Summer Updates – 046

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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby Yosarian » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:32 pm

Gez wrote:Units are disbanded if they are out there on the field when they side is defeated and there is no heir. Side defeated, but unit in a city? Becomes barbarian. Side defeated, but unit in the Magic Kingdom? Becomes barbarian. Side defeated, but unit accompanies a heir? Becomes barbarian. Example: Wanda isn't a royal, her side was defeated, but she was in a city at that time, and thus became barbarian before being "turned" by Stanley's victory.


Actually, I think Wanda turned and joined Stanley's side before FAQ fell. Otherwise, though, I agree.

Also, I'm still a little fuzzy on exactly why Stanley attacked and destroyed FAQ, but then didn't keep the cities. Did he think there might be an arkentool there? Did Wanda hint to him that there was?
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby Yosarian » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:34 pm

Graydon wrote:
Note:
Actually, reading the WoT post, it says that GK can pop most dwagon types, so maybe it is an inherent part of the city. Thus, it is possible that the Hammer decided to attune to Stanley partly because he came from GK.


Or Gobwin Knob can post dragons because it has an overlord with the Arkenhammer, and the comment about the dragons is in the present tense.


But if that was true, then wouldn't it be able to pop all dwagon types, instead of just "most of them"? The arkenhammer seems to be able to tame any dwagon, why would it only be able to pop some of them?

Now, it might be that the arkenhammer makes Gobwin Knob better at popping dwagons then it normally would be...
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby BoopingCynic » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:38 pm

raphfrk wrote:
Graydon wrote:Royals level faster, have moderately better stats, and just generally seem to be extra-shiny. The statistical effect of "levels faster" over time is going to make them dominate the place.


Also, they can only be popped by a Royal side. The question was what makes a side a Royal side in the first place.

If a side must be Royal to pop Royals, then where does the initial Royal come from.

Royal warlords might also pop randomly and their additional stats might have lead to them dominating Erfworld over time.

My speculation was that a non-Royal side will slowly become a Royal side the longer it exists. This is true in RL too. If you trace most monarchies back far enough, they would have been started by a non-monarch. The longer a monarchy maintains an unbroken line, the more legitimate it becomes.

It also allows Erf to start Royal free and develop Royals as time goes by.


Once again this seems a lot like evolution, I bet if you campared current royals with 10000+ turn ago royals I bet that current royals are much stronger i.e. evolution.
(Going back far enough should leave just basic animals like orlies and such) :).
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby Calemyr » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:43 pm

My vote is for the "Charlie the Barbarian" option. It just makes the most sense to my mangled mind.

Here's one way it makes sense to me: Charlie, whoever and whatever "he" (for lack of a determinate gender) is, worked for a side a long time ago. Possibly as a caster, possibly as a warlord, possibly as a piker. This side either has or gains the Arkendish. Maybe Charlie has a hand in this, the way Stanley did, but not necessarily. The side is then taken down and taken down hard. Given Charlie's behavior it is could likely be the result of information getting into the wrong hands. Charlie manages to get away with the dish as a barbarian, and is at this point attuned with it. Not having the having the ability to start an official side, he finds a stronghold in the mountains and begins the work of "carrying on". As a barbarian, he cannot manufacture units, but as an arkendish wielder he can produce archons (some of which have the capacity to produce golems), which he then does. Of course, the limitations of technically being a "non-side" go beyond production and he finds he cannot expand, nor can he maintain his forces via traditional methods (such as sacking and pillaging and threatening like a civilized overlord). The only way a barbarian can manage to either be sucked up by a side (unacceptable in Charlie's case) or hire out as mercenaries. The archons and the arkendish both provide an exceptional amount of power and versatility that allow him to function uniquely well as a mercenary unit, but he suffers two additional limitations. First, he discovers that it is a "bubble" business, as others have described it, with ballooning expenses that can only be paid through expanding markets that can only be managed by increased workforce which then requires greater expenses and the only way to keep from collapsing under the weight of it all is to keep it growing. Second, the huge amount of resources and influence he controls would make him a very tempting target if anyone ever figured out he was a barbarian. As a result, he "fakes" a side, calling himself an overlord and setting things up so that his odd behavior is viewed by clients as eccentric rather than desperate. Of course, Charlie has learned the lesson about loose lips and sinking ships, so he controls information as tightly as possible, trying to portray this trait as beneficial in a mercenary company rather than a sign that something isn't right.

