Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lipkin » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:29 pm

It was explicitly stated that natural allies don't have cities. So it would go to figure that they wouldn't be able to claim one. And Vurp is chief of the Hobgobwins, which is the closest they have to commanders. He says they don't have purses or treasuries. Jillian on the other hand, had a personal purse, which she spent on something other than units, rations, or equipment. Barbarians can claim a city and stop being barbarians. Natural allies do not have the ability to do the same.

Barbarians don't ally by race, don't have community, don't pop in specific areas with specific loyalties. They are are far more individual and varied in their options.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lilwik » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:11 pm

Lipkin wrote:It was explicitly stated that natural allies don't have cities. So it would go to figure that they wouldn't be able to claim one.
Given that they don't have cities, one might reasonably conclude that they can't claim one, but it's not logically necessary and in fact we've seen them take Gobwin Knob so we don't need to do any inference.

Lipkin wrote:And Vurp is chief of the Hobgobwins, which is the closest they have to commanders.
Where do we know that from? Is that speculation or a fact?

Lipkin wrote:He says they don't have purses or treasuries.
Was he speaking for hobgobwins, or all Natural Allies? If he was speaking for all Natural Allies, was he failing to mention certain rare exceptions? It seems like you're taking a lot on faith.

Lipkin wrote:Barbarians can claim a city and stop being barbarians. Natural allies do not have the ability to do the same.
Natural Allies who aren't barbarians to begin with can't ever stop being barbarians, of course, and I certainly wouldn't expect gobwins to stop being gobwins, but surely they would shift from the Natural Ally column to the Capital Side column after they capture a capital. And we know they can capture a capital.

I like to think that the reason that gobwins and similar creatures don't tend to have cities is because cities won't generate shmuckers or produce units when owned by them. It would make sense for primitive creatures like marbits to not be able to properly use a city to its full potential, so all it gives them is a roof over their heads and a defensive position until they choose to raze it for shmuckers. That might be true for barbarians too. That's all just speculation, but it would explain why they can capture cities but don't own cities.

Lipkin wrote:Barbarians don't ally by race.
I'm not sure what you mean by that.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lipkin » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:59 pm

We don't know they can take a capital. We know they can croak a ruler and occupy a capital, and that isn't the same thing as claiming it.

We know Vurp is chief from the summer update with Vurp. He says he is proud to be the last Hobgobwin of his tribe, and to be rebuilding. He says because Parson rebuilt Gobwin Knob from a position of weakness to one of strength, Parson should be a chief like Vurp is.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/LIAB_Text_4

Vurp says tribes do not keep treasuries or purses. But in his previous statement, he states that natural allies know the will of the chief or chiefs of their tribe, even across hexes, meaning that natural allies are known collectively as a tribe.

When I say barbarians don't ally by race, I mean barbarians are not a creature type like Gobwins, Marbits, Elves, or Witches. they don't join together just because they are the same race. The don't have a community, or tribe, that binds them automatically.

Basically, I see Natural Allies as being able to pop units on command without the benefit of a city. "Human" units either pop randomly as barbarians, or in cities upon command. We've seen nothing to indicate that Barbarians can choose to pop new units in the wild.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lilwik » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:45 pm

Lipkin wrote:We don't know they can take a capital. We know they can croak a ruler and occupy a capital, and that isn't the same thing as claiming it.
From Book 0 we've seen several instances of Jillian defeating the defenders of a city and the city instantly and automatically becomes hers, before she even knows its happened. She actually has to look up at the flag to check to see if the city has become hers. You talk about "claiming" a city as if it were an active thing that someone does, but apparently cities just know who is in control without anyone having to claim anything. So I think until we see some evidence to the contrary we should assume that being the sole occupants of a city is the same thing as taking it.

Lipkin wrote:When I say barbarians don't ally by race, I mean barbarians are not a creature type like Gobwins, Marbits, Elves, or Witches. they don't join together just because they are the same race. The don't have a community, or tribe, that binds them automatically.
You make it sound like all gobwins everywhere are part of the same tribe and never fight each other. We've never seen any evidence to the contrary, but I would be surprised if that were true. It would be strange for an entire species all across Erfworld to be a single tribe; surely Stanley isn't paying the upkeep of hobgobwins on some far-off continent! Gobwin Knob has an alliance with Vurp's tribe of hobgobwins, and if an enemy side had an alliance with a different tribe of hobgobwins then I expect the two groups of hobgobwins would fight each other, just like two groups of barbarians would fight in the same situation.

