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Kaed
2009-03-02, 11:47 PM
New comic is up, it seems!

(not even sure if I'm allowed to do this)

Bogroll almost seems to be doing a 'this sparta spoof' but maybe it's something else.

The archons' banter, of course, remains the punchline as is usual.

Furin_Mirado
2009-03-02, 11:49 PM
....and there go the pliers again. Is Wanda positioned to grab them? Also, will Ansom make a big splat while Bogroll splats and just regenerates?

The Glyphstone
2009-03-02, 11:50 PM
The fact that it was foreshadowed eleventy billion times makes it not the slightest bit awesome when it actually happens...

Go Bogroll!

Decius
2009-03-02, 11:51 PM
If Jaclyn had followed the rules about paying for magical protection, maybe she'd be alive now. Just saying.

dyslexicfaser
2009-03-02, 11:52 PM
... Huh.

Do we know that twolls regenerate (wegenewate? no, that sounds dumb) in Erfworld? I was all set to feel sad about Bogroll's ultimate sacrifice (Misty was Stanley's and Maggie's fault, but this would be all Parson's doing), when it might not even be needed.

Fjolnir
2009-03-02, 11:52 PM
I do like that the same archon who said earlier that they weren't paying for spell security with jillian when jacklyn told her she was under a suggestion spell appears to be lamenting the fact that the new archon leader isn't doing the same unpaid for service

TheMutant
2009-03-02, 11:54 PM
Holy cats. CMOA for Bogroll, anyone?


Do we know that twolls regenerate (wegenewate? no, that sounds dumb) in Erfworld?

Yes, in this klog (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html). No telling how far that goes, though; dunno if you can regenerate from being reduced to a fine paste on the ground.

Lizard Lord
2009-03-02, 11:54 PM
If Jaclyn had followed the rules about paying for magical protection, maybe she'd be alive now. Just saying.

I don't see how.

Kaed
2009-03-02, 11:54 PM
Do we know that twolls regenerate (wegenewate? no, that sounds dumb) in Erfworld? I was all set to feel sad about Bogroll's ultimate sacrifice (Misty was Stanley's and Maggie's fault, but this would be all Parson's doing), when it might not even be needed.

Yeah, it was indicated (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html) pretty early on, but how far the Regeneration special ability goes is unclear.

I doubt it reverses outright croaking, though.

Axl_Rose
2009-03-02, 11:55 PM
Damnit, I wanna see Ansom kick some ass here. Whatever happened to competent enemies? It's no fun to watch the villain (or in this case, the hero) turn into someone who almost literally hands his enemy his most prized possession. Doesn't he have goons for that purpose?

As much of a bighead as Ansom is, it breaks the versimilitude a bit, for him to be duped by Parson time and time again and still make such critical assumption errors.

BRC
2009-03-02, 11:58 PM
Ansom's plenty competant, he's just too lawful for his own good. He apparently didn't expect parson to pull off an "I Surrender Suckers". But he's not nearly paranoid enough for his own good, so he gets Bogrolled.

Horatio@Bridge
2009-03-02, 11:58 PM
That was epic. Except the last two panels. They kind of blew the mood. On the other hand, there's a place for dramatic understatement. BIG EPIC MOMENT...bored reaction. I'm expecting the next few panels to be WAIT, WHAT?!? That is going to be funny. :-D

TheMutant
2009-03-02, 11:59 PM
As much of a bighead as Ansom is, it breaks the versimilitude a bit, for him to be duped by Parson time and time again and still make such critical assumption errors.

Perhaps, but I think others are of the opinion that versimilitude is just as broken by Ansom foiling Parson's careful, intelligent plans by apparent dumb luck time and time again. ;) YMMV, of course.

Fjolnir
2009-03-02, 11:59 PM
I don't see how.

simple, if jacklyn hadn't told jillian about the suggestion spell, jillian would have left the dwagons alone and probably left ansom in a lurch because of it. She almost certainly wouldn't have been able to convince ansom to go after stanley to faq (if he even left GK) and then jacklyn wouldn't have gotten fried by wanda because that fight is directly the result of her getting jillian to break the suggestion

thucom
2009-03-03, 12:02 AM
Ansom should have suspected something when Parson wasn't saying a word. I'm sure if Parson was up there instead it would have been something to the effect of "You didn't win, Charlie won". Or defiant mocking of his overwhelming force barely winning. Something like that.

Kaed
2009-03-03, 12:03 AM
But he's not nearly paranoid enough for his own good, so he gets Bogrolled.

Now just watch, the new gotcha meme will be BOGROLL'D, linking to some crudely animated gif of him screaming HAMSTAAHR.

TheMutant
2009-03-03, 12:06 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizard Lord
I don't see how.

simple, if jacklyn hadn't told jillian about the suggestion spell, jillian would have left the dwagons alone and probably left ansom in a lurch because of it. She almost certainly wouldn't have been able to convince ansom to go after stanley to faq (if he even left GK) and then jacklyn wouldn't have gotten fried by wanda because that fight is directly the result of her getting jillian to break the suggestion

She's probably actually referring to that if Jaclyn hadn't flown up to warn Jillian of the fact that Wanda was under no spells here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0105.html), she wouldn't have been in the range of the 'FR-DOOM' antiair spells.

Ravenred
2009-03-03, 12:08 AM
Bogroll is awesome times infinity.

You know, speechifying should really wait until you've GENUINELY won.

Is this the end of Ansom? (probably not)

I love the dialogue between the Archons at the end. Shows how frighteningly mercenary Charlescomm actually is.

Well done Rob and Jamie... this sets up a seriously awesome climax (as I don't think we're there just...yet)

Crod
2009-03-03, 12:13 AM
Somehow I thought that would be a bit more of a climax. Gives me the feeling it's not over yet with Ansom.

Highwarlord
2009-03-03, 12:15 AM
For my Lord Hamster!

To be honest, I would consider this the first 'epic moment' thus far. Hopefully the first of many :smallbiggrin:

Decius
2009-03-03, 12:18 AM
I don't see how.

Simple: By helping to break the suggestion on Jillian, she set in motion the chain of events that caused Jillian's stack to get hit by most of GK's air defenses- at the culmination of an argument sparked by her breaking the suggestion spell. That attack is what killed her.

If Jaclyn hadn't broken Charlie's rules, she might still be alive.

Edit: And she died WHILE breaking the rules again. I got ninja'd on that one.

CaptC
2009-03-03, 12:19 AM
Charlie saw it coming. Why did he let it happen?

If the RCC wins, Charlie has everything he wants. (Parson and the device.) But now Parson has a chance to win, and in that case Charlie gets paid but doesn't get his ultimate warlord or artifact.

I'm nonplussed. Bad strategy on Charlie's part.

Xenon
2009-03-03, 12:19 AM
bogroll ftw!

ishnar
2009-03-03, 12:21 AM
Bogroll almost seems to be doing a 'this sparta spoof' but maybe it's something else.

The archons' banter, of course, remains the punchline as is usual.

The warcry and leap of faith was around long before the movie.


Ansom should have suspected something when Parson wasn't saying a word. I'm sure if Parson was up there instead it would have been something to the effect of "You didn't win, Charlie won". Or defiant mocking of his overwhelming force barely winning. Something like that.

I think you missed the Arrogance factor of Ansom's personality. Arrogant people don't grow suspicious when people listen to them.

--

Now to see this actually HURT Ansome somehow, instead of him pull some recovery out of his netherregions that makes him even more powerful. Like doing an "Oh, I wasn't really left-handed anyway. Lemme switch to my right hand" but instead it being, "Oh, I wasn't really tuned with my arken pliers anyway, lemme switch to my Arken doom-gun that I am attuned to." And everyone was wondering where the last arken-tool was.

pendell
2009-03-03, 12:24 AM
Treachery during a peace conference? Parson may be a protaganist, but he's no hero.

That one scene, by itself, has made me decide not to buy the graphic novel when it comes out. Although I will wait to see if the situation changes.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

slayerx
2009-03-03, 12:25 AM
Man i'm not sure if i like that ending or not... on the one hand it's a mood killer, on the other hand, it really is hilarious

and i'm in support of the term "BOGROLL'D"


She's probably actually referring to that if Jaclyn hadn't flown up to warn Jillian of the fact that Wanda was under no spells here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0105.html), she wouldn't have been in the range of the 'FR-DOOM' antiair spells.

The unipegataurs along with various other flying units that stayed behind also got hit... essentially, ALL of them were within range... it's a complete unknown of whether or not Jacklyn would have gotten fried had she stayed back... hell instead of her, one of the other archons might have taken that blast... you want to say she died because she tried to help Jillian, but in essence if she didn't then someone else would have died if not her

Really, i never understood why people are so damn hard on Jacklyn...


Charlie saw it coming. Why did he let it happen?

If the RCC wins, Charlie has everything he wants. (Parson and the device.) But now Parson has a chance to win, and in that case Charlie gets paid but doesn't get his ultimate warlord or artifact.

I'm nonplussed. Bad strategy on Charlie's part.
Charlie put it best "who could resist a show like that"
As much as he does want Parson and the artifact, he seems to have curiosity enough to want to see someone pull off the impossible... It's like he's conflicted between making sure he gets what he wants out of this battle and seeing what lord hamster can do.

It could also be the case that Charlie thinks there's still no way parson can win... as much as he struggles and for every good attack he makes, the forces he is facing are far too overwhelming and he will loose... Hell, if you recall, Charlie's archon forces alone were gonna be enough to take the garrison; once those uncroacked turn to dust in a few turns, charlie may think that he will be at the advantage to take Parson by force should he manage to win...

MReav
2009-03-03, 12:25 AM
Go Bogroll.

Lizard Lord
2009-03-03, 12:26 AM
She's probably actually referring to that if Jaclyn hadn't flown up to warn Jillian of the fact that Wanda was under no spells here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0105.html), she wouldn't have been in the range of the 'FR-DOOM' antiair spells.
That is what I thought she meant, but.....
The pegataurs were in the back and they still got fried.

Limos
2009-03-03, 12:27 AM
I hope Ansom at least gets seriously wounded. I'm tired of his smug little ass getting saved at the last second constantly. It's not even funny any more.

I want him to be a small red smear on the courtyard.

ishnar
2009-03-03, 12:29 AM
Charlie saw it coming. Why did he let it happen?

If the RCC wins, Charlie has everything he wants. (Parson and the device.) But now Parson has a chance to win, and in that case Charlie gets paid but doesn't get his ultimate warlord or artifact.

I'm nonplussed. Bad strategy on Charlie's part.

I think Charlie gets paid more the longer the war stretches out. He cares nothing about lives lost, only the profit. Bad strategy can be good for his pocketbook.

Lizard Lord
2009-03-03, 12:31 AM
Treachery during a peace conference? Parson may be a protaganist, but he's no hero.

That one scene, by itself, has made me decide not to buy the graphic novel when it comes out. Although I will wait to see if the situation changes.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Why would this scene change your view of the story? You're not one of those people that prefer their protaganists to also be heroes are you? I never understood those people. As long as the story and the characters are interesting why does it matter if you agree with their views or actions?

Decius
2009-03-03, 12:32 AM
Charlie saw it coming. Why did he let it happen?

If the RCC wins, Charlie has everything he wants. (Parson and the device.) But now Parson has a chance to win, and in that case Charlie gets paid but doesn't get his ultimate warlord or artifact.

I'm nonplussed. Bad strategy on Charlie's part.
Charlie still knows that he has enough archons in the air to take the garrison, and Parson knows that Charlie knows that Parson knows that, ad infinitum. Charlie can thus make any terms he wants with Parson - including "I take you prisoner alive, along with your artifact. You get to fight my archons."

Parson, in fact, delayed Charlie by a similar tactic already "Let me play for another turn, and not only will I survive, but I'll have the 'Pliers as well." Charlie still gets what he wants, unless Parson can pull another reason out of his [thin air] to delay Charlie (Like, "The Tool just wiped out your archons with his dwagons. :O ,|,,")

Oh, and Mercenaries get paid according to the terms of their agreement. Normally that means that you pay them win or lose- I can't imagine a deal made under severe duress would be better for Ansom than the standard.

TheMutant
2009-03-03, 12:32 AM
The unipegataurs along with various other flying units that stayed behind also got hit... essentially, ALL of them were within range... it's a complete unknown of whether or not Jacklyn would have gotten fried had she stayed back... hell instead of her, one of the other archons might have taken that blast... you want to say she died because she tried to help Jillian, but in essence if she didn't then someone else would have died if not her

Really, i never understood why people are so damn hard on Jacklyn...


That is what I thought she meant, but.....
The pegataurs were in the back and they still got fried.

True, but Jaclyn was the only archon that got hit- so if it was area of effect, she was too close, or it might be that Wanda got to preferentially pick the targets, and Jaclyn just made herself a more prominent one by flying to the fore to speak to Jillian. Or it might have made no difference; I'm just speculating on what seems to me to be the most likely explanation. ;)

CaptC
2009-03-03, 12:33 AM
Hmmm. Maybe not such bad strategy for Charlie, if an archon catches the pliers.

...Just saying.

I could really get my tinfoil hat out and wonder aloud: "Or could Wanda and Charlie have been in cahoots all along, to get Ansom to lose the pliers to Wanda?"

...Just stirring. :smallsmile:

CaptC
2009-03-03, 12:38 AM
Why would this scene change your view of the story? You're not one of those people that prefer their protaganists to also be heroes are you? I never understood those people. As long as the story and the characters are interesting why does it matter if you agree with their views or actions?

If you identify personally with the protagonist, and he does something you would never, ever do, the dissonance can produce disaffection with the story.

I'm a bit put out at the ploy myself. Not my morals. But then again, not my butt on the line, either. So I'm willing to give Parson a pass. All's fair in love and war.

ShneekeyTheLost
2009-03-03, 12:41 AM
Guys, think one step further...

Where is Ansom and Bogroll going to land?

On the ground. Without his carpet or any other method of levitation.

Where Sizemore can smash n grab with his rock golems.

VariaVespasa
2009-03-03, 12:41 AM
Charlie saw it coming. Why did he let it happen?

If the RCC wins, Charlie has everything he wants. (Parson and the device.) But now Parson has a chance to win, and in that case Charlie gets paid but doesn't get his ultimate warlord or artifact.

I'm nonplussed. Bad strategy on Charlie's part.

He let it happen because
a)- he believes he can take the garrison solo if he needs to regardless of what Parson does, so whether the coalition succeeds or not is irrelevant to him. Letting this happen means he may get a chance at capturing the pliers as well as just Parson and his bracelet. Its a no-brainer that the spell security clause was deliberately left out of the new contract Charlie forced on Ansom just in case. And-
b)- This lets him see more of Parsons skills and abilities, and lets Parson deplete his defenses and tricks and traps on someone elses forces rather than his almost certainly very expensive archons, making it easier for him to take GK himself next turn if he needs to.

Of course we're rooting for Parson to come up with some way to prevent Charlies capture of him later on, but that remains to be seen.

The last 2 panels serve both as humor for this strip, but also serve to let us know that at least some of the archons are not fooled by at least some foolamancer spells, which is relevant to theories of how Stanleys likely return to GK and the ensuing battle will play out. The foolamancer may not be as large a factor as previously believed in the GK vs Charlie conflict.

ishnar
2009-03-03, 12:42 AM
Treachery during a peace conference? Parson may be a protaganist, but he's no hero.

That one scene, by itself, has made me decide not to buy the graphic novel when it comes out. Although I will wait to see if the situation changes.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

This isn't a peace conference this is surrender. Do you know what happens when a side surrenders in a war-game? The side that surrenders is disbanded. There is no peaceful co-existance after a surrender in a wargame. Parson knows that if he surrenders, except for his casters and maybe some select units, everone else will be disbanded.

DoctorJest
2009-03-03, 12:42 AM
Charlie saw it coming. Why did he let it happen?

If the RCC wins, Charlie has everything he wants. (Parson and the device.) But now Parson has a chance to win, and in that case Charlie gets paid but doesn't get his ultimate warlord or artifact.

I'm nonplussed. Bad strategy on Charlie's part.

Nope. Because Charlie sees another angle here, the same bait Parson dangled in front of him before. If Ansom wins, then Charlie gets Parson and the Mathamancy Artifact. If Parson wins, Charlie gets Parson, the Mathamancy Artifact AND the Arkenpliers.

Charlie has enough Archons on the scene to take the garrison all by himself. Parson and Charlie already discussed this. Parson and Charley's original "agreement" was that if Charlie stood by and didn't interfere, then after Parson beat Ansom, GK would be even weaker from having to fight the RCC, so Charlie would be still be able to claim the garrison even after Parson "won".

If Charlie throws down with Ansom, then he loses the opportunity to get the Arkenpliers, and as Parson noted, he bit pretty hard on that bait the first time. Ansom's failing is Pride. If Charlie has a failing, it's GREED.

Lizard Lord
2009-03-03, 12:43 AM
If you identify personally with the protagonist, and he does something you would never, ever do, the dissonance can produce disaffection with the story.

I'm a bit put out at the ploy myself. Not my morals. But then again, not my butt on the line, either. So I'm willing to give Parson a pass. All's fair in love and war.

I don't suppose you watch Dexter? Even if you think the people he kills deserve to die, he had done some pretty bad things to save his own butt in the second season. Still a great show and fascinating character.

Suicide Junkie
2009-03-03, 12:49 AM
Ansom may not be paying to have spell security, but he is definitely paying to not have spell security.

DoctorJest
2009-03-03, 12:50 AM
He let it happen because
a)- he believes he can take the garrison solo if he needs to regardless of what Parson does, so whether the coalition succeeds or not is irrelevant to him. Letting this happen means he may get a chance at capturing the pliers as well as just Parson and his bracelet. Its a no-brainer that the spell security clause was deliberately left out of the new contract Charlie forced on Ansom just in case. And-
b)- This lets him see more of Parsons skills and abilities, and lets Parson deplete his defenses and tricks and traps on someone elses forces rather than his almost certainly very expensive archons, making it easier for him to take GK himself next turn if he needs to.

Of course we're rooting for Parson to come up with some way to prevent Charlies capture of him later on, but that remains to be seen.

The last 2 panels serve both as humor for this strip, but also serve to let us know that at least some of the archons are not fooled by at least some foolamancer spells, which is relevant to theories of how Stanleys likely return to GK and the ensuing battle will play out. The foolamancer may not be as large a factor as previously believed in the GK vs Charlie conflict.

You beat me to most of that. However, foolamancy may still be on the table for Tool. We're talking the difference from using a Foolamancy Scroll and having a pocket Master-Class Foolamancer on the back of your dwagon.

But yeah, it at least throws some doubt on the efficacy of Tool's veiled dwagons.

DoctorJest
2009-03-03, 12:51 AM
Ansom may not be paying to have spell security, but he is definitely paying to not have spell security.

And therein lies the rub of why Charlie is a total bastard.
:smallbiggrin:

Strega
2009-03-03, 12:52 AM
The last two times Ansom was in trouble the archons saved his bacon. I don't see why they can't just swoop in, hand him back his carpet and pliers, and thus Parson will have wasted Bogroll and any chance to negotiate.

I've lost faith that Parson can manage any lasting gain since every time he seems ready to win a victory Ansom rabbit hats a new rule or rules are seemingly bent in his favor, or he gets astoundingly lucky. The only way I see this going badly for Ansom is if the fall kills him. Otherwise the archons fix everything for the third time in a row. I suppose the zone could be "no fliers" but that's what we thought last time and the Archons swooped right in and saved his bacon.

Fuzzypaws
2009-03-03, 12:53 AM
This isn't a peace conference this is surrender. Do you know what happens when a side surrenders in a war-game? The side that surrenders is disbanded. There is no peaceful co-existance after a surrender in a wargame. Parson knows that if he surrenders, except for his casters and maybe some select units, everone else will be disbanded.

Exactly, thank you. If Parson were to actually surrender it would be tantamount to murdering all the hundreds or thousands of troops under his control. To Ansom that is nothing; only the leadership matters. But to Parson that is unacceptable, and he will fight to the end no matter how dirty he has to get. The guy saying he can't buy the book because of this one page must just be having a bad day or something because it's an incomprehensible statement.

Bongos
2009-03-03, 12:53 AM
"So Fearsome!"
-Bogroll pg. 77

aka Argent
2009-03-03, 12:54 AM
Treachery during a peace conference? Parson may be a protaganist, but he's no hero.

That one scene, by itself, has made me decide not to buy the graphic novel when it comes out. Although I will wait to see if the situation changes.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

It wasn't a peace conference, it was a demand for unconditional surrender. And Parson used it to say "No."


And You've Been Bogroll'd!!! (http://tinyurl.com/esnx)

kreszantas
2009-03-03, 12:54 AM
Now Bogroll FTW!

For those who are complaining already about the way this strip went down. Think for a second. The 'typical' evil/bad side always has the game ending speech before they get struck down.

This happened to be the case for Ansom. How is it good for our hero in sending Bogroll likely to his doom in doing what is right for their respective side? This is a standard trope being played the opposite way. Please open your mind to a different view, and sometimes you may actually learn something.

For the Hero to loose face he would have to 1) have no regret in the action 2) Claim that he did the action himself to Ansom. Neither of those points occur therefore it is story moving forward instead of the same ol' same ol'

Decius
2009-03-03, 12:59 AM
Treachery during a peace conference? Parson may be a protaganist, but he's no hero.

That one scene, by itself, has made me decide not to buy the graphic novel when it comes out. Although I will wait to see if the situation changes.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

So, where does Parson ever say "I am going to surrender"? Charlie, having received no notification that Parson is going to surrender, tells Ansom to parley with Bogroll at the tower. Bogroll, disguised as Parson, makes no move to parley, but attacks as soon as his veil is broken.

Don't confuse "I need a truce so that I can surrender" and "Tell Ansom that I'll be up on the tower parapet in a few minutes to surrender" with "I offer a truce" or "I will be up on the tower parapet to surrender."

Either Charlie misrepresented what he was told (Told Ansom "Parson will be at the tower to surrender") or Ansom got arrogant and misunderstood what Charlie said (Took "Parson asked me to tell you that he would be up on the tower parapet to surrender" to mean "Parson said he would be up on the tower parapet to surrender".

In the second case, Charlie was relaying honest intelligence: Parson did indeed tell him that. Charlie clearly understood that it was a trap, and relayed the raw intelligence to Ansom. "Parson said to tell you..." Ansom, with the same raw data, comes to a different conclusion. Charlie, being hired by Ansom, does not dispute his conclusion, as open dissent could lead to the fragmentation of the RCC.

This is a shining application of The Art of War: Let the enemy's complacency cause them to accept a simple ruse at fake value. Up until the tunnel attack failed, Ansom was certain of victory; offering him what appeared to be a way to win at a lower cost made him commit to a tunnel-only attack. After taking major losses due to delaying, Ansom personally leads the attack on the walls, and is seriously injured: At this point, Ansom is expecting further stratagems from Parson, and would not fall for a trap.

