Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby drachefly » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:57 pm

A positive balance sheet has to be possible some of the time. Haffaton has just taken a load of cities - seems like a good time to be solvent, no? They could be stretched thin, in which case it's really up to people other than Goodminton to compel them to draw off forces to defend their flanks.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:10 pm

Kreistor wrote:But the other problem is that {the units Haffaton uses to contain Goodminton} are burning upkeep. Note how Transylvito needs to loot nearby cities to maintain its coffers. These troops are inactive, which leaves Haffaton vulnerable elsewhere, against other enemies with such needs. They aren't looting and aren't generating income.


So true. Having played a few Erfsims on this very forum (and as any wargamer knows anyway), the benefits of NOT maintaining a standing army are enormous*.

*Provided that:
- armies cost upkeep to maintain, AND
- armies can be produced relatively quickly to allow one to plan tightly around campaigns

drachefly wrote:A positive balance sheet has to be possible some of the time. Haffaton has just taken a load of cities - seems like a good time to be solvent, no? They could be stretched thin, in which case it's really up to people other than Goodminton to compel them to draw off forces to defend their flanks.


I also don't get why no side is supposed to be solvent without war. Either towns generate above 0 income, in which case a maximum level of population can be maintained (which is one sees in Erfsims or any other wargame), or they don't and the game becomes a "who dies last of starvation" thing.

On the topic of whether we should expect Haffaton to afford to wait around until Goodminton gets starved: it really depends on the imbalance in economy between the sides. If Haffaton produces x times more income than Goodminton, then for some minimal value of x it will be possible for them to just post units at the Gm's border that, while a small fraction of Ht's army, would be enough to cause Gm to either escalate militarily until upkeep outpaces income and starvation ensues, or Gm retreats (which is the same thing). (Or a third option, Gm just waits for Ht to attack already, which, again, if econ therefore army imbalance is high enough Ht will do).
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby Balerion » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:29 pm

Another thing to factor in would be the production situation Haffaton is in right now. Taking Goodminton by force without waiting for the fellows to dust is likely to be pretty costly, unless they are willing to commit enough of their army that they would be risking their flanks to other neighbors. Sacrificing a couple hundred troops is several turns of production from all of your cities; by no means a small sacrifice, even for a big side. Especially since it means you have to be producing basic infantry instead of your special units.

The other thing I would remember is that they are now on the tail end of a campaign against them; likely their current unit count is well below what they consider their usual standing army (as Wanda has used up what sounds like several hundred fellows by this point). And if they are not committing everything to this campaign (and why would you when you know success is inevitable), their other flanks can still be gathering resources for them. So depending on circumstances, waiting might be a completely acceptable option for them.

Also, on the war=solvency thing:

It's that once one side decides to take the risk and go above upkeep, surviving on conquest, they are unstoppable against any side that relies only on producing as much as it can sustain. Given that sides like Jillian's could run out of upkeep in a matter of 3 turns or so, people live very close to the edge on this, probably with at least half their army being unsupportable. That advantage is just too much to fight against unless you follow suit.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby Arcana » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:22 pm

The attack on Coolminton might not work. If Olive is there, and there is not any real reason why she would not be there, then she can just cast a spell when Wanda shows up and no fighting occurs. The fellows decay another day and Haffaton gets its way.

There are two reasons I think that Olive will be at Coolminton. One is to defend the forces that are gathering there from any Goodminton attack, which is exactly what Wanda is about to do. The second is to be there when Wanda is captured by the Haffaton army. True, Wanda may not be captured at this point, but it seems very likely; likely enough that Olive would want to be there.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby Kreistor » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:35 pm

Balerion wrote:Taking Goodminton by force without waiting for the fellows to dust is likely to be pretty costly, unless they are willing to commit enough of their army that they would be risking their flanks to other neighbors.


