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kpenguin
2009-01-01, 07:02 PM
New page is up.

Wanda is... kinky.

DevilDan
2009-01-01, 07:09 PM
"Mosh": great sound effect.

quindraco
2009-01-01, 07:13 PM
I nominate "Touch me with them." for this page's descriptive TOC entry.

I wonder how good a heal Sizemore can manage?

spoddington
2009-01-01, 07:24 PM
Sizemore to the rescue.
Wanda's more intriguing by the strip.
What on erf is she on about?

shadowdemon_lord
2009-01-01, 07:30 PM
man, I'm aggravated. No matter how smart Parsons plans get, he always gets crushed by sheer weight of numbers. I don't really see he's got another trick up his sleeve. As for the comic, well I gotta say I like it. Wanda's pretty cool.

Gez
2009-01-01, 07:38 PM
Nice bait and switch with the Arkenpliers. Ansom loses them, they fall in GK's courtyard, Wanda falls right next to them, and now Ansom has them back again.

T-O-E
2009-01-01, 07:40 PM
Sure she was going to take the pliers and then attune to them.

Varthonai
2009-01-01, 07:42 PM
Well, BOOP. If the Arkenpliers really were attuned to Wanda, then Parson just ruined a perfect opportunity to dupe Ansom into giving her Teh Ultimate Powah.

I wouldn't worry about Sizemore and heals though. Even if he can't give a good heal he can take Wanda to Maggie, who probably can. Since we just saw him phase himself and several golems through solid ground, presumably via Dirtamancy, I don't think it's much of a stretch to phase Wanda out of harm's way.

Whispri
2009-01-01, 07:44 PM
Aaaannnnnd back to the status quo. Ansom's constant cheating of fate to continue his ineffectual villain routine is getting rather tiresome.

Also, the way he responds to non-lethal force with attempted murder is particularly vile.


Sizemore to the rescue.
Wanda's more intriguing by the strip.
What on erf is she on about?
The whole stealing her girlfriend thing, remember Jillian? Although when she learns of this, well who knows how she'll react?

Simanos
2009-01-01, 07:53 PM
Like I said in strip 134 thread... Lame.
I'm losing interest fast. The Archons shouldn't have been able to hit Wanda (she was too low already), she shouldn't have (nearly) died from such a small fall (Ansom fell from higher and after being hit hard), Ansom shouldn't have been able to get out of the enemy surrounding him so fast and easily and he shouldn't have been able to take an item from a zone he can't enter, the defenders should have been there faster, etc...

The only saving grace in this strip is the mild sexual wording of "touch me with them", but Ansom the gay doesn't...
Wanda bitches that Ansom took her barbarian slave-girl, though a sadly optimistic (read: delusional) part of my mind wants Wanda to mean the Arkenpliers too. Do we even know where, when and how Ansom got the Arkenpliers?

Estelindis
2009-01-01, 07:54 PM
Go Sizemore! :smallsmile: Wanda will live to fight another day... Although her comment about Jillian - if it was about Jillian and not, say, the arkenpliers - shows even more than ever how she lacks any sense of proportion. <sarcasm> Yes, Wanda, it *is* worse to fall in love with someone than to animate thousands of people as undead creatures... :smallannoyed: </sarcasm> On the plus side with Wanda, though, the art of panel six is just amazing. The look on her face... :smalleek: :smallfrown: In spite of finding her to be an evil person (though a cool character), I still felt kind of sorry for her just because she's so crazy-pathetic at that point.

And good for Ansom - I'm glad he chose not to pursue that little vendetta and think more of his alliance. :smallamused: The more I root for sympathetic characters like Sizemore, the more I find myself also wanting things to work out for people like Ansom - someone who looks like he should have pompous arse written all over him, but keeps overcoming it to actually make the right decisions. :smallsmile: He does seem somewhat disturbed by the whole thing, though... I guess he came closer to giving in to his rage and just pursuing ego-driven revenge than ever before. Pull baaaack from the abyss, there, Prince!

AdmiralKit
2009-01-01, 07:59 PM
Aaaannnnnd back to the status quo. Ansom's constant cheating of fate to continue his ineffectual villain routine is getting rather tiresome.


Quite frankly, if Ansom weren't nearly as good at getting lucky as he was, the battle for Gobwin Knob would have been over 20 strips ago. I'm content with making things interesting. The only thing I find tiresome is the wait between strips, but that's the price to be paid for free entertainment. At this rate I'm fairly certain that I'll be dead before Erfworld ends, but I'll be well-entertained the entire way.

Interesting depth added to the Wanda/Ansom relationship, funny how it seems to mirror the Jillian/Stanley relationship. Makes me wonder if Stanley was actually the one who attacked Faq; it's been heavily implied but never stated outright, and obviously misdirection as a plot-building technique isn't something that doesn't get used in Erfworld.

timothyx
2009-01-01, 08:16 PM
At this rate I'm fairly certain that I'll be dead before Erfworld ends, but I'll be well-entertained the entire way.


Haha, you're not the only one who thinks that... Good comic, but way too long inbetween. oh well, maybe if we paid him to do it, he might get it done faster.

DevilDan
2009-01-01, 08:20 PM
Aaaannnnnd back to the status quo. Ansom's constant cheating of fate to continue his ineffectual villain routine is getting rather tiresome.

At the risk of stretching a tired point, how do we know who are the heroes or the villains?


Also, the way he responds to non-lethal force with attempted murder is particularly vile.

This is war, after all.

raphfrk
2009-01-01, 08:31 PM
... and he shouldn't have been able to take an item from a zone he can't enter

It's his turn, so he would just have had to spend a movement point to swap zone.

Eldaran
2009-01-01, 08:36 PM
I like that the rock golem is saying Gabba Gabba Hey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabba_Gabba_Hey). :smalltongue:

Goshen
2009-01-01, 08:42 PM
Awesome! :elan: This strip sure brightened up my evening. Really, really great interplay between the characters inside of a grand plot. Not too many storytellers can weave together hardcore action with heart-wrenching human emotional drama. Brilliant....

slurpz
2009-01-01, 08:49 PM
Good interplay, but the whole "move at the speed of plot" thing really is getting a little threadbare.

Limos
2009-01-01, 08:53 PM
Goddamit!

Ansom has become such a Jerkass lately. I really wanted him to go down. He wasn't worthy of the Arkenpliers, and the weird time stretch with Ansom is so messed up.

Somehow Ansom had time to read a contract, object, agree, blow **** up, get his carpet back, fly down to the courtyard, taunt, and finally grab the pliers.

Wanda hadn't even managed to fly down to the courtyard in that time. In the time it took ansom to get his carpet and fly down she wasn't even able to move the six inches to grab the pliers.

PePe QuiCoSE
2009-01-01, 08:55 PM
crumbling wall, no artifact, dieing caster, lost airspace...
what's next? :smalleek:

So... let's see. Wall falls, retreat is in order to the tower or dungeon where if the alliance can't flank and GK has a choke they could last quite a long time with their uncroaked if boosted by Wanda's direct bonus. This, of course, as long as Ansom is not on the front. Maybe Parson facing Ansom for this?
I think it'll probably be the tower since the dungeons were collapsed and wouldn't make a good battleground.

mustaju
2009-01-01, 08:55 PM
At least now we have the exact number of losses Jetstone has suffered and an approximate number of how many uncroaked there could be. Also, I feel that I've been let down. So god damn many threads regarding Wanda and the pliers... And now more are sure to come.
That is one of those things I'd like to know, whether the Pliers really turn into a deus ex machina or whether the real victory comes from a more satisfying source. I feel optimistic, though.

Tweed
2009-01-01, 08:55 PM
Aaaannnnnd back to the status quo. Ansom's constant cheating of fate to continue his ineffectual villain routine is getting rather tiresome.

Could not agree more.

Because honestly? This is not an interesting, poetic way of drawing out the narrative. I am not on the edge of my seat with anticipation. What I am is frustrated. If this were truly a battle of wits and strategy between Parson and Ansom, or Parson and Charlie (though I loathe Charlie as a plot device and think the comic was far better before he arrived on the scene), then this plot would maintain my interest.

But as is, all that ever happens is (a) Parson comes up with an ingenuous plan, which is (b) ruined by Ansom's dumb luck. I'm beginning to think that nothing Parson does will be successful and that he'll only "win" in the end through some stupid deux ex machina, as opposed to his fairly brilliant tactics.

quindraco
2009-01-01, 08:56 PM
<sarcasm> Yes, Wanda, it *is* worse to fall in love with someone than to animate thousands of people as undead creatures... :smallannoyed: </sarcasm>

Actually, I think that's a really interesting point.

Note that Erfworld has no concept of children and, therefore, no concept of parenting. You can have a mentor, and even be the heir to someone's throne, but you pop fully formed - you're not reared by anyone.

That also means there are no brothers, or sisters, or cousins, or anything, except in the *metaphorical* sense. There's no true family, not literally.

This does really interesting things to morality! When you kill someone, for example, you may be killing someone's friend or even lover, but you KNOW you're not killing anyone's mom or dad. There are no orphans.

Are you really sure about your assessment of who was harmed more, Ansom or Wanda?

Limos
2009-01-01, 08:56 PM
At the risk of stretching a tired point, how do we know who are the heroes or the villains?


Ansom is a tremendous Douche and happens to be attacking the city. That makes him the villain as far as I am concerned.

God I wanted someone to finally curbstomp his smug little face.

BRC
2009-01-01, 08:58 PM
I wouldn't exactly call this a Win for Ansom, considering what he had to sign over to Charlie for help. I have a feeling it's everything short of his soul and/or pants.

The_JJ
2009-01-01, 09:23 PM
Yeah, I disagree that tuning people into undead is inherently evil. Killing people, I can see. Using thier corpses? More ambigous.



I wouldn't exactly call this a Win for Ansom, considering what he had to sign over to Charlie for help. I have a feeling it's everything short of his soul and/or pants.

Hell, I bet Charlie took all of the Jetstone treasury, the Coalition's joint fund (if it exists) and the Arkenpliers to boot. :smallsmile:

obazavil
2009-01-01, 09:27 PM
Like I said in strip 134 thread... Lame.
I'm losing interest fast. The Archons shouldn't have been able to hit Wanda (she was too low already), she shouldn't have (nearly) died from such a small fall (Ansom fell from higher and after being hit hard), Ansom shouldn't have been able to get out of the enemy surrounding him so fast and easily and he shouldn't have been able to take an item from a zone he can't enter, the defenders should have been there faster, etc...

The only saving grace in this strip is the mild sexual wording of "touch me with them", but Ansom the gay doesn't...
Wanda bitches that Ansom took her barbarian slave-girl, though a sadly optimistic (read: delusional) part of my mind wants Wanda to mean the Arkenpliers too. Do we even know where, when and how Ansom got the Arkenpliers?

EXACTLY my thoughts... I was really into the story, but with this 2 last comics I'm like... yawn.... The all-powerful Charlie, and now the arkenpilers are lost.... cmon.... is getting tired that Parson can't do even 1 nice thing...

whatever...

Eugenitor
2009-01-01, 09:33 PM
So when does Charlie's next turn happen? I don't think it's until the Coalition's next turn... namely, after Parson.

If Ansom doesn't finish off GK this turn, and Stanley comes back, Stanley might actually be able to save the day here, taming some fresh dwagons with his hammer before blasting the archons to their doom (with the help of two casters in the tower), reaming Ansom, and then going to Charlie's base and jacking the Arkendish.

...I can hope, can't I?

Finwe
2009-01-01, 09:33 PM
<sarcasm> Yes, Wanda, it *is* worse to fall in love with someone than to animate thousands of people as undead creatures... :smallannoyed: </sarcasm>

How do you know that there is anything inherently bad about re-animation in Erfworld? All we have is Ansom's opinion on the subject, which is incredibly biased. For all we know, dead bodies are dead bodies, and just another resource, with no attachment to the person that once inhabited it.

The_JJ
2009-01-01, 09:35 PM
1. Parson needs to put that sword to use. Eat unstated giant commander.
2. Is Ansom begining to doubt? In this recent comic he avoids touching Wanda with the arkenpilers. Is it a. because of the golems, b. because of his stated reason (he's need on the walls) or c. because he know that that would be a bad idea. Facial expression in panel nine, plus the fact that he knows Stanley was attuned says c. to me.

Relevance? "My will is the Titan's will," he says, just before his beat down. If he's doubting that...

StClair
2009-01-01, 09:57 PM
It's possible that Wanda was trying to "steal" the Arkenpliers, but I think it's just as plausible that she thinks she's about to croak, she pretty much wants to croak (Jillian being lost to her), and being croaked by a divine weapon is a boop of a way to go. To touch such a relic just once, even if it means...

SmartAlec
2009-01-01, 09:57 PM
In this recent comic he avoids touching Wanda with the arkenpilers. Is it a. because of the golems, b. because of his stated reason (he's need on the walls) or c. because he know that that would be a bad idea.

You might have missed the possibility that he's just unnerved by Wanda's apparent masochism.

charles
2009-01-01, 10:00 PM
Good to see a couple of updates in fairly quick sucession.

Who's thinking that Wanda knows something about the Arkenpliers that Ansome doesn't? The only useful thing they've discovered about them is that they can kill undead very easily... Maybe in the hands of a croakmancer they can boost or control them better, much like Stanley's hammer gives him a level of control over Dwagons. "Touch me with them" just seems a little too inviting.

As for Wanda loosing Jillian... Is it really Jillian she's talking about? We still don't know the full story behind why the Gobwin's rebelled and why Stanley attacked FAQ. What if it was orchestrated by Ansome? Who knows what that man may have done when he heard that a piker was made heir to Sailine IV.

I guess the Archeons can only defend and attack within the air-space since it's not their turn, but Ansome can evidently enter the ground and take his arken-pliers.

Lichtouch
2009-01-01, 10:02 PM
Charlie's a nutter. I really, really want to know what the terms were because he's basically signed away ever getting the 'pliers and Parson by offering that contract. The archons could even see that the 'pliers were in plain reach of one of Parson's casters. I'm gradually losing interest as my suspension of disbelief slowly dwindles and dies. Casters easily being able to turn the tides of battle? Charlie, the ultimate businessman of Erfworld, signing away a potential warlord and artifact? The situation constantly rolling back into Ansom's tactically impaired control?

There's only so many times that the underdog can gain the advantage to our glee and the military giant can snatch it away again to our dread. How many times is this going to be done with this arc clearly coming so close to its end? You can't prolong this siege forever with constant plot protection of Ansom while trying to make Parson seem like the ultimate tactician.

pdwalker
2009-01-01, 10:17 PM
bah.

the last two pages are just exercises in frustration. definitely my least favourite.

here is to hoping the next ones will be better

Scylfing
2009-01-01, 10:18 PM
But as is, all that ever happens is (a) Parson comes up with an ingenuous plan, which is (b) ruined by Ansom's dumb luck. I'm beginning to think that nothing Parson does will be successful and that he'll only "win" in the end through some stupid deux ex machina, as opposed to his fairly brilliant tactics.

Well yeah, Ansom is the "Dashing Hero" (or rather a subversion of one, turned into the antagonist by telling the story from Parson's point of view) and if we learn anything from television and the movies it's that our plucky hero will defeat the schemes of the evil mastermind through dumb luck/the power of the plot, and viewers will cheer. The exact same thing is happening here, just from a different perspective, and yet many readers are unhappy at it. It's an interesting case study in judging people's reactions based on who is cast as the protagonist.

What bothers me though is how quickly and frequently the fortunes of either side are reversed in this story, with one happening almost every comic since Ansom's turn started. Having this happen on daily basis is understandable when war is conducted in turns, but outside of that it hurts the stability of the narrative--people need time to digest. The klogs and out-of-combat dialogue help to build things up, but even with that the resolution happens very fast and almost always to the detriment of whoever had the advantage beforehand. I think longer fight scenes and scenes with minimal to no plot-advancing dialogue would help fill the gaps and keep the pacing steady.

MalikT
2009-01-01, 10:19 PM
Are those metal golems? If they are then Sizemore is producing them really fast.

Anyway, it seems that the last stand will be in the tower since Sizemore just dug them a tunnel from courtyard to dungeons. Plus, to make a last stand in the dungeons Parson need do get down to dungeons and that's a lot of stairs. Last time it took him four hours to get from dungeons to the tower.

Whispri
2009-01-01, 10:22 PM
<sarcasm> Yes, Wanda, it *is* worse to fall in love with someone than to animate thousands of people as undead creatures... :smallannoyed: </sarcasm>
She raised a legion of the dead to protect an otherwise doomed City against an army of Bandits led by a madman hellbent on destroying her side. Those troops in the tunnels weren't there by invitation.

And let's not forget the very simple fact that Wanda received an order and had no choice but to obey it.


Quite frankly, if Ansom weren't nearly as good at getting lucky as he was, the battle for Gobwin Knob would have been over 20 strips ago. I'm content with making things interesting. The only thing I find tiresome is the wait between strips, but that's the price to be paid for free entertainment. At this rate I'm fairly certain that I'll be dead before Erfworld ends, but I'll be well-entertained the entire way.

Interesting depth added to the Wanda/Ansom relationship, funny how it seems to mirror the Jillian/Stanley relationship. Makes me wonder if Stanley was actually the one who attacked Faq; it's been heavily implied but never stated outright, and obviously misdirection as a plot-building technique isn't something that doesn't get used in Erfworld.
Then let him fall. Let him rot in the oubliette or let his head decorate the City's Walls. Let Charlie be the villain if he's the only thing capable of making the RCC a threat. 'Cause you know what? Every time Ansom's pulled the Damsel Scrappy routine there have been other Warlords offering alternatives. Fine, without the Archons Parson would have hit the siege again, but that wouldn't have stopped Ansom from bringing his numbers to bear in the tunnels with no reason to surrender the initiative to Parson. And while Parson would have made things very painful, could he have done enough to stop them? Recollect that even the small number of Siege that were available to Ansom last turn were enough for Parson to consider an attack a no win situation, so if they found a way to protect even a small number... Charlie just shouldn't be needed.

Are you suggesting that Ansom did it? Possible I suppose if he had Jillian placed under a spell a long time ago and didn't know that Stanley knew about Faq.


At the risk of stretching a tired point, how do we know who are the heroes or the villains?



This is war, after all.
Hint: Not the guys planning on plundering a City reduced to 'Helpless Barbarism'.

And murdering enemy wounded is generally frowned upon.

DevilDan
2009-01-01, 10:23 PM
Charlie's a nutter. I really, really want to know what the terms were because he's basically signed away ever getting the 'pliers and Parson by offering that contract. The archons could even see that the 'pliers were in plain reach of one of Parson's casters. ... Charlie, the ultimate businessman of Erfworld, signing away a potential warlord and artifact? The situation constantly rolling back into Ansom's tactically impaired control?

We don't know what the contract says. For all we know, Ansom will have to turn over the arkenpliers to Charlie once GK is defeated or the contract is ended; since the 'pliers and Ansom would have been lost without Charlie, it's a deal Ansom would have no reason to refuse. The contract could specify also that Ansom must capture Parson and turn him over to Charlie, too.

I believe that the Archons couldn't pick up the 'pliers from the ground since they don't have any "move," unlike Ansom.

Frankly, the twist and turns are beginning to wear very thin, but I trust that all this folderol and rigamarole will have some purpose asides from repetitive titillation.

DevilDan
2009-01-01, 10:27 PM
Hint: Not the guys planning on plundering a City reduced to 'Helpless Barbarism'.

As opposed to the bad guys who bombed Dresden to smithereens? The question of whether the RCC has any moral standing in attacking Stanley's cities has been discussed in other threads.


And murdering enemy wounded is generally frowned upon.

Considering that the immensely powerful Wanda would be restored to full health on the next turn, killing her, or any other wounded enemy unit that cannot be captured or would not be useful if captured, strikes me as sound military doctrine in Erf.

LordVader
2009-01-01, 10:46 PM
Go Sizemore! :smallsmile: Wanda will live to fight another day... Although her comment about Jillian - if it was about Jillian and not, say, the arkenpliers - shows even more than ever how she lacks any sense of proportion. <sarcasm> Yes, Wanda, it *is* worse to fall in love with someone than to animate thousands of people as undead creatures... :smallannoyed: </sarcasm> On the plus side with Wanda, though, the art of panel six is just amazing. The look on her face... :smalleek: :smallfrown: In spite of finding her to be an evil person (though a cool character), I still felt kind of sorry for her just because she's so crazy-pathetic at that point.



If I may:
Given the context, Wanda has in fact been hurt more here. Ansom doesn't care about Foot Soldier #6859 at all. He seems midly offended by the fact that they have been raised as undead, but given the way Erfworld works we don't really have any idea of how necromancy is viewed there.

Wanda's loss is a far more personal one than Ansom's, even Webinar wasn't that close. They're speaking about what has been taken from them, not what they have done in and of itself.

MrPig
2009-01-01, 11:00 PM
Everyone's believing that Wanda is referring to Jillian but look at Ansom's face in the 9th panel. It seems to be more of an expression of fear or great discomfort. I wouldn't think making moves on Jillian would warrant such an expression. Likely there's some big secret here and a huge twist. Something along the lines of perhaps it was Ansom who sacked Faq rather than Stanely.

Whispri
2009-01-01, 11:01 PM
As opposed to the bad guys who bombed Dresden to smithereens? The question of whether the RCC has any moral standing in attacking Stanley's cities has been discussed in other threads.



Considering that the immensely powerful Wanda would be restored to full health on the next turn, killing her, or any other wounded enemy unit, strikes me as sound military doctrine in Erf.
Irrelevant, Gobwin Knob wouldn't have been Stanley's City once he was dead. It would have been neutral, frozen in time, unable to take any action unless attacked and incapable of waging war. Containing hundreds of people who would have been a threat to no one. And Ansom was openly plotting to sack the City under those circumstances. No comparison you can make to waging war on Cities in our World can change that.

One word: Capture. She was trying to take him alive, it would have taken him little effort to do the same. But as always, he takes the path of evil.

dresdor
2009-01-01, 11:07 PM
Interestingly enough, I believe the damage to the walls is ireelevant. Repairing multiple breaches accross the whole of it is impossible, but keeping one section up is something a certain dirtamancer might be up to.

K2
2009-01-01, 11:13 PM
I agree with Parson, Charlie is a schmuck. Pity that Ansom did not get close enough for the rocks to grab

LordVader
2009-01-01, 11:14 PM
Everyone's believing that Wanda is referring to Jillian but look at Ansom's face in the 9th panel. It seems to be more of an expression of fear or great discomfort. I wouldn't think making moves on Jillian would warrant such an expression. Likely there's some big secret here and a huge twist. Something along the lines of perhaps it was Ansom who sacked Faq rather than Stanely.

Now, if that's true, then I'm interested.

Of course, that's likely just a "WTF" face on Ansom's part.

DevilDan
2009-01-01, 11:34 PM
One word: Capture. She was trying to take him alive, it would have taken him little effort to do the same. But as always, he takes the path of evil.

Wait, he, wounded, the sole RCC unit on that side of the wall, facing thousands of uncroaked and other units, was supposed to have attempted to capture her?

Whispri
2009-01-01, 11:38 PM
Wait, he, wounded, the sole RCC unit on that side of the wall, facing thousands of uncroaked and other units, was supposed to have attempted to capture her?
Yes, he could easily fit her on that carpet, it's supported two people in the past. Then he could fly her back to his camp, before returning to the Walls. Rather than crying out for a Rod of Resurrection so he could murder her several times. She's incapacitated, it wouldn't have been hard.


Are those metal golems? If they are then Sizemore is producing them really fast.
Perhaps the Golems change type as they level?


Everyone's believing that Wanda is referring to Jillian but look at Ansom's face in the 9th panel. It seems to be more of an expression of fear or great discomfort. I wouldn't think making moves on Jillian would warrant such an expression. Likely there's some big secret here and a huge twist. Something along the lines of perhaps it was Ansom who sacked Faq rather than Stanely.
That's certainly an interesting line of thought, and it does seem to at least be possible.

Chewy
2009-01-02, 12:14 AM
It's his turn, so he would just have had to spend a movement point to swap zone.

as defined in klog 13 airspace borders tower only not courtyard. a clear violation of rules.

Altima
2009-01-02, 12:17 AM
I wouldn't worry about Sizemore and heals though. Even if he can't give a good heal he can take Wanda to Maggie, who probably can. Since we just saw him phase himself and several golems through solid ground, presumably via Dirtamancy, I don't think it's much of a stretch to phase Wanda out of harm's way.

As long as Wanda is healed a single hit point, she'll be fully healed at the beginning of the next day, which is the start of GK's turn. Well, technically, Transylvito goes first, but there's no way they can make it to GK. Bats have sucky movement, and it'd be suicide to engage Stanley without them.



And good for Ansom - I'm glad he chose not to pursue that little vendetta and think more of his alliance. :smallamused: The more I root for sympathetic characters like Sizemore, the more I find myself also wanting things to work out for people like Ansom - someone who looks like he should have pompous arse written all over him, but keeps overcoming it to actually make the right decisions. :smallsmile: He does seem somewhat disturbed by the whole thing, though... I guess he came closer to giving in to his rage and just pursuing ego-driven revenge than ever before. Pull baaaack from the abyss, there, Prince!

Keep in mind that he seemed quite happy with the idea of croaking Wanda thousands of times. He's merely horrified at Wanda's apparent eagerness to die.

Or, perhaps, Wanda was taunting him, seeing as how she's in the courtyard and Ansom is in the air space.

But, yeah, he basically chickened out, and used his little speech at the end to justify it. And even if he had went down to croak Wanda, odds are those golems would have caught him and tore him to pieces.

Poor Sizemore is suffering under killing enemy fighters. Imagine how he'd flip out if he watched Wanda die.


Could not agree more.
But as is, all that ever happens is (a) Parson comes up with an ingenuous plan, which is (b) ruined by Ansom's dumb luck. I'm beginning to think that nothing Parson does will be successful and that he'll only "win" in the end through some stupid deux ex machina, as opposed to his fairly brilliant tactics.

I agree, but Ansom's overwhelming superiority (25 to 1, and that was before the loss of the dwagons) gives him a lot of wiggle room. Granted, he lacks imagination (sticking to a battleplan only to ride it down in flames), but he's quite capable of simply muscling his way over any obstacle. It may not be pretty, and he'll drive up a hell of a butcher's bill, but it can be done. Remember, the RCC has all the resources of the 'world' while GK is forced to rely on the resources of a single city.



Note that Erfworld has no concept of children and, therefore, no concept of parenting. You can have a mentor, and even be the heir to someone's throne, but you pop fully formed - you're not reared by anyone.

That also means there are no brothers, or sisters, or cousins, or anything, except in the *metaphorical* sense. There's no true family, not literally.


I find this an interesting post. You're quite right, too. In fact, the fact that there is no one else to 'love' means that when characters do find it, it's quite strong. Which would explain why Wanda's flipped out over losing Jillian.

However, there is a family dynamic, at least when it comes to royalty. Jillian even called King Banhammer her 'father'.


Irrelevant, Gobwin Knob wouldn't have been Stanley's City once he was dead. It would have been neutral, frozen in time, unable to take any action unless attacked and incapable of waging war. Containing hundreds of people who would have been a threat to no one. And Ansom was openly plotting to sack the City under those circumstances. No comparison you can make to waging war on Cities in our World can change that.

This isn't so odd. It may just be, frankly, a good idea. There are many TBS games in which 'neutral' cities are just there, and practically any time anyone sees a neutral city, it's meant to be conquered. Besides, Gobwin Knob is the most defensible city in the known world--wouldn't you want that under your control? It's also conveniently placed near Transylvito territory (never know who you're going to fight next), and the RCC has already sacked (and possibly razed) eleven other or so cities. Pillaging GK may allow them to recoup some of their war losses, which is mostly upkeep since they've been on the offensive.



As for Ansom's jerkass behavior, yeah, well, it sucks. The plot armor to keep his butt in one piece? Yeah, that sucks too. However, every time he rises, it's going to be all the sweeter when he's knocked down off of his pedestal, and I hope Wanda's there for that moment with the Arkenpliers waiting to see what happens when you crush a living being's head between them. And I hope Jillian watches. :smallfurious:

Whispri
2009-01-02, 12:41 AM
As long as Wanda is healed a single hit point, she'll be fully healed at the beginning of the next day, which is the start of GK's turn. Well, technically, Transylvito goes first, but there's no way they can make it to GK. Bats have sucky movement, and it'd be suicide to engage Stanley without them.

This isn't so odd. It may just be, frankly, a good idea. There are many TBS games in which 'neutral' cities are just there, and practically any time anyone sees a neutral city, it's meant to be conquered. Besides, Gobwin Knob is the most defensible city in the known world--wouldn't you want that under your control? It's also conveniently placed near Transylvito territory (never know who you're going to fight next), and the RCC has already sacked (and possibly razed) eleven other or so cities. Pillaging GK may allow them to recoup some of their war losses, which is mostly upkeep since they've been on the offensive.

As for Ansom's jerkass behavior, yeah, well, it sucks. The plot armor to keep his butt in one piece? Yeah, that sucks too. However, every time he rises, it's going to be all the sweeter when he's knocked down off of his pedestal, and I hope Wanda's there for that moment with the Arkenpliers waiting to see what happens when you crush a living being's head between them. And I hope Jillian watches. :smallfurious:
At least two of them could ride Jillian's Gwiffons if they can't make it on their own. As for the bats, they seem to be carried by the Warlords, Vinnie's bats have only twenty two move (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0008.html) after all, and Jillian only wanted to take flyers with twenty six plus (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html).

So he benefits from plundering it, he'd still be killing hundreds of people out of greed for Gold.

And why shouldn't we expect him to be catapulted back up to his pedestal the next time he's knocked off it? I mean, being disarmed, knocked of his mount, and surrounded by Uncroaked was reduced to a minor scare, if that can't stop him, what can?

Hatu
2009-01-02, 12:56 AM
So when does Charlie's next turn happen? I don't think it's until the Coalition's next turn... namely, after Parson.


Charlie took his turn during this current day at dawn, before GK (though he ended his turn without attacking). His next turn would begin at the same time the following day, again before Parson. It's possible Charlie's new alliance with Jetstone will cause him to act on Jetstone's turn, but in that case he should be able to move his Archons now, which he clearly cannot. So I'm assuming he's still acting on his own initiative.

Of course, I've no idea how Gobwin Knob is supposed to survive that given the forces Charlie has at his disposal, but at this point mere tactics seem powerless against the plot. I just hope the next few comics can actually advance the plot without immediately resetting it.

-H

Scylfing
2009-01-02, 12:57 AM
as defined in klog 13 airspace borders tower only not courtyard. a clear violation of rules.

I think the courtyard is intended as meaning the area behind the inner walls of the keep, as depicted in panel 8 here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0132.html) for example. That is, once enemy siege units, who are ground units by default, have broken through the outer walls they get to move through the area it encloses up to the keep, courtyard, whatever, where they get to fight the garrison.

Likewise, if flyers wanted to attack the garrison in the courtyard they'd have to deal with whoever's in the tower first, such as those explosions Wanda set off, but anything outside the courtyard but still on the ground (and not underground) could be fair game.


Keep in mind that he seemed quite happy with the idea of croaking Wanda thousands of times. He's merely horrified at Wanda's apparent eagerness to die.

Nah, I think he's just creeped out by her specific phrasing there--I mean, "Touch me with them"? No there's nothing dirty implied there. :smallwink:

FoE
2009-01-02, 12:59 AM
Ooooh. Scary Wanda face. :smallbiggrin:

Nice work on her part, daring Ansom to kill her. It made him hesitate juuuuuust long enough ....

JazzManJim
2009-01-02, 01:03 AM
Like I said in strip 134 thread... Lame.
I'm losing interest fast. The Archons shouldn't have been able to hit Wanda (she was too low already), she shouldn't have (nearly) died from such a small fall (Ansom fell from higher and after being hit hard), Ansom shouldn't have been able to get out of the enemy surrounding him so fast and easily and he shouldn't have been able to take an item from a zone he can't enter, the defenders should have been there faster, etc...


I'm with you.

The inconsistencies of the last two strips have bugged the hell out of me.

Occasional Sage
2009-01-02, 01:06 AM
I love the subtle touch they use in mirroring Wanda's and Ansom's faces. They both have that totally-booped look with the imbalanced eyes, suggesting a real similarity between them (something that we're overlooking?). It's a nice, light touch of symbolism.

DevilDan
2009-01-02, 01:08 AM
as defined in klog 13 airspace borders tower only not courtyard. a clear violation of rules.

Ansom was on the walls and can move from airspace to walls at will; from the walls he can move to the courtyard.

From what I can tell, though, the courtyard is the square area encompassed by the much smaller walls.

Altima
2009-01-02, 01:10 AM
At least two of them could ride Jillian's Gwiffons if they can't make it on their own. As for the bats, they seem to be carried by the Warlords, Vinnie's bats have only twenty two move (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0008.html) after all, and Jillian only wanted to take flyers with twenty six plus (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html).


But Vinny's bats couldn't make it from GK to the ambush point (which is why he mentioned bats, and then the Warlord said they had plenty, basically). They're fliers, but can't be used as mounts, apparently.



So he benefits from plundering it, he'd still be killing hundreds of people out of greed for Gold.

According to leading theory, the RCC started the whole war of aggression because Stanley is, simply, not a royal. They've already hit all of Stanley's other cities. The fact that Ansom is going to take GK no matter what shouldn't surprise you.



And why shouldn't we expect him to be catapulted back up to his pedestal the next time he's knocked off it? I mean, being disarmed, knocked of his mount, and surrounded by Uncroaked was reduced to a minor scare, if that can't stop him, what can?
Well, that's because Wanda will have crushed his skull with the Arkenpliers. I admire your brutal eagerness to see Ansom's corpse flung around like a beach ball, but come on, children read this thing. Plus corpses disappear after a day, so there's only so many Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball-style tournaments you can hold.


Charlie took his turn during this current day at dawn, before GK (though he ended his turn without attacking). His next turn would begin at the same time the following day, again before Parson. It's possible Charlie's new alliance with Jetstone will cause him to act on Jetstone's turn, but in that case he should be able to move his Archons now, which he clearly

It said "Terms of Alliance" on the little treaty, so I imagine that they are currently allied now. Charlie has already moved his archons that day, so he can't move them again (can't double-move, so to speak).

From what I understand, the movement goes like this: Charlie, Transylvito, GK, RCC, and that's it. I'm sure the other nations (Sofa King, for example) also move, but the RCC seems to be moving at Jetstone's turn, since they're the dominant power. So Charlie cannot move his archons, but they automatically attack hostile forces in the same square as the archons (the air force and Wanda, in this instance).

This is why so many people assume that Stanley is going to ride in over the horizon as the cavalry--GK goes first and Stanley has plenty of movement to make it back to the city with his remaining dragons...which, apparently, can attack the siege without fear as all the archers we saw were marbits...and those poor guys didn't do so well.

Aquillion
2009-01-02, 01:16 AM
Also, the way he responds to non-lethal force with attempted murder is particularly vile.That's not entirely fair. First of all, he calls Wanda a 'demoness'. Given her getup and the high probability that he's never seen her before, it's entirely possible that he actually thinks she is one (and while we don't know to what extent 'to what measure is a non-human' applies, it probably applies at least a little bit.)

Second, it's perfectly reasonable for him to assume that she helped kill his men (and, in fact, Parson ordered her down there to assist near the end.) He could even, quite reasonably, assume that she is the one that killed Webinar personally.

Third, only reason she was using non-lethal force was because he happened to be worth more alive than dead at the moment. It would be perfectly reasonable (and in line, in fact, with both Gobwin Knob's reputation and much of its reality) for him to assume that they only wanted to capture him so they could interrogate him, torture him to death, and uncroak him to serve on their side in a more relaxed setting.

Fourth, there's no way to tell for sure if he heard the orders he gave her units. He could quite reasonably assume, given the situation, that she was attempting to kill him.

Fifth, she gives a massive bonus to all the undead on the walls while she's operational. His own team thinks his life is in some danger, even with the carpet; Charlie might protect him, but there's still a risk he could die before next turn. If he croaks Wanda now, it would be a massive advantage for his side, and could save the lives of many of his men; if he attempted to capture her and failed, all of those deaths would be the result of his sentimentality.

