Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

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Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Housellama » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:49 pm

(From Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 026 Reaction thread)

Let's start it up here instead.

A few definitions first.

When I refer to Barbarians, I am referring to Commanders without a Capital Side. When I refer to Units, those are non-Commander units of any kind.

Here's the thing. Barbarians require upkeep. This has been stated over and over again in the comic. We've also seen that only certain units have been seeing paying upkeep. Mostly Warlords and Casters, both of which are Commanders. Now, it could be argued that the Leadership special is what is critical for being able to pay upkeep, but I don't think so. The reason being that the other Uncroaked Warlords had Leadership. The Uncroaked warlords we saw in Book 1 all had Leadership. Same principle applies. We also know that she turned more Warlords than just Un-Tommy. However, being Uncroaked they seem to no longer be Commanders. Perhaps Decrypted Warlords are still Commanders, but Uncroaked require direction from the Croakamancer, even if it's very general. Commanders can all act by their own free will, subject to Duty and Obedience. That's very different from the Uncroaked. So I don't believe Leadership qualifies one for being a Barbarian. To add to this, Duty goes away when one is a Barbarian. Thus, if the Uncroaked were Commanders, even if they were stacked they would become Barbarians of their own, not simple units.

It stands to reason that only Commanders can pay upkeep. Thus only Commanders can be Barbarians. All other units are simply units who belong to whoever is paying their upkeep. I don't believe that this has anything to do with Royalty. Royalty, from the way I'm interpreting the comic, is an inherent part of a unit. I think of it like a Special that is inherited. We know from the glossary of Book 1 that 'Nobles' and 'Royals' are the same as far as mechanics go. The difference is where they are popped: units popped in the Capital are Royal, units that are popped elsewhere are Noble. We also know from the glossary of Book 1 that Overlord is a title for a non-Royal head of a Side.

When a Royal becomes a Barbarian, they are still Royal. It's not something that changes. See Jillian as a perfect example. She was a Barbarian. We know this for a fact. We also know that she is Royal. That has been explicitly stated in the comic. Stanley is another perfect example. He was promoted from the ranks. He was elevated all the way to Heir by King Saline, who was Royal. However, when Stanley became head of Gobwin Knob, he is not Royal. Thus he became Overlord Stanley. QED, Overlord Firebaugh was not Royal. Thus, Wanda is not Royal.

One might ask why Stanley isn't Royal when he was popped by a Royal side. I propose that is because that only Commanders can have the Royalty special. We have direct proof that Warlords can be Royal. So far we have not seen a Caster that was explicitly stated to be Royal, but I suspect that it is a trait that can be carried by all Commanders. The important thing here is that Royalty is an innate trait gained when a unit is popped, one that can only be carried by Commanders. Stanley was not popped as a Commander. Thus, even though he was popped by a Royal side, he was not himself Royal. See Vinnie's comments in Book 1 to back this up.

Now, it might be said that only Heirs or active Overlords can become Barbarians. After all, Wanda was Overlord at the time that she became Barbarian. I believe this is false, because we know Jillian wasn't designated as Heir. We also know that designating someone as Heir isn't an instant process. If one Heir goes away, it does not automatically pass to the next person. We know this from Tramennis. So Jillian was not Heir and yet became a Barbarian. Thus, we know that Commanders become Barbarians even if they are not Overlords. While we haven't seen non-Royal Barbarians found sides, I suspect that they are just as able to do so as easily as Royals are. Those sides would not be Royal.

Wanda is necessarily part of GK in the future. Reason being is that she's subject to Duty. We can see that in the second comic where he talks about her disobeying. We also know that Jillian was not part of any side. She was allied with Jetstone, but was not actually part of that Side. When she was captured, she was held, but not turned. She never joined GK. She was always a Barbarian, just one captured by GK. I suspect that Erfworld has provisions for holding prisoners without them Turning. So I would say that Jillian was never part of GK.
"All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu, Chapter 1, Line 18, The Art of War

"The principle of strategy is to know ten thousand things by having one thing." - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Earth, Go Rin No Sho
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Balerion » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:19 am

One thing to throw in there: Jillian was popped as an heir. She was made so specifically because it was known that the side was going to fall. So really only a ruler of a side gets to stick around when the big boss dies.

