Book 2 – Text Updates 012

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby oslecamo2 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:32 pm

Oberon wrote: Charlie is the type to use the amount of force required. Remember "How many Archons would it take to beat the GK garrison?" And then POP, there they are, Charlie's private archon zerg army.

Notice however Charlie did not take the Garrison right away. First he tried to use them threaten Hamster, and then he simply allowed Jetsone to move in and face the full brunt of GK's defenses, hoping that they would hire him, so he would get Hamster, the bracelet, and a pile of smuckers as bonus.

Conclusion: Charlie tries to squeeze as much profit of each situation as possible. Archon rush may work against Wanda, but it wouldn't be profitable. He would take lots of casualities, and each archon used on the rush is an archon who isn't doing mercenary job to fill his coffers.

Oberon wrote:I've never been a fan of the archons. They are just too potent a unit, and in Book 1 they revealed their powers by using them whenever they were needed. And whether or not this potency comes as a combination of their own innate abilities with Charlie and the Arkendish (which by the way would not be unique to Charlie given that anyone else with the dish would be able to produce archons), it is still just too over the top for my tastes.

Notice however that what we saw untill now were very probably high level archons. Units in Erfworld level up, and that leveling up makes a lot of diference.

A lv1 warlord is an overglorified stabber who dies to a well placed arrow, a lv10 warlord is a God of War who can take on whole armies by himself.

Charlie has been around for a lot of time, and since he always seeks to minimize casualities, one would expect he has a lot of high level archons.

Stanley on the other hand is relatively new to the business, so he still hasn't had the oportunity to develop an elite force of dwagons. He was also forced to sacrifice a sizeable chunk of his pets to win the last conflicts. Most of his giant lizards are fresh out of the wild, and thus not as strong as they could potentialy become.

But remember the scene where Ansom tried to attack a "weak" yellow dwagon. They tought a bunch of archers could take it down, but since the yellow dwagon had some levels, it literaly ate the archers alive.

Levels matter a lot in Erfworld, and you can bet that Charlie has been powerleveling like mad for the last thousands of turns.

Oberon wrote:But that said, we have indeed seen archons teleport right into the middle of a battlespace.


Ah, I remember discussing that. It seems indeed the archons have teleported, but it could also be that they were veiled or something like that.

The problem is, if teleport is possible in Erfworld, then it would be a super-imba tactic. Why didn't the archons teleport out when the volcano exploded?

Also, why did Charlie ask Hamster if he would let his archons pass trough GK's territorry if the archons could teleport around?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby MonteCristo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:54 pm

Sinrus wrote:And he wasn't trying to turn Duncan. He was trying to throw him off his game. Unfortunately, Ossomer doesn't seem to be too bright and only confused/scared himself.

I wouldn't say that that Ossomer was "not to bright", just that he has a very limited view on things
He is dedicated to the titans, and very likely as a royal, his primary goal was fight to preserve and spread royal rule... He thought that most nobles would think along similar lines, and that's why he tried to use that against duncan... thing is though, he did not expect Duncan to be a non-noble, and never really took the time to figure out what non-nobles fight for. furtharmore, duncan's responce "to win" seemed to be an illogical one as Ossy thought victory was pretty damn certain for GK... if you can't possibly win and your goal is "to win" then you are fighting for "nothing"... and that's why he got baffled by Duncan

Duncan however... he doesn't know how they will win this fight... he just knows that jillian will pull a little magic out of that hat of her's a score an unforeseeable victory, just as she did when she captured Duncan.

Ah, I remember discussing that. It seems indeed the archons have teleported, but it could also be that they were veiled or something like that.

The problem is, if teleport is possible in Erfworld, then it would be a super-imba tactic. Why didn't the archons teleport out when the volcano exploded?

Also, why did Charlie ask Hamster if he would let his archons pass trough GK's territorry if the archons could teleport around?

