Book 2 – Page 52

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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby Althernai » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:35 am

Durinix wrote:On a different aspect, I can't wait to see Parson level.

I don't think he even noticed when he leveled the first time. He only learned it from his breakfast.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby Smoker » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:22 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:My take on it is that there's a whole thread about it elsewhere and it's better served at that place. Though other people have said, are saying, and will say what I'd say on the topic.


*facepalm*
I totally got suckered in. I tried so hard, I even made the new thread, yet here I am, still trolling through the reactions...

*picks up ball*


Anyway, I'll still go play in the other thread, because for some unhealthy reason I find it all rather entertaining, and there have been some good counter-points over there to think over. I started off as a "Tram did NOTHING wrong" person, maybe I can turn back? :)
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby slb » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:15 am

ftl wrote:
Oberon wrote:And if you cannot see this, you are also holding the Idiot Ball.

Gee, thanks for keeping the discussion civil, oberon, by calling us all idiots.

Don't bother, we all now who's holding the Idiot-ball here, and I have it from authors more famous than Rob: I mean if Zelazny and Shakespeare agree that's the same person ...

I even have pictures of the famous ball in the hand of it's holder if you want:
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby Smoker » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:34 am

Oh hey! I gotta good one! Who wants to argue over the terms that GK would have accepted, rather than risk the exploit?

I'll put it out there, and say that I think Parson would have given up Wanda and the 'pliers.

Why? Because Wanda's loyalty stat is almost in the negative - if she could convince (or even suggest maybe) Slately that she could rebuild Jetstone using the 'pliers, then she can hang around long enough for GK to return with more forces, and she can turn back. We know she would because she a) loves parson and b) wants to be on the same side as another tool. They dont even have to breach non-agression - a unit voluntarily turning isn't an act of aggression.

It's also possible to form the Alliance with the bazillion Shmucker penalty first, then tell Wanda to turn to Jetstone so she can be disbanded. As long as she turns back before Slately finishes his assumed "You are doubleplus-bad and I shall now smite thee!" act, then Jetstone cant attack her without sending themselves into negative finances, and therefore they will all disband the next turn. She could just walk right out of there, and Jetstone couldn't touch her.

It'd be risky, because they might cap her anyway, but would it be worse odds than dropping her from the airspace?

(should that actually be doubleplus-ungood? I cant recall..)
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby joosy » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:09 am

Smoker wrote:Oh hey! I gotta good one! Who wants to argue over the terms that GK would have accepted, rather than risk the exploit?

I'll put it out there, and say that I think Parson would have given up Wanda and the 'pliers.

Why? Because Wanda's loyalty stat is almost in the negative - if she could convince (or even suggest maybe) Slately that she could rebuild Jetstone using the 'pliers, then she can hang around long enough for GK to return with more forces, and she can turn back. We know she would because she a) loves parson and b) wants to be on the same side as another tool. They dont even have to breach non-agression - a unit voluntarily turning isn't an act of aggression.

It's also possible to form the Alliance with the bazillion Shmucker penalty first, then tell Wanda to turn to Jetstone so she can be disbanded. As long as she turns back before Slately finishes his assumed "You are doubleplus-bad and I shall now smite thee!" act, then Jetstone cant attack her without sending themselves into negative finances, and therefore they will all disband the next turn. She could just walk right out of there, and Jetstone couldn't touch her.

It'd be risky, because they might cap her anyway, but would it be worse odds than dropping her from the airspace?

(should that actually be doubleplus-ungood? I cant recall..)


The argument rests on whether or not Jetstone would destroy Wanda. I believe they would simply because turned units usually have very low loyalty AND all of the decrypted are loyal to Wanda - not to Jetstone although they would have Duty to Jetstone. As Royals they need to prove that Toolism is not the Titans way. As Charlie already pointed out, killing an attuned unit (aka Wanda) is the most direct method.

The odds of her not being croaked by the fall are probably better than the odds of her not being croaked by Jetstone, in my opinion.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby drachefly » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:54 am

Smoker wrote:should that actually be doubleplus-ungood? I cant recall..

