Let's talk Charlescomm!

Speculation, discoveries, complaints, accusations, praise, and all other Erfworld discussion.

Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby MarbitChow » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:17 pm

Charlie's got a LOT of cloth golems. Contrast that with Sizemore, who only had 35 golems in GK. Archons have limited Dollmancy (which I had originally assumed was primarily for outfits), so it makes sense that some Archons could create those golems. I'm guessing that they wouldn't be the fluffy teddy-bear types that Jetstone favors, since that was Holly's style. So, what kind of golems does Charlie have? Barbie-like (in the Transylvito style, perhaps), or something else?
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby Lamech » Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:44 pm

Nnelg wrote:Let's look at things from Charlie's perspective here. Before the battle of GK, it was absolutely unthinkable that anyone would attack Charlescomm (at least not for a long time in the future). Now, let's say he's considering training his garrison such that the upkeep would go up 10k a turn. But there's no foreseeable need for a better garrison in the next thousand or so turns. Multiply that out and you get an additional 10 mil in upkeep costs for very little benefit. (And that's assuming training costs nothing but idle time.)
Remember my assumption about it being more upkeep efficient? Suppose Charlie can use elite archons, costing 500 a turn, or new archons costing 200 a turn. However, the elite archons are 3 times as good as the new archons due to increased levels. So Charlie can have 200 elite archons costing 100,000k a turn, or 600 new archons costing 120,000k a turn. Same defenses either way, but one is cheaper.

Now its possible that levels don't make you more upkeep efficient, but somehow I doubt that. Leveling is always seen as a good thing. Archons especially gain access to new abilities, so I'm guessing that a archon with three abilities is probably roughly three times as good as an archon with one, before you take increased stats into consideration, or cool combo moves. (DDR.) So even if normally leveling doesn't increase efficiency, I think in the case of archons it must.


MarbitChow wrote:Charlie's got a LOT of cloth golems. Contrast that with Sizemore, who only had 35 golems in GK. Archons have limited Dollmancy (which I had originally assumed was primarily for outfits), so it makes sense that some Archons could create those golems. I'm guessing that they wouldn't be the fluffy teddy-bear types that Jetstone favors, since that was Holly's style. So, what kind of golems does Charlie have? Barbie-like (in the Transylvito style, perhaps), or something else?
That's an interesting question. If golems don't require upkeep and archons can make them you think Charlie would have more. Even if all his archons make one a turn as a huge combo effort, I think he's been around for longer than 700 turns. Maybe golems do require some sort of upkeep? Also if archons can produce items you would expect he has a huge stockpile of magical weapons and traps. I mean, his entire outer wall is probably just solid traps to blast attacking units.

Anyway for golems I would guess whatever he has found works best in terms of defense/cost ratio. He'll probably want something to shoot at attackers. I'm guessing golems with some sort of ranged weapon built in. Probably plated if possible, the archons have the dollamancy to do it, unless plates have some drawback we don't know about.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby Nnelg » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:12 am

Lamech wrote:
Nnelg wrote:Let's look at things from Charlie's perspective here. Before the battle of GK, it was absolutely unthinkable that anyone would attack Charlescomm (at least not for a long time in the future). Now, let's say he's considering training his garrison such that the upkeep would go up 10k a turn. But there's no foreseeable need for a better garrison in the next thousand or so turns. Multiply that out and you get an additional 10 mil in upkeep costs for very little benefit. (And that's assuming training costs nothing but idle time.)
Remember my assumption about it being more upkeep efficient? Suppose Charlie can use elite archons, costing 500 a turn, or new archons costing 200 a turn. However, the elite archons are 3 times as good as the new archons due to increased levels. So Charlie can have 200 elite archons costing 100,000k a turn, or 600 new archons costing 120,000k a turn. Same defenses either way, but one is cheaper.

Now its possible that levels don't make you more upkeep efficient, but somehow I doubt that. Leveling is always seen as a good thing. Archons especially gain access to new abilities, so I'm guessing that a archon with three abilities is probably roughly three times as good as an archon with one, before you take increased stats into consideration, or cool combo moves. (DDR.) So even if normally leveling doesn't increase efficiency, I think in the case of archons it must.

Don't be so sure about that. Increased abilities are well in good, but unless hit points increase as much as the cost then that makes his forces even more fragile than before. And power needs to more than triple, to make up for not being able to split your fire. Besides, as I said earlier the only useful (at the time) purpose those archons would serve is as a deterrent, and IIRC scouts can't detect levels. So more lower-leveled archons would serve this purpose better than fewer higher-leveled ones.

