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 Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:45 am 
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Well, THAT would be a waste... couldn't they harvest them? Of course, they could be vegetarian.

And peeps are not vegetables.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:25 am 
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    Unless they do it to encourage dwagon presence in the surrounding mountains, which would be a boost to the image of impenetrability of the mountains. Unless you happen to have an arkenhammer in your hand...

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:52 am 
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    It just struck me - I wonder what changed in between now and when Stanley attacks. It sounds like the city would fall easily to an air assault, but when Stanley moves in, even if they do eventually lose, Faq blasts more than 10 dwagons right off the bat, as the casters "had defense spells up the wazoo". Compared to the lesser damage that Delphie and Cubbins did from their higher level towers (basic flyers / archons wouldn't have nearly as many hits as dwagons), it would suggest a fairly radical change in priorities between then and 'then'.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:12 am 
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    Squishalot wrote:
    It just struck me - I wonder what changed in between now and when Stanley attacks.

    Wanda did, I imagine. Banhammer clearly has no respect for Jillian and her focus on combat. But when Wanda arrives, Jillian has someone who shares her focus on preparedness, and is a promising polymath caster, which Banhammer would respect. Moreover, I think Marie would support Wanda's desire to strengthen FAQ's defenses, and Jack is going to support anything Jillian likes.

    So you go from the present where only Fool Jack is pushing Jillian's POV, to a scenario in which Jack, Wanda, and Marie are advocating more defense. Who knows what other casters Wanda may be able to persuade? Rusty seems ripe for seeking out a new friend (and where did Wanda get that cache of shockamancy scrolls in the Battle for Gobwin Knob from anyway?), and he'd finally be deemed useful building defenses for FAQ.

    At that point you have at least four of your nine casters pushing for better defenses (along with your heir). Even Banhammer is going to compromise on this issue.

    RAMPANT SPECULATION:
    On the other hand, I imagine the healomancer Betsy will be uncomfortable with weaponizing FAQ. The signamancer probably wants FAQ to appear peaceful (appearances making reality as far as the signamancer is concerned). The moneymancer and mathmancer will only care about the cost, so they probably abstain. No idea where the lookamancer stands. He might feel it's a waste. The point of FAQ is to be hidden. Once FAQ is found, FAQ has lost its purpose anyway. At that point, the quicker it falls, the more merciful it is. Better to die with principles intact than become yet another kingdom caught in endless conflict.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:15 am 
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    Fabo wrote:
    Unless they do it to encourage dwagon presence in the surrounding mountains, which would be a boost to the image of impenetrability of the mountains. Unless you happen to have an arkenhammer in your hand...

    That's a great point. I suppose Banhammer might just pop warlords and then disband them immediately if they aren't casters. His mathamancer and moneymancer might be able to ease the cost of that, and his signamancer may be able to increase the chances of a caster popping. Also, some of these casters may have been recruited from the Magic Kingdom.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:22 am 
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    Squishalot: One theory I could present is, that the tower actually is already geared for defense, without Jillian even knowing. It is entirely possible that Banhammer considered the finesse of magic, even battlemagic, too sophisticated to have a warlord consult it.

    Another theory on what happened is, that Wanda happened.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:02 pm 
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    What stuck out to me:

    Even much larger sides only seem to have half these many casters. Faq's caster-stravaganza may be a combination of multiple factors. First, Banhammer's a pacifist and as such the Titan's read his heart and give him casters instead of warlords. Second, I hypothesize some sort of terrain modifier or other natural bonus: just like Charlescomm's capital can (even without assistance from a turnamancer) produce archons more rapidly, Faq is a naturally spawning spot for casters.

    On the question of money, casters are expensive units in terms of upkeep, probably at least more so than simple warlords. And none of these casters are "materially" oriented, as suits a kingdom focused on philosophy, so they can't easily boost Faq's coffers or larders. I'm sure a moneymancer helps, but he can only do so much. Upkeep is still difficult and their resources ARE limited. They probably can't even send troops foraging without further increasing the chances of being spotted by another kingdom.

