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ishnar
2009-01-02, 03:49 AM
Parson seems unable to affect the outcome based on his actions. Every gain he makes is immediately snuffed. As the protagonist, his actions should matter, but more and more, they do not. It's starting to get annoying. I hope the latest reversal's are not the author's attempts to prove the forum speculators wrong.

I used to do that when I DMed, hear speculation, and make up a different result to surprise my players, and while being unpredictable has some merit, having something predictable happen isn't bad storytelling either. I eventually learned that you want to be mostly predictable, with bursts of unpredictability for maximum player/reader enjoyment. So I eventually learned to curb that technique since it ended up causing more frustration than creating fun surprises.

I'm not saying that I mind surprises either, or having my speculation wrong. In the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series, everything seemed to build up towards the main character getting a certain reward, and it totally didn't happen that way. That was cool. I'm just saying that eventually, surprises aren't surprises anymore when everyone expects to be "surprised."

Now Wanda is broken on the ground when getting those pliers would have given Parson's side a chance at winning. Since as impressive as all those thousands of undead may appear, they are supposed to only be good for a few short turns, so they are more of a delay tool than a winning tool.

Altima
2009-01-02, 05:21 AM
Well, it's not entirely Parson's fault. He's still under the command of Stanley, who has done more to screw himself over than anyone else.

Case in point, after the Fortress Ring debacle, GK was still in a good position to cut off the head of RCC--by sending dwagons to eat Ansom, Vinny, Jillian, and three Archons. Against, what, a couple dozen fully healed dwagons? Except Stanley screwed that up. Granted, he had his reasons, but it was still a screw up.

Parson's made some good gains, though. He managed to wipe out the Jetstone and Marbit troops then sealed the underground. At this point, even if the RCC managed to break back into the underground, they'd have to deal with gobwins, which apparently get some very good bonuses in tunnel fights. If Ansom pressed the point, he'd wrack up a hell of a butcher's bill--out of mostly Jetstone allies, which would strain the Coalition.

He also did it mostly to bolster his troop numbers (this turn is the most critical--if the RCC breeches the walls this turn, the uncroaked can act as good cannonfodder). However, his real purpose was to demoralize the RCC and strain Ansom's alliance.

Which worked. Sofa King was on the verge of breaking, as were several others. For every portion that leaves, the odds even just a tiny bit more.

It's just that Ansom is a high level warlord with an artifact bonus, along with many, many times the forces that GK has (even before the loss of dwagons). Add to that that he suddenly got Charlie back as an ally.

It's just that Parson is so outclassed when it comes to numbers that there's not much he can do. And, of course, Parson has no idea about all the combat mechanics.

At least Parson gets to act first next turn, meaning Wanda gets all better. His options seem limited, but odds are, Stanley will show back up. I would love nothing more to see Stanley shove Overlord and Artifact bonus along with Knights with Dance right down Charlie's Archons' throats.

ishnar
2009-01-02, 06:08 AM
At least Parson gets to act first next turn, meaning Wanda gets all better. His options seem limited, but odds are, Stanley will show back up. I would love nothing more to see Stanley shove Overlord and Artifact bonus along with Knights with Dance right down Charlie's Archons' throats.

Unfortunatly, "Here comes the Calvary." would not be a satisfying end. Besides all the DeM accusations that are sure to follow, which it won't be DeM since it is neither unlikely nor unforshadowed, but it still will lack the satisfaction of having the main character's actions accomplish more than holding out for the calvary's arrival.

DigoDragon
2009-01-02, 09:09 AM
Unfortunatly, "Here comes the Calvary." would not be a satisfying end.

I do share some of the fustrations of Parson's work not making any headway even though there are a lot of legitimate reasons why everything is stacked against him, but I can hope that with the coming Calvary something happens that allows Parson to finally shine as the "Ultimate Warlord".

Maybe not the Calvary being the tide turning factor, but perhaps giving Parson a new idea?

Nastysasquatch
2009-01-02, 09:08 PM
reading this comic is starting to remind of reading a song of fire and ice. i can never tell who the true protagonist is because everyone gets killed off.

only here they dont really keep getting killed off. makes me wonder if ansom or charlie isnt the real protagonist.

DevilDan
2009-01-02, 09:48 PM
"Here comes the calvary?" Are we talking crucifixions, betrayals, or Messianic figures?

Eraniverse
2009-01-03, 01:58 AM
Keep in mind Parson was brought in 3 turns before Gameover. I don't know about Erf but most TBS games run into at least 100 turns minimum. How many have you won in three turns let alone from a cripplingly bad opening position? The hammer is quite literally dropping on GK. And cities can't dodge. Given Parson's performance in the Dwagon Donut (fail though it might have) I believe that he could have shredded RCC in a mobile engagement in the fashion you'd like but he's stuck between an overwhelming force and a point he must defend, three turns before it crushes them. And the entire first turn was acclimation.

Parson's gains are actually staggering from the perspective of time. Every action he's taken has successfully bought another turn. He's doubled the life expectancy of GK and kept a favorable (not favorable enough!) rate of attrition while doing so.

So there's your impact. The gains that keep getting "snatched away" were goals of opportunity. To be sought after sure, but survival is always first concern.

TigerHunter
2009-01-03, 02:12 AM
Parson's managed to eliminate almost all of Jetstone's force and simultaneously quintuple his own army. Are you saying that's not going to "affect the outcome?"

The only gains that have managed to be "snatched away" are the Dragon's Nest incident and Charlie's saving Ansom's boop at the last minute. The latter is, at most, a temporary setback. Parson lost a shot at the Arkenpliers and his air force got croaked. Nothing more.

Justyn
2009-01-03, 02:42 AM
Parson's managed to eliminate almost all of Jetstone's force and simultaneously quintuple his own army. Are you saying that's not going to "affect the outcome?"

Yes, because no matter how good Parson's plan is, Ansom just blunders through it on pure dumb luck. Hell, when it really comes right down to it, Ansom's ability as a tactician is... seemingly lackluster: his whole plan can be summed up as zerg rushing Stanley.

ishnar
2009-01-03, 02:58 AM
"Here comes the calvary?" Are we talking crucifixions, betrayals, or Messianic figures?


I'm talking about Calvary. Mounted fighters.

Edit- oh, ok, spell issues. Got me. I hate how English doesn't spell many words the way they are pronounced.


Parson's managed to eliminate almost all of Jetstone's force and simultaneously quintuple his own army. Are you saying that's not going to "affect the outcome?"

Err, no, he did not. The Jetstone alliance has only had a minor setback, while the bulk of Jetstone's personal forces might have taken a hit, the alliance has hardly been touched. Also, the bulk of the Alliance forces aren't even on site yet, they are still on the way, slated to arrive next turn. The zombified forces are not enough to win, only to delay. And make Ansom use an even bigger hammer.

Godskook
2009-01-03, 03:50 AM
I'm talking about Calvary. Mounted fighters.

Edit- oh, ok, spell issues. Got me. I hate how English doesn't spell many words the way they are pronounced.

Cavalry is one of those fun phonetic words that actually is spelled how it is pronounced.

Please, pardon the sarcasm.


Err, no, he did not. The Jetstone alliance has only had a minor setback, while the bulk of Jetstone's personal forces might have taken a hit, the alliance has hardly been touched. Also, the bulk of the Alliance forces aren't even on site yet, they are still on the way, slated to arrive next turn. The zombified forces are not enough to win, only to delay. And make Ansom use an even bigger hammer.

Each delay Parson buys is a huge, and should be costly and difficult. The number of troops Ansom lost in the tunnels was a solid 25% of all RCC forces gathered, assuming that Ansom's estimation includes Marbits; if not, bump that number up to 40-50%. That is *AFTER* the lost siege units by the way.

Bawon von Howse
2009-01-03, 04:52 AM
though the ineffectiveness of dwagons has been berrated elsewhere on the forums, consider the action we have seen them in:

1) 'donut of doom' - dwagons wtfpwnzor the siege

2) over the lake - dwagons with a few hitsies left finished off by Ansom & co (though they were seriously roughed up)

3) on the way to faq - flight of dwagons ambused by transylvito elite...dwagons escape

I would say that the transylvito force was packing a serious punch especially due to doombat exploit tactics.

We have no way of telling how 1 Archon would fair against 1 Transylvito warlord with stacked warlord bonusses, dance fighting & packing bats, so if Caesar with his bats could take down 3+ archons solo, it is well conceivable that Stanley's remaining dwagon force + foolamancer could wine out the 30 or so Archons in the airspace!

...the cavalry is coming...or should we say cavalwy!!!

selgnij
2009-01-03, 12:01 PM
Thanks to Ansom's casualty report, we know that from where things started, the RCC is down to around a 2:1 advantage in sheer numbers vs. GK.

I'd say Ansom has gotten lucky once (donut of doom escape) and even then not extreamly lucky. More like rolled double sixes lucky. Even then it took the Tool's rash actions to keep Ansom and co alive.

