Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

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Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby Housellama » Mon May 16, 2011 7:18 pm

Since we've started to drift to this topic in several threads, I thought it might be a good idea to start a new one here.

I'll put a big question to the crowd first.

WHY do you think no one's thought of this before? I don't mean Parson's 'exploits' (the food fight, uncroaking the volcano, etc.) I mean his more conventional but still very effective tactics (such as the opening of book 2 with the veil, and Wanda's 'recon by force', etc.)

Do you think it's only because of adherence to tradition? Do you think that they just aren't smart enough? Or are they just too far inside the box that they can't think their way outside it?

Personally, I think it's a combination of tradition, stagnation and lack of imagination. People have grown... comfortable. Don King's war with Carport is the perfect example. They've settled into a steady back and forth with the occasional ambush to liven things up, but mostly it's just status quo. Oss taunts Ansem about his standard infantry tactics, and Tram is viewed with a bit of disgust and perhaps contempt for using heavies. No one thinks to change because they don't have reason to.

Enter Parson. Parson, who is a gamer (which means he's trained to win by damn near any means), takes in all this tradition and stagnation like a kid in a freaking candy store. My opponents can be counted on to do this most of the time? It's like Christmas every day. Sure, a given tactic will only work once, but if it works well enough, he only NEEDS once. Now add Wanda and the 'Pliers to the mix, giving Parson more or less unlimited resources (as long as he keeps winning).

NOW, Erfworld has a problem. Before, your opponents could be trusted, more or less. Honor was a word that meant something, even among those who you hated. Now they are facing an opponent who sees honor as just another opportunity to stick a knife in you. Before, you could count on your opponents, to a certain extent. Now, you have an enemy who can and will do just about anything to win. (and that's not even touching on his exploits).

Suddenly, you actually have to think about making war. Warlords who have been phoning it in for hundreds of turns are now scrambling to keep up. The old guard just can't hack it anymore. That's why most of them quickly end up Decrypted. Which makes a perfect environment for the young guns to step in and take over, with new ideas and new tactics. What we are seeing, ladies and gentlemen, is evolution in action. In a very big way, Parson is acting as a force of nature, forcing the people of Erfworld to change or die.

Those are my thoughts. YMMV
"All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu, Chapter 1, Line 18, The Art of War

"The principle of strategy is to know ten thousand things by having one thing." - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Earth, Go Rin No Sho
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby heyduck » Mon May 16, 2011 8:38 pm

Housellama wrote:WHY do you think no one's thought of this before? I don't mean Parson's 'exploits' (the food fight, uncroaking the volcano, etc.) I mean his more conventional but still very effective tactics (such as the opening of book 2 with the veil, and Wanda's 'recon by force', etc.)


That veil is not something great, in fact I'm pretty sure Ansom made that plan since he was Chief Warlord at the time, and recon by force could only happen with Wanda since apparently you cannot revive people in erfworld; the only way I could see it possible is with a turnamancer, but there has not been any evidence that this is a strange tactic that was never thought of before (i.e. the volcano). Otherwise I guess they staganate on warfare for the reasons you put up, the royals usually do all the commanding with a few overlords around, most contained or destroyed by Royals. The royals have always ruled (or so they claim) they put up these rules and in this environment they thrive, even if they die some times better than the alternative of being a regular unit.
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby Housellama » Mon May 16, 2011 9:09 pm

heyduck wrote:
Housellama wrote:WHY do you think no one's thought of this before? I don't mean Parson's 'exploits' (the food fight, uncroaking the volcano, etc.) I mean his more conventional but still very effective tactics (such as the opening of book 2 with the veil, and Wanda's 'recon by force', etc.)


That veil is not something great, in fact I'm pretty sure Ansom made that plan since he was Chief Warlord at the time, and recon by force could only happen with Wanda since apparently you cannot revive people in erfworld; the only way I could see it possible is with a turnamancer, but there has not been any evidence that this is a strange tactic that was never thought of before (i.e. the volcano). Otherwise I guess they staganate on warfare for the reasons you put up, the royals usually do all the commanding with a few overlords around, most contained or destroyed by Royals. The royals have always ruled (or so they claim) they put up these rules and in this environment they thrive, even if they die some times better than the alternative of being a regular unit.