Lastly, I don't see why you believe that more levels makes you more upkeep-efficient. It's always been my experience that the more money you pour into one thing in games, the less bang you get for the next buck you spend on it.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby drachefly » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:53 am

GJC wrote:GK can produce 1-2 Dwagons a turn if Stanley tames them.


Not anymore. Ansom requisitioned all the archons, and they were important to the scouting effort that enabled that taming rate.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby Lamech » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:03 am

Nnelg wrote:Don't be so sure about that. Increased abilities are well in good, but unless hit points increase as much as the cost then that makes his forces even more fragile than before. And power needs to more than triple, to make up for not being able to split your fire. Besides, as I said earlier the only useful (at the time) purpose those archons would serve is as a deterrent, and IIRC scouts can't detect levels. So more lower-leveled archons would serve this purpose better than fewer higher-leveled ones.
That is true, about the hit points. However, I wasn't under the impression that Charlie gave away his unit numbers at all. And even if he did want deterent, foolamancy works much better for that purpose. Oh and archons can use multiple abilities at the same time (DDR), and use shockamancy which being the go to attack magic should have AoE spells.
Lastly, I don't see why you believe that more levels makes you more upkeep-efficient. It's always been my experience that the more money you pour into one thing in games, the less bang you get for the next buck you spend on it.
In every game I've played getting levels has NO negative side effects (except more XP to the next level). No increased upkeep. In Civ 5, more levels just means more perks. No change in maintenance. Ditto Civ 4. Ditto Alpha Centuri. Ditto Warlock. Ditto Command and Conquer More to the point, in Erfworld people seem to want levels. Its not a "oh crud an archer leveled, now we have upkeep draining away." Leveling is universally viewed as a good thing. Even Jetstone strapped in terms of cash and needing to disband units didn't think "Oh crap, are archers are going to level some and that's going to make us worse off."

drachefly wrote:Not anymore. Ansom requisitioned all the archons, and they were important to the scouting effort that enabled that taming rate.
If all the archons are lost Stanley's first new power discovered will be either imbuing the remaining dwagons with the power of the hammer, (Like Charlie can) or calling dwagons to him without even leaving.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby Nnelg » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:26 pm

Lamech wrote:
Nnelg wrote:Don't be so sure about that. Increased abilities are well in good, but unless hit points increase as much as the cost then that makes his forces even more fragile than before. And power needs to more than triple, to make up for not being able to split your fire. Besides, as I said earlier the only useful (at the time) purpose those archons would serve is as a deterrent, and IIRC scouts can't detect levels. So more lower-leveled archons would serve this purpose better than fewer higher-leveled ones.
That is true, about the hit points. However, I wasn't under the impression that Charlie gave away his unit numbers at all. And even if he did want deterent, foolamancy works much better for that purpose. Oh and archons can use multiple abilities at the same time (DDR), and use shockamancy which being the go to attack magic should have AoE spells.

The kind of deterrent I was speaking of was the kind that takes place on a strategic level, the kind that subtly subverts any idea that Charlie might be a worthwhile target (which sounds easier to take by surprise, if you don't know what their levels are: 200 archons or 600?). Once heads have been turned in his direction, and the enemy is marshalling its armies, then it would be far too late for this kind of deterrent to work (yet also too soon for Foolamancy).

Lamech wrote:In every game I've played getting levels has NO negative side effects (except more XP to the next level). No increased upkeep. In Civ 5, more levels just means more perks. No change in maintenance. Ditto Civ 4. Ditto Alpha Centuri. Ditto Warlock. Ditto Command and Conquer More to the point, in Erfworld people seem to want levels. Its not a "oh crud an archer leveled, now we have upkeep draining away." Leveling is universally viewed as a good thing. Even Jetstone strapped in terms of cash and needing to disband units didn't think "Oh crap, are archers are going to level some and that's going to make us worse off."

But we know that archons have upkeep that scales with level, it's stated so explicitly in canon. Of course units see themselves leveling as a good thing, the same way you would think getting a raise is nice. But they aren't exactly thinking of the big picture, because they don't have to pay their own upkeep. (How often, when taking a bonus check to the bank, do you think about your company's finances?)

I think you're just not getting it. More power does not mean better. More levels means being better preforming your intended function, but that doesn't make it better in every case. Archons are special ops, not shock troops. They are not well-suited at the front to begin with; however leveling won't make them much more so.

