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View Full Version : Do Shmuckers grow on trees?



Ultimatum479
2009-01-29, 04:31 PM
(I'd've liked to add this post to an existing discussion on upkeep/city income/shmuckers in general, but the forums are so ridiculously laggy that my searches get interrupted and I then have to wait 2 minutes for my next search to get interrupted.)

As far as we can tell, Stanley wasn't exaggerating when he estimated a 500,000 shmucker spell (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0005.html) as being able to "literally empty the treasury" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0006.html). Yet Stanley, despite his eagerness to cut corners with the summoning spell in a potentially catastrophic manner (having a Croakamancer cast the Fate spell), was willing to pay Parson's upkeep cost of over 1000 shmuckers a round (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0042.html) even though, from the beginning, he'd never been particularly impressed with Parson. This implies that, despite the cost being high, it can't be ridiculously high. Therefore, most units have non-negligible upkeep costs, and even Gobwin Knob's relatively small army has a lot of units.

Sum the upkeep costs of an entire army, five exceptionally powerful casters (particularly Wanda, whose abilities in virtually every field of casting in addition to her general battle/dance-fighting capabilities and her skill as an advisor cause her to border on Mary Sue -level power), and the expected upkeep cost of the Perfect Warlord, and it's evident that Stanley had a right to worry about the gold remaining in the treasury after the spell was to be cast. Wanda, even though it can be argued that her intellectual capabilities don't give her exceptional tactical knowledge, is still generally smarter than Stanley with regard to pretty much everything except for maybe small-scale battle tactics. Why, then, did she consider an empty treasury to be survivable?

This implies one of two things, perhaps both. Either Gobwin Knob has some sort of income which would've been sufficient to pay the upkeep, or it is possible in Erfworld mechanics to go into debt for upkeep purposes, though new units can't be popped (effectively purchased) until the debt is paid.

The latter is either simple and boring or extremely intriguing. Upkeep debt, which freezes the city's assets with respect to all other purchases until the debt is paid, would imply that a loan of some sort is taken out. But from whom? If Erfworld were being played as a computer game, we'd just see a negative amount of shmuckers in the treasury, shrug our shoulders, and try to pay off the debt. In Erfworld, however, everything exists, as unrealistic as it may end up being. Most likely, the simple, boring answer is that no one can have an infinite amount of shmuckers and act as an Erfworld Bank, and thus we must go to the former option: Wanda expects Gobwin Knob's income to be sufficient to pay the upkeep costs for GK's units. If anyone has a more intriguing answer to the possibility, however, feel free to speak up. I highly doubt it's Charlie, before anyone says that.

The former, however, is interesting. Any major city should have some sort of income, but we've seen no signs of Gobwin Knob having any sort of industry or anything. How does a turn-based game assign incomes to cities? The only ones of which I know relate it, whether directly or indirectly, to territory (be it resources, villages, etc); Gobwin Knob's massive loss of territory (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0005.html) would thus imply a similar loss of income, which would spell bad news for GK's ability to pay its upkeep costs. Anyone have any other suggestions as to how a city's income is decided? It's evident that GK has a fairly large income due, as stated above, to the high upkeep costs that its five extremely powerful casters were likely to have (I say "were" since it's now four due to Misty's untimely demise).

Ansom is cautious above all things. If the Battle for Gobwin Knob fails, could he pull back, surround the city, and not only wait for the uncroaked to die but simply outlast GK's diminishing income? That's the reason I felt the need to post about this idea, despite having it ages and ages ago: it is currently very likely that Ansom will lose this battle in a way that doesn't get him killed.

/me waits for the inevitably incoming "tl;dr"s

Godskook
2009-01-29, 06:25 PM
Thats the thing though, Ansom has the same problem on the other side of the scales. He's got thousands of troops sitting around, costing him upkeep and not giving him booty. If he waited too long, the RCC members might yell at him for wasting their schmuckers.

SteveMB
2009-01-29, 06:38 PM
Hmmm... it's possible that cities have some inherent income level (which may be augmented by farms and mines). It's possible that GK's income would be sufficient to support its remaining forces (many of them are low to mid level units (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0084.html), gobwins which have their own treasury (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0088.html), and "cheap to feed" uncroaked (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0027.html)).

The real question is whether dwagons require upkeep from GK's treasury (presumably a lot for such powerful units), or whether they are not Plaid units per se but are bound to Stanley via the Arkenhammer (and thus similar to the gobwins in that regard).


Thats the thing though, Ansom has the same problem on the other side of the scales. He's got thousands of troops sitting around, costing him upkeep and not giving him booty. If he waited too long, the RCC members might yell at him for wasting their schmuckers.

On the one hand, the RCC can almost certainly afford it more. On the other hand, the superior resources of the RCC are the main reason why they were expecting this to be easy (and thus makes them extra sensitive to losses and expenses when that turned out not to be the case).

Tarvok
2009-01-29, 08:44 PM
I figure Gobwin Knob has an income, though a dwindling one due to the mines playing out. The Treasury could be either the result of gradual accumulation, or more likely the gem deposits in earlier turns... but even without them, Gobwin Knob is sure to have some sort of income.

Where does it come from, when we see no industry? It pops... like everything else.

DevilDan
2009-01-29, 11:03 PM
Stanley wouldn't complain about the 1,000 shmuckers if it weren't an exorbitant or at least somewhat high cost for a chief warlord.

