PDA

View Full Version : 132 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 119



Pages : [1] 2

Emo Samurai
2008-12-02, 11:29 AM
awesomesauce v. awesomesauce (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0131.html)

SteveMB
2008-12-02, 11:32 AM
awesomesauce v. awesomesauce (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0131.html)

Presumably it should be 132; looks like a glitch that posted the new page in place of the old one instead of as an addition to the set.

Miklus
2008-12-02, 11:36 AM
Is this the right thread then...?

I think the number is screwed up too. But Wanda vs Ansom = One ugly fight. Anyone taking bets? 400 Solars on Wanda!

T-O-E
2008-12-02, 11:38 AM
I'm really excited. Incidentally, when will this chapter end? Page 148?

DevilDan
2008-12-02, 11:48 AM
The cutting of threads is a reference to the Fates, the Norns or Moirae, who cut the spin, weave, and cut the threads of human lives.

(Literal blindness, however, would be an attribute of the Graeae, who were said by some to have only one eye between the two or three of them, as in the stories of Perseus.)

Emo Samurai
2008-12-02, 11:53 AM
The cutting of threads is a reference to the Fates, the Norns or Moirae, who cut the spin, weave, and cut the threads of human lives.

Which kind of reinforces the idea that Wanda's essentially a manipulator and destined to wield the pliers. Plus, fate magic (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0022.html).

DevilDan
2008-12-02, 12:03 PM
Too bad that they didn't spend the points to give those arches fire/flaming arrows: that flying carpet would be ashes by now.

Glyde
2008-12-02, 12:05 PM
Ayyyyy, too tense.

Personally I want to see Ansom win this. Both sides are incredibly interesting and well told, I just prefer the 'good guys'.

teratorn
2008-12-02, 12:12 PM
Wanda is just too awesome!

Now let's see if she can take Ansom from that carpet of his. Parson surely knows the odds, or he wouldn't send Wanda.

factotum
2008-12-02, 12:21 PM
Nice comic! Pity we can't see the previous one anymore due to the numbering glitch...

kreszantas
2008-12-02, 12:24 PM
I dont think Ansom will die however he will lose the pliers due to some goofy game mechanic that Wanda pulls, remember all she is using is undead so Ansom will aggro on her BIG TIME, he will forget everything else and that will be his undoing.

He will escape by the way the wording on last two panels, and Parson's orders were to do a pick-up of the pliers as well.

Felkethar
2008-12-02, 12:26 PM
Personally I don't think Wanda is going to be able to kill Ansom in this fight. She may drive him off (though I am in doubt about this), and thus win the engagment by any measure that matters, but I don't think she will kill him. In terms of sheer firepower I think that these two stacks (ansom is a stack of one, and wanda and her four minions) are fairly well matched. From a plot perspective, it doesn't feel like we are done building to the climax quite yet, and the climax is where I think we will loose one of our well developed characters. I actually believe that Wanda will loose this fight. As powerful as so many on these boards seem to believe Wanda is, I've always gotten the sneaking suspicion that she is not all that great in a direct fight. This is supported, though vaugely, by the time she shot off all the air defenses. After that shot my reaction was 'is that all?' upon seeing the results of that shot. It also seems supported by the fact that she is a controling personality and as such is more used to having other units do the dirty work.

Just some speculation based on subjective feelings and little evidance. My attempt to fit in amongst most of the board users :smallwink:

Zechikin
2008-12-02, 12:28 PM
AHHHH! I can't stand the suspense! Wanda vs. Ansom, I just hope Jillian and Vinny don't show up any time soon.

Rogue 7
2008-12-02, 12:44 PM
Anyone else hearing "Duel of the Fates" during this fight?

Lamech
2008-12-02, 12:45 PM
Wait, wait, wait... Wanda is meleeing Ansom? So I take it she isn't a squishy. Wow... just wow... if she is a match for Ansom, what the bloody...

Xenon
2008-12-02, 12:53 PM
yup, comic 118 is MIA for now. hope that gets fixed soon.

battle-armor Wanda for the win! im kinda hoping she gets the pliers and attunes them... shes at a serious disadvantage in this fight, as her troops (mount included) wont last that long. but she is all parson has in reserve for this.

Oslecamo
2008-12-02, 12:54 PM
Next comic!

Ansom:Who are you people?
Wanda:My name is Wanda Firebaugh. You killed my relationship. Prepare to croack.

I have to admit I didn't saw this coming, but it's great anyway.

Soooo, how strong will Wanda be in melee?
Cons:
-She's a mancer. Mancers seem to be pretty squishy.
-She really isn't used to be in the frontline as far as we know.
-Still not totally recovered from her shock.

Pros
-She herself admits she's quite skilled at a series of things. Perhaps she took some staff fighting lessons while learning every school of magic?
-Badass armor, probably the best battle armor available in Gobwin Knob.
-Uncroacked archon. Still glowing so probably it's still a viable threat.

I also love the calm look in Parson's face. So...Ruthless.:smallbiggrin:

DevilDan
2008-12-02, 01:08 PM
-Uncroacked archon. Still glowing so probably it's still a viable threat.

All the uncroaked air units were glowy here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0112.html), but I assumed that was a direct application of croakamancy.

On the other hand, none seem to be glowing here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0115.html).

Also, we don't know that Wanda has that good a chance: it could simply be Parson's best available option. He can't sacrifice the outer wall, at least not until he's further weakened the RCC or some of his other plans come to fruition.

headhoncho
2008-12-02, 01:12 PM
So is the implication that the undead on the walls are powerless to hurt Ansom?

If so, how in the world is it that the RCC thought he was going to be toast in a matter of moments?

Thematically, the only thing that has provided me with the slightest heartburn for this awesome webcomic is the occasional discrepancy between (at times explicitly stated) expectations, and result. For example, dwagons are supposed to be awesome, but they've seemed underwhelming. The battle at the chokepoint, even with Caesar's unexpected arrival, was supposed to be exceedingly tight AT BEST for Transylvito, with Stanley perhaps having the advantage, and yet Stanley only barely escaped with six dwagons (although this has a caveat, if the Transylvito forces come out close to demolished, I'll feel a lot better). Ansom wasn't supposed to last for more than a few moments against the wall undead alone, and now Wanda seems like Parson's only hope.

Not sure I get it.

Other than that, I loved this comic. I can't wait for the next one. Wanda vs. Ansom has been one of the things I've been really waiting for!

Lamech
2008-12-02, 01:17 PM
If Ansom gets obliterated thats a differant story. I really hope Wanda kicks the crap out of him in melee.

Hmm... perhaps the city is a mountain terrain the and uncroaked can't hit fliers? Parson probably doesn't have time to get the gobwins up there in time.

T-O-E
2008-12-02, 01:18 PM
Remember, Wanda gives a huge buff to her undead if she's in the same hex as them! Ansom's toast.

PePe QuiCoSE
2008-12-02, 01:18 PM
My guess is that Wanda's instructions were only to try to get the Pliers (and retreat). Also Remember the klog where it was mentioned the huge bonus undead got when lead by a Croakamancer, maybe Wanda with his little airforce will be enough to just get the job done

Edit: also, this is taking Ansom by total surprise. The coalition only took into account the Dwagons for GK air force. Ansom didn't know about the uncraoked air force (though he could have though of it). And Charlie is there "guarding" the air space. Might count for something.

SteveMB
2008-12-02, 01:21 PM
So is the implication that the undead on the walls are powerless to hurt Ansom?

If so, how in the world is it that the RCC thought he was going to be toast in a matter of moments?

The RCC knows that there are a bloody awful lot of uncroaked on the walls. They may infer that the uncroaked are individually weak (if they understand the tradeoff between quantity and quality when a Croakamancer creates them en masse), and they know that the Arkenpliers is especially effective against them, but even so they may expect sheer weight of numbers to eventually prevail.

Also, the RCC's pessimism probably reflects general loss of confidence in Ansom's leadership (after all, Ansom's latest bright idea is the reason GK acquired all those uncroaked in the first place).

Godskook
2008-12-02, 01:22 PM
Anybody else notice that she is riding to battle wielding skeletor's staff (http://www.he-man.org/primary_sects/toys/images/collector_guides/motu/acc/skeletor_staff.jpg)?

DevilDan
2008-12-02, 01:25 PM
Anybody else notice that she is riding to battle wielding skeletor's staff (http://www.he-man.org/primary_sects/toys/images/collector_guides/motu/acc/skeletor_staff.jpg)?

In noticed it since the first time she faced Jillian's flying task force. It's really clear that it's the same exact design, save for the different color scheme, in that comic.

headhoncho
2008-12-02, 01:25 PM
The RCC knows that there are a bloody awful lot of uncroaked on the walls. They may infer that the uncroaked are individually weak (if they understand the tradeoff between quantity and quality when a Croakamancer creates them en masse), and they know that the Arkenpliers is especially effective against them, but even so they may expect sheer weight of numbers to eventually prevail.
Also, the RCC's pessimism probably reflects general loss of confidence in Ansom's leadership (after all, Ansom's latest bright idea is the reason GK acquired all those uncroaked in the first place).

Agree with all of that. All of that makes sense. But Parson is seeming to say that the undead on the wall cannot prevail against Ansom, that they can't hurt him. And as affirmation, he doesn't have a single arrow sticking out of him (although his carpet does).

If that's the case, the RCC leaders aren't just demoralized, they're fundamentally clueless about how their own rules of war work.

If the undead can hurt Ansom (which I would imagine is the case, given the efforts they're making), then the weight of numbers SHOULD mean something, and Ansom SHOULD be eventually doomed. Otherwise, he could just sweep all of the undead off of the walls without any risk.

Do you see the disconnect I'm talking about? Am I missing something?

Felkethar
2008-12-02, 01:27 PM
Something else I noted is that the other unipeguatars seem to have mounts as well. If you take a look at the unipeguatar on the far left in panel six it looks like there is a second head, and if you look at the unipeguatar on the far right in panel 10 you can see a weapon that looks suspiciously like Webinar's scythe. It seems as if Webinar and Dora might be accompanying Wanda on her attack mission.

*EDIT* I mean panel 7 not panel 6.

headhoncho
2008-12-02, 01:31 PM
Something else I noted is that the other unipeguatars seem to have mounts as well. If you take a look at the unipeguatar on the far left in panel six it looks like there is a second head, and if you look at the unipeguatar on the far right in panel 10 you can see a weapon that looks suspiciously like Webinar's scythe. It seems as if Webinar and Dora might be accompanying Wanda on her attack mission.
*EDIT* I mean panel 7 not panel 6.

GREAT eye, I didn't notice that at all. This battle is shaping up to be better and better! Stack of seven vs. stack of one, I was thinking the whole time that Wanda and two warlords would go with the three unipegataurs and the archon against the siege. This is great!

EDIT: That is TOTALLY Webinar's scythe!

DevilDan
2008-12-02, 01:31 PM
Do you see the disconnect I'm talking about? Am I missing something?

We don't know what the RCC warlords know about croakamancy. But they can do the math and they have serious reasons to be disappointed in the course of the siege of GK. Duke Nozzle didn't say that he thinks that they cannot win, but he did have doubts regarding the advisability and need of continuing the assault on GK, particularly under Ansom.

What seems likely, especially given the actions of the other RCC warlords, is that Ansom has the chance (or thinks he has the chance) to hold his spot of the wall long enough for the RCC siege units to penetrate the outer walls.

Zeku
2008-12-02, 01:33 PM
I don't think it's a clear win for Wanda, she's obviously about to have a nervous breakdown from controlling all those undead. (and her previous Jillian problem) Ansom may be a little tired, but he's also super pissed.

Also, we still don't know how anything in GK is going to defeat those archons on the following turn. Nothing about the chats with Charlie suggests he intends to restrain from violence.

headhoncho
2008-12-02, 01:35 PM
We don't know what the RCC warlords know about croakamancy. But they can do the math and they have serious reasons to be disappointed in the course of the siege of GK. Duke Nozzle didn't say that he thinks that they cannot win, but he did have doubts regarding the advisability and need of continuing the assault on GK, particularly under Ansom.


What I'm trying to say is that it's a binary analysis. Can undead on walls damage a flier? If the answer is yes, then Ansom should be in trouble. If the answer is no, then Parson should be in trouble.

The RCC warlords (and it's not just Duke Nozzle, the others agreed that Ansom was toast in a matter of moments) ought to know the answer to that question. Parson ought to know the answer to that question. And yet right now, there seems to be a major disconnect in perception that (IMO) can't just be explained by being demoralized or having a lack of knowledge of the most basic undead.

DevilDan
2008-12-02, 01:38 PM
I don't think it's a clear win for Wanda, she's obviously about to have a nervous breakdown from controlling all those undead. (and her previous Jillian problem) Ansom may be a little tired, but he's also super pissed.

Higher-quality uncroaked units have shown that they can operate independently (or, at least, that they don't need direct control from a croakamancer).



Also, we still don't know how anything in GK is going to defeat those archons on the following turn. Nothing about the chats with Charlie suggests he intends to restrain from violence.

After defeating the RCC, simply offering to switch sides would be a way in which Parson can fulfill his duty to Stanley and protect GK.


GREAT eye, I didn't notice that at all. This battle is shaping up to be better and better! Stack of seven vs. stack of one, I was thinking the whole time that Wanda and two warlords would go with the three unipegataurs and the archon against the siege. This is great!

Good eye, indeed. Offhand, I'd guess that if they are undead units then they are warlords rather than the lower-quality uncroaked Dora and Webinar. But Plot makes everything malleable...


The RCC warlords (and it's not just Duke Nozzle, the others agreed that Ansom was toast in a matter of moments) ought to know the answer to that question. Parson ought to know the answer to that question. And yet right now, there seems to be a major disconnect in perception that (IMO) can't just be explained by being demoralized or having a lack of knowledge of the most basic undead.

Again, the RCC warlords think that he may be able to hold off long enough for the wall to be breached, given that he's an experienced and powerful warlord (with artifact bonus and flight on his side). And he is fighting against relatively weak and ineffectual uncroaked using a weapon that is instantly "fatal" to most uncroaked.

What Parson couldn't have done with just a half-dozen dwagons...

Aquillion
2008-12-02, 01:40 PM
I wonder -- can she attack his carpet? Or try to snatch that, making him fall, pliers and all, into the huge mass of undead infantry? Sure, they're strong vs. undead, but he can only swing them so fast (he's only lasted this far because he flies and can engage selectively.)

Godskook
2008-12-02, 01:54 PM
But they can do the math and they have serious reasons to be disappointed in the course of the siege of GK.

Erfworlders can (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0010.html) do math? (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0020.html)

What I originally said:

If Erfworlders could do math, why is there a whole subject of magic devoted to the subject?

Rhuna_Coppermane
2008-12-02, 01:56 PM
This... is going to be interesting.

DevilDan
2008-12-02, 02:02 PM
Erfworlders can (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0010.html) do math? (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0020.html)

What I originally said:

If Erfworlders could do math, why is there a whole subject of magic devoted to the subject?

Figuratively...

*ba dom dom TISH*

(My "rimshot" onomatopoeia is sadly deficient.

PePe QuiCoSE
2008-12-02, 02:09 PM
Erfworlders can (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0010.html) do math? (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0020.html)

What I originally said:

If Erfworlders could do math, why is there a whole subject of magic devoted to the subject?"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

I'm pretty sure they can, but any useful math would surely fall into the categor of mathamancy.

SteveMB
2008-12-02, 02:16 PM
What I'm trying to say is that it's a binary analysis. Can undead on walls damage a flier? If the answer is yes, then Ansom should be in trouble. If the answer is no, then Parson should be in trouble.

We know from the siege raids that led flying stacks can selectively engage unled ground units. That means Ansom is safe from uncroaked other than the ones he's currently engaging... which may or may not have some small chance of scratching him a bit before he dusts them.

Also, archers are an exception to the above rule; GK's archers may (as far as the RCC knows) be able to whittle Ansom down eventually, even if they apparently haven't done boop all to him yet.

Of course, that's now become moot; Ansom is now up close and personal with some fairly powerful uncroaked units boosted by Wanda's direct-leadership bonus. It's possible that the other RCC leaders' worries were that the enemy would spring something like that (after all, the story of Ansom's life lately has been a series of nasty enemy surprises punctuated by the single success of finding the wounded dwagons).

headhoncho
2008-12-02, 02:25 PM
Of course, that's now become moot; Ansom now has fairly powerful uncroaked units with Wanda's direct-leadership bonus in his face. It's possible that the other RCC leaders' worries were that the enemy would spring something like that, not about slow attrition to the wall uncroaked.

It's possible, but I hope you'll agree unlikely. From the tone of their comments at the time (and I can't access them directly since it was in the last strip that is temporarily offline), it seemed pretty clear to me they were concerned about his solo attack in its own right, and not some secret ace in the hole.

Look, I understand all about fog of war, and differences of viewpoint, and morale, and all the rest. I'm a wargamer myself. But the level of the discrepancy between:

1) RCC Leaders - Ansom is toast in moments, we need to rush to support him for his gambit to have any hope of succeeding, and even then he's probably still toast; and

2) Parson - Ansom seems assured of breaking through that wall alone and the only thing that can stop him is our previously unrevealed air force that the RCC has no knowledge of;

is large enough that good storytelling practically demands some explanation, and not just some inferences by the reader. I feel similarly with the chokepoint battle, although again I'm reserving judgment and giving the authors the benefit of the doubt until we see the results of that on the Transylvito side.

Ganurath
2008-12-02, 02:32 PM
Ayyyyy, too tense.

Personally I want to see Ansom win this. Both sides are incredibly interesting and well told, I just prefer the 'good guys'.I find those last two sentences contradictory.

Also, I just has a thought: Would the arrival of Stanley, an awakened Jack, and a fully healed red dwagon impact the math of the Archon presence?

fendrin
2008-12-02, 02:45 PM
I think Wanda's headgear foreshadows the timely return of the dwagons. :smalltongue:

It reminds me an awful lot of Maleficent from Disney's Snow White (http://www.textually-active.com/images/aug08/maleficent.jpg).


What I'm trying to say is that it's a binary analysis. Can undead on walls damage a flier? If the answer is yes, then Ansom should be in trouble. If the answer is no, then Parson should be in trouble.

The RCC warlords (and it's not just Duke Nozzle, the others agreed that Ansom was toast in a matter of moments) ought to know the answer to that question. Parson ought to know the answer to that question. And yet right now, there seems to be a major disconnect in perception that (IMO) can't just be explained by being demoralized or having a lack of knowledge of the most basic undead.

I said this in the last thread, but was largely disregarded. Ansom can selectively engage the uncroaked, and is powerful enough to one-hit KO them individually.

As I said in the last thread, Wanda's fliers are the key. Interestingly, though, she has opted to engage him directly rather than having one of her puppets absorb the counter-attack. That could be because Wanda is *not* a tactician (unlike Jillian, who has had her minions absorb enemy attacks numerous times). On the other hand, Wanda leading a stack into battle has been foreshadowed for a long time (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html). She must at least know some of what she is doing.... maybe she can have her mount take the blow, and then 'hijack' the carpet... or maybe she has some sort of magical defense that will keep her alive. I just don't see her putting her life on the line if there is another option.

EDIT: Meganinja'd!


1) RCC Leaders - Ansom is toast in moments, we need to rush to support him for his gambit to have any hope of succeeding, and even then he's probably still toast; and

2) Parson - Ansom seems assured of breaking through that wall alone and the only thing that can stop him is our previously unrevealed air force that the RCC has no knowledge of
The only thing I can figure is that the RCC leaders are expecting some sort of magical attack, such as the one they saw against Jillian's group. Keep in mind that even though *we* know that many or most of Jillian's forces survived, the RCC leaders only saw the mega-booms.


I feel similarly with the chokepoint battle, although again I'm reserving judgment and giving the authors the benefit of the doubt until we see the results of that on the Transylvito side.
This is an easy one for me- Stanley lost so many dwagons because:
1) He split from their stack. They means the ylost his direct bonus, which had been factored into The pre-battle estimates.
2) He cut and ran. If he had stayed and put his considerable offensive power against the TV forces, he would have cut done much more damage to the TV forces, likely taking out at least one of the leaders (Ceaser, Jillian, and Vinny).


Also, I just has a thought: Would the arrival of Stanley, an awakened Jack, and a fully healed red dwagon impact the math of the Archon presence? Oh yes, it would. However, the general lack of fliers is still GK's biggest weakness against the archons.

PePe QuiCoSE
2008-12-02, 02:53 PM
@Ganurath: I don't think so (i think Charlie has more Archons that he actually needs to take the city). I do think a Croakamancer attuned to the pliers would.

@headhoncho: I think you are reading too much into it. Ansom's forces were decimated and he was charging alone to take the walls/city. Such a tactic, if it wasn't backed up by the army, would be suicide. One warlord conquering a city by itself? Yes, he can kill undead by itself but GK still has some air defenses and archers can keep on shooting him while he kills some undead each round. Eventually he would wore off. So i don't think they were implying that he would immediately fall but that he wouldn't stop until he did so they should not waste breaking the wall.

DMcCoy1693
2008-12-02, 02:57 PM
Wanda leading the Charge. Ansom's toast. Parson calculated the odds beforehand and ate a full day's supply of Luckomancy (remember how powerful this combo is (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0060.html)). Parson lost a battle before because he didn't antisipate how powerful stacking bonuses is. He's not going to make the same mistake twice.