I guess since we are moving this over here, I will restate my position on Wanda's specific circumstance. Namely, we don't know enough to make a solid judgment either way as to if she has renounced having a side of her own completely, or if she is an associate of GK.

In practice, defending this viewpoint turns into attacking the idea that she has renounced her independence completely, since there won't be evidence of what actually happened for another update or two (amazing how this whole thing would have been nipped in the bud with a slightly earlier update :P). I have several problems with this idea:

1) We have no precedent for an Overlord being able to subsume their own side. Individual units have turned, but we have never seen (nor has it been suggested as possible) an Overlord/King turn. Indeed, the tradition of dispatching an opposing king with ceremony would seem to imply that it isn't possible for another ruler to turn; otherwise, you would expect the option of having the defeated king turn to the side that conquered them to be included in Ossomer's list of honorable options.

2) Stanley's account of acquiring Wanda presents what would be an indistinguishable case of her turning vs her switching sides as a barbarian. I tried to make this point with the giants: to a warlord floating above the battle, those units turning vs switching their alliance will look exactly the same. Since Wanda and Stanley did engage in negotiation and come to terms prior to his arrival, we cannot say for sure what actually happened there vis a vi turning/change alliance.

So why does he refer to it as turning? Lots of possible reasons. The simplest is linguistic: when telling a story, saying "turn" as opposed to "she switched alliance because it turns out she is her own side" is much simpler. It also keeps the focus on the story at hand. He also probably thought she did turn at the time, and given his apathy at discovering new things, may never have really investigated the matter very thoroughly. Or, going into point 3 where he does know, he may simply prefer to keep it a secret.

3) Wanda's decrypted all bear her own Livery. This is noted as exceptionally unusual. At the same time, Stanley is very concerned about the shift in power dynamic between the two of them. This would be a very odd concern for an Overlord to have with regards to a subordinate that was thoroughly theirs. We don't see Firebaugh worrying that almost their entire army has become uncroaked and how that makes Wanda too powerful. Stanley is worrying about it. Her proclaimed loyalty to Fate magic, as opposed to GK, is also an oddity that separates her from a run of the mill unit. I don't think we have a real comparison for this; in the other thread, Ossomer and his value of Honor is mentioned as a possible comparison, but I don't think that fits very well. Ossomer is not serving honor; he is disgusted by the lack of it, and switches to a side that has it, but that just means he values honor. Wanda is explicitly serving Fate, which I think is a very different thing entirely.

Might as well leave it there for now. We will see if this thread captures the other one or not :)
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby mortissimus » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:31 pm

I think this ties together with earlier discussions about revolts and coups. As far as we have been told only heirs can attack their ruler, but we don't know the mechanics of it, nor do we know the mechanics of being an heir: Are multiple heirs possible (likely, given what was said about Tremennis popping) and if so are they sorted to decide who inherits? Can an heir stop being an heir and if so how?

One interpretation is that once a unit has become heir or ruler they are so until they croak and can at any time use this for revolt or coup even if they have joined another side. If so, then that would explain why you don't try to turn rulers, they are prone to treachery. Like Wanda.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Housellama » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:39 pm

Balerion wrote:One thing to throw in there: Jillian was popped as an heir. She was made so specifically because it was known that the side was going to fall. So really only a ruler of a side gets to stick around when the big boss dies.


Aha, good catch! I had mis-remembered that detail. The heir he was expecting was the philosopher prince. The heir he got was her. That got me going back and looking at something. When we combine this with the effects of Queen Bea's death, Parson's conversation with Sizemore about King Saline and the fact that units become Neutral when the side goes away, I think you're right. I believe that gives sufficient evidence to assume that only Rulers or Heirs are capable of becoming Barbarians. Rulers are the only ones who can pay upkeep, so they are the ones with the ability to become Barbarian. And Heirs are specifically designed to be a Ruler's backup, so it makes sense that they become Barbarians as well.

