Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby Anton Gaist » Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:19 pm

Also, so far we've only seen his archons. We have no idea if they're the strongest units he was at his disposal or how many he has.

He's definitely smart, that's for sure.

I wonder what else he's got up his sleeve. A guy like him, I half expect him to have placed a spy of some sorts in every city he could.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby moose o death » Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:29 am

i don't think erfworld is compatible with spying. if an enemy unit is in the hex, or maybe even within range of hexes your within. then turn order must be decided so they can get working combat. just because your "spy" unit doesn't want to engage doesn't mean he can't be attacked either.

heck scouting a hex seems to amount to did the unit get killed when it entered or did it gain experience.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby DevilDan » Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:38 am

If there's veiling, then spying might be possible even if not common.

Maybe there's a unit with natural foolamancy that allows self-veiling. That doesn't mean, though, that it'd be possible to get a spy into an enemy city.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby moose o death » Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:22 am

there must be more to this or else faq would have been found pretty damn quickly. just avoiding combat is impossible and turn order would HAVE to initiate if a unit can reach you during it's turn otherwise combat would have issues. unled stacks MUST attck on sight. only stacks with warlords can choose not to engage.

veils don't seem to be much good against higher level units. they just use logic to break them (ie TV realising they had too many flocks of bats, or parson noticing the number and colour of dwagons being inappropriate) veils can't make a gobwin look like parson, but they can make the parsonesque stature of bogroll look like parson. so i have my doubts they canprevent battespace from happening.

maybe you have to know the other side exists before battlespace can start. but that's rife with exploits. to this point i can't see a way that battlespace and espionage can coexist. espionage seems to mess with turn order and eventual battle. veils don't make you invisible they just mask you.

for the time being i'll assume for my own benefit that esionage tactics are not available in the honour driven erfworld war model. even scouts are usually just killed as part of their process.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby DevilDan » Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:07 pm

I don't know how battlespace works precisely. Obviously we need to take into account issues of Erf relativity when we set up a scenario where two sides are near each other... meaning that their turns are likely occurring simultaneously (assuming neither side is in battle with any third side).

For espionage to work, all you need is a unit with leadership (to keep from auto-attacking, of course) and the capacity to veil himself. Veiling seemed to work well enough to hide Stanley and Jack for a good long while even though there were plenty of TV warlords around during the battle of the Faq's gap. Or, maybe to balance the issue you would literally need an expensive foolamancer to attempt this.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby jabbersocky » Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:37 pm

I think lookamancy would be used in in lieu of an actual spy in a hex. But saying that archons do have natural foolamancy abilities so it could be possible for them to veil themselves. But agaain i cant see charlie being the type of person to not have a lookamancer in his employ.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby moose o death » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:00 am

DevilDan wrote:
For espionage to work, all you need is a unit with leadership (to keep from auto-attacking, of course) and the capacity to veil himself. Veiling seemed to work well enough to hide Stanley and Jack for a good long while even though there were plenty of TV warlords around during the battle of the Faq's gap. Or, maybe to balance the issue you would literally need an expensive foolamancer to attempt this.

veils don't make your unit invisible, it would be akin to a cardboard box walking down a path. by itself the cardboard box is fine. but moving, not so much. sneezing once in a while. less so.

my disconnect, espionage implies behind enemy lines. if your inside the area that side can reach you. you need turns otherwise that side cannot discover your stealth unit. keep in mind the whol relative time differences thing if both sides wandered around aimlessly within the same area they'd never find each other.

howeverjabbersocky has given what i will consider is the single most damning piece of evidence against spy units. they have lookamancers. if that's the kind of tactic your side intends to run on. you would get a lookamancer. put them within an active range and mass scout all local hexes for exactly what lies where. maybe a findamancer is more accurate, but either way it's another why would erfworlders have guns if they have magik arguement.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby DevilDan » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:36 am

You send a unit out to explore a group of hexes through which you think enemy troops might be moving. Following me thus far?

Somehow he is able to enter a hex with enemy units undetected, say cloaked to appear like an unappetizing creature. Hr moves around on the periphery of the hex, getting some idea of the enemy's intent and capabilities. He uses a hat to send a report back. He maybe leaves the hex undetected, or maybe he walks into a copse of trees and changes his veil to look like another tree. This all occurs during his turn.

