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Stegyre
2009-04-19, 11:44 PM
They're back aaaaaaannnnnd . . .





Wanda has found and attuned to the Arkenpliers.

Guts
2009-04-19, 11:48 PM
If wonder If Wanda will break away from Parson in some manner...

Zeku
2009-04-19, 11:49 PM
Oh my....

I seem to remember someone saying way, way back before the wanda+pliers speculations even began. Wanda = the final Erfworld villian. It's starting to look a little plausible at this point.

Also, nice to see the Scarlet Witch.

Lance
2009-04-19, 11:49 PM
I usually just lurk here, but being able to post this early on the first page is worth de-lurking for a sec.

Well, I guess we now know who the rightful owner of the pliers is...

I'm afraid! :smalleek:

Ryuuk
2009-04-19, 11:50 PM
Well, guess the predictions one the pliers were right.

Also, Sizemore seems to have taken what that hippiemancer said to heart, either that, or what we saw last comic was a side of him that he never plans on showing Parson.

Destro_Yersul
2009-04-19, 11:55 PM
Oh wow. I wonder if this means Parson and his caster friends are going to make their own side? They have an artifact, a site for a city, money...

And the best warlord that money can buy.

JONJONAUG
2009-04-19, 11:58 PM
Oh wow. I wonder if this means Parson and his caster friends are going to make their own side? They have an artifact, a site for a city, money...

And the best warlord that money can buy.

Even if taking over from Stanley is possible (which it probably isn't), they have roughly NOTHING to fight with if they could, while Stanley still has a few Dwagons.

Zeku
2009-04-19, 11:59 PM
What we know about Stanley suggests he could nearly instantly transform into Wanda's thrall, still worshiping power, but from a new position.

Lunaya
2009-04-19, 11:59 PM
Aww..Wanda's happy. And I'm glad to see Sizemore's feeling better..quite suddenly. :smalleek:

Decius
2009-04-20, 09:30 PM
I bet parson will have a wonderful time explaining to the Tool why the surrounding area is now entirely obsidian.

Bonus: The dead coalition, do they have bodies encapsulated under the rock, or can bodies be destroyed? I can see an epic croakamancy trap with uncroaked units rising from the ground...

Haven
2009-04-20, 09:31 PM
I was expecting to spend more time in the Magic Kingdom, for some reason (I guess I expected something to go wrong with the severing of the link, or for the hippymancer thing to be elaborated on). Glad we got in a Scarlet Witch cameo before we left, at least.

Stanley's side being the richest in Erfworld? That's bad news. It's gonna go straight to his head, and he'll start his whole "crusade to take over the world" thing again.

Hopefully he gets deposed somehow—maybe Jillian & co can intercept and croak him. Putting Parson in a real position to live up to his anagram.

Kreistor
2009-04-20, 09:32 PM
Wow, Rob, you're revealing everything these days, aren't you? And on the one day you drop the most spoilers on us, the unfortunate forums go down for repair so we can't talk about it.

I don't think anyone doubts that Wanda is attuned to the Pliers and always knew it.

The mountain can become a city again, and a very rich one at that. Sizemore scores a big one for the home team. GK is going to be bigger, better, and far more capable with Parson around.

BTW, the red-garbed chick in the first panel is Scarlet Witch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlet_Witch), from Marvel.
We also have Harry Blackstone Jr (http://www.amdest.com/stars/harryb.html) (answering that question from a pair of strips ago).
I hope Top Hat babe is Marlene Dietrich (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlena_Dietrich). She did at least one pic where she wore black top hat and tails. But I highly suspect its a lesser known DC heroine, whose name I forget, but she was on JLU in the last couple seasons.

Stanley should get back to GK today with Jack. I am so looking forward to the face off between himself and a Pliers-wielding Wanda. Stanley is going to want those Pliers, and Wanda is never going to give them up. Wanda couldn't win, at least not unless Sizemore and Maggie betray Stanley, and I don't see that happening.

Oh, and I guess the Pliers don't confer Fire resistance, eh? Scarlet is Dee Eee Dee -- dead!

SteveMB
2009-04-20, 09:33 PM
What we know about Stanley suggests he could nearly instantly transform into Wanda's thrall, still worshiping power, but from a new position.

Stanley's reaction when he returns is the open question. He has reasons to be delighted (the Coalition is wiped out, Ansom in particular is croaked, the Arkenpliers is in his side's hands) and reasons to be enraged (Gobwin Knob is in ruins, most of his forces are croaked, the Arkenpliers attuned to somebody else).


I hope Top Hat babe is Marlene Dietrich (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlena_Dietrich). She did at least one pic where she wore black top hat and tails. But I highly suspect its a lesser known DC heroine, whose name I forget, but she was on JLU in the last couple seasons.

Zatanna (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zatanna).

sheepfly
2009-04-20, 09:35 PM
Let's see... Parson gets to leave the Magic Kingdom without so much as a slap on the wrist, Maggie is perfectly fine after the most epic trimancer link we've seen or heard of so far, Sizemore is downright chipper about the previous day's events despite previously stating his horror and revulsion, Wanda has the Arkenpliers and is attuned to them, and Parson's side is suddenly fabulously wealthy. All we need now is for Stanley to show up with a horde of newly tamed dwagons, pat Parson on the back, and name his chief warlord heir. Perhaps Wanda could uncroak the whole Coalition to top it off.

Seriously, if Parson wasn't dreaming before, he must be now.

If this is for real, though, it looks like Red Warlord didn't make it. :smallfrown:

Fez
2009-04-20, 09:43 PM
Mua ha ha ha ha.

The joyful sound of an Arkentool attuning.

On more serious note, I'm just pondering a bit. I wonder whether Rob is planning a few extra pages of what happened in the Magic Kingdom for the book. That would be a good place to draw paying customers and all.

As for the page itself, it really does build up a great question of what exactly is going to happen once Stanley arrives. What exactly is this little band going to do? Will Parson be able to get his freedom and so forth. This is just a wonderful way of building up the pot. Its like the Titans have gone all in. Sizemore has found a fortune. Wanda has attuned to one of the four known arkentools. Parson has learned that he can break the game. Maggie looks like Margaret Thatcher (okay that hasn't really changed.)

Now to wait and see what comes of all this excess of riches in the midst of waste and ruin.

Kaed
2009-04-20, 09:46 PM
I bet parson will have a wonderful time explaining to the Tool why the surrounding area is now entirely obsidian.

Bonus: The dead coalition, do they have bodies encapsulated under the rock, or can bodies be destroyed? I can see an epic croakamancy trap with uncroaked units rising from the ground...

Nah, very unlikely, given that corpses simply vanish (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0084.html) at the start of the next turn if left unattended.

Would be cool though.

Poit-Narf
2009-04-20, 09:49 PM
Yay for Scarlet Witch and the 'pliers!

Glome
2009-04-20, 10:00 PM
So I wonder whether all gems come out of the ground perfectly cut in Erfworld, or is that just a side effect of Sizemore's magic in pulling it out of the ground. Either way, gem cutting is apparently one of the many unneeded skills in Erfworld.

Also, I wonder if we are going to see what the pliers can do when they are attuned now.

And we still don't know for sure whether Parson is really a hippiemancer or whether Janis was just protecting him.

tomaO2
2009-04-20, 10:01 PM
I found this the most disturbing page so far.

Parson wakes up. He's surrounded by a bunch of mancers that probably want to kill him. Maggie is there. She says it's time to go. He leaves with a backwards glance to see the utmost loathing the mancers have for him.

Think about the effort it takes to be pissed off for that long. Parson was asleep for the whole night, he wasn't trying to upset anyone but still the hate bubbles to he surface, or is that fear? Plus, he doesn't even know how he managed to enter the portal in the first place. How did they even know for sure he was a warlord when he has no visible stats anyway?

He enters the portal and is transported to a wasteland. Everyone is dead. Everyone. This is all the result of his handy work. Keep in mind that Parson hasn't had more then 10 minutes to go over all of this. Since he's been unconscious all this time it's like he just left. How can he not be affected by the agnitude of what he did?

He sees Sizemore, who is oddly chipper. Parson can't understand why this would be so. He has to be repressing. No way he could be over it, the butchering he did, already. He finds out that they suddenly have enough money to rebuild. Just minutes ago he was inches away from death and now it's rebuilding. Maye to something stronger than before.

Then, in the distance, Wanda, who I find the most frightening of all the characters, lets out an evil laugh as she attunes to the pliers.

None of the other pages have been so usettling to me.

The thing I find most interesting is the fact that they do not seem to have reverted to barbarian status. Sizemore clearly said that "our side" was rich now. I don't get that.

The city was totalled right? PClips? Why haven't they reverted to barbarian status? Also, how did the uncroaked survive anyway? They are even more quishy then the regular troops.

Decius
2009-04-20, 10:03 PM
Let's see... Parson gets to leave the Magic Kingdom without so much as a slap on the wrist, Maggie is perfectly fine after the most epic trimancer link we've seen or heard of so far, Sizemore is downright chipper about the previous day's events despite previously stating his horror and revulsion, Wanda has the Arkenpliers and is attuned to them, and Parson's side is suddenly fabulously wealthy. All we need now is for Stanley to show up with a horde of newly tamed dwagons, pat Parson on the back, and name his chief warlord heir. Perhaps Wanda could uncroak the whole Coalition to top it off.


1: He had a grand abbie hippiemancer speak up for him. It's not like the magic kingdom COULD fight her if they tried.
2: The best thinkamancers in the magic kingdom unraveled the link, which was brief. It wasn't any more or less epic than the -other- trimancer link, which was broken suddenly and with no help.
3: Sizemore has hated Parson for quite a while. His duty, however, has certain requirements, which are at odds with his personal ethics. Plus, he did learn a whole lot about the mountain, and he also made his side really, really rich. He might even want Parson to start breaking more things for peace.
4. When Stanley returns, expect the other shoes to drop. He will be pissed initially; only when he learns what happened will he change his mind.

Side note: Bogroll leveled twice for killing Ansom, but the Trimancer didn't level more for killing the ENTIRE attacking force? Sizemore had to have gotten some for his work in the tunnels, not to mention his hit-and-run tactics in the outer walls zone. Did Parson get any experience from his part? Has he now leveled into a more perfect warlord? What about Stanley? It would make sense for him to know how many casualties were inflicted by his units; After all, "Unaroyal's thinkamancers" knew that their units were all killed in one -action-, and that it was a dirtamancy trap of some sort. Why shouldn't Jack know the same?

Decius
2009-04-20, 10:07 PM
Nah, very unlikely, given that corpses simply vanish (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0084.html) at the start of the next turn if left unattended.

Would be cool though.
I was thinking of a policy of "Uncroak now, disinter later".

(Sigged!)

Hann
2009-04-20, 10:09 PM
Uh oh.
Wanda's got the pliers.

Parson doesn't seem too happy though.

I do like to see a cheery Sizemore.

Also, Scarlet Witch look-alike. :smallbiggrin:

Justyn
2009-04-20, 10:10 PM
The city was totalled right? PClips? Why haven't they reverted to barbarian status? Also, how did the uncroaked survive anyway? They are even more quishy then the regular troops.

Because while Gobwin Knob looks like Boatmurdered after an elephant invasion, Stanley is still alive.

Chewy
2009-04-20, 10:11 PM
1:
Side note: Bogroll leveled twice for killing Ansom, but the Trimancer didn't level more for killing the ENTIRE attacking force? Sizemore had to have gotten some for his work in the tunnels, not to mention his hit-and-run tactics in the outer walls zone. Did Parson get any experience from his part? Has he now leveled into a more perfect warlord? What about Stanley? It would make sense for him to know how many casualties were inflicted by his units; After all, "Unaroyal's thinkamancers" knew that their units were all killed in one -action-, and that it was a dirtamancy trap of some sort. Why shouldn't Jack know the same?

Because sizemore and wanda did not DIRECTLY kill the troops. They indirectly manipulated the terrain into something which an army cannot survive upon. So the land killed them all not sizemore.

Also jack is a foolmancer.

BarGamer
2009-04-20, 10:12 PM
Sizemore gets to go back to digging, Wanda has a Tool, Stanley should be coming back, if he's not dead. I hope Parson finds his crispy body, the Arkenhammer, and attunes to it. It would make sense for the Magic Kingdom to remove the threat of the Arkentools as well, and make Parson able to attune to all of them.

On the other hand, a Coalition full of charcoal-ed non-decaying Uncroaked would be rather epic.

SteveMB
2009-04-20, 10:13 PM
Side note: Bogroll leveled twice for killing Ansom, but the Trimancer didn't level more for killing the ENTIRE attacking force?

Perhaps they didn't level up because they retreated from the engagement (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0061.html).

Glome
2009-04-20, 10:15 PM
Because sizemore and wanda did not DIRECTLY kill the troops. They indirectly manipulated the terrain into something which an army cannot survive upon. So the land killed them all not sizemore.


Or a simpler explanation is that they fled before the volcano went off, you don't level if you flee, which is why Stanley was mad at Parson for using hit and run tactics.

SpacemanSpif
2009-04-20, 10:16 PM
Well, whatever happens next is going to depend quite largely on what the attuned arkenpliers do.

My guess (and probably that of many others) is that Wanda knew she could get the pliers by staying with Stanley through predictamancy, which was why she stayed even though she was under no loyalty spells.

Remember the predictamancer that teamed with Jack to protect FAQ? Either it's Wanda, or someone she knew. At least I think so, I don't think it's been revealed yet.

Now that she has it... I'm not sure how easy it is to get out of disbandability, but I wouldn't be surprised if she tried.

Borris
2009-04-20, 10:16 PM
With OotS also updating, I didn't notice the new Erfworld until today. Rereading it over and over, this strip just seems so out of place for Erfworld. Everything is calm and positive. It's just so... ominous.

Chewy
2009-04-20, 10:16 PM
Or a simpler explanation is that they fled before the volcano went off, you don't level if you flee, which is why Stanley was mad at Parson for using hit and run tactics.

also very very very true.

NobodySpecial
2009-04-20, 10:18 PM
Anyone else see a bit of foreshadowing here?

Stanley, Wanda, Sizemore, Parson.

Four Arkentools.

Each attuning to a different person on the side?

Samargh
2009-04-20, 10:18 PM
Luverly strip, even if its a bit of a jarring junmp from the previous one...

So, we learn lots..

GK was never taken; they had units there at all times while the coallition endured TPW.

Who cares what happened to the treasury; they have all the shmuckers they need for upkeep.

Red warlord didn't make it... Wanda did get the pliers:smalleek:

On aggregate, I'd call this a win for GK as they are in a far stronger position now compared to their enemies when you compare it to when we started the strip. OK, so Transylvito can cause them some grief, but they are otherwise occupied and its not as If the Tool didn't get his licks in during the last fight..

I guess all we are really waiting on now in terms of what needs to be tied up before book 2 is what the tools reaction is going to be...

SpacemanSpif
2009-04-20, 10:25 PM
Anyone else see a bit of foreshadowing here?

Stanley, Wanda, Sizemore, Parson.

Four Arkentools.

Each attuning to a different person on the side?

There are 5 arkentools, counting Charlie's. *edit: Whoops, misremembered, only four. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0042.html

And there are five characters on Stanley's side, counting Maggie.

I don't think it's been established whether the tools can potentially be attuned to more than one person (I'd guess not simultaneously, but perhaps in series).

Stegyre
2009-04-20, 10:26 PM
Or a simpler explanation is that they fled before the volcano went off, you don't level if you flee, which is why Stanley was mad at Parson for using hit and run tactics.
And yet another possibility is simply that Sizemore was a higher level than Bogroll (rest his soul), and consequently requires more experience to raise additional levels. (It would not be a surprise if casters, in general, required more experience than other classes to raise a level.) Whatever the reason, it is probably not all that important.

Count me in the camp that finds it vaguely inexplicable for Sizemore to move so rapidly in his attitude toward Parson from the last strip to this one. It's not unbelievable, but I agree with those that this would be one good place for a bonus strip in the hard copy to help ease that transition.

fruityjanitor
2009-04-20, 10:29 PM
Well I (and many others) were expecting Wanda to be attuned to the 'Pliers, but it was still awesome to see it happen!

The large amounts of gems were shown on the Volcano spell page. Nice to see that kind of attention to detail.

And as others have said, it is kind of strange how everything seemed to go right for Parson on this page. Maybe it's because the book is nearly over. Or maybe it's because everything is going to go wrong on the next page. lol

Can't wait to see what happens next :D

Matuse
2009-04-20, 10:36 PM
The other level up explanation is that Bogroll was a low grade henchmen who got kill credit for a high level chief warlord.

Sizemore was already a high level caster, and massacring a bunch of gomer units doesn't give him any experience at all (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0439.html). Plus, what XP -was- earned, was split at least 2 ways with Maggie and Wanda.

Wadoka
2009-04-20, 10:38 PM
Wanda laughing like an Evil Overlord at a moment of Ultimate Triumph... that just can't be good.

Sizemore - he's probably a little upbeat because he can't hide his natural enthusiasm towards the fruits of the Erf - gemstones. He'll calm down.

As to being the richest side - basic economics takes over. The gems are only worth something, if there's a willing buyer.

eminence_grise
2009-04-20, 10:43 PM
I'm surprised that nobody has pointed out yet the real reason we should be worried, regarding this comic.

Wanda is laughing.

Matuse
2009-04-20, 10:43 PM
As to being the richest side - basic economics takes over. The gems are only worth something, if there's a willing buyer.

That doesn't follow at all. Food and units pop out of nothing. I see no reason why money doesn't pop into nothing when used for upkeep, upgrades, and new units.


Wanda is laughing.

You know, that's a really good point. Wanda doesn't laugh.

Lamech
2009-04-20, 11:00 PM
First off where did Wanda get her new outfit? Does the magic kingdom have an evil caster outfit store?

I suspect Stanley will be something like "wtfbbq" to start off with. And then when Parson explained what happened be claim credit for the perfect warlord spell. (He can at least claim credit for saving 150k shmuckers maybe that kept Parson alive even though the city was dusted.) Then I have no clue what his reaction will be too the Wanda+pliers. Hopefully he will have a nice rationalization or have learned he can't go it alone.

And I do believe Parson proved his salt as a "Perfect" Warlord. A more skilled warlord may have taken out the siege or somesuch and won with out the volcano. But the coaltion would have simply regrouped. And Charlie may have decided he could attack and win anyway. When Jack gets a viel up everyone should think GK's dead. This was pure win for Stanley.

