PS3 Walkthroughs: Bladestorm: The Hundred Years War Walkthrough

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Bladestorm: The Hundred Years War Walkthrough

Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War
General FAQ
by deathfisaro, Duneman, & john_h_rand (editor)
depiguard-gamefaqs [at] yahoo.co.kr
john_h_rand [at] hotmail.com

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Table of Contents:

[General Information Q&A]
[Specific Mission Information]
[Control Schemes]
[Creating Your Mercenary]
[The Tavern Menu]
[The Battle Field Menu]
[Squad Types]
[Unit Effectiveness]
[Unit Icons]
[Bladestorm]
[Unit Status Effects]
[Battlefield Loot]
[Default Mission Information]
[Story Missions]
[Request Missions]
[Fame]
[Inventory Management]
[Items] 
[General Unit Information]
[Power Leveling Units]
[Getting Across the Map]
[Non-combat Strategy Issues]
[General Combat Advice] 

Note:  Copy and paste any of the above, including the brackets, to quickly
jump to your desired section.  

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Introduction: 
This is just a quick document to get the ball rolling on the GameFAQ's board 
and start a collaborative effort to get a comprehensive FAQ done, and I've 
attempted to attribute where it's due & individuals who answered my questions 
directly on the GameFAQ's board.  

deathfisaro contributed his starter faq, and he's the better, more concise 
writer, so bear with my 1st attempt.  I found the Q&A format to be helpful in 
organizing my thoughts, but it is an ugly organizational style.

Duneman has contributed via the GameFAQ's board to such a degree that I think 
the last 1/3rd was his work.

DISCLAIMER:

There is almost no plot related information in this FAQ.  As discussed below, 
activate all of the '!' gossip and successfully complete all of the '!' 
missions to advance the plot.

Also, the editor *has not* found either the firearm or engineering book, and is 
relying on the Gamefaqs Boards for information.
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[General Information Q&A]  

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Q.  Is this just like Dynasty Warriors?
A.  No. 
(deathfisaro) This game is different from Dynasty/Samurai Warriors or Kessen 
series. It's made by Omega Force as well so you will see resemblance but think 
of Bladestorm as a brand new franchise with its own play style.
Go check the glossary for the terms I'll be using for this guide. They may not
be official terms, so I don't want to confuse you and hence the glossary.

(john_h_rand) This is more like Dynasty Warriors 'Create-a-Warrior' (CAW) spun 
off into a strategy/action RPG focused on rock-paper-scissors style squad based 
combat.  The main difference is that Bladestorm does not have *any* fighting 
game elements because you hold down the Right-Bumper to enter 'Attack Mode' and 
swing once a second or so instead of pressing a button to swing your sword -- 
the only variation being special attacks that all have a 'cool-down' time of 
several seconds; so that makes it a unique game-play mechanic.  The base 
capturing mechanic at the core of the mission objectives is straight-up Dynasty 
Warriors though (slightly kinder, as losing a 'main-camp' doesn't do anything 
except mean you need to swing back & re-take it).

Q.  Do I play as Joan of Arc, Cao-Cao, or other historical figures?  
A. No. It's strictly CAW.  I think because the armor obscures your avatar's 
head, Koei was a little lazy in providing appearance & voice options.
 
Q.  I want to support the English/French exclusively; can I avoid fighting for 
one side? 
A.  Apparently not, as there are certain story battles that will introduce main 
characters which must be completed successfully, and if not completed will 
prevent later stories from spawning. (Though this hasn't been proven by 
experiment.) 
 
Q. Does the game 'end' at the completion of the story arc?  
A. No, the side-plots continue afterwards for the misc. characters.  You do get 
a 'super-sword' for beating the story mode with one faction or the other: 
England: The Sword Excalibur  
France: The Sword Durandal.

Q. Does the game get any harder? I've been laying waste to all that I purvey 
for hours now.  
A. The difficulty increases after you max-out your fame; after the main story 
arc is completed, there are 'Red Star' missions, with ten total stars, and 
usually 2-4 red stars on the right.  These missions have base-unit levels of 
around 75, and base commanders at level 90.  This seems to function as 'Chaos 
Mode' for all intents and purposes, and all of the 'story-request' missions are 
on these stages after you clear the main story.

Q.  What are the most effective/recommended units?
A.  Honestly, almost any unit except for pikes, knives, & rapiers can tear 
through the opposition if they are 10+ levels different & have maxed skills.  
As a related note: there is a 'random quest' reward for maxing out swords, 
bows, and spears.

The Game-Faq's board favorites seem to be:
-Cavalry: it is the most destructive & difficult to kill unit.  Cavalry 
also power-levels very quickly because it can get experience via combo's 
though it has difficulty assassinating individual units. 

-Sword&Shield & Greatsword: for being able to dispatch cavalry relatively 
easily for an infantry unit, and being able to survive most 
'disadvantaged' battles through max-skill usage. 

-Spear&Shield: as having few weaknesses and similar benefits to swords.

-Double Swords: as all of their actions are offensive in nature.

-Bows: their ability to panic enemy squads, making them run around in 
circles while you continue to pepper them with arrows.  They can also 
attack much higher level units and survive, which is usually instantly 
fatal to melee units.

Q.  Which version, PS3 or Xbox 360 is better?
A.  If you're not a total achievement-hound, the PS3 version is better.  The 
PS3 version has the option to load the game to the hard-drive to facilitate 
loading times.  The 360 version has two technical issues: a tendency to 
randomly crash & has brightness issues without a menu option to change it, as 
the morning and nighttime portions can get so dark that your screen is black 
when you're staring at a wall looking for a way into a Castle.  

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[Specific Mission & Item Information]

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--Marc&George Supply Cart Seek&Destroy Mission--
Capture the base next to the carts to have a place to refill your health and 
grab more units. If you are lucky, Marc's forces will be depleted by the time
you return.

--The Spears Tome-
The last page of the 'Spears' book is a quest-related item for killing one of 
every unit type.  

--The 12 Gems--
The gems seem to be a rare item drop from defeating merc-commanders. 3 Gems are 
quest specific:
-The initial gem from the Barkeep
-The one gem is a reward for 'donating' to the bankrupt Merchant three 
different times in the Tavern.
-The last gem, late in the game, when you get gossip about a witch and 
receive a mission to find her.  The witch turns out to be an Indian girl. After 
many gossip sessions, she gives you the stone.  Afterwards, you get a Merchant 
discount of 15%, and (unconfirmed) another mission from the barkeep. 

--The Aegis Shards & The Blacksmith--
The shards seem to be a very-rare random drop, (possibly from base-loot & 
completing the objective within a few minutes) Once all of the shards are 
collected, the blacksmith will return with an infantry shield that's +20 vs. 
all damage types. 
 
--The 'Cultured Gentleman'--  
This quest requires you to sell some large amount of art work.  He eventually 
gives you a 'Lucky Rabbit's Foot' detailed under Special Items below.

--Aid John Talbot & the Escape of John Fastolf--
This mission gives you two objectives, Aid John Fastolf's Escape and defend two 
2 frontline bases with John Talbot. As soon as the level starts you have La 
Hire and Joan of Arc attacking the base, *DO NOT* attack them and defend the 
base.  Instead, escort John Fastolf 1st.  Aiding the Escape will take the 
entire day.  After he has escaped, complete the Base capture mission normally.

--The Explosives (Firearms) Book-
This is a story-request by Christina, apparently it involves 2 fetch quests and 
one commander-escort mission. I've been doing endgame for a long while now, & 
haven't had it spawn yet.

