The Imperfect Warlord (Chapter 3)
BogrollRace: TwollClass: heavy (large)Level: 2Move: 0 (garrison)Hits: 12Combat: 4+1= 5Defence: 5+1= 6Special: Fabrication. Subterranean.
- Twolls: Twolls are subterranean. It says this exactly no-where in the story but I am convinced it is the case. The capital doesn't have a gate. The only way out is so fly or go underground, it was even said that the spidews and dwagons were popped to take this fact into account, yet it can also pop trolls? Plus, there were twolls in the field, Jillian croaked one, so shouldn't they be able to return and enter GK? It just makes sense to me that they are.
- Damage reduction: You see dwagons peppered with arrows and be fine. Tramennis mentioned that his cloth golems could go through unled stacks untouched. Are they untouched because they can't be hit? Absurd. They are big, easy, targets. If weak hits only do cosmetic damage though, due to having damage reduction, this can make sense.
- Cleave: We've seen heavy units kill two enemies with a single hit multiple times. Sizemore's rock golem, killing the two warlords in the tunnels, for instance. There are also not really any examples of light units doing the same that I can't explain away with special circumstances, like Ansom can kill multiple uncroaked per round because of the arkenpliers. I say this is a special trait of heavies. Perhaps of heavy humanoid units, as mounts seem to kill one at a time as well.
- Units can't self stack: It's canon that stacking is natural date-a-mancy, and the implication was that it had a lot to do with commander units. It's also been shown that stacking increases damage output by a fair bit. Even without a warlord, they can do a lot of damage just by making an 8-stack. So I figure that this is an ability they don't have to keep them weak. All passages I have noticed also have had warlords creating stacks themselves too. I figure this is another one of the advantages of being a commander, along with being able to direct infantry to hitting specific targets, and such.
- Size categories: This is a further way to break up how hit points and such should be distributed to units. For example, man units count as medium type and have the normal base, 4 for infantry. If an infantry was as big as Ace he would count as a large unit and have 5 hit points instead. Marbits are infantry that are a fair bit smaller, so I put them as being small type that have 3 hit points. Bat are tiny, so they get a single hit point. Likewise, heavy units can be very different sizes. Megawiffs count as colossal, dwagons as massive, spidews/twolls/battlebears as large, and gwiffons as medium, as they seem barely bigger then their riders, yet count as heavies. So they would have various differences in their base stats as well.
- Armour limitations: You don't see units using armor when flying, or casting, or dance fighting, among other things. The reason I give for this is that armour interferes with the function. Remember, singing during battle, does not mean they are dance-fighting. Singing gives a bonus that is independent of it. So Sammy can wear armour while attacking Ansom, and still sing. There are also magical exceptions, like Wanda can have her armoured uncroaked dance fight, and the archons' combined specials can allow the troops to dance fight.
- Siege numbers: A lot of the images in Erfworld showed many battle bears. I feel this is simple artistic licence. They are also hard to make, as only the dollamancer can create them and it takes multiple turns to do so. On top of that he also has to create other golems as well. So I feel it's more realistic that the number of battle bears is smaller then shown and keep the siege engines limited. at about two to three a hex. I also think there was a mention of that over 50 siege was destroyed, representing 40% of the forces but I can't find the reference...
- Battle Crap: I know it runs out, eventually. I have no idea how many times yellows can bomb. I picked a number that sounded reasonable.
- Resizing: Jillian could resize Bart's sword in book 0. There was nothing special about the sword, seemed standard equipment and FAQ didn't have a caster that made magical items. On the other hand twoll made stuff, like the picnic basket, could not be resized. Therefore, I feel that popped equipment can be resized but manufactured stuff can't, unless enchanted.
- Leveling: We saw a level 1 heavy hobgobwin knight get to level 3 by killing some infantry and a level one warlord. I figure that saying getting to level 2 by killing 8 infantry, the amount that a city produces per day, is reasonable. Then I just doubled the amount needed per level, since it was stated that the requirements for leveling grows exponentially. I understand there are plenty of intangibles for this but I feel my reasoning is a good baseline.
