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 Post subject: Destructive Foraging
 Post Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:13 pm 
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Personally I imagine destructive foraging to work somehow like in the Zelda games, you destroy bushes and other terrain features and sometimes a (small) gem pops up with maybe better odds the more unique/important/dominating the terrain feature in question was. I find it likely that different types of hexes might have different potential for destructive foraging, since finding something to destroy in a sand desert might be rather hard to begin with.

As for the downsides, I think the more damage done to the hex this way the lower the chances get that something useful pops in the hex like food animals and forage-able plants and things like that, which is the reason why sides get annoyed at barbarians and natural tribes rampaging around the vicinity, like Rightshoring and the Juggle Elves. At some point the hex type might even change (from forest to grassland for example).

Thoughts anybody?

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:02 pm 
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    It seems fairly reasonable.

    Normal foraging is sustainable and doesn't degrade the productivity of the hex, destructive foraging produces more in a shorter time but does degrade the productivity of the hex. Since we saw Stanley blowing trees to splinters with 'hammer bolts to the delight of the Juggles, and this otherwise senseless activity was associated with helping them in their destructive foraging, I'd say that the mechanism may be pretty Zelda-ish.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:09 pm 
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    Mechanically, I figure it's a short-term gain/long-term pain trade-off: something along the lines of you get +50% forage for one turn, but the hex becomes fallow and gives no/reduced forage for the next 20 turns.

    In terms of flavour, it's where you strip everything with no regard for sustainability. Regular foragers pick chestnuts off trees; destructive foragers do that and also dig up ones that would have reseeded. Regular hunters will pick through a hex looking for anything large enough to be worth it; destructive hunters set it on fire and bag everything that runs. Regular farmers make sure there are piglets, weaners, and porkers, and only harvest the latter and let the others mature first; destructive farmers toss everything in the pot.

    Socially, it's not very common: either you're in your own territory and you'd rather keep it intact, you're in neutral territory and it's liable to turn them hostile, or you're in enemy territory and you don't want to waste move and give away your position for such a marginal gain. On the other hand, a viable tactic called laming is to send small hunting parties into enemy territory to forage destructively, specifically to deny their forage.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:29 am 
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    Bandaid wrote:
    you destroy bushes and other terrain features and sometimes a (small) gem pops up with maybe better odds the more unique/important/dominating the terrain feature in question was.

    There's actually no limit to the scaling on this, I hear you can get a couple million if you blow up a whole mountain.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:46 pm 
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    Destructive foraging also takes on a more desperate tone when natural allies or barbarians are present.

    Sure, foraging normally gives you X shmucker's worth... but some of your friends (or you) croak. Whereas destructive foraging ensure more survive today at the cost of tomorrow having less land to scavenge and possibly the owner gunning for you.

    Though for these groups at least you can try and make a run for it rather than have to stay and stick it out, like sides do.

    One exception, you could see sides razing their own land when under threat of losing a city. Or having several close together sides, or with severely contested borders; it makes "raze and retreat" work as a pretty good spite tactic.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:05 pm 
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    Caprice wrote:
    Bandaid wrote:
    you destroy bushes and other terrain features and sometimes a (small) gem pops up with maybe better odds the more unique/important/dominating the terrain feature in question was.

    There's actually no limit to the scaling on this, I hear you can get a couple million if you blow up a whole mountain.
    That's a fun observation, but it seems clear that blowing up Gobwin Knob didn't invoke the destructive foraging mechanic, since Gobwin Knob ended up with harder defenses and a stronger economic output immediately afterwards. Sizemore also details the mechanics of how they got gems from it without referencing destructive foraging. Still, maybe.

    After all, we don't have actual details on how destructive foraging works in-Erf.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:42 am 
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    Has mining ever been stated as a form of foraging? Foraging provides foodstuffs(/etc), while mining provides gems (and therefore shmuckers). Part of upkeep (payed by shmuckers) goes to rations, which foraging can provide instead, reducing upkeep.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:07 am 
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    Jaxad0127 wrote:
    Has mining ever been stated as a form of foraging? Foraging provides foodstuffs(/etc), while mining provides gems (and therefore shmuckers). Part of upkeep (payed by shmuckers) goes to rations, which foraging can provide instead, reducing upkeep.


    As far as I see there are the following upkeep related activities:

    Foraging: Search hexes for edible plants. Wields only food which can be used to reduce upkeep but not to pay it completely. Is it possible to survive relying only on foraging: No

    Farming: Same as foraging except you either use a special farm hex or plant plants manually somewhere suitable which only wields real results if you have a suitable special or are a Florist. Dirtamancy may help somewhat but won't be that effective on its own. See Digdougs story where Dove Barstools attempts at farming were described as rather pathetic. Is it possible to survive relying only on farming: No

    Hunting: Ranges from attacking helpless food animals to fighting dwagons for their meat. Will only wield rations. Is it possible to survive on hunting alone: No
    (There may be units which leave gems behind if you croak them like in various RPG's, also known as Money Spiders. In that case it might be possible to survive on hunting alone.)