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[Control Schemes]

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[Normal Controls]
Left stick - Move
Right stick - Look
'A' Button - select highlighted squad *or* deselect current squad.
'X' Button - weapon specific special attacks
'B' Button - weapon specific special attacks
'Y' Button - weapon specific special attacks
Right Bumper: Attack Mode (Not applicable to Pikes or Bows)
Right Trigger: Zoom/Focus Mini-map
Left Bumper: Activate Penneon Selection Menu - Penneons are mapped to the 'X' 
'B' & 'Y' buttons.
Left Bumper: Activate Merc-squad Selection Menu - Squads are mapped to the 'X' 
'B' & 'Y' buttons

[Generic Ranged Controls]
Left stick - Move, Looks in Aim-mode.
Right stick - Look, Not used in Aim-mode.
'X' Button - Sets firing stance & enters Aim-Mode. 'X' fires once in Aim Mode.
'Y' Button - Sets firing aim stance - effect varies depending on Unit.
'B' Button - Usually activates a limited time, passive enhancement. 
'A' Button - Exit Aim-mode and return to movement mode.
Right Bumper - Not used by ranged squads, replaced by the 'Y' button.
Right Trigger: Zoom/Focus Mini-map
Left Bumper: Activate Penneon Selection Menu - Penneons are mapped to the 'X' 
'B' & 'Y' buttons.
Left Bumper: Activate Merc-squad Selection Menu - Squads are mapped to the 'X' 
'B' & 'Y' buttons

The Bows & Horsebows squads do not have a default melee attack, and can only 
attack using the buttons.  The same applies for Longspears and a number of
more exotic units available later in the game.  

Aim-Mode: In the case of bows, your unit is locked in place when you activate 
any ranged attack.  To exit aim-mode after a special attack until you press 
'A,' after which a second press releases the squad.  Bows are the only 
unit where the 'A' press is contextual--allowing movement if you've been locked 
down, releasing the squad if you're already in movement mode.  

Target Ratio: If the attack allows for aim, a fraction will appear on the top 
of the screen informing you how many units are currently targeted.  This can be 
helpful to either insure that you're hitting as many of the enemy squad as 
possible *or* to know roughly how many arrows you will send into an enemy 
commander.  If it reads 0/10(or 30) you can still manually aim a volley to
strike well beyond the auto-targetting range.  This is great for Crossbows.

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[Creating your Mercenary]

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You are a mercenary in the Hundred Years' War period. You can create your 
avatar with the options of:
-Male/Female
-8 faces for each gender
-3 voices for each gender
Gender/face/voice doesn't affect gameplay AT ALL. 

In the battlefields, you are the commander of small number of troops. 

Basic flow of the game is Pub -> Battle Preparation menu -> Battlefield -> 
After battle wrap-up -> Repeat

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[The Tavern Menu]

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The Tavern is the place you'll spend most of your time when not in battle.  
After any story related cut-scenes automatically play, it has the following 
menu options: 

Contracts:
The Mission Selection Screen: Rated in difficulty by Stars from 1-15, with 11 
and above are unlocked after completing the main story and are marked with a 
red star on the right.  For missions types, see below.

Status:
You can change your equipment, flags, and spend SP you acquired for classes and
check your inventory.  

Merchant:
You can buy and sell equipment, flags, and items. Sometimes merchant will sell
you interesting things such as a rare item or a book that allows you to control
new troops.  He'll say, "I have something here which might be of interest to
you."  This can also include rare weapons or armor not normally available.

Recruit:
Hire units, so you can have an advantage at the battlefield. Hiring will cost 
you and they have limited number of summons, if you use up you'll have to buy
them again.

Gossip:
When there's something interesting going on, "!" mark will appear on top of 
talk menu. Usually there is a mini-cutscene and triggers events, quests that 
can be completed on any map, or just give you information that will foreshadow 
an upcoming mission. Sometimes non-related skits are acted out, to add flavor
to the game, they are limited and will eventually repeat.

Diary:
You can check what's happening during the war, who's involved and such.  It
also contains some gameplay statistics and the lets you view the character
models for the different factions.

System:
Save, Settings, & quit.

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[The Battle Field Menu]

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There is a pre-mission/during mission menu.

Deploy/Objectives: 
This option displays the main map and where you select your starting base.  If 
you have a request attached to your mission, press the Right Bumper to show the 
relevant information for the request, ad map location if marked.

Status: 
This is the same as the bar screen.  Pre-mission is the only time you can make 
any changes to your equipment or books.  Although you can upgrade units after
each day of fighting.

Unit Info: 
Displays the main map and locations all commanders & squads for each faction 
(French, English, Mercenary), listing their squad type, level, and location.

Log (during mission only): 
A record of all messages displayed during battle & relevant message location.

Retreat: 
Ends the Mission with a 50% fame penalty.  You keep any battle field loot & 
"story-requests" are still considered completed.

System:
Save, Settings, & Quit.

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[Squad Types]

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There are 17 classes in total. Each class has its own level, support skills and
action skills. You need a book of the class in order to command them, you'll 
acquire the books along the way.

There are "Elite Versions" of each squad type that are either plainly named 
"Elite" or are otherwise exotic, such as 'South China Spearmen' or 'Rogue 
Ninja'.  Elite Units may have the following: 
- Better Armor (basic 'Elite' unit)
- Immunity to certain Status Conditions (Look at the name of the ability 
and match it to a status effect For Example: "Mind Guard" units 
cannot be panicked or charmed). 

The list of squad types are as follows:
1.  Short Sword
2.  Rapier
3.  Longsword
4.  Spear
5.  Pike
6.  Cavalry
7.  Halberd
8.  Axe
9.  Mace
10. Bow/Crossbow
11. Cavalry Archer
12. Camel
13. War Elephant
14. Chariot
15. Expolsives
16. Magic
17. Engineer

Books have pages, called 'Tomes' in the manual, which are about units. Each 
class has 1 or more units. (For example, in the book of cavalry, there are 4 
units -sword, spear, lance, and halberd)

If you have a book with pages missing, you can still command those units that 
belong to the page, but you won't be able to level up their action skills.
Support skills are shared by all units of the book. But are independent on each 
book.

Also, each unit has to be equipped by weapons and shield separately instead of
shared by the book. All units come with default equipment.

Below is the strength chart. Certain classes are strong against some other, and
weak against some other as well. It's your best interest to remember which 
class is strong against which.

The number corresponds to the number listed above

    Enemy    1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17
You
 1           -   -  XX  XX   O   X  OO   -   -   O   -   X   X   -   O   O   X
 2           -   -  XX  XX   -   X   O  OO  OO   O   -   X   X   -   X   O   X
 3          OO  OO   -   X   -   X   X   -   -   -   -   X   X   -   -   O   X
 4          OO  OO   O   -   -   X   X   X   -   -   -   X   X   -   -   O   X
 5           X   -   -   -   -  OO   X   X   -   -  OO   O   O   -   -   O   X
 6           O   O   O   O  XX   -   -   O   X  XX   X   X   -   -   -   X   O
 7          XX   X   O   O   O   -   -   -   O   X   X   -   X   -   -   O   X
 8           -  XX   -   O   O   X   -   -   X   -   -   -   X   O   -   O   X
 9           -  XX   -   -   -   O   X   O   -   -   -   -   X   O   -   O   X
10           X   X   -   -   -  OO   O   -   -   -   -   O   O   X   -   X   O
11           -   -   -   -  XX   O   O   -   -   -   -   O   O   X   O   X   O
12           O   O   O   O   X   O   -   -   -   X   X   -   -   -   X   X   O
13           O   O   O   O   X   -   O   O   O   X   X   -   -   -   X   X   O
14           -   -   -   -   -   -   -   X   X   O   O   -   -   -   X   X   O
15           X   O   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   X   O   O   O   -   X   O
16           X   X   X   X   X   O   X   X   X   O   O   O   O   O   O   -   X
17           O   O   O   O   O   X   O   O   O   X   X   X   X   X   X   O   -

OO: Your class is extremely advantageous against the enemy class
 O: Your class is advantageous against the enemy class
 -: Neither side has any advantage
 X: Enemy class is advantageous against your class
XX: Enemy class is extremely advantageous against your class

Note: For the last 5 classes (#12-#17) don't appear in the manual, there's no
way to figure out if it's OO or O, so I just used single O's and X's. You still
get the idea right?