Lamech
2008-12-02, 03:04 PM
As I said in the last thread, Wanda's fliers are the key. Interestingly, though, she has opted to engage him directly rather than having one of her puppets absorb the counter-attack. That could be because Wanda is *not* a tactician (unlike Jillian, who has had her minions absorb enemy attacks numerous times). On the other hand, Wanda leading a stack into battle has been foreshadowed for a long time. She must at least know some of what she is doing.... maybe she can have her mount take the blow, and then 'hijack' the carpet... or maybe she has some sort of magical defense that will keep her alive. I just don't see her putting her life on the line if there is another option.

She may be very good at combat as well as magic or simply have a great number of levels either way, she could simply outclass Ansom in melee. She is probably using a powerful magic weapon, and probably powerful magic armour. She could easily have some sort of magical defenses. Or she is two seconds away from crushing Ansom with magic.

Hey that battle cry? She seems far more verbose than when talking to Jillian. Erm... could that be a incantation for a I-rip-your-soul-out spell?

Also, I just has a thought: Would the arrival of Stanley, an awakened Jack, and a fully healed red dwagon impact the math of the Archon presence?
It may cancel the Arkendish's powers and free the Archons. Jack will give Parson some new toys to play with. I think that the Archons will be the climax, not Ansom and his charge.



I feel similarly with the chokepoint battle, although again I'm reserving judgment and giving the authors the benefit of the doubt until we see the results of that on the Transylvito side.
Stanley really screwed up on this one. He should have just smashed Ceaser with the hammer or a dwagon. Jillian thought it was unwinnable, but Ceaser was supposed to change it. So a dead Ceaser... they lose the chief warlord hex bonus, and the chief warlord global bonus. Oops.

Godskook
2008-12-02, 03:11 PM
What I'm trying to say is that it's a binary analysis. Can undead on walls damage a flier? If the answer is yes, then Ansom should be in trouble. If the answer is no, then Parson should be in trouble.

I'm still betting that the rule "ground units can't attack units with flying" works more along the lines of "ground units can't reach units with flying". Since Ansom isn't using his flight to his advantage and actually flying out of reach of the ground units on the wall, I'm betting that they can engage him at Parson's discretion or as if he were a ground unit, which ever applies as far as leadership is concerned.


is large enough that good storytelling practically demands some explanation, and not just some inferences by the reader. I feel similarly with the chokepoint battle, although again I'm reserving judgment and giving the authors the benefit of the doubt until we see the results of that on the Transylvito side.

Does "Parson knows what cards he is holding, while the RCC doesn't" satisfy you? It satisfies me, at least enough not to call it a plot hole. Parson has been intentionally grandstanding the whole time. Everything he has done has been to make the RCC think he has a larger hand than he does. He's bluffing them, and we know it is working. That their understanding of Parson's capabilities is different from Parson's is natural.

plainsfox
2008-12-02, 03:14 PM
As for arrows, the Gobwin Archer troop is trying to do something. That carpet has a few of them embedded in it.

I wonder if Ansom would be smart enough to try to attack Wanda's unipegataur instead of attacking her?

Vreejack
2008-12-02, 03:18 PM
Edit.

Ah, that was dumb. I mistook the back of Ansom's head for Wanda's shield. I thought it was interesting that the radishes were upside-down, but Ansom's head is much more interesting than a shield. Now we have real suspense.

fendrin
2008-12-02, 03:25 PM
I just noticed Wanda's shield. Inverted radishes. I think this one is personal.

That's not a shield, that's the back of Ansom's helmet. They are upside down because it's a continuation of the stripe on the front. A top view would show them all in the same direction.

Maelore
2008-12-02, 03:35 PM
The armor Wanda is wearing looks very familiar but I can't quite put my finger on it, anyone have and idea of what its from?

Also, I really like the Archon giving Parson a raspberry in panel 4, shows some personality.

lovelyluthien
2008-12-02, 03:42 PM
oh my god... This will all end in tears, I know it. Gah, how shall I endure the wait? Wanda vs. Ansom is enough to cause severe anxiety!

headhoncho
2008-12-02, 03:43 PM
@headhoncho: I think you are reading too much into it. Ansom's forces were decimated and he was charging alone to take the walls/city. Such a tactic, if it wasn't backed up by the army, would be suicide. One warlord conquering a city by itself? Yes, he can kill undead by itself but GK still has some air defenses and archers can keep on shooting him while he kills some undead each round. Eventually he would wore off. So i don't think they were implying that he would immediately fall but that he wouldn't stop until he did so they should not waste breaking the wall.

I really wish we had the last strip available, because my strong impression was that they were saying that he would fall very, very quickly.

But yes, it's entirely possible I'm reading too much into it.


Does "Parson knows what cards he is holding, while the RCC doesn't" satisfy you? It satisfies me, at least enough not to call it a plot hole. Parson has been intentionally grandstanding the whole time. Everything he has done has been to make the RCC think he has a larger hand than he does. He's bluffing them, and we know it is working. That their understanding of Parson's capabilities is different from Parson's is natural.

I'm not calling it a plot hole. I'm making a distinction between good storytelling and great storytelling.

And again, I don't get the impression they are just demoralized (although they are) or overestimating Parson's abilities (I didn't get that at all from the last strip). My impression was that Ansom was nuts for going into a suicide mission alone, and that it would result in a quick death. One that might be averted if they acted quickly to bring in the siege (or that his death wouldn't be "wasted" as Pepe indicates above), but that he was in gigantic trouble no matter what.

hewhosaysfish
2008-12-02, 03:45 PM
First "Jack", now Wanda...
Do you think it's a universal thing that 'mancers lapse into poetry after a mental trauma?

Sweetie Welf
2008-12-02, 03:49 PM
She may be very good at combat as well as magic or simply have a great number of levels either way, she could simply outclass Ansom in melee. She is probably using a powerful magic weapon, and probably powerful magic armour. She could easily have some sort of magical defenses. Or she is two seconds away from crushing Ansom with magic.

Maybe she's using the same tactic as I do with my favorite RPG magician; she buffed herself with some short-time spells that increase her defense and give her damage reduction; and while she's occupying Ansom the undead have the opportunity to attack Ansom. And if Ansom takes the undead first, Wanda can fry him from near.

Once-Over
2008-12-02, 03:51 PM
I may be looking too deeply into the whole "turn based" deal but how is Parson moving troops when it is not his turn or is he just choosing to engage them now (w00t warlords)? On a similar note, I think that the "rush" to get the siege moved up is more a story component than a game mechanic. Furthermore, I believe that Godskook makes a good point when saying that Parson may have been bluffing. Assuming the RCC can only see that the walls are swarming with undead not necessarily how powerful they are their reactions would be justified.

Prince_Rohan
2008-12-02, 04:01 PM
It is exciting.

Ansom is no match for Wanda's fashion sense.

But seriously, is anyone?

DougTheHead
2008-12-02, 04:03 PM
Look, I understand all about fog of war, and differences of viewpoint, and morale, and all the rest. I'm a wargamer myself. But the level of the discrepancy between:

1) RCC Leaders - Ansom is toast in moments, we need to rush to support him for his gambit to have any hope of succeeding, and even then he's probably still toast; and

2) Parson - Ansom seems assured of breaking through that wall alone and the only thing that can stop him is our previously unrevealed air force that the RCC has no knowledge of;



You're assuming that their is no disconnect in time between the two reactions. The Rainbow Coalition was thinking that Ansom was crazy because he was going to go up and engage a thousand uncroaked singlehandedly. They figured that this would lead to Ansom's death, and acted to prevent it. We haven't heard from them since Ansom first started flying up the wall.

And we don't hear from Parson until Ansom has lasted quite some time on these walls, engaging the enemy with minimal damage to his mount and none to himself. Not only are things looking significantly better for Ansom since he first charged up the wall to cries of "you're crazy!" (or the Erfworld equivalent), but we're looking at things from Parson's perspective. He can't continue to burn units at this rate for one target, even one as valuable as Ansom- he has the Rainbow Coalition and Charlie to worry about, and needs to conserve troops in order to survive the next few turns. He has archers that can hit Ansom, and have already come close a few times, but it's not worth the cost in troops. So as far as his strategy goes, Ansom can't be dealt with by the uncroaked troops.

So with the gaps in time and perspective between the two comics, it seems clear to me that Ansom *can* eventually be croaked by Parson's archers and uncroaked, and eventually would be if his allies weren't bringing up seige, but that the cost would be so high as to make such a strategy unfeasible.

Caledonian
2008-12-02, 04:05 PM
As previous injured -mancers' statements have included references or outright quotations from William Shakespeare, I tried to identify Wanda's impromptu poetry.

My searches came up empty. I think this is original verse.

Quite striking verse, too. I would have constructed the rhythm of the ending slightly differently, but it's really very well done.

headhoncho
2008-12-02, 04:29 PM
So with the gaps in time and perspective between the two comics, it seems clear to me that Ansom *can* eventually be croaked by Parson's archers and uncroaked, and eventually would be if his allies weren't bringing up seige, but that the cost would be so high as to make such a strategy unfeasible.

It's a totally fair point. I'm always happy to reserve judgment until the next strip. Having the RCC folks marvel that he's doing much better than they thought would help resolve the situation in my mind (although it would also serve to boost Ansom's judgment at the expense of the rest of the RCC warlords... not necessarily a bad thing, though).

rman
2008-12-02, 04:30 PM
Not flyers cannot normally attack flyers. Probably unless engaged in melee. So flyers with range can only be engaged by ranged weapons or other flyers.

Ansom is a flyer engaging in melee. I would say that should any ground units survive his attack they would be allowed a counter attack. But as they dust on contact their is no chance of this. Thus he is relatively safe.

Wanda's flying units will possibly get to attack him first as he has already used his "engage" option for the turn.

Wanda's units
1) better than average, she was being extra careful when making them
2) in the same hex as wanda bonus
3) in the same stack as wanda bonus
4) in the Gobwin Keep garrison hex bonus
5) on the wall bonus probably does not apply to flyers
6) in the same hex as chief warlord bonus
7) if there is a bonus for number in 1 stack vs number in the other stack
8) wanda can use her magic to keep the undead going

fendrin
2008-12-02, 04:36 PM
It's a totally fair point. I'm always happy to reserve judgment until the next strip. Having the RCC folks marvel that he's doing much better than they thought would help resolve the situation in my mind (although it would also serve to boost Ansom's judgment at the expense of the rest of the RCC warlords... not necessarily a bad thing, though).

Not sure if you saw my response above (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5404838&postcount=41), it was in an edit so it may have been overlooked.

SteveMB
2008-12-02, 04:44 PM
I may be looking too deeply into the whole "turn based" deal but how is Parson moving troops when it is not his turn or is he just choosing to engage them now (w00t warlords)?

Moving units within GK doesn't require move (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0109.html) (units have no move except during their turn, which is the basic limitation on redeployment).

Edit: We know that units can move from one zone within GK to another off-turn (e.g. Wanda was summoned (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0039.html) to the situation room immediately after dawn, which means she moved from the dungeon to the tower during Ansom's turn).

DevilDan
2008-12-02, 05:21 PM
Parson lost a battle before because he didn't antisipate how powerful stacking bonuses is. He's not going to make the same mistake twice.

If you're referring to the loss of the group A dwagons over the lake, that was a battle that he had hoped would not be fought at all, not only because he created the dwagon donut but because the units that had been sent on the dwagon hunt originally were not flying units but forest-capable ones.

Godskook
2008-12-02, 05:24 PM
Wanda's units
1) better than average, she was being extra careful when making them
2) in the same hex as wanda bonus
3) in the same stack as wanda bonus
4) in the Gobwin Keep garrison hex bonus
5) on the wall bonus probably does not apply to flyers
6) in the same hex as chief warlord bonus
7) if there is a bonus for number in 1 stack vs number in the other stack
8) wanda can use her magic to keep the undead going

We've only ever been told that chief warlords have hex-wide bonuses. Wanda's bonus was refered to as being given when she leads troops. Leading is only used this way in stack systems, indicating that she only yields it to members of her stack.

Godskook
2008-12-02, 05:27 PM
Figuratively...

*ba dom dom TISH*

(My "rimshot" onomatopoeia is sadly deficient.

I'm kicking myself for not figuring out a way of working the Vinny's counting ability into that post somehow.

TheMutant
2008-12-02, 05:29 PM
Oh man, I hope Wanda survives this. *nailbite* o_o Ansom's pliers look like scissors in that final panel, with the rather ominous line 'to cut a thread' and the references to Atropos... Awesome page, on the whole.

DevilDan
2008-12-02, 05:35 PM
From what I remember, the RCC warlords agreed that Ansom would get knocked on his boop but they wanted to try to break through the walls while Ansom was still alive. And I think this is what worries Parson, not the relatively small dent that Ansom can make in the uncroaked.

Also, we don't really know how long it has been since Ansom started his assault. It could be all of five or ten "minutes," for example.

As to movements within the city, Parson says this in Klog #11 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0109.html): "Each zone has its own rules of engagement, but they're all considered part of the city, so we can deploy and redeploy units without expending move.

rman
2008-12-02, 05:37 PM
I may be looking too deeply into the whole "turn based" deal but how is Parson moving troops when it is not his turn or is he just choosing to engage them now (w00t warlords)? On a similar note, I think that the "rush" to get the siege moved up is more a story component than a game mechanic. Furthermore, I believe that Godskook makes a good point when saying that Parson may have been bluffing. Assuming the RCC can only see that the walls are swarming with undead not necessarily how powerful they are their reactions would be justified.

The rules do seem rather flexible. The appearance so far is that Parson can move troops because they are all in the same hex.

So far Ansom has moved into the Gobwin Knob air hex and has engaged ground unit stacks.

From the appearance of it Parson can now choose stacks to put up against Ansom. The assumption would be that the stacks that Ansom initially engaged got destroyed and now the "defensive" stacks on the same hex get to choose who engages next.

The end point would be that at the end of a turn you cannot have opposing forces on the same hex. Either one sides stacks all destroy the others or one side chooses to withdraw.

Normal combat would suggest the side whose turn it is chooses the initial match ups. Rules might then determine which side chooses the next match up. This would be complicated by Garrison rules, rather than open field.

This system uses movement into the same hex. Rather than other games that attack from adjacent hexes.

DevilDan
2008-12-02, 05:38 PM
I'm kicking myself for not figuring out a way of working the Vinny's counting ability into that post somehow.

"One hundred bats. Two hundred bats. Three hundred bats. Ah ah ah ah ah."

(With apologies to Count von Count and the fine people of Sesame Street.)

ishnar
2008-12-02, 05:46 PM
It's possible, but I hope you'll agree unlikely. From the tone of their comments at the time (and I can't access them directly since it was in the last strip that is temporarily offline), it seemed pretty clear to me they were concerned about his solo attack in its own right, and not some secret ace in the hole.

Look, I understand all about fog of war, and differences of viewpoint, and morale, and all the rest. I'm a wargamer myself. But the level of the discrepancy between:

1) RCC Leaders - Ansom is toast in moments, we need to rush to support him for his gambit to have any hope of succeeding, and even then he's probably still toast; and

2) Parson - Ansom seems assured of breaking through that wall alone and the only thing that can stop him is our previously unrevealed air force that the RCC has no knowledge of;

is large enough that good storytelling practically demands some explanation, and not just some inferences by the reader. I feel similarly with the chokepoint battle, although again I'm reserving judgment and giving the authors the benefit of the doubt until we see the results of that on the Transylvito side.

First of all, 2) is completely wrong. He's not breaking through the wall, he's holding off a bunch of uncroaked. While ranged whittle away at him.

You're forgetting the difference between turns and tactical rounds I think. Ansom won't last the turn if he stays up there unassisted. Eventually the ranged units will damage the mount and it will fall and Ansom won't have his flying bonus anymore. The number of rounds it takes for him to fall is unknown. But game mechanics wise, moments means sometime this turn, since the number of tactical rounds a turns only ends when a side decides to pass their turn.

So you have to keep in mind that Parson is still thinking in RW terms, but Erfworlders do not. From their perspective, Ansom will fall in moments > this turn whether new units are brought out or not.

I see Ansom falling soon. He's too much the Evel Knievel clone not too. He has a crash and burn incomming. Now that he's jumping over the too tall wall, he's got to fall.....and survive somehow anyway.

I like how panel 8 shows the negative effecs of all those cave-ins.

Fjolnir
2008-12-02, 06:14 PM
honestly, all they need to do is destroy the carpet and flier ansom becomes faller ansom, I think a max stack with at least a chief warlord present in hex /croakamancer bonus/wanda's normal leadership bonuses can destroy the carpet, leaving him to be devoured by minideads

headhoncho
2008-12-02, 06:25 PM
First of all, 2) is completely wrong. He's not breaking through the wall, he's holding off a bunch of uncroaked. While ranged whittle away at him.

I feel that's a semantic difference which doesn't really affect my overall point. Parson said they can't hit him, and that his actions (directly or indirectly) are going to lead to big trouble. To me, this feels like a stark contrast to the suicidal nature of the act as expressed initially by the other RCC warlords.

The rest of your post is excellent, and I tend to agree that it might turn out exactly that way. Those arrows in the carpet are a telling point. And once his mount's gone, he's toast.

I'd kinda like to see Wanda and her air force smiting the carpet and then seeing Ansom fall, surrounded by undead, and Wanda strolling up after the fact and picking up the pliers.

PyritePyro
2008-12-02, 06:32 PM
I think Wanda is casting a croakmancy spell, though, not the type she cast for the tunnels, the type that makes people croak. Or at least, weakens the living. I'm kinda hoping that it's not the sort of croakmancy that is going to make her croak as well. Unfortunatly she'd probably do that, if she thought that it was what duty required.

Angband
2008-12-02, 06:45 PM
Interesting. Wanda has definitely stuck her staff in between the jaws of the Arkenpliers.

Maybe Ansom's trying to crush her head (I'm crushing your head! Crush! Crush! Crush!) (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0077.html), is he going to be able to break Wanda's staff or has she successfully blocked his attack with it?

LurkerInPlayground
2008-12-02, 06:56 PM
I really wish we had the last strip available, because my strong impression was that they were saying that he would fall very, very quickly.

But yes, it's entirely possible I'm reading too much into it.



I'm not calling it a plot hole. I'm making a distinction between good storytelling and great storytelling.

And again, I don't get the impression they are just demoralized (although they are) or overestimating Parson's abilities (I didn't get that at all from the last strip). My impression was that Ansom was nuts for going into a suicide mission alone, and that it would result in a quick death. One that might be averted if they acted quickly to bring in the siege (or that his death wouldn't be "wasted" as Pepe indicates above), but that he was in gigantic trouble no matter what.
It may be that they expect that Ansom will quickly bite the dust if left to Parson's devices. Maybe they don't really expect the uncroaked to be all that effective, but Parson has proven that he is dangerous enough to bring a few surprises to bear.

Likewise, if Parson were to leave Ansom alone, he would expect Ansom to render them strategically ineffective in short order.

Chewy
2008-12-02, 07:01 PM
I may be looking too deeply into the whole "turn based" deal but how is Parson moving troops when it is not his turn or is he just choosing to engage them now (w00t warlords)? .

Well one thing I have to say is that this comic is more and more developing into Real Time Tactics rather then standard TBS.

Anyways to actually answer this question in TBS terms basically all tbs games during the overworld map you can only move when its your turn. However when another opponent initiates combat you move into the combat map which is generally a zoomed in version of the hex that is contested. So now you in a hex which breakes down into more hexes and both parties are allowed to move depending on the ruleset. This can either be both teams are allowed to move their entire army once then end turn and the other goes or its based on an initiative score.

The initiative score is just bascially a counter for who goes first. For example I have 3 units called A, B ,C who has initiative of 5,3,4 respectively. So A moves first then C then B.

jtheory
2008-12-02, 07:31 PM
The avenging angel swoops in for the kill. Though I have a feeling neither one of them will be dead in the next couple of pages -- for plot reasons more than game mechanics, but perhaps both. I wasn't expecting her to engage him in physical combat!

Here's the text of Wanda's verse, typed out simply because I enjoyed it (afaik it's original):


Rejoice. Despair.
Fate does not care.
Each knotted mind entwined.
Each soul, another's bind.
And blind, though we are led,
In time, we do know when
To cut a thread!

Nice work with the delayed punch at the end! A sort of tail rhyme.

And a bit of digging around in poetry terminology suggests that this might be called a good example of Skeltonic verse (http://www.poeticbyway.com/gl-s.html#skeltonics). :smallamused:

Sieggy
2008-12-02, 08:19 PM
Whoo doggies! Wanda's going to boop that boy up bigtime! If those are, indeed, Webinar & Dora on the other mounts, when they close, that will most likely give Ansom a bad case of shock & dismay ("Oh! My Friend! What has my hubris cost you . . .), which would leave him open to some kind of magical attack from Wanda or Jaclyn the Necrophiliac Dream Girl. (BTW, I'll bet you didn't know that if a necrophiliac impregnates his victim, the results are a dead issue . . . And, of course, it makes you wonder when Wanda says she's going out for a stiff one . . .)

One thing I've been wondering, though . . . some of the Archons are still dressed in the dance-fighting pink poodle skirts & bobbed hair . . . more than enough time has passed for them to get back into uniform, or are they still expecting to engage in dance-fighting? I would also take it from the raspberry that the one Archon is giving Parson and the expression of the one in panel#3 that they are hacked with him for being responsible for the croaking & uncroaking of one of their own. If so, that may be a foreshadowing of them wanting to get even with Parson later on . . .

FoE
2008-12-02, 08:24 PM
On one hand, Ansom still has those Arkenpliers. And he hasn't taken a wound yet.

On the other hand, those Uncroaked with Wanda are likely pretty powerful, and Wanda isn't getting turned to dust. Ansom now has to fend off these attackers as well as the minor Uncroaked on the walls.

