Grand Strategy

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Grand Strategy

Postby Shai_hulud » Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:52 pm

I’ve been thinking about strategy for both Caesar and Trem for a while now. Below are my own thoughts, but I’d be interested in hearing what you guys think too.

Jetstone
Known Replaceable Assets: Infantry (various types), Orlies, Unipegataurs, Magic Hats (various types), Hat Golems (various types), and Gumps.
Known Irreplaceable Assets: Hat Magician, Healamancer, Dittomancer, Dolls (various types), 1 Blaster, and 1 Jetpack.
Special Notes: (Most of these are what’s called “known unknowns.”) Dittoed units don’t leave corpses behind, but it’s unknown if dittoed items also vaporize like troops. It’s unknown if the Jetpack has limited move of its own in addition to the move of the unit it’s equipped to. It's unknown what number of shots the blaster has. It’s also unknown if living units can be transported by hat as has been speculated by members of the forum. It’s further unknown how hats transmit to each other, thus risking enemy troops teleporting through their own hats, or mailing you letter bombs like a rabid wombat. Lastly, it’s unknown if any of Aces other accessories (like the hand grenades, rockets, and light sabers) survived the fall of the city.

The strategies I can see given the above are as follows:

Weapon Spam: Ditto the blaster and jetpack (as well as any other items) as much as possible and deploy them through the hats to your field forces. Repeat every turn if needed to keep army well equipped despite having finite weapons in your armory. If items decay and any grenades survived, they have priority, as they are disposable assets anyway, so you get the most bang for your juice when they are dittoed.

Clone Troopers: Dittoed troops don’t leave corpses behind. Only use dittoed troops when fighting against the enemy. Since your own troops are going to croak anyway, they can be spent without real loss, but can’t be recovered by the enemy. Since the enemy can only decrypt their own soldiers once, you can deplete their assets by attrition. If the enemy is brought to a halt, they can be negotiated with. And even if they can’t, this opens them to being flanked by allied empires like Sofa King, Fox Mud, TV, Faq, and Hobbittm.

Stargate SG-1: If troops can be transported by hat, a hole (pun intended) new strategy becomes possible. By deploying multiple gates across your terrain, and using Gumps, scouts veils, and the forest terrain outside of places like Dhrystone, you can create a complex and hidden gate network that would allow for rapid relocation of guerilla forces within your territory, while being able to then disperse them across the empire again to avoid TPK style spells being deployed against your massed forces.

Mobile Infantry: If the Jetpack can grant extra move, then dittoed packs can be spent, discarded, and then replaced by magic hat teleported spares. Doing this would allow elite forces of warlords and scouts to be “launched” by the Dittomancer all the way into undefended enemy territory. This would allow for rapid strikes behind enemy lines, and also would allow you to slice Dwagon relays apart stopping the transport of hardware and personnel by Gobwin Knob.

Teleportation Blitzkrieg: If Stargate SG-1 and Mobile Infantry are both valid, combine them. Spam Booster rockets to launch a single unit carrying a teleporter to the hex outside an enemy city, and then teleport your whole army through the stargates and then roll over the weak city. After you’re done, just teleport back to your capital nice and safe.


Caesar Vs Jillian
For Caesar attacking Faq, I can see two ways. Either take the cities while she’s in the field, or croak her when she gets back. The first seems inadvisable, since she has shown already that she is a skilled survivalist, and thus would be able to live in the wild until she got support from other members of the coalition, like Don. The more logical course of action is to catch her off guard in person. This could be done one of two ways. Move multiple units equipped with blasters, as well as the Skanks, into the capitol and wait for her return. Then, before the Heir pops next turn, flatten her with blaster fire in her bedroom at night, or at dinner Saint Valentine’s Day massacre style. Or alternatively, tell her you're sending a caster through the magic kingdom, and convince her to “do the queen thing” and greet the arriving caster in the portal room. Then just give her a hard shove towards the portal to disband her like queen Bea. Either way, field troops disband, enemies freeze in city, and you can now capture survivors at will and turn them. Go for the Turnamancer first, as casters are both valuable, and she can turn other prisoners for you after she turns. Then promise to return Gobwin Knob’s chief warlord in exchange for alliance. Maximum gain for minimum investment and risk.

Any criticisms? What are your own “grand strategies” you’ve come up with?
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby 0beron » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:26 pm

Shai_hulud wrote:Clone Troopers: Dittoed troops don’t leave corpses behind. Only use dittoed troops when fighting against the enemy. Since your own troops are going to croak anyway, they can be spent without real loss, but can’t be recovered by the enemy. Since the enemy can only decrypt their own soldiers once, you can deplete their assets by attrition. If the enemy is brought to a halt, they can be negotiated with. And even if they can’t, this opens them to being flanked by allied empires like Sofa King, Fox Mud, TV, Faq, and Hobbittm.
I personally think this will be the most likely strategy to actually happen, because it is the simplest and also involves the least speculation about magical abilities. The other ideas seem possibly a little far-fetched and make their respective magics seem OP (well, weapon spam is also totally plausible but would IMO be a lame strategy that still results in losses). The one possible vulnerablity/limiting factor is where doubles can go. It would probably require Lloyd at least going afield far more often, perhaps with Pierce in tow. That will be a very uncomfortable strategy for Jetstone, especially if they still believe Misty is alive. However this is exactly what makes me think Tram will do it...he's going for the "uncomfortable" strategy.
Last edited by 0beron on Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby Shai_hulud » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:25 pm

0beron wrote:The one possible vulnerablity/limiting factor is where doubles can do.

