Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby Saladman » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:42 am

oslecamo2_temp wrote:Yeah croakmancers level up pretty fast in the frontline.

But I wonder, does it really pay off to sacrifice a lv4 warlord to destroy some siege? Experienced leaders isn't really something you should be sending in suicide attacks, specially when you're suposed to have the upper hand.

Also, did the lv4 warlord have the digging special, or do digger units grant it to their leaders?


Haffaton had to dig in before Goodminton's column crossed their path. They may not have been sure what they'd get and just left it to that warlord's discretion. Alternately I suppose if their scouts were good enough, and their unit information accurate enough they could have been counting off move and planned it for certain.

In either case, evidently Haffaton or her warlord thought it payed in this instance. And if it not for Goodminton deploying a valuable caster to the field, who then rolled the dice on an uncertain spell, they wouldn't have destroyed just any random siege but scuttled Goodminton's one chance at a reversal entirely. With their incursion city impervious to assault and presumably more cities to draw on they could reinforce for a final push at their own leisure.

To the last, I assume just the digger units dug and the warlord followed them in. Judging by the tunnel complex under Gobwin Knob, which was more extensive than ideal for defense, tunnels underground are permanent. And most if not all non-heavy units are tunnel capable.

In passing, though it's more directly tied to the last update, it's quite possible Haffaton has a foolamancer who provided that veil on the scout, and who could have maybe also given them something to hide a tunnel mouth. Though the veil on the scout seemed minor enough I suppose it could also be from a dollamancer, or even just natural fabrication, or popped equipment.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby Saladman » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:48 am

Episode 006 wrote:No provisions popped for her, since they had supplies and a chuck wagon. She planned to eat as quickly as possible, get her orders, and return to the tent. But when she emerged into the gray sunlight, the camp was in disarray. Tommy and the other three warlords had a captain of the guard surrounded, hearing his urgent report. Mounts were hurriedly being led forth, including her sawhorse.


Minor point of interest: a captain of the guard is a distinct concept from a warlord. I wonder if it's only a job assignment like Lackey, or an actual, mechanical special, like knight class or valkyrie class. More evidence it's a big wide world though, either in side customs or in unit types.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby CNagy » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:55 am

oslecamo2_temp wrote:But I wonder, does it really pay off to sacrifice a lv4 warlord to destroy some siege? Experienced leaders isn't really something you should be sending in suicide attacks, specially when you're suposed to have the upper hand.

Also, did the lv4 warlord have the digging special, or do digger units grant it to their leaders?


It's worth it if you have the intel to indicate that the enemy can retake the city, but only if their siege weapons take down the gate. Note that without Wanda giving Goodminton a swarm of 1 turn diggers, Tommy's fighting force would have been stopped at the gate. It was worth sacrificing a lvl 4 warlord to make sure the job got done right. If you send a lower level out and the plan fails, all you've done is wasted leadership and units.

As for the warlord having the digging special, it could just be that if you are sending a bunch of diggers out on a dig, you send a warlord with digging as leadership. Alternatively, Tommy wasn't talking about the warlord when he says "their guys," but that's just conjecture. I'm thinking the weakest case to be made would be that diggers grant any abilities to their leaders.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby Zeku » Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:32 am

I don't think bodies decaying at dawn breaks croakamancy.

Sure, sides that go last have a latent croakamancy advantage, since they may have more dead bodies to choose from, but:

1. Smart first-turn enemies will avoid engaging near enemy croakamancers.
2. Smart first-turn enemies will engage aggressively with their croakamancers, use all their juice recovering troops, and then have an extremely strong position in the presence of a non-healed enemy that has taken losses. (The turns that go later don't get to heal before battle.)

Going first is still the better choice for an offensive style, even if you are using croakamancy.

