Prologue - 012

Prologue - 012

Turns since TBfGK: 4

The column was three hexes long. No unit within it had less than eighteen move. No unit within it had lower than six base attack. This was a strike force. It was several strike forces.

His leadership would add three attack to all units on his side, five to those in his hex, and ten to those in his own stack. His mistress would add one to all Decrypted troops on her side, four to those in her hex, and eight to those in her stack.

And when Ansom, Chief Warlord of Gobwin Knob and a Decrypted unit himself, led a stack of six Decrypted heavies and knights with Wanda Firebaugh, Chief Croakamancer and attuned wielder of the Arkenpliers...

The worst unit in the stack had an attack of thirty.

Ansom himself attacked at thirty-three. The defenders would likely average three, or even two. He could take the carpet over the walls and seize this city with his own sword, in theory. His Overlord would probably like that.

But there were many cities to take after Warchalking. His mistress Wanda did not wish to make this a show, and he concurred. No unnecessary risk. No air attack. Gate, door, garrison. Claim it and move forward with the Titans' work.

The city hove into view as their stack crossed hexes. It was a Level Two, set on a low green hill. Its outer walls were little more than a man-height ring of stones on an earthen berm, with a front gate of wrought iron, flanked by stone blockhouses. Its garrison was a fort of logs around a round stone tower with a wooden roof. There was an orchard and a water mill outside the city, just above a ford in the brook.

The defenders, what few there were, wore the red and orange livery of Unaroyal. The tower bore a banner: a black torus with white lettering, on a red and orange field. The Decrypted Unaroyal commanders had said to expect the most resistance to be mounted at the gate, but it would surely be too little to cause concern. It was expected that the remaining Marbits would have withdrawn to cities with a tunnel system.

Ansom broke stack and flew around in the hex, burning off nervous energy. The flying stack, two live dwagons and six Decrypted Archons, eyed him as if anticipating a change in orders. But no, he couldn't see that they would need to do more than blast at any archers on the gate as the wiener-rammers broke in.

He circled over the rows of green rye beside the road. The farms around this city were its real value. It would be good to reclaim them for Gobwin Knob.

He rejoined the stack, pulling up beside Wanda on her pink and black sourmander. She was wearing a helm of glossy black enamel, a shirt of red leather with black studs and shoulder guards, striped black tights and black leather boots with stiletto heels for spurring her mount. And of course, she wielded the Arkenpliers. She did not look at him.

He loved her.

There was no other word for it. He remembered hating her. He remembered nearly everything from his life as a Prince of Jetstone. None of it mattered. His life was hers, so very literally. And the fact that he knew she valued his life so little only made him love her more. He wanted to prove himself to her, and thereby to the Titans themselves. Where his Overlord Stanley was surely a Tool of the Titans' will, his mistress seemed more of a fine instrument, even an avatar. His love for Jetstone, or for the Barbarian Princess, was a shadow of a thing when compared to his passion for doing Wanda's will. He felt greater, in her service.

"Anything?" she asked him, still staring forward at the Decrypted Tchotchkes in the stack ahead of them.

"No, Mistress," said Ansom. "If anything, it seems a bit more poorly defended than we expected. No sign of Marbits. No flyers visible."

She did not so much as nod, but he sensed her acknowledgment. One hex to go. They would not negotiate. They would break down the gate, and take the first of many, many cities. Maybe all the cities in the world.

The column advanced in silence, save for the rattle of gear and the whisper of wind on the grain.

image

Guest art by Kavin Scalf aka Madea on the Erfworld forums

Recent posts... (See full thread)
Raza wrote:

If the other warlords' bat-stacks were weaker, that implies that one of the below must be true:
- The Chief Warlord's Stack and Hex bonuses stack, so ceasar's bats got both and ended up higher because Ceasar's raw leadership was higher than that of other warlords. This seems odd because this update's calculations don't sound like the hex and stack bonuses stack, and because warlord bonuses other than ceasar's were never mentioned for comparison.
- Only one leadership bonus (presumably the highest) is ever in effect on a unit. This is odd because Ceasar's hex bonus would likely be irrelevant under the other warlord's stack bonuses, yet was still braught up. In fact, it's outright said that Ceasar's hex bonus stacks on top of other bonuses.
- The Chief Warlord's hex bonus replaces other warlord's stack bonuses. This is odd because it would often be detrimental to have the chief warlord in the hex this way.
- Non-chief warlords apply half or less of their full leadership to their stacks. This sounds conceivable, but would make their leadership stats kinda trivial by comparison.