I wouldn't say that Ansom is really the shining beacon of honor and morality he thinks he is. But calling what he's doing here, on the battlefield, "responding to non-lethal force with attempted murder" just because Wanda's tactical considerations led her to try and capture instead of croak is grossly unfair. Wanda's own statements make it fairly clear that if the situation were different, she would have gladly attempted to croak him.


The whole stealing her girlfriend thing, remember Jillian? Although when she learns of this, well who knows how she'll react?I am not entirely sure about that. We don't know very much about Wanda's motivations; they could, in fact, be an elaborate effort to get back at Ansom for something in the past.

But if it's just about Jillian, that would at least answer the people who don't think Wanda really loves her.

ShinyBrowncoat
2009-01-02, 01:21 AM
It's possible that Wanda was trying to "steal" the Arkenpliers, but I think it's just as plausible that she thinks she's about to croak, she pretty much wants to croak (Jillian being lost to her), and being croaked by a divine weapon is a boop of a way to go. To touch such a relic just once, even if it means...

Interesting, I hadn't thought of that angle. The interpretation that jumped out to me was the Wanda-could-feel-that-she-would-attune-to-the-arkenpliers one.

And yes, the whole build up to Wanda getting the 'pliers just to have them 'yoinked' away at the last second is extremely frustrating...however, we are watching these strips being written and drawn in real-time. Depending on how the final dozen (or however many) strips turn out, someone reading the entire comic in one sitting might not feel quite so frustrated (or at least not for as long!)

Aquillion
2009-01-02, 01:25 AM
Everyone's believing that Wanda is referring to Jillian but look at Ansom's face in the 9th panel. It seems to be more of an expression of fear or great discomfort. I wouldn't think making moves on Jillian would warrant such an expression. Likely there's some big secret here and a huge twist. Something along the lines of perhaps it was Ansom who sacked Faq rather than Stanely.I think he may simply be disgusted at her way of speaking. Ansom strikes me as the sort of person who would be disgusted, in general, by physical deformity, and Wanda's stroke-victim way of speaking would probably creep him out -- ironically, since it is (very, very indirectly) his fault.

kynalvarus
2009-01-02, 01:25 AM
Re: "less than what you took from me" - I strongly doubt it's about Jillian. Something happened to get Wanda to serve Stanley, to be willing to serve him faithfully even though she wasn't popped to his faction. I'd bet it has to do with the fall of Faq, and possibly with the death of King Saline as well.

Wanda admitted long ago to being skilled in many areas of magic, but only interested in croakamancy. Why? Has she been set on revenge for a very long time?

Ansom only doesn't strike Wanda because of Sizemore's arrival with the golems. He may be horrified by her reaction to his threat, perhaps puzzled by it enough to delay a moment, but the golems arrive before he can make up his mind. He's not at all sure he can solo that many golems, plus Sizemore, plus the remaining garrison that could arrive at any moment, even with the carpet and Arkenpliers. Therefore, he retreats, justifying it as he goes.

As far as rules, Ansom is on his own turn, has move left, and has control of GK airspace. Klog 13 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0129.html) doesn't say that airspace can't attack courtyard, only that it can't attack dungeon. Flying units in the airspace can attack the tower directly, while ground units have to breach the wall and enter the courtyard before they can attack the tower.

Aquillion
2009-01-02, 01:27 AM
One other note -- if you look at Wanda's hand, it looks like she was trying to reach for the Arkenpliers even while incapacitated (it's stretched out right towards where they fell.) Make of that what you will.

EDIT: Also, regarding the theories that Ansom is responsible for the fall of Faq -- remember, its last message to Jillian it fell was a frantic report about an overflight of Dwagons. Ansom seems unlikely to be capable of managing that, and having it just be some random wild dwagons seems like somewhat excessive misdirection. Additionally, Ansom had no unusual reaction on hearing about Jillian's backstory -- he showed no sign of recognizing Faq at all. He doesn't seem like the sort to go to such lengths to deceive Jillian, at least.

He might be responsible for something terrible, but I can't see him actually knowing about it, or realizing what he did.

BossMuro
2009-01-02, 01:36 AM
Wow, I've just started reading this comic, and I'm amazed at how much Ansom hate there is in these forums. I mean, if you don't like him as a character that's one thing, but give him a little credit. Getting saved by Charlie isn't plot armor, it's not a deus ex machina, it's plan B. He had clearly already read the contract, and didn't hesitate to take the deal when it became nessicary. And charging the walls wasn't some stupid, boneheaded move that should've killed him. It was arguably the only thing to do, even if it was personally reckless. Attacking through the tunnels failed horribly the first time, and after the moblins had (presumably) been moved back down into the tunnels, it would be suicide. Waiting a few turns would give Parson plenty of time to do all sorts of horrible things.

The only reason it didn't work is because of whatever connection wanda has to the Arkenpliers. Without that, a fight with the resident knight in shining armour on one side, and a drained caster backed up with a handful of uncroaked on the other would have been more or less equal.

And the fact that he bas back on his feet right after his fall while Wanda almost died is simple: Ansom beats the crap out of people for a living, and Wanda, badass as she is, doesn't(unless they're tied down, of course).

Oh, and I loved the "Gabba gabba hey!" That one must be a punk rock golem.

Elm
2009-01-02, 01:53 AM
As you all might recall, Ansom's quote on the characters page is "If the plan does not plan for problems outside the plan, then it isn't a plan at all." Having a prepared agreement with Charlie, even one subject to amendment, is a perfectly in-character thing for Ansom to do.

Plus, from a plot perspective, having Wanda kill, or even capture, Ansom wouldn't have worked real well - with the RCC hanging by a thread, Ansom going down like that would likely break the siege, leaving Parson without an immediate opportunity to do anything meaningful with his painstakingly introduced chekhov's gun sword.

Aquillion
2009-01-02, 01:59 AM
As you all might recall, Ansom's quote on the characters page is "If the plan does not plan for problems outside the plan, then it isn't a plan at all." Having a prepared agreement with Charlie, even one subject to amendment, is a perfectly in-character thing for Ansom to do.

Plus, from a plot perspective, having Wanda kill, or even capture, Ansom wouldn't have worked real well - with the RCC hanging by a thread, Ansom going down like that would likely break the siege, leaving Parson without an immediate opportunity to do anything meaningful with his painstakingly introduced chekhov's gun sword.Well, there would still have been Charlie to deal with. But yes, it would have been a massively anticlimatic ending to Ansom's storyline thus far.

Devoured_Dude
2009-01-02, 02:51 AM
Of course Charlie would want the pliers in the hands of relatively foolish leader (Ansom) rather than a brilliant tactician (Parson). Charlie wants Parson as an underling, not as an equal or possible competitor.

SteveMB
2009-01-02, 03:01 AM
1. Parson needs to put that sword to use. Eat unstated giant commander.
2. Is Ansom begining to doubt? In this recent comic he avoids touching Wanda with the arkenpilers. Is it a. because of the golems, b. because of his stated reason (he's need on the walls) or c. because he know that that would be a bad idea. Facial expression in panel nine, plus the fact that he knows Stanley was attuned says c. to me.

Relevance? "My will is the Titan's will," he says, just before his beat down. If he's doubting that...

For some time, I've suspected that Ansom's underlying motivation, going even beyond what he kinda sorta let slip in his conversation with Vinny, is determination to prove that he (being a proper royal) is favored by the Titans and that Stanley the Worm is not... because, deep down, he harbors doubts stemming from the apparent opposite verdict of the Arkentools.

I think that, whether or not Wanda actually wanted Ansom to touch her with the Arkenpliers because she thought she'd attune to them, Ansom believed that Wanda thought so, and that she might be right. In effect, Wanda was daring him to put the matter to the test, and see if the Arkentools rendered yet another thumbs-down to Ansom's worldview.

And Ansom simply wasn't willing to risk that. And he flew away, a flimsy rationalization on his lips.

dr pepper
2009-01-02, 03:27 AM
Seems wrong that Ansom could remount his carpet and retrieve the pliers with no further risk.

Stormthorn
2009-01-02, 03:32 AM
Actually, I think that's a really interesting point.

Note that Erfworld has no concept of children and, therefore, no concept of parenting. You can have a mentor, and even be the heir to someone's throne, but you pop fully formed - you're not reared by anyone.

That also means there are no brothers, or sisters, or cousins, or anything, except in the *metaphorical* sense. There's no true family, not literally.

This does really interesting things to morality! When you kill someone, for example, you may be killing someone's friend or even lover, but you KNOW you're not killing anyone's mom or dad. There are no orphans.

Are you really sure about your assessment of who was harmed more, Ansom or Wanda?

This also makes croakmancers the closest thing to a parent int his world. A leader makes a unit out of resources (so he is more of a craftsman). Its a functioning person but from the necromancer (or croakmancer) POV its just a proto-unit. It has all the parts to be raised under the necromancers control but the necromancer needs to act for it to actualy happen.

Warlord creates unit from whats lying around (resources) and the unit dies. Croakmancer uses her magic (something personal with drawn directly from her own energy) and uncroaks it. The unit is its own mother and the croakmancer is the father.

So Wanda has more right to care about her uncroaked being destroyed than Stan does about his men dying. So its probably a bad idea for him to throw "those were my men" in her face as he fights against them now that they are uncroaked.

headhoncho
2009-01-02, 03:38 AM
Seems wrong that Ansom could remount his carpet and retrieve the pliers with no further risk.

Yup. I'm with the several others who think these past two strips have been among the worst. The airspace-borders-courtyard inconsistency is also jarring and lame.

The authors have asked us to trust that they have a well-thought out ruleset behind the story. When you have inconsistencies pop up like these, without any exposition or explanation (and in fact, directly contrary to past exposition), trust is forced to become suspension of disbelief, which becomes more and more difficult over time.

And what a worthless horde of undead on the walls, by the way.

EDIT: And wow, Ansom sure fended off that horde of undead, and got his carpet, and whooshed down to Wanda pretty darn quick! Sure makes those poor undead unipegataurs and archon seem like turtles, what with their eternity to move the short distance that it took Ansom to survive a fall off his carpet to the top of the wall.

Fafnir13
2009-01-02, 03:56 AM
Charlie took his turn during this current day at dawn, before GK (though he ended his turn without attacking). His next turn would begin at the same time the following day, again before Parson. It's possible Charlie's new alliance with Jetstone will cause him to act on Jetstone's turn, but in that case he should be able to move his Archons now, which he clearly cannot. So I'm assuming he's still acting on his own initiative

He cannot move this turn because all move drops to zero at the end of your turn. He'll be locked in with the Jetstone's next turn which is a darn good thing as it will allow Parson one more action before anyone can kill him. If the Archons still moved before him, the comic would end with GK getting wiped out. Not exactly the ending I was looking forward to, so I'm glad that the ever so clever authors were able to set things up this way.
Speaking of clever authors, nice to get some good foreshadowing in on the Arkenpliers attuning with Wanda. I know it's been the assumption of the forums for quite some time, but anyone reading in a vacuum would probably be hard pressed to come up with it before this little confrontation. We've gotten quite the tantalizing taste of it, but it really is too soon for such a thing to happen. Boop's got to hit the fan before you pull the big guns out. :smallbiggrin:

Revenancer
2009-01-02, 04:00 AM
Is it just me, or does the "touch me" line seem to scream that Wanda knows exactly how the pliers work and knows they will to attune to her? If she was suicidal or baiting him she would have said "hit me".

Also agree that the constant hitting Parson in his balls with a plot hammer is getting really tedious. The guy started off with every disadvantage imaginable, and yet there hasn't been a single way in which he's been allowed to stage a comeback without being slapped down. No one is interested in or impressed by the story of an army 25 times the size of its opponent winning.

Aquillion
2009-01-02, 04:41 AM
And Ansom simply wasn't willing to risk that. And he flew away, a flimsy rationalization on his lips.Not quite. He didn't react, really (beyond his expression) until after Sizemore and the golems arrived. At that point, touching Wanda with the pliers was no longer a viable or sane option even if he'd wanted to.

And to all the people who think this is just a return to status quo -- as I pointed out in the last page's thread, Parson was completely screwed regardless unless he could do something about Charlie. There were no other turns between this turn and Charlie's. Charlie only offered to delay the attack for one turn, out of (so he said) curiosity. If Charlie had not allied with Ansom just now, Parson would have been screwed, regardless of anything else that happened.

That alone is a fairly major development. It is now possible for Stanley to get back before Charlie's next turn; before, it wasn't.

Boneyard
2009-01-02, 04:48 AM
I think that, whether or not Wanda actually wanted Ansom to touch her with the Arkenpliers because she thought she'd attune to them, Ansom believed that Wanda thought so, and that she might be right. In effect, Wanda was daring him to put the matter to the test, and see if the Arkentools rendered yet another thumbs-down to Ansom's worldview.

And Ansom simply wasn't willing to risk that. And he flew away, a flimsy rationalization on his lips.

I think you are right on the money.

Altima
2009-01-02, 05:01 AM
Wouldn't it be funny if the Arkentools were (semi)sentient and Ansom's Arkenpliers protested rather...forcefully at being removed from a potential attuner?

Justyn
2009-01-02, 05:25 AM
Wouldn't it be funny if the Arkentools were (semi)sentient and Ansom's Arkenpliers protested rather...forcefully at being removed from a potential attuner?

Doesn't the cast page imply that the Arkenhammer is sentient?

Whispri
2009-01-02, 05:42 AM
But Vinny's bats couldn't make it from GK to the ambush point (which is why he mentioned bats, and then the Warlord said they had plenty, basically). They're fliers, but can't be used as mounts, apparently.

According to leading theory, the RCC started the whole war of aggression because Stanley is, simply, not a royal. They've already hit all of Stanley's other cities. The fact that Ansom is going to take GK no matter what shouldn't surprise you.

Well, that's because Wanda will have crushed his skull with the Arkenpliers. I admire your brutal eagerness to see Ansom's corpse flung around like a beach ball, but come on, children read this thing. Plus corpses disappear after a day, so there's only so many Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball-style tournaments you can hold.
He had eight with him after meeting Wanda. Eight bats that shouldn't have been able to reach the ambush site in two turns let alone one. And yet there they were. Therefore I suggest that Vinni carried them. We actually see the Translyvyto Warlords unleashing bats like drones from a mothership.

Did I say I was surprised?

He could be taken alive and flung in the pit, and if croaked it doesn't have to be any more brutal than all the other croakings. Plus he could have escaped without being able to recapture the Pliers.


That's not entirely fair. First of all, he calls Wanda a 'demoness'. Given her getup and the high probability that he's never seen her before, it's entirely possible that he actually thinks she is one (and while we don't know to what extent 'to what measure is a non-human' applies, it probably applies at least a little bit.)

Second, it's perfectly reasonable for him to assume that she helped kill his men (and, in fact, Parson ordered her down there to assist near the end.) He could even, quite reasonably, assume that she is the one that killed Webinar personally.

Third, only reason she was using non-lethal force was because he happened to be worth more alive than dead at the moment. It would be perfectly reasonable (and in line, in fact, with both Gobwin Knob's reputation and much of its reality) for him to assume that they only wanted to capture him so they could interrogate him, torture him to death, and uncroak him to serve on their side in a more relaxed setting.

Fourth, there's no way to tell for sure if he heard the orders he gave her units. He could quite reasonably assume, given the situation, that she was attempting to kill him.

Fifth, she gives a massive bonus to all the undead on the walls while she's operational. His own team thinks his life is in some danger, even with the carpet; Charlie might protect him, but there's still a risk he could die before next turn. If he croaks Wanda now, it would be a massive advantage for his side, and could save the lives of many of his men; if he attempted to capture her and failed, all of those deaths would be the result of his sentimentality.

I wouldn't say that Ansom is really the shining beacon of honor and morality he thinks he is. But calling what he's doing here, on the battlefield, "responding to non-lethal force with attempted murder" just because Wanda's tactical considerations led her to try and capture instead of croak is grossly unfair. Wanda's own statements make it fairly clear that if the situation were different, she would have gladly attempted to croak him.

I am not entirely sure about that. We don't know very much about Wanda's motivations; they could, in fact, be an elaborate effort to get back at Ansom for something in the past.

But if it's just about Jillian, that would at least answer the people who don't think Wanda really loves her.
The colour of her armour has no impact on alignment. If Ansom murders people on the basis of the type of clothing they wear then he's even more spit worthy than I've been giving him credit. And even if he did think that, it still doesn't justify murdering enemy wounded.

Casters are rarely sent into battle, and even if he thinks she was involved in the actual croaking part of the occasion, he knows damn well she can't disobey orders. And it wouldn't be justification for murdering enemy wounded even if she had been involved.

A bold statement. What makes you think she isn't taking him prisoner just because she could? Note the only person Wanda is known to have tortured is Jillian, a girl who liked it and who Ansom knows wasn't traumatised by being captured and interrogated repeatedly. They only need a corpse for uncroaking and the corpses can be prevented from fading by having them moved. Things he thinks they might have done to him as he judges them by his own low standards are no justification for murdering the incapacitated.

Their weapons were locked together when she gave the order to 'Disarm and Dismount'. And he was able to recognise the Warlord who thumped him so I really have to say that he's faster on the uptake than you give him credit. Plus Ansom was armed and dangerous, Wanda is wounded, helpless and poor hearing is no justification for murdering her.

She does not give a bonus to the undead on the walls as they are not part of her stack. Furthermore even if she was leading them, that would have changed if he had taken her prisoner which he could easily have done. So, no, it does not give him justifaction for murdering her.

She is incapacitated, dying, unable to fight back. He could easily have taken her prisoner. And yet he made his murderous intent clear. It doesn't really matter how hard you try and find excuses for his escalation of force, there's simply no getting away from the fact that he was openly planning to murder someone who was completely at his mercy. And while it's clear that she doesn't like him one little bit, it's also clear that she was trying to take him alive and he couldn't prevent it without screaming "Chhhhhhaaaaaaaarrrrlllieeeee!!!!!"

Are you in with the Ansom at Faq theory then? Or do you have something else in mind?

True dat.


EDIT: Also, regarding the theories that Ansom is responsible for the fall of Faq -- remember, its last message to Jillian it fell was a frantic report about an overflight of Dwagons. Ansom seems unlikely to be capable of managing that, and having it just be some random wild dwagons seems like somewhat excessive misdirection. Additionally, Ansom had no unusual reaction on hearing about Jillian's backstory -- he showed no sign of recognizing Faq at all. He doesn't seem like the sort to go to such lengths to deceive Jillian, at least.

He might be responsible for something terrible, but I can't see him actually knowing about it, or realizing what he did.
Something else then, you realise that Ansom has repeatedly hired people with mind controlling magic at their disposal? As I said upthread, all it takes is one spell on Jillian and Ansom not knowing that Stanley knows where Faq is located. I certainly wouldn't call it impossible.


And to all the people who think this is just a return to status quo -- as I pointed out in the last page's thread, Parson was completely screwed regardless unless he could do something about Charlie. There were no other turns between this turn and Charlie's. Charlie only offered to delay the attack for one turn, out of (so he said) curiosity. If Charlie had not allied with Ansom just now, Parson would have been screwed, regardless of anything else that happened.

That alone is a fairly major development. It is now possible for Stanley to get back before Charlie's next turn; before, it wasn't.
Charlie could have allied with the RCC without Ansom bouncing back to his carpet, recapturing the Pliers and heading back to the walls as if nothing had happened.

It's possible he's already back, the Dwagons with the lowest move are the ones least likely to have survived the ambush after all. And there is cloud cover.


Wow, I've just started reading this comic, and I'm amazed at how much Ansom hate there is in these forums. I mean, if you don't like him as a character that's one thing, but give him a little credit. Getting saved by Charlie isn't plot armor, it's not a deus ex machina, it's plan B. He had clearly already read the contract, and didn't hesitate to take the deal when it became nessicary. And charging the walls wasn't some stupid, boneheaded move that should've killed him. It was arguably the only thing to do, even if it was personally reckless. Attacking through the tunnels failed horribly the first time, and after the moblins had (presumably) been moved back down into the tunnels, it would be suicide. Waiting a few turns would give Parson plenty of time to do all sorts of horrible things.

The only reason it didn't work is because of whatever connection wanda has to the Arkenpliers. Without that, a fight with the resident knight in shining armour on one side, and a drained caster backed up with a handful of uncroaked on the other would have been more or less equal.

And the fact that he bas back on his feet right after his fall while Wanda almost died is simple: Ansom beats the crap out of people for a living, and Wanda, badass as she is, doesn't(unless they're tied down, of course).

Oh, and I loved the "Gabba gabba hey!" That one must be a punk rock golem.
All the other RCC Warlords expected him to die and quickly.

Wanda was following Parson's orders, and he couldn't have known the Arkenpliers would perv at her rather than fight (if they did of course, Ansom may just be a bad loser on top of everything else). Ergo she was the best choice to staffhead the charge against Ansom. And he has hundreds of people at his disposal, a number of whom are listed as being high level.

He survived because Wanda ordered him captured not killed, and because time bent in his favour (Parson barely had time to swear before Ansom was diving on the Arkenpliers!). Note that Manpower went down to a single crossbow bolt, and he fought for a living as well.

Nerd_Paladin
2009-01-02, 06:01 AM
Perhaps the inconsistencies with timing and speed of movement can be reconciled by considering that there are very specific (but not known to we readers) rules about how/when people in Erfworld can move. We know that Ansom has a huge amount of move, perhaps there's something about being a Warlord that accounts for his improbable speed, particularly during his turn.

I must confess puzzlement at how people can so loathe Ansom while at the same time expressing fondness for a characters like Wanda, whose hobbies (that we've seen) include murder, torture, rape, and various psychic tricks that have no technical definition but can pretty firmly be filed under the list of "Worst things you can do to another person" (to say nothing of all the zombie-making). What's Ansom's big crime? Bad attitude? Being pompous? Strange set of standards, that's for sure.

Miklus
2009-01-02, 06:15 AM
I think that, whether or not Wanda actually wanted Ansom to touch her with the Arkenpliers because she thought she'd attune to them, Ansom believed that Wanda thought so, and that she might be right. In effect, Wanda was daring him to put the matter to the test, and see if the Arkentools rendered yet another thumbs-down to Ansom's worldview.

And Ansom simply wasn't willing to risk that. And he flew away, a flimsy rationalization on his lips.

My thoughts exactly. Ansom said "what have you done to them" when she disarmed him. Ansom knows that Wanda is better attuned to the pliers than he is. He is starting to doubt himself. This could end badly in many ways.

The "less than what you took from me" - line has me puzzled too. Probably she means Jillian. Ansom is not really aware of Jillian and Wanda's little "thing", is he? A bit of a kick in the knickers, that.

Some people suggested that it was Ansom who razed FAQ. But we know that it was attacked by dwagons. And Stanley ended up with all the casters. Five in all, if I can count. Ansom might still be somehow responsible, or he could just have let it happen, Pearl Habour style.

Is it also possible she means the pliers? Did she have them at one point? That would explain how she knows so much about them. Maybe she put Stanley up to this whole quest-for-the-Arkentools just to get them back? I would not be the least bit surpised to learn that Wanda is the brains behind it all.

Whispri
2009-01-02, 06:21 AM
Do we know there were Dwagons involved? Sure Jillian says she got a panicked Thinkagram about Dwagons, but were they really the cause of Faq's fall? Is the Arkenhammer the only way of acquiring Dwagons? Is Jillians mind her own? Could Ansom have hired Charlie to send out a fake distress call? Only Wanda and Jack have the Croatan eyes, so that's likely all Stanley got as far as Faq's Casters are concerned. And I note that if anyone could escape a falling City, it's a Foolamancer.


Perhaps the inconsistencies with timing and speed of movement can be reconciled by considering that there are very specific (but not known to we readers) rules about how/when people in Erfworld can move. We know that Ansom has a huge amount of move, perhaps there's something about being a Warlord that accounts for his improbable speed, particularly during his turn.

I must confess puzzlement at how people can so loathe Ansom while at the same time expressing fondness for a characters like Wanda, whose hobbies (that we've seen) include murder, torture, rape, and various psychic tricks that have no technical definition but can pretty firmly be filed under the list of "Worst things you can do to another person" (to say nothing of all the zombie-making). What's Ansom's big crime? Bad attitude? Being pompous? Strange set of standards, that's for sure.
Webinar was a Warlord too.

The only person she's 'tortured' liked it, the only people she's killed were about to fly off and Croak her Overlord, and she is bound to said Overlord by far tighter restrictions than a mere suggestion spell thanks to natural Thinkamancy, so it's not as if she had much choice in any of this. Plus she gave Bogroll his dream job just like that. As for Ansom, he's a violent thug who's sent men to fight and die 'cause he didn't like how Saline IV chose his heir. Plus he's rather keen on things like sacking defenceless cities and murdering defenceless people and he'd have gotten away with it if it wasn't for the Big Damn Heroes.

ishnar
2009-01-02, 06:27 AM
Plus he's rather keen on things like sacking defenceless cities and murdering defenceless people and he'd have gotten away with it if it wasn't for the Big Damn Heroes.


Don't confuse defenseless with insufficient defense. So far we've no news of anyone attacking a defenseless city. Even FAQ had defenses.

Whispri
2009-01-02, 06:37 AM
Don't confuse defenseless with insufficient defense. So far we've no news of anyone attacking a defenseless city. Even FAQ had defenses.
I was referring to his plan to attack Gobwin Knob after Stanley was dead and the City became neutral. He referred to this as "Helpless Barbarism".

ishnar
2009-01-02, 06:50 AM
I was referring to his pan to attack Gobwin Knob after Stanley was dead and the City became neutral. He referred to this as "Helpless Barbarism".

It's a bit of a misnomer though. Technically, the city is still defensible, they just lose all initative and retreat is not an option.

Whispri
2009-01-02, 06:56 AM
It's a bit of a misnomer though. Technically, the city is still defensible, they just lose all initative and retreat is not an option.
They also lose the ability to heal. No turns after all. So hit and run attacks can eat them away with no or minimal losses and not a booping thing can be done about it. More importantly, and this is really my point, they can't take any hostile action. They would be rendered harmless.

ReccaSquirrel
2009-01-02, 07:05 AM
Until Parson starts using that sword of his, he's going to keep seeing defeat.

RedMike512
2009-01-02, 07:07 AM
Wanda is clearly "bad" but interesting and, at least to some, a likable character. Ansom is clearly "good", but not so interesting, and to most, an unlikable character. That's part of what makes this comic interesting. Unfortunately, it also makes it painful when Ansom gets away.

I'll echo the previous comments about wishing the comic moved a little faster. I feel like we've been in the same place (situation wise) for a long time.

Varthonai
2009-01-02, 07:17 AM
Could Ansom have hired Charlie to send out a fake distress call?

Oh I really hope it's not a cliché like that.

Erfworld's really interesting to me because it uses really subtle, underhanded means to make you dislike the "heroes"... it makes guys like Ansom into pompous, arrogant, and overconfident macho snobs, which are things you'd expect from a hero anyway. It makes you find your own reasons to hate the good guys.

Sort of like Wanda's suggestion spell, now that I think about it.

But that would all be broken if we found out that Ansom had done something explicitly fraudulent and corrupt. We'd have a legitimate reason to hate him for going to war with Stanley instead of having a general, quiet, almost subliminal sense of loathing against his very existence. It wouldn't be half as cool.

Shua
2009-01-02, 08:00 AM
Very interesting indeed. The look on Ansoms face told it all. I think we have our answer regarding the pliers and Wanda.

~ Shua

SteveMB
2009-01-02, 08:54 AM
Yup. I'm with the several others who think these past two strips have been among the worst. The airspace-borders-courtyard inconsistency

Courtyard? The action isn't anywhere near the courtyard (the area inside the inner wall). They're in the outer wall zone (which includes the area between the outer and inner wall, which an enemy must control to assail the courtyard) or in airspace.

DigoDragon
2009-01-02, 08:58 AM
but anyone reading in a vacuum would probably be hard pressed to come up with it before this little confrontation.

But if you're in a vaccuum you wouldn't be under pressure. :smallsmile:
Just kidding. I agree with your point that with Charlie allied to Jetstone, Parson has one last turn to come up with a 'hail mary' play.

Maybe we'll see a Stan/Ansom "Duel of the Tools"?

Phrozt
2009-01-02, 09:08 AM
First of all... two erfs that quickly!!! Awesome!!

Second... I'm guessing Wanda is talking about Jillian.

The Minx
2009-01-02, 09:16 AM
"It's less than what you took from me"

Go to the cast (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erfcast.html) page. Notice Wanda's tribe statistic: "Human - the lost Croatan tribe". Emphasis mine.

Perhaps Ansom destroyed her tribe? And then she willingly joined Stanley because she knew he and Ansom were/would become enemies? Her comment would make sense that way, as would her loyalty sans spells, as commented on by Jillian and Jaclyn.


Yes, he could easily fit her on that carpet, it's supported two people in the past. Then he could fly her back to his camp, before returning to the Walls. Rather than crying out for a Rod of Resurrection so he could murder her several times. She's incapacitated, it wouldn't have been hard.

Why should he do that? They are at war, and besides, she just turned his men (including a friend/confidante) into a zombie.

A lot of people seem to be aggravated at Ansom for wanting to take Gobwin Knob, but seriously, why is that? Despite Stanley having attacked people left right and center, apparently. Taking GK would make sense, since there was no certainty that Jillian's mission to croak Stanley would succeed.

Tweed
2009-01-02, 09:17 AM
I must confess puzzlement at how people can so loathe Ansom while at the same time expressing fondness for a characters like Wanda, whose hobbies (that we've seen) include murder, torture, rape, and various psychic tricks that have no technical definition but can pretty firmly be filed under the list of "Worst things you can do to another person" (to say nothing of all the zombie-making). What's Ansom's big crime? Bad attitude? Being pompous? Strange set of standards, that's for sure.

Even though this point wasn't directed at me or my earlier post, I want to use it as a springboard to better explain my position.

My problem with the past two comics, and with most of the run up until this point, is not based on my dislike for Ansom. True, I am not rooting for him, but I don't hate him. Like many readers here, I am able to be fond of the villain -- I am a big fan of Xykon from OOTs, and I am sure there are many people here who are, even though he is unequivocally evil-with-a-capital-"E" and has committed many heinous acts. Still, he is a character, and a well-developed one, so I appreciate him and his actions.

Ansom is an entirely different story. We have no insight into what he's all about, no exposition on why he's at war with Stanley. For every ounce of competence he's demonstrated he's shown himself ten times the fool. Yet he emerges each time victorious. Now, in these past two strips, he's acting in essentially god mode: falling from his mount, sustaining no real damage, reviewing a contract, calling in the tac-nuke archons to save his butt, remounting, flying into the courtyard, seizing the 'pliers, engaging in dialogue, then flying away, all while being surrounded by a horde of undead. I'm sorry, but I call foul.

So my displeasure is not with Ansom. If Ansom had shown himself a capable leader, as smart as Parson or as skilled a warrior as Jillian, or had even trumped Parson once during this entire arc through sheer strategy alone, I wouldn't mind as much that he's flouting the rules and dragging out the narrative again. But since that's not the case, I'm just getting bored and frustrated.

Kreistor
2009-01-02, 09:26 AM
Like I said in strip 134 thread... Lame.
I'm losing interest fast. The Archons shouldn't have been able to hit Wanda (she was too low already), she shouldn't have (nearly) died from such a small fall (Ansom fell from higher and after being hit hard), Ansom shouldn't have been able to get out of the enemy surrounding him so fast and easily and he shouldn't have been able to take an item from a zone he can't enter, the defenders should have been there faster, etc...

I completely agree with this. That author is playing very fast and loose with rules here. Airspace can't attack Courtyard, so Ansom must be attacking from Outer Walls... but he hasn't won Outer Walls yet, so he should not be allowed to attack a new zone.

(I don't agree with one, actually. Wanda was last seen diving towards the ground. She mmay have fallen from a short distance, but she had lots of downward speed already, and could easily have died from it.)

The Minx
2009-01-02, 09:28 AM
Ansom is an entirely different story. We have no insight into what he's all about, no exposition on why he's at war with Stanley. For every ounce of competence he's demonstrated he's shown himself ten times the fool. Yet he emerges each time victorious. Now, in these past two strips, he's acting in essentially god mode: falling from his mount, sustaining no real damage, reviewing a contract, calling in the tac-nuke archons to save his butt, remounting, flying into the courtyard, seizing the 'pliers, engaging in dialogue, then flying away, all while being surrounded by a horde of undead. I'm sorry, but I call foul.

He fell from less of a height than Wanda, and Charlie was always meant to be unpredictable. This is not godmoding, it is Parson hanging in by the skin of his teeth in an impossible situation.


So my displeasure is not with Ansom. If Ansom had shown himself a capable leader, as smart as Parson or as skilled a warrior as Jillian, or had even trumped Parson once during this entire arc through sheer strategy alone, I wouldn't mind as much that he's flouting the rules and dragging out the narrative again. But since that's not the case, I'm just getting bored and frustrated.

He has ten times the forces Parson does. If he were as competent as you would like, this war would already be over. I don't really get the impression that he is a pushover as a warrior anyway. I mean, he has been knocked down once throughout the comic, and that was only just now, by an uncroaked warlord with Wanda's "huge" bonus, and Parson's new Leadership bonus (since all units in the capital get that - see Klog # something or other). Also, he does have resilience in spades (see your earlier objection, ironically :smallwink:).

His strengths are Leadership, Planning and Coalition Building. Leadership may refer simply to his Leadership bonus. Coalition building? He has that capability certainly. Planning? Well, not as a master strategist, but as far as managing a huge army on the march is concerned, then yes. In other words, he is capable of bringing huge forces to bear.

pclips has stated that the rules of the game would be made available after the comic was complete. Perhaps it is our ignorance of all the details of these rules that make people not want to give the writers the benefit of the doubt?

leo_neil316
2009-01-02, 09:34 AM
You know jillian just says she got a frantic message about an overflight of dragons and the next turn she was a barbarian, Faq seems to have been right next doors to gowbin knob, certainly inside the sort of distance where Warlord Stanley might have easily reached it while patrolling the borders and Stanley seemed -upset- that Jillian didn't like him.

I still reckon Saline was allied with Faq and Stanley was sent to help. The message could well have been cut off in the middle of 'We're under attack! You have to come back and save us. Wait, whats that? A wing of dragons? *splortch as caster is killed* ghost caster 'We're saved! Gobwin Knob has come!...... Wait, damn.

Strega
2009-01-02, 09:37 AM
This is getting a bit tiresome. First Parson lost the dragon battle he should have won through such a series of unlikely events that it amounted to direct writer fiat, now we get one worst case outcome after another. It's getting almost too depressing to read this strip.

Phrozt
2009-01-02, 09:59 AM
Nice work on her part, daring Ansom to kill her. It made him hesitate juuuuuust long enough ....

I think the "uncroaked" theme was played out perfectly in this comic. You see this pitiful half-crushed figure dressed in death, who animates death and she's reaching up at you beckoning you to come to her. Was perfectly creepy.


The "less than what you took from me" - line has me puzzled too. Probably she means Jillian. Ansom is not really aware of Jillian and Wanda's little "thing", is he? A bit of a kick in the knickers, that.

I'm pretty sure that he at least has some idea of what went on, if not all of it. I'm not nearly as good as everyone else is about quoting past comics as reference, but I believe it was in the first couple of comics where you see Ansom and Jillian together that you get the idea he knows something went on and even that he was jealous.



Ansom is an entirely different story. We have no insight into what he's all about, no exposition on why he's at war with Stanley. For every ounce of competence he's demonstrated he's shown himself ten times the fool. Yet he emerges each time victorious. Now, in these past two strips, he's acting in essentially god mode: falling from his mount, sustaining no real damage, reviewing a contract, calling in the tac-nuke archons to save his butt, remounting, flying into the courtyard, seizing the 'pliers, engaging in dialogue, then flying away, all while being surrounded by a horde of undead. I'm sorry, but I call foul.

Or maybe it's just because we haven't seen him in action yet. Up until now he's pretty much just been giving orders or only getting into small skirmishes, whereas we've already seen everyone else fight. Perhaps he had this insane fighting ability all along, we just haven't seen it yet.

Also, take a look at his armor. He looks a lot like a paladin, who we all know are overpowered in pretty much every game ;P.


EDIT: references to Ansom knowing about Jillian:
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0008.html - Here you can see that he brings up the number of times she was captured, and she's telling him not to obsess (or be jealous) of it. If it were something entirely out of her control, Jillian would apologize for letting herself get captured. Instead, she acts more like she has the upper hand of the situation and that Ansom knows it.

