Book 2 – Page 50

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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby Ansan Gotti » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:51 am

Lamech wrote:It is "turn-based", but that doesn't mean your totally helpless. In fact rather important things are doable off-turn;
...
Turn-based=! helpless off-turn.


Well, sure. I never once said you can't do anything off-turn, and I never once said that anyone is totally helpless off-turn.

The fact remains, however, that the mechanics are turn-based and that Erfers think in terms of turns. That is the rule, despite the occasional exceptions which I already discussed a few posts ago.

As long as Tram doesn't do anything to provoke GK or alter their situation he has every reason to think he has whatever his turn's time limit is (and possibly all night). But the royals are known for using parley's to insult and the RCCII is now known for using cease-fires to catch their opponent off-guard. If GK believes that Tram isn't parleying in good faith, what did Tram honestly think they would wait around for Jetstone to attack them while their defenses were down? Or did Tram think that his insults would be seen as parleying in good faith? And don't say the damage would be minor. If it wasn't for Parson's plan the yellows could have been screened and then Jetstone would have had to croak the rest of their bargining chips.


But do you see how colossally POINTLESS that would be in Tramennis' mind? I've already indicated there is no great insult in the parley with Ossomer, that it is him talking to his brother in a manner that his brother would be very accustomed to, with Tramennis. But even that aside, if GK wants to react in that way, the only consequence is Jetstone losing some expendable troops, and then GK losing its yellows. Then the parley continues.

In your scenario, it's even more pointless (no offense), as that would only mean a guaranteed wipeout of the entire GK force, rather than just the yellows. It would make no sense. Parson would be throwing away his entire air force for a little bit of damage to some grunt infantry. Far better to ignore the parley and go for high-value targets, if GK is going to be that nihilistic.

Oberon wrote:Yeah, you're making stuff up. Citation or it didn't happen. I can cite plenty of references to characters, and I'll exclude Parson even though he got all of his rules knowledge from discussions with Erfworld residents (with the exception of the heavy/mounted thing), being well aware of a plethora of off-turn activities which Erfworld people can take. I'm not aware of a single off-turn activity you can take in Civ IV. Unless in Civ IV you can spot an approaching enemy force and spend shmuckers to upgrade your city? Because, you know, in Erfworld, you can. Even if you don't like to think about it.


Sorry Oberon, I'm not your trained monkey. I've given some examples and there are many other obvious ones in the comic of my original proposition (which is not whatever it is you're trying to morph this discussion into), which is to say that Erfers are hidebound and not readily accepting of actions or concepts which go against their worldview. We've seen it many times up until now. And yes, it is a turn-based game, although Parson has spent his considerable mental energy coming up with a list of items that can be accomplished off-turn specifically so he can break the game. That doesn't mean Erfers are naturally going to come up with the same ideas or even recognize the implications of them.

In fact, the comic has shown us explicitly several times now that outside of Charlie (who some theorize isn't an Erfer either), they generally don't.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby kwotski » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:25 am

Seems to me that there might be a bit more going on with Trem's 'teasing' Oss than some are allowing for here.

I'm reminded of the scenes in the Dune books where Duncan Idaho clones are brought into full awareness of their identities. In those scenes, someone close to Idaho puts him in an impossible situation where his (unknown to him) core values are challenged to breaking point, with the result that they emerge into his awareness.

If Trem was an avid Dune reader, I'd be tempted to think he was trying to turn Ossomer. If, as someone suggested above, Oss had orders to attack Slately and Trem, that could only serve to help matters along.

Not to say that Trem doesn't enjoy giving an outing to his natural snarkiness, too, of course. But the motivation might be a bit better founded than some are giving credit for.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby justamessenger » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:52 am

I would like to go back to an earlier notion that I offered:

What if...given the info Tramennis was given by Charlie, and given his apparent intellect and higher aptitude for 'thinking outside of the box:'

1) Tramennis *was* expecting *something* to happen,especially given the warnings about a parley
2) Tramennis did not know what, *specifically*, to expect
3) He cannot plan for what he doesn't know
4) He opts to take a position where he reacts to what Parson does rather than trying to anticipate it, at least initially
5) He begins a parley in order for Parson to implement the plan
6) Tramennis responds to Parson's actions on a case by case basis.

