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So I've seen many wails and moans of frustration and suffering in regards to this event. Of course I initially thought it wouldn't be so bad, and decided to give it a try.

I feel you guys now. Oh so much.

That's why I've decided to use my free passes to test out stuff like optimal team arrangements, minimum levels for acceptable performance, types of equipment needed, etc. Others will find other tips that are also useful, so please feel free to add!

<This blog post won't cover expeditions, because how much koban you get depends on the length in time of each expedition and whether or not your teams will get a Great Success.>

1. On Team Arrangement:

For best results, place an oodachi as leader, then give him all Elites and/or Shieldmen. That way up to the 3rd Naginata draw, the troops will be strong enough to absorb all the damage dealt, and your leader won't be knocked out in the fight. Hotarumaru would be the best choice for his 3 troop slots, but since I don't have him yet I've been switching between Ishipapa and Taroutachi and both do perfectly fine (unless the Bomb card knocks out all of their troops before battle engagement, that is...).

Other than that, I've seen people talk a lot about using as many oodachi as possible in the team, and also bringing Iwatooshi along. Iwatooshi as leader is a good choice if he is at a high enough level (most people would recommend 90+), but if yours is at around 70+ you can add him to non-leader positions since his strength at that level is good enough for a one-hit-kill-all. For those who don't have all 4 oodachi (like me, plus my Jirou's still not strong enough) or a one-hit-kill-all Iwatooshi, my suggestion is to bring along a combination of uchigatana equipped with Catapults and Shieldmen, preferrably the Rare 3, and the Rare 4 tachi, where you can utilize their 3 slots for extra troop HP. There is a probability that during the long-range phase the red enemy will be knocked out, and the extra troop HP from the Rare 4 tachi will help a lot when it comes to absorbing damage.

[Additional note: I've discovered that with a combo of 2 uchi-2 tachi, the long-range power isn't sufficient to knock out the enemy sword along with troops. I was successful once with a combo of 3 uchi-1 tachi, although this combo is more risky in the long run.]

Make sure your team members are all at a high level of Sakura Fubuki (I check with Touken Helper, but you won't be able to know if you use browsers other than Google Chrome). The 20% stat boost from sakura fubuki will help tremendously when it comes to tanking red enemy attacks (for example, my Kane-san at 99% sakura fubuki status managed to survive a red naginata attack with 5 total troop HP remaining, and then went on to survive a tachi's attack with 2 troop HP still standing). If you can check your swords' sakura fubuki status, the higher the percentage the better. Map 1-1 is the best place to achieve sakura fubuki. Just put a sword in a team by himself and mow through it multiple times, and he'll get the sakura fubuki status buff from being leader + MVP. An alternative is to use the makunouchi bento, which automatically grants sakura fubuki status to the whole team. It's one-use-only, though.

Your swords don't have to be 90x to tank red enemies' attack. My Kane-san was at level 86 when he pulled out the stunt described above, and none of my swords have even reached level 88 yet (heck, Mikazuki's only at 43) but still tank attacks just fine. The consensus is that troop HP and sakura fubuki contribute more to your team's survival rate than level... though just don't bring a level <30 sword into the fray, even if he's Ichigo Hitofuri. 

2. On Strategy:

3 enemy cards of the same type in a row. Yes I've been there.

So here are strategies to get the most out of the Village of Treasures without having to constantly wondering what you've done wrong so as to deserve your current fate:

- If only half of your team's alive and only one of them is an oodachi: continue if oodachi's the leader and you haven't drawn the 2nd enemy yet. If you have, retreat.

- On the same note: If only 2 of your team's alive,

(a) If they're 2 oodachi/1 oodachi and 1 tachi, and you haven't drawn a single enemy card: advance until you've met an enemy, then retreat.

(b) If they're 2 oodachi/1 oodachi and 1 tachi, and you've already drawn at least one enemy card: retreat just to be safe.

(c) If they're 1 of any type of sword and Iwatooshi, with Iwa being the leader, and you haven't drawn a single enemy card: advance until you've met an enemy, then retreat.

(d) If they're 1 of any type of sword and Iwatooshi, with Iwa being the leader, and you've already drawn at least one enemy card: retreat.

(e) If they're 1 of any type of sword and Iwatooshi, with the other sword being the leader, and you haven't drawn a single enemy card: advance until you've met an enemy, then retreat.

(f) If they're 1 of any type of sword and Iwatooshi, with the other sword being the leader, and you've already drawn at least one enemy card: retreat.

- If Bomb card has robbed your leader of all of his troops and you've already drawn a naginata card, retreat. (I haven't confirmed if other types of cards will target a defenseless leader, but I'm not willing to risk that...)

- If you've already drawn 3 enemy cards of the same type and hasn't reached pre-boss node yet, retreat.

- If only your leader is alive and you haven't reached pre-boss node yet... retreat, of course.

- Setting the sword with low Leadership/total Troop HP as the leader is generally not recommended unless his level is high, and even then it is still risky.

- RNG's gonna screw with you and sometimes even force a team at full health come back with <60 beads (happened to me once, I drew a naginata card then 2 Bomb cards which completely disarmed my leader). So find yourself a properly lit place with some nice refreshments and a few distractions around in case the game exhausts you emotionally.

3. On Spending:

Spending a minimum amount of 16k is unavoidable if you manage to get an average of 250 beads/run, according to calculations I found around the Internet. You might get more or less on average per run depending on your luck, though, so adjust the amount of koban required for spending around that. At any rate save up to about 20k at minimum and get as much out of the free passes as RNG permits you.

I'm not in a rush so not much koban has been spent on my side. Those I know who've gotten him already spent from 36k to 40k, and that was with lagging Internet resulting in some lost tickets. If you want to get the little kid as soon as possible, be prepared for the 36k minimum, and also copious amounts of clicking and eye straining. Personally I don't recommend that, but to each his own.

[Actually, this is a pretty sad announcement but I'll have to give up here since my health conditions do not allow me to advance. Best of luck to those who persist!]

4. Hypothesis Testing & Conclusions:

A. The best option is a team of all 90x.

Not necessary. See 1.

B. Low-level swords cannot participate.

Not true. Though do expect them to not perform as well as the ones at higher levels.

C. Your party leader affects the chances of getting bead/enemy cards.

DISPROVED. It's all RNG.

D. Sakura fubuki affects the chances of getting bead/enemy cards.

DISPROVED. Again, it's RNG. However, it's still best to have your swords all at >80% sakura fubuki (if you can check it) upon first battle engagement.

E. Your party leader has to be the sword with highest HP/level.

Wrong focus. Leadership, TROOP HP and sakura fubuki are more important.

F. Red short-range enemies target swords with the lowest troop HP/sakura fubuki.

DISPROVED.

G. Swords at >80%/>90% sakura fubuki can survive 2 red enemy attacks.

DISPROVED. As Winterblues has contributed, and as my own observations have proved, even swords at >90% sakura fubuki can get one-hit. The sword's level, Leadership and Troop HP together play a role in this... unless you're facing the red yari.

P.S.: DMM is a sadist.

[Edited on 3/11/2015, thanks to Winterblues' observations!]

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