Lacklustre really is a good description for Ansom's plans though. They are good, solid plans, and often the best choice available, but he's limited to conventional fighting.

In short, I don't think Parson's actions have been pointless, just countered by a seasoned commander, even one who may be a tad too ridgid in his thinking. My only disapointment is Parson not anticipating Ansom doing his heroes charge against the walls, as its rather in character for him. I'm writing that one off as being such a foolish idea from Parson's perspective he wouldn't consider Ansom willing to charge headlong into danger to prevent his siege from failing.

And the odds have still improved considerably for GK.

Radar
2009-01-03, 01:30 PM
As i was reading this thread, i realised, that Parson is not bound to win and i'm not talking about TBS viewpoint (in which Parson was doomed right from the start), but about storytelling. The more i think about it, the more fitting it seems. The problem is, i can't really explain exactly why i think so. It has something to do with the fact, that neither of sides is good or truly evil. Also it looks like something smaller then DeM is not powerfull enough to save GK from falling.

Godskook
2009-01-03, 02:20 PM
As i was reading this thread, i realised, that Parson is not bound to win and i'm not talking about TBS viewpoint (in which Parson was doomed right from the start), but about storytelling. The more i think about it, the more fitting it seems. The problem is, i can't really explain exactly why i think so. It has something to do with the fact, that neither of sides is good or truly evil. Also it looks like something smaller then DeM is not powerfull enough to save GK from falling.

I don't know. Ansom dying might be enough, in and of itself, and if WAF could come so close(discounting Archons), then I suspect that Stanley would laugh at Ansom in a mano a mano.

NobodySpecial
2009-01-03, 03:17 PM
Parson will kill Ansom, no one else. How did Dorothy get out of Oz, after all?

Remember, the only time we saw Parson's stats were when he only had the glasses. Now he has the Mathemancy artifact and the complete sword, plus a full day's supply of Luckamancy. I'm betting there's been a few changes.

Kreistor
2009-01-03, 09:50 PM
You can't win every battle in every war. Parson gained a lot this turn.

1) He cut RCC forces by 29%, and more than tripled his own forces (temporarily).
2) He embarrassed Ansom into attacking in fury, weakening the alliance.
3) He did not lose GK. (40% chance of that.)
4) He forced Ansom to turn to Charlie. That's not on the surface a good thing, but it removes the question marks. He now knows what he needs to plan against.
5) He put Ansom down. He didn't finish him off, but Stanley will know that it was close, and Parson is his best hope at beating this particular enemy commander.
6) He lost virtually no garrison forces.

That's a serious list of successes. He has suffered a couple of near run defeats, but nothing that makes things any worse than yesterday.

TigerHunter
2009-01-03, 10:31 PM
Err, no, he did not.
Erm, yes he did. Jetstone's forces numbered at around 4000, and Parson butchered 2870 of them with barely any casualties. That's the kind of victory that gets placed in military textbooks and studied for millennia to come. Yet you claim that Parson is "impotent" and that his plans are ineffective? Just because he hasn't won the battle yet doesn't make him a complete failure, quite the opposite. What he's managed to do so far is nothing short of miraculous.


The Jetstone alliance has only had a minor setback, while the bulk of Jetstone's personal forces might have taken a hit, the alliance has hardly been touched.
Did you forget about the whole "dwagons roast 40% of the siege" thing? And the Sofa King being another setback away from pulling out?


Also, the bulk of the Alliance forces aren't even on site yet, they are still on the way, slated to arrive next turn.
Which means that the walls have a decent chance of remaining intact until then, thanks to Parson's attack on the siege engines.


The zombified forces are not enough to win, only to delay.
You know this how? IIRC, if the Sofa King pulls out, Parson's outnumbered roughly 2:1. Totally doable when you're in the strongest defensive position in the known world.

Also, can anyone find the comic where the RCC's forces where given? I've been looking for it, but no luck.

Mando Knight
2009-01-03, 10:34 PM
Cavalry is one of those fun phonetic words that actually is spelled how it is pronounced.

Actually, it is. It just also happens to be one of the words that little kids tend to mess up (like animal/"amnal"/"aminal"). The problem comes in when a significant portion of the population never learns the proper pronunciation (derived from Latin through French in this case), and thus their incorrect pronunciation becomes acceptable. :smallsigh:

DevilDan
2009-01-03, 10:56 PM
Erm, yes he did. Jetstone's forces numbered at around 4000, and Parson butchered 2870 of them with barely any casualties.

Wait, how do we know how many GK troops were lost in the tunnels?

The composition of the RCC is given here: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0096.html

Godskook
2009-01-03, 11:13 PM
Wait, how do we know how many GK troops were lost in the tunnels?

Two thousand eight hundred and seventy... (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html) Panel 5

This is Ansom's estimation of the uncroaked, and the only number he could be using is either:

a)jetstone troops he sent in

b)jetstone + marbit troops he sent in

(a) seems more likely to me.

------------------------------

Facepalm because of self(see other thread where DevilDan proves he knows this).

Ok, now I'm entirely clueless as to what you're shooting at.

----------------------------------

Ok, wow. Just wow. I need to take a break from this laptop. I apparently can't even read. Ignore everything above, please.

TigerHunter
2009-01-04, 02:31 AM
Wait, how do we know how many GK troops were lost in the tunnels?
We don't, but it had to be less than 283 (total number of Golems + Knights + Gobwins - the golems we have confirmed as alive in #135)*. Even if he lost every single one of those (unlikely), he traded ten enemies for every one of his own soldiers. And let's not forget that there's no reason Wanda couldn't have animated their own casualties as well, meaning that he technically didn't lose a single unit in the tunnels. (He will be losing them in a few turns, but in a few turns the battle will probably be over, one way or another.)

*The city could have popped more since this strip (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0084.html), but probably no more than a few dozen. And we don't know the mechanics behind making golems.


The composition of the RCC is given here: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0096.html
Thank you.

FoE
2009-01-04, 02:46 AM
Look, Parson started off in an extremely bad position. He was thrust into an RPG world where he wasn't aware of the base mechanics and told to defend a city against an army that outnumbered his own forces something like ten to one. It's a miracle that he's had any success at all. Sure, he's had some setbacks, but he's not out of the fight yet.

The Minx
2009-01-04, 05:00 AM
Parson seems unable to affect the outcome based on his actions. Every gain he makes is immediately snuffed. As the protagonist, his actions should matter, but more and more, they do not. It's starting to get annoying. I hope the latest reversal's are not the author's attempts to prove the forum speculators wrong.

I disagree. See, Parson used to have the following (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0084.html) forces at his disposal: Gobwin fighters: 282
Uncroaked Infantry: 210
Piker-class infantry: 135
Stabber-class infantry: 48
Spidew cavalry: 36
Archer-class infantry: 32
Twoll heavies: 27
Crap golems: 19
Knight-class infantry: 15
Soft Rock golems: 9
Hard Rock golems: 4
Acid Rock golems: 2
Metal golems: 1
Thinkamancer: 1
Dirtamancer: 1
Croackamancer: 1
Uncroaked warlords: 2
Chief Warlord (special): 1

And the RCC used to have the following (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0096.html): Jetstone: 3949
Unaroyal: 1714
Sofa King: 981
Foxmud: 208
Hobbitm: 141
Transylvito: 29
Charlescomm: 15
Marbits: 1875
Elves: 820
Barbarians: 19

With all that, Parson had about 800 units total to Ansom's 10000, a 12:1 odds in Ansom's favour. Ansom stated that they had four times the forces necessary to break the GK defenses. Thus, it is implied that you need a 3:1 odds to win the siege, which seems reasonable.

Now, Ansom has lost 2870 units (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html), and all of them have become uncroaked in service to Parson. At best for Ansom, the odds have become about 7100 RCC units to 3600 GK ones. The odds have become 2:1 in Ansom's favor which suggests that he may no longer be able to take the city by storm. This does not factor in the possibility that most of the Marbits may have become uncroaked too, in that case we deduct up to a maximum of a further 1875 units from Ansom and add them to Pason's column. That would give parson over 5400 units and Ansom less than 5300.

Now for Charlie. He asked Parson to calculate how many Archons (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0117.html) would be needed to take the Garrison in one turn. This was before the Trioxin (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0128.html) spell was cast, therefore the Archons can take a garrison with 800 units, but unless Charlie sent WAY more than Parson said he would need at that point, he won't have sent enough to take all the units Parson has at his disposal. Assuming a low end estimate of 3600 units for Parson, and he said that more than a thousand (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0128.html) former Jetstone units were now on the walls, that leaves somewhat less than 2600 units possibly remaining in the garrison so three times what the Archons can handle. If we assume that most of the marbits bought it too, Charlie will be even less in a position to take the garrison, so perhaps it is not strange that he decided to join Ansom again - Parson was doing too well without his intervention, and he's probably kicking himself for not having just gone for it right away. :smallwink:

If I'm right with the calculations, what Parson now needs to do is make the alliance fracture before his uncroaked crumble to dust. He may not have enough to make a breakout, since at best he is level with the RCC in terms of numbers (not counting levels and bonuses), so they are not out of the woods yet, but no way has his ingenuity been thwarted - yet.

datalaughing
2009-01-04, 05:38 AM
Parson has all of the uncroaked on the walls (and Ansom is slaughtering them). That means there would be absolutely no need for the archons to go up against the uncroacked. They can go directly from the airspace zone to the tower zone without touching the walls and from there take the tower, courtyard, and dungeon to win the city.