You can also press Select while playing to view the chart for the squad 
currently under your command.  Also, unit icons that are greyed out are not 
present for the enemy in the current contract.
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[Unit Effectiveness]

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This game seems to have a 'soft' & 'hard' counter system where certain units 
can absolutely decimate a small number of units but are destroyed very easily 
by most other units. Example: Pike-men are anti-cavalry and nothing else; as 
opposed to a sword squad, which can survive some pitched battles with heavy-
armor squads & cavalry if leveled & skilled up.

Also, even if you're a power unit such as cavalry, if you're disadvantaged 
against a particular squad, then you have difficulty even hitting them.  This 
is why cavalry seem to "magically" run around archers while doing a full 
charge, and archers cannot damage a lightly armored woman with a raipier at 
point blank range.

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[Unit Icons]                                                                   

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In battle, French are always indicated by blue, and English are always 
indicated by red. Do not confuse the colors as ally/enemy, If you're on French 
side blue is ally, if you're on English side blue is enemy.

--Troop Commanders--
All troops have commanders marked with a class icon, and defeating commanders 
will cause the any remaining member of that troop to flee. 

--Class Icon Information
Class Type: a small graphic representing which book is needed to command the 
unit. If there's a shield behind it, defeating them will cause their base 
durability to decrease by 1 or 3, if the unit was a named character.

Unit Strength: stars ranging from 1 to 3. It denotes how many
member are in the troop. 
*   = 10 or less
**  = 10-20
*** = 20-30.

Unit Level relative to your level:
Red         	+10  levels above your level.  
Orange		+5-9 levels above your level.
White		+/-4 levels of your level.
Light Blue	-5-9 levels below of your level.
Blue		-10  levels below your level.

--Unit Effectiveness-
Enemy class icons may glow in green or red. If it glows green, it means the 
class you're currently commanding is advantageous against them, if it glows 
red, it means the enemy class is advantageous against you. See the table for 
specific unit information.

--Damage Display--
If the damage display is on, numbers will appear on screen
White: Your troop caused that amount of damage to the enemy unit.
Yellow: Your troop caused that amount of damage and killed the enemy unit.
Pink: Enemy troop caused that amount of damage to your unit.
Red: Enemy troop caused that amount of damage and killed your unit.

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[Bladestorm]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Killing enemies boost your morale. When morale is filled, you go into 
Bladestorm mode. For 30 seconds you become invincible (You won't receive ANY 
damage) all your stats (Attack, movement, skill cool-down recovery speed) 
double.

-Deer
Sometimes it will seems that your Bladestorm gauge fills at random. This is 
caused by deer around the map, when you touch them, they'll grant you 20% 
increase to morale (So 5 touches will guarantee bladestorm mode).

-Wine
Also sometimes enemies drop wine. Grab that item and it will fill your morale 
to max, immediately activating bladestorm. You can even drink wine during 
bladestorm mode to keep it going, if you can find one extra.

-Chalice
A rare drop that completely fills both health and morale.
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[Unit Status Effects]

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Burn: Constantly lose hp, but it won't kill you.
Poison: Cannot attack.
Freeze: Freeze, and receive less damage while kept inside ice.
Faint: Cannot move or attack.
Charm: Start attacking allies.
Rage: When provoked, go towards the troop that provoked.
Evade: Evade enemy attacks by some chance.
Panic: Cannot attack, run around in panic.
Barrier: Block one attack no matter what damage.
Life leech: Transfer part of damage done to own life
Attack up/down: Doubles or halves attack
Defense up/down: Doubles or halves defense
Movement up/down: 50% increase or halves movement speed

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[Battlefield Loot]

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--Items--
Wine: Instant Bladestorm
Bread: Recover some HP
Meat: Recover full HP
Chalice: Full recover HP and Bladestorm
Small silver bar stack: 30 D
Small gold bar stack: 60 D
Normal silver bar stack: 90 D
Normal gold bar stack: 150 D
Large silver bar stack: 210 D
Large gold bar stack: 300 D
(D is currency used in Bladestorm)

--Chests--
There are three variations of chests which contain the following:
1. The old worn chest: low value penneons and vendor items (art work, etc...) 
2. The steel-banded chest: higher value penneons ($1,000~ or more) or mid level 
artwork. 
3. The red-chest with a blue-gem 'lock': Rare items, including weapons&armor, 
books, gems, aegis-shards, and The Famous Landscape is the default rare drop 
which both adds to fame and can be sold for 3000 D.

--Quest Items--
These items are surrounded by a white glow & floats above the ground, and are 
usually marked on your objectives map.

--Glowing Troops--
These units drop stacks of Gold or Silver when killed.

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[Default Mission Information]

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--Default Mission Type--

The default mission type is Capture an opponent's base while defending your 
base.  The target bases will be marked with crossed swords, the defending bases 
will be marked with a shield.  Note that if your defending base is taken, you 
can take it back before the contract expires.

--Mission Length--

All missions that are not main-story will have an expiration period in "days".  
Each day is a ten-minute interval.  Some missions will require that you defend 
for 'X' amount of time.  These will usually be successful if you also just 
complete the mission.  When the day ends at "Nightfall" all combat ceases.  

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Bases]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bases are unit spawn points which send a group of squads against specific enemy 
bases.  On the Objective Map, a base will point with an arrow to its target 
base, and a base who is solely defending will have a semi-circle blocking the 
arrow.

Inside each base is a glowing faction icon, Red for English & Blue for France.  
This icon serves as the spawn point for the base commander, your loot for 
defeating the base, and a Health and Ammunition re-supply for your Mercenary.  

--Capturing Bases--
Capturing Bases requires that you 1st spawn then defeat the Base Commander 
leading a Sword&Shield squad.  

Base commanders can be spawned in two ways:
1. Destroy a number of units around a base with a Shield icon equal to 
that base's number on the mini-map (the base 'life bar' is a graphical 
representation of the number of shield units currently remaining.  If a 
base lacks this bar, it cannot be captured.  These are only found on the 
edges of the map)  

2. Follow or clear the path of a friendly squad into the enemy base, 
which will instantly spawn a Base Commander once they get to the faction 
icon that glows on the ground within bases.

If you've destroyed all units within a base and still have not spawned a Base 
Commander, there are 2 possible explanations:
1.  The archers on the wall are still alive, these are always base 
defense units and impossible to engage in melee combat.

2.	A base defense unit went on the attack, and has not been defeated 
yet.  To spawn a new base defense unit pull back a short distance and 
wait several seconds. Strategy wise, it's a good idea to follow the 
road leading to a base in the hope of finding a base defense unit on 
the way.  Use the larger minimap as you leave to look for freshly spawned
columns of troops outside a base, which often contain one defense troop.

--Walled Cities--
The largest bases are actually walled&gated cities which can be breached in one 
of two ways. There are "cracks" in the walls which can be demolished with a 
catapult, a cannon, or a siege tower. Rams will open a gate after sitting in 
front of it for about a 1.5 minutes, or cannons can breach gates if you take
control of them. All of the siege engines will need protection, the only ones 
which are not command-able are the ram and siege tower.

--Unit Effectiveness Based on Base Size-- (By Duneman)
The type of stationed defense troops used tend to vary based on the 'size' of 
the base(its numerical value on the map). 
-Base sizes 3 or 4 tend to be defended by Lady Fencers. 
-Base sizes 5, 6, and 7, tend to have a majority of [Weapon] and Shield units.
-Base sizes 8, 9, or 10 tend to have Halberds and Axes, with Cavalry mixed in
for sizes 9 and 10. 

Any of the smaller bases, 7 and below, will usually have at least one stationed 
squad as a Sword and Shield regardless. 
 
Because the units are predictable, a Spear unit will be effective against bases
sized under 7.  Spears have an advantage over all the typical defending units 
and the base commander. 
For the largest bases, Lady Fencers actually make a good choice. They are quick 
when leveled and make short work of the Halberds and Axes. Simply disengage the 
troop and fight solo when confronted with the commander.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Story Missions]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--Story Missions--
There are three types of story missions: those involving the main plot, those 
which are 'story-requests' attached to other missions, (both denoted by an 
exclamation point on the mission selection screen: '!'), and 'Random Tavern 
Encounters' which either spawn at random or are '!' marked gossip and generate 
a small cut-scene.  

