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PhantomFox
2009-01-15, 07:27 PM
And so Parson begins planning... can I have an evil laugh here?

DragoonKain
2009-01-15, 07:28 PM
muwahahahahahaha.

Trixie
2009-01-15, 07:28 PM
Nice. So, Parson will get a batallion of Uncroaked next turn... and then what?

He still has to fight Archons and flying Ansom, even if he wipes out all of RCC's ground forces...

DevilDan
2009-01-15, 07:30 PM
Can you smell what the Hamster is cooking!?

memnarch
2009-01-15, 07:31 PM
Heh, Ansom learned the right lesson just in time for it not to apply. :smallcool:

DragoonKain
2009-01-15, 07:33 PM
Incidentally, we learn a lot here about how bonuses apply. I'm eager to see speculation.

headhoncho
2009-01-15, 07:35 PM
Solid update! Can't wait for the next few!

cyberchihuahua
2009-01-15, 07:38 PM
Nice. So, Parson will get a batallion of Uncroaked next turn... and then what?

He still has to fight Archons and flying Ansom, even if he wipes out all of RCC's ground forces...



Might be enough time for Stanley to get there with the Dwagons. If bonuses stack, imagine Stanley/Dwagons/KISS/Parson all in one stack. Then Ansom would really be up to his boop in Stanley's booty... :smallyuk:

ss49
2009-01-15, 07:44 PM
The dwagons + Stanley will be nice, but how many dwagons are left? How long will they last?

I really want to know what archons can and can't do.

Hopefully sometime this year :smalltongue:

mistformsquirrl
2009-01-15, 07:47 PM
I'm such a 12 year old lol "Dine on Stanley's Booty" made me crack up <T_T>

This is very interesting... < . .>b GO PARSON!

Varthonai
2009-01-15, 07:47 PM
Might be enough time for Stanley to get there with the Dwagons. If bonuses stack, imagine Stanley/Dwagons/KISS/Parson all in one stack. Then Ansom would really be up to his boop in Stanley's booty... :smallyuk:

There is no "might." Stanley spent 1 turn's worth of Dwagon move traveling away from the Knob, then spent half a turn's worth of Dwagon move traveling to the ambush hex, then spent his remaining move traveling back toward the Knob.

1 + 1/2 - 1/2 = 1. Therefore Stanley is 1 turn away from Gobwin Knob and should arrive shortly after the RCC's turn ends.

Stanley croaks Archons, Parson croaks RCC ground troops, Ansom gets booped.


I love the expression on Wanda's face when Parson says "meat grinder" and the subsequent "mm" of pleasure. Is it the obvious double-entendre that arouses Wanda, or the impending notion of violence? Pretty kinky either way, which is not outside the realm of possibility given what we know about Wanda.

noncaloric
2009-01-15, 07:49 PM
Nice. So, Parson will get a batallion of Uncroaked next turn... and then what?

He still has to fight Archons and flying Ansom, even if he wipes out all of RCC's ground forces...

An unanswered question at this point is what could happen this turn that would cause the coalition to dissolve? Ansom being croaked? Captured? Likewise, if Ansom becomes unable to fulfill whatever the outrageous clause in Charlie's contract was, Charlie will likely be a free agent again.

I'm not sure whether it would be more frightening to face the archons with Charlie as a free agent, who may or may not be hostile, at the beginning of the next turn, or as a certainly hostile party allied with Ansom later that turn, after Stanley and the dragons make it back. Although as far as we know, Parson has no reason to believe Jack was successful in getting Stanley turned around.

Haven
2009-01-15, 07:49 PM
"Move up the siege!"
I uh, don't think you know what you doing, Ansom :p

Ansom flying up, waving the Arkenpliers and dramatically shouting something is getting a little repetitive, but I'm sure that's the point.

Limos
2009-01-15, 07:50 PM
Nice to see Parson finally getting his head in the game. Go go gadget Deathtrap!

DevilDan
2009-01-15, 07:58 PM
There is no "might." Stanley spent 1 turn's worth of Dwagon move traveling away from the Knob, then spent half a turn's worth of Dwagon move traveling to the ambush hex, then spent his remaining move traveling back toward the Knob.

Or, rather, sometime during GK's turn, assuming that Stanley didn't take a particularly convoluted path in order to avoid being followed or found.

As to what turns Wanda on, I don't think simple or simplistic sexual innuendo is enough to make her "mm."


An unanswered question at this point is what could happen this turn that would cause the coalition to dissolve? Ansom being croaked? Captured? Likewise, if Ansom becomes unable to fulfill whatever the outrageous clause in Charlie's contract was, Charlie will likely be a free agent again.

I'm not sure whether it would be more frightening to face the archons with Charlie as a free agent, who may or may not be hostile, at the beginning of the next turn, or as a certainly hostile party allied with Ansom later that turn, after Stanley and the dragons make it back. Although as far as we know, Parson has no reason to believe Jack was successful in getting Stanley turned around.

I don't think that Parson is particularly counting on "divide and conquer" at the psych ops level at this stage. It's no longer about morale, it's about attrition enabled through manipulating force multipliers.

As long as Spacerock stands or someone related to the RCC, Charlie is probably bound by that contract. Or he may be bound simply by the fact that he won't have fulfilled it even if Ansom is croaked--or even uncroaked by Wanda.

If the RCC is defeated, duty could compel Parson to surrender to Charlie if that's the best way of protecting GK and Stanley.

Raven777
2009-01-15, 08:05 PM
Glad to see I'm not the only one who erupted into maniacal laughter when Ansom ordered to attack this turn :D

MadMaw
2009-01-15, 08:06 PM
For some reason the idea of Sizemore bursting out from below Duke Nozzel, shocking him, "crapping" him, then disappearing again, amuses me no end. I hope it comes to pass.

Estelindis
2009-01-15, 08:08 PM
I'm such a 12 year old lol "Dine on Stanley's Booty" made me crack up <T_T>
Me too. :smallamused:

Ah well. Ansom's had his time in the sun. I guess it's Parson's turn...

SteveD
2009-01-15, 08:09 PM
'Booty'. Hehe! ^^

Solid update. A lot of questions answered. Shockmancy is some sort of weapon, and Sizemore can burrow up to attack stacks directly.

We're guessing with the jetstone uncroaked the odds are roughly 2:1 against Parson right now. Will it be even odds by the time Parson has uncroaked another small army, and will that be enough to take on the Archons?

Somehow I suspect another plot twist is yet to come. Perhaps Stanley's arrival won't be as beneficial as some expect...it would be funny to see Parson on the edge of victory only for Stanley to run in and ruin everything.

Will we get to see Ansom vs Parson?

charles
2009-01-15, 08:10 PM
Thats the big difference we're seeing between the two different forces.

Ansome has massive numbers and monetary resources at his disposal
Parson has massive tactical resources at his disposal

He's got all the magick users, the most defensible position in all the land, the bracer and a heap of pre-prepared spells. By the time he's done most of Ansome's seige will be disabled, the leadership will be neutralised or disbanded, enemy troops will be as powerful as rag dolls all getting ready to attack an army holed up in it's own defensive position within the tower with god knows what nasty traps awaiting them inside (remember the hand torches?)

Ansome proved before how well a single character with massive bonuses can do against a horde of extremely low level characters. I guess the reason he took the fight alone is because he was the only character left with flight capability to head up there and enter the flight zone.

See Ansome gave up the only tactical units he had when he sent the flyers and Vinny away, together with Jillian. His tactical thinking has relied pretty much on masses of units and some dumb luck that a strong group happened upon the dwagons after their attack on the seige, together with pulling Charlie out as an ace in the hole.

TigerHunter
2009-01-15, 08:10 PM
Now that's irony.

Haven
2009-01-15, 08:20 PM
It's also interesting to note that Vinny also thinks along these lines (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0125.html).

Come to think of it, Stanley leaving may not have been as much a blow to GK as diverting all those resources to his capture was to the RCC. In particular, giving up Vinny's mind, which is what they really needed against Parson, seems like it could prove especially critical.

valce
2009-01-15, 08:21 PM
Parson forgot to mention one other important thing...

Large numbers mean a lot less when you're fighting in a small space! From the looks of that gate, a couple of heavies could probably block it off completely. Throw in buffs and...

Countless battles in history where a numerically superior force lost because it was forced to funnel its troops through a small area. Chokepoint ftw! :P Hoping the next few strips will be epic though...

-V

Solarious
2009-01-15, 08:26 PM
Ah, Erfworld, where the tactics of the day are not Shock and Awe, but Shock and Crap.

I wish Parson the best of luckamancy in his last stand. He's going to need it.

headhoncho
2009-01-15, 08:29 PM
Ah, Erfworld, where the tactics of the day are not Shock and Awe, but Shock and Crap.
I wish Parson the best of luckamancy in his last stand. He's going to need it.

It would be nice to see a reference to the luckamancy actually being used this turn...

I'd be interested to see if Sizemore croaks the guys he attacks, or if he just shocks and incapacitates them? Or captures them and brings them underground?

Eugenitor
2009-01-15, 08:35 PM
Ohhhhhh yes.

I see... great ownage ahead. Wanda may get those pliers yet. And it sounds like Parson's going to be buffed beyond sanity into a hell-demon worthy of worship.

BLOOD! BLOOD! BLOOD! BLOOD! BLOOD!

Limos
2009-01-15, 08:38 PM
I just realized something.

No one outside of GK other than the Archons has actually seen Parson up close. They have seen him as a floating head, but his head is basically the same size as everyone elses.

I think Jetstone is in for a surprise when they find out that Lord Hamster is actually a giant potato man from another dimension.

teratorn
2009-01-15, 08:39 PM
Ah Wanda, the prospects of a little carnage brought to your face something that nearly resembles a smile...

Does anyone know what "shock them" really means? I suppose crap them is getting the crap golems on top of them...

If I understand Parson's remark about the corpses, is he letting them enter the courtyard?

Yellowchopstick
2009-01-15, 08:41 PM
Heh, Ansom learned the right lesson just in time for it not to apply. :smallcool:

So Parson IS pulling an Ender's game after all. Just like the Buggers trying to foil Ender based on past observed tactics, Ansom is applying tactics by considering past battles while not bothering to consider what vulnerabilities his side has currently.

headhoncho
2009-01-15, 08:41 PM
Does anyone know what "shock them" really means? I suppose crap them is getting the crap golems on top of them...

I'm sure it's use the Shockmancy spells on them.


If I understand Parson's remark about the corpses, is he letting them enter the courtyard?

I don't think he has much choice, given that RCC now has all 60% of their siege, probably.

SteveMB
2009-01-15, 08:45 PM
I love the expression on Wanda's face when Parson says "meat grinder" and the subsequent "mm" of pleasure. Is it the obvious double-entendre that arouses Wanda, or the impending notion of violence? Pretty kinky either way, which is not outside the realm of possibility given what we know about Wanda.

I dunno if that's necessarily anything beyond the obvious utterance of approval, as filtered through her speech impediment.


"Move up the siege!"
I uh, don't think you know what you doing, Ansom :p

It could get most entertaining if the results of this attack leave his allies certain that Ansom doesn't know what he's doing.... :smalleek:

teratorn
2009-01-15, 08:49 PM
I'm sure it's use the Shockmancy spells on them.

I understand that much, but what is shockmancy? Is he going to electrocute them?

DragoonKain
2009-01-15, 08:51 PM
I'm willing to bet it's something like Stanley's Van de Graaf on a lower scale.

Neuromancer
2009-01-15, 08:57 PM
In which Ansom makes the classic mistake of applying the right tactics for last round's battle to this round's battle. Parson is inside his decision curve!

Interestingly, though, Ansom's actually making the same mistake both times: If your biggest advantage is "overwhelming force", don't divide your forces.

Oslecamo
2009-01-15, 09:08 PM
So Parson IS pulling an Ender's game after all. Just like the Buggers trying to foil Ender based on past observed tactics, Ansom is applying tactics by considering past battles while not bothering to consider what vulnerabilities his side has currently.

No it isn't. In ender's game, the buggers are the most idiotic race in the galaxy who send their essential queens to the frontline and then don't bother to use other queens to comand the troops.

Ender's game Mary Sueness: bugs see Ender and run away in fear, leaving their homeworld exposed and ripe for the taking. They couldn't win, because they simply turned tail and fled whitout firing a single shot.

Efworld: Ansom bides his time. Ansom get half his finest troops uncroacked. Ansom rushes to the walls. Ansom takes walls. So, of course Ansom will think that he must keep making rushes before it worked before, while waiting resulted in really bad trouble.

Charlicat
2009-01-15, 09:15 PM
Somehow I suspect another plot twist is yet to come. Perhaps Stanley's arrival won't be as beneficial as some expect...it would be funny to see Parson on the edge of victory only for Stanley to run in and ruin everything.


Actually it's more likely for Stanley to run in, assess the situation (ground good - air bad), and trade Parson to Charlie in exchange for Charlie getting the heck out of GK without attacking. An interesting WAG if nothing else. :smallbiggrin:

Hiai
2009-01-15, 09:16 PM
In the previous thread, we had a couple of "not Parson fans" ranting about his lack of ability as a warlord, and also bemoaning the "boring" nature of Ansom getting all the "lucky breaks".

And now, it comes down to this...

Parson, having realized a few more of his own advantages, despite a lack of cooperation from his own forces, is fully exploiting the rules as he's figured them out...only 3 turns since he was summoned. Quite effective of him, I'd say.

3 turns ago, he faced 25:1 odds against him, had no idea what the "rules" were, had no possible way of knowing his own advantages and weaknesses, and was suffering a massive headache, not to mention antagonism and distrust from his own leader, and distrust from his own subordinates.

Now, 3 turns later, things are looking a bit different. He's facing improved odds at LEAST better than the 3:2 odds he quoted Charlie, BEFORE croaking a huge chunk of the RCC's forces and adding them to his own forces. He's now cognizant of, and ready to exploit, all the "stacked bonuses" that's he's figured out are the real key to strategy in this game. He's gained both "ruthlessness" and an unknown, but presumably quite large, leadership bonus. He has convinced his own dubious subordinates to at least give him the benefit of the doubt, not to mention some little goodies he was previously unaware he had, because of his commanding presence to those same subordinates.

How is this in any way indicative of Parson's "lameness" as the "perfect warlord"? I'd say this rapid recovery and optimization of resources is PRECISELY what a spell designed to summon the perfect warlord would conjure up.

As far as Ansom's "luck", and how it's an easy plot device... how do you figure that? BEFORE Parson showed up, it has been quite clearly alluded to, Ansom was King of the Hill. The scion of the royal forces, Ansom is basically the best warlord the royals have to offer. Hence why he's gained the allies he has..do you really think that he could have gathered the allies he has without having a reputation as a very fierce and effective commander? The fact that his allies are showing doubt in his abilities at this juncture is all about Parson's ability to thwart him at every turn, not about his reputation preceding Parson's arrival. No king or leader would have put his forces under him if they perceived him as being LESS capable than their own warleaders.

Considering that Ansom held all the cards 3 turns ago, and Stanley was a smidgen away from being croaked, I'd say Ansom's luck has not exactly been overwhelming. Sure, he's been able to escape PERSONAL croaking, so far, but not by huge margins, that's for sure. He was only personally engaging the enemy in two different skirmishes, after all, and he had his keister pulled from the fire by Jillian the first time. I suppose you could call that lucky. But how is it lucky that when he was mounted on a carpet and insta-puffing the weak uncroaked foces on the walls, he ended up retreating, having mortgaged the RCC to the hilt to a mercenary to do it? He was facing a CASTER, for boop's sake, not a battle unit. One who, at least part of the time, was actively NOT cooperating with her own warlord?

I point all this out to highlight the fact that 1. Ansom is NOT an idiot. He was the best they had, but 2. He is simply overmatched by miles in Parson. No amount of Luckamancy could overcome THAT.

Now, if Parson's forces are able to achieve their goals, it won't be because of Luckamancy, and it won't be because of Ansom's weakness, it will be, plain and simple, the superiority of Parson's strategies AND tactics.

If there is any "luck" or "deu ex machina" involved, as so many naysayers have complained all along..it will be at one point only:
The very first of the strip, when Wanda walked in with a spell from the Magic Kingdom to pull Stanley's boop out of the fire.

In no way has there been any "plot devices" to hint otherwise. Every bit of plot and character development that we have seen is directly related, quite logically I might add, to this one opening sequence. Any surprises we, as readers, have seen, are based on our own ignorance of the "rules" and the nature of Erfworld...and I have no problem with that. After all, should we have everything laid out for us when the vastly superior Warlord Parson Gotti did not? I think not. It is a somewhat standard literary device to introduce a new fictional realm by having the protagonist "discover" things him/herself, thus revealing them to the reader.

In GOOD literature, that is. I suppose some might prefer things to be spoon-fed in a plot, but I find myself enjoying it far more if I discover them as the leading characters do. Gives me a chance to speculate and USE MY IMAGINATION. Sorry if some people find that too painful. Perhaps if you are one of those that feel that way, you should turn back to sitcoms.

/rant.
All that being said, kudos to Rob and Jamie. I love the strip, I feel it is a great combination of excellent storytelling and highly talented art. And on some level, I think even the negative nellies realize this, as well...or they wouldn't be STILL hanging out reading, as hooked as all of us, the unabashed fans are. Some people are just contrary devil's advocates by nature, I guess. :D

P.S. Sorry for the overusage of quotation marks. Sarcasm is sooo hard to convey in print sometimes. LOL

keeganknorr
2009-01-15, 09:24 PM
What if more burrowing results in the before foreshadowed tunnel collapses?

hajo
2009-01-15, 09:25 PM
"Move up the siege!"

That is really nice of Ansom to bring the siege inside the walls, so Parson does not need to go outside to capture/destroy that siege :smallbiggrin:

ShneekeyTheLost
2009-01-15, 09:26 PM
I think Parson has got the right idea. It's all about numbers and multipliers. Like the Ubercharger Build, base damage is always nice, but when you can tack on a x6 multiiplier on it, THEN you get some real milage out of it.

Furthermore, Parson is letting Ansom make the classic mistake of overextending himself. Ansom is going to charge right into Deathtrap Dungeon 9001, because he's convinced that Parson just lost most of what he had.

I'd be willing to bet that siege isn't going to be very helpful in the next battle, it's too close in. So basically, Ansom is wasting his biggest heavies on protecting what are, effectively, worthless units in the battle to take the yard, probably to not have to spend an extra turn moving them in after the battle is over so he can use them to go after the Castle proper.

To be honest, this is a LOT closer to Miles Vorkosigan than Ender's Game (I would say Honor Harrington in A Short Victorious War, but Parson isn't that Mary Sue-ish). Letting your opponent step on his own BOOP then giving him a shove while he's off balance.

