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 Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:44 am 
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Spoiler tagged cause the whopper (of a posts) are better at Hungry Jack's
CDS wrote:
Spoiler: show
Really enjoyed this update.

The scenario unfolding before us is exactly the plan that Charlie outlines in this update prior;

http://archives.erfworld.com/Book%203/107

Opening fire on the portal with the tripods Charlie estimates would cost him in the region of
140 million shmuckers and was a last resort method of removing Parson from Erfworld. His Archon's have just been tricked into doing that by Jack. I don't think we're talking five million shmuckers worth of damage here we're talking a lot more.

In terms of the pacing I think it is important to note that while we have weeks and weeks to theorise, discuss courses of actions and analyse every detail Charlie has had maybe five minutes.
We know that he can't work as quickly as he has done previously in the story because as he indicates in this update -http://archives.erfworld.com/Book+3/116

When the connection to the Dish isn't amplified by Shockamancy it works slowly and in Charlie's mind painfully so. We also know that he has stopped working (briefly) to indulge in the 'gardening' channel to relieve his pain. He makes the right moves and he gives the correct orders they where just slower than they needed to be.

This is ultimately a big win for Jack's quick thinking which is perfectly aligned to his character, he has always been portrayed as a 'Master' of his craft and able to deceive tense and 'primitive' casters-esque units is hardly a leap in his ability.


I think it also juxtaposes Charlie and Parson as leaders. Ultimately the buck starts and stops with Charlie we see within Charlescomm that the Archon's are fairly lost without him directing them and leading them and have been given limited capacity to act independently. We have learned previously that Charlie often micro-manages stacks when in the heat of battle to maximise their effectiveness. This is similar to the Decrypted's affections to Wanda (and presumably the Dwagon's affection to Stanley) however the big difference between Charlie and Wanda is;
Charlie is a competent and intelligent leader and Wanda is not.

So often it is more effective for Charlie to micro-manage his people because most of the time he is just better at doing it than them. The downside to this is that he is the single point of failure of his side.

Parson while being an equally capable and brilliant strategic mind (if not more brilliant) creates relationships (or at least attempts to) on a more equal footing he encourages his people not to see him as an omnipotent being to be revered but attempts to teach them to think for themselves. Jack who is arguably his greatest 'student' has potentially just saved his entire side when his leader was 'incapacitated' (not in the Erf sense). When Charlie was briefly incapacitated there was no-one else to save it.

Charlie's isolationism while being a source of great strength and security is also a vulnerability which has been exposed when we contrast it to GKs situation.

Here's the thing, Charlie has been trying to get his units to think for themselves. What do you think Charlie's Rules are for? Furthrrmore what are Archons with leadership if not the fruits of Charlie's efforts to get his Archons to think independantly? I've never heard of any unit under Parson develop any leadership skills.

You think all those drills Charlie has been laying onto his Archons weren't so that the Archons would panic in times of bizar crisis?

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:56 am 
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    Here's a question, peripherally related but maybe relevant, given Lilith's increasing importance as a character:
    We know that 'pikers' can be promoted to warlord (see: Stanley, Sylvia). We also know that warlords can have 'specials' (Parson is a 'heavy', Albert is a ranged flier), so being a 'special' type might not be a disqualification. Can an Archon be promoted to Warlord?

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:57 am 
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    Anomynous 167 wrote:
    Here's the thing, Charlie has been trying to get his units to think for themselves. What do you think Charlie's Rules are for? Furthrrmore what are Archons with leadership if not the fruits of Charlie's efforts to get his Archons to think independantly? I've never heard of any unit under Parson develop any leadership skills.

    You think all those drills Charlie has been laying onto his Archons weren't so that the Archons would panic in times of bizar crisis?


    Actually, those are very good examples of Charlie not encouraging his Archons to think for themselves. Charlie's Rules and disciplinary drills aren't jumping points for Archons to develop ideas from, they're restrictions to ensure that Archons' ideas don't deviate beyond what he himself would do; they're a means of control.

