Book 2 – Page 50

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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby effataigus » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:20 pm

GaryThunder wrote: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.


I'm still blown away by how valuable gumps are... according to the Dhrystone (I think) text update, a single gump is worth many times its number of infantry.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby Angband » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:54 pm

Lamech wrote: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.


Except that Tramennis said he specifically wanted to talk to Ossomer, and later said the reason for that was to try and get his brothers back.

So I think it's pretty clear all the Sturm und Drang about Tramennis insulting Ossomer meaning he's a bad diplomat is completely misguided. That parley wasn't about JS trying to negotiate with GK for an alliance or a truce at all; the point of that parley was for Tramennis to get information he wanted out of Ossomer. And he did it by treating Ossomer like his brother, not like a dignitary from GK. Go re-read the Family Reunion at Expository Bridge and you'll see that his treatment of decrypted Ossomer is of completely the same character as his treatment of decrypted Ansom.

Tramennis' fatal mistake was thinking he had all the time he wanted to leisurely interrogate Ossomer before talking to Parson directly about the alliance/truce deal (which he also said he was going to do) because he believed (same as everyone else in Erfworld) that there was nothing GK could do to get out of the airspace (and into the Atrium, where they could still be a major threat) except have their mounts shot out from under them.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby Ditto » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:04 pm

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.


JS, and any other side that has its enemy pinned, certainly makes a habit out of mock-parleys. It's all part of the silly realpolitik fun.
Parson, however, has done a fake-parley trick once. And it wasn't exactly a parley, it was surrender.
GK has been a victim of a false parley once-and-a-half, though, with Queen Bea's attack and then Jillian attacking when Ansom signalled earlier this day.

Edit: Another very good point, Angband. Tram wanted to talk with Ossomer before getting to any proper discussion of terms with GK & Parson. This was before he has the full picture from Charlie, so that tweaked it a bit, but Tram's original plan was talk to Charlie AND Ossomer before making a final decision, even though the original decision before CHarlie's chat was to frag them if it came to that.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:30 pm

effataigus wrote:{snippage, I'll try to concisely respond to all in the post}

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.


Physics can be different and still be fine. Look at, say, OotS.

Characters, on the other hand, not so much. When you postulate that an entire world is populated by incurious, unable to learn from their predecessors, unwilling to pass knowledge to their descendants (even if said ancestry is not chromosomal but merely cultural), then you pretty much expect a Messianic fiction of a civilizing hero bringing the light of Reason to Dimwits. Simple as that.

GaryThunder wrote:{Dwagons} seem pretty tough.


They sacked a surprised side with no army to speak of present, and an internal betrayer. Woopty-doo.
Captured a Warlord with just a few Orlies and some Gwiffon around her. Said Warlord maybe even wanting to be captured. Awesome.
Attacked Siege stacks by surprise then bravely fled away, even then sustaining damage in the process. Even friggin Bats would have been able to pull off that trick apparently.
Got sliced by Archons when it mattered.
Some guy in ridiculous footwear kicked one out of the skies.
Badly beaten by a bunch of people with no sense of fashion and their pets.
So totally inept against an archer column that waaay back when, Parson commented that their only decent chance against Jetstone was to go around that column and try and quickly destroy the Tower of Spacerock.

They seem highly overrated.

effataigus wrote:I'm still blown away by how valuable gumps are... according to the Dhrystone (I think) text update, a single gump is worth many times its number of infantry.


Gumps are the boop. Totally. I bet that even Charlie would want a few Gumps, praising one's worth above a hundred Archons. Parson must seek an alliance with Gumps presto.

Angband wrote:Except that Tramennis said he specifically wanted to talk to Ossomer, and later said the reason for that was to try and get his brothers back.

So I think it's pretty clear all the Sturm und Drang about Tramennis insulting Ossomer meaning he's a bad diplomat is completely misguided. That parley wasn't about JS trying to negotiate with GK for an alliance or a truce at all; the point of that parley was for Tramennis to get information he wanted out of Ossomer.


Now, Trem wanting to talk to Ossomer and Trem wanting to honestly parley with GK are not mutually exclusive things. Trem may well have wanted both.

In fact, in these debates, the prevailing consensus is that Trem did, indeed, want both. Otherwise, once Ossomer is near the balcony, just capture him and use the air defenses to blast anything GK out of the sky.

But no, apparently Trem thought that the long-term survival of JS is dependent on an agreement with GK. If this is so, then Trem should have thought of a more enticing message.

Ditto wrote:JS, and any other side that has its enemy pinned, certainly makes a habit out of mock-parleys. It's all part of the silly realpolitik fun.
Parson, however, has done a fake-parley trick once. And it wasn't exactly a parley, it was surrender.
GK has been a victim of a false parley once-and-a-half, though, with Queen Bea's attack and then Jillian attacking when Ansom signalled earlier this day.


So, what's your point? There obviously was some baggage to overcome before getting a parley going, and since Trem, apparently, wanted that parley, he should have taken those steps.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby GaryThunder » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:59 pm

They sacked a surprised side with no army to speak of present, and an internal betrayer. Woopty-doo.
Captured a Warlord with just a few Orlies and some Gwiffon around her. Said Warlord maybe even wanting to be captured. Awesome.
Attacked Siege stacks by surprise then bravely fled away, even then sustaining damage in the process. Even friggin Bats would have been able to pull off that trick apparently.
Got sliced by Archons when it mattered.
Some guy in ridiculous footwear kicked one out of the skies.
Badly beaten by a bunch of people with no sense of fashion and their pets.
So totally inept against an archer column that waaay back when, Parson commented that their only decent chance against Jetstone was to go around that column and try and quickly destroy the Tower of Spacerock.