Still, it's going to be close... VERY close. He's going to loose a LOT of troops, and if His Toolship doesn't get back before Charlie's turn, Parson may end up getting booped anyways.

VariaVespasa
2009-01-15, 09:31 PM
Or, rather, sometime during GK's turn, assuming that Stanley didn't take a particularly convoluted path in order to avoid being followed or found.

I don't think that Parson is particularly counting on "divide and conquer" at the psych ops level at this stage. It's no longer about morale, it's about attrition enabled through manipulating force multipliers.

It IS at least partially about divide and conquer. Thats the unwilling part of the "unable or UNWILLING to take the garrison" goal stated in #137, and that, primarily, is likely to be what Maggie will be up to during the defense- interfering with enemy commands and setting up the unwilling part for next turn.

Stanley may or may not be back next turn. We dont know how much of his turn he used to run into the ambush. If he used over half of it then he cant get back next turn. In many ways it may be more story-appropriate if he doesnt get back next turn, to give Parson enough time to win this battle on his own.

Thus, possibly - RCC this turn attacks garrison without Charlie and gets ground up, fails. Dissention grows. GK turn Parson does nasty stuff, most likely aimed at fracturing RCC using Maggies conserved juice and at prepping for Charlie. RCC next turn tries another assault with Charlies aid this time. Parson feeds them their own lips by strategems as yet unrevealed. GK turn Parson works on hurting RCC more, Stanleys return finishes the chances/will of RCC to take the garrison.

Possibly Stanley returns late in the first GK turn, too late to be part of Parsons plans during that turn, but in time to be part of the feeding of Charlies lips thing in a battle of foolamancy vs thinkamancy. I dont *think* Parson will try calling Jack again before his return to GK, and thus wont plan anything around him during his turn. Not sure if Stanley will see fit to call home to let them know he's coming or not.

#92 suggests that at least Ansom should have some idea of Parsons size, since both ends of the thinkagram seem to preserve their relative sizes to each other.

headhoncho
2009-01-15, 09:33 PM
In the previous thread, we had a couple of "not Parson fans" ranting about his lack of ability as a warlord,

Didn't see much of that. Most people like Parson and want to see him succeed.


and also bemoaning the "boring" nature of Ansom getting all the "lucky breaks".

Now THAT, I saw, probably because it's been mostly true. :smallsmile:


Parson, having realized a few more of his own advantages, despite a lack of cooperation from his own forces, is fully exploiting the rules as he's figured them out...only 3 turns since he was summoned. Quite effective of him, I'd say.

Umm, it's been quite a bit more than three turns.


It is a somewhat standard literary device to introduce a new fictional realm by having the protagonist "discover" things him/herself, thus revealing them to the reader.
In GOOD literature, that is. I suppose some might prefer things to be spoon-fed in a plot, but I find myself enjoying it far more if I discover them as the leading characters do. Gives me a chance to speculate and USE MY IMAGINATION. Sorry if some people find that too painful. Perhaps if you are one of those that feel that way, you should turn back to sitcoms.

Most of the complaints haven't been about spoon-feeding, or showing vs. telling. They've been about consistency, the jarring "feel" of certain scenes, and the overuse of certain themes.

I think this is a great strip. Always have. That said, I think there are places where it could have been improved, and places where things have been UNNECESSARILY confusing and inconsistent. In the bloopers thread, the AUTHORS have even admitted this from time-to-time.

Why a number of their fans appear unable to do so even when presented with solid arguments and evidence to the contrary (not so much by me, but more by smart people like Hatu), well, I guess that just comes with the territory of being a fan (short for fanatic).

Oslecamo
2009-01-15, 09:35 PM
Furthermore, Parson is letting Ansom make the classic mistake of overextending himself. Ansom is going to charge right into Deathtrap Dungeon 9001, because he's convinced that Parson just lost most of what he had.

Well, in Ansom's defense, when you're fighting Hamster, what isn't a deathtrap?



I'd be willing to bet that siege isn't going to be very helpful in the next battle, it's too close in. So basically, Ansom is wasting his biggest heavies on protecting what are, effectively, worthless units in the battle to take the yard, probably to not have to spend an extra turn moving them in after the battle is over so he can use them to go after the Castle proper.


He probably expects Hamster to retreat to the tower, so the siege engines would be usefull to delivering the final blow there.



Letting your opponent step on his own BOOP then giving him a shove while he's off balance.


Ansom did breack the walls when Hamster expected them to hold on didn't he? Ansom didn't booped by rushing inside the city, it was his only viable option at the moment, and he knows there's an angry lord with an arkentool and a bunch of dragons coming to town very soon, so everything points out to taking down Hamster ASAP. Don't stop untill he has his head on a silver platter.

mistformsquirrl
2009-01-15, 09:37 PM
Ah, Erfworld, where the tactics of the day are not Shock and Awe, but Shock and Crap.

So, Shock and Ew? >.>

SteveMB
2009-01-15, 09:42 PM
Or, rather, sometime during GK's turn, assuming that Stanley didn't take a particularly convoluted path in order to avoid being followed or found.

Probably not an issue; he had Jack to veil him in whatever hex he ended up in, and the enemy would have only a vague idea which hex that might be.


Ansom did breack the walls when Hamster expected them to hold on didn't he? Ansom didn't booped by rushing inside the city, it was his only viable option at the moment, and he knows there's an angry lord with an arkentool and a bunch of dragons coming to town very soon, so everything points out to taking down Hamster ASAP. Don't stop untill he has his head on a silver platter.

How would he know that? He knows that Stanley is still alive (because GK didn't go neutral), and that Jillian's group therefore failed, but he has no reason to suspect that Stanley is on his way back. The obvious conclusion from the facts available to Ansom is that Stanley made it to the ruins of Faq.

ShneekeyTheLost
2009-01-15, 09:48 PM
Well, in Ansom's defense, when you're fighting Hamster, what isn't a deathtrap? All Ansom had to do was hang back a turn and win.




He probably expects Hamster to retreat to the tower, so the siege engines would be usefull to delivering the final blow there. Yes, because he expects Parson to have few troops, so it is better to get your siege in quickly rather than ensure you have pacified the Courtyard before bringing in Siege.




Ansom did breack the walls when Hamster expected them to hold on didn't he? Ansom didn't booped by rushing inside the city, it was his only viable option at the moment, and he knows there's an angry lord with an arkentool and a bunch of dragons coming to town very soon, so everything points out to taking down Hamster ASAP. Don't stop untill he has his head on a silver platter.

Hamster expected them to hold before Charlie switched sides. If he had gotten the pliers, probably Ansom too, the coalition would never have tried to break the walls. Sofa King would have BEEN sofa-king outta here. It was only Ansom's charging in and forcing his allies to defend him that got them to commit at all. Watching him fall would have caused the whole coalition to back off.

Belial_the_Leveler
2009-01-15, 09:49 PM
I wonder... Parson still has "a whole day's supply of luckamancy" right? It is the same day still and his crappy meal should still be working.

DevilDan
2009-01-15, 09:55 PM
Actually it's more likely for Stanley to run in, assess the situation (ground good - air bad), and trade Parson to Charlie in exchange for Charlie getting the heck out of GK without attacking. An interesting WAG if nothing else. :smallbiggrin:

I feel compelled to once again point out that Charlie has yet to fail to fulfill his contractual obligations. (And isn't it up to us to decide whether your guesses are "interesting?" :smallwink:)


All Ansom had to do was hang back a turn and win.

Hey, he's on a roll. He took the outer walls and courtyard. Why let Parson's troops heal and give up the initiative? Give him more time to pull another completely unexpected play? The redhead agrees with Ansom.

Mr. Scaly
2009-01-15, 09:58 PM
Somehow I think this is going to turn into another Battle of the Somme. Constant attacks against heavily fortified positions just don't work.

fendrin
2009-01-15, 10:01 PM
In ender's game,<snip>
This is not the thread to discuss it in, but wow do we have totally different interpretations of Ender's Game.

Two interesting things I noticed about this page.

1) Ansom is showing his battle wounds. He looks almost as bad as he did after croaking the wounded dwagons.
Implication: so much for plot armor!

2) Of all the main participants in this battle, we see everyone's face except Sizemore.
Implication: Sizemore is going to fail, though hopefully not completely. We know he's not very good at other forms of magic, so maybe he will have trouble with the Shockamancy scrolls.

It may also be time to say goodbye to our favorite dirtamancer... it would parallel the loss of Webinar.

DevilDan
2009-01-15, 10:03 PM
Constant attacks against heavily fortified positions just don't work.

So exactly how else do you capture a castle?

kreszantas
2009-01-15, 10:08 PM
@teratorn, it dont appear to be letting them into the courtyard you can see a separation in panel 8... I think the majority of the fight will be held somewhere inbetween those walls, I wouldnt want to be any unit entering that meat grinder.

Parson also trying to use alternate numbers against Ansom with trying to get more undead raised, they just cannon fodder and quite capable of just that. Problem is both side are now gunning for the leadership.

Ansom at least learned one lesson... this is one tough hamster to kill

teratorn
2009-01-15, 10:11 PM
So exactly how else do you capture a castle?

Yep. By the way, check this cool news item: Sizemore in roman times (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090114075921.htm). Chemical warfare in tunnels below a sieged city (ok, the attackers did it, but still cool).


@teratorn, it dont appear to be letting them into the courtyard you can see a separation in panel 8...

Yes, I know they are outside the courtyard. But Parson says they'll uncroak the corpses in the courtyard.

So my guess is that Parson will let RCC cross the inner walls in great numbers and then attack with masses of uncroaked boosted by Wanda's bonus, driving them from the garrison and getting a large number of croaked units,

fendrin
2009-01-15, 10:11 PM
So exactly how else do you capture a castle?

In the real world, surround it and starve them out.
In Erfworld it would probably be best to get them to leave the city to attack you. They won't commit all their forces (got to leave some for defense), so you have reduced the number of units you face at once. Divide and conquer!

Ganurath
2009-01-15, 10:22 PM
Incidentally, we learn a lot here about how bonuses apply. I'm eager to see speculation.Hamster's going to go for the dance fight bonus. The undead will go stomp-stomp-clap, Hamster will provide the lyrics, and the Knights will provide the chorus of We will, we will, ROCK YOU! Nothing ensures a dance fight bonus like Queen.

kreszantas
2009-01-15, 10:32 PM
yea where the 2 little green squares are and before the half circle in the upper right corner... that area... I guess I was trying say Parson was just not going to "let" them come in, otherwise there would be no point to the final stand theory.

datalaughing
2009-01-15, 10:45 PM
So my guess is that Parson will let RCC cross the inner walls in great numbers and then attack with masses of uncroaked boosted by Wanda's bonus, driving them from the garrison and getting a large number of croaked units,

Exactly what I was thinking. People keep saying Parson is going to destroy the siege, but he gave pretty specific orders about what he wants people attacking, and he didn't mention the siege. Why? Because he needs Ansom to use his siege. Ansom is going to break through the walls into the courtyard section of the garrison, and that's where Parson's meat grinder is going to be set up, the bottleneck that someone else mentioned. He can't just open the gate for them. He needs to make them work to get into the courtyard so they'll rush through the opening and into his waiting army of uncroaked.

teratorn
2009-01-15, 10:49 PM
I remember that when Stanley left, we discussed possible scenarios for Parson holding the city. Several people suggested he could croak/uncroak Ansom's forces. At the time there was some arguing about being able to uncroak enemy units, the number of uncroaked, etc., but we raised that possibility. Recycling of enemy units is again Parson's major goal.

It's interesting to see that despite the many unknowns Erfworld isn't totally unpredictable.

Lamech
2009-01-15, 10:50 PM
Ansom... has made tactical blunder after tactical blunder. First he tries to go rushing off to get ambushed, lucky his competent advisor Vinny saved him. Then he decides to wait when he should have gone. Ignoring the advice of (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0113.html)the blue-clad warlord (I think she is the second in command actually), AND the advice or Webinar, and now ignoring the advice of her again he procedes to screw up royal. Again.

Of course, he has had other good qualities as a leader, and he did a good job at the dougnut of doom. Just he needs to listen to the people around him more...

Whispri
2009-01-15, 10:55 PM
Is it time to say that the day is Parson's if he withstands this onslaught? Or is it too soon for that?

The taste of Ansom's words would no doubt be sweeter if it was he who was playing the Cassandra role, but you can't have everything.


I understand that much, but what is shockmancy? Is he going to electrocute them?

Energy based atacks are by far the most likely, it could yet turn out to be some sort of fear effect though, to make them easy targets for the Golems.

Ansom... has made tactical blunder after tactical blunder. First he tries to go rushing off to get ambushed, lucky his competent advisor Vinny saved him. Then he decides to wait when he should have gone. Ignoring the advice of (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0113.html)the blue-clad warlord (I think she is the second in command actually), AND the advice or Webinar, and now ignoring the advice of her again he procedes to screw up royal. Again.

Of course, he has had other good qualities as a leader, and he did a good job at the dougnut of doom. Just he needs to listen to the people around him more...
He'd probably make a good diplomat, and he might make a good King, but a War Leader? His stock couldn't be lower. Now if he'd concentrate on leading a stack (or just go charging up front with an escort) and let someone else direct the battle he might not be such a liability.

Bawon von Howse
2009-01-15, 11:13 PM
...haven't read the threads yet, however all I can say is that...

I hope we see Parson doing some dance fighting...the Elvis manouevres are going to have to come into play!

Malanthyus
2009-01-15, 11:33 PM
Stalingrad.

Aquillion
2009-01-15, 11:48 PM
The dwagons + Stanley will be nice, but how many dwagons are left? How long will they last?

I really want to know what archons can and can't do.

Hopefully sometime this year :smalltongue:Going by what Parson said this turn, Stanley's bonus as a warlord + his artifact bonus might actually be more valuable than the dwagons, especially if it can apply to every single one of the bazillion uncroaked in Gobwin Knob.

Whispri
2009-01-15, 11:53 PM
The dwagons + Stanley will be nice, but how many dwagons are left? How long will they last?

Six (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0128.html) are seen flying with Stanley after the unpleasantness.

chpicker
2009-01-15, 11:55 PM
...only 3 turns since he was summoned.It doesn't invalidate your statements, but it's actually been 5 turns. Remember, he got a toy in his breakfast every morning: the glasses, the bracer, and the 3 pieces of the sword, with the third piece being just this morning. So this is the 5th day after the day he was summoned.

What I'd like to know is how are Maggie and Sizemore supposed to cast these shockamancy and thinkamancy spells during RCC's turn? I thought you could only cast on your own turn.

SteveMB
2009-01-16, 12:04 AM
It doesn't invalidate your statements, but it's actually been 5 turns. Remember, he got a toy in his breakfast every morning: the glasses, the bracer, and the 3 pieces of the sword, with the third piece being just this morning. So this is the 5th day after the day he was summoned.

What I'd like to know is how are Maggie and Sizemore supposed to cast these shockamancy and thinkamancy spells during RCC's turn? I thought you could only cast on your own turn.

It may depend on the type of spell. We've seen at least one example of a spell cast off-turn ("Ephedra" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0116.html), immediately before it was explicitly established that GK's turn had not begun).

Clamps
2009-01-16, 12:12 AM
Groups of units get a stack bonus that maxes at 8, so you see a lot of 8-man formations (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html)

I have a feeling that Parson's going to lead a formation of 2,600 uncroaked units, and Wanda. That's what he's talking about.

I'd really like to see some explanation of why that's not common practice, though. Presumably, you have to move a stack as one unit (a la Warhammer 40k), so you need room to maneuver. But why isn't Ansom doing it now?

Hatu
2009-01-16, 12:16 AM
There is no "might." Stanley spent 1 turn's worth of Dwagon move traveling away from the Knob, then spent half a turn's worth of Dwagon move traveling to the ambush hex, then spent his remaining move traveling back toward the Knob.

1 + 1/2 - 1/2 = 1. Therefore Stanley is 1 turn away from Gobwin Knob and should arrive shortly after the RCC's turn ends.


I don't think it's ever been stated exactly how much of the dwagon's move was used up before encountering the Transilvito units. It must have been at least 1 hex, and the dwagons clearly had enough move left to flee the hex. But beyond that it's hard to say for certain. Given that the dwagons had less than their full movement when they left Gobwin Knob, the odds are good that they'll return during this turn. But that is not guaranteed.



He's got all the magick users, the most defensible position in all the land, the bracer and a heap of pre-prepared spells. By the time he's done most of Ansome's seige will be disabled, the leadership will be neutralised or disbanded, enemy troops will be as powerful as rag dolls all getting ready to attack an army holed up in it's own defensive position within the tower with god knows what nasty traps awaiting them inside (remember the hand torches?)


Parson mentions turning the garrison into a meat grinder, and having a courtyard full of dead to uncroak. I don't think he's going to stop the siege at all. It sounds like he plans to let them breech the wall once he's ready for them.

This was a good strip. It's nice to get a feel for Paron's plan and the idea that force multipliers have a major impact on Erfworld combat makes some sense from what we've seen. But I'm still very confused by actual game mechanics. Parson plans to surgically strike at Ansom's leadership units, but I don't understand how it's possible for him to do so with impunity. Ansom was able to ally with the Archons and have them zorch Wanda before she could flee; how is it possible that Sizemore is expected to be able to flee before reinforcements can attack him? For that matter, how is it even possible to engage the leadership units individually? If they aren't "with" units that could help defend them, doesn't that mean they aren't actually lending their leadership bonus to most units in the first place? But if they are lending their bonus, shouldn't those units be able to intervene in some way and take advantage of the leader's multipliers? It seems very convenient that those multipliers can be used to boost troops, but those troops cannot likewise be used to defend their leaders. I like the plan, but it seems extremely convenient.

Also, I note that Parson mentions uncroaking the dead on his turn. That seems to be a mistake. Wanda begins animating the fliers immediately after she killed them on Ansom' turn on page 98 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0108.html). Her flying mount is certainly animated on page 103 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0115.html), which takes place the night after Ansom's turn, and definitely before Parson's next turn. So it has been possible to uncroak units out of turn in the past. Is there some specific reason why that should not be possible in this case?

-H

Whispri
2009-01-16, 12:29 AM
As for the Dwagons, it should also be pointed out that move seems to increase as units level and the weakest Dwagons probably didn't make it.


