Random predicition for a future way Parson breaks the world

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Random predicition for a future way Parson breaks the world

Postby Ragn Charran » Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:15 pm

This popped into my mind when thinking about Ansom's "righteousness".

Spoilered following GiantITP conventions:

Spoiler: show
There has been some debate about this, but I think it is reasonable to assume that without an alliance, combat does not end until only one side's units occupy a hex, even if warlords are present. Therefore, when attacking, in order to take a hex (or zone thereof), you must either a) slaughter or b) turn/capture all enemy units. The enemy units retreating is not an option, since they have no move on your turn.

We also know from klog #12 that "Turned and captured units have notoriously low loyalty to their new side, unless you put a spell on them. Capturing is usually reserved for valuable Casters".

As has been discussed before, this means that when one side conquers another, it does so by killing ~99.9% of the conquered troops. Yeah Ansom, real noble.

We also know two more relevant items:

1. Parson is having serious issues with leading slaughters.
2. Units can be loyal even without a high Loyalty stat, based on their own psychology and humanlike motivation (Wanda's dedication to Stanley in pursuit of her prophecy, Vinnie's dedication to Ansom, Jillian's obsession with Wanda and love for Ansom).

Now...again going to Romance of the Three Kingdoms, there's an interesting mechanic that was present, at least in the older games. When you captured an enemy general, you had three options: Recruit, Execute, or Free. Most of the time if you did Recruit, the general had very low loyalty until you bribed the boop out of them (aside from story-related stuff that made certain generals like certain rulers), which took multiple turns and a lot of cash. But on the other hand, if you selected Free, the general would be a free agent just floating around the map, moving from province to province each turn. If you, on your first turn, sent a high-charm emissary to visit them, they'd normally join you at normal to high loyalty (again, outside of story reasons making certain generals hate certain rulers). A great, low risk, bribery-free way to get good generals that simulates gracious capture, mercy, and fair "employment" offers.

So, there's a prediction in here, right?

Parson will have a side completely defeated, including killing the overlord. But instead of then slaughtering the remaining enemy units he withdraws, turning the city neutral. Next, he sends diplomacy units in to offer "turn or be neutral", rather than "turn or die". No one has ever considered mercy of this degree before, since everyone always wants to capture cities rather than just neutralize threatening sides. Shocked (and previously wondering who was going to pay their upkeep), the units all agree to turn, and are extremely loyal to Parson (and not necessarily his overlord) despite having low Loyalty stats because he offered both mercy and a "job".

(This would work even better by simply withdrawing and granting true freedom, then making the offer to turn a turn or two later, except the "time freezes until attacked" mechanic for neutral cities also explained in klog #12 screws that up. True freedom isn't an option when it means time freezes for you. What would allow this to happen is if Parson could hold all but one zone, and not be forced to take the whole hex before ending turn, but we don't know if that's possible. Ansom rushed the last GK zone in the same turn. :? )



Crazy? Maybe. But when human psychology and a gamelike universe overlap, I can see people reacting in this way.
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Re: Random predicition for a future way Parson breaks the world

Postby zz_tophat » Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:20 pm

Skill: it seems to me that everyone in erfworld other than parson has pre-determined abilities (stats) excepting parson. Could practice with a certain skill give him abilities far beyond that anyone his "level?" Indeed with a great deal of practice with a sword and some exercise I can picture him running roughshod over opposing enemy units.

Tools!: Everything in erfworld appears to be popped, what if Parson introduced tools to the natives? Parson would be like the great black obelisk from "2001 space odyssey". I can see the ignorant apes of erfworld picking up their swords and taking them to trees, building fortifications and siege units not from nothingness, time and schmuckers but from raw materials.

"TEH MEDIC IS A SPY!": Parson was considering guerrilla war earlier on in book 1, Perhaps a combination of thinkamancy and or just foolamancy could create an "infiltrator" capable unit. It may have been already done and we have not seen it yet but if it hasn't then Parson will be the one to think of it.

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Re: Random predicition for a future way Parson breaks the world

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:15 pm

He is a "huge friggin' guy." If he were athletic, he could be quite intimidating, though far from invincible.

As for the prediction, using mercy and diplomacy might be useful (especially after totally kicking everyone's boop).

But as far as combat goes, if both sides have commanders, they can both choose not to attack (see: Jillian and the wounded dwagons, until she finally chose to act). All that has to happen to prevent combat is for the side whose turn it is to move to another hex, and/or end turn. It may be impossible for them to share the hex, but I'm not sure either way about this.
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Re: Random predicition for a future way Parson breaks the world

Postby Ragn Charran » Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:16 pm

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote:But as far as combat goes, if both sides have commanders, they can both choose not to attack (see: Jillian and the wounded dwagons, until she finally chose to act). All that has to happen to prevent combat is for the side whose turn it is to move to another hex, and/or end turn. It may be impossible for them to share the hex, but I'm not sure either way about this.


Being a warlord gave Jillian the option to attack or something else, but we don't know if staying in the hex was an option - it may only be a choice between attack vs. retreat/move on, which is somewhat implied by Jaclyn's speech on page 67 - "Why not just order us on?" and "So turn. Join these stiffs...Then quit the fight", and nothing to suggest just sitting there.

