The Imperfect Warlord (Chapter 6)

Part 6 of 11 in The Imperfect Warlord
 
Chapter 6 Maggie&Toma, Smuckers, Recon&Wanda, Mung&Jade, Secrets&Stacking, Gobwins, Sizemore&Misty
 
 
I looked at the Stupid Meal box. Unlike before, there was only one factoid written on it. However, it was an extremely lengthy one. Before eating, I made sure to open up my eye book to copy down what it said.
 
Did you know?The following forces remain at Gobwin Knob.
 
239 Gobwin fighters, mostly level 1
210 Uncroaked infantry
135 Piker-class infantry, mostly mid/high level
48 Stabber-class infantry, mostly mid/high level
36 Spidew cavalry, mostly low levels
27 Twoll heavies, various levels
23 Archer-class infantry, mid/high levels
17 Crap golems
15 Knight-class infantry, various levels
9 Soft rock golems
8 Keshiks, high level
4 Hard Rock golems
2 Acid Rock golems
2 Uncroaked warlords, in advanced decay
1 Metal golem
1 Red dwagon, level 1
1 Croakamancer, level 8
1 Thinkamancer, level 4
1 Dirtamancer, level 3
1 Lookamancer, level 1
1 Warlord, level 6
1 Chief Warlord, Level 2, Special
 
I ran the numbers through the bracer. There were 783 troops in total.
 
It was curious about the things that the list didn't mention. Golems could level, I was sure of it, but they weren't listed. So why show the levels for some things but not others? I also took note of the fact that archery was considered mid/high level and keshiks were considered high. If that was the case, I supposed low-level would be one and two, mid-level three and four, and high level five and above. Made sense. To get to level 5 you'd have to kill up to a hundred and twenty units. When you looked at it like that, it's amazing that infantry could get there at all.
 
I wondered why the chief gobwin wasn't listed. Maybe the leadership bonus was for gobwins only? Why were the knights were not listed as hobgobwins? I thought about the crap golems. If Sizemore had been making more of them over the previous turns and not working on defences, I supposed that we had two less then in canon. On the other hand, with just two turns of trap making (during the forth and fifth days in canon, and day five had enemies running around), maybe three, he managed some extremely impressive upgrades to defending against the coalition. I was sure having him spend more time in the tunnels was the right move.
 
Wanda was not listed as incapacitated. That meant she was just sleeping. I had the eyebook check on her. Yea, still sleeping. I needed a guard on her for when she awoke. We'd be having words. I used my book to communicate to a nearby unit and did just that.
 
With that finished, I opened up the box and took out my meal. Inside was the sword handle, as expected. In two more days, it would be complete and I would have a leadership bonus worthy of a chief warlord. I re-sized it and put it in my pocket. Then I dug in.
 
Once I'd finished eating, I called Maggie over. She and Misty were in the room, going over the map she was setting up.
 
“Yes, Lord?” she asked.
 
“Since we have smuckers left over, we need to use as much of it up as we can in order to fully prepare,” I said.
 
There were two main threats. The first was fighting in the tunnels. Yes, canon had that battle winning but the mathamancy odds could have been much better. I had made some improvements, but not enough to feel comfortable with victory. Therefore, I'd pop more gobwins. Seemed easy enough.
 
Second threat was Charlie's archons, which was trickier. Rather then worrying about winning a battle against them, my goal was to get more of them to come within range of the volcano, so I could kill and decrypt them all. Gobwins, in all honestly, were likely useless against archons, so it wouldn't increase their numbers, no matter how many I made. Even if I could lure them into the tunnels, I still didn't think gobwins would be much help. Worse, archons could attack multiple units on the same turn with their shockomancy and, as far as I knew, they didn't have a limit on their ammo. Probably the only thing I had that could make Charlie send more archons was to promote all the archers.
 
First threat is first though. Tunnels it is. In canon, I think they had sent, at most, two thousand troops. It would probably be less this time, given the losses I took out of them earlier, but still likely to be well over a thousand. I felt I should bring gobwin strength up to, at least, five hundred. The bracer said I needed two hundred and sixty one troops for that. Meh, lets make it two-forty and then pop a bunch more scouts to get over the five hundred mark. Sizemore had mentioned that he had wanted around twenty to hide behind walls and I had wanted another ten for explosive traps. Normal gobwins wouldn't be able to withhold attacking until optimal conditions. Which reminded me.
 