Whether or not Casters disband if they aren't in the Magic Kingdom is still an open question as well.
"All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu, Chapter 1, Line 18, The Art of War

"The principle of strategy is to know ten thousand things by having one thing." - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Earth, Go Rin No Sho
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Balerion » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:33 pm

Yeah... I am also curious how Jillian saved a few Mega peeps (forget the exact name and am to lazy to look it up :D). It sounded like she had more than a single stack worth of units, at least before the sandwitch incident. Whereas Wanda lost everything but her own stack... is it just off turn that you lose all unstacked units? Except Jillian sent her flyers with a couple of Jetstone warlords when they were looking for the dragon nest, and they stuck around even not on her turn. Can allied leadership also preserve units then?

While dramatic, part of me is starting to wonder if the mass disband of Wanda's uncroaked is going to require retconjuration or not. Admittedly, the rules here are so ill defined that I doubt we could tell if it happened, but it seems like Jillian managed to save more units

I think there is a good case for casters surviving anyway. Uniroyal had no problem sending their warlords out to disband; however, the casters got sent into the magical kingdom. You could explain it by simply wanting to avoid as much death as possible, and only the casters could escape. But it does raise the question at least.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby ftl » Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:53 pm

Balerion wrote: Mega peeps (forget the exact name and am to lazy to look it up :D).


Megalogwiffs.

It sounded like she had more than a single stack worth of units, at least before the sandwitch incident.


Well, they could have been all stacked together. There's no rule reason why they couldn't have been in a big stack at the time. If Jillian didn't have any other leadership with her, then it would make sense to have all the units on one stack. Did she have other warlords with her on her little expeditions?

Whereas Wanda lost everything but her own stack... is it just off turn that you lose all unstacked units?


Possibly just at the moment when a Side is destroyed? All field units are disbanded, but maybe an heir becomes a barbarian and takes command of any units which are 'theirs' at the time - where Erfworld determines which units are 'theirs' by just taking their stack. Not sure.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Housellama » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:24 pm

ftl wrote:
Balerion wrote:Whereas Wanda lost everything but her own stack... is it just off turn that you lose all unstacked units?


Possibly just at the moment when a Side is destroyed? All field units are disbanded, but maybe an heir becomes a barbarian and takes command of any units which are 'theirs' at the time - where Erfworld determines which units are 'theirs' by just taking their stack. Not sure.


That's what I got. That she lost everything but what she was stacked with. The units that were unlead ceased to exist because A. there wasn't a side with a capital to support them and B. they weren't stacked with someone capable of paying their upkeep. Remember, when they lost the city, they also lost the treasury. We know from Jillian that she personally paid the upkeep for her units when she was a barbarian. With no one to directly pay their upkeep and no treasury to pull from them, they just vanished.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby HollyWeird » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:27 pm

It could be that Wanda lost all her units for a more game mechanic related reason. All of her units were Very Decayed and without her juice wouldn't last till next turn. As Goodmitton units their turn was force ended when the last unit croaked; forcing them to decay. Whereas the units in her stack are now starting fresh on her new 'barbarian' turn.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Kreistor » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:53 pm

Housellama wrote:That's what I got. That she lost everything but what she was stacked with. The units that were unlead ceased to exist because A. there wasn't a side with a capital to support them and B. they weren't stacked with someone capable of paying their upkeep. Remember, when they lost the city, they also lost the treasury. We know from Jillian that she personally paid the upkeep for her units when she was a barbarian. With no one to directly pay their upkeep and no treasury to pull from them, they just vanished.


Yes, I see the same, but I'm wondering if Rob has a different Rule for the Side's fall vs. afterwards.

http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F113.jpg

Stanley has dozens of dwagons with him, and no GK leadership units, only natural allies. If he expected GK to fall that day, then he would in no way be able to save all of these from disbanding. He doesn't expect the interception: he is taking these to capture FAQ for a capital after GK falls.

