Book 2 – Page 21

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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby theseus2x » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:53 am

Lord Kasavin wrote:Upon further reflection, I'm fairly certain one caveat alone can fix "End Turn" and make it an acceptable spell. This doesn't even assume a link up.

THE TARGET SIDE MUST NOT BE ENGAGED IN ANY MOVEMENT OR ACTION.


This is a good idea... however, keep in mind not all of GK's forces are with Wanda. Ansom is supposedly moving and there may be others as well.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby joosy » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:56 am

Bah. Had this diatribe written twice while at work and when I went to publish it, the forum page had expired and didn't save it. I'm using notepad and cut/paste from now on :)

Hmm.. lots of arguments telling the author how to write his own story. Cute :)
=====================
So.. we have now a real nail-biter and potential end for Gobwin Knob.

We have GK's forces split. We have Wanda, Ossomer, Jack (with a limited amount of juice) and (I assume) their top warlords who are now sitting (hovering) ducks in SpaceRocks airspace. They may have powerful dwagons but they cannot attack across zones and are now vulnerable to archery with no way to retaliate. I imagine the yellow dwagons attack will stop at the zone barrier which could be gross/interesting.

We also have Ansom and the Archons (I just found a new name for my Rock Band group!) along with whatever ground forces they brought. Assuming they haven't left their original hex, they are stuck at Expository Bridge.

We have Parson and Stanley back at Gk and Maggie (with limited juice). Hopefully Sizemore isn't stuck in the Magic Kingdom and can come help advise and get Parson to lead again.

Royal Crown Coalition II can now move AND they are all healed. That means that Tramennis stays in the picture! I also wonder.. does caster 'juice' get replenished at the start of each turn? Or is there a specific amount for each day?

Jillian can probably now attack GK with the goal of capturing Wanda for herself (which will bring her at odds with Slately) but more in line with Charlie who probably would like a public execution of captured Wanda in order to discredit Toolism. (broadcast in glorious Thinka-vision to every side imaginable)

Haggar now has the option of either showing their hand by holding back or continuing their deceit by offering to bolster SpaceRocks defenses and archery. They can attack an enemy (GK) who supposedly can't fight back and puts them in place to attack the garrison if Jetstone's field forces are unsuccessful or thinned out.

Its been stated that King Slately usually leaves matters of battle up to the Chief Warlord but he is so bent on taking out Wanda that I venture he would over ride Tramennis and order all archers and the Dittomancer back to the tower. He may or may not leave the Healomancer but would probably leave the Clothamancer and the Cloth Golems for the ground assault. I wonder if Cubbins could make a contribution by producing commemorative hats for everyone or something ;) Slately will also want to put an end to the abomination that he believes Ansom has become so he may order a two front attack as well.

Charlie: Still in the game, still a major player, but is keeping his involvement a secret. I believe that the real mystery behind Charlie is.. well.. that there is no mystery. He just likes to appear that way. Despite what the archons detailed, he probably just has two rules in life: 1) Never tell people everything that you know. As to what knowing what he wants and what his goal is? Easy. He wants Parson and the Bracer, he wants the other Arkentools, he wants to regain his reputation in the Western conflict, he wants the decrypted archons back in his control or dusted, and he wants to make a profit doing it. It would not make sense for Charlie to show his hand now by sending in Archons to help. It WOULD make sense for him to get Slately to pay for their help, however. That would counter Slately's previous anti-Arkentool denouncements of Charlie as well as pay him to do something Charlie wanted to do to begin with. As it stands now, with the archers and the Faq forces, Slately may not be ready to do that just yet.

Parson now has to lead a battle on two fronts with the odds stacked against him. He has to make the RCC II unwilling or unable to cross the bridge or to attack or enter Spacerock's airspace. He also has to do it with limited thinkagrams , limited foolamancy, and an "I have my own agenda" attitude from Wanda. Wanda's group needs as many bonuses as possible. They have no Chief Warlord and the biggest benefit is probably to the decrypted from Wanda. Is it possible to croak and decrypt a dwagon in mid-air? Is it possible to switch Chief Warlord status back and forth in mid-battle or is the cost prohibitive? Can Parson take advantage of the 'time is relative' feature/bug of Erfworld to his advantage? My bet would be to switch the Chief Warlord status to Ossomer, use Jack to confuse the heck out of Jetstone/Faq , and have Wanda decrypt any fallen dwagons/Warlords/Gwiffons. Then switch the Chief Warlord status back to Ansom, and, assuming all archers are back in the city, use the Archons to attack from the air while Ansom is able to hold back a bottleneck at the bridge. Hopefully we will see Tramennis and Ansom face off.