But yes, we don't know for certain. If it is possible for two warlord-led, enemy stacks to remain peacefully in the hex and end the turn that way, it makes my prediction even more doable
Spoiler: show
since Parson could withdraw all of his units but one, keeping the city out of time freeze for as long as it can sustain its own upkeep. Makes Parson more merciful, and adds urgency for the units to find a new side to pay their upkeep.
I'd be surprised if it is the case though.
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Re: Random predicition for a future way Parson breaks the world

Postby Unclever title » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:08 am

Eventually, and it might be a while, but Parson will move at night. It might just be himself or he might find some way to lead units in a night raid or something. It might be by outright breaking the rule but I'll suspect he'll do so much more subtly and around the rules rather than "through" them.

Like in the way he was "beating" the coalition (for a while) "by losing" he might find a way to move units without "moving." For instance it's unclear whether or not the portal to the magic kingdom requires move, but average units can hardly go through it let alone we have no idea whether or not it works at night.

Even just a single unit moving at night would be a HUGE advantage.


Though I get the impression that Parson is going to seek diplomacy more for the near future, he may try to get adept at avoiding killing an opposing force.
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Re: Random predicition for a future way Parson breaks the world

Postby raphfrk » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:55 am

Ragn Charran wrote:But yes, we don't know for certain. If it is possible for two warlord-led, enemy stacks to remain peacefully in the hex and end the turn that way, it makes my prediction even more doable
Spoiler: show
since Parson could withdraw all of his units but one, keeping the city out of time freeze for as long as it can sustain its own upkeep. Makes Parson more merciful, and adds urgency for the units to find a new side to pay their upkeep.
I'd be surprised if it is the case though.


Charlie ended turn with his Archons in GK airspace. Ofc, that may have been because GK didn't have any flying units "in flight".

Your idea would have the effect of diabanding all field units.
Spoiler: show
It is not clear if that means that they would die though. However, there is some evidance that disbandment happens at night. Thus, killing the overlord wouldn't necessarily kill them before the turn ends.

Also, there is an issue with who you can negotiate with. If you kill the overlord, then nobody has the authority to surrender. In fact, even with an overlord, it may not be possible to surrender. The overlord might have the right to transfer cities, but that probably wouldn't work with the capital. He wouldn't have an "end side" option.

Unless all cities are taken in the same turn, this idea would only save units in the capital. This is bad strategy, it is much better to focus all your forces on a single target/city and then move on to the next.

In RL, accepting surrenders is actually a very good tactic. Most people give the reason that by treating POWs well, the other side will treat yours well. However, even if the other side takes no prisoners, it is still worth having a reputation for treating POWs well. It increases the chances of enemy forces surrendering to you and thus saves the lives of your troops.

It is possible that by taking prisoners en mass (which is possible, as Jillian was captured), he may weaken the natural thinkamancy of enemy forces that he is fighting. This could involve building POW camps. The effect would be that units stop obeying orders to fight to the death, and will surrender in hopeless situations (the threshold might depend on the loyalty of the unit).

Also, I wonder what requirements a Ruler needs to disband a unit. If a unit surrenders, presumably the new side can cover upkeep and thus prevent disbandment. Parson's offer might be that if a unit surrenders, it will be placed in a POW camp, and Stanley will cover the upkeep, as if it turned.
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Re: Random predicition for a future way Parson breaks the world

Postby Unclever title » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:49 am

raphfrk wrote:Your idea would have the effect of diabanding all field units.
Spoiler: show
It is not clear if that means that they would die though. However, there is some evidance that disbandment happens at night. Thus, killing the overlord wouldn't necessarily kill them before the turn ends.

Also, there is an issue with who you can negotiate with. If you kill the overlord, then nobody has the authority to surrender. In fact, even with an overlord, it may not be possible to surrender. The overlord might have the right to transfer cities, but that probably wouldn't work with the capital. He wouldn't have an "end side" option.

Unless all cities are taken in the same turn, this idea would only save units in the capital. This is bad strategy, it is much better to focus all your forces on a single target/city and then move on to the next.

In RL, accepting surrenders is actually a very good tactic. Most people give the reason that by treating POWs well, the other side will treat yours well. However, even if the other side takes no prisoners, it is still worth having a reputation for treating POWs well. It increases the chances of enemy forces surrendering to you and thus saves the lives of your troops.

It is possible that by taking prisoners en mass (which is possible, as Jillian was captured), he may weaken the natural thinkamancy of enemy forces that he is fighting. This could involve building POW camps. The effect would be that units stop obeying orders to fight to the death, and will surrender in hopeless situations (the threshold might depend on the loyalty of the unit).

Also, I wonder what requirements a Ruler needs to disband a unit. If a unit surrenders, presumably the new side can cover upkeep and thus prevent disbandment. Parson's offer might be that if a unit surrenders, it will be placed in a POW camp, and Stanley will cover the upkeep, as if it turned.
I like your spoiler idea, especially considering Stanley's got both extra cash and reduced costs, probably the only side in existence that could afford to pull that off currently. Question is, would his toolship go for such a plan? That sounds like it would require some Über convincing.
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Re: Random predicition for a future way Parson breaks the world

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:18 pm

grabbed from reaction thread:

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote:
Unclever title wrote:(Deleted from original post --SteveMB)


Heads up: the whole Disbanding thing has been Concluded.
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Re: Random predicition for a future way Parson breaks the world

Postby Lemarc » Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:50 pm

Ragn Charran wrote:2. Units can be loyal even without a high Loyalty stat, based on their own psychology and humanlike motivation (Wanda's dedication to Stanley in pursuit of her prophecy, Vinnie's dedication to Ansom, Jillian's obsession with Wanda and love for Ansom).

We don't know that, no. There's no reason to think that the loyalty stat, if it exists and is not a product of Erfworld theorists, is independent of psychological loyalty or that they are not in fact the exact same thing.
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