The Minx
2009-01-04, 06:01 AM
Parson has all of the uncroaked on the walls (and Ansom is slaughtering them). That means there would be absolutely no need for the archons to go up against the uncroacked. They can go directly from the airspace zone to the tower zone without touching the walls and from there take the tower, courtyard, and dungeon to win the city.

This bit in bold. Where do you get that? (EDIT: also where do you get the idea that Ansom is slaughtering them? He is whacking them in huge numbers but far more remain. The coalition leaders fully expect (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0131.html) him to be croaked eventually, hence their haste in moving to attacking the walls too, and they should be familiar with his capabilities having fought as his allies on previous occasions.)

In one of the links, I showed that Parson says "over a thousand" Jetstone infantry are on the walls. Ansom says that 2870 of his men became uncroaked. If Parson meant all of them, he would have said "more than two thousand" or "almost three thousand". Moreover, it does not include the Marbits.

Anyway, Parson does not need to put ALL the new uncroaked on the walls, for reasons of math I already showed, and he does not trust Charlie. Given that he can place enough on the walls to hold off the RCC, why should he not put some of his now-ample units in the garrison?

EDIT 2: incidentally, the red-headed chick agrees with my calculations (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0130.html): she says "we can't get through the walls with all those troops deployed there"

Mjoellnir
2009-01-04, 08:33 AM
Who's saying something against the cavalry? I see it as something like Helm's Deep in Lord of the Rings. Gobwin Knob has to hold out until Gandalf arrives with the orc-eating forest (or Stan with the marbit-eating dwagons).:smallbiggrin: We'll see what happens after that, but a battle group of healthy dwagons under Stanleys command (warlord + Arkenhammer) could wipe out the archons.

Capt'n Ironbrow
2009-01-04, 08:54 AM
Two thousand eight hundred and seventy... (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html) Panel 5

This is Ansom's estimation of the uncroaked, and the only number he could be using is either:

a)jetstone troops he sent in

b)jetstone + marbit troops he sent in

(a) seems more likely to me.

------------------------------

Facepalm because of self(see other thread where DevilDan proves he knows this).

Ok, now I'm entirely clueless as to what you're shooting at.

----------------------------------

Ok, wow. Just wow. I need to take a break from this laptop. I apparently can't even read. Ignore everything above, please.


don't forget (c): none of the RCC tunnelforce made it out alive, but the roughly 2000 jetstone uncroaked is all Wanda could uncroak as somewhat effective combatants (and Webinar seems more capable than a mundane uncroaked, required more power to raise) while retaining a good reserve of croakamancy-related combat prowess.

for Ansom's estimate... it's a little bit too accurate for an estimate. if it had been an estimate, he'd have said "thousands of my soldiers" rather than that exact number he stated. maybe Warlords (or any erfworlder) have a numismatic talent, they can effortlessly determine how many enemies they're facing no matter how great their numbers.

Godskook
2009-01-04, 01:02 PM
for Ansom's estimate... it's a little bit too accurate for an estimate. if it had been an estimate, he'd have said "thousands of my soldiers" rather than that exact number he stated. maybe Warlords (or any erfworlder) have a numismatic talent, they can effortlessly determine how many enemies they're facing no matter how great their numbers.

First, I asked people to ignore that because it had almost nothing to do with the guy I was replying to.

Second, if Ansom's estimate was 'all of them', then he'd have a pretty good idea what 'all of them' was, without any added and unmentioned talents. I read that as Ansom believing that all his soldiers were uncroaked, and 'all of them' = 2870.

K2
2009-01-04, 11:50 PM
Parson maybe impotent, but so was the second NightOwl and look at what he did!...oh, never mind


yeah, we are booped

teratorn
2009-01-05, 12:04 AM
Parson may be "impotent" but his army is bigger than Ansom's. Ansom has only a little over 1000 units. On the turn before this one, Jetstone troops alone were enough to conquer the city. Now Parson could probably crush him if his allies and mercenaries left.

Simanos
2009-01-05, 07:23 AM
Now Wanda is broken on the ground when getting those pliers would have given Parson's side a chance at winning. Since as impressive as all those thousands of undead may appear, they are supposed to only be good for a few short turns, so they are more of a delay tool than a winning tool.
Precisely. I don't get why the RCC couldn't just wait a couple of turns so that the 3000 uncroaked could vanish and take the city the easy way. I mean they needed a turn or two more to surround it anyway. Ansom chose to attack immediately and it should have cost him (writer fiat to the rescue). They were in no real hurry. Sure they might fear what Parson will do, but what can he do? Nothing. It's just impatience. They could even have left Stanley to go to Faq and take GK then go to Faq and take that too. It's not like they don't know where Faq is (Jill knows).
With the Arkenpliers (and Stanley's return, which the RCC forced!) the GK defenders might actually stand a chance (even after the 3000 uncroaked's duration time runs out). A small chance at that.
Plus I would have like to see Ansom's face if/when they attuned to Wanda.
This is just bad storytelling...

Dragonath
2009-01-05, 07:43 AM
Precisely. I don't get why the RCC couldn't just wait a couple of turns so that the 3000 uncroaked could vanish and take the city the easy way. I mean they needed a turn or two more to surround it anyway. Ansom chose to attack immediately and it should have cost him (writer fiat to the rescue). They were in no real hurry. Sure they might fear what Parson will do, but what can he do? Nothing. It's just impatience. They could even have left Stanley to go to Faq and take GK then go to Faq and take that too. It's not like they don't know where Faq is (Jill knows).
With the Arkenpliers (and Stanley's return, which the RCC forced!) the GK defenders might actually stand a chance (even after the 3000 uncroaked's duration time runs out). A small chance at that.
Plus I would have like to see Ansom's face if/when they attuned to Wanda.
This is just bad storytelling...

Bad storytelling?

Bitch please, just because things didn't turn out how you wanted them to, doesn't meant it's bad storytelling. Stop whining like a kid.

It was Ansom's turn, he has the superior numbers and situation so he can take a risk.

Charlie has all reason to ally with Ansom again as he can gain more out of it. Should Charlie not do it, he loses more than he can simply gain this way. Heck, he put his relationship with 10 potential future clients on the line for Parson by changing the contract so that Ansom might perhaps not have accepted it.

teratorn
2009-01-05, 07:46 AM
This is just bad storytelling...

??

So what happened during this day:

. Parson saves Stanley's butt.
. Parson convinces Charlie not to take GK
. Parson croaks 2870 Jetstone troops and a few marbits.
. Jack is back in shape.
. Parson gets enough troops to severely hinder RCC chances to breach the walls
. Parson will move before Charlie on the next day.

He almost got the pliers but that was asking for too much. He'll find a way to thwart Ansom's plans for this turn.

SteveMB
2009-01-05, 08:47 AM
Precisely. I don't get why the RCC couldn't just wait a couple of turns so that the 3000 uncroaked could vanish and take the city the easy way.

Simply holding the alliance together was acknowledged (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0021.html) to be a strain even when they expected to simply march in, easily curb-stomp Stanley, and march home. Now that victory is proving to be more elusive than advertised, the alliance is fracturing (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0130.html). Ansom has to turn this around now, before everybody else decides that they're Sofa King finished with following him.


Ansom chose to attack immediately and it should have cost him

It did cost him. He had to make a new deal with Charlie, who extracted some "outrageous" concession from him. His allies think that his latest action was a reckless stunt, and are likely to be even more leery of his leadership even if it succeeds in getting them a wall breach (from their point of view, they had to start the siege attack ahead of schedule to save his bacon).

Iain
2009-01-05, 08:48 AM
Ansom chose to attack immediately and it should have cost him

I think we can safely assume that it has cost him, dearly, through his deal with Charlie.


It seems to me that the main issue with this comic is just that it doesn't update as quickly as we (the readers) would like. A couple of strips ago people were raving about how great it was, a couple later it's 'bad writing'. We don't know quite where it's going, so 'bad writing' seems a bit premature - these pages may well be setting up future ones that people will be raving about again. This is the problem with reading something a page a week or so, when it's perhaps more suited to book format were it can just be read through. We have too much time to speculate, theorise and find fault between pages! One weaker page can mean a week or so of feeling a bit down with it, when we'd be on to the next good bit almost before we'd noticed if we were reading the completed comic.
I've really enjoyed Erfworld so far. There have been pages I haven't thought very much of, but the work as a whole seems excellent.

