Speculation: Parson Defeating Charlie

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Speculation: Parson Defeating Charlie

Postby Wayne » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:08 am

Sure, we know it's technically Lord Stanley vs Charlie, but still.

Charlie has great strengths, but he could potentially also be very easy to defeat. It depends on the geography of ErfWorld. Is this a world with only one continent (like Earth's Pangea), or are there more lands?

Option 1: One Continent
To defeat Charlie, all Parson has to do is unite the land under him (by treaty or conquering), which denies work to Charlie.

The Shmucker wiki page states an Archon unit cost of $200-$500 per turn, where higher levels = more cost. It estimates Charlie's upkeep for 600 Archon's is $120k-$300k per turn. As we know they're not all "level 1", the cost is obviously more than $120k.

I used an average cost of $350 each (Pyramid theory of a military unit) * 600 Archons to come up with ~$210k per turn. Compare that to the other costs on the Shmuckers page, and it's an incredible amount of money. So incredible that I wonder how he maintains them, not to mention the smaller cost of ~700 golems.

Without battles on the single continent, where Charlie can rent out Archons, Charlie would be dependent on his own lands to provide for him. But Charlescom (wiki) is a level 5 mountaintop city with no other cities. Without income, over time Charlie would be forced to drastically downsize as expenses eat him up. A Parson with the combined resources of an entire continent's worth of shmuckers would roll over him.

Option 2: Other Continents
There's a possibility of more continents like modern-day Earth. (Parson should really ask that while he's in in the magic kingdom). Charlie could send his Archons overseas to fight battles and generate shmuckers there, assuming they could fly there. That forces Charlie to stretch out his supply lines overseas. But delays cost money (sending forces a long distance; no money generated during travel), and makes them impossible to recall quickly if needed to defend the castle. But (as long as they lived), they would transfer money back so Charlescom could maintain it's home-base numbers.

Final Speculation -- Locations and Cost, and the elephant in the room
It's worth noting that Gobwin Knob is regarded is being on the eastern side of the "known" world (Map), but the western-most kingdom's that fought in TBFGK called it "The Great Western Conflict." There might be more to the east, or it could refer to Western powers coming together to fight.

Lastly, let's look at where Charlie's Archon troops are positioned. As of Epilogue 25 (3 Dec), we get view inside Charlescomm. The Charlescomm Wiki page Proposed Canon states
Charlescomm is an Erfworld side led by the mysterious Charlie. Its capital is a level 5 mountaintop city clad in blue, topped by the ominous Arkendish. Its forces include about 600 archons, some 120 of which presently guard the city along with over 700 golems (mostly cloth). Charlescomm has no other cities and uses no other units; no infantry, no casters, and no warlords. At the time of the Battle for Gobwin Knob, Charlie had deployed some 480 archons across Erfworld, either in the employ of various clients or simply remaining on standby near hotspots.

From the Epilogue 25 update, you can count:
24 = 4 per flying unit * 6 visible flying units (one unit only has 3 members; I'm assuming the 4th is outside the frame)
20 = Wall guards (5 visible on one wall * 4 walls). Lowball; you can't see one entire wall and shape may be a rectangle.
1 = person alone in the middle of the ground stacks.
-------------------
45 visible moving around

Then the stacks. There are 7 fully or partially shown stacks, each stack has 48 troops + 1 "Sgt 1st Class" or guidon off to the side
343 = 7 stacks * 49 Archons per stack
+45 moving around
--------------------
Total = ~400 at home, leaving about 200 in the field.

But the military likes symmetry, and the Archon stacks are lined up in military formation. So if I assume 12 stacks based on symmetry.
588 = 12 stacks * 49 Archons per stack
+ 45 moving around
------------------------------------
Total = 633 .... or about 600. I'll also assume there's some inside acting as consul and the like, give him a total of about 650.

That implies Charlie recalled all Archons home and currently and they're not generating shmuckers. Every turn from now until the battle is over will be draining him heavily, and (depending on how big his treasury is) possibly be reducing his number of forces.