-The story missions will remain in the mission que until you do them, they do 
not have requests attached.  These missions will also stay in the que until you 
successfully complete them, so a retreat doesn't halt the story-line.  You are 
limited to one starting point the 1st day, and the map will usually show you 
the path of travel that the commander-units on your side will take.  

-The 'story-request' missions can disappear if you do not do them at the 1st 
opportunity.  Also, if you don't want to bother with the main mission after 
completing the sub-quest, you can retreat and the story will advance.  Save 
beforehand though, as a retreat before you complete the mission probably closes 
the opportunity.

-Then there are the 'Random Tavern Encounter' mini-cut scenes that can either 
play automatically when you enter the tavern or be a result of '!' marked 
gossip.  The 'Blacksmith' is an example;  These missions can be a preface for a 
story mission which will spawn after you complete your next mission, as only 
one story cut-scene will take place in a tavern visit.  
- The blacksmith is the best example because you can pick up an Aegis 
shard and the scene in the Tavern where he collects it won't play for 20 
missions.  

- Sometimes there are 'goals' given in gossip encounters, and your 
rewards are similarly random as you can do the required action in any 
mission (ex. defeat all enemy commanders).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Request Missions]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note that all squad/unit related objectives will have the unit you need to 
interact with labeled as the 'target unit'.  Also, most objectives will be 
marked on your map. These missions are not official types, but cover most of 
the different scenarios.

--Fetch/Delivery Requests--

-Basic Fetch
You search for an item, usually with a marked point on the map, usually on the 
opposite side of the map from the base you need to take.

-Find & Fetch
Either by having multiple potential locations marked on your screen, or having 
to sequentially visit locations for clues.

--Delivery (a.k.a. Tag-you're-it requests) 
The specified unit is NOT marked one your mini-map prior to the mission. unit 
to which you make the delivery will appear on your screen after a minute or so 
after the battle begins.  The target unit go on the offense and not be tracked 
on the objective map, so you are required to follow the base arrows to find 
them.

To make sure that the message/item is delivered, you are required to touch the 
unit you are making the delivery to.  The unit will spawn in the same place day 
after day, so if you wait a day & the unit is deep within friendly territory, 
you can spawn with the target-unit and save yourself a round trip.


--Escort Requests-- 
These involve getting a unit from point 'A' to point 'B'. 

-Escort a Single unit - Guard a single, delicate unit that rushes through 
enemy bases & formations.
-Escort a squad under your command
       -insuring 1/2 survive. 
       -achieving a certain kill count.
-Escort a commander - Units will randomly spawn and rush the commander 
unit along the path, though the saving grace is that the target unit will 
stop for the attack.
-Escort a non-commanded squad: the target squad follows you while 
attempting to reach a certain kill-count.  Thankfully commander units 
which follow you do not move if you get out of range and give a battle 
field message.

--Base Related Requests--
-Capture
Defeat a base within 3 or 4 minutes of starting a battle.

-Defend
Insure that a location isn't captured for some length of time, usually 
either  1 Day or the length of the contract whole time.  This is more 
easily accomplished by taking all of the surrounding bases which attack 
the target village so the enemy isn't marching in units. 
-Defend from enemy commanders
Defeat the named commanders to complete the mission.

--Misc. Requests--
       -Achieve a certain level of fame at the end of the 1st day.
       -Assassinate specified commanders.

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[Fame]

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Fame is a secondary 'over-all' xp. bar which awards you stars after specific 
intervals. Until you complete the main story portion of the game and get to 5 
stars of fame, you'll be limited in the difficulty of available missions.

--Gaining additional Stars of Fame--
The only way to gain an additional star of game is to complete the story 
battles marked with an '!', any time when you can do the same battle with both 
sides, your fame will increase.

--Filling the Fame Bar--
Your fame bar fills up very, very slowly, but the major story missions are so 
rare that you will usually be sitting on a full bar long before they occur, so 
it is a non-priority.  


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[Items]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The basic Items types are:
Armor (Head, Torso, Arms, Legs)
Penneons/Flags
Books&Pages
Loot 
Weapons 
Shields

--Armor--
Armor is specific to you and provides benefits against the 6 damage types.  

--Weapons & Shields-- 
Shields & weapons apply to the whole unit, though sometimes they do not change 
the look of the item the squad is carrying.  

Shields & weapons are NOT shared across unit-types, so you need to acquire and 
equip a different sword for your Sword squad, Sword&Shield squad, and Sword 
Horsemen, even though they can use the same sword type. 
 
--Books&Tomes--
Books&Tomes ('Tome' being one page in a book): These are dropped as base-loot 
or appear in the Merchant's shop very frequently after one's star-rating 
increases, for the most part.

--Penneons--
Penneons they are the potions of Bladestorm, but since a flag affecting a squad 
makes more sense than a potion, they're flags.  You are limited to 9 of each 
type. 
 
--Loot & Special Items-
Loot includes random Art & the Gems.
(from deathfisaro, names editted in by Duneman) 
The Special Items increase the chances of random drops and cannot be sold.  
They are: (*quest related)
-Vase of Dionysus:    Increased Wine Drops
-Gold Plate of Athena:   Increased Meat Drops
-Famous Maiden: Chance for Gold Drops from regular troops.
-*Lucky Rabbit Foot: Increased Rare Items Drops
-*Notes on Battle:   Is the last 'Tome/Page' for spears.


--Vendor Item Availability-- 
Item availability seems to be tied directly to fame, so that better 
armor&weapon selection unlocks as your gauge increases. Items seem to work on a 
similar principle, though there is an element of randomness about what 
particular item/weapon/armor is available at the moment, so occasionally you 
will get the opportunity to purchase something that won't be regularly 
available until you've nearly filled your fame meter. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Inventory Management]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--Equipping Items--
- Weapons & Shields: these are equipped un the relevant 'Book&Tome'/page  
Note that you need multiple copies of a weapon/shield and equip it for 
each squad type.  
-Armor & Pennenons: this is changed from your inventory screen.  Select 
what you want to change out.  The button mapping for penneons is treated 
like an item slot for this purpose.

--Vendor Sell List vs. Inventory--
The Vendor Sell List *will *not* display Special Items after acquisition, their 
descriptions must be accessed from the Inventory Menu.  Also, you must keep an 
item equipped in a book's Right/Left hand slot at all times, these *will* be 
displayed greyed-out, along with armor that is currently equipped.

Q.  Can I change the default weapon when not attached to a squad?  I want to 
run around like Guan-Yu with a halberd. 
A.  No, the default weapon cannot be changed, so learn how to use your sword. 

Q. How do I un-equip my armor? I want to run around helmet-less.  
A. You cannot un-equip anything back down to the default starting state, though 
you can trade up or down.  This does mean that if you want to sell an uber-
sword, you have to replace it with a down-graded version instead of reverting 
to defaults.

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[Power Leveling] 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
During the main story, this can be difficult to level quickly because you're 
limited to a narrow difficulty range by your fame & your weapons are not maxed 
out, so you have a ceiling on quick leveling for any one book & have a harder 
time defeating high level units. My recommendation is to spread out your unit 
usage, and you can keep several books reasonably even.  

As a general rule:
-For levels 1-10, do one star stages.
-For levels 10-20, do two-three star stages.
-For levels 20-30, do four and five star stages.
Etc... until Level 65~, then start looking for red star stages.  Cavalry is the 
exception to this rule, because they still get combo-bonuses for 1st level 
units.  Most other units chew through the squad commanders too quickly to get 
a combo bonus.