But that is boring. I'm sure Rob has much more imaginative ideas that will be considered "game breaking" and very entertaining :) We still have the whole "Jack/Jillian/Wanda/Ansom" love quadrangle and the Caesar/Bunny/Don King betrayal/revolt in the works. Hopefully the text update later this week will expound on that more.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:29 am

joosy wrote:Hmm.. lots of arguments telling the author how to write his own story. Cute :)


Hah. It's called criticism and it is a legitimate undertaking thank you very much.

joosy wrote:But that is boring. I'm sure Rob has much more imaginative ideas that will be considered "game breaking" and very entertaining :) We still have the whole "Jack/Jillian/Wanda/Ansom" love quadrangle and the Caesar/Bunny/Don King betrayal/revolt in the works. Hopefully the text update later this week will expound on that more.


There is a world of difference between the quadrangle and the betrayal you mention as plot developments, and the "imaginative ideas that will be considered game breaking". The first category is about story; the second category is gimmicks.

Also for the love of Titans, it's not just about something being gamebreaking, it's about how the story is allowed to develop. If anything could happen, that's hardly a story. Or not this story anyway*. This means you don't just rely on uber magic to solve hanging plot threads. You build a coherent and consistent world and if you're good enough you can still surprise the readers while working in these limitations; moreso even than if you allow yourself to pull out anything, because then the surprises "work" as part of the world and not as a jarring reminder that you're reading something.

*: there is absurdist theatre and there is MS Paint Adventures as some exceptions to this rule. But Erfworld "marketed" itself as the story of campaigns weirdly similar to TBSes, not a surreal deconstruction of narrative.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby joosy » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:44 am

Bah. We had these same arguments about the Arkenpliers as being 'gamebreaking'. The whole point of this comic is Parson coming in and forcing people to 'think outside the hex' and to manipulate existing rules to find a loophole or exploit and hopefully change things.

The KingWorld spell simply advances the plot and creates tension. Without that, then GK would have probably taken out the tower and this chapter would be over. We knew something major was going to have to happen to GK to meet the predictamancy Janice gave to Sizemore. As it stands now, GK forces are in a very tenuous position.

We already knew that Turnamancers could affect turns and loyalty ... for one to be able to end an attacking sides turn while in a tri- or bi-mancer link? That doesn't seem too ludicrous. Personally, I think it is clever and resourceful.. and an sign that Parson is having an effect on how others do battle in this world already.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby theseus2x » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:58 am

joosy wrote:We have GK's forces split. We have Wanda, Ossomer, Jack (with a limited amount of juice) and (I assume) their top warlords who are now sitting (hovering) ducks in SpaceRocks airspace. They may have powerful dwagons but they cannot attack across zones and are now vulnerable to archery with no way to retaliate. I imagine the yellow dwagons attack will stop at the zone barrier which could be gross/interesting.


See, I'm not completely sold on this. Yes, they are sitting ducks to an extent, but does that really mean the Dwagons can't fire back at archers?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby splintermute » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:12 am

theseus2x wrote:
joosy wrote:We have GK's forces split. We have Wanda, Ossomer, Jack (with a limited amount of juice) and (I assume) their top warlords who are now sitting (hovering) ducks in SpaceRocks airspace. They may have powerful dwagons but they cannot attack across zones and are now vulnerable to archery with no way to retaliate. I imagine the yellow dwagons attack will stop at the zone barrier which could be gross/interesting.


See, I'm not completely sold on this. Yes, they are sitting ducks to an extent, but does that really mean the Dwagons can't fire back at archers?


As weird as it may be, I think it does. I'm pretty sure the archons' shockamancy blasts can hit ground units, as demonstrated during Ossomer's capture, but during tBfGK they couldn't attack anything in the GK courtyard after their turn ended, limiting their involvement to the DDR.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby Doctari » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:18 am

Long time since a post:

So my problem is this: Obviously no side in the entire world is loyal to anyone else so why even try diplomacy?

Shouldn't Wanda just kill everyone and spare jillian and as she kills them reanimate them?

I mean if she truly believes she is under titanic mandate and truly loves Jillian this is the only course of action that makes sense. Jillian has been seen fleeing the battlefield on multiple occasions so there really isnt a reason to believe she will behave differently this time.

Also why are there turn a mancers still floating around? Shouldn't every single warlord be spending every single schmucker they have to kill every last one of them (save the 1 you have). I mean if they can end turns and act out of their own turn doesn't this mean no one ever gets another turn? Their juice repops daily. Obviously it can't be pooled so they have to have enough to end a turn every single day. 1 turn per day. Why does the other side ever get to do anything at all?

I'm sorry for everyone out there who are playing the roles of fanboys/girls with such ardent determination but having people point out flaws in your work, (i.e. providing criticism) or just pointing out something they don't like is one of the dangers of putting your work out for consumption. The author surely knows this and I doubt he needs the nerd herd throwing their virtual care blanket over his shoulders and telling him it is going to be all right.

This level of nerd rage protection is almost as bad as giantitp.com's "so what if it updates every 3 weeks, you should be happy to get it at all even if you did support him and buy a book etc" people.

