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The Giant
2009-02-28, 02:45 PM
The last three days of delay on this comic are my fault, not Rob and Jamie's. I suffered a computer meltdown that prevented me from getting the strip that Rob had sent me on Thursday.

ref
2009-02-28, 02:49 PM
Interesting. Alliance after shifting alliance, or something.

PhantomFox
2009-02-28, 02:50 PM
Can't pull a fast one by Charlie I see. :D

Zolem
2009-02-28, 02:52 PM
Can't pull a fast one by Charlie I see. :D

But he can always claim that Parson did. They (as far as I know) can't prove that parson didn't outsmart him. The line "And where will you really be?" was quite interesting.

Jcmm
2009-02-28, 02:58 PM
Can't help but think that that's really..

Bogroll coming out on the tower...

SteveMB
2009-02-28, 03:04 PM
But he can always claim that Parson did. They (as far as I know) can't prove that parson didn't outsmart him. The line "And where will you really be?" was quite interesting.

Reminds me of a character description I once read: "He regarded playing both ends against the middle as form of indoor recreation, like solitaire or whittling."

Doran
2009-02-28, 03:10 PM
Wow, wasn't expecting Charlie to catch on that fast.
Odds on Parson ending the book on Charlie's side just
shot up a lot by my reckoning.

Of course Tool's still the wild card.

Ironfist Orc
2009-02-28, 03:13 PM
Regardless of Charlie's suspicions, and what he decides to tell Ansom, I just want to say:

It's been nice knowing you Bogroll.

MrPhoenix
2009-02-28, 03:13 PM
that whole place is coming down, thanks to turdguy. and wanda will be all over them...
i just hope that bogroll isn't going to get his great moment of sacrificing awesomeness.

stsasser
2009-02-28, 03:14 PM
Wow, wasn't expecting Charlie to catch on that fast.
Odds on Parson ending the book on Charlie's side just
shot up a lot by my reckoning.


Really? I thought Charlie just counted a chicken...

Vreejack
2009-02-28, 03:18 PM
Come on folks, you don't really need to spoiler Bogroll. It's been so highly telegraphed that anything else would be quite astonishing. The only question remaining is what Parson expects to accomplish by this ruse.

Decius
2009-02-28, 03:30 PM
Hrm... Bogroll makes a grab for the 'Pliers, then jumps to the ground so Wanda can recover? Bogroll slashes the carpet, dropping both of them to the ground fatally? Bogroll sets off a concealed crap golem, wiping Ansom and the archons? Bogroll goes along quietly, while Parson and co. escape to the magic kingdom, with their armies, only to return and reclaim GK on their turn?

Of the scrolls (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0137.html),(Thinkamancy, Foolamancy, Shockamancy, and healomancy), we've seen the thinkamancy and shockamancy used. That leaves healomancy and foolamancy... I suspect the foolamancy is being used to further the disguise, but does it also work on -enemy- troops? If it could make Ansom look like Parson, and Bogroll look like Ansom, then there's a whole new level of duplicity and battle to explore.

But my bet is on Bogroll getting on the carpet, drawing his sword, and cutting the carpet in half. Bogroll and Ansom fall to their deaths, just as Parson makes a comment to Charlie along the lines of "I turned your win-win-lose scenario into a lose-lose-lose. :P :P". Then Sizemore brings the entire army up inside the outer walls and Parson wipes out the entire RCC from the outside in.

Lamech
2009-02-28, 03:32 PM
Up on the parapet? Lets see here... multiple casters with eliminate buttons and he wants Ansom to move in to the tower? Wouldn't be surprised if he just croaked Ansom...

I can also see Parson being like "hey Ansom, why are you letting Charlie screw you over? Your losing my amazing tactical mind. This uber-artifact and all these mages by letting Charlie screw you over. Or you could help me get my revenge and not get hosed by that arrogent commoner."

Yeah I really hope there is some trickery...

surtt
2009-02-28, 03:33 PM
Come on folks, you don't really need to spoiler Bogroll. It's been so highly telegraphed that anything else would be quite astonishing. The only question remaining is what Parson expects to accomplish by this ruse.

Get Ansom in range.

SteveMB
2009-02-28, 03:36 PM
Of the scrolls (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0137.html),(Thinkamancy, Foolamancy, Shockamancy, and healomancy), we've seen the thinkamancy and shockamancy used. That leaves healomancy and foolamancy... I suspect the foolamancy is being used to further the disguise

Even if Bogroll looked exactly like Parson, they'd need to fake up a stat display for another unit to pass itself off as Parson to warlord-o-vision.


but does it also work on -enemy- troops? If it could make Ansom look like Parson, and Bogroll look like Ansom, then there's a whole new level of duplicity and battle to explore.

We know that veiling requires a Foolamancer in the stack being veiled. If anything, I'd think that making a unit look like a specific different unit (rather than making it look like some generic feature of the battlefield, which is what veiling seems to do) would be more difficult, and thus subject to at least the same restrictions.

So, while we can't absolutely rule it out, I'd say probably not.

Drammel
2009-02-28, 03:36 PM
Come on folks, you don't really need to spoiler Bogroll. It's been so highly telegraphed that anything else would be quite astonishing. The only question remaining is what Parson expects to accomplish by this ruse.

Well one thing he definitely does, is to buy time. Ansom assumes vis a vie his ever reliable pride that he has finally crushed Parson's will, he ends turn before eliminating his foes as originally intended. Meanwhile, Parson could be surrendering in the same manner as the Spartans did in 300 (is that even possible in a turn based game?). He could be waiting for Stanley and the dwagon cavalry, although nothing we've seen indicates Parson knows if they're on the way. The point is time is a precious commodity right now and Parson definitely knows what to do with it.

ShinyBrowncoat
2009-02-28, 03:42 PM
Hrm... Bogroll makes a grab for the 'Pliers, then jumps to the ground so Wanda can recover? Bogroll slashes the carpet, dropping both of them to the ground fatally? Bogroll sets off a concealed crap golem, wiping Ansom and the archons? Bogroll goes along quietly, while Parson and co. escape to the magic kingdom, with their armies, only to return and reclaim GK on their turn

...

But my bet is on Bogroll getting on the carpet, drawing his sword, and cutting the carpet in half. Bogroll and Ansom fall to their deaths, just as Parson makes a comment to Charlie along the lines of "I turned your win-win-lose scenario into a lose-lose-lose. :P :P". Then Sizemore brings the entire army up inside the outer walls and Parson wipes out the entire RCC from the outside in.

Good ideas, but it could be as simple as waiting for Ansom to step off his carpet to accept Parson's surrender face to face, and then collapsing he tower, eliminating Ansom and his bonus, which could break the back of the RCC (and/or there might be a loophole in Charlie's contract such that it is void if Ansom bites it)

Tarvok
2009-02-28, 03:43 PM
I don't think this aspect of the plan is sound. Parson isn't looking far enough ahead... that, or he's still assuming that, once the conflict is over, he's just going to "wake up." Because, even if this ruse DOES enable him to win the battle outright (which I have difficulty believing), the war would continue, with GWs forces greatly reduced while the other kingdoms regenerate their forces. And even if it wins him the WAR, he loses "parlay" as an option, in the future.

War is the Tao of deception. Throwing out false leads, disinformation campaigns, "confiding" false information to identified enemy agents (or just plain reliable leaks), and such are to be expected. But in this case, he isn't just deceiving as a battle strategy: he's lying in a direct message, presumably to lay a trap. Once you've done that, nobody will be foolish enough to attempt negotiation again in the future. You go from a worthy opponent that one can deal with if negotiation can secure a better deal than combat, to a scourge who must be destroyed at all costs. It makes it harder to discourage enemies by making the battles more costly. Mind you, Stanley is ALREADY in that boat... but Parson doesn't have to be. He could have a very nice career ahead of him working for Charlescomm.

SteveMB
2009-02-28, 03:56 PM
But in this case, he isn't just deceiving as a battle strategy: he's lying in a direct message, presumably to lay a trap. Once you've done that, nobody will be foolish enough to attempt negotiation again in the future. You go from a worthy opponent that one can deal with if negotiation can secure a better deal than combat, to a scourge who must be destroyed at all costs. It makes it harder to discourage enemies by making the battles more costly. Mind you, Stanley is ALREADY in that boat... but Parson doesn't have to be. He could have a very nice career ahead of him working for Charlescomm.

He's already rejected surrender (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0110.html) as an option (either out of pride or because he's magically bound -- even he isn't sure which). Thus, a strategy that gives up the ability to surrender later doesn't really have that much of a cost, as far as he's concerned.

Alexei P
2009-02-28, 03:59 PM
I really enjoyed Charlie's psychological portrait in this one: a guy who never allows himself to enter a situation where he stands a chance of losing - the ultimate coward.

Mikalyaran
2009-02-28, 04:00 PM
oh the suspense...

That's what this one is. A huge suspense builder with a little confirmation of info for us. Very nice strip. I don't even want to theorize, I just want the next strip asap!

datalaughing
2009-02-28, 04:00 PM
I don't think this aspect of the plan is sound. Parson isn't looking far enough ahead... that, or he's still assuming that, once the conflict is over, he's just going to "wake up." Because, even if this ruse DOES enable him to win the battle outright (which I have difficulty believing), the war would continue, with GWs forces greatly reduced while the other kingdoms regenerate their forces.

See, I'm not sure about this. Stanley did hit a lot of people, but the coalition really seems to be held together by Ansom's force of will, and even that is tenuous. The other groups may hate Stanley, but without Ansom bringing them together and pushing them forward, I don't know if any of them would care to come back for another crack at GK if they lose this one.

Alexei P
2009-02-28, 04:08 PM
Mind you, Stanley is ALREADY in that boat... but Parson doesn't have to be. He could have a very nice career ahead of him working for Charlescomm.

What SteveMB said, plus I think Parson would find working for Charlescomm intolerable. Charlie never enters a conflict where he has a chance of losing. Parson strikes me more like the type who would rather lose in a fair game, than constantly "win" sure-bet situations, which I expect working for Charlie would feel like.

