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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhurin View Post
    I could go on, but I think the wall of text is big enough. My point is I have a personal desire to see Parson succeed, and these set backs are having the supposedly intended effect of raising the tension rather than just simply frustrating me. The last two strips have not, in fact, been terrible. If there is a chorus of complainers, put me in the chorus of endorsers.
    Hey, if it works for you, good for you.

    The reality is, it's not working for me, and it's not working for several others on this thread. While I don't believe in story by democracy or argument from popularity, I think it's safe to say that a number of people are getting tired of the snatch-victory-from-the-jaws-of-defeat theme, and that a number of people think the rules are -- to be charitable -- somewhat confusing to the point where it's a distraction that's detracting from the story.

    I've followed this forum for quite a while. Most of the time, it's a well-deserved round of affirmation and kudos accompanied by a ton of speculation. That's one reason I like the forum, the speculation and the theories.

    But there's a noticeable chorus of discontent in recent strips. One way of responding to that is to say damn the torpedos, full speed ahead. Another way is to consider, hey, there are a lot of people who are becoming disengaged or disillusioned. Maybe there's a reason for that.

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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by leo_neil316 View Post
    You know jillian just says she got a frantic message about an overflight of dragons and the next turn she was a barbarian, Faq seems to have been right next doors to gowbin knob, certainly inside the sort of distance where Warlord Stanley might have easily reached it while patrolling the borders and Stanley seemed -upset- that Jillian didn't like him.

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    I still reckon Saline was allied with Faq and Stanley was sent to help. The message could well have been cut off in the middle of 'We're under attack! You have to come back and save us. Wait, whats that? A wing of dragons? *splortch as caster is killed* ghost caster 'We're saved! Gobwin Knob has come!...... Wait, damn.
    Faq had 3 cities, a master class foolamancer and a predictamancer. Stanley simply isn’t good enough to destroy Faq in a single turn. He has never shown the capability to plan a battle. He might be a capable fighter, but he is not a tactician. For him to strike and destroy all three cities simultaneously is impossible to believe. Even RCC is taking Stanley’s cities one at a time. The only two characters that we know of with the skills to direct multiple battles simultaneously are Parson and Charlie. Only one of them was around at the time Faq fell and has the proven capability to h4x thinkagram powered communications.

    Charlie had the ability to:
    1. Know where Faq was (taping into enemy communications or CommInt)
    2. skills to direct the battles (I don’t think that anyone will disagree on this)
    3. the ability to provide false intelligence (the Arkendish gave him the ability to hack the eyebooks…, I imagine that a thinkagram would be simple in comparison)
    4. and the military capability (archons are very tough possibly even stronger than even dragons on a 1v1 basis. Charlie has a lot of these.)

    Charlie has the motive:
    1. He wants the Arkentools and 2 of them are now in play
    2. He is a mercenary and is getting paid a lot for his efforts
    3. both major powers (Ansom & Stanley) dislike Charlie

    Charlie is playing both sides. He is doing his best to weaken them both while maximizing his profits. Here is what I see happening in the future…

    1. The attrition continues on both sides until we get to the final battle.
    2. With Stanley, Ansom, Parson, Jillian & Wanda (possibly a few more) present it is revieled that Charlie is their common enemy and that both Ansom & Stanley were played.
    3. Ansom & Stanley join forces to fight Charlie. This would mark the end of the battle for Gobwin Knob & the beginning of the next chapter. There is a huge amount of area for character development. Militarily this would also be even more difficult for Parson than his current situation. Imagine Parson trying to have enough information to plan a battle against Charlie, but not enough information for Charlie to spend a calculation to gain the upper hand…
    Last edited by Happydork; 2009-01-02 at 03:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by headhoncho View Post
    But the fact there's STILL this much confusion on a topic that has been addressed multiple times in both klogs and external posts is a sure sign that it's either insufficiently conceived, or poorly explained.
    I think the confusion is due to a misunderstanding over what a courtyard actually is. Courtyards aren't just any old area behind a wall, they are open-air spaces enclosed by the walls of a building or buildings that are often inhabited. The only thing visually in Gobwin Knob that fits that is the keep where the garrison is housed, and since the particular klog that people are questioning was referring to ways for an enemy siege to attack the garrison, it's safe to say that's what was being referred to. Wanda's not there so it shouldn't be a problem.

    I think it's safe to say that a number of people are getting tired of the snatch-victory-from-the-jaws-of-defeat theme
    Now this, I agree with completely, as I wrote in an earlier post I think there have just been too many reversals of fortune especially lately, and without any real pause between them either.