“How many scouts are among the gobwins?”
 
“Thirty-one, Lord,” she replied. Just enough to seal up in their secret rooms before enemy's turn. Okay, around 15% of the gobwins were scouts currently. I'll pop nineteen more to keep the scout ratio at least 10% and then add thirty more scouts for the trap manning.
 
“Alright, I want you to give the gobwin chief,” I really needed to get the gobwin's name, “and have him pop two hundred and forty more troops to start.”
 
“I'm sorry, Lord, we don't have the funds for that.”
 
My eyes widened as I stared at Maggie. Oh my boop. ROB. Did we already run out of money? We were supposed to have over a hundred and fifty thousand smuckers. How much did this cost?
 
“Thirty thousand, Lord,” she answered my unspoken question. Wait. No, I must have said that out loud without noticing.
 
“And that is more then the smuckers we have remaining?” I asked.
 
“It would bring us below a hundred thousand, which is a limit that is not to be exceeded unless Stanley himself gives the order.
 
Oh.
 
Hmm.
 
“How many smuckers do we currently have over the limit?”
 
“We have twenty seven thousand, one hundred, and forty-two smuckers over the limit,” she informed. I guess I'd spent twenty to thirty thousand so far? Now that the subject had been brought up, I decided to get some of the basics on how this worked.
 
I talked to Maggie and she explained that all cities, regardless of level, pop around a thousand smuckers worth of units per day. Meaning eight archers are worth about that much. A twoll, which pops one a turn, is therefore worth a thousand smuckers. Spidews and warlords take two turns to pop and are worth twice that amount. Two thousand smuckers.
 
Knights, lancers, and keshiks popped one a turn. Making their worth one thousand per unit. However, it was a lot more expensive to promote for the same thing. If you promoted a level 1 stabber to knight, it would cost two thousand, or double the base production cost. Then there was the unit's level, which added another modifier to the final price. It worked like this.
 
Level 2 added 10% to the base cost.
Level 3 added 20% to the base cost.
Level 4 added 40% to the base cost.
 
And so on. Every level the modifier doubled. Therefore, promoting a level 1 unit to warlord costs four thousand smuckers. On the other hand, a level 6 promotion, like Jade, adds a whopping 160% modifier to the cost. For that one decision alone, I spent ten thousand and four hundred smuckers. There was no discount for promoting an advanced infantry unit instead of a basic one either. All that did was waste the money I had already spent on the first upgrade.
 
The other option was to give money to the allied tribe chiefs, since they had no production to pop new units, you could pay the base cost for popping. So, if you promoted a level 1 gobwin to chief, it only came to two-thousand smuckers, instead of the four-thousand, if it was a man. Even better, level cost modifiers were NOT in effect.
 
Therefore, it made a lot more financial sense to upgrade allied tribes instead of your own men. However, the down side is that they can break alliance at any time, and turn against you. Which has happened before and can happen again.
 
After thinking about my limited funding. I decided that it was still the best move to use the rest of my available resources to strengthen the gobwins.
 
That's when another annoying thing popped up. I was told that gobwin chiefs have final say on how the money is spent. So, if I wanted to pop gobwin archers. I can't make that decision. However, it's possible to promote them myself, if I wished. Meh. I ended up just giving them fifteen thousand, and I guessed I would see how they used it.
 
I was left with twelve thousand, one hundred and forty-two smuckers over the limit. Maybe I'd promote a second chief to help out, if they didn't themselves, but I guessed this was about it for my ability to throw money at the problem. I didn't want to thinkagram the tool to ask. As I didn't want to tip Charlie off that I was still on friendly terms with Stanley and that he wasn't racing to found a new Side.
 
Doing this took a bit longer then I liked. Especially because we were interrupted in the middle of the discussion.
  
“FRRT! FRRT! FRRT!” came the sound of an air raid horn.
 
“Warlord, there are enemy fliers inbound,” Misty called out.
 
“Are they alone?” I asked.
 
“Yes,” she replied.
 
“It's just reconnaissance, probably not much need to worry about it. Make sure everyone takes cover though. Also, get to the top of the tower, just in case they attack. You can man the defences?”
 
“Yes Warlord,” she said.
 
“Alright go,” I ordered. She took off.
 
“Warlord,” Maggie said. “I just got a report that Wanda has waken up.”
 