Lamech
2008-12-02, 08:44 PM
Hey I had a thought... we don't know ANY of the requirements for attunement. Could Wanda attune to the pliers mid-combat, and have them blast Ansom to bits?

Leewei
2008-12-02, 09:00 PM
Musing about some possible outcomes:

1. Wanda falls to a heavily wounded Ansom, only to be uncroaked by some contingent spell she'd prepared. Once arisen, she croaks Ansom and attunes the arkenpliers, which maintain her in her state perpetually.

2. Wanda kills Ansom and uncroaks him, at which point he attunes to the arkenpliers himself, and becomes a death knight-like unique permanent uncroaked unit under Wanda's incomplete control.

3. Wanda is on the ropes and Stanley shows up to save the day in a fairly nuanced Big Damn Hero saves Damsel In Distress scenario.

2 and 3 wouldn't be mutually exclusive...

Raguzert
2008-12-02, 09:18 PM
Well, I used to look forward for those battles between major characters, not anymore. The way stanley's last battle ended makes me feel certain that this wanda x ansom clash will be hardly important. I mean, even if something meaningfull happens, the expectancy is low.

ishnar
2008-12-02, 09:19 PM
Musing about some possible outcomes:

1. Wanda falls to a heavily wounded Ansom, only to be uncroaked by some contingent spell she'd prepared. Once arisen, she croaks Ansom and attunes the arkenpliers, which maintain her in her state perpetually.

2. Wanda kills Ansom and uncroaks him, at which point he attunes to the arkenpliers himself, and becomes a death knight-like unique permanent uncroaked unit under Wanda's incomplete control.

3. Wanda is on the ropes and Stanley shows up to save the day in a fairly nuanced Big Damn Hero saves Damsel In Distress scenario.

2 and 3 wouldn't be mutually exclusive...


I really do not see Ansom dying here. He's Evel Knievel, and Evel Knievel never died from his stunts. However, since he has pulled off a few successful stunts, he's due for a failure and a bunch of broken bones. But not death. I see his carpet getting totaled though. I can see his broken body at the bottom of the wall, tears comming from his eyes as he crys "My New Carpet!, my dad is going to KILL ME!" :P

MickJay
2008-12-02, 09:33 PM
It would be interesting if Charlie finally got the pliers the moment Stanley returned to Knob, given Stanley's distrust towards Charlie.

AngryAngel
2008-12-02, 09:46 PM
Wanda seems to resent the implication that she knows anything about troops or combat (though I think she does). (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html) Parson's Klog #4. For my own part I foresee Wanda killing Ansom quickly, perhaps by a direct blow, or by knocking him off his carpet into the teeming masses of uncroaked below, while seizing the Arkenpliers. It also wouldn't surprise me if she attuned to them, thus becoming the mightiest Croakamancer in Erfworld.

My reasons for thinking these things is: to truly win the Battle for Gobwin Knob, Parson has to win decisively. An eked out, barely won victory won't do, or else the RCC will just regroup and try again. It has to be a shattering victory, both in moral and material terms so the RCC breaks up and slinks away home. A good step toward such a victory is killing the leader of the RCC. I'd be disappointed if it didn't happen simply for plot purposes.

Cadrys
2008-12-02, 10:38 PM
"I really hope you can see (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0076.html)this Jillian.

Whatever happens...one of your lovers is about to get broken."

TheCat
2008-12-02, 11:02 PM
The numbering problem means the RSS feed isn't updated, so I suspect some people won't know it's up.

MrPhoenix
2008-12-02, 11:20 PM
"I just....Yeah, hi. Same to you."

i'll never be able to stop laughing again.

Avilan the Grey
2008-12-03, 02:00 AM
Ayyyyy, too tense.

Personally I want to see Ansom win this. Both sides are incredibly interesting and well told, I just prefer the 'good guys'.

We have no proof, other than unit design, that the GK side is evil. We DO know that Ansom is an annoying @$$. (But so is Tool).

Hey I don't even think the Tool started this war?

Avilan the Grey
2008-12-03, 02:05 AM
My guess is that Wanda's instructions were only to try to get the Pliers (and retreat). Also Remember the klog where it was mentioned the huge bonus undead got when lead by a Croakamancer, maybe Wanda with his little airforce will be enough to just get the job done

Exactly my thought; She will swoop in, grab the pliers and swoop off. At least that's the plan. If Ansom is too good to be surprised by her, or if she is enjoying the fight too much to withdraw, is another matter.

K2
2008-12-03, 02:34 AM
Have I ever told you guys how much I love this comic?

The fact that Ansom is about to be croaked or captured. I don't know what I want to see more, Jillian rescuing Ansom from Tool or an UnCroaked Ansom eating the tar out of Jullian

Sweetie Welf
2008-12-03, 03:03 AM
One ting I'd like to mention: If Wanda wins this fight and get's the pliers, I hope she is clever enough to walk home instead of flying home. If she flies, Charley can engage her and capture her and the pliers. He may have no poiunt in attacking before the fight, but I don't think he can resist a masterclass necromancer + arkentool. No one could, not with that superior firepower.

datalaughing
2008-12-03, 03:06 AM
To me, this feels like a stark contrast to the suicidal nature of the act as expressed initially by the other RCC warlords.

118 is back now, so we can see exactly what was said. The redhead says, "We can't get through the walls with all those troops deployed there." We know from a klog (I believe) that the strength of the walls is dependent on the number of troops deployed there. So this is a statement about the ability of their seige to penetrate the wall and nothing else.

The only other statement is when Ansom takes off to handle the guys on the wall, the sofa king rep says, "You're brain-lashed!" This could be interpreted as, "You're committing suicide." However it could also be interpreted in at least half a dozen other ways, not to mention that the sofa king guy was rather pissed at Ansom already. So I think you've been reading too much into it this whole thread.

Goshen
2008-12-03, 03:22 AM
Good eye, indeed. Offhand, I'd guess that if they are undead units then they are warlords rather than the lower-quality uncroaked Dora and Webinar. But Plot makes everything malleable...

Although Wanda animated Dora and Webinar in the cheapest way, they were stronger to start with than the rest of the mob. If you have two empty mounts, why not fill them with some kind of unit, even if they are weak. The only problem with my theory is that two live Knights would probably have been better.

Goshen
2008-12-03, 03:24 AM
One ting I'd like to mention: If Wanda wins this fight and get's the pliers, I hope she is clever enough to walk home instead of flying home. If she flies, Charley can engage her and capture her and the pliers. He may have no poiunt in attacking before the fight, but I don't think he can resist a masterclass necromancer + arkentool. No one could, not with that superior firepower.

If Wanda has those pliers, she might attune to it and become unstoppable! Charlie is taking an awful risk by letting GK have another super-weapon.

plainsfox
2008-12-03, 03:33 AM
Remember, two or three uncroaked warlords were left after parson's donut plan.

rxmd
2008-12-03, 05:19 AM
If Wanda wins this fight and get's the pliers, I hope she is clever enough to walk home instead of flying home. If she flies, Charley can engage her
I think the Archons can engage her either way whether she flies or not.

fractal
2008-12-03, 05:23 AM
So Ansom had better be tougher than Wanda in melee, he's a high level warlord, she's a caster. He beats her down quickly, is going to finish her, but Jaclyn and the other two riders engage him. The shock of meeting uncroaked Webinar and Dora set him aback, and Archon power gives him trouble, but eventually the Arkenpliers grant him mastery over the uncroaked, and he destroys them. However, in that time, Wanda has regrouped, and successfully casts a Deletionism spell which injures/kills Ansom.

Wanda acquires the Arkenpliers. Using the pliers, she grants the uncroaked units on the walls a tremendous commander and artifact bonus, and the Coalition fails to break though (or if they do, they suffer horribly for it). However, in the morning it will be Charlie's turn to act, and all of his units FLY.

jmsl
2008-12-03, 05:33 AM
In all the talk about the conflict, hardly any attention has been placed on Wanda's verse. What does it mean?

Rejoice, despair, Fate does not care

Is this only her battle cry, or part of her philosophy? The Titans don't care what you do, perhaps? Although she seemed to believe in an earlier comic. Does it mean, "do whatever you want"?

Each knotted mind entwined, each soul another's bind
Obviously Wanda knows quite a bit about binding the dead, but also a fair amount about the living. What does she mean here? What interconnections are she referring to, love, "popping", or something further? Does she see something deeper, that all the inhabitants are puppets?

And blind, though we are led, In time, we do know when to cut a thread

The inhabitants can't see, led by fellow "idiots", but she's figured out how to cut her ties? Of course, as she's trying to cut Ansom's thread tying him to the mortal coil, it could be simpler. It's more fun to read a deeper meaning though. It ties into the speculation that she works for Stanley more for the freedom it afforded her than anything else.

All this may be simply throw away verse that fits the mood, but Wanda's motivations are the biggest mystery remaining. She's been seeming more straight forward of late but it's nice to get a hint of meaning.

SteveMB
2008-12-03, 06:21 AM
118 is back now

It is? I'm not seeing it.

EDIT: It looks OK now.

teratorn
2008-12-03, 06:43 AM
And blind, though we are led, In time, we do know when to cut a thread

The inhabitants can't see, led by fellow "idiots", but she's figured out how to cut her ties?

In classic latin mythology there were three Parcae, called fates in English, they spent their time spinning threads that represent individual human destinies. When one of them, Morta (death) cut the thread it meant the end of that individual life. Cut a thread clearly means death here.

Morta used to eat people at times, so is Wanda going to feast on Ansom?

factotum
2008-12-03, 07:12 AM
It is? I'm not seeing it.

And I'm seeing it in place of both 131 and 132 now...this is getting confusing! :smallmad:

DragoonKain
2008-12-03, 07:14 AM
Can't see the comic. All I see is 118.

The Giant
2008-12-03, 07:16 AM
I'm working on fixing this glitch right now, so things may be weird for a little while. Best bet is to leave it alone for a few minutes at least.

EDIT: OK, looks fixed now. You may need to force reload the page in order to see either one of the two comics, though.

DragoonKain
2008-12-03, 07:18 AM
Cool. Thanks, Giant.

Edit:

Okay, yeah. Wanda, being a powerful caster in her own right, is packing three Unipegataurs and an Uncroaked Archon, all of which might have been carefully buffed to the max if Wanda's fawning over them was any indication. On top of that, it looks like she's got two Uncroaked Warlords buffing her stack.

While Ansom is powerful against uncroaked, Wanda is his main concern right now, and even as a Chief Warlord with an Artifact bonus, this isn't looking good for him.

It's like in Age of Mythology if you pit a Son of Osiris against Arkantos and a couple of Gold Collossi, then make it so that Arkantos's buff works on them, and ONLY them (thus increasing its power).

Avilan the Grey
2008-12-03, 08:00 AM
In classic latin mythology there were three Parcae, called fates in English, they spent their time spinning threads that represent individual human destinies. When one of them, Morta (death) cut the thread it meant the end of that individual life. Cut a thread clearly means death here.

Morta used to eat people at times, so is Wanda going to feast on Ansom?

I am not so sure. Thinking about it, the thread remark might have a double meaning. Maybe she hopes to break free from EVERYONE by attuning to the Pliers? She could hardly be someone's follower with her own set of attuned Tools, right?

Kyouhen
2008-12-03, 08:02 AM
Here's my thoughts regarding the whole thing with the RCC thinking Ansom would die quickly when he's actually doing pretty well. You'd generally assume that there would be a good number of archers on the walls to stop any siege from getting close enough to be a threat. Maybe seeing all those uncroaked they just assumed there would be an obscene number of archers waiting to open fire on the first thing that came up.

los olvidados
2008-12-03, 08:28 AM
Love Wanda's battle gear. :smallcool:


I am not so sure. Thinking about it, the thread remark might have a double meaning. Maybe she hopes to break free from EVERYONE by attuning to the Pliers? She could hardly be someone's follower with her own set of attuned Tools, right?

Stanley was attuned to the Arkenhammer while still serving under King Saline IV:

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0087.html

Lamech
2008-12-03, 08:53 AM
They may have figured since magic and traps wiped out their first two attacks that magic or traps was about to reduce Ansom to a puff of ash. Or that there were a hundred or so archers on the other side.



So Ansom had better be tougher than Wanda in melee, he's a high level warlord, she's a caster. He beats her down quickly, is going to finish her, but Jaclyn and the other two riders engage him. The shock of meeting uncroaked Webinar and Dora set him aback, and Archon power gives him trouble, but eventually the Arkenpliers grant him mastery over the uncroaked, and he destroys them. However, in that time, Wanda has regrouped, and successfully casts a Deletionism spell which injures/kills Ansom.
I don't see any reason to believe that Ansom is better than Wanda. Uncroaked casters act as infantry, so normal casters should be able to as well. If she is significantly higher leveled, Ansom may not even be a problem for her. In addition she may have any number of magical buffs, defenses, and magical attacks on her side. So while, he may be able to overcome her or even easily beat her down, she could also be a good match, a little better, or even far stronger.

Avilan the Grey
2008-12-03, 09:05 AM
Love Wanda. :smallcool:

Stanley was attuned to the Arkenhammer while still serving under King Saline IV

Fixed it for you :smallbiggrin: And ok you are right.

teratorn
2008-12-03, 09:48 AM
I think Parson's comment on having nothing capable of hitting Ansom has to do with the pliers, all uncroaked turn to dust before they can reach him to inflict damage.

The way she is forcing Ansom to open the pliers, it looks like Wanda is going to actively pry the plyers from Ansom's hands. If that happens the other flying units can gang on him... and even the other uncroaked.

Richbin
2008-12-03, 10:23 AM
The avenging angel swoops in for the kill. Though I have a feeling neither one of them will be dead in the next couple of pages -- for plot reasons more than game mechanics, but perhaps both. I wasn't expecting her to engage him in physical combat!

Here's the text of Wanda's verse, typed out simply because I enjoyed it (afaik it's original):


Rejoice. Despair.
Fate does not care.
Each knotted mind entwined.
Each soul, another's bind.
And blind, though we are led,
In time, we do know when
To cut a thread!

Nice work with the delayed punch at the end! A sort of tail rhyme.

And a bit of digging around in poetry terminology suggests that this might be called a good example of Skeltonic verse (http://www.poeticbyway.com/gl-s.html#skeltonics). :smallamused:


I suspect that this verse might also be a way of referencing the situation with the pliers.
They are fate magic, hence the references of the thread-cutting (although unattuned (blind), and led (as by a Titanic mandate), he can still 'Parch' undead through the cutting of their threads.
She might be attempting to attune to the pliers during the combat, and the insertion of her staff into their jaws has to do more with the attunement completion than a blocking mechanism.

I suspect that Wanda is surrendering to her fate (or to the pliers) in some way. Her becoming an uncroaked lich, perhaps? There is more to this than meets the eye.

Richbin
2008-12-03, 10:33 AM
I cannot help but think i am missing a chunk of speculation on not hearing nor engendering any threads oin the sword Parons received. How could it be used? Self-defense against the Archons?
In a charge against Ansom on the wall?
Or is it purely symbolic, giving him his Warlord bonus?

GidlerFreak
2008-12-03, 10:42 AM
I hope no one else already posted this, I didn't have time to read every post. :(

I think the key to the disconnect between the RCC commanders' expectations and Parson's lies in Parson's mathamancy artifact. If people in Erfworld could calculate battles in advance, war would be a lot different for them. I pay particular attention to Parson's exchange with Charlie, where Charlie asks him what the odds are that Parson will survive the next turn. Charlie seems astonished with Parson's reply, which implies that only Parson has a definite understanding of the numbers behind battle. There is no evidence of any casters on Ansom's side, so we do not know how much knowledge the RCC has of croakamancy or mathamancy. Thus, the RCC may not realize that the uncroaked on the wall are weaker than the uncroaked they have faced earlier in the war.
This explains the disconnect on the RCC side: lack of knowledge about casting/math. As for Parson, you'll notice that even with the mathamancy artifact, he cannot give a definite answer as to the result of the battle. He can only give the odds of his victory. This shows that there is more to battle than numbers. I believe this extra factor is free will. Parson knows that his victory also depends on his enemies' orders in battle. The RCC commanders had the option of listening to or ignoring Ansom orders when he attacked the zombies. Charlie has the option of intervening with all of the Archons. Jack and Stanley could return with Dwagons. All of these situations affect the result of the battle, and Parson does not know which will happen in advance. The result:
Parson is operating with the maximum knowledge available.
The RCC is operating based on limited knowledge, but maximum Erfworld combat experience.
Charlie is operating with more knowledge than the RCC, but with undetermined motivations.
I can't wait to see what happens next! :smallbiggrin:

teratorn
2008-12-03, 10:44 AM
I suspect that Wanda is surrendering to her fate (or to the pliers) in some way. Her becoming an uncroaked lich, perhaps? There is more to this than meets the eye.

I want Wanda alive and well. No liches please. Parson surely computed the odds on this battle. He would not send Wanda unless the odds were strongly on her side.

I don't think Wanda is strong enough to face Ansom on a regular fight, but the pliers are probably not much of a weapon against the living. Her job is just to take them from Ansom, and maybe make him fall from his mount.

headhoncho
2008-12-03, 10:49 AM
118 is back now, so we can see exactly what was said. The redhead says, "We can't get through the walls with all those troops deployed there." We know from a klog (I believe) that the strength of the walls is dependent on the number of troops deployed there. So this is a statement about the ability of their seige to penetrate the wall and nothing else.
The only other statement is when Ansom takes off to handle the guys on the wall, the sofa king rep says, "You're brain-lashed!" This could be interpreted as, "You're committing suicide." However it could also be interpreted in at least half a dozen other ways, not to mention that the sofa king guy was rather pissed at Ansom already. So I think you've been reading too much into it this whole thread.

I'm not sure what you're reading, but 118/131 confirms what I've been saying all along, and if anything makes the point stronger. Look at Panel 4.

Redhead: "He's mad...we'll see his body fall at any moment."

Brunette: "Aye... so we should hasten."

So we have the two more level-headed (more than Duke Nozzle, who already thinks Ansom has gone boopdung crazy) warlords AGREEING that he's toast "at any moment."

The brunette, the more loyal of the two, takes the opportunity to get things moving, whether due to not wanting to "waste" Ansom's sacrifice or to try to save him. But she clearly agrees.

The other points that have been raised are still potentially valid, and I'll continue to reserve judgment. But that is a pretty significant gulf in impression between the chief warlords of the RCC and Parson, I hope you will agree.

SteveMB
2008-12-03, 11:09 AM
I don't think Wanda is strong enough to face Ansom on a regular fight, but the pliers are probably not much of a weapon against the living.

They seem to be fairly effective on dwagons (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0065.html), and in any case they give a substantial artifact bonus (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0078.html).

fendrin
2008-12-03, 11:22 AM
...that is a pretty significant gulf in impression between the chief warlords of the RCC and Parson, I hope you will agree.

Yes it is. However, on further reflection I have no problem with it. Ansom may be tough, and may be essentially immune to the uncroaked on the walls (due to selective engagement and his overwhelming offensive power against uncroaked), but as far as the RCC warlords (or for that matter, Ansom) know, Parson may have a reserve warlord-led max-stack of dwagons hidden behind the walls. Ansom may be one mega-leveled (probably at least a 10) bad-boop, but Jillian could only take out one dwagon before being taken down (and that was with assistance). I doubt Ansom could get through more than two or three before being taken out.

Parson, of course, knows that there is no uber-stack. The best he has is Wanda, so regardless of chance of success, he had to send her in. That's not to say I think she will fail, but I am not nearly as confident as most of the people here seem to be that she will prevail.

DigoDragon
2008-12-03, 12:03 PM
"...yeah, hi. Same to you."

I haven't bothered thinking about the battle for the fact this game has a great taunt button. :smallamused:

headhoncho
2008-12-03, 12:05 PM
Yes it is. However, on further reflection I have no problem with it. Ansom may be tough, and may be essentially immune to the uncroaked on the walls (due to selective engagement and his overwhelming offensive power against uncroaked), but as far as the RCC warlords (or for that matter, Ansom) know, Parson may have a reserve warlord-led max-stack of dwagons hidden behind the walls.

If you want to read that into their statements -- which seem very simple and straightforward -- you are of course free to do that.

I don't get that impression at all, however. The simplest explanation in my opinion is that the RCC warlords are looking at the masses of undead and know that Ansom can "fall" (and maybe they could be referring to the loss of his carpet, although I'm guessing it's more likely they're talking about falling in battle) "at any moment." They're not qualifying it with the arrival of additional forces, they're looking at the situation as it stands right now. And they don't like the odds.

Experienced warlords heading up their nations' respective forces, and they don't like the odds. At all. "At any moment" connotes pretty darn fast.

DevilDan
2008-12-03, 12:23 PM
Hey I don't even think the Tool started this war?

He allegedly croaked the Mlquetoast clan and attacked Jetstone units in the field.


I think the key to the disconnect between the RCC commanders' expectations and Parson's lies in Parson's mathamancy artifact. If people in Erfworld could calculate battles in advance, war would be a lot different for them. I pay particular attention to Parson's exchange with Charlie, where Charlie asks him what the odds are that Parson will survive the next turn. Charlie seems astonished with Parson's reply, which implies that only Parson has a definite understanding of the numbers behind battle.

I don't disagree that Chalie doesn't have mathamancy equivalent to Parson's... why else would he want the magic item? However, Charlie is likely shrewd enough to make a good guess about the chances for GK's survival if Parson were using traditional Erf strategy and tactics. It is Parson's innovative, unconventional plans that change the odds so radically.