An entire side got beaten by less than fifty units. That's not impressive? They had a bit of an army, and were heavily defended, with a highly spelled-up tower at least.
She didn't "want" to be captured, the spell Wanda put on her was way less impressive than she thought it was.
Bats couldn't destroy siege stacks and heavy units (battle bears, recall) without losing even one unit. They took damage, but there were archer units. There was no way around the damage.
The Archons, and Vinny, were heavily buffed with leadership and artifact bonuses, were high level units anyway, and the dwagons in question had almost no hits left.
Don't write off Transylvito's warlords as fashion-inept pet owners. Their bats were powerful and swarming, buffed by multiple leadership bonuses, and several small, fast, strong units against one slow but powerful unit...I know who wins that fight. Plus the warlords were dancing and the dwagons weren't, and dance-fighting is a substantial bonus.
They're not "inept" against an archer column. Why would Parson attack a stationary and heavily fortified hex when he could just go around it and hit the undefended city? Archers beat flying units, especially when they outnumber them dramatically and have warlord bonuses. That's just sort of a rule of TBS.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:59 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Characters, on the other hand, not so much. When you postulate that an entire world is populated by incurious, unable to learn from their predecessors, unwilling to pass knowledge to their descendants (even if said ancestry is not chromosomal but merely cultural), then you pretty much expect a Messianic fiction of a civilizing hero bringing the light of Reason to Dimwits. Simple as that.

Keep in mind that any form of advancement on Earth pretty much required peaceful areas for education to flourish.
The Magic Kingdom is the only place we've seen this occur in Erfworld.
The Philosopher King was supposedly an outlier - most people didn't expect him to be able to exist.

It's not that they are unable to learn from their predecessors, it's that war keeps wiping out progress.
Only casters are seen as worth preserving, so Magic is the only thing that has really advanced.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby effataigus » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:08 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Physics can be different and still be fine. Look at, say, OotS.

Characters, on the other hand, not so much. When you postulate that an entire world is populated by incurious, unable to learn from their predecessors, unwilling to pass knowledge to their descendants (even if said ancestry is not chromosomal but merely cultural), then you pretty much expect a Messianic fiction of a civilizing hero bringing the light of Reason to Dimwits. Simple as that.


For fear of having words put in my mouth, I'll be clearer: Regarding "Un[able] to pass knowledge to their descendants or learn from predecessors"... if I postulate this it is for the sake of a thought experiment. I don't think we have any strong evidence either way. I would argue against Erfworlders being incurious... I think many are quite curious and Jack definitely enjoys play... they just typically don't play... possibly for lack of lifespan and possibly for lack of a childhood.

Regarding your argument, I'm going to rephrase your statement in attempt to see if I understand the point you are making. Let me know where I'm wrong:

"If the people of Erfworld are not on intellectual par with humans, then Parson's triumph is unremarkable and the story is bad."

Even accepting your assumptions as givens (which I don't!), I'm going to try several very different counter-arguments on for size:

1. These assumptions cannot be a ruiner of stories because I'm certain I would still love the story even if the assumptions were true!
2. Just because one BA martial artist probably could take on 30 five year olds at once doesn't mean I wouldn't sickly enjoy watching it go down.
3. Parson may have a significant fraction of his awesomeness lent by virtue of being a human from our world, but his victory is by no means assured because he is a human from our world. The odds are sufficiently overwhelming at times that there are numerous places where I'm certain I would have failed in his shoes.
4. Messianic fictions are fairly popular and entertaining... JC Superstar, Stranger in a Strange Land... ok, I've only got 2 examples in me right now.
MarbitChow wrote:It's not that they are unable to learn from their predecessors, it's that war keeps wiping out progress.
Only casters are seen as worth preserving, so Magic is the only thing that has really advanced.


Huh, neat point!
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:28 pm

GaryThunder wrote:An entire side got beaten by less than fifty units. That's not impressive? They had a bit of an army, and were heavily defended, with a highly spelled-up tower at least.
She didn't "want" to be captured, the spell Wanda put on her was way less impressive than she thought it was.
Bats couldn't destroy siege stacks and heavy units (battle bears, recall) without losing even one unit. They took damage, but there were archer units. There was no way around the damage.
The Archons, and Vinny, were heavily buffed with leadership and artifact bonuses, were high level units anyway, and the dwagons in question had almost no hits left.
Don't write off Transylvito's warlords as fashion-inept pet owners. Their bats were powerful and swarming, buffed by multiple leadership bonuses, and several small, fast, strong units against one slow but powerful unit...I know who wins that fight. Plus the warlords were dancing and the dwagons weren't, and dance-fighting is a substantial bonus.
They're not "inept" against an archer column. Why would Parson attack a stationary and heavily fortified hex when he could just go around it and hit the undefended city? Archers beat flying units, especially when they outnumber them dramatically and have warlord bonuses. That's just sort of a rule of TBS.


Faq was so heavily defended that their entire defense relied on them being invisible. So I think all that about buffed up tower is bunk.
Jillian coasting by with a mere few Orlies and a Gwiffon does kinda scream "capture me!".
The Dwagons had almost no hits left- after bravely running away from Siege stacks that were not too strong on air defenses.
So Twenty -something Dwagons, with warlord and item bonuses, end up a mere eight or so, at the hands of bats. That's a handy defeat.
And as for inept against archer column- yes, of course it makes sense to avoid unnecessary battles. That's not what Parson said. Even if they went around the archers, they still had shabby odds of winning against the tower.