Eraniverse
2009-02-28, 04:11 PM
But in this case, he isn't just deceiving as a battle strategy: he's lying in a direct message, presumably to lay a trap. Once you've done that, nobody will be foolish enough to attempt negotiation again in the future.

Well, we're not sure what his gambit is at the moment; it might not be a trap so much as a distraction. And further this isn't a direct message. It's being relayed through Charlie, who we've seen act in a similarly underhanded fashion on a number of occasions. And, personally, I'm betting Charlie won't come out of this upcoming exchange with a lot of credibility. The divide and conquer has been foreshadowed one too many times for Parson not to try turning them against each other.

glenstorm74
2009-02-28, 04:37 PM
<rant> I've been on the fence about Charlie being overpowered for a while now. I think the comic pushed me over the edge when Charlie is able to instantly discern a lie. There is no point in even playing the game with Charlie this powerful. I'm looking for something to save the story now. </rant>

That said, I did find it intruiging that Charlie went along with Parson's lie.

ss49
2009-02-28, 04:39 PM
So Parson knows Charlie knows that Parson doesn't trust Charlie. Not that he should, after the Wanda-smackdown the Archons gave her.

Meaning Parson can't've expected Charlie to believe him.

Clamps
2009-02-28, 04:47 PM
If we go down, I'll surrender to my secret allies in your coalition" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0102.html)

I think this is game.

Also, Ansom's in a different zone now than the rest of his troops. Hm.

Ozar
2009-02-28, 04:48 PM
<rant> I've been on the fence about Charlie being overpowered for a while now. I think the comic pushed me over the edge when Charlie is able to instantly discern a lie. There is no point in even playing the game with Charlie this powerful. I'm looking for something to save the story now. </rant>In my book, the villain should always be winning up until the second they die for maximum effect. The more time that passes between the two, the more the narrative suffers. And eventually you end up with something like Dr. Claw who no one takes seriously.

Lycar
2009-02-28, 04:52 PM
So that's what happens when two Magnificent Bastards meet, eh? :smallamused:

Seems like Wanda has a nasty surprise in store for everything that happens to occupy the courtyard when she makes her move... :smalleek:

Lycar

Sieggy
2009-02-28, 05:14 PM
Remember that Charlie tried to set a trap (a rather poor one, admittedly) for Parson on the parapet . . . I think Parson's returning the favor, and Bogroll is going to take Ansom down (manner yet to be revealed). This will shift the odds again, and will leave Charlie opne mouthed in admiration.

Taking the tower down is an option, but since Ansom has that carpet, it's too likely to fail. More likely is Bogroll tackling him off the carpet, both plunging to their deaths. Ansoms, anyway, as Bogroll has regeneration. It will look like Parson chose to commit suicide, taking his enemy with him. Charlie can't be blamed, and it's unknown if Ansom's death releases him from the contract, especially if his death effectively dissolves the coalition. No coalition, no contract.

With both 'Parson' and Ansom dead, if coalition doesn't fall apart, and they go into the tower or dungeon, they're going to be eaten alive without Ansom's bonus - they'll be unaware of the overwhelming bonuses that GK still has, and walk in like lambs to the slaughter. And the worst part is that they probably won't even be aware that it's Parson directing his troops, as they saw him die.

Parson can still escape to the Magic Kingdom later, if he needs to, but until he HAS to escape, he's going to be in there slugging it out. A true gamer . . .

PePe QuiCoSE
2009-02-28, 05:34 PM
i like Clamps point.
I think it will be used foolamancy over Bogroll (to deal with the stats thing) given the case.
Still, i don't see what Parson is planning besides trying to screw over Ansom's head again.

Zael Zuran
2009-02-28, 05:37 PM
So Parson knows Charlie knows that Parson doesn't trust Charlie. Not that he should, after the Wanda-smackdown the Archons gave her.

Meaning Parson can't've expected Charlie to believe him.

There's the rub. We don't actually know what the deal is with Charlie, but he follows the revealed rules of Erf; granted in an unscrupulous, "pushing the envelope" way.

Parson has been seen by all to think and act outside of the accepted rules of Erf warfare without consequence from the game world, Titans, or being rubbed out by Ansom.

His odd tactics have extended the defense of a siege that should have been over already, and decisively at that. Consider for a moment that Parson has lasted as long as he has without a single bonus provided by Stanley, ever since the little toad ran away.

While not a cheater, Parson is fairly unique at this time. Whether this is simply his thought processes being different or something metaphysical as an outsider in Erf, has not really been delved into too deeply.

Charlie and Ansom both know that Parson is capable of advantageously doing things with actions they consider either wrong or impossible. They are unable or unwilling to use strategies like Parson.

It might be that Charlie just has no idea how much freedom in dodging Erf's rules Parson has.

It is unlikely Parson does either.

In other words, Charlie would be foolish to believe Parson under any circumstance. Even if Parson were to legitimately surrender, Charlie would undoubtedly be working around the clock to try to figure out how to seperate Parson's artifact from the unpredictable warlord it is attached to. Preferably in a manner that killed Parson and prevented any reprisal down the road.

Sieggy
2009-02-28, 05:38 PM
Hey - I just thought of one other thing (and this really is evil) . . . who says Wanda has to wait for next turn to raise the croaked? I'm not absolutely sure, but wasn't it still the RCC turn when she raised the croaked in the tunnels? Since all this is in GK defensive space, she can do whatever she needs to. Maggie has been casting, so why not Wanda . . ?

We all thought she'd have to wait till next turn, but remember that the bodies all go away in the morning, so that may have been an unwarranted assumption on our part. And the kind of exploit Parson would be looking for.

If this is the case, then the RCC (which is currently lined up in parade formation), will all of a sudden have to deal with a hugundo number of uncroaked (their former comrades in arms along with all the enemy they just croaked) popping up in their midst as they're dealing with the shock of seeing the two opposing Warlords bite the cosmic schnitzle. Can we say -10 on morale checks . . ?

MadMaw
2009-02-28, 05:41 PM
What SteveMB said, plus I think Parson would find working for Charlescomm intolerable. Charlie never enters a conflict where he has a chance of losing. Parson strikes me more like the type who would rather lose in a fair game, than constantly "win" sure-bet situations, which I expect working for Charlie would feel like.

My guess is Charlie views Parson as a protege, while Parson views himself as at least Charlies equal (in strategy anyway). I agree Parson would find working under those conditions intollerable, but then he worked OK with Stanley under magic compulsion, so who knows. Charlie probably views this conflict as skilling up his future warlord, Parson, while he makes mistakes on someone elses side.

Regardless of Parsons relationship with Charlie, short of letting GK win outright, Charlie will take any opportunity to weaken the RCC while still appearing to support them. Presumably Parson knows this, which is why he's not too worried about Charlie being aware of the subterfuge.

Not saying it is or isn't anyone but Parson up there, but if it isn't, maybe warlord vision (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html) only applies to units from your own side, or stats can be faked or hidden? There is evidence of this as it wasn't immediately apparent to Vinnie that the swarm of bats were actually an enemy dragon and riders (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0127.html). That said, warlords have a chance of "blowing the veil" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0119.html) so Ansom could see straight through the spell.

rman
2009-02-28, 05:55 PM
Possible fatal mistake -

Ansom accepts the surrender in the tower then ends turn.
Ansom is in the tower.
Troops are on the ground in the courtyard leaderless and surrounded by dead bodies.

- found how to do spoliers by experimentation, really needs a widget in the gui, like replacing the strike through.

Zael Zuran
2009-02-28, 05:58 PM
Also, Charlie is likely very foolish when it comes to his mercenary nature.

Charlie's greed may make him susceptible to a trap he is expecting, if he has reason to believe the reward is worth taking the risk.

Charlie's next move is likely to be similar to Indiana Jones removing the gold idol at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark. He knew it was trapped. He thought he could "trick" the trap. He didn't. He almost died. And in the end he lost his prize to a rival that let him do all the work.

Bogroll's involvement is uncertain. It has been so heavily foreshadowed in a comic with a habit of pulling things out of thin air, that its hardly a sure thing, but clearly the most likely one tied to Foolamancy.

The only thing certain at this point is Ansom's forces are highly demoralized. If Ansom were disabled (I doubt he'd be killed for story reasons) and removed from the conflict, Charlie's no lose scenario devolves into chaos.

If such a thing were to happen, Charlie's forces would probably be the ones Gobwin Knob targeted immediately, since they have been the biggest pain in the rear with undermining Parson's plans. Conveniently, they will also be the only forces in the air when Stanley returns until Ansom's air forces get there.

Drop Ansom (even temporarily, say for a turn or two) and then start hunting Archons while the cooalition tries to figure out what's happening. Sizemore, Wanda, and Maggie can wreak absolute hell on a force with no single commander.

The Old Hack
2009-02-28, 06:03 PM
Actually, I believe Parson's plan to be somewhat more subtle than mere betrayal. It would be completely in character for him to offer surrender on apparently fair terms that either Ansom or Charlie would feel bound to reject. Most likely Ansom, as he is so deliciously easy to play.

The way I personally would go about it would be to address all my terms to Charlie and address him as the real power, treating Ansom as a mere aide to Charlie. "Sure sure, Ansy, but face it, the time of Royalty is over. I was right all the time. You couldn't win on your own, so you had to call in another True Chosen of the Titans."

Given Ansom's pride, that should if nothing else piss him hugely off, and just might make him break off from Charlie again. That or something like it would be well worth trying, and let's face it, mind games are really all Parson has left now.

Zael Zuran
2009-02-28, 06:03 PM
Well, regardless of all our speculation, I think we can all agree that it is almost time to see Parson do something absolutely ruthless. :smallamused:

After all, we've seen everything else from the cereal box in action. He's been at worst, pragmatic thus far.

