Book 2 – Page 67

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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:48 am

GaryThunder wrote:I think Parson should promote himself as far as the physics of Erfworld (and the treasury, and Stanley's implicit will) allow him to do so. He's heading into combat, after all, he's gotta set himself up as good as he can get. Field unit is great, but is that as high as he can go?

I doubt that units can gain levels through the expenditure of Schmuckers (though that raises an interesting question as to the true meaning of "promoting...units to full"), because otherwise it would seem to be standard practice to promote all Chief Warlords as high as feasibly possible immediately upon attaining the position to secure the higher side-wide bonuses. But there's gotta be some other way Parson can boost himself.

He covered himself in powerful magic equipment. What else do you want?

GaryThunder wrote:
Beeskee wrote:I'd be very interested to know whether native Erfworld units can pop at levels greater than 1. I imagine all units 'built' by cities pop at level 1, barring some sort of special feature we haven't heard about yet, but units popped by ruins may be greater than 1. There's no way to be sure based on our current info tho.


Dwagons. Taming three dwagons in one turn wouldn't be impressive if they were lowly Level 1 units, and if wild dwagons are indeed Level 1 but fearsome even then, then high-level dwagons would be way more powerful than they have been portrayed thus far. Also, if wild dwagons are Level 1 and have stats comparable to regular Level 1 units, then how in holy heck did Stanley rock Faq's house with more than half of his forces being wimps?


But high-level dwagons are very powerful. During the donut of doom, three high-level dwagons of the lowest quality sucessfully holded off dozens of archers against Parson's expectations.

However high level=/= invincible. Even being high level won't save you when facing warlord stacks of doom backed up by swarms of troops. Quantity does have a quality of its own.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby Feyrauth » Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:04 am

This talk of dwagons just made me realise... at no point has anyone referred to a "Level X Dwagon", it's always a red, or a yellow, etc. Whereas any other unit's level is always mentioned in various POV characters' tactical analyses. I don't have the time to check the text, but maybe dwagons don't have levels?

Edit: apart from this Donut of Doom just mentioned. Do you have a link?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby Feyrauth » Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:10 am

GaryThunder wrote:
Feyrauth wrote:Just so. But the "perfect warlord" would be high level as well as clever, surely? Unless there's a good reason for him to be low level.


Heroes that are too powerful break stories and quash conflict. If Parson had bonuses like Ansom and could just muscle his way to victory, what fun would that be? It's the very fact that his bonus is so low that forces him to use his greater strength of strategy, which he wouldn't need nearly as much at a higher level.


Sounds like a good reason for him to be low level. Rather disappointing though, especially given the tactical significance others have pointed out of levelling your troops in a game like this.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:12 am

Feyrauth wrote:
Edit: apart from this Donut of Doom just mentioned. Do you have a link?


Here. The RC tought "Meh, they're just a pink, purple and yellow whitout leadership, some elves can deal with them", but then ended up needing to use three high-level warlords, an army of elves and multiple treants to actualy punch trough.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby gazes_also » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:27 am

Moik wrote:I'm totally in the Marie fanclub now. Serene and friendly but action-oriented and decisive despite that. I'd hit it.


I suspect your in for a big disappointment when she turns out to be from the dark side.

What could the outcome be of a predictamancer, a hippymancer and a carnymancy scroll entering a battle?
Marie ran the Jo-jo scam to get the scroll to Parson. Now she wants Janice and herself to join Parson in Spacerock.
She casts the scroll while Janice is forced to protect her with flower-power? But to what end?
The scroll is not really a scroll but an object disguised by carnymancy?

Some how that combination is what Marie wants to get to SR.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby Dancing Cthulhu » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:58 am

GaryThunder wrote:Dwagons. Taming three dwagons in one turn wouldn't be impressive if they were lowly Level 1 units, and if wild dwagons are indeed Level 1 but fearsome even then, then high-level dwagons would be way more powerful than they have been portrayed thus far. Also, if wild dwagons are Level 1 and have stats comparable to regular Level 1 units, then how in holy heck did Stanley rock Faq's house with more than half of his forces being wimps?


