View Full Version : So, be Stanley... [Spoiler][speculation]

2009-04-21, 01:54 AM
Okay, this post begins in response to Page 142. You're Stanley. You're flying with 6 dwagons, one master-class Foolamancer, and a lone KISS back to Gobwin Knob. You know you still have a Chief Warlord, since you would know if he died. You see it destroyed, but investigate and find your three casters have survived, but very much everything else is gone. The RCC is annihilated, so the immediate threat is over.

You are informed by your dirtamancer that the mines are once again viable, and they'll make money faster than ever. You can rebuild, and with a Master Class Foolamancer to hide the efforts, and a Croakamancer to provide tireless menial labour, as well as a Dirtamancer to rebuild the city's structure, you've got a solid hope of staying hidden during the early vulnerable days, while bringing in the troops to make the place strong again. And let's not forget a Chief Warolord worth his salt, who can ensure teh defenses are cunningly built in case an enemy does come again.

What are your orders? What units do you build first? What casters do you want first? What structures? Would you hire temporary help from the MK, and if so, which types of casters?

I recommend glossing over and ignoring Wanda and the Arkenpliers for the moment. We'll know how that turns out before we learn how Stanley will rebuild Gobwin Knob.

My own thoughts...

First, I would definitely hire some Dirtamancers to mine money. That's pure profit right there. You sacrifice some long term cash by hiring them, but this kind of work results in more cash at the end of the day than you would have had without them, plus the more money you make, the more you can hire, and the faster you make money. The problem may be that no one would come at all, of course. A barbarian caster could fear for being captured and forced onto Stanley's side. Parson would stand against that, knowing the MK is too important to cheese off. Heck, even stanley should understand he'd never get a decent scroll again if he broke a deal.

The first units I would want are Tunnelers and Archers. GK was most vulnerable to air attack, and I doubt Air Defenses remain. Tunnelers would help mine, so they come with a money-making side effect. Archers could also serve on the backs of Dwagons, killing from range, saving the dwagons from having to get into close range. Infantry are, in the end, the staple of any army, so those units would have to come next. Siege comes last. It does nothing until you decide to attack an enemy. I dont' kow if "healers" are a non-caster unit, but with a master class Croakamancer around, I wouldn't bother with many of those until well into the fighting stage.

Our natural allies, the gobwins, might be a problem. A lot died to the volcano and that will make them distrust us. They may have short memories, though, so it might not last.

I wouldn't go for any new casters right away. I wouldn't create a new link with Eyemancers right off: that would shut down Jack, and he's got to keep GK hidden for the early recovery. When I did go for casters, I'd begin by trying to hire barbarians out of MK. Captured units have low morale. Barbarians don't have a side, and have freedom, but some of them have got to be sitting there wanting to work for someone, but the stigma of barbarism ensures they get only temp work. You've got cash, and a sudden need for casters, and little interest in low level casters. It may be more cost efficient to hire barbarians. There's less of a loyalty factor, but more than captured units.

I think Parson would want a Luckamancer first, but that doesn't necessarily work well straight off. It depends what that class can influence: if limited to combat only, then don't get one until you begin moving offensively. When you do go for a Luckamancer, grab a Predictamancer at the same time. Predictamancy tells us where the enemy will be, use Mathamancy to determine how many troops are needed, and Luckamancy to throw the fight in our favour, further reducing troop requirements. A Lookamancer makes a lot of sense straight out of the gate. It's a powerful defensive caster, ensuring any scouts looking in on you fail to find you, and then later it can tell you where the enemy are so that you can efficiently engage them. I wouldn't want another Croakamancer: actually, Wanda should be disappointed and bored for a while. During the quiet beginning, there are no corpses to uncroak. Long term, a Dittomancer might make sense. I suspect this class can repeat what any other class does, poorly. If they can be anything, then they are more powerful when you have a lot of classes, giving you more of what you need. It looks like a caster for a large force, and potentially can amplify the force's magic. You need such a unit to be mobile, though, so it can move to wherever it is needed, so you might have to invest in a Natural flight race, or get a magic item (silly me... Stanley has dwagons for that). Deletionism has interesting possibilities. With Shockamancy providing the mass damage, I suspect Deletionism is the Assassin of Casters. Parson loves targeting officer corps, and this may be what he needs to better fill that role. That kind of caster would be right up the Evil alley, too.

