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View Full Version : So was Stanley aka The Tool running away as a chicken actually a good thing?



Oslecamo
2009-03-21, 07:35 PM
I remember a lot of comics ago that a lot of people calling Parson a coward incopetent that left Hamster and most of his army to die.

However, this escape also meant that Vinnie was sent after him.

Vinnie the second main coalition leader.

Vinnie the only person on the world wich Ansom actually hears.

Vinnie the one who made sure Ansom kept his feets down on earth instead of performing semi-suicide solo attacks.

Sure, The Tool ended up losing most of his dragons, but if he hadn't run away, it probably would have ended much worst.

Vinnie and Ansom would have stayed togheter, and then they probably would have managed to outsmart Hamster, dwagons or no dwagons, specially when they would have Jillian dwagon-slayer backing them up.

So, perhaps the Tool isn't as incopetent as we tought. Stupid? Arrogant? Impetous? Yes. But not exactly incopetent. Stanley seems to have a true leader instinct. He realized that his only chance of sucess would be to run away, forcing the enemy to either divide their leadership to pursue him or let him escape. He demonstrated to be able to take hard decisions on hard times, and they proved to probably be the best. Hamster is a true solo comander that doesn't really need anyone counselling him, but Vinny and Ansom's power came from them balancing each other. Separate them and we have the Tool and Hamster cuting a swath trough the disorganized coalition forces.

Or his toolship is just damn lucky. But hey, that's also very important. It never hurts to be lucky.

Occasional Sage
2009-03-21, 07:54 PM
I don't think Stanley intended on being chased. He was hoping to slip out undetected and get away, leaving Parson, Lord Hamster, alone to take the full attack. It wasn't a plan to divide the army at all.

It also didn't improve GK's survival odds; he and his dwagons were defeated because of the huge stack of warlords that were sent to intercept him. Without them, he would have demolished Vinnie, Wanda, and stack. Ergo, He and the dwagons at GK would have been a tremendous advantage for Parson.

As far as I can see, the split actually helped the Coalition.

dr pepper
2009-03-21, 07:56 PM
Parson is not The Tool. Stanley is.

Oslecamo
2009-03-21, 08:27 PM
Parson is not The Tool. Stanley is.

Thanks mate, that's what happens when I try to start a thread half-asleep.

Occasional Sage:Well, that's why I said it was a win-win situation for Stanely.

Scenario 1: Coalition doesn't pursue, I get to start new side in relative calm, hidden by my super foolamancer.

Scenario 2: Coalition sends forces to pursue, separating their leadership in half to get Stanley while the true Gobwin forces are still at the volcan, Hamster and the three magnificent mancers.

From all we've seen, the dwagons are good units, but they're just too easy to gank up with numbers and can't really go toe to toe with the enemy's finest. Also, dwagons are all but useless in tunnel fights, and Hamster plans suceeded thanks to intense tunnel usage.

However, with Vinnie out of the way, Ansom literally wasted his troops and his own life like candy, ending up killed in what was clearly a desesperate perfectly avoidable ambush. The coalition is now a disorganized horde wich can't make a proper organized attack to finish off Hamster before he pulls another combo. If Vinnie was still there he would probably have managed to prevent it or at least keep the coalition togheter for finishing off Hamster.

ishnar
2009-03-21, 09:40 PM
just because an action has a serendipitous result doesn't make the actor competent.

Occasional Sage
2009-03-21, 10:24 PM
Or his toolship is just damn lucky. But hey, that's also very important. It never hurts to be lucky.


Sure it's important. But while luck doesn't hurt, incompetence does. I need competence before luck becomes important to me. Stanley lacks the one but has the other; notice that he was beaten back to just his capitol and would have lost without the interference of an underling. You can call that "luck" too (since he brought her from FAQ) but a competent ruler would never have been in the position to NEED the luck in the first place.

Kreistor
2009-03-21, 11:56 PM
You don't go from piker to Ruler by being incompetent. You get there by recognizing opportunities, creating opportunities, and being careful not to get caught.

ONce on top, Stanley has relaxed and gotten lazy. He doesn't need to hide his cruelty. His delusions tell him that he doesn't need to be intelligent because the Titans have a plan that puts you on top. His incompetencies are recent. Underestimate his potential at your own risk.

ishnar
2009-03-22, 01:51 AM
You don't go from piker to Ruler by being incompetent. You get there by recognizing opportunities, creating opportunities, and being careful not to get caught.

ONce on top, Stanley has relaxed and gotten lazy. He doesn't need to hide his cruelty. His delusions tell him that he doesn't need to be intelligent because the Titans have a plan that puts you on top. His incompetencies are recent. Underestimate his potential at your own risk.

However, valid your point may be, it does not relate to the op. Stanley didn't leave to deliberately allow Parson to "do his thing" and then come riding back in a moment of triumph. Which is what the OP is attempting to say.

Stanley got off what he saw as a sinking ship and switched to a backup plan, just as Parson would. That was competence.

The rest of it--about Vinny, Ansom's advisor, leaving Ansom's side, etc..--was serendipity, not planning. Thus luck not competence. And it doesn't allow for how much more effective Parson would have been if he hadn't lost a complete flight of Dragons. They could have used the air defenses then killed off a large portion of the wounded with the dragons. Just as one thought.

btw, re-read the op


Hamster is a true solo comander that doesn't really need anyone counselling him,

Hamster has been counseled CONSTANTLY.

Kreistor
2009-03-22, 07:55 AM
However, valid your point may be, it does not relate to the op.


So, perhaps the Tool isn't as incopetent as we tought.

You may want to re-read the OP yourself. I consciously chose not to involve myself in the entire theory, choosing to debate only one part of it. This may force a re-think of the theory, resulting in an approach from a different direction, rather than a complete elimination of the theory. It is not necessary to debate all theories into non-existence, because some goals do not require such drastic results.

slayerx
2009-03-22, 12:45 PM
From all we've seen, the dwagons are good units, but they're just too easy to gank up with numbers and can't really go toe to toe with the enemy's finest. Also, dwagons are all but useless in tunnel fights, and Hamster plans suceeded thanks to intense tunnel usage.



no they are not easy to gank with numbers... the bats numbered in the hundreds and benefited from a serious number of bonuses... similar bonus may not apply in a fight above gobwinknob as coalition only had three warlords that could fly as opposed to 10 and a chief warlord... sure they have Ansom instead of Ceasar, but looking back at their plan of attacks, Ansom felt his leadership might be needed elsewhere leaving on the vinnie, jillian and possibly a few mounted warlords who could engage the dwagons... not to mention that vinnie was running low on bats himself

Second of all, While parson plans succeeded larger thanks to tunnel usage, his plans largely failed due to loosing the airspace to charlie... if Parson had the dwagons he would have been able to fight it out and possibly maintain control of Gobwinknob airspace instead of needed to pretty much surrender it to charlie... and it was the archons who prevented Parson from claiming the pliers and helped perform dance fighting for the infantry... he could have atleast worked down the archons numbers to the point that maggie could get rid of them and stop the dancing


not to mention that back at the failed pincer plan, Parson could have attacked Ansom's group with the dwagons he had making the doughnut... with only Ansom, Vinnie, Jillian and the archons, he might have been able to attack and finish them all... parson was insistent on needing to attack the next morning

Oslecamo
2009-03-22, 04:27 PM
Sure it's important. But while luck doesn't hurt, incompetence does. I need competence before luck becomes important to me. Stanley lacks the one but has the other; notice that he was beaten back to just his capitol and would have lost without the interference of an underling. You can call that "luck" too (since he brought her from FAQ) but a competent ruler would never have been in the position to NEED the luck in the first place.

Well, still, he somehow managed to make his underlings really loyal to him, wich shows competence or at least great leadership skills. The four mancers have indeed helped him a lot, but they had plenty of oportunities to turn tail and flee. Yet they've chosen time and time again to fight by Stanley.

Also, like said above, Stanley managed to rise from a single pikemen to a powerfull and feared comander.

Those things really don't fit very well with Stanley's current character but well, read below for a possible explanation.

Kreistor:That theory has indeed crossed my mind more than once. Stanley has grown decadent with power(I control an army of dwagons so I'm invincible MUAHAHAH). He managed to become a powerfull ruler and at the same time get unquestionable suport from his lackeys. Stanely surely did grandious thins on the past, otherwise they wouldn't follow him to their graves like they're doing now.

However, there may be more than it meets the eye. Where we see several cities lost, Stanley sees a arkentool being carried to him in a silver plate. Perhaps a titan tool is indeed more valuable than several cities.

And now that's been cornered against the wall, I believe Stanely will finally awake from his torpor and show what he's really worth.

ishnar:Where some people see coincidences, other see carefull planning. The greatest plans are composed of a series of small and big maneuvers. We still don't have the whole picture of what's hapening, and I believe as the story progresses we'll see that Stanley wasn't as dumb as we were led to believe in the first dozens of strips, and that there were reasons for his aparently idiotic decisions.


slayerx:The archons are basically Mary Sues as far as we've seen. Wanda and his dolls pwned Ansom in combat, and then the Archons kicked her ass like she was nothing. If Jillian and Vinny were there to further boost the archons togheter with Ansom then I believe not even Stanley and his dwagons would stand a chance in hell of winning. Tunnel fighting, where the archons don't seem to be able to teleport instantly and Sizemore is lord and king, was Hamster's only hope from the begining.

the_tick_rules
2009-03-22, 04:34 PM
It's hard to say. It drew away most of their air forces in turn but would their forces have been better used as defense? I'd say they would have been better off staying home. Stanley, while annoying and probably would have been yelling at Hamster the whole time, would have given huge bonuses to the troops. Plus imagine the possibilities parson could have had the foolmancer do. :smallamused:

slayerx
2009-03-22, 07:32 PM
Well, still, he somehow managed to make his underlings really loyal to him, wich shows competence or at least great leadership skills. The four mancers have indeed helped him a lot, but they had plenty of oportunities to turn tail and flee. Yet they've chosen time and time again to fight by Stanley.
Duty- forces units to not conspire against their lord aand to keep serving their leaders
Loyalty- can be effected by thinkamancy, and Stanely has a thinkamancer



ishnar:Where some people see coincidences, other see carefull planning. The greatest plans are composed of a series of small and big maneuvers. We still don't have the whole picture of what's hapening, and I believe as the story progresses we'll see that Stanley wasn't as dumb as we were led to believe in the first dozens of strips, and that there were reasons for his aparently idiotic decisions.

But we know it wasn't careful planning...
Stanely considered the city forfiet, he planned early on that if he could not win he would leave and escape the city... he did not know that anyone knew about faq aside from him and wanda, and as such he did not expect anyone to be able to follow him; between the foolamancer and no one knowing where he was going, no one could follow... and if the Ansom had no idea where Ansom ran to, would he really split off any of his forces when they have extremely little chance of finding him? unlikely; he would have pushed forward and attack the city with full force and then tracked down stanely afterward... the only reason he approved Jillian's mission was because she actually knew where Stanely was going




slayerx:The archons are basically Mary Sues as far as we've seen. Wanda and his dolls pwned Ansom in combat, and then the Archons kicked her ass like she was nothing. If Jillian and Vinny were there to further boost the archons togheter with Ansom then I believe not even Stanley and his dwagons would stand a chance in hell of winning. Tunnel fighting, where the archons don't seem to be able to teleport instantly and Sizemore is lord and king, was Hamster's only hope from the begining.
The archons would have to deal with enemy warlords on dwagons, and possibly stanely and parson himself who gives a major bonus between him and the hammer... furthermore, instead of using the defenses on generic air units, the air defenses would have been saved for the major air battle.

Hell if the archons are busy fighting for dominance over air space they would be in less of a position to attack wanda and stop her; not to mention that the dwagons would be able to pack her up and protect her from their attacks.

Even if the dwagons ultimately lost the battle the archon's numbers would have been reduced greatly. And with that reduction, Maggie could have used thinkamancy and scrolls on the remaining ones to keep them being able to help perform the dance fight... the reason why Parson did not have he use her own juice to attack them is because she did not have enough to take care of the dozens that were able to step in

there is even the possibility that charlie would come up with an alternate plan for getting parson, fore he felt that he could not so easily take the garrison with Stanely and the dwagons hovering over the airspace. He might have not offered to provide ansom more help; hell since Ansom would have still had his own force, he might have held back on calling in additional charlie troops, thinking that his own air units might have been enough; especially when he finds out that Hamster himself was the cost of the additional troops...

And if Charlie never took control of the airspace like he did and held back due to the dwagons, Ansom would not have been able to attack the uncroak like he did as the dwagons would be able to attack him and his own air units would not have been enough... in the end, the coalition might have been forced to wait extra turns which parson could take advantage of


All in all, the dwagons would have made things likely much better for Parson

Kreistor
2009-03-22, 09:40 PM
Kreistor:That theory has indeed crossed my mind more than once. [snip]

And now that's been cornered against the wall, I believe Stanely will finally awake from his torpor and show what he's really worth.

Possible, but it depends on the extent of his dementia. If he's too far gone, he'll see any success as proof of the correctness of his previous choices. It's not until they completely fall that they see that they have failed. Napoleon is a good example. After losing and exile to Elba, Nap0oleon does not give up, but instead returns to try again, finally losing at Waterloo.


Tunnel fighting, where the archons don't seem to be able to teleport instantly

Teleport instantly? I don't think I remember seeing that. Would you care to demonstrate your evidence for teleportation?

multilis
2009-03-22, 10:12 PM
Stanley running first destroyed Parson's chance to end it at donut of doom.

Secondly, it forced Parson to make deal with Charlie, which lead to Charlie's interest in Parson backed by *many* archons. An *interested* Charlie seems of a problem than a Vinnie.

IMO stanley may have helped in making situation so desperate that Parson was willing to try linking up the 3 casters to uncroak a volcano.

slayerx
2009-03-22, 11:11 PM
IMO stanley may have helped in making situation so desperate that Parson was willing to try linking up the 3 casters to uncroak a volcano.

Well, the very core of the thread is if Stanely did these things intentionally... Did he leave knowing that he would be splitting up Ansom's forces and thus making it easier for Gobwinknob, or did he bugger off not giving the fate of gobwinknob a single thought...

If it's the former, than Stanely could be seen as a better leader than we give him credit for... if its the later, then he was just watching out for his ass and any possible benefit that might have come from his leaving is purely coincidental and unintentional...

ishnar
2009-03-22, 11:23 PM
You may want to re-read the OP yourself. I consciously chose not to involve myself in the entire theory, choosing to debate only one part of it. This may force a re-think of the theory, resulting in an approach from a different direction, rather than a complete elimination of the theory. It is not necessary to debate all theories into non-existence, because some goals do not require such drastic results.

You can't quote a sentence beginning with "so" and leave all the preceding out. That's teetering close to a misquote. It's the stuff preceding "so" that I disagree with. The OP, as opposed to the title, doesn't just let the statment stand alone. He adds all this stuff about the oppositions actions and claims that the opposition's response justified Stanley's actions, but worse, attempts to make as if stanley projected the response and chose his action to evoke that response.


ishnar:Where some people see coincidences, other see carefull planning. The greatest plans are composed of a series of small and big maneuvers. We still don't have the whole picture of what's hapening, and I believe as the story progresses we'll see that Stanley wasn't as dumb as we were led to believe in the first dozens of strips, and that there were reasons for his aparently idiotic decisions.

But they are not justifying this argument with logic. Instead the argument is nothing but a logical fallacy.


this escape also meant that Vinnie was sent after him.
This is NOT something that Stanley could have planned.


The Tool ended up losing most of his dragons, but if he hadn't run away, it probably would have ended much worst.

If stanley had stayed, then his dragons would have benefited from the full backing of Efedup's air defenses. If stanley had stayed, then DON would not have committed a significant number of warlords to help. If Stanley had stayed. If stanley had stayed, then Charlie would still only have 3 Archon's helping the war effort. So wanda could have neutralized the DDR manuver. Ansome would not have been so easily saved at the wall and Wanda might have kept the pliers. If stanley had stayed, then parson would not have made the deal he did with charlie.

I dunno, I see a lot more complications than benefits. Lets not forget that Parson wants stanley back. Parson wouldn't want Stanley and his dragons back if he couldn't make use of them.


Vinnie and Ansom would have stayed togheter, and then they probably would have managed to outsmart Hamster, dwagons or no dwagons, specially when they would have Jillian dwagon-slayer backing them up.

Serendipity. Stanley didn't even know who Jillian is. He didn't know there would be someone that knew where he was going. So we can hardly claim that he did it to get Jillian to follow him. He was clearly working under the impression that Faq's location was still secret. He was running away to try to set up a new base. He was NOT running away in a bid to divide and conquer. Efed up was abandoned but allowed to remain for his own benefit. He did not run for the benefit of the ones left in Efedup.

Kreistor
2009-03-23, 10:11 AM
You can't quote a sentence beginning with "so" and leave all the preceding out.

Sure I can, since I did. I think what you're trying to say is that I "shouldn't". "Can't" means I am not capable of something. "Shouldn't" means that there are negative repercussions to what I did. You might want to bone up on "can't", "won't", and "shouldn't".


That's teetering close to a misquote.

No, since anyone that's interested can go to the post and read it in its entirety, and it is clear that I did manipulate the post by reducing it to a single sentence, so there is good reason for a reader to track down the entire post. It's a waste of bandwidth to quote everything in a post that is only a scroll away: I don't keep anything beyond the minimum, especailly on this forum where it breaks so often. I can only misquote if I respond to the quoted material on its own: that is, if I treat the quote without that missing context, then I would be misquoting in order to embarrass the author on something he does not believe.

In this case, the underlying assumption of the OP was that Stanley was incompetent. The sentence I quoted was merely a part of that belief: alone, it was without context in my post, but I treated it with the context the sentence originally had; consequently, there was no malice in my action.

(See? I treated you as if you had used the word "shouldn't" instead of "can't". You misquoted yourself, but I got the intent and treated it the way you wanted; at least, in the end I did. Precision in language is vital when debating on the internet.)


It's the stuff preceding "so" that I disagree with. The OP, as opposed to the title, doesn't just let the statment stand alone. He adds all this stuff about the oppositions actions and claims that the opposition's response justified Stanley's actions, but worse, attempts to make as if stanley projected the response and chose his action to evoke that response.

Let me get this straight: you're complaining that I didn't protest what you protested, so therefore I am off-topic?


But they are not justifying this argument with logic. Instead the argument is nothing but a logical fallacy.

And you think that your tactics in dealing with me have left you the respect necessary for me to accept that claim? Frankly, you aren't qualified to make the judgment above. And I am perfectly capable of determining what is logical, reasonable, or plausible without you making that decision for me. I will come to my own conclusion. If your case is solid, you don't need to tell me what those conclusions should be.

-----------

Now that's how you take something out of context. It looks like that final response I quoted was intended for me, doesn't it? No, Ishnar was replying to Oslecamo. My points, though, are still reasonable, since they are generally applicable (if they are a little extreme, I apologize to Ishnar... I did this as an example). Whatever I responded to, none of what I said is technically false. But Ishnar's quote, without the context of Oslecamo's quote, looks aggressive and unjustifiable. It seems to flow out of the previous message to me, to be a continuation of Ishnar's train of thought, so you might not question the quote: there's no appearance of a context change to inspire investigation. That's the message to our readers. Always question the tactics of those that are posting. It is so easy to manipulate the intent of others, without even manipulating the words themselves. All I did was hit "Quote". I didn't remove the context, the forum's system did, as it always does to reduce bandwidth (it won't quote quotes for you). That's part of the problem with replying to multiple people in the same post. When someone quotes you in response, they get everything you write, not just the parts intended for that person. Anyway, just a lesson in internet forum debating, folks.

SteveMB
2009-03-23, 11:35 AM
You don't go from piker to Ruler by being incompetent. You get there by recognizing opportunities, creating opportunities, and being careful not to get caught.

ONce on top, Stanley has relaxed and gotten lazy. He doesn't need to hide his cruelty. His delusions tell him that he doesn't need to be intelligent because the Titans have a plan that puts you on top. His incompetencies are recent. Underestimate his potential at your own risk.

"Incompetent" is a relative term (specifically, relative to the demands on you). Stanley could be a classic case of the Peter Principle, and rose from competence as a soldier and as a warlord to incompetence as an overlord.

The Minx
2009-03-23, 11:54 AM
So, perhaps the Tool isn't as incopetent as we tought. Stupid? Arrogant? Impetous? Yes. But not exactly incopetent.

He did Parson a good turn by getting out from underfoot, at any rate. :smallsmile:



You don't go from piker to Ruler by being incompetent. You get there by recognizing opportunities, creating opportunities, and being careful not to get caught.

ONce on top, Stanley has relaxed and gotten lazy. He doesn't need to hide his cruelty. His delusions tell him that he doesn't need to be intelligent because the Titans have a plan that puts you on top. His incompetencies are recent. Underestimate his potential at your own risk.

Peter principle: "In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence." Stanley was probably an awesome a combat-Warlord. But his style means he sucks as a strategist and an Overlord. All charisma, glorious charges and powerful combat abilities and so on make for a good warrior in the field, but for strategy, you need a different skill set. So yes, in his current position, he's incompetent. Parson might be incompetent too if he had to lead from the front... it's funny, but they'd probably make a formidable team if their roles were reversed.

Kreistor
2009-03-23, 05:35 PM
"Incompetent" is a relative term (specifically, relative to the demands on you). Stanley could be a classic case of the Peter Principle, and rose from competence as a soldier and as a warlord to incompetence as an overlord.

That could be true; however, Wanda tells us that the problems didn't start with his rule, but with the direction of his rule. Stanley began losing when he started hunting Arkentools Page 5.6 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0005.html). Stanley was competent as a ruler before, but his problems began with his conviction that he had a particular destiny. This implies it is his megalomania that made him appear incompetent, and that is not consistent with the Peter Principle.

At worst, King Saline IV had accepted Stanley as Chief Warlord, and had enough confidence in him there that Stanley was made heir. He was at least competent to lead armies. We know from the early comic that the Ruler can run turns: Parson doesn't run one until his second full day in Erfworld, and even then, Stanley was planning on running that one, Things may have gone differently if Stanley had payed closer attention to the choices of his Chief Warlords, but if you go back to my previous statements, the delusion of destiny inspires the lack of need for intelligent choices. Detsiny cannot be avoided, so you don't need to pay attention to things you don't want to.

If Parson succeeds, Stanley may get the evidence he needs to put PAID on that bill. He can safely ignore Parson and continue with his own tasks. Ironically, this delusion works when you actually have an overcompetent Chief Warlord. And with the training wheels off, Parson runs rampant across Erfworld. Stanley may actually become increasingly incompetent, but it will be irrelevant, since Parson will win for him anyway. Of course, if old Stanley sits up and pokes himself, Stanley may return to competency and actually make Parson's chances a whole lot better.

dr pepper
2009-03-23, 06:03 PM
Ok, time for a new theory:

Stanley's obsession is the result of a planted suggestion from Charlie. Maggie did not detect it because 1) She spent most of her waking hours in the link and 2) Stanley once ordered to stay out of his head.

Why did Charlie do it? Breaking down an 11 city empire creates a lot of work for mercenaries. So does the aftermath when the coalition breaks up and the now separate sides fight over the spoils.

Oslecamo
2009-03-24, 09:01 AM
That could be true; however, Wanda tells us that the problems didn't start with his rule, but with the direction of his rule. Stanley began losing when he started hunting Arkentools Page 5.6 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0005.html). Stanley was competent as a ruler before, but his problems began with his conviction that he had a particular destiny. This implies it is his megalomania that made him appear incompetent, and that is not consistent with the Peter Principle.


Hmm, this leads me to an old theory I had tought off but had forgoten.

Parson isn't really that incopetent, it's the rest of the world that's conspiring against him.

We have a piker who binds himself to an Arkhentool. And then becomes an overlord. And then proceeds to get himself a powerfull 11 empire city.

Royal Ansom can't have any of that! He uses his sick charisma to rise up a coalition against Big Evil Bastard Stanley and crush his empire before it gets too strong.

At the same time, Stanley's luck runs out. His warlords are killed one after the other in a series of unpredictable incidents. We see that the last one in particular is one shoted by a lucky bolt due to a axemen squad wich is only there because the Marbits found a titan ruby out of nowhere.

And like dr pepper sugested, Charlie could probably be pulling strings in the back scenes all this time! He implants visions of grandeur in Stanley, making him do some stupid decisions wich cost him dearly. He makes Stanley put his thinkmancer working on the map thingy so she can't detect the mind manipulation.

So Charlie gets to make a fat profit while probably geting several pieces of nice loot.

The Rose Dragon
2009-03-24, 11:39 AM
Parson isn't really that incopetent, it's the rest of the world that's conspiring against him.

Well, Parson seems to be doing great so far considering how little he knows what he can do and the resources he's been given.

He also has Ruthlessness now, so he's gonna be even scarier, is my bet.

Kreistor
2009-03-24, 12:02 PM
Parson isn't really that incopetent, it's the rest of the world that's conspiring against him.

Obviously, you mean Stanley, not Parson.

That's actually told to us in the comic. In Klog 10 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0088.html), Parson tells us that Royalty like to gang up on any non-Royal that gets too powerful. With an Arkentool, a side, and a fleet of dwagons, Stanley was certainly that. Jillian tells us on Page 83.4 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html) that Stanley had pissed off a lot of sides, so he was throwing his weight around. That's enough to make the Royalty thing kick into gear.

But I'll give odds that Stanley pissed off Ansom himself, somehow. Stanley doesn't seem to know exactly why, or at least doesn't feel it was important. If so, we'll never know how far he could have gone before the Royals deemed him too powerful. Note that Charlie bears many of the same features of Stanley -- Arkentool, own side, unique units (Archons). It's not enough to go after him, though.


His warlords are killed one after the other in a series of unpredictable incidents.

Why "unpredictable accidents"? That's hardly necessary. They died because they fought in war, and it seems that warlords lead from the vulnerable front in Erfworld. Attrition amongst the leadership has always been high, in fair fights.


And like dr pepper sugested, Charlie could probably be pulling strings in the back scenes all this time!

Again, hardly necessary. There is no shortage of wafare in Erfworld. Jillian lives by it without manipulating sides. And Stanley was ambitious from the time he advanced from Piker, or at least it seems that way. He was at least ambitious when he (probably) stole Saline's throne. That sort of ambition doesn't go away, so what does Charlie need to do in order to get Stanley attacking his neighbours? Diddly squat. Why risk Stanley's ire when he's already doing what you want him to do? Charlie doesn't take risks unless he has to... any conspiracy involves risk, because it involves other people that can be turned against you, become an enemy, or get magically interrogated.

Xondoure
2009-03-24, 12:06 PM
Well, still, he somehow managed to make his underlings really loyal to him, wich shows competence or at least great leadership skills. The four mancers have indeed helped him a lot, but they had plenty of oportunities to turn tail and flee. Yet they've chosen time and time again to fight by Stanley.

They are forced to believe in their leader by the laws of erfworld. they don't have a choice.

Oslecamo
2009-03-24, 02:35 PM
Well, Parson seems to be doing great so far considering how little he knows what he can do and the resources he's been given.


I'm sorry, I meant Stanley back there. Parson has indeed been doing a fantastic job with the resources he has.

Kreistor:In case you forgot, Charlie made deals with Hamster behind the Coalition's view. Doing business with the guy you're being hired to destroy it's conspiracy as far as I remember.