Edit: And I'll just add that going first may actually be stronger, since once something is uncroaked, it can no longer be used by enemy croakamancers. Obviously, against many croakamancers going last, you may have no chance of victory if you are using standard troops. This snowball effect is just a problem with necromancy itself, and can't be solved by playing with the turn mechanics.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby Morthe » Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:35 am

interestingly, the second in command is named after these
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_fries
beefy = beef
red beard = ketchup?
buggy green eyes = pies?

or after these...
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby Raza » Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:55 am

These updates, with this pace, are a treat. Wanda's a cool protagonist, too, and I'm enjoying getting to see her start out and level in a fairly straightforward campaign/game setting.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby Whispri » Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:39 am

Kreistor wrote:4) Croaked depop at Dawn.

This is a concern for Croakamancers that go first in the Turn order. If their Side kills units on subsequent Turns, if the Croakamancer has no juice, the bodies will depop before the Caster gets Juice at Turn start. The bodies can't be moved on enemy Turn. Frankly, I think Rob should reconsider that, and retcon it to "end of the Turn on which it died on the day after it died" so Croakamancers of any Turn can have a chance to claim the corpse. There is a small possibility that you can throw it into the next hex off turn, but arrows shot hang on the hex wall, so it's not likely.

The "end of the Turn on which it died on the day after it died" option does sound a lot more reasonble I have to say.

In fact, given the way things turned out at the end of the Battle For Gobwin Knob, it's hard to see how anything else would work. Maybe an auto claiming mechanic if it's your City? But in that case, then why would Sizemore think that Misty(?) the Lookamancer's body would just vanish (Now I think of it, shouldn't her body have de-popped before Parson found it?)? And what's the alternative, that Wanda found the time before dawn to personally shift thousands of bodies so they counted as claimed? I suppose they could have set the few surviving units to shifting corpses, but it's still a massive undertaking for such a small body of things.

Raza wrote:These updates, with this pace, are a treat. Wanda's a cool protagonist, too, and I'm enjoying getting to see her start out and level in a fairly straightforward campaign/game setting.

That she is.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby Arrk » Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:47 am

I thought Wanda didn't laugh. Sounds like a retcon is needed..
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby MarbitChow » Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:54 am

Arrk wrote:I thought Wanda didn't laugh. Sounds like a retcon is needed..

Wanda laughed when she attuned to the 'Pliers. She's mostly humorless, not completely incapable, and it's likely that events prior to her meeting Stanley made her so.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby Dark Matter » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:19 am

oslecamo2_temp wrote:But I wonder, does it really pay off to sacrifice a lv4 warlord to destroy some siege? Experienced leaders isn't really something you should be sending in suicide attacks, specially when you're suposed to have the upper hand.
Others have mentioned how effective it would have been if Wanda hadn't been around.

Additionally, there's a difference between "sacrifice" and "risk". If the Warlord had won, or even if he'd killed all the other diggers and fled, he could take his surviving crew and go back to hiding in the tunnel. Maybe he could have even had his diggers close it behind him so it wouldn't matter whether the tunnel was found or not.

oslecamo2_temp wrote:Also, did the lv4 warlord have the digging special, or do digger units grant it to their leaders?
You don't need the digging special to enter a tunnel, just to make one.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby raphfrk » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:39 am

Kreistor wrote:4) Croaked depop at Dawn.

This is a concern for Croakamancers that go first in the Turn order. If their Side kills units on subsequent Turns, if the Croakamancer has no juice, the bodies will depop before the Caster gets Juice at Turn start. The bodies can't be moved on enemy Turn. Frankly, I think Rob should reconsider that, and retcon it to "end of the Turn on which it died on the day after it died" so Croakamancers of any Turn can have a chance to claim the corpse.


I thought this happened at the start of the unit's side's next turn. The scout would have depopped at dawn, because it was a Haffaton unit and Haffaton moves at dawn.

This would mean that if you are attacked, you will always get a turn before any corpses de-pops (since all units involved in the attack would have the same turn order and you will get a move before it comes up again). There might be some exceptions when playing around with alliances.

