antithesis

Banner Saga 2: Gameplay and Trophy Tips

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The Banner Saga 2 can be somewhat challenging in parts, especially the :silver: Master Tactician, :gold: Challenge, :silver: Against All Odds and :silver: Intense Repossession trophies. But there are some simple strategies that will make them all significantly easier.

 

Firstly, don't start a new game from scratch. If you have any interest in The Banner Saga 2, you should play The Banner Saga as it's a continuation of the first game. That means importing save games, preferably with fat wads of Renown saved up.

 

 

:silver: Master Tactician

 

Aggressively playing the Renown banking game in The Banner Saga by not levelling up any characters (it's much cheaper in TBS2) and letting the caravans starve can net around 600 Renown to import into the second game. Note that you want roughly 50 Fighters and 50 Varl to safely navigate the final chapter of The Banner Saga, so spend Renown on food only when required to hit that breakpoint. Here's a guide for that - http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=217383299. If all Fighters and Varl die before Day 4 of the final chapter, Krumr will die. You really want him alive in The Banner Saga 2 to make Hard mode much easier for the Bolverk caravan.

 

Importing a Save with 600 Renown in the bank into The Banner Saga 2 allowed me to level up 6 x Level 10 characters almost right off-the-bat for the Master Tactician trophy by using the Training tent for the kills. Knocking Master Tactician over asap, then restarting the import from Day 0 meant I could level-up party members and buy whatever high-level goodies I came across in the Market without ever having to worry about Renown.

 

 

:gold: Challenge

 

Alette Caravan

 

Using a Renown-pimped import makes Hard mode very easy for Alette's caravan. Level Alette up to 10 as quickly as possible in the Training tent for the rank 3 Overwatch skill. Within the first Chapter of The Banner Saga 2, you'll come across an opportunity to pick up the Gormr Statue by tracking a dredge through the forest. Rank 3 Overwatch + Gormr Statue = insta-win for the rest of the game by causing armour-ignoring damage and knock-back on all attackers except Bears, which are few and far between. That means no melee character in any engagement will get close enough to hit your party...cheese mode enabled.

 

The only issue is managing Willpower to ensure Alette is permanently in Overwatch mode in all battles for the entire game. You also need to make sure all of Alette's shots land for the knock-back effect of Gormr Statue to keep the bad guys at arm's length. That's easy to achieve by adding Eirik to the party for his Rally skill and Aleo for his Tale Worth Telling and passive Skald's Song skills.

 

Don't level Eirik beyond Level 6 and invest all points into Willpower, then into the Stubborn Talent. He's a Willpower battery, pure and simple. Track comes in handy for positional blocking, but isn't required given Alette's uber-OP Overwatch skill, which is what Eirik will be powering.

 

Aleo at first sight seems like a total dud, but Tale Worth Telling is the secret sauce to Overwatch's success. Tale Worth Telling imbues the recipient with a hidden 100% hit chance for their next shot. In Alette's case, that means every shot taken in Overwatch - she cannot miss ANY shot in the game with Tale Worth Telling active, regardless of enemy armour level. Just in case Tale Worth Telling is down (Alette's always first in the party order, Aleo second, so her first shot in every battle can be deflected), invest 3 points into Alette's Lucky Shot talent. Even without Tale Worth Telling up, she missed a total of 3 shots in 35 battles in Hard Mode. Despite the 50% chance to miss Lucky Shot at rank 3, it hits almost 100% of the time.

 

Strictly-speaking due to Lucky Shot on Alette, Aleo is not required in the party. However, Aleo's second important Talent is Skald's Song, which grants 1 Willpower to every party member per kill and it stacks well beyond their Willpower limit. Stand him next to Alette, let her do her Overwatch thing, then watch your party drown themselves in Willpower, meaning they can blow Exertion points at will on whatever tickles your pickle. All battles ended up with most of my party having 20-50 Willpower in reserve.

