Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby Welf von Ehrwald » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:26 pm

cdrcjsn wrote:So what if they use money to spontaneously create more hobgoblins? Use more money to instantly upgrade them to knight status. They can't fly, so they fall to their deaths. Wanda uncroaks them. Instant army on the ground to fight archers.


That wouldn't work; from one of the text updates we know that the money given to the tribe will be converted to new units or upgrades on the next turn.

Text Update 4 wrote:If they are given Schmuckers, the tribe must convert it all to new or promoted units or popped rations or equipment on the next turn.


Some crazy idea: Gk could give schmuckers to the hobgobwins and then brake alliance. Maybe the hobgobwins would get a new turn, disrupting Jetstones, pop new units and then re-ally with GK. Jillian mentions the possibility of breaking a alliance and making a sneak attack once, so it seems possible.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby ftl » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:09 pm

Welf von Ehrwald wrote:Some crazy idea: Gk could give schmuckers to the hobgobwins and then brake alliance. Maybe the hobgobwins would get a new turn, disrupting Jetstones, pop new units and then re-ally with GK. Jillian mentions the possibility of breaking a alliance and making a sneak attack once, so it seems possible.


Seems unlikely to me. It would be strange if internal politics within the GK alliance could end the turn of Jetstone. I could see your ally breaking off the alliance being a cause of that alliance ending turn (and then individual members get turns in some order); however, it would be strange if it were possible for breaking and reforming an alliance to end the turn of some OTHER coalition. I just don't see that working; otherwise, it would be common for internal politics to end other sides turns, and yet everyone seemed completely surprised when GK's turn got forcibly ended.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby teratorn » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:10 pm

Welf von Ehrwald wrote:That wouldn't work; from one of the text updates we know that the money given to the tribe will be converted to new units or upgrades on the next turn.


It's a pity, they could rain hobgobwins on their enemy.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby MKBG » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:23 pm

I was just re-reading the klog and realized that "Most [spells] can't be cast unless there are enemy units in the same hex/city."

How do you suppose that is affected by prisoners? If the enemy army is far far away, can you capture one unit to keep in your city/hex so that you can cast all the spells you want off-turn in your capital? It wouldn't even have to be a big one, some lowly piker or some-such.

Just a thought I had, while obsessively checking for the next update...
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby Oberon » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:32 pm

Balance wrote:
davesnothere wrote:We've seen arrows in the hex boundary during the initial skirmish to capture Ossomer.

Lets see if I can find and edit in a link: Book 2, page 9, last panel.
http://www.erfworld.com/book-2-archive/?px=%2F2009-11-28.jpg

It looks like some of the arrows in the river are beyond the hex boundary. I would guess that means the boundary can make the distinction between "arrow-as-attack" and "arrow-as-object". If the arrow expends its force and falls into the water before reaching the hex boundary, the current can carry it across. I'm not sure if that could be useful in any way, but it's mildly interesting.

badninja wrote:Although the one I kinda like is that either Parson gets some move because we see him commanding troops on a wall or the battle is going to be brought to GK.

I think he was just up there to get one of the archers to demonstrate the arrow-stuck-in-the-boundary phenomenon. It's not a battle, it's a science experiment.
So in the same post you describe how Parson is just conducting a science experiment, and also conclude that things work differently out of combat for some reason? You realize that you're claiming that Parson was having his archer fire at an enemy unit, right? Because otherwise, your "intent" theory would have the arrow just carry right on through the boundary with no issue. Logic escapes you! :lol:
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:20 pm

Oberon wrote:Logic escapes you! :lol:


Meh, logic is over-rated. It cannot even decide whether modus ponens is a legitimate form of reasoning.

(Might wanna skip to the "In formal language" part to see that this actually is a problem in naive logic. Of course it is solvable, logic is not over-rated etc, it's just much more subtle than it appears. Also, this post bears no relevance to the previous ones!)


Now, modus pwnens is where it's at. Whoever made that pun, cause it wasn't me, my tin-foil hat is off to you.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby gazes_also » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:16 pm

Oberon wrote:
Balance wrote:
davesnothere wrote:We've seen arrows in the hex boundary during the initial skirmish to capture Ossomer.