It is apparent to me that Tramennis was the first to see the complications with the mid-air promotions/harvests, and therefore a) stopped the casters, b) ordered troops out of the atrium and c) ordered the archers to fire.

It seems to me that Tramennis is definitely attempting to minimize available decryption fodder by removing his troops, while also trying to hit Wanda (though, as we know, the Wanda he sees is not the true Wanda). The archers appear to be targeting *her* area specifically, despite Antium's presence there.

At first blush, from my perspective, it looks like Tramennis *is* responding appropriately, one move at a time. One cannot anticipate every possible gambit available to the enemy, so strategists must focus on the most likely options and keep enough flexibility to react to other, less likely, tactics. If Tramennis had *NO* idea what to expect, how can we believe he should have expected any specific acts on Parson's part, other than the yellows cwapping.

Rather than continuing to kick the dead horse (which is now more of a red muddy spot on the ground), how about chewing the fat on something with a bit more substance? i.e. - how, exactly, has Tramennis failed to respond to Parson's opening moves? If, on the other hand, you feel he *should* have anticipated Parson's mass promotion/harvest tactic, please explain why.

Edit: Damnable typos!
Last edited by justamessenger on Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby Mathamancer » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:00 am

Hm? I figured the Wanda we saw was the true Wanda - it's just Jack's spear that was the illusion.


EDIT: At a second glance, DUPE DUPE DUPE seems to speak to the contrary. Nevermind. :p
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:58 am

Wait a second. Is this discussion morphing into "Trem's not an idiot because everyone on Erf is"?

I didn't read all the posts, so the above is not a fair assessment of the situation, I'm sure. It's just what happened to attract my attention, since it's a line of forum speculation that's a pet peeve of mine.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby justamessenger » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:08 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Wait a second. Is this discussion morphing into "Trem's not an idiot because everyone on Erf is"?

I didn't read all the posts, so the above is not a fair assessment of the situation, I'm sure. It's just what happened to attract my attention, since it's a line of forum speculation that's a pet peeve of mine.


There is certainly a strong debate going on about that. Personally, I am not looking at it from the perspective that everyone is an idiot. Rather, that Tram is not an idiot, simply due to a) his lack of experience in dealing with someone like Parson (who is, in fact, unique in the history of Erf, as far as we know), and b) his actions since the yellows began their s-bomb attacks.

There are plenty of idiots in Erf, who, like Slately, and perhaps Antium, would have misinterpreted the initial cwap barrage & mass promotions/harvesting as a mere 'gesture,' as opposed to Tramennis' recognition of those events as Parson's opening moves. After that, Tramennis immediately ordered casters to stop firing, ordered the atrium cleared and ordered his archers to turn GK's forces in the atrium into something resembling porcupines.

Just my take, though.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby Ditto » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:15 pm

It's not about 'not being able to take actions off-turn'. It's about not taking SPECIFIC actions off turn. There are many things you can do off-turn, as detailed in Parson's klog on off-turn tactics and elsewhere in this thread. There's a finite number of constructive things to do in a battle situation off-turn, and GK has exhausted them. Tram and every other JS agent... and the GK team, really, until directed by Parson... has reasonably inferred that all useful actions, which is in this circumstance 'Move' or 'Attack (leading to meaningful consequence)' are not options. Bombing that atrium roof is not a meaningful consequence. It was anticipated by Slately & Tram, and deemed an acceptible consequence.

It's like playing Magic, and you've used your immediate interrupts. Or you've got no cards in your hand. You are literally out of useful actions. You could rearrange the cards in front of you, moving left to right and right to left. But you can't play a card you don't have. And GK does not have the 'move for free' card.

I still think the analogy about calling Obama directly instead of using an appropriate & designated official is a great one. Going straight to the top is simply not how things are done mid battle. We know this for a fact because of the info Jack fed to Parson, for one - 'everyone knows these battles end with fancy show-parleys, specifically to rub it in before decaptation'. Jack would not conjure this theory up. It's procedure. And in a show-parley, even the most bitter losing side marches up, says 'Let's get this over with', and moves on with the death. If they don't want to deal, they just march up and attack and get slaughtered. GK didn't have that option here.

