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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:15 pm 
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Speaking of Jillian and books - a book is generated when a side falls, detailing what happened. Jillian doesn't know Wanda's role in Faq's destruction, does she? That role would be mentioned in the book of Faq's defeat. If Charlie really had access to every book like some people are speculating, certainly he'd send a copy of that book to Jillian.

Where I think the whole book thing will go in the main story: one, Jillian will eventually find out about Wanda. Two, Parson will eventually find out about books, and since Charlie was the ruler of a defeated kingdom, Parson will be able to read all about him. I wonder if the only reason nobody's told him about books yet is because of non-disclosures?

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     Post Posted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:46 pm 
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    I was going to keep my peace until Rob had finished, but I would like to make a few comments. First, the trivial:

    Seriously, like an outhouse caught fire and exploded.

    I don't know why, but now I really want to see that used as a Dirtamancy trap during a city assault. Yeah, I know, I'm strange sometimes. Onto the more significant:

    Crush actually did know roughly what Squashcourt should be doing: a classic double cross. Scrofula should negotiate with the Union to plan an ambush. If Squashcourt broke alliance and turned against Bullyclub in the middle of a key battle, then the four Union sides in concert could wipe Bullyclub off the map.

    I actually feel wiping Bullyclub off the map, in the sense of wiping out their side, would be a suboptimal course, although wiping their army off the map is exactly the thing to do. The Union reminds me of a very early Roman Confederation, perhaps as early as the Latin League. It has great potential for expansion. During the early days of the Roman Republic, over half of Rome's armies were made up of allies, known as the socii. When Rome defeated an enemy, occasionally they'd annex them, either making them citizens with or citizens without the vote, but usually they forced them to become socii. Sure, some allies would defect during the next war, such as the Etruscans during the Pyrrhic War or a chunk of southern Italy during the Second Punic War, but more stayed loyal. In fact, Hannibal's strategy during the Second Punic War was to cause the Confederation to splinter, but he only had limited success, since their was no way he could match the Confederation's manpower reserve. After the war was won, the defectors would be accepted back into the Confederation. They may have some land confiscated, and a Latin colony might be founded nearby to act as a watchdog, but they were still welcomed back. It was a brilliant system, that worked until it expanded too far and the patricians got too greedy, then they began establishing provinces.

    Which brings me back to Bullyclub. Conquering Bullyclub poses some significant problems for the Union. I assume there is a balance of power within the Union, with each side controlling about the same number of cities. If Bullyclub is conquered, what does the Union do with their cities? They could simply raise them for schmuckers, but eventually someone will claim the sites, and sooner or later they'll be back to square one. They can divide the sites among members, but that would lead to sides owning cities disconnected and isolated from their others. The Union could just allow the closest member to annex them, but that would be Squashcourt, and allowing a side that recently demonstrated disloyalty to the Union to become the largest member seems like a bad idea. That leaves my favorite option. Annihilate Bullyclub's army, bring them to their knees and then magnanimously offer them a place in the Union. There might be some horse trading of cities along borders to maintain the balance of power, but, for the most part, all sides remain substantially intact. Now, you have a five-sided alliance that is better able to handle the defection of a member than a four-sided one. This could go on for a while, as long as the Union is patient. The biggest downside I see to expansion is Charlie. A growing stable alliance seems like exactly the kind of thing he'd try to subvert.

    As to how to get King Scrofula to agree to the double cross, it depends, but a good method might to be to appeal to his friendship with Lord Maglite. Wouldn't Bullyclub be better off in the Union? Doesn't Lord Maglite deserve to enjoy the peace, prosperity and security that Squashcourt has enjoyed for over a thousand turns? Of course Lord Maglite doesn't see it that way, but you know better. Wouldn't a true friend do what's best for their friends, even if their friends don't see it that way? It might work. It would depend on how King Scrofula responded to questions about Lord Maglite. Another possibility is to try to manipulate him through guilt. He seems to regret disbanding Prince Racket, so play up how important the Union was to him, how the Union is his legacy, his greatest achievement. Talk about how instrumental Racket was in it's creation, and it's loss would be like losing the Prince all over again. Of course the two courses aren't mutually exclusive.

    If Squashcourt can be convinced to double cross Bullyclub, the tactical situation is pretty straight forward. The strategy of Squashcourt and Bullyclub against the Union is to convince one of the sides to remain neutral. Let them "succeed." If one of the Union sides has a Foolamancer who can cloak their army, or a Dirtamancer or diggers that can hide it like Haffaton did against Goodminton's siege, have their army hide, while the other two offer battle. Since they've been "convinced" to remain neutral, their absence won't be suspicious. Then have Squashcourt's army align on the oppose side of Bullyclub's from the hidden units. Once the battle is joined, the hidden army falls on one flank of Bullyclub's army, and Squashcourt turns and falls on the other. With two armies to their front and one rolling up each flank, Bullyclub's army should be destroyed in a classic double envelopment, a la Cannae.