SpacemanSpif
2009-04-20, 11:11 PM
I'm surprised that nobody has pointed out yet the real reason we should be worried, regarding this comic.

Wanda is laughing.

Wow, good call. Totally missed that.

I'm guessing it's not because she thought of something funny.

Spot
2009-04-20, 11:21 PM
Wow, good call. Totally missed that.

I'm guessing it's not because she thought of something funny.


Is it just me... or is Wanda somewhat, um... ...Eviiiiiiiil?

ShinyBrowncoat
2009-04-20, 11:29 PM
So I wonder whether all gems come out of the ground perfectly cut in Erfworld,

I think the very first strip answers that question.

abb3w
2009-04-20, 11:37 PM
I'm sad to (probably) see the last of Scarlet O'Hair. I still think she might have been protected from the uncroaked Volcano and survived it, but the few remaining rock golems might have taken her out on instinct with no Warlord to stop the combat. (Yes, this requires she be a mercenary like Jillian, since the major sides all reported losing everyone to the Epic Trap.)


As to being the richest side - basic economics takes over. The gems are only worth something, if there's a willing buyer.

Erfworld, not earth; gems can probably be put directly into a treasury, where they become shmuckers for upkeep, and possibly for cost of popping new units. Typical game play.

I wonder if Wanda would back Parson in a coup against Stanley. It might be the best thing for their faction. Which brings another thought on...

A long while back, I (among others) wondered whether the turning walnuts into pigeons indicated the Arkenhammer was atuned to Changemancy specifically, or to Stuffamancy in general. Since Dirtamancy is another aspect of Stuffamancy, a coup could leave Sizemore with a new toy and some playmates. And the Arkendish handles Thinkamancy; that combination of toys could make sane people very, very nervous. With that kind of power linked, instead of uncroaking a Volcano, they might be able to uncroak an entire fault line.

Leewei
2009-04-20, 11:51 PM
Is it me, or does Parson look worried about their suddenly wealthy situation?

Maybe he's concerned about Gobwin Knob attracting conquests for their wealth? How long does it take to build an army, anyway?

multilis
2009-04-20, 11:55 PM
In beginning GK had 500K but likely couldn't instantly turn that into a big army, armies probably take time to pop.

Now GK is lvl 0 or lvl 1 city, likely will take long time to build up to lvl 3, and pop enough units to be safe.

Every other faction is likely *very* curious on what croaked all those units, and as result either sending a scout or paying for info. First thing they will see is a fortune in gems unless they can be hidden/protected quickly.

A superweapon that also mostly croaks your own side is only of limited usefulness to stop a motivated enemy. (And it requires all 3 mages on side, and some will be able to guess the details from magic kingdom rumours)

DevilDan
2009-04-20, 11:55 PM
Anyone else see a bit of foreshadowing here?

Stanley, Wanda, Sizemore, Parson.

Four Arkentools.

Each attuning to a different person on the side?

So, the dish for Parson or for Sizemore? "Hippiemancer" or Dirtamancer?

There are four known arkentools.

Aquillion
2009-04-20, 11:55 PM
The city was totalled right? PClips? Why haven't they reverted to barbarian status? Also, how did the uncroaked survive anyway? They are even more quishy then the regular troops.A "city", in most games like this, is a sort of odd thing. It's an abstract representation that can have certain structures assigned to it. Generally, a city can only be destroyed by an effect that specifically destroys cities (and often only by a successful enemy attack.) Think nukes in Civilization -- they halve a city's population and blow up a bunch of structures, but won't actually destroy it. Same thing here. The city took a ton of damage and lost every single structure inside it, but since there were no enemy units left to officially raze it or declare victory, it survived.

Saladman
2009-04-20, 11:56 PM
Very cool. Very interesting.

Parson's not going home, and he's starting to realize it.

He's been through a battle that might have croaked him; he's been nerve-pinched unconscious (not just regular sleep and turn end); but most tellingly, he's been through a gate that should have disbanded him, and he's still standing in Erfworld. I think that's part of his demeanor in this page, is he really expected the portal to either kill him or send him home, but now he's facing the fact that he's stuck.

And he's a victorious Chief Warlord standing on his side's capitol site, with a massive war chest and several master-class 'mancers. And whether he knows it or not, his megalomaniac sovereign is inbound. I don't see Stanley doing anything other than resuming his crusade, but with a competent chief warlord this time. The Battle for Gobwin Knob being book one, I think book two will be Parson's Conquest, with no return home.

I agree with the posters who say the big question mark is Stanley's reaction to Wanda's attunement. But I think we'll see it soon.

We know Parson is bound by Duty, and I'm sure Stanley is still alive or we'd have seen something on panel, but here's a speculation. Parson's "special" status, combined with him not disbanding in the portal, might mean he can't be disbanded in other ways as well. A side effect of him not really being an Erf-worlder. I'm thinking that if Stanley did bite it, Parson might function as the heir, or at least go barbarian, even without being named heir. It's also possible Stanley can't disband Parson, despite his sincere belief otherwise.

Aquillion
2009-04-21, 12:04 AM
You know, that's a really good point. Wanda doesn't laugh.Notice how her laugh seems sort of inexperienced at first, starting with a hacking "Ahaa! Hahaa!" before she really gets into the megalomaniacal groove.

dmorenus
2009-04-21, 12:09 AM
So Wanda went digging... underground... in a recently active volcano's caldera? What was she digging with? It's not like she's a dirtamancer.

In other news:


Because while Gobwin Knob looks like Boatmurdered after an elephant invasion, Stanley is still alive.

Made me laugh!

DevilDan
2009-04-21, 12:09 AM
I don't think Sizemore ever hated Parson. He was upset, even outraged. He didn't like some of the things that Parson did. But Parson believed in him, talked to him, respected him, befriended him. And Sizemore, deep down, knows that Parson is only doing what he believes to be necessary to follow his duty, he will even try to minimize deaths and, probably, suffering.

It's no surprise that, given a compelling reason by a person whom he deeply respects, like Janis, Sizemore will quiet his own moral outrage and even disgust, emotions fed by the excitement and stress of battle. He was provided a reason to allay his visceral reactions and philosophical/moral/ethical objections, even to perhaps suppress the memories of the final battle.

Mentok
2009-04-21, 12:11 AM
Yeah, Stanley has got everything going for him...

Jack: Master-class Foolamancer, very experienced at veiling an entire capital

Sizemore: Master-class Dirtamancer, his architectural prowess should make the place quite defensible when combined with their brand new moat of lava, on top of obvious potential with lava golems

Wanda: Master-class Croakamancer, the attuned Arkentool should likely grant awesome bonuses and even better undead, then throw in the established dance-fighting

Stanley: Quality fighter, possesses an attuned Arkentool that can tame dwagons

Parson: Master class Tactics-mancer, even possesses a potent mathamancy artifact

Wealth: A windfall of massive proportions. When even Sizemore, a man known for his humility and down-to-earth (pun intended) expectations, says you're potentially the richest side in Erfworld...

Surviving Units: Now, while the casters retreated and didn't get XP for their trap, the few surviving undead and golems did stay through the entire battle. Can you imagine the potential level-ups they got?

Jillian: The only person we know of within attacking distance that has the desire to return to Gobwin Knob. She has the power and the air force to be able to strike at their absolute weakest (no Stanley, no buildings, no recuperation of health/magic). However, she's held hostage by Transylvito and will be delayed showing them where her old capital is.

The one and only downside that could potentially counter all of this...Stanley himself.

Pointyleaf
2009-04-21, 12:22 AM
Well, they obviously didn't lose the city, even if it was reduced to Level 0 or 1. They had units left, and the dungeon wasn't destroyed (underground tunnels still exist). It makes sense for rock golems and undead to survive (if anything does), they don't need air and can survive in buried tunnels as long as they're not crushed or immolated.

I can definitely see the possibility of Stanley or Wanda's character development being major plot points on the way to world peace. Stanley, in particular, will have to change, lose, or die in order to give up his megalomania, and Wanda's no piece of cake either, being possibly still driven by pain or a desire for revenge.

I'm guessing the book will fill us in on more of what happens in the Magic Kingdom, I can definitely see room for another page or two to help clear up Sizemore's change of mind and the unravelling of the link.

But yeah, the book is starting to really wrap up - so any guesses on the title of the next book? What's the next arc of the story?

Fjolnir
2009-04-21, 12:59 AM
first of all, that wasn't Harry Blackstone Jr, that was Erfian Dr. Strange along with the Scarlet Witch and Zartanna who were all guarding Parson on the orders of grand abbie Janis. Second GK ends up on top massively, since now with the Lava moat instead of a courtyard, if they can build up the outer walls the only things that can attack are fliers (since I doubt swimming units can cross lava) combined with the fact that stanley has one of the more powerful flying units on Erf, the ONLY force who can really deal with them even in their currently weakened state is charlie, who won't touch parson with a 10 foot pole without seriously ruining a side's bank account, despite his lust for the artifact and the warlord that comes with it. Wanda needs to look at the memo again, Stanley's side isn't the evil side, get out of the red bikini and stop the maniacal laughter, you're just looking dumb. :p

dr pepper
2009-04-21, 01:10 AM
Wanda laughing like an Evil Overlord at a moment of Ultimate Triumph... that just can't be good.

Sizemore - he's probably a little upbeat because he can't hide his natural enthusiasm towards the fruits of the Erf - gemstones. He'll calm down.

As to being the richest side - basic economics takes over. The gems are only worth something, if there's a willing buyer.

Not how it works in a wargame. Turn starts with refresh. GK grows new buildings. Sizemore's two golems are returned to full strength. Next comes resource production. That would be Sizemore, his shovel, which we now know is actually a wand, and the golems digging for gems. Once the gems are declared they autoconvert into schmuckers in GK's account. Then comes building choice. It might be that only Stanley can give the command, but Parson probably can do this in his absence. This is where the city puts something into the popping queue. But the ruler can fasttrack the process by spending scmuckers. If i were there i'd buy as many gobwins as i could afford. Next turn, Sizemore and the gobwins do the mining, the golems wath the perimeter for scouts. Force pop a wall. Next few turns, knights and archers. No meetings with jewelers needed.

T-O-E
2009-04-21, 01:22 AM
I wonder: Will Stanley be overjoyed or enraged?

factotum
2009-04-21, 01:44 AM
Knowing Stanley, probably both at once. :smallbiggrin:

Sebastian
2009-04-21, 01:48 AM
I bet parson will have a wonderful time explaining to the Tool why the surrounding area is now entirely obsidian.


"well, you see, Tool, some moron flew away with all our best flying units, some of our best ground units, our master class foolamancer and our only artifact. I had to improvise from there"

Considering hat he was able to do it Stanley didn't flew away they would have a more than fair chance to win (without destroying the city and 99.9% of their units, I mean, technically they did win)

TamLin
2009-04-21, 01:49 AM
So Wanda went digging... underground... in a recently active volcano's caldera? What was she digging with?

Plot.

So is she going to uncroak the city now?

kagato23
2009-04-21, 01:50 AM
Wanda laughing like an Evil Overlord at a moment of Ultimate Triumph... that just can't be good.

Sizemore - he's probably a little upbeat because he can't hide his natural enthusiasm towards the fruits of the Erf - gemstones. He'll calm down.

As to being the richest side - basic economics takes over. The gems are only worth something, if there's a willing buyer.

Your forgetting some conventions. You spawn units in city, you don't hire them. Units have upkeep cost. And I'm willing to be that they have creation cost as well.

Meaning, as the richest side, Parson (who can currently set unit production, as I understand), or stanley when he gets back, can order massive unit production: and good units at that. If parson can set order rates, I'm sure he can make a good balance for defense.

Of course, who wants to bet that Stanley will want to start conquering others? He doesn't strike me as original enough to try a new plan... but he's now got the strategist that could possibly pull it off.

The battle for Gobwin Knob may well be over. Is Erfworld 2 the War for the Arkentools?

Gatelover12
2009-04-21, 02:02 AM
I know it's a bit of a longshot, but could she be holding something besides the pliers? I could see them pulling a fast one on us like that.

On another note. Parson doesn't have his sword. Imagine being in his place. He didn't have to rationalize the deaths of all those people. He didn't have to dehumanize them. He didn't even have to repress whatever moral qualms he probably had (most people do) about destroying sentient life. He simply had "ruthlessness". Now that he doesn't have his sword, he has to deal with this with none of the defenses peoplke in such a position would normally have to put up. He's suddenly found himself dealing with the flood of emotions of giving the order to obliterate thousands of enemies, and even allies, in order to "win". I smell heroic BSOD coming soon.

Also, Sizemore looks broken.

(EDIT: Well, he doesn't have it out anyway, am I correct in remembering that it was always in his hand in battle?)

(EDIT2: Please ignore the striked out paragraph, I'd delete this whole post but it might be construed as an attempt to make the fellow who corrected me look like he was rambling about nothing, instead of right. Did I mention he was right? I'm just trying to show that I don't need my stupidity refuted anymore. :) )

Kreistor
2009-04-21, 02:04 AM
first of all, that wasn't Harry Blackstone Jr, that was Erfian Dr. Strange along with the Scarlet Witch and Zartanna

No grey in his hair in Frame 1. Strange is in Frame 3 with grey temples that should be visible from the front. Dr. Strange also has only a moustache, and no chin hair. Note there are still a number of casters surrounding Parson in Frame 2, and from 140 frame 2 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0153.html), we suspected Blackthorne was lower left, beside Carl Sagan in the black tux. Strange is beside Wanda in the back.

Kreistor
2009-04-21, 02:09 AM
I know it's a bit of a longshot, but could she be holding something besides the pliers?

How did I know someone was going to suggest that. Wait until next comic, Thomas. This was foreshadowed.


On another note. Parson doesn't have his sword.

He definitely has it frame 3 as he enters the portal, hard to see but there frame 5, and we see the scabbard again in frame 6. Where do you get the idea he doesn't have his sword?


Also, Sizemore looks broken.

Broken? No, I don't think so. We know he's hiding his anger at Parson, but he also has just seen the results of his gem shifting. He's a dirtamancer, which mean she'll be minig gemstones for a long time, and may not have to kill anyone in the foreseeable future. I think he just got excited about not having to kill again, because he just became monetarily valuable.

Gatelover12
2009-04-21, 02:20 AM
How did I know someone was going to suggest that. Wait until next comic, Thomas. This was foreshadowed.

I know it was foreshadowed, I'm just saying that it might be something else. I could easily be wrong. I probably will be, but I would find it hilarious if I wasn't.



He definitely has it frame 3 as he enters the portal, hard to see but there frame 5, and we see the scabbard again in frame 6. Where do you get the idea he doesn't have his sword?
I overlooked the scabbard at first. Looking back at the comic (and the previous ones) now, it looks as if that whole paragraph was moot. I overreacted. I have no idea why I thought that. I really should've thought out my first post more thoroughly.



Broken? No, I don't think so. We know he's hiding his anger at Parson, but he also has just seen the results of his gem shifting. He's a dirtamancer, which mean she'll be minig gemstones for a long time, and may not have to kill anyone in the foreseeable future. I think he just got excited about not having to kill again, because he just became monetarily valuable.

That... also makes sense. Though I could still see him exploding on parson, for some reason. Though given my previous "insights" tonight, I'm probably wrong there too. :/

RainbowConickJr
2009-04-21, 02:21 AM
I'm sure this has been speculated upon endlessly and pointed out more than once, but is anyone reminded of BfGK 122 by this strip?

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html

It seems fairly clear that Wanda is daring Ansom to touch her with the Arkenpliers, which seems to cause him to balk. It also seems like the thing that was taken from her may very well have been the pliers themselves, as opposed to my original assumption, which was Jillian.

Apologies if this is well-tread water!

kagato23
2009-04-21, 02:30 AM
I'm sure this has been speculated upon endlessly and pointed out more than once, but is anyone reminded of BfGK 122 by this strip?

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html

It seems fairly clear that Wanda is daring Ansom to touch her with the Arkenpliers, which seems to cause him to balk. It also seems like the thing that was taken from her may very well have been the pliers themselves, as opposed to my original assumption, which was Jillian.

Apologies if this is well-tread water!


Doesn't seem likely to me. I wouldn't see Stanley able to go without mentioning that his side LOST an Arken tool at some point. Rather, I think she has some sort of understanding, innate or otherwise, that the tool was meant for her. What was taken from her was Jillian. And/or her full mental capacity.

Whispri
2009-04-21, 02:35 AM
Doesn't seem likely to me. I wouldn't see Stanley able to go without mentioning that his side LOST an Arken tool at some point. Rather, I think she has some sort of understanding, innate or otherwise, that the tool was meant for her. What was taken from her was Jillian. And/or her full mental capacity.

Wanda wasn't always a member of Stanley's side.

RainbowConickJr
2009-04-21, 02:42 AM
Wanda wasn't always a member of Stanley's side.

Yeah. If at some point Wanda possessed the 'Pliers, or was in some way supposed to be the one they passed to, it would have been during her time with Faq.

roadkillcoyote
2009-04-21, 02:44 AM
"well, you see, Tool, some moron flew away with all our best flying units, some of our best ground units, our master class foolamancer and our only artifact. I had to improvise from there"

Well, if you borrow Stanley's ego goggles it will no doubt look a little different. After all, the coalition split and some of Ansom's flying units left because Stanley took off. Obviously his brilliant strategy worked. Just your basic low level spinomancy...:smallwink:

kagato23
2009-04-21, 02:56 AM
Wanda wasn't always a member of Stanley's side.

Then that would imply that somehow Ansom got to FAQ and raided it first. Then Stanley just happened to find at least 2 of their casters for his own, which Ansom would have apparently spared? Yet at the same time, he perfectly acted as if he never heard of the city or it's story.

Unlikely. Too much complication when the simpler answer is that Wanda never had the pliers. Not to mention with Ansom dead, the ideal time for most of the reveals necessary for these assumptions is past.

HandofShadows
2009-04-21, 02:57 AM
Parson is in shock and has every right to be. I have the feeling he isn't going to have to much time to digest everything though. Stanley will be back VERY soon. And I get the feeling the fighting is not over, not by a long shot. While Jillian will hopefull be brought around (spell broken?), TV will likely see GK as easy picking right now and try to take it.