Actually the veil WAS pretty great. He caught two good warlords with their pants down. He caught them with all Casters and several major Warlords committed to a field battle that they thought they had the advantage on, but did not. Ansom did really good there. He'd evolved, at least a little bit. Ansom has been fighting against, and then beside Parson for quite a long time.

However, Ansom also would have been caught relatively flat-footed by the surprises Jetstone had planned. Parson suggested the recon. Wanda made the recon by force tactic work, but it was Parson's nervousness that prompted the lookie-loo in the first place. If Parson hadn't suggested the recon, then they would have been COMPLETELY screwed by Kingworld.

And for reference, the capture tactic WAS something that no one had ever tried before. See Jack's comments in the 10th panel here.
"All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu, Chapter 1, Line 18, The Art of War

"The principle of strategy is to know ten thousand things by having one thing." - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Earth, Go Rin No Sho
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby heyduck » Mon May 16, 2011 9:39 pm

Eh I'm still not convinced, Ansom being able to catch two Warlords off-guard does not mean evolution of tactics; in fact did he not say he was know as one of the greatest tacticians on that side of erf? How do we know that this is not something he would have come up with anyway without Parson, his counter to Wanda's dance fighting was pretty good too. It could be pretty standard for some sides with foolamancers to fool their enemies with which units they will be attacking with , not like we have seen many foolamancers around in the story. The capture was part of Parsons created plan but that does not mean an evolution of tactics (i.e. Parson destroying Ansom's siege and hiding the dwagons was good, but nothing that shocked people other than the fact that Stanely was smart enough to go after seige and fool them as to where the dwagons are, it was just good.)
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Mon May 16, 2011 11:29 pm

On a slightly different tack, does anyone else think that Parson (if he is indeed supposed to bring peace to Erf - kinda a whole 'nother controversy itself) will do so by ushering in a Cold War-esque mutually assured destruction scenario? Tearing down traditions and conventions make war more destructive and unpredictable; will it get to the point that it simply would be suicidal to fight?

(I'm also ignoring the entire "must sides fight and why" debate; if sides must fight, then of course MAD won't work).
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby Housellama » Mon May 16, 2011 11:41 pm

heyduck wrote:Eh I'm still not convinced, Ansom being able to catch two Warlords off-guard does not mean evolution of tactics; in fact did he not say he was know as one of the greatest tacticians on that side of erf? How do we know that this is not something he would have come up with anyway without Parson, his counter to Wanda's dance fighting was pretty good too. It could be pretty standard for some sides with foolamancers to fool their enemies with which units they will be attacking with , not like we have seen many foolamancers around in the story. The capture was part of Parsons created plan but that does not mean an evolution of tactics (i.e. Parson destroying Ansom's siege and hiding the dwagons was good, but nothing that shocked people other than the fact that Stanely was smart enough to go after seige and fool them as to where the dwagons are, it was just good.)


*facepalm* Actually, Parson's destroying the siege was shocking. In fact, it took Vinnie's extreme skepticism to prompt him to follow the train of thought to realize what happened, only to have it confirmed by the reports from the stacks. Winning by losing was a huge surprise for them. And had Parson's plan with the dragons worked, he would have ended the Coalition in one stroke. And lest we forget, that was all ONE PLAN that Parson made up on the fly, with nothing to work with but his wits and a very limited understanding of the situation at hand.

As for the dance fighting, Ansom responded to Parson's tactic. Parson had countered him at every turn, and was actually making a good stand of it. Ansom used the resources he had at hand (ie, Charlie) in a creative way to deal with the situation before him. That takes quick thinking, and I believe shows the start of Ansom's evolution right there. If he hadn't had his massive ego overcome his common sense, he might have seen through Parson's final play and survived Bogroll's assault.

