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MuseUnchained
2009-05-02, 03:20 PM
Holy...those pliers have the potential to be gamebreakers.

That is quite scary. An army, with no upkeep, who do not decay, and 'see things differently' if necessary.

Selrahc
2009-05-02, 03:20 PM
Wanda must have a serious upgrade to her croakamancy powers, since she can apparently do a perfect raise and then make a whole parcel of troops.

kpenguin
2009-05-02, 03:24 PM
Decrypted Ansom is... creepy.

Sweetie Welf
2009-05-02, 03:25 PM
You gotta wonder if Stanley ever unlocked all secrets of his hammer. But we can assume that dwagons have no upkeep cost, too.
And parson have his own royal fanboy now :)

Elaro
2009-05-02, 03:26 PM
Ahh, religious zeal from the uncroaked minion! Or is it resurrection?

EDIT: Beat'd. Go see the other thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=110641).

Lock, please?

T-O-E
2009-05-02, 03:26 PM
It's official: Arkenpliers > Arkenhammer

Kaed
2009-05-02, 03:27 PM
I think it is more of a combined resurrection and uber-powerful loyalty spell. So powerful it changes the persons very aspect on life, like it has with Ansom.

Incidentally, Stanley is going to return to find that he already has an army without upkeep, tons of gems to feed the treasury, and a level 0 (?) city as the only downside. I think he will be fairly happy.

Edit: I also, I love how the blue dwagon keeps popping up in the panels background.

Graymayre
2009-05-02, 03:28 PM
Crispy Crackers! :smalleek:

That means they have all the benefits of troops with no cost now...

What stops them from simply killing any troops they make to remove up-keep? Can uncroaked units be healed?

Lunaya
2009-05-02, 03:30 PM
...Bwaaah? :smalleek:

All I can think is that Jillian and Vinny are just gonna love the new Ansom. The guy's reminding more and more of Harvey Dent with every strip.

fendrin
2009-05-02, 03:30 PM
It's becoming clear to me that my suspicions about book 2 may be correct:

It will be after Parson & co. take over (most of) the world. His friends are summoned to lead the fight against him.

"We need leaders who know how to fight this Lord Hamster. There are none in this world. We will cast our wills across the whole of creation, seeking those who know best how to fight this new menace."

MrWeaver
2009-05-02, 03:31 PM
How's this for a theory, Ansom is speaking Wanda's views precisely, rather than being under a new loyalty.

Alexei P
2009-05-02, 03:35 PM
Oh, com'mon, Parson! Using the "with what army" line? You'd think you would know better.:smallamused:

Opal Tide
2009-05-02, 03:36 PM
Wow, that was unexpected. I certainly didn't anticipate the whole Ansome converting and becoming a religious fanatic happening. And the whole no upkeep is just a sweetener to the deal.

I'm not sure if that is merely a quality of being decrypted or if all of Wanda's creations will have that quality. If so, that would be a major game changer in Erf World. (Also, will we see a reappearance of Scarlet?)

All in all this is setting up to be an awesome book 2!

Keep up the great work guys!

Sweetie Welf
2009-05-02, 03:36 PM
I just realized, Ansom spoke first to Parson and not to Wanda, and he expresses loyalty to him. he even doesn't look at Wanda. So he seems to be less loyal to Wanda than to GK. A potential blow to all the "Wanda will get rid of Stanley" theories.

raphfrk
2009-05-02, 03:37 PM
It's official: Arkenpliers > Arkenhammer

We don't entirely know that. It depends on how powerful dwagons are and how expensive they are to pop.

The Arkenpliers still has 2 disadvantages, it requires Wanda to be put at risk, on the battlefield and it is only useful if you are at war.

Both of the other 2 tools can be used from the comfort of your capital.

They only got a level 10 Warlord because they managed to kill Ansom. Also, low level troops might not be massively expensive to pop.



That means they have all the benefits of troops with no cost now...

What stops them from simply killing any troops they make to remove up-keep? Can uncroaked units be healed?

Also, in principle, Wanda could go around and 'absorb' any barbarians into GK's forces. Unless she is killed, casualties on both side become zero upkeep.

SnowballMan
2009-05-02, 03:40 PM
It's official: Arkenpliers > Arkenhammer

The ability to resurrect an entire army is insignificant against the power of turning walnuts into pigeons.

(I am also amused by the fact that we are seeing some epic level magics in both comics at roughly the same time.)

SteveMB
2009-05-02, 03:41 PM
Wow, that was unexpected. I certainly didn't anticipate the whole Ansome converting and becoming a religious fanatic happening.

Actually, it fits -- fanatics who have their worldview torn down are likely to become fanatics for something new cause rather than just normal people.

Lord Zentei
2009-05-02, 03:42 PM
Logged in to deliver the following message:

Master Class Croakamancer + Arkenpliers = BROKEN GAME

That is all.


PS: I mean, really - level 10 non-decaying and cogent Warlord for zero upkeep? And I guess the upkeep on that new army is zero too... dang.

Here's waiting to see what the other Erfworlders are going to pull off to provide a suitable challenge. Unless the Erf crew are going to have Parson pull a Thomas Covenant (or Narnia, if you prefer), so that he "wins the world" and only returns to Erf after centuries have passed locally...

Marller
2009-05-02, 03:42 PM
Ansom has quite a change of heart. It will be interesting when he meets Vinny and Jillian again.
And maybe we have'nt seen the last of Scarlet. :smallbiggrin:

cnsvnc
2009-05-02, 03:49 PM
So even death can't change Ansom. He's still a pretentious prick, but spouting "darksider" wash this time. Parson isn't amused. But Tool certainly will be...

The end is nigh. At least of this chapter.

cover_bob
2009-05-02, 03:50 PM
New comic is up

Dr.Desastro
2009-05-02, 03:52 PM
And there goes the undead army...

WHEEEEEEE!!!!

(wonder, whether there is enough left of Bogroll to decrypt)

kreszantas
2009-05-02, 03:52 PM
All I can say is rut row to any who opposes GK right now... Stanley will be impressed to say the least

Lolindir
2009-05-02, 03:52 PM
If Wanda used the Dwagons to get free move, she could go anywhere to every battle they fought and decrypt every unit the beat. This will cost her no move, and she expands GK's army exponentially every round.

Broken Game? Maybe, but that's what Parson is all about, isn't he?
I mean, he "broke" a lot, said the hippymancer!:smallamused:

Cloudbreaker
2009-05-02, 03:53 PM
Ok, so the first question that comes to mind is, "Do all of those new uncroaked have zero upkeep and are immune to decay?"

eminence_grise
2009-05-02, 03:56 PM
I'm thinking that it's inevitable that Parson will be switching sides. You can't properly be a Perfect Warlord, from a narrative perspective, when the deck is already stacked so massively in your favor. Narrative demands heroes to be underdogs, and the last series of strips is building Gobwin Knob to be a serious overdog. Ergo, Parson has to find other employment.

I wouldn't be surprised if he winds up taking Charlie's offer now, probably also swiping Sizemore when he leaves, as it is pretty clearly indicated that Sizemore will be by Parson's side to the end (or nearly).

There's also that fourth arkentool plotline dangling around loose. It would make for nice symmetry if that tool got dug up and put to use on Charlie's side, for a pleasing 2v2 War to End All Wars. Putting an ArkenShovel into Sizemore's hands has a certain ring to it, not that we have any idea what the fourth tool is yet. I don't think Parson will get his own tool, he's sufficiently plotworthy in his own right, he doesn't need any more help like that.

duckie
2009-05-02, 03:57 PM
Just here to say that I like where this is going.

Keep up the good job, Rob and Jamie. You rock!

Devoured_Dude
2009-05-02, 03:58 PM
Reanimated army? Oh boooooop... :smalleek:

While you're at it, Wanda, bring back Bogroll! And Misty!

slurpz
2009-05-02, 03:58 PM
Every single time the "with what army" line is pulled, there's a giant army that appears out of nowhere.

R. Malcovitch
2009-05-02, 03:59 PM
Ho-ly sh*t. That's probably the entire RCC.

Gez
2009-05-02, 04:00 PM
Bwahahahahahahahah! :smallbiggrin:

This update made me laugh. Yes it did.

That's an interesting twist and I can see many different ways how it could develop. I'm eager to see Stanley back in GK now.

datalaughing
2009-05-02, 04:00 PM
Uncroaked may always have no upkeep. I mean, it's not like zombies need to eat (well, maybe brains). So the pliers may have just increased the uncroaking effectiveness. If she concentrated enough she could uncroak someone to almost as good as they were before (though they started decomposing). So now she can just get all the way there. Who knows if the whole army will be at 100% like Ansom seems to be, and who knows if the new units will last indefinitely or just decompose more slowly.

It's also entirely possible that if one of the super uncroaked gets recroaked then they're done for good. So basically, the pliers look like they're way uber-powered because they're shiny and new, but with a couple of developments and limits it might not prove to be that much more powerful than her croakamancy was to begin with (though powerful enough to justify the huge buildup they've had so far).

The Rose Dragon
2009-05-02, 04:01 PM
Every single time the "with what army" line is pulled, there's a giant army that appears out of nowhere.

Actually, I remember this one show where this guy said it while looking at a handful of guys, and the leader said "you're looking at it".

So, not every single time. But close.

Sweetie Welf
2009-05-02, 04:02 PM
Wonder if those mass uncroaked also don't decay (likley) and keep all their levels and memories (don't think so). That determines how much a game breaker this is. Wanda has been uncroaking for many turns and provided with that most of GK's army. And I think they already were without upkeep back then. At least that's how I interpret Stanley's comment.

teratorn
2009-05-02, 04:03 PM
Stanley will like this "new" Ansom.

raphfrk
2009-05-02, 04:04 PM
If Wanda used the Dwagons to get free move, she could go anywhere to every battle they fought and decrypt every unit the beat. This will cost her no move, and she expands GK's army exponentially every round.


There could be a rule that it takes 1 move to change mount. That would seem reasonable. At least then she could only do it a few times. Also, her move should decay as fast as the mounts, i.e. if she uses 25% of the dwagons move, hers is decrease by 25% too (but that is less likely).

I think there was an exploit in Civilisation where you could use a chain of ships to move units massively across the map in one turn.

raphfrk
2009-05-02, 04:07 PM
It's also entirely possible that if one of the super uncroaked gets recroaked then they're done for good.

That would be a good rule. That would mean that Wanda couldn't go out with her army and uncroak all units from both sides who get killed. If she loses 100 units in order to kill 25, she is still down 75 units since she can't re-raise her 100 causalities.

Effectively, Ansom is on his "last life" now :).

T-O-E
2009-05-02, 04:12 PM
Oh, com'mon, Parson! Using the "with what army" line? You'd think you would know better.:smallamused:

He knows. That's why he said it. :smalltongue:

ishnar
2009-05-02, 04:14 PM
I'm thinking that it's inevitable that Parson will be switching sides. You can't properly be a Perfect Warlord, from a narrative perspective, when the deck is already stacked so massively in your favor. Narrative demands heroes to be underdogs, and the last series of strips is building Gobwin Knob to be a serious overdog. Ergo, Parson has to find other employment.

While I agree mostly, there is room for Parson to stay on the same side, but work against the current regime internally. That or there is a real monster side out there that this army is just a drop in the bucket. But yes, my first impression on seeing the new army is that Parson will probably get stuck fighting that army at some point.

Still, I really thought the other corpses wouldn't be around to res. Things are looking very ugly right now with a real potential to make Stanley's side too powerful. I'd hate to see a DBZ super saiyan. Then, Super super saiyan. Then Super super saiyan. Then combine and super super super super saiyan. Just getting more powerful gets ridiculous after some mysterious point.

BarGamer
2009-05-02, 04:15 PM
Awesome comic! I like the new Ansom better than the former stick-in-the-mud.

SteveD
2009-05-02, 04:21 PM
Logged in to deliver the following message:

Master Class Croakamancer + Arkenpliers = BROKEN GAME

That is all.

Isn't that what the Hippiemancer said? Parson had to 'break the game'?

ishnar
2009-05-02, 04:25 PM
My other, "Must know" item on the agenda right now is, Who's seal is on the new army. A bunch of skulls or the hamster?

kreszantas
2009-05-02, 04:27 PM
The thing I like about the sentient Ansom is that he will be able to help refine Parson's still overall weak knowledge of the entire combat system, there is the cherry on top of this wonderful treat!

John Campbell
2009-05-02, 04:30 PM
No "DECRYPT" in that last panel. All those new uncroaked may be just uncroaked (though I'd guess probably better quantity/quality-wise than Wanda could've made without the Pliers), not whatever Ansom is.

Yodimus
2009-05-02, 04:31 PM
Reading this page gave me the undeniable urge to go, "MAUAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!"

Oh Parson, you are now officially Ender and Sauron rolled into one. Go out and conquer the world, you rascal you!

TazTheTerrible
2009-05-02, 04:31 PM
It still seems pretty game breaky if ALL those raised units are at their pre-croak capabilities. Even if the decrypted can't be re-de-crypted, you still get to add every killed enemy to your forces ON TOP OF the units you pop naturally.

Here's a question: how many friggin archons will she be able to decrypt from this? Whoopsiedaisy?

Sweetie Welf
2009-05-02, 04:31 PM
BTW: Did anyone notice the single dwagon flying around in the background? That reminds me of the very first panel of erfworld, when the Titans formed Erfworld itself.

Tubal-Cain
2009-05-02, 04:35 PM
Nice to see that Wanda isn't entirely insane after all.

Also, Erfworld.com (http://www.erfworld.com/2009/04/hello-erf-world/) is up now.

EDIT:

Holy...those pliers have the potential to be gamebreakers.

It's an Arkentool. That's the idea.

So far we have:
Arkenhammer: Dwagons
Arkendish: Archons
Arkenpliers: uber-uncroaked.

Saint Nil
2009-05-02, 04:40 PM
Ansoms new view, this contrasting character development, its amazing. I love how this is going. :smallbiggrin:

Alexei P
2009-05-02, 04:40 PM
Hmmm. No "Deus Ex Machina" exclamations so far.

I do believe its different when Parson's side is doing it.

Drammel
2009-05-02, 04:43 PM
Y'know I'm beginning to think the second book won't star Parson, Stanley, Wanda and company as the main protagonists. Right now, they're setting up an army of darkness. Conceivably, everyone except Parson will want to take over Erf with that army.

Wonder how Jillian's doing? She's going to be all sorts of blood gargling barbarian rage when she finds out what Wanda did to Ansom. Y'know, if she could rebuild her kingdom and rally some forces before Gobin Knob gets their walls back up, she might just be the plucky hero needed to defeat the forces of evil and nastiness. Shame she doesn't have very good diplomatic skills, y'know like her pal Vinny.

Saint Nil
2009-05-02, 04:43 PM
I doubt those will be as powerful as Ansom thouhg. Wanda herself said that the more energy you put into an uncroaked, the more powerful it is. I suspect this new ones will just be more advanced uncroaked, but nothing game-breaking.

Xuincherguixe
2009-05-02, 04:50 PM
Erfworld has always been interesting, but things are getting really interesting now.

Wanda had gone through a significant amount of badass decay, but that may have a lot to do with the universe itself being against their side to a degree. Now, she's coming back, and we're seeing that she really is dangerous.

And then there's this new Ansom. Ignoring for a moment the implications of improved croakamancy... he's back and suddenly now he's voicing the virtues of Parson? It's probable that it's part of the game itself, even ideas seem to be subject to the rules. And if he did have a change of heart based purely on reexamining his beliefs, could we even tell?

What I imagine will be happening now, is Parson being involved in the real strategy. Not the battle, but what happens before it. If he can break the game that much just in one conflict, imagine what's going to happen when he's building up the city, and empire. He did express the thought that the real strategy takes place before the battle. Fairly Sun Tzuish that. Now he's getting a chance to do that.


Also, we're seeing how the ability to bring back the dead to life can be an even more terrifying power than the ability to make an extinct volcano erupt and kill an army. Which is probably about right. Necromancy is scary!

