Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby ManaCaster » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:33 am

Cantripmancer wrote:Isn't it odd that Stanley can't "sense" Maggie? Might there be some question as to her loyalty (to Stanley vs to TGMTTA)? Or am I missing something basic?

Where did you get the impression he can't sense Maggie? He can still send her silent orders, even if she's been unable to respond to them up till now.

Lipkin wrote:
Zeal wrote:
"...prepare the city for possible assault by air. From Charlescomm."


I bet five quatloos that this is misdirection and that if Gobwin Knob is attacked it will be through the dungeon by Marbits. I've been waiting far too long for that particular shoe to drop.

I think you mean Gobwins.

It could go either way really. Barbarian Gobwins have been replaced by a suspicious number of Marbits. Maybe Charlie's using Carnymancy to make barbarian Marbits pop instead of Gobwins, or maybe he's paying the Marbits to croak any Gobwins they see.

Tonot wrote:I don't know enough of the rules of the game to see why Charlie isn't all but invulnerable.

When we here in RL have a country with massive air-superiority with matching weapons power, matchless communications (and not just to their own troops, but able to gather in the communications of your enemies too) and superior reach (Which is the same as Move in Erfworld, right?) are they not considered all but invulnerable?.

How is Parson supposed to protect his own kingdom/ruler at the same time as attacking a guy who must have a scary powerful ability to concentrate his forces onto anyone attacking him?.

That comparison isn't perfect, and Gobwin Knob has a pretty powerful airforce of its own, even if half of it was destroyed in the recent battle.
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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby Zeal » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:40 am

Lipkin wrote:
Zeal wrote:
"...prepare the city for possible assault by air. From Charlescomm."


I bet five quatloos that this is misdirection and that if Gobwin Knob is attacked it will be through the dungeon by Marbits. I've been waiting far too long for that particular shoe to drop.

I think you mean Gobwins.


Nope. Meant Marbits.

http://www.erfworld.com/summer-update-2009-archive/?px=%2FE045_NoIllustration.png

But there were no Gobwins in Gobwin Knob.

And for some reason, they couldn't find any, anywhere.

Sizemore had been busy, sending out parties of tunnel-capable units to look below ground. Many of the nearby mountain hexes had tunnel systems, and it would have been normal to find a feral Gobwin tribe mining for upkeep in there somewhere. They had found only a lot of Marbits, though, and Marbits and Elves would not ally with a side that used Gobwins, Hobgobwins, Witches or Daemons.

His bracer put it at a 98 percent chance that the Archons should have spotted some Gobwins in the mountains or Sizemore found some below ground by now. They'd either rolled a critical fumble, or something weird was going on.

Stanley blamed Parson of course, because of the volcano. Parson had stopped arguing that point (or any) with Stanley, if he could help it. He simply shrugged his way through another pointless meeting about it, got some dumb and conflicting orders, said "Yes, Tool" a lot, and got out of there.

One thing he never volunteered in these meetings was that the bracer gave a 78% likelihood that there was something fishy going on with the lack of Gobwins and prevalence of Marbits.

And if there was, then there was a better than 92% chance that the agency behind it was Charlescomm.
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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby Aquillion » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:44 am

technojunkie wrote:Holy Cwap! I believe that's the first time Stanley has approved of Parson.
Well, we've known that Stanley hated Charlie since Charlie was first introduced. And attacking him is entirely logical from the Tool's perspective, since part of his ultimate goal is to unite the Arkentools under his control.
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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby noname_hero » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:48 am

Tonot wrote:I don't know enough of the rules of the game to see why Charlie isn't all but invulnerable.

When we here in RL have a country with massive air-superiority with matching weapons power, matchless communications (and not just to their own troops, but able to gather in the communications of your enemies too) and superior reach (Which is the same as Move in Erfworld, right?) are they not considered all but invulnerable?.

How is Parson supposed to protect his own kingdom/ruler at the same time as attacking a guy who must have a scary powerful ability to concentrate his forces onto anyone attacking him?.


Well, none of us know enough of the rules and unit stats, but Erforld is not RL, so...

Air units in erf seem much more vulnerable to ground units, so the fact that archons can fly gives them mobility but not superiority. Plus Stanley has dwagons. A single shot from (fully charged, I know) tower pretty much *obliterated* a whole group of Charlie's archons. Archons are powerful but far from invulnerable.

GK can limit charlie's signit by using things like paper codebooks and dwagon relays. Maybe Parson could come up with horse relays too, send the less important messages by pony express, using sourmanders and spidews instead of dwagons. Shouldn't be much of a problem on GK-controlled territory.