SteveMB
2009-01-29, 11:17 PM
Stanley wouldn't complain about the 1,000 shmuckers if it weren't an exorbitant or at least somewhat high cost for a chief warlord.

His "you'd better be worth it" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0042.html) comments suggest that 1000/turn upkeep would be tolerable (though not exactly pleasant) if Hamster was indeed a Perfect Warlord as advertised. That does seem to concur with this conclusion. I'd guesstimate that an "ordinary" high-powered or special unit (like a caster or conventional Chief Warlord) probably has an upkeep cost in the hundreds.

Tubercular Ox
2009-01-30, 05:11 AM
His "you'd better be worth it" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0042.html) comments suggest that 1000/turn upkeep would be tolerable (though not exactly pleasant) if Hamster was indeed a Perfect Warlord as advertised. That does seem to concur with this conclusion. I'd guesstimate that an "ordinary" high-powered or special unit (like a caster or conventional Chief Warlord) probably has an upkeep cost in the hundreds.

I agree. If Wanda cost 1 Schmucker a turn in upkeep, Stanley would have a lot more to say about paying over 1000 Schmuckers a turn for Parson. So clearly Wanda's at least several hundred Schmuckers. Eyeballing it based on Stanley's reaction, I'm guessing between 600 and 800 schmuckers. Although we all know what dark orifice I'm pulling that number from.

Killed
2009-01-30, 04:11 PM
We know at least one way to make some Shmuckers:
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0001.html

Given that Sizemore doesn't like combat but is a dirtamancer, I'd say that he probably does mining primarily and that's probably a major source of income for Gobwin Knob.

SteveMB
2009-01-30, 04:18 PM
We know at least one way to make some Shmuckers:
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0001.html

Given that Sizemore doesn't like combat but is a dirtamancer, I'd say that he probably does mining primarily and that's probably a major source of income for Gobwin Knob.

He did, but now (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0086.html) the Gobwin Knob mines are exhausted.

DragoonKain
2009-01-30, 07:00 PM
gobwins which have their own treasury,

Whoa, hey. Not to thread hijack or anything, but that page says the Gobwins broke their alliance. But Parson sent plenty of Gobwins into the tunnels?

DevilDan
2009-01-30, 07:14 PM
Whoa, hey. Not to thread hijack or anything, but that page says the Gobwins broke their alliance. But Parson sent plenty of Gobwins into the tunnels?

Stanley came back and subdued them.

Also, I sort of assumed that this referred to a hypothetical itinerant gobwin nation, nomadic or otherwise living in the wild, with their own sociopolitical system. At any event, I don't assume that all the gobwins are indeed in GK or were even all on Stanley's side. Some gobwins (or gobwin tribes/clans?) are under Stanley, but perhaps not all.

Surprise!
2009-01-30, 11:44 PM
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0121.html

It would seem that the Gobwins have thier own warlords as well, as unlead stacks would have been forced to attack the Jetsone leadership, and could not choose to not engage and retreat to sizemore.

An example could be the goblin next to Manpower:

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0002.html

Godskook
2009-01-31, 04:20 AM
It would seem that the Gobwins have thier own warlords as well, as unlead stacks would have been forced to attack the Jetsone leadership, and could not choose to not engage and retreat to sizemore.

While they may have warlords in general, I say there aren't any in GK right now. Primarily because the stupid meal didn't list them.

Also, since the scout units aren't attacking, there is no need to disengage since the scouts are never engaging, and thus no need for a warlord in the scout stacks.

Ultimatum479
2009-01-31, 05:01 PM
*contributes to off-topicness of own thread* Yeah, like trolls have the Regeneration special ability I'm willing to bet scouts have something like Stealth, which allows them to locate enemy stacks without being noticed, and thus the enemy can't force them to engage.

But, yeah, with the GK mines exhausted I'm wondering what sort of income Gobwin Knob still has (since it looks like we're all going with the income option over the possibility of upkeep debt). They don't supply mercenary troops/casters to anyone, and the remaining casters have little non-combative use. The fact that the mines are specifically mentioned as "feeding the treasury" until they were exhausted implies that cities do need some actual source of income. It can't be commerce, can it? It seems fairly evident that everyone hates Stanley too much to trade with him. :P

I think running out of Shmuckers is going to be a significant possibility if Ansom ends up falling back and besieging the city. Either he's gotta die in this battle or Parson's gonna have to figure out a way to make the RCC run out of money before GK does; otherwise, if the siege lasts too long, Stanley will probably*wanna disband Parson to save himself the upkeep cost. That's how he does things. V_v

Lamech
2009-01-31, 06:43 PM
I think running out of Shmuckers is going to be a significant possibility if Ansom ends up falling back and besieging the city. Either he's gotta die in this battle or Parson's gonna have to figure out a way to make the RCC run out of money before GK does; otherwise, if the siege lasts too long, Stanley will probably*wanna disband Parson to save himself the upkeep cost. That's how he does things. V_v
Parson seems to have infinite mathamancy. He can certainly sell that, just some work out a deal with Charlie (who I assume is charge a inane price right now) or thinkamancers in the magic kingdom.

Secondly, GK may have underground farms or someusch and it does (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0036.html) have industy. That could provide schmuckers. There could be underground farms or maybe the mines still provide limited schmuckers. We also have no clue how the gobwins get there money. So I think GK has some sorce of income...