In my post, I gave a way for it to work.

I wrote:

Chief Warlord bonus

Capital: level
Global: level/3
Hex: level/5

Warlord bonus

Stack: level/2


I agree that it is unclear how the system works (it probably isn't worth tying to down completely). I think the number for Ansom's bonus that was quoted was his total bonus due to the sum of his warlord stack, global chief warlord, hex chief warlord bonuses.

See, this, wiki page. A futher point was made on the page. The update says that all units in the column had a base attack of 6 or more.

Thus, the 30 attacking unit has an attack of

Base: 6
Ansom: +10
Wanda: +8
Others: +6
Total: 30

The others must include artefact bonus and any stack bonus.

This leaves very little left for stack and artefact bonus.

Alternatively, the artefact bonus is already part of Wanda's bonus.

This might explain what Wanda's bonus goes +1 (global) and then +4 (hex) and +8 (stack). The pliers' bonus might be an in hex only thing. Thus the global bonus is Wanda's natural croakamancy bonus, but the hex and stack bonuses include the pliers.

However, Wanda's croakamancy bonus was said to be "huge", so it really should match Ansom's Chief Warlord bonus.

Another option is that the pliers gives situational bonuses. For example, it might give +5 to anyone in the hex who is fighting uncroaked.
gameboy1234 wrote:
moose o death wrote:
the decrypted force will fall quickly, once the intelligence of what's happening gets out and suitable counter will present itself. the story will get boring very quickly if all we have is parson going on picnics and an unstoppable force steamrolling every city it stumbles on. rob mentioned the updates would speed up considerably, i foresee that meaning the cities will be recaptured and the decrypted force crushed prior to book2 start.



No way. I'll bet you 10 schmuckers that nothing close happens. Book 2 will be about any of 3 things:

1. Big war with Transylvito, much like the big war with Royal Crown in book 1. GK will be on the offensive though with Wanda's big troops leading the way.

2. Parson gets captured and has to defeat Wanda's big scary force.

3. All top level casters and warlords on the GK side revolt against Stanley and have to negotiate new alliances while defeating, or avoiding defeat by, the Tool.

But no way will Wanda loose her big decrypted force. If anything it'll be bigger by the start of book 2. She and Parson will have an even bigger fight on their hands. This won't be an enclave defense like Book 1, it'll be war on a broad scale, like WW2. The only question is which side everyone ends up on.

hey you can't bet me then bet on everything.

your last paragraph neglects one aspect parson is not the chiefwarlord, ansom is..for the purpose of this i'll asume it's a typo, i confuse the names often.
it will be crushed i agree with you on the first option, and i said as much a post or two after the post you quotted. so that's my bet your using against me.

parson wont be captured, he will end up defeating wanda's creepy puppet show. she's about as loyal as a con artist. where in the storyline this happens is anyone's guess.

stanley is actually not that bad a overlord, he has warlords for the strategy thing so he doesn't have to do that, he's extremely powerful as a combat unit, and after abandoning his post to it's fate and having them survive and win an unwinnable situation...he's learnt some humility. some. not much but he's a WIP. they wont abandon him. and anyway he's funny. wanda is not.

i altered my forecast just after the quotted post to say, wanda and ansom will either end up back in GK or will be close to faq? even. the storyline of book 2 is most certainly jillian vs wanda. parson is a side story. this lines up with rob's cryptic "narrative distance" comment.

jillian will end up defending her home from GK forces with the transylvito's assistance. however all the exposition on transylvito will be used to good effect a secondary campiagn from parson and stanley may occur to break the supply lines so to speak.

