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    Default Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Welcome to another exciting installment in the ongoing adventures of Tagon's Toughs. Here we will discuss the hit webcomic Schlock Mercenary!

    These days Kaff's father, General Karl Tagon, UNSC (retired) leads the force as Commodore Tagon. Also these days, a corporal has been fake promoted to "Marshal" and is calling the shots (even if only by accident). We also have threads of "insane AI that they left in charge of their base has gone insane", "somebody is blowing things up for no good reason", and "the tiny kittenoids have a dark streak wide enough to fit all the navies of Earth side-by-side in". Somewhere along the way our protagonists will be heros, our antagonists will get a comeuppance, and the two Captain Foxworthys will end up in the same vitality state. Also, there will be some fighting, some people will get eaten by Schlock, and we might see a pretty explosion or two.

    Last edited by Rockphed; 2018-09-02 at 08:47 PM.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    The numbering can start at 0, I guess. It's a digital thing.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    The numbering can start at 0, I guess. It's a digital thing.
    Good answer. Don't change anything.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Onyavar View Post
    Good answer. Don't change anything.
    The first thread died after only 19 posts. I'm pretty sure we can safely ignore it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    I'm a little confused. These attacks are still the crazy AI, and the characters are mistaken here, correct?

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    I'm a little confused. These attacks are still the crazy AI, and the characters are mistaken here, correct?
    So something keeps firing wormhole guns at annie plants with unerring accuracy. The crazy AI tried shooting 3 of the wormhole guns that we know about (UNS project Zeus, Lota, and Particularly Discontiguous), and missed all of them. Now she is trying to deploy fleets of worships as spotters so she can shoot better. I think this puts the kibosh on thoughts that the shooting was Chinook going crazy before she was shown to be going crazy.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    There are two separate sets of Long Gun shots going on here. One is Chinook trying to destroy everyone else's Long Guns. The other is someone else, previously unidentified, taking out targets seemingly at random, including the Maxim 39 which is what provoked Chinook. Sorlie is talking about the non-Chinook set.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Doesn't really make a lot of sense to me that this is the Pa'anuri "walking their shots", though. They must already know where Petey is or else shooting at him is not a threat, so why are they having to take out random annie plants to try and get closer to their target? Also, that makes it a massive, massive coincidence that the Maxim 39 was destroyed while the Pa'anuri were trying to find someone several thousand light-years away.

    If I was trying to shoot Petey just from the annie plants I'd be looking for all those annie plants supporting the floating cities of Paranassus Dom--they're arranged in a much more regular pattern and are far larger than a typical planet's annies.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Why would the Pa'anuri, the beings that are hurt by wormholes, use guns that use wormholes?

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Doesn't really make a lot of sense to me that this is the Pa'anuri "walking their shots", though. They must already know where Petey is or else shooting at him is not a threat, so why are they having to take out random annie plants to try and get closer to their target?
    Knowing the general position of a target is not quite the same thing as being able to shoot it accurately.

    Especialy if you're shooting from the distance of another galaxy.

    Imagine if you will that you have a target painted with plenty of red dots. And you need to shoot one in particular.
    If you shoot from close, it' okay you eaily percieve your one target easily and shoot it. But try getting further and furter rfrom the target. You don't have a zoom of ay kind. At some point your dots are starting to merge together in clouds then in clumps an then a big red blob. Your chances of hooting exacly the dot you wanted with the same accuracy is .. much lower. And the only way you have to know how close you get is someone else who i near the target anf gives you general direction, a 'litte to the left', or 'higher'
    So they're just firing again and again, adjusting coordinates and calibrating as they go.

    It doesn't help/hurt that we don't know just how fast, accurate and reliable their 'advanced spotters' 'feedback' might be.
    It also doesn't hurt that any Anie plant destryed in our galaxy wil beong to some of th peole hey intend to exterminate eentualy, so why wouldn't they try to get as much damage as possible even before getting to Petey ?

    Sorlie could of course be ...sorlie mistaken (*ba dum tish*) and it could be someone else behind the shots. but i can see ow he pnuuris would make sense rom what she saw.

