Other Medallion Titles
The Dragonstrike title (given by a Spear medallion in the first slot) is hilariously overpowered at the start. For 250 resources, you gain +16 Attack and 5 Helmet Split (ignore Defense) with no downsides. For most early game units, this will more than double their Attack. This falls off rather quickly, though, as in the mid-game and beyond party synergy and boosts are more important.
Be careful with medallion titles; some are offered on several different medallions at wildly varying cost points. Most egregiously, if you want the Indestructible title, you could spend 12,000 resources on an Apostle medallion or 750 on an Undead one. Not a hard choice.
This you can buy as many Tier 1 and Tier 2 items as you want (in the “Arms” screen) but anything higher requires 10 of the appropriate Material per item. You get Material from selling Ore, which you mostly get from using troops with the Bounty Hunter skill to wipe out enemy squads – it’s important that your treasure team be the one to actually finish off the enemy team, as you get nothing but XP if they merely damage them. By default, Ore is auto-sold on pickup for Material and Gold.
You can move entire squads at once (to ensure different squads get to participate in encounter battles) by clicking and dragging the squad numbers around in the Arrange screen. Similarly, you can heal entire squads by clicking the squad number in the Plan screen.
Growth, Cost and Loyalty / Triumph
S-tier growth enables a unit to reach level 150 and take titles from any medallion on summon. Max level decreases by 10 and medallion range decreases by 1 per letter grade, so the units with the strongest base stats have the lowest add-on potential.
"Cost 2" means "it costs 2 gold to heal 1 HP for this unit (in the "Plan" screen)".
Loyalty / Triumph
Loyalty starts at 25, +2 for crushing victories (enemy squad wipe), +1 for normal wins, and -2 for crushing defeats (your squad wipe). Firing a unit copies its loyalty stat to Triumph, which will increase its base stats the next time you hire it. You may want to fire and re-hire every unit at least once before the end of the game, so keep that in mind when spending extra medallions for titles. You’ll want to do it only when you have spare medallions though, as the bonuses aren’t huge. It’s hard to separate loyalty buffs from leveling stat increases, but I believe you get +5 Attack and +5 Defense at Loyalty 50 and +10 Attack and +10 Defense total (so only 5 more of each) at Loyalty 100. The more important aspect of Loyalty is actually that it reduces your per-battle maintenance costs, which otherwise quickly spiral out of control. Your commanders don’t have (visible) Loyalty or Triumph because you can never fire or re-hire them, but I suspect they still track it internally because their maintenance costs can be reduced.
It increases how fast your Force stat fills up in battle. Force is like mana for Tactical Skills – if you don’t have enough you can’t use them. Force carries over between fights and caps at 1000 (shown as 9 plus a full bar). I believe each skill uses one full force bar per level – so “Lvl 3 Vanaheim” costs 300 Force – possibly mitigated by your Morale stat.
Reign / Conquest
It shows how good or evil of a ruler you are, as determined by your choices in various cutscenes/events. This, along with the girls’ corruption and affection stats, affects the ending(s) you get. Your current rating is visible on the “Call” screen.
Key of Destiny
After Chapter 1, you’ll start getting these. They’re used from Arms -> Materials to summon units without medallions, but give you their base (neutral) stats rather than the +4s you’re aiming for. If you use 10 at once, though, you get access to insanely good units you’d otherwise never be able to summon on your first playthrough due to medallion unlock requirements.
How to Build
Go to the Build screen, then click and drag the desired building to an appropriate plot (based on Land Type).
Other Useful Tips
- Unless you actually lose your last territory (triggering a game over), nothing can actually die for good, so don’t worry about losing units in combat aside from party wipes, which cost loyalty.
- The default squads 3 and 4 are straight garbage and I cannot recommend using them – or any part of them – under any circumstances.
- Don’t worry too much about the additional maintenance costs from medallion titles. Maintenance goes up a ton with level anyway, and the extra from the titles actually decreases over time. I tested a Mountain Man and his base maintenance increased by 30 from level 1 to level 10, while maintenance for various titles decreased from 8->6, 4->3, and 17->13. Also, the stat gains from titles increase with level just as base stats do. As far as I can tell title stats are NOT affected by triumph.
- “Boost Action” is not nearly as good as it sounds. By default, both armies have 5 rounds in each main battle. “Boost Action 1” would mean you get 6. However, very few fights actually last that long. It does not mean you get 2 turns for every 1 of the enemy’s.
- You can have a maximum of 12 non-Commander units of any given class (Blader, Guarder, etc). If you hit that cap and want to summon more, you’ll need to fire someone you’re no longer using.