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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:17 am 
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Nnelg wrote:
Ok, stealing your opponent's dead units is the whole point of decryption. Popping decrypted just makes no sense at all.

Well, I suppose there's the whole "0 upkeep" thing, but you don't have to pop units as decrypted; just kill them off somehow.
Right. You can even level your decrypted warlords by having them do the slaughtering, as with Scarlet/Sylvia and Ossomer.
MonteCristo wrote:
Because Decyrption is ALREADY extremely effective at unit creation. In a single battle, the toolist can increase their army of decrypted by hundreds. Its far faster than either Stanely's or Charlie's methods. It would take charlie a hundred turns to create as many archons as decypted that Wanda can create in a single battle; no need for such a secondary option
There is a limiting factor here that the other 'tools do not share. For the 'pliers, you have to win a battle. Not terribly difficult to arrange, perhaps, but still a limitation that the other 'tools don't have to deal with.
Lamech wrote:
Two: You can always ferry the corpses to the ruler. Some units: Bats, Orilies small stuff, will fit through hats in not too many pieces. Other units can be dragged around in a wagon, or floated on heavier fliers (unipegaturs, megalogwiffs, dwagons). Heavy units would take big resources to move, a few dwagons can float a dwagon away.
I'm not buying into this whole 'corpse relay' theory. Dwagons cannot even carry a single heavy. So assuming no rider, they can carry a single dead non-heavy unit. Perhaps two? Didn't Wanda and Jillian travel on a single dwagon together? That seems to be just around the 'horribly inefficient' level of logistics. And it's a relay, right? Which presupposes that you're using at least 2 and possibly 4, 6, 8+ dwagons to get that corpse or two back to the 'pliers wielder. Dwagon relay is great for what we've seen it used for: Transporting a few key units a long distance in a single turn. Relay your CWL or a caster, sure. That's moving might and leadership around. Relaying massive numbers of corpses? Not so much. Perhaps the very few corpses of warlords or other key units. Otherwise you've got more powerful dwagons tied up than you will be gaining by decrypting the random few dozen stabbers you killed in the latest battle.

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     Post Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:31 am 
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    Oberon wrote:
    There is a limiting factor here that the other 'tools do not share. For the 'pliers, you have to win a battle. Not terribly difficult to arrange, perhaps, but still a limitation that the other 'tools don't have to deal with.

    But you Wanda raise during battle too, so all you really need is to maintain a kill ratio greater than 1:1 to win any battle.

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     Post Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:00 am 
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    Nnelg wrote:
    But you Wanda raise during battle too, so all you really need is to maintain a kill ratio greater than 1:1 to win any battle.


    1:2 even provided Wanda isn't one of the ones that gets killed.

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     Post Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:49 am 
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    Wonder if a lookamancer/croakamancer trilink could decrypt at a distance. Or maybe some other range enhancing mancy.

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     Post Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:27 pm 
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    effataigus wrote:
    1:2 even provided Wanda isn't one of the ones that gets killed.

    Only if the enemy force doesn't outnumber you 2:1 will that work, since reinforcements aren't coming in as fast as they're dusted.

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     Post Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:12 pm 
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    Quote:
    Only if the enemy force doesn't outnumber you 2:1 will that work, since reinforcements aren't coming in as fast as they're dusted.


    Depends on the battlefield, and whether you are attacker.

    http://www.erfworld.com/book-2-archive/ ... -03-04.jpg

    In this example if both sides have enough army to form a solid line and not too much ranged attackers, then mostly 1 on 1 battles as guys behind can't reach.

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     Post Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:16 pm 
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    multilis wrote:
    Depends on the battlefield, and whether you are attacker.

    These are things which adjust your army's kills:deaths ratio.

    I was speaking of the case where it's steady at 1:2, in which the decrypted army would peter out after killing twice its original number.

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     Post Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:08 am 
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    I'm not seeing any arguments which contradict the basic facts: With the 'pliers you must have a winning fight in order to use the capability of the 'pliers. With the 'hammer or the 'dish you don't have to win a fight.