“SHIP!” I cursed. No. This confrontation is supposed to take place tomorrow. Not today. That's not happening today! I opened the eyebook.
 
“Maggie, tell her to stay in her quarters. She is not to leave until I say so or communicate with anyone other than myself,” I couldn't let her try to talk to Stanley for the same reason I couldn't, “and the guard in front of her door,” I said. Which reminded me that I probably should let the current guard go.
 
“Yes Lord, I have transmitted the message,” I opened up the eye book to talk to her myself.
 
LordHamster: Wanda.
Wanda: Greetings Warlord. Why am I being confined to my room?
LordHamster: You just recovered from a severe backlash, due to your suggestion spell.
LordHamster: You are lucky that you weren't permanently incapacitated or croaked.
LordHamster: I don't want you doing anything but resting for the rest of the turn. We will discuss your future service to Gobwin Knob at a later time.
LordHamster: Until then, I don't want you doing ANYTHING while I'm busy with other matters.
LordHamster: Such as going to parley with the warlord, who shall remain nameless, that is in charge of the flying forces.
LordHamster: Do absolutely nothing, for the rest of the turn, until we meet.
LordHamster: ARE. WE. CLEAR?
Wanda: Yes Lord. I live to serve.
LordHamster: Good. You're dismissed.
 
“Maggie, send a knight down to take over for the current guard that is assigned to Wanda.”
 
“Very well, Lord.”
 
“No trouble with the fliers?”
 
“None so far.”
 
“Let's ignore it then and complete our little economics discussion.”
  
After Maggie and I had finished our economics discussion, the fliers had left and Misty was back in the room. She was currently working on a tunnel setup, which would be extremely important in the next couple turns.
 
I looked down the hall, There was a hobgobwin guard.
 
Mung (Dastang tribe)
Race: Hobgobwin
Class: Knight; light (medium)
Level: 3
Move: 8+1=9
Hits: 6
Combat: 5+1+1=7
Defence: 4+1+1=6
Special: None
 
 
When he had been lined up for Stanley, I had noticed that he'd had a masterwork weapon but wasn't carrying it now. I supposed that the hobs didn't like using their best stuff for day to day use. In terms of stats, he's more balanced than the keshik class. Also, his total attack/defence base, added up, was nine, one higher then the keshiks as well. Was that part of the class or a racial bonus?
 
“Mung,” I called out. “Come here.”
 
The knight stepped forward. “Yes Lord?” he asked.
 
“State how your racial bonuses apply to your base stats.”
 
“Ah,” he said, “hobgobwins get a +1 to our base combat stat.”
 
So the normal base is 4/4 for knights. Exactly the same. If keshiks were offensive and knights were balanced, perhaps lancers had a high defence value instead?
 
This is how you do it. Don't ask questions, just have them state the things. I knew that from the beginning but some times I slipped up and it always made me feel stupid when I did. This way, they'll still think you are strange but not AS strange as they would otherwise.
 
“State the unique trait of being a stabber type knight,” I continued.
 
“That would be our amour ignore ability, Lord,” Mung said.
 
Armour ignore huh. After the talk with Bogroll, I suspected that I knew exactly what this was for, but, to confirm, “explain armour ignore in more detail,” I said.
 
“It allows us to ignore all resistances that reduce damage when you hit,” in short, they are the hard counters to heavy units.
 
That explained how those knights had managed to carve up the dwagons to ribbons, when Artemis was attacking in book 2. It wasn't because dwagons were suddenly weak and needed to fall under the Worf Effect. It was simply that knights were the worst opponent a heavy could face, especially when they managed to all make solid hits at the time. Given that a lot of mounts were heavies themselves, and that they seemed to end up taking a lot of hits for the riders. It seemed like in a situation of mounted keshiks vs. mounted knights, the knights would win.
 
Every unit has its role. So what was the lancer's role? I guess that was a question for later. Using the money to pop one wouldn't really help right now and I couldn't even effort a stack's worth of them.
 
I learned some other stuff too. I knew some of it had been written in the story, like the fact that other races had their own languages, and not all could speak the common tongue, but I couldn't recall every detail of it. He explained how their natural thinkamancy worked. The chief can communicate with other units as long as they are within a few hexes. They also don't keep purses, which means that they can't save up funds on good days to keep them alive when they can't gather enough for upkeep on the bad ones. Which was REALLY unfair. I imagined tribes had a genuinely short lifespan, if they couldn't ally with a Side.
 