SteveMB
2009-01-02, 10:00 AM
I completely agree with this. That author is playing very fast and loose with rules here. Airspace can't attack Courtyard, so Ansom must be attacking from Outer Walls... but he hasn't won Outer Walls yet, so he should not be allowed to attack a new zone.

After thinking about it a bit, it seems to me that the area between the outer circular wall and the inner square wall (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0117.html) (which is where the current page takes place) is part of the "outer walls" zone. That fits with the description (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0129.html) that the enemy needs to fully control outer walls before they can attack the courtyard and that they need to breach another set of "garrison walls" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0109.html) (i.e. the square wall) to do so.

I suspect that, if we had the full mechanics laid out, breaching the outer wall reduces or eliminates a defensive fortification bonus, but does not in and of itself give control of the outer wall zone or ability to attack the courtyard.


(I don't agree with one, actually. Wanda was last seen diving towards the ground. She may have fallen from a short distance, but she had lots of downward speed already, and could easily have died from it.)

The mechanics of Erfworld are described as "simple" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html) (though they may be more complex than Parson realized at the time he wrote that); extra falling damage for initial velocity is just the sort of thing that would get trimmed in a mechanics simplification.


Or maybe it's just because we haven't seen him in action yet. Up until now he's pretty much just been giving orders or only getting into small skirmishes, whereas we've already seen everyone else fight. Perhaps he had this insane fighting ability all along, we just haven't seen it yet.

Also, take a look at his armor. He looks a lot like a paladin, who we all know are overpowered in pretty much every game ;P.

Also, we are specifically told that royals have better stats and level up faster (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0088.html) than otherwise similar units. (Having Ansom's notions about the superiority of royalty turn out to be 100% accurate in that sense in that sense is a neat curveball, IMO.)

Graymayre
2009-01-02, 10:01 AM
Heh, "are become". That's almost as good as "an hero".

Dragonath
2009-01-02, 10:08 AM
Weird to keep on reading, almost depressing, and all the more unlikely for Parson to win this battle. I bet the twist on how Parson will eventually win will be even more awkward than these twists.

We'll have to wait and see though, funny how people are pushing eachother into: "Hey this comic ain' right, *whine* *whine* etc...", while people like SteveMB reviews the situation with facts and a sharp eye and are able to read this comic with an objective view. :smallwink:

Moechi_Vill
2009-01-02, 10:31 AM
Sizemore to the rescue.
Wanda's more intriguing by the strip.
What on erf is she on about?


She'll go kablooey with power if he touches her with it of course. Durh. ^^

Eraniverse
2009-01-02, 10:40 AM
I find it interesting that Wanda's hand is straining toward the Arkenpliers even before Ansom makes it down. To me that suggests the "Touch me" is no bluff. Whether or not she's looking for death or attunement is a stickier matter.

Whispri
2009-01-02, 10:48 AM
Perhaps Ansom destroyed her tribe? And then she willingly joined Stanley because she knew he and Ansom were/would become enemies? Her comment would make sense that way, as would her loyalty sans spells, as commented on by Jillian and Jaclyn.

Why should he do that? They are at war, and besides, she just turned his men (including a friend/confidante) into a zombie.

A lot of people seem to be aggravated at Ansom for wanting to take Gobwin Knob, but seriously, why is that? Despite Stanley having attacked people left right and center, apparently. Taking GK would make sense, since there was no certainty that Jillian's mission to croak Stanley would succeed.
I've always assumed that the Croatan Tribe was the Tribe that dwelt in Faq. If he did destroy her tribe, either he really did destroy Faq or this is the third side she's served that has been brought to the brink of annihilation.

Why shouldn't he? Murdering the wounded is never acceptable. As for the uncroaked, what of it? She was given a direct order, she had no choice but to obey. And the order was made in the hopes of saving a City and it's people from those who intend to destroy them. How many thousands have died in Ansom's war? Or is it tens of thousands?

Ansom by his own admittance had no cause for war. It's been alleged that Stanley has attacked other sides, but there's no smoking gun (unlike in Ansom's case). Who knows what happened at Faq for example? Now Ansom? He wasn't going to let a little thing like Stanley dying, and his last City losing all capacity to wage war stop him from slaughtering the inhabitants and taking their stuff. He's a bad guy. Stanley might be just as bad, but it's just not proven in his case.

Moechi_Vill
2009-01-02, 10:57 AM
It is rather annoying me how Wanda was diving for it and Ansom scrolled down, read the text, protested, agreed to it, and the Archons fought for him and Wanda didn't make it in time... should've been shown very differently.

Still love the comic though.

SteveMB
2009-01-02, 11:00 AM
Ansom by his own admittance had no cause for war. It's been alleged that Stanley has attacked other sides, but there's no smoking gun (unlike in Ansom's case). Who knows what happened at Faq for example? Now Ansom? He wasn't going to let a little thing like Stanley dying, and his last City losing all capacity to wage war stop him from slaughtering the inhabitants and taking their stuff. He's a bad guy. Stanley might be just as bad, but it's just not proven in his case.

I think it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that Stanley may not be guilty of attacking anybody. For one thing, if people were accusing him of unprovoked attacks of which he was not guilty, and going to war with him on that basis, I think he would have complained about that slander during his little rant (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0032.html). For another, sustaining such a deception (by the real attacker) and/or mistake (by the RCC) through an entire military campaign just doesn't seem at all plausible.

That said, there may be something to the notion that Stanley wasn't necessarily the one who attacked Faq -- the "overflight of dwagons" could have been wild ones (the Arkenhamer "tames" them, not "pops" them), or even Stanley coming to the rescue (and whoever sent Jillian the message got cut off or otherwise failed to properly explain the situation).

selgnij
2009-01-02, 11:14 AM
Just thought I'd speak up in regards to what seems to be a fairly considerable feeling that the battle just keeps getting more unwinnable for Parson. Thanks to Ansom's casualty report, a bit of quick math reveals that from the oridgonal 25:1, the numbers are now around... 2:1. Thats assuming Ansom was reporting the total losses in the tunnels, not just Jetstone losses. (If that wasn't including marbit losses, well yikes.) Thats a tad misleading of course, most of GK's forces are extreamly weak uncroacked, and the RCC has picked up more archons, which have been shown to be effective attackers, even if it remains to be seen how they fair against full health opponents they don't badly outnumber. Also, GK lost most of their dwagons, some very powerful units.

Still, from 25:1 to 2:1, and GK is a defensive position. Even if Jetstone can break the walls now (which seems likely) they are left with the options of :

A: Fighting through the horde of uncroaked, then assaulting the garrison walls.

B: Making a mad dash for the garrison walls and hoping they can break through and capture the garrison before they get swarmed by said uncroaked.

C: Some combination of A and B.

Simply counting on shear force of numbers to crush the opposition isn't a sure-fire tactic anymore.

And those archons were what would be enough to take the garrison before GK's forces were multiplied thanks to the horde of uncroaked. And possibly Parson's increase in leadership bonus, and Stanley may be capable of returning before the archons can attack the garrison (Stanley's bonus and artifact bonus would apply then, plus having a functioning foolmancer could be useful), and before whatever Parson does on his next turn(If the RCC can't take the garrison this turn). Of course, the RCC may well reduce GK's forces considerably even if they fail to take the garrison.

Gael_Judicium
2009-01-02, 11:34 AM
I saw two interpretations for Wanda's statements.

1) She lost Jillian, come and finish me off

or

2) She lost the Arkenpliers to Ansom to begin with. This was honestly my first assumption.

SteveD
2009-01-02, 11:55 AM
Ansom is an entirely different story. We have no insight into what he's all about, no exposition on why he's at war with Stanley. For every ounce of competence he's demonstrated he's shown himself ten times the fool. Yet he emerges each time victorious. Now, in these past two strips, he's acting in essentially god mode: falling from his mount, sustaining no real damage, reviewing a contract, calling in the tac-nuke archons to save his butt, remounting, flying into the courtyard, seizing the 'pliers, engaging in dialogue, then flying away, all while being surrounded by a horde of undead. I'm sorry, but I call foul.

He's a high-level hero character, thats what he's about.

And hero's dont die in combat with lieutenants. Its all about the finale mate.

Besides, its not about the combat or the rules, its about the story. There's too much left to resolve for Ansom to croak out yet.

headhoncho
2009-01-02, 12:27 PM
After thinking about it a bit, it seems to me that the area between the outer circular wall and the inner square wall (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0117.html) (which is where the current page takes place) is part of the "outer walls" zone. That fits with the description (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0129.html) that the enemy needs to fully control outer walls before they can attack the courtyard and that they need to breach another set of "garrison walls" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0109.html) (i.e. the square wall) to do so.


Steve, I appreciate that you never say a word against the authors and always strive to defend them.

But the fact there's STILL this much confusion on a topic that has been addressed multiple times in both klogs and external posts is a sure sign that it's either insufficiently conceived, or poorly explained.

There's a reason why you're hearing a chorus of complaints about this strip. These past two strips have been terrible, and it's stretching my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point.

You (and the authors, for that matter) can feel free to ignore this if you want, however.

Whispri
2009-01-02, 12:27 PM
He's a high-level hero character, thats what he's about.

And hero's dont die in combat with lieutenants. Its all about the finale mate.

Besides, its not about the combat or the rules, its about the story. There's too much left to resolve for Ansom to croak out yet.
If Wanda's a lieutenant then Ansom is definitely a lieutenant, they're both powerful units in service to another after all.

Besides she was going to capture him and he could have escaped without having his most recent defeat completely reversed.


I think it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that Stanley may not be guilty of attacking anybody. For one thing, if people were accusing him of unprovoked attacks of which he was not guilty, and going to war with him on that basis, I think he would have complained about that slander during his little rant (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0032.html). For another, sustaining such a deception (by the real attacker) and/or mistake (by the RCC) through an entire military campaign just doesn't seem at all plausible.

That said, there may be something to the notion that Stanley wasn't necessarily the one who attacked Faq -- the "overflight of dwagons" could have been wild ones (the Arkenhamer "tames" them, not "pops" them), or even Stanley coming to the rescue (and whoever sent Jillian the message got cut off or otherwise failed to properly explain the situation).
He doesn't mention anything about why he's at war with Ansom either, and yet we know how little (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0034.html) reason he was able to give Vinnie. But Stanley did rant about propaganda... I'll also point out that he could have inherited his enemies from Saline IV, his side had a history before he took charge of it. And if he did start one or more conflicts his enemies may have given him good cause. So while he may be everything his enemies say he is I don't see any reason to take their word for it.

It might even have been just the largest of a number of problems that they couldn't veil every City against, but not the problem that attacked them.

LogicsFate
2009-01-02, 12:31 PM
What's everyones thoughts on panel 10? Ansom looks to be drawing back to strike. At the suggested distance I don't think he'd be pulling them away from Wanda as there already was plenty of room between them.

quindraco
2009-01-02, 12:34 PM
Why shouldn't he? Murdering the wounded is never acceptable.

Do you have any reason to believe "wounded" is even defined on Erfworld in a way which makes sense to you?

We've observed that a unit which has received enough damage will croak, and of course we've just had it proven to us that you can be incapacitated but not croaked yet. We've seen no evidence that bones can actually break, ligaments can actually tear, spleens can rupture, and so on.

We DO know that there exists "healomancy", that there exists healing (the strip with the altruist elves), that Maggie thinks getting a healer to Wanda will help her. Combined with how gamelike the Erf universe is, I'd say it's pretty damn likely that with an application of a healing spell or two, Wanda will be back up to fighting par with no long term ramifications.

In the real world, you might avoid killing a wounded opponent because he's no longer a threat and won't be one for a long time to come. Wanda can (possibly) become a threat again in maybe as little as one turn. In Ansom's shoes, I would absolutely kill all enemy wounded, especially since I also suspect that wounded-but-not-croaked-or-incapacitated units function at full ability (an incredibly common simplification in strategy games - very few have injured units perform worse than healthy ones).

Mind you, if I could incapacitate, I'd do that; my enemy, Parson, has a croakamancer but no healamancer, so killing his units might help him more than incapacitating them. If I get the chance to croak the croakamancer, I'm all over that like a fat man on sausage.

Stormthorn
2009-01-02, 01:01 PM
I completely agree with this. That author is playing very fast and loose with rules here. Airspace can't attack Courtyard, so Ansom must be attacking from Outer Walls... but he hasn't won Outer Walls yet, so he should not be allowed to attack a new zone

You act like the rules are not a set made up byt he author (and thus his to play with).


You people are so annoying.

Unlike with DnD (and its 5000 books) you have no source with all the rules of the game the story takes place in, yet you still claim that the author is violating them. What are the gameplay rules for retrieving a dropped item? And what about the fact that he isnt assaulting anything. He just came, got the pliers, and left. Can that really be called an attack?

And i have a firm belief that story should trump gameplay.

DevilDan
2009-01-02, 01:17 PM
(I don't agree with one, actually. Wanda was last seen diving towards the ground. She mmay have fallen from a short distance, but she had lots of downward speed already, and could easily have died from it.)

Or perhaps there's damage implied when one falls from airspace to outer walls. It's a simplification, of course, but that's to be expected.

Estelindis
2009-01-02, 01:40 PM
As regards the timeline issue: this isn't a real-time game. What's the problem with things *literally* happening at the speed of plot? (Or am I missing / forgetting something really fundamental about the rules of Erfworld? Considering that turns don't end until people say they do...)

And, no, I don't understand all the forum-hate for Ansom either. I mean, sure, he's full of himself, but he also seems to be trying to do the right thing (insofar as he can overcome his personal weaknesses). To me, that makes him an interesting, conflicted character - just like a number of the other very interesting characters in this strip. I can't wait to see where the authors are going to take them all!

Bhurin
2009-01-02, 02:16 PM
...
But the fact there's STILL this much confusion on a topic that has been addressed multiple times in both klogs and external posts is a sure sign that it's either insufficiently conceived, or poorly explained.

There's a reason why you're hearing a chorus of complaints about this strip. These past two strips have been terrible, and it's stretching my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point.

*Long* time reader, first time poster. Had to chime in on this one.

I would just like to respond to some of the complaints about inconsistency, specifically the quoted bit above.

First of all, no writers are above continuity errors. But Rob and Jamie have earned my trust, largely through compelling and surprisingly tight storytelling, that they 'get' the mechanics of their world and the implications it would have for them to violate them.

That said, the last two comics did nothing to stress that hard won trust. If there was a 'reason' people were complaining about the last two strips, it did not strike me. Here's what I've been hearing:

1) Ansom reading the contract and accepting before being accosted by the undead air force:

This stuck out to me for a moment. But when you consider that Ansom cried out 'Charlie, I agree to your terms!', he must have already been familiar with some outstanding offer from Charlie, that now simply included a still-as-yet unrevealed amendment that was outrageous enough to give him pause at the brink of his own defeat. The overwhelming victory the archons have purchased him has come at some considerable price that I can't wait to learn the details of.

2) Ansom retrieving the Arkenpliers from the courtyard:

They're not in the courtyard. Simply put. They're at the Outer Wall. This didn't set off any alarms for me, hence this entire response.

I could understand the reaction if Rob and Jamie were prone to mistakes, but why would they go to such lengths to explain the rules (and enforce them recently, ala the archons having no move), and then make such a stunning oversight? I mean no personal offense, but the threshold of some people's suspension of disbelief surprises me sometimes.

On a side note, When I saw the Arkenpliers fall, I did momentarily think back to Stanley being hoisted by the Arkenhammer, and Vinnie being pretty sure that they couldn't move him out of the hex. This made me pondered what the rules must be for environmental factors, such as wind and gravity, moving stuff around hexes and zones. Are the rules different for items and units? Does that mean that Jillian hit the hex bubble, could she have thrown her sword after Stanley into the next hex? If I fell off my mount in air space, would I hit a bubble before I changed zones if I was out of movement?

All these questions are par for the course in Erfworld however. I'm just waiting to see if Parson figures out any more 'sploitable mechanics with them.

3) Wanda's fall broke her. Ansom's fall tore his cape. Where's the justice?

Frankly, I was just glad that Ansom didn't turn Wanda into a fine mist as soon as she got into melee. If Ansom couldn't brush off the damage, or if Wanda could, I would cry foul. What would be the point of popping warlords at all? We already saw Sizemore (thankfully) take out Webinar and Dora, and Jack single handedly disrupting a dozen warlords. Wanda's near fatal fall is an example of the reason you don't send casters into battle.

I could go on, but I think the wall of text is big enough. My point is I have a personal desire to see Parson succeed, and these set backs are having the supposedly intended effect of raising the tension rather than just simply frustrating me. The last two strips have not, in fact, been terrible. If there is a chorus of complainers, put me in the chorus of endorsers.

Tweed
2009-01-02, 02:39 PM
Besides, its not about the combat or the rules, its about the story.

That's my point. I am frustrated because the story is getting frustrating. And not in a dramatic, edge-of-my-seat sort of way. Based on the past 140+ strips, I can safely wager that the next four months of real-world time will progress like this:

(1) Parson licks his wounds and tries to salvage victory from the jaws of defeat.
(2) Parson hatches a brilliant plan that is not guaranteed to succeed but is the best he can hope for in these circumstances.
(3) Klog entry that expounds on the rules.
(4) The plan works! Mostly. Ansom and his forces realize another setback. Things look like they might be turning around, or at least changing.
(5) Nope, just kidding! Ansom pulls another ace out of his sleeve, or experiences another crazy bit of luck, and Parson's meager progress is stamped down.
(6) Repeat steps (1) through (5).

Regardless of the "rules" of Erfworld or Ansom's awesomeness as a royal warlord, regardless of hexes and movement rates, I am frustrated most by the story. The story is not progressing in any appreciable way. After two months of following this particular siege plot, we are back to Page 101. And how did we get back there? From my perspective, we got back there from nothing more than Ansom jumping on a carpet and shouting, "I AM AWESOME!" Which, y'know, isn't exactly riveting storytelling.

(To me, anyway -- and hey, what do I know? :smallwink:)

Another_Poet
2009-01-02, 02:43 PM
I really like the idea tha Wanda might be able to attune with the pliers, however...

What if she wasn't thinking of the pliers at all?

What if she's counting on a "Lich Gambit"?

By that I mean, maybe she is all primed and ready for her own death, and upon dying, her magic turns her into something.... worse? Something that might be far more powerful than her current form, albeit with limitations of its own?

She might have been asking Ansom to kill her because she knew it would be the death of him as well.

If I was a necromancer, I would certainly have auto-lich spells active before entering battle. At least if I was powerful enough. And she's not lacking in the power department.

headhoncho
2009-01-02, 02:51 PM
I could go on, but I think the wall of text is big enough. My point is I have a personal desire to see Parson succeed, and these set backs are having the supposedly intended effect of raising the tension rather than just simply frustrating me. The last two strips have not, in fact, been terrible. If there is a chorus of complainers, put me in the chorus of endorsers.

Hey, if it works for you, good for you.

The reality is, it's not working for me, and it's not working for several others on this thread. While I don't believe in story by democracy or argument from popularity, I think it's safe to say that a number of people are getting tired of the snatch-victory-from-the-jaws-of-defeat theme, and that a number of people think the rules are -- to be charitable -- somewhat confusing to the point where it's a distraction that's detracting from the story.

I've followed this forum for quite a while. Most of the time, it's a well-deserved round of affirmation and kudos accompanied by a ton of speculation. That's one reason I like the forum, the speculation and the theories.

But there's a noticeable chorus of discontent in recent strips. One way of responding to that is to say damn the torpedos, full speed ahead. Another way is to consider, hey, there are a lot of people who are becoming disengaged or disillusioned. Maybe there's a reason for that.

Happydork
2009-01-02, 02:59 PM
You know jillian just says she got a frantic message about an overflight of dragons and the next turn she was a barbarian, Faq seems to have been right next doors to gowbin knob, certainly inside the sort of distance where Warlord Stanley might have easily reached it while patrolling the borders and Stanley seemed -upset- that Jillian didn't like him.

I still reckon Saline was allied with Faq and Stanley was sent to help. The message could well have been cut off in the middle of 'We're under attack! You have to come back and save us. Wait, whats that? A wing of dragons? *splortch as caster is killed* ghost caster 'We're saved! Gobwin Knob has come!...... Wait, damn.

Faq had 3 cities, a master class foolamancer and a predictamancer. Stanley simply isn’t good enough to destroy Faq in a single turn. He has never shown the capability to plan a battle. He might be a capable fighter, but he is not a tactician. For him to strike and destroy all three cities simultaneously is impossible to believe. Even RCC is taking Stanley’s cities one at a time. The only two characters that we know of with the skills to direct multiple battles simultaneously are Parson and Charlie. Only one of them was around at the time Faq fell and has the proven capability to h4x thinkagram powered communications.

Charlie had the ability to:
1. Know where Faq was (taping into enemy communications or CommInt)
2. skills to direct the battles (I don’t think that anyone will disagree on this)
3. the ability to provide false intelligence (the Arkendish gave him the ability to hack the eyebooks…, I imagine that a thinkagram would be simple in comparison)
4. and the military capability (archons are very tough possibly even stronger than even dragons on a 1v1 basis. Charlie has a lot of these.)

Charlie has the motive:
1. He wants the Arkentools and 2 of them are now in play
2. He is a mercenary and is getting paid a lot for his efforts
3. both major powers (Ansom & Stanley) dislike Charlie

Charlie is playing both sides. He is doing his best to weaken them both while maximizing his profits. Here is what I see happening in the future…

1. The attrition continues on both sides until we get to the final battle.
2. With Stanley, Ansom, Parson, Jillian & Wanda (possibly a few more) present it is revieled that Charlie is their common enemy and that both Ansom & Stanley were played.
3. Ansom & Stanley join forces to fight Charlie. This would mark the end of the battle for Gobwin Knob & the beginning of the next chapter. There is a huge amount of area for character development. Militarily this would also be even more difficult for Parson than his current situation. Imagine Parson trying to have enough information to plan a battle against Charlie, but not enough information for Charlie to spend a calculation to gain the upper hand…

Scylfing
2009-01-02, 03:09 PM
But the fact there's STILL this much confusion on a topic that has been addressed multiple times in both klogs and external posts is a sure sign that it's either insufficiently conceived, or poorly explained.

I think the confusion is due to a misunderstanding over what a courtyard actually is. Courtyards aren't just any old area behind a wall, they are open-air spaces enclosed by the walls of a building or buildings that are often inhabited. The only thing visually in Gobwin Knob that fits that is the keep where the garrison is housed, and since the particular klog that people are questioning was referring to ways for an enemy siege to attack the garrison, it's safe to say that's what was being referred to. Wanda's not there so it shouldn't be a problem.


I think it's safe to say that a number of people are getting tired of the snatch-victory-from-the-jaws-of-defeat theme

Now this, I agree with completely, as I wrote in an earlier post I think there have just been too many reversals of fortune especially lately, and without any real pause between them either.



And Whispri, I think your moral complaints are valid but this is not a comic with clear black-and-white moral distinctions between characters. Sure, some characters themselves may think that they are shining paragons of virtue and their enemies are despicable fiends, and you yourself may think that about some of them, but honestly man there's been so many questionable acts by almost every character (Bogroll might be the only truly innocent one out there) that it's hard to pass judgment on one without leveling the same accusations at others on the opposing side. It's war, and as a wise man said, it's hell.

headhoncho
2009-01-02, 03:20 PM
I think the confusion is due to a misunderstanding over what a courtyard actually is. Courtyards aren't just any old area behind a wall, they are open-air spaces enclosed by the walls of a building or buildings that are often inhabited. The only thing visually in Gobwin Knob that fits that is the keep where the garrison is housed, and since the particular klog that people are questioning was referring to ways for an enemy siege to attack the garrison, it's safe to say that's what was being referred to. Wanda's not there so it shouldn't be a problem.


When you have a complicated story element that ends up confusing a significant number of people, from a story perspective, is it typically preferable to explain things more clearly, or to just assume your readers ought to wise up?

DevilDan
2009-01-02, 03:30 PM
Faq had 3 cities, a master class foolamancer and a predictamancer. Stanley simply isn’t good enough to destroy Faq in a single turn. He has never shown the capability to plan a battle. He might be a capable fighter, but he is not a tactician. For him to strike and destroy all three cities simultaneously is impossible to believe.

Once we assume that Stanley was able to get past the predictamancer-foolamancer defensive system--a one-trick pony, possibly--then it doesn't seem unlikely that a man with a bunch of dwagons can take down three pacifist-leaning cities. Faq cities were probably on the smaller side given their limited resources and were probably not too far apart, and don't forget that their best units were probably out gallivanting with Jill.

"Simultaneously" probably means within a single turn; that's not unlikely. Possibly Faq only had one thinkamancer, so whoever attacked Faq could just have lucked out and hit the city with the thinkamancer first--or just hit the capital first, which is possibly the likeliest location of casters and other valuable units and the logical first place to strike.

Walpurgisborn
2009-01-02, 03:57 PM
As far as rules, Ansom is on his own turn, has move left, and has control of GK airspace. Klog 13 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0129.html) doesn't say that airspace can't attack courtyard, only that it can't attack dungeon. Flying units in the airspace can attack the tower directly, while ground units have to breach the wall and enter the courtyard before they can attack the tower.


He was on the wall amoment ago, couldn't he have Moved (his turn he still has move), from the Outer Wall Zone to Courtyard zone, using his ability as a flying unit (with his mount) and a commander to selectively engage. Seems to fit into the rules exactly as I understand them.

Fjolnir
2009-01-02, 04:10 PM
the rules for city hexes as I understand them are: units on defence don't spend move to enter different portions of the city hex, however all attackers do, since ansom ended turn in the hex the previous turn, he has full move with which to move about the city and do things such as move selectively from the walls to airspace (burning move every time) and to the courtyard to get his tool back, there's an upward limit to how much his one trick can help him, once he's out of move he's stuck wherever he is(but as jetstone's cheif warlord, he can end turn whenever, and since his is the last turn cause night to fall)

SteveMB
2009-01-02, 04:14 PM
When you have a complicated story element that ends up confusing a significant number of people, from a story perspective, is it typically preferable to explain things more clearly, or to just assume your readers ought to wise up?

Fair enough; tweaking the wording of Klog #11 and/or #13 to make it clearer that the "courtyard" is the area inside the square inner walls (assuming that I'm not one of the significant number of people who got confused) for the book might be a good idea.

(copied to the Bloopers thread, which seems to be the collection point the "possible revisions for the croaked-Gump edition" stuff)

talkamancer
2009-01-02, 04:39 PM
Would it be possible that Wanda laying with her head on the floor could hear Sizemore and his golems approaching and this was behind her "come down" request for Ansom ?

Altima
2009-01-02, 05:07 PM
Wanda's membership in the (lost) Croatan tribe could be a shout out to 'Croatoan' which was carved on a nearby tree by the lost colony of Roanoke Island. They were, of course, attacked by zombies. If this is the case, it may just be telling us that we'll never know exactly what happens.

At any rate, I really can't see Ansom destroying Faq. Well, I can, but it's too subtle for Ansom. Come on, you know he'd brag up and down that it was he who did it. On the other hand, I don't think Stanley would allow Jetstone (or anyone else) access to his lands to get to Faq, and it seems that only Gobwin's Knob and Transylvito border the only chokepoint that leads to the city.

And, of course, there's still the Predictamancer+Foolamancer combination. Either the Predictamancer had low loyalty and turned when the opportunity presented itself to insure Faq's destruction, or whatever. Natural Thinkamancy would seem to prevent that, but I always got the impression that King Banhammer was trying to off Jillian in a rather convenient way.

As for Stanley being able to wipe out all three of Faq's cities in a single turn, well, it wouldn't take tactical brilliance. Faq's troops sucked (apart from Jillian and her gwiffins, who weren't there). Their casters had already failed, apparently. Not quite sure if Stanley croaked all three cities or just killed Banhammer and let the other two go barbarian, either. It's not out of the question to assume that three dozen dragons (or more) could fly down on a weak capital and smash it, especially with a Chief Warlord+Artifact bonus, plus whoever else Stanley brought along with him.

Wanda and Ansom's fall: Wanda is a caster, and probably has (a lot) less hits than Ansom, who is a high level Warlord (and probably Chief Warlord of Jetstone). It's also possible that Wanda's staff didn't totally block all damage from the Archons' attack.

As for 'murdering the wounded', well, it's war, and if enemy wounded who you couldn't capture (and remember, most 'captured' non-casters are killed outright after conquest) instantly healed back to full I'm-gonna-kill-you! capacity after a day, we'd have less problems with killing Child Soldier Billy who stubbed his toe, too.


I think it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that Stanley may not be guilty of attacking anybody. For one thing, if people were accusing him of unprovoked attacks of which he was not guilty, and going to war with him on that basis, I think he would have complained about that slander during his little rant (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0032.html). For another, sustaining such a deception (by the real attacker) and/or mistake (by the RCC) through an entire military campaign just doesn't seem at all plausible.

Well, remember, this is Stanley. He thinks the mere fact that everyone is trying to croak him is a sign of his greatness. Heck, he didn't even realize how screwed he was before Wanda convinced him to summon Parson.

On the other hand, it's fairly clear that Jetstone wanted to attack Stanley. Smoking gun or not, it's fairly easy to assemble shoddy 'evidence' to convince people to go to war--even easier if you're a King/Overlord who doesn't need approval and can disband anyone instantly that you don't like.



That said, there may be something to the notion that Stanley wasn't necessarily the one who attacked Faq -- the "overflight of dwagons" could have been wild ones (the Arkenhamer "tames" them, not "pops" them), or even Stanley coming to the rescue (and whoever sent Jillian the message got cut off or otherwise failed to properly explain the situation).

It could also be the person who had the Arkenhammer before Stanley, assuming that Arkenhammer powers are the same and don't differ from person to person.

Hatu
2009-01-02, 05:16 PM
2) Ansom retrieving the Arkenpliers from the courtyard:

They're not in the courtyard. Simply put. They're at the Outer Wall. This didn't set off any alarms for me, hence this entire response.

I could understand the reaction if Rob and Jamie were prone to mistakes, but why would they go to such lengths to explain the rules (and enforce them recently, ala the archons having no move), and then make such a stunning oversight? I mean no personal offense, but the threshold of some people's suspension of disbelief surprises me sometimes.


I'm a lot less charitable in grading the consistency of the rules. Consider:

Gobwin Knob is divided into four Zones: Airspace (fliers only, can be attacked by ranged garrison units), Tunnels, Outer Walls (must be breached by Siege) and Garrison. Garrison is further divided into 3 parts: Tower, Courtyard and Dungeon, bordering the Airspace, Outer Walls and Tunnels, respectively.

Ansom flies up and attacks the zombies on the walls of GK in melee. The zombies clearly cannot fly, so they must be in the Outer Walls zone. But the walls must be breached to enter that zone, and that hasn't happened. So Ansom must be able to fly over the walls and attack anyway. Presumably, this means he enters the Airspace zone, then moves into the Outer Walls and attacks.

In response to this, we have Parsons state that he didn't use fliers because he was afraid Charlie would attack them. That seems odd. If Ansom can move from one zone to another, so (presumably) should Parson's troops. So fliers or not, he should be able to send reinforcements from the Garrison straight to the Outer Walls. If the Archons are already in the Outer Walls, they could already attack Gobwin Knob forces regardless of whether they fly. But if the Archons are occupying the Airspace zone, Wanda's force should be able to simply bypass them. The only explanation is that either Fliers in the Airspace zone can intercept GK Fliers moving through other zones, or that Fliers cannot themselves enter the Courtyard area of the Garrison. The former seems more likely, but either way it's a very unconvincing set of rules to suddenly drop on us.

But it gets worse. Wanda is sent out anyway and promptly lays the smackdown on Ansom, knocking him back to the top of the wall. Ansom then decides to hire Charlie after all, and an Archon suddenly appears next to him to review the terms. This makes no sense. Ansom is clearly surrounded by the zombies, so he must be in the Outer Wall zone. So how can an Archon appear next to him? Unless the Archons were already in the Wall zone, which would make the whole "will Charlie backstab my fliers" bit pointless.

Furthermore, the Archons then unleash their vast plot powers, vaporizing Wanda's pets but somehow failing to kill Wanda herself, despite the Archons having enough muscle to have captured the entire Tower (including Wanda) back on Charlie's turn. Wanda falls to ground inside the outer walls, near the Arkenpliers. The Archon then informs Ansom that they cannot help him further, since they cannot move until tomorrow.

Now really, how does any of that make sense? If the Archons are able to attack Wanda and her undead fliers, but cannot finish off Wanda once she hits the ground, that must mean she was in their zone when they attacked but fell out of that zone afterward. If the Archons are in the Outer Wall zone, then why don't they vaporize all the zombies that are manning the wall? They certainly make no move to do so. But if they're in the Airspace zone, how can they attack Wanda who was just fighting Ansom in the Outer Wall zone? Does any of this make any sense, short of simple plot fiat?

Finally, Ansom hops back on his carpet and flies down to retrieve the Arkenpliers, and contemplates killing Wanda a short ways away. But he then flees when Sizemore and his golems appear. How does this make sense? If Ansom must change zones to get the pliers, why can he get them without engaging the defenders of that zone, yet cannot selectively attack Wanda the way Parson's dragons fought the siege engines way back when? Shouldn't the defenders already in the zone be able to pick up the Arkenpliers before Ansom is able to cross zones and get them? And if he is merely evading the defenders because he flies and they have no ranged attacks, why doesn't he just finish off Wanda anyway? Beats me.

All in all, I'd have to say Erfworld seems to play pretty fast and loose with the game mechanics it establishes. Now, that isn't a serious problem when the storyline and artwork are good enough to make up for it. But that stopped being the case a while ago. The art continues to be interesting, but the storyline has spent far too much time immediately canceling itself out for my tastes. This comic needs to get on with it and actually do something. The longer it spends with this constant "one step forward, one and a half steps back" routine, the more time we have to pick apart all the flaws in the game mechanics.

-H

headhoncho
2009-01-02, 05:25 PM
(Snip excellent summary of some of the rules confusion we've seen.)

All in all, I'd have to say Erfworld seems to play pretty fast and loose with the game mechanics it establishes. Now, that isn't a serious problem when the storyline and artwork are good enough to make up for it. But that stopped being the case a while ago. The art continues to be interesting, but the storyline has spent far too much time immediately canceling itself out for my tastes. This comic needs to get on with it and actually do something. The longer it spends with this constant "one step forward, one and a half steps back" routine, the more time we have to pick apart all the flaws in the game mechanics.

QFT x 1,000.

Bhurin
2009-01-02, 05:28 PM
...
The reality is, it's not working for me, and it's not working for several others on this thread. While I don't believe in story by democracy or argument from popularity, I think it's safe to say that a number of people are getting tired of the snatch-victory-from-the-jaws-of-defeat theme, and that a number of people think the rules are -- to be charitable -- somewhat confusing to the point where it's a distraction that's detracting from the story.
...
But there's a noticeable chorus of discontent in recent strips. One way of responding to that is to say damn the torpedos, full speed ahead. Another way is to consider, hey, there are a lot of people who are becoming disengaged or disillusioned. Maybe there's a reason for that.

Hey, good point. But speaking from experience, I can say that anything that's compelling, especially on the internet, will inevitably draw negative criticism, and I don't want to see it go unqualified if I disagree. Your first post didn't address your thematic complaints per se, but asserted that the authors had made a major consistency error.

But anyway, I don't want to just sit here and snipe your posts. You level fair criticisms. I just completely disagree with the sentiment that when people start complaining about a work in progress, especially one with the measured amounts of intended fan-frustration that Erfworld has, that something must be done. I don't think the authors are ignoring our reactions, I think they're lightly tapping their fingers together and saying 'eeeeexxceeellllleent'. They're letting us figure it out.

Rob and Jamie could turn around this very moment and give us a dozen pages of pure fan-service (depending on your view), with the humiliation and defeat of Ansom and the RCC, the rebuff of Charlie, the oh-holy-hell ascension of Wanda, and the ultimate triumph of Parson which would include, but not be limited to, the entire world realizing exactly what they are now dealing with. But Erfworld plays with tropes, and likes to surprise its audience. And I, like yourself perhaps, enjoy that they resist this kind of writing. It's carrying on too long for some to stomach, but that's no reason to call it terrible.

