Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby CNagy » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:27 pm

Routing does not always signify a retreat. It can also be used to describe an overwhelming or complete victory. Looking at it that way, the context of the message is "the leadership is dead, this battle is becoming one-sided."
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby Housellama » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:57 pm

gameboy1234 wrote:
Saladman wrote:
Clay was shaking his head. “No, no...I think it’s the opposite.” He smiled, as someone who was speaking on a topic of great familiarity. “The dice describe the world. They don’t determine it. A Mathamancer can tell you how many dice will be rolled, how many points’ll be lost when you’re wounded. He’ll tell you what’ll probably happen, and possibly happen, and what can’t happen. But your choices still make it happen.”


This, if correct (I assume it is, for a caster speaking about his discipline), answers a pretty fundamental question about Erfworld. Battle plans, tactical decisions, personality, and judgement do really matter, to the extent of determining outcomes. I have an idea that's been discussed on the board before, though I don't recall when. I happen to like this interpretation more than choice and strategy just being an illusory overlay on a wargame engine, but the other was more plausible until now.


I read that and got the opposite. Strategy matters, of course. You have to pick your ground, look at rates and supply lines, and react to what the enemy is doing. But once a battle is joined, it's a dice-off. Probabilities are fixed.

Final thought: Einstein famously said God does not play dice with the universe. In Erfworld, the Titans really do play dice with the universe.


I'm not sure I agree with you Gameboy.

Clay wrote:“I boosted his roll to a 4! I changed his odds, chose a way to describe the outcome of his choices. You see?” He picked up the dice and showed them to her. “The dice are not the guy, okay? In this case the guy is imaginary, and the dice are representing him. But this is real life,” he said, making a circle in the air with his index finger, “and you are not the dice. Okay? In real life, you are real, but the dice are imaginary. The dice that describe your choices. Mathamancy describes those, and Luckamancy affects those.”


What Clay is saying makes sense to me. When I read this, what I'm hearing is Erfworld's equivalent of chaos theory. The dice aren't deterministic in that they are the be-all end-all. They are simply the random element that is added to the system. That's what dice are intended to be in ANY game, the element of chance that exist in any action. The choices are what matter. That's why the random element is always the LAST thing added. Because choice is what really matters. The random element is simply that. Chance. The wind blowing this way instead of that. The sword's metal giving under pressure or not. The friction holding your foot steady or letting you slip. All of these things are part of random chance in our world, governed by probabilities.

That's what Clay is saying. The people are real. The choices are real. The dice are just a way of representing randomness, just like we do in Stupidworld. The difference is that their system for randomness is a bit less complex than ours is. That's it. A lot of little random elements add up in our system. In theirs, they all combine into one big system. Either way, it works the same. If you quantify our world, taking the sum total of all the random elements that effect a single action both good and bad, you're going to come up with a single number eventually. It's still the equivalent of the roll of a die.

Does that make our world deterministic? Well... depends on who you talk to, but they don't usually base arguments on physics, which is essentially what you are saying. Clay is talking about the rules (aka physics) of Erfworld.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby name lips » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:37 pm

I interpret it differently:

When a group of units enters a battle, there are many choices to make.

In the simplest terms, do they have the archers take the high ground? Do they screen them with pikemen? Do they send cavalry in to flank? Do they take advantage of natural cover to prevent the enemy from flanking them?

If they choose to do one of these things, it could be said that they rolled a 1. If they choose to do 2 of them, it's as if they rolled a 2. If they do all 4, it's like they rolled a 4.

Unled units have no leadership and no free will. They're not intelligent enough to make wise strategic decisions, so it IS essentially random. Do they make good decisions or not? They might as well be rolling dice, they have no actual capacity to make good decisions.

A Luckamancer gives them a bonus to their roll -- that is, a bonus to their decisions. He makes it more likely that they will make wise choices -- but their choices are still essentially random. They're just less likely to be bad decisions and more likely to be good ones.

HOWEVER:
When leadership is present, they make decisions. They will send the archers to the high ground, keep the correct forces in reserve, attack heavies with artillery, and make numerous other good choices. This is the effect of their Leadership Bonus. It's not a flat-out bonus, but simply the cause and effect of having better decisions and choices being made. Somebody with a Leadership of 1 won't know very much strategy. They will make fewer good decisions, which Mathamancers interpret as providing a lower leadership bonus.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby joosy » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:31 pm

At the beginning of this endeavor, Rob made the comment that this wasn't a game but rather a gamelike universe.