    Why would the Pa'anuri, the beings that are hurt by wormholes, use guns that use wormholes?
    Why would people who generaly don't enjoy being hurt by large amount of kinetic energy go through he disagreement of shooting guns with all the recoil involved ?
    Because it hurts the target much much worse and they want said target dead.

    Or would the wormhole be more of the loud bang ? ... okay, so it's a prety terrible metaphor but I think ou get the point I was trying to get to here.

    I mean wormholes affect Panuuris as seen with teraport sure, but it's not like some instant fatal raction to their presence. When teraport were used to hurt them, those were calculated to do so, otherwise it's more of an inconvenience.
    Also it was stated at some point in the comic that the Panuris likely have some bryonic allies , so those would likely the ones using long guns for them.
    Last edited by smuchmuch; 2018-06-10 at 07:28 AM.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    It took me a little bit to digest why the explanation isn't really dumb, but I'm on board. They aren't shooting annie plants with pinpoint accuracy because they can shoot with pinpoint accuracy, they are shooting annie plants with pinpoint accuracy because whenever they fire their gun blindly, complicated physics directs their shot to the closest annie plant to their line of fire. They are hitting targets they didn't necessarily know existed before they fired, and certainly they weren't intentionally trying to shoot.

    This also makes the toughs getting hit not much of a coincidence. They fired the gun, hit a ship, spent a while adjusting the gun a very small amount, and it just so happened that the closest annie plant is still the one in that same location. Because they didn't adjust the gun very much.
    Last edited by Kornaki; 2018-06-10 at 07:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Except that's totally not how long guns work for anyone else? They don't have to be fired at annie plants, and they *can* miss--as Chinook proved a few strips ago. So we're left with them being able to fire accurately enough to hit a ship's annie plant, but aren't accurate enough to know whether they're shooting at Petey or not, which is just ridiculous.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Except that's totally not how long guns work for anyone else? They don't have to be fired at annie plants, and they *can* miss--as Chinook proved a few strips ago. So we're left with them being able to fire accurately enough to hit a ship's annie plant, but aren't accurate enough to know whether they're shooting at Petey or not, which is just ridiculous.
    Yes, I agree with most of this. I think there's a non-zero chance that the Pa'anuri are the ones who suborned Chinook's sighting, and it was her guns they have been firing without her knowledge, but I still don't see why they're not able to miss annie plants but can't hit anything else.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Do the Pan'nuri know which ones are Petey's?
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Do the Pan'nuri know which ones are Petey's?
    No they don't.

    That's exactly the basis for Sorlie explanation of why they are 'walking their shots' aka they are shooting at annie plants, (the only thing they can percieve in our galaxy) untill they shoot the right ones, Petey's.

    And if I undestand them correctly, Factorum refuses the explanation because to them Petey's Annie plants should be hyper distinctive at first glance (for location, since he's at the galactic core, and organisation, since they should be bigger and orginiased in veryspaial pattern, based reasonss ?).

    I respectfully disagree and argue that at the distance they are, (aka another galaxy), it's like trying to disntinguish of a few grains of sands among a sand pile, doesn't matter if it has a particular pattern from up close, theyll look all the same from afar.
    Last edited by smuchmuch; 2018-06-10 at 12:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    If the only thing they can perceive are the annie plants and no stars or anything you still have targets all over the galaxy since the galaxy is approximately round and few people are likely to be outside the galaxy simply picking targets in the center of the cloud will be more likely to be near the galactic core. Unless they somehow can't see where the plants are in relation to each other.
    Last edited by Ibrinar; 2018-06-10 at 01:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by smuchmuch View Post
    That's exactly the basis for Sorlie explanation of why they are 'walking their shots' aka they are shooting at annie plants, (the only thing they can percieve in our galaxy) untill they shoot the right ones, Petey's.
    "Walking your shots" implies that you know where the target is, but aren't sure how to hit it--see Schlock trying to shoot the sniper in Credomar's rotating reference frame for an example; he knew exactly where to shoot, but the path the shots were taking wasn't intuitive so he had to fire, see where the shot landed, move his aiming point and see how that affected the fall of shot, etc.