Aquillion
2009-05-02, 04:54 PM
Hmmm. No "Deus Ex Machina" exclamations so far.

I do believe its different when Parson's side is doing it.
Uh. The pliers have had massive buildup over the course of the comic. Many people have been specifically predicting this moment (or something like it) since they were introduced. Stanley all but stated it, sort of ("he's bringing them to me.") Power over undead was heavily hinted at as their ability, and since all the other Arkentools produce super-units...

This isn't Deus Ex Mechina, this is just plot.

Alexei P
2009-05-02, 05:02 PM
Uh. The pliers have had massive buildup over the course of the comic. Many people have been specifically predicting this moment (or something like it) since they were introduced. Stanley all but stated it, sort of ("he's bringing them to me.") Power over undead was heavily hinted at as their ability, and since all the other Arkentools produce super-units...

This isn't Deus Ex Mechina, this is just plot.

Not saying it is, or even expressing displeasure, here - but I find it curious. Remember how Archons were "broken"? Or what "poor" storytelling device Ansom's DDR trick was?

Yodimus
2009-05-02, 05:03 PM
This isn't Deus Ex Mechina, this is just plot.

Exactly. It's a long-understood rule of narrative thumb, that it's perfectly alright to have the cavalry arrive...as long as you showed them heading that way earlier.

Also, it sorta misses the point if the Deus Ex Machina happens AFTER the problem has been solved. That's the equivalent of your parachute opening after you land. ;p


edited for response clarity

YeahThatGuy
2009-05-02, 05:04 PM
Cameltoe in panel nine.

chefsotero
2009-05-02, 05:04 PM
And that is the first time the absolute level of a unit is stated, other than that only up'ed 2 levels or such

Kaed
2009-05-02, 05:05 PM
(Also, will we see a reappearance of Scarlet?)


And maybe we have'nt seen the last of Scarlet. :smallbiggrin:

... What is with this fixation on a largely inconsequential warlord that was thrown into a few comics pre-volcanic explosion for the sake of flavor? She doesn't even have a name, as far as I know! Or any lines.

Geez.

MickJay
2009-05-02, 05:08 PM
Tool now has a new, handsome warlord, one that doesn't cost anything to feed, fresh army and no enemies in sight - perfect circumstances to let Parson go (and Parson will most likely end up fighting against the new power he helped create).

Forgotten2
2009-05-02, 05:15 PM
More than likely, Stanley will want to re-grab the other cities that he lost before Parson arrived.

Tubal-Cain
2009-05-02, 05:19 PM
Tool now has a new, handsome warlord, one that doesn't cost anything to feed, fresh army and no enemies in sight - perfect circumstances to let Parson go.

Oh yes. Just fire the warlord that just handed you an EPIC WIN and replace him with the guy he just beat.

Stanley seems to have matured a little since the incident over Jack's name, but it wouldn't be entirely unlike him. Maybe he'll sell Parson to Charlie.

Gez
2009-05-02, 05:22 PM
BTW: Did anyone notice the single dwagon flying around in the background? That reminds me of the very first panel of erfworld, when the Titans formed Erfworld itself.
Yup. That's the one that popped in the previous page, he's circling around the city.

Hmmm. No "Deus Ex Machina" exclamations so far.

I do believe its different when Parson's side is doing it.
It's quite clearly Ansom's side. Parson is quite reticent, actually. :smallbiggrin:

Thray
2009-05-02, 05:24 PM
Uncroaked may always have no upkeep. I mean, it's not like zombies need to eat (well, maybe brains).
Yup, this was implied when Stanley joked about how uncroaked are cheap to feed.


And that is the first time the absolute level of a unit is stated, other than that only up'ed 2 levels or such

Not true-we know Jillian's a 9, Webinar was a 5, and Dora was a 2.

I'm surprised that there are so many corpses remaining. I had thought they would all be burnt by the volcano.

chefsotero
2009-05-02, 05:25 PM
Cameltoe in panel nine.

Booping Shockmancy

Alexei P
2009-05-02, 05:25 PM
It's quite clearly Ansom's side. Parson is quite reticent, actually. :smallbiggrin:

Indeed, he certainly appears to be. I completely fail to figure out where the plot flows from here, and can't wait to find out.

T-O-E
2009-05-02, 05:25 PM
Maybe he'll sell Parson to Charlie.

No way is that going to happen, for obvious reasons.

TheMutant
2009-05-02, 05:26 PM
Gotta agree with an earlier poster- I don't think this new army is as broken as everyone seems to assume. My guess is that this is more like the Trioxin spell- all croaked in a hex/city zone become the 'weakest kind' of Uncroaked, but possibly with the sole benefit from the 'pliers of not decaying.

Also, I foresee a possible I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Ptitleb2n8x0k6?from=Main.IKnowYouAreInThereSomewhe reFight) between dearest Jillian and Ansom. ...if so, I hope it doesn't work. :3

Also, gosh, one can only imagine how confused Stanley might be when he shows up. A good chunk of the RCC, (seemingly) normal and sitting on the ruins of GK along with an also fairly normal-looking Ansom? That doesn't look like a winning situation! Though I suppose warlord-vision might help the case, if he can see that they're his (GK's) units.

Yahoo_Serious
2009-05-02, 05:27 PM
What's the mechanic for assuming and maintaining control of a side? Does Stanley get to come back to GK after ditching it and automatically take over control of this grand new army just because he was once designated heir, or can Parson tell him to fall in line or buzz off? Will Wanda have to be subservient to the Tool, even though she's a Tool herself now? And is ReAnsom really so transformed that he'll accept orders from Stanley?

chefsotero
2009-05-02, 05:31 PM
Not true-we know Jillian's a 9, Webinar was a 5, and Dora was a 2.

Link up?



I'm surprised that there are so many corpses remaining. I had thought they would all be burnt by the volcano.

Well the pliers can redo fabric, so they probably can redo tissue as well so as long as some pieces of bones are left u can rez, just like in DnD I would venture

joosy
2009-05-02, 05:31 PM
What's the mechanic for assuming and maintaining control of a side? Does Stanley get to come back to GK after ditching it and automatically take over control of this grand new army just because he was once designated heir, or can Parson tell him to fall in line or buzz off? Will Wanda have to be subservient to the Tool, even though she's a Tool herself now? And is ReAnsom really so transformed that he'll accept orders from Stanley?

Stanley is the de facto Overlord. If they were to defeat him they would go barbarian and would 'freeze in time'. They need an heir to Stanley in order to continue as a side, I believe.

Aquillion
2009-05-02, 05:36 PM
... What is with this fixation on a largely inconsequential warlord that was thrown into a few comics pre-volcanic explosion for the sake of flavor? She doesn't even have a name, as far as I know! Or any lines.

Geez.Man, someone needs to create a "Scarlet destroyed FAQ!" thread.

Also, "Scarlet is future Parson!"

Calmness
2009-05-02, 05:40 PM
Glad to see Ansom is still functional, he is a neat character and him remaining in the story sets up for a very interesting love triangle... especially if Wanda decides to start hitting on him :smallbiggrin:. Though yeah i'll agree Gobwin Knob is a bit overpowered now. Ansom alone is one of the best leaders in the world (if not the one), add a couple unique artifacts, some awesome casters and the world's greatest warlord... :smalleek:

chefsotero
2009-05-02, 05:40 PM
Man, someone needs to create a "Scarlet destroyed FAQ!" thread.

Also, "Scarlet is future Parson!"

We all (or some of us, or jus me an a few other dudes) had red sonja hard-wired to our pre-pubescent brains, and now we need to cheer for the red haired female warrior, thats all.

(And I still want to see her Decrypted :smallsmile:)

joosy
2009-05-02, 05:42 PM
If the massive number of Archons that Charlie so generously donated to GK's new army is in the mix then.. well.. I think FAQ will fall and rise again.. followed by Transylvito if not Charlie himself.

For didn't the Archons have huge move? and lots of magicdetection/attack/thinkamancy/foolamancy abilities? hmmm..

Of course knowing Charlie he will be begging like an orphan to join up with GK once he gets wind of their massive treasury. :)

(apologies to those who are orphans.. or beggars.. or begging orphans or.. heck, whatever, get a thicker hide.)

ishnar
2009-05-02, 05:44 PM
... What is with this fixation on a largely inconsequential warlord that was thrown into a few comics pre-volcanic explosion for the sake of flavor? She doesn't even have a name, as far as I know! Or any lines.

Geez.


She's HAWT? :P Well, I think a lot of her fans are fans due to the the way she went out and because the expression on her face really struck a cord in many readers turning on the natural protect instinct.

She does have lines though. She was one of the lords complaining at the table that Ansom wasn't attacking. That's the only one I know off the top of my head.

Is Ansome going to take Bogroll's place? It's looking that way, and that would be some form of poetic justice.

Jeivar
2009-05-02, 05:46 PM
Hm. Interesting development. Ansom said he remembered "most things". I'm guessing, by the rules of drama, that he doesn't truly remember his feelings for Jillian and Vinny. In fact, he just might view ANY royal as being in need of a killing and decrypting, even Jillian, who doesn't even WANT to be a royal.

Speaking of Jillian, I'm getting more and more clueless as to what her role is going to be in the next book. The Laws of Drama simply won't allow her to die before a dramatic confrontation with Ansom and Wanda, but how is that confrontation going to be? Once the Transylvito have found FAQ they'll have no more use for her except as a loyalty-spelled fighter . . . but if she ends up fighting Gobwin Knob again under mental compulsion it would take some of the POW out of the confrontation with W&A, since she won't be acting of her own free will.
And if she escapes the TV and strikes out as a barbarian again, she won't have the means to pose any threat to GK or Wanda.

Hmmm . . .

Yodimus
2009-05-02, 05:46 PM
As an aside - I'm having a massively difficult time staying connected to the new erfworld.com I can't navigate one page without getting a page load error for ten minutes or so. Is that just me or are other people experiencing this?

Oslecamo
2009-05-02, 05:49 PM
Hoorrah! I was right! Artifacts are really the uberest things in Efworld when used properly!

Also I must point out that Ansom hasn't changed that much. He's still a war-hungry warlord willing to fight for it's cause to the death, the only thing that's changed it's the focus of his fanatism. Now he shall crush all those who stand against lord Hamster, avatar of the titans!:smallbiggrin:


To all those of you who say pliers are overpowered

Yes, they're strong, but the other tools have also shown to be quite strong.

Charlie was renowed for imba thinkmancy powers like infiltrating enemy communication systems.

Stanley's hammer destroyed several elites at once and knocked off high-level warlords with a single blow.

So Wanda's super raise dead isn't that over the top. Strong? Definetely yes, but it's an artifact, and Wanda herself was quite strong before acquiring it.

Anyway, I really hope we keep seeing the story from Hamster's PoV. There's just too much character development for the authors to waste.:smallsmile:

Gez
2009-05-02, 05:55 PM
Not true-we know Jillian's a 9, Webinar was a 5, and Dora was a 2.
We don't know whether she was talking about level or leadership bonus. Of course they might be the same thing. We don't know that either.


I'm surprised that there are so many corpses remaining. I had thought they would all be burnt by the volcano.
The volcano did not erupt in the city itself, but about halfway in the mountain side. People who were in the city itself died from the tremor, noxious fumes, and intense heat, but the heat at ground level there was still not intense enough to spontaneously combust them because they had a lot of rock to insulate them a bit. Contrarily to the archons flying high overhead.

warune
2009-05-02, 06:02 PM
hmmm i wonder if wanda can wield hers so usefully cuz she understand magic whereas stanley does not, no he uses his to make walnuts into pidgeons. i wonder id stanley has fully discovered the powers of the arkenhammer. i wonder what would happen if it were given to say sizemore?

and yeah i know it wont be GIVEN to him, but think bout this. wanda is under no loyalty spells, she now matches or even outmatches Stanleys power and CERTAINLY outnumbers. she could easily turn on him to get the hammer and she seems to like parson so she prolly keep him around or follow his strategy since hes awesome strategist.

Spot
2009-05-02, 06:03 PM
It's becoming clear to me that my suspicions about book 2 may be correct:

It will be after Parson & co. take over (most of) the world. His friends are summoned to lead the fight against him.

"We need leaders who know how to fight this Lord Hamster. There are none in this world. We will cast our wills across the whole of creation, seeking those who know best how to fight this new menace."


I think that you're sort of on the right track...

...but it was the next-to-last panel that clued me in on where this all is heading:

Ansom: "I shall be your Captain now. We will bring about a new Titanic order. We will conquer the whole world."

That line from Ansom, delivered directly to Parson while ignoring Wanda, makes everything clear.

This whole thing, from the death of King Saline IV, to the fall of FAQ, to the purchasing of the "perfect warlord" spell, to the defeat of Ansom's army, to the capture of the Arkenpliers by Wanda...

...all of it...

...is part of a plot, a conspiracy, cooked-up to alter the very fabric of the world.

And the very nature of the conspiracy points back to the "pocket kingdom" run by a "Philosopher King".

People have misjudged Wanda. She isn't do any of this for personal power... she's doing this to remake the entire Erfworld, and plenty of folks from FAQ, and from the Magic Kingdom (especially the Hippiemancers) are all in on it.

I bet that the only person from FAQ who *isn't* in on this, is Jillian, who was always away from FAQ playing at being a mercenary Captain.

Seriously: The death of King Saline IV, and all of teh subsequent events that flowed from it, are part-and-parcel of teh FAQ conspiracy to remake Erfworld from a thousand-sided wargame into a unified perfect Budhist-style philosopher kingdom.

I'm willing to bet that Jillian is in for some serious surprises in the next few comics.

stsasser
2009-05-02, 06:04 PM
Awesome comic! I like the new Ansom better than the former stick-in-the-mud.

Seems like the same old Ansom to me. I think he'll sacrifice "Parson's" army just like he did his own.

Kaja Rainbow
2009-05-02, 06:05 PM
On the imbalance: the Arkentools're god-tools after all. And it's not like the Uncroaked armies wouldn't have their weaknesses. In actual practice not being able to create new units without a corpse can be a real pain sometimes (speaking from personal experience playing a necromancer in several different games). Powerful with plentiful supplies of corpses, far more crippled with a shortage of them. Stanley can just pop dwagons without needing to go out and hunt down enemies to uncroak.

Grossly powerful? Yes, but again, that's the Arkentools for you. All-powerful? No. Besides, we don't know all the details about those new Uncroaked, how they work, whether they still level up, etc.

Frogpop
2009-05-02, 06:06 PM
holy. boop.




Link up?

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0056.html

teratorn
2009-05-02, 06:18 PM
n fact, he just might view ANY royal as being in need of a killing and decrypting, even Jillian, who doesn't even WANT to be a royal.

I think that's implicit in his talk about conquering the world.

Cracklord
2009-05-02, 06:32 PM
See, Ansom is a big enough man to admit he was wrong reasnobly, and work with it from there.

Parson isn't.

Who's the better person?

Sweetie Welf
2009-05-02, 06:34 PM
She's HAWT? :P Well, I think a lot of her fans are fans due to the the way she went out and because the expression on her face really struck a cord in many readers turning on the natural protect instinct.

She does have lines though. She was one of the lords complaining at the table that Ansom wasn't attacking. That's the only one I know off the top of my head.

She also tells Ansom that they won't make it trough the walls with all the uncroaked and that he will die.
Scarlet had character. Check out her position in panel 5/page 117 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0130.html), compared to the warlord on her left. A Jillian without issues.
And she's HAWT.

Cracklord
2009-05-02, 06:36 PM
hmmm i wonder if wanda can wield hers so usefully cuz she understand magic whereas stanley does not, no he uses his to make walnuts into pidgeons. i wonder id stanley has fully discovered the powers of the arkenhammer. i wonder what would happen if it were given to say sizemore?

and yeah i know it wont be GIVEN to him, but think bout this. wanda is under no loyalty spells, she now matches or even outmatches Stanleys power and CERTAINLY outnumbers. she could easily turn on him to get the hammer and she seems to like parson so she prolly keep him around or follow his strategy since hes awesome strategist.

