Book 2 - Text Updates 019

Book 2 - Text Updates 019

As cities had fallen before them and their holy ranks had swelled, Ansom often remarked to his Commanders that this was not war as he knew it.

In war, things went terribly wrong all the time. You planned, and you planned contingencies, and you planned contingencies to the contingencies, and you set up reserves and fallbacks to those, et cetera. You thought as hard as you could, all the time, about what to do when your plans failed. Then you marched into battle, and the failures began, and you hoped to have planned for one more failure than actually occurred.

His Commanders argued that things were different now. The great hands of the Titans moved them across the hexes of the world. Who now could stop them?

But Ansom could never bring himself to believe that rationale. And anyway, after Unaroyal, he seldom heard it offered again. All the while, he continued to overplan.

When his Mistress had left him there and taken his brother to glory, he had allowed himself entirely too much pity. For perhaps as long as fifteen minutes, he sat by the side of the road, and declined to entertain questions or issue orders. His troops milled about, or sat in silence with him.

Would any battle ever mean so much to him again? How could Mistress Wanda simply discard him, proceed without his guidance, his familiarity and contacts with Jetstone, even his combat bonus? There would be a battle, after all! It was simply a poor command decision...

Then he raised his head. He looked around. There were three Warlords, two heavies, sixty-two infantry, and sixteen archery left in this hex. There were no Casters, no flyers, no Archons.

And there in the adjoining hex stood Jetstone's finest units, with multiple Casters and Warlords. A formula for catastrophic collapse. His contingency plans...

He stood up, with some effort. His wounds were an unpleasant distraction. "Ford!" he grunted.

Captain Ford trotted up and saluted. "Chief!"

"Cut through the trees to the back of the column, and march forward all the top units," Ansom ordered. Ford was the Warlord for this, a forest-capable ranger. "Leave a minimal rearguard, and pack this hex tight with the best we've got."

---

In less than an hour, it was war as Ansom knew it again. His vague dread had been borne out, and his preparations validated. It wasn't something he could even smile about.

The Coalition was on its turn, for some inexplicable reason. And his Mistress was in peril. He got brief word from Gobwin Knob, but nothing actionable. With zero move, they were stuck here. But at least they were strong. He organized a stack of heavies and high-level pikers for himself, and mounted the only Spidew. He did not know if there would be a battle to direct, but he felt ready.

In time he saw great yellow shapes arrive in the sky, and settle to the ground in Tramennis' hex. He nodded. "Queen" Jillian, of Faq. It was a good sign that her complete force was with her; she had left the city without having fought. Perhaps it was that she was outmatched, but he doubted that. He had seen her fight with almost reckless disregard for the odds.

Queen Jillian. He grimaced, recalling a time when that was what he'd wanted for her. As "Prince Ansom," he had wounded "Commander Zamussels" with the mere suggestion that she restore Faq and take the throne. He saw the throne as her salvation, then. To her, it was doom.

Irony had never much interested him, but this was too great to ignore. He'd been as wrong as one can be, but he knew better now. At long last, he did smile a little bit at one idle thought:

Perhaps if she attacked, he would have one more chance to save Jillian after all.

 

Recent posts... (See full thread)
Flyer wrote:
Ninjaguineapig wrote:
Dr Pepper wrote:

Anyway, it's good to see Ansom playing to hist strengths again. Soon he will rationalize that Wanda must have known somehow and that's why she put him, her most powerful unit, where he could do the most good.


Probably. He completely and utterly belongs to Wanda and Toolism,
[quote=Warlord Formerly Known as Prince Ansom]As cities had fallen before them and their holy ranks had swelled
Their holy ranks. Jillian has no chance of nabbing him. Loyalty too high, and I'd like to see the unit that gets close to a mounted level 10 Royal Chief Warlord and lives.