Charlie purposely rised his prices to stop Vinnie from being able to hire him, wich meant the vampire team hadn't enough firepower to take down Stanley once and for all, wich translated into a lot more bloodshed, and a lot more profit for Charlie.

And then Ansom asks for his help again when he's surrounded by the uncroacked, and Charlie presents him with a outrageous deal. Followed by not moving a finger when Charlie walks to his Bog-rolled doom. Yep, a really trustworthy guy.

Charlie is the strongest thinkmancer in the whole Efworld as far as we know, and he seems to live in some hidden fortress in a really inacessible place. He can mess with people a lot whitout fear of repercussion, because nobody knows where he lives, so he can't be ganked. And even if they knew, good luck defeating the mary sure archon airforce wich can pretty much do anything, including attacking your capital city and razing it down before you can cry for help. You don't want to make Charlike angry no matter what.

EDIT- I picture it goes something like this:

Random faction leader:Charlie is a m********* conspirator that's taking...
Archons pop in, disintrigate random faction leader, then wave their hands
Archons:Charlie is a very nice trustworthy guy.
Viewers: Yes, Charlie is a very nice trustworthy guy...drooollll...
Archons pop out


Xondoure:Units can betray their leaders. Saline was betrayed by the hobgobwins. And people believe Stanley also betrayed Saline. Specially captured units like Wanda.

Kreistor
2009-03-24, 06:19 PM
Kreistor:[/B]In case you forgot, Charlie made deals with Hamster behind the Coalition's view. Doing business with the guy you're being hired to destroy it's conspiracy as far as I remember.

I didn't forget. But did you forget why Charlie wouldn't turn against the RCC? Charlie doesn't take risks that might reveal treachery. All Charlie did for Parson was set his price too high. There's nothing in that for the RCC to suspect, since he's a merc and they always think his price is too high: it's part of negotiating to claim the other side is too expensive. It's unprovable that Charlie was doing this to not get hired: he may have felt that RCC's need was simply higher than it appeared.

What you're trying to demonstrate is an aggressive Charlie, who risks everything to hide that aggression. I cannot agree with that interpretation, not without solid, irrefutable evidence. Such a plan ultimately can not succeed: no one can hide behind lies forever. Charlie knows that, and that is why he is unwilling to actually help Parson through any kind of action. Inaction that results in increased chances of being hired? That's just mercenary.


Charlie purposely rised his prices to stop Vinnie from being able to hire him, wich meant the vampire team hadn't enough firepower to take down Stanley once and for all, wich translated into a lot more bloodshed, and a lot more profit for Charlie.

Charlie, however, didn't know that. He was not privy to how much firepower either side had. Even then, it was such a close run thing. How could Charlie have known that Jillian would awaken Jack, which was vital to Stanley's survival? You're setting this out as if that result was intended by Charlie, but no one could predict that outcome without full disclosure of their past, and knowledge they would encounter one another. Basically, you need to prove omniscience.


And then Ansom asks for his help again when he's surrounded by the uncroacked, and Charlie presents him with a outrageous deal. Followed by not moving a finger when Charlie walks to his Bog-rolled doom. Yep, a really trustworthy guy.

Charlie's Archons do not have Charlie's knowledge. Charlie didn't prevent Ansom's death because Charlie is some large number of hexes away and can't tell what's happening so he can't choose to interfere. Note that it is the Archons that decide whether to tell Ansom about the veil, not Charlie: there is no discussion of Charlie at all. They have a contract, and they obey the contract, not Charlie's whim. If Charlie's whim was responsible for their actions, Jaclyn could not have told Jillian about the lack of a mind affecting spell on Wanda: if Charlie had made that choice, the Archons would blame Charlie for telling Jillian, not Jaclyn. The Archons have free will: claiming that their actions are Charlie's actions is quite a reach.


Charlie is the strongest thinkmancer in the whole Efworld as far as we know,

Not exactly. He has greater mastery over Thinkamancy tahn a Master Thinkamancer, thanks to his Arkentool. That does not automatically mean he is a Thinkamancer as well, though it could. It's a subtle difference, but what it means is that if Charlie is not a Thinkamancer, then he has access to powerful Thinkamancy-like abilities, but without the full suite or insight of a true Thinkamancer. He can do specific, powerful things extremely well, but he might not be able to form a link, for instance. What exactly he can do is up in the air, yet. Think of this type of ability as a 300 lb baby with a big hammer vs a 115 lb adult with a rapier. The baby can hit really really hard, but without finesse. The adult can do many things with elegance and flair, but lacking the raw power of the baby. Which has mastery? The baby, because if they ever come to a fight, the baby is going to kick butt. But it still isn't capable of doing more than hitting hard.


and he seems to live in some hidden fortress in a really inacessible place. He can mess with people a lot whitout fear of repercussion, because nobody knows where he lives, so he can't be ganked. And even if they knew, good luck defeating the mary sure archon airforce wich can pretty much do anything, including attacking your capital city and razing it down before you can cry for help. You don't want to make Charlike angry no matter what.

Really? All that power, and he is just a merc? Seriously, no. if he was that powerful, he would not be pretending to merc status.

First, we do not know for certain that the Archons can teleport. Parson rises to find them in airspace already: we do not see a scene with no archons, then poof and lots of archons. The "Ta da" sound effect does not automatically mean a spell effect went off. Frhter, we do not know that it was teleportation. IT could have been summoning. There were Archons in that area. They may have summoned others to themselves, in which case the ability cannot be used as an offensive weapon in the way you present. With a summoning, the Archons can only be brought to wher other Archons have already gotten to. That means they aren't going to be popping all over the world whenever they want. One of them still has to fly to the destination first, and if that destination is armed against them, going alone is suicide.

Further, we have not seen the Archons face serious offense yet. They are casters (is anyone out there still going to argue they aren't at this point?). Typically casters are very soft, so they may be extremely vulnerable. We've seen archons kill wounded dwagons, but we've seen Jillian kill unwounded dwagons. 30 Archons might take the garrison of 1000 infantry (in the same way I would hope 30 dwagons would stomp 1000 infantry), thanks to their long range attacks keeping them out of harms way (in the dwagons case, their thick hide prevents most damage and high HP hopefully allows each to kill 33), but you have to consider that GK has precious few archers. A prepared army, knowing of the Archons, would ensure archers were available, and that would put paid to the Archons. War is, often, a matter of rock, paper, scissors: in games, the RPS game is often increased in effect, though often obscured through myriad stats. (If you've played RTS's, these are all about RPS. One unit is strong against another, but weak against a third, average against a fourth, slaughters a fifth, and dies horribly to a sixth. That's RPS at work.) There is something that will kill Archons, and it is just a matter of figuring out what it is. Being monotonic units (that is, seemingly with identical strengths and weaknesses), placing all your hopes on scissors when the enemy has rock, paper, and scissors is a bad choice.

Besides, if the Arkentools are reasonably balanced as they should be in a good game, the Archons are going to be on par with the dwagons. 60 dwagons did not give Stanley an automatic victory over the world. That means Charlie's 30 (minimum) Archons could not do what the dwagons couldn't.


EDIT- I picture it goes something like this:

Random faction leader:Charlie is a m********* conspirator that's taking...
Archons pop in, disintrigate random faction leader, then wave their hands
Archons:Charlie is a very nice trustworthy guy.
Viewers: Yes, Charlie is a very nice trustworthy guy...drooollll...
Archons pop out

First, we have only seen Charlie hack into the Eyebooks. Given the nature of his Arkentool as a communication device, peering into wireless communications makes a whole heap of thematic sense. (A satellite dish is, after all, a radio receiver, and wireless comms are radio signals. By thematic similarity, the Eyebooks are "radio" devices, and the Arkendish a "radio" receiver. No surprise if it hacks the Eyebooks, then?) Being able to remotely view any conversation anywhere, anytime, in any meidum (sound being a different medium from radio)? That cannot be justified by extension, either thematically or by game balance with other tools (no other arkentool has such awesome power, so if the Dish can, it's far more powerful, breaking game balance). It's simply too much power compared to the Arkenhammer. It isn't the Arkensatellite, after all.

You are giving Charlie powers unproven in order to make him godlike. I do not believe that was ever the intention of the author. Charlie is afraid for his position, in ways Stanley should have been. He doesn't want to piss off the Royals to inspire their "Royalty only" clause. Fear indicates weakness. Charlie has fear, so he must not be as powerful as you claim.

Besides, if the Archons could do this type of teleportation, they would have popped right onto Parson and kidnapped him, instead of offering the net. They didn't, ergo they can not. Something is wrong with your assumptions as to what they can do. I know what I think they can't do...


Xondoure:Units can betray their leaders. Saline was betrayed by the hobgobwins. And people believe Stanley also betrayed Saline. Specially captured units like Wanda.

Hobgowins were natural allies, not Saline's own units. It means that they were easy to get to sign into his alliances, but normally they would be their own side. That means they have loyalty to themselves, not their allies. Allies can disagree, protest, and change their minds, as seen when the Sofa King commander tries to leave the RCC. In other words, they have Obedience to your orders (which is how Ansom forces Sofa King to continue fighting for him... apparently you can't break alliance until the end of a turn, or Sofa King would have been gone), but Loyalty and Duty are to their own Ruler and side. All it takes for the Hobgowins to hit Saline is for there to be no alliance for one turn.

slayerx
2009-03-24, 09:30 PM
Kreistor:[/B]In case you forgot, Charlie made deals with Hamster behind the Coalition's view. Doing business with the guy you're being hired to destroy it's conspiracy as far as I remember.


Charlie is a true businessman/lawyer... he knows the rules well enough to know how to find loopholes around them without ever breaking them, and he knows how to exploit his position without doing anything wrong in a legal sense

Charlie is a merc, he can set whatever prices he see's fit... while he is under contract he will not break that contract and will abide by it to it's full extent... however if the contract is ever canceled he is then free to do whatever the hell he wants including jacking up his prices to fit the changing circumstances, or making deals with opposing sides... it's all within the rules

in otherwords, so long as you have him under contract and KEEP him under contract, then he will fight as hard as for what you payed for... and it would also help to hire a very shrewed lawyer



Followed by not moving a finger when Charlie walks to his Bog-rolled doom. Yep, a really trustworthy guy.


This however assumes they were actually capable of helping ansom in such a position... had Ansom payed for the magical security though, they would have warned him about the veil; as they pointed out



Charlie is the strongest thinkmancer in the whole Efworld as far as we know, and he seems to live in some hidden fortress in a really inacessible place. He can mess with people a lot whitout fear of repercussion, because nobody knows where he lives, so he can't be ganked. And even if they knew, good luck defeating the mary sure archon airforce wich can pretty much do anything, including attacking your capital city and razing it down before you can cry for help. You don't want to make Charlike angry no matter what.

first, from what i recall i don't think it's ever been said that no one knows where charlie lives...

Second, just take a look at how many archons charlie need to to take GK's Garrison... But we must consider that Gk had basically no air force and had used most of their air defenses, which i think means mainly only long range units can attack the archons; afterall they attack from the air from long range and as such don't come near the melee units... and finally those were the number of archons needed to take the garrison BEFORE Parson uncroaked over 2,000 additional troops... Parson made have had those archons outnumbered, but very few of his troops could be considered as powerful, and very few could fight them; this is part of why the dwagons were such a huge loss for him as they are some of the few units that could measure up to the archons AND fight them

tomaO2
2009-03-25, 02:05 AM
I had a somewhat lengthy post that argued in favor of Stanley not leaving when I suddenly realized that I was dead wrong.

The reason I was wrong is simple. You guys are missing the single, most crucial factor in Parson's upcoming win. The volcano.

If Stanley hadn't left, he wouldn't have had the link broken.

No broken link, no chance to form a new link to uncroak the volcano. No volcano and the chances of a win go way down. Maybe it could have been done but if Parson really WAS trapped in his " no win" scenario, then it's unlikely.

Oslecamo
2009-03-25, 02:25 AM
in otherwords, so long as you have him under contract and KEEP him under contract, then he will fight as hard as for what you payed for... and it would also help to hire a very shrewed lawyer


Wich is basically saying that Charlie isn't trustworthy, since he will twist your contract at first possible oportunity to benefit himself whitout really caring if you end up crushed by the twoll you were "suposed" to stop or not.

Like making a new contract full of new evil clauses when the other guy is desesperate. That isn't just oportunism, that's being a greedy jackass, specially when those conditions don't include the "magical protection".



Second, just take a look at how many archons charlie need to to take GK's Garrison... But we must consider that Gk had basically no air force and had used most of their air defenses, which i think means mainly only long range units can attack the archons; afterall they attack from the air from long range and as such don't come near the melee units... and finally those were the number of archons needed to take the garrison BEFORE Parson uncroaked over 2,000 additional troops... Parson made have had those archons outnumbered, but very few of his troops could be considered as powerful, and very few could fight them; this is part of why the dwagons were such a huge loss for him as they are some of the few units that could measure up to the archons AND fight them

You're forgeting something very important here:

Combat is bilateral in Efworld-if they attack you, you can attack them back. The dwagons suffered heavy wounds from ground troops while attacking the siege, despite having their long range breath weapons. Air units can keep themselves safe in the air by not attacking against nonfliers and nonarchers, but well, if Charlie wanted to attack Gobwin Knob, he would need to drop his Archons to the ground level where they would be zerged by the uncroacked.

Similarly, since the archons were in air space, they were completely unable to shoot down the troops in the grounds, despite clearly having ranged attacks. Hamster doesn't finish off Wanda because it would mean geting in range of the hard rock golems, and the Archons explicity say they're unable to help him in the ground battle before they can change zones again.

Hamster couldn't go after Charlie in the air, but should Charlie attack Gobwin Knob directly, Hamster would be able to fight back with all his units.

slayerx
2009-03-25, 11:05 AM
Wich is basically saying that Charlie isn't trustworthy, since he will twist your contract at first possible oportunity to benefit himself whitout really caring if you end up crushed by the twoll you were "suposed" to stop or not.


Charlie followed his contract to the letter...
Ansom's the one who broke off the contract...
Charlie's contracts seem to be air tight; it would be bad for business if people found out he was leaving in loopholes... the only time charlie exploits his position is in between contracts... hell, that's the reason why charlie doesn't switch sides while under contract; untrustworthiness is bad for business

And again, with bogroll, that ASSUMES there was something the archons were able to do to protect Ansom... so far the only thing we know they could have done was warn him, but Ansom didn't pay for the magical protection... no one seems to be blaming the archons for not saving Ansom which seems to indicate that they could not



Like making a new contract full of new evil clauses when the other guy is desesperate. That isn't just oportunism, that's being a greedy jackass, specially when those conditions don't include the "magical protection".

New clauses which Charlie informed Ansom about before he signed... exploiting your position is practically the definition of opportunism... Its all within the rules, Ansom had the full right to not accept the offer. And fact of the matter is, he never asked for magical protection... Ansom's fault he did not want to pay for the add ons



You're forgeting something very important here:

Combat is bilateral in Efworld-if they attack you, you can attack them back. The dwagons suffered heavy wounds from ground troops while attacking the siege, despite having their long range breath weapons. Air units can keep themselves safe in the air by not attacking against nonfliers and nonarchers, but well, if Charlie wanted to attack Gobwin Knob, he would need to drop his Archons to the ground level where they would be zerged by the uncroacked.

Similarly, since the archons were in air space, they were completely unable to shoot down the troops in the grounds, despite clearly having ranged attacks. Hamster doesn't finish off Wanda because it would mean geting in range of the hard rock golems, and the Archons explicity say they're unable to help him in the ground battle before they can change zones again.

Hamster couldn't go after Charlie in the air, but should Charlie attack Gobwin Knob directly, Hamster would be able to fight back with all his units.
First off we have already seen exceptions to "if you are attacked you can attack"... for example when over forests a flying unit can ONLY be attacked by other flying units and forest units; you don't fit that then you are a sitting duck

If you look back to the dwagon attack, while some of the dwagons remained in the air, a number of them went down to ground level to use melee attacks which made them vulnarable to other melee attacks; furtharmore, we can see that there were some long range units in the seige

Kreistor
2009-03-25, 11:56 AM
No broken link, no chance to form a new link to uncroak the volcano. No volcano and the chances of a win go way down. Maybe it could have been done but if Parson really WAS trapped in his " no win" scenario, then it's unlikely.

That's vital to the plot, but there's no evidence that Stanley predicted the need for Maggie to be freed up to form a new link.


Wich is basically saying that Charlie isn't trustworthy, since he will twist your contract at first possible oportunity to benefit himself whitout really caring if you end up crushed by the twoll you were "suposed" to stop or not.

Well, all mercenaries are not trustworthy. so that's like pointing out that sharpened steel cuts things. Mercenaries are trustworthy based on their own moral values. No morals means zero trustworthiness.

But where is Charlie on that scale? We don't know how much Natural Thikamancy affects allies -- Obedience, Loyalty, and Duty are the important aspects. Personally, I highly doubt alliance causes any more than Obedience to come into play, so Loyalty remains to your own side and Duty to your Ruler. But it's possible Obedience only goes so far as the same type of obedience a soldier in our world would have. Just don't know. If tehre are Natural Thinkamancies at play in an alliance, then you can trust your ally more than in our world.

But we do know some things about Charlie. He does not consider switching side because it would affect his reputation. What you are suggesting is that Charlie will screw anyone he can get away with, and that runs counter to his reputation concerns. Doing something like that, and being obviously responsible, hurts your reputation, and lowers your value. You become untrustworthy and get fewer jobs. The jobs become higher risk -- the things you don't want to lose trustworthy soldiers for. This runs very much counter to a business of hiring out mercs.

Mercs are generally untrustworthy because if they see the opportunity to become rich in an instant, they'll take it. During the middle ages, knights wandered Europe going from war to war selling their services, not as a business, but as small bands (really good idea for starting an RPG campaign, BTW... the band usually had a Knight, squire, two crossbowmen, and one or more other specialists... in an RPG, a priest of a war god would work). Small bands can get instantaneuosly rich and leave the career. A business cannot. Charlie appears to be running a long term merc business with a lot of employees. It is much harder for a large company to get rich than a small band, and if it takes that one shot betrayal to get rich, there is no more work for the future. Charlie is running a nation, and nations need to retain long term reputation. So in that, Charlie would have a higher level of trust than those old bands, or regiments.

That's why Charlie needs that reputation. He knows 100000 Schmuckers here will cost him 2 million later. He'll pass on the get-rich-quick scheme in favour of the long term employment contract.

And, please note my earlier responses. You are still referring to events that are yet unproven. You haven't even attempted to justify how Charlie was responsible for the Archons choosing not to tell Ansom about the veil, when Jaclyn told Jillian about the lack of a spell on Wanda without orders from Charlie. How can he be responsible for literal translation of a contract, when his archons can choose to operate outside the bounds of their contract?

ishnar
2009-03-25, 11:21 PM
Sure I can, since I did. I think what you're trying to say is that I "shouldn't". "Can't" means I am not capable of something. "Shouldn't" means that there are negative repercussions to what I did. You might want to bone up on "can't", "won't", and "shouldn't".

I'm quite familiar with the nuances. But, since you wanted to be pedantic about this. First of all, there are no negative repercussions, so by your own statement, why would I say shouldn't, or were you expecting me to track you down to your house and hit you with a bat? Let me put your mind at ease, I have no intentions of inflicting some negative repercussions on you, nor do I expect some negative repercussion to automatically manifest without my assistance.

The use of the word(s) can't goes beyond simply "capable of doing" it also can include "capable of doing under certain conditions" or "capable of doing and achieving a given result." Those conditions may be implied or the result could be implied, and doesn't need to be stated if the context is clear enough. If someone has his right hand tied to his left foot and I tell him, "You can't run a seven minute mile" when said person is perfectly capable of doing so--under normal conditions--that doesn't make my statement any less true. Especially if, in the context of the conversation, the runner is fully aware, or should be aware, that I'm referring to his bound state.

Thus, to make the entire phrase more explicit, "You can't quote a sentence beginning with "so" and leave all the preceding out without cluttering your arguments in fallacy.


I can only misquote if I respond to the quoted material on its own: that is, if I treat the quote without that missing context, then I would be misquoting in order to embarrass the author on something he does not believe.

If you misquoted, motivations are irrelevant. It doesn't matter why you misquoted, misquote is a term of result not motivation. I said it was teetering on being a misquote, because I could make an argument for it being one, as opposed to one that requires no argument.



In this case, the underlying assumption of the OP was that Stanley was incompetent. The sentence I quoted was merely a part of that belief: alone, it was without context in my post, but I treated it with the context the sentence originally had; consequently, there was no malice in my action.

(See? I treated you as if you had used the word "shouldn't" instead of "can't". You misquoted yourself, but I got the intent and treated it the way you wanted; at least, in the end I did. Precision in language is vital when debating on the internet.)

Yes, and that is why you shouldn't misquote me by assuming I meant shouldn't when I clearly used can't. I did not feel you treeted my quote within the context, otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned it. As I said before, misquoting does not reflect malice, the fact that you inexplicably presume it does, and the pedantic nature of your response however does reflect a degree of negative emotions, misguided I might add. I thought this was discussion was going along rather well.

Generally in life, people's presumptions of other's motivations reveals more about themselves than the other's.


Let me get this straight: you're complaining that I didn't protest what you protested, so therefore I am off-topic?

I said this "The OP, as opposed to the title, doesn't just let the statment stand alone. He adds all this stuff about the oppositions actions" And I detailed in the rest of the post, starting with "This is NOT" addressing the specific points I had issue.



No, Ishnar was replying to Oslecamo.

Gah, sorry Oslecamo, I try to watch the loss of nested quotes, but they still escape me sometimes.

gah, for some reason nearly every post in this thread is wall of text.

Oslecamo
2009-03-26, 02:45 AM
Well, all mercenaries are not trustworthy. so that's like pointing out that sharpened steel cuts things. Mercenaries are trustworthy based on their own moral values. No morals means zero trustworthiness.


Here's the error on your logic. The only mercenaries who suceed in long term careers are the ones who prove unquestionable trustworthiness. The best ones would rather die fulfilling their contracts than retreat from an hopeless situation. It stays great in the curriculum.

If you or your soldiers start to twist the contract it will profit you now, but when the word gets out, few people will want to hire you, because they know you can't be trusted.

And it doesn't really matter if it's you or your minions who do the twisting. A leader is responsible for his lackeys. If the archons make their own interpretations and Charlie let's them get away with that, then it's Charlie's responsability and fault.

Of course, the catch here is that since Ansom is dead and the coalition will probably be obliterated there won't be anyone left to tell of Charlie's manipulation.

And like Charlie said, he really wants that mathmancy artifact, enough to try to take the city of Gobwin Knob on his own while risking his precious archons.

Charlie probably has bigger plans than being a mercenary for all his life. This war is a great oportunity for him. Most of the big sides have been severly weakened, leaving a ripe oportunity for Charlie to start building his own empire.

Kreistor
2009-03-26, 03:45 AM
Thus, to make the entire phrase more explicit, "You can't quote a sentence beginning with "so" and leave all the preceding out without cluttering your arguments in fallacy.

Which is true if, and only if, the removed context is inaccessible to the reader. It's there, so the context is not gone, only a little harder to get to than if it had been completely re-quoted.

Your quoting rants only apply in a pen and paper discussion. Here on a forum, nothing is lost unless someone goes back and deletes the material I didn't quote, in which case the forum tracks the date of the edit and I can show that it has changed since I replied.

Really, catch up to the electronic age. It's really quite powerful.


If you misquoted, motivations are irrelevant.

But I didn't, since all your context still exists for the interested reader. So why are you arguing?

Look, by your own argument, breaking up my post into bits and pieces spoils the flow of my argument, and changes the context. By breaking it up in the way you have, you are guilty of the same misquote, even if you quote every word from my post.

It's just not a true argument. Someone that wants to see it all in context just has to scroll back and read the original. Context is not lost, and if someone really does try to respond to a contextless quote, you can catch them in the lie. I've done it myself, and I've called out participants in arguments I was not involved with for violating that. It just doesn't work against a good online debater, so stop getting so caught up in what might happen. Learn how to deal with it elegantly, and you'll be so much more powerful as a debater. Arguing over debating rules loses you readers.


Yes, and that is why you shouldn't misquote me by assuming I meant shouldn't when I clearly used can't.

You still haven't proven that version of "can't" is applicable in an online, electronic medium. I'll give you P&P and verbal, but the ease of access to the quoted material on a forum ensures that malicious context removal is easily caught and dealt with. Even by third parties. (Like I said, I've done that.)


I did not feel you treeted my quote within the context, otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned it.

The "can't" vs. "shouldn't" quote? Meh... Like I said, I treated it the way it should have been, as "shouldn't". If multiple interpretations were possible, then that's your mistake for allowing multiple valid interpretations, not mine for responding to the one you didn't intend, especially when your intended meaning for "can't" can only apply where the quoted material is inaccessible to the reader.

But the original quote you began with was not yours to interpret as out-of-context, since it was the OP's words, not yours.

Done with this, unless you get back on topic. I will not stop snipping unnecessary quoted words, because this forum already has horrible bandwidth issues, and the context is still there in the thread history to be read if the reader suspects manipulation.

tomaO2
2009-03-26, 04:04 AM
That's vital to the plot, but there's no evidence that Stanley predicted the need for Maggie to be freed up to form a new link.


But that wasn't the question. Debating Stanley's intelligence is beside the point. All we are here to determine is if the act of Stanley running away helped or hurt Parson's chances to defend Gobwin Knob.

Given how vital breaking the old link was to Parson's success, I think the answer is clearly "yes".

tomaO2
2009-03-26, 04:06 AM
That's vital to the plot, but there's no evidence that Stanley predicted the need for Maggie to be freed up to form a new link.


But that wasn't the question. Debating Stanley's intelligence is beside the point. This thread was created to determine if the act of Stanley running away helped or hurt Parson's chances to defend Gobwin Knob.

Given how vital breaking the old link was to Parson's success, I think the answer is clearly "yes".

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-26, 08:31 AM
Hmm, this leads me to an old theory I had tought off but had forgoten.

Parson [Edit by BJBB: Stanley, I think you mean] isn't really that incopetent, it's the rest of the world that's conspiring against him.

We have a piker who binds himself to an Arkhentool. And then becomes an overlord. And then proceeds to get himself a powerfull 11 empire city.

Royal Ansom can't have any of that! He uses his sick charisma to rise up a coalition against Big Evil Bastard Stanley and crush his empire before it gets too strong.

At the same time, Stanley's luck runs out. His warlords are killed one after the other in a series of unpredictable incidents. We see that the last one in particular is one shoted by a lucky bolt due to a axemen squad wich is only there because the Marbits found a titan ruby out of nowhere.I agree with this, for the most part. Stanley is a non-royal, and we see from the klogs that the royals like to gang up on non-royals.

Stanley is a very poor strategist, and has some unappealing personality facets, but that is all that is a negative for him.

And like dr pepper sugested, Charlie could probably be pulling strings in the back scenes all this time! He implants visions of grandeur in Stanley, making him do some stupid decisions wich cost him dearly. He makes Stanley put his thinkmancer working on the map thingy so she can't detect the mind manipulation.

So Charlie gets to make a fat profit while probably geting several pieces of nice loot.I doubt that Charlie is as powerful as to be able to make Stanley his mind slave or influence him in the way you describe. But it's clear that Stanley and Charlie have had some interaction in the past, or Stanley wouldn't have the strong personal dislike for Charlie that Wanda tells Parson about.