Each Arken-item attunes to a specific class. That's why Ansom couldn't use the ArkenPliars. That's why Wanda can. Sizemore couldn't use the Arkenpliars, ArkenHammer or Arkendish. He'll use the Arkendrill or whatever when it gets revealed. Maggie will get the Arkendish. Jack will get another one that isn't known about yet.

Parson does follow loyalty spells, as does Sizemore and Maggie, and the Toolship can end Wanda with a thought. Even if he couldn't, if she kills him she reverts to barbarianism and sits around waiting to die.

Fjolnir
2009-05-02, 06:54 PM
ansom is spouting off all the things that probably ran through his head before the pavement:smallamused:

raphfrk
2009-05-02, 07:01 PM
Each Arken-item attunes to a specific class. ... That's why Wanda can. Sizemore couldn't use the Arkenpliars, ArkenHammer or Arkendish. He'll use the Arkendrill or whatever when it gets revealed. Maggie will get the Arkendish. Jack will get another one that isn't known about yet.


This would mean that the Arkenhammer will only attune to a Piker ... or maybe just to a Warlord.

I am not sure if Charlie will lose his dish quite so quickly. Unless, ofc, he is the target for Parson in book 2.

Another option is that the 4th 'known' (but unknown to us) Arkentool is the target. Charlie seems pretty powerful, so if the 4th one is held by someone who it isn't attuned to, then it would be much easier to capture.

djharr
2009-05-02, 07:06 PM
Ummm, of course it is a Deus ex machina. They are, after all, TOOLS OF THE TITANS (you know, the Deus in Deus ex machina?

The Arkenhammer turned Stanley from a no-account warlord into a ruler with an air force so strong that it took the combined forces of most of the rest of the world to actually have a chance at whacking him.

The Arkendish turned Charlie from ???? into a mercenary who is capable of fielding an air force that can both take out Stanley AND his capital in one round.

The Arkenpliers have turned Wanda, who was ALREADY one of the most powerful individual characters we have knowledge of, by the way, into a Croakamancer of unparalleled strength.

I don't see that this is particularly unreasonable. She was already strong. Assume that the Arkentools apply multiplicative rather than additive bonuses, then it is not surprising that the Arkenpliers would push Wanda right into outer space with regards to capabilities and powers.

David

teratorn
2009-05-02, 07:10 PM
Even if he couldn't, if she kills him she reverts to barbarianism and sits around waiting to die.

Not really, she'll have a huge army that doesn't need upkeep, and she can make units with no need for cities. If she manages to take a few gems with her she can pay for her own upkeep and that's all she needs.

Besides, can't Ansom claim the ruins after Stanley is dead? Is he still a royal? What if she kills Stanley and then decrypts him?

Not that I believe she'll do it.

Oh, and by the way. Arkentools are sort of sentient entities. Can the pliers get along with the hammer?

ishnar
2009-05-02, 07:13 PM
See, Ansom is a big enough man to admit he was wrong reasnobly, and work with it from there.

Parson isn't.

Who's the better person?

Err wut?

Ansom got religion after being raised from the dead. No one is sure yet if Ansom's change of heart is due to sideeffects of the decrypting or is a genuine change of heart. Either way, I don't consider being killed and being raised from the dead a "reasonable" way to win an argument.

Just where philosophically has Parson been wrong and refused to admit it? This isn't Parson's war hes fighting. Parson is fighting Stanley's war. Parson is just fighting for survival. The whole, if you disobey your existance will be ended thing.

Ansom is going off in a Fanatical about-face declairing Parson to be the ultimate expression of the will of the Titans. Parson is saying "I don't think so" Parson is telling Ansom, "I was just talking smack dude." He's not claiming to be RIGHT.

Yodimus
2009-05-02, 07:17 PM
Ummm, of course it is a Deus ex machina. They are, after all, TOOLS OF THE TITANS (you know, the Deus in Deus ex machina?

Okay well now we're just splitting hairs.
Granted, they're godlike hairs of infinite size...

The Old Hack
2009-05-02, 07:18 PM
Fascinating comic. I wonder how much of Ansom's change of heart is due to the Arkenpliers themselves and how much of it is due to Wanda putting her stamp on the decrypting?

Concerning Decrypted troops: I can think of one limitation that would readily make simply killing and Decrypting your troops a less than optimum move -- if they become unable to level like regular Uncroaked, that would do it. Ansom may be stuck at level 10 now and cannot advance; it would not make him useless but it would make him lose potential. In the case of mass Decrypting, it would definitely be problematic; far better 100 living level 2 soldiers that may ultimately become level 6, 7 or even higher level troops than 100 Decrypted level 2 soldiers that never get any better. After all, you can always Decrypt them once they do get killed.

Also, as mentioned it might not be possible to re-Decrypt a Decrypted once it gets killed again. That would be another big limitation right there.

ishnar
2009-05-02, 07:33 PM
The Arkenhammer turned Stanley from a no-account warlord into a ruler with an air force so strong that it took the combined forces of most of the rest of the world to actually have a chance at whacking him.

Err, this is the great western conflict. Not WW5. We don't know how big the world is, but by calling it great western conflict, I doubt more than 1/4 of the world's forces were involved. I actually believe it was even more local than that. My impression is that this alliance, with as many nations as it is, could still only have been a fraction of the world. Rome Total war had a Lot of factions, but the war theatre was only Europe, north africa, and the westernmost lands of asia. I doubt this war was larger in extent than the 30 years war. But because the nations seem to be city-states. It's probably even more local than that. I believe the forces involved are probably no greater than the Trojan war. Lots of "nations" but each nation being a city state means a whole different demographic that it does in modern times.

Starlong
2009-05-02, 07:43 PM
Wow, now there's a specticle to behold.

Rising from the ashes to become more dangerous than before, and to think that it was the coalition that brought the fire...

Bookkeeper@Arms
2009-05-02, 07:48 PM
When Stanley gets back to the Knob, what does he find?

First ... no Knob. He might blow his stack - most men get upset when their Knob is destroyed.

Second ... a HUGE army of Elite Uncroaked - full brains, full talents, zero upkeep.

Third ... a money source that will continue to fund upkeep and popping of elite and heavy units (like dragons).

Fourth ... his worst enemy now a devoted follower of his Chief Warlord.

Fifth ... multiple artifacts on his side (Arkenhammer, Arkenpliers, and Parson's wrist-comp). Each with it's unique powers and bonuses.

Sixth ... everyone else is weakened.

So what shall Stanley do? "The same thing we do every night Pinky ... TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!"

Of course, now the issue is ... how Loyal is Wanda to Stanley? Can he compel her obedience? Or will she try to take over from him? (Stanley's an excellent Warlord and combat leader - he just sucks at being an Overlord. She might give him a job as Parson's assistant.) And if she does overthrow Stanley, what does that do to the summoning spell and Parson's enforced Loyalty?

The Erfworld Saga should be getting intriguing in the next twenty or so strips.

Spot
2009-05-02, 07:52 PM
Err, this is the great western conflict. Not WW5. We don't know how big the world is, but by calling it great western conflict, I doubt more than 1/4 of the world's forces were involved. I actually believe it was even more local than that. My impression is that this alliance, with as many nations as it is, could still only have been a fraction of the world. Rome Total war had a Lot of factions, but the war theatre was only Europe, north africa, and the westernmost lands of asia. I doubt this war was larger in extent than the 30 years war. But because the nations seem to be city-states. It's probably even more local than that. I believe the forces involved are probably no greater than the Trojan war. Lots of "nations" but each nation being a city state means a whole different demographic that it does in modern times.


We don't really know, but I'm inclined to agree with you.

A few dozen formerly-squabling city states, and a few associated non-city-dwelling tribes, and a mercenary forece thrown in to help, all banding together to take out ONE powerfull enemy?

That sounds a lot like the Trojan war.

The various warring states over in China at the time, had *armies* fighting each other, that outnumbered the entire total population of the tiny Greek city states at the time.

So... if our ideas of the relative tiny size of the area being fought over by Stanley at the former-RCC is any guide, then the "seeekriiit FAQ conspiracy" to conquer the entire world is just barely getting started... and they are still the underdogs.

Serious under-dogs.

azukar8
2009-05-02, 07:52 PM
One potentially ominous thought:

The royal radish motif on Decrypt!Ansom's vest didn't change into dwagons or hampsters, it changed into skulls... Wanda's logo.

Is this significant, do you think? Are these new units loyal to Wanda?


(Also, I'm not a first-time poster, but an old school poster with a new screen name).

Cracklord
2009-05-02, 07:58 PM
What is more important is 'Is Wanda loyal to Stanley?'
I sure hope so. Stanley is a far better ruler then Parson would be.

Also, 'Will we see Ansom riding a Dwagon?'
That's what I want to know.

Sir Shadow
2009-05-02, 08:08 PM
ok, I have some concerning questions...

Where did all those bodies come from??? It was established beforehand that bodies disappear at the beginning of the day if they are not moved. Only Ansom was moved around... though I suppose it could be argued that the others were, it seems like a weak excuse to me.

Also, I'm willing to bet that decrypted units don't heal at the beginning of the day like everyone else. That would significantly diminish their effectiveness overall, and I doubt they can be raised more than once.

As for some other weaknesses. Wanda has to be present to raise them... and she can only be so many places in a turn. As aforementioned, bodies disappear if they are not "moved"... so while it may be possible for every unit they kill to be decrypted, it would take some serious effort to do so.

Oslecamo
2009-05-02, 08:18 PM
(Stanley's an excellent Warlord and combat leader - he just sucks at being an Overlord. She might give him a job as Parson's assistant.)

Altough Stanley is far from being the perfect overlord, I think Wanda has even worst comand skills, since basically she doesn't really seem to care about people that much.

Stanley is boss beause he's willing to take responsability. He can do hard choices and knows how to tell people what he wants them to do. Wanda easily falls in depression and prefers to keep stuff to herself. She's the perfect elite servant, powerfull and abitious, but not so powerfull that she doesn't need Stanley nor so ambitious that she would want to run her own side.

dr pepper
2009-05-02, 08:27 PM
Ok, i magnified the decrypt army and it appears to consist of units of similar height. No twolls :(

Stormthorn
2009-05-02, 08:35 PM
So...Wanda is still under Parson and Stanleys control right? Because she is not the type of woman you want to give godly powers too and then turn loose.

As a side note, how come the Hammers most useful ability is to turn birds into walnuts and visa versa, while the pliers can instantly destroy undead and rez people while simultaniously brainwashing them? Balance issues much?!

DraPrime
2009-05-02, 08:47 PM
I've seen someone named Scarlet mentioned a few times on the thread, yet she seems to have entirely escaped my notice. Makes me feel a bit stupid, not noticing an entire character.

Estelindis
2009-05-02, 08:49 PM
ansom is spouting off all the things that probably ran through his head before the pavement:smallamused:
I find that unlikely. I think this new point of view has only come about since his decryption.

As a side-note, I think I now find Ansom as odious as everyone else seemed to from the start. :smallbiggrin: I like rounded characters - so the fact that Ansom was full of himself balanced off against the fact that he was a warlord who genuinely cared for his troops. Without that goodness, I find he just seems a bit... cheap.

On the other side of things, I quite admired Parson when he flatly stated that he'd been "talking smack" to Ansom previously. It came across as quite professional and dispassionate: a general simply stating that he used whatever tactic he thought might give him an edge.

As another side-note, I just reread the entire comic, and it reads incredibly well as a whole. Wanda, of all people, comes across as a much more complex character than she had been in my mind recently...

cover_bob
2009-05-02, 08:56 PM
I'm thinking that it's inevitable that Parson will be switching sides. You can't properly be a Perfect Warlord, from a narrative perspective, when the deck is already stacked so massively in your favor. Narrative demands heroes to be underdogs, and the last series of strips is building Gobwin Knob to be a serious overdog. Ergo, Parson has to find other employment.

I wouldn't be surprised if he winds up taking Charlie's offer now, probably also swiping Sizemore when he leaves, as it is pretty clearly indicated that Sizemore will be by Parson's side to the end (or nearly).

There's also that fourth arkentool plotline dangling around loose. It would make for nice symmetry if that tool got dug up and put to use on Charlie's side, for a pleasing 2v2 War to End All Wars. Putting an ArkenShovel into Sizemore's hands has a certain ring to it, not that we have any idea what the fourth tool is yet. I don't think Parson will get his own tool, he's sufficiently plotworthy in his own right, he doesn't need any more help like that.

Parson MUST stay GK because of the spell that summoned him as well as the fact that we know the dirtamancer will have to continue to support him. What is more likely is that the Tool and Wanda leave (not together). So it will be parson in charge of GK and his only advantage will be the gems and no tools. Which will spark an entirely new strategy system that will be awesome.

Spot
2009-05-02, 09:03 PM
As a side note, how come the Hammers most useful ability is to turn birds into walnuts and visa versa, while the pliers can instantly destroy undead and rez people while simultaniously brainwashing them? Balance issues much?!

The Hammer also lets you "tame" dwagons. That is to say, at a minimum let's you add them to your side's production queue, and (possibly) even tame wild ones also.

Earendill
2009-05-02, 09:25 PM
Decrypted units = "normal humans" as opposed to "game units". No upkeep, no Loyalty issues.

Decrypted units = the end of the "game", the end of war.

No wonder Hippiemancers were happy.

Stormthorn
2009-05-02, 09:29 PM
The Hammer also lets you "tame" dwagons. That is to say, at a minimum let's you add them to your side's production queue, and (possibly) even tame wild ones also.

I guess if thats the only way to get them then its worth it. I always assumed the taming thing ment they had bonus' to your build times and the stats of the critters.

Fishy
2009-05-02, 09:32 PM
I find that unlikely. I think this new point of view has only come about since his decryption.

As a side-note, I think I now find Ansom as odious as everyone else seemed to from the start. :smallbiggrin: I like rounded characters - so the fact that Ansom was full of himself balanced off against the fact that he was a warlord who genuinely cared for his troops. Without that goodness, I find he just seems a bit... cheap.

In the words of the Tool, there is no 'Good' or 'Evil' side; there is 'Holy' and 'Unholy' (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0032.html). Nothing Ansom's said indicates he no longer cares for people under his protection- who, incidentally, were all dead and are now all uncroaked and working for Stanley.

What's happened here, is that Ansom has had a religious experience orders of magnitude more powerful than we can imagine. He thought he was invincible, because he was serving the Titans. He died, and was brought back to life through the power of a literal tool of the beings who created his world.

Given that this is Erfworld, there might not even be a loyalty spell involved...

Half_Moon
2009-05-02, 09:53 PM
Has anyone noticed that Ansom isn't glowing red anymore?

Gamebird
2009-05-02, 10:12 PM
What's happened here, is that Ansom has had a religious experience orders of magnitude more powerful than we can imagine. He thought he was invincible, because he was serving the Titans. He died, and was brought back to life through the power of a literal tool of the beings who created his world.

Given that this is Erfworld, there might not even be a loyalty spell involved...

Yeah. I was just rewatching Prince Caspian and the part at the end where Aslan roars at the dwarf who disbelieved him for so long...

It's like being a believer, believing that your faith is true and your enemy to be faithless heretics, then you die because you were wrong and being resurrected by the grace and power of your enemy. You realize the side/force/being(s) you put your faith in didn't exist, but your enemy's "god" is very real.

teratorn
2009-05-02, 10:16 PM
I find that unlikely. I think this new point of view has only come about since his decryption.

You mean a bit like the suggestion spell that lead Jillian to find excuses and rationalizations for the actions in favour of Wanda's side? It'll be interesting to see Wanda uncrypting another warlord.

Parson with an army of dedicated fanatic warlords...