    What you just described is "randomly shoot at the millions of annie plants in the galaxy in the hope you hit the right one", which is most definitely not "walking your shots".

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas View Post
    There are two separate sets of Long Gun shots going on here. One is Chinook trying to destroy everyone else's Long Guns. The other is someone else, previously unidentified, taking out targets seemingly at random, including the Maxim 39 which is what provoked Chinook. Sorlie is talking about the non-Chinook set.
    I see. I assumed that that first long-gun shot was a one-off, with all the others being Chinook's response. I also assumed that the targeting got screwed up after several hits had already been scored, presumably as one of the attempts to corral Chinook.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2018-03-17 here, that were the shots before she started to go on her anti long gun long gun rampage. (Found it by looking for the discussion in the last thread about how unlikely that being random would be.)
    Last edited by Ibrinar; 2018-06-10 at 04:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    I see. I assumed that that first long-gun shot was a one-off, with all the others being Chinook's response. I also assumed that the targeting got screwed up after several hits had already been scored, presumably as one of the attempts to corral Chinook.
    The shot that took out the Maxim 39 was far from the first. It was preceded by the one that blew up the habitat they were trying to help recover, along with several others in other places that had Petey and Putzho trying to figure out the pattern. There were enough earlier shots forming enough of a pattern for them to realize, moments before the Maxim 39 died, that the Toughs might be in danger.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    I'm guessing that there's a limited number of wormhole-enabled spacetime filaments (or whatever you want to call the space where wormholes can form) between the milky way and Andromeda, and where they wind up isn't clear from the Andromeda end. So they shoot a Long Gun through each one, trying to find the one that ends on Petey.

    Why they all end on Annie plants? Maybe the ptus used in the construction terminate wormholes or something. Thus being the "ground" that the Pa'anuri are shooting at. Much as they have found teraports disturbing, they've also gone after every annie plant they've come across as well.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas View Post
    The shot that took out the Maxim 39 was far from the first. It was preceded by the one that blew up the habitat they were trying to help recover, along with several others in other places that had Petey and Putzho trying to figure out the pattern. There were enough earlier shots forming enough of a pattern for them to realize, moments before the Maxim 39 died, that the Toughs might be in danger.
    I think I'm just having trouble keeping track of things in this format. The way Tayler wrights, it is like reading The Wheel Of Time one paragraph a day.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    I think I'm just having trouble keeping track of things in this format. The way Tayler wrights, it is like reading The Wheel Of Time one paragraph a day.
    An apt comparison.

    I'm still waiting on the explanation why they can't tell Petey their news via hypernet. I guess that bit will arrive on Thursday unless there is a scene change, in which case I dunno. Monday? When nobody remembers that was an issue ?

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Onyavar View Post
    I'm still waiting on the explanation why they can't tell Petey their news via hypernet.
    I thought that was exactly what had just been decided in the current strip? To tell him via remote call rather than in person.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I thought that was exactly what had just been decided in the current strip? To tell him via remote call rather than in person.
    Well, yeah, but if Sorlie had to decide, they'd be going to the PD. I somehow doubt she would forget that among the many possibilities to tell Petey about a threat, a personal visit is not the quickest; and she also wouldn't forget about her responsabilities with the UNS. I am SURE that there is some stuff that would drive her away from the UNS, or some other mission that requires them in the PD.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    So who is doing local spotting for the Pa'anuri?

    If we wait for them to get speed of light feedback on their shots, it will take years to adjust their shots.

    Since they are adjusting in real time, they must be getting hyper wave transmissions from our galaxy.

    Who is giving them information?
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    So who is doing local spotting for the Pa'anuri?

    If we wait for them to get speed of light feedback on their shots, it will take years to adjust their shots.

    Since they are adjusting in real time, they must be getting hyper wave transmissions from our galaxy.

    Who is giving them information?
    Good point.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Good point.
    Would jiggering the aim of the Andromedans help or hurt the situation?
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Would jiggering the aim of the Andromedans help or hurt the situation?
    Given how much of space is empty nothing vs how little of space is anything you don't want hit (or anything at all)... it would help.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Say whatever you will about the comic, according to Tayler today is the 18th anniversary, and I don't think he's ever missed an update.

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