Yeesh.  I decided to try the ending of Dragon Age Origins again, this time with infantry.  And this happened:

Giving Mr. Dragon a headache for all the ones he caused me

I.e., victory.  But good lord was it a squeaker.  The battle is in three parts; in the first part you just fight the dragon, which isn’t too horrible so long as you make everyone attack at range.  There’s also some ballistae to use.  Then the dragon retreats out of melee range and sends in a load of darkspawn.  I held off on sending in the dwarves till then; I figured they’d do better than the elves had.  And they did, though I still got swarmed a bit.

I thought it was another failure when my PC died… especially as she had the best area of effect spells, Inferno and Fireball.  Still, everyone was in good health and I continued.  I was cursing a lot because the characters didn’t always seem to respond or do damage… due to lag, I think.

I made it to stage three, when the dragon moves back into range; I’d never got this far in previous tries.  But then I lost Leliana, which meant that I couldn’t use the ballistae much.  (Only a rogue can repair them.)  Now I was down to Alistair and Morrigan… and I think I had one dwarf left.  And it looked like there were plenty of darkspawn.

And then Morrigan was gone.  No magic at all now, and I’m not even good with warriors.  But hell, Alistair was still alive, and I had plenty of health potions.  I dashed to a ballista and fired it at Mr. Dragon… also knocking off a few darkspawn that chased after me.  Fortunately they were just grunts and went down fast.    

Finally the ballista jammed.  But the dragon was down to a sliver of health.  I switched to a crossbow– not Alistair’s forte, but I didn’t want him getting near the thing.  I whittled down that sliver one arrow at a time, restoring Alistair’s health as needed.  And finally the damned thing crumpled.  I had won.

A cutscene played… my PC had somehow revived, and dashed over, grabbing a mondo sword and plunging it into the dragon’s brain.  Pretty cheeky, considering she’d been out cold for several minutes and also, being a mage, didn’t know a thing about swords.

The game offers you a few final choices in a post-coronation scene.  The only really interesting bit would be what would happend with Leliana.   She seemed to be playing it cool… the game let me flirt with her, but she had plans to go off on a quest of her own.  Well, at least I could invite myself along.  The little Orlesian tease.  (Checking the wiki, this is because Leliana was in a romance, but wasn’t in love.  I never got the option to do her personal quest.)