Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) - Episode 027

Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) - Episode 027

Chip Tunage, the Earl of Otoh squinted up and tsked at the sky. "That's dawn, Chief," he said, running his fingers through his messy black hair. He had slept in the saddle, and no start-of-turn cleansing had straightened out that tangled nest. "We're in for it, I guess."

Princess Jillian Zamussels of the Kingdom of Faq–who had not put up with anyone calling her "Princess" in more than two hundred turns–looked up through pine boughs at the starless patches of sky. There was no denying that it was getting light out. The stupid birds nesting in the adjacent treetops twittered in assent.

She nodded, shifting in her own saddle with a leathery scrunch. Her gwiffon shifted its weight on the branch to match. "Yeah, probably," she admitted. "Okay Chip. Put the archers on guard. Watch the ground and the skies."

"Yes, Chief."

She took a brown pear from her saddlebag and mechanically gnawed it down to the core, pondering the options the world was giving her today. There were two, really: either they'd find her, or she'd find them. Neither was any good.

The "they" would almost certainly mean Haffaton, a vast powerhouse side which had long ago gobbled up all of its immediate neighbors. Growing slowly, like vegetation, Haffaton had oozed most of the way around Faq, until it had their little three-city side almost surrounded. The only reason they hadn't been conquered yet was that Haffaton did not know Faq existed. Jillian's tiny bubble-kingdom took extraordinary pains to avoid detection.

But that secrecy was now distinctly threatened by the fact that someone else had a turn before Faq's today. That meant that their sides shared a battlespace today; there would be an opportunity for the sides to fight. However much Faq wanted to avoid crossing paths, it was inevitable. Battlespace determinations were Natural Predictamancy. She would be spotted by the enemy and allow them an encounter of some sort, all too close to her own territory.

This was why she hated coming home.

Well...one of the reasons.

Jillian had spent a long time far afield, working as an ally-for-hire with sides who had no idea where the capital of Faq might be. For the sake of maintaining the treasury she took contracts, mostly simple bounties on enemy units. She preferred to fight for weaker sides, partly out of sympathy (it was a lot of fun to rescue a side from the brink of extinction), but also because a side that fell would never tell.

"If they don't find us on their turn, we should bolt back exactly the way we came in," Hedda suddenly declared.

The Countess Hedda Splode was Jillian's other field commander, a sturdy brown-haired Level 6 with a mean temper that served her well in battle...but only in battle. Like Jillian, she considered herself an exile from King Banhammer's court, and saw stabbing things with swords as the only good honest way to earn one's upkeep. Hedda had Jillian's respect, but as blunt and headstrong as she was, probably no-one could really like her.

"You don't think we could swing out over the water?" Jillian asked, mostly for the sake of raising options. "Go for the secondary rendezvous point?"

Hedda made a face. "F'you wanna risk that. But if we're going to be spotted, I say we get spotted as far from home as we can. Then we disengage and flee on a misdirect heading."

Jillian nodded, knowing Hedda was exactly right. That habit was the annoying thing about the woman.

"Yeah, all right. If they don't come here on their turn, that's the plan, then."

She realized she was still holding the core of the pear in her hand. Rather than drop it to the forest floor as a clue to the enemy to look up in the trees, she ate that as well.

---

Two elves wandered into the clearing before the sun was even visible through the pine needles. One of them was round and bald, with a laurel of white hair. The other was pale and gaunt. They wore loose tunics dyed in crazy multicolor patterns, lined with psychedelic fur. They were armed only with tall staves.

Jillian's units went silent, using the barest hand signals to communicate. The elves talked and giggled as they walked crookedly between the tree trunks. They looked to be on a foraging mission of some kind, studying the ground very closely. With any luck, Jillian hoped they would pass through without noticing the three stacks of mounted gwiffons nested above.

The fat one pointed at something at the base of a large fir tree. As the wispy one bent to look, his companion tripped him with his staff and he fell on his face into the dirt and pine needles. Both of them started laughing, but the thin one looked up and saw.