OTOH, it would mean that if you attack a hex, then all corpses generated will de-pop before you get another turn. However, if you are the attacker you can move them outside the hex, so they can be dealt with on the next turn.

In fact, there is potentially a contradiction in the update, why aren't the corpses in the city decaying at dawn (when Haffaton's turn occurs). Hmm, maybe they moved all the corpses outside the city and then back inside to trigger a "move" for the corpses.

random_guy wrote:I think this update shows that Parson was right when he suspected that Wanda knows more about military strategy than she let on. It seems like she was taught a thing or two about tactics by her brother. He was just explaining basic facts about Erfworld, but it is possible that Wanda will learn more about warfare later on. This would explain why she takes initiative and deviates from Parson's plans even though she asks him for advice. She had experience as a warlord herself, so exercised her own judgment based on her understanding of the situation.


I think it was pretty much established that she told Stanley that she didn't understand battle tactics so he wouldn't think she betrayed him when capturing Faq.

She knew he didn't have enough dragons to win the battle, she was planning for him to lose and then get the hammer (since she didn't know which tool she was fated to get). If he finds out that she was planning to betray him, there could be consequences for her. That is why she doesn't want anyone to find out.

Also, it can be argued that since she thought that the plan would get the hammer for her side, it wasn't even technically a breech of duty (though turning obviously was :))
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby gameboy1234 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:27 pm

I've been trying to imagine what the scenes and the troops look like. Absent Xin's art it's a little hard to get that stuff fixed in one's mind's eye. At first I thought it was some sort of Nordic barbarian thing, which I was trying to square with Wanda being from the lost tribe of Croatan.

But.. blue coats... bugle calls? I wonder if they're dressed as union civil war soldiers. Might make sense. Croatan was a lost Indian tribe, iirc, and it would make sense for union soldiers to have some Indian units mixed in.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby Swodaems » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:18 pm

Of course, we still have no idea why Tommy decided to spread his units out across multiple hexes. (Or why anyone does.) Yes, it does say that he was expecting to be attacked from the fore, so placing vulnerable units a hex back might look like a good decision, but there is no explanation as to why that protection could not be provided from in hex formations. There is a stark contrast between placing vulnerable units someplace safe and placing them out of range of help. I would really like an explanation as to why Erfworlders feel the need to spread themselves out like targets at a carnival shooting gallery. (And preferably an explanation that involves some actual numbers.)

Also a 43 to 23 kill ratio seems a bit low considering there was a lvl 4 warlord present among the attackers. Consider the other instance of melee combat we've seen (Ansom's attack on the wall, Wrigley's squad falling 3 to 1 against a lvl 1 warlord's squad, Ansom's leadership and DDR bonus turning suicide waves into a effective strategy, etc.) Those guys should have done better.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:39 pm

I second Raza on all points mentioned in that post. Also, I wonder why we as speculators tend to be sceptical of the idea that Casters should be sent (closer) to the front line. Granted, some of them act very well as support back home (Thinkas, Moneys, Dirtas to some extent etc), but others are very much battlefield oriented (Croakas, Dittos, Foolas ...)- and the one Croaka we've seen has in fact seen battlefield experience BP*. The one Ditto we know has been used on the front line (well, just outside the city but still) by a side enemy to Parson. The one Foola we know has seen battlefield exp at Stanley's decision (not Parson's).

So, in-comic, the casters that may be useful in battle, well, tend to get there, whether Parson's involved or not.

*: Before Parson. Or would you prefer, T.P., Tempus Parsonni?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:39 pm

Dark Matter wrote:
oslecamo2_temp wrote:But I wonder, does it really pay off to sacrifice a lv4 warlord to destroy some siege? Experienced leaders isn't really something you should be sending in suicide attacks, specially when you're suposed to have the upper hand.
Others have mentioned how effective it would have been if Wanda hadn't been around.

