After several days of hunting and training, it is time to reap our rewards and test our skills in the Rattay Tournament!
In the previous episode, I showed off a pretty fantastic hunting spot between Rattay and Neuhof. For the next several in-game days that followed, I pretty much repeated that exact same loop of hunt, sell, train. As a result I came into the start of this episode with significantly bolstered skills, as well as a substantial amount of coin. So we kicked off the episode by chosing a variety of skills and buying a bunch of armor.
I give a pretty detailed overview of my thought process for both skills and armor in the episode, but my thought process can really be boiled down to “I want to make lasting investments”. I tried to avoid skills that would only have a short term impact, and equally importantly, I tried to avoid purchases that would be quickly replaced. As a result I walked out of the armor shop with only a handful of pieces of gear, but for the most part it was gear of the highest quality.
The Rattay Tourney
The main goal of this episode was to see how I measure up in the Rattay Tournament.
For the un-initiated, The Rattay Tournament is a dueling competition where fighters compete in several rounds of a “best of 3” contest. Each combatant is allowed to choose their prefered weapon which is featured in the first two rounds, but if the found goes to a 3rd and final match, Sir Hanush chooses the weapon featured in the fight. Weapons and armor are provided to the combatants which unfortunately meant all the beefy gear I had just purchased was irrelevant. In short, this is just about as fair of dueling conditions as you can hope to find in the game, so you need to bring your A-game if you hope to win.
I was able to breeze through the first round, however the second round gave me a lot of trouble. I was able to narrowly win the first fight, but the opposing combatant actually took a pretty substantial beating before he went down. Unfortunately, the second and third rounds ended up being pretty quick and decisive losses for me.
There were two main mistakes I made that cost me both bouts.
The first was I was overly agressive when I was low on stamina. Obviously in hardcore mode it is difficult to tell exactly what your stamina is, but I really should have given myself longer breaks between combos. It would haved allowed me to successfully land more longer combos when I did manage to get their guard down, and it also would have mitigated the result of my second mistake.
My second mistake was eating too many master strikes. Granted master strikes by nature are very difficult to avoid, however if I am facing a skill opponent I need to remember that their counters can hurt, especially when you get hit with low stamina. The issue is I hate the style of gameplay where you wait for your opponent to move. However, at the end of the day master strikes are arguably the most powerful technique in the game, so I need exercise more patients and use them to my advantage. When I do decide to get more agressive, I need to remember to using the feinting technique Bernard taught early on to avoid getting countered on the initial strikes.
All in all though, I’m pretty happy with how my first attempt of the tourney went. With a little luck and some higher skills maybe next time I’ll be able to take home a win!
Besting Captain Bernard
Feeling a bit defeated, I decided I was a glutton for punishment and challenged Captain Bernard to another real weapons training session. However, unlike the Rattay Tournament, during this training session I get to use all of the shiny new gear I just purchased.
As a result I was able to pretty handily beat Captain Bernard!
The biggest difference I noticed was that my new armor was able to more or less fully absorb master strikes that instantly made me bleed in my previous bout with Bernard. That difference alone changed the difficulty of the fight from brutally unforgiving to fairly manageable. As long as I didn’t over-commit with low stamina, Bernard’s counters didn’t have the umph needed to get through my armor and into my health pool. So after several of clinch/overhead strikes and a handful of shorter combos I was able to defeat my former teacher in 1 on 1 combat.
Feeling pretty proud of myself I decided to treat Henry to a little trip down to the bath house.
For those of you that don’t know, the bath house maids rub more than your clothes. Medieval bath houses often times were more or less brothels that a weary traveller could visit to render the services of practitioners of the world’s oldest profession. So when I saw the option for “The wench and everything that goes with that”, I decided to give it a whirl.
Some suggestive(and editted in post) audio later, I woke up with full health, clean clothes, and a new buff on display called “Alpha Male”. Once I was able to get over myself with how funny that name was, I actually looked at what it did, and it turns out it is a pretty substantial +2 charisma buff. This buff is significant enough that I actually plan on leveraging the bath houses fairly regularly when I believe I might be entering a dialog heavy situation.
Obviously this is purely for gameplay purposes, I have no other reason to frequent the bath houses, not other reason at all…
If you have ideas around how I can improve my videos, please reach out to me on twitter via @GrowUpAndGame.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a great rest of your day, week, month, year, and life!
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