    And Whispri, I think your moral complaints are valid but this is not a comic with clear black-and-white moral distinctions between characters. Sure, some characters themselves may think that they are shining paragons of virtue and their enemies are despicable fiends, and you yourself may think that about some of them, but honestly man there's been so many questionable acts by almost every character (Bogroll might be the only truly innocent one out there) that it's hard to pass judgment on one without leveling the same accusations at others on the opposing side. It's war, and as a wise man said, it's hell.

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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by Scylfing View Post
    I think the confusion is due to a misunderstanding over what a courtyard actually is. Courtyards aren't just any old area behind a wall, they are open-air spaces enclosed by the walls of a building or buildings that are often inhabited. The only thing visually in Gobwin Knob that fits that is the keep where the garrison is housed, and since the particular klog that people are questioning was referring to ways for an enemy siege to attack the garrison, it's safe to say that's what was being referred to. Wanda's not there so it shouldn't be a problem.
    When you have a complicated story element that ends up confusing a significant number of people, from a story perspective, is it typically preferable to explain things more clearly, or to just assume your readers ought to wise up?

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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by Happydork View Post
    Faq had 3 cities, a master class foolamancer and a predictamancer. Stanley simply isn’t good enough to destroy Faq in a single turn. He has never shown the capability to plan a battle. He might be a capable fighter, but he is not a tactician. For him to strike and destroy all three cities simultaneously is impossible to believe.
    Once we assume that Stanley was able to get past the predictamancer-foolamancer defensive system--a one-trick pony, possibly--then it doesn't seem unlikely that a man with a bunch of dwagons can take down three pacifist-leaning cities. Faq cities were probably on the smaller side given their limited resources and were probably not too far apart, and don't forget that their best units were probably out gallivanting with Jill.

    "Simultaneously" probably means within a single turn; that's not unlikely. Possibly Faq only had one thinkamancer, so whoever attacked Faq could just have lucked out and hit the city with the thinkamancer first--or just hit the capital first, which is possibly the likeliest location of casters and other valuable units and the logical first place to strike.
    Quo vadis?

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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by kynalvarus View Post
    As far as rules, Ansom is on his own turn, has move left, and has control of GK airspace. Klog 13 doesn't say that airspace can't attack courtyard, only that it can't attack dungeon. Flying units in the airspace can attack the tower directly, while ground units have to breach the wall and enter the courtyard before they can attack the tower.

    He was on the wall amoment ago, couldn't he have Moved (his turn he still has move), from the Outer Wall Zone to Courtyard zone, using his ability as a flying unit (with his mount) and a commander to selectively engage. Seems to fit into the rules exactly as I understand them.

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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    the rules for city hexes as I understand them are: units on defence don't spend move to enter different portions of the city hex, however all attackers do, since ansom ended turn in the hex the previous turn, he has full move with which to move about the city and do things such as move selectively from the walls to airspace (burning move every time) and to the courtyard to get his tool back, there's an upward limit to how much his one trick can help him, once he's out of move he's stuck wherever he is(but as jetstone's cheif warlord, he can end turn whenever, and since his is the last turn cause night to fall)

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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by headhoncho View Post
    When you have a complicated story element that ends up confusing a significant number of people, from a story perspective, is it typically preferable to explain things more clearly, or to just assume your readers ought to wise up?
    Fair enough; tweaking the wording of Klog #11 and/or #13 to make it clearer that the "courtyard" is the area inside the square inner walls (assuming that I'm not one of the significant number of people who got confused) for the book might be a good idea.

    (copied to the Bloopers thread, which seems to be the collection point the "possible revisions for the croaked-Gump edition" stuff)

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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Would it be possible that Wanda laying with her head on the floor could hear Sizemore and his golems approaching and this was behind her "come down" request for Ansom ?

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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Wanda's membership in the (lost) Croatan tribe could be a shout out to 'Croatoan' which was carved on a nearby tree by the lost colony of Roanoke Island. They were, of course, attacked by zombies. If this is the case, it may just be telling us that we'll never know exactly what happens.

    At any rate, I really can't see Ansom destroying Faq. Well, I can, but it's too subtle for Ansom. Come on, you know he'd brag up and down that it was he who did it. On the other hand, I don't think Stanley would allow Jetstone (or anyone else) access to his lands to get to Faq, and it seems that only Gobwin's Knob and Transylvito border the only chokepoint that leads to the city.

    And, of course, there's still the Predictamancer+Foolamancer combination. Either the Predictamancer had low loyalty and turned when the opportunity presented itself to insure Faq's destruction, or whatever. Natural Thinkamancy would seem to prevent that, but I always got the impression that King Banhammer was trying to off Jillian in a rather convenient way.