Highwarlord
2009-05-02, 10:19 PM
So let's take role now. Parson has

* One of the best commanders in Erfworld by leadership stats

* One of the largest armies in the world (if he really can get the entire uncroaked RCC)

* Possibly the richest side in the world

* Two ridiculously powerful artifacts
- The ability to uncroak perfectly, meaning every slain army becomes his
- The ability to tame dwagons, meaning he can horde what is presumably one of the most powerful units in the game
- A ridiculously powerful croakamancer
- A ridiculously powerful melee-overlord

* One of the best tactical minds (+ ruthlessness)

* Three other very powerful casters

So here's my guess for the next pieces:
Parson starts conquering the world.
The losing side casts their own summon perfect warlord spells. They ask for some "who has beaten Parson before." They then get the people who gamed against him.

Guru_jake
2009-05-02, 10:29 PM
Decrypted Ansom is... creepy.

I like him. He seems to be devoid of all the pride he carried. He's now humbled, but to fill in the void where his pride was, something else is now there.
Purpose.

Bookkeeper@Arms
2009-05-02, 10:32 PM
So let's take role now. Parson has [snip]

You forgot his bracer, which has already been classified as an Artifact and is the equivalent of a Mathamancer all by it's lonesome. (Charlie was drooling after it as much as Stanley drooled after an Arkentool.) It hasn't been specified whether or not it gives any Artifact Bonuses in combat ... but it might give strategy bonuses.


So here's my guess for the next pieces:
Parson starts conquering the world.
Stanley starts conquering the world. Parson is bound to him by Loyalty magic.


The losing side casts their own summon perfect warlord spells. They ask for some "who has beaten Parson before." They then get the people who gamed against him.

Very possible. If the Magic Kingdom informs them of Parson's origins. They might not if it conflicts with their mysterious goals.

small pumpkin m
2009-05-02, 10:36 PM
Congratulations Parson, welcome to Ironic Purgatory where all your dreams come horribly, horribly true. Today you got to be a General, win against statistically impossible odds, and almost nobody had to die (permanently).

What's your next wish?

Hectonkhyres
2009-05-02, 10:40 PM
Oh, com'mon, Parson! Using the "with what army" line? You'd think you would know better.:smallamused:
Hey, don't knock it. Parson is the first person to jinx himself and be better off for it.

StrykerX
2009-05-03, 12:02 AM
Oh, com'mon, Parson! Using the "with what army" line? You'd think you would know better.:smallamused:

Ah, but Parson is pretty genre savvy. If you want an army to somehow pop out of nowhere that quote is pretty much your best chance of getting it... :smallbiggrin:

Fafnir13
2009-05-03, 12:53 AM
Okay. Anyone else getting a Daemon vibe from Wanda?

Excellent comic. I had to laugh when I saw that army getting raised. Evilgasm and all that.:smallbiggrin:

darkgolem
2009-05-03, 01:11 AM
The big issue I see coming is when Stanley comes back and says "Great job, I knew you had it in you all the time. Ok so, let me have the pliers now."

Wanda isn't really getting that Parson is different, she keeps seeing Parson within the framework of the rules. The same rules that allow Jillian to go free from the control spell. Her hubris, while not blind like Stanley's, leads her to think that she can conquer the world with her croakomancy and the pliers.

And she so far has started pushing Parson to go along, but she doesn't yet get that Parson could very well just decide to say no to something, since his goals might not be the same as hers, as she assumes they must be within the framework of Erfworld's rules.. The question is whether Wanda will react poorly at that moment, whether Parson realizes she will, and prepared he will be to deal with it.

There are those who understand that things are different and also, those that see things with an open mind. Vinny is one, as is "in your dirtz" and maybe Charlie.. though Charlie might just be suffering from the same Hubris that Wanda is, only with more subtlety.

I note that the ones who show excessive pride, even megalomania, - Ansom, Stanley, Wanda and Charlie are the same who control and own(ed) Tools of the Titans. I wonder if, like artifacts in role playing games, these things affect your mind.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-05-03, 01:38 AM
... What is with this fixation on a largely inconsequential warlord that was thrown into a few comics pre-volcanic explosion for the sake of flavor? She doesn't even have a name, as far as I know! Or any lines.

Geez.

And right you are*.

I hope that, if she gets rezzed**, she'll have the decency to at least wear a name tag this time.

*: actually, I'm one of the fans, especially the reasons Ishnar gave in his post clinched it for me.

**: decrypt, uncroak, or whatever other kind of spell makes a croaked unit move on its own again.


I've seen someone named Scarlet mentioned a few times on the thread, yet she seems to have entirely escaped my notice. Makes me feel a bit stupid, not noticing an entire character.

Actually it's her fault, walking around in a red shirt (that matches with her red hair) without any name-tag.

cnsvnc
2009-05-03, 02:05 AM
awesome conspiracy theory

I'll subscribe to this from now on...

ChowGuy
2009-05-03, 03:13 AM
... What is with this fixation on a largely inconsequential warlord that was thrown into a few comics pre-volcanic explosion for the sake of flavor? She doesn't even have a name, as far as I know! Or any lines.

She does have lines though. She was one of the lords complaining at the table that Ansom wasn't attacking. That's the only one I know off the top of my head.
She's bee around for quite a while actually. I believe the first time we saw her was at the war council (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0062.html) discussing the "party platter" and Ansom's response.

She's been used fairly consistently in fact as the "questioner" of his plans, giving him the opportunity to explain his thinking to her (and the readers) without seemingly pointless exposition. While we don't know how "inconseqential" she has been to the RCC's strategy, as a narrative tool she certainly served a purpose to the story. Now that that part of the story is ended though I do not that purpose continuing, so no valid reason narrative for her being brought back. If Darth Unsom requires such a sounding board in the future, we have Parson to serve that role.

DanReiv
2009-05-03, 03:21 AM
Thumbs up. I'm starting to like erfworld even more. Great story, great art.

TamLin
2009-05-03, 03:29 AM
Interesting. I wonder, has Ansom had a legitimate change of heart (a possibility we should consider despite the natural inclination toward skepticism), or is this a byproduct of being "decryptified"? Is Wanda putting words in his mouth, or does the spell make him naturally predisposed to siding with whoever cast it?

Similarly, does this mass rez get Parson "off the hook" for killing everyone in the first place? He had just finally started to consider the morality of his actions in full, and now suddenly it seems it might not matter. Most of the people he killed are back and they seem more or less the same, so is it a wash? Or has this just exchanged one problem for another, since we have to presume that Wanda has some level of control (what degree has yet to be seen) over these decryptified, does that mean that Parson has effectively turned them all into her puppets? Is that going to start nagging at his conscience after a bit too? On the other hand, most if not all of them were already pawns of other powerful individuals, kings and warlords and such, so maybe it's all the same to them.

This changes the stakes for the readers too. In future conflicts, you need no longer worry that your favorite character may be killed. In such an event, Wanda will probably just bring them back. Of course, they might then be...different, than they were before. Is this in some ways worse than the possibility of death, or even uncroaking, in the first place? Do we want, for example, to see Bogroll back from the dead, or would we prefer to just let the poor guy rest in peace rather than subject him to this strange, unknown process that may have unintended (and possibly horrible) effects on him that are not yet clear to us?

Glome
2009-05-03, 05:39 AM
This changes the stakes for the readers too. In future conflicts, you need no longer worry that your favorite character may be killed. In such an event, Wanda will probably just bring them back. Of course, they might then be...different, than they were before. Is this in some ways worse than the possibility of death, or even uncroaking, in the first place? Do we want, for example, to see Bogroll back from the dead, or would we prefer to just let the poor guy rest in peace rather than subject him to this strange, unknown process that may have unintended (and possibly horrible) effects on him that are not yet clear to us?

Well if the pliers make the decrypted character loyal to Stanley's side, and considering that one of Bogroll's traits was his unquestioned loyalty, I don't see how the pliers would change him aside from taking away his upkeep.

Of course I would be pretty interesting if that pliers decrypted bizarro versions of the units. So that if Bogroll was decrypted he would become highly skeptical, not very loyal, and fastidious in his hygiene.

Zeku
2009-05-03, 05:49 AM
A few people seem to be overstating the power of uncroaked troops. If Erf follows the standard game principles, they have drawbacks.

No morale bonuses, (or penalties) period. For most games, morale is as powerful as any other type of bonus, and never getting it at all makes your entire army kind of lukewarm. Also, any living units in the same army will have their morale bonuses destroyed by the allied uncroaked.

Units cannot be healed of damage except by powerful, non-conventional magic. Any units lost cannot be recovered. Ansom the Obedient? After a few battles he will look a little hacked up, unless the turn reset magically applies to uncroaked as well.

They have extra weaknesses to things like fire and holy magic. They have no particular strengths except immunity to things like diseases and mind-spells. (fear)

They cannot follow complex instructions, usually.



Etc. Bottom line is that a tool like the Hammer is drastically more useful in a real strategic situation. It lets you build up a strike force of appropriate size, crush enemies, and collect appropriate resources in the conventional way. The Pliers, on the other hand, require a war already underway, and enough allied troops to actually win the current battle. The pliers do nothing any time the enemy is stronger than you are, because you will lose more of your undead than the enemy will lose living troops.

Ovaltine Patrol
2009-05-03, 06:46 AM
I hope Gobwin Knob hasn't become Silver Age Superman.

Bookkeeper@Arms
2009-05-03, 07:08 AM
I hope Gobwin Knob hasn't become Silver Age Superman.

You mean "All-Powerful to start with and able to pull new plot-device powers out of the super-heiney at will"? Agreed. They should have to work for world conquest.

Ansom's new attitude - I think he doesn't have a "new attitude". I think he was restored to full consciousness with Loyalty to Wanda. He immediately tried to rationalize this with his self-image of being "the Vessel of the Titans' Will". And he succeeded in making up a rationalization that he might believe whole-heartedly.

At least until it leads to him having to face off against his homeland's armies and his friends on a battlefield. Then we'll see some emo.

hewhosaysfish
2009-05-03, 07:19 AM
Hmm... Wanda and Parosn appear to convinced Ansom of the one thing that Jillian could not: that being royal was no big thing... I wonder how it will change things between them when they meet again? In addition to or in opposition to the hundred and one other factors which will change things between them?

HandofShadows
2009-05-03, 07:23 AM
Ansom is even more irritating now then the first time around. And I notice that he is talking to Parson as is Parson was the boss and that his loyalty is to him, not Stanley or Wanda.
As for Wanda, I think many people are underestimating her. The "world wished for Parson" line and the prediction about the 'pliers comeing to her is solid evidence that she is after something different than her own person power. For her power is just a tool to achive a much greater aim. The real question is what are Wanda's long term goals? She seems to be on the same page as Janis, but we don't know if they have the same endgoal.
Parson has a new army to work with and he clearly is not heck bent to take over the world. Besides in a game of combat, taking over the world is the goal to win. Parson was brought in the BREAK the game.

Estelindis
2009-05-03, 07:41 AM
You mean a bit like the suggestion spell that lead Jillian to find excuses and rationalizations for the actions in favour of Wanda's side? It'll be interesting to see Wanda uncrypting another warlord.
I don't necessarily mean that Ansom has had some kind of magical compulsion to change his point of view (though it is possible that this has happened - just as it's possible that some weaker version, a kind of magical nudge, could have happened). It could just mean that being brought back by a literal tool of the Titans means he has to believe that decrypting him was the right thing to do, and thus has to (force himself to?) align his thoughts those who were responsible for his return. Really, it's hard to say at this point - and I do hope that ambiguity continues for a while. Dramatic tension...


Ansom is even more irritating now then the first time around.
Thank you! I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way...

joosy
2009-05-03, 09:44 AM
Rob and Jamie have created their own unique world.. and then broke it :) It will be interesting to see how the following stories play out.

Personally, I am glad they didn't explain everything (world rules, etc) up front as that just takes away from the mystery and the fun of learning along with Parson.

It does seem clear that the events unfolding here all point back to Faq and their Predictamancer. I thought it very odd that their Predictamancer who was so good at getting Jack Snipe to the right city at the right time suddenly fails at an epic level so that Faq falls on one turn.

It seems that everything stems from an awesome and unbelievable prophesy. One that requires the fall of their own kingdom; for key Faq citizens to switch loyalty to an erratic foreign commander, and to risk everything including their own lives to meet their goal. Wanda was promised the pliers. Was Jack promised.. Jillian? or at least the rebuilding of Faq? Or was the goal not the survival of Faq but the philosophy/ideals of Faq? We will see..

datalaughing
2009-05-03, 09:45 AM
Besides in a game of combat, taking over the world is the goal to win. Parson was brought in the BREAK the game.

Yeah, but if you think about it from the perspective of the people IN the combat game, winning is essentially breaking the game. If everyone's whole purpose of existence is to play this combat game and you then win the game, there's no more combat, no more reason for existing. That's about as broken as it gets. Not only that, but it fits with Janis' statement that if he breaks enough things there might be peace. What more effective way to ensure peace than to conquer everything?

BLANDCorporatio
2009-05-03, 10:30 AM
What more effective way to ensure peace than to conquer everything?

Depends on your game. The Pope has a nasty habit of popping out again and again, with an army of 2000 knights, in Medieval Total War; plus there's the revolutions, uprisings, lost-and-found heirs for enemy sides (not to mention the Mongol Invasion) to keep you busy even when you own every patch of land on the map.

Ovaltine Patrol
2009-05-03, 10:36 AM
Sizemore was already Mr. Exposition for Parson, and recent events seemed to indicate that he was going to redouble his efforts on that end, I wonder if he'll have to compete with Ansom or if they'll become buddy-advisers to Lord Hamster.

Emcha
2009-05-03, 11:34 AM
... What is with this fixation on a largely inconsequential warlord that was thrown into a few comics pre-volcanic explosion for the sake of flavor? She doesn't even have a name, as far as I know! Or any lines.

Geez.

I like her angry faces.

Kilkrazy
2009-05-03, 11:40 AM
Yeah, but if you think about it from the perspective of the people IN the combat game, winning is essentially breaking the game. If everyone's whole purpose of existence is to play this combat game and you then win the game, there's no more combat, no more reason for existing. That's about as broken as it gets. Not only that, but it fits with Janis' statement that if he breaks enough things there might be peace. What more effective way to ensure peace than to conquer everything?

Perhaps winning the game is Nirvana.

Kilkrazy
2009-05-03, 11:46 AM
Err, this is the great western conflict. Not WW5. We don't know how big the world is, but by calling it great western conflict, I doubt more than 1/4 of the world's forces were involved. I actually believe it was even more local than that. My impression is that this alliance, with as many nations as it is, could still only have been a fraction of the world. Rome Total war had a Lot of factions, but the war theatre was only Europe, north africa, and the westernmost lands of asia. I doubt this war was larger in extent than the 30 years war. But because the nations seem to be city-states. It's probably even more local than that. I believe the forces involved are probably no greater than the Trojan war. Lots of "nations" but each nation being a city state means a whole different demographic that it does in modern times.

The forces involved in this war were relatively small. The entire RCC army was under 10,000 troops. We must assume it represented a significant proportion of the armies of each of the coalition partners -- perhaps 50%? Of course a small army is perfectly effective in a war involving small armies.

Being the world is a game there may be game-like restrictions on the size of armies. A computer game has a limit on the size of the memory register. Advance Wars won't let you create more then 50 units. A boardgame has a finite number of counters.

Kilkrazy
2009-05-03, 11:52 AM
Ansom is even more irritating now then the first time around. And I notice that he is talking to Parson as is Parson was the boss and that his loyalty is to him, not Stanley or Wanda.
As for Wanda, I think many people are underestimating her. The "world wished for Parson" line and the prediction about the 'pliers comeing to her is solid evidence that she is after something different than her own person power. For her power is just a tool to achive a much greater aim. The real question is what are Wanda's long term goals? She seems to be on the same page as Janis, but we don't know if they have the same endgoal.
Parson has a new army to work with and he clearly is not heck bent to take over the world. Besides in a game of combat, taking over the world is the goal to win. Parson was brought in the BREAK the game.

