Book 2 – Text Updates 018

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Morgaln » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:10 pm

gazes_also wrote:
Raza wrote:Iunno. Although fanatical devotion is really easy to abuse, it's not morally wrong per se, and sometimes you just get it thrown into your lap for doing what you'd be doing anyway. And since erfworld has inescapable hierarchies woven into its very physics, it seems a lot less relevant there than it does in our reality, where hierarchy exists only in our minds and devotion is the glue that holds it together.

Seems to me it makes their lives more pleasant by removing the difference between what they might want to do and what they're forced to, if anything.


I agree, Archons are combat units, if they were gobwins or orcs would I doubt anyone would feel squeamish about it. As it is they are valued highly by Charlie.

I wonder if part of the feeling of loss when he is out of contact is because all active archons receive leadership bonus from Charlie. He has no warlords so they can't get stacking bonuses, so maybe they get bonus from Charlie regardless of distance - another Archendish effect. That could explain why the spy group seems to be particularly vulnerable; 3 taken down and 1 surrendering doesn't seem like regular-strength Archons; they were on internal juice only with none 'beamed' from Charlie.

It's not a creepy cult thing, it is literally the nature of the power relationship between them.


That's quite likely, since something has to be leading the archons. Otherwise they would be unled stacks and auto-engaging every enemy, which makes them useless as scouts. Except of course, if archons are considered units that can lead themselves; or there's some special rule allowing scouting units to refrain from auto-engaging.

Honestly, archons and Charlie seem to be able to do anything and everything, which starts to get boring...
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby ftl » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:27 pm

gazes_also wrote: That could explain why the spy group seems to be particularly vulnerable; 3 taken down and 1 surrendering doesn't seem like regular-strength Archons; they were on internal juice only with none 'beamed' from Charlie.



Dunno. Haggar's column was described as a "large column of heavies" - I don't think we should be surprised that four unstacked archons were easily defeated, especially when they weren't communicating and could be taken down individually.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Sonic Screwdriver » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:38 pm

The archons with the 'leadership' quality are probably the ones that have the self-sufficiency quality to not auto-engage with enemies in the same hex, which allows them to function as impromptu scouts. And the idea of Charlie providing a personal stack bonus to his units thanks to the Arkendish (similar to Wanda's personal stack bonus to decrypted) is just so very likely, making them seem much more powerful than they should be normally; and it could be an actual weakness if he has to be in real-time contact with them, where simultaneous combats force him to have to choose which one gets his personal attention.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby gameboy1234 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:01 am

splintermute wrote:3) the archons moved into position so quickly that Charlescomm was able to start and end turn in a matter of seconds, before anyone noticed



I'd bet that if all your units are veiled (in a particular "battle space"), then there's a chance you can veil your whole turn, so no one notices that you were ever there. Makes foolamancy really powerful for scouting.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Justyn » Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:33 am

JustDoug wrote:
Justyn wrote:
Dancing Cthulhu wrote:With the situation Wanda is in now I don't think she'll be going after Archons. And I don't think Charlie will let Sammy hang onto his injured prisoners, he'll have them released one way or another so Wanda shouldn't even be aware they are not to far away.


They were shot down with arrows; they aren't prisoners, they're cadavers. And there is no point for Haggar to take the bodies with them if they move beyond denying Gobwin Knob the material for new Decrypted, so there will probably be a few dead Archons in any one of several hexes that Gobwin Knob can enter on their next turn.


They won't find much. Bodies are "cleaned up" before the start of the next "day's" turn, as outlined in the first book. Also, I doubt GK will be doing much in the way of long-hex travelling their next turn- at least, not in a direction going deeper into RCC territory. Willingly.


No, they unpop (note that that section is canon, as in, "Rob put it there".) at the start of the croaked unit's Side's next turn, not at dawn. And the Haggar column is presumably between Jetstone and the bridge.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Reclaimer » Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:54 am

Sinrus wrote:Oh, they certainly do. But that's not really Charlie's fault.


Summer Update 046 wrote:Charlie offered various options and clauses that could be added to his contracts, including the no-return penalty waiver. So most clients who paid for "full service" did it because they wanted to make personal use of the Archons, before sending them off to die.