    As for the Magic Kingdom and rands, I would assume that the casters were kept out of the Magic Kingdom or their activities there were severely curtailed because a contingent of this many casters would draw someone's attention and would be an egregious breach of Faq's cover. Jillian can pretend to be from a faraway kingdom or maybe even a barbarian (?), but anonymity would be hard to maintain if the portal to Faq kept disgorging this many remarkable casters into MK.

    EDIT: The fact that Jill has dissembled about the number of casters in Faq would be strategic misinformation on her part: everyone would want a piece of a kingdom that is a natural spawning point for casters.

    EDIT: I don't seek it likely that Banhammer is secretly a master strategist with his mind on his armies and his armies on his mind and simultaneously showing disdain for Jillian's battle lust.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:50 pm 
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    Spawn point? You're inventing things that aren't needed, and we also have contradictory data: Queen Jillian, popping in the same place, didn't pop a single caster. She attributed this to 'need'. Old-FAQ certainly needs casters a lot more than anything else. Something's different: temperament and objective.

    I used to think it was simply side temperament, but then we saw the popping of Wanda, and 'need' came to make a bit more sense.

    Also, capturing foreign casters as the opportunity arises could be a standing order.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:04 pm 
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    drachefly wrote:
    Spawn point? You're inventing things that aren't needed, and we also have contradictory data: Queen Jillian, popping in the same place, didn't pop a single caster. She attributed this to 'need'. Old-FAQ certainly needs casters a lot more than anything else. Something's different: temperament and objective.

    I used to think it was simply side temperament, but then we saw the popping of Wanda, and 'need' came to make a bit more sense.

    Also, capturing foreign casters as the opportunity arises could be a standing order.


    "Spawning point" is only shorthand. As I said, this is hypothesis only, and one backed in part by the Charlescomm's archon-popping bonus (assuming it isn't the direct result of the arkendish's residence or attunement to Charlie). Again, just idle hypothesizing.

    Old Faq had an improbably large amount of casters for even a small kingdom, it seems to me. Or let me put it this way: if each of all these casters was so crucial to Faq's survival, why is it believable (if only barely) to savvy Erfworlders that the side could survive with only the casters that Jill does mention, like Marie and Jack? When Jill is desperate to have others believe in Faq's existence, why wouldn't she mention the existence of all these other casters as further proof of its feasibility? Maybe because those casters are either unimportant to her argument or improbable by their sheer number.

    As for capturing other casters, that seems unlikely to me given that casters are a valuable target and it is unlikely that Jill, leading a small mercenary force, would be likely to encounter many casters and would be unlikely to be allowed to keep any they did capture in the course of serving another side.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:09 pm 
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    There is no support for the idea of Spawn Point, and Jillian's failure to pop a single caster is an excellent counter to the theory.

    There are lots of ways to get many casters.

    1) Be around a long time with no losses.
    1a) Disband and replace warlords with casters.
    2) Offer better deals to casters in the MK.
    3) Obtain casters as a part of mercenary contracts with small sides expected to lose. (Ie. Clause 14: If your Side is about to lose and be disbanded, one of your casters comes to us instead of going to the MK.)
    3a) They may be transferred to FAQ just in case they lose, or in lieu of payment.
    4) A King with a propensity for it. We know that individual Rulers have different Warlord:Caster ratios.

    Mathamancer-Predictamancer-Moneymancer could be a powerful combination (not talking link). Predict the future, calculate odds, make money off the foreknowledge.

    No serious new rules. Maybe "Tower can be upgraded separately from other parts of the city," but hardly worth mentioning.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:46 pm 
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    Sigh...

    I only hypothesized that Faq might be slightly or moderately likelier to pop casters than the average side or city. Nothing more. The fact that the writer goes out of his way to list new casters is either his desire to use all these name gags or prefigures some such revelation. Or, as I admitted, it simply means that Banhammer's love of philosophy and disdain for battle were being made manifest.

