Summer Update - 020

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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby joosy » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:42 pm

DevilDan wrote:By Erf standards, it seems that Stanley is more honorable than say Parson, who used subterfuge—a fake surrender .


True, but it's easy to be honorable when you have the upperhand or are in a reasonably fair fight.

One of my cynical life lessons is that people have the morality (or in this case honor) that they can afford.

If Erf standards are to choose an epitaph of "He died honorably" over survival then only those with the upperhand set the standards..
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby vdragan » Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:35 pm

DevilDan wrote:By Erf standards, it seems that Stanley is more honorable than say Parson, who used subterfuge—a fake surrender .


Yeah. That's completely true. There are two things to look at, though.

One: When I say Stanley's a rat, I don't mean he has no honour, just that he's selfish. Breaking rules is what makes for good leadership, which makes you a hero (or it makes for war crimes, which makes you an immoral individual, but not a rat).
When your back is in a corner, honour is the first to suffer, like joosy said. Stanley acted dishonourably when he fled, but more importantly than that he acted in a cowardly and selfish manner, whereas Parson sent the casters into the Magic Kingdom (he also made them link up, which is pretty awful, considering the consequences he was aware of - you can claim Ruthlessness pushed him to do it, and that he wouldn't have otherwise, or you can claim that he had the idea and impulse anyway, and that's all that matters, but that debate isn't going to get resolved, and doesn't really need to be, in my opinion). At any rate, being an Overlord who deserts his side is illustrative of the character trait that I find least appealing in Stanley, and that is the opinion that seems to be coming through from the other characters as well.

Secondly, and less importantly: Even if we were talking about honour, Stanley still ranks lower than Parson in my opinion, for the same reason why we would call someone a thief if they had grown up in a place where stealing is illegal, but would be more lenient with say, an alien that just crash landed on Earth and has no real concept of property. If the human steals a watch, we have every right to judge him/her more harshly than we would the alien if they/it(?) 'stole' a car. So it goes with Parson and Stanley - Parson is so alien that the concepts of honour in battle need not apply to him (there are no expectations, you might say).

The slightly more interesting corollary to the analogy is this. If you sit this alien down, and explain to them the entire system of laws, and the philosophy which supports them, and then at the end of it the alien still went out and willingly stole cars, rejecting your system and maintaining that no matter what you say, there is still no reason for property to exist, would you then hold the alien accountable? Because I'm fairly certain Parson doesn't give a boop's boop about the way that battles are 'supposed to' be fought, and probably wouldn't even if someone went over everything with him.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby DevilDan » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:16 pm

vdragan wrote:Stanley acted dishonourably when he fled, but more importantly than that he acted in a cowardly and selfish manner, whereas Parson sent the casters into the Magic Kingdom (he also made them link up, which is pretty awful, considering the consequences he was aware of - you can claim Ruthlessness pushed him to do it, and that he wouldn't have otherwise, or you can claim that he had the idea and impulse anyway, and that's all that matters, but that debate isn't going to get resolved, and doesn't really need to be, in my opinion). At any rate, being an Overlord who deserts his side is illustrative of the character trait that I find least appealing in Stanley, and that is the opinion that seems to be coming through from the other characters as well.


Hmmm.... Stanley acted as he thought the Titans wanted him to act when he fled GK. It's beyond honor at that point, when you're "on a mission from God."

Parson ordering the casters to link up doesn't strike me as particularly dishonorable: it's a risk, but so is his sending of any units into battle, which he had already done with Wanda and Sizemore multiple times. And I thought that it was established that the spells acting on Parson only made it likelier that he would do something he would already be inclined to do or at least capable of doing.

vdragan wrote:Secondly, and less importantly: Even if we were talking about honour, Stanley still ranks lower than Parson in my opinion, for the same reason why we would call someone a thief if they had grown up in a place where stealing is illegal, but would be more lenient with say, an alien that just crash landed on Earth and has no real concept of property. If the human steals a watch, we have every right to judge him/her more harshly than we would the alien if they/it(?) 'stole' a car. So it goes with Parson and Stanley - Parson is so alien that the concepts of honour in battle need not apply to him (there are no expectations, you might say).


Oddly enough, Parson should be more enlightened considering he has been exposed to a more "ethically" or "morally" superior environment: twenty-first century earth as opposed to a feudal/medieval/deterministic/fundamentalist Erf. That said, what's "right and proper" will naturally evolve even in a place with rules like Erf's that seems to support the existence and cult of the Titans and the extant political systems.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby Anton Gaist » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:57 pm

Wait, we're talking about battlefield ethics here?