-During the main-story, you face roughly the same level of troops because the 
difficultly only rises with your fame, so at any one fame level, you start 
maxed & you can gain multiple levels with a squad in one mission...  After a 
while, you start needing multiple missions, even as you're making 50+ combos 
every combat because you've outclassed your opponent.  I'd recommend that you 
change unit types (instead of exclusively using on type) so that you can level 
the quest units: swords, bows, and spears. 

--Approximate Level for 100% Skills--
deathfisaro maxed out research from the beginning (for the most part) and got 
these results:

Dagger 48	Rapier 48	Sword 57    Spear 52	Long Spear 48 
Horse 52	Halberd 52	Axe 49	    Club 52	Bow 53 
HorseBow 48	Camel 48	Elephant 50	Chariot 50	Gunpowder 51 
Magic 51	Engineering 50

--Power Leveling--
The best place to power level is either at in front of a non-captureable base 
or allowing a bridge to funnel units directly in front of you.  If you're power 
leveling by facing opponents of a superior level, *do not* join your squad in 
melee as the whole point of the bridge is to prevent swarming as your squad is 
killed out from underneath you.

Max out both Research & Leadership, while spending spare points on general unit 
skills.

-Research is considered a default for the 1st skill to focus most of your 
points into, because it allows you, ultimately, to progress faster.  
Granted that it almost exclusively eats up the 1st 20 levels of skill 
points to max out Research with a few points going to the other squad 
attributes  (attack, defense, inventory, etc...), though it could be done 
in 19 if you're careful.  

-Leadership is the next most important, as a full merc-squad is better at 
killing and gives you access to the squad you're trying to level.  

-Squad-specific skills should be saved for last because they are 
initially expensive & as long as you are in missions where the enemies 
are around your level, you'll be able to get defeat all but Red&Violet 
units without upgraded skills. 

-Swords can be leveled by allowing a unit with greater skill to attack a 
commander then quickly releasing them to snag the kill.

Perfect Research Leveling for SP maximization follows this schedule: 
(by Final_Cataclysm)
Lv1 Research = Level 1 Unit 
Lv2 R = Lvl 3 
Lv3 R = Lvl 4 
Lv4 R = Lvl 6 
Lv5 R = Lvl 7 
Lv6 R = Lv 9 
Lv7 R = Lv 12 
Lv8 R = Lv 14 
Lv9 R = Lv 16* (with zero points remaining) 
Lv10 R = Lv 19 (with 89 points for other skills)  
 

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[Getting Across the Map]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To Traveling Quickly, try the following:
-Travel alone. Your individual move speed is as high as any unit in the game, 
including non-charging light-cavalry (Sword&Spear, Lady Lancers).  
-There are penneons which increase move speed for a duration.
-Activating a Bladestorm will also make you move faster: grab a wine or find a 
deer clipping along a wall to activate a Bladestorm.

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[Mercenary Squads]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here are the reasons to hire squads, despite the fact you can grab almost any 
unit on the battlefield. 

1. The first is to avoid having to locate a preferred squad on the 
battlefield.   
2. The second is to have exactly what you need on hand for a tough 
situation, as you will unintentionally lose a squad on occasion in the 
more difficult missions.
3. If you've maxed out your leadership, you will generally have a squad 
with five more units than you'd find on the battlefield. 
-For example: Royal-Lancers, 15 is the max you find on the field & 
they are rare, and 20 is the max in your squad and you can get 9 
squads for.  If I do non-red star missions, I can blow through any 
capture related objective in a day so long as I have some speed 
penneons.
4. Exotic units with special properties become fairly common here.  For example
Halberds, which normally have an awesome offense, are weak to ranged units.
But a 'South China Spearman' has the bonus 'Avoid Indirect Attacks', which
greatly lessens this weakness.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[General Combat Advice] (by Duneman)
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Remember that your squad will close with the enemy with the general attack, and 
your character can stay away from a melee-unit you're weak to, and let your 
squad get tossed into the grinder, releasing them right as the other squad is 
finishing them off while you high-tail it out of there to look for more 
lemmings, I mean troops, to follow you into battle... Try taking a base command 
squad with lady-fencers to see what I mean here. 

This might seem simple but remember to check the glowing icons above enemy 
troops heads. There are two classes of disadvantage, and two classes of an 
advantage. If the glow is: 
 
Green&White: You have the advantage, plow through them with melee or use a fast 
recharging special to keep from slowing down. 
Uniformly Off-white: Congratulations, you have targeted the poor fools who have 
no chance against you, anything beyond you standing still is sure to kill them. 
 
Violet&Red: You are at a disadvantage, careful management of special attacks 
will let you overcome them, but if you aren't careful you'll lose a few troops 
in the process.
Uniformly Crimson: Run away, just run away. You'll do 1 damage per normal hit 
and the enemy will do up to a 1,000 per hit. You'll see troops dying by the 
dozen from every attack. 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Ed. Note: difficulty is also determined by level.  Anything other than red you 
may have a shot, particularly if you are facing are Green&White squad.  
Conversely, a lower level Red&Violet squad will can probably still chew through 
you unless you're more than 5 levels above them.) 

Also, until you get familiar with the game mechanics, stay on the same path as 
your allies. You'll need fresh troops as your troops die (hopefully you didn't 
die, but its possible, especially if you charge a base without support) and it 
also helps to swap out to another unit if too many counter units are lurking 
about.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Detailed Unit Descriptions&Strategies] (again by Duneman w/Ryozo for Firearms)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~General Unit Strategies~ 
 
Remember that 'auto sustained' attacks like Heavy Blow, Leg Breaker, Mail 
Breaker, etc. cause your troops to go into an offensive frenzy until the 
duration of the attack wears off. Learn to use this to your advantage, lest it 
cause you to lose troops needlessly. Also, remember to press Select to view 
your units full strengths and weaknesses. 
 
DAGGERS 
These guys tend to be fast in terms of movement and attacks, but generally weak 
in regular combat. Especially good against Halberds, avoid Swords and Spears 
like the Plague. 
 
Knife - Your basic scout, lives fast and dies fast. Their first line of 
offense, coupled with their speed, is Knife Throw. This lets you toss a volley, 
run backwards, and rinse and repeat. Viper's Bite is a great boon for them, a 
quick thrusting attack that does additional damage and poisons enemies so that 
they cannot fight back for a time(a maxed out Knife Throw does this as well). 
Lastly they have Uppercut, a weak rising whirl that knocks guys down, and later 
sets them on fire. Use it as an escape maneuver. Knife throw --> Viper's Bite -
-> Uppercut and flee. 
Double Knives - The fastest foot troops around, yet you don't want to enter 
into melee against anything other than units they have the advantage over. They 
retain Knife Throw(actually throwing multiple blades at times), but get an 
upgraded escape attack in Revolution. At the highest level this can freeze 
enemies and allow you to wail away for a few moments. They also get Sprint, 
which doubles their move speed to comical levels. 
Chakram - A long range dagger unit with a distinctive whirling sound. They have 
Kick to stun enemies for a few moments. Follow this up with Soul Eater to allow 
them to regain health after being hurt by damaging enemies. Then there is their 
distinct attack, Chakram, which functions just like a bow attack, and poisons 
enemies when maxed out. Remember that even outside the auto aim distance you 
can still 'dead fire' the attack to hit distant targets. They make for a fun 
change of pace from traditional units.

RAPIERS 
Relatively a bit slower than Daggers, with quick and awkward offensive attacks. 
Good for taking down large city defense troops(halberds and axes). They eat 
Axes and Clubs for breakfast, but find themselves in the mortuary when 
confronted with Spears and Swords. 
 