    As for Stanley being able to wipe out all three of Faq's cities in a single turn, well, it wouldn't take tactical brilliance. Faq's troops sucked (apart from Jillian and her gwiffins, who weren't there). Their casters had already failed, apparently. Not quite sure if Stanley croaked all three cities or just killed Banhammer and let the other two go barbarian, either. It's not out of the question to assume that three dozen dragons (or more) could fly down on a weak capital and smash it, especially with a Chief Warlord+Artifact bonus, plus whoever else Stanley brought along with him.

    Wanda and Ansom's fall: Wanda is a caster, and probably has (a lot) less hits than Ansom, who is a high level Warlord (and probably Chief Warlord of Jetstone). It's also possible that Wanda's staff didn't totally block all damage from the Archons' attack.

    As for 'murdering the wounded', well, it's war, and if enemy wounded who you couldn't capture (and remember, most 'captured' non-casters are killed outright after conquest) instantly healed back to full I'm-gonna-kill-you! capacity after a day, we'd have less problems with killing Child Soldier Billy who stubbed his toe, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMB View Post
    I think it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that Stanley may not be guilty of attacking anybody. For one thing, if people were accusing him of unprovoked attacks of which he was not guilty, and going to war with him on that basis, I think he would have complained about that slander during his little rant. For another, sustaining such a deception (by the real attacker) and/or mistake (by the RCC) through an entire military campaign just doesn't seem at all plausible.
    Well, remember, this is Stanley. He thinks the mere fact that everyone is trying to croak him is a sign of his greatness. Heck, he didn't even realize how screwed he was before Wanda convinced him to summon Parson.

    On the other hand, it's fairly clear that Jetstone wanted to attack Stanley. Smoking gun or not, it's fairly easy to assemble shoddy 'evidence' to convince people to go to war--even easier if you're a King/Overlord who doesn't need approval and can disband anyone instantly that you don't like.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMB View Post
    That said, there may be something to the notion that Stanley wasn't necessarily the one who attacked Faq -- the "overflight of dwagons" could have been wild ones (the Arkenhamer "tames" them, not "pops" them), or even Stanley coming to the rescue (and whoever sent Jillian the message got cut off or otherwise failed to properly explain the situation).
    It could also be the person who had the Arkenhammer before Stanley, assuming that Arkenhammer powers are the same and don't differ from person to person.

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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhurin View Post
    2) Ansom retrieving the Arkenpliers from the courtyard:

    They're not in the courtyard. Simply put. They're at the Outer Wall. This didn't set off any alarms for me, hence this entire response.

    I could understand the reaction if Rob and Jamie were prone to mistakes, but why would they go to such lengths to explain the rules (and enforce them recently, ala the archons having no move), and then make such a stunning oversight? I mean no personal offense, but the threshold of some people's suspension of disbelief surprises me sometimes.
    I'm a lot less charitable in grading the consistency of the rules. Consider:

    Gobwin Knob is divided into four Zones: Airspace (fliers only, can be attacked by ranged garrison units), Tunnels, Outer Walls (must be breached by Siege) and Garrison. Garrison is further divided into 3 parts: Tower, Courtyard and Dungeon, bordering the Airspace, Outer Walls and Tunnels, respectively.

    Ansom flies up and attacks the zombies on the walls of GK in melee. The zombies clearly cannot fly, so they must be in the Outer Walls zone. But the walls must be breached to enter that zone, and that hasn't happened. So Ansom must be able to fly over the walls and attack anyway. Presumably, this means he enters the Airspace zone, then moves into the Outer Walls and attacks.

    In response to this, we have Parsons state that he didn't use fliers because he was afraid Charlie would attack them. That seems odd. If Ansom can move from one zone to another, so (presumably) should Parson's troops. So fliers or not, he should be able to send reinforcements from the Garrison straight to the Outer Walls. If the Archons are already in the Outer Walls, they could already attack Gobwin Knob forces regardless of whether they fly. But if the Archons are occupying the Airspace zone, Wanda's force should be able to simply bypass them. The only explanation is that either Fliers in the Airspace zone can intercept GK Fliers moving through other zones, or that Fliers cannot themselves enter the Courtyard area of the Garrison. The former seems more likely, but either way it's a very unconvincing set of rules to suddenly drop on us.

    But it gets worse. Wanda is sent out anyway and promptly lays the smackdown on Ansom, knocking him back to the top of the wall. Ansom then decides to hire Charlie after all, and an Archon suddenly appears next to him to review the terms. This makes no sense. Ansom is clearly surrounded by the zombies, so he must be in the Outer Wall zone. So how can an Archon appear next to him? Unless the Archons were already in the Wall zone, which would make the whole "will Charlie backstab my fliers" bit pointless.