RE: WaterMonkey314: Possible, but I still believe that peace will be based on economics rather than warfare. The self-sufficiency hack primarily. Just my opinion. MAD is probably going to be an intermediate step until the hack is fully in place, but time will tell.
"All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu, Chapter 1, Line 18, The Art of War

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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby Sixty » Mon May 16, 2011 11:55 pm

The recon by force was only really possible (in the manner that it was used by Wanda) because of the pliers. Like mentioned above it would take a turnamancer who was fairly sure they could turn the captured unit in the same turn it was captured for it to be effective.

Oss mentioned that Ansom was being predictable before he ordered the veil lifted. They were certainly surprised by the tactic, but a Foolamancer using foolamancy hardly seems like Ansom/Parson devising some new crazy outside the box strategy. Certainly nothing game breaking that had never been seen before. It is possible to fool your enemy without using a tactic never seen before, one can not be strong everywhere and a conventional tactic used in a timely manner can still fool the enemy.
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby heyduck » Tue May 17, 2011 12:10 am

Housellama wrote:
*facepalm* Actually, Parson's destroying the siege was shocking. In fact, it took Vinnie's extreme skepticism to prompt him to follow the train of thought to realize what happened, only to have it confirmed by the reports from the stacks. Winning by losing was a huge surprise for them. And had Parson's plan with the dragons worked, he would have ended the Coalition in one stroke. And lest we forget, that was all ONE PLAN that Parson made up on the fly, with nothing to work with but his wits and a very limited understanding of the situation at hand.

As for the dance fighting, Ansom responded to Parson's tactic. Parson had countered him at every turn, and was actually making a good stand of it. Ansom used the resources he had at hand (ie, Charlie) in a creative way to deal with the situation before him. That takes quick thinking, and I believe shows the start of Ansom's evolution right there. If he hadn't had his massive ego overcome his common sense, he might have seen through Parson's final play and survived Bogroll's assault.
tell.


I think you're giving Parson way too much credit, everything he does seems to be amazing tactics that no one would ever figure out. In reality the majority of his moves just seem to be good nothing amazing just good, and the reason it took Vinny's extreme pessimism was because their intel in the column was severely lacking, also they believed he (Stanley) did not have any competent leaders.
In fact that's one of the reasons I like this comic, when Parson came around and did his tactics the enemy did not crumble and start running around like chickens with their heads cut-off, they were competent, and knew how to war in their world...they just don't know how to abuse their worlds rules yet.
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby Housellama » Tue May 17, 2011 3:25 pm

heyduck wrote:
Housellama wrote:
*facepalm* Actually, Parson's destroying the siege was shocking. In fact, it took Vinnie's extreme skepticism to prompt him to follow the train of thought to realize what happened, only to have it confirmed by the reports from the stacks. Winning by losing was a huge surprise for them. And had Parson's plan with the dragons worked, he would have ended the Coalition in one stroke. And lest we forget, that was all ONE PLAN that Parson made up on the fly, with nothing to work with but his wits and a very limited understanding of the situation at hand.

As for the dance fighting, Ansom responded to Parson's tactic. Parson had countered him at every turn, and was actually making a good stand of it. Ansom used the resources he had at hand (ie, Charlie) in a creative way to deal with the situation before him. That takes quick thinking, and I believe shows the start of Ansom's evolution right there. If he hadn't had his massive ego overcome his common sense, he might have seen through Parson's final play and survived Bogroll's assault.
tell.


I think you're giving Parson way too much credit, everything he does seems to be amazing tactics that no one would ever figure out. In reality the majority of his moves just seem to be good nothing amazing just good, and the reason it took Vinny's extreme pessimism was because their intel in the column was severely lacking, also they believed he (Stanley) did not have any competent leaders.
In fact that's one of the reasons I like this comic, when Parson came around and did his tactics the enemy did not crumble and start running around like chickens with their heads cut-off, they were competent, and knew how to war in their world...they just don't know how to abuse their worlds rules yet.