Rapier and Shield - Lady Fencers are a common sight around smaller bases, and a 
nuisance for bow users. They can Charm enemies to trick some units into 
attacking their allies. They get Shield Defense which lets you block attacks, 
when leveled up you can walk with shields raised and later block cavalry 
charges. Then there is Mail Breaker, a powerful thrusting attack that increases 
their damage against units in heavy armor. They are most useful when you let 
enemies rush your allies while you attack their exposed backsides. 
Two Handed Sword - AKA Elite Rapiers can actually hold their own in a fight 
thanks to some nifty moves. Their first attack is Flash, a Magic based 
thrusting shockwave that cuts enemy attack power in half for a limited time. 
Couple this with Mighty Arm to double your own attack power and quickly 
overcome your weakened foes. Lastly they also get Mail Breaker for heavy armor. 
These guys have an easy time against Halberds thanks to Flash, where the other 
Rapiers might take some damage or even die if caught in a special attack. 
Double Knives - The first of a series of slightly confusing names that overlap. 
These guys are super rare. Combination Slash is a short combination 
attack(har!) that stuns enemies. They can also Charm enemies, rounding out with 
Mail Breaker, which is really a wasted skill on all Rapiers since they already 
chew through Clubs and Axes with ease. Its just a berserker mode with a 
slightly different attack animation.

SWORDS 
At Mastery these guys have some of the highest offensive abilities in the game, 
be especially zealous during a Bladestorm attack as they have no common nemesis 
unit and can kill almost anything. Knives and Rapiers fall before your blade 
like wheat. Spears and Halberds are a bit pokey though, and you'll suffer 
attrition if you combat them for long. 
 
Sword - It is your mercenary's default moveset. Tackle helps you offensively 
flatten units without stopping, or works to help you make a quick getaway(such 
as when your Bladestorm is about to wear off in the midst of Spear units). 
Mighty Arm doubles your attack power while Heavy Strike gives you a wide 
sweeping attack that fells multiple units per swing(sets guys on fire when 
maxed out). When leading into an enemy column, Mighty Arm --> Tackle --> Heavy 
Strike 
Sword and Shield - Ah, one of the 'kill anything' units in the game. Shield 
Attack stuns enemies. Shield Defense blocks incoming attacks(also horses at 
maximum level). They round out their skillset with Heavy Strike. Use Shield 
Defense and let troops crash into your wall, then use Shield Attack to stun the 
first row and lead out with Heavy Strike. They can take down cavalry without 
too much trouble after upgraded, but Camels seem to always do extra damage. 
Fairly survivable, they make good short distance shock troops. They also help 
you learn the basics of combat. 
Two Handed Sword - One of the offensive powerhouses of the game when leveled 
up, you have to be technical to keep them from taking too much damage and 
dying. Mount Masher is a sweeping attack that kills anything riding an animal 
when leveled up. They also have Mighty Arm and Sword Wave. The latter is a 
magical shockwave that travels a decent distance when leveled up and can 
ultimately stun enemies. This makes it a good way to halt cavalry later on, 
especially when you flank them and attack before they can gather up speed for a 
charge. Follow up with a Mount Masher to take down even the most hardened of 
knights. During a Bladestorm rush they dominate anything, feel free to wade 
into a group of 200 enemies and laugh as they melt like a snowball on Arizona 
desert asphalt.  As a last note, Mount Masher can be used in conjunction with
a normal swing at the start of combat for a potent 1-2 punch before the 
opponent can retaliate
Two Handed Exotic - Nodachi's? In my medieval game? These guys are a twist on 
the regular Two Handers. Bolt Cutter is their version of armor piercing 
attacks, giving them an advantage over the otherwise even confrontations with 
heavy Axes and Clubs. Focus doubles their defense for a time, helping you to 
withstand any special attack thrown your way as you fight. Sky Slicer is a 
powered up version of Sword Wave, traveling much farther and later retaining 
the stunning property. Play them in a similar manner, except to avoid cavalry 
when you aren't sending a Sky Slicer their way. 
Double Knives - Using an offense for a technical defense, these guys are rare 
as well but specialize in debilitating attacks. Only these guys retain the 
stupidly good offensive power of the Sword Book. Arm Crush cuts an enemy's 
attack power in half for a time. Triple Strike is a combination attack that 
Stuns enemies. Finally Revolution is a godly spinning attack that causes 
hundreds of numbers to pop up on the screen, ultimately freezing enemies when 
maxed out. Use Triple Strike --> Revolution --> Arm Crush to close with 
enemies, trash them, and leave the stragglers debilitated while you pick them 
off. 
Scythe and Shield - If a Dynasty Warriors moveset found its way into 
Bladestorm... These guys love spinning attacks, and laughing at shields. Soul 
Reap is the bigger cousin of Soul Eater, letting them refill their health 
anywhere by wailing on enemies. Shield Defense is as stated above. Finally 
Reaper Slash lets them laugh at shields, slicing around them to directly damage 
any shield unit trying to block. They also spin around as if performing a musou 
attack, so feel free to use this attack on other units as well.

SPEARS 
Ah, the joys of the Roman Legion, in France?! Decidedly quicker than Swords, 
these guys bring the offense to the enemy first. Just don't engage in plain 
melee with Halberds or Axes. 
 
Spear - What does everything a sword does, but better? Triple Thrust is a 
combination attack that stuns enemies, useful in close quarters. Mighty Arm is 
explained. But their real treat is Javelin, a medium range volley of 'Death by 
Pilum'. You'll decimate blade units with ease, and can even poison foes later 
on. Use this on pesky Halberds, Axes, or Cavalry. If you are at a higher level 
than the enemy, it may just kill them, especially if all 30 javelins target the 
enemy squad leader. 
Spear and Shield - My personal pride and joy unit. They are like Sword and 
Shield units, but with better affinities and more reach. They trade the 
sometimes reckless Heavy Strike for Quick Thrust, a short range magical 
shockwave that keeps them in formation while felling enemies. They also move 
faster than Sword and Shield, and especially Club and Shield. Use them to 
dominate any small forts or castles with ease, as Quick Thrust can often one-
shot the Base Commanders. Just don't expect to waltz into the Halberd and Axe 
infested cities with them.  
Spear and Great Shield - Slow spear units that crush any mounted units. Leg 
Breaker is a special sweeping attack cuts enemy movement in half. Scutum Shield 
can block cavalry from the get-go, and gains the ability to move in formation 
when maxed out. Beast Buster will do insane amounts of damage to any cavalry 
that rushed against your stalwart wall. 
Adagas - Freaky shield spears that are supposed to be 'cool'. Cryocrach is like 
Tackle, but with a quicker recharge and the ability to freeze enemies in place. 
Shield Defense is explained. Finally they get Twin Thrust, a powered up version 
of Quick Thrust that trades sissy fire damage for the ability to poison enemies 
and prevent them from attacking you. If they didn't move slightly faster than a 
tortoise, they'd be downright unstoppable. If you ever need to defend a 
position though...

LONG SPEARS 
Why they didn't call these guys Pikes is beyond me, they are the premier 'hard 
counter' unit in the game, taking down any mounted units, along with a tendency 
to die in melee. In fact, they can't even perform regular melee attacks. So run 
like the wind, or die... 
 
Longspear - The lightweight version. Timed Thrust is a quick jab forward that 
can later freeze enemies. Protection doubles their defense for a while, and is 
a good idea any time you fight mixed troops. Pike Thrust takes a moment to wind 
up, but props the spear forward in a killing wall for mounted units. Just be 
sure you set it up in time, that way even Joan of Arc or Prince Edward will die 
horrible, horrible deaths. Most of the time you'll be running around like a 
chicken, using the occasional Timed Thrust to generate some experience for 
yourself. Luckily these guys level up quickly, otherwise it would be a hopeless 
chore to use them. 
Longspear and Shield - The rare and generally worthless heavyweight version of 
longspears. They come with Shield Attack and Shield Defense to complement their 
Pike Thrust. Let cavalry rush into you, then use Shield Attack to stun them and 
finish them off. I wish they had Timed Thrust instead for their final attack, 
then they'd be somewhat useful, but alas...

HORSES 
Beyond the 'workhorse' cliche, these are the strongest units in the game. They 
do insane damage, travel very quickly, and can even get multiple Bladestorms 
per day by chasing deer, which lets them melee with ease. They can also heal 
quickly by visiting or taking over bases. You should never have them die when 
playing correctly. In addition the huge Combos they rack up lets them 
powerlevel against any level of enemy in the game. 
 