Finally, the warlords think that Ansom will survive on the wall long enough for them to make significant progress in breaching the wall... otherwise, they'd sit back and wait for the uncroaked army to decay, one imagines. Or is each turn that the RCC in the field so onerously expensive to each side that the higher casualties of moving now are offset by the wish to avoid waiting for that to happen?

SteveMB
2008-12-03, 01:39 PM
Finally, the warlords think that Ansom will survive on the wall long enough for them to make significant progress in breaching the wall... otherwise, they'd sit back and wait for the uncroaked army to decay, one imagines. Or is each turn that the RCC in the field so onerously expensive to each side that the higher casualties of moving now are offset by the wish to avoid waiting for that to happen?

We know that maintaining the alliance is a strain on the participating sides (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0021.html). This is about the turn that strain was supposed to have been relieved (by final victory over Stanley); the fact that it's still ongoing surely isn't helping matters for Ansom.

hajo
2008-12-03, 01:41 PM
I don't disagree that Chalie doesn't have mathamancy equivalent to Parson's... why else would he want the magic item?
As a merc, he might be interested in eliminating possible competition - even if he already had such a device himself.


However, Charlie is likely shrewd enough
Exactly :smallamused:

DevilDan
2008-12-03, 02:05 PM
We know that maintaining the alliance is a strain on the participating sides (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0021.html). This is about the turn that strain was supposed to have been relieved (by final victory over Stanley); the fact that it's still ongoing surely isn't helping matters for Ansom.

I was merely wondering which is more "expensive," waiting for the uncroaked to decay (assuming the RCC knows enough about croakamancy) or facing heavier losses by attacking now.

At this point, without adequate air and without control of the tunnels, the walls are the only avenue of attack. The "surround the entire city" plan is now out the window due to Ansom's impulsiveness, but this was the turn that was going to be spent solely on surrounding GK.

headhoncho
2008-12-03, 02:49 PM
We know that maintaining the alliance is a strain on the participating sides (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0021.html). This is about the turn that strain was supposed to have been relieved (by final victory over Stanley); the fact that it's still ongoing surely isn't helping matters for Ansom.

Great memory, and great point, thanks!

hajo
2008-12-03, 02:49 PM
My guess is that Wanda's instructions were only to try to get the Pliers (and retreat).
Taking Ansom prisoner would be a neat bonus :smallbiggrin:

Also, nice battlegear on Wanda's part :smallcool:

Fez
2008-12-03, 02:52 PM
I liked the strip, from the archon blowing Parson a razzbery to the charge of the Wanda brigade.

I'm curious if the uncroaked archon will still have her ranged damage abilities, which were pretty substantial when alive. She does still fly and glow, so its likely, and the pliers won't be much use against an energy bolt.

As for 'to cut a thread'. While it could be the thread of life, it could also be a pun that signifies she's going after his mount which is just a pile of threads, as a grounded Ansom will be much more vulnerable to essentially all of the GK forces.

pendell
2008-12-03, 02:56 PM
Hmm ... I'm gonna go contrarian on you guys.

Wanda vs. combat monster Ansom + artifact bonus? No contest. Parson sent her up because she was the only thing that had even a prayer of victory, NOT because it was
likely to succeed.

My guess?

Ansom croaks Wanda. Here. Now.

When Wanda croaks, all the undead on the wall and everywhere else in GK also spontaneously shut down.

The Radish Army comes through the wall.

Parson and what few troops are left retreat to the dungeons for a last, valiant stand...

Respectfully,

Brian P.

hajo
2008-12-03, 02:59 PM
to truly win the Battle for Gobwin Knob, Parson has to win decisively. An eked out, barely won victory won't do, or else the RCC will just regroup and try again.
Or any small neighbour might come in to mop up the remains.

fendrin
2008-12-03, 03:51 PM
If you want to read that into their statements -- which seem very simple and straightforward -- you are of course free to do that.

I don't get that impression at all, however. The simplest explanation in my opinion is that the RCC warlords are looking at the masses of undead and know that Ansom can "fall" (and maybe they could be referring to the loss of his carpet, although I'm guessing it's more likely they're talking about falling in battle) "at any moment." They're not qualifying it with the arrival of additional forces, they're looking at the situation as it stands right now. And they don't like the odds.

Experienced warlords heading up their nations' respective forces, and they don't like the odds. At all. "At any moment" connotes pretty darn fast.

I see your points, but it seems highly unlikely that they would 'forget' about the selective targeting he has from flying.

On the other hand, he just made himself vulnerable to any anti air-unit defenses GK may have. The warlords already know they are significant (whether in the form of magic or dwagons).

Which is more likely? That they forget a basic rule that they've known from the moment they came into existence, or that they are expecting more of what they have already seen?

Balance
2008-12-03, 04:19 PM
I think I see the motive for Wanda to close to melee, and she doesn't need to be able to beat Ansom up close for it to be worthwhile. She's effectively neutralizing the Arkenpliers just by blocking, so Ansom can't turn them on the rest of her stack, which are more vulnerable to them. She can fight defensively, and still be effective, while her undead go on the offensive.

I've also been pondering the numbers in play here:

Wanda's Stack (assuming all three unipegataurs have a rider, but no bonus-granting warlords)
stack bonus-7
Wanda's leadership bonus-unknown, but "huge", according to Parson
Parson's Chief Warlord bonus-unkown, but possibly on par with Ansom's, now that he has the sword

Ansom's Stack
stack bonus-1 (Presumably a single-unit stack gets a point, since an 8-unit stack gets 8. It's possible that a stack must have at least two units to get a bonus, though.)
artifact bonus-unkown, but significant
Ansom's Warlord bonus

If Parson's leadership bonus cancels Ansom's, it leaves a numerical edge of

(Wanda's bonus + 6) - Arkenpliers artifact bonus

for Wanda's stack. Ansom's Combat and Hits stats are likely higher than Wanda's, assuming she hasn't cast any self-buffs, but she may have a substantial edge on bonuses. With the Arkenpliers' special effect neutralized, I think it likely that the Numbers favor Wanda slightly.

If she can hold Ansom's attention, I think she can win.

headhoncho
2008-12-03, 04:45 PM
Which is more likely? That they forget a basic rule that they've known from the moment they came into existence, or that they are expecting more of what they have already seen?

This is why I mentioned the difference between good writing and great writing. It would be an easy thing to add even a short phrase that made your interpretation quite clear. But without that phrase, I really, really don't see it.

As it stands, however, I'm faced with what appears to be a vastly different view, of the same situation, by two sides who each really ought to know, or at least have a faint inkling.

That said, I can't wait to find out, and it's entirely possible the authors will pull off something that makes complete sense and is completely unexpected, that leaves me mystified and in awe. They've certainly done it before.

Right now, I'm guessing it's some function of the RCC warlords not understanding the true function and power of the arkenpliers, coupled with Parson recognizing the importance of the time that Ansom is buying the siege, to the extent that even if Ansom is croaked, the victory might be pyrrhic for Parson due to the overwhelming numbers (and remaining competent warlords, even if they might not be quite as good as Ansom) that the RCC still has.

That could work. It still leaves the difference of viewpoint somewhat jarring to me, but it would recede to a nit.

Thanks for the conversation, I've been enjoying it.

fendrin
2008-12-03, 04:58 PM
I think I see the motive for Wanda to close to melee, and she doesn't need to be able to beat Ansom up close for it to be worthwhile. She's effectively neutralizing the Arkenpliers just by blocking, so Ansom can't turn them on the rest of her stack, which are more vulnerable to them. She can fight defensively, and still be effective, while her undead go on the offensive.

I've also been pondering the numbers in play here:

Wanda's Stack (assuming all three unipegataurs have a rider, but no bonus-granting warlords)
stack bonus-7
Wanda's leadership bonus-unknown, but "huge", according to Parson
Parson's Chief Warlord bonus-unkown, but possibly on par with Ansom's, now that he has the sword

Ansom's Stack
stack bonus-1 (Presumably a single-unit stack gets a point, since an 8-unit stack gets 8. It's possible that a stack must have at least two units to get a bonus, though.)
artifact bonus-unkown, but significant
Ansom's Warlord bonus

If Parson's leadership bonus cancels Ansom's, it leaves a numerical edge of

(Wanda's bonus + 6) - Arkenpliers artifact bonus

for Wanda's stack. Ansom's Combat and Hits stats are likely higher than Wanda's, assuming she hasn't cast any self-buffs, but she may have a substantial edge on bonuses. With the Arkenpliers' special effect neutralized, I think it likely that the Numbers favor Wanda slightly.

If she can hold Ansom's attention, I think she can win.

That's a good analysis.

I've been thinking, though, that the 'stack bonus' can't (just) increase per unit in stack (capped at 8).

If it was, then one stack of 16 would be:
16 units each with +8 stack bonus
and those same stack split into two stacks would be:
16 units each with +8 stack bonus
So why bother splitting the stack? Especially when some bonuses (like Wanda's bonus to uncroaked) apply on a per-stack basis.

So I figure that the stack bonus only applies to 8 units in the stack.
Or maybe it is capped at +8 but is distributed amongst all units (so beyond 8 there is effectively no bonus).

For that matter, the stack bonus may not be a 1-to-1 with number of units, or even a linear progression.

All the klog (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html) says about the stack bonus is:

...groups of units get a stack bonus that maxes at 8, so you see a lot of 8-man formations.

Not much to work with there, but it implies that two stacks of 8 is a better arrangement than one stack of 16.

DevilDan
2008-12-03, 04:59 PM
Experienced warlords heading up their nations' respective forces, and they don't like the odds. At all. "At any moment" connotes pretty darn fast.

They don't like his odds, because he is still a single unit (despite being a powerful warlord with flight and an artifact that pulverizes uncroaked) simply because those arrows will eventually score major hits or because he will fall to some other attack. But they are willing to exploit the chance to assault the wall now that Ansom is holding back the defensive forces.

As for who the other unipegataur riders are, I guess that we've come upon some compelling reasons why they could be Dora and Webinar, including the psychological effect on Ansom. Wanda's bonuses could well make even rudimentarily uncroaked warlords more powerful than the knights. Also, we don't know that Wanda didn't have enough juice at the end of the last turn to "upgrade" Webinar and Dora to the level of the remaining GK undead warlords.

headhoncho
2008-12-03, 05:21 PM
They don't like his odds, because he is still a single unit (despite being a powerful warlord with flight and an artifact that pulverizes uncroaked) simply because those arrows will eventually score major hits or because he will fall to some other attack. But they are willing to exploit the chance to assault the wall now that Ansom is holding back the defensive forces.

Sure. I don't think I'm saying anything different.


As for who the other unipegataur riders are, I guess that we've come upon some compelling reasons why they could be Dora and Webinar, including the psychological effect on Ansom. Wanda's bonuses could well make even rudimentarily uncroaked warlords more powerful than the knights. Also, we don't know that Wanda didn't have enough juice at the end of the last turn to "upgrade" Webinar and Dora to the level of the remaining GK undead warlords.

I agree, it's Dora and Webinar. Another interesting point is that based on my recollection of the wording of the klog, Wanda's bonus to undead for being a Croakamancer is not necessarily identical to the warlord bonus. So if they stack, so much the better, and all the more reason (in addition to the psychological benefit) to bring D&W.

Scylfing
2008-12-03, 05:34 PM
This is why I mentioned the difference between good writing and great writing. It would be an easy thing to add even a short phrase that made your interpretation quite clear. But without that phrase, I really, really don't see it.

As it stands, however, I'm faced with what appears to be a vastly different view, of the same situation, by two sides who each really ought to know, or at least have a faint inkling.

That said, I can't wait to find out, and it's entirely possible the authors will pull off something that makes complete sense and is completely unexpected, that leaves me mystified and in awe. They've certainly done it before.

Right now, I'm guessing it's some function of the RCC warlords not understanding the true function and power of the arkenpliers, coupled with Parson recognizing the importance of the time that Ansom is buying the siege, to the extent that even if Ansom is croaked, the victory might be pyrrhic for Parson due to the overwhelming numbers (and remaining competent warlords, even if they might not be quite as good as Ansom) that the RCC still has.

That could work. It still leaves the difference of viewpoint somewhat jarring to me, but it would recede to a nit.

Thanks for the conversation, I've been enjoying it.

I see what you're saying, you're right that the cause of the difference in their perceptions is unstated. I think though when viewing the two pages together, 131 and 132, it's more clear that the threat to Ansom isn't just what's on the walls but whatever's behind them. Flying up there exposed him to just about everything that GK has at its disposal--uncroaked, archers, fliers and the uber-caster who just created all those zombies (not to mention set off that huge explosion).

Ansom may be strong, even strong enough to cut a swath through the uncroaked, but could he realistically invade GK by himself? No, of course not, and Parson is acting to make sure of that, which I think we're going to see really soon (finally! been waiting for Wanda vs Ansom forever!). That "fall at any moment" phrase may just be correct. :smallsmile:

Eugenitor
2008-12-03, 06:18 PM
When Wanda gets to the same tactical area as Ansom, do all the units already attacking him automatically join (or can be considered to be part of) her stack?

And I find it very interesting that Charlie can't grab the pliers, but can kill anything in the air he wants. Why is that?

Occasional Sage
2008-12-03, 06:29 PM
When Wanda gets to the same tactical area as Ansom, do all the units already attacking him automatically join (or can be considered to be part of) her stack?

And I find it very interesting that Charlie can't grab the pliers, but can kill anything in the air he wants. Why is that?

I'd assume because he hasn't been hired by either side. It's not (probably) by-the-rules-he-can't, but more of a his-future-reputation-prevents-him prohibition.

fractal
2008-12-03, 07:00 PM
When Wanda gets to the same tactical area as Ansom, do all the units already attacking him automatically join (or can be considered to be part of) her stack?

And I find it very interesting that Charlie can't grab the pliers, but can kill anything in the air he wants. Why is that?
That one is easy. The 'pliers are held by Ansom on the Wall, the Archons are flying in the Airspace. If Charlie wanted to attack Ansom, he would have to move his units into the Wall zone, where they would potentially engage most of Gobwin Knob.

DevilDan
2008-12-03, 07:26 PM
I agree with Occasional Sage: Charlie doesn't want to harm his reputation by switching sides in this conflict. Also, even if Parson isn't successful, Ansom will be weaker after further attacks.

Balance
2008-12-03, 07:57 PM
So why bother splitting the stack? Especially when some bonuses (like Wanda's bonus to uncroaked) apply on a per-stack basis.
[snip]

Not much to work with there, but it implies that two stacks of 8 is a better arrangement than one stack of 16.

True, but the reason may not necessarily have to do with the raw numbers. It could be more a matter of flexibility--two stacks of 8 could be ordered to do two separate things, while one stack of 16 would only follow one set of orders. Conversely, if you order the two stacks of 8 to attack the same target, you get the same effect as if the stacks were merged.

There might also be targeting concerns related to casters. Some offensive spells might target a single stack--a Thinkamancer might have a spell that confuses a stack, for instance, causing them to attack their allies. By splitting them up, you limit the effect to a smaller group, mitigating the damage.

Alternatively, it could just be because Erfworlders generally suffer from a critical lack of imagination. "Oh, the stack bonus stops at 8. No point in adding any more there."

valce
2008-12-03, 10:59 PM
So is the implication that the undead on the walls are powerless to hurt Ansom?

If so, how in the world is it that the RCC thought he was going to be toast in a matter of moments?

Thematically, the only thing that has provided me with the slightest heartburn for this awesome webcomic is the occasional discrepancy between (at times explicitly stated) expectations, and result. For example, dwagons are supposed to be awesome, but they've seemed underwhelming. The battle at the chokepoint, even with Caesar's unexpected arrival, was supposed to be exceedingly tight AT BEST for Transylvito, with Stanley perhaps having the advantage, and yet Stanley only barely escaped with six dwagons (although this has a caveat, if the Transylvito forces come out close to demolished, I'll feel a lot better). Ansom wasn't supposed to last for more than a few moments against the wall undead alone, and now Wanda seems like Parson's only hope.

Not sure I get it.

Other than that, I loved this comic. I can't wait for the next one. Wanda vs. Ansom has been one of the things I've been really waiting for!


I assumed RCC thought Ansom would be toast not because of the undead, but because they know Parson must have some sort of anti-air...

valce
2008-12-03, 11:03 PM
Also, has anybody in Erf actually SEEN Charlie? Know what he looks like?

Seems to me if the only communication he has with people is by thinkamancy, and with a powerful thinkamancy artifact, he could look like whatever he wanted.

Could Charlie already be in Gobwin Knob?

-V

SteveMB
2008-12-03, 11:04 PM
I assumed RCC thought Ansom would be toast not because of the undead, but because they know Parson must have some sort of anti-air...

Not knowing that the Erf-shattering kaboom earlier (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0107.html) was practically all of GK's air defenses being expended, they might well expect similar firepower to be brought to bear on Ansom.

fractal
2008-12-03, 11:13 PM
Also, has anybody in Erf actually SEEN Charlie? Know what he looks like?

Seems to me if the only communication he has with people is by thinkamancy, and with a powerful thinkamancy artifact, he could look like whatever he wanted.

Could Charlie already be in Gobwin Knob?

-V
So, Charlie is an Archon? Maybe the "Queen" Archon, like a hive of bees?

Lamech
2008-12-03, 11:17 PM
True, but the reason may not necessarily have to do with the raw numbers. It could be more a matter of flexibility--two stacks of 8 could be ordered to do two separate things, while one stack of 16 would only follow one set of orders. Conversely, if you order the two stacks of 8 to attack the same target, you get the same effect as if the stacks were merged.

There might also be targeting concerns related to casters. Some offensive spells might target a single stack--a Thinkamancer might have a spell that confuses a stack, for instance, causing them to attack their allies. By splitting them up, you limit the effect to a smaller group, mitigating the damage.
This actually makes a lot of sense. I would also like to point out two stacks could surround one enemy stack and hit them from two sides...

I also agree with Steve, the warlords on the ground probably think Ansom is about to be turned into a puff of ash, by some sort of defense. They may even believe the defenses are an repeatable move...

headhoncho
2008-12-03, 11:33 PM
Not knowing that the Erf-shattering kaboom earlier (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0107.html) was practically all of GK's air defenses being expended, they might well expect similar firepower to be brought to bear on Ansom.

While I suppose that is technically a possibility, look at panel 4 of 118/131 again. They're staring up at a tiny Ansom being shot at by a swarm of arrows. And they're saying he's mad, and that they will see his body fall at any moment.

I think we've had an interesting discussion, but come on. Looking at that panel, I cannot be the only one who is interpreting the plain meaning of the art and the words the way that I am. Sometimes I feel like people are grasping just to find any interpretation that supports the authors.

All it would have taken is ONE PHRASE to clarify the theories you're floating (Parson holding something in reserve, another air defense spell even though I can't imagine that nukes like Wanda set off are cheap, and by the way if it was another nuke, they wouldn't have any time at all to get the siege in line, Parson could just set it off right away, versus multiple arrows eventually taking Ansom down, etc.), instead of having to guess. And again, I know that the next strip might explain everything.

But I like to think I can read and view as well as the next person, and I can't imagine I'm the only one thinking this way or being surprised at the discrepancy between the two sides' viewpoints.

EDIT: OK, I found two or three comments in the thread for the last strip that also seem to think Ansom would get Zerg Swarmed or overwhelmed in a similar fashion, so I feel better now. :smallsmile:

DevilDan
2008-12-03, 11:40 PM
Lest we forget, "at any moment" is not exactly the same as "immediately."


Not knowing that the Erf-shattering kaboom earlier (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0107.html) was practically all of GK's air defenses being expended, they might well expect similar firepower to be brought to bear on Ansom.

Who knows how long it takes to set up "new" defenses anyway?

headhoncho
2008-12-03, 11:52 PM
Lest we forget, "at any moment" is not exactly the same as "immediately."


Sure. But the connotation is clearly "very, very soon."

the_tick_rules
2008-12-04, 12:09 AM
so wanda has to sing to fight better to?

teratorn
2008-12-04, 05:38 AM
They seem to be fairly effective on dwagons (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0065.html), and in any case they give a substantial artifact bonus (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0078.html).

We don't know how many "rounds" that dwagon lasted, he may have been able to inflict some damage. With undead, even warlords turn to dust as soon as they are touched. Assuming the flier always gets the initiative Ansom didn't lose hitpoints unless hit by arrows.

fendrin
2008-12-04, 08:42 AM
True, but the reason may not necessarily have to do with the raw numbers. It could be more a matter of flexibility--two stacks of 8 could be ordered to do two separate things, while one stack of 16 would only follow one set of orders. Conversely, if you order the two stacks of 8 to attack the same target, you get the same effect as if the stacks were merged. But one stack of 16 can be split into two stacks of 8 with a single order. Compare this to what would have happened if Caesar's direct bonus could have applied to EVERY bat in the hex, instead of just his personal stack (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0125.html).


There might also be targeting concerns related to casters. Some offensive spells might target a single stack--a Thinkamancer might have a spell that confuses a stack, for instance, causing them to attack their allies. By splitting them up, you limit the effect to a smaller group, mitigating the damage. True, but casters in the field seems to be an exception. They are too valuable. Hence the RCC not having *any* in this attack.


Alternatively, it could just be because Erfworlders generally suffer from a critical lack of imagination. "Oh, the stack bonus stops at 8. No point in adding any more there."Well yes, that is possible... but an unsatisfying explanation.