Now, think of this: take a unit of 8 archons. Even if they're all level 1, we can safely assume that there's at least one of them with each of: leadership, thinkamancy, and foolamancy. But what's the benefit of having all of them have leadership? Same with most of the other specials archons can have, save for shockamancy of course (but the special is random, so you can't guarantee they all get that at lvl 2, or 3-4 even). Of course there's benefit to having a backup, but anything that survives the opening volley long enough to return fire is probably powerful enough to kill more than a couple of them. But on the defense depleted units can always retreat and regroup; that self-sufficiency really only becomes useful when deployed in the field (as in, on mercenary work).

You might argue that since their offensive power should increase as well, overall it makes them better. Well, I'll agree with you there -having your firepower concentrated like that is great for taking out single, high-value targets. But a siege is too chaotic to effectively coordinate fire all the time, and positions with less volume of fire are much more easily overrun. You suggested AoE shockamancy, but we have never seen an archon use an AoE spell. And while I'm in agreement that shockamancy probably a plethora to choose from, archons don't have access to the full arsenal. It wouldn't fit with the rest of their abilities anyways, which are all geared towards precision above wantonness.

All of which is why Charlie is unlikely to have spent perfectly good money training his garrison beyond level 1. But now I'm asking you to prove me wrong. Tell me why higher-level archons would be significantly better in the context of a static defense, and more importantly tell my why Charlie would think that upgrade would be worth the cost at a time when he had full confidence that nobody was going to attack anytime soon (i.e., before Parson arrived on Erf).
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby drachefly » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:00 pm

Lamech wrote:In every game I've played getting levels has NO negative side effects (except more XP to the next level).


Ogre Battle and Battle for Wesnoth both have upkeep increases, directly proportional to level. Bubble Tanks, your tank gets easier to hit on account of its larger size. In many other games, levelling up a skill increases its cost or decreases its fire rate, even while it improves other aspects more. Like in Desktop Tower Defense, the fire rate on L5 (sniper) pellet towers is half that of the level 4 pellet towers.

Lamech wrote:
drachefly wrote:Not anymore. Ansom requisitioned all the archons, and they were important to the scouting effort that enabled that taming rate.
If all the archons are lost Stanley's first new power discovered will be either imbuing the remaining dwagons with the power of the hammer, (Like Charlie can) or calling dwagons to him without even leaving


Hmm. I don't see that really so much as a deduction as a ...prediction.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby GJC » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:35 pm

I don't think the changes are quite as drastic as they are in Wesnoth, but I definitely think that the Power/Upkeep ratio improves as a unit levels up. We know that a high-tier archon, presumably level 8 or 9 costs 500, but a level-1 costs 200. Upkeep increases by a factor of 2.5. We don't know by how much power increases. But we've seen low-level warlords in action, and high-level warlords in action. And we know that, for warlords, there's just no comparison. Hell, Webinar was level 5, compared to Jillan's level 9, and I'd still take Jillan over 3 Webinars any day of the week.

I still favor the idea that the garrison archons are low-tier, though. Education, training, indoctrination, familiarization.


Not anymore. Ansom requisitioned all the archons, and they were important to the scouting effort that enabled that taming rate.

In regards to this, I did say "If Stanley tames them". : P

As it is, well, you need fliers to scout for Dwagons. Using Archons to scout just goes a long way towards eliminating any possible risk because with conventional fliers, veiled ambushes are a threat, but any unit that can fly through mountains will do in principle. As long as Stanley has those, he can keep tamin', albeit at a minor risk.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby Lamech » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:13 pm

drachefly wrote:
Lamech wrote:If all the archons are lost Stanley's first new power discovered will be either imbuing the remaining dwagons with the power of the hammer, (Like Charlie can) or calling dwagons to him without even leaving


Hmm. I don't see that really so much as a deduction as a ...prediction.

Still advertising your thread? I considered it, but it might not even happen. Maybe after the archons are all lost. And possibly not "first", but ability discovered.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby Nnelg » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:23 pm

GJC wrote:I don't think the changes are quite as drastic as they are in Wesnoth, but I definitely think that the Power/Upkeep ratio improves as a unit levels up. We know that a high-tier archon, presumably level 8 or 9 costs 500, but a level-1 costs 200. Upkeep increases by a factor of 2.5. We don't know by how much power increases. But we've seen low-level warlords in action, and high-level warlords in action. And we know that, for warlords, there's just no comparison. Hell, Webinar was level 5, compared to Jillan's level 9, and I'd still take Jillan over 3 Webinars any day of the week.