I want to see him unsheath that sword and do something flat out Genghis Khan horrific that leaves everyone, friend and foe, staring slack jawed; finally realizing what sort of thing has happened to Erf in the summoning of the ultimate warlord.

Like literally brutalizing Ansom, and leaving him alive because its more demoralizing to his forces to see the twisted wreck of flesh he has become than to kill him outright. Then tossing his battered body to the ground and ordering a slaughter. (Yes, I know how unlikely any of that actually is.)

But then, I'm fairly evil. :smallbiggrin:

Decius
2009-02-28, 06:09 PM
The thing is, as far as Charlie is concerned, Parson killing Ansom and the RCC is a win... perhaps even a bigger victory Parson takes Ansom, Charlie takes Parson, game. The bigger victory comes if the 'Pliers weren't part of the deal between Ansom and Charlie- If Parson kills Ansom, gets the pliers, and Charlie comes in, Charlie gets all the goods and lets others do all the fighting.

Sorry... Charlie gets PAID to take all the goods after letting everyone else do the fighting.

The ace in the hole is that Charlie used Parson to figure out how many archons he needed, and Parson didn't know that Stanley was coming back. Stanley comes back, and Parson's going to say "Hey, Tool, where you been? I got the 'Pliers for you. Oh, and Wanda's got this huge army of undead that are gonna rot away in a few turns. It would be a shame to let it go to waste."

SteveD
2009-02-28, 06:15 PM
Possible fatal mistake -

Ansom accepts the surrender in the tower then ends turn.
Ansom is in the tower.
Troops are on the ground in the courtyard leaderless and surrounded by dead bodies.

- found how to do spoliers by experimentation, really needs a widget in the gui, like replacing the strike through.

This would also be my guess. But you missed one thing;

A battered Ansom is left with the drained Archons watching his army get totalled, just as Stanley returns...

Thayus
2009-02-28, 06:29 PM
I don't think this aspect of the plan is sound. Parson isn't looking far enough ahead... that, or he's still assuming that, once the conflict is over, he's just going to "wake up." Because, even if this ruse DOES enable him to win the battle outright (which I have difficulty believing), the war would continue, with GWs forces greatly reduced while the other kingdoms regenerate their forces. And even if it wins him the WAR, he loses "parlay" as an option, in the future.

War is the Tao of deception. Throwing out false leads, disinformation campaigns, "confiding" false information to identified enemy agents (or just plain reliable leaks), and such are to be expected. But in this case, he isn't just deceiving as a battle strategy: he's lying in a direct message, presumably to lay a trap. Once you've done that, nobody will be foolish enough to attempt negotiation again in the future. You go from a worthy opponent that one can deal with if negotiation can secure a better deal than combat, to a scourge who must be destroyed at all costs. It makes it harder to discourage enemies by making the battles more costly. Mind you, Stanley is ALREADY in that boat... but Parson doesn't have to be. He could have a very nice career ahead of him working for Charlescomm.

It occurs to me that Parson is having Charlie relay this information to Ansom when he has a perfectly good Thinkamancer of his own.

I think, at this point, that he is making a play to get Ansom to break the alliance with Charlie by convincing Ansom that Parson and Charlie set Ansom up to be killed.

-Albert

Aquillion
2009-02-28, 06:45 PM
<rant> I've been on the fence about Charlie being overpowered for a while now. I think the comic pushed me over the edge when Charlie is able to instantly discern a lie. There is no point in even playing the game with Charlie this powerful. I'm looking for something to save the story now. </rant>

That said, I did find it intruiging that Charlie went along with Parson's lie.Oh, come on... it's not that surprising. It would have been odd if Charlie hadn't seen through it.

Remember, Charlie offered Parson a much better surrender offer already. Charlie knows perfectly well that Parson isn't going to really surrender this easily.


I think, at this point, that he is making a play to get Ansom to break the alliance with Charlie by convincing Ansom that Parson and Charlie set Ansom up to be killed.Hasn't he? As far as I can tell from this page, Charlie is deliberately sending Ansom into what he knows (or at least strongly suspects) is a trap. After all, if Ansom dies he can likely claim the city himself as the coalition disintegrates... and if he survives, Charlie still has plausible deniability.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-02-28, 06:52 PM
Charlie and Ansom both know that Parson is capable of advantageously doing things with actions they consider either wrong or impossible. They are unable or unwilling to use strategies like Parson.

It might be that Charlie just has no idea how much freedom in dodging Erf's rules Parson has.
I don't think you could characterize Charlie by saying that he is unwilling to use Parson's strategies or "dodge the rules." You have to keep in mind that Charlie is considered eccentric by Erfworld standards. And he seems to understand that Ansom regards him as an impertinent "non-Royal."

Quite the opposite, he admires Parson and wants to integrate him into his mercenary group as an employee.


In other words, Charlie would be foolish to believe Parson under any circumstance. Even if Parson were to legitimately surrender, Charlie would undoubtedly be working around the clock to try to figure out how to seperate Parson's artifact from the unpredictable warlord it is attached to. Preferably in a manner that killed Parson and prevented any reprisal down the road.
I think it has already been established that Charlie suspects that Parson is up to something. And he already has set up his gamble so that Parson will either be weakened by Ansom or will have to surrender to Ansom. It's a risk, of course, but as Parson says, "perfect strategy is not a perfect genius plan."

StClair
2009-02-28, 07:08 PM
There is a part of me that wants to see Charles lose, badly. Just so he can feel what it's like (and for being so insufferably smug).

Gedrean
2009-02-28, 07:33 PM
Da-da-da-da da da da-da-da, Da-da-da-da da da da-da-da...

This is looking awesome. My bet: Bog croaks Ansom as soon as he's in range.

After that? No clue.

Trotsky
2009-02-28, 07:43 PM
What I think would be neat is if Parson really DOES go out onto the parapet and then Bogroll, disguised as Parson, "leads" a push back into the now leaderless coalition (and if there are any leaders, then Sizemore can take care of that). I have no idea how this would actually be useful, but it would be a neat twist.

snafu
2009-02-28, 07:44 PM
I really enjoyed Charlie's psychological portrait in this one: a guy who never allows himself to enter a situation where he stands a chance of losing - the ultimate coward.

Victorious generals win first and then go to war, while defeated generals go to war first and then seek to win.
-- Sun Tzu

edit: and personally, if I had to serve in a war, I'd far rather serve under the likes of Charlie. Generals with heads full of ideas about 'a fair fight', or 'honour'... those guys get people killed.

surtt
2009-02-28, 07:49 PM
Oh, come on... it's not that surprising. It would have been odd if Charlie hadn't seen through it.

Remember, Charlie offered Parson a much better surrender offer already. Charlie knows perfectly well that Parson isn't going to really surrender this easily.

Hasn't he? As far as I can tell from this page, Charlie is deliberately sending Ansom into what he knows (or at least strongly suspects) is a trap. After all, if Ansom dies he can likely claim the city himself as the coalition disintegrates... and if he survives, Charlie still has plausible deniability.


Unless "detecting traps" was in their contract (which I am sure would cost extra), Charlie doesn't need plausible denial.

Executor
2009-02-28, 07:53 PM
I don't know why, but something tells me that Parson's awesomeness quotient (AQ, similar to IQ) is about to increase dramatically by whatever will happen here.

Mukashi
2009-02-28, 08:18 PM
I see a standard trope coming on....

Parson (or Parson through Bogroll pretending to be him) is going to ask Ansom for his surrender. He wasn't lying to Charlie when he called it a no-lose situation, but he meant there was no way GK could use, rather than the other way around.

Expect Ansom to be wondering what the heck is going on, before the Tool flies in and starts smashing things up, with the casters and uncroaked taking out the now unled troops from below.

Ozar
2009-02-28, 08:44 PM
I see a standard trope coming on....

Parson (or Parson through Bogroll pretending to be him) is going to ask Ansom for his surrender. He wasn't lying to Charlie when he called it a no-lose situation, but he meant there was no way GK could use, rather than the other way around.

Expect Ansom to be wondering what the heck is going on, before the Tool flies in and starts smashing things up, with the casters and uncroaked taking out the now unled troops from below.He specifically said "so I can surrender."

Hatu
2009-02-28, 08:47 PM
In my book, the villain should always be winning up until the second they die for maximum effect. The more time that passes between the two, the more the narrative suffers. And eventually you end up with something like Dr. Claw who no one takes seriously.

Dr. Claw isn't supposed to be taken seriously. That's part of the point: Inspector Gadget is meant to be a goofy spoof of a show. Really, if Dr. Claw were presented as a cunning, unstoppable villain right up until Penny, Brain and Gadget somehow thwarted him at the end of the episode, would you take him any more seriously?

I found this comic to be another unsatisfying one. Why on Erf would Charlie play along with Parson's ruse? Is he so busy patting himself on the back that he hasn't noticed he actually needs the Coalition to win in order to eventually cash in on his no lose scenario?

Charlie is certainly well presented as an enigmatic character with no clear motivations. But the downside of that is that Charlie's actions are basically indistinguishable from plot fiat. Combined with the effectively limitless power he has thus far demonstrated, the entire comic tends to devolve into the "Roll on Charlie's Action Chart." The sooner we can actually understand the how and why of Charlie the better.

-H

dragoncmd
2009-02-28, 08:49 PM
I really enjoyed Charlie's psychological portrait in this one: a guy who never allows himself to enter a situation where he stands a chance of losing - the ultimate coward.

Or someone who is used to being ahead, and has no need to take chances.

selgnij
2009-02-28, 08:54 PM
Personally, I think Charlie is playing along because he:

A) Thinks there is no way he can lose.
and since he believes A,
B) Is perfectly happy to let Parson chew through as much of the coalition as possible while he sits back and eats popcorn.



On a related note, panel 6 reads to me like: Your very clever Charlie, no way you can lose now. In other words, Parson encouraging Charlie to think he can't lose and to keep on eating popcorn. (And panel 7 sounds a lot like Charlie believes him.)