This actually makes a lot of sense. I would also like to point out two stacks could surround one enemy stack and hit them from two sides...Which may or may not provide a bonus. As far as we know, it just makes it harder for the surrounded units to flee the hex. Oh, and see my first point above.

Lamech
2008-12-04, 09:30 AM
Compare this to what would have happened if Caesar's direct bonus could have applied to EVERY bat in the hex, instead of just his personal stack.
Stanley, would have toasted them all with his Van de graff? Then watched his dwagons munch the defenseless warlords? Although I do see what your saying...

I think it probably has something to do with screening for Ceaser, and the dwagons AoE breath weapons...

DigoDragon
2008-12-04, 09:32 AM
So, Charlie is an Archon? Maybe the "Queen" Archon, like a hive of bees?

Charlie might not even be a person. :smallwink:

rxmd
2008-12-04, 09:40 AM
With undead, even warlords turn to dust as soon as they are touched.
They turn most (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0022.html) uncroaked to dust, not all uncroaked. It's the little things that make a difference sometimes. ;)

quindraco
2008-12-04, 09:52 AM
Headhoncho (sorry, I don't know how to quote):

I think Parson may simply be using a different definition of "hit" and/or "can" than you are, hence the confusion about what Parson "can" "hit" Ansom with.

1) Can: Actions Parson can take without losing the war. For example, if he can physically take Ansom by sacrificing every other unit in the city, which would lose the war the very next turn when anyone else invaded, then it doesn't count as something he "can" do - perhaps literally, given the hidden stats presumably forcing him to be loyal to Stanley.

2) Hit: As in, move in to strike, not actually strike. So, maybe the flyers aren't the only unit physically capable of landing a blow on Ansom, but they ARE the only ones who can move from a place where they can't land a blow to a place where they can.

If I'm Parson, and Ansom's on the wall, wiping my undead, and will die soon but only after making a big enough dent that he'll let the siege behind him through, dealing with him right this instant jumps to a high priority; my flyers are free to move, since the enemy air is dead or gone, but my wall troops are already in place against Ansom and my tunnel troops may still need to fight off incursions. Plus, maybe my tunnel troops physically can't get close to Ansom - there are, after all, undead in the way, and I think Erfworld prevents two people from standing in the same place at once (I wonder what the maximum stack size is......), whereas my flyers can fly over the undead.

So, when Parson says his flyers are the only units he has he can hit Ansom with, it may not mean what you think it does; also, even if Ansom were guaranteed to die - and that very soon - Parson might still need to hurry his death along.

We also don't know enough (and here I totally agree with you about some more expository writing being nice) to conclude that the guys worrying Ansom will fall are even worried about the zombie horde. They may know about the air force Parson was bound to send in, or the Arkenpliers may have a cap on how many times they can be used (and/or used against undead) per turn, or..... etc etc. They may even not mean he'll die, but rather that someone will kill his poor, innocent carpet, the one with the arrows sticking out of it. Won't ANYONE think of the poor, innocent carpet? :(

Goshen
2008-12-04, 10:12 AM
All the klog (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html) says about the stack bonus is: [...stack bonuses max at eight, so you see a lot of eight unit stacks.] Thank you for reminding us of this! I think it is the key.

I count a total of seven units in Wanda's stack, while Ansom is only one. He's a big warlord and has the artifact bonus, against all her bonuses, says is a good chance that their bonuses are equal -- maxed out at eight. He has the special ability to destroy any undead he hits, I think, but she also has her special caster abilities.

A very interesting fight! let's not forget that person has his mathemancy artifact, which would warn him against sending Wanda to certain defeat. I think he expects to get Ansom away from the wall for sure, and hopes to get lucky and capture the Arkenpliers.

Goshen
2008-12-04, 10:15 AM
Charlie might not even be a person. :smallwink:
I think he's also from the real world, like Parson, because he is so unique. Probably trying to build up enough money to pay for a return-home spell, or just playing to win.

Walpurgisborn
2008-12-04, 11:34 AM
True, but the reason may not necessarily have to do with the raw numbers. It could be more a matter of flexibility--two stacks of 8 could be ordered to do two separate things, while one stack of 16 would only follow one set of orders. Conversely, if you order the two stacks of 8 to attack the same target, you get the same effect as if the stacks were merged.

There might also be targeting concerns related to casters. Some offensive spells might target a single stack--a Thinkamancer might have a spell that confuses a stack, for instance, causing them to attack their allies. By splitting them up, you limit the effect to a smaller group, mitigating the damage.

Alternatively, it could just be because Erfworlders generally suffer from a critical lack of imagination. "Oh, the stack bonus stops at 8. No point in adding any more there."


Two points:

First; the stack bonus cap might be referring to the number of people in a stack. So the bonus itself might be significantly different, perhaps n+2^(x-1), where n is the unit base strength and x is equal to the number of people in the stack, with the hard cap at +256. Probably not, but it could be any of a number of non-linear sequences.

Second, this is a turn based strategy, stacks might be resolved in combat as a single unit. So your stack of little bats each contribute 1, plus individual bonus, plus stack bonuses. At that point, splittign the stacks makes sense, unless there are higher individual bonuses you can attach to the unit. Which is why Caeser's transylvito style makes sense, all of those bonuses applied to each bat was worth more than the total bonuses applied to breaking the bats into seperate stacks.

fendrin
2008-12-04, 11:58 AM
Stanley, would have toasted them all with his Van de graff? Then watched his dwagons munch the defenseless warlords? Although I do see what your saying...
We don't know what enough about the Van de Graff attack to know... is there a limit to the number/area it can hit? Is it's damage distributed amongst the available targets? Too many questions.

For that matter, even if it is the entire stack, Ceasar (or Vinny or Jillian, considering Ceasar's state) could have formed a mega-stack after the Van de Graff. Sure, they might not get Ceasar's direct bonus (if he wasn't able to be included or if his bonus was for some other reason unavailable), but then they would have at least gotten the highest warlord's bonus, instead of most of them getting a weaker bonus.

Only 6 dwagons survived as it is, if all the bats had the highest leadership bonus (especially if also the CW direct bonus), would any of them survived (other than the veiled dwagon, I mean)?


I think it probably has something to do with screening for Ceaser, and the dwagons AoE breath weapons...

Ceasar still could have been screened, just like Jillian was (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0012.html) (twice (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0126.html)). We don't know enough about the Van de Graff attack, but we DO know that Dragon AoE attacks do not hit the entire stack.


I count a total of seven units in Wanda's stack, while Ansom is only one. He's a big warlord and has the artifact bonus, against all her bonuses, says is a good chance that their bonuses are equal -- maxed out at eight. That would imply that there would be no point in having a leadership bonus above an 8 (except maybe for a chief warlord, their bonus seems to work differently). A;so, your 'requote' of my quote from the klog is way wrong. It is only the stack bonus that is stated to be limited to 8. Not the leadership bonuses.


let's not forget that person has his mathemancy artifact, which would warn him against sending Wanda to certain defeat. I think he expects to get Ansom away from the wall for sure, and hopes to get lucky and capture the Arkenpliers. It won't warn him unless he calculates it. It is a passive device, just giving what he asks for. He probably
did, but he might not have if he felt that slowing Ansom was worth it even if it meant losing Wanda and her fliers.

Also keep in mind that lucky shots happen (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0002.html). The longer Ansom is kept from croaking the archers, the more likely one of them will get a lucky shot. Even if it's only a 1% chance per arrow, 100 arrows gives an ~63.4% chance of a lucky shot.


Two points:

First; the stack bonus cap might be referring to the number of people in a stack. So the bonus itself might be significantly different, perhaps n+2^(x-1), where n is the unit base strength and x is equal to the number of people in the stack, with the hard cap at +256. Probably not, but it could be any of a number of non-linear sequences.
Exactly what I said yesterday.


Second, this is a turn based strategy, stacks might be resolved in combat as a single unit.
Well, it's TBS up to a point... battles seem to be a real-time tactical scenario, but it could be turn-based blended with 'cut scenes'. Keep in mind though that battles with led stacks can be 'directed', so it isn't a pure TBS like the Warlords series or Risk.


So your stack of little bats each contribute 1, plus individual bonus, plus stack bonuses. At that point, splittign the stacks makes sense, unless there are higher individual bonuses you can attach to the unit. Which is why Caeser's transylvito style makes sense, all of those bonuses applied to each bat was worth more than the total bonuses applied to breaking the bats into seperate stacks. Up to a point. Otherwise all of the bats would have been in Ceasar's stack and the other warlords would not have been as necessary (they still might help to direct individual groups of bats, so that Ceasar would'nt have as much info to parse).

I'm also wondering if doombats maybe have a special 'swarm' ability that allows groups of them to count as a single unit. Otherwise Transylvito forces would almost always be exceeding the stack bonus limit.

docstrange
2008-12-04, 12:30 PM
I didn't see it myself before - but Wanda grabbing those pliers makes a great deal of sense:

arkendish -> Charlie, of the mad communication powers
arkenhammer -> Stanley, who likes to "just bust a nut" sometimes
arkenpliers (insta-croaks undead, tool used for manipulating things) -> a croakamancer who manipulates the living and the dead

Go Wanda!

headhoncho
2008-12-04, 12:42 PM
If I'm Parson, and Ansom's on the wall, wiping my undead, and will die soon but only after making a big enough dent that he'll let the siege behind him through, dealing with him right this instant jumps to a high priority; my flyers are free to move, since the enemy air is dead or gone, but my wall troops are already in place against Ansom and my tunnel troops may still need to fight off incursions. Plus, maybe my tunnel troops physically can't get close to Ansom - there are, after all, undead in the way, and I think Erfworld prevents two people from standing in the same place at once (I wonder what the maximum stack size is......), whereas my flyers can fly over the undead.


Thanks for your thoughts, I enjoyed reading them. I pretty much agree with the above, as I indicate in post #131:

"Right now, I'm guessing it's some function of the RCC warlords not understanding the true function and power of the arkenpliers, coupled with Parson recognizing the importance of the time that Ansom is buying the siege, to the extent that even if Ansom is croaked, the victory might be pyrrhic for Parson due to the overwhelming numbers (and remaining competent warlords, even if they might not be quite as good as Ansom) that the RCC still has."

By the way, to quote a post, all you have to do is go to the post you want to quote and hit the "QUOTE" button in the lower right corner. :smallsmile:

Walpurgisborn
2008-12-04, 12:46 PM
Well, it's TBS up to a point... battles seem to be a real-time tactical scenario, but it could be turn-based blended with 'cut scenes'. Keep in mind though that battles with led stacks can be 'directed', so it isn't a pure TBS like the Warlords series or Risk.


That could be described as damage assignment. Warlord allows damage to be assigned to individual units, as opposed to being assigned evenly across the stack. Jillian having the griffin engage here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0126.html), could be her having it pull off stack, engaging Stanley's stack solo to pull the Dragon's attack. Then she comes in with the rest of the Orly's and Griffins to engage the warlord.




Up to a point. Otherwise all of the bats would have been in Ceasar's stack and the other warlords would not have been as necessary (they still might help to direct individual groups of bats, so that Ceasar would'nt have as much info to parse).


But that means the remaining warlords he brought are sitting ducks for the knights if they're not in his stack. If they are or if he didn't bring any, then Stanley and his knights also equal an individual stack which likely has enough raw power to one-shot Caeser. Not a good investment of resources.

fendrin
2008-12-04, 01:09 PM
That could be described as damage assignment. Warlord allows damage to be assigned to individual units, as opposed to being assigned evenly across the stack. Jillian having the griffin engage here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0126.html), could be her having it pull off stack, engaging Stanley's stack solo to pull the Dragon's attack. Then she comes in with the rest of the Orly's and Griffins to engage the warlord.

I think we would have seen a 'split stack' order if that were the case... but I suppose maybe not.


But that means the remaining warlords he brought are sitting ducks for the knights if they're not in his stack. If they are or if he didn't bring any, then Stanley and his knights also equal an individual stack which likely has enough raw power to one-shot Caeser. Not a good investment of resources.

What I meant is that they wouldn't have been needed at all (and thus not at the battle at all), or they could have been in his stack along with the bats, to act as sub-commanders (or just uber-infantry). Neither was the case, so there must be some sort of disadvantage (or total impossibility) of doing so. We have not to my knowledge seen either (with the possible exception of the Van de Graff attack- surely so rare as to not have an influence on standard tactics).

This came up before, in conversation about the RCC column. Namely, why have a column instead of putting all the units in a single hex (or in this case, stack)? If they CANNOT be all on one stack (or even one stack per warlord) there might be a problem with unled units attacking each other, but that seems unlikely, as they are all on the same 'side' (or are they?).

Walpurgisborn
2008-12-04, 01:24 PM
What I meant is that they wouldn't have been needed at all (and thus not at the battle at all), or they could have been in his stack along with the bats, to act as sub-commanders (or just uber-infantry). Neither was the case, so there must be some sort of disadvantage (or total impossibility) of doing so. We have not to my knowledge seen either (with the possible exception of the Van de Graff attack- surely so rare as to not have an influence on standard tactics).


Sorry, I was working on the theory that stacks resolve as a unit, and having a warlord allows for the attacker to assign damage. In that case, both Caeser and Stanley would have been vulnerable if it came down to one big stack versus one big stack, as both sides would try to eliminate the Unit with the highest bonus.

Of course it is speculation, but I haven't seen anything that directly or indirectly contradicts either theory.

FWIW, I do agree that there needs to be a hard limit on the number of units per hex. Otherwise there would be no need for a column, you just roll everything up into one hex and you're good to go. I'd assume there also is a size element, so you can get more bats into an area than you can siege weapons.

DevilDan
2008-12-04, 01:25 PM
At the end of the day, PLOT will be the deciding factor. And we'll be playing catch-up and come up with reasonable reasons for why things work out as they did. If Ansom prevails, we'll mention his various bonuses and try to figure out how having a flying mount changed things. If Wanda's stack prevails, we'll discuss her mysterious background and knowledge of combat, the bonus for uncroaked units led by a croakamancer, and, if need be, suggest that she got some sort of sneak attack on Ansom or even theorize that her poem also gave her some sort of dance-bonus-like advantage.

Ragn Charran
2008-12-04, 02:26 PM
I think [Charlie]'s also from the real world, like Parson, because he is so unique. Probably trying to build up enough money to pay for a return-home spell, or just playing to win.

I've always suspected the same thing, though not necessarily from our "real world". He seems to have the same "outside the game" thinking that Parson does that could be attributed from being from a different reality.

Nowhere did it say this was the first time the Magic Kingdom sold the perfect warlord spell. Wanda said they forged the spell, but didn't say when.

SteveMB
2008-12-04, 02:29 PM
Nowhere did it say this was the first time the Magic Kingdom sold the perfect warlord spell. Wanda said they forged the spell, but didn't say when.

A thought: If Charlie had originally been summoned with such a spell, Wanda would make a point of NOT mentioning that during her pitch, given Stanley's strong personal dislike for him.

fendrin
2008-12-04, 02:45 PM
A thought: If Charlie had originally been summoned with such a spell, Wanda would make a point of NOT mentioning that during her pitch, given Stanley's strong personal dislike for him.

Assuming she even knew...

Wild and crazy alternative theory that is very likely untrue (and very likely to have been posted by someone else in an earlier thread):
Charlie IS the ArkenDish, and is trying to free/destroy it's ArkenKin.

Aether
2008-12-04, 08:18 PM
Gah! my internet, or maybe this website, was acting up so I only got up to and through page 4 before I wrote this up. Here goes:


In all the talk about the conflict, hardly any attention has been placed on Wanda's verse. What does it mean?

Rejoice, despair, Fate does not care

Is this only her battle cry, or part of her philosophy? The Titans don't care what you do, perhaps? Although she seemed to believe in an earlier comic. Does it mean, "do whatever you want"?

Each knotted mind entwined, each soul another's bind
Obviously Wanda knows quite a bit about binding the dead, but also a fair amount about the living. What does she mean here? What interconnections are she referring to, love, "popping", or something further? Does she see something deeper, that all the inhabitants are puppets?

And blind, though we are led, In time, we do know when to cut a thread

The inhabitants can't see, led by fellow "idiots", but she's figured out how to cut her ties? Of course, as she's trying to cut Ansom's thread tying him to the mortal coil, it could be simpler. It's more fun to read a deeper meaning though. It ties into the speculation that she works for Stanley more for the freedom it afforded her than anything else.

All this may be simply throw away verse that fits the mood, but Wanda's motivations are the biggest mystery remaining. She's been seeming more straight forward of late but it's nice to get a hint of meaning.

"Rejoice, despair, Fate does not care"

This could mean Fate doesn't care whether you love or hate, it's going to string you along regardless...
It could mean that in the end, nothing matters..
It could mean you're free to feel whatever you want.

"Each knotted mind entwined, each soul another's bind"
It's true this could refer to life and death... but it could also be about how the people are each connected to each other. I mean in the "everybody's actions form a greater.. something" kind of way.


"And blind, though we are led, In time, we do know when to cut a thread"
This could refer to the fact that people can't tell their fate ahead of time... but eventually, they will wiseup and do what they were supposed to do.


Taken together, this is all very interesting. For instance, Jack mentioned that "a wiseman gets more aid from his enemies, than a fool from his friends." The simple (or is it cynical?) translation is that a smart man can get more info and such out of his enemies--which Parson has been doing; psychology--then a fool could get out of his friends trying to advise him.
It could also be Jack complaining that, though he regards Jillian as friend (as opposed to enemy), he can't get much help from her... and he needs to work with Stanley.

In other words, Stanley the worm might have been right when he said he was part of something greater. For all we know, this war might have been sparked just to bring Parson, bring several Arkentools together, and see who wins in the slugfest... Still, even a broken clock is right occasionally... Stanley might have just been needed to summon Parson and is superfluous after that---I would certainly enjoy seeing that.

I don't like Stanley enough to want to see him reform or change his ways--just suffer; he's.. petty. Ansom changing his mindset, however, presents me with a lot of possibilities. (Well, it's that I can imagine lots of scenarios and all, but rather that Ansom changing will change things more interestingly plot-wise. We don't know of all his connections and interactions; they will change and we'll be shown that.)

Another thing to consider is how Parson fits in here what with all the fate and destiny stuff. I don't know. I don't know if he's a wild card, an unforeseen variable... If maybe he was "fated" to BE a wildcard, to bring some change.


But remember the very beginning. In the first few strips, we were told that small things can make big changes. A small change led to Parson being summoned...
... Keeping that in mind, what is going to happen NOW?

If Ansom beats Wanda.. what will the Tool think when he shows up? Will he blow up, misinterpret things.. what?
If Wanda beats Ansom? What will the Tool think when he sees Archons all over Gobwin Knob?
What will Parson think if he only sees one of the warlords he sent down the tunnels--the other being kept back, just to keep him guessing? Okay, so both were probably sent to the wall, but meh.


Also, does anybody think Parson might have shared his Luckamancy charms with any of the other warlords--Wanda perhaps?

Also... do you really think Wanda is such a badass combatant? She killed an Archon and to... other flying things. By firing off all the city's air defenses. Right now, she has... A couple units under her control, yet another wardrobe change... We suspect she might have been buffed, but have we really seen any casters in Gobwin Knob capable of doing stuff like that? And I mean to units that they DON'T specialize in... Personally, I'm curios as to what Parson will get that Thinkamancer to do. Maybe she can mess with Ansom's mind... though I doubt from that far away.

SteveMB
2008-12-04, 08:45 PM
Also... do you really think Wanda is such a badass combatant? She killed an Archon and to... other flying things. By firing off all the city's air defenses. Right now, she has... A couple units under her control, yet another wardrobe change... We suspect she might have been buffed, but have we really seen any casters in Gobwin Knob capable of doing stuff like that? And I mean to units that they DON'T specialize in....

The only thing we've seen so far that possibly implies a buffing bonus is the combat costuming for dance-fighting, etc. Jillian's initial switch from a Valkyrie helmet to a message hat also seems to suggest that the former has some kind of combat bonus ("You're scouting, not fighting." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0009.html)).

I don't expect Wanda to be comparable to Ansom in melee ability, but leading a stack of powerful uncroaked to which she provides a "huge" bonus may be enough to even the odds.

MadMaw
2008-12-04, 09:30 PM
Is it just me, or in the last panel can you see something very similar to Webinar's scythe-thing (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0124.html) in the hand of the right-most unipetigar's rider?

Wonder who's the other rider? Dora for maximum psychological effect, an uncroaked warlord for maximum bonus, or something else for maximum WTB?

Sieggy
2008-12-04, 09:42 PM
I've always suspected the same thing, though not necessarily from our "real world". He seems to have the same "outside the game" thinking that Parson does that could be attributed from being from a different reality.

Nowhere did it say this was the first time the Magic Kingdom sold the perfect warlord spell. Wanda said they forged the spell, but didn't say when.

Given that a great deal of Erfworld consists of puns / allusions to 'real world' things, Charlie is simply carrying along the lines of Charlie in the Original 'Charlie's Angels', who was never seen . . . simply a voice over the phone. Consider that when Parson first contacted Charlie telepathically via thinkagram, he manifested as in the garb of Mork, as he was seen speaking with Orson in the final expository scenes in 'Mork & Mindy'. And the Archon receptionist gave him the basic help line opener . . . These constant take-offs of what is pop culture to Parson is what keeps him from having absolute faith in the reality he must deal with. Which may, in the final chapters, be the crux of the entire strip, the subjectivity of reality.

I'm going to croak myself if the final Arkenthingie turns out to be a pair of Ruby Birkenstocks that Parson has to put on and click his heels three times saying 'Get me the boop out of here . . .'