but you have to keep in mind the story will stagnate if any of us are right becauise we're not adding anything new to it. new characters are already being introduced. unaroyal is getting far too much description, we've heard about slately, charlie has let on he deals in information as well as arms. new arkentools will be discovered by other sides making them powerful.. i've already predicted jillian gets one (the arkenboot, a monopoly boot that affects moneymancy and turnamancy...because it's a board game about money) allowing her to change turn orders to suit her needs and also to improve the build times on her army. if ALL of her troops are popped vuia an arkentool she'll have a very impressive bonus to their stats.
moose o death wrote:

new arkentools will be discovered by other sides making them powerful.. i've already predicted jillian gets one (the arkenboot, a monopoly boot that affects moneymancy and turnamancy...because it's a board game about money) allowing her to change turn orders to suit her needs and also to improve the build times on her army. if ALL of her troops are popped vuia an arkentool she'll have a very impressive bonus to their stats.


Moneymancy and turnamancy aren't even from the same axis or class. It seems unlikely that an Arkentool would cover both.

It does seem that Sizemore is destined to have an Arkentool (and likely a shovel) due to the fact that his name counts as a reference to Shovel patents. However, apparently, it may also have come from a members of a local band. Presumably, the Sizemore patent and Rockwell tools, are to specific to be a coincidence, so they band thing might just be a red herring.
raphfrk wrote:
moose o death wrote:

new arkentools will be discovered by other sides making them powerful.. i've already predicted jillian gets one (the arkenboot, a monopoly boot that affects moneymancy and turnamancy...because it's a board game about money) allowing her to change turn orders to suit her needs and also to improve the build times on her army. if ALL of her troops are popped vuia an arkentool she'll have a very impressive bonus to their stats.


Moneymancy and turnamancy aren't even from the same axis or class. It seems unlikely that an Arkentool would cover both.

It does seem that Sizemore is destined to have an Arkentool (and likely a shovel) due to the fact that his name counts as a reference to Shovel patents. However, apparently, it may also have come from a members of a local band. Presumably, the Sizemore patent and Rockwell tools, are to specific to be a coincidence, so they band thing might just be a red herring.

i don't believe any tool covers any magic class, they are just a catalyst for innate unit skills to be enabled. wanda was a croakamancer she has AT LEAST decrypt, and we will see what other talents she has unlocked. i believe predictamancers have two kinds of prediction, "cold reading" they look at the units full stats list not just the public stats, and actual predictions but these cost alot of juice to do.

if that were the case the predictamancer looks at wanda and see's "decrypt (arkentool)" under specials, and says "oh by the way i had a vision you would one day attune to an arkentool" she also notices "loyalty: FAQ=1, FATE MAGIC=5" and correctly surmises wanda may betray the city. should tell the boss about that. tells him his city will one day fall. he pops an heir and the rest is rubble.

edit: i have my doubts sizemore will get that shovel, the story seems to have been written for two outcomes, if it doesn't work, we finish the story at book one, if people actually read this thing we'll stretch it out for as long as it keeps working. sizemore would have been from the early designs on the backstory and plots just before the formula for names got too stale
Just a side note: it may not be burning per se that prevents decryption but just the sheer extent of the damage. Now why isn't all this discussion moved to Hari's thread on what'll happen in book 2 and 3?
raphfrk wrote:
joosy wrote:

"Just shoot them in the head. They seem to go down permanently when you shoot them in the head.."


When Ansom was decrypted, he was also healed back to full strength. Thus, a head shot mightn't be enough.
.


<sigh> It twire a joke, lad. A funny. A comment taken from zombie pop-culture and used in a different context for your amusement.
<sigh (again)>
joosy wrote:

Cities count as a single hex for the defending/occupying forces. They consist of multiple hexes (or zones) for attacking forces. You are assuming that he cast his spell from anywhere in the kingdom. So far, the knowledge we have from the comic states that foolamancers can only cast spells in their own hex. We also have evidence that those spells do not last outside of the hex. Ergo, Jack would have had to be in the city hex to cast the spell. And he may not have cloaked the entire city but cast diversions/distractions to draw foreign units away as was alluded to in the comic.