Maybe we have different definitions of competent. At tBoGK, Ansom's plan seemed to be "I have a massive army. You don't. Suck it." That doesn't take a strategic genius. At every point in Book 1 where Ansom made a decision on his own, aside from the DDR and the 'soft spot' calls, was moronic IMO. He forced the TPK because he had enough numbers that Parson had no choice. He simply mobbed Parson to death. In every case where he actually made the right call he was advised, usually by Vinnie and his skepticism. He was average. He did his job. If that's what you call competent then sure, I'll give you that. They knew the functions of their jobs. But they weren't anything to write home about in my book. They did what was expected and no more.

To me, competency implies a certain level of skill that seemed lacking to me in Living Ansom. Decrypted Ansom is competent thus far, if only just. His ego is still a problem. Tram is very competent from what we've seen thus far. I suspect that the more we see of him, the more impressed we will be. The jury is still out on Sylvia and Jack, although I'm impressed by what I've seen so far from him.
"All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu, Chapter 1, Line 18, The Art of War

"The principle of strategy is to know ten thousand things by having one thing." - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Earth, Go Rin No Sho
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby MarbitChow » Tue May 17, 2011 3:41 pm

I think Parson's strategies are unique because he assumes something that most Erfworlders don't: every unit is special, and every effort to preserve each unit should be made.

Throwing masses of infantry works for standard combat because it's an easy problem to calculate, plus there is incentive to burn through units so that you don't have to pay their upkeep when they croak, as long as you do more harm to the enemy than it costs you.

Parson, on the other hand, wants to inflict maximum damage on the opponent while preserving as much of his attacking force as possible, from the commanders down to the lowly pikers.

Different assumptions leads to different tactics.
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby heyduck » Tue May 17, 2011 8:38 pm

Housellama wrote:Maybe we have different definitions of competent. At tBoGK, Ansom's plan seemed to be "I have a massive army. You don't. Suck it." That doesn't take a strategic genius. At every point in Book 1 where Ansom made a decision on his own, aside from the DDR and the 'soft spot' calls, was moronic IMO. He forced the TPK because he had enough numbers that Parson had no choice. He simply mobbed Parson to death. In every case where he actually made the right call he was advised, usually by Vinnie and his skepticism. He was average. He did his job. If that's what you call competent then sure, I'll give you that. They knew the functions of their jobs. But they weren't anything to write home about in my book. They did what was expected and no more.

To me, competency implies a certain level of skill that seemed lacking to me in Living Ansom. Decrypted Ansom is competent thus far, if only just. His ego is still a problem. Tram is very competent from what we've seen thus far. I suspect that the more we see of him, the more impressed we will be. The jury is still out on Sylvia and Jack, although I'm impressed by what I've seen so far from him.


You can't just write this off they were big parts that foiled some of Parson's plans and required quick thinking. His other choices were not moronic (except maybe putting Webiner as leader of the tunnel assault, even then Webiner was pretty close to finishing up the tunnels until Sizemore healed that golem and broke leadership) most of his failed decisions were due to fog of war, not knowing what Parson had planned, and Parson had his entire battleplan thanks to Wanda so a bit of a handicap. Either way Ansom showed he was good at war and countered all of Parson's plans (destroying the siege, using uncroaked Jetstone forces in hope of breaking the coalition, and his zombie dance fighters) up until he was croaked.
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby Housellama » Tue May 17, 2011 9:49 pm

heyduck wrote:
Housellama wrote:Maybe we have different definitions of competent. At tBoGK, Ansom's plan seemed to be "I have a massive army. You don't. Suck it." That doesn't take a strategic genius. At every point in Book 1 where Ansom made a decision on his own, aside from the DDR and the 'soft spot' calls, was moronic IMO. He forced the TPK because he had enough numbers that Parson had no choice. He simply mobbed Parson to death. In every case where he actually made the right call he was advised, usually by Vinnie and his skepticism. He was average. He did his job. If that's what you call competent then sure, I'll give you that. They knew the functions of their jobs. But they weren't anything to write home about in my book. They did what was expected and no more.