DevilDan
2008-12-04, 09:47 PM
I don't think that Parson would send Wanda out to face Ansom without some real probability of success given how valuable she is. That said, he would ruthlessly send her on a suicidal attack if his only shot at winning the whole thing is to keep the RCC from breaching the outer walls and if he thinks that the RCC's only chance of doing so is with Ansom on the wall during this turn.

I don't get why we assume that the Luckamancy Charms have any magical effect at all. Did the Stupid Meal make him stupid? Yes, if one reads all the stuff on the box literally then this is a possibility, but one I wouldn't bet on necessarily.

I always thought that the line about "a fool and his friends" was a suggestion that Stanley is more trouble than he's worth to Parson.

noncaloric
2008-12-04, 09:54 PM
Earlier, Wanda appeared to think her stack would be enough to make a difference in the fight between Jill's stack and Stanley's stack. I wouldn't assume her stack is negligible vs. Ansom.

Aquillion
2008-12-04, 10:12 PM
Also... do you really think Wanda is such a badass combatant? She killed an Archon and to... other flying things. By firing off all the city's air defenses. Right now, she has... A couple units under her control, yet another wardrobe change... We suspect she might have been buffed, but have we really seen any casters in Gobwin Knob capable of doing stuff like that? And I mean to units that they DON'T specialize in... Personally, I'm curios as to what Parson will get that Thinkamancer to do. Maybe she can mess with Ansom's mind... though I doubt from that far away.
Don't forget: Jaclyn is still glowing (while in a different color than before.) That may indicate that some of her powers as an Archon have survived into undeath; in that case, she could be a major factor as long as the stays out of the Arkenpliers' reach (and the Archons seem to be ranged attackers anyway... and the Arkenpliers only turn 'most' uncroaked to dust; a powerful Archon is likely to be an exception if there are any.)

The fact that Jaclyn retains her ability to fly shows that she keeps some powers, actually.

Sieggy
2008-12-04, 10:14 PM
Look at the tactical situation.

You have Wanda (badass psycho warbitch spellcaster with a hardon for Ansom the size of a small New England state, massively boosted by the fact that he is her rival for Jillian's love . . .), an uncroaked Archon of unknown (but great, or she wouldn't be there) capability with a truly evil expression on her face, three undead unipegataurs (who look quite capable of kicking major boop all by themselves), two of whom are bearing his most trusted warlord and the warlord's beloved, both of who were sent to their croaks and subsequent uncroaking through Ansom's poor judgement. Seven effectives airborne, close to a thousand undead directly below on the wall, as well as an unknown number of ground based archers laying fire.

And you have Ansom, a Royal with an Artifact with which he is not attuned (though it is especially effective against uncroaked), desperately fighting to keep his coalition together by fighting a valiant action in a bid to buy time for his forces to open a breach in the wall, alone and unsupported by the forces outside that wall, riding a twinkie that has already sustained an indeterminate amount of damage. If he loses his mount, he falls into the hands of his foes.

That boy be in a heap o' hurt . . .

BarGamer
2008-12-04, 10:42 PM
Looking at it from a melee combat perspective, as long as Ansom doesn't crush Wanda's staff in between his pliers, the other fliers could flank him and whittle him down, with the awesome possibility of a "Sneak Attack, BOOP!" I'm holding out for Wanda to cast Grease on the Pliers, or something magically clever.

If only Parson could tip the odds over and do some sort of Power Ranger's Villian move, and throw his sword down, cracking the earth and making Wanda grow to Epic size... XDDD

multilis
2008-12-04, 11:51 PM
Wanda's "fliers" were thought by her able to make a difference in saving Stanley (before Parson told her about deal with Charlie).

She is a caster, which means lower HP and less defence (although special armour buff may help), *but* she is death caster, and may have nasty hurting/killing/unbuffing close combat spells.

(For example common for a death sphere caster to have several spells such as 'curse', 'weaken', 'sickness/plague' that reduce the armour class rating of enemy)

Ansom has no other help beside him to 'block' some of the damage (rather than the normal personal stack with full buf, eg Stanley, Jullian, Caeser, or Wanda).

Starwaster
2008-12-04, 11:52 PM
I hate for my first post here to be critical, but you folks overanalyze the HELL out of these comics. What does this mean, what does that mean? To some extent I guess it's natural, the author drops all kinds of literary and linguistic easter eggs and people want to decipher them.

The world is based on wargame rules and so people want to analyze that.

Suddenly, Wanda speaks in verse and everyone's obsessed. Probably a literary reference to the fates, to be sure, but everyone's trying to work all kinds of hidden meaning into it. Like Freud said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

I leave you with this anecodotal story about Gary Larson:


The "Cow Tools" episode is one that will probably haunt me for the rest of my life. A week after it was published back in 1982, I wanted to crawl into a hole somewhere and die.

Cows, as some Far Side readers know, are a favorite subject of mine. I've always found them to be the quintessentially absurd animal for situations even more absurd. Even the name "cow," to me, is intrinsically funny.

And so one day I started thinking back on an anthropology course I had studies in college and how we learned that man used to be defined as "the only animal that made and shaped tools." Unfortunately, researchers discovered that certain primates and even some bird species did the same thing--so the definition had to be extended somewhat to avoid awkward situations such as someone hiring a crew of chimpanzees to remodel their kitchen.

Inevitably, I began thinking about cows, and what if they, too, were discovered as toolmakers. What would they make? Primitive tools are always, well, primitive-looking--appearing rather nondescript to the lay person. So, it seemed to me whatever a cow would make would have to be even a couple notches further down the "skill-o-meter."

I imagined, and subsequently drew, a cow standing next to her workbench, proudly displaying her handiwork (hoofiwork?). The "cow tools" were supposed to be just meaningless artifacts--only the cow or a cowthropologist is supposed to know what they are used for.

The first mistake I made was in thinking this was funny. The second was making one of the tools resemble a crude handsaw--which made already confused people decide that their only hope in understanding the cartoon meant deciphering what the other tools were as well. Of course, they didn't have a chance in hell.

But, for the first time, "Cow tools" awakened me to the fact that my profession was not just an isolated exercise in the corner of my apartment. The day after its release, my phone began to ring with inquiries from reporters and radio stations from regions in the country where The Far Side was published. Everyone, it seemed, wanted to know what in the world this cartoon meant! My syndicate was equally bombarded, and I was ultimately asked to write a press release explaining "Cow tools." Someone sent me the front page of one newspaper which, down in one corner, ran the tease, "Cow Tools: What does it mean? (See pg. B14.)" I was mortified.

In the first year ot two of drawing The Far Side, I always believed my career perpetually hung by a thread. And this time I was convinced it had been finally severed. Ironically, when the dust had finally settled and as a result of all the "noise" it made, "Cow tools" became more of a boost to The Far Side than anything else.

So, in summary, I drew a really weird, obtuse cartoon that no one understood and wasn't funny and therefore I went on to even greater success and recognition.
Yeah--I like this country.

small pumpkin m
2008-12-05, 12:21 AM
Assuming she even knew...

Wild and crazy alternative theory that is very likely untrue (and very likely to have been posted by someone else in an earlier thread):
Charlie IS the ArkenDish, and is trying to free/destroy it's ArkenKin.

My new favourite theory.

Lamech
2008-12-05, 12:42 AM
Assuming she even knew...

Wild and crazy alternative theory that is very likely untrue (and very likely to have been posted by someone else in an earlier thread):
Charlie IS the ArkenDish, and is trying to free/destroy it's ArkenKin.
I would like to point out that this is very possible. We know nothing about the arkendish and Charlie other than it provides him with thinkamancy. I don't think we even know if he is "attuned"...

DevilDan
2008-12-05, 02:39 AM
I would like to point out that this is very possible. We know nothing about the arkendish and Charlie other than it provides him with thinkamancy. I don't think we even know if he is "attuned"...

Maggie mentions Charlie's "mastery" of the Arkendish, I believe. And Parson states that Charlie's attuned to the dish here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0102.html). In the same page, Parson mentions that Charlie is "no royal." That suggests that people on Erf know or think they know something about Charlie's origin.

Avilan the Grey
2008-12-05, 02:47 AM
Biggest question on my mind right now is not if Wanda will beat Ansom (I am sure she will, at least hurt him enough to get the pliers) but how Charlie will react when Wanda grabs the pliers and immediately attunes to them. I seriously doubt she will let go of them if that happens.

Limos
2008-12-05, 03:18 AM
Really I think Ansom is going to go down, hard.

Sure the Arkenpliers give him a huge bonus to damage against uncroaked.

But Wanda has an Uncroaked mount thingy, and an uncroaked archon in her stack. None of them were uncroaked in the mass spell. So they are much stronger than the ones on the wall. And then they are already stronger because they are better units. And then they also get a huge bonus since Wanda is in the stack with them.

I think Ansom will go in with the pliers, Wanda blocks with staff. Archon blasts the carpet right out from under Ansom. Ansom croaks the incidental uncroaked (everything but the mount and the archon. Wanda and her two higher uncroaked press the attack and Ansom loses the pliers.

In a last ditch escape Ansom leaps from the wall and barely survives, but leaves the engagement.

I think the breach will be enough to break down that section though and the Jetstone infantry will pour through the gap.

I think the whole thing will wrap up in the Tower, with the return of Stanley and his Dwagons tipping the balance and rescuing the remaining garrison troops from certain doom.

teratorn
2008-12-05, 05:17 AM
Right now, I'm guessing it's some function of the RCC warlords not understanding the true function and power of the arkenpliers,

I think that's part of the issue. They've not seen the pliers in action, they do make him sort of invulnerable to uncroaked attack as long as he is flying (and thus gets initiative). Parson on the other has just seen what those things can do.

But they were right, it's very likely that soon he will be falling from the wall. Wanda just made things very dangerous to Ansom.

BarGamer
2008-12-05, 06:44 AM
Assuming she even knew...

Wild and crazy alternative theory that is very likely untrue (and very likely to have been posted by someone else in an earlier thread):
Charlie IS the ArkenDish, and is trying to free/destroy it's ArkenKin.

If that's true, then WTB is up with the walnuts/pigeons thing?? O_o;;;

CaptC
2008-12-05, 09:34 AM
Look at the tactical situation.

You have Wanda (badass psycho warbitch spellcaster with a hardon for Ansom the size of a small New England state, massively boosted by the fact that he is her rival for Jillian's love . . .), an uncroaked Archon of unknown (but great, or she wouldn't be there) capability with a truly evil expression on her face, three undead unipegataurs (who look quite capable of kicking major boop all by themselves), two of whom are bearing his most trusted warlord and the warlord's beloved, both of who were sent to their croaks and subsequent uncroaking through Ansom's poor judgement. Seven effectives airborne, close to a thousand undead directly below on the wall, as well as an unknown number of ground based archers laying fire.

And you have Ansom, a Royal with an Artifact with which he is not attuned (though it is especially effective against uncroaked), desperately fighting to keep his coalition together by fighting a valiant action in a bid to buy time for his forces to open a breach in the wall, alone and unsupported by the forces outside that wall, riding a twinkie that has already sustained an indeterminate amount of damage. If he loses his mount, he falls into the hands of his foes.

That boy be in a heap o' hurt . . .

Two comments:

- If this was Discworld, Parson would be very worried right now. Ansom is being set against impossible odds, and therefore is very likely to win.

- Wanda's clothes are way too tight for her to be hiding a hard-on. And thank goodness for that.

fendrin
2008-12-05, 09:37 AM
Hey people, no disrespect, but please read the thread before posting. Posting the same ideas over and over just slow down the conversation and not reading the thread gives the impression of disrespect for those that have already posted (or maybe just laziness, neither is a good impression, and impressions matter when you are trying to make a point).[/rant]


Earlier, Wanda appeared to think her stack would be enough to make a difference in the fight between Jill's stack and Stanley's stack. I wouldn't assume her stack is negligible vs. Ansom.
Wanda was working off of the assumption that it would help, not that it would definitely work. Keep in mind that if Stanley was croaked by Jillian, Wanda would be disbanded for lack of an overlord, the way that Sizemore would have been if it weren't for Stanley having been made heir. When your boop is on the line, the odds don't matter. When failing has the same effect as not trying, of course you try, even if the chances are infinitesimal.


The fact that Jaclyn retains her ability to fly shows that she keeps some powers, actually.
It also finally answers a long-time question: Archons are NOT casters in the same sense as Sizemore et al.; they are units like dwagons, having magic-like special abilities. That lends credence (but does not prove) to the idea that the Arkendish gives power over Archons the way the Arkenhammer does with dwagons.


She is a caster, which means lower HP and less defence
This is a big assumption. True, it is a strong fantasy genre trope, but that does not mean it holds true on Erf.


I hate for my first post here to be critical, but you folks overanalyze the HELL out of these comics.

Yes we do. Why? Because we enjoy it. Welcome to the boards!


My new favourite theory.

M'glad you think so!


Maggie mentions Charlie's "mastery" of the Arkendish, I believe. And Parson states that Charlie's attuned to the dish here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0102.html). In the same page, Parson mentions that Charlie is "no royal." That suggests that people on Erf know or think they know something about Charlie's origin.
Well, they THINK they know, but they could be wrong. I figure for the most part* the royals of the world are known entities. Thus any upstart overlord NOT known 'must' be a non-royal.

*Jillian and Banhammer are exceptions, but the whole FAQ thing is an exception, to the point of being considered impossible.


If that's true, then WTB is up with the walnuts/pigeons thing?? O_o;;;
The ArkenHammer has sense of humor, obviously. :smalltongue:

Oslecamo
2008-12-05, 10:08 AM
It also finally answers a long-time question: Archons are NOT casters in the same sense as Sizemore et al.; they are units like dwagons, having magic-like special abilities. That lends credence (but does not prove) to the idea that the Arkendish gives power over Archons the way the Arkenhammer does with dwagons.

An artifact who grants you a legion of loyal hot girls able to kill dwagons with laser beams from her hands? Now that's an artifact worth killing stuff for!



This is a big assumption. True, it is a strong fantasy genre trope, but that does not mean it holds true on Erf.


We've seen Jack's stats, and they were both a 2. Sizemore also didn't seem to be much of a fighter, hiding behind stones and such.

Since it is a game, it must have game balance, and if Mancers were capable melee units, then they would be the brokenezt, and they would have been nerfed by now.




The ArkenHammer has sense of humor, obviously. :smalltongue:

It did pick Stanley the lowly pikemen for his master. Go figure what the artifacts of creation think.

DougTheHead
2008-12-05, 10:45 AM
One detail that supports Charlie being attuned to the Arkendish: on Page 43 (comic 47) (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0047.html), Wanda mentions that Stanley has a "strong personal dislike" for Charlie. Now, this could be the result of nearly anything- we don't know much about either character.

But we do know that Stanley believes that he's on a mission from the Titans to control all the Arkentools, and seems to believe that all of them will attune to him. Therefore, the very existence of someone who posseses an Arkentool, and is attuned to it, would be cause enough for Stanley to hate them- if it is the Titans' will that he was meant to hold all the Arkentools, then certainly no one else should be attuned to them. It's not a solid case; you have to use inverse reasoning to reach the conclusion, but it seems to fit what we know about Stanley's personality and his "Titanic Mandate."

Either way, I'm guessing that when Stanley sees Charlie in Gobwin Knob's airspace, he's going to thwack first and ask questions later. And they will all be angry questions. And they will all be directed at Parson.

SteveMB
2008-12-05, 10:48 AM
One detail that supports Charlie being attuned to the Arkendish: on Page 43 (comic 47) (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0047.html), Wanda mentions that Stanley has a "strong personal dislike" for Charlie. Now, this could be the result of nearly anything- we don't know much about either character.

But we do know that Stanley believes that he's on a mission from the Titans to control all the Arkentools, and seems to believe that all of them will attune to him. Therefore, the very existence of someone who posseses an Arkentool, and is attuned to it, would be cause enough for Stanley to hate them- if it is the Titans' will that he was meant to hold all the Arkentools, then certainly no one else should be attuned to them. It's not a solid case; you have to use inverse reasoning to reach the conclusion, but it seems to fit what we know about Stanley's personality and his "Titanic Mandate."

Someone else possessing an Arkentool at all, attuned or not, would irritate Stanley (which is not difficult in any event). In any case, there are all sorts of other possible reasons for Stanley to be annoyed with Charlie (e.g. maybe they made a deal at some point and Charlie got the better of him in much the same way he played Parson).

DougTheHead
2008-12-05, 10:49 AM
We've seen Jack's stats, and they were both a 2. Sizemore also didn't seem to be much of a fighter, hiding behind stones and such.

Since it is a game, it must have game balance, and if Mancers were capable melee units, then they would be the brokenezt, and they would have been nerfed by now.


Yeah, but right now Wanda seems to be the Erfworld equivalent of a mage that's used magic to buff herself up to fighter-level armor and melee combat, temporarily.

DigoDragon
2008-12-05, 10:58 AM
If that's true, then WTB is up with the walnuts/pigeons thing?? O_o;;;

It's trying to give Stan the bird?

quindraco
2008-12-05, 11:06 AM
If that's true, then WTB is up with the walnuts/pigeons thing?? O_o;;;

A much better question is, what do the dish and pliers do when you use them to crack open walnuts?

I'll put down a wooden nickel that the dish sometimes spawns butterflies, and the pliers spawn kittens. ;)

DevilDan
2008-12-05, 11:54 AM
Wanda was working off of the assumption that it would help, not that it would definitely work. Keep in mind that if Stanley was croaked by Jillian, Wanda would be disbanded for lack of an overlord, the way that Sizemore would have been if it weren't for Stanley having been made heir. When your boop is on the line, the odds don't matter. When failing has the same effect as not trying, of course you try, even if the chances are infinitesimal.

Parson specifically stated that while units in the field would disband upon their overlord's death, units in GK would be frozen or some such and easy pickings for the RCC


It also finally answers a long-time question: Archons are NOT casters in the same sense as Sizemore et al.; they are units like dwagons, having magic-like special abilities. That lends credence (but does not prove) to the idea that the Arkendish gives power over Archons the way the Arkenhammer does with dwagons.
Just remember that it isn't flight (which can be a natural ability) that would prove that archons aren't casters. Even the use of an energy attack by Jaclyn wouldn't prove it: we have seen archons sending thinkagrams. Whether the thinkagrams are proof that at least some archons are casters or whether it's a special application of the Arkendish is not known.


Well, they THINK they know, but they could be wrong. I figure for the most part* the royals of the world are known entities. Thus any upstart overlord NOT known 'must' be a non-royal.
It's precisely why I said "know or think they know." I don't like make assumptions lightly.

On another note, don't forget that Stanley won't make it back until tomorrow. That is after Charlie's turn. We don't know what the battlefield will look like then, so I wouldn't personally try to predict just yet what Stanley will think or do when he finally reaches GK sometime in the middle of GK's turn.

Lamech
2008-12-05, 12:43 PM
We've seen Jack's stats, and they were both a 2. Sizemore also didn't seem to be much of a fighter, hiding behind stones and such.

Since it is a game, it must have game balance, and if Mancers were capable melee units, then they would be the brokenezt, and they would have been nerfed by now.
We know very little about casters. We don't know how they increase their power. Obviously they can learn, I assume they can gain levels, and then there are apperantly "classes" such as the "master-class" Jack. So maybe Jack was "level" one. (Also I would like to point out that his stats were roughly half that of a heavy, who could have been a higher level.) Maybe casters normally have limited combat ablities because of high cost. Finally, when we go to Wanda we have even more unknowns since she isn't a normal caster. She is a croakamancer, who can cast the most powerful of findamancy spells. Maybe she is a powerful combatant too...

There are too many unknowns about casters to make guesses about their combat ablities, especially Wanda's.

DevilDan
2008-12-05, 01:19 PM
Most casters would possibly never see much combat because (1) they are extremely valuable and apparently relatively rare and (2) they don't normally have much of a leadership bonus.

It still seems staggering to me that the entire RCC couldn't field a single lookamancer.

I'd also add that we don't know what "leveling" entails. Could a caster choose to spend more "points" on combat ability? There's also no reason to believe that "all casters are popped equal." Some could have inherently greater abilities not only in casting but in other areas. (I just got a lovely idea: Wanda is such a fun character that it makes me want to find out more about her first turns on Erf, her "childhood" as it were... was she more idealistic and less assertive?)

datalaughing
2008-12-05, 01:34 PM
It still seems staggering to me that the entire RCC couldn't field a single lookamancer.

I'd say it's more likely that no one in the coalition was inclined to risk their powerful, valuable casters in the field for this. And really, why should they? This was supposed to be easy. Ansom assured everyone that they'd show up, squish Stanley the Worm, split the booty, and be home for tea. No reason to send the casters out and possibly lose them to a sneak attack or random lucky shot when the battle is already a sure thing.

DevilDan
2008-12-05, 01:49 PM
I'd say it's more likely that no one in the coalition was inclined to risk their powerful, valuable casters in the field for this. And really, why should they? This was supposed to be easy. Ansom assured everyone that they'd show up, squish Stanley the Worm, split the booty, and be home for tea. No reason to send the casters out and possibly lose them to a sneak attack or random lucky shot when the battle is already a sure thing.
I had thought of that before, but you could still use a thinkamancer to communicate with a lookamancer...

fendrin
2008-12-05, 02:16 PM
We've seen Jack's stats, and they were both a 2. Sizemore also didn't seem to be much of a fighter, hiding behind stones and such. As far as we know, Jack's stats are on par with your average level 1 infantry unit, and he has just never had reason (or maybe opportunity) to increase them. For that matter, maybe his stats are as good as Jillians and she is only more powerful because of her warlordiness and magic items. Unlikely, but possible...


