Digdoug - Episode 17

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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby NastySasquatch » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:22 pm

Rob left this one too obvious. Creen wasn't flying when he entered the city leading his troops. This was the major tip-off that he knew about the plan with Charlie. His bumbled attempt to not know who the most FAMOUS mercenary company in Erfworld is? Sorry, EVERYONE knows who Charlie is so far, Rob hasn't shown a single unit who seriously hadn't heard of Charlie. Posbrake saw this coming. Rob made WAY too much of a deal about Creens flying special for this not to be a set-up for Creen to be taken down.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby bpzinn » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:24 pm

multilis wrote:I don't think the double crossing is done.

This feel like Creen just stepped into a trap.

Strategically, Posbrake hiring Charlie to attack his side didn't make sense (as obvious prediction could be about a different attack and he was weakening himself if that was true) so either Posbrake is in on the trap or he acted stupid.


Yeah. Posbrakes plan of attacking himself never made sense to me because the capital experiencing a massive air attack is plausible even without any prediction. It is a side behind enemy lines, in primary conflict against a side that does not normally pop air units, and so is focused against ground attacks and has little air defenses. In short, situation where arranging a blitzkreig is a good idea.

The only way attacking yourself helps you is if you can get just the right amount of (dis)information to the enemy planning the attack, so they think you are capable of fending off a air attack easily. But you do not know where the attack would have come from to spoon feed them the information. Also it won't work against someone like Jillian at all, who is just in the area and determines weak targets on the spot. And since you faked air defenses instead of building permanent air defenses, you are still weak and a target. Or someone who believes you fended off an air attack, but that you spent several turns of air strike ammo to do so, and are now a target.

Basically all something like this does is keep fate from carving a bullet with your name on it in the future, but does nothing about bullets already in the chamber.

Just like a prophesy you were going to be buried alive, and you live in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. Burying yourself alive with air and provisions might help you if you survived the eruption, but doing it before the volcano blows is not going to stop it. And if you do not clue to the fact it is going to explode, you will probably get killed by it anyway...
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby Mrtyuh » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:46 pm

Lipkin wrote:I like the idea of Charlie wanting a lightning trap. Great idea.

Thank you., but even a broken clock is right twice a day; I'd be happy to do that well.

Xarx wrote:Once he knows a lightning trap is possible, nothing stops Charlie from hiring a dirtamancer out of the magic kingdom to install one. He can do the carnymancy part himself. This is assuming that he trusts an outsider at his capital, of course. Possibly with an airtight NDA, or even some headfoolery to remove the memory, if he wants to involve a healamancer.

Actually, it would be surprising if he hadn't had a dirtamancer there at some point to upgrade the city, since it's all he's got.

That is certainly true, and I'm usually willing to admit when I'm wrong. I certainly may be wrong now. Still, it's amazing how even simple ideas had to come from somewhere. Take writing for example. It is so ubiquitous, it's easy to forget that it took millennia of innovation to evolve from paintings on a wall to a phonetic system with syntax that carries a narrow meaning. Charlie figured out what Parson had done with the volcano, but it didn't occur to him before hand that it was a threat; he thought he had that battle in the bag. I'm sure Charlie has hired Dirtamancers in the past to fortify his capital; he's hires casters from the Magic Kingdom all the time and has an excellent reputation as an employer there, but Digdoug may be the first that thought of a way to create a hex-specific trap in a hex that doesn't allow it, or at least the first of whom Charlie is aware. It may not be as simple as casting Carnymancy on a Dirtamancer. Charlie may need to observe Digdoug do it before he is able to recreate it. Of course, as I said before, I may be completely wrong.

Free Radical wrote:Technically, Homekey did have an heir, and trading the heir to Follywood for DigDoug seems about as likely to leave him still the heir as turning in another manner (unless the discussion in Book 2 was purely because they didn't know how Decrypted interacted with those rules). In any case, Dove might be able to Carnymancy up a rule break to allow an heir aligned with a different side to inherit.