Heh, well yes, comparable to level one units - a dwagon I suspect at level 1 is a lot tougher then a piker, warlord or Twoll at lvl one (plus have a lot of specials to boost them further). I think it would end up being a mechanical problem for Erfworld if high level dwagons were popping at semi-regular intervals and not being tamed. But even at level 1 they would still be flying heavies with breath attacks (and some types of breath attacks can be combined for greater damage etc) which can only be harmed by archers and things that can fly up to them (unless they are grounded) like other flyers or people on flyers.

From what we know of Faq Stanley would be in a good position even if half his dwagons were lvl 1 - they'd have his bonus, the hammer bonus, Faq didn't have a huge army even when Jillian was home (being in the field would probably mean Faq's best and brightest units + flyers like gwiffins and megalos would also be mostly absent).

Just so. But the "perfect warlord" would be high level as well as clever, surely? Unless there's a good reason for him to be low level.


Do we know if Parson, special case that he is, operates on a lvling system like everyone else on Erf? Or if he has a set lvl? Vagaries of being real world and all (like his invisible stats)? In our world (as we know) a person has to train and maintain. A general, athlete or doctor is likely only to be as good as the effort they put in and keeps putting in (since physical and mental abilities tend to deteriorate faster if they aren't maintained). In Erfworld a warlord stabs enough people and he lvls and... his stats get boosted to some degree. We don't know what all the stats are (I believe the known ones are move, health, attack and defense). Presumably there is some form of leadership bonus with lvling, or a caster gains more juice or something. Then we have things like "mental stats" or "social stats" - I don't think we have seen a unit gets smarter or more charismatic as they lvl.

Parson was a rather overweight guy who probably had no combat experience other then what he saw in movies. Ditto for leadership (command in game yes). But he was smart (in this type of gaming at least). Since he has been in Erfworld he has become much fitter and much more educated about Erfworld and the science of Erfworld (and can therefore better utilize his natural intelligence in waging war in Erfworld), but not through leveling. Yet in mind at least he is a better strategist and tactician then most most of the lv 8, 9, 10 warlords on Erf, or Chief Warlords or the rulers of their sides (at the very least until they start thinking outside the box). Physically, well, his one swing of a sword did instant kill one of those ram dogs. I suspect for all intents and purposes he is physically stronger now as well and that would translate in a fight. Of course for a real world human I imagine "attack" would be a combination of both strength/dexterity/training. Parson might be fitter but has he been practicing his sword fighting? Of course that leaves bonuses that can be given to units etc that improve with higher levels...

And of course not being high lvl doesn't necessarily reduce ones value. As we have seen with Parson (if he has a lvl and it is low) or Charlie... of course we don't know what kind of lvl Charlie is at, but unless he is training in Charlescomm or had a previous career that provided a lot of XP (or he is the dish or the City or Parson from the future or...) I wouldn't think he would be at a particularly high level. And even if he was his mind seems to be his most important asset, not a lvl 10 attack, defense, move and health.
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And so my time with the Tardy Elves draws to a close, and I am let to ponder how the experience will... eh, I'll finish later. No need to rush.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby effataigus » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:01 am

gazes_also wrote:
Moik wrote:I'm totally in the Marie fanclub now. Serene and friendly but action-oriented and decisive despite that. I'd hit it.


I suspect your in for a big disappointment when she turns out to be from the dark side.


Oh, I dunno. I'd argue that being in someone's fanclub and hitting it are two forms of appreciation that don't require agreeing with a person's morals. ;)

Take Sylvia for example...
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby gazes_also » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:27 am

effataigus wrote:
gazes_also wrote:
Moik wrote:I'm totally in the Marie fanclub now. Serene and friendly but action-oriented and decisive despite that. I'd hit it.


I suspect your in for a big disappointment when she turns out to be from the dark side.