In the army, a sergeant might ask his captain for orders or discuss tactics with him. That doesn't mean the sergeant is disloyal to the colonel of the regiment.

Wanda, Parson and now Ansom are all on the same side as far as we know, which is Stanley's side.

I don't think the symbols, such as the skulls on Ansom's tunic, are very important. I think warlords can choose their own symbol and it is transferred to the lower level troops they command.

Anias
2009-05-03, 12:00 PM
A lot of people have been saying that either Wanda will now rebel against Stanley (to gain the Hammer and greater power) or that Stanley will put down Wanda (maybe even disbanding her) to gain the Pliers and affirm his belief that he should have all the tools.

None of that makes a lot of tactical sense. Stanley is a powerful warlord, even more so with the Hammer, and can pop/tame dwagons. He is an immense asset to any side (provided his ego is kept in check by good advisors/warlords). Wanda is a powerful caster, even more so with the Pliers, and can decrypt fallen units (making them, in many ways, as strong as ever). She is an immense asset to any side (provided she is not given completely free reign, and is balanced by more people-oriented allies).

If Stanley kills/disbands Wanda (or takes the Pliers from her somehow) then he loses one of his most powerful units (maybe his most powerful) as well as an intelligent advisor and commander. Plus, he loses the power of the Pliers; it's almost certain that he can't wield both at once, and that he won't attune to the Pliers. Getting rid of Wanda robs him of her utility as a caster, advisor, commander, and Tool.

If Wanda kills/overthrows Stanley (or takes the Hammer from him somehow) then she loses one of her most powerful combat units (maybe her most powerful) as well as a good commander and sizable leadership bonus. (Yes, Stanley is a good commander - that's how he rose in the ranks and became a warlord, then chief warlord, then found the pliers - just not a good overlord). Plus, she loses the power of the Hammer; it's almost certain that she can't wield both at once either, and that she won't attune to the Hammer. Getting rid of Stanley robs her of his utility as a fighter, warlord, easily-manipulated overlord, and Tool.

In either case, the side is stronger and more likely to achieve Wanda's/Stanley's goals if they work together, each with his/her own Tool.

Axl_Rose
2009-05-03, 01:25 PM
So even death can't change Ansom. He's still a pretentious prick, but spouting "darksider" wash this time. Parson isn't amused. But Tool certainly will be...

The hell are you talking about? Ansom wasn't pretentious at all in the last strip. Your apparent pre-existing prejudice against Ansom doesn't dictate reality; precisely how was he acting pretentious in that strip? If anything, he admitted he was wrong and was rather humble. Furthermore, I'd like to think Parson is very much so amused.

ishnar
2009-05-03, 02:42 PM
A lot of people have been saying that either Wanda will now rebel against Stanley (to gain the Hammer and greater power) or that Stanley will put down Wanda (maybe even disbanding her) to gain the Pliers and affirm his belief that he should have all the tools.

None of that makes a lot of tactical sense.

For some reason your argument reminded me of Honor of the Queen. Where an economist argued that two warring religious factions wouldn't go to war because it didn't make economic sense. Both sides were sustenance economies but all of their spare GNP was being fed to their war machine. More specifically, one side said they would nuke the other side's homeworld to oblivion, and the other side believed them.

More concisely, Emotion trumps reason. No matter how many reasons there are for people to work together, greed, hate, envy, or anger can have a greater influence on the results than any potential good.

Sweetie Welf
2009-05-03, 03:08 PM
More concisely, Emotion trumps reason. No matter how many reasons there are for people to work together, greed, hate, envy, or anger can have a greater influence on the results than any potential good.

Wanda driven by emotion? Nope. Maybe in her aims, not in her means.

And personally don't think she want to be an overlady (?). She can have some puppet (Stanley/Jillian/Parson/Ansom/Banhammer?) serve under her as her boss. That gives her the time to pursue her hobbies. What's the point in ordering some infantry around and waste time with other overlords, when one can master the forces of life and death?

Decius
2009-05-03, 03:52 PM
What is more important is 'Is Wanda loyal to Stanley?'
I sure hope so. Stanley is a far better ruler then Parson would be.

Also, 'Will we see Ansom riding a Dwagon?'
That's what I want to know.

1. No. (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F095.jpg)
Parson, however, is.

2. I hope so.

Book 2?
I think it likely that Parson and Sizemore take the dwagon and escape Wanda to rejoin Stanley as barbarians, fighting against Wanda and her army of super-decrypted.

I strongly suspect that one of the features of all the Arkentools is "Bearer will stop at nothing to get the other Arkentools". Charlie did bite pretty hard on the possibility of getting the 'pliers, and made it a part of his bargain with the first time he headbutted the ground.

Decius
2009-05-03, 03:57 PM
The hell are you talking about? Ansom wasn't pretentious at all in the last strip.

Here I stand, as proof of a higher expression.
...
I shall be your captain now.
We will bring about a new Titanic order.
We will conquer the whole world.

What strip were you reading?

Estelindis
2009-05-03, 04:05 PM
The hell are you talking about? Ansom wasn't pretentious at all in the last strip.
"We will conquer the whole world" isn't pretentious...? :smallconfused:

EDIT: Ninja'd!

ishnar
2009-05-03, 06:20 PM
What strip were you reading?

The one he quoted?

ishnar
2009-05-03, 06:22 PM
Wanda driven by emotion? Nope. Maybe in her aims, not in her means.



The question is what would STANLEY do when he gets back and sees Wanda with the pliers. Don't forget that every fight has two parties, and only one of the parties needs to be willing.

Axl_Rose
2009-05-03, 07:19 PM
Originally Posted by Ansom
Here I stand, as proof of a higher expression.
...
I shall be your captain now.
We will bring about a new Titanic order.
We will conquer the whole world.

What strip were you reading?


Do you know what pretentious even means?

"Here I stand as proof of..." = You could said self-centred, egotistical, but that's not the same as pretentious
"I shall be your captain now" = Presumptuous, not pretentious
Taking over the world = ambitious, not pretentious.

To be pretentious involves masquerading as though you know much about a subject when you in fact do not. Akin to vagrantly flaunting vocabulary which the user does not understand. Ie. think Pretentious, pretending, etc.

Given the fact that Hamster is apparently the most able strategic mind having bested the Royal Coalition + the fact that Ansom is friggin badass to the point of also beating the odds, it's not that far a stretch that they could take over the world. The only reason why they wouldn't would be plot-driven reasons, which you can't blame Ansom for being unable to anticipate.

So no, believing he can take over the world under the Hamster is not being pretentious. It's not even close.

You could have said "over-confident" or "over-zealous" but not pretentious.

Guppy
2009-05-03, 07:27 PM
And then there's this new Ansom. Ignoring for a moment the implications of improved croakamancy... he's back and suddenly now he's voicing the virtues of Parson? It's probable that it's part of the game itself, even ideas seem to be subject to the rules. And if he did have a change of heart based purely on reexamining his beliefs, could we even tell?

Hmm... looking back at the question of free will in Erfworld, this is kind of interesting. While the Grand Abbie Janice may regard Parson as a potential savior and liberator, it's possible that Wanda now commands the most insidious form of slavery yet, going far beyond the shackles of Natural Thinkamancy.

Khyron
2009-05-03, 09:06 PM
Awesome : True resurrection.

Not Awesome : It happened too late to save Bogroll :(

the_tick_rules
2009-05-03, 09:19 PM
Holy freakin crap. Did I call that or what? If Wanda and Stanley join forces it's game over. But then again, is anyone smelling a potential coup. Wanda coudl croak stanley and have him ber her servant now.

Spot
2009-05-03, 09:39 PM
"We will conquer the whole world" isn't pretentious...? :smallconfused:

EDIT: Ninja'd!


Technically... TECHNICALLY... it's not pretentious.

You see, when you are killed in combat while leading the largest coalition the world has ever seen, while trying to wipe a tiny faction from the world, and then they raise you from the dead to be thier new new Croak Knight/Paladin subcommander to the Perfect Warlord, destined and fortold by prophecy to fullfill the original plan of the Titans who created the world...

**takes a deep breath**

...and then you see the entire defeated and dead grand coalition army that you gathered from the far ends of the earth to gather in this one spot to crush Stanley, raised in its entirety and returned to prefect working order, by an underling of Stanley's using the Titan-spawned weapon that you died bringing to her fingertips for this very same purpose...

**takes a second really deep breath**

...then merely stating the fact that you will be spending the next few years conquering the entire world, is not pretentious.

Technically, it's just an honest assesment of furture events.

:smallbiggrin:

Glome
2009-05-03, 10:01 PM
Anyone appreciate the irony that Ansom's plan to conquer the world is far more ambitious then what Stanley was trying to do, which was just to control all the Arkentools? In fact, new Ansom would have to be destroyed even moreso than Stanley by old Ansom's reasoning.

So how do you think Vinnie and Jillian are going to react to new Ansom's plan to conquer the world?

Dark Matter
2009-05-03, 10:04 PM
Sometime to keep in mind is that Stanly's army and empire used to be much larger and stronger than even what it is now. They're a level 0 city against multiple other cities.

They didn't get the entire Royal Army back. Probably many were fried beyond repair, others were already uncroked once before they were killed again, and still others were killed in other hexes. Wanda has been shown to be *far* less good at bringing back multiple people than one at a time.

Further, now that they have the pliers... I suspect all the other cities will combine (again), except perhaps this time they'll be more serious about it. Vinny's group alone has a dozen or so warlords that they could commit. Charley might not have to be paid, or he might even fund this one.

Aquillion
2009-05-03, 10:56 PM
Do you know what pretentious even means?

"Here I stand as proof of..." = You could said self-centred, egotistical, but that's not the same as pretentious
"I shall be your captain now" = Presumptuous, not pretentious
Taking over the world = ambitious, not pretentious.

To be pretentious involves masquerading as though you know much about a subject when you in fact do not. Akin to vagrantly flaunting vocabulary which the user does not understand. Ie. think Pretentious, pretending, etc.You are wrong. (And I will leave out the obvious dig at you for, uh, flagrantly flaunting vocabulary which you don't understand.)

From here (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pretentious):

1: characterized by pretension: as a: making usually unjustified or excessive claims (as of value or standing) <the pretentious fraud who assumes a love of culture that is alien to him Richard Watts> b: expressive of affected, unwarranted, or exaggerated importance, worth, or stature <pretentious language> <pretentious houses>
Or here (http://www.answers.com/pretentious):
1. Claiming or demanding a position of distinction or merit, especially when unjustified.
2. Making or marked by an extravagant outward show; ostentatious. See synonyms at showy.
Ansom is exaggerating his own importance by claiming to stand as a 'proof of a higher expression'; the only thing he's proof of is that Parson was better at backstabbing and Wanda happened to qualify for the artifact, but to him, it must be something big, epic, and grand. That's pretension.

kagato23
2009-05-03, 10:59 PM
Sometime to keep in mind is that Stanly's army and empire used to be much larger and stronger than even what it is now. They're a level 0 city against multiple other cities.

They didn't get the entire Royal Army back. Probably many were fried beyond repair, others were already uncroked once before they were killed again, and still others were killed in other hexes. Wanda has been shown to be *far* less good at bringing back multiple people than one at a time.

Further, now that they have the pliers... I suspect all the other cities will combine (again), except perhaps this time they'll be more serious about it. Vinny's group alone has a dozen or so warlords that they could commit. Charley might not have to be paid, or he might even fund this one.

Not necessarily.

Remember, he didn't win, he KILLED EVERYBODY. That's going to give anybody pause before they take a crack at him. 0% survival on some sort of "dirtamancy trap" that, for all they know, he can do again at anytime. (and effectively he can, all the surviving pieces are in place). They don't know the cost on his own city because nobody is htere to survey the damage. And if they do go check, they'll see he's got at least a few stacks, a captured warlord, and probably the beginnings of refortification thanks to very wealthy side. Assuming the foolamancer doesn't just make them see something different.

Charlie brought enough forces to take down gobwin knob, but I'm guessing that was a big ass chunk of his forces. I doubt he can honor any other commitments he has going on and focus on GK, and I'm guessing he's going to need to restock, which means he has to look at other commitments right now.

A lot of the coalition wanted to pull out. This will not dissuade them. Translvito doesn't seem like it cares that much, Vinnie asside.

If jillian is able to become queen, she might well want to start a campaign, but she won't find many friends (she's not good at that in the best of circumstances).

And if nothing else, most people won't have enough move to get there unless over several turns. That gives people time.

Oh, eventually GK will be a focus again, but by that time, they will be a real threat. And it might well be too late.

DigoDragon
2009-05-03, 11:05 PM
*thumbs up* I like where this is going. Let's all go beat up Charlescomm :D

PNG_pyro
2009-05-03, 11:11 PM
Wow. Just...wow.

I now have no idea where this story could possibly go. The gamebreaking is reaching ridiculous proportions, and so I'm thinking "time for another book"...but on the other hand, so many personal plots are still un-tied-up. Really, I have no idea.

Just two thoughts to throw in here. I like Ansom, before and after his uncroaking.

Also, if units can only be uncroaked once, then the whole contingent of uncroaked they were using for dance-fighting is gone. Which isn't much compared to the entire RCC, but it's still something to consider.

Zeku
2009-05-03, 11:48 PM
You know, it's possible for someone to just be really convinced that they are a big deal. That isn't (I forgot the word we were talking about?) its merely self-delusion. Maybe he really is a big deal?

Either way, Ansom just strikes me as a guy who gets very serious about whatever is in front of him, and that strong belief ends up looking pretty stupid once it's clearly in perspective. I feel like I share this characteristic with him.

It's rooted in a deep cynicism of everything you're surrounded by. Ansom believes as he does (whatever that happens to be at the moment) because he doesn't really trust the truth that is around him. He assumes it was manufactured by someone that didn't know what they were doing, and that there is some deeper truth to be found, one in which he plays an important part. The fact that he's wrong is the sad flaw in his character.

Spot
2009-05-04, 12:05 AM
You know, it's possible for someone to just be really convinced that they are a big deal. That isn't (I forgot the word we were talking about?) its merely self-delusion. Maybe he really is a big deal?

Either way, Ansom just strikes me as a guy who gets very serious about whatever is in front of him, and that strong belief ends up looking pretty stupid once it's clearly in perspective. I feel like I share this characteristic with him.

It's rooted in a deep cynicism of everything you're surrounded by. Ansom believes as he does (whatever that happens to be at the moment) because he doesn't really trust the truth that is around him. He assumes it was manufactured by someone that didn't know what they were doing, and that there is some deeper truth to be found, one in which he plays an important part. The fact that he's wrong is the sad flaw in his character.


(1) Ansom isn't wrong in assuming that he plays an important role.

(2) Getting born on a farm somewhere, looking up on the stars and dreaming of someday being an astronaut, and then immediatelly dismissing that dream as unrealistic and stupid, because you're destined to be a farmer your entire life just like your pa and grandpa, and so you go on to live 80 years on the same farm, farming the whole time...

...that would have been a *really* *really* boring version of the movie "The Right Stuff".
:smallwink:

Joreal_Conners
2009-05-04, 12:27 AM
Somewhere in Erfworld, Greg Graffin, Brett Gurewitz, Greg Hetson, Brian Baker, Jay Bentley, and Brooks Wackerman just spawned in to give that army dance fight bonuses.

Killer Angel
2009-05-04, 01:45 AM
So how do you think Vinnie and Jillian are going to react to new Ansom's plan to conquer the world?

I don't think that conquering the world, is a new concept in a war-based world. Still, the reaction of Vinnie and Jillian will be very strong, seeing what have been done to their firiend / beloved.
I think they will give a new dimension to the word "hate".... but maybe I'm wrong.

Maybe, the real question is: how will Stanley react to this? You knows, each one has his own idea on the reasons to conquer the world...

Axl_Rose
2009-05-04, 01:52 AM
You are wrong. (And I will leave out the obvious dig at you for, uh, flagrantly flaunting vocabulary which you don't understand.)