You are correct.


As for your exploit, we'd need to know more about the mechanics of turning, but I suspect there's something to prevent immediate turning back. Long enough she's toast, anyway.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby effataigus » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:36 pm

By way of weird hypothetical questions...

If Parson were forced to choose between Wanda dying and Wanda switching to JS (with the assumption that she is then Turnamancered into behaving like a JS unit), which choice would he make?

I'm really not sure. He seems fond of Wanda and adverse to death, but it would definitely be a huge threat to GK for JS to have Wanda on their side... well, ok, I have my doubts that JS wouldn't just kill her as an abomination, but if perhaps they traded her to TV...

Would be an interesting test of how strong Parson's help-GK compulsion is.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby atalex » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:52 pm

effataigus wrote:By way of weird hypothetical questions...

If Parson were forced to choose between Wanda dying and Wanda switching to JS (with the assumption that she is then Turnamancered into behaving like a JS unit), which choice would he make?

I'm really not sure. He seems fond of Wanda and adverse to death, but it would definitely be a huge threat to GK for JS to have Wanda on their side... well, ok, I have my doubts that JS wouldn't just kill her as an abomination, but if perhaps they traded her to TV...

Would be an interesting test of how strong Parson's help-GK compulsion is.


Parson's whole relationship with Wanda is infinitely fascinating to me. He's become genuinely fond of someone he considers an amoral psychopathic monster who wants to kill and reanimate the whole world. Personally, I think it's like Stockholm Syndrome -- he's emotionally attached to his kidnapper because she taught him how to handle the Tool and even took a hit to save his life (by seducing Stanley).
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby the_tick_rules » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:52 pm

if she'd turn her power against him I'd say croak her. He doesn't want to croak.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby zilfallon » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:15 pm

ftl wrote:Gee, thanks for keeping the discussion civil, oberon, by calling us all idiots.


I'd have agreed with you, IF "holding the idiot ball" was equal to "being an idiot"
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby Ansan Gotti » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:23 pm

zilfallon wrote:
ftl wrote:Gee, thanks for keeping the discussion civil, oberon, by calling us all idiots.


I'd have agreed with you, IF "holding the idiot ball" was equal to "being an idiot"


Oh come on, zilfallon. If you accuse a debate opponent of holding the idiot ball, you are effectively accusing them of being an idiot. That insult put me over the edge on the foe list issue. Please don't defend bad behavior like that.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby nth » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:40 pm

Smoker wrote:It'd be risky, because they might cap her anyway, but would it be worse odds than dropping her from the airspace?


Actually, I'm not sure it would be risky at all.

Consider: if Wanda switched side to Jetstone, wouldn't it technically be her side's turn again? Would that mean she would have gotten her move back?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby effataigus » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:46 pm

Ansan Gotti wrote:
zilfallon wrote:
ftl wrote:Gee, thanks for keeping the discussion civil, oberon, by calling us all idiots.


I'd have agreed with you, IF "holding the idiot ball" was equal to "being an idiot"


Oh come on, zilfallon. If you accuse a debate opponent of holding the idiot ball, you are effectively accusing them of being an idiot. That insult put me over the edge on the foe list issue. Please don't defend bad behavior like that.


Actually, if I understand the trope correctly, someone has to be of at least fair intelligence to even be eligible to hold the idiot ball. :D
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby ryanroyce » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:51 pm

Oberon wrote:
ryanroyce wrote:Eh, there are several logical explanations for why Tram wasn't attacked by the yellows on his way through the Atrium, not the least of which being that, at the time, GK's forces had no idea who Jetstone's new CWL was. For all they knew, the new CWL was already in the tower with Slately. Coming close behind, maybe it simply didn't occur to GK that they could have attacked Tram on his return until it was too late to do so (after all, it didn't occur to Tram at first, either). Third, there's also the chance that GK thought that even the meager offerings of a traditional Royal Parley would be the best they could hope for. All of these conclusions are a more logical than thinking that Gobwin Knob was planning to conquer Spacerock off-turn.


