Digdoug - Episode 5

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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby blargfoot » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:14 am

MadZuri wrote:
Sir. Knowsalot wrote:Arrgghhh... For the first time in a long time, I'm not getting puns. I understand Homekey, and Delkey, but what's with Lord Hunt and Peck? I know there is a joke there, but I just don't see it.

This is referring to a typing technique.



Prince Creen = Print Screen
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Zippy the Squirrel » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:12 pm

Ahhh, Tall v. Wide. I've been playing a lot of Civilization 5 lately, so that argument gets right to me. I hate that they've nerfed playing Wide so much recently in Civ5.

Charlescomm is Tall to the extreme, or One City Challenge. Having only one city to pay maintenance on and lots of contracts and deals with other factions probably means he has the highest income rate on the continent.

Haffaton was certainly Wide to the extreme, Infinite City Sprawl. Trying to cut costs as much as possible so they can hold on to as many cities as they can. And it worked, until the costs starting getting too high.

FAQ is simply Tall. Three or four cities hidden away and well defended, with plenty of elite units, although knowing Jillian's propensity for violence, it could easily transition into an expansive faction once an heir pops.

Jetstone was Wide, but with a focus on quality. Likely they started Tall and used their elite forces to conquer a lot of land before settling down, as evidenced by their previous capital not being a city of their own making. Gobwin Knobb put an end to that, though, and King Tramennis is clearly more of a diplomatic sort, so Jetstone is probably gonna hunker down into a Tall role in the coming days.

I think Transylvito wants to be Wide, but isn't capable of it due to decadence at the highest levels. If Caeser ever takes over I can see them explosively expanding for a short time before drawing new borders with factions that can actually take them.

Gobwin Knobb is weird. They're aggressive, and they've conquered a lot of cities very quickly, but their (former) capital is extremely strong (and the one they just transferred to is pretty great as well), and their army is composed both of lots of cheap (FREE) weaker units and elites. Part of how game breaking Parson and the Magic Toolbox is, I suppose. If I didn't have a suspicion that the story's going to end with the defeat of Charlie, I'd be eagerly looking forward to how they apply their strengths to an attempt to conquer or subjugate the entire Erfworld.

I know some of this seems obvious, but I just wanted to jot it down for jotting down's sake. I know that while typing up Transylvito I started comparing and contrasting them to Jetstone and found the similarities and differences to be amusing.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby joosy » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:55 pm

blargfoot wrote:
MadZuri wrote:
Sir. Knowsalot wrote:Arrgghhh... For the first time in a long time, I'm not getting puns. I understand Homekey, and Delkey, but what's with Lord Hunt and Peck? I know there is a joke there, but I just don't see it.

This is referring to a typing technique.



Prince Creen = Print Screen


some others from this update are:

The Space bar= Spacebar key, Key boardroom =keyboard, Backslush =backslash key, Carl Tunnel = carpal tunnel syndrome.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby 0beron » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:07 pm

So based on the language of this date, I guess we were right to interpret the city as being basically a skyscraper with gardens inside, and the side runs on corporate/office style procedures. Not sure I recognize a reference there, but it's an amusing concept anyway. I wonder if they have a Pencilpusher unit lol.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Zippy the Squirrel » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:39 pm

They probably have some sort of crossbow unit that shoots pencil-looking projectiles and wear red erasers for helmets.... GOD if only I could draw I'd totally do that.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Murska » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:43 pm

Hmm. Obviously I don't know enough about Erfworld mechanics yet to know how exactly I'd play a side, but given what we do know I can start doing some analysis.

Basically, if you're Wide you can have a powerful army to offset your weaker cities, and if you can keep on expanding then you can fund upgrading and upsizing that army. But efficiency keeps going down the larger you get, until you simply can't fund further expansion.

However, being Tall means you can have more economical realms, with high-level cities that provide plenty of money and less army to fund. Losing a city will be a major blow, and getting them up there takes time and money, and facing the hordes of Wide sides on the field might prove impossible. Or it might not.

As usual, the best way is to strike a sufficient balance. So, the main function of Casters, whatever ones I am lucky enough to get, is to slow down or, hopefully, break the inevitable slide of getting larger -> having no money to support yourself. Either by decreasing upkeep that must be paid directly, decreasing the number of units needed for victory (which indirectly lowers upkeep needed), speeding up the popping of units (which indirectly lowers the amount of standing forces needed, which in turn indirectly lowers the upkeep required), increasing the amount of money gained by various means or whatever.

