Book 2 – Page 25

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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby Reclaimer » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:29 pm

Hatu wrote:
Lamech wrote:My guess is that the bracer knows the "rules" of Erf and it "knows" all that every unit of GK knows. We note that Charlie sees some of his Archons fighting at Turns since TBfGK: 20, but here we learn that Charlie learned Ansom is alive 18 turns after TBfGK. And since Charlie saw Ansom die, he knows that Ansom was raised from the dead to fight for GK. So when he asked how the Archons were fighting on GK's side he already knew the answer, and the archons which almost certainly got raised by flying Wanda know Charlie knows.

If the bracer can take information from all of GK it would know that the information Parson offers is worthless.


Maybe. But if the bracer knows what Erfworld knows, why did it give Parson's plan to destroy Spacerock's tower any realistic chance of succeeding? It would have known that the RCC II could "time warp" in response to any attack on the city, which would make the odds of destroying the tower near zero.

I think it's simpler to assume that the bracer either runs on plot fiat, or that it will return gibberish if asked to analyze large unknowns. I'm hoping it's the latter. Bear in mind, we've seen very little testing of the bracer's accuracy.

-H


The bracer gave his plan of directly attacking the tower a big thumbs up; I don't think at that point Wanda having a heart-to-heart with Jillian was anywhere in the numbers. Again, love seems to exist outside of the game's rules, so perhaps there was no way for the bracer to factor that in. The decision to parley makes no sense from a cold, logical standpoint. If Wanda had bum-rushed the tower, she could've painted Vanna red before she could've gotten the spell off at all. Instead, she straight-up sat back and let Jillian walk back to the detonator and press the plunger.

Love is a battlefieeeeld.

Edit: Charlie patently didn't know the answer to why Archons were fighting for GK. Warlords can be uncroaked, and used as Warlords (See also: GK's entire Warlord lineup, minus Parson himself), but special units like Dwagons, or Archons, cannot be uncroaked. If he'd already known, there would've been a 0% chance that paying the steep price for the answer would've been worth it. Not a 4% chance.
Last edited by Reclaimer on Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby Black » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:59 pm

It is hard to say what the bracer knows. If you assume it knows enough information, then you can show it to be logically inconsistent.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby Decorus » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:19 pm

Well the answer to the bracer's failure is simple.

Did Wanda attack the tower?

No

Did Wanda do something that altered the odds of the attack succeeding or failing?

Yes

Can Parson's bracer tell the attack on the tower would fail, because Wanda was going to Parley with the enemy?

It wasn't asked for the probability that Wanda would Parlay with Jillian rather then attack the tower. It gave a high probability of success if Wanda burned down the city which Wanda chose not to do.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby ftl » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:47 pm

Black wrote:It is hard to say what the bracer knows. If you assume it knows enough information, then you can show it to be logically inconsistent.


The obvious answer, then, is not to assume that it knows that much, to make logical contradictions...

I do think that there's a nice consistent picture of "the information that the bracer has" which is internally consistent, makes sense with the narrative and with how the characters treat the bracer. But this probably isn't the thread for that discussion; there've been others.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby Welf von Ehrwald » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:20 pm

I don't the bracers made a failure. Parson didn't ask how likely they win, he asked a hypothetical question what the wining chances are, based on the intel they just gathered. He apparently calculated several scenarios with different casters and got a range from 70-90% for winning. All these calculations are still valid, and if Wanda could enter the Garrison zone she could destroy the city. But because of the Kingworld spell she simply can't. If Parson had asked what their chances are with the known troops strengths and the Kingworld spell, the bracers probably would have answered "0%".
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby gazes_also » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:40 pm

Decorus wrote:Well the answer to the bracer's failure is simple.

Did Wanda attack the tower?

No

Did Wanda do something that altered the odds of the attack succeeding or failing?

Yes

Can Parson's bracer tell the attack on the tower would fail, because Wanda was going to Parley with the enemy?

It wasn't asked for the probability that Wanda would Parlay with Jillian rather then attack the tower. It gave a high probability of success if Wanda burned down the city which Wanda chose not to do.


Exactly, Wanda deviated from the calculated plan by leaving Ansom behind and not following through on the strike. Jillian's influence on Wanda was an unaccounted for variable, it could take into account her stats as Queen of Faq, but not on her ability to make Wanda lose her mind.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby nmg20 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:04 pm

oslecamo2 wrote:So, the real question here is, how much rockers can Ansom take down under Hamster's tactical genius? Because from a commander's point of view, this is a golden oportunity. Destroy several of the enemy main leaderships, weaken their troops and make sure your actualy important units (the mancers and dwagons) run to fight another day.