Lets see if I can find and edit in a link: Book 2, page 9, last panel.
http://www.erfworld.com/book-2-archive/?px=%2F2009-11-28.jpg

It looks like some of the arrows in the river are beyond the hex boundary. I would guess that means the boundary can make the distinction between "arrow-as-attack" and "arrow-as-object". If the arrow expends its force and falls into the water before reaching the hex boundary, the current can carry it across. I'm not sure if that could be useful in any way, but it's mildly interesting.

badninja wrote:Although the one I kinda like is that either Parson gets some move because we see him commanding troops on a wall or the battle is going to be brought to GK.

I think he was just up there to get one of the archers to demonstrate the arrow-stuck-in-the-boundary phenomenon. It's not a battle, it's a science experiment.
So in the same post you describe how Parson is just conducting a science experiment, and also conclude that things work differently out of combat for some reason? You realize that you're claiming that Parson was having his archer fire at an enemy unit, right? Because otherwise, your "intent" theory would have the arrow just carry right on through the boundary with no issue. Logic escapes you! :lol:


The intent argument holds up if you define intent as the direction of an object by a conscious action to pass through a boundary - it doesn't have to be an attack, just a purposeful action to send something through. Then if there is no conscious-action momentum acting on the objects at the time they reach the boundary, they may pass through boundaries under the influence of natural forces, gravity, water flow.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby DoctorJest » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:23 pm

Welf von Ehrwald wrote:Some crazy idea: Gk could give schmuckers to the hobgobwins and then brake alliance. Maybe the hobgobwins would get a new turn, disrupting Jetstones, pop new units and then re-ally with GK. Jillian mentions the possibility of breaking a alliance and making a sneak attack once, so it seems possible.


No, the hob's aren't a side. They're a Natural Ally. They don't get a turn of their own.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby DoctorJest » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:24 pm

teratorn wrote:
Welf von Ehrwald wrote:That wouldn't work; from one of the text updates we know that the money given to the tribe will be converted to new units or upgrades on the next turn.


It's a pity, they could rain hobgobwins on their enemy.


Even if they could pop more Hobs, they'd need to pop them somewhere they control, I very much doubt they could pop them in the middle of an enemy's battlespace.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby Lamech » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:31 pm

So they drop Hobs on the garrison and Wanda decrypts them all? And then decrypts more Jetstone units, I wonder how much damage dwagons could do to a tightly packed group of archers.

They win if the arkenpliers can cross hex zones.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby Almaseti » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:59 pm

MKBG wrote:I was just re-reading the klog and realized that "Most [spells] can't be cast unless there are enemy units in the same hex/city."

How do you suppose that is affected by prisoners? If the enemy army is far far away, can you capture one unit to keep in your city/hex so that you can cast all the spells you want off-turn in your capital? It wouldn't even have to be a big one, some lowly piker or some-such.

Just a thought I had, while obsessively checking for the next update...


I'm pretty sure prisoners take their turn with the side imprisoning them. Remember when Jillian was captured and her rations popped with Wanda's? I don't know how the move works for them, but it would make sense to have special rules.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby cdrcjsn » Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:47 am

Welf von Ehrwald wrote:
cdrcjsn wrote:So what if they use money to spontaneously create more hobgoblins? Use more money to instantly upgrade them to knight status. They can't fly, so they fall to their deaths. Wanda uncroaks them. Instant army on the ground to fight archers.


That wouldn't work; from one of the text updates we know that the money given to the tribe will be converted to new units or upgrades on the next turn.

Text Update 4 wrote:If they are given Schmuckers, the tribe must convert it all to new or promoted units or popped rations or equipment on the next turn.



The text immediately preceding that is talking about the limitations of what the tribe can do with money. So if you squint hard enough, he might only be referring to the longest period of time that a tribe can hold on to money rather than the actual process of popping troops/equipment. It might still be possible to pop troops instantly.

But...you're probably right.