If Posbrake abdicated without signing any kind of surrender contract, would Homekey then turn to Follywood's control? I can definitely imagine that counting as fulfilling Charlie's contractual obligations to Delkey (if it's phrased "force Posbrake to abdicate"), and if Charlie can get paid three times, he can get paid four times. A contract with Follywood to have Posbrake abdicate so that the side turned to them, followed by Charlie allying with them to force Delkey to retreat would be pretty clever.

You are completely right. I hadn't even considered the implications of Prince Pluss's existence in this scenario. Now, there is still a lot we don't know about how heirs work. We know that a side can have multiple heirs at once from Jetstone, but we don't know how one heir would be designated to succeed over other heirs or if an heir can be disinherited. We don't know if decryption stops a unit from being heir. If Tramennis had not been made heir at the last minute, would Ansom have become King? Did Jetstone do anything to revoke the heir status of Ansom? Now, I can imagine that being a very bad ending to the day for Digdoug: King Posbrake croaks, and Digdoug suddenly finds Willis Circle to be his Chief again. Still, there is another possibility. How long has Delkey been plotting this? It is possible that Prince Pluss is no longer with Follywood. There is no reason Delkey did not make a trade with Follywood in order to acquire Prince Pluss for themselves. That way, if Posbrake chooses to act in an uncivilized manner beneath royal propriety, his croaking would simply covert Homekey back to the motherland.

Okay, one more random thought. I think King Posbrake has gotten himself into a trap that has nothing to do with Delkey or Charlie. That trap is his horizontal strategy. He has a bunch of low-level cities that don't produce many schmuckers. We know that, after you have a certain number of cities, those cities produce even fewer schmuckers. Homekey has conquered one third to one half of Numloch's empire. They have to conquer more cities in order to raze them so that they can pay their upkeep, but each city they conquer makes their situation worse. It's a vicious cycle. That is the reason King Posbrake seemed so desperate for an archon to take a shot at him and so dismayed when none did. His financial situation is reaching a critical point. He needs an influx of schmuckers. There is a solution staring him in the face, though.

Digdoug - Episode 6 wrote:If anything, the rumors of Creen’s appearance and manner had fallen short of the true picture. He arrived at the Key Boardroom wearing a long ermine-lined velvet jacket and pantaloons, both of a deep royal crimson, with a white satin waistcoat and silk stockings up to his knees. On his head, he wore a long wig of talc-white curls. At his hip, a silver rapier with a basket hilt gleamed in its jeweled scabbard.

He made no eye contact and said nothing as he swept into the room. The Prince was a flying unit, and he literally glided along on the opposite side of the Long Table from the Homekey contingent. As he reached the head of the table where Posbrake sat, he climbed higher into the air, hovering at a height just lofty enough that everyone could see his patent leather shoes with the gold-plated buckles on them. A Homekey courtier pulled out the tall-backed chair to Posbrake’s left, and guided the scabbard under the chair’s arm as the Prince lightly descended into it.

Although Digdoug could detect that the shoe buckles were not solid gold, much of the rest of his jewelry was of a quality that the pieces were directly convertible to Shmuckers. Having both a Dollamancer and a Moneymancer on your side must be nice.

If Posbrake survives, and they manage to croak Creen, he'd leave enough wealth on his corpse to possibly get them out of their immediate financial difficulties. Perhaps that can used to level a couple of their cities which in turn will increase their revenue enough to get them out of the red.

Another thing that seemed odd was Posbrake's insistence during the meeting that the only way they could avoid disaster was to brush very close to it. Others have mentioned that the Predictamancer made multiple predictions. Combining this with my previous thought, what if one of those predictions was something along the lines of "your side will only survive if you can profit from a betrayal?"

NastySasquatch wrote:Rob left this one too obvious. Creen wasn't flying when he entered the city leading his troops. This was the major tip-off that he knew about the plan with Charlie. His bumbled attempt to not know who the most FAMOUS mercenary company in Erfworld is? Sorry, EVERYONE knows who Charlie is so far, Rob hasn't shown a single unit who seriously hadn't heard of Charlie. Posbrake saw this coming. Rob made WAY too much of a deal about Creens flying special for this not to be a set-up for Creen to be taken down.

