Let's talk Charlescomm!

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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby Lamech » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:30 am

Nnelg wrote: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.

5: Bombardment - Build Siege Weapons or even better cannons, and hurl huge chunks of rock from outside the city when its not Charlie's turn. Destroy the city without being in danger.
6: Summon Fat Man - And by Fat Man I don't mean Parson. Preferably just throw it through the MK side portal. Before hand I recommend saying the titans will smite all your foes, and publicly threaten Charlie with the Titans' wrath.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby Housellama » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:21 pm

Nnelg wrote: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:
(snipped for brevity)


Once again, I think Charlie's forces are less important than Charlie himself. Unless you first outthink Charlie, no attack of any kind would succeed. With that in mind, I believe that the best way to defeat Charlie is politically. His greatest asset is his neutrality. It makes him trustworthy, or at least predictably untrustworthy. Everyone knows that Charlie looks out for Charlie, and he is... if not predictable then reliable.

When Charlie makes an agreement, his unusual position practically requires him to keep it, or at least ensure that there are no survivors to tell the tale. Without his reputation, he has nothing to offer. He lives and breathes deals, and without them, he's much, much weaker. Archons are strong troops, but not that strong. They are, as people have pointed out, also very expensive. Charlie doesn't have a steady source of internal income. He has to rely on other Sides to buy what he's selling to keep his position. Which makes his biggest strength, his neutrality, his greatest weakness.

So you attack him where he is vulnerable. Use his wheeling and dealing against him. Force him into untenable positions. Engineer agreements where he can't keep his word no matter what he does. Whittle down his credibility with smear campaigns and impossible situations. If you kick his reputation out from under him, cleaning up his troops practically becomes an afterthought. What economics doesn't take care of can be solved by attrition. With his archons scattered over a wide area, they become extremely vulnerable to massed attacks. While Charlie is scrambling to repair his reputation, his troops are getting slaughtered wholesale around the land. If he moves to mass his troops to protect them, that can be used as proof that he's planning a direct attack and it's all downhill from there.

Directly attacking Charlie in any physical way while he still has a support network is a waste of men and resources. Until he doesn't have anywhere to turn, he can pull far too many favors to take on. Destroy his reputation, smear his reputation and remove his customers and he'll fall easily enough.
"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 Lamech » Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:58 pm

Housellama wrote:Directly attacking Charlie in any physical way while he still has a support network is a waste of men and resources. Until he doesn't have anywhere to turn, he can pull far too many favors to take on. Destroy his reputation, smear his reputation and remove his customers and he'll fall easily enough.

No one trusts Charlie to honor anything other than explicit contracts. Nobody is going to do Charlie any favors because they "owe" him.; that system only works if Charlie would repay in favors. He may be able to instigate enemies against you, point out your weaknesses, or hand them a big bag of shmuckers to kill you though. But he doesn't have a support network. If he runs into a side that can crush him on its own he's probably in trouble. He might be able to convince neighbors to go after them, but OTOH those neighbors might decide pissing off a super power is a bad choice.

I do agree however that for a conventional side that politics is the way to go. First, he seems to have a bigger force than any one side could reasonably take on. First 200 archons worth of blasts will rain down on you. That will be painful. The 700 golems. Each of those is probably worth several infantry, and he's in a city so you'll need to outgun him badly. He'll probably hire a casters to break out all the buff spells too. Double bonuses, big luckamancy bonus, a full lookamancy scout, endless tower shots and who knows what else. Then the traps. Then... oh plus if you devote all your forces you can't defend due to upkeep restrictions, and Charlie's much faster archons can take down your side. So you'll either need a huge alliance, or Charlie will need to be weakened ahead of time.

However a non-conventional side? Say no upkeep decrypted side, using Parson's farm plan, and taming numerous dwagons a turn? So much easier. "Hello everyone, 30,000 bounty for each archon corpse you sell us. We have these great high penalty truce contracts for 1000 turns who wants to sign? We will have several hundred dwagons show up on your door if you don't. Also TGMtTA are now offering a large number of free thinkagrams to all sides." Then after Charlie runs out of cash since no merc work, and no comm work, 1000 dwagons show up at his capital and bomb the cwap in to it.

tl;dr: Politics may be needed for a conventional side for clever maneuvering, but Charlies force are very important. Being able to kill them and defeat them is needed if you want to defeat Charlie. At the very least you need to not get wiped out by them.
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Re: Let's talk Charlescomm!