Also, the main downside of having high-level cities once you do have them is that it's a big deal to lose them, so I want big, powerful defensively cities in my core homeland, preferrably on defensive terrain with chokepoints and such, surrounded by a host of small cities (upgraded to be very defensible if possible) the loss of which would not be a big deal. Depending on what Casters and other resources are available, I'd prefer a field army that is mobile enough to let me decide when and where to fight plus some trick that allows me to bleed an attacking enemy with little cost to myself on the defensive, even if I must trade land to weaken a powerful enemy attack until my army is able to take them out (or, perhaps, circle around and cut them off). This would also allow me to gather my entire army to attack one of a coalition of multiple sides invading me while I bleed the others while ceding some ground to them.

Meanwhile, economically I would hope that the big cities in my core that provide plenty of funds and the occasional important force modifier elite unit will be able to keep me on my feet. My expansion will be slow and careful, taking opportunities and not giving them, hopefully with a constant surplus of funds in peacetime to spend on upgrading cities to get more surplus, so that during times of war I can use that surplus to support more units and more importantly support taking advantage of opportunities to take over a bit more land and cities.

And, of course, keeping in mind that the most powerful tool in almost any game with more than two opposing sides that can meaningfully interact with each other is diplomacy, because the advantage in getting one of your enemies to strike a blow against another of your enemies is huge.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby cheeseaholic » Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:16 pm

Erfworld is a, well, game that's been going on already for a long time. Strategy will be grossly dependent on neighbors, terrain, and casters. Some casters may be able to be hired out from the MK, though I'm not sure how much that would cost, especially if you wanted to do the dirtamancer thing going on here and have them travel from city to city. Terrain and neighbors are another huge factor. Royalists vs non, do they want allies, is there chokepoints against more hostile neighbors? Hell there's random encounters that are capable of taking out a chief warlord with an escort out there, so that could make things like trade or alliances more difficult. And Titans help you if Charlie wants you gone for some reason.

Erfworld may be simpler than Earth, but it's still quite complicated with many variables. I don't think that there's a single winning strategy.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Deezee » Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:27 pm

Zippy the Squirrel wrote:Ahhh, Tall v. Wide. I've been playing a lot of Civilization 5 lately, so that argument gets right to me. I hate that they've nerfed playing Wide so much recently in Civ5.

Charlescomm is Tall to the extreme, or One City Challenge. Having only one city to pay maintenance on and lots of contracts and deals with other factions probably means he has the highest income rate on the continent.

Haffaton was certainly Wide to the extreme, Infinite City Sprawl. Trying to cut costs as much as possible so they can hold on to as many cities as they can. And it worked, until the costs starting getting too high.

FAQ is simply Tall. Three or four cities hidden away and well defended, with plenty of elite units, although knowing Jillian's propensity for violence, it could easily transition into an expansive faction once an heir pops.

Jetstone was Wide, but with a focus on quality. Likely they started Tall and used their elite forces to conquer a lot of land before settling down, as evidenced by their previous capital not being a city of their own making. Gobwin Knobb put an end to that, though, and King Tramennis is clearly more of a diplomatic sort, so Jetstone is probably gonna hunker down into a Tall role in the coming days.

I think Transylvito wants to be Wide, but isn't capable of it due to decadence at the highest levels. If Caeser ever takes over I can see them explosively expanding for a short time before drawing new borders with factions that can actually take them.

Gobwin Knobb is weird. They're aggressive, and they've conquered a lot of cities very quickly, but their (former) capital is extremely strong (and the one they just transferred to is pretty great as well), and their army is composed both of lots of cheap (FREE) weaker units and elites. Part of how game breaking Parson and the Magic Toolbox is, I suppose. If I didn't have a suspicion that the story's going to end with the defeat of Charlie, I'd be eagerly looking forward to how they apply their strengths to an attempt to conquer or subjugate the entire Erfworld.

I know some of this seems obvious, but I just wanted to jot it down for jotting down's sake. I know that while typing up Transylvito I started comparing and contrasting them to Jetstone and found the similarities and differences to be amusing.


I get the impression that both Gobwin Knob and Jetstone are structured similarly, in that they are sides that have a small core area with a few high level cities (Tall) and then a large hinterland of smaller cities (Wide). It's a bit of a hybrid strategy that is the logical outcome of a initially tall side (like how Gobwin Knob was reduced to a single city, but one with absolutely murderous defenses) that then goes on to expand into the surrounding area. Homekey definitely seems wider than any of the sides we're familiar with, which all have high level capital cities and have income that isn't all that dependent on razing; unless its possible to support a wide side's army with foraging alone, it'll eventually have to settle down and get taller, even if it isn't a truly tall side like Faq.