/sigh

It was such a nice mental image, thinking about hobgoblins falling from the sky...but I think that's the Dwarf Fortress bloodthirst coming to the fore, more than anything.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby Oberon » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:51 am

gazes_also wrote:The intent argument holds up if you define intent as the direction of an object by a conscious action to pass through a boundary [snipped]
Except that the intent can also be defined as a desire to witness the halting of the arrow at the zone boundary in an out of combat time frame. Which is apparently exactly what happened.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby Oberon » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:00 am

DoctorJest wrote:No, the hob's aren't a side. They're a Natural Ally. They don't get a turn of their own.
They probably do get a turn if they are attacking their natural ally. Otherwise things would be just a bit complicated when it came time to resolve events. However, the sole example we have of this, shows Duncan acting both before and after his allies betrayed him. So no love there for resolving any turn issues.

Rob makes a decent but ultimately failed attempt to sort out the issues that have been seen with turn order. Casting is complex enough, and adding in allies has made a hash out of the turn order that can't be resolved by the posting of a klog or three.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:21 pm

cdrcjsn wrote:Well, this sorta falls along the lines of selectively attacking siege targets in a stack and retreating. It's a good tactic, but prior to Parson, it wasn't done.


Pet peeve rant incoming.

First off, Vinnie commented "they can beat us by losing". The entire dialogue suggests that Vinnie's mind can grasp the idea behind this tactic with relative ease, certainly more so than a multi-hex Dirtamancy trap.

Now, this may just mean that Vinnie is a sharp tool, not that he heard of such a tactic being used before in Erfworld, but-

Erfworld is big. Lots of people. Some are quite smart and competent, see Vinnie. More to the point, they know as well as anyone does, and certainly better than Parson, how their world works. They've been at it for countless turns.

And we're supposed to think that NOBODY EVER FIGURED OUT THAT TACTIC?!

I have fury.

Note, this is not something that Erfworld itself forces me into. With the exception of Magic, which always has a potential for lame in stories (...), the one thing Parson deployed that was genuinely new to this side of Erfworld was the flier relay.

But it's cropping again and again, in speculation, this idea that Parson, being oh so much better because he's from our own Dirtplanet, is the only innovative entity in Erfworld. It's, to be frank, silly.

The whole momentum behind Charlie = someone from Earth too is not some verbal tic of Charlie's or Parson either, I think, it's again the idea that since Charlie obviously is smart and innovative, he/she/it/they cannot possibly be a native 'cause the natives are all lobotomized.

Again, it's a downright weird expectation from "the Greatest Warlord ever", and even that would be ok, but it's a shallow expectation. What kind of person would be the Greatest Warlord Ever? Oh I know, somebody who can come up with all these kooky ideas that nobody ever had in the history of the Universe.

Wrong. The Greatest Warlord Ever is someone who knows what tactics to use, and when to use them, even if those tactics are older than dirt. The Greatest Warlord is somebody who commands absolute loyalty and even devotion from his/her/its allies, and respect if not downright terror from the enemies. The Greatest Warlord ever has what it takes to know what sacrifices need to be made, and the resolve to make them. The Greatest Warlord ever will avoid needless waste of life and treasure. The Greatest Warlord ever will now when to strike, when to retreat, when to concede, when to extend a hand in an offer of friendship and when to betray hard earned trust. The Greatest Warlord ever can more than win a war, but also win the peace.

It's an amazingly complex thing to convey, and there are several truly epic stories in the history of Earth of commanders who embody some part or another of the Greatest Warlord Ever. Tactical innovation is a simplistic attempt at merely scratching the surface of it all.

(Sorry. Too much Mark Kermode recently, and it shows.)
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby Oberon » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:49 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:[snippage]More to the point, they know as well as anyone does, and certainly better than Parson, how their world works. They've been at it for countless turns.

And we're supposed to think that NOBODY EVER FIGURED OUT THAT TACTIC?!

I have fury.
I also have fury. Mass is clearly valued within the system, but every side with special units should be very aware about how to use them for best effect. The TV tactic of stacking bonuses is a good example of this.

We do see that Parson's tactics are quickly grasped. Ansom was celebrating his "victories" but Vinnie quickly put the proper perspective on how a won battle didn't necessarily mean a good thing for the side as a whole. And Ansom "got it" very rapidly after that.