Sizemore must have smoked some good stuf when he was in the Magic Kingdom, that's why he is so happy. :smallsmile:

Wanda, oh Wicked Wanda. (how many will get that reference? :smallamused: ) Well, she has her hand on the Arkenpliers and she is attuned. There is even more to this than what it seems. It is nice to see that those of us that said the 'pliers belonged to Wanda from way back where correct. This is also seems to confirms part of the thoery that Ansome destroyed Faq. If the pliers where Wanda's he would have HAD to take out Faq to get them. As evidence that Wanda was attuned to the 'pliers in Faq, we just have to point to Wanda going and finding the 'pliers is a short period of time without knowing where they where when GK blew. In other words she sensed where they where, just about proof positive that she was already attuned to them (then add in Wanda was able to influence them she fought Ansome).

This does bring up the small problem of if the 'pliers where Wanda's, why was Ansome able to take them. We might have just seen the reason. A suspicion I had that when Wanda and the 'pliers where together, they might have effect Wanda badly in some way, like in lack of self contol or sanity. So Wanda didn't keep the 'pliers with her.

It would NOT be a good fake out for Wanda not having the 'pliers at this point.

PS I think Wanda has a special ability, "change costume". :smallbiggrin:

teratorn
2009-04-21, 02:59 AM
Yeah. If at some point Wanda possessed the 'Pliers, or was in some way supposed to be the one they passed to, it would have been during her time with Faq.

Or Wanda's side was destroyed by Ansom, she managed to flee into the MK and from there was hired by Faq.

Gez
2009-04-21, 03:33 AM
Sizemore is interestingly two-faced. He showed none of this elation in the Magic Kingdom, and now he shows none of his guilt and anger.

Confirmation that the city had not fallen to the enemy. Lots of people wanted Parson and co to be barbarians because the city fell, but with no enemy troops to seize it how could it have happened? I suppose the few remaining uncroaked were in a dungeon chamber or something, where they haven't been overrun by magma. And likewise for the golems, unless they were made from bauxite (http://www.dwarffortresswiki.net/index.php/Bauxite). (Yeah, I said that already.)

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-21, 03:47 AM
Sorry guys, I need to get this off my chest ...

Oh My God! They killed Scarlett! You BASTARDS!

Damn you laws of probability and common-sense! Damn you all to boop!

Phew, now that's over with, let's return to the comic at hand.

So, Wanda got the Pliers. And there was much rejoicing. Need I repeat, yet again, how amazingly imba Stanley's side is right now? Several people have mentioned that we do not know what the Pliers can do, and that it would be epic to see Wanda uncroak the coalition. I agree ... it would be the absolute game-breaker. Like that time I got to -32768 skeletons in HoMM 2.

So no, that won't likely happen; more likely, if anyone at all, Wanda will uncroak Ansom, just for kicks. Or ...

... I still think that one of my predictions ("Parson and/or the trimancer will abandon Stanley") has a chance of panning out, as in Wanda goes on her own with a retinue of ashen uncroaked.

Also, rock golems rock. Is there anything they cannot survive?

PS: Incidentally, that is the Scarlet Witch in the first panel. Yea, good job guys *grumble*wrong Scarlett*grumble*.

paddyfool
2009-04-21, 03:53 AM
Good one on catching the Dr Strange lookalike - I was going to say that.

I suspect the Tool's reaction will be suitably awed, meanwhile. And as for what happens in the next chapter... it's wide open. This arc, it be tied up.

Kasavin
2009-04-21, 03:53 AM
Let me just say I will be very disappointed if Wanda suddenly elevates herself to chief villain. Part of this is based around me liking the status quo. Parson, Sizemore, Maggie, and Wanda make a good team and have a nice dynamic going. Whats lacking is the backstory that makes characters motivations make sense. Parson's is pretty well known. So is Sizemore's. Maggie, however, is a complete unknown. What she popped at Gobwin Knob? What does she want out of life? None of this is known, yet she's absolutely vital to Parson's side. Now, more is technically known about Wanda, but what is known just makes here a bigger mystery. Why does she fight with out compulsion for Stanley when he destroyed her home town? If she's going to flip, developing her character a bit more first.

But like I said, thats not the real reason. One of the strengths of the comic is th humanity of all the characters and the absence of "Good vs. Evil(TM)." Everyone's place is determined by the game and no one can alter this. They certainly try though, and some put on a pretty act (Charlie), in the end, they are playing their roles trying to make sense of it. Devolving that to a good vs. evil finale is just disapointing.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-04-21, 03:57 AM
Well, that does explain the sparkles here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0148.html). I had assumed they were gems, but since Sizemore said the mountain was mined out (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0086.html) I had taken him at his word.

BTW - nice catch with the Wanda Laughing; subtle, that.

Also: anyone else notice how Wanda's new outfit creates a fanged mouth, with red eyes (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0155.html):smalltongue:

HandofShadows
2009-04-21, 04:20 AM
Then that would imply that somehow Ansom got to FAQ and raided it first. Then Stanley just happened to find at least 2 of their casters for his own, which Ansom would have apparently spared? Yet at the same time, he perfectly acted as if he never heard of the city or it's story.

Unlikely. Too much complication when the simpler answer is that Wanda never had the pliers. Not to mention with Ansom dead, the ideal time for most of the reveals necessary for these assumptions is past.

I'm sorry we KNOW Wanda if from Faq, just as Jack and Jillian are. In fact Jillian states that she ran into a castor from Faq and there was a pic of Wanda. When Jillian tells her story to Ansome you see Wanda in the pic with King Banhammer. As for Ansome not knowing about Faq, the moment he saw Jillian ridding in to the RCC the first time he woudl have been able to guess that she had been from Faq due to the unussual style of her armor (Japanes inspired) and had a lie all set up. Heck he may have even invaded the place and never bothered to learn the name of it. Also when Wanda tells Ansome that he took a lot more from her, then she did from him, his reaction is FULLY aware that he knew what she was talking about and she was right.

HandofShadows
2009-04-21, 04:22 AM
Or Wanda's side was destroyed by Ansom, she managed to flee into the MK and from there was hired by Faq.


But there is a physical charateristic that is know ONLY to be had by people from Faq, the eye's. Wanda is from Faq. sm

greywords
2009-04-21, 04:31 AM
Count me in the camp that finds it vaguely inexplicable for Sizemore to move so rapidly in his attitude toward Parson from the last strip to this one. It's not unbelievable, but I agree with those that this would be one good place for a bonus strip in the hard copy to help ease that transition.

Never underestimate the power of hippimancer hugs.


As to being the richest side - basic economics takes over. The gems are only worth something, if there's a willing buyer.

As others have mentioned, money "just happens." Doesn't have to be a shop to convert, stuff just pops an unpops. "Cleaning happens at dawn," remember? This kind of brought up another thought, though. Since Erfworld is basically a giant D&D game, who's the DM? I'd postulate it's not actually the Titans - they're hands of the greater overgod(s). One option is the comic authors, of course, but I'm wondering if there are other thoughts and theories.


Is it just me... or is Wanda somewhat, um... ...Eviiiiiiiil?

Be careful about calling any particular character evil (see comic 31 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0031.html)) - Stanley might call in the dwagons on you. It seems like there isn't really an alignment system in Erfworld as simplistic as the D&D one - actions and motivations are more fluid in their "evil" vs. "good" nature.


So Wanda went digging... underground... in a recently active volcano's caldera? What was she digging with? It's not like she's a dirtamancer.

Not by specialty, but she's skilled at all varieties of magic (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0006.html).


As evidence that Wanda was attuned to the 'pliers in Faq, we just have to point to Wanda going and finding the 'pliers is a short period of time without knowing where they where when GK blew.

She may also just have cast a Findamancy spell, you know.


Also, rock golems rock. Is there anything they cannot survive?

A Yanni vs. Barry Manilow dance fight. Everyone loses.

raphfrk
2009-04-21, 04:33 AM
Also, Sizemore seems to have taken what that hippiemancer said to heart, either that, or what we saw last comic was a side of him that he never plans on showing Parson.

He has already told Parson that he hates him because he has to kill.

However, the explanation that his smile is a front would explain the sudden shift in mood.

Also, he says "so beautiful" about the volcano when he is part of the link.


Nah, very unlikely, given that corpses simply vanish (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0084.html) at the start of the next turn if left unattended.

Would be cool though.

They wouldn't de-pop until the start of their own turn? If it is GK's turn now, then they may not have depoped.

It would be a little unfair, if attacking and then quickly ending your turn caused all your dead to depop. It would prevent them being uncroaked.



The city was totalled right? PClips? Why haven't they reverted to barbarian status? Also, how did the uncroaked survive anyway? They are even more quishy then the regular troops.

Not true, they have a few units still alive. Even 1 unit is probably sufficient to keep ownership of a city ... if everyone else within a multi-hex area is dead.



On aggregate, I'd call this a win for GK as they are in a far stronger position now compared to their enemies when you compare it to when we started the strip. OK, so Transylvito can cause them some grief, but they are otherwise occupied and its not as If the Tool didn't get his licks in during the last fight..


It is totally a win for GK. They wiped out the enemy, didn't lose the city and some of their units survived.

All they need to do now is have Jack make it look like the city wasn't destroyed and still has defenders.

Since none of the enemy survived to contradict them, no potential enemy will know that it is an illusion.


There are 5 arkentools, counting Charlie's. *edit: Whoops, misremembered, only four. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0042.html


It is implied that there are more than 4, so there are 4 "known". There could be 8, which would give one per type of magic (or 24 if there are sub-types).



As to being the richest side - basic economics takes over. The gems are only worth something, if there's a willing buyer.

Not necessarily true. In alot of games, things like gems can be directly converted into money. No matter how much they flood the market, they will at least be able to pay upkeep costs (which are not likely to be based on supply and demand).

Also, things like 'rush-orders' in civ games will likely use a fixed amount of cash. This would allow fast rebuilding of the side. It may take 1 turn to rebuild the city walls (ofc, Sizemore would take ages .

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-21, 04:44 AM
A Yanni vs. Barry Manilow dance fight. Everyone loses.

Pics or it didn't happen.

Wait ...

Kasavin
2009-04-21, 04:49 AM
The idea that Ansom somehow raided FAQ and took the Arkenpliers flies far to much in the face of Occam's Razor. FAQ has been touted as a "bubble kingdom" until Stanley invaded and conquered it in one turn. Jillian has never given any suggestion that FAQ was ever compromised before Stanley's attack. I'll give you that it was never confirmed that Stanley did attack FAQ, the fact that he has two of their mancers and has an army of dwagons makes it pretty much a given that the authors wanted us to believe.

Furthermore, if Wanda did posess the Arkenpliers, she didn't tell anyone, because Jullian would have been suspicious as to how Ansom got them.

Finally, if Ansom attacked FAQ, a kingdom with no military to speak of, why didn't he just annex the place?

I'm certainly willing to speculate on a deeper history between her, but this theory has more holes than a Florida ballot punch card.

dr pepper
2009-04-21, 05:29 AM
Wanda, oh Wicked Wanda. (how many will get that reference? :smallamused: )

I already made that reference a while back when there was discussion of Wanda's relationships. I said there was only room for one Candyfloss.

Renx
2009-04-21, 05:38 AM
Also, let's not forget that Stanley's side has several other towns/cities which the Coalition conquered. Now that the Coalition is gone, it may be that they simply revert back to Stanley's ownership.

Really looking forward for the Tool to come back.

greywords
2009-04-21, 05:48 AM
Pics or it didn't happen.

Wait ...

Ask, and you shall receive. Fairly quick and dirty - have to head to work soon.

Note: Not for the faint of heart (http://i43.tinypic.com/2myb1c3.jpg)

VariaVespasa
2009-04-21, 06:03 AM
No, the cities will have been awarded to the various factions in the coalition, or at least be garrisoned by coalition members awaiting a final division of loot, and will thus not return to Stanley unless he goes and conquers them again. It may be that if more than one faction had troops garrisoning a unallocated city then fighting may have broken out till only one side had troops left in the city, but in no case do any of them revert to Stanley. "Best" case the garrison wipes itself out and the city goes neutral.

mortissimus
2009-04-21, 06:04 AM
Let's see... Parson gets to leave the Magic Kingdom without so much as a slap on the wrist, Maggie is perfectly fine after the most epic trimancer link we've seen or heard of so far, Sizemore is downright chipper about the previous day's events despite previously stating his horror and revulsion, Wanda has the Arkenpliers and is attuned to them, and Parson's side is suddenly fabulously wealthy. All we need now is for Stanley to show up with a horde of newly tamed dwagons, pat Parson on the back, and name his chief warlord heir. Perhaps Wanda could uncroak the whole Coalition to top it off.

Seriously, if Parson wasn't dreaming before, he must be now.

My thoughts exactly. In addition the rapid progression on the page and the emotional flipflops reminds me of dreams.

Catbus
2009-04-21, 06:07 AM
Sizemore gets to go back to digging, Wanda has a Tool, Stanley should be coming back, if he's not dead. I hope Parson finds his crispy body, the Arkenhammer, and attunes to it. It would make sense for the Magic Kingdom to remove the threat of the Arkentools as well, and make Parson able to attune to all of them.

Prediction:

Parson reforms Erfworld by realizing that the original purpose of the Arkentools was to create, not to destroy; by teaming up with Charlie to gather all the tools in one place; and by rebuilding under a grand alliance, in which Parson sells out Stanley to put Charlie in charge because, well, he just likes him better, and Stanley is a spoiled brat who wants to keep fighting. The rebuilding is funded by Sizemore's gems.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-21, 06:16 AM
Prediction:

Parson reforms Erfworld by realizing that the original purpose of the Arkentools was to create, not to destroy; by teaming up with Charlie to gather all the tools in one place; and by rebuilding under a grand alliance, in which Parson sells out Stanley to put Charlie in charge because, well, he just likes him better, and Stanley is a spoiled brat who wants to keep fighting. The rebuilding is funded by Sizemore's gems.

Dude.

BOOP Charlie.

Yes I am a Stanley fan.

MattR
2009-04-21, 06:24 AM
Sizemore being cheerful.

1) An act for Parson's benefit since he's supposed to ingratiate himself and be BFF whilst further the goal of peace.

Or more likely..

2) Like any good geek when a favourite subject is raised his mind blanks and he's warped to happy babbling.

Wanda being able to dig

1) She's capable of more then one school of magic, i imagine digging stuff isn't complicated dirtamancy.

2) Uncroaked survived, maybe she got one of those to do the dirty work.

3) It's the pliers, i doubt she'd balk at digging with her bare hands to claim it.

Stanley attacked FAQ

1) Still not confirmed, all we know about is an overflight of dwagons.. that's circumstantial evidence. Particularly since Stanley's hammer is used for 'taming' dwagons... which implies they can exist in an untamed state.

Wisp Wings
2009-04-21, 06:38 AM
Stanley seems to me like the person who will be content. Sure his Capital is now officially Rubblesville, population (when he gets their) 6 sentients, 1 monster (dwagon), 2 golems and a sprinkle of uncroacked, but it's his rubble, and jewel encrused rubble at that, and rubble is better than no rubble.

Having Maggie tell him strait away that he's the richest guy on the planet would probebly save them all a lot of trouble, and Jack can always cloak the city to boost his ego.

"My city is ruins"
"No it's not- look"
"Oooo- now it has a Macdonalds"

raphfrk
2009-04-21, 06:47 AM
Prediction:

in which Parson sells out Stanley to put Charlie in charge because, well, he just likes him better, and Stanley is a spoiled brat who wants to keep fighting. The rebuilding is funded by Sizemore's gems.


Stanley may be a spoiled brat, but Charlie is not exactly altrustic. Also, he is someone you have to watch all the time as he will stab you in the back as soon as it is worth slightly more to him than not stabbing you in the back.

Stanley could possibly be convinced to do the right thing as it is "the will of the Titans", but maybe not.

raphfrk
2009-04-21, 06:51 AM
1) Still not confirmed, all we know about is an overflight of dwagons.. that's circumstantial evidence. Particularly since Stanley's hammer is used for 'taming' dwagons... which implies they can exist in an untamed state.

That could go either way. If he saved the survivors from an attack of wild dwagons (and incidently increased his dwagon corps at the same time), that would explain why the faq units seems to be grateful/loyal to him.

Ofc, "taming" could just be the word used to pop them.

Gez
2009-04-21, 06:59 AM
Also: anyone else notice how Wanda's new outfit creates a fanged mouth, with red eyes (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0155.html):smalltongue:

She always wanted men to look her in her eyes.


But there is a physical charateristic that is know ONLY to be had by people from Faq, the eye's. Wanda is from Faq. sm

Uh? The eye's what? Who ever said anything about eyes from Faq? Jillian doesn't have the same eyes as Wanda, and she's the only person who has admitted being popped by Faq.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-21, 07:06 AM
Stanley may be a spoiled brat, but Charlie is not exactly altrustic. Also, he is someone you have to watch all the time as he will stab you in the back as soon as it is worth slightly more to him than not stabbing you in the back.

Stanley could possibly be convinced to do the right thing as it is "the will of the Titans", but maybe not.


Agree with you on Stanley's assessment. Plus, his whole megalomania shtick is more entertaining than Charlie's aloofness.

On another point, the only cleverness Charlie ever demonstrates btw is knowing when to switch sides and change contracts. Call it clever, taking advantage of opportunities, if you will, but he is bad at creating same opportunities.

So yeah. BOOP Charlie.

Tweed
2009-04-21, 07:12 AM
I'm not entirely convinced that this last panel is real. The whole thing seems too good to be true -- the gems, the 'pliers, Sizemoore being chipper. I'm wondering if Parson has been placed into some kind of dream-state by the 'mancers, and this is what he's dreaming about.

Nad
2009-04-21, 07:14 AM
Alright let's do this:

Gobwin Knob...

Is still a city, probably level 1 or 0 now. The golems and uncroaked held the city by survivng the volcano so Stanley the Plaid's side still remains, no one is a barbarian and all the major characters are still bound and loyal... except possibly Wanda, I'll cover that in a second.

Sizemore...

You're all saying that Sizemore should be mad at Parson and acting sad because of what happened and I completely disagree.

The last time we saw Sizemore he was given more hope than he's ever had!

He was told that he can contribute to acheiving his one ultimate goal - peace in Erfworld! He's not toiling in vain, he's now helping to acheive his goal. Of course he's going to be excited, especially when he's showing Parson that he can give him gems to start him on the way to bringin that ultimate peace to fruition.

Also, I think the person who commented that he's geeking out over the gems is right along with Sizemore having a dork-gasm remembering spirit-walking his mountain. I mean he said it taught him more than he'd learned his whole life and we've seen him as a self made student. Of course he's excited. Maybe he'll join Parson in grieving/reflecting (see below) or perhaps he's already done that at the fire with Janis.