Indeed, another thing to take into account is that the casting abilities of archons is limited... they have limited forms of thinkamancy, dollamancy, shockamancy, and foolamancy... I'm not sure what school of magic teleportation would fall under (i might suspect some form of stagemancy), but i doubt it would be one of those 4... so if teleportation does exist, archons would not be able to cast it
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby Sinrus » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:13 pm

My guess is that Charlie had to hire a caster from the MK to get them there. He then couldn't get them out of the volcano because the caster returned home.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby multilis » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:27 pm

oslecamo2 wrote:Conclusion: Charlie tries to squeeze as much profit of each situation as possible. Archon rush may work against Wanda, but it wouldn't be profitable. He would take lots of casualities, and each archon used on the rush is an archon who isn't doing mercenary job to fill his coffers.

Charlie is *not* being paid to take out Wanda, yet he has archons in area and using them even to supply Jillian with provisions. (Those archons are not making money for Charlie, no one in area will hire them)

The rules changed as soon as Charlie discovered Wanda's decrypted archons. Before then, Charlie's internal workings were big secret which was another huge layer of defense/protection. Knowing Charlie has 600 archons, only 1 city, etc puts his side at risk more then in past, if others see him as threat they now know how to starve him (reduce his income) and what forces would be needed to beat him.

600 archons sounds like quietly approaching size of force needed to take over erfworld, which may be Charlie's end game plan... once he reaches critical mass he could switch from mercenary to looter and wipe everyone else out. His units are mobile so hard to catch/counter. If he got Parson and killed Wanda he might already *be* strong enough to take over. (A highly mobile flier force with little to defend and lots to loot can devastate much larger divided forces in most games with similar mechanics to Erfworld)

One thing I don't get about Charlie... no warlords. Would seem useful as force multipliers, at least in reserve for defense of his super capital. Are some archons able to give warlord type bonus? (Normally one would perhaps quietly have at least a few warlords slowly lvling if nothing else on safely attacking feral units so eventually have lvl 10 warlord in reserve).
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby oslecamo2 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:50 pm

multilis wrote:Charlie is *not* being paid to take out Wanda, yet he has archons in area and using them even to supply Jillian with provisions. (Those archons are not making money for Charlie, no one in area will hire them)

But it's a small token force of archons. And it's Transylvito and FAQ the ones who are paying most of the bills in the end.

Even in this grim moment, Charlie is still just using a small amount of his total force.

Also, it was said that royal factions weren't hiring Charlie anymore, so he probably had archons whitout work on the nearby zones. If they aren't doing mercenary job, better do a job of some kind. Making them travel to areas with work available would probably take too long.

multilis wrote:600 archons sounds like quietly approaching size of force needed to take over erfworld, which may be Charlie's end game plan... once he reaches critical mass he could switch from mercenary to looter and wipe everyone else out. His units are mobile so hard to catch/counter. If he got Parson and killed Wanda he might already *be* strong enough to take over. (A highly mobile flier force with little to defend and lots to loot can devastate much larger divided forces in most games with similar mechanics to Erfworld)

First, Erfworld is much bigger than we see now. There are other kingdoms beyond the horizon only Charlie heard about. If Charlie needs help to tackle Hamster and Wanda, wich in turn can be defeated by the super stack from the other faction coming next turn, then I really don't see how 600 archons could conquer Erfworld.

Second, upkeep. Once he stops doing mercenary job, Charlie must loot cities. But as we already saw, it's possible to use "burned ground" tactics in Erfworld. Retreat, spend all your money, leave nothing behind for the enemy to take.

Third, archers. If Charlie goes bersek mode, the other factions bunker in their cities with archers and rain deadly death. His flying force has no variety whatsoever, so they can be stoped by a natural counter. We already saw several examples that archers just murder flying units. That's why Hamster used Jack to veil his dwagon force, so the enemy wouldn't fill the capital with archers.

multilis wrote:One thing I don't get about Charlie... no warlords. Would seem useful as force multipliers, at least in reserve for defense of his super capital. Are some archons able to give warlord type bonus? (Normally one would perhaps quietly have at least a few warlords slowly lvling if nothing else on attacking feral units so eventually have lvl 10 warlord in reserve).