    The wildcard here is Prince Axe. I see three possibilities for him. The first, and least likely, is that he is just a big, sullen, stereotypical warlord. The second possibility is that he's so sullen because he suspects his father disbanded his beloved brother; the same father who constantly reminds him he doesn't live up to the same brother. While this doesn't bode well for King Scrofula, it's more of a long-term, internal to Squashcourt problem, and it doesn't really jeopardize the double cross. The problem is possibility three: Axe, wanting a fight, masterminded the entire thing. He convinced is father to disband his brother and break with the Union. If this is the case, Prince Axe will need to be dealt with before the double cross can happen.

    MonteCristo wrote:
    Falcon X wrote:
    Now, a few observances:
    - This whole alliance of sides and Bullyport seems inconsequential. They are not a world power and there is no reason for the Titans to keep them alive. But they have purpose, or we wouldn't be reading of them.


    Actually Lord Crush and his conflict may NOT have a purpose. Lord Crush is the first of four kickstarter reward stories; Each are supposed to be a stand-alone story inspired by top level donors. Their stories don't necessarily have to have anything to do with the main story. Granted, on the plus side we can atleast get a look at some of the other mechanics of erfworld through these stories, and it does help make the world feel bigger when we know there are other interesting things going on elsewhere in the world.

    I have to agree that Lord Crush's story qualifies as filler. Four donor's donated at the "Who are you in Erfworld" level where Rob agreed to write a story of at least 1000 words about who they were in Erfworld. As of the last news post, two of us have agreed to allow Rob to post our stories, two have not yet. If the two donors who have not agreed don't, it would be kind of difficult for their stories to have any bearing on the main comic since only the donors themselves would be aware of their content. It would be somewhat unfair if the two donors that agreed had their stories posted on the site have their stories be more meaningful and tied into the main comic while the other donors' stories don't. So, I think these are stand alone stories. They're entertaining to read and offer insight into unknown game mechanics, but I doubt they'll have much impact on the main comic. Of course, there's always the possibility I'm wrong.

    Anyway, Rob, if you're reading this, thanks for the wonderful Christmas present.

    --Lord Crush

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     Post Posted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:44 pm 
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    Mrtyuh wrote:
    If the two donors who have not agreed don't, it would be kind of difficult for their stories to have any bearing on the main comic since only the donors themselves would be aware of their content.
    Rob has demonstrated skill creating content that adds depth to the story without being critical to the story. Text updates tend to be right in the middle of the story, as deeply connected as it is possible to be, and yet at the same time you wouldn't notice you were missing anything if you read only the comic pages. I can imagine that the two stories we never see might be very important to the main story, but arranged in such a way that we'll never know what we've missed.

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     Post Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:25 am 
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    Delores Mulva wrote:
    If Charlie really had access to every book like some people are speculating, certainly he'd send a copy of [FAQ's Fall] to Jillian.
    Not necessarily. Jillian is volatile, so if Charlie has that (with or without his megalibary) he may be saving it for a rainy day when he feels confident he can predict her reaction.

    Delores Mulva wrote:
    I wonder if the only reason nobody's told him about books yet is because of non-disclosures?
    The entire concept of books is too broad a mechanic to fall under the terms of the DoaLT (yes I know lifetime is one word, but calling that agreement "dolt" is too good to pass up). More likely nobody has told him because he hasn't asked. They've gotten better at telling him important info he hasn't explicitly asked for, but realizing the strategic value of books may be too lateral thinking for them to figure out. They can't tell him about something that they don't realize is valuable.

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     Post Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:31 am 
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    Wait a second...

    A book is generated every time a side falls.......

    Is there a book for Hoffaton!?!?! Is there a book for Charlie's side when he was the Wizard!?!?!

    And if not, how did Charlie manage to block them?! Those would be rather powerful bits of evidence against Charlie..... and Parson is the sort of man to glean information from just such books, given a little help in a library.

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     Post Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:48 am 
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    A master class findamancer could probably locate the book on Charlie's fallen side. Certainly a signamancer/findamancer link.

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     Post Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:04 pm 
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    Lipkin wrote:
    A master class findamancer could probably locate the book on Charlie's fallen side. Certainly a signamancer/findamancer link.


    I bet Charlie did this long time ago...