Ok next, Wanda...

We need to be VERY worried. Wanda doesn't laugh, remember? http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0023.html

So now Parson's not the only one breaking rules!

All this speculation about her breaking off seems plausible... after all anyone we've seen in Erfworld who has an Arkentool seems to be an independant entitity. Perhaps it disrupts the loyalty commitment to Stanley?

As for her outfit change... who here has played any game? When you get a major artifact, typically you get a really cool outfit to go with it. Think of it of "unlocking" her special outfit or whatever.


Finally, Parson...

For those of you claiming that he should be bewildered by the death and destruction he's caused... it's probably just a game to him still. Maybe we'll see a point where he misses Balrog and has some grief but that's the only real casualty here for him. In the end though, look at what he did! He's probably pretty proud of himself. He beat the odds, he was ready to sacrifice himself for his cause and he's alive... if anything he's probably a bit bewildered that he went to the magic kingdom and survived and on top of that, since he finished his current goal... what now?


And last but not least, to fuel the speculation fires:

What are the chances of Jillian leading Translyvito to FAQ and somehow claiming it herself? When you claim a city (a mechanic we're not familiar with yet) do units pop immediately? Is it possible for Vinny to defect to her side and help her defend?

If they do, will they join up with Jetsone? Jillian is a royal after all!(http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0039.html)

I doubt the coalition co-ruled the 11 towns captured otw to Gobwin Knob. That could mean that Jetstone now has 11 weakly defended cities or that there are 11 cities with different rulers. I think its rather unlikely anyone wants to go screw around with Gobwin Knob after what happened... who knows if it could happen again? Remember, there was no lookmancy and no thinkmancers sent "ZOMG! VOLCANO" back before they died. Charlie is probably the only one who knows what happened.

All the coalition forces are probably thinking that those 11 other cities look much more promising and less lethal of a liability to take.

Also... my final speculation... we saw PRINCE ANSOM. Why do I think his father, the king will be showing up? Something tells me he won't be as proud and foolish...

HandofShadows
2009-04-21, 08:11 AM
Uh? The eye's what? Who ever said anything about eyes from Faq? Jillian doesn't have the same eyes as Wanda, and she's the only person who has admitted being popped by Faq.

You need to pay attention. The ONLY people from Erf that have normal human type pupils surounded by a white of the eye are those from Faq. Jillian has them, Jack, Faq's Master Class Foolamancer has them and Wanda has them. Most Erfworlders eye's are a whire circle with a black ring about it (you sometimes get a colored center like with Ansome who had a blue center) Also Jillian states here ( http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html ) that Wanda was a caster that searved under Banhammer. It would be HIGHLY improbable that Wanda would just happen to find Faq if she had worked for another side since it was SOP to keep Faq totally hidden.

HandofShadows
2009-04-21, 08:32 AM
The idea that Ansom somehow raided FAQ and took the Arkenpliers flies far to much in the face of Occam's Razor. FAQ has been touted as a "bubble kingdom" until Stanley invaded and conquered it in one turn. Jillian has never given any suggestion that FAQ was ever compromised before Stanley's attack. I'll give you that it was never confirmed that Stanley did attack FAQ, the fact that he has two of their mancers and has an army of dwagons makes it pretty much a given that the authors wanted us to believe.

(snicker) What the authors want us to belive in a story is not always the truth of what happened. Look up the term "Unreliable Narrator" sometime.

I have no idea why you think Ansome would have just "raided" Faq to get the Arkenpliers (these people don't "raid" they attack. The only person that raids is Parson). And even a small force would have rolled right OVER Faq's no existant defences. Faq having almost no military was clearly stated by Jillian a long time ago.

And there is actually no evidence that it was Stanley that attacked Faq either. The last message stated that a flight of dwagons had been seen, not that they where attacking (if your being attacked by dwagons you would say that you where being attacked by dwagons, not that you had just seen them). Now you might think it odd that Ansome and Stranley happened to show up at Faq at the same time. There is a very simple reason for that. While Faq was hidden, the Jetstone forces sent to attack it would NOT have been hidden. Somone massing an army near GK boarders would certainly draw attention and it would be investigated. A good job for a warlord that has a lot of flying dwagons, don't you think?



Furthermore, if Wanda did posess the Arkenpliers, she didn't tell anyone, because Jullian would have been suspicious as to how Ansom got them.

Jillian spent lots of time out and away from Faq. She and Banhammer hated each other. The Arkenpliers could easily have been found while she was away.



Finally, if Ansom attacked FAQ, a kingdom with no military to speak of, why didn't he just annex the place?

As noted above, he wouldn't have been able to keep the place as Stanley showed up with a flight of dwagons. That kind of firepower would have very likely outgunned Ansome's forces. And it's another reason for Ansome to hate Stanley.



I'm certainly willing to speculate on a deeper history between her, but this theory has more holes than a Florida ballot punch card.

Hmmm. (Looks at his ballot punch card) Don't see any holes at all. Maybe that's because it a long time before election day.

Yuki Akuma
2009-04-21, 08:47 AM
His name is spelled Ansom.

A-N-S-O-M. There is no 'e'.

SteveMB
2009-04-21, 08:49 AM
All they need to do now is have Jack make it look like the city wasn't destroyed and still has defenders.

Since none of the enemy survived to contradict them, no potential enemy will know that it is an illusion.

Charlie saw everything (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0149.html) up to the actual eruption -- at a minimum, he knows that everything above ground has been destroyed (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0145.html).

That said, he, along with everybody else who was part of the ex-Coalition, has no reason to believe that anything whatsoever (not even a rebuildable city site) survived. Jack might be used to keep up that illusion while rebuilding gets underway.

Nenec
2009-04-21, 09:05 AM
... I still think that one of my predictions ("Parson and/or the trimancer will abandon Stanley") has a chance of panning out


Parson, Sizemore, Maggie, and Wanda make a good team and have a nice dynamic going.

You know, I really thought, reading this one strip, things were going that way, the four on their own rebuilding the city and Stanley really booped, and that's what I still hope, really. But for sure all comments apart from these 2 convinced me it's never going to happen...damn, after he ran away from battle and left them in the mud with an apparently-already-lost-battle, now they did the dirty job, risked their lives and found the way to restart again an even more powerful city....and little child simply comes back to sit on his throne again? :smallconfused:

Oh, Wanda rather than evil seems rejoyced to me...in her unique style. :smallbiggrin:

All the rest has already been said.


But there is a physical charateristic that is know ONLY to be had by people from Faq, the eye's. Wanda is from Faq. sm

What with the eye's?

Twad
2009-04-21, 09:22 AM
Because while Gobwin Knob looks like Boatmurdered after an elephant invasion, Stanley is still alive.

Flooding the world in magma.. one of the good things Dwarf Fortress teach us.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-21, 09:32 AM
You know, I really thought, reading this one strip, things were going that way, the four on their own rebuilding the city and Stanley really booped, and that's what I still hope, really. But for sure all comments apart from these 2 convinced me it's never going to happen... ...

I do not understand what you mean.

I have been saying, like a broken disk for ages now, that Stanley's side is getting imba-er and imba-er by the minute.

Add in the possibility that Wanda can uncroak a sizeable part of the coalition- and make those better uncroakeds, yes these were suggested in this thread- and you have a real game breaker. Which is ... supposedly was Parson is after ... but somewhat soon, eh?

MY pet theory has at least one of the four (Parson, Maggie, Sizemore, Wanda) defecting from Stanley.

As for the eyes, Faq eyes look more or less human- they have pupils and irises, as apart to the solid white stare of most Erfworlders.

Sweetie Welf
2009-04-21, 09:35 AM
Here my two cents on what they should do: Produce some infantery, make them warlords by Stanley and then claim some of the lost cities. Pack the 6 dwagons with Stanley, Parson and Wanda, the new warlords for max bonus and take the last KISS knight and some uncroaked. Take the cities, leave one warlord with the newly uncroaked from Wanda and start producing units.
Even if someone finds out about the cities and attacks them, they simply can wait till they march on Gobwin Knob itself and reactivate the vulcano. Only Stanley has to sleep some time out of GK, veiled by the foolamancer until they have enough forces to defend them without TPK. Maybe he can go dwagon hunting.

Gez
2009-04-21, 10:22 AM
You need to pay attention. The ONLY people from Erf that have normal human type pupils surounded by a white of the eye are those from Faq. Jillian has them, Jack, Faq's Master Class Foolamancer has them and Wanda has them. Most Erfworlders eye's are a whire circle with a black ring about it (you sometimes get a colored center like with Ansome who had a blue center) Also Jillian states here ( http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0092.html ) that Wanda was a caster that searved under Banhammer. It would be HIGHLY improbable that Wanda would just happen to find Faq if she had worked for another side since it was SOP to keep Faq totally hidden.
You're looking too much into an element of style. In your own example, Wanda has solid-colored eyes. In many strips, Parson himself get solid-colored eyes as well. I'm not convinced at all.

Khyron
2009-04-21, 10:25 AM
My personal thoughts (Regarding Wanda, the Pliers, Jillian, and what was 'took') :

Stanley destroyed FAQ, and Wanda (and Jack) willingly went into his service because they hated the place, the king, or both. Ansom never heard of FAQ, never went there, had absolutely zero contact with the place. The pliers being attuned to Wanda is awesome but she never had them prior to Ansom's death. What Ansom 'took' from her is Jillian.

The reason I beleive this is because of Jillian's story. She indicates that the King treated people like crap, and in the same panel we can see an image of Wanda. I beleive that indicates he may have treated his casters the same way. (See : http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html )

The only real piece to the puzzle that I can't seem to find is the reason why Wanda is so... unquestionably loyal to Stanley. Personally I think that the predictamancer (The one who predicted the kingdom would fall) got together with Wanda and Jack and told them that they'd have a great future if they joined the Tool, or something like that.

Stanley was attacking everyone; that's how he pissed off enough people to form a coalition against him. But it's never stated that his attacks failed on everyone - I think the attack on FAQ was just one of the raids that succeeded.

But honestly, I'm absolutely dying to see Stanley's reaction when he arrives. He considers the city, all units, all warlords, all casters to be expendable if it means getting hold of another Arkentool. Well, the city is in ruins, nearly all of his units are gone, but he has the pliers (Or someone who appears completely and totally devoted to him does). More than that, he's got a foolamancer who is used to 'diverting' attention from a capital and two cities, so it should be easy to rebuild Gobwin Knob unnoticed. He's got millions of schmuckers waiting for him. He's got the finest tactical mind that Erfworld has ever seen.

Everything he's lost has been in his 'acceptable' list considering the pliers are in his control, and it's ENTIRELY due to Parson and his lateral thinking. The question is, will he realise this and is he even capable of expressing any gratitude? And how will Parson handle the downtime during rebuilding? I'd hoped that Parson would have stayed in the Magical Kingdom for a while, learning more about the different caster types, spells, etc.

SteveMB
2009-04-21, 10:42 AM
When we last saw them (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0128.html), Stanley was showing some respect and gratitude toward Jack, and Jack was convincing Stanley that the Titans wanted him to go along with Jack's suggestion that they head home. So they may have two people with a talent for talking Stanley out of being Toolish (unless it turns out that Wanda has no further interest in manipulating the Tool now that she has the Arkenpliers).

Anias
2009-04-21, 11:50 AM
Here my two cents on what they should do: Produce some infantery, make them warlords by Stanley and then claim some of the lost cities. Pack the 6 dwagons with Stanley, Parson and Wanda, the new warlords for max bonus and take the last KISS knight and some uncroaked. Take the cities, leave one warlord with the newly uncroaked from Wanda and start producing units.
Even if someone finds out about the cities and attacks them, they simply can wait till they march on Gobwin Knob itself and reactivate the vulcano. Only Stanley has to sleep some time out of GK, veiled by the foolamancer until they have enough forces to defend them without TPK. Maybe he can go dwagon hunting.

Decent idea, but impractical. Stanley has a handful of high-powered units, no more. The worst thing he could possibly do (well, ONE of the worst things he could do) would be to go on the offensive at this point. Sure, the other sides are greatly weakened, and he might well be able to take back some of the lost cities, but he'd be spreading his power too thinly. As it is, he has a few units that, together, can probably hold off any offensive that his opponents are likely to be able to muster at this point. That being said, a handful of powerful units can take or defend a single location rather effectively, but are often practically useless if widely spread. If Stanley has to spread out his troops to defend the new cities, none of them will be strong enough to repel an invasion force; if he takes the cities, and keeps the powerful units together in a central location, he'll just be wasting his time capturing and recapturing his own cities, and dealing them heavy damage in the process. Plus, Stanley has reason to suspect that at least one side is still powerful and hunting him down (TV/Jillian), and so he's probably better off rebuilding GK under the protection of his best troops. After all, it WAS the best defensive position in Erf, and it's probably even better now, what with all the lava and such. If he can build a new stronghold there, he'll be practically invincible...especially if he's powerful enough that people won't challenge him without provocation and he avoids randomly attacking people until he's got a new army and GK is rebuilt.

Yahoo_Serious
2009-04-21, 11:52 AM
Charlie vs. Janis?

These two seem to be the most aware (that is, capable of meta-gaming) characters in Erf so far (aside from the Titans and of course our ProtaGonist).

They would come complete with opposing ideologies (circa the early 70s): Charlie as slick corporatist consultant (w/ just in time synergistic client solutions) and Janis as off the grid peacenik hacker. Or disco vs. psychedelic, or leisure suit vs. bellbottoms, or coke vs. weed. Perhaps Janis even has her own Tool hidden away somewhere (the ArkenBong?) to oppose the ArkenDish.

By the way, I did a search of Erf threads and found no mention of "Joplin" (as in Janis). Perhaps she's a Joplin that didn't OD young but rather grew fat on the Vegas circuit like Elvis (a Titan-like quality I might add).

Sweetie Welf
2009-04-21, 12:15 PM
Decent idea, but impractical. Stanley has a handful of high-powered units, no more. The worst thing he could possibly do (well, ONE of the worst things he could do) would be to go on the offensive at this point. Sure, the other sides are greatly weakened, and he might well be able to take back some of the lost cities, but he'd be spreading his power too thinly.

I think the most important thing now is to recover. With three (or more) cities he can rebuild units three times faster.
If someone attack the cities again, he can just withdraw from them and send all his units to GK. And if an attacking army is not strong enough, he can destroy them and use Wanda to get more uncroaked.
The most immediate threat, TV, ill attack anyway, regardless if Stanley claims the cities or not. And having some cities in the backhand is never a bad thing.

vrellum
2009-04-21, 12:20 PM
I think it's interesting that the Hippies are paying homage to the origin of their name and using violence (thus being hypocrits) in their pursuit of peace.

dr pepper
2009-04-21, 12:41 PM
Charlie vs. Janis?

By the way, I did a search of Erf threads and found no mention of "Joplin" (as in Janis). Perhaps she's a Joplin that didn't OD young but rather grew fat on the Vegas circuit like Elvis (a Titan-like quality I might add).

She was identified as Janis Joplin by the readership as soon as she was first shown.

Fez
2009-04-21, 12:54 PM
I'm just curious how close we are to the end of this first book.

We've had the big summer spectacular blockbuster climax with the volcano.

We're now in the tidying up some things and prepping for the next story.

This page was very much an 'all in'. It went from utter destruction, to more wealth than can be imagined, a second attuned arkentool, and Stanley is coming back. Escalation. (And tons of wealth in a wargame when you don't have tons of troops and building troops takes time, isn't always an envious position.)

We might be coming up quickly to the cliffhangers. Or perhaps we'll at least find out whether the group sticks together (all under Stanley or otherwise) or there is a break in the faction. (Thas a mighty perty attuned arkentool you got thar pardner. Draw!)

I'd think if there is a cliffhanger though, it would thematically want to revolve around Faq. There are a lot of frequently asked questions about Faq, both its past and what's going to be happening in the near future, and its time to start getting some answers.

HandofShadows
2009-04-21, 12:57 PM
You're looking too much into an element of style. In your own example, Wanda has solid-colored eyes. In many strips, Parson himself get solid-colored eyes as well. I'm not convinced at all.

As the saying goes "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink."

ShinyBrowncoat
2009-04-21, 01:07 PM
I'm not entirely convinced that this last panel is real. The whole thing seems too good to be true -- the gems, the 'pliers, Sizemoore being chipper. I'm wondering if Parson has been placed into some kind of dream-state by the 'mancers, and this is what he's dreaming about.

Yeah, this strip definitely had a "too good to be true" vibe about it, especially compared to the events and tone of the rest of the comic...I wouldn't be surprised if you are right, although I have to wonder if the authors would really throw another twist in there this close to the end of the story.

joosy
2009-04-21, 01:21 PM
You're looking too much into an element of style. In your own example, Wanda has solid-colored eyes. In many strips, Parson himself get solid-colored eyes as well. I'm not convinced at all.

That was a bad example, yes. Wanda's pupils are big in that one. But if you look at every single comic you will note that Jack, Wanda, and Jillian all have pupils. (So does Parson but he is obviously not from FAQ). All other characters have ovals with different colors. When Jack is under the effect of the breaking of the mindlink his pupils are white and the rest of the eye pink. When seeing Jillian restores his mind ("COMPOS") they switch back.

General comments:
Things are wrapping up quickly and lots of questions are being answered. I do hope that this is what Rob and Jaime wanted and not just pandering to the whiny speculators and detractors whose mewling from their parent's basements has spilled onto these forums.

Parson is still in shock and awe at what he has commanded others to wrought. He wasn't even expecting to make it through the portal and was probably hoping he would be sent home. But now he is viewing the aftermath and probably doesn't know what to do next. He has no enemies to counter (that he is aware of) and is out of his element. Hopefully he will snap to it and start rebuilding.

Maybe he will contact the Tool at this point. Parson and the casters were forbidden to be seen by Stanley lest they be disbanded but his departing words were "book me if you need me" so they can try to contact him that way. However, given the security breach by Charlie, I wouldn't recommend it. They may just have to wait for his return or hope that they can send a Thinkagram to him without breaking orders.

Sizemore has had an aboutface no doubt due to Janis' counsel and a good night's rest. He is focusing on his handiwork and his contribution to the treasury. Whether that is forced remains to be seen but he does seem genuinely enthusiastic.

Wanda.. well she finally got the pliers. huzzah. A long overdue, foreshadowed, and teased outcome.

The interaction between Ansom and Wanda over the Pliers (capital P) still begs the question about what happened at FAQ. Hopefully it will be answered in this chapter of Erfworld.