SteveMB
2009-02-28, 09:04 PM
Why on Erf would Charlie play along with Parson's ruse? Is he so busy patting himself on the back that he hasn't noticed he actually needs the Coalition to win in order to eventually cash in on his no lose scenario?

He's confident that the Coalition will win in any case -- after all, he brought enough forces to take the garrison himself once they have a turn when they can move in. Letting Ansom take the bloody nose is simply good business. If Parson does more damage than expected to the RCC before falling, well, that creates all the more demand for his services until they can pop enough units to replace their losses.

Kuno
2009-02-28, 09:23 PM
I agree that Charlie is letting things play out because he thinks he's in a no-lose situation anyway, so whatever Parson wants to do doesn't affect him much.

So, here's how I see things playing out. Bogroll's up on the parapet, which is a different zone from the one his troops are in, as was pointed out. A Foolamancy scroll is making him look like Parson. Additionally, Casters do bonus damage in the Parapet, as mentioned in one of Parson's Logs. So, once Ansom is in range, the rest of the air defenses are fired off (remember, Wanda said she fired off most of them, not all of them), frying Ansom and his Archon complement. Maggie uses her own Thinkamancy to take down the rest of the Archons. With neither Ansom nor Archons to lead the dancefight, Wanda will send her Uncroaked back up to finish the job...and then Uncroak the alliance's casualties. Charlie will still have some Archons left, and the Alliance will still have some troops left, but none of them will want to stick around to fight the thousands of Uncroaked they'd be up against. And Bogroll? Collateral damage. He said his one wish was to save Parson's life, and now he gets to die fulfilling it. That's how I see it happening, anyway.

I also can't imagine Stanley getting back in time to have any affect on things. It took him days to get to the pass in the mountains, and we're still in the same day when he got ambushed. It would take him at least two turns to get back to Gobwin Knob.

In some ways I really want to see Parson stop serving Stanley, as I see that being kind of played out. Other than going out on his own, though (which would be great but I can't imagine how it would happen), there's no one I'd rather see him work for. What's the point in having him join a heretofore invincible group like Charlescomm?

Regardless, looking forward to the next strip (to see how wrong I was).

Lamech
2009-02-28, 09:26 PM
He's confident that the Coalition will win in any case -- after all, he brought enough forces to take the garrison himself once they have a turn when they can move in. Letting Ansom take the bloody nose is simply good business. If Parson does more damage than expected to the RCC before falling, well, that creates all the more demand for his services until they can pop enough units to replace their losses.

But can Charlie take the garrison after Parson has all those uncroaked and a fancy artifact? Well, two since tool is returning? Of course, the uncroaked can be waited out, and Charlie doesn't know about the tool. And something must be up involving bogroll but what?

Fjolnir
2009-02-28, 09:29 PM
Charlie isn't confident that the coalition will win, he's confident HE will win, there's a difference. That being said, the unlead troops are now no longer being force danced, though there was a retreat to the dungeon. I predict that PARSON will lead a near suicide charge on the courtyard just before the foolamancy enhanced Bogroll goes to town on the "mighty" prince Ansom.
The end is coming and it's going to be game for the RCC because everything is true, especially the lies.

eilandesq
2009-02-28, 10:02 PM
Based on the strip itself and the discussion here, I see one of two things happening:

1. Parson meets with Ansom and pushes his buttons to provoke him into attacking Parson. Ansom will be handicapped by his wounds, his lack of ability to see Parson's stats (which means he has no idea if Parson is now actually superior to him in melee combat), and the fact that if he croaks Parson after attacking first he will probably suffer some kind of horrendous forfeit under the contract he just signed, or;

2, Bogroll--cloaked by magic--goes up in Parson's place and serves as the focal point of some kind of trap (air defenses, more spells) that croaks Ansom and allows Bogroll his heroic death.

I suspect it will be #1, with Bogroll getting his heroic death in the battle after Ansom is neutralized by Parson.

shamelessmerc
2009-02-28, 10:03 PM
I think everyone is wrong, except that whatever happens next is going to be awesome :-)

Quimper
2009-02-28, 10:04 PM
As i've always seen Charlie as the main badguy (still not ruling out the absurd possibility that he's actually a sentient dollamancy arken-marionette), i'd like to post an option i've been thinking about for the last couple of pages (ever since the tool started heading back to GK). I don't think anyone's discussed it before.

There IS a way to actually beat Charlie and it's possible that's what Parson has been setting up right untill this moment.

Let's look at the situation:
1) Charlie seems quite invincible. His Archons are > dragons (perhaps not tool-lead dragons, but still..). He's got GK swarmed with an unlikely amount.

2) Those archons took about 1 turn to arrive after Parson told Charlie he needed to send more. That either means Charlie, living in the mountains as well according to the picture of his castle earlier, lives 1 flight turn away from GK. Or it means Charlie has some kind of "beam me down Scottie" power to teleport a couple of dozen archons at will (if that's the case, why hasn't he conquered the world yet?)

3) Considering the power of the archons, it's reasonable to assume they cost a lot and have high upkeep. The archons at GK could quite possibly be the majority of Charlies troops. Since Charlie lives on top of a mountain, he should feel sufficiently safe from regular invading troops.

4) The tool is about 1turn away from GK and therefore possibly 1turn away from Charlies HQ as well. Maggie hasn't used up her personal 'juice' yet as far as we've seen. Unless she's been sending a message to the tool "offscreen"

5) If the tool + his elite dragon + the other dragons + the arkenhammer + the foolamancer attacks Charlies base. What would happen? The best way to kill this monster would be to cut off it's head. *Poof!* There's nothing to indicate Charlie has the same kind of battle-radar GK had, so he might not be able to know everything going on around his domain.

6) Game set and smash.

---

Edit

Page with Charlies castle in the mountains, possibly in the center (because of the ice) (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0099.html)

Another page with Charlies HQ (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0117.html)

3rd page with Charlies place (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0046.html)

What happens with the archons if the tool croak Charlie (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0110.html)

Beheading Charlie is a strategy already discussed in this comic. "Enders Game - Fool's mate" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0041.html)

Sidenote: Still waiting for GK to actually show a unit being popped. If it happens at the start of GK's turn, it should be a big one considering all the turns we've waited sofar... :D

valce
2009-02-28, 10:57 PM
The last three days of delay on this comic are my fault, not Rob and Jamie's. I suffered a computer meltdown that prevented me from getting the strip that Rob had sent me on Thursday.

It's okay, we still love you ;)

valce
2009-02-28, 11:04 PM
Good ideas, but it could be as simple as waiting for Ansom to step off his carpet to accept Parson's surrender face to face, and then collapsing he tower, eliminating Ansom and his bonus, which could break the back of the RCC (and/or there might be a loophole in Charlie's contract such that it is void if Ansom bites it)

I like that idea - Ansom steps down to ratify the surrender and pick up Bogroll, Bogroll grabs Ansom, Parson brings the entire tower down and collapses most of GK, taking out Ansom and probably a good chunk of the invading forces. Would be a pretty epic way to end it :P

Also, Parson did leave Bogroll under the command of Maggie... Could she have some special instructions too? (Aside from casting whatever foolamancy spell Parson needed to disguise the twoll)

BarGamer
2009-02-28, 11:16 PM
1. I think a Foolamancy'd Bogroll does something to croak Ansom, Sizemore grabs the ArkenPliers, passes it to Wanda, Wanda attunes with it, kills everyone in the Courtyard, Uncroaks them, Stanley returns, and wipes out the Archons. Stanley finally acknowledges Parson as being worthy of respect, and together they all fly out to croak Charlie. Parson goes back to The Real World in a song and dance number.
2. Jamie and Rob release the wildly popular Erfworld books.
3. ???
4. Profit.

noncaloric
2009-02-28, 11:31 PM
Charlie seems quite invincible. His Archons are > dragons (perhaps not tool-lead dragons, but still..). He's got GK swarmed with an unlikely amount.

We've seen enough to know that archons can dish out amazing amount of damage. We've seen no evidence that they can take it themselves. (On the one occasion we've seen an archon take damage, it died.) I find it very plausible that archons are glass cannons, and GW is particularly vulnerable to them mainly due to its lack of air defenses when the dragons are away.

SteveMB
2009-02-28, 11:52 PM
We've seen enough to know that archons can dish out amazing amount of damage. We've seen no evidence that they can take it themselves. (On the one occasion we've seen an archon take damage, it died.) I find it very plausible that archons are glass cannons, and GW is particularly vulnerable to them mainly due to its lack of air defenses when the dragons are away.

It's a bit more complicated than that -- the two times we've seen them bring down targets were 1)against severely wounded dwagons (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0075.html) and 2)in a fight (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0134.html) where it looks like most of the targets took multiple hits. Powerful, yes, but not totally overwhelming.

I doubt that they're "glass cannons"; that would make Charlie's business model difficult to sustain unless they're fairly cheap to replace (too cheap to be reasonable for units with a powerful attack even if they have other disadvantages). That said, yes, they could have less ability to take damage than most other units with comparable attack strength.

Horatio@Bridge
2009-02-28, 11:58 PM
I get the impression that Ansom isn't going to die. Hard to put my finger on why...probably because this story isn't over at the conclusion of the Battle for Gobwin Knob (the authors have said so). He's one of the few characters we know, but we don't know everything about him. His personal development isn't complete. So, that tells me he'll be a fixture in future novels.

Likely scenario:

Bogroll, as Parson, offers surrender. But for some reason, Ansom's got to end turn first...then Parson hits him hard.

Alternatively, Parson uses Bogroll to sow discord between Ansom and Charlie.

Occasional Sage
2009-03-01, 12:23 AM
Another item to be factored into the guessing: Effdup's air defenses are not totally expended (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0108.html). "Most" is not the same as "all," and could be as small as 51%. Just sayin'.


