"Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

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"Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Malanthyus » Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:38 am

Okay, this strategy relies on some basic assumptions:

1: It's possible to "Pop" low level infantry quickly.
2: Units on your side can be ordered to attack and/or croak other units on your side.
3: It could be possible to arm said infantry with at least some form of ranged weapon each.
4: Although 8 man "stacks" are preferrable, there aren't any limits on how many units you can have in a single hex.
5: It will always be at least "Theoretically possible" for even the lowest level unit to hit another unit with a ranged attack.

The plan:

1: Pop thousands upon thousands of Lvl 1 basic infantry.
2: Croak them.
3: Decrypt them.
4: Arm the new decrypted forces with some form of ranged weapon.
5: Always move this force within the same hex.

Benefits: This "ranged" force will be able to attack any unit entering the hex, even with a minsiscule chance of hitting, the unit being attacked will be swarmed with projectile weapons, more than enough will get through. Such a set up could effectively kill almost any single or small group of higher level units.

So, does this sound like a broken mechanic?
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Daefaroth » Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:07 am

Point 1) probably true
Point 2) probably false. Erfworld appears to be mostly based in traditional wargaming. traditional wargames don't have rules for attacking your own units.
Point 3) probably impossible. Equip them with what exactly? They don't appear to have bricks or stores of other items or weapons around. Mundane items don't appear to exist. People have their own equipment. I don't believe they have an armory as such, at least one was never mentioned.
Point 4) Who knows...
Point 5) Stated as true, though so statistically unlikely as to not be advisable as a combat plan.
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:22 am

2. Could be circumvented by getting them killed, then killing or chasing off their killers, and then decrypting.
4. Current evidence points to both stacks and hexes being unlimited. Hexes certainly can fit in the neighborhood of 10,000 units.
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Kreistor » Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:20 am

2. Is unnecessary. All the Ruler needs to do is disband them, and they are no longer on the Side and can be slaughtered at will.

Equiping a decrypted unit is unnecessary. They retain the weapons they died with. I doubt archers are seriously more expensive than normal infantry, especially crossbowmen. Just pop those and be done with it. Or be smart and decrypt any unit you want.
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Binty » Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:34 am

Kreistor wrote:2. Is unnecessary. All the Ruler needs to do is disband them, and they are no longer on the Side and can be slaughtered at will.


Why did I get the impression that disbanded units un-popped?
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:11 am

Because that's the impression the comic gives.
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Maldeus » Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:31 pm

The comic gives the impression that disbanding is somehow fatal. Disbanded units may poof into non-existence, they may suddenly die, or they may just become barbarians and thus be attacked by any unled units from a Side. Inside an enemy stronghold like Gobwin Knob, this would be a death sentence. That last one is much less likely than the first two, however.
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Arkenputtyknife » Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:59 pm

Daefaroth wrote:Mundane items don't appear to exist.

What about chamber pots?
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Maldeus » Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:34 pm

How many of those do they have? As Sizemore mentioned, they don't have bricks.
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Darkside007 » Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:40 pm

Decrypting them is completely unnecessary for this plan. The only question is: how many units can you fit in a hex?
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Arkenputtyknife » Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:45 pm

Maldeus wrote:How many of those do they have? As Sizemore mentioned, they don't have bricks.

Enough to go around, I sincerely hope.

Where did Sizemore say that they didn't have bricks? Not doubting you, I just don't remember.

Darkside007 wrote:Decrypting them is completely unnecessary for this plan. The only question is: how many units can you fit in a hex?

Decrypting reduces their upkeep to zero, making a much larger army—hence much greater damage inflicted—possible.

We know that hexes are large, and we haven't seen any sign of limits on how many units can be contained. GK appears to be a single hex with multiple zones, and we've seen that it can contain a lot of units. The limiting factors appear to be income and upkeep, not hex size.
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Daefaroth » Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:14 pm

Arkenputtyknife wrote:
Daefaroth wrote:Mundane items don't appear to exist.

What about chamber pots?


A valid point, however given what I've seen it was an exception to the rule for a joke.

...

Are you suggesting they use chamber pots as ranged weapons from the top of the tower??? :shock: :lol:
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Welf von Ehrwald » Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:44 pm

Malanthyus wrote:Benefits: This "ranged" force will be able to attack any unit entering the hex, even with a minsiscule chance of hitting, the unit being attacked will be swarmed with projectile weapons, more than enough will get through. Such a set up could effectively kill almost any single or small group of higher level units.