I wouldn't, at least not under usual conditions. Sure, Jillian's a whole lot better in combat (though since we didn't see much of Webinar in action we can't be sure how much better); but that's not what warlords are for. Jillian can't be in three places at once, (sans dittomancer...) and so overall would be less effective in leading a large army. Maybe for a chief warlord, but after that crucial position was filled I'd much rather have an assortment level 4 warlords than a small handfull of level sevens. They'd serve their purpose (commanding the troops) much better that way.

Also, I think you are severely overestimating what level would be 'high-level'. For a rough rule of thumb, try scaling it against D&D (so ~1 Erf level = ~2 D&D levels). By that rubric you are suggesting Charlie would have hundreds of (D&D) level 16's-18's under his command.


EDIT:
What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter if archons get more power-efficient as they level, for garrison work that doesn't matter. If I were in Charlie's position, (pre-BfGK) I wouldn't be worrying about a heavy garrison. I'd much rather spend my money on improving my field units, where it will actually make a worthwhile difference. In the unlikely event that anyone actually decides to come after me, my vast intelligence network will give me plenty of warning to withdraw those field units, and/or to launch a preemptive strike on the emerging threat. The garrison's there just in case a small force manages to sneak through my nets, and to serve as a replacement pool for operational teams.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby drachefly » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:22 am

Lamech wrote:
drachefly wrote:
Lamech wrote:If all the archons are lost Stanley's first new power discovered will be either imbuing the remaining dwagons with the power of the hammer, (Like Charlie can) or calling dwagons to him without even leaving


Hmm. I don't see that really so much as a deduction as a ...prediction.

Still advertising your thread? I considered it, but it might not even happen. Maybe after the archons are all lost. And possibly not "first", but ability discovered.


Actually, in this case, no. I know you know about the thread. It just seemed like you were stating it excessively flatly and confidently, in a case when I wouldn't even weight those cases heavily.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby GJC » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:50 pm

Nnelg wrote:
GJC wrote:I don't think the changes are quite as drastic as they are in Wesnoth, but I definitely think that the Power/Upkeep ratio improves as a unit levels up. We know that a high-tier archon, presumably level 8 or 9 costs 500, but a level-1 costs 200. Upkeep increases by a factor of 2.5. We don't know by how much power increases. But we've seen low-level warlords in action, and high-level warlords in action. And we know that, for warlords, there's just no comparison. Hell, Webinar was level 5, compared to Jillan's level 9, and I'd still take Jillan over 3 Webinars any day of the week.

I wouldn't, at least not under usual conditions. Sure, Jillian's a whole lot better in combat (though since we didn't see much of Webinar in action we can't be sure how much better); but that's not what warlords are for. Jillian can't be in three places at once, (sans dittomancer...) and so overall would be less effective in leading a large army. Maybe for a chief warlord, but after that crucial position was filled I'd much rather have an assortment level 4 warlords than a small handfull of level sevens. They'd serve their purpose (commanding the troops) much better that way.

Also, I think you are severely overestimating what level would be 'high-level'. For a rough rule of thumb, try scaling it against D&D (so ~1 Erf level = ~2 D&D levels). By that rubric you are suggesting Charlie would have hundreds of (D&D) level 16's-18's under his command.


EDIT:
What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter if archons get more power-efficient as they level, for garrison work that doesn't matter. If I were in Charlie's position, (pre-BfGK) I wouldn't be worrying about a heavy garrison. I'd much rather spend my money on improving my field units, where it will actually make a worthwhile difference. In the unlikely event that anyone actually decides to come after me, my vast intelligence network will give me plenty of warning to withdraw those field units, and/or to launch a preemptive strike on the emerging threat. The garrison's there just in case a small force manages to sneak through my nets, and to serve as a replacement pool for operational teams.


Okay, lemme take this from the top.

First, I never said that Charlie had anything near hundreds of high-level archons. But we know that the "strongest" has an upkeep of 500. Unless you're saying that, out of his 600 archons, not a single one has reached level 8, my point stands. A point relating to efficiency alone, though. Not to force composition. I'm just saying that 1 high-level archon is better than 3 low-level archons. And given your DnD comparison, you seem to agree. Unless you consider a level 16 character to be worth less than 3 level 2 characters?

I agree that the question of efficiency is generally not relevant for force composition. Experience is a highly limited resource, you can't optimize for it. Level-10 archons are more upkeep-efficient than level-1 archons, but getting archons to level 10 isn't practical, and making an army of them isn't even feasible. 1 level 5 archon is better than 2 level 1s. But 2 level 4s is even better, and that's what Charlie's going for. Even if it's not strictly relevant right now, though, it's still interesting from a purely mechanical viewpoint.

