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 Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:01 pm 
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One reason not to create a new caster fusion -- they need Maggie for (as far as they know) secure communications, now that the eyebooks are compromised.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:23 pm 
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    I get the strong impression that Stanley's finding himself in the same position that Parson was in for most of BoGK. For the first time, Stanley doesn't understand the game any better than Parson does, and it's unnerving him badly.

    I think that's what fails in game-based analyses of Stanley's decision-Parson's not exactly part of the game anymore, and Wanda's possession of the Arkenpliers puts the balance of power in Stanley's forces in the hands of someone whose Loyalty he doesn't trust at all. Suddenly the metagame is if anything the greater part of the game, and Stanley's entirely at sea.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:04 am 
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    I just had an awesome thought: A caster link with Parson, Maggie, Sizemore, and Wanda. This would be a perfect combo of spell power, tactics, and world-shaping powers.

    At least a link between Parson and somebody else. I think this is alluded to in a lot of the comics; but the way that Stanley seems to fear Parson the same as Wanda might be a clue.

    I mean, he entered the Magical kingdom, so he obviously isn't treated as a normal warlord. He isn't a caster (as far as we can tell), so a link up with him in the mix may be a solution to a lot of the Tool's problems down the line. Teamed up with a master thinkamancer, Parson could wage a war on his enemy's minds.

    Just some speculation I guess, but I think that some of the lines that were drawn in this comic are allusions to a link up with Parson.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:22 am 
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    Parson's apparently a Hippiemancer, according to what Janis had to say on page 140 after Parson got the Vulcan pinch.Which, considering his nature as the Perfect Warlord, leads me to believe that the Grand Abbie may have a better read on Parson's eventual impact than even she realizes.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:28 am 
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    MrSitouh wrote:
    Parson's apparently a Hippiemancer, according to what Janis had to say on page 140 after Parson got the Vulcan pinch.Which, considering his nature as the Perfect Warlord, leads me to believe that the Grand Abbie may have a better read on Parson's eventual impact than even she realizes.

    This brings up a good question. Does Parson know that he was called a hippiemancer yet? He was unconscious by that time when he was in the magic kingdom, and it doesn't seem like Maggie, Sizemore, or Wanda have told him yet. I'm kind of interested to hear what Parson's reaction to that bit of news would be. Also, I wonder what Stanley will think about Parson's trip through the magic portal.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:43 am 
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    xBekux wrote:
    I just had an awesome thought: A caster link with Parson, Maggie, Sizemore, and Wanda. This would be a perfect combo of spell power, tactics, and world-shaping powers.


    You can only link up three casters at most, and a linkup with Parson would unlikely to be helpful since he is completely untrained as a hippiemancer, plus as Maggie points out, Parson's mind is the most powerful weapon they have.

    So does anyone not think that Ansom is going to screw up badly at some point, thus requiring Parson to take over for him? Ansom actually is a competent warlord even though he is a little too tradition bound, but there is no way that the protagonist of the story is going to get off that easy by just staying back the whole time. And is there any way for Parson to make good use of his time on rear-d? He doesn't know he is a hippiemancer yet and he still has the same problem of lacking anyone competent to teach him more about the world and the battle system. Maybe he could learn swordsmanship from someone? That is assuming he picks up a new sword of course.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:41 am 
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    Glome wrote:
    So does anyone not think that Ansom is going to screw up badly at some point, thus requiring Parson to take over for him?


    It'd be nice to see a Jillian vs Ansom confrontation. In fact, if I were Wanda I'd send Ansom after her.

    I guess that at some point Stanley would want to go after transylvito, they nearly croaked him.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:56 am 
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    Heh I doubt Stanley thought about this but demoting Parson might actually be a good idea. Instead of putting him out with the main army where he would be in danger he keeps him in the city protected. If in some bizarre chain of events his new army is destroyed he's still got his most brilliant tactical mind who he can put in charge of the city's defences, and after Gobwin Knob it's doubtful that anyone is going to want to lead an army against him while he's defending that city. It gives him a great defence and their hesitance to attack would give him time to re-arm and get ready for another offensive.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:16 am 
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    teratorn wrote:
    It'd be nice to see a Jillian vs Ansom confrontation. In fact, if I were Wanda I'd send Ansom after her.


