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 Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:18 pm 
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tdaly282 wrote:
Axiom wrote:
Crisco wrote:
Unrelated: any guesses as to why Jed is upset about the portal shockamancy? That is, whether he's upset at a perversion of the portal, or upset that he can't do it too?

Jed is supposedly an awakened primordial aspect of Erfworld, the natural order personified. I assume he would view breaking Erfworld game rules as tantamount to sacrilege. Particularly because it would require modifying part of himself as the Portal resides in the main tower.

I really took "He actually sounds angry about it." as "He actually sounds angry [about the fact that was unable to rig the portal when asked]"

Which makes sense to me. He's loyal to the side as a whole. His "mother" is asking him to do something and he can't. And he can't do it, even though the portal is part of his own "body." Makes sense to me he'd be upset at that failure.

This seems much more likely to me. That's what it looks like it says to me, and Jed has always been in GK's corner since his introduction, it doesn't seem likely he would object to something that would help them on philosophical grounds.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:22 pm 
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    weezact7 wrote:
    Let me preface what I'm about to say with the disclaimer that I love Erfworld. It is one of my favorite comics and I eagerly look forward to the updates. I say this because I don't know how many vitriolic superfans exist in the community and I don't want to get dragged into a flame war for criticizing aspects of the comic.

    That being said, am I the only one who thinks Parson's "military genius" is almost never on display? Like, he comes up with good short-term plans (like dropping into Spacerock), but an actual general has to think in broader terms than just "this one battle". Troop deployment, logistics, etc are all as important, if not more, than strategy in the here-and-now. I can only think of one instance where he actually employed some strategic thinking: his hitting Ansom's siege and then hiding the dragons.

    Otherwise all he seems to do is make use of really obvious boons granted to him by Fate and the writers. "Hm, We're fighting an army of tree-men. I bet if I used this fire-based caster that just conveniently popped, I could somehow BURN them!" (hypothetical example). So, I'm just left finding it difficult to appreciate his supposed genius when he seldom has any long-term plan, and his short-term ones rely on some facet of Erfworld that the audience didn't know about until it was introduced at the most convenient time. I mean, despite everything Maggie has said/thought, SHE'S done more to get Parson out of jail than he would have (if he'd gone through with the plan to assassinate Don).


    After he was done playing catch up, he did that. He held a meeting in the war room to define what the long term goal was (very Charlie-esque). Having considered side locations, overall theatre, and goals, determined that the best course of action was peace. He set out Ansom and is currently struggling between the trench tactics of torture and the forest among the trees of an alliance with TV.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:30 pm 
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    Quote:
    That being said, am I the only one who thinks Parson's "military genius" is almost never on display? Like, he comes up with good short-term plans (like dropping into Spacerock), but an actual general has to think in broader terms than just "this one battle". Troop deployment, logistics, etc are all as important, if not more, than strategy in the here-and-now. I can only think of one instance where he actually employed some strategic thinking: his hitting Ansom's siege and then hiding the dragons.


    I think Parson has shown quite a bit of aptitude in deployment and logistics when he has been given the opportunity to be in charge of those things -

    The Dwagon relay comes to mind as a very effective way to be able to deploy assets such as Warlords to important battles.

    He considered and developed a strategy to make up for their inherent weakness in scouting capability with the (albeit limited) production of the stealth Golems.

    He immediately understood their weakness during FAQs counter attack of GKs unfortified cities because Ansom had left them undefended for their big push against Spacerock.

    He actually started to define GKs strategy and has made peaceful overtures to other sides to try and divide the coalition formed against them and thus win battles by simply not fighting them.

    He has shown a lot of initiative while at the same time he has pursued a study of magic to try and give his side even greater advantages while counter-acting his enemies biggest advantage.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:32 pm 
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    weezact7 wrote:
    Let me preface what I'm about to say with the disclaimer that I love Erfworld. It is one of my favorite comics and I eagerly look forward to the updates. I say this because I don't know how many vitriolic superfans exist in the community and I don't want to get dragged into a flame war for criticizing aspects of the comic.

