Digdoug - Episode 5

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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby purge » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:02 pm

I've noticed that up to now, royal rulers are addressed/referred to as "highness", and I wondered whether that was a deliberate change from the real-world "majesty". Now Posbrake is referred to as "majesty". Is that just an idiosyncrasy of Homekey?
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby 0beron » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:08 pm

I'm assuming it's just preference/random much the same way it is in the real world. Highness and Majesty are both used in the real world too, often even interchangably I think. King/Queen do seem to be the most common titles, but we have heard of others. Regent and Empress have both been used.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby fehler » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:16 pm

I'm thinking Gobwin Knob was a wide kingdom under Saline IV (he promoted from the ranks), but once they started taming feral dwagons, they needed to go vertical to handle the upkeep (get it? vertical? upkeep? I can has puns!).
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby mortissimus » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:55 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majesty:

Majesty is an English word derived ultimately from the Latin maiestas, meaning greatness. The title ranks above Royal Highness.


I wouldn't read to much real world implications into Erfworlds use of noble titles.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby atalex » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:50 pm

Interesting. So we've had two text stories now in the interlude before Book 3. One dealing with a side that has managed to largely avoid the conquer-or-perish problem by an innovative use of treaties and another dealing with a side that (a) approaches military conflict with an expansionist horizontal approach similar to GW, (b) makes innovate use of its casters, and (c) appears to be distinctly non-royal. Which makes me wonder whether Homekey and/or the Union would be natural allies of Gobwin Knob or natural enemies.

Also, no one has mentioned it yet, but this update puts a rather sad spin on Part 3 and Lady Chain's sexual propositioning of Digdoug. My impression was that he turned her down out of a mixture of shyness, insecurity and the feeling that she was offering pity sex. Now, I am inclined to think that she know what was coming and was seeking comfort in one of the last turns of her life.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Lilwik » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:39 pm

atalex wrote:Now, I am inclined to think that she knew what was coming and was seeking comfort in one of the last turns of her life.
That would explain it, but it would cause other things make little sense. If she somehow knew that Weatherbug was going to be overrun, then why wouldn't she raze the city before it was taken? She couldn't possibly know that the Numloch would withdraw after winning. Even if she deliberately kept a golem hidden to force Numloch to keep taking losses from traps and earn their victory, at best that could only be a backup plan; everyone was amazed that it worked, so I can't believe that she was counting on it for the success of a plan that included sacrificing her own life. Therefore she must have believed that she had a chance of winning that battle, if she saw the battle coming at all.

On top of that, if she knew the battle was coming and thought she had a chance of winning, then why wouldn't she tell Digdoug about it? Digdoug thought that he had several turns to work on that project. If Lady Chains knew that he only had less than a day, then it seems obvious that she should have warned him and helped him prioritize the city improvements that would do the greatest good in the coming desperate battle.

The only way I can think to make sense of it would be if Carl and Posbrake believed that the battle was winnable even after Lady Chains warned them that it was impossible to win. I can't imagine why they would ignore the warlord who is in the best position to judge the situation, but if they did then Lady Chains could have been in a situation where she knew her own death was coming and was forced to face it because of her orders. Even then, it doesn't seem quite right, because Homekey could only have learned about the upcoming attack during their turn, not during the night, so Lady Chains must have known everyone was going to die even as she was eating supper in Episode 2. It's not impossible, but it seems a bit odd.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Omnimancer » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:25 pm

Lilwik wrote:
atalex wrote:Now, I am inclined to think that she knew what was coming and was seeking comfort in one of the last turns of her life.
That would explain it, but it would cause other things make little sense. If she somehow knew that Weatherbug was going to be overrun, then why wouldn't she raze the city before it was taken? She couldn't possibly know that the Numloch would withdraw after winning. Even if she deliberately kept a golem hidden to force Numloch to keep taking losses from traps and earn their victory, at best that could only be a backup plan; everyone was amazed that it worked, so I can't believe that she was counting on it for the success of a plan that included sacrificing her own life. Therefore she must have believed that she had a chance of winning that battle, if she saw the battle coming at all.

On top of that, if she knew the battle was coming and thought she had a chance of winning, then why wouldn't she tell Digdoug about it? Digdoug thought that he had several turns to work on that project. If Lady Chains knew that he only had less than a day, then it seems obvious that she should have warned him and helped him prioritize the city improvements that would do the greatest good in the coming desperate battle.