Lipkin wrote:Basically, I see Natural Allies as being able to pop units on command without the benefit of a city.
I see barbarians the same way, especially since the stupidmeal confirms that barbarians are Natural Allies.

Lipkin wrote:We've seen nothing to indicate that Barbarians can choose to pop new units in the wild.
We've seen the stupidmeal that says that barbarians are Natural Allies and we know that some Natural Allies can turn shmuckers into units. That's not nothing. Also, I'm not sure exactly what this means, but Jillian was released from Gobwin Knob and dropped off in the forest, then the next day she's surrounded by gwiffons (Book 1, Page 50). I have no way of knowing where those gwiffons came from, but it's like she popped those gwiffons out of her purse or Jetstone's treasury. Webinar has met up with her by that page, so he might have brought the gwiffons with his group, but we never saw any gwiffons in his group, not even on Page 25 when they get into combat. Surely she didn't tame a whole herd of naturally occurring gwiffons in the forest.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lipkin » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:30 am

You continue to miss every one of my points. Natural Allies cannot claim cities. They are not capable of being rulers. If they were alone in an otherwise empty city, the city would remain unaffiliated. They are not capable of taking a city. It doesn't work for them. Am I being clear yet? Even if the Gobwins killed everyone in the capitol, the city would would simply be treated as empty until a unit belonging to a side appeared to claim it.

Barbarians don't pop into tribes. They pop alone, and any relationships they make are not automatic. They appear with no allies, and have to be bartered with individually to gain their allegiance. Natural allies pop into the terrain they are best suited for, in tribes that are bartered with as a unit.

Your only evidence that Barbarians are Natural Allies is a stupid meal from book one. We have much more information now that contradicts that single panel.

The Gwiffins are Jillian's units, and would come to Jillians natural thinkamancy. They've got high move, and thus could have arrived after Webinar's battle. Commanders need cities to pop units. If you could pop units in the field just by turning barbarian, that would be a massive game breaker. No one would fight wars with units from their own side, only with mercs. Hell, if you could pop units without a city, why even have a side? Turn all your smuckers into mounts, and then harvest the mounts as needed.

Your entire argument is based off one panel, from early in the comic. The stupid meals have been shown to be unreliable in the past, and the information given has been contradicted a number of times since then.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lilwik » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:55 am

Lipkin wrote:If they were alone in an otherwise empty city, the city would remain unaffiliated.
We've never seen that happen. Where do we get this idea? I'd really appreciate someone citing something to provide some evidence.

Lipkin wrote:Am I being clear yet?
You're being very clear, but clarity is no substitute for citations. You seem to know a great deal more about barbarians and Natural Allies than I do, and I'd really like to know where you get this knowledge. Does this come from the story somehow or are you basing this on something in the Word of the Titans?

Lipkin wrote:Barbarians don't pop into tribes.
Where do we know this from?

Lipkin wrote:They appear with no allies, and have to be bartered with individually to gain their allegiance.
Jillian's gwiffons went where she went; they were units under her command, and I'd expect the same from a stack of stabbers or any other units that she commanded. Don't forget that barbarian commanders pop only rarely (Word of the Titans 6051503) and that means that most barbarians are probably mere stabbers, probably useless as individuals. Jillian shouldn't be considered typical of all barbarians, and not just because she's royalty. It wouldn't make much sense to barter for allegiance with just one stabber; they'd need to gather together in groups in order to get jobs, probably with one of them selected as some sort of chieftain.

Lipkin wrote:Your only evidence that Barbarians are Natural Allies is a stupid meal from book one. We have much more information now that contradicts that single panel.
I'm very pleased to hear it. Where is this information? I would really like to get all this confusion about barbarians settled.

Lipkin wrote:The Gwiffins are Jillian's units, and would come to Jillians natural thinkamancy.
That's a good explanation. I was thinking that there were a lot of gwiffons for having all been popped by Natural Moneymancy; it seems like it might have required a large amount of shmuckers. There's no solid evidence either way, but I think I like your theory better.