But the numbers we're discussing are single digits. Haffaton is described as powerful enough to threaten to conquer the world. A Side that large would not worry about Wanda lost 6 today. Jetstone alone threw 4000 regulars and 2000 marbits at GK. Haffaton should be even more powerful than that. Six is nothing.

Remember that Strategy has never been Wanda's strong point, either. And her father is a diplomat. She makes mistakes when it comes to military thinking, despite being superior to Stanley. Wanda is fixated on her uncroaked and is not an objective analyst when it comes to any problem involving them. Yes, they're turning to dust and that helps the final numbers, but if Haffaton wanted Goodminton that badly, it could crush them so totally, the extra losses couldn't even be tallied.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby Balerion » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:22 pm

Kreistor wrote:But the numbers we're discussing are single digits. Haffaton is described as powerful enough to threaten to conquer the world. A Side that large would not worry about Wanda lost 6 today. Jetstone alone threw 4000 regulars and 2000 marbits at GK. Haffaton should be even more powerful than that. Six is nothing.

Remember that Strategy has never been Wanda's strong point, either. And her father is a diplomat. She makes mistakes when it comes to military thinking, despite being superior to Stanley. Wanda is fixated on her uncroaked and is not an objective analyst when it comes to any problem involving them. Yes, they're turning to dust and that helps the final numbers, but if Haffaton wanted Goodminton that badly, it could crush them so totally, the extra losses couldn't even be tallied.


Six that dusted that day, when Wanda expected it to be worse. Still, three turns is her expectation, excluding knights and warlords. Those numbers indicate she has between 50-100 of the fellows still, especially if she thinks she has enough to be worth making a strike with. And we have been told time and time again the massive bonus that led uncroaked get. Add that to city walls and the tower blasting spells, the normal units that can be animated mid-fight, the luckamancer and predictamancer going full steam... this is not a simple battle without overwhelming force unless you capture Wanda early. Unless you wait for Wanda to get antsy and try to make a strike on her own, or have no uncroaked to start the fight with. Frankly, you are thinking like Ansom against GK with throwing hordes, and while it worked, it was incredibly bloody and more costly than it needed to be. And while we cannot expect Parson's level of brilliance, Wanda showed with the tower trick that we can expect it to hurt.

You are also missing the important point that Haffaton thinks Wanda will give them the key to conquering the world; ie, they have some version of a prophecy on what she is doing with the arkenpliers would be my bet, and are arrogant enough to assume she would never leave her service once she is in it. They are not currently powerful enough for anyone to expect that from them. Jetstone sized forces is what we can expect. Also note that Jetstone only deployed that far from home after making a huge alliance in order to protect itself from opportunists, and the bulk of its forces had to stay home (2/3).

So yes, they could do a massive mobilization against a single city that they know they win in the end anyway (this is what the believe, regardless of what the prophecy actually means), or they could wait a few turns without committing very much of their overall force (as the rest of it can still be gathering upkeep) to make the battle winnable with much fewer casualties and needing much less of their total force. There really isn't time pressure here for them; they are the Jetstone of their region, powerful both militarily and diplomatically. They are patient, willing to wait ten turns if they believe that is the better strategic option.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby Whispri » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:49 pm

Kreistor wrote:But the numbers we're discussing are single digits. Haffaton is described as powerful enough to threaten to conquer the world. A Side that large would not worry about Wanda lost 6 today. Jetstone alone threw 4000 regulars and 2000 marbits at GK. Haffaton should be even more powerful than that. Six is nothing.

Remember that Strategy has never been Wanda's strong point, either. And her father is a diplomat. She makes mistakes when it comes to military thinking, despite being superior to Stanley. Wanda is fixated on her uncroaked and is not an objective analyst when it comes to any problem involving them. Yes, they're turning to dust and that helps the final numbers, but if Haffaton wanted Goodminton that badly, it could crush them so totally, the extra losses couldn't even be tallied.