All Charlie's units returned to base has other implications as well:
  • Charlie knows it will take a while to get to him, but is still wanting to be prepared for anything, at any cost. Timing is everything--this can backfire if his money runs out too soon.
  • It lightly implies there's no other known lands nearby, where he's rent his units out but have quick enough recall
  • If other sides are looking to rent out Archons to tip a battle....it looks like he's not for hire until this conflict is over (no pre-positioned troops as in TBfGK), unless hiring out his Archons helps him protect his castle by moving the battle elsewhere.
Note that all this is dismissing one thing -- the Arkendish (wiki). Being attuned to the Arkenpliers allows Wanda to extend her Croakamancy into "upkeep free" Decrypted troops. What is unknown is if Charlies being attuned to the Arkendish gives a shmucker free ride to either Archons or golems, or just helps them pop faster (but you have to pay for upkeep). So all my counting, calculation, and speculation could be for nothing.

Blockade and light siege is long, slow, an boring. But it works. If you see Charlies city downgrading from a Level 5, it means he's feeling the hurt.
</end speculation>
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Re: Speculation: Parson Defeating Charlie

Postby MadZuri » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:20 pm

If I recall correctly, there are other continents. Posting from phone, so it is difficult to check if the warlord that founded Judy's old side crossed an ocean or sea. I've bet a lot of quant's that the cloth golems are archon mimics, so hopefully that is what those grounded troops are. Either those are golems, or Charlie really did recall every archon.

edit: I guess that would be option 3. Archon mimics.
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Re: Speculation: Parson Defeating Charlie

Postby Wayne » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:50 am

Good comment. One assumption I made was that glowing = Archon.

I also looked for that Overseas reference; the comic history is large and rich and the only thing I found was a reference to the side Haggar having a city Sansabelt which is a seaport. That's what triggered my original thought on other continents, and "how big is Erfworld?"

The only references I found to overseas sides are fan fiction, which were created in the Wiki.
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Speewah
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Re: Speculation: Parson Defeating Charlie

Postby Werebiscuit » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:56 am

MadZuri wrote:If I recall correctly, there are other continents. Posting from phone, so it is difficult to check if the warlord that founded Judy's old side crossed an ocean or sea. I've bet a lot of quant's that the cloth golems are archon mimics, so hopefully that is what those grounded troops are. Either those are golems, or Charlie really did recall every archon.

edit: I guess that would be option 3. Archon mimics.



From the wiki Lex Doothis crossed an ocean to form the side of Haffaton. Given that oceans generally seperate continents whereas seas are bounded by countries on the same continent, it would seem that there are other continents...at least one other.

However on further checking IPTSF 66 gives the text as "An adventurous warlord named Lex Doothis had crossed a great sea and discovered a Level 2 barbarian city on the site. Upon conquering it, he spun off a new side. From that small seed, Haffaton slowly grew into the largest side in Erfworld."

So not an ocean...but a great sea...which leaves us with one continent, at least for now. No evidence to suggest there might be more.
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Re: Speculation: Parson Defeating Charlie

Postby mortissimus » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:42 pm

But sea is used both for freshwater bodies of water, surrounded by land, and small or big parts of oceans - Norwegian Sea, Arabic Sea, South China Sea, Caribbean Sea and so on. Some of these seperates continents. So I would say that what this great sea is, is yet to be determined.
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Re: Speculation: Parson Defeating Charlie

Postby Shai_hulud » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:51 pm

I thought Jetstone and Unaroyal were east of Gobwin Knob, not west?

edit*
derp, i no know direction names.
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Re: Speculation: Parson Defeating Charlie

Postby Alpha the White » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:32 pm

Wasn't Charlie described as a sort of Telecom giant of Erfworld, thanks to the arkendish?

That's potentially a very lucrative business, I don't think we can lightly discount the possibility that the mercenary activities of the archons might be pure profit, with the upkeep of his side provided mainly or entirely by his communications business.