That's just one possible theory (I've got a half dozen more that are no less fleshed out), but there are a couple other thoughts I had on Charlie and his archons:

* Charlie is not the dish nor anything more alien than Parson. Charlie is described as being able to share his abilities with archons, particularly his inner circle, which in turn means that not all the work attributed to Charlie is done by him. The autonomy of the archons would allow him to assign one of his inner circle to each theater of war, thus creating a very shallow hierarchy with extremely minimal loss of information control. Never underestimate the power of delegation in the hands of someone who can do it correctly.

* Charlie refers to the Battle for Gobwin Knob as "the great western conflict". This insinuates a few interesting things about his perspective, particularly that he considers it to be limited to possibly 25% to 50% of his potential market. That kind of percentage requires some careful consideration and, until he included Parson into his calculations, he was being very conservative about it all - it was only his greed for Parson's brain and bracer (sweetened by the promise of the pliers) that caused him to make choices that have damaged his credibility. Yes, he was holding out at first for more money, but that only makes sense: if he pushes too hard, he dillutes his value and the prices he can command per archon would drop while their upkeep did not. If you want to make the big bucks, you make sure they know you're worth it and you make sure they know they can't get the same quality elsewhere for cheaper.

* Charlie knows each casualty by name. 600 archons and he refers to each by name when fall. Surely, part of that is due to the arkendish, but I think it also hints at an aspect of his psyche. Most erfworlders don't seem to bother learning about their subordinates, probably because they die so quickly and even erfworlders seem to know the pain of loss. It's a defensive mechanism, since numbers hurt less than names. It's only after you lose just about everything, when all you have left are the few stubborn handful that didn't have sense to leave or die, that such a mindset breaks and one begins to have the same value as one hundred or one hundred thousand. Stanley is a moderate example of this. I think its quite possible that Charlie is even more so. Of course, he could also be using their names as a ploy to justify charging more next time. That's the fun of Charlie. He's kinda like an rorshach test, so ambiguous that what you see says more about you than it does about him.
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby raphfrk » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:57 pm

Calemyr wrote:Charlie manages to get away with the dish as a barbarian, and is at this point attuned with it.


It looks from the Bea scene, that warlords in the field also instant disband. It is only Heirs (and probably any units in that hex) that can survive being in the field when a Ruler dies.

One option would be that he was a caster and was with the Heir as they tried to escape with the Arkendish from destruction of their side. Once the side fell, the Heir died somehow and Charlie was alone. It is unclear if that would mean that the Heirs "side" had falled. Maybe, it doesn't work that way for barbarian warlords and/or the Dish prevented the stack from disbanding. Ofc, Charlie might just have been designated Heir like Stanley.

In any case, since the side is called CharlesComm, he had to have founded it.

Ofc, if the theory about Charlie just being a brand name is correct, then the current ruler might not be the first Charlie. That might cause issues with attunement to the Dish.

Not having the having the ability to start an official side, he finds a stronghold in the mountains and begins the work of "carrying on". As a barbarian, he cannot manufacture units, but as an arkendish wielder he can produce archons (some of which have the capacity to produce golems), which he then does.


Incidentally, he would also be unable to upgrade his city. Also, units can only hold a small number of shmucker in their "purse".
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby dannom » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:28 pm

Also, they can only be popped by a Royal side. The question was what makes a side a Royal side in the first place.

If a side must be Royal to pop Royals, then where does the initial Royal come from.


