Valkyria Chronicles 4 slightly changes the series’ formula. It shakes things up by adding an entirely new class, the grenadier. We are accustomed to characters using guns of all sorts in the game. But this time, we have another ranged alternative that is great about hitting a certain area from a distance. The grenadiers are here, and they become essential pretty much from the moment Riley arrives to aid Squad E.
We don’t start with a grenadier in our group in Valkyria Chronicles 4. It is only when Squad E is heading toward Reine that Riley shows up mid-mission to provide support. The Empire has grenadiers on platforms ready to assault anyone on the bridge leading into the city. Snipers can not hit them, due to their positions. It is only when you take gradual steps forward with Riley lobbing what are basically grenades at opponents that you can clear the path. It is a good introduction to the class. You want to place them where they might not have to move much, have access to an engineer for ammo refills, can provide supporting fire against encroachers, and target people others can’t hit.
While each grenadier has his or her own specialty, they all share certain commonalities. Grenadiers have three shots with their basic weapon, meaning you need to have an Engineer nearby to help them refill and remain effective. They will assault anyone encroaching in their range, but will not perform direct counter attacks if someone comes right up them and shoots them. Their attacks are strong enough to damage to personnel and vehicles, with varying degrees of success. They tend to have lower AP than units like Scouts and Shocktroopers. You also have to keep an eye on their health, as they can be a little fragile.
As with all characters, each grenadier has their own specialties. Riley is the first one you get, and she is rather awesome in every way. She has the highest dodge stat of your first few units. Her Inventor Potential means she sometimes gets extra ammunition. Her accuracy can also increase if she sees multiple enemies, thanks to Observation, which is handy since her Trial and Error potential occasionally tanks her accuracy. She also has Pyrophobia, which means opposing mortar fire lowers her attack. She is a great character to always pair with Kai, since the like each other and should both avoid the front lines.
Other grenadiers can be more specialized. One of your first new squadmates ahead of the battle at Reine will be an author named Connor. His specialties lean toward someone you should be using on maps with lots of ordinary soldiers and few tanks. His Immersion Writing improves his accuracy and defense when his health falls below half, and it is his only positive starting Potential. His other two are Poor Logic, which sometimes decreases his anti-tank attack power, and Unpopular Author, which drops his defense if his AP is below half. Given both of these and his friendship with Teresa, a scout, he is someone you may want to consider having closer to the front lines. Being risky with him, where maybe it is not the worst thing if his health is a little lower, and letting him pair up with this scout, could provide opportunities to pick off enemies starting to head into your territory.
When it comes to Aoife, yet another one of the grenadiers that joins up, I tended to put her in a trio of female characters to have her act as a part of a group that would support other members of the army around them. One of the earliest missions offers a good example of how this works. In the third chapter, there is a mission called Nocturnal Reconnaissance. Claude and Raz are in the lower area of a forest, while three other units can take the higher ground above them to clear out both the snipers and grenadiers perched there and the foes in Claude and Raz’s way below. For this chapter, the three characters on the high ground were Aoife, Neige, and Rebecca. Aoife and Neige like each other, so that meant Neige might help with supporting fire. Aoife’s Love Troubles lowers her attack and anti-tank attack power when men are around, so it would not trigger with only two women in her immediate vicinity. Not to mention Rebecca was there to help disable land mines littered about and provide more ammo.
Valkyria Chronicles 4’s six grenadiers can be a big help. Especially, since the game makes sure you have some relatively helpful ones right away. Making sure at least one is a part of each party is a good idea, given their range and ability to work as providing suppressive fire or ranged assaults. This is one class you should never ignore and should always attempt to find space for in your party.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 will come to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on September 25, 2018.