Would it really? If Wanda wasn't around, then there would be another warlord, who may have foreseen the ambush, spoted the attackers, or simply be the extra leadership they needed to watch over the siege stack.

Dark Matter wrote:Additionally, there's a difference between "sacrifice" and "risk". If the Warlord had won, or even if he'd killed all the other diggers and fled, he could take his surviving crew and go back to hiding in the tunnel. Maybe he could have even had his diggers close it behind him so it wouldn't matter whether the tunnel was found or not.

He just had 20 troops, against clearly much bigger numbers. He could've disengaged after inflicting some casualities, but instead choose to fight to the deah, so it was a suicide attack from the start to destroy as much siege as possible.

Dark Matter wrote:
oslecamo2_temp wrote:Also, did the lv4 warlord have the digging special, or do digger units grant it to their leaders?
You don't need the digging special to enter a tunnel, just to make one.


Then why send expensive diggers when you could've sent some expendable infantry instead? They had plenty of time to set up, so after the tunnels were made they could've put cheaper troops to perform the ambush and retreat the diggers to sap another day.

EDIT:
BlandCorporatio wrote:but others are very much battlefield oriented (Croakas, Dittos, Foolas ...)

Foolamancer ability to hide cities is very, very invaluable. In games of this kind, the enemy not being able to spot your frontier cities is worth pure gold.

Dittomancers seem able to double a lot of stuff, no reason they can't double one or other city characteristic.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby Dark Matter » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:14 pm

oslecamo2_temp wrote:Would it really? If Wanda wasn't around, then there would be another warlord, who may have foreseen the ambush, spoted the attackers, or simply be the extra leadership they needed to watch over the siege stack.
You're expecting a lot from a level one warlord, especially since Wanda's side *already* had the spare leadership to do what you're suggesting.

oslecamo2_temp wrote:He just had 20 troops, against clearly much bigger numbers. He could've disengaged after inflicting some casualities, but instead choose to fight to the deah, so it was a suicide attack from the start to destroy as much siege as possible.
From the moment the engagement started? Sure. But we shouldn't assume perfect knowledge here. The Plan doesn't *have* to result in losing the warlord, but what happens depends a lot on local factors (like how many troops are in that hex) which weren't predictable when the plan was created.

oslecamo2_temp wrote:Then why send expensive diggers when you could've sent some expendable infantry instead? They had plenty of time to set up, so after the tunnels were made they could've put cheaper troops to perform the ambush and retreat the diggers to sap another day.
We also shouldn't assume unlimited resources, or that there aren't rate limiting steps here. How big a tunnel can we build in X turns, and how many units can we hide in it? Further it's possible that they did exactly this. I.e. Wanda's guys had more troops than expected (or hoped), so the local warlord had to take everyone and make it a suicide run.

oslecamo2_temp wrote:Foolamancer ability to hide cities is very, very invaluable. In games of this kind, the enemy not being able to spot your frontier cities is worth pure gold. Dittomancers seem able to double a lot of stuff, no reason they can't double one or other city characteristic.
Yeah, agreed. On the other hand I wonder how good a Foolamancer you have to be in order to hide a city.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby Zeku » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:24 pm

What I think some of you aren't seeing, is that two enemy croakamancers will both be attempting to raise up bodies during a battle simultaneously, regardless of whose turn it is. They will cancel each other out, in a very general sense.

So, like all 1v1 battles, the advantage goes to the first side to attack. This initiative will always be available to first-turners, and thus there is nothing about croakamancy that changes that dynamic. First-turners don't need any extra help.

If you're trying to say that it's unfair that first-turners have to use living units to generate bodies, whereas last-turners don't, if you think about it you'll realize that is false, you're assuming that first-turners attack first, and that first-turners can't use croakamancy on the enemy's turn.