Ben
2009-01-05, 11:43 AM
I think we can safely assume that it has cost him, dearly, through his deal with Charlie.


It seems to me that the main issue with this comic is just that it doesn't update as quickly as we (the readers) would like. A couple of strips ago people were raving about how great it was, a couple later it's 'bad writing'. We don't know quite where it's going, so 'bad writing' seems a bit premature - these pages may well be setting up future ones that people will be raving about again. This is the problem with reading something a page a week or so, when it's perhaps more suited to book format were it can just be read through. We have too much time to speculate, theorise and find fault between pages! One weaker page can mean a week or so of feeling a bit down with it, when we'd be on to the next good bit almost before we'd noticed if we were reading the completed comic.
I've really enjoyed Erfworld so far. There have been pages I haven't thought very much of, but the work as a whole seems excellent.

I agree; this is one of the best comics out there, and I hope Rob and Jaime don't get discouraged when people start complaining about how things didn't go the way they wanted on the forums. I know there've been a bunch of times I thought things would go or wanted them to, and it didn't turn out that way... heck, if it were predictable, it would be boring.

As far as the "if the uncroaked are going to disappear in a few turns, why doesn't Ansom just wait them out?" question, there are two answers:
1) As SteveMB said above, the alliance is fracturing, much like Parson hoped it would once the uncroaked Jetstone units made their appearance.
2) How would Ansom know how long the uncroaked units would last? If he knew, for example, "in 3 turns, 90% of the remaining forces in Gobwin Knob will disappear," he could use that to convince the troops he still has a clear path to victory, but he doesn't have any croakamancers we've seen (and it REALLY doesn't seem like his style).

And while I'm posting, the siege has arrived. It was at the end of last turn that people were saying, "why aren't we feasting at Stanley's table?" and he said "the siege will be here next turn". It's next turn.

DargBoard
2009-01-05, 11:56 AM
"Here comes the calvary?" Are we talking crucifixions, betrayals, or Messianic figures?


Yes, didn't you notice all the punk rockers were wearing crosses?

*Laugh*. I don't know why, but it seems every gamer cannot spell CAVALRY... it always comes out Calvary :)

ishnar
2009-01-05, 06:47 PM
I disagree. See, Parson used to have the following (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0084.html) forces at his disposal: snip

And the RCC used to have the snip.

With all that, Parson had about 800 units total to Ansom's 10000, a 12:1 odds in Ansom's favour. Ansom stated that they had four times the forces necessary to break the GK defenses. Thus, it is implied that you need a 3:1 odds to win the siege, which seems reasonable.



Losing odds is losing odds, when it's life or death, 12:1 or 3:1 is just as dead.
All the uncroaked are good for is delay.

"We'll have 6 times as many at our disposal next turn." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0113.html) So what if 40% of the seige was destroyed. 6x more are now at the wall this turn.

Now for Charlie. He asked Parson to calculate how many Archons would be needed to take the Garrison in one turn.

Yes, but that calculation was based on Charlie fighting with only his own forces, not as part of the alliance again. The coalition may have lost a bunch of ground pounders, but it also gained a LOT of archons.

Altima
2009-01-05, 07:45 PM
As for Parson's impotence, well, one question could be asked--what would you have done differently? We know almost nothing about game mechanics ourselves, only what Parson knows. Withdrawing the dragons to destroy the sieges was elegant, and it never occured to anyone else to do it (until after the fact) because it meant the warlords leading the attack couldn't level up--and the very basis of the attack was only possible BECAUSE it was led by warlords.

Parson grasps tactics and strategy slightly more than his foes, it seems. After all, if only siege can break down walls/gates (though we did see basic infantry hacking at the walls), then if you destroy the siege equipment, they can't attack you except by fliers? If only half of Parson's initial plan had worked, there would have been no siege. He would have either destroyed most of the towers and golems or he would have killed Vinny, Ansom, and the woodsy elf leader. Considering the way the Coalition was fracturing at (I think) 120, that would have ended any attempts to take GK. And that's assuming Parson didn't do BOTH.


Losing odds is losing odds, when it's life or death, 12:1 or 3:1 is just as dead.

Actually, bringing three times the forces of your enemy is the 'standard' tactic for sieging a well-defended position, and GK is the most heavily defensable place in Erfworld. Granted, the number of troops has changed over the course of the modern world (what with laser guided missiles and bombs and god-awful artillery able to pound anything short of a mountain into rumble), but Erfworld is still a medieval setting. It's quite possible that three to one, in pure numbers, might not actually be enough. Of course, GK has a sucky amount of archers (your typical medieval defense units).

Remember, Wanda's initial assesment is 25 to one. The numbers don't hold up. This tells me that GK is not only outnumbered numerically but also in experience. And this was before the dragons poofed. Now, it's likely that cloth golems, which count as siege, made up a sizable part of that experience difference. And cloth golems can fight, unlike siege towers.




"We'll have 6 times as many at our disposal next turn."So what if 40% of the seige was destroyed. 6x more are now at the wall this turn.

This is true. However, we don't know how this relates to anything. Is Ansom counting this by his original plan, which would require all of his troops to surround the city and just start pounding, or if he meant to open up a single fracture.

Unfortunately, he's started to attack a single point, regardless of its weakness. When/if this point breaks, his troops--not all of which have arrived--will surge in, but be met by disposable uncroaked...and it's also possible Wanda will be able to raise troops killed by those, too. If this is the case, Parson will be able to further wear down the RCC, strain their relations further (most of those casualties WON'T be Jetstone troops this time), and lose very few units. And this is when Parson can still retreat to the innerwalls.




Yes, but that calculation was based on Charlie fighting with only his own forces, not as part of the alliance again. The coalition may have lost a bunch of ground pounders, but it also gained a LOT of archons.

What I find interesting is that in order for Parson to give an accurate assessment of the amount of Archons Charlie would need to take GK in one turn is that Charlie would have to inform Parson about most, if not all, of the Archons' abilities. This allows Parson to plan for their defeat.

On the other hand, if Charlie hasn't informed Parson about his archons, then it's also possible Parson greatly skewed the number of archons needed to take GK in one turn.

Simanos
2009-01-05, 07:59 PM
Dragonath, you didn't rebut any of my arguments. Plus you fail at logic. You're the whiner, I expressed my opinion properly.

teratorn, I was talking about the last strip only. I had particular arguments. You went on a tangent (of why Parson did good). I asked something else.

SteveMB, it didn't seem a big strain back then, no one spoke or looked discomforted in that council you linked. About costing Ansom something dear, I was more thinking of right away, not after the battle is won (though it will indeed cost a lot then, I admit). Like losing the Arkenpliers. Though to be fair I was a bit surprised by the ease with which Wanda "froze" them. It wasn't really foreshadowed much in the comic (as in the forum). But "Ansom has to turn this around now" is exactly what happened. He is now back at the Outer Wall with the Arkenpliers and there is nothing (short of Fiat or DeM) that can stop him any more. You're a reasonable man, can you answer the rest of my post? (Faq and impatience stuff, tbh I'm rationalising it for myself as we speak lol).

Iain, I agree and maybe I used too strong words. I should have put it more mildly. Like saying this is good but not great and it has a logic hole or two.

Ben, I am sad to say your arguments, though good, do not convince me completely. The alliance isn't falling apart. Even if Sofa King left they could handle GK. Ansom could reason with Duke Nozzle instead of forcing his hand by charging. The other warlords seemed content to wait out the uncroaked (or go through the tunnels, page 117). So they know how long they will probably last and Ansom probably knows too. It's common knowledge for them. You can't uncroak 3000 units any other way. And the siege hasn't arrived yet. Only a few units and more arriving while Ansom fights on the wall. I think most will be there by the end of RCC's turn, though.

SeraphRainy
2009-01-05, 08:24 PM
Parson may be "impotent" but his army is bigger than Ansom's. Ansom has only a little over 1000 units. On the turn before this one, Jetstone troops alone were enough to conquer the city. Now Parson could probably crush him if his allies and mercenaries left.

uhhh you left off some numbers there dude. The marbits are jetstones natrual allies (Like GKs gobwins.) and Jills mercenaries are tied to them baring some huge twist of plot to pull them away this gives tham a troop count of 2973. But wait there is more. The uncroaked on the walls are the weakest kind of their unit and are at least below their previous strenght of jetstone units. (Remember Parson was told that the longer time spent with an uncroaked the closer it was to its ORIGINAL strength. This means that all those uncroaked are less than jetstone light infantry.) And the number of casualties from GKs side has not been shown from the tunnel battle. So parson has around 800 tops of functional normal power troops with less than 3000 throwaway units against ansomes 2973 normal power(although undefined class) units. But for parsons strategery that would be an even battle.