You mean "go" I assume?
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby 0beron » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:28 pm

Opps, correct you are! Where they can GO. Are they stuck in the hex they were created in? Stuck in the same hex as the Dittomanancer?
And a semi-related question, are they like Uncroacked, where they can be made to last a short or long time depending on the juice investment and complexity of the unit? If it's only 1 turn always, then they would have very limited Move usefulness and Lloyd would need to be nearby to frequently make more. If they could last longer, especially basic infantry, then the strategy becomes more appealing.
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby bladestorm » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:27 pm

0beron wrote:, especially if they still believe Misty is alive.

GK's lookamancer?
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby 0beron » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:01 pm

Yeah. I don't think Jetstone has any way of knowing that Misty, the Lookamancer, croaked. So they might still believe that if they send Lloyd out in the field, GK will see exactly where he is and lead a surgical strike to take him out.
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby Shai_hulud » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:34 pm

Which is why weapon spam was above clone troopers on my own list. Because they already nabbed Ace, you wouldn't want to do anything that might require putting Lloyd near anything sharp and pointy. Notice that I actually made a list of which assets are replaceable and which aren't. Casters can't be rebuilt, dittoed guns and hats can be.
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby 0beron » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:18 pm

The problem is ditto weapons (assuming they have any left to copy of course) is two-fold. 1) I'm not entirely sure that regular infantry can even use magic items in the first place, it seems like Warlords are always the ones using them. The closest was the Haffaton scout with his camo, and that's a far cry from a weapon. 2) it still requires using living troops, which feeds GK, albiet perhaps at greater expense to the existing decrypted.
That's why I feel Trem will go for dittod troops....it's risky, but is the most damaging to GK. And I read him as prepared to try risky.
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby Shai_hulud » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:46 pm

Problem is even without decryption infantry spam hasn't been working against Parson. You're not really changing the strategy, just what type of infantry unit you spam at them. Thus my suggestion of using things like elite commando teams with as many magic items as possible or fighting a guerrilla war. Cloning the Commandos is still optional, but it's secondary to the larger issue of infantry spamming just not working. The only real kills we've seen Jetstone score have been from knights, snipers, heavy golems, and magic item wielding warlords. It seems to me that if that's what's working, and only that, then that's what they need to start using more of. If damages caused exceeds enemy gain from decryption by enough, then it doesn't matter if they still decrypt your guys. Remember, the objective is not to hold the garrison, it's to make the enemy unable or unwilling to take the garrison.
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby 0beron » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:52 pm

Infantry spam didn't work before because it was uneven footing. Gk would always recoup their losses (via croakamancy or decryption) whereas their enemies couldn't. Ditto-spam infantry WOULD change that, because Gk would loose some...and then have nothing to recoup, meanwhile Jetstone would have lost nothing but Lloyd's juice.
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby Lipkin » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:07 pm

Was it even widely known what casters GK had available? What casters a side has is not really a secret, but since they are so valuable they rarely leave their cities. They might not even know that GK had a Lookamancer, let alone that she croaked.
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby 0beron » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:57 pm

I definitely agree that they have little to no way of knowing Misty has croaked, but I think they definitely knew she existed in the first place. Early in Book 1 one of Ansom's allies even makes a point of complaining that RCC didn't have a Lookamancer. That's only a disadvantage if your enemy DOES have one.
I think especially given that Stanley isn't very clever, guessing casters he had wasn't very hard. I seem to recall the RCC specifically knowing Gk had a Foolamancer, even without knowing WHO it was (Jillian was surprised to discover it was Jack) so obviously they must have seen his work. Same could be true for Misty.
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby Shai_hulud » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:00 pm

Decryption isn't what makes infantry spam useless. They couldn't Decrypt forces mid fight in either book 1 or book 2, but it still didn't work. I can't see why you would think it's ever going to work against Gobwin Knob. It's been both said and shown that just adding more units doesn't work, more than once, so why would changing their death animation effect the outcome of the fight? What do you think cloning them is going to do to counter any attempts to serve or flame them? Because that's what's going to happen as soon as they send in another suicide wave. :| I don't think swarming is is going to do enough damage to actually successfully deplete enemy forces on it's own to make it worthwhile. At least compared to other options.
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby 0beron » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:28 pm

Except in both of those examples....it DID work. The RCC courtyard press overwhelmed GK forces and defeated them. And the suicide wave of Book 2 succeeded in the goal of getting Slately to the Throne. In the first exmaple, they ended up losing because Parson "cheated" and just killed everyone (his own peeps included), and in the latter sure they died but that was kinda the point, because they had a strategic goal in mind.