First, GK had met Tram. They knew he was a Jetstone prince. Assuming that some unknown in the tower was now the Jetstone CWL is an illogical position. If Tram can look up and recognize the danger the yellows pose, surely the GK forces can look down and see the prince of Jetstone arriving in his Roo transport... Second, taking the position that GK didn't see an opportunity to attack is assuming that your opponent is a fool. This is not the thought processes of a smart diplomat. You need to assume that your opponent is as well aware of his options as you are, or you will constantly be surprised by his actions. Third, never assume that your opponent only hopes in desperation for your tender mercies. This is the thinking of a fool, and one who will be constantly surprised by the logical actions of your opponent which you ignore in favor of your own illogical assumptions.


1. GK didn't attack Tram because it didn't know that Tramennis was the new CWL.
2. GK didn't attack Tram because it didn't think to attack Tram with yellows until it was too late.
3. GK didn't attack Tram because it want to waste its only chance of having ANY units survive.
4. GK didn't attack Tram because it was planning to conquer Spacerock off-turn.

What is the most reasonable conclusion for Tram?

Oberon wrote:
ryanroyce wrote:Do not continue to ignore the fact that, in the eyes of everyone except Parson and Charlie (Jillian, Duncan, Jack, etc), GK was DOOMED.
I'm amused that you would decide to phrase it so, when I took great pains to describe the exact situation you now insist that I "continue to ignore." Why stand up such a weak straw man?


It isn't a straw man. I have been reading your posts over the course of several Reactions threads. You insist that Tramennis, a rusty warlord at best, should have come to a better tactical conclusion than far more experienced warlords like Jillian or Duncan. That is absurd.

Oberon wrote:
ryanroyce wrote:Furthermore, there was no logic to Parson's yellows cwapping all over the Atrium without the Banana Exploit and the Harvest Exploit to combo with it.
Wrong. The logic in such an attack was described by Tram himself: Do what you can, while you can. There is no reason to lose units which can better be lost while dealing damage to the enemy. And this is the attack option Tram needed to recognize and prevent. He wants to engage in dialogue, right? This is made clear. And to best engage in dialogue, it is best to avoid open conflict. This is simpleton logic that any smart diplomat should be able to arrive at with ease.


OK, I'll keep this simple. Let's assume a scenario where the physics of Erfworld permitted neither the Banana Exploit nor the Harvest Exploit. What meaningful gain would Parson achieve by cwapping all over the Atrium? Keep in mind that Jetstone's loss does not equal Parson's gain.

Oberon wrote:
ryanroyce wrote:I don't hesitate to point out that ABSOLUTELY NO ONE on this forum predicted either Exploit [...]

I'll repeat, not that you'll listen, that Tram's reactions were completely idiotic even, and as I took pains to point out, in the strict light of what he knew, and in no sense did this judgement involve the 4th wall or reader knowledge.


Irrelevant. My point is that even we, who have the most complete intel on Parson, did not see the Banana Exploit or the Harvest Exploit coming. We had months to think it over, too, as opposed to a few hours at most. Why should Tramennis, who had even less intel than us, have seen these Exploits coming?

IOW, Spacerock is in danger solely because of these Exploits that none of us saw coming.

Oberon wrote:
ryanroyce wrote:How could Tramennis have possibly predicted that insulting Ossomer's fashion sense would precipitate these Exploits and the Doom of his Capital?

Tram has all the information he needed to predict that Parson would, no, should, attack once Tram communicated his adherence to the royal strategy of insult, then attack. This is the entire reason he is holding the idiot ball! He wanted to parley with Parson, and instead he instigated a conflict which may have made any parley impossible.


Again, I repeat that everyone who didn't know Parson's plan believed that GK was Doomed and Helpless. Without the Banana Exploit or the Harvest Exploit, they would have been. Why should Tram have come to a different conclusion?