From a plot point of view, Stanley had to leave. While initially impressed by the destruction of 40% of the RCC siege engines, he was disgusted by the reversal at the doughnut of doom. He would not have allowed Parson the free hand he had in directing the GK forces, and we would never be sure if any good moves Parson pulled off were due to his own brilliance or due to the Tool's influence. So he had to leave.

But I also like tomaO2's post.

Kreistor
2009-03-26, 12:13 PM
But that wasn't the question. Debating Stanley's intelligence is beside the point. All we are here to determine is if the act of Stanley running away helped or hurt Parson's chances to defend Gobwin Knob.

Uhm... no, I disagree. Oslecamo is not debating whether it helped, he's asking whether Stanley was actually competent or lucky. He presents the splitting of the leadership as an obvious successful tactic.

With Page 136 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0149.html), we can be certain that no, it would not have mattered in the end: yes it helped in the short run, but long term, it did not affect anything, except to leave Stanley alive where he may have been dead. (He's not a caster, so he can't go to the magic kingdom. If he were in the volcano, he would probably die.) With or without Vinnie, Stanley, Jillian, etc., GK would have been driven back to the same point, and Parson would have suggested the same tactic. Stanley may have chosen against it, but I doubt it. So the volcano catches Ansom and Vinnie as well as the rest of RCC. Same final result, with only the causes of deaths changing.

ishnar
2009-03-27, 11:53 PM
I'm going to quit this argument too, I just deleted my entire response because I re-read the thread wondering where this bad blood started and I think it comes down to this sentence.


btw, re-read the op

I meant that "read" to be past tense read not command form. So I guess I'm to blame for this. My intention was to say "I re-read the op" as an introduction for the following quote of the OP which I had neglected to respond to in my previous post. But instead it came off as a snippy insult, so now I understand why your tone turned so sour. My apologies.

I've been trying really hard not to return your snippy comments in-kind and now that I know your attitude was my fault, I'm glad I refrained from fanning the fire further.

Oslecamo
2009-03-28, 08:05 AM
Uhm... no, I disagree. Oslecamo is not debating whether it helped, he's asking whether Stanley was actually competent or lucky. He presents the splitting of the leadership as an obvious successful tactic.

Actually, tomaO2 raises a point I indeed intended to discuss in this thread. When Stanley ran away it seemed like Hamster was even more screwed than before, but I believe that, either by genious or luck, Stanley's retreat actually helped more Gobwin Knob than it prejudicated it. I also wanted to hear the other playgrounders opinion on that, sorry if I wasn't very clear.



With Page 136 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0149.html), we can be certain that no, it would not have mattered in the end: yes it helped in the short run, but long term, it did not affect anything, except to leave Stanley alive where he may have been dead. (He's not a caster, so he can't go to the magic kingdom. If he were in the volcano, he would probably die.) With or without Vinnie, Stanley, Jillian, etc., GK would have been driven back to the same point, and Parson would have suggested the same tactic. Stanley may have chosen against it, but I doubt it. So the volcano catches Ansom and Vinnie as well as the rest of RCC. Same final result, with only the causes of deaths changing.

Notice the bolded part. This is war, last man standing wins. Stanley being left alive while most of the coalition leadership is charred to ashes is a much better end than everybody being dead.

It also helped lure out Charlie's archons. If the dwagons were still at GK Charlike would probably never have risked so many of his elite troops. Now Charlie is severly weakened and ripe for the taking.

Plus, not only Stanley himself survived, his retreat allowed him to save his finest nonmancer troops. Those three gobwins and dwagons will provide him with a good base to rebuild his forces, whereas if they had been left in the city they would be roasted meat by now.

Also, Wanda and Sizemore are both able to cough out troops at a good rate, so Stanley being left alive makes all the diference. A few turns of uncroacked and golem producing and Stanley can restart his crusade, while most of his enemies lost their best comanders and troops.

For a battle that started 25 to 1, this is an excellent conclusion for the Tool.

Kreistor
2009-03-28, 08:34 AM
I also wanted to hear the other playgrounders opinion on that, sorry if I wasn't very clear.

Well you got mine, so you should be happy.


Notice the bolded part. This is war, last man standing wins. Stanley being left alive while most of the coalition leadership is charred to ashes is a much better end than everybody being dead.

Only for Stanley. But it's not certain Stanley couldn't have survived. Could he have climbed into a dwagon's mouth and ride it out? Stanley might have survived instead of died.


It also helped lure out Charlie's archons.

But Charlie is a neutral. Next war, Stanley might have gotten over his mutual dislike and hired Charlie against the RCC. He's in the same situation as Stanley (non-Royal ruler, arkentool, etc.), so they really should be natural allies against the Royals.


Plus, not only Stanley himself survived, his retreat allowed him to save his finest nonmancer troops.

No, he didn't (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0128.html). He saved 6 dwagons and no KISS.


Also, Wanda and Sizemore are both able to cough out troops at a good rate, so Stanley being left alive makes all the diference.

It only changes who they are working for, if Stanley can pay their upkeep without the horde in GK which just got turned into dust. He probably had enough to get started with a single Foolamancer in Faq: he left the upkeep for Parson and co. in GK.


A few turns of uncroacked and golem producing and Stanley can restart his crusade, while most of his enemies lost their best comanders and troops.

We don't know that. How much of their forces the RCC lost is not certain, nor the quality of troops and commanders involved.


For a battle that started 25 to 1, this is an excellent conclusion for the Tool.

No, it isn't. He lost his city and has to start over. It isn't even better than he expected, since his delusion convinces him that he is destined.

An excellent result would have begun back on Parson's first turn in command. Ansom dies in the trap giving Stanley the pliers, and Parson goes on to destroy the siege capacity of the RCC. RCC can't get past the walls, Stanley rebuilds, and laughs in the face of his attackers. That's an excellent result.

Survival alone is never enough to be an excellent result. It's only adequate. It's at best a draw. Stanley is set back years or decades, and the RCC takes time to rebuild and try again.

Oslecamo
2009-03-28, 10:53 AM
Only for Stanley. But it's not certain Stanley couldn't have survived. Could he have climbed into a dwagon's mouth and ride it out? Stanley might have survived instead of died.

Yeah, he just would need to breack out of the archon air circle who laugh at veils. Not very probable.



But Charlie is a neutral. Next war, Stanley might have gotten over his mutual dislike and hired Charlie against the RCC. He's in the same situation as Stanley (non-Royal ruler, arkentool, etc.), so they really should be natural allies against the Royals.

Stanley didn't like Charlie from the beginning. And Charlie had no trouble not only working for the enemy, he also tried to take Gobwin Knob himself to steal stnaley's best warlord. That's hardly neutral.




No, he didn't (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0128.html). He saved 6 dwagons and no KISS.

Check out the 3rd panel better. There's clearly a KISS soldier riding a blue dwagon. In the rest of the panels we don't get a close up on the remaining dwagons, so it's possible some of the remaining have the other 2 KISS elite.




It only changes who they are working for, if Stanley can pay their upkeep without the horde in GK which just got turned into dust. He probably had enough to get started with a single Foolamancer in Faq: he left the upkeep for Parson and co. in GK.

All the mancers were literally willing to fight to the last breath for Stanley. I'm pretty sure they're willing to work some turns whitout pay. Plus there's now plenty of loot at the GK ruins right now to restart a treasury.



We don't know that. How much of their forces the RCC lost is not certain, nor the quality of troops and commanders involved.

Ansom clearly stated when he was assaulting the wall solo that Hamster had just croacked 2000 of the finest troops of his side. Plus he was himself a top comander, pliers and all. The other sides aren't as specific, but well, Ansom had probably persuaded them to send their finest troops as well.



No, it isn't. He lost his city and has to start over. It isn't even better than he expected, since his delusion convinces him that he is destined.

An excellent result would have begun back on Parson's first turn in command. Ansom dies in the trap giving Stanley the pliers, and Parson goes on to destroy the siege capacity of the RCC. RCC can't get past the walls, Stanley rebuilds, and laughs in the face of his attackers. That's an excellent result.

Survival alone is never enough to be an excellent result. It's only adequate. It's at best a draw. Stanley is set back years or decades, and the RCC takes time to rebuild and try again.

Ansom is dead. He doesn't get to restart at all. And he had brutal advantage on all fields(except in brain matter). He's the one who has reasons to complain.

The doughnut of doom having worked and destroying the siege would have been the perfect result, but let's face it, war plans very rarely go 100% as planned.

Like Vinnie himself said, even if they had turtled up the dwagons wouldn't be assured to take them down, specially with Jillian and archon suport.

Plus normal infantry is able to damage walls as far as we've seen. Siege helps, but isn't a must, and one of Ansom's errors was precisely waiting to position the siege instead of simply zerging GK with numbers and crushing it before Wanda got the chance of geting the uncroacked reinforcments.

So in conclusion Stanley is indeed set back, but his enemies are set back even more, wich is a good result for Stnaley. Not perfect, but much better than being buried under tons of molting lava. Also, the pliers are in GK, waiting to be dug up, wich shouldn't be that hard with Sizemore's help. Another artifact for the collection.

And then there's the reputation. Who would dare to attack his Toolship again when the news come out on how he dizimated thousands of troops in a couple of turns? The royals will need some time to think before they dare to attack him again.

slayerx
2009-03-28, 11:52 AM
All the mancers were literally willing to fight to the last breath for Stanley. I'm pretty sure they're willing to work some turns whitout pay. Plus there's now plenty of loot at the GK ruins right now to restart a treasury.

Assuming that they CAN
Generally in turn based games with unit upkeep, if you can not maintain the upkeep you automatically loose the unit... with erfworld, unit upkeep could be needed to pop the unit's daily food as well as fully healing them and restoring their strength... so the unit will quickly become useless at best, croak at worst without upkeep



Ansom clearly stated when he was assaulting the wall solo that Hamster had just croacked 2000 of the finest troops of his side. Plus he was himself a top comander, pliers and all. The other sides aren't as specific, but well, Ansom had probably persuaded them to send their finest troops as well.

Considering how King Don feels about spending money, i would not find it hard to believe that other royals would hold back on the troops they send in

pretty much depends on how much each side was offended by stanely i would assume


Ansom is dead. He doesn't get to restart at all. And he had brutal advantage on all fields(except in brain matter). He's the one who has reasons to complain.

Ansom was just the chief warlord for his side... Jetstone is ruled by the one who i would presume is his father. So the jetstone side is very much still running



Plus normal infantry is able to damage walls as far as we've seen. Siege helps, but isn't a must, and one of Ansom's errors was precisely waiting to position the siege instead of simply zerging GK with numbers and crushing it before Wanda got the chance of geting the uncroacked reinforcments.


The strength of the walls is determined by the number of enemy troops on the walls... busting through the walls for infantry might only be possible if their are few troops on the wall; hence Ansom making a soft spot... If there were more troops, it is entirely possible that the RCC troops would be unable to even damage the walls



So in conclusion Stanley is indeed set back, but his enemies are set back even more, wich is a good result for Stnaley. Not perfect, but much better than being buried under tons of molting lava. Also, the pliers are in GK, waiting to be dug up, wich shouldn't be that hard with Sizemore's help. Another artifact for the collection.


From the latest strip, it would be quick to assume that the pliers have been left behind... considering the red warlord is not burning like everyone else; some are concluding that the pliers may be protecting her... which mens that the pliers are now in the hands of another side



And then there's the reputation. Who would dare to attack his Toolship again when the news come out on how he dizimated thousands of troops in a couple of turns? The royals will need some time to think before they dare to attack him again.
Until the royals take into account that Stanely barely has anything of a city left and is thus going have rebuilding his troops... the other sides on the other hand still have their cities can rebuild their armies and go after stanely before he can rebuild... while they may recognize that Stanely in a sense won, they will also notice that he has practically nothing left


Actually, tomaO2 raises a point I indeed intended to discuss in this thread. When Stanley ran away it seemed like Hamster was even more screwed than before, but I believe that, either by genious or luck, Stanley's retreat actually helped more Gobwin Knob than it prejudicated it. I also wanted to hear the other playgrounders opinion on that, sorry if I wasn't very clear.
it would be Luck, no doubt about that...
though still we saw how things ended with stanely leaving...
We can now only speculate on how things might have turned out if Stanely had stayed there with his dwagons... and one possibility is that Parson might have been able to win WITHOUT needing to resort to the volcano tactic; hell at best, he might have been able to do it without destroying the city... and the worst outcome would be the same damn thing, except that Stanely would probably not have those scant few dwagons and and one or so hobgoblins

Oslecamo
2009-03-28, 03:30 PM
Assuming that they CAN
Generally in turn based games with unit upkeep, if you can not maintain the upkeep you automatically loose the unit... with erfworld, unit upkeep could be needed to pop the unit's daily food as well as fully healing them and restoring their strength... so the unit will quickly become useless at best, croak at worst without upkeep

Stanley was taking in acount paying several dwagons upkeep untill he reached FAQ, wich surely wouldn't be cheap. Now he can use those resources to pay the mancers and Hamster. Anyway, since upkeep seems to mean food, I believe troops can hold on some turns whitout food, at wich point they die out of starvation. Healing seems to be automatic tough.



Ansom was just the chief warlord for his side... Jetstone is ruled by the one who i would presume is his father. So the jetstone side is very much still running

I know that Ansom wasn't the supreme ruler(it seems like all supreme rulers stay at their capital and let others risk their life in the frontline), but it was probably the best warlord they had. Plus they lost an arkentool, and those, unlike warlords, don't just pop out when you spend smuckers.



The strength of the walls is determined by the number of enemy troops on the walls... busting through the walls for infantry might only be possible if their are few troops on the wall; hence Ansom making a soft spot... If there were more troops, it is entirely possible that the RCC troops would be unable to even damage the walls
Before Webinar's defeat Hamster hardly had any troops. It would be impossible to him to effectively hold the line on all fronts. And with Jillian/archon suport making a weak point would be piece of cake.



From the latest strip, it would be quick to assume that the pliers have been left behind... considering the red warlord is not burning like everyone else; some are concluding that the pliers may be protecting her... which mens that the pliers are now in the hands of another side

Indeed this is an intriguing question. Should she sucessfully return home with the pliers she's on to become a major character. But Stanley and his remaining dwagons are still out there, and I wouldn't be admired if said warlord is killed on a diving attack to retrieve the precious artifact, with the coaltion unable to puruse due to the lack of aerial units.

Plus I still think she'll burn to death.



Until the royals take into account that Stanely barely has anything of a city left and is thus going have rebuilding his troops... the other sides on the other hand still have their cities can rebuild their armies and go after stanely before he can rebuild... while they may recognize that Stanely in a sense won, they will also notice that he has practically nothing left

Those other cities probably have other problems to worry about other than Stanley. If they keep wasting troops in a wild goose chase some other third party will take advantage of that and attack the coalition who will be unable to counter since they've been wasting their troops.



it would be Luck, no doubt about that...
though still we saw how things ended with stanely leaving...
We can now only speculate on how things might have turned out if Stanely had stayed there with his dwagons... and one possibility is that Parson might have been able to win WITHOUT needing to resort to the volcano tactic; hell at best, he might have been able to do it without destroying the city... and the worst outcome would be the same damn thing, except that Stanely would probably not have those scant few dwagons and and one or so hobgoblins

I highly doubt so. Ansom+Vinnie+Jillian made for a very very dangerous and smart trio who would've probably managed to outsmart Hamster. Altough each of them had flaws of their own, togheter they suported each other quite well, while Stanley would probably limit Hamster's choices.

And above all, the link wouldn't have been broken, so no foolmancer to hold back Jillian and no Maggie to fix Wanda and form a new link to uncroack the volcano. The release off the mancers from the link to do other stuff was Hamster's biggest advantage, and whitout it, it would come down to sheer number and leadership bonuses, in wich the coalition had in big advantage.

Kreistor
2009-03-28, 04:35 PM
And above all, the link wouldn't have been broken, so no foolmancer to hold back Jillian and no Maggie to fix Wanda and form a new link to uncroack the volcano. The release off the mancers from the link to do other stuff was Hamster's biggest advantage, and whitout it, it would come down to sheer number and leadership bonuses, in wich the coalition had in big advantage.

You are basing this off of events that would not have happened.

1) Hold back Jillian? From doing what? Without the goal of killing Stanley, she's just another air unit capable only of melee attacks. Good vs. dwagons in limited quantity, but not against a fleet.

2) Stanley will have 30 dwagons. We have not seen Archons vs. uninjured dwagons with Chief Warlord, Ruler, Artefact bonus, caster support, and air defenses. That means Archons don't take Airspace, and Jillian commits suicide trying to come in by air. To beat 30 dwagons, it took a major Transylvito air force.

3) No archons means no DDR, so the breach hits Dance Fighting uncroaked with no counter. Parson gets his meatgrinder.

4) Charlie wouldn't have more than 6 Archons. Parson only spoke to Charlie because Stanley left and didn't take a book. With Stanley in RCC, Parson can't get a message to Charlie at all, so no deal, and Charlie has no knowledge of how many Archons he needs. (More than 30... 30 was enough to take Garrison with 0 dwagons, no Stanley, no Arkentool bonus, and 2800 fewer uncroaked... Charlie asked how many he needed before Wanda raised the Jetstone troops. In fact, 30 might not have been enough to take GK that day, since Charlie was operating on old information.)

HOWEVER

The entire point of this story was that nothing Parson did would work in the long run. All that would change is how Ansom broke through and what rabbits are placed in the RCC hat for them to find. They WILL break through, they WILL push Parson back, and they WILL have plot armor. So, no matter what anyone does, it will always turns out the same way. So, no, it doesn't matter if Stanley left. It doesn't matter if Jillian gets captured again. Charlie can't make things any better or worse, in the end: all that changes is how we get to the position where Parson breaks the rules to win. Speculate about what might have been all you like: it doesn't change anything, just the details.

(BTW, you're right, one KISS guy survived the battle for the pass and is returning with Stanley.)

Oslecamo
2009-03-28, 05:16 PM
1)
Ansom said he brought Jillian precisely to deal with the dwagons, and then she would have Vinnie+bats+archons+unitaurs+orlies and probably Ansom himself. Mind you, uncroacked unitaurs(wich were weaker than regular unitaurs) were good enough to go toe to toe with Ansom. Jillian would have a flleet of her own suporting her. And if bats were so deadly under Caesar's influence, just imagine them under super charismatic Ansom's bonus.



2) and 3).


What caster suport? What DDR? Three mancers busy in the link, Wanda is with her mind crippled, the only thing left for Hamster are the dwagons.

It didn't take a major Transylvito air force to beat 30 dwagons. It took an elite Transylvito fast strike force to curb stomp 30 dwagons with an artifact on their side. With Ansom, pliers and the archons suporting Jillian and whitout the mancers helping Hamster and Stanley things aren't pretty at all, and the Tool perfectly knew that, since he chose to abandon his capital city rather than try the odds.



4) Charlie wouldn't have more than 6 Archons. Parson only spoke to Charlie because Stanley left and didn't take a book. With Stanley in RCC, Parson can't get a message to Charlie at all, so no deal, and Charlie has no knowledge of how many Archons he needs. (More than 30... 30 was enough to take Garrison with 0 dwagons, no Stanley, no Arkentool bonus, and 2800 fewer uncroaked... Charlie asked how many he needed before Wanda raised the Jetstone troops. In fact, 30 might not have been enough to take GK that day, since Charlie was operating on old information.)

Charlie could have attacked right there before Wanda created her uncroacked army. He just made the big big mistake of trying to get even more profit out of the situation by leting Ansom run to his doom and force him to hire Charlie out of desesperation for a fat fee.


Speculate about what might have been all you like: it doesn't change anything, just the details.


Well, the whole point of this discussion is that the story follows rules and not just plot-power.

I imagine you didn't like the last comic very much, since it indeed feels like a deus ex-machina, pulling out a super weapon out of your pocket to curb stomp the other side.

But it's the little details in between that make the story interesting. And that's indeed what we're discussing here, a theoretical scenarion on "what would have hapened if the characters had done X and plot-power didn't exist".

slayerx
2009-03-28, 05:48 PM
Before Webinar's defeat Hamster hardly had any troops. It would be impossible to him to effectively hold the line on all fronts. And with Jillian/archon suport making a weak point would be piece of cake.

The RCC at the warlord dinner/meeting made it clear that they could NOT take the walls as they were... the infantry alone and the scant few seige they had would not have been enough...

Hell one thing we have to take into account is that many of the infantry were atop seige towers when they were digging, which could mean that infantry can only dig through a wall while on a seige tower... or they are only capable f doing enough damage from a seige tower

not to mention that if Stanely did not leave, take the walls would have been even harder since they would have the dwagons to protect the walls from air troops... hell give them an uncroaked warlrod and the dwagons might be able to cripple the remaining seige even furthar


Those other cities probably have other problems to worry about other than Stanley. If they keep wasting troops in a wild goose chase some other third party will take advantage of that and attack the coalition who will be unable to counter since they've been wasting their troops.

Do they? Considering how many Stanely just croaked, i think that would put him high on their priority list... They would view him as a potential threat and as such would not want to risk him getting back his power... he may have craoked many but it cost him dearly and put him in a moment of weakness. NOW would be the best time to strike and finish him off instead of waiting and letting him build a new army to wipe out thousands again

And aside from jetstone, the others did see Stanely as being highly aggressive and an enemy... and jetstone would still fight out of pride and revenge for Ansom


I highly doubt so. Ansom+Vinnie+Jillian made for a very very dangerous and smart trio who would've probably managed to outsmart Hamster. Altough each of them had flaws of their own, togheter they suported each other quite well, while Stanley would probably limit Hamster's choices.


There are so many factors to consider... like the fact that Charlie played the biggest role in foiling Parsons plans... with Stanely around Charlie would have never talked to Parson, he would have never known about the brilliant warlord and a valuable artifact; in addtion to never knowing how many archons it would take to take over gobwinknob... What's the end result? Charlie doesn't have a personal interest in the battle and thus does not offer to give Ansom even more support... with Ansom having his own airforce, charlie might have only sent like 10 archons to the the battle for Ansom and/or ansom would only pay for that many in his overconfidence.

With the number of archons reduced, they would not be able to maintain the DDR that was used towards the end. the reason why they could not stop them was because there were too many; croak 4 and 4 new ones take their place... but with fewer archons it might have been possibly to widle them down to 3, and thus end the DDR



And above all, the link wouldn't have been broken, so no foolmancer to hold back Jillian and no Maggie to fix Wanda and form a new link to uncroack the volcano. The release off the mancers from the link to do other stuff was Hamster's biggest advantage, and whitout it, it would come down to sheer number and leadership bonuses, in wich the coalition had in big advantage.

Not necessarily... with Ansom knocking on the front door with all his troops, unrivaled recon becomes obsolete. it would have been easy for Parson and wanda to convince Stanely to break the link so that they could utilize the foolamancer and the thinkamancer for the upcoming battle... and if the foolamancer managed to somehow have a run in with jillian he would have been able to aid in the battle; who knows maybe Wanda could have snapped him out of too


Ansom said he brought Jillian precisely to deal with the dwagons, and then she would have Vinnie+bats+archons+unitaurs+orlies and probably Ansom himself. Mind you, uncroacked unitaurs(wich were weaker than regular unitaurs) were good enough to go toe to toe with Ansom. Jillian would have a flleet of her own suporting her. And if bats were so deadly under Caesar's influence, just imagine them under super charismatic Ansom's bonus.
From what we know of the RCC's attack plan, Ansom was not gonna join the air battle... most likely saving himself and his bonus for the ground battle after they get through the wall

not to mention that we saw that most(not all) of the air defences was enough to wipe out the entire airforce except for Jillian, Vinnie, 2 archons, and a gwiffen... and those air defences would have been in addition to the 30 dwagons force... so it still comes down to archons, jillian, vinnie and his bats...

Furtharmore, they had hundreds of bats... without reinforcements from vinnies home, they would not have had nearly as many bats except for the ones with vinnie... and there is nothing saying that Vinnie's capitol is close enough that they could have brought in those reinforcements soon

one more thing, Stanely would have been able to mount ALL of his knights on those dwagons all with dance fighting instead of just 3

Kreistor
2009-03-29, 05:57 PM
Well, the whole point of this discussion is that the story follows rules and not just plot-power.

Do you realize what you're saying here? You're saying the story is not influenced by an author's desires. You're saying that Erfworld exists outside of Rob's mind, and all the author is doing is relating something that really happened. For without a plot, there is no story. That makes it history, not story. Obviously this is quite incorrect.

And besides that, you're wrong. The story didn't follow rules. Parson told us that. Some force in the story ensured Parson could not succeed, so any rules were non-existent. The story did not follow rules, because "No rule cannot be broken" means what were previously rules were really just suggestions, because the plot demanded Parson lose despite his prowess. These limitations were presented as rules to Parson, but they were never rules for Parson.


I imagine you didn't like the last comic very much, since it indeed feels like a deus ex-machina, pulling out a super weapon out of your pocket to curb stomp the other side.

You really need to bone up on DEM if you think there was any DEM in this story. Why don't you read up on this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_ex_machina). A plot that is resolved by the protagonist is not DEM, no matter how powerful his idea was. DEM is only present when the plot has become too complex for the protagonist to resolve.


But it's the little details in between that make the story interesting. And that's indeed what we're discussing here, a theoretical scenarion on "what would have hapened if the characters had done X and plot-power didn't exist".

You need to go back to your own OP. You speak about Stanley being lucky...


Or his toolship is just damn lucky. But hey, that's also very important. It never hurts to be lucky.

The author decides if a character is lucky. All reactions to actions are determined by the author, not some random number generator, especially in this comic where the plot involved the rules being twisted against the protagonist. Luck is plot, since the plot demands certain results not occur. (Ie. The plot demands Parson live, so no random arrows come over the ramparts and hit him in the eye. Stanley must survive to see GK, so he winds up leaving his fight in the direction of the volcano.) You brought plot into the discussion first, so that permits me to discuss it. There is no third party in a story to decide what lucky and unlucky events will occur: all lucky events are written into the story by the author. If Stanley is lucky, it is Rob that made him lucky, not some fantasy Erfworld.

Look, this is what it comes down to: because the story involved the twisting of events to counter successful ploys by the protagonist, we do not know what Erfworld is really like. We are seeing it through fish-eye lenses. Without an untainted view of the world, it is not possible to determine what would have happened without this twisting. We can point at a few events where the world appears to have twisted, but we can't know all of them. Consequently, our ideas of what is powerful and what weak is not accurate. Without basic knowledge of an untainted Erfwrld, we cannot determine what would happen to different choices. Therefore, the only determination we can make is the one that we do know: any ploy by Parson and GK would have only resulted in temporary benefits, and the twisted world would have ensured it turned to dross.

So, no, Oslecamo, you can't tell what would have happened if anything changed. And you certainly can't be trusted to even judge it fairly. You've made huge bold claims and failed to present any proof for these claims. For instance, prove that Archons teleport. Prove that Ansom is stronger than Caesar, or even has a higher leadership. Prove that Charlie can hear conversations outside of Eyebooks. And those just for starters: if I rip through yur posts, I know you have included half a dozen others. If you invent unproven abilities for people, how can anyone judge theim accurately. The only way this works is if you stick to what is known and proven: you're seemingly incapable of that. So, no, I'm not living by your rules. (Frankly, because you make those rules up on the fly. There's nothing in your initial post about this discussion being limited in any way to exclude the realities of Parson's treatment in Erfworld.) You'll just have to deal with that,

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-30, 10:00 AM
Ansom is dead. He doesn't get to restart at all.Ansom isn't the leader of his side. That side still exists, and didn't send all of its troops against Stanley. It was weakened to be sure, as was every member of the RCC. This may cause tensions for a long time as the balance of power may have shifted and there may be some opportunism amongst the members as they look over their weakened neighbors. And it might be a long time before the royals decide to put together a campaign against a non-royal.