Some archons get leadership as random ability. That's why they can focus fire in combat. Whitout leadership, units auto-attack whatever is in range.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby Oberon » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:52 pm

oslecamo2 wrote:
Oberon wrote: Charlie is the type to use the amount of force required. Remember "How many Archons would it take to beat the GK garrison?" And then POP, there they are, Charlie's private archon zerg army.

Notice however Charlie did not take the Garrison right away. First he tried to use them threaten Hamster, and then he simply allowed Jetsone to move in and face the full brunt of GK's defenses, hoping that they would hire him, so he would get Hamster, the bracelet, and a pile of smuckers as bonus.

Conclusion: Charlie tries to squeeze as much profit of each situation as possible. Archon rush may work against Wanda, but it wouldn't be profitable. He would take lots of casualities, and each archon used on the rush is an archon who isn't doing mercenary job to fill his coffers.
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.

oslecamo2 wrote:Charlie has been around for a lot of time, and since he always seeks to minimize casualities, one would expect he has a lot of high level archons.
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.

oslecamo2 wrote:Levels matter a lot in Erfworld, and you can bet that Charlie has been powerleveling like mad for the last thousands of turns.
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. 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.

oslecamo2 wrote:Ah, I remember discussing that. It seems indeed the archons have teleported, but it could also be that they were veiled or something like that.

The problem is, if teleport is possible in Erfworld, then it would be a super-imba tactic. Why didn't the archons teleport out when the volcano exploded?

Also, why did Charlie ask Hamster if he would let his archons pass trough GK's territorry if the archons could teleport around?
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. 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. 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.

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.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby Oberon » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:08 pm

oslecamo2 wrote:First, Erfworld is much bigger than we see now. There are other kingdoms beyond the horizon only Charlie heard about.
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. He has a fleet of fast, mobile mercenaries, and possibly some means to teleport them long distances. Having 10 or so royal sides refuse to deal with him should be something that he just waits out, because things always change over time. Dire straights could easily make a side far more eager to deal with him, or a change in the power balance, or many other factors. I just don't see Erf being much larger than what we have seen, it doesn't fit well with Charlies concerns about what would be just a slowdown in business if he had a bunch of other customers elsewhere.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby MonteCristo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:15 pm

Sinrus wrote:My guess is that Charlie had to hire a caster from the MK to get them there. He then couldn't get them out of the volcano because the caster returned home.

It could also be the case that the mancer was out of juice...
but i doubt they teleported... i would suspect teleportation would have some hard limitations and would not allow for teleporting a relatively large force over a long distance

Most likely, Charlie had all those archon's nearby and on standby so that he could provide the RCC or GK anykind of support they might need should they make a deal.
frankly i don't recall anything really showing that they appeared out of nowhere.

multilis wrote:One thing I don't get about Charlie... no warlords. Would seem useful as force multipliers, at least in reserve for defense of his super capital. Are some archons able to give warlord type bonus? (Normally one would perhaps quietly have at least a few warlords slowly lvling if nothing else on safely attacking feral units so eventually have lvl 10 warlord in reserve).

Well, one probablem with the warlord's is that, unless he could get some of the TV vampire variety or acquire mounts, they would not be even remotely as mobile... they'd really slow down the achons in terms of movement

and i do think that the archons might be able to give warlord like bonuses... they can gain "leadership" as a special which i suspect is what warlord's use to give bonus's
In Sammy Hagar's update he wanted all archers that could not be with a warlord to be with a multilevel scout... this would seem to imply that high level scout's might be able to provide bonus's... not sure if they get it, but they might be able to get "leadership"... though i would suspect that warlord's would provide better bonus's

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. He has a fleet of fast, mobile mercenaries, and possibly some means to teleport them long distances. Having 10 or so royal sides refuse to deal with him should be something that he just waits out, because things always change over time. Dire straights could easily make a side far more eager to deal with him, or a change in the power balance, or many other factors. I just don't see Erf being much larger than what we have seen, it doesn't fit well with Charlies concerns about what would be just a slowdown in business if he had a bunch of other customers elsewhere.