- Archer numbers: This isn't really a battle mechanic but just a note of surprise from me. Archery really does seem to not be used much. The Jetstone defensive force had 6k men but only 600 archers. 20% might be overestimating their numbers, in all honesty. I also found it interesting that the Unaroyal Stabber had a lot of training, even though he never fought, as opposed to the Jetstone archer, who was fairly old, but had never been trained. I think that highlights the different attitude between the two classes.
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If keshiks are considered non-riders then wouldn't the number of units add up to 9 units? Shouldn't the bonus be +6? If keshiks are riders, then the stack's malus would be 7 as warlords are riders, right? The stack bonus would still be +6.
I like the size categories. That always bothered me that gwiffens and dwagons were both heavies and that megalos had the exact same bonus as heavies. Then the bats hit as heavies when they fought with Caesar? What did they also have the same HP? I thought it would be stupid if they did have the same HP as a gwiffen so I always assumed that they didn't somehow. This explanation works perfectly.
I always don't don't quite agree with how you state that leveling is linear, but you did state that this is only compliant up to Book 3 Page 79. Bad luck with the timing there since Pg 80 stated Date-a-mancy was more important than kills, so I'll let that pass.
I can't really argue that much with the armor reduction, but I assume that the fractions of damage will eventually add up to a point. Like 5 arrow hits will cause one point of damage. That or dwagons just have completely ridiculous amounts of health or only archers will two damage can stick the dwagons with all other arrows bouncing off.
I was going to call foul on the armor limitations, but Sammy was rocking which is better than dance fighting so if there is a armor limitation, rocking eliminates it. I'll just say that only heavy armor will prevent dancing fighting which makes sense. No one who dances is wearing full plate armor. They lack upper arm and quad plates; presumably they still wear mail on their quads as their the plate skirts-I forget the name of that type of equipment- don't protect them there. Plus they don't wear face masks so they can dance with their peripheral intact. Carry on.
It also pisses me off that Jetstone didn't train their archers, though. And yes, I would make my army at least 40% archers like in Medieval Total War II. That makes more sense to me. Jetstone just likes their infantry/heavy combo (and Ossomer preferred stabbers over heavies), so I guess it makes sense that they neglect their range units. Still, not how I would run things.
I love the story so far. It was weird, but I like the idea of you asking different questions that Parson did, getting a different picture of the situation and the rules. That makes sense. I like a lot of your ideas. I'm impressed so far.
Ah good. Finally, a comment about mechanics.
Well, the first public comment about mechanics.
Anyway, keshiks are, indeed, considered riders. It's the ARCHERS that are not. Each group consists of 5 dwagons and 1 warlord (same as in canon) to start.
In addition, there are two keshiks (which, again, count as riders). This makes an 8 stack.
The problem comes with the two archers that also join the stacks. They don't get the rider bonus. If it had been two more knight class units, then it would have still been a max stack but, because they are not, it pushes it to a 10 stack equivalent. Therefore, the bonus is +5 (7-2).
The bit about creating an additional category besides heavy/light went through several revisions. My original idea was to divide medium and down as exclusivly light units with large and up being heavies. That didn't take into account units like Ossomer that are almost as large as twolls, yet still count as light unit (Ossomer can ride mounts). On the other end, gwiffen seem barely bigger than infantry through most of the story. So I ended up making six categories with large and medium being able to interchange from light to heavy.
The bit about bats is something that I also spent time on. I created an entirely newmechanic specifically to handle that quote. I'll wait for it to show up in the story though. Feel free to ask about it then. :)
You mean, exponential leveling? Eh. I don't know if date-a-mancy is more important. I don't think good date a mancy can drop leveling by 50% or something. I mean, lets look at Parson, he is level 2, that means he needs 8, 16, 32 units. He killed a wiener rammer (worth 8-16), a doll (probably worth 8), and a king Slately, a warlord, (worth 16+). That certainly fits in with an appropriate amount of exp for leveling to three.
In the end, intangible factors are impossible to estimate at this time. Unfortunately, I need a rule of thumb so I can decide what level various people are. So I need to keep that sort of thing for simplicity's sake. I don't think there is enough in page 80 to really change anything for my formula.