To recap what I know about the fall of FAQ:
We know that Wanda and Jack either defected or were captured by Stanley. We know that capturing would require some serious manipulation of loyalty most likely via Thinkamancy.
We also know that Wanda is under no loyalty spell.

ergo, Wanda is following Stanley of her own free will and has, for the most part, Stanley's trust and a lot of leeway on how she serves him.

I would assume Jack is following of his own free will as well. He had to choose between Jillian (who it was implied he was in love with) and Stanley and he chose Stanley during the battle of the pass. I would assume that would put a big strain on any loyalty spell enough to break it or at least bend it a little.

The questions I still have about the fall of FAQ are:

- What role did the Pliers, Ansom or at least Jetstone units have?
- What was Stanley's role? (implied by the overflight of Dra.. er. Dwagons)
- Why hasn't Wanda told Jillian details about what happened to FAQ? (I assume Jillian never asked as she assumed Wanda was under a loyalty spell).
- The Predictamancer predicted FAQ would fall.. but would it rise again stronger now with Jillian, Plier attuned-Wanda and Jack returning under the rule of Stanley?

I don't really expect any answers here as as anything in the forums would be speculation (unless Pclips answers) but I would prefer he uses the comic as the medium.

VariaVespasa
2009-04-21, 01:26 PM
I doubt Jillian will be handing her cities over to TV unless she has no choice, or she gains something for doing it. As long as she isnt formally captured, and she isnt last we saw or that whole "breaking your alliance" speach by Ceasar would have been irrelevant, she can just fly away any time she wants during their joint turn. She's got the fastest thing in the air at the moment, as far as that alliance goes (locally, at least), so its not like they can catch her. But we dont know yet which way she's gonna go.

Stanley will not attempt to recapture his lost cities anytime soon. Parson and Wanda wont permit it, since revealing himself again now would lead to his destruction. He will lie low (probably with some noticeable pursuasion from Parson and Wanda) and rebuild his city and army with his newfound wealth.

Stanley doesnt care about the city or army per-se; he's already walked away from them once, so he may be boggled by the destruction and grouse about the damage out of habit, but he wont really be angry. Wanda having the attuned pliers is, as people have observed, gonna be the interesting part. I daresay the conversation will basically go "She has the tool, she serves you, therefore you have the tool", unless Wanda has something else in mind, and we dont know enough of her real backstory and motivations to judge if she does or not. She seemed too familiar and eager for the pliers to not have had some prior connection with them, and I'm suspicious of that, as are others. The whole "touch me with them" thing, in the same exchange as "you took more from me"... "Took more from me" being Jillian is possible, but it doesnt fit together well with "touch me with them", which is definitely the pliers. I dont particularly buy the the idea that Ansom wiped out FAQ, but he might have taken the pliers from Wanda in some fashion on the basis of royalty having precedence over peons if he encountered her away from FAQ. Or maybe Wanda learned enough about the pliers due to her own multitalented magical education to become interested in them and developed a personal quest of her own, and she joined up with Stanley willingly in order to use him to get to it. But we just dont know enough.

HandofShadows
2009-04-21, 01:26 PM
Stanley destroyed FAQ, and Wanda (and Jack) willingly went into his service because they hated the place, the king, or both. Ansom never heard of FAQ, never went there, had absolutely zero contact with the place. The pliers being attuned to Wanda is awesome but she never had them prior to Ansom's death. What Ansom 'took' from her is Jillian.

Ansom never knew about the relationship between Jillian and Wanda. So his reaction would have been "What are you taking about?" instead of the guilt/fear look we did get. All evidence points to Wanda being attuned to the 'pliers before she got them on this page. Evidence #1 Wanda being able to influance them in her battle with Ansom "What did you do to it?" #2 Right before Ansom kills Wanda he pulls up shot and VERY quickly holds the 'pliers AWAY from Wanda like he was trying to protect them from her. (More like a child going "It's MINE" with something he stole from someone else) #3 Wanda in just a few minutes gets back to a Goblin Know that has been nearly destroyed and finds the 'pliers. She clearly knew their location when there was no way that she would have known their locataion, unless she was attuned to them already.



The reason I beleive this is because of Jillian's story. She indicates that the King treated people like crap, and in the same panel we can see an image of Wanda. I beleive that indicates he may have treated his casters the same way. (See : http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html )

Umm. I think you need to reread that. "He treated his warlords like crap, the few that he had." "What we had where more like clercs" in reference to soldiers. However Banhammer DID seem to like casters. It was Jack, a Master Caster, that kept the place safe. And for a small side he had a fair amount of casters (a Master Foolamancer, a Master Croakmaster, and a high level Predictamancer that we know of.) The pic of Wanda comes up when Jillian is saying she say a unit from Faq working for Stanley. Banhammer was not be talked about by that point since he was dead .



The only real piece to the puzzle that I can't seem to find is the reason why Wanda is so... unquestionably loyal to Stanley. Personally I think that the predictamancer (The one who predicted the kingdom would fall) got together with Wanda and Jack and told them that they'd have a great future if they joined the Tool, or something like that.

Jack is just as loyal to Stanley as Wanda is. If Stanley HAD destroyed Faq their loyalty would be very low as per the worlds rules. But if Stanely has rescued Jack and Wanda from say.. a Jetstone invasion they would have every reason to be loyal to him even if they don't like him very much. (Wanda clearly thinks that Stanley is a PITN (If she could cast a spell to get ride of headackes, she would be casting all the time)). And Jack has an opinion not very different, but he is more tolerant.



Stanley was attacking everyone; that's how he pissed off enough people to form a coalition against him. But it's never stated that his attacks failed on everyone - I think the attack on FAQ was just one of the raids that succeeded.


As stated by Wanda, Stanley has lost EVERY battle since he stared his crusade. Now Stanley clearly has won a lot of battles, but that was when he was in the field as a warlord and working under King Saline.

Neuromancer
2009-04-21, 01:28 PM
I am going to guess that Wanda's laughter is Not A Good Thing.

There's a lot we don't know, of course--is Wanda really loyal to Stanley, or using him for her own purposes? If the former, and if Stanley can get through this first period where his side consists of about ten (very powerful) units, he's poised to become more powerful than ever. Charlie just lost a lot of his best units...could a grab for the Arkendish be Stanley's next move?

If the latter (which I think is more likely, given what we know of Wanda and Stanley and their interactions), then Stanley and Wanda are immediately at odds. Will she (can she?) use this opportunity to break free of him? Perhaps even to start a new side and claim Gobwin Knob for herself?

Either way, a really interesting development!

Yahoo_Serious
2009-04-21, 02:01 PM
She was identified as Janis Joplin by the readership as soon as she was first shown.

Kinda thought that, though not sure how I missed it in the search...

T-O-E
2009-04-21, 02:48 PM
Sure his Capital is now officially Rubblesville,

But isn't Rubblesville a jetstone city? :smallconfused:

HandofShadows
2009-04-21, 02:52 PM
To tell the truth, I don't really think Wanda wants to rule. Go indulge her "hobbies" with Jillian yes and make uncroaked, but she does not seem to want to be a warlord/overlord. Of course getting the Arkenpliers back again might change that. :smalleek: Also I don't see her trying to break free of Stanley on her own. While she could match him in power, I don't she could survive Stanley disbanding her.
Now if Stanely pissed off Parson enough, Parson might get say to heck with it and rebel. If they thought he had a chance I can easily see Wanda and Sizemore supporting him all the way. Don't know what Maggie would do. Jack might follow Wanda's lead if he trusts her enough. I don't think that Pasron would try to kill Stanley, more like usurp him. And since he does not have to follow Erf rules, he might be able to pull it off.

VariaVespasa
2009-04-21, 02:57 PM
where his side consists of about ten (very powerful) units

The count is, what, 6 assorted dwagons, 2 rock golems, at least 1 and maybe as many as 3 KISS (although I suspect its only the 1), a few temporary uncroaked (quality unknown but probably just the very short-lived ones from the tunnel battles and therefore nearly worthless except for a few turns of site cleanup labor), 1 master-class foolamancer, 3 more casters (do we have any definitive word on whether any of them are rated as master-class also, or no?), 1 chief warlord and 1 overlord.

I wonder how the fact that what was their basement now appears to be their roof will affect the design of the new city? :)

So 15-17 heavy units, 4 major casters, 1 warlord, 1 overlord, and a few temporary junk uncroaked infantry. Have I missed anything?

fractal
2009-04-21, 03:27 PM
The count is, what, 6 assorted dwagons, 2 rock golems, at least 1 and maybe as many as 3 KISS (although I suspect its only the 1), a few temporary uncroaked (quality unknown but probably just the very short-lived ones from the tunnel battles and therefore nearly worthless except for a few turns of site cleanup labor), 1 master-class foolamancer, 3 more casters (do we have any definitive word on whether any of them are rated as master-class also, or no?), 1 chief warlord and 1 overlord.

I wonder how the fact that what was their basement now appears to be their roof will affect the design of the new city? :)

So 15-17 heavy units, 4 major casters, 1 warlord, 1 overlord, and a few temporary junk uncroaked infantry. Have I missed anything?
You just listed 8 heavies and probably 1 knight? Not 15-17 heavies. And we believe Wanda is master-class (at least), because "uncroaked led by a master-class croakamancer can dance fight".

Anyway, I think that the reason everything is so upbeat is because it's the end of the story - this is our resolution, Parson "won". However, I expect something is about to go horribly wrong with Wanda. I wonder if, when he returns, Stanley will challenge Parson, "How could you let her touch the Pliers?!"

Anias
2009-04-21, 03:51 PM
Just a thought; a lot of people have been saying that it'd be best to veil GK so it looked like an active volcano, thereby keeping away nearby units/sides. I've been wondering, though, if it might not be better to veil the city as intact (or even stronger than before) to make it look like Stanley possesses a true superweapon. If his opponents think that he just used a volcano, they realize that this was a one-shot trick, and they take him out while he's weak; if they think Stanley was powerful enough to wipe out the entire RCC (several hexes worth of devastation at once) without taking any serious damage, his opponents won't dare attack. Of course, that's presuming that other sides can't tell that he's nearly out of troops, etc - how well will opposing lookamancers and findamancers do against Jack's veils?

Kreistor
2009-04-21, 04:03 PM
Anias, right now people believe Stanley is no threat and are willign to break up the RCC and ignore him. Giving them something to fear will inspire a change in direction. It is better to buy time by apearing non-existent than to try to buy time by appearing unjustifiably strong.

Further, this gives time for those other factions to start beating on each other. They're all going to be trying to carve up the wealer members of the RCC now. Jetstone lost huge, and we may see the others deciding to carve that up between them, in payment for their losses at GK. That kind of infighting can only be good for teh GK side as it rebuilds. It keeps them losing units, staying weak, mutually distructful, and unprepared for the coming onslaught

SteveMB
2009-04-21, 04:21 PM
Just a thought; a lot of people have been saying that it'd be best to veil GK so it looked like an active volcano, thereby keeping away nearby units/sides. I've been wondering, though, if it might not be better to veil the city as intact (or even stronger than before) to make it look like Stanley possesses a true superweapon. If his opponents think that he just used a volcano, they realize that this was a one-shot trick, and they take him out while he's weak; if they think Stanley was powerful enough to wipe out the entire RCC (several hexes worth of devastation at once) without taking any serious damage, his opponents won't dare attack. Of course, that's presuming that other sides can't tell that he's nearly out of troops, etc - how well will opposing lookamancers and findamancers do against Jack's veils?

As I noted earlier, Charlie saw everything up to the very end, and therefore knows that GK was mostly destroyed (and has every reason to assume that it was completely finished off by the eruption). Whether or not he shares this information with others (and at what price) is another question -- if and when he finds out that Parson survived, he may use that as leverage in another attempt to get Parson working for him.

kreszantas
2009-04-21, 04:42 PM
One other note to the rebuilding process once Jack gets back (if they do) is that he should be actually veiling GK to still look like the rubble it became. So as you rebuild you can do it with less prying eyes looking in on you. Try to take a abandoned capitol only to end up in deep boop with a rich GK.

All kinds of trickery can be used now... just as Wanda is laughing at gaining the pliers, I am laughing the same way if I just wiped out a buddy in a HoMM5 game.

Sweetie Welf
2009-04-21, 04:45 PM
Yeah, this strip definitely had a "too good to be true" vibe about it, especially compared to the events and tone of the rest of the comic..

That could be the effect of the luckamancy charms from the last day finally kicking in; a lot of gravity-challanged people like Parson have a slow digestion.


The loyalty of the former Faq units is strange; maybe the predictamancer once told her that she will only find the pliers if she leaves Faq. And then Wanda sold Fay out to Stanley for the promise of the pliers. Or Wanda was never allowed to practice croakamancy in the service of Banhammer (not to mention torture and interrogation). And when Stanley captured her she had the freedom to do so. Stanley encourage his people to pursue their hobbies.

But why jack is loyal is the real mystery.

DoctorJest
2009-04-21, 05:06 PM
The city was totalled right? PClips? Why haven't they reverted to barbarian status? Also, how did the uncroaked survive anyway? They are even more quishy then the regular troops.

The city wasn't CONQUERED. It even still has friendly units in it (a handful of uncroaked, 2 rock golems).

It's now just a level 0 city still controlled by Stanley's side.

VariaVespasa
2009-04-21, 05:26 PM
You just listed 8 heavies and probably 1 knight? Not 15-17 heavies. And we believe Wanda is master-class (at least), because "uncroaked led by a master-class croakamancer can dance fight".

Anyway, I think that the reason everything is so upbeat is because it's the end of the story - this is our resolution, Parson "won". However, I expect something is about to go horribly wrong with Wanda. I wonder if, when he returns, Stanley will challenge Parson, "How could you let her touch the Pliers?!"

D'oh, youre right on the heavy count. For some reason I was counting the dwagons twice. See kids, this is why you dont do drugs! :P

Anias- Its not actually a 1- shot trick in point of fact. The trimancer is still available, and the volcano is still wakeable... But the best policy is to veil as a volcano rather than as rubble. If anything resembling a city hex, even a ruined one, remains, then someone will try to claim it because city sites are highly valuable, and the veil cant survive that. Charlie saw the volcano blow, in real-time, so he KNOWS that GK was trashed. Pretending to be intact wont work on him, especially with his veil-piercing vision. As a volcano hopefully nobody will come close enough to pierce the veil. As an intact city its basically inevitable.

Some people have said the city wasnt conquered because they still have a few units left in it. In fact given the usual wargame mechanics its almost certain that it would remain unconquered even if it had no units whatsoever in it, as long as GK units were the last to occupy the hex uncontested.

DevilDan
2009-04-21, 05:43 PM
Here my two cents on what they should do: Produce some infantery, make them warlords by Stanley and then claim some of the lost cities. Pack the 6 dwagons with Stanley, Parson and Wanda, the new warlords for max bonus and take the last KISS knight and some uncroaked. Take the cities, leave one warlord with the newly uncroaked from Wanda and start producing units.

I doubt that under current conditions even the Tool would be so unwise as to spread a handful of resources and advertise his still-active status so blatantly. His best hope is to regain his strength. There is no way, even with two arkentools and multiple casters, that anyone would try to hold more than a single city. It would probably take multiple turns to even reach all the cities.

As an aside: we don't really know how long Parson as out, right? It could be very little time, relatively speaking, depending on the nature of the game mechanics regarding liquid-hot magma.

Gez
2009-04-21, 05:46 PM
Now that the gobwins have been completely wiped out, will they still pop there on their own accord or is that natural ally depleted forever? The first is more game-like, the second would fit better with the "break the rules" thing that Parson is supposed to do according to Janis.

Ragn Charran
2009-04-21, 06:05 PM
I'm not entirely convinced that this last panel is real. The whole thing seems too good to be true -- the gems, the 'pliers, Sizemoore being chipper. I'm wondering if Parson has been placed into some kind of dream-state by the 'mancers, and this is what he's dreaming about.

Remember the nature of the game though. The only way to win was to break it. Perhaps this is his in-game reward. Now that Parson has found the clever enough way to cheat, he not only won the battle, but now has a way to be victorious in the war.

Warren
2009-04-21, 06:14 PM
Wanda wasn't always a member of Stanley's side.

I'll go one better on this idea: who says Wanda is currently a member of Stanley's side?

We know that Wanda is not bound to Stanley by Loyalty, and we know that she's already explicitly chosen her service to Stanley over her apparently genuine love for Jillian - even though she seems neither to like nor to respect Stanley. Maybe she had religious reasons for following him, in his possession of an attuned Arkentool, but that no longer seems to give him an advantage over her (though arguably she may now see him as a suitable consort?).

Furthermore, it's been hinted at that Wanda's not being bound to Stanley by loyalty is a big secret - there was the whole bit where the Archon volunteered the information to Jillian, causing Wanda to go nuclear on the GW airspace, and a later Archon mentioned that specific episode as indicating that providing such information when not required to do so could be a bad idea.

Way upthread, SpacemanSpif posited that Wanda might have known all about the pliers from the master-class Predictamancy that Faq possessed, which seems quite plausible. She seemed to know all about the pliers when Ansom solo'd the walls: she had a plan to disarm Ansom, she prioritized seizing the pliers over killing Ansom (a possible mistake, in retrospect), and in their final encounter she begged Ansom to touch her with the pliers, even though she was in negative hit points and his "touch" would presumably come in the form of an intended coup de grace. Maybe Wanda's entire service to Stanley and her presumed betrayal of Faq has been part of a plan made with the help of predictamancy by which she has always intended to get the pliers for herself?

Now that she's got the pliers, she may have little reason to continue following Stanley; indeed, as Stanley is now arguably the feared enemy of every faction on Erf opposing him or even just leaving him could offer her great advantages. On her own, she may have the most powerful force on Gobwin knob, with her attuned her Arkentool and her scattering of uncroaked facing a thinkamancer, an exhausted dirtamancer with a discharged volcano and two rock golems, and a warlord of uncertain stats who has been in one battle. Id doesn't seem there's any local force that could impede her departure, or indeed could prevent her from simply claiming Gobwin Knob for herself (although I think having a warlord with an undead army in an obsidian fortress has been done before).

P.S. On an entirely different note, I have no idea what turn it is, and no-one seems to know where Stanley is - his return with Dwagons and his own attuned arkentool would certainly allow him to reclaim Gobwin Knob, even if she did seize it, unless the recently croaked have in fact not yet disappeared.

