Book 2 - Text Updates 054

Book 2 - Text Updates 054

A man can get used to nearly anything unpleasant, eventually.

As he modded the Royal Scepter, it dawned on Ace that he had become accustomed to working in cloth – weaving and cutting and shaping it to another Dollamancer's specifications. And though he never stopped resenting that, at least the actual work of each turn gave him the satisfied feeling of fulfilling his Duty. Only this sudden shift – to freely working in accessories, using his feel for action, his mind, his strength – made him aware that he had actually gotten used to something he hated.

Likewise, there was nothing to like about the stiff shaking of the Tower of Jenga, the swaying and vibrating with each blast of dwagon breath. But there was real satisfaction in explaining his items to King Slately. Finally, his Ruler could see some of the possibilities of Dollamancy in action!

So Ace had tuned out the siege attack. And only when something changed did he realize he had stopped minding it. Another blast hit them from below, but this time the tower did not shake.

It crunched, almost softly.

The floor dropped a few inches, enough to make everyone stumble. When they regained their footing, the city walls and horizon looked a little tilted. The archers murmured and tried to re-form their jostled formation.

King Slately, who'd hardly stumbled at all, was now standing with only one foot touching the tilting tower floor. The armor backplate was granting the King a sudden nimble dexterity. Some part of Ace's mind understood that, and was weirdly proud to see the item work so well so soon.

Another, more survival-oriented part of his mind was listening to the King's frantic voice, as His Highness turned and pointed his scepter.

"To mounts. To mounts!!" (Dollamancer and Hat Magician, the unspoken part of the order's intent.)

Ace glanced at his little bud Cubbins for the briefest moment. He was wide-eyed, scared. They turned in unison and bolted for their waiting Unipegataurs. The mounts were only a few steps away but suddenly those steps were uphill. And the floor was descending again, inch by inch.

Loping forward, the Dollamancer tackled his Uni by the waist and performed a twisting leap into the saddle. The saddle horn somehow caught him square below the sternum. He was blinded by the pain of it for a moment, struggling to catch a breath. There was a lot of noise. People were shouting "Your Majesty!" and "Highness!" and for some reason "Prince!" and "Ossomer!"

When he could, he looked up to make sure Cubbins had made it, too.

Cubbins' mount was riderless.

That was the first thing he saw. Then he saw Ossomer, in Jetstone livery. The King was staring at him. Huh. ...Huh?

Finally, he saw an archery unit atop the third empty Uni, the one the King had requested but would not need. Cubbins was helping the Archer into the saddle.

"What are you doing?!" Ace shouted. Cubbins shot him a glance he couldn't understand. The stones near the tower's edge began crumbling away. An archer fell over the lost edge, shouting. The floor lurched and fell a little more.

Of course! Cubbins was grabbing one more unit for the stack, one more they could save, one more they could use in combat. Brave, though risky. Why hadn't Ace thought of that himself? His little friend was running toward his own mount now. There was time, the floor hadn't caved yet. He could still get up...

Then Cubbins grabbed another archer by the arm. He began helping her into the saddle.

"NO!" shouted Ace. "Cubbins, what in the...Titan's tinkle hole are you doing?!" The other archer took the reins, looking equally bewildered.

Cubbins turned and looked Ace squarely in the eye. A flight of orlies burst from the tower interior crying, "Fol! Fol!" A frantic white wing caught Ace across the side of the face. He just shook his head and stared at the little Hat Magician.

Cubbins said nothing, but swallowed hard. Sadly, he saluted Ace. A cry went up from the ranks of archers as the tower cracked like the snap of a jaw, and the floor fell away for good.

Ace was airborne. And the sky was ablaze with light.

Comic - Book 2  Text Updates 054

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

Trying to interpret this as an argument against making sacrifices is completely missing the point. What it is is pointing out that there is a balance between the long-term value of a unit and the short term value. The short term value can overwhelm that long term value, making the sacrifice worth it. Losing Misty is likely an example of this. But if Cubbins just gained 1-2% survival odds for the king this way, its almost certainly a bad move. Its about the math, not an imaginary world :P. And GK is winning because they are doing that math, and making the good calls.


And who exactly says Cubbins just gained 1-2% survival odds? My point is, in Erfworld big sacrifices result in big chance increases. Cubbins didn't just add two archers, he's nuking the archons, and has a chance of surviving the fall with something out of his hat.

Since Cubbins would auto-disband if he did something clearly prejudicial for his side, then clearly he's greatly increasing the odds of the kings survival with that maneuver. By the very Erfworld rules, Cubbins cannot willingly sacrifice himself, a valuable Jetstone asset, for a minor gain.

Thus Bland's scenario being completely imaginary. Erfworld units don't have a "perform big sacrifice for minimal gain" button that they randomly push. They actualy have a failsafe that prevents them from performing big sacrifices for small gain, that very same auto-disband!

That's why Don's moneymancer refused to bankrupt their own side just to slow down the death of another. That's why Maggie throws suggestions at Stanley and Wanda gets naked to cover for Hamster starting audicious plans. That's why Cubbins and Ace combined their juice to buff up the king as much as possible. Neither of them can just stand seeing their leaders doing major sacrifices for 1-2% gain.