From here (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pretentious):

Or here (http://www.answers.com/pretentious):
Ansom is exaggerating his own importance by claiming to stand as a 'proof of a higher expression'; the only thing he's proof of is that Parson was better at backstabbing and Wanda happened to qualify for the artifact, but to him, it must be something big, epic, and grand. That's pretension.

Mate, "exaggerating one's own importance" is nowhere near what being pretentious means. I'm glad you can quote from a dictionary site, but it appears proper interpretation has eluded you.

the 1st definition:


characterized by pretension: as a: making usually unjustified or excessive claims (as of value or standing) <the pretentious fraud who assumes a love of culture that is alien to him

is exactly what I said in my last post. In the example from said dictionary site, 'Richard' is pretending to know much about a culture that is alien to him. Merely being extravagant (As is the case with Ansom) is not the same at all.

Second definition


1. Claiming or demanding a position of distinction or merit, especially when unjustified.
2. Making or marked by an extravagant outward show; ostentatious.
is meant in the context of being a pretender.

Pretentious =/= overzealous, arrogant, and egocentric, although those who are pretentious often embody those traits.

TamLin
2009-05-04, 02:07 AM
Well if the pliers make the decrypted character loyal to Stanley's side, and considering that one of Bogroll's traits was his unquestioned loyalty, I don't see how the pliers would change him aside from taking away his upkeep.



Well, it's still not completely certain that the pliers make decryptified units loyal, although it seems like a reasonable assumption. But, for example, let's say Wanda brings back Bogroll and at first Parson is happy/relieved, but he notices Bogroll acting strange and over time comes to the conclusion that he is not really "alive" at all, just animate and going through the motions. Or perhaps Wanda will force him to do something objectionable against his will, leaving Parson guilt-ridden. Or maybe it'll turn out that none of these are really the original people at all and are actually horrible, horrible demons inhabiting their bodies and memories (okay, probably not, but it's just a hypothetical example). There are almost certainly consequences to this process that are not immediately obvious.

Killer Angel
2009-05-04, 02:28 AM
I was wandering if this is worth a new thread... well, maybe not.

Ansom is a completely new type of uncroaked unit. He has intelligence, memories, he can speak, reasoning... he's practically alive.
He's also a fanatic religious (not strange at all: he was a zelot 'bout royalty in life, now that he's been resurrected uncroaked by an holy artifact, i don't expect any less from him).
But this can have some consequences, all new for erfworld.
NOW, he's loyal to Parson (he's the warlord and he spoke the Titans' truth), but probably he's loyal also to Wanda (the Bearer of the Sacred Arkenpliers) and to Stanley (leader of GK and bearer of another arkentool).

I'm not sure if a unit like Ansom will be forced to "loyalty", if his commander will not pursue the Holy crusade for a new Titanic world order.

ZiggyGuy
2009-05-04, 02:48 AM
.. zero... upkeep.

That's ALL I can think of right now. O.o;;

Spot
2009-05-04, 03:14 AM
I was wandering if this is worth a new thread... well, maybe not.

Ansom is a completely new type of uncroaked unit. He has intelligence, memories, he can speak, reasoning... he's practically alive.
He's also a fanatic religious (not strange at all: he was a zelot 'bout royalty in life, now that he's been resurrected uncroaked by an holy artifact, i don't expect any less from him).
But this can have some consequences, all new for erfworld.
NOW, he's loyal to Parson (he's the warlord and he spoke the Titans' truth), but probably he's loyal also to Wanda (the Bearer of the Sacred Arkenpliers) and to Stanley (leader of GK and bearer of another arkentool).

I'm not sure if a unit like Ansom will be forced to "loyalty", if his commander will not pursue the Holy crusade for a new Titanic world order.



I suspect that Ansom will see it as his duty to convince Parson to be enthusiastic about global conquest and to make Parson see "the truth" of the new Holy Crusade.

Also, it'll be interesting to see how Jillian reacts to the news of Ansom's decrypting, and it'll be even more interesting to see (new) Ansom's reaction to Jillian.

Of course, we still, first, have to see Jillian's reaction to finding out that FAQ wasn't conquered like she thought it was.

TamLin
2009-05-04, 03:30 AM
I didn't really interpret Ansom's zeal as a dramatic shift in his character. His entire royalty kick while alive was founded on religious principle, seems now that the focus has shifted to something new but the drive is the same.

teratorn
2009-05-04, 03:37 AM
I'm not sure if a unit like Ansom will be forced to "loyalty", if his commander will not pursue the Holy crusade for a new Titanic world order.

Curse the people who brought the Duncan Idaho thing. Your post made me think about the legions of Fremen slaughtering around the universe in the name of Paul Muad'Dib. Ansom even has blue-in-blue eyes.

Oh, and did Ansom shave his chest hair? He still had it in 143...

Killer Angel
2009-05-04, 03:38 AM
I suspect that Ansom will see it as his duty to convince Parson to be enthusiastic about global conquest and to make Parson see "the truth" of the new Holy Crusade.

Also, it'll be interesting to see how Jillian reacts to the news of Ansom's decrypting, and it'll be even more interesting to see (new) Ansom's reaction to Jillian.
.

I've no doubt that Ansom will try to convince Parson... but i don't see Parson is going to appreciate the whole idea.
He was intrigued by the fight against overhelming odds, but he's not the "aggressive" type. He can be the Perfect Warlord, but he has moral dilemmas.
Sadly, he has no great choices... he had to obey Stanley's orders; now, the thing is: what Stanley is going to do?

And about Jillian, probably she will see this as an abomination, and she will hate Wanda very strongly.

Killer Angel
2009-05-04, 03:42 AM
Curse the people who brought the Duncan Idaho thing. Your post made me think about the legions of Fremen slaughtering around the universe in the name of Paul Muad'Dib. Ansom even has blue-in-blue eyes.

jihad! :smallbiggrin:

Ah, Ansom and Wanda, what a gracious couple, aren't they? They seems natural born conquerers of the world! :smalltongue:

Yodimus
2009-05-04, 03:58 AM
More concisely, Emotion trumps reason. No matter how many reasons there are for people to work together, greed, hate, envy, or anger can have a greater influence on the results than any potential good.

True perhaps, but in Wanda's case, her brilliance is in her underhanded manipulations, right? So yeah, Stanley might be retarded and demand the pliers, but Wanda will schmooze on over and be all like, "Of course Lord Tool, they're all your's. Of course, I'm also your's, and with my bonuses and etc as Uber croakamancer, I'll be able to rez units much more efficiently, yes?" and so on and so forth. I foresee nothing getting to out of hand, no matter how ungrateful the Tool will be (and I strongly suspect he will be QUITE ungrateful, to Parson's annoyance, no doubt)



Anyway, unless some massive, gigantic turn of the tables happens prior to the end of this Book, I've got no reason to assume Parson, Wanda, Ansom and Stanley won't be rulers of all of Erfworld by the start of Book 2. Why mess about with all the technicalities when we already know what's going to happen? If Parson can win when he's given nothing, what do you think he could do when given everything??

But I suspect we'll see pretty soon. Maybe somewhere between five-to-ten pages to go, I'm guessing.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-05-04, 04:14 AM
I'll weigh in on "Stanley's uberpowerful- or not" debate.

Ever since the volcanic explosion, my claim was Stanley could rule the world like a racket. "Nice cities you got there, it would be a shame if something happened to them, dig?"

The latest strips do nothing to change my mind. They've got builders (the golems), the casters (one of which is a Foolamancer), schmuckers to burn, dwagons pop anyway, two attuned Arkentools, one of which is perfect for using the enemy's strength against them, not to mention an army of rezzed units. My initial argument was psychology, but there's no need for subtelty now, in brute force terms Stanley's side is strong.

The strongest side? Maybe ... not at the moment. We don't know how big Erfworld is, and what 30000 units (estimated size of the initial RCC army) means. In some games, that is a lot. In others, a drop in an ocean. True.

But, think in perspective. They've got a world reeling from the shock of unexpected defeat, a fearsome reputation, the ability to hit-and-run with relative impunity, a Perfect Warlord with experience at these kinds of strikes, and the ability to enlarge their army with every success.

If they are not the strongest side right now, it will be very easy for them to become so.

That's why I say the game is already broken, and why Stanley's side no longer needs, in story-logic terms, the Perfect Warlord. That's why I keep expecting a split to come up eventually.

HOW that split occurs (who will betray whom, or who will grow jealous of what etc) is of no concern to this argument, and I expect to be surprised as to what that mechanism will turn out to be.


Anyway, unless some massive, gigantic turn of the tables happens prior to the end of this Book, I've got no reason to assume Parson, Wanda, Ansom and Stanley won't be rulers of all of Erfworld by the start of Book 2. Why mess about with all the technicalities when we already know what's going to happen? If Parson can win when he's given nothing, what do you think he could do when given everything??

But I suspect we'll see pretty soon. Maybe somewhere between five-to-ten pages to go, I'm guessing.

Exactly, this is my impression of what the state of the world/game would lead to right now. It just, for some reason, doesn't ring well that Book 2 will start with Erfworld united under Stanley (well, we know Wanda is the real power behind the throne, but let's humour the Tool ... and Wanda).

Maybe I am expecting the Protagonist (Parson Gotti) to be kept the Protagonist, and therefore face unfair odds to keep it interesting, maybe it would be the ... disappointment ... of not seeing how one can go Alexander the Great on Erfworld.

Unless ... we are about to learn, in Book 2, that world peace too is deconstructible. And it does not look at all pretty on the inside. So, we would head for a moral of the "natural order == best order" kind of thing (which I seriously doubt that Rob is leading us to, that think is called the naturalistic fallacy).

Killer Angel
2009-05-04, 04:30 AM
If they are not the strongest side right now, it will be very easy for them to become so.

That's why I say the game is already broken, and why Stanley's side no longer needs, in story-logic terms, the Perfect Warlord. That's why I keep expecting a split to come up eventually.



Given the fact that Stanley considered Parson a waste of resources, and Parson's huge upkeep cost (we still don't know if it's diminished after the Stupid Meal tools), he could simply dismiss Parson, 'cause he's a supreme leader and his side owns 2 arkentools.
So, we'll have a barbarian Parson, free to ally with anyother side, against the unstoppable Titanic Holy Crusade.

Well, i don't know if it's really a possible scenario, but still...

Aquillion
2009-05-04, 05:37 AM
Given the fact that Stanley considered Parson a waste of resources, and Parson's huge upkeep cost (we still don't know if it's diminished after the Stupid Meal tools), he could simply dismiss Parson, 'cause he's a supreme leader and his side owns 2 arkentools.
So, we'll have a barbarian Parson, free to ally with anyother side, against the unstoppable Titanic Holy Crusade.

Well, i don't know if it's really a possible scenario, but still...Or he could order Wanda to kill and then decrypt Parson to negate his upkeep costs.

teratorn
2009-05-04, 05:41 AM
Or he could order Wanda to kill and then decrypt Parson to negate his upkeep costs.

We don't know if decrypted units level up. Parson is still too low level to freeze his stats.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-05-04, 05:45 AM
Or he could order Wanda to kill and then decrypt Parson to negate his upkeep costs.

The BLAND Corporation is currently looking for an HR Manager. When can you start? :smalltongue:

Gez
2009-05-04, 06:28 AM
Decrypted units = "normal humans" as opposed to "game units". No upkeep, no Loyalty issues.

Decrypted units = the end of the "game", the end of war.

No wonder Hippiemancers were happy.
Even with quotes, I have to disagree with qualifying units that don't require upkeep as "normal humans". See, I had an army of soldiers that I trained not to require food, clothing, shelter or any other commodities, but just as they finally learned the trick they all died. :smalltongue:

Same for "no loyalty issues", normal humans are quite often traitors, spies, rebels or mutineers.

So, no. I don't think the Hippymancers' plan is to turn everyone into an army of Croakknights who want to conquer the world. That doesn't really sound like the type of goals a Hippymancer would strive for.

You forgot his bracer, which has already been classified as an Artifact and is the equivalent of a Mathamancer all by it's lonesome. (Charlie was drooling after it as much as Stanley drooled after an Arkentool.)
Classified as an artifact? I beg to differ. Sizemore said "maybe artifact" (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F054.jpg) because he didn't know at the time, but now we know it's been created by the spell cast by Wanda (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F106.jpg), spell which itself was created by people in the Magic Kingdom (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F005.jpg), which means it's only a magic item (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F035.jpg).


1. No. (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F095.jpg)
Parson, however, is.

Her loyalty is not compelled by a spell. That doesn't mean she isn't loyal. She's bound by Duty to Stanley (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F103.jpg), and it's not a spell because it's natural thinkamancy (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F084a.jpg).

raphfrk
2009-05-04, 06:52 AM
Classified as an artifact? I beg to differ. Sizemore said "maybe artifact" (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F054.jpg) because he didn't know at the time, but now we know it's been created by the spell cast by Wanda (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F106.jpg), spell which itself was created by people in the Magic Kingdom (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F005.jpg), which means it's only a magic item (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F035.jpg).


Also, presumably, if it was an artifact, there would be an artifact bonus.

Saracenus
2009-05-04, 08:46 AM
We don't know if decrypted units level up. Parson is still too low level to freeze his stats.

If decrypting is a more powerful form of making uncroaked and we know that uncroaked warlords level, then Ansome should be able to level.

Remember Stanley went ballistic when Parson withdrew his units after destroying the seige thus denying his uncroaked warlords a chance to level.

So, unless decryption is a completely different spell it follows that decrypted units can level.

The Old Hack
2009-05-04, 09:25 AM
If decrypting is a more powerful form of making uncroaked and we know that uncroaked warlords level, then Ansome should be able to level.

Remember Stanley went ballistic when Parson withdrew his units after destroying the seige thus denying his uncroaked warlords a chance to level.

So, unless decryption is a completely different spell it follows that decrypted units can level.

This is correct; I misremembered badly when I thought Uncroaked couldn't level -- ironically, I was thinking of the exact same page but entirely failing to recall the point. However, we do not know which rate Uncroaked level at; it could be less, and at any event they suffered the handicap of gradual but inevitable decay.

Decrypted, however, do not decay, so it may well be an entirely different spell. Even so, it strikes me as logical that it is based on Uncroaking, which means it might have similar traits, only better. Decrypted may well be able to level just like Uncroaked units.

But I remain unconvinced that Decrypting is all improvement and no penalty. I suspect there is some sort of downside to it, something not immediately obvious yet seriously limiting....

BLANDCorporatio
2009-05-04, 10:13 AM
But I remain unconvinced that Decrypting is all improvement and no penalty. I suspect there is some sort of downside to it, something not immediately obvious yet seriously limiting....

"Decrypted units hunger for world domination and must attack every turn. Failing to find an opponent, they will turn on each other. Failing to find any target whatsoever they will turn on themselves."

I have, obviously, no idea. Just saying.

The Old Hack
2009-05-04, 11:00 AM
"Decrypted units hunger for world domination and must attack every turn. Failing to find an opponent, they will turn on each other. Failing to find any target whatsoever they will turn on themselves."

I have, obviously, no idea. Just saying.

*snicker*

Even so, that would be one example of a downside. :smallamused:

SteveMB
2009-05-04, 11:36 AM
Ansom is even more irritating now then the first time around. And I notice that he is talking to Parson as is Parson was the boss and that his loyalty is to him, not Stanley or Wanda.

That could be another indication that Ansom's new mindset is based on psychology (the fanatic becoming equally fanatical to his new cause, and disdaining his former cause as a misleading delusion).

After all, Parson is the one who (sorta) told him to his face that royal mandates were obsolete and that Stanley's attunement to the Arkenhammer indicated that he had the true mandate of the Titans. I suspect that Ansom has always harbored some unadmitted suspicion to that effect (because of his failure to attune to the Arkenpliers), and that Parson is probably the only person who's ever directly presented this viewpoint to Ansom. If so, it would be natural for Ansom, once his old worldview shattered, to glom onto Parson as the person who'd Gotten It Right[tm].