I've had nothing but positive things to say about the story up to this point but this page has kinda let the air out of the whole thing for me. It just seems very sloppy.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:23 am

joosy wrote:Bah. We had these same arguments about the Arkenpliers as being 'gamebreaking'. The whole point of this comic is Parson coming in and forcing people to 'think outside the hex' and to manipulate existing rules to find a loophole or exploit and hopefully change things.


Allright, loophole finding it is. What are the rules? If there's no clearcut specification of any rules, then finding "loopholes" becomes nigh meaningless. And where exactly is the cleverness, again for the same reason. We can appreciate clever moves of chess if/since we know its rules. We can appreciate clever tactics because we have some intuition of how our Universe works.

Why not have Charlie linked with a Shockamancer, say? We know from Caesar that those are very effective against fliers. And they'd have the tower bonus. Wouldn't it have been cleverer to go for insta-kill Aggro? See, this is pointless without knowing what does what.

Also, it's much less rewarding as a reading experience. To summarize a post by Scaramouche from a few pages back, we saw what led to the Uncroaked Volcano. We knew what was involved, and the anguish on Parson's face. The insurmountable odds, the world cheating on him, the desperation, the compelling Duty, the guilt ... There was quality buildup for that thing. This? Not so much.

joosy wrote:The KingWorld spell simply advances the plot and creates tension. Without that, then GK would have probably taken out the tower and this chapter would be over. We knew something major was going to have to happen to GK to meet the predictamancy Janice gave to Sizemore. As it stands now, GK forces are in a very tenuous position.


Someone else, I am really sorry I forgot who, had a brilliant idea. What if Slately had been allowed by Turnamancy to call Tremennis his heir out-of-turn?

This would have made any victory of GK at Spacerock short lived, and while it implies magic, it's a fairly weak application of it. How often do you need to name an heir anyway? That would have been better than what we've just seen.

And finally, (too) convenient for furthering the plot is a near-synonim for lazy. Yeah, KingWorld sure moves the plot forward. It's not good.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:26 am

Doctari wrote:I'm sorry for everyone out there who are playing the roles of fanboys/girls with such ardent determination but having people point out flaws in your work, (i.e. providing criticism) or just pointing out something they don't like is one of the dangers of putting your work out for consumption. The author surely knows this and I doubt he needs the nerd herd throwing their virtual care blanket over his shoulders and telling him it is going to be all right.


A-freaking-men.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby Dahak » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:28 am

Vreejack wrote:Vanna's neat little spell makes a single city much more defensible, since the attacker's turn can be ended instantly the moment they enter the hex. Assuming it always works: the use of the game board suggests that some skill is required.



I'm currently assuming it needs luck to get the right result [i.e. it is random how it will change the turn order] and that Vanna is in link with Charlie and a master class Luckamancer to bring this off reasonably reliably.

I'm also assuming something will happen to the Luckamancer.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby Trotsky » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:54 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
Doctari wrote:I'm sorry for everyone out there who are playing the roles of fanboys/girls with such ardent determination but having people point out flaws in your work, (i.e. providing criticism) or just pointing out something they don't like is one of the dangers of putting your work out for consumption. The author surely knows this and I doubt he needs the nerd herd throwing their virtual care blanket over his shoulders and telling him it is going to be all right.


A-freaking-men.


Alternatively, some people genuinely liked it and are pointing out that fact, or stating that there is not enough information to determine if this is a flaw. We do not know what effect this will have on the narrative. We guess, we speculate, and we generally state such as fact. I for one, want to see where this leads. Will GK's forces be reduced to dust, blowing freely in the wind? We don't know. I would tend to doubt that the Jetstone forces at Expository Bridge can achieve an easy victory over the GK ground forces. This is because they were, presumably, geared to hold a choke point, not take a choke point. This means they will most likely follow their original plan of retreating to Spacerock.

Haggar will be forced, politically, to support Jetstone as Sammy's great fear, that GK wouldn't attack that turn, just happened. Are there enough archer's to take out the Dwagons, when combined with the air forces? Probably, but we don't know what limitations there are on garrison ranged attacks on the airspace (I still think that Parson would have tried to get his archers to kill all of Charlie's forces with the turn he had if archers could attack an unlimited amount into the airspace. Even if Charlie retaliated the next turn, it would have prevented him from playing any part in the RCC Fight. Enigmas suck when planning strategy).

What I'm saying is that there was enough foreshadowing of this for some people to make predictions of this sort of thing while it has been kept vague enough for the next few updates to go in a variety of ways. These ways could be made very good, emotionally moving, and thematically brilliant. Other possibilities would be complete crap that make us wish Parson would just wake up to find it was all a dream. I'm willing to wait and see.