    That being said, am I the only one who thinks Parson's "military genius" is almost never on display? Like, he comes up with good short-term plans (like dropping into Spacerock), but an actual general has to think in broader terms than just "this one battle". Troop deployment, logistics, etc are all as important, if not more, than strategy in the here-and-now. I can only think of one instance where he actually employed some strategic thinking: his hitting Ansom's siege and then hiding the dragons.

    Otherwise all he seems to do is make use of really obvious boons granted to him by Fate and the writers. "Hm, We're fighting an army of tree-men. I bet if I used this fire-based caster that just conveniently popped, I could somehow BURN them!" (hypothetical example). So, I'm just left finding it difficult to appreciate his supposed genius when he seldom has any long-term plan, and his short-term ones rely on some facet of Erfworld that the audience didn't know about until it was introduced at the most convenient time. I mean, despite everything Maggie has said/thought, SHE'S done more to get Parson out of jail than he would have (if he'd gone through with the plan to assassinate Don).

    That's not an entirely accurate assessment though, and it's definitely not a fair one. Parson has done everything he can to make the smart plays, but at the end of the day, his hands are tied much of the time. He spent a long time with Ansom being the one making all the decisions at the beginning of book two, and that actually went alright...until it didn't, and Parson had to come up with something again because Ansom screwed the pooch, exactly as Parson was expecting him to do at some point. Thus came the food fight. Then the portal run. The entirety of the Spacerock battle following Kingworld was off-the-cuff anything he could do to prevent his entire army from being annihilated, and ultimately save the side for a second time. Then Stanley runs off on his own and fights Jillian. He loses ALL the Hobgobwins, and leaves a 1/5 chance of the side literally ending right then and there. So, Parson has to cut a bad deal just to make sure that literally every GK unit doesn't insta-disband. He does what he can with that deal, and 100 or so pages later, GK is absolutely rolling in money. I'm not sure how much more you want him to do.

    Ultimately, Parson's time and abilities are finite, perfect warlord or not. As it stands, he's been either directly or indirectly responsible for both winning battles and saving the side multiple times each. He said it himself when he got there: perfect strategy doesn't mean you never lose a battle, it just means you pick the right ones to fight, and the right way to fight them. When you find yourself without a choice on the first, you've gotta do what you can on the second, and I respect his demonstrated capacity to do so thus far, in spite of his idiot ball moments.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:35 pm 
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    Ozamataz Buckshank wrote:
    tdaly282 wrote:
    I really took "He actually sounds angry about it." as "He actually sounds angry [about the fact that was unable to rig the portal when asked]"

    Which makes sense to me. He's loyal to the side as a whole. His "mother" is asking him to do something and he can't. And he can't do it, even though the portal is part of his own "body." Makes sense to me he'd be upset at that failure.

    This seems much more likely to me. That's what it looks like it says to me, and Jed has always been in GK's corner since his introduction, it doesn't seem likely he would object to something that would help them on philosophical grounds.


    Agree. Except I have one caveat: Could it really have been attempted (and then failed, after exhausting the attempts) in the narrow timeframe of between Parson's order and getting back a response (and at night, at that, with most units sleeping and the remaining casters presumably out of juice)? To me, it reads that perhaps it was already attempted earlier - though this begs the question of "who gave the order"/"who came up with the idea"; was it Jed himself, or maybe even Sizemore, or who?.. (Jed certainly has demonstrated enough initiative, but I'm not sure if he's ever been shown to use new data to base that initiative upon. And now that Sizemore is the Chief Caster, there are very few people who have the authority to give him an order - or even a suggestion, with how the Erfworld social structure works. Bonnie, maybe?..)

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:39 pm 
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    Nikitian wrote:
    Ozamataz Buckshank wrote:
    tdaly282 wrote:
    I really took "He actually sounds angry about it." as "He actually sounds angry [about the fact that was unable to rig the portal when asked]"

    Which makes sense to me. He's loyal to the side as a whole. His "mother" is asking him to do something and he can't. And he can't do it, even though the portal is part of his own "body." Makes sense to me he'd be upset at that failure.