Three additional tactics are employed against him: The fighting retreat, Sizemore and his golems, and Wanda's dance-fighting. Ansom has no counter to the first two. He just takes the losses and continues to fight. The dance-fighting would have defeated him, but he used his limited resources to develop a counter. Now, certain once again of victory, Ansom thinks that Parson is finally out of tricks.

If Ansom was expecting another trick, the ruse would not have worked; Ansom would have said "Come out into the courtyard and surrender." or "Charlie's archons will accept your surrender on my behalf."

EDIT: Also, nice fanservice, frame 12.

Avilan the Grey
2009-03-03, 03:01 AM
If you identify personally with the protagonist, and he does something you would never, ever do, the dissonance can produce disaffection with the story.

I'm a bit put out at the ploy myself. Not my morals. But then again, not my butt on the line, either. So I'm willing to give Parson a pass. All's fair in love and war.

Oh come on. This is just another one of those "One mans terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" moments. Personally I think Parson did the right thing. He fights as if he was in the "real" world. Honor only gets you killed.

SeraphRainy
2009-03-03, 03:09 AM
Daaaaang thats so BOOPING awsome
I have sheer awsomeness coursing through my viens now yall made my day.:smalltongue:

ryos
2009-03-03, 03:17 AM
Honestly, I see a bright future for Parson with Charlie. Much brighter than he'd have under the Tool. It's certainly in his nature to keep fighting, but if it were me, with my friends safe in the magic kingdom, I'd have surrendered and gotten my boop out from under the megalomaniacal dictator I'm currently bound to serve.

The Tool may be having a change of heart, but character flaws like those he possesses take more than a turn to work through.

Things will get interesting when those Dwagons show up...but only if Stanley lets Parson command them, which I sorta doubt he will.

Greep
2009-03-03, 03:24 AM
HAHA! it's bogroll's 4 words! "For my lord hamstaaaaaar!"

Definately the right reasons tho :(

eilandesq
2009-03-03, 03:25 AM
Treachery during a peace conference? Parson may be a protaganist, but he's no hero.

That one scene, by itself, has made me decide not to buy the graphic novel when it comes out. Although I will wait to see if the situation changes.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

*snicker*

Cry me a river.

Zedd
2009-03-03, 03:27 AM
Independently on how treacherous it is to attack during a "peace conference", the move is valid. Hell, if I happened to be leading an army, I woulnd't line up my guys nice and comfy to get shot down by the enemies. If you choose to follow the rules imposed by your enemies, you're predictable.
Of course, the best course of action is always to make your enemies believe that you follow those rules, even if you don't. Then you can use an opportunity such as, say, a peace conference, to turn the war in your favor.
Not doing everything you can is a crime against your side.

By the way, if Parson has the smarts, he can order sizemore to open a pit (like the one he opened for attacking with golems earlier), make Bogroll and Ansom fall there, and close it. Result: Bogroll and Ansom live, and the leader of the coalition is captured.

Captured Ansom is way more profitable for Parson then croaked Ansom, even more profitable then raised Ansom.

Solarious
2009-03-03, 03:27 AM
Bwahahahaha. Ansom got BOGROLL'D.

It's been a long time coming, but it isn't over till the Fat Twoll Sings. Where is page 132?

Subtext
2009-03-03, 03:27 AM
I don't see why he wouldn't...he let Parson command the Dragons before. That ended up badly, but that wasn't only Parson's fault. Now he managed to defend the garrison against an overwhelming force better than he could possibly have expected and hat even the chance to win.

And I think, Stanley seems to think differently about some things...he questioned his decisions earlier (he said he probably should never have left home) so maybe he'll give Parson a chance again.

---

Anyway, I think that strip was simply awesome...one of the best strips thus far (at least in my opinion). The 300 reference was great and I couldn't stop laughing at the archon dialogue.

And I think Ansom deserved it...claiming he "won" by duty and honor and blah...it actually was sheer numbers that made the trick.

Yodimus
2009-03-03, 03:30 AM
Hahaha! Parson! I love you, you two-timing, deceitful, cheating bastard!

Decius
2009-03-03, 03:39 AM
The only way I see this going badly for Ansom is if the fall kills him. Otherwise the archons fix everything for the third time in a row. I suppose the zone could be "no fliers" but that's what we thought last time and the Archons swooped right in and saved his bacon.

I am certain that Ansom will not die from hitting the ground. Either Bogroll will choke him to death on the way down, pop his head off like a champagne cork, or Ansom will survive the fall for about a millisecond, just long enough for Bogroll to hit him.

Either way, Ansom is going to squirt all over the walls, just like a ketchup packet that got stepped on.

defufna
2009-03-03, 03:39 AM
And who cast that veil ? Was it cast from scroll ? Did Maggy cast it ? I'm really not fond of this 'pulling out the spell we need right now from nowhere'.. Also, one thing that annoys me to no end is, where are the coalitions casters ? I mean if GK can have.. what 5 of them (including Misty...) How come a multinational coalition doesn't have a single one..

Gloverboy
2009-03-03, 03:41 AM
Bogroll is Awesome now. It can't be undone. Hopefully the same can be said of Ansom's big "Ker-splat!"

KeiranHalcyon
2009-03-03, 03:42 AM
I have three things to say:
Ruthlessness
Never let yourself be caught monologuing
Ruthlessness

Belial_the_Leveler
2009-03-03, 03:43 AM
Page 130, panel 7. What is Ansom doing there?


I strongly suspect the next trick Ansom will pull won't be from his @$$.

Glory of Arioch
2009-03-03, 03:48 AM
And who cast that veil ? Was it cast from scroll ? Did Maggy cast it ? I'm really not fond of this 'pulling out the spell we need right now from nowhere'.. Also, one thing that annoys me to no end is, where are the coalitions casters ? I mean if GK can have.. what 5 of them (including Misty...) How come a multinational coalition doesn't have a single one..
I'd say it's pretty safe to assume that Maggie cast the veil, using the Foolamancy scrolls in Wanda's stash.

Also, we know that the coalition has some healomancy casters in its ranks, but it doesn't appear to have any others. Traditional Erfworld warfare would have you putting your casters out of danger since they're so rare and useful (not to mention their generally low combat stats.) Parson is fairly revolutionary in his use of casters in defensive and offensive roles.

RMS Oceanic
2009-03-03, 03:51 AM
And who cast that veil ? Was it cast from scroll ? Did Maggy cast it ? I'm really not fond of this 'pulling out the spell we need right now from nowhere'..

It's not "from nowhere". In the page where Parson explains strategy to the casters and Bogroll, it's explicitly stated that they have a foolomancy scroll.


Also, one thing that annoys me to no end is, where are the coalitions casters ? I mean if GK can have.. what 5 of them (including Misty...) How come a multinational coalition doesn't have a single one..

It would appear that casters are an extremely rare resource in Erfworld. Remember that Gobwin Knob once spanned 11 cities, a huge empire on the average TBS map, so it makes sense that Stanley could have plundered the casters from there. Remember that two of them came from FAQ alone.

defufna
2009-03-03, 04:16 AM
It's not "from nowhere". In the page where Parson explains strategy to the casters and Bogroll, it's explicitly stated that they have a foolomancy scroll.

Ok fair enough, forgot about that one..


It would appear that casters are an extremely rare resource in Erfworld. Remember that Gobwin Knob once spanned 11 cities, a huge empire on the average TBS map, so it makes sense that Stanley could have plundered the casters from there. Remember that two of them came from FAQ alone.

And thats what I'm bitching about :).. I do understand GK was huge.. then again.. Coallition also has to be huge since it was able to take down GK... Also faq was a rather small country, and had two casters.. It's still unbelievable that others have none.. Oh and another thing.. casters are produced in this world.. not born.. so I can hardly understand how come nobody produced them when they are that useful..

y0rrick
2009-03-03, 04:18 AM
I declare this comic to be made of Win and Awesome.

In regards to the underhandedness of Parsons strategy: Screw 'em!

When you're in a fight (or war as it may be) there is only one goal; make sure the other guy can't hurt you. In other words, do whatever it takes, no matter what, to put them on the ground and keep them there.

For a better visualisation of this rule read "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card.

KeiranHalcyon
2009-03-03, 04:29 AM
For a better visualisation of this rule read "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card.

Parson himself reference the book in one of his klog entries. I beleive it was the one labeled "STRATEGERY!"

Also, I don't really see much of a resemblence to 300. I thought it was closer to some of the promo art for God of War, way back when. I.e., made of awesome and win, but otherwise fairly generic. And Bogroll's battle cry struck me as something Minsc might cry out.

This, is for Justice. And this, is for my HAMSTAAAAAAAAAHRR!

factotum
2009-03-03, 04:29 AM
Maybe I'm wrong, but didn't Parson make it clear that he's already contracted himself to Charlie to use his Mathamancy gauntlet a certain number of times? Whether Parson wins or loses Charlie gets some use out of him, and Charlie seems like the sort to plan for the long haul--he'll be hoping to get Parson at some point in the future regardless of what happens now.

sun_tzu
2009-03-03, 04:36 AM
I'll admit, this does strike as Parson's first truly "villainous" move.
Tricking your enemies is perfectly acceptable in warfare. But using the cover of negotiation/surrender to attack? Yeah, that's a Villain Move (tm). Possibly a justified one...maybe...but still.
And is it just me, or does Erfworld have an unnerving tendency to kill the nicer people?

Moonshadow
2009-03-03, 04:43 AM
Treachery during a peace conference? Parson may be a protaganist, but he's no hero.

That one scene, by itself, has made me decide not to buy the graphic novel when it comes out. Although I will wait to see if the situation changes.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

...You're kidding me, aren't you?



Also, this isn't villanous, this is an appropriate use of Foolamancy and deception. Charlie has been pulling cheap tricks all along, yay to Parson for fighting back.

Onmi
2009-03-03, 05:02 AM
I think Charlie meant to screw Ansom over, he purposely left spell security off the contract, he GAVE Parson a way, he tested him to find a way to win despite his first interruption, not only that, his 'outrageous deal' probably involves a large amount of the Schmukers that may drain Ansom's coffers.

I mean imagine, he didn't take a turn off because if he DIDN'T charge, he wouldn't be able to pay for such a huge army,causing him to dispel most of his army, his allies see a losing situation and break alliance, the Arkenpliers are in Parson's hands.

If he isn't croaked and heirless than Charlie will drain him of funds. In short, Arson signed his own loss.

and next turn? BOOM Stanley returns with his Dragonflight and catches Charlie in a pincer, he either recalls his Archons or face the flight, chances are if he can't take down the flight then Wanda raises the croaked archons, or even a croaked Ansom.

remember, Charlie asked how many Archons he needed to secure victory at there CURRENT strength, not including the Dragon Flight, and a courtyard filled with croaked units.

Lombard
2009-03-03, 05:04 AM
I am certain that Ansom will not die from hitting the ground. Either Bogroll will choke him to death on the way down, pop his head off like a champagne cork, or Ansom will survive the fall for about a millisecond, just long enough for Bogroll to hit him.

Either way, Ansom is going to squirt all over the walls, just like a ketchup packet that got stepped on.

Haha, please... Ansom will find a way out of this just like he has every other time people were slavering over his impending demise. Have you not been reading the same strip as me?

mistformsquirrl
2009-03-03, 05:07 AM
Ansom's plenty competant, he's just too lawful for his own good. He apparently didn't expect parson to pull off an "I Surrender Suckers". But he's not nearly paranoid enough for his own good, so he gets Bogrolled.

I hereby vote Bogrolled as a new Erf colloquialism. Like being rickrolled, but with more croaking at the end.

Fafnir13
2009-03-03, 05:08 AM
And thats what I'm bitching about :).. I do understand GK was huge.. then again.. Coallition also has to be huge since it was able to take down GK... Also faq was a rather small country, and had two casters.. It's still unbelievable that others have none.. Oh and another thing.. casters are produced in this world.. not born.. so I can hardly understand how come nobody produced them when they are that useful..

It's not that they have none. We even saw that Transilvyto has a Thinkamancer of sorts. Given that casters are so rare and valuable, I'm expecting that most casters will be at home base and not being risked on the front lines. You'll note Stanley didn't have his casters running around before hand. The coalition has to think beyond this one episode. If they can't go expending nigh irreplaceable resources taking out one errant kingdom. They're got to think a few turns beyond. Parson has two advantages here in that the front lines are home base. No other place his casters could be. Also, if he doesn't recklessly use everything he's got, he's booped.
In book 2 or 3 or whatever, I expect Parson'll have to deal with enemy casters as Stanley's armies assail the hearts of other kingdoms. At least, that's what I'm hoping for.

Onmi
2009-03-03, 05:11 AM
I'll admit, this does strike as Parson's first truly "villainous" move.
Tricking your enemies is perfectly acceptable in warfare. But using the cover of negotiation/surrender to attack? Yeah, that's a Villain Move (tm). Possibly a justified one...maybe...but still.
And is it just me, or does Erfworld have an unnerving tendency to kill the nicer people?

Not exactly, Ciaphas Cain did it to in Cains Last Stand, he said he wanted to discuss the terms of surrender, he didn't say WHO'S surrender

Likewise Bogroll wasn't Parson, it was Ansom who didn't check, descended alone, and talked down to who he THOUGHT was Parson, Bogroll heard his master insulted, hence, For Lord Hamstar! It was ANSOM'S fault for not being clear.

mistformsquirrl
2009-03-03, 05:17 AM
I think its more a question of Law/Chaos rather than Good/Evil (to use D&D terms)

A move like this undoubtedly breaks some rules of warfare, and it also means that if he ever truly wants to surrender in the future, its far, far less likely to be allowed... but its not inherently evil, especially when fighting for the survival of your kingdom.

It'd be different if say, under the guise of negotiations he'd moved into someone else's city, and then sprung a trap killing off most/all the nobility while they're unarmed. *That* would be evil I think.

Onmi
2009-03-03, 05:21 AM
I think its more a question of Law/Chaos rather than Good/Evil (to use D&D terms)

A move like this undoubtedly breaks some rules of warfare, and it also means that if he ever truly wants to surrender in the future, its far, far less likely to be allowed... but its not inherently evil, especially when fighting for the survival of your kingdom.

It'd be different if say, under the guise of negotiations he'd moved into someone else's city, and then sprung a trap killing off most/all the nobility while they're unarmed. *That* would be evil I think.

Now see, but his enemies have no proof that he wasn't heading out right now or Charlie could seal the deal on Ansom by broadcasting a fake message of Ansom planing to kill the Coalition after he was done (they can display frigging DDR I think they can manage this)

that way Bogroll comes off looking like a hero, and Parson explains he just had to test how Ansom really was.

A **** move, but it comes off favorably.

HandofShadows
2009-03-03, 05:21 AM
Oh, a new term enters the lexicon "Baggroll'd. :smallbiggrin:

This was a good (if ruthless) move on Parson's part. I belive that Ansom will survive (lands on a cloth Golom?) but he will be badly injured and NOT be able to command his forces in the courtyard. This leaves the forces in the courtyard without a commander (and dance leader) and Wanda is all set up to counterattack. The Archons cannot help at this point so the RCC's forces are going to be pushed back out (takeing the injured Ansom with them) and Wanda has a real chance to get her 'pliers back (don't think that will happen yet though, I think she will only get them back near the end of the story after a character is revealed to be something other than what we think). Bagroll might surive with this ability to regenerate (if he lands on someone fairly soft).

On another note Ansome got what he paid for, but it's clear he should have paid more. The price of arrogance. :smallcool:

Island Gorilla
2009-03-03, 05:34 AM
It's not underhand, it's politics.

Parson knows that the Coalition must capture him alive. So no matter how vile he acts in the meantime, ultimately his outlook is fairly rosy, win or lose.

Ansom is under no such protection. In fact, Stanley would probably fistpound Parson through a wall if he managed to kill Ansom (though I imagine he'd rather do the deed himself). Additionally, he doesn't know that Parson knows he must be captured alive, which is another reason why he wasn't expecting to be Bogroll'd.

Though whether anyone ever expects to be Bogroll'd is a query I leave to the rest of the forum.

Onmi
2009-03-03, 05:41 AM
By the By, if the earlier comic is true, than Bogroll can probably survive this, remember the other guards used to give him an umbrella with a target and he got giant boulders dropped on him.

he must be a frigging tank.

TheTurnipKing
2009-03-03, 05:48 AM
Well, in the short-term, I really hope that luckomancy holds out for Bogroll.

In the longer term, this should be interesting. Charlie must seem pretty untrustworthy at this point.


Parson knows that the Coalition must capture him alive. So no matter how vile he acts in the meantime, ultimately his outlook is fairly rosy, win or lose.
Actually, they only have to capture him as part of their contract with Charlie, but what Parson is doing is driving a wedge between the two. The "secret allies" bit and the fact that Parson is sending (untrue) messages to Ansom through Charlie could accomplish that, and if he succeeds, any guaranteed protection from Jetstone's wrath is probably null and void.

In short, Ansom no longer knows for sure which of the two is treacherous (though since Ansom has previous with Charlie, that might suggest that it's Parson)

But even Ansom's apparent failure could work to divide the coalition.

Aquillion
2009-03-03, 05:49 AM
I do like that the same archon who said earlier that they weren't paying for spell security with jillian when jacklyn told her she was under a suggestion spell appears to be lamenting the fact that the new archon leader isn't doing the same unpaid for serviceI think she was just mourning Jaclyn by remembering what her friend would've said in this situation.


If you identify personally with the protagonist, and he does something you would never, ever do, the dissonance can produce disaffection with the story.

I'm a bit put out at the ploy myself. Not my morals. But then again, not my butt on the line, either. So I'm willing to give Parson a pass. All's fair in love and war.Parson doesn't give a damn about honor or nobility or honesty. He's a gamer; he cares about winning. (Also, he's not even entirely convinced that this world is real.)

Also, compare with Ansom's speech. He says that his honor led to him prevailing... right before he was (apparently) defeated by Parson's disregard for honor.

Honor and nobility are for stick-up-the-bum nobles like Ansom who can afford it. Parson does what he's gotta do win.

sun_tzu
2009-03-03, 05:54 AM
Honor and nobility are for stick-up-the-bum nobles like Ansom who can afford it. Parson does what he's gotta do win.

Ah, no. Honor - a glorified word for "trustworthiness" - is a large part of what makes society sustainable.
Stick-up-the-bumness us completely optional, and not recommended.

MadMaw
2009-03-03, 05:55 AM
In regards to the underhandedness of Parsons strategy: Screw 'em!

I agree, if Parson is a true gamer, honor doesn't enter into it. Next strip, I expect he's going to tee-bag Ansom's corpse to make Bogroll's kill official.

On a broader note, Parson and Stanley represent to Ansom et al a disruption to the status quo, which they find threatening. While GK's side doesn't necessarily realise it, they're Erfworld revolutionaries of sorts. Aside from the fact that he's a smug jerk, I think it would be a shame if Parson joined Charlie and this angle wasn't further explored.

Onmi
2009-03-03, 05:57 AM
I play a Paladin in some games, and sometimes you just have to play SMARTER than the enemy, yes it's unlawful, but it was the right thing to do, I would do it for my other Party members (Or in this case army)

and again, he never SPECIFICALLY said that he was surrendering, just like in one Paladin guide book, he was bound to an evil wizard (I believe) who told him to bring him the head of a nobleman. So he did... attached to his body, alive, with a full regiment of guards.

If Parson didn't word for word say "I need him to negotiate MY/OUR surrender" he's not at fault, one could say negotiations were closed the moment Ansom told him to kneel and offer his sword. Hence it wasn't him breaking negotiations, that was his response. No, no he will not offer his sword, instead Ansom can die.

The Old Hack
2009-03-03, 05:59 AM
By the By, if the earlier comic is true, than Bogroll can probably survive this, remember the other guards used to give him an umbrella with a target and he got giant boulders dropped on him.

he must be a frigging tank.
Ah well... technically it was 'crap' he got dropped at him... but given the density and the velocity of the stuff when it hit, I doubt most people would notice the difference between that and a boulder. They would still go splat.

Yes, the move was telegraphed, in one of the delicious 'so obvious it can't possibly be the case' traps I occasionally manage to work myself into. :smallamused: It was also quite ruthless (working as advertised). But Parson has his back to the wall... and he wants to win. Arguing that he is no hero... well. He wasn't summoned for being the Ultimate Hero but the Ultimate Warlord. And to Parson it isn't what is heroic but what works.

I admit to a small hope that Bogroll will survive. I like him. We'll see.

Small edit: Is it me, or could that line be made to sound, "For my Lord Hamstard"? :smallamused:

Onmi
2009-03-03, 06:02 AM
Ah well... technically it was 'crap' he got dropped at him... but given the density and the velocity of the stuff when it hit, I doubt most people would notice the difference between that and a boulder. They would still go splat.

Yes, the move was telegraphed, in one of the delicious 'so obvious it can't possibly be the case' traps I occasionally manage to work myself into. :smallamused: It was also quite ruthless (working as advertised). But Parson has his back to the wall... and he wants to win. Arguing that he is no hero... well. He wasn't summoned for being the Ultimate Hero but the Ultimate Warlord. And to Parson it isn't what is heroic but what works.

I admit to a small hope that Bogroll will survive. I like him. We'll see.

Also Charlie neglected to mention anything suspicious, it was Ansom's pride and misinterpretation that lead to this.An unlawful but 'good' move.

Proof that Vinnie is the only thing that KEPT Ansom alive.

Stefman
2009-03-03, 06:06 AM
For my Lord Hamstaaaaaar! Brilliant!

cnsvnc
2009-03-03, 06:08 AM
BOGROLL'D FTW!

Is this the end of Ansom? Will Bogroll survive to bogroll again? Will Wanda get the 'pliers and become the FINAL ULTIMATE SECRET BOSS that RCC, GK and Charlie will have to ally to take on? Dun dun dunnnh!


In other news, here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0443.html)'s what happens when a bogrolling attempt goes awry.

ReccaSquirrel
2009-03-03, 06:30 AM
Damnit, I wanna see Ansom kick some ass here. Whatever happened to competent enemies? It's no fun to watch the villain (or in this case, the hero) turn into someone who almost literally hands his enemy his most prized possession. Doesn't he have goons for that purpose?

As much of a bighead as Ansom is, it breaks the versimilitude a bit, for him to be duped by Parson time and time again and still make such critical assumption errors.

While Ansom is extremely competent, however, it is perfectly within his personality to believe so strongly that he has earned victory, that he would step forward like this. It also helps that the Foolamancer is elsewhere right now. Ansom had no reasons to suspect their was a Foolamancy cast on someone who was about to surrender when, from his position, they have clearly lost.

LeGrenade
2009-03-03, 06:39 AM
Go Bogroll!!
That was awesome.:smallbiggrin:

---

I wonder what would happen if parson has Wanda uncroak Ansom...

Graymayre
2009-03-03, 06:41 AM
Do we have proof that bogroll can even be killed? With regeneration, depending on how it is rolled, he could potentially be immune to death by damage.