P.S. I do not mind criticism, it just sometimes seems that any negative view is considered "valid criticism" while any positive view is "unreasoning fanboyism." Criticism can be both negative and positive.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby Oberon » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:04 pm

ftl wrote:You know, I'm just imagining the outcry here if, say, veiling had been, erm, "unveiled" mid-battle by the enemy rather than Parson. Something like that - Parson/GK bring a large force somewhere, send out a few warlord scouts around, happily advance into a giant veiled ambush, as the entire forums would cry out O-M-F-G!!! HIDING ENTIRE ARMIES IS SOOOO OVERPOWERED!!!

Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think this sort of ability is on par for a caster. (And, once it's known, it's actually not that difficult to plan around. )
Actually, this is exactly what happened just a few pages ago. And I don't recall the same sort of negative reaction that this page has received. When all is said and done, a little trickery with a veil is a far cry on the power scale from forcing your enemy to lose a turn.

Think about it: They can never attack, but must always settle for defending against your considered attacks. And they can never trust that any move within their turn, splitting a force with the intent to regroup later perhaps, might be spoiled by an abrupt end of their turn. Imagine all the separate dwagon raids on the RCC column to kill the siege. Now imagine that instead of being able to regroup up to form the "donut of doom" the GK turn was forcibly ended with all the dwagons scattered about haphazardly. Yeah, that's not even a game anymore, it's slaughter. So this is why so many people have expressed their disappointment with this page. It is well deserving of all the criticism it has received.

And look at the situation it sets up: The volcano has some very specific limitations. You have be be being besieged at a city with a dormant volcano. We've seen one such city. You have to be willing to lose all your units at that city, including the Chief Warlord if he isn't Parson, and the Overlord if he is present. And you have to have three specific casters on hand. Not something that can be repeated trivially. This trick, however, has no such apparent limitations. Certainly none of geography, and having Charlie remote the link sure removes the "must keep the three casters all in one place" restriction, too. Without any restrictions on this spell being detailed, I would expect to see this repeated until GK was a smoking ruin. That is what Jillian wants more than anything, after all. If Wanda never gets back to GK they can't repeat the volcano anyway, and a few hundred Archons can take the garrison in a single turn and end the GK side.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby Trotsky » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:14 pm

Oberon wrote: This trick, however, has no such apparent limitations.


Setting up the limitations for such a thing before hand just might have reduced the dramatic effect of the reveal. That being said, if such limitations are not at least referenced later (preferably expounded upon), then we have a problem.

That being said, it would have been humorous for Jillian to say "Turnamancer! Now that we have fulfilled all of the specific requirements, Let's do the time warp."
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby Dancing Cthulhu » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:41 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Also, it's much less rewarding as a reading experience. To summarize a post by Scaramouche from a few pages back, we saw what led to the Uncroaked Volcano. We knew what was involved, and the anguish on Parson's face. The insurmountable odds, the world cheating on him, the desperation, the compelling Duty, the guilt ... There was quality buildup for that thing. This? Not so much.


Well, sometimes you've got to have surprises. We knew Charlie/Jillian were working on something, we knew Vanna Mystery Caster Turnamancer would play a part. We were told by Janis that despite Wanda having forces enough to destroy the tower something would occur that would throw a spanner in the works.

With so many sides/factions/characters involved it also wouldn't work to walk us up to every big moment. Especially if it is a trap aimed at the side of the protagonist, Parson. They should be foreshadowed (as this generally was), but still surprising.

Someone else, I am really sorry I forgot who, had a brilliant idea. What if Slately had been allowed by Turnamancy to call Tremennis his heir out-of-turn?


That would have been interesting, though still challenging I guess. Trem would have survived no matter what... though I'm still not sure for how long.

Plus, I'm not sure how it would fit in with some grand design. Assuming Vanna being there was always part of Jillian and Charlie's plan means she was intended for something other then helping designate heirs out of turn, since Charlie and Jillian probably wouldn't have known Jetstone would be left in need of a new heir thanks to GK turning up with flyers and taking Oss away.

This would have made any victory of GK at Spacerock short lived, and while it implies magic, it's a fairly weak application of it. How often do you need to name an heir anyway? That would have been better than what we've just seen.


I don't know... it would have required a far sooner confrontation between Jillian and Wanda, since Jillian wasn't going to let Wanda just burn the tower down and it would still put Trem in the field with wavery Haggar approaching and between GK ground forces and Wanda's flyers.

No one has been insta-killed, and everyone seems in a temporarily strong position.

If anything could happen, that's hardly a story. Or not this story anyway*. This means you don't just rely on uber magic to solve hanging plot threads.


Eh, I'm not sure this comes close to anything could happen territory, or that uber magic is being used to solve hanging plot threads (well, mainly since nothing has been solved yet).

Gish wrote:All this allows is for someone to take a move. It was planned out well in advance, as the constant foreshadowing will show.


And has shown. We've known Charlie/Jillian were up to something since the summer updates. And the whole mystery caster who was Vanna really seemed to suggest she was an important part of the plan.