DevilDan
2009-04-21, 06:34 PM
We've long suspected that there is a complicated story that precedes and underlies the current erfopolitical landscape. Perhaps we will know gain a few glimpses of the truth.

Hadrian_Emrys
2009-04-21, 06:47 PM
I'm only seeing this headed in one direction. Charlie has his Dish and is opposed by Stanley with his Hammer. Wanda now has her Pliers (as was forseen by many) so now perhaps Jillian will get something in leather (http://stores.ebay.com/Jillian-Distributors_Leather-Saddle-Sissy-Tool-Bag_W0QQcolZ2QQdirZQ2d1QQftidZ2QQtZkm)? She is often seen riding around on "gwiffons" like an irate biker chick after all AND she is the most compelling potential foil to Wanda. In any case, I do not see Parson ever getting his hands on a Tool himself since his plot relavance is not his raw power but rather his ability to overcome it. What is a story without a plot mountain to climb? The artifacts in his possession are more than enough to provide what he needs to do his job.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-21, 06:49 PM
Have the last several strips seemed a bit disjointed to anyone else? As if there should have been at least a few other strips in between which have been excluded?
What the authors want us to belive in a story is not always the truth of what happened. Look up the term "Unreliable Narrator" sometime.Indeed! Occasionally an author will tell the readers that an entire side has very few units which can dance fight, when he really means that every unit on that side can dance fight. On other occasions an author might tell the readers that the protagonist may not traverse a particular portal, and then immediately have the protagonist traverse that portal. And in extreme cases the author might enter the forums and say that the inconsistencies will all be explained if we just give them the time to do so. But the waiting continues, the portal has been traversed yet again, and no explanations have been forthcoming. Unless of course one is expected to believe that Parson is a Hippymancer... *barf*

I'm glad to see that Wanda and Sizemore are happy. At least someone is enjoying this.

Hadrian_Emrys
2009-04-21, 07:05 PM
That reminds me to bring up the Hippymancer comment in regards to Parson. Either it was a bluff, or it wasn't. If it was, end of story. If it wasn't, I can see how it is explained in the very words of Janis herself. Parson's actions, while violent, may very well lead to actual peace in much the same way that carving up a person during surgery may lead to an extended lifespan.

Kreistor
2009-04-21, 07:14 PM
Maybe Wanda's entire service to Stanley and her presumed betrayal of Faq has been part of a plan made with the help of predictamancy by which she has always intended to get the pliers for herself?

Presumed betrayal of Faq? that's the first I've heard of that theory. It isn't very consistent with Jack working for Stanley. The annihilation of Faq does not seem to be a gain for either Stanley or Wanda in this case. Though possible, I don't see much motive for such an action. It also doesn't explain Ansom's ownership of the Pliers that he seems to have taken from Wanda. Possible, but I don't think very likely.

If you really want to talk about that, check out alternate theories in this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106595).

Anias
2009-04-21, 07:52 PM
Anias, right now people believe Stanley is no threat and are willign to break up the RCC and ignore him. Giving them something to fear will inspire a change in direction. It is better to buy time by apearing non-existent than to try to buy time by appearing unjustifiably strong.


Well, yes and no. I admit, as you (and a few others by now) have mentioned, making the city look intact isn't going to work, since Charlie knows the city got taken out. Of course, he probably won't share that info for free, but it's not worth risking anything on the bet that others won't pay him to find out what happened. And trying to buy time to rebuild is a good idea, and central to GK's survival. That being said, the RCC broke up not because they don't fear Stanley, but because all the coalition troops DIED. And while no other side might fear Stanley now, they're definitely not going to ignore him. He's currently got fewer troops than they do, doesn't have a strong base or fortifications to fall back on, and he's got a TWO Tools they might be able to obtain (plus several useful casters and a warlord who would all be very valuable to capture). Certainly no side sacrificed all its troops to the coalition - not all of them ever truly believed in the threat Stanley represented, and the RCC would never have existed at all without Ansom's urging and hatred for Stanley. At a minimum, each side will still have a strong defense in each of its cities, and several might be willing to risk the loss of a city in order to obtain an wait, TWO arkentools, an elite warlord, and a handful of master-class casters.

And with so many people interested in Stanley, his Tools and his few remaining troops, at least a few of those sides are going to have lookamancers (or findamancers - I don't know which would be better) hunting him down. And Charlie, of course, knows as well as anyone the value of the remaining GK troops and their artifacts...and his archons can, apparently, travel fast, fly, and see through veils. So it seems unlikely that the veil will be of an intact GK, but it is equally unlikely that Stanley will be ignored, given the immense value he, his artifacts, and his remaining troops represent.

SteveMB
2009-04-21, 08:05 PM
That being said, the RCC broke up not because they don't fear Stanley, but because all the coalition troops DIED. And while no other side might fear Stanley now, they're definitely not going to ignore him.

If they think his capital is destroyed, why not? Given what they know, Vinny's argument makes sense (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0151.html) -- Stanley can't maintain himself as a barbarian for very long, so just wait him out.

That said, the new political situation is going to depend on each side's remaining strength. Jetstone was by far the biggest contributor in raw unit numbers (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0096.html), and given that Ansom (the heir and Chief Warlord of that side) provided much of the impetus it's likely that this reflects a bigger percentage of total assets than any of the other sides as well. This could put Jetstone in a vulnerable position, weakened and discredited as fingers point to blame Ansom and Jetstone generally for the debacle.

Kreistor
2009-04-21, 08:18 PM
That being said, the RCC broke up not because they don't fear Stanley, but because all the coalition troops DIED.

Close, but not quite. The troops dying put the Coalition in a bad state: there were no longer any units in the Alliance. In order for the alliance to continue, they would all need to devote more troops.

The question then becomes: what goal is there for these troops? GK is destroyed, and its armies destroyed. Only Stanley remains. The only goal that remains is "Kill Stanley". That is not the goal of an army. So, the alliance ends, because no one is willing to devote more troops to a goal that an army is not good at. What you want at this point is a small hunter-killer force to track him down and finish him off, and that doesn't require assistance from other nations. They should each be able to do that alone.

Grey Dawn
2009-04-21, 08:34 PM
Remember that Charlie has 10 battle calculations - he may be able to simply force Parson to tell him how easily he can crush him again.

Another thing that interest me is - does a specific high value unit come with an attuned arken item? Stanly has his dwagons, Charlie seems to use pure Archons, which have proven incredibly strong, perhaps the pliars will allow Wanda to make a new powerhouse unit as well.

Aquillion
2009-04-21, 09:17 PM
If they think his capital is destroyed, why not? Given what they know, Vinny's argument makes sense (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0151.html) -- Stanley can't maintain himself as a barbarian for very long, so just wait him out.Vinny's argument presumed that Ansom would succeed at taking the city, though. There's no reason to think they'd believe the city was destroyed (reports coming out just mentioned a 'huge dirtamancy trap', not even a volcanic eruption. The people most likely to mistakenly think it was totally destroyed -- even if the rules make that misinterpretation possible -- are also the people most likely to be currently buried under tons of lava and rock.)

SteveMB
2009-04-21, 09:40 PM
Vinny's argument presumed that Ansom would succeed at taking the city, though. There's no reason to think they'd believe the city was destroyed (reports coming out just mentioned a 'huge dirtamancy trap', not even a volcanic eruption. The people most likely to mistakenly think it was totally destroyed -- even if the rules make that misinterpretation possible -- are also the people most likely to be currently buried under tons of lava and rock.)

There are at least two ways to get a look at the site (flying scout units or Lookamancy -- probably the former because they seem to be a lot more readily available). An insufficiently careful look would show the site as completely ruined. When Stanley gets back with Jack in tow, that impression can be reinforced by veiling.

That said, someone sufficiently motivated to continue chasing Stanley (e.g. Jillian, if she can break away from the Transylvito group somehow) might try looking for him there.

Kreistor
2009-04-21, 09:45 PM
A Foolamancer/Thinkamancer combo stops scouts cold. Those that see through the veil get mind-boggled by the Thinkamancer. Makes up for the lack of Predictamancer or Lookamancer to see the enemy coming.

dr pepper
2009-04-21, 10:24 PM
I think it's interesting that the Hippies are paying homage to the origin of their name and using violence (thus being hypocrits) in their pursuit of peace.

"Hippie" does not come from "hypocrite", it comes from "hip".

vrellum
2009-04-21, 10:36 PM
"Hippie" does not come from "hypocrite", it comes from "hip".

Yeah, the post is wrong enough that I should probably delete it. I think I'll go mark through it.

hobgoblen924
2009-04-21, 10:57 PM
I found this the most disturbing page so far.

Parson wakes up. He's surrounded by a bunch of mancers that probably want to kill him. Maggie is there. She says it's time to go. He leaves with a backwards glance to see the utmost loathing the mancers have for him.

Think about the effort it takes to be pissed off for that long. Parson was asleep for the whole night, he wasn't trying to upset anyone but still the hate bubbles to he surface, or is that fear? Plus, he doesn't even know how he managed to enter the portal in the first place. How did they even know for sure he was a warlord when he has no visible stats anyway?

He enters the portal and is transported to a wasteland. Everyone is dead. Everyone. This is all the result of his handy work. Keep in mind that Parson hasn't had more then 10 minutes to go over all of this. Since he's been unconscious all this time it's like he just left. How can he not be affected by the agnitude of what he did?

He sees Sizemore, who is oddly chipper. Parson can't understand why this would be so. He has to be repressing. No way he could be over it, the butchering he did, already. He finds out that they suddenly have enough money to rebuild. Just minutes ago he was inches away from death and now it's rebuilding. Maye to something stronger than before.

Then, in the distance, Wanda, who I find the most frightening of all the characters, lets out an evil laugh as she attunes to the pliers.

None of the other pages have been so usettling to me.

The thing I find most interesting is the fact that they do not seem to have reverted to barbarian status. Sizemore clearly said that "our side" was rich now. I don't get that.

The city was totalled right? PClips? Why haven't they reverted to barbarian status? Also, how did the uncroaked survive anyway? They are even more quishy then the regular troops.

they haven't converted to barbarians cause stanley is still alive. and since they fight for stanley they are still on his side

DevilDan
2009-04-21, 11:11 PM
Close, but not quite. The troops dying put the Coalition in a bad state: there were no longer any units in the Alliance. In order for the alliance to continue, they would all need to devote more troops.

Too many unknowables to make that statement. Presumably different kingdoms committed different levels of troops depending on their proximity, their relative sizes and resource bases, their number of cities, and their belief in the cause. Certainly Transylvito had not committed all its units to the RCC's main force: they had quite a few warlords to spare. And certainly it's not unreasonable to assume that most other sides had not committed their chief warlords and certainly did not leave their various cities undefended.


What you want at this point is a small hunter-killer force to track him down and finish him off, and that doesn't require assistance from other nations. They should each be able to do that alone.

Not if the newly sane Jack is in any way reliable.


they haven't converted to barbarians cause stanley is still alive. and since they fight for stanley they are still on his side

Stanley himself would become a barbarian with the loss of GK, so they'd be barbarians even if under Stanley.

Kreistor
2009-04-22, 12:47 AM
Too many unknowables [snip] and certainly did not leave their various cities undefended.

COnfused here. You don't seem to make any comments directly about my point. I'd love to respond, but you're not making any logical progression, just... I dunno. Are you trying to say that an Alliance can have 0 troops? I'm just confused about which particular part of my statement you think isn't true.


Not if the newly sane Jack is in any way reliable.

They all think like Vinnie. Stanley will go barbarian, without financial support lose Jack, etc. An army won't see through a veil anyway: you want commanders for that.


Stanley himself would become a barbarian with the loss of GK, so they'd be barbarians even if under Stanley.

And yet, he didn't. Which implies that there is still a city under Stanley out there somewhere supporting the Side.

DevilDan
2009-04-22, 01:30 AM
COnfused here. You don't seem to make any comments directly about my point. I'd love to respond, but you're not making any logical progression, just... I dunno. Are you trying to say that an Alliance can have 0 troops? I'm just confused about which particular part of my statement you think isn't true.

I wonder if the Alliance left any troops in the cities conquered from Stanley. Not that it's significant, but there could be units further afield scouting or patrolling.


And yet, he didn't. Which implies that there is still a city under Stanley out there somewhere supporting the Side.

I agree. I'm suggesting that even if GK had been eliminated as a city they might still be under Stanley's control (hence my use of "would become" rather than "became.")

Thydron
2009-04-22, 02:16 AM
And yet, he didn't. Which implies that there is still a city under Stanley out there somewhere supporting the Side.

why? the plaid tribe never lost control of GK - they had troops in it through the whole comic up to and including this page?
and even if they hadn't, it probable that they would remain in control until someone else actively claimed the site with some uncontested troops, which hasn't happened.

Kilkrazy
2009-04-22, 04:34 AM
Warlord Manpower the Temporary had 'Earth' type eyes. Unless he came from FAQ, it is not only FAQ units who have that types of eyes.

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

Sweetie Welf
2009-04-22, 04:56 AM
According to Occams razor this means Manpower came from Faq, too. And when I say "Occams razor" I mean I hammer every fact into the metaphorical puzzle until it fits my picture.

Faulty
2009-04-22, 05:10 AM
I hope Wanda doesn't become a villian, I always liked her. It could be just a moment of... er... excitement.

Oslecamo
2009-04-22, 05:19 AM
And yet, he didn't. Which implies that there is still a city under Stanley out there somewhere supporting the Side.

Wich is Gobwin Knob. It's charred, troopless, mostly a pile of rubble, but still a city.

Wanda made it clear in the first comic that they only had GK left. And Stanley was returning to it after being ambushed by Vinnie. Sizemore on the other hand comented that GK was a lv1 city after making it colapse.

This sugests that a city in Efworld can never be truly destroyed, only reduced back to lv1. And since Hamster's forces were still standing on it, Gk is still on Hamster's side.

Plus with the newfound gems, it seems rebuilding the army will be piece of cake! Stanley's gamble definetely paid off! A couple days to consolidate and he'll probably be the strongest guy in Efworld, specially with 3 super-leveled up mancers to back him up.


Amesoeurs:For all we know Wanda has always been a villain. Fanatic necromancer mind raping dominatrix that rejoices on the suffering of others and treats them like objects doesn't leave much room for good intentions.

Wich makes me notice....WANDA LAUGHED! Wanda doesn't laugh! Be afraid, Efworld, very afraid...

joosy
2009-04-22, 05:43 AM
Warlord Manpower the Temporary had 'Earth' type eyes. Unless he came from FAQ, it is not only FAQ units who have that types of eyes.

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

Good catch! It either a drawing error (it was at the very beginning of the strip) OR we have identified another FAQ survivor/defector.

teratorn
2009-04-22, 06:29 AM
Good catch! It either a drawing error (it was at the very beginning of the strip) OR we have identified another FAQ survivor/defector.

Sigh... OR the Artist feels that some characters need detailed eyes and others don't.

Gez
2009-04-22, 07:01 AM
It's the story of that Englishman who arrives at Calais and sees two women, both redheads. He concludes that all French women are red-haired, and from that point forward, every time he sees a redhead he'll assume she's French.

The sheer absurdity of that story is the same as the "Faq eye" conspiracy theory.

Assuming the eyes are not simply a stylistic effect from the artist, if only the people coming from one tiny hidden kingdom had eyes like this, wouldn't those be noticed? Wouldn't some people in the RCC have commented on Jillian's freaky eyes?

Suicide Junkie
2009-04-22, 07:11 AM
So, based on that eye theory, Manpower was hired from FAQ when Stanley was running out of warlords. And thus FAQ is actually still intact. Jills went barbarian, but the side survived and rebuilt and she never went back to check.
So, Stanley wasn't going to FAQ to claim the ruins, but to call in some favors from Banhammer. And if TV does find FAQ, they'll be whomped by a force that has finally finished the army tutorial.
:)

Iain
2009-04-22, 08:22 AM
I don't know whether anyone else has already said this, as the forums are too slow to read through just now, but whilst we know Wanda was a caster at FAQ, I don't think we know that she was originally from there. She might even have been the ruler of another side before that (destroyed by Ansom, perhaps?) That being the case, she could even still be capable of setting up a new side, just having chosen to work with other sides in the meantime for her own reasons.
Or, maybe not. I guess we'll see.

kunsttyv
2009-04-22, 09:30 AM
Ok. Let me crack down on some wild theories. (and perhaps make some new...)

Wanda is currently on the same side as the Tool. If she wasn't, the single dragon she rode to uncroak Manpower would have autoattacked her. (It would not have been lead, and in proximity to a foreign unit) There are more incidents that would be severely inconsistent if she was not on the Tools side.

The RCC was dissolved, and is no more. Caesar Borgata says that Jetstone has confirmed this.

Regarding the Arkenpliers: Ansom stated that "they turn most uncroaked to dust", not all. (my emphasis)

If the cast page was to be trusted, Wanda is from the (now lost) tribe Croat(an?), and not Faq. She obviously also was in Faq. She dodged questions about her origin. (there goes the eye-theory)

Sizemore and Maggie are never described as master class. (but they are obviously proficient)

Finally, a loose thread: From the contract between Ansom and Charlie, Charlie promised to lend military support for at least two turns. He has probably failed this, which might cause him to forfeit any payment.

Glome
2009-04-22, 11:07 AM
If the cast page was to be trusted, Wanda is from the (now lost) tribe Croat(an?), and not Faq. She obviously also was in Faq. She dodged questions about her origin. (there goes the eye-theory)


Croatan is the name of tribe whose capital is Faq, just like the Stanley controls Gobwin Knob but his tribe is the Plaid. In fact, if they weren't trying to be secretive about Jillian's origin, her cast page would say she came from Croatan as well.

Besides which, nobody claimed that having an iris is an exclusive trait to Croatans (we don't have enough to make that claim), only that it is a trait that all Croatans share, and for which most other units don't. For all we know, there may be other sides that also pop units with irises, we just haven't seen them yet.

SteveMB
2009-04-22, 11:09 AM
If the cast page was to be trusted, Wanda is from the (now lost) tribe Croat(an?), and not Faq. She obviously also was in Faq. She dodged questions about her origin.

The tribe name of the inhabitants and the place name don't necessarily have anything to do with each other (e.g. "Plaid"/"Gobwin Knob").

DevilDan
2009-04-22, 11:25 AM
I hope Wanda doesn't become a villian, I always liked her. It could be just a moment of... er... excitement.

She's not a villain. She's just on the side of the megalomaniacal, allegedly genocidal warlord and enjoys uncroaking the dead and torturing prisoners.


