Summer Updates - 009

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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby Carlan » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:56 pm

Hatu wrote:Finally, letting Parson casually swear from now on is exactly what I did not want to happen. His use of profanity at the end of Book 1 was powerful precisely because it was so difficult to say it. If Parson can now swear freely and easily, it cheapens that hard won power. The more he treats profanities as ordinary verbs and nouns, the more his "Fuck you" to Erfworld is no big deal.


I think the profanity in this update was less about casual swearing and more about letting us and/or Stanley know that he isn't rolling over. From the last update we know he needs a mental health day, so I'm going to assume this update means he's going to go back to breaking things just as soon as he's good and ready.
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby CecilThoreau » Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:07 pm

I'm very torn here. I can't really tell whether Stanley is afraid or just unintelligent. I'm curious about what he and Ansom discussed, but I guess I'll have to wait in anticipation for following updates before I know what's really going on.
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby Elessar » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:30 pm

Hatu wrote:So, we finally get to see Stanley and Parson together again. Maggie's sudden passion was enjoyable, but the rest of this update leaves me very disappointed.

Stanley's attempted apology (and even acknowledging Sizemore) was a very promising start, but his stumbling decision to promote Ansom took the wind out of those sails almost instantly. First, it makes very little military sense that I can see. Maggie already covered the basic problem of replacing Parson with an obvious inferior. But it also implies that Stanley intends to send his Chief Warlord out to retake other cities, which maximizes the chance of his Chief Warlord dying yet again. Why? Sending Ansom to lead an army makes sense given his Leadership, but from what we've seen, any warlord can lead a force in the field. Why must Stanley send his Chief Warlord into the field? How would it not make more sense for Ansom to be the field Warlord to Parson's Chief Warlord?

Secondly, Stanley's halting dismissal of Parson seems to serve no purpose other than to make him look like even more of a buffoon than he already does. He starts off by apologizing for fleeing GK in Book 1. But he then makes it clear that he's still not listening to anyone else's advice and will do whatever he thinks is best, implying that his apology is meaningless. But then he practically has to beg Parson to accept the demotion. He's pleased when Parson accepts, but then surprised when Parson talks Maggie into accepting as well. What is going on here? Stanley is all over the map.

If Stanley's decision is actually a reasonable move, his pathetic disembling when demoting Parson seems out of place. If the idea is that Stanley isn't used to asking for advice and is thus trying to feel his way into it, his "quiet air of cold threat" at Maggie's interruption seems out of place. If the idea is that he's afraid of Parson and wants to quietly marginalize him, his more genuine smile at Parson's first acceptance seems out of place. I have no idea what this scene is supposed to convey, unless it's that Stanley really is a useless halfwit.


For a moment, consider that Stanley is someone who follows his instincts and not logic. He's never actually led through anything resembling strategic competence, so obviously something else has been pushing him along to the levels of success that he had (at one point) achieved.

Also, please consider that Stanley might actually be testing Parson.

I don't know why Stanley might be pushing Parson's buttons, but demoting him and replacing him with someone that everyone recently hated is an obvious power ploy. Stanley's reasserting authority by showing everyone who's boss, and of course he's expecting resistance. Given how easily Parson goes along with a decision that is strategically poor, and outright demeaning, Stanley's confusion is absolutely expected.
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby DunkelMentat » Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:17 pm

I think the picture at the end of the 8th summer update said a thousand words. Look at the side of Stanley's face, at his eyebrow - he's afraid of Parson and for good reason.

When Stanley left the odds were already impossible; then he took all of the air units, an arkentool, and their only foolamancer with him. Parson still somehow managed to win. In doing so, Parson succeeded where he had failed - obtaining another arkentool - regardless of who ended up attuning to it. Stanley's got to be wondering how the hell Parson, who barely knew the mechanics of Erfworld when he left, was capable of this. Not only that, Stanley's no longer the only big name in town. Wanda is attuned to her own artifact and can already raise armies with no upkeep and no stat loss from the dead. She's a total wildcard at this point and may side with the man that got her the tool. Finally, now he knows Parson was willing to croak Ansom without giving heed to the ways of nobility. He knows that Parson is perfectly capable of treachery.