The only way I can think to make sense of it would be if Carl and Posbrake believed that the battle was winnable even after Lady Chains warned them that it was impossible to win. I can't imagine why they would ignore the warlord who is in the best position to judge the situation, but if they did then Lady Chains could have been in a situation where she knew her own death was coming and was forced to face it because of her orders. Even then, it doesn't seem quite right, because Homekey could only have learned about the upcoming attack during their turn, not during the night, so Lady Chains must have known everyone was going to die even as she was eating supper in Episode 2. It's not impossible, but it seems a bit odd.


I think everyone expected an attack eventually. They didn't know it would be as huge as it was, and hoped Digdoug's improvements would be enough to let the city hold (which they were, but just barely).

It makes sense to raze a city you can't hold and are abandoning, but not one you're using the block enemy advancement. Even if Weatherbug had fallen and was captured intact, it would still force Numloch to sacrifice a lot of units to do so. As opposed to razing Weatherbug, and leaving a clear path for Numloch's army into the rest of the kingdom.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Lilwik » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:26 pm

Omnimancer wrote:It makes sense to raze a city you can't hold and are abandoning, but not one you're using the block enemy advancement.
You're right. I forgot about Weatherbug's strategic importance. It's the only city standing between Numloch and several prime agricultural cities. If Weatherbug were razed, it would just clear the path for Numloch, since Weatherbug's only value is in blocking the pass. In that case it would actually make sense for Lady Chains to knowingly sacrifice the lives of everyone in Weatherbug to stop Numloch's advance, and if she were going to do that it would make sense for her to keep the plan secret for the sake of morale. It also would mean that she wouldn't be especially concerned about how effective Digdoug's efforts would be.

In Episode 1 she went out to look for signs of trouble, but in Episode 2 it says that she didn't meet any Numloch forces. I wonder if advanced scouts spotting a column of hundreds of soldiers and then withdrawing would count as "meeting" Numloch forces. Surely she couldn't have failed to spot that, and we know that it must have been out there.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Omnimancer » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:08 am

Lilwik wrote:
Omnimancer wrote:It makes sense to raze a city you can't hold and are abandoning, but not one you're using the block enemy advancement.
You're right. I forgot about Weatherbug's strategic importance. It's the only city standing between Numloch and several prime agricultural cities. If Weatherbug were razed, it would just clear the path for Numloch, since Weatherbug's only value is in blocking the pass. In that case it would actually make sense for Lady Chains to knowingly sacrifice the lives of everyone in Weatherbug to stop Numloch's advance, and if she were going to do that it would make sense for her to keep the plan secret for the sake of morale. It also would mean that she wouldn't be especially concerned about how effective Digdoug's efforts would be.

In Episode 1 she went out to look for signs of trouble, but in Episode 2 it says that she didn't meet any Numloch forces. I wonder if advanced scouts spotting a column of hundreds of soldiers and then withdrawing would count as "meeting" Numloch forces. Surely she couldn't have failed to spot that, and we know that it must have been out there.


They might have simply still been too far away when she went scouting. Or maybe they took a stealthy path to avoid being noticed.

I don't think Lady Chains knew that specific attack was coming. Remember, she still hoped that Digdoug's golems and defenses would save their lives. But they all knew it was a matter of time before Numloch moved against them.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Lilwik » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:38 am

Omnimancer wrote:They might have simply still been too far away when she went scouting. Or maybe they took a stealthy path to avoid being noticed.
Maybe, but we are talking about hundreds of soldiers. There were 50 units at supper in Episode 2, and I'm not sure if that's everyone in Weatherbug, but even so that means Numloch had at least 50 heavy units and 150 infantry. That's probably too many units to hide, and they can go no faster than their slowest unit, while scouts would always be high-move units. Numloch had less than 2 turns to arrive at Weatherbug, so they couldn't have been very far away.

Omnimancer wrote:Remember, she still hoped that Digdoug's golems and defenses would save their lives.
If Lady Chains knew what was coming then she was lying about that to avoid destroying Weatherbug's morale. She certainly couldn't announce that they were all going to die.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Free Radical » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:27 am

Lilwik wrote:Maybe, but we are talking about hundreds of soldiers. There were 50 units at supper in Episode 2, and I'm not sure if that's everyone in Weatherbug, but even so that means Numloch had at least 50 heavy units and 150 infantry. That's probably too many units to hide, and they can go no faster than their slowest unit, while scouts would always be high-move units. Numloch had less than 2 turns to arrive at Weatherbug, so they couldn't have been very far away.