Creen was flying over the lead stack of archers when he entered the city. Sorry for the nitpick. It isn't a big deal, but sometimes I can't help myself.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby Lamech » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:03 pm

Mrtyuh wrote:Okay, one more random thought. I think King Posbrake has gotten himself into a trap that has nothing to do with Delkey or Charlie. That trap is his horizontal strategy. He has a bunch of low-level cities that don't produce many schmuckers. We know that, after you have a certain number of cities, those cities produce even fewer schmuckers. Homekey has conquered one third to one half of Numloch's empire. They have to conquer more cities in order to raze them so that they can pay their upkeep, but each city they conquer makes their situation worse. It's a vicious cycle. That is the reason King Posbrake seemed so desperate for an archon to take a shot at him and so dismayed when none did. His financial situation is reaching a critical point. He needs an influx of schmuckers. There is a solution staring him in the face, though.

Its city levels.

http://www.erfworld.com/2012/03/inner-p ... isode-028/
PtSF 28 wrote:After a certain number of city levels per side, the Shmuckers each city produced would begin to decline.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby NastySasquatch » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:21 pm

Eh your right he was.

Oh well, I still think Rob has made where this is going a little too obvious. It's not even fun to read the speculations.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby Whispri » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:10 pm

Lilwik wrote:Delkey must be first in the natural turn order. Just think of what would happen if Homekey were first. Delkey would be in a horrible position. It's units wouldn't be able to move between city zones and it wouldn't have any backup from Charlie while Homekey's ground troops roamed the halls executing all Delkey units. This is one of those situations where the natural turn order makes a huge strategic difference, since I don't see any way this plan could work if Homekey's turn comes before Delkey's turn.

I seriously doubt that a side can get its start-of-turn more than once a day, and Charlie clearly had his turn start once already when Numloch's turn started.

A superlative suggestion. With just two minor flaws. One, that Delkey's forces are already in the Garrison and have ambushed the King. And two, that Delkey's forces are already in the Garrison and have ambushed the King. Now I realise that technically speaking that's only one flaw but I thought that it was such a big one that it was worth mentioning twice. And channelling Kryten. ;) Seriously though, they have the King in their sights, Book 2 showed us the sort of bad news it is to have an enemy army loose in your garrison even off-turn and the original plan may well have called for Creen marching in next turn, rather than being present on this one.

Ah yes, but the alliance is only getting one turn. Also: Magic, Charlie is famous for it. Especially the magic of breaking rules.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby Mrtyuh » Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:51 am

Lamech wrote:Its city levels.

Ah, yes. My mistake. I don't know if that invalidates my point, though. We know that higher level cities produce a lot more schmuckers than lower level. We know that razing a level 3 can supply almost 5 times the schmuckers of razing a level 2. We know neither the way schmucker production increases as you level a city nor the way the schmucker penalty works as you add city levels. Are they linear progressions? Exponential? Logarithmic? It may still be possible, at least within a given range, to stay ahead of the diminishing schmuckers. You may get a greater increase to your income by leveling a level 2 to a level 3 than by gaining a new level 1.

Still, this is just an idea I had. As always, I may very well be wrong, but I'm almost certain something else is going on here. King Posbrake is supposedly a visionary, yet his plan was seriously flawed. The readers knew it. Even the characters in the story knew it. Others have speculated that there were more prophecies. That seems highly likely. Some have speculated that Posbrake knew about Creen's planned betrayal, perhaps even worked out a plan with Charlie in anticipation of it. I find that less likely. For one thing, Digdoug, Peck and Bucky all read the contract. Unless there is a second contract of which they are unaware or Dove cast Carnymancy on the contract, they should be aware of any provisions like that. There is Posbrake's insistence that the only way to avoid disaster is to brush very close to it. There is the fact that Posbrake broke stack in a desperate attempt to get an archon to shoot at him. There is the disappointment when no archon took the opportunity. Considering that no Delkey unit could see when he did that, if that was playacting, it was solely for his own units' benefit. Finally, there is the way his face grew ashen and he looked stricken when his brother revealed his betrayal. Is Posbrake that good of an actor?