So in conclusion Stanley is indeed set back, but his enemies are set back even more, wich is a good result for Stnaley. Not perfect, but much better than being buried under tons of molting lava. Also, the pliers are in GK, waiting to be dug up, wich shouldn't be that hard with Sizemore's help. Another artifact for the collection.Um, let's face it: Stanley is crippled. His forces amount to himself and a handful of dwagons and maybe 3 KISS, and Parson and the 3 'mancers. Each of the RCC sides should have reserves enough to crush that, should they find the will to go that route. And as for the 'pliers? This game has a day as the turn length, and erupting volcanoes don't just switch from "go there and die" to "it's fine to start digging for gems and the odd Archentool" within a span of a few days.

And then there's the reputation. Who would dare to attack his Toolship again when the news come out on how he dizimated thousands of troops in a couple of turns? The royals will need some time to think before they dare to attack him again.This I agree with 100%. I think all of the RCC leaders will spend several turns carefully reviewing what just happened to their forces and why, and then some more time thinking about how the balance of power has shifted between themselves and their neighbors. More adventures will have to await the results of that consideration.

For instance, prove that Archons teleport.This one is easy. I did so here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5927328#post5927328), using the strip in which the archons first appear. You could say that Charlie teleported them, but there is no functional difference between "archons teleport" and "the guy who owns the archons can teleport them".

Kreistor
2009-03-30, 11:47 AM
First, two of the comments above are not mine: they are Oslecamo's. Could you clear that up, please, BJBB?


This one is easy. I did so here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5927328#post5927328), using the strip in which the archons first appear. You could say that Charlie teleported them, but there is no functional difference between "archons teleport" and "the guy who owns the archons can teleport them".

I don't see any evidence they didn't fly. Page 42 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0046.html). "Proceed to" is not "Teleport to", "Fly to", nor "Walk to": it does not imply any particular form of transportation. And you need to give a coordinate in any case, walking, flying, or teleporting so they know how to get there. Admittedly, walking may need better directions for ground travel, but the Archons fly, so a final coordinate is enough for "as the crow flies" travelling. There is no sound indicating a spell being cast or a sudden arrival in frame 4. There's a glow from behind, but that can be just a camera effect since it is behind only one archon (rather than all three equally), and doesn't indicate a spell or ability used.

And in 104 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0116.html), as in the previous strip, we do not see an empty airspace before the Archons are revealed. We have three sounds in frame 8 with no clear eveidence of what they are for, but we do have Parson standing, moving a heavy chair, and Bogroll who is prone to releases of gas (excitement often causing such events).

There's nothing conclusive there. You need a clear sky in one frame then a "poof" and archons in the next to prove teleportation, or someone actually stating, "They can teleport." They could easily have simply flown in both of those cases.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-30, 02:53 PM
First, two of the comments above are not mine: they are Oslecamo's. Could you clear that up, please, BJBB?Sorry about that, and fixed.

I don't see any evidence they didn't fly.Yes you do, but you didn't address what I wrote in the other thread, so I'll paste it here for completeness.

In the first panel we see the archons in mountainous terrain similar to that surrounding Charlies castle, and the sun is setting and dim light. Charlie gives them an X and Y coordinate to go to, and refers to "the great western conflict" which isn't a typical form of reference for something happening nearby. And then the archons just appear over Ansom and Jillian with a glowing spell effect, and it seems to be mid day or at least a bright sky. Looks like a clear case of teleportation to me. In the second case I suppose it's arguable that the archons flew there, but given the conversation between Parson and Charlie I find this highly unlikely. Asking if 14 archons can take the garrison, and then how many additional archons it would take makes it very unlikely that Charlie has more than 14 archons within range of GK. And if you accept that they teleported in the first case then there's no reason to dispute the second.

Edit: And if you teleport far enough west, you catch up to the sun and the hour of the day isn't as far along. Matches the artwork and Charlies turn of a phrase perfectly.

The sounds you refer to I always took to be the GK air raid alarms, with their alarm sounds having been "Erfed" to the fart-like noises.

Kreistor
2009-03-30, 09:10 PM
In the first panel we see the archons in mountainous terrain similar to that surrounding Charlies castle, and the sun is setting and dim light.

Setting? Really? Certain of that are you? How's this...

It's morning in Charlescomm. Charlie has a call from the RCC. "Please send units to X, Y." Charlie agrees. Of course, other sides have their turn first (Transylvito for one), and though we only deal with a few in this comic, there are many others across the world. Time passes as they have their turns. The sun rises. Finally, with the sun high in the sky, the Archons fly to the coordinates, perhaps even taking a length of time themselves, and the sun moves even further.

Teleportation is actually a bad idea in this system. Let's say RCC wants to kill someone. They talk to Charlie and Transylvito, organizing their two forces to be in a certain place. A single bat attacks 30 Archons. Since we now know that casting can take place when being attacked, the Archons teleport... to Tower in GK. To wherever they think Stanley is... and with good intelligence, they are right in his face and he is pretty much dead. Defenders can pour into Tower, but the Archons can cast for being attacked, and simply teleport out when Stanley is dead. Teleportation = game breaking. If it could do what you think it can, there would be no story. All major characters would be assassinated (especially RCC with GK having the table that tells them exactly where enemy units are). All Royals would be viewing Charlie as a paramount threat to their own survival, and they'd end that threat fast.

Truth is: time in Erfworld cannot be constant. If the sun moved constantly, whoever goes first could simply not end turn until sunset, and no one else in the world gets a turn. The sun, then, must be tied to the turn order, moving with the turns. There has so far been no indication of a limit on turn duration, with every turn ending on a command, and no one timing out. So, the sun probably moves as the turn order progresses, so flight or other movement essentially takes no time. (How else could four armies all move full daily allotments in succession? Their days need to be many times longer than ours, if an Erfworld unit moves in a day as far as a human does here.)

Oh, and BTW... since this world is based on a board game, what makes you think Erfworld is round? Isn't flat more appropriate?

Now, in case you think that frame 4 is in the same time frame as frame 3, well, Rob is known for not keeping to fixed chronological progressions in this comic. Not everything you see or hear is simultaneous.

Ansom talking to others while a possible scene from the future appears in frame 4, which can't be simultaneous because that's Ansom in the frame. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0021.html)

A conversation between Vinnie and Jillian the night before overlapping a battle where neither is positioned near each other. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0125.html)

Rob has merely chosen to transition from scene to scene, where the previous conversation spilled over into the next event, which happens hours later. Happens in movies and television all the time.


And then the archons just appear over Ansom and Jillian with a glowing spell effect

A cut from one place to another does not indicate something just "appeared" in the sky. To demonstrate a sudden appearance, you need a previously clear airspace, then an unclear airspace, and some kind of surprise on the locals faces, if there's no spell effect sound. Further, careful examination of the "spell effect" reveals it is not consistent across all three Archons. It is bright behind the head of the middle archon, and barely perceptible on the outsides. Had they each teleported themselves, each would have their own effect, and it would be identical on all three. I'd also expect a trio of "pop" or similar spell sound effect. At best, if this is teleportation, then it was done by someone else to them, because it has a center point instead individual visuals. That means they can't do it themselves.

Oh, and if they could, it is technically their turn... they could teleport away from the volcano.


The sounds you refer to I always took to be the GK air raid alarms, with their alarm sounds having been "Erfed" to the fart-like noises.

Excellent point. I hadn't thought of that. I'd rate that the highest probability.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-03-31, 11:29 AM
Setting? Really? Certain of that are you?
I'm as certain as I can be without someone or something making it more positive. Yeah, it'd be nice to see some "pop" sound effects, and it'd be nice to see two panels back to back, one with and one without the archons. But we do get a span of 3 panels where the archons are in mountains, Charlie gives them instructions to go west, and then they are suddenly overhead of Ansom and Jillian. Hovering, with no lateral motion expressed in the artwork.

Surprise on the face of the locals isn't needed. Ansom had just contracted for the archons, he shouldn't be surprised when they teleport in, especially if he knows of this ability. If you're contracting for services, especially with a weasel like Charlie who breaks out every ability on a separate line item, the abilities of the troops you're hiring would be very well spelled out for you. So, no shock or surprise is needed to either support or refute teleportation. But, if shock supports teleportation for you, there is shock on the faces of Bogroll and Maggie in 104 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0116.html), when the achons appear around the GK tower.

The two strips you cite don't seem to have any thematic similarity to the introduction of the archons strip, so I don't think they lend any credence against teleportation. The first is Ansom describing how he hopes the coming battles will go, either on the GK road (no battles there except for the assassination of the siege), in the tunnels (which was a far cry from marbits kicking the goblins behinds). The second is a depiction of the actual battle between the Transylvito forces and Stanley, with the discussion of the mechanics of force modifier stacking overlaid. Neither theme is at all similar to the introduction of Charlie and the archons, to me at least.

It's not spelled out in a way that makes it 100% clear, agreed. But the strips I cited did make me think that the archons had teleported, or had been teleported. Until informed otherwise by the authors, that's my take on their ability.

I agree with you that teleportation is a most potent ability. It's on my long list of the powers Charlie and the archons have demonstrated and reasons why I think he is presented as being way too powerful for the setting. I'm hoping that if Charlie is involved in the future that the loss of the archons over GK is a significant blow to his force structure, and he is forced to reduce the scale of his ambitions greatly.

Oslecamo
2009-03-31, 02:25 PM
Oh, and if they could, it is technically their turn... they could teleport away from the volcano.


The archons made it clear that they couldn't move from the GK sky to help Ansom fight the uncroacked hordes or directly suport the coalition in the ground battle. So they also couldn't run away.

In my opinion, teleport consumes all your movement for the turn, so even if you can get anywhere you want you're then a siting duck untill your next turn. No fancy hit and runs.

Still indeed teleport anywhere it's broken, so in a more carefull analysis it is probably limited to open areas, so you cannot simply teleport inside the tower, but you can teleport in the sky area, wich fits the comic so far.

And even if they can't teleport, well, several archons apearing over GK that had remained completely undetected untill then means Archons either have some sick movement, sick stealth capacities or both. They can enter a capital city whitout anyone noticing anything untill they're literally knocking at your door, wich is almost as good as teleport if you want my opinion.

Kreistor
2009-03-31, 04:24 PM
I'm as certain as I can be without someone or something making it more positive. Yeah, it'd be nice to see some "pop" sound effects, and it'd be nice to see two panels back to back, one with and one without the archons. But we do get a span of 3 panels where the archons are in mountains, Charlie gives them instructions to go west, and then they are suddenly overhead of Ansom and Jillian. Hovering, with no lateral motion expressed in the artwork.

But we also see time pass in the three strips. the first strip is morning sky, and the next two blue sky. For your theory to hold true, the second panel with Charlescomm main city (not sure of name) would need to be morning as well.


Surprise on the face of the locals isn't needed. Ansom had just contracted for the archons, he shouldn't be surprised when they teleport in, especially if he knows of this ability.

No, I'm sorry, but to prove it you do. I'm not saying that it can't be teleportation. I'm saying for absolute proof you must have an indicator of immediate motion. You don't. We know they fly. The sky changing over time is consistent with long term movement. The problem can be solved without adding an unknown ability to the Archons. The Occam's Razor answer is that they flew. (Real Occam's Razor, not that stuff about simplest solution. The solution with the fewest added unknown elements.)


If you're contracting for services, especially with a weasel like Charlie who breaks out every ability on a separate line item

That's what you call weaselish? Charlie has clearly stated his reputation is important to him -- he won't switch sides for money, even if he is currently unemployed. Remember that there are two sides to a contract -- and Charlie will have faced people trying to screw him. Contracts protect you from other people's abuse. And note that Jaclyn was not under orders to not provide services not paid for. The others made it clear that they could have chosen to do the same thing. Charlie leaves it to his Archons to decide how best to fulfill their contractual obligations.

He's no weasel. He's just afraid of getting screwed.


So, no shock or surprise is needed to either support or refute teleportation.

It's needed to prove it. You can suspect it all you want, but if you want to prove it, you need something more than indifference.


But, if shock supports teleportation for you, there is shock on the faces of Bogroll and Maggie in 104 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0116.html), when the achons appear around the GK tower.

Or the alarms shocked and surprised them. That's fairly common, actually. Loud noises frighten people because they are intended to. But I do note that in frame 9 the Archons are actually quite a distance away, as if they just flew into Airspace. And they're even closer in frame 10, where they flew to.

Further, in frame 9, we see 18 Archons in the limited airspace we can see, all tightly packed. 15 more the next frame. 10 by 105.10. 105.7 shows about 30 in Airspace, scattered around the tower. I think it's pretty clear that the Archons flew in and surrounded the Tower: they didn't teleport to around the tower.


The two strips you cite don't seem to have any thematic similarity to the introduction of the archons strip, so I don't think they lend any credence against teleportation.

They are proof that Rob will overlap conversation from one time frame with images from another. That provides precedent for the words in 42.3 to be from the same time period from 42.2, but the images from the time period in 42.4. It's a common method of connecting two events, connected through theme (in this case Charlescomm joining the fray) but separated by time (don't want to wste ink or images on long, boring overland flights with no conversation of note). Highlander used it... "1632 was a very good year... so and so did this, that occured" and we see the time period shift to 1632 while MacLeod continues speaking in 1986. That sort of thing.


It's not spelled out in a way that makes it 100% clear, agreed. But the strips I cited did make me think that the archons had teleported, or had been teleported. Until informed otherwise by the authors, that's my take on their ability.

You can beleive what you want, but it's not proof of something else. They could have flown. There's nothing in those images inconsistent with flight.


I agree with you that teleportation is a most potent ability. It's on my long list of the powers Charlie and the archons have demonstrated and reasons why I think he is presented as being way too powerful for the setting.

Or they flew and they are more balanced. See how easy it is to rectify that problem?

You know, I do the same thing sometimes. Other people screamed when I said Archons were casters, trying to indicate that they were Archons that could use weapons, and so forth. Or even splitting hairs thinking Natural Magics don't have the same problems as Spells being cast. This all predated 121 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0134.html) where they can't do anything to help Ansom. That means their abilities have the same limitations as spells.


I'm hoping that if Charlie is involved in the future that the loss of the archons over GK is a significant blow to his force structure, and he is forced to reduce the scale of his ambitions greatly.

What ambitions? All we know for certain is that his side hires out is a merc. He isn't grabbing terrain, murdering Rulers, trying to get Arkenpliers, etc. Stnaley has ambition. Ansom has ambition. What evidence has Charlie ever shown that he wants to be more than a merc? He might want Parson merely because Charlie would be able to hire out the best Chief Warlord on the planet. At worst, it takes a piece off the board that stands against him and reduces his own losses. The point is: we don't know what Charlie's ambitions are, so how can you hate what you don't know actually exists? Charlie's side is mountainous, and so it may have very limited resources, fundamentally restricting him from building up to attack his neighbours. We just don't know enough at this time what ambitions he has or what he is actually capable of achieving.

Do I think Charlie has no ambition? Heck, yeah, he does! But if he gets set back, he just continues to appear as a merc and stays the course. No one will know he has ambition until he actually breaks kayfabe and becomes a conqueror. And as for you personally wanting Charlie to suffer... why do you really care who the next antagonist is? If it's Charlie, then great, it's Charlie. If we wind up with a three way conflict between RCC, Stanley, and Charlie, why do you dislike Charlie's inclusion?

At the very least, this will be a wake up call for Charlie. War means losses, and no matter how smart the general, that rule never changes.


The archons made it clear that they couldn't move from the GK sky to help Ansom fight the uncroacked hordes or directly suport the coalition in the ground battle. So they also couldn't run away.

But we know from Pclips that it was their turn, since they had allied with Jetstone. We also know that they could cast spells, with the DDR occuring without GK attack into Airspace: and we know they can use natural abilities, like the contract with Ansom, which occured when it was not their turn and not under attack.

The only way for the Archons to not be able to teleport out is if:

1) It was a spell and they were too drained.
2) Limited uses per day Natural Ability.
3) They couldn't teleport at all.

I can't see thirty nearly drained Archons taking Garrison. The teleport would have to drain more than 50% of their juice, leaving them extremely weak relative to normal. Charlie isn't that kind of risk taker.

I seriously doubt option 2. Why teleport over GK when you can fly and save the limited use? At worst, the 4 or 5 Archons in the vicinity would have no reason to teleport. If it was 2, then it was a serious waste of limited resources, and they deserved to die for being cocky during wartime.


In my opinion, teleport consumes all your movement for the turn, so even if you can get anywhere you want you're then a siting duck untill your next turn. No fancy hit and runs.

Actually, that's not possible. If that was true, then the Archons could not take GK on the day if they teleported in. Charlie has that option, and it is on the table: Parson convinces him to wait it out. Taking Garrison involves movement for the attacker, so they must have had movement left.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-01, 12:50 PM
You can beleive what you want, but it's not proof of something else. They could have flown. There's nothing in those images inconsistent with flight.The same applies to the reverse: You can believe that they do not teleport, but there are strips which can and have been used to support the theory that they can teleport. You can't prove that the implication given by those strips is invalid. You're reading just as much into the strips when you look at them and assume overland flight as I am when I look at them and assume teleportation. Perhaps the question will be answered in a future strip.

Or they flew and they are more balanced. See how easy it is to rectify that problem?No, as you could remove a decent third of the abilities of the archons and they would still be unbalanced as compared to the rest of the forces we've seen in the world. Look at it this way: We know that according to Parsons battle calculation that the archons could take the garrison in a single turn, the garrison of the best defensive position known on Erf. And the archons arrived in a single turn after Parson told Charlie how many archons were needed to take the garrison in a single turn. It took the entire combined RCC forces 5+ turns and thousands of troops to focus enough force to threaten to take the GK garrison. Thousands of troops and multiple turns, compared to about 30 archons and one turn.

Now, cut their power to 1/10, just as a thought exercise. Now it takes about 350 archons a single turn to take the garrison of the most defensible city in the game, compared to the same 5+ turns and thousands of RCC troops. Still quite unbalanced.

Quite a potent force those archons are, wouldn't you agree?
The only things which can balance this incredible potency, from the perspective of a TBS game, are a long production cycle, a high upkeep, and perhaps a weak defensive ability as an exploitable weakness against their potent offensive abilities. I take the comment by Charlie that the loss of Jaclyn was a "bloody nose" as an indication that the archons are either very expensive to produce, few in numbers, or both. Vinny seemed to feel that Stanley killing a few Jetstone field units was not much of a big deal, but a single archon slain is a "bloody nose"? Must be valuable, and are demonstrably valuable.

What ambitions? All we know for certain is that his side hires out is a merc. He isn't grabbing terrain, murdering Rulers, trying to get Arkenpliers, etc.Actually, we do not know this at all. We know that he is offering his archons to the sides in "the great western conflict", and that's about it. We don't have any idea of the size of his side, or how he interacts with the other sides near him. We do know that he'd love to get the mathamancy artifact Parson has, Parson himself, and it's easily presumable that he would like the Archenpliers as well, since he was willing to wait a turn to see if Parson could make good his prediction that Parson would have the 'Pliers by the end of the turn, and Charlie knew that Parson would lose forces in the fight and that his archons could take the GK garrison in a single turn. Plenty of ambitions shown in the strip.

And as for you personally wanting Charlie to suffer... why do you really care who the next antagonist is? If it's Charlie, then great, it's Charlie. If we wind up with a three way conflict between RCC, Stanley, and Charlie, why do you dislike Charlie's inclusion?For the same reasons I gave above. Charlie has too much potency to be a credible antagonist. Only if the archons lost at the volcano were a sizable portion of his force structure will he be weakened enough to be a credible antagonist. If he has another 30ish archons then he can take just about any city in the game in a single turn.

The only way for the Archons to not be able to teleport out is if:

1) It was a spell and they were too drained.
2) Limited uses per day Natural Ability.
3) They couldn't teleport at all.You're not exercising your imagination, there are plenty of other reasons.
4) Teleportation counts as Move (they had none since they ended turn)
5) Teleportation costs some amount of Move.
6) Charlie can teleport them from his capitol using the Archendish, but not to it as they need to be at the 'Dish for that function.
7) They can only teleport at the start of a turn.
8) They can only teleport on their turn.
X) Many others.

Kreistor
2009-04-01, 02:18 PM
No, as you could remove a decent third of the abilities of the archons and they would still be unbalanced as compared to the rest of the forces we've seen in the world. Look at it this way: We know that according to Parsons battle calculation that the archons could take the garrison in a single turn, the garrison of the best defensive position known on Erf.

Rock, Paper, Scissors. Are any of them more powerful than the other? Rock is clearly superior to Scissors, so it is clearly the most powerful. Therefore, always choose rock.

The fallacy of your argument for Archon ability is equivalent to that I just made. And it falls apart for the same reason. The Archons are casters, and infantry are vulnerable to area effect abilities, like the spells we see them cast. One Archon can easily be worth 50 infantry. But are tehy worth more than 50 Archers? Those archers are going to be firing back, and one thing we've never seen are any abilties that would make them invulnerable to arrows. Archers, in turn, are vulnerable to infantry... if that infantry can get in close. So there you have an RPS, or a possible one. Remember that Charlie is smart and doesn't want to suffer losses. He's not going to let his Archons fight anything they are vulnerable to, so you're never going to see the Archons losing badly (except to complete surprises like ancient volcanoes suddenly awakening). So there should never be evidence the Archons aren't really powerful, but that doesn't mean they are, only that they are used well.

I could do the same as you with the dwagons. We saw ~60 dwagons destroy 50 siege units, and sundry support. If the only example I had of dwagon combat was that, then we might prove them to be extremely overpowered. We see, however, that dwagons are vulnerable to certain things because they have to face surprises.


And the archons arrived in a single turn after Parson told Charlie how many archons were needed to take the garrison in a single turn. It took the entire combined RCC forces 5+ turns and thousands of troops to focus enough force to threaten to take the GK garrison. Thousands of troops and multiple turns, compared to about 30 archons and one turn.

Yeeesss... ground forces normally move at the rate of their slowest unit (siege units are usually the slowest). FLying units usually move signifcantly faster than ground units, and siege armies are very slow. Just check here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0069.html)... one gwiffon has 4 move and others (including Archons) have 24+. That's 6x the move, plus they ignore terrain modifiers ground troops can't avoid. It is entirely reasonable for a flying unit to cross terrain it takes ground units days or weeks to cross.


Now, cut their power to 1/10, just as a thought exercise. Now it takes about 350 archons a single turn to take the garrison of the most defensible city in the game, compared to the same 5+ turns and thousands of RCC troops. Still quite unbalanced.

Only if you ignore cost/unit and upkeep, and yes I know you bring that up later. But in games like these, cash is a vital balance factor. Those Archons may cost 100x to buy and 100x the upkeep vs. a standard infantry unit. If casters were cheap, Stanley would have thousands, instead of summoning Parson for 350K. Stanley has dwagons, for instance. Very powerful units, obviously. But he can't buy them: he has to risk his own neck and subdue them. There's the fundamental balance. He can't summon them to order. If the Archons are allowed to Charlie by the Dish in the same way that dwagons are to Stanely by Hammer, then there is going to be some limiting factor on their creation, and it may not even be cash.

Further, note how limited the Archons are. They never seem to be doing different things. They may not have any specialization, like Wanda and Sizemore. They can do Thinkamancy, some form of damage spell (Shockamancy?), Foolamancy... but they all seem completely interchangable. If they are, in fact, all the same with no specialized individual magic, then they are hit hard by the RPS equation. Whatever they are vulnerable to, they are all vulnerable to, and so anyone interested in defeating Charlie merely needs to stock up on that one type of unit.


Quite a potent force those archons are, wouldn't you agree?

All forces are potent in the correct circumstances. Look at the battle of Hastings. The English were winning. They held the ridge against Norman cavalry that couldn't get a head of steam climbing up the hill, so they were tired and their lances ineffective. The English lost when they broke from the ridge to charge retreating cavalry, putting themselves on flat ground, where the horses could kick into gear and the lances go to work. So, who was more powerful? The infantry that easily held off cavalry, or the cavalry that easily annihilated infantry. All units have strengths and weaknesses. That we haven't been shown Archon weakness does not imply the lack of weakness.


Actually, we do not know this at all. We know that he is offering his archons to the sides in "the great western conflict", and that's about it.

We know he isn't, because the RCC is hiring him. He's non-Royal. If he gave evidence of ambition, he'd be next on the chopping block, and not invited to the party.


We do know that he'd love to get the mathamancy artifact Parson has, Parson himself, and it's easily presumable that he would like the Archenpliers as well

Parson and the artefact, yes. Pliers, no. Grabbing the pliers might make him a target for power grabbing, especially grabbing something owned by a Royal. A single non-Royal with two Arkentools? They're beating on Stanley because he was just trying to get a second one. Actually getting it? Suicide, and Charlie knows it.


Plenty of ambitions shown in the strip.

Greed, yes. Coveting another's items, yes. We're talking about coveting power when we're talking about ambition... The ambition to increase your place in the world, not just make more cash. The Royals don't stop non-Royals from getting rich, only from becoming too powerful. Like I said, the examples were grabbing terrain, murdering enemies... the sort of power that leads to increased power of the world, not wealth.


For the same reasons I gave above. Charlie has too much potency to be a credible antagonist.

Suspected potency. Unproven potency. Based on hints and clues that have multiple interpretations. The denizens of Erfworld aren't worried, and if they were, they are known to gang up and beat up on people like Charlie. That's the best evidence against you. You're trying to suggest Charlie is more powerful than Stanley. If so, why are the RCC not attacking Charlescomm? He's the greater threat, in your mind. They know what Archons can do, and they were there to see the teleport, if it happened. They know how Charlie treats his neighbours. They have all the information you have and more. They aren't afraid. So, sorry, but you're wrong, fundamentally, on this one. Whatever information you don't have defeats you, because if it didn't, this story would not be being written. Parson would have been summoned by Charlie instead.


4) Teleportation counts as Move (they had none since they ended turn)
5) Teleportation costs some amount of Move.
7) They can only teleport at the start of a turn.
8) They can only teleport on their turn.
X) Many others.

All of which require you to come up with rules that the author never presented. Each one complicates the system, and we know that Rob has told us it is a simple system. I have to reject them as overly complicated... they all involve teleportation requiring an exception to normal spell rules, and that I am not willing to entertain.

For 6, well, you might remember I brought that one up first. If the Archons do not have that power, and it stems from the Arkendish, then the units are not that poweful in the first place, capable only of flight. They might do deep strikes, but they would be sacrificial units, and casters are not cheap, or everyone would have many of them. They are vulnerable when attacked, like any other unit.

Look, I never said that teleportation is not possible. I'm only saying that it is not certain, and not enough to be used as evidence of anything else. They might teleport, but that's not enough to demonstrate Charlie's obvious superiority. You simply can't be correct, because the story would be fundamentally different if you were.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-01, 04:17 PM
Rock, Paper, Scissors. Are any of them more powerful than the other? Rock is clearly superior to Scissors, so it is clearly the most powerful. Therefore, always choose rock.