Aquillion
2009-03-03, 06:44 AM
Ah, no. Honor - a glorified word for "trustworthiness" - is a large part of what makes society sustainable.
Today's page aside, do you think Parson would agree with that statement? I don't. He seems pretty cynical. I think he probably believes something a bit more like this:

Society is sustainable because people are lazy. Our social structures and basic instincts make it so it's easier to keep muddling through your life in the same way you've been doing it all along. Changing the way you live is hard, so most people don't do it more than a handful of times; they go to their job at Kinkos, they settle down and have a family, they follow the well-worn paths that keep everything from collapsing into Mad Max-style apocalypse. It wasn't some vast heroic drive towards honor and reason that kept Parson working at Kinkos, it was basic human laziness; and when you multiply that by a few million, you've got yourself a working society (for a certain definition of 'working'.) People are dishonorable and untrustworthy all the time, but in the larger scope of their lives, they stick to paths that work because it's too much of an effort to do anything else.

It's not like Parson has really changed; he's still essentially just solving whatever problem is put in front of him. Ansom's honor and reliability -- or Parson's drive to win -- are not heroic traits. It's laziness, plain and simple, a gross intellectual laziness that keeps Ansom from ever really questioning his role, or ensures that Parson is going to keep treating Erfworld like a game, just because that's what he knows.

Despite how cynical it sounds, it's not necessarily a bad thing. A society without that laziness would tear itself apart. But the point is, usually people don't sit down and goes over the rules in their head and says "I will be trustworthy!" Or "I will be honorable!" They just keep doing what they've always been doing -- doing what they've always done, lying when they've always lied -- because their habits are too much of a bother to change.

I mean, obviously you're not going to agree with that way of thinking; I don't mean to start an argument about it. But I think that that's Parson's way of thinking; it's the logical projection of his own life onto the rest of the world. The way he acts has to be understood in that context.

DoomedPaladin
2009-03-03, 06:52 AM
Yay! For tasty Fanservice in panel 12!

Ansom got RickRolled Bogrolled. LOL

Kabouter Plop
2009-03-03, 07:29 AM
If anything Parson has pulled every trick in the book to try and win only to have Ansom find some way of getting out. I hope this isn't just another setup to show how plotclad Ansom really is. And I'm afraid that plotwise it wouldn't make much sense to see Ansom die at this point.

1) The flying carpet swoops down, Ansom grabs hold and Bogroll ends up crushing some troops below.
2) The Archons snap their fingers and save Ansom
3) Ansom does crash, but survives and gets to kill Bogroll.

I guess the next comic will be another exercise in frustration.

Axl_Rose
2009-03-03, 07:32 AM
Damnit, I wanna see Ansom kick some ass here. Whatever happened to competent enemies? It's no fun to watch the villain (or in this case, the hero) turn into someone who almost literally hands his enemy his most prized possession. Doesn't he have goons for that purpose?

As much of a bighead as Ansom is, it breaks the versimilitude a bit, for him to be duped by Parson time and time again and still make such critical assumption errors.While Ansom is extremely competent, however, it is perfectly within his personality to believe so strongly that he has earned victory, that he would step forward like this. It also helps that the Foolamancer is elsewhere right now. Ansom had no reasons to suspect their was a Foolamancy cast on someone who was about to surrender when, from his position, they have clearly lost.

That's funny because this is like the tenth time that "they have clearly lost" so no, I can't agree that this is the author painting a competent enemy.

Also, you shouldn't have added in the "however" if you started the sentence with "while."

jmsl
2009-03-03, 07:39 AM
I don't know. I enjoyed the page, but a little part of my brain is still wondering:

:why Charlie allowed this to happen (tons of potential reasons, but since we never get inside his head, we're left grasping at invisible straws)

:why the archons don't swoop to catch Ansom. That is something they could legitimately do without using Yet Another Archon Power (TM). If they won't even do that much without orders, they must be amazingly annoying to work with. Jillian didn't appear to have to micromanage them attacking the dwagons.

:why Ansom is suddenly so much more of a prig. Sure he's a bit uptight here and there, but he's had one communication with Parson. Except for overreacting during that contact, I don't recall seeing him that fanatical about Royalty. It makes his comeuppance more enjoyable of course, especially for those predisposed to dislike him.

:why Ansom, who has been hit with one unusual attack after another, isn't a LOT more cautious approaching a large armed opponent.

I hate to see him go squish, I'd groan if Jillian swooped in to save him, I wouldn't be surprised if the Archons pulled a last second save, or if he survives much as Wanda did. He's lacking his protective helmet this time, but maybe he can land on Bogroll. On the other hand, it certainly would fit if he died or was captured and caused the allied forces to retreat.

Onmi
2009-03-03, 07:40 AM
That's funny because this is like the tenth time that "they have clearly lost" so no, I can't agree that this is the author painting a competent enemy.

Also, you shouldn't have added in the "however" if you started the sentence with "while."

But see, he was never portrayed as the competent one, that was Vinnie, he never made huge mistakes until Vinnie left. now he doesn't HAVE a competent adviser, his emotions are clouding his judgment, he THINKS he knows Parson, but he also thinks HIS will is the Titans.

SteveMB
2009-03-03, 07:43 AM
Yeah, it was indicated (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html) pretty early on, but how far the Regeneration special ability goes is unclear.

I doubt it reverses outright croaking, though.

My guess is that it would save him in a "not croaked yet, but will croak if not healed this turn" situation (like Wanda after the sortie got shot down).


Charlie saw it coming. Why did he let it happen?

Several possibilities:

1. He was taking a hardnosed "Ansom isn't paying for intel" view. If so, I think he was influenced by the following factors:

2. He figured that victory was inevitable (he himself already had the forces to take Parson's garrison*), so letting the RCC lose more units wouldn't change the outcome and might compel them to hire more mercenaries until they can pop enough units to cover their losses.

3. In a best-case scenario, letting the RCC bear a heavy butcher's bill might let Charlie grab and hold more spoils, up to and including Gobwin Knob itself. Yes, he was willing to let the city go if he got Parson and his artifact, but if he saw an opportunity get it all, he would.

valce
2009-03-03, 08:27 AM
Charlie saw it coming. Why did he let it happen?

If the RCC wins, Charlie has everything he wants. (Parson and the device.) But now Parson has a chance to win, and in that case Charlie gets paid but doesn't get his ultimate warlord or artifact.

I'm nonplussed. Bad strategy on Charlie's part.

I'd say it's a combination of wanting to see what happens next and knowing that his archons can, on their turn, probably wipe out what remains of GK's rather depleted forces if Ansom wins.

Also, 'wanting to see what happens next' may be a potentially exploitable character flaw in Charlie, in the future.

valce
2009-03-03, 08:28 AM
Today's page aside, do you think Parson would agree with that statement? I don't. He seems pretty cynical. I think he probably believes something a bit more like this:

Society is sustainable because people are lazy. Our social structures and basic instincts make it so it's easier to keep muddling through your life in the same way you've been doing it all along. Changing the way you live is hard, so most people don't do it more than a handful of times; they go to their job at Kinkos, they settle down and have a family, they follow the well-worn paths that keep everything from collapsing into Mad Max-style apocalypse. It wasn't some vast heroic drive towards honor and reason that kept Parson working at Kinkos, it was basic human laziness; and when you multiply that by a few million, you've got yourself a working society (for a certain definition of 'working'.) People are dishonorable and untrustworthy all the time, but in the larger scope of their lives, they stick to paths that work because it's too much of an effort to do anything else.

It's not like Parson has really changed; he's still essentially just solving whatever problem is put in front of him. Ansom's honor and reliability -- or Parson's drive to win -- are not heroic traits. It's laziness, plain and simple, a gross intellectual laziness that keeps Ansom from ever really questioning his roll, or ensures that Parson is going to keep treating Erfworld like a game, just because that's what he knows.

Despite how cynical it sounds, it's not necessarily a bad thing. A society without that laziness would tear itself apart. But the point is, usually people don't sit down and goes over the rules in their head and says "I will be trustworthy!" Or "I will be honorable!" They just keep doing what they've always been doing -- doing what they've always done, lying when they've always lied -- because their habits are too much of a bother to change.

I mean, obviously you're not going to agree with that way of thinking; I don't mean to start an argument about it. But I think that that's Parson's way of thinking; it's the logical projection of his own life onto the rest of the world. The way he acts has to be understood in that context.

Well said sir :)

Zeku
2009-03-03, 08:33 AM
I hope this honor argument doesn't turn into another "Did Miko turn evil?" holy war.

Honor is real, it's important, and if you ignore it, you lose all of the advantages of that social group. But honor only applies when you intend for the enemy to survive. I'm not clear on whether that's true, here.

Parson may be a moral descendant of the whole 'royalty is bad mmkay' belief system which began around the time of the French Revolution, and thus he's totally ok with murdering everyone in authority, and destroying their belief system, and the civilization built upon it.

Fictional story, fictional characters. Fun stuff.

shamelessmerc
2009-03-03, 08:37 AM
Ah, no. Honor - a glorified word for "trustworthiness" - is a large part of what makes society sustainable.
Stick-up-the-bumness us completely optional, and not recommended.

Ah... a bold statment sir! :-)

In invitation to semantic and philosophical debate... this is where I live. <g>

Behavioural psychology is gradualy building up the picture that complience to the rules of society is based on fear of retribution. Most honour codes are based on religious moral systems that are based on the concept of ultimate judgment beyond the physical. This is borne out by studies that show that most employees will steal from employers to one degree or another with the determining factor being opertunity.

When the ability to punish is added to group trust excercises, EVERYBODY gets a lot better behaved.

Parson has literally nothing to lose. Sure he won't have 'negotiate' as an option in the future, but he will be around to deal with that issue when it comes.

What he did was pretty underhand (I re-read what he said to Charlie, and that Charlie was smart enough to tumble that it was a lie does not excuse Parson violating a truce that he called) and in the future he will pay for it in increased difficulty in having his word accepted, but unless he goes to the hell for liars and oathbreakers, that will be his only problem.

Ovaltine Patrol
2009-03-03, 08:40 AM
While it's clear that Charlie is perfectly willing to let Ansom stumble into pitfalls he hasn't paid them to circumvent, I don't think he'd have the Archons hang him out to dry. He's probably getting paid by the turn, he has every reason to drag this out. If Ansom croaks now, it's possible that the Coalition may not be able to retain his services, Stanley the Tool certainly wouldn't be happy if Hamster does, and he might face an entirely different coalition if he tries to take Gobwin Knob for himself.

So Ansom gets a bloody nose, but Charlie isn't planning on letting the gravy train stop. Of course, since he didn't come to an arrangement with Transylvito, he may not yet know that the Tool is heading back their way...

LordVader
2009-03-03, 08:47 AM
Treachery during a peace conference? Parson may be a protaganist, but he's no hero.

That one scene, by itself, has made me decide not to buy the graphic novel when it comes out. Although I will wait to see if the situation changes.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Heroes don't always have to be in black-and-white, shades of grey like this make for far more interesting characters, in my opinion.

Plus, things like this happen all the time in the kind of warfare Parson is used to knowing, I imagine.

noncaloric
2009-03-03, 08:50 AM
By the By, if the earlier comic is true, than Bogroll can probably survive this, remember the other guards used to give him an umbrella with a target and he got giant boulders dropped on him.

he must be a frigging tank.

I didn't think that was a boulder. I thought it was a cwap dwagon.

The Minx
2009-03-03, 09:01 AM
Really, i never understood why people are so damn hard on Jacklyn...

My guess: it is because she made things harder for Parson. That is all there is to it.

I get the impression that for many readers, anyone who makes things harder for the protagonist and/or refuses to bend over backwards for them is to be hated. We see it in OOTS reaction threads too: its the exact same pattern. Extra props if the person in question has redeeming qualities, then they are being arrogant or something. And alone among all the Alliance, Jaclyn seemed to be a genuinely caring individual.

Tell you what, if Jaclyn had been in the service of GK, and had caused as much trouble for Ansom while retaining the same personality; and if she had subsequently been croaked by an Alliance caster, you may rest assured that many of those who now are her haters would instead have been lamenting her loss, singing her praises and hating the enemy caster who killed her. :smallsmile:


EDIT: and as to the claims that she might still be alive if she were to have obeyed Charlies rules more? Not so. If she had not warned Jillian about the suggestion spell that was on her, she might well have been croaked along with Ansom on the following turn after the dwagons healed. If not, then the Alliance would certainly have suffered a massive blow, and she would still be expected to fight for them, now at a disadvantage. As for her warning to Jillian when Wanda blasted the air force: Wanda blasted all units in the immediate vicinity, leaving only Jillian. Had Jaclyn remained with the rest of the unit, she would simply have died with them.

Zolem
2009-03-03, 09:05 AM
YEp, that is society, a series of rules stated and unstated that are ingrained into a person from birth that collors their whole world view. Children in America aren't taught to be honorable and play fair. Parents may say that, but kids know and see better than that lie. Society runs on power, rule bending, and outright lies. Basicly the winner is in charge and gets to say what's right and wrong.

Onmi
2009-03-03, 09:07 AM
While it's clear that Charlie is perfectly willing to let Ansom stumble into pitfalls he hasn't paid them to circumvent, I don't think he'd have the Archons hang him out to dry. He's probably getting paid by the turn, he has every reason to drag this out. If Ansom croaks now, it's possible that the Coalition may not be able to retain his services, Stanley the Tool certainly wouldn't be happy if Hamster does, and he might face an entirely different coalition if he tries to take Gobwin Knob for himself.

So Ansom gets a bloody nose, but Charlie isn't planning on letting the gravy train stop. Of course, since he didn't come to an arrangement with Transylvito, he may not yet know that the Tool is heading back their way...

I already mentioned the chance that he quoted the Coalition all it's worth, which is why Ansom was so desperate to win in a single turn, loses Archon support after the next turn.

also if he aids Ansom, he loses the chance to get the Pliers, this is why, he played both Parson and Ansom like fools, he gave Ansom open support while leaving a back door for Parson to take.

This way he ISN'T breaking contract, pliers go to Parson, coffers of the Coalition get drained, causing them to disband seeing there leader down, swoop in for the easy kill on Ansom and take Gobwin Knob.

however he only brought enough Archons to take Parson's force when he asked for that sum, next turn the dragon flight should return, catching Charlie in a flank.

with two Arkentools, a courtyard full of uncroaked, Dwagons, they should be able to force Charlie to retreat.

That way they get time to repair, maybe capture more cities, BOOM battle to retake lost ground.

Aquillion
2009-03-03, 09:10 AM
One of the things that I think is interesting about this page (and the argument here) is that it underlines the philosophical difference between Parson and Ansom. Ansom believes that society is based on firm immutable rules which must be followed, and that going against them is at best misguided or dangerous, and at worst outright evil. This page will probably convince him that Parson is completely evil beyond redemption.

Parson... clearly doesn't think that way, at least. (It's worth pointing out that Parson and Charlie seem to think alike in this respect -- that'd be part of the reason why Charlie immediately realized that Parson would set up an ambush here, while Ansom didn't even consider it. It's what Charlie would have done in the same situation, likely.)

docstrange
2009-03-03, 09:23 AM
Love Bogroll's battlecry. Too bad his doom has been foreshadowed... the only way he lives, I think, is if somehow he attunes to the pliers.

docstrange
2009-03-03, 09:28 AM
YEp, that is society, a series of rules stated and unstated that are ingrained into a person from birth that collors their whole world view. Children in America aren't taught to be honorable and play fair. Parents may say that, but kids know and see better than that lie. Society runs on power, rule bending, and outright lies. Basicly the winner is in charge and gets to say what's right and wrong.

Eh. I'm sure Im not the only American here who was taught to be honorable and play fair. I was also taught that not everyone does, and that often it is those people who win. I further learned that honor is more important than winning.

Oh, and I was also taught not to make sweeping generalizations.

SteveMB
2009-03-03, 09:29 AM
And who cast that veil ? Was it cast from scroll? Did Maggy cast it? I'm really not fond of this 'pulling out the spell we need right now from nowhere'.. Also, one thing that annoys me to no end is, where are the coalitions casters ? I mean if GK can have.. what 5 of them (including Misty...) How come a multinational coalition doesn't have a single one..

It was specifically established (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0137.html) that Foolamancy is one of the types of magic found in Wanda's scroll stash.

As for the coalition's casters, they probably didn't bring them along because there's no point in risking rare and valuable units. This was supposed to be easy -- roll in, stomp Stanley like a bug, divvy up the spoils, go home. Why take a chance of losing a caster to an enemy lucky shot? (They do have healers (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0022.html), though it's unclear whether they're "casters" per se or whether healing is a natural ability of those elf types.)


Oh come on. This is just another one of those "One mans terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" moments. Personally I think Parson did the right thing. He fights as if he was in the "real" world. Honor only gets you killed.

That raises the question of whether Parson is introducing real changes to the art of war as it is practiced in Erfworld. It may be that one reason Ansom fell for the ruse is that this sort of treachery is truly unprecedented.

If so, and all sides had formerly abided by "honorable" restrictions that will break down as a result of Parson's innovations, then the effect could be to make Erfworld a darker place.

stsasser
2009-03-03, 09:32 AM
What does an uncroaked Ansom bring to GK's side, besides Wanda's vicious pleasure?

Zeku
2009-03-03, 09:49 AM
What does an uncroaked Ansom bring to GK's side, besides Wanda's vicious pleasure?

Wrath of the Barbarian Queen.

Good name for Chapter/Year 2?

Hatu
2009-03-03, 09:56 AM
Nope. Because Charlie sees another angle here, the same bait Parson dangled in front of him before. If Ansom wins, then Charlie gets Parson and the Mathamancy Artifact. If Parson wins, Charlie gets Parson, the Mathamancy Artifact AND the Arkenpliers.

Charlie has enough Archons on the scene to take the garrison all by himself. Parson and Charlie already discussed this. Parson and Charley's original "agreement" was that if Charlie stood by and didn't interfere, then after Parson beat Ansom, GK would be even weaker from having to fight the RCC, so Charlie would be still be able to claim the garrison even after Parson "won".

If Charlie throws down with Ansom, then he loses the opportunity to get the Arkenpliers, and as Parson noted, he bit pretty hard on that bait the first time. Ansom's failing is Pride. If Charlie has a failing, it's GREED.

The problem is that if Charlie lets Ansom die, he must then take GK on his own. That means larger losses for his own Archons, whereas if Ansom just wins Charlie's Archons get off with almost no damage. And if Parson captures the Arkenpliers, then Charlie must overcome their artifact bonus in addition to all the newly uncroaked troops Parson would have at his command. Charlie is clearly greedy, but he's also smart. Past a certain point, shouldn't he want to actually win something, rather than just keep doubling down and going for more?

Basically, I'm tired of a major player in the story having motivations so nebulous that any action he takes or fails to take can be made to fit. Charlie's not a character, he's just a plot device. When it's convenient for him to gamble, he gambles. When it's convenient for him to take the sure thing, he's all about eliminating negative outcomes. He's nearly omnipotent, yet he'll always do exactly what the plot calls for. And we can never say he's acting out of character, cause Charlie's wacky and unknowable! :-(

As far as Ansom goes, this was a pathetically stupid move. Veil or no veil, why why would he let an unsearched, unrestrained enemy of Parson's size get within arms reach of him? Yes, Ansom has a stick up his posterior and a chip on his shoulder, but he's also downright contemptuous of Stanley the Worm's character. He cannot possibly be surprised that Stanley's low-born warlord would pull low stunt like faking his surrender. Especially not when it was Parson who set the time and place for the meeting. Even worse, since Bogroll attacked him, Ansom must have entered the enemy controlled Tower sub-zone without any friendly troops to support him. Zapp Brannigan isn't that stupid. This is just sloppy work.

On the plus side, the artwork continues to be great, and it was fun to see Bogroll get his moment of glory.

-H

Aquillion
2009-03-03, 10:04 AM
That raises the question of whether Parson is introducing real changes to the art of war as it is practiced in Erfworld. It may be that one reason Ansom fell for the ruse is that this sort of treachery is truly unprecedented.I doubt it. Charlie wouldn't have suspected it if it were so unheard of.


As far as Ansom goes, this was a pathetically stupid move. Veil or no veil, why why would he let an unsearched, unrestrained enemy of Parson's size get within arms reach of him? Yes, Ansom has a stick up his posterior and a chip on his shoulder, but he's also downright contemptuous of Stanley the Worm's character. He cannot possibly be surprised that Stanley's low-born warlord would pull low stunt like faking his surrender. Especially not when it was Parson who set the time and place for the meeting. Even worse, since Bogroll attacked him, Ansom must have entered the enemy controlled Tower sub-zone without any friendly troops to support him. Zapp Brannigan isn't that stupid. This is just sloppy work.Ansom's weakness is that he has trouble seeing things outside of his view of the world (look at how he responded to Jillian's revelation of her past, say.) To him, it was inevitable that Parson would surrender to him, so he accepted it a face value.

Nazrel
2009-03-03, 10:13 AM
The Archons couldn't take part in the attack.They're a hex away. So it's unlikely they could do anything to save ansom at this point.

SteveMB
2009-03-03, 10:17 AM
Do we have proof that bogroll can even be killed? With regeneration, depending on how it is rolled, he could potentially be immune to death by damage.

We know that twolls can be croaked (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0010.html). Regeneration presumably makes it more difficult, though.


The problem is that if Charlie lets Ansom die, he must then take GK on his own. That means larger losses for his own Archons, whereas if Ansom just wins Charlie's Archons get off with almost no damage. And if Parson captures the Arkenpliers, then Charlie must overcome their artifact bonus in addition to all the newly uncroaked troops Parson would have at his command.

We already know that Charlie is confident of being able to take Parson's garrison even if Parson has the Arkenpliers -- that is the exact scenario Parson offered him earlier (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0117.html) to convince him to stand back and wait. As for the uncroaked troops, they're simply not a factor for Charlie. Unlike Ansom, he doesn't have to win now to hold his allies together or minimize costs -- he can just wait a few turns until the mass-uncroaked units expire.


I doubt it. Charlie wouldn't have suspected it if it were so unheard of.

True.

HandofShadows
2009-03-03, 10:28 AM
One thing I have learned in this world is there is Honor and honor. Many times Honor goes by another name, EGO. Just look up "honor killings" if you have have time, but it will not be pleasant reading. Or a more personal example is there was a person who lied about something and had been lying about it for some time. In fact she used this lie to beat down on other people (she claimed special/confidential knowledge of a situation). Well I discovered the truth of the matter and started spreading the evidence around. This person claimed I had birsmircher her Honor by stating she was lying. This sort of "hornor" is very common.

Then there honor. This is where a person fullfills comitments, is honest and tries to do the right thing because it's the right thing. This kind of honor is quite and it is proven by small quite actions, not loud words and offers to go dual someone. To often these "honors" get mixed up. :(

BRC
2009-03-03, 10:28 AM
Basically, I'm tired of a major player in the story having motivations so nebulous that any action he takes or fails to take can be made to fit. Charlie's not a character, he's just a plot device. When it's convenient for him to gamble, he gambles. When it's convenient for him to take the sure thing, he's all about eliminating negative outcomes. He's nearly omnipotent, yet he'll always do exactly what the plot calls for. And we can never say he's acting out of character, cause Charlie's wacky and unknowable! :-(

Actually, Charlie's motivations are perfectly scrutible in this instance, he want's to benefit as much as possible. He wants Parson and his Mathamancy bracer working for him, and if possible, he wouldn't mind the Arkenpliers.
Charlie is far from Omnipotent, he's just got good thinkamancy, and firepower superiority. I don't think Charlie has really "Gambled" at all so far. Once he got involved in this beyond his simple capacity as a mercenary, he's been guided either by his own profit, or his mercenary contracts.