... Wanda had Uncroaked hundreds of Units by the time she became Chief Caster. She Uncroaked more prior to the Kiloton debacle. Since then she raised Larry and his raiding party plus Frenemy's dead. We may be talking in terms of over a thousand Uncroaked Soldiers, with scores left in existence at a bare minimum, even allowing for defeat and decay. And her company of silent servants is powerful enough that she can openly challenge Haffaton's build up. As for Jetstone, they will have three Level Five Cities as compared to Haffaton's pair and aren't buried in snow, have you noticed the complete lack of any reference to farmland in this Book?

... So you're basically declaring Wanda a complete incompetent who can't even understand her own discipline? Wanda was popped in the War Room (and has to hide her abilites from Stanley the idiot in the Future Era) that's a good indication of her talents. I'm not sure what the abilities of her relatives have to do with anything, but her brother was a war leader. She's hardly alone in making mistakes. Haffaton for example, failed to capture Wanda (their primary objective) at Kiloton and strengthened her forces considerably as a result. That is the danger they face, if they assault Goodminton and fail...
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:46 pm

Kreistor has a point.

I can easily imagine a situation where casualties would be *gasp* welcome. Suppose the options are to wait n turns (during which I pay upkeep) until some enemy units evaporate vs. sending my army on the attack now. Suppose further that I am guaranteed to win, either way (debatably, this applies to Haffaton vs. Goodminton). The clincher, big assumption, is that I don't have other wars pending.

Then, one option eliminates upkeep drains and gains me a source of income now, vs. the other option where I leak the upkeep of the units I would have lost, had I attacked now.

It is weird, but in Erfsims (maintenance costs upkeep, raising at least basic-to-mid-level troops is fast) this is a very viable strategy. Keep your army lean, just enough to deter offense and buy time for production of countertroops should those be needed.

Granted, we don't know, as Balerion has pointed out, that Haffaton is indeed, at the moment, crushingly powerful. We don't know whether they enjoy the same assurances of alliance (non-aggression) that the members of the RCC enjoyed from each other, which means that all I'm willing to commit to is

under basic and mild assumptions on Erf rules, and assuming Haffaton is currently crushingly strong compared to Goodminton- ie, would win a direct attack, Wanda's bonuses and casters' abilities be disbanded- and not threatened by any neighbour, it would make sense for Haffaton to cull its own troops by attacking Goodminton.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby Balerion » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:03 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Kreistor has a point.

I can easily imagine a situation where casualties would be *gasp* welcome. Suppose the options are to wait n turns (during which I pay upkeep) until some enemy units evaporate vs. sending my army on the attack now. Suppose further that I am guaranteed to win, either way (debatably, this applies to Haffaton vs. Goodminton). The clincher, big assumption, is that I don't have other wars pending.

Then, one option eliminates upkeep drains and gains me a source of income now, vs. the other option where I leak the upkeep of the units I would have lost, had I attacked now.

It is weird, but in Erfsims (maintenance costs upkeep, raising at least basic-to-mid-level troops is fast) this is a very viable strategy. Keep your army lean, just enough to deter offense and buy time for production of countertroops should those be needed.

Granted, we don't know, as Balerion has pointed out, that Haffaton is indeed, at the moment, crushingly powerful. We don't know whether they enjoy the same assurances of alliance (non-aggression) that the members of the RCC enjoyed from each other, which means that all I'm willing to commit to is

under basic and mild assumptions on Erf rules, and assuming Haffaton is currently crushingly strong compared to Goodminton- ie, would win a direct attack, Wanda's bonuses and casters' abilities be disbanded- and not threatened by any neighbour, it would make sense for Haffaton to cull its own troops by attacking Goodminton.


I guess my main disagreement with that analysis is that there are only two options presented in it: attack now, or have those units sit. By my reading of the situation, all Haffaton has to commit is a light garrison force that has to sit in those cities regardless of what they do, so can't be included in the cost of waiting, as its a cost of attacking too; without siege, there is basically 0 chance of Goodminton being able to take a city back and get some momentum, and they know it. I guess I am assuming that the force massing there is just in the last turn or two gathering there, not sitting there for all nine turns since the city was lost. If they have been sitting with several hundred troops there for 9 turns, I will agree that is a mistake. The other option is that there are no targets for those troops to go after right now.

