After making some headway on the Neuhof crime, the main suspect has decided to skip town. It falls on Henry to track him down and determine if he is guilty.
The hightlights of this episode were definitely the combat sequences, one planned and one not-so-planned. Both fights illustrated not only how brutal one-on-one combat can be, but also how unforgiving it can be to get mobbed by weaker enemies.
Watch For Roving Gangs
After I made my way to the northern charcoal burners, I was able to convince them to tell me both were ginger was, and who he was running from. It turns out there was a pair of bandits in the woods hot on his trail. So in an effort to take some pressure off of the situation, I rode my horse into the woods with the plan of removing the bandits from the equation.
Unfortuantely, before I could make it to the bandit camp, an angry mob of peasants jumped me in the woods. I didn’t even notice where they came from, but before I knew it I was ripped off my horse, and there was a group consisting of 4 armed men and a dog at my throat.
Fortunately I was able to take out the dog before the group had fully descended on me, which may have saved my life. In this game dogs are able to grapple you through a block, which can leave you complete exposed to attack from the dog’s companions. If I didn’t take the murder pupper out right at the start, I would have been gang-beat by the 4 peasants, and likely died very quickly.
Even with the dog out of the picture early I had a hard time creating some space between me and the peasants. The issue was when I got dismounted I had relatively low stamina, so I was fighting an uphill battle trying to sprint away from the mob, while catching my breath for the fight ahead.
I took several hits as I ran through the woods, but I was eventually able to catch a break by landing a quick stab on one of the peasants, which strung the mob out just enough for me to create a small window for a 1v1 with the opponent at the front. During that window I was able to harm the attacker enough to get him to withdraw, and from there I was able to methodically cut the remanining enemies down one by one.
When the dust had finally settled, I was bleeding and down to 33 health. From there I decided to play it safe, head back to the charcoal burner camp, and let the marigold decoctions in my inventory do some work. After a quick break, I psyched myself back up and got back to the task at hand.
Sometimes Mutt Is Not Your Best Friend
Fortunately, I didn’t run into any more surprises on my way to the bandit camp. Furthermore, I was able to find a spot where I could sneak up on the bandits from behind, giving me a much needed edge. Recognizing that I was in a bit of a weakened state, I decided to use a savior schnapps just in case the battle went sideways.
And I am so glad I did…
y first attempt at taking down the bandits actually started off really well. I was able to choke out the first bandit, but after that first play things quickly deteriorated. I had some issues getting my sword and shield out in time before the other bandit swung at me, and took some additional damage.
However, the coup-de-grace for me was when I tried to land some strikes on bandit #2, but Mutt decided to stroll right between me and the enemy. This resulted in me hitting the dog instead of the bandit, and to make things worse, Mutt displaced the bandit just the right amount to give him an easy counter attack. The combination of me being low health and stamina starved resulted in me getting put in the dirt a couple of quick blows later.
Frustrated, but thankful that I saved, I parked Mutt in the woods and gave it another go. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to choke out the first bandit in this next attempt, and was quickly taken down before I could even land a blow.
However, as they say… the third time was the charm. After loading I quickly parked Mutt in the woods again, rushed to the camp, choked out the first bandit, and immediately took the defensive position. After defending the initial set of blows, I was able to clinch the second bandit, and dispatch him in with only a handful of strikes. After checking both bandits to make sure they were dead, I caught my breath, collected the loot, and made my way back to the charcoal burners camp.
The rest of the episode went more or less to plan. I was able to find Ginger, let him know the bandits were dead, and close the quest out.
While I do recognize that I could have played both encounters better, the second fight really did put a strain on Mutt and my’s relationship. Looking at his skills it does seem like he does become an asset in combat down the road, but today he cost me dearly. I am still going to keep the dog with me for the time being, but I feel like I really need to invest in my houndmaster skills right away so that Mutt can become and asset instead of a liability.
With the quest closed out, the last lead I have surrounding the attack was a man with a limp who lived in Uzhitz. Once I was able to shake off the shame of defeat, I got back on Pebbles and made my way up north to find the gimpy git.
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