You want to see strong Dragons? With an R, like it should be? Heroes of Might and Magic: get 60 Dragons on the usual HoMM map, and you're a force of nature.

MarbitChow wrote:Keep in mind that any form of advancement on Earth pretty much required peaceful areas for education to flourish.


Wrong. A large number of advancements were made in and for war. Several cultural clashes also helped knock some places awake and/or out of silly tactical habits.

effataigus wrote:{I effataigus think your argument is:}"If the people of Erfworld are not on intellectual par with humans, then Parson's triumph is unremarkable and the story is bad."


Basically correct. In the Kingdom of the Blind, the one-eyed rules.

1. These assumptions cannot be a ruiner of stories because I'm certain I would still love the story even if the assumptions were true!


There's, in principle, nothing wrong with a story about civilizing heroes (look at Twain's A Yankee at King Arthur's Court), nor is anything wrong with stories about worlds of generally incurious people (though I cannot think of one right now).

It's when you mix the two that it borders on a revenge fantasy, as well as cheapen any creative input of the civilizing hero. You may appreciate the story for other aspects, but I seriously doubt you go "YAY, you show 'em!" when yet again Parson tricks a clueless Erfworlder.

2. Just because one BA martial artist probably could take on 30 five year olds at once doesn't mean I wouldn't sickly enjoy watching it go down.


... Now you're just trollin'.

3. Parson may have a significant fraction of his awesomeness lent by virtue of being a human from our world, but his victory is by no means assured because he is a human from our world. The odds are sufficiently overwhelming at times that there are numerous places where I'm certain I would have failed in his shoes.


If no Erfworlder is an intellectual match for Parson, then what's going to defeat him? The weather?

That happens in real life, of course. Also, in real life, no matter how smart you are there's somebody smarter. Nobody is the smartest all the time. That's what makes clashes interesting. That's what keeps bookies in business.

effataigus wrote:4. Messianic fictions are fairly popular and entertaining... JC Superstar, Stranger in a Strange Land... ok, I've only got 2 examples in me right now.


More to the point, "Ender's Game". And I'd rather stay away from anyone who, having grown out of teenage, still thinks that book is any good.

(A yet more popular example is, *cough*, the Bible of course. You may want to drop the fiction part if it so suits you, but it's a Messianic story. The fundamental difference between the audience of the Bible and the audience of Ender's Game is that Jesus' followers, for the most part, do not identify themselves with Jesus.)

EDIT: and let's not pick just one aspect and ignore the rest of the picture. I said I dislike a story about a Messiah bringing light to Dimwits. Even Ender's Game credited the rest of humanity with some worth and intelligence.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby zilfallon » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:01 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:You want to see strong Dragons? With an R, like it should be? Heroes of Might and Magic: get 60 Dragons on the usual HoMM map, and you're a force of nature.


Exactly. As disappointed as I am, I admit that Erfworld dwagons are just...cute. I mean, come on...we even saw a RED get its head cut off by a mere gwiffon. And in this last page, we see them getting massacred by INFANTRY. I wonder just how weak those dwagons can be. Poor Stanley...
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby effataigus » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:07 pm

Haha... revenge fantasy. Maybe, but it's MY revenge fantasy!

Re: Connecticut Yankee... now that you mention it, that book does end a lot like book 1 if I recall correctly. With Gobwin Knob (the city) being the main character's cave and the RCCI being the population of England.
BLANDCorporatio wrote:If no Erfworlder is an intellectual match for Parson, then what's going to defeat him? The weather?


I'm assuming that you aren't forgetting about the RCCI, Ansom, and Stanley, and that you are instead making the point that, for the purposes of providing a good storytelling foe, a stupid enemy is on par with a mindless enemy (nature).

I'd go yet further down that path though... I am assuming the conflict of this story isn't between Parson and Charlie, Ansom, or any Erfworlder, but between Parson and a force of nature: Erfworld itself. I'm not just saying this because the defining moment of book 1 was Parson yelling FU and admitting defeat at the hands of Erfworld. Most of the most severe challenges of Parson's life are the fault of the world and the laws it has imposed upon Parson. He is fundamentally a slave to the desires of the idiot among Erf-people, Stanley, because of natural thinkamancy. Until recently he couldn't leave a city because he was a garrison unit. He still can't off turn. To some extent he isn't even sure whether he can trust his own desires. He has done things he finds morally abominable. In book 2 he has tried to win by not playing, but then Erfworld went and messed everything up again to the extent that he has to step in because of natural thinkamancy (promotion) and to save his newfound friends. We have strong evidence that this story is headed toward a showdown between Erf and Parson, but nobody is sure how this will happen. To me, this is a compelling villain! Is it a mindless villain? Is it the titans? Is it his own twisted imagination when he created his tabletop game? I can't wait to find out.
zilfallon wrote:we even saw a RED get its head cut off by a mere gwiffon


Didn't we only see the illusion of this happening? If I'm right about this, that dwagon got impaled and kept flying. Still though, I can't take them seriously after Vinnie kicked one out the sky.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby drachefly » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:12 pm

effataigus wrote: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.


I think it's more of a side built-in personality than an individual warlord-dependent thing. Like, if Slately dies but Tramennis is heir, I bet future Jetstone warlords would more resemble Ansom or Ossomer or Slately than they would Tramennis. Could go either way, to be sure.