    Furthermore, the Archons then unleash their vast plot powers, vaporizing Wanda's pets but somehow failing to kill Wanda herself, despite the Archons having enough muscle to have captured the entire Tower (including Wanda) back on Charlie's turn. Wanda falls to ground inside the outer walls, near the Arkenpliers. The Archon then informs Ansom that they cannot help him further, since they cannot move until tomorrow.

    Now really, how does any of that make sense? If the Archons are able to attack Wanda and her undead fliers, but cannot finish off Wanda once she hits the ground, that must mean she was in their zone when they attacked but fell out of that zone afterward. If the Archons are in the Outer Wall zone, then why don't they vaporize all the zombies that are manning the wall? They certainly make no move to do so. But if they're in the Airspace zone, how can they attack Wanda who was just fighting Ansom in the Outer Wall zone? Does any of this make any sense, short of simple plot fiat?

    Finally, Ansom hops back on his carpet and flies down to retrieve the Arkenpliers, and contemplates killing Wanda a short ways away. But he then flees when Sizemore and his golems appear. How does this make sense? If Ansom must change zones to get the pliers, why can he get them without engaging the defenders of that zone, yet cannot selectively attack Wanda the way Parson's dragons fought the siege engines way back when? Shouldn't the defenders already in the zone be able to pick up the Arkenpliers before Ansom is able to cross zones and get them? And if he is merely evading the defenders because he flies and they have no ranged attacks, why doesn't he just finish off Wanda anyway? Beats me.

    All in all, I'd have to say Erfworld seems to play pretty fast and loose with the game mechanics it establishes. Now, that isn't a serious problem when the storyline and artwork are good enough to make up for it. But that stopped being the case a while ago. The art continues to be interesting, but the storyline has spent far too much time immediately canceling itself out for my tastes. This comic needs to get on with it and actually do something. The longer it spends with this constant "one step forward, one and a half steps back" routine, the more time we have to pick apart all the flaws in the game mechanics.

    -H
    Last edited by Hatu; 2009-01-02 at 05:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatu View Post
    (Snip excellent summary of some of the rules confusion we've seen.)

    All in all, I'd have to say Erfworld seems to play pretty fast and loose with the game mechanics it establishes. Now, that isn't a serious problem when the storyline and artwork are good enough to make up for it. But that stopped being the case a while ago. The art continues to be interesting, but the storyline has spent far too much time immediately canceling itself out for my tastes. This comic needs to get on with it and actually do something. The longer it spends with this constant "one step forward, one and a half steps back" routine, the more time we have to pick apart all the flaws in the game mechanics.
    QFT x 1,000.
    Last edited by headhoncho; 2009-01-02 at 05:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by headhoncho View Post
    ...
    The reality is, it's not working for me, and it's not working for several others on this thread. While I don't believe in story by democracy or argument from popularity, I think it's safe to say that a number of people are getting tired of the snatch-victory-from-the-jaws-of-defeat theme, and that a number of people think the rules are -- to be charitable -- somewhat confusing to the point where it's a distraction that's detracting from the story.
    ...
    But there's a noticeable chorus of discontent in recent strips. One way of responding to that is to say damn the torpedos, full speed ahead. Another way is to consider, hey, there are a lot of people who are becoming disengaged or disillusioned. Maybe there's a reason for that.
    Hey, good point. But speaking from experience, I can say that anything that's compelling, especially on the internet, will inevitably draw negative criticism, and I don't want to see it go unqualified if I disagree. Your first post didn't address your thematic complaints per se, but asserted that the authors had made a major consistency error.

    But anyway, I don't want to just sit here and snipe your posts. You level fair criticisms. I just completely disagree with the sentiment that when people start complaining about a work in progress, especially one with the measured amounts of intended fan-frustration that Erfworld has, that something must be done. I don't think the authors are ignoring our reactions, I think they're lightly tapping their fingers together and saying 'eeeeexxceeellllleent'. They're letting us figure it out.

    Rob and Jamie could turn around this very moment and give us a dozen pages of pure fan-service (depending on your view), with the humiliation and defeat of Ansom and the RCC, the rebuff of Charlie, the oh-holy-hell ascension of Wanda, and the ultimate triumph of Parson which would include, but not be limited to, the entire world realizing exactly what they are now dealing with. But Erfworld plays with tropes, and likes to surprise its audience. And I, like yourself perhaps, enjoy that they resist this kind of writing. It's carrying on too long for some to stomach, but that's no reason to call it terrible.