Oh, I dunno. I'd argue that being in someone's fanclub and hitting it are two forms of appreciation that don't require agreeing with a person's morals. ;)

Take Sylvia for example...


Yebut, it's Sylvia's dark intensity that makes her attractive, seeing Marie's friendliness and serenity as plus points is heading for disappointment.
She's evil I tell yah, evil.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby drachefly » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:59 am

Dancing Cthulhu wrote:And of course not being high lvl doesn't necessarily reduce ones value.


It does if you're CWL.

As for Parson, it's quite possible that his upkeep would grow outrageously if he were to level a lot. Might pass on the bonus just to keep him affordable. Especially if you can appoint a CWL who'll just do what Parson says. Best of both worlds.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby Goshen » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:09 am

I think it's fascinating that there are definitely two separate conspiracies both intent on using Parson, apparently that's GTTMA vs. Marie and Janice. I wonder if they were all originally part of a single conspiracy that has split, or did one become aware of the other and try to take advantage of the situation? Maybe Parson is going to be their wishbone and the one who pulls away the biggest chunk wins!
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby auraseer » Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:36 pm

GaryThunder wrote:Dwagons. Taming three dwagons in one turn wouldn't be impressive if they were lowly Level 1 units, and if wild dwagons are indeed Level 1 but fearsome even then, then high-level dwagons would be way more powerful than they have been portrayed thus far.

We don't have enough details about the combat system to validate this. It's quite possible that dwagons' power is front-loaded and they don't get a whole heck of a lot on levelling.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby Moik » Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:49 pm

gazes_also wrote:
effataigus wrote:
gazes_also wrote:I suspect your in for a big disappointment when she turns out to be from the dark side.

Oh, I dunno. I'd argue that being in someone's fanclub and hitting it are two forms of appreciation that don't require agreeing with a person's morals. ;)
Take Sylvia for example...

Yebut, it's Sylvia's dark intensity that makes her attractive, seeing Marie's friendliness and serenity as plus points is heading for disappointment.
She's evil I tell yah, evil.

Friendly and serene but action-oriented and decisive . None of those attributes are restricted to specific ends of the moral spectrum. You can be cordial and composed while stabbing someone in the back. Just look at the TF2 Spy.
I'd still hit it, cautiously though.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby Fangthane » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:39 pm

First, my reaction to the comic...
I love that Biggles is easy enough to pick out that it's not even an issue wondering which Inquisitors they are (since Fang is fairly generic, at a distance, and Ximenez was based on the real thing). Thanks, Xin, for the goggles. :) The real article would be pretty disturbing but the Soft Cushion and the Comfy Chair are somewhat less frightening. Of course if this all comes to blows, I'll be expecting a pillow-poke (with all the stuffing forced up into one end) somewhere in the melee. :)

Kreistor, it would seem to me that someone on the GK side would need to know *what* to request be produced, regardless of who produces it; that so many natural ingredients for chemical production, specifically many explosives - and of course oil - come from underground and from animal waste, certainly lends weight to the notion that such production could well be a Dirtamancy function. Certainly it's less of a stretch than the notion that the ability to weave baskets extends to production of specific chemicals or combinations, I'd think. :) While oil would probably be within a twoll's understanding and thus potentially their capability, they don't seem the sort who'd be bright enough to come up with two-part explosives (or hand-warmers or other items based on a chemical interaction) without someone who'd made a study of chemical reactions to direct them. That being the case, the production of the resources by Sizemore is at least as likely as their production by twollish Dollamancy (bearing in mind it's really more akin to what Ace does than anything else we've seen). Not, I suspect, that it really matters to the story as a whole, unless the only twoll who could make them was poor old Bogroll. Odds are though, the most they could manage would be a special suit of armor or a weapon or somesuch.

