How to WIN at Vanguard Bandits
High-Ranked Imperial will not be teaching this lesson, as he does not understand the world of Vanguard Bandits enough to give you competent information. Rather, I will teach you more about how the actual game plays, and what you must do to ensure the game proceeds smoothly.
Vanguard Bandits is a very linear game. As you know, there is no exploration, no towns to explore, and no hidden dungeons, side quests, or secret bosses to defeat. However, there are also no extra battles, no chances to level up, and no second chances. You could Egress in Shining Force to refight a battle and earn more EXP, but not here! 8)
This section of the How to Play section will teach you how to WIN. Meaning, how to capitalize on the limited time and resources you have in game... how to make every EXP point count... how to stretch your money to the limit, and how to make your characters reach their full potential. We will begin with an overview on the object of the game.
The object of the game is to reach the end and complete all 20 Chapters of the game. To increase your chances of actually reaching the last chapter, you will need to battle strategically. Before you actually play Vanguard Bandits, it is wise to look ahead and plan how your team will develop and grow. The 4 golden rules for success in Vanguard Bandits are as follows:
- Your team will fluctuate from time to time. Certain characters will NOT stay with you until the end of the game, and therefore have no impact on the final battle. As a result, characters who will leave your team should not be allowed to score kills against enemy ATACs. Your permanent team members need the EXP much more.|
- CPU Controlled Allies do not gain EXP or money if they engage in combat. Therefore, it is essential that you keep computer controlled allies from scoring kills on the battlefield.
- In Vanguard Bandits, certain team members learn certain attacks that are unique to them, as well as unique Dormant abilities that can greatly increase their combat skills. As a result, learn the statistics required to teach your characters their attacks and abilities, and when you level up, raise your stats accordingly.
- One strong character will not be able to win a battle alone. Furthermore, a team with one strong character with much weaker allies will not be able to catch up. It is imperative that you spread out the kills and experience points amongst your team to allow them to keep their levels close.
Now that you know the rules, it's time to go into the mechanics of the game, to understand a little bit about how important these rules are.
The game spans 20 Chapters, each with 1 out of the 56 missions. These missions follow a path decided by what Branch you are on.|
There are 6 statistics in the game for each character; BAS (which increases base abilities as well as hit points), POW (strength of your character's attack), DEX (attack accuracy), AGL (dodging ability), DEF (defense against hits), and WEP (overall physical strength). These stats can reach a maximum of 32, though you will rarely get more than one to that point. WEP will never need to be boosted, as weapons equipped give a significant boost. These stats are important because they not only determine how good a character will be, but also what attacks and abilities they will have.
Hitting an enemy with an attack in combat earns EXP. Killing an enemy in combat earns a lot more EXP as well as money. EXP is determined by the character's level, as well as the level of the killed opponent. If your level is lower than the opponents, you will gain that much more EXP than if your level was higher, in which you will earn little EXP. Meaning, if you outclass your opponent, don't expect too much EXP for beating him; it's wiser to allow a weaker character to score a kill.
Your characters gain a level every 500 EXP. When you level up, you are given 3 stat points in which you can distribute any way you want amongst your 6 statistics.
That's not too complicated, is it? But why do we need to know all this?
Because not planning ahead and not raising your team right is suicide. The later missions will eat you alive if you don't play things right from the beginning. You want your characters to have their powerful special moves, and their best abilites. You'll want your team to be balanced out in terms of levels. And you don't get any second chances to do these things. So how do we assure our team will be okay?
Plan ahead, and fight carefully.. that's how. The next few points will explain just how to do that.
- Find out before you start the game what branch and ending you are playing for. Find out exactly who will be on your team at the end of the game on that branch. For reference, here is a list of who will be on your team on each branch.