It is his fault for offering that service; most workplaces don't prostitute their employees for any amount of money, or look the other way when they're sent directly to die for that matter. The fact that he doesn't use them like that himself either implies that he's incapable (because he's an object *cough*) or unwilling (because it would give them some form of leverage over him). If he absolutely did not condone such behavior, he wouldn't have a payment plan for it.

gazes_also wrote:As it is they are valued highly by Charlie.


As assets, perhaps. If he had any regard for them as beings, he wouldn't offer an Eli Roth-style level of service with them.

gazes_also wrote:It's not a creepy cult thing, it is literally the nature of the power relationship between them.


Or the power of Stockholm Syndrome.

Edit: Or perhaps utter domination via the Arkendish.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Sonic Screwdriver » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:14 am

You've seen the subject of 'control' brought up on Parson's rounds in the text updates. The concept of 'volunteers' and 'asking' when units are of different hierarchy is a foreign concept. They don't have children, and the process of education is in its infancy at best, a side that doesn't make war is a myth; old FAQ being the closest thing, and even they did mercenary work. Standard labels don't apply in 1:1 correspondence. By the standards of Erfworld, Charlie could actually be viewed as a loving/considerate ruler of his subjects.

As for the archons' opinion of Charlie, it's very easily comparable to Wanda's decrypted and their devotion to her, and whatever Stanley does with his dwagons.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Reclaimer » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:21 am

Sonic Screwdriver wrote:By the standards of Erfworld, Charlie could actually be viewed as a loving/considerate ruler of his subjects.


This is a fair and valid point. Most of the rulers we've seen are pretty inconsiderate about the units beneath them to some extent. I don't give him any points for being able to remember all of their names, though, since he's basically a Cray supercomputer.

Sonic Screwdriver wrote:As for the archons' opinion of Charlie, it's very easily comparable to Wanda's decrypted and their devotion to her, and whatever Stanley does with his dwagons.


Except dwagons are wild animals and decrypted are zombies, sure. I don't see anybody trying to nominate Stanley or Wanda as employer of the year either.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby RusVal » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:41 am

Was reading the text update for the third time when I noticed this tidbit:
Following the well-trodden road, they sailed up to Haggar's column undetected. Silently, they passed along its seven-hex length, using veils to blend with the roadside trees.


Anyone get the feeling that they "blended in" by holding two leafy sticks in front of their face?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby copperhamster » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:33 am

A couple of points:
One of the comments about "Full Service" archons is that they can be used to attack other Charlescomm units. That means that all Charlescomm units don't necessarily go at the same time.

So these 6 archons could be running under Charlies personal banner, and there could be others that are 'hired' by Jillian that take their turn with the alliance, since they are technically her (hired) forces. That gets around Charlie needed an alliance with anyone. (and as far as her being able to afford it, Charlie could simply give her a special deal: 1 schmucker a turn, including expenses).

Also, due to the very fluid, relativistic way time works (ok, it's dawn in GK, GK's turn starts because no-one else is in it's battlespace. Over at the big party, GK's turn is delayed half an hour after dawn because the unallied mercenaries go first. If Charlie's archons are not able to reach GK's column this turn, they may go 'first' in their battlespace simply because there is no way GK (which would go second in any case) can get into an engagement with them on their (earlier) turn.

I wouldn't be surprised if Haggar's city turn had started at dawn (or appeared to, at the city), with no-one else in their battlespace. So if some of Sammy's column had the move, they could return to the city before they started turn (which makes sense within the Erfworld's temporal network).

Erfworld has a very wibbly, very wobbly timey wimey ball.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:10 am

Sonic Screwdriver wrote:You've seen the subject of 'control' brought up on Parson's rounds in the text updates. The concept of 'volunteers' and 'asking' when units are of different hierarchy is a foreign concept. They don't have children, and the process of education is in its infancy at best, a side that doesn't make war is a myth; old FAQ being the closest thing, and even they did mercenary work. Standard labels don't apply in 1:1 correspondence. By the standards of Erfworld, Charlie could actually be viewed as a loving/considerate ruler of his subjects.


"Maggie, in order to save Gobwin Knob you must now sleep with all the RCC commanders. At once."