It seems like most sides we see have fairly well thought out strategies, too, which I guess makes sense given that sides with poor strategies probably aren't going to last very long. Jetstone focuses on leveling up warlords and other leadership, which is a sort of tall strategy, but then couples it with masses of cheap infantry, a strategy made possible by their healomancer (to keep leadership alive) and dittomancer (to enhance the bonus), and complemented by the hat magic and dollamancy, although they probably could have done better if they let Ace upgrade warlord's hardware. Even though Faq's strategy was designed by a pacifist, it actually totally makes sense for a side in the mountains nested between several powerful sides to focus on a few relatively high level cities popping elite flying units. Transylvito's strategy seems to be a blend between Jetstone's and Faqs, using flying units to take advantage of the terrain but focusing on leadership and cheap bats, with their dollamancer producing most of their land forces. Even Carpool, which we've barely seen, appears to have just made the realization that their Shockamancer lets them play a wide strategy like Homekey's, but with more emphasis on air defenses than fortifications, which is fortunate for them since their main enemy focuses on flyers.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Lamech » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:58 pm

The "horizontal" strategy depends on razing cities. Its a parasitic strategy. They get their shmuckers by theft. Which works great up until you bounce can't burn any cities. Or until the people around you start doing it too.

That said, I think there is more to Homekey than that. See those farms? Hell they have cabbage patches in their capital! That's an entirely different kind of height. Same thing with the hunting and foraging that they mentioned. (The King of Jetstone implied his troops doing that was a bad, a sign of desperation.) In a way its leads to both a tall AND wide strategy. You can only get so many levels, but farming/mining/hunting for resources. Same thing with the dirtamancer defenses. Its certainly not the conventional form of height, but they definitely are showing some.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Beeskee » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:40 pm

I'm enjoying this side story more because of the coverage of various rules and gameplay styles that have evolved in Erfworld, and the great discussion it's inspiring. :)

(editing rather than double posting)

I just realized why Rob has to do these as side stories instead of in the main story, it's because there are some questions that need answers or things which need clarification, but if Parson asks certain kinds of questions, we all bitch and whine that he's an idiot. :D
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Jatopian » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:37 pm

Beeskee wrote:I just realized why Rob has to do these as side stories instead of in the main story, it's because there are some questions that need answers or things which need clarification, but if Parson asks certain kinds of questions, we all bitch and whine that he's an idiot. :D
Given that Parson was introduced as being a fish out of water ignorant of the world's basics, that would be a silly thing to whine about and I hope no one's doing that.

However, it does give us a less infodumpy way to know in-depth about strategies Parson might face in the future, even subtly flawed ones Parson would dismiss before we really got to see them. Not to mention we get to see a sampling of what Erfworld is normally like without unique things like epic magic artifacts and bizarre creatures summoned from beyond the world.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Arky » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:11 am

multilis wrote:Horizontal growth... is a reason why Charlie is one of most dangerous sides in Erfworld, GK is dangerous, and FAQ is dangerous...


Actually, Charlie is the ultimate Vertical side. One city, no expansion, everything directed towards making that one city the most powerful, advanced and wealthy city on Erf and all the units in it as powerful as possible. Charlie doesn't do expansion, Charlie doesn't do level 1 stabbers. The fact that he has an enormous army and sends his Archons all over the place doesn't make him less Vertical in structure.

Original FAQ was similarly a Vertical side, building up their small group of cities to be self-sufficient rather than expanding. New FAQ under Jillian is definite a Horizontal side to the extent Jillian has anything resembling a strategy.

GK under Stanley has clearly always been a Horizontal side and that hasn't really changed since Parson's arrival. Upkeep-less Decrypted are the ultimate weapon for a Horizontal side, but even so Parson has indicated that GK is up against the break-even point in terms of Erfworld mechanics thanks to the expansion leading up to the Battle of Jetstone and one suspects that Parson has put a lot of thought into both:
- How they can continue going Horizontal without bankrupting themselves through upkeep penalties; and
- How they can start going Vertical while still dealing with their enemies and satisfying Stanley
and I expect this will be explored a bit more in the next book.
Last edited by Arky on Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Arky » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:20 am

Zippy the Squirrel wrote:Ahhh, Tall v. Wide. I've been playing a lot of Civilization 5 lately, so that argument gets right to me. I hate that they've nerfed playing Wide so much recently in Civ5.


Yeah (slightly off-topic here). My first PC game ever was the original Civ back in about 1992 or 1993- I sold my parents on it being educational, you see- and my favourite game of all time on any platform is Alpha Centauri. I eagerly awaited Civ 5, played maybe a dozen games, then never touched it again. Civ went from "play how you want" to "play exactly like this or the game will punish you without mercy". I know they fixed up diplomacy and other things I hated, but I was too disappointed to go back to it especially since I heard exactly that- that "playing Wide" is nerfed to heck.

