What I Learned: For other new players Generation of Chaos: Pandora's Reflection
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Assist combo attacks are king. Attacking somebody twice generally results in more damage taken and more time wasted than just starting a chain. Also, you can keep chaining assist on a dead opponent for more crystals so make those corpses bounce.
This means: If you can pull an ally into the fight, doing so is better than using a stronger weapon. Weapons with larger assist areas are better than the higher damage alternative. Magic is less than useful than you might think due to the XS assist reach.
You can manipulate knockback effects during assist combos. Using an even or bad weapon to keep from knocking the enemy target out of range is possible, although an enemy on a base will always knock you back regardless of weapons used.
Characters can be roughly grouped according to their usefulness by considering those points, their movement benefits, and how common their preferred terrain is. Dominique and Marlon top the list on movement benefits, with Marlene, Luci, Sasha, and Leon trailing at the bottom.
Flying over everything always works, she comes with both magic and a L weapon for assists, and few battles last long enough to go to night. Dominique is a great first person on the map. Marlon has good movement in a lot of terrain and good stats, but so-so weapons. If you get the impending doom, it's awesome on Marlon. He's got the HP and Def to manage the poor armor, and Axes have high attack without the XS that magic brings. Makes a great 5th attack character. 100+ point hits really help cut down the bosses.
Claude, Olivia, Morgan, Marlene, and Yuri are all solid. Paths are common, although often hard to stay on. Claude also moves amazingly fast on them, which counterbalances his so-so weapons. Olivia is awesome in ch6, which is a harder part of the game, and has great weapons. Too bad her terrain is rare outside of ch6. Morgan has the awesome scythe (if you can hit all the circles), and forests are pretty common. Yuri has the great L and magic weapon combo, and healing circles are ALWAYS good.
Marlene is a great replacement for Dominique on night maps, but there is little reason to play her otherwise due to so-so weapons. Grass and water aren't that common, although Sasha's water benefit is very strong. She does get the benefit in (one of, both?) sewage/sludge, but you don't really want to sit in it. Luci, on the other hand, just isn't very good. Short weapons and a rare (once you get her, anyway) preferred terrain make her weak. Leon's weapon options are great but you don't really need more than one L weapon, and he has no terrain benefit at all.
Fielding, say, Morgan, Olivia, Dominque, Yuri, and Marlon makes for fast point caps and easy 5 man chaos combos. Have Marlon with a heavily upgraded axe close the chaos attacks for massive damage, tons of crystals, and area damage. You can replace Morgan with Claude or Leon easily.
There is at least one hidden point on nearly every map. Those are where your items will come from, as useful items from enemies are rare.
The healing summon was my mainstay, with some of the stun and the enemy point destruction summons. A stunned enemy is vulnerable to all weapons and the works on bosses. The point destruction one tends out take out points you are in the process of capping, so wait until you don't have anybody sitting on anything.