Somehow I don't recall Stanley doing that.

Nor Slately.

Nor Don.

Of course, you could then start listing the many sins against their subordinates that these rulers committed. But that kinda misses the point- Charlie ain't no better at the "respect your underlings as moral agents" department.

The one thing that mitigates all this is something I've been saying in an older debate (about decryption ethics), and that is that in Erfworld, there are (almost) no moral agents: beings that can decide for themselves* what they would rather be doing, that have independent* thoughts, attitudes and emotions etc. This interpretation has the advantage that it allows one to react in horror at the moral abomination that Erfworld is and declare that it does need breaking, whatever the control source is.

Or, maybe Archons are as willing to be prostituted as the Cow was willing to be eaten in the Restaurant at the end of something or other. But that just seems a tad convenient of an interpretation, don't you think?

EDIT:

*: okay, we are all inescapably subjects to the laws of nature and free will is an illusion. Very clever.

Not to start a determinism vs/and free will debate, so for the purpose of what I'm saying it's enough that someone be indpendent of the will of any other person; at least in theory, you are not compelled by anything like physical laws to do as someone else pleases, and if you do that, it can safely be said to be your choice.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Ehbobo » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:23 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
Sonic Screwdriver wrote:You've seen the subject of 'control' brought up on Parson's rounds in the text updates. The concept of 'volunteers' and 'asking' when units are of different hierarchy is a foreign concept. They don't have children, and the process of education is in its infancy at best, a side that doesn't make war is a myth; old FAQ being the closest thing, and even they did mercenary work. Standard labels don't apply in 1:1 correspondence. By the standards of Erfworld, Charlie could actually be viewed as a loving/considerate ruler of his subjects.


"Maggie, in order to save Gobwin Knob you must now sleep with all the RCC commanders. At once."

Somehow I don't recall Stanley doing that.

Nor Slately.

Nor Don.

Of course, you could then start listing the many sins against their subordinates that these rulers committed. But that kinda misses the point- Charlie ain't no better at the "respect your underlings as moral agents" department.

The one thing that mitigates all this is something I've been saying in an older debate (about decryption ethics), and that is that in Erfworld, there are (almost) no moral agents: beings that can decide for themselves* what they would rather be doing, that have independent* thoughts, attitudes and emotions etc. This interpretation has the advantage that it allows one to react in horror at the moral abomination that Erfworld is and declare that it does need breaking, whatever the control source is.

Or, maybe Archons are as willing to be prostituted as the Cow was willing to be eaten in the Restaurant at the end of something or other. But that just seems a tad convenient of an interpretation, don't you think?

EDIT:

*: okay, we are all inescapably subjects to the laws of nature and free will is an illusion. Very clever.

Not to start a determinism vs/and free will debate, so for the purpose of what I'm saying it's enough that someone be indpendent of the will of any other person; at least in theory, you are not compelled by anything like physical laws to do as someone else pleases, and if you do that, it can safely be said to be your choice.


Charlie (so far as we know) has does not order the archons to be taken advantage of by anybody. His business is, as is quite obvious, entirely focused on the military applications of being able to rent powerful units. Once the contract has been agreed to, then whatever actions undertaken by/to the archons is the sole responsibility and fault of their new commander. If he chooses to force the archons to be his bitches, then it's on his head. Charlie probably will know about it, but can't be held responsible for an order that he didn't issue.

I had more points to make, but I can't remember what they were.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Reclaimer » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:32 pm

Ehbobo wrote:Charlie probably will know about it, but can't be held responsible for an order that he didn't issue.


That's terrible logic. If he wanted them to be considered purely for war applications, he would've outfitted them with chastity belts or something (Maybe as simple as, I dunno, a suit of light armor, or... pants?). As it is they wear short, somewhat provocative outfits and they are anatomically correct. He has to know that'll be the first thing to come to a dude's mind when he rents them out like that (And in fact would add a definite incentive). A leader is always responsible for his own units, whether or not he's letting somebody else borrow them. By ordering them to follow somebody else's orders, you are absolutely taking direct responsibility for his actions.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:57 pm

Ehbobo,

I guess Reclaimer answered that pretty well.

