Oberon wrote:Close. Parson told Charlie that Parson would be owning the Arkenpliers by the next turn. Charlie even spent a calculation to ensure that he wasn't being lied to. Then Charlie decided that taking Parson, the bracer, and the Arkenpliers was worth a little patience. Without the volcano, something he could not have hoped to have accounted for, he really had nothing to lose. GK and the RCC fight it out, and he remains fresh to pounce on whomever wins. In this fight, it isn't as simple. He has a lot to gain from being seen taking down Wanda, as his business has been hurt by the whole "Toolism" movement and the response from the royals. If he can demonstrate an attuned wielder of an Arkentool dying, that movement is debunked. Which will most likely bring him back into the good graces of the royals who are suspicious of him as a non-royal tool wielder right now. So losing some archons now can pay a great many future dividends later. And even in the GK garrison fight he couldn't have hoped to lose no units, so I don't think it's correct to say that Charlie is timid about losing archons in battle.
The "Charlie isn't a rusher" point still stands. He sure wants to see Wanda dead, but he wants to squeeze out as much profit of this situation as possible.
600 archons could overpower Wanda. But does he need that many? No. He'll only take the minimum he thinks it's necessary to take down Wanda. Charlie doesn't do overkill, because overkill is wastefull of resources. If there's a hidden archon strike force, it's the bare minimum to take down Wanda with Jillian and Unaroyal's help, not Charlie's whole fleet.
Oberon wrote:While it may be true that he has many high level archons, I don't think it's fair to say that Charlie seeks to minimize casualties. He seeks to maximize profit, and if this means that his archons will be fighting each other, a contract clause which we know exists, then he is ok with that. And a civil war is always a bloody battle for the side as a whole.
The archons fighting each other is a very rare case, and still profitable, because the contractor will have to pay a fat check to do it.
Money can then be used to create and promote new archons, very probably stronger than the ones you lost.
Oberon wrote:You can't powerlevel without engaging in combat. And you can't control the combat losses when you're hiring out your units for others to command.
Actualy, you can do both. Money can pay promotions, it just seems to be pretty expensive, and Charlie's contracts are anything but simple. As we could see from book 1, the archons still had a lot of freedom of actions, since Ansom hadn't paid for "full service". If you don't pay full service, you can't just order the archons to impale themselves in the enemy spears.
Oberon wrote:I just don't draw the same conclusions as you about Charlie and his reluctance to lose units. I think he uses his units for what he feels is his best profit, and does not care a whit for them except as regards to their future income potential. We have never seen him express concern for them, even the death of Jacklyn was just "a bloody nose" according to Charlie. And while it is intuitive that a living unit can bring in more profit than a dead unit, you don't get mercenary work if you refuse to let your units fight. And in fights units die.
Actualy, I remember Charlie being pretty sad for the loss of Jacklyn. But he's still a commander. He couldn't exactly take a sick leave. There was still profit to be made from that situation.
Anyway, you won't do much mercenary work if you keep losing units. Look at Jillian. She burned units like hot cakes, and thanks to that was on the verge of economic colapse untill she became a queen.
As pointed above, Charlie makes extra-complex contracts to make sure that if an archon does risky job, he's geting well paid for it. His intelegence network also makes sure he knows when he's being offered a suicide job, so he can increase the price or flat-out refuse.
And then, there's plenty of less risky jobs. Archons make excellent scouts. They also are great for support work, siting behind the frontlines slinging spells. You get paid with little risk of being stabbed.
Some archons will die now and then of course, but for each one of those, there are several archon who survives and levels up. And the stronger they get, the smaller the possibility they'll die.
This is the only way Charlie can amass 600 archons.
Make the numbers yourself
-Charlie can produce one archon per turn. 1,5 archons if paying for a turnmancer.
-Charlie is doing several jobs for several peoples across Erfworld.
-In average, Charlie must lose less than one archon per turn to increase his fleet. Less than 1 archon dead each turn from multiple conflicts.
-Charlie's fleet is 600 and increasing.
Compare with Stanley. He gets 2-3 dwagons per turn thanks to hunting, and then can order his multiple cities to pop up dwagons. He can afford to take casualities in a regular basis. Charlie cannot.
Oberon wrote:The archons could have been veiled. Or they could simply have an enormous flight speed. Others have speculated that Charlie can teleport the archons from his base, but not from point to point while in the field. This matches what we've seen of the archons and their convenient appearances.
Charlie is a thinkmancy specialist. Not a teleportmancy specialist. Heck, he doesn't even has private mancers.
Also, from Hamster's interrogatory, we know that Charlie spreads his archons across the land, so he can quickly answer to any need of mercenary job.
So no, teleportation doesn't match at all when the archons themselves tell us that they're scattered across the land, ready to reveal themselves when needed.
Oberon wrote: Ansom calls for someone to "Get me Charlie", and suddenly the angels are right there with Ansom. No movement is shown. Charlie has a few archons at GK, and asks Parson if they are enough to take the garrison. They are not. So he asks how many are needed, and POP, there they are. Is it possible that ~50-80 archons were within 1 turn of GK? Sure. Does it seem likely? Not to me.
Then why is he still doing mercenary job? He can easily take out any side's leader with his teleporting army! There's nothing and no one that can stop his scry and die tactics. You defy Charlie, one hundred archons pop at your tower and rape you. As simple as that.
Oberon wrote: And again we see no movement. Contrast Jillian and her approach to parley with Wanda, they are shown swooping in to buzz the tower, with plenty of motion shown in the panels.
The veiled argument fits perfectly. Archons are capable of ilusions. Their listed abilities however don't include teleport.
Oberon wrote:Why didn't they teleport out? You can't move if it isn't your turn. Or they can't teleport while in the field. The first is a mechanic we know to be "in the rules", the second fits the speculation.
Why did Charlie ask if his archons could pass through GK territory? Passing through allows him to gather intelligence. Or teleporting is more expensive in juice or some other resource than flight movement. Or they can't teleport while in the field. All make sense, although it is all speculation.
What isn't speculation is that Hamster made a very detailed interrogation to the archons on Charlie's true power. If Charlie had a super teleport machine, he would've certainly learned so and warned Stanley and the others that they were facing a teleporting oponent.
Oberon wrote:This really can not be the case. If the side comprising the RCC are just a sample of the sides the readers have seen, then Charlie would not be nearly so concerned about losing their business.
It's not a matter of money anymore. It's a matter of secrets. Once revealed, they can't be hidden again. Hamster knows the truth. And he can tell others the truth. Charlie is trying to stop this problem before it gets even more out of control.
Yesterday:Stanley doesn't trust Charlie.
Today:Stanley and the royals don't trust Charlie.
Tomorrow:Stanley, royals and imperials don't trust Charlie.
After tomorrow: Charlie is seen in a random alley begging for food.
He's losing more and more customers. Sure, he still has a lot, but if he doesn't do anything, his reputation will slowly and surely crumble.