    I honestly don't know if Erfworld's greatest warlord will, in fact, win his first battle against the insurmountable odds he faces. Maybe the first chapter of Parson's story is his early and bitter defeat. But I will say that the more Ansom's boop is pulled from the fire, the more I suspect he doesn't get away un-singed. What he gains in momentary advantage is wearing down his credibility, and the viability of his world view. His mistakes will be remembered long after people have forgotten what a dumb-lucky boop he was.

    Cheers.

  14. - Top - End - #134
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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by Kreistor View Post
    Airspace can't attack Courtyard, so Ansom must be attacking from Outer Walls...
    Where is this said? Klog 13 says about airspace:

    1.Borders tower
    2.Can't attack dungeons

    Nothing about the information in Klog 13 indicates that Airspace can't attack Courtyard.
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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhurin View Post
    Hey, good point. But speaking from experience, I can say that anything that's compelling, especially on the internet, will inevitably draw negative criticism, and I don't want to see it go unqualified if I disagree. Your first post didn't address your thematic complaints per se, but asserted that the authors had made a major consistency error.
    My first post began, "Yup. I'm with the several others who think these past two strips have been among the worst. The airspace-borders-courtyard inconsistency is also jarring and lame." I was echoing the thematic complaints of the others who had written before me, in addition to lambasting what I felt was a consistency error. I still think there's a consistency error, or at a bare minimum a great deal of unnecessary confusion. See the post two immediately up from yours, by Hatu, for an excellent summary.

    But anyway, I don't want to just sit here and snipe your posts. You level fair criticisms.
    Thank you.

    I just completely disagree with the sentiment that when people start complaining about a work in progress, especially one with the measured amounts of intended fan-frustration that Erfworld has, that something must be done. I don't think the authors are ignoring our reactions, I think they're lightly tapping their fingers together and saying 'eeeeexxceeellllleent'. They're letting us figure it out.
    I defended the authors just last strip from the work-in-progress issue.

    The problem is, that gets harder and harder to do when an already long-form medium gets even longer due to constant "snatch-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory" plays. It's like that movie that just goes on for way too long. Or the late Robert Jordan's still-unfinished Wheel of Time series.

    Authors who choose to publish in a serial format are working in a fundamentally different medium than a standard novel or graphic novel. The instant feedback they receive is, from my perspective, a great benefit in terms of being able to gauge where reader sentiment lies. The flip side of that is enduring the inevitable criticism (and while I agree that criticism of any work is indeed inevitable, again, there's been a clear uptick in dissatisfaction in recent strips, and you can either ignore that or figure there might actually be valid reasons for it), and also dealing with the problems that time delay creates.

    As an example, authors of the past who published in serial format (most notably Dickens) often experienced these very same issues. The best of them took the most impactful of their readers' reactions and incorporated them into the work. One example from that veritable font of accurate information, Wikipedia, states:

    Another important impact of Dickens's episodic writing style resulted from his exposure to the opinions of his readers. Since Dickens did not write the chapters very far ahead of their publication, he was allowed to witness the public reaction and alter the story depending on those public reactions. A fine example of this process can be seen in his weekly serial The Old Curiosity Shop, which is a chase story. In this novel, Little Nell and her Grandfather are fleeing the villain Quilp. The progress of the novel follows the gradual success of that pursuit. As Dickens wrote and published the weekly instalments, his friend John Forster pointed out: "You know you're going to have to kill her, don't you." Why this end was necessary can be explained by a brief analysis of the difference between the structure of a comedy versus a tragedy. In a comedy, the action covers a sequence "You think they're going to lose, you think they're going to lose, they win". In tragedy, it is: "You think they're going to win, you think they're going to win, they lose". The dramatic conclusion of the story is implicit throughout the novel. So, as Dickens wrote the novel in the form of a tragedy, the sad outcome of the novel was a foregone conclusion. If he had not caused his heroine to lose, he would not have completed his dramatic structure. Dickens admitted that his friend Forster was right and, in the end, Little Nell died.
    Last edited by headhoncho; 2009-01-02 at 05:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by Whispri View Post
    Why shouldn't he? Murdering the wounded is never acceptable.
    You harp on and on and on about that, but you're thinking from the perspective of real-life morality. Erf is a world built around a turn-based war game, with a completely different social structure, natural laws, and pretty much whatever you could choose to mention.