So it appears that using units to their best effect is not widely understood, outside of the Sides which possess the units these tactics can be leveraged with. Spacerock understands the use of mass very well, but the subtleties of Dwagon use needs to be explained to their commanders. This is something that should be quickly communicated throughout a Side, especially when the concept of Thinkamancy is applied. When every Side has a Thinkamancer with juice to expend before the start of the next turn, communications is one of the most natural uses for that juice. But it appears as though the lessons need to be personally learned in order to be internalized. And that strains the suspension of disbelief.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:20 am

reignofevil wrote:Even inter-coalition intel sharing has to be pretty rare, given that the ultimate end of any alliance in Erfworld has to end with it breaking up and turning on itself. Combine that with the likely level of intel coming from non coalition members (None {snip}


That's almost accurate but-

it's also applicable to Earth, and look where we are. There is no such thing as absolutely no intel. People will find ways of getting information, even when it's not consensually shared, be those ways spying, torturing captives, or hearsay and good old fashioned reverse engineering. Look at the flier relay. Tremennis had no problem figuring it out even though all he had going were rumours about a side that is impossible to infiltrate. Yet, he got the flier relay well enough. Pretty Earth-realistic.

Also looking at Earth history, it sometimes happened that a culture got a hang-up about war. Say, you got it in your head that war is supposed to be fought as a gentleman sport and we should take captives and hold them for ransom if they can afford it. Oh, and ranged weapons are bad, because they give those dirty peasants too much power.

When that happened, there was always another culture just around the next hill, who did not share those hang-ups, to knock the bum-pines out of you. Even if Jetstone does not have many types of units, surely by now it has faced pretty much everything Erfworld could throw at it. Except the Decrypted, which are a genuinely new thing.

And then moving on to-
Oberon wrote:So it appears that using units to their best effect is not widely understood, outside of the Sides which possess the units these tactics can be leveraged with. {snip} But it appears as though the lessons need to be personally learned in order to be internalized. And that strains the suspension of disbelief.


I'm not sure where you're going with this. I find it perfectly reasonable to expect a commander, or a side, to be better versed in some tactics rather than others, and aquiring new knowledge is not instant and effortless.

I think you mean that knowledge sharing within a side is pretty poor. Sure, Jetstone may have faced Dwagons before (for example, Stanley's side) but maybe Ansom didn't have access to all the Jetstone experience. I don't know, I rather think Ansom thought Stanley was an idiot and unconsciously lowered his game.

But you may be on to something here- read on, you'll love the next part of the rant.

In Erfworld, archives are rubbish. Parson read one and it was just a record of high scores. People pop fully formed. It is implied that learning is not something Erfworlders are good at. It's an interesting idea.

And just like the turn-based mechanism idea, it's an interesting idea that quickly becomes a narrative burden and is at least partially chucked away.

Turns- yes, we have a lot of effort from Mr Balder to clarify what can be done on a turn and such. But in the end, all the times we've seen two opponents encounter each other, it's real time, with the off-turners having some magical barrier stopping them from doing thing A or B. Every time people from the same side interact, it's real time. Why? Because showing one side literally frozen in place, a-la videogames, waiting to get its teeth kicked in would be silly. And it would be weird to have only one person from a side being able to move/act at a time.

So, Erfworld is very softly turn-based.

Likewise, the learning impediment idea is chucked away- if indeed, it ever was intended. Prime example, Tremennis immediately figures out the relay and shares the information to a skeptical, but understanding Ossomer. Another possible example, Jack. And in general, people on Erfworld are an average mix of smart and stupid just like Earth. Because anything else would be weird.

So given that, I do expect an old experienced side like Jetstone to not be surprised by tactical innovation, unless that tactical innovation involves genuinely new technology (Decrypted, some unknown spell whatever).

And for the most part, that's how the comic handles this. My beef here is not with the comic creators, it's with us, and our penchant to think that Parson is the sole innovation engine of Erfworld.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby enthar » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:14 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
reignofevil wrote:
So given that, I do expect an old experienced side like Jetstone to not be surprised by tactical innovation, unless that tactical innovation involves genuinely new technology (Decrypted, some unknown spell whatever).