I honestly don't know if Erfworld's greatest warlord will, in fact, win his first battle against the insurmountable odds he faces. Maybe the first chapter of Parson's story is his early and bitter defeat. But I will say that the more Ansom's boop is pulled from the fire, the more I suspect he doesn't get away un-singed. What he gains in momentary advantage is wearing down his credibility, and the viability of his world view. His mistakes will be remembered long after people have forgotten what a dumb-lucky boop he was.

Cheers.

Godskook
2009-01-02, 05:34 PM
Airspace can't attack Courtyard, so Ansom must be attacking from Outer Walls...

Where is this said? Klog 13 says about airspace:

1.Borders tower
2.Can't attack dungeons

Nothing about the information in Klog 13 indicates that Airspace can't attack Courtyard.

headhoncho
2009-01-02, 05:47 PM
Hey, good point. But speaking from experience, I can say that anything that's compelling, especially on the internet, will inevitably draw negative criticism, and I don't want to see it go unqualified if I disagree. Your first post didn't address your thematic complaints per se, but asserted that the authors had made a major consistency error.

My first post began, "Yup. I'm with the several others who think these past two strips have been among the worst. The airspace-borders-courtyard inconsistency is also jarring and lame." I was echoing the thematic complaints of the others who had written before me, in addition to lambasting what I felt was a consistency error. I still think there's a consistency error, or at a bare minimum a great deal of unnecessary confusion. See the post two immediately up from yours, by Hatu, for an excellent summary.


But anyway, I don't want to just sit here and snipe your posts. You level fair criticisms.

Thank you.


I just completely disagree with the sentiment that when people start complaining about a work in progress, especially one with the measured amounts of intended fan-frustration that Erfworld has, that something must be done. I don't think the authors are ignoring our reactions, I think they're lightly tapping their fingers together and saying 'eeeeexxceeellllleent'. They're letting us figure it out.


I defended the authors just last strip from the work-in-progress issue.

The problem is, that gets harder and harder to do when an already long-form medium gets even longer due to constant "snatch-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory" plays. It's like that movie that just goes on for way too long. Or the late Robert Jordan's still-unfinished Wheel of Time series.

Authors who choose to publish in a serial format are working in a fundamentally different medium than a standard novel or graphic novel. The instant feedback they receive is, from my perspective, a great benefit in terms of being able to gauge where reader sentiment lies. The flip side of that is enduring the inevitable criticism (and while I agree that criticism of any work is indeed inevitable, again, there's been a clear uptick in dissatisfaction in recent strips, and you can either ignore that or figure there might actually be valid reasons for it), and also dealing with the problems that time delay creates.

As an example, authors of the past who published in serial format (most notably Dickens) often experienced these very same issues. The best of them took the most impactful of their readers' reactions and incorporated them into the work. One example from that veritable font of accurate information, Wikipedia, states:


Another important impact of Dickens's episodic writing style resulted from his exposure to the opinions of his readers. Since Dickens did not write the chapters very far ahead of their publication, he was allowed to witness the public reaction and alter the story depending on those public reactions. A fine example of this process can be seen in his weekly serial The Old Curiosity Shop, which is a chase story. In this novel, Little Nell and her Grandfather are fleeing the villain Quilp. The progress of the novel follows the gradual success of that pursuit. As Dickens wrote and published the weekly instalments, his friend John Forster pointed out: "You know you're going to have to kill her, don't you." Why this end was necessary can be explained by a brief analysis of the difference between the structure of a comedy versus a tragedy. In a comedy, the action covers a sequence "You think they're going to lose, you think they're going to lose, they win". In tragedy, it is: "You think they're going to win, you think they're going to win, they lose". The dramatic conclusion of the story is implicit throughout the novel. So, as Dickens wrote the novel in the form of a tragedy, the sad outcome of the novel was a foregone conclusion. If he had not caused his heroine to lose, he would not have completed his dramatic structure. Dickens admitted that his friend Forster was right and, in the end, Little Nell died.

Jeivar
2009-01-02, 06:02 PM
Why shouldn't he? Murdering the wounded is never acceptable.

You harp on and on and on about that, but you're thinking from the perspective of real-life morality. Erf is a world built around a turn-based war game, with a completely different social structure, natural laws, and pretty much whatever you could choose to mention.

Even so, killing downed enemies is a very old tradition even in the real world, and I've no number for how many times fictional good guys have murdered bad guys they hated, without me feeling the least bit squeamish about it. Don't you think you're venting just a bit too much venom towards a fictional character? You're starting to remind me of the missionary guy in Rambo 4.

Tweed
2009-01-02, 06:19 PM
Rob and Jamie could turn around this very moment and give us a dozen pages of pure fan-service (depending on your view), with the humiliation and defeat of Ansom and the RCC, the rebuff of Charlie, the oh-holy-hell ascension of Wanda, and the ultimate triumph of Parson which would include, but not be limited to, the entire world realizing exactly what they are now dealing with. But Erfworld plays with tropes, and likes to surprise its audience. And I, like yourself perhaps, enjoy that they resist this kind of writing. <snip>

I don't think anyone here is calling for this. Even those of us who would like to this happen will, I think, concede that we don't want it to happen in the next few pages or expect it to happen any time soon.

But there's a big difference between wanting to see all the things you just listed happen and wanting to see something happen at all. As others before me have said in terms far more compelling than mine: we're just sick of the constant back-and-forth. Erfworld needs this plot to move forward in some appreciable away, instead of just endlessly depicting the waltz between Parson and Ansom (and prolonging that waltz through unsatisfying bits of Plot! and fiat).

Bhurin
2009-01-02, 06:25 PM
Thanks for the thorough post Hatu. I'm not the greatest at keeping track of the mechanics involved, but I'll take a crack at it.


If Ansom can move from one zone to another, so (presumably) should Parson's troops. So fliers or not, he should be able to send reinforcements from the Garrison straight to the Outer Walls. If the Archons are already in the Outer Walls, they could already attack Gobwin Knob forces regardless of whether they fly. But if the Archons are occupying the Airspace zone, Wanda's force should be able to simply bypass them. The only explanation is that either Fliers in the Airspace zone can intercept GK Fliers moving through other zones, or that Fliers cannot themselves enter the Courtyard area of the Garrison. The former seems more likely, but either way it's a very unconvincing set of rules to suddenly drop on us.

Yes.

First off, I think that the Archons are in GK air space zone period. They are, presumably, being directly commanded by Charlie or some other leadership unit, as they do not automatically attack anything that happens to pop into the zone. Based on that assumption, Wanda's forces moving within GK itself is the most glaring issue. (And, in fact, Parson's little speech about why he didn't send them in earlier raised an eyebrow for me as well).

But how is this unconvincing? I don't mean to be daft, but doesn't the situation basically say that all movement done by flying units counts as flying? I agree that if this restricts GK flying units to having to pass through air space to get to the outer walls it has huge tactical implications, but it seems to fit with the RTS nature of Erfworld combat.

Anyway, I'll concede the point. I found the rule drop far less jarring than you.


But it gets worse. Wanda is sent out anyway and promptly lays the smackdown on Ansom, knocking him back to the top of the wall. Ansom then decides to hire Charlie after all, and an Archon suddenly appears next to him to review the terms. This makes no sense. Ansom is clearly surrounded by the zombies, so he must be in the Outer Wall zone. So how can an Archon appear next to him? Unless the Archons were already in the Wall zone, which would make the whole "will Charlie backstab my fliers" bit pointless.

Now, as a plot device, I'm not fond of the suddenly appearing archon. I chalk it up to Charlie anticipating this very moment. But I think that, as cheap as it sounds, the archon doesn't leave the air-space zone (because it can't. Her move is zeroed) and the two of them are just conversing across zones. She's in the air, and he's on the ground. The fact that the zombies and Wanda's flyers are barreling toward him illustrates that the exchange takes precisely seconds. Moving at the speed of plot, as has been already mentioned.




Furthermore, the Archons then unleash their vast plot powers, vaporizing Wanda's pets but somehow failing to kill Wanda herself, despite the Archons having enough muscle to have captured the entire Tower (including Wanda) back on Charlie's turn. Wanda falls to ground inside the outer walls, near the Arkenpliers. The Archon then informs Ansom that they cannot help him further, since they cannot move until tomorrow.

Now really, how does any of that make sense? If the Archons are able to attack Wanda and her undead fliers, but cannot finish off Wanda once she hits the ground, that must mean she was in their zone when they attacked but fell out of that zone afterward. If the Archons are in the Outer Wall zone, then why don't they vaporize all the zombies that are manning the wall? They certainly make no move to do so. But if they're in the Airspace zone, how can they attack Wanda who was just fighting Ansom in the Outer Wall zone? Does any of this make any sense, short of simple plot fiat?

Yes, I would agree that Wanda changed zones as soon as she hit the ground, and no longer had a flying mount. Which means that she and her flying units were in the air space when they were attacking Ansom. (Confirming that he was in the same zone, launching attacks against units in the outer wall zone). Once again I mention that the Archons are in the air space zone, and cannot assault the zombies or cross any zones at that.

So it makes sense to me to say:

Ansom went from the outer wall to air space to launch attacks against units in the outer wall (on top of the wall).

Wanda and her fliers HAD to move into air space. Either just simply to attack Ansom, or because they were flying units. I prefer the former, though I haven't ruled out the latter (in order to explain Parson holding them back at first.)

Wanda assaults Ansom in the air zone and dismounts him. He falls into the outer wall zone, and can now be attacked there. She makes to move into the outer wall zone, at the base of the wall. This is as real-time as Erfworld gets.

As Wanda is moving into the outer wall zone, Ansom agrees to Charlie's alliance. The Archons, stuck in the air zone due to lack of move, proceed to vaporize everything in the air space. This includes Wandas forces, which are in mid-zone move.

Wanda, much like Ansom just was, is dismounted and falls into the outer wall zone.



Finally, Ansom hops back on his carpet and flies down to retrieve the Arkenpliers, and contemplates killing Wanda a short ways away. But he then flees when Sizemore and his golems appear. How does this make sense? If Ansom must change zones to get the pliers, why can he get them without engaging the defenders of that zone, yet cannot selectively attack Wanda the way Parson's dragons fought the siege engines way back when? Shouldn't the defenders already in the zone be able to pick up the Arkenpliers before Ansom is able to cross zones and get them? And if he is merely evading the defenders because he flies and they have no ranged attacks, why doesn't he just finish off Wanda anyway? Beats me.

Like I said, this is as real time as Erfworld gets. Technically Ansom would have to cross zones to retrieve the pliers, and attack Wanda. I don't see a problem with him selectively retrieving the pliers as he attacked the zombies on the outer wall. He gets the pliers before any defenders arrive. After they do, I'm pretty sure he doesn't selectively hit Wanda to avoid the Golems getting their hitsies. Unlike the zombies, which have been explained to be extremely lackluster, the golems are something to be concerned about.



All in all, I'd have to say Erfworld seems to play pretty fast and loose with the game mechanics it establishes. Now, that isn't a serious problem when the storyline and artwork are good enough to make up for it. But that stopped being the case a while ago. The art continues to be interesting, but the storyline has spent far too much time immediately canceling itself out for my tastes. This comic needs to get on with it and actually do something. The longer it spends with this constant "one step forward, one and a half steps back" routine, the more time we have to pick apart all the flaws in the game mechanics.


Like I mentioned earlier, I don't assume the authors are beyond reproach or mistakes. And Parson explaining his not moving his fliers in earlier sounded a bit too leading for me. But as far as game mechanics influencing the story go, I feel they are still maintaining consistency. That's one of the cool things about Erfworld, sometimes the rules are the story. I enjoy trying to imagine how Parson will exploit them, and how they influence the morality and society of the Erf-lings.

As for being frustrated with the steps-forward / steps-back routine, I acquiesce. It's good criticism. I'm simply not near the end of my patience rope yet with the story.

Thanks again for the thoughtful and thorough post.

Goshen
2009-01-02, 06:34 PM
... But Rob and Jamie have earned my trust, largely through compelling and surprisingly tight storytelling, that they 'get' the mechanics of their world and the implications it would have for them to violate them.

That said, the last two comics did nothing to stress that hard won trust. If there was a 'reason' people were complaining about the last two strips, it did not strike me. ...The last two strips have not, in fact, been terrible. If there is a chorus of complainers, put me in the chorus of endorsers.
Hear, Hear! I second your sentiments and your reasoning. I also approve Phrozt's comments.

Lamech
2009-01-02, 06:55 PM
I really, really, really, hope someone has healing ablities. I wonder if they need magic... I think it would be funny if bandages could save her...

I'm going to say I see no inconsitancies in these last few pages, not with Wanda almost dying and Ansom being fine. Not with the zones.

Nor with Ansom's morals in wanting to croak Wanda; it was his only option, if he moves her on the carpet and keeps fighting, she might poke the pliers or a healomancer might toss a heal her way. If he wastes time moving her back to the coalition time would be lost and more men would die. (And the coalition might begin fighting over her.) If he leaves her there she could be healed and return next turn to devastate the coalition.

SteveD
2009-01-02, 07:35 PM
I really, really, really, hope someone has healing ablities. I wonder if they need magic... I think it would be funny if bandages could save her...

Well, we know Maggie can heal the mind...healing is a separate 'mancy', but who knows. Presumably Rob and Jamie haven't let her live only to die from lack of plot conveniences. :P

I'm not really sure what people wanted from these last two strips. Did anyone believe that the battle between Ansom and Wanda would be decisive? The story hasn't reached its climax yet, it makes no sense.

I think this thread is a classic case of the writers paying too much attention to the audience, however. People stress too much over the details; exactly how many jetstone troops did sizemore kill, how does movement work after you've made alliances, how do zones work on different turns...the writers have put effort into giving people the detail they were looking for, and now everyone is complaining over the pace of the story.

Ironic?

Gez
2009-01-02, 07:47 PM
What if she's counting on a "Lich Gambit"?

The Lich Gambit: no free will (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0027.html) and just functions as infantry (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0084.html). Truly an impressive gambit.

dr pepper
2009-01-02, 07:58 PM
Not if lichhood counts as self uncroaking.

Godskook
2009-01-02, 08:07 PM
The Lich Gambit may be possible, but not here, not now. The Author has made it clear that Deus Ex Machinas aren't something they like. Every move that has been made in this story has been with a piece(info, unit, side) that has been on the board for at least 20 pages. Some are pissed that Ansom sided with Charlie, but we've seen it coming for how many pages? Since 115 page 103, at least. No one is really surprised here. Any Lich Gambit would require equal forshadowing, and we've recieved none. Ergo, not gonna happen here.

ishnar
2009-01-02, 08:46 PM
The mechanics of Erfworld are described as "simple" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html) (though they may be more complex than Parson realized at the time he wrote that); extra falling damage for initial velocity is just the sort of thing that would get trimmed in a mechanics simplification.


I'll add that simple rules doesn't necessarily result in a simple game. Go has about the most simple rules I know of, and it gets very complex.

darkgolem
2009-01-02, 09:14 PM
The problem I have is we don't know the rules, so every 3rd strip has an unforseen change, basically a Deux Ex Machina.

Which is frustrating. I like the concept, I like the characters, I really want to like the strip, but I feel like I am playing the "make up the story game" with a little kid, the story constantly morphing away from what it was to something else.

Frankly, I want it to end so the rules can be codified and stop suprising me. I couldn't do anything nearly as skilled or similar, but that doesn't mean that the story doesn't have to be fair.

Lysander
2009-01-02, 09:44 PM
I've found the last few pages gripping. I can't understand why everyone is complaining about plot twists - you really want the story to end so soon? Parson wins! Strip over! Thanks for reading!

As for plot holes, here's my answer to the two big questions.

1) Wanda getting knocked out - She didn't fall a short distance, she slammed into the ground at high speeds. It's like having the plane you're landing in vanish. Also, maybe she took some previous damage from the Archon's blast.

2) Ansom "crossing zones" to get the pliers - The area immediately behind the wall is still inside the wall zone. Can you imagine a game system in which siege battles didn't allow people to attack those behind the wall with catapults? Also, despite flying Ansom may never have been in Gobwin knob's "airspace", just flying around the wall zone. Hovering a short distance above the ground might not count as being in a different zone.

DevilDan
2009-01-02, 09:51 PM
As far as I can tell, a lot of the action we've seen is stuff that we could have predicted but didn't. The problem is the wait between pages. It's been pointed out before: if we were reading these a few pages at a time then we wouldn't obsess over "plot twists" but would consider the storytelling to be more organic.

Quimper
2009-01-02, 10:02 PM
"No Deus Ex Machina"?

And yet, the last couple of strips has felt just like that and nothing else?

Too tiresome for Ansom to use his brain instead of just chargin head on and always randomly chosing the right direction or timing? Lets teleport some new transylvito forces and Charlie forces to his aid so he doesn't have to rely on those uncertain 25:1 odds.

Not enough hostiles or "every zone" dominance at GK? Heck! Just let Charlie summon 40 or so "better than dragons or anything else" archons and let them arrive in no time (Stanley obviously forgot that Charlie lives next door just around the mountain?)

Wanda actually demonstrating 1337'ness by humiliating Ansom and letting us perhaps see if it's true that the titans have chosen Stanley et. al. to wield the arkentools? Ansom in danger for 1second? No, let him insta-escape being swarmed by thousands of undead and actually PAYING for his overconfidence. No need to even show how he auto-blinks out of being surrounded (unless he can fly without the carpet, the archons have to move from airspace to wall to give it back to him, even though thay can't move during RCC's turn). Lost that flying carpet and plier? Np, you get them both back in less time than it takes wanda to reach the floor using speed+gravity (almost anyway). Forget about ambushes or other inconveniences.

Stanley getting to show how tough he is as a "warlord leveling up to leader" by using arkenhammer, leadership, warlords, dragons, über-dragon? Nah, pop a dozen warlords from from "Nosferatu the movie" (did they live in Faq or what?) and let them beat him using BATS!!! Even when he actually defeats one of them in melee it STILL survives, thus ensuring that nothing can ever EVER be achieved by GK.
---

But at least im not bitter... ;)

Eugenitor
2009-01-02, 10:08 PM
Anything that flies is in the airspace.

How hard is that?

KilltheToy
2009-01-02, 11:03 PM
This could explain why Wanda's the last member of her tribe. The Jetstones went and killed them all.

Also, MOSH! is the best ontomontopeia ever :smallbiggrin:.

Hatu
2009-01-02, 11:21 PM
Thanks for the thorough post Hatu. I'm not the greatest at keeping track of the mechanics involved, but I'll take a crack at it.


I'm glad it was worth reading. :-)


As far as trying to make sense of the zone situations, I think it can be done, but doing so requires assuming so many loopholes and quirks that Parson's Klogs is rendered almost pointless. Here's my best guess:

Charlie parks his Archons in the Airspace zone. Since they're currently neutral, both GK and Jetstone can traverse the Airspace safely.

At the start of his turn, Ansom orders his Siege weapons to attack the wall. Meanwhile, he flies into the Airspace zone, proceeds into the Outer Walls zone, and begins to attack the zombies manning the walls. Parson observes this, and decides he needs to reinforce the zombies on the Outer Walls. For some reason, only Wanda's forces are able to do this, and to do so they will need to move through the Airspace Zone.

Parson decides it's worth the risk. Wanda travels through the Airspace zone safely, and proceeds to attack Ansom. Either during their fight or before her arrival, Ansom flies into the Airspace Zone. The fight in that zone ends when Ansom is unseated, and he crashes back into the Outer Wall zone. He lands on top of the wall, but his Arkenpliers land at the base inside GK. Presumably, both he and his weapon would have to land in the same zone, so it seems likely that the Outer Walls zone includes the area just inside the walls as well.

Ansom then makes his deal with Charlie. The Archon who appears next to him is either a very strange loophole in the movement rules, or a very poorly illustrated effect of a think-o-gram Charlie uses to communicate with Ansom. I'll assume the latter. At this point, Wanda's party (who have not yet left the Airspace Zone) are attacked by the Archons. Wanda falls into the Outer Wall zone near the Arkenpliers, out of range of the Archons.

The Archons then fetch Ansom's carpet and somehow pass it between the zone barriers they cannot cross. He flies down to recover the Arkenpliers, but must retreat once Sizemore appears.

In and of itself, that narrative works. My objection is that it requires a lot of assumptions that are entirely unsupported by the rules outlined in the Klogs. By my count:

* Enemy fliers are able to enter the Outer Walls zone even if the walls have not been breached.

* GK-allied Fliers cannot pass through the Courtyard area of the Garrison en route to the Outer Walls, or do so at dramatically reduced "speed."

* It is possible to "fall" from the Airspace zone into other zones when defeated or dismounted. The rate at which you fall in defeat is apparently much faster than the rate at which you move by flying (even when flying costs no movement).

* The timing rules are somewhat arbitrary at best. Parson cannot send Wanda to intercept Ansom when he enters the Airspace Zone; he must wait until he reaches the Outer Walls and begins to attack the zombies. But Ansom is able to move from the Outer Walls zone back into the Airspace Zone either before Wanda gets to him, or during the battle itself. Once Ansom is sent back to the Outer Walls zone, the zombies cannot attack him until after the Archons fetch his carpet. Furthermore, Charlie is able attack Wanda the instant Ansom agrees to hire him, before Wanda can leave the Airspace Zone to pursue Ansom. (Alternatively, Parson inexplicably chose not to intercept Ansom at the time, even though his glasses/wristwatch would make it obvious that Ansom was going to annihilate the zombies on the wall. I think the timing issue is the lesser evil.)

* Even though enemy units without movement points cannot cross from one zone to another, they can pass objects between the zones.

* Even though the area inside the walls and the walls themselves are both part of the Outer Wall zone, units on the ground cannot easily get to the top of the walls (otherwise Sizemore could have been sent to counter Ansom, without risking Charlie's intervention).

There are other possible ways to explain the movement exhibited in the comic, but I think this causes the fewest issues. And even so we are left with a lot of rules we only learn about just when they happen. I find that extremely frustrating. At this point, why bother explaining rules in the Klogs if they wind up getting sidelined by loopholes the instant they come into play?

I just find the constant effort it take to fit what we see into the rules tiresome. Rob is writing both the story and the rules. I think it is reasonable for us to expect them to fit together without any retconning on our part. The fact that we do need to invent all these unmentioned rules indicates to me that Rob isn't really interested in matching what happens in the strip to the rules he laid out before hand. He sets up the rules as broad guidelines, then lets the story go where he feels it should and amends to the rules to justify it later. That is not my preferred method of storytelling: it tends to lead to stories that feel unfocused. And sure enough, that's exactly what seems to be happening here.

-H

ShinyBrowncoat
2009-01-02, 11:30 PM
I think this may confirm that tactical combat is real-time...how else can we accept the "first to the arkenpliers" tension these last two strips have tried to instill?

Also, Parson should have immediately sent sizemore and his golems to secure the 'pliers as soon as Wanda had disarmed him. It's hard to see this as anything but a mistake.

EBass
2009-01-02, 11:31 PM
I rarely post here, but I thought I'd throw my hat into the ring for this one.

I personally feel that most of the accusations of Deus Ex Machina are unfounded. No one said at the time of Charlie's ansoms arriving that their presence was such, yet now they have acted it is? Charlie's actions are thoroughly consistent with what we know of him.

The main problem I have with this, I feel these last two strips have really stretched my suspension of disbelief, because I instinctively feel based on what I've been told by the authors thats not how things *should* work in erfworld mechanics. I feel that for the events to have happened either A) The rules have been explained badly to us or B) The authors are stretching the rules for the plot.

I really really hope its A, especially as I can think of right now how the same sort of events could have occured without a stretching of the rules. Hatu has pretty much explained my exact misgivings about the whole workings of the "zones" above.

There are a lot of moments in this strip that really don't make sense given the rules that we have been informed of.

quindraco
2009-01-02, 11:35 PM
* Enemy fliers are able to enter the Outer Walls zone even if the walls have not been breached.

* GK-allied Fliers cannot pass through the Courtyard area of the Garrison en route to the Outer Walls, or do so at dramatically reduced "speed."

* It is possible to "fall" from the Airspace zone into other zones when defeated or dismounted. The rate at which you fall in defeat is apparently much faster than the rate at which you move by flying (even when flying costs no movement).
-H

I'm taking this idea from another poster earlier in the thread whose name I forget, but..... doesn't the following rule address all three of those?

"If a unit is flying, it is, by definition, in Airspace."

This has a correlary, since we've repeatedly observed flying units in combat with ground units:

"It is possible for flying units to attack units who are not in the same zone as themselves."

Does this one new rule cause any major new violations?

Godskook
2009-01-02, 11:47 PM
"It is possible for flying units to attack units who are not in the same zone as themselves."

Does this one new rule cause any major new violations?

That is impossible. The Author made it very clear Archons can't attack outside the Airspace zone.

VariaVespasa
2009-01-02, 11:49 PM
Anything that flies is in the airspace.

How hard is that?

Well that cant really be true, can it? Otherwise it would mean, for example, that the archons were limited to the airspace zone and couldnt attack the tunnels. Although that might be an interesting and previously unconsidered tactical implication...

Hatu
2009-01-03, 12:11 AM
I'm taking this idea from another poster earlier in the thread whose name I forget, but..... doesn't the following rule address all three of those?

"If a unit is flying, it is, by definition, in Airspace."

This has a correlary, since we've repeatedly observed flying units in combat with ground units:

"It is possible for flying units to attack units who are not in the same zone as themselves."

Does this one new rule cause any major new violations?

I don't think that rule makes sense. First and foremost, the actual wording of Klog 11 makes it clear that Airspace is a separate zone, not just a status or set of sub-zones. It must be entered, costing movement points if you don't own the city*, and it is specifically distinct from the Outer Walls and Garrison zones.

Secondly, is raises serious logical issues. If all Fliers are in the Airspace by default, how does the flying Ansom attack the ground bound zombies on page 118? Also, why wasn't Parson worried about Charlie attacking Wanda when she was in the Tower? Her forces were still flying units then, so they must have been in the Airspace already. Sending them out would not expose them to any further danger.

No, clearly it is possible for fliers to not be in the Airspace zone.

As for the corollary, is demonstrably untrue in the broad sense: the Archons cannot attack the defeated Wanda or the zombies until they are able to move. It's also untrue in the next broadest sense: as mentioned above, the Archons could not attack the fliers when they where in the Tower (the part of the garrison that borders the Airspace).

If you mean specifically that Fliers in the Airspace Zone can attack enemy Fliers on the Outer Walls, I suppose that is possible. But it's an extremely specific and counter-intuitive rule that's never actually been mentioned. I'm not sure that's actually any better than just admitting that the story violated the rules for the sake of the meter.

-H

[* Technically, the Klog only implies that enemy forces must spend movement points to cross the zones, but that seems to be borne out by the Archons' (lack of) actions. I'm fairly comfortable with this interpretation.]

Whispri
2009-01-03, 12:55 AM
Wanda's stack wasn't flying at the start though aside from the uncroaked Archon. And at that point Charlie was still holding back. Ansom could attack the same way the Dwagons did back when they hit the column, he just moves close enough and swings, it is his turn. But if units can float without entering airspace then I fear that carpet will give Ansom quite an advantage outside of his turn. Because if using the carpet means entering airspace he won't be able to zip about during Parson's turn if he's inside the City. And he can't be everywhere with those Pliers. But if he can just zoom over to whatever fresh tunnel the uncroaked burst from...

It does seem reasonable to assume that leaving the ground means entering airspace however.


Do you have any reason to believe "wounded" is even defined on Erfworld in a way which makes sense to you?

<Snipped for space reasons>
Well, yes, just look at the most recent page, Wanda barely being able to move and so on. If she was acting at full ability she'd have just grabbed the Pliers.

And he could easily have captured her. The Archons have carrying capacity (they were here for Parson remember) so he could just leave her in their hands while he returned to the Wall.


And Whispri, I think your moral complaints are valid but this is not a comic with clear black-and-white moral distinctions between characters. Sure, some characters themselves may think that they are shining paragons of virtue and their enemies are despicable fiends, and you yourself may think that about some of them, but honestly man there's been so many questionable acts by almost every character (Bogroll might be the only truly innocent one out there) that it's hard to pass judgment on one without leveling the same accusations at others on the opposing side. It's war, and as a wise man said, it's hell.
There's something different about Ansom in comparison to almost everyone else though, he's not a unit that's forced to attack when without leadership and whose last orders were to kill, he's not a Caster with direct orders that cannot be disobeyed, he hasn't been hit with a Ruthlessness upgrade, he isn't fighting in self defence or in defence of his Cities. It may well be that anyone who doesn't act the way he does would be the equivalent of a Paladin in Hell. But that still leaves Ansom as one of the Demons.


Nor with Ansom's morals in wanting to croak Wanda; it was his only option, if he moves her on the carpet and keeps fighting, she might poke the pliers or a healomancer might toss a heal her way. If he wastes time moving her back to the coalition time would be lost and more men would die. (And the coalition might begin fighting over her.) If he leaves her there she could be healed and return next turn to devastate the coalition.
Do you remember that the netlike thing the Archons were carrying?


You harp on and on and on about that, but you're thinking from the perspective of real-life morality. Erf is a world built around a turn-based war game, with a completely different social structure, natural laws, and pretty much whatever you could choose to mention.

Even so, killing downed enemies is a very old tradition even in the real world, and I've no number for how many times fictional good guys have murdered bad guys they hated, without me feeling the least bit squeamish about it. Don't you think you're venting just a bit too much venom towards a fictional character? You're starting to remind me of the missionary guy in Rambo 4.
And yet life is still life, death is still death, and people get blamed for actions they have no control over. Which is another problem I have with certain characters, but I'm pretty sure I've gone over that already.

I don't feel any venom towards him. He is as you say a fictional character after all. But I don't have to feel venom to have a low opinion of him. I've never actually watched Rambo, so your comparison is lost on me I'm afraid. As for the tradition you speak of, yes it happens, and yes people do snap, but Ansom wasn't invited here and it's still wrong to do what he was doing. Oh and I don't generally assume someone's a good guy just 'cause the head creator wants him to be, actions speak louder than words, and some 'heroes'...

Fjolnir
2009-01-03, 01:39 AM
"At the start of his turn, Ansom orders his Siege weapons to attack the wall. Meanwhile, he flies into the Airspace zone, proceeds into the Outer Walls zone, and begins to attack the zombies manning the walls. Parson observes this, and decides he needs to reinforce the zombies on the Outer Walls. For some reason, only Wanda's forces are able to do this, and to do so they will need to move through the Airspace Zone."

The reason for the WAF is that only archers and specific anti flier infantry can attack fliers, who can selectively attack infantry from the air without provoking AoO's, much like Jillian did to the twoll in the field a while back, the archons can't pull the swoop because they were neutral at the end of their turn or it requires Move to pull off as an attacker (unsure, the rules are unclear), I think combat is Turn based still, however the major "turns" determine when a particular faction has Initiative (basically think d&d with massive tactical strategy) so when the fliers come out to get to ansom, he attacks the croakamancer who blocks it, when his attack fails, he does the only reasonable thing, calls charlie, who in classic fashion, bends him over, since he has initiative he can parlay quickly (I also agree the contract is probably mostly the charlie standard X turns, though the fee has probably changed significantly since the last time), and they release their attack (this is as many archons that charlie needed to capture GK before the next turn ended, which is more than 15) on the only targets that are available to them, the WAF. The fact that archons are on a similar power level to dwagons (each of the archons blasts one out of the sky in the donut of doom failure)(also an arguement for your turn= initiative) makes it even more impressive that wanda lived (casters are generally a low hp unit to balance the whole "I can bend the laws of physics" thing) she falls from a lower height than the mucho macho ansom and her poor wizard bones can't take it, she drops to negative hp and is bleeding out or at 0 hp and the system doesn't allow you to move at 0, she IS trying to goad the pliers out of ansom by having her touch them, she knows something about them he doesn't I think. hopefully we'll be getting more answers than questions soon

fendrin
2009-01-03, 01:59 AM
"Only when it is dark enough can you see the stars" -Rev. Dr. MLK Jr.

The events of this and the past strip have been foretold (or rather, foreshadowed). It's a simple recipe.
Take a chunk of '...a guy who'll shock and awe them, just standing on the city walls, commanding the fight.' (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0017.html)
Add in some 'Leadership! Combat! Ruthlessness!' (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0118.html)
Mix vigorously in 'Transylvito style.' (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0125.html) with a generous helping of '...more than a thousand uncroaked Jetstone infantry...' (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0128.html)
Serve with a garnish of 'The walls must fall!' (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html)

Pairs well with a glass of 'To save your life, my lord.' (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0095.html)

There you have it, a steamy plate of delicious plot resolution. In other words, Wanda's defeat was necessary to bring about the level of desperation needed to make Parson's involvement strategically necessary enough for him to put his boop on the front line.

I expect Bogroll will go along and take a hit (though perhaps not fatally) for him, so that Parson doesn't become the next Manpower (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0002.html). Parson's presence on the front will force Ansom to retreat (to the Airspace, probably). The appearance of Sizemore coupled with the obvious first signs of a breach make me think we are about to see Sizemore repair the walls. The siege will not be able to breach the walls, and the coalition will lose hope (and possibly shatter).

Further, but without the culinary metaphor (too much Iron Chef, I fear):
Charlie's re-alliance with the RCC is also necessary for plot reasons. As others have pointed out, it means the Archons cannot attack GK until after GK's turn, in which Stanley and cohort will likely return. I suspect that the addition of six healthy dwagons, backed up by Stanley's not-insignificant bonuses, Parson's recently amped Chief Warlord leadership bonus, and a master-class foolamancer will render the Charlescomm force insufficient to take GK, and possibly croak most or all of them. A mano-et-mano duel between Stanley and Ansom would be appropriate but unnecessary. In fact, the entire war could end without a single additional named character death. I doubt it, though.

Hatu
2009-01-03, 02:21 AM
The appearance of Sizemore coupled with the obvious first signs of a breach make me think we are about to see Sizemore repair the walls. The siege will not be able to breach the walls, and the coalition will lose hope (and possibly shatter).


If Sizemore can simply repair the walls to prevent a breach, why was there ever any concern over the siege equipment in the first place? For that matter, why bother sending out Wanda? have Sizemore repair the walls from time to time.



Further, but without the culinary metaphor (too much Iron Chef, I fear):
Charlie's re-alliance with the RCC is also necessary for plot reasons. As others have pointed out, it means the Archons cannot attack GK until after GK's turn, in which Stanley and cohort will likely return. I suspect that the addition of six healthy dwagons, backed up by Stanley's not-insignificant bonuses, Parson's recently amped Chief Warlord leadership bonus, and a master-class foolamancer will render the Charlescomm force insufficient to take GK, and possibly croak most or all of them. A mano-et-mano duel between Stanley and Ansom would be appropriate but unnecessary. In fact, the entire war could end without a single additional named character death. I doubt it, though.

I'm still not sure why Charlie would have to act on Ansom's turn. Charlie clearly can act before Parson when "on his own." But so can Transilvito, and Transilvito remains allied to Jetstone while acting on their own. So why wouldn't Charlie agree to join the alliance but act on his own initiative, thereby guaranteeing him the chance to capture Parson and his widget if Ansom doesn't win the battle on this turn? Charlie's clearly calling the shots when it comes to terms, and that would seem to be the no-brainer obvious move from his point of view.

-H

Godskook
2009-01-03, 02:40 AM
I'm still not sure why Charlie would have to act on Ansom's turn. Charlie clearly can act before Parson when "on his own." But so can Transilvito, and Transilvito remains allied to Jetstone while acting on their own. So why wouldn't Charlie agree to join the alliance but act on his own initiative, thereby guaranteeing him the chance to capture Parson and his widget if Ansom doesn't win the battle on this turn? Charlie's clearly calling the shots when it comes to terms, and that would seem to be the no-brainer obvious move from his point of view.

-H

1.TV is not currently allied with the RCC.

2.The Author has made it clear that allied troops all have the same turn, and that turn happens during the latest turn-slot of all allied sides in the alliance. Since the RCC has their turn after GK, so will Charlie, now that he's allied. This is the cost of alliances.

ishnar
2009-01-03, 02:42 AM
The problem I have is we don't know the rules, so every 3rd strip has an unforseen change, basically a Deux Ex Machina.


Dem has nothing to do with being unforeseen, it has to do with being unforeseeABLE. Sure, there have been some things that go against reader anticipation, but that's not DeM. I'm getting progressively frustrated with the story, but it does not have DeM issues.

Tweed
2009-01-03, 02:49 AM
I've found the last few pages gripping. I can't understand why everyone is complaining about plot twists - you really want the story to end so soon? Parson wins! Strip over! Thanks for reading!