What I didn't ask about was why they betrayed Gobwin Knob's former king. I suspected that it was Wanda's fault. If it wasn't, then Parson could have just asked decryped hobs. All agreements get broken after you re-pop and Wanda was their new loyalty, not the tribe. The only reason I could think of for Parson to not know why it happened, was because Wanda instigated it.
 
My final question had to do with chiefs. Warlords were extremely important but, for some reason, chiefs seemed only valuable for their ability to create units and the natural thinkamancy they share with their tribe. I had no idea why they weren't considered important for combat itself. I suspected that the answer was because only members of their own tribe got the leadership bonus.
 
I was wrong and the true answer completely blindsided me.
 
“Warlord... Chiefs don't have a leadership bonus,” at his reply I felt my face heat up in embarrassment. No matter how hard I try, it seems, sometimes my assumptions get the best of me. This was even worse then when I had asked Bogroll about units being able to stack themselves. It took me several questions before Mung had understood the problem in order to correct it. I had just displayed a profound amount of ignorance. I didn't always mind that, necessarily, but it didn't help confidence among the rank and file if rumours spread that the warlord doesn't even understand basic details about a long term allied side.
 
“Alright Mung. You have answered satisfactory. Thank you and return to your post,” I still had more things I wanted to ask.. but I really couldn't keep taking to him after humiliating myself like that.
 
“Yes, Warlord,” he replied before doing just that.
 
Now that it had been said, I couldn't help but think it made so much SENSE. I had assumed becoming a tribal chief meant the same as being a warlord, or “chief” warlord, like I was, but it wasn't. A chief was a RULER of the tribe, they were like casters in that they could command but had no leadership. In fact, could they even have warlords? I had seen some chief marbits and elves in warlord discussions and I had assumed they were warlords too. However, I had to look at the facts. When the coalition went underground, Sizemore only needed to kill the two Jetstone warlords. Having thought about it, I now suspected that when Vurp became chief, he has still counted as a knight.
 
Somehow, I felt that if I had used my ability to observe stats on a natural ally chief, I would have been able to figure this out...
 
“Haaaa,” I sighed. “I suppose I should mention something, Maggie,” I said.
 
“Yes Lord?” she said.
 
“I told Isaac I knew many things and that is true. However, I'm also profoundly ignorant in others,” my head sunk lower as I forced my embarrassment down. “I know I can win this fight and I know that I can lead the Gobwin Knob to victory but it's moments like this, that I realize that I might not seem capable.” I turned my head to face her.
 
“My lack of information can hurt our side. While the Tool was here, I had to hide it to a degree because losing his confidence would have lost us more then my ignorance did, that's what I think anyway. That said, he's gone now. It's critical for me to learn as much as possible. I hope you don't lose respect for me despite moments like this. Casters are not like other units. I need to have you help me, not just follow orders.”
 
“That... will not be a problem, Lord Toma,” she replied. “I've been impressed with your capabilities so far. Don't forget, even though I had no sense of self while linked, I still remember everything that happened and what you have done.”
 
“Ah,” I said. “I suppose that's so.” I listened to Misty movements as she worked on a new map to depict the tunnels for next turn and thought about my next move. “Guess it's time to bring up our new warlord,” I opened the eye book.
 
 
LordHamster: Jade.
JadeArrow: Yes Chief?
LordHamster: Time to start talking. Come to the Situation Room.
JadeArrow: On my way.
 
What else? OH!
 
“Misty!” I called out.
 
She stopped what she was doing can walked towards me. “Yes Warlord?”
 
“I've been thinking on my idea to set up scouts behind walls to set up traps. I'm a bit worried though about the timing. One can make spy holes but they have narrow views. Do you feel that you could pay attention well enough to the locations and relay them through Maggie to the spies so that they set the trap off at the right time?”
 
“Um, when I was in the link that would have been easy. It's possible... but there would be an unavoidable lag, so unless they were moving slowly, it probably wouldn't work.”
 
“Right,” I said. No good then. “What about casting on the ones that are going in the tunnels to start with? Could you make them able to see through walls?”
 
“Yes, for a lookmancer, that particular spell is the easiest we can cast. However, it would wear off by next turn start,” she replied.
 
“Really? The easiest?” I asked, surprised.
 
“Yes, Warlord.”
 