To me, competency implies a certain level of skill that seemed lacking to me in Living Ansom. Decrypted Ansom is competent thus far, if only just. His ego is still a problem. Tram is very competent from what we've seen thus far. I suspect that the more we see of him, the more impressed we will be. The jury is still out on Sylvia and Jack, although I'm impressed by what I've seen so far from him.


You can't just write this off they were big parts that foiled some of Parson's plans and required quick thinking. His other choices were not moronic (except maybe putting Webiner as leader of the tunnel assault, even then Webiner was pretty close to finishing up the tunnels until Sizemore healed that golem and broke leadership) most of his failed decisions were due to fog of war, not knowing what Parson had planned, and Parson had his entire battleplan thanks to Wanda so a bit of a handicap. Either way Ansom showed he was good at war and countered all of Parson's plans (destroying the siege, using uncroaked Jetstone forces in hope of breaking the coalition, and his zombie dance fighters) up until he was croaked.


By throwing tons of infantry at it until it fell over. That takes a genius of unmatched wit and talen... oh, wait. Nevermind. Ansom's plan, the plan of the entire RCC was predicated on mass. "We breach the walls, then we throw infantry at them until they fall down." The only reason it worked as well as it did was because they simply had more numbers than even someone like Parson could deal with, and the fact that Ansom did make one very good call.

And sorry, you don't get to blame fog of war for anything. ALL generals are expected to deal with fog of war. Fog of war is a fact of life for a general. If he couldn't deal with the fog of war, that's his booping problem. Parson used the resources he had, which consisted of smaller forces but superior recon and intel, to fight a much larger force with much weaker recon and intel, to fight them to a standstill. Ansom had a very large force, and made one very good, very quick decision (that being the DDR call). If he hadn't made that decision, I believe it's very possible that Parson would have forced a stalemate.

Ansom put together the RCC. Which means he got to tailor his forces. Fine. So he had all the time in the world to prepare to take on GK. He was also on good relations with most of the known world (which made up the RCC) So why the boop didn't he hire a damn lookamancer from the MK? Sorry, that's a major strategic failure right there. Lack of foresight caused the fog of war that lead to his errors. That's not competence. That's barely average. Left on his own, Ansom would have lost the battle for GK, as opposed to forcing a TPK. Charlie is the reason that Ansom didn't lose completely. Without Charlie, Ansom wouldn't have had the option for the DDR. Without Charlie, Jillian wouldn't have shaken off the spell. Charlie enabled Ansom to salvage a stalemate from a total loss.

Ansom had most of the known world on his side. He had a HUGE numerical advantage. And he barely managed to cause a stalemate in the form of losing everything on both sides. Which, thanks to his huge numerical advantage, was actually a much bigger loss for him than GK, especially since they retained the capital site. How does that equal competent?

Shall we run down the list of decisions Ansom nearly made that would have resulted in his death but didn't because someone talked him out of it? Or perhaps discuss how Parson read Ansom like a children's book, the kind with simple words and large print without really knowing the man at all? Yes. I will grant you that Ansom understood the functions of being a warlord. He knew how to do his job. That doesn't equal being good at it.
"All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu, Chapter 1, Line 18, The Art of War

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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby SteveMB » Tue May 17, 2011 10:13 pm

Housellama wrote:Ansom put together the RCC. Which means he got to tailor his forces. Fine. So he had all the time in the world to prepare to take on GK. He was also on good relations with most of the known world (which made up the RCC) So why the boop didn't he hire a damn lookamancer from the MK?

That's probably an example of the OP's point about doctrines getting hidebound. Standard doctrines are that casters are too rare and valuable to risk in combat; ergo, an expeditionary force doesn't bring them unless absolutely necessary (and Ansom didn't consider it necessary, because he thought sheer force of numbers would do the job).