I think the real issue here is speed of maturation and the degree of instinct. Sure, they're nominally intelligent, but they don't have any time as children. Do you know why we spend 18 years growing up? Do you know why we can't walk right out of the box? It's because our instincts have been suppressed. We have to learn the basics, so we learn how to learn, so we keep learning.

If we were handed walking and talking and yes, even freaking feeding ourselves without dropping it all on the floor, we wouldn't be in the habit of learning new things. There have been studies - one in particular comes to mind. There were two experimental groups. In one, the experimenter told the child that this was how you made this toy work, and then executed an overly long and complicated way of activating the toy. In the other, the experimenter told the child that there was a way to turn it on and let them work it out. The first group basically never found out the minimum set of steps to turn the toy on. The second group often did (or at least a set of steps briefer than the first group's given directions).

Here, the instinctive knowledge lets them slide by without ever examining the circumstances and causes of those instincts, and improving upon them. It's not idiocy, it's a reasonable blind spot that is a simple consequence of their origin. Even for those that have lived to 10000 turns, it wouldn't be like a 30 year old human. On account of their greater time at maturity, they'd be far more experienced in their realm of special expertise, sure; but they still wouldn't be as flexible or versatile.

~~~~
effataigus wrote:Still though, I can't take them seriously after Vinnie kicked one out the sky.


Its health was deeply into the red after fighting all day, you know. You might as well not take them seriously because Jack just croaked one, at full health no less, by tapping it lightly on the ear.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:30 pm

effataigus wrote:Most of the most severe challenges of Parson's life are the fault of the world and the laws it has imposed upon Parson.


This begins an apt summary of why older Ender fans should be avoided. The rest of the summary being, whatever's the problem, it's definitely not the person themselves :)

Because there's one thing that may yet fell a demigod amongst ants, and that is the flawed nature of the demigod. Classical tragedies work like this. Haven't seen one of those, but I admit the premise is intriguing, and in any case several stories written closer to our time are about exceptional individuals undone, in the end, not by the machinations of their (skillful!) opponents, but by their own, for lack of a better word, sins.

Erfworld is not such a story. Parson is flawed, but he'll win. Erfworld just does not have the tone of a tragedy, for all the bloody murder going on.

effataigus wrote:We have strong evidence that this story is headed toward a showdown between Erf and Parson, but nobody is sure how this will happen. To me, this is a compelling villain! Is it a mindless villain? Is it the titans? Is it his own twisted imagination when he created his tabletop game? I can't wait to find out.


I think that Jupiter's Red Spot is alive. I think cities are sentient super-entities. I think planets take pleasure in each other's tidal effects. I think I forgot to take my meds today.

The possibility that Erfworld itself is (a kind of) person for Parson to be opposed against fills me with anticipatory glee. But after I take my meds, I realize that most stories are written with, about, for people. We just cannot seem to grasp system very well. There has to be someone pulling the strings. And if that someone is chosen from among incompetents, it's just not as interesting.

My take on how the story evolves is Erfworlders adapt to Parson. We've seen this in Trem to some extent, hoped to see more of it now as well, but nobody's perfect. There'll probably be a next time for Trem.

drachefly wrote:
effataigus wrote:Still though, I can't take them seriously after Vinnie kicked one out the sky.


Its health was deeply into the red after fighting all day, you know.


Against stacks that were supposed to be easy pickings for air attacks.

You might as well not take them seriously because Jack just croaked one, at full health no less, by tapping it lightly on the ear.


Good point that, we can add yet another thing to the long list of Dwagon, erm, accomplishments.

Anybody want popcorn?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby Sieggy » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:46 pm

The famous 'Red Phone' was actually a teletype back in the day, constantly manned and sending filler back and forth to make sure the channel was open & usable. With the advent of digital communications, actual voice communications became easier, but it's still on a secure and encrypted channel that goes through military equipment.

Erfworlders don't experiment simply because they're popped with a pre-programmed understanding of 'the way things are', AKA 'the Will of the Titans'. Since they don't pop as children and learn their way around, why should they have any experimental urges as adults? There will, of course, be the occasional aberrant (like Jack) who is open to the idea and enjoys it, but the vast majority of Erfers would seem to be set in a mindset of 'this is the way it is, the way the Titans made it, so why question it?'. Sort of like conservatives in this world . . .
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby zilfallon » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:47 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Good point that, we can add yet another thing to the long list of Dwagon, erm, accomplishments.

Anybody want popcorn?


Fails. List of Dwagon fails. Not to mention that if Parson hadn't found out a way to get 3 per turn, they take some time to train. And they probably have a damn high upkeep.

Also, I want popcorn.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby Sylvan » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:54 pm

You know, I've never viewed Erfworlders as being particularly dull, except for maybe Stanly and the twolls. I'm sure I'm forgetting an example or two here.... Ossomer probably, but whatever.

I think they don't grasp what science is yet, but neither did humanity for a reaaaaally long time. Some of us still don't really understand science. I'd in fact say that most people (who have been "educated", whatever that means) think they understand science, but almost everyone has notions they take for granted, haven't tested, make assumptions on, etc.

Hell, I'd wager that some of the people in this forum would be outmaneuvered by Ansom in regular battles, and likewise some of us would be utterly transparent to Tramennis in a negotiation. If they were real people, that is. I might even be one of those people, in both circumstances.