Every decision made during a battle is done with the sole purpose of survival. The best way to ensure that is to win. Stanley's first decision, to summon the perfect warlord, was aimed at that. The fact he told Wanda to summon someone who actually wanted to be summoned wasn't based on him not wanting to abduct an innocent, he was thinking that someone who agreed to be summoned would be more efficient than someone who didn't.

The Sword of Ruthlessness was, as the cereal box stated, a way for the summoning spell to fix its own mistake, realizing that Gotti needed to be able to make "immoral" decisions in order to be the perfect warlord.

Point is, being moral and ethic is good and right and yes, I agree to there being a list of things that qualify as war crimes. But when push comes to shove, if the other side is willing to do it and you're not, chances are if you get home it'll be in a body bag.

So Stanley a rat? Well, rats do survive sinking ships and burning buildings so maybe they know a thing or two about making the right decision.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby SteveMB » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:10 pm

Another aspect of ethics (including adherence to generally accepted rules of warfare) is that having boundaries and rules is often in one's long-term interest even when they get in the way in the short term.

For example, there's a scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid where Harvey Logan challenges Butch to a knife fight:

Butch: No, no, not yet. Not until me and Harvey get the rules straightened out.
Harvey: Rules? In a knife fight? No rules.

Well, that meant there was no rule against Butch immediately kicking him in the nads, as he proceeded to do.

Another example, from this story, is Parson's false-surrender ploy. As he notes later, he has foreclosed any possibility of ever surrendering for real. (The fact that perfidious false surrenders discourage combatants from accepting real ones is why this sort of thing is considered a war crime in the real world.)
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby DevilDan » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:42 am

Excellent points, SteveMB.

Anton Gaist: I always though the sword was more about helping Parson act as ruthlessly as any other warlord of Erf, sending troops to fight and die, making necessary sacrifices, and not about stepping beyond the bounds of accepted Erf behavior.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby vdragan » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:50 pm

SteveMB wrote:Another aspect of ethics (including adherence to generally accepted rules of warfare) is that having boundaries and rules is often in one's long-term interest even when they get in the way in the short term.


true.. though the ability to prioritize the far future over the near future requires a reasonable expectation of surviving to see it the former. whereas parson wasn't really in that position.

Anton Gaist wrote:Wait, we're talking about battlefield ethics here?


The only thing I was trying to argue is that leaders should act a certain way towards their subjects, which is to ensure survival of the side not just of the leader individually (and yes most times the leader surviving IS the best way to save a side, but Stanley basically sacrificed his side to save his own skin). Honour and ethics and all that good stuff enters into it but being a good leader is not reducible to them. Parson is one. Stanley's a rat. Maybe it's good that he's a rat, I dunno. But he is.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby moose o death » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:57 am

your looking at erfworld like units are irreplaceable. the residents of erf have no free will and exist wholly at the whim of their overlord (royal or otherwise) if stanley wanted to he could have disbanded the whole army as it stood he left them and even paid their upkeep while he left. i guess he had some inclination to beleive they had some chance of survival or even that the forces may follow him and leave GK alone.

either way the flight was never cowardly. he left under the pretense the titans want him to do this thing alone.

now back to my initial point in this post. in erfwolrd you existance starts as quickly as it ends. you come intro existance as a fully operational adult. you have a life expectancy ranging from one to hundreds of turns/days. rulers send dozens of troops to their deaths to maintain the most trivial of ojectives. leaving a defense force at GK with full pay while stanley claims another city is NOT abandonment. it seems more likeif stanley was cutting losses and running he would take his treasury or at least as much as he can carry to faq.

once again gk was given ample move time and was left with the treasury intact. they were not disnbanded, and stanley only took his dwagons and what troops could mount them.

i started reading erfworld much later in the story than the point this happened so i saw these event happening quicky , and without the arguing and speculation, what i saw was stanley leaving after being furiously mad at his lackey's. maybe your view has been tainted
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby cloudbreaker » Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:25 am

Stanly probably did take as much of the treasury as he could carry (which probably wasn't much compared to the total). It was stated by Wanda in one of the earliest strips that Stanley wouldn't be able to take the treasury with him if he left, which is one of the main reasons he agreed to pay to summon Parson. So, if he had to leave the treasury behind anyway, he would have nothing to gain by disbanding the troops he left behind. But what he would gain by keeping them is a nice distraction to keep the coalition busy for a while as he made his getaway.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby jkosta » Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:20 am

fehler wrote:
jkosta wrote:And now would be a good time to point out that the Titans are a bunch of Elvises.

You know: the King of Rock n' Roll.


Actually, the Titans look more like Elvis impersonators: The quintensional example of Stanley's "Anyone can be King" motif.


That was pretty much my point. While it's improbable that Don King has any idea what that means, the notion that everyone is born into their place as a part of the Titans' will clashes pretty harshly with the symbolism of the Titans being a bunch of Elvises (or Elvis impersonators).