("Some things are more important than money. Corollary: most things are not more important than money")
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Re: Speculation: Parson Defeating Charlie

Postby Mrtyuh » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:41 pm

Just one thing to add. Charlie is the telecom giant of Erfworld. The majority of his income is derived from his selling Thinkagrams, not from hiring out his archons as mercenaries. Even if you can deny his ability to gain mercenary employment, which certainly would hurt him, but it wouldn't cut off his main revenue stream, unless Parson can prevent everyone from using him to make calls. As we saw with Haffaton, a side the size of the entire continent is impractical. Admittedly, it's easier with upkeep-free Decrypted, but there are 3 critical units that have upkeep: Stanley, Wanda and Parson. With a side that large, they might not even be able to afford upkeep for all three of them. If they go the Grand Alliance route, there will still be many sides with communications need. While Parson might forbid them from utilizing Charlie, would he be able to police them all? Maybe if it was mandated in the alliance contract. Still, if you can find a way to attack Charlie's telecom business, you'd do more harm to him than denying his ability to sell the service of his archons in the field. Of course, Charlie also occasionally sells the services of his archons in other ways.

Or what Alpha the White said.

Shai_hulud wrote:I thought Jetstone and Unaroyal were east of Gobwin Knob, not west?

Yes, Unaroyal was east of Gobwin Knob. Jetstone was east of Unaroyal. Haggar is east of Jetstone. The map on the wiki page is wrong.
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Re: Speculation: Parson Defeating Charlie

Postby 0beron » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:03 pm

Attacking Charlie's telecom monopoly would be easy, albeit unpopular. Reveal the fact that he can hack Thinkagrams, and routinely does so. This would make the Great Minds hate Parson, but if he could provided appropriate proof, everyone would switch to Hat Magic.
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Re: Speculation: Parson Defeating Charlie

Postby Alpha the White » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:20 pm

0beron wrote:Attacking Charlie's telecom monopoly would be easy, albeit unpopular. Reveal the fact that he can hack Thinkagrams, and routinely does so. This would make the Great Minds hate Parson, but if he could provided appropriate proof, everyone would switch to Hat Magic.

I was thinking about that, but using Charlie to send a thinkagram already implies you don't care if he knows the message, doesn't it?

I mean, I'm sure he'd get some level of "Charlie you tosser" backlash, but stupidworld history suggests political outrage is usually forgotten when political needs arise.
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Re: Speculation: Parson Defeating Charlie

Postby 0beron » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:24 pm

I think people trust Charlie to respect privacy. Before they may have been confident that communicating via him was confidential, but learning that may shake their faith in his secrecy. Needs vs outrage would apply...if there wasn't an alternative. With Hat Magic as an option, Charlie isn't really a need.
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Re: Speculation: Parson Defeating Charlie

Postby Mrtyuh » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:28 pm

Alpha the White wrote:
0beron wrote:Attacking Charlie's telecom monopoly would be easy, albeit unpopular. Reveal the fact that he can hack Thinkagrams, and routinely does so. This would make the Great Minds hate Parson, but if he could provided appropriate proof, everyone would switch to Hat Magic.

I was thinking about that, but using Charlie to send a thinkagram already implies you don't care if he knows the message, doesn't it?

I mean, I'm sure he'd get some level of "Charlie you tosser" backlash, but stupidworld history suggests political outrage is usually forgotten when political needs arise.

Agreed. If anything, it would hurt the Thinkamancers and actually boost Charlie's business. If Charlie's going to know what's in every Thinkagram anyway, might as well use him on the condition that he keeps the information confidential. He isn't bound by any confidentiality on Thinkagrams he taps, so such a move might actually grant Charlie a monopoly on Thinkagrams. Sure, some rulers would switch to magic hats, but many would use Thinkagrams anyway.
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Re: Speculation: Parson Defeating Charlie

Postby Lamech » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:09 pm

Right, revealing the thinkatap would boost Charlie's business. What you really need to do is "prove" Charlie is not bound by his word. And in fact he sells info in thinkagrams he connects.
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