    Mining: Dig for Gems in a suitable hex. The gems can then be converted to Shmuckers as necessary. Requires the Digging Special or Dirtamancy. It may be possible to mine without those specials, but presumably with greatly reduced efficiency. The difference between Mines and other mine-able Hexes like Mountains and Hills maybe that in Mines gems re-spawn constantly or at least regularly while gems in non-special hexes do not re-spawn or only at a really slow rate. (The gems in Gobwin Knob had run out, the new gems came from deeper within the mountain and presumably will run out again at some point.) Is it possible to survive only on mining: Yes

    As mining is the only explicitly stated way in canon to actually get Shmuckers from the environment I thought that how envision destructive foraging to work would explain how barbarians or tribes of natural allies can survive somewhat reliably in the wilderness.
    Imagine popping as a barbarian in a stretch of grassland hexes for example. If there is nothing mine-able in range of your move you are doomed to disband after your first turn if you do not find someone who is willing to pay your upkeep.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:16 pm 
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    Well, we know that casters can only reduce their upkeep by half by supplementing their rations with foraged/farmed/hunted provisions. But we don't know if that's particular to casters, or even if the amount you can save is "half a basic caster's upkeep" (in other words, all of a less expensive unit's upkeep). I mean, the only source we have on that mechanic says "generally" and allows variance based on the quality of the meal, in other words, it can be more than half.

    What if the amount more than half is fixed rather than a percentage? What's the upkeep on Juggles or other units like that? Maybe they can half their upkeep if it's a good meal, and knock off another 15 shmuckers if it's a prepared meal. That could mean low upkeep units can live entirely off forage.

    Still, I do like the idea of destructive foraging finding gems or whatever...just because it's nice and game-like.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:04 pm 
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    Well natural allies were said to be able to forage their entire upkeep (Jillian had to do so as well while a fugitive). Also Artimis declared (in flashback, during the battle for spacerock) that she paid for her entire stack the whole way to where she was ordered to go.


    Foraging is sustainable. I think it depends on quantity of troops and upkeep to be paid. The Juggles were a problem and there where a hundred or more.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:25 pm 
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    Also, natural allies don't have treasuries and must convert all shmuckers/gems into new rations or units. So upkeep for them is entirely food-based, while casters and warlords (and possibly other sided units) require more than just food, it seems.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:54 pm 
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    Rena_Ishtar wrote:
    Well natural allies were said to be able to forage their entire upkeep


    I do not remember that it is explicitly mentioned in the comic at any point that natural allies can indeed pay their entire upkeep with foraging. If I am wrong please show me the page where that is mentioned. As for the juggles, they contain Boring Elves which can mine.

    Rena_Ishtar wrote:
    Jillian had to do so as well while a fugitive

    Emphasis on fugitive. We do not and cannot know if special rules for fugitives apply. Personally I find that quite likely.

    Rena_Ishtar wrote:
    Also Artemis declared (in flashback, during the battle for spacerock) that she paid for her entire stack the whole way to where she was ordered to go.


    No, what she remembered was that her entire stack did not touch their rations while on the trip. Which means to me that: The troops were provided rations so that they would not need food popped for them. Then Artemis's hunting was so successful that they did not need to touch their rations.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:04 pm 
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    Jaxad0127 wrote:
    Also, natural allies don't have treasuries and must convert all shmuckers/gems into new rations or units. So upkeep for them is entirely food-based, while casters and warlords (and possibly other sided units) require more than just food, it seems.


    We know for a fact that they do not have treasuries that is true. However we also know that can receive Shmuckers somehow. I do believe they have some sort of pseudo treasury which cannot pay upkeep and empties at turn start. While they have Shmuckers in that temporary treasury the Chief or Chiefs can decide what to pop with the funds in question. If for some reasons they don't the whole money goes poof.

    As for Gems, anyone can carry gems around, they do not spoil and only commanders can turn them into Shmuckers. Therefore Natural Allies can carry as much gems around with them as they can move. There should be no pressure to turn gems into new tribe members or rations or equipment unless they want to do so.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:51 pm 
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    Bandaid wrote:
    Rena_Ishtar wrote:
    Well natural allies were said to be able to forage their entire upkeep


    I do not remember that it is explicitly mentioned in the comic at any point that natural allies can indeed pay their entire upkeep with foraging. If I am wrong please show me the page where that is mentioned. As for the juggles, they contain Boring Elves which can mine.

    Tribes have no purse and keep no Shmuckers. When they are in an alliance, their allied side pops rations for them from its treasury. But a feral tribe must hunt or gather or farm or mine.
    There is no evidence they need more than rations to maintain themselves and possibly extra rations can allow them to expand (no in comic evidence).