1. I think a Foolamancy'd Bogroll does something to croak Ansom, Sizemore grabs the ArkenPliers, passes it to Wanda, Wanda attunes with it, kills everyone in the Courtyard, Uncroaks them, Stanley returns, and wipes out the Archons. Stanley finally acknowledges Parson as being worthy of respect, and together they all fly out to croak Charlie. Parson goes back to The Real World in a song and dance number.
2. Jamie and Rob release the wildly popular Erfworld books.
3. We buy them all.
4. Profit.

Fixed that for you. :smallbiggrin:

Lamech
2009-03-01, 12:51 AM
I get the impression that Ansom isn't going to die. Hard to put my finger on why...probably because this story isn't over at the conclusion of the Battle for Gobwin Knob (the authors have said so). He's one of the few characters we know, but we don't know everything about him. His personal development isn't complete. So, that tells me he'll be a fixture in future novels.
I would be unsatisfied if Ansom died in this trap. (Is it a trap for Ansom? No one knows.) I kind of want something like DDR or the assult on the walls to blow up in his face. I still think he may die in a this trap...

I also like the idea of getting Ansom to turn on Charlie, that would be funny and so deserved.

Often Normal
2009-03-01, 12:51 AM
I was just wondering about a small point: The last time we see Jack and the Tool, Jack is trying to point something out to him.

Could this have impact/relevance?

Rhuna_Coppermane
2009-03-01, 12:53 AM
Can't help but think that that's really..

Bogroll coming out on the tower...

I think so too.

Name Lips
2009-03-01, 02:40 AM
Random speculations:

Parson didn't say to whom he was planning on surrendering. What if he surrendered to Charlie? Then Charlie and Parson could destroy Ansom's army together and acquire the Arkenpliers.


What if Parson shows Ansom the contents of the magic messaging book? That should make it clear that Parson and Charlie have been in cahoots all along. Ansom might just break off his alliance with Charlie because he's been so clearly duped.

Perhaps it will be Bogroll, all foolamancied up to be indistinguishable from Parson. He could surrender himself and "all the troops under his control" (of course, that's zero). Ansom might be bound by the contract to deliver "Parson" to Charlie right away, and so depart with Bogroll, assuming his army is safe.

MadMaw
2009-03-01, 02:50 AM
Another item to be factored into the guessing: Effdup's air defenses are not totally expended (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0108.html). "Most" is not the same as "all," and could be as small as 51%. Just sayin'.



Fixed that for you. :smallbiggrin:

Parson ordered the air defenses to be shot off against the DDR-ing archons on the first panel here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0142.html) ("Use air defenses too!"), and we see an archon being hit by them in panel 2. Although it's not explicitly stated, you'd assume he used the last of them, I don't think we're going to see any more air defenses.

DravenFrost
2009-03-01, 03:32 AM
All of the coalition's troops got pushed into the courtyard and are standing in nice orderly rows. They mention on page 78 that collapsing enough tunnels would collapse the city itself. Now, at the time they said that that alone would not destroy an invading army, but they still have their massive undead dance fighting zombie army ready to go. Imagine if they could collapse the courtyard and swarm the disoriented invaders.

I'm sure they are using the foolamancy scroll on Bogroll to make him look like Parson when he goes to the tower to accept the surrender, but it's not clear what that leads to. A lot of the possibilities have been mentioned and they all seem fairly viable:
A) Bogroll attacks Ansom (Distracts him from rejoining and leading his troops during the collapse, but likely only briefly due to the archons)
B) Bogroll admits surrender as Parson (Which may cause Ansom to ship Bogroll to Charlie and End The Turn, but that doesn't really change the combat dynamic unless he leaves as well)
C) Parson actually does stand up top, and Bogroll taunts Ansom as the "real" Parson from somewhere else, giving Parson an opening to be ruthless.

I also agree that Stanely is the wildcard, but only to an extent. Having him back would give them a bit of a leadership bonus, but he doesn't have many dragons remaining at this point. I guess there is a chance that however the dragons are created is refreshed and ready to go to bring more in, but that seems a bit weird as well.

Ultimately I think there needs to be some insane combination of things happening at once. Bogroll is tricking Ansom as the courtyard and tower collapse, as Stanely returns, as the zombies swarm, as Maggie uses the last of her thinkamancy energy as Parson's luckamancy kicks in, etc.

At this point I'm just hoping that the next panel isn't just the Tool flying back to the city and ends just as he arrives, leaving us to wait another week for real progress.

aka Argent
2009-03-01, 04:31 AM
Right now we know that Parson is playing Charlie and that Bogroll is playing decoy in the Tower. That's obvious.

What's NOT obvious is what Maggie's Orders for Bogroll are going to be and what Parson has up his sleeve. There's some big finish coming that Parson's troops are ready for, I don't think we're going to see Wanda and Sizemore turning into Barbarians in the Magic Kingdom. Otherwise they wouldn't be grouping patiently, they'd already be in evac mode to salvage every last troop and as much supplies as they could gather for the run for the border once their turn to move came up.

Something very ruthless is going to get sprung very soon, and I'm betting it will screw Charlie over something awful.

DoctorJest
2009-03-01, 04:47 AM
Has anyone else noticed that Charlie refers to fighting wars as "playing games"? I think there's a very good reason why Charlie and Parson... bonded... as well as two enemies can. I've felt that way since Parson and Charlie first started talking and this just cements it.

Because I think the kicker is that Parson isn't playing against Ansom. He's playing against Charlie. Quite literally. Because Charlie is the only other "Player".

DoctorJest
2009-03-01, 04:49 AM
I guess there is a chance that however the dragons

Dragons? What kind of stupid word is that? You obviously mean DWAGONS!
:smallwink:

Monation
2009-03-01, 04:54 AM
I can picture Ansom looking at Bogroll's stats through warlord-o-vision and then going "IT'S OVER 9000!!!" thanks to the Luckomancy given to him by parson.

DoctorJest
2009-03-01, 05:00 AM
As i've always seen Charlie as the main badguy (still not ruling out the absurd possibility that he's actually a sentient dollamancy arken-marionette), i'd like to post an option i've been thinking about for the last couple of pages (ever since the tool started heading back to GK). I don't think anyone's discussed it before.

There IS a way to actually beat Charlie and it's possible that's what Parson has been setting up right untill this moment.

Let's look at the situation:
1) Charlie seems quite invincible. His Archons are > dragons (perhaps not tool-lead dragons, but still..). He's got GK swarmed with an unlikely amount.

Correction. His Archons are > severely wounded dwagons.


2) Those archons took about 1 turn to arrive after Parson told Charlie he needed to send more. That either means Charlie, living in the mountains as well according to the picture of his castle earlier, lives 1 flight turn away from GK. Or it means Charlie has some kind of "beam me down Scottie" power to teleport a couple of dozen archons at will (if that's the case, why hasn't he conquered the world yet?)

Or that Archons have a very high Move rating. Or that Charlie moved a large force of Archons within range of GK before he asked the question in anticipation of the answer.


3) [/B]Considering the power of the archons, it's reasonable to assume they cost a lot and have high upkeep. The archons at GK could quite possibly be the majority of Charlies troops. Since Charlie lives on top of a mountain, he should feel sufficiently safe from regular invading troops.

I'd imagine the Arkendish would keep him well apprised of approaching units before they arrived.


4) The tool is about 1turn away from GK and therefore possibly 1turn away from Charlies HQ as well. Maggie hasn't used up her personal 'juice' yet as far as we've seen. Unless she's been sending a message to the tool "offscreen"

5) If the tool + his elite dragon + the other dragons + the arkenhammer + the foolamancer attacks Charlies base. What would happen?

Why would Tool even think of that? In his mind, Ansom is the enemy and the Arkenpliers are to be his by the will of the Titans. Maggie might have apprised him of the situation, but what we know of Stanley, he's not likely to engage Charlie just because he can when Ansom is assaulting GK. He's more likely to believe in his divine destiny and go claim the Arkenpliers.


The best way to kill this monster would be to cut off it's head. *Poof!* There's nothing to indicate Charlie has the same kind of battle-radar GK had, so he might not be able to know everything going on around his domain.

The Arkendish is definitely a powerful artifact. If it could casually hack Parson's Eyebook, then odds are Charley's been peeking in on some of GK's other "radar" as well all along.

Vreejack
2009-03-01, 05:24 AM
That said, I did find it intruiging that Charlie went along with Parson's lie.

I found it extremely puzzling. Once Parson fakes a surrender he can no longer surrender ever again, and Charlie is relying capturing Parson alive. If Charlie knows that Parson is lying then why is he cooperating?

Either: 1) Charlie is joking about Parson's mastery of deception, or 2) Charlie's curiosity has gotten the better of him. Either way Charlie comes across as slightly more human.

TheTurnipKing
2009-03-01, 06:07 AM
It does seem like the "Parson" on the tower is going to be a thinkamancied up Bogroll. I wonder if they're just going to try and flee through the tunnels, and collapse them behind them, wasting Gobwin Knob - and any troops inside it on the way? I'm not sure what the net-gain of that situation might be, but most of Parson's troops that we've seen within GK are utterly expendable. Tactically, I'm not sure what they'd gain by being outside the walls of GK, but a military disaster like that that might be enough to finally push the coatlition to breaking point.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-03-01, 06:22 AM
Even if Bogroll looked exactly like Parson, they'd need to fake up a stat display for another unit to pass itself off as Parson to warlord-o-vision.

I thought so too, but then I realized something - do we know that warlords can see the stats of enemy units? This Klog (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html) doesn't say one way or another, and I can't recall anyone seeing enemy stats via Natural Thinkamancy before.

If my theory is wrong, then at least we know what the Foolamancy Scroll (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0137.html) is for.

Now, what is Bogroll's mission?
Suicide Grab for the Pliers
Waits for Ansom to get close enough to dive out and grab the Pliers. He'll rely on his Regeneration to survive thumping at the bottom (unless caught by Sizemore) and then hold the Pliers hostage - probably be threatening to 'port them out to the Magic Kingdom with Wanda if he makes a move.

Tempting, but it seems almost too easy. Still, Charlie shouldn't be able to act since the Garrison is not Airspace (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0109.html) so this might be a version of the Fool's Mate strategy (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0041.html).