My addition to the immediate-above post is not that 'Tram isn't an idiot because everyone is an idiot'. The situation is 'Tram isn't an idiot because everyone else on Erf is reasonably judged to also not-be-idiots. They've just been fooled.'
SteveMB wrote:The question is getting Wanda to honor the offer. They could keep going back and forth: offer, honor, offer, honor....
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:24 pm

Ditto wrote:I still think the analogy about calling Obama directly instead of using an appropriate & designated official is a great one. Going straight to the top is simply not how things are done mid battle. We know this for a fact because of the info Jack fed to Parson, for one - 'everyone knows these battles end with fancy show-parleys, specifically to rub it in before decaptation'. Jack would not conjure this theory up. It's procedure.


So in other words, sending a message straight to Parson would have, in fact, been so out of the ordinary that a mere show parley this surely would not have been.

Mid-battle? Eh. When they started, there was no battle yet. And while Obama, or whoever is the Chief of Diplomacy of a country, would not be called up whenever some ragged battalion wishes to discuss truce, when two countries want to use diplomacy after war, they do in fact inform each other's chief Diplomat. (As an aside, in my country, the role of president explicitly includes something like Chief Diplomat; this may not be explicitly stated by US law, but I'd guess it is de facto true. The POTUS would be informed of any serious diplomatic overture by some significant foreign entity, and I'd think countries fit that bill.)

Ditto wrote:My addition to the immediate-above post is not that 'Tram isn't an idiot because everyone is an idiot'. The situation is 'Tram isn't an idiot because everyone else on Erf is reasonably judged to also not-be-idiots. They've just been fooled.'


That's a good take to have. My impression though is that the common view here of Erfworlders is them being incredibly naive about their own world. They just cannot imagine doing a few things that are either obvious, or should be known by now given multiple turns of experience.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby Raza » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:31 pm

Page was concentrated awesome. Lots of characters shining in their roles, lots of great art and entertaining events happening.

Dwagons look badass when fighting while on their feet. I think I prefer them this way. I wonder, what would gwiffons and megalogwiffs do if gwou.. grounded like this?

Debate ITT is getting ridiculous. I really cannot image there being more than five or so relevant things to say on the subject, so it's frightening to think how often those must've gotten reiterated throughout this mass of text. I don't think the term 'idiot' is supposed to be used in exact logical conclusions; it is really more of an impression.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:34 pm

Raza wrote:Dwagons look badass when fighting while on their feet.


Well, their track record so far is pretty abismal so anything is an improvement.

*grabs pop-corn*
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby justamessenger » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
Raza wrote:Dwagons look badass when fighting while on their feet.


Well, their track record so far is pretty abismal so anything is an improvement.

*grabs pop-corn*


Bland is a twoll? Say it isn't so!

You'd better share the popcorn!
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby Lamech » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:15 pm

justamessenger wrote:Rather than continuing to kick the dead horse (which is now more of a red muddy spot on the ground), how about chewing the fat on something with a bit more substance? i.e. - how, exactly, has Tramennis failed to respond to Parson's opening moves? If, on the other hand, you feel he *should* have anticipated Parson's mass promotion/harvest tactic, please explain why.
Focusing fire on "Wanda" (if thats in fact what he did) was a bad call. From Tram's POV most likely either a)Wanda was at that location, incapacitated and since he can see that GK's foolamancer also ate it or b) the foolamancer was up and able to hide Wanda.

But under option a) Tram is free and clear since no one is around to heal Wanda. So he really should only be worrying about option b) in which case he should be spreading fire around the atrium. So all his focusing fire on Wanda accomplished was giving GK his second in command. Utter and complete fail. (Also its theoretically possible possible that there might be a third GK caster, but since Tram discounted any links or moves by GK he is assuming not.) I also note it took me like 15 seconds to run through this logic, probably a bit longer than Tram had, but he still isn't showing grade A command skills.
Ansan Gotti wrote:In your scenario, it's even more pointless (no offense), as that would only mean a guaranteed wipeout of the entire GK force, rather than just the yellows. It would make no sense. Parson would be throwing away his entire air force for a little bit of damage to some grunt infantry. Far better to ignore the parley and go for high-value targets, if GK is going to be that nihilistic.
How would protecting the one unit that can do damage be pointless? As far as GK is concerned Jetstone was NOT parleying in good faith and was probably about to attack during the cease-fire. What do you think a reasonable GK response would have been to the insult parley?
Ansan Gotti wrote:Well, sure. I never once said you can't do anything off-turn, and I never once said that anyone is totally helpless off-turn.

