...his very presence 1700 turns ago suggests that Slately only produced 7 more children in a 1700 turn span despite producing 16 over a 800-1799 turn span earlier in life.
It's possible that the high pop rate early on is due to heavy losses while the side expands. Once it becomes a large, well-allied, and mostly stable and non-aggressive side, they would need to pop fewer royals, since fewer would be dying in conflicts and the rest wouldn't have as much to do.
The problem is that determination of the cause of the discrepancy is a exercise left up to the reader and we're often to lazy to do that kind of work. I would be more willing to do it if I was sure of being proven right or wrong, but Erfworld hasn't really been doing as much World-building as my inner fantasy fan would like. The story has decided to focus on the question of 'Try to guess what happens next?!?!' instead of 'try to rationally piece together how we got to our current situation."
This one humanized the lesser Units a lot. The Stabber-spearman text entries dehumanized them, I thought.
I have to disagree with you on this. (At least in part.)Wrigley's first update
showed us a man suffering from shock and trying to come to terms with things. Despite using fewer words than this update, we got a very good sense of how Wrigley stood in his side and who he was. The information contained in the update was presented in such a way that it seemed rational for Wrigley to have it and made him seem like a normal, situationally-aware, human who was not in a good place mentally or physically. The mentions of Wrigley's assumpution that he would one day get to do things and his training suggest that Wrigley had goals and was trying to pursue them as best he could. We could connect with Wrigley as a person because we actually had enough information about him to get in his shoes.
That Wrigley's second update
was somewhat dehumanizing is a point I will not argue against. The thoughtful Wrigley presented earlier seems to become a simple device being used to convey the attitude of a generalized group of soldiers. Worse yet, it's an attitude that is considered decades, if not centuries, out of date here and is something the comic seemed unlikely to put in the heads of soldiers on our protagonist's side. Wrigley and the other soldiers aren't acting out of pragmatism or hatred. They're trying for personal fun and glory. (As a side point, giving Wrigley the Bolivian Army ending
was a bad idea. It simply doesn't fit with the tone established everywhere else in Erfworld up to that point. In the previous named character deaths, all deaths were either shown on panel, the aftermath was shown to us, or the exact details implied with no great subtlety.)
This update presented Mary and her stack in a way reminiscent of a high school based 'cliques, freaks, and geeks' sitcom. They felt more like stock characters than people. We had 'picked on pretty girl', 'the gossipers', and 'the bashful stoic'. (I would search TVtropes and find more common names for those characters, but I'm too lazy.) The story about the stabber named Dodge shows us that these 8 characters likely had free nights. (They weren't ordered to do nothing but go to bed.) Despite this opportunity to regularly meet and talk with units who might have a better idea of how things are, they are all shown as still sticking to only really talking amongst themselves while being ignorant of the side at large. This changes their situation from being 'kept in the dark by superiors/circumstance' to 'willingly ignorant group of outcasts'. This makes them extremely hard to relate to. While I will never think of myself as the most social of people, I would be lying if I said I didn't know anything about the state of society at large. It's like these 8 units have decided to try and form their own very small, isolationst, Amish commune.
(These 8 also have the same personal fun and glory attitude that Wrigley and his bros did during their charge, but it's forgivable in them as they never actually make decisions or act based solely on it.)
One of the problems I have with Erfworld is that it sometimes seems like Rob is just throwing out random numbers when he refers to the dates of historical events as they relate to the characters' pasts, not placing them somewhere in the existing timeline. Other updates tell us that there are significant events unrelated to the main storyline events that these archers lived thru. A few one line mentions of Mary and her stack's reactions to things like Forthewin's fall, the campaign against the ad council, the parades for Holly Shortcake's demise, or the increases and decreases of the number of troops in the city as they related to Jetstone's various military endeavors would have made this update feel a great deal more complete to me.
Also, the confirmed ability of Jetstone to keep their capital from even being attacked for 1700 turns without hiding it suggests that they may actually be correct in their assessment that they have the highest amount of military acumen in the world. It's actually somewhat of a shock to me that the side that produced Prince "Generate an incredibly expensive plan, then abandon it the moment a piece of tail gets in danger" could actually be competent. I was thinking that they were just a bunch of foolish blowhards with a decent mouthpiece.