I'm wondering about a Dollamancy-Changeamancy combo. Create a doll as a soldier, then change the doll into a stronger material? Hmmm.. dunno. Depends on the rules for materials -- vulnerabilities, defenses, and so on. If the DOllamancer builds golems, that's useful .. wait, Dollamancy is Spookism. It may be about Voodoo Dolls, rather than creating Pinocchio. In that case, you'd want a Lookamancer to give the Dollamancer images of the target for more accurate spell targeting.

Moneymancy might be very powerful right out of the gate. If you can hire temp Dirtamaners right off, then you'll have money to work with, and a moneymancer would probably ensure more efficient use of the vast capital you're gaining. If Sizemore is right about the riches GK is getting, then if any city deserved a Moneymancer, it's GK. But this is a position you want high loyalty for. A betrayal in this position could be more damaging than any other.

Stanley has one other consideration -- dwagons. Stanley needs to find and tame more, and quickly. UNfortunately, finding them is going to be the problem. This moves a Findamancer onto the list. I suspect the difference between a Findaancer and a LOokamancer is this: a Luckamancer tells you what is in a particular spot, while a Findamancer tells you the spot where something is. If you need to find the closest dwagon, you'd need a Findamancer. Wanda might fill this role for a short while, but as Stanley depletes the local areas of dwagons, more and more power would be necessary.

There are a lot of magics I don't know what they do. Sign-a-mancy? If it's reading signs, what's the difference with Predictamancy? We know one function of Hat magic, but what else besides bad scouting a Lookamancer does better? Turnamancy vs. Date-a-mancy?

So, in order:
Hire Dirtamancers, and/or Dirtamancy scrolls
Findamancer (Long term contract to MK, don't hire)
Wait while building then
Dittomancer (Can Dirtomance or Thinkamance at worst)
Luckamancer (needs mobility, since probably needs to be close to the troops doing the fighting to have any significant effect)
Healomancer (Shouldn't have any work to do until fighting begins, but want it on D Day.)
Once the fighting starts:

I would build GK hard and fast. It is probably easier to veil buildings than troops. Only the first few casters are needed for the moment, so buildup cash fast, build empty buildings, and then populate the empty city quickly.

The problem is going to be that all of GK's troops are raw and untested to start. There are not vet units to hold the enemy down while the new guys gain experience in fighting. Parson is going to have to get through the first bunch of fights with green troops. Hopefully, the damage dealt to the Coalition will hand the enemies that surroudn GK to have something of the same problem.

2009-04-21, 02:25 AM
Stanley is not a great thinker, my guess is after he gets over that fact that his city is a smoldering ruin he's going to say to something along the lines of "MOAR DWAGONS!"

What would not shock me at all is that we find out he spent the vast portion of his side's wealth on dwagons (He clearly think bigger is better and it has been shown that even weaker dwagons can mow down stacks of unlead infantry, even when those infantry are in their own element). Who knows how much dwagons cost (I'm guessing a lot) and yet the story starts with him having 30+. 30+ dwagons, each capable of killing innumerable lesser units.

Dwagons sound like a war winner but as any good war gamer will tell you, having a few really strong units in lieu of a balanced mixture is not a good way to go. The fact that the story starts with Stanley at the head of so many dwagons leads me to believe that he thought dedicating all of his production to dwagons would win him the war, It clearly didn't.

Sooo... back on the topic:

My first action as Stanley would be to pull my head out of my boop and try to use my brain, or better yet, use parson's brain.

I think the first few comics following the reunion at GK that are dedicated to "what to build?" are going to have a Parson vs. Stanley as they clash over what is the best course of action.

2009-04-21, 04:18 AM
Knowing Stanley... time to chase after the Arkentools! Especially Charlie's, who he hates and knows has to be hurting due to the loss of Archons... actually scratch the last part. He hates Charlies, thats whats important. I'm sure he'll leave the "details" of rebuilding Gobwin Knob to Parson so long as he gives him a plan to get more Arkentools.