Hatu
2009-03-03, 10:31 AM
Ansom's weakness is that he has trouble seeing things outside of his view of the world (look at how he responded to Jillian's revelation of her past, say.) To him, it was inevitable that Parson would surrender to him, so he accepted it a face value.

And if Parson had presented himself as a noble, upstanding fellow, that might be believable. But Parson had presented himself as the sort of base creature that Ansom disdains: exactly the sort of person who would fake a surrender.

That Ansom would walk alone into a knave's fortress to accept his surrender goes too far to claim Ansom's just close minded. That's outright too stupid to breathe territory. If Ansom really is supposed to be this gullible, triumphing over him has all the thrill of stealing a toddler's lollipop.

-H

Wixit
2009-03-03, 10:33 AM
It's interesting to note our reactions here. Most of us have chosen our side (that is, Parson's side) and we're rooting for them. I'm going to assume the majority of readers are of the "I want the good guys to win" variety, which implies they're good and/or follow most of the laws. Our side aren't really the good guys here, and we go out of our way to explain and rationalize our leader's actions, however morally gray they may be. If Parson was the antagonist, we'd be appaled at this dishonourable, backstabbing ruse, but as is we're saying "it's ok, his back is against the wall, he does what he must" etc.

Also:

The Archons couldn't take part in the attack.They're a hex away. So it's unlikely they could do anything to save ansom at this point.

The archons are on the same hex (the city of Gobwin Knob), but in a different zone. They're currently in the airspace, while Ansom is at the tower... whether that puts him in the tower zone or the airspace zone is up to speculation. If you recall, attacking units cannot move from zone to zone when they're out of move, as is the case with the archons, as they've already ended turn today before joining the coalition again, depleting their remaining move in the process.

And Bogrolls battlecry was to me more like the Warcraft orcs "For the Horde!" rather than THIS..IS.. well, you know the rest.

Sieggy
2009-03-03, 10:34 AM
True, but Jaclyn was the only archon that got hit- so if it was area of effect, she was too close, or it might be that Wanda got to preferentially pick the targets, and Jaclyn just made herself a more prominent one by flying to the fore to speak to Jillian. Or it might have made no difference; I'm just speculating on what seems to me to be the most likely explanation. ;)

I think that Wanda could control the air defenses quite precisely - Jaclyn got toasted while Jillian (who was right beside her) escaped unscathed. I also think that what got Jaclyn skragged was the fact that she was telling Jillian what Wanda didn't want her to hear. As long as Jillian thought Wanda was under Stanley's control, HE was the bad guy, not Wanda. And Jaclyn was blowing Wanda's cover story . . .

Prince_Rohan
2009-03-03, 10:38 AM
I know it's been said...

...many times


...many ways


...but Bogroll rocks!


Sun Tzu said even the most useless servant can be a great resource if they think of nothing but serving their lord. And Bogroll is not useless.

Sieggy
2009-03-03, 10:48 AM
By the By, if the earlier comic is true, than Bogroll can probably survive this, remember the other guards used to give him an umbrella with a target and he got giant boulders dropped on him.

he must be a frigging tank.

uuuummmmm . . . that wasn't a boulder . . . "OH CRAP!'.

Wakky
2009-03-03, 10:50 AM
I think it's pretty obvious what's going to happen here. When Bogroll attacked Ansom, did you notice that he disarmed him first? It looks like he is doing a "Disarm and Capture", just like Wanda tried during the sortie at the wall.

I have a feeling that Sizemore will be waiting at the base of the tower, and since he is a master of Dirtomancy he can generate a nice big mud pit or something similar for Ansom and Bogroll to fall into. Therefore both of them survive the fall, Parson's side gets the Arkenpliers, and Ansom gets captured, which gives Parson a huge bargaining chip to delay the Coalition until Stanley gets back with his dwagons.

I think this will be enough to drive off the Coalition troops, if only for a few turns to regroup, which should end Book 1.

surtt
2009-03-03, 10:56 AM
Holy cats. CMOA for Bogroll, anyone?



Yes, in this klog (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html). No telling how far that goes, though; dunno if you can regenerate from being reduced to a fine paste on the ground.

It would not be "paste."

drachefly
2009-03-03, 11:02 AM
I would have preferred it if Bogroll had presented a scroll, which read, "I prepared explosive runes this morning"... No, not that. I mean, which had written on it an absurd set of conditions on surrender. When Ansom rejected them (with or without reading), only then would Bogroll tackle him. Preferably after Ansom had reacted violently so that Ansom would be the one to be violating parley. Plus, it would not require so much of a leap.

But this works too. It's just a little less clean.

Hatu
2009-03-03, 11:13 AM
We already know that Charlie is confident of being able to take Parson's garrison even if Parson has the Arkenpliers -- that is the exact scenario Parson offered him earlier (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0117.html) to convince him to stand back and wait. As for the uncroaked troops, they're simply not a factor for Charlie. Unlike Ansom, he doesn't have to win now to hold his allies together or minimize costs -- he can just wait a few turns until the mass-uncroaked units expire.


Actually, Charlie's timetable may depend on the contract: it's possible he could be ordered to support the attack next turn before the zombies decay. Just a thought.

But ignoring that, the problem for me is that waiting turns for the uncroaked to (re-)die off multiplies the possible outcomes. Parson is unlikely to win, but he's a lot more likely to win in 5 turns than he is to win in 0.

Charlie's motivation may well be greed, but his game is too complex to easily track. He wants the bracers, and was willing to assault GK himself to get them. Fine. But he was willing to trade a (presumably) certain chance of getting them for a chance at the Arkenplier as well. But then he was willing to trade the chance of getting the Arkenpliers away for whatever money Ansom paid him to rejoin the Coalition. He next agreed to sell his DDR services to Ansom, again decreasing the chance of getting the Arkenpliers. But now he decides to betray Ansom rather than extorting more money from him, allegedly because he's back to wanting the Arkenpliers.

Now maybe it's me, but that just is not a well justified series of moves on Charlie's part. Yes, I can concoct a rationalization for his moves after the fact, but I could come up with just as good a rationalization for him if he made the exact opposite moves. Charlie's greed is tempered with curiosity or canny insight only when it serves the plot, at least as far as I can tell. Charlie is too powerful to have story hinge on his whim.

If we can't objectively judge why he is doing what he is doing (and there's no way we can do that given how little we know of Erfrules), his actions are indistinguishable from plot fiat. Sometimes he wants cool toys more than he wants money, sometimes he wants money more than he wants cool toys; I can only guess at which he'll prefer next time the choice comes up.

-H

Traker
2009-03-03, 11:22 AM
"HHAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMSSSSTTTTTEEEEEERRRRR"
I'm sure I spelled that wrong. But eny way good comic.

Ragn Charran
2009-03-03, 11:32 AM
Last two panels are pure win :smallbiggrin: Actually, the whole strip was pure win - as others have said, it being predicted does not make it any less awesome, particularly with the SPAAAAARTAAAAA!! reference. The last two panels were the icing on the cake, though.

I now almost want to thank Rich for the delay on the previous strip, getting this one in rapid succession was a real bonus.

Sieggy
2009-03-03, 11:34 AM
Awesome . . .

But consider this - the Archons are literally floating there with their hands behind their backs. I think Charlie saw this one coming, grinned, popped another brewski, and sat back to enjoy the show. He's a gamer, and right now, he has everything to gain and nothing to lose by letting the GK and RCC forces winnow one another. His Archons at this point are giving him a view of the goings-on that's about the same as you get on monday night football. And this has to be the best show he's ever seen - I doubt he wants it to end quite so soon.

So, with Ansom hors d'combat, the RCC forces have lost the majority of their bonuses, are in a state of shock having seen their glorious leader fall, leaderless, in parade formation rather than battle array, inside the enemy stronghold with an enemy that has shown the ability to just pop up out of the ground and attack, facing an unknown number of casters as well as more uncroaked than they really want to think about, have suffered substantial casualties already this turn, and their most powerful ally just sat there and watched it happen. Morale check, please.

GK now possesses Ansom (state yet unknown), the Arkenpliers, and pretty much initiative at this point. Remember, this is their home ground - we don't know how much they're bound to 'turn discipline', as RCC has already initiated hostilites and not yet ended turn. I think the next installment will reveal the fate of Ansom (who I doubt seriously is going to be getting out of this one) as well as what Parson has planned for the troops in the courtyard.

Also, the number of Archons that are being shown in the panels have seriously decreased. We have no way of knowing how many Archons were taken out, but if the artist is being honest in his depictions, it was probably a bunch. And bear in mind that as a mercenary, Charlie really doesn't care who wins or loses, as long as he gets paid. From his POV, it's actually even better to hire Parson as opposed to capturing him, if only from a Loyalty standpoint. Remember, captured casters are supposed to have low loyalty.

Let's face it - win or lose, where is Parson going to go? If he wins, and Stanley comes back, he's still stuck working for an obnoxious, self-destructive fool. If he escapes to the Magic Kingdom, then he's stuck having to go to work for someone else as a mercenary warlord himself, which means probably Charlie, as Charlie may have the deepest pockets at that point (just cleaned out the Jetstone treasury, most likely). If he goes to work for Charlie, Charlie may just kill Stanley to eliminate further difficulties, or buy Parson's contract from him.

But if Parson gets sent home, then he's back to being a fat gameboy in a dead end job, only now he'll have serious doubts about his own sanity . . .

BRC
2009-03-03, 11:51 AM
Actually, Charlie's timetable may depend on the contract: it's possible he could be ordered to support the attack next turn before the zombies decay. Just a thought.

But ignoring that, the problem for me is that waiting turns for the uncroaked to (re-)die off multiplies the possible outcomes. Parson is unlikely to win, but he's a lot more likely to win in 5 turns than he is to win in 0.

Charlie's motivation may well be greed, but his game is too complex to easily track. He wants the bracers, and was willing to assault GK himself to get them. Fine. But he was willing to trade a (presumably) certain chance of getting them for a chance at the Arkenplier as well. But then he was willing to trade the chance of getting the Arkenpliers away for whatever money Ansom paid him to rejoin the Coalition. He next agreed to sell his DDR services to Ansom, again decreasing the chance of getting the Arkenpliers. But now he decides to betray Ansom rather than extorting more money from him, allegedly because he's back to wanting the Arkenpliers.

Now maybe it's me, but that just is not a well justified series of moves on Charlie's part. Yes, I can concoct a rationalization for his moves after the fact, but I could come up with just as good a rationalization for him if he made the exact opposite moves. Charlie's greed is tempered with curiosity or canny insight only when it serves the plot, at least as far as I can tell. Charlie is too powerful to have story hinge on his whim.

If we can't objectively judge why he is doing what he is doing (and there's no way we can do that given how little we know of Erfrules), his actions are indistinguishable from plot fiat. Sometimes he wants cool toys more than he wants money, sometimes he wants money more than he wants cool toys; I can only guess at which he'll prefer next time the choice comes up.

-H
I see your reasoning, but it makes sense if you look at it from the perspective of Charlie not really caring about the Pliers.
Origionally, if GK wins, He swoops in, captures it, get's Parson and the bracer, plus the Pliers. After his deal with Ansom, he gets the same stuff if GK wins, but now he gets money from jetstone as well AND he gets bracer+parson if the RCC wins.
However, the question comes up, Why did he sign the deal with ansom on the wall. He was a few seconds away from GK winning, thus making it ripe for the picking, so he can grab the bracers, Parson, and the Pliers. Why does he trade THAT for putting the RCC back into the fight. He gets the bracers and warlord anyway, but this way he won't get the pliers. Possible Reasons
1) Ansom is paying him enough money that he dosn't care about the pliers.
2) According to the contract Ansom accepted, Charlie gets the pliers after the battle for GK (hey, those wouldn't be doing him much good if he got croaked)
3) As a mercenary, Charlie is obligated to make an offer to anybody willing to pay, he put a price that he didn't think Ansom would accept.
4) He is willing to make there be a chance of not getting the pliers in exchange for a good show.
5) Some combination of the above.

Now, if we go with the "Good Show" theory, that justifies all his actions so far. Once Parson made the second deal with Charlie (Mathamancy for not renewing his contract), Charlie was operating in a capacity beyond that of a mercenary. Since then, every one of his actions has been based around extending the battle, thus entertaining Charlie (And Us). When his help would croak Stanley, he dosn't give that help. When his non-intervention would cause Ansom to croak, he intervenes. When his alerting Ansom to the imminent Bogrolling, he keeps his archon's quiet.

the_tick_rules
2009-03-03, 11:58 AM
Best battle cry ever!!! Boy charlie really nickel and dimes you doesn't he?

Doug Lampert
2009-03-03, 12:12 PM
I think she was just mourning Jaclyn by remembering what her friend would've said in this situation.

Parson doesn't give a damn about honor or nobility or honesty. He's a gamer; he cares about winning. (Also, he's not even entirely convinced that this world is real.)

Also, compare with Ansom's speech. He says that his honor led to him prevailing... right before he was (apparently) defeated by Parson's disregard for honor.

Honor and nobility are for stick-up-the-bum nobles like Ansom who can afford it. Parson does what he's gotta do win.

Attacking during negotiations is a fine way to make sure every conflict, no matter how small, escalates to genocide.

This is bad. It's bad for the WINNERS as well as the losers. Real life isn't zero sum, and you're almost always better off ending a fight without going on to the bitter end. But that REQUIRES that you have some degree of trust that the other side is capable of negotiating in good faith.

The only excuse is the claim that Parson never actually said he was surrendering (in fact what he said was weaselly enough that Charlie spotted it), and Bogroll didn't seem to have anything equivalent to a white flag. Arguably this is good enough, no truce exists without a clear signal or agreement that there is a truce.

But claiming that in general attacks during negotiations are justified since "honor is stupid" is itself stupid, historically the really great conquerers have typically been the sides that DIDN'T use such methods but considered honor and rule of law important. That let them add the other side's resources to their own at far lower cost and let them negotiate when appropriate.

DigoDragon
2009-03-03, 12:23 PM
It was so simple... yet so effective! :smallbiggrin:

Tweed
2009-03-03, 12:25 PM
I doubt it. Charlie wouldn't have suspected it if it were so unheard of.

Assuming, of course, that Charlie is "of" Erfworld. I have a deep-seated suspicion that Charlie, like Parson, is not actually from Erfworld -- perhaps in Erfworld the "fake surrender" is unprecedented, but perhaps Charlie, like Parson, predicting Parson's fake surrender based on his out-of-Erfworld knowledge.

ShinyBrowncoat
2009-03-03, 12:28 PM
....and there go the pliers again. Is Wanda positioned to grab them?

If you look at the 3rd panel of the previous comic (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0143.html), you can see some GK units conveniently massed directly under the tower balcony. Doesn't seem to be Wanda herself, though, as panel 6 seems to show her in the tunnels...

Aquillion
2009-03-03, 12:33 PM
It's interesting to note our reactions here. Most of us have chosen our side (that is, Parson's side) and we're rooting for them. I'm going to assume the majority of readers are of the "I want the good guys to win" variety, which implies they're good and/or follow most of the laws. Our side aren't really the good guys here, and we go out of our way to explain and rationalize our leader's actions, however morally gray they may be. If Parson was the antagonist, we'd be appaled at this dishonourable, backstabbing ruse, but as is we're saying "it's ok, his back is against the wall, he does what he must" etc.I take issue with several points here.

First, this isn't a Saturday Morning cartoon. There aren't always obvious "good guys" and "bad guys". I don't think most people here are of the "I want the good guys to win" variety, because using that as a universal method for looking at all stories is overly simplistic. Almost everyone we've seen in detail in the strip has both flaws and sympathetic qualities; some might be better or worse than others, but nobody has clearly come off as an inhuman monster or as a shining knight of justice.

Second, you talk about how good people "follow most of the laws" as though there's one set of perfect laws that everyone holds to equal weight. That isn't true. I suspect that most people here place very little value on ye olde knightly virtues of honor and chivalry. We live in a world where even the good guys -- to the extent that the real world has good guys -- have deliberately bombed civilian cities. Maybe you feel that honor and chivalry are deeply important things. Good for you. But you have to realize that you're old-fashioned in that regard, and that most people have considered them dead since the 20th century. We have enough trouble keeping together a basic enough code of morality to confront the constant torture and genocide and the issues that actually directly touch on lives without also concerning ourselves with a dead era's rules against punching below the belt.

Attacking during a parley is not a nice thing to do, no. But guess what? In the strip, thousands of people are dying, right now, for absolutely stupid reasons that, as they've been described, boil down to noble pride verses religious fanaticism. Warrior-code honor and chivalry are bullplop, grotesque masks that people put over that kind of horror so they can say "Oh, hey, I just ordered a thousand men to their deaths for some stupid reason, but I would never attack during a parley, so I'm still a good person."

You want dishonorable? Parson murdered three thousand people yesterday, for no particularly good reason (what, his own pride? Stanley's religious fanaticism? None of the reasons he's given are worth fighting over. The best you can say for him his maybe he's mind-controlled.) And if you're just complaining now, because he just violated rule 347b in your little white book of things honorable generals do between slaughters? You are a hypocrite.

Either you have a good reason for fighting or you don't. If you have a good enough reason to stab a man in the chest, then you have a good enough reason to stab him in the back, or during a parley, or with a poisoned blade, or whatever else the hell it takes. If you don't have a good enough reason to do anything like that, then murdering him honorably isn't going to make it any better.

And that, incidentally, is why so many people here dislike Ansom. Ansom is the sort of guy who could murder three thousand people to satisfy his pride and tell himself that he's still the hero, because he did it using an honorable method. Parson and Stanley aren't better people, or more heroic, or anything like that -- but at least they have the decency not to pretend that they're being shining paragons of righteousness when they murder you.

SteveMB
2009-03-03, 12:33 PM
Attacking during negotiations is a fine way to make sure every conflict, no matter how small, escalates to genocide.

Then again, that's pretty much what normally happens in Erfworld when one side is completely defeated -- the winners generally don't bother to capture any units other than casters, (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0110.html) so the rest get disbanded.

Mr. Scaly
2009-03-03, 12:39 PM
Bogroll now has two Crowning Moments of Awesome.

Also, what do you suppose the rules for damage by falling are in Erfworld? Bogroll will probably survive I think since he regenerates, but Ansom...

Suicide Junkie
2009-03-03, 12:45 PM
But that REQUIRES that you have some degree of trust that the other side is capable of negotiating in good faith.You seem to be assuming that ANSOM is negotiating in good faith.

In Erfworld, what is surrender if not a game-over disbanding of your side?
You would certainly have to give up the city, at which point all the units disband.
Only Parson himself, and perhaps Maggie might be captured out of the entire city.


For something completely different...
Recall that Maggie is in charge of this particular operation.
For those who think Ansom was a bit overconfident and rash, Maggie had a full day's charge of thinkamancy that she hasn't used yet.

ShinyBrowncoat
2009-03-03, 12:48 PM
Page 130, panel 7. What is Ansom doing there?

In panel 4, he is receiving a thinkagram from Charlie informing him of Parson's "surrender". In panel 7, he is doing what any self-respecting leader of noble birth would do: tuck in his shirt to make himself presentable for the surrender ceremony.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-03, 12:51 PM
If Jaclyn had followed the rules about paying for magical protection, maybe she'd be alive now. Just saying.I couldn't post last update due to the server misbehaving, but what I tried to post went something like this:

"Hmmm, I wonder how Parson is going to pull off disguising Bogroll as him when the Archons have twice been shown to see through spells on people (or not on people, as the case may be) effortlessly."

I was wondering how the authors were going to explain this, and I'm glad they did. But you have to wonder why Charlie isn't interested in following a course of action which has no possibility of failure. As someone else pointed out after the last strip, surrender after a deception like this is no longer going to be an option for Parson. So it's either capture or croak if combat restarts and GK falls. Ansom ordered that Parson be captured, but if Ansom is killed, will those orders stand? After all, Ansom never explained why, and Ansom's authority to confiscate the share of spoils of whichever faction kills Parson is kind of in question if Ansom is dead.


simple, if jacklyn hadn't told jillian about the suggestion spell, jillian would have left the dwagons alone and probably left ansom in a lurch because of it. She almost certainly wouldn't have been able to convince ansom to go after stanley to faq (if he even left GK) and then jacklyn wouldn't have gotten fried by wanda because that fight is directly the result of her getting jillian to break the suggestionThat's all correct, but I think that more relevantly if Jaclyn hadn't advanced to tell Jillian that Wanda was not under a spell, Jaclyn wouldn't have been hit by the air defenses and croaked.

Aquillion
2009-03-03, 12:53 PM
Attacking during negotiations is a fine way to make sure every conflict, no matter how small, escalates to genocide.

This is bad. It's bad for the WINNERS as well as the losers. Real life isn't zero sum, and you're almost always better off ending a fight without going on to the bitter end. But that REQUIRES that you have some degree of trust that the other side is capable of negotiating in good faith.

The only excuse is the claim that Parson never actually said he was surrendering (in fact what he said was weaselly enough that Charlie spotted it), and Bogroll didn't seem to have anything equivalent to a white flag. Arguably this is good enough, no truce exists without a clear signal or agreement that there is a truce.

But claiming that in general attacks during negotiations are justified since "honor is stupid" is itself stupid, historically the really great conquerers have typically been the sides that DIDN'T use such methods but considered honor and rule of law important. That let them add the other side's resources to their own at far lower cost and let them negotiate when appropriate.Not... really. In real life, parley during wartime is done using expendable intermediaries or under very secure circumstances, and when someone surrenders, you make damn sure you've seized control in a hard way first. You don't march into their fortress alone to accept their surrender, because that would be stupid; you have them come alone and unarmed to your own fortifications, searched by your troops, etc. This is because nobody in reality would be stupid enough to rely on an honor system in a situation with that many deaths involved.

Murdering an intermediary or attacking during a peace negotiation is an excellent way to disrupt it, but it doesn't lead to genocide; it just makes things last that much longer. The Northern Ireland conflict was drawn out for a long, long time because there were so many people unwilling to commit to peace who kept on attacking during a ceasefire, say, but that didn't lead to genocide; once there were enough people genuinely interested in peace, the conflict was resolved.

Doing this hurts Parson's reputation personally, and means that people are likely to be much, much more careful next time he surrenders, requiring that he disband his entire army and surrender unconditionally first or whatever, but it doesn't cause the social fabric to collapse into cats and dogs sleeping together, mass hysteria the way you implied.

And Erfworld is a game-world, where individuals magically add hard and clear bonuses to their entire side, where getting your hands on the magic MacGuffin on Ansom's belt could possibly actually turn things around. That changes things considerably; it means that something like this, which might not have been enough to do more than drag the war out pointlessly in reality, can actually make a significant difference there.