"Oh, hey. Wait, man, look," he said, pointing and climbing to his feet.

"Ohhhh, wow," said the other, looking right up at Jillian in her saddle. "Hey, up there! Hey! Friend or foe?"

"Neither," called Jillian, trying to sound disinterested even with her heart pounding behind her armor. "Mercenaries. Just passing through."

The big one looked around, counting the units. "You got a lot of heavies. Who are you?"

"Mercenaries," she said again.

"Umm..."

The thin one tugged on the fat one's sleeve. "Hey man, let's go. Right? Let's just go."

With a few slow steps, then breaking suddenly into a run, they went. Jillian gave the hand signal to allow them to pass. Their crashing, graceless footsteps faded away into the forest, and the warrior princess had to restrain her hunting instincts. Croaking enemy scouts as first contact rarely went well.

"What kind of elves were those?" asked Chip, when they had left the hex.

"High Elves," said Hedda. "Natural allies of Haffaton. They use natural Hippiemancy, mostly Flower Power."

"I see." Chip squinted in the direction the elves had left. "I'm guessing...they use it a lot."

"That was the start of trouble, Warlords," said Jillian, quietly. "First pebble of a landslide. We gotta step very carefully now."

Recent posts... (See full thread)
Housellama wrote:
Bad example. Stanley was under a compulsion, and getting a sandwich could have just been something to do that wasn't in the room. Besides, haven't you ever eaten for pleasure before? Just because he is[/] eating doesn't mean he [i]has to eat.

Yes he was, to leave the room, the rest was up to him. His choice. No one elses. And the fact that he's breathing doesn't mean he needs to breathe, but reading between the lines... Here's another random eatery page, again nothing special about the time.
1. Casters meeting each other in the magical kingdom does not constitute a battlespace being formed. Case in point: Faq + Wanda meeting did not add Faq into Goodminton's battlespace.

2. Since that means there was an encounter between two sides that did not correspond in creating a battlespace, we have to assume that encounters in the magical kingdom operate outside the usual battlespace rules.

3. Since we know there is an exception here, but nothing beyond that, further speculation is pretty much pointless until we learn more. But your insistence that there must be thousands of hours if turns are sequential is completely missing the entire concept of relative time. Especially since we know the sun jumps around based on what units are where; I can spend 9 hours walking and come back to a hex where only 2 minutes have passed for my allies. And you mean to tell me there isn't a mechanic by which the magical kingdom doesn't need to take thousands of hours a day?

I know I owe you a response Housellama, but i now have to dig through the thread to find where your post was ;). Will edit an answer in probably
Balerion wrote:
1. Casters meeting each other in the magical kingdom does not constitute a battlespace being formed. Case in point: Faq + Wanda meeting did not add Faq into Goodminton's battlespace.

2. Since that means there was an encounter between two sides that did not correspond in creating a battlespace, we have to assume that encounters in the magical kingdom operate outside the usual battlespace rules.

3. Since we know there is an exception here, but nothing beyond that, further speculation is pretty much pointless until we learn more. But your insistence that there must be thousands of hours if turns are sequential is completely missing the entire concept of relative time. Especially since we know the sun jumps around based on what units are where; I can spend 9 hours walking and come back to a hex where only 2 minutes have passed for my allies. And you mean to tell me there isn't a mechanic by which the magical kingdom doesn't need to take thousands of hours a day?

If Turns must happen sequentially, only one Side can have a Turn at a time and all Casters visiting the Magick Kingdom add an extra Turn to be resolved before a day can end, Battlespace or no. Each of these Turns take time to resolve, hours in fact judging by Sizemore's experience. This time will add up to hundreds upon hundreds of hours. Which is why simultaneous Turns for Sides unconnected by Battlespace make so much sense. That's your mechanic to keep the day at a sane length.

And no matter how many times you use the word 'relative', it doesn't change that time (an hour as I recall) passed for Wanda while she was waiting in the road after leaving Goodminton (which was in the process of dying) and it doesn't change the talk of hours here.