The problem is you're looking at it all the wrong way, and assuming Parson's genius is winning them every battle....when in reality that's far from reality. The entire territory grab that ocurred during the Summer Updates had nothing to do with Parson, that was Ansom as CWL and Wanda's Decryption. All of GK's enemies use the Infantry Swarm method...so they have been getting Decrypted Infantry as their army. All of those cities were retaken by the advantage of superior numbers of infantry and decrypting the enemy casualties. Because the RCC uses infantry swarm...that's what GK uses, it's the only units they have bountiful access to.

SO, in a normal "everyday" battle where Parson isn't dictating every move and lacks the full resources of the Side on-site, the battles ARE infantry vs infantry, and in that kind of fight, there are casualties on both sides, regardless of the victor, because infantry are weak and expendable. The RCC even realized this, albiet too late, because one of them pointed out that all these little battles were just making GK's army bigger and stronger, that's why they tried for a full-out stand at Spacerock.

Jetstone has the chance to turn this scenario around. If you send Ditto'd troops out for these "small battles" against GK infantry, then there will be casualties on both sides. Jetstone will probably technically lose the engagement anyway....but because their troops were not real, there are no corpses on their side....and GK's troops are decrypted so they dust and leave no corpses. The end result is a battle where Jetstone has technically lost, but has no real casualties...whereas GK has won but suffered irreplacable casualties. This change in strategy could gradually whittle down GK's army and prevent them from growing.

This matters because when it comes time for a big fight...Parson needs his assets, and even if numbers aren't everything, they're something. Parson talks about multipliers being superior....but you need units to apply those multipliers TO.
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby Shai_hulud » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:28 pm

Are you even reading the pages I linked to? Infantry spam didn't win at Gobwin Knob. They had to call in tactical caster support from Charlescom or they would have lost. And what does gaining access to the throne room have to do with attrition and tying up forces so their allies can flank? Also what does Parson have to do with anything? I have no idea what you're even talking about anymore. I repeat what I said before, we've never seen massed infantry work against GK yet, even in fights where they couldn't snowball with the pliers. Why do you think that will change?
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby 0beron » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:39 pm

Yeah, the courtyard press DID work, you are starting your analysis too late in the game. GK was losing the Courtyard Press....so they had to call in Wanda to Dance-Fight. So it was Gk who needed caster support first. The RCC then re-leveled the playing field by adding caster support of their own so both sides were dance-fighting....and then immediately began winning again. As for the throne room, I was pointing out that the example was actually irrelvant because they weren't trying to win that, they had a tactical distraction in mind.

What I am saying is that you are only including what gets featured heavily on-screen in your analysis, you're excluding all the stuff that gets alluded to off-screen or doesn't get much screen time. In the big battles that get a lot of attention, yes you are 100% correct that infantry swarm doesn't win the battle in the end. But in the day-to-day that we see less of, numbers are the deciding factor. So if you have the upper hand there, then you get a crippled GK coming into the big fights.

I pretty much have no idea what YOU are saying any more either, if you're asking what Parson has to do with anything....his tactical genius and bonus-multiplying kinda seemed to be the linchpin of your whole argument that GK wins despite numbers.
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby Shai_hulud » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:54 pm

It's like you're not even reading my posts or what the characters in the actual comic have said and done. Whatever, good luck trying to zerg them I guess.
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby Lilwik » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:11 pm

0beron wrote:Yeah, the courtyard press DID work, you are starting your analysis too late in the game. GK was losing the Courtyard Press....so they had to call in Wanda to Dance-Fight. So it was Gk who needed caster support first. The RCC then re-leveled the playing field by adding caster support of their own so both sides were dance-fighting....and then immediately began winning again.
I see where you are coming from on that, since everyone knows that Gobwin Knob was naturally losing that battle. Without Parson's help they had no hope; that's always been very clear, and that's why you say that Gobwin Knob was losing, but unfortunately we never actually got to see Gobwin Knob losing a straight infantry-versus-infantry battle. As soon as Ansom's infantry broke through the wall Parson was ready to repel them with dance fighting. We never got to see what Parson could have done if he'd had nothing but infantry to work with, since Parson wouldn't let any advantage go to waste. I agree that without Wanda's dance fighting or any other kind of extra support, Ansom's unled infantry would probably have easily wiped out Gobwin Knob, but unfortunately we'll never actually know.
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby Shai_hulud » Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:46 am

I don't see why it matters, since at no point since then has GK shown an inclination to use unboosted forces or not take advantage of force multipliers. A scenario where numbers will be a deciding factor doesn't seem likely to occur unless both armies are using equivalent boosts.
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Re: Grand Strategy

Postby 0beron » Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:52 am

Oh believe me Shai, I'm reading your posts and those pages. However UNLIKE you, I'm also reading the entire comic along with those pages and taking things in context rather than simply cherry-picking OUT of context to make my point seem strong.
Case and point, how you seem content to ignore the fact that we do indeed have an example of both armies using equivalent boosts. High-level Warlord leading a dance-fight, vs high-level Caster leading a dance-fight...and huh...whatdya know....the side with the bigger army was winning. But I guess that doesn't matter to you.
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