 

There's no need to invest any Renown into Aleo, he's fine to leave at Level 3 for the entire game. I levelled him up to 10 just to farm Renown in the battle against Trigecannthae in Chapter 12. Aleo locked him down with Insult so Alette didn't kill him with Overwatch while the smaller horse-born infinitely spawned. I got bored after 100 or so Renown and the game started to bog down, so called it a day. Leave Aleo at Level 3, it wasn't worth the effort.

 

Equipment-wise, give Eirik and Aleo items that grant +1 Willpower per round. Aleo's completely self-sustaining and Eirik won't have any Willpower management issues with his high Willpower limit stacked with Stubborn and Calabilla or Puzzle of the Twin Rivers, both picked up in the first game. Check the requirements for each item here - http://bannersaga.gamepedia.com/The_Banner_Saga_items

 

Pad the remaining three party slots with whoever you like. The Varl are great in the first game, but serve little purpose in an Alette Overwatch party where it's safer to defeat the enemy by death from a thousand cuts. Her party needs no Break or melee-range Strength attacks to be highly effective and the Varl just make easier ranged targets by consuming more of the board. I went with Alette, Aleo, Eirik, then filled the roster with a mix of Eyvind, Oddleif, Ro'Ech and/or Derdriu, depending on availability.

 

While Break is unnecessary in Alette's party, it does speed things along and helps trigger Exploit, Lucky Shot and Artery Strike more often. Knockback items and Ro'Ech's Mule Kick also trigger Alette's Overwatch if the enemy is close enough. At the start of a battle, I tend to drop my party right in the middle of a cluster of enemies within range of a few tiles for this reason.

 

Bolverk Caravan

 

While Alette's caravan has a very easy time in Hard mode, Bolverk's path is a little harder. His caravan can't take advantage of your import pool of Renown and has to be built-up from scratch. To make things MUCH easier, level Krumr to 10 before he leaves Alette and give him Dundr's Hand (+3 Str) to pass on to Bolverk. Likewise, level up Bersi at least one time and give him Farthingjord (+3 Brk) to give to someone else. If you're lucky enough to get the Item and assuming he's still alive, give Mogun the Björg av Leander (+2 Arm / rd) item for Folka. That'll get Bolverk's caravan rolling and make for an easier time during battles. Refer to http://bannersaga.gamepedia.com/The_Banner_Saga_items again for item requirements.

 

The rest of Bolverk's party sucks, so just fill in the slots with as many levelled-up characters as possible. I used Krumr, Bolverk, Folka, Sigbjorn, Bersi and Oli. Sparr and Dytch are mirrors of Eirik and Aleo from Alette's party, but are completely useless for Bolverk. Damage is king, so give all of the Varl the Tempest Talent and take out the biggest dredge first. Also, beware the eggs of doom, smash them asap or the damage will add up, particularly if your party has been poisoned by Stonesingers.

 

Without spoiling too much, you'll eventually want to weaken Bolverk, or your chances of attaining Challenge are doomed at the last hurdle. That's a difficult balancing act because he needs to be as strong as possible to face down the armies of dredge. During the course of Bolverk's journey, you'll ideally equip him with the Clasp of Kyn, which is perfect against the dredge and will make Hard mode much easier. However, before the battle in Old Ford in Chapter 13, equip Bolverk with Solvi's Method (attained by killing the two "addled" Varl) to knock him back a peg or two. Carrying Clasp of Kyn instead of Solvi's Method at the end of Ch 13 could mean missing the Plat...seriously, it's that important.

 

 

:silver: Against All Odds

 

Rook hits this battle almost immediately in his playthrough and it's a challenge to win, unless planning ahead. My Rook import had 500 Renown saved (I played more conservatively and fed the caravan, leading over 600 Clansmen into Boersgard). Unlike the Alette save, I raised Rook up to Level 4 before the end of The Banner Saga and equipped him with Farthingjord (+3 Brk) so he could take that into The Banner Saga 2. Doing 6 Break damage minimum in the Against All Odds battle turned a challenge into a cakewalk. Note that in the first instance of that battle, Rook was not wearing Farthingjord. I quit to the main menu and resumed, which granted him the item.