So, does this sound like a broken mechanic?


No it doesn't. Having thousands of troops is always a good thing, if you can afford them. And instead of infantry one could use archers. It doesn't matter if 100 infantry have a 50% chance to hit or 50 archers a 100% chance. At least as long as archers take no more than twice the time to produce than infantry.

The problem for such a tactic is that this bulk of force is quite slow and inflexible. With a little bit of intel the enemy can simply circumvent the troops and attack elsewhere, where the forces are weaker. And that tactic doesn't work when besieging a city.
Another problem is that such a formation would be very vulnerable to AoE attacks. Forest and other impassable areas can't be passed; the enemy would use hit-and-run tactics and ream the formation.
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Arkenputtyknife » Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:00 pm

The lasting and zero-upkeep nature of decrypted forces would be a broken mechanic in many games. However, I don't think it's a broken mechanic in Erfworld. Rather, when Arkentools come into play, the game—or rather, the world—moves to a new level. It's unfair on the sides that don't have Arkentools, but that's because they're no longer relevant.

Also, games need to be fair to be playable. Erfworld isn't a game, it's a world, and like our world, it isn't fair. I'm pretty sure that Rob and Jamie know exactly what they're doing with this.

Daefaroth wrote:Are you suggesting they use chamber pots as ranged weapons from the top of the tower??? :shock: :lol:

Germ warfare has a long and not very illustrious history. For a bad case of the Ewww's, look up some of the things that have been used as trebuchet ammo through the ages.
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Kreistor » Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:15 am

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote:Because that's the impression the comic gives.


Where?

This is a myth that is not spread by the comic, but by a few people that seem to think that way and infect others. It's not suggested or supported by the comic anywhere.

I will point out that "disbanding" is a military term. A unit (that is a company, platoon, etc., not an individual soldier) that is disbanded is retired... but the elements of that unit may not be. Some may be sent to join other units as replacements, while others may retire from service or transfer to new posts. But they do not get executed just because the unit they belonged to was disbanded.

The only way I can see anyone thinking disbanding = croaking is from a comment Stanley makes to Parson. He says that he can end Parson with a thought. I will remind you that Parson is special, and was threatened with destruction from the Summoining Spell merely by acting against Stanley. Stanley's comment may apply to Parson alone and refer to an effect of the spell (perhaps gving Parson conflicting orders, or just a grandiose reference to ordering Parson to the front as infantry), and no other unit, if he is referring to being able to specifically destroy Pason by direct thought command.

If disbanding = croaking, then the word disbanding would not exist. Where people say disband, they'd say croak. Why create a second term for the same thing? Disbanding must, therefore, be its own mechanic.

We do know of units that exist without Sides. They are called Barbarians. Disbanding may simply be the process by which a unit becomes a Barbarian. Or Disbanding may have different results depending on the situation (location, enemy presence, proximity to civilization, etc.) of the disbanding unit. (We do know that farming exists. Does a disbanded unit have the option of becoming a civilian unit, albeit un-sided?) This then explains a second method by which Stanley's comment can be explained. A unit that is disbanded in the presence of its former side is no longer allied with that side. This invokes the "auto-attack" action of the former side, resulting in the swift death of the lone Barbarian unit. Had Stanley disbanded Parson (with a thought), the nearby troops would have been forced to attack the Barbarian in their presence, unless otherwise ordered and Stanley would not have stoppped them, and thus Parson would have died. This is indirect death by thought, and it would fulfill Stanley's threat without the thought itself destroying Parson via the spell. It would also work on any other unit: in a particular situation, disbanding does equal death, but it is not a rule, it's the result of circumstance: the combination of a number of rules interacting, each one equally responsible.

Yes, that's Straw Man, but I'm demonstrating what I expect of any counter arguments. I don't doubt that there are other arguments that people could make to try and prove this point. In short, if you're going to equate disbanding with croaking, you better have some really good argument to convince me. Innuendo and opinion need not apply. Find something to cite and make certain it is consistent with the rest of the comic. Others have tried, and no one has even come close on this one.
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Aris Katsaris » Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:48 am

Kreistor wrote:
Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote:Because that's the impression the comic gives.


Where?

This is a myth that is not spread by the comic, but by a few people that seem to think that way and infect others. It's not suggested or supported by the comic anywhere.