Charlie's ability to concentrate his forces is quite limited. First, he has to keep the majority of his forces doing mercenary work, because he'd run into an upkeep wall otherwise. Second, any concentration of his forces risks he'll lose them all to one of Parson's tricks. Parson killed just about everybody at GK. He killed the majority of forces in Spacerock. Third, you can concentrate all your strength against a steamroller coming your way and still end up squashed, simply because the steamroller is twenty times more powerful. Charlie has one city and parson can (in theory) build a huge army with zero upkeep. He could wait a hundred turns, producing nonsentient units every turn, killing them with no need to feel bad about it, decrypting them, building up an unstoppable army - and he would have no need to conquer a single enemy city. He can wait it out, make peace offers, use diplomacy, find allies... Charlie is the one who has to attack (even if through convincing/manipulating others into attacking GK) because he is the one on the clock. GK, if left alone, will only get stronger, to a point where no ammount of planning, no intel, no cunning stratagems, no tricks will be able to stop them from crushing Charlie. And having to keep attacking will limit Charlie's options, both on the battlefield and regarding diplomacy.
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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby Lipkin » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:01 am

Tonot wrote:I don't know enough of the rules of the game to see why Charlie isn't all but invulnerable.

When we here in RL have a country with massive air-superiority with matching weapons power, matchless communications (and not just to their own troops, but able to gather in the communications of your enemies too) and superior reach (Which is the same as Move in Erfworld, right?) are they not considered all but invulnerable?.

How is Parson supposed to protect his own kingdom/ruler at the same time as attacking a guy who must have a scary powerful ability to concentrate his forces onto anyone attacking him?.

Send a highly trained assassin. Or corrupt their inner circle.

Or link Ace, Maggie, and Sizemore to create a homing missile, and launch it at the dish, and have Jack veil it on approach.
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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby Tonot » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:58 am

Lipkin wrote:Or link Ace, Maggie, and Sizemore to create a homing missile, and launch it at the dish, and have Jack veil it on approach.

8-)

Shame they don't still have Ansom. They could fit him out a Cherry Blossom, use his bonus all the way in to Charlies bedroom window. :twisted:
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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby 0beron » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:15 am

So, some initial reactions, also responding to various general points others have made.
  • Anyone else find it a little odd/impressive that STANLEY is actually noticing and describing the feel of magic? "Brain-taste"? LOL. He's showing more attention to magic than most other rulers IMO. I used to believe that the Eyemancer link was really Wanda's idea and she just made the Tool think it was his...but now I'm wondering if he really was clever enough to think of it himself.
  • It's possible Charlie is jamming, but I think it's more likely that the Great Minds are trying out the encryption or other means to try and protect the communication. Recall that Maggie is out of juice I think, so somebody else is making the call for her but using her mind as a relay point or something. Perhaps that alone is enough to escape Charlie's notice, if the message is originating from some other caster he isn't paying attention to?
  • It's definitely possible GK city will be hit from underground instead...but I suspect Parson knows that and is trying to figure out another way to tell Stanley that. Saying they suspect an air attack via Thinkagram could be misdirection on THEIR part to make Charlie think his plan is still good.
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GJC wrote:Two guys with basically the same name in a discussion about a character getting cloned.
There's gotta be a good joke in here somewhere.
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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby VariaVespasa » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:05 am

To further back up the Charlie/gobwin/marbit link theres what he did with the Western Giants in #49 for Jillian. http://www.erfworld.com/summer-update-2 ... ration.png And, one suspects, thats what happened to Saline IV. The only question I have is why bother with the marbits if he can subvert the gobwinoids? I imagine its something to do with either the hobgobwins being harder to subvert, either naturally or because theyre all knights, or an eventual display to the royal side of whose side he's on, since marbits so far have been exclusively a coallition unit type, but it would be nice to know.
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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby Morni » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:10 am

Charlies defenses

http://www.erfworld.com/2009/10/summer- ... 80%93-046/

How many cities did Charlescomm have? One, a Level Five capital with truly murderous defenses.

How many units? At the time they had been decrypted, a little over six hundred Archons. About eighty percent of these were out in the field, either serving clients or standing by to be hired near hotspots. They ranged farther out into Erfworld than most sides imagined the world existed. Another 700 or so golems of various types (mostly cloth) guarded the city.
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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby Beeskee » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:25 am

I love how this update shows Stanley's faith in Parson. Despite whatever personal feelings he has for him, he knows Parson pwns.
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Dodged a huge bullet

Postby Lawence of Awabia » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:01 am

It's subtle, but our side very, very narrowly missed a huge problem that could have completely derailed everything in this update.

"It looked like he was going to have to run his side the basic way you do when you have no thinkamancer. Ruler's orders and maps, yep."

I confess, I felt a chill down my spine when I contemplated what Stanley would do with no intel, ruler's orders, and a table with game pieces on it. If Maggie hadn't gotten through when she did...*shudder*
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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby Oliolli » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:29 am

0beron wrote:[list][*]Anyone else find it a little odd/impressive that STANLEY is actually noticing and describing the feel of magic? "Brain-taste"? LOL. He's showing more attention to magic than most other rulers IMO. I used to believe that the Eyemancer link was really Wanda's idea and she just made the Tool think it was his...but now I'm wondering if he really was clever enough to think of it himself.]


Well, Wanda did specify to Parson that it was Stanley's idea.
http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F047.jpg

Had it been her idea, she wouldn't have had any reason (that i can think of) to lie to Parson that it was Stanley's.
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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby Slicer » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:32 am

We saw a picture of Charlie's defenses. He's on top of a mountain.