    Thus: 'pliers are only OP if you are already capable of winning fights. The other two 'tools allow you to build up your forces in times of peace.

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     Post Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:48 am 
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    What I meant was that you didn't really have to 'win' the fight, you could be clever about it. Hit-and-Lurch tactics, if you will. Get in there, croak and decrypt some guys, then get out before you can lose more than you've gained.

    But yea, you're right that they can't grow your army much in peacetime.

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     Post Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:25 pm 
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    Nnelg wrote:
    I never said Decrypted were useless, only that it was pointless to pop decrypted instead of living. You can always kill them yourself if you want.

    Yes, it would be simpler to pop decrypted; but not better. All you're really doing is losing the flexibility to choose how you want to use your troops.

    Not the Decrypted, the Pliars. The Arkenpliars would be all but useless to a bonded Ruler, due to the risks involved in leaving the Capital, if they don't grant that Ruler some extra advantage as the Arkenhammer and the Arkendish appear to do. Yes the Ruler can leave the Capital, but so can Stanley.

    It's an edge. It means not having to slaughter your own guys - Decrypted can Turn after all, as can the living. Nevermind that the effort involved in marching Units to the Capital to be done in is non trivial.

    multilis wrote:
    "A large overflight of dragons"

    Imagine it instead was "A large overflight of archons". "So Charlie. Had to Be."

    In other words only one person in world has *large* group of dragons or archons at that time. Everyone else *might* have a few at most. Decrypt is a game changer in that now possible that 2 sides could have large stack of any sort of rare/valuable units depending on how combat goes.

    (Rare expensive units. I would guess from my experience in games that other sides *could* also tame a dragon from the wild, but incredibly tricky/expensive so rare. Eg. waste lots of scouts to locate wild dragons, some of scouts risk becoming dragon food, may take many turns to find 1 dragon. Then turnomancer+army or some expensive combo of units to trap dragon, often including units to poison/weaken [to reduce resistance], more to freeze or otherwise bring down to ground and yet more units with some sort of turning chance, and dragons having high resistance takes luck to make it all work before dragon is dead from injuries or your army is dead from injuries or you have to retreat and try again another turn. If you lose your turnomancer or units with freeze/trap type attacks due to bad luck, you cry. )

    Yeah... that's kinda my point. Many Archons mean Charlie, not Charlescomm. Many Dwagons mean Stanley, not Gobwin Knob. That surely means that there's been no one else in living memory capable of raising such forces. There was a Gobwin Knob long before there was a Stanley. Even trapped in his City, Stanley was still supported by scores of Dwagons. So then, if Saline IV could pop Dwagons before Stanley found the Hammer, or indeed, came into existence, why should a large force of Dwagons automatically be blamed on him? Bear in mind that the force he led to old Faq was a full score short of the force that served him during TBfGK.

    Lamech wrote:
    One: You don't need archons, just a method to penetrate veils. So a hatamancer does the trick nicely. Or a foolamancer. Or any caster that can do something similar. Or any unit with similar veil penetrating abilities as too the archons. Or shmuckers to pay one to make you an item, or buy the correct unit type. So I don't think that too many sides will be lacking in the ability to form a relay.
    Two: You can always ferry the corpses to the ruler. Some units: Bats, Orilies small stuff, will fit through hats in not too many pieces. Other units can be dragged around in a wagon, or floated on heavier fliers (unipegaturs, megalogwiffs, dwagons). Heavy units would take big resources to move, a few dwagons can float a dwagon away.

    So a ruler can set up a system to get units to them. It would probably take a lot of units to set up. But no upkeep and once everything is being scoured for wild units popping, and natural sides, and ruin teams... you should be getting a good income of new units.

    Casters are rare, valuable and they aren't Scouts. And while it does appear to be possible to create items that shut down Foolamancy completely, creating one such item for a Ruler and mass producing them for Scouts are two entirely different things. If most Sides could acquire them in large numbers, what point would Foolamancy ever have? Even if it could be done, you're reliant on the magical might of others to get any use out of your Artifact.