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     Post Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:08 pm 
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    WarFAN wrote:
    Lipkin wrote:
    A master class findamancer could probably locate the book on Charlie's fallen side. Certainly a signamancer/findamancer link.
    I bet Charlie did this long time ago...
    We've never seen Charlie do a tri-link. Some theorize that he actually can't, since he's a Carny and the 'Dish handles the Thinkamancy.

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     Post Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:27 pm 
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    0beron wrote:
    WarFAN wrote:
    Lipkin wrote:
    A master class findamancer could probably locate the book on Charlie's fallen side. Certainly a signamancer/findamancer link.
    I bet Charlie did this long time ago...
    We've never seen Charlie do a tri-link. Some theorize that he actually can't, since he's a Carny and the 'Dish handles the Thinkamancy.


    Maybe he just watch them link up then. Charlie is a total voyeur.

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     Post Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:50 pm 
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    I was going to say that Charlie probably couldn't gather every book on the fall of his side, but then I realized, yeah, he totally could. A Sign/Find link could probably gather every book on him that exists, and a Sign/Carny link could probably stop new ones from popping. And even if it was hugely expensive, it would be totally worth it for him, because nothing is more important to him then his secrets.

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     Post Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:00 pm 
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    Ooooh that's an interesting plan, very plausible. I doubt we will ever see any evidence of it though, since it's not really all that crucial to the story we know it occurred.

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     Post Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:27 pm 
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    But books about sides include their battle records. With a little involved thinking, one could look at the track record of a side and figure out their preferred methods of combat engagement. Since Parson is now at war with Charlie, and Charlie is playing at a general now, Parson may be able to get a sneak peek at Charlie's battle strategies pre-Dish, when he only had Carnymancy at his command. One could extrapolate a lot of information about an enemy that way.

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     Post Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:30 pm 
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    BakaGrappler wrote:
    But books about sides include their battle records. With a little involved thinking, one could look at the track record of a side and figure out their preferred methods of combat engagement.
    But supposedly those books don't appear until after the side is gone, which should make people safe from that sort of abuse. I have serious doubts that el-Efbaum has ever had a history published because it has never been totally destroyed while its ruler is still on the loose. Charlie may be calling his side Charlescomm now, but that doesn't mean that it's not still el-Efbaum as far as automagical publishing is concerned.

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:42 am 
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    Lilwik wrote:
    BakaGrappler wrote:
    But books about sides include their battle records. With a little involved thinking, one could look at the track record of a side and figure out their preferred methods of combat engagement.
    But supposedly those books don't appear until after the side is gone, which should make people safe from that sort of abuse. I have serious doubts that el-Efbaum has ever had a history published because it has never been totally destroyed while its ruler is still on the loose. Charlie may be calling his side Charlescomm now, but that doesn't mean that it's not still el-Efbaum as far as automagical publishing is concerned.


    Possible, but highly unlikely. Losing your final capitol will end your side and make you a barbarian, unless CharlesComm was established before El-Efbaum fell and Charlie booked it with a few Archons. But even so, Hoffaton conquered Charlie. So a Hoffaton book would contain transcripts on how to conquer Charlie. The tactics used to defeat the Arkendish.

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:12 am 
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    BakaGrappler wrote:
    Lilwik wrote:
    BakaGrappler wrote:
    But books about sides include their battle records. With a little involved thinking, one could look at the track record of a side and figure out their preferred methods of combat engagement.
    But supposedly those books don't appear until after the side is gone, which should make people safe from that sort of abuse. I have serious doubts that el-Efbaum has ever had a history published because it has never been totally destroyed while its ruler is still on the loose. Charlie may be calling his side Charlescomm now, but that doesn't mean that it's not still el-Efbaum as far as automagical publishing is concerned.


    Possible, but highly unlikely. .


    Yet that possibility is something a Carnymancer could exploit, no ?
    As far as defeating the arkendish is concerned. If I remember correctly Haffaton allied with Charlie/El-Efbaum to defeat Easteros and Westeregg then Charlie's daughter defected and tried to poison Charlie. Not exactly a brilliant plan to conquer Charlie... though well within Parsons previous modus operandi. The arkenshoes were used to gain access to the arkendish operator (Blair of Westeregg) and assassinate them...so maybe history will repeat itself if the arkenshoes can be brought back from stupidworld.

    So if I were Charlie, I, for one, would want to keep Parson from returning to stupidworld.. not be sending him back there with some scroll... so I assume the scroll was not to send him back..but to break the summoning spell somehow allowing Parson to be freed from Fate.

    More Charlie speculation... has he been keeping an eye on Judy (or more likely just her shoes) in stupidworld ? Something Charlie might think worthwhile... thus gaining an insight into stupidworld idioms... that he has been shown to have ?