I also agree with most of the other stuff you say, though I'm not sure about casting out of turn. I don't know if Oss armband and the archons would count, and Wanda's anti-air hit Jillian who I guess was an enemy unit in the hex at the time (and anti-air wouldn't be much good if you could only use it on your turn).

Doctari wrote:Also why are there turn a mancers still floating around? Shouldn't every single warlord be spending every single schmucker they have to kill every last one of them (save the 1 you have).


Huh? Why would any side go on crusades to wipe out a caster type? They pop randomly, so that means they can't be gotten rid of forever, or they are living in the MK where they are safe.

I mean if they can end turns and act out of their own turn doesn't this mean no one ever gets another turn?


Not sure how you got that. One turnamancer, possibly as part of a link up (which is specifically stated as opening up high well beyond the abilities of a single caster), ended the turn of a specific side, a turn that had already been going for some time.

Plus "acting out of turn", there is some indication from book one a caster can act if enemies are in their hex. Wanda and at least some of the dwagon force is in the hex with Vanna.

Their juice repops daily.


Well, at the start of their turn.

Obviously it can't be pooled so they have to have enough to end a turn every single day. 1 turn per day. Why does the other side ever get to do anything at all?


Well, again, the possibility of a link up being in action, and no details have been given on the extent of this spell. How long does it take to cast? What does it cost? What is involved? How often can it be cast (like every turn etc)?
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 – Page 21

Postby Oberon » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:54 pm

ftl wrote:However, the time warp has some major disadvantages too.

1) It requires the caster to be in the same hex as the attackers. (Otherwise the caster can't cast on the enemy turn!) This puts a big army in the same hex as the caster... which means, UNLESS it's in a city (where the caster can cast from a different zone), the effect isn't useful - yeah, attackers will end turn, but then that force that's in the hex already will kill the turnamancer. Oops. Remember, fighting still happens out-of-turn - units just can't cross hex boundaries. Units don't freeze.
We don't really know this to be the case. The authors have played very loose since the originally stated "Can't cast on the enemies turn" restriction was revealed, and then violated many times. The actual mechanics of casting are about as clear as mud. Charlie, for example, can obviously cast multiple thinkagrams on the turns of other sides, without any fighting going on. Explained as a fair case of a broken rule due to his Arkendish? Fine, but that just makes any argument that Charlie can't end someone's turn at any point invalid by the same explanation.

And even if the "must be in the same hex as the enemy to cast" restriction is correct, there are ways to 'sploit this mechanic. Charley is supposedly not allied with Jetstone, since the royals save Jillian are shunning him as non-royal Tool. Does his link with a unit in the hex of a non-allied side give him the ability to support off-turn casting? Who knows. Is Jillian allied with Jetstone? Is Vanna Jillian's unit? Or TVs? Or Charlies? I'm not sure any of this has been made clear.

This ambiguity is a colossal flaw. One of the supposed strengths of Parson is his ability to powergame the system, and find the exploits the rules/mechanics permits. To do this realistically the mechanics need to be at least reasonably consistently presented, and the readers need to be able to read about such an exploit and say "Ahhh! How clever!" But if the mechanics are either kept hidden, or if the explanations the readers get for how things work is always suspect information due to being shown to be incorrect, then where does that leave us?

Another 'sploit: You don't have to cast it on the side that is attacking you. That's no doubt how the mechanic is intended to work, but the common situation would be a caster under attack casting on the attacking units. Vanna didn't end Wanda's turn, she ended GKs turn, including Stanley and company far, far away at GK. So there doesn't appear to be any distance or targeting limitations, as GK units which were not attacking Vanna just had their turn ended. So why not use this lack of distance or targeting restrictions to your best advantage?

If TV isn't allied with Jetstone a single TV bat in the battlespace allows Jetstone to cast off-turn. And we can be pretty sure TV isn't allied with Charley, and Charley has a presence in the battlespace with TV bats and with Jetstone units. Sounds like a perfect excuse to do some off-turn casting.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby dirocyn » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:56 pm

Y'all are making this way more complicated than it is. Vanna the Turnmancer ended GK's turn. There's never been a rule that you can't cast when it's not your turn, otherwise wizards would be useless for defense. It wasn't GK's turn when Wanda set off the air defenses, when Sizemore healed the Golems, or when the three-caster link blew the volcano. Nor was it Jetstone's turn when the Dittomancer increased the effect of the archers.

That voice and Slately's headache from the previous comic was likely Charlie, and it could have been because (a) Vanna is linked to a caster elsewhere, and talking to her individually could break the link with nasty consequences; or (b) simply because Vanna needed to be ready to cast at a moment's notice, maximizing the effect of prematurely ending GK's turn. Vanna's orders may have included "if Wanda leaves the hex where her army is--end GK's turn." This would require all of Vanna's attention.

As far as we can see, ending GK's turn is the only thing that happened. Now it will be the coalition's turn--Jetstone can use its turn to re-apportion its troops, and possibly make a sortie against GK's troops. The Coalition's best move would be to attack, focusing all units (including the Archers and Dittomancer) on Wanda. If they croak or capture Wanda, it will take all Parson's got to keep GK alive.