Fez
2009-03-03, 01:00 PM
I think people have done a good job of discussion possibilities that come from this point, such as the 'mudpit' to soften the impact and capture Ansom and the pliers, or other non fatal maneuvers.

What I just wanted to comment on was the art, particularly panel 8. Since the comic started a lot has been surmised from small variations of art. Has the lessoning of detail in Parson meant that he's becoming more 'Erf', are changes of head size in Wanda indicative of ??? or just a progressive evolution of the style for the strip.

I like panel 8 because it does a few things:

Its a detailed image of Bogroll with wisps of hair, creases from muscles, and so forth. That answers to a degree that Erfers are not 'mere cartoons', they are just in the words of Jessica Rabbit 'drawn that way'.
It shows Bogroll at that moment from Ansom's perspective. We're used to the comic relief, innofensive butt of jokes and gentle servant Bogroll. But in that one panel we get reminded 'Oh yeah, he's a twoll, a tough infantry and pretty darned scary when he's dive tackling you off your magic carpet'.


Overall nice use of a single panel to transform the image of a character in his heroic moment.

wildcard9
2009-03-03, 01:02 PM
That was Foolamancy at its best. And now we see why treating your followers properly is the best strategy for a commander. No way Parson would have gotten Bagroll to do that if he had not treated him as being worth having at his side. And Anson's poor treatment of the people under him resulted in them not giving warning they could have given but did not (he got nothing extra from them, only exactly what he ordered from them). Maybe the tide has turned after all.

Malkith
2009-03-03, 01:08 PM
If you look at the 3rd panel of the previous comic (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0143.html), you can see some GK units conveniently massed directly under the tower balcony. Doesn't seem to be Wanda herself, though, as panel 6 seems to show her in the tunnels...

or Ansom falls conveniently though a sizemore hole into the dungeons,

where wanda and parson are waiting

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-03, 01:35 PM
Treachery during a peace conference? Parson may be a protaganist, but he's no hero.
Why do you want or expect Parson to be a hero? Parson is a gamer. Gaming, other than perhaps role playing, is all about winning. At any cost.

In the 80s (maybe earlier, my memory fails me) the Pentagon brought in a bunch of gamers to help them with military simulations and training. They were aghast at the casualties the gamers were willing to incur in order to win, and that showed the clear distinction: A General may care for the lives of his men, but a gamer does not care one whit for a cardboard cutout which represents a man or men. A General might knowingly spend some lives to achieve an important enough objective, while a gamer will spend any amount of units to achieve a win, because there is no need to consider any strategic or logistical position which exists after that win.

Parson is in a juxtaposition between both positions. One the one hand, he is a gamer, he is unclear about the reality of his situation, and he has decided to play this to the end for reasons he isn't entirely clear about. On the other hand, despite his doubts as to the reality of the situation, he has treated everyone around him with care and respect, and has even made friends.

And on the gripping hand, he is under a magical compulsion to be Loyal to Tool, and surrendering GK might simply be impossible for him to do.


What are the odds in favor of Bogroll? He is a 5, while Ansom is unknown. But Vinny asked Ansom if he was going to go croak Jillian with his bare hands, and Jillian is a 9. If this was any kind of foreshadowing, than Ansom is at least a 9 without the Arcenpliers (bare hands). But Ansom has taken at least some damage in the struggle so far. A fall to the walls when attacked by Wanda, some nicks against the uncroaked, maybe some more nicks when Parson directed the archers and other forces against Ansom, etc. And there may have been some shockomancy along with the veil on Bogroll, unless the light show was only about the veil dropping. And Ansom has been disarmed, again. Does surprise count as a bonus in this system? I like Bogroll, I'd like to see him pull through. But for Ansom to lose to a 5 doesn't seem likely.

Nargrakhan
2009-03-03, 01:37 PM
Wow... these comments that Parson did something dishonorable, must be referring to a human history I don't remember. {Scrubbed real world politics}

BarGamer
2009-03-03, 01:58 PM
or Ansom falls conveniently though a sizemore hole into the dungeons,

where wanda and parson are waiting

I like the way you think, sir. Then, Wanda un-croaks Ansom, trots him out in front of the troops, Stanley, Charlie, and eventually Jillian, make him do something silly, and execute him in a dramatic manner. AWESOME!

Lamech
2009-03-03, 02:14 PM
I'm going to say Charlies actions have all been mercenary. Gaining cash, and gaining more stuff to sell/rent. Thats all he's done. Nor is he all powerful. He AND the coalition can defeat GK, but by themselves neither had the power at the start of this story. His latest move should net him an Arkentool, for less than the output of an arkentool. That's just a good business deal.

And awesome, will Ansom be able to take another fall? I really hope he splats hard.

fangthane
2009-03-03, 02:16 PM
Some things...
1. In our world, the false surrender would arguably be a violation of internationally-agreed rules of war. In Erf, such rules of war as exist are apparently only those hardcoded into reality itself. Anything else is a cultural blind spot which can be exploited.
2. Parson didn't lie, and in all likelihood nor did Charlie. "He asked me to tell you that you can meet him on the parapet to discuss GK's surrender." Therein lies the difference between loyalty and coerced obedience.
3. I don't think Parson is a motie.
4. Insofar as Parson's action in the false surrender is unconscionable, the sword is his excuse, in that the deception may well be an action he wouldn't have considered (or may not have implemented) without the Ruthlessness it provides.
5. Completely unofficially, usually regeneration in a wargame involves something like one of these: "This unit gains n additional hit points at the beginning of each of its side's turns, up to its current maximum" or "If the unit begins its turn with at least one hitpoint, it is returned to full health regardless of any factors which might ordinarily affect its health" or "If this unit's corpse is in friendly territory when its side's turn begins, it is returned to life with (partial, full, etc) vitality." We'll have to wait and see if any of them apply to Bogroll. :)

Hatu
2009-03-03, 02:21 PM
First, this isn't a Saturday Morning cartoon. There aren't always obvious "good guys" and "bad guys". I don't think most people here are of the "I want the good guys to win" variety, because using that as a universal method for looking at all stories is overly simplistic. Almost everyone we've seen in detail in the strip has both flaws and sympathetic qualities; some might be better or worse than others, but nobody has clearly come off as an inhuman monster or as a shining knight of justice.


I'm not sure how I'd go about defining "inhuman" but I certainly consider Wanda a despicable character. Erfworld isn't Earth, but what she did to Jillian is far too close to rape for me to simply ignore.



And that, incidentally, is why so many people here dislike Ansom. Ansom is the sort of guy who could murder three thousand people to satisfy his pride and tell himself that he's still the hero, because he did it using an honorable method. Parson and Stanley aren't better people, or more heroic, or anything like that -- but at least they have the decency not to pretend that they're being shining paragons of righteousness when they murder you.

I think that's ignoring the fact that Ansom is presented in a very unflattering light. He invariably shown to be stiff and is generally humorless. He represents a paradigm (noblesse oblige) that is both archaic and unpopular. His victories thus far have been due to luck, fiat or outside counsel; any other action he takes is immediately derided by Parson, our main identification figure.

In short, people dislike Ansom he is presented as a caricature, and only shows glimpses of real depth when it is reflected in Jillian. The rest of the time, Ansom is little more than Vinny's pointy-haired boss.

-H

Dr.Desastro
2009-03-03, 02:26 PM
Clap...clap...clap

I feel a disturbance in the web...as if thousands of readers cheer in unison and suddenly are reliefed.

Just waiting for the "splat". Without Ansom, the coalition will be booped. Also, I cannot wait, what happens, if Wanda retrieves the warlord corpse - the warlord who stole her chick ^^

SteveMB
2009-03-03, 02:43 PM
5. Completely unofficially, usually regeneration in a wargame involves something like one of these: "This unit gains n additional hit points at the beginning of each of its side's turns, up to its current maximum" or "If the unit begins its turn with at least one hitpoint, it is returned to full health regardless of any factors which might ordinarily affect its health" or "If this unit's corpse is in friendly territory when its side's turn begins, it is returned to life with (partial, full, etc) vitality." We'll have to wait and see if any of them apply to Bogroll. :)

The first two are superceded by normal Erfworld mechanics -- units heal to full health at the start of their turn. Regeneration is presumably something better than that, or there'd be no point to it. (My guess is that it protects a unit that would otherwise be in a "will croak unless healed during this turn" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html) situation.)

PePe QuiCoSE
2009-03-03, 02:59 PM
Well, i need to read the following pages but after reading the strip this morning and reading the thread i still find a bit of a let down that the "secret allies" card wasn't played or that Ansom wasn't told that he wasn't the one that won but Charlie. I really expected a verbal ruse before this type of action. Thinking of it, Ansom could have been told that even Jillian was part of it. Heck, Charlie was brought into the conflict because of her (but the donut of doom is a big problem to buy this theory). But well, maybe this will be used later.
This that makes me think/expect a bit that Ansom will survive the fall but the pliers will change hands. As i understand, the RCC is all over the courtyard. If the pliers land in a different part of the courtyard than Ansom and Bogroll, Parson knows he has to send Sizemore for the pliers. Bogrolll will really need Luckamancy then.

Back the point, considering that Parson is still thinking of doing what is the best to the troops he has under his command (in general) and that Maggie might have had some influence over Ansom to ensure he'd fall for it (like a slight suggestion, unlikely since so far the target was in close position) i can really see this as the best stunt to try to pull. Specially since (as has been pointed out earlier) Erf is not like Earth in war terms (among a lot of other things).

Glory of Arioch
2009-03-03, 03:05 PM
Man, if Ansom lives through this, he would be wise to install a weapon chain on his Arkenpliers. Those things spend about as much time in the air or stuck in the ground as they do in combat.

That being said, there's a couple of interesting things that happened here, besides the obvious. Firstly, Bogroll chooses to tackle Ansom off his carpet and choke him after disarming him. I say that this specific attack was ordered by Parson. The attack causes two things to occur: It first allows Bogroll to, presumably, piledrive Ansom into the ground zone, where he could be captured (or his croaked remains reclaimed) by Sizemore. (The Arkenpliers, too.) Secondly, and, in my opinion, more importantly, the choking prevents Ansom from issuing orders to his retained Archon escort. Throughout the comic we have always seen Ansom issuing orders vocally. Without the use of his voice, he can't order the archons to save him (again.)

Also, the last two panels are more than just a punchline -- they reinforce that the Archons are not going to take initiative and save Ansom, since the last time an Archon did that, she got killed. And since Ansom (presumably) can't issue vocal orders to the Archons due to being choked, Parson has successfully removed some of Ansom's plot armor. It remains to be seen how successful this maneuver will be, but (in a tactical sense) it was a very good choice.

teratorn
2009-03-03, 03:08 PM
Parson is probably going to get the pliers. RCC will probably cluster around Ansom and ignore the pliers. Ansom may survive the fall, but be in such a bad shape that even the healers on his side can't do more than barely keep him alive.

That may be enough to force them to retreat (so that Bogroll's remains can be recovered) and end turn.

SteveMB
2009-03-03, 03:34 PM
One angle that seems to have slipped under the radar so far:


"These qualities which you mock in us have led me to prevail. That is the only rebuttal needed."

It sounds to me like Ansom is feeling the need to reassure himself about the validity of his worldview, after suffering so many reverses at the hands of Stanley the Worm's minion. And now, the "rebuttal" has proven to be rather less compelling than expected, especially if this ends up with Ansom and/or the Arkenpliers captured.

DoctorJest
2009-03-03, 03:50 PM
Man, if Ansom lives through this, he would be wise to install a weapon chain on his Arkenpliers. Those things spend about as much time in the air or stuck in the ground as they do in combat.


I'm guessing the reason for that is because Ansom isn't attuned to his artifact. So it's not really "his", so he has a hard time keeping hold of it.

DoctorJest
2009-03-03, 03:54 PM
Parson is probably going to get the pliers. RCC will probably cluster around Ansom and ignore the pliers. Ansom may survive the fall, but be in such a bad shape that even the healers on his side can't do more than barely keep him alive.

That may be enough to force them to retreat (so that Bogroll's remains can be recovered) and end turn.

The RCC was already wavering quite a bit, with at least one leader openly expressing that they don't trust Ansom's leadership any longer. Seeing Ansom tumble like that, and if he and/or the Arkenpliers are captured, the coalition may well fall into chaos if not shatter completely. Ansom was the only thing holding the coalition together, and if he's out of the picture (or even just greatly humiliated) it may be enough for the rest of the coalition to say "we're sofa-king outta here". Again.

The morale hit to Ansom's tumble may well turn things to GKs favor in a big way, not even counting the tactical advantage of aquiring an artifact and/or capturing or croaking their leader (thus eliminating his leadership + artifact bonuses).

Quimper
2009-03-03, 03:57 PM
Im guessing the next comic willl be a "Gandalf battles the Balrog while plummeting" which ends up with Ansom on top (literally speaking). Ansom survives/gets pulled back by his troops while bogroll is finished.

Best case scenario for GK?
1) They actually get the arkepliers (unless an archon snatches them midair)
2) Bogroll regenerates and can be salvaged.

Since all units get full hp at the start of their sides turn, it would be pretty pointless for regeneration to heal hitpoints in between turns. My guess is that they give a certain % to survive each killing blow, or they can regenerate a certain number of "negative hitpoints" at the end of the enemies turn. If damaged enough, the regeneration probably isn't gonna save them.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-03, 04:08 PM
You want dishonorable? Parson murdered three thousand people yesterday, for no particularly good reason (what, his own pride? Stanley's religious fanaticism? None of the reasons he's given are worth fighting over. The best you can say for him his maybe he's mind-controlled.) And if you're just complaining now, because he just violated rule 347b in your little white book of things honorable generals do between slaughters? You are a hypocrite.I'll assume you are referring to the Jetstone troops who were innocently (that's sarcasm) invading Parson's city through the tunnels. Am I right? Is self defense not a good enough reason to kill a man, in your book of morals? You call it murder, I call it self defense, obligation to leader, defense of friends (and country, which is only a little bit of a stretch due to the magical Loyalty imposed upon Parson), and a completely natural thing to do, when attacked.

And I'll match your view of Stanley's "religious fanaticism" with my own view of Ansom's "mandate from the Titans due to being Royalty." They are equivalent things, even if manifested in different ways.


Clap...clap...clap

I feel a disturbance in the web...as if thousands of readers cheer in unison and suddenly are reliefed.

Just waiting for the "splat". Without Ansom, the coalition will be booped. Also, I cannot wait, what happens, if Wanda retrieves the warlord corpse - the warlord who stole her chick ^^
GK now possesses Ansom (state yet unknown), the Arkenpliers, and pretty much initiative at this point.Not so fast, all you who have seemingly arrived at the conclusion that Ansom is dead and the Arcenpliers are going to belong to someone on the GK side. We've seen this exact situation before, and Ansom not only survived that fall but had his 'Pliers back in the following strip. Will it happen again? We'll have to wait and see.

Doug Lampert
2009-03-03, 04:09 PM
You seem to be assuming that ANSOM is negotiating in good faith.
Not true. I said NOTHING about the comic. There are any number of people making GLOBAL statements that if it's worth killing someone it's worth killing them at a parley. Or that if you're defending your kingdom anything goes. Or that honor is just a way to put a gloss on killing.

And none of them are limiting it to this situation.

Thinking that killing during parleys is fine leads to EVERY little dispute over fishing rights in the middle of nowhere being completely impossible to settle short of genocide.

This is EVIL! Flat out wrong and evil. That attitude, if held by actual governments in the actual world, would have resulted in the destruction of all human life at many times in the 20th century.

Thankfully, REAL governments, of real people, are well aware that killing people on the battlefield has a different set of standards than killing people at other times, and that a truce is one of the "other times".

DougL

Opal Tide
2009-03-03, 04:17 PM
Long time reader, first time poster

Some random thoughts:

1) To me Charlie is acting very much like the mercenary he is supposed to be. He makes deals that enrich him, commits forces on his terms and is generally canny enough to create situations where, as he has said, he cannot lose no matter the outcome. I'm sure he has contingency plans for juust about every situation (though maybe not Stanley returning, we'll see). But I also get the sense that he might be bored. He only commits forces when he cannot lose and Parson presents a nice diversion from his typical pursuits. Not sure how that will eventually play out, but it is something to keep in mind when wondering about his motivations.

2) I think we may be getting ahead of ourselves about the pliers. We have only seen them fall, not land. I wouldn't be surprised if Charlie had a decent idea about what Parson planned and have some Archons discreetly (or at least has discreetly has glowing flying things can be) positioned below Ansom to catch anything that might fall past them. If they haven't lost many of their numbers, there would still be several archons unaccounted for from the posse that escorted Ansom.

3) I think we are projecting too much of Earth's ethics and norms onto Erfworld. As previous posters have pointed out, losing a war in Erfworld effectively negates the existence of most of the losing side. After most Earth wars, the population losing side still exists (though we haven't been shown that any type of non-military working or underclass exists). So long as nobles are spared and remain in existence after a surrender, there is incentive for them tosurrender. Parson, being a "special", cannot be sure that would apply to him and, added to his growing loyalty towards his side's forces, would never surrender.

4) I really like the axpressions Ansom has in this strip. They convey righteous anger, dread, bewilderment, fear, surprise and "Oh Boop" remarkably well.

5) Finally, it seems like Bogroll has come along way since his last performance review (http://www.partiallyclips.com/pclipslite.php?id=1009).

Finwe
2009-03-03, 04:18 PM
HAHA! it's bogroll's 4 words! "For my lord hamstaaaaaar!"

Definately the right reasons tho :(

No, you see, Bogroll could have cut off his head, then given it to Wanda, who could have had one of the uncroaked climb to the top of the tower with it, and then chuck it at Ansom, which might have knocked him off of his carpet. Bogroll is just too prideful to admit that there were other options. Definitely the wrong reasons.

pendell
2009-03-03, 04:18 PM
Wow... these comments that Parson did something dishonorable, must be referring to a human history I don't remember. War by its very nature is dishonorable: especially if you're on the losing end of the stick. Victory writes history and all that. Think about it...


Not so.

The problem with war is that unless you completely and totally annihilate your opponent -- not very likely -- you're going to have to deal with them again at some point. A reputation for treachery in dealing -- whether it be in war or in any other endeavour -- comes back to haunt people.

And even if you did completely wipe out your opponent, there are other people watching your conduct -- and you may have to deal with them also at some point.

Godwin's law strikes, yes, but it's the best real world example I can think of. Remember Munich? Part of the reason Germany wound up fighting a war to the knife with the entire rest of the world was because the leadership of the time demonstrated that it couldn't be trusted to keep its word.



The Western power will call the third world nation dishonorable for fighting dirty and using terror tactics.


In fact, there is honor even in insurgencies. The Hague conventions set up back in the 1870s, and the later Geneva conventions, both set up a set of rules which apply to rebels without conventional uniforms as well as conventional armies.

An example would be the American war of independence. It was a very vicious war, fought in ways that 18th century armies considered most unfair and unchivalrous. "Terrorist" is not an unfair description of some of the things done by the eventual winners.

And yet there was still honor between the combatants. After all, the two sides did eventually negotiate an end to that war. After another dustup in 1812, the two countries have been at peace for nearly 200 years. That wouldn't have been possible if *some* rules weren't observed in that combat.

Like, for instance, not murdering leaders during a peace conference. Or violating the flag of truce.



Honorable would be both sides taking on each other with equal numbers, the same level of technology, using the EXACT same battle strategy with each other (because its dishonorable to do something your opponent doesn't expect), exact same odds of victory and defeat, etc, etc, etc.



Not so. That's not honor, that's stupidity.

"Honor" has a very specific meaning. It means observing the relevant conventions and international laws relating to warfare, which are highly
sophisticated and applied with considerable vigor by western powers. It also
means courage in the face of danger, and it also means not engaging non-combatants. Killing a soldier is one thing. Killing his wife (or her husband) and kids another entirely.

It means that there are certain things both sides understand are simply Not Done. There is no legitimate reason, for example, to murder prisoners. Or to blow up a coffee shop filled entirely with noncombatants. Or violate a flag of truce.

Observing these rules allow us to manage the violence and eventually bring about a peace. The war has to end sometime, after all.

Failing to observe these rules means that all the gloves come off. The war of all against all. A war of extermination.



the whole point of war is to win.


No, the point of war is 'politics by other means', to quote Clausewitz. The point is to accomplish the objective for which you set out to war in the first place. To impose your will on an enemy, often. But if your enemy can't trust you to keep your word, there's very little you can do to make him stop fighting you. The most you can do then is kill them all. That doesn't always work as well as people might wish to believe.



There's no honor in war: only victors and losers.

The fact that you can say this implies that you are neither a soldier yourself nor know any in your immediate circle. What you wrote could very well be construed as implying that soldiers have no honor. I take strong exception, if that is what you meant.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

pendell
2009-03-03, 04:24 PM
Attacking during negotiations is a fine way to make sure every conflict, no matter how small, escalates to genocide.

This is bad. It's bad for the WINNERS as well as the losers. Real life isn't zero sum, and you're almost always better off ending a fight without going on to the bitter end. But that REQUIRES that you have some degree of trust that the other side is capable of negotiating in good faith.

The only excuse is the claim that Parson never actually said he was surrendering (in fact what he said was weaselly enough that Charlie spotted it), and Bogroll didn't seem to have anything equivalent to a white flag. Arguably this is good enough, no truce exists without a clear signal or agreement that there is a truce.

But claiming that in general attacks during negotiations are justified since "honor is stupid" is itself stupid, historically the really great conquerers have typically been the sides that DIDN'T use such methods but considered honor and rule of law important. That let them add the other side's resources to their own at far lower cost and let them negotiate when appropriate.

QFT.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

ishnar
2009-03-03, 04:28 PM
Eh. I'm sure Im not the only American here who was taught to be honorable and play fair. I was also taught that not everyone does, and that often it is those people who win. I further learned that honor is more important than winning.

Oh, and I was also taught not to make sweeping generalizations.

If you tell your child not to fight, then take that child out to eat every time you hear he got into a fight in school, or brag about his/her fighting prowess to other parents which would affect the child's behavior more? The admonition or the reward?

It really doesn't matter that lots of people preach honor and integrity when society rewards strength and opportunism.

Someone's parents might be telling them over and over to be good and honorable and all that, but as soon as they leave the home, if society rewards the opposite behavior then the child will follow whichever result they value the most. Do they value the parent's respect, the peer's respect, or do they care less about respect and only concerned themself with the physical result?

Someone above said society depends on Honor and Integrity. That person was wrong. It might be arguably true for a peaceful society, but there are plenty of societies, both historically and in the present, that the only real rule is "Might makes right."

Aquillion
2009-03-03, 04:32 PM
I'll assume you are referring to the Jetstone troops who were innocently (that's sarcasm) invading Parson's city through the tunnels. Am I right? Is self defense not a good enough reason to kill a man, in your book of morals? You call it murder, I call it self defense, obligation to leader, defense of friends (and country, which is only a little bit of a stretch due to the magical Loyalty imposed upon Parson), and a completely natural thing to do, when attacked.