Those royal sides may only be the beginning... as things go on things might not change...the magic kingdom seems like it may have portals and casters visiting all over erfworld, and as such news may spread though MK that charlie is anti-royal; people may start developing a general hate for those who are attuned. word may slowly spread that charlie is at war against the royals, that he is a follower of toolism, and so forth and charlie will slowly loose business...
what you percive as a temporary line of thought, could be the start of a general trend... he can't be sure how things will change, and he's royally screwed if things don't change
he simply can't take the risk!
He needs to nip these rumors in the butt before they really gain momentum
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby multilis » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:02 pm

oslecamo2 wrote: If Charlie needs help to tackle Hamster and Wanda, wich in turn can be defeated by the super stack from the other faction coming next turn, then I really don't see how 600 archons could conquer Erfworld...

Not clear that Charlie *couldn't* defeat Hamster and Wanda all by himself, in past a tiny fraction of those archons were enough to conquer goblin keep that a whole coalition found a challenge... he'd rather use others, just like TV.

Scorched earth isn't that easy to apply against a very large force of very fast units. You don't know where they will hit, you often don't even know where they are... so do you scorch every one of your weaker cities? If so you are helping obliterate yourself.

In most games archers only work if you aren't outnumbered too badly, otherwise fliers can wipe out every archer in first round before you do much damage. (Fly over wall, archers tend to get only one shot off at longer range before killed, only enough to wound most of time)

If you gather up archers into one city, a fast force simply destroys every other city you haven't destroyed yourself, and leaves you alone... upkeep will force you to disband any units you can't support with a single city given time.

Units completely healing at start of every day also gives big boost to looting horde style tactics.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby Vreejack » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:16 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:In any case, what MonteCristo said, that teleporting several (many) units a couple of hexes away is a useless ability is wrong. There's no end to what you can do with this thing; you can bypass defensive formations a-la Jetstone's bridge guard with ease, for example.

PS: this reminds me of the Heroes series, and it's truly powerful Dimension Door and Town Portal spells. First one teleported one hero anywhere across a screen, while the second, if the hero was an expert at that school of magic, to an allied town of choice. Hugely powerful, they really spoiled the game once you got a hold of them.


This reminded me of the early days of Ultima Online, where Teleporting turned out to be the most powerful spell in the game since it broke every normally instinctive understanding of what a barrier was. People were teleporting over castle walls and through the windows of locked houses and making themselves at home while the owner was offline. The only way to protect your possessions was to put them in your backpack and never log in.

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby JustDoug » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:24 am

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. 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. 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.

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.


Just hangin' off this particular post to address the teleport business.

Speed isn't important. Move is. Time external to your hex depends upon order of action, not how long they take (within reason). Archons have a lot of move, as shown with the Dragon Scouting they were put to for Stanley. Keep in mind that the whole Erfian Hex Relativity thing and how time isn't the same everywhere, but turns are.

If it's your turn - or are able to move asynchronously outside of a battlespace- and you have a lot of move, it can look a lot like you're teleporting when that oh-so flexible time everywhere else but in this hex thing kicks in and you arrive here suddenly right after you're called, even if you personally had to spend a lot of time traveling through fifty other hexes to get here.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby Oberon » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:27 am

MonteCristo wrote:Those royal sides may only be the beginning... as things go on things might not change...the magic kingdom seems like it may have portals and casters visiting all over erfworld, and as such news may spread though MK that charlie is anti-royal; people may start developing a general hate for those who are attuned. word may slowly spread that charlie is at war against the royals, that he is a follower of toolism, and so forth and charlie will slowly loose business...
what you percive as a temporary line of thought, could be the start of a general trend... he can't be sure how things will change, and he's royally screwed if things don't change
he simply can't take the risk!
He needs to nip these rumors in the butt before they really gain momentum
Yeah, it's plausible, I guess. But let me ask you this: Do you believe that the residents of the MK, with all of the magics at their disposal, would really fall for something as...primitive...as what appears to have all the earmarks of a teen girl rumor mill smear campaign?