Parson is supposed to be a genius gamer in a game world. He isn't just intelligent by Erf standards..... Ashna stated that he ran some amazing games. I don't know if you guys have ever had an amazing gamemaster, but I've had exactly one and I know what a huge difference it makes in a game. Dude would make letter with calligraphy if we found an important document, when we visited the biggest bustling port city of his world he gave us three pages of printouts with professions written in 10-point font, just in case we needed to see any of these people to get some goods or ask for their services. He would remember chance comments a character would make in game, or that you told him in your character bio, and work in into a campaign six months later.

Despite what I think of Parson's abilities, or Ansom's, or Tramennis', there is always going to be someone here who thinks a character is misrepresented or written poorly, or that the author just doesn't know what the hell he is talking about.

But for those who think that Erfworld will now just degenerate into "Oh, look, Parson just kicked their ass again", I would like to remind you of the lovely little bit of foreshadowing Wanda did at the end of tBfGK. Parson will lose at some point, and he will fall hard. Because, and whoever said this is partially right, conflict is what keeps us interested. (I'd say growth more than conflict. We like to see efforts bear fruition. Well, some of us)

Erfworlds do seem dumb to us, and set in their ways! But, they are popped in a world where fighting is constant, upkeep must be paid or you disband, and people are popped fully-formed with a partial rulebook in their heads. And they have not yet come up with the idea of science. Whether they would have on their own or not.......meh, who knows. But I for one can't wait to see people throwing Parson's tactics back in his face. Tramennis already has copied a tactic of Parson's,once he saw it being done.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby Lamech » Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:30 pm

Faq was so heavily defended that their entire defense relied on them being invisible. So I think all that about buffed up tower is bunk.
So your counter-point to the heavily defended FAQ, is simply denying the comic? I am going to go with the what we are told and conclude that FAQ was heavily defended.
Jillian coasting by with a mere few Orlies and a Gwiffon does kinda scream "capture me!".
She was captured with one claw from a dwagon. Jillian and her gwiffion were able to croak a dwagon with all their attacks. So it seems to me a dwagon is slightly better than a level 9 royal warlord. Ansom (sans pliers) a level 10 royal warlord thougt he could take a lightly defended city. So if a dwagon is about on par with Ansom... they can take lightly defended cities.
The Dwagons had almost no hits left- after bravely running away from Siege stacks that were not too strong on air defenses.
They had plenty of archers.
So Twenty -something Dwagons, with warlord and item bonuses, end up a mere eight or so, at the hands of bats. That's a handy defeat.
I think you mean dwagons which lost their bonuses after Stanley ditched their stack ended up as 8 after fighting heavily buffed bats.
And as for inept against archer column- yes, of course it makes sense to avoid unnecessary battles. That's not what Parson said. Even if they went around the archers, they still had shabby odds of winning against the tower.
No their odds agains the tower were in the 70s to 90s depending on unkown casters type. Casters are very powerful, unsurprisingly they can tilt the odds quite severly. If the infantry had to dismount and tried to capture the tower themselves they were down to 56%. But thats infantry with shabby odds. NOT dwagons.
justamessenger wrote: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.
Under the no-jack option, Wanda isn't doing anythig. Unless Tram heals her himself she is out. He doesn't even need to attack her. She will not decrypt anything. You have won. Unless Tram delebritly tries to lose nothing he does matters much. And since it doesn't really matter what he does spread fire is just as good as focusing. But, under the live-jack option your side is in danger, and you don't know where Wanda actually is since Jack is alive; so if you focus fire your just gonna hit an illusion and waste arrows. Therefore Tram should pick the option that might do some good: spread fire. And you are correct that the archers may be chosing to focus fire own their own, but Tram should still give better orders. Again this doesn't mean Tram is a poor warlord, just not a top of the line warlord.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby GaryThunder » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:00 pm

Faq was so heavily defended that their entire defense relied on them being invisible. So I think all that about buffed up tower is bunk.
Jillian coasting by with a mere few Orlies and a Gwiffon does kinda scream "capture me!".
The Dwagons had almost no hits left- after bravely running away from Siege stacks that were not too strong on air defenses.
So Twenty -something Dwagons, with warlord and item bonuses, end up a mere eight or so, at the hands of bats. That's a handy defeat.
And as for inept against archer column- yes, of course it makes sense to avoid unnecessary battles. That's not what Parson said. Even if they went around the archers, they still had shabby odds of winning against the tower.


Yeah, what Lamech said. And the buffed up tower is canon, Stanley specifically mentioned having ten of his dwagons shot down on approach. Jillian was going out scouting with only fast-moving units because she's impetuous...did you not see the whole conversation between her and Ansom about scouting? The siege stacks were full of archers, and this specifically went on until each dwagon had only a few hits left, even if that took ten stacks' of archery hits per dwagon. The bats were buffed, the warlords were also fighting, and Stanley deprived his dwagons of buffs when he broke stack.

And they had a 99% chance of taking the garrison by air if Jetstone wasn't able to recall their units. They dropped to 56% upon learning of Faq's units.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby Hiai » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:40 pm

Wow, you guys. Just...wow. 23 pages worth of "Tram is holding the idiot ball"- "No he's not!" and "Dwagons are overrated"-"Dwagons are badass"? Seriously?