    Even so, killing downed enemies is a very old tradition even in the real world, and I've no number for how many times fictional good guys have murdered bad guys they hated, without me feeling the least bit squeamish about it. Don't you think you're venting just a bit too much venom towards a fictional character? You're starting to remind me of the missionary guy in Rambo 4.
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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhurin View Post
    Rob and Jamie could turn around this very moment and give us a dozen pages of pure fan-service (depending on your view), with the humiliation and defeat of Ansom and the RCC, the rebuff of Charlie, the oh-holy-hell ascension of Wanda, and the ultimate triumph of Parson which would include, but not be limited to, the entire world realizing exactly what they are now dealing with. But Erfworld plays with tropes, and likes to surprise its audience. And I, like yourself perhaps, enjoy that they resist this kind of writing. <snip>
    I don't think anyone here is calling for this. Even those of us who would like to this happen will, I think, concede that we don't want it to happen in the next few pages or expect it to happen any time soon.

    But there's a big difference between wanting to see all the things you just listed happen and wanting to see something happen at all. As others before me have said in terms far more compelling than mine: we're just sick of the constant back-and-forth. Erfworld needs this plot to move forward in some appreciable away, instead of just endlessly depicting the waltz between Parson and Ansom (and prolonging that waltz through unsatisfying bits of Plot! and fiat).

  18. - Top - End - #138
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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Thanks for the thorough post Hatu. I'm not the greatest at keeping track of the mechanics involved, but I'll take a crack at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatu View Post
    If Ansom can move from one zone to another, so (presumably) should Parson's troops. So fliers or not, he should be able to send reinforcements from the Garrison straight to the Outer Walls. If the Archons are already in the Outer Walls, they could already attack Gobwin Knob forces regardless of whether they fly. But if the Archons are occupying the Airspace zone, Wanda's force should be able to simply bypass them. The only explanation is that either Fliers in the Airspace zone can intercept GK Fliers moving through other zones, or that Fliers cannot themselves enter the Courtyard area of the Garrison. The former seems more likely, but either way it's a very unconvincing set of rules to suddenly drop on us.
    Yes.

    First off, I think that the Archons are in GK air space zone period. They are, presumably, being directly commanded by Charlie or some other leadership unit, as they do not automatically attack anything that happens to pop into the zone. Based on that assumption, Wanda's forces moving within GK itself is the most glaring issue. (And, in fact, Parson's little speech about why he didn't send them in earlier raised an eyebrow for me as well).

    But how is this unconvincing? I don't mean to be daft, but doesn't the situation basically say that all movement done by flying units counts as flying? I agree that if this restricts GK flying units to having to pass through air space to get to the outer walls it has huge tactical implications, but it seems to fit with the RTS nature of Erfworld combat.

    Anyway, I'll concede the point. I found the rule drop far less jarring than you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatu View Post
    But it gets worse. Wanda is sent out anyway and promptly lays the smackdown on Ansom, knocking him back to the top of the wall. Ansom then decides to hire Charlie after all, and an Archon suddenly appears next to him to review the terms. This makes no sense. Ansom is clearly surrounded by the zombies, so he must be in the Outer Wall zone. So how can an Archon appear next to him? Unless the Archons were already in the Wall zone, which would make the whole "will Charlie backstab my fliers" bit pointless.
    Now, as a plot device, I'm not fond of the suddenly appearing archon. I chalk it up to Charlie anticipating this very moment. But I think that, as cheap as it sounds, the archon doesn't leave the air-space zone (because it can't. Her move is zeroed) and the two of them are just conversing across zones. She's in the air, and he's on the ground. The fact that the zombies and Wanda's flyers are barreling toward him illustrates that the exchange takes precisely seconds. Moving at the speed of plot, as has been already mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatu View Post

    Furthermore, the Archons then unleash their vast plot powers, vaporizing Wanda's pets but somehow failing to kill Wanda herself, despite the Archons having enough muscle to have captured the entire Tower (including Wanda) back on Charlie's turn. Wanda falls to ground inside the outer walls, near the Arkenpliers. The Archon then informs Ansom that they cannot help him further, since they cannot move until tomorrow.

    Now really, how does any of that make sense? If the Archons are able to attack Wanda and her undead fliers, but cannot finish off Wanda once she hits the ground, that must mean she was in their zone when they attacked but fell out of that zone afterward. If the Archons are in the Outer Wall zone, then why don't they vaporize all the zombies that are manning the wall? They certainly make no move to do so. But if they're in the Airspace zone, how can they attack Wanda who was just fighting Ansom in the Outer Wall zone? Does any of this make any sense, short of simple plot fiat?
    Yes, I would agree that Wanda changed zones as soon as she hit the ground, and no longer had a flying mount. Which means that she and her flying units were in the air space when they were attacking Ansom. (Confirming that he was in the same zone, launching attacks against units in the outer wall zone). Once again I mention that the Archons are in the air space zone, and cannot assault the zombies or cross any zones at that.

    So it makes sense to me to say:

    Ansom went from the outer wall to air space to launch attacks against units in the outer wall (on top of the wall).