Since it is a game, it must have game balance, and if Mancers were capable melee units, then they would be the brokenezt, and they would have been nerfed by now.
Ah, but there are factors we do not know. If the caster:infantry cost ratio is high, an all-caster army would be very expensive, and quite vulnerable to zerg tactics.


Parson specifically stated that while units in the field would disband upon their overlord's death, units in GK would be frozen or some such and easy pickings for the RCC
Yes, I was being lazy again. Bad habit. The point remains though, whether it be a sudden croaking via disbanding or a prolonged but unwinnable battle for survival.


Just remember that it isn't flight (which can be a natural ability) that would prove that archons aren't casters. Even the use of an energy attack by Jaclyn wouldn't prove it: we have seen archons sending thinkagrams. Whether the thinkagrams are proof that at least some archons are casters or whether it's a special application of the Arkendish is not known.
Good point. It proves Archons are not HUMANS (in the same sense that Wanda, Sizemore, etc. are human casters). Which proves one of two things:
A) Archons are not casters
B) Non-humans can be casters
We do not have conclusive proof of either.


It's precisely why I said "know or think they know." I don't like make assumptions lightly.
Neither do I, except when I am unaware I am doing so, such as when I assumed you had assumed their knowledge was real.


It still seems staggering to me that the entire RCC couldn't field a single lookamancer.
We know that casters are rare. We know overlords can't choose personality in the units they pop. It does not seem unreasonable to think that overlords cannot choose caster specialty* and even have some weak** evidence that overlords cannot. Put this all together and it becomes likely that many sides would not have a lookamancer at all, and if they did, they would keep them safe and sound in the capital***.

*Assuming that specialty exists outside of preference/talent/training/label. Wanda seems to belie that notion, especially in the context of her conversation with Sizemore about studying with the Janis the Hippymancer.
** Why would Banhammer pop a croakamancer? Possibly to have an alternate point of view in his philosophical debates. Or perhaps Wanda was not popped as a croakamancer. Either is possible, and thus the evidence is weak.)
*** Especially if magic items like the hats are available. Send a message back to Spacerock to have the lookamancer search for the dwagons, then have the 'mancer send the coordinates back. Thus Jetstone likely does not have a lookamancer at all, or there is a distance limit on the hats and the column is too far.

Godskook
2008-12-05, 02:59 PM
It did pick Stanley the lowly pikemen for his master. Go figure what the artifacts of creation think.

Stanley the warlord (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0087.html)

Ragn Charran
2008-12-05, 03:38 PM
** Why would Banhammer pop a croakamancer? Possibly to have an alternate point of view in his philosophical debates. Or perhaps Wanda was not popped as a croakamancer. Either is possible, and thus the evidence is weak.)

Jillian said only that Wanda served under Banhammer, not that she popped under him. She may have been a spoil of war or hired barbarian.

The latter supports the theories about Wanda being the real downfall of Faq for her own ulterior motives, since she would not have been naturally leashed to Banhammer through Loyalty and could have knowingly betrayed Faq (she also could have been truly under Bannerhammer and Turned, but in a lot of games like this a unit can't turn on its own, it has to be contacted by someone else and offered the opportunity, so I'm separating this possibility).

We've seen time and time again that Wanda is way more than she seems, between her manipulation of Stanley, her domination on Jillian, her ability to cast outside of her domain, etc. When it comes to her, I think we're best off to assume NOTHING.

That goes for her usefulness in close combat.

DevilDan
2008-12-05, 03:51 PM
Good point. It proves Archons are not HUMANS (in the same sense that Wanda, Sizemore, etc. are human casters). Which proves one of two things:
A) Archons are not casters
B) Non-humans can be casters
We do not have conclusive proof of either.
Archons could then be non-human casters, I suppose. Or at least some of them could be. Elves either have natural healing abilities or they can have casters too; yes, this would suggest that at least the altruist and lofty elves can produce a lot of healamancers, but that could be their one elf brand trait and would hardly be too much of an imbalance.


We know that casters are rare. We know overlords can't choose personality in the units they pop. It does not seem unreasonable to think that overlords cannot choose caster specialty* and even have some weak** evidence that overlords cannot. Put this all together and it becomes likely that many sides would not have a lookamancer at all, and if they did, they would keep them safe and sound in the capital***.

*Assuming that specialty exists outside of preference/talent/training/label. Wanda seems to belie that notion, especially in the context of her conversation with Sizemore about studying with the Janis the Hippymancer.
** Why would Banhammer pop a croakamancer? Possibly to have an alternate point of view in his philosophical debates. Or perhaps Wanda was not popped as a croakamancer. Either is possible, and thus the evidence is weak.)
*** Especially if magic items like the hats are available. Send a message back to Spacerock to have the lookamancer search for the dwagons, then have the 'mancer send the coordinates back. Thus Jetstone likely does not have a lookamancer at all, or there is a distance limit on the hats and the column is too far.

Possibly overlords cannot choose which sort of caster they get, but this seems odd in terms of traditional games and even seems unfair. Others have theorized that Wanda wasn't originally a croakamancer, if she even popped under Banhammer in Faq given her "tribe," even suggesting that she was Faq's missing predictamancer--a fact she may have hid from Stanley.

Yes, there's also hats! That provides yet another method through which commanders in the field could communicate with lookamancers in cities. Yes, lookamancy could or probably even must have range limitations, but surely they could transport lookamancers from conquered city to city as they advance on GK. Perhaps most if not all kingdoms have lookamancers but that they wouldn't spare any because the overlords don't want to lose their services as "invasion alarms."

In theory a caster would be vulnerable while traveling between cities, but surely this would be a manageable risk. Perhaps casters can even travel nearly instantaneously from city to city via the Magic Kingdom... perhaps that's how a single foolamancer could protect three different Faq cities.

kreszantas
2008-12-05, 04:02 PM
The only thing predictable about Wanda is her fashion sense, everything else would require a master class predictamancer to figure out.

SteveMB
2008-12-05, 04:17 PM
Archons could then be non-human casters, I suppose. Or at least some of them could be. Elves either have natural healing abilities or they can have casters too; yes, this would suggest that at least the altruist and lofty elves can produce a lot of healamancers, but that could be their one elf brand trait and would hardly be too much of an imbalance.

Ansom's comment "Lofty Elves and Altruist Elves, you'll be throwing heals where needed." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0022.html) gives me the impression that healing ability is a general trait of those elf brands rather than a caster ability (which would be more an individual thing).

fendrin
2008-12-05, 04:37 PM
Jillian said only that Wanda served under Banhammer, not that she popped under him. She may have been a spoil of war or hired barbarian. The former, maybe, the latter not likely: Banhammer wouldn't have risked Wanda leaving and giving away FAQ's existence.


Possibly overlords cannot choose which sort of caster they get, but this seems odd in terms of traditional games and even seems unfair. Others have theorized that Wanda wasn't originally a croakamancer, if she even popped under Banhammer in Faq given her "tribe," even suggesting that she was Faq's missing predictamancer--a fact she may have hid from Stanley.
Yes, I promoted that theory in the past... the issue with it is that when Parson sees Jack's stats he has a special of "Caster, foolamancer". That doesn't invalidate the theory, but it does then necessitate that specialization can be changed (or that Wanda was a croakamancer all along but was good enough at predictamancy to be able to do the job anyway and Jillian didn't feel like giving out that info to Ansom).


Yes, there's also hats! That provides yet another method through which commanders in the field could communicate with lookamancers in cities. Yes, lookamancy could or probably even must have range limitations, but surely they could transport lookamancers from conquered city to city as they advance on GK. Perhaps most if not all kingdoms have lookamancers but that they wouldn't spare any because the overlords don't want to lose their services as "invasion alarms."
Even captured cities are dangerous... I'm still leaning towards scarcity as the issue, it is much less complicated.


In theory a caster would be vulnerable while traveling between cities, but surely this would be a manageable risk. Perhaps casters can even travel nearly instantaneously from city to city via the Magic Kingdom... perhaps that's how a single foolamancer could protect three different Faq cities.
You might be right about that, but the predictamancer would likely have been able to give enough notice for the foolamancer to get to the appropriate city... ore more likely Jack would have just prevented the approaching units from finding the entrance to the chokepoint or the tunnels...

Godskook
2008-12-05, 04:45 PM
Wow, I was doing research on Caster combat capability, and found this:

Klog entry:
"Wanda seems to resent the implication that she knows anything about troops or combat(though I think she does)." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html)

Ansom is booped.

On general tropeing of casters, many games allow players to build death knights and 'normal' necromancers from the same base class, giving distinction only to how one chooses to train the caster. Guild Wars(class is called necromancer) and Champions(class is called death knight) both come to mind. Since we don't know Erfworld's rules on this, we can allow the possibility that 'death knight' training is possible for a caster.

Also, since most caster skill seems to be unrelated to leveling(Stanley, who is highly concerned with leveling his uncroaked warlords is unconcerned with leveling his casters), it is possible that some fighting skill is also obtainable without actually seeing combat. Given that Wanda is such a jack-of-all-trades in magic, I'd bet dollars to smuckers she took some combat training at some point.

fendrin
2008-12-05, 05:04 PM
Wow, I was doing research on Caster combat capability, and found this:

Klog entry:
"Wanda seems to resent the implication that she knows anything about troops or combat(though I think she does)." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html)

Ansom is booped.

Knowledge about warfare is very different from melee capability. By your logic Parson could beat Ansom mano-et-mano without his sword.


On general tropeing of casters, many games allow players to build death knights and 'normal' necromancers from the same base class, giving distinction only to how one chooses to train the caster. Guild Wars(class is called necromancer) and Champions(class is called death knight) both come to mind. Since we don't know Erfworld's rules on this, we can allow the possibility that 'death knight' training is possible for a caster.
On a similar note I once played a very effective wizard in D&D who at level 1 had a 16 str and 20 con (18 int, for those that wanna know). He was just as effective in melee combat as anyone else in the party at Lvl 1, he even one-shotted an orc with his staff.


Also, since most caster skill seems to be unrelated to leveling(Stanley, who is highly concerned with leveling his uncroaked warlords is unconcerned with leveling his casters), it is possible that some fighting skill is also obtainable without actually seeing combat. Given that Wanda is such a jack-of-all-trades in magic, I'd bet dollars to smuckers she took some combat training at some point.
1) We don't know anything about caster leveling; they may level from casting spells instead of combat (like an AD&D 2e caster).
2) I doubt casters could 'learn combat from a book' as it were. Attack/defense spells, sure. How to use a staff as an effective melee weapon? No.

DevilDan
2008-12-05, 05:07 PM
Wow, I was doing research on Caster combat capability, and found this:

Klog entry:
"Wanda seems to resent the implication that she knows anything about troops or combat(though I think she does)." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html)

This has been mentioned in the past and in this thread. I certainly don't underestimate Wanda. And if she has a "cast headache" spell she can have other ways to hurt a unit or to place status ailments on one. I don't particularly think that her verses were a spell, but there is such a thing as rhyme-o-mancy and Wanda is adept at spells outside her own discipline.


Also, since most caster skill seems to be unrelated to leveling(Stanley, who is highly concerned with leveling his uncroaked warlords is unconcerned with leveling his casters), it is possible that some fighting skill is also obtainable without actually seeing combat. Given that Wanda is such a jack-of-all-trades in magic, I'd bet dollars to smuckers she took some combat training at some point.

Stanley is not a deep thinker, so he would fixate on superficial matters like leveling--I'm not saying that leveling is unimportant, only that it isn't the crux of the question necessarily. Wanda could certainly have seen her share of fighting given that she survived the disappearance of the Croatan tribe.

quindraco
2008-12-06, 01:42 AM
Wanda could certainly have seen her share of fighting given that she survived the disappearance of the Croatan tribe.

Come on, let's be honest here.......

s/survived/caused

She can do the Erfworld equivalent of summoning Chuck Norris, I'm not putting anything past her........

Aquillion
2008-12-06, 04:28 AM
Come on, let's be honest here.......

s/survived/caused

She can do the Erfworld equivalent of summoning Chuck Norris, I'm not putting anything past her........To be fair, it's hardly really her doing that. Similar to with the air defenses, she was just the one firing off a scroll purchased from someone else (and it's implied that, partially, her inexperience with the magic involved may have resulted in a bit of a boop-up, as the spell itself implies in the final happy meal.)

Anyone trained in Findamancy could have done the same thing as well if not better.

Ave
2008-12-06, 12:36 PM
Why is Wanda's speech so jerky?
Is that really Wanda?

I'm 100% sure she will get the pliers, but i'm somehow not 100% sure that stuttering thing is really Wanda.

Winged One
2008-12-06, 12:44 PM
Why is Wanda's speech so jerky?
Is that really Wanda?

I'm 100% sure she will get the pliers, but i'm somehow not 100% sure that stuttering thing is really Wanda.

What else would it be? There we haven't seen any units, live or dead, that look that much like her, and Jack is with the Tool.

SteveMB
2008-12-06, 12:47 PM
Why is Wanda's speech so jerky?

Apparently because of backlash from the broken suggestion spell.

DevilDan
2008-12-06, 01:00 PM
Come on, let's be honest here.......

s/survived/caused

Haha. Just like Lobo is the last of the Czarnians because he killed off the rest? Funny, but it doesn't ring true to me.


To be fair, it's hardly really her doing that. Similar to with the air defenses, she was just the one firing off a scroll purchased from someone else (and it's implied that, partially, her inexperience with the magic involved may have resulted in a bit of a boop-up, as the spell itself implies in the final happy meal.)

Anyone trained in Findamancy could have done the same thing as well if not better.

To be fair, what the box says is "Help the Summon Spell fix its goof." Plus, Stanley was idiotically pressuring her with other demands/requirements while she was casting the spell.

Aquillion
2008-12-06, 01:31 PM
Why is Wanda's speech so jerky?
Is that really Wanda?

I'm 100% sure she will get the pliers, but i'm somehow not 100% sure that stuttering thing is really Wanda.The backlash from her mind-control spell on Jillian breaking means that "Speech. Z'hard." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0108.html) for her, at least at the moment. It seems to have hit her something like a stroke.

BarGamer
2008-12-06, 02:18 PM
She can do the Erfworld equivalent of summoning Chuck Norris, I'm not putting anything past her........

It was inevitable...
The original "Perfect Warlord" spell involved summoning Chuck Norris, but none of the casters could accurately describe Chuck Norris enough to summon him.

Chuck Norris enjoys Dragon Donuts of Doom for breakfast.

Nobody's ever been brave enough to ask Chuck Norris to end his turn.

The reason Charlie is getting together so much money and power, is so he can persuade Chuck Norris not to round-house-kick him.

Chuck Norris complimented Vinny for sleeping with three Archons at once, as it was a good first effort. And then Chuck Norris round-house-kicked Vinny for stealing Chuck Norris's girls.

Chuck Norris mastered all the Mancys, then refused to use them, because Magic Tricks are for sissies.

The Tools of the Titans are simply forgotten toys from Chuck Norris's childhood. Except Chuck Norris NEVER forgets.

Ave
2008-12-07, 07:28 AM
The backlash from her mind-control spell on Jillian breaking means that "Speech. Z'hard." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0108.html) for her, at least at the moment. It seems to have hit her something like a stroke.

Oh, now it makes sense. I wonder what the pliers will make of her.
(I didn't even realize what z'hard was supposed to mean before)

enthar
2008-12-07, 05:13 PM
The Hammer summons/controls Dragons, the Dish (apparently) summons/controls Archons. I may have missed this in previous threads, but what kind of (presumably Undead?) creature do the Pliers summon/control? And if it is indeed summon and not just control, that could provide a heretofore unknown force to save GK from Charlies Archons and the rest of the coalition, especially if they are Undead, and especially if they are led by a powerful Croakamancer and her 'huge' bonuses to such.

--
Enthar

DevilDan
2008-12-07, 05:58 PM
The Hammer summons/controls Dragons, the Dish (apparently) summons/controls Archons. I may have missed this in previous threads, but what kind of (presumably Undead?) creature do the Pliers summon/control? And if it is indeed summon and not just control, that could provide a heretofore unknown force to save GK from Charlies Archons and the rest of the coalition, especially if they are Undead, and especially if they are led by a powerful Croakamancer and her 'huge' bonuses to such.

Just to be clear: we don't even know that the arkendish has anything to do with the archons. Though it could well be the case, no character has even speculated about that.

BarGamer
2008-12-07, 11:26 PM
If the ArkenPliers really are aligned with undead, and Stanley really DOES Attune with them...

Dracoliches, please?

lug0si
2008-12-08, 08:04 AM
It was inevitable...
The original "Perfect Warlord" spell involved summoning Chuck Norris, but none of the casters could accurately describe Chuck Norris enough to summon him.

Chuck Norris enjoys Dragon Donuts of Doom for breakfast.

Nobody's ever been brave enough to ask Chuck Norris to end his turn.

The reason Charlie is getting together so much money and power, is so he can persuade Chuck Norris not to round-house-kick him.

Chuck Norris complimented Vinny for sleeping with three Archons at once, as it was a good first effort. And then Chuck Norris round-house-kicked Vinny for stealing Chuck Norris's girls.

Chuck Norris mastered all the Mancys, then refused to use them, because Magic Tricks are for sissies.

The Tools of the Titans are simply forgotten toys from Chuck Norris's childhood. Except Chuck Norris NEVER forgets.
LOL! *D
this is silly and very excellent - chapeau!! :)

i dont know if it has already been mentioned, that it might be possible the arkentools have a will of their own (like Sauron's ring etc.). maybe the pliers play a certain role in Ansom getting into trouble sometimes. could it be that they want to be taken from him by someone they esteem 'worthy' like Wanda, thus leading him to the walls of GK all alone and then failing him in combat with her?

Godskook
2008-12-08, 11:12 AM
Knowledge about warfare is very different from melee capability. By your logic Parson could beat Ansom mano-et-mano without his sword.

My logic is that of the Chekov trope. Parson has been highly foreshadowed as a great tactician, but never was combat ability mentioned in is repretoire. He is performing as expected, and nothing in my logic would indicate that he can fight well, at least without that combat! sword of his.

This info on Wanda, however, indicates direct combat knowledge that she is trying to hide. The only 'why' I can come up with is because she is a capable combat force and doesn't want anyone to know. Hence, foreshadowing that she can compete with other combat powerhouses in a fight.


1) We don't know anything about caster leveling; they may level from casting spells instead of combat (like an AD&D 2e caster).

True


2) I doubt casters could 'learn combat from a book' as it were. Attack/defense spells, sure. How to use a staff as an effective melee weapon? No.

2a)Alone, reading a book about combat is probably worthless, but:
2b)I said training which includes other possibilities, such as the erfworld equivalents of taking Martial Arts classes or joining a Dagorhir Chapter (http://www.dagorhir.com/).
2c)Nothing I said discludes the possibility of her actually seeing combat.


Stanley is not a deep thinker, so he would fixate on superficial matters like leveling--I'm not saying that leveling is unimportant, only that it isn't the crux of the question necessarily. Wanda could certainly have seen her share of fighting given that she survived the disappearance of the Croatan tribe.

Again, I wasn't discluding actual combat from her experience sheet, just offering alternative sources for her being combat effective.

@Enthar, I like the theory, but 'summons'* is misleading about the hammer's ability. It has only been shown to 'tame'* dwagons. 'Course, this only helps the possibility of a theoretical plier-controlled army waiting in the wings, as they'd have to exist already in order to be tamed. I.e., we could have a whole mob of Liches hiding somewhere that emerge the moment Wanda attunes to the pliers.

@BarGamer, you mean "Dwagon Doughnuts of Doom"

DavesNotHere
2008-12-08, 11:18 AM
Since, we're hanging out waiting...

I must say that my first reaction to Wanda's verse about cutting a thread, could be more literal than some previous responses.

I think she will hack the flying carpet, and try to send Ansom tumbling off his mount.
We'll see...

Dave.

Maelore
2008-12-08, 03:40 PM
Good point. It proves Archons are not HUMANS (in the same sense that Wanda, Sizemore, etc. are human casters). Which proves one of two things:
A) Archons are not casters
B) Non-humans can be casters
We do not have conclusive proof of either.


Erfworld seems to borrow many elements from popular turn based games. In at least some, Hero's of Might and Magic for example, there are units that have their own spell lists. A very good example is Lich's they have a powerful ranged attack, good hit points and a reasonable melee attack. Upgrade them and they gain a spell list they can cast from their own mana pool. The Archons may be similar to this not a true spell caster but a unit with a set list of spells. So if one Archon can cast spell X all can cast spell X. As opposed to two given spell casters who both may be Dirtomancers, for example, but have totally different spell lists.

quindraco
2008-12-08, 05:11 PM
Yes, for the record, I meant the comment about Wanda wiping out her tribe as a joke. :)

As a follow-up:

Everyone knows Chuck is a nickname for Charles, right? Just like Charlie.

I'm just saying.

ishnar
2008-12-08, 07:09 PM
Yes, for the record, I meant the comment about Wanda wiping out her tribe as a joke. :)

As a follow-up:

Everyone knows Chuck is a nickname for Charles, right? Just like Charlie.

I'm just saying.

Mm, so maybe Charlie really is Chuck Norris. I'm amused by the earlier theory that Charlie was a previous attempt at summoning the Ultimate Warlord. Of course, in another thread someone else already pointed out that Parson speaks in a different font than all the Erfworlders. And Charlie speaks in typical Erfworlder font. So as amusing as I find this theory, I find it unlikely. I also find the Charlie is the Arkendish theory implausible for the same reason. The arkentools are obviously from beyond Erfworld, that's why they are rendered instead of drawn. So if the Arkendish spoke, it would use a different font as well, presumably.