A spell that ends the other side's turn is no more game-breaking than switching alliances after moving, thereby moving twice while the other side only goes once. If the spell could be cast on multiple, consecutive turns (where only one side ever gets to have a turn) then it would be game-breaking. The first side to get a turnmancer would take over the world. If I were the game master, this spell would use all of the caster's juice, which would not be replenished until the start of that side's turn on the next day.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby Dancing Cthulhu » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:03 pm

Oberon wrote:Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think this sort of ability is on par for a caster. (And, once it's known, it's actually not that difficult to plan around. )
Actually, this is exactly what happened just a few pages ago. And I don't recall the same sort of negative reaction that this page has received. When all is said and done, a little trickery with a veil is a far cry on the power scale from forcing your enemy to lose a turn.[/quote]

Although GK didn't loose a turn, they had their turn ended prematurely. I'd think that would only be a valid concern if we found out Vanna was able to end the turn as soon as it began.

Think about it: They can never attack, but must always settle for defending against your considered attacks. And they can never trust that any move within their turn, splitting a force with the intent to regroup later perhaps, might be spoiled by an abrupt end of their turn. Imagine all the separate dwagon raids on the RCC column to kill the siege. Now imagine that instead of being able to regroup up to form the "donut of doom" the GK turn was forcibly ended with all the dwagons scattered about haphazardly. Yeah, that's not even a game anymore, it's slaughter. So this is why so many people have expressed their disappointment with this page. It is well deserving of all the criticism it has received.


I don't know, it seems a weak criticism to base so much of it on these terribly broken turn end scenarios when we don't know if it even works that way or could be used like that in such circumstances.

"Obviously it is broken, what if you could just end a sides turn in this situation, over and over and over again?" - to which I'll say fair enough when it is shown to be able to do that. At the moment all we have is Stanley saying the turn ended (which apparently Parson didn't know had happened), no other details. We've also got a visual of how Vanna cast it, and it looked fairly complex compared to most spells we have seen.

And look at the situation it sets up: The volcano has some very specific limitations. You have be be being besieged at a city with a dormant volcano. We've seen one such city. You have to be willing to lose all your units at that city, including the Chief Warlord if he isn't Parson, and the Overlord if he is present. And you have to have three specific casters on hand. Not something that can be repeated trivially. This trick, however, has no such apparent limitations.


Well, it also needs the right casters I'd imagine ;)

What would you say the limitations of the more passive link ups we have evidence of are? Beyond the risk to the casters when it is eventually broken?

Certainly none of geography, and having Charlie remote the link sure removes the "must keep the three casters all in one place" restriction, too. Without any restrictions on this spell being detailed, I would expect to see this repeated until GK was a smoking ruin. That is what Jillian wants more than anything, after all. If Wanda never gets back to GK they can't repeat the volcano anyway, and a few hundred Archons can take the garrison in a single turn and end the GK side.


I think that is a bit over the top, again since the specifics of the spell haven't been revealed. Plus GK has 9000+ units. A number outside of GK in garrisons I'd guess and in Wanda's Strikeforce, but probably not 70% or more. I can't see Charlie committing the forces to take the city in a single turn.

And at the very least Vanna stood silently, and with little motion or interaction with anyone for some time before the spell was cast. Not something she'd likely be doing if she was getting dragged along with a field army constantly ending GKs turns.

Assuming the component casters, if it is a link up, were willing to stay in the link up for all that time.

trotsky wrote:Setting up the limitations for such a thing before hand just might have reduced the dramatic effect of the reveal. That being said, if such limitations are not at least referenced later (preferably expounded upon), then we have a problem.


Indeed.
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 – Page 21

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:27 pm

OMG trotsky! You're alive! I thought that hammer to the head did you in! :P

Now on to reply to you. First, yes "positive criticism" is not the same as fanboyism, but when so many people rage against complaints, yeah "negative criticism" needs its champions too.

trotsky wrote:Setting up the limitations for such a thing before hand just might have reduced the dramatic effect of the reveal. That being said, if such limitations are not at least referenced later (preferably expounded upon), then we have a problem.


Disagree. IF the impact you're looking for is a divided fanbase then sure, you're right. IF the impact you're looking for is "oh my, that was really clever of X", then such limitations need to be specified beforehand.

They don't have to be specified as "if you ever cast a spell that ends your opponent's turn, here's the cost", explicit kind of way. They could be scattered throughout the story, like say what kind of resources turnamancy requires, a consistent turn mechanic, that sort of thing, making sure to leave in from the get go a detail on how such a maneuver could be pulled off. THEN, when it happens, it will be surprising and give the readers the impression that whoever achieved it was clever enough to piece all those pieces of world function that you as an author have made.