2009-04-21, 05:04 AM
Stanley is not a great thinker, my guess is after he gets over that fact that his city is a smoldering ruin he's going to say to something along the lines of "MOAR DWAGONS!"

OTOH, he is said to be reasonably competent as a low level commander. He probably knows standard tactics pretty well (plus Ansom says he sometimes has moments of inspiration, but not at the genius level).

If there is a standard way to build up a city, he could very easily order them to follow that route (say city walls + basic defenses first).

Dwagons sound like a war winner

If they are a special Arkenhammer unit, they could end up being low cost for the effectiveness that you get.

However, the implication is that they aren't bought, they are tamed. He would need to find wild dwagons.

2009-04-21, 06:20 AM
If they are a special Arkenhammer unit, they could end up being low cost for the effectiveness that you get.

However, the implication is that they aren't bought, they are tamed. He would need to find wild dwagons.

That could very well be but there is still upkeep to pay and with the veritable slew of dwagons Stanley had at the start they could not be cheap. Erfworlders eat, or at least some kind of sustenance is popped for them and the arkenhammer does not appear to pop dwagon feed. Unless they eat walnuts and GK has a massive population of pigeons.

As for taming, my guess is that it may be along the lines of summoning elementals in D&D. A bonded fire summoner can control fire elementals easily but anyone with the spell can summon them, if not actually tell them what to do after they appear. Maybe Stanley can Control something other factions can only summon and hope that it doesn't turn.

It has not been said the Stanley is the only one with dwagons, just that the hammer let's him tame them. The fall of Faq implies dwagons but does not explicitly mention Stanley.

There is another wild dwagon theory I have. In games like HoMM and AoW (hex maps, cites, turn based, ect) Creatures, often powerful ones, are recruited from sites on the map (nests, caves, dungeons, different art same concept places). At these places you hire them like mercenaries, it could stand to reason Erfworld has something similar, you walk in to a gobwin camp, hire gobwins. Dwagons, being Dwagons, are very likely to "nom" your face if you walk in to their home, perhaps the dwagon taming ability to required to hire them. Also found in those games Is that many "nests" are guarded by a good number of the type of creature you wish to hire and you must defeat them before you can hire. In this case of "kill to hire" the arkenhammer may bypass the messy "let's go pick a fight with a dragon horde".

Parson did not appear welcome in the magic kingdom, perhaps not being a caster in the magic kingdom is like being hammer less in a dragon cave. Casters may not be pop able only hire able like dwagons, this does seem implied by the fact that jetstone seemed to be very wealthy but completely without lookamancers. Going to war without a lookamancer is a seemingly ridiculous oversight on their part and a problem that you'd think they'd be willing to go to great expense to solve.

I make a lot of assumptions based on the systems used in other games but if there is one thing I've learned playing every strategy game I can get my hands one since "ancient art of war" came out, it's that all of the game systems always contain elements from previous games.

Sweetie Welf
2009-04-21, 10:19 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 Gobwin Knob without TPK.

Of course it's better to copy the Faq-strategy; hire a predictamancer and find out which city is in danger and veil it. Maybe they can buy scrolls and let Wanda cast them. We all and especially Stanley know that this saves money. The support plan is how they get you.

For producing units, some tunnel units for mining and some archers seem the best choice. Maybe they don't need any additional dirtamancers. Two or three days of intense mining by Sizemore and the treasure could be filled for weeks. And led by Sizemore the miners should be extremely effective.

This doesn't imply that they shouldn't hire dirtamancers (or buy scrolls), but they should be used for making more golems. GK needs troops desperately. They can use the golems to protect the capital and send new living units to the new cities. And if the treasure is filled enough, Sizemore concentrates fully on golem-production.

Next thing is that they hire a findamancer and find out where to find new dwagons. That keeps Stanley occupied and increases the forces dramatically. Of course after they hired a lookamancer or got some lookamancer and predicatamncer spells and t some more units with dance-fight ability. No use to send the overlord into death after all the trouble.

For getting casters, I don't think you can order this. But if so, I would like to have a lookamancer. And then a thinkamancer and a foolamancer. The setting was unbeatable, but I wouldn't like to lose the advice of Maggie or the uses of a masterclass foolamancer.