Lipkin wrote:If you could pop units in the field just by turning barbarian, that would be a massive game breaker. No one would fight wars with units from their own side, only with mercs.
Why is that? Cities seem to produce units for free given time, so what would you do with your own units while your mercs are fighting for you? Cities also only produce a certain number of shmuckers, so there'd be a limit to how many mercs you could buy. I'd really like to hear an elaboration on this theory to explain the details.

Lipkin wrote:Hell, if you could pop units without a city, why even have a side? Turn all your shmuckers into mounts, and then harvest the mounts as needed.
People probably want cities because they are nice places to live, produce units to fight for you, and have defensive fortifications. Having a side tends to go along with having cities. If you raze your cities in exchange for a vast number of mounts that would work well for a while, but eventually you'd run out of mounts to eat and start needing upkeep, and then you'd probably wish you still had your cities so you don't need to take mercenary jobs or farm or mine or any of those other unpleasant activities. (Of course, if the mounts were gwiffons it would probably be quite tempting. I can only imagine what gwiffon tastes like.)
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lipkin » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:50 pm

We've never seen Natural Allies take a city either. They've killed the Ruler, but we never saw the signamancy of the city change to indicate a change of ownership. And we've been told natural allies don't have cities. Since we've been told they don't have cities, yet they apparently can easily take them, I can only assume cities don't pass to natural allies who occupy them, otherwise there would be a ton of cities owned by natural allies.

We were told (by WofT) that barbarians pop randomly in the wild. Natural allies pop into tribes, on command. Those are different things. Pretty much everything we know about barbarians indicates they are not natural allies.

Cities do NOT produce units for free. All units cost smuckers to pop, unless they do so in the wild. It would be a game breaker because you could put a barbarian warlord on a mount with high move, and fill their purse to the max limit, while putting them under a contract. They exhaust all their move traveling to where you want them to attack, and then pop a shit ton of heavies. You sack the city in a surprise attack, refill your purse, rinse and repeat. When you have access to ultra mobile strike forces, why would you ever march with an army?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby drachefly » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:26 pm

Lipkin wrote:\Cities do NOT produce units for free.


I don't see any evidence for this assertion.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lipkin » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:40 pm

Know what? My bad. I guess I always assumed there was a price to pay to pop units. But I guess the popping is free, and then you just have to cover upkeep? And bigger things take longer to pop than smaller? I guess that make sense.

But then how would popping units in the wild work? There is no place to set what you are producing, and unless they just pop in your stack wherever you are, what happens when units take multiple turns to pop?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lilwik » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:52 pm

Lipkin wrote:We've never seen Natural Allies take a city either. They've killed the Ruler, but we never saw the signamancy of the city change to indicate a change of ownership.
We were never shown what happened to the Signamancy either way, so that's not evidence of anything. I suggest that it's natural to guess that when the gobwins took the city it was like every other time we've ever seen a side take a city, but I'm not going to pretend that I know.

Lipkin wrote:Since we've been told they don't have cities, yet they apparently can easily take them, I can only assume cities don't pass to natural allies who occupy them, otherwise there would be a ton of cities owned by natural allies.
That's not really the only thing we could assume. For one thing, we don't know how easy it was for them to take the city, and they had to betray their ally to do it. I wouldn't expect them to have an easy time of it without treachery. It's possible that they just don't like cities, or that cities are less useful to them because of rules we've never heard of, such as producing less shmuckers or fewer units. There's a whole world of things we could assume, so choosing one assumption out of many doesn't count as evidence.

Lipkin wrote:We were told (by WofT) that barbarians pop randomly in the wild. Natural allies pop into tribes, on command. Those are different things.
True, but as far as I'm aware we've never been told that Natural Allies never pop randomly in the wild, and we've never been told that barbarians never pop on command into tribes. Please correct me if I've got that wrong, but without that it doesn't actually contradict the theory that barbarians are Natural Allies.

Lipkin wrote:It would be a game breaker because you could put a barbarian warlord on a mount with high move, and fill their purse to the max limit, while putting them under a contract. They exhaust all their move traveling to where you want them to attack, and then pop a shit ton of heavies. You sack the city in a surprise attack, refill your purse, rinse and repeat. When you have access to ultra mobile strike forces, why would you ever march with an army?
That's a good idea. You're even allowed to spend shmuckers off-turn, so your barbarian might also be able to pop his army to defend himself if necessary, as long as he does it before the enemy is actually in his hex (at least if popping units is like upgrading a city, see Book 2, Klog 1).