I suspect Parson's input is going to be seriously limited - all the archons are with Wanda (all the decrypted ones, at least - Charlie's are unlikely to be helpful), and Maggie's ability to communicate with Ansom out of turn - although we know she can - is likely to be limited.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby Fug » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:07 pm

Reclaimer wrote:
Edit: Charlie patently didn't know the answer to why Archons were fighting for GK. Warlords can be uncroaked, and used as Warlords (See also: GK's entire Warlord lineup, minus Parson himself), but special units like Dwagons, or Archons, cannot be uncroaked. If he'd already known, there would've been a 0% chance that paying the steep price for the answer would've been worth it. Not a 4% chance.
[/quote][/quote]



Archons can be uncroaked- look at comic page 119 (image 132) (also page 98 which is actual uncroaking and 100) from book 1.

http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F119.jpg
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby Casander » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:35 am

Sygerrik wrote:Charlie is making a pretty basic error here.

What does this look like to other Royal sides? It looks like a Tool threatening a Royal, pushing a Royal around, because he can. If Sammy falls here-- which is possible-- or even suffers serious enough casualties, it'll look like a Tool getting a Royal out of the way by sending him to his death. Plus, since Charlie and his ally kingdom of Faq refused to attack the other Tool, only her minions, it'll look like he really does believe in Toolism, and is only going through the motions of helping the Royals.
(snipped)


Worse than that. As soon as Haggar can, it is going to move much more of its forces to defend its capital. Many other Royals will do the same. That leaves much LESS forces for the field army of the RCC2. If Royals are worried about getting knocked off by cynical opportunist Charlie they are much LESS likely to be all "We are all Royals together in this", putting all their forces together.

However, I don't see it as an "error", precisely, but a bit of desperation on the part of Charlie. He is departing from his pure mercenary in the background policy, simply extorting fees, to extorting policy. And undoubtably there is a part of Charlie that greatly enjoys bullying people, but he isn't really learning the lesson of Stanley the Plaid... non-royals bully Royals at their peril.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby Reclaimer » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:44 am

Fug wrote:Archons can be uncroaked- look at comic page 119 (image 132) (also page 98 which is actual uncroaking and 100) from book 1.


Apologies for my phrasing: They can be uncroaked, but they don't do anything special. Unlike the ones Charlie encountered immediately prior to his question. That's the first time he's had direct experience with Decrypted that exhibited any qualities different from regular Uncroaked.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby multilis » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:45 am

"non-royals bully Royals at their peril" - Royals may be more bothered by high price charged to Jetstone and "offer can't accept" to TV, then bullying an obviously backstabbing "ally" to help you rather than backstab.

The part that would scare them, which Parson already has is how Charlie could probably wipe *any* of them off the map with 300+ archons if he ever wanted.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby Reclaimer » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:59 am

multilis wrote:Charlie could probably wipe *any* of them off the map with 300+ archons if he ever wanted.


I really doubt this. Target saturation with low-health units would be a pretty terrible move, and he can't replace them fast enough to sustain any sort of full-on assault.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby Chit Rule Railroad » Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:20 am

Hatu wrote:
But if the bracer knows what Erfworld knows, why did it give Parson's plan to destroy Spacerock's tower any realistic chance of succeeding? It would have known that the RCC II could "time warp" in response to any attack on the city, which would make the odds of destroying the tower near zero.



In addition to the points raised by others about Wanda's decisions, Parson told the bracer to assume one unknown caster in the tower, not a link-up with or via a non-allied Charlie.

I wouldn't be surprised if mathamancy could not account for link-ups in general, given how improvisational and unprecedented they can be.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby Hatu » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:16 am

Reclaimer wrote:The bracer gave his plan of directly attacking the tower a big thumbs up; I don't think at that point Wanda having a heart-to-heart with Jillian was anywhere in the numbers. Again, love seems to exist outside of the game's rules, so perhaps there was no way for the bracer to factor that in. The decision to parley makes no sense from a cold, logical standpoint. If Wanda had bum-rushed the tower, she could've painted Vanna red before she could've gotten the spell off at all. Instead, she straight-up sat back and let Jillian walk back to the detonator and press the plunger.