I do not. Charlie is said to have an "excellent reputation" within the MK. We know this from the chats Parson had with the decrypted archons. This should mean that most residents would give him the benefit of the doubt, should take a few minutes to question rumors about Charlie, and possibly use some of the magics at their command to determine the truth of the matter before accepting those rumors at face value. And most definitely before spreading those rumors all over Erf.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby MonteCristo » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:37 am

Oberon wrote:
MonteCristo wrote:Those royal sides may only be the beginning... as things go on things might not change...the magic kingdom seems like it may have portals and casters visiting all over erfworld, and as such news may spread though MK that charlie is anti-royal; people may start developing a general hate for those who are attuned. word may slowly spread that charlie is at war against the royals, that he is a follower of toolism, and so forth and charlie will slowly loose business...
what you percive as a temporary line of thought, could be the start of a general trend... he can't be sure how things will change, and he's royally screwed if things don't change
he simply can't take the risk!
He needs to nip these rumors in the butt before they really gain momentum
Yeah, it's plausible, I guess. But let me ask you this: Do you believe that the residents of the MK, with all of the magics at their disposal, would really fall for something as...primitive...as what appears to have all the earmarks of a teen girl rumor mill smear campaign?

I do not. Charlie is said to have an "excellent reputation" within the MK. We know this from the chats Parson had with the decrypted archons. This should mean that most residents would give him the benefit of the doubt, should take a few minutes to question rumors about Charlie, and possibly use some of the magics at their command to determine the truth of the matter before accepting those rumors at face value. And most definitely before spreading those rumors all over Erf.

Well you have to remember, a good reputation is hard to build but easy to destroy... look at sizemore, everyone use to know him and love him, but over the many turns they have slowly been alienating him... one bad move is really all it takes to destroy your rep.

And the rumors did seem to have some considerable (though false) creditability to them... Gk was making use of archons, a unit that other sides knew that GK nor unaroyal could pop... until the fall of unaroyal, no one knew about decryption, or could be certain of what GK was did to get so powerful. And since Charlie would not (falsely) admit to just hiring his forces out to GK like he would for any side that would hire him, it was easy to conclude that Charlie was lying about not lending his power to GK... essentially by all logic, it was VERY likely that they were charlie's; and this is on top of the whole toolism thing... what more proof did they need before they started spreading the rumors? ... sure the truth of decryption eventually came out, but by then the rumors have already spread. It doesn't matter what MK thinks, just what the royals who rule the casters that visit MK think... and the more the war goes on the easier it is for other royal sides to believe that all of the atuned follow the path of toolism.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby Oberon » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:44 am

MonteCristo wrote:Well you have to remember, a good reputation is hard to build but easy to destroy... look at sizemore, everyone use to know him and love him, but over the many turns they have slowly been alienating him... one bad move is really all it takes to destroy your rep.
There is a difference here. Sizemore is a member of the GK Side which is espousing Toolism, the New World Order which states that attunement to an Arkentool is a de facto mandate from the Titans to rule on Erf as opposed to the Old World Order of Royalty granting that same mandate. Charlie, despite the fact that he is a non-royal who is attuned, is not a proponent of the Toolism philosophy, and his Side seems to be quite comfortable with the Old World Order. It really should not be hard for folks with magic at their disposal to discern the difference.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby MonteCristo » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:08 am

Oberon wrote:
MonteCristo wrote:Well you have to remember, a good reputation is hard to build but easy to destroy... look at sizemore, everyone use to know him and love him, but over the many turns they have slowly been alienating him... one bad move is really all it takes to destroy your rep.
There is a difference here. Sizemore is a member of the GK Side which is espousing Toolism, the New World Order which states that attunement to an Arkentool is a de facto mandate from the Titans to rule on Erf as opposed to the Old World Order of Royalty granting that same mandate. Charlie, despite the fact that he is a non-royal who is attuned, is not a proponent of the Toolism philosophy, and his Side seems to be quite comfortable with the Old World Order. It really should not be hard for folks with magic at their disposal to discern the difference.


y'know, unless you take into account the second half of my posts which basically said that for many turns Charlie really did appear to be working with GK and had no way to really refute it...