Postby Housellama » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:28 pm

Lamech wrote:
Housellama wrote:Directly attacking Charlie in any physical way while he still has a support network is a waste of men and resources. Until he doesn't have anywhere to turn, he can pull far too many favors to take on. Destroy his reputation, smear his reputation and remove his customers and he'll fall easily enough.


No one trusts Charlie to honor anything other than explicit contracts. Nobody is going to do Charlie any favors because they "owe" him.; that system only works if Charlie would repay in favors. He may be able to instigate enemies against you, point out your weaknesses, or hand them a big bag of shmuckers to kill you though. But he doesn't have a support network. If he runs into a side that can crush him on its own he's probably in trouble. He might be able to convince neighbors to go after them, but OTOH those neighbors might decide pissing off a super power is a bad choice.


Re: support network. As long as there are sides willing to deal with Charlie, he's a hard target. That is what I meant by 'support network'. While Charlie still has people willing to work with him, it would be very hard to beat him.

Lamech wrote:tl;dr: Politics may be needed for a conventional side for clever maneuvering, but Charlies force are very important. Being able to kill them and defeat them is needed if you want to defeat Charlie. At the very least you need to not get wiped out by them.


The key to defeating Charlie's archons is to catch them before they can form large groups. As far as the Archons at his base, that's where economics is your friend. Shut him out long enough and that force will eat itself. Assuming golems don't cost upkeep (something I'm not entirely convinced of), Charlie still will be in dire straits. Without air support, golems can be picked off at range with little danger. The Archons are dangerous, but if you catch them in small groups and starve his income, they cease to be a factor.
"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 8:30 pm

Lamech wrote:5: Bombardment - Build Siege Weapons or even better cannons, and hurl huge chunks of rock from outside the city when its not Charlie's turn. Destroy the city without being in danger.
6: Summon Fat Man - And by Fat Man I don't mean Parson. Preferably just throw it through the MK side portal. Before hand I recommend saying the titans will smite all your foes, and publicly threaten Charlie with the Titans' wrath.

The first one probably isn't possible under Erf rules, but even if it is that siege artillery will have to come within range of lightning raids from archons based in the city. The second assumes the existence of a WMD, which TBSs usually abhor. Besides, you'd probably need a shockmancer-hat magician link-up just to explain where the idea came from.

Lamech wrote:However a non-conventional side? Say no upkeep decrypted side, using Parson's farm plan, and taming numerous dwagons a turn? So much easier.

Ah, but there's a reason such things are unconventional: they're unique. While we can still ponder how such a side would have an easy time of things, it'd be akin to wondering if Napoleon could have conquered Russia if he had diesel trucks to keep his army supplied during the Russian winter. (And the answer to that one's probably yes, if the trucks could withstand the cold themselves that is)

Housellama wrote:Directly attacking Charlie in any physical way while he still has a support network is a waste of men and resources. Until he doesn't have anywhere to turn, he can pull far too many favors to take on. Destroy his reputation, smear his reputation and remove his customers and he'll fall easily enough.

Hmm... Well, as far as reputation goes, Parson's got a great start for all sides in direct contact with GK. Of them, the only one they're on anything close to good terms with is Faq. Transylvito's been unwilling to deal since TBfGK, as far as I can tell, and he's very recently threatened Haggar. ATM he's trying to ease relations with Jetstone by means of the archon bounty, but all that effort may yet be for naught. I suppose it'll take a while for the rumor of tool-wielders leading a 'crusade' of sorts to circulate to the far corners of Erf (which actually might have corners), but it's only a matter of time until it does. As that happens, Charlie will become a subject of suspicion, and find it ever-harder to make good contracts. Suddenly withdrawing most of his mercenary archons couldn't have helped either.

Housellama wrote:
Lamech wrote:tl;dr: Politics may be needed for a conventional side for clever maneuvering, but Charlies force are very important. Being able to kill them and defeat them is needed if you want to defeat Charlie. At the very least you need to not get wiped out by them.


The key to defeating Charlie's archons is to catch them before they can form large groups. As far as the Archons at his base, that's where economics is your friend. Shut him out long enough and that force will eat itself. Assuming golems don't cost upkeep (something I'm not entirely convinced of), Charlie still will be in dire straits. Without air support, golems can be picked off at range with little danger. The Archons are dangerous, but if you catch them in small groups and starve his income, they cease to be a factor.

I fear it may already be too late to stop his archons from assembling, but you're right about needing to catch them in smaller groupings. Instead, hit-and-run tactics could be used. I'd suggest interceptor air patrols as well, but archons are just too good at flying under the radar, so it'd take more force than it's worth.
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