The fallacy of your argument for Archon ability is equivalent to that I just made. And it falls apart for the same reason.Oh, does it? Please demonstrate this by citing scenes from the comic. Because it looks to me as though you are simply assuming that the archons have some kind of a foil, where one has never been shown.

One archon died when "most" of the GK air defenses were fired off. Not a balancing force, or a repeatable one. Maybe one archon was shown to have died due to the scroll use by Maggie and/or the remaining air defenses. And lava doesn't count as an archon foil as it appears as though all units not holding Archenpliers are equally vulnerable to lava, and "happen to be out of move over an extinct volcano while a trimancer group of Think-Dirt-Croakamancer awaken it" isn't a very repeatable event either.

One Archon can easily be worth 50 infantry. But are tehy worth more than 50 Archers? Those archers are going to be firing back, and one thing we've never seen are any abilties that would make them invulnerable to arrows. Archers, in turn, are vulnerable to infantry... if that infantry can get in close. So there you have an RPS, or a possible one.Maybe, but you're guessing again. We have no scenes from the comic to support that guess of yours. What we do know for fact is that 30ish archons are able to fight all of the remaining GK forces, which include 3 potent casters, Parson, and a good number of troops and defenses, and win in a single turn.

I could do the same as you with the dwagons.You could try, but I'd ask you to list the shown dwagon abilities. That list is far smaller than the shown archon abilities, even if you refuse to allow teleportation on the archons list.

It is entirely reasonable for a flying unit to cross terrain it takes ground units days or weeks to cross.You miss the point. It's reasonable for a flying unit to be faster than a land unit, sure. This is due to the fact that flying units are typically made to be like a non-fantasy air force: Fast by virtue of flight. It isn't really necessary to have them be fast, but it's a common theme. Flight brings other advantages that come without needing to add on faster movement. The ability to move across or stop over water. Over water you are immune to attack. The ability to move over woods. Over woods you can only be attacked by woods units or archers. The ability to only be attacked over all other terrain types by archers. The ability to freely cross city walls, while ground units have to break through. There may be others. These abilities are all potent in their own right, and come along with the ability to fly. So faster move isn't needed for flight to be already quite potent. But now, if that flying unit can also hurl bolts of power, detect spells automatically, relay battle information instantaneously, help other units break out of spells cast upon them with a pep talk, teleport, etc, etc... Then it's not just a matter of flight, it's the whole package.

Further, note how limited the Archons are.I do not note this, at all. Quite the contrary, in fact.
They never seem to be doing different things. They may not have any specialization, like Wanda and Sizemore. They can do Thinkamancy, some form of damage spell (Shockamancy?), Foolamancy... but they all seem completely interchangable. If they are, in fact, all the same with no specialized individual magic, then they are hit hard by the RPS equation. Whatever they are vulnerable to, they are all vulnerable to, and so anyone interested in defeating Charlie merely needs to stock up on that one type of unit.You are again assuming that they are vulnerable to something. And you're making a lot out of the fact that they appear to be uniform, when that is both not shown, as we do not see all archons with nets, or all archons relaying battlefield images, and Maggie says she isn't sure how many archons can stand in as replacements for the DDR and not that they all can, and it's pretty much irrelevant in any case. A large group of the same kind of tank is a potent force, no matter that they all have the same main gun.

All forces are potent in the correct circumstances.Sure. But please point out a demonstration that archons are not potent in all circumstances. They always had the power needed at the time. You need to go make your boss some money from one of the sides in the great western conflict? We'll just teleport there / show up immediately if you prefer. The Warlord you're escorting is under a spell? We'll detect it, discuss it, and then pep talk her out from under it's influence! You're about to attack some dwagons? Well, we'll just hurl some bolts of power and kill them without any losses (yes, we had a hand with this one). A Warlord you're escorting is convinced her lover is under a spell? We know that this is not true and can advise her of this, with no apparent effort spent. Your boss is considering taking out the best fortified city in the world in a single turn? We'll teleport in / show up immediately if you prefer and in enough numbers to pull it off as certified by mathamancy. Your boss wants to capture a smart Warlord? We'll unlimber our nets. A potential ally is willing to accept your boss's terms, but he wants more than was previously discussed? We'll just present a magical contract for the ally to sign. Your new ally needs a hand? We've got a just in time solution to his woes, killing the entire GK air force and almost killing the GK croakamancer. His non-dance fighting troops are getting killed against dance fighting uncroaked? We'll just send down some DDR moves and automagically give thousands of troops who can not dance fight the ability to dance fight. Oh, and we can dace fight ourselves, although this ability isn't ever used because we're so potent in combat that we don't bother to stack that bonus.

And I'm pretty sure I haven't listed all of their abilities, because the list is quite long and it's easy to miss something.

That we haven't been shown Archon weakness does not imply the lack of weakness.True, but if you're going to use the things we're shown in the strip as your basis, we've been shown no such weakness, and so based on what we've seen there is no such weakness. If you're not using the strip as your basis, then you're just guessing or hoping.

We know he isn't, because the RCC is hiring him. He's non-Royal. If he gave evidence of ambition, he'd be next on the chopping block, and not invited to the party.Another guess. The RCC is in the area of "the great western conflict", it's not at all certain that Charlie is in any way known to them other than via his contract offers. It's hard to put someone on the "chopping block" when you only see the troops he hires out to you.

Parson and the artefact, yes. Pliers, no. Grabbing the pliers might make him a target for power grabbing, especially grabbing something owned by a Royal. A single non-Royal with two Arkentools? They're beating on Stanley because he was just trying to get a second one. Actually getting it? Suicide, and Charlie knows it.Charlie has already been seen saying that he'd like to grab Parson's mathamancy artifact before the RCC can get their hands on it. And Charlie already has an attuned Archentool. Why would you think that having the Archenpliers would change anything for Charlie, other than to make him more powerful?
And the RCC isn't beating on Stanley at all because of the Archenhammer or his quest to get more Archentools. The sole reasons we've seen for the conflict is this: Royals like to gang up on non-royals.
Stanley wiped out Milquetoast, killed a few Jetstone field units, and Ansom thinks he is a regicide. But the bottom line is of the issue, as shown in the conversation between Vinny and Ansom, is that Stanley is not noble.

The Royals don't stop non-Royals from getting rich, only from becoming too powerful.It is not stated anywhere that non-royals are allowed to get wealthy, but are not allowed to form large sides or become powerful. Wealth is a form of power, after all.

The denizens of Erfworld aren't worried, and if they were, they are known to gang up and beat up on people like Charlie. That's the best evidence against you. You're trying to suggest Charlie is more powerful than Stanley. If so, why are the RCC not attacking Charlescomm? He's the greater threat, in your mind.Proximity. Knowledge. They are both not near Charlie, and may not know where he is at all. This is supported by the strip. Not explicitly, but there is support for it. There is no support for any theory that any of the RCC or GK know where Charlie is or that he is close enough for them to bother sending troops his way.

All of [the additional reasons the archons couldn't teleport away from GK during the eruption] which require you to come up with rules that the author never presented.Which is no different than your own possibility 2, and possibility 1 assumes that the archons are actually casters and don't just use natural whateveramancy to power their abilities. We never see them land, so it's also an assumption that they ever are unable to perform any of their abilities at any time.

If the Archons do not have that power, and it stems from the Arkendish, then the units are not that poweful in the first place, capable only of flight.I've also brought it up previously, and said that it is functionally the same, as it changes nothing in the factoring of Charlie being able to take GK in a single turn. All it implies is that he has to have his archons fly back overland, which may or may not be too big of a deal to him. We do know that Charlie wasn't interested in taking GK for the city, all he cared about was the mathamancy artifact, and possibly Parson if that could be arranged. And "capable only of flight" leaves out a whole host of demonstrated archon abilities...

They might do deep strikes, but they would be sacrificial units, and casters are not cheap, or everyone would have many of them. They are vulnerable when attacked, like any other unit.Vulnerable, how, exactly? Vulnerable behind the walls of a city that it takes 5+ turns for an army to array itself against? Vulnerable when they have the option to fly off during any turn? That is not a vulnerability by a long stretch. Note that when Parson told Charlie that the RCC would just take GK right after Charlie took it, Charlie said "they can have it!" He wasn't worried about his archins being stuck there and being killed by the RCC forces, they clearly had enough move to take GK, collect the mathamancy artifact and perhaps Parson, and fly or teleport to safety.

You simply can't be correct [that the archons teleport or can be teleported by Charlie], because the story would be fundamentally different if you were.That is your presumption, but you're assuming much that is simply not known. Maybe we'll find out.

ishnar
2009-04-01, 05:25 PM
The same applies to the reverse: You can believe that they do not teleport, but there are strips which can and have been used to support the theory that they can teleport. You can't prove that the implication given by those strips is invalid. You're reading just as much into the strips when you look at them and assume overland flight as I am when I look at them and assume teleportation. Perhaps the question will be answered in a future strip.

Any teleportation theory now has to explain why the Archons didn't teleport out when the volcano blew up. Teleportation is not movement, it's casting, so when Parson's strategy affected Charlie's archon's they would have had the ability to cast to defend themselves.

The "support" for the teleport theory is really non-existant. The assumption that Charlie is so far away that he would need to teleport any support troops to bolster his existing mercenaries is rendered false with his command to "proceed (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0046.html)" not teleport to Ansom's location. If he needed some other means to arrive on site next turn, he would have ordered it utilized. It is known that aarcons can keep up with Jillian, so we know they have move to burn.

SteveMB
2009-04-01, 05:36 PM
Any teleportation theory now has to explain why the Archons didn't teleport out when the volcano blew up. Teleportation is not movement, it's casting, so when Parson's strategy affected Charlie's archon's they would have had the ability to cast to defend themselves.

The only real argument I see for the notion that Archons can teleport is:

1. Charlie refers to the "great western conflict", implying that the scene is far away (i.e. a significant number of turns' move by even fairly fast units) from his base of operations.

2. The Archons Ansom hired were delivered in one turn. Ditto for the Archons Charlie sent when Ansom hired more to reinforce the expeditionary force against Stanley (which fell through when Charlie started playing both ends against the middle).

3. If Archons can simply fly a really great distance in one turn (see #1 above), they're just too powerful.

This is a somewhat thin line of argument. Even if it's true, if would still only support the conclusion that Charlie can deliver Archons by "respawning" them at the location desired by the hiring side, but not that they can teleport in general.

Kreistor
2009-04-01, 06:11 PM
Oh, does it? Please demonstrate this by citing scenes from the comic. Because it looks to me as though you are simply assuming that the archons have some kind of a foil, where one has never been shown.

Don't ask for what you can't do yourself to prove your point.


One archon died when "most" of the GK air defenses were fired off.

Based on unknown knowledge: we don't know how powerful the defenses were, how they could be targetted, how much spent on them, etc. Not an indicator of strength or weakness without something to compare to. )Stanley might not have bought heavy air defenses due to the presence of dwagons, for instance, who are a pretty good deterrent.)


Maybe, but you're guessing again.

Like you don't? Your entire argument is speculative without definitive proof.


We have no scenes from the comic to support that guess of yours.

Not so much a guess. Remember, Charlie is smart so you will never see a single example of Archons facing their weakness.

I look to our world for examples. I think the best is circa 1812. You have three basic types of military land units -- infantry, cavalry, and cannon. (I'm going to stick to English army for this... if I tossed in the French there would be an additional argument.)

Infantry could arrange themselves in two patterns, generally. In square or in line. When in line, cannon did little damage, hitting only two men (English used a two man deep line). Cannon didn't have the maneuverability to get to the side of the faster moving infantry. Cavalry, however, could outmaneuver infantry and attack from the sides, and due to slow reload times (3-4 roudns per minute), the infantry had little it could do to defend themselves.

Infantry in square was far more vulnerable to cannon fire. A lucky shot could take out a lot of men; however, cavalry could not affect a square. Horses would not approach the prickly mass of a pike square, and that's what bayonetted muskets were in square. (There's a single exception in 300 years of fighting in this style.)

It's the perfect example of rock-paper-scissors in our world. There are others. Fighters destroying bombers, which destroy battleships, which destroy airfields of fighters.

No, I can't prove that there is a unit that is particularly capable of killing Archons, but I can say that you can't prove that Archons are better than an equal cost of archers, either. Charlie is smart enough to not let a unit under his employ face units it is weak against, so no, I don't think I'll ever have evidence of Archon vulnerabilities, and certainly not soon. But I know they are vulnerable, because they must be.


What we do know for fact is that 30ish archons are able to fight all of the remaining GK forces, which include 3 potent casters, Parson, and a good number of troops and defenses, and win in a single turn.

I wouldn't be surprised. You cna't prove that 30 Archons didn't cost Charlie 2x as much as all of those units combined. The Archons are facing the remnants of an army, with only 200 living creatures, and masses of decaying uncroaked, many of which were created weak and sub-par in the first place. This is not evidence of anything.


You could try, but I'd ask you to list the shown dwagon abilities. That list is far smaller than the shown archon abilities, even if you refuse to allow teleportation on the archons list.

What have we seen of the Archons? They can kill an injured dwagon. They can cast a few spells. And dwagons can take the hits of any archery units Ansom deemed adequate to protect his seige train and survive. We have not seen Archons come under serious attack, because Charlie has never allowed them into a situation where they could be.


You miss the point. [snip] Then it's not just a matter of flight, it's the whole package.

When did I say they were weak? I said they have undemonstrated weaknesses, not that they weren't powerful. Dwagons are powerful, and they have weaknesses. (Looks to me like swarms of small units are their weakness. I suspect dwagons can only breath once per day, which would explain why a bunch of bats killed a lot of dwagons.)


I do not note this, at all. Quite the contrary, in fact.You are again assuming that they are vulnerable to something.

And you are assuming they are not. Big whoop.


And you're making a lot out of the fact that they appear to be uniform,

I never said anything about their uniform. I said they appeared to be interchangable by their abilities. True casters have a specialty and more or less ability in other fields. But here we have all the archons able to seemingly do the same castings. That's not normal for casters, who all seem to be unique.


A large group of the same kind of tank is a potent force, no matter that they all have the same main gun.

And are all vulnerable to air-to-surface missiles. Add more tanks? Still vulnerable.


Sure. But please point out a demonstration that archons are not potent in all circumstances.

Can't. Don't need to. This is, ultimately, about teleportation and your opinion that the Archons are uber-powerful. Asking for this is just as absurd as me asking you to prove the Archons are powerful in every circumstance. We have only seen the Archons fight weakened dwagons, and lose to air defenses. That's two fights, one win and one loss. We haven't seen them fight infantry, archery, undamaged dwagons, etc., ad infinitum. It is an impossible task for both of us. There is insufficient sample space to make any determination of their defenses.


They always had the power needed at the time.

They always were at full power. Not evidence of lack of resource limitations.

(BTW, we've never seen Archons melee. Ever. Suggesting they don't need to dance fight when meleeing requires evidence that they can melee at all. Note they don't carry weapons.)


And I'm pretty sure I haven't listed all of their abilities, because the list is quite long and it's easy to miss something.

Most of it is weak relative to other casters.


Another guess. The RCC is in the area of "the great western conflict",

And you guess that a particular image is a sunset instead of sunrise. DOn't fault me for something you did first.


Charlie has already been seen saying that he'd like to grab Parson's mathamancy artifact before the RCC can get their hands on it. And Charlie already has an attuned Archentool. Why would you think that having the Archenpliers would change anything for Charlie, other than to make him more powerful?

Parson's artefact is not yet known to anyone but GK and Charlie (because Parson himself told Charlie in order to deal). No one else knows what it can do. Still, it's not different from having a Mathemancer, so it's not really terribly powerful. It's like having a free, 0 upkeep caster. Nobody is going to start a war over that.


The sole reasons we've seen for the conflict is this: Royals like to gang up on non-royals. Stanley wiped out Milquetoast, killed a few Jetstone field units, and Ansom thinks he is a regicide.

Most of those occured long after the RCC was formed. Here's the reason for the coalition here: 83.4 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html). Stanley pissed off enough sides. Tell me: how many sides would be pissed off if Charlie snagged the Arkenpliers after GK offed Ansom? All the ones in the RCC now, actually. They would suspect collusion, and that would be enough.


But the bottom line is of the issue, as shown in the conversation between Vinny and Ansom, is that Stanley is not noble.

Don't confuse Ansom's own hatreds for the reasons behind forming a coalition of nations. Nations don't come together to destroy someone a single individual hates: they come together to defeat something they fear.


It is not stated anywhere that non-royals are allowed to get wealthy, but are not allowed to form large sides or become powerful. Wealth is a form of power, after all.

Wealth is a form of power, I agree, however it doesn't conquer nations. If Charlie tried to use that wealth to buy his kingdom larger,well, someone might take notice and go after him. But wealth unused is potential power, and not a threat. When it gets turned into units, that's when it becomes power to fear.


Proximity. Knowledge. They are both not near Charlie, and may not know where he is at all. This is supported by the strip. Not explicitly, but there is support for it. There is no support for any theory that any of the RCC or GK know where Charlie is or that he is close enough for them to bother sending troops his way.

Except look at the incredulity that Faq remained hidden for so long. Faq was unique. Jillian survived as an unknown merc because she never told anyone where she was from. RCC knows of Charlescomm. If they were unable to find it, Faq would not be considered unique and unbelievable.


Which is no different than your own possibility 2, and possibility 1 assumes that the archons are actually casters and don't just use natural whateveramancy to power their abilities.


Why could the Archons cast the DDR spell? They were part of the Coalition and it was now technically their turn. But they could not move because all of Charlescomm's units' move went to zero when Charlie ended turn. Move and hits are restored to full at the beginning of a side's turn, and (re)forming an alliance does not count as starting a new turn.

Why could the Archons "cast" the contract, when it was not their turn? Well, why could they still fly? It's not a spell, it's a natural magic.

"DDR Spell". If it was natural, it would have fallen under the next question, instead of getting its own. Archons have both.


Vulnerable, how, exactly? Vulnerable behind the walls of a city that it takes 5+ turns for an army to array itself against? Vulnerable when they have the option to fly off during any turn?

You'remixing your time frame with mine. I was not speaking of what happened in the comic, I was speaking of using teleportation as a tool of assassination. One way teleport means you have to fly your way out, past the targets guards. Useful, sure, but not incredibly so.


That is not a vulnerability by a long stretch. Note that when Parson told Charlie that the RCC would just take GK right after Charlie took it, Charlie said "they can have it!" He wasn't worried about his archins being stuck there and being killed by the RCC forces, they clearly had enough move to take GK, collect the mathamancy artifact and perhaps Parson, and fly or teleport to safety.

Uhm, you're missing something -- hey aren't stuck in GK. After capturing GK, Charlie owns it. Now he gets free movement inside the city. If he knows Ansom is coming, he takes the city, grabs what he wants, and retreats to Airspace. Of course, if they are not out of move they can fly away and abandon the city. He's not planning on losing a single Archon to RCC... he'll give them the city once he has what he wants.


That is your presumption, but you're assuming much that is simply not known.

No, not really. All I'm saying is that if the Archons were really as powerful as you say, and had no balance to limit numbers, Charlie would have no ned of being mercenary. Your theory is incomplete, and so has no weight. To make such bold, sweeping claims, you need something serious, something definite. This isn't like my old thread where I tried to prove Archons are all casters. That's just a unit definition: if they are or anren't, it wouldn't change the story. But if your theory is true, and Charlie is uber-powerful, the story has to change to compensate. He doesn't need to be mercenary, and he's a far greater threat than Stanley, so the attacks on Stanley using him as an ally make zero sense. You need more, before I'll lend you any hint of agreement.

ishnar
2009-04-01, 06:15 PM
The only real argument I see for the notion that Archons can teleport is:

1. Charlie refers to the "great western conflict", implying that the scene is far away (i.e. a significant number of turns' move by even fairly fast units) from his base of operations.

Since this is a turn based game that seems to use hex movement and cardinal directions are used for describing relative positions, I'd say the only implication here is that it is west of Charlie's position and that the conflict is big. The other implication is that Great Western Conflict might just be the commonly accepted name for the war, and Charlie's relative position might be completely unrelated. All teleportion arguments require at least two assumptions, (Charlie's base is distant, and Charlie can only reinforce from his base). Considering the different geography between 46.1 and 46.2 there is no reason to believe that the archons are proceeding from Charlie's base.
Flight requires no assumptions and simply accepting known statements at face value.

I'm for occam's razor here.


2. The Archons Ansom hired were delivered in one turn. Ditto for the Archons Charlie sent when Ansom hired more to reinforce the expeditionary force against Stanley (which fell through when Charlie started playing both ends against the middle).

Jillian was able to beat Stanley to Faq--in one turn, by going through Trans. Trans (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0111.html), Faq (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html), and Charlie's base (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0046.html) all have similar geography. It's more reasonable to assume they are relatively close together.

Kreistor
2009-04-01, 06:23 PM
1. Charlie refers to the "great western conflict", implying that the scene is far away (i.e. a significant number of turns' move by even fairly fast units) from his base of operations.

If Charlie is mercing out across Erfworld, he would need to specify which conflict he is talking about. That means he could be anywhere, including the west, because he'd need to specify they weren't hired by a side in "the minor southeastern conflict", or the "middle-upper-southern conflict". There's an implication that Charlie is not in the west, but he could still be in the north, south, or middle and still not be in the west.


2. The Archons Ansom hired were delivered in one turn. Ditto for the Archons Charlie sent when Ansom hired more to reinforce the expeditionary force against Stanley (which fell through when Charlie started playing both ends against the middle).

Actually, no. we don't know where those three archons were in the first frame. They could have been in the west, awaiting word that Ansom had finally met the price,and then the flight is actually quite short. We do know with certainty that there are mountains in Archon flying range of GK... the same mountains Stanley tries to fly through and failed. And Charlie, sensing opportunity, may have hidden more in the mountains just in case Ansom needed more. Everyone is presuming that the archons are all located in Charlescomm when they start flying, but cagey birds like Charlie are prepared for when opportunity arises. If you need to provide a service, and the customer needs that service quickly, it is important to ensure your people are in position to provide when the line is signed.


3. If Archons can simply fly a really great distance in one turn (see #1 above), they're just too powerful.

Teleportation being less powerful? Sorry, that's not an arugment for teleportation, calling flight of the same distance too powerful.

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-04-01, 11:23 PM
Stanley leaving was not an act of cowardice but a loss of faith...

Stanley said Ansom was bringing him the arkenpliers. And he was right, if only he had stayed and trusted his instinct.

Stanley asked for the perfect warlord. And he had one, tailored to his own specifications. He would have won, if he only trusted his own spell.

In the end, everyone played themselves. Stanley didn't trust himself. Charlie outsmarted himself.

And Ansom? Well yes Ansom's overconfidence was his undoing but so was his trust in Jillian. If Jillian and Vinny had stayed...ah that's the hard part. If Jillian and Vinny stayed then Ansom would not have made his final mistake.

But if Stanley had stayed as well, would Parson have been able to pull of his Phyrric victory?

Tensu
2009-04-02, 09:18 AM
But if Stanley had stayed as well, would Parson have been able to pull of his Phyrric victory?

Would he have needed to might be the better question. With Dwagons and a master foolamancer, Parson could probably have set up another hit-and-run routine, taking out those pesky Archons fist, then the rest of the siege, then anything else that has range or can fly, and then finally moving to melee troops.

Manga Shoggoth
2009-04-02, 10:03 AM
Stanley leaving was not an act of cowardice but a loss of faith...

Stanley said Ansom was bringing him the arkenpliers. And he was right, if only he had stayed and trusted his instinct.

...

But if Stanley had stayed as well, would Parson have been able to pull of his Phyrric victory?

An interesting slant on the decision.

You are a little unfair on Parson, though. This isn't a Phyrric Victory (where you win, but at an excessive cost that erases any benefits to the victory). Parson was in a losing situation from the start.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-02, 01:16 PM
Don't ask for [proof] what you can't do yourself to prove your point.
[...]
Your entire argument is speculative without definitive proof.As is yours. Why shouldn't I ask you for proof? Why is it unfair for me to ask you to prove that archons can't teleport using citations from the strip, while it's also apparently unfair for me to say that I think that they can and support that with citations from the strip? At least I do have some citations to provide, you have nothing but a dislike for the theory.

Not so much a guess. Remember, Charlie is smart so you will never see a single example of Archons facing their weakness.
[...]
Charlie is smart enough to not let a unit under his employ face units it is weak against, so no, I don't think I'll ever have evidence of Archon vulnerabilities, and certainly not soon. But I know they are vulnerable, because they must be.Completely false. We've seen 2 archons die to more ordinary combat than a volcano erupting, so it's not just a given that Charlie will never put his archons in harms way or never take any losses. Plus, we know that Charlie hires out the archons for missions like "escort", where the dangers faced can not be known.

And "I know they are vulnerable, because they must be" is hardly a valid argument, as it is purely speculative and based upon your desires rather than any facts. We've already discussed other things which might offset the archons potency: A long production cycle, a high upkeep, etc. Don't claim that they have to have a specific weakness, because there are plenty of TBS games where high powered units are well rounded in their potency but have exactly the drawbacks I just listed. I have a precedent to cite in the genre, you have what? Bombers being vulnerable to fighters? Rock/paper/scissors is a nice theory, but it has no backing. I'll ask again, what is the paper to the archons rock? Point to the strip which shows it. There isn't one, which makes your r/p/s theory unsupportable.

This [30 archons being able to beat GK, Parson, the 3 mancers, and the remainder of the GK troops in a single turn] is not evidence of anything.But it is. It's evidence of exactly that. This force can do in 1 turn what the RCC needed a great many turns to even begin to make progress. A hypothetical but unknown cost balancing factor is not relevant to the discussion of their demonstrated potency.

When did I say they were weak? I said they have undemonstrated weaknesses, not that they weren't powerful.You realize that those two sentences are self-contradictory? "When did I say they were weak?" Well, you said it when you said that they have undemonstrated weaknesses, naturally. And in your post before this one, as well.

And you are assuming [archons] are not [vulnerable to something]. Big whoop.The difference is that I'm limiting myself to what the strip has shown, while you are just assuming that it must be so because you wish it to be so. Big difference.

Asking for [you to point out a demonstration that archons are not potent in all circumstances] is just as absurd as me asking you to prove the Archons are powerful in every circumstance.Not so. I can prove that the archons are powerful in all circumstances by pointing to those circumstances shown in the strip. I listed a large number of these demonstrations in my prior post. You have nothing but a burning desire, no citation, no support.

Most of [the long list of archon abilities] is weak relative to other casters.This makes no point. GK had 5 casters. Other sides have been shown to have less (not proven, shown, there is a difference you miss often). Archons come in groups of 30+. And the archons main energy blasts have been shown to be just as potent as Maggie's "KI" or other casters direct attacks. And the archons are able to keep a running battle movie relaying to Charlie, while Maggie could cast only 2 communication spells in a single turn. Aside from trimancer linking, I'm not seeing a single archons potency level as being much less than a single casters, if you take Maggie as the comparison. Maggy hasn't been described as being master-class, and her flavor of magic seems to be the same as the archons. Any other comparison is apples to oranges.