There are several references in Book 1 to Royal being "left in charge" by the Titans.
That is, the Royal were those in charge when Titans finished Erfworld.

Its also stated in Book 1, that only Royals can pop Royals, I think this would include random pops.

While these statements may only be legend, we've not seen anything to contradict this.
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby SurvivorX » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:41 pm

200-500 Shmuckers a turn, that's a steep upkeep - I wonder, could Charlie lower that if he got ahold of a Moneymancer?
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby Calemyr » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:48 pm

raphfrk wrote:It looks from the Bea scene, that warlords in the field also instant disband. It is only Heirs (and probably any units in that hex) that can survive being in the field when a Ruler dies.


Actually, I was more envisioning Charlie being in a town when the city fell, in which case he would become a barbarian rather than get disbanded, at least according to common impression. It could also be that Charlie's base belonged to the former side but managed to get by unsacked. Additional upgrades wouldn't be available through the official system, naturally, but archons with stuffamancy bonuses could provide numerous small improvements that add up over 700 turns.
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby Incomptinence » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:07 pm

The dish on the top not being real? Apart from the CG why would Charles need or want to wield it? Drat dishes are heavy.
Do you expect Charlie to suddenly jump out of the shadows and throw an arken dinner plate at Parson like a ninja on clean up duty? Not all tools make for good improvised weapons.


Charlescamm has the longest attunement in the story so far, either the dish being THE long distance communications tool can get the job done without being hugged all day or Charlie is so used to it he can just do that. I don't think it is a hand me down either, the dish going down between wielders would be noticed even for a second. It would be like all the phone companies in the world that being crystal clear 24/7 (does charlie sleep?) then all of a sudden going down all at once, people would talk.
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby BoopingCynic » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:14 pm

dannom wrote:
Also, they can only be popped by a Royal side. The question was what makes a side a Royal side in the first place.

If a side must be Royal to pop Royals, then where does the initial Royal come from.


There are several references in Book 1 to Royal being "left in charge" by the Titans.
That is, the Royal were those in charge when Titans finished Erfworld.

Its also stated in Book 1, that only Royals can pop Royals, I think this would include random pops.

While these statements may only be legend, we've not seen anything to contradict this.

2 things: First of all since the better a unit is say it has higher hit or attack the more likely it will survive and level becoming warlord or chief warlord and create more units with similar stats allowing for evolution on a very slow scale raising the bar to be a royal. This means that a royal orders pops for royals and because non-royals can't pop royals, Royal lines are lines either started by units with an advantage given to them by the Titans, or lines that have gone through successive generations of steadily increasing power (so Luckamancy may be able to increase the chance of a good mutation to elevate lines to royal status or make the royals even stronger) :P .
Secondly I subscribe to the "Charlie is a heir" theory which is Charlie like Stanley was made heir, was a thinkamancer attuned after which he split and set up his own side and decided to break the mold and work as a mercenary 8-) allowed by the abilities of the 'dish.
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby Infidel » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:48 pm

BoopingCynic wrote:Once again this seems a lot like evolution, I bet if you campared current royals with 10000+ turn ago royals I bet that current royals are much stronger i.e. evolution.
(Going back far enough should leave just basic animals like orlies and such) :).


Evolution has nothing to do with becoming stronger. It is simply a process of change. If it were about being stronger, then a modern housekitten could curb stomp a sabertooth tiger. Evolution, if anything, leads to increased specialization, so a new animal is only better, in that it is more efficient within its specialization than a more ancient animal would be.

Survival of the fittest is the impetus for weeding out the weak and presumably leading to stronger evolved species. But survival of the fittest also does not necessarily lead to stronger species. If anything, most of the time it leads to smaller, weaker, faster breeding, more diversified species.