 

 

Damage the first few larger dredge while staying out of reach of their attacks, then move to take out the Slinger. Keep everyone else damaged but alive to use as body-blockers. The rest of the fight is a simple positioning battle, so avoid attacks while hitting back for Brk or Str damage. Getting hit once from a full-damage opponent means a restart or a much longer battle, so avoid at all costs. Late in the fight it's difficult to avoid all attacks, but the weakened opponents means little damage taken. I ended up killing all dredge in 1-2 shots after breaking down their armour, which Farthingjord took care of within 2-3 hits.

 

 

:silver: Intense Repossession

 

On an Easy playthrough, swap to Hard difficulty just prior to the Eyeless encounter in the caves. That ensure the right amount of dredge spawn to complete the trophy requirements. As soon as the battle starts, change back to Easy mode. Kill one dredge to allow Eyeless to possess it, then leave that unit alone while taking out the remaining dredge. When all other dredge are dead, kill the possessed unit, then start chipping away at Eyeless's armour and deal enough damage that she won't one-shot your party members.

 

You don't want to kill Eyeless, just piss her off enough to jump to another dead dredge. Kill that dredge as soon as it's resurrected and she'll respawn and likely attack and poison a party member. That's ok, you'll need some of them to go down to hit the trophy limit. Rinse and repeat until Eyeless jumps 10 times for the trophy. By the end of the battle it's very easy for your party to one-hit her, so Rest for a round and she'll possess another unit. Eyeless does not need to die for this trophy, she and your party simply need to survive long enough for it to pop.

 

 

General Tips

 

Put points into Break and Exertion before Strength, then Armor and don't touch Willpower at all (except for Eirik, Eyvind and Aleo). That extra point or two in Exertion and Break will reduce rounds per battle and save your party on a frequent basis, so don't underestimate their value.

 

For ranged characters, invest in these Talents in order of importance - Artery Strike (3 pts), Lucky Shot (3 pts), Exploit (1-2 pts), Hunker Down (0-1 pt). Artery Strike will double damage and stacks with items, meaning some ranged characters get 50+% critical hit chance. Exploit triggers more often when armour is damaged, which doesn't come into play a lot in Alette's armour-ignoring party, but will likely help in The Banner Saga 3. Hunker Down's nice to have, but almost no-one gets hits with Alette's Overwatch active.

 

For melee characters, use these Talents - Artery Strike (3 pts), Dodge (3 pts), Divert (2-3 pts), Hunker Down (1 pt). Put +3 All Talent and + XX% 2x Str Dam items on Varl characters and watch them wreck face with Tempest while avoiding almost all return fire. Damage mitigation via Dodge, Divert and Hunker Down trigger far more frequently than their stats indicate, so even 1 point spent when stacked with +3 All Talents items is worthwhile.

 

Eirik, Eyvind and Aleo should be kept in the backlines and invest into Willpower to power their skills. Any leftover points should go into Dodge and Divert. Eirik's a special case thanks to Track which can deal armour-ignoring damage, but he's better served as a path-blocker while stealthed than breaking cover and exposing himself to damage. His bear is also useful as a meat-shield and to give Alette one more shot per Overwatch, but isn't really needed.

 

When Alette is given the opportunity to become a Mender, take it. The alternative +1 Range effect does not work while in Overwatch, so it's useless. Likewise, choosing to become a Mender means nothing if Alette is in perma-Overwatch. However, while not in Overwatch, I'd rather have Mend than +1 Range. I also suspect choosing Mender will play out to far greater effect in The Banner Saga 3, so from both story-telling and skill perspectives, Mending is the better option.