“But if it's so easy then why...” I trailed off as I looked towards a wall. Then I focused on trying to see beyond it. After a few seconds, I could. For boop sake. The ability had been added to the glasses, after all. I just hadn't known about it. Hadn't even thought that it was a possibility. Okay Toma, it's neat but you have more important things to work on.
 
“How far away do you need to be able to cast?” I asked, discarding my previous line of thought.
 
“I have to touch them,” she said. Damn. If she needed physical contact then this idea just wouldn't work at all... Wait!
 
“What about if you linked with Maggie?”
 
“Um...”
 
“Maggie, would it be safe to have a two-way link with Misty?”
 
“Yes Lord,” she replied. “I've spent many turns in her mind. I can link with her with little risk.”
 
“And you could enhance the other units without needing to touch them?”
 
“Still no, Warlord. Lookamancy magic is extremely internal. It's extremely difficult for us to pass the abilities on to others. However, if I was linked then I could quickly send messages to them without the issue of lag.”
 
“Hmm, and you could watch over the entire underground?”
 
“While leaving enough juice to scan the surrounding hexes? Even in a link, that could get draining and I might run out before the end of turn," well, that might not be TOO bad. We'd managed without her in canon. Still...
 
“If you didn't scan the outside hexes? We'd need you to keep an eye on the tunnels so we know the locations we need to go after for the leadership, and we'd need you to make sure we don't get caught by the enemy while setting up, but let's say you keep it to the hex?”
 
"That would help but what about Lord Stanley? He's not safe with those archons around,” right, those girls...
 
I saw Jade entering the door.
 
“Well,” I said, “I guess I'll just have to croak them off before they go exploring.”
 
“Can you do that Warlord?” Misty asked.
 
I took off my glasses and studied them. I wasn't actually worried about those archons finding Stanley, in truth, since Jillian would be coming tomorrow to say she was going to head him off at the pass. That said, if I gave these to Wanda, she could aim for the archons first thing, and they would have no chance to evade. Plus, it would net me three more archons for decryption, if I could have the corpses preserved for a few turns.
 
“Yea. I can,” I decided. “We'll do that then.” It was for the best.
 
“Alright, best keep working on your map,” I said to Misty. “We'll need it for the next two turns.” She agreed and got back to work.
 
Already, enemy scouts were pouring in to the tunnels. Sizemore had booked me a message a little while ago saying he had finished with the thirty hidden rooms we were using and had put scouts into them. Which used up all but one of the scouts we'd had before I gave the chief more smuckers. Would need more for the attack. Also, with the twolls fabricating, they actually had some nifty peep holes that were well hidden. Seemed a bit of a waste to not need them any more. Still, being able to see through the walls would give them a bigger advantage. I turned to my new arrival.
 
“Sit down Jade. I think it's about time you got in on the planning,” I said to her.
 
“Yes, Warlord,” she replied as she sat down.
 
“Now. When you promoted these two times, you got a lot of new information you didn't have before, right?” I asked.
 
“Of course, Warlord,” she replied.
 
“Yea. I didn't get that,” I said. While I preferred to seem like I was competent to most of units here, like with Mung, I couldn't afford to put on airs with a fellow warlord, someone that likely knew the most things I needed to learn. So I was just going to just come out with it, first thing.
 
“Chief?”
 
“I was summoned by a spell to be the perfect Warlord, but the information the spell granted me was scattered. I don't even know some of the basic combat mechanics of this world.”
 
“How... How is that possible, Lord?”
 
“Quite simply, my world operates on different rules.” I removed the veil ring. “I have no stats, as the people of Erf know them.”
 
She blinked, “I had wondered about that. When first I saw you, your stats weren't there, then they were, and then they changed again.”
 
“Yea, I realized that standing out in such a way would make me a target, so I had this created for me. Then, I needed to fiddle with it to make it seem correct. At first, I had them based on Stanley's stats, which was incorrect.”
 
“Oh, I guess that makes sense,” she seemed uncertain. I guess this is a lot to lay on her but I needed her now. “Could you give an example of how our worlds are different?”.
 
Well,” I considered. “A good example is that all our wars are fought in real-time.”
 
“What's that?”
 
“It means that it's everyone's turn, all at once, all the time, day and night.”
 
“That can't be.” she said with incredulity.
 
“I would not joke about this,” she was silent for awhile as she digested this news.
 
