Summer Updates - 005

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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby Oberon » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:32 am

KBF wrote:So uh, guys...
"My Mistress favors..."
Decrypted are loyal to Wanda?


From what I've seen of the command structure, "My Mistress" is simply a form of address indicating respect for a superior. This has been seen throughout the comic, and I hope that it simply means that Ansom is being polite when speaking of a superior within the GK command structure.

Bogroll calls Wanda M'Lady
Misty calls Wanda My Lady
Sizemore calls Wanda My Lady

I don't feel like digging for more examples, or the possibility of a different term of respect. But I don't read anything sinister into a simple respectful form of address to a superior.

Wanda's rank within GK hasn't been made crystal clear, but the other casters defer to her, and address her with respectful terms. She is able to promote a ranker to a Warlord. I'd place Wanda as 3rd behind Stanley and the Chief Warlord.

What did kind of throw me was Stanley musing "Also, Wanda could bring back the croaked." Um, he's known that since the start of the strip, right? It was only page 2 where Stanley orders her to go to Warchalking and uncroak Manpower. So why would he ponder this now? I guess he means "bring back" as in not as a near-mindless uncroaked who is on a decay timer.

Also puzzling me about these update pages is the revelation that GK was limited to spidews and dwagons as heavies due to the lack of a gate. Every unit had to enter and exist through the tunnels. And yet GK had siege units... I just can't imagine a siege unit negotiating a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby Carlan » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:24 am

Oberon wrote:Also puzzling me about these update pages is the revelation that GK was limited to spidews and dwagons as heavies due to the lack of a gate. Every unit had to enter and exist through the tunnels. And yet GK had siege units... I just can't imagine a siege unit negotiating a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.


GK wasn't the only city that Stanley controlled, and we don't know what kind of units those cities produced before he lost them. I suppose we won't know until they start recovering those cities.
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby SteveMB » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:34 am

Carlan wrote:
Oberon wrote:Also puzzling me about these update pages is the revelation that GK was limited to spidews and dwagons as heavies due to the lack of a gate. Every unit had to enter and exist through the tunnels. And yet GK had siege units... I just can't imagine a siege unit negotiating a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.

GK wasn't the only city that Stanley controlled, and we don't know what kind of units those cities produced before he lost them. I suppose we won't know until they start recovering those cities.


Manpower's last order before his unfortunate encounter with a crossbow bolt was "Protect the siege engines." Perhaps the reason they were so important is that the last non-capital city had fallen, and there would therefore be no more siege engines (thus making the existing ones crucial if the war somehow turned around to the point where retaking one of the lost cities became an option).
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:00 am

There's a potentially easier answer.

Dwagons and Spidews are heavy units, which can't exit through the tunnels. Siege units are units that are able to break through a wall.

My guess is that not all heavy units are siege units, and not all siege units are heavy units.

Page 118 (image 138) shows units with axes and picks working on the wall. Perhaps those are infantry siege units?
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:28 am

Mm, I'm inclined to believe that GK built siege units at other cities and still had some in the field when Wanda said to piece together a regiment [with] "no siege," or maybe that she meant there were no siege units left to use, or that no siege would be occuring (Manpower had siege at Warchalking - so was that an assault and not a defense? I don't know.)

And I'm sure that "bring back the croaked" refers to bringing them back to life and not unlife.
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby SteveMB » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:54 am

MarbitChow wrote:Dwagons and Spidews are heavy units, which can't exit through the tunnels.


Spidews can exit via tunnels (dwagons, of course, can fly out):
The old city had lacked a front gate, a configuration which gave extra strength to the outer walls and avoided a specific weak point. The trade-off was that they'd had to deploy all of their non-fliers out through the tunnels. That was why their only heavy units were Spidews and Dwagons.

Spidews are evidently one of the "exceptions" to the general rule that only light units can enter tunnels.

Siege units are units that are able to break through a wall.

My guess is that not all heavy units are siege units, and not all siege units are heavy units.

Page 118 (image 138) shows units with axes and picks working on the wall. Perhaps those are infantry siege units?


Perhaps (weiner-rammers might be another type of light siege units). Trying to get into a walled city with only light siege units and no heavy ones is probably a real bear (if it's possible at all), though....
Is this a real holy war, or just a bunch of deluded boopholes croaking each other?
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby Maldeus » Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:04 pm

I'm actually starting to like Stanley a bit, now. Maybe when he's not staring certain death and the destruction of all his (apparently sincere) ideals, he isn't that bad. Sure, he's still not the sharpest Tool in the shed, but he still seems to be reasonably friendly and approachable, now. Of course, this may just be wishful thinking on my part.
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby Lothmar » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:06 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Page 118 (image 138) shows units with axes and picks working on the wall. Perhaps those are infantry siege units?