 

 

Guides

 

For maximum Renown and Items, refer to the following guides -

 

Banner Saga: Every Decision and Consequence - http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=698507714

Banner Saga 2: Every Decision and Consequence - https://steamcommunity.com/app/281640/discussions/0/350543389019335971/

 

 

I'll post other thoughts as they come to mind, but the above tips should go a long way to making The Banner Saga 2 plat an easy achievement.

 

 

Edited by ant1th3s1s
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59 minutes ago, Doctor Doom said:

@ant1th3s1s

How did you get 600 renown in Banner Saga 1?

 

With Alette, yep...barely. I scraped through the final chapter of BS1 with 1 Varl left. Losing all would have meant Krumr was unavailable in BS2.

 

I did no levelling up, let all clansmen die (except 50 or so fighters & varl for the final chapter) and followed this guide - http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=217383299

 

I played it safer with Rook, fed the caravan, levelled him up to 4 and still went through with over 500 renown.

Edited by ant1th3s1s
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1 minute ago, ant1th3s1s said:

 

With Alette, yep...barely. I scraped through the final chapter of BS1 with 1 Varl left. Losing all would have meant Krumr was unavailable in BS2.

 

I played it safer with Rook, levelled him up to 4 and still went through with over 500 renown.

Was that on easy? Did you level up any character? What was your party?

So many questions.

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1 minute ago, Doctor Doom said:

Was that on easy? Did you level up any character? What was your party?

So many questions.

 

I updated my post above for more detail.

Yes, it was an Easy playthrough. Party comp didn't matter.

 

Make a backup save just before hitting the final chapter so you can import Rook or Alette without having to replay a large chunk of the game. Just be sure to have roughly 50 fighters and 50 varl and you should be gold.

Edited by ant1th3s1s
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1 hour ago, ant1th3s1s said:

Make a backup save just before hitting the final chapter so you can import Rook or Alette without having to replay a large chunk of the game. Just be sure to have roughly 50 fighters and 50 varl and you should be gold.

Yeah, that's what I was planning to do!

 

 

I was wondering if the Onef decision had any impact in BS2. Would importing an "Innocent" Alette matter? Would having Egill alive matter?

Edited by Doctor Doom
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On 2/27/2017 at 0:39 AM, Doctor Doom said:

I was wondering if the Onef decision had any impact in BS2. Would importing an "Innocent" Alette matter? Would having Egill alive matter?


The Onef decision only impacts the members imported from BS1 to BS2. I think it's a simple decision between Egil and Ekkill.
 

Innocent Alette makes no difference in BS2, she becomes a merciless wrecking ball regardless of choices in BS1.


Egil would be handy as a tank...if Alette's Overwatch wasn't in BS2. He also adds some flavour text in BS2 and will likely do the same in BS3.

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On 28/2/2017 at 0:22 PM, ant1th3s1s said:


The Onef decision only impacts the members imported from BS1 to BS2. I think it's a simple decision between Egil and Ekkill.
 

Innocent Alette makes no difference in BS2, she becomes a merciless wrecking ball regardless of choices in BS1.


Egil would be handy as a tank...if Alette's Overwatch wasn't in BS2. He also adds some flavour text in BS2 and will likely do the same in BS3.

Knowing this I might actually make a new save for when BS3 is released.

I did manage to save 600 renown as you said, but my caravan was seriously damaged.

Getting Onef/Ekkill might help a bit with food. And Ekkill's special ability doesn't look half bad.

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2 hours ago, Doctor Doom said:

I did manage to save 600 renown as you said, but my caravan was seriously damaged.

 

The caravan doesn't matter. Food is a complete non-issue in BS2. Focus on keeping party members alive that you want to use in subsequent games.

 

Egil's the stronger choice, but Ekkill might help with Bolverk's caravan. I didn't use any characters of either class during either game, unless forced to do so. Both Egil and Ekkill are tier 3 characters (Egil due to Overwatch rendering him useless), so make the choice based on role-playing more than anything.

Edited by ant1th3s1s
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