Stanley became overlord when his was fragged (in the traditional sense) while he was off making war. So does he send the greatest military mind on the planet, who he knows is capable of defeating virtually any army, who he has treated like dirt, who is capable of treachery, who may have the loyalty of someone as powerful as he is (Wanda), off to war? When he has another powerful warlord at his disposal who will not betray him? No. He keeps him close, where he can keep a watchful eye over him. And if things go poorly and GK is attacked by a huge force again he has Parson to save the day.

This isn't stupid, it's canny.
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby arin » Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:42 pm

So I was looking for the spot where it said "large sides split off into two sides", because one of the previous repliers made that claim and I couldn't remember whether or not the comic said it anywhere. I never found it, but I did find something just as interesting, to me.

A lot of people have been talking about Parson's curse - the fact that he has just demonstrated to Erfians that he is violating one of the "rules" of this game world.

Actually, this entire post is evidence of him violating TWO game rules - he is also being /insubordinate/ to Stanley, who has not technically given him permission to talk in his presence again. (Last time they laid eyes on each other, in http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F072.jpg, he was explicitly ordered not to. That order was never revoked.)

I could just be reading too much into it. There could be enough implied change in circumstances that the order is intuitively revoked. (Or, of course, maybe Rob and Jamie just made a technical foul.) But it would be interesting if it means something. :)
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby atteSmythe » Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:58 pm

The bit about sides splitting was Klog #9...though its reference in this thread appears to be a slight misremembrance of what was actually written.
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby Hatu » Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:30 pm

Elessar wrote:I don't know why Stanley might be pushing Parson's buttons, but demoting him and replacing him with someone that everyone recently hated is an obvious power ploy. Stanley's reasserting authority by showing everyone who's boss, and of course he's expecting resistance. Given how easily Parson goes along with a decision that is strategically poor, and outright demeaning, Stanley's confusion is absolutely expected.


Stanley was not confused when Parson accepted the demotion: his only reaction was a more genuine smile. Stanley became confused when Parson stopped Maggie's rant. That's one of the things I find confusing.

DunkelMentat wrote:I think the picture at the end of the 8th summer update said a thousand words. Look at the side of Stanley's face, at his eyebrow - he's afraid of Parson and for good reason.


I don't know; it might make sense for Stanley to fear Parson, but his behavior still doesn't seem consistent to me.

Stanley starts out trying to be magnanimous, though he seems to be slightly thrown off when Parson keeps talking about the cost of the battle instead. He tries very gently to break it to Parson that he's making Ansom Chief Warlord. When Parson agrees to this, Stanley seems genuinely happier. When Maggie calls him on how stupid the plan is, he becomes quietly menacing (very unlike, IMHO, the way he responded when he felt threatened by Wanda's new status). But when Parson makes good on his acceptance, he becomes surprised and disbelieving.

The only way I can make sense of that is if Stanley is firmly back in Pointy-Haired Boss mode: the clueless moron so wrapped up in his own logic that he barely notices how little it has to do with the world around him. Otherwise, I can't understand why Stanley would be happy when Parson agrees to a plan, yet be surprised when he finds out Parson actually supports the plan he agreed to.

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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby teratorn » Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:46 pm

One thing we must remember is that Wanda's opinion is the important thing. Wanda is in a tight spot there. One the one hand, she must give the tool his self-confidence back. A paranoid tool is a bad worthless tool. There are many ways, one of them (ugh) based on the next book tittle would be to claim her undying love for him. On the other hand she needs to be sure he won't ruin the things for them again.