    Wanda and her fliers HAD to move into air space. Either just simply to attack Ansom, or because they were flying units. I prefer the former, though I haven't ruled out the latter (in order to explain Parson holding them back at first.)

    Wanda assaults Ansom in the air zone and dismounts him. He falls into the outer wall zone, and can now be attacked there. She makes to move into the outer wall zone, at the base of the wall. This is as real-time as Erfworld gets.

    As Wanda is moving into the outer wall zone, Ansom agrees to Charlie's alliance. The Archons, stuck in the air zone due to lack of move, proceed to vaporize everything in the air space. This includes Wandas forces, which are in mid-zone move.

    Wanda, much like Ansom just was, is dismounted and falls into the outer wall zone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatu View Post
    Finally, Ansom hops back on his carpet and flies down to retrieve the Arkenpliers, and contemplates killing Wanda a short ways away. But he then flees when Sizemore and his golems appear. How does this make sense? If Ansom must change zones to get the pliers, why can he get them without engaging the defenders of that zone, yet cannot selectively attack Wanda the way Parson's dragons fought the siege engines way back when? Shouldn't the defenders already in the zone be able to pick up the Arkenpliers before Ansom is able to cross zones and get them? And if he is merely evading the defenders because he flies and they have no ranged attacks, why doesn't he just finish off Wanda anyway? Beats me.
    Like I said, this is as real time as Erfworld gets. Technically Ansom would have to cross zones to retrieve the pliers, and attack Wanda. I don't see a problem with him selectively retrieving the pliers as he attacked the zombies on the outer wall. He gets the pliers before any defenders arrive. After they do, I'm pretty sure he doesn't selectively hit Wanda to avoid the Golems getting their hitsies. Unlike the zombies, which have been explained to be extremely lackluster, the golems are something to be concerned about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatu View Post
    All in all, I'd have to say Erfworld seems to play pretty fast and loose with the game mechanics it establishes. Now, that isn't a serious problem when the storyline and artwork are good enough to make up for it. But that stopped being the case a while ago. The art continues to be interesting, but the storyline has spent far too much time immediately canceling itself out for my tastes. This comic needs to get on with it and actually do something. The longer it spends with this constant "one step forward, one and a half steps back" routine, the more time we have to pick apart all the flaws in the game mechanics.
    Like I mentioned earlier, I don't assume the authors are beyond reproach or mistakes. And Parson explaining his not moving his fliers in earlier sounded a bit too leading for me. But as far as game mechanics influencing the story go, I feel they are still maintaining consistency. That's one of the cool things about Erfworld, sometimes the rules are the story. I enjoy trying to imagine how Parson will exploit them, and how they influence the morality and society of the Erf-lings.

    As for being frustrated with the steps-forward / steps-back routine, I acquiesce. It's good criticism. I'm simply not near the end of my patience rope yet with the story.

    Thanks again for the thoughtful and thorough post.

  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Thumbs up Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhurin View Post
    ... But Rob and Jamie have earned my trust, largely through compelling and surprisingly tight storytelling, that they 'get' the mechanics of their world and the implications it would have for them to violate them.

    That said, the last two comics did nothing to stress that hard won trust. If there was a 'reason' people were complaining about the last two strips, it did not strike me. ...The last two strips have not, in fact, been terrible. If there is a chorus of complainers, put me in the chorus of endorsers.
    Hear, Hear! I second your sentiments and your reasoning. I also approve Phrozt's comments.

  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    I really, really, really, hope someone has healing ablities. I wonder if they need magic... I think it would be funny if bandages could save her...

    I'm going to say I see no inconsitancies in these last few pages, not with Wanda almost dying and Ansom being fine. Not with the zones.

    Nor with Ansom's morals in wanting to croak Wanda; it was his only option, if he moves her on the carpet and keeps fighting, she might poke the pliers or a healomancer might toss a heal her way. If he wastes time moving her back to the coalition time would be lost and more men would die. (And the coalition might begin fighting over her.) If he leaves her there she could be healed and return next turn to devastate the coalition.
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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by lamech View Post
    I really, really, really, hope someone has healing ablities. I wonder if they need magic... I think it would be funny if bandages could save her...
    Well, we know Maggie can heal the mind...healing is a separate 'mancy', but who knows. Presumably Rob and Jamie haven't let her live only to die from lack of plot conveniences. :P

    I'm not really sure what people wanted from these last two strips. Did anyone believe that the battle between Ansom and Wanda would be decisive? The story hasn't reached its climax yet, it makes no sense.