The whole attempt by Clay to explain their world to Wanda reminded me of Rob trying to explain it to us. It isn't a game, just a universe that acts like a game - the gaming system is like Plato's 'shadows on the cavewall' not the actual game itself.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby CNagy » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:50 pm

Simply put: Luckamancers don't know what it is that they are meddling with, but they know how to get results with it.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby Evil Jedi » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:15 am

Haha! I love the fact that Wanda is learning about the "roleplaying" rules of her world. What a perfect metaphor. Although I guess in Erfworld it isn't a metaphor, it's just life.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby Jorgath » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:32 am

joosy wrote:At the beginning of this endeavor, Rob made the comment that this wasn't a game but rather a gamelike universe.

The whole attempt by Clay to explain their world to Wanda reminded me of Rob trying to explain it to us. It isn't a game, just a universe that acts like a game - the gaming system is like Plato's 'shadows on the cavewall' not the actual game itself.


Interesting that you bring the Platonic analogy of the cave in. Because it works with Erfworld. Just imagine that Erfworld and Stupidworld are two different caves, but the "outside" is the same "outside." The images on the cave wall differ because they're different caves, the edges and angles are different. But the things they're shadows of are the same. This, Platonically, explains the incredible similarities between the two worlds while leaving room for the dissimilarities.

Of course, Plato would be extremely irritated with us for paying any attention to a work of fiction at all, but...
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby Jorgath » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:35 am

HerbieRai wrote:I'm thinking we've seen the last of Atomic. Wanda probably got recalled so she would be saved from some deadly ambush.

Jorgath wrote:
Kreistor wrote:How is this different from our world? Well, superficially, it will appear to be similar, but in the midst of combat, having a leader near can't help you. You're concentrating, looking for openings, moving, predicting... but what you aren't doing is listening to your boss. You can't devote your attention to someone''s voice, or you'll get skewered. That means with or without an Officer near, you'll fight the same way, because you ignore him. In Erfworld, having that Officer beside you allows you to make better choices, wihtout paying any attention to him.


I have a quibble with this. What you say is in fact true in modern warfare. But in pre-WWI warfare, with lines of battle, volley fire, etc., and also in pre-gunpowder warfare, one of the most important factors in the effectiveness of a unit of soldiers was the steadiness of its leaders. So long as the leader remained cool and confident, the individual soldiers would be more likely (NOT guaranteed, of course) to remain cool, confident, and effective.


And now to counter quibble. The main war factor that Erfworld lacks from the real world is moral. In erfworld, 8 marbits getting attacked by 20 dwagons would stay and fight to the death. In the real world, the marbits would flee from combat and run for the hills. Steady leaders are used to keep your men from running. In erfworld the men already do not run, so they have the leaders boost their combat ability insteady.


That's true, but...

Okay, IRL, good morale is an effect of good leadership, and increased effectiveness is an effect of good morale. So in Erfworld, they just cut out the middleman and say that increased effectiveness is an effect of good leadership.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby Jorgath » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:39 am

Whispri wrote:
name lips wrote:Unled units automatically engage the enemy until either they either win or croak. Even if they have a legitimate way to escape they cannot use it.

And yet Ansom's tunnel forces routed when the last Warlord fell.


Hmm. We (or Parson) may be misinterpreting that rule. Or it might need retconjuration. Because what makes sense to me is "Unled units automatically engage the enemy until they either win, croak, are incapacitated, or are hit with an effect (e.g. a fear effect) that forces them to retreat."
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I am the captain of my soul."
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby Kreistor » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:44 am

CNagy wrote:Routing does not always signify a retreat. It can also be used to describe an overwhelming or complete victory. Looking at it that way, the context of the message is "the leadership is dead, this battle is becoming one-sided."


Technically, it does.

a defeat attended with disorderly flight; dispersal of a defeated force in complete disorder


A poor choice of words by Rob, i think. Nothing more. Not indicative that the rule about attacking can be violated.

There is a technical way it could happen. Unled stacks are only forced to attack enemy that they see, not those that they merely suspect they know about. This allows them to flee towards the exit when no GK forces were in sight, allowing a rout to occur.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby vintermann » Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:53 am

Also, Ansom was probably not the only unit with leadership, so they'd hardly be unled.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby joosy » Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:59 am

Jorgath wrote:
joosy wrote:At the beginning of this endeavor, Rob made the comment that this wasn't a game but rather a gamelike universe.

The whole attempt by Clay to explain their world to Wanda reminded me of Rob trying to explain it to us. It isn't a game, just a universe that acts like a game - the gaming system is like Plato's 'shadows on the cavewall' not the actual game itself.


Interesting that you bring the Platonic analogy of the cave in. Because it works with Erfworld. Just imagine that Erfworld and Stupidworld are two different caves, but the "outside" is the same "outside." The images on the cave wall differ because they're different caves, the edges and angles are different. But the things they're shadows of are the same. This, Platonically, explains the incredible similarities between the two worlds while leaving room for the dissimilarities.

Of course, Plato would be extremely irritated with us for paying any attention to a work of fiction at all, but...