And while the coelition crumbling would be big and harmfull there are a number of allies that would stick by ansome personaly. (Like vinnie.)

So parson has been in no way impotent but is still a long way from victory.

Also look back at when these troop numbers were given. They were given after the donut of doom plan went through and Stanley recalled all of GKs field forces that were presumably harrasing the column. (like the spidews.) Wanda had mentioned at the begining that they faced something like 25:1 odds. And Dwagons being these grt fiercy beasties and parsons plan being as vicious as it was still inflicted massive casualties upon the RCC. (Like vinnie said they should have lost at least eight stacks to kill only the dwagons he saw. So in sheer number of casualties parsons very first attampt at a gamechanger was a major success and was only thwarted by stanley. (Who was the best double agent against himself.) Even if wandas initial estimate was off to more like 18or19:1 and she was hugely exageraiting by the time parson was done with the RCC and the Stanley Faq plot had commenced Parsn had whittled the RCC down to 12:1 advantage.

But by far parsons greatest accomplishment is the demoralizaition inflicted upon the RCC. A siege is almost as tough on its makers as it is on the target. A coelition likewise is hard work. Being around other people of other culters. We have only seen the affects that he has wrought upon the officers table and they are near desertion. However there has been no word of the tole on the troops who have seen their friends fall and live in fear of dwagon and spidew raids. So if Parson continues to hold out and chop down the RCC any more efforts on his part are exponetialy improved because of the psychalogical impact. I think that that alone is an accomplishment.

Now while he has made some miraculous gains he is still pressed by weight of numbers. The RCC still has him way outmassed and their positioning is improving. The Archons joing the battle is also a large nail in the GK coffin and if the transilvitans are POed enough to stay commited that could be a huge gamechanger as we have seen the clear power of their tactics. So the growth of RCC forces can still curbstomp GK. (Factoring into this though that GKs 3000 uncraoked are weak sauce because of mass animaition. But countering that is that a big part of the RCC heavies are their cloth golems which were particular targets of the dwagons. So GK has fodder that can easily be run over if effective for zerg tactics. And RCC has lost a good bit of their more powerful units at hand.)

Samargh
2009-01-05, 09:15 PM
A few things have occurred to me.

I can understand where people believe parson to be impotent in that every act he takes is countered, but is that not the nature of TBS games? One side does everything, then the other gets to do all their stuff.

At the end of every player turn, unless things have gone very badly, that player is in a far stronger position than when they started… at least until the next player takes their turn.

Had the action been simultaneous, we would not be seeing such a see saw effect. But we know that simultaneous actions is stupid and inconceivable :smallbiggrin:

What we are seeing are the gains that Ansom can rightly make because it is his turn. And he has still appears to be a long way off from actually taking GK.

Also remember that we all firmly believe that Parson has managed to buy an extra turn. We have still only seen him in strategy mode, as opposed to other warlords that we have all seen in front line combat. At some stage he must make the decision to commit himself to battle.

And I have not yet seen him eat those lucky charms.

If it is the case that these are still a mega buff that can be pulled out when needed, I am assuming that parson was at least happy to gamble with his odds for surviving another turn without resorting to them. His caveat was if Stanley didn’t croak and if Charlie didn’t intervene. Well, one happened, one didn’t. But Charlie’s intervention was far less than it could have been, so this may still make the odds of survival until next turn reasonable… or fifty - fifty.

When he pulls out those lucky charms, all bets are off when it comes to the odds… and I’m placing the odds on him eating up big just before he goes into action himself.

headhoncho
2009-01-05, 09:34 PM
I think a lot of these problems are due to setting up expectations that are totally turned on their head. When it's due to good storytelling, then great. But when it's totally out of left field, it's not so great.

To me, here were some surprising things that happened this last turn.

1) Wanda animating THOUSANDS of undead. Wow, that's incredible! I can't believe she was able to animate that many!

Expectation: Those THOUSANDS of undead sure are going to make a big difference!

Reality: Those THOUSANDS of undead appear utterly, completely, positively useless.

2) Ansom going up to attack the aforementioned THOUSANDS of undead, to a chorus of, "He's screwed," by his own warlords.

Expectation: Ansom would be swarmed quickly and dispatched.

Reality: Ansom isn't even scratched.

3) Wanda going to attack Ansom with much concern and almost desperation coming from Parson.

Expectation: It's going to be a really, really tough fight.

Reality: Whack! One shot and Ansom goes down for the count.

4) Wanda diving for the ground to grab the pliers -- an event that's been foreshadowed and anticipated -- while Ansom is reeling and surrounded by THOUSANDS of undead.

Expectation: Wanda's going to get the pliers, and Ansom will certainly at least be forced back.

Reality: Ansom discovers hitherto unknown super-speed and pulls out an alliance, Wanda's smoked from the air by uber-Charlie's Angels, and Ansom disdainfully ignores THOUSANDS of undead in order to nonchalantly grab the pliers back before Parson can send anyone else to fetch them.

Look, I love this strip. But the above twists aren't twists coming from good writing. They're coming from, if not nowhere, at least a pretty unexpected place. And we're not talking the "good" unexpected, IMO.

The above four scenarios make me want to throw up my hands. How much better would it have been if maybe Wanda only had been able to raise one or two hundred undead? Or if the warlords weren't so certain Ansom would be smoked immediately? Or if Parson was a little bit more confident? Or if the time compression issues surrounding the pliers were dealt with a lot better?

I cannot imagine how to-be-revealed plot twists will make the above four scenarios very much more palatable to me. I'm sure it'll still be a decent story, but these past four or five strips have really been very subpar, to me.

The Minx
2009-01-05, 09:58 PM
Losing odds is losing odds, when it's life or death, 12:1 or 3:1 is just as dead.

Nope. :smallsmile: They are in what is reputed to be the strongest defensive position in the world. You need powerful odds in such a situation. This is not a pitched battle, after all. As I showed, Red doesn't think they can take the wall with so many troops there. Besides, the alliance does NOT have 3:1 odds, they have at best 2:1 odds. 3:1 is just what they would have needed to have.


All the uncroaked are good for is delay.

That's all they are needed for. The alliance is already showing strains, and Jetstone is no longer the largest remaining faction.



"We'll have 6 times as many at our disposal next turn." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0113.html) So what if 40% of the seige was destroyed. 6x more are now at the wall this turn.

I don't follow. If 40% of the siege is destroyed, they have 1.5 times what was destroyed remaining. Ansom means that "next turn we'll have six times more siege than we have near the walls at this point in time", the 40% is irrelevant.

Besides, the scene you linked to is before the Trioxin spell too, after that was cast, the Walls are harder to capture due to the calculations I showed above.


Yes, but that calculation was based on Charlie fighting with only his own forces, not as part of the alliance again. The coalition may have lost a bunch of ground pounders, but it also gained a LOT of archons.

Charlie added enough Archons to take the garrison in one turn before Trioxin. This means he can take 800 troops with them. If 2870 Jetstone troops and an unspecified number of Marbits were uncroaked, and "over 1000" Jetstone troops are on the walls, they cannot take the garrison and the alliance cannot take the walls. The Archons may be able to tip the balance if they join the fight on the walls, but as Sizemore has just shown, defenders can move their troops to support other defensive zones as needed.

Samargh
2009-01-05, 10:20 PM
Sorry for quoting a big one, but I felt compelled to answer each point in turn... and as a caveat, I'll try to compare by using, say, D&D 2nd ed as a game system comparison as I'm most familiar with it.


I think a lot of these problems are due to setting up expectations that are totally turned on their head. When it's due to good storytelling, then great. But when it's totally out of left field, it's not so great.

To me, here were some surprising things that happened this last turn.

1) Wanda animating THOUSANDS of undead. Wow, that's incredible! I can't believe she was able to animate that many!

Expectation: Those THOUSANDS of undead sure are going to make a big difference!

Reality: Those THOUSANDS of undead appear utterly, completely, positively useless.


It depends what they are up against. Zombies vs 1st level adventurers are a tough fight. Ansom isn't a 1st level fighter... he will have multiple attacks, faster intiative and an armour class where the zombie need a natural twenty to hit. Of course they look useless.

However against a piker, that would be a very different story


2) Ansom going up to attack the aforementioned THOUSANDS of undead, to a chorus of, "He's screwed," by his own warlords.

Expectation: Ansom would be swarmed quickly and dispatched.

Reality: Ansom isn't even scratched.


Yes, 1 vs thousands definately seems like bad odds. But as any DM will tell you, those odds go out the window if your players have good enough armour that the monsters can't hit them...


3) Wanda going to attack Ansom with much concern and almost desperation coming from Parson.

Expectation: It's going to be a really, really tough fight.

Reality: Whack! One shot and Ansom goes down for the count.


I'd put a spoiler tag on this one if I could work out how...

