Posted Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:42 AM
There is no timer in Valkyria Chronicles and you can take as long as you like to set up your attack strategy and move your characters.
You are presented a mission with a clear objective. All missions require you to win the battle within 20 moves, but at least one mission requires you make less than 20 moves.
Once the mission is outlined, and an overhead map of the battlefield is shown, you select which characters that are in your squad you will use to take part in the battle. Each character has "Battle" and "Personal" potentials, or better known as strengths and weaknesses. Going over these potentials is a must as you really need to optimise your squad. An example would be: if the battle is to take place in a grass field, you don't want a character who has a "Pollen Allergy" as that potential will kick in and they will lose accuracy, hit points, or even refuse to take part in the battle. But taking a character with a potential of "Meadow Bred" will raise their accuracy, hit points, and will to fight. Sometimes you take a character with bad potentials and hope for the best because that character is the best person for that particular battle. You also will have one of your main characters, Welkin, who commands a tank, for almost every battle.
Characters come in classes: Shocktrooper (does heavy damage), Scout (great for looking over the area), Engineer (keeps your tanks repaired, heals characters, restocks ammo), Sniper (obivious), and Lancer (doesn missile damage only). Each character has what is termed "Action Points" or AP's (and this **might** have been incorrectly identified as a "timer") and these AP's are how far (or how many steps) you can move a character per round. A Scout has the most AP's because they need to survey the battle area. An Engineer has the next highest number of AP's, then a Shocktrooper, Lancer, and Sniper (who has a pitiful amount). As you move a character, his AP meter will lower showing you his remaining amount of step's left.
So you are presented an overhead view map (which shows some enemy troop locations but not all nor the total number as many may be hiding), given your objective, you've selected your squad members, and its now off to battle. Once you select a character to move, the view switches to 3rd person and you see the actual landscape along with landmarks (trenches, tree's, rocks, etc that can provide cover). Its up to you figure out a strategy and how to move your troops to win the battle and meet the mission objective.
Its a LOT more involved than what I wrote..... command points, movement, swapping out characters, taking over enemy camps, raising your troop's stat's, giving Orders during battles, improving equipment and weapons, etc etc etc... and would take a long time to type it all in. Its best to download the demo and get a feel for the game.
I can't give this game enough praise as the artwork, storyline, characters, gameplay, control, and more are of the HIGHEST quality. This is, without doubt, the BEST game I've played in years and years and years and I can't recommend strongly enough that you are least try out the demo.