The only other plots I can think of involve killing/capturing Ansom himself, but that just doesn't seem likely.

MadMaw
2009-03-01, 06:26 AM
It does seem like the "Parson" on the tower is going to be a thinkamancied up Bogroll. I wonder if they're just going to try and flee through the tunnels, and collapse them behind them, wasting Gobwin Knob - and any troops inside it on the way? I'm not sure what the net-gain of that situation might be, but most of Parson's troops that we've seen within GK are utterly expendable. Tactically, I'm not sure what they'd gain by being outside the walls of GK, but a military disaster like that that might be enough to finally push the coatlition to breaking point.

Pretty sure that if GK falls then Stanley becomes a barbarian and everyone who's not with him gets disbanded (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0087.html). Which means letting the coalition have GK is not a viable option for Parson as he will be disbanded soon (immediately? at the end of the turn? on the next turn?) after. In the case of Jillan and Stanley, when their respective captials fell (to an overflight of dwagons and goblin treachery respectively), they were named as heirs so they took leadership of their sides (in Jillians case, because all the cities in her side fell, she became a barbarian).

Edit: Actually the referenced strip doesn't say what happens to units in the field but not with their overlord, when their sides' last city falls. Disbanding seems likely, but it's not stated. Parson mentioned "Melt Away/Insurgency" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0041.html) as an option he liked, but hasn't abandoned GK to use it, presumably because it's not feasible.

MadMaw
2009-03-01, 06:37 AM
At this point I'm just hoping that the next panel isn't just the Tool flying back to the city and ends just as he arrives, leaving us to wait another week for real progress.

At the earliest, Tool can't return until GK's turn as he can't move between hexes before then. It's currently the coalition's turn, then night time, then Translyvito/Jillian, then GK. Unlikely that the next strip will skip that far ahead.

Given that fact, from a narrative perspective, you can pretty safely assume that RCC is going to end its turn for some reason and GK is going to get at least one more (so Stanley can return and save the day...although Stanley could return as a barbarian if GK falls I suppose) before the conclusion of the chapter.

Aquillion
2009-03-01, 06:56 AM
I found it extremely puzzling. Once Parson fakes a surrender he can no longer surrender ever again, and Charlie is relying capturing Parson alive. If Charlie knows that Parson is lying then why is he cooperating?Either it's possible to force Parson to surrender regardless of his wishes or it isn't. I'm guessing it is.

Also, if Parson manages to trick Ansom and get the Arkenpliers, Charlie gets to take them himself next turn when he seizes the city himself using his Archons. He cut a deal with Ansom before because it made it certain that he'd get what he wants either way, but that doesn't mean he still wouldn't be happy to get the Arkenpliers in the bargain.

noncaloric
2009-03-01, 08:32 AM
I found it extremely puzzling. Once Parson fakes a surrender he can no longer surrender ever again, and Charlie is relying capturing Parson alive. If Charlie knows that Parson is lying then why is he cooperating?

Either: 1) Charlie is joking about Parson's mastery of deception, or 2) Charlie's curiosity has gotten the better of him. Either way Charlie comes across as slightly more human.

I'm not yet convinced by the various arguments that somehow, Charlie is Parson, but they would explain Charlie's willingness to go along here.

HandofShadows
2009-03-01, 08:53 AM
Hmm. A very large chunk of Ansom's forces sitting right infront of the tower. Ready to be crushed like bugs. :smallbiggrin: Ansom will not be killed (if he dies at all) yet as two other main players are not preasent yet (Stanley and Gillian). So whatever Parson is going to do it's going to knock the RCC on it's heels, but NOT take it out. There is a lot that can happen and I am sure Parson has something up his sleave and it will be interesting to wee what it is. This battle has some time to go folks.

Hatu
2009-03-01, 09:04 AM
He's confident that the Coalition will win in any case -- after all, he brought enough forces to take the garrison himself once they have a turn when they can move in. Letting Ansom take the bloody nose is simply good business. If Parson does more damage than expected to the RCC before falling, well, that creates all the more demand for his services until they can pop enough units to replace their losses.

I don't really see how it would be good for business. He's joined the Coalition; until the Coalition wins, he doesn't actually get his stated goal. For all his preening about preferring it when losing not even an option, that isn't the case here. He's just in a good, old fashioned really strong position.

He claims to respect Parson's skills. So what exactly does he think Parson is planning? If Parson is not actually surrendering, he must mean to continue fighting the Coalition - and thus fighting Charlie. What does Charlie expect to get out of that? The only angle I can see for him is to have the attack this turn fail, and then offer to send further Archons on the next turn in exchange for even more money.

But that doesn't seem like a very realistic scenario. Consider that Charlie has, to all appearances, committed the Archons currently in GK airspace to the fight. In order for him to get more out of the deal, GK will have to inflict such massive casualties on the RCC that those Archons and the remaining RCC forces will not be sufficient to take GK. Those Archons might well be capable of taking GK on their own (and if not they're most of the way there)*; if the RCC cannot take GK next turn, GK must have inflicted near total destruction on the other RCC forces, and then more than offset their own losses in cheap uncroaked. Now if that actually happens, do you really think the RCC would be willing to continue the fight then and there? At that point, wouldn't it be throwing good money after bad?

Before you say that Ansom is too angry to care, I'll point out that there is a serious chance that Ansom won't survive the battle. Ansom would have to be a high priority target for Parson, and the fact that Ansom is that angry indicates that the RCC wouldn't stop attacking this turn unless Ansom is killed. Thus far, Ansom has been Charlie's best customer. No one had been willing to pay Charlie until Ansom's girlfriend got captured, and Ansom paid up again when he decided not to delay the attack this turn. If Ansom dies, I doubt anyone left in the RCC would be willing to hire him, much less interested in continuing the fight. Which means Charlie will have to do his own dirty work for no gain.

And the work would definitely be dirty. Since the plan only works if most of the RCC is wiped out, Charlie's Archons would have to do virtually all of the fighting themselves. Even if he manages to wring more money out of someone, would if be worth the cost in lost Archons? Remember, if Ansom takes GK this turn, Charlie comes away with an attractive 0 in the Loss column.

So given that risk, why would Charlie play along with Parson's trick? If GK falls this turn, Charlie gets everything he wants at no cost. But if GK survives, Charlie gets nothing and has to hope he can renegotiate next turn on less favorable terms. That's the equation; Parson isn't even offering him anything to play along. The only reason not to support Ansom now is if Charlie just loves to gamble on the long shot, but that would completely undercut the notion that he prefers to eliminate the losing option completely.

That's my problem with this strip. I see no reason why Mr. "Losing shouldn't even be possible!" would forgo winning on the off chance that he might not get a worse deal in the future. Nor do I see why Parson would expect Charlie to feel that way in the first place.

-H

(* Wow. Triple "there" score!)

Gez
2009-03-01, 09:06 AM
I'm not yet convinced by the various arguments that somehow, Charlie is Parson, but they would explain Charlie's willingness to go along here.

Both are glad you think so!
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0099.html
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0102.html

Quimper
2009-03-01, 09:26 AM
1) Charlie seems quite invincible. His Archons are > dragons (perhaps not tool-lead dragons, but still..). He's got GK swarmed with an unlikely amount.




Correction. His Archons are > severely wounded dwagons.


19 Severely wounded dwagons, 3 uncroaked warlords (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0052.html) vs 3 archons, 1 warlord and 5 gwiffons = 61% chance to loose (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0072.html).


2) Those archons took about 1 turn to arrive after Parson told Charlie he needed to send more. That either means Charlie, living in the mountains as well according to the picture of his castle earlier, lives 1 flight turn away from GK. Or it means Charlie has some kind of "beam me down Scottie" power to teleport a couple of dozen archons at will (if that's the case, why hasn't he conquered the world yet?)



Or that Archons have a very high Move rating. Or that Charlie moved a large force of Archons within range of GK before he asked the question in anticipation of the answer.


He anticipated needing to move in that many archons? For what reasons? He had no obvious plan to conquer GK (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0117.html) and the RCC had no risk of loosing. Also, why would the archons move be that much greater than the dragons? Jillian needed to "cheat", using two turns to follow Stanley.


3) Considering the power of the archons, it's reasonable to assume they cost a lot and have high upkeep. The archons at GK could quite possibly be the majority of Charlies troops. Since Charlie lives on top of a mountain, he should feel sufficiently safe from regular invading troops.



I'd imagine the Arkendish would keep him well apprised of approaching units before they arrived.


Normal commanders are dependent on scouts (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0053.html). Getting the eyemancer linkup requires the addition of a lookamancer at least (even if the foolamancer is only there for the display). Normal thinkamancy won't do it for you. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0060.html)



4) The tool is about 1turn away from GK and therefore possibly 1turn away from Charlies HQ as well. Maggie hasn't used up her personal 'juice' yet as far as we've seen. Unless she's been sending a message to the tool "offscreen"

5) If the tool + his elite dragon + the other dragons + the arkenhammer + the foolamancer attacks Charlies base. What would happen?




Why would Tool even think of that? In his mind, Ansom is the enemy and the Arkenpliers are to be his by the will of the Titans. Maggie might have apprised him of the situation, but what we know of Stanley, he's not likely to engage Charlie just because he can when Ansom is assaulting GK. He's more likely to believe in his divine destiny and go claim the Arkenpliers.


Stanley hates/dislikes Charlie (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0047.html) and his eyes have opened for a change in his plan (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0128.html). If reaching the pliers benefits from killing Charlie in the process. So much the better.



The best way to kill this monster would be to cut off it's head. *Poof!* There's nothing to indicate Charlie has the same kind of battle-radar GK had, so he might not be able to know everything going on around his domain.




The Arkendish is definitely a powerful artifact. If it could casually hack Parson's Eyebook, then odds are Charley's been peeking in on some of GK's other "radar" as well all along.