Do we know much about scouting strategies? We've seen doombats give their controlling warlord a view of what they can see, so running certain types of scouts directly into an enemy force is a possible way to find and count them, but is it viable with non-doombat scouts? At least, is it viable if you want to know more than "scout died at hex [113, 45]" or "enemy sighted from adjacent hex, unknown numbers" without giving the scout magic items like veils and abjuration hats to enable them to return actual information?

Lady Chains gave me the impression of someone scouting by taking her whole force to see what she could find in range that she could hit with everything she had, which would by necessity limit her scouting to hexes less than half a turn away from Weatherbug, since she returned at turn's end.

Knowing there's an enemy stack out there would be useful, but it doesn't seem like it would affect what reinforcements could arrive in time, so it might seem like risking unnecessary scout losses if you won't even know what units are coming no matter what you do and they're too far out to hit that turn and make it safely back to the city.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby NYbear » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:26 am

Free Radical wrote:
The sun was setting majestically over the estuary of the Backslush

Interesting. That means they're a coastal side, with their capital right by the coast. I wonder if the trouble they're expecting is coming from across the sea instead of from DelKey?


They are not necessarily coastal. Depends on the estuary in question. As an example: Albany, NY is on an estuary (the Hudson River - which is a tidal estuary up to the Troy Dam) - and is over 100 miles from the coast.

Side note - Props for Lady Chains smart thinking with the golem. Picturing that tower trap zapping troops like a Tesla Tower from Command and Conquer :)
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Sallo » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:15 pm

This was a great story. A little tragic, but a lot of fun to read.
It would be good to see Dig Doug guest appearing in the Magic Kingdom in a further story.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby bladestorm » Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:53 pm

NYbear wrote:
Free Radical wrote:
The sun was setting majestically over the estuary of the Backslush

Interesting. That means they're a coastal side, with their capital right by the coast. I wonder if the trouble they're expecting is coming from across the sea instead of from DelKey?


They are not necessarily coastal. Depends on the estuary in question. As an example: Albany, NY is on an estuary (the Hudson River - which is a tidal estuary up to the Troy Dam) - and is over 100 miles from the coast.

Side note - Props for Lady Chains smart thinking with the golem. Picturing that tower trap zapping troops like a Tesla Tower from Command and Conquer :)

Not that either really matters. Just being an estuary terrain type doesn't automatically mean it is next to a coast terrain. It could be surrounded my mountains on three sides and desert on the fourth. The hex map doesn't have to make sense. GK could be the only Volcano hex for hundred of hexes, but it is still a volcano hex.

Also, since it is a hex map, the estuary could touch the coast, fifty hexes away. Fifty hexes of estuary terrain type. Aquatic-capable units can still attack from it. Trouble could be coming from across the water.

The deciding factor is what the term 'estuary' means in erfworld. If it is a hex terrain type that must be adjacent to a coastal hex, then this update indicates that are within a few hexes of the ocean. It could simply mean that the water is brackish, which could limit which units are capable of traveling in it (unit can travel only in salty or brackish water/cannot travel in fresh water), and is somehow different from a swamp or marsh hex.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Lilwik » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:10 pm

Free Radical wrote:At least, is it viable if you want to know more than "scout died at hex [113, 45]" or "enemy sighted from adjacent hex, unknown numbers" without giving the scout magic items like veils and abjuration hats to enable them to return actual information?
I don't actually know much about Erfworld scouting, but surely it is unlikely to be the way you're describing it. That would make every scout a kamikaze unit. We did see a doombat getting eaten for its scouting efforts in Book 1, Page 56, but it's hard to say if a doombat got eaten every time it entered a dwagon hex. Maybe scouts can often slip in and out of enemy hexes without necessarily getting killed.

Another interesting page is Book 1, Page 60. This shows that Ansom and his troops were in an adjacent hex to the wounded dwagons at one point and were completely oblivious to it. That says terrible things about the visibility of units across hex boundaries. I think in this case it is probably because of the forest. I guess that forest completely blocks visibility across hex boundaries even for forest-capable units. That means that if Numloch had sent its army through forest instead of using a road then scouts might not have found them unless they entered every forest hex, but I expect there would be serious move penalties for taking an army through a forest.