I've already made this point but I am going to make it again because I do not want people misconstruing what I and, I think, people like Hatu and Headhoncho are saying. We are not saying that we want the story to end right now with Parson emerging victorious and all our wishes coming true. Our point is not that Parson is losing or continues to suffer reversals. Our point is that the reversals Parson continues to suffer are getting progressively less believable. Parson keeps making progress, then that progress gets eliminated not through Ansom's brilliant strategizing or keen insights, not through Parson's own personal limitations, but through repeated deus ex machina like Charlie, "luck" and nonconventional interpretations of the rules that permit Ansom to accomplish a dozen feats in one action while his enemies accomplish none.

That's what we're talking about. We are not complaining because Parson is losing. We are complaining because every tenth strip, for a year or more, has ended this way: Parson hatching a brilliant scheme, and it being thwarted through happenstance, luck, Ansom's epic "I'M A WARLORD!"-ness, or just sheer Plot.

Hatu
2009-01-03, 03:01 AM
1.TV is not currently allied with the RCC.

2.The Author has made it clear that allied troops all have the same turn, and that turn happens during the latest turn-slot of all allied sides in the alliance. Since the RCC has their turn after GK, so will Charlie, now that he's allied. This is the cost of alliances.

The author cannot have it both ways. Ansom's original goal in releasing the Archons back on page 103 was that they would then ally with TV, allowing them to move again before Stanley and catch up with him. In order for this to make any sense, it would require that TV be "independent" from Jetstone, yet still willing to work towards shared goals.

There's no reason why that same arrangement couldn't work here. Charlie agrees to attack GK independently of Ansom. That might limit their ability to jointly attack, but that isn't happening this turn anyway. Meanwhile, it would give Charlie his best chance to grab Parson before anything else can change.

Now, I could understand why Ansom might not like such a deal, but he's clearly only accepting this deal because he had no choice. I see no reason why Charlie should willingly give Parson more time to defend himself.

-H

fendrin
2009-01-03, 03:26 AM
If Sizemore can simply repair the walls to prevent a breach, why was there ever any concern over the siege equipment in the first place? For that matter, why bother sending out Wanda? have Sizemore repair the walls from time to time. Simply put, Sizemore would run out of magic quickly if he were the sole thing defending the walls. I anticipate that if he repairs, it will be on GK's turn (after he 'replenishes' his magical reserves).


The author cannot have it both ways. Ansom's original goal in releasing the Archons back on page 103 was that they would then ally with TV, allowing them to move again before Stanley and catch up with him. In order for this to make any sense, it would require that TV be "independent" from Jetstone, yet still willing to work towards shared goals.

There's no reason why that same arrangement couldn't work here. Charlie agrees to attack GK independently of Ansom. That might limit their ability to jointly attack, but that isn't happening this turn anyway. Meanwhile, it would give Charlie his best chance to grab Parson before anything else can change.

Now, I could understand why Ansom might not like such a deal, but he's clearly only accepting this deal because he had no choice. I see no reason why Charlie should willingly give Parson more time to defend himself.

-H
If the RCC and Charlescomm are not aligned, then any unled troops from one faction would auto-attack units from the other faction. Not the best thing to do in a war.

TamLin
2009-01-03, 03:31 AM
EDIT: My last post was under a diff name, "Nerd_Paladin", a forum name I stopped using because I had forgotten the password for it and could for some reason never get the site to email it to me. Then last night I was trying to recover the password for THIS name and got that one instead. Don't ask me what happened there. Now I'm pretty well sorted. I don't expect any of you to keep track of/care about whether I can managed my account, I'm just clearing up potential confusion as to why I'm responding to responses resonding to a diff screenname. My head hurts....


Webinar was a Warlord too.

But it wasn't his turn. Like I said, it was just an idea. I don't know the specific rules or how they affect the physics/free will of Erfworld, but we know that there IS an effect. Add this to the standard liberties that most writers take with time in favor of suspense, plus the usual complexities of time in the medium of comics, in which time is expressed by the spacing of images but at an inconstant rate (thank you Scott McCloud) and it's not really that strange.

Honestly, I don't think that this element of the strip warrants intense analysis. Time is malleable in fiction, we've all noticed in movies how 30 seconds on a bomb's timer somehow becomes three minutes of screentime while the heroes race to the rescue (usually brawling with stubborn should-be-dead-but-aren't bad guys along the way). I'm not saying it's not annoying, but you just kind of shrug and accept it. I do anyway. As for rules inconsistency, well, the paradox of free-willed people and real-world physics being constrained by turn-based "rules" (enforced in some unknown way by some unknown force) and the tension that results is, I think, part of the basic concept. Sometimes the rules are going to bend. Sometimes they might even break. How/why this happens and whether the Erflings are aware of it is fascinating to consider.

To clarify: I agree that the last couple pages have handled such matters clumsily. I just don't care as much.


The only person she's 'tortured' liked it

I don't think Jillian is the only person that Wanda has tortured. And even if she is, she only "liked" it because she was being magically compelled. Or maybe she liked it in the first place and it was just a convenient way to magically compel her (which is actually worse).

Beyond that, it's pretty clear that her sadistic tendencies extend beyond the bedroom (or dungeon, which in her case is a literal term). Physical violence, while objectionable, is sort of inevitable in war, and in wargaming, and in fantasy literature, but the kind of sick, twisted, emotional and psychological violence that she clearly enjoys inflicting is a whole other ballgame. And then there's the zombie stuff, which you have to admit is pretty bad. People might invoke the "neccesity of war" defense for her, but that strikes me as a double standard, overlooking morally objectionable acts by certain characters on the grounds of pragmatism but holding others (Ansom) to near-Papal expectations.

I find Wanda a fascinating character, but surely not a sympathetic one, and so far I'm very incredulous to most of the non-villainous interpretations of her actions. Erfworld may not be black-and-white, but some characters are less grey than others.


As for Ansom, he's a violent thug who's sent men to fight and die 'cause he didn't like how Saline IV chose his heir.

Respectfully, so many things are wrong with that sentence:

1. Saline didn't choose an heir, he was overthrown. I got the impression that it was at least implied that Stanley was behind that coup. I've no real evidence of that, but it was noted how strange it was for the gobwins to turn on the king, and it's hard to overlook the fact that Stanley benefited the most from a very suspicious string of events. Of course, that's a bit more clever than is usual for him, but even Ansom acknowledged the "occasional clever move" from Stanley (linking the casters, for example).

2. That possibility aside, what about Stanley's megalomania, his aggressive wars on all his neighbors, his obession with the Arkentools, etc? Might THAT have something to do with why Ansom and the coalition are interested in overthrowing him, because he's a murderous tyrant with delusions of grandeur?

3. Given how frequently Ansom puts his own life in danger to protect his troops (it's been established as one of his primary character traits), even to the degree of being somewhat stupid about it at times, it's really not fair to criticize him for "Sending men to die." He's doing what a military leader has to do, and on top of it he endangers himself to a disproportipnate degree.


Plus he's rather keen on things like sacking defenseless cities and murdering defenceless people and he'd have gotten away with it if it wasn't for the Big Damn Heroes.

Again, I was under the impression that preventing the sacking and massacring of HIS cities and the cities of his allies was what he was really going for there. Further, I haven't seen any evidence that he's planning on putting the women and children to the sword once the walls are down. Not saying it's not possible, just saying there's nothing to indicate it. He seems more interested in stopping Gobwin Knob's aggression.


Like many readers here, I am able to be fond of the villain -- I am a big fan of Xykon from OOTs, and I am sure there are many people here who are, even though he is unequivocally evil-with-a-capital-"E" and has committed many heinous acts. Still, he is a character, and a well-developed one, so I appreciate him and his actions.

Hmm, well, I don't really consider Ansom the villain here (and Stanley would seem to have the most in common with Xykon if you ask me, not that it's really a relevant comparison), but I suppose "antagonist" is a fair term, since he IS in opposition to our hero.


Ansom is an entirely different story. We have no insight into what he's all about, no exposition on why he's at war with Stanley.

Well, strictly speaking, I think we do have some insight. Either he's motivated by a sense of duty to the leader of Jetstone (whose name escapes me), the desire to defend his nation and his nation's allies, a distaste for Stanley probably focused on his low birth, or some combination of all (plus others I might not have thought of). It's true we don't know for sure what's going on in his head, but that's what makes him interesting.


For every ounce of competence he's demonstrated he's shown himself ten times the fool. Yet he emerges each time victorious.

Again, it depends on your point of view. Either Ansom's tactical errors are the result of a rash temper and poor judgment, or they're evidence of how his sense of honor and personal responsibility can get in the way of his better sense. As is usually the case, how you feel about the character will color how you interpret his behavior. Still, speaking personally, I like seeing a character who makes mistakes but can still perservere. Too often in fiction we seem to get an "either/or" scenario: Either you're a brilliant mastermind who is always one step ahead, or else you're doomed to fail. It's rather artificial.


Now, in these past two strips, he's acting in essentially god mode: falling from his mount, sustaining no real damage, reviewing a contract, calling in the tac-nuke archons to save his butt, remounting, flying into the courtyard, seizing the 'pliers, engaging in dialogue, then flying away, all while being surrounded by a horde of undead. I'm sorry, but I call foul.

This actually reminds me of the fan complaints after Xykon massacred the Sapphire Guard last year. I don't like to do Erf/Stick comparisons, since I don't think they really have much with each other, but it's interesting.

Now, many of the comments thus far HAVE clearly been about a dislike of Ansom as a character rather than his role in and the direction of the story. Even so, I can see where you're coming from. However, being as I'm almost NEVER in synch with the rest of the board about the quality of the strip, I'm going to disagree. I think that these couple of pages, while maybe not the best work from Mr. Balder, are continuing an important theme in the strip. Rather than analyzing the role of Ansom here, I really think this is more about Parson.

It seems like Parson is the mastermind who cannot succeed, as his plans have all been clever but none have ever worked (not completely, anyway). However, I disagree that it's deus ex machina that has screwed him. I think it's his own mistakes that keep derailing his plans. For example, his original plot to ambush and capture Ansom failed because Ansom turned out not to be as predictable as he thought. He made the mistake of trying to anticipate a man he didn't know, trusting secondhand information from other people (whom he also he didn't really know).

Similarly, his second attempt to nail Ansom failed because he put too much faith in Wanda's magic. While that might seem reasonable, note that the decision also involved making a judgment about Jillian, another enemy he didn't know and had no real insight about. He trusted Wanda's assesment, but the fact that she incorrectly anticipated Ansom's move earlier should have been a warning to him. He might also have observed that there was more to Wanda and Jillian's "relationship" than meets the eye, and questioned her objectivity. Besides, he doesn't know a thing about magic, he shouldn't have put all his eggs in one basket. An understandable error, perhaps (I probably would have done the same thing), but an error nonetheless.

Nn the present situation, Parson had a chance to ally with Charlie but passed it up, and now it's costing him. His previous interaction with Charlie taught him that Charlie never goes back on a contract, so he should have known that pushing Charlie into a formal agreement while he still had leverage over him was the smartest way to remove him as a threat. Similarly, he knew from many warnings that, outside the context of contractual agreements, Charlie is strictly not to be trusted. He was warned about Charlie's double-crossing ways, but somehow failed to ancipate that he would be double-crossed. Really, Paron's actions back on page 105 were pretty dumb. Of course, he was confident in his strategy, he had even calculated his odds of success out to a specific percentage, but that wasn't taking into account what Charlie would do.

Do you see a pattern? I do. Parson is great with tactics, numbers, and strategy, but he's lousy at reading people. That's why he never accurately predicts what his enemies will do (well, not never; he knew how to provoke Ansom), why he needed Wanda's help to get into Stanley's good graces (such as they are), why he alienated Sizemore, and why, in my opinion, he's trusting Wanda far more than he should. Bad people skills are in keeping with his gamer-geek cliche lifestyle back in the "real world". Ansom, on the other hand, only seems to be an average strategist, but is very charismatic, inspirational, and great at managing morale (look, for example, at how large and diverse his coalition is and how he's managed to hold them all together, at his close relationship with Vinny, at how he comforted Webinar's fears while at the same time reminding him of his duty, etc. Hell, even his romance with Jillian represents a sort of triumph of personal magnetism over poor straegy; his propositioning of her way back on page 8 was surprisingly crass, but she still fell for him anyway. Incidentally, I think that that page, both in terms of the writing and the art, is a great study in how much the strip has changed. Those are some BIG heads...).

So in a sense, the last couple of pages are just the next cycle in a previouslyu established pattern. In that context, I think they're a bit less outlandish.


Wanda is clearly "bad" but interesting and, at least to some, a likable character. Ansom is clearly "good", but not so interesting, and to most, an unlikable character. That's part of what makes this comic interesting. Unfortunately, it also makes it painful when Ansom gets away.

Now, that one I'll get on board with. Personally I DO find Ansom likable, but that's because I think I approach these stories from a different point of view than most people. You'll forgive me because here I'm going to start getting broad and theoretical, as I have a habit of doing, but the way I see it, in modern American pop culture, the worst thing you can be in most people's eyes is an arrogant hero.

Being an arrogant villain is fine, people love an arrogant villain, and it's sort of hard to be a humble villain anyway (I'm sure there are some, I just can't think of any off the top of my head, except perhaps the "Loyal enforcer" type of character who is subordinant to a more powerful villain, ala Darth Maul or Harley Quinn. Although even then, there's a kind of pride and grandeur that comes with the close association with a powerful figure, so perhaps they're not so humble as all that). Similarly, being an arrogant anti-hero, in the rebel maverick loose-cannon way, is fine. In fact, people eat it up (Wolverine, Jesse Custer, the Man With No Name, Jack Bauer, etc). Even a humble hero can get on the fans' good side (Superman comes to mind), although that's a bit tricky because s/he can't seem callow.

But an arrogant hero just pisses people off. I think this stems from some writer's habit of approaching traditional "Good guy" characters, deciding they're too one-dimensional, and making them judgmental pricks so that we can all sit back and say "Oh, so that's the REAL evil!", etc. Or perhaps not, perhaps that's just the way to conform fiction to the likings of an audience that was getting tired of cliches. But in any case, no one likes a loudmouthed boy scout, because the holier-than-thou schtick gets pretty old.

Audiences care about a character's attitude, not his/her behavior. A "cool" character can get away with almost anything and still please most fans, whereas a character who rubs audiences the wrong way can do no right, even if their behavior is morally superior (or at least equivalent) to the more popular cast members. That's why Vinny is popular while Ansom is not (Notice how Vinny's humility comparative to Ansom's pride was worked in very early, during their first significant dialogue exchange back on page 34), why people object more to Stanley belittling his subordinants than to the fact that he's a tyrant, and why people sympathize with Wanda as the jilted lover and long-suffering voice of reason despite the fact that she's pretty clearly off her rocker (Wanda fans who are objecting right now might sit back and ponder how comfortable they would be with the prospect of her living next door). Of course, I'm applying rote classifications to characters that are supposed to be complex and nuanced, which means that not everyone will agree with my interpretations here, but hopefully you get my drift all the same.

As you can probably guess, I approach characters a bit differently than the parameters laid about above. I loathe loner anti-heroes, and you have to be a pretty impressive villain to get me to root for you, so it's natural that I'd prefer Ansom to some of the other characters. Of course, for all I know, I'm mischaracterizing everyone else's approach to the characters too. Like I said, it's all theoretical.

Jeivar
2009-01-03, 03:51 AM
(snip)

Do you see a pattern? I do. Parson is great with tactics, numbers, and strategy, but he's lousy at reading people. That's why he never accurately predicts what his enemies will do (well, not never; he knew how to provoke Ansom), why he needed Wanda's help to get into Stanley's good graces (such as they are), why he alienated Sizemore, and why, in my opinion, he's trusting Wanda far more than he should. Bad people skills are in keeping with his gamer-geek cliche lifestyle back in the "real world". Ansom, on the other hand, only seems to be an average strategist, but is very charismatic, inspirational, and great at managing morale (look, for example, at how large and diverse his coalition is and how he's managed to hold them all together, at his close relationship with Vinny, at how he comforted Webinar's fears while at the same time reminding him of his duty, etc).

(snip)


The more I think about this post, the more it rings true. An excellent analysis.

Godskook
2009-01-03, 04:14 AM
The author cannot have it both ways.

Yes, yes they can.



Ansom's original goal in releasing the Archons back on page 103 was that they would then ally with TV, allowing them to move again before Stanley and catch up with him. In order for this to make any sense, it would require that TV be "independent" from Jetstone, yet still willing to work towards shared goals.

Vinny is a close personal friend of Ansom. His is also a noble, so his influence with the Don is not negligable. That he can get the Don to do Ansom a 'favor'(fits with their mob theme, don't it?) is pretty logical.


There's no reason why that same arrangement couldn't work here. Charlie agrees to attack GK independently of Ansom. That might limit their ability to jointly attack, but that isn't happening this turn anyway. Meanwhile, it would give Charlie his best chance to grab Parson before anything else can change.

First, Charlie has demonstrated several times already that he'll only follow blatant contracts. His word is only as good as ink.

Second, Charlie's contract stated a minimum 2 turn duration, which means that he's in for the full siege(probably). He's also protective of his Archons and doesn't want Ansom's unled stacks shooting at them(I wouldn't in his shoes). An alliance is the only way to prevent this.


Now, I could understand why Ansom might not like such a deal, but he's clearly only accepting this deal because he had no choice. I see no reason why Charlie should willingly give Parson more time to defend himself.

-H

Because he can get paid twice! (http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20070715.html)

Hatu
2009-01-03, 05:01 AM
Blasted insomnia. But while I'm up...



If the RCC and Charlescomm are not aligned, then any unled troops from one faction would auto-attack units from the other faction. Not the best thing to do in a war.

That is obviously not true, since the Archons engaged neither Ansom nor Wanda when they fought in the Airspace zone. So it seems clear that neutral stacks are not obligated to attack, even if leaderless.



Vinny is a close personal friend of Ansom. His is also a noble, so his influence with the Don is not negligable. That he can get the Don to do Ansom a 'favor'(fits with their mob theme, don't it?) is pretty logical.


What are you talking about? I understand why the Don agreed to the plan, but that's not the point. My point is that Charlie is the one calling the shots in this new contract, and if he wants to remain independent of the RCC while still saving Ansom's bacon, Ansom is in no position to argue. Since staying independent maximizes the odds of obtaining his goal (the capture of Parson), that would seem to be the logical action for Charlie to take.




First, Charlie has demonstrated several times already that he'll only follow blatant contracts. His word is only as good as ink.

Second, Charlie's contract stated a minimum 2 turn duration, which means that he's in for the full siege(probably). He's also protective of his Archons and doesn't want Ansom's unled stacks shooting at them(I wouldn't in his shoes). An alliance is the only way to prevent this.


First of all, where does Charlie say the contract is for two turns? Did I miss something?

Secondly, I must once again point out that Charlie is the one writing this contract. The comic makes it clear that Ansom is accepting outrageous terms. He does so because he has no other choice. Under these circumstances, I don't see any reason for Charlie to even OFFER a formal alliance. Co-belligerent status serves Charlie's interest far more, and it still offers Ansom what he needs.

As for the risk of Ansom backstabbing him, that seems near zilch. The only RCC flying unit within range of GK seems to be Ansom himself. The Archons are more than powerful enough to defend themselves from him. We also know they're in the Airspace zone, so they're entirely out of the way of the entire allied army, until and unless one of them captures the Tower.

Besides, at the start of this day Charlie was willing to capture GK himself, without Ansom at all. It seems to me that he's quite willing to accept Archon casualties if it gets him what he wants.

-H

dr pepper
2009-01-03, 05:10 AM
Hmm, TamLin's analysis seems to boil down to identifying Ansom as a highschool football star.

TamLin
2009-01-03, 05:38 AM
I'm not sure I follow? I'm saying he's better at diplomacy than stragegy, whereas Parson is a great tactician but doesn't seem to "get" people (hence why Erfworld is the most challenging "game" he could ever play; because he has to think about more than just artificial units with no free will).

Aquillion
2009-01-03, 05:54 AM
I'm not sure I follow? I'm saying he's better at diplomacy than stragegy, whereas Parson is a great tactician but doesn't seem to "get" people (hence why Erfworld is the most challenging "game" he could ever play; because he has to think about more than just artificial units with no free will).I can see some of that, but Ansom's abilities have limits -- he still doesn't seem to really understand Jillian at all (and that's only partially because he doesn't know key details of her background -- he even missed the parts that she flat-out told him.) He also misjudged Charlie, which let Stanley get away. And I'm not sure, if you go back and look at Webinar's expression, that Ansom's little speech to him was anywhere nearly as effective as you think it was -- I don't know if morale is a factor in the game, but going by Webinar's expression, he went into his final battle with a penalty. And more generally, if you look at Webinar's interactions with Jillian and the 'stunningly disfunctional group dynamic' -- that was pretty much all Ansom's fault, ultimately. (Earlier, he sent Webinar to shadow Jillian while saying that 'she may be very grateful', for crying out loud! Usually good diplomatic leaders do not order their men to risk their lives by openly saying that they're doing it to get inside of a girl's pants.)

If I had to say what Ansom's saving grace in the story so far has been, I wouldn't say that it's his diplomatic abilities (if anything, Parson has exploited his problems in that area.) His saving grace has been his decisiveness and the speed with which he's been able to accept new situations -- look at him breaking out of the donut strategy, or attacking the walls when his coalition was about to crumble, or signing with Charlie just now. Ansom is very good at making the right decision quickly under pressure, which is an extremely important trait for a leader to have. He's also -- despite his massive ego -- capable of recognizing when he's in trouble, even if it took him a moment in the Donut of Doom case.

TamLin
2009-01-03, 06:16 AM
Hmm, you're right, Ansom doesn't neccesarily have any greater insight into people than Parson does. But like I said, the characters are allowed to have flaws but still succeed. Parson isn't always the perfect strategist, so we can't expect Ansom to the perfect diplomat. Still he couldnt' have managed the coalition for this long if he didn't have notable talents for diplomacy.

Rather than demonstrate a lack of competance on Ansom's part, I think the dysfunctionality of the coalitions shows just how good of a job he's actually done. Of course that large and that diverse of an alliance of peoples (many of whom have probably fought each other in the past) is going to have internal conflicts (Ansom himself said as much during one of his early pep talks to the troops, back in a strip I'm now too tired to go hunt for). And yet they've hung together this long and apparently done a good job of beating Stanley back. That's a credit to Ansom that he's kept everything from falling completely to pieces.

My real focus was on Parson and why I think he keeps coming up short no matter what his plan is (in short, he's not good with people. Although he does seem likable enough. Ansom, on the other hand, is kind of a jerk, but seems charismatic anyway), and from there I was toying with the idea of Ansom as a foil for Parson. For one reason or another, Ansom is a guy that a lot of people are willing to follow, while Parson is someone almost nobody had confidence in at first (except maybe Bogroll, but he's not exactly hard to impress), they just followed his lead because no one else was there to do the job (and even then Stanley almost put the kibosh on him). Even Ansom's decisiveness, which you pointed out, contrasts with Parson's role as a long-term planner. Then again, Ansom is supposed to think about the long-term as well, but he relies on impulse often too. It's not an airtight comparison, and no two characters are total inversions of each other, but it's a notion I like, and I'm now curious to see how/whether the rest of the strip supports it.

Simanos
2009-01-03, 07:17 AM
It's his turn, so he would just have had to spend a movement point to swap zone.
No, that's BS.
Fliers can't attack the courtyard until they take the walls/tower.
Objects may be allowed to pass through zones (or hexes), but it would make sense if it took 2 people, one in either zone. One passing the object to the other. Here Ansom picks up the pliers on his own, because they are sticking up in the air. It's LUDICROUS.
Lame.

I dislike Stanley. I wanted the Coalition to win, but not by cheating. This is cheating.

Suicide Junkie
2009-01-03, 07:55 AM
No, that's BS.
Fliers can't attack the courtyard until they take the walls/tower.
Objects may be allowed to pass through zones (or hexes), but it would make sense if it took 2 people, one in either zone. One passing the object to the other. Here Ansom picks up the pliers on his own, because they are sticking up in the air. It's LUDICROUS.
Lame.He's not attacking the courtyard. He's grabbing the pliers from the outer walls zone.

I'm not sure why people have latched on to the idea that the "outer walls" zone contains only the physical walls themselves.

After all, the airspace zone covers the area from the outer edge, across the city, and right up to the tower windows (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0123.html).
And the tunnels cover the area from the outer edge, across the city and up to about the garrison wall (Remember all the houses? (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0124.html))
There is even a nice square wall with which to defend the courtyard, including its access to the tower and dungeon.
So, why are people claiming that the city is in the courtyard?

It's LUDICROUS.

Gez
2009-01-03, 10:03 AM
Not if lichhood counts as self uncroaking.
Why would it be any different? Everything we know about the uncroaked says they're basically meat puppets, nothing more. At first they kinda look like zombies, but they continue to decay and end up as skeletons, before eventually falling to pieces for ever.

The vampires (Transylvito) do not appear to be uncroaked in that world; they aren't undead, they're just a race of people that look like vampires.

So why would there be something like the lich? If such units existed, why didn't Gobwin Knob have some? Why wasn't that prospect raised for Misty, instead Parson being told that uncroaked casters are merely infantry?

It seems pretty clear to me that liches do not exist.

EBass
2009-01-03, 10:35 AM
2.The Author has made it clear that allied troops all have the same turn, and that turn happens during the latest turn-slot of all allied sides in the alliance. Since the RCC has their turn after GK, so will Charlie, now that he's allied. This is the cost of alliances.

I think the movement rules regarding alliances are more complex than we've been told so far, or else it would simply be way way too exploitable.

For example, say a side has some hit and run units out in the open, very vulnerable but their turn is up before their enemy and so they will be able to get away. The enemy simply contacts a side who may have absolutely nothing to do with the conflict and be miles away and says "We need our turn early, we'll pay you some small sum 500 smuckers to ally with us for a turn, and break the alliance after one turn.".

A huge proportion of the tactics in a turn based game are ending your turn in order to mimimize vulnerability during your enemies turn, a time you can do nothing. If teams could just swap their turns around through meaningless alliances? Nah way too exploitable.

Glome
2009-01-03, 11:05 AM
So wait, where did all the arrows sticking out the flying carpet go?

Godskook
2009-01-03, 11:20 AM
No, that's BS.
Fliers can't attack the courtyard until they take the walls/tower.

Where the hell does it say this? And please, don't say Klog 13 because it doesn't say it there.


That is obviously not true, since the Archons engaged neither Ansom nor Wanda when they fought in the Airspace zone. So it seems clear that neutral stacks are not obligated to attack, even if leaderless.

Stacks without a commander are obligated to attack. Its a rule. This implies: a)that some or all Archons are commander units or b)Charlie is able to use his personal commander status remotely.


What are you talking about? I understand why the Don agreed to the plan, but that's not the point. My point is that Charlie is the one calling the shots in this new contract, and if he wants to remain independent of the RCC while still saving Ansom's bacon, Ansom is in no position to argue. Since staying independent maximizes the odds of obtaining his goal (the capture of Parson), that would seem to be the logical action for Charlie to take.

Actually, independence doesn't. Charlie no longer has enough Archons to take the garrison on his turn(unless he has more Archons in range). All Paron would need to do to hold out through Charlie's turn is retreat everyone to the dungeon. Also, (and again)Charlie didn't follow his last hand-shake agreement with Ansom. Remember when Ansom set up the Chokepoint plan, he had Charlie coming, allied with TV. Charlie broke that plan because he wasn't in a true 'alliance'. I wouldn't trust him that way again if I were Ansom.


First of all, where does Charlie say the contract is for two turns? Did I miss something?

Very fine print.


Under these circumstances, I don't see any reason for Charlie to even OFFER a formal alliance.

1.Because Charlie needs it too.

2.Because Charlie has proven he won't abide by less. Offering a 'nothing', and asking for 'something' is a time honored con, but only works once.

Lysander
2009-01-03, 11:23 AM
Just because a unit is flying doesn't mean it is necessarily in "airspace." Are the orlys in http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0010.html this comic in airspace? Airspace might mean areas high off the ground that you need flying to reach, or in this context just attacking the top of the tower by flying there.

Perhaps we're taking these zone rules too technically? It might not be quite as rigid as hex movement rules. It might just be logistics. To attack the tower by air you need to get past the flying units guarding it. To attack the garrison wall you have to break through the outer wall. To attack the dungeons you need to fight through the tunnel guards.

There's no reason why a flying unit couldn't attack the outer wall. The thing people are getting tripped up on is this - it's not that flying units can only attack airspace. It's that only flying units can enter airspace. They can enter and attack other zones as well.

Simanos
2009-01-03, 12:40 PM
I have told people many times here and elsewhere to swallow their pride and admit it when they are obviously wrong (about parts of their arguments). I can do no less myself. I have to say the rules (known and unknown) can be twisted to account for what happened in the comic strips.

I guess that leaves me the other option for not liking this strip. I don't like the story. Yes, this is presented to us as a wargame (commentary), but it is a story after all, in heart at least. People said how this is a subversion of the usual heroics one sees and keeps rooting for the heroes, but when viewed from the "evil" side POV people get frustrated. This is not the case for me. I am not rooting for anyone in Erf. Also in the stories/movies where heroes do illogical stuff like that I am not rooting for them. I'm decrying the writer's mental handicaps. So yeah, even if Erf is presented from an interesting perspective I still don't like the story it's telling us of late because it's the same old same-old. I do appreciate the Erf writers though for their subversion and I don't consider them mentally handicapped like the ones playing it straight.

Charlie is playing both sides. He is doing his best to weaken them both while maximizing his profits. Here is what I see happening in the future…

1. The attrition continues on both sides until we get to the final battle.
2. With Stanley, Ansom, Parson, Jillian & Wanda (possibly a few more) present it is revieled that Charlie is their common enemy and that both Ansom & Stanley were played.
3. Ansom & Stanley join forces to fight Charlie. This would mark the end of the battle for Gobwin Knob & the beginning of the next chapter. There is a huge amount of area for character development. Militarily this would also be even more difficult for Parson than his current situation. Imagine Parson trying to have enough information to plan a battle against Charlie, but not enough information for Charlie to spend a calculation to gain the upper hand…
This is a nice idea. We shall see.
I will propose the following silly idea to stir up a hornet's nest:
Stanley is Hitler (wasn't he a lowly corporal in WW1?). Ansom and the RCC are the British and their Allies. Charlie is USA (made profit by selling/leasing things in the start of the war, then making the biggest profit at the end too). Parson is like a guy in so many novels who travels back in time to change history. :p


PS: The moral discussion in this thread is ridiculous. This isn't peaceful real life. This isn't even war. This is a War-Game. The purpose of existance is totally different and a lot less vague than in real life.

fendrin
2009-01-03, 12:42 PM
I think the movement rules regarding alliances are more complex than we've been told so far, or else it would simply be way way too exploitable.

For example, say a side has some hit and run units out in the open, very vulnerable but their turn is up before their enemy and so they will be able to get away. The enemy simply contacts a side who may have absolutely nothing to do with the conflict and be miles away and says "We need our turn early, we'll pay you some small sum 500 smuckers to ally with us for a turn, and break the alliance after one turn.".

A huge proportion of the tactics in a turn based game are ending your turn in order to mimimize vulnerability during your enemies turn, a time you can do nothing. If teams could just swap their turns around through meaningless alliances? Nah way too exploitable.

Except, as stated, the alliance goes on the LAST ally's turn. In your scenario, instead of the enemy getting the jump on the hit-and-run units, the uninvolved third party would be shifted until AFTER the hit-and-run units have had their turn. In other words, the enemy just wasted 500 schmuckers.

lug0si
2009-01-03, 12:45 PM
Rob Balder explained the zones in this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5580422&postcount=210) post today, so i guess Ansom taking the pliers in his turn was okay with the rules.
but still there are some things (most of them already mentioned) in the recent 2 pages that gave people reason to raise an eyebrow:

- damage effects: Ansom might have or has taken damage in the following situations:
fighting the undead horde in (pg. 118 - 119), taking a full hit from undead warlord Webinar that knocked him out (120.2), crashing hard on the wall after falling from quite a distance (120.4, you can estimate the falling distance in 120.6 - i'd say between 10 and 15 meters), which crashes his helmet, but doesnt keep him from immediately regaining consciousness (someone being k.o. awakening after another massive hit is quite remarkable in all real and fictional universes in know of...), and then figthing the undead horde again (121.13). still, in 122 we can see no scratches or any other kind of injuries on him. only his cape got a bit gnawed off.
the only damage Wanda took was from the fall in 121.11. in 121.10 we can estimate the falling distance - its about 6 times her physical height - so i'd say its something below 10 meters. Wanda is mortally wounded despite her wearing full body armor, which seems odd compared to Ansom, whose spine or organs obviously are not crushed even though he's only wearing some fancy leather dress.

- time bending: already mentined numerous times - how many seconds would it take the WAF to cover those approx. 10 - 15 meters to Ansoms position? 4 seconds? 5? Ansom had a lot more than that to get up, mourn Webinar, call the Archon, find the accept button and have the Archons complete their spells. but time works different in erfworld, so maybe strategy game mechanics apply, where you get all the time you need for important decisions like that contract.

- definition of airspace: i think a lot of confusion comes from the missing, plausible definition of GK airspace. when is a unit in airspace? when its feet dont touch the ground? so a person jumping up would be in airspace, being a valid target for an Archon for a moment? or are flying units in airspace? a flying unipegtaur that stretches out one of its leg to touch the ground or the outer wall would be able to avoid taking damage from an archon? imho the existance of the airspace zone itself poses some problems to a strategy setting like this, where units can move and act freely in combat.
also its obviously possible for ground units to hit air zone targets by shooting arrows, but its not possible for air units to attack ground targets with spells? that seems odd.

- disappointment in dramaturgy: i think most of the readers believe that Wanda, who is undoubtedly one of the most favored characters, will attune to the pliers. Wanda herself and even Ansom seem to know that already. so i guess the majority of readers expected or hoped that Wanda would have her attunement in 122 - everything was set up perfectly. but the Authors decided to let the opportunity for this highlight pass and instead had Charly save the day for Ansom - again. imho this disappointed many a reader here and even though i am certain that Wanda will get healed and attune to the pliers at a later time, it might have hurt the dramaturgy of the story a bit, frustrating some people here.

anyway, its the authors who tell the story and they had their good reasons for the turn of events. i think this is a great, exceptionally witty designed web comic and i'm sure every disappointment some of us had to accept for the moment will be made forgotten by the upcoming grand finale of this chapter.

Sunday
2009-01-03, 12:54 PM
People seem to be making a big deal out of nothing with these two strips. This is warfare. why should it be less complicated just because it's a comic? For all we know Ansom may be stuck inside GK for the night. (it'd make sence because I think he just used up the last of his move) what's to stop parson from simply strolling over to him, punting him over the head and taking his arkenpliars then? because obviously Parson doesn't give a crap about the day night rule.
I'm not too sure about the zone thing... but as far as i've seen only Ansom can be accused of switching zone's, but he's got the move to do so and it's his turn.

Hatu
2009-01-03, 01:11 PM
Stacks without a commander are obligated to attack. Its a rule. This implies: a)that some or all Archons are commander units or b)Charlie is able to use his personal commander status remotely.


All I'm saying is that the Archons just proved they were able to selectively not engage targets. Whatever the reason, this is not a problem.



Actually, independence doesn't. Charlie no longer has enough Archons to take the garrison on his turn(unless he has more Archons in range). All Paron would need to do to hold out through Charlie's turn is retreat everyone to the dungeon. Also, (and again)Charlie didn't follow his last hand-shake agreement with Ansom. Remember when Ansom set up the Chokepoint plan, he had Charlie coming, allied with TV. Charlie broke that plan because he wasn't in a true 'alliance'. I wouldn't trust him that way again if I were Ansom.


First of all, Charlie may well have the muscle it takes. Parson's only reinforcements are the zillion zombies, but they're currently getting pwned by Ansom. By the time Ansom ends his turn, there may not be a lot of them left. If that's the case, Charlie would actually be in a stronger position than he was last turn. Moreover, as Ansom has kindly demonstrated, the zombies suck as combat units. Their whole point was to massively increase the difficulty in breaching the Outer Walls by sheer weight of numbers. In actual combat, they've had no actual effect to date.