“I can't even imagine what that would be like,” she finally said.
 
“Which brings me to why I promoted another warlord. I need information. And I need you to keep in mind that I'm from a different world, so your common sense... Things you would assume would be obvious for anyone to know, I might not. I need you to teach me.”
 
“Like what?”
 
“For instance. When you and the others were attacking the siege. I noticed that not a single one of you were hit by arrows. Why?”
 
“We had our dwagons screen for us.”
 
“So, as long as they are alive, you can just will them to take all the hits that might be aimed at you?”
 
“Well, that's not how I would put it but, the simple answer is yes. As long as they don't have any leadership themselves, and their attack isn't significantly higher, that is. You really didn't know that?”
 
“I didn't,” needless to say, my eye book was open and I was adding the new information into it.
 
“But you did such a good job with planning that raid.”
 
I smiled at the complement, “I also feel it went rather well, until the ending anyway. Luckily, I did know some things. I knew that Ansom had no lookamancers, that only forester units can attack flying units in deep forests. Like I said, my knowledge is scattered. I need you to teach me the basics because I am the one planning these things, and you do not want the person that is planning things to not have all the information.”
 
“No... You wouldn't. Alright Chief Toma, where should I start?”
 
We discussed various things. She told me that stacking bonuses stay the same as long as you are engaged in combat, no matter how many losses you took. That is, unless you deliberately broke the stack up or incorporated it with more units. Meaning that when I had merged the Manpower and Leeroy stacks to take on Jillian, I had dropped their bonuses. I hadn't noticed that at the time. Why on Earth did Parson tell them to merge in the comic? Maybe he just hadn't known? Or maybe when he said 'merge them' it just meant to have both stacks swarm Jillian, not to actually join up. Maybe I hadn't actually made the two stacks become one? The details were fuzzy.
 
Leadership bonuses were more flexible though. They could be added and lost at any time. Just one more reason why they were so important in combat. As soon as the warlord dies, the side gets much weaker. It wasn't just limited to hit chances either.
 
Having a warlord in your stack gave a +1 to damage.
 
Having a CHIEF warlord in the same hex gave another +1 to all units.
 
Therefore, stacking with a warlord in the same hex as a chief, gave those units a +2.
 
Being in the chief warlord's personal stack added was worth two points of damage. For a total of +3.
 
Damage itself was also increased. Leadership. Was. IMPORTANT.
 
We talked about on attack chances. My bracer also helped on this. Apparently you had a 50% chance to hit. Modified by the difference in your att/def stats. Maximum chance tended to stop at 95%, when you were +9 points over the other person.
 
I learned that screens take hits for other units but can also be broken through by attacking units, without wasting damage to kill the screen, if the attacker had a +5 attack over the defence.
 
Having +5 attack advantage was also the minimum amount a unit needed before they could start getting crits, although only units that had a stack with leadership were normally capable of doing them, and non-command units had lower rates of getting crits.
 
For warlords crits started, as I said, at the +5 mark with a chance of 5% to happen. This number increased by 5% every point over. It maxed out around 50%.
 
Getting a crit meant that no matter how many hit points a unit has, it effectively counted as being just one. So, bonuses were all maxed out at +14 over the enemy's defence. At that point, you had 95% chance to hit, a 50% to have a crit on a hit, and a 95% to avoid/parry being hit by someone else. Meaning you were basically invulnerable, unless you got unlucky.
 
With all this talk about hit chances going up and down by 5% integers, it was becoming clear that the chance to hit seemed to rely on rolling twenty-sided dies. Well, it simplified things and I liked the structure of it. It also meant I could play simulations on these rules and it would be REALLY similar to how it would go in reality.
 
Thinking about how crits worked. I could see how it meant that Ansom did have a maximum limit on the number of uncroaked he could kill per round with the pliers, that was beyond what he could hit within his reach. Which probably meant that he could be overwhelmed by uncroaked, I guess..
 
We discussed units that could go inside the tunnels. Light units could, heavy units could not, unless they had the subterranean special. All of the ground GK heavy units had this trait, of course. Else they wouldn't be able to get out, since there was no gateway. Among the coalition. Only Jetstone's sourmanders were subterranean capable. Of the living units anyway. While no cloth golems could come, they did have those glass animals, um, the tchotchkes, that could join. They were decryptable too. Actually, all cloth golems were, if I recalled correctly. Which felt weird. I wondered if them being underground meant the lava might get at them before Wanda got the pliers and raised them though.
 