    I think this thread is a classic case of the writers paying too much attention to the audience, however. People stress too much over the details; exactly how many jetstone troops did sizemore kill, how does movement work after you've made alliances, how do zones work on different turns...the writers have put effort into giving people the detail they were looking for, and now everyone is complaining over the pace of the story.

    Ironic?

  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Default Re: Lich Gambit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Another_Poet View Post
    What if she's counting on a "Lich Gambit"?
    The Lich Gambit: no free will and just functions as infantry. Truly an impressive gambit.
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    I think he did the only morally acceptable thing by killing everyone.
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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Not if lichhood counts as self uncroaking.
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  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    The Lich Gambit may be possible, but not here, not now. The Author has made it clear that Deus Ex Machinas aren't something they like. Every move that has been made in this story has been with a piece(info, unit, side) that has been on the board for at least 20 pages. Some are pissed that Ansom sided with Charlie, but we've seen it coming for how many pages? Since 115 page 103, at least. No one is really surprised here. Any Lich Gambit would require equal forshadowing, and we've recieved none. Ergo, not gonna happen here.
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  25. - Top - End - #145
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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMB View Post

    The mechanics of Erfworld are described as "simple" (though they may be more complex than Parson realized at the time he wrote that); extra falling damage for initial velocity is just the sort of thing that would get trimmed in a mechanics simplification.
    I'll add that simple rules doesn't necessarily result in a simple game. Go has about the most simple rules I know of, and it gets very complex.
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  26. - Top - End - #146
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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    The problem I have is we don't know the rules, so every 3rd strip has an unforseen change, basically a Deux Ex Machina.

    Which is frustrating. I like the concept, I like the characters, I really want to like the strip, but I feel like I am playing the "make up the story game" with a little kid, the story constantly morphing away from what it was to something else.

    Frankly, I want it to end so the rules can be codified and stop suprising me. I couldn't do anything nearly as skilled or similar, but that doesn't mean that the story doesn't have to be fair.

  27. - Top - End - #147
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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    I've found the last few pages gripping. I can't understand why everyone is complaining about plot twists - you really want the story to end so soon? Parson wins! Strip over! Thanks for reading!

    As for plot holes, here's my answer to the two big questions.

    1) Wanda getting knocked out - She didn't fall a short distance, she slammed into the ground at high speeds. It's like having the plane you're landing in vanish. Also, maybe she took some previous damage from the Archon's blast.

    2) Ansom "crossing zones" to get the pliers - The area immediately behind the wall is still inside the wall zone. Can you imagine a game system in which siege battles didn't allow people to attack those behind the wall with catapults? Also, despite flying Ansom may never have been in Gobwin knob's "airspace", just flying around the wall zone. Hovering a short distance above the ground might not count as being in a different zone.

  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    As far as I can tell, a lot of the action we've seen is stuff that we could have predicted but didn't. The problem is the wait between pages. It's been pointed out before: if we were reading these a few pages at a time then we wouldn't obsess over "plot twists" but would consider the storytelling to be more organic.
    Quo vadis?

  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    "No Deus Ex Machina"?

    And yet, the last couple of strips has felt just like that and nothing else?

    Too tiresome for Ansom to use his brain instead of just chargin head on and always randomly chosing the right direction or timing? Lets teleport some new transylvito forces and Charlie forces to his aid so he doesn't have to rely on those uncertain 25:1 odds.

    Not enough hostiles or "every zone" dominance at GK? Heck! Just let Charlie summon 40 or so "better than dragons or anything else" archons and let them arrive in no time (Stanley obviously forgot that Charlie lives next door just around the mountain?)

    Wanda actually demonstrating 1337'ness by humiliating Ansom and letting us perhaps see if it's true that the titans have chosen Stanley et. al. to wield the arkentools? Ansom in danger for 1second? No, let him insta-escape being swarmed by thousands of undead and actually PAYING for his overconfidence. No need to even show how he auto-blinks out of being surrounded (unless he can fly without the carpet, the archons have to move from airspace to wall to give it back to him, even though thay can't move during RCC's turn). Lost that flying carpet and plier? Np, you get them both back in less time than it takes wanda to reach the floor using speed+gravity (almost anyway). Forget about ambushes or other inconveniences.

    Stanley getting to show how tough he is as a "warlord leveling up to leader" by using arkenhammer, leadership, warlords, dragons, über-dragon? Nah, pop a dozen warlords from from "Nosferatu the movie" (did they live in Faq or what?) and let them beat him using BATS!!! Even when he actually defeats one of them in melee it STILL survives, thus ensuring that nothing can ever EVER be achieved by GK.
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  30. - Top - End - #150
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Erfworld 135 The Battle for Gobwin Knob, Page 122

    Anything that flies is in the airspace.

    How hard is that?

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