Housellama wrote:Right now, trying to call Haffaton's next move is pointless.
Not really, but that wasn't what I was on about (I put forth a hypothetical scenario which need not reflect the situation on the ground, to make the maybe counter-inuitive point that an all out attack is sometimes a good policy despite significant casualties, given certain conditions and a general disregard for grunt life as opposed to Schmuckers).
Whether calling a side's next move is pointless or not is another discussion, but I'll gladly jump into that for a while.
In point of fact, planning is about figuring what the Other plans to do (and the Other tries deception, of course). There are entire metagaming theories based around Chess, Go, and indeed, war, that are about how one should put themselves in the mind of the opponent. So in general and in the heat of war, it's a useful thing.
But you surely don't mean that, you mean, it's pointless for us with our incomplete info to suggest hypothesis. I disagree, for one because lack of complete information never stopped any strategist, whether they turned out successful or not. One almost always has incomplete information so one must be used to work with those kinds of lemons. And for second, and most important, speculation, calling next moves etc is a way of engaging with the text, in a way this specific text, ostensibly, has an essential affinity with.
One can dissect the military content of Game of Thrones (I presume; I haven't read it yet) or any other story involving warfare, but Erfworld in particular presents itself as a world built around a wargame system: a set of knowable, in principle simple enough to be enforced by a GM, rules. This means that one could/should look at Erfworld either with an eye for story, or as a chess puzzle of some kind (or both). If the text, in fact, resists interpretation as a chess puzzle because it consistently relies on exceptions and new rules to advance key plot points, this is arguably a critique against the text for deviating from the original pitch it used to draw some people in, of a world where wargamer skills could actually make (hi)story.
Incidentally, I'm a bit at odds with the last paragraph. Let's say my attitude is conflicted. On the one hand, Erfworld drew me in precisely because it presented itself as a wargame become world, and therefore would allow/encourage strategic speculation. On the other hand, it consistently fails in this regard. Today, 17th February 2012, who knows how many years after the project started, "we don't know the rules" is just as effective a way to shut down speculation as it was on day one.
However, over time I came to understand why this is. The fact is (and whatever you say, I do not believe you if you said otherwise) Erfworld the comic was not started with an Erfworld rule-set in mind. It was started as a story, and the wargame is a conceit. If it interferes with telling a good story, it goes out in a fluff of handwave. The trade-off worked quite well. Erfworld may not be a chess puzzle, but it is a good story, so all's well.
That said, the conceit it started with takes a long time to die, and speculation, second-guessing, move-calling, kibitzing are all fun ways to think about it. And because of that, it's hardly pointless to ask, AND suggest answers about, what Haffaton is planning to do/should be doing.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.