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 Post Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:01 pm 
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Dancing Cthulhu wrote:
Jillian + three major characters (not counting Jack's unrequited love)...

I think Jillian and Vinnie are just "friends with benefits."
Dancing Cthulhu wrote:
Unless like has been suggested he had a lightening fast move that GK might not have picked up, but that seems like quite a commitment from Charlie - turn time is a vital commodity, to end one so quickly...

During that turn, Charlie was engaged in the link - he probably wouldn't have been able to issue orders, and he would have wanted to avoid battle encounters. He could have just left very specific movement/scouting instructions with Fox Force Five the previous turn, and asked them to carry out his orders and end turn as quickly as possible.

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     Post Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:10 pm 
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    Dancing Cthulhu wrote:
    Oh very good. I'll say it again - I always enjoy seeing Charlie in action. Also rather interesting look at Archons again. I feel rather sorry for Hillery ending up like that, though it seems things are looking up because Charlie is on his game. Hopefully she'll live to fight another day.


    She will...Sammy is now doing whatever Charlie commands for at least a turn, and all units heal at the start of their next turn. Chances are she and the other Archons still alive stay in this hex after the Haggar column advances, and all heal when Charlescom starts its next turn.

    Dancing Cthulhu wrote:
    I doubt Charlie is in a position to actually carry out the attack on Haggar, but they wouldn't know that I'm guessing. It is these kind of situations that make having comprehensive intelligence a good thing.


    Maybe they are...b/c Charlie's merc strategy is to have a distributed net of units near conflict "hotspots" I wouldn't be surprised if he could get a goodly number over Haggar's capital in just one turn. Haggar's Capital Forces:

    190 infantry
    18 heavy units
    15 small flyers
    2 warlords
    2 casters
    7 courtiers
    2 level two vessels (Seaside)
    1 level four cessel (Seaside) - with an available complement of 75 infantry, 7 small flyers, 1 heavy flyer, 1 warlord
    3 heavy flyers (w/in one turn's move)
    21 small flyers (w/in one turn's move)
    16 infantry (w/in one turn's move)
    1 level three vessel (w/in one turn's move) - with 24 infantry.

    It seems very similar to (if not weaker than) GK's defenders in tBfGK after Stanley bugged out: http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F077a.jpg I think Parson's calcs said >14 Archons could defeat GK with that listed compliment, and Charlie had approx 30 in the battlespace the very next turn.

    Lord Kasavin wrote:
    The brilliance of this move is not that Charlie is making it, its that he CAN make it at all and with such gusto. He had an EXACT tally of Haggar's defenses, and not just in capital but within reach of the capital. Had he merely claimed the capital was vulnerable, then Sammy would be far less likely to swallow an ultimatum. Beyond that, you do make a point that this not Charlie's typical style and is more a move mandated by circumstances that a brilliant grab of opportunity.


    The part I like best is this: "The next unit the city will pop is a non-heir Royal warlord, in nine more turns. Congratulations in advance, by the way." It seems to imply that Charlie brought in some Predictamancy to buff his argument, depending on how the mechanics of popping work. Did King Dickie order a Warlord, and get a "bonus" when the Warlord popped Royal? Or did he order a Royal sibling up who is not an heir now, but is a safety net in case Sammy croaks?

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     Post Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:15 pm 
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    atalex wrote:
    What's funny about this update (to me at least) is that it simultaneously makes me like Charlie more and also dislike him more. I admire his Magnificent Bastardy, but the Archon's undying devotion creeps me out. Yes, I know the Arkendish probably causes Charlie's Archons to pop with a preternatural loyalty to him. I do not think it automatically makes them pop as emotionally dependent sex-dolls, however -- I think that's something Charlie deliberately imposes on them. Parson effectively has the same degree of power over the Decrypted Archons that Charlie has over the ones still in his service, but Parson recoils from using them the same way Charlie seems to ... and the way the Archons themselves seem to expect to be used.

    Prudery on my part, perhaps, but that's the way I feel.


    It's not implied that Charlie "uses" his Archons in *that* way. None of his Archons have even seen him, as noted in Summer Update 46:

    "So what was Charlie like? None of them had ever physically seen him. He had a special personal guard of Archons who lived with him in the main tower, but those were rarely seen either. All contact with Charlie was by Thinkamancy via the Arkendish, which was apparently a rush for them when it happened. "

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     Post Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:18 pm 
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    Oberon wrote:
    There is nothing which suggests that he'd be stupid enough to deliberately hamper this happy counter to his own obscure practice of refusing to pop Warlords.


