Chapter 7 of Fire Emblem Engage is a face-to-face confrontation with Hortensia and her army of Pegasus Knights. After having just finished a battle defined by its quirky mechanic, this battle is very much a what you see is what you get affair. There are no surprise reinforcements. There are no gimmicks. Just a battle of brawn.
However, brawn isn’t something that Hortensia lacks. You won’t just be fighting her, you will also have to contend with her generals Goldmary and Rosado. Victory here will be determined by how well you plan, and by how thoughtfully you position your units.
Right off the bat, you are going to need to make a tough call. You have nine available spaces, but at this point in the game, you could have as many as thirteen units! This means you need to choose eight characters (as you aren’t allowed to leave Alear behind). So, you are going to have to ask yourself which characters are the most important. Right away, we would say that Louis and Chloe deserve spots. One is your damage tank, and the other is your avoid tank. There are a number of flying units, so Etie should definitely get a spot, as this map is inundated with flying creatures. Beyond those characters, you need Mages and Healers. You need at least one of each. We would recommend you bring both Celine and Clanne, as magic is always extremely useful.
As for the rest of them? Well, you’re going to have to decide how much you care about range (like Alfred and Vander), and how much you like leveraging chain attacks (so Boucheron and Anna). We think you need at least one character who can close the distance. We suggested that you make sure to have Chloe, so she helps, but a character like Vander is still excellent more getting in on troublesome characters. Yunaka‘s best aspect is her ability to take advantage of unique terrain type. While there are some terrain types available here, there isn’t an abundance of them. Though, her poison debuff is an interesting proposition. As for weapon types, you will be fighting against a bunch of lance and sword users.
If you throw one of your axe fighters against the Lance Fighters standing on those strange square platforms you may be surprised by what happens. The Lance Fighters won’t break when hit by an axe. The break effect is broken, people. Well, not quite. That is just the effect those tiles have.
One way to get around this is to use your newly acquired hard-hitting characters to smack them off the tiles with a Smash attack. But, truth be told, we didn’t find that they needed that much working around. The first two lance users stayed on their tiles, but the rest of the troops pursued us so aggressively that these tiles were quickly abandoned and forgotten. That being said, if you see the opportunity, you should absolutely make use of them yourself.
The Battle On The Bridge
3x Lance Fighters, 1x Armored Lance, 4x Cavalier (axe), 2x Mages, 2x Armored Swords, 1x Qi Acolyte, 4x Pegasus Knights (sword),1x Goldmary, 1x Rosado, 1x Hortensia
Iron Great Axe (taken from a Cavalier), Steel Axe (taken from Rosado)
The basic layout of this battle is extremely linear. It is just a straight march down a bridge. However, what is really interesting is that the different enemy types come in waves. The first four enemies you will encounter are all lance users (three Lance Fighters and one Lance Armor), then there are two Mages, followed by two axe-wielding Cavaliers, followed by two Armored Sword Fighters, the two more axe-wielding Cavaliers, and finally, at the very back, nearly all the units use swords (though Rosado is an axe user). So, this is a layer cake of weapon types.
For basic positioning, you are going to want to make sure you do two things: Have one archer at the top of the screen and one archer at the bottom, and make sure your characters with axes are all near the front. Beyond that, the only two Mage troops you are going to encounter will be at the bottom of the screen, so keep Louis up top, and have Chloe travel along the lower-half.
When the actual battle starts, you aren’t going to be able to break the first two Lance units (as they are standing on those special tiles), so soften them up with ranged attacks first, then swoop in and finish them off with your axe users. As you push forward have Etie go straight to the northern edge of the bridge, and have Alcryst move to the southern edge. There will be two Pegasus Knights flying in, so this will line you up to take them out of the air before they have a chance to do any damage. Also, try to get your sword users (Alear and Lapis) up ahead as far as possible so that they are around to intercept the oncoming axe-wielding Cavaliers.
This battle will give you access to weapons that have the smash effect. This heavy hit will move units, but it requires that you take the hit first. Typically, we wouldn’t say this is worth it. However, these smash attacks do hit hard, so they are a fantastic way of finishing off already broken units. Beyond that, you can do some tricky things like have them backed up by a Chain Guard, so there are definitely ways to make this attack more viable.
You will easily clear out the first two lance users, in the first round. In the second, you should be able to quickly clear out the next wave of Lance Fighters, and the two Mages (Alcryst and Chloe will make short work of them). The next wave will see the Cavaliers rush forward, and the Pegasus Knights swoop in from the north and the south. However, since both of your archers will be in firing range of the Pegasus Knights, they won’t last long, and the two Cavalry units will be eaten up by your frontline fighters (which should have both of your Sword Fighters positioned at the front of it).
You will get an Iron Great Axe after you kill one of the Cavaliers. Consider having one of your axe users trade for it with the unit who received it, as it is a pretty nifty weapon.
Once you have pushed past the first set of Cavaliers, you will be confronted by to Armored Sword Fighters who will rush forward, and two more Axe Wielding Cavaliers. Feel free to use both Alear and Celine’s Engage forms to quickly clear these troops out, as they can fully recharge at the two Emblem Energy Pools sitting in this area. Also, try to get your lance users and archers to the front now, as they will be invaluable against the final wave.
The final batch of enemies includes two sword-wielding Pegasus Knights, Hortensia, Rosado, and Goldmary. With the sole exception of Goldmary, all of these troops are fliers. Hortensia will fly in and confront you directly. If you want to just get this battle over and done with, you can move Louis in to batter Hortensia, hit her with Celine’s Warp Ragnarok, and then shoot her with Alcryst and Etie. You will easily kill her in one turn. She won’t even get a chance to act. However, Rosado has a Steel Axe that you will get if you kill her. And while Goldmary doesn’t give you anything special if you kill her, she is worth a healthy amount of experience points.
So, if you are looking to clear the board, this is what we suggest you do. Break Rosado with Alear, then finish her off with one of the archers. Use one of the other archers to kill one of the Pegasus Knights. Use Celine’a Warp Ragnarok to take out one of the other Pegasus Knights. Then, the rest of your squad should focus on making sure everyone is fully healed and that all the squishier units have more resilient warriors in front of them to help them weather the storm. You will only need to survive two attacks.
This map will reward you with two Steel Ingots (sitting in front of the northern wall). There are 50 Bond Fragments and 60 Iron Ingots up against the wall at the bottom of the map. There are also some more animals that you can adopt, though since you won’t have had the opportunity to donate to this part of the world, you won’t be able to get either the Aura Eagle or the Brodian Cat. You will, however, be able to adopt the Elyosian Pigeon. Now, talk to your troops, collect your Bond Fragments, and get out of here.