As for Wanda's meeting with the Faq Casters, no engagement occured, ergo...
Whispri wrote:
This suggests otherwise. So would the very update this thread is dedicated to, what with the pear being devoured off Turn. Upkeep is something's that's paid to avoid disbanding, food is something that's eaten to avoid starvation. Erfians of the race of men seem to be human, so the need to absorb nutrients would still be there. There's no reason to think that an endless day would leave biology kicking it's heals with nothing to do.

And I was really just using that to emphasise how insanely long a typical Magick Kingdom day would be with sequential Turns in anycase.
Due to the fact that sides can pay for themselves via farming foraging or hunting I strongly suspect that food can pay for upkeep. (Some Natural Sides even survive like this.) Unless those things are turned into shmuckers first they reduce or eliminate upkeep.

Edit: So it turns out that hunting and farming actually do make money directly.
Whispri wrote:
And no matter how many times you use the word 'relative', it doesn't change that time (an hour as I recall) passed for Wanda while she was waiting in the road after leaving Goodminton (which was in the process of dying) and it doesn't change the talk of hours here.


Nothing said that the time elapsed by enemies elsewhere had to be instantaneous and occur at the first possible moment. It could be randomly distributed.

As for the second, that was in the MK. It is already established to operate under a special set of time zone rules.
ftl wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:
ftl wrote:
She can avoid detection.


Again, quite plausible. But a bit imo inelegant. Wouldn't the nat.pred. that decides whether battlespaces are formed or not also know whether detection happens this turn or not? It may not, but that just sounds klutzy. If we decide that the world works such that nat.pred. is accurate enough to know whether contact will happen or not, so as to always correctly decide whether to form a battlespace or not, why not extend this to whatever even actually makes the battlespace needed?

Because it's magic, that's why, and it does(n't) whatever it wants, of course. Not a very pretty answer though.


Well, the way I thought about it, it's because whether detection happens or not is something that is determined by how the contact goes. If they run into each other (i.e. are in the same hex), who detects who is determined by their interactions - same as a combat encounter.

To me, it seems like a scouting encounter is analogous to a combat encounter in that respect - if two units pass through the same hex or adjacent hexes, then the relative stealth or observational abilities and the details of how exactly they pass through, (some of which is probably represented by some sort of stats, like vision or stealthiness or something, and some of which is based on their behavior), determine who sees who and so on. So yeah, the best case scenario for Jillian is that she passes her spot check and the opponents never see her, in the same sense that it's the best case scenario in combat that the enemy arrow misses you. But the enemy still gets a chance to fire that arrow, and in this case they get a chance to try for that spot check - and to do either, they have to interact with you, and so thus be in the same battlespace, and take their turn either strictly before or strictly after you. Even if in a combat encounter nobody ends up croaked or injured, it's still an encounter even if the net result is that nothing happens. Looking at it that way, it wouldn't make sense for the natural predictamancy to put them in separate battlespaces even if they end up not seeing each other, same as it wouldn't make sense for them to be in separate battlespaces if two stacks walked up to each other and passed by without fighting.

Just my take on it, of course.


I agree with this with one simple modification:

Battlespace may not have to be symmetric.

It is ok for Jillian's turn start to be delayed by the elves walking through, and the elves' turn to still end at Dusk (e.g. if Jillian doesn't go after them on her turn.)

Jillian shares Battlespace with the elves, and her turn start is delayed, because Erf Predicted that she would notice them. Then she notices them. She can still hope that the elves don't notice her. The elves would then NOT share Battlespace with Jillian.

Asymmetric Battlespace is one consequence of my version of Erfworld Relativity.
I found the relevant Summer Update

Three pieces of information there, and the discussion about the Magic Kingdom, lead me to need to overhaul my Theory of Erfworld Relativity:
1.)"A second was "one-thousand-one." A minute was sixty of those. An hour was sixty minutes, and a day was twenty-four hours. At least, within a given hex."
2.)"Only the order of our actions is important. Time isn't."
3.)"It [the sun] jumps backwards when I enter the hex?!" "Of course! To you," said Sizemore. "Because you traveled and were observed from that hex. If you weren't observed, you would find the sun in the same position as the previous hex."