    I never said he was stupid, I said he was crazy. But you're right, basically everything we have on Charlie is speculation right now. I joined the forum so I could speculate, because lots of people on here have some pretty off-the-wall explanations for what's going on that are almost as entertaining as the comic itself (Charlie IS the Arkendish? Brilliant, and probably quite possible.)

    I am hereby comparing Charlie to the resident neckbeard with all the very, very carefully-painted Sisters of Battle army present at most independent game stores. The one who threatens to beat you up when you begin to take your Callidus Assassin out of the box.

    build6 wrote:
    that's really freaky and it really drives home how wrong the whole Charlie-archon side is...

    I was gonna say I hope Charlie gets whacked, but I don't see how that's gonna happen without a lot of dead archons, so ... erfworld sucks. Janice was right, it needs Parson to break it.


    I think it's freakier when you consider that love and hate seem to also exist independently of the Obedience/Duty system (Edit: I don't know if I believe this is what Loyalty represents, as spells seem to modify that stat directly). You only need to look at characters like Jillian and Parson to see examples of either. If you pop forces that are totally mad for you, in addition to having high Obedience/Loyalty scores, wouldn't they be much harder to Turn?

    Neko wrote:
    I think Parson's calcs said >14 Archons could defeat GK with that listed compliment, and Charlie had approx 30 in the battlespace the very next turn.


    Parson only had 32 archer-class infantry, and they were the only units in GK capable of hitting flying units ('Nother edit: I discounted the fact that at that moment, Wanda had a small stack of uncroaked fliers, and is disproportionately BA in hand-to-hand for a Caster. Still, calculations revealed that 14 Archons could not deal with this in one turn, if at all. The next calc said that 30, however, could). Haggar has numerous fliers of his own, though, and we don't know what class of infantry his units are. If they were indeed archers, they might be able to take on a small sortie of Archons. It's a risky bluff to call, though, considering he does in fact have hundreds of the flying nuisances.

    Neko wrote:
    It's not implied that Charlie "uses" his Archons in *that* way.


    Yeah, I can't see him doing that either, and not just because it doesn't fit into the rather half-arsed psychological profile I'm trying to develop.

    BLANDCorporatio wrote:
    And on the Archon Leadership thing, we know (some) Archons have leadership (they said so to Parson), they can and did lead units before (DDR), they can form stacks without warlords that nonetheless do not auto-attack (is that due to a scouting ability however?) so it's not unreasonable to expect them to control themselves without other leadership and maybe even provide bonuses to each other.


    My impression was that Ansom was leading that, and they were just providing bonuses, but I could be mistaken. The wiki seems to imply that Archons can be used as scouts, though I'm unclear on what that even means. Scouts do not seem to be distinct units, so perhaps there is a way to simply set a certain kind of unit to scout-mode and not have to worry about them rushing into combat. The Gobwin scout stacks seemed to be semi-autonomous in the tunnels, playing hit-and-run with Jetstone's expeditionary force, so maybe scouts can follow a general game-plan for a Turn or two? I don't know.

    kagato23 wrote:
    Regarding leadership, I think that it is leaderless stacks that have to auto-attack, not warlord stacks. You just need somebody with leadership ability. Note for example that casters can lead a stack. So if an archon has a leader in stack, they can choose not to engage. I have to assume that with a decent amount who get this as a random skill when they start, that it works well. If a warlord or caster was necessary, you'd see a lot less stacks in the game.


    Casters can indeed lead a stack, but Knight-class units can't, and if Archons can they're the exception to the rule. And then we must look at WHY they are an exception. Also, you see plenty of leaderless stacks; GK has hundreds of units in the field, but the biggest stack we've seen numbers-wise was Stanley's escape force, which had like 30 Dwagons and three knights, plus Stanley and Jack. And GK only has a handful of warlords and casters. Most other Sides seem to have similar numbers in terms of Warlords and Casters, whether due to attrition or just a natural shortage of such resources. Leaderless stacks can't be used for surgical strikes, but you can use them as a screen like Jillian did a few updates ago, and sometimes you just want to rock 'n roll.

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     Post Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:00 pm 
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    Well, this will be interesting. But do any of us really think charlie would go for something as simple as have them hit Ansom's army? Nothing Charlie does is ever that simple.

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     Post Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:54 pm 
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    the_tick_rules wrote:
    Well, this will be interesting. But do any of us really think charlie would go for something as simple as have them hit Ansom's army? Nothing Charlie does is ever that simple.

    While I don't think it's entirely out of character for Charlie to pull a let's you and him fight, remember that Jillian is kind of forcing his hand.

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     Post Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:03 pm 
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    the_tick_rules wrote:
    Well, this will be interesting. But do any of us really think charlie would go for something as simple as have them hit Ansom's army? Nothing Charlie does is ever that simple.


