Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Kreistor » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:38 pm

Parson's desscription of what happens if Stanley falls specifically mentions that he has no Heir. The Side ends when it has no Heir. We know that a Side becomes Barbarian when it has no Cities. So what happens if Slately falls? Tremmenis becomes Ruler of Spacerock, until it falls.

When it does, assuming he survived by being outside, given the way Parson speaks about it, the Side's other Cities have a Ruler, so they won't become Neutral. That prevents the Side from ending or the Ruler from becoming Barbarian. The only option left is for the Capital to move. I don't think there is really another choice, if Parson is accurate. I don't think anything else is really consistent with Parson's wording, or what happened to Wanda, Jillian, and what Stanley intended. Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting. The starting page for accessing all known Erfworld "rules".
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Balerion » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:11 pm

Sure. In Jetstone's case, I am very confident the capital just moves back to their old site. Though they do mention "re-establishing" it, which implies they might have to consciously make the change, as opposed to it happening automatically.

The point where behavior is undefined is when there is no backup capital site, or what situation is Jetstone in without a Capital until it is "re-established". I doubt it would end the side, but I would also expect a side with no capital at all to suffer penalties. But given how they talk about Capital sites, I am unsure that they could simply designate any city a capital; it sounds like they are pre-designated.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby mortissimus » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:43 pm

"Capital site" is a good catch, had forgotten that. Guess, we'll have to hope for a side to loose their Capital and still have a ruler to find out what it does.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Mrtyuh » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:44 am

Housellama wrote: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.

There seem to be two ways to pay upkeep. There are schmuckers, which come from either a side's treasury or a commander's purse, or foraging, which is the only option for feral, unallied units. Barbarian commanders seem to be able to mix and match the two options. All commanders have a purse. I do agree, though, that uncroaked warlords are not, strictly speaking, commanders. While they can lead stacks, selectively target the enemy and provide a leadership bonus, they lack free will and can only act under orders. They are effectively puppets. I would argue the defining attribute of Commanders is that they may exercise their own discretion in combat, subject to natural Thinkamancy. If uncroaked warlords are not commanders, but merely units with leadership, they would not have a purse and would be unable to pay upkeep with schmuckers. Since they lack will, they would also be unable to pay upkeep through foraging, since they wouldn't forage without orders. Anyway, that is a moot point, since uncroaked do not have upkeep. They just decay.

Housellama wrote: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.

I completely agree with this. Royalty or nobility is something only be gained when a unit pops, and only commanders may pop with this trait. Since Stanley was popped as a piker, he does not possess this trait. I would argue that Sizemore is either royal or noble, depending on where he popped.

Housellama wrote: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.

I remember Rob posting a long time ago about the ruins seen early in Book 1, when Wanda is riding a dwagon with uncroaked Manpower. He said that barbarian warlords and artifacts sometimes pop in the ruins. If I remember correctly, he said that those barbarian warlords can found a new side if they find an unclaimed capital site. He also mentioned that Ansom would have no reason to suspect that Jillian was royal, since such barbarian warlords, while rare, are much more common than a royal barbarian heir would be. So I also agree that such a side would not be royal.

I disagree about the heirs, though. There are two ways to make an heir. You can pop a commander as an heir, which increases the popping time significantly. You can also spend a ton of schmuckers to make a commander an heir. That is an instant process, as we saw with Wanda. The implication with Tramennis was that Jetstone did have multiple heirs at that point, which is the reason Stately decided not to spend the extra turns popping Tramennis as one. There is a difference between an heir and an heir-designate. An heir-designate is the heir with will become a side's ruler if the current ruler croaks. If there are multiple heirs, the ruler chooses which is the heir-designate. An heir, on the other hand, is a unit that will survive its side's fall and become a barbarian. An heir can claim a capital site and split off to form their own side, as Ossomer threatened to do to with Haggar. I think once a unit is made an heir, they will always be an heir. I mainly think this for story reasons. When Wanda was planning on taking the uncroaked flyers and leaving Gobwin Knob, perhaps she wasn't planning on helping Stanley. Perhaps she was going to flee to become a barbarian with the side fell. There is alot of speculation that Wanda will eventually split off to form her own side, which I think is only possible for an heir. While Wanda is not Stanley's heir-designate, and she will not become ruler of Gobwin Knob, she still is an heir.

Housellama wrote: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.

While I agree that Wanda is a Gobwin Knob unit, I feel, since she was made an heir, her future is not as linked to Gobwin Knob the way other commanders' are. While I don't know if she will go barbarian or split off to form her own side, I think the potential of her doing so adds tension to the story. It's like UST, only with betrayal hovering over the horizon instead of sex. Also, Book 0 showed that the prisoners were specifically those that had not yet turned. If they turn, they stop being prisoners.