    Well, the working title for chapter 2 is "love is a battlefield", so yeah :)

    A two-caster link with only Jack and Maggie could be also very helpful. Maggie contacts the troops in front and reports back all they see and Jack provides graphical help. Less powerful than the three-macer link, but still lets Parson support the troops with his ideas.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:19 am 
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    SteveMB wrote:
    Another thought that occurs to me -- Stanley started out as a regular infantryman, and then a warlord, fighting in the field according to the usual ways of war on Erfworld. Stanley won some battles... perhaps accepting enemies' surrenders on some occasions. He may at least somewhat agree with Ansom's complaint about the dishonorable I Surrender Suckers ploy, and if so that might contribute to his unease about Parson.

    I don't think Stanley even knows how Parson won or how Ansom croaked. He just came back when Maggie told him they won, and found a new city and terrain waiting for him. Even if he did know, I really don't think he would be put off by false surrender, considering how he became overlord.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:44 am 
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    Parson doesn't like himself very much right now.

    He doesn't want to be in command, he has little interest in participating in Stanley's reign of terror, and since gaming the war was his only real cause, he has no interest in using Gobwin Knob to "fix" Erfworld.

    He won. Then he forced himself to look at the cost of that win. No, Parson doesn't like himself very much anymore. War's hell, even in Erfworld.

    I think what will wake Parson up will be either a direct threat to his life, or a realization that he can do something to *help* Erfworld as a whole. Lead a war to literally end all wars, perhaps. Meanwhile... I don't think we're going to see much action out of Parson.

    Next update might be many turns later.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:17 am 
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    Actually I wouldn't be surprised if we got a few updates of narration summarizing what is happening on the front lines as Stanley's army marches out.

    And Parson isn't really the perfect 'warlord', more like a perfect tactician. The best place for a tactician is the situation room, not the front lines. Since the Chief Warlord grants significant bonuses to troops, it's better to choose a veteran warrior for the Chief. Granted, this probably isn't why Stanley is demoting Parson, but still.

    What remains to be seen is whether Ansom will take Parson's orders even when Ansom is the Chief. Or whether Wanda has anything to say about all this.

    Also I wonder if over these summer updates we'll find out why the (Faq, in particular) casters are loyal to Stanley?

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:21 am 
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    Sorry for the double post, but was 'shit' usually censored? It seems like it wasn't here...

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:29 am 
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    valce wrote:
    Sorry for the double post, but was 'shit' usually censored? It seems like it wasn't here...

    It was, but Parson is apparently exempt after the end of book 1.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:18 am 
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    I just had a thought.

    Maybe Parson actively resigning is actually different from passively being demoted. My logic here is that Parson might think that by resigning instead of getting demoted he might be able to subvert the Erfworld mechanic of duty [b]completely[b]. Resigning might even give him free will in that case, since it could very well mean that he's not under the Tool's command anymore.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:01 am 
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    valce wrote:
    And Parson isn't really the perfect 'warlord', more like a perfect tactician. The best place for a tactician is the situation room, not the front lines. Since the Chief Warlord grants significant bonuses to troops, it's better to choose a veteran warrior for the Chief. Granted, this probably isn't why Stanley is demoting Parson, but still.

    I generally agree, except that's the wrong word -- Parson is a very good (though not perfect) strategist (i.e. big-picture person). Ansom (and Stanley) are better as tacticians (i.e. effective leaders in individual battles).

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:28 am 
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    SteveMB wrote:
    I generally agree, except that's the wrong word -- Parson is a very good (though not perfect) strategist (i.e. big-picture person). Ansom (and Stanley) are better as tacticians (i.e. effective leaders in individual battles).

    I'd actually argue that Parson is better at both Strategy AND Tactics.
    Strategy includes creating the Donut of Doom, or luring units into the tunnels, while attacking the siege units and withdrawing, or targetting the leadership with Sizemore and Maggie would fall under tactics.

    The only thing that Ansom has over Parson is his actual leadership stat, which gives him a combat bonus.

