Book 2 – Text Updates 054

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby drachefly » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:28 pm

Sieggy wrote:Uuummm . . . I kinda have to ask what good an archer with no arrows is going to be


It was specified that a few arrows were held in reserve. I'd hate to have to hunt it up, though.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby madmaw » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:33 pm

Sieggy wrote:Uuummm . . . I kinda have to ask what good an archer with no arrows is going to be. In none of the art have we seen any full quivers carried by any of the troops on the tower, in fact I went back and looked, and page 53 was the last one where they were even seen carrying bows. Given that Parson gave orders to wait until the volleys stopped before doing the Decrypts, I am assuming the archers ran out of ammo whereupon Wanda did her thing. But since then, the archers have just been standing there doing nothing, not even with bows in their hands. So . . . did Cubbins nobly sacrifice his life for nothing . . ?

Edit - the archers on Unis on P. 73 look like they might have bows slung, but none of the archers on the current page are shown as being armed in any manner. Unless their bows are magical and can be resized for stowage, I have to wonder where they came from?


I initially had the same thought, it seems like a marginal benefit at best.

Then I read over the comic again and given the order of events as reported by Ace, and it is possible that Cubbins immediately registered Ossomer changing sides (as opposed to Ace who was a bit slower) and adapted the plan accordingly. As Kriestor observed, it was originally a suicide mission, however with Ossomer onboard Slately actually has a chance of surviving. Ossomer and Slately should both give a decent combat multiplier to all units in their stack, so even if an Archer is only slightly more effective in combat than Cubbins before the multiplier is applied, once the multiplier is applied, the gap could be significant.

Edit - We don't have a lot of unit stats to go off, and we don't know what the multiplier is, and we don't know what stats the multiplier applies to, but you can see Jacks stats here
http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F108.jpg
and you can see Bogrolls here
http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F040a.jpg
You'd assume that an archer (even an archer without arrows) was somewhere between those two
Last edited by madmaw on Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby drachefly » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:41 pm

I'd be a lot more sanguine about survival odds if they didn't have a roof above their heads to fall on them right after they're done landing.

That did in my great grandfather, actually. He survived a rather long fall, and then a bridge fell on him.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby 0beron » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:58 pm

CUBBINS!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Okay, got that out of my system *tear*
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby BrotherRool » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:03 pm

I read it as Cubbins just wanting to save lives and not thinking about his own too. I don't really have anything to support it, except the implication was that Ace was wrong in his guess of motive with the first archer and it was only a slight implication. Because Cubbins sacrifice is a shock/surprise it makes a tiny tiny bit more (narrative) sense for Ace to have completely got the wrong end of the stick as opposed to only getting a bit of the stick wrong. (Getting the wrong end of the twig? Getting the middle of the stick?)

But I think the other way could be just as true as well. An emotional thing is slightly grander but the salute balances that out by making it more of a calculated action. EDIT: Scared archer in the background is also an emotion thing not a calculating thing

Maybe we'll get one more thing showing his actual end and then we might find out
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby Kandarin » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:57 pm

And the sky was ablaze with light.


I interpreted this to mean that the reason he stayed behind was to fire off all of Spacerock's air defenses while there was still a tower to fire them from. No matter how many Leadership and item bonuses they have, the King and Prince are still going up against a huge fleet of Archons and Cubbins saw it as his Duty to do whatever he could to even that score.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby VanIsleKnight » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:05 pm

This was the update that struck me enough to register and post.

I stared for a few minutes after I had finished reading, then I went back and reread the last paragraph, then I stared again.

This made me sad, really sad. I have a lot of respect and admiration for Cubbins now, and he'll probably be one of my favourite tertiary characters for a long time now. I was actually -really- close to posting for
Spoiler: show
Artemis when she croaked
but it didn't hit me emotionally nearly as much as this.

Titans bless the little guy. The salute was a nice touch.