2009-04-21, 10:38 AM
If I were Stanley?

I'd chew out Parson for completely failing, and possibly disband him. Then I'd send Wanda into risky melee on a dwagon to get some fresh gobwin bodies for infantry. I'd send an immediate message to the kingdoms that used to be the RCC, bragging that I still held GK and saying how I am the Tool of the Titans. Of course, that message would also give away my exact whereabouts and just how vulnerable I am, but I wouldn't think of that, just my own glory.

I'd treat the dirtamancer like, well, dirt, and have him mine gems (but refuse to spend them) while completely ignoring how powerful he was for actual combat and building fortifications.

Along the way, I'd hesitantly accept some good advice from Maggie about how to use the Foolamancer, and almost by accident do something right.

But because I accidentally did one thing right, people would come to the boards and post about how I'm actually pretty talented and it's not fair that people portray me as incompetent.

But that's just if I were Stanley.



2009-04-21, 11:28 AM
For getting casters, I don't think you can order this. But if so, I would like to have a lookamancer. And then a thinkamancer and a foolamancer. The setting was unbeatable, but I wouldn't like to lose the advice of Maggie or the uses of a masterclass foolamancer.

That's a good point. It may not be possible to pop casters to order. That also begs the question of whether a casters can be popped, or whether they can be raised from other troops like warlords can. It might be a case of a rare infantryman shows aptitude, so you train him at great expense and get pot luck when you find out what he is. That puts all the more presure on hiring away from MK, if they'll come. That way you get what you pay for, despite the low loyalty. (But it can't be as low as captured casters, and they get used.)

I agree that the setting was a very powerful tool, especially in Parson's hands. But it may have also pissed off the MK casters, given Janis' severe reaction to seeing it. I wonder how much of the despite we saw towards Parson was actually due to the perversion of creanig the link which would likely kill a caster. Linking again might be counter-productive on the MK front.

Sweetie Welf
2009-04-21, 12:26 PM
The goodwill of MK is important, but only at the beginning. The casters of MK made the spell that summoned Parson when Stanley already had the Eyemancer-link. So they either didn't know (and there is little reason to tell them this time) or they were annoyed but stayed silent (which is okay when you only need scrolls).

And we have the same theory about casters.

2009-04-21, 02:01 PM
The goodwill of MK is important, but only at the beginning. The casters of MK made the spell that summoned Parson when Stanley already had the Eyemancer-link. So they either didn't know (and there is little reason to tell them this time) or they were annoyed but stayed silent (which is okay when you only need scrolls).

I think there's a difference between the earlier link and this. Stanley linked them up some time ago. The complete collapse of his side back to GK seems abnormally fast. If the link were formed early enough that there was no sign of breaking it for the foreseeable future, I don't think they'd have a problem. When the time came, they could be de-linked at MK for a price.

Parson's link, on the other hand, occured at a moment when the casters should be leaping to barbaism in MK. Instead, he links them dangerously, without certainty that they would all survive. It was riskier and less thought out.

Now, really, it's MK's own fault. They created that spell, and when it came to that point, the spell forced Parson to be unable to order the casters to MK, instead forcing him to link them in a high risk situation. Parson's choice was to have them leave: the spell's was to force teh link. They'd be blaming Parson for obeying the compulsions of their own spell. Rarely do people get angrier at others than when they have no choice but to blame themselves.

They also can't blame Parson for successfully navigating the Portal. And yet, they do. Only their spell could have allowed him passage where others cannot go. But they treat him like an invading berserker, putting him down with no sign of conscience. Again, blaming Parson for their own mistake.

Anyway, that's all a sidebar. There's a lot of untapped potential in MK, and Parson just saw what no other warlord ever has. He has an idea of just how many casters are in MK, and the otherworldly wisdom that might let him consider the pariahs of Erfworld no one there would ever consider.