And I'll match your view of Stanley's "religious fanaticism" with my own view of Ansom's "mandate from the Titans due to being Royalty." They are equivalent things, even if manifested in different ways.Yeah, sure... I wasn't really meaning to get into the full morality of that

(Although it's a bit more complicated, since -- magical obligation aside -- it isn't at all clear why Parson shouldn't have negotiated a surrender that saved everyone in the city. It's not like we've seen any indication that Stanley's cause is really worth fighting or dying for, and the only thing he's done to give Parson an 'obligation' to him is pull him out of his universe and plop a magical enslaving spell on him. That wouldn't be much of an obligation in my book if I could get around it -- although, of course, we have no idea if Parson can. More seriously -- and more damningly -- Parson himself, reflecting on the issue, ultimately decides that his real reason is because he's a gamer and doesn't want to lose to a little munchkin.)

But the important part is, anything that could possibly justify killing that many people would also justify stabbing Ansom in the back during a parley. That much should be obvious. To suggest that violating a parley carries more moral weight than killing three thousand people is absurd.


I'm not sure how I'd go about defining "inhuman" but I certainly consider Wanda a despicable character. Erfworld isn't Earth, but what she did to Jillian is far too close to rape for me to simply ignore.That's... complicated. My understanding is that what Jillian objected to was Wanda trying to force her hand in the decision to save Ansom or not. I don't think Jillian objected to anything Wanda did to her in the dungeons beyond that (her reaction to Wanda's assertion that she liked it would have been very different otherwise -- Jillian says that Wanda "went too far", implying that she had, in fact, been enjoying it up until then.)

I don't think we really know enough of the details of Wanda and Jillian's relationship or the understandings that underlie it to say much for certain beyond that, but I think that calling Wanda "despicable" based on that is a bit much. I think it's fair to say that she likely genuinely misunderstood what Jillian wanted and Jillian's limits -- which, given that Jillian herself is not certain what she wants, is not a hard mistake to make. How horrible a mistake that was on Wanda's part, and how it reflects on her, depends on how deep the understanding between her and Jillian was, and how clearly it was expressed up until then.

Sieggy
2009-03-03, 04:45 PM
Why does everyone keep saying that Ansom's contract with Charlie involves handing over the Arkenpliers? Parson and the Mathamancy artifact, yes, that was a logical guess (which has since been confirmed), but I haven't seen anything at all which would imply that the 'Pliers were a part of his agreement . . .

Of course, now that Wanda is about to get her clutches on them, if it turns out that she can, as speculated, attune to them, then actually Charlie would be even MORE eager to acquire all the casters as a set (collect 'em all!). Let's face it, if the attitude of Ansom and the other RCC warlords is any indication, Erfworld has the european military mindset prior to Gustavus Adolphus . . . staid, traditional, and resistant to innovation.

Parson has just shaken that to its core (assuming any of the RCC gets out of this alive to tell about it, mind you), and his resulting rep would be an ENORMOUS asset to Charlie. Stanley, OTOH, is another story entirely . . .

ishnar
2009-03-03, 04:51 PM
Wow... these comments that Parson did something dishonorable, must be referring to a human history I don't remember. War by its very nature is dishonorable: snip

Honorable would be both sides taking on each other with equal numbers, the same level of technology, using the EXACT same battle strategy with each other (because its dishonorable to do something your opponent doesn't expect), exact same odds of victory and defeat, etc, etc, etc.

Erm, no. You're confusing fighting honorably with fighting fairly. It is completely different. Fighting honorably means following any predetermined rules of warfare. Prisoner exchanges, not using certain weapons, not shooting messengers etc. Fighting fair is about preserving equality at the beginning of the battle. In Duels equality is a pre-determined rule, that is why fighting "fair" is honorable in a dual, but equality in force is not a predetermined rule of war, thus the lack of equality has nothing to do with honorable warfare.



Seriously. Not. Gonna. Happen.

But not for the reasons you suppose. The purpose of fairness is to encourage participation. That's why just about every game under the sun is fair, so people will WANT to play. The reason war is fought as unfairly as possible is to DISCOURAGE participation. You don't want more people to fight wars with you, so you fight unfair. You can fight honorably by adhering to any rules-of-warfare while still being as unfair as possible.


Removing all the political and social nonsense, the whole point of war is to win. Period. If you're losing, make that loss as terrible for the enemy as possible. Period.

Again false. The point of a war is eliminating the enemy's will to fight. You do not have to "win" in the traditional sense to achieve whatever objective initiated the war. At least in RL, in a most wargames, the winner is determined almost entirely as the one with the least casualties.

Ragn Charran
2009-03-03, 05:00 PM
I'm not going to get involved in the morality debate about Parson's deception here, but I am going to comment on the "foolishness" aspect of this.

Under normal circumstances I would agree that this kind of attack is a short-term gain bought at a much higher long-term cost. The difference here is that it has been established that in Parson's mind, without this ploy to try and remove Ansom and the resulting leadership, artifact, and/or dancefight bonuses he's providing, there is no long term. When Ansom started dancing, Parson stated that it could very likely be game. Since then, we've seen his attempt to win "fairly" under those circumstances fail - troops couldn't get through to Ansom in a full-out heavy rush, Maggie couldn't stop the DDR projection, and more breaches were ripped in the garrison wall. He even commented on the likelihood of dying during a dancefight.

Parson is faced with looking untrustworthy or being dead. Regardless of whether it is "right" or not, it is certainly not stupid.

Lombard
2009-03-03, 05:02 PM
I don't know. I enjoyed the page, but a little part of my brain is still wondering:

:why Charlie allowed this to happen (tons of potential reasons, but since we never get inside his head, we're left grasping at invisible straws)

Seems to me that the more he is needed, the more Charlie benefits. IMO all the little loose ends and unsolved mysteries are leading up to the grand revelation that Charlie somehow set this whole conflict in motion in the first place.

sun_tzu
2009-03-03, 05:37 PM
Ah... a bold statment sir! :-)

In invitation to semantic and philosophical debate... this is where I live. <g>

Behavioural psychology is gradualy building up the picture that complience to the rules of society is based on fear of retribution. Most honour codes are based on religious moral systems that are based on the concept of ultimate judgment beyond the physical. This is borne out by studies that show that most employees will steal from employers to one degree or another with the determining factor being opertunity.

When the ability to punish is added to group trust excercises, EVERYBODY gets a lot better behaved.
Sure, fear of retribution matters. But if it was the only factor - if everybody was willing to do anything they believed they could get away with - then the world would be a far, far darker place.
Someone once defined honor as "doing the right thing, even when you can get away with the alternative". I think that's a good definition.


One thing I have learned in this world is there is Honor and honor. Many times Honor goes by another name, EGO. Just look up "honor killings" if you have have time, but it will not be pleasant reading. Or a more personal example is there was a person who lied about something and had been lying about it for some time. In fact she used this lie to beat down on other people (she claimed special/confidential knowledge of a situation). Well I discovered the truth of the matter and started spreading the evidence around. This person claimed I had birsmircher her Honor by stating she was lying. This sort of "hornor" is very common.

Then there honor. This is where a person fullfills comitments, is honest and tries to do the right thing because it's the right thing. This kind of honor is quite and it is proven by small quite actions, not loud words and offers to go dual someone. To often these "honors" get mixed up. :(
Right...So, "Honor" is a form of glorified pride, whereas "honor" is trustworthiness.


It's interesting to note our reactions here. Most of us have chosen our side (that is, Parson's side) and we're rooting for them. I'm going to assume the majority of readers are of the "I want the good guys to win" variety, which implies they're good and/or follow most of the laws. Our side aren't really the good guys here, and we go out of our way to explain and rationalize our leader's actions, however morally gray they may be. If Parson was the antagonist, we'd be appaled at this dishonourable, backstabbing ruse, but as is we're saying "it's ok, his back is against the wall, he does what he must" etc.
As someone who's bothered by Parson's latest action despite rooting for him all the time, I'll say that to me, Erfworld seems to be made of shades of gray. Neither the RCC nor Gobwin Knob strike me as completely good or completely bad (though circumstantial evidence does suggest that Gobwin Knob is generally "worse").


Sun Tzu said even the most useless servant can be a great resource if they think of nothing but serving their lord. And Bogroll is not useless.
Damn skippy.


Attacking during negotiations is a fine way to make sure every conflict, no matter how small, escalates to genocide.

This is bad. It's bad for the WINNERS as well as the losers. Real life isn't zero sum, and you're almost always better off ending a fight without going on to the bitter end. But that REQUIRES that you have some degree of trust that the other side is capable of negotiating in good faith.

The only excuse is the claim that Parson never actually said he was surrendering (in fact what he said was weaselly enough that Charlie spotted it), and Bogroll didn't seem to have anything equivalent to a white flag. Arguably this is good enough, no truce exists without a clear signal or agreement that there is a truce.

But claiming that in general attacks during negotiations are justified since "honor is stupid" is itself stupid, historically the really great conquerers have typically been the sides that DIDN'T use such methods but considered honor and rule of law important. That let them add the other side's resources to their own at far lower cost and let them negotiate when appropriate.
This.


Wow... these comments that Parson did something dishonorable, must be referring to a human history I don't remember. War by its very nature is dishonorable: especially if you're on the losing end of the stick. Victory writes history and all that. Think about it...

What honor is there if a Western power invades a third world nation? The Western power will call the third world nation dishonorable for fighting dirty and using terror tactics. I mean how dare they refuse to fight on a flat battlefield plain where the Western power can slam them into dust with their fighter jet dominance, sea launched cruise missiles, and waves after waves of armored vehicles. How dare they refuse to like up like just combatants in their t-shirts, jeans, AK-47 rifles, simple first aid kits, and maybe a few hand radios; against the Westerner's full body combat armor, battlefield information networking, massive selection of firearms, and advanced medical supply logistics.

Honorable would be both sides taking on each other with equal numbers, the same level of technology, using the EXACT same battle strategy with each other (because its dishonorable to do something your opponent doesn't expect), exact same odds of victory and defeat, etc, etc, etc.

Seriously. Not. Gonna. Happen.

Removing all the political and social nonsense, the whole point of war is to win. Period. If you're losing, make that loss as terrible for the enemy as possible. Period. Oh there's always that protecting civilians stuff... or defending freedom around the world... blah, blah, blah. Convenient additions to the core philosophy of "making the other bastard die for his country." When you win, you can villianize and herioize the actions of the conflict. Happens all the time. Checkout the Anglo-Zulu War or the Mexican-American War. Hell... the Trojan War, or the Six Dynasties, or the Sengoku War, etc.

The problem with war these days, is the societies in power attempt to sanitize it to a level that: (a) only they can win it, (b) it's accepted by the general populace as a reasonable option of diplomacy, (c) the societies presently in charge remain in charge.

There's no honor in war: only victors and losers.
No. Even in war, there are often rules. That's why there's such a thing as "war crimes". Those rules exist to prevent the whole thing from becoming even more atrocious than it already is.

MadMaw
2009-03-03, 05:46 PM
Oh, oh, oh! The two archons in the final panels are the same ones from the doughnut of doom (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0073.html) and from the meeting with Wanda (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0105.html). The blond one objected to Jaclyn telling Jillian that a spell was on her there too, and the short haired one tried to warn Jaclyn about the air defenses.

Without Jaclyn, and with the cautionary tale of what happens to Archons who break the rules fresh in their memories, it seems unlikely that they're going to go the extra distance to save Ansom this time without being explictly told to by Charlie (who implicitly approved of Parson's stunt) or Ansom himself (who's being choked by Bogroll).

aka Argent
2009-03-03, 05:47 PM
Wanda and Jillian

Wanda betrayed Jillian by putting the spell on her to affect her outside in the battle, not in the uh... bedroom. They've obviously been playing their other games for a long time, pre-GK, pre-Stanly and Ansom, which was why the dungeon scenes were so unguarded giving the suggestion of "Yeah, we're on different sides but there will always be you and me." But I think Wanda also felt equally betrayed by Jillian's breaking of the spell. That "Why?" she asked was very deeply felt.

Part of why Jillian wants to croak Stanley is to free Wanda from him, that and revenge for what happened to FAQ is the whole of her reason to fight. That Wanda is freely following him was an idea not even worth considering. When we learn what Wanda's reasons are for following Stanley we'll be able to better judge the situation. Whatever they are, they have to be very compelling for her to do what she's doing. The point though is that Wanda and Jillian's play is consensual.


I get the idea that in the next act, Charlie is going to be the lead opposition to Parson's forces. The two masterminds going at each other directly to get to their goal first.

Onmi
2009-03-03, 06:03 PM
The thing is, is that Charlie is the victor here, not Ansom and not Parson.

Parson is weaker than ever, the Coalition is broken, Ansom is defeated and 2 Artifacts along with 'The Perfect Warlord(tm)' are sitting in an almost defeated armies hands.

When Charlie said he was paid to make it a No-Lose situation, he didn't say for WHO. He could be reffering to himself as Parson is bound to give him 9 more equations so for 9 turns at LEAST he can know exactly what to bring to win. Stanely returning or not makes no difference.

Stanley returns, Charlie retreats, Coalition is broken, Charlie spends an equation "How many Archons do I need to defeat you" Parson is bound to tell the truth, next turn, those Archons appear, destroy Gobwin Knob and capture 2 Arkentools, a Mathmancy artifact, a Perfect Warlord(tm), and Parson may request the casters be spared to.

He also recieved huge sums of cash from Ansom when he signed the contract. Remember when he 'Gave them an Offer they couldn't accept' and then he amended that offer, something that would put the hurt on Ansom.

It is a No-Lose situation. For Charlie. He even KNOWS how Parson acts now so he wont fall for the same tricks Ansom did.

Lamech
2009-03-03, 06:34 PM
When someone is trying to kill, enslave or mutilate you (closest thing to tamper with brain) you have every right to kill them with anything that doesn't endanger bystanders. Deception, poison, flamethrowers, chemical gas. All valid. That is exactly what Ansom is trying (as far as Parson knows), all to hurt Stanley. Ansom is commiting genocide.

I suspect regeneration is something like heals one every unit of real time, or heals to full at the end/start of every turn. Possibly with some resistance to death or incapacitation.

teratorn
2009-03-03, 06:36 PM
The morale hit to Ansom's tumble may well turn things to GKs favor in a big way, not even counting the tactical advantage of aquiring an artifact and/or capturing or croaking their leader (thus eliminating his leadership + artifact bonuses).

Or the opposite. If they leave GK it will be a question of time for Parson to go after them, and after this battle they don't want that.

Onmi
2009-03-03, 06:39 PM
Or the opposite. If they leave GK it will be a question of time for Parson to go after them, and after this battle they don't want that.

One was quite willing to leave after the walls looked impossible, it's ANSOM Parson wants, the other leaders don't have Arkentools as far as we know, they only came together because Ansom was there to lead, without him they have nothing and WILL break apart.

Seeing your commander go DOWN and so easilly would make you want to retreat

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-03, 06:52 PM
Yeah, sure... I wasn't really meaning to get into the full morality of that

(Although it's a bit more complicated, since -- magical obligation aside -- it isn't at all clear why Parson shouldn't have negotiated a surrender that saved everyone in the city. It's not like we've seen any indication that Stanley's cause is really worth fighting or dying for, and the only thing he's done to give Parson an 'obligation' to him is pull him out of his universe and plop a magical enslaving spell on him. That wouldn't be much of an obligation in my book if I could get around it -- although, of course, we have no idea if Parson can. More seriously -- and more damningly -- Parson himself, reflecting on the issue, ultimately decides that his real reason is because he's a gamer and doesn't want to lose to a little munchkin.)From what we know of the rules of Erf, Parson can't possibly make a surrender deal which saves everyone in the city. The only units we've seen survive the fall of their capitol city have been heirs (Jillian) and Casters. And possibly the troops with Jillian who she was able to support on her own purse until mercenary money started flowing in. The rank and file are disbanded, and although this can have varying meanings the implications in game terms is that they vanish due to a lack of support, similar to how a dead body vanishes the morning of the next turn or how Stanley threatened Parson with disbanding him with a thought.

So here is the situation Parson is in, and I believe that this is how he must perceive it:

1) If he surrenders he is going to live, turned over to Charlie along with his mathamancy artifact. But he'll have betrayed Stanley, and every member of GK who is not either the heir or a caster. He'll literally be responsible for the deaths of a few hundred people/gobwins/twolls/etc who will simply disband. This includes Bogroll, who Parson likes.
2) If he just walks away at some point he'll no longer be supported. This will likely cause his death. It might cause him to return home, but it's a huge risk to gamble with a Sicilian when death is on the line.
3) If he fights he might lose. In which case he knows that Charlie wants him alive. Pretty decent bet that he'll live, as long as his perceived value alive is greater than any convenience of croaking him.
4) If he fights and wins? Status quo, he's still working for Stanley the Tool, but he's supported and amongst the friends he's made. And he'll have made a name for himself, and even Stanley will have to give him some extra slack in any future matters of generalship. And, this is the very scenario he had spent five months developing, and he likes playing the bad guys.

I don't think any option but 4 is reasonable for our protagonist. This is the game he designed, he's playing the side he likes to play, and it's the fulfillment of his deepest real life fantasy: To enter into a fantasy realm where he can both escape his listless real world existence and do the thing he loves the most: Strategy, tactics, logistics, systems, worlds. It's his dream come true, you can't expect him to give up any chance to continue the dream, even if it involves a bit of treachery now and again. That's what gamers do, after all. Have you ever played Diplomacy? Or Civilization? :smallamused:

Lastly, you can't really put the magical obligation aside, as Wanda stated that if he did not obey Stanley it would kill (or was it disband?) him. Edit: I looked it up. She said "end your existence entirely". That's worse than being dead, perhaps. We don't know the strength of that obligation, and from his musing it appears as though Parson doesn't either.

But the important part is, anything that could possibly justify killing that many people would also justify stabbing Ansom in the back during a parley. That much should be obvious. To suggest that violating a parley carries more moral weight than killing three thousand people is absurd.I'm not sure I follow you. First off, your timing is backwards. The Jetstone troops were dead before the parley was called for. Parson never had a chance to violate a parley and save those lives, so the point is moot.

Second, I never suggested that violating a parley carries any moral weight. I simply said that self defense was not murder. And that Parson was a gamer, and to a gamer winning was everything and that even though the "reality" of the people around him may have tempered that position, his first instincts are still gamers instincts: Win at any cost.

yrm2
2009-03-03, 07:01 PM
Rob & Jamie,
If you follow these threads at all...

This comic was awesome. It's good to build towards something and it's fine if we saw this coming.

Parson has been put in such a "no-win" situation that, teasing his partial successes and brilliant plans which have all been foiled by Charlie so far has really built up the tension.

1 - Ansom has many times the forces he would have needed to take Gobwin Knob.

2 - Parson would have thwarted Ansom several times if not for Archon intervention.

3 - We've been teased and teased about the Arkenpliers.

I know you guys are working hard. I'm a fan, I'm going to buy your book. If we JUST had the book, we could read it much more quickly.

I know all that.

But remember, from our side, we've been waiting for this conclusion for AGES.

PLEASE do not have some god from above descent on ropes to save Ansom this time... please, please, I'm begging you, give us some satisfying resolution. There are PLENTY of seeds for the next book's conflict.

Charlie has a huge advantage in future wars.

Jillian would want to avenge Ansom from Wanda.

Parson would be proven but still having to work for TOOL.

(I don't see much conflict if Parson goes to work for Charlie... that's like Luke Skywalker going to work for Darth Vader and the Emperor... kind of "auto-win")


PLEASE give us the amazing, improbable, underdog victory.

It's already been teased that Parson has "secret allies in the Coalition" so, Charlie can seem like a traitor to Jetstone and the result can be a playing field which actually poses challenge to ALL involved.

Thanks for the great work guys. Please... no more teasing... I feel like I'm at the friggin' Jr. High Prom.

SteveD
2009-03-03, 07:18 PM
You would hope that the fall would kill Ansom, and if not, a half tonn twoll landing on him ought to settle things (although it might be a bit of an anticlimax to not see him die by the hand of Stanley or Parson).

So who will have the pliers next turn? Will it be Wanda + Pliers + Dance Fighting + Uncroaked army storming the leaderless coalition and slaughtering them? Will it be left to a standoff between Gobwin Knob and the Archons, broken by the arrival of the Tool?

Occasional Sage
2009-03-03, 07:18 PM
Either you have a good reason for fighting or you don't. If you have a good enough reason to stab a man in the chest, then you have a good enough reason to stab him in the back, or during a parley, or with a poisoned blade, or whatever else the hell it takes. If you don't have a good enough reason to do anything like that, then murdering him honorably isn't going to make it any better.


Where this argument breaks down is when nation-states are involved. Assassination is a very different thing than a legal execution, and I'm not sure that stepping down to an individual level prevents hypocrisy.



Long time reader, first time poster


Welcome!

ShinyBrowncoat
2009-03-03, 07:19 PM
Nice little touch I just noticed in panel 5: Ansom's hand is actually stopped short of grasping the sword scabbard due to the greater thickness/bulk of Bogroll's club -- this is what apparently breaks the veil from Ansom's point of view.

ishnar
2009-03-03, 07:30 PM
(I don't see much conflict if Parson goes to work for Charlie... that's like Luke Skywalker going to work for Darth Vader and the Emperor... kind of "auto-win")


Actually, one of the most interesting storylines in the Star Wars franchise is when Darth Sidious revived and forced Luke to the dark side.

Aquillion
2009-03-03, 08:00 PM
Second, I never suggested that violating a parley carries any moral weight. I simply said that self defense was not murder. And that Parson was a gamer, and to a gamer winning was everything and that even though the "reality" of the people around him may have tempered that position, his first instincts are still gamers instincts: Win at any cost.What I mean is, that's the view I was replying to with my earlier post. I wasn't saying that Parson was necessarily monstrous for killing three-thousand people, only that I didn't really see the reasoning behind giving him a pass (for whatever reason) on that, then blaming him for attacking during a parley.

Obviously killing that many people is more serious than breaking a parley; anything that justifies (or eliminates Parson's moral culpability for) that much killing would justify stabbing Ansom in the back, too.


Where this argument breaks down is when nation-states are involved. Assassination is a very different thing than a legal execution, and I'm not sure that stepping down to an individual level prevents hypocrisy.That's different. Legal execution carries different justifications and a whole different reasoning than assassinating someone, since the situation is so different.

Whatever we determine they are, though (self-defense, mental compulsion, whatever), Parson's justifications and reasons for killing those three-thousand people and (proverbially) stabbing Ansom in the back during parley are fundamentally the same.

Opal Tide
2009-03-03, 08:21 PM
Have we established how Erf world society works? We know there are nobles, soldiers and animals trained for war, but is there anything else? Money just seems to pop out of the aether (as does food and cleaning). There is mention of farms and mines by Jillian, but no mention of peasants or artisans. The closest thing we have seen to a non-military person is the marbit miner in the first strip. Everything else has been soldiers, casters or nobles.