The enemy does whatever it wants during its turn: vacates the hex, stays there, etc.

On the next turn, the spy can again move around, carefully, or just sit there and continue to gather information. If the enemy troops have moved, perhaps he catches up with them.

I don't particularly care if there's a spy unit or not, frankly; it's a hypothetical unit that could only work if there's a rule that allows the circumvention of the so-called and poorly understood battlespace alarm mechanism. If you're already battling this side elsewhere, then this wouldn't even be likely to be an issue, of course.

Given the fact that casters tend to be kept in cities, it makes sense to have a less costly spy unit that could, in theory, be a more cost-effective alternative to gathering information. Sure, bats are cheap, but they're easily detected. A spy, even if he has low move, could be useful if flown to the target area.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby Raza » Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:18 pm

DevilDan wrote:Yes, those were very specific circumstances. A massive number of bats will be hard for very large units like dwagons to take down, even using attacks like fireballs. After all, a dwagon can only bite and toast so many of them in each of its attacks, giving the rest of the swarm a good chance to take their hitsies. That's why fleets need destroyers and other support craft.

Maybe, maybe not. Many games work with engaged units' combat (or similar) stats being matched to decide hit chance, or armor working as a damage threshold - either of these can result in settings where a single stronger unit has an advantage over a large force of weaker ones of the same net power. We don't know how this works for erfworld, so it's too early to say that the bats won because of this rather than just because their combined warlord-boosted combat prowess outdid the dragons'.

DevilDan wrote:My point, Raza, is that he is certainly strong enough to take over cities that surround him, in all likelihood.

For unknown values of 'cities that surround him', that's not a useful or verifiable statement.

DevilDan wrote:Which is where we agree: Charlie is as effective as he is because of his smarts.

Well, yes. But my additional point is that his raw military force might anything, including much smaller than one would guess from his willingness to expend it. I'm just saying that suddenly having the exact ~30 archons you were told you would need for a certain task present the next turn smells of bluff something fierce. That's 'shock and awe' tactics, fairly literally. Clever strategy is a force multiplier, which inversely implies that its effectiveness is divided by what remains of your force.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby DevilDan » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:05 pm

Ugh... I hate the smell of stale discussions... haha. So quickly... Raza, I was agreeing on the point of how dwagons have vulnerabilities, just as archons do.

The fact that he does have enough troops to take a major city, even one as damaged as GK, shows that Charlie could, if he were interested, surely take over some small city somewhere. I'm saying that this is not in his plans. Finally, how do we know that he only had as many archons as he needed there? Clearly 14 by themselves are a formidable force or Charlie wouldn't have even asked if 14 might be enough.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby Anton Gaist » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:48 pm

By spy, I was thinking more along the lines of an unknowing one. With Charlie's control of Thinkamancy, maybe he could be able to "influence" another unit, someone like a courtier or page (in a similar way to how Wanda used to influence Jillian) into overhearing conversations, and then use a link to gain that knowledge, as well as erase all memories of such a link.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby pSycHOtic chICkeN » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:09 am

Perhaps I missed something. Many severely wounded dragons were slaughtered. Stanley flew away with K.I.S.S. and took the rest of the dragons with him. Wanda fired off all, yes all, of the air defenses of goblin knob in order to weaken the gwiffons and trans air units that were going to chase after Stanley. If charlescomm was capable of flying in under those circumstances it would be pre-mature to conclude that charlescomm is a dominant force in erfworld or even a significant airforce.

Charlies archons were able to slaughter severely wounded dragons who had already used all their move and breath weapons. The ability to run up and kick someone who is already down does not make you a champion street fighter. The archons are limited in what they can do in a turn. It is quite possible that Charley knew the archon's magic was inferior to the spellcasters employed at gobwin knob. The archons had Jillians command bonus, the griffon stack bonus, and the bonus from the arken pliers. That is enough damage bonus to turn stage pyrotechnics into serious firepower. Wasting spell energy on a failed attempt at magic defense would have left them fewer fireworks. The archon broke the spell by making jillian talk to ansom which didn't require spending any magic energy that turn.