He could not explain how GK was using archons in his fight, when they can't pop archons, have no alliance with any side that uses archons, and noting that charlie is a leading (and possibly only) supplier of archons for mercenary work... added to his status as one of the attuned, it becomes hard to say that he was not working with GK... the casters who belong to royal sides (and don't get hired by charlie for casting) in particular will be quicker then most to spread the rumors... and by the time that word of decryption came about to help give the explanation he needed the rumors will have already done their damage... royals in other parts of the world may have heard of this and will grow distrustful to anyone who is attuned, and grow to hate them as one royal side falls after another

and hell, it doesn't even have to be "rumors" that spreads the rumor... casters in the magic kingdom can just say what they've heard... they don't have to spread the rumor that "charlie is working for GK", just the actual fact that "some sides say he's working for GK", and let others think what they will... some will give'em the benefit of the doubt, but noble casters may bring the news back home with them and let their royal rulers draw their own conclusions
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:09 am

multilis wrote:Not clear that Charlie *couldn't* defeat Hamster and Wanda all by himself, in past a tiny fraction of those archons were enough to conquer goblin keep that a whole coalition found a challenge... he'd rather use others, just like TV.


At 600 archons, that's likely, but it would probably take a significant amount of those to actually finish GK-Wanda off. 14 archons were NOT enough to take GK in its weakened state, and Charlie never got an answer (never asked) how many would have been needed, I think.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby kefkakrazy » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:23 am

You know, this discussion about Charlie brings to mind one of my own Epileptic Trees.

I was theorizing, for a while, that Charlie was a player much like Parson, in that he wasn't from Erfworld. It would make a sort of sense; this particular oddball theory went that Charlie's obsession with surrounding himself with Archons stemmed, not from tactical gain or intent, but from a certain sort of pathetic geekery. Essentially, that Charlie is, in fact, someone who was seriously bullied in the real world who came to Erfworld. Found the Arkendish and proceeded to use its powers; now, he takes out his frustration at all of those who mistreated him by manipulating everyone he can from behind the scenes; the frustration at being unable to talk to/attract women is fulfilled by simply obsessing over Archons.

It's a strange, unlikely theory, but if I turn out to be right, I'll totally go eat a cookie or something to celebrate.


mmm... cookie....
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby Dancing Cthulhu » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:06 am

Most interesting. So we see into the mind of another of the decrypted. It seems Oss has taken to it differently then Ansom. Also nice to see the idea of all those units disbanding makes him unhappy.

And it has probably be mentioned - but does this mean Jitterati is another non-royal side? I'm really liking Duncan Scone so far. Our humble chief warlord, I imagine his attitude must be irking and/or creeping Oss out a bit. I imagine Parson would like him as well.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:It is amusing to see Ossomer try his hand at subtle tricks and psycho-warfare, but doesn't this, his comical high-strung failure at it, make him too much of a stereotype? Is there no brain with that brawn?


I don't think it is that he has no brain with the brawn, he is just a straightforward battlefield commander type. Duplicity, mind games etc wouldn't be his field since he'd be used to just leading a mass of infantry and croaking his enemies without needing any of that. Arguably Ansom wasn't really much for it either. Trem though...

And I think the main problem was Oss was trying it without sufficient info. Parson did it well because he knew Ansom's big button, Scone's big button isn't royalty, and he is apparently comfortable with the situation they find themselves in. Of course it is kind of ironic now that Oss has been "set free" from the outdated royal mandate it still dominates his perception of why people would be resisting the Tools.

oslecamo2 wrote:Ah, I remember discussing that. It seems indeed the archons have teleported, but it could also be that they were veiled or something like that.

The problem is, if teleport is possible in Erfworld, then it would be a super-imba tactic. Why didn't the archons teleport out when the volcano exploded?


