What if: Wanda forms her own side?

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What if: Wanda forms her own side?

Postby Miment » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:17 pm

We don't have enough information on Erfworld to do a real wargame, but we do know enough to talk theory. I'm sure lots of people have a suspicion that Wanda is going to form her own side. Assuming she does, what would you do if she did? I know some people get picky about the details, so I'll list the assumptions I'm making.

Spoiler: show
Known:Wanda has no loyalty spell
Assuming:Wanda has no duty spell
Assuming: Decrypted forces are loyal to the 'pliers, not the Ruler of their side
Conclusion: Wanda is, or can choose to become barbarian with forces remaining loyal to her

Assume:Wanda becomes barbarian
Known:She must pay her own upkeep, and those of her units
Known:Decrypted Forces (including Warlords) have no upkeep (evidence)
Known:Creating Decrypted forces requires no Shmuckers, only juice
Conclusion:Wanda can create and maintain as large a decrypted army as she wants, so long as she can pay her own upkeep

Known:Some Barbarians commanders can form sides
Assuming:All Barbarian Commanders can form sides
Assume:Wanda forms a side
Assume:Wanda claims the City of Unaroyal
Assume:Wanda's Dudes stationed in the captured citys claim those citys for her team.

In short, Wanda's formed a new side of 12 citys (Unaroyal, plus the other eleven she and Ansom captured) She has the Arkenpliers, allowing her to use decrypt units and use them for no upkeep. Even if her capital city is captured and treasury is lost, Wanda can still maintain her army for the cost of only her own upkeep.

I'm going to keep things simple for GK and give the RCC the best chances by assuming that 1)Parson and Stanley moved decrypted units out of GK and 2)RCC forces have had time to muster at the front.

So my question to you is: How would you stop Wanda? There's not enough info out there to talk tactics, but we can mess around with general strategy. I know what I would do, but I'm curious to see if anyone else has thought about it. I'll leave with one more assumption.
Known: Uncroaked units can not be decrypted after destruction
Assuming: Only living units can be decrypted
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Re: What if: Wanda forms her own side?

Postby jabbersocky » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:42 am

Well Stanley forming a maximum stack of dwagons with warlords and kiss then crushing her should do the trick.
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Re: What if: Wanda forms her own side?

Postby Telva » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:41 am

Wasn't it said somewhere in the Summer updates that it's not uncommon for that (splitting into several sides) to happen among royals?
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Re: What if: Wanda forms her own side?

Postby shalist » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:03 am

The first thing she'd have to do is to snag Parson to her side, perhaps by decrypting him.

I am curious if there are units that can't be decrypted, like golems, since they were never 'alive' to begin with. Or if decrypted units can be killed real easy by Arkentools, like when Ansom was absolutely demolishing that huge mob of uncroaked.
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Re: What if: Wanda forms her own side?

Postby moose o death » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:07 am

parson would be useless to wanda decrypted. what good would he be if he just followed her around drooling and agreeing with everything she says.
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Re: What if: Wanda forms her own side?

Postby shalist » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:24 am

I'd say that the only thing diminishing Ansom's usefulness compared to pre-decryption is the fact that he's somewhat upstaged by Parson, vice any loss of mental faculties. That is, I doubt Parson would be a drooling moron if he were (could be) decrypted.

For that matter, I wonder if a decrypted unit could still wield an arkentool...I'm sure Charlie would love to save 20,000 Schmuckers a turn on those 600 Archons, particularly if his mistress willed it.
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Re: What if: Wanda forms her own side?

Postby kefkakrazy » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:12 am

I know people have suggested Decrypting one's own units to save on upkeep... but is it even possible? I wonder. Maybe if a unit gets taken out by its own side, the disband magic kicks in and they leave nothing behind to be decrypted.

That being said, it sounds to me like Wanda breaking off is about the only thing that COULD happen.... though I'm sure they'll surprise us somehow. My pet theory is that it'll eventually degrade to the point where it's the Royals on one side, the non-Royals on another (including Stanley/GK and anyone else who might join up out of dissatisfaction or disillusionment with the Royals, like Caesar), and Wanda on a third, since she could form a major front of a three-way war by herself with those Pliers.

Of course, I embrace cracked theories because nobody else will, then cast them aside when something else shiny looms. For a while (after the Archons-talking-about-Charlie update), I had the theory that Charlie was secretly like Parson (someone from Earth). He had a lot of traits that fit that theory (a shut-in who communicates with the outside world solely through the Intern-I mean Thinkamancy, and who spends all of his time and energy expanding his army of hot females who are prepared to obey his every whim...
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Re: What if: Wanda forms her own side?

Postby Miment » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:47 pm

jabbersocky wrote:Well Stanley forming a maximum stack of dwagons with warlords and kiss then crushing her should do the trick.

I doubt that Stanely could match the bonuses that Wanda would get by having both herself and her cheif Warlord in the same stack.

shalist wrote:I am curious if there are units that can't be decrypted, like golems, since they were never 'alive' to begin with.