Her first try, the parade and the light show sort of backfired. I think that even the city new aspect has her finger somewhere in it, and that sort of worked, the tool liked the "nice pictures." If she feels Parson's demotion was a big mistake she'll find a way to convince the tool.
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby SteveMB » Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:51 pm

Hatu wrote:I don't know; it might make sense for Stanley to fear Parson, but his behavior still doesn't seem consistent to me.

Stanley starts out trying to be magnanimous, though he seems to be slightly thrown off when Parson keeps talking about the cost of the battle instead. He tries very gently to break it to Parson that he's making Ansom Chief Warlord. When Parson agrees to this, Stanley seems genuinely happier. When Maggie calls him on how stupid the plan is, he becomes quietly menacing (very unlike, IMHO, the way he responded when he felt threatened by Wanda's new status). But when Parson makes good on his acceptance, he becomes surprised and disbelieving.

Stanley doesn't know where he stands, especially with Wanda (who created a large army whose loyalty he doesn't trust, to the point of feeling the need to keep his dwagon stack with him in his own courtyard) and Parson (who somehow pulled off a military miracle despite seeming to be a failure during his last attempt to foil Ansom's assault). Thus, he's torn between being glad that things are working out so far (the army didn't turn on him when he arrived or when he demoted Parson) and being worried that something is going to go very wrong.

His attitude toward Maggie is more straightforward -- he has no reason to suspect that she's any particular threat to him, and so reacts in his usual manner when she gives him unexpected backtalk.
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby Infidel » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:15 pm

raphfrk wrote:
Infidel wrote:Duty is Highest in Chief Warlords. Stanley doesn't trust Ansom. Elevating Ansom to chief warlord can be a way of wresting control away from Wanda.


I interpreted it in the opposite direction. I thought you meant that by demoting Parson, he would be less duty bound to be loyal to Stanley.

I am not sure if Stanley thinks that way. However, this could be a standard tactic when you are unsure of loyalty of powerful units.

Maybe, Stanley is planning to go with having Parson be the unofficial Chief Warlord.

They really need to get the table working again. Otherwise, it won't be possible for Parson to lead from the GK and Ansom will have to handle minute by minute tactics.


It wasn't really meant to be a one-way thing. Hitting multiple birds with one stone is my philosophy.

From Stanley's perspective : Promoting Ansome puts someone that might not truly be under his control, under his control. Parson will still be controlled by the scroll magic and can be called on if needed.

From Parson's perspective: He has overcome at least some if not all of the scroll's control magic. Being demoted from Chief Warlord will allow him to dedicate more of himself to his own interests. It also will take away the responsibility of killing more people. And it IS a good decision, whether Stanley is doing it for the right reason or not. Putting Ansom chief Warlord will have a very negative effect on the moral of the enemies. It makes Ansom's zealotry more controllable, and also Ansom is now an unknown factor, so making him the most duty bound is a good idea.

Right now Parson doesn't have the salve most good military leaders have to console themselves-- that fewer people will die under his command than someone else's. So he doesn't have the impulse to put himself back in the line of fire.
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby DunkelMentat » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:57 pm

Hatu wrote:I don't know; it might make sense for Stanley to fear Parson, but his behavior still doesn't seem consistent to me.

Stanley starts out trying to be magnanimous, though he seems to be slightly thrown off when Parson keeps talking about the cost of the battle instead. He tries very gently to break it to Parson that he's making Ansom Chief Warlord. When Parson agrees to this, Stanley seems genuinely happier. When Maggie calls him on how stupid the plan is, he becomes quietly menacing (very unlike, IMHO, the way he responded when he felt threatened by Wanda's new status). But when Parson makes good on his acceptance, he becomes surprised and disbelieving.