The fact remains, however, that the mechanics are turn-based and that Erfers think in terms of turns. That is the rule, despite the occasional exceptions which I already discussed a few posts ago.
Yeah they think in turns. So do magic players. Whats your point?
It's like playing Magic, and you've used your immediate interrupts. Or you've got no cards in your hand. You are literally out of useful actions. You could rearrange the cards in front of you, moving left to right and right to left. But you can't play a card you don't have. And GK does not have the 'move for free' card.
Except its not like magic where you've used your spells. Since GK still has scrolls and two casters. One of whom can cast from outside her disipline. (And since Sizemore was trying to learn outside his displine it is plausible for casters to do so.) So its more like GK has a hand full of cards.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby Ditto » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:23 pm

Well, mid-engagement, if not exactly mid-battle. THere's hostile forces doing something at one another. It's not like two armies march up to one another and just immediately start surrender proceedings. :P It's a military operation, and one side is about to be screwed.

True, the POTUS gets informed of big dealings and has final approval. That doesn't mean you should ignore the secretary of state & ambassador when they show up to your call for a meeting, just because getting the President's OK will make everything happen faster. There's roles to play and formulas to be fulfilled. Even if you're being supercautious. If you flip out and nuke the dwagons, OR go directly to the CWL/overlord just because the CWL is allegedly pretty scary business, then you're giving that reputation power and setting a precedent for a breakdown of the normal way of things. A parley accomplishes that communication just fine, even if the other side has preconceived notions going into it. Because again, as far as the Erfers on both sides thought right up until the Banana Sploit went through... why not? You're out of useful options.
SteveMB wrote:The question is getting Wanda to honor the offer. They could keep going back and forth: offer, honor, offer, honor....
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby Lamech » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:27 pm

Ditto wrote:True, the POTUS gets informed of big dealings and has final approval. That doesn't mean you should ignore the secretary of state & ambassador when they show up to your call for a meeting, just because getting the President's OK will make everything happen faster. There's roles to play and formulas to be fulfilled. Even if you're being supercautious. If you flip out and nuke the dwagons, OR go directly to the CWL/overlord just because the CWL is allegedly pretty scary business, then you're giving that reputation power and setting a precedent for a breakdown of the normal way of things. A parley accomplishes that communication just fine, even if the other side has preconceived notions going into it. Because again, as far as the Erfers on both sides thought right up until the Banana Sploit went through... why not? You're out of useful options.
Yeah, but Ossomer isn't anyone remotely important. He's the guy who just got out of west point. A archon with leadership would be a better choice than him. If Tram had asked for someone important, like the equivilent of GK's secretary of state it wouldn't be a problem.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby Ditto » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:34 pm

I'd disagree. Ossomer is the ranking warlord present. He was elected to speak. He's not the secretary of state, but that makes him the ambassador and a respected officer. This is not shoving a newbie hobgobwin out to do negotiatin', this is us sending YOUR recently defected supreme military commander back to talk to you. You have a certain measure of respect for who he is as a person, even if not his current allegiance.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby effataigus » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:35 pm

Of the many walls of text in the forum, I thought this one by ftl did a particularly good job of articulating (at least my views of) the Tram defense.

Spoiler: show
ftl wrote:
Oberon wrote:So, despite your insistance that all of Erfworld believes that on their own Side's turn that the enemy may as well be playing Chess and unable to take any action except watch the Side whose turn it is act, here are two characters who know much better than that.

Probably because unlike you, they pay attention to the details of the comic and don't make false and sweeping generalities that have no value.


And yet, despite knowing that some minor off-turn actions are possible, this character left a giant airforce of dwagons with a croakamancer, foolamancer, and many high-level warlords floating in the airspace of his city, while he did minor things like talk to Jillian, finish of the remnants of Ansom's force, talk to Jillian some more, talk to Slately, talk to Charlie...