2009-04-21, 02:32 PM
If I was Stanley? Well I would have two differant plans one for at home one for my abroad activities.

a) Have Jack viel the city, as an active volcano.
b) Have Sizemore begin mining, as soon as we get tunnelers take him off mine duty.
c) Have Sizemore rebuild ground defenses. With the lava and two new Shiny levels, it should be increadibly strong.
d) Aquire some garrision infantry, the gobwin side will provide the ground units the city will provide archers.
e) Wanda should start rebuiling air-defense spells.
f) Maggie and Parson should sell mathamancy. Utilize friendships with the magic kingdom to allow us not to get caught.
This will provide a strong defense. Tunnels troops will be flooded with lava, ground troops will have increadibly strong walls to overcome. Then they will have to get to the citidal while being shot at, and while being dropped into the lava. Finally the air units will face heavy AA fire, and not be able to repond from the dwagons screening. The economy will have both gems and math supporting it and feeding it.

Now on to how Stanley should begin to expand.
a) Pop a warlord he'll be useful.
b) Use lookamancy to find a leveled capturable warlords. Either have Wanda do it or ask the MK. Capture those warlords.
c) Replenish super-units with the hammer and the pliers. This will provide major attack power.
d) Annilate Charlie, archers/knights mounted on dwagons should do a good job of overwhelming Charlie. Take his artifact, brainwashing Charlie may also be needed.
e) Finally replenish forces of the artifacts and attack new targets. By using hit and runs any ground assults will be easy pickings for the super-fast super-strong air units.
Now other things he should attempt if at all possible. Get any casters he can, specifically lookamancy and predictamancy. Getting the table back up would be the best possiblity, but not at the cost of any of the caster he has right now. He needs a vieller, a brainwasher, and the plier holder. If he does defeat Charlie create a portal that is stable between his two locations for emergencies. More importantly he can make it look like Charlie's place is his base of operations, or even better make it look like Charlie is calling the shots.

2009-04-21, 03:19 PM
What would Stanley the Tool do?

Something amateurish and stoopid, I'd bet.

Stanley is a classic example of someone promoted far above his competency level. Seeing Stanley in action, he is a brilliant tactical thinker who is in his element leading troops into battle (Stanley's force vs. the Transylvito mob showed how good he is at small-troop actions). But he is completely out of his depth trying to think like a general or a king.

What should Parson do?

Remove Stanley from the loop by conning him into going out to tame dwagons and harry the enemy. If the Coalition thinks that Stanley has dropped down to Barbarian and is reduced to raiding, they will ignore the ruins of Gobwin Knob. Combined with Jack the Foolamancer, they would have time to rebuild.

(Speculation) What constitutes a Perfect Warlord? Obviously, aside from what we've seen, no one knows what Parson's abilities are because his stats are hidden. He can use resources no one else can - i.e. the portal to the Magic Kingdom.

Other possible abilities? Has Parson tried moving troops at night under his own command? (Parson A. Gotti, Erfworld's first ninja!) He can use the magic portal and the Grand Abbie identified his as a Hippiemancer - can he learn to cast Hippie spells of peace and love? (Imagine a Warlord capable of removing the enemy's desire to fight! Scary!) And - I think - he just might be Stanley's Heir Designate. After all, the Perfect Warlord should be able to keep going if his Overlord is croaked in battle.


2009-04-21, 04:19 PM
From a plot standpoint, I admit it would feel a bit odd to pop more casters into the story. Casters tend to be more central characters with personalities and dialog, whereas infantry tends to be part of the impersonal machinery of Erfworld.
'Course, the authors might do it anyway, to show us what "newborns" are like.

On what Stanley/Parson should do, I think Kreistor summed up much of it:
Dig, rebuild, get more dragons/infantry, and eventually casters. Find out Wanda's new abilities and use them. Go grab some easy cities if you can do it diplomatically; FAQ's come to mind if TV doesn't get them first.

Sweetie Welf
2009-04-21, 04:30 PM
Well, the first thing should be a thinkagramm to Stanley explaining the situation. And if Stanley asks via eyeboo, a message like "Parson croaked, item broken, croakamancer disabled, dirtamancer croaked".

And I don't think Charley should be the next aim; he is to tricky and to rich to be attacked. Even if he lost half of his angels he's a league of his own.Probably the most dangerous enemy one can have in erfworld. And he has still 9 battle evaluations left. Until they are spent Parson shouldn't attack.
I'd prefer the former members of the coalition; they should be weak now. especially Jetstone is a good target. They lost many troops and their best warlord. Also weaker kingdom like Hobittm or Foxmud are good aims (assuming their small tributes to the forces indicate small kingdoms).