There's more ways to be a criminal, and some of them don't involve doing the deed yourself. Charlie effectively set up a system where, for a fee, his Archons can be used no questions asked. Now, he may not be the one doing the nasty stuff to them in person, but in thus pimping them plays a determinant role. So yeah. All he needed to do is establish a system in which all contracts have clear limits, including limitless ones.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Ehbobo » Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:47 pm

Reclaimer wrote:
Ehbobo wrote:Charlie probably will know about it, but can't be held responsible for an order that he didn't issue.


That's terrible logic. If he wanted them to be considered purely for war applications, he would've outfitted them with chastity belts or something (Maybe as simple as, I dunno, a suit of light armor, or... pants?). As it is they wear short, somewhat provocative outfits and they are anatomically correct. He has to know that'll be the first thing to come to a dude's mind when he rents them out like that (And in fact would add a definite incentive). A leader is always responsible for his own units, whether or not he's letting somebody else borrow them. By ordering them to follow somebody else's orders, you are absolutely taking direct responsibility for his actions.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Ehbobo,

I guess Reclaimer answered that pretty well.

There's more ways to be a criminal, and some of them don't involve doing the deed yourself. Charlie effectively set up a system where, for a fee, his Archons can be used no questions asked. Now, he may not be the one doing the nasty stuff to them in person, but in thus pimping them plays a determinant role. So yeah. All he needed to do is establish a system in which all contracts have clear limits, including limitless ones.


Reclaimer, changing what they wear won't do a thing. If their client wants to he can, no matter what. And in a world where there is really no reason for sex to be considered amoral, Charlie won't want to include a clause forbidding the client to force it upon the archons.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Reclaimer » Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:54 pm

Ehbobo wrote:Reclaimer, changing what they wear won't do a thing. If their client wants to he can, no matter what. And in a world where there is really no reason for sex to be considered amoral, Charlie won't want to include a clause forbidding the client to force it upon the archons.


When they wear short skirts and hover above you all day... There's a line between functionality and putting the goods on full display. If you've ever seen a female Marine in full battle gear (Vest, helmet, rucksack), you'd understand that some outfits just don't arouse certain thoughts.

Prostitution might not be amoral in Erfworld, but it's not the hallmark of a loving and considerate leader anywhere that I'm aware of. Forced prostitution is and always will be amoral in every circumstance ever.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby gatherer818 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:53 pm

I'm sorry, the whole forced-sex debate seems stupid to me.

Obviously, forcing ANY female - or any person, really - into ANY form of sexual contact is very, VERY wrong in our world. I hope there's no debate on that issue.

That said, in Erfworld commanders anywhere can force ANY unit they have to do ANYTHING they want, regardless (with the possible exception of a Warlord trying to override an Overlord's orders, or a unit disobeying an order because Duty commands them to act in the best interest of their side - neither of which are likely to come up in this debate).

I understand that sex with multiple partners - one at a time, assumedly - is different from sex with a single partner, whether forced or not; that seems to the issue. Sex slave vs. Prostitute slave. BUT a unit on a given side normally is outranked by a lot more than one person. So...

Please explain why Charlie allowing certain people (who pay an EXTREMELY high price for the full-service contract, the most expensive contract you can get from Charlie, that effectively makes the Archon your unit) any better or worse than ANY SIDE ANYWHERE IN ERFWORLD where every Warlord, Caster, Overlord/King, Heir/Prince, or unit that naturally pops with the "Leadership" ability can force ANY unit on their side to do the same thing.

Because honestly, it seems the "abuse" the Archons suffer is significantly less than what likely happens behind the scenes in EVERY side in Erfworld. At least for them it's limited to a specific duration and it carries a large cost, so it can't be repeated too often. Moreso, people usually don't buy the full-service contract for THAT service, they buy it so they can send them to die without paying the non-return fee, and just happen to make use of that clause beforehand.

Charlie is not an Erf-pimp. He sells his units. Once they belong to you, you can only do the same things to them as you can your other units. No more, no less. I think the individual who harms them is the ONLY one responsible. I find it highly unlikely those individuals are doing anything to the Archons they don't do to their own units anyway. They have the power, and power corrupts.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Ehbobo » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:02 pm

Thank you. Just what I've been trying to say.
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