So - very unlikely that Jillian can turn Ansom...
But = what of Ansom's forshadowed attempt to "save" Jillian?
...Ansom by her side, under Wanda's delicate control.... hmmmmm
Are we going to be seeing another parley?
or maybe
Spoiler: show
The Red Rocker pulls a rabbit out of his hat and take out Ansom - dusting him with a swing of his Axe as Jillian gives the big "NOOOO" in the background while Charlie grins having taken out one of Jillians... distractions


It seems reasonable that one way or another Ansom is removed from the scene so Parson can become Chief Warlord again, so here are the options I see
1. Dusted by Sammy, Jillian or Trammenis - last two, 'releasing' him, like spiking a vampire who was someone you loved.
2. Turned - not totally unlikely - it does seem as if he's acting under a post hypnotic suggestion, and therefore could be broken, either that or deprogram him like a cult member.
3. Taken prisoner - (now this one I like) captured but can't be turned so is confined in the dungeon of Jetstsone or Faq until they can figure him out.

This would have lots of possibilities, experimenting on him to try and understand what the decrypted are and how they function.
Also you could have Slately, Trammenis or Jillian having deep conversations with him in his cell about the nature of Toolism, the holy mission and the nature of the Titans and Erfworld itself as part of his deprogramming.
Since Faq will most likely provide air support to Sammy's crossing, grabbing him is quite possible.

If Jillian doesn't go back to deal with the Wanda threat there is also the possibility that since Charlie has first turn the next day he could sweep in with a squadron of veiled Archons and whisk her away before anyone else sees what's going on - pouff, sh'e gone.
gazes_also wrote:

3. Taken prisoner - (now this one I like) captured but can't be turned so is confined in the dungeon of Jetstsone or Faq until they can figure him out.


I like this too

Flyer wrote:

or maybe
Spoiler: show
The Red Rocker pulls a rabbit out of his hat and take out Ansom - dusting him with a swing of his Axe as Jillian gives the big "NOOOO" in the background while Charlie grins having taken out one of Jillians... distractions


Jillian doesn't strike me as a very ... evidence-based sort of character, and if Charlie did this, he'd risk losing Jillian as an ally ("I can't prove it, but I KNOW you had something to do with it, screw GK, I'm coming after YOU"), so I don't think it likely
gazes_also wrote:

It seems reasonable that one way or another Ansom is removed from the scene so Parson can become Chief Warlord again, so here are the options I see
1. Dusted by Sammy, Jillian or Trammenis - last two, 'releasing' him, like spiking a vampire who was someone you loved.
2. Turned - not totally unlikely - it does seem as if he's acting under a post hypnotic suggestion, and therefore could be broken, either that or deprogram him like a cult member.
3. Taken prisoner - (now this one I like) captured but can't be turned so is confined in the dungeon of Jetstsone or Faq until they can figure him out.


There is a fourth possibility: Ansom resigns. He is about to fight his family, his lover, all while being rejected from his "Mistress". He might have a moment of gnosis like Parson had.
I can't see the point of just resigning if the people you worked for would slaughter you for it when you saw them next, and going with Jillian or back to Jetstone would fall under the category of turning.
Welf von Ehrwald wrote:
gazes_also wrote:

It seems reasonable that one way or another Ansom is removed from the scene so Parson can become Chief Warlord again, so here are the options I see
1. Dusted by Sammy, Jillian or Trammenis - last two, 'releasing' him, like spiking a vampire who was someone you loved.
2. Turned - not totally unlikely - it does seem as if he's acting under a post hypnotic suggestion, and therefore could be broken, either that or deprogram him like a cult member.
3. Taken prisoner - (now this one I like) captured but can't be turned so is confined in the dungeon of Jetstsone or Faq until they can figure him out.


There is a fourth possibility: Ansom resigns. He is about to fight his family, his lover, all while being rejected from his "Mistress". He might have a moment of gnosis like Parson had.