Doing the cost/benefit:
1)Immediate Attack, which we are assuming will be bloody (or at least I am :D ). Production cost of units lost +opportunities lost units cannot pursue until replaced+ time of overwhelming force needed to guarantee success + upkeep for that force for say 3 turns (time to march them over), + money that force could have made doing other things in that time = cost. Compared to the set benefit of getting wanda and razing the city (or keeping it, if they like it)
2)Waiting with light garrison: Production cost of units lost (smaller number than above)+opportunities lost till units replaced (smaller again) + time for smaller attack force needed to guarantee success (still 3 turns, since we pursue another opportunity in the mean time) + upkeep for that force (again smaller) + money force could have made doing other things in mean time + any extra garrison upkeep and opportunity cost for stalling = cost. Benefit is the same.

To me, unless they are forced to keep a massive garrison force on hand to stall, which there is no reason they should need to, the better option is pretty clear. Especially since Goodminton's ability to keep 3 casters and its warlords with an infantry force on 1 city income is dubious, so its not just the uncroaked that are vanishing; clay or delphie might be forced away, which would be big.

I think the information we are missing to really make a solid judgement is 1) how many troops is "massing" and 2)how long have they been there. Also helpful would be what other conflicts Haffaton might be making money from, but that can be guesstimated at and assumed they have something they could be doing.

I also have a quibble with the "casualties are welcome" idea; an army the size of Jetstone's represents something like 30 turns of straight production with no casualties, and that is being generous; it could easily be more. Throwing away 4-5% of that when you are just aiming for profit, not survival, only makes sense if you have built your army wrong to begin with, because that is a long time being replaced. To the point that you never get an army that big making decisions like that. Sure, if you are losing, you might be forced to just attack and hope they do damage before you have to disband them anyway. But when you are the power in control as Haffaton is, needing casualties is a sign that you screwed up royally somewhere along the line in your army composition.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:22 pm

Balerion wrote:Doing the cost/benefit:


Lets. I have actual rules in mind (the Erfsims on this board, which while not canon are plausibly similar to what Erf is "actually" like):

(my notes in bold)

1)Immediate Attack, which we are assuming will be bloody (or at least I am :D ).

Production cost of units lost {0. popping is free}
+opportunities lost units cannot pursue until replaced {0. see scenario description: Haffaton is at peace with others and these units are only used to contain Goodminton}
+ time of overwhelming force needed to guarantee success {1 turn}
+ upkeep for that force for say 3 turns (time to march them over) {no, you mean time spent waiting for uncroaked to die- but this has no business here, we want to attack now not wait any longer than necessary},
+ money that force could have made doing other things in that time {0. see scenario description: Haffaton is at peace with others and these units are only used to contain Goodminton}
= cost
{= approx. 0}.

Compared to the set benefit of getting wanda and razing the city (or keeping it, if they like it) {which results in, by your account, 3*Goodminton city income instead of paying, for the same 3 turns, for all the units}


The main problem here is that we're talking different scenarios. I don't know what Kreistor's arguing, our two species don't understand each other. You are arguing (correctly) that a low garrison wait is optimal. I'm arguing that, assuming Haffaton found itself having a massive force near Goodminton that would be capable to conquer it, it may just as well go ahead with the attack and embrace casualties.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby Balerion » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:34 pm

Just want to clarify that I mean economic cost, not just schmucker cost :). So even if it is free to pop units in schmuckers, it takes time where you can't be popping a different unit, so has an opportunity cost. There are a few things in the breakdown you made I disagree with/weren't what I meant, but since the point got across it feels nitpicky to go into that.