Nobody is going to start a war over [the mathamancy artifact]. [While presumably they would over an archentool]Both are speculative, and unsupported. Only Stanley seems interested in going to war for an archentool. Ansom parades his 'Pliers around in front of every side in the RCC and never mentioned that any other side might want to take it from him. And Sizemore said that a side might pay 500k schmuckers for the mathamancy artifact, maybe more. We have Stanley's reaction on the cost of the Warlord summoning spell to show just how much that is worth. Sure, nothing set in stone, but that's what makes your insistence that:
1) Charley didn't want the 'Pliers;
2) If Charley got the 'Pliers other sides would go to war with him;
3) If Charlie got the mathamancy bracer no one would care;
All unsupported within the strip.
Charlie agreed to (maybe) sit out the turn because Parson told him that GK would have the pliers, and backed it with a mathamancy prediction of GKs odds of lasting the turn, and also reminded Charlie that GK would be weaker after they and the RCC fought it out this turn. Charlie's plan was to take GK and the mathamancy artifact, and maybe capture Parson. If GK had the 'Pliers when Charlie took it, why would Charlie even hesitate to take them also on his way out with the bracer and (maybe) Parson? Cite strips, not your pet theory on the cold war.

Here's the reason for the coalition here: 83.4.That strip says nothing about the formation of the RCC. This strip (34) (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0034.html) makes it very clear. Vinny is confused as to why Ansom is leading this fight. He asks Ansom straight up: "Your beef is that he's not royal, right?" And Ansom replies "That he isn't noble, Vinny."
All of Stanley's other offenses are written off as trivial by Vinny, and Ansom does not argue at all. It all comes down to Stanley's lack of nobility.

One way teleport means you have to fly your way out, past the targets guards. Useful, sure, but not incredibly so.The sole case we have of this is when the archons teleported around the GK tower (flew, if you prefer), and in enough strength to "take the garrison in a single turn". Has Charlie not ended turn and attacked, this would not have been an "assassination", and there would have been no guards left to have to fly past on the way out. Charlie would have taken the city, his troops would be the only ones left alive. Not that flying past the vast majority of troops isn't perfectly safe in any event...

Uhm, you're missing something -- [t]hey aren't stuck in GK. After capturing GK, Charlie owns it. Now he gets free movement inside the city. If he knows Ansom is coming, he takes the city, grabs what he wants, and retreats to Airspace. Of course, if they are not out of move they can fly away and abandon the city. He's not planning on losing a single Archon to RCC... he'll give them the city once he has what he wants.All of which simply supports my point that the archons would not be, as you said, vulnerable, once they took GK or any other city. Thanks!

No, not really [I'm not assuming much that is simply not known.]I hate to reply with "yes you are", but yes, you are. You cite nothing but your theories, and have no support from the strip for those theories. All we know of Erf is what is shown in the strips. If you want to claim that you're not assuming much that isn't know, cite your supporting strips.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-02, 01:21 PM
Any teleportation theory now has to explain why the Archons didn't teleport out when the volcano blew up.No, it doesn't. There are still plenty of Erf mechanics the readers are unaware of. This will just have to be another, until it is revealed one way or another for certain.

The "support" for the teleport theory is really non-existant. The assumption that Charlie is so far away that he would need to teleport any support troops to bolster his existing mercenaries is rendered false with his command to "proceed (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0046.html)" not teleport to Ansom's location.I've allowed that there is not absolute certainty on the subject, although the strip supports the theory in two places. But to claim that using the word "proceed" is clear evidence that archons can't teleport is just absurd.

Oslecamo
2009-04-02, 02:41 PM
3. If Archons can simply fly a really great distance in one turn (see #1 above), they're just too powerful.


They are too powerfull. But they probably can only be controled by someone with the arkendish. Attuned arkentools are suposed to be something to be feared, and what's more fearsome that gaining acess to imba units?

They have a vast array ot utility thinkmancer powers, ridiculous maneuverability, excellent combat skill and the titans know what else.

Dwagons in comparison are big bruisers. Very strong in combat, but with limited other capacities.

My take on that is that Stanley still hasn't fully understood the powers of his arkenhammer. The comic starts after all with Stanley discovering he can turn orlies in nuts. The arkenhammer won't reveal his full capcities untill

But, back on the main topic.

The coalition has shatered, and it seems to be all thanks to the whole uncroacked volcano nuke. The royals are afraid, they've never seen anythig like that.

If Stanley had stayed and broken the link and listened to Hamster he may had come out victorious.

But he wouldn't have inspired such fear in the royals. The coalition would retreat and come back with more forces. And they wouldn't fall on the same tricks again.

Plus, the old coalition members turning on each other is a great result. Blames will be thrown around to who's fault it was. And we discover that Jillian has been manipulated, and we all know how Jillian gets when she's angry. Stanley will have a golden time window to start rebuilding his side.

Kreistor
2009-04-02, 03:43 PM
As is yours. Why shouldn't I ask you for proof?

First, let me request that you hit "return" before or after every quote. When I Quote you, all the paragraphs are blurring together. They aren't separating, so I often can't tell where one ends and another begins.

I'm not trying to prove anything, only disprove you. I succeed by casting doubt on your hypothesis. I don't think I need to prove they can fly, do I? They could have flown and done everything you claim. I've achieved all I need to prove. I don't need to disprove they can't teleport, only demonstrate that they could do what they did without teleporting.


Why is it unfair for me to ask you to prove that archons can't teleport using citations from the strip, while it's also apparently unfair for me to say that I think that they can and support that with citations from the strip?

Because I'm not trying to add an ability not mentioned in the strip to the Archons. The burden of proof is on the man with the hypothesis, not the one trying to defeat the hypothesis.


At least I do have some citations to provide, you have nothing but a dislike for the theory.

Have you even been paying attention? I cast dubt on your timeline by interpreting your sunset as a sunrise. That's the same proof you used. I cast doubt that the Archons began in Charlescomm by pointing out that there are mountains near GK, close enough for them to fly to. (Interception of Stanley.) I pointed out that 104, there are 18 archons in about 10 degrees of sky (further, Parson has to look behind himself to see them approach, in a room of 360 degree visibility), and later they surround the tower, which tells us they approached GK ffrom a single direction, and did not teleport into a surrounding formation, and given the long range.

Additionally, the Archons did not teleport out of GK, despite Pclips telling us they could now cast during RCC turn due to the new alliance. That forces you to create exceptions for the Teleportation spell/ability to make it unavailable. Who's speculating?

Okay, I found a new one in support of Archon flight into GK. 94 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0104.html) and 104 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0116.html) Carefully observe where the desk is in both situations. Jillian's group and the Archon group both approach GK from the exact same direction. Obviously, I dont' think that's coincidence.

I have proven my case as far as it needs to be. I've cast doubt on all of your evidence, demonstrating how flight explains all of it. You don't actually have anything that has no doubt associated with it. They could have flown, so the suggestion that they need teleportation is contra-indicated.


Completely false. We've seen 2 archons die to more ordinary combat than a volcano erupting, so it's not just a given that Charlie will never put his archons in harms way or never take any losses. Plus, we know that Charlie hires out the archons for missions like "escort", where the dangers faced can not be known.

There will always be some losses in war, but I wouldn't call air defenses normal. Those were some extraordinary spells. I want to see them fighting archers, gwiffons, or the flying centaur things (can never remember the name). Or even a 1-on-1 with an uninjured dwagon. Nothing we have seen is of them fighting against normal units in normal combat.


There isn't one, which makes your r/p/s theory unsupportable.

You go ahead and assume the game is broken. I'll assume the author has that covered. After all, that's what you are trying to do. You're trying to prove the author is incompetent. He's the one that invents all of these things. By saying Charlie is unbalanced, you're saying the author unbalanced Charlie. This is a pretty simple balance issue, and hardly beyond Rob. Now, I don't inherently trust any author, but in this case, I'm pretty certain Rob is fully capable of dealing with a balance issue of this sort. He hasn't screwed up balance as far as I've seen yet with any other unit: he's only kept rules hidden so that we are incapable of seeing the true balance, sometimes, instead becoming confused by hints and incomplete knowledge.


But it is. It's evidence of exactly that. This force can do in 1 turn what the RCC needed a great many turns to even begin to make progress. A hypothetical but unknown cost balancing factor is not relevant to the discussion of their demonstrated potency.

Are you kidding me? You're going to arbitrarily declare cost a non-issue because we can't know what it is? Every single unit must therefore be balanced against every other single unit. Oh, no! Bogroll is unbalanced! He could clearly survive a fall that killed Ansom, and he has infinite move, so Twolls must be overpowered! Puh-lease. Cost is always a balancing factor. A twoll is more powerful than uncroaked because the uncroaked cost only spell power. Without knowing cost, you can't know how powerful an Archon is vs. another unit of similar cost. You are the one that thinks Charlie is unbalanced, and if you base that on Archons costing the same as a Piker, your argument is clearly flawed.


You realize that those two sentences are self-contradictory? "When did I say they were weak?" Well, you said it when you said that they have undemonstrated weaknesses, naturally. And in your post before this one, as well.

I'll refer you back to Rock Paper Scissors. Rock is weak vs. Paper. Does that make it weaker than paper? No, it wins as often as Paper, because of the existence of Scissors. It only appears weak if you ignore the rest of the system. I said that Archons have weaknesses, but that doesn't make them weak. Ansom was clearly weak to long falls, where Bogroll was not thanks to regeneration (note he's burned after he lands). Does that make Bogroll unbalanced? No, Bogroll was merely in terrain chosen to advantage his abilities. Unit analysis without considering terrain and costs is incomplete. That means we can never come to a conclusion on how powerful an Archon relative to other similarly priced units, because we will never know the relative unit cost.

It's Schrodinger's Cat. We can't draw a conclusion in the lack of vital knowledge. The cat is both alive and dead. The Archon is both overpowered and underpowered. Until we open that box and look, we just don't know, and so basing our conclusions on the unknown comes down to probability mathematics. DO you think it is probably that Rob screwed up? That's the answer: Rob has opened the box. He knows. So, do you believe he screwed the comic up? Or simply hasn't shown the full range of abilities of the unit in question? I chose the latter. You're welcome to question Rob's competence all you want, but simply by asking, Rob may manipulate the comic to ensure he's competent. That's happened in the past. If you watched BAttlestar Gallactica, when determining the identity of the last Cylon, the authors did check the fan forums, and rejected anyone that had a strong following. By speculating on who was the Cylon, they ensured they were wrong.


The difference is that I'm limiting myself to what the strip has shown, while you are just assuming that it must be so because you wish it to be so. Big difference.

*shakes head* No, you're the one bringing in a theory of an ability not mentioned in the strip. You're inventing that ability, and trying to demonstrate its existence. The burden of proof is on you. I have demonstrated that all of your examples can be explained reasonably without that ability. (See a repeat above.) I'm not inventing anything. I can explain everything without adding unmentioned abilities to the Archons.

Now, I know this response was concernign my thoughts on Charlie being attacked if he grew too powerful. I am indeed speculating on what would be "too powerful". But I don't need to win that fight. The fact is that Charlie never professes interest in the Arkentool... not once does he mention any interest in it. I may specualte on why, but I don't need to win that fight. The fact is that only Parson thinks he has an interest, and we see the entire conversation he based that on. It's without foundation. He, like you, think Charlie wants the Pliers because he doesn't say, "I don't want the Pliers." Frankly, I'm surprised that with you thinking Charlie si so powerful, you don't think he's capable of hiding his true motives.


Not so. I can prove that the archons are powerful in all circumstances by pointing to those circumstances shown in the strip.

You make out like there are a lot of these circumstances. Three. We've seen three cases of Archons fighting -- an attack with melee support on wounded dwagons in which we only see them cast a single spell each, an attack on GK Airspace, and a surprise attack against Jillian's flying uncroaked. There's a fourth potential attack that didn't happen -- 30 archons taking GK garrison. That is hardly a large enough smaple space to use the word "all crcumstances". You could say, "all circumstances so far in the comic", bu that's not all possible circumstances. Like I said, I want to see Arhcons fighting undamaged untis capable of hitting fliers before I make any judgements as to their defensive abilities.

BTW, let me remind you of Parson's own beliefs. He thinks that something may have been acting to cheat against him. Always remember that anywhere Parson loses big, it may be the world cheating against him. In the face of the world cheating, it makes any conclusions questionable.


This makes no point. GK had 5 casters. Other sides have been shown to have less (not proven, shown, there is a difference you miss often). Archons come in groups of 30+. And the archons main energy blasts have been shown to be just as potent as Maggie's "KI" or other casters direct attacks. And the archons are able to keep a running battle movie relaying to Charlie, while Maggie could cast only 2 communication spells in a single turn. Aside from trimancer linking, I'm not seeing a single archons potency level as being much less than a single casters, if you take Maggie as the comparison. Maggy hasn't been described as being master-class, and her flavor of magic seems to be the same as the archons. Any other comparison is apples to oranges.

Maggie is a Thinkamancer. We know that for certain, since only Thinkamancers can form a link,a nd Parson calls her by function, "Thinkamancer". It isn't possible for a Thinkamancer to link four casters, and Maggie links three, which is described as rare, so Maggie is in fact very powerful as a Thinkamancer.

Okay, let's start with Communications. Charlie has unmatched mastery of Thinkamancy. We've seen him have a long communication with Parson without any effort. You're probably giving credit to the Archons for the basic ability of the Arkendish.

Next up is offensive spell casting. Maggie is a Thinkamancer, but casts Hoboken (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0146.html). We know that different casters have different ability outside their primary discipline, with Wanda talented in many schools, but Sizemore restricted to Dirtamancy, so this might not be Thinkamancy. IF it is, then THinkamancy is a very weak offensive school. Let's see what Sizemore (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0139.html) can do, shall we? Oh dear... he can explode his crap golems and take out many targets, and that's no scroll: that's what an offensive school of magic can do, when in the hands of someone in their primary discipline. Even the shockamancy spell off the scroll the frame before the crap golem is clearly far more powerful than Maggie's wimpy little Hoboken.

The Archons (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0075.html) cast three different spells with different effects, but the same result. They each kill one already wounded dwagon. How much damage does it do? Dunno. How many hits did the dwagons have left? Again, unknown. Fact is, we don't know how many hits the targets of the scroll, crap golem, or Hoboken had, either. How can you draw a conclusion based solely on the appearance of the spell? You can't. It looks impressive, but I can show you invisible air that will burn you (the alcohol used in racing cars burns with no visible flame), or brilliant fire that you'll barely feel warm in (some substances burn at very low temperatures). Flash and bang do not mean power.


Nobody is going to start a war over [the mathamancy artifact]. [While presumably they would over an archentool]

Both are speculative, and unsupported. [snip]
1) Charley didn't want the 'Pliers;
2) If Charley got the 'Pliers other sides would go to war with him;
3) If Charlie got the mathamancy bracer no one would care;
All unsupported within the strip.

On 1, Charlie never states he wanted the pliers. Hard to quote that, since it's a negative. If you can find anywhere that Charlie states that he wants the PLiers, then please point it out. Only Parson seems to think he does, but we have that entire conversation in 105 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0117.html). Charlie indicates he is intrigued, but never states anything about the pliers. Parson is interpreting Charlie's interest in him as interest in the pliers. If you have anything that actually demonstrates Charlie is interested in the Pliers, please, feel free to add. Maybe I overlooked something.

On 3, I am not saying that no one would care, if they knew about the bracer, but no oe except Charlie does know about it. They can't care about something they don't know about. Would they care if Charlie got it? Maybe somewhat, but in the end, if they knew what it did, it's unlikely to concern them overmuch. It's expensive, in the same way Parosn was expensive, but Ansom was fine with Charlie getting a 350K Chief Warlord. A 500K artefact shouldn't bother him too much more.

On 2, the Arkentools are not on the same order. They are creations of the Titans, and thus are viewed as religious relics as well as powerful combat devices. That's what makes a second object of this type in a non-Royal's hand a concern. That's not speculation. Wanda tells us that it wasn't until after Stanley started questing for the Arkentools that they began losing. Even though they were no longer succeeding, the RCC forms and moves to destroy Stanley.


Charlie agreed to (maybe) sit out the turn because Parson told him that GK would have the pliers, and backed it with a mathamancy prediction of GKs odds of lasting the turn, and also reminded Charlie that GK would be weaker after they and the RCC fought it out this turn.

Charlie's words were, "The fact that I know you aren't lying makes it even more imperative that I get you working for me. However... who could resist a show like that! I won't leave your airspace. But I'll end turn and wait for a winner." Nowhere in there does he acknoledge the Pliers have been offered to him. What he does say is that he has great interest in Parson. We know that other sides wouldn't be interested in Parson: capturing is usually reserved for valuable casters (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0110.html). Charlie's interest is exceptional, because of that tradition. Further, here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0133.html) is blatant proof that Charlie wants Parson more than the Arkentool. Charlie had a choice. Do nothing, watch Ansom die, and receive the Arkenpliers from Parson. Or help Ansom, save Parson's life, and receive him as booty from the siege, but lose the Pliers. He chose Parson. His interest in the Arkenpliers were, then, minimal. Actions speka louder than worrd, and when it came to action, Charlie denied interest in the Pliers.


Charlie's plan was to take GK and the mathamancy artifact, and maybe capture Parson.

Given the offer to Ansom, I suspect a bluff. Parson's first suspicion was right: Charlie wasn't interested in the knife fight for GK. Given that attacking GK for Parson would have netted the same result as offering Ansom the deal, there was no reason not to take GK himself, except that it would cost him casulaties to achieve.


If GK had the 'Pliers when Charlie took it, why would Charlie even hesitate to take them also on his way out with the bracer and (maybe) Parson? Cite strips, not your pet theory on the cold war.

Cite a strip where Charlie professes interest in the Pliers. Don't ask for what you can't prove, either.


That strip says nothing about the formation of the RCC. This strip (34) (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0034.html) makes it very clear. Vinny is confused as to why Ansom is leading this fight. He asks Ansom straight up: "Your beef is that he's not royal, right?" And Ansom replies "That he isn't noble, Vinny."

Funny... Charlie isn't noble, either: he's mercenary and businesslike. Don't read too much into someone's self-analysis. Few people can accurately judge their own capacities and reasoning. Ansom's strength is that He Knows What He Wants. That doesn't mean he knows why he wants it. Or that he'd tell Vinnie the truth, if that truth were embarrassing: Vinnie is a friend, clearly, but also from another side and so not to be told everything. Do you really believe that Ansom's King would allow him to form and lead a coalition because Ansom personally dislikes an Overlord that has done little to harm Jetstone? Ansom participating in the fight, sure... a few troops, in the same way Transylvito sends a little to help. But to provide the backbone of the army because of Ansom's hang-ups over Stanley's attitude? Vinnie is right: it makes no sense. Something is missing.

I've posted elsewhere some of my suspicions of why Ansom is after Stanley. And yes, it is pure speculation, based on hints and unexplained conversations. Take it up in the Wanda/Pliers thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106595), if you care about my opinion. It's too big to add to this discussion.


All of Stanley's other offenses are written off as trivial by Vinny, and Ansom does not argue at all.

Kinda like Vinnie is hitting him wher it hurts, isn't it? Why does Ansom seem to lose confidence under Vinnie's scrutiny, but when Parson pokes him on royalty, Ansom gets huffy and angry? That's a rhetorical question... I'm just pointing out an inconsistency you might want to seriously think on.


The sole case we have of this is when the archons teleported around the GK tower (flew, if you prefer), and in enough strength to "take the garrison in a single turn". Has Charlie not ended turn and attacked, this would not have been an "assassination", and there would have been no guards left to have to fly past on the way out.

No, it's not the assassination I was talking about. That would have involved flying a single Archon in, presenting the offer to Parson, which pinpoints him, teleporting the Archons to him, kidnapping him, and then flying off. A couple losses to air defenses, and done, instead of more losses trying to take all of GK. But, as I say elsewhere, I think it was a bluff and Charlie never intended to take GK. I don't think he wanted to suffer the losses, nor get in RCC's way and raising their suspicions on how powerful he was.


Charlie would have taken the city, his troops would be the only ones left alive.

And how many Archons would he lose? He would have taken casualties: it seems to me it was always a bluff, hoping to get Parson to jump to the net based on what Charlie could do, not would do. Like I said, his actions with Ansom only netted him what he would have gotten with the "capture garrison" plan. He'd have gotten the hance to loot the scity solo, and could have left it and lost no one to RCC.


All of which simply supports my point that the archons would not be, as you said, vulnerable, once they took GK or any other city. Thanks!

Hunh? I was talking about vulnerability to enemy abilities. That they can escape before RCC arrives doesn't mean an arrow doesn't kill them. It only means that they can avoid fights that they don't want to have to fight. In fact, Parson already did this with the dwagons, so it's hardly unique. He hit siege and then retreated them over a lake: now he was unaware that Jillian had move or the luck to find him, so it didn't quite work out, but that was what he was trying to do. That's no different, since the retreating Archons might get hit by a fleet of 30 dwagons (Stanley hadn't been hit by RCC yet), had Stanley changed his mind and returned to GK.


I hate to reply with "yes you are", but yes, you are. You cite nothing but your theories,

I repeated the counter proofs a second time for you already. You can distract all you want with these other side issues that have nothing to do with the core teleportation theory, but I don't forget my own arguments. Feel free to forget again. I can repeat them a third time.

See, you're starting with a theory... the same kind of theory you seem to be convinced I am limited to. Teleportation is a theory: it isn't mentioned in the strip, so it isn't a fact, and that makes it a theory. Sure, I have theories about many things. And the further you get from your core point, the more of those theories you'll stumble onto. Sure, I have theories, but that I have them doesn't validate your own. All theories are theories because they are unproven. The burden of proof is on the person with the theory: those arguing against do not need to have a theory of their own to prove. I do that myself, in my own threads about my theories. It's fun. I stick my neck out. I argue to the best of my ability. Sometimes somene has a fact that defeats them... not a hint, but a solid fact that I missed. I'm not infallible. In that, I'm no different from you. I'm not really treating you any differently from the way others treat me. You seem to think, though, that you are basing things on facts, but you have admitted that you have no solid proof. So what is this thing with accusations that I base nothing on facts? It's harmful to your reputation, especially when you know it isn't true. That I don't cite evidence? I regularly link more threads than anyone else that participates in these discussions. Accusing me of things that are readily observable to even the casual reader only makes others think you're arrogant, or a liar. You need to be careful of things like that. Readers arecapable of drawing their own conclusions, and I of course will never agree with you. So such accusations only serve to inflate yourself to yourself, while others can never take it at face value. If I have done what you say, the readers will know it: you don't need to point out what they already know. When you face someone that does do those things, let them continue unannounced, at least until you find an endgame move. (Rare in online debates... most end in stalemate during the midgame.) The opponent is embarrassing himiself, why give him the opportunity to stop and clean up his act?

ishnar
2009-04-02, 06:50 PM
But it is. It's evidence of exactly that. This force can do in 1 turn what the RCC needed a great many turns to even begin to make progress.

An army traveles at the speed of its slowest unit, and the RCC had a seige train. The difference in speeds between an army guarding a seige train and independent units does not support teleportation.


No, it doesn't. There are still plenty of Erf mechanics the readers are unaware of. This will just have to be another, until it is revealed one way or another for certain.

So what you are REALLY saying is you have to assume a rule that has not been mentioned to support teleportation, where no new rule is required for flight to achieve the same results. I take back what I said earlier. The teleportation hypothesis now requires THREE basic assumptions to explain where flight requires none.


I've allowed that there is not absolute certainty on the subject, although the strip supports the theory in two places. But to claim that using the word "proceed" is clear evidence that archons can't teleport is just absurd.

On the contrary. If there are multiple ways to accomplish a task, then a millitary commander will direct how that task is to be accomplished. If flight were insufficient, then he would have directed them to use a different method. He also made no mention about a need for speed, so there is not even an implication that flying would take too long. Flight is obviously archons primary method of movement, so there is no reason to assume an order to proceed means anything other than go by the standard means.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-03, 01:35 PM
So what you are REALLY saying is you have to assume a rule that has not been mentioned to support teleportation, where no new rule is required for flight to achieve the same results.I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying that I think the archons can either teleport or be teleported, and that we don't know all of the rules of Erfworld. It's quite simple.

On the contrary. If there are multiple ways to accomplish a task, then a millitary commander will direct how that task is to be accomplished. If flight were insufficient, then he would have directed them to use a different method. He also made no mention about a need for speed, so there is not even an implication that flying would take too long.That is preposterous. If the Sgt orders the Private to move a pile of dirt from one place to another, he doesn't specify that the Private may not use a spoon.

If there is a method to accomplish a task which is the method which accomplishes that task best, then that is the method which is understood by default, by any unit which is not deliberately trying to be insubordinate. In a fantasy realm where Duty is a rule and where the ruler of a side can disband a unit with a thought, you aren't going to see many units moving that pile of dirt with a spoon, or flying someplace far away when they can get there faster by teleporting.

Flight is obviously archons primary method of movement, so there is no reason to assume an order to proceed means anything other than go by the standard means.Obviously? I happen to think that teleportation is their primary means of covering large distances instantaneously. Flight is a very potent ability, but it takes far too long when the distance to travel is greater than the rate of flight per day.

I'll be happy to be proven wrong. I hope that a future strip (or note from the authors in the bloopers thread perhaps) makes the issue quite clear in either one way or the other.

Kreistor
2009-04-03, 02:04 PM
[QUOTE=BillyJimBoBob;5952596]That is preposterous. If the Sgt orders the Private to move a pile of dirt from one place to another, he doesn't specify that the Private may not use a spoon.

If there is a method to accomplish a task which is the method which accomplishes that task best, then that is the method which is understood by default, by any unit which is not deliberately trying to be insubordinate. In a fantasy realm where Duty is a rule and where the ruler of a side can disband a unit with a thought, you aren't going to see many units moving that pile of dirt with a spoon, or flying someplace far away when they can get there faster by teleporting.[quote]

It's not preposterous at all. Flight is a natural ability for the Archons. As such, it costs only Move.

Teleportation would be a spell, and would cost resources. Using it when not absolutely necessary reduces offensive spell casting, making for a poorer escort. Sometimes, subordinates have to be told these things, especially when cool and fun options are available to complete the task. Without indication of how important or what kind of enemies they will be facing, the Archons cannot determine if it is okay to use up a resource like that. Of course, if they do know GK has dwagons, I highly doubt they'd use up any unnecessary resources.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-03, 04:12 PM
Teleportation would be a spell, and would cost resources.You do love to speculate without any backup in the source material, don't you? The author has come out and said that the DDR and flight of the archons is "natural magic." If the archons can teleport themselves, it is also natural magic. Point to a place where natural magic is shown to require any resources, will you? And if Charlie can teleport the archons using the Archendish, we have no clue if this requires any resources or not, but we have not seen either Ansom or Stanley bemoaning the fact that they used their Tools up for the day and needed to await refreshment of their abilities.

"Oy, I've turned too many walnuts into pigeons. Have to wait until tomorrow now!"

"Durn, I've dusted too many undead today. Now I'll have to fight the rest straight up!"

Right.

Kreistor
2009-04-03, 05:06 PM
You do love to speculate without any backup in the source material, don't you? The author has come out and said that the DDR and flight of the archons is "natural magic."

*BEEP* Wrong answer. Thanks for playing.


Why could the Archons cast the DDR spell? They were part of the Coalition and it was now technically their turn. But they could not move because all of Charlescomm's units' move went to zero when Charlie ended turn. Move and hits are restored to full at the beginning of a side's turn, and (re)forming an alliance does not count as starting a new turn.

DDR is a spell, not a natural ability, and that's no speculation. Flight had to be natural, because uncroaked Jaclyn flew. Pclips didn't have to tell us that: we knew that long ago. (Could thread necromancy to find it, but not going to bother. You go looking if you want to call me on it. It was some debate about whether all Archons were casters. Can't remember the name)

The contract was a natural ability.