I don't know, they have good move, and we know Charlie likes having forces close to major conflicts... maybe they were nearby veiled or something. Not so close to risk being spotted (like in the nearby mountains, just hanging around). Of course it begs the question why Charlie thought a few dozen archons were worth posting so close to a conflict that seemed so very one sided. Plus since it wasn't almost a given GK wouldn't hire him/he wouldn't work for them then the only side he'd be there for was the one with all the advantages already.

Hmmm - for there ambush of Stanley his was also thought to be contributing a number of Archons...

But maybe Charlie does have access to porting via his dish. Or maybe he has scrolls (if you can get a scroll to summon the perfect warlord, I'm assuming for a price there would be one to move a few dozen archons from one location to another) or a device created by a caster link up that lets him teleport forces. If so it might be one way or limited use - they are teleported from Charlescomm to a location, and can't be teleported back. Alternatively - they were allied to the Coalition and the volcano blew up fast, Charlie might not have realized he had to get his Archons out until it was to late.
And so my time with the Tardy Elves draws to a close, and I am let to ponder how the experience will... eh, I'll finish later. No need to rush.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby Dancing Cthulhu » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:41 am

Oberon wrote:
oslecamo2 wrote:First, Erfworld is much bigger than we see now. There are other kingdoms beyond the horizon only Charlie heard about.
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.


Can we be sure he was that concerned? Charlie walks many a fine line with how he decides to conduct business and relations. He knows, I think, full well what GK's continuing victories would mean for Erfworld, and he also knows getting the sides to see the threat fast enough to get together to stop it would be a problem - look at Jetstone trying to get Haggar to fall into line.

So even if his business is going well enough beyond the current RCCII conflict, he knows unless it ends in favor of the traditional model (lots of sides fighting amongst themselves) it will ruin what he has going on. So he claims the RCCII not hiring him is his main motivation, because it is bad for business, to cover his real concerns/motivations (he needs to stop GK so that there will be many sides to sell his services to).

Plus that Erfworld is larger then the sides we have seen is straight from the mouths of Archons. They apparently know Charlie deals with sides Jetstone and GK have never even heard of. They have no reason (or ability, probably) to lie about it to Parson.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:In any case, what MonteCristo said, that teleporting several (many) units a couple of hexes away is a useless ability is wrong. There's no end to what you can do with this thing; you can bypass defensive formations a-la Jetstone's bridge guard with ease, for example.


Indeed - and if Charlie did teleport Archons to GK I think that shows why it would be a useful ability (if your troops are of sufficient quality) - it will let you move forces you need from one point to another almost instantly. The tyranny of the movement phase could be overcome at a pivotal moment.

In this case Charlie got info about what he needed to take GK garrison. All well and good. But if it had then taken him 10 turns or something to get his archons from his capital to GK then it wouldn't be much good because the info would have been outdated and the situation would have changed.

Oberon wrote:I've never been a fan of the archons. They are just too potent a unit, and in Book 1 they revealed their powers by using them whenever they were needed. And whether or not this potency comes as a combination of their own innate abilities with Charlie and the Arkendish (which by the way would not be unique to Charlie given that anyone else with the dish would be able to produce archons), it is still just too over the top for my tastes.


I like them, they seem like good examples of high end units that become available in any RTS. Plus as we now know - they are very expensive and follow rules like any units - they have levels, they have set abilities etc. Charlie's Dish and operating procedure is why he can have so many and by rights he is operating on a pretty tight profit margin.

All the tools seem to offer the attuned the opportunity to develop a strong force, with units closely associated or only attainable via the tool. It wouldn't make sense if a smart hammer user can quickly amass a massive dwagon force and a smart/lucky plier's user can quickly put together an awesome decrypted army, with no upkeep, while smart dish user can't put together an equally good force.
Last edited by Dancing Cthulhu on Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
And so my time with the Tardy Elves draws to a close, and I am let to ponder how the experience will... eh, I'll finish later. No need to rush.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 012

Postby oslecamo2 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:17 am

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.
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