In the final battle it looks to me like the archons are just projecting the image of prince ansom's steps. It is still possible that charlescomm can't dance.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby DevilDan » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:17 am

TV's original plan was to take on Stanley by using dance fighting with TV warlords and archons. Of course, it's possible that it would have been the TV warlords leading the dancefighting.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby pSycHOtic chICkeN » Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:00 am

DevilDan wrote:TV's original plan was to take on Stanley by using dance fighting with TV warlords and archons. Of course, it's possible that it would have been the TV warlords leading the dancefighting.


TV warlords would add bonuses. Transylveto has goyles. "The Goyles were flying infantry units with some natural casting abilities, like Archons." (summerupdate 17). That could imply that archons are flying infantry units, or it could mean that both have some natural casting ability but goyles, unlike archons, are also infantry. Even if they are both flying infantry the spearmen are used as a base value of 1. Unless fractional combat values are allowed that makes them the weakest category of combat unit.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby Retconjurer » Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:29 pm

I don't think Charlie is likely to be a earthling, because he founded Charlescomm (It is named after him, after all). I think we can assume that Charlie didn't gain his position by regicide (Jetstone is willing to work with him, even though he is a Overlord), as Stanly might have. He somehow acquired a city that nobody resented him having, which means he founded it (probably). At any rate, he left his base side to do it, that much is clear. And if he left his base side then I would assume that he wasn't bound to serve his master by any magical means, as would likely be the case if he were summoned like Parson. True, this removes the joy of Parson meeting another earthling but I like the picture of Charlie as a very, very strange Erf worlder almost as much and it makes way more sense.

On a different front, I'm trying to figure out Charlie's abilities. I picture Charlie as a Caster, like Wanda, as opposed to a Warlord, like Stanley. I know, that is a bit of an assumption, but it is my assumption. He probably specializes in Thinkamancy. I'm not sure on that front however. But I picture him as a respectable caster, maybe formerly captured? That might explain his position as Overlord. Not terribly relevant now though. His primary advantage is his possession of the Arkendish.

On the subject of The Arkendish, I can think of two likely abilities:
1. Archon "calling" seems probable. The Dish might have the capability to summon or "call" Archons, which explains why Charlie is so fond of them. It would also explain how he acquired his city if he conquered it or how he left his side. This would be analogous to the dragon taming capability and the decrypting gift, it'd be useful for creating and controlling an army.
2. The Arkendish, if I am right about Charlie's nature, probably amplifies his thinkamancy (appropriate in its nature as a dish) or it might just grant them (if I'm wrong about my Caster image). This would be what allows him to put Thinkagrams on hold and use the Eyebooks. It would be analogous to the lightning or flight of the Arkenhammer, not sure about the Arkenpliers.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby raphfrk » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:08 am

Retconjurer wrote:I don't think Charlie is likely to be a earthling, because he founded Charlescomm (It is named after him, after all). I think we can assume that Charlie didn't gain his position by regicide (Jetstone is willing to work with him, even though he is a Overlord), as Stanly might have. He somehow acquired a city that nobody resented him having, which means he founded it (probably).


Maybe, an ability of the Arkendish is that you can establish a hidden mountain base on any mountain hex. His base location seems ideal for the dish.

He may have been a barbarian warlord who found the Arkendish.

At any rate, he left his base side to do it, that much is clear. And if he left his base side then I would assume that he wasn't bound to serve his master by any magical means, as would likely be the case if he were summoned like Parson. True, this removes the joy of Parson meeting another earthling but I like the picture of Charlie as a very, very strange Erf worlder almost as much and it makes way more sense.


Barbarian warlords have a chance of popping in each hex every turn. If they can find an empty city site, they can found a city.

This is what Jillian was assumed to be as most of them become mercenaries. This, incidentally, would match Charlie's mercenary nature. For his early life, maybe, he barely had enough schmuckers to pay his units' upkeep.

On a different front, I'm trying to figure out Charlie's abilities. I picture Charlie as a Caster, like Wanda, as opposed to a Warlord, like Stanley. I know, that is a bit of an assumption, but it is my assumption. He probably specializes in Thinkamancy. I'm not sure on that front however. But I picture him as a respectable caster, maybe formerly captured? That might explain his position as Overlord. Not terribly relevant now though. His primary advantage is his possession of the Arkendish.