    Excellent point about the various ways in which a caster-hungry Faq could obtain casters—except for the disbanding... seems overly brutal for Banhammer.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:08 pm 
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    Given the huge number of casters we now see the old FAQ has...the absence of a Thinkamancer brings me to raise an eyebrow. Given that we have seen them to be a more common brand of caster than most, the fact that a side "collecting" casters lacks one definitely piques my interest. Is there a reason for this? (be it something deliberate somehow caused by an Erf-ian, or related to Fate).

    I have noticed a few people speculating about hired casters/wonder why FAQ doesn't hire a thinkamancer if they lack one. I imagine this falls under the bubble kingdom idea. "Acquired" casters have lower Loyalty than those popped to a side, so hiring out a unit as significant as a Caster is a huge liability for your desire to remain secret. If they ever go back to the MK, you're just asking for your cover to be blown. (Of course, ignoring the possibility that Marie has already blown their cover due to her "Peace on Erf Coalition" involvement)

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:12 pm 
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    DevilDan wrote:
    Excellent point about the various ways in which a caster-hungry Faq could obtain casters—except for the disbanding... seems overly brutal for Banhammer.


    I wasn't talking about Banhammer specfically, but all Sides in general.

    In fact, you'll see Casters accumulate anyway. Warlords die in the field, but Casters do not. this creates a slow drain of Warlrods, and when you get 1 Caster for 3 Warlords, you'll see them increase in general.

    Actually, I'm surprised the Shockmancer isn't allowed to go into the field. He'd bring in good money spelling up Towers at the very least, and you can do that for any Side not at War. If he isn't appreciated at home, let him go afield until he croaks. He'd probably prefer it that way.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:20 pm 
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    DevilDan wrote:
    drachefly wrote:
    As for capturing other casters, that seems unlikely to me given that casters are a valuable target and it is unlikely that Jill, leading a small mercenary force, would be likely to encounter many casters and would be unlikely to be allowed to keep any they did capture in the course of serving another side.


    Enfasis by me.

    Well since her first dutie is to FAQ I don't see Jill having any qualms in beaking aliance and running away if that means she can keep a extra caster for her side. I do agree that with a small force it would hard/unlikely for her to be able to capture a caster, but if she did, I don't think it would matter if her contractor would allow it or not (unless there were very heavy penalties for breaking contract).

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:02 pm 
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    chefsotero wrote:
    Well since her first dutie is to FAQ I don't see Jill having any qualms in beaking aliance and running away if that means she can keep a extra caster for her side. I do agree that with a small force it would hard/unlikely for her to be able to capture a caster, but if she did, I don't think it would matter if her contractor would allow it or not (unless there were very heavy penalties for breaking contract).


    As you point out, given how contracts can be magically enforced and sides are unlikely to be overly trustful of even "reliable" mercenaries, quitting under circumstances that don't make an employer happy would probably mean Jill has to forfeit payment or some such penalty.

    Except quitting on a side is bad for business. Any small businessperson will tell you reputation is important.

    Kreistor, casters do accumulate. But even powerful, successful, large sides like Jetsone barely have half as many as tiny, resource-poor Faq. Yes, Jetstone did at least lose one caster we know of, to Slately's chagrin, but they learned their lesson... hence, Slately refusal to Ansom's request to field casters in TBFGK.

    I freely admit that it's entirely possible that Faq's many casters are due to low attrition and Banhammer's distaste for war. Faq certainly wasn't using up a lot of turns popping heirs, unlike Jetstone and Transylvito.

    As for selling door-to-door shockamancy services, doing so would possibly attract a little too much attention... or might even mean a rich side might be tempted to "kidnap" the caster and turn him.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:19 pm 
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    DevilDan wrote:
    Sigh...

    Excellent point about the various ways in which a caster-hungry Faq could obtain casters—except for the disbanding... seems overly brutal for Banhammer.


    Dwagon food. If you want lots of dwagons around you to keep out prying eyes, you need to feed them, and they need a challenge every now and then to stay in top form . . . besides, the ones that survive will level up in a real hurry . . .

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:57 pm 
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    I wouldn't be surprised if the rate and type of casters you pop depends heavily on your side's overall "character", so to speak.