Marie probably does more casting before breakfast than most casters do in an entire day. Obviously she did some predictions and made some note (mental or otherwise) of the salient features, or cast something which gives her the updates periodically; so she knows to bring Janis with her (whether, at the time, she knew about the stacking or not). She knows in time that Parson's about to arrive, and that she has to help with Jojo, and now (whether due to remembering what she cast this morning or due to being fed the info just now) she knows Janis will stack with them; or that the alternative means failure, since the nature of predictamancy and its capacity for being balked hasn't been made completely clear yet. I just can't shake the thought that while Janis stacking might be great for Parson, it might not be good for someone willing to take a bullet for either one of them... And while I kind of like Sizemore, that's him. I guess we'll see. I'm also sort of wondering what the link-up of a foolamancer and a predictamancer might accomplish, but I doubt we'll see that. You could probably generate a LOT of useful predictive imaging items, I'd think, and probably some excellent misdirections. Make Marie link with Wanda and you could probably make a death clock like in Futurama :)

Of course this assemblage also begs a further question I'm fairly sure won't be answered here. Could 5 thinkamancers manage a 9-caster link? (i.e. X-T-X, T-T-T, X-T-X merge into a 3x3 glom) It strikes me that thinkamancers are the ones who keep things straight and manage the coordinated thought process of the gestalt caster, so the concept is that more thinkamancers can bridge larger groups.
It could be insanely powerful if so, allowing the mergence of 5 different casting classes rather than 3, and if it works it's exactly the type of information Charlie might already know and never tell a soul. After all, his archons only get 4 classes, limited at that, so even if it works for him he's at a disadvantage overall once the information's out. (of course it also plays into my notion that Charlie's already a gestalt entity composed of archons and the Dish)
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby jah77 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:11 pm

Goshen wrote:I think it's fascinating that there are definitely two separate conspiracies both intent on using Parson, apparently that's GTTMA vs. Marie and Janice. I wonder if they were all originally part of a single conspiracy that has split, or did one become aware of the other and try to take advantage of the situation? Maybe Parson is going to be their wishbone and the one who pulls away the biggest chunk wins!


I think that the original spell that summoned Parson was made by three linked casters. I think Marie may have/probably was one of them and obviously a thinkamancer was another -- probably one from the gmtta. So it looks like the Marie faction and the GMTTA faction both were in on the Parson summon, although they may have had somewhat different but parallel reasons to do it.

My opinion is that the two reasons are parallel but different:

the Janice/Marie faction wants to bring peace to Erfworld (per numerous comics in issue 1, and the fact that Janice is a grand abbie);
the GMTTA want to get rid of Charlie, who has essentially destroyed the normal functioning of all thinkamancers (per numerous comics in issue 2) and who incidentally profits from all war and thus has every interest in furthering all conflict (as we've seen time and again, but most strongly early in issue 2).

The relationship between the two factions is that they are both in opposition to the warring caused/encouraged/facilitated by Charlie.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby GaryThunder » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:20 pm

Feyrauth wrote:This talk of dwagons just made me realise... at no point has anyone referred to a "Level X Dwagon", it's always a red, or a yellow, etc. Whereas any other unit's level is always mentioned in various POV characters' tactical analyses. I don't have the time to check the text, but maybe dwagons don't have levels?


"Remount them on top dwagons by hits, disregarding color and level."

auraseer wrote:We don't have enough details about the combat system to validate this. It's quite possible that dwagons' power is front-loaded and they don't get a whole heck of a lot on levelling.


This makes a lot of sense, actually, especially given Wanda's above instruction to disregard the levels of their dwagon mounts.

Dancing Cthulhu wrote:I think it would end up being a mechanical problem for Erfworld if high level dwagons were popping at semi-regular intervals and not being tamed.


There's no direct evidence for this, but I've always thought that wild units depop at night. Otherwise, every empty hex would quickly become overrun with wandering monsters, and city hexes would be the only safe places in all Erfworld. You certainly couldn't pull tricks like the dwagon relay with wild units stacked to the sky from hundreds of turns' buildup in every hex between you and home. Even scouting would be more or less impossible...

Beeskee wrote:Stanley (who IS a capable commander, just not a very capable overlord) probably stacked the weaker or less useful dwagons in front as meat shields. Those would be the dozen units he lost on the approach.