The closest thing to an exception would be Bea's mass suicide, but even then denied GK of a new army of decrypted troops, so it did greatly increased the other royal's chances of survival.
oslecamo2_temp wrote:

Since Cubbins would auto-disband if he did something clearly prejudicial for his side, then clearly he's greatly increasing the odds of the kings survival with that maneuver. By the very Erfworld rules, Cubbins cannot willingly sacrifice himself, a valuable Jetstone asset, for a minor gain.

Thus Bland's scenario being completely imaginary. Erfworld units don't have a "perform big sacrifice for minimal gain" button that they randomly push. They actualy have a failsafe that prevents them from performing big sacrifices for small gain, that very same auto-disband!



No. Cubbins would automatically disband if he did something that he knew would only bring a minor gain for a large loss. By your logic, which is that they would auto-disband any time they tried something like that, what if, in a hypothetical other battle, Wanda were to order most of the decrypted Archons she had to leave the city and scout, believing that the enemy had no units left in airspace, but ended up running into an ambush by archer while doing so, losing most of the ones out there, and stranding them until next turn due to low move, letting the king of the other group fire off the air defenses and bring in archers he'd held in reserve? With what you're saying, since it would be a heavy sacrifice for Gobwin Knob, with no benefit whatsoever coming to them from it, she would have auto-disbanded before she could actually give the orders.
oslecamo2_temp wrote:
Since Cubbins would auto-disband if he did something clearly prejudicial for his side, then clearly he's greatly increasing the odds of the kings survival with that maneuver. By the very Erfworld rules, Cubbins cannot willingly sacrifice himself, a valuable Jetstone asset, for a minor gain.


Way ahead of ya. One of my previous posts (last on the prev page or so) covered this. If we assume units make the BEST choices, we won't go very far before we strike implausibility. It's more likely that units will select the best course of action that they know about.

oslecamo2_temp wrote:
Thus Bland's scenario being completely imaginary. Erfworld units don't have a "perform big sacrifice for minimal gain" button that they randomly push. They actualy have a failsafe that prevents them from performing big sacrifices for small gain, that very same auto-disband!


Nope, that failsafe would be pure old fashioned common sense. Which we may have spent several posts arguing about, but it doesn't change its common-sense-ness. And I see you've warmed up to the idea that sacrifices must be balanced by gains resulting from such. That's ok. It's exactly what my imaginary scenario was supposed to higlight.
I see no reason that Cubbins should have stayed on that tower; the disadvantage of firing the defenses early enough for him to get mounted almost certainly was worth taking for Cubbins' long term value. Without access to the odds, I can't prove it, and arguing it further is a bit silly when we will get an update soonish that will tell us the answer, or at least give us some more info.

On a new note, the mention of the archers just reminded me of the archers on the walls; they aren't out of arrows yet, right? Cause I remember Artemis giving them attack priorities but not ever ordering an attack. I am curious how the fact that their high level warlord isn't leading them will factor into the upcoming air-battle. Or if it will not be covered at all, cause we are supposed to forget that Artemis was insubordinate.
You know, watching you all dance around trying to figure Cubbins out... it's been hilarious. It's simple. Terribly simple. It's something Sizemore had to face in Book 1, and we actually saw his own rationalized thoughts. (Really... you're trying to use logic to figure out why Cubbins didn't choose to fight? Heh...)

He didn't want to fight. It's really that simple. He created some rationalization which we will never know (unless he pulls the super-sized plush rabbit out of his hat and has to explain to someone). But it's really that simple. He just didn't want to fight.

Where Sizemore lacked the capacity to come up with a rationalization for not killing, and by Obedience had to commit mass murder for Parson and therefore rationalize his own immorality, Cubbins had the easy out that going on a suicide charge into the Archons was not in the best interest of his Ruler (maybe not in the best interest of his Side, either). So, he didn't have to obey the order. That he chose to give two people a chance to live isn't that deep a thought process. One last act of kindness.

Cubbins and Sizemore are remarkably similar. They both create War material, are stay-at-home casters, and have never fought in combat before. And both are placed in a position where they are ordered to fight.
… or not, in the light of update 74.
You know, given what he threw at the Archons in update 74, I find it interesting that you mentioned him pulling a supersize plush rabbit out of his hat...
Well, you can't get Bun-bun supersize yet... but Cubbins may yet save his own butt to fight for Trammenis.
CaptC wrote:
Then barring information we don't have, it's a traitorous heart. Noble? Performing a tactically unjustifiable act, against orders? Only if you think Benedict Arnold deserved praise. Dying pointlessly is not heroic, not worthy of praise. It's just... pointless.

But I'll hang through my annoyance, I expect Rob will redeem Cubbins somehow.


Only kinda a lot. :D
Sigh. Looks like KevinCCC looks like another bot. Bloody bots ruined a PHPbb3 forum I had a while ago. Kill him, kill!