    Since Parson's stats cannot be seen, I'm still not convinced that he actually has any.
    Personally, I don't think he levels, and the only way he'll get better in a fight is through practice.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:02 pm 
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    cloudbreaker wrote:
    This brings up a good question. Does Parson know that he was called a hippiemancer yet? He was unconscious by that time when he was in the magic kingdom, and it doesn't seem like Maggie, Sizemore, or Wanda have told him yet. I'm kind of interested to hear what Parson's reaction to that bit of news would be. Also, I wonder what Stanley will think about Parson's trip through the magic portal.


    The casters may not know themselves. They were still in the link and pretty booped up when Janis said that, and we didn't see Janis say it to Sizemore during their fireside talk. Parson being a supposed hippiemancer would have come out in Sizemore's fireside diatribe if he had known and I was writing it (not saying that I'm a good writer, just what I would have done!)

    And that's assuming that Janis wasn't lying/wrong/misleading when she called Parson a hippiemancer in the first place - those debates are still archived over on GitP.

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:00 pm 
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    So, we finally get to see Stanley and Parson together again. Maggie's sudden passion was enjoyable, but the rest of this update leaves me very disappointed.

    Stanley's attempted apology (and even acknowledging Sizemore) was a very promising start, but his stumbling decision to promote Ansom took the wind out of those sails almost instantly. First, it makes very little military sense that I can see. Maggie already covered the basic problem of replacing Parson with an obvious inferior. But it also implies that Stanley intends to send his Chief Warlord out to retake other cities, which maximizes the chance of his Chief Warlord dying yet again. Why? Sending Ansom to lead an army makes sense given his Leadership, but from what we've seen, any warlord can lead a force in the field. Why must Stanley send his Chief Warlord into the field? How would it not make more sense for Ansom to be the field Warlord to Parson's Chief Warlord?

    Secondly, Stanley's halting dismissal of Parson seems to serve no purpose other than to make him look like even more of a buffoon than he already does. He starts off by apologizing for fleeing GK in Book 1. But he then makes it clear that he's still not listening to anyone else's advice and will do whatever he thinks is best, implying that his apology is meaningless. But then he practically has to beg Parson to accept the demotion. He's pleased when Parson accepts, but then surprised when Parson talks Maggie into accepting as well. What is going on here? Stanley is all over the map.

    If Stanley's decision is actually a reasonable move, his pathetic disembling when demoting Parson seems out of place. If the idea is that Stanley isn't used to asking for advice and is thus trying to feel his way into it, his "quiet air of cold threat" at Maggie's interruption seems out of place. If the idea is that he's afraid of Parson and wants to quietly marginalize him, his more genuine smile at Parson's first acceptance seems out of place. I have no idea what this scene is supposed to convey, unless it's that Stanley really is a useless halfwit.

    But the real problem with this update is Parson. Book 1 ended with a powerful show of defiance from him, refusing to be Fate's pawn. Yet all of a sudden he's gone completely passive-aggressive, never challenging Stanley, afraid to say what's actually on his mind, agreeing to whatever is suggested so he won't have to make any more hard decisions. Swell. So much for the player. Aside from completely undercutting the end of Book 1, Parson sulking in his tent feels like a theme that is going to get old fast.

    Finally, letting Parson casually swear from now on is exactly what I did not want to happen. His use of profanity at the end of Book 1 was powerful precisely because it was so difficult to say it. If Parson can now swear freely and easily, it cheapens that hard won power. The more he treats profanities as ordinary verbs and nouns, the more his "Fuck you" to Erfworld is no big deal.

    -H

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     Post subject: Re: Summer Updates - 009
     Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:22 pm 
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    jtaylor wrote:
    I don't think Stanley even knows how Parson won or how Ansom croaked. He just came back when Maggie told him they won, and found a new city and terrain waiting for him. Even if he did know, I really don't think he would be put off by false surrender, considering how he became overlord.

    Ansom probably said how he was croaked. Given Stanley's agreement that this was dishonorable, I'm taking this update as further evidence that Stanley was not the one behind Saline IV's betrayal.

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