(I hope one of those archers gets some screen time and won't be written off, it would be cool to see the tiny plot torch handed over to them as an introduction)
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby Goshen » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:36 pm

Sad and magnificent, it makes tactical sense for Cubbins to sacrifice himself for archers as others have explained. Ace, on the other hand, has that monster big crossbow. It's all about saving the King this turn. Nobody knows yet if Ossomer can be heir again after going through decryption.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby cloudbreaker » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:59 pm

Poor Cubbins, but all hope is not lost for him. After all, he is wearing the appropriate style of hat.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby Sixty » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:43 pm

Poor Cubbins.

I thought the two archers embracing right before the tower went down was a nice touch as well.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby Chit Rule Railroad » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:20 am

Kandarin wrote:
And the sky was ablaze with light.


I interpreted this to mean that the reason he stayed behind was to fire off all of Spacerock's air defenses while there was still a tower to fire them from. No matter how many Leadership and item bonuses they have, the King and Prince are still going up against a huge fleet of Archons and Cubbins saw it as his Duty to do whatever he could to even that score.


I hope you're right, and that Cubbins was smart as well as noble. Otherwise it would be sad if he ended up as the first decrypted caster test case because of his nominal selflessness.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby Matuse » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:27 am

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby bossamancer » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:36 am

...it wasn't only about the archers...Cubbins used all his remaining juice to pull 'a flight of Orlies' out of his hat...
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby Oberon » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:44 am

Xenon wrote:a moment of silence for a noble mancer, who has more testes than the titans.
Especially if the titans do indeed have tinkle holes. But, hold off on that moment of silence for a while...
Cruiser1 wrote:Cubbins' noble sacrifice to provide two extra Jetstone archers (with Ossomer's high leadership bonus) should be enough to allow the King to escape, while taking out enough Archons in the process to promote Tramennis if need be. Meanwhile, Parson and Wanda (if they actually enter/return to Jetstone) may finally get a chance to determine if a decrypted caster can still cast!
Meh. Heroic sacrifice aside, Cubbins saved the first archer at no cost and some risk. He then saved a second archer at extremely high cost and high risk. Such a high cost and risk that one wonders how his duty would allow such a foolish action. Archers probably pop a dozen or more per turn, while casters pop rarely in place of warlord pops, which are either single unit per turn pops or worse, they may be several turn pops for a single unit. And Cubbins had a high degree of synergy with Ace, without the need for a bi-mancer link. There is no justification for his sacrifice in favor of a mere two archery units, and much less for a single archery unit.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby fjolnir » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:45 am

Also, possibly more importantly he provides an active mount for Ossomer to be able to act slightly more freely than before.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby MonteCristo » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:35 am

Oberon wrote: Such a high cost and risk that one wonders how his duty would allow such a foolish action. Archers probably pop a dozen or more per turn, while casters pop rarely in place of warlord pops, which are either single unit per turn pops or worse, they may be several turn pops for a single unit. And Cubbins had a high degree of synergy with Ace, without the need for a bi-mancer link. There is no justification for his sacrifice in favor of a mere two archery units, and much less for a single archery unit.

While it's true cubbins is FAR more valuable unit for in the long run, the simple fact is that Jestone may not exist long enough for cubbins to ever get a chance to cast another useful spell ever again. Slately is flying into a battle that will determine the fate of jetstone; if he looses jetstone falls, but if he's victorious jetstone will live to see another turn. Cubin's brand of magic likely has no active combat ability (as opposed to passive support like creating good hats), or hell making that thinking cap may have drained him of the last of his juice and as such he would be completely worthless in this most vital and desperate battle. If the archer can croak atleast one more unit(if not more) than he could, then that archer will be more valuable in the upcoming fight than cubbins and increase the chances of the jetstone's survival... even if it is only a tiny bit of a chance... for the sake of jetstone's very survival, that one archer is more worthwhile that a caster with no combat ability
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:53 am

A text update? For us? Awwww, you shouldn't have! *squeee!*

Kreistor wrote:And he might survive the fall, anyway.