I will point out that "disbanding" is a military term.


I will point out that disbanding is a term in games as well. And Erfworld uses a lot of game terms, including "turns", "sides", etc. When you disband a unit in a game, the unit vanishes.

Kreistor wrote:If disbanding = croaking, then the word disbanding would not exist.


Unless one can only disband his own units, and one can only croak units of the enemy. In which case the distinction is sufficient and adequate.

Yes, that's Straw Man, but I'm demonstrating what I expect of any counter arguments. I don't doubt that there are other arguments that people could make to try and prove this point. In short, if you're going to equate disbanding with croaking, you better have some really good argument to convince me.


I don't have any reason to try to "convince" you. I'm just telling you that our impression of what disbanding means directly arises from what disbanding means in games similar to Erfworld's mechanics. Perhaps you're right, perhaps we're wrong, but that's where the impression arose: That in games like Erfworld disbanding a unit means ceasing its existence.
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby MarbitChow » Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:19 am

Kreistor wrote:I will point out that "disbanding" is a military term. A unit (that is a company, platoon, etc., not an individual soldier) that is disbanded is retired... but the elements of that unit may not be. Some may be sent to join other units as replacements, while others may retire from service or transfer to new posts. But they do not get executed just because the unit they belonged to was disbanded.

This is a flawed argument. The fact that Stanley told Parson "I already have enough reasons to disband you" clearly indicates that, in Erfworld, the term applies to a single individual, not a unit.

A disbanded unit in our world ceases to exist. The components of that unit can retire, or get incorporated into other units, but the unit itself is no more.

Based on your own logic, since we know a disbanded unit ceases to exist, and we know that "disbanding" in Erfworld can be applied to a single individual, and we know that individuals just appear, the most logical assumption is that when disbanded, the individual does simply disappear.
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Arkenputtyknife » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:10 pm

Kreistor wrote:I will point out that "disbanding" is a military term. A unit (that is a company, platoon, etc., not an individual soldier) that is disbanded is retired... but the elements of that unit may not be. Some may be sent to join other units as replacements, while others may retire from service or transfer to new posts. But they do not get executed just because the unit they belonged to was disbanded.

There are two serious faults with this argument.

The first is that the word ‘disbanding’ is not used in Erfworld in this way. I don't recall an instance in which someone talked about disbanding a company, platoon, or any Erfworld equivalent. (There may have been one or more, but I don't actually recall any.) It's not “I will disband your side/stack/company/group/whatever”; it's “I will disband you”—an individual, not a collection of individuals. So the comparison with the military use of the word is inappropriate. How do you disband a sergeant?

I don't know. There was a scene in Samuel R. Delaney's The Fall of the Towers where a man experienced something that might have been called ‘disbanding’ (though it wasn't, in the book). It was very messy. But more likely, since Erfworld is a game-like world, it's very likely that the word means something akin to what it means in games, as others have suggested.

The second is that disbanding is used as a threat. Whenever Stanley used the word—when disciplining Parson after his arrival, or when chewing everyone out after the Donut of Doom—it was with the clear impression that disbanding was something that they would not want to happen. It's not hard to jump from there to the conclusion that disbanding = croaking, but it is a leap of logic.

All we can really say for certain is that disbanding can be used as a form of severe punishment. Precisely what happens, we don't know. I'd say that ceasing to exist is the most probable outcome (if Stanley wanted to get rid of a troublesome unit, he'd want it to cease to exist, not go away to join the other side), but it's not the only possible one.

If, for the sake of argument, we assume that disbanding = ceasing to exist, then why not call it ‘croaking’? Here's a possible reason: Croaking implies the possibility of uncroaking or decrypting. Disbanding, on the other hand, doesn't. When the unit ceases to exist after being disbanded, there's nothing left to uncroak.
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Kreistor » Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:14 pm

Flawed? It wasn't an argument. I was not saying that Disbanding in Erfworld was exactly what Disbanding means on Earth. I did not in fact relate the Earth term to anything Erfworld, so there was no flaw and no argument. I was pointing out the foolishness of ignoring the Earth term. If Rob chose the word disbanding, he knew that it would bring a connotation with it. How much of the Earth term relates tot eh Erf term is yet to be seen, but I do not believe he intended Disbanding to mean croaking for the simple reason that Execution fits far better and brings the correct connotations.