...yeah, he pretty much assumed that anything they can do is minor and insignificant. And neither Slately, nor Antium, nor anybody who saw any of that - you know, leaving a giant army in the back door of your city while you do other stuff - none of them gave it a second thought. Slately didn't order the tower defenses to fire as soon as possible - he waited for Tram to get back, chatted, chatted some more. Antium wasn't worried in the slightest about what would happen as they sat there. Are they all "holding the Idiot Ball"? The ONLY person in this world who thought that an army in an airspace was still dangerous off-turn... was Parson.

OK, so not quite like Stratego. But damned close.

Trem's holding of the idiot ball has absolutely nothing to do with Parson using rules in a different and innovative manner, and everything to do with having utterly failed to do what a smart diplomat is supposed to be able to do: Communicate his intentions to his opponent.


And, let's look at WHY he was unable to communicate his intentions: because he was INTERRUPTED. He expected to have a nice long chat with Ossomer and then the chat with Parson. He (thought he) knew that the GK army was helpless - they could throw a tantrum, but they'd keep sitting in airspace for as long as it took him to give the order to open fire or the order to end turn.

So yes, his failure to communicate was ENTIRELY due to Parson using the rules in a different and innovative manner - he planned on an hour-long fireside chat, not knowing that the chat could be cut short ten seconds in. (PERMANENTLY cut short, not just interrupted by a tantrum, to be resumed after the tantrum is over.) (Actually, the chat might as well have never happened - Ossomer was sent with orders to stall, not to report back what was going on in the negotiation. So Parson might not even have known what went on in that negotiation - so there might not even have been ten seconds of opportunity to say something useful.)

Current events appear to judge Tram's approach more harshly than you, if we judge of the objective basis of results rather than a subjective like or dislike for a character. Tram wanted to speak to Parson, and failed. Tram wanted to forge an alliance, and that also failed. Tram felt that forging that alliance was very important to the turning point in a war which his Side started and organized, but which has his Side and at least one powerful ally (TV) nearly bankrupt, and the target of unaligned and aligned Sides alike who smell their weakness. But Tram certainly didn't take the matter of the survival of his Side very seriously when it came time to open negotiations, and instead issued orders and insults like he was about to begin the typical Royal recipe of insult, then attack. How large a pile of fail does it take before you can recognize it?


It takes a fail larger than what would be expected of any Erfworld character who did not know Parson's plan.

Tramennis - and every other Erfworlder - would expect that they can let the negotiation take as long as they feel like letting it take. If you're saying that makes it an epic fail - that makes every Erfworlder be holding the idiot ball, basically at all times, and you might as well not read the story. Because, as the story is going, I'm pretty sure that Parson will continue to make Erfworlders looks stupid by playing the game entirely differently than they do and violating their assumptions of how their world works.

I've given plenty of reasons why Tram should have known that he was under time pressure


And none of them trump the fact that Tram had just watched that huge, giant army sit there for hours in airspace doing nothing while he went on his merry little business.

In fact, as omniscient readers, we know that Tram was NOT under time pressure. Parson gave the order not to attack as long as the parley started - Tram could have, and did, take as much time as he wanted. Once the negotiation started, well, Tramennis didn't have any time at all - Parson gave the order before even hearing anything Tram had to say.

There's no reason why Tramennis would expect Parson not to be interested in a direct call. He did, as far as he was concerned, hold all the cards.


And, if as far as he was concerned, he held all the cards - there was no need for a direct call. A direct call would only be necessary if he felt there was time pressure - i.e. there was something GK could do that would prevent him from finishing what he was saying, or prevent him from making the call later. That is, he'd think that a direct call is necessary only if he *doesn't* think he has all the cards, for this fight at least. If he holds all the cards, there's no need to rush.


BLANDCorporatio wrote:Wait a second. Is this discussion morphing into "Trem's not an idiot because everyone on Erf is"?

I didn't read all the posts, so the above is not a fair assessment of the situation, I'm sure. It's just what happened to attract my attention, since it's a line of forum speculation that's a pet peeve of mine.


Well, I think the conclusion holds some merit (nitpicking about the actual definition making it impossible for everyone to be an idiot aside). I've said it before, but it is hard to conceive of how fighting to take out a specific target and then retreating would not be a well-known and commonplace tactic.

However, assigning blame to all Erfworlders seems a little inappropriate... their experience of life is so vastly different from ours that comparing us would be not altogether unlike saying "Man, this monkey is an idiot... I've been trying to teach him addition for hours and he is NOT getting it."