And for the most part, that's how the comic handles this. My beef here is not with the comic creators, it's with us, and our penchant to think that Parson is the sole innovation engine of Erfworld.


Old experienced side is to me a somewhat misleading term. I can't find the archive just this moment, but even Rulers like Don King are only several hundred turns old. Which amounts to... 2-3 years old. Yes, they have memories and knowledge fully formed when popped. But still, how much time do they have to sit down and learn, or even learn to learn? Most days are spent directing a fight for survival, and it is only the rare, laughed at, Utopian style mini-state that can get away with actual learning. Or Casters in the Magic Kingdom.

So, it is entirely possible that most if not all of Parson's tactics have not only been tried but relied on in the history of Erfworld. But that old TVland joke applies- if you haven't seen it, its new to you! And when the breadth of your experience amounts to the 4 or 5 sides directly around you, that becomes a serious issue. Interesting that the mercenaries have much higher chance of experiencing more of Erfworld, not being tied down as the other factions are. Charlie and Jillian are probably the two most widely experienced units we have seen.

Also, 'obvious' things sometimes aren't. The applications of new ways of thought can be dismissed (can be? in our world they nearly always are!) or actively stamped out. And many of Parson's ideas to date haven't been used not because individuals didn't see the benefit, but because they saw all too well the cost. Retreating means no experience, but of course Parson was using uncroaked warlords so that cost was not a factor. Dragon/flier relay means, well, your fliers are not available for anything else. Pretty steep if you are fighting constantly, I'm going to bet the relay is not in place right now to save Wanda's hide next turn, since all the Dragons are with her.

So, the long point to all this is that even old experienced sides can be surprised by tactical 'innovations' that may be as old as Erf itself, simply because of the limitations of the 'game'.

Your larger point about what makes a Perfect Warlord still stands. Parson needs to be clever tactically, but he needs to be a lot more than that too.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:34 am

enthar wrote:So, the long point to all this is that even old experienced sides can be surprised by tactical 'innovations' that may be as old as Erf itself, simply because of the limitations of the 'game'.


This plays with the idea that Erfworlders, since apparently fully formed at popping, have difficulty grasping new concepts and experiences.

I'm not sure evidence consistently supports that. Yes, archives are useless records of high scores. But then, Tremennis gets a flier relay. And even though Ossomer feels that it's a waste of fliers, I think he might have considered using it in the future, if some cost-benefit proved favourable to the idea. Even if, by some quirk, he wouldn't, Tremennis will.

That's the thing about large worlds populated by different individuals. Nobody has the same quirks and hangups like you, everyone is different. Resulting in the paradox that on a large enough scale of space, numbers and time, individual quirks do not matter. If something works, then somebody will prove it to you. Repeatedly.

Even if a whole culture has a particular bias against some way or another of doing war, then another culture won't. And the results will be obvious.

So I'm very suspicious of any argument that goes "before Parson, this was not done". Erfworlders have been killing each other for who knows how long. They don't need Parson's advice on new ways to do so.
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Re: Book 2 – Parson's Klog 001

Postby Ansan Gotti » Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:10 pm

I think it's more an issue of individual CREATIVITY rather than learning. Yes, we've seen that Erfers can grasp new concepts and even apply them pretty quickly. We've seen intelligent Erfers.

But for a world full of SOLDIERS who are used to following orders (do what you're told, don't innovate or think independently) and are fighting nigh-constantly (so who has time to imagine up new ideas), creativity and individualism are toward the bottom of the barrel. More than that, people who think outside of the box may translate to low loyalty and/or propensity to disobey orders, which leads to AUTOMATIC croaking as we've seen from Stanley. This creates an almost EVOLUTIONARY bias against creativity.

So when some outside agent introduces new ideas, wildly creative ideas, yes, Erfers might apply some of them if they come across them (and I also agree with enthar's post), but coming up with them individually? Rare and unlikely, perhaps extremely so.

This is one reason why Faq is an interesting concept to me, a hidden kingdom insulated from war gave rise to a philosopher-King. And some of the most interesting people are coming from that kingdom.

Hmm... one might almost think that, like free will, this is another deliberate theme of the author's that he has planned all along. :)
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