I think this supports my theory. If Stanley were not afraid of Parson he would have demoted him with the attitude he has shown all of his people (save for Wanda who has been a special case). Instead, he sugar coats it. He seems nervous when he's proposing it. Yes, when Parson agrees to the plan he is happy; that is to be expected when someone he is afraid of agrees to go along with a plan he was worried would be opposed. When Maggie crosses him, on the other hand, we see that he is not feeling magnanimous towards those who saved his bacon. I submit that if Stanley were not afraid of Parson, at least to some extent, the demotion would have gone something like this: "Hey Hamster! Guess what? Ansom is my new chief warlord! I'm demoting you to infantry! Now get off my tower!"
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby raphfrk » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:20 pm

arin wrote:Actually, this entire post is evidence of him violating TWO game rules - he is also being /insubordinate/ to Stanley, who has not technically given him permission to talk in his presence again. (Last time they laid eyes on each other, in http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F072.jpg, he was explicitly ordered not to. That order was never revoked.)


It could be considered a time limited order and as you say below, circumstances have changed.

Also, Sizemore was covered by the order and he spoke to Stanley.
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby Housellama » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:59 pm

DunkelMentat wrote:I think the picture at the end of the 8th summer update said a thousand words. Look at the side of Stanley's face, at his eyebrow - he's afraid of Parson and for good reason.

When Stanley left the odds were already impossible; then he took all of the air units, an arkentool, and their only foolamancer with him. Parson still somehow managed to win. In doing so, Parson succeeded where he had failed - obtaining another arkentool - regardless of who ended up attuning to it. Stanley's got to be wondering how the hell Parson, who barely knew the mechanics of Erfworld when he left, was capable of this. Not only that, Stanley's no longer the only big name in town. Wanda is attuned to her own artifact and can already raise armies with no upkeep and no stat loss from the dead. She's a total wildcard at this point and may side with the man that got her the tool. Finally, now he knows Parson was willing to croak Ansom without giving heed to the ways of nobility. He knows that Parson is perfectly capable of treachery.

Stanley became overlord when his was fragged (in the traditional sense) while he was off making war. So does he send the greatest military mind on the planet, who he knows is capable of defeating virtually any army, who he has treated like dirt, who is capable of treachery, who may have the loyalty of someone as powerful as he is (Wanda), off to war? When he has another powerful warlord at his disposal who will not betray him? No. He keeps him close, where he can keep a watchful eye over him. And if things go poorly and GK is attacked by a huge force again he has Parson to save the day.

This isn't stupid, it's canny.


This. Very much this. What Stanley did was strictly self preservation. The two biggest threats to him right now are on his own side: Parson and Wanda.

I think Stanley is playing the political game here. Send Ansom out into the field as a fairly capable warlord (with a nice bonus to boot) and keep the dangerously brilliant and charismatic Parson under his eye and away from anything resembling command. Stanley is realizing that not only did Parson survive a situation that he thought was not just unwinnable but impossible to survive, but he won, and in a decidedly DECISIVE way. He has to be thinking that if Parson can do that with as few resources as Stanley left at Gobwin Knob, what could he do with ALL of them? Like many of middling intelligence, he sees someone of much greater intelligence as a threat. Stanley is playing Divide and Conquer. With Parson out of the way and unable to affect much of anything, he can focus on what to do about the newly be-Tooled Wanda.
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby seans23 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:13 pm

Perhaps staying in the garrison, without the responsibilities of chief warlord will allow Parson to study hippymancy with Sizemore.
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby Quismat » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:37 pm

Now I feel terribly stupid for not realizing the implications of the profanity at the end of book 1.

However, it seems to me that a lot of people in the thread think that it means he is somehow breaking the rules of Erfworld or the summoning spell. I'm under the impression that profanity is totally alright in Erfworld, just not everyone can speak it. Back on page 18 Stanley complains that Parson can't use "Language" which seems pretty clearly to be a reference to profanity. If you check out page 17, you'll even see Stanley requesting it specifically, so it doesn't seem to be forbidden by the spell either. I might be misunderstanding something, but that's what I got from it.
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby Anton Gaist » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:58 pm

Housellama wrote:This. Very much this. What Stanley did was strictly self preservation. The two biggest threats to him right now are on his own side: Parson and Wanda.