SteveMB
2009-05-04, 11:38 AM
What's happened here, is that Ansom has had a religious experience orders of magnitude more powerful than we can imagine. He thought he was invincible, because he was serving the Titans. He died, and was brought back to life through the power of a literal tool of the beings who created his world.

Also, he was brought back because the tool of the Titans that had rejected him had instead accepted the "demoness" Wanda as its true wielder. Add in whatever history between them is hinted at in their earlier confrontation (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html).

It's quite possible that Ansom, having his old worldview knocked into a cocked message hat, is now making sense of things by seizing on a new worldview with equal zeal. That's not uncommon among real-world fanatics who break away from a belief system.

Killer Angel
2009-05-04, 11:46 AM
Also, he was brought back because the tool of the Titans that had rejected him had instead accepted the "demoness" Wanda as its true wielder. Add in whatever history between them is hinted at in their earlier confrontation (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0135.html).



Nice character development, for an undead uncroaked decrypted unit... :smallsmile:

DevilDan
2009-05-04, 12:47 PM
Actually, it fits -- fanatics who have their worldview torn down are likely to become fanatics for something new cause rather than just normal people.

Eric Hoffer pointed commented on precisely this phenomenon in The True Believer.

Wanda is still loyal to Stanley: however, she could betray Stanley at any point because of the existence of the prophecy.


PS: I mean, really - level 10 non-decaying and cogent Warlord for zero upkeep?

Yeah, all you need to do is kill a level-10 warlord! I mean, who can't do that?

Does "I remember ... most things" mean that Wanda purged him of at least some of his memories of Jillian? (Although it's even creepier if he remembers everything and just doesn't care anymore.)


And that is the first time the absolute level of a unit is stated, other than that only up'ed 2 levels or such

That depends on whether you think that Jillian was trying to insult whatshisface here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0056.html).

Anias
2009-05-04, 12:50 PM
Oh, and did Ansom shave his chest hair? He still had it in 143...

Well, maybe he's just been listening to what people say...


http://img396.imageshack.us/img396/9937/erflol9iy8.th.png (http://img396.imageshack.us/my.php?image=erflol9iy8.png)

Then again, maybe it's a blooper or a result of being decrypted.
Wait...in 143 he doesn't have it either - it's just scratches on his body; maybe it all got burned off by the volcano...

MCerberus
2009-05-04, 01:07 PM
Looks like we've got an Alexander the Great scenario coming up. Only this time the conquerer doesn't need to use kindness to convert enemies and there may not be a disease to stop him.

Although we need to wait and see if the mass decrypt'd are non-decaying. They could just take a really really long time or are mass-rezzed at their previous level.

DevilDan
2009-05-04, 01:15 PM
What's the mechanic for assuming and maintaining control of a side? Does Stanley get to come back to GK after ditching it and automatically take over control of this grand new army just because he was once designated heir, or can Parson tell him to fall in line or buzz off? Will Wanda have to be subservient to the Tool, even though she's a Tool herself now? And is ReAnsom really so transformed that he'll accept orders from Stanley?

Stanley never "ditched" in the sense that he never relinquished his control of GK, Parson, or its troops. He was never not its ruler. And he believes, as do others, that Stanley can simply end Parson's existence with a word. There's no reason to believe that Parson isn't still compelled to follow the Tool's orders.

Lamech
2009-05-04, 01:29 PM
Although we need to wait and see if the mass decrypt'd are non-decaying. They could just take a really really long time or are mass-rezzed at their previous level.
I suspect this may be the drawback of the de-crypted. Its very possible that the uncroaked just have a "+x" to their uncroaked status. So Wanda won't be able to make more than a few non-decayers a turn. And I also suspect that units can't be endlessly decrypted.

ishnar
2009-05-04, 01:51 PM
You are wrong. (And I will leave out the obvious dig at you for, uh, flagrantly flaunting vocabulary which you don't understand.)

From here (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pretentious):

Or here (http://www.answers.com/pretentious):
Ansom is exaggerating his own importance by claiming to stand as a 'proof of a higher expression'; the only thing he's proof of is that Parson was better at backstabbing and Wanda happened to qualify for the artifact, but to him, it must be something big, epic, and grand. That's pretension.

I have to disagree with you here. On the face of it I would have to agree with you, but in context I cannot.

Bogroll's attack is not what defeated Ansom. Even with Ansom dead, his forces should still have won. Ansom was beaten by a big, epic, and grand explosion. Even if he had survived the betrayal he'd be just as dead and just as Decrypted. If Ansom were not a very good warlord, if Ansom's force should not have won handily by all reasonable expectations, then sure it would be pretentious. But Ansom was taken out by a rules exploit. This is like the kamikaze that took out the Mongolian fleet. An act of the Titans.

Ansom isn't some plebe with delusions of grandeur, he is a man of grandure was raised by a tool of the titans, in a whole new way. Of course he would say "I" no one else had been raised yet.

ishnar
2009-05-04, 01:53 PM
True perhaps, but in Wanda's case, her brilliance is in her underhanded manipulations, right?

Good point.


Anyway, unless some massive, gigantic turn of the tables happens prior to the end of this Book, I've got no reason to assume Parson, Wanda, Ansom and Stanley won't be rulers of all of Erfworld by the start of Book 2. Why mess about with all the technicalities when we already know what's going to happen? If Parson can win when he's given nothing, what do you think he could do when given everything??

Heh, why mess with all the technicalities? Because that's what storytelling is. Sure we could write stories thus: There once was a prince who loved a princess. They got married and had lots of babies. The End. But that isn't an interesting story. You could say we knew Parson would win the battle of Effed up, so why bother to read all the intervening pages? You could have just waited till the book was finished and read the last page.

I also disagree that we know that they will rule the world so easily. There is still a missing known arkentool and I personally disbelieve that Stanley's force is as grand as many believe. I'm thinking this whole battle was more in line with the battle at Troy. Also, there seems to be an assumption that Wanda can decrypt an unlimited number of soldiers. But there might well be some limitations on it.

potential limitations.

1. Maximum numbers
2. Maximum distance
3. Decreasing control.
4. Weaknesses to certain attacks. Turning, healing,
5. Weaknesses in certain terrain types.
6. Maybe another croakamancer could switch an uncroaked unit's loyalty?

Etc..

DevilDan
2009-05-04, 02:17 PM
As a side note, how come the Hammers most useful ability is to turn birds into walnuts and visa versa, while the pliers can instantly destroy undead and rez people while simultaniously brainwashing them? Balance issues much?!

And don't forget the flight capability and the electrical attacks of the hammer.

Next time, perhaps complaints about balance issues should be withheld until we actually see these putative problems affecting the plot.


The big issue I see coming is when Stanley comes back and says "Great job, I knew you had it in you all the time. Ok so, let me have the pliers now."

Stanley seems to have been humbled; his belief in the Titan's plans for him have been shaken; he seems to have even learned a bit of self-doubt (or at least shown remorse in relation to Jack's prior mental damage). The Tool got his boop handed to him or nearly so, while the people he abandoned as being at best useless (suggesting that they may have been so incompetent that one could actually suspect betrayal) pulled off an impossible victory without him, his hammer, and his dwagons...

My WAG for the next chapter: The next book opens as GK has already taken over nearly all of Erf, either right before, during, or after the time when he's taking over Charlescomm's stronghold.

fendrin
2009-05-04, 02:31 PM
Stanley seems to have been humbled; his belief in the Titan's plans for him have been shaken; he seems to have even learned a bit of self-doubt (or at least shown remorse in relation to Jack's prior mental damage). The Tool got his boop handed to him or nearly so, while the people he abandoned as being at best useless (suggesting that they may have been so incompetent that one could actually suspect betrayal) pulled off an impossible victory without him, his hammer, and his dwagons...

Yeah, but this newly humble Stanley is going to arrive back at GK and be subjected to Ansom's worship. How long do you think it'll take for Stanley's megalomania to return?

DevilDan
2009-05-04, 02:33 PM
Yeah, but this newly humble Stanley is going to arrive back at GK and be subjected to Ansom's worship. How long do you think it'll take for Stanley's megalomania to return?

Unsom doesn't strike me as a fawning sycophant. His personality and earnestness seems intact, and he was always about honor and duty and hierarchy. He will not be shy about criticizing Stanley as he isn't shy now about contradicting Parson.

fendrin
2009-05-04, 02:56 PM
Unsom doesn't strike me as a fawning sycophant.

Ansom says to Parson:
"You spoke the truth. You were speaking for the Titans then."

Excerpt of what Ansom is referring to:
"I work for a Tool... The guy the Titans chose to lead... He is a 'Tool of the Titans'. That's higher than Royalty, dude. Stanley is your superior."

It seems to me that Ansom would worship Stanley as the personal representation of the Titans on Erf.

DevilDan
2009-05-04, 03:41 PM
Ansom says to Parson:
"You spoke the truth. You were speaking for the Titans then."

Excerpt of what Ansom is referring to:
"I work for a Tool... The guy the Titans chose to lead... He is a 'Tool of the Titans'. That's higher than Royalty, dude. Stanley is your superior."

It seems to me that Ansom would worship Stanley as the personal representation of the Titans on Erf.
I guess his matter-of-fact, self-assured demeanor is open to interpretation.

Kilkrazy
2009-05-04, 04:26 PM
Ansom says to Parson:
"You spoke the truth. You were speaking for the Titans then."

Excerpt of what Ansom is referring to:
"I work for a Tool... The guy the Titans chose to lead... He is a 'Tool of the Titans'. That's higher than Royalty, dude. Stanley is your superior."

It seems to me that Ansom would worship Stanley as the personal representation of the Titans on Erf.

Roman Catholics don't worship the Pope.

ishnar
2009-05-04, 04:48 PM
Ansom says to Parson:
"You spoke the truth. You were speaking for the Titans then."

Excerpt of what Ansom is referring to:
"I work for a Tool... The guy the Titans chose to lead... He is a 'Tool of the Titans'. That's higher than Royalty, dude. Stanley is your superior."

It seems to me that Ansom would worship Stanley as the personal representation of the Titans on Erf.

"There is more to the Titan's will than whom they left in charge." Stanley was the one they left in charge, the Tool of the Titans. But he ran and didn't contribute much to the fight so I don't think Ansom is that interested in Stanley. Ansom had a tool and lost it to Parson not Stanley. In other words, Ansom didn't lose to a Tool, he lost to someone that wasn't even a tool. I don't think Ansom has suddenly become a zealous supporter of Tools, I think he has instead realized that even people without official titanic recognition, can be greater than Tools or Royalty. To wit, Ansom says "I'll be your captain" not Stanley's captain. He doesn't say, "Stanley was right." but "You were right."

Ansom right now sees Parson as the mouthpiece of the Titans, albiet an unwitting one. If he has the ability to defect, then I predict Ansom will follow Stanley only as long as Parson does.

fendrin
2009-05-04, 05:01 PM
Roman Catholics don't worship the Pope.

That is irrelevant. It does not matter if Ansom is worshiping Stanley per se or just treating him like a groupie treats a rockstar. It would likely have the same effect on Stanley.


"There is more to the Titan's will than whom they left in charge." Stanley was the one they left in charge, the Tool of the Titans. But he ran and didn't contribute much to the fight so I don't think Ansom is that interested in Stanley. Ansom had a tool and lost it to Parson not Stanley. In other words, Ansom didn't lose to a Tool, he lost to someone that wasn't even a tool. I don't think Ansom has suddenly become a zealous supporter of Tools, I think he has instead realized that even people without official titanic recognition, can be greater than Tools or Royalty. To wit, Ansom says "I'll be your captain" not Stanley's captain. He doesn't say, "Stanley was right." but "You were right."

Ansom right now sees Parson as the mouthpiece of the Titans, albiet an unwitting one. If he has the ability to defect, then I predict Ansom will follow Stanley only as long as Parson does.

Perhaps, but I don't think that's what he's saying. The quotes in his speech bubble around "whom they left in charge" indicates to me that he is paraphrasing himself. In the thinkagram he proclamed his superiority because he is "directly descended from those whom the titans left in charge" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0101.html). That combined with he talk of being a "higher expression" leads me to believe that he is saying that attunement to a 'tool is superior to being popped as Royalty.

SteveMB
2009-05-04, 05:17 PM
"Worship" may be the wrong word for it, but Ansom's new attitude would lead him to show Stanley enough reverence to swell the Tool's head to the size of one of those dwagon-blimp veils.

hobgoblen924
2009-05-04, 05:26 PM
It's official: Arkenpliers > Arkenhammer

i dunno bro. even if the dwagons do have an upkeep, first off they fly, second they have ranged attack and probably dps, third you don't need to look around for corpses in order to pop them

gooddragon1
2009-05-04, 06:14 PM
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0158.html

Someone needs to do a photoshop on panel #2 and give Parson a tophat, the glasses are in perfect position...

"I do find him quite unrefined though" or some other stick up the bumhole statement.

Sweetie Welf
2009-05-04, 08:26 PM
I can't sleep, therefore I made this:


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_h-WqSeB0Ges/Sf-VRZZ19SI/AAAAAAAAADw/BQGzqBtcGeY/s1600/Parson%2BGoogles%2B2.jpg

teratorn
2009-05-04, 08:50 PM
Well, maybe he's just been listening to what people say...


I'm from a very different generation, an adult male with a shaved chest still triggers with me the same kind of response as seeing a bald woman. I hope it's a blooper.

Revenant
2009-05-04, 09:56 PM
That depends on whether you think that Jillian was trying to insult whatshisface here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0056.html).
Yeah, I always thought she was referring to Leadership scores it made sense in the context of who gives orders.

Sure, Parson's Leadership was the same as his level when we first saw them, but since then he's gained the sword which included "Leadership!" in its advertised capabilities, so I see nothing which particularly links the two.

Spot
2009-05-04, 10:24 PM
i dunno bro. even if the dwagons do have an upkeep, first off they fly, second they have ranged attack and probably dps, third you don't need to look around for corpses in order to pop them

Good point.

chefsotero
2009-05-05, 01:03 AM
i dunno bro. even if the dwagons do have an upkeep, first off they fly, second they have ranged attack and probably dps, third you don't need to look around for corpses in order to pop them

Well if you can make decrypted of any unit, the plyers can get you Dwagons, Archons.... well you get the Idea

Kholdstare
2009-05-05, 07:38 AM
I say the pliers aren't overpowered mostly because to get a powerful unit you must actually kill it. An archon or a dragon would require a serious loss of units to try and croak and you risk the wielder of the pliers in this plan.

Though the reward for actually succeeding is very great in order to offset your loss. The no-upkeep and no decay uncroaked are your prize for winning the challenge of killing your enemy.

The Old Hack
2009-05-05, 07:51 AM
Perhaps, but I don't think that's what he's saying. The quotes in his speech bubble around "whom they left in charge" indicates to me that he is paraphrasing himself.

Um, very small correction and no objection to anything else you wrote: Ansom is actually quoting Vinnie from here (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F093.jpg). Mind you, I find that interesting in and of itself: it could mean that Ansom's new attitude is based on doubts he might have been feeling even then.

chefsotero
2009-05-05, 08:19 AM
I say the pliers aren't overpowered mostly because to get a powerful unit you must actually kill it. An archon or a dragon would require a serious loss of units to try and croak and you risk the wielder of the pliers in this plan.

Not nescessarilly, since bodies only need to be moved to not desapear one can get some sistem to bring corposes to wanda after they been kill.

But I do agree that you have an potentially higher payoff but with an potentially higher risk, IMHO the tools are balanced (all of them imba with regular joes, but hey its an artifact.....)

fendrin
2009-05-05, 08:41 AM
Um, very small correction and no objection to anything else you wrote: Ansom is actually quoting Vinnie from here (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F093.jpg). Mind you, I find that interesting in and of itself: it could mean that Ansom's new attitude is based on doubts he might have been feeling even then.

It seems to me that Vinny is echoing Ansom's rant. So it's a quote of a paraphrase.... quoting and paraphrasing seem rather transitive to me.