Sword - Trades a weaker charge for greater melee ability. Ride-by Slash is a 
rushing slash that does lots of damage. Protection doubles their defense for a 
time. While Charge is the famous defining special attack of cavalry, letting 
them bowl over anyone in their way, outside of a head-on Longspear Pike Thrust. 
Luckily you can flank anyone in a matter of seconds. Charge first, double back 
for a Ride-by, and either rinse and repeat or just use melee(possibly 
Protection too) to finish off the last remnants. 
Spear - A lighter cavalry with a medium ranged attack. Accelerate lets you 
escape from a standing position, and deals a fair bit of damage(it also stuns 
at the highest level). Javelin takes some room to wind up but lets them get off 
some additional attacks in between other specials without slowing them down or 
putting themselves in danger. They, like all cavalry, can Charge. 
Lance - Masters of the Charge, they flatten anything in their way. They have 
Accelerate and Guardian Aura to compliment their Charge. Guardian Aura makes 
them invulnerable to the next attack, and lasts until they receive an attack. 
Their melee isn't too useful unless under the effects of a Bladestorm, then 
they move and attack fairly quickly. 
Halberd - Abandoning defense for offense, these guys hurt things with 
Accelerate, Ride-by Slash, and Charge. They also have sweeping attacks for 
melee. A fun alternative to Royal Lancers when you want to mess things up at 
close range. The Chinese version avoids ranged attacks. 
 
HALBERDS 
These guys take a large portion of what would be their defense and have 
converted it into raw offensive power. Avoid daggers like a second coming of 
the plague, but generally watch out for rapiers and ranged units as well. At 
least until you get the South China Spearman, who have the ability to avoid 
ranged attacks. Then you can close in on archers and mess them up real good 
like... :P 
 
Halberd - The one and only, the chop chopper of the French battlefield. You 
overcome their weak defense by learning how to attack without mercy. Scythe is 
a wide sweeping attack that knocks down any enemies it doesn't kill outright. 
Mighty Arm ensures that you kill things quickly. Finally Leg Breaker converts 
your regular attacks into wide sweeps that cut enemy mobility in half. 
Generally speaking, mow down enemies weak to you with a single Scythe attack. 
For enemies that can stand up to you, like Axes, combine Mighty Arm with Leg 
Breaker to quickly reduce them down to tiny bits and pieces strewn here and 
there. It may take a try or two, but you'll get the rhythm down before long and 
these guys may become a favorite, they can quickly rack up combos as well, 
helping them level up despite their high cost to do so.

AXES 
They, um, chop things, and get thrown about. Rapiers will laugh over your cold 
corpse. Clubs will dent you up pretty good as well. Their main purpose seems to 
be to take down spear troops, whoopee. Although they can hold their own against 
Halberds, if you have Bows for whatever reason... 
 
Axe - More like Hatchets, really. Sprint lets these guys run about at double 
speed. Wild Chop lowers enemy defense for a time. Finally Axe Throw is a self 
explanatory move that hits not only in flight, but also with a ground based 
shockwave upon impact(ultimately setting guys on fire). Wild Chop --> Sprint --
> Axe Throw will let you quickly damage enemies safely with minimal risk to 
yourself. 
Axe and Great Shield - A contradiction as Axes are a bit weaker against cavalry 
than other melee weapons. They're like slow Sword and Shield units, but with 
Scutum shields to block cavalry and replacing the name Shield Attack with Skull 
Splitter for the same effect. Yet the axe affinity tends to hurt them more 
often than not.
Two Handed Axe - The big boy of the axe family. Whirlwind is a wide sweeping 
attack that knocks enemies down, its more useful once it starts to freeze 
enemies. Protection helps keep them alive, as they seem to take a lot of damage 
for a heavily armored troop, leading to surprisingly quick deaths(and leading 
me to favor clubs a bit more). Finally Shockwave uses its namesake to stun 
nearby enemies. Essentially you want to do the following: Shockwave --> 
Whirlwind --> Protection --> Melee(and pray they are about to die at that 
point)  
 
CLUBS 
They crush things, crushing is better than those silly axes, for the most part. 
Rapiers eat them alive. And its Halberds instead that have an edge over them. 
They are also the infantry type to have an advantage over cavalry. You should 
still try to flank them first though, or catch them after a charge. 
 
Club - The weakling of the Club family. He Sprints, uses Armor Crusher to do 
some respectable damage against heavily armored troops, and has Demobilizer to 
cut enemy movement in half. Other than taking down axes and flanking cavalry, 
he doesn't do much. Use him if you have to, but look for something better.  
Club and Shield - Crusaders. That is my first thought when looking at these 
guys. They are a slow moving Sword and Shield equivalent that trades out Heavy 
Strike for Armor Crusher, making them slightly less useful outside of the 
presence of cavalry or axes. Still, they are convenient around heavily armored 
troops. 
Two Handed Club - Now we're talking. Death to the puny man things! They have 
two things going for them, lots of stun and the ability to crush things. 
Earthquake is a Shockwave on steroids(they even mistakingly reused the 
Shockwave description mentioning an axe), sending enemies sky high and, if 
timed right, flattening cavalry a moment before they can impact. It stuns of 
course. Cyclone is great when surrounded, as after a short wind up it creates a 
magical whirlwind that sends enemies flying back a bit, leaving them stunned. 
Finally they have the same boring Armor Crusher, but this gives them nice 
swinging attacks. Of course their regular melee swings are fun to watch as well.
Polesling - A club unit with built-in mortar capabilities. They have Armor 
Crusher like all clubs, come with a watered down Tackle that is more of a 
slight shoulder impact, and end with Slingshot. This ability lets them hurl 
stones over distance to create craters in the heads of their enemies. It uses 
the Distance targetting perspective. Use these guys for defense, as they are 
slow as mud and it takes a long time for the stones to reach their target. But 
if an enemy is engaged with allies, they'll stay put long enough to die. All in 
all an interesting addition to the game.

BOWS 
One of the three Orthodox unit types, easy to play and powerful to boot. These 
guys counter most cavalry and also put the hurt on Halberds. Higher level 
Daggers and Rapiers might cause you some headaches though, requiring many shots 
and doing a good deal of damage should they reach you. 
 
Shortbow - Your best buddy when starting to level up Bows. He Sprints, letting 
him get around quickly and make quick stops to allied bases to resupply. His 
two attacks are Rapid Fire and Pinpoint. The first is the class of bow attacks 
that automatically targets any enemies close to you. At the top level it stuns 
enemies. The second attack puts you in the ranged perspective sending a 
controlled volley towards targets in the viewfinder. Eventually it puts guys on 
fire. Use these guys offensively for base grabbing operations, as they'll need 
to resupply often anyway. They are a good choice for soloing bases.  
Bow - A slower version that swaps out Sprint for Protection. Their two attacks 
are Serpent's Sting and Pinpoint. The latter is the same as above, but the 
former is an auto targetting ability that poisons enemies instead of stunning 
them. These attacks combine to make them great support for allied squads. 
Follow a famous character around and help them dominate the map, as poisoned 
enemies won't be able to fight back. 
Longbow - The Distance Terror. Their range is much greater than any other unit 
in the game. Like bows except they swap out Serpent's Sting for the awesome 
Distant Target. This uses the distance perspective to fire arrows even farther 
than the usual enemy spawn distance. You can combine this attack with Pinpoint 
on unsuspecting enemies. Release a Distant Target attack on a vulnerable unit 
like knights, then follow with a Pinpoint before the other arrows hit. This way 
you can get 60 arrows striking at once, netting you a nice combo attack and 
some additional experience. Just be sure to keep them out of harms way, as they 
don't have too much defense behind that amazing offense. 
Crossbow - A bigger, slower, more painful cousin to the Shortbow. Their support 
abiilty is Dead Aim, which doubles their attack for a time. They come with 
Random Fire, really just an appropriate renaming of Rapid Fire, and Pierce 
Armor. Instead of setting enemies on fire, this last attack simply does 
additional damage to armored troops. Make sure you don't forget about Dead Aim, 
its the main reason to use these guys. Otherwise they are just slow moving 
archers that do a bit better against heavy axes and clubs. When you alternate 
Pierce Armor with Random Fire while under the effects of Dead Aim though... 
these guys make lots of pretty critical hit numbers pop up on screen, and 
enemies fall over dead. 
Heavy Crossbow - Take the bow, an already hard counter for cavalry, and refine 
it even further, you get the Heavy Crossbow. They lack any sort of medium range 
auto targeted attack, trading in the regular Random Fire for Beast Slayer, a 
long distance Mount Masher that pretty much spells instant death for any 
mounted enemies. Its such a rare unit though that you won't have to bother with 
it much.