If it turns out that the pliers were Wanda's (and there is discussion that this could be the case) then it is not inconcievable that they would not work against her. Also bear in mind that we have only really seen them as being massively effective against uncroaked or badly wounded units... not a living being like Wanda.

So Ansom is stripped of a lot of bonus, where Wanda has stack plus defence plus warlord plus the backup of good qaulity uncroaked that she gives bonuses to...



4) Wanda diving for the ground to grab the pliers -- an event that's been foreshadowed and anticipated -- while Ansom is reeling and surrounded by THOUSANDS of undead.

Expectation: Wanda's going to get the pliers, and Ansom will certainly at least be forced back.

Reality: Ansom discovers hitherto unknown super-speed and pulls out an alliance, Wanda's smoked from the air by uber-Charlie's Angels, and Ansom disdainfully ignores THOUSANDS of undead in order to nonchalantly grab the pliers back before Parson can send anyone else to fetch them.


yes, I admit I had trouble with this, until I remembered that we are in a TBS, and this is Ansom's turn.

Stanley told us that simultanious action was just stupid:smallsmile:



Look, I love this strip. But the above twists aren't twists coming from good writing. They're coming from, if not nowhere, at least a pretty unexpected place. And we're not talking the "good" unexpected, IMO.

The above four scenarios make me want to throw up my hands. How much better would it have been if maybe Wanda only had been able to raise one or two hundred undead? Or if the warlords weren't so certain Ansom would be smoked immediately? Or if Parson was a little bit more confident? Or if the time compression issues surrounding the pliers were dealt with a lot better?

I cannot imagine how to-be-revealed plot twists will make the above four scenarios very much more palatable to me. I'm sure it'll still be a decent story, but these past four or five strips have really been very subpar, to me.

I think some of you guys are being a bit harsh on the writers here.

Bear in mind that we all know that we are stuck in a TBS game, and we have been told that simultaneous action is a stupid way of things happening. Yet we keep wanting to apply “our world” rules on to what is happening in their world…

Step out and look at it like this.

If it were a group actually sitting round a gaming table, the dialogue might have gone like this..

Ansom: Right… my turn. I attack the walls with my leader.. what you got?

Parson: erm.. lots of uncroaked, thats about it.

<rolls dice>

Ansom: Not enough against my armour bud, I win that round. You doing a reactionary move?

Parson: Hmmm... You going to stay neutral if I send my fliers in Charlie?

Charlie: Sure, why not. Nothing in it for me either way…

Parson: Allright then, reactionary move with my uncroaked air-cav…

<rolls dice>

Parson: Booyah! Your leader just got PWNED!!!!

Ansom: Yeah yeah, still my turn though… hey Chas, you up for an alliance?

Charlie: I can’t do a heck of a lot more this turn, and its still gonna cost ya…

Ansom: I can afford it…

<players exchange secret notes, Ansom goes whiter than normal>

Ansom: mumble mutter mumble…. Yeah, Ok deal.

Charlie: Done…

Parson: Right, free move for defenders in a city hex, I’ll split my stack, retrieve the item with my leader and use the rest to go after your guy…

Ansom: Not so fast bud, its still my turn and I have choice of what order things get resolved in.. and right now, we have opposing sides in the airspace zone.. that’s just triggered an auto attack! Guess who’s up for a pwning now?!

<rolls dice>

Ansom: Oh dear, did you used to have some air-cav Parson?

Etc etc…

Now if we were sitting playing the game instead of reading, I don’t think we’d bat an eyelid at what was happening here.. its just normal gaming.

I like the fact that the writers are taking me outside of my comfort zone and very cleverly putting me in another place that is familiar (being a long time gamer) but from a point of view and with a realism I’d never thought of…

The Minx
2009-01-05, 10:27 PM
I think a lot of these problems are due to setting up expectations that are totally turned on their head. When it's due to good storytelling, then great. But when it's totally out of left field, it's not so great.

Agreed here. :smallsmile:


To me, here were some surprising things that happened this last turn.

1) Wanda animating THOUSANDS of undead. Wow, that's incredible! I can't believe she was able to animate that many!

Expectation: Those THOUSANDS of undead sure are going to make a big difference!

Reality: Those THOUSANDS of undead appear utterly, completely, positively useless.

They were stated to be the weakest kind of uncroaked in the very comic they were produced. They were good/numerous enough to nearly convince the Alliance warlords to up and leave.


2) Ansom going up to attack the aforementioned THOUSANDS of undead, to a chorus of, "He's screwed," by his own warlords.

Expectation: Ansom would be swarmed quickly and dispatched.

Reality: Ansom isn't even scratched.

Yet? He was only there briefly before Wanda was sent in. The alliance warlords would hardly have attacked the walls if they thought there was no chance for Ansom to give them a chance.


3) Wanda going to attack Ansom with much concern and almost desperation coming from Parson.

Expectation: It's going to be a really, really tough fight.

Reality: Whack! One shot and Ansom goes down for the count.

I did not see the desperation. No really, I didn't. Anyway, you were complaining that Ansom wasn't quickly overcome in your previous point. :smallsmile:


4) Wanda diving for the ground to grab the pliers -- an event that's been foreshadowed and anticipated -- while Ansom is reeling and surrounded by THOUSANDS of undead.

Expectation: Wanda's going to get the pliers, and Ansom will certainly at least be forced back.

Reality: Ansom discovers hitherto unknown super-speed and pulls out an alliance, Wanda's smoked from the air by uber-Charlie's Angels, and Ansom disdainfully ignores THOUSANDS of undead in order to nonchalantly grab the pliers back before Parson can send anyone else to fetch them.

Look, I love this strip. But the above twists aren't twists coming from good writing. They're coming from, if not nowhere, at least a pretty unexpected place. And we're not talking the "good" unexpected, IMO.

The above four scenarios make me want to throw up my hands. How much better would it have been if maybe Wanda only had been able to raise one or two hundred undead? Or if the warlords weren't so certain Ansom would be smoked immediately? Or if Parson was a little bit more confident? Or if the time compression issues surrounding the pliers were dealt with a lot better?

I cannot imagine how to-be-revealed plot twists will make the above four scenarios very much more palatable to me. I'm sure it'll still be a decent story, but these past four or five strips have really been very subpar, to me.

The warlords did not expect him to be smoked immediately, but that he would be smoked if he kept at it by himself.

In all fairness, I don't think you're being entirely fair here. :smallsmile:

headhoncho
2009-01-05, 10:28 PM
I think some of you guys are being a bit harsh on the writers here.
Bear in mind that we all know that we are stuck in a TBS game, and we have been told that simultaneous action is a stupid way of things happening. Yet we keep wanting to apply “our world” rules on to what is happening in their world…


Look, it's not a question of applying our rules to the writer's world. It's a question of the writers making THEIR world readily ACCESSIBLE to readers who live in the real world.

If the expectations and results are totally out-of-whack to the extent that it's jarring, there's a fundamental problem, IMO. Very few people are going to take the time and make the effort to attempt to apply some kind of existential "turn-based filter" to the story. On a broad level, we understand that it's a turn-based game.

But expecting us to reset our minds to work like that on an in-depth level whenever we pick up the strip? Asking too much, IMO. That's a sure-fire recipe for marginalization, and I don't want that to happen to such a great strip.

The scenarios I described just feel all wrong to me. Yes, a person could make all sorts of justifications and arguments as to why it's really not THAT bad, or whatever. But the explanations fall flat to me. And I know to quite a few others, and I suspect to most of the people who fall outside of the realm of the hardest-core Erfworld fans.

headhoncho
2009-01-05, 10:34 PM
The warlords did not expect him to be smoked immediately, but that he would be smoked if he kept at it by himself.

Sure they did. "He's mad...we'll see his body fall AT ANY MOMENT (emphasis added)." Page 118, panel 4.


In all fairness, I don't think you're being entirely fair here. :smallsmile:

<shrug>

To each his or her own. But there's a reason we've gone from a widespread chorus of acclamation, to a great deal of people expressing dissatisfaction over the last few strips.

I think a lot of fans are really trying their best to defend the writers and make the best of a rough patch. And while I appreciate that degree of loyalty, and while I even think a certain level of trust is well-deserved by these writers, I don't think it's a stretch to say there are a number of areas that really could have been improved.

The disconnect between expectation and result has been jarring to me. EXTREMELY jarring. If it's totally smooth and fitting perfectly for you, then good for you. I'm guessing you just might be in the minority, however. Even a number of hardcore fans have admitted there are some concerns, and that improvements could have been made.

DevilDan
2009-01-05, 10:37 PM
But expecting us to reset our minds to work like that on an in-depth level whenever we pick up the strip? Asking too much, IMO. That's a sure-fire recipe for marginalization, and I don't want that to happen to such a great strip.

You say inaccessibility and I say uniqueness and originality.

And I thought that it was the uniqueness and originality of Erf--along with the skilled writing, engaging plot, and superb art--that made this strip great.