....Parson plans to surgically strike at Ansom's leadership units, but I don't understand how it's possible for him to do so with impunity. Ansom was able to ally with the Archons and have them zorch Wanda before she could flee; how is it possible that Sizemore is expected to be able to flee before reinforcements can attack him? For that matter, how is it even possible to engage the leadership units individually? If they aren't "with" units that could help defend them, doesn't that mean they aren't actually lending their leadership bonus to most units in the first place? But if they are lending their bonus, shouldn't those units be able to intervene in some way and take advantage of the leader's multipliers? It seems very convenient that those multipliers can be used to boost troops, but those troops cannot likewise be used to defend their leaders. I like the plan, but it seems extremely convenient.

Also, I note that Parson mentions uncroaking the dead on his turn. That seems to be a mistake. Wanda begins animating the fliers immediately after she killed them on Ansom' turn on page 98 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0108.html). Her flying mount is certainly animated on page 103 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0115.html), which takes place the night after Ansom's turn, and definitely before Parson's next turn. So it has been possible to uncroak units out of turn in the past. Is there some specific reason why that should not be possible in this case?

-H
Tunnelling. Sizemore can come up from beneath, kick boop and then head down. This is actually mentioned in the orders Parson gives him, and is likely why the Siege Units are rolling forward under the heaviest possible guard.

As far as Uncroaking goes, it would seem that either mass Uncroaking spells can only be cast on your own turn, or that Wanda just doesn't have enought juice to do that again today. Or both of course.

Balance
2009-01-16, 12:33 AM
Hamster's going to go for the dance fight bonus. The undead will go stomp-stomp-clap, Hamster will provide the lyrics, and the Knights will provide the chorus of We will, we will, ROCK YOU! Nothing ensures a dance fight bonus like Queen.
I was thinking of the uncroaked doing the Thriller dance, but this is a beautiful image. Shouldn't it be Sizemore and the golems doing the "ROCK YOU!" as they pop up through the ground, though? :smallbiggrin:

MadMaw
2009-01-16, 12:35 AM
I hope we see Parson doing some dance fighting...the Elvis manouevres are going to have to come into play!

Given the zombies, more likely to be Michael Jackson's Thriller (http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=AtyJbIOZjS8), ala Dr McNinja (http://drmcninja.com/page.php?pageNum=1&issue=8)

Edit: oops too slow.

Hatu
2009-01-16, 12:42 AM
Parson, having realized a few more of his own advantages, despite a lack of cooperation from his own forces, is fully exploiting the rules as he's figured them out...only 3 turns since he was summoned. Quite effective of him, I'd say.

3 turns ago, he faced 25:1 odds against him, had no idea what the "rules" were, had no possible way of knowing his own advantages and weaknesses, and was suffering a massive headache, not to mention antagonism and distrust from his own leader, and distrust from his own subordinates.


Your calender is off. Pason has already completed 5 full turns since he was first summoned. His next turn will be his sixth.

Also, I've seen no actual evidence that he was ever facing 25:1 odds. According to Klog #7, Gobwin Knob had 786 units in it. According to the ErfWorld brochure on page 86, the RCC numbers a total of 9,751 units at that time. That's a 12.4:1 ratio.

When Parson was first summoned things were a bit different, but that difference was actually in GK's favor. Prior to the "donut of doom" fiasco, Parson had an additional 21 or so dwagons, 3 warlords and 3 knights to command, and there has been no mention of any additional forces appearing to offset those loses. So in order to have faced 25:1 odds around day 1, that would mean the RCC coalition would have had to number somewhere around 20,000 units, or roughly 10,000 more units than it has on day 4.

We are told that the donut of doom wiped out 40% of Ansom's siege on page 56, but there's no mention of any other serious casualties. And certainly no one ever reacts as though the gambit annihilated more than half of the RCC's total assault force. So I am forced to conclude that the 25:1 comment was in error.

-H

SteveMB
2009-01-16, 12:45 AM
[QUOTE=Hatu;5649077]I don't think it's ever been stated exactly how much of the dwagon's move was used up before encountering the Transilvito units. It must have been at least 1 hex, and the dwagons clearly had enough move left to flee the hex. But beyond that it's hard to say for certain. Given that the dwagons had less than their full movement when they left Gobwin Knob, the odds are good that they'll return during this turn. But that is not guaranteed./QUOTE]

My guess is that both Stanley and Jillian will show up tomorrow, bringing the major dramatis personae onto the scene. The distance between GK and the choke point is implied to be about 52 (Jillian, who knows the local terrain, chose 26+ Move (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html) as the cutoff for a task force that took two moves to arrive at the choke point). If she decides to head back without waiting for anybody else (which would be just like her IMO), and her current gwiffon is as fast as her previous one (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0008.html), she can cover that distance in one turn....

...and perhaps only just cover that distance, and thus run out of Move and find herself unable to reach a city zone she would otherwise be able to enter after stabitty-chop-chopping her way through the enemy lines?

Whispri
2009-01-16, 12:47 AM
The hex she started from would have been slightly further away from the ambush site than Gobwin Knob is mind.


Your calender is off. Pason has already completed 5 full turns since he was first summoned. His next turn will be his sixth.

Also, I've seen no actual evidence that he was ever facing 25:1 odds. According to Klog #7, Gobwin Knob had 786 units in it. According to the ErfWorld brochure on page 86, the RCC numbers a total of 9,751 units at that time. That's a 12.4:1 ratio.

When Parson was first summoned things were a bit different, but that difference was actually in GK's favor. Prior to the "donut of doom" fiasco, Parson had an additional 21 or so dwagons, 3 warlords and 3 knights to command, and there has been no mention of any additional forces appearing to offset those loses. So in order to have faced 25:1 odds around day 1, that would mean the RCC coalition would have had to number somewhere around 20,000 units, or roughly 10,000 more units than it has on day 4.

We are told that the donut of doom wiped out 40% of Ansom's siege on page 56, but there's no mention of any other serious casualties. And certainly no one ever reacts as though the gambit annihilated more than half of the RCC's total assault force. So I am forced to conclude that the 25:1 comment was in error.

-H
The twenty five to one thing could have meant a comparison of combat values. Also, Wanda could have been including the reinforcements that are available to the RCC, Translyvyto could have arrived in force before the column did after all, who knows what else could have been whistled up?

dr pepper
2009-01-16, 12:48 AM
So exactly how else do you capture a castle?

I read a short history of castles once that claimed that most of the instances of a major one changing hands were due to treachery or seige, and that successful storming was rare. I don't know enough to judge the accuracy of the claim, but i do suspect that in stories and ballads (ie the popular media), storming would have been overrepresented since it's more interesting.

Aquillion
2009-01-16, 12:48 AM
Also, I note that Parson mentions uncroaking the dead on his turn. That seems to be a mistake. Wanda begins animating the fliers immediately after she killed them on Ansom' turn on page 98 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0108.html). Her flying mount is certainly animated on page 103 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0115.html), which takes place the night after Ansom's turn, and definitely before Parson's next turn. So it has been possible to uncroak units out of turn in the past. Is there some specific reason why that should not be possible in this case?Most likely the mass-uncroak trick that he wants Wanda to do here is something that can only be done on your turn, like Veiling -- it counts as casting a proper 'spell', and as we were told with that, you can't cast outside your turn.

But you can still use magic outside your turn, obviously -- combat things like Shockamancy, or the EyeBooks and table, or the Archons' death rays, or triggering the air defenses. My guess would be that uncroaking individual units one by one by hand is something like that -- Wanda has it as a 'special attack' or something rather than as a proper spell.

At least, I've seen several games with mechanics that work something like that.

Clamps
2009-01-16, 12:50 AM
We are told that the donut of doom wiped out 40% of Ansom's siege on page 56, but there's no mention of any other serious casualties. And certainly no one ever reacts as though the gambit annihilated more than half of the RCC's total assault force. So I am forced to conclude that the 25:1 comment was in error.

-H

Stanly originally says it was 10 to one, and Wanda says "more like 25 to one". Perhaps it was 10-to-1 in terms of numbers, and 25-to-1 in terms of power (in other words, Ansom's units were higher level)

Ganurath
2009-01-16, 12:51 AM
I was thinking of the uncroaked doing the Thriller dance, but this is a beautiful image. Shouldn't it be Sizemore and the golems doing the "ROCK YOU!" as they pop up through the ground, though? :smallbiggrin:Under normal circumstances, but Sizemore's role in the battle plan is to act as a proxy to Tucker's Kobolds, targetting the enemy leaders.

Edit: On the other hand, there could be a cutaway panel to Sizemore's marauding during the lines "You got mud on your face, you big disgrace!"

dr pepper
2009-01-16, 12:52 AM
...haven't read the threads yet, however all I can say is that...

I hope we see Parson doing some dance fighting...the Elvis manouevres are going to have to come into play!

I wanna see Parson and Bogroll get the RCC in a mosh pit!

the_tick_rules
2009-01-16, 12:56 AM
Ansom is so predictable.

Eraniverse
2009-01-16, 01:13 AM
Ender's game Mary Sueness...

Wow. Deep analyzing skills at work there.

slurpz
2009-01-16, 01:42 AM
Heh heh heh. :belkar:

Stormthorn
2009-01-16, 02:06 AM
No time to plan and manuever? Too late for that Ansem.

Gloverboy
2009-01-16, 02:36 AM
"Tonight we dine on Lord Stanley's Booty!!" Oh man. I thought this was just gonna be a hardcore strip of awesome battle plans and such. The Joy of Erfworld. Awesome battles, wonderful quirky humor. It's like my new Buffy.

DevilDan
2009-01-16, 02:42 AM
I read a short history of castles once that claimed that most of the instances of a major one changing hands were due to treachery or seige, and that successful storming was rare. I don't know enough to judge the accuracy of the claim, but i do suspect that in stories and ballads (ie the popular media), storming would have been overrepresented since it's more interesting.

I think that I've encountered similar claims. I've heard something of that sort said about the Great Wall of China.

Sweetie Welf
2009-01-16, 02:50 AM
That's the way to start the day: with a new, exiting Erf-update :D

Ganurath
2009-01-16, 03:18 AM
No time to plan and manuever? Too late for that Ansem.Planning in real time is inconceivable, remember?

Sebastian
2009-01-16, 03:28 AM
In the previous thread, we had a couple of "not Parson fans" ranting about his lack of ability as a warlord, and also bemoaning the "boring" nature of Ansom getting all the "lucky breaks".

And now, it comes down to this...

Parson, having realized a few more of his own advantages, despite a lack of cooperation from his own forces, is fully exploiting the rules as he's figured them out...only 3 turns since he was summoned. Quite effective of him, I'd say.


I don't disagree with you but I think they are more than 3 turns, if we count the toys he got they was the 3d glasses, the mathamancy armband and the 3 pieces of the sword, so that must be the fifth turn. It is still impressive, tho.

Morchaint
2009-01-16, 03:57 AM
I liked this comic. none of the oh wait I dont know what to do. or wait for the next one for some action. its oh yea. we know whats going on.

vs. Im not an idiot so Im going to make mistakes lol

lol great comic.

Game on! *bloodshed commencing*

Lemarc
2009-01-16, 04:27 AM
I read a short history of castles once that claimed that most of the instances of a major one changing hands were due to treachery or seige, and that successful storming was rare. I don't know enough to judge the accuracy of the claim, but i do suspect that in stories and ballads (ie the popular media), storming would have been overrepresented since it's more interesting.

Strategically speaking, it's better not to assault fortified cities at all. Let the enemy hide in their hole while you pillage their countryside, ransack their crops, steal their livestock and burn down their towns, so that they'll be forced to come out and deal with you on the field.
At least, in theory.

RMS Oceanic
2009-01-16, 05:00 AM
Stalingrad.

True dat. A bloody grinding battle of attrition looks on the cards, and just when it seems the battle is lost, reinforcements arrive and the invading army realise how badly they've overstretched.

Iain
2009-01-16, 05:08 AM
There is no "might." Stanley spent 1 turn's worth of Dwagon move traveling away from the Knob, then spent half a turn's worth of Dwagon move traveling to the ambush hex, then spent his remaining move traveling back toward the Knob.

1 + 1/2 - 1/2 = 1. Therefore Stanley is 1 turn away from Gobwin Knob and should arrive shortly after the RCC's turn ends.
There are some assumptions in there. I don't think we don't know he spent half a turn's worth of move getting to the ambush, do we? It could have been less or more, we just know he didn't spend all of it getting there. If he spent 3/4 getting there he'd only have 1/4 left to move after it (potentially more if it was just the faster dwagons that survived, so removing the need to wait for ones with lower move).
Also, I think the dwagons were recalled before moving out - some may have used some move just getting to Gobwin Knob, reducing the move away from the city on the first turn of the flight.
So, it looks like they could arrive back either next turn or the one after.
Story-wise, it doesn't seem to make sense for them to get back until after Parson's had a chance to show what he can do, but they seem more or less essential for dealing with Charlie.


Also, I note that Parson mentions uncroaking the dead on his turn. That seems to be a mistake. Wanda begins animating the fliers immediately after she killed them on Ansom' turn on page 98 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0108.html). Her flying mount is certainly animated on page 103 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0115.html), which takes place the night after Ansom's turn, and definitely before Parson's next turn. So it has been possible to uncroak units out of turn in the past. Is there some specific reason why that should not be possible in this case?
Good point, but it may just be that Wanda can only do the mass-animation once per turn and Parson wants to wait until the supply of corpses is maximised.

SteveD
2009-01-16, 05:21 AM
I'm willing to bet shockmancy's something like Stanley's Van de Graaf on a lower scale.

Probably a stun effect as well as damage, then. That explains the shock/crap plan. :P

Aquillion
2009-01-16, 05:25 AM
Strategically speaking, it's better not to assault fortified cities at all. Let the enemy hide in their hole while you pillage their countryside, ransack their crops, steal their livestock and burn down their towns, so that they'll be forced to come out and deal with you on the field.
At least, in theory.The problem is that, while we've heard farms mentioned, we don't know if they're important (or, for that matter, if they exist outside your city at all, instead of just being a small upgrade inside your city walls.) It might simply be impossible to pillage the countryside in Erfworld; we've seen no indication of anything worth pillaging near Gobwin Knob, say. It could be that fortresses just magically produce money and units, making it impossible to accomplish anything without outright assaulting them.

Doomduckie
2009-01-16, 05:47 AM
I'd argue farms can't be inside a city's wall, as then they're gardens or the city is absurdly huge (Gobwin Knob is probably exceptional in that it could fit a small crop field in there judging by the aerial view)

The main utility of farms is food production, and Erfworld units get popped in meals, so that kind of diminishes it. Further, no civilian units are ever seen. Who farms? Line infantry? Levy troops that are too useless to otherwise use? We've seen no mention of crops nor trade goods at all, merely money. It all adds up to farms not making sense if they're anything like the real world.

Like an RTS I bet farms merely pop money out of the ground: I'd bet on farms being a schmucker producing structure or one that adds to the main town's shmucker production, while mines a limited-location/rarer type that is more valuable.

Further support: Jillian, describing Faq, says they had 'farms and mines' as if they are about the same thing, both producing money. She further adds that for extra money their kingdom had a mercenary unit. It seems farms and mines just produce money autonomously then. They might even just have little flags there that are replaced which start channeling the schmuckers to the raised flag, or otherwise we'd see Farmers, the first civs in the game.

The question of whether they even have people in them depends on the abstraction. A lot of erfworld civilianry seems to be abstracted- like cleaning, food production, taxes, etc. The only thing that doesn't, money, is also related to military inextricably.

That said, Marbits are shown to be mining on page 1. Perhaps it depends on mines vs farms? Perhaps only natural allies work in mines and farms? Farmers/Miners might == unupgraded basic infantry / peasants.

Kizor
2009-01-16, 05:52 AM
I am impressed by the implied psych-ops on Ansom. Whether or not this was intentional on Parson's part, Ansom's seeing Lord Hamster as a somewhat larger-than-life figure (har har har) and is ordering the assault on the assumption that he must prevent a devious master plan of some sort, rather than a realistic grasp of the disposition of forces.

Lemarc
2009-01-16, 06:31 AM
The problem is that, while we've heard farms mentioned, we don't know if they're important (or, for that matter, if they exist outside your city at all, instead of just being a small upgrade inside your city walls.) It might simply be impossible to pillage the countryside in Erfworld; we've seen no indication of anything worth pillaging near Gobwin Knob, say. It could be that fortresses just magically produce money and units, making it impossible to accomplish anything without outright assaulting them.
Yeah, I was talking about real life. From what we've seen it seems that in Erfworld, like many strategy games, cities are the sole providers of resources, so that tactic wouldn't work.

fractal
2009-01-16, 06:35 AM
I am impressed by the implied psych-ops on Ansom. Whether or not this was intentional on Parson's part, Ansom's seeing Lord Hamster as a somewhat larger-than-life figure (har har har) and is ordering the assault on the assumption that he must prevent a devious master plan of some sort, rather than a realistic grasp of the disposition of forces.
To be fair, even if Parson thinks it would be hopeless now, there's no guarantee that, given the extra time, he wouldn't think of some new strategy to take advantage of it. Ansom may be making a completely realistic assessment of Parson's learning curve. The risk of getting mauled in battle without Archons may be better than the risk that Parson could think of or has already thought of some way to win/escape/deal major damage if left alone for a turn.

chaoschristian
2009-01-16, 06:57 AM
Intersting too is what may be an implied reveal regarding Parson's level of trust towards his deputies:

Maggie: you may act on your own at your discretion with valuable resources

Sizemore: you may use valuable resources on your own within the parameters of these explicit instructions

Wanda: you're with me

Goshen
2009-01-16, 07:02 AM
Great drawing of Wanda on the fourth panel. The strong tall posture, the cleavage, the Mona Lisa smile, the cruel scary eyes--they all make her look both badass and sexy. Even her wounds look like warpaint given their context. It takes a lot of skill to say so much with a few simple lines. Huzzah!

pendell
2009-01-16, 07:09 AM
Excellent! Lots of final reveals for the final battle!

So .. last panel. Was that a literal 'booty call'? Heh heh.

"Tonight we dine on Lord Stanley's booty" -- for some reason that line had me giggling insanely.


Respectfully,

Brian P.

Goshen
2009-01-16, 07:20 AM
For some reason the idea of Sizemore bursting out from below Duke Nozzel, shocking him, "crapping" him, then disappearing again, amuses me no end. I hope it comes to pass.
Ja! I wonder if Sizemore can salvage any warlord corpses from that operation, so Wanda can animate them. :smallwink:

"Dine on Stanly's Booty!" LOL! A dramatic demonstration of how flawed a commander Ansom is. He really needs Vinnie around to help him do his thinking.

So if Ansom looses this next battle and a lot of the allied warlords, he could well loose the coalition. Either way, he would become nearly completely dependent on Charlie's help. Charlie might amend the contract again.

pendell
2009-01-16, 07:38 AM
True dat. A bloody grinding battle of attrition looks on the cards, and just when it seems the battle is lost, reinforcements arrive and the invading army realise how badly they've overstretched.

