Calemyr wrote: I don't know if this new enlightenment is a good thing or not, as Parson has observed before that Stanley is a master at getting in the way of his own goals.
Oh c'mon give the man a break. Yes he isn't perfect, but his side is still standing and powerfull, so he's doing something right.
Actually, let's compare Stanley with the other rulers out there shall we?
While I don't think Stanley is as bad as he might be made out to be, I don't think his side doing well is because of him.
Stanley: takes care to don't waste money needlessly. Makes sure to keep a fat treasury for hard times, wich comes in handy for hiring supreme warlords, mass promotion of heavies, scrolls for the casters and other essential stuff. Even when cornered against the wall, Stanley still had quite a good chunk of pocket change.
Stanley's treasury is currently full because Sizemore realized that GK was still full of gems. Stanley may have had 500 grand in his treasury prior to Parson's appearance in Erfworld, but he was also down to one city and his military had been largely decimated due to poor decision making.
Statley: Spends money like water on pretty structures and couriers. When cornered, finds himself bankrupt.
My understanding was that Slately's treasury was empty due to a prolonged war, not because of courtiers and pretty structures.
Don: Spends money like water on other sides. Unreliable unstable sides that give low chance of a profitable return. Almost bankrupted his own kingdom if not for his leadership corps steping in.
I'll give you that one, although Don's situation was more that it went from good to bad very quickly because of his dependence on results he couldn't control.
Jillian: Can barely afford basic services, needs constant supplies from other sides.
Yes, well, Jillian is... Jillian.
Command Under Pressure
Stanley: Knows when to run and when to fight. If he hadn't pulled out from GK when the coalition giant mob arrived, Hamster wouldn't be able to use the hax volcano (as stanley couldn't be pulled to the safety of the magic kingdom), and they would've lost. When ambushed by Transyvilto, quickly decided to break trough instead of fighting to the death.
Going to disagree that he had good command under pressure, and also going to disagree that ditching GK led directly to Parson's win. Stanley had been a Warlord previously, so he had combat experience and could make decisions to save his own life. However, Stanley's decision to punch through that stack resulted in his troops being decimated. It was Jack who saved him with Foolamancy, and that was totally luck based--if Jillian hadn't called his name, he would have still been out of commission and Stanley would have croaked.
Yes, Parson was able to use the hax volcano because he left, but if Stanley had stayed he may have had other options (stacked bonus dance fighting, for example? Or no, rocking out
, which is better
). That win is purely attributable to Parson. Whether or not Stanley stayed is irrelevant to Parson's ability to come up with new tactics. Also, Stanley chose to leave almost all of his casters behind--he only took Jack, and didn't order any of them into the MK. No matter how you look at it, that's a stupid decision in leaving a city to fend for itself and planning to start a new side. Even if he was pissed at them, none of them were traitors, and casters are hard to replace.
Statley: When cornered, decides that suicide rush while bankrupting an ally is a good plan. Instead of one of his experienced warlords, puts in command a pretty diplomacy boy that shoots down his own troops and then runs screaming towards the enemy artillery geting knocked out.
Slately's decision regarding the suicide rush may not be a great plan, but it's not without reason. There has been no mention of any exceptional warlords in JS; the only warlords even mentioned have been Ossomer and Ansom. Additionally, Slately is a Royal who believes in Royalty--of course he's going to appoint another Royal. As far as Trammenis is concerned, you're trolling, right? So far, he's been shown to have the fastest reactions to Parson's moves.
Don: Puts himself into a pretty bad position by burning all his resources towards other side that its renowed for their unreliability and chaotic behaviour.
Jillian: Has to rely on other sides to cover her ass.
True and true.
Stanley: Will you admit it or not, Stanley has loads of natural leadership. Every one of his subordinates is willing to fight to the last breath rather than even think about betrayng him. Both Jack and Wanda had multiple chances to surrender out of a hopeless situations but choosed to stand and fight for Stanley.
Multiple? Jack has only left GK twice and only had one actual opportunity to surrender. His skirmish with Jillian in Book 1 largely involved him being deranged and having to make decisions quickly; arguably Duty would have immediately compelled him to save Stanley. By the time he has his second brush with Jillian, he's developed a close relationship with Parson, as well as trust in his abilities. He says as much when Wanda asks him why he didn't defect. What does that have to do with Stanley?
As far as Wanda is concerned, it's been made very clear that she believes it's her destiny to help bring the Arkentools together. Jillian does not have an Arkentool. Stanley does. Enough said, but just to make my point clear, Wanda is loyal to Arkentools, which has little to do with Stanley's natural leadership.
Statley: Is seen as his side's simple accountant.
Don: his own leadership corps banded togheter to put a stop to his plans. Need I say more?
Jillian: Has to make extensive use of mind rape to get her troops to follow.
Man, as I continue to write this post, I'm more and more sure you're trolling, but I'm going to respond anyway. Slately is presented as someone who has only ever expected to sit on a throne and wear his crown, so yes, that's true. Don, however, is depicted as someone his people love and respect, who has recently (sine Bea's death) gone around the bend. If you're arguing natural leadership, off-screen, Don's prior leadership ability has been abundant. Jillian has never mind raped anyone, and you should probably revisit TVTropes so you remember what mind rape actually is. She has natural charisma that causes other characters to follow her, and some to fall in love with her.
Conclusion: So ok Stanley has some communication problems. But he excells at battle instinct, knows how to get his subordinates unquestionable loyalty and makes sure to keep his side economically stable. His side is thus in a much better position now than either the two other sides we know in detail so far.
Erfworld's depiction of loyalty is strange, but I think arguing Stanley's people have 'unquestionable loyalty' to him personally is going a bit far. They are all loyal to their side, and it's arguable that's a result of Duty.