I think Stanley is playing the political game here. Send Ansom out into the field as a fairly capable warlord (with a nice bonus to boot) and keep the dangerously brilliant and charismatic Parson under his eye and away from anything resembling command. Stanley is realizing that not only did Parson survive a situation that he thought was not just unwinnable but impossible to survive, but he won, and in a decidedly DECISIVE way. He has to be thinking that if Parson can do that with as few resources as Stanley left at Gobwin Knob, what could he do with ALL of them? Like many of middling intelligence, he sees someone of much greater intelligence as a threat. Stanley is playing Divide and Conquer. With Parson out of the way and unable to affect much of anything, he can focus on what to do about the newly be-Tooled Wanda.


Plus, there's a bonus to sending Ansom out to the field. Decrypted units are new, from what Wanda answered to Parson's question (Something new. Something glorious.) Well, if no one has seen a decrypted unit before, think of what this will do for the opposition. Accustomed as the other sides may be to fighting uncroaked units, seeing a fully coherent, fleshy Ansom fighting for GK will definitely be a major shock.

Just think about about how Jillian and Vinnie will react, I doubt they'll be able to remain cool and unattached while fighting the new Ansom. And the new Jetsome CW? The King? That's his heir that just got repopped and is now fighting for the enemy.
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby SteveMB » Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:20 pm

Quismat wrote:However, it seems to me that a lot of people in the thread think that it means he is somehow breaking the rules of Erfworld or the summoning spell. I'm under the impression that profanity is totally alright in Erfworld, just not everyone can speak it. Back on page 18 Stanley complains that Parson can't use "Language" which seems pretty clearly to be a reference to profanity. If you check out page 17, you'll even see Stanley requesting it specifically, so it doesn't seem to be forbidden by the spell either. I might be misunderstanding something, but that's what I got from it.

It seems to me that Stanley got the impression that Parson can't speak the language because about half of everything he's uttered up to that point is "OW" or "BOOP" -- he sounds like he's just making noises like a beast, not really speaking.

(The fact that it occurs to Stanley that he needs to specify this makes me wonder if there are Erfworlders who speak something other than Language or communicate some other way.)
Is this a real holy war, or just a bunch of deluded boopholes croaking each other?
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby Kreistor » Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:59 pm

SteveMB wrote:It seems to me that Stanley got the impression that Parson can't speak the language because about half of everything he's uttered up to that point is "OW" or"BOOP" -- he sounds like he's just making noises like a beast, not really speaking.


Gotcher back. Page 17, frame 5-6. Stanley is placing demands on Wanda for the qualities of the Perfect Warlord... "And don't screw up the basics. He's gotta speak Language. Breathe the air and things."

Stanley plainly considers speaking Language equivalent with breathing. That makes it basic speech, not cursing.
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby Quismat » Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:02 pm

Fair enough. However, given that Stanley expects him to be his Chief Warlord, I could see Stanley thinking being able to use profanity would qualify as part of the basics. The other thing is that, if he just meant speaking, why is it Language with a capital L?

EDIT: Unless the language they use is called "Language," which I didn't think of. Oops.
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Re: Summer Updates - 009

Postby Doktor Jones » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:48 am

Hatu wrote:Finally, letting Parson casually swear from now on is exactly what I did not want to happen. His use of profanity at the end of Book 1 was powerful precisely because it was so difficult to say it. If Parson can now swear freely and easily, it cheapens that hard won power. The more he treats profanities as ordinary verbs and nouns, the more his "Fuck you" to Erfworld is no big deal.


The way I see it, him saying "fuck you" to Erfworld isn't about him saying "fuck you" to Erfworld, so much as it's about him breaking what was previously an immutable and automatically-invoked rule. The fact that he now can break it at will is simply a reinforcement of the fact that he is breaking down the very walls that define Erfworld... a metaphorical "fuck you", if you will :)
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