Dancing Cthulhu wrote:Well, sometimes you've got to have surprises. We knew Charlie/Jillian were working on something, we knew Vanna Mystery Caster Turnamancer would play a part. We were told by Janis that despite Wanda having forces enough to destroy the tower something would occur that would throw a spanner in the works.


This was not the pleasant surprise kind.

Again, things can be surprising but they work best if they are prepared. This implies more than foreshadowing. Having a coherent picture of the world, that you can then and only after then find loopholes in, is way better than introducing a surprise and adjusting the rules after the fact.

Dancing Cthulhu wrote:Eh, I'm not sure this comes close to anything could happen territory, or that uber magic is being used to solve hanging plot threads (well, mainly since nothing has been solved yet).


Oh, but things have been solved. One "argument" for why this was such a swell development is that it allows Trem, Thufir and Sammy t have an impact on the battle, as well as stopping GK curb-stomping everyone.

You may like this solution, but I and several others find a wee bit ill-considered. And if we're not in "uber all powerful magic" territory yet, this update was a step in that direction.

And there was a better solution available. The one I quoted in my post. It would have kept things nice and tight all the way, as even if GK took Spacerock, Jetstone had enough archers and a Dittomancer to cause the fliers a world of hurt on their turn.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 21

Postby Dancing Cthulhu » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:33 pm

Oberon wrote:We don't really know this to be the case. The authors have played very loose since the originally stated "Can't cast on the enemies turn" restriction was revealed, and then violated many times. The actual mechanics of casting are about as clear as mud. Charlie, for example, can obviously cast multiple thinkagrams on the turns of other sides, without any fighting going on. Explained as a fair case of a broken rule due to his Arkendish? Fine, but that just makes any argument that Charlie can't end someone's turn at any point invalid by the same explanation.


Well, Charlie might be no more a caster then Stanley is, and both tools give their owners access to magical abilities. Personally I have always read it as - a side can't use magic on another side if it isn't there turn, unless they are attacking in the same hex, or they are allied with them.

A side can use magic on its own forces, and some communication magic seems to operate outside of all that - which seems fair.

And even if the "must be in the same hex as the enemy to cast" restriction is correct, there are ways to 'sploit this mechanic. Charley is supposedly not allied with Jetstone, since the royals save Jillian are shunning him as non-royal Tool. Does his link with a unit in the hex of a non-allied side give him the ability to support off-turn casting? Who knows. Is Jillian allied with Jetstone? Is Vanna Jillian's unit? Or TVs? Or Charlies? I'm not sure any of this has been made clear.


Yes Jillian is allied with Jetstone, Vanna does appear to be Jillian's unit. And it is Vanna doing the casting if she is part of the link up. This is the turnamancer like ability, based on what we have been shown of them.

If Charlie also happens to be allied with Jillian...

This ambiguity is a colossal flaw. One of the supposed strengths of Parson is his ability to powergame the system, and find the exploits the rules/mechanics permits. To do this realistically the mechanics need to be at least reasonably consistently presented, and the readers need to be able to read about such an exploit and say "Ahhh! How clever!" But if the mechanics are either kept hidden, or if the explanations the readers get for how things work is always suspect information due to being shown to be incorrect, then where does that leave us?


How are they not consistently presented? Are we talking about caster big spells here? Despite everything Parson is still limited to the casters GK can acquire. Plus caster link ups are dangerous, and he doesn't want them to die.

Another 'sploit: You don't have to cast it on the side that is attacking you. That's no doubt how the mechanic is intended to work, but the common situation would be a caster under attack casting on the attacking units. Vanna didn't end Wanda's turn, she ended GKs turn, including Stanley and company far, far away at GK. So there doesn't appear to be any distance or targeting limitations, as GK units which were not attacking Vanna just had their turn ended. So why not use this lack of distance or targeting restrictions to your best advantage?


Isn't Wanda a GK unit, for all intents and purposes? If you want Wanda's turn to end, you need GK's turn to end as well.

If TV isn't allied with Jetstone a single TV bat in the battlespace allows Jetstone to cast off-turn. And we can be pretty sure TV isn't allied with Charley, and Charley has a presence in the battlespace with TV bats and with Jetstone units. Sounds like a perfect excuse to do some off-turn casting.


Huh? Even if they weren't allied they aren't enemies. Presumably the theory goes - attacking units in a hex allow casters to use their offensive abilities on the attackers in defense of that hex. They can still use magic on their own forces or for communication purposes whether it is there turn or not.

And we don't know about Charlie's forces, and if they are there they aren't enemies, and would likely be protected by being with Jillian's side.

dirocyn wrote:Y'all are making this way more complicated than it is. Vanna the Turnmancer ended GK's turn. There's never been a rule that you can't cast when it's not your turn, otherwise wizards would be useless for defense. It wasn't GK's turn when Wanda set off the air defenses, when Sizemore healed the Golems, or when the three-caster link blew the volcano. Nor was it Jetstone's turn when the Dittomancer increased the effect of the archers.