2009-04-21, 09:06 PM
Ok, if I was Stanley...

It depends alot on if the Gobwins re-pop, they have their own side, no real alliance (at least none atm with everyone one being wiped out) First thing would be to get some sort of basic infantry where you could initiate a alliance with them (the gobwins)from a position of power.. with Artifact bonuses, warlord bonuses etc.. that shouldnt be hard, but it needs to be done while you still bargain from a position of strength.

Then I'd rebuild and make the city less porous.. right now you need to conceal your weakness as much as possible. Right now everyone has no reason to believe the city was destroyed, all they are certain of is a massive dirtamancy trap accross multiple hexes. They are probably weak themselves at the moment, commiting to take (or scout) GK is probably the last on their minds.. They are probably more worried about each other than GK at the moment

but thats probably more than Stanley would think of, I think of him as more of a delegator when he finally realizes his chief warlord wiped the RCC.

A. Hamster
2009-04-21, 09:58 PM
If I was in Stanley's shoes, but not as strategically blind as Stanley has proven to be, my approach would be thus, assuming the following conditions are in effect.

Assumptions: perfect intelligence and no Fog of War rules. Coalition has been so heavily damaged that former GK-held cities are now lightly garrisoned. Rush-build option available. No special buildings required for advanced units.

Since the Coalition has their field units destroyed, and only garrisons remain in GK's former cities, those cities that can be captured by basic infantry are a target. There is probably a short window of opportunity, so I use the new-found wealth of GK to rush-build as many basic infantry as allowed per turn. (If only one unit per turn is permitted [as in most games of this type] then I buy a higher quality but moderately priced unit that is also fast to exploit the short term opportunity.) Unless this is a game system that allows city development at the same time as unit building, I ignore economic and defensive builds. There's only a few turns before the Coalition garrisons are reinforced, and I need to get as many nearby production centers as possible for the long haul. Since we have perfect intelligence, we know there are no mobile units that can reach us for several turns, so leaving GK undefended is fine for now.

If this is a game that allows city development simultaneously with unit builds, I build economic and unit boosting buildings for about three turns, then start rebuilding the fortifications.

In an ideal situation (usually only possible when playing on the easiest game setting) five turns after the volcano, GK has captured two-four nearby cities by just playing the odds. These cities are fortified with basic infantry and walls, and both garrison quality and fortification quality is improved as time and budget allows. (Unit boosters are a priority: in Warlords II, a full city garrison of basic light infantry could hold against mid to high quality siege stacks if led by a single unit that gave bonuses. They are a very cost-effective way to give cheap expendable units teeth. Erfworld may have this type of unit. Warlords boost units, and Cesare Borgata boosted bats in addition to his Warlord bonus.) These outlying cities act as a cordon around GK, and if not perfectly positioned to act as buffers, they build cavalry and flying units to do more hit-and-run raids and to snag targets of opportunity.

While this may seem like I'm overextending GK forces, it is a calculated risk. If one can get some extra cities to increase production, recovery time will be sped up. The former holders will be down that production center as well, slowing their recovery. One uses cheap garrisons with unit boosters to make retaking the cities cost-ineffective. (To use the Warlords II example again, it would cost 7 turns production for seven Light Infantry, and 3 turns for the booster. A real siege stack would be about 32 turns production. If the siege stack wins, you've cost that side about 24 turns production. So it's 2:1 in your favor, and while they march to the next city, you can build more cheap speed bumps to attrit them.)

Meanwhile, GK builds a proper garrison, whatever is the best balanced force available to the GK faction. The static defenses are rebuilt so that GK is once again the most heavily fortified city on Erfworld. Now that there are no easy targets and the Coalition members are recovering, there are no easy pickings, so it is time to turtle. If this is a game that requires you to research technologies and/or magics, the bulk of the economy is going there. My usual play style in these sort of games is to get a commanding tech lead and then build a huge high-quality military. If I can start building high-quality units immediately now that GK has a good garrison, I do so, with a priority to mobile units. These mobile units act as a flying column to reinforce the outlying cities if they are attacked. This is also the reserve, so it is not risked on targets of opportunity unless the payoff is extreme. (WTF?! Foxmud left their capitol undefended?! Go! Go! GO!)