Reinforcements cannot arrive on Ansom's turn, and the battle will be decided by then, don't you think? Either Ansom will succeed this turn, or he will fail. And if he fails, for all intents and purposes the battle is over. Neither Stanley nor any other factor can arrive on Ansom's turn. So this is it, I think.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

MirEgal
2009-01-16, 07:39 AM
So if Ansom looses this next battle and a lot of the allied warlords, he could well loose the coalition. Either way, he would become nearly completely dependent on Charlie's help. Charlie might amend the contract again.

Charlie reminds me more and more of the devil and his role in movies and literature. He can do everything (with his archons), but he uses them to get power over people chosen by him.

Aquillion
2009-01-16, 08:37 AM
Excellent! Lots of final reveals for the final battle!Well, technically probably not the final battle (Charlie will still be there next turn, assuming nothing really unexpected happens.)

SteveMB
2009-01-16, 08:39 AM
So if Ansom looses this next battle and a lot of the allied warlords, he could well loose the coalition. Either way, he would become nearly completely dependent on Charlie's help. Charlie might amend the contract again.

Charlie does seem to be someone who keeps the letter of his word (while ruthlessly exploiting any loopholes or wiggle room). He can't amend the contract again unless something breaks the one Ansom just accepted.

That said, we don't know just what Ansom has obligated himself to. If it's something he simply cannot deliver (e.g. if he promised to take Parson alive and remand him to Charlie's custody), that may give Charlie an opportunity to bend him over a barrel again....

kreszantas
2009-01-16, 08:45 AM
As for the allied commanders if they are croaked, it would stand to reason those units will become unlead and fall to the wayside like the dwagons did when Stanley ditched the stack... That could be a key element.


Now going by the face no face shown (rule of certain death).... Duke Nozzel, the Red Head and Sizemore will all bite it in this upcoming stand.

Moechi_Vill
2009-01-16, 08:49 AM
Haha, I knew that dark girl was clever!
The redhead is rather impetous as usual.

docstrange
2009-01-16, 08:57 AM
So Sizemore's strategy will be, "Shock and awwww, CRAP!!!"

fendrin
2009-01-16, 09:23 AM
Hey folks, 'booty' meant treasure/riches/plunder in medieval times.
It did not start to refer to anatomy until the roaring 20s.

Given the way that Erfworld food pops automatically with a simultaneous reduction in treasury funds, dining on money is not a hard stretch.

I'd speculate that Ansom's turn of phrase, while amusing to us (and Parson, if he heard it) would be perfectly understood by the other Erf natives.

Soulus101
2009-01-16, 09:44 AM
For those wondering about shockmancy, it's most probably the "energy" rather than effects like fear. According to Parsons Klog #2 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0040.html), Shockmancy is aligned with "Erf" and is a class of "naughtymancy," which uses motion and matter. Fear sounds more "Fate" or "Life," whereas electricity fits all of those areas. I wonder if casters get bonuses/penalties to casting non-class spells, depending on their specialty's alignment/major class? If so, Sizemore is aligned with erf (and stuffamancy is matter-dependent), and Wanda's major class is naughtymancy...

re. the people worrying about the casters conserving energy for GK's turn, they get revived at the beginning of their turn, so they basically have the rest of the RCC turn to use up the energy they have left from their own turn. "Save your own juice" probably means use the spells from wandas stock.

And I wonder if sizemore levelled during the underground attack?

teratorn
2009-01-16, 09:48 AM
Hey folks, 'booty' meant treasure/riches/plunder in medieval times.

That was the only meaning I knew until everyone started giggling at Celia's line in OOTS (when she gave the medallion to Roy). Even now I didn't think about it until all the 12 year olds started giggling again.

Doran
2009-01-16, 09:52 AM
re. the people worrying about the casters conserving energy for GK's turn, they get revived at the beginning of their turn, so they basically have the rest of the RCC turn to use up the energy they have left from their own turn. "Save your own juice" probably means use the spells from wandas stock.

It could be for magic, casters have a pool that is increased at the start of their sides turn by +3 say, but it is not restored to max.

Also did anyone notice that Sizemore is very low profile in this comic, we don't see his face, and only get a brief reply. Its presumably for narrative reasons, as Sizemore's pacifism versus him being compelled to fight is interesting, but not a last stand.

Also more people should join Erfworld's group on Facebook (http://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Erfworld/44806736881)

HandofShadows
2009-01-16, 10:13 AM
In which Ansom makes the classic mistake of applying the right tactics for last round's battle to this round's battle.

They say general prepare to re-fight the last war. Ansom can't even get that far. He tries to refight the last battle. :smallamused:

HandofShadows
2009-01-16, 10:21 AM
It doesn't invalidate your statements, but it's actually been 5 turns. Remember, he got a toy in his breakfast every morning: the glasses, the bracer, and the 3 pieces of the sword, with the third piece being just this morning. So this is the 5th day after the day he was summoned.

Parson also said he had been playing with the system for a week. Might have there been a few days/nights we missed while people where moving? (And the night Wanda rewarded Jillian?) :smallconfused:

SteveMB
2009-01-16, 10:39 AM
Parson also said he had been playing with the system for a week. Might have there been a few days/nights we missed while people where moving? (And the night Wanda rewarded Jillian?) :smallconfused:

First, there was the day he was summoned (which would be before the first Stupid Meal with the "3-D Glasses"), so he's been in Erfworld for six days. That's close enough for him to refer to it as "a week".

HandofShadows
2009-01-16, 10:40 AM
I read a short history of castles once that claimed that most of the instances of a major one changing hands were due to treachery or seige, and that successful storming was rare. I don't know enough to judge the accuracy of the claim, but i do suspect that in stories and ballads (ie the popular media), storming would have been overrepresented since it's more interesting.

It really depends on the fortress and it's location. Some fortresses where never attacked. Most fortresses only came under attack a few times. A few fortresses where attacked over and over again and changed hands all the time. Trying to storm a castel was not a good idea most of the time, but it could work if you knew what you are doing and the proper tools. Sieges where long and expensive. And they could be broken by an army coming to the rescue. Many castles fell to negotiation (guesss that could be considered treatchery) or missinformation (the Krak des Chevaliers, one of the most perfect fortresses ever built, "fell" to a false message. The attackers could not breach it's defences despite them being held by only a handfull of warrior monks).

What we are seeing at GK is a stong attack against a badly understrengthed denfensive force that has no help of getting reinforments (other than Parson). A siege would be much less bloody, but the RCC is politicaly very fragile and won't hold together much longer. Ansom has to take GK befor his army splits apart and goes home.

Hatu
2009-01-16, 10:49 AM
To be fair, even if Parson thinks it would be hopeless now, there's no guarantee that, given the extra time, he wouldn't think of some new strategy to take advantage of it. Ansom may be making a completely realistic assessment of Parson's learning curve. The risk of getting mauled in battle without Archons may be better than the risk that Parson could think of or has already thought of some way to win/escape/deal major damage if left alone for a turn.

I was thinking about this last night, actually. I'm not really sure why Parson would need to surrender if Ansom does not press the attack.

Parson claims Ansom is trying to overwhelm him with simple numbers when force multipliers are the critical factor. That sounds good, but what extra force multipliers would Ansom have available to him on his next turn? Unless Jillian and the Transilvitans can rejoin the RCC and make it to GK in a single turn, I can't see any. So the only advantage to delay would be to link up with the Archons and launch an assault with even more overwhelming numbers - the very thing Parson feels is the wrong plan.

In addition, it sure seems to me as though waiting a turn only makes Ansom's situation worse, whatever reinforcements are available. Even if we assume Parson expects some massive bonus from defending a breech in the Garrison walls, he plans to conduct guerilla raids on Ansom's leaders with Sizemore. But as we've already seen, Sizemore can do that whether Ansom attacks or not. Unless Ansom completely evacuates GK, waiting until next turn won't protect his own force multipliers; it will just waste the benefit those leaders could have provided. And if Ansom pulls out completely, he'll have to fight his way through two] breeches on the next turn, which just makes matters worse.

Likewise, Parson plans to uncroak a bunch of dead RCC troops. But he could do that anytime Ansom attacked, so how would stalling for a turn help? Whenever Ansom finally makes his push he'll still have to deal with the risk of bolstering Parson's forces. If Wanda really does have to wait until her turn to uncroak any more soldiers (though I don't see why that's suddenly a requirement) then attacking now would ensure that Parson's force doesn't get any bigger. Given that stalling for a turn just gives Parson more time to conduct guerilla raids on the RCC (and uncroak the victims), Ansom really should launch the assault this turn unless he simply doesn't have even enough additive forces to do the job. But in that case the option to attack shouldn't even be on the table.

What it comes down to is that Parson's plan on this turn is basically the same plan he used last turn: isolate and surgically attack key units within a larger force, then envelop the weakened forces and uncroak them. But last time the plan hinged on Ansom not launching his assault immediately, whereas this time the same plan falls apart if Ansom hesitates. Yet no actual reason is provided for the difference.

-H

headhoncho
2009-01-16, 10:51 AM
I think that I've encountered similar claims. I've heard something of that sort said about the Great Wall of China.

My understanding of the Great Wall is that it served as a great alert system. Barbarians could breach (climb over) the walls, but they would be spotted and the military would be alerted by signals, and the barbarians would be hunted down. And they would never be able to take their "booty" away because the wall would obstruct them.

I think they'd figure that out pretty fast, so I don't know how long people would keep on trying. So yes, I believe it was pretty effective.

Separately, I LOVE chaoschristian's point about Parson and the amount of trust he has in each caster.

SteveD
2009-01-16, 10:53 AM
Hey folks, 'booty' meant treasure/riches/plunder in medieval times.
It did not start to refer to anatomy until the roaring 20s.

Given the way that Erfworld food pops automatically with a simultaneous reduction in treasury funds, dining on money is not a hard stretch.

I'd speculate that Ansom's turn of phrase, while amusing to us (and Parson, if he heard it) would be perfectly understood by the other Erf natives.

For you (http://www.geocities.com/mpetrie98/MasterOfTheObvious.jpg). ^^

SteveMB
2009-01-16, 11:04 AM
What it comes down to is that Parson's plan on this turn is basically the same plan he used last turn: isolate and surgically attack key units within a larger force, then envelop the weakened forces and uncroak them. But last time the plan hinged on Ansom not launching his assault immediately, whereas this time the same plan falls apart if Ansom hesitates. Yet no actual reason is provided for the difference.

Simple. If Ansom waits until his next turn, he'll have Charlie's Archons helping him (now that they've made a new alliance). If not, Charlie's forces can't move in (since they already had their turn today -- all they can do is react to units that enter airspace, which they already did and is now irrelevant since Parson is fresh out of flying units). Basically, Parson agrees with the Black Female Alliance leader's comments to Ansom in the next-to-last panel.

Also, if Ansom moves in now, Wanda will be able to uncroak the casualties next turn (after her magic gets replenished at the start of the turn).

Promakhonas
2009-01-16, 11:26 AM
The difference between this situation and the last, basically, is that last time Parson's survival hinged on his ability to bring power to bear, and this time it hinges on Ansom's ability to bring power to bear.

Last time, Parson needed to crush the tunnel attack decisively, so he needed time to use his casters' magic to set up traps etc.

This time, Charlie used the Mathamancy Parson owes him to bring in as many Archons as needed to guarantee the capture of Gobwin Knob, given the forces Parson had. However, though they now act on RCC's turn, they can't change zones until after the next night (by analogy with the alliance-switching of Jillian, you don't need to wait a full turn cycle, you just need night to end to get move back) and therefore cannot be used in the attack this turn. Parson needs to chew up Ansom's forces *now* and hopefully acquire the pliers, so between that, his defensive position, and Stanley on his biggest and baddest dwagon roaring in next turn, his boop will be pulled out of the fire from Charlie's Archons.

Zael Zuran
2009-01-16, 11:41 AM
Shockamancy seems like it would be tied into the planned guerilla tactics the golems will be employing. Direct damage is unlikely for such a purpose for anything other than indulging the artist's talents, though that's as good a reason as any.

If Shockamancy is "naughty", it is likely considered dirty fighting by Erfworlders. Not plain old fear, per se; but rather chaotic, disruptive attacks. It may affect enemy leadership bonus, enemy stats, morale (indirect fear), or any combination of those. Whether this is accomplished by stunning (keeping with the electric theme), magically terrifying, or what have you - is pure speculation, unfortunately.

Parson is determined to break the multipliers of his enemies while boosting those of his own forces. Sowing confusion among leadership stacks would be more in line with those plans, rather than squandering limited resources in a series of knock down fights with warlords or their equivalents.

In other words, for the tactic to not be an utter waste, Shockamancy should probably give at least a small chance of avoiding a counterattack (stun, fear, etc) to make the strategy anything more than sending Sizemore off to die.

fendrin
2009-01-16, 11:47 AM
A siege would be much less bloody, but the RCC is politicaly very fragile and won't hold together much longer. Ansom has to take GK befor his army splits apart and goes home.

That and you can't starve out a castle in Erfworld.


For you (http://www.geocities.com/mpetrie98/MasterOfTheObvious.jpg). ^^
Why yes, yes I am.
However, just as 'common sense' is hardly common, 'the obvious' is often not obvious.

DevilDan
2009-01-16, 11:50 AM
Intersting too is what may be an implied reveal regarding Parson's level of trust towards his deputies:

Maggie: you may act on your own at your discretion with valuable resources

Sizemore: you may use valuable resources on your own within the parameters of these explicit instructions

Wanda: you're with me

I'd say it has more to do with how effective each one can be while keeping him or her safe. There's no point to having Maggie in the front lines. Sizemore can go against the enemy force multipliers and leadership. Wanda can't attack the leadership directly and she gives massive bonuses to uncroaked, so her spot is down in the thick of it with Parson.

If they survive to see their next turn, I wonder whether the spell will give Parson any other magic items.

koima
2009-01-16, 12:02 PM
There is one storytelling rule that I have never seen broken:

If the audience knows the plan ahead of time, everything goes to crap golems and the protagonist fails.

When the audience doesn't know the plan ahead of time the heroes succeed in fine style.

Did Parson's pre-battle exposition doom him to failure?

Happydork
2009-01-16, 12:17 PM
Hamster's going to go for the dance fight bonus. The undead will go stomp-stomp-clap, Hamster will provide the lyrics, and the Knights will provide the chorus of We will, we will, ROCK YOU! Nothing ensures a dance fight bonus like Queen.

If there is a fight dance bonus with undead, there is only one song that would work. Thriller

DevilDan
2009-01-16, 12:27 PM
If the audience knows the plan ahead of time, everything goes to crap golems and the protagonist fails.

When the audience doesn't know the plan ahead of time the heroes succeed in fine style.

Did Parson's pre-battle exposition doom him to failure?

Well, it should be balanced out by the fact that we've sort of seen both Ansom and Parson shouting their orders or plans.

PhantomFox
2009-01-16, 12:29 PM
That trope is also tempered by the fact that we don't know too many DETAILS about his plan.

Hatu
2009-01-16, 12:40 PM
Simple. If Ansom waits until his next turn, he'll have Charlie's Archons helping him (now that they've made a new alliance). If not, Charlie's forces can't move in (since they already had their turn today -- all they can do is react to units that enter airspace, which they already did and is now irrelevant since Parson is fresh out of flying units).


So what? Unless the Archons provide a massive multiplicative bonus (and I see no reason to assume they do) they're just more additive grist for the mill: exactly the thing Parson dismisses in this comic.

It's possible that yet another previously unmentioned exception will be dropped on us shortly, but I think Charlie's forces are already powerful enough without them being an army of Warlords.



Last time, Parson needed to crush the tunnel attack decisively, so he needed time to use his casters' magic to set up traps etc.


I considered that, but it's unconvincing in light of what we've seen. Parson has already proven he can move and control troops/casters out of turn, so that's not a problem. Sizemore has demonstrated that he can phase through the ground out of turn, and Parson expects him to conduct hit and run tactics out of turn now, so that's not a problem. Wanda was able to trigger the air defenses out of turn (after Parson chose not to use them); we also know Sizemore had to disable a few of his traps lest Webinar trip them while entering the caves, so it must be possible for them to be used off turn as well. And since Parson has just said that dead units will remain to uncroak later, that wasn't the problem either. So really, what was Parson doing on his turn that we haven't already seen him do on Ansom's turn?

The only thing I can come up with is that if Parson attacked on Ansom's turn, Ansom would be able to withdraw his forces from the tunnels; that would require Move, after all. But that would be just as true in this case: Ansom could pull out of the courtyard at any time if the going gets tough.

This is the sort of disingenuity that annoys me about Erfworld. We're told that a situation is dire even though similar situations (and sometimes the same situation!) prove not to be. We're told that a plan hinges on some key point, even though similar plans do not (or hinge on the exact opposite). This comic seems incapable of a slow buildup leading to a logical payoff. Buildup serves only as misdirection leading to a sudden twist. That gets tiresome after a few rounds.

And we haven't even seen how Parson's latest plan will go off the rails yet.

-H

headhoncho
2009-01-16, 12:51 PM
So what? Unless the Archons provide a massive multiplicative bonus (and I see no reason to assume they do) they're just more additive grist for the mill: exactly the thing Parson dismisses in this comic.
It's possible that yet another previously unmentioned exception will be dropped on us shortly, but I think Charlie's forces are already powerful enough without them being an army of Warlords.

It's possible they'll pull an Archon inherent, or Archon warlord, bonus on us. There have been some implications within the strip that Archons may act as warlords.

But I believe it's more likely -- and if so, I'd be totally fine with this -- that the reason the Archons would turn the tide is that they START with such a high inherent combat factor that they don't need as many force multipliers to exceed Parson's forces. An example is below.

Suppose Archons are Combat 9. Suppose the bulk of Ansom's troops are Combat 3. Suppose the bulk of Parson's troops are Combat 1.

Let's say you apply a +10 bonus to Ansom's side and a +15 bonus to Parson's side. You'd have Parson's troops mowing down most of Ansom's troops, 16 to 13, although it would still be a meat grinder.

But toss in 34 units at Combat 19? Particularly ones that appear to be able to target specific units such as PARSON'S leadership corps? It becomes a rout.

That's just one example, and obviously you might have to play with the numbers, but having played many a turn-based wargame, this feels right to me.


This comic seems incapable of a slow buildup leading to a logical payoff. Buildup serves only as misdirection leading to a sudden twist. That gets tiresome after a few rounds.
And we haven't even seen how Parson's latest plan will go off the rails yet.