    This seems much more likely to me. That's what it looks like it says to me, and Jed has always been in GK's corner since his introduction, it doesn't seem likely he would object to something that would help them on philosophical grounds.

    Agree. Except I have one caveat: Could it really have been attempted (and then failed, after exhausting the attempts) in the narrow timeframe of between Parson's order and getting back a response (and at night, at that, with most units sleeping and the remaining casters presumably out of juice)? To me, it reads that perhaps it was already attempted earlier - though this begs the question of "who gave the order"/"who came up with the idea"; was it Jed himself, or maybe even Sizemore, or who?.. (Jed certainly has demonstrated enough initiative, but I'm not sure if he's ever been shown to use new data to base that initiative upon. And now that Sizemore is the Chief Caster, there are very few people who have the authority to give him an order - or even a suggestion, with how the Erfworld social structure works. Bonnie, maybe?..)

    Why not Stanley?

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:39 pm 
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    Quote:
    am I the only one who thinks Parson's "military genius" is almost never on display?


    Parson isn't a military genius. At all. He's a gamer. The two are very different. For example, a military genius thinks strategically in order to achieve objectives. Meanwhile, gamers think laterally in order to exploit the rules in order to achieve victory.

    Strategy is about long term planning, and running a smart game. Thinking laterally is about surprising the strategic genius, and breaking that smart game in order to gain an advantage.

    Achieving objectives allows one to accomplish a set goal in steps. Achieving victory, on the other hand, simply means making sure other players are unable to accomplish their own goals whilst you accumulate advantages which will make it possible for your own strategic planners to accomplish goals.

    There's a good reason Hamster isn't the Overlord - Stanley might be a terrible manager, but he does have objectives. Parson just wants the win. Stanley has goals. I mean, his goals are to rule the world and stab everybody else in the back, but they're more specific than "win Erfworld", and so they've greater validity as goals.

    A military genius makes a good Overlord. A gamer makes a good commander for your armies. It goes back to what Parson was saying about Grand Strategy versus the everyday business of running the side and not being taken over by whoever's lining up to take them out. The unorthodox lateral moves Parson takes are great for ensuring that GK stays strong. They're not so much the thing you need to ensure that the neighbours aren't figuring out how to become stronger so they can crush you. That's where you need diplomats. GK really needs their own Trammennis to complement Parson, and Stanley desperately needs an administrative staff so that he can continue to be a field Overlord, leading the side from the back of a dwagon, and kicking arse at the head of a stack of big, mean, scary-looking knights.

    Also, I think that tanks could be a game changer for Erfworld. As mobile siege units with heavy artillery capability, they'd be just the thing for levelling stubborn cities. However, once Parson invents the tank, it's only a matter of time before he needs to defend against them. Adding new technology to Erfworld is risky business, because it gets used in interesting new ways and duplicated by people who are probably going to use it against you on the first turn they can.

    Exploiting the existing tech and systems in place is actually the smarter move, I think. Rather than going gaga over guns, Parson needs to figure out what already exists which can neutralise their advantages.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:42 pm 
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    I'm pretty sure making tanks would take a Turnamancer, and the only one we know of hates Gobwin Knob.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:49 pm 
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    Ozamataz Buckshank wrote:
    I'm pretty sure making tanks would take a Turnamancer, and the only one we know of hates Gobwin Knob.

    She'd be a lot more willing to help GK if she were plied a bit, I'd wager. Perhaps by some sort of tool designed for that specific purpose...

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:53 pm 
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    Just a random thought... what if Parson gets cut in the near future and his blood is actually damaging poison?

    Would be cool in a Twilight Zone sort of way but there's no way that it could be explained without giving Parson Titan-like powers (likely a bad idea for the story telling) or being REALLY cheesy.

    The poison blood idea is such a cool concept though.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:56 pm 
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    I am not sure I would classify - 'Gamer' and 'Military Genius' as different things in Erfworld.

    In the real world a military genius has a thousand and one things to concern themselves about that a warlord in Erfworld does not - simply feeding troops and not having them leave the standing army was very difficult.