    Which would mean that rather than them wasting all of those casters on being pointlessly intellectual and contemplative, they have that many casters because they are intellectual and contemplative.

    (Also, what else would they use them on? Trying to take over the world? Isn't that, well, insane?)

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     Post Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:43 am 
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    Aquillion wrote:
    (Also, what else would they use them on? Trying to take over the world? Isn't that, well, insane?)


    I personally like my suggestion still :P. It even had the added benefit that the thinkamancer is going to have a positive effect on the individual caster's understanding of their discipline, and is therefore a big boon to any attempts at intellectualism and discovering how the world works.

    I guess part of the reason I dislike FAQ (in this incarnation) is that it seems like it is bad even at philosophy. It practices the most useless kind: removing yourself from the real world, refusing to experiment (an assumption, but let's see how it turns out), and playing pointless thought games that are so far from real circumstances that they are useless. If you are going to do something, do it to the best of your ability. FAQ falls short of that standard in my mind.

    I am however very curious how the caster/warlord thing works. The side's character/needs is an interesting idea that seems to have decent support.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:59 am 
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    Okay, a few points:

    1) I don't think any of these casters are mercenaries. In the present day FAQ has one merc caster and by the sounds of it Jillian couldn't afford her without a subsidy from Charlie. They could be captured by Jillain but it seems unlikely. It doesn't sound much like the philosphy FAQ follows and since they lack a Turnamancer they'd be a major security risk to a Kingdom that relies on staying hidden. Plus sides are very careful with their casters. Capturing one? Maybe. Capturing four or five? Not very likely. Remember that neither Jetstone nor Gobwin Knob had this many casters but also didn't have any merc casters. I think they're damn expensive.

    2) People say a side so blessed with casters is wasting them but lets look at it from the other side: Maybe the philosphy of FAQ is what causes more caster to pop. Jillian didn't get any casters when she became queen of a revived FAQ because she was a warrior at heart, prefering warlords to casters. Maybe because Banhammer is not intrested in violence but in knowledge that produces more casters.

    3) There is merit in the idea Banhammer sacrifice warlords so he can pop more warlords who might be casters but it seems unlikely as it is risky, expensive (Think how few Warlord Stanley had despite have half a million schmuckers in the treasury) and violent. He may hold his own warriors in contempt but I doubt he would betray them to their deaths.

    4.1) Again, to the question of casters: Remember Erfworld is a game and runs by the rules of a game. The sides are asymetrical, each having their own units, strengths and weaknesses. Maybe FAQ's strength is increased caster pop rate and lower upkeep but they have compensating weaknesses, like a dumb pacifist King?

    4.2) Also, as to it being a game, consider the matter of balance: FAQ is surrounder by a super side of Haffton. Gobwin Knob and Jetstone are considered dangerous for having ten cities but fifty? Why haven't they conquered the world yet? Why isn't the world ruled by one side? Maybe this is the answer, that Luck and Fate provide for other sides the means to defeat them. Even a small army backed by all these Casters could defeat an army several times its size.

    5) Wanda doesn't nesscessarily make 9 since if they took her off Haffton they likely lose a few casters in the process.

    6) I don't think there is nesscessarily anything wrong with FAQ's philosphy. Sure they are wasting their military power but unlike other sides they're not wasting their lives or the lives of their soldiers like everyone else does. That's what so sickened Parson. If it wasn;t for the decrees of fate the side may well never have fallen.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:07 am 
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    The Pink Warlord wrote:
    3) There is merit in the idea Banhammer sacrifice warlords so he can pop more warlords who might be casters but it seems unlikely as it is risky, expensive (Think how few Warlord Stanley had despite have half a million shmuckers in the treasury) and violent. He may hold his own warriors in contempt but I doubt he would betray them to their deaths.

    Stanley, we now know, was popping dwagons (his favorite unit) instead of popping warlords. He was also getting his butt handed to him by overwhelming forces, so he was probably burning through them quickly.
    Banhammer strikes me as the type that would rather send units to their death than disband them himself when the treasure gets low, since mercenary work adds shmuckers and the warlord could still live, so Banhammer's hands are cleaner.

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