I played a new game in Ironman and was reminded why I should never play Ironman. Thanks to a few bad rolls of the RNG, I wound up accidentally killing half my party with wayward Area of Effect attacks. I was still clinging to life as hour 20 rolled around, but I was forced to send out a group with only two heroes who were, predictably, slaughtered. If I hadn't been playing Ironman, I'd have just reloaded before the disaster and hoped for a better result.
Oh well, let's just say it requires me to stretch some unfamiliar intellectual muscles and leave it at that.
My final impression of Massive Chalice is that it's a good attempt and not something I regret playing, but I can't help wishing it was a fundamentally different game. It turned out to be a series of decent grid-based tactical battles within a greater strategic superstructure that was mostly just window-dressing. I really wanted to live the day-to-day life of the kingdom's people, becoming more involved in their loves and rivalries and just generally being a voyeuristic busybody. Then again, there's a part of me that wishes every game was The Sims.
Still, playing it one and a half times was pretty painless. It was no Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics, or XCOM, but it's great to have more games of that type. Even if it's not the best, I enjoy the genre enough that it's been completely worth it.