If bodies persist a "full turn" what will actually happen is that last-turners will be able to use all their juice to raise any remaining bodies, and then end turn and instantly raise more. If decrypting counts as a combat action, they just have to wait until the enemy enters the hex, which is logically indistinguishable from doing it immediately. (First turners would be able to do this as well of course, but they have to save their juice for the enemy's turn, which is counter-productive to croakamancy.)
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:32 pm

Dark Matter wrote:
oslecamo2_temp wrote:Foolamancer ability to hide cities is very, very invaluable. In games of this kind, the enemy not being able to spot your frontier cities is worth pure gold. Dittomancers seem able to double a lot of stuff, no reason they can't double one or other city characteristic.


Yeah, agreed. On the other hand I wonder how good a Foolamancer you have to be in order to hide a city.


I wonder how you get to be a Foolamancer that is so good that you can hide cities (hint- battlefield exp is one way).

Also, the ability to hide an army as it marches towards the heartland of a nation is itself pure gold. Trying to hide a border city may make it ignored by the enemy, hiding your army as it does a capital strike may win you the war (as it almost did for GK just recently)*. I'd think that this skews Foolamancy strongly towards battlefield oriented (and that Faq's use of it was an anomaly, possible by an already high-level Foola helped by a Pred).

On the subject of Dittos, I guess that's fair- they could also boost city production. We haven't seen them explicitly do so (we didn't see what the Ditto did, if anything, about the item creation recently), but it makes sense that they could. We have seen a Ditto applied in combat, so lets say that the can swing both ways.

*: then surely hiding your capital, located deep inside your empire, by Foolamancy is even more precious, right? Nope. Not unless you expect the opposition to magically go through your defenses undetected- covered by Foolamancy. A defense against an attack that will never come is useless. However, a good offensive power is better, because attacking is your initiative; you don't have to wait for the enemy to make a move to prove your investment was worth it.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby raphfrk » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:39 pm

Swodaems wrote:Also a 43 to 23 kill ratio seems a bit low considering there was a lvl 4 warlord present among the attackers. Consider the other instance of melee combat we've seen (Ansom's attack on the wall, Wrigley's squad falling 3 to 1 against a lvl 1 warlord's squad, Ansom's leadership and DDR bonus turning suicide waves into a effective strategy, etc.) Those guys should have done better.


The attackers were weaker than the defenders and still managed to kill 2 enemies for each death on their side. Also, they were targeting siege units rather than killing as many enemies as possible.

Zeku wrote:If bodies persist a "full turn" what will actually happen is that last-turners will be able to use all their juice to raise any remaining bodies, and then end turn and instantly raise more.


If bodies de-pop at dawn, then they don't last a full turn. If they do last a full turn (so they de-pop at the start of whoever's turn it currently is), then turn order doesn't matter.

If decrypting counts as a combat action, they just have to wait until the enemy enters the hex, which is logically indistinguishable from doing it immediately.


Uncroaking during the turmoil of combat would be harder than doing it during safety. At minimum, you get to move the uncroaked into position.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 006

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:10 pm

Dark Matter wrote:
oslecamo2_temp wrote:Would it really? If Wanda wasn't around, then there would be another warlord, who may have foreseen the ambush, spoted the attackers, or simply be the extra leadership they needed to watch over the siege stack.
You're expecting a lot from a level one warlord, especially since Wanda's side *already* had the spare leadership to do what you're suggesting.

An extra warlord would be an extra tactical mind that may have just offered that sugestion.

And heck, a lv1 warlord costs the same as a lv1 mancer. If Wanda can raise dozens of troops right away at first level, a 1st level warlord would be no laughing matter either.


Dark Matter wrote:
oslecamo2_temp wrote:He just had 20 troops, against clearly much bigger numbers. He could've disengaged after inflicting some casualities, but instead choose to fight to the deah, so it was a suicide attack from the start to destroy as much siege as possible.
From the moment the engagement started? Sure. But we shouldn't assume perfect knowledge here. The Plan doesn't *have* to result in losing the warlord, but what happens depends a lot on local factors (like how many troops are in that hex) which weren't predictable when the plan was created.