It seems unlikely that a purse would be big enough to fit the shmuckers for an entire army, but you could get over that by having a fleet of warlords with full purses all on fast mounts. Since we don't even know if it's possible for barbarians to pop units we certainly have no idea how much those units would cost, but if this trick is possible then I expect that it is the high price of units that causes them to not use your strategy. Don't forget that there is no way to unpop your units and get the shmuckers back, so if you plan on doing this more than once it would be very wasteful of shmuckers, not just in popping all new units but in upkeeping the slow units you leave behind, assuming you don't abandon them completely.

Lipkin wrote:But then how would popping units in the wild work? There is no place to set what you are producing, and unless they just pop in your stack wherever you are, what happens when units take multiple turns to pop?
I expect that popping units by Moneymancy just causes them to appear instantly with better units requiring more shmuckers instead of more time, and if you want powerful units you need to save up your shmuckers. I expect that a city produces better units more quickly than you could get using the shmuckers produced during the same time, to prevent Moneymancers from being too powerful. That's all just speculation.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lipkin » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:20 pm

If natural allies could take cities, Vurp wouldn't have told Parson they don't have cities. And natural allies not being able to take cities explains why Goblin Knob's side didn't fall apart with the loss of it's ruler and capital. They didn't actually lose the capital.

I thought we just agreed that popping was free? How do you pop with moneymancy then? From what I can tell, natural allies pop using moneymancy, but humans need cities.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lilwik » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:05 pm

Lipkin wrote:If natural allies could take cities, Vurp wouldn't have told Parson they don't have cities.
He would if they don't actually have any cities.

Lipkin wrote:And natural allies not being able to take cities explains why Goblin Knob's side didn't fall apart with the loss of it's ruler and capital. They didn't actually lose the capital.
They only lost one ruler. They still had Stanley which is enough to allow the side to continue, but it's hard to doubt that they lost the capital when Sizemore says that "the capital fell" and that Stanley "retook the city." (Book 1, Page 79).

Lipkin wrote:I thought we just agreed that popping was free? How do you pop with moneymancy then? From what I can tell, natural allies pop using moneymancy, but humans need cities.
Even assuming that barbarians can't use Natural Moneymancy to pop units, Moneymancers can still use Moneymancy however they like, within the limits of their skills and juice.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lipkin » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:15 pm

He said the city fell, not that it was captured. It may sound like I'm arguing semantics, but I'm not. We don't know what Sizemore meant. We don't know that Moneymancers can pop in the field, and unless all barbarians are also moneymancers, I don't see how moneymancers have anything to do with the topic at hand.

Can we agree we don't have proof enough either way? I'm convinced, but I can see you are not. I'd like to drop it.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lilwik » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:46 pm

Lipkin wrote:We don't know what Sizemore meant.
So then I hope you're not counting it as evidence.

Lipkin wrote:We don't know that Moneymancers can pop in the field, and unless all barbarians are also moneymancers, I don't see how moneymancers have anything to do with the topic at hand.
Using shmuckers to pop units is Natural Moneymancy. We know this from the Word of the Titans, so there can be no doubt about it. Are you saying that Moneymancers can't do what Natural Moneymancy can do? Have we ever seen an example of natural magic being more powerful than caster magic? I don't know what Moneymancers would do to make them useful if they can't do that.

Lipkin wrote:Can we agree we don't have proof enough either way?
I'm pretty sure that the Stupidmeal is proof beyond reasonable doubt. Not absolute proof, but close enough that it shouldn't be doubted until something contradicts it. Stupidmeals are true far more often than they are wrong.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lipkin » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:36 pm

That they can be wrong is reasonable doubt. And they have been contradicted. But whatever.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lilwik » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:12 pm

Lipkin wrote:That they can be wrong is reasonable doubt.
If we doubt everything that might be wrong by any convoluted imaginable way then we'll never know anything. We have to trust that most characters are speaking the truth most of the time. Otherwise all of Erfworld might be engaged in some elaborate piece of performance art, with only Parson, Wanda, Jillian, and a few others not in on the joke.