But by the rule that dusted Wanda's uncroaked, there is no sense to taking so many dwagons. He can only save a number approaching 8, like Wanda.

So I think Rob might have created some inconsistency here. I think the original intent was to have all units in the Heir's Hex survive, but he needs Wanda to cut back to smaller numbers for whatever happens to her next.

I know, the obvious argument is that Stanley is stupid, but no, he's strategically stupid. He knows the Rules of Erfworld, like everyone else. He knows exactly what will happen to his dwagons when GK falls.

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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby MarbitChow » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:10 pm

Kreistor wrote:But by the rule that dusted Wanda's uncroaked, there is no sense to taking so many dwagons. He can only save a number approaching 8, like Wanda.

Stanley is traveling through hostile territory, on his own turn, without any sort of forward scout. If he stumbles into any enemies on his way out (which he did - Vinnie & Co.), he'd want as much offensive power and protection with him as he could have. The fact that most of his stack might vanish during the enemy's next turn doesn't matter if he croaks on this turn. Once he's at least one full dragon's move away from GK, he could probably handle any small force he ran into with only 8 dwagons and the 'Hammer - he'd already be clear of most of the fliers from the Royal Crown Coalition.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Housellama » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:12 pm

Kreistor wrote:
Housellama wrote:That's what I got. That she lost everything but what she was stacked with. The units that were unlead ceased to exist because A. there wasn't a side with a capital to support them and B. they weren't stacked with someone capable of paying their upkeep. Remember, when they lost the city, they also lost the treasury. We know from Jillian that she personally paid the upkeep for her units when she was a barbarian. With no one to directly pay their upkeep and no treasury to pull from them, they just vanished.


Yes, I see the same, but I'm wondering if Rob has a different Rule for the Side's fall vs. afterwards.

http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F113.jpg

Stanley has dozens of dwagons with him, and no GK leadership units, only natural allies. If he expected GK to fall that day, then he would in no way be able to save all of these from disbanding. He doesn't expect the interception: he is taking these to capture FAQ for a capital after GK falls.

But by the rule that dusted Wanda's uncroaked, there is no sense to taking so many dwagons. He can only save a number approaching 8, like Wanda.

So I think Rob might have created some inconsistency here. I think the original intent was to have all units in the Heir's Hex survive, but he needs Wanda to cut back to smaller numbers for whatever happens to her next.

I know, the obvious argument is that Stanley is stupid, but no, he's strategically stupid. He knows the Rules of Erfworld, like everyone else. He knows exactly what will happen to his dwagons when GK falls.

http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F039.jpg


I think that the reason Wanda only saved 8 was because that's all that was in her stack. She was stacked for battle, remember? Not traveling. Stacks of 8 are traditional in battle to maximize the stack bonus. She wasn't expecting to lose everything except those things that were stacked with her: she was expecting a fight. So when they did disappear, she got screwed because it came as a complete surprise.

I think that a Barbarian can save everything that's in their personal stack that they can afford the upkeep for. Hence Stanley taking all his Dwagons and not leaving them behind. Think about it: He didn't take Leadership because he didn't need Leadership. He took Jack, all the Dwagons and a few Knights for backup. He didn't load down his stack with extras, but he took everything that was strongest and most valuable. I think he knew exactly what he was doing: preserving the strong so that he could start fresh. He left everything that he didn't care about to go to pot.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Kreistor » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:11 pm

Housellama wrote:He didn't take Leadership because he didn't need Leadership.


Manpower was his last Warlord. He didn't have Leadership to take. Uncroaked have never been shown to lead the living, so it is unlikely those would have worked.

And uncroaked have 0 upkeep. If Wanda could have restacked every uncroaked into her own stack, she should have. Massive oversight on her part, if she could have.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby drachefly » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:21 pm

Uncroaked warlords were leading stacks of dwagons. I see no reason to suspect that they can't lead arbitrary units.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Kreistor » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:34 pm

drachefly wrote:Uncroaked warlords were leading stacks of dwagons. I see no reason to suspect that they can't lead arbitrary units.