So, to rephrase the question... are most humans better equipped for being a CWL than most Erfworlders? Yes and no.

Yes: we grow into being heavies, most of us have had 5000-10000 turns of experience to build from (I'm guessing the average Erf warlord is considerably shorter lived). We are also from a world with fewer "laws" of reality... I say this because Erfworld seems to have most of ours + some extra ones. This means we are more comfortable with circumventing those laws of Erfworld that don't exist in our world.

No: we seem to have comparatively high upkeep (if Parson is a good example), comparatively low leadership bonuses (maybe just Parson), and we spend our first 3600 turns being abnormally dimwitted and barely able to communicate and our next 3600 turns with underdeveloped frontal lobes (or whatever part of our brains controls decision making). Assuming 1k per day, this means if you popped a Earther warlord, you'd have a 3-6 million schmucker investment before your warlord would really mature.

My question is then: would an Erfworld warlord be a better Earth-warlord? Give Antium 100 days to figure out our physics engine, and I'd go into battle with him! Also, you can pop an Erfworld warlord, feed him peanuts, and have him commanding units on the field of battle before the Earth-warlord would be finished with his/her first trimester :)
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby justamessenger » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:43 pm

Lamech wrote:
justamessenger wrote:Rather than continuing to kick the dead horse (which is now more of a red muddy spot on the ground), how about chewing the fat on something with a bit more substance? i.e. - how, exactly, has Tramennis failed to respond to Parson's opening moves? If, on the other hand, you feel he *should* have anticipated Parson's mass promotion/harvest tactic, please explain why.


Focusing fire on "Wanda" (if thats in fact what he did) was a bad call. From Tram's POV most likely either a)Wanda was at that location, incapacitated and since he can see that GK's foolamancer also ate it or b) the foolamancer was up and able to hide Wanda.

But under option a) Tram is free and clear since no one is around to heal Wanda. So he really should only be worrying about option b) in which case he should be spreading fire around the atrium. So all his focusing fire on Wanda accomplished was giving GK his second in command. Utter and complete fail. (Also its theoretically possible possible that there might be a third GK caster, but since Tram discounted any links or moves by GK he is assuming not.) I also note it took me like 15 seconds to run through this logic, probably a bit longer than Tram had, but he still isn't showing grade A command skills


Lamech,

Under either option, when an opportunity arises for you to decapitate the opposing force's leadership you do not hesitate to do so. Further, Wanda is the absolute top military priority, given her ability to decrypt any units killed on the field of battle.

Tramennis sees Wanda on the ground in the atrium. He orders the atrium evacuated and further orders his archers to fire into the atrium. From panels 12 and 13 it appears as though the archers are concentrating in the area where the illusory Wanda is located. It would be hard for anyone to approach her and not be hit, similarly, it would be difficult for Wanda to extricate herself from that area and survive, given the volume of fire.

Tramennis may very well not have made any specific orders to target Wanda, as it isn't indicated in the text balloons, I was just going by the last two panels to infer that.

I am not trying to say that Tramennis is the best warlord or tactician ever. It is impossible to cover every eventuality, of course. It appears to me, though, that he was provided a target of opportunity (Wanda) and is doing his damnedest to take her out. Precisely as he should.
"Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."
- G.K. Chesterton

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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:53 pm

Ditto wrote:True, the POTUS gets informed of big dealings and has final approval. That doesn't mean you should ignore the secretary of state & ambassador when they show up to your call for a meeting, just because getting the President's OK will make everything happen faster. There's roles to play and formulas to be fulfilled. Even if you're being supercautious.


I wonder if the red phone or whatever it was called was mere urban legend.

Anyway, the situation is not some "generic moment when one side makes a diplomatic offer". It's a moment loaded with previously existing baggage (Jetstone's tendency to mock-parley, Parson's tendency to use those moments to apply surprise strikes), and that baggage needs to be tackled somehow.

effataigus wrote:However, assigning blame to all Erfworlders seems a little inappropriate... their experience of life is so vastly different from ours that comparing us would be not altogether unlike saying "Man, this monkey is an idiot... I've been trying to teach him addition for hours and he is NOT getting it."


That comparison holds the key to why I think your argument is wrong.