Kingdom: Bastion, Reyna, Devlin, Barlow, Zeira, Andrew, Alden, Dionne (and possibly Nana and Milea)
Kingdom: Bastion, Sadira, Franco, Halak, Cecilia, Claire
Ruin: Bastion, Reyna, Barlow, Andrew, Milea, Sadira
- Find out what each character is good at. Find out what each character can learn attack and ability wise. Find out what ATACs these characters pilot or which ATACs they should pilot. Find out what elemental stones they work best with, what stats they are best at, and what kind of "soldiers" they should be. Below is a handy table with descriptions of how I recommend you raise your team.
||- Begin by teaching him Str. Slash. Until he gets the Ultragunner ATAC, give him a fire stone and teach him Fireball. Raise his stats equally throughout the game so that he learns his best attacks. Make SURE he learns Second Attack! On Ruin Branch, do the same thing, but raise his DEX first to learn Tidal Wave that much quicker.
||- Teach her Str. Thrust first. Afterwards, work towards increasing her DEX to learn other water-based attacks as the stones you need to learn them start to appear in shops. Make sure you get her to learn Reyna's Trick! She makes a good secondary fighter, as well as an FP reducer with Cooling Mist.|
||- Teach him Str. Slash first. Afterwards, work towards increasing his POW to learn other fire-based attacks as the stones you need to learn them start to appear in shops. Make sure you get him to learn Second Attack and Burning Soul! Devlin is a warrior, and should be in the front lines.|
||- Teach him Str. Slash first. Afterwards, work towards increasing his BAS to learn other earth-based attacks as the stones you need to learn them start to appear in shops. Barlow has no special moves, and should be used mainly as support through Earth Heal and the occasional Earthquake attack. Or you can transfer him into a Waiban and have him as a long-range attacker with Turbulence.|
||- Zeira should have his DEX raised as much as possible as soon as possible to learn as many Wind stone attacks as he can, and also to learn his special attack, Sonic Blade. Later, teach him Second Attack. Zeira is very good for long-range attacking, as well as taking down dizzy opponents.|
|Andrew (Or Cecilia):
||- Andrew should have his DEX raised as much as possible as soon as possible to learn as many Wind stone attacks as he can, and also to learn his special attack, Somersault. Later, teach him Second Attack. Andrew is very good for long-range attacking, as well as taking down dizzy opponents. Cecilia should be treated the exact same way.|
||- Alden begins with pretty much everything already learned. He's good for support and using Tackle to wear down opponents.|
||- Dionne begins with pretty much everything already learned. He's good for attacking in the front lines.|
||- BAS is already very high, but raise it a bit more. You'll want Nana to learn Terra Shock as soon as possible. Afterwards, she's an excellent warrior, but boost her POW to get her attack up! She starts off weak, but gains levels very quickly.|
||- Milea should be taught Blizzard Break ASAP if on the Ruin Branch. On the Kingdom Branch, she has pretty much everything and should be used for support, but she's much more useful on the Ruin Branch.|
||- Increase his DEX as much as you can quickly to teach him Turbulence. Franco is a very good long-range attacker, but he isn't too powerful.||Halak:
||- Increase her BAS as much as you can quickly to teach her Earth Heal and other earth-based abilities. Halak is mainly for support and healing.
||- Increase her DEX as much as you can quickly to learn Turbulence, then start increasing her AGL to learn Spiral Dive. Later, teach her Second Attack. Sadira is very good for dizzying opponents from long-range with Turbulence and sometimes Spiral Dive. She's a surprisingly strong attacker, too!
||- Increase her POW to learn fire-based attacks as the stones you need to learn them start to appear in shops. She has no special attacks, but her Flare Bomb does big damage. A very good frontline attacker.|
- Keep your characters "balanced". Meaning, NEVER let a team member fall too far behind in levels, and never let one character steal too many kills. Having Bastion on Level 35 with really high stats is cool, but if everyone else is only Level 8, you won't get very far. Once you're surrounded by the enemy team, you're not going to last too long, no matter what your level.
- And finally..... earn as MUCH EXP AS YOU CAN! Never let a CPU controlled character steal a kill if you can prevent it.. you need as much EXP as you can get.
Remember these golden rules, plan ahead and fight carefully, and you will go far in the world of Vanguard Bandits. You should now know the nuances of how Vanguard Bandits plays, so now it is time to pick up the controller and play! If you need more information, check out the other sections of the shrine. Use the Walkthrough if you wish, and feel free to email me if you have any questions or concerns about the game (I love getting email and helping out). Good luck, and most of all.... HAVE FUN! Vanguard Bandits is not easy to beat, but if you have a general idea of how to get through the game, it's not a very difficult game. It is very enjoyable though, and the story and setting will no doubt keep you entertained and addicted.
You have completed the How to Play section. PLEASE read the Saving Properly section before you begin a game so that you don't lose your hard work, and then go out and have fun! Good luck! 8)
~ Dalton of Zeal
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