My theory certainly may be wrong, but there is definitely something else going on here, and I doubt that it is that Posbrake expected this turn of events. He was expecting something else to happen, I think, probably due to some Prediction of which we are currently unaware. Then again, what do I know?
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby Lilwik » Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:59 am

Mrtyuh wrote:King Posbrake is supposedly a visionary, yet his plan was seriously flawed. The readers knew it. Even the characters in the story knew it.
Posbrake isn't just supposedly visionary. We know he's a clever strategist. He's successful, his people respect him, he's willing to make use of magic that others say shouldn't be used, and most of all he even planned for the possibility that Charlie might turn against Homekey. Given all of that, if Posbrake's plan is so obviously flawed it can only be because we don't understand his plan completely yet. We know that Posbrake likes to keep secrets, so we can't assume that Peck knows the entire plan, especially when Peck seems so prone to resist Posbrake's plans. Peck is the guy who said, "No. Relieve me. Or even disband me. But do not ask me to lead Homekey to its doom." I can totally understand Posbrake not telling Peck about certain things that Peck doesn't need to know.

Mrtyuh wrote:Unless there is a second contract of which they are unaware or Dove cast Carnymancy on the contract, they should be aware of any provisions like that.
I agree that if it were in the contract then Peck would know about it. A second contract might be possible, but I doubt that Posbrake would try to write a contract himself without allowing his people to look it over for loopholes. I think it's more likely that Charlie's role in Posbrake's plan is finished now.

Mrtyuh wrote:There is the fact that Posbrake broke stack in a desperate attempt to get an archon to shoot at him. There is the disappointment when no archon took the opportunity.
I have no doubt that Posbrake really wanted Charlie to break the contract. That would have given Homekey many much-needed shmuckers. The fact that Posbrake cannot perfectly read the mind of the enemy doesn't say anything bad about his ability to plan.

Mrtyuh wrote:Finally, there is the way his face grew ashen and he looked stricken when his brother revealed his betrayal. Is Posbrake that good of an actor?
Why should it require any acting skill to look upset while being betrayed by his own brother? That really tells us nothing about whether Posbrake has something more up his sleeve.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby Deezee » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:15 am

Lilwik wrote:Posbrake isn't just supposedly visionary. We know he's a clever strategist. He's successful, his people respect him, he's willing to make use of magic that others say shouldn't be used, and most of all he even planned for the possibility that Charlie might turn against Homekey. Given all of that, if Posbrake's plan is so obviously flawed it can only be because we don't understand his plan completely yet. We know that Posbrake likes to keep secrets, so we can't assume that Peck knows the entire plan, especially when Peck seems so prone to resist Posbrake's plans. Peck is the guy who said, "No. Relieve me. Or even disband me. But do not ask me to lead Homekey to its doom." I can totally understand Posbrake not telling Peck about certain things that Peck doesn't need to know.


A lot of the problem is that we don't really understand how Fate, and by extension, Carnymancy that is intended to circumvent Fate, actually works (and we have reason to believe the characters in-universe aren't too clear on it either). It may well be that "attacking yourself" is a totally legitimate way to fulfill the prophecy, and that the only reason it went wrong is because Posbrake chose mercenaries that were too unreliable (*cough* Charle). On the other hand (and his behavior does suggest this) he may have hired an air attack to bait out the real attack and easily repel it with a combination of Digdoug's Dirtamancy and Dove' Carnymancy.

On an unrelated note, with regards to heirs, Parson seemed to think it was possible that Ossomor would become king if Slately croaked, although he's obviously not the most experienced in Erfworld and had no one except the decrypted who have experience with Royal succession. IF it is possible for an heir who is from a different side to inherit, then it might be possible that Creen is actually hoping to inherit Homekey himself; he was not popped as Homekey's heir but is from the same dynasty (may or may not matter).
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby ftl » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:15 pm

This caught me off-guard! I thought the choice was between Creen betraying Homekey and Charlie betraying homekey, so I thought Charlie would be reliable. Why didn't I think of them working together?
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby technojunkie » Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:04 pm