Mind you, I'm not a gibbering fan; I can honestly say that I'm not as thrilled with this many twists and turns that seem to add little: if you wanted Wanda booped up and Charlie back with the RCC and little else changed, then you could have done that quickly instead of stretching it over a bunch of strips that seem more like sword-and-sorcery action fluff. The art is good and it's all exciting, but I'm allowed to gripe a bit while still believing that the writer is doing most things right and moving in the right direction.

The Minx
2009-01-05, 10:43 PM
Sure they did. "He's mad...we'll see his body fall AT ANY MOMENT (emphasis added)." Page 118, panel 4.

I know, but that's not the way I interpreted the line.


<shrug>

To each his or her own. But there's a reason we've gone from a widespread chorus of acclamation, to a great deal of people expressing dissatisfaction over the last few strips.

I think a lot of fans are really trying their best to defend the writers and make the best of a rough patch. And while I appreciate that degree of loyalty, and while I even think a certain level of trust is well-deserved by these writers, I don't think it's a stretch to say there are a number of areas that really could have been improved.

Maybe. I think that there are also many who are locked into critical mode. Perhaps it is due to the slow progression of updates in the middle of what is meant to be a fast paced action scene. If you read this in a compilation, it would be a very different experience. Having browsed the board for quite a while I can safely say that even from the beginning, there were many who refused to give Erfworld a chance.


The disconnect between expectation and result has been jarring to me. EXTREMELY jarring. If it's totally smooth and fitting perfectly for you, then good for you. I'm guessing you just might be in the minority, however. Even a number of hardcore fans have admitted there are some concerns, and that improvements could have been made.

Of course one can always do better. But in the face of strong opposition, one can either provide a vehement defense or be diplomatic and say "sure it's not picture perfect, but that doesn't matter because..." :smallsmile:

headhoncho
2009-01-05, 10:45 PM
You say inaccessibility and I say uniqueness and originality.
And I thought that it was the uniqueness and originality of Erf--along with the skilled writing, engaging plot, and superb art--that made this strip great.
Mind you, I'm not a gibbering fan; I can honestly say that I'm not as thrilled with this many twists and turns that seem to add little: if you wanted Wanda booped up and Charlie back with the RCC and little else changed, then you could have done that quickly instead of stretching it over a bunch of strips that seem more like sword-and-sorcery action fluff. The art is good and it's all exciting, but I'm allowed to gripe a bit while still believing that the writer is doing most things right and moving in the right direction.

You can be unique and original without being inaccessible. I think the vast majority of this strip falls into the first two categories and not the last.

You can tell it's starting to fall into the last category, IMO, when people are making all kinds of IMO tortuous rationalizations requiring a turn-based filter in order to explain away what could have been rather easily addressed by the authors in other, perfectly acceptable and accessible ways.

The other issue you raise, on the victory-from-the-jaws-of-defeat bit and the no forward progress bit, are also totally valid points, IMO. I've spoken on them elsewhere, too.


Of course one can always do better. But in the face of strong opposition, one can either provide a vehement defense or be diplomatic and say "sure it's not picture perfect, but that doesn't matter because..." :smallsmile:

I think that's fine, but sometimes the vehement defenses are worse than the item being criticized.

The Minx
2009-01-05, 10:49 PM
I think that's fine, but sometimes the vehement defenses are worse than the item being criticized.

Yup, hence the diplomacy of fans acknowledging their gripes, such as they are, even as they defend the strip. One of mine I have already mentioned (the update schedule), though we're discouraged from talking about that.

headhoncho
2009-01-05, 10:51 PM
Yup, hence the diplomacy of fans acknowledging their gripes, such as they are, even as they defend the strip. One of mine I have already mentioned (the update schedule), though we're discouraged from talking about that.

I'm with you. I've defended the authors many times before, from the same types of things (in particular on the nature of a compilation versus a real-time update situation).

It's a measure of the frustration I'm feeling, and what I view as the extreme nature of the disconnect in the last few strips, that I'm issuing this strong of a critique, IMO.

teratorn
2009-01-06, 02:49 AM
teratorn, I was talking about the last strip only. I had particular arguments. You went on a tangent (of why Parson did good). I asked something else.
Well, strips aren't separate entities regarding the events they depict, and we all expected Charlie to enter the fight sooner or later. I consider the whole arc when appreciating a particular strip.


The alliance isn't falling apart. Even if Sofa King left they could handle GK. Ansom could reason with Duke Nozzle instead of forcing his hand by charging. The other warlords seemed content to wait out the uncroaked (or go through the tunnels, page 117).

That's now. But what if Parson pulls something else during the turns they'd have to wait? Once they are inside the walls the moral issues are less important.


Sure they did. "He's mad...we'll see his body fall AT ANY MOMENT (emphasis added)." Page 118, panel 4.
And they were right, Ansom fell and was only saved because he had prepared a way out. He had already an agreement with Charlie.



To each his or her own. But there's a reason we've gone from a widespread chorus of acclamation, to a great deal of people expressing dissatisfaction over the last few strips.

How long have you been following the Erfworld forums? Even ignoring the first days, when a large fraction of the posts were people saying that only idiots could like this strip, the complains are always rampant at key moments in the story. This is very mild compared to what happened during the donut of doom. A few of the "usual" posters even left the forum at the time (and have not returned).

I don't see much of a problem with the latest strips because if we take the day as a whole Parson had a huge success, he is now stronger than any individual side in the coalition. That's why Ansom can not afford to lose allies. At the donut of doom Parson was booped, that was a huge setback, he gained one turn by losing his stronger units. This day will be a success even if RCC breaches the outer walls.

And we don't know if their interaction with Wanda somehow changed the pliers.

SeraphRainy
2009-01-06, 03:48 AM
Hey head honcho you ever read a book? No realy that part just after the middle were you already love the characters but then bad BOOP starts happening to them and you dont want it to. That is called tension its good writing. And it usualy occures just before the finaly.

You are exactly right that there is a reson why a good number of fans have shouted in outcry. As I stated in a few other threads its because they are so attached to characters. Admitedly I would like to have seen Wanda grab the pliers and croak ansome or at least make him leave without them. But that would put the alliance in a bad place. No breach no artifact and the promis that ansome made isnt kept. But instead it sets wanda and parson up to come back with mud in their eye and a good john wayne quote in their teeth to go rattle ansomes teeth around in his head.

In the end here any complaints about rules or plot twists is not because the authors threw a curvball, (no one actualy expeted ansome to get croaked and gk to gain advantadge right?) or even because they doinked their own rules to be unfair to a character. Its because people just like the character to much but its like any book or good plotline. Suck it up and keep reading. Heck I admit I like wanda, hate charlie, like parson, neutrual about stanley, dislike jillian and like ansome(only because hell make a good villan, the kind that gets quashed at the end.) and I would have liked to see certain things happen to each but only because of how I feel about them and my desire for revolution. But that isnt good writing.

As for the compliants from earlier. The uncroaked were never ment to do a ton of fighting their weak for combat units. They were just warm bodies to put on the wall and used for zerg tactics should there be a breach. (Heh warm bodies.)

Ansome smacking them down was explained at length. He has an auto duster for uncroaked and can selectivly engage. (Which dosnt occure to most erfworldians as they were suprised when parson did it to them.) And hes high level their low level, hes tanking/powerhousing/doing exactly what a powerhouse with high hit points should do.

As for the turn arounds with the WAF consider less the practical aplicaitions to wanda, (And the fact that you want her to win badly enough to complain when she doesnt.) and consider the plot that was just revealed while at the same time building tension and a bad spot for our protagonists. It is almost entirely buildup for a later event first were Ansomes heavy weapon is disabled miraculously by wanda and then Ansome gives up his soul to charlie to get it back and in so doing comes to a confrontaition were more is hinted at in the area of wanda/ansome/pliers relaitionship. This is good writing and exiting to read.

And as for the time laps: The units had to re-stack, the uncroaked had a wide birth from ansome from his previous hacking and were shuffling at that, he is a royal and that job entails reading/procesing/signing booploads of paperwork daily, not to mention hes seen most of the contract before, he is fending off units when he signs the contract, wanda MUST slow her descent for the long trip down or go splat.(I dont know if you saw just haow tall GKs wall is but WOW0_o),the archons achieved total airspace saturaition, they had been prepared for this eventuality as charlie had said, and finaly movement between zones is free for defenders but not instant and flying is pretty fast. So sizmore was hauling boop to get there in time to join wandas stack and make her a bad idea to engage. SO there, supposed timelaps.

Also if you all want a good piece of encouragement for GK stanley is comming back, Parson has planned for the eventuality of the breach, the coelition is one boop up fro m disbanding, and ansome is now more desparaite than ever since charlie bent him over a barel, wanda has some link to either ansome or the pliers or both, parson further whittled down the odds since last turn, ansome doesnt look like a straight up good guy anymore and wanda therefor may get her girl back, (ewg) and everyone now holds charlie in disgust. Are you all happy then. At least something good/bad happened to the characters you love/hate respectivly.