That error on Ansom's part supports the OP's basic argument: Thinkagramming it in worked well enough for Titans knows how many turns; that's changing.
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby drachefly » Tue May 17, 2011 11:31 pm

I thought he requested them but was denied by Slately.
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby the_tick_rules » Tue May 17, 2011 11:34 pm

Ossomer did say unlike the last chief... so I guess ansom did ask for them at some point. Dunno if was to march on GK with but at some point.
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby Housellama » Wed May 18, 2011 12:46 am

the_tick_rules wrote:Ossomer did say unlike the last chief... so I guess ansom did ask for them at some point. Dunno if was to march on GK with but at some point.


JS doesn't have a Lookamancer. That doesn't prevent them from hiring one from the MK as a mercenary. They obviously had no problems hiring other mercenaries. *coughcoughJilliancoughcough*
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby drachefly » Wed May 18, 2011 10:34 am

We don't know how effective lookamancers are outside a 3-way link.
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby heyduck » Wed May 18, 2011 2:01 pm

We don't know how much a caster costs to hire, Jillian can't even pay for the turnamancer's price unless she raids Gobwin Knob's cities (now that charlies out), its possible Slately told him no on a count of how much schmuckers it would cost to retain the lookamancer for all those turns. Also Ansom did not just rely on numbers he never just threw men at a problem and hope that the enemy would get tired/deplete their energy; he had such high numbers because he wanted to completely crush Stanley (who could blame him?) and Gobwin Knob was apparently a very tough postion to attack (toughest claimed Stanely) not to mention his Dwagons, so of course he went in with heavy numbers, that does not make him a tactical genuis, nor does it make him a dullard, so claiming either is ridiculous.

Again bringing up the DDR, yeah Parson could have stalemated Ansom their, that just shows how good he is; but Ansom countered quite effectively, so I'm not sure what you were arguing there? Lastly as for Charlie, Parson would have hired Charlie on the spot if Stanley would have let him, hiring Charlie was a tactical decision for Ansom(he needed a way to deal with those dwagons).

Basically in the end from what I see from all this Parson had low units but casters, while Ansom had high units with no casters. So Parson had more flexibility in the way to deal with Ansom, Ansom did not really have that since units are pretty straightforward, and from his decrypted self, the veil he planned it shows he can be just as good as manipulating the enemy with casters almost as good as Parson (TPK); you might say oh he evolved through Parson, but considering his contempt for Parson (at least later on) I doubt they really talked tactics and he's just doing what he would normally do in this postion.
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby heyduck » Wed May 18, 2011 3:34 pm

I figured I should restate my argument, since I think this debate has gotten muddled

1. I believe that Parson is definitely a better warlord than Ansom, but I believe most of his tactics are still things other warlords could have come up with (hitting siege with a bunch of powerful air units then retreating is not exactly something I consider genius, advanced probably but not genius.) His playing with Ansom (tricking into attacking an empty hex)was good but that does not show that Ansom (or other warlords for that matter) to be dumb; Ansom was right, Stanley was dumb and exhausted his leadership corps, how could anyone predict that they would use a powerful summon spell to get Parson? Parson just played with that.

2. I believe that warlords in Erfworld are competent and know basic and advanced tactics. I think I have already exhausted all arguments about Ansom's competence so let's give some other examples: Stanley (Stanley!) linked the eyemancers for perfect recon, how he thought up that is beyond me, perhaps it was serendipitous, or perhaps he's not that dumb when it comes to some things. The fallen kingdom of Napster linked up a date-o-mancer and hat magician to create that hat that Duncan wears that gives superior intuition (or something like that) to warlords in being able to match up friendly units to enemy units in your favor (I.e should this warlord fight that warlord? *does date-o-many with the hat* no that would be bad; should he fight that warlord though? *date-o-mancy* yes that would be good) I think that shows good understanding of casters (like Parson) and would give you a leg-up in a fight. I'd like to add Charlie, but we don't know if he's out of this world or not yet so I won't.
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Re: Erfworld's Evolving Warfare