I find statement 3.) from the summer update to be inconsistent with statement 2.) Both statements were made by Sizemore. To be consistent with statement 2.) Parson should observe the sun shifting backwards as he returns from scouting depending on what order events are happening in the Hex he returns to, rather than observation. To be consistent with statement 3.) Parson's scouting mission would return later in the day simply because no one was watching him.

If statement 3.) is amended to say (or understood to mean) "waited for" rather than "observed," I would find it far more consistent with the rest of the description of relativity in that update.

So, what of the sequential turns vs. simultaneous turns debate?

I find sequential turns make it easier to avoid paradoxes like the ones presented in this thread, with the exception of mid-turn communication between otherwise non-interactive sides. (Both via Thinkagrams and the Magic Kingdom.)

Simultaneous turns neatly solve the Thinkagram and Magic Kingdom issues, but leave possible weirdness when determining Battlespaces.

I propose a dual solution. Battlespaces are Predicted as if Sides always took Turns sequentially. Then Turns outside of Battlespaces are played simultaneously.

Here's how I use relativity to explain the paradox presented earlier:

Alberta and Borneo are at war. Alberta takes their turn first.

Sequential Turns:
On Alberta's turn: Scouts from Alberta are sent to find the remnant of a routed army from Borneo. They scout through Hex 7, then return to Hex 3 having not found the army they sought.
Then on Borneo's turn: Borneo's army camped in Hex 8, and passes through Hex 7 as they flee.

No Battlespace is formed, so the turns play simultaneously:

Alberta and Borneo both have units in Hex 7 during the simultaneous turn.

Battlespace should be formed, so turns play sequentially (and we return to the first situation.)

My solution is quite simple. From the rabbit in Hex 7's perspective the scouts from Alberta enter and exit the Hex first, then Borneo's army passes through. Suppose Alberta's scouts search Hex 7 thoroughly, until the sun moves most of the way to Dusk. Borneo probably thinks it's weird that the sun jumps to dusk when they enter the Hex, but they'll explain it away by saying that something else must have happened there earlier this Turn. They might even guess that Alberta's scouts were there. The question is whether that information causes any further problems.
Housellama wrote:
Wow, I sparked a lot of debate! Good, that was the intent.

Re: Potential paradox about Battlespaces and Turn order: No possible paradox exists. Why? Very simple answer. It's MAGIC.


Nothing Rob has created so far has dodged basic logic with that excuse. So I'm rejecting it based on a complete lack of foundation for your position. Taking that position, you can believe or rationalize anything you want, which is of absolutely no interest to me, so just ignore me while I assume basic logic functions in Erfworld.

Quote:
With Stupidworld physics, things have to be explained and consistent.


Logic, the foundation for determining my paradox, is not Physics and has so far never been violated.

Whispri wrote:
This suggests otherwise. So would the very update this thread is dedicated to, what with the pear being devoured off Turn. Upkeep is something's that's paid to avoid disbanding, food is something that's eaten to avoid starvation. Erfians of the race of men seem to be human, so the need to absorb nutrients would still be there. There's no reason to think that an endless day would leave biology kicking it's heals with nothing to do.


It is explained in the Summer Update that Provisions (that is food made by Units from the environment) decrease the cost of Upkeep (but never to 0). Erfworld units do feel hunger, but they do not need to feed that hunger.

A Turn that lasts 100 hours by our standard does not require extra food for the Unit. To survive, you need only one day's Upkeep per day, and no more, no matter how long the Day lasts in hours. The Turn is as long as you need it to be, and that is part of what the Natural Predictamancy determines at Dawn.