    In Erfworld you're not going to run into a lot of the logistical problems a real world general would because ultimately you can usually count on the same number of troops arriving at the battle field as the ones you sent. You don't have to worry about baggage trains and food supplies and you don't as far as we've been shown really have to worry about environmental factors impeding your efforts - no trying to take Russia before the onslaught of winter.

    What you do have however is very hard limitations on what you can bring to the battle. If you find yourself short on troops you can't suddenly impose higher taxes to pay for more troops you're limited by what you have saved before hand.

    You can't often copy your opponents technology as quickly for example if they're bringing battle bears you are out of luck unless you have a dollamancer, if they're using a battle table like they GK did in Book One again you're out of luck unless you happen to have a Foolamancer, Lookamancer and a Thinkamancer just on hand. If your enemy starts bringing guns to the table then unless you have dollamancer, dirtamancer and probably a wierdomancer then again you're out of luck.

    That limitation is what Parson is good at trying to overcome and it is a talent we have not seen other leaders employ (apart from Charlie).

    I think that does make him a 'military genius' by Erfworld standards. His plans have long term ambition but the space of these three books has taken place over less than a year. I mean potentially less than six months, does anyone know exactly how many days Parson has been in Erf? I'd be surprised if he has managed to get to his next birthday yet.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:56 pm 
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    Nikitian wrote:
    Agree. Except I have one caveat: Could it really have been attempted (and then failed, after exhausting the attempts) in the narrow timeframe of between Parson's order and getting back a response (and at night, at that, with most units sleeping and the remaining casters presumably out of juice)? To me, it reads that perhaps it was already attempted earlier - though this begs the question of "who gave the order"/"who came up with the idea"; was it Jed himself, or maybe even Sizemore, or who?.. (Jed certainly has demonstrated enough initiative, but I'm not sure if he's ever been shown to use new data to base that initiative upon. And now that Sizemore is the Chief Caster, there are very few people who have the authority to give him an order - or even a suggestion, with how the Erfworld social structure works. Bonnie, maybe?..)

    Bonnie makes sense. She knew it was possible, knew it was done by a Dirtamancer. She is logical to have suggested it to Stanley, who has no reason not to order Sizemore to try. She would definitely have suggested it since she would have viewed it as a possible avenue for rescuing Wanda by letting them get forces into the MK since their previous MK contingent fell into a plot hole, apparently.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:00 pm 
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    What is this about Digdug's story involving a ring of power destined to bring down Charlie if they can get it to a specific location? Or did I misunderstand people's comments?

    (I'm not a kickstarter backer; should I have read those stories?)

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    It really speaks to how awful RVC's plan is that immolating himself first would improve the odds of success.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:15 pm 
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    bladestorm wrote:
    So how anatomically correct is the doll, and can she use it to do other things to Parson while claiming to be "asleep"? Oh, I thought I was just ~dreaming~ that last night...
    Okay, A:) get your mind out of the gutter.

    B:) Given that Maggionette was fabricated by Doller Bill; and Doller Bill's shenanigans with his previous hide-golem (the Bunny one) strongly imply full biological functionality, I'm prepared to predict that "doin' the nasty" is entirely within the capabilities of the Maggionette.

    That said, I'm fairly certain Parson would not be interested in deploying this unit as a fleshlight. Nor would Maggie be interested in using the Maggionette as a Strange Days-ish VR experience. She's discussed autonomy/agency with Parson before, you may recall, and she appears to have been strongly infected with at least the desire to emulate Parson's fundamental decency.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:23 pm 
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    Keybounce wrote:
    What is this about Digdug's story involving a ring of power destined to bring down Charlie if they can get it to a specific location? Or did I misunderstand people's comments?

    (I'm not a kickstarter backer; should I have read those stories?)
    You may be reading a little too much into those comments if it's leading you into THAT kind of thinking.

    That said, it's never a BAD idea to read the backer stories. The bit about Chekov's Ring is in this one.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:25 pm 
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    Crisco wrote:
    Also: I just realized that the Sizemore picture in this update is him messing around at the base of the portal. Compare those markings to the ones in this update; they're identical. As an aside, that also answers the question about whether those symbols were a result of Charlie's tampering or something naturally at the base of every portal.