On this, we're in agreement.

Love your posts, thanks for your thoughts.

OnDroid
2009-01-16, 01:13 PM
When hearing Parson to mention "Dance fighting" I fear we might see the Hamsterdance. :smallbiggrin:

PhantomFox
2009-01-16, 01:20 PM
When hearing Parson to mention "Dance fighting" I fear we might see the Hamsterdance. :smallbiggrin:

Now that you mention it, that WOULD fit PERFECTLY! Nice call.

Deda de da de de da do do...

fendrin
2009-01-16, 01:21 PM
So what? Unless the Archons provide a massive multiplicative bonus (and I see no reason to assume they do) they're just more additive grist for the mill: exactly the thing Parson dismisses in this comic.

It's possible that yet another previously unmentioned exception will be dropped on us shortly, but I think Charlie's forces are already powerful enough without them being an army of Warlords.

Although I have numerous times theorized that the Archons are at minimum commanders, I think they will have a multiplicative effect that is unrelated to any bonuses they themselves would give.

Specifically, their ability as aerial attackers to cherry-pick their targets means that they will be able to focus their (powerful) attacks on GK's leadership corps. Besically, they would fulfill the same combat role that has been assigned to Sizemore. Reduce the enemies multipliers, rather than increasing your own.

Calemyr
2009-01-16, 01:26 PM
First off, Charlie has brought enough angels to take GK on his own, using Parson's bracer to ensure this. Parson's pretty sure he can manipulate the multipliers enough to overcome Ansom's brute force strategy, but if it'll be a close thing against Ansom alone. There won't be enough multipliers in play to change the tide if Charlie is allowed to take part.

Second, this marks a change in Parson's strategy. His early siege strategy was reactionary, setting up traps that relied on the enemy walking into them to be effective. This time he is playing an aggressive game, trying to hit the enemy rather than letting the enemy try to hit them. This time there is no stalling for time, because the game ends the second Charlie can move, and so he has to finish this now or be finished himself. That means he's going to use every trick he can to give himself an offensive edge rather than degrading that of the enemy. Maximizing casualties while on the defense in his case also means maximizing offense when the morning comes.

Gamebird
2009-01-16, 01:27 PM
I like reading nearly everyone's posts here. I read the comic first, then the forum. Then I go back and re-read the comic, because there are so many things I miss the first time that others catch or explain.

Blue Paladin
2009-01-16, 01:44 PM
As far as Ansom's "luck", and how it's an easy plot device... how do you figure that? BEFORE Parson showed up, it has been quite clearly alluded to, Ansom was King of the Hill. The scion of the royal forces, Ansom is basically the best warlord the royals have to offer. Hence why he's gained the allies he has..do you really think that he could have gathered the allies he has without having a reputation as a very fierce and effective commander? The fact that his allies are showing doubt in his abilities at this juncture is all about Parson's ability to thwart him at every turn, not about his reputation preceding Parson's arrival. No king or leader would have put his forces under him if they perceived him as being LESS capable than their own warleaders.Not always true... Going back to ancient China, in the Three Kingdoms era, there was a coalition put together to depose the usurper Dong Zhuo. Despite having many fierce and famous warlords (e.g. Cao Cao, Sun Jian), the rivalries between those disparate warlords and generals made it near impossible to unite. In the end, they followed Yuan Shao (despite his relative lack of ability)... simply because no one really had anything against him. He worked as a rallying point (for the most part) because he came from a famous and powerful family, in spite of his personal shortcomings (indecisiveness, refusing to listen to his advisers).

In the end, that coalition fell apart due to internal bickering (e.g. Yuan Shu stopped sending supplies to Sun Jian; Han Fu stopped sending supplies to Yuan Shao; Yuan Shao made retalitory plans with Gongsun Zan to seize Han Fu's territory; outright fighting between coalition members with Yuan Shao's forces under Zhou Ang capturing Sun Jian's camp, and Gongsun Yue's counterattack ending in his death... which led to Gongsun Zan's declaration of vengeance and subsequent war against Yuan Shao, his own "secret" ally). Not that internal bickering was unique to the coalition; Dong Zhuo's own forces suffered from the same malady (e.g. Lu Bu feuding with Hu Zhen, leading to Sun Jian's victory; Wang Yun using Lu Bu to ultimately kill Dong Zhuo himself)

Yeah, just be glad Ansom doesn't have to deal with petty Chinese generals in his coalition.

Olibarro
2009-01-16, 01:48 PM
Parson has already proven he can move and control troops/casters out of turn, so that's not a problem. Sizemore has demonstrated that he can phase through the ground out of turn, and Parson expects him to conduct hit and run tactics out of turn now, so that's not a problem. Wanda was able to trigger the air defenses out of turn (after Parson chose not to use them); we also know Sizemore had to disable a few of his traps lest Webinar trip them while entering the caves, so it must be possible for them to be used off turn as well. And since Parson has just said that dead units will remain to uncroak later, that wasn't the problem either. So really, what was Parson doing on his turn that we haven't already seen him do on Ansom's turn?

My guess is that it has something to do with being engaged with the enemy. When it is not your turn, but the enemy is in your space--that is, you are engaged, then you may take various actions that normally you could only take on your own turn. When it's not your turn, you sit around and do nothing until the enemy engages you, and then you get to fight back in defense. And defense can involve quite an extensive array of actions.

Before Ansom moved troops into the tunnels, GK's forces were not engaged there, and therefore could only set up traps on their own turn. They clearly could not wait for the enemy to enter before setting up traps, because by then it's too late. In order to get the job done, they needed a turn of their own prior to engaging the enemy in that venue.

Right now, I can't wrap my brain around how well that applies to everything else we've seen, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who can support this or pick it apart.

Nobody
2009-01-16, 02:07 PM
I for one, do not think that Ansom has acted foolishly. Ever.

When the dragons assaulted the siege, Parson was an unknown factor. The fact that he used such an effective maneuver was completely oncharacteristic of Stanley. There was no way that Ansom could have predicted that. Not only that, but Ansom turned defeat into victory, working on limited information, and a reserve force that Ansom set aside for exactly that purpose. It was good planning that won Ansom that battle.

Then, his diverting arial units in pursuit of Stanley was a good bet, and ruined only by a tricky play by Charlie. Gobwin Knob would have fallen had things worked any better.

Soon after, he started the assault on Gobwin Knob. Again, remember that his assesment of Parson is limited at best. In their brief telekinetic interaction, Parson came across as a boorish, unsophisticated, fool, and it was clear that not even Stanley had faith enough in Parson's abilities not to flee Gobwin Knob.

Lets also consider that Ansom was right to wait that turn until attacking the outer walls. Not only was he right that taking out Stanley would make an assault unnecessary, but he needed the remaining siege to break through, and all of parsons units were guarding the outer wall. It was a good plan, but it was based on bad information.

So now, Ansom has learned a valuable lesson. Parson is not to be underestimated. He is smart, capable, ruthless, tricky, and has three potent casters on his side. The damage that Parson and his casters have done this far to the alliance is unestimatable. Another turn might spell disaster, espescially with so many dead bodies in the courtyard.

And, lets not forget that the ground battle has been a succession of victories for Ansom. Parson has been retreating. Parsons forces are weaker in number and in strength, but strong in maneuver. Ansom knows this. The obvious choice is to attack Parson's weak point (numbers) without giving time for recouping losses, or healing units, or doing anything else but stay on the defensive.

I think that Ansom has been making good decisions. Parson happens to be in a situation that requires Ansom to act now, but by anybody's best estimation, Ansom's agreement with Charlie caught Parson unable to defend himself, and has disrupted whatever plans Parson had. Nobody wants to give the Hamster time to work up a new one.

I think that both Ansom's greatest weakness and Parson's greatest strength is their access to accurate information.

-Nobody

DevilDan
2009-01-16, 02:15 PM
Regarding Ansom's mistakes:

Some will argue that even attacking Stanley is a bit wrongheaded on his part seeing as it's mostly based on ideology.

Ansom would have gotten himself kidnapped right off the bat if it weren't for Vinny's advice.

And trusting Jillian could have nearly cost him everything. It was close; he should have been suspicious after her convenient escape. After all, she is still a mercenary even if her story is believable.

And attacking the walls singlehandedly was reckless even if not necessarily foolish; if he had hired Charlie before taking that risk, it would probably have been cheaper and he'd have saved himself a few lumps.

Rhuna_Coppermane
2009-01-16, 02:17 PM
I'm such a 12 year old lol "Dine on Stanley's Booty" made me crack up <T_T>

This is very interesting... < . .>b GO PARSON!

Yes, me too. Not an image I needed! :D

Lamech
2009-01-16, 02:35 PM
I for one, do not think that Ansom has acted foolishly. Ever.
He has screwed up time and time again. OVER the objections or advice of others. First he (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0046.html)wants to go rushing off to Jillian. Though he did listen to Vinny so he didn't screw up, but he would have if Vinny wasn't his friend. (Which means that he wouldn't have lost to the perfect warlord, but Wanda and Stanley. That would have been pathetic for leading such force...)


When the dragons assaulted the siege, Parson was an unknown factor. The fact that he used such an effective maneuver was completely oncharacteristic of Stanley. There was no way that Ansom could have predicted that. Not only that, but Ansom turned defeat into victory, working on limited information, and a reserve force that Ansom set aside for exactly that purpose. It was good planning that won Ansom that battle.
He acted quite well here. He came up with a plan that had the best chance of sucess. He got lucky it worked, but that doesn't matter, as it was his only option that didn't hand Stanley a win.

Then, his diverting arial units in pursuit of Stanley was a good bet, and ruined only by a tricky play by Charlie. Gobwin Knob would have fallen had things worked any better.
He put the air units under Jillian's command! If it wasn't for the Archons, breaking the spell he would have been screwed! He should have suspected that a spell was on Jillian, but he didn't. Not only that it still was a really bad idea. And he trusted Charlie! Of course, that could end badly, even Stanley knows that. Really the whole plan was horrible.

Soon after, he started the assault on Gobwin Knob. Again, remember that his assesment of Parson is limited at best. In their brief telekinetic interaction, Parson came across as a boorish, unsophisticated, fool, and it was clear that not even Stanley had faith enough in Parson's abilities not to flee Gobwin Knob.You never trust anything from the enemy; especially when it didn't cost them anything. You assume that it is an act meant to trick you. And don't trust Stanley's judgement either. The guy's a moron.


Lets also consider that Ansom was right to wait that turn until attacking the outer walls. Not only was he right that taking out Stanley would make an assault unnecessary, but he needed the remaining siege to break through, and all of parsons units were guarding the outer wall. It was a good plan, but it was based on bad information.
Secondly, Webinar said attacking the walls (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0101.html) was the way to go AND the black female leader (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0113.html) thought they should have attacked that turn. He ignored the advice of two differant people.



So now, Ansom has learned a valuable lesson. Parson is not to be underestimated. He is smart, capable, ruthless, tricky, and has three potent casters on his side. The damage that Parson and his casters have done this far to the alliance is unestimatable. Another turn might spell disaster, espescially with so many dead bodies in the courtyard.
Again he ignored the advice of the black female coalition leader. And it will cost him again.

And, lets not forget that the ground battle has been a succession of victories for Ansom. Parson has been retreating. Parsons forces are weaker in number and in strength, but strong in maneuver. Ansom knows this. The obvious choice is to attack Parson's weak point (numbers) without giving time for recouping losses, or healing units, or doing anything else but stay on the defensive.

I think that Ansom has been making good decisions. Parson happens to be in a situation that requires Ansom to act now, but by anybody's best estimation, Ansom's agreement with Charlie caught Parson unable to defend himself, and has disrupted whatever plans Parson had. Nobody wants to give the Hamster time to work up a new one.

I think that both Ansom's greatest weakness and Parson's greatest strength is their access to accurate information.

-Nobody
He is gaining ground at far to high of a cost. He has tossed away all most all of his fliers. Threw away the advice of a highly competent warlord, and thousands of Jetstone's finest. And now will throw away, the lives of many more troops.

BRC
2009-01-16, 03:03 PM
Concerning Ansom: Before Parson arrived, Ansom was a good warlord. The impression I got was that being a warlord was more about leadership skills than tactical skills, it was about charisma, inspiring troops, ect. Remember, Erfworld mimics a Turn Based Strategy Game, and in games like that tactics are generally handled by the player. Leader units arn't there for tactics, because then what does the player do, they are there for good combat skills and the bonuses they provide.

In those terms, Ansom is a very very good warlord, lots of charisma and combat strength. However, Parson is a player, so his purpose isn't to provide numerical bonuses, but to handle tactics. In this case, Parson is probably one-of-a-kind.

Heck, maybe that's WHY Ansom seems to fall into Parson's traps so much. Because he's got a good numerical bonus and combat skills, he dosn't usually have to rely on guile, especially with how rarely it comes up in parsonian amounts. Vinny on the other hand, is presumably a less-able warlord than Ansom in terms of numerical bonuses. Which is why he's abit more cunning.

fendrin
2009-01-16, 03:12 PM
Concerning Ansom: Before Parson arrived, Ansom was a good warlord. The impression I got was that being a warlord was more about leadership skills than tactical skills, it was about charisma, inspiring troops, ect. Remember, Erfworld mimics a Turn Based Strategy Game, and in games like that tactics are generally handled by the player. Leader units arn't there for tactics, because then what does the player do, they are there for good combat skills and the bonuses they provide.

In those terms, Ansom is a very very good warlord, lots of charisma and combat strength. However, Parson is a player, so his purpose isn't to provide numerical bonuses, but to handle tactics. In this case, Parson is probably one-of-a-kind.

Heck, maybe that's WHY Ansom seems to fall into Parson's traps so much. Because he's got a good numerical bonus and combat skills, he dosn't usually have to rely on guile, especially with how rarely it comes up in parsonian amounts. Vinny on the other hand, is presumably a less-able warlord than Ansom in terms of numerical bonuses. Which is why he's abit more cunning.

Erfworld is TBS-like. There are no (known) players. The role filled by a player in a typical TBS seems to be filled by a combination of the Overlord and the Chief Warlord. Both also fill TBS-style Leader roles. Parson has experience as a player, but has been shoehorned into a chief warlord. The spell had to augment his abilities so that he could fulfill the non-player portions of a chief warlord's role.

slayerx
2009-01-16, 03:14 PM
I considered that, but it's unconvincing in light of what we've seen. Parson has already proven he can move and control troops/casters out of turn, so that's not a problem. Sizemore has demonstrated that he can phase through the ground out of turn, and Parson expects him to conduct hit and run tactics out of turn now, so that's not a problem. Wanda was able to trigger the air defenses out of turn (after Parson chose not to use them); we also know Sizemore had to disable a few of his traps lest Webinar trip them while entering the caves, so it must be possible for them to be used off turn as well. And since Parson has just said that dead units will remain to uncroak later, that wasn't the problem either. So really, what was Parson doing on his turn that we haven't already seen him do on Ansom's turn?


If Ansom had attacked while it was still his turn he would have been attack both the tunnels AND the walls... though Asnom did not have the bulk of his seige, he still had seige to attack the walls with... as long as Ansom was attacking the walls, even if it was with only the minimal siege he had, Parson would have needed to keep troops up on the wall to defend them

However, because Ansom waited and it became Parson's turn, Parson no longer needed to keep his troops on the walls as Ansom could not attack the walls out of turn... The troops he had up on the walls could be called down to aid the fight in the tunnels.... and there is some indication that is what Parson did; Ansom's scouts reported seeing "Many" gobwins on the walls, and yet we saw that gobwin's made the bulk of the tunnel attack force, meaning they were likely moved from the walls defence to the tunnel offense... Had Ansom attacked on his turn, Parson might have been forced to keep the gowbins up top to deal with the minimal seige

BRC
2009-01-16, 03:18 PM
Erfworld is TBS-like. There are no (known) players. The role filled by a player in a typical TBS seems to be filled by a combination of the Overlord and the Chief Warlord. Both also fill TBS-style Leader roles. Parson has experience as a player, but has been shoehorned into a chief warlord. The spell had to augment his abilities so that he could fulfill the non-player portions of a chief warlord's role.
Yes, but because the warlords Are warlords, they rarely rely on cunning and guile. Since you can generally tell how good a warlord somebody will be by looking at their Leadership score, so presumably, that's how warlords are generally picked. Now, tactical intelligence isn't completally disregarded (except in cases like how Stanley picked his warlords), but it's not the main way warlords are picked, and so millitary geniuses with low leadership scores will have few chances to show it. Therefore any millitary genius warlords would be very rare (as they would need both high leadership and high tactical smarts), or lucky enough to be noticed by somebody in charge.

SteveMB
2009-01-16, 03:19 PM
Heck, maybe that's WHY Ansom seems to fall into Parson's traps so much. Because he's got a good numerical bonus and combat skills, he dosn't usually have to rely on guile, especially with how rarely it comes up in parsonian amounts. Vinny on the other hand, is presumably a less-able warlord than Ansom in terms of numerical bonuses. Which is why he's abit more cunning.

Or, more simply, he's gotten a bit mentally lazy for lack of any real challenge -- until now, he's been fighting Stanley (who's a lousy strategist). Note that his first reaction to the dwagon donut trap was (perfectly justified) disbelief that Stanley could have come up with something so clever.

BRC
2009-01-16, 03:25 PM
Or, more simply, he's gotten a bit mentally lazy for lack of any real challenge -- until now, he's been fighting Stanley (who's a lousy strategist). Note that his first reaction to the dwagon donut trap was (perfectly justified) disbelief that Stanley could have come up with something so clever.
Exactly. So far in Ansoms career, Putting on a grin and smashing heads worked just fine, it played directly to his strengths. He relied on it. The same way Stanley probably relied on his Dwagons and Hammer.

HandofShadows
2009-01-16, 03:41 PM
Yeah, just be glad Ansom doesn't have to deal with petty Chinese generals in his coalition.

Not glad for Ansom. I am glad that Pason only has to worry about Stanley and not those Chinese generals though.

TheChocoboMafia
2009-01-16, 03:44 PM
Something that a few people mentioned in this thread is how this battle will almost certainly not be how either Parson or Ansom have laid it out. Parson has an excellent plan, but Ansom is not one to lay down and die. While this may be trying to predict a bit too far out, given how unpredictable things in this comic can be, I think that one of Ansom's goals during the battle will be the elimination of Wanda.

Ansom knows full well what she is capable of. While he did not finish her off before, it could have been because he simply did not see her as a threat any longer. However, once the battle is joined and Parson gains the upper hand, Ansom might realize what Parson's plan is. With Wanda on the front lines granting the uncroaked her large bonus, as well as being the linchpin of the whole plan, she would easily be the most strategic target. Ansom has been shown to be a quick thinker in times of trouble. Eliminating Wanda would derail Parson's whole plan.