And I agree. If they have moved a big force into position, than you should have already made the decision that you are attacking with that force, since once it is there it's costly to keep it there. So depending on what massing means, Haffaton may be being a bit stupid. I guess we can wait a week and find out :D
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby Raza » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:34 pm

Arcana wrote:The attack on Coolminton might not work. If Olive is there, and there is not any real reason why she would not be there, then she can just cast a spell when Wanda shows up and no fighting occurs. The fellows decay another day and Haffaton gets its way.

Olive might try the chillaxe again. We haven't seen a real conclusion to the 'smash it while the spell in in effect' tangent yet... when an interesting idea is averted in such a simple and apparently definitive manner, there's a good shot of it coming back.

Also of note to speculation of her capture at coolminton, is that Wanda will get a shot at uncroaking Delphie at some point. She'd have to either turn before Goodminton falls and be there as it's taken, or be present as a defender.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby raphfrk » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:10 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote: also don't get why no side is supposed to be solvent without war. Either towns generate above 0 income, in which case a maximum level of population can be maintained (which is one sees in Erfsims or any other wargame), or they don't and the game becomes a "who dies last of starvation" thing.


War could be positive sum. A city which generated say 10k per turn might generate 100k by being razed and cost 25k to rebuild. The effect of razing a city is to increase the total amount of money in the world.

However, if it was that simple, sides would have agreements for razing cities and split the profit. The fact that transylvito was able to ransom a city suggests against that. If it razing generated more money than the cost of rebuilding, then they might as well raze, since the defenders wouldn't pay more than the cost to rebuild. Maybe the random was for returning the city, rather than not razing it.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby Arcana » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:27 am

I had an idea for a scenario that might work.

1. Attack Coolminton with everything Goodminton has, including Overlord Firebaugh. It doesn’t matter if the capital is empty, the side won’t end if the capital city falls as long as the ruler is still alive.

2. During the battle Delphi uses her abilities to predict which units are going to be in close battles with enemy units and Clay boosts those units to help them win.

3. When most of Goodminton’s units are croked, Wanda mass uncrokes everything, including Haffaton casualties. Then they use these newly uncroked units to continue the fight.

With a bit of luck this should be enough to destroy the Haffaton units massing at Coolminton. On the next turn Wanda uncrokes the remaining casualties.

The benefit in attacking with everything and everyone is combat bonuses. All of Goodminton’s units receive bonuses from Chief Warlord Fritz and Overlord Firebaugh. The uncroked also get Wanda’s bonus. This should make the uncroked units powerful fighters.

The drawbacks of this plan are severe. It leaves Goodminton with an army almost entirely made up of uncroked, which will decay very rapidly. It also leaves the capital city undefended. We also don’t know if Goodminton has enough forces to defeat the Haffaton forces massing at Coolminton. If Goodminton loses this battle then it’s game over.

If the attack succeeds, then Goodminton is in a better position. First, it eliminates the Haffaton force that is threatening the capital city, which buys Goodminton some time. Second, the uncroked units don’t have upkeep, so it saves on schmuckers. Third, it gives Goodminton the initiative again, which is important because the only way they can survive, given their current situation, is to attack.

Also, they don’t have to attack Haffaton, they could attack a weaker side like Frenemy. The ultimate goal is continual expansion. I have found that in most turn based war games that there is no down side to expanding.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby Kreistor » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:28 pm

Figuring out exactly what Haffaton is doing is nearly impossible. Housellama isn't the only student of Sun Tzu here. Knowing the enemy is just as important as knowing yourself, but we barely know Goodminton, much less Haffaton.

We don't know enough about Haffaton to determine their motives, and motivation is vital for determining the goal of a strategy. We know they are far more powerful than Goodminton, have a Rhyme-o-mancer, and that's about it. Why they are specifically extremely interested in Wanda is a mystery. They have Frenemy and Quisling out of this fight and afraid of diplomacy, but we don't know how.

Rob is also sometimes frugal with his information. We don't always know what the characters know, and sometimes he uses that to make them appear smarter. Normally he reserves this for Parson, but with Parson missing, we don't know what Lord Firebaugh knows that he thinks is irrelevant and isn't telling us.