Mmm...possible, but recall from Stanley's story: "And a lot of them were reds and purples so we just tore into the place." That doesn't necessarily mean all those reds and purples were wild dwagons, but it implies that a significant amount were. (Otherwise, he might have phrased it like "And I threw the useless wild dwagons in front while my reds and purples tore into the place.") Even with artifact and leadership bonuses, Level 1 dwagons can't be that noteworthy when assaulting a capital city so heavily spell-defended as Faq's was.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby Beeskee » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:37 pm

I think we'll have the answer to whether Marie can really predict things or not in the next few updates. If she stacks with Parson, she's going to have to bust out some real Predictamancy to help him out, since his calculations depend on her for success. If it's all just handwaving and being vague and slightly spooky, they won't succeed, unless he ends up relying entirely on Janis.



GaryThunder wrote:
Beeskee wrote:Stanley (who IS a capable commander, just not a very capable overlord) probably stacked the weaker or less useful dwagons in front as meat shields. Those would be the dozen units he lost on the approach.


Mmm...possible, but recall from Stanley's story: "And a lot of them were reds and purples so we just tore into the place." That doesn't necessarily mean all those reds and purples were wild dwagons, but it implies that a significant amount were. (Otherwise, he might have phrased it like "And I threw the useless wild dwagons in front while my reds and purples tore into the place.") Even with artifact and leadership bonuses, Level 1 dwagons can't be that noteworthy when assaulting a capital city so heavily spell-defended as Faq's was.


He did say he lost a dozen just on the approach. That's what I was basing the lost dwagons on. We don't know the types that were sacrificed, or whether they were weak types or low levels. But he did sacrifice some to get through. I'm just guessing they were the less useful types for a siege attack. We have seen other commanders use screening stacks as meat shields, or potential meat shields. Remember Jillian's exit from Spacerock.

When commanders in Erfworld use screening stacks (meat shields), they don't seem to care about their ability to inflict damage, only their ability to absorb damage. It's like putting the 'peasant' infantry in front so your trained military units don't take the full force of the attack. (Shogun 2) Imagine an attack is powerful enough to kill a level 1 dwagon several times over. But, unless that attack is an area-of-effect spell, that's ALL it can kill. And your level 5 or whatever dwagon behind it survives. Dwagons are mixed unit types too. Pink dwagons can incapacitate even heavies, but I imagine the bubblegum doesn't do anything against a city wall. It makes sense to use the right units for the right job.

As far as Stanley being awesome as a warlord, I realize we haven't seen much of that, but we have seen bits and pieces, plus certain facts back that up. As a piker, he stood out enough to get promoted to warlord. Remember pikers pop like a dozen at a time, and you can pop a group per turn. (Edit: Even a side with one city left and on the verge of being wiped out has several hundred of these guys kicking around.) As a warlord, he won a lot of battles even before he found the Arkenhammer. As a chief warlord, (with his basic battle plans and tactics being decided by his King), he was still rocking. Even after his king got croaked, he was able to take back his city. Granted, he had an artifact and a bunch of dwagons, and some casters. His main problem with being an overlord is that he's not so good there.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby Jinren » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:59 pm

Beeskee wrote:As far as Stanley being awesome as a warlord, I realize we haven't seen much of that, but we have seen bits and pieces, plus certain facts back that up. As a piker, he stood out enough to get promoted to warlord. Remember pikers pop like a dozen at a time, and you can pop a group per turn. As a warlord, he won a lot of battles even before he found the Arkenhammer. As a chief warlord, (with his basic battle plans and tactics being decided by his King), he was still rocking. Even after his king got croaked, he was able to take back his city. Granted, he had an artifact and a bunch of dwagons, and some casters. His main problem with being an overlord is that he's not so good there.