Gobwins got a +2 to their combat stats when in the tunnels. They were very effective units. By the same token, marbits also got a +2 bonus.
 
I asked about dance fighting. She didn't know anything about that. Needed to ask Wanda.
 
She also didn't know what Sizemore's bonus for leading golems is. Which was kind of important. We actually stopped so I could book him on the question. Turned out to be a +2. Which didn't sound all that great to me, then again, he could also heal them. Which was a massive advantage.
 
When we weren't talking about stat bonuses. We discussed what her role would be. We decided that this would not be a great place for archers. There were lots of corridors, so range would be lowered. We'd also be be outnumbered so it was likely that the arrows would be used up with less chances to reload.
 
The main choices then were having her stay with Sizemore, or taking a stack of knights, while being directed by Misty, and waiting for a good opportunity to hit the leadership directly. We eventually decided on the latter option.
 
In short, we did a LOT of talking. Jade gradually relaxed a bit and seemed to appreciate that I was relying on her. I had worried that she would be less confident.
 
There were some interruptions. Some periodic updates on the enemy's movements. Maggie told me when the chief had finished spending the money. Some had been put towards scouts but not as many as I would have liked. Perhaps I should have talked to the chief first? I also finally had Sizemore go out and buy scrolls for me. I'd asked him if he could use his own rands for it and he agreed. Overall, I felt we got a lot accomplished and felt mostly ready to deal with what was coming.
 
Dusk hit, I had Sizemore come to the situation room and told Maggie to give him something to relax him and help him sleep. He needed a good night's rest. I also asked him if he wanted me to help with the combat jitters, as tomorrow he would be killing units for the first time. He declined. I really couldn't think of anything to help him deal with this and I couldn't afford for him to not participate.
 
I supposed I could have him in the same stack as Jade. She could order the golems...
 
It wasn't ideal but... maybe? I'd mull it over a bit. I supposed it depended on my end game. I needed to wait until the convoy was fully arrived, which meant no earlier then Jetstone's turn on day 6. I could do it immediately after that, or perhaps engage in fighting. Parson did seem to make the biggest impression on the casters during that fight. Would I be missing out on their respect if I skipped out?
 
What about getting the arkenpliers early? What was the worth of keeping the atunement a secret for awhile? Seemed that things got quite a bit worse after the Unaroyal Queen had sent the letter telling her allies what it was to be decrypted.
 
Night time, it wouldn't do for me to be tired. While I didn't talk much to Maggie about magic. I was sure there was time left and getting information about the combat basics was invaluable.
 
One more turn of preparations, then I set off the volcano.
 
 
DUSK. ONE DAY REMAINS UNTIL TBfGK
 
Mechanics Corner:
 