True, forgot that.

I also forgot that they all got massacred at the injured dwagon fight, so weren't available to go with Stanley. So he still didn't have it available. Wanda's mass uncroaking was after Stanley left.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Beeskee » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:19 am

Jillian had a 1-turn warning regarding her side falling, so she could have re-stacked just in case. Stanley could have have been expecting his side to fall during the journey and had everything in a single stack until he needed to split them up for the battle versus Transylvito. Wanda by comparison was caught completely by surprise. If she had been faster she might have been able to order her units to form a single stack, but I imagine the story needs her to have a relatively small group at this point in order to be captured.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby drachefly » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:59 am

1 turn warning? You mean that the two outlying cities would have been enough to keep the side alive? I think they all went neutral when the capitol fell... or... did they? Shoot. TBfGK didn't really focus on decapitating strikes since GK was the last city on its side.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Beeskee » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:47 am

Jillian says: "One turn I got a frantic message about a large overflight of dwagons. On my next turn, I was a barbarian."

http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F083.jpg

It doesn't say explicitly that she prepared in any way, but presumably she did some kind of preparation. Either that or she did have a lot more units and ended up losing them when FAQ fell. She had somewhat of a warning though. I didn't mean some kind of 'built in' warning, just the message from her side about the dwagons.


A later text update (the one involving Sand Witches and Man Witches) said she had a four megalogwiffons. Either they were all stacked with her, or she used some other technique to preserve them, or FAQ hadn't actually fallen yet and the fall happened after she lost the units. (OR Rob has made an error somewhere...)

http://www.erfworld.com/summer-update-2 ... aurelB.jpg

It's a little hard to tell what the exact sequence of events was, due to the wording, but it seems like units not stacked with an heir end up lost. Whether they can be split into multiple groups after that is still up for debate. Apparently, Jillian's groups were always stacked either with her or with allied forces while she was working for Jetstone. An important note is that they didn't disband when she was captured, so presumably they are preserved in some fashion.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby mortissimus » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:01 pm

drachefly wrote:1 turn warning? You mean that the two outlying cities would have been enough to keep the side alive? I think they all went neutral when the capitol fell... or... did they? Shoot. TBfGK didn't really focus on decapitating strikes since GK was the last city on its side.


I think the important thing for a decapitation strike is not the capitol, but ruler and heirs. If the ruler croaks with no heirs, the capitol does not matter (if I remember Parsons worres during TBfGK right) but all cities freeze. I think that if the capitol falls but ruler/heir is elsewhere they carry on as usual and may designate a new capitol. Otherwise I would have expected Slatley to worry a lot about changing capitol as well as getting Tramennis promoted and out of there.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby drachefly » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:34 pm

Okay, nice catch there.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Balerion » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:26 pm

mortissimus wrote:
I think the important thing for a decapitation strike is not the capitol, but ruler and heirs. If the ruler croaks with no heirs, the capitol does not matter (if I remember Parsons worres during TBfGK right) but all cities freeze. I think that if the capitol falls but ruler/heir is elsewhere they carry on as usual and may designate a new capitol. Otherwise I would have expected Slatley to worry a lot about changing capitol as well as getting Tramennis promoted and out of there.


I disagree a bit. There still was an heir for Goodminton in the form of Wanda (in fact she was overlord) but it still led to her becoming barbarian when the capital was lost. Unfortunately, this was also the side's last city, so it limits what rules we can glean from it. If a side has no capital sites, but other cities, what happens to the Overlord in the field, what happens if he is in a city? Jetstone has a backup capital site, so we can't deduce that Slately's lack of concern means there is nothing bad that can happen; they just know they are insulated from it.

We really are in the dark as to how capitals matter as more than just another city, or if another city could be raised to a capital. But I would disagree with assuming they are relatively unimportant.
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