I am not advancing any particular scenario. I am arguing against the Firebaughs' conclusion that Haffaton is waiting out the uncroaked decay. The obvious problem I see with attacking Goodminton directly is that Wanda could escape through the portal, and that threat remains after the uncroaked decay. That assumes their motivation is possessing her, and we don't know if they really have that motivation. Remember that Housellama's quote is about deception. Letting an enemy draw the wrong conclusion about your motives and using their own "smartness" against them is an intelligent choice. The Firebaughs have decided this is about decaying uncroaked, but that is based on incomplete information, and is thus a suspect conclusion.

We don't know what kind of casters Haffaton has access to. A Mathemancer may be able to indicate that Goodminton's best choice in this situation is to send out Wanda to attack. Or they might have a Warlord capable of having that tactical insight. There are simply too many possibilities to consider. If capturing Wanda is a priority, then they need her out of Goodminton. She is now leaving Goodminton. Coincidence? Perhaps. But it could have been predicted (small p).
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby Housellama » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:43 pm

Kreistor wrote:Figuring out exactly what Haffaton is doing is nearly impossible. Housellama isn't the only student of Sun Tzu here. Knowing the enemy is just as important as knowing yourself, but we barely know Goodminton, much less Haffaton.

{Clip}

Remember that Housellama's quote is about deception.


There's a reason I haven't been playing the "what if" game and you just hit it on the head. We don't know enough about anything to even start to predict what's coming next. The only thing we know for certain is that Haffaton wants Wanda badly enough to change their campaign so it is specifically around getting her. Now this may be because she's been Fated to serve under them, but like Delphie said, we don't know when that may be. Neither do they.

Whoever is calling the shots in Haffaton is brilliant. Not quite Parson level brilliant, but so far they haven't missed a trick. Plus, like Firebaugh said, they are patient. Being patient is one of the most difficult things to do in war. Just waiting goes against the grain for most commanders. Erfworld is built around war and war is built around active conflict. A warlord who waits isn't paying their way, so to speak. But when it's done right, waiting can be one of the most effective tactics around. Especially when you're thinking in terms of efficiency. Letting soldiers die on their own is so much better than risking your soldiers to kill them. Right now, Haffaton could outwait Goodminton. Let them spend themselves out of existence trying to maintain an army, or simply roll in and take them without a fight if they don't. Thanks to Delphie, they know that they end up with Wanda no matter what, so they don't even have to worry about that. They know if they wait out Goodminton, Wanda will survive.

Of course, that's only one possible strategy. I could think of three more without even trying, and that's without factoring in Rob and possible plot twists. Right now, trying to call Haffaton's next move is pointless. Better to focus on Goodminton, or Wanda specifically.

Speaking of, Wanda's idea of attacking is brilliant. At this point, Goodminton has nothing to lose. They are on a clock and they know it. Eventually they are going to run out of money, which is tantamount to death. The only possibility of winning is to attack. If they die in the process, well, they were dead anyway. At least in attacking they have a chance of gain, rather than certain death. If they are smart enough or lucky enough then they may actually win themselves into a better position.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:07 pm

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.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby Raza » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:39 pm

So in a nutshell, speculation isn't useful or likely to be correct, but it's fun and therefore a good thing.

I concede. It's not as if our speculations stand to become more useful by being more correct; they could conceivably even get less fun.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:08 pm

In a nutshell, yes. The rest is just my baggage.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 025

Postby Housellama » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:38 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
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.


Granted. I could have phrased that better. This is what I meant: Attempting to accurately predict Haffaton's next move with any kind of precision is likely to be fruitless.

I'm not saying speculation isn't fun, nor am I trying to shut down any discussion. I'm stating my opinion, which is that we (the readers) don't have enough information to forecast Haffaton's next play with any kind of accuracy. We lack the knowledge necessary to make that kind of prediction.
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