    Wanda is no stranger to creating armies of the dead. And yet, even when the fighting was right on her doorstep, she rode out to perform her art rather than having the bodies brought to her. That says it all really.

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     Post Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:23 pm 
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    Whispri wrote:
    The Arkenpliars would be all but useless to a bonded Ruler, due to the risks involved in leaving the Capital, if they don't grant that Ruler some extra advantage as the Arkenhammer and the Arkendish appear to do.

    Your point? The Arkentools aren't exactly meant to be balanced.

    If you're looking for a way to get use out of a 'pliers-attuned ruler, I'd recommend popping an heir and paranoidly protecting them instead.


    Whispri wrote:
    Nevermind that the effort involved in marching Units to the Capital to be done in is non trivial.

    I believe an appropriate idiom for this situation is "Don't bring the mountain to Mohammad". It'd be a lot easier for the pliers-wielder to simply tour the country, croaking/decrypting units whatever units have built up in cities.


    Whispri wrote:
    If most Sides could acquire them in large numbers, what point would Foolamancy ever have?

    In Late WWII, the Germans equipped each of their squads with a panzerfaust, a disposable rocket-propelled shaped charge weapon all but guaranteed to take out any allied armored fighting vehicle it hit. But this did not make tanks useless, not by a long shot.

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     Post Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:09 am 
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    Whispri wrote:
    Casters are rare, valuable and they aren't Scouts. And while it does appear to be possible to create items that shut down Foolamancy completely, creating one such item for a Ruler and mass producing them for Scouts are two entirely different things. If most Sides could acquire them in large numbers, what point would Foolamancy ever have? Even if it could be done, you're reliant on the magical might of others to get any use out of your Artifact.

    Wanda is no stranger to creating armies of the dead. And yet, even when the fighting was right on her doorstep, she rode out to perform her art rather than having the bodies brought to her. That says it all really.
    You don't need to make one for each scout. Send the scout out, it comes back three seconds later, pass the hat to the next, and so forth. You only need one item. Similarly if you buy the corpse of an archon or something similar, you can cycle through on mounts relay style.

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     Post Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:46 am 
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    Nnelg wrote:
    Your point? The Arkentools aren't exactly meant to be balanced.

    If you're looking for a way to get use out of a 'pliers-attuned ruler, I'd recommend popping an heir and paranoidly protecting them instead.

    I believe an appropriate idiom for this situation is "Don't bring the mountain to Mohammad". It'd be a lot easier for the pliers-wielder to simply tour the country, croaking/decrypting units whatever units have built up in cities.

    In Late WWII, the Germans equipped each of their squads with a panzerfaust, a disposable rocket-propelled shaped charge weapon all but guaranteed to take out any allied armored fighting vehicle it hit. But this did not make tanks useless, not by a long shot.

    They are meant to be of use Nnelg. To a Ruler, they must be more than a conversation piece.

    No other Side is forced to risk their Ruler in such a fashion. Besides, that line of thinking left a madman on the Throne of Transylvito.

    This carries the risks inherent in having the Ruler leave the Capital and brings with it the morale problems I mentioned earlier.

    What of it? Foolamancy doesn't supply warmachines, it supplies camouflage, camouflage that has to be pierced automatically for the relay/search tactics to be safe. And if doing so is easy...

    Lamech wrote:
    You don't need to make one for each scout. Send the scout out, it comes back three seconds later, pass the hat to the next, and so forth. You only need one item. Similarly if you buy the corpse of an archon or something similar, you can cycle through on mounts relay style.

    I simply cannot believe that an entire discipline could be rendered useless by the creation of a single magic item, there must a limitation. One possibility that springs to mind is the device being a Commander only item. Never mind that once again it's taking a massive concentration of power (in the form of mounts this time) to allow the Arkenpliers to be useful and rare resources such as Casters or Archons.

    Perhaps Wanda would be able to pop Archons? She's a Caster, that might be why Charlie can do so. And she seems to need them rather badly.

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    Last edited by Whispri on Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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     Post Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:06 am 
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    posted to wrong thread somehow, but no one replied, so moving it over.