It's hard to say how many minor hits a dwagon can take before armor reduction lets a point through. I'm not worrying too much about it. For the purposes of the story, they can have a lot of arrows stuck on them with no real worries. Dwagons DO have a lot of hp but also keep in mind that 4 knights can kill one in a single turn. Which is why I turned knights into major damage dealers, with armor ignore feat, and no damage limitations.
Dance fighting will be explained more in depth in a later chapter. Please hold off thinking to hard about it until then.
Glad you are liking the story so far and thanks for the comment!
So the Warlord isn't considered a rider? That seems odd.
I wonder if scales work on Erf... Like how much does Ossomer weigh in pounds? Did he weigh more of less when he was decrypted or did he weigh the same?
I heard some weird rules may exist for bats and spidews that allow them to form bigger stacks without penalty. Not sure if that's true.
Yeah, but we don't know what levels those units were and we don't know if another unit would level up if they killed the exact same units. But fair enough.
If I was summoned to Erfworld, I hope I would be given enough warning to write down the lyrics to my favorite rock songs to lead the army.
What? No. Warlords are riders too. How did you get that?
There are 3 stacks.
In each stack, there are 10 units. They are...
5 mounts (dwagons)
3 riders (1 warlord and 2 keshiks)
2 non riders (archers)
I think weight is about the same for stuff but the same amount of space can pack a lot more hit points, if the unit is a heavy, as opposed to a light.
Leveling is a big pain. I know, for instance, that higher level units are worth more exp then low level ones but no idea how much. We also know that royals "level slightly faster. Now there is this date-a-mancy thing. until we get hard information it is just too hard to manage what you need to level unless you simplify a bit. As long as it doesn't go against a hard line of canon, I'll have to ask for latitude on my interpretations.
Unlimited stacking is something that rob mentioned while talking about how staking works. He didn't seem to have any firm ideas on how that sort of thing works or even if he was going to actually incorporate. I'm currently ignoring that particular bit because I got NO CLUE on how many units a warlord should be able to lead. I'd imagine it's in the hundreds, at least.
Hmm, I was under the impression that riders and their mounts count as one unit, but you're saying non-riders in the stack screw up that rule.
I was thinking:
3 mounts with riders (one being the warlord)
So 7. Or:
2 mounts with riders
3 non-riders (one being the warlord)
So 8. But you say the archers make the riders not count with their mounts. Okay that's what I was confused about. I can see that going one way or the other, but this works.
Mounts always count as +1 for stacking purposes.
What you are having trouble with is that Riders count as +1 in terms of getting to the max bonus but DON'T count in terms of the malus.
4 riders on 4 mounts (8 units) = +7 bonus (max)
8 riders on 8 mounts (16 units)= +7 bonus (max)
9 riders on 9 mounts (18 units)= +6 bonus (only the mount is counted for reducing the stacking bonus)
4 norms on 4 mounts (8 units)= +7 bonus (max)
8 normal units = +7 bonus (max)
10 normal units = +5 bonus
14 normal units = +1 bonus
15 normal units = 0 bonus
8 norms on 8 mounts = 0 bonus
So in the story we have...
1 warlord & 2 knights on 3 mounts + 2 unmounted mounts (8 units total)= +7 bonus (max)
Now, add 2 normal archers riding the mounts??? = +5 bonus (stack now counts as a 10 stack.
I hope this clears up any confusion.
As for what the rules are for bonuses regarding bats. Again, I haven't set anything up.
Really enjoying the story so far, and especially the deep dive into mechanics! I've had a lot of abstract thoughts about how the rules might break down over the years and appreciate you taking the time to cross-reference against canon so thoroughly :-)
I'm a little confused on the stacking with mounts as well - the breakdown I see would be like this:
For getting to the bonus, you want to count as many units as possible, until you hit 8 at which point it doesn't matter. So:
5 mounts = 5
3 riders (2 knights, 1 warlord) = 8
and you're at the full +7, unless some is taken away by the malus. For the malus, you want to count as few units as possible, to stay under the cap at which penalties accrue (9). So for the malus:
5 mounts = 5
3 riders (2 knights, 1 warlord) = don't count against malus when mounted
2 non-riders (2 archers, count whether they're mounted or just in the stack) = 7 - which is not enough to start getting penalties.