(I mean, that wasn't the point I was trying to make, but it'll do. :mrgreen: )
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby moose o death » Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:55 am

cloudbreaker wrote: It was stated by Wanda in one of the earliest strips that Stanley wouldn't be able to take the treasury with him if he left, which is one of the main reasons he agreed to pay to summon Parson.

that was if the city fell not if stanley turned tail and ran. the idea of that wasn't even considered in the scenario.

you clearly can take schmukers with you to some extent or jillian would be munching on whatever beetles and lizards she stumbled upon. and given everything in erfworld can be resized so it fits in your carry space i could only assume you could take quite a bit of treasury with you.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby balder » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:01 am

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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby DevilDan » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:37 pm

balder wrote:http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Purse

It's funny that we harped on treasuries and purses enough that we actually got WoT explanations and then forget that it's there. It's almost how we treat real religions, haha.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby moose o death » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:49 pm

balder wrote:http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Purse

so he could take, has stanley's level actually been said? not in the book or updates but it seems there was info i missed out on in the GitP forums.

meh, i don't like stanley, but i disgree with the claims of him being a rat or a coward. he's proven he's a good commander to saline IV and managaed to defend against an equally impressive tv force, he doesn't shy away from battle but he knows when it's tactically a stupid idea to continue wasting units.something parson didn't really pick up on until he sacrificed bogroll.

he is an idiot when it comes to selecting units for promotion, but he did create a trimancer link to give his side unparalleled intel, he did save 150,000 schmukers on obtaining parson...which if he hadn't may have been a very short existance as parson has probably already cost a further 10,000 in upkeep.and people are quick to forget he got to the top somehow. unlike most erf units he didn't pop as an heir or overlord. he worked his way to the top.

so far all heirs we've seen that popped as such have been spoilt brats from day one. all the upgraded units we've seen seem to get along fine to an extent. stanley doesn't seem to have been on bad terms, and ceaser follows rules fine, he doesn't seem to be out to undermine his lord just doesn't agree on everything put to him so far.

ansom and slately (or whatever it is) seem to get along but i guess we don't know without some form of flashback.

essentially implying someone is a rat doesn't typically mean they are cowards anyway. rats will attack you, mice are cowardly. so i continue to hold the opinion rat would not make me happier why does he need to be any type of animal? don king's comparison showed don kings personality in a new light. another royal who thinks regular units are nothing more than his playpieces, that their deaths are meaningless statistics.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby DevilDan » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:19 pm

moose o death wrote:so far all heirs we've seen that popped as such have been spoilt brats from day one. all the upgraded units we've seen seem to get along fine to an extent. stanley doesn't seem to have been on bad terms, and ceaser follows rules fine, he doesn't seem to be out to undermine his lord just doesn't agree on everything put to him so far.


How many popper heir have we seen aside from Ansom and Jill? All I know is that it's a good thing that Jill was a rebellious, combat-driven blade bunny or she would likely not have escaped Faq original fate and would almost assuredly not have had the wherewithal and guts to survive as a barbarian.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby moose o death » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:17 am

that's the chicken/egg arguemnet again. the only person who benefits from that is jill. if she wasn't who she is, she would be dead. BUT faq needed a barbarian for the sake of their ailling treasury, so if not jillian, someone else.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby HandofShadows » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:08 am

moose o death wrote: BUT faq needed a barbarian for the sake of their ailling treasury, so if not jillian, someone else.


This was not acually stated. Jillian was poped because of the prediction that Faq would be destroyed. (Poping a hair who was a warlord sounded like a good idea at the time). Jillian working as a merc was convient (For her and Banhammer since they didn't get along) and helpfull for Faq's budget , but not the reason she was poped.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby DevilDan » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:49 pm

HandofShadows wrote:Jillian was poped because of the prediction that Faq would be destroyed. (Poping a hair who was a warlord sounded like a good idea at the time). Jillian working as a merc was convient (For her and Banhammer since they didn't get along) and helpfull for Faq's budget , but not the reason she was poped.

Precisely. If Jillian had popped as an heir more to Banhammer's tastes or wishes, then she would have probably fallen along with the rest of Faq. Fortunately she had an itch to be out fighting, which is what directly led to her now being in a position to resurrect Faq.
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby moose o death » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:46 pm

exactly what i meant. faq needed a barbarian and it's exactly why jillian was never at home to die with the rest. it seems cities rule their rulers to some extent
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Re: Summer Update - 020

Postby davesnothere » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:02 am

I don't know.... If I wanted to stir the pot, conspiracy theory wise....

The last time we saw Jillian do seemingly irrational things was when she was under a suggestion spell from Wanda.
There could be more than one suggestion on her....

...just saying..
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