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:52 pm 
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    It wouldn't necessarily help if Charlie managed to collect/destroy/keep from publishing every history of old El-Efbaum. He had been at war with Easteros and Westeregg for a very long time. A history of each of those sides would provide an invaluable source of information on Charlie's stratagems and tactics. A history of Haffaton would be less useful, given the brief duration of the war. Could Charlie keep the histories of three sides from popping? Even if an argument could be made that El-Efbaum never fell, since Charlie survived and Charlescomm is a continuation of the side (I have no idea, but it's possible, I suppose) Easteros and Westeregg definitely did fall.

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:57 pm 
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    BakaGrappler wrote:
    Losing your final capitol will end your side and make you a barbarian, unless CharlesComm was established before El-Efbaum fell and Charlie booked it with a few Archons.
    You're right that Haffaton's records must be an interesting read, containing the defeats of many, many sides, including el-Efbaum and Faq, but remember that Faq didn't end when it lost its capital. It seems that there's also a very good chance that Charlescomm was already established before Efbaum fell, since those Archons had to come from somewhere and Charlie seems like the kind of person who plans ahead.

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     Post Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:56 pm 
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    Lilwik wrote:
    BakaGrappler wrote:
    Losing your final capitol will end your side and make you a barbarian, unless CharlesComm was established before El-Efbaum fell and Charlie booked it with a few Archons.
    You're right that Haffaton's records must be an interesting read, containing the defeats of many, many sides, including el-Efbaum and Faq, but remember that Faq didn't end when it lost its capital. It seems that there's also a very good chance that Charlescomm was already established before Efbaum fell, since those Archons had to come from somewhere and Charlie seems like the kind of person who plans ahead.


    No, FAQ did end. It was just re-established several times over.

    Book 1, "He's going there to start a new side!" exclaimed Ansom when he learned that Stanley was abandoning Gobwin Knob to restart at FAQ. Even if there is a possible ruler, if there are no capitol sites, the side ends. It can be re-established by the possible ruler, but the side ends.

    Further evidence. FAQ's "Way of Peace" is popping in Libraries, because the side fell.

    When Wanda was made Heir, and then her side's King and Capitol fell, her side was destroyed, except for her stack of units, meaning she'd turned barbarian.

    Jillian was a Barbarian mercenary, not a ruler without a home. She had no side. Not until she claimed her old city sites and re-established FAQ.

    And Marie the Predictamancer predicted the side would fall to Hoffaton, and it did. The side was destroyed, it's ruler and casters fled, and re-established itself as a side at Efbaum. Then left that side, razed it, and re-established itself as a side again at FAQ. And THEN Stanley single-handedly destroyed the side, and Jillian re-established it a few thousand turns later.

    So there should currently be "The History of FAQ" volumes 1, 2, and 3. But the second one would be very thin. With a possible 4th volume in the making, depending on if Jillian keeps running around with her head up her ass.

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     Post Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:25 pm 
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    I'm fairly certain a side needs a ruler AND a capital to exist. Either one falls, side falls. Note: if a side has a second capital city, and if leadership still exists when the main capital falls, the second one automagically becomes the capital, sans contents of treasury.

    edit: ninja'd, stupid phone of mine.


    Last edited by MadZuri on Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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     Post Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:34 pm 
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    BakaGrappler wrote:
    No, FAQ did end. It was just re-established several times over.
    Assuming you are correct about that, when was Faq re-established after it lost its cities to Haffaton? Clearly it happened sometime before Jillian captured Efbaum, based on Book 0, Episode 62:

    Wanda: "On orders from my Ruler, and with my full personal consent, I hereby pledge allegiance to the side of Faq, and its Ruler, for all the rest of my turns."

    This is also known as Wanda saying that Faq still exists. I acknowledge the possibility that Faq really did end when it lost its cities and later somehow popped back into existence (still without cities) for reasons that we don't understand, but it seems intuitively unlikely. Surely if Faq ceased to exist then Banhammer should have ceased to be its ruler, and when and how do you imagine Banhammer got his throne back?

    BakaGrappler wrote:
    Further evidence. FAQ's "Way of Peace" is popping in Libraries, because the side fell.
    Where does that evidence come from? I thought that only the historical record was published when a side falls.

    BakaGrappler wrote:
    Jillian was a Barbarian mercenary, not a ruler without a home. She had no side.
    She had no cities and she had no people to rule, which is pretty close to having no side, close enough for anyone to say that Faq had fallen, but how do we know that it's close enough to cause the history of Faq to be published? All we have to go on is the brief summary description of Crush Part 2. Unless a side is completely destroyed, we can't be sure that its history will be published because we don't know the details of the rules.

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