Balerion wrote: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.

When Parson was talking to Wanda by thinkagram at the start of Book 2, he mentioned that, since they had Jetstone's heir, the side would fall or convert if they killed the ruler. He didn't know which. He also mentioned that they didn't want a repeat of Unaroyal. Now, I interpretted this a certain way. While this seems obvious to me, I'll acknowledge right now that I may be wrong. Under normal circumstances, if a side manages to turn another side's heir-designate and then kill that side's ruler, all the second side's cities and units will convert to the first side. The reason for the uncertainty here is because the heir-designate was croaked and decrypted, which may interfere with the process. This did not happen with Unaroyal because Queen Bea had Princess Cruz destroyed before she destroyed herself. As I said, I may be wrong, but I do think this mechanism was strongly implied. As for a ruler, I think if they were going to turn, they would simply form an alliance which would reduce their side to a vassal state. In one of Parson's conversations with Charlie, he stated that Gobwin Knob was approaching the diminishing schmuckers point. This implies that there is a disadvantage to having too many cities or units. If this is the case, it would seem preferable for a very powerful side to surround itself with satellite states instead of overextending itself.

Balerion wrote: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:

Balerion wrote: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.

I still think a commander can tell the difference between their own, allied and enemy units. The update where Goodminton upgraded their tower and broke alliance with Frenemy indicated this. I think Stanley would have known when Wanda turned. King Saline would have known when Stanley showed up with her, unless this happened to be the mission where the gobwins revolted.

Personally, I don't think claiming Wanda is a Gobwin Knob unit is the same as attacking the idea she has given up her independence. As I said, Overlord Firebaugh spent his treasury to make her an heir. Even though her side was destroyed, I think she still has that special, just like a hobgobwin promoted to heavy would remain a heavy if turned or a piker promoted to warlord would remain a warlord if turned. The schmukers were spent, so she now possesses that trait. While I don't think Wanda has any intention of leaving Gobwin Knob in the immediate future, due to her belief that she and Stanley are Fated to bring the Arkentools together, I think her status as heir gives her the option, going forward, of going barbarian or splitting off her own side.

Balerion wrote: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.

Any caster may set the livery and appearance of units they create. Stanley allowed his warlords to set their own livery. I have to disagree that it was noted as exceptionally unusual. It actually struck me as common. We haven't seen it too much beyond Bogroll, but the impress I got was that it was common in Erfworld as a whole. Stanley's issues with Wanda are not concerns regarding her loyalty. They are self-esteem issues. Stanley thinks of himself as the Titans' favored son. He saw himself attuning to all the Arkentools. He saw all the glory and fame being his. That hasn't happened. Wanda is conquering Erfworld. Parson is saving the day. Stanley is sitting in the larder eating a sandwich. It isn't an issue of Stanley not trusting Wanda or her troops. He thinks Wanda is okay. He can see, as ruler, that the troops are his. He has emotional baggage because his ego can't take not being the most important person in Erfworld. I may be wrong, but that is how I've interpretted the comic so far.

mortissimus wrote: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.

Very well said.

Balerion wrote: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.

I think it is a case of, when a side falls, all units in the field but not in the heirs stack disband. Cities, if any remain, go neutral. I think, once the commander has become barbarian, they may restack those units as they desire. Jillian had many gwiffons that were not stacked with her while she was in Gobwin Knob's dungeon. You are right, though, we don't know all the details. This rule seems to apply if a ruler is croaked without an heir, and if all cities are lost. We don't know what happened when Saline died. Gobwin Knob had around 10 other cities besides their capital when the gobwins revolted. I say around because Gobwin Knob had 11 cities when Stanley began questing for the Arkentools, but Bohica was a frequently traded outpost and, when the RCC took Unatard, it was referred to as reclaimed, so it may not have been in Gobwin Knob's possession at the time. Now, the gobwins took the capital, which deprived Stanley of the treasury, so he, and perhaps other Gobwin Knob commanders, had to pay upkeep from their purses until the treasury was reclaimed. We don't know if the other Gobwin Knob cities went neutral. We don't know if field units other than Stanley's stack disbanded. It will be interesting when we get to see this, because it will shed light on what happens when a side loses its capital but still has other cities.

ftl wrote: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?

When she was talking to Ansom about Faq, you can see other men in Faq armor. Whether these were warlords, we do not know. It is possible there were other warlords in other stacks that disbanded.

ftl wrote: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.