Oberon wrote:And if you cannot see this, you are also holding the Idiot Ball.


Do you feel that? That's the feeling of the Ban Hammer. Begone, Oberon, as if you could be any more gone.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby Ansan Gotti » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:39 pm

ryanroyce wrote:My point is that even we, who have the most complete intel on Parson, did not see the Banana Exploit or the Harvest Exploit coming. We had months to think it over, too, as opposed to a few hours at most. Why should Tramennis, who had even less intel than us, have seen these Exploits coming?


This is a good and often glossed-over point, I believe. We all knew SOMETHING was coming, but unless I missed it, no one called (or consistently called) "promote to heavy" or "harvest for food" as the answers.

It reminds me of the dwagon veil at the battle of the pass with Transylvito. The big, dwagon-shaped cloud of bats was right in front of our eyes, but no one saw it until afterwards. It's things like this which make this a brilliant webcomic.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby joosy » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:44 pm

nth wrote:
Smoker wrote:It'd be risky, because they might cap her anyway, but would it be worse odds than dropping her from the airspace?


Actually, I'm not sure it would be risky at all.

Consider: if Wanda switched side to Jetstone, wouldn't it technically be her side's turn again? Would that mean she would have gotten her move back?


No. You don't get extra move until the next turn starts. Switching sides only allows you to change turn order.
Example: Charlie's Archons sided with Jetstone after they had ended turn. They could then assist Jetstone but could not move. They would get their move back when Jetstone's next turn started.

I believe the rule of thumb is that you only get so much move per day. Once you have used that up or ended turn (reducing move to zero) then you don't get any more until the next day and the start of your turn. I am sure there are exceptions using turnamancy but for the most part I believe the above to be true.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby Lamech » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:12 pm

ryanroyce wrote:1. GK didn't attack Tram because it didn't know that Tramennis was the new CWL.
2. GK didn't attack Tram because it didn't think to attack Tram with yellows until it was too late.
3. GK didn't attack Tram because it want to waste its only chance of having ANY units survive.
4. GK didn't attack Tram because it was planning to conquer Spacerock off-turn.
The reasonable one is 3. Of course Tram is going to be the new chief warlord. Its Jetstone and they appoint royals. For crying out loud Tram assumes that the newly popped royal with 0 combat experience will be placed as chief warlord against a terribly powerful foe when Jetstone is in dire straits. And two is absurd because that assumes that GK is completely brain dead; they have multiple competent warlords, and indeed Tram saw their tactical knowledge when his brother was nabbed. Four is unreasonable; conquering Jetstone off-turn is unreasonable for various reason...
And I would like to point out this implies a false dichotomy. 3 implies that GK would happy with say... only the dwagons. They might believe that they can get Wanda out by talking.
The answer could have been 5. GK didn't attack because it didn't want to waste its only chance to talk Wanda out of it.
It isn't a straw man. I have been reading your posts over the course of several Reactions threads. You insist that Tramennis, a rusty warlord at best, should have come to a better tactical conclusion than far more experienced warlords like Jillian or Duncan. That is absurd.

The argument is that Tram should have anticipated that following the standard royal parley script would lead to attack, and that Tram is acting weirdly when he accepts everything Charlie says at face value except for "don't talk to Parson". Or at least that is what I gathered from Oberon's posts. Anticipating the attack is simply trying to get into the other side's head; seeing things from their side, and analyzing what they would see. All these are the job of a diplomat. Accepting some things but not others is a little weird "everything Charlie says is true, but this"; it fits with his character, he hopes to meet this wonderful person and so believes that he exists even if he has no reason to trust Charlie.
OK, I'll keep this simple. Let's assume a scenario where the physics of Erfworld permitted neither the Banana Exploit nor the Harvest Exploit. What meaningful gain would Parson achieve by cwapping all over the Atrium? Keep in mind that Jetstone's loss does not equal Parson's gain.
No Jetstone's loss pretty much completely means GK's gain. They are at war. Jetstone has no significant allies, Haggar is a backstabber, Jillian abandoned them, and blue Translovito needs food badly. If every less unit Jetstone has is one less GK needs to kill.