No, it was quite clearly stated that he could, in fact, vail an entire city.

http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F107.jpg

Note that she directly said that he could vail "one city at a time, as determined by the predictamanacer". So there is no doubt he could vail an entire city.

He did also use diversions and distractions as well, yes.

Quote:
Evidence that Foolamancers must be in the same stack they are veiling :
http://www.erfworld.com/wp-content/uplo ... k1/064.jpg - panel 3.

Evidence that Foolamancy only lasts within a single hex:
http://www.erfworld.com/wp-content/uplo ... k1/115.jpg - panel 11 (2nd to last)


(nods) Yes, very true. It's possible, if the predictamanacer was good enough, that they managed to actually bring Jack to the city that needed to cloaked before it was needed. That would have been a heck of a predictamancer, though, and that wasn't what it sounded like in that comic strip when Jillian was talking about what he could do.

We do know that for a moving stack of units, the foolamancer has to be part of that stack in order to vail it, so that might count for cities as well.
joosy wrote:
Yosarian wrote:

My impression was that farms, like mines, give you money every turn (I think it was implied when we heard about how the kingdom FAQ used to work); and then that it costs money every turn to pay for a unit's upkeep, which then makes food pop for them. (I think that was implied when Tool said "your food better pop, considering the upkeep you're costing us" or something like that.) Even rebuilding an entire city just costs money. I think that the economic system in erfworld has only one resource, money; it's not like the kind of strategy games where you have to worry about money, food, and lumber, or whatever.


You are correct, in that most 'resources' like farms, mines, etc. are used to create things which are either used or converted to schmuckers (or whatever they call their money) thats just 'moneymancy'. However, things harvested/mined can also be used as is. Jillian, when taking on provisions, speared the fish called Wanda, Transylvito troops in the field took on additional provisions via the big 'horned' sheep. However, provisions like cheese, salami, feegs.. er. figs, etc. 'popped' in the larder in Gobwin Knob. Transylvito troops in the field had their rations 'pop' for them and I assume schmuckers were deducted from the Transylvito treasury as a result. Same for the rebuilding of Gobwin Knob. Moneymancy appears to be merely the art of converting stuff into 'money' and vice versa - its a quick way to get stuff that you would otherwise have to create by hand.


Eh; we know units in the field can scavenge for rations at the end of their turns. I would guess that if they do that, it lowers their upkeep cost (which is one reason a barbarian like Jillian, who was living hand-to-mouth trying to meet upkeep costs for so long, would do it so much). I doubt that food is an actual "resource" in the strategy game sense, though; we haven't seen any sign yet that there is any granary in any city storing a supply of food, or that there are any "farmer" units gathering food and bringing it back, or that you can spend stored food instead of shmuckers to pay for unit upkeep. We haven't seen any sign of any of that in the comic strip at all; I would guess that the world dosn't work like that, that the scavanging you're talking about is just

Quote:

e.g. I'm sure there are stonemasons out there but they only do work for cities or factions that don't have the treasuries to pop their defensive walls or garrisons. Or there are factions with natural tendencies for certain abilities or 'stuff' (marbits/gobwins for mining/tunnelling)


I'm not sure there are stonemasons, or cities created in any way other then moneymancy. No one has mentioned any other way for cities to be built; and I have trouble picturing a stonemason making all the useless buildings that "don't have any purpose other then to be the city" they were talking about.

In a lot of strategy games, cities and stuff are really just a vauge abstraction with only a few details, and I get the distinct impression that that's what the cities in this world are based on.
Somehow I doubt the effectiveness of veiling a city once its location is known. We know that enough high-level eyeballs will pierce a veil.
DevilDan wrote:
Somehow I doubt the effectiveness of veiling a city once its location is known. We know that enough high-level eyeballs will pierce a veil.


Yeah. That's probably why they needed to use distractions as well; vail the city, and distract people to avoid having large armies and warlords wandering into the city hex.