The Enemy Phase is where enemy units can perform actions, such as move, use an item, attack, etc. The Enemy Phase often comes after the Player Phase. However, in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, the Enemy Phase comes after the Ally Phase.
Subjective: The following part of this article is based upon the editor's personal experiences and opinions, and therefore may not be applicable for all readers.
There are two main principles of the enemy phase that form enemy phase theory:
- During the enemy phase, all enemy units have the ability to move on their own and attack.
- Many enemy units can choose to attack the same opponent.
Therefore, the enemy phase allows the player to deal damage to many opponents in a single turn. It can be exploited by placing a single, powerful unit within range of large groups of weak enemies so that all of them can be dealt with at once. Such a strategy is vastly preferable to expending the turns of all of the player's units just to take out a single horde of enemies. This tactic is often called juggernauting, and it can sometimes be made possible for the course of an entire game by funneling EXP into a single player unit and "solo-ing" the game.
Since enemies tend to target opponents that cannot retaliate, units that can wield common 1-2 range weapons such as Javelins and Hand Axes are best suited for juggernauting, as they can counterattack against both units at melee range and units like archers and mages. Since sword-locked units usually only have access to a few, rare 1-2 weapons such as the Light Brand (which tends to deal low damage at 2-range), they are not often used for juggernauting. Archers, often being locked at 2-range, face the same issue.
The effectiveness of juggernauting varies between the series' entries; usually, it depends on enemy density, or the amount of enemies present in each chapter relative to their size. Games with high enemy densities tend to have low enemy quality, so juggernauting is a go-to strategy for clearing these games' chapters efficiently. For example, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade is considered to have a high enemy density and low enemy quality; therefore, enemy phase strategies are preferred in most of its chapters. Games that have a high enemy density and low enemy phase quality can sometimes be referred to as enemy phase-centric, or enemy phase-focused. The aforementioned sword-users and bow-users are at their worst in these situations.
Controlling the Enemy Phase
Normally, the computer controls all enemy units during the Enemy Phase. However, in The Blazing Blade and The Sacred Stones, it is possible for the player to take control of the enemy units during the Enemy Phase by using the Enemy Control Glitch. This can be used to have enemy units trade/drop items, move away from seize points or importants locations, etc. Additionally, you can actually have enemy units rescue other enemy units, or possibly even your own, leaving you with some very interesting strategy possibilities. But beware, if you recue Kishuna on any level where he warps out, the game will glitch, emit an annoying noise, and freezes.