You mean the troop class commonly referred to as 'diggers'? I believe diggers are a form of 'tunnel' unit, whose job is to create passable hexes from impassable ones as well as acquireing resources via mineing ex: http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F078.jpg http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F087.jpg

I believe this ability also allows them the secondary function of serving as siege units, when paired with a siege tower for example to get the numbers and overall area coverage to affect an entire hex of wall. Ex: Bottom left two panels http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F118.jpg
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby Ragn Charran » Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:41 pm

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote:Mm, I'm inclined to believe that GK built siege units at other cities and still had some in the field when Wanda said to piece together a regiment [with] "no siege," or maybe that she meant there were no siege units left to use, or that no siege would be occuring (Manpower had siege at Warchalking - so was that an assault and not a defense? I don't know.)


Or maybe Manpower's sole mission was to protect the fleeing siege? As in, the entire battle at Warchalking was trying to intercept coalition forces moving in to wipe out fleeing siege units? Sending good troops to protect bad (since I assume siege isn't that useful in defense of a city) is just the kind of tactical blunder that fits a side that lost 11 cities.
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby Akkristor » Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:56 pm

I doubt Stanley will do anything drastic about Parson, except maybe thank him.

Yeah, he comes down hard on people who fail him, but remember the Foolamancer, Jack? Jack was failing him, and came through at the last second, letting Stanley get away from the Vamps and bats on his way to FAQ. Stanley gave Jack a pass for saving his boop.
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby SteveMB » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:01 pm

Ragn Charran wrote:Or maybe Manpower's sole mission was to protect the fleeing siege? As in, the entire battle at Warchalking was trying to intercept coalition forces moving in to wipe out fleeing siege units? Sending good troops to protect bad (since I assume siege isn't that useful in defense of a city) is just the kind of tactical blunder that fits a side that lost 11 cities.

It makes sense if you assume (as Stanley no doubt did) that the fortunes of war would turn and Plaid forces would get a chance to re-take some of those cities. They'd probably need heavy siege units for that, and they have no way of getting any new ones until they had a city with a gate capable of accomodating them. So, from Stanley's viewpoint, he was sending expendable units to protect irreplaceable ones.

Of course, the wisdom of making that assumption is a diffent issue....
Is this a real holy war, or just a bunch of deluded boopholes croaking each other?
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby KBF » Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:55 pm

Oberon wrote:What did kind of throw me was Stanley musing "Also, Wanda could bring back the croaked." Um, he's known that since the start of the strip, right? It was only page 2 where Stanley orders her to go to Warchalking and uncroak Manpower. So why would he ponder this now? I guess he means "bring back" as in not as a near-mindless uncroaked who is on a decay timer.


Making your grandfather a zombie is definitely not the same thing as bringing him back to life.

Similarly, uncroaked are not the living. Decrypted are repopped on your side, loyal to you.
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby Arkenputtyknife » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:41 pm

Bobby Archer wrote:Parson entered the new Tower of Efdup to wait for Stanley in the new throne room. Better to let others tell Stanley of what he's done without him looking over their shoulders. Or Wanda and the decrypted Ansom make him really uncomfortable.

“He could see Hamster, Maggie, and the...tunneler, the one who did toilet duty, Sideways or whatever his name was, on the new parapet of the new tower.” (Update 3—sorry, can't link as the links appear to be volatile. I've put in a request about this.)

parapet: A low, protective wall along the edge of a roof, bridge, or balcony. It's hard to be sure, but from the view of the tower in update 1, the only place where there could possibly be a parapet would be at the base of the roof, above the office level. It's not clear from the drawing that there's room for such a thing, but I've climbed enough towers like this to know that such appearances can be deceiving.

Anyway, either Parson left the office after update 2, or Mr. Balder is playing fast and loose with words.

Ragn Charran wrote:Sending good troops to protect bad (since I assume siege isn't that useful in defense of a city) is just the kind of tactical blunder that fits a side that lost 11 cities.

It depends on exactly what is meant by ‘siege’. Historically, siege engines could be offensive or defensive. Offensive siege engines included towers, rams, and artillery, among others. Defensive siege engines were mostly artillery—various kinds of trebuchet, scorpions, etc.

We saw in update 3 that the new GK has, at the very least, a pair of trebuchets (defensive artillery) mounted atop its barbican. Such use is historical, despite a widespread but incorrect belief that such would have been impossible—there are many fortifications around the world with artillery emplacements atop towers, and historical documents showing such things. (One of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings is of a defensive trebuchet.)

