undead prince wrote:Limitations obviously imposed by user inadequacy can't really be held against the tool itself.
Heh. User inadequacy is exactly the angle I'm looking at it from. Since the tools only attune to specific people, I'm putting forward the point of view that functionally the hammer is only as good as its weilder. I fully agree that in the hands of someone with a brain, who was able to go into combat without risking his entire side, the hammer could be erf-shattering. I also fully agree that Parson came up with a great way to farm dragons, and if it was ever an option Stanley could have hired out dwagons as well, but since the hammer was silly enough (or unfortunate enough) to attune to Stanley, it was boxed in.
Also agree that in the early days Stanley was doing reasonably well with the hammer, although still not living up to its potential as neither of the two ideas above (one Parson's and one yours) were never actioned. Since becoming Overlord he's done even less with it.
So yeah its just a point of view of: if tool = powers + attuned weilder, then hammer < dish or pliers.
If one considers the tool as simply a product of its powers, then I would be prepared to assume they are all more or less equal.
Having said that:
When I suggested a battle between Wanda and Stanley, I meant simply them, their tools and their tool-controlled units, so not including Maggie or Sizemore or anyone else. If there was just an empty field of hexes with Wanda, the pliers and her decrypted at one end and Stanley, the hammer and the dwagons at the other.. I would very hesitantly put my money on Wanda. Like you say, the fact that Stanley was doing well as CW tell us that the hammer can be awesome, but there are a lot of units in the decrypted army, with at least a decent handful being of high quality.