You guys need to start reading OTHER things once in awhile or something. Nerdrage arguments are even more boring and trite than biker bar fights, I swear.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby Kyrt » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:41 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:I find it amusing how some people excuse Trem's failure to start a parley by saying Parson was not up for that (therefore, a more proactive approach would have been fruitless). Now, I realize a side in a debate is not a monolithic bloc, but still it's amusing how those who accuse others of reader-knowledge-induced bias trip into that trap.


Tram doesn't know if Parson would be up for it. We the readers know he would likely be willing to negotiate but there are strong reasons to suggest that he wouldn't accept a call from Tram at this time.

What Tram does know is that Royals have a reputation Parson is likely aware of....and that Parson thus has no reason to accept Parley with him given that the result - the destruction of GKs strike force - is effectively a foregone conclusion. Tram can't convince him of that without talking to him and trying to do so via any means would have a possibility of being ignored and thus devaluing Trams bargaining position.

This is all stuff Tram should know...I'm not sure where your reader knowledge argument comes from. Yes, Tram could have tried to contact Parson before talking to Ossomer...but when and if Parson refused, it would be Trams position which would be weakened. The usual Royal approach to parleys in this situation is a large obstacle Tram has to overcome.

teratorn wrote:Wanda dismounting while in the air zone didn't require a change of zone, and dismounting in these circumstances equates to a fall. We have seen Jillian starting a deliberate fall, so it's possible.


That was on her turn. She had move. And there are games where mounting or dismounting a unit requires move to be spent.

Lamech wrote:Except he doesn't have the entire military might of GK cornered. He has a lot of it. A huge chunk of it


Which doesn't change the essence of the argument....JS can cause great damage to GKs armed forces here. They are about to kill off several warlords, two caster and recover the pliers. If they try to reach PArsona nd he rebuffs them and then they try again....they've damaged their own side by indicating that they really want a parley and hence agreement.

but the part he doesn't have? Enough to crush his side.


Unless you read the word "could" as "would" they are left with enough power and cities and units and time to create a force that may possibly dedfeat the RCC2.

Nor does he need to come grovelling. "I think we should agree to a cease-fire after this.



As opposed to the cease fire they already have as part of the parley?

I'm sure you'll need the time to rebuild your shattered forces and we would really prefer it if we could use our army to crush carpool and save our good friends in TV instead of crushing you."


"We would greatly prefer alliance to conquest"


What Tram did was read off the script that goes "Parley just to insult and then attack" or in the RCCII's case "Parley to insult and during the parley." He might as well have said “Hey Ossomer we aren’t actually parleying in good faith, we just want to insult you and get you to lower your defenses for our attack”.


What Tram did was seize control and dominate the conversation he was having with Ossomer. You see him throwing Ossomers own words back at him as insulting..others see it as probing Ossomer to see how strong decryption actually was, to test his loyalty, to guage as much as he can whetheer turning Ossomer was likely....GK after becomes a lot weaker without the decrypted.

Did he think GK was gonna meekly wait around waiting from Jetstone to attack while the baffle was down?


I think a better question would be...in Trams eyes, did it actually matter? Only the yellows could attack. Everything else fwas forbidden via zone boundaries. From where they were they couldn't affect the archers, casters or parley. If they caused trouble, Tram had the option of shooting down some , if not all, of GKS force. The yellows alone could not do significant damage to JS and were easy to remove.

Tram meanwhile, had the option of interrogating whatever warlord they sent over and using him to communicate Trams desire to parley with Parson.

What did he lose by doing things this way? Not a thing.

Why would being told that the Chief Warlord isn't gonna talk be worse than being told they can't send one random low ranking person to talk? I think that being told that even there least important units can't spare time for you would be worse than being told the second in command can't spare time.


If I understand your question correctly....Tram wants to negotiate with Parson. The last thing he wants to do with this is to undermine the value of his hostages. Contacting Parson directly, wthout any "introduction" not onyl has a fiar chance of failing (and thus be futile) but also gives Parson some negotiating edges...."Hes tryign again? He must really WANT this Parley" and " I was ready to see my strike force destroyed with no gain from you earlier...I think you'll have to up your offer if you're serious".


If he has a reputation of insults maybe he should NOT insult?


He doesn't and he isn't.

Yes. Just throwing the nearby units in the atrium at her is how Jetstone would lose against a lone Wanda.


Really - so your position is that Wanda can defeat, single handedly, several thousand infantry troops all by herself?

What does she need Parson for? She can conquer the world all by herself.

Then she has a few dead bodies, then decrypted. The decrypted have her bonus, probably a warlord’s, artifact and dance


She ain't dancing.

Each decrypted would easily average more than one kill, and she would snowball from there.


No...she needs a ceratin critical mass before she becomes a danger. Otherwise its her plus 100 decrypted fighting several regiments, all of whom have the one primary goal...kill wanda. She needs enough decrypted nearby to keep the enemy troops near her away from her having her land in the middle of the atrium and beign surrounded by several infantry regiments is not condusive to her well being. .

Seriously? Vanna is not a unit defending her city. Vanna is not a Jetstone unit. She is not in her own side’s city. She is not defending one of her side’s cities. Page 22 implies that Jillian could not cross zones. Vanna has the exact same restrictions as GK.


Except Vanna is part of Faq, who is alliance with JS. She is after all acting and moving on their turn.

Plus "Spells are trickier. Most can't be cast unless there are enemy units in the same hex/city" - which is why Jack can veil the troops while in JS airspace and off turn.

Plus "When an enemy comes to you on their turn, you can engage, and you can cast. This includes when they are attacking your city. "