So, would those things count as siege? Historically, they would have.
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby Kender Wizard » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:47 pm

Lol. I'm going to vote with the idea that Stanley is seriously considering replacing Parson. My second favorite is the Tool being afraid that Parson will stage a coup at some point. The authors could not have made it more plain (again) if they had it tattooed to his forehead: Stanley is most concerned by looks, appearance, and reputation. By comparison, the note that Wanda can raise the croaked as loyal, intelligent servants as often as she has opportunity, passes by as a small second to the fact that Ansom. Is now his warlord.*sarcasm*

Hence, Ansom has the superhero chin! Put him in charge!

The idea that the tool is afraid of Parson is, imo, something of a lesser thing. While Stanley might have a bit more respect now for his underlings, he still considers them his rightful underlings. Note how he thinks of Jack and Vurp: 'those two knew better than to say anything while he was thinking'. Then again, he does appear to be attempting to show off for his subordinates, doing 'dramatic dives' with the dwagon, thinking of surprising Parson with a landing on the parapet, acting like he is in charge (see conv with Wanda). It does seem strange, seeing as he clearly believed in the past that he could disband any of them at any time. Also, he doesn't trust his new units, even when he can see their stats. So, maybe he does fear Parson. It does strike me as odd though, that he would ask Ansom. Ansom could only have been around Parson for about a turn before Stanley showed up. So, unless Stanley just wants info on Parsons tactical and strategic ability, can't see how Ansom would be much help here. Unless he is going to have Ansom attack Parson when Parson has his back turned. Just seems like the sort of contingency orders he'd give someone.
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby benjamingeiger » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:34 pm

Apologies if someone mentioned this and I missed it...

Would Stanley be dumb enough to intentionally croak Parson, and then get Wanda to decrypt him? We already know (page 39) that his upkeep costs are over 1,000 Schmuckers per turn. Decrypted troops (p. 145) have no upkeep cost. Maybe Stanley thinks he can get Parson's skills for no upkeep cost?

Of course, since Parson isn't *from* Erfworld, all bets are off...
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby teratorn » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:29 pm

benjamingeiger wrote:Apologies if someone mentioned this and I missed it...

Would Stanley be dumb enough to intentionally croak Parson, and then get Wanda to decrypt him? We already know (page 39) that his upkeep costs are over 1,000 Schmuckers per turn. Decrypted troops (p. 145) have no upkeep cost. Maybe Stanley thinks he can get Parson's skills for no upkeep cost?

Of course, since Parson isn't *from* Erfworld, all bets are off...


We discussed that as soon as we learned decrypted had no upkeep. The problem is that decrypting alters your mind. Ansom is a huge asset simply from his bonus. Parson without his fully functional mind is just a lower level warlord.
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby valce » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:26 pm

Stanley won't have Wanda decrypt Parson. Or should I say, Stanley won't let Wanda decrypt Parson.

For all he knows that would make Parson Wanda's unit, and that would be very bad for Stanley. I suspect he knows as little about Wanda's true motivations as anybody else, and now that she has an Arkentool...

On a side-note, maybe Jack joined Stanley for an Arkentool as well? I really hope it isn't some prophecy about how Jillian will die if Jack doesn't join Stanley, or somesuch. Far more interesting to think Jackie boy's in it for an Arkentool (for whatever reason he wants one).

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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby Goshen » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:59 pm

On a semi-tangent, I'd like to speculate on just how powerful the GK team is, now, with the addition of Jack. He's already a master-class foolamancer, but more importantly he is intelligent and creative with his misdirections. Imagine the mayhem Parson could cause by mixing Jack's illusions with other units' powers. Some examples:

Jack and Maggie could really mess up a commanding warlord by having Jack produce an illusion while Maggie amplified the desired mental effect with a suggestion spell. Jack could can make parts of the GK army look weaker or stronger than they are. Unit types could be visually switched. Jack could veil Wanda, specifically, so she could be near the front line decrypting everything that falls, as they fall, although the disorientation period might be a built-in limiter to that.
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby Matty » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:36 pm

valce wrote:On a side-note, maybe Jack joined Stanley for an Arkentool as well? I really hope it isn't some prophecy about how Jillian will die if Jack doesn't join Stanley, or somesuch. Far more interesting to think Jackie boy's in it for an Arkentool (for whatever reason he wants one).


Based on what we've seen and heard from a fully cognitive Jack so far, he seems a lot wiser than most other Erfworld characters. My guess is that he recognizes that power corrupts and does not actively seek it out. Even his native school of magic - foolamancy - seems more designed to avoid battle/confrontation than anything else, particularly as he seems to have traditionally used his abilities to that end (first by veiling the cities of Faq to avoid detection, and last going off by veiling Stanley and his stack to avoid detection on their route back to GK).
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Re: Summer Updates - 005

Postby Akkristor » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:51 pm

Why would Tool think Parson is going to try some coup or something? The summon spell forces Parson's loyalty and obedience, even going so far as to requiring him to play out all options before giving up.
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