So many people think the most successful evolved life form is Man. The truth is, by evolutionary standards, the most successful evolved creatures are microbes, and the most successful complex life form are insects, like the ant or roach. Mammals and reptiles come and go, but the insects tend to stick around. Heck, dig a mile down and in some places you'll find salt that has been untouched for hundreds of millions of years. But throw that salt in some water, and the microbes trapped within come right back to life. Not bad eh? How can we compete with that?
Last edited by Infidel on Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby Quanton » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:52 pm

Welf von Ehrwald wrote:
Phædrus2129 wrote:Anyone else consider that Charlie might be another Earthworlder? Or at least not originally from Erf? Seems more plausible than the "IS the arkendish" theory.


That's an classic theory that came up shortly after Charley first made contact to Parson. :9

But to add something original: Why does Charley have to come from earthworld if he's not an erfworlder? There is very big mulitverse out there, he could come from a complete different world.


That sounds plausible. Parson told Sizemore that 'half the names around here are puns on things in my world'. What if the other half are puns on Charlie's world? ;) Maybe there's a universe out there full of nothing but lawyers, CEOs, and their lackeys, engaged in an endless cycle of litigation and corporate takeovers.
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby Jatopian » Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:00 pm

Oh, is that the dimension we call Hell?
Gez wrote:
Quanton wrote:Is this the first time Rob's used the spelling 'Schmuckers' instead of 'Shmuckers'? Is that a typo?

Yet "schmuckers" looks more correct.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Shmucker vs. http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/ ... cker&go=Go

Not only is it not correct, it's less phonetic.
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby AL_Lagarto » Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:50 pm

(Had to register to put my two cents in)

Let me throw some ideas out on Charlie.

Charlie is capable of thinking outside the box, either because he's non-native or because he's a rare creative genius of an Erfworlder, and pulled a Parson. Realizing that sides on Erf are really contesting 'city sites' and not the cities themselves, per se, Charlie the mercenary simply rolls his own fortress in the mountains somewhere, with archon-made cloth golems providing the grunt labor. Charlie's unit production is all directly or indirectly from the Arkendish because in game terms he's not actually in a city. He doesn't pop warlords because they don't provide any sort of cost savings for his non-city.

This actually provides him with non-obvious benefits. HIs side can't be ended by capture of his capital because as far as the game's concerned. he doesn't have one. This opens up significant tactical flexibility to him - unlike Parson at Gobwin Knob, in the event of a major invasion Charlie can indeed abandon his base of operations and engage the enemy with guerilla tactics. In addition, as a 'side' that is in game terms 'barbarian', Charlie has the advantage of initiative: he always gets his turn at dayroll. http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F104.jpg
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby doran » Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:57 pm

Interesting, but Charlescomm's city was specifically called a level 5 city by the Archons, giving that it has a level it has to be an official city.
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby Lamech » Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:08 pm

Infidel wrote:
BoopingCynic wrote:Once again this seems a lot like evolution, I bet if you campared current royals with 10000+ turn ago royals I bet that current royals are much stronger i.e. evolution.
(Going back far enough should leave just basic animals like orlies and such) :).


Evolution has nothing to do with becoming stronger. It is simply a process of change. If it were about being stronger, then a modern housekitten could curb stomp a sabertooth tiger. Evolution, if anything, leads to increased specialization, so a new animal is only better, in that it is more efficient within its specialization than a more ancient animal would be.

Survival of the fittest is the impetus for weeding out the weak and presumably leading to stronger evolved species. But survival of the fittest also does not necessarily lead to stronger species. If anything, most of the time it leads to smaller, weaker, faster breeding, more diversified species.

So many people think the most successful evolved life form is Man. The truth is, by evolutionary standards, the most successful evolved creatures are microbes, and the most successful complex life form are insects, like the ant or roach. Mammals and reptiles come and go, but the insects tend to stick around. Heck, dig a mile down and in some places you'll find salt that has been untouched for hundreds of millions of years. But throw that salt in some water, and the microbes trapped within come right back to life. Not bad eh? How can we compete with that?