The arkendish auguments thinkamancy (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0098.html). GK doesn't have radar any longer (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0083.html). The only way to know of such a plan would be to hack parsons mind, which im sure Charlie hasn't done since he's still asking Parson question and becoming surprised of the answers.

rman
2009-03-01, 09:29 AM
Speculation -

casters meet by the portal room ....

When bogroll surrenders the casters will portal to the magic kingdom and Parson will drop all his warlord gear. Anyone looking at the troops will see that they have lost all leadership bonus as expected.

Thus to Ansom they will appear as though he has won and that the remaining troops are totally leaderless and unable to move at all. Thus he would be safe to end turn and relax and heal for next turn. As the remaining GK troops being leaderless cannot attack back.

Nightfalls, casters pop back from the magic kingdom, Parson picks up his warlord gear. "What the boop!"

It appears as though the very way Parson is a warlord with all his special items allows strategy that would be impossible for any other warlord.

Guppy
2009-03-01, 10:31 AM
Either: 1) Charlie is joking about Parson's mastery of deception, or 2) Charlie's curiosity has gotten the better of him. Either way Charlie comes across as slightly more human.

I think perhaps Charlie is going along, because he expects Ansom to pay a substantial penalty for "croaking" or failing to capture Parson -- and after which, Charlie probably believes he'll get Parson and the Arkenpliers anyway.

Akatosh
2009-03-01, 11:36 AM
Coming to think of it, we never get to know exactly how many archons Charlie pulled in. For all that we know, he might have a 200% overkill "safety margin" hiding a bunch of squares away from GK, just in case the RCC is hurt badly enough. Without the flying group, scouts or anything, they're basically dependend on him for AA, recon and battle support, which puts him in a somewhat unique position. I doubt he can resist the temptation of a "best case" yield of the Arkenpliers, the bracer, two high-level casters, a city in a great defensive position and Parson. And if the RCC curbstomps GK, despite what happened so far... well, just quietly pull the archons back and join the victory celebrations. "See, I'm trustworthy after all. You should all solely rely on me for aerial support!" :smallwink:

However, it's also possible he only brought 125% of "neccessary forces"... in that case, the plan might backfire badly if Stanley swoops in just in time. Greedy people sometimes act a little too hasty when they see what appears to be a sure-win scenario...

Sieggy
2009-03-01, 01:04 PM
Has anyone else taken note of the fact that Charlie seems to be down to eight Archons? It may just be that's all the frame could hold (for composition's sake), but given that the authors / artists tend to be subtle yet honest in their presentations, that may well be his remaining forces in the field (reserves unknown . . .).

If Archons are as low in hit points as has been speculated, I can see them having been taken out with considerable speed & ease. Which means that Charlie has taken some pretty severe losses if this is the case. We don't know what the RCC ground losses have been, but they have to have been pretty substantial.

Remember, Parson didn't know about Wanda's scroll reserves when Charlie requested the battle calculation, so it's quite possible that he (quite honestly) lowballed the number of Archons needed to take GK. And Charlie drastically underestimated Parsons firepower, as did Parson himself. This would just purely impress the hell out of Charlie, and I can definitely see him being absolutely fascinated to see what move Parson has in mind . . . even if it means more RRC casualties or Ansom being taken out.

And one quibble point - the Archons may not have any move left, but can they lay fire into adjoining zones? According to Klog #6, flying units can engage non-flyers, and I assume that includes casting . . . So could the Archons engage in strafing attacks as long as they don't expend move?

Lamech
2009-03-01, 01:31 PM
I know why Charlie wants Ansom dead! Maybe... if Ansom were to die, and Charlie gets GK's artifacts... guess who now has two arkentools. And then a third if he defeats Stanley.

If he the whole RCC is broken he'll get the casters too. Wanda who is a master-class croakamancer (and then some), and Jack the master class foolamancer (plus like Wanda?), AND the guy who made most of GK's defenses.

Of course, that simply isn't happening and Charlie is being blinded by greed. If someone can pull off things that are not even plausible you don't mess with him.

Aquillion
2009-03-01, 01:50 PM
Speculation -

casters meet by the portal room ....

When bogroll surrenders the casters will portal to the magic kingdom and Parson will drop all his warlord gear. Anyone looking at the troops will see that they have lost all leadership bonus as expected.

Thus to Ansom they will appear as though he has won and that the remaining troops are totally leaderless and unable to move at all. Thus he would be safe to end turn and relax and heal for next turn. As the remaining GK troops being leaderless cannot attack back.

Nightfalls, casters pop back from the magic kingdom, Parson picks up his warlord gear. "What the boop!"

It appears as though the very way Parson is a warlord with all his special items allows strategy that would be impossible for any other warlord.

The problem is that Parson's base warlord bonus (2) is not dependent on any special equipment.

Finwe
2009-03-01, 03:16 PM
Stanley hates/dislikes Charlie (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0047.html) and his eyes have opened for a change in his plan (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0128.html). If reaching the pliers benefits from killing Charlie in the process. So much the better.

Even more pertinently, Charlie has the Arkendish. If he kills Charlie, Stanley can take the dish.

hajo
2009-03-01, 03:18 PM
when Charlie requested the battle calculation, so it's quite possible that he (quite honestly) lowballed the number of Archons needed to take GK.

Come to think of it - for Parson to make that calculation, he needed to know the strenght of an Archon.
So Charlie must have revealed that information to him, but we the readers still don't know.

SteveMB
2009-03-01, 03:23 PM
I thought so too, but then I realized something - do we know that warlords can see the stats of enemy units? This Klog (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html) doesn't say one way or another, and I can't recall anyone seeing enemy stats via Natural Thinkamancy before.

The Eyemancer trio gave a (mostly hidden, but enough is visible to show what it is) stat readout for Jillian and/or her gwiffon (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0024.html). Admittedly, that was a special case that may be more powerful than normal commander stat-o-vision.


Come to think of it - for Parson to make that calculation, he needed to know the strenght of an Archon.
So Charlie must have revealed that information to him, but we the readers still don't know.

The basic unit information could be automagically incorporated into the bracelet.

Suicide Junkie
2009-03-01, 06:09 PM
The problem is that Parson's base warlord bonus (2) is not dependent on any special equipment.That is true, but the sword bonus would disappear.

The change in bonus would still be substantial and noticable. But perhaps only when there is combat to observe. Sending a few troops rushing out to the courtyard at the last second would provide such evidence if necessary.

Jack pulled the same thing with Stanley; the dwagons noticably lost bonuses when the illusion died and they stopped commanding the battle... And it was very convincing.
Also, Ansom hasn't heard what happened, so it will still be a complete surprise to him. At least until morning, when Jillian returns to tell the story just as Parson's turn is about to start with full bonus restored and casters fully charged.

imp_fireball
2009-03-01, 06:28 PM
Alright he's the lowdown:
Parson hands Ansom the math artifact, who then immediately hands it to the archons.

The archons then turn on ansom, while wanda's undead army arrive to fight the enemy once more.

The leaders of Ansom's alliance panic and rush in to be assailed by the crap golems.

The archons extricate the arkenpliers from ansom's dead form, effectively giving Charlie two artifacts when in the previous deal, he would have only had one.

The archons immediately begin their journey back home after Charlie gives Parson a half-hearted thank you that's more a delightful expression of satisfied arrogance than anything resembling a 'thank you'.

On Parson's turn (or whoever's turn it has to be), The Tool arrives only to take off again in pursuit of the Archons. Meanwhile, Ansom's alliance has disintegrated.

The Tool assails The Archons in a bitter attempt to acquire both artifacts with the help of his own (and of course, Charlie orders them to stay and fight in order to hopefully seize the arkenhammer). Parson is also able to fight back due to being nabbed by the archons and provide leadership bonuses to Stanley's dwagons. And so yet another suspenseful struggle takes place with the GitP boards taking sides, etc., etc.

Jillian shows up when everything is over to either -

A. Begin working for Charlie once more (who proceeds to take over the world with three new artifacts).

B. Meets with Wanda once more, after Parson's astounding victory. Is heartbroken by the demise of Ansom.

C. Meets with Ansom to commence overkill on Parson. She renounces being a barbarian and lives happily ever after in her self-satisfied chicken nest.

Occasional Sage
2009-03-01, 06:54 PM
Parson ordered the air defenses to be shot off against the DDR-ing archons on the first panel here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0142.html) ("Use air defenses too!"), and we see an archon being hit by them in panel 2. Although it's not explicitly stated, you'd assume he used the last of them, I don't think we're going to see any more air defenses.

Ah yes. Thanks. Obviously having a Senior Moment.

Devoured_Dude
2009-03-01, 08:14 PM
Has anyone mentioned that

Parson's Mathamancy bracer artifact that Charlie wants so much won't work without Parson's calculator wristwatch, so Bogroll could be wearing the bracer and be captured, Charlie takes the artifact home and finds out its useless without Parson. I suspect this or a close variation on this is likely to happen.

JazzManJim
2009-03-01, 08:43 PM
Come on folks, you don't really need to spoiler Bogroll. It's been so highly telegraphed that anything else would be quite astonishing. The only question remaining is what Parson expects to accomplish by this ruse.

Been pondering this one and I have a bold idea.

I think Bogroll's mission is to croak Charlie.

Sieggy
2009-03-01, 10:46 PM
Been pondering this one and I have a bold idea.

I think Bogroll's mission is to croak Charlie.

How? Charlie is back at Charlecomm HQ. No, more likely it will go down like this . . .

Ansom does his obligatory gloat, and demands that Parson (disguised Bogroll) hand over the Mathamancy artifact. Bogroll will be standing on the parapet directly above the front door of the tower. When he does, so, that's when the trap is sprung. Bogroll will most likely take Ansom just by simply grabbing him, yanking him off the carpet, jumping off, and both then plunge to their deaths. Maybe.

Remember, Ansom is down in points, if the state of his cape is any indication (if the livery of the Jetstone troops change when they're uncroaked, the condition of garb may be indicative of status, including health - get healed, your costume is repaired as well) If this is so, Bogroll may have more points than Ansom right now, though that's kind of beside the point at this time. Bogroll will get better, though . . .