The two natural abilities we've seen appear to have no limitations to how often they are used. If Teleportation were the same, it could have saved them from the volcano. Nope, they go boom. Unless, of course, you want to add exceptions to this ability, but you don't like specualations, do you? Hey, wait a sec... you are speculating that Teleportation even exists.

What's your problem with me speculating when you seem to do it, too?

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-03, 05:35 PM
DDR is a spell, not a natural ability, and that's no speculation.Maybe. But if the archons can do it all turn long without expending any "juice", then it has no functional difference from a natural magic which appears to be infinite in use or repetition. And we have no evidence that they can't cast infinite contracts or lead infinite dance fights using DDR. It isn't clear, even after re-reading pclip's post in the bloopers thread, because he isn't precise enough in what he says and how he says it. Sometimes it's "cast", and sometimes it's just cast. I'll await evidence or further notes from the author. Until then, my belief is that archons are not casters of the same classification as Wanda, et al, and all of their abilities are due to natural magic.
What's your problem with me speculating when you seem to do it, too?You've misquoted me. Speculating is fine, but if you want credibility you need some basis. I've provided my basis for teleportation. You don't have to agree, it's clear that you do not. But most of your speculation comes sans basis, or in rare cases you've used a basis which is directly contradicted elsewhere as your only support.
(BTW, we've never seen Archons melee. Ever. Suggesting they don't need to dance fight when meleeing requires evidence that they can melee at all. Note they don't carry weapons.)You've misquoted me yet again. Or maybe you just misunderstood. I made no such suggestion. I said that archons are apparently so awesome that even though they have the ability to dance fight they have never used it in any combat we've seen them in. Bringing up melee is irrelevant, as is bringing up the fact that archons don't carry weapons (but don't forget the net!). I'll refer you here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0111.html) for a wonderful picture of archons dance fighting. Apparently when it comes down to a fight that actually takes place they are so overpowered that stacking another bonus just isn't important to these smart units and their smart ruler.

Oslecamo
2009-04-03, 06:06 PM
If Teleportation were the same, it could have saved them from the volcano. Nope, they go boom. Unless, of course, you want to add exceptions to this ability, but you don't like specualations, do you? Hey, wait a sec... you are speculating that Teleportation even exists.


You're sure of that?

Earlier in the comic one archon was killed by the GK airdefenses. Wich were activated by Wanda, wich still took some time to activate it. The archons saw it coming. And they had move left. They could have flied the hell out of there.

But they didn't. They stayed and they got badly hurt.

And that was from something that hapened right in front of them.

Remember it is a turn based game. You make your move, and then your enemy makes his move and you have to suck it up untill it's your turn again.

So if you step in a hex, and your oponent activates super-uncroacked volcano trap, you can't answer by using a natural ability. You can't answer with anything untill the damage has been dealt.

It's no exception. Unless you have any proof that units can jump out of the way when a spell/trap goes boom over them, then the archons could perfectly have teleport powers and simply be unable to use them fast enough before the volcano exploded in their face.

Kreistor
2009-04-03, 06:37 PM
Earlier in the comic one archon was killed by the GK airdefenses. Wich were activated by Wanda, wich still took some time to activate it. The archons saw it coming. And they had move left. They could have flied the hell out of there.

I don't mind a second example that teleportation doesn't exist. Sure.


But they didn't. They stayed and they got badly hurt.

And didn't even put up any obvious defenses. Defenses don't exist? Check Wanda... (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0134.html) look at that shiny bubble reflect everything those marvelous Archons of yours could throw at her. Wanda took nothing from the beams, and was only injured by the fall. Gee... Archons are so overpoweringly unbalanced... That's what a real caster can do against Archons.

And that was from something that happened right in front of them.


Remember it is a turn based game. You make your move, and then your enemy makes his move and you have to suck it up untill it's your turn again.

Not exactly. You can attack back if attacked, including with spellcraft. You just can't leave the hex to escape on someone else's turn. Charlie knew the mountain was being a problem. Parson said TPK, said two more short sentences, and then ran out. That's more time than most of the spells cast in this system. Even if Teleportation were one of the slowest, it shoudl still have been castable if Charlie had gotten to his people right away, and he has unmatched communications, which are Thinkamancy.


So if you step in a hex, and your oponent activates super-uncroacked volcano trap, you can't answer by using a natural ability. You can't answer with anything untill the damage has been dealt.

Sorry, see Wanda above. Some spells are fast (Hoboken) (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0146.html) and others are slow (Aggro) (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0105.html). When Charlie asks about the mountain, the Archons are already useless in the fight. Why not pull them out, and then ask Parson? It's safer, and Charlie is nothing if not safe.


It's no exception. Unless you have any proof that units can jump out of the way when a spell/trap goes boom over them, then the archons could perfectly have teleport powers and simply be unable to use them fast enough before the volcano exploded in their face.

Yeah, see Wanda above. Nice little reflective bubble. We see Stanley use his Hammer's lighting (activated with Van de Graaff (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0125.html)) in response to a melee attack, which is faster than Aggro by far. Hoboken was in response to melee. Spells can be fast, and cast in response to faster events than spells. And that volcano exploded slowly enough for Parson to talk with Charlie and get out. There's was time for the vast majority of spells to be cast, and maybe even Aggro.

Oslecamo
2009-04-04, 07:08 AM
I don't mind a second example that teleportation doesn't exist. Sure.

I must say we have quite diferent views of what the examples show and don't show. By your interpretation, basic movement also doesn't exist, since the fliers sit there and take the nuke to their faces. Or perhaps it's just that you can't change positions when your oponent triggers his super trap.



And didn't even put up any obvious defenses. Defenses don't exist? Check Wanda... (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0134.html) look at that shiny bubble reflect everything those marvelous Archons of yours could throw at her. Wanda took nothing from the beams, and was only injured by the fall. Gee... Archons are so overpoweringly unbalanced... That's what a real caster can do against Archons.

Wanda doesn't say anythings, so the shield was a spell cast before hand, wich automatically triggered and discharged when Wanda would suffer damage.

And she still got pwned. Whitout scratching the archons. I don't really understand what you mean in "That's what a real caster can do against Archons." The real caster rolling over and almost dying when facing archons? That's hardly impressive.



Not exactly. You can attack back if attacked, including with spellcraft. You just can't leave the hex to escape on someone else's turn.

There. You admited it. The volcano covered the whole city. For all we know the archons tried to run away as far as possible, but it simply wasn't enough.



Charlie knew the mountain was being a problem. Parson said TPK, said two more short sentences, and then ran out. That's more time than most of the spells cast in this system. Even if Teleportation were one of the slowest, it shoudl still have been castable if Charlie had gotten to his people right away, and he has unmatched communications, which are Thinkamancy.


The summoning spell for Parson took a good deal of time. Also the books work at the speed of tought, not speech, wich is pretty darn fast. There could be just a few seconds between Hamster claiming he's going to blow everything up and entering the portal. Not enough time to use teleport.

Besides, there's this thing called "suprise". How could Charlie ever imagine that Hamster had the power to nuke several hexes in one go? It's techincally impossible! And Charlie is the kind of carefull planner. He doesn't like to rush things. A few more seconds of hesitation in ordering the archons to retreat would be enough. Hamster just caught him with his pants down. Charlie isn't used to be the suprised one.



Sorry, see Wanda above. Some spells are fast (Hoboken) (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0146.html) and others are slow (Aggro) (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0105.html).

Luckily for me, it wasn't a combat situation! It was a trap! Traps would be all but useless if you could easily react to them once they triggered.



When Charlie asks about the mountain, the Archons are already useless in the fight. Why not pull them out, and then ask Parson?


Because Charlie was still following his contract. Retreating in front of all of the coalition while still working for them for no aparent reason would be a really bad stain on his name. It was much more probable that Hamster was just bluffing, or had just another "normal" trap wich wouldn't harm the archons.

Again, how could he imagine that Hamster was going to pull such a devastating move? Charlie hesitates for a moment to think if Hamster if bluffing or not, and that hesitation is enough for the volcano to go boom.

Charlie wanted to capture Hamster and his toy at all costs(he even told Ansom to capture Hamster). He tought he could still manipulate the situation in achieving this(we can still talck!). Charlie gambled. And he lost. He's not perfect. Nobody in Efworld is.



It's safer, and Charlie is nothing if not safe.


You're sure of that?
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0117.html

"Who could resist a show like that?"-<Charlie the not-so-safe, before having his troops nuked to oblivion by said show.

Here's Charlie taking risks for personal amusement and profit. He could have played it safe and captured Hamster+artifact and run away laughing. But he choose to stay and watch, and it costed him dearly.



Yeah, see Wanda above. Nice little reflective bubble. We see Stanley use his Hammer's lighting (activated with Van de Graaff (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0125.html)) in response to a melee attack, which is faster than Aggro by far.

Van de Graaf isn't a spell. And it was charged before entering melee with all the fancy dance fighting. Surely not something instant. The hammer is glowing at the end of the strip.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0123.html

It isn't even in response to a melee attack. It is THE melee attack itself. Stanley just had higher iniative and striked first. When he delivers his first hit it's automatically discharged. Since Stanley hasn't got enough time to charge it again he doesn't get to use it against Jillian and her small fleet. Notice how the arkenhammer stops glowing after hiting Caesar.



Hoboken was in response to melee. Spells can be fast, and cast in response to faster events than spells. And that volcano exploded slowly enough for Parson to talk with Charlie and get out. There's was time for the vast majority of spells to be cast, and maybe even Aggro.

Hmm, no. All of these spells were charged before the event took place. The shield is something you would expect a mage would put in herself before going to play melee in the skies, during the same time she donned the fancy armor. Maggie started charging her Hadoken after the other guy burst spent his action taking down the wall. The fastest we've seen, yes, but also a very minor spell, nothing compared to what we have seen so far.

Those examples are actually suporting my point. They're stuff you can charge up ahead of time and they discharge when a certain something happens. And when they discharge there's no geting out of the way unless you have a discharge effect for their discharge effect.

Kreistor
2009-04-04, 08:31 AM
I must say we have quite diferent views of what the examples show and don't show. By your interpretation, basic movement also doesn't exist, since the fliers sit there and take the nuke to their faces. Or perhaps it's just that you can't change positions when your oponent triggers his super trap.

Noooo... the Blooper thread tells us that Charlescomm forces did not get their move restored, so they couldn't move out of the hex. We know for certain that flight obeys basic move laws because Jillian can't follow Stanley out of the trap hex. Since the volcano was a multi-hex trap, and all RCC forces were destroyed, even those shown outside teh hex, there was nowhere inside tehir one hex that the Archons could fly to in order to escape.


Wanda doesn't say anythings, so the shield was a spell cast before hand, wich automatically triggered and discharged when Wanda would suffer damage

Or it was a natural ability. Notice that lovely armour she wears into battle, instead of dance fighting? We don't see her cast, including scrolls. We don't know where it came from. The point is, there are defensive abilities. They can be used to prevent spell casting..


And she still got pwned. Whitout scratching the archons. I don't really understand what you mean in "That's what a real caster can do against Archons." The real caster rolling over and almost dying when facing archons? That's hardly impressive.

You'll notice her mount was vaporized: the bubble didn't protect it. She wasn't "pwned", she fell a long ways. (Besides, you need to learn what that term means before using it.)


There. You admited it. The volcano covered the whole city. For all we know the archons tried to run away as far as possible, but it simply wasn't enough

They are in a zone in a city. No matter how many hexes the zone takes up, the Archons can't fly out of that zone with 0 move. The Archons cannot leave city Airspace.


The summoning spell for Parson took a good deal of time. Also the books work at the speed of tought, not speech, wich is pretty darn fast. There could be just a few seconds between Hamster claiming he's going to blow everything up and entering the portal. Not enough time to use teleport.

Which makes an assumption on your part that teleportation takes a long time to cast.


Besides, there's this thing called "suprise". How could Charlie ever imagine that Hamster had the power to nuke several hexes in one go? It's techincally impossible! And Charlie is the kind of carefull planner. He doesn't like to rush things. A few more seconds of hesitation in ordering the archons to retreat would be enough. Hamster just caught him with his pants down. Charlie isn't used to be the suprised one.

No, Charlie leaves it to his commanders in the field to decide how to implement his orders. His forces can rush things if they wish. They have the authority to sell their own services, as they did by convincing Jillian to call Ansom. Charlie does not micromanage. But he does not allow for his forces to have a chance of losing. Don't confuse that with careful planning. He plans where he can, but he is not present at most situations, so his Archons decide tehir own risks. Charlie errs on the side of less loss, and there was no gain from leaving the Archons in Airspace if the mountain was rumbling. He could only lose nothing ro a lot: he could not gain sice the Archons could not participate.

But, you know, there's something more. The Archons tell Ansom that they could not assist him because they could not cross zones (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0134.html). If Teleportation exists, it cannot be used on-turn with 0 move (since at this point they are technically on-turn with zero move, not off-turn).


Luckily for me, it wasn't a combat situation! It was a trap! Traps would be all but useless if you could easily react to them once they triggered.

So would attacks with daggers. If a dagger could be blocked, it would be all but useless. Well, oops, daggers can be blocked (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0151.html). Your argument is not consistent with any reality. Traps do not need to have a 100% kill rate to be effective. They tend to be cheap and plentiful. Look at landmines, for instance. They could be found, destroyed by flail tanks, or fail to do the intended harm. They sometimes worked, and that's all you needed to force the enemy into wasting manpower hunting them. Bullets are teh same way. Most bullets fired by troops hit nothing, but still theyare used. Just because a bullet has a 1/100 chance (guessed at number... I could go hunt down how many bullets were fired vs. casualties from gunfire in WW2, but it's not necessary) of creating a casualty, that doesn't mean we switch to swords.


Because Charlie was still following his contract. Retreating in front of all of the coalition while still working for them for no aparent reason would be a really bad stain on his name. It was much more probable that Hamster was just bluffing, or had just another "normal" trap wich wouldn't harm the archons.

If they could have teleported, Ansom would have had them teleport to Outer Wall or Courtyard to help with more offense. They couldn't (means unable to, not didn't want to) cross zones.


Charlie wanted to capture Hamster and his toy at all costs(he even told Ansom to capture Hamster).

Not at all costs. He did not attack GK to capture Parson. Whatever that would have cost him, he wasn't willing to pay it. Didn't want to lose too many Archons? Didn't want to get the RCC angry at him? We simply do not know, but we do not he wouldn't pay that cost for Parson.


He tought he could still manipulate the situation in achieving this(we can still talck!). Charlie gambled. And he lost. He's not perfect. Nobody in Efworld is.

Charlie didn't think he could lose. No one else predicted the volcano could be caused to erupt. Multiple hex traps are impossible according to Jillian and Caesar, and people never consider the impossible, just the improbable, Sides now have to start considering the impossible...

It's only gambling if you take a risk. Charlie wasn't taking a risk. I am sitting here in my apartment. Do I think I am taking a risk that my bed is going to fall on my head? Certainly not, The probability is as low as walking down the street and a stray bullet falling out of the sky killing me. We are always, 100% of the time, in a situation where some abnormal event could kill us. That means we are either constantly taking a gamble (in which case that is no different for Charlie than anyone else), or its not gambling, because we can't choose not to take the gamble. When we voluntarily place ourselves in a position were we know (or should know) that risk of death increases, then that is a gamble. When the fight moved to Dungeon, the risk to the Archons diminished vs. when the fight was in Courtyard. There was no one to cast spells at them anymore. Charlie reduced his risk when victory seemed assured. Destruction by the volcano? Simply not possible, unless it was act of god, and that could happen anywhere anytime, so that's not a gamble.


It's safer, and Charlie is nothing if not safe.

You're sure of that?
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0117.html
"Who could resist a show like that?"-<Charlie the not-so-safe, before having his troops nuked to oblivion by said show.

Yes, I am. You are not taking a gamble when placing yourself at risk of act of god, because acts of god can occur anywhere, anytime. Tornados. Sudden thunderstorms. Meteors. Tsunamis. A volcano exploding of its own accord. That was a risk he was taking, but it s one we inherently take by existing, and not something anyone would say we should consider when living. Taking residence on a volcano with signs of activity, or known to have been active in the past, like Vesuvius, that's a risk, because we are now fairly certain that Vesuvius will erupt again, like it has fairly regularly for known history. And yet, there's a city that is in place to be destroyed with the next eruption. That's risk taking. The chance of an act of god is so low that you would paralyze your own side by never taking a risk on something that unlikely happening. Since it is impossible to create a multi-hex Dirtamancy Trap, it is simply not reasonable to count that risk as a gamble. A 0% chance of occurance is a 0% chance of risk.


Van de Graaf isn't a spell. And it was charged before entering melee with all the fancy dance fighting. Surely not something instant. The hammer is glowing at the end of the strip.

Prove it wasn't a spell. How do you know what it was? I can say it was a spell because it had a verbal activation like a spell. The only Natural Ability we've seen cast is the contract, and theres no words creating that effect. So, it's a spell.

We know that the Arkenpliers are tied to Fate magic (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0022.html). And Ansom has no talent with it, but he has to say that. It is possible for Warlords to have talent with magic, or Ansom would have said, "But I'm a warlord, and can't cast." instead. Being a Warlord does not make it impossible for Stanley to cast spells.


http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0123.html

It isn't even in response to a melee attack. It is THE melee attack itself. Stanley just had higher iniative and striked first. When he delivers his first hit it's automatically discharged. Since Stanley hasn't got enough time to charge it again he doesn't get to use it against Jillian and her small fleet. Notice how the arkenhammer stops glowing after hiting Caesar.

Or the spell is intended to time to the hammer swing. It might be an activation word, it might be a spell. Point is, that a spell like Hoboken can be used in the same time Van de Graaff was. If an activation ability times to counter a melee attack, so can a spell.

Just going to stick some comments right into the next paragraph.


Hmm, no. All of these spells were charged before the event took place. (No evidence.) The shield is something you would expect a mage would put in herself before going to play melee in the skies, during the same time she donned the fancy armor (no evidence). Maggie started charging her Hadoken after the other guy burst spent his action taking down the wall (same preparation time for Parson to raise his sword, making it able to hit someone casting a slower spell, knocking him back without killing, which stops the sword swing and is reasonable to assume would disrupt someone else's spell). The fastest we've seen, yes, but also a very minor spell, nothing compared to what we have seen so far.

Magic Missile was the great anti-casting spell in DnD early editions, where being hit in a round prevented spell casting for the entire round. Low damage, but automatic hit against anyone not surrounded by a Shield, like a Cleric. My low level wizard shut down a wizard for five rounds, before my wand was destroyed. Weak does not mean ineffective.


Those examples are actually suporting my point. They're stuff you can charge up ahead of time and they discharge when a certain something happens. And when they discharge there's no geting out of the way unless you have a discharge effect for their discharge effect.

You mean like a teleportation spell? Charge it up, and then you can use it as a contingency later? Or do you not realize you need to create an exception for teleportation now, too? It can't be charged up like other spells.

But you still have to prove that, anyway. If defensive spells can be charged and released at will, why did Jaclyn die? Why did any Archons die to Air defenses? Why could the Archons casting DDR be disrupted? They didn't bother to cast their defensives?

Or something I like: they don't have any defensive spells. There's their vulnerability I was looking for. They can't pre-cast a defense and stop any offensive spells from hitting them. They are now very vulnerable to enemy casters. I don't know if it is traditional for armies to not have casters in he field, but you can bet Parson will change that now that he can see what they can do. A croakamancer anywhere but near the front line makes no sense, really. What good does a Croakamancer do a city, except provide a realatively few workers from the local dead (rhetorical... it's a relative thing... there will be a lot of corpses on the front line, so that really is where a Croakamancer would be best situated)? A Dirtamancer mining to provide funds to replace units? Sure, that makes some sense. But considering that they can be used to kill enemy leadership in the field, by tunneling underneath? Ansom took no casters with him, or at the very least, we never see any except Archons. That's the Archons' strength: they're the only casters on the battlefield, and that provides a service unmatched. That explains Charlie's usefulness, and his high prices.

Anyway, obviously, I am perfectly happy with spells being Chargable. It forces you to make another exception for Teleportation, and it gives the Archons obvious vulnerabilities. That's really all i needed to prove in order to balance them. I found my paper to the Archon rock.

MadScientistMat
2009-04-04, 03:50 PM
But if Stanley had stayed as well, would Parson have been able to pull of his Phyrric victory?

In some ways, it seems like Stanley was getting in the way. He often has no clue how to use his units correctly. For example, he tends to take a, "If you really were the perfect warlord, you'd know all this" mentality with regards to Parson. Without Stanley in the way, Parson can finally demand a proper briefing on their full capabilities. Stanley's use of other units isn't much better - for example, ordering Wanda to cast a spell way outside her specialty, can't seem to think of any uses for Sizemore besides animating crap golums as opposed to, say, creating defensive earthenworks, arbitrarily picking the best looking soldiers to be his Warlords, etc.

Having Stanley stay behind would most likely be a liability, because he'd want final approval over everything Parson did. It's likely that if Stanley had stayed behind, he would have thought that it was possible to preserve the city of Gobwin Knob, and it's not likely he would have signed off on a plan to have Sizemore collapse the walls. Parson, on the other hand, realizes his only choices are "Surrender, have the RCC croak all the other units except the casters, and maybe have the loyalty spell croak me," or "Croak as many RCC units as it takes to make them stop, even if I have to turn Gobwin Knob and all the land for hexes around into a smoking pile of basalt."

Stanley may give a leadership bonus in combat rolls, but he's a leadership penalty when it comes to tactics.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-06, 10:24 AM
[Oslecamo: Traps would be all but useless if you could easily react to them once they triggered.]
So would attacks with daggers. If a dagger could be blocked, it would be all but useless. Well, oops, daggers can be blocked (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0151.html). Your argument is not consistent with any reality. Traps do not need to have a 100% kill rate to be effective. They tend to be cheap and plentiful. Look at landmines, for instance. They could be found, destroyed by flail tanks, or fail to do the intended harm.You tend to try to use real world analogies to support RTS game mechanics. There is a basis, since a RTS game which uses no familiar terms will leave the players less likely to easily grasp the rules, but you can easily go to far by projecting things such as "bombers are weak to fighter craft" or "[Traps] ten to be cheap and plentiful." Neither case is born out by the strip, as we've seen no "fighter" to the archons "bomber" and we've seen very little trap use, and all of it that we've seen has been due to Parson commanding it done.

"Trap" is most likely a game mechanic of the Erfworld RTS, as this is both how Ceasar refers to the volcano and presumably how the Thinkamancers chatting back and forth between the RCC sides referred to it. Natural events such as volvanos, hurricanes and tornadoes are probably not within theErf mechanics, as no one used the word "volcano" and many RTS games have no rules for weather events.

The previous strip tells us something else we didn't know for sure: The mechanics of magic are well known. When Jillian exclaims that a multiple hex trap is impossible, not a single warlord present says anything like "Well, maybe it's possible", instead the only thing spoken is agreement. This would not happen if all the warlords present were unfamiliar with the extent of abilities available to casters.
[Oslecamo: Charlie wanted to capture Hamster and his toy at all costs [...]]
Not at all costs. He did not attack GK to capture Parson. Whatever that would have cost him, he wasn't willing to pay it. Didn't want to lose too many Archons? Didn't want to get the RCC angry at him? We simply do not know, but we do not he wouldn't pay that cost for Parson.Not at all costs, agreed. He was willing to go forward with the attack at whatever cost in archons he would pay the turn he ported them to GK, but Parson pointed out some advantages of waiting: GK had a decent chance to last the turn, GK's forces would be weakened leading to fewer losses to Charlie during an attack on the next turn, and Parson said he would have the Archenpliers. This, plus the possibility of the RCC renewing a lucrative contract, made waiting the best option for Charlie.
Prove [Van de Graff] wasn't a spell. How do you know what it was? I can say it was a spell because it had a verbal activation like a spell. The only Natural Ability we've seen cast is the contract, and theres no words creating that effect. So, it's a spell.I prefer to believe that it is an ability of the Archenhammer, and Stanley merely spoke the activation phrase. We have seen Stanley cast no other spells, so it fits better as an ability of the 'Hammer than as a spell cast by Stanley.
We know that the Arkenpliers are tied to Fate magic (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0022.html). And Ansom has no talent with it, but he has to say that. It is possible for Warlords to have talent with magic, or Ansom would have said, "But I'm a warlord, and can't cast." instead. Being a Warlord does not make it impossible for Stanley to cast spells.Not impossible, but I think you're reading much into the words used. "Fate magic is powerless in my case; I cannot unlock their secrets" does not mean that Ansom is a caster. We have never seen him cast a spell, nor have we seen any warlord cast a spell.
Or something I like: they don't have any defensive spells. There's their vulnerability I was looking for. They can't pre-cast a defense and stop any offensive spells from hitting them. They are now very vulnerable to enemy casters.
[...]
I found my paper to the Archon rock.Um, how about no? Let's list the things we've seen archons vulnerable to:
1) Air defenses - Either expensive to set up, take a long time to set up, or at the very least require some resource (caster attention, perhaps) which GK could not afford to spare. Or they would have been replaced. So, effectively single use, and limited circumstance i.e. city fighting.
2) A combination of air defenses and/or Maggy expending scrolls - Again, limited use and application. Scrolls are either expensive or available in limited quantities or all of the casters would have had their own private stash. Wanda is the de facto head caster of GK, perhaps she receives a higher personal salary or is allowed some discretionary spending of GK funds. Again, single use and limited circumstance i.e. city fighting, against an opponent with scrolls.
3) Volcano eruption - Unheard of on Erf, said to be "impossible", so once again single use and limited circumstance i.e. must be out of move over a volcano and have pissed off a trimancer link of Think-Croak-Dirt with a portal handy or just suicidal. Shall we say a highly situational application?

Archons don't have any special defense against casters, and neither does any other unit we've seen. This is not the presence of a weakness or a "paper" to the archons "rock" because it isn't a unique weakness. Bombers are specifically vulnerable to fighters, but AA batteries are not, nor are other fighters. Archons being vulnerable to casters isn't a "paper", it's the status quo.

Kreistor
2009-04-06, 03:21 PM
You tend to try to use real world analogies to support RTS game mechanics. There is a basis, since a RTS game which uses no familiar terms will leave the players less likely to easily grasp the rules, but you can easily go to far by projecting things such as "bombers are weak to fighter craft" or "[Traps] ten to be cheap and plentiful." Neither case is born out by the strip, as we've seen no "fighter" to the archons "bomber" and we've seen very little trap use, and all of it that we've seen has been due to Parson commanding it done.

Using the real world also makes things easier on the author. Any time you add or alter a vital aspect of our reality, you have a ripple effect that causes other things to change. Let's say that you change the laws of gravity, for instance. Does that result in a change in how light works, which is influenced by gravity? Or flight? Lower gravity allows for things to fly with smaller wings, and is an explanation for some dragons, but it also allows arrows to fly further, men to jump higher and further, and beyond that, our own bone strength is set by gravity. Weaker gravity, weaker bones, and increased vulnerability to striking force. Just how far do you go when you alter something?


"Trap" is most likely a game mechanic of the Erfworld RTS, as this is both how Ceasar refers to the volcano and presumably how the Thinkamancers chatting back and forth between the RCC sides referred to it.