As for Disbanding in games, yes, they are used, however Unit in those games mean company or platoon, not individual. A disbanded unit becomes civilian or reinforcements and thus "disappears" as a distinct entity, but the hypothetical soldiers are not dead, merely parts of different units, retired, or otherwise unimportant to the game system. How many game systems have "farming" units on the battlefield or "reinforcement" units to move about? Not many. That sort of minutiae is often beyond the intended scope. So though the "unit" disappears, in concept, the soldiers are still present.

The first is that the word ‘disbanding’ is not used in Erfworld in this way. I don't recall an instance in which someone talked about disbanding a company, platoon, or any Erfworld equivalent. (There may have been one or more, but I don't actually recall any.) It's not “I will disband your side/stack/company/group/whatever”; it's “I will disband you”—an individual, not a collection of individuals. So the comparison with the military use of the word is inappropriate. How do you disband a sergeant?


That's correct, but short sighted. Disbanding is not used on the indivdual level. It has different names. But it is a military terms and it is loaded. Rob's smarter than that. If he used "Disbanded" he knows what it brings to the table. I do not believe he is trying to redefine terminology, so I believe he chose the word for a particular reason. I don't know which reason yet, that's all.

The second is that disbanding is used as a threat. Whenever Stanley used the word—when disciplining Parson after his arrival, or when chewing everyone out after the Donut of Doom—it was with the clear impression that disbanding was something that they would not want to happen. It's not hard to jump from there to the conclusion that disbanding = croaking, but it is a leap of logic.


For a military man, there are few threats greater than, "We're not going to pay you anymore"? Remember that peopel threaten based on what is scary to them, not what is scary to the person they are threatening. Seeing Parson as military (incorrectly), threatening him with becoming a farmer that is not allowed to defend himself is significant. Or becoming Barbarian in the midst of of an army is instant death. I've shown the threat in previous messages.

All we can really say for certain is that disbanding can be used as a form of severe punishment.


Whoa up, Hoss. That was my argument. Please return to my previous message and review my text. I contended from the start that Disbanding was not definable yet. I stand against those convinced it must mean "croaking", or anything yet. Are you preaching to the choir?

If, for the sake of argument, we assume that disbanding = ceasing to exist, then why not call it ‘croaking’? Here's a possible reason: Croaking implies the possibility of uncroaking or decrypting. Disbanding, on the other hand, doesn't. When the unit ceases to exist after being disbanded, there's nothing left to uncroak.


Okay, again, review my previous message. I spoke of a unit disbanded becoming a farmer. "All things that fight are a unit." If a farmer does not fight, it is not a "unit", but it is still a creature. It ceases to exist as a "unit", but it does not cease to exist, which is synonymous with what you just wrote. (I was non-specific on that point.) If a disbanded unit becomes a civilian, but not a "unit" because it cannot fight, it is not an non-allied unit, and so would not inspire auto-attack. It can co-exist with all sides, but can be influenced by any nearby units via threat. It might even be recruitable and return to being a unit, but a Commander could order units to attack it. Basically, what you described I already described, just from a different perspective. You see disbanding as "ceasing to exist", but I see it as "ceasing to exist as a unit", with a specific meaning for "unit", which does not actually cause de-popping, for which we have no evidence. It retains the threat (by preventing fighting, something we see in the limbo state of a city without a Ruler), while retaining the physical reality. Note that some units simply can't enter that state due to knowledge: casters can't forget how to be dangerous, and Warlords may be capable of knowing how to become barbarians ue to fighting prowess, so that's why I don't see Disbanding as having a singular result. Parson, threatened with disbanding, would become barbarian in the midst of an army. An infantry unit in the field would lay down its weapons and farm, A caster becomes unpaid, and has no access to the Magic Kngdom because portals seem to go only to cities they can't enter without permission, and making contact risks capture and enslavement (explaining Parson's desire to see the casters safely to the MK when GK fell).
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Re: "Fight in the Shade" or Possible broken mechanic

Postby Darkside007 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:10 pm

The problem with your argument (and yes, it is an argument.) is that the support of it only counts towards groups. Stanley has only used the word as an explicit threat against individuals, never against stacks. From all appearences (And I assumed this before speaking to anyone else about the comic) disband is an 'unsummon' or 'delete' command, used to free up upkeep and get rid of troublesome units.

The phrase for removing a unit from a side is "break alliance".
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