Although I pre-ordered Fire Emblem Engage for Switch, I had not initially planned to start it on the same day I received it. However, I had a long week between New Leaf Journal issues and my day job, so what better way to relax than to boot up Fire Emblem Engage on Maddening.  While I am now something of a Fire Emblem veteran, my only experience with the series comes in Awakening, Conquest (which I never finished), and Three Houses (which I beat three times, twice on Maddening). While my previous two Three Houses runs were on Maddening with no New Game+, I had the benefit of having done my first run on Hard so I could get an idea of all of the mechanics, classes, and techniques for managing my roster.  This time, I decided to live on the edge and only play Engage on Maddening without having read any spoilers about characters or mechanics beforehand.

Early impressions?  The first three battles, especially the third, presented a good challenge.  I restarted chapter three twice in order to come up with a strategy that did not result in my frail units being overrun (in my defense, I was nodding off and finished at about 12:40 AM).  I am making an effort to spread the experience around early (i.e., not feed kills to the one unit that comes with a promotion) in order to be well positioned as we move into the more serious parts of the game.

With respect to mechanics, I have not dug into how to make the best use of Engage yet, but it looks promising and I think I used it fairly well in the second half of chapter 2.  One thing I very much like is how the weapon triangle appears to work early — those mechanics were greatly neutered in Three Houses.