In essence, you are trying to suggest a restriction where none exist...both vanna and Jack can cast off turn...because there is an enemy force in the same hex. Vanna as a member of the RCC is defending the city and so treats GK as the enemy.

Attack can mean troop movement into enemy territory.


In real life. What you've described above is a simple move. Attack refers to the actual combat.

Unless the yellow get screened in which case you need to also shoot down the rest of your bargaining power. Which means… no cease-fire and GK destroys your side.


Individual units can be targeted. And the use of screening stacks for the yellows means screening multiple units and making Wnada more vulnerable.

Of which Tram appears to have chosen your option 3. Which also lets him "interrogate" the warlord he talks to beforehand. Ossomer works well from Trams pov as it also allows him to probe a decrypted and Ossomer can verify that he has negotiated, in good faith, in similar circumstances before.


Ossomer may confirm Tram has negotiated in similar circumstances before, but if Tram insults him he will also confirm in this case Tram is just insulting you. First Ossomer has 0 authority, and even worse he doesn’t know anything more than you about GK. So Tram buts his interrogation before getting the side saving cease-fire. Oops.


Ossomer is a Warlord. What makes you think he has 0 authority? Being a GK warlord gives him all the authority he needs to negotiate for GK.

Tram also isn't insulting anyone here. He using Ossomers own words and testing/probing him and his reactions. After all...what did he say...that red and black didn't look as good on Ossomer as they did on Ansom. He asked Ossomer to turn. He reminded Ossomer of the insults he (Ossomer) used to speak about GK and probed his loyalty to Parson. Then asked to speak to Parson.

The only insults here are those Ossomer used to say about Stanley.

Oberon wrote: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.


I don't think you or anyone else has been able to show a mechanic whereby Tram could actually do this with a reasonable chance of success. He can't guarantee that Parson will accept a Thinkgram from him nor does he have anything to show that he is actually speaking true and can be believed. Simply making talking with Parson a requirement for Parley isn't guaranteed and, from the Royals rep, as far as Parson is aware (and Tram knows this) the GK force is dead anyway. Trams best chance to get through to Parson is likely to get a GK warlord to initiate the Thinkagram link. Nor is simply demanding to speak with Parson via archon any better.

And Tram wants to forge an alliance with GK to prevent his Side from falling.


Tram speculates that Charlie fears an Alliance. Tram, however, wants a non-aggression pact. Tranm doesn't want to be friends, he currently has GK at a disadvaatge, and while GK may still win the war, they may also lose the war.

In essence, Tram is going to see what he can get. Approaching GK as an equal when everything in play shwos this is not the case is simply emphasising to GK that JS really, really, really want this to work. Which weakens JSs hand in any negotiation over this. As with most negotiations, you don't want to give anythign away and you want to get the best deal you can for your side. Giving GK even the impression that this non-aggression pact is of tremendous importance to you is not a good idea.

"Fine...you want this deal so bad...surrender and we'll talk".

Tram went to the parley and seized control of that discussion from Ossomer with ease. He gave nothing away and his hand remained as strong when he asked to speak to Parson, doing so in a manner that would even strengthen some aspects of his discussion if Parson refused - "So Ossomer, your Warlord is a coward as well".

You're looking at this as some sort of diplomatic talks - its a bargaining session.

Oberon wrote:Current events appear to judge Tram's approach more harshly than you


Current events are the result of a rules exploit Tram wasn't going to anticpate.

Tram wanted to speak to Parson, and failed.


Since it was likely never going to happen thanks to Parson use of his exploit, thats a moot point.

Tram wanted to forge an alliance, and that also failed.


No...he'd have liked a non-aggression pact.

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.


He criticised Ossomers dress, setting up who was in control from the start. Then he asked Ossomer to turn and reminded Ossomer of the insults Ossomer used to say about Stanley. As for orders...JS gave a list of preconditions that needed to be fulfilled before parley. I'd hazard a guess such a step may be universal.

Well, all I can say to that is that it is terribly convenient to simply conclude by fiat that no other approach could have had a better outcome than a failed approach. It also conveniently allows you to claim that Tram chose the very best approach possible, since any approach was going to fail just the same.


A direct approach may have worked. However, at the time that the pre parley requirements were being communicated to him...he was on his way to the portal room and his forces were simply awaiting word to begin their assault so in relaity, the direct approach probably would have failed as well.

Tram, in other words, not only needs to communicate with Parson but also ensure that he will actually talk. A request for a direct thinkagram link by itself wouldn't necessarily have altered Parson views of JSs rep.

"We've just proved we can't parley".

Further, if he is refused, that may harm Trams bargianing position because it may underline how much he wants something to happen. Too eager to buy means Parson doesn't have to give up so much.

The thing is...you are correct, to a degree. Ideally...ideally, mind you...Tram would have gotten an Archon or whatever to form a direct link to Parson and they'd be able to negotiate. But the crucuial issues are...would Parson accept such a call? Would Parson believe him? Parson has no reason to do either, especially given Royaltys rep, and Tram knows this.

I've given plenty of reasons why Tram should have known that he was under time pressure. All of them based upon Tram's own stated intentions.


The time pressures you've noted are the yellow attack....and that was a time pressure only if that was a serious threat as opposed to inconvenience. Anything else you've mentioned aren't actually time pressures. As it is, that meet and greet phase lasted...what? 30 seconds? A minute? Start to finish before Tram asked to be connected to Parson.

Oberon wrote:And again, it's really convenient to say that taking a different approach than the one that just failed would certainly also have failed.