Capt'n Ironbrow
2009-01-06, 05:33 AM
and don't forget that charlie said (at the end of his turn) "I'll say to Ansom I'll be there to assist if necessary"
Parson: "heh"
Charlie: "don't laugh, it could be true"

and it was!

headhoncho
2009-01-06, 07:25 AM
Hey head honcho you ever read a book?

Why yes, yes I have.

SteveMB
2009-01-06, 07:35 AM
You're a reasonable man, can you answer the rest of my post? (Faq and impatience stuff, tbh I'm rationalising it for myself as we speak lol).

OK.


Sure they might fear what Parson will do, but what can he do? Nothing. It's just impatience. They could even have left Stanley to go to Faq and take GK then go to Faq and take that too. It's not like they don't know where Faq is (Jill knows).

First, letting Stanley re-establish himself in a city makes him harder to dig out than if they can catch him in the open. Second, while Jillian knows where Faq is, she hasn't shared that information (all she's given is the location of the choke point). Admittedly, Faq could probably be found given that clue, and Jillian might be persuaded to tell if it means croaking Stanley, but they're still better off trying to catch him at the location they already know than at one they might know in the future.


Plus I would have like to see Ansom's face if/when they attuned to Wanda.

I find the face he did make when Wanda dared him to touch her with them more interesting. (My interpretation is that he's worried that the Arkenpliers would attune to Wanda, and that his insecurities about the apparent verdict of the Arkentools -- which appears to be a firm thumbs-down to royal claims of Titanic favor -- have been forced to the surface for a moment.)

Reasonable enough? :smallsmile:


The alliance isn't falling apart.

Ansom's perception of the cracks in the alliance may be worse than the reality -- given his worldview, any doubt among the alliance leaders (who are presumably all nobles) about whether this cause is worth continuing to fight for is likely to bother him greatly, and he'd feel the need to belay it somehow. I'm half-expecting it to end in a nasty argument (all it would take is for him to seriously snap at someone who is less friendly and diplomatic than Vinny).

Simanos
2009-01-06, 08:47 AM
I think a lot of these problems are due to setting up expectations that are totally turned on their head. When it's due to good storytelling, then great. But when it's totally out of left field, it's not so great.

To me, here were some surprising things that happened this last turn.

1) Wanda animating THOUSANDS of undead. Wow, that's incredible! I can't believe she was able to animate that many!

Expectation: Those THOUSANDS of undead sure are going to make a big difference!

Reality: Those THOUSANDS of undead appear utterly, completely, positively useless.

2) Ansom going up to attack the aforementioned THOUSANDS of undead, to a chorus of, "He's screwed," by his own warlords.

Expectation: Ansom would be swarmed quickly and dispatched.

Reality: Ansom isn't even scratched.

3) Wanda going to attack Ansom with much concern and almost desperation coming from Parson.

Expectation: It's going to be a really, really tough fight.

Reality: Whack! One shot and Ansom goes down for the count.

4) Wanda diving for the ground to grab the pliers -- an event that's been foreshadowed and anticipated -- while Ansom is reeling and surrounded by THOUSANDS of undead.

Expectation: Wanda's going to get the pliers, and Ansom will certainly at least be forced back.

Reality: Ansom discovers hitherto unknown super-speed and pulls out an alliance, Wanda's smoked from the air by uber-Charlie's Angels, and Ansom disdainfully ignores THOUSANDS of undead in order to nonchalantly grab the pliers back before Parson can send anyone else to fetch them.

Look, I love this strip. But the above twists aren't twists coming from good writing. They're coming from, if not nowhere, at least a pretty unexpected place. And we're not talking the "good" unexpected, IMO.

The above four scenarios make me want to throw up my hands. How much better would it have been if maybe Wanda only had been able to raise one or two hundred undead? Or if the warlords weren't so certain Ansom would be smoked immediately? Or if Parson was a little bit more confident? Or if the time compression issues surrounding the pliers were dealt with a lot better?

I cannot imagine how to-be-revealed plot twists will make the above four scenarios very much more palatable to me. I'm sure it'll still be a decent story, but these past four or five strips have really been very subpar, to me.
QFT. No one has answered all these to my satisfaction. Some parts maybe, but not all. Same with my own post(s).

PS: About the 40% siege thing:
Let's say RCC had 100 (equal) siege units. They could have 50 of them at GK the previous turn and 50 this turn. Parson destroyed 40. He destroyed the 40 from the "advanced" 50 (in the column). Therefore RCC had 10 siege the previous turn. This turn they will have 10+50=60. There's your 6 to 1 ratio. Remember these siege numbers are all averages, but so is the 6 to 1 ratio. It could be 5.768 to 1 or 6.1243 to 1, but Ansom would still say 6 to 1.

DevilDan
2009-01-06, 11:45 AM
Tell you what, Simanos. Why don't you go back to that wall of text you just quoted and single out what you think are the most salient points that have not been addressed? Save us a little slogging.

The Minx
2009-01-07, 05:36 AM
Nope. :smallsmile: They are in what is reputed to be the strongest defensive position in the world. You need powerful odds in such a situation. This is not a pitched battle, after all. As I showed, Red doesn't think they can take the wall with so many troops there. Besides, the alliance does NOT have 3:1 odds, they have at best 2:1 odds. 3:1 is just what they would have needed to have.

<SNIP>

Charlie added enough Archons to take the garrison in one turn before Trioxin. This means he can take 800 troops with them. If 2870 Jetstone troops and an unspecified number of Marbits were uncroaked, and "over 1000" Jetstone troops are on the walls, they cannot take the garrison and the alliance cannot take the walls. The Archons may be able to tip the balance if they join the fight on the walls, but as Sizemore has just shown, defenders can move their troops to support other defensive zones as needed.

OK, so the walls fell promptly. I admit that now I can't see why this is happening given the numbers above, and given these were pulled from the comic itself.

If the 2870 figure was correct, the odds had become 2:1 for the Alliance, and based on the earlier 12:1 odds being four times what was needed, this should not be possible.

Unless the Trioxin-uncroaked could only have been sufficiently effective to count as long as they had Wanda's bonus... that might explain it. After all, these are the weakest types of undead, and her bonus is allegedly huge. Or perhaps, the rules of engagement allow for a breach by focusing strength against one point, then the effectiveness of the defending units would have been diluted.

It's too bad we can't see the points of all the untis or what they mean. And it's too bad the Tool took off with all the dragons, he would have been the one to counter Ansom's brave little assault.

Fjolnir
2009-01-07, 07:09 AM
the walls were cracking due to the full commitment of the siege at single point in the wall, though I agree, the uncroaked losing their "massive" bonus probably lost them the walls

DevilDan
2009-01-07, 11:15 AM
the walls were cracking due to the full commitment of the siege at single point in the wall, though I agree, the uncroaked losing their "massive" bonus probably lost them the walls

We saw some crack almost as soon as Ansom was making a gap in the wall defenses. But I think that "full commitment" is a deceptive term; probably only a fraction of the RCC siege units could even be brought to bear on a single spot of the wall; the original number of siege units was, in a sense, overkill since Ansom's plan was to completely surround the walls rather than focus on a single spot.

Godskook
2009-01-07, 04:50 PM
OK, so the walls fell promptly. I admit that now I can't see why this is happening given the numbers above, and given these were pulled from the comic itself.

The way I see it:

1.Parson had enough uncroaked to stop the siege from getting in this turn if left alone.
2.Ansom could kill enough uncroaked to let the siege through, ruining point 1.
3.WAF was the only thing Parson had that could kill flying Ansom in time to save the walls. They failed.
4.Since the loss of the walls is inevitable and uncroaked aren't doing anything else useful up there, the economy of throwing them away would be better if used elsewhere.

Thus, Parson withdrew his troops from the walls. Its clear to me from the imagery in 136, page 123 that Parson's wall-troops had enough time to retreat as far as the force coming from the garrison before the RCC broke through the walls, despite the walls being defenseless.

ShinyBrowncoat
2009-01-07, 04:59 PM
A thread about impotence in Erfworld, and no one makes a Viagwa joke?

a sad, sad commentary on the community here. :smalltongue:

Godskook
2009-01-07, 05:13 PM
A thread about impotence in Erfworld, and no one makes a Viagwa joke?

I just couldn't get it up...

The Glyphstone
2009-01-07, 06:11 PM
I would have said we weren't up to it, personally, but your phrasing works too.

Godskook
2009-01-07, 06:17 PM
I would have said we weren't up to it, personally, but your phrasing works too.

It helps to rise to the occasion.

dr pepper
2009-01-08, 12:56 AM
A thread about impotence in Erfworld, and no one makes a Viagwa joke?


Unnecessary. Once the battle is over, Parson will celebrate victory by tying Wanda to her own pillory and demonstrating Ruthlessness.