Love is a battlefieeeeld.


So Wanda's personal decision not to engage the tower immediately isn't counted by the bracer in the odds of Wanda taking the tower. But Wanda's personal decision to spill the beans to Queen Bea was taken into account when Charlie asked for the odds of benefiting from handing in his remaining calculations.

I see no consistency here. At the very least, Parson would have to be a fool not to follow up his first calculation with a second one, namely "What are the odds that Slately will die this turn?" He has no limit on the number of calculations he can run, so why didn't he ask? Also, consider something else from that page. Parson says killing Slately would disband Jetstone, or cause them to convert - he doesn't know which. Well, why not ask the bracer what would happen and find out?

As I said before, I think the bracers either suffer from plot device syndrome, or Parson has (correctly) decided they cannot be relied upon to answer such speculative questions.

EDIT: Or Parson realized that the bracers could be used to effectively predict the future, but can't grasp that knowing the future would be helpful. I find that explanation unlikely.

-H
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby Raza » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:57 am

Hatu wrote:So Wanda's personal decision not to engage the tower immediately isn't counted by the bracer in the odds of Wanda taking the tower. But Wanda's personal decision to spill the beans to Queen Bea was taken into account when Charlie asked for the odds of benefiting from handing in his remaining calculations.

I see no consistency here. At the very least, Parson would have to be a fool not to follow up his first calculation with a second one, namely "What are the odds that Slately will die this turn?" He has no limit on the number of calculations he can run, so why didn't he ask? Also, consider something else from that page. Parson says killing Slately would disband Jetstone, or cause them to convert - he doesn't know which. Well, why not ask the bracer what would happen and find out?
-H


I kinda assumed it depends on how you formulate the question. If you provide defined but abstract parameters for a hypothetical scenario (garrison like Jetstone's, this many defending units of these types, this many attacking units of these types) then it gives you a normal calculation for the likelihood of success, without factoring unknowns. If you ask the question like the bracer's some sort of crystal ball about a specific situation (chances for Gobwin Knob sacking Jetstone's Garrison this turn) it factors in unknowns.

It has to have that ability to have any answer to "If something fishy is going on with the absence of gobwin tribes around Gobwin Knob, how likely is it to be Charlie", though.

With that kind of ability, you can think of any number of questions Parson would be stupid not to ask, but he's as limited to his imagination as we are, the plot needs unknowns to work, and as a computer-age geek he likely distrusts the 'divination' function of his bracer somewhat compared to the more tangible function of running scenarios on defined input. As I would.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby fjolnir » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:14 am

Re: the bracer's apparent failure, all the Bi/tri- caster links to this point have been physically shown, so a depiction of a "single caster of unknown type" in the disposition of forces should not have red flagged "OMG LINK!!!!1111!!" to Parson who has seen links and their strength though this should scream "CHARLIE!!!!" in his head now that it has happened...
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby DevilDan » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:18 am

I really love that antepenultimate panel with Tramennis clearly turning his gaze up to Jill. "Reeeeally."

And the radish tents are so cute.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby The Black Hand » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:49 am

Ninjaguineapig wrote:
Neko wrote:
The Black Hand wrote:But I seriously doubt they could beat Chief Warlord Ansom, especially if he channels Rob Halford.

Sure, Iron Maiden Zamussels and Twisted Sister Tramennis could rock out pretty hard - but if we wind up with a Judas Priest Ansom, I suspect he'd have this message for them:

"Out there is a fortune waiting to be had - you think I'll let it go? You're MAD! You Got Another Thing Comin'!"


Yeah...but remember the last time Ansom rocked out, all we got was a bucket of Uhn-Tiss...http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F128.jpg

:shock:


That was before he became a GK trooper and learned the mystical ways of Rock from Stanley.


Not to mention, that wasn't Rocking Out. That was dance-fighting, which is infinitely inferior to Rocking Out.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby ftl » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:13 pm

I guess this thread becomes a bracer discussion after all...

Hatu wrote:
So Wanda's personal decision not to engage the tower immediately isn't counted by the bracer in the odds of Wanda taking the tower. But Wanda's personal decision to spill the beans to Queen Bea was taken into account when Charlie asked for the odds of benefiting from handing in his remaining calculations.


No, that personal decision wouldn't have been taken into account either.