It depends on how you measure fitness. If it is areas and enviorments colonized... Man pretty is pretty high up when compared to other spiecies. Now giving microbes all the ablities of every microorganism, and then comparing it to man isn't fair. You should pick one spiecies and compare. Or pick a sample and compare each one by itself. Anyway I would guess a strain of mitochondria or chloroplasts would probably be called the most succesful spieces. Crazy parasites.

ANyway erfworld evolution might very well allow for survival of the fitest. Lets say a unit has a "gene" that gives it a ten percent chance of plus attack every level. This unit is more likely to survive. It has two heirs one doubles this chance the other lacks the gene entirely. The first will probably be king. And so on and so forth. Of course this would be really slow. Now if a luckamancer and a predictamancer got together with an evolutionmancer (Parson/new-summon) well... SUPER-UNIT-SWARM.

OTOH I don't like this theory of royalty at all. It doesn't explain many of the more noble traits. Cowardice would be likely favored. Living at the cost of one's men would be another trait. Anything that increases survivablity and popping of new heirs would be favored. Perhaps noblity is a set line of traits that one can move up; in fact this is the only real way one can understand the existance of titles. (Ceaser was a minor noble, if they were simply picked by the ruler that wouldn't matter.) But that would be not much like natural evolution at all, it would be more like breeding by Erf.
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby MarbitChow » Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:35 pm

Attempting to apply Evolutionary theory to Erfworld is somewhat pointless - It's like attempting to use physics to calculate exactly how many Angels would fit on the head of a pin.

Erfworld has very, very strong evidence of creation. Units just appear, and disappear.
There is no known mechanism by which 'evolutionary' information can be communicated from one generation to the next. There are no 'children'.

Game Theory would be much more useful than Evolution would be if we're trying to make sense of the world. :D
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby DoctorJest » Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:08 am

AL_Lagarto wrote:(Had to register to put my two cents in) Charlie's unit production is all directly or indirectly from the Arkendish because in game terms he's not actually in a city.


Actually, he is. Update 46 explicitly states he has a single Level 5 City. That's in game terms, to boot.
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby dirocyn » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:24 am

raphfrk wrote:It looks from the Bea scene, that warlords in the field also instant disband. It is only Heirs (and probably any units in that hex) that can survive being in the field when a Ruler dies.


That's not right, casters also become barbarians. Remember Parson tells Sizemore and Wanda--when the city falls, you'll be barbarians. Get to the Magic Kingdom. Also, Bea sent her casters to the magic kingdom, with instructions to hire to any royal side.

Charlie was a caster--specifically a thinkmancer. While it may be possible he popped as a wild Barbarian Thinkmancer, it's far more likely he became a barbarian and managed to escape when his capital fell--either because he was in the Magic Kingdom when it happened, or because he was in the field or one of that side's other cities. We don't know whether he had the Arkendish at that point or not. Either way, once he got the dish and started popping Archons, he started a Mercenary business. Either he took (or retook) a city or he found a site and got the shmuckers to start a side. Or he maintained an outlying city from his side, a city with "murderous" defenses, a barbarian thinkmancer, and even just one or two Archons might be tough to take--especially if the attackers got bruised up taking the capital and Charlie's using thinkmancy to make them think it's not worth it. Given that his turn is at dawn, earlier than GW's turn, it is likely Charlie is still a barbarian.

The fact Charlie does not allow himself to be seen is a nod to the 1976-1981 TV show Charlie's Angels. As is the Archon named Jaclyn.
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Re: Summer Updates – 046

Postby Decorus » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:33 am

A level 5 city seems to be the cap for cities in Erfworld. Truely murderous defenses means its a lvl 5 city that has some serious upgrades in its defensive structures. I'm fairly certain that with Charlies income he could have afforded to upgrade charlescomm to the level cap and pretty much would be required to if he wanted to do what he is doing... There is also the possibility that Jillian will join Charlescomm and give him more cities....
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