Whispri wrote:
As for the 'Upkeep at Dawn' thing, as per this Klog, it's possible to do things like create Golems and Uncroak the dead off-Turn. Thus a Side with a Turn late in the day could dodge upkeep by creating fresh Units after dawn, but prior to their own Turn. Therefore, Upkeep must be paid at the start of Turn.


Small nitpick. Uncroaked and other magically created units do not have Upkeep.
Kreistor wrote:
Housellama wrote:
Wow, I sparked a lot of debate! Good, that was the intent.

Re: Potential paradox about Battlespaces and Turn order: No possible paradox exists. Why? Very simple answer. It's MAGIC.


Nothing Rob has created so far has dodged basic logic with that excuse. So I'm rejecting it based on a complete lack of foundation for your position. Taking that position, you can believe or rationalize anything you want, which is of absolutely no interest to me, so just ignore me while I assume basic logic functions in Erfworld.

Quote:
With Stupidworld physics, things have to be explained and consistent.


Logic, the foundation for determining my paradox, is not Physics and has so far never been violated.


You do realize that we're working in a world where people can predict the future and change people's luck and cast freaking fireballs, right? Those are all within the "physics" of the system. Why? It's magic. That's the point. Erfworld doesn't need to worry about paradoxes because it simply sees the future and sets it up so that there is no paradox.

I'm not saying "Oh everyone takes their turns all at the same time!" No. I'm not talking about anything that happens inside the bubbles. I'm talking about how the bubbles are set up in the first place. And since it's Predictamancy, Erfworld knows in advance which armies are going to do what and creates Battlespaces accordingly. Within each individual Battlespace, Turn Order still applies. Outside the bubbles, once they are set up, there's absolutely no reason that each individual bubble can't be resolved all at the same time. They are all isolated in space and time. Erfworld has already established that when the bubbles/Battlespaces were placed. Each one's like a little snowglobe. Once the snowglobes are built, it's just a matter of metaphorically shaking them up and watching them go.

I really don't see the problem here. We've already had it established in Canon that it's Natural Predictamancy, and that Predictamancy is always right. We've also established that magic is an inherent part of Erfworld's physics and can do things that would otherwise be unexplainable. Is your objection that you don't believe that Erf can make those predictions? I can go get the quotes from Clay and Delphie that flat out say that Predictamancy is always right.

Kreistor wrote:
Whispri wrote:
This suggests otherwise. So would the very update this thread is dedicated to, what with the pear being devoured off Turn. Upkeep is something's that's paid to avoid disbanding, food is something that's eaten to avoid starvation. Erfians of the race of men seem to be human, so the need to absorb nutrients would still be there. There's no reason to think that an endless day would leave biology kicking it's heals with nothing to do.


It is explained in the Summer Update that Provisions (that is food made by Units from the environment) decrease the cost of Upkeep (but never to 0). Erfworld units do feel hunger, but they do not need to feed that hunger.

A Turn that lasts 100 hours by our standard does not require extra food for the Unit. To survive, you need only one day's Upkeep per day, and no more, no matter how long the Day lasts in hours. The Turn is as long as you need it to be, and that is part of what the Natural Predictamancy determines at Dawn.

Whispri wrote:
As for the 'Upkeep at Dawn' thing, as per this Klog, it's possible to do things like create Golems and Uncroak the dead off-Turn. Thus a Side with a Turn late in the day could dodge upkeep by creating fresh Units after dawn, but prior to their own Turn. Therefore, Upkeep must be paid at the start of Turn.


Small nitpick. Uncroaked and other magically created units do not have Upkeep.


I'm not sure that regular Uncroaked have no Upkeep. Stanley makes a joke about the Uncroaked Warlords being cheap to feed. Wanda also makes a note that the Decrypted have no upkeep. I don't think I can remember ever seeing anyone say that regular Uncroaked have no upkeep. I'm also not sure we've seen anything anywhere that said Golems require no upkeep. Otherwise, there'd be no reason not to crank out Golems as fast as you can make them all the time. Charlie would certainly have more than 600 if they didn't have some kind of limit.
Urgh. "High Elves". I should have seen it coming. LOL