Besides, Charlie was able to send this massive force all the way to GK in a single turn. It would extremely convenient if he just happened to have enough insta-summonsed Archons to conquer GK against the forces Parson had on Day 5, but no more.

Secondly, I don't think Parson could save his bacon by retreating to the dungeon, since he could just as easily have done that last turn. The only area that Parson could retreat to now that he might not have been able to retreat to before would be the Tunnels, but if he does that he'll lose GK when the Garrison is overrun. No, if Charlie could conquer GK at the start of the current day (and we know he could), Parson's only hope to repel him the following day would be the zombie extras. And as I've said, I don't think that's a very good hope.

As for the point that Charlie cannot be trusted, I'd agree. But once again, what exactly is Ansom going to do if he refuses that deal? Charlie would obviously be willing to hang Ansom out to dry. Either Ansom accepts the deal and risks that Charlie will betray him, or he just croaks right then and there. That's a REALLY strong bargaining position for Charlie, and I'm saying it would be out of character for him not to take it.

-H

Godskook
2009-01-03, 02:15 PM
All I'm saying is that the Archons just proved they were able to selectively not engage targets. Whatever the reason, this is not a problem.

My point in this all along was that RCC troops would be attacking Archons, not anything else.


Moreover, as Ansom has kindly demonstrated, the zombies suck as combat units.

Actually, Ansom sans pliers proves that they are actually non-sucky combat units, at least to some degree. Look at the trouble Ansom is having with them.

Ansom with pliers has been pwning uncroaked since the beginning of the comic, of any quality.


Their whole point was to massively increase the difficulty in breaching the Outer Walls by sheer weight of numbers. In actual combat, they've had no actual effect to date.

1.The fact that the siege hasn't broken through yet may be because of the horde.

2.They've only been fighting who I believe is the RCC's single best Warlord with/without pliers. They were giving even him a hard time without the pliers, imagine what they'd do to standard infantry.


Besides, Charlie was able to send this massive force all the way to GK in a single turn. It would extremely convenient if he just happened to have enough insta-summonsed Archons to conquer GK against the forces Parson had on Day 5, but no more.

He might've sent every Archon within a turns reach, he might have more, but GK more than triple their force. I doubt Charlie has 30 more Archons(the doubling number) in reach of GK, especially since he is a global enough thinker to call this the "great western conflict".


Secondly, I don't think Parson could save his bacon by retreating to the dungeon, since he could just as easily have done that last turn.

He had no threat from Charlie last turn(well, that couldn't be removed diplomatically). Today, his threat was purely from siege units, which are apparently best defended against on the outer-wall.


(and we know he could),

Actually, somebody pointed out that Parson could've played Charlie. Parson's retelling of the question was something like 'how many additional Archons would be needed to take GK', and the wording could be such that Parson could play fast and loose with the wording to give Charlie the bare minimum to give him a 1% chance of doing it.


As for the point that Charlie cannot be trusted, I'd agree. But once again, what exactly is Ansom going to do if he refuses that deal? Charlie would obviously be willing to hang Ansom out to dry. Either Ansom accepts the deal and risks that Charlie will betray him, or he just croaks right then and there. That's a REALLY strong bargaining position for Charlie, and I'm saying it would be out of character for him not to take it.

You know what? I'm arguing a moot point. It *IS* an alliance, as stated in the fine print that is readable, and if I remember right, by the Archons as well. What Charlie could've theoretically done is moot because it has happened.

Err...scratch that. It is at fricken top of the contract. It says rather blatantly "TERMS OF ALLIANCE". Ergo, since Ansom accepted, Charlie's Archons won't get a turn until after GK tomorrow.

leo_neil316
2009-01-03, 02:27 PM
On the point that ansom doesn't seem to be taking damage.......

We know that magical weapons and suchlike can bestow various extra affects, ranging from types of protection (wanda's shield from her staff) to new attacks (van de graff) to bonuses (both the arkenpliers and arkenhammer provide these).

We also know that things can have -regeneration- as a bonus.

Now if I was a front liney type commander who was royalty, heir apparent of my very large side and chief warlord of said side, and was leading a coalition against another (initially) very large side led by a dude quite capable of -one shotting people at around my level of ability- (see ceaser borgatta, not dead, but out of the fight long enough for stanley to escape) I know I'd sure as hell make sure one of those magic items gave regeneration.

Even without those particulars, regeneration would just be a damn useful ability to have if it gave you back hits in the middle of turns. It would prevent really low level stuff (like say, undead) from wearing you down easily for a more powerful unit to waste.

Hatu
2009-01-03, 02:48 PM
My point in this all along was that RCC troops would be attacking Archons, not anything else.


The Archons are in the Airspace zone, and thus can only be attacked by a) fliers in that zone, and b) archers in the Garrison. The only flying unit in the RCC at the moment seems to be Ansom. So the only risk to the Archons is if Ansom breaches the wall, breaches in the inner wall, moves his archers into the Garrison and then attacks the Archons. That seems a pretty minimal risk, compared to the potential reward. Remember, Charlie was willing to commit his Archons to battle at the start of Day 5.



Actually, Ansom sans pliers proves that they are actually non-sucky combat units, at least to some degree. Look at the trouble Ansom is having with them.

Ansom with pliers has been pwning uncroaked since the beginning of the comic, of any quality.


Come on, in the time it took for Ansom to crash, ask for an alliance with Charlie, review the terms of that alliance, have the Archons attack Wanda, ask the Archons to fetch his carpet and then mount his carpet and withdraw to the ground, the zombies didn't even scratch him: Ansom sure looks pristine in panel 9 of page 122 to me. If all those zombies cannot even dent a single unarmed warlord, why should we think they'll be in any way a potent fighting force.

As for Ansom being some sort of uncroaked pwning machine, I'd point out that Wanda's small stack of undead fliers kicked his ass in less than a page. I'm sure Wanda gives them a large boost, but the difference is telling given the staggering numerical advantage. Parson even says that the zombies will be the "weakest kind" of uncroaked.



He had no threat from Charlie last turn(well, that couldn't be removed diplomatically). Today, his threat was purely from siege units, which are apparently best defended against on the outer-wall.


No. At the start of day 5 (the current day) Charlie beamed in his Archons and threatened to capture GK if Parson didn't surrender himself. At that time, Parson could have retreated to the dungeons just as easily as he could now. The fact that his wrist thingy says that the plan would not have saved GK then indicates it's only chance of saving GK now would be if the addition of the zombies more than offsets the lack of Wanda and her airforce.



Actually, somebody pointed out that Parson could've played Charlie. Parson's retelling of the question was something like 'how many additional Archons would be needed to take GK', and the wording could be such that Parson could play fast and loose with the wording to give Charlie the bare minimum to give him a 1% chance of doing it.


Don't even go there. If Charlie is that stupid this whole story is a waste of time.



You know what? I'm arguing a moot point. It *IS* an alliance, as stated in the fine print that is readable, and if I remember right, by the Archons as well. What Charlie could've theoretically done is moot because it has happened.


I'm trying to see if there is a reason for Charlie to offer an alliance that fits with the rules of Erfworld as we understand them. At the moment, there does not seem to be. So if Charlie really has given up his opportunity to attack Parson before Parson has a chance to respond, I can only assume it is due to pure author fiat. And I for one am getting kinda sick of author fiat.

-H

NobodySpecial
2009-01-03, 03:04 PM
I think it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that Stanley may not be guilty of attacking anybody. For one thing, if people were accusing him of unprovoked attacks of which he was not guilty, and going to war with him on that basis, I think he would have complained about that slander during his little rant. For another, sustaining such a deception (by the real attacker) and/or mistake (by the RCC) through an entire military campaign just doesn't seem at all plausible.

Actually, reading back from strip 1, it's pretty obvious now that Ansom was the person who got the goblins to kill Saline IV. And it's pretty easy to sell a lie if all the people in on it knew what would happen if it were exposed. We've had a recent example of that here in the US, haven't we? I'm not saying Stanley's a pacifist, but we don't know if Saline ordered the attacks on other cities and races or not.

jazz1m
2009-01-03, 03:34 PM
- damage effects: Ansom might have or has taken damage in the following situations:
fighting the undead horde in (pg. 118 - 119), taking a full hit from undead warlord Webinar that knocked him out (120.2), crashing hard on the wall after falling from quite a distance (120.4, you can estimate the falling distance in 120.6 - i'd say between 10 and 15 meters), which crashes his helmet, but doesnt keep him from immediately regaining consciousness (someone being k.o. awakening after another massive hit is quite remarkable in all real and fictional universes in know of...), and then figthing the undead horde again (121.13). still, in 122 we can see no scratches or any other kind of injuries on him. only his cape got a bit gnawed off.
the only damage Wanda took was from the fall in 121.11. in 121.10 we can estimate the falling distance - its about 6 times her physical height - so i'd say its something below 10 meters. Wanda is mortally wounded despite her wearing full body armor, which seems odd compared to Ansom, whose spine or organs obviously are not crushed even though he's only wearing some fancy leather dress.


This is probably the most believable thing for me. Sure he many not be wearing as much as Wanda, but he's basically a tank-type character. He's able to withstand more damage because he's got the stats for it (more of a melee/close range fighter). Wanda, like so many other casters in RPGs and other games is a long-range fighter and probably has less HP than even Webinar.

Also on the topic of the fall, Wanda was diving to get those pliers and then her mount was destroyed. Ansom, on the other hand, was knocked off his mount but probably wasn't descending at such high speeds.There's been news about people surviving sky diving accidents from 10,000 feet, so if that can happen in real life, surely Ansom's fall couldn't have taken off that much HP. I'm sure that his HP is very low at this point however, probably one of the reasons that he backed away when the Golems appeared. Wanda's not so lucky, even in full armor, it probably doesn't give her too much of a bonus when she face planted into the ground.

The Undead? Well they're all low-level zombies that probably can't do much damage to Ansom.

Godskook
2009-01-03, 03:56 PM
The Archons are in the Airspace zone, and thus can only be attacked by a) fliers in that zone, and b) archers in the Garrison. The only flying unit in the RCC at the moment seems to be Ansom. So the only risk to the Archons is if Ansom breaches the wall, breaches in the inner wall, moves his archers into the Garrison and then attacks the Archons. That seems a pretty minimal risk, compared to the potential reward. Remember, Charlie was willing to commit his Archons to battle at the start of Day 5.

Or the Archons land?


Come on, in the time it took for Ansom to crash, ask for an alliance with Charlie, review the terms of that alliance, have the Archons attack Wanda, ask the Archons to fetch his carpet and then mount his carpet and withdraw to the ground, the zombies didn't even scratch him: Ansom sure looks pristine in panel 9 of page 122 to me. If all those zombies cannot even dent a single unarmed warlord, why should we think they'll be in any way a potent fighting force.

1.He wasn't unarmed, just sans pliers. He is clearly wielding a zombie's sword.

2.Check out panel 5. If you can call his cape 'pristine', I need to learn a new language.


As for Ansom being some sort of uncroaked pwning machine, I'd point out that Wanda's small stack of undead fliers kicked his ass in less than a page. I'm sure Wanda gives them a large boost, but the difference is telling given the staggering numerical advantage. Parson even says that the zombies will be the "weakest kind" of uncroaked.

"Wanda's small stack of undead fliers kicked his ass in less than a page..." while Wanda made sure he couldn't hit a single thing.

Fixed!

He wasn't just fighting uncroaked in that fight, he was fighting a croakamancer who has had subtle forshadowing that she was good at combat. Surprise, surprise when she disables Ansom herself enough that another unit can sucker-punch him into a dismount/disarm in one hit.

For all we know "weakest kind" is simply an indicator of health. The damage stat might stay the same for all 'kinds' of uncroaked, regardless of quality.


No. At the start of day 5 (the current day) Charlie beamed in his Archons and threatened to capture GK if Parson didn't surrender himself. At that time, Parson could have retreated to the dungeons just as easily as he could now. The fact that his wrist thingy says that the plan would not have saved GK then indicates it's only chance of saving GK now would be if the addition of the zombies more than offsets the lack of Wanda and her airforce.

Hmmm....would trading one caster and 4 flying uncroaked for 2-5 THOUSAND uncroaked change the odds a bit in Parson's favor? If I have to answer that myself, I'll be shocked. Besides, we don't know what kind of healing potions are kept stocked in GK. Wanda might be back to fighting/casting condition by morning.

(I know I left out Webinar/Dora. This is intentional because neither is part of the trade anymore)


Don't even go there. If Charlie is that stupid this whole story is a waste of time.

People have overthought things before (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0331.html).


I'm trying to see if there is a reason for Charlie to offer an alliance that fits with the rules of Erfworld as we understand them. At the moment, there does not seem to be. So if Charlie really has given up his opportunity to attack Parson before Parson has a chance to respond, I can only assume it is due to pure author fiat. And I for one am getting kinda sick of author fiat.

The Alliance does for Charlie:
1.Gives him reinforcements so that he doesn't do all the work.
2.Makes it easier to capture, not croak.
3.Allows him to get what he really wants from GK
4.AND GET PAID for getting exactly what he wants anyway.
5.Allows him to stay with what he's been feeding Ansom about his behavior.

Charlie didn't believe Parson could've lasted this long, at all. His mouth probably dropped when the uncroaked took the wall. He's probably betting that Parson is out of tricks, and thus the slight delay will cost him nothing and give him a lot(I bet Archons are expensive to replace). When it comes to shmuckers, Charlie reminds me of Tagon from Schlock Mercenary.

Aquillion
2009-01-03, 04:06 PM
Actually, reading back from strip 1, it's pretty obvious now that Ansom was the person who got the goblins to kill Saline IV. That doesn't make any sense.

First, it means that Ansom is openly lying to and deceiving Vinny, who has been shown as his closest friend. Why would he do that? Does the Ansom we see here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0089.html) or here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0074.html) or here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0034.html) seem like someone who would callously manipulate Vinny like that?

Second... well, just why? Saline IV is, by all acounts, a royal. We've seen nothing to indicate that Ansom would have had anything against him (indeed, he lists Stanley's presumed murder of him as Stanley's most vile deed.)

Sure, it's theoretically possible, but it would require the assumption that absolutely everything that we've been shown about Ansom is a deliberate lie, and all his friendships or relationships with others are a facade to conceal his inexplicable evil plans. I can't see why the authors would do something like that for an OMG SHOCKING SWERVE that has so little, well, interesting to it, beyond being a random plot twist.

Ansom is a more interesting character if he believes that he's noble in both senses of the word, and is making an honest attempt to act that way within the bounds of his views. Ansom as raving evil madman who backstabs and lies to his friends just to start random wars isn't nearly as interesting a character.

(Now, if you want to find someone other than Stanley who might've been responsible for Saline IV's death, Charlie is a much better bet -- especially if Charlie and Stanley had a deal together that went sour or was otherwise twisted by Charlie, which would be another factor explaining why Stanley hates him so much. The arkendish also gives Charlie a clear and obvious way to do the behind-the-scenes communication necessary to set that up, something Jetstone doesn't appear to have.)


The Alliance does for Charlie:
1.Gives him reinforcements so that he doesn't do all the work.
2.Makes it easier to capture, not croak.
3.Allows him to get what he really wants from GK
4.AND GET PAID for getting exactly what he wants anyway.
5.Allows him to stay with what he's been feeding Ansom about his behavior.

Charlie didn't believe Parson could've lasted this long, at all. His mouth probably dropped when the uncroaked took the wall. He's probably betting that Parson is out of tricks, and thus the slight delay will cost him nothing and give him a lot(I bet Archons are expensive to replace). When it comes to shmuckers, Charlie reminds me of Tagon from Schlock Mercenary.
We also don't know exactly what he demanded -- he could have demanded the Arkenpliers at the end of the battle. Sure, he could've just taken them, but doing it this way serves as extra insurance, and there are advantages to getting them as part of a (mostly) legitimate agreement rather than just stealing them.

Additionally, he likely demanded Parson and his artifacts if Jetstone wins, and maybe even the Arkenhammer (although it's not clear if Ansom would have the right to bargain with that.) That way, he gets all the prizes he wanted regardless of who wins, without having to do much real fighting for them.

raphfrk
2009-01-03, 04:30 PM
- definition of airspace: i think a lot of confusion comes from the missing, plausible definition of GK airspace. when is a unit in airspace? when its feet dont touch the ground? so a person jumping up would be in airspace, being a valid target for an Archon for a moment? or are flying units in airspace? a flying unipegtaur that stretches out one of its leg to touch the ground or the outer wall would be able to avoid taking damage from an archon?


Maybe the rule could be based on where most of your support is coming from. If you are supported by wings, then you count as flying. A flying unit that is using its legs to support it counts as on the ground.

Likewise, someone jumping wouldn't count as being supported by wings.

Alternatively, 'airspace' count just start 5 meters above the ground.



imho the existance of the airspace zone itself poses some problems to a strategy setting like this, where units can move and act freely in combat.
also its obviously possible for ground units to hit air zone targets by shooting arrows, but its not possible for air units to attack ground targets with spells? that seems odd.


Maybe that is a defensive advantage. Defenders can move between city zones even if it isn't their turn. This may be what allows their archers to fire across zone boundaries.

If an attacker held the outer walls, maybe they wouldn't be allowed to use archers to attack defenders who are in airspace, except during the attacker's turn.

Also, I think city airspace is different from normal airspace. For normal 'field' zones, the ground and air count as a single zone, so the airspace/ground issue is irrelevant.

Hatu
2009-01-03, 05:01 PM
Or the Archons land?


The Archons cannot land until Charlie's next turn. At that time he would be attacking to capture Parson. His original plan involved pulling Parson out before Ansom could capture him, so that should still be possible even if Ansom doublecrosses him.



1.He wasn't unarmed, just sans pliers. He is clearly wielding a zombie's sword.

2.Check out panel 5. If you can call his cape 'pristine', I need to learn a new language.


1. He was clearly unarmed when he fell. I suppose it's possible he did pick up a discarded weapon before attacking the zombies again though. Fair enough.

2. Yes, his cape is damaged. I'm just comparing his face to the way he, Vinny and Jillian were presented on page 73. He clearly has not been taxed that badly, despite facing literally thousands of zombies.



"Wanda's small stack of undead fliers kicked his ass in less than a page..." while Wanda made sure he couldn't hit a single thing.

Fixed!

He wasn't just fighting uncroaked in that fight, he was fighting a croakamancer who has had subtle forshadowing that she was good at combat. Surprise, surprise when she disables Ansom herself enough that another unit can sucker-punch him into a dismount/disarm in one hit.

For all we know "weakest kind" is simply an indicator of health. The damage stat might stay the same for all 'kinds' of uncroaked, regardless of quality.


Ansom is a leader. If he wanted to attack the uncroaked instead of Wanda there's no reason he couldn't have done so. To me that implies that he felt he was better off focusing his efforts on the caster rather than her pawns.

When describing the Arkenpliers back on page 22, he only says they "turn most uncroaked to dust." If Ansom were able to disintegrate these more powerful uncroaked as easily as he could the zombies, it would seem that dismounting Wanda would have been the way to go. The fact that he didn't try that makes me think it might have been a bit harder for him.

Its certainly possible that Wanda has some previously unmentioned ability to prevent people attacking uncroaked in her stack. But I think it's simpler to simply assume that these particular uncroacked take a bit more effort to put down, and so Ansom felt he was better off focusing on the brains of the operation.




Hmmm....would trading one caster and 4 flying uncroaked for 2-5 THOUSAND uncroaked change the odds a bit in Parson's favor? If I have to answer that myself, I'll be shocked. Besides, we don't know what kind of healing potions are kept stocked in GK. Wanda might be back to fighting/casting condition by morning.


I think it would be a bit of a contrivance itself for Wanda to not only survive the attack of a force powerful enough to have captured the Tower (which gave a bonus to spellcasters) with her in it, but also be back in fighting trim before Stanley's turn even begins. Healomancy is listed as its own discipline and no one in GK has been shown to practice it.

At any rate, I really think you're overvaluing those zombies. Wanda has always been portrayed as a badass, and we know the Tower sub-zone gives a bonus to casters like Wanda. So far, we've seen the thousands of zombies accomplish exactly nothing in combat. In fact, we've just seen first hand that Wanda and her fliers were able to accomplish more than all those zombies put together.

So if you're asking me to believe that the tradeoff makes things harder for charlie, I'm going to have to say you're delusional. There is no evidence that that is true, but there is some evidence that it is false. The only way you can even begin to make that argument is if a) the sheer number of units in the Tower makes it harder to breach just as with the Outer Walls, or b) by "turn most uncroaked to dust" Ansom actually meant that the Arkenpliers make the wielder an stoppable engine of destruction against any and all purely uncroaked forces but have next to no effect if anything else is involved in the battle as well.

Option A is theoretically possible, but seems awfully strange to have left out: the need to breach the Walls with Siege equipment was portrayed as a quirk of the Outer Walls zone. Option B is just absurd.



The Alliance does for Charlie:
1.Gives him reinforcements so that he doesn't do all the work.
2.Makes it easier to capture, not croak.
3.Allows him to get what he really wants from GK
4.AND GET PAID for getting exactly what he wants anyway.
5.Allows him to stay with what he's been feeding Ansom about his behavior.

Charlie didn't believe Parson could've lasted this long, at all. His mouth probably dropped when the uncroaked took the wall. He's probably betting that Parson is out of tricks, and thus the slight delay will cost him nothing and give him a lot(I bet Archons are expensive to replace). When it comes to shmuckers, Charlie reminds me of Tagon from Schlock Mercenary.

Why the hell would Charlie assume Parson is out of tricks? He was already impressed by what Parson has accomplished, so surely he'd be well aware that giving Parson more time to save his bacon is just asking for trouble. As Charlie said: This "makes it even more imperative that I get you working for me."

I mean really, what exactly is Charlie getting out of an alliance that he couldn't get out of an unofficial team up? He can demand payment either way; we already know Charlie is in a position to dictate terms. The only possible advantage to a formal alliance is that he and Ansom will be able to coordinate their offensives. That would have been good enough if Charlie hadn't just demonstrated that he has unilaterally force comparable to the entire RCC, and that he can deploy that force on a moment's notice.

If Rob wants me to believe that Charlie suddenly fears his forces aren't enough to get the job done, he's going to have to show me something more convincing than implying that Parson might actually be in an even weaker position than he already was. An actual demonstration of the power of those zombies or an actual indication that there are realistic limits on Charlie's ability to project force would be a good place to start, even if it's largely too late to find them believable.

-H

Godskook
2009-01-03, 06:55 PM
The Archons cannot land until Charlie's next turn. At that time he would be attacking to capture Parson. His original plan involved pulling Parson out before Ansom could capture him, so that should still be possible even if Ansom doublecrosses him.

I'm not entertaining a double-cross. If Ansom breaches the wall this turn, chases Parson into the dungeon, and makes a beachhead before ending turn(to heal for the last charge), Charlie would need to move his Archons through unled RCC stacks.


2. Yes, his cape is damaged. I'm just comparing his face to the way he, Vinny and Jillian were presented on page 73. He clearly has not been taxed that badly, despite facing literally thousands of zombies.

I doubt Ansom has had time to face more than two dozen uncroaked without his pliers. Two dozen is also the number of dwagons he faced on page 73. Even wounded, I expect the dwagons would put up a better fight, especially when there's still a warlord left to be dealt with.


Ansom is a leader. If he wanted to attack the uncroaked instead of Wanda there's no reason he couldn't have done so. To me that implies that he felt he was better off focusing his efforts on the caster rather than her pawns.

What makes you think that a solo Warlord has more control over who hits who than a Caster leading a stack? Wouldn't the 'ability' that gives Ansom selectivity also grants it to Wanda. Physical proximity also plays a role in that, and Wanda purposely put herself between Ansom and her uncroaked.


When describing the Arkenpliers back on page 22, he only says they "turn most uncroaked to dust." If Ansom were able to disintegrate these more powerful uncroaked as easily as he could the zombies, it would seem that dismounting Wanda would have been the way to go. The fact that he didn't try that makes me think it might have been a bit harder for him.

What is your reasoning that Ansom has more control than Wanda?


I think it would be a bit of a contrivance itself for Wanda to not only survive the attack of a force powerful enough to have captured the Tower (which gave a bonus to spellcasters) with her in it, but also be back in fighting trim before Stanley's turn even begins. Healomancy is listed as its own discipline and no one in GK has been shown to practice it.

I said healing potions. In games, enough healing potions solve any direct HP issue.


So far, we've seen the thousands of zombies accomplish exactly nothing in combat. In fact, we've just seen first hand that Wanda and her fliers were able to accomplish more than all those zombies put together.

Rock-Scissors-Paper, anyone? Just because those uncroaked are ineffective against Ansom, a powerful warlord, doesn't mean that they'd be equally usless against a lesser force.


So if you're asking me to believe that the tradeoff makes things harder for charlie, I'm going to have to say you're delusional.

Well, lets work backwords. I'm *NOT* delusional, so does that mean that the tradeoff does make things harder for Charlie?

(p.s. calling people delusional isn't a good tactic)


There is no evidence that that is true, but there is some evidence that it is false. The only way you can even begin to make that argument is if a) the sheer number of units in the Tower makes it harder to breach just as with the Outer Walls, or b) by "turn most uncroaked to dust" Ansom actually meant that the Arkenpliers make the wielder an stoppable engine of destruction against any and all purely uncroaked forces but have next to no effect if anything else is involved in the battle as well.

or c)cannon fodder boosts the effectiveness of valuable units by taking hits for them. This is common in many games, and has been used in erf many times already.

or d)what appears as cannon fodder compared to the most powerful warlord of the RCC(my opinion) will be more formidable against a lesser opponent. This is also possible.


Why the hell would Charlie assume Parson is out of tricks? He was already impressed by what Parson has accomplished, so surely he'd be well aware that giving Parson more time to save his bacon is just asking for trouble. As Charlie said: This "makes it even more imperative that I get you working for me."

Ansom didn't figure it out prior sending his troops into the tunnels. Charlie has less battle experience against Parson, and shares Ansom asessment of current events as far as he has spoken on them.

Besides, the only piece on the board significant enough to save Parson, as far as I can tell, is Stanley, and I doubt Ansom or Charlie has even a remote idea that he is coming back.


I mean really, what exactly is Charlie getting out of an alliance that he couldn't get out of an unofficial team up? He can demand payment either way; we already know Charlie is in a position to dictate terms. The only possible advantage to a formal alliance is that he and Ansom will be able to coordinate their offensives. That would have been good enough if Charlie hadn't just demonstrated that he has unilaterally force comparable to the entire RCC, and that he can deploy that force on a moment's notice.

Since we don't know how capable a Dwagon is compared to an Archon, we don't know how powerful Charlie's force really is. All we know is that it is good enough against the ground-based garrison.

Also, what makes you think that such an agreement is enforcable?


If Rob wants me to believe that Charlie suddenly fears his forces aren't enough to get the job done, he's going to have to show me something more convincing than implying that Parson might actually be in an even weaker position than he already was.

We shall see what we shall see.


An actual demonstration of the power of those zombies or an actual indication that there are realistic limits on Charlie's ability to project force would be a good place to start, even if it's largely too late to find them believable.

Actually, I'd like that too, but not for believability, but because it'd make the story even better.

SteveD
2009-01-03, 07:39 PM
On the point that ansom doesn't seem to be taking damage.......

We also know that things can have -regeneration- as a bonus.

True, but that was a special ability and likely tied to unit class.

A couple of things. First we know Ansoms armour took a lot of the damage (his helmet took zombie-webinars blow and possibly some of the fall damage). Its fairly beat up by the end.

Second, you know it might be something as simple as Ansom having a lot more hitpoints then Wanda, and falls doing a degree of random damage. Royalty-Class Commander vs. High-Level caster? There's no doubt who'd win a fist fight.

Aquillion
2009-01-03, 08:05 PM
I mean really, what exactly is Charlie getting out of an alliance that he couldn't get out of an unofficial team up? He can demand payment either way; we already know Charlie is in a position to dictate terms. The only possible advantage to a formal alliance is that he and Ansom will be able to coordinate their offensives. That would have been good enough if Charlie hadn't just demonstrated that he has unilaterally force comparable to the entire RCC, and that he can deploy that force on a moment's noticeI can think of several reasons...

It's likely that whatever Charlie demanded from Ansom is part of a 'hard' exchange -- that is, something with immediate inescapable mechanical consequences (otherwise, how does he know he'll get it?) In order to demand that and be trusted, he'd have to have an equally-firm mechanical commitment on his part; an alliance is likely the only thing Ansom would respect, especially given how Charlie behaved last time he wasn't mechanically compelled.

Just because Charlie can take the city, doesn't mean he can't do it without losses. Using an alliance with Ansom, dictated on his terms, he can make Ansom soak most of the losses, while taking most of the gains (at least, the ones he wanted) for himself. Remember, the things we know he wants -- Parson, Parson's artifact, etc -- are not the major goals of the coalition. He claims he doesn't want the city, so why waste the lives of Archons grabbing it just to get one captive?

Of course, there's other things he likely wants from Jetstone -- the Arkenhammer is the most obvious possibility, but flat-out moolah is also likely. Assuming there was a massive cash transfer the instant Ansom pressed 'accept'... again, it seems unlikely that he would have done it unless there was a specific mechanical exchange for an alliance.

Another thing to remember: Charlie was able to dictate terms, but he still had to get Ansom to agree quickly. If his explanation was lengthy or convoluted, it wouldn't have worked -- he needed straightforward amendments to an existing offer. Hence, an amended alliance.

Making a formal alliance with Jetstone is simply the most logical thing to do from Charlie's standpoint. He knows that he has enough troops to likely win on his own; and he knows that Parson can just barely survive the coalition this turn (as in, again, it's not a certainty.)

But from his perspective, with their forces combined victory is a certainty. He gets to extract additional concessions from Ansom, his Archons suffer fewer casualties, and he's basically guaranteed to get everything else he wants.

He respects Parson (or says he does, at least), but he doesn't know Parson is the main character. Heck, if we didn't know Parson was the main character, we'd think he's booped right now anyway. (And some people on this forum seem to anyway.)

Ragn Charran
2009-01-03, 08:07 PM
Aaaannnnnd back to the status quo. Ansom's constant cheating of fate to continue his ineffectual villain routine is getting rather tiresome.

Agreed. As a reader, I feel cheated - the Charlie save was at least foreshadowed, and therefore barely escapes being a deus ex machina, but Ansom getting his carpet, recovering the pliers - something very strongly hinted as not possible by klog 13 (and yeah, I know this was debated earlier in the thread and I didn't read it yet, but by my interpretation the pliers are quite firmly planted in Courtyard, which by the klog is inaccessible from Airspace) - and escaping before Parson could get one unit down there to salvage them is just too much.

Not happy. Even speed of plot has limits. Or at least should.

Altima
2009-01-03, 08:34 PM
I see several people commenting on Ansom's 'brilliance' at being able to keep the RCC together.

I find the reasoning flawed for this simple reason: up until this point, the RCC has won every battle. Hands down. I'm sure they pretty much routed their foes.

As I'm sure history will tell you, it's easy to keep people together when you're winning. Your leaders will give you a lot more slack if you bring in victories that they can capitalize upon, politically.

However, after two setbacks--one being the siege losses and the other being the complete loss of most or all of Jetstone forces--the alliance was already starting to crack. I'm sure Ansom's little tirade about the Titan's Will didn't help (it even creeped out Vinny a bit), but, frankly, the RCC is still winning, and they should know it.

With all the uncroaked on the walls, that's all it took to make the RCC start to crack. Heck, if Parsons had been able to thinkamantically contact all of the Coalition's leaders, you know there would be more fractures.

And, really, some of the problems that would plague a real life army the size of Ansom's are absent. He doesn't have to worry about food or weapons or any other logistical problems. He doesn't have to worry about desertion or the training of his men (ie, he has professional, 'born' soldiers and not peasant militia).

Frankly, the ease at which the Coalition has been shaken (especially the Duke) is actually a testament to how awful Ansom is. He doesn't consult his lieutenants to update them on a plan. He, apparently, didn't brace them enough for the casualties they would likely suffer. Heck, if anything, their casualties have actually been lighter because the dwagons haven't been sortying out to raid them with firebreath/gummybreath.

Seraph
2009-01-03, 08:35 PM
I think the main problem, and sorry to bring it up but it has to be said, is that the pacing is not working. this sort of status quo-preserving action would be tolerable in a regularly updating comic, but erfworld is not. as it is now, we get, what? a two week wait for any plot progress at all, and when the comic comes it immediately reverses any progression it makes? I mean, are you really expecting the readership to wait even more in the vain hope that the plot might actually go somewhere?

If erfworld wants to continue its readership, it should either update more regularly or cut out the padding.

Hatu
2009-01-03, 09:35 PM
I'm not entertaining a double-cross. If Ansom breaches the wall this turn, chases Parson into the dungeon, and makes a beachhead before ending turn(to heal for the last charge), Charlie would need to move his Archons through unled RCC stacks.


Unless Ansom double-crosses Charlie, his units can just stand aside and let the Archons fight Parson, just as the Archons let Wanda fight Ansom. The Archons would have to fight on their own, but I've already said I believe them strong enough to do so.



I doubt Ansom has had time to face more than two dozen uncroaked without his pliers. Two dozen is also the number of dwagons he faced on page 73. Even wounded, I expect the dwagons would put up a better fight, especially when there's still a warlord left to be dealt with.


It's possible there is an as yet unstated quirk of the stack combat rules preventing this, but Ansom is in the same zone as all of the zombies. That would seem to leave him vulnerable to all of them.

At any rate, look at the swath he's cut through them on page 119. That's more than 2 dozen, and unlike in the Dwagon incident all of their attacks will target him.



What makes you think that a solo Warlord has more control over who hits who than a Caster leading a stack? Wouldn't the 'ability' that gives Ansom selectivity also grants it to Wanda. Physical proximity also plays a role in that, and Wanda purposely put herself between Ansom and her uncroaked.

What is your reasoning that Ansom has more control than Wanda?


Wanda might well have equal control, but her only target is Ansom so it's a moot point.

As for the notion that lesser units are ablative, we've seen Manpower specifically attack Jillian on page 71, completely ignoring her Gwiffons, Orlies and Archons. So I'd say it is reasonable to expect that Warlords can target specific units. It's certainly better supported by the comic than the idea that Croakmancers can somehow shield uncroaked from divine artifacts.



I said healing potions. In games, enough healing potions solve any direct HP issue.


As far as I'm aware, there is no evidence that healing potions even exist in Erfworld. Can you cite a source?



Rock-Scissors-Paper, anyone? Just because those uncroaked are ineffective against Ansom, a powerful warlord, doesn't mean that they'd be equally usless against a lesser force.

Well, lets work backwords. I'm *NOT* delusional, so does that mean that the tradeoff does make things harder for Charlie?

(p.s. calling people delusional isn't a good tactic)


My apologies, but I believe you are deluding yourself. The question is whether Wanda and her fliers are a more powerful combat unit than the thousands of Zombies.

How can we hope to answer that question in some objective manner? Well, as it happens each of those groups faces off against the exact same force: Ansom. The results are decisive. Wanda outperformed the zombies by about as much as it is possible to outperform something. The only possible wild card is that the Arkenpliers are known to be effective against the uncroaked. But aside from herself, every unit in Wanda's force is also an uncroaked, and they STILL trounced Ansom.

You can talk all you want about how Wanda has special undocumented powers that tilt the balance, but that is nothing but pure speculation. Show some actual evidence in the comics if you want to convince me.



or c)cannon fodder boosts the effectiveness of valuable units by taking hits for them. This is common in many games, and has been used in erf many times already.

or d)what appears as cannon fodder compared to the most powerful warlord of the RCC(my opinion) will be more formidable against a lesser opponent. This is also possible.


Sources please. The only occasion I can think of where lesser troops are used ablatively is Vinnie's proposed use of doombats in Option 1 of page 62. But in that case he was using them against unled dwagons. As I mentioned above, we've seen Warlords selectively target enemy units in the comic. I don't know of any occasion in which a warlord has been specifically unable to attack a given target.



Besides, the only piece on the board significant enough to save Parson, as far as I can tell, is Stanley, and I doubt Ansom or Charlie has even a remote idea that he is coming back.


Unclear. Jillian and Vinny know Stanley escaped, and they direction in which he escaped. Given that, it's easy to guess he'd head back to GK. We don't know if they've passed this information on to anyone yet, but Charlie's thinkogram mastery makes it possible.

