And after taking The Bastille of The Augustins, I then had to defend it. I had a cunning plan, which seemed to work okay. While the main force were forcing their way through the locked main gates, I took on Talbot, one of the main baddies, on the steps up to a turret, as he’d managed to sneak in. It took a long, long time to kill him, but I made it and then ran up and sat in the turret. A good defensive position, as only one enemy could get into an attacking position on the stairs each turn. (Which was what had led me to take so long to kill Talbot.) The main English force had broken through the gates by this point and I positioned my strongest character at the top of the stairs and had the others raining down offensive spells and doing healing.

All was well until all that was left was the enemy’s priestess, a healing character with little or no offensive capability. Unfortunately, she decided to run away. Unfortunately, all levels in this game have a turn limit. I chased her, but she had a big head start and I only had Jeanne, Marcel and Liane left. Jeanne moves quite quickly, but Marcel and Liane are slow. For the last three turns I wasn’t able to damage the priestess enough to kill her and on her turn she’d run further away and heal herself. At the end of my last turn I got her down to nine hit points. That’s not a lot, but she was still alive and my time ran out and the Game Over screen appeared.

Never before, I don’t think, have I been as exhilarated at failure. I’m itching to get home from work tonight and try again. This time: take out the healer early with whatever I’ve got. Maybe I should buy some more of those items that do magical damage when you throw them, if they’re available in the shops. More ranged attacks are always good.

Whether the enemies auto-level or whether there’s suddenly been a scripted difficulty hike I don’t know, but the difficulty feels just about perfect right now. The enemies have a bit more health than my characters and there are more of them, so I’m having to think. And, you know, I nearly won.

I think next time I try I should bring in Jean instead of one of the other characters I used. On the stairs his two-square hit zone – not to mention his special Impale move – should make things quicker and easier… if I can keep him alive.