Postby Housellama » Wed May 18, 2011 4:23 pm

heyduck wrote:I figured I should restate my argument, since I think this debate has gotten muddled

1. I believe that Parson is definitely a better warlord than Ansom, but I believe most of his tactics are still things other warlords could have come up with (hitting siege with a bunch of powerful air units then retreating is not exactly something I consider genius, advanced probably but not genius.) His playing with Ansom (tricking into attacking an empty hex)was good but that does not show that Ansom (or other warlords for that matter) to be dumb; Ansom was right, Stanley was dumb and exhausted his leadership corps, how could anyone predict that they would use a powerful summon spell to get Parson? Parson just played with that.


I disagree with you about the siege. Here we see Vinnie figure it out, but only because he's forced to think outside the box. He is presented with results that do not match the situation. He knows for a FACT that this isn't right. It is then and ONLY then that he begins to consider what could have caused this. A few comics later, Stanley freaks out about the same thing. Everyone in Erfworld is trained on the win/lose scenario. That's not really a cheat, in the way that the falling men is a cheat. It's not even that far outside the box. A stack without Leadership can only attack blindly. A stack WITH Leadership can pick its targets. That's all Parson did. Attack selectively.

As far as the pincer goes, the tactic wasn't that advanced. Pincer tactics are fairly standard fare. Where it becomes a tactical mistake IMO is when Ansom moves into the center. (This page and the next) Here's why:

First, in order to make it work, Ansom assumes that GK has a Foolamancer with the stack. Fine. GK has a Foolamancer. That's a valid assumption. He's also making the assumption that Stanley made a shrewd call. Also fairly fine. HOWEVER, IF they had a Foolamancer, why did Vinnie see the stacks coming in the first place? With all those dragons and hitting the siege like that, adding a Foolamancer to the mix could have been even MORE devastating than it already was. So why wasn't it? Yet, they have a Foolamancer hiding veiling the stack? If that's the case, why the fort formation to begin with? Why not stack all the dragons in one stack and veil them all? Or leave a few wounded dragons out in sight just at the edge of movement range as a sacrifice and veil the strong dragons? Ansom made some assumptions, but didn't think it through. Because of that he put himself in a very bad situation, one that required several fortuitous events to save him from.

heyduck wrote:2. I believe that warlords in Erfworld are competent and know basic and advanced tactics. I think I have already exhausted all arguments about Ansom's competence so let's give some other examples: Stanley (Stanley!) linked the eyemancers for perfect recon, how he thought up that is beyond me, perhaps it was serendipitous, or perhaps he's not that dumb when it comes to some things. The fallen kingdom of Napster linked up a date-o-mancer and hat magician to create that hat that Duncan wears that gives superior intuition (or something like that) to warlords in being able to match up friendly units to enemy units in your favor (I.e should this warlord fight that warlord? *does date-o-many with the hat* no that would be bad; should he fight that warlord though? *date-o-mancy* yes that would be good) I think that shows good understanding of casters (like Parson) and would give you a leg-up in a fight. I'd like to add Charlie, but we don't know if he's out of this world or not yet so I won't.


This argument seems to be that the effective use of Casters are more important than tactics, which is not necessarily something I disagree with. Casters are the Erfworld equivalent of technology, and in modern warfare, technology is one of the biggest force multipliers that we have. GK uses Casters for the purposes of superior recon. All sides use Thinkamancers for communications. Charlie is the king of magical communications. Magic items give a huge advantage. The world turns around the Arkentools. The person who can use Casters the best within a given battle is usually the guy that is going to walk away victorious. Parson seems to be the only guy who can make tactics actually matter, and that's often by 'cheating'.
"All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu, Chapter 1, Line 18, The Art of War

"The principle of strategy is to know ten thousand things by having one thing." - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Earth, Go Rin No Sho
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