HORSEBOWS 
A fun idea, and can be fairly effective when leveled up. They are a strange 
combination indeed. 
 
Bow - A one and only. They come with Accelerate, Pinpoint for a standstill 
firing experience, and Strafing Arrow. This last is an attack that lets them 
auto target enemies to their left side while riding full speed on horseback. 
Get a pack of these guys and create a whirling dervish, circling your enemies 
as they panic, and filling them with arrows. The aiming mechanic is a bit wonky 
though, so keep an eye on the targetting fraction, try to keep it close to 10, 
or 30, when you fire, else the arrows may fly away harmlessly. 
 
CAMELS 
The anti-cavalry cavalry. Watch out, I hear they spit! 
 
Scimitar - Like most special units these are 'one and only'. They combine the 
classic Charge with the Lancer's Guardian Aura. Their last attack is special to 
them, the Beast Buster, a wide slash from their Scimitar that quickly brings 
down cavalry. They're deceptively weak in melee though, owing in part to lower 
defense and life values, so be sure to level up Spirit so you can constantly 
Charge with them.  
 
ELEPHANTS 
More awesome than their Dynasty Warriors counterparts.  
 
Elephant - A big burly beast that functions as cavalry. Its attacks are 
Accelerate, Dead Shot(really just a double attack buff), and Trample. You might 
think Trample is a charge attack, but you'd be wrong. They do full damage 
simply by jogging through enemies. Instead Trample makes them rear up and send 
out a stunning shockwave. Dead Shot --> Jog into enemies --> Trample --> 
Accelerate, that should keep you safe and moving. Elephants are hard to hit 
when you flank enemies and catch them off guard. Luckily elephants move at a 
refreshingly fast clip in this game, so that isn't a problem. Have fun crushing 
your foes. Also, War Elephants come with four archers on their back that fight
automatically, helping them to level up as they help you kill things.
 
CHARIOTS 
What happened to my game engine? I feel dizzy all of a sudden. And, why am I 
able to counter archers all of a sudden? 
 
Chariot - Duh. This guy is weird. His attacks are Accelerate, Javelin, and 
Charge, yet he isn't a Spear Cavalry. He's one unit, with you as a driver and a 
few guys in back. They occasionally poke at things and throw javelins(that 
almost always miss). It can spin like a top, defying inertia, and seems to 
consist mostly of mindless Charge attacks. All in all just a 'flavor' unit.  
 
MAGIC 
Whoosh! Boom! Crackle! Freeze! Run like a fish flopping about on land and die 
in one hit. That is the Magic unit. See, you silly person, its not 'OMG 
[censored] magic, I need to look at naked women now', its 'alchemy'. But for 
all intents and purposes, its magic. :P

Alchemy - These guys have four modes of attack. Lighting Strike, Wind Cutter, 
Fireball, and generic ice blasts. Lightning Strike has the greatest range, 
calling down a localized series of bolts to strike enemies in their small 
targetting distance, it also stuns enemies. Wind Cutter is a medium-close range 
attack that hits dozens of times(its great for powerleveling). Fireball toasts 
enemies at close range, also conveniently knocking them down for you. Their 
melee attack sends out blasts of ice that can freeze enemies. They may seem 
pitifully weak at first, but these guys get pretty strong at what they do. 
Ultimately though, they are a support unit and need to be played as such. 
Lightning Strike --> Wind Cutter --> Fireball will keep the hurt on guys. Avoid 
melee unless you are under a Bladestorm and the enemies are too close for 
Lightning Strike.

FIREARMS
*riflemen (fusileers, yaniceri, etc.) 
Think crossbows (random/precision/dead shot) with much higher muzzle-V... the 
resulting overpenetration really helps rack up the combos 
*heavy riflemen (dragoons, etc) 
These are Bladestorm's grenadiers. All their abilities are straight offense: 
aside from precision aim, they have two longbow-esque distance attacks. One of 
these seems to have a 'scattershot' effect 
*firespearmen 
This is a Mongolian import, and the only ranged unit with any sort of melee 
capability supplemented by the fact of one of their abilities being a type of 
spin-attack. Really, you should only be using this if you get in a jam; 
otherwise, it's all about the flamethrower. Like the shortbowmen, they can 
sprint to get into position or out of trouble.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Flanking Tips] (again by Duneman)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't think I need to mention much about the technique of flanking and attack 
from the rear, other than to say its a common element to cavalry, allowing them 
to flatten pikes or archers. But it applies to faster moving foot units 
(including my favored Spear and Shield, although regular Spear with its Javelin 
are a strong substitute). Its easy to distract archers while the rest of their 
column marches beyond their Sphere. Then you close and fight casually. The 
melee units tend to stick together though, and will reverse their course to 
attack you. Unless of course you heed my advice and let them rush off towards 
some allies. If possible, try to a cursory mental note of what kinds of troops 
constitute the allied column running distraction. Its not always necessary, but 
saves time and gives you a better tactical edge (knowing whether to rush in or 
simply sneak off to the enemy base).  
 
Enemy bases are important enough to merit specific analysis. I'll try to be 
extra concise and brief here. The most obvious thing is reducing base points, 
represented by units with shields behind their troop type icon. These can appear
in troop columns outside the base and march off to wherever, or can be found 
among the stationed defending troops guarding base openings. But did you know 
that all the archers on the walls of the bigger bases count as defense troops? 
This means a unit capable of pinpoint ranged attacks can quickly knock off 2-4 
base points with ease.  
 
Also, if a column is marching off before the base commander appears, let them. 
Once you break inside and head to the flag area the AI has a tendency to 
'withdraw its local reinforcements'. This means that every unit in the vicinity 
will camp on the flag. This makes it hard for you to solo the base. If it does 
happen, hopefully you have some allies on the way. At the very least you should 
expect the stationed defense troops to rush to the flag whenever the Base 
Commander is in danger. Remember be careful if you're weak to the defending 
troop type(s).  
 
Whenever expediency is needed, you should personally engage in a duel with the 
opposing troop leader. Doing this will let your 30 troops quickly overcome 100, 
even if one type has a slight advantage over them.  This is especially helpful
when using Rapiers to take over large cities, since the Base Commander is very
strong against Rapiers.
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source Credit:
Deathfisaro: for the explanation of effects of expensive art items & his 
starter FAQ.
Octogonfu: for playing the French story to completion.
Duneman: for typing the highly detailed general unit info and strategies, as 
well as the flanking portions and several other small additions and edits
i_BlackEagle_i: for the 12th stone information.
Collette5: for the information on John Fastolf's Mission.
Final_Cataclysm: for the "Perfect Leveling" chart.
Ryozo: Fire Arms information.
Anyone on the Gamefaq's Bladestorm board, PS3 or Xbox 360.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
John_h_rand, Duneman for his attributed portions, and I are the only authors of 
this FAQ. This FAQ is only available on http://www.GameFAQs.com If you see this 
somewhere else please notify me via e-mail depiguard-gamefaqs[at]yahoo.co.kr
You may not reproduce/redistribute this FAQ without permission. You may only 
use this guide for non-commercial and personal use in its original form only.

Bladestorm FAQ Copyright 2007 C G Lee & A.S.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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