What I'm hoping for is that Ansom goes to do this himself. With the Arkenpliers.

Lamech
2009-01-16, 04:22 PM
Something that a few people mentioned in this thread is how this battle will almost certainly not be how either Parson or Ansom have laid it out. Parson has an excellent plan, but Ansom is not one to lay down and die. While this may be trying to predict a bit too far out, given how unpredictable things in this comic can be, I think that one of Ansom's goals during the battle will be the elimination of Wanda.
Anyway Parson is predicting a breach in the walls and his casters to go after leadership, and then that he can repell the attacks. Ansom on the other hand is predicting a breach in the walls and Hampster not repelling the attacks, and Hampster to try something tricky. So... unless there is no wall breach, or Parson's casters turn on him, its going one of there ways...
They're plans are so vauge and inclusive, that one has to happen, almost.


Ansom knows full well what she is capable of. While he did not finish her off before, it could have been because he simply did not see her as a threat any longer. However, once the battle is joined and Parson gains the upper hand, Ansom might realize what Parson's plan is. With Wanda on the front lines granting the uncroaked her large bonus, as well as being the linchpin of the whole plan, she would easily be the most strategic target. Ansom has been shown to be a quick thinker in times of trouble. Eliminating Wanda would derail Parson's whole plan.
Umm... remember what happened last time Ansom (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0133.html)tried to croak Wanda? I see no reason to believe that won't happen again.


What I'm hoping for is that Ansom goes to do this himself. With the Arkenpliers. Me too, me too...
Ansom: Now demoness you, aww ccrraaapp... not agai *whap, smash, capture*
Parson: Wanna be our new chief warlord? Here take this sword, and I'll be giving these pliers to Wanda.
Is my prediction for it.

Hatu
2009-01-16, 04:27 PM
If Ansom had attacked while it was still his turn he would have been attack both the tunnels AND the walls... though Asnom did not have the bulk of his seige, he still had seige to attack the walls with... as long as Ansom was attacking the walls, even if it was with only the minimal siege he had, Parson would have needed to keep troops up on the wall to defend them

However, because Ansom waited and it became Parson's turn, Parson no longer needed to keep his troops on the walls as Ansom could not attack the walls out of turn... The troops he had up on the walls could be called down to aid the fight in the tunnels.... and there is some indication that is what Parson did; Ansom's scouts reported seeing "Many" gobwins on the walls, and yet we saw that gobwin's made the bulk of the tunnel attack force, meaning they were likely moved from the walls defence to the tunnel offense... Had Ansom attacked on his turn, Parson might have been forced to keep the gowbins up top to deal with the minimal seige

Would Ansom know that Parson had re-deployed some/all of his wall forces in time to breech? His intelligence gathering methods have always been very hard for me to follow, but the information he gets is usually spotty or very slow. I suppose it depends on how the nebulous scouts work.

At any rate, your explanation makes more sense than mine, so I'll assume you're right. That just leaves the question of why waiting to attack is such a strong move for Ansom.

Perhaps Parson's worried that a simultaneous attack on both the Courtyard and Tower could split his forces and somehow rob him of his force multipliers? But that would seem to split Ansom's forces/multipliers just as badly. Also, shouldn't Parson at least pay lip service to the risk of Ansom sending some of his allies in through the tunnels and flanking him on this very turn? Unless, again, it's just a case of Ansom not having the muscle to take the Courtyard on his own, additive or otherwise.



Something that a few people mentioned in this thread is how this battle will almost certainly not be how either Parson or Ansom have laid it out. Parson has an excellent plan, but Ansom is not one to lay down and die. While this may be trying to predict a bit too far out, given how unpredictable things in this comic can be, I think that one of Ansom's goals during the battle will be the elimination of Wanda.


It would be odd for Parson to outline his plan ahead of time if everything was going to go smoothly. Even more so since it would just be a repeat of last turn.

But I doubt I'm lucky enough for the twist to be Ansom killing Wanda.

-H

Sieggy
2009-01-16, 04:36 PM
Has anyone else noticed that Ansom seems to be missing some teeth in panel #9?

Sieggy

DevilDan
2009-01-16, 05:12 PM
Has anyone else noticed that Ansom seems to be missing some teeth in panel #9?

Yup. Jill was missing some teeth here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0039.html).

Never ask for "the very easy way."

BillyJimBoBob
2009-01-16, 05:20 PM
I don't think that Parson is particularly counting on "divide and conquer" at the psych ops level at this stage. It's no longer about morale, it's about attrition enabled through manipulating force multipliers.But they both apply here. Ansom's coalition commanders were at the breaking point. The defeat in the tunnels coupled with the appearance of the uncroaked almost split the RCC wide open. The win at the walls will have boosted RCC morale. Some hit and run by Sizemore, some thinkamancy spells on the leadership (what we know of thinkamancy is communications and influencing minds/morale/Leadership), and another round of "kill your guys and make them my own" from Parson and Wanda will be another significant psychological blow to the RCC. If they can pull all of that off according to plan.


Ah, Erfworld, where the tactics of the day are not Shock and Awe, but Shock and Crap.Very nice! That evoked a chuckle. You are awarded one (1) cookie.


In the previous thread, we had a couple of "not Parson fans" ranting about his lack of ability as a warlord, and also bemoaning the "boring" nature of Ansom getting all the "lucky breaks".My only gripe was that Charlie seemed to be "the decider". With enough Archons to take GK in a turn he had these options:
Take it himself;
Ally with the RCC and take GK as a part of that side;
Ally with GK and at least make it a fight, if not assure a GK win (based on this logic: The RCC could take GK if they brought all their strength to bear. So could Charlie. So those sides should be fairly equivalent in strength.)

Things have changed, but mostly between Parson and Ansom both losing units while Charlie has remained the same. So Charlie should still be in the position of the guy who picks the winner. Parson has some few scrolls for his side, but they may all be used in further reducing his own and Ansom's forces before Charlie gets to move again. So the status quo should still be: Charlie uber allis.


As far as Ansom's "luck", and how it's an easy plot device... how do you figure that?I quite agree with you. Ansom's only lucky moment was when Jillian found the dwagons and was able to break the spell and attacked them. Other then that he hasn't been particularly lucky at all.


That is really nice of Ansom to bring the siege inside the walls, so Parson does not need to go outside to capture/destroy that siege :smallbiggrin:My assumption was that Ansom needed them to break the walls of the garrison. I don't think this is a foolish move, other than Parson and one of the RCC commanders thinking that it'd be best to await The Decider before attacking.


Is it time to say that the day is Parson's if he withstands this onslaught? Or is it too soon for that?Way too soon. There is still The Decider to account for, Tool/Fool, and Jillian. Plus any surprises the authors choose to reveal, such as the stored spells revealed last comic. If things go according to the past ups and downs, we'll see a victory for Parson followed by a reversal of fortunes followed by Parson making that reversal not quite as bad as we originally thought.


[Stalingrad] A bloody grinding battle of attrition looks on the cards, and just when it seems the battle is lost, reinforcements arrive and the invading army realise how badly they've overstretched.But if Ansom and Parson wear each other down, Charlie is just more potent in comparison. Tool/Fool and Jillian are both likely to arrive, so it's not just the defenders who can hope for reinforcement. And in Erf I do not believe there are any supply lines to overstretch.


Intersting too is what may be an implied reveal regarding Parson's level of trust towards his deputies:

Maggie: you may act on your own at your discretion with valuable resources

Sizemore: you may use valuable resources on your own within the parameters of these explicit instructions

Wanda: you're with meA very interesting observation, but Parson has shown fairly absolute trust in all of the casters since day 1. Even when he confronted Wanda about his guesses as to her plans with the flyers he didn't use any confrontational language, but simply said that he understood her perceived need to go help Tool, but that he had taken steps which would make it unnecessary for her to do so. He didn't express any suspicion or ponder either privately or publicly about her loyalty or trustworthiness.

On the subject of the casters, I haven't gone back through the archives, but isn't Maggy the only caster to consistently call Parson "Lord"? I think he gets Warlord from Sizemore, and not much from Wanda besides a few Warlords and a Commander early on. But Lord is the title of a Ruler, is it not?

DevilDan
2009-01-16, 05:26 PM
A very interesting observation, but Parson has shown fairly absolute trust in all of the casters since day 1. Even when he confronted Wanda about his guesses as to her plans with the flyers he didn't use any confrontational language, but simply said that he understood her perceived need to go help Tool, but that he had taken steps which would make it unnecessary for her to do so. He didn't express any suspicion or ponder either privately or publicly about her loyalty or trustworthiness.

Parson did indicate some slight mistrust of Wanda in a klog but then went on to admit that he needs her too much.


On the subject of the casters, I haven't gone back through the archives, but isn't Maggy the only caster to consistently call Parson "Lord"? I think he gets Warlord from Sizemore, and not much from Wanda besides a few Warlords and a Commander early on. But Lord is the title of a Ruler, is it not?

He is Lord Hamster, right?

Strega
2009-01-16, 05:29 PM
Every time Parson has a great plan he either gets a rule rabbit-hatted on him or Ansom pulls an incredibly unlikely stroke of luck out of his boop. Hopefully this time will be different.

slayerx
2009-01-16, 05:30 PM
At any rate, your explanation makes more sense than mine, so I'll assume you're right. That just leaves the question of why waiting to attack is such a strong move for Ansom.


one of 2 things if not both... one, It's a matter of controlling losses... if Ansom attacked on his turn, he would have only had the minimal amount of seige, as such Parson would need only the minimal amount of gobwins to the walls. Parson would have then been able to send the bulk, but not all, his forces down into the tunnels on defense... The tunnel units might have won do to the fact that a portion of the gobwins were left on the walls, but they would have sufferred heavy losses

however, If Ansom waited, then he would have had full force of his seige and thus would have been able to hit the walls good and hard. This would require Parson to keep even more of the gobwins up on the wall, giving him fewer of them to throw into the tunnels... in the end, because of the added force of the seige, Gobwinknob would have been taken but with fewer losses


It's either that, or it's a matter of pride... Ansom wanted Parson to feel cornered and helpless and thus wanted to put him into a no win scenerio... where as before, Parson might have saw some chance to survive and fight back, he ends up with only loosing options of how to fight... he also though that by having all his forces together, he would be in a better position to overwhelm Parson and compansate for anything Parson might do on his turn


The problem for Ansom is that he never imaged that Parson would not only attack but actually destroy then entire tunnel attack force before the start of Ansom's next turn


Would Ansom know that Parson had re-deployed some/all of his wall forces in time to breech?
well the way i see it, Ansom is not able to breech the walls out of turn... breeching the walls is like moving into another hex and as such Ansom can only do it on his turn...

Parson could have had 100% of his gobwins on the walls during his turn, but then on his turned pulled them all off the walls for the tunnels... it would not matter if Ansom saw the gowbins being removed from the walls as he is not able to attack the walls until his next turn

TheChocoboMafia
2009-01-16, 05:41 PM
Umm... remember what happened last time Ansom tried to croak Wanda? I see no reason to believe that won't happen again.

It would be odd for Parson to outline his plan ahead of time if everything was going to go smoothly. Even more so since it would just be a repeat of last turn.

But I doubt I'm lucky enough for the twist to be Ansom killing Wanda.

-H
I never said that Ansom would be successful in doing so. It just makes sense to me that Wanda would be a prime target, and that part of the battle would revolve around an effort to take her down.

DevilDan
2009-01-16, 05:52 PM
Some of the discussions about Ansom not wanting to strike Wanda with the 'pliers seem to overlook the fact that Ansom "had his mind made up for him" by the appearance of Sizemore's golems.

Hatu
2009-01-16, 05:56 PM
Some of the discussions about Ansom not wanting to strike Wanda with the 'pliers seem to overlook the fact that Ansom "had his mind made up for him" by the appearance of Sizemore's golems.

And what exactly would the golems have been able to do to stop him? Ansom's ability to selectively engage ground pounders was (AFAICT) the whole reason Wanda had to be sent out in the first place. Otherwise Sizemore could have been sent to drive Ansom off and been safe from wiley old Charlie.

-H

Partywhipple
2009-01-16, 05:59 PM
Wait...
So Parson's plan is to use sizemore to attack from underground. But the enemy has seen this done already. Ansom saw them pop up to save Wanda. And Thinkamancy attacks on the leaders. Great. But none of this is a surprise. It's not even that clever. How could these guys after living on the world NOT KNOW that breaking stack bonuses was the way to go? It's not even a clever manipulation of the rules. We've seen Parson fail time after time using extremely clever tactics but now he's going to win using obvious ones? How is this awesome or even good writing? Or, even better, he'll fail. Again. Great. Disappointing...:smallannoyed:
-edit- And i should point out that I understand Parson's tactics are new to them. He hit the seige to wound instead of to win fights. That was clever and it worked. But the hit leaders is pretty much the same tactic. And it's one I seriously, SERIOUSLY find it PAINFUL to accept has not been thought of in the past. So his only hope is that Ansom will send in one stack at a time or something, right? And that Ansom, unlike in the woods oh so long ago, will not see that this tactic doesn't work after 1 or 2 stacks and stop sending them into the "meat grinder". This plan is just wrong and assumes that Ansom is just a complete idiot. Yeesh.

ishnar
2009-01-16, 06:01 PM
I understand that much, but what is shockmancy? Is he going to electrocute them?

I think it's something along the lines of Shock and "Aww, Man! CRAP! golems."


No it isn't. In ender's game, the buggers are the most idiotic race in the galaxy who send their essential queens to the frontline and then don't bother to use other queens to comand the troops.


You need to go back and read your Ender. The Queens leading colonies of workers that were said to be "extentions of themselves." They couldn't bother to use other queens to command their troops anymore than you could have someone else control your left hand. In fact, it was the Queen's telepathic control of their workers that led to the development of the Ansible. But more importantly, the queens knew that the humans were on a genocidal rampage, so sitting on a defenseless--immobile--planet rather than surrounded by a fleet of warships should be a no-brainer. Remember that only the first time did they attack humanity, after that we attacked their homeworlds.



Ender's game Mary Sueness: bugs see Ender and run away in fear, leaving their homeworld exposed and ripe for the taking. They couldn't win, because they simply turned tail and fled whitout firing a single shot.


Wow, you need to go back and read. Once the queens were slain, all the workers shut down and went comatose, no matter where they were. It was like flipping a switch. They didn't flee, they died.

Yellowchopstick
2009-01-16, 06:10 PM
No it isn't. In ender's game, the buggers are the most idiotic race in the galaxy who send their essential queens to the frontline and then don't bother to use other queens to comand the troops.

What are you talking about? The buggers didn't send their queens to the frontline (well, other than in the Second Invasion, but that was for starting a colony), Ender brought the frontline to their homeworld. And I suppose what I said earlier was only revealed in Ender's Shadow, from Bean's analysis of the final battle:

"...In fact, the maneuvers the Buggers were making were ludicrously wrong. For as Ender penetrated deeper and deeper into the planet's gravity well, the Buggers were building up a thick wall of forces behind Ender's formation.
They're blocking our retreat!
At once Bean understood a third and most important reason for what was happening. The Buggers had learned the wrong lessons from the previous battles. Up to now, Ender's strategy had always been to ensure the survival of as many human ships as possible. He had always left himself a line of retreat. The Buggers, with their huge numerical advantage, were finally in a position to guarantee that the human forces would not get away.
There was no way, at the beginning of this battle, to predict that the Buggers would make such a mistake. Yet throughout history, great victories had come as much because of the losing army's errors as because of the winner's brilliance in battle...."

Not the same lessons between Parson and Ansom, but still, Ansom is trying to base tactics from prior experiences rather than the situation at hand.

Capt'n Ironbrow
2009-01-16, 06:25 PM
Wait...
So Parson's plan is to use sizemore to attack from underground. But the enemy has seen this done already. Ansom saw them pop up to save Wanda. And Thinkamancy attacks on the leaders. Great. But none of this is a surprise. It's not even that clever. How could these guys after living on the world NOT KNOW that breaking stack bonuses was the way to go? It's not even a clever manipulation of the rules. We've seen Parson fail time after time using extremely clever tactics but now he's going to win using obvious ones? How is this awesome or even good writing? Or, even better, he'll fail. Again. Great. Disappointing...:smallannoyed:
-edit- And i should point out that I understand Parson's tactics are new to them. He hit the seige to wound instead of to win fights. That was clever and it worked. But the hit leaders is pretty much the same tactic. And it's one I seriously, SERIOUSLY find it PAINFUL to accept has not been thought of in the past. So his only hope is that Ansom will send in one stack at a time or something, right? And that Ansom, unlike in the woods oh so long ago, will not see that this tactic doesn't work after 1 or 2 stacks and stop sending them into the "meat grinder". This plan is just wrong and assumes that Ansom is just a complete idiot. Yeesh.

The obvious tactics might work a charm because Ansom 1) once more thinks Parson has dug-in to wait for his turn to be clever, and 2) because Ansom now expects irregular and unorthodox manoeuvres from his adversary.

I think Erfworld tactics revolve about taking out the leadership. It happened at Warchalking, the Dwagon Donut, was the objective of the RCC Faq detachment and Webinar was looking for Sizemore in the tunnel-fight to even the odds, while GK also aimed for the leaders there.
True, it seems most leaders are rather unconcerned about their personal safety, but their stats are high enough to give them a sense of security... and it's a waste of killing power to not employ commanders and warlords as fighting units. Keeping them safe just gives a bonus, having them attack destroys more enemies and gives a better shot at the opponents leadership corps.

Casters of the summoner kind (Wanda & Sizemore), who are usefull in engagements, can remain safe behind their creatures and cast naughty spells to do extra damage to the enemy(leadership).

Partywhipple
2009-01-16, 06:29 PM
Also, sorry, but did anyone say why Wanda was able to beat Ansom in that exchange they had? Was it some power she has over the pliers or was it the mechanics of fighting in this game? Namely that Ansom got to attack something that "round" and then Wanda's guys all got to get their hits(ies) in and Wanda happened to be the last and got enough damage finally to incapacitate him? I guess I just don't get how fighting works in this still.

Partywhipple
2009-01-16, 06:34 PM
The obvious tactics might work a charm because Ansom 1) once more thinks Parson has dug-in to wait for his turn to be clever, and 2) because Ansom now expects irregular and unorthodox manoeuvres from his adversary.