This is the impression that I get.

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.

I doubt it has to do with upkeep, since uncroaked do not require any upkeep. I think it is as simple as all units not in the stack disband.

HollyWeird wrote: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.

Wanda stated in the update before that the knights and warlords would last a while, but the infantry only had 3 more turns. She marched out the next turn, meaning they had 2 more turns. If Haffaton did not attack her force on the road, she planned on moving on Coolminton the next turn. So, if the mechanic was decay, the uncroaked infantry should have had 1 more turn, and the warlords and knights should still have had a while.

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

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.

Just because the bonus to a stack maxes at 8 units doesn't mean that the stack can't be larger than 8 units. In fact, it was stated that Stanley was stacked with all the dwagons. After Jack did the veil, it was said that the other dwagons lost his leadership bonus because he had ditched his stack. I think the main benefit to having multiple stacks is that they move independently from each other, which would be advantagous when expecting battle. Since all the dwagons were heading to Faq and the ambush was a surprise, there would be no disadvantages to one large stack. After Stanley decided to flee, he broke stack so he could leave the hex without having to disengage the other dwagons.

Kreistor wrote: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.

Uncroak warlords have leadership because they can selectively engage part of an enemy stack. The 3 freshest uncroaked warlords were lost over the lake. He just had 2 left, both in advanced decay. Since he decided to abandon Wanda, they lost most of their value. I think his opinion of Wanda at the time affected his decision to bring uncroaked.

I do agree that Wanda should have restacked all the uncroaked with her, and I think she could have. The fall of Goodminton happened very quickly. Wanda seemed overwhelmed by it. She barely had time to comprehend what was happening. If she had time to think of it, she probably would have restacked all the units with her.

mortissimus wrote:"Capital site" is a good catch, had forgotten that. Guess, we'll have to hope for a side to loose their Capital and still have a ruler to find out what it does.

The impression I get is that there are city sites. These are the only place a city can be built. Some of those sites are capital sites, which are the only cities that can be capitals. A capital has a side's treasury, so one drawback of having cities but no capital would be the lack of a treasury. In Goodminton's case, the ruler survived, but they had no cities. In Gobwin Knob's case, they were worrying about losing the ruler while still having the capital. In Jetstone's case, they have their original capital site, Jetstone, to act as a backup. We won't know what happens when a capital falls, but there is a ruler and other cities, until the gobwins put Saline to the sword during the prequel.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby drachefly » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:43 am

mortissimus wrote:"Capital site" is a good catch, had forgotten that. Guess, we'll have to hope for a side to loose their Capital and still have a ruler to find out what it does.

I'd amend that to "... and still have a ruler and other cities." As Myrtuh pointed out, we just saw the results of what you described.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby mortissimus » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:36 pm

Well, yes, that was what I meant.

Btw, I am a bit surprised at the rule that if if a side looses all cities (or if it is looses last city on capital site) then all units that are not in rulers stack are disbanded. I had assumed that the troops would live on until it was time to pay upkeep which would force some hard decisions. But there it is.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Oberon » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:30 pm

Kreistor wrote:Parson's desscription of what happens if Stanley falls specifically mentions that he has no Heir. The Side ends when it has no Heir. We know that a Side becomes Barbarian when it has no Cities.
Not to pick a nit, but that last isn't quite correct. The Side ends if the ruler dies with no heir. But a Side becomes barbarian if it has no cities? Only in very specific cases, and only for a very tiny and specific set of units: If the ruler dies with an heir, and the Side also loses its last city, the new ruler and their stack become barbarian. Other than that fringe case (which we've seen or heard about twice, lol), the Side ends, every unit vanishes.
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Re: Barbarian/Side/Turning debate

Postby Kreistor » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:17 pm

Oberon wrote:
Kreistor wrote:Parson's desscription of what happens if Stanley falls specifically mentions that he has no Heir. The Side ends when it has no Heir. We know that a Side becomes Barbarian when it has no Cities.
Not to pick a nit, but that last isn't quite correct. The Side ends if the ruler dies with no heir. But a Side becomes barbarian if it has no cities? Only in very specific cases, and only for a very tiny and specific set of units: If the ruler dies with an heir, and the Side also loses its last city, the new ruler and their stack become barbarian. Other than that fringe case (which we've seen or heard about twice, lol), the Side ends, every unit vanishes.

Yep, I'm wrong there. Only Heirs and Rulers turn Barbarian. A long time ago I got it in my head that Warlords in the field turn Barbarian, and every once in a while it creeps back in. Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting. The starting page for accessing all known Erfworld "rules".
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