It just occurred to me that if Green's sword is supposed to be a lightsaber analog, then the lightning trap may not be as effective as we hope. Lightsabers were capable of grounding force lightning.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby Mrtyuh » Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:46 pm

I doubt Creen will be croaked by the lightning tap. It isn't linked to a very stormy hex, so it will only "automagically target one or two" units. With 38 archons occupying the airspace, the odds are slim that Creen will be one of those units. That isn't to say the lightning trap won't play a significant role. After it blasts a few archons, they'll want to vacate the airspace. Either they'll withdraw, or they'll land, and if they land, Homekey has sufficient ground troops available to deal with them.

As for Creen, I'm inclined to believe his end with be more poetic, probably being croaked by Peck or some other unit that he feels is beneath him. I'm probably wrong, though.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby Lipkin » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:01 pm

Mrtyuh wrote:I doubt Creen will be croaked by the lightning tap. It isn't linked to a very stormy hex, so it will only "automagically target one or two" units. With 38 archons occupying the airspace, the odds are slim that Creen will be one of those units. That isn't to say the lightning trap won't play a significant role. After it blasts a few archons, they'll want to vacate the airspace. Either they'll withdraw, or they'll land, and if they land, Homekey has sufficient ground troops available to deal with them.

As for Creen, I'm inclined to believe his end with be more poetic, probably being croaked by Peck or some other unit that he feels is beneath him. I'm probably wrong, though.

The Archons left the hex. Landing wouldn't help, because the trap doesn't just target enemies in the airspace.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby Lamech » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:16 pm

Mrtyuh wrote:I doubt Creen will be croaked by the lightning tap. It isn't linked to a very stormy hex, so it will only "automagically target one or two" units. With 38 archons occupying the airspace, the odds are slim that Creen will be one of those units. That isn't to say the lightning trap won't play a significant role. After it blasts a few archons, they'll want to vacate the airspace. Either they'll withdraw, or they'll land, and if they land, Homekey has sufficient ground troops available to deal with them.

As for Creen, I'm inclined to believe his end with be more poetic, probably being croaked by Peck or some other unit that he feels is beneath him. I'm probably wrong, though.

Can't Digdoug direct them? Regardless after the pit trap he'll probably be the only surviving unit.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby Ragewalker » Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:53 pm

One thing about the lightning trap thats got me thinking... What if the closest rain hex on this turn happens to be Weatherbug?
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby Lamech » Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:52 pm

Ragewalker wrote:One thing about the lightning trap thats got me thinking... What if the closest rain hex on this turn happens to be Weatherbug?

That would really suck for the Prince.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby Keighvin1 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:54 pm

As far as we know, weather is a constant, so since Digdoug mentioned the hex was not paticularly stormy, it was probably not Weatherbug.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby Lamech » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:24 pm

Keighvin1 wrote:As far as we know, weather is a constant, so since Digdoug mentioned the hex was not paticularly stormy, it was probably not Weatherbug.

Weather isn't constant. Remember Wanda's capital with the snow? Long gone by the time Jillian got there. I suppose Olive could have used signamancy to change it.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby Godzfirefly » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:35 pm

Keighvin1 wrote:As far as we know, weather is a constant, so since Digdoug mentioned the hex was not paticularly stormy, it was probably not Weatherbug.



I'm pretty sure the exact phrasing said it wasn't as stormy as Weatherbug. Which pretty much says it isn't Weatherbug.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 17

Postby Xarx » Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:28 pm

Lamech wrote:Weather isn't constant. Remember Wanda's capital with the snow? Long gone by the time Jillian got there.

IPTSF#3 wrote:Goodminton was a squat Level 4 citadel of barrel turrets and square towers, perched atop a sizable hill in the shadow of craggy mountains. Most of the surrounding hills were blanketed in snow, which fell in perpetuity from permanent cloud banks, but the city streets were bone dry. A frigid wind was the only weather the capital had to endure.
Link.
Not much is said about snow during Jillian's escape, but high white mountaintops and frigid temperatures are mentioned in update 47.

So far we've seen no evidence that weather ever changes in Erfworld.
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