    It may be interesting if he directs Sammy to split the Haggar column...archers to Spacerock, where they can get hitsies on flyers...heavies to Expository Bridge where they'll smash through infantry. Warlords divided between the two groups, of course. Splitting Haggar also reduces the threat of them turning on Jetstone, but I'm not sure that's Charlie's top priority. :) With the threat of Haggar turning removed, though, it would make Tremennis more likely to go along with Jillian's plan.

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     Post Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:42 am 
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    Still now we got to wait to see what he wants done.

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     Post Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:10 am 
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    Neko wrote:
    Maybe they are...b/c Charlie's merc strategy is to have a distributed net of units near conflict "hotspots" I wouldn't be surprised if he could get a goodly number over Haggar's capital in just one turn. Haggar's Capital Forces:

    190 infantry
    18 heavy units
    15 small flyers
    2 warlords
    2 casters
    7 courtiers
    2 level two vessels (Seaside)
    1 level four cessel (Seaside) - with an available complement of 75 infantry, 7 small flyers, 1 heavy flyer, 1 warlord
    3 heavy flyers (w/in one turn's move)
    21 small flyers (w/in one turn's move)
    16 infantry (w/in one turn's move)
    1 level three vessel (w/in one turn's move) - with 24 infantry.

    It seems very similar to (if not weaker than) GK's defenders in tBfGK after Stanley bugged out: http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F077a.jpg I think Parson's calcs said >14 Archons could defeat GK with that listed compliment, and Charlie had approx 30 in the battlespace the very next turn.


    MUCH weaker than GKs defense at its worst (although sort of natural since GK were expecting a major siege).
    GK had over 100 heavies, almost 600 infantry plus a small assortment of knights and casters.

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     Post Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:49 am 
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    I'm not even going to comment on the update, as every possible opinion has already been expressed. Since about 6 PM EST on Friday, I've been reading TVTropes, save when I passed out or concerned family members stayed to watch to make SURE I ate the food they brought. To whomever linked it, I ask only "WHY?!?!?!?!" I still, at time of this writing, have about 60 tabs open, and need to wake up in 8 hours. Surely 60 pages can't take me too long to read, I read most novels in a sitting... oh that's interesting... and that... sixty-FIVE tabs now...

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     Post Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:59 am 
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    gatherer818 wrote:
    I'm not even going to comment on the update, as every possible opinion has already been expressed. Since about 6 PM EST on Friday, I've been reading TVTropes, save when I passed out or concerned family members stayed to watch to make SURE I ate the food they brought. To whomever linked it, I ask only "WHY?!?!?!?!" I still, at time of this writing, have about 60 tabs open, and need to wake up in 8 hours. Surely 60 pages can't take me too long to read, I read most novels in a sitting... oh that's interesting... and that... sixty-FIVE tabs now...

    I'd offer you my condolences if I weren't too busy being in the exact same situation.

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     Post Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:31 am 
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    Dancing Cthulhu wrote:
    Justyn wrote:
    And if Wanda can get to them before Charlescomm starts turn again, Gobwin Knob will get three new Decrypted Archons.


    With the situation Wanda is in now I don't think she'll be going after Archons. And I don't think Charlie will let Sammy hang onto his injured prisoners, he'll have them released one way or another so Wanda shouldn't even be aware they are not to far away.


    They were shot down with arrows; they aren't prisoners, they're cadavers. And there is no point for Haggar to take the bodies with them if they move beyond denying Gobwin Knob the material for new Decrypted, so there will probably be a few dead Archons in any one of several hexes that Gobwin Knob can enter on their next turn.

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     Post Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:24 am 
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    hrm - wait, so does this mean that the "stress" in Charlie's voice while talking to Jillian was because his archons were getting killed by Haggar?

    (Speaking of which, Haggar is one nasty little thug)

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     Post Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:39 am 
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    Justyn wrote:
    Dancing Cthulhu wrote:
    Justyn wrote:
    And if Wanda can get to them before Charlescomm starts turn again, Gobwin Knob will get three new Decrypted Archons.


    With the situation Wanda is in now I don't think she'll be going after Archons. And I don't think Charlie will let Sammy hang onto his injured prisoners, he'll have them released one way or another so Wanda shouldn't even be aware they are not to far away.


    They were shot down with arrows; they aren't prisoners, they're cadavers. And there is no point for Haggar to take the bodies with them if they move beyond denying Gobwin Knob the material for new Decrypted, so there will probably be a few dead Archons in any one of several hexes that Gobwin Knob can enter on their next turn.


    They won't find much. Bodies are "cleaned up" before the start of the next "day's" turn, as outlined in the first book. Also, I doubt GK will be doing much in the way of long-hex travelling their next turn- at least, not in a direction going deeper into RCC territory. Willingly.