Irrelevant. My point is that even we, who have the most complete intel on Parson, did not see the Banana Exploit or the Harvest Exploit coming. We had months to think it over, too, as opposed to a few hours at most. Why should Tramennis, who had even less intel than us, have seen these Exploits coming?

IOW, Spacerock is in danger solely because of these Exploits that none of us saw coming.
No we saw it coming as soon as we learned one could fall I'm pretty sure. In fact I'm pretty sure its what nearly everyone concluded as soon as we say the title raining men. Obviously we didn't know that Parson could stick heavies on the dwagon until we learned he could promote hobgobs, or harvest dwagons until we learned about harvesting. But as soon as we learned of them they got added in.
Again, I repeat that everyone who didn't know Parson's plan believed that GK was Doomed and Helpless. Without the Banana Exploit or the Harvest Exploit, they would have been. Why should Tram have come to a different conclusion?
Sure no one thought GK was anything but doomed. But pretty much everyone concluded that they could attack and do some damage. And of course since the sides are at war GK would gain from Jetstone's loss. And after GK attacked Jetstone would lose bargaining power and lose units. The side wouldn't fall from it, and the dwagons wouldn't be saved, but Jetstone would sustain damage it can ill afford to lose. We aren't saying Tram should have worried about Jetstone's defeat. We are saying he should have realized that GK would attack and it would have cost Jetstone units and bargaining power.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby effataigus » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:30 pm

Ansan Gotti wrote:
ryanroyce wrote:My point is that even we, who have the most complete intel on Parson, did not see the Banana Exploit or the Harvest Exploit coming. We had months to think it over, too, as opposed to a few hours at most. Why should Tramennis, who had even less intel than us, have seen these Exploits coming?


This is a good and often glossed-over point, I believe. We all knew SOMETHING was coming, but unless I missed it, no one called (or consistently called) "promote to heavy" or "harvest for food" as the answers.

It reminds me of the dwagon veil at the battle of the pass with Transylvito. The big, dwagon-shaped cloud of bats was right in front of our eyes, but no one saw it until afterwards. It's things like this which make this a brilliant webcomic.


On this point I strongly disagree... several people had suggested killing and overloading the dwagons to get to ground. Very common suggestions in fact. To the extent that the specifics were not guessed, that can be attributed to the fact that we had less information than Parson and other warlords on this account. We didn't know the mechanics of harvesting or that hobgobwins could be promoted to heavy until the strip in which we learned that they were the mechanics to be used.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby Ansan Gotti » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:38 pm

effataigus wrote:On this point I strongly disagree... several people had suggested killing and overloading the dwagons to get to ground. Very common suggestions in fact. To the extent that the specifics were not guessed, that can be attributed to the fact that we had less information than Parson and other warlords on this account. We didn't know the mechanics of harvesting or that hobgobwins could be promoted to heavy until the strip in which we learned that they were the mechanics to be used.


Yes, I am indeed referring to the more detailed specifics, not the general concept (and I agree some folks talked about the general concept, again, we all knew that something was coming). And you're right that we didn't have the exact mechanics on harvesting, but we did have sufficient mechanics on promotion and heavies on flyers.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 52

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:55 pm

On the topic of exploits we didn't see despite rampant speculation, I for one am unimpressed by that fact.

There's enough leeway left to the rules, by virtue of them being in large part unspecified so far, to allow a lot of maneuvering. So much so that it's difficult to extrapolate all possibilities, and more importantly, impossible to judge optimality of most plans. Not without adding so many qualifiers as to turn the discussion into mere fan-wink.

Now, it's a matter of priorities. I think Rob decided (wisely) that he's not trying to write Erfworld as if it were a chess-puzzle column; instead, he focuses on characters and plot, and any 'sploits that are thrown in are merely a bit of spice and should not require searching through exponentially increasing play-state graphs to design.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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