Although all that would come under the theory that you get to use magic against another side, on their turn, when they are enemies in the same hex as your casters. In that case casters wouldn't be useless for defense, it would just mean they couldn't be doing directly offensive things when it wasn't their turn and the enemy wasn't in the hex with them.

That voice and Slately's headache from the previous comic was likely Charlie, and it could have been because (a) Vanna is linked to a caster elsewhere, and talking to her individually could break the link with nasty consequences; or (b) simply because Vanna needed to be ready to cast at a moment's notice, maximizing the effect of prematurely ending GK's turn. Vanna's orders may have included "if Wanda leaves the hex where her army is--end GK's turn." This would require all of Vanna's attention.


Both seem possible. Personally I think it will turn out that Vanna dies, if a link is involved with Charlie/Dish. It wont be a case of "the dish's thinkamancy can safely break the link" it will be a case of breaking the connection with so much Arkentool power automatically being fatal to the non-attuned member/members of the link.

Of course Charlie will have neglected to inform either Jillian or Vanna of the fact. And this is probably something Charlie doesn't offer to clients because it would be to intimidating - long distance link ups would make him seem a threat, plus if it killed the caster/casters involved most sides wouldn't think it worth it.

As far as we can see, ending GK's turn is the only thing that happened. Now it will be the coalition's turn--Jetstone can use its turn to re-apportion its troops, and possibly make a sortie against GK's troops. The Coalition's best move would be to attack, focusing all units (including the Archers and Dittomancer) on Wanda. If they croak or capture Wanda, it will take all Parson's got to keep GK alive.


Agreed. Haggar might still be a wild card though.

A spell that ends the other side's turn is no more game-breaking than switching alliances after moving, thereby moving twice while the other side only goes once. If the spell could be cast on multiple, consecutive turns (where only one side ever gets to have a turn) then it would be game-breaking. The first side to get a turnmancer would take over the world. If I were the game master, this spell would use all of the caster's juice, which would not be replenished until the start of that side's turn on the next day.


Agreed again. Plus we must remember - Unaroyal had a turnamancer. Unaroyal had this turnamancer. Unaroyal never used this turnamancer like this, which implies something special is going on here that was outside the reach of Unaroyal's resources/abilities.

They seemed to be lacking a thinkamancer there at the very end, so that might be it, plus if another caster is involved they might have been lacking that one as well.
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 – Page 21

Postby gazes_also » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:34 pm

A couple of points
On Volcano v Time Warp 'asymmetry'. Ok so the Volcano had symmetrical outcomes for both sides. but, Oh look, one side coincidently now has the power to reanimate all the slain and make them better than living troops, an now have the biggest army on Erf. As a plot twist that's was a bit of a reach - talk about asymmetrical outcomes!

Looking this from a character rather than a rules drive perspective, it is entirely consistent and valid. This spell would only really be effective against a supremely overconfident opponent. The circumstances for greatest effect would be that the opponent has a short-term tactical advantage; (you side is about to complete a major game-changing project on your next turn, or the cavalry is over the next hill). They must press home the advantage to win, but then just STOP, to gloat, engage in pointless exposition, or to wait to be futilely begged for mercy. It's a classic Evil Overlord mistake, while they engage in maniacal laughter the hero switches the poisoned chalices/ retargets the the deathray/ steals the orb of power/ [enter you favourite plot twist here].

As a character driven reverse, is it plausible?
Massively overconfident opponent - check
underestimated antagonist - check
pause for exposition on being chosen by Fate, entertain pleas for mercy; which allows trap to be set- check
Allowing a 'last request' before crushing puny foe; which allows trap to be triggered - check
All that's missing is the "No, this cannot be, I am invincible!" reaction.

This situation is entirely set up by the existing relationship between Jillian and Wanda without any stretching or sudden new revelations. Wanda was so supremely confident of her ability to manipulate Jillian into not fighting or crushing her force if necessary that she leads the attack herself and made mistakes a warlord would never have made. It was entirely brought about by Wanda's character flaws and being outsmarted by someone who knows her better than anyone else. As such I find it a satisfying reverse, much better that a veiled force of Archons or some other blunt instrument. It leaves so many options open.

One final speculation, I suspect Wanda is now completely isolated from her troops. Wanda clearly entered the city hex for the parley just as Ansom crossed the bridge before, but it's not clear whether any other of her forces did - Duncan and Ossomer were trash talking, but that could have been across a boundary. If some of her forces did enter city air space she could have moved too far away from them - Slately describes Jillian and Wanda circling over the tower. This does assume that the city is more than one hex in radius. It would seem like the final finesse on the trap for Jillian to manoeuvre Wanda into an isolated hex where she is now trapped alone. Without her bonus her force is at a distinct disadvantage and will be ripped apart while she watches helplessly. Ok, it does seem a bit like " just stand on this X while I open the trapdoor" but it does have some drama to it.
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