Sure, we know it's technically Lord Stanley vs Charlie, but still.
Charlie has great strengths, but he could potentially also be very easy to defeat. It depends on the geography of ErfWorld. Is this a world with only one continent (like Earth's Pangea
), or are there more lands?Option 1: One Continent
To defeat Charlie, all Parson has to do is unite the land under him (by treaty or conquering), which denies work to Charlie.
The Shmucker wiki page
states an Archon unit cost of $200-$500 per turn, where higher levels = more cost. It estimates Charlie's upkeep for 600 Archon's is $120k-$300k per turn. As we know they're not all "level 1", the cost is obviously more than $120k.
I used an average cost of $350 each (Pyramid theory of a military unit) * 600 Archons to come up with ~$210k per turn. Compare that to the other costs on the Shmuckers page, and it's an incredible amount of money. So incredible that I wonder how he maintains them, not to mention the smaller cost of ~700 golems.
Without battles on the single continent, where Charlie can rent out Archons, Charlie would be dependent on his own lands to provide for him. But Charlescom (wiki)
is a level 5 mountaintop city with no other cities. Without income, over time Charlie would be forced to drastically downsize as expenses eat him up. A Parson with the combined resources of an entire continent's worth of shmuckers would roll over him.Option 2: Other Continents
There's a possibility of more continents like modern-day Earth. (Parson should really ask that while he's in in the magic kingdom). Charlie could send his Archons overseas to fight battles and generate shmuckers there, assuming they could fly there. That forces Charlie to stretch out his supply lines overseas. But delays cost money (sending forces a long distance; no money generated during travel), and makes them impossible to recall quickly if needed to defend the castle. But (as long as they lived), they would transfer money back so Charlescom could maintain it's home-base numbers. Final Speculation -- Locations and Cost, and the elephant in the room
It's worth noting that Gobwin Knob is regarded is being on the eastern side of the "known" world (Map
), but the western-most kingdom's that fought in TBFGK called it "The Great Western Conflict
." There might be more to the east, or it could refer to Western powers coming together to fight.
Lastly, let's look at where Charlie's Archon troops are positioned. As of Epilogue 25 (3 Dec)
, we get view inside Charlescomm. The Charlescomm Wiki page
Proposed Canon states
Charlescomm is an Erfworld side led by the mysterious Charlie. Its capital is a level 5 mountaintop city clad in blue, topped by the ominous Arkendish. Its forces include about 600 archons, some 120 of which presently guard the city along with over 700 golems (mostly cloth). Charlescomm has no other cities and uses no other units; no infantry, no casters, and no warlords. At the time of the Battle for Gobwin Knob, Charlie had deployed some 480 archons across Erfworld, either in the employ of various clients or simply remaining on standby near hotspots.
From the Epilogue 25 update, you can count:
24 = 4 per flying unit * 6 visible flying units (one unit only has 3 members; I'm assuming the 4th is outside the frame)
20 = Wall guards (5 visible on one wall * 4 walls). Lowball; you can't see one entire wall and shape may be a rectangle.
1 = person alone in the middle of the ground stacks.
45 visible moving around
Then the stacks. There are 7 fully or partially shown stacks, each stack has 48 troops + 1 "Sgt 1st Class" or guidon off to the side
343 = 7 stacks * 49 Archons per stack
+45 moving around
Total = ~400 at home, leaving about 200 in the field.
But the military likes symmetry, and the Archon stacks are lined up in military formation. So if I assume 12 stacks based on symmetry.
588 = 12 stacks * 49 Archons per stack
+ 45 moving around
Total = 633 .... or about 600. I'll also assume there's some inside acting as consul and the like, give him a total of about 650.
That implies Charlie recalled all Archons home and currently and they're not generating shmuckers. Every turn from now until the battle is over will be draining him heavily, and (depending on how big his treasury is) possibly be reducing his number of forces. All Charlie's units returned to base has other implications as well:
- Charlie knows it will take a while to get to him, but is still wanting to be prepared for anything, at any cost. Timing is everything--this can backfire if his money runs out too soon.
- It lightly implies there's no other known lands nearby, where he's rent his units out but have quick enough recall
- If other sides are looking to rent out Archons to tip a battle....it looks like he's not for hire until this conflict is over (no pre-positioned troops as in TBfGK), unless hiring out his Archons helps him protect his castle by moving the battle elsewhere.
Note that all this is dismissing one thing -- the Arkendish (wiki)
. Being attuned to the Arkenpliers allows Wanda to extend her Croakamancy into "upkeep free" Decrypted troops
. What is unknown is if Charlies being attuned to the Arkendish gives a shmucker free ride to either Archons or golems, or just helps them pop faster (but you have to pay for upkeep). So all my counting, calculation, and speculation could be for nothing.
Blockade and light siege is long, slow, an boring. But it works. If you see Charlies city downgrading from a Level 5, it means he's feeling the hurt.