It COULD, however, have taken into account the various ways that the information could have been discovered, and would have noted that when there's a huge horde of units rampaging around, with their chief Warlord considering himself an evangelist for a divine calling, that sometime within the subsequent campaign information was likely to slip out in a myriad of ways. (Captured unit. Parley with Ansom. A scout seeing decryption happen.) It could also have taken into account what it knew the information could be used for.

I see no consistency here. At the very least, Parson would have to be a fool not to follow up his first calculation with a second one, namely "What are the odds that Slately will die this turn?" He has no limit on the number of calculations he can run, so why didn't he ask? Also, consider something else from that page. Parson says killing Slately would disband Jetstone, or cause them to convert - he doesn't know which. Well, why not ask the bracer what would happen and find out?


Bracer probably doesn't know either.

You keep assuming that bracer has all this information. It doesn't. It takes information you already haves and figures out probabilities from it. If nobody in GK knows how the rules work in some instance, then the bracer won't know either.

(Likewise, the question of "will Slately croak this turn" is kind of useless, because the probability it gives depends on what Parson does. Parson had JUST asked it about the success rate of different scenarios; asking "will Slately croak" would be equivalent to asking the bracer to predict what strategy GK will follow - kind of useless, given that the whole point is for Parson to PICK which strategy to follow based on which one is the best.)

As I said before, I think the bracers either suffer from plot device syndrome, or Parson has (correctly) decided they cannot be relied upon to answer such speculative questions.

EDIT: Or Parson realized that the bracers could be used to effectively predict the future, but can't grasp that knowing the future would be helpful. I find that explanation unlikely.

-H


No, I think there's a straightforward way of interpreting the bracer that has none of those things. I believe the following explanation is consistent with everything we've seen:

The bracer does mathamancy, not predictamancy or lookamancy. It has the following knowledge:
1) Basic rules knowledge, the sort of thing "everybody" is popped knowing. (Except Parson.)
2) Access to anything Parson knows.

Neither of these are game-breaking knowledge or strange. (1) is the thing all Erfworld denizens start with, (2) is pretty straightforward natural thinkamancy, it makes sense for an item to know its wearer.

However, the bracer does unparalleled mathamancy. It can run scenarios instantly; in a situation where lots of possibilities are there, it can instantly run every single one and then average them; it can do this not just for straightforward battle questions, but about any question.

Since it doesn't have access to privileged information, giving it MORE information gives more accurate results. When Wanda told Parson what she found out from Ossomer, the probabilities changed. In cases where the calculation is easy, Parson can sort of intuit the result anyway. "Odds are about 3 to 2... yeah, 60% says the bracer." Also, if there's critical information that Parson is missing but doesn't know he's missing, it'll give misleading results. (If there's missing information, but Parson KNOWS there's missing information, it'll be able to take that into account, and give answers which aren't very precise but still useful.)

This interpretation is
(1) Consistent with how Parson uses the bracer.
(2) Consistent with the sort of things mathamancy seems like it should do, and prevents the bracer from being used for lookamancy rather than mathamancy.

Yes, it is a plot device... but the purpose of the plot device isn't to tip the scales at arbitrary times, it's to provide a justification for Parson being confident that the scenarios he runs are correct. We don't have Stanley (or the readers) questioning "70%??? you're crazy, and probably wrong."

If you can come up with a different explanation for the way the bracer works, go ahead; but I think this one is consistent with everything we've seen and doesn't make Parson out to be stupid or missing the possibilities of the bracer.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 25

Postby oslecamo2 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:10 pm

nmg20 wrote:
oslecamo2 wrote:So, the real question here is, how much rockers can Ansom take down under Hamster's tactical genius? Because from a commander's point of view, this is a golden oportunity. Destroy several of the enemy main leaderships, weaken their troops and make sure your actualy important units (the mancers and dwagons) run to fight another day.


I suspect Parson's input is going to be seriously limited - all the archons are with Wanda (all the decrypted ones, at least - Charlie's are unlikely to be helpful), and Maggie's ability to communicate with Ansom out of turn - although we know she can - is likely to be limited.


Very true, but that just adds to the challenge. Before Hamster could count on almost unlimited long distance orders. Now he must do his best giving as little orders as possible to save Maggie's juice. There will then be thrilling moments where Hamster must choose between spending more precious juice to get intel of the battlefield or wait for a better chance, just like a Terran player on Starcraft had to wisely use his orbital relay center limited energy to scout on the map and/or sacrificing units to get more info on the enemy position and troops.
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