But that's beside the point. Charlie didn't think there was any way for Parson to save himself last time, and yet Parson did so without Stanley. Why would Charlie assume his guess must be better than Parson's this time? It seems to me that, now that he's seen what Parson is capable of, he'd want to take Parson down ASAP. On Charlie's turn on day 5, Parson had had no turns with which to prepare his defense against Charlie's forces. If he waits until Ansom's turn on day 6, Parson will have had 2 turns to prepare. That strikes me as a little laid back, even for Charlie.



Also, what makes you think that such an agreement is enforcable?


I have no idea if it is enforceable. On the other hand, Charlie's dialog on page 90 seems to indicate that even formal alliances can be broken; Charlie doesn't think it's worthwhile to break his alliance to Jetstone, but he doesn't say it cannot be done. It seems like it's just a question of reputation.

If I had to guess, I'd say Ansom is unlikely to back out of a deal he agreed to, and I'd further guess that Charlie would agree with my assessment.



We shall see what we shall see.


To be honest, I'd be very surprised if any of this is ever cleared up by the comic. But it would certainly be a happy surprise.

-H

ishnar
2009-01-03, 09:53 PM
(Earlier, he sent Webinar to shadow Jillian while saying that 'she may be very grateful', for crying out loud! Usually good diplomatic leaders do not order their men to risk their lives by openly saying that they're doing it to get inside of a girl's pants.)



I think that your assumption that "very grateful" means "will open her pants for you", says more about you than it does about Ansom. There is no "openly saying" here at all, it's all in your head.

Aquillion
2009-01-03, 11:41 PM
I think that your assumption that "very grateful" means "will open her pants for you", says more about you than it does about Ansom. There is no "openly saying" here at all, it's all in your head.
That was a bit of hyperbole, maybe. But it comes down to the same thing -- what else is Webinar supposed to take away from that statement? Why else would Ansom care about whether or not Jillian is 'very grateful?'

Sure, fine, he wanted her to agree to come have fine wine and dinner in his tent, then he would take her pants off. His awkward statement about how grateful she's likely to be, though, doesn't have too many other interpretations.

The Minx
2009-01-04, 12:00 AM
Agreed. As a reader, I feel cheated - the Charlie save was at least foreshadowed, and therefore barely escapes being a deus ex machina, but Ansom getting his carpet, recovering the pliers - something very strongly hinted as not possible by klog 13 (and yeah, I know this was debated earlier in the thread and I didn't read it yet, but by my interpretation the pliers are quite firmly planted in Courtyard, which by the klog is inaccessible from Airspace) - and escaping before Parson could get one unit down there to salvage them is just too much.

Not happy. Even speed of plot has limits. Or at least should.

Not really correct. :smallsmile: pclips has stated that Ansom and Wanda were in the outer walls zone during today's comic. They did not switch zones at all, and no rule was broken. The outer walls, and the area immediately outside and inside them are one zone. The garrison is only further inward, within the square walls. This is logical, since otherwise an attacker could not move through the breach in the walls he might have created unless all the other parts of the walls would have been taken first, which would be a bit silly. They just can't attack the square central walls (the garrison) until after all the (outer) walls have fallen.

Ansom getting his carpet back is perfectly consistent with the rules, since objects can be handed between zones, in this case airspace and outer walls.

The Archons destroying Parson's limited ariforce was consistent with their powers and the rules, since we already have the fact that they could take the garrison in one turn prior to the Trioxin spell, and the airforce was a small part of that.

So, no deus ex machina here. :smallsmile:

Lamech
2009-01-04, 12:04 AM
Except, as stated, the alliance goes on the LAST ally's turn. In your scenario, instead of the enemy getting the jump on the hit-and-run units, the uninvolved third party would be shifted until AFTER the hit-and-run units have had their turn. In other words, the enemy just wasted 500 schmuckers.
I'm not sure who posted this exactly, but... turn shifting for hit-and-run tactics WOULD work. If A went first, B went second and C went third, A could at some point ally with C. Then the next day A could pull off a hit-and-run, and break the alliance with C. Then A heals at dawn, and the hit-and-run units where never in (extra) danger.

Of course, the way people think in Erfworld it would make A vunerable to betrayal by C, so hiring a random side to be C might not be a good idea... Now we just need to know where new sides have their turn go...

Hatu
2009-01-04, 12:32 AM
That was a bit of hyperbole, maybe. But it comes down to the same thing -- what else is Webinar supposed to take away from that statement? Why else would Ansom care about whether or not Jillian is 'very grateful?'


I think the logical explanation is that Juillain would be "very grateful" when Webinar prevents her from being captured yet again. He does start his speech by saying Webinar's mission might turn into a rescue/recovery after all.

The issue is that you seem to think "very grateful" is some sort of sexual euphemism. I think Ansom just meant that Jillian will be happy enough about not being captured to overlook the fact that Ansom and Webinar are ignoring her wishes. She didn't want an escort.

No freudian convolutions needed.

-H

Godskook
2009-01-04, 01:19 AM
That was a bit of hyperbole, maybe. But it comes down to the same thing -- what else is Webinar supposed to take away from that statement? Why else would Ansom care about whether or not Jillian is 'very grateful?'

Sure, fine, he wanted her to agree to come have fine wine and dinner in his tent, then he would take her pants off. His awkward statement about how grateful she's likely to be, though, doesn't have too many other interpretations.

I still don't see any innuendo in Ansom's statement to Webinar.


Unless Ansom double-crosses Charlie, his units can just stand aside and let the Archons fight Parson, just as the Archons let Wanda fight Ansom. The Archons would have to fight on their own, but I've already said I believe them strong enough to do so.

Unled stacks would be compelled to attack by game rules.


It's possible there is an as yet unstated quirk of the stack combat rules preventing this, but Ansom is in the same zone as all of the zombies. That would seem to leave him vulnerable to all of them.

If he stayed there, yes, but he didn't. He only stayed there long enough(while sans pliers) to engage a small number of them.


At any rate, look at the swath he's cut through them on page 119. That's more than 2 dozen, and unlike in the Dwagon incident all of their attacks will target him.

In page 119, he's getting 1-hit kills and can selectively engage. I think he could've done that all day without a scratch if WAF hadn't intervened.

Besides, I explicitly stated "without his pliers" in the quote you're responding to, yet you're pointing to a time when he has pliers. WTF, mate?


Wanda might well have equal control, but her only target is Ansom so it's a moot point.

No it isn't. If Wanda has equal control, then the fact that Wanda put herself between Ansom and the uncroaked force his hand. Ansom had no choice but to fight Wanda first. What he thought was his best move can't be divined from his battle with Wanda.


As for the notion that lesser units are ablative, we've seen Manpower specifically attack Jillian on page 71, completely ignoring her Gwiffons, Orlies and Archons. So I'd say it is reasonable to expect that Warlords can target specific units. It's certainly better supported by the comic than the idea that Croakmancers can somehow shield uncroaked from divine artifacts.

Jillian uses orly's as a decoy (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0012.html), so is it really hard to believe that Wanda can do the same, only using herself as the decoy?


As far as I'm aware, there is no evidence that healing potions even exist in Erfworld. Can you cite a source?

Nope. That was almost pure speculation. Maggie's statement about healing Wanda makes me believe that its a good speculation because I doubt any of the casters have healomancy spells.


My apologies, but I believe you are deluding yourself.

Somehow, you don't sound apologetic.


The question is whether Wanda and her fliers are a more powerful combat unit than the thousands of Zombies.

How can we hope to answer that question in some objective manner? Well, as it happens each of those groups faces off against the exact same force: Ansom. The results are decisive. Wanda outperformed the zombies by about as much as it is possible to outperform something. The only possible wild card is that the Arkenpliers are known to be effective against the uncroaked. But aside from herself, every unit in Wanda's force is also an uncroaked, and they STILL trounced Ansom.

Did you ignore the comments you're replying to? How does Ansom(rock) beating the horde(scissors) imply that there are no units out there that could be considered (paper)?


You can talk all you want about how Wanda has special undocumented powers that tilt the balance, but that is nothing but pure speculation. Show some actual evidence in the comics if you want to convince me.

The only thing undocumented about the 'powers' I attribue to Wanda is the ability Warlords have to direct combat. I'm stretching it a little to by claiming that all commanders have that ability. Everything else is documented.


Sources please. The only occasion I can think of where lesser troops are used ablatively is Vinnie's proposed use of doombats in Option 1 of page 62. But in that case he was using them against unled dwagons. As I mentioned above, we've seen Warlords selectively target enemy units in the comic. I don't know of any occasion in which a warlord has been specifically unable to attack a given target.

First, what the hell is "ablatively"? I give up when copy/paste into an online dictionary doesn't give me a workable definition.

Second, you're joking, right? Jillian uses the cannon fodder approach every single time she tries to kill a dwagon. TV uses this against Stanley and the Dwagons. Ansom attempts this tactic when he enters the Doughnut of Doom, but the weak hex proves too strong for it(the only multi-hex version I can remember). It can also be argued that Sizemore did this in the tunnels, but that battle isn't shown, so we don't know.

Third, as to an occasion in which a warlord has been unable to attack a given target. Webinar and Dora versus Sizemore. Webinar's shout at the beginning of the page 112 indicates that he had to kill every last member of Sizemore's stack to get near him.


I have no idea if it is enforceable. On the other hand, Charlie's dialog on page 90 seems to indicate that even formal alliances can be broken; Charlie doesn't think it's worthwhile to break his alliance to Jetstone, but he doesn't say it cannot be done. It seems like it's just a question of reputation.

True, but reputation seems to be more important to Charlie than most other things.

SteveMB
2009-01-04, 01:26 AM
I'm trying to see if there is a reason for Charlie to offer an alliance that fits with the rules of Erfworld as we understand them.

He got Ansom to make some (precise nature yet undisclosed) "outrageous" concession.

In return, the only thing he gave up the chance to attack prior to GK's move tomorrow. So what? To all indications, he's in it for gain, not glory. If he can get what he wants while somebody else pays the butcher's bill (e.g. if the "outrageous" concession is that Ansom doesn't get to croak Parson for his outrageous if not downright blasphemous insults (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0101.html), but must instead capture him and hand him over to Charlie), why on Erf would he not gladly do so?

TamLin
2009-01-04, 01:35 AM
Actually, reading back from strip 1, it's pretty obvious now that Ansom was the person who got the goblins to kill Saline IV.

Wait, what? Explain that theory please, because I'm at a loss as to how that would even work, what his motivation would be, and what evidence there is to support it.

Come on people, even if you don't like Ansom as a character, arent' these efforts to pin every bad thing in the history of Erfworld on him starting to seem a little goofy? At this rate, I'm half-expecting someone to accuse Ansom of shooting JFK and kidnapping the Lindbhergh baby.

SteveMB
2009-01-04, 01:41 AM
I mean really, what exactly is Charlie getting out of an alliance that he couldn't get out of an unofficial team up?

Remember the last time (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0103.html) Ansom relied on having an "unofficial team up" rather than an "alliance" with Charlie? He'd have to be an imbecile to consider such an arrangement again.

Thus, Charlie's options are a formal alliance or acting as a completely independent third party. The latter means paying his own butcher's bill, possibly against both GK and RCC forces.

dr pepper
2009-01-04, 01:49 AM
First, what the hell is "ablatively"? I give up when copy/paste into an online dictionary doesn't give me a workable definition.



"Ablate" means "wear away" or "wear down". A heat shield is ablative becase it burns up as the spacecraft plunges through the atmosphere, thus keeping the important parts of the craft intact. To use units "ablatively" means that they are deliberately interposed to force the enemy to kill them before it can get closer to a more valuable unit. This differs from "cannon fodder", which may or may not be subject to attack.

Aquillion
2009-01-04, 02:12 AM
The issue is that you seem to think "very grateful" is some sort of sexual euphemism. I think Ansom just meant that Jillian will be happy enough about not being captured to overlook the fact that Ansom and Webinar are ignoring her wishes. She didn't want an escort.I'm not saying it's deliberately intended to be a sexual euphemism; I'm saying that Ansom is probably saying more than he intended. There is a very clear "she will be grateful to me" subtext there, even if you're missing it; that's the only real point of those lines, to emphasize the unusual nature of Ansom's relationship with Jillian, and to set up Webinar's later frustration over it.

And the only reason Ansom cares so much about Jillian's wishes is, again, because he wants to get inside her pants. Webinar couldn't give a damn whether Jillian is grateful or not; but Ansom's interactions with Jillian are painfully, obviously unprofessional, and that page is meant to emphasize both that and the awkwardness of Webinar's position.

NobodySpecial
2009-01-04, 03:59 AM
Wait, what? Explain that theory please, because I'm at a loss as to how that would even work, what his motivation would be, and what evidence there is to support it.

Come on people, even if you don't like Ansom as a character, arent' these efforts to pin every bad thing in the history of Erfworld on him starting to seem a little goofy? At this rate, I'm half-expecting someone to accuse Ansom of shooting JFK and kidnapping the Lindbhergh baby.

Ansom is the only person calling the death of Saline 'regicide'. Vinny won't go any farther than saying 'sorta', and there's no more evidence that Stanley did it than there is Ansom...but Ansom is the one who goes nutbars over the idea of a commoner ursurping a royal's position. Makes one wonder how he felt about a fellow royal giving successorship to Stanley. :smallfurious: Also, remember what Vinny said - Jetstone had next to nothing happen to it, and ends up pushing the coalition to the final destruction of Stanley even though there are plenty of other lands with much bigger greivances who wouldn't. Of course, we're also presuming that it was Stanley who did all this stuff as leader of GK, rather than Saline giving him orders to, all while we're presuming that Saline gave his seal of approval to a unit whose Loyalty and Duty scores were so low he would commit regicide.

Then look at his plan of attack. ONLY Jetstone goes inside the tunnels, even though it's a fair bet some of the other units would have underground bonuses. Cui bono?

There's no smoking gun, but all these events and statements form a pattern. The pattern is that while Saline led GK, Ansom/Jetstone couldn't build an alliance to destroy it...but when a non-royal does, it could. Ansom hates non-royals, and especially Stanley for attuning a tool of the Titans BEFORE he became ruler. Ansom had means, motive, AND opportunity, and it wouldn't surprise me. As far as lying to Vinny...Ansom has spent more time avoiding tough questions from Vinny then he has answering them, hasn't he?

TamLin
2009-01-04, 04:59 AM
No offense, but that's pretty thin. Almost entirely speculation. Stanely gained a lot more from Saline's downfall than Ansom did, so if you're going to throw around the "Who gains?" theories you have to start with him. And besides, how exactly did Ansom influence the gobwins to overthrow Saline in the first place? What possible leverage could he have had (which he has clearly lost now)? Why would he go that far out of his way to put Stanley in charge? It's a very strange theory.

As far as Gobwin Knob's aggression toward Jetstone: "Next to nothing" is a fancy way of saying "something". Beyond that, Ansom has the Arkenpliers and Stanley wants them, so either he could sit around and wait for dwagons to show up on his doorstep (resulting in a loss of life on Jetstone's side far and away beyond what we've seen here) or he could do something about it.

NobodySpecial
2009-01-04, 06:57 AM
No offense, but that's pretty thin.

Yep. But it still fits.


Almost entirely speculation. Stanely gained a lot more from Saline's downfall than Ansom did, so if you're going to throw around the "Who gains?" theories you have to start with him. And besides, how exactly did Ansom influence the gobwins to overthrow Saline in the first place? What possible leverage could he have had (which he has clearly lost now)? Why would he go that far out of his way to put Stanley in charge? It's a very strange theory.

We know some facts from the preceding episodes.

1) Stanley went out with some raiders.
2) FAQ sees a 'flight of dwagons' before falling.
3) Saline dies when the gobwins break their alliance and kill him.
4) Wherever Stanley went (You see what I think), it was within a turn's range of GK on Class A dwagons.
5) Allies have their own treasuries and can break alliances (That's from the klog).

It makes perfect sense that if Ansom wanted to get rid of Stanley as a threat, he had to remove Saline. If he did it right, Stanley would have been frozen - unable to attack as the rules state when a city falls. The big hole in that is that Stanley was his successor, a situation that must have really frosted Ansom's cookies when it became apparent.

(I also note that gobwins are no longer allies and are merely Stanley's units now.)

Capt'n Ironbrow
2009-01-04, 08:21 AM
the capt'n's back ;)

Ansom's ineffectiveness against the uncroaked airforce and the reason Wanda and Webinar knocked him down can be attributed to Wanda's "link" to the Arkenpliers ('what have you done to it?'). the pliers became unwieldy when Ansom attempted to engage this (reader)foreshadowed atuner...

Charlie... charlie is a magnificent bastard, but only because he kept the once declined alliance-deal on hand in case Ansom would go back on his decision... and he probably ammended it so that Parson would be handed over to him, rather than get croaked...
I do hope this new alliance means the archons are back to acting in the RCC's turn, I fear it might mean that Charlescomm is the new coalition leadership and may act before GK!!!

ghost81
2009-01-04, 09:00 AM
I don't think it matters who leads the coalition - pclips has stated in another thread that all units in an alliance move at the time the latest side in the alliance would move. So even if Charlie is in charge his Archons can't act until the same time the RCC has been acting all along - be that Jetstone's turn, Sofa Kings turn or any of the other members turn.

Eraniverse
2009-01-04, 09:48 AM
Yep. But it still fits.

We know some facts from the preceding episodes.

1) Stanley went out with some raiders.
2) FAQ sees a 'flight of dwagons' before falling.
3) Saline dies when the gobwins break their alliance and kill him.
4) Wherever Stanley went (You see what I think), it was within a turn's range of GK on Class A dwagons.
5) Allies have their own treasuries and can break alliances (That's from the klog).

It makes perfect sense that if Ansom wanted to get rid of Stanley as a threat, he had to remove Saline. If he did it right, Stanley would have been frozen - unable to attack as the rules state when a city falls. The big hole in that is that Stanley was his successor, a situation that must have really frosted Ansom's cookies when it became apparent.

(I also note that gobwins are no longer allies and are merely Stanley's units now.)

Okay first you imply that Ansom hated Saline for designating Stanley heir. Then you say that Ansom didnt know Stanley was heir.

So either Ansom overthrew a kingdom that to his knowledge was functioning within perfectly normal Royal parameters for no reason or he deliberately put Stanley on the throne.

Nope. Doesn't fit at all.

Goshen
2009-01-04, 10:51 AM
And the only reason Ansom cares so much about Jillian's wishes is, again, because he wants to get inside her pants. Webinar couldn't give a damn whether Jillian is grateful or not; but Ansom's interactions with Jillian are painfully, obviously unprofessional, and that page is meant to emphasize both that and the awkwardness of Webinar's position.Yes, there is some of that, but she is also the most badass warlord Ansom has. It says she's tough in the Erfworld cast of characters, and she took out a full-grown dwagon in one shot early in the story line. Finally, she refers to herself as a "nine" while Webinar is only a "two". I presume her nine bonus is rather hefty and transfer all or in part to units under her command.

One of the many interesting subplots in the story is the tension between Ansom and Jillian as they try to reconcile thei whenr professional relationship and personal needs. THAT is a fairly universal story, except that they have to do the professional roles right, or they may end up pushing daisies. It's rather interesting that Webinar was so suspicious of Ansom's trust in Jillian, when Webinar is fighting alongside his own girlfriend.

On another not, Ansom may end up being Charlie's girlfriend for all we know of that amended contract. He certainly has a nice bum, which our artist likes to show us with strange frequency.:smalltongue:

Suicide Junkie
2009-01-04, 11:19 AM
Nope. That was almost pure speculation. Maggie's statement about healing Wanda makes me believe that its a good speculation because I doubt any of the casters have healomancy spells.Sizemore has probably researched healing spells. He's certainly not going to be good at it, but if all she needs is +1HP, then his efforts should be sufficient.
The repairing of the golem that incapacitated Webinar may or may not have been healomancy at work.

There is also the closet full of scrolls in Wanda's torture chamber, which we actually saw.
(Need more torture time, but the prisoner is out of HP?)

Given those, I figure GK has plenty of healing available for Wanda to be given. With Sizemore there to protect her, she shouldn't get croaked before it can be applied.

NobodySpecial
2009-01-04, 11:20 AM
Okay first you imply that Ansom hated Saline for designating Stanley heir. Then you say that Ansom didnt know Stanley was heir.

So either Ansom overthrew a kingdom that to his knowledge was functioning within perfectly normal Royal parameters for no reason or he deliberately put Stanley on the throne.

Nope. Doesn't fit at all.

Actually, The first statement doesn't necessarily contradict the second. It's not that Ansom didn't know Stanley was heir. I ran into time constraints, and ended the post before I was able to finish, sorry about that.

Ansom hated Stanley before Saline died - after all, Stanley had an Arkentool and was attuned to it and was Chief Warlord for Saline, all of which happened after he popped as a lowly infantry unit. For Ansom, this had to be a double slap at the caste system, and one which would get worse at whatever time he learned Stanley was designated heir. I think it happened after Saline's death, but either way it works, because of the timeline.

When Saline died if he had no heir, then Stanley should have been disbanded and could be dealt with at Ansom's leisure, which is another reason Ansom would have to remove Saline. (Control of the best defensive city on Erfworld, that is.)

At any rate, the day Saline died, the only thing Ansom could have known was that Stanley went raiding - he had no knowledge that the kingdom of FAQ was within one move of GK, he didn't even know it existed. It would have been a perfect time to remove Saline, while his Chief Warlord was away. As it turns out, it was being made heir which was the only reason Stanley was able to come back next turn. As to what Ansom could offer the gobwins, who knows? Shmuckers? Something Stanley couldn't offer? Unimportant. The key for me is Stanley could NOT turn on Saline (Duty - Klog 9.) But Ansom could sure form an alliance with the gobwins, and it makes more sense than Charlie, who never showed an interest in GK until after he took Ansom's Shmuckers.

The one saving grace to Ansom of Stanley's ascension is that it allowed him to build up a large coalition. Like Parson says, 'they like to gang up on non-royals'. I did make one mistake, though. Gobwins are not Stanley's units, they're still in a long-term alliance with him. (Klog 10.)

Basically, I put Ansom at the top of the 'Who killed Saline?' list because he stood to gain something he had no access to otherwise, while Stanley was next in line of succession and had a rule preventing him from killing Saline. Wanda's a close second to my mind, ironically...

SteveMB
2009-01-04, 11:48 AM
Ansom hated Stanley before Saline died - after all, Stanley had an Arkentool and was attuned to it and was Chief Warlord for Saline, all of which happened after he popped as a lowly infantry unit. For Ansom, this had to be a double slap at the caste system, and one which would get worse at whatever time he learned Stanley was designated heir.

I still think your theory is a pretty long stretch, but I'll mention one point in favor of it. It's possible that someone who is highly punctilious about the importance of royal privileges and responsibilities would be highly offended when another royal did something that undermined or trivialized the importance of royalty. Ansom might have viewed Saline's selection of a commoner heir as doing just that -- technically within his prerogatives, but something that is simply not done by a true royal.

Aquillion
2009-01-04, 12:32 PM
while Stanley was next in line of succession and had a rule preventing him from killing Saline.Uh, no. If there was a rule preventing him from killing Saline, nobody would be able to rationally accuse him of killing Saline. The fact that Ansom and Vinnie discussed that as a rational possibility proves that it is possible.

We've already had these mechanics explained to us. Units have a loyalty score, which is checked to see if they're allowed to betray their masters.

...your analysis also glossed over the most important thing, and to me, it is the fatal flaw that simply removes Ansom from serious consideration entirely: In order to accept even the remote possibility of what you're suggesting, we'd have to assume that everything we have seen from Ansom in the entire time he's been in the comic has been a lie. We'd have to assume that he has been deliberately and knowingly deceiving his oldest friend -- someone who he's had no trouble confessing his most embarrassing self-doubts to at other points in the comic, someone who has made it clear that he will support Ansom under all circumstances regardless.

We have seen not a single hint of duplicity from Ansom in the entire strip. None. I challenge you to point to a single page in which you can prove that he is making a deliberate and knowing lie. Dutybound? Yes. Stick-up-his-ass? Sure, even Vinnie implied it. But deceptive? No. You're describing the actions of a character who bears absolutely no relation to the one we've been introduced to.


Of course, we're also presuming that it was Stanley who did all this stuff as leader of GK, rather than Saline giving him orders to, all while we're presuming that Saline gave his seal of approval to a unit whose Loyalty and Duty scores were so low he would commit regicide.Loyalty is a hidden stat (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0094.html) (and Duty isn't a score at all, it's a game mechanic.) Saline had no way to know what a backstabber Stanley was when he promoted him.

Now, let's talk sanity here. Whoever killed Saline must fit the following criteria:

* They have to have had a secure channel to communicate with the Gobwins. Note that Ansom has no Thinkamancers (he has to use hats or Charlie's services), disqualifying him.

* They would have to have been known and at least somewhat trusted by the Gobwins -- it is highly unlikely that a stranger or foreigner could've convinced them to break a longstanding alliance. Only someone who knew them well would know what buttons to push, what to offer, and so forth. Again, Ansom is disqualified.

* They would have to have a detailed, specific knowledge and understanding of events and politics at Gobwin Knob. This is necessary to know when to order the Gobwins to attack; it's necessary if they want to derive any benefit from the attack; and it's necessary if you expect them to have a realistic motive. Ansom has no scouts or recon, and no lookamancers. This disqualifies him again (indeed, there's no particular reason why he would even have known of Stanley's existence prior to his ascension to overlord. He didn't know anything about Parson.)

If you want to reject Stanley as too obvious, under the assumption that the authors are setting up a shocking swerve, Wanda is a perfectly natural choice -- she had the motive and the capability, and she understood politics in Gobwin Knob possibly better than anyone else. The only assumption you have to make for her is that the mission just before Slately's death wasn't in Faq (otherwise she wouldn't have been present -- although even that could be worked around.) She would have been known to the Gobwins, and has been shown as an expert at manipulating others to her ends; we've seen that she can mind-control them very easily, and they've been shown speaking respectfully to her. If she had to do it remotely, she is capable at Thinkamancy. She has also been shown as devious and deceptive, perfectly willing to deceive people around her to her to accomplish her goals (something, again, that we have absolutely not been shown about Ansom.) Wanda has a direct and obvious motive that does not require any sort of speculation, guesswork, or assumptions (beyond perhaps the somewhat obvious point that she probably wasn't as powerful an 'adviser' to King Saline) -- we can see, directly, that she is Stanley's right-hand woman right now, and she clearly has a huge amount of power through him.

Stanley is even simpler. He indisputably had the motive. He indisputably had the access. He is plainly respected by the Gobwins. We have been specifically told of the mechanics that would allow him to do it; I don't know why you keep trying to bring up Duty when the fact that units are capable of betrayal has been practically hammered to death in the comic.

Why do you rate Ansom above Wanda and Stanley, given these things?

Your 'motive' for Ansom is a shoddy patchwork of guesses -- you assume that he knew about Stanley before his ascension to overlord, that he knew Stanley had and was attuned to the Arkenhammer, possibly (I can't even track your arguments, they change so fast) that he knew Stanley was heir, or didn't know, you assume that he objected to this enough to commit murder over it. These are simply not as convincing as the obvious promotion Wanda and Stanley got.

But that shoddy motive is the strongest part of your argument. Everything else is... well, there isn't anything else, is there? We know that both Wanda and Stanley had access, knowledge, and connections. From what we know, Ansom didn't have access, knowledge, or connections -- in fact, we've been specifically informed that he lacks lookamancers, and specifically shown that he lacks thinkamancers.

fendrin
2009-01-04, 01:22 PM
How can we hope to answer that question in some objective manner? Well, as it happens each of those groups faces off against the exact same force: Ansom. The results are decisive. Wanda outperformed the zombies by about as much as it is possible to outperform something. The only possible wild card is that the Arkenpliers are known to be effective against the uncroaked. But aside from herself, every unit in Wanda's force is also an uncroaked, and they STILL trounced Ansom.

You can talk all you want about how Wanda has special undocumented powers that tilt the balance, but that is nothing but pure speculation. Show some actual evidence in the comics if you want to convince me.

'What have you done to it?' (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0133.html)
Wanda clearly did something to neutralize the offensive capabilities of the 'pliers.


Unclear. Jillian and Vinny know Stanley escaped, and they direction in which he escaped. Given that, it's easy to guess he'd head back to GK. We don't know if they've passed this information on to anyone yet, but Charlie's thinkogram mastery makes it possible.
Jillian and Vinny did not have any reason to tell Charlie anything if he contacted them (he did just screw them over).

Until this new alliance that bothers you so much was formed, no one had the ability to request a thinkagram, either. So Charlie does not make it possible. We also have seen no evidence of Vinny et al having a hat (and why would they, they are Jetstone property after all, and they believed they could communicate through Charlie).

Neither Ansom nor Charlie have any reason to think that GK reinforcements are on their way. Remember, Stanley ran. Why would they expect him to return? Either Jillian and co. defeat him, or he runs away to start a new side. Neither option implies reinforcements for GK anytime soon.


But that's beside the point. Charlie didn't think there was any way for Parson to save himself last time, and yet Parson did so without Stanley. Why would Charlie assume his guess must be better than Parson's this time? It seems to me that, now that he's seen what Parson is capable of, he'd want to take Parson down ASAP. On Charlie's turn on day 5, Parson had had no turns with which to prepare his defense against Charlie's forces. If he waits until Ansom's turn on day 6, Parson will have had 2 turns to prepare. That strikes me as a little laid back, even for Charlie. Ah, but if Parson DOES have more tricks, how is Charlie not better off by letting the RCC suffer the effects of them? As far as Charlie is aware, Parson has no escape route, and limited resources. As stated above, Charlie has no reason to expect reinforcements, so he has plenty of time. Let the RCC take the losses, Charlie will get what he wants either way. As far as Charlie is concerned, this new alliance is a win-win situation. It's like getting to buy stuff for yourself with other people's money: why not, even if the stuff will cost more?



I'm not sure who posted this exactly, but... turn shifting for hit-and-run tactics WOULD work. If A went first, B went second and C went third, A could at some point ally with C. Then the next day A could pull off a hit-and-run, and break the alliance with C. Then A heals at dawn, and the hit-and-run units where never in (extra) danger.

True, but in doing so, they allow B to do the same thing. Let's look at the turn sequence. Round 1 is prior to the A&C alliance, and round 3 is the turn after.

Round 1...| Round 2 | Round 3
A | B | C | B | A&C | A | B | C

Taking C out of the equation (as they are not directly involved with the conflict)...

Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3
.A |. B |. B |. A |. A |. B

You can see that B would get two consecutive turns before A does. Seems pretty obvious what would cause that, and would be a great time to set up a trap (or just withdraw once troops far enough back that it would take two turns for A to reach them, thus nullifying the advantage).

Also, C would be risking the wrath of B. I mean, if A could beat B, then A would not need to resort to those sorts of tricks. Thus B must have a reasonable chance of victory. In that case, B might start attacking C for helping A... and it is almost never a good idea to get involved in a war that has nothing to do with you. The exception, of course, is mercenaries.


It's rather interesting that Webinar was so suspicious of Ansom's trust in Jillian, when Webinar is fighting alongside his own girlfriend.

To be fair, Dora is from the same faction, and does not have a history of being repeatedly captured and 'escaping'. I think those are what bothers Webinar about Jillian.

I also think he is significantly bothered by the way Ansom overlooks those potential security issues because of his feelings for Jillian.

Of course, we also can't forget that, to paraphrase Vinny, Webby's got a gump up his rump.

Quimper
2009-01-04, 01:39 PM
Prediction: The healing of wanda will have something to do with Sizemore + Flowerpower/Hippiemancy (Herbal healing?) (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0011.html).

Wish: For Stanley to kill off RCC's siege now that they aren't protected by any other fliers than Ansom. Perhaps retreat to a safe distance for healing and return to GK when Charlies contract has "timed out" (if it is indeed 2 turns). Perhaps a bonuseffect of Jillian being angry with Charlie "abandoning" the alliance at the choakepoint (-we HAD him!!! If you hadn't bailed out!??)

Question: How did anson get his carpet back? It's clearly stated that you cannot go from one castle zone to another unless its your turn (or you are the defender). Were also reminded about that in 134:13 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0134.html). Yet the archons are able to collect Ansoms carpet from the airspace and give it to him in the wall zone. Ansom himself (the one who can actually move this turn) wouldn't be able to collect the carpet going from the outer walls to the airspace since he was not able to fly anymore (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0109.html).

Also, the archons cannot move to Ansoms zone, yet he can still sign a contract in the flight zone (where the archon holding it is)?

Conclusion. It's possible to interact/move in the airspace without the power to fly, making it's rules hazy.

Sidenote: Does this guy (91:4) (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html) look like Sizemore to you? If it had said "clerics" instead of "clerks" it would have been a great explanation of Sizemores repulsion towards killing (as in "thou shalt not kill")...

DevilDan
2009-01-04, 01:49 PM
There's "alliance" and there's "fighting on the same side." I'm sure that Charlie is "joining" the RCC again, but wouldn't it also be possible for Charlie to stay as his own side, thereby keeping his turn ahead of GK's, while still agreeing to work together with the RCC? Charlie and Ansom would be foolish not to consider this possibility and its potential advantages to moving before GK's turn, even if it is only with the Archons.

SteveMB
2009-01-04, 02:09 PM
There's "alliance" and there's "fighting on the same side." I'm sure that Charlie is "joining" the RCC again, but wouldn't it also be possible for Charlie to stay as his own side, thereby keeping his turn ahead of GK's, while still agreeing to work together with the RCC? Charlie and Ansom would be foolish not to consider this possibility and its potential advantages to moving before GK's turn, even if it is only with the Archons.

As I noted, the results the last time Ansom made an arrangement with Charlie that was less formal than a full-fledged alliance were not such as to encourage repetition....


Sidenote: Does this guy (91:4) (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html) look like Sizemore to you? If it had said "clerics" instead of "clerks" it would have been a great explanation of Sizemores repulsion towards killing (as in "thou shalt not kill")...

Not particularly -- they both look like big-nosed bald nebbish types, but I don't see any reason to think that they might be the same person (even leaving out that the Cast Page identifies Sizemore as part of the same Plaid tribe as Stanley).

Tredrick
2009-01-04, 02:11 PM
Considering the way Charlie changes terms on everyone at the last minute, I imagine the next great alliance will be against him.

NobodySpecial
2009-01-04, 02:50 PM
Uh, no. If there was a rule preventing him from killing Saline, nobody would be able to rationally accuse him of killing Saline. The fact that Ansom and Vinnie discussed that as a rational possibility proves that it is possible.

Well, technically, Ansom called it a certainty and Vinnie a qualified maybe.


We've already had these mechanics explained to us. Units have a loyalty score, which is checked to see if they're allowed to betray their masters.

And Stanley's loyalty score is...?


...your analysis also glossed over the most important thing, and to me, it is the fatal flaw that simply removes Ansom from serious consideration entirely: In order to accept even the remote possibility of what you're suggesting, we'd have to assume that everything we have seen from Ansom in the entire time he's been in the comic has been a lie. We'd have to assume that he has been deliberately and knowingly deceiving his oldest friend -- someone who he's had no trouble confessing his most embarrassing self-doubts to at other points in the comic, someone who has made it clear that he will support Ansom under all circumstances regardless.

Have you ever lied to a friend? Ever lied to a family member? Ever lied about something that you found important to you to someone who would disagree with you about it?

For that matter, have we REALLY seen Ansom confess embarrassing self-doubts to his henchman? "No comment, Vinny." "Vinny - I hereby revoke your permission to ask me difficult questions.". Nah, not really, from my view. Ansom himself has admitted that he views himself on a higher plane than 'those of lesser station' like a Count.


We have seen not a single hint of duplicity from Ansom in the entire strip. None. I challenge you to point to a single page in which you can prove that he is making a deliberate and knowing lie. Dutybound? Yes. Stick-up-his-ass? Sure, even Vinnie implied it. But deceptive? No. You're describing the actions of a character who bears absolutely no relation to the one we've been introduced to.


You haven't seen a single hint of duplicity from most of the cast in the entire strip, either. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Of course, there's at LEAST one strip where he's making a statement no one believes, either....

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0089.html


Loyalty is a hidden stat (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0094.html) (and Duty isn't a score at all, it's a game mechanic.) Saline had no way to know what a backstabber Stanley was when he promoted him.

I note under Duty it says Commanders (and Chief Warlords more strongly) can't hide information or CONSPIRE against the Ruler. Or is Stanley immune?