You also seem to think that improving units costs money. As far as we can tell, that's not the case unless he's actually upgrading them. I think what you're trying to say is that he'd deploy his higher-level troops on mercenary missions while retaining his lower-level archons as a self-defense force. In which case, yes, I agree with you. I have said so twice before, I am now saying it for the third time. I'm pretty sure that Charlie's garrison would consist of low-level units who recieve training and indoctrination (charlie's rules, tactics, maybe some actual experience-training, stuff like that) before being sent into the field as they're replaced by freshly popped archons.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby Nnelg » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:54 pm

GJC wrote:Okay, lemme take this from the top.

First, I never said that Charlie had anything near hundreds of high-level archons. But we know that the "strongest" has an upkeep of 500. Unless you're saying that, out of his 600 archons, not a single one has reached level 8, my point stands. A point relating to efficiency alone, though. Not to force composition. I'm just saying that 1 high-level archon is better than 3 low-level archons. And given your DnD comparison, you seem to agree. Unless you consider a level 16 character to be worth less than 3 level 2 characters?

I agree that the question of efficiency is generally not relevant for force composition. Experience is a highly limited resource, you can't optimize for it. Level-10 archons are more upkeep-efficient than level-1 archons, but getting archons to level 10 isn't practical, and making an army of them isn't even feasible. 1 level 5 archon is better than 2 level 1s. But 2 level 4s is even better, and that's what Charlie's going for. Even if it's not strictly relevant right now, though, it's still interesting from a purely mechanical viewpoint.

You also seem to think that improving units costs money. As far as we can tell, that's not the case unless he's actually upgrading them. I think what you're trying to say is that he'd deploy his higher-level troops on mercenary missions while retaining his lower-level archons as a self-defense force. In which case, yes, I agree with you. I have said so twice before, I am now saying it for the third time. I'm pretty sure that Charlie's garrison would consist of low-level units who recieve training and indoctrination (charlie's rules, tactics, maybe some actual experience-training, stuff like that) before being sent into the field as they're replaced by freshly popped archons.

Ah, sorry; I wasn't paying enough attention to whom I was responding to. Yeah I agree with most of what you've said, my only quandary being about upgrade costs. Sure, you can have indoctrination going on, but I don't see how they can be trained in any other way that matters by the rules of Erf without raising their level. And if their level goes up, then so does their upkeep -wherein lies the 'cost' of training even if it's nominally free.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby drachefly » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:56 am

The point of training is that they get to be, say, level 2 - perhaps 3 - before they ever see action. That would be the only reason I can see for there being a large number of Archons at Charlescomm. And even in that case, they would be mostly level 2, not level 1.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby Nnelg » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:50 am

drachefly wrote:The point of training is that they get to be, say, level 2 - perhaps 3 - before they ever see action. That would be the only reason I can see for there being a large number of Archons at Charlescomm. And even in that case, they would be mostly level 2, not level 1.

Hm, I suppose that's reasonable. I thought I was arguing against them all being levels 6-7, I guess I was just misinterpreting things then...
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby Saladman » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:49 pm

I figure Charlie's got an artifact bonus to Archons from attuning to (or from being) the Arkendish. Stanley gets an unspecified artifact bonus to Dwagons. Wanda provides a known bonus to all Decrypted units: 1 to all on her side, 4 in her hex, 8 in her stack. Apparently tied to level except that 1 doesn't scale against the way Chief Warlord leadership works, which is by thirds.

I have no idea what level Charlie is but 10 from repeated casting is possible (and he could even be one of the very few Erf units who go higher). Say for the sake of argument 10, and say artifact bonuses to favored units all work the same (they don't have to, but Wanda's are the only numbers we've got). That's a bonus of 1 to field archons, 5 to archons in his hex, which is to say the entire city he has to defend if attacked, and 10 to archons in his personal stack (though I expect he'd grind away his garrison rather than rushing to the fight). That's not bad.

Charlie doesn't use warlords, to the extent the Decrypted archons were unsure how to treat Parson, but clearly archons with the Leadership special are effectively commanders and warlords. Its unclear whether Charlie can designate a high level leadership archon as Chief Warlord, but if he can he should and almost certainly has. Fox Force Five would be a good place to park her, since from his standpoint there'd be little to choose between different mercenary jobs once she's leveled, so best to keep her home to defend and just use her bonus.