I wouldn't read that much into it yet. They may have assumed it was a preset trap from the sheer scale of the event. Since it is impossible, maybe a lot of little spells set over a long time set off at once did it? Anyway, I think "trap" is the best explanation anyone can come up with, so that's what they're assuming for now. That detail doesn't really matter, since they'll likely never know how it was done. And given that Parson's thoughts are that there was cheating involved, there may not be any other trio that could replicate the feat, anyway. Still a lot up in the air at the moment. We might get an explanation if we get a epilogue for Wanda et al.


Parson pointed out some advantages of waiting: GK had a decent chance to last the turn, GK's forces would be weakened leading to fewer losses to Charlie during an attack on the next turn, and Parson said he would have the Archenpliers. This, plus the possibility of the RCC renewing a lucrative contract, made waiting the best option for Charlie.

Maybe. We could find out, yet. I expect an epilogue for Charlie, and that would be an appropriate topic for him to discuss with his Chief Warlord, since it was fundamental to losing everything.



I prefer to believe that it is an ability of the Archenhammer, and Stanley merely spoke the activation phrase. We have seen Stanley cast no other spells, so it fits better as an ability of the 'Hammer than as a spell cast by Stanley.Not impossible, but I think you're reading much into the words used.

Just playing the spoiler. It could be an activated ability, or the hammer may confer to him the ability to use a particular spell, or it may have had something to do with "Your lightning's all I need." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0123.html)


"Fate magic is powerless in my case; I cannot unlock their secrets" does not mean that Ansom is a caster. We have never seen him cast a spell, nor have we seen any warlord cast a spell.Um, how about no? Let's list the things we've seen archons vulnerable to:

What makes a caster? If it's training, then anyone might become one. Sizemore was popped, but was he popped as a caster, or did he pull pike duty first? If anyone can be trained to be a caster, then everyone has some inate ability with something (even talent with nothing is Clevermancy).


Archons don't have any special defense against casters, and neither does any other unit we've seen. This is not the presence of a weakness or a "paper" to the archons "rock" because it isn't a unique weakness. Bombers are specifically vulnerable to fighters, but AA batteries are not, nor are other fighters. Archons being vulnerable to casters isn't a "paper", it's the status quo.

Wanda did. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0134.html) Her mount is vaped, but anything fired at her bounces off the bubble. And she took a lot of beams. There are defenses, whether from a pre-cast spell, a spell with no verbal component, or an ability of her armour. And it's powerful enough to stop not just one Archon, but many.

It's hardly surprising that we see little caster-caster combat. Ansom only brought Archons, and they've been unutilized many turns. And we wouldn't see much in Erfworld history, either, if rulers keep their casters in home cities. They don't get much practice at it, so they may not be that good at it either. Fighting well takes practice, and I can't imagine that doesn't hold true for casters in combat.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-06, 05:20 PM
Using the real world also makes things easier on the author.
[...]
Just how far do you go when you alter something?Agreed that straying from the real world can both make things harder on the author and on the player. But stray you must in a fantasy based RTS such as Erfworld. And it's not much of a "stray" to, say, not have cheap traps such as mines, or to not have a r/p/s relationship between all of the units in the game.
I wouldn't read that much into it yet. They may have assumed it was a preset trap from the sheer scale of the event. Since it is impossible, maybe a lot of little spells set over a long time set off at once did it? Anyway, I think "trap" is the best explanation anyone can come up with, so that's what they're assuming for now.Agreed. It's not really a trap, and the readers know that. But this is how the Efrers refer to effects of this nature, because it best matches known Erf mechanics, theoretically. Which is why they refer to it as a trap, that's the comfortable label.
I expect an epilogue for Charlie, and that would be an appropriate topic for him to discuss with his Chief Warlord, since it was fundamental to losing everything.Does Charlie even have a chief warlord? Maybe one of the archons fills that role? We know only a single unit type for Charlie's forces, and he seems to be doing all the commanding via the finger TVs.
Just playing the spoiler [re: Van de Graff]. It could be an activated ability, or the hammer may confer to him the ability to use a particular spell, or it may have had something to do with "Your lightning's all I need." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0123.html)The cast of characters lists "Heaving lightning" as a strength of the Archenhammer. But.... It lists "Taming Dwagons" for both Stanley and the Archenhammer. It's a shame the authors seem to make mistakes of context like this so often. The strip seems to make it clear that it's only his attunement to the 'Hammer that lets Stanley tame dwagons, and the cast of characters should not be listing this as a strength of both Stanley and the 'Hammer.
What makes a caster? If it's training, then anyone might become one. Sizemore was popped, but was he popped as a caster, or did he pull pike duty first?All indications are that casters pop as casters, and other units pop as their unit type. Humans, or perhaps any talented martial unit although we haven't seen any non-human warlords unless that woodsy elf (Tarfu?) qualifies as a warlord, can be promoted to a better martial unit type (Stanley is the best example we have of this), and a caster can becomes a better caster including the possibility of learning magic outside of their area of specialization.
Wanda did. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0134.html)[defend against a spell-like effect] Her mount is vaped, but anything fired at her bounces off the bubble.Sure, but we were talking about archons having no specific weakness. Shoving a piece of wood into the heart is fatal to mortals and vampires alike, but it is a special weakness of vampires only because they are for the most part invulnerable. A stake to the heart is the "paper" to the vampires "rock." Archons seem to be generally strong, with no specific weakness. Things that kill other units may also kill them, but there has been no demonstrated specific weakness to any attack form which isn't also effective against other units.
It's hardly surprising that we see little caster-caster combat. Ansom only brought Archons, and they've been unutilized many turns. And we wouldn't see much in Erfworld history, either, if rulers keep their casters in home cities. They don't get much practice at it, so they may not be that good at it either. Fighting well takes practice, and I can't imagine that doesn't hold true for casters in combat.It makes one wonder how casters manage to level, because most of their action would be in defending a city. We've only seen Wanda and Sizemore leave GK. Wanda to go collect and uncroak Manpower, and she and Sizemore on a trip to the Magic Kingdom. The MK appears to be a kind of neutral caster-only territory, so aside from buying scrolls or studying other forms of magic there's probably little to do there which can give levels.

Oslecamo
2009-04-06, 05:52 PM
Noooo... the Blooper thread tells us that Charlescomm forces did not get their move restored, so they couldn't move out of the hex. We know for certain that flight obeys basic move laws because Jillian can't follow Stanley out of the trap hex. Since the volcano was a multi-hex trap, and all RCC forces were destroyed, even those shown outside teh hex, there was nowhere inside tehir one hex that the Archons could fly to in order to escape.

I was refering to the air-defense trap earlier, but nevermind now.



Or it was a natural ability. Notice that lovely armour she wears into battle, instead of dance fighting? We don't see her cast, including scrolls. We don't know where it came from. The point is, there are defensive abilities. They can be used to prevent spell casting..

We don't see Wanda cast a lot of stuff she casted. We didn't see how she animated the killed archon. We don't see how she mind raped Jillian.

Plus from my view the natural ability there is the archon's laser beams. I don't remember they using any specific words when using them.



You'll notice her mount was vaporized: the bubble didn't protect it. She wasn't "pwned", she fell a long ways. (Besides, you need to learn what that term means before using it.)

Oh so she can take laser beams to the face but can't handle a middle fall(wich Ansom managed to take and keep going). Or perhaps the shield was simply expended by the laser beam.



They are in a zone in a city. No matter how many hexes the zone takes up, the Archons can't fly out of that zone with 0 move. The Archons cannot leave city Airspace.

They still had move remaining since they would need it to take the garrison if Charlie had decided to go trough with the attack. However they ended their turn and then later . The game probably has a contigency that if you moved during your turn then you can't move any more for the remaining of the day, even if you make a new alliance, to prevent cheesy tricks like the archons sudenly being able to attack togheter with the coaliton forces.



Which makes an assumption on your part that teleportation takes a long time to cast.
Stronger spells need more time as far as we've seen. The super summoning spell took lots. Proper mind raping demands a prolonged sessions. Uncroackify dead troops is slow enough that it can't be done during battle. Otherwise mancers would indeed be invincible.



No, Charlie leaves it to his commanders in the field to decide how to implement his orders. His forces can rush things if they wish. They have the authority to sell their own services, as they did by convincing Jillian to call Ansom. Charlie does not micromanage. But he does not allow for his forces to have a chance of losing. Don't confuse that with careful planning. He plans where he can, but he is not present at most situations, so his Archons decide tehir own risks. Charlie errs on the side of less loss, and there was no gain from leaving the Archons in Airspace if the mountain was rumbling. He could only lose nothing ro a lot: he could not gain sice the Archons could not participate.
But as we see, either by rules or teleport taking too long or they having zero movement they simply don't have a choice. They have to stay there.



But, you know, there's something more. The Archons tell Ansom that they could not assist him because they could not cross zones (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0134.html). If Teleportation exists, it cannot be used on-turn with 0 move (since at this point they are technically on-turn with zero move, not off-turn).

And like I already said, they had already taken their turn and ended it. They then allied with the coaliton, but the game's rules prevents them from moving anymore because technically they already ended their turns. Remember most turn based games have rules to prevent abusive movement.



So would attacks with daggers. If a dagger could be blocked, it would be all but useless. Well, oops, daggers can be blocked (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0151.html). Your argument is not consistent with any reality.

Because it isn't reality. It's a game! And we already know that normal attacks can be parried as we saw from Wanda and Ansom's fight. But a trap isn't combat. You can't parry it.



If they could have teleported, Ansom would have had them teleport to Outer Wall or Courtyard to help with more offense. They couldn't (means unable to, not didn't want to) cross zones.

Or perhaps it's simply a 1 per day spell/ability. You never saw any game with units with a special ability/spell wich they can use only once per turn but doesn't drain other resources?



Not at all costs. He did not attack GK to capture Parson. Whatever that would have cost him, he wasn't willing to pay it. Didn't want to lose too many Archons? Didn't want to get the RCC angry at him? We simply do not know, but we do not he wouldn't pay that cost for Parson.

Well he still was pretty much interested, to the point in sending a really big number of archons to try to get the job done.



Charlie didn't think he could lose. No one else predicted the volcano could be caused to erupt. Multiple hex traps are impossible according to Jillian and Caesar, and people never consider the impossible, just the improbable, Sides now have to start considering the impossible...

Yep. Hamster will revolutionize combat in Efworld.



Charlie reduced his risk when victory seemed assured. Destruction by the volcano? Simply not possible, unless it was act of god, and that could happen anywhere anytime, so that's not a gamble.

He knew Hamster had 2/3 chances of standing against the coaliton. That should be the impossible since he was so badly outnumbered. Charlie being a smart guy should have understood that Hamster wasn't your typical warlord, and if he tried to play too much time with him he would get burned.


The chance of an act of god is so low that you would paralyze your own side by never taking a risk on something that unlikely happening. Since it is impossible to create a multi-hex Dirtamancy Trap, it is simply not reasonable to count that risk as a gamble. A 0% chance of occurance is a 0% chance of risk.




Prove it wasn't a spell. How do you know what it was? I can say it was a spell because it had a verbal activation like a spell. The only Natural Ability we've seen cast is the contract, and theres no words creating that effect. So, it's a spell.
Stanley is arrogant enough to just scream the name of the attack because he likes it. He likes to show off, and even dresses like KISS. Who said mancers were the only ones who got to talk fancy during battles?

Plus it's an arkentool! If anything in Efworld has natural abilities it's that giant hammer.



We know that the Arkenpliers are tied to Fate magic (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0022.html). And Ansom has no talent with it, but he has to say that. It is possible for Warlords to have talent with magic, or Ansom would have said, "But I'm a warlord, and can't cast." instead. Being a Warlord does not make it impossible for Stanley to cast spells.

Then it's the pliers wich grant them the power. Warlords also shouldn't be able to control dwagons but Stanley can do it because of his arkentool.



Or the spell is intended to time to the hammer swing. It might be an activation word, it might be a spell. Point is, that a spell like Hoboken can be used in the same time Van de Graaff was. If an activation ability times to counter a melee attack, so can a spell.

No it can't, because the hammer took the dance fighting of 3 cosplaying hobgobwins to charge up the hammer. Decidely not instant.

Specially because if it was a fast casting spell then Stanley would've used it in Jillian also! How do you explain that?



Magic Missile was the great anti-casting spell in DnD early editions, where being hit in a round prevented spell casting for the entire round. Low damage, but automatic hit against anyone not surrounded by a Shield, like a Cleric. My low level wizard shut down a wizard for five rounds, before my wand was destroyed. Weak does not mean ineffective.

This isn't D&D. We have nothing to suport it works that way. Move on.



You mean like a teleportation spell? Charge it up, and then you can use it as a contingency later? Or do you not realize you need to create an exception for teleportation now, too? It can't be charged up like other spells.

I never said all spells are charged up. Uncroack people, creating crap golems, taking cities down, tunneling, offensive shockmancy, summon perfect warlod and several others clearly can't be charged as they're unleashed when the mancer chooses.



But you still have to prove that, anyway. If defensive spells can be charged and released at will, why did Jaclyn die? Why did any Archons die to Air defenses? Why could the Archons casting DDR be disrupted? They didn't bother to cast their defensives?

Who says they have any? They had to run out of tricks somewhere.



Or something I like: they don't have any defensive spells. There's their vulnerability I was looking for. They can't pre-cast a defense and stop any offensive spells from hitting them. They are now very vulnerable to enemy casters. I don't know if it is traditional for armies to not have casters in he field, but you can bet Parson will change that now that he can see what they can do. A croakamancer anywhere but near the front line makes no sense, really. What good does a Croakamancer do a city, except provide a realatively few workers from the local dead (rhetorical... it's a relative thing... there will be a lot of corpses on the front line, so that really is where a Croakamancer would be best situated)?


In the beggining of the comic Wanda is called by Stanley to animate the last deceased warlod, showing that aparently you can choose to carry corpses from the frontline to your citadel where your croackamancer can turn them into more troops whitout leaving the safety of the base.

Plus remember the more corspes you reanimate in one turn the weaker they are and the fewer time they last. In the long run it pays more to just animate some elite units. If you go around spamming quick zombies they'll all rot to nothingness in a few days.



A Dirtamancer mining to provide funds to replace units? Sure, that makes some sense. But considering that they can be used to kill enemy leadership in the field, by tunneling underneath?
They can be used to kill enemy leadership when you combine them with golems and give them shockmancy scrolls to keep the other enemies away. And who can create the golems? The dirtmancer. So it probably pays more to keep your dirtmancer at home spamming more golems instead of risking him in the frontline. Plus he would never get flying warlords.


Ansom took no casters with him, or at the very least, we never see any except Archons. That's the Archons' strength: they're the only casters on the battlefield, and that provides a service unmatched. That explains Charlie's usefulness, and his high prices.

It also helps they have sick mobility and fire super laser beams of death. Indeed Charlie's high fees are a further proof of the archon's great(but not unlimited) power.



Anyway, obviously, I am perfectly happy with spells being Chargable. It forces you to make another exception for Teleportation, and it gives the Archons obvious vulnerabilities. That's really all i needed to prove in order to balance them. I found my paper to the Archon rock.
I don't need to make any exception. I said some spells were chargable, not all of them. Otherwise just send Wanda with a charged uncroack and turn all the killed guys from the coaltion in her toys during battle instead of just at the end of it.

Kreistor
2009-04-06, 08:04 PM
BJBB! Seriously, put in a carriage return once in a while. Go back to your last and QUOTE it, and then try to figure out the paragraph edges. It's annoying! All those paragraphs combined into a single one.


Charlie even have a chief warlord? Maybe one of the archons fills that role? We know only a single unit type for Charlie's forces, and he seems to be doing all the commanding via the finger TVs.

Vinnie lists the advantages of a Chief Warlord in terms of bonuses to units alone. No, I don't think a Chief Warlord went to GK, but I think there's one sitting back in Charlescomm. To go without those bonuses seems a problem. And further, it looks to me like only the RUler and Chief Warlord can take a Turn. Without a CW, only Charlie could do that. It would be too much if Charlie had units in two different theatres at once.


The cast of characters lists "Heaving lightning" as a strength of the Archenhammer. But.... It lists "Taming Dwagons" for both Stanley and the Archenhammer. It's a shame the authors seem to make mistakes of context like this so often. The strip seems to make it clear that it's only his attunement to the 'Hammer that lets Stanley tame dwagons, and the cast of characters should not be listing this as a strength of both Stanley and the 'Hammer.

Hmmm... well, not necessarily. If taming dwagons still takes great effort and risks death, then no, it is also a skill. The Hammer permits it, but he has to best the dwagon himself. How much the hammer helps depends on how much better than the next better weapon available to him would be. IF the combat bonus from the Hammer isn't a lot better, then the hammer permits the taming, but it's Stanley doing the taming.


All indications are that casters pop as casters, and other units pop as their unit type.

No, Warlords can be raised or popped (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0048.html). Wanda dodged about herself, so maybe she didn't talk about Casters at all. Are casters popped, or do they run tests when looking to spend money on training a new one, finding the best of the untis already popped? We just don't know.


Sure, but we were talking about archons having no specific weakness. Shoving a piece of wood into the heart is fatal to mortals and vampires alike, but it is a special weakness of vampires only because they are for the most part invulnerable. A stake to the heart is the "paper" to the vampires "rock." Archons seem to be generally strong, with no specific weakness. Things that kill other units may also kill them, but there has been no demonstrated specific weakness to any attack form which isn't also effective against other units.

Please, let's not get into redefining vulnerability and weakness. Bogroll has a vulnerability to fire, even though other units die to fire. Why that word? Because a word had to be chosen. He's no more vulnerable than anyone else to fire, but it kills him where other things don't. Convention says vulnerability applies to fire used on trolls, so I'm sticking with the convention. Weakness the same argument.


It makes one wonder how casters manage to level, because most of their action would be in defending a city.

*shrug* If it matters, it will come up. That's a triviality I don't care about.

Oslecamo, I refuse to respond to you when you use that language.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-07, 11:53 AM
We don't see how she mind raped Jillian.We saw her cast from a scroll at the start of her "session." It was my take that the scroll was the influence spell, and the BDSM was their fun and games together repeating earlier fun and games they have shared.
They still had move remaining since they would need it to take the garrison if Charlie had decided to go trough with the attack. However they ended their turn and then later . The game probably has a contigency that if you moved during your turn then you can't move any more for the remaining of the day, even if you make a new alliance, to prevent cheesy tricks like the archons sudenly being able to attack togheter with the coaliton forces.It does. You regain move at the start of your turn, and lose all remaining move when you end turn. So joining an alliance leaves you without move until your new alliance begins its turn on the following day.
Stronger spells need more time as far as we've seen. The super summoning spell took lots. Proper mind raping demands a prolonged sessions. Uncroackify dead troops is slow enough that it can't be done during battle. Otherwise mancers would indeed be invincible.I can't agree here. Awakening the volcano was done on the RCC turn, and didn't seem to take much time. This is arguably the most potent work of magic we've seen in the strip. And casting the scroll on Jillian (or any scroll use) didn't seem to take much time, not that this was a particularly potent effect in any case.
Stanley is arrogant enough to just scream the name of the attack because he likes it. He likes to show off, and even dresses like KISS. Who said mancers were the only ones who got to talk fancy during battles?Dressing the part seems to be a prerequisite of gaining a dace fight bonus. Stanley wasn't indulging his cosplay fetish or showing off, he was looking to stack combat bonuses.
[...] the hammer took the dance fighting of 3 cosplaying hobgobwins to charge up the hammer. Decidely not instant.

Specially because if it was a fast casting spell then Stanley would've used it in Jillian also! How do you explain that?I'm not sure I agree that the dance fight is what charger the VdG, but it is true that potent abilities of several different units have not been used consistently.

BJBB! Seriously, put in a carriage return once in a while. Go back to your last and QUOTE it, and then try to figure out the paragraph edges. It's annoying! All those paragraphs combined into a single one.The server is quite slow. I eliminate useless whitespace where I can. I write in the same format that you respond, I'm sorry if it's bothersome to you but I manage fine.
Vinnie lists the advantages of a Chief Warlord in terms of bonuses to units alone. No, I don't think a Chief Warlord went to GK, but I think there's one sitting back in Charlescomm.Yeah, he's kinda got to have one, unless Charlie laid it off to cut costs. Or maybe it can't fly or teleport. :smallsmile:
The Hammer permits it, but he has to best the dwagon himself.Perhaps, but it taming dwagons isn't an innate ability of Stanleys then it shouldn't be listed as one of his strengths. Take away the hammer and he isn't taming anything.
No, Warlords can be raised or popped (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0048.html). Wanda dodged about herself, so maybe she didn't talk about Casters at all. Are casters popped, or do they run tests when looking to spend money on training a new one, finding the best of the untis already popped? We just don't know.We know that Sizemore popped under Saline IV. You could speculate that Sizemore is a troop who was given magic training, but that wouldn't follow the RTS genre as well as just popping as a caster does.
Please, let's not get into redefining vulnerability and weakness. Bogroll has a vulnerability to fire, even though other units die to fire. Why that word? Because a word had to be chosen. He's no more vulnerable than anyone else to fire, but it kills him where other things don't. Convention says vulnerability applies to fire used on trolls, so I'm sticking with the convention. Weakness the same argument.Um, this is supporting my definition. Bog roll doesn't have a "vulnerability" to fire, at least as shown in his stats (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html). His weakness are "guile, comprehension, personal hygene." (http://web.archive.org/web/20080203034157/http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erfcast.html) Fire just happens to be the paper to his rock.

Kreistor
2009-04-07, 01:21 PM
The server is quite slow. I eliminate useless whitespace where I can. I write in the same format that you respond, I'm sorry if it's bothersome to you but I manage fine.

Ten CR's wouldn't even increase the bandwidth used by 1%. There's a lot of overhead beyond just our typing when someoone reads this. Cutting out huge chunks of text, yeah, that cuts down on bandwidth, but cutting out CXR's that are useful for those oyu are communicating with? That costs us 10x or more time than it costs you.


Perhaps, but it taming dwagons isn't an innate ability of Stanleys then it shouldn't be listed as one of his strengths. Take away the hammer and he isn't taming anything.

If the hammer attuned to Sizemore, would he be able to tame dwagons?Yes. Could he? No.

By your logic, humans have no unique strengths or weaknesses, for the most part. Michael Phelps, for instance, can't include "Swimming" as a strength because he actually learned how to swim well: it's not all innate. Sorry, that's clearly wrong. You can learn how to do something well and people will call it a strength. Or you can ignore something and it will become a weakness.


Um, this is supporting my definition. Bog roll doesn't have a "vulnerability" to fire, at least as shown in his stats (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html). His weakness are "guile, comprehension, personal hygene." (http://web.archive.org/web/20080203034157/http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erfcast.html) Fire just happens to be the paper to his rock.

Okay, so we'll call everything that can kill someone "paper", and we'll all understand what we mean. Until someone new comes along and we have to explain it to them, because they have no clue what you're talking about. When I'm in battle, I will call out, "THe twoll is vulnerable to fire," or "The twoll is weak to fire,", not "The twoll is rock to fire!"

Point is, we need a word to explain what can kill someone that is normally immune to everything else. We use vulnerable, because that's the word commonly understood to mean that. Just to make the point:


capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon

Is Bagroll capable of being wounded by fire? Gee, yes. Does it mattert to the definition of vulnerable that he's not more damaged by fire than a human? No. Vulnerable is the correct word.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-07, 04:06 PM
If the hammer attuned to Sizemore, would he be able to tame dwagons?Yes. Could he? No.You know this for a fact? How might this be? We have not seen Stanley tame any dwagons. Perhaps he sings them a KISS tune and they eat walnuts out of his hand and are tamed. My prediction is that the song used to tame dwagons is Detroit Rock City. But you must also have walnuts, and be attuned to the Arcenhammer.

Kreistor
2009-04-07, 09:18 PM
We have not seen Stanley tame any dwagons. Perhaps he sings them a KISS tune and they eat walnuts out of his hand and are tamed. My prediction is that the song used to tame dwagons is Detroit Rock City. But you must also have walnuts, and be attuned to the Arcenhammer.

And that makes as much sense as the author making a mistake on who tames dwagons.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-10, 03:11 PM
And that makes as much sense as the author making a mistake on who tames dwagons.You're right, it doesn't make much sense. All you need is to be attuned to the Arcenhammer, the walnuts and Detroit Rock City are merely optional extras.

Kreistor
2009-04-10, 03:15 PM
You're right, it doesn't make much sense. All you need is to be attuned to the Arcenhammer, the walnuts and Detroit Rock City are merely optional extras.

Good, we agree that the author didn't make a mistake as to who tames dwagons, then.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-13, 06:03 PM
Good, we agree that the author didn't make a mistake as to who tames dwagons, then.We do? How's that? You think, with no support at all in the strip, that some kind of martial ability is needed to tame dwagons even if you own an attuned Archenhammer. I think that all you need is to own an attuned Archenhammer, because there isn't a hint of any other prerequisite being required. Walnuts and Detroit Rock City are optional, but fun.

Kreistor
2009-04-13, 06:53 PM
We do? How's that? You think, with no support at all in the strip, that some kind of martial ability is needed to tame dwagons even if you own an attuned Archenhammer. I think that all you need is to own an attuned Archenhammer, because there isn't a hint of any other prerequisite being required. Walnuts and Detroit Rock City are optional, but fun.

Well, I thought it was pretty simple, actually. Either the author made a mistake and Stanley does have a talent for taming dwagons, or he did make a mistake, and only the Arkenhammer is needed. When I equated the likelihood of the author making such a mistake with Stnaley singing them to tame them, and you agreed that singing them was pretty foolish, I thought you were agreeing that the author wouldn't be foolish enough to make that mistake.

Because, after all, that seems to be what you're saying. The Author made a mistake putting "Taming dwagons" as a strength for both the hammer and Stanley. For you to be right, the author had to make that mistake.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-14, 11:51 AM
I believe the author indeed made an error by listing dwagon taming under both the Archenhammer and under Stanley. I further believe that that this is not a shocking revelation but a repeated occurrence, and is a natural consequence of being a fallible human being.

I'm not really clear what else you're reading into this, but I do not believe that there is any hidden or deeper meaning or context to be gleaned from this.

Oslecamo
2009-04-15, 09:01 AM
Because, after all, that seems to be what you're saying. The Author made a mistake putting "Taming dwagons" as a strength for both the hammer and Stanley. For you to be right, the author had to make that mistake.

And what does it matter to this discussion? Stanley can tame dwagons. Nobody else we've seen so far can. And he won't drop the hammer untill he's croacked. End of point. Refuse to answer my posts if you want, but at least try to stay on topic in my thread geez.

Kreistor
2009-04-16, 09:23 PM
It's not "your" thread. You don't own it. I didn't start this sidebar, and am not going to apologize for defending an author that knows more about what's happening than any reader. Goodness knows no one is perfect, but Thinking the author made a mistake when there are perfectly good explanations without such a presumption seems to me to be a poor arguing position.

After all, the author can ensure correctness by changing a detail or two to ensure he doesn't appear incorrect. A great example of this is Battlestar Galactica's final Cylon. They revealed in the special before the final episode that between the halves of the final season, the writers had sat down to figure out who would be the final cylon. They consciously rejected anyone that was a popular choice on the fan forums: merely by trying to guess who was the last, you were automatically wrong. The author, in this situation, can do exactly the same thing. Whatever was intended, he can change that detail right now to anything he wants without having to alter the comic in any way. So, BJBB, you're wrong, not because the author might have made a mistake, but because there is so little about this in th comic that the author can ensure that it is correct without ever revealing he made a mistake.