Unfortunately for him, this is a universe with a lot of tunneling and mining in it... "Oh hey, Sizemore, can you link up with another caster? I need you to kill a whole lot of people through terrain modification again!"
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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby 0beron » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:44 am

Oliolli wrote:Well, Wanda didspecify to Parson that it was Stanley's idea.
Had it been her idea, she wouldn't have had any reason (that i can think of) to lie to Parson that it was Stanley's.
Oh she's have plenty of reason, lying is her MO. She manipulates those around her to pursue her Fate, and Stanley is her chief puppet. Given how early in their relationship that was, it's entirely believeable that she'd try to conceal how clever she was if it was her idea.
Also note that she said Stanley was shrewd to ORDER it...not to think of it. That kind of subtle difference in meaning is exactly the kind of misdirection she relies on.
"I'm afraid I don't understand. And also afraid that I do."
GJC wrote:Two guys with basically the same name in a discussion about a character getting cloned.
There's gotta be a good joke in here somewhere.
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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby Raza » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:13 pm

What I love about Rob for a writer is that when he promises text updates of roughly X words, what you actually get is multiplied by ~1.3 with every installment.
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Re: Dodged a huge bullet

Postby King Mir » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:54 pm

Lawence of Awabia wrote:It's subtle, but our side very, very narrowly missed a huge problem that could have completely derailed everything in this update.

"It looked like he was going to have to run his side the basic way you do when you have no thinkamancer. Ruler's orders and maps, yep."

I confess, I felt a chill down my spine when I contemplated what Stanley would do with no intel, ruler's orders, and a table with game pieces on it. If Maggie hadn't gotten through when she did...*shudder*
Well it's off turn, so mostly he can only upgrade things. How badly could he screw that up?
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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby multilis » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:08 pm

Tonot wrote:I don't know enough of the rules of the game to see why Charlie isn't all but invulnerable.

When we here in RL have a country with massive air-superiority with matching weapons power, matchless communications (and not just to their own troops, but able to gather in the communications of your enemies too) and superior reach (Which is the same as Move in Erfworld, right?) are they not considered all but invulnerable?.

How is Parson supposed to protect his own kingdom/ruler at the same time as attacking a guy who must have a scary powerful ability to concentrate his forces onto anyone attacking him?.

Charlie has only 1 city and archons are expensive to maintain each turn and he has 600.

The obvious way is to "attack enemy where they are weak" rather than strong, which may be "soft underbelly of the economy", try (including diplomatically) to reduce his income so he can't support his army and scorched earth limit his ability to plunder, and have system in place to counter attack his plunderers especially with Wanda+fast strike force. If diplomacy can get multiple sides to work together, then have the double turn by switching alliances trick to help get enough units in position to attack.

Magic kingdom is also key... Charlie can threaten you and your allies by attacking capitals, so you would want a team of casters and bodies ready to portal into an allied kingdom under attack... Wanda decrypts them on arrival as required, need magic contracts, etc to reduce risk of backstab by frenemy when defending them.

GK has 4 trade goods right now, a) lots of shmuckers, b) ability to decrypt dead then help them turn back to original side "better than before because no need to pay upkeep anymore", 3) Sell calculations on Parson's bracer, 4) ability to decrypt and tame dragons means GK will likely have one of better armies to sell as mercenary work.... for example a single decrypted archon can spot enemy foolomancy, spells, etc. Trade goods can aid diplomacy.
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Re: Dodged a huge bullet

Postby multilis » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:10 pm

King Mir wrote:
Lawence of Awabia wrote:It's subtle, but our side very, very narrowly missed a huge problem that could have completely derailed everything in this update.

"It looked like he was going to have to run his side the basic way you do when you have no thinkamancer. Ruler's orders and maps, yep."

I confess, I felt a chill down my spine when I contemplated what Stanley would do with no intel, ruler's orders, and a table with game pieces on it. If Maggie hadn't gotten through when she did...*shudder*
Well it's off turn, so mostly he can only upgrade things. How badly could he screw that up?

The main danger off turn is Charlie attacking, unclear how well Stanley can play defense from a distance.

Small risk as well that Charlie can make communications *appear* to come from someone else such as Parson and convince Stanley to screw up.
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Re: Dodged a huge bullet

Postby 0beron » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:15 pm

multilis wrote:The main danger off turn is Charlie attacking, unclear how well Stanley can play defense from a distance.
If Charlie attacks, it's gonna be GK City, and being IN combat is what Stanley is best at. So that's not a big concern.
The main danger of Stanley running a side the "old fashioned way" is the prolonged consequences. Because of the situation with Charlie, Maggie might have just become pretty useless. Even if she is reunited with the Tool, her communications can be tapped unless the Great Minds figure out a way to defend against the 'Dish.
"I'm afraid I don't understand. And also afraid that I do."
GJC wrote:Two guys with basically the same name in a discussion about a character getting cloned.
There's gotta be a good joke in here somewhere.
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Re: Epilogue 10 - Message to the Tool

Postby ThisIsNotDan » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:12 pm

Flying dwagons in the video! Nice touch!
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