    In an interesting juxtaposition, Parson does inspire the attempt at lateral thinking in some of his subordinates. Remember the grand talk about strategy while attempting to convince his side that diplomacy was a worthwhile endeavor, or his explanation of how failure doesn't mean tactical plans aren't sound? Parson instills lessons. More importantly, Parson inspires devotion and kindles affection through his scintillating date-a-mancy which also leads to the units he's affected into proffering thoughts they think serve the side's best interests. While in the case of Wanda this isn't saying much, it was Zhopa who convinced Stanley to pull Parson's bacon from the fire, Jack who's tried to come up with stratagems of his own, Maggie who's reconsidered and risked her loyalty and secrets with one side in order to empower another and now Lilith who's going to put her life on the line to save Parson's. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a similar act of loyalty from Ace at some point in the near future as well, considering how proud and appreciated he's been made to feel under Parson's utilization. And just inspiring fear into Charlie earned him Tramennis' fascination.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:05 am 
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    Yumeijin wrote:
    Actually, those are very good examples of Charlie not encouraging his Archons to think for themselves. Charlie's Rules and disciplinary drills aren't jumping points for Archons to develop ideas from, they're restrictions to ensure that Archons' ideas don't deviate beyond what he himself would do; they're a means of control.

    Indeed, and Lilith is an example of what just one Archon can do when freed from Charlie's indoctrination.

    kalil wrote:
    Can an Archon be promoted to Warlord?


    I pondered that before, and the possibility was discussed before. At the very least, I see no reason why it would be forbidden by the rules.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:07 am 
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    Anomynous 167 wrote:
    Here's the thing, Charlie has been trying to get his units to think for themselves. What do you think Charlie's Rules are for? Furthrrmore what are Archons with leadership if not the fruits of Charlie's efforts to get his Archons to think independantly? I've never heard of any unit under Parson develop any leadership skills.

    You think all those drills Charlie has been laying onto his Archons weren't so that the Archons would panic in times of bizar crisis?


    The point of drills is, specifically, to eliminate thinking. It teaches a specific pattern of actions so that, instead of thinking about what you should do, you can just do instead. It prevents panic by making sure all units have a job and they are focused on doing that job instead of thinking about that job (and whatever else). Charlie's rules are very much the same thing. The Archons don't have to think about what they should do when there is a rule that tells them what to do. Less thinking more doing.

    And, from what we have seen of Charlie's personality, the goal of getting his Archons to follow known patterns instead of thinking for themselves is so that their actions are highly predictable... which aids him in his planning. In theory, it prevents things like Wanda holding back info cause it's not relevant or nearly croaking their think-a-mancer "because fate" or Stanley going off half-cocked and losing their Hobgobwin allies.

    Even here... he's not really getting blindsided. He predicted this outcome because he knew exactly how his Archons would behave... else he would have seen no reason to communicate a stand down on floor 40. He just wasn't fast enough.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:12 am 
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    Whispri wrote:
    Now that's got to be the worst screw up of the day.


    I wouldn't be so sure. I'd rank Wanda stopping Lilith from blasting Charlie's head off at number one.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:18 am 
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    Talonos wrote:
    Making sure I understand this:

    http://archives.erfworld.com/Book+3/31 says "Neither party shall attempt to cause [...] material harm to the units [...] of the other party."

    So, the tripod archons tried to cause material harm to a GK's unit. The fact that it was actually a CC unit doesn't matter, the intent to damage GK was clear and the "attempt" is what triggers the automagic collection, right?

    That's why CC is in trouble, right?


    Nope, the greater problem for CC is that Lillith, and the 20-30 GK Warlords, stabbers, casters on the other side of the portal (they've done "concept tests" that the bullets will go through the portal, Bonnie just asserted that they can shoot through the portal) are worth 5 million for each one that gets hit. That's not dealbreaking for CC, they have 5 times that much net wealth before they even start transferring archons. But it's super annoying to give away that much cash.

    Also, and maybe even worse, they will plausibly hit some MK neutrals who are gathering around. That doesn't cost them cash per se- but it's as good as a declaration of war on the entire MK on Charlie's part. Which could be even more expensive.

    I think by itself "attempting" doesn't really matter much. If you miss, you didn't cause "material harm". You have to take away full hits, city levels, and maybe even croak to trigger it. Minor damage and scratches, slaps etc and mind probes haven't been enough to trigger it yet.


    Last edited by ShaneTheBrain on Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:21 am 
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    Xellos wrote:
    Whispri wrote:
    Now that's got to be the worst screw up of the day.


    I wouldn't be so sure. I'd rank Wanda stopping Lilith from blasting Charlie's head off at number one.


    This remains to be seen. For all we know, there really is some C'thulu level Ultimate Last Boss that is even like, taking out the Titans (which is why their Tools got left behind??), and for all we know only Charlie's Attuned understanding of the Dish is sufficient to be one of the four Warriors of Light that defeat that ultimate evil.