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     Post Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:35 am 
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    Whispri wrote:
    They are meant to be of use Nnelg. To a Ruler, they must be more than a conversation piece.

    They are meant to be of use to a Titan. They need not stoop to making themselves useful to mere erfworlders of any caliber.


    Whispri wrote:
    No other Side is forced to risk their Ruler in such a fashion.

    So? No other side has such an excellent reason to.


    Whispri wrote:
    This carries the risks inherent in having the Ruler leave the Capital and brings with it the morale problems I mentioned earlier.

    The risks are mitigated as long as there's an heir that's safe. As for morale, I never noticed anything about that in the comic.


    Whispri wrote:
    What of it? Foolamancy doesn't supply warmachines, it supplies camouflage, camouflage that has to be pierced automatically for the relay/search tactics to be safe. And if doing so is easy...

    You misunderstand. The point I was trying to make is that even if anti-foolamancy items were ubiquitous, they would not make foolamancy useless. They would only force it to be used in more sophisticated ways. Sort of how tanks can't just be thrown directly at infantry the way you see in movies.

    Moreover, relay/search tactics don't have to be safe. This is war, after all. Scouts are usually by definition expendable. If yours aren't, you should consider getting cheaper scouts, saving the best ones for more important missions.


    Whispri wrote:
    I simply cannot believe that an entire discipline could be rendered useless by the creation of a single magic item, there must a limitation.

    Oh, there is; there always is. Even if anti-foolamancy items were as bad as you fear, foolamancy still isn't useless.

    If enemy scouts are immune to strategic-level foolamancy, then use it on tactical level. Or, find a clever way through their web of recon. If camouflage is worthless, use misdirection. If the traditional usage is useless, find a new use for it.

    Set up a counter-scout network, croaking enemy scouts and capturing their magic items. Bring your foolamancer in on an angle your enemy doesn't expect, (and therefore has fewer scouts on) and shuffle him around to different parts of the front whenever he's discovered. Have him scribe scrolls non-stop, selling them for cash or building up enough for an entire army to cloak itself. Redeploy him against an enemy who simply doesn't have such effective counter-measures, nor the casters to create them. Heck, even use fireworks to send signals to your army during battle.

    Rarely is anything ever useless: all it takes is some "lateral thinking".

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     Post Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:53 pm 
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    Nnelg wrote:

    If enemy scouts are immune to strategic-level foolamancy, then use it on tactical level. Or, find a clever way through their web of recon. If camouflage is worthless, use misdirection. If the traditional usage is useless, find a new use for it.

    Set up a counter-scout network, croaking enemy scouts and capturing their magic items. Bring your foolamancer in on an angle your enemy doesn't expect, (and therefore has fewer scouts on) and shuffle him around to different parts of the front whenever he's discovered. Have him scribe scrolls non-stop, selling them for cash or building up enough for an entire army to cloak itself. Redeploy him against an enemy who simply doesn't have such effective counter-measures, nor the casters to create them. Heck, even use fireworks to send signals to your army during battle.

    Rarely is anything ever useless: all it takes is some "lateral thinking".
    For starters displacement and such would still be useful in combat. It will be much harder to fight if you can't know where your enemy is exactly. Sure the guy with the fancy hat might be able to point in the general direction of the enemy but its not the same. That is assuming the foolamancer doesn't change "right" to "left". Stealing the magic item is a good idea, each check will cost one of those precious items (or valuable archon type units) assuming you have any significant forces to be found. Of course, you also might lose a valuable item/archon-type without uncovering a veil.

    Infact, just the cost of maintaining foolamancy piercing scouts will be fairly expensive. Even if the foolamaner accomplishes nothing other than forcing your opponent to expend valuable scouts or items it will be at least somewhat useful. And the foolamancer can still be tasked to charging the tower, making scrolls to sell, or even trying their hands at some other form of magic. Zero lateral thinking required.

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     Post Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:55 pm 
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    Lamech wrote:
    Infact, just the cost of maintaining foolamancy piercing scouts will be fairly expensive.
    Not if the foolamancy piercing scouts in question happen to be decrypted archons.