    Natural allies can also pop equipment with shmuckers, not just units or rations (same page as above).

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:43 pm 
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    Jaxad0127 wrote:

    There is no evidence they need more than rations to maintain themselves and possibly extra rations can allow them to expand (no in comic evidence).


    True, however there is also no concrete evidence that they don't. It is possible that the Natural Allies indeed can sustain themselves from food alone in return for the fact that they cannot annex cities. If that was indeed the case it would drastically lower the pressure on Natural Allies to well, ally.

    If we leave Natural Allies and ferals aside for now, that would leave barbarians. We know that barbarians need upkeep besides food, otherwise the Florists in the Magic Kingdom would be able to sustain every caster in the Magic Kingdom, which they would do if they could. So wild popped barbarians at least would need some way to gain some shmuckers or disband after their first turn.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:26 pm 
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    Natural Allies do have warlords, remember, and Warlords can have purses.

    Even ignoring Book 1's glossary on Hobgobwins we can see two examples of Woodsy Elves with leadership:
    http://archives.erfworld.com/Book%201/63 We see an Elf ordering his subordinates to assault, later on in that same page he croaks. As soon as he croaks his underlings look at each other then auto-attack

    The next page a Woodsy Elf named Tarfu mentions that he plans on leading a maxed stack to take on Dwagons. Ansom over-rides him.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:44 pm 
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    Anomynous 167 wrote:
    Natural Allies do have warlords, remember, and Warlords can have purses.

    The quote earlier seems to say otherwise, that is no purses for tribes.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:49 am 
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    Chiu ChunLing wrote:
    What if the amount more than half is fixed rather than a percentage?

    Kind of makes sense - a bowl of stew or whatever having a particular shmucker value seems to fit a bit better with the stuff we've recently been seeing about upkeep. If upkeep is usually coming directly as juice converted from the side's treasury, a bowl of stew worth 60 shmuckers reducing upkeep by 60 shmuckers makes a lot more sense than a bowl of stew that can reduce a 120-upkeep caster's upkeep by 60 and Parson's by over 500.

    It'd also not require any special mechanics for a barbarian warlord to survive by hunting, or for prisoner Jillian to make her entire upkeep - it's been hinted that caster upkeep is expensive, so warlords might be able to make their entire upkeep by foraging.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:13 am 
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    Free Radical wrote:
    It'd also not require any special mechanics for a barbarian warlord to survive by hunting, or for prisoner Jillian to make her entire upkeep - it's been hinted that caster upkeep is expensive, so warlords might be able to make their entire upkeep by foraging.

    I think that upkeep covers not only rations but equipment repair, etc. So foraging can take care of part of upkeep without being able to cover everything. Fugitives have special rules.

    Anomynous 167 wrote:
    Natural Allies do have warlords, remember, and Warlords can have purses.

    Even ignoring Book 1's glossary on Hobgobwins we can see two examples of Woodsy Elves with leadership:
    http://archives.erfworld.com/Book%201/63 We see an Elf ordering his subordinates to assault, later on in that same page he croaks. As soon as he croaks his underlings look at each other then auto-attack

    The next page a Woodsy Elf named Tarfu mentions that he plans on leading a maxed stack to take on Dwagons. Ansom over-rides him.

    Thinking about this more, that seems to only say that natural allies have commanders, not necessarily warlords. Even casters are commanders, remember.

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     Post subject: Re: Destructive Foraging
     Post Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:57 pm 
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    Jaxad0127 wrote:
    Tribes have no purse and keep no Shmuckers. When they are in an alliance, their allied side pops rations for them from its treasury. But a feral tribe must hunt or gather or farm or mine.
    There is no evidence they need more than rations to maintain themselves and possibly extra rations can allow them to expand (no in comic evidence).

    Natural allies can also pop equipment with shmuckers, not just units or rations (same page as above).
    I'm inclined to believe that the uses of "or" are advised, meaning that is only necessary to carry out any one of these activities to make upkeep. Especially as there are three uses of "or" when the last could be replaced with ", and" if the intention were that mining would be necessary to supplement the other activities (i.e. "must hunt or gather or farm, and mine."). Then again, Vurp's command of Language is deliberately presented as simplistic rather than nuanced. On the other hand, it is relatively unambiguous for that very reason.

    On the subject of Naturals having commanders, I'm not sure this is the case, they have units with Leadership, such as knights, but we know that knights are not commanders and can lack features that commanders generally have, such as treasury sense and purses. It is entirely possible that the leadership of a tribe is nothing more than the highest level knight-class unit, and that the special Moneymancy of a tribe is carried out by "the tribe", which functions exactly as Vurp (nothing more than the only surviving hobgobwin knight of his tribe) describes.

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