Good catch! It either a drawing error (it was at the very beginning of the strip) OR we have identified another FAQ survivor/defector.

That would make Faq (note the canon capitalization) the only side that seems to have physiologically different human units. (I count neither the Transylvitonians, of course. And the Elfbrands are right out.)


I don't know whether anyone else has already said this, as the forums are too slow to read through just now, but whilst we know Wanda was a caster at FAQ, I don't think we know that she was originally from there. She might even have been the ruler of another side before that (destroyed by Ansom, perhaps?)

It's been discussed. Is there any real reason that a side or city or kingdom cannot be composed of multiple tribes? After all, both Stanley and Sizemore are members of the Plaid tribe.


Wanda is currently on the same side as the Tool. If she wasn't, the single dragon she rode to uncroak Manpower would have autoattacked her. (It would not have been lead, and in proximity to a foreign unit) There are more incidents that would be severely inconsistent if she was not on the Tools side.

The RCC had commanders from different kingdoms and barbarians as commanders.


Regarding the Arkenpliers: Ansom stated that "they turn most uncroaked to dust", not all. (my emphasis)

I always assumed that this meant that some uncroaked were more powerful or of a higher level, so they could survive a single hit.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-22, 11:26 AM
Assuming the eyes are not simply a stylistic effect from the artist, if only the people coming from one tiny hidden kingdom had eyes like this, wouldn't those be noticed? Wouldn't some people in the RCC have commented on Jillian's freaky eyes?No, not when there are sides which have very distinct appearances. Have we seen anyone startled at the "freaky" appearance of Vinny? Nope. The same can apply to the former FAQ residents, and any other side as well. We know that royals occasionally split off to form new sides, so there's the explanation for why the RCC had many similar appearing sides, but the simple fact of TV shows that physical diversity or distinct physical traits characterizing a side is neither impossible nor remarkable to Erfers.
Sizemore and Maggie are never described as master class. (but they are obviously proficient)I think Sizemore is master class, but I'm not willing to fish around the slow boards for a reference. Maggy has not been called master class.
Finally, a loose thread: From the contract between Ansom and Charlie, Charlie promised to lend military support for at least two turns. He has probably failed this, which might cause him to forfeit any payment.Oooh, nice catch! I hate that guy, any pain for him is a pleasure for me. I wonder if this will ever be touched upon in future strips?

Forgotten2
2009-04-22, 11:41 AM
Guys, things may not be as bad a you think.

If I recall correctly, Stanley found the Hammer but could not take over the side, until he was designated the heir. Unless Wanda has been promoted to Heir Desingnate (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0087.html).

Also, Wanda is not being held against her will. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0105.html) I think she actually cares (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0115.html) about Stanley.

greywords
2009-04-22, 11:50 AM
So, based on that eye theory, Manpower was hired from FAQ when Stanley was running out of warlords. And thus FAQ is actually still intact.

Another possible explanation is simply that Manpower was one of the few citizens of Faq who defected/were drafted into Stanley's service after it fell.

SteveD
2009-04-22, 12:09 PM
Well Parson is in a good position now. When Stanley and the foolmancer comes back they can keep the scouts of curious nations away while they rebuild the city and its defences (with all-new lava moat!), and recruit a new army with the riches they've acquired. Who knows what power they might accumulate within a few turns, but I suspect this chapter will have come to an end by that point.

Jillian is the loose end. If she can escape Caesar and get back to Gobwin Knob within a turn for vengeance she'd see straight through any veil. But would she launch a suicidal attack? In her grief, maybe.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-22, 12:38 PM
Oooh, nice catch! I hate that guy (Charlie), any pain for him is a pleasure for me. I wonder if this will ever be touched upon in future strips?

Thoroughly seconded. Die Charlie Die!

Kreistor
2009-04-22, 12:47 PM
I wonder if the Alliance left any troops in the cities conquered from Stanley. Not that it's significant, but there could be units further afield scouting or patrolling.

I can't imagine those cities haven't been divied up. Somehow, I don't think a city can be "owned" by a coalition: it would need to be owned by a single side with a single ruler, or left unowned and uncontrolled. That would make the troops there non-coalition and Sided. It's just a guess, but I think it makes the most sense. It's a rules simplification for gaming purposes.


I agree. I'm suggesting that even if GK had been eliminated as a city they might still be under Stanley's control (hence my use of "would become" rather than "became.")

Under his control, yes, but still barbarian with no cities. There have been no comments about being barbarian yet, and I doubt Parson wouldn't say something like, "So I guess the spell lets me be a barbarian, at least," or "So this is what being a barbbarian feels like." No, I'm leaning towards them still having a side. This is further evidence that Stanley has a hidden city, and that would consistent with Stanley rebuilding or never destroying Faq. It's still a bubble nation, unknown by all, and would fit the situation perfectly.


Wich is Gobwin Knob. It's charred, troopless, mostly a pile of rubble, but still a city.

Possible, but it was populated by non-living entities. Even a village needs a population of 1.

Oslecamo
2009-04-22, 01:15 PM
This is further evidence that Stanley has a hidden city, and that would consistent with Stanley rebuilding or never destroying Faq. It's still a bubble nation, unknown by all, and would fit the situation perfectly.


Except that Wanda didn't know about it, and that would be impossible. She was Stanley's right hand, and The Tool isn't some super master mind wich keeps big secrets from his more trusted lackeys, like hiding an extra city wich could have helped defend the capital. Stanley's definetely not the kind of character to make deep complex long term plans like hiding a city for dozens of turns, specially when he believed he was blessed by the titans and everything would be allright.



Possible, but it was populated by non-living entities. Even a village needs a population of 1.

Hey, it's a fantasy game. Who said you can't have a city of uncroackeds or golems?

Tranyvilto is a nation of vampires, wich technically are also non-living guys. They don't seem to have any problem with controling cities that way however.

They even decay instead of being croacked, as they state in their dance-fight.
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0123.html

Rock golems also showed to have a personality of their own as we saw with the comedian-rock golem and the golem squad wich crushed the marbits. Sure they're not the brightest guys to have a sophisticated dicussion with, but they still count as capturing units for controling cities.

HandofShadows
2009-04-22, 01:55 PM
Possible, but it was populated by non-living entities. Even a village needs a population of 1.

Actually you need a unit to hold a city. There are no civilains in this game to be a population. It's all about the units. And the uncroked and golems are units, just not living ones.

DevilDan
2009-04-22, 02:19 PM
I can't imagine those cities haven't been divied up. Somehow, I don't think a city can be "owned" by a coalition: it would need to be owned by a single side with a single ruler, or left unowned and uncontrolled. That would make the troops there non-coalition and Sided. It's just a guess, but I think it makes the most sense. It's a rules simplification for gaming purposes.

Yes, I suppose they could have already been divvied up. But whether the RCC can claim a city is an unknown. Wouldn't Ansom have at least nominally taken GK in the name of the RCC or would he take it necessarily under Jetsone? That hardly seems politically expedient. If the RCC is a "side," I assume it can also "take" a city.

Even before finding out that some GK units survived—inasmuch as neither golems nor uncroaked are alive in the traditional sense—I assumed that GK could still be taken over easily by Parson and company (under Stanley).

I guess money isn't an issue for them at the moment, but I wonder if the treasury survived as such...

I still don't know if the action in this strip is occurring at dawn or dusk.

fendrin
2009-04-22, 02:36 PM
Yes, I suppose they could have already been divvied up. But whether the RCC can claim a city is an unknown. Wouldn't Ansom have at least nominally taken GK in the name of the RCC or would he take it necessarily under Jetsone? That hardly seems politically expedient. If the RCC is a "side," I assume it can also "take" a city.

Even before finding out that some GK units survived—inasmuch as neither golems nor uncroaked are alive in the traditional sense—I assumed that GK could still be taken over easily by Parson and company (under Stanley).

I guess money isn't an issue for them at the moment, but I wonder if the treasury survived as such...

A coalition is not a side, it is an alliance of sides. Allied sides share the same turn. I am starting to think that warlords can lead troops of allied sides (it would remove the necessity of massive numbers of warlords in a coalition, it would allow troops from multiple sides to stack together, etc).

It seems to me that for the sake of game mechanics style simplicity, one side of the coalition would have to claim the city (or I suppose it could be left unclaimed, but why?).

Arguably income from the city could be split amongst multiple sides, but how would unit production be determined? What side would the popped units be loyal to? What happens if one side defects from the coalition? Too many questions. Game mechanics tend to simplify such things.

Which side of a coalition would claim the city would probably be a political issue.

DoctorJest
2009-04-22, 02:56 PM
Under his control, yes, but still barbarian with no cities. There have been no comments about being barbarian yet, and I doubt Parson wouldn't say something like, "So I guess the spell lets me be a barbarian, at least," or "So this is what being a barbbarian feels like." No, I'm leaning towards them still having a side. This is further evidence that Stanley has a hidden city, and that would consistent with Stanley rebuilding or never destroying Faq. It's still a bubble nation, unknown by all, and would fit the situation perfectly.

GK is still a city and is still under Stanley's control. The City HEX has never been conquered and has remained occupied by friendly troops. Granted, the city defenses are all gone, but the city hex is still there.

DevilDan
2009-04-22, 03:19 PM
A coalition is not a side, it is an alliance of sides. Allied sides share the same turn. I am starting to think that warlords can lead troops of allied sides (it would remove the necessity of massive numbers of warlords in a coalition, it would allow troops from multiple sides to stack together, etc).

I forget... didn't Transylvito's task force have its own (or Transylvito's own) turn?

Kholdstare
2009-04-22, 03:28 PM
I just wonder though. Knowing all that good stuff that happened, although hard to take, would make any commander happy. Hell if that happened in my games I would be yelling Oh Yeah as if I were Kool-Aid himself.

Does he know what is supposed to happen after this plan that will negate everything? It was a plan he formulated before he was summoned as he himself stated. So would an outside the box plan have an outside the box consequence?

Or better yet does he just know that this was supposed to happen and realizes how much of erfworld is really his own?

fendrin
2009-04-22, 03:34 PM
I forget... didn't Transylvito's task force have its own (or Transylvito's own) turn?

It had a turn distinct from the RCC, but whether it was Transylvito's turn or Jillian's turn is unknown.

Remember, at that point TV et al were not part of the RCC.

Either there is some way of determining which turn an alliance will act on before it is formed or TV, Jillian, and Charlie all happen to have their turns before GK. The former is far more likely.

raphfrk
2009-04-22, 03:44 PM
It had a turn distinct from the RCC, but whether it was Transylvito's turn or Jillian's turn is unknown.


Actually, that is a good point. The rule seems to be that you can only take 1 turn per day and alliances take their turn together.

Travsylvito has a turn that occurs before GK, and so if the alliance was dissolved before nightfall (which seems reasonable), then the current day's ordering should be based on each sides natural position.

However, Travsylvito seem to be more interested in finding Faq, than in going to GK, so even if they move before Stanley, they are unlikely to chase him. Jillian, OTOH, would want to.

DevilDan
2009-04-22, 04:18 PM
It had a turn distinct from the RCC, but whether it was Transylvito's turn or Jillian's turn is unknown.

Remember, at that point TV et al were not part of the RCC.

Either there is some way of determining which turn an alliance will act on before it is formed or TV, Jillian, and Charlie all happen to have their turns before GK. The former is far more likely.

What I'm driving at is that we have little information that would help us draw clear-cut distinctions between a "side" and a coalition or alliance. Take barbarians: why wouldn't a barbarian be able to take a city? They certainly seem to have their own turns and their own purses. I think that suggesting that the RCC couldn't take a city in the name of the RCC itself is overreaching.

exi1ed0ne
2009-04-22, 04:46 PM
Wouldn't it be just awesome if the tardy elves showed up Gobwin Knob right now for the win?

ishnar
2009-04-22, 05:04 PM
This is also seems to confirms part of the thoery that Ansome destroyed Faq. If the pliers where Wanda's he would have HAD to take out Faq to get them. As evidence that Wanda was attuned to the 'pliers in Faq, we just have to point to Wanda going and finding the 'pliers is a short period of time without knowing where they where when GK blew. In other words she sensed where they where, just about proof positive that she was already attuned to them (then add in Wanda was able to influence them she fought Ansome).

If Wanda were the original owners of the pliers. I would think Jillian would have recognized them on Ansom and asked a few pointed questions.

fendrin
2009-04-22, 05:08 PM
Actually, that is a good point. The rule seems to be that you can only take 1 turn per day and alliances take their turn together.

Travsylvito has a turn that occurs before GK, and so if the alliance was dissolved before nightfall (which seems reasonable), then the current day's ordering should be based on each sides natural position.

However, Travsylvito seem to be more interested in finding Faq, than in going to GK, so even if they move before Stanley, they are unlikely to chase him. Jillian, OTOH, would want to.

The Transylvito/Jillian alliance was distinct from the RCC, so the RCC disolving has no effect on them. They are still acting in concert prior to Gobwin Knob's turn.


What I'm driving at is that we have little information that would help us draw clear-cut distinctions between a "side" and a coalition or alliance. Take barbarians: why wouldn't a barbarian be able to take a city? They certainly seem to have their own turns and their own purses. I think that suggesting that the RCC couldn't take a city in the name of the RCC itself is overreaching.

My (potentially flawed) understanding, based on how the words are typically used, and mapped onto the game-based nature of Erf:
A side is a group of units ruled by a single overlord.
An alliance is between two sides (note that Charlie allied with Jetstone (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0046.html), not with the RCC).
A coalition is a collection of mutually-allied sides acting towards a common goal.

Barbarians, it would seem to me, are sides that do not have a city (this could include groups like Gobwins, Marbits, etc. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0088.html)) and as such would be able to claim a city (what did I say that implied otherwise?).

Also, as I said earlier (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6024162&postcount=180), from a game-mechanics perspective it seems far more likely that coalitions (or alliances, for that matter) cannot hold cities jointly.

Ragn Charran
2009-04-22, 05:24 PM
Does he know what is supposed to happen after this plan that will negate everything? It was a plan he formulated before he was summoned as he himself stated. So would an outside the box plan have an outside the box consequence?

I suspected earlier in the thread that this may be why things are suddenly so rosy - yeah GK is trashed but the RCC army was wiped out, GK is now rich, Parson survived the Magic Kingdom, the Trimancer was broken apart safely, Wanda got the pliers (although that may not turn out so rosy, as many here speculate - speculation I agree with at this time), and the Tool is coming home with some dwagons and a foolamancer (again, maybe not so rosy!). Outside of the box plan, carrying in outside of the box risks, should come with outside of the box rewards. And since the gambit worked, the rewards are significant.

Kilkrazy
2009-04-22, 05:37 PM
The crucial point to remember is that Erfworld runs according to game rules not real life. Game rules are an abstraction of real life, designed to make the game playable, and are not necessarily realistic.

If you want sausages and fried eggs for breakfast in real life, someone has to keep chickens and pigs, wait for them to lay eggs or be slaughtered, and so on. In the game, the breakfast simply pops out of mid-air in front of you at dawn.

Similarly, dead bodies disappear during the nightly maintenance phase, and new units also pop at dawn.

It's quite possible the rules allow a city to exist as a special designation of a hex, without any structures or garrison. In one ruleset, the city could be levelled up overnight by payment of the build cost. It's also possible that the building rules to assign costs and build times to units and structures, and building a city would take days.

In other rules, an alliance or coalition is obviously a collection of separate sides who are able to move in the same turn and stack their units together without a fight occuring.

However, non-allied sides can co-operate outside the rules, which is exactly what the Transylvito-Jillian battlegroup was doing when Ansom broke the alliance with Transylvito and sent them on the Faq raid. He did this specifically to gain the advantage of Transylvito as a separate side having an earlier turn than Stanley.

Going further, barbarians are obviously sides that have a ruler or warlord but do not have a city. They pay maintenance from a warchest filled up by loot and mercenary pay rather than regular income from cities. There may be a class of side which does not have cities but has some other kind of home region -- elves and gobwins could fall into this class.

It's not clear what the encumbrance rules are governing the carriage of the warchest. Early on, Wanda warned Stanley that he could not carry away the GW 500,000 schmuckers warchest if Anson conquered the city, however Wanda was able to carry 350,000 schmuckers to pay for the summoning spell. There is probably a kind of clearing bank system and she actually carried a bearer's bond rather than physical money. When GK captured Jillian, they did not take her warchest off her, which implies it was not physically carried by her.

joosy
2009-04-22, 05:52 PM
If Wanda were the original owners of the pliers. I would think Jillian would have recognized them on Ansom and asked a few pointed questions.

not necessarily - Jillian was always off on mercenary missions. It may have happened recently, may not have been public knowledge, etc.

but keep in mind these arent' 'real' people - just characters in a story. We will have to wait for Rob and Jamie to fill in the backstory on FAQ. It could all just be a minor plot device for them to tell the story of Parson at the Battle of Gobwin Knob and we are reading too much into it.

Kreistor
2009-04-22, 05:55 PM
Yes, I suppose they could have already been divvied up. But whether the RCC can claim a city is an unknown. Wouldn't Ansom have at least nominally taken GK in the name of the RCC or would he take it necessarily under Jetsone? That hardly seems politically expedient. If the RCC is a "side," I assume it can also "take" a city.

A side needs a Ruler. Seen one for RCC?

If RCC could claim a city, what happens whent he side dissolves? At that point, any units in the city that are unlead are required to autoattack any non-allied sides. Taking the city and holding it as a Coalition is dangeruos and unnecessary. It also implies a kindliness between sides that we have very little evidence of. Erfworld is a place of war, not kinder-gentlerness.


I assumed that GK could still be taken over easily by Parson and company (under Stanley).

Big assumption. Seiges are usually long drawn out affairs without seige weapons. Attakers can be 10:1 vs defenders and still not be ssured of victory.


I guess money isn't an issue for them at the moment, but I wonder if the treasury survived as such...

Since Sizmore did have some control over the explosion, it's much more possible now than one comic ago.


I still don't know if the action in this strip is occurring at dawn or dusk.

Irrelevant. All turns are over at this point. Using the Portal to MK does not seem to count as movement, and can be done off turn. (Wanda mentions that it became their turn while she and Sizemore were in MK.)


GK is still a city and is still under Stanley's control. The City HEX has never been conquered and has remained occupied by friendly troops. Granted, the city defenses are all gone, but the city hex is still there.

Sizemore changed the terrain type. If it was previously city, it is now...?

Gez
2009-04-22, 05:57 PM
The crucial point to remember is that Erfworld runs according to game rules not real life. Game rules are an abstraction of real life, designed to make the game playable, and are not necessarily realistic.