I would agree that he is likely a Thinkamancer. However, Stanley is not a caster and attuned to a Tool. The Dish and the Pliers do seem to be pure caster aligned tools though. The hammer doesn't have a clear magic type.

However, the evidence that he probably founded his side points towards him not being a caster. He was either an Heir or a barbarian warlord. This pushes things away from him being a caster. (Unless casters can be made Heirs).

On the subject of The Arkendish, I can think of two likely abilities:
1. Archon "calling" seems probable. The Dish might have the capability to summon or "call" Archons, which explains why Charlie is so fond of them. It would also explain how he acquired his city if he conquered it or how he left his side. This would be analogous to the dragon taming capability and the decrypting gift, it'd be useful for creating and controlling an army.


It might just add them as a build option. However, both the hammer and pliers can obtain their units without needing a city.

They may also pop randomly like dwagons and are normally a powerful but unbuildable unit.

Maybe the Dish attracts them so they converge on the Dish and are captured.

2. The Arkendish, if I am right about Charlie's nature, probably amplifies his thinkamancy (appropriate in its nature as a dish) or it might just grant them (if I'm wrong about my Caster image). This would be what allows him to put Thinkagrams on hold and use the Eyebooks. It would be analogous to the lightning or flight of the Arkenhammer, not sure about the Arkenpliers.


It is unclear exactly what he can do. It allows him do VR based thinkagrams and hack into other communication systems.

I wonder if he can do standard Thinkagrams. The benefit of hacking into the Eyebooks is that he can communicate with Parson without us needing to see an image of him. Thus, we will likely never actually see him.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby DevilDan » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:24 am

Come to think of it, it doesn't "seem" right to me that arkentool abilities, Tools of the Titans, who preceded cities, would have special city-based powers. Or am I overreaching? We don't have confirmation of any at this point.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby raphfrk » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:17 pm

DevilDan wrote:Come to think of it, it doesn't "seem" right to me that arkentool abilities, Tools of the Titans, who preceded cities, would have special city-based powers. Or am I overreaching? We don't have confirmation of any at this point.


Well, the hammer clearly adds dwagons to the build queue and allows taming. The only way it could be city independent is if all sides can pop dwagons, but if they do, the dwagon is not tame and attacks the city that built it. However, even then, the dwagon that popped at GK was tame even before Stanley returned.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby DevilDan » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:38 pm

raphfrk wrote:
DevilDan wrote:Come to think of it, it doesn't "seem" right to me that arkentool abilities, Tools of the Titans, who preceded cities, would have special city-based powers. Or am I overreaching? We don't have confirmation of any at this point.


Well, the hammer clearly adds dwagons to the build queue and allows taming. The only way it could be city independent is if all sides can pop dwagons, but if they do, the dwagon is not tame and attacks the city that built it. However, even then, the dwagon that popped at GK was tame even before Stanley returned.

See, I'm trying to remember where exactly it says that the hammer allows the popping of dwagons... and I can't.

And, surely, popping a unit automatically makes it your own.
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Re: Playing to win - speculation regarding charlie

Postby pSycHOtic chICkeN » Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:58 pm

DevilDan wrote:
raphfrk wrote:
DevilDan wrote:Come to think of it, it doesn't "seem" right to me that arkentool abilities, Tools of the Titans, who preceded cities, would have special city-based powers. Or am I overreaching? We don't have confirmation of any at this point.


Well, the hammer clearly adds dwagons to the build queue and allows taming. The only way it could be city independent is if all sides can pop dwagons, but if they do, the dwagon is not tame and attacks the city that built it. However, even then, the dwagon that popped at GK was tame even before Stanley returned.

See, I'm trying to remember where exactly it says that the hammer allows the popping of dwagons... and I can't.

And, surely, popping a unit automatically makes it your own.


The September 21 summer supplement. Dwagons pop randomly in wild hexes. Cities can pop dwagons but it is slow. The arken hammer doesn't allow the popping of dwagons. It allows the taming of dwagons. That might explain why prince ansom chose not to include any dwagons in his army.
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