Either way, Ansom is on the ground right in front of the tower either dead or very badly injured, where Wanda & company will be waiting just inside the door. When Ansom is suddenly transformed into a Warlord Waffle, Wanda jumps out and takes possession of the pliers. Bogroll or other troops drag Ansom (and Bogroll as well, I certainly hope) inside, tower door slams closed.

At that point, it's a WHOLE new game. Wanda has the pliers and Parson has Ansom prisoner. If Ansom is dead, Wanda has a new boytoy. The coalition is in total chaos, and whatever unpleasantry Parson has in mind for them gets sprung then.

Total elapsed time from 'gloating victory' to 'Titans Testes!', maybe ten seconds . . . and I really don't see the Archons being able to react in time to save Ansom.

SteveMB
2009-03-01, 11:01 PM
Remember, Ansom is down in points, if the state of his cape is any indication (if the livery of the Jetstone troops change when they're uncroaked, the condition of garb may be indicative of status, including health - get healed, your costume is repaired as well)

If you look closely at the scene (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0039.html) where Jillian heals from the interrogation session, you'll see that her sleeves return to full length.

pdwalker
2009-03-02, 12:32 AM
Given the past history, I guess we can expect a complete reversal of Parsons current plan in the next page or three.

Haven
2009-03-02, 01:34 AM
I really, really hope this doesn't end up with Parson actually working for Charlie. He's such a smug snake on this page.

Anyway, here's a random guess that I came up with: What if it turns out to be <i>Parson</i> disguised as Bogroll? The Coalition got close enough to see them, so they'll recognize he's likely just sent out his scapegoat and keep going into the tower, and just rush past him assuming Parson still has some trick up his sleeves that they can prevent if they get to him in the tower...only for them to sink the tower and escape into the Magic Kingdom. Or something.

creedofhubris
2009-03-02, 02:24 AM
So, I think one key element is that Parson got Charlie to reveal that Anson is bound to deliver Parson to Charlie. I don't think this is just character/plot development, I think this affects Parson's tactical plan. Since Charlie has proven to be persnickety about contractual details, this stricture will weigh large in Ansom's planning if in fact Parson does not surrender.

In this light I think Parson's choice of "surrender" location is highly interesting. What happens if Bogroll-dressed-like-Parson says something like "I'll never surrender" and jumps off the parapet? Now Ansom has to try to catch him, and if he fails then Anson will end at ground level right near the entrance to the dungeon!

Ozar
2009-03-02, 02:37 AM
In this light I think Parson's choice of "surrender" location is highly interesting. What happens if Bogroll-dressed-like-Parson says something like "I'll never surrender" and jumps off the parapet? Now Ansom has to try to catch him, and if he fails then Anson will end at ground level right near the entrance to the dungeon! Ooh, that's a good one.

TheTurnipKing
2009-03-02, 04:23 AM
Pretty sure that if GK falls then Stanley becomes a barbarian and everyone who's not with him gets disbanded (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0087.html). Which means letting the coalition have GK is not a viable option for Parson as he will be disbanded soon (immediately? at the end of the turn? on the next turn?) after. In the case of Jillan and Stanley, when their respective captials fell (to an overflight of dwagons and goblin treachery respectively), they were named as heirs so they took leadership of their sides (in Jillians case, because all the cities in her side fell, she became a barbarian).

Edit: Actually the referenced strip doesn't say what happens to units in the field but not with their overlord, when their sides' last city falls. Disbanding seems likely, but it's not stated. Parson mentioned
"Melt Away/Insurgency" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0041.html) as an option he liked, but hasn't abandoned GK to use it, presumably because it's not feasible.
I don't think the City is the important part - it's likely strategically important, because you I suspect can't create new units without at least one (undead may be an exception in the case of a Master Croakamancer, but even there, the mechanic would be balanced by the need to have fresh materials to work from), but I think that you'd only become a barbarian if your side's Warlord is croaked - this, presumably, is the point of Obedience,

MadMaw
2009-03-02, 04:01 PM
I don't think the City is the important part - it's likely strategically important, because you I suspect can't create new units without at least one (undead may be an exception in the case of a Master Croakamancer, but even there, the mechanic would be balanced by the need to have fresh materials to work from), but I think that you'd only become a barbarian if your side's Warlord is croaked - this, presumably, is the point of Obedience,

This comic is compex, but sometimes I feel like I'm reading a different one from everyone else.
1) "So what happens if Stanley is croaked [in the field]? He has no heir, so our side ends. Field units disband, and this city becomes "neutral", which is not as nice as it sounds. Units here freeze in time. We can do nothing until attacked." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0110.html). From Parsons' description of 'neutral', it differs from 'barbarian'.
2) Parson=warlord, Stanley=overlord. GK has lost heaps of warlords before and Stanley never seemed too worried about it. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0005.html).
3) Overlords without cities become classed as barbarian: in the first panel, Jillian, the heir to FAQ, describes that she became a barbarian when FAQ fell (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html). What is unclear is if units in the field, who aren't with the overlord, are disbanded or not when the last city is taken. If they aren't, and the unit upkeep costs can be met somehow, then Parson has an option to abandon the city to the RCC, become a barbarian, hide in the hills for a few turns, then either re-take GK once the coalition has disolved, or use guerilla warfare tactics on the RCC.

Aquillion
2009-03-02, 05:04 PM
If bthey aren't, and the unit upkeep costs can be met somehow, then Parson has an option to abandon the city to the RCC, become a barbarian, hide in the hills for a few turns, then either re-take GK once the coalition has disolved, or use guerilla warfare tactics on the RCC.That's a big if. All else aside, Stanley stated he would only pay Parson et all's upkeep until the city fell.

We can presume that this is because Stanley wouldn't have the funds or income to pay for them after that even if he wanted to, but either way, he's not going to be paying. Parson can survive exactly up until the next upkeep phase without that city. (Now, we don't know when upkeep is paid -- depending on when it is, he might survive long enough for Stanley to get back. But he can't 'hide in the hills for a few turns.')

Kreistor
2009-03-02, 07:53 PM
Page 19.6. Wanda to Parson. "Commander Parson, if you refuse an order, the spell which summoned you will end your existence entirely. You must serve your lord's will and desires. Forever."

Page 32.2. Stanley to Parson. "I can end you with a thought."

Parson is not normal. If he disbands (as Stanley threatened in 19), he may disappear entirely. Further, surrender to anyone may not even be possible for him. The spell may see this as failure to obey orders and immediately end his existence. Even if Parson is captured normally, Stanley can end him instantly, and would do so, just to keep him out of someone else's hands.

Parson lives only at the whim of Stanley. Surrender or transfer of himself to Charlescomm simple is not a possible future until after Stanley croaks.

multilis
2009-03-02, 08:00 PM
If Parson pretends to be Parson, and Bogroll then is spotted as Parson, then the *real* Parson may be thought of as fake, which may fool both Charlie and Ansom... otherwise risk of Charlie once again ruining Parsons plan to keep it "no lose".

Doran
2009-03-02, 08:24 PM
Page 19.6. Wanda to Parson. "Commander Parson, if you refuse an order, the spell which summoned you will end your existence entirely. You must serve your lord's will and desires. Forever."

Page 32.2. Stanley to Parson. "I can end you with a thought."

Parson is not normal. If he disbands (as Stanley threatened in 19), he may disappear entirely. Further, surrender to anyone may not even be possible for him. The spell may see this as failure to obey orders and immediately end his existence. Even if Parson is captured normally, Stanley can end him instantly, and would do so, just to keep him out of someone else's hands.

Parson lives only at the whim of Stanley. Surrender or transfer of himself to Charlescomm simple is not a possible future until after Stanley croaks.

I think that the whole "end you with a thought" and "serve your lord's desires" part applies to any unit under an overlords command. The spell just makes those rules apply to Parson. Stanley could order Wanda or any unit to laugh (or at least thinks he can) considering the whole "Are you refusing an order, soldier?" "I'm allowed", but everyone's so used to this that it very rarely comes up.

Conversely, as there are mechanics for unit capturing or defection to another side they should also apply to Parson. Then Parson's new side would have control over him.

Plus, meta-wise it would take all tension out of Charlie's offer if it would just eventually kill Parson.

What do you think, Kreistor?

MadMaw
2009-03-02, 10:23 PM
That's a big if. All else aside, Stanley stated he would only pay Parson et all's upkeep until the city fell.

We can presume that this is because Stanley wouldn't have the funds or income to pay for them after that even if he wanted to, but either way, he's not going to be paying. Parson can survive exactly up until the next upkeep phase without that city. (Now, we don't know when upkeep is paid -- depending on when it is, he might survive long enough for Stanley to get back. But he can't 'hide in the hills for a few turns.')

Yeah, you're right, it's a stretch. I'm not sure why I mentioned it in the first place.

Lamech
2009-03-02, 10:42 PM
That's a big if. All else aside, Stanley stated he would only pay Parson et all's upkeep until the city fell.

We can presume that this is because Stanley wouldn't have the funds or income to pay for them after that even if he wanted to, but either way, he's not going to be paying. Parson can survive exactly up until the next upkeep phase without that city. (Now, we don't know when upkeep is paid -- depending on when it is, he might survive long enough for Stanley to get back. But he can't 'hide in the hills for a few turns.')
Those gobwin units are doing just fine without any cities. Parson and friends could "defect" and the gobwins and there shiny new units could hide out in the hills. Well... maybe. We don't know the rules on upkeep or even what the ill effects of not paying it are. Regardless the authors could take it in that direction, although metastory tells me probably not.

Kreistor
2009-03-03, 02:58 PM
What do you think, Kreistor?

Wanda says specifically that the spell will destroy Parson. Since Wanda was not summoned by spell, I do not believe the effect applies to her. Proof? None. But I would think that if Stanley could end anyone's existence with a thought, there would be no need for Natural Thinkamancy.