Free Radical wrote:Lady Chains gave me the impression of someone scouting by taking her whole force to see what she could find in range that she could hit with everything she had, which would by necessity limit her scouting to hexes less than half a turn away from Weatherbug, since she returned at turn's end.
All it says is "Lady Chains rode out in force." It would be a stretch to take that to mean that she took all of Weatherbug with her. That would leave Weatherbug and the precious Dirtamancer unprotected in the event that she were ambushed or otherwise unable to return that day. I also doubt that Weatherbug had enough mounts for every soldier. Instead, I suspect she went out with some number of mounted stacks, all with relatively high move thanks to their mounts and including several scouts so that she wouldn't just be wandering around blindly.

Free Radical wrote:Knowing there's an enemy stack out there would be useful, but it doesn't seem like it would affect what reinforcements could arrive in time, so it might seem like risking unnecessary scout losses if you won't even know what units are coming no matter what you do and they're too far out to hit that turn and make it safely back to the city.
I'm sure that every turn is important. If Lady Chains really did discover the army that was headed toward Weatherbug, then she gave Homekey a full extra turn to respond to that threat before it actually arrived at Weatherbug. Homekey probably couldn't send troops through the pass fast enough to join that battle, but they would at least be able to mobilize an army into the pass, either to meet the Numloch army as it advances past Weatherbug, or perhaps even to retake Weatherbug.

On top of that, even if scouting were a purely kamikaze activity, I don't think Lady Chains would have the option to not scout. She was out there for the sole purpose of defending against Numloch, so she couldn't let Numloch sneak past her. Units that croak cost no upkeep, so kamikazes are free. If necessary, I think Weatherbug could be set to produce nothing but scouts, and each scout could be sent to its death just to provide an early warning system for Numloch's expected attack.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Omnimancer » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:30 am

Lilwik wrote:I don't actually know much about Erfworld scouting, but surely it is unlikely to be the way you're describing it. That would make every scout a kamikaze unit. We did see a doombat getting eaten for its scouting efforts in Book 1, Page 56, but it's hard to say if a doombat got eaten every time it entered a dwagon hex. Maybe scouts can often slip in and out of enemy hexes without necessarily getting killed.


I doubt scouts are kamikaze units. In some ways, on your turn scouting is actually safer in Erfworld than in the real world. On your turn the enemy has no move. So a scout can enter a hex and if they spot an enemy they can run away, and if they outrace the enemy to the hex boundary they can't be caught. If the enemy is hidden they might have to search around for them, but if it's a big obvious army maybe they can step across the boundary, take a peek, then immediately step back out. And if it's a really obvious enemy force, you might be able to scout from adjacent hexes.

The flip side of that is that on the enemy's turn a scout can't do anything but hide in their hex and hope they don't get spotted. And if they are spotted, then they can't escape the hex.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Turtlewing » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:04 pm

I don't think Lady Chains' offer was out of pity or a "last chance" deal. I think it was from genuine esteem.

To Homekey Dig Doug is the linchpin of their trap heavy defensive strategy who they traded a prince to get. We've seen the warlords speak well of him, and credit hip with Whetherbug's holding even though he was evacuated before the attack. They don't seem to think Lady Chains' contribution including devising the gambit that held the city, the sacrifice of herself, and all her troops was worth as much as the turn's worth of traps Dig Doug set.

He may well be one of the more desirable units on the side. At least from the perspective of a Homekey commander.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby Lilwik » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:14 pm

Turtlewing wrote:I don't think Lady Chains' offer was out of pity or a "last chance" deal. I think it was from genuine esteem.
It has got to be terribly hard to untangle people's motivations in a situation like this. It's hard to imagine what a person would be like who lived every moment of her life as a soldier in a war, facing her own mortality every day. No Stupidworlder could ever experience that, but surely it would tend to encourage a now-or-never attitude toward many things. If she actually knew that it was the last night she'd ever spend near Digdoug and the second-to-last night of her life, then I guess that it would be a huge influence on her decisions. That is unless living life in constant war numbed her to her own mortality. Maybe then she would be too busy planning her new existence in the City of Heroes to give much thought to temporal concerns.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby EthericSentinel » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:30 am

So, on reread, I'm a little uncertain what traps there could have been that Hunt and Peck say killed the last of the Numloch troops. Digdoug didn't do any traps on the first day and he was ordered to stop before casting his first spell on the second.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 5

Postby drachefly » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:23 am

Didn't he say he bent orders by spending his juice before leaving on the second day?
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