    Far from guaranteed, but who knows? Charlie may still have a role to play for the greater good. If his whole Illuminati-level manipulation of the world can be reined in.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:24 am 
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    Yumeijin wrote:
    Anomynous 167 wrote:
    Here's the thing, Charlie has been trying to get his units to think for themselves. What do you think Charlie's Rules are for? Furthrrmore what are Archons with leadership if not the fruits of Charlie's efforts to get his Archons to think independantly? I've never heard of any unit under Parson develop any leadership skills.

    You think all those drills Charlie has been laying onto his Archons weren't so that the Archons would panic in times of bizar crisis?


    Actually, those are very good examples of Charlie not encouraging his Archons to think for themselves. Charlie's Rules and disciplinary drills aren't jumping points for Archons to develop ideas from, they're restrictions to ensure that Archons' ideas don't deviate beyond what he himself would do; they're a means of control.

    In an interesting juxtaposition, Parson does inspire the attempt at lateral thinking in some of his subordinates. Remember the grand talk about strategy while attempting to convince his side that diplomacy was a worthwhile endeavor, or his explanation of how failure doesn't mean tactical plans aren't sound? Parson instills lessons. More importantly, Parson inspires devotion and kindles affection through his scintillating date-a-mancy which also leads to the units he's affected into proffering thoughts they think serve the side's best interests. While in the case of Wanda this isn't saying much, it was Zhopa who convinced Stanley to pull Parson's bacon from the fire, Jack who's tried to come up with stratagems of his own, Maggie who's reconsidered and risked her loyalty and secrets with one side in order to empower another and now Lilith who's going to put her life on the line to save Parson's. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a similar act of loyalty from Ace at some point in the near future as well, considering how proud and appreciated he's been made to feel under Parson's utilization. And just inspiring fear into Charlie earned him Tramennis' fascination.
    • To be fair on Zangie -er "Zhopa's" part, everything he has ever known about Parson has come from Stanley. Parson tought him nothing.
    • Maggie is risking her life and status for an ideal, one that Parson does not fulfill as he now lacks the ruthlessness to be the perfect Warlord.
    • The fear of Charlie's that has garnered Tremanis' respect is unearned on Parson's part as he is a fate-guided missile, not a player.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:30 am 
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    "Whups"

    I like that the sound effect is "Blunder" :D

    Looks like Jack's "baffle" really did change Parson's raiment appearance. I guess not all baffles are Baffles and not all veils are Veils.

    Edit: Wait, do the Archons shooting Parson trigger the Intent clause of the contract even tho Parson is with Charlescomm now? :D
    If so.. OMG! :D

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    Last edited by Beeskee on Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:32 am 
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    vreejack wrote:
    Twofer wrote:
    I assume executing your own troops is bad for morale.


    Still laughing about this.


    This right here is how I think Parson is getting back.

    1- Get enough cash to do it without bouncing back. That's happening right now. Even two or three GK units getting hit by bullets should be multi-millions enough.
    2- "Whoa, whoa whoa! When I signed up I didn't know CC was all about gunning down treaty-protected adversaries, innocents in the MK, and loyal (heh heh) CC employees such as Perfect Warlords. This is a hostile work environment! That's worth -20 Loyalty right there and you didn't promote me to Warlord or Chief Warlord, so I'm not even _that_ dutybound. Let me see if I have any official Requests to Turn (which are good until the end of the turn). Hmm, yes, I do, from Gobwin Knob's Foolamancer. I accept. Goodbye. Let's go, Lillith."

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:48 am 
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    powellpowers wrote:
    I think Lilith will take the brunt of the hits as it seems that she's in direct line of fire. Even if she were not, it's likely she'll shield Parson.

    So this is how Charlie will pay the penalty. That being said, there's still no reason for Parson to switch sides. Charlie can afford to pay, and he has no need to go through the parley route.


    Parson wants to switch sides.
    He can't because then GK would lose a city and CC would again claim him.

    The Archons here have opened fire. At the Portal. More specifically - at Parson.
    An act of betrayal by Charlie that affects a CC unit is probably going to give Parson the chance to turn free of cost. More, even if there is a cost, GKs treasury just got refilled...more than refilled depending on how many targets were hit...so GKs treasury can easily absorb the cost associated with Parson turning back.

    Charlies problems is that he has now effectively attacked the MK and - as we know Lilith is returning - the secret that his Portal has been "adapted" is out. The MK is likely to be unhappy at a: being attacked and b: knowing that Charlies Archons can enter the MK at will and c: knowing that Charlie can attack the MK without leaving his city. More - this will likely trigger that massive default Charlie talked about, the loss of social capital.