So wouldn't this stack have the full +7?
Either way, thanks again for all the time you put into writing these - looking forward to reading more!
There has to be a penalty for not having the proper unit type mounted. It's not really something you want to do. Which is why people in Erfworld DON'T DO IT. If you look around, normally mounts are not ridden. Heavies are stacked together, with no one mounting them, normally. Obviously, it is better to have a stack of 8 heavies, as opposed to a stack of 4 heavies and 4 stabbers.
Therefore, I needed a reason as to why this is. Clearly, it's not because normal units are incapable of being able to ride, just like all units are able to swim. I needed a more subtle mechanic. So whenever non-riders get on a mount, it screws up the numbers.
In terms of counting the stacks, Riders are always counted BEFORE non riders, in terms of getting to the max bonus. After max bonus is reached, they no longer count but they still counted until you get to that point. Therefore, even 1 non rider over the limit will drop the numbers.
8 riders on 8 mounts = +7 bonus
7 riders & 1 piker on 8 mounts = +6 bonus. It screws things up, so you are stuck.
It's just like the reasoning for them not using fliers to relay units around until parson did it. They consider this sort of thing a waste and never do it. Having non-riders on mounts always causes a penalty when going over an 8 stack.
That said, there are still exceptions. Such as Jillian's group when she fought Stanley.
Maggie said 2 megas and 6 gwiffens apiece, all with riders divided in two stack, plus the third stack Stanley wiped out.
We know these are not knight class units, nor are they all warlords, but if the riders gave the stack a malus then there would be no point in keeping the 16 stacks. Especially since there are more then three commander units.
I say the reason for this is that a single trait, such as rider, can be promoted on an infantry, but it's normally not done. Jillian turned the former GK troops and then promoted them to rider.
I didn't think this would be so confusing to people. Hopefully, I've finally cleared this up.
Yes, okay. Cool. I get that now. Yeah, that kind of makes sense. malus just mean penalties basically. So 4 non-rides on 4 mounts with 1 rider on a mount would give you a bonus of +6. 4 riders and 4 mounts gives you a full stack, but once you go about 8 units, the riders stop being counted towards the malus. The assumption of you SI was that the riders don't count towards UNIT COUNT, but they do. They just don't give a penalty for being there. Only the non-riders and the mounts count towards the malus. I wonder if that mean that you can have multiple riders on the same mount and not suffer a penalty for it. Something like that happened in Book 3 where Jillian was having her units catching the falling knights.
Great question. It's something I haven't given much thought towards. I had the basic idea but hadn't bothered to fully think it through.
However, now that you mention it. The formula cleared in my head.
Two riders on one mount = a rider and a passenger.
It's like on a ship. You have a crew, which mans' the ship and the passengers that are taken along with it as cargo. From that standpoint, mounts have a crew of 1. Only that person gets the stacking bonus. They also can probably control the mount a lot better then a non-rider can, if they are put in control. Same as when a non-seafarer tries to crew a ship. They don't know how to do it properly and the act causes a malus on the top move speed of the ship.
Thinking about it like that. There is a good chance that if a warlord wasn't in the stack, that the mounted archers would have had a LOT of trouble flying on the dwagons, because the dwagon would be making all the decisions on how to fight. In this case, you could say that the dwagon was both the ship and the crew, while the archer is just along for the ride as a passenger.
From this point, I am now calling all non-riders, passengers. I think that makes the relationship more clear.
we have different canonical information on this. Stanley tell us "Your warlords won't level up!" On the otehr hand we also know that units - like Bogroll - can level in a fight from killing an enemy unit.
One way of getting these two to work together is by assuming that leveling works roughly as described here, but that warlords also get a (substantial) bonus from winning engagements.
It's exactly as Mortissimus says. You can get XP for different things. The main way is to kill enemies personally. Another way is to train, which is slow. A third way is to command troops and win engagements, without retreating. Not sure how that works, since we only got a single throwaway comment from Stanley to go on though. I believe only command units get this bonus, perhaps only Warlord units do.