That's what I'd be willing to bet. If I were to fight Wanda, I'd be packing as many uncroaked/golems/mechanical units as I possibly could with the idea being that when they die, the can't be decrypted to fight against me. But I'm sure I couldn't make an army of just golems. So for my fleashy dudes, I'd be packing archers. Rain death from afar, fall back when Wanda gets close.

I'd try to fight as many defensive battles as possible, due to the increased mobility my troops would enjoy. I'm also thinking Scorched Earth would be a good idea. It's bad enough that Wanda can get your dead dudes, so I don't see any reason why she should also get my cities. I'm thinking: Link double dirtmancers, or dirtmancer+dollmancer (as the case may be) with a thinkamancer to turn the useless buildings in my city into giant golems! That way, they can aid in the defense, and when they go, the city suffers a major downgrade. That way, if the city falls, instead of having a city, she'd have a ruin.

The key to beating Wanda is, I think, to minimize the gains she makes when winning a battle.
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Re: What if: Wanda forms her own side?

Postby TiMothra » Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:45 am

I see two possibilities for the answer of this question, one of which I have to believe is already incorporated into the middle or long term of this story (and personally I believe that there are 3-4 books worth of story in at least outline already planned, given all of the material presented but unexamined in just book 1 and summer updates, hence a whole forum full of speculation. Heh).

1. Wanda does form her own side. She has her own livery, Unaroyal is free, etc. etc. there are good reasons to see her doing this. But I'm not sure about the motivation. Wanda currently is pursuing which goals? It doesn't seem clear that any of her current ambitions would be better fueled by becoming her own overlord. Also; do casters become overlords? Is there any evidence of this occuring? Changes to Jillian (though not total) since she took rule seem to suggest the responsibilities and actions of ruling are incongruous to fully pursuing combat, or (probably) casting. Warlords have effects on city operation so long as they're there, so I would expect there being some similar bonus to actually having your overlord in the capital. That said, Stanley goes a field plenty, and has a hands-off management style when he *is* at GK. And they seem to do sort of OK. What Wanda starting her own side would do, is make the conflict into a three-way struggle. Way more narratively interesting, and just the sort of thing to throw at the Perfect Warlord, especially right after 80% of his troops abandon his side.

2. Decrypted have a glaring, terrible weakness, that is discovered and exploited before Wanda can pursue any such actions as forming her own side. Anyone who has played any fantasy game, ever, knows to use fire and healing/holy spells on undead. Decrypted seems to be a template (D&D 3.5-style) added to an existing unit type, different from uncroaked just being low level infantry/zombies with just a few of the abilities of the original (like flight, leadership). Arkenpliers are great, but so far it seems to have only provided benefits and no negatives (no upkeep, autonomous, memories/exp intact). Given, neither hammer or dish seem to have any downsides to their use. But making up an entire army of a homogeneous unit type, all with the same (potential) weakness, would make for an obvious counter-tactic to anyone who can discover the weakness. In this case, again, suddenly it's a narratively interesting situation to throw at the Perfect Warlord, by neutralizing 80% of his troops.

I would lean towards the second potential outcome. We know that Charlie is gunning for an arkentooler. And aside from a quick jump off the ice shelf at Charlescomm, the most exposed user is definitely Wanda in the field. You have to believe there is some kind of head-vampire mechanic where should the plier plyer be croaked, decrypted go back to just crypted. That would be quite a glaring weakness, the caster herself. Ansom got taken down with a ton of his own forces in the same hex after all. What would be interesting is seeing Stanley croak, and the dwagons all get turned loose. No warlords to keep them from wreaking havoc on everything in reach.

Personally, the GK assault on Jetstone has a pretty good parallel to RCCI's assault on GK. So I wonder which ender's game tactics (covered in Parson's Klog 3) could be employed back at GK now? Hidden weakness and foolsmate (attack GK, say, from FAQ) have already been considered. I'm hoping for a Jetstone superweapon or mass deception for Parson to overcome, though.
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Re: What if: Wanda forms her own side?

Postby Ytaker » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:09 pm

People are vulnerable to fire and holy magic too. They just take half damage. You couldn't take out Wanda's army with just an advantage like that. Too many soldiers, too many casters, too many advantages. And we haven't seen any undead slaying casters yet- they would have surely been in the royal coalition 1.

Wanda's problem if she turns on Stanley is that her air forces will be utterly destroyed. Her archons would be slain by dragons. And then her forces and cities would be vulnerable to dragon assault. She lacks any major anti air forces, other than the archons. She would also lack a treasury, which would make it hard for her to fund any major campaign, even with the low upkeep, or protect cities, or produce new troops, or repair damage to newly captured cities. She would also lack the master strategist, Parson. Her forces would be slain by the royal coalition, while her cities and forces were harried from behind by dragons, led by a far better strategist than any she has. It would be a notably stupid move. I don't see it happening any time soon. Stanley isn't bothering her either, only her chief warlord.
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