    For nothing.

    BLUNDER BLUNDER BLUNDER indeed

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:53 am 
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    Haha, yeah. One little veil and Charlie just started a war with the Magic Kingdom, lost a ton of money to GK, and depleted all of Parson's new loyalty while he's got an open request to Turn available. Oh and all his toys plus Lilith are in range of Parson when he GTFOs. I see now where the "Hamsterdance" part of the title comes into play. Back and forth he goes!

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:08 am 
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    Actually, I think GK will make out quite well … because I think both Lilith and Parson will be hit, but neither fatally.

    Why do I think this? Lilith will live, though grievously wounded, and will pass through the portal intact, because Marie has that mass healing spell for her. That’s pretty well known to all by now. She can probably pass through for the same reason bullets and explosions can pass through — Charlie used Carnymancy to alter the portal somehow.

    I think Parson will be wounded because (a) he’s a lot bigger than Lilith, she won’t be able to screen him completely and (b) character development. In Book 2, he went in personally, personally fought, and was badly injured. Now he’s going to be even more badly injured, nearly killed.

    It’s possible he actually will be killed, and decrypted, but I doubt it. That would give Wanda too much power, take away his free will, and probably make it impossible for him to return to Earth, which I think he will do eventually.

    Given Marie’s warning at the end of 119, the weapons will also fire through the portal. However, I think the effects on neutral casters will be fairly minor. If Charlie’s reputation in the MK gets too heavily trashed, he’ll have no reason not to send in an Archon army to croak Parson. And it seems clear that he can. Still, it would be prudent for Parson and the casters to decamp back to GK as soon as they can.

    I suppose Charlie being on the slow connection is necessary because it gives Parson time to turn back before Charlie can disband him, and for them to escape.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:16 am 
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    The wild card right now is the scroll, and how Wanda is holding it. She could do all sorts of amazingly stupid things, including deliberately not using it on injured bystanders when able and not using it on Maggie so Wanda can Decrypt her.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:19 am 
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    We know from Marie that Lilith is going to get injured (+5MSch) and that look at one of the redshirts doesn't bode well for his health. There's also what will happen on the near and far grounds.

    So at this point I am guessing a minimum of 5 mill for GK after all the Foxtrot (+2x5 MSch unit damage -50% Parson's defection.) Who is going to accept Parson's turning, BTW, have the present casters or commanders enough leadership?

    It's doubtful whether two consecutive bullets progressively injuring a single unit constitutes two different instances of causing material harm, thus triggering two penalties.

    But, above all, I don't think we should look too close into the letter of the agreement, since it will always be subject to the author's interpretation as Supreme Justice in terms of what's most convenient for the story. If I were Rob I don't think I would have published the agreement exact wording, since it was to be expected that it was going to cause frustration to those who make different interpretations. It was fun to have some legalese to ponder about, but if you don't execute this narrative choice perfectly and unquestionably, it probably makes more harm than good to the story. And there are a few questionable points already.

    As for the baffle, yeah, as it has been said the combination of Jack being Masterfool plus Parson's lack of stats stacks up credibly against archons ability of blowing veils plus units natural perception of alignment.

    Not sure what the rationale for Lilith crossing the portal will be, all three hypotheses are sound enough (contact with a Portal capable unit, archon as caster-y enough, carnied portal).

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:24 am 
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    Tualha wrote:
    Actually, I think GK will make out quite well … because I think both Lilith and Parson will be hit, but neither fatally.


    Parson being hit doesn't mean anything for GK's treasure, he is a CC unit at the moment.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:25 am 
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    Brucester wrote:
    We know that most units can't consciously walk through a portal without being disbanded? (casters, Parson and the golems being the exceptions so far) Is there any proof out there that an unconscious unit cannot be carried across?


    Repeating the question as no one answered..... Can anyone prove or disprove this one? I'm curious and I don't profess to read the side stories like Digdoug etc so I may be missing something.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:26 am 
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    cu wrote:
    Tualha wrote:
    Actually, I think GK will make out quite well … because I think both Lilith and Parson will be hit, but neither fatally.


    Parson being hit doesn't mean anything for GK's treasure, he is a CC unit at the moment.


    Oh DUH, yes, good point.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 120
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:28 am 
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    I don’t buy the hypothesis that merely being in contact with a portal-capable unit lets anyone pass through a portal. If that worked, someone would have noticed thousands of turns ago, if only by accident, and everyone would know it by now.

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