    Very nice catch, that!

    Shmuckers for you.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:28 pm 
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    Well the course of action seemed to resolve itself very well. Now I wonder if they'll get back to the cell without Vanna finding out. (also an obligatory "d'awww" for the hug) :tv:

    It has probably been speculated before but I assume that Charlie is capable of a three discipline link-up (two others and himself as the Carny). The lack of knowledge of the trans-fusion states is what allows him to make such powerful objects :charlie:

    If I were Jed I would be frustrated too about not being able to do what another capitol site can do. I do like the grumpy glass too. :jed:

    I don't know if anyone else has brought this up or asked. Does anyone know what Charlie did to Parson during the Parley or when he switched? I would guess that Charlie messed a little with Parson's head (even a simple post-hypnotic suggestion or tweak to his head) just in case. This would be especially likely if a thinkamancer can speed up the mind relative to the surrounding time.

    Also, my guess ( and I would very much like to be wrong) is that GK will lose Sizemore and gain Digdoug, just when they need a master-class dirtamancer.

    Edit: Just thought of something, does this mean that most of the casters in the MK would be helpless if the miracle poles made their way through and neutralized shockamancy? That means that Parson could take the MK without much problem.


    Last edited by Greylok on Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:31 pm 
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    Keybounce wrote:
    Taejang wrote:
    Which is why, if I were Parson with a huge budget, I'd immediately full-time hire at least one caster of every discipline and start a Think Tank. Brain Trust. Erfworld's School for Gifted Gobwins. Or whatever they want to call it.

    Not that he's had time lately, but even before getting 40 million, that would have been far higher on my priority list than Parson made it.


    Maybe call it, Holistic Observational Grand-Wizarding Augmentation Redefinition Team.

    ... I mean, at least that can't run into any one else's copyrights, right? :-)


    Reminds me of Red Dwarf.
    Rimmer wrote:
    Erm, I think we’re all beginning to lose sight of the real issue here, which is “what are we going to call ourselves?” Erm, and I think it comes down to a choice between “The League Against Salivating Monsters,” or my own personal preference, which is “The Committee for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitation Into Society.”

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:57 pm 
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    weezact7 wrote:
    That being said, am I the only one who thinks Parson's "military genius" is almost never on display?

    Hey weezact7, I don't think you'll get flamed but you'll probably get plenty of disagreements. :)

    A couple of years ago in US college basketball a commentator (forget his name) said something about the Butler Bulldogs playing in that year's March Madness tournament. He said, to paraphrase, that many teams play well when they are winning but they start to go to pieces when they get behind in points. But the Bulldogs don't do that... they are a team that plays well especially when they are losing.

    To me that is the embodiment of Parson Gotti.

    He makes strategic plans, tries to carry them out, and watches them buckle and fall apart. Everybody reading this is probably thinking of that same old chestnut... that quote from the punishing sage known as boxing Mike Tyson... a quote that gets flogged all over the internet and is about to get flogged right here again:

    "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

    Parson's the guy who somehow wins with a mouth full of bloody broken teeth. He wins when all the chips are down and he's got to explode the ground under his own feet with a sleeping volcano. He wins while he's on fire and being pushed through a portal by underlings. He wins when he turns sides, BECOMES the enemy, and gets his feet blown off shortly before getting pushed through a portal by another underling. Face it, the guy likes getting pushed through portals by his staff. What was I talking about? Anyway, he's good when he's good and he's even better when he's bad. You may not think that he's a great strategist but he's an spectacular, SPECTACULAR salvageist.


    Last edited by Noigel on Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 184
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:04 pm 
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    Noigel wrote:
    Face it, the guy likes getting pushed through portals by his staff. What was I talking about? Anyway, he's good when he's good and he's even better when he's bad. You may not think that he's a great strategist but he's an spectacular, SPECTACULAR salvageist.

    Shmucker for you, salvageist.

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