  • High vs. Low Level: Even a level 5 seems really high to me, given how much I estimate that a unit must kill to achieve it. However, there was already a distinction between low level and level 1 units. So I'd guess it would take up at least two. It also fits in with my concept for att/def bonuses coming in on odd levels.
  • Paying for units: This has always been a murky issue. I'm basically going with a city pops 1k worth of units a turn and can produce 1k of smuckers per city level, for X number of levels. Promoting costs extra and allied sides can be made for cost. This fits in with when Parson promoted the knights to heavies. Cost 18k smuckers and it is not unreasonable to think there could have been 18 knights with the group.
  • racial bonus: I gave hobs a +1 bonus to their attack because I felt they would have an edge over human knights.
  • Amour ignore: while heavies can take wave after wave of infantry attacks. Just four knights can kill a dwagon in a round. They are also used a lot to fight heavies. I get the feeling they have a special bonus against them. So I decided that they would be a hard infantry counter to their damage soaking abilities.
  • Tribal chiefs have no leadership: The focus is always ALWAYS on killing the human warlords. I've only seen a chief referred to as a warlord in passing once and that could just be because they do, after all, still count as commanders. I can't find any real info that says that they give leadership bonuses. They seem to be more like kings for sides then warlords.
  • Caster range: Being able to cast over distance seems to be variable. Wanda needs to be in the same hex, luckamancers can cast from many hexes away. Since blindness needed touch contact, I decided that lookamancers would be one of the restricted types for being able to cast blessings and curses on others.
  • Screening: When on a mount, riders almost never get hit by an unled attacker. Although there was a mention in book 0 that you could be poorly screened and get hit. I also felt that if the attacker has a really high attack, he can break through the screen anyway.
  • Leadership damage bonus: I added this from that Vinnie speech in book 1. The way I feel is works is this. Tiny animals, like rats and bats, do 0 damage to small and larger units. This was shown by the rat that bit Lord Crush while he was jailed. Bonuses to attack and defence to NOT increase this. Normally, for a tiny unit to be able to kill, they need to be able to spend long amounts of time working on the victim. Swarm tactics work well to achieve this. However, when lead by a warlord they suddenly can do 1 damage, like a normal stabber can. When the Chief is in the hex, they can do 2 damage. Which is the base for advanced infantry. A level 3 stabber can do 2 damage per round, as can a level 1 knight. When bats are directly stacked by the chief warlord, they do 3 damage around. A heavy, like Bogroll, can do 3 damage a turn. So the bats are almost like heavies, in terms of the damage they can inflict.
  • Attack rate: I just wanted to be able to roll 1d20 to determine attack chances.
  • Crits: Crits don't seem to happen for unled infantry. I figured you normally needed some sort of minimum to get them, without luckamancy.
  • Gobwin bonus: Stanley said they got a "big" bonus for underground. I feel that +2 is reasonable.
  • Caster Leadership: I feel that leadership is not based on levels for casters, but, rather, on their caster rating. Novice  get +1, adepts +2, and masters +4.
  • Tribal popping: No evidence either way but my guess is that new units can be popped instantly, rather then waiting until turn start, as long as they are around the chief. I say this because there is no purse for tribes. They spend stuff or lose it, so why would they be forced to wait for the results?

Word Count: 6.5k

 
Part 6 of 11 in The Imperfect Warlord

Comments

  • ThisIsNotDan

    I don't think I understand the whole "Flashback" section. Why is it labeled as such when it seems to have taken place in the present? It kind of confused me for the rest of the story.

  • CrazyIvan1745

    You'll notice the beginning portion of chapter 1 was a portion of the writer/ Toma in the middle of The Battle for Gobwin Knob starting to have regrets on what has already transpired. We then flashback to why they are in this position in the first place, then the rest of the story is told in past-tense explaining each tactical move leading up to the main battle that the story starts on. So we are still in a flashback. I suppose it is more of a re-telling of events passed more than a flashback (I'm sure there is some literary term for that, but English was never my favorite subject (sorry)).

    Short version: The whole story is a flashback leading up to the first moments of the story written in italics.

    To Toma: I've really been enjoying this story so far. I love warfare and tactics myself, and I'll be honest, I would be lost in a table top game setting, but I like how this is panning out, and I love to see an alternative to Parson's battle plans without being to far off from camp. I hope real Rob or PLOT sending Rob is enjoying this as well. Keep up the great work writing these!

  • ThisIsNotDan

    I get that the whole story is a flashback, but the part in this update that's labeled "Flashback" would make perfect sense if the "flashback" labels weren't there. Toma and Maggie are talking, enemy fliers appear, Wanda wakes up, Toma confines her, Toma and Maggie resume talking. Usually a flashback is a break in the present action to look back at something that happened in the past. This is just a continuation of the present action, only now it's in italics.

  • tomaO2

    The point I was trying to make is that the economics discussion had a lot of conversation on it and, at some point during it, it got interrupted by Jillian. I didn't want to list a specific time for when it happened to I though it sounded better if I didn't give an exact time for when it happened. 

    Looking at it again though, perhaps ThisIsNotDan is right. Listing it as a flashback seems a bit unnecessary. I guess I can  remove that bit.

     

    Thanks for the complements CrazyIvan. 

  • ThisIsNotDan

    Thank you for clearing that up for me, TomaO2! I'm really loving this story so far and am looking forward to the next installment!

  • threezero98

    Hey, I am checking everyday but no new update? :(

    I quite look forward to these, you know? I think it is a brilliant piece of re-imagination.

  • Beeskee

    I love the parts about leadership stats. Leadership is important. :D Remember the 10 to 1 vs 25 to 1 numbers that Stanley and Wanda gave? That was raw unit counts vs including the leadership bonuses.

  • Keybounce

    Math errors on the guard's stats:

     
    Combat: 5+1+1=8
    Defence: 4+1+1=4
  • tomaO2

    Bleh. So it is. Corrected.