If that is the case that the only sentient life in Erfworld directly deal with warfare and that by surrendering Parson would have doomed most of his units to disbanding (however that works), his moral obligation is to keeping his units alive since there are no civilians to defend. The only reason I can think of for surrendering in such a world was if then nobles on the losing side were preserved in some way. We have already seen how Ansom views the world, so it would not be much of a stretch to see nobles as more than willing to obliterate the existence of non-nobles to save their own skins.

Given the option between disbanding or going down with a fight, I would imagine most units would go down with a fight. However, do to the command and societal structure, that is not their choice to make. Parson being a special exception to the rule seems to me to preclude him from ever surrendering, so he isn't losing future bargaining power by Bogrolling Ansom. Given the choice of surviving now and holding this tactic out for a later time, survival should be the main driver (as previoudly mentioned).

seanpg71
2009-03-03, 08:49 PM
Is Bogroll a warlord? I don't believe so. Is Maggie currently leading him or is he in a stack by himself in a zone by himself?

Would this then be a situation where the rules required that Bogroll auto-attack?

Goshen
2009-03-03, 08:49 PM
This is a shining application of The Art of War: Let the enemy's complacency cause them to accept a simple ruse at fake value.

I quite agree. This is also how Parson manage to play Ansom and Charlie, both, in this single Bogroll Event. :smalltongue: Then, as RCC and GK have continued to whittle each other down, while Charlie makes money off both of them, he has become utterly confident of victory. This is also probably based on the manthimancy calculation he bought from Parson a while ago.

Several people have already pointed out that if Parson had communicated with Ansom directly, the latter may have suspected a trap. But what the communication coming through Charlie, and Ansom thinking is already won, he let his guard down. Again. It doesn't matter if Charlie stuck to the letter of his agreement. If Anson survives this, he is not going to be happy with Charlie. He may even tell Charlie to go home, weakening RCC further.

Brilliant, simply, brilliant.

Roland St. Jude
2009-03-03, 08:51 PM
Sheriff of Moddingham: Please remember that discussions or real world politics or religion are not permitted on this forum, even when they intersect with allowed topics like comics or gaming.

Suicide Junkie
2009-03-03, 09:06 PM
Not true. I said NOTHING about the comic. There are any number of people making GLOBAL statements that if it's worth killing someone it's worth killing them at a parley. Or that if you're defending your kingdom anything goes. Or that honor is just a way to put a gloss on killing.

And none of them are limiting it to this situation.

Thinking that killing during parleys is fine leads to EVERY little dispute over fishing rights in the middle of nowhere being completely impossible to settle short of genocide.

This is EVIL! Flat out wrong and evil. That attitude, if held by actual governments in the actual world, would have resulted in the destruction of all human life at many times in the 20th century.

Thankfully, REAL governments, of real people, are well aware that killing people on the battlefield has a different set of standards than killing people at other times, and that a truce is one of the "other times".

DougLThe point I was making is that Ansom has come to take Parson prisoner and erase every other being in GK from existence.
Essentially, Ansom is merely offering to make the genocide *painless* in exchange for fewer RCC casualties.
"Just lay down and accept the death of everyone you know, because we're winning and it doesn't look like you have any chance, kay?"

The only way for this battle to end WITHOUT that happening is for the RCC to fail.

Attacking during parley might lead to genocide against GK in the future, but not attacking will DEFINITELY lead to genocide immediately. The choice is obvious.

SteveMB
2009-03-03, 09:09 PM
Is Bogroll a warlord? I don't believe so. Is Maggie currently leading him or is he in a stack by himself in a zone by himself?

Would this then be a situation where the rules required that Bogroll auto-attack?

He did attack. Apparently, brief incidental actions (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0063.html) prior to an auto-attack are allowed.

DevilDan
2009-03-03, 09:28 PM
Is the twoll a warlord? It's possible. It's also possible he was promoted specifically for this purpose and we just didn't see it.

I saw this coming. Just saying.

Of course Charlie wins anyway. That was the point of his last conversation. If he didn't win with this outcome, then perhaps he would have advised Ansom to be far more careful.

seanpg71
2009-03-03, 09:31 PM
He did attack. Apparently, brief incidental actions (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0063.html) prior to an auto-attack are allowed.

Yup. I was just wondering if Bogroll attacked because the rules required him to - or if he attacked because Parson ordered him to.

It subtly affects the morality discussion above making the attack more of a defensive action like leaving a land mine and less of an offensive one.

multilis
2009-03-03, 09:42 PM
Charlie is not a royal, and royals like to gang up on non royals. Charlie has make offer they can't accept, then extra charged a desperate Anson... weaker royals means less future threat from them.

Shad0wyone
2009-03-03, 10:02 PM
Interesting, if not foreshadowed so much, but it's still a large plot advancement.
"Hamstaaaaaaahrr!"

Yodimus
2009-03-03, 10:39 PM
You guys talking about lame-ass morals need to quit before you ruin it for for the rest of us. Seriously, stop it. Haven't any of you seen Spaceballs? Good is dumb. Is Parson the only one who gets that?

Onmi
2009-03-03, 11:27 PM
Not me, I play my Paladin the same way 'Banjou Haran' is done.

Put simply the party was once captured by an evil overlord who threatened to kill the whole party if the Pally did not submit. His counter offer was the Overlord let them go or he would kill the party himself and then kill the Overlord.

The DM said that would make him fall but the Thief (played by my cousin) pointed out the party had made the decision that rather than be captured they would prefer to be killed by the remainder of the party to unhinder them (The LE Necro also wanted to raise their corpses but the CG Fighter... well he didn't take to kindly to the suggestion)

The Necro then mentioned that the Pally had made the decision in his back story (the Necro is a prisoner and the Pally was his ward, making asure under orders to stop the Necro from going from LE to completely evil) and that after having made it, he had simply killed the enemies who had held his friend hostage, evicerated them, had a mage burn and electrocute their remains, then have his god purify the Ashes.

The Overlord was so terrified at that point he let the party go. Then he tried to shoot the Paladin in the back and got a face full of Fireball for it.

We all had a mixed party (various alignments and race and class, we found a way to make it work) Good times...

Decius
2009-03-03, 11:44 PM
Not true. I said NOTHING about the comic. There are any number of people making GLOBAL statements that if it's worth killing someone it's worth killing them at a parley. Or that if you're defending your kingdom anything goes. Or that honor is just a way to put a gloss on killing.

And none of them are limiting it to this situation.

Thinking that killing during parleys is fine leads to EVERY little dispute over fishing rights in the middle of nowhere being completely impossible to settle short of genocide.
DougL

I assert that any little dispute that warrants killing people isn't a little dispute. There are things that are not worth fighting over that get fought over anyway. The point of peacetime politics is to not go to war over things that aren't worth going to war over.

As a student of military science and a veteran, I agree that war is an extension of the political process by other means. Every single action taken by a government rests on one of two points of authority: Consent of the governed, or the threat of force. It's when politicians abuse the 'threat of force' in international dealings that we end up with situations. {List of situations proactively self-scrubbed}

For further reading, I recommend Alfred Thayer Mahan's The Influence of Sea Power on History, as well as most of the works of Clausewitz and Sun Tzu.





It means that there are certain things both sides understand are simply Not Done. There is no legitimate reason, for example, to murder prisoners. Or to blow up a coffee shop filled entirely with noncombatants.

I can think of at least one good reason for both of those: The prisoners have been convicted by a justice system of a capital crime; The coffee shop is being used to store war supplies such as weapons and ammunition.

So long as the weapons and ammo are the targets of the strike, and no steps are taken for the purpose of inflicting civilian casualties, collateral damage (unintentional harm to persons or property as the result of military action) will occur, and is not immoral per se.



In this case, Bogroll is attacking a military target (there are no civilians in the world) and Parson is burning through his resources at an alarming rate: He may have just lost the ability to ever parley again. Permanently.

The only reason this might be immoral is that he is wasting the lives of his men. Parson has already decided that he is willing to spend almost every life in GK if there is a chance that they could turn the invasion. (Possibly not including the casters or his own, since he mentioned an escape path to the magic kingdom)

Given that, the only loss would be in a future engagement, where Parson's inability to be taken seriously might result in warfare where terms could have been arranged. More likely, any future request to parley will involve more stringent terms to prevent a repeat. (You come here, alone, unarmed, to talk to my second and a stack of heavies.)

dr pepper
2009-03-04, 01:02 AM
3. I don't think Parson is a motie.


Hmm. The Slacker subspecies. Color: mustard fur, salmon belly, tiny black eyes. In this subspecies, it is the legs that are vestigial, being reduced to a single joint, and a wide flat foot capable of gripping the edge of a board. The ankles can fold forward while the hipls fold back, allowing the pear shaped, flat bottomed torso to sit directly on the feet, no chair needed. The skilled arms have wide spreading prehensile fingers with hard pointed tips for operating controllers and keyboards The strong arm is extra long with long prehensile sucker tipped fingers that can reach across a living room to grab snacks. The fourth arm has a soft palm and a strong grip and is just long enough to reach down and handle the breeding urge. This subspecies only thrives during the crest of a cycle. They are efficient at converting marginal foodstuffs into rich layers of fat, which is then available to nurish the members of other subspecies when the collapse comes.



4. Insofar as Parson's action in the false surrender is unconscionable, the sword is his excuse, in that the deception may well be an action he wouldn't have considered (or may not have implemented) without the Ruthlessness it provides.


Heh. Supposedly some samurai would insist they were really pacifists committed to buddhist principles-- it was their swords that did the killing.

DoctorJest
2009-03-04, 01:31 AM
Or the opposite. If they leave GK it will be a question of time for Parson to go after them, and after this battle they don't want that.

um... what?

Documn
2009-03-04, 01:35 AM
I am glad that we are seeing more of Parson's ruthlessness.

As for this morality stuff: Parson is a gamer and right now he's a unit in a game. Sure, we're allowed to apply real-world morals to a game if we want to, but should we? Especially in a game that deals almost exclusively with warfare?

DevilDan
2009-03-04, 01:47 AM
I guess since no one's said it yet: "Pride goeth before a fall." Followed, in this case, by a spectacular splat.

Honor? What's this honor stuff? Oh, yeah, it's that with which the victor needs none of or can manufacture ex post facto.

Morals? Is that what people have been arguing about? Maybe I need to go away for longer...

DoctorJest
2009-03-04, 01:48 AM
One was quite willing to leave after the walls looked impossible, it's ANSOM Parson wants, the other leaders don't have Arkentools as far as we know, they only came together because Ansom was there to lead, without him they have nothing and WILL break apart.

Seeing your commander go DOWN and so easilly would make you want to retreat

They've already wanted to quit more than once. "I'm calling my capital. The Sofa King is Sofa-King finished here!" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0130.html)

One said outright that they don't even trust Ansom anymore (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0141.html) , and the conversation previously between the two leaders who got crap-golemed suggested outright that it was Ansom alone that made the coalition stick together (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0139.html) and their faith in him is already fading fast.

The RCC is already demoralized, they've incurred much heavier losses than they anticipated, they're getting fed up with Ansom, and we've seen them squabble amongst themselves before. If Ansom goes down and Parson gets the pliers, it will definitely be enough to send at least a good chunk of the RCC packing up saying "we didn't sign up for this".

This was Parson's plan: reduce the enemy's multipliers (by capturing Ansom and his Artifact as well as crapping the leaders), and make them unable or unwilling to take the garrison.

If Ansom goes down, it will NOT bode well for the RCC. That seems pretty well beyond question to me.

abb3w
2009-03-04, 02:40 AM
Do we have proof that bogroll can even be killed? With regeneration, depending on how it is rolled, he could potentially be immune to death by damage.

In the old "Master of Magic" game, units with Regen could be killed by mere violence, but unless the army (stack) they were deployed with was completely defeated in combat, they would heal back fully from 0 HP at end of each combat. This made taking Hydra-infested Chaos nodes only barely less painful than taking out Sorcery nodes with multiple Sky Drakes.

The high cost of Troll troops made them almost worthwhile, but I preferred Draconian Air Ship navy and Doom Drake cavalry, and strongly preferred Dark Elf Nightmare fantastic cavalry (because Dark Elves were most useful overall).

abb3w
2009-03-04, 02:49 AM
I don't know. I enjoyed the page, but a little part of my brain is still wondering:
:why Ansom, who has been hit with one unusual attack after another, isn't a LOT more cautious approaching a large armed opponent.


Easy.

Strengths: Leadership, Planning, Coalition Building
Weaknesses: Caution, Humility, Ability to Seal the Deal (http://tinyurl.com/cuvj6w)

(By the way, the cast page seems to be broken at the moment....)

sun_tzu
2009-03-04, 02:56 AM
Actually, one of the most interesting storylines in the Star Wars franchise is when Darth Sidious revived and forced Luke to the dark side.

You say "interesting", I say "lame".


You guys talking about lame-ass morals need to quit before you ruin it for for the rest of us. Seriously, stop it. Haven't any of you seen Spaceballs? Good is dumb. Is Parson the only one who gets that?
I have rarely seen so much stuff I disagree with packed into so few words.

DoctorJest
2009-03-04, 03:03 AM
Why do you want or expect Parson to be a hero? Parson is a gamer. Gaming, other than perhaps role playing, is all about winning. At any cost.


Further, why does everyone expect Parson to be a "hero" when he knows he's working for the 'bad guys' and says he actually prefers that? (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0031.html)

Avilan the Grey
2009-03-04, 03:37 AM
That raises the question of whether Parson is introducing real changes to the art of war as it is practiced in Erfworld. It may be that one reason Ansom fell for the ruse is that this sort of treachery is truly unprecedented.

If so, and all sides had formerly abided by "honorable" restrictions that will break down as a result of Parson's innovations, then the effect could be to make Erfworld a darker place.

Well at some point all armies are bound to stop wearing bright clothing and shoot at each other across a field. Even if a lot of nobles complain that it is a cowardly thing to do, all that camouflaging and stuff. And in the long run casualties will actually go down because of the change, too.

Avilan the Grey
2009-03-04, 03:42 AM
I have rarely seen so much stuff I disagree with packed into so few words.

I only disagree with the phrase "Lame ass morals". Morals are not "lame", but if I was to be eradicated by a supreme invading force, sure hope my commanding officers decided to throw "honor" and "morals" out the window and crush the enemy with everything possible so that I might live. Honor is something you can afford when you are on the moral high ground and has the substantial stronger force.

ishnar
2009-03-04, 06:05 AM
You say "interesting", I say "lame".

I'm a sucker for redemption themes.


I have rarely seen so much stuff I disagree with packed into so few words.


Please do me a favor and attribute quotes properly when you cite multiple posts. You make it look like the second quote was mine too.

Wixit
2009-03-04, 07:34 AM
Snipped.

Uhh...

It seems I wasn't clear. [i/In general[/i], regardless of this particular comic, people go to watch movies where John Wayne, Luke Skywalker, Neo et al fight the good fight and make the small town/galaxy/world a better place. They don't go to see how an evil mastermind overlord butchers mankind and stands victorious, gloating over the would-be-heroes corpses while eating live kittens. While there could be a few exceptions who just love seeing decapitations for the hell of it, I'm sure that in general, you'd agree with me.

All I'm saying is how we, who would mostly go root for various heroes pretending to be good and righteous, are now actively rooting for someone who's... bending the rules. No need to blow that simple statement out of proportion into a PhD thesis. I'm not saying Ansom is the good guy, or that Parson is the bad guy, I'm saying that a projection of real world morality on this situation puts Parson's ruse into a morally gray area, and that we don't mind. Note that I'm using "we", not "you" or "they".

The Internet is indeed an inhospitable place...

Sieggy
2009-03-04, 08:46 AM
[QUOTE=Wixit;5849695]Uhh...

It seems I wasn't clear. [i/In general[/i], regardless of this particular comic, people go to watch movies where John Wayne, Luke Skywalker, Neo et al fight the good fight and make the small town/galaxy/world a better place. They don't go to see how an evil mastermind overlord butchers mankind and stands victorious, gloating over the would-be-heroes corpses while eating live kittens. While there could be a few exceptions who just love seeing decapitations for the hell of it, I'm sure that in general, you'd agree with me.

EL SNIPPO GRANDO

QUOTE]

I dunno . . . I've alway though a great movie plot would be the classic 'Evil Genius has device that will blow up the world' meme, where the EG has the Hero helpless and ready to be killed, and the Hero does the obligatory "but before you kill me, I just want to know . . .". To which the EG replies "ummmm . . . no." and kills the Hero.

EG then actually succeeds in taking over the world, and the rest of the movie follows his frustrated descent into despair as he discovers that wanting to take over the world and actually trying to run the great bloody furball are two entirely different things. I mean, if he blows up the world, he goes too. And the maniacs out there hate each other more than they fear him, so he unleashes his Ruthless Underlings to bring order to the world. Which they do, but badly.

He winds up orchestrating a revolution against himself (he is a genius, mind you), fakes his own death, and sneaks off to live a life of peace and quiet as a pot farmer outside of Yakima, Wa. After, of course, setting it up so his RUs take the fall for everything, and he is remembered as the Man Who Brought Peace To The World, only to be betrayed by said RUs.

I see Rowan Atkinson as the lead . . .

Quincunx
2009-03-04, 09:11 AM
Sieggy, if you want to dabble with this, report to Media Discussions and find some willing sympathizers. If you're serious--and it sounds workable to me--Get. A. Scriptwriter. Immediately. (Try PMing Bor the Barbarian Monk.) I want to see this. Yes, with Rowan Atkinson if available.

If someone needs the difference between Lawful and Neutral acts pointed out to them in future, I'll refer them back to the archons here, and Jaclyn for Chaotic.

Avilan the Grey
2009-03-04, 09:13 AM
Great idea snipped

Well personally I have always wanted to either see that, or a situation where the Evil Overlord turns out to be a good ruler. I'll imagine, for example, that Scorpio would be a good one (my favorite Simpson episode ever...). Basically the idea would be that following the Evil Overlord list, and common sense, the Evil Overlord realizes that the best way to stay in power and avoid assassination attempts etc is to be efficient, not oppress people too much and maybe even achieve popularity among the masses...

sun_tzu
2009-03-04, 09:55 AM
I'm a sucker for redemption themes.
So am I, actually...as long as they're written reasonably well. "Dark Empire" was...well, let's just say I'd rather ignore it.


Well personally I have always wanted to either see that, or a situation where the Evil Overlord turns out to be a good ruler. I'll imagine, for example, that Scorpio would be a good one (my favorite Simpson episode ever...). Basically the idea would be that following the Evil Overlord list, and common sense, the Evil Overlord realizes that the best way to stay in power and avoid assassination attempts etc is to be efficient, not oppress people too much and maybe even achieve popularity among the masses...

Well, there's baron Klaus Wulfenbach from "Girl Genius". Sure, he's a mad scientist who's conquered most of steampunk Europe and rules it with an iron-fist...but it's pretty clear he's only doing it because he knows he's better than the alternative. To quote him, "I CAN be ruthless, but I TRY to be fair."

galdon
2009-03-04, 10:23 AM
Damnit, I wanna see Ansom kick some ass here. Whatever happened to competent enemies? It's no fun to watch the villain (or in this case, the hero) turn into someone who almost literally hands his enemy his most prized possession. Doesn't he have goons for that purpose?

As much of a bighead as Ansom is, it breaks the versimilitude a bit, for him to be duped by Parson time and time again and still make such critical assumption errors.

Are you serious? outside of parson manipulating him with his one character flaw; pride, ansem has been nothing BUT competent. pride is his character flaw, he will naturally make mistakes related to that flaw, its also the hardest flaw to break because he would have to admit he has a character flaw, and that would hurt his pride.

aside from that, he's had parson on a losing battle constantly, wrecked a lot of parson's plans, turned out to be an epic level dancefighter, enough to make up for his entire army's lack of skill. he broke the wall and took the court, and got a message from charlescom saying parson was going to surrender, a mix between his pride and knowing how bad a situation parson is in combined to make him blind to the attack.

CaptC
2009-03-04, 10:35 AM
Well, there's baron Klaus Wulfenbach from "Girl Genius". Sure, he's a mad scientist who's conquered most of steampunk Europe and rules it with an iron-fist...but it's pretty clear he's only doing it because he knows he's better than the alternative. To quote him, "I CAN be ruthless, but I TRY to be fair."

Don't forget Lord Vetinari.

Si non confectus, non reficiat (If it ain't broke, don't fix it).

Aquillion
2009-03-04, 11:47 AM
Uhh...

It seems I wasn't clear. In general, regardless of this particular comic, people go to watch movies where John Wayne, Luke Skywalker, Neo et al fight the good fight and make the small town/galaxy/world a better place. They don't go to see how an evil mastermind overlord butchers mankind and stands victorious, gloating over the would-be-heroes corpses while eating live kittens. While there could be a few exceptions who just love seeing decapitations for the hell of it, I'm sure that in general, you'd agree with me.

All I'm saying is how we, who would mostly go root for various heroes pretending to be good and righteous, are now actively rooting for someone who's... bending the rules. No need to blow that simple statement out of proportion into a PhD thesis. I'm not saying Ansom is the good guy, or that Parson is the bad guy, I'm saying that a projection of real world morality on this situation puts Parson's ruse into a morally gray area, and that we don't mind. Note that I'm using "we", not "you" or "they".Yes... but they also go to see Han Solo shoot first. Cynical heroes who bend the rules aren't something new or amazing; honestly, they're more popular nowadays than the spaghetti western John Wayne types. And, honestly, Han Solo aside, most of the sorts of movies you mentioned are noted for being aimed at kids and having simplified black-and-white morality. Most modern movies or books are closer to this sort of realistic depth rather than John Wayne white-hats-vs-black-hats.

So it just seems sort of odd that you'd be so surprised that we're willing to root for a hero who would kick below the belt -- I mean, yeah, if it was an audience of twelve-year-olds, it might be surprising, but I think most people here are mature enough to realize that, yes, there are times when it's right and acceptable to throw a dirty punch.

Also, "an evil mastermind overlord who butchers mankind and stands victorious, gloating over the would-be-heroes corpses while eating live kittens?" Seriously, what the boop?

Erfworld isn't a John Wayne spaghetti western, and saying its morality isn't black-and-white isn't just saying (as you seem to think) that there's some clear obvious bright lines set by rules that define "White", "Black", and then a magic "grey area" parson just entered. "Bending the rules" does not make someone 'more' evil, and Parson didn't get closer to being a kitten-butcherer when he did it.

He's made hard decisions (although, as I said earlier, I think the only really hard decision he made was to fight in the first place -- this ruse does not and should not hang on his conscience compared to that, and I disagree with you that it is even any more 'morally gray' than anything else we've seen him do.) But complicated morality means that a world's morality can't be codified in a set of simple Spaghetti-western white-hat-black-hat rules; making a decision that is hard, doing something that is dishonorable or objectionable, can still ultimately be the right thing to do. Not everyone is always going to agree with you, because they have their own ways of looking at things, but boop them, it's between Parson and his conscience.