Casters are clearly important, especially ones that can magnify the combat value of standard combat units. Without knowing more about the Erfworld game system, it's hard to say what I'd do. If it is a game like Warlords II, MOO 2, or Disciples II, you select your unit, pay the cost, and wait one or more turns for the build to finish. You control what is created. If it is like the Great People system in Civ IV, you have limited control over what pops: hopefully you get the Great Scientist, but I usually get the Great Artist instead. (Since King Banhammer got Jillian instead of his philosopher-prince, there may be a similar random element in Erfworld.) Depending on cost, I would like some kind of movement caster. A tactic that was useful (and overpowered against the AI) in Warlords II was getting a stack full of powerful but slow units (including one Siege Tower to negate Wall bonuses) and leading it with a single hero with a Flight magic item and a double move item. Normally such a powerful stack would be spotted early, and it could be countered with appropriate forces and the target city reinforced. When the stack can travel about 20% of the distance across the map and cross difficult and impassable terrain without penalty, many "safe" cities become easy prey, and the AI of that day wasn't sophisticated enough to realize the threat. If Erfworld lets you do this, even if it is as limited as making Heavy Infantry and Siege Machines move like Heavy Cavalry, that opens up various tactical and strategic options both offensively and defensively.

I forgot about command and control. GK needs more Warlords. Build them in proportion to the conventional forces. You build a max-sized stack, you have a new Warlord for proper control and tactical flexibility.

Now if there is Fog of War and imperfect intelligence, I'll do the above, but be significantly more conservative. Rush build basic infantry still, but GK is lightly garrisoned to avoid being conquered by the combat value 1 Scout unit that is often wandering around just out of your sensor/sentry's sight line. The attacks of opportunity are still attempted, but probably with a short stack instead of whatever will give you about a 75-85% chance of success as in the previous scenario. I'm hoping for two extra cities, expect one, and would be overjoyed if by a stroke of luck, I could get three!

Diplomacy: Err ... Apparently Stanley was using the "I am the Greatest!" setting in Warlords, which puts you instantly at war with every other nation on the map and they will never negotiate. Hopefully, it isn't that bad. Divide and conquer is the way I'd like to go. Try to convince the other nations that GK has changed its spots. Make sure they know that a war of attrition now favors you (even if it really doesn't ...) "Mr. Ambassador, I realize you can retake your city in a few turns, but it will cost you dear, and leave you open to your former Unaroyal allies."

Now, while most of the above are techniques I've successfully in various turn-based strategy games, please note that I've only played against AI and not human players. AIs are predictable and honest (in games where bribery is an option, they stay bribed for the set amount of time. Not so human players.) AIs also do stupid things that no good gamer would do (like marching out a full strength city garrison no reason which lets you capture the city with a Scout). Then really good gamers like Parson pull off some stunning exploit that the average gamer just doesn't see. If this is an AI-only game, the above should work on at least the lower to mid level skill settings. If there's humans involved, it will be based on how close the nearest human-controlled nation is. If they are on the other side of the map, taking the gamble to pick up extra cities might work. If they are close, one probably doesn't have enough time to recover. A human player will pay the smuckers to get info from Charlie about the real condition of GK, and finding they are running on vapors, would strike immediately before all those pretty gems become units and fortifications.

2009-04-22, 11:49 AM
Parson's link, on the other hand, occured at a moment when the casters should be leaping to barbaism in MK. Instead, he links them dangerously, without certainty that they would all survive. It was riskier and less thought out.

I don't know about "less thought out." Not thinking things through is actually more Stanley's style. Parson likely had taken the risks into account, which is why it was his last-ditch, hail-Mary play. Frankly, I'm one of those who believe that the original trimancer link was not really Stanley's idea, though I've no idea who may have devised it; Wanda herself is one possibility.

On to the larger topic: air defense must be a priority both because air units seem to travel faster (and hence could be a more immediate danger) and because of both TV and Charlie: focus on flying units, possibly in the area, already in the conflict.