I think Erfworld tactics revolve about taking out the leadership. It happened at Warchalking, the Dwagon Donut, was the objective of the RCC Faq detachment and Webinar was looking for Sizemore in the tunnel-fight to even the odds, while GK also aimed for the leaders there.
True, it seems most leaders are rather unconcerned about their personal safety, but their stats are high enough to give them a sense of security... and it's a waste of killing power to not employ commanders and warlords as fighting units. Keeping them safe just gives a bonus, having them attack destroys more enemies and gives a better shot at the opponents leadership corps.

Casters of the summoner kind (Wanda & Sizemore), who are usefull in engagements, can remain safe behind their creatures and cast naughty spells to do extra damage to the enemy(leadership).

ok maybe I am still unclear as to just how many leaders Ansom's side has left. Do they just have 2 people left on his side? Because once Sizemore gets a sneak attack in and pale chick gets off a thinkamancy spell shouldn't we assume the surprise is over and they will expect it? That's my basic problem I guess. I am not sure what Ansom still has on his side leadership-wise. I've seen people at his war meetings and I have a basic idea of what he sent after Stanley but I don't know what he has left with him (after his own leaders were killed in the tunnels). Is he now on the ropes or not?

SteveMB
2009-01-16, 07:09 PM
Some of the discussions about Ansom not wanting to strike Wanda with the 'pliers seem to overlook the fact that Ansom "had his mind made up for him" by the appearance of Sizemore's golems.

Looking back at that page (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html), it's clear that Ansom was reacting (panel 9) before the golems showed up (panel 11).

Glory of Arioch
2009-01-16, 07:14 PM
Also, sorry, but did anyone say why Wanda was able to beat Ansom in that exchange they had?
It wasn't explained, but I'm pretty confident that Wanda had the upper hand against Anson (sans Archon support.) Why? Force multipliers.

Wanda was leading a stack of uncroaked units, upon which she could confer her bonus. She clearly had some "buff" spells on (the shield that protected her from the Archon's attack is proof.) While we don't know what the spells were, it's conceivable that such spells could confer upon her another advantage. Also of note is the fact that Webinar and Dora's uncroaked corpses were chosen as part of her stack; it is also conceivable that, since they were warlords, they might retain some or all of their warlord abilities in undeath. (Of course, the mass-uncroaking 'Trioxin' spell may not have allowed such retention, but even then, Webinar and Dora were certainly much stronger units than their Jetstone and Marbit colleagues.) Also, the uncroaked Archon may have played some role.

Anson, on the other hand, had only his warlord bonus and his artifact bonus.

While it's conceivable that Ansom's bonuses and fighting ability may have been superior (especially since he is royal and Wanda is a relatively weak caster,) Wanda led seven times more units (seven vs. one) into the fight between her and him, which accounts for a significant advantage insofar as having troops to confer bonuses upon.

All this accounts for a fairly reasonable advantage for Wanda and her contingent. Only by the assistance of the Archons was Ansom able to survive.

Balance
2009-01-16, 08:11 PM
While it's conceivable that Ansom's bonuses and fighting ability may have been superior (especially since he is royal and Wanda is a relatively weak caster,) Wanda led seven times more units (seven vs. one) into the fight between her and him, which accounts for a significant advantage insofar as having troops to confer bonuses upon.

Wanda also had Parson's leadership bonus stacked onto everything else. The Chief Warlord's bonus applies to all units in the capital, and his was presumably boosted by the completion of his sword to be at least on par with that of other Chief Warlords. Those bonuses on a nearly full stack of reasonably powerful units, versus a single combatant, should have been effectively overwhelming--and that's how it played out. Ansom got clobbered without even getting a hit in. The tide didn't turn until Wanda restacked her unit and the archons got into the fight.

SteveD
2009-01-16, 08:24 PM
First off, Charlie has brought enough angels to take GK on his own, using Parson's bracer to ensure this. Parson's pretty sure he can manipulate the multipliers enough to overcome Ansom's brute force strategy, but if it'll be a close thing against Ansom alone. There won't be enough multipliers in play to change the tide if Charlie is allowed to take part.

Don't forget that calculation was not for how many Archons it would take to defeat the entire city, but just take the garrison stack (which can be attacked directly if they control the air zone and the leadership is in the tower).

Since then Parson has probably lost a few in the tunnel battles, but also gained a substantial number of uncroaked. Now those Archons might not be enough to take the garrison on their own.

But I agree that everything can't go exactly to plan; there's got to be at least one plot twist left (plus Stanley, Jillian and Vinny have yet to return).

Lombard
2009-01-16, 08:45 PM
This is the sort of disingenuity that annoys me about Erfworld. We're told that a situation is dire even though similar situations (and sometimes the same situation!) prove not to be. We're told that a plan hinges on some key point, even though similar plans do not (or hinge on the exact opposite). This comic seems incapable of a slow buildup leading to a logical payoff. Buildup serves only as misdirection leading to a sudden twist. That gets tiresome after a few rounds.

And we haven't even seen how Parson's latest plan will go off the rails yet.

-H

Heh... won't it be fun to see everyone once again get whipped up into a frenzy of anticipation as GK victory seems assured, only to see them replenish their store of disappointment when the next unforeseen event saves the Coalition. The comic has gone over my 'Charlie Brown lining up to kick the football' threshold, and I'm not falling for it anymore. ;)

Still going to read it though, as things seem to be progressing strategically since there's only like one place left for GK to retreat to. I'll just be reading it with a skeptical eye towards any grand plans that Parson might have.

headhoncho
2009-01-16, 08:49 PM
The comic has gone over my 'Charlie Brown lining up to kick the football' threshold, and I'm not falling for it anymore. ;)


That is a great analogy that sums it up very well. Thank you.

For me, I guess I'm still a sucker, because hope springs eternal. :smallsmile:

memnarch
2009-01-16, 09:21 PM
Don't forget that calculation was not for how many Archons it would take to defeat the entire city, but just take the garrison stack (which can be attacked directly if they control the air zone and the leadership is in the tower).

Since then Parson has probably lost a few in the tunnel battles, but also gained a substantial number of uncroaked. Now those Archons might not be enough to take the garrison on their own.

But I agree that everything can't go exactly to plan; there's got to be at least one plot twist left (plus Stanley, Jillian and Vinny have yet to return).

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that Parson probably didn't include the spells and stuff that Wanda has, given that he didn't know about them, in his calculations of Charlie taking the garrison.

Oslecamo
2009-01-16, 09:30 PM
Heh... won't it be fun to see everyone once again get whipped up into a frenzy of anticipation as GK victory seems assured, only to see them replenish their store of disappointment when the next unforeseen event saves the Coalition. The comic has gone over my 'Charlie Brown lining up to kick the football' threshold, and I'm not falling for it anymore. ;)


I am forced to agree. Specially after this part:

Webinar: We are more than enough to take the entire garrison! Chaaargeee!
Sizemore: I'm Gobwin's Knob bathroom cleaner. You have entered my territorry. Prepare to die.
Webinar: Wait, what..AAAAYYYEEEEE

This is, at the begginning of the comic Ansom gloats on how they have such a crushing advantage, but then Hamster just grinds down their army piece by piece and he didn't even had to join the battle so far.

Now what I really want to see is LORD HAMSTER THE MARBIT EATING SWORDMAN, who ate half of the coalition troops in the legendary battle for Gobwin Knob, marking the rebirth of the conquest of Efworld by Stanley the Tool and Wanda the Mistress.

DevilDan
2009-01-16, 09:30 PM
Still going to read it though, as things seem to be progressing strategically since there's only like one place left for GK to retreat to. I'll just be reading it with a skeptical eye towards any grand plans that Parson might have.

Which is how Parson probably saw his owns plans from the start.

Eisen
2009-01-16, 09:37 PM
Well first off, it's SOOOOOO nice to see parson finally getting to do what he was meant to. Honestly, despite setbacks and losses, almost every strategy Parson has employed has been a success in one way: attrition. He killed at least 40% of the seige, large numbers of enemy units, a few important commanders, and has bloodied Ansom's nose more than once, setting the overconfident Jetstone on their ears. And has more than once stalled Charlie, who could have been the decider here.

So here we are at the garrison. I suspect the garrison may be lost, but not before Ansom gets seriously crippled. city bonus, warlord bonus, a Master-class Croakamancer turning every loss on both sides into a GK win, and what appears to be a master or close to it Dirtamancer, who has free reign of an entire mountain area. And Maggie, who seems comptetent in her field. And oh yeah, a slew of spell scrolls with unknown strength.

Here's the clinchers IMO:

1) When's Stanley getting into town? A couple Dwagons, a few more knights, a Master Foolamancer..oh yeah, and an Overlord with an Artifact. Talk about stacking.

2) What's Charlie gonna do? He seems like a conniving, backstabbing mercenary. Personally, were I him, I might PRETEND to be sided with Ansom, but turn as soon as both sides have worn each otehr out. This way he grabs the Pliers, Parson, AND the bracer.

Also, I think people need to quit expecting some kind of silly rules exploit here. I think it's pretty clear Parson's not going to suddenly be able to attack at night, not on his turn, or one-shot leaders by thinking unhappy thoughts about them.

DigoDragon
2009-01-16, 10:06 PM
1) When's Stanley getting into town?

Ugh, hopefully NEVER. :smallsmile:
The problem with Stanley is that he thinks on a different wavelength and can mess up Parson's plans big time. He's recalled the dragons once when it would have been better to leave them in Parson's hands, left Parson to defend Gobwin Nob with little to no air support, and this whole trip to FAQ was...

Well it was a complete FAQing waste of time. :smallbiggrin:

The Minx
2009-01-16, 10:48 PM
He's recalled the dragons once when it would have been better to leave them in Parson's hands, left Parson to defend Gobwin Nob with little to no air support, and this whole trip to FAQ was...

Well it was a complete FAQing waste of time. :smallbiggrin:

Actually, it was the best thing he did so far: getting out from underfoot, and allowing Parson to run things his way. Not a good idea for the reason he though it would be, but still... :smallbiggrin:

DevilDan
2009-01-16, 10:55 PM
Actually, it was the best thing he did so far: getting out from underfoot, and allowing Parson to run things his way. Not a good idea for the reason he though it would be, but still... :smallbiggrin:

Well, they could have still converged all his remaining dwagons on Jillian, Vinny, Ansom, and the archons and gwiffons.

(I hate to nitpick, but it's Faq, not FAQ.)

And another frickin' nitpick, I'm afraid:

So here we are at the garrison. I suspect the garrison may be lost, but not before Ansom gets seriously crippled.

What may be lost are the tower and the courtyard, two thirds of the garrison. Presumably, Parson will make his last stand in the third part, the dungeon.

fendrin
2009-01-16, 11:10 PM
What may be lost are the tower and the courthouse, two thirds of the garrison. Presumably, Parson will make his last stand in the third part, the dungeon.

counter-picking a nit on nitpick: courtyard, not courthouse. :smalltongue:

DevilDan
2009-01-16, 11:21 PM
counter-picking a nit on nitpick: courtyard, not courthouse. :smalltongue:

Ha. I should have been paying more attention, it would appear. Thank you, Fendrin.

Lizard Lord
2009-01-17, 12:33 AM
If there is a fight dance bonus with undead, there is only one song that would work. Thriller

In the same "dance fighting" line of thought, most of the golems look like they could dance fight and "We will rock you" sounds like something they would sing. Especially when you remember that Erfworld just loves puns.

ReccaSquirrel
2009-01-17, 01:09 AM
Will it really be Shock and Awe or will it be Shock and Thaw?

The Old Hack
2009-01-17, 02:00 AM
Yeah, just be glad Ansom doesn't have to deal with petty Chinese generals in his coalition.

"I would rather fight an alliance than be part of one." -- Napoleon Bonaparte :smallamused:

At this stage, there is not really much left in the way of planning save that of timing, which was in Ansom's hands. What Parson has revealed isn't really that much of a plan, it's just a pep talk to bolster the failing morale of his officers as well as an explanation of his growing understanding of the rules. "We'll sit tight, strike back at what openings we can find and wait for our turn to uncroak the casualties."

Of course, that trope about plans has very strong support in the old saying that no battle plan survives contact with the enemy. The reason that plans seem to work better when not revealed is that they don't survive then either, the planner is simply in a better position to claim that, yeah, this was what she/he had wanted to happen all along. :smallamused:

Of the two leaders, Parson and Ansom, I would say that the biggest edge Parson has consists of his ability to read, predict and even manipulate Ansom. Which is very important, of course. The thing is, I do not think Ansom is a bad leader per se -- he is merely overmatched in this case. Most of his worst decisions stem from after Parson managed to wound his pride, of which by far the worst was to send his top advisor to a different front.

As to Stanley ruining everything... somehow he seems a little different after the débacle of the ambush. He actually appeared uncertain, which is very out of character for what we have seen of him so far. Perhaps he will be just a bit more willing to listen to Parson when he returns? Ah well...

dr pepper
2009-01-17, 04:57 AM
Hey folks, 'booty' meant treasure/riches/plunder in medieval times.
It did not start to refer to anatomy until the roaring 20s.

Given the way that Erfworld food pops automatically with a simultaneous reduction in treasury funds, dining on money is not a hard stretch.

I'd speculate that Ansom's turn of phrase, while amusing to us (and Parson, if he heard it) would be perfectly understood by the other Erf natives.

We already understood all that. It's just another of the amazing coincidences of Erf terminology.

Lemarc
2009-01-17, 05:59 AM
I don't understand some of these complaints. The less I like a work, the less I care about it, and so the less I talk about it. Not vice versa.

dr pepper
2009-01-17, 06:30 AM
Wait...
So his only hope is that Ansom will send in one stack at a time or something, right? And that Ansom, unlike in the woods oh so long ago, will not see that this tactic doesn't work after 1 or 2 stacks and stop sending them into the "meat grinder". This plan is just wrong and assumes that Ansom is just a complete idiot. Yeesh.

Parson is counting on the momentum of the attackers. It won't be a line of individual stacks operating one at a time to breach the wall, it'll be the combine pressure of the entire force. And when the breach is made, there'll be no way to stop suddenly, people will be propelled through by the pressure from behind. Ansom can command them to stop but it will take several melee rounds during which they will be exposed to concentrated attacks, especially from archers and spells. See "Murder Hole".

dr pepper
2009-01-17, 06:38 AM
You need to go back and read your Ender.

Argh! I read Ender's Game in 1974 when it was a short story. Since then, i understand that it was expanded into a novel, but i don't recognze any of the references people keep making. I'm beginning to think the author must have just gutted the original plot and started over.

Dairuka
2009-01-17, 06:43 AM
It took me many fully played through games to know all of the ins-and-outs of a deep yet flawed strategy game like Civilization, and Parson is managing to do this in under 20 turns in a more complex militaristic version.

A min/max master like him would be about as close to a perfect warlord as it gets in a game-world like Erfworld.

Warning: Civilization Reference.

I think Parson's supposed boop-ups are on the same level as me slave-rushing catapults to collateral damage a stack of death filled to the brim with a dozen Aztec Jaguars that caught me off guard only about 60 turns into the game with their two forest movement and no-resource requirement - just so my meager one axeman and three defending archers can kill them off one-by-one until it's no longer feasible for them to take my city.

Sure, it's my fault I was caught off guard, as I can't plan for every aspect of the game. Sure the other guy was majorly lucky to pull off such a rush. Sure the position looks hopeless, but I'll fight on regardless. Sure I'll lose a lot of improvements around the city. Sure I'll lose a lot of population rushing everything. Sure I'll lose plenty of units in the defense and inevitable counter-attacks. No, I won't be able to reinforce the city in time with slave-rushed Axemen. Yes this will seem like a Pyrrhic victory after the dust has settled - but in the end, the city will be safe, and I'll be in a position to counter-attack with reinforcements. Why? Because with a rush that large, that early, it's clear they put all their eggs in one basket... which is never a good strategy.

Sounds like Stanley is the cavalry in this case, even if he didn't plan on it. Ansom really is putting his boops in a vice.

Oh, and in case you're wondering. When I counter-attacked the guy playing the Aztecs, I destroyed him in around 20 turns. He only had Jaguars and Axemen to defend with, and I had Shock Promoted Axemen and Catapults.

dr pepper
2009-01-17, 06:43 AM
Also, sorry, but did anyone say why Wanda was able to beat Ansom in that exchange they had? Was it some power she has over the pliers or was it the mechanics of fighting in this game? Namely that Ansom got to attack something that "round" and then Wanda's guys all got to get their hits(ies) in and Wanda happened to be the last and got enough damage finally to incapacitate him? I guess I just don't get how fighting works in this still.

My assumption is that she used some sort of kinetic ability from her staff to immobilize the pliers so Ansom couldn't bring it to bear. It only had to last a single melee round to allow the uncroaked Webinar to put the KABOSS down.

dr pepper
2009-01-17, 06:48 AM
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that Parson probably didn't include the spells and stuff that Wanda has, given that he didn't know about them, in his calculations of Charlie taking the garrison.

Several people have mentioned it. I even said that this could be a deciding factor. BTW, for Parson to do the calculation, Charlie would have had to specify the exact capabilities of the archons.

fendrin
2009-01-17, 08:50 AM
BTW, for Parson to do the calculation, Charlie would have had to specify the exact capabilities of the archons.

Not necessarily. The bracer could be pre-programmed with generic 'archon' stats. Sure it's less precise, but any form of probability calculation is going to have a margin of error.

Besides, once those archons entered the city, all parson had to do was look at them with his glasses (or any other warlord just look at them) to see their stats. Giving that information away is not a big deal.

SteveMB
2009-01-17, 12:10 PM
I don't understand some of these complaints. The less I like a work, the less I care about it, and so the less I talk about it. Not vice versa.

In my experience, people are most likely to offer this sort of criticism when they think the work "missed it my that much" on some point or other. That's inevitable once you have an audience of any size; you can't please everybody.

shamelessmerc
2009-01-17, 01:46 PM
I love the expression on Wanda's face when Parson says "meat grinder" and the subsequent "mm" of pleasure. Is it the obvious double-entendre that arouses Wanda, or the impending notion of violence? Pretty kinky either way, which is not outside the realm of possibility given what we know about Wanda.


Since when is "meat grinder" a double entendre? Unless it's in a situation where someone takes any random sentence and says it in a "sexy" tone of voice in a feeble attempt to make it dirty?

I loved that exchange as well, because you go straight from "Yeah! Kill those goody-two-shoes boops!" to "OMG, somebody tell me she is not physicaly AROUSED by the prospect of wall to wall gore!?!"

Moments like that... pure Tarantino

DevilDan
2009-01-17, 02:50 PM
Not necessarily. The bracer could be pre-programmed with generic 'archon' stats. Sure it's less precise, but any form of probability calculation is going to have a margin of error.

Besides, once those archons entered the city, all parson had to do was look at them with his glasses (or any other warlord just look at them) to see their stats. Giving that information away is not a big deal.