His quality as a warlord - not a chief warlord or overlord - is also helped a whole lot by that whole "one of the most powerful combat units in Erfworld" thing (unless I've misunderstood) thanks to his Attunement. Regular warlords seem to be commonly used as powerful field units at least as much as in strategic roles, so he has a lot to contribute even if he's a rubbish commander, as long as you have a general keeping an eye on him.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby Beeskee » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:09 pm

True, but he was at least somewhat awesome before finding the hammer. Awesome enough to win battles before finding a god artifact. And there's THAT success in itself. Arkentools are very rare. Not 'rare' like rares in MMOs either, where any nub who can click a mouse can find a rare item after 5 minutes. There's, like, 4 of these things in the whole world, (that we know of) and at least 2 were in the possession of someone. It's like he found the holy grail.


Don't get me wrong, as an overlord he's incompetent at best, and more of a danger to his own side than the enemy is. :D He did surround himself with brilliant people tho, and mostly let them do their jobs, so that's one smart move.


I'm remembering the one page update (not text update, it was one of the book pages from book 1) where the pic at the top shows Stanley and Jack are sitting by the fire, and Stanley is looking wistfully over at his group of hobgobwins nearby sitting around another fire, chatting and laughing. I think he'd be a lot happier if he was a warlord again. And probably a lot better at his job.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby GaryThunder » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:12 pm

Jinren wrote:His quality as a warlord - not a chief warlord or overlord - is also helped a whole lot by that whole "one of the most powerful combat units in Erfworld" thing (unless I've misunderstood) thanks to his Attunement. Regular warlords seem to be commonly used as powerful field units at least as much as in strategic roles, so he has a lot to contribute even if he's a rubbish commander, as long as you have a general keeping an eye on him.


I think, point for point, Stanley is the most powerful combat unit in Erfworld. His leadership bonus is unknown but, probably, is reasonably high (he was CW and all, pre-Attunement even), then you factor in that he no doubt grants an artifact bonus to himself. Couple that with the direct combat utility of the 'Hammer itself...

For comparison's sake, Jillian is one of the tougher warlords around at Level 9, I believe. Caesar's bonus is unknown, but he was able to effortlessly disarm Jillian (and nearly break her wrist), so he's even stronger. And Stanley famously batted that bat for a home run and croaked a stack of effective heavies in one swing. (And is he casting just there, 'Van de Graaff'? What is that about?)

I think we have a winner.

Beeskee wrote:He did say he lost a dozen just on the approach. That's what I was basing the lost dwagons on. We don't know the types that were sacrificed, or whether they were weak types or low levels. But he did sacrifice some to get through. I'm just guessing they were the less useful types for a siege attack. We have seen other commanders use screening stacks as meat shields, or potential meat shields. Remember Jillian's exit from Spacerock.

When commanders in Erfworld use screening stacks (meat shields), they don't seem to care about their ability to inflict damage, only their ability to absorb damage. It's like putting the 'peasant' infantry in front so your trained military units don't take the full force of the attack. (Shogun 2) Imagine an attack is powerful enough to kill a level 1 dwagon several times over. But, unless that attack is an area-of-effect spell, that's ALL it can kill. And your level 5 or whatever dwagon behind it survives. Dwagons are mixed unit types too. Pink dwagons can incapacitate even heavies, but I imagine the bubblegum doesn't do anything against a city wall. It makes sense to use the right units for the right job.


Again, consider that it's Stanley talking. He wouldn't speak excitedly of the worthless garbage dwagons he used as ablative armor, he would reserve his passion for those dwagons of his that blew crap up in a really cool and awesome fashion. Now, even if dwagons don't gain much from leveling, it stands to reason that high-level dwagons would be generally more impressive than Level 1 dwagons in the same fight, so Stanley is most likely referring to the cream of his dwagon strike force. All of this, in addition to the implication that many of the found dwagons were the very reds and purples he is speaking so highly of, leads me to believe that dwagons do (or at least can) pop at levels higher than 1.

Stanley is indeed awesome as a warlord, certainly. It's nice to see him good at something, universally incompetent characters are dull.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 67

Postby motorfirebox » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:37 pm

I really love the shot of Maggie in the first frame.
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