Now, let's talk sanity here. Whoever killed Saline must fit the following criteria:

* They have to have had a secure channel to communicate with the Gobwins. Note that Ansom has no Thinkamancers (he has to use hats or Charlie's services), disqualifying him.

Gobwins have no capitals and no cities. There's no negative proof that he couldn't have contacted them without going into GK, and there certainly must be a way for gobwins to communicate with each other.


* They would have to have been known and at least somewhat trusted by the Gobwins -- it is highly unlikely that a stranger or foreigner could've convinced them to break a longstanding alliance. Only someone who knew them well would know what buttons to push, what to offer, and so forth. Again, Ansom is disqualified.

How so, specifically? Are you saying he has no knowledge of gobwins, or only that he has no knowledge of gobwins that we're aware of?


* They would have to have a detailed, specific knowledge and understanding of events and politics at Gobwin Knob. This is necessary to know when to order the Gobwins to attack; it's necessary if they want to derive any benefit from the attack; and it's necessary if you expect them to have a realistic motive. Ansom has no scouts or recon, and no lookamancers. This disqualifies him again (indeed, there's no particular reason why he would even have known of Stanley's existence prior to his ascension to overlord. He didn't know anything about Parson.)


He has scouts.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0097.html

And as the klog says, scouting and reporting are Natural Thinkamancy.


If you want to reject Stanley as too obvious, under the assumption that the authors are setting up a shocking swerve, Wanda is a perfectly natural choice -- she had the motive and the capability, and she understood politics in Gobwin Knob possibly better than anyone else. The only assumption you have to make for her is that the mission just before Slately's death wasn't in Faq (otherwise she wouldn't have been present -- although even that could be worked around.) She would have been known to the Gobwins, and has been shown as an expert at manipulating others to her ends; we've seen that she can mind-control them very easily, and they've been shown speaking respectfully to her. If she had to do it remotely, she is capable at Thinkamancy.

Which is why I think she's second most likely behind Ansom.


She has also been shown as devious and deceptive, perfectly willing to deceive people around her to her to accomplish her goals (something, again, that we have absolutely not been shown about Ansom.) Wanda has a direct and obvious motive that does not require any sort of speculation, guesswork, or assumptions (beyond perhaps the somewhat obvious point that she probably wasn't as powerful an 'adviser' to King Saline) -- we can see, directly, that she is Stanley's right-hand woman right now, and she clearly has a huge amount of power through him.

I'm curious as to where she's deceived anyone, however. Can you point out a lie for me? I must have missed it.


Stanley is even simpler. He indisputably had the motive. He indisputably had the access. He is plainly respected by the Gobwins. We have been specifically told of the mechanics that would allow him to do it; I don't know why you keep trying to bring up Duty when the fact that units are capable of betrayal has been practically hammered to death in the comic.

Can you point to those mechanics? I must have missed them, but I'll need a link. Especially since Wanda's spell that she guaranteed would allow GK to keep Jillian as a resource instead blew up when she was merely offered the chance to avoid battle with wounded dwagons, which was characterized by Wanda as not being nearly as bad as attacking her ally. She clearly doesn't have a high Loyalty score as her self-admitted Banhammer confession shows.


Why do you rate Ansom above Wanda and Stanley, given these things?

Your 'motive' for Ansom is a shoddy patchwork of guesses -- you assume that he knew about Stanley before his ascension to overlord, that he knew Stanley had and was attuned to the Arkenhammer, possibly (I can't even track your arguments, they change so fast) that he knew Stanley was heir, or didn't know, you assume that he objected to this enough to commit murder over it. These are simply not as convincing as the obvious promotion Wanda and Stanley got.

Do you really think that a Warlord who attuned to a Tool of the Titans would not get at least gossiped about at the very least, and at most looked at as a real danger? You claim Ansom knows that Stanley is a clear danger to him in other posts, you know.

As to why I rate Ansom higher than Wanda? Because he has resources Wanda can't touch.

As to why I rate Ansom higher than Stanley? Because of Duty and because Stanley was already in line to rule. His ruler had no problem with him gaining the Arkentools that we can see and made him heir. Why would he screw that up with the possibility that the gobwin assault could fail?


But that shoddy motive is the strongest part of your argument. Everything else is... well, there isn't anything else, is there? We know that both Wanda and Stanley had access, knowledge, and connections. From what we know, Ansom didn't have access, knowledge, or connections -- in fact, we've been specifically informed that he lacks lookamancers, and specifically shown that he lacks thinkamancers.

The current campaign != the whole of the war. Perhaps he had some and lost them in battles. Perhaps his ruler wouldn't let him have any. I repeat: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Now perhaps you'd like to dial back your tone a bit before you run afoul of the 'Cut the flaming' warning on the boards. Disagree with me; fine, but there's little need to be insulting with someone who hasn't said boo to you.

dr pepper
2009-01-04, 05:23 PM
Prediction: The healing of wanda will have something to do with Sizemore + Flowerpower/Hippiemancy (Herbal healing?) (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0011.html).


Dirtamancy + Hippiemancy = Shrooms.

DevilDan
2009-01-04, 05:48 PM
Spells can be packaged, as we saw with the Ultimate Warlord spell and as we see here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0030.html). It's not unreasonable to suppose that GK could have some stockpiled healomancy spells that Maggie or even Sizemore could use to stabilize Wanda.

brob
2009-01-04, 07:44 PM
I note these five facts here: 1. Parson, facing impossible odds, keeps almost pulling off improbable tactical coups. Not enough to win, but enough to keep fighting. 2. Parson is disadvantaged, relative to native Erflings, by not knowing all the rules of the game. 3. People in this forum are frustrated by Parson almost but not quite achieving tactical victories, and frustrated by having to learn Erf's rules as they go. 4. The strip is very good at making you feel what the protagonist feels. 5. I can count to five.

Aquillion
2009-01-04, 08:04 PM
Well, technically, Ansom called it a certainty and Vinnie a qualified maybe.

And Stanley's loyalty score is...?Irrelevant. The point is, Loyalty and Duty in Erfworld are only more mechanically-rigid than the ones in the real world; as they've been described, they are not any more reliable. Just like real-world loyalty, there are people who are backstabbers and people who are loyal to their leaders.


Have you ever lied to a friend? Ever lied to a family member? Ever lied about something that you found important to you to someone who would disagree with you about it?

For that matter, have we REALLY seen Ansom confess embarrassing self-doubts to his henchman? "No comment, Vinny." "Vinny - I hereby revoke your permission to ask me difficult questions.". Nah, not really, from my view. Ansom himself has admitted that he views himself on a higher plane than 'those of lesser station' like a Count.Those words are an embarrassing admission (and the last one is him joking around with an old friend, since Vinnie continues to ask him embarrassing questions.) Ansom could easily have lied there; instead, he essentially admitted Vinnie was correct.


You haven't seen a single hint of duplicity from most of the cast in the entire strip, either. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Of course, there's at LEAST one strip where he's making a statement no one believes, either....

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0089.htmlWhich statement? He specifically refuses to lie to Vinnie's question at the end.


I note under Duty it says Commanders (and Chief Warlords more strongly) can't hide information or CONSPIRE against the Ruler. Or is Stanley immune?Just above that, it lists loyalty as allowing you to double-deal when given the chance. Stanley himself is extremely paranoid about his followers, and accuses Parson of possible treason when he cuts and runs; this shows that Stanley not only knows that it is possible for a chief warlord to betray his master, but is intimately familiar with it. And, again; if it were simply impossible for a chief warlord to roll a loyalty check and assassinate their leader, nobody would be discussing it. It would be absurd to even bring up. The fact that Ansom can mention it to Vinnie at all shows that it's possible.


Gobwins have no capitals and no cities. There's no negative proof that he couldn't have contacted them without going into GK, and there certainly must be a way for gobwins to communicate with each other.Yes, but again, this is completely random speculation -- you're inventing things to make your pet theory work better. There is already a method for contacting people; that's what people use thinkamancy and hats for.


How so, specifically? Are you saying he has no knowledge of gobwins, or only that he has no knowledge of gobwins that we're aware of?None that we're aware of. Again, the point isn't that your theory is impossible -- the point is that you're relying on complete speculation. There's nothing wrong with random dart-throwing speculation, but it's silly to pretend that it can hold up to things we've actually been told and shown.

We know that both Stanley and Wanda had the means, motive, and opportunity. We've been specifically told and shown, repeatedly, that units can betray their leaders; we've been shown that both have the respect and loyalty of the Gobwins, and the ability to manipulate them; and both had an obvious motive that requires no guesswork to full in.


He has scouts.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0097.html

And as the klog says, scouting and reporting are Natural Thinkamancy.You are suggesting that he had a scout walk right up into Gobwin Knob and make the offer personally? Keep in mind, he would still have to have a way of knowing the exact situation in Gobwin Knob to know to even make the offer; he would have to have something to offer the Gobwins (and know that they'd want it). Again, you're just making stuff up to fit your theory. There's nothing wrong with that, but we've been shown outright several scenarios that require no real guesswork.



Which is why I think she's second most likely behind Ansom.

I'm curious as to where she's deceived anyone, however. Can you point out a lie for me? I must have missed it.She's too good at it to have to lie outright, but she's deceiving the people around her constantly. Here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0054.html), she is outright deceiving Stanley by stating that she is going along with his will while attempting to subvert it ("If that is your wish...") Note that she isn't trying to convince him, even, just distract him and keep him from doing anything until Parson is done.

Here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0047.html), she specifically lays out how to deceive Stanley by making him think that her plans are his ideas.

Here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0039.html), she is using magic specifically to deceive an underling and prevent word of her relationship with Jillian from getting out.

There's others, but that should give you the general idea.


Can you point to those mechanics? I must have missed them, but I'll need a link. Especially since Wanda's spell that she guaranteed would allow GK to keep Jillian as a resource instead blew up when she was merely offered the chance to avoid battle with wounded dwagons, which was characterized by Wanda as not being nearly as bad as attacking her ally. She clearly doesn't have a high Loyalty score as her self-admitted Banhammer confession shows.Loyalty. I'm not sure what your statement about Jillian has to do with anything -- first, we don't know whether loyalty applies to resistance to magical spells (which are supposed to be capable of modifying loyalty.) Yes, Jillian's magically-induced loyalty to Wanda failed, but what does that prove? Second, Jillian's problem never had anything to do with loyalty; she's a mercenary, not a Jetstone unit, and constant statements Vinnie, Ansom, and Webinar have made it clear that Jillian is capable of breaking her alliance with Ansom and going off on her own any time she feels like it. She has no mechanical duty or loyalty to Ansom at all -- what she has is that she's in love with him. We've seen no indication that that's stat-based.


Do you really think that a Warlord who attuned to a Tool of the Titans would not get at least gossiped about at the very least, and at most looked at as a real danger? You claim Ansom knows that Stanley is a clear danger to him in other posts, you know.

As to why I rate Ansom higher than Wanda? Because he has resources Wanda can't touch.Speculation again. You're inventing mechanics and resources simply to suit your pet theory. We have not been shown any method for obtaining the kind of information you're talking about -- no rumor mills, no lookamancers or thinkamancers under Ansom, no connection -- however tenuous -- between him and Gobwin Knob. Nothing. Wanda has enough Thinkamancy to pull this off herself; for the events in question, her resources vastly outstrip Ansom's, because they're far more relevant.


As to why I rate Ansom higher than Stanley? Because of Duty and because Stanley was already in line to rule. His ruler had no problem with him gaining the Arkentools that we can see and made him heir. Why would he screw that up with the possibility that the gobwin assault could fail?Because he's Stanley. This one should not need explanation. If he was more cautious or less egomanical, he wouldn't have half the world out to kill him right now.


The current campaign != the whole of the war. Perhaps he had some and lost them in battles. Perhaps his ruler wouldn't let him have any. I repeat: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.Speculation again. The point is, Stanley and Wanda don't require that kind of speculation -- all Stanley needs is one failed loyalty check, and all Wanda needs is... nothing. She's a captured caster, so we know for a fact she has low loyalty; she could have done it easily at any time, no guesswork or speculation about resources or motives or knowledge needed.

Aevii
2009-01-04, 08:16 PM
I think that, whether or not Wanda actually wanted Ansom to touch her with the Arkenpliers because she thought she'd attune to them, Ansom believed that Wanda thought so, and that she might be right. In effect, Wanda was daring him to put the matter to the test, and see if the Arkentools rendered yet another thumbs-down to Ansom's worldview.

And Ansom simply wasn't willing to risk that. And he flew away, a flimsy rationalization on his lips.
I figure Wanda actually attuned with the Arkenpliers but had them taken from her. In any case, I strongly suspect it is not Jill she is talking about when she brings up what was taken from her.

jazz1m
2009-01-04, 08:24 PM
Gotta agree with brob here, I think the major reason that Parson is losing despite having superior tactics than Ansom is that there's no way he knows more about game mechanics than Ansom (who comes popped with all of that info). Some one mentioned earlier that Parson's downfall is because he doesn't have the people skills (or rather the people reading skills) that Ansom has. I'd say that Parson has had no other choice than to rely on his very limited knowledge and the suggestions that actual erfworlders have given him (i.e. Jillian couldn't break Wanda's suggestion spell). Not to mention the fact that he's still outnumbered now that the archons are allied to the RCC.

Predictions:
As people have mentioned, I imagine the allying of Charlescomm and RCC will now give Stanley enough time to reach Gobwin Knob during his turn. It's been about 2 turns since he left and one turn has already passed so I imagine that he should be back just in time to get some archons although I wouldn't be wholly surprised if he showed up late to the party. I do think that Gobwin Knob will fall and I'm pretty sure Charlie will be the one to get all the spoils of the war. Heck if I were a mercenary I would try to get all the good stuff for saving Ansom's keister: like all the casters (maybe not Maggie since Charlie is already a super powerful Thinkamancer), artifacts, special objects (sword, mathamancy bracelety, etc.) whatever is left of the treasury, and of course Parson, but I'm just greedy...:smallsmile:

teratorn
2009-01-04, 08:35 PM
Unaroyal was probably the biggest force in the RCC at the beginning of this turn. There are only about 1000 living Jetstone troops. Parson's army is bigger than Ansom's own troops. Jetstone alone could have taken GK the turn before. This is already sort of a win to Parson.

I'm with the people who think Jetstone (but maybe not lead by Ansom) erased the Croatons, and that Wanda's motivations may lie there.

I read the two last pages and thought as I would play them on a pen and paper RPG, and it felt consistent. Maybe I'm one of the few who thinks of everything on the strip like if it truly were a game.

I still don't see problems with timing, I tend to see things like "time" as "rounds" in a RPG game, so that actions don't follow the "real world" pattern although they are very close. In fact, I'm surprised that the authors play that aspect so clearly, including Ansom reading the contract and the fliers taking time to reach Ansom (they needed different rounds to leave Wanda and reassemble, dive, and land).

Even the golems taking time to reach makes sense to me. In terms of rounds:

. Archons blast Wanda and Ansom asks for carpet,
. Ansom gets carpet, Parson curses but takes time to react
. Ansom dives, Maggie tells Sizemore to assemble his stack of golems.
. Probably another round needed for Ansom to dive and Sizemore to move his troops
. Ansom grabs the pliers. Sizemore and the golems reach Wanda's position.
. Ansom hesitates and golems erupt.

My biggest surprise in this thread is the argument about Ansom surviving the fall with little injury and Wanda being nearly dead... He's a warlord with a ton of hitpoints! They are not humans with similar builds.

Lord Zentei
2009-01-04, 09:09 PM
My biggest surprise in this thread is the argument about Ansom surviving the fall with little injury and Wanda being nearly dead... He's a warlord with a ton of hitpoints! They are not humans with similar builds.

He also fell onto the wall rather than onto the ground, so the distance and hence presumably the damage was much less anyway.

Perhaps she did not block all the effects of the Archon blast either, despite her bubble shield.

Lamech
2009-01-04, 09:22 PM
My biggest surprise in this thread is the argument about Ansom surviving the fall with little injury and Wanda being nearly dead... He's a warlord with a ton of hitpoints! They are not humans with similar builds.
You could be right, and in fact probably are but I want to through out a couple other ideas...

Erfworld could have the type of battle mechanics that were kills or "disables" can happen from a lucky shot (or fall in this case) even if it is a weak attack on a really powerful unit... perhaps like Manpower.
So maybe Wanda just twisted her spine, and Ansom didn't...

And to toss out a third possiblity perhaps Ansom's "flying-gear" is donned for a reason when he uses the carpet? Like not painfully dying from otherwise leathal falls.

teratorn
2009-01-04, 09:44 PM
And to toss out a third possiblity perhaps Ansom's "flying-gear" is donned for a reason when he uses the carpet? Like not painfully dying from otherwise leathal falls.

That is also quite likely. In particular his helmet. I wonder if the fact it fell means it's not effective any more

NobodySpecial
2009-01-04, 11:22 PM
Irrelevant. The point is, Loyalty and Duty in Erfworld are only more mechanically-rigid than the ones in the real world; as they've been described, they are not any more reliable. Just like real-world loyalty, there are people who are backstabbers and people who are loyal to their leaders.

Those words are an embarrassing admission (and the last one is him joking around with an old friend, since Vinnie continues to ask him embarrassing questions.) Ansom could easily have lied there; instead, he essentially admitted Vinnie was correct.

Which statement? He specifically refuses to lie to Vinnie's question at the end.

"I trust Commander Zamussels completely." That was obviously not true.

And Stanley's Loyalty score is highly relevant, since your only contention that I'm wrong is based off of speculation that he failed a Loyalty check. If you're not going to allow me speculation based off of incomplete information, you shouldn't do it either.


Yes, but again, this is completely random speculation -- you're inventing things to make your pet theory work better. There is already a method for contacting people; that's what people use thinkamancy and hats for.None that we're aware of. [...]

Again, the point isn't that your theory is impossible -- the point is that you're relying on complete speculation. There's nothing wrong with random dart-throwing speculation, but it's silly to pretend that it can hold up to things we've actually been told and shown.

We know that both Stanley and Wanda had the means, motive, and opportunity. We've been specifically told and shown, repeatedly, that units can betray their leaders; we've been shown that both have the respect and loyalty of the Gobwins, and the ability to manipulate them; and both had an obvious motive that requires no guesswork to full in.


You're relying on complete speculation as well, as is everyone who isn't the writer, you know. Also, I don't see you taking this umbrage with the people who are using Charlescomm as the ultimate solution to all the problems of Erfworld, even to the point of speculating that Charlie killed Saline. Also, most of what I've postulated is absolutely grounded in provided information - Ansom hates Stanley. Ansom hates non-royals and believes he has a divine right to rule them. Ansom desires the death of Stanley and to posess GK.


Loyalty. I'm not sure what your statement about Jillian has to do with anything -- first, we don't know whether loyalty applies to resistance to magical spells (which are supposed to be capable of modifying loyalty.) Yes, Jillian's magically-induced loyalty to Wanda failed, but what does that prove? Second, Jillian's problem never had anything to do with loyalty; she's a mercenary, not a Jetstone unit, and constant statements Vinnie, Ansom, and Webinar have made it clear that Jillian is capable of breaking her alliance with Ansom and going off on her own any time she feels like it. She has no mechanical duty or loyalty to Ansom at all -- what she has is that she's in love with him. We've seen no indication that that's stat-based.

Think closely about what you're saying. Jillian is NOT Chief Warlord to Ansom or even a unit under his control, so the effects of Duty and Loyalty are less intense on her, she has a self-described poor Loyalty score (she hated Saline), and Loyalty can be modified by the spell....but yet, when given an indirect opportunity to merely hinder Ansom, she instead broke the spell. Now add up the Chief Warlord factor and that Stanley probably wasn't being magically influenced, and you're still postulating that he's MORE likely to do something much worse than what Jillian refused to do? Possible, but highly unlikely.


Speculation again. You're inventing mechanics and resources simply to suit your pet theory.

Um, no. Ansom is Chief Warlord of Jetsone with over 2900 units at the start of this campaign; Jillian is a mercenary with 21 units. Ansom has several magical items that we've seen that Jillian has no access to by herself. That's demonstrated - do you doubt that he has other resources to hand?

Rhuna_Coppermane
2009-01-05, 12:22 AM
Poor Wanda. :(

fendrin
2009-01-05, 12:23 AM
I shouldn't get involved in this, but I'm getting annoyed with it. Let me start by saying I doubt Ansom was behind the Gobwin revolt. It just doesn't seem his style. For that matter, I'm not sure why everyone assumes that someone WAS behind it. It is perfectly possible that it was entirely a Gobwin idea. That could be why there aren't any Gobwin warlords: Stanley just doesn't trust them enough. If someone was behind it though, I would put odds on Wanda (even if, or maybe even especially if, she was not part of GK at the time... heck, then she wouldn't have even had to overcome her Loyalty), then Stanley. After Stanley Charlie seems likely, and then maybe Don King. Ansom is just too full of the nobility thing to use underhanded tactics. He seems much more the sort to raise a huge army and get thousands killed rather than arranging an assassination. You know, kind of like what he did to get rid of Stanley.


And Stanley's Loyalty score is highly relevant, since your only contention that I'm wrong is based off of speculation that he failed a Loyalty check. If you're not going to allow me speculation based off of incomplete information, you shouldn't do it either. Ah, but no one doubts that Stanley has a loyalty score. We know he has one (though I suppose it is irrelevant now that he is his own overlord). What would be the point of having one if it couldn't be tested. Not knowing the number is not the same as not knowing whether or not he has a score. We have not, however, seen any evidence whatsoever that Jetstone has the resources necessary to incite a revolt. Not one mention of having casters. I'm sorry, but messengers/scouts just wouldn't cut it. Either he would have had to send a warlord to talk to a Gobwin warlord or else one side would have auto-attacked the other. If they formed an alliance even for one round of discussions, Saline would have noticed that the gobwins were no longer allied with him... and it seems likely to be mechanically impossible to be allied with two non-allied sides (it would cause some real weird funkiness with the turn sequence rules).


You're relying on complete speculation as well, as is everyone who isn't the writer, you know.Speculation based on the comic is not total speculation. You are speculating that things exist simply because it is possible that they exist. Yes, Jetstone may have a secret cabal of thinkamancers that work to destabilize enemy factions, and secretly have croakamancers galore that form a secret army of uncroaked in the capital city. Oh, and it's possible that the stick in Ansom's rump that Vinny implied existed is a Rod of Gobwin Control that he stole from Saline. Are any of these things likely, based on what has been revealed in the comic? No.


Also, I don't see you taking this umbrage with the people who are using Charlescomm as the ultimate solution to all the problems of Erfworld, even to the point of speculating that Charlie killed Saline.I won't speak for anyone else, but I find Charlie to be far more likely that Ansom to have incited the Gobwin revolt. We know he has the means, we know he has motives, and we know that he's willing to play dirty. Ansom might have the means, might have had a motive at the time, and might be secretly willing to fight in an underhanded way. So really, which is more likely?


Also, most of what I've postulated is absolutely grounded in provided information - Ansom hates Stanley. Ansom hates non-royals and believes he has a divine right to rule them. Ansom desires the death of Stanley and to posess GK. Yes, he hates Stanley, but did he hate Stanley before the fall of Saline IV? Maybe. Yes he feels Stanley should be ruled by a royal. But Stanley WAS ruled by a royal. Yes he desires the death of Stanley, and maybe he wants to possess GK for himself (but we have no evidence of it). Maybe he felt that way before Saline was croaked, but we have no evidence of it.


...Stanley probably wasn't being magically influenced... Based on what? I see no reason to think that. I wouldn't be surprised if he was being magically influenced now. In fact, I would be surprised if Wanda hadn't at least tried to magically influence him (she's used her body to influence him, I can't imagine her not starting with magic). Given that Wanda is a very powerful 'caster and Stanley is, well, not bright (I think he and Jillian are having a stupid contest... I'm not sure who's losing), does it seem likely that Wanda would have failed in her casting?


Um, no. Ansom is Chief Warlord of Jetsone with over 2900 units at the start of this campaign; Jillian is a mercenary with 21 units. Ansom has several magical items that we've seen that Jillian has no access to by herself. That's demonstrated - do you doubt that he has other resources to hand? ...and your point is? Ansom might have all sorts of resources we don't know about, but that is true for ALL of the characters. Maybe Webinar had a secret cache of magic items that he was storing up for a coup against the King of Jetstone, so he could put his favorite Prince on the throne (Hey, wouldn't Webby be next in line for Chief Warlord? Look, a motive!).

Aquillion
2009-01-05, 01:37 AM
"I trust Commander Zamussels completely." That was obviously not true.It was a joke with an old friend, as his following exchange with Vinnie makes clear -- he's saying that he trusts her completely because he just saw her come back. When Vinnie jibes him about it, they just laugh it off. That's not the same thing as openly deceiving someone at all.


And Stanley's Loyalty score is highly relevant, since your only contention that I'm wrong is based off of speculation that he failed a Loyalty check. If you're not going to allow me speculation based off of incomplete information, you shouldn't do it either.

You're relying on complete speculation as well, as is everyone who isn't the writer, you know. Also, I don't see you taking this umbrage with the people who are using Charlescomm as the ultimate solution to all the problems of Erfworld, even to the point of speculating that Charlie killed Saline. Also, most of what I've postulated is absolutely grounded in provided information - Ansom hates Stanley. Ansom hates non-royals and believes he has a divine right to rule them. Ansom desires the death of Stanley and to posess GK.There are different degrees of speculation and assumption. We have been told that all units have a hidden loyalty score, and shown (from the interactions between them, especially between Stanley and others) that it is not particularly rare for high-ranking units to turn or betray their master from time to time. Therefore, given what we've seen of Stanley's decidedly egocentric, self-centered personality, it is not really a stretch to say that he may have a low loyalty to others.

Meanwhile, we have seen absolutely nothing linking Ansom to Gobwin Knob in any way before this war; we haven't seen any hint of advanced intelligence, communications, or espionage capabilities available to Jetstone; we haven't seen any hint that he has a particularly manipulative or devious personality. (If anything, while he can be diplomatic, he's often wince-inducingly blunt.) We've seen nothing to indicate that he is capable of unprovoked regicide against the lawful king of another nation (neither on a personal level, nor a practical one). All of that is groundless speculation, based just around what you want to see, and not around anything in the comic.


Think closely about what you're saying. Jillian is NOT Chief Warlord to Ansom or even a unit under his control, so the effects of Duty and Loyalty are less intense on her, she has a self-described poor Loyalty score (she hated Saline), and Loyalty can be modified by the spell....but yet, when given an indirect opportunity to merely hinder Ansom, she instead broke the spell. Now add up the Chief Warlord factor and that Stanley probably wasn't being magically influenced, and you're still postulating that he's MORE likely to do something much worse than what Jillian refused to do? Possible, but highly unlikelyI still think you misunderstand how Loyalty works. Duty and Loyalty are not less intense on her; unless Wanda's spell worked by inducing them, they have never and will never apply to her at all. She isn't Ansom's unit, and has no loyalty or duty to him whatsoever. She's the leader of her own barbarian faction; the only loyalty that could possibly apply to her is a magically-induced one to Wanda. I assumed, therefore, that that is what you were speaking about... hence my confusion. She was magically loyal to Wanda; but that loyalty broke over personal concerns. This is more evidence that loyalty is not absolute.

Plainly, she has no capital-L loyalty to Ansom. She's a mercenary, not one of his units, and is free to break her alliance at any time -- frequent references are made to this. She's in the same category as Charlie, who was (going by his initial conversation with Parson) plainly free to stab Ansom in the back even during an alliance, and chose not to only because it would hurt his reputation. Jillian could lop Ansom's head off any time she chooses... the reason why she doesn't (and the reason why her magically-induced loyalty to Wanda failed) is because of her own personal feelings, not because of any magical compulsion.


Um, no. Ansom is Chief Warlord of Jetsone with over 2900 units at the start of this campaign; Jillian is a mercenary with 21 units. Ansom has several magical items that we've seen that Jillian has no access to by herself. That's demonstrated - do you doubt that he has other resources to hand?The resources necessary to undetectably cause revolution and regicide in a distant country go considerably beyond a few field units. He's said himself that he has no lookamancers, and demonstrated through his actions that he has no thinkamancers. Parson notes in a klog that casters are rare and valuable.

Basically, I trust the authors of the strip more than this. What you're describing would be a ham-handed shocking swerve, with very little leading up to it. It doesn't make Ansom's character more interesting; in fact, it makes him into a faceless evildoer. The logic behind it hasn't been properly-established or touched on in the strip -- we've been specifically shown that right now, Ansom doesn't[/i ]have the resources necessary to pull this off, and he's been shown to us as a guy with a stick up his ass, maybe, certainly with lots of class prejudices... but basically someone who tries to be noble, someone who worries about wasting the lives of his men, and so on. The guy you're describing -- capable of committing regicide and encouraging an uprising against a lawful king, capable of lying to his closest friends and confidantes in order to start a war on pretexts he [i]knows to be false -- simply doesn't match the Ansom we've been introduced to at all.

I think that the authors are basically honest in the things they're telling us. I don't think there are any totally unexpected, out-of-the-blue twists hiding inside the characters -- Ansom clearly has a nasty side at times, and might have done some terrible things in the past without realizing it, but what you're describing is way beyond that.

I simply cannot see him as capable of assassinating Saline IV, then trying to accuse Stanley of it in an argument with Vinnie. Actually assassinating Saline IV is actually less impossible to me -- maybe, whatever; that's just speculation. But to bring it up himself in an argument with his best friend, in a deceptive attempt to argue against Stanley? Never. It's flatly absurd, and goes against everything we've seen about Ansom as a character, as well as everything we've seen about his relationship with Vinnie. Why would he even need to lie to Vinnie like that? He could have said any one of a thousand different things, there was no need to accuse Stanley of regicide again in an argument with Vinnie. When he's uncomfortable with other things when talking to Vinnie, he'll usually change the subject or admit his uncertainty -- why would he do such a flamboyantly jerk-ass thing as try to use Saline's death for leverage in an argument with his best friend, if he didn't honestly believe that Stanley was responsible?

NobodySpecial
2009-01-05, 04:59 AM
QUOTE]It was a joke with an old friend, as his following exchange with Vinnie makes clear -- he's saying that he trusts her completely because he just saw her come back. When Vinnie jibes him about it, they just laugh it off. That's not the same thing as openly deceiving someone at all.[/QUOTE]

Your interpretation is they're jibing. I hadn't seen them do that before, especially in the middle of a serious discussion about Stanley, but that's your perception. Mine is that they were serious, seeing as how Ansom doesn't have much of a sense of humor.


There are different degrees of speculation and assumption. We have been told that all units have a hidden loyalty score, and shown (from the interactions between them, especially between Stanley and others) that it is not particularly rare for high-ranking units to turn or betray their master from time to time. Therefore, given what we've seen of Stanley's decidedly egocentric, self-centered personality, it is not really a stretch to say that he may have a low loyalty to others.


Actually, we HAVE seen him show a bit of a needy side - remember his reaction to Wanda's explanation of the spell? "She hates me?" Stanley to me is a grade A attention whore, who takes negative if he can't get positive. But he prefers positive, as his tirade against Parson about being the 'evil' guy also shows.


We've seen nothing to indicate that he is capable of unprovoked regicide against the lawful king of another nation (neither on a personal level, nor a practical one). All of that is groundless speculation, based just around what you want to see, and not around anything in the comic.

Well, I mean, considering that he's currently attempting regicide against the lawful king of another nation, I'd consider that a good indication that he can do it if he desires. As far as provocation, SteveMB thinks a bit like I do. What Saline did is an offense against the Titans in Ansom's book.


Plainly, she has no capital-L loyalty to Ansom. She's a mercenary, not one of his units, and is free to break her alliance at any time -- frequent references are made to this. She's in the same category as Charlie, who was (going by his initial conversation with Parson) plainly free to stab Ansom in the back even during an alliance, and chose not to only because it would hurt his reputation. Jillian could lop Ansom's head off any time she chooses... the reason why she doesn't (and the reason why her magically-induced loyalty to Wanda failed) is because of her own personal feelings, not because of any magical compulsion.

This is my point exactly - she has no reason why she shouldn't avoid the fight with the dwagons, and yet she was able to break the spell. Stanley has more restrictions on him than she ever did, and a demonstrated better Loyalty score than Jillian, and yet he's supposed to have killed his ruler. And when I say he has a better Loyalty score, I mean that when he acquired the Arkenhammer, instead of making his own faction or killing Saline then, he instead 'trained a bunch of dwagons' and won lots of battles for Saline, by implication expanding his empire. Does not compute with the popular picture of him being a self-absorbed would be regicide.


When he's uncomfortable with other things when talking to Vinnie, he'll usually change the subject or admit his uncertainty -- why would he do such a flamboyantly jerk-ass thing as try to use Saline's death for leverage in an argument with his best friend, if he didn't honestly believe that Stanley was responsible?

This is a good argument. About the only rebuttal I could have is that by placing the focus back on what Stanley did, it deflected a bit from the 'why are YOU leading the coalition?' question. It then becomes a question of Stanley rather than a question of Ansom.

Lamech
2009-01-05, 08:33 AM
I shouldn't get involved in this, but I'm getting annoyed with it. Let me start by saying I doubt Ansom was behind the Gobwin revolt. It just doesn't seem his style. For that matter, I'm not sure why everyone assumes that someone WAS behind it. It is perfectly possible that it was entirely a Gobwin idea. That could be why there aren't any Gobwin warlords: Stanley just doesn't trust them enough. If someone was behind it though, I would put odds on Wanda (even if, or maybe even especially if, she was not part of GK at the time... heck, then she wouldn't have even had to overcome her Loyalty), then Stanley. After Stanley Charlie seems likely, and then maybe Don King. Ansom is just too full of the nobility thing to use underhanded tactics. He seems much more the sort to raise a huge army and get thousands killed rather than arranging an assassination. You know, kind of like what he did to get rid of Stanley.
I don't see why Wanda would be much more likely than Jack. And I certainly don't see why your choosing the Don King over any of the other royals rulers... (except Ansom)

lug0si
2009-01-05, 08:56 AM
And to toss out a third possiblity perhaps Ansom's "flying-gear" is donned for a reason when he uses the carpet? Like not painfully dying from otherwise leathal falls.

That is also quite likely. In particular his helmet. I wonder if the fact it fell means it's not effective any more
that sounds plausible. undoubtedly Ansom has far more HP than Wanda, therefore surviving the damage he took is very likely, but i expected at least some cuts or bruises visible on him in pg. 122.
but as a prince, it would be also quite probable that his suit is magical and provides significant damage reduction.

also there are 3 things notable in the last panel of pg. 122:
1) Ansom's worried look has already been mentioned. looks like it's been the first time he ever thought of the possibility that the pliers are meant for Wanda. so maybe royalty is really no guarantee for the Titans' mandate?
2) Sizemore is already in the center of his little golem-stonehenge looking after Wanda. i guess he's already doing some sort of healing and Wanda will survive.
3) the 2 archons escorting Ansom have paused following him back up and instead turned to each other talking and gesticulating. i wonder what they're discussing...

SteveD
2009-01-05, 08:59 AM
My biggest surprise in this thread is the argument about Ansom surviving the fall with little injury and Wanda being nearly dead... He's a warlord with a ton of hitpoints! They are not humans with similar builds.

Not surprising. We know Bogrol, a basic troll gets 12 hit points. We also know that Jack, a Master-class caster, gets 6. Casters are supposed to be fragile in combat, after all.

Lamech
2009-01-05, 09:15 AM
1) Ansom's worried look has already been mentioned. looks like it's been the first time he ever thought of the possibility that the pliers are meant for Wanda. so maybe royalty is really no guarantee for the Titans' mandate?
2) Sizemore is already in the center of his little golem-stonehenge looking after Wanda. i guess he's already doing some sort of healing and Wanda will survive.
3) the 2 archons escorting Ansom have paused following him back up and instead turned to each other talking and gesticulating. i wonder what they're discussing...
One would be bad for Parson Ansom re-think his hard-headness about something. Not good

On number two and three good eye. I suspect that if anyone can heal Wanda it is Sizemore. The fact that he isn't say repairing the wall, or maybe shooting Ansom down, but is over Wanda probably seals it. Perhaps the archons could be discussing if Wanda could attune to the pliers. Could one of Charlies rules be "If you find someone who attunes to an Arkentool boop the contract grab that person and the tool; assuming you can have plausible deniability and sufficient force."?