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     Post Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:15 pm 
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    build6 wrote:
    hrm - wait, so does this mean that the "stress" in Charlie's voice while talking to Jillian was because his archons were getting killed by Haggar?


    Other people think so. I am not that sure however. Charlie does not start talking to Jillian until some time after the link is broken. But from the text update it seems that he gets to the Archons shadowing Haggar's force rather quickly after he breaks the link and I don't see Charlie getting stressed talking to Haggar. I could be wrong though.

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     Post Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:29 pm 
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    HandofShadows wrote:
    Other people think so. I am not that sure however. Charlie does not start talking to Jillian until some time after the link is broken. But from the text update it seems that he gets to the Archons shadowing Haggar's force rather quickly after he breaks the link and I don't see Charlie getting stressed talking to Haggar. I could be wrong though.

    He doesn't get to them that quickly - Haggar has had some time since the beginning of their turn (i.e. when the link was broken) to redo their spot checks, notice the archons, shoot them down, accept Hilary's surrender, and beat her up/question her a few times. It fits into the timeline - all that takes place while Charlie is watching Jillian leave Spacerock and having his conversation with her, he pauses to talk to Sammy (presumably to get them to help Faq), and he returns to Jillian and asks her to wait until Haggar arrives, the stress in his voice presumably due to some combination of:
    a) the likelihood that Jillian will ignore his advice and try to fight the GK ground forces alone;
    b) the mistreatment/death of his archons;
    c) his distaste at having to force Sammy with blunt threats instead of his usually more subtle manipulations; and
    d) (this one's for you, BlandCo) his dawning realization that he just successfully deployed a new superweapon and can now go on to conquer the world.

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     Post Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:26 pm 
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    DoctorJest wrote:
    We don't know that he's using the dish for that thinkagram.


    Text 18 wrote:
    But then, the warmth. The well-being. There was a jagged gap in the front of her smile, but she did smile.

    "Please hold for Charlie," she told Sammy in her smoothest neutral/professional voice. With difficulty, she sat upright. Then she held up her fingers, and framed the Prince's beastly head.


    Summer Update 46 wrote:
    All contact with Charlie was by Thinkamancy via the Arkendish, which was apparently a rush for them when it happened.



    I'd think those two are rather connected.

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     Post Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:09 pm 
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    Neko wrote:
    atalex wrote:
    What's funny about this update (to me at least) is that it simultaneously makes me like Charlie more and also dislike him more. I admire his Magnificent Bastardy, but the Archon's undying devotion creeps me out. Yes, I know the Arkendish probably causes Charlie's Archons to pop with a preternatural loyalty to him. I do not think it automatically makes them pop as emotionally dependent sex-dolls, however -- I think that's something Charlie deliberately imposes on them. Parson effectively has the same degree of power over the Decrypted Archons that Charlie has over the ones still in his service, but Parson recoils from using them the same way Charlie seems to ... and the way the Archons themselves seem to expect to be used.

    Prudery on my part, perhaps, but that's the way I feel.


    It's not implied that Charlie "uses" his Archons in *that* way. None of his Archons have even seen him, as noted in Summer Update 46:

    "So what was Charlie like? None of them had ever physically seen him. He had a special personal guard of Archons who lived with him in the main tower, but those were rarely seen either. All contact with Charlie was by Thinkamancy via the Arkendish, which was apparently a rush for them when it happened. "


    Clients might use them like that though.

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     Post Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:29 pm 
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    Oh, they certainly do. But that's not really Charlie's fault.

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     Post Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:58 pm 
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    Raza wrote:
    Iunno. Although fanatical devotion is really easy to abuse, it's not morally wrong per se, and sometimes you just get it thrown into your lap for doing what you'd be doing anyway. And since erfworld has inescapable hierarchies woven into its very physics, it seems a lot less relevant there than it does in our reality, where hierarchy exists only in our minds and devotion is the glue that holds it together.

    Seems to me it makes their lives more pleasant by removing the difference between what they might want to do and what they're forced to, if anything.


    I agree, Archons are combat units, if they were gobwins or orcs would I doubt anyone would feel squeamish about it. As it is they are valued highly by Charlie.

    I wonder if part of the feeling of loss when he is out of contact is because all active archons receive leadership bonus from Charlie. He has no warlords so they can't get stacking bonuses, so maybe they get bonus from Charlie regardless of distance - another Archendish effect. That could explain why the spy group seems to be particularly vulnerable; 3 taken down and 1 surrendering doesn't seem like regular-strength Archons; they were on internal juice only with none 'beamed' from Charlie.

    It's not a creepy cult thing, it is literally the nature of the power relationship between them.

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