    Lamech wrote:
    And the foolamancer can still be tasked to charging the tower, making scrolls to sell, or even trying their hands at some other form of magic. Zero lateral thinking required.
    The amount of "free time" or even free will allowed to casters is an interesting subject for discussion. Stanley, who is petty and dictatorial, still claims to support his people's hobbies. He was speaking about his favorite Wanda at the time, but still. Sizemore wasn't ordered to attempt to learn some hippymancy, he did it out of an interest in expanding his magical education. And while we've seen Sizemore ordered to the cesspits for his daily chores, and Ace forced to create raiment rather than accessories, and thinkamancers juice used for communications, and random casters ordered to charge up the tower, we've never seen (to my recollection) a caster ordered to create a scroll, or learn more about their own or another branch of magic.

    And when a character owns an item, it doesn't seem as though their rulers ever order them to give it to anyone else. Ossomer had the bracer when a potentially better use might have been on the CWL you had out leading a coalition against GK. Stanley was never reported to have been ordered to see if the current GK CWL could attune to the 'hammer. Etc.

    This could possibly be tied in with loyalty: Never allow your units any down time or personal possessions, and their loyalty goes in the toilet. So a smart ruler just leaves items with whomever found them despite a potential better use, and allows some time for visiting the magic kingdom to study or purchase a few personal scrolls.

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     Post Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:49 am 
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    Oberon wrote:
    Lamech wrote:
    Infact, just the cost of maintaining foolamancy piercing scouts will be fairly expensive.
    Not if the foolamancy piercing scouts in question happen to be decrypted archons.


    opportunity cost of not using them for other things

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     Post Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:01 pm 
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    Whispri wrote:
    Not the Decrypted, the Pliars. The Arkenpliars would be all but useless to a bonded Ruler, due to the risks involved in leaving the Capital, if they don't grant that Ruler some extra advantage as the Arkenhammer and the Arkendish appear to do. Yes the Ruler can leave the Capital, but so can Stanley.

    It's an edge. It means not having to slaughter your own guys - Decrypted can Turn after all, as can the living. Nevermind that the effort involved in marching Units to the Capital to be done in is non trivial.


    I think it's been mentioned at one point that you don't need to leave the capital to create a decrypted army. You could create a 0 upkeep side by sacrificing/ Friendly Firing every unit you ever pop, boop have the leader go to the nearest cities which you could create the safest watch around by popping 10 decrypted scouts to live in every hex. Who could pass around a single item that gave a bonus to detecting foolamancy. In which case you'd have tons of Schmuckers to pop things or do whatever with since you'd never worry about upkeep. That's a big bonus, however like with most things there is a greater bonus to adding risk, often times risk can lead to reward, sending your pliers on a campaign swath adds a lot of power.

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     Post Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:34 pm 
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    Oberon wrote:
    Lamech wrote:
    Infact, just the cost of maintaining foolamancy piercing scouts will be fairly expensive.
    Not if the foolamancy piercing scouts in question happen to be decrypted archons.

    They risk being shot down if you use them to scout for enemies, so effectivly anytime you find a significant concentration of enemy forces you risk your archon. If you are trying to maintain an anti-foolamancy grid to look for enemies, you cannot ever let up on this. Also archons are inanely valuable to anyone with decryption. They allow you to check hexes for enemies, before relaying your pliers to the battlefield. If you have archons and mounts you can essentially use the pliers to "tame" dwagons, elves, and enemy units at no risk to the plier carrier.

    Also I would argue that the pliers is essentially a point of failure just as much as the ruler for a decryption side. Sure they might not officially lose for another 1000 or 10000 turns, but eventually you will be ground to dust by someone. Even Haffaton fell. With the pliers you can increase the size of your forces without limit. With any luck you should be able to decrease the likelihood of side failure fast enough that you have a non-0 chance of unlimited survival. Therefore a ruler can risk themselves in the field, if need be. At least in the early stages of world domination. In later stages there will be no need.

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