Resigning and refusing to fight would then result in one of the other three, since he can't run away.
build6 wrote:
y'know, what you said there made me think that this update really does put Ansom in a pretty good light. I dunno if I was reading things wrong, but throughout book 1 I was thinking of Ansom as more of a ... well, not outright stupid, but certainly not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed.

but then on reading this:

Quote:
In war, things went terribly wrong all the time. You planned, and you planned contingencies, and you planned contingencies to the contingencies, and you set up reserves and fallbacks to those, et cetera. You thought as hard as you could, all the time, about what to do when your plans failed. Then you marched into battle, and the failures began, and you hoped to have planned for one more failure than actually occurred.


suddenly, my opinion of Ansom has completely changed. maybe he's not all that creative, but he certainly doesn't appear to be incompetent.

I never thought of Ansom as dumb. For as much as the story of Book 1 relies on GK being badly outmatched, its worth remembering all the advantages Parson had over Ansom.

1.GK itself, one of the strongest defensive positions in the known world.
2.A full description of his opponent, including strengths, weaknesses, and past behaviors. Conversely, Parson was a complete unknown to Ansom.
3.3 to 5 skilled casters, versus the coalition's zero.
4.A much more powerful airforce than the coalition's and unrivaled intelligence (for the first half, anyway).
5.Foreknowledge of the Coalition's basic plan (what Wanda learned from Jillian).
6.Unity of command... kind of. Though Ansom in general got his way from Coalition commanders, a less respected figure might have had to deal with fall out much sooner. Indeed, Sofa King almost abandoned the alliance after the losses in the tunnel.
7.Parson's Bracer. Not only did it let Parson make decisions based on odds instead of false hopes, but it gave him a way to “cheaply” (so it seemed at the time) bargain with Charlie.

With all these points in mind, I find it hard to find any moment in which Ansom did something truly stupid. Unless, the reader inserts his (or her) own knowledge about the series into the equation. Was it stupid for Ansom to believe Parson was bluffing him about the walls? How would he know when he knows nothing of Parson?
Didn't Parson speculate that Wanda could look through the eyes of the uncroaked? And Stanley certainly seems to be able to command his dwagons with the hammer. I wouldn't be surprised if Wanda could "lead" the uncroaked from a differant hex. I'm actually kind of surprised that Wanda can only seem to uncroak units with the pliers, as opposed to the hammer that has a random collection of powers (carnymancy?) and the dish which comprises a whole school of magic + archons + sharing power with archons.

Hey I have a question: Ansom is complaining about the low attack bonus, but wouldn't Ansom's global +3 combined with what I assume is probably a fairly high bonus from Ossomer, be higher than just a ten from Ansom? I mean if he was their it would be two more, but then Ansom wouldn't be around to defend the ground.
Lamech wrote:

Hey I have a question: Ansom is complaining about the low attack bonus, but wouldn't Ansom's global +3 combined with what I assume is probably a fairly high bonus from Ossomer, be higher than just a ten from Ansom? I mean if he was their it would be two more, but then Ansom wouldn't be around to defend the ground.


Presumably, since Ossomer is not CW his bonus would only be applied to his stack. With Ansom there, not only would the entire force get this hex wide bonus (which is greater than his universal bonus), his stack would get his full leadership bonus (presumably +10). I'd guesstimate thats a 10-15% increase in strength (since now Ossomer can lead his own stack with his own presumably high leadership bonus).
I just noticed, Ansom hopes to 'save' Jillian. Kinda ironic.
Lamech wrote:
Hey I have a question: Ansom is complaining about the low attack bonus, but wouldn't Ansom's global +3 combined with what I assume is probably a fairly high bonus from Ossomer, be higher than just a ten from Ansom? I mean if he was their it would be two more, but then Ansom wouldn't be around to defend the ground.

Probably, two warlords' generic leadership bonuses cannot both be applied to the same stack, because there can only be one leader at that rank. If one of the warlords is the Chief Warlord, then the Chief Warlord global bonus would certainly apply, but maybe or maybe not his personal bonus. I wonder.