Lipkin wrote:And they have been contradicted.
Only once has anything in a Stupidmeal ever been contradicted, and that instance was a natural simplification of the rules rather than a pointless lie. It said: "When flying units are over water, mountains, or heavy trees, they can only be attacked by other fliers." It just failed to mention that forest capable units are an exception to that rule. Calling barbarians Natural Allies would be just a bizarre lie for no apparent reason if it weren't true. If the first Stupidmeal had made a similar bizarre lie like saying, "No one but other fliers can attack them, not even forest capable units," then I would be more suspicious that we might get more bizarre lies. (For reference, the first Stupidmeal appeared on Page 39 of Book 1.)
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lipkin » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:25 pm

There are two arguments going on right now.

1. Barbarians. Natural allies, or no?
2. Natural allies. Can they capture cities and start sides?

Now, since it's been stated that natural allies don't have cities, I'm saying no to #2. That is what I am saying there isn't enough evidence to call.

Barbarians act differently than other natural allies. They don't have to immediately spend their smuckers. They seem to make alliances in a similar way that sides joining forces do. Barbarians don't have a side of their own, so they didn't fit on the other list of the Stupid Meal, so including them with natural allies could have been an oversimplification. They are allies at the very least. Barbarians haven't been referred to as natural allies in any other place in the comic. Find me another example, and I'll drop it.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby drachefly » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:46 pm

Lilwik wrote:It said: "When flying units are over water, mountains, or heavy trees, they can only be attacked by other fliers." It just failed to mention that forest capable units are an exception to that rule. Calling barbarians Natural Allies would be just a bizarre lie for no apparent reason if it weren't true.


To me, those two cases seem pretty similar.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lilwik » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:03 pm

Lipkin wrote:Natural allies. Can they capture cities and start sides? Now, since it's been stated that natural allies don't have cities, I'm saying no to #2. That is what I am saying there isn't enough evidence to call.
We know they can start sides and they don't use cities to do it (See Book 1, Page 79a, Klog 9). The only question is whether they can start capital sides, and you're right that we don't have any proof one way or the other, but I think the default position should be to assume that the rules are the same for everyone until proved otherwise. We at least know that you don't need to be strictly human to rule a side as evidenced by Don King of Transylvito. It could even be that if the gobwins had managed to hold on to Gobwin Knob they would have ceased to be Natural Allies and become a capital side of their own like Transylvito. We have no real foundation for declaring that it couldn't happen.

Lipkin wrote:Barbarians act differently than other natural allies.
I agree that they seem to, but I wonder how different they are in general. Jillian is certainly very different from Vurp, but that's comparing a warlord to a knight. I expect they wouldn't seem so different if instead of Jillian we'd seen Jetstone allied with a horde of regular barbarians, all ordinary units with no commanders, no purses, no ability to save shmuckers. We know that such barbarians exist. I also like to imagine that there could be hobgobwin commanders if someone gave the hobgobwins enough shmuckers.

Lipkin wrote:Barbarians don't have a side of their own,
Some barbarians do have sides. Faq was still a side when it became barbarian, Banhammer was still its ruler, and if he died, Jillian would have become Faq's ruler, all without any cities.
Lipkin wrote:so they didn't fit on the other list of the Stupid Meal,
The list of Natural Allies wasn't naming sides anyway; it was just counting the number of each type of unit. At least I assume that Erfworld contains more than a single tribe of marbits and Jetstone is allied with one specific tribe, but which tribe isn't listed.
Lipkin wrote:so including them with natural allies could have been an oversimplification.
It's not a simplification. It's either true that they are Natural Allies or it's a lie. No one forced the Stupidmeal to put the barbarians into one of those two columns. (For reference, that Stupidmeal is on Page 86 of Book 1.)
Lipkin wrote:Barbarians haven't been referred to as natural allies in any other place in the comic. Find me another example, and I'll drop it.
That's fair. Skepticism is a healthy thing and Stupidmeals have proven to be fallible, but just because you don't trust that barbarians are Natural Allies is no justification for concluding that they aren't Natural Allies. However flimsy the evidence in favor may be, it's far weaker against.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 072

Postby Lipkin » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:48 pm

I see enough differences between barbarians and natural allies to conclude that they are not the same. I am done defending myself. Be done.
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