Sizemore would break if he knew the "rules" of the world Parson comes from, and the wars that had been fought in it.

DevilDan
2009-04-22, 06:16 PM
A side needs a Ruler. Seen one for RCC?

I didn't even know that there was such a thing as a ruler. We've seen overlords and chief warlords. (And I must have missed the exact point at which a "side" was defined.)


If RCC could claim a city, what happens whent he side dissolves? At that point, any units in the city that are unlead are required to autoattack any non-allied sides. Taking the city and holding it as a Coalition is dangeruos and unnecessary. It also implies a kindliness between sides that we have very little evidence of. Erfworld is a place of war, not kinder-gentlerness.

Presumably units can somehow interact without being part of an alliance. Actually, the existence of the RCC shows that diplomacy and some form of non-battle interaction is possible in some form. Anyway, I'm sure that a non-violent way of handing over control of a a city could be devised.


Big assumption. Seiges are usually long drawn out affairs without seige weapons. Attakers can be 10:1 vs defenders and still not be ssured of victory.

It was an assumption based on no one having taken over GK in the interim.


Since Sizmore did have some control over the explosion, it's much more possible now than one comic ago.

Mostly I wonder about what a treasure is, and how much of it is magical/virtual vs. physical.


Irrelevant. All turns are over at this point. Using the Portal to MK does not seem to count as movement, and can be done off turn. (Wanda mentions that it became their turn while she and Sizemore were in MK.)

Just curiosity.

ishnar
2009-04-22, 07:15 PM
Wouldn't it be just awesome if the tardy elves showed up Gobwin Knob right now for the win?

Tardy Elves already won (http://www.ishnar.net/images/procrastination.gif).

ishnar
2009-04-22, 07:29 PM
I can't help but wonder...

In wargames, if one side achieves a unique goal, all the sides get a system message informing them of it.

Someone builds a world wonder, everyone knows it next turn.
Someone discovers an artifiact, everyone knows it next turn.

So I wonder if everyone just got a system message that Wanda attuned to the pliers.

SteveMB
2009-04-22, 07:51 PM
Irrelevant. All turns are over at this point. Using the Portal to MK does not seem to count as movement, and can be done off turn. (Wanda mentions that it became their turn while she and Sizemore were in MK.)

Some one-shot character (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0013.html) (clearly a caster not affiliated with Stanley's side) uses a portal just before Wanda and Sizemore do (and after Wanda states that their turn has begun). So, the fact that Magic Kingdom portals can be used off-turn is established from their first introduction.

Kreistor
2009-04-22, 08:17 PM
I didn't even know that there was such a thing as a ruler. We've seen overlords and chief warlords. (And I must have missed the exact point at which a "side" was defined.)

Sides are ruled by a single Overlord. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0048.html) And a side doesn't need to have a capital (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0088.html). We also know that Ruler is synonymous with Overlord (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0094.html). And before you doubt that, you better read that Klog thoroughly.

So what do we know about a Side? They require a Ruler, but not a capital. Ruler sets production orders. Sides ruled by Royals can pop Noble and Royal units. Royal Sides can split off and form new Royal empires. A Ruler can choose an heir, which does not need to be Royal if ruled by a Royal. Sides that ally take the Turn of whoever is the last in the Alliance to normally take Turn.

Really, what more could we want to know?

Dan, you should know all of this already. Haven't you been paying attention?


Presumably units can somehow interact without being part of an alliance.

Only when in the presence of a leader (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html). And you know that. So I'm done hunting through the strips for you.

I don't care about anything else you said. I don't know if this was a test, or you just being belligerent, or maybe you laughing because you can make me hunt through comics to prove things. But you just let me rip your insides out, revealing a lack of knowledge that I know you don't have, and an apparent ignorance of even the basics that we've been able to figure out. And it was easy. What are you trying to achieve by denying even the basics from the Klogs? I have no interest in proving things to you that are blatant in the Klogs. All I can say is to go back, reread the strip from the beginning, and try to learn what you seem to have forgotten.

Midnight Roamer
2009-04-22, 08:40 PM
Never underestimate the power of hippimancer hugs.

I'm sure Sizemore did lots of hugs with the Hippiemancers.

Midnight Roamer
2009-04-22, 09:15 PM
Good catch! It either a drawing error (it was at the very beginning of the strip) OR we have identified another FAQ survivor/defector.

You forgot the third option, which is that the theory behind the eyes is wrong. It is never explicitly stated in the comic, as far as I am aware, and may just be an artistic choice. Until we hear something more on the matter, we just don't know.

Pointyleaf
2009-04-22, 09:33 PM
Irrelevant. All turns are over at this point. Using the Portal to MK does not seem to count as movement, and can be done off turn. (Wanda mentions that it became their turn while she and Sizemore were in MK.)

Sizemore changed the terrain type. If it was previously city, it is now...?

It was said somewhere (Facebook?) by one of the authors that it is now morning, and that the night was spent in MK - thus the campfire scene.

I don't think "city" is a terrain type - typically a "terrain" is plain, hills, mountain, volcano, sea, grassland, forest, lake, river, etc.

VariaVespasa
2009-04-22, 09:35 PM
We know that a leader of one faction can lead troops from another faction if theyre allied with that other faction. Evidence- Ansom applying his bonus to the courtyard dancefight and the donut of doom assault, Webinars comment to Ansom about "Why me? There are warlords with much higher ratings in the alliance.", and Ceasar applying his (chief warlord) bonus to Jillian in the fight at the pass.

Barbarians can take cities- this was explicitly Stanleys plan in heading to Faq.

Kreistor
2009-04-22, 09:45 PM
Barbarians can take cities- this was explicitly Stanleys plan in heading to Faq.

1) He wasn't a barbarian yet, and may have reached Faq before he got there.
2) Faq may not be destroyed. Jillian has never been there since it fell.
3) If destroyed, Faq may have already been rebuilt. This would explain why the otehrs are still on Side: the side didn't die with GK because Stanley had his pet bubble city in reserve, which no one knew about for the same reason no one knew about it before.

We can't trust Jillian's statements about Faq. She may have been lying about what was on the other side of the Pass. And her knowledge of its current state is woefully unreliable.

But Ansom tells us that Jillian could have gone to Faq and started a Side. So, yes, a Barbarian can start a Side and become a Ruler.

Spot
2009-04-22, 09:45 PM
Tardy Elves already won (http://www.ishnar.net/images/procrastination.gif).

True, true.

dr pepper
2009-04-22, 10:07 PM
Possible, but it was populated by non-living entities. Even a village needs a population of 1.

In Civ you can leave a city empty and it stays yours if no one else enters it. Not a good idea, though.

joosy
2009-04-22, 11:00 PM
You forgot the third option, which is that the theory behind the eyes is wrong. It is never explicitly stated in the comic, as far as I am aware, and may just be an artistic choice. Until we hear something more on the matter, we just don't know.

I think with the amount of detail put into the comic, they would have had non-FAQ units other than Parson with actual pupils. Jamie goes out of his way to color in Ansom's eyes even in large close-ups. Same for other non-FAQ units. This detail is not just one time. Every time a FAQ unit is displayed, they have pupils. Every time a non-FAQ unit (with the exception of Parson) they are shown with oval eyes with no pupils. Yes, it could just be artistic choice, but given the detail and pre-planning that went into this graphic novel I highly doubt it is unintentional.

DoctorJest
2009-04-22, 11:06 PM
Sizemore changed the terrain type. If it was previously city, it is now...?

You're assuming "city" is a terrain type.

glissle
2009-04-22, 11:33 PM
Ok. Let me crack down on some wild theories. (and perhaps make some new...)

Wanda is currently on the same side as the Tool. If she wasn't, the single dragon she rode to uncroak Manpower would have autoattacked her. (It would not have been lead, and in proximity to a foreign unit) There are more incidents that would be severely inconsistent if she was not on the Tools side.

Since I enjoy defending the viability of unlikely theories... Wanda could be a barbarian allied with Stanley. It would explain why she doesn't have to laugh at his jokes. I believe Stanley has only threatened to end her life, not specifically to disband her. He could have meant he'd do it the hard way.

A sillier explanation for why she doesn't normally laugh - which I know doesn't really need to be explained - is that Duty usually compels her not to frighten the bejesus out of every friendly unit within earshot. Her present laughing is evidence that her Ruler is now herself / the Arkenpliers / the Titans and she is no longer on the same side as Parson, Maggie and Sizemore, so she is free to terrorize them.

Seriously, if I were Parson, I would order the golems to be summoned, for Maggie to order the uncroaked to separate from each other and stay away from Wanda (I don't know if she can control them at a distance), and for Maggie to surreptitiously examine whether Wanda is still loyal. And I'd draw my sword before Wanda showed up, so she wouldn't see it as a reaction to her. Better safe than sorry, as long as Wanda doesn't catch on that you're suspicious of her. I doubt she'd pick up subtle clues in her ecstatic state.


If Wanda were the original owners of the pliers. I would think Jillian would have recognized them on Ansom and asked a few pointed questions.

Jillian first saw Ansom with the pliers long before we joined the story. He could have said he got them from one of Stanley's warlords - though then I would have expected her to cite it as evidence of Stanley's connection to the destruction of Faq, in addition to the dwagon overflight message.

A wilder theory is that Jillian's sword is a better weapon than non-attuned pliers, and Jillian sold the pliers to him. In fact, Wanda might be assuming Jillian gave them to him as a gift, such that she didn't even distinguish between losing Jillian to Ansom and losing the pliers to Ansom when she berated him.



Barbarians, it would seem to me, are sides that do not have a city (this could include groups like Gobwins, Marbits, etc. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0088.html)) and as such would be able to claim a city (what did I say that implied otherwise?).

For example, the Gobwins briefly taking over Gobwin Knob.

DevilDan
2009-04-23, 01:03 AM
Sides are ruled by a single Overlord. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0048.html) And a side doesn't need to have a capital (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0088.html). We also know that Ruler is synonymous with Overlord (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0094.html). And before you doubt that, you better read that Klog thoroughly.

So what do we know about a Side? They require a Ruler, but not a capital. Ruler sets production orders. Sides ruled by Royals can pop Noble and Royal units. Royal Sides can split off and form new Royal empires. A Ruler can choose an heir, which does not need to be Royal if ruled by a Royal. Sides that ally take the Turn of whoever is the last in the Alliance to normally take Turn.

Really, what more could we want to know?

Dan, you should know all of this already. Haven't you been paying attention?



Only when in the presence of a leader (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html). And you know that. So I'm done hunting through the strips for you.

I don't care about anything else you said. I don't know if this was a test, or you just being belligerent, or maybe you laughing because you can make me hunt through comics to prove things. But you just let me rip your insides out, revealing a lack of knowledge that I know you don't have, and an apparent ignorance of even the basics that we've been able to figure out. And it was easy. What are you trying to achieve by denying even the basics from the Klogs? I have no interest in proving things to you that are blatant in the Klogs. All I can say is to go back, reread the strip from the beginning, and try to learn what you seem to have forgotten.

I had forgotten that ruler is used interchangeably with overlord. As for the rest, your generosity in pointing out the tangential is notable. All I'm suggesting is that we certainly don't know at which points the RCC was different from a regular "side" (or the significance of those differences which we believe we've identified). Why couldn't the RCC's leader function as a de facto overlord/ruler?

What you so lovingly detail are the functions of an overlord. How that helps us answer the question of what happened to the cities that Stanley lost is a bit beyond me.

You asked what happens when the RCC dissolves if it's claimed a city: All I'm suggesting is that I'm sure they can figure out a way to handle that without bloodshed. That would include the presence of leaders: I didn't think that I needed to point out something that obvious.

dr pepper
2009-04-23, 04:13 AM
Easy answer: pre-nup.

...15: Upon the dissolution of the Coalition, all mutual alliances shall be maintained for one more cycle of turns, during which troops from all Sides shall move to seperate hexes..

15.1: Conquered cities shall be assigned as follows:

15.1a: Jetstone shall retain 4 cities, or 50% of all cities, whichever is greater.

15.1b: If there are cities remaining, Uniroyal shall retain 2m or 25% of all cities, whichever is greater.

15.1c: Any remaining cities shall be allocated to the remaining Sides in order of precidence until there are none left.

15.1d: The order of precidence is as follows: Sofa King, Hobbiton....

AngryAngel
2009-04-23, 08:54 AM
Easy answer: pre-nup.

...15: Upon the dissolution of the Coalition, all mutual alliances shall be maintained for one more cycle of turns, during which troops from all Sides shall move to seperate hexes..

15.1: Conquered cities shall be assigned as follows:

15.1a: Jetstone shall retain 4 cities, or 50% of all cities, whichever is greater.

15.1b: If there are cities remaining, Uniroyal shall retain 2m or 25% of all cities, whichever is greater.

15.1c: Any remaining cities shall be allocated to the remaining Sides in order of precidence until there are none left.

15.1d: The order of precidence is as follows: Sofa King, Hobbiton....

Easier answer: cities may be automatically allocated to whichever side's troops conquer it. If Unaroyal troops capture a city, Unaroyal gets it, etc. And, something I haven't seen mentioned yet, some of those cities may have belonged to one of the RCC's member side's before they belonged to GK. A liberated city would no doubt be returned to the control of its original owners (possibly by allowing their troops to retake it).

Kilkrazy
2009-04-23, 12:24 PM
It was said somewhere (Facebook?) by one of the authors that it is now morning, and that the night was spent in MK - thus the campfire scene.

I don't think "city" is a terrain type - typically a "terrain" is plain, hills, mountain, volcano, sea, grassland, forest, lake, river, etc.

Depends on the game rules. City could be a terrain type of its own or act as a modifier to the existing terrain type. I guess the latter in Erfworld given that GK was considered the strongest defensive position in the world, probably thanks to a combination of walls and being on top of a mountain. There could be different levels of mountain terrain.

DevilDan
2009-04-23, 12:31 PM
Easier answer: cities may be automatically allocated to whichever side's troops conquer it. If Unaroyal troops capture a city, Unaroyal gets it, etc. And, something I haven't seen mentioned yet, some of those cities may have belonged to one of the RCC's member side's before they belonged to GK. A liberated city would no doubt be returned to the control of its original owners (possibly by allowing their troops to retake it).

It does indeed make sense that one of the conditions of the agreement was the restoration of cities to their original owners. Of course, some may have been one-city kingdoms or some may have been kingdoms that were entirely engulfed by Stanley... though I suppose an overlord or heir could have flown the coop.

Pointyleaf
2009-04-23, 03:21 PM
Depends on the game rules. City could be a terrain type of its own or act as a modifier to the existing terrain type. I guess the latter in Erfworld given that GK was considered the strongest defensive position in the world, probably thanks to a combination of walls and being on top of a mountain. There could be different levels of mountain terrain.

Fair enough - but if "city" is a terrain type, and cities can be destroyed or founded by mortals (like Faq), then why did Sizemore say he "modified the terrain type, like a Titan [can]"?

But I recognize that cities sites could be fixed, too, and perhaps change between "active" and "ruins". In any case, I think there is still a city here at GK, but that the underlying terrain has been changed.

Kilkrazy
2009-04-23, 03:30 PM
Fair enough - but if "city" is a terrain type, and cities can be destroyed or founded by mortals (like Faq), then why did Sizemore say he "modified the terrain type, like a Titan [can]"?

But I recognize that cities sites could be fixed, too, and perhaps change between "active" and "ruins". In any case, I think there is still a city here at GK, but that the underlying terrain has been changed.

Maybe Sizemore upgraded the mountain from level 2 to level 3, or maybe bringing the jewels to the surface modified the terrain type to mountain/mine.

Gez
2009-04-23, 04:02 PM
What about simply "changed from extinct volcano to active volcano" or even "changed from rock to flowing lava"?

raphfrk
2009-04-23, 05:03 PM
Fair enough - but if "city" is a terrain type, and cities can be destroyed or founded by mortals (like Faq), then why did Sizemore say he "modified the terrain type, like a Titan [can]"?


He probably meant changed it from inactive to active volcano. (or hill to volcano)

BillyJimBoBob
2009-04-23, 06:04 PM
You're assuming "city" is a terrain type.It is quite often not. Cities in some or all versions of Sid's Civilization received the defensive adjustment, if any, of the terrain they were built in.
Tranyvilto is a nation of vampires, wich technically are also non-living guys. They don't seem to have any problem with controling cities that way however.

They even decay instead of being croacked, as they state in their dance-fight.
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0123.htmlWhen you die of "old age" in Erfworld, you decay. And when you die in combat, you decay along with the other trash the next morning. I don't think the song you linked to is indicative of the TV residents not being treated in every other way other than physical appearance and a propensity for flying warlords as any other Erfer. The games the strip is based off of often make some distinction between sides, but leave it at that, and TV would be a good way to represent that trope of the genre.
Rock golems also showed to have a personality of their own as we saw with the comedian-rock golem and the golem squad wich crushed the marbits. Sure they're not the brightest guys to have a sophisticated dicussion with, but they still count as capturing units for controling cities.It is kinda implied that it takes a Chief Warlord to capture a city, as capturing them is specifically the reason Caesar was sent to capture the former FAQ cities. It's not made absolutely clear, but if it didn't take a Chief Warlord, they wouldn't have needed Caesar except for the fight with Stanley, and Vinny tells Jillian that her story about Stanley wasn't believed. So, if they didn't believe they would be fighting Stanley, they didn't need Ceasar, and Caesar specifically came to check out the story about the cities. It's still not an absolute, but it is strongly supported.

DevilDan
2009-04-23, 06:22 PM
When you die of "old age" in Erfworld, you decay. And when you die in combat, you decay along with the other trash the next morning. I don't think the song you linked to is indicative of the TV residents not being treated in every other way other than physical appearance and a propensity for flying warlords as any other Erfer. The games the strip is based off of often make some distinction between sides, but leave it at that, and TV would be a good way to represent that trope of the genre.

I'm completely agnostic on the Transylvitonian physiology and life-cycle.


It is kinda implied that it takes a Chief Warlord to capture a city, as capturing them is specifically the reason Caesar was sent to capture the former FAQ cities. It's not made absolutely clear, but if it didn't take a Chief Warlord, they wouldn't have needed Caesar except for the fight with Stanley, and Vinny tells Jillian that her story about Stanley wasn't believed.

Actually, what they mostly didn't believe was precisely the existence of the Faq cities. Caesar was there because they did anticipate facing Stanley, based on Vinnie's advice to the Don.