My pet theory is that Cubbins has something in his hat that improves the odds of this. I don't really believe the theory, because it would dampen the emotional impact of the page, but still, I like it.

drachefly wrote:I'd be a lot more sanguine about survival odds if they didn't have a roof above their heads to fall on them right after they're done landing.


Depending on how that tower tilted, that roof may end up somewhere else. I sure hope a certain group of Dwagons is getting away, for example.

====

So anyway. May archons sing thee to thy rest, Cubbins. I'm not sure I understand the calculation, if any (I don't buy that two Archers were a better choice with Ossomer returned, for example), but that doesn't mean there was no reason for the decision made. I could totally replace Cubbins with Sizemore, in this scene, and it would make sense. Well, apart from the fact that Sizemore's allegiance is to GK right now, but you get the idea.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby teratorn » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:56 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:I'm not sure I understand the calculation, if any (I don't buy that two Archers were a better choice with Ossomer returned, for example), but that doesn't mean there was no reason for the decision made.


With Ossomer returned and his huge bonus those archers are worth a lot. Archons are in a lot of trouble without Ossomer bonus, and with air defenses just being fired (I assume a caster had to remain there).

Edit: oh, and GK probably gets a Jestone Prince. Trammenis was still in the tower.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:09 am

teratorn wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:I'm not sure I understand the calculation, if any (I don't buy that two Archers were a better choice with Ossomer returned, for example), but that doesn't mean there was no reason for the decision made.


With Ossomer returned and his huge bonus those archers are worth a lot.


I don't think Ossomer's turning is the decider here. If Ossomer would not have turned, for example, THEN, would it have been better for Cubbins to go? Probably not. Roughly speaking, a bonus acts like a factor multiplying a combat value. If Cubbins' is 0, it would be 0 with or without Oss' bonus.

Alternatively, if taking Cubbins were the better choice with Ossomer loyal to GK, it could still be better with Ossomer loyal to Jetstone. You could postulate that Ossomer bestows a greater bonus to archers than to Casters (and that's plausible), but that runs into another problem.

How desperate is the situation, really? We were told that attacking the Archons would be suicide, because Ossomer's bonus made them nigh untouchable. That bonus is gone, so the odds are better. How good are they? Or rather, how good are the odds of Jetstone's survival, had 2 Archers been saved, vs. with Cubbins saved?

That's not the only thing. What's the expected "value"*, for some measure of value, of two Archers vs. a Hatamancer? That should also be put in the balance somehow. For example, if Jetstone's odds of survival were 60% with Cubbins saved, and 70% with 2 Archers saved, but Cubbins were in the long term 10 times more valuable than two Archers, who would you save? What if he were 100 times more valuable, or 1000 times?

(EDIT: *: *cough*utility, if the more rigurous term is wanted, as in "expected utility hypothesis" for a model of rationality.)

What if the chance of survival with Cubbins were 98%, and the chance with two Archers were 99%?

So, the situation that we see needs, in order for Cubbins' decision to be rational, that the odds of Jetstone's survival be low whatever the decision (implausible), and that the difference between the two decisions be large enough to compensate for the expected long term value of the Caster, as opposed to two Archers. Also implausible.

And plausible or not is all we can say. Unless you have access to the rules and can actually calculate the odds and the expected values, there is no way to settle this apart from everyone stating a gut feeling. My gut feeling is that Cubbins' decision is not tactically sound, but that doesn't matter- it's a character based decision.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 054

Postby teratorn » Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:59 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:I don't think Ossomer's turning is the decider here. If Ossomer would not have turned, for example, THEN, would it have been better for Cubbins to go? Probably not. Roughly speaking, a bonus acts like a factor multiplying a combat value. If Cubbins' is 0, it would be 0 with or without Oss' bonus.


Without Ossomer it would be just fleeing. With Ossomer on their side there is a possibility that sacrificing a caster to fire the air thingies will erase enough of the archons so that Jetstone gets a fighting chance. Ossomer alone might be strong enough to finish the surviving archons.

Cubbins is probably the most expendable caster, and archers are the best option for the mount he leaves behind.
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