Charlie is definitely playing Civ 5. Parson is playing Alpha Centauri (he's even started to custom-build his own units!). My sympathy is with Parson, but Charlie's strategy is more efficient from what we know of Erf mechanics. But then, Charlie had the benefit of building his perfect side from scratch, with full control and hundreds or thousands of turns to work with. Parson has inherited Stanley's side with Stanley still in nominal control and has been around less than a hundred turns.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby ftl » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:21 am

Jatopian wrote:Given that Parson was introduced as being a fish out of water ignorant of the world's basics, that would be a silly thing to whine about and I hope no one's doing that.


That was quite some time ago. At this point, we know that he's had quite some time to study the system. It would be very strange if at this point he was caught off-guard by anything basic.

However, it does give us a less infodumpy way to know in-depth about strategies Parson might face in the future, even subtly flawed ones Parson would dismiss before we really got to see them. Not to mention we get to see a sampling of what Erfworld is normally like without unique things like epic magic artifacts and bizarre creatures summoned from beyond the world.


Definitely. I like these stories a lot.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby 0beron » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:22 am

Beeskee wrote:I just realized why Rob has to do these as side stories instead of in the main story, it's because there are some questions that need answers or things which need clarification
Well that and the fact that people paid for them lol...Digdoug and Crush are both Erf-ized versions of fans who made major contributions to the Year of the Dwgaon kickstarter.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Citric Thoughts » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:23 am

A strategy like this reminds me on some level of the Infinite City Sprawl strategy from Alpha Centauri. Just without the ability to commit fully, since there's a limited number of city-sites you can actually take.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby peteratjet » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:01 am

So Digdoug gets pulled out of Weatherbug the turn before it was hit by overwhelming forces, and immediately set to work building air defences in the capital, secretly, although the enemy has no know deep air strike capability.

My first thought is that Homekey has access to some really good intelligence. Who do we know who specialises in supplying really good intelligence, for the right price?

My second thought is a question. Who do we know who specialises in supplying a really good deep strike capability. For a price.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Glome » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:15 am

peteratjet wrote:So Digdoug gets pulled out of Weatherbug the turn before it was hit by overwhelming forces, and immediately set to work building air defences in the capital, secretly, although the enemy has no know deep air strike capability.

My first thought is that Homekey has access to some really good intelligence. Who do we know who specialises in supplying really good intelligence, for the right price?

My second thought is a question. Who do we know who specialises in supplying a really good deep strike capability. For a price.


It is an interesting thought, but I don't think Charlie is that blatant about playing both sides against each other. He has to at least pretend to be loyal to his customers so he can keep getting contracts.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Lamech » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:21 pm

Glome wrote:
peteratjet wrote:So Digdoug gets pulled out of Weatherbug the turn before it was hit by overwhelming forces, and immediately set to work building air defences in the capital, secretly, although the enemy has no know deep air strike capability.

My first thought is that Homekey has access to some really good intelligence. Who do we know who specialises in supplying really good intelligence, for the right price?

My second thought is a question. Who do we know who specialises in supplying a really good deep strike capability. For a price.


It is an interesting thought, but I don't think Charlie is that blatant about playing both sides against each other. He has to at least pretend to be loyal to his customers so he can keep getting contracts.

Charlie is tots loyal to his customers. He would never, ever break a contract. You did purchase the "won't sell info to the enemy option" didn't you?
Citric Thoughts wrote:A strategy like this reminds me on some level of the Infinite City Sprawl strategy from Alpha Centauri. Just without the ability to commit fully, since there's a limited number of city-sites you can actually take.
I think that's what you need to do to "win". The only thing is that "cities" aren't Erf-cities, but strange complexes of farms/foraging bases and mining outposts. Everything is built "by hand".

Also that was a great strat as soon as you started throwing up satellites.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Finn MacCool » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:55 pm

Glome wrote:
peteratjet wrote:So Digdoug gets pulled out of Weatherbug the turn before it was hit by overwhelming forces, and immediately set to work building air defences in the capital, secretly, although the enemy has no know deep air strike capability.

My first thought is that Homekey has access to some really good intelligence. Who do we know who specialises in supplying really good intelligence, for the right price?

My second thought is a question. Who do we know who specialises in supplying a really good deep strike capability. For a price.


It is an interesting thought, but I don't think Charlie is that blatant about playing both sides against each other. He has to at least pretend to be loyal to his customers so he can keep getting contracts.

jillian also has really good deep strike capabilities. and charlie might be willing to give intelligence away cheap if it hinders the competition.
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