We're talking about attacking siege units camped out in the open, not assaulting a dark castle filled with creatures of the night. The lv4 Warlord came out of the tunnel, saw a LOT of enemy siege, and decided "screw this, I'll charge them anyway." Which means he believed the sacrifice of an experienced leader was worth slowing down the enemy.


Dark Matter wrote:
oslecamo2_temp wrote:Then why send expensive diggers when you could've sent some expendable infantry instead? They had plenty of time to set up, so after the tunnels were made they could've put cheaper troops to perform the ambush and retreat the diggers to sap another day.
We also shouldn't assume unlimited resources, or that there aren't rate limiting steps here. How big a tunnel can we build in X turns, and how many units can we hide in it? Further it's possible that they did exactly this. I.e. Wanda's guys had more troops than expected (or hoped), so the local warlord had to take everyone and make it a suicide run.

From the update:

“Our croaked guys and their croaked guys here all have the digging special, right?”

All of the attacking units were diggers.


BLANDCorporatio wrote:
Dark Matter wrote:
oslecamo2_temp wrote:Foolamancer ability to hide cities is very, very invaluable. In games of this kind, the enemy not being able to spot your frontier cities is worth pure gold. Dittomancers seem able to double a lot of stuff, no reason they can't double one or other city characteristic.


Yeah, agreed. On the other hand I wonder how good a Foolamancer you have to be in order to hide a city.


I wonder how you get to be a Foolamancer that is so good that you can hide cities (hint- battlefield exp is one way).

We've confirmed there's veils of diferent levels. A begginner foolmancer may get his first levels simply making your main city harder to spot at a big distance.
Foolmancy also seems quite handy at making maps and simulations, so I bet it can be used to help warlords make battle plans and help intellegence operations.

Not to mention from all the mancers in the frontline, Jack has easily been the less useful so far:
-Prevented Stanley from engaging Jillian... But for all we know Stanley may have smashed trough her just like he smashed trough Caesar. A lot of dwagons still died to fully cover the escape.
-Made a group of troops displaced, only to be easily disrupted by archers, leaving the archons, Warlord and Wanda to do all the hard work.
-Distracted an enemy warlord for some moments to pull a healomancy scroll on Wanda, and then she would've died anyway if said warlord didn't get killed by their own side.

So in the tick of battle Jack can at best provide fleeting distractions, which just pale in comparison to army-wiping nukes, making the enemy fight for you, doubling your troops, hit-and-run from underground, colapsing cities over the enemy, etc, etc. And Jack's a freaking master foolmancer! What do you think a begginer could exactly acomplish in the heat of battle?

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Also, the ability to hide an army as it marches towards the heartland of a nation is itself pure gold. Trying to hide a border city may make it ignored by the enemy, hiding your army as it does a capital strike may win you the war (as it almost did for GK just recently)*. I'd think that this skews Foolamancy strongly towards battlefield oriented (and that Faq's use of it was an anomaly, possible by an already high-level Foola helped by a Pred).

Except you're not fighting a single enemy, but multiple ones. One of the main challenges on this kind of strategy games with multiple sides it's that you never know when your next neighbour comes knocking out of nowhere. Hiding your army is good against one enemy. Hididing a frontier city helps you against multiple enemies.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:*: then surely hiding your capital, located deep inside your empire, by Foolamancy is even more precious, right? Nope. Not unless you expect the opposition to magically go through your defenses undetected- covered by Foolamancy. A defense against an attack that will never come is useless. However, a good offensive power is better, because attacking is your initiative; you don't have to wait for the enemy to make a move to prove your investment was worth it.


Again, this isn't a 1x1. In a free for all with multiple sides and possible alliances/betrayals, you need to watch your back, front and center all the time.

And that's why keeping your mancers at the capital is so damn popular in Erfworld. You don't want all your elite forces to be in some far away war when some other enemy pulls a sneak attack on your capital.
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