I remember that the idea of the possibility of a generic archon precisely as part of these calculations was a reason I used to argue that at least not all archons are casters. (I'm not sure why I'm bringing this up; trauma, probably.)

Eisen
2009-01-17, 02:55 PM
Ugh, hopefully NEVER. :smallsmile:
The problem with Stanley is that he thinks on a different wavelength and can mess up Parson's plans big time. He's recalled the dragons once when it would have been better to leave them in Parson's hands, left Parson to defend Gobwin Nob with little to no air support, and this whole trip to FAQ was...

Well it was a complete FAQing waste of time. :smallbiggrin:

Stanley as an individual, yes.

But Stanley as a walking, talking heap of stacked up bonuses is something else.

Look, we know already Parson can't win by numbers. He's trying to wi through attrition. And that's fine. But attrition works both ways. And it's always worse for the smaller side, no matter the ratio. When you're outnumbered 20 to 1, unles you're killing 21 for every 1 you lose, you won't win. Wanda's Croakamancy skills will cerntainly help there but...the best thing you can do in a situation like that is make your troops as strong as possible. Make every one a match for any number of enemies. Use terrain, use psychological warfare. You aren't winning a battle. You're messing with the other guy until he kills himself. Stanley's bonuses would be a massive boon. And let's not even talk about what they can do with Jack and the remaining Dwagons.

HandofShadows
2009-01-17, 03:23 PM
Which is how Parson probably saw his owns plans from the start.

A good observation. Pason does not think his plan is a great unbeatable plan. In fact it's more like a statment of goals and assinging subordinants to carry them out the best way they know how. This gives a fair amount of flexibility and allows for taking advantages of sudden openings or error on Amson's part. Ansom seems less flexable than Parson, which is logical since he has more of a middle ages mindset about battle while Person clearly has a very modern one.

Trotsky
2009-01-18, 12:29 AM
One thing I was wondering was that, if Stanley returns on the next turn, how is he going to get to the ground? Currently he would have to fly through a rather sizable group of archons (some of which are presumable those meant to croak him with Vinnie in the first place), unless Dwagons can walk, at which point he could try the front door (which is currently controlled by Ansom).

It would be an interesting ending to this chapter of the story if Parson holds out and, just before he is going to mount a counter-attack on whatever forces the coalition has left, Stanely shows up and gets croaked by Charlie. This might allow any unkown provisions in the contract with Ansom (which I expect contains a clause were he can claim a certain amount of Gobwin Knob's assets, of his own choosing of course, as part of his payment) to come into play so that he can take Parson, and possibly the casters, as his payment.

*edited because I can't spell*

Lombard
2009-01-18, 01:09 AM
"missed it by that much"

Coincidentally enough (after I fixed your typo), that it a pretty good motto for Parson in this strip. heheheh

DevilDan
2009-01-18, 01:30 AM
One thing I was wondering was that, if Stanley returns on the next turn, how is he going to get to the ground? Currently he would have to fly through a rather sizable group of archons (some of which are presumable those meant to croak him with Vinnie in the first place), unless Dwagons can walk, at which point he could try the front door (which is currently controlled by Ansom).

Stanley does have a master foolamancer in his entourage.

dr pepper
2009-01-18, 01:54 AM
How about: Parson crushes the RCC attack, Ansom is forced to end turn when he runs out of actions. GK's turn starts, Parson mobs the surviving units with his new undead troops. As his stacks dissolve around him, Ansom forms up his best remaining units for an all out thrust. As he cuts his way through he sees Parson and bellows a challenge, only to hear "sorry, Blondie, you have a prior engagement!" from behind. He turns to see Stanley bearing down on him.

Two men! Two causes! Two artifacts! Everything else fades away as they fight it out. Eventually both are dismounted and disarmed. Ansom grabs another dropped sword. Stanley snaps his fingers and a gobwin hands him a pike. Stanley contemptuously parries Ansom's stroke and puts the pike blade to his neck. "Surrender!" "Never!"

Bogroll rushes over. "Wait, Lord, wait! Lord Hamster contacted Jetstone by thinkagram. The king has agreed to surrender! And pay ransom for the prince."

Surrender turns out to be moot, as Ansom is the only Jetstone unit left not croaked or uncroaked. The leaders of the other sides immediately declare themselves neutral.

Parson congratulates Stanley on his victory and his acquisition of the Arkenpliers. He also suggests that Wanda be allowed to examine the pliers and research their properties.

Parson asks Stanley to come inside somewhere that the archons can't see for a full report, concluding with the warning that they may have to fight Charlie next. Stanley replies "good, he's got my next artifact. The Titans' plan continues!" Behind them, Wanda, Jack, and Maggie are deep in animated discussion. A multi colored 3 dimensional chart floats in front of them.

EndTurn: GobwinKnob.

Somewhere else. Vinnie and the Jets recall their remaining bats while Caesar reports to the Godfather via thinkagram. "Yeah Boss, Ansom booped up like nobody booped up ever before-- we're heading back." Vinnie waves as Jillian lifts off with her gwiffons. "So, you goin' to be with Ansom?" "Nah, i think he's gonna need some alone time for awhile." "Welp, laterzz then." "Yeah, laterzz!"

End of Part One.

Glome
2009-01-18, 08:17 AM
One thing I was wondering was that, if Stanley returns on the next turn, how is he going to get to the ground? Currently he would have to fly through a rather sizable group of archons (some of which are presumable those meant to croak him with Vinnie in the first place), unless Dwagons can walk, at which point he could try the front door (which is currently controlled by Ansom).

*edited because I can't spell*

He has a world class foolamancer and the archons don't yet know he is coming. I'm sure Stanley can sneak back into the courtyard if he has to.

mortissimus
2009-01-18, 02:23 PM
I read a short history of castles once that claimed that most of the instances of a major one changing hands were due to treachery or seige, and that successful storming was rare.


Strategically speaking, it's better not to assault fortified cities at all.

Historically speaking, it all depends. It depends on the state of the art of fortifications and artillery as well as the power-relations behind and within the armies. Many armies could not stay long in the field some seasons lest their soldiers went awol to travel home and save their harvests, others were led by kings or emperors that could not afford to stay abroad long times as their competitors might stage a coup at home. Other times a professional army could just live of the occupied land and thus siege for a long time.

Fortifications and artillery also evolve with alternating dominance. As an example, Machiavellis recomendation for a succesfull prince is to build a sturdy castle in a good location (with good wells for fresh water) and have plentiful supplies of dried food. Hire an engineer to locate the positions from where your castle can be bombarded and blast those positions. If invaded gather fresh food from your villages and allow the villagers to take cover in your castle. If their villages are burnt by the enemy, their loyalty to you will be increased. The enemy might siege you but it is more costly to hold an army in the field and eventually it will be needed elsewhere.

Machiavellis advice were sound for his age. He died in 1527. Three decades later Henry II of France used the improvement of cannons to blast away the castles of princes in northern Italy.

/history rant.

This has of course little to do with Parson's situation. We know to little of the bonuses for fortifications or the values for siege and heavies attacking fortifications to draw any conclusions on the costs of charging a Goblin Knob.

teratorn
2009-01-18, 02:52 PM
Historically speaking, it all depends. It depends on the state of the art of fortifications and artillery as well as the power-relations behind and within the armies.

There is at least one example in history of a coalition storming a city and wiping an entire side, the sacking of Nineveh. The place was levelled and nearly all the people there butchered, the city was forgotten.

HandofShadows
2009-01-18, 03:14 PM
If you what someone that attacked (fortified) cities a lot and won try the Mongels. They butched cities from eastern China to Moscow to the Middle East (Bagdad was a HUGE loss to the Arabs). Some of the descriptions of what they left are enough to give nightmares.

Sweetie Welf
2009-01-18, 04:15 PM
He has a world class foolamancer and the archons don't yet know he is coming. I'm sure Stanley can sneak back into the courtyard if he has to.

Well, there's risk and reward. The most important reward of an intervening Stanley would be additional bonuses from an overlord and his hammer. Also he could surgically attack the leadership stacks. The ,on the other side, is that he could be blown away from the archons. And if Stanley is croaked, everything is over.
Until Jetstone's next turn the two forces of the archons and the RCC are separated and should be fought separately. First the RCC ground forces, and then the archons. Maybe Parson can capture some Healers from the RCC and use them to support Stanley and his dwagons. Together with the archers and Wanda that reanimates every fallen archon they could really have a chance.

Aquillion
2009-01-18, 07:42 PM
If you what someone that attacked (fortified) cities a lot and won try the Mongels. They butched cities from eastern China to Moscow to the Middle East (Bagdad was a HUGE loss to the Arabs). Some of the descriptions of what they left are enough to give nightmares.The Mongols generally went after major population centers and not fortresses, though. That was part of what made them so dangerous; they were quick and mobile enough that they could just ignore the fortresses in favor of devastating hit-and-run strikes on unprotected areas.

HandofShadows
2009-01-19, 09:14 AM
The Mongols generally went after major population centers and not fortresses, though. That was part of what made them so dangerous; they were quick and mobile enough that they could just ignore the fortresses in favor of devastating hit-and-run strikes on unprotected areas.


Most cities both in China and the Middle East at the time where fortified. The Mongals would use hit and run tactics to destroy the defending armies then lay siege to the city. And they had a LOT more siege equipment than you might think.

Capt'n Ironbrow
2009-01-19, 12:47 PM
some sieges lasted for years, even Homeric periods of time. I belive there have been sieges of 10 years in china during the Mongol conquest of the Song dynasty.

and Sun Tzu says that the preparations for a succesfull assault on a fortified city will at least take 3 months.

Trotsky
2009-01-19, 06:33 PM
And [the Mongols] had a LOT more siege equipment than you might think.

Like cats.

SteveMB
2009-01-19, 06:45 PM
Like cats.

Cats have a lot more siege equipment than you might think?

fendrin
2009-01-19, 07:01 PM
Cats have a lot more siege equipment than you might think?

Don't let those cute fuzzy faces fool you. The revolution is coming sooner than you think.

Zolem
2009-01-19, 08:01 PM
As for the Dwagons, it should also be pointed out that move seems to increase as units level and the weakest Dwagons probably didn't make it.


Tunnelling. Sizemore can come up from beneath, kick boop and then head down. This is actually mentioned in the orders Parson gives him, and is likely why the Siege Units are rolling forward under the heaviest possible guard.

As far as Uncroaking goes, it would seem that either mass Uncroaking spells can only be cast on your own turn, or that Wanda just doesn't have enought juice to do that again today. Or both of course.

And if he's surrounded by units? Pull an ankle-grab into darkness manuver and seal the hole. Then let the gollem's do what they do best.

Trotsky
2009-01-19, 08:57 PM
Cats have a lot more siege equipment than you might think?

No, cats are one of the many Mongol siege weapons. One of the stories is that the Mongols said they would lift the siege on a particular town if they would send out 1000 cats (and, supposedly, some number of sparrows as well) The town agreed and sent out the cats. Ghengis Kahn then tied burning cloth to the cats tails who, to get away from the fire, ran back into the city and burnt a good bit of it to the ground. The Mongols lifted their siege as it was no longer needed, and looted the city.

Obscure references for the win!

Zolem
2009-01-19, 09:59 PM
No, cats are one of the many Mongol siege weapons. One of the stories is that the Mongols said they would lift the siege on a particular town if they would send out 1000 cats (and, supposedly, some number of sparrows as well) The town agreed and sent out the cats. Ghengis Kahn then tied burning cloth to the cats tails who, to get away from the fire, ran back into the city and burnt a good bit of it to the ground. The Mongols lifted their siege as it was no longer needed, and looted the city.

Obscure references for the win!

.....I don't know whether to burst out laughing or aplaud. It's like out bat-bomber idea, except it worked.

DevilDan
2009-01-19, 10:04 PM
No, cats are one of the many Mongol siege weapons. One of the stories is that the Mongols said they would lift the siege on a particular town if they would send out 1000 cats (and, supposedly, some number of sparrows as well) The town agreed and sent out the cats. Ghengis Kahn then tied burning cloth to the cats tails who, to get away from the fire, ran back into the city and burnt a good bit of it to the ground. The Mongols lifted their siege as it was no longer needed, and looted the city.

Obscure references for the win!

Samson pulled a similar trick with foxes, according to the Bible.*

*Your mileage may vary.

Zolem
2009-01-19, 10:14 PM
Realy? I thought Samson just destroyed an army useing the jawbone of an ass and pulled an entire arena down on a Roman legion and himself.

The Minx
2009-01-19, 10:27 PM
Realy? I thought Samson just destroyed an army useing the jawbone of an ass and pulled an entire arena down on a Roman legion and himself.

He pulled a temple down on 3000 Philistines and himself.

DevilDan
2009-01-19, 10:33 PM
Samson's fox trick is explained briefly here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samson's_Foxes

dr pepper
2009-01-19, 11:41 PM
Realy? I thought Samson just destroyed an army useing the jawbone of an ass and pulled an entire arena down on a Roman legion and himself.

Roman? Rome hadn't been invented yet.

Jural
2009-01-20, 12:54 AM
He pulled a temple down on 3000 Philistines and himself.

First off, maybe they were philistines and maybe they weren't... I don't know how ill-disposed towards the artistic viewpoint those Roman soldiers were, but I don't think it matters to the plot.


Roman? Rome hadn't been invented yet.

I think Samson was the Chuck Norris of his day. Even the rules of space and time didn't apply when people told "facts" about his life.

BurntOfferings
2009-01-22, 03:45 PM
If there is a fight dance bonus with undead, there is only one song that would work. Thriller

Not true! Behold (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjMiDZIY1bM).

I've been thinking about how Parson might handle the Charlie's archons, assuming he's able to drive the coalition out of the city. I suppose the most obvious tactic is to just sit in the dungeon and wait for them to come to him. Being underground should negate their flight advantage, while Sizemore and his golems will be able to move through the walls at will. But this tactic leaves the city open to (re)invasion, and there's no reason to think that Charlie would send his archons underground.

But:It also seems that he should be able to arm his zombie horde with bows, march them out into the main city area, and launch volley after volley at a single archon until it falls. Rinse and repeat. The archons won't be able to counter-attack (judging by the fact that they left Wanda, Sizemore, and the golems alone), nor will they be able to flee (it's not their turn).

There are a few assumptions here. For example, maybe the archons could have attacked Wanda, but only if she attacked them first while on the ground. In this case, the targeted archon could retaliate against the zombies. But I don't think so. I'm guessing that this will be one of those exploitable mechanics that are often overlooked because they are so rarely applicable. There are no zones in normal hexes, so this situation can only happen in a city, where a hostile air force is left without ground support.

I wonder if Gobwin Knob will auto-repair at the beginning of the turn. The damage to the city floor was caused after their turn started, so the fact that it's still there doesn't mean anything.

DevilDan
2009-01-22, 04:12 PM
Given Erf is a game-like world, we don't know whether infantry can ever be re-purposed or rearmed as archery or ranged units.

I'm also not clear on whether arrows would be able to hit archons in the airspace area of GK.

teratorn
2009-01-22, 04:54 PM
Given Erf is a game-like world, we don't know whether infantry can ever be re-purposed or rearmed as archery or ranged units.

I agree, you want archer units, you buy archer units. But uncroaked archers may still work as archers.

MadMaw
2009-01-22, 05:47 PM
Not true! Behold (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjMiDZIY1bM).

It could work I guess, Parson actually is listening to that song in his car here: Page 14, 4th Panel (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0014.html). So you could argue its use is foreshadowed. Might be considered pushing the FILK wagon too hard though.

I prefer Skullcrusher Mountain by the same artist, Jonathan Coulton (http://www.jonathancoulton.com/store/downloads/) (you can listen to it at that link).

Also lettering has commenced (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Erfworld/44806736881)!

Tubercular Ox
2009-01-22, 07:11 PM
I agree, you want archer units, you buy archer units. But uncroaked archers may still work as archers.

I feel like I'm just being paranoid for asking this, but have we seen any non-human uncroaked? No gobwins, no marbits. You'd think we'd have some.

Of course, we uncroaked the Archon, and there's those toys Wanda called up. I guess I have to read the story again and see if there were any opportunities to uncroak other stuff.

Aquillion
2009-01-22, 07:18 PM
I feel like I'm just being paranoid for asking this, but have we seen any non-human uncroaked? No gobwins, no marbits. You'd think we'd have some.

Of course, we uncroaked the Archon, and there's those toys Wanda called up. I guess I have to read the story again and see if there were any opportunities to uncroak other stuff.The Unipegataur.

Lamech
2009-01-22, 11:06 PM
It also seems that he should be able to arm his zombie horde with bows, march them out into the main city area, and launch volley after volley at a single archon until it falls. Rinse and repeat. The archons won't be able to counter-attack (judging by the fact that they left Wanda, Sizemore, and the golems alone), nor will they be able to flee (it's not their turn).
I think there is a differance between attack and engage... I think you engage or get engagged, and THEN both sides can attack freely. Since Parson has 32+ archers he could probably kill all the Archons in the airspace if they had no means of counter-attack. And I don't think Charlie is that stuipid; more importantly, I think Parson would have killed them already, if they couldn't fight back...

shadowdemon_lord
2009-01-22, 11:23 PM
I think it would be pretty lame and anticlimatic if all of the archons were killed by uncroaked archers...

Tubercular Ox
2009-01-23, 05:38 AM
The Unipegataur.

That name's a little anticlimactic. If I were playing Erf and I had to slam those figures onto the tabletop and say "My unipegataurs attack!" I'd be giggled off the stage. I could pull off "Dwagon riding Gobwins" with more flair than "Unipegataur." Except now that I practice it... it keeps coming off as "Dwagon widing Gobwins." At least the dwagons and gobwins look cute, though. That thing is the most menacing figure we've seen... and it's the Unipegataur?

teratorn
2009-01-23, 06:10 AM
I think it would be pretty lame and anticlimatic if all of the archons were killed by uncroaked archers...

Unless Parson regains control of the outer walls, they're probably at a safe distance. It's more the question of Parson being able to inflict damage when they decide to attack.

BRC
2009-01-23, 10:48 PM
Ah, Shock-links..NOW I see why it's called Shockamancy.

Ravens_cry
2009-01-24, 03:50 AM
On todays strip, the acronym on the last panel with the very. . .wet, mushroom cloud, what the heckles cakes is it? I can't even read it, let alone know what it means.

DevilDan
2009-01-24, 08:30 AM
On todays strip, the acronym on the last panel with the very. . .wet, mushroom cloud, what the heckles cakes is it? I can't even read it, let alone know what it means.

Why, that's 4chan, of course.