1) As far as we can tell, there's no reason in an Ape's life to be good at addition (unless said Ape is a member of the Human species). OTOH, there's every reason for Erfworlders to be very good at battle.

2) Apes (including us) DO seem adept at learning skills. I'd think you might, in fact, be able to teach the average chimp addition, provided some kind of communication was established between you (and it's this step that is incredibly difficult). Therefore, if some chimp turns out to be a slow learner ...

So what this shows is that we (at least, I) treat Erfworlders as (fictional) people. They look like us, they talk- presumably, they think. They have been shown to learn from past experience. Given that, to then claim that Erfworlders just do not adapt, nor seek ways to improve said adaptation, would be strange, because if Erfworlders would not use a faculty of reason (that they arguably possess) to improve their skill at whatever gets them by, they are in fact all stupid.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby effataigus » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:15 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:1) As far as we can tell, there's no reason in an Ape's life to be good at addition (unless said Ape is a member of the Human species). OTOH, there's every reason for Erfworlders to be very good at battle.


I'm surprised to find that I only barely agree with this assumption! It is definitely true, but in a world where individuals cannot reproduce, the only way that a desirable survival trait is preserved is in the survival of that individual. Warlords are popped with a playbook in mind it seems, but is this playbook's size and scope dependent upon the collective skill/knowledge of the warlords in existence on that side? Do the values of a side get instantly passed on to the values of that side's warlords? It would seem so with a possible exceptions of Jillian, Tram, and some casters. Does this mean we should understand sides or their overlords as the only individuals rather than individuals as individuals? Anyway, that was a tangent that captured my imagination... not too relevant since most warlords do seem to want to both survive and do well by their side for whatever reason.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:2) Apes (including us) DO seem adept at learning skills. I'd think you might, in fact, be able to teach the average chimp addition, provided some kind of communication was established between you (and it's this step that is incredibly difficult). Therefore, if some chimp turns out to be a slow learner ...

So what this shows is that we (at least, I) treat Erfworlders as (fictional) people. They look like us, they talk- presumably, they think. They have been shown to learn from past experience. Given that, to then claim that Erfworlders just do not adapt, nor seek ways to improve said adaptation, would be strange, because if Erfworlders would not use a faculty of reason (that they arguably possess) to improve their skill at whatever gets them by, they are in fact all stupid.

I think treating Erfworlders as human approximations is as prone to getting you in trouble as treating Erfworld physics as Earth physics approximations. They have more in common than they do not, but the differences are striking and very meaningful for the survival of individuals.

Mostly though, I'm not making the point that they willfully choose not to, or don't by definition, learn about ways to expand on whatever playbook they were popped with, I'm arguing that they may not have had the chance in the turns they have been alive. Gaining experience is often lethal for them!

So, how do we know about some of these exploits without ever being in those dangerous situations? Play.

Do Erfworlders play or strategize for fun? It would seem not, though Jack indicates that he really enjoys it.

Does this lack of interest in an activity that would likely prove beneficial to their success as a warlord constitute stupidity? This is where I invoke the fact that I don't treat them as human approximations to argue that the term "stupid" doesn't apply.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby GaryThunder » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:18 pm

Dwagons are powerful, just not against named opponents. Let's recap the major dwagon battles in the comic:

Stanley's invasion/destruction of Faq. Three dozen dwagons destroyed an entire side. Dwagons rock.
The capture of Zamussels, the first time. Lost a blue, but the rest of them tore up her air force and captured a powerful Warlord easily.
The attack on the column. Over fifty siege units destroyed without losing a single unit, though many hits were taken.
The dwagon donut. Three weaker dwagon types ate up stack after stack of leaderless Elves and inflicted significant damage on even the leadership-buffed Gumps.
Zamussels and the Archons. Okay, they got annihilated. But Archons are powerful, Jillian's leadership bonus is huge, so is Ansom's, artifact bonus, and the dwagons were nearly dead anyway. I'll give them a pass for this one.
The battle against Transylvito. They kinda got their asses handed to them here, but Vinny pointed out exactly how they did it. A CW bonus is important when there are as many units receiving it as there were bats. I'll admit that the dwagons fell down pretty bad here, though once they lost leadership and artifact bonuses, against the buffed Transylvito forces, they didn't have much of a chance.

They seem pretty tough.
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