And thats the other thing we really don't know enough about, Fox Force Five. Are they just high level archons with the thinkamancy special? Archons old enough to have seen Charlie before his current turtling? Or something more?

Golems "gain bonuses when commanded by their creators or another of the same class" (Glossary) Limited forms of casting might possibly be an exception, but if the plain reading holds for archons as well as full casters then those 700 mostly cloth golems are eligible for another bonus that apparently stacks with regular leadership.

If all my hypothetical bonuses apply, Charlie's garrison starts to approach Parson-like levels of stacking bonus on bonus. And it is an if, but we know Charlie's always out for more power and more security, so whatever his exact defense plan is I assume its respectable, at least against normal Erworld opponents.

I have no strong preference on the question of leveled or level 1 garrison archons, but if they are leveled that adds another dimension of boni. More leveled archons gives you more archon stacks with dance-fighting in their own right. More multi-special archons who can lead a dance fight. (Dance-fighting stacks of cloth golems with leadership and caster bonus, even?) Any other combo effects we don't know about; Vinny Doombats wish-cast panel of dancing on Stanley's head with the archons throwing blasts might be a combo of dance + shockmancy for instance, unless I'm reading the art too literally. Could a lead stack of all dance-fighting, all foolamancy special archons do something similarly impressive?
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby SNfinity » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:43 pm

What if the archons in Charlescomm aren't for defense? What if all the archons in Charlescomm are making cloth golems? Say what you will about archons, we know golems are good city defenders.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby Nnelg » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:53 pm

SNfinity wrote:What if the archons in Charlescomm aren't for defense? What if all the archons in Charlescomm are making cloth golems? Say what you will about archons, we know golems are good city defenders.

Except against air-based ranged units, against which they would have no form of retaliation (if they're like Jetstone's golems).

Really though, I doubt that Charlie wouldn't find a way to maximize efficiency; whether it's are training, making golems or servicing Erf's largest (and only) 4G network, the archons in Charlie's garrison probably have some way to make themselves useful.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby Housellama » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:57 pm

If you're talking about defenses, the units Charlie has at his base are secondary. Charlie's main weapon has been and always will be information. Even the archons are only tools to increase Charlie's knowledge. By going and doing jobs, not only do they help pay their upkeep, but they see and hear and learn things, things that Charlie can sell to other people.

Anyone wanting to attack Charlie would first have to learn where his city is. Not at all easy. Second, they would have to manage their troops secretly. Charlie has way too much pull and too much to offer to a side that had information that someone was going to attack him. Third, they would have to not care that Charlie could respond with an all out smear campaign. Any side going directly against Charlie had better be prepared for every secret they have to come out. Sides would be lining up to take advantage of them. I can easily see Charlie giving a side troop movements and other such things for free, with the only payment being that they take out the enemy. And the attacking side would be able to keep what they conquer, a reward valuable to pretty much everyone in Erfworld.

No, Charlie's units will always be secondary to Charlie himself. Charlie is powerful because he is smart. As long as he stays smart, I doubt that any conventional side in Erfworld could touch him. It would take someone like Parson to really take him on.
"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: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby Nnelg » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:20 am

That brings another thought to mind:

If I were attacking Charlie's city, how would I do it?


With all of Charlie's defenses, any conventional siege will turn into a meat grinder. I see four ways to deal with it:
  • 1: Direct Assault - Accept the casualty rate, overwhelm with shear numbers. Some clever maneuvering can decrease the casualty rate, but it'll still be a bloodbath.
  • 2: Extended Siege - Effect an economic and military blockade of his city. Archons will be able to sneak through this, but over time patrols will catch and croak most of them. This combined with a cutoff of funds from mercenary work will shrink the size of Charlie's army, making a conventional assault more feasible.
  • 3: Ender Gambit - Hit hard and fast, advance forwards without regards to casualties, collateral, or securing the rear quarters. Target is Charlie (or perhaps the Arkendish). If just one dwagon makes through to croak him, it's game over.
  • 4: Fool's Mate - Trick Charlie to move the bulk of his forces out of the city, or at least out of the garrison. Then attack him from an unexpected angle.

The latter two seem more to Parson's style, but I can't see #3 working with the story, nor is #4 likely to work as long as the 'Dish is active. I see a combination working, perhaps: dwagons perform suicide run to steal the 'Dish, then Sizemore tunnels up and snags Charlie from below. Of course, that's just one of many ways it can go; and if the story so far has shown us anything, it's that "plan A"s seldom pan out that well.
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