The current parley failed because Parson had an exploit. Without that, what would have happened is that Tram would have signalled for Parley, Ossomer would have gone over, Tram would have probed him and tested his loyalty and then Tram would make the same demand to Ossomer that he did in the comic....Put me through to Parson.

At which point, instead of the yellows attacking, Ossomer would have had the choice of connecting Tram to Parson or not.

Where is Trams failure?

Smoker wrote:Also, Kyrt, I dont buy your argument that Parson not answering a call would be detrimental, which is pretty much what your objection to the thinkagram suggestion hinges on.


In that it potentially allows Parson to suggest JSs bargaining hand is weaker than it is? In that it shows JS as more eager to engage in talks and so "too eager to buy"? No...if I'm trying to get the best deal from someone, making him thinK I really, really, really want the goods is a bad idea. I may still get them, but it'll cost me more than it may otherwise have done so.

Likewise, I dont really see the point in arguing the merits of viable plan b's if the thinkagram wasn't answered, since the 6 or so suggestions I posted took about 6 or so seconds to think up. I was only illustrating the fact that there are buttloads of options you could explore if required, and I'm sure Tramennis could come up with something, being that he is the master diplomat.


He did. He went with option 3. Talk to someone else and open up a channel that way.

So Kyrt, if you could just admit the fact that there was a chance it would work, then we are well on the way to an agreement on the topic.


A dircet approach could have worked. But why should Tram risk it?

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 is a Royal who have a reputation of holding parleys simply to run their opponents noses into their defeat. Parson knows this. Tram knows this. Why should Parson take a call only to have GKs defeat rubbed in? Why would he believe Tram if he says otherwise? Tranm held all the cards, but he still needed to get Parson to the table.

Once we've established that a direct call to Parson wasn't doomed for failure from the start, we then need to agree if talking to Ossomer instead of pursuing said call was the most appropriate action, but you know, baby steps.


A direct call wasn't doomed...but it was probably unlikely to be successful.

As it is, Trams operation did get him to the point where he asked for that direct link. So....that did work. Ossomer very likely would have arranged the meeting that way, JS wouldn't have had to show how eager it was for a deal and it still held the full value of its hostages. Would Parson accept that call? From one of his own warlords? Someone probably would have answered it.

Could Tram have set this up in the parley requirements phase? Sure he could. But then he'd not know if Parson would answer when he has several reasons not to.

Oberon wrote:After all of this, you're still going to claim that Erfworlders do not and should not consider off-turn actions or attacks to be significant enough to warrant some caution?


And if you've read the comics and knew about Trimancer links and so on you'd also have fair idea why these action don't really apply here. Not to mention you are still assuuming for whatever reason that Tram doesn't know KW was the result of a link when his own words suggests he does.

Oberon wrote:... while Tram's complete waste of his opportunity to communicate real terms...


Due mainly to Parsons exploit (which Tram can't know about) interrupting the talks.

Smoker wrote:I wonder if you could look at it from the other side: Are there any examples of Erfworlders (ie not Parson) doing anything productive when it is not their turn?


Yes...they all do. Off turn actions can be done. However...there are limits. WotT states that move is set to zero at turn end....so anything that spends MP is impossible. Other limitations are base on hex type and whetehr enemies are presnet.

Lamech wrote:She is clearly bound by zone restrictions. So it appears Jetstone allies are bound by the same restrictions as GK, and therefore Vanna is as well.


Yes...and one of those restrictions is that she can't cast off turn unless there are enemies in the same hex.

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?


Given their only viable options were Sbombing via the yellows....or waiting around for JS to attack...yes. They can't leave the airspace (without Parsons exploit) so they stay there. They can't viably attack - Tram knows the dwagons capabilities - and zone boundaries provides protection. So...what other options can they do? Talk? Restack? Float around a bit? None of which changes the situation. All GK can really do is sit around and wait to die. Parson couldn't see a way around that without a messy exploit that relied on luck.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 50

Postby oslecamo2 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:20 pm

Kyrt wrote:Given their only viable options were Sbombing via the yellows....or waiting around for JS to attack...yes. They can't leave the airspace (without Parsons exploit) so they stay there. They can't viably attack - Tram knows the dwagons capabilities - and zone boundaries provides protection. So...what other options can they do? Talk? Restack? Float around a bit? None of which changes the situation. All GK can really do is sit around and wait to die.

Except that:
-GK has at least two mancers deployed, and Charlie just demonstrated how they can be linked at long-range by a thinkmancer for devastating effects. Thus GK's forces could use all the extra time to find some new tri-mancer combo to turn the tide. Not to mention the possibility of yet more foolmancy tricks covering extra casters.
-Even whitout it, GK still has an attuned arkentool. Those things are hax and have all kind of mysterious powers (to the point not even the wielder is very sure what they can do). Do they really want to wait to see if Wanda figures out how to shoot death beams from her pliers or something else new and nasty?

Really, Trems just saw Charlie pull out KW out of a single turnmancer's ass on the hex. GK has at least two mancers and one arkentool. He doesn't know what possible combos they could pull out, so he shoul've played it safe and at least shot down the witch with the hax artifact before anything else. Wich would've implied shooting everything on the air down probably just to make it safe.

Kyrt wrote:Parson couldn't see a way around that without a messy exploit that relied on luck.


There was Jack's "We can make more meat shields than they have arrows and magic!" plan, wich would have let Wanda escape to fight another day. Hamster however has no interest to run away. He's going for Jetstone's throat.
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