Thank you, but the comparison was made by Rob himself - i was just quoting him.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby CNagy » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:24 am

Kreistor wrote:
CNagy wrote:Routing does not always signify a retreat. It can also be used to describe an overwhelming or complete victory. Looking at it that way, the context of the message is "the leadership is dead, this battle is becoming one-sided."


Technically, it does.

a defeat attended with disorderly flight; dispersal of a defeated force in complete disorder


A poor choice of words by Rob, i think. Nothing more. Not indicative that the rule about attacking can be violated.


There are more definitions in heaven and earth, Kreistor, than are listed in your dictionary.com. :P Alternatively, look one definition down from the one you quoted, where you'll find:
2. any overwhelming defeat
However, I'll grant you on technical terms that the military rout, which one would assume is the more applicable, does contain an element of retreat. The word itself, however, does not have to include a disorganized retreat.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby raphfrk » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:56 am

Whispri wrote:They became unled when the last Warlord died. They subsequently routed. The 'engage until ded' clause would have been in effect when panic set in.


"Panic" is probably just a negative status effect. If you terrify the enemy, they panic and take a big penalty to defense. Once they calmed down, they would turn and engage again.

That seems just a part of the combat mechanic. Taking a step back in order to swing wouldn't break the engage until dead rule and this is just a more extensive version.

The point is that you can't order your units not to attack unless there is a warlord present. They make decisions on their own.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby CNagy » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:52 am

What's a polish guy doing in Syria?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:13 am

Mmyeah, somehow I think that "the dice that describe your choices" is supposed to mean "the dice that describe the outcome of your choices". While the idea that Luckamancy only affects a unit's thought processes is elegantly simple, magic in general scoffs at elegance. Why shouldn't magic in fact affect all those little other factors, like wind, lighting, grip, random debris flying around ...

You may associate choices with numbers, of course. But beware of thinking that because you can do that, then you can also rank choices in a similar way to numbers. Making the right choice does not mean picking the choice with the greatest number. Well, not if the number is merely a name for the choice anyway. And sometimes, 1 is greater than 2, which is greater than 3, which is greater than 1- if "1", "2", "3" mean "rock", "scissors", "paper". This suggests a further complication, since the quality of a choice depends on the choices of another. Of course Luckamancy can affect those too, but then, why not extend its sphere of influence to all of those tiny outside events that Housellama speaks of?
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby Whispri » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:30 am

raphfrk wrote:
Whispri wrote:They became unled when the last Warlord died. They subsequently routed. The 'engage until ded' clause would have been in effect when panic set in.


"Panic" is probably just a negative status effect. If you terrify the enemy, they panic and take a big penalty to defense. Once they calmed down, they would turn and engage again.

That seems just a part of the combat mechanic. Taking a step back in order to swing wouldn't break the engage until dead rule and this is just a more extensive version.

The point is that you can't order your units not to attack unless there is a warlord present. The make decisions on their own.

It could be a form of (or be similar to) incapacitation. Still capable of movement, just not of productive movement.

CNagy wrote:What's a polish guy doing in Syria?

Stockpiling Spam?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby DoctorJest » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:56 am

Whispri wrote:
name lips wrote:Unled units automatically engage the enemy until either they either win or croak. Even if they have a legitimate way to escape they cannot use it.

And yet Ansom's tunnel forces routed when the last Warlord fell.


Most Turn Based Strategy games have a rout mechanic. Routing is when the units break, and all control over them is lost. Routing is a loss condition and isn't a free-will situation of a unit CHOOSING to run. It's a unit losing all control to decide anything, and of the owning side to control the unit.

Broken and routed units can recover in some games, in others the unit is just lost (i.e. disbanded) after the battle is over. In others, a portion of routed units are recoverable by the owning side. We don't really know the disposition of routing units in Erf. However, it's not really an example of units making a decision to do anything.

It may be more accurate to say that unled units attack until defeated, as a rout is a defeat condition. The odds of a unit routing are almost certainly tied to a stat mechanic.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby DoctorJest » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:59 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Mmyeah, somehow I think that "the dice that describe your choices" is supposed to mean "the dice that describe the outcome of your choices". While the idea that Luckamancy only affects a unit's thought processes is elegantly simple, magic in general scoffs at elegance. Why shouldn't magic in fact affect all those little other factors, like wind, lighting, grip, random debris flying around ...


Clay's explanation specifically describes actions taken by the unit (i.e. a good roll being a parry of an attack), and the outcome of the unit's "rolls" (decisions). Environmental factors would be penalties or bonuses to that roll, not the unit's own dice. Luckamancy is really just loading the dice (for a while).

And upon what basis do you say that magic in Erf "scoffs at elegance"? Magic in Erf is based on Game Rules, and Game Rules absolutely do NOT scoff at elegance.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby drachefly » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:13 pm

1st ed D&D, and Rifts, would like words with you.
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