SeraphRainy
2008-12-08, 07:15 PM
Since, we're hanging out waiting...

I must say that my first reaction to Wanda's verse about cutting a thread, could be more literal than some previous responses.

I think she will hack the flying carpet, and try to send Ansom tumbling off his mount.
We'll see...

Dave.


Well it could be that Wanda is talking literaly. However it seems like an apropriate time for another kind of confrontaition. Wanda seems to be speaking in a poetical sense here, I belive that the thread reference is to the ties that bind.

My justificaition for that is wrapped up in the love triangle that is, Ansom, Jillian, and Wanda. Most likely her aproach here is just to straight out Croak Ansom because Jillian "loves him more" in wandas mind.

An alternaite meaning could have something to do with the ties of loyalty and most certainly again Wandas probable jealousy towards Ansome.

Anywho I am exited to see whats in store for Ansom:smalltongue:

Aquillion
2008-12-08, 08:00 PM
Well it could be that Wanda is talking literaly. However it seems like an apropriate time for another kind of confrontaition. Wanda seems to be speaking in a poetical sense here, I belive that the thread reference is to the ties that bind.

My justificaition for that is wrapped up in the love triangle that is, Ansom, Jillian, and Wanda. Most likely her aproach here is just to straight out Croak Ansom because Jillian "loves him more" in wandas mind.

An alternaite meaning could have something to do with the ties of loyalty and most certainly again Wandas probable jealousy towards Ansome.

Anywho I am exited to see whats in store for Ansom:smalltongue:
She could also actually mean her ties to Jillian, going by the larger subtext of her speech (the idea of ties 'binding people together' and so on). She might feel that killing Ansom will permanently alienate Jillian from her.

Goshen
2008-12-08, 09:47 PM
I think it's already been said in different ways, but Wanda's reference to "cut a thread" has three meanings, at least: (1) Cut the thread of Ansom's fate/life (2) cut the plot thread of the love triangle with Jillian (3) trash his stupid carpet.

Goshen
2008-12-08, 09:48 PM
DevilDan, why does your avatar look like an angry uncroaked Ansom?

DevilDan
2008-12-08, 10:02 PM
If the secret without Charlie is that spectacular a surprise, it'll be the subject of a future story rather than having it be dropped into our laps with so little warning. (Well, it could be, but as part of a cliffhanger after the main struggle has been settled.)

I doubt, for example, that Charlie is the actual Arkendish, but he could be an Erfworlder that has been thinkamantically merged with the artifact.


DevilDan, why does your avatar look like an angry uncroaked Ansom?

In a previous thread, another poster kept insisting that all my comments were motivated by my positive opinion of Stanley despite my statements to the contrary. So I croaked and uncroaked Ansom.

Lamech
2008-12-08, 11:34 PM
I think it's already been said in different ways, but Wanda's reference to "cut a thread" has three meanings, at least: (1) Cut the thread of Ansom's fate/life (2) cut the plot thread of the love triangle with Jillian (3) trash his stupid carpet.

I have another thought or two on that poem of Wanda's... (although one is not original)
4) She is talking about "fate" or "destiny", when she talks about cutting a thread, and weakening fate's hold on the world, her, Ansom ect.
5) It could be a spell incantation too. Such as a fate altering spell or a rip-Ansom's-life-out spell. Of course, this would probably not be the sole meaning.

Oslecamo
2008-12-09, 05:28 AM
As far as we know, Jack's stats are on par with your average level 1 infantry unit, and he has just never had reason (or maybe opportunity) to increase them. For that matter, maybe his stats are as good as Jillians and she is only more powerful because of her warlordiness and magic items. Unlikely, but possible...


I beg to disagree.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html

Bogroll the lowly servant who's bullied by half the garrison has an amazing 5 combat and defense 4.

So, if 2/2 is a good set of stats like you say, then Bogroll is a combat monster and with Hamster's and the remaining uncrcroacked warlord's leadership, plus the badass armor Wanda is using now, Bogroll would mop the floor with Ansom.

Or 2/2 is just a bad set of stats, wich would make more sense since you really can't go much lower than 2/2.

SmallFurryMamml
2008-12-09, 06:59 AM
I beg to disagree.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html

Bogroll the lowly servant who's bullied by half the garrison has an amazing 5 combat and defense 4.

So, if 2/2 is a good set of stats like you say, then Bogroll is a combat monster and with Hamster's and the remaining uncrcroacked warlord's leadership, plus the badass armor Wanda is using now, Bogroll would mop the floor with Ansom.

Or 2/2 is just a bad set of stats, wich would make more sense since you really can't go much lower than 2/2.

QFT.

However, Bogroll may be a lowly servant, but he's still a Twoll.

I don't know about the level, but he's a... moderatley good combat unit, somewhere in between the basic infantry (presumably about the same as a caster, considering that that's what casters count as when croaked), but less than Heavy Metal Golems or Dwagons.

Whispri
2008-12-09, 08:55 AM
I really do think that Wanda is dangerous in close quarters. She is the one who spear headed the charge against Ansom, there are hundreds of living units in Gobwin Knob, and yet it is she who is facing him. True, the Knights may all be croaked or wounded, it would have meant swapping out an Uncroaked Warlord and there would have been a slight delay. But still, no one was worth putting between Wanda and Ansom and that says a lot.

And the visual, she just looks far more like a Knight than a Sorceress.

I'd mutter things like 'cross-class training perhaps?' and 'was she popped as a caster?' But I'd be surprised if someone hasn't muttered those already.


I beg to disagree.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0044.html

Bogroll the lowly servant who's bullied by half the garrison has an amazing 5 combat and defense 4.

So, if 2/2 is a good set of stats like you say, then Bogroll is a combat monster and with Hamster's and the remaining uncrcroacked warlord's leadership, plus the badass armor Wanda is using now, Bogroll would mop the floor with Ansom.

Or 2/2 is just a bad set of stats, wich would make more sense since you really can't go much lower than 2/2.
What makes you think that fours and fives are low when it comes to physical stats? 'Cause there are plenty of games where those would be high. Pretty much everything is a guess when so few units have had their stats revealed, and Jack was debilitated when scanned. We can't even say for sure that the numbers can't go into the negative, or that high is always good. As for the bullying, they were taking advantage of his gullibility, not his strength.

Lamech
2008-12-09, 09:26 AM
Bogroll the lowly servant who's bullied by half the garrison has an amazing 5 combat and defense 4.

So, if 2/2 is a good set of stats like you say, then Bogroll is a combat monster and with Hamster's and the remaining uncrcroacked warlord's leadership, plus the badass armor Wanda is using now, Bogroll would mop the floor with Ansom.

Or 2/2 is just a bad set of stats, wich would make more sense since you really can't go much lower than 2/2.
He is a twoll heavy. Plus he just got a promotion which may or may not effect his stats, and he has a weapon. And his stats are 5 attack, 4 defense. If he lacked the weapon his attack would be something like 4? An advanced infantry would be a step down, and a basic would be another step down. So maybe two attack and two defense for basic infantry? Which would fit with the theory Jack is a perfectly capable infantry unit. Of course, bogroll might have levels on Jack (or vica versa) so...



What makes you think that fours and fives are low when it comes to physical stats? 'Cause there are plenty of games where those would be high. Pretty much everything is a guess when so few units have had their stats revealed, and Jack was debilitated when scanned. We can't even say for sure that the numbers can't go into the negative, or that high is always good. As for the bullying, they were taking advantage of his gullibility, not his strength.
Excellant point. If stats were based on a log scale of some type they could go into the negative. If that was the case 0/0 could be anything, which means those stats could be almost anywhere.

Godskook
2008-12-09, 11:25 AM
My thoughts on stats:

1)Well, MTG comes to mind. A 2/2 is a fairly good warrior in some creature types, but sucky in others. Compare beasts and elves. It is kinda rare to see anything greater than a 4/4 hit the field, except in specialized decks built to do it. That could be the model used in Erfworld.

2)Stats could be affected by level in some way, making a level 5 2/2 much more powerful than a level 2 2/2. One way would be:

Actual_Hits = hits + level

3)Stats could also be affected by a unit-type bonus. For instance, heavies might have a +3 to hits, while 'advanced' infantry units might have a +1. This theory helps with Vinny's logic in the Dwagons v. TV battle.

DevilDan
2008-12-09, 11:32 AM
I really do think that Wanda is dangerous in close quarters. She is the one who spear headed the charge against Ansom, there are hundreds of living units in Gobwin Knob, and yet it is she who is facing him. True, the Knights may all be croaked or wounded, it would have meant swapping out an Uncroaked Warlord and there would have been a slight delay. But still, no one was worth putting between Wanda and Ansom and that says a lot.

If (1) it seems quite crucial to take down Ansom, and (2) flying units may be the best or only way to do it, then (3) you send your uncroaked flying units as they are the only flying units you appear to have at the moment, and (4) you send your croakamancer to give them her considerable bonuses given that she's fighting a high-level overlord royal with an artifact that can pulverize uncroaked.

Just a different take on the issue. I think it's at least possible that she is a capable warrior or that she can perform powerful offensive spells.

Godskook
2008-12-09, 12:30 PM
If (1) it seems quite crucial to take down Ansom, and (2) flying units may be the best or only way to do it, then (3) you send your uncroaked flying units as they are the only flying units you appear to have at the moment, and (4) you send your croakamancer to give them her considerable bonuses given that she's fighting a high-level overlord royal with an artifact that can pulverize uncroaked.

Just a different take on the issue. I think it's at least possible that she is a capable warrior or that she can perform powerful offensive spells.

I think Whispri's point was that they sent:

Wanda + 4 uncroaked flyers + 2 possible but unknown riders(presumed uncroaked warlords)
and Wanda plays meatshield.

when they could've sent:

Wanda + 4 uncroaked flyers + 1-2 hobgobwin knights + 0-1 uncroaked warlords
and had the knight(s) play meatshield

Hence, planning on Wanda playing meatshield against Ansom(something Jillian never does against dwagons) says that either (a) a tactical blunder is being made, (b) this is an incredibly desperate move or (c) Wanda+escort v Ansom is a more fair matchup than Jillian+escort v Dwagon.

Given Parson, I highly doubt (a), and (b) is contrary to Parson's emotional tone here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0132.html). I'm going with Whispri on this and betting (c)

fendrin
2008-12-09, 12:38 PM
Hence, planning on Wanda playing meatshield against Ansom(something Jillian never does against dwagons) says that either (a) a tactical blunder is being made, (b) this is an incredibly desperate move or (c) Wanda+escort v Ansom is a more fair matchup than Jillian+escort v Dwagon.

Given Parson, I highly doubt (a), and (b) is contrary to Parson's emotional tone here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0132.html). I'm going with Whispri on this and betting (c)

Don't assume Parson told Wanda to play meatshield. We know he made the strategic decision to send her in, but it seems that warlords have some discretion over tactics, so *Wanda* may have made that call. We have nothing but a klog-hunch to indicate that Wanda has any tactical skill at all.

Thus (a) is still a possibility.

For that matter, there is a fourth option, lets call it (d), that Wanda is acting out of anger. She may be going on full offensive against Ansom because she is so angry she is not thinking straight. I mean, it's not THAT far of a stretch to say that Wanda truly loved* Jillian, and now has a chance to strike out at the man that took her away.

*Working off of the assumption that Wanda failed to notice she was crossing a line which, in fairness, was not particularly clear ahead of time.

Whispri
2008-12-09, 12:58 PM
By that that line of thought she's throwing away a chance to croak or capture Ansom and his pliers just so she can attempt the impossible. Or in other words, you're suggesting that she's started acting like a complete fool. Recollect, when she lashed out at Jillian's forces she went with a method that worked despite her obvious emotion. And her capacity for hope is listed as a weakness on the character page, so she's rather unlikely to hold any illusions about her chances of successfully braining someone if those chances are low.

As an aside, as far as the casting of Suggestion Spells go, it really should be pointed out that her hand may well have been forced by a general order from Stanley to find a way to defeat Ansom, or a specific order from any one of Parson's predecessors.


I think Whispri's point was that they sent:

Wanda + 4 uncroaked flyers + 2 possible but unknown riders(presumed uncroaked warlords)
and Wanda plays meatshield.

when they could've sent:

Wanda + 4 uncroaked flyers + 1-2 hobgobwin knights + 0-1 uncroaked warlords
and had the knight(s) play meatshield

Hence, planning on Wanda playing meatshield against Ansom(something Jillian never does against dwagons) says that either (a) a tactical blunder is being made, (b) this is an incredibly desperate move or (c) Wanda+escort v Ansom is a more fair matchup than Jillian+escort v Dwagon.

Given Parson, I highly doubt (a), and (b) is contrary to Parson's emotional tone here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0132.html). I'm going with Whispri on this and betting (c)

Exactly. The flying units include three mounts. So why not have one of the three riders be a high level fighter? Why risk Wanda and her huge bonus by having her fight Ansom hand to hand? Unless she's the best person for the job, why take that risk?

DevilDan
2008-12-09, 01:26 PM
I absolutely agree with fendrin that Parson likely only gave the order to attack only and did not determine how the attack was carried out. In fact, it's also likely that Wanda chose or had a say in choosing the composition as well as the disposition of her strike force.

To suggest that Parson would use what may well be his single most valuable unit as a "meatshield" is to beggar belief; that would only happen if somehow Wanda were capable of buffing herself into near-invulnerability.

And I do think that, Wanda's evasiveness notwithstanding, mathamancy and his own knowledge have lead Parson to believe that Wanda has a chance. And though Wanda is not a coward, she would, unless she is overcome by rage or the desire for revenge, object to an order that she believes would harm GK. She does not follow orders blindly and is not afraid to make her sentiments known; she also has the capacity to disobey orders that she thinks are seriously misguided.

I would say that Wanda is a person who has a high degree of self-control, though it is of course possible that she is letting her emotions color her judgment.

I didn't object to his conclusions, I just wanted to explore his reasoning. As I wrote:

Just a different take on the issue. I think it's at least possible that she is a capable warrior or that she can perform powerful offensive spells.

Oslecamo
2008-12-09, 02:13 PM
He is a twoll heavy. Plus he just got a promotion which may or may not effect his stats, and he has a weapon. And his stats are 5 attack, 4 defense. If he lacked the weapon his attack would be something like 4? An advanced infantry would be a step down, and a basic would be another step down. So maybe two attack and two defense for basic infantry? Which would fit with the theory Jack is a perfectly capable infantry unit. Of course, bogroll might have levels on Jack (or vica versa) so...

Since "basic infantry" means redshirt in efworld, then Jack is still weak. Or as strong as a marbit with a pointy stick who got crushed by the dozens by hard rock golems, depending on your point of view. Basic infantry is cannon fodder that manages to last a little longer and damage a little better than orlies and doombats.

Also, Bogroll is a garrison unit(no move), so he really has no means of going out there gaining levels.



Excellant point. If stats were based on a log scale of some type they could go into the negative. If that was the case 0/0 could be anything, which means those stats could be almost anywhere.

Yeah, because log scale table top wargames are really common out there. Hmm, I don't think so. Mind citing an example? Otherwise we may as well start discussing if the comic is in english or not, because they could be using some kind of really sophisticated language wich looks like english but isn't.

Whispri
2008-12-09, 02:47 PM
Attack and defence scores could easily start at high numbers and then decrease as the unit's power increases, it's been done. Even if this isn't the case 2/2 could be the equivalent of advanced infantry or better.

Jack is in Stanley's stack, so his stats should be strong even if he is weak thanks to the leadership and artifact bonuses. I will note that Parson's leadership score was determined by examining the stats of the units under his command. So as I said before, perhaps the backlash inflicted a penalty upon him. It's possible those bonuses are shown on a section of the stats we haven't seen, and what little information on this matter we have is actually incomplete.

Oh and just because Bogroll is a Garrison Unit now doesn't mean this was always the case. And is killing things really the only way to level?


I absolutely agree with fendrin that Parson likely only gave the order to attack only and did not determine how the attack was carried out. In fact, it's also likely that Wanda chose or had a say in choosing the composition as well as the disposition of her strike force.

To suggest that Parson would use what may well be his single most valuable unit as a "meatshield" is to beggar belief; that would only happen if somehow Wanda were capable of buffing herself into near-invulnerability.

And I do think that, Wanda's evasiveness notwithstanding, mathamancy and his own knowledge have lead Parson to believe that Wanda has a chance. And though Wanda is not a coward, she would, unless she is overcome by rage or the desire for revenge, object to an order that she believes would harm GK. She does not follow orders blindly and is not afraid to make her sentiments known; she also has the capacity to disobey orders that she thinks are seriously misguided.

I would say that Wanda is a person who has a high degree of self-control, though it is of course possible that she is letting her emotions color her judgment.

I didn't object to his conclusions, I just wanted to explore his reasoning. As I wrote:
The idea that Parson put no thought into this action beyond yelling 'Attack'? Now that's something that beggers belief. Bottom line, it's a critical moment of the battle and if Wanda isn't a good warrior someone has just made a terrible mistake. Because the meatshield role is the one she's taking and if that task wasn't intended for her then Ansom has just been handed a considerable advantage. And incompetent is something the defenders of Gobwin Knob are not.

I'll also note that buff spells have never been mentioned by any character. There was the dancing, but I wouldn't call that sorcery.

DevilDan
2008-12-09, 02:54 PM
The idea that Parson put no thought into this action beyond yelling 'Attack'? Now that's something that beggers belief. Bottom line, it's a critical moment of the battle and if Wanda isn't a good warrior someone has just made a terrible mistake. Because the meatshield role is the one she's taking and if that task wasn't intended for her then Ansom has just been handed a considerable advantage. And incompetent is something the defenders of Gobwin Knob are not.

I'll also note that buff spells have never been mentioned by any character. There was the dancing, but I wouldn't call that sorcery.

I also said that Parson used both his own knowledge and mathamancy calculations as a basis for his decision; but he ought to defer to Wanda when it comes to unit tactics, close combat, and the use of her uncroaked units. "Meatshield" is a loaded term. She seems as if she knows what she's doing and I'll leave it at that. If she isn't using the other units in her stack to try to wear down Ansom or to flank him, she must have a very good reason. Perhaps she's taking advantage of a "dive"/"swoop" aerial move or using the element of surprise to land a decisive initial blow.

I agree that no buff spells have been mentioned, as I don't know how one would class Maggie's "Ephedra" spell, which did seem to me to boost (or only restore?) Parson's alertness and mental acuity.

Lamech
2008-12-09, 03:08 PM
Yeah, because log scale table top wargames are really common out there. Hmm, I don't think so. Mind citing an example? Otherwise we may as well start discussing if the comic is in english or not, because they could be using some kind of really sophisticated language wich looks like english but isn't.
Erm... when I said log I meant if a units attack is "x" higher than another units, the first unit has an attack that is "y" times more powerful. Or any system that where their is exponential growth or decay. And umm... DnD 3.5uses a log scale (with rounding) for xp determination, from monster with a set CR amount: Increase level by two half xp gain. Decrease level by two double xp gain. In fact I think it uses a log-scale for creature power and CR. Two monster are supposed to be as strong as one with two CR higher...

Anyway, this doesn't seem like a war-game to me. Its more like a civilization type game. And I'm not sure how they combat attack power, it is all hidden.

Finally, they are speaking Language (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0017.html), not english... please note how "artifact" means the complete oppisite in Language, as it does in english.

Whispri
2008-12-09, 03:22 PM
I agree that no buff spells have been mentioned, as I don't know how one would class Maggie's "Ephedra" spell, which did seem to me to boost (or only restore?) Parson's alertness and mental acuity.
A specialised healing spell I think.

fendrin
2008-12-09, 03:22 PM
...Otherwise we may as well start discussing if the comic is in english or not, because they could be using some kind of really sophisticated language wich looks like english but isn't.

Oh don't get me started, I'm in the midst of writing a paper on that very topic (well, not Erfworld specific). Basically I'm arguing that everyone uses their own version of a language, and only understand each other properly when those 'versions' are sufficiently similar. It solves a lot of the problems with understanding how language works (particularly what a name is and how it works).

Like I said, don't get me started... :smallwink:

Oslecamo
2008-12-09, 03:37 PM
Erm... when I said log I meant if a units attack is "x" higher than another units, the first unit has an attack that is "y" times more powerful. Or any system that where their is exponential growth or decay. And umm... DnD 3.5uses a log scale (with rounding) for xp determination, from monster with a set CR amount: Increase level by two half xp gain. Decrease level by two double xp gain. In fact I think it uses a log-scale for creature power and CR. Two monster are supposed to be as strong as one with two CR higher...

Suposed. That's the right word. In the end it was a big confusion that took a BIG deal of work from the DM to make it work and wotc they simply threw all the log scales out of the windown when making 4e. Two monsters are now twice the challenge for the players, and twice the experience.



Anyway, this doesn't seem like a war-game to me. Its more like a civilization type game. And I'm not sure how they combat attack power, it is all hidden.

Where's the civilization part? We only see military units, the guys in comand are the strongest in combat, and you don't really see much nonmilitary buildings.

Diplomacy is kept to a minimum, and "hack them untill they stop moving" seems to be the most popular tactic around.

FAQ tried to become a nonmilitar nation, and even then they had to rely on air raids to survive. And then they got wiped out.



Finally, they are speaking Language (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0017.html), not english... please note how "artifact" means the complete oppisite in Language, as it does in english.

The oposite? I don't understand that part. Artifacts are magic items in Efworld, just like everywhere else.