I agree with you though. I think Ansom's vehemence was fueled by his refusal to accept the implications of the Titans' choice of non-royals to wield the 'tools.

BTW, Wanda makes the third case out of three of 'tools attuning to non-royals. Perhaps royals are simply incapable of attuning? I am of course making an assumption that Wanda is not a royal, but it seems likely.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-05-05, 09:05 AM
It seems to me that Vinny is echoing Ansom's rant. So it's a quote of a paraphrase.... quoting and paraphrasing seem rather transitive to me.

I agree with you though. I think Ansom's vehemence was fueled by his refusal to accept the implications of the Titans' choice of non-royals to wield the 'tools.

BTW, Wanda makes the third case out of three of 'tools attuning to non-royals. Perhaps royals are simply incapable of attuning? I am of course making an assumption that Wanda is not a royal, but it seems likely.

Let us not jump to conclusions. Any Royalty worth its salt would comprise only 0.0001% of the population, or about 1ppm. So in all likelyhood the Tools would atune to peasants, because there's more of them.

Yahoo_Serious
2009-05-05, 10:42 AM
If they are not the strongest side right now, it will be very easy for them to become so. That's why I say the game is already broken...


I disagree. It seems to me the writers have teased us with far too many questions and far too much incomplete background material on Erf and its origins, history, and mechanics for Erf to be so small that Parson could break it with one exploit. I think we're going to need a lot more PLOT, more than two books worth, before we've exhausted this background, and this means a lot more exploits for Parson to find. IIRC, Parson only began at 2nd level, so he character has a lot of room to grow, and GK was only one of 10 cities the Tool, as one of an unknown number of sides, used to control. My guess is that GK was only the intro sortie or chapter, and there's a lot more of Erf to discover.



It just, for some reason, doesn't ring well that Book 2 will start with Erfworld united under Stanley

Agreed.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-05-05, 11:00 AM
I disagree. It seems to me the writers have teased us with far too many questions and far too much incomplete background material on Erf and its origins, history, and mechanics for Erf to be so small that Parson could break it with one exploit. I think we're going to need a lot more PLOT, more than two books worth, before we've exhausted this background, and this means a lot more exploits for Parson to find. IIRC, Parson only began at 2nd level, so he character has a lot of room to grow, and GK was only one of 10 cities the Tool, as one of an unknown number of sides, used to control. My guess is that GK was only the intro sortie or chapter, and there's a lot more of Erf to discover.

There's a lot more of Erfworld to discover, true.

That there's something out there capable to effectively counter Parson and Co., as they currently are, is what I am doubting. The thing is, we see Parson's hand, so to speak, and it's a very good one, plus he's a good player. He might not have a Royal Flush, but something significantly high up the list that you figure it's unlikely anyone can top that.

(Edit: and would be tempted to call for a sleeve inspection when someone does, in fact, best it.)

SteveMB
2009-05-05, 12:41 PM
Um, very small correction and no objection to anything else you wrote: Ansom is actually quoting Vinnie from here (http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F093.jpg). Mind you, I find that interesting in and of itself: it could mean that Ansom's new attitude is based on doubts he might have been feeling even then.

I suspect that both the vehemence of his old attitude and the direction of his new attitude are driven in part by doubts about why the Arkenhammer had attuned to Stanley while the Arkenpliers refused to attune to him.


Let us not jump to conclusions. Any Royalty worth its salt would comprise only 0.0001% of the population, or about 1ppm. So in all likelyhood the Tools would atune to peasants, because there's more of them.

Even indifference to the distinction between royals and peasants would be pretty disturbing for someone of Ansom's (old) worldview.

fendrin
2009-05-05, 01:13 PM
Let us not jump to conclusions. Any Royalty worth its salt would comprise only 0.0001% of the population, or about 1ppm. So in all likelyhood the Tools would atune to peasants, because there's more of them.

It was pure speculation, that's all. On the other hand, I am fairly sure that attunement is not simply a random occurrence. That significantly weakens any reasoning based on population density...

chefsotero
2009-05-05, 02:36 PM
It was pure speculation, that's all. On the other hand, I am fairly sure that attunement is not simply a random occurrence. That significantly weakens any reasoning based on population density...

And we doon't really know the royallity status of charlie

HandofShadows
2009-05-05, 02:46 PM
It was pure speculation, that's all. On the other hand, I am fairly sure that attunement is not simply a random occurrence. That significantly weakens any reasoning based on population density...

I seem to recall that the Archentools are aligned with fate magic. If so, who they choose to wield them is all part of a bigger picture that we cannot see as of yet.

fendrin
2009-05-05, 02:58 PM
And we doon't really know the royallity status of charlie

Parson says that he is a commoner, Ansom doesn't argue. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0102.html)


I seem to recall that the Archentools are aligned with fate magic. If so, who they choose to wield them is all part of a bigger picture that we cannot see as of yet.

Ansom says that "fate magic is powerless" in his case. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0022.html) That could be his way of saying that it is not his fate to be attuned to the 'pliers. It does not necessarily mean that the 'tools are Fate-aligned.

The Old Hack
2009-05-05, 03:13 PM
And we doon't really know the royallity status of charlie

Actually, we do. Charlie is an Overlord which means he isn't a Royal.

chefsotero
2009-05-05, 03:47 PM
Parson says that he is a commoner, Ansom doesn't argue. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0102.html)

I stand myself corected

Sweetie Welf
2009-05-05, 04:14 PM
BTW, Wanda makes the third case out of three of 'tools attuning to non-royals. Perhaps royals are simply incapable of attuning? I am of course making an assumption that Wanda is not a royal, but it seems likely.

We don't know if Wanda is royal, noble or commoner. She was popped in a city with a king, so it is possible.

cover_bob
2009-05-05, 04:30 PM
What is Charlie's tool? Parson said he is attuned to it... what does it do?

T-O-E
2009-05-05, 04:40 PM
The Arkendish? It gives him a mastery of Thinkamancy, and probably the archons.

mortissimus
2009-05-05, 04:47 PM
Not nescessarilly, since bodies only need to be moved to not desapear one can get some sistem to bring corposes to wanda after they been kill.

Ah, yes. A Meat Wagon (http://classic.battle.net/war3/undead/units/meatwagon.shtml) would come in handy.

Marbit-Chow
2009-05-05, 05:02 PM
The 'Pliers are not a game-breaker by any stretch of the imagination. The Royal Crown coalition was forged when only a few people thought Stanley was a threat. Once word spreads on how powerful Stanley is, others are going to naturally unite against him.

The largest armies in the world don't protect against assassinations. Foolamancy could get a stack in to attack Stanley directly, or kill Wanda in her sleep. Parson isn't the only one to be able to think laterally - Charlie might prove very treacherous. (Mind control spells on garrison guards?)

Vinny has shown, in my opinion, tactical ability similar to Ansom's, if not better. (Vinny could smell the trap that was Parson's very first ploy.) He just didn't have the motivation to use it to lead before. He might, now.

The 'Pliers will certainly make raising and maintaining a large army easier. But the bigger the target, the more weak points it has. They might not be able to take Gobwin Knob, but containment works just as well, and the more area they take, the more they have to defend, and the more spread-out they get.

archon_huskie
2009-05-05, 05:17 PM
We don't know if Wanda is royal, noble or commoner. She was popped in a city with a king, so it is possible.

That would make her Jillian's sister. I think they would have mentioned that.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-05-05, 05:52 PM
The 'Pliers are not a game-breaker by any stretch of the imagination. The Royal Crown coalition was forged when only a few people thought Stanley was a threat. Once word spreads on how powerful Stanley is, others are going to naturally unite against him.

Fundamentally disagree.

Everyone on Erfworld would probably be wondering what happened, did Stanley do it on his own or with inside-RCC help, could he do it again, what should he be paid not to do it again, could we get a hold of the technology (and boop anyone else).

Well played, this situation can make Stanley the racket-leader of the world.

At the very least, it buys him several turns in which everyone figures out what to do next.

The assasination idea is interesting, but remember that as yet nobody knows exactly what happens, except for GK. They wouldn't know whi to target anyway. And if we see that some new coalition is forced to resort to assassination and covert ops after being defeated soundly on the battlefield, well that is to acknowledge the imbalance and asymmetry of the situation.


The 'Pliers will certainly make raising and maintaining a large army easier. But the bigger the target, the more weak points it has. They might not be able to take Gobwin Knob, but containment works just as well, and the more area they take, the more they have to defend, and the more spread-out they get.

I don't follow. In these kinds of games, expansion is usually a necessary condition to achieve the goals and any weaknesses that it implies are to be taken in stride. It does not mean that the side that can expand fastest is a weak side- usually they become the strongest. Particularly since after every successful engament they can swell their ranks.

Kilkrazy
2009-05-05, 06:27 PM
The game structure does not necessarily allow an assassination as we would understand it from the real world.

Take Advance Wars as an example, no matter how much you hate the enemy leader, or how hard you beat them in a battle, you can't actually kill them because there are no rules that let you.

raphfrk
2009-05-05, 06:31 PM
Take Advance Wars as an example, no matter how much you hate the enemy leader, or how hard you beat them in a battle, you can't actually kill them because there are no rules that let you.

Stanley is completely mortal as seen by the battle in the pass.

OTOH, maybe if you are in a city, you are completely safe.

Maybe a foolamancer could act as an assassin and enter a city's hex, or maybe a thinkamancer could overwhelm natural loyalty of the troops.

chefsotero
2009-05-05, 06:55 PM
Ah, yes. A Meat Wagon (http://classic.battle.net/war3/undead/units/meatwagon.shtml) would come in handy.

Indeed, but I do prefer this meat wagon (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grbSQ6O6kbs) :smallcool: But any system could do, and the idea isen't even new, Sizemore do colect his material for his Crap-Gollens, Wanda could get someone to colect her material.

Cpt. Democracy
2009-05-05, 08:00 PM
There's a worse possibility...

Think about it. Someone is reanimated as a new, uberpowerful type of undeadcroaked; says they now stand as proof of a higher expression; and decides to take over the world. Come on, we know what that means:

Erfworld is about to have one of those "army of the undead out to kill everyone" scenarios.

SteveMB
2009-05-05, 08:24 PM
We don't know if Wanda is royal, noble or commoner.

She's referred to as "Lady" or "Lady Firebaugh" a few times. However, that could just be a title bestowed by Stanley, and thus meaningless to anyone else who takes nobility and royalty seriously.

teratorn
2009-05-05, 08:46 PM
The game structure does not necessarily allow an assassination as we would understand it from the real world.

A scout-like assassin should be possible, probably even with some natural foolamancy capabilities (so it can stay hidden and wait for a few turns before it
strikes).

The trouble is the turn structure. If GK's turn didn't start at dawn they'd know there's an enemy unit in the battle zone. Same thing if the day didn't end after GK's turn. But probably there are special rules for that (including spies and the like).

shadowdemon_lord
2009-05-05, 08:52 PM
I don't see them conquering the world, not immediately. Parson is going to be careful not to get another coallition on his tail, especially when he actually has something to lose. Charlie is going to stand in his way in a big way, he's smart, has highly powerful units, and will consider Parson to be a powerful rival. I could see book 2 being about Stanley et al. building an empire, and turning GK into a powerful defensive place again. Right now they're just to weak (yes they have a large standing army, extremely powerful elite units (casters/warlords)), but they have no defense, and they don't seem to have any seige. Stanley et al. are back on their feet, not a threat to the world just yet.

DevilDan
2009-05-05, 09:00 PM
I know one thing: if Wanda wants to get rid of Stanley, she'll gut him in his sleep or use another thinkamancy spell on him--if the latter means that she needs to kill Maggie beforehand, she will.


I don't see them conquering the world, not immediately. Parson is going to be careful not to get another coallition on his tail, especially when he actually has something to lose.

Those are an overlord's decisions, not a chief warlord's.

Lamech
2009-05-05, 10:40 PM
A scout-like assassin should be possible, probably even with some natural foolamancy capabilities (so it can stay hidden and wait for a few turns before it
strikes).

The trouble is the turn structure. If GK's turn didn't start at dawn they'd know there's an enemy unit in the battle zone. Same thing if the day didn't end after GK's turn. But probably there are special rules for that (including spies and the like).

Actually... I'm pretty sure the real problem with an assassination attempt would be that the rules for attacking a city (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0109.html). They would have to
a) kill all the units patroling the walls, and not get noticed...
b) kill all the dwagons with out Stanley noticing his pets dying...
c) scoure the tunnels and find every unit before someone notices...
So no a scout like assassin would be hard difficult.

The inate city defense would have to be bypassed and I can think of two methods of doing that...

Portal: Its possible they can use the portal, but somehow I doubt that would be easy. And it would risk handing casters to the enemy, and if Stanley has a heir it would almost certainly hand the plaid tribe the casters. (Gobwins didn't know if the plaids had a heir or not.)
Capture: A Jillian like assassin would be possible, but it involves getting captured, but that only happens to valuable units; again you risk handing a powerful unit to the enemy. And you would have to break out, and hope they don't start with a mind control spell.

The Old Hack
2009-05-06, 07:34 PM
Actually... I'm pretty sure the real problem with an assassination attempt would be that the rules for attacking a city (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0109.html).

*scratches head* As these rules stand, yes. Thing is, odd exceptions have a tendency to pop up at times. For example, initially Parson learned that only flying units may attack other flying units in forest hexes, then later he discovered that forest-capable units may attack flying units in forest hexes as well. It is at least possible to postulate an assassination unit that has a chance of infiltrating an enemy city, with likelihood of success increasing with assassin level and decreasing with city defense level and number/type of defenders. Such an assassin could have different abilities, ranging from 1) espionage (learning number and type of defenders, lower chance of capture), 2) sabotage (damaging siege/delaying what is in the production queue, somewhat higher chance of capture), 3) killing valuable target of opportunity (kill random caster or Warlord, still higher chance of capture), 4) killing specific target (Chief Warlord, Overlord/Ruler, very high chance of capture).

Also, I can think of another exception within all the rules we know. It goes as follows:

1) enter Alliance with target city/faction
2) send diplomat into city to negotiate
3) break Alliance and 'diplomat' attacks and kills desired victim.

Obviously, this method would not do much for the reputation of the Overlord or Ruler employing it, and the diplomat in question had better be expendable. :smallamused:

DevilDan
2009-05-06, 08:42 PM
Exceptions... that's absolutely a possibility.

We can't forget, either, that Erf is a game-like world, not just a game. The resurrection of a volcano was possibly never part of the original rules, for example.

glissle
2009-05-07, 12:05 AM
A juicy assassination target might sometimes visit the Airspace or Outer Wall zone, if you can lie in wait there. It seemed like GK's Outer Wall zone included the bulk of the city, actually. And the city buildings might make it easier to remain hidden.

Rulers might have to choose between direct supervision and safety. I wouldn't be surprised if casters typically remained cloistered in the Garrison.

DevilDan
2009-05-07, 01:52 AM
Parson's next experiment in weaponizing any sort of caster: a foolamancer ninja assassin.

BillyJimBoBob
2009-05-07, 09:31 AM
The authors used the past few strips to relay a lot of rules information which was previously unknown and caused a lot of speculation.


Dwagons can be popped by a city;
Barbarians go first in turn order;
Enemy unit level is visible;
Enemy unit Warlord status is visible;
Decay status is visible;
Upkeep cost is visible;

I may have missed a few others.

It might be safe to assume that you see the same amount of detail regarding enemy units as you do your own. We have on a couple of occasions seen units call out orders such as "Target that caster" or "Target the Warlord." Casters might be obvious, especially if they are tunneling in riding on rock golems and reading scrolls. But only Ansom has seen Parson, and the weiner-rammer riding warlord ordered his troops to "target the warlord" referring to Parson. I think it's safe to assume that enemy units looking at Parson see that he is a Warlord, despite his reported lack of visible stats. Certainly no one looking at Parson sees him as a caster, or he wouldn't have faced so much hostility in the MK.