As I said, though, I don't think what he did today will hang on his conscience. He killed 3000 people yesterday, at least partially because he couldn't stand the thought of 'losing' to Ansom, and I think that that's something that will likely stay with him for a long time. Compared to that? The warrior-code honor that people are talking about here just doesn't seem like something Parson will care about at all. Yeah, sure, he broke one of Ansom's precious rules, and if he were a character in a John Wayne movie he'd have to wear a black hat for that. Fortunately for him, he isn't and he doesn't, and I don't think he thought twice about what he did here.

ralphmerridew
2009-03-04, 01:10 PM
An example would be the American war of independence. It was a very vicious war, fought in ways that 18th century armies considered most unfair and unchivalrous. "Terrorist" is not an unfair description of some of the things done by the eventual winners.

Unchivalrously on both sides. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Ledyard

Decius
2009-03-04, 09:28 PM
Well, if we're going by 18th century standards, most of what Parson has done has been immoral: Hit and run tactics on the siege, hiding, attacking enemy leadership x4 (Jillian, Ansom on the wall, Crap golems, and Bogroll v Ansom, using traps, violating a truce. (off of the top of my head, I'm sure there's more)

If that's your standard of morality for fantasy warfare, that's fine- I disagree.

Fjolnir
2009-03-04, 10:51 PM
Honestly Han shooting first does more to set up his character development in the movies than anything else in the first film (with the exception of shooting Vader in the ass on the death star run) NONE of the other characters in that scene on the "good guys" team would have shot first (Obi would probably have tried to subtly influence his mind but not kill him, Luke is simply a naive bumpkin at this point in the story) Han starts as a character with purely greedy motivations and a me first attitude but he eventually turns in his own way into one of the noble characters in the series (one can argue that in film 6 he might not have, in fact shot first)

That being said, this is different in Erfworld the rules of engagement are simple: Win or Die, losing will leave your group either neutral (frozen in time until interacted with) or disbanded/croaked (Dead) neither of these are options you want to end up with, and the ONLY people who have a chance to survive are: Nobles (see: Jillian) and Casters (see: Maggie) everyone else falls into the other two categories and is most likely slain where they stand, and in this situation, with the tool not engaged in combat and not at GK, the only option is Croaked, so Ansom is on a genocidal mission here, parson is responding with total warfare, honestly the only option he has is to turn ansom's victory into either a pyrrhic victory (after which he will lose to a returning tool if parson dies or is captured) OR a complete loss (IE: total slaughter of every RCC unit in their territory, or at least as many as they can get before they run faster than the move of parson's rapidly expanding uncroaked army) in this situation, sucker punching ansom is required because if you don't the majority of the units (not parson, wanda, maggie or sizemore) will die as their blood cakes the volcanic soil of their home city

Bongos
2009-03-04, 11:15 PM
You know, I don't know if really Charlie has enough forces to take Gobwin Knob. Gobwin Knob might be stronger now than when Parson did those calculations. Parson has all those uncwoaked now, including the fliers and the infantry, and I think they might still have some of those spells and scrolls that Parson discovered later, those also were not included in his mathamancy calculations.
Parson might also be thinking about where Stanley is heading with those dwagons, he was able to communicate a bit with the Foolamancer, and Parson told him to get Stanley to come back, Parson knows Stanley isn't cwoaked yet.
The move by Bogroll? Sheer brilliance. Can't wait to see what happens next.

fendrin
2009-03-04, 11:24 PM
You know, I don't know if really Charlie has enough forces to take Gobwin Knob. Gobwin Knob might be stronger now than when Parson did those calculations. Parson has all those uncwoaked now, including the fliers and the infantry, and I think they might still have some of those spells and scrolls that Parson discovered later, those also were not included in his mathamancy calculations.
Parson might also be thinking about where Stanley is heading with those dwagons, he was able to communicate a bit with the Foolamancer, and Parson told him to get Stanley to come back, Parson knows Stanley isn't cwoaked yet.
The move by Bogroll? Sheer brilliance. Can't wait to see what happens next.

The important thing is that Charlie thinks that he has enough forces to take GK. Remember, he prefers to play games that don't even have a losing outcome (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0143.html).

Charlie's big mistake is assuming that Parson's information was complete and accurate when he asked how many Archons would be needed.

Fuzzy_Juan
2009-03-05, 12:01 AM
[QUOTE=Wixit;5849695]Uhh...

It seems I wasn't clear. [i/In general[/i], regardless of this particular comic, people go to watch movies where John Wayne, Luke Skywalker, Neo et al fight the good fight and make the small town/galaxy/world a better place. They don't go to see how an evil mastermind overlord butchers mankind and stands victorious, gloating over the would-be-heroes corpses while eating live kittens. While there could be a few exceptions who just love seeing decapitations for the hell of it, I'm sure that in general, you'd agree with me.

EL SNIPPO GRANDO

QUOTE]

I dunno . . . I've alway though a great movie plot would be the classic 'Evil Genius has device that will blow up the world' meme, where the EG has the Hero helpless and ready to be killed, and the Hero does the obligatory "but before you kill me, I just want to know . . .". To which the EG replies "ummmm . . . no." and kills the Hero.

EG then actually succeeds in taking over the world, and the rest of the movie follows his frustrated descent into despair as he discovers that wanting to take over the world and actually trying to run the great bloody furball are two entirely different things. I mean, if he blows up the world, he goes too. And the maniacs out there hate each other more than they fear him, so he unleashes his Ruthless Underlings to bring order to the world. Which they do, but badly.

He winds up orchestrating a revolution against himself (he is a genius, mind you), fakes his own death, and sneaks off to live a life of peace and quiet as a pot farmer outside of Yakima, Wa. After, of course, setting it up so his RUs take the fall for everything, and he is remembered as the Man Who Brought Peace To The World, only to be betrayed by said RUs.

I see Rowan Atkinson as the lead . . .

Actually, at least one version of this exists that I know of. Justice League, animated series, Ep 45-46 titled 'The Hereafter'. Vandal Savage built a device that pretty much destroyed the world, then killed the Justice League. he tried to make up for what he caused by rediscovering as much human history and technology as he could in the ages that he lived. He then teamed up with Superman to send him back and stop his younger self to prevent that future from becoming reality.

I'm sure some other medium has also hosted a similar story...OOh...Babylon 5...Londo Molari. He did make a deal with the devil, and worked hard the rest of the series to make up for his crimes...even accepting his eventual death so he could do what he needed to do.

That kind of redemption tale is often told, though the ones who get screwed are never actually toted as being the 'hero' of the story since...obviously...they just die. Now that I think about it...there have been several stories where a character does something 'bad' and the rest of the story is them dealing with the fallout. The current season of Heroes is another good example...Nathan opened the box of worms and started the snowball rolling...now things might be going wonky to the extreme...oops. As of the past few episodes he has been doing his damnedest to stop his out of control subordinates from killing everyone without them knowing he is helping.

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

As far as Parson though...I'm not sure if he is actually the 'hero' of this story...protaganist of the first chapter yes...and a main charater...the focal point of most of the story...but the 'heroes' i think are still to come.

Kender Wizard
2009-03-05, 12:29 AM
Aquillion, very well put. Incidentally, this betrayal of a truce might not hurt Parson at all. Consider: Charlie knows perfectly well what happened, as does Ansom. Somehow, I just don't see Charlie giving that information out. We didn't see Ansom saying anything to anyone about where he was going when he flew up to that tower. Even if they do live, the other warlords most likely have no idea what exactly went on. Lastly, there is no guarantee that they (or any non-charlescomm units) will live to get out of the city. Remember, Parsons current plan is to kill as many units as possible now, so that he may uncroak them on his turn. The more units he has, the more force he has to bring to bear on Charlie. A lot depends on whether or not sizemore is capable of removing the rest of the leadership with Ansom likely incapacitated. This goes double if Wanda get ahold of and attunes to the arkenpliers.

Avilan the Grey
2009-03-05, 02:15 AM
Well, if we're going by 18th century standards, most of what Parson has done has been immoral: Hit and run tactics on the siege, hiding, attacking enemy leadership x4 (Jillian, Ansom on the wall, Crap golems, and Bogroll v Ansom, using traps, violating a truce. (off of the top of my head, I'm sure there's more)

If that's your standard of morality for fantasy warfare, that's fine- I disagree.

Funny, that. It sounds just like wars used to be fought in the 16th, 17th, and 18th century. Being a citizen of the "winner" of the 30 year war (Sweden) and moderately knowledgeable about history, makes me fully aware of all the backstabbing, plundering, robbing, raping and pillaging going on. On all sides. All the time.

As for attacking the leadership stacks: Since our king at the time was attacked and killed when he got lost in the heavy fogs at Lützen... I don't really have a problem with the idea of targeting enemy leaders.

Add to that the constant civilian-occupying troops "relationship" (Civilians attacking and ambushing enemy troops, butchering them, then having their farms burned down and being executed for doing so, and then rinse-and-repeat). In fact, since armies marched on their stomachs, and actual field battles was very rare, this is what most wars consisted of: zigzagging the countryside, plundering farms, burning villages, and getting out of the way before the enemy got his troops to the area to defend it. This is why scorched earth tactics were so good, and commonly used, against invading forces in Russia and other areas with very large distances between villages (it did not work as well in the rest of Europe, since the place is cramped and has been so since before the fall of Rome).
This tactic was always used; even when besieging a town or city a good one third of the force was often out plundering and foraging. If the area could not sustain the occupying force anymore they had to leave, which was, next to being rescued by own troops, what the besieged always hoped would happen.

War is hell, it has always been hell, and it will always be hell.

Xondoure
2009-03-05, 02:23 AM
Charlie saw it coming. Why did he let it happen?

If the RCC wins, Charlie has everything he wants. (Parson and the device.) But now Parson has a chance to win, and in that case Charlie gets paid but doesn't get his ultimate warlord or artifact.

I'm nonplussed. Bad strategy on Charlie's part.

No one really knows what Charlie's ultimate goals are.
He may be planning to take control of the RCC after Ansom is dead for all we know. Or he could have a goal that hasn't even been thought of. Or he could just be being absolutely neutral because that is his nature.

Xondoure
2009-03-05, 02:32 AM
It's interesting to note our reactions here. Most of us have chosen our side (that is, Parson's side) and we're rooting for them. I'm going to assume the majority of readers are of the "I want the good guys to win" variety, which implies they're good and/or follow most of the laws. Our side aren't really the good guys here, and we go out of our way to explain and rationalize our leader's actions, however morally gray they may be. If Parson was the antagonist, we'd be appaled at this dishonourable, backstabbing ruse, but as is we're saying "it's ok, his back is against the wall, he does what he must" etc.


That is because ansom is a no good cocky idiot. I think this is more intellect versus stupidity than good versus evil.

Xondoure
2009-03-05, 02:36 AM
Damnit, I wanna see Ansom kick some ass here. Whatever happened to competent enemies? It's no fun to watch the villain (or in this case, the hero) turn into someone who almost literally hands his enemy his most prized possession. Doesn't he have goons for that purpose?

As much of a bighead as Ansom is, it breaks the versimilitude a bit, for him to be duped by Parson time and time again and still make such critical assumption errors.

I would prefer seeing parson kick ass which is exactly what is happening. He has not had enough successful strategies for the "Ultimate strategist".

Avilan the Grey
2009-03-05, 02:39 AM
That is because ansom is a no good cocky idiot. I think this is more intellect versus stupidity than good versus evil.

Agreed. He is also an enormous hypocrite.

glissle
2009-03-05, 03:31 AM
That may be enough to force them to retreat (so that Bogroll's remains can be recovered) and end turn.

Possibly enabling the uncroaking of Bogroll - now that would be richly painful for Parson!

By the way, if the coalition is smart, they would recognize that GK will seek to stave off Charlie by "recruiting" an uncroaked army at their expense, so it may be worth a high cost to croak Wanda now while they are within GK's walls. Come to think of it, a croakamancer would be very valuable in a mercenary force - instead of committing expensive archons to rescue a side in danger of losing, you could uncroak the side's own casualties.

It's ironic that Sizemore may have a higher profile with the coalition forces than Wanda. Ansom may be the only warlord who has seen Wanda in operation (since the dancefighting forces were leaderless), while Sizemore made a memorable cameo in their midst. I say ironic because Sizemore is much more effective at defending GK than he would be at supporting invasions (except for the final siege operations of the enemy cities, if one were inclined to risk him at the front lines), while Wanda may be key to making GK a threat to its neighbors (depending on how easy it is to acquire dwagons).



EG then actually succeeds in taking over the world, and the rest of the movie follows his frustrated descent into despair as he discovers that wanting to take over the world and actually trying to run the great bloody furball are two entirely different things.


You might be interested in the film The Emperor and the Assassin, though it doesn't have the rest of the plot you describe and the victor of the inevitable confrontation is undecided for most of the running time of the film (unless you know the history). And there's no redemption, though the plot in Sieggy's post actually wasn't as redemptive as what subsequent posters described - in Sieggy's post, the world gets pretty messed up by infighting; the EG just escapes blame.

Fishman
2009-03-05, 04:45 AM
No. Even in war, there are often rules. That's why there's such a thing as "war crimes". Those rules exist to prevent the whole thing from becoming even more atrocious than it already is.The fact of the matter is that only losers are ever punished for "war crimes". You can get away with practically any atrocity as long as it leads to VICTORY. The "rules" only exist to discourage unnecessary atrocities: it is simply codified vengeance, because losers who have committed atrocities have always been harshly punished. Such rules primarily exist for the benefit of the winning side: By offering the losing side clemency if they do not resort to atrocity, the system hopes to encourage a reduction in unnecessary atrocities: You can fight "clean" and be defeated and not be horribly punished for it, or you can fight "dirty" and get the stick afterwards, but as we all know, history is written by the victors. If you win, you can get away with just about anything. In war, there is nothing more honorable than victory.

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-03-05, 07:37 AM
If Jaclyn had followed the rules about paying for magical protection, maybe she'd be alive now. Just saying.

Maybe if Jillian hadn't risked her air units, maybe Jaclyn would have been around to warn Anson. Just sayin.

pendell
2009-03-05, 08:57 AM
[QUOTE=Wixit;5849695]Uhh...

It seems I wasn't clear. [i/In general[/i], regardless of this particular comic, people go to watch movies where John Wayne, Luke Skywalker, Neo et al fight the good fight and make the small town/galaxy/world a better place. They don't go to see how an evil mastermind overlord butchers mankind and stands victorious, gloating over the would-be-heroes corpses while eating live kittens. While there could be a few exceptions who just love seeing decapitations for the hell of it, I'm sure that in general, you'd agree with me.

EL SNIPPO GRANDO

QUOTE]

I dunno . . . I've alway though a great movie plot would be the classic 'Evil Genius has device that will blow up the world' meme, where the EG has the Hero helpless and ready to be killed, and the Hero does the obligatory "but before you kill me, I just want to know . . .". To which the EG replies "ummmm . . . no." and kills the Hero.

EG then actually succeeds in taking over the world, and the rest of the movie follows his frustrated descent into despair as he discovers that wanting to take over the world and actually trying to run the great bloody furball are two entirely different things. I mean, if he blows up the world, he goes too. And the maniacs out there hate each other more than they fear him, so he unleashes his Ruthless Underlings to bring order to the world. Which they do, but badly.

He winds up orchestrating a revolution against himself (he is a genius, mind you), fakes his own death, and sneaks off to live a life of peace and quiet as a pot farmer outside of Yakima, Wa. After, of course, setting it up so his RUs take the fall for everything, and he is remembered as the Man Who Brought Peace To The World, only to be betrayed by said RUs.

I see Rowan Atkinson as the lead . . .

Siggy,

Recommend you review the 'Bio of a Space Tyrant' series by Piers Antony. Especially Volume 4: Executive


Where the protaganist is both the tyrant and a leader of the resistance against same. There is a good reason for both roles


I guess the fact there is a 5th book in the series -- Statesman -- means it isn't a spoiler to acknowledge that the Tyrant is removed from power and eventually goes on to be a spokesman for the new government.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

MattR
2009-03-05, 08:59 AM
Hm some points that have really stuck with me:

1)a) Ansom received the message privately via Thinkamancy, he might be the only person who knew except for Charlie that any surrender was going to happen. If he didnt bother to communicate it to subordinates then there's no impact on Parson's future ability to negotiate with enemies because no one else is aware of any deception.

b) Charlie made the communication to Ansom, because of this misdirection there's no guarantee Parson will be held accountable for the surrender message. Ansom could just as easily blame Charlie.

2) Ansom thinks that the foolamancer is off with Stanley, when suddenly he's faced with a betrayal involving foolamancy... who's intel had the Foolamancer fleeing away from GK again?

3) Has Ansom's systematic destruction/capture of the GK side's cities really been honorable? Is forcing a surrender through the threat of violence honorable? (Example: Someone threatens you with a knife demanding your wallet, you say 'dont hurt me, ill give it to you' to lower their guard... then you counterattack. Who's honorable or dishonorable in this?)

Doran
2009-03-05, 09:18 AM
Updates from Facebook:

http://i43.tinypic.com/f0rn1f.png

Oh, yes times are GMT btw.

Lamech
2009-03-05, 11:26 AM
2) Ansom thinks that the foolamancer is off with Stanley, when suddenly he's faced with a betrayal involving foolamancy... who's intel had the Foolamancer fleeing away from GK again?
Ouch... does Ansom believe the intel anyway? That means he thinks Stanley's back. With his dwagons. That will cause oh so much confusion.
Does he think Charlie is a liar? That won't impact Parson ablity to deal in anyway then. Nice. And some arrows should be flying the general direction of the Archons soon. And he still thinks Stanley is back with his 30+ dwagons.
Will Ansom die and make this a moot point?
Would it be worse for the coalition if he lives?
Soon some of these questions may be answered.

Ragn Charran
2009-03-05, 11:27 AM
b) Charlie made the communication to Ansom, because of this misdirection there's no guarantee Parson will be held accountable for the surrender message. Ansom could just as easily blame Charlie.

...except that not even Ansom can be so stupid as to think Charlie sent the twoll with a veil to the tower to negotiate. He may not be smart enough to know Charlie could have prevented it, or maybe planned it in cahoots with Parson, but Parson has to be involved simply by stopping his troops from fighting and sending a lone twoll, who just happens to look like him, to the place Charlie said Parson would surrender. For what other purpose, besides the deception, would Parson do this?

hajo
2009-03-05, 01:19 PM
1)a) Ansom received the message privately via Thinkamancy, he might be the only person who knew except for Charlie that any surrender was going to happen. If he didnt bother to communicate it to subordinates then there's no impact on Parson's future ability to negotiate with enemies
Good point.
I also wonder what would happen now to the troops in the courtyard, if Ansom is croaked/captured - leaderless, no dance-bonus, must autoattack ?


2) Ansom thinks that the foolamancer is off with Stanley,... who's intel had the Foolamancer fleeing away from GK again?
Vinnie discovered (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0127.html) that foolamancy was used in the battle at the pass, but we don't know if he informed Ansom about it.

SteveMB
2009-03-05, 01:28 PM
Good point.
I also wonder what would happen now to the troops in the courtyard, if Ansom is croaked/captured - leaderless, no dance-bonus, must autoattack ?

The RCC does have other warlords -- a fair number of them, judging from the scene where Ansom reviews the original plan at the war council of "courageous and competent warlords" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0022.html). Whether they'd be able to press the attack (or inclined to do so, given the increasing doubts within the RCC) is another question.


Vinnie discovered (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0114.html) that foolamancy was used in the battle at the pass, but we don't know if he informed Ansom about it.

Ansom knew that Stanley had a Foolamancer (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0067.html), and concurred with (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html) Jillian's assessment (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0089.html) that Stanley had flown the coop with the dwagons. He has no way of knowing whether Stanley took the Foolamancer or left him behind -- my guess is that he assumed as a matter of course that Stanley the Worm would do his best to hide from pursuit and therefore took the Foolamancer along.

Lamech
2009-03-05, 03:23 PM
Ansom knew that Stanley had a Foolamancer, and concurred with Jillian's assessment that Stanley had flown the coop with the dwagons. He has no way of knowing whether Stanley took the Foolamancer or left him behind -- my guess is that he assumed as a matter of course that Stanley the Worm would do his best to hide from pursuit and therefore took the Foolamancer along.
I'm really wondering what the coalition will think about the casters being left behind. It would be reasonable to assume that Stanley took his most valuable resources with him, at least as much as possible. But he hasn't, the knights, the casters, Parson, the eye books, and a freaking artifact. If the coalition thinks to hard there should be some major questions.


Vinnie discovered that foolamancy was used in the battle at the pass, but we don't know if he informed Ansom about it.
He could have contacted Vinnie through the Archons, and if he has... well then there are three options for Ansom
1) Vinny is lying.
2) The message was tampered with, something those foolamancy wielding Archons could do.
3) GK has two foolamancers. Which should't even be plausible.

SteveMB
2009-03-05, 03:35 PM
I'm really wondering what the coalition will think about the casters being left behind. It would be reasonable to assume that Stanley took his most valuable resources with him, at least as much as possible. But he hasn't, the knights, the casters, Parson, the eye books, and a freaking artifact.

It's not clear how much the RCC (outside of Charlie) knows about the artifact. Making the artifact (and Parson) part of Charlie's share of spoils was part of the amended terms, but as far as we know it was a generic "all magic items or artifacts" clause rather than a specific description. (In fact, it probably was the former, as that would be better for Charlie -- it would mean he'd be entitled to the Arkenpliers if Parson captured it before GK fell, and also any incidentals such as whatever is left of Wanda's stash).

That said... yes, if Ansom thought it through, the fact that Stanley went off with a few dozen dwagons to start a new side and didn't take all his casters would seem distinctly odd.


He could have contacted Vinnie through the Archons

True. There's no indication that he has, though -- he's been pretty busy since he got the Archons back on his side, and probably doesn't want to pull any of the Archons off DDR-projection duty.

Aquillion
2009-03-05, 03:48 PM
I'm really wondering what the coalition will think about the casters being left behind. It would be reasonable to assume that Stanley took his most valuable resources with him, at least as much as possible. But he hasn't, the knights, the casters, Parson, the eye books, and a freaking artifact. If the coalition thinks to hard there should be some major questions.

He could have contacted Vinnie through the Archons, and if he has... well then there are three options for Ansom
1) Vinny is lying.
2) The message was tampered with, something those foolamancy wielding Archons could do.
3) GK has two foolamancers. Which should't even be plausible.
Or, you know, he could figure out the truth, which is that it was cast from a scroll. We don't know how rare scrolls are or if Ansom would know that much about magic, but it's not that much of a stretch.

Of course, given his current position, he may have to do that thinking fast. :smallbiggrin:

Lamech
2009-03-05, 03:53 PM
Or, you know, he could figure out the truth, which is that it was cast from a scroll. We don't know how rare scrolls are or if Ansom would know that much about magic, but it's not that much of a stretch.

Of course, given his current position, he may have to do that thinking fast.
I was assuming that casters who did multiple kinds of magic were not something thats was normal. But it seems that all of GK's casters can do it at least from a scroll. Perhaps there is some abnormal reason why GK's casters can, but your probably right that the scrolls would be the best assumption.