Book 2 - Text Updates 020

Book 2 - Text Updates 020

Wanda removed her hair helmet and stowed it in the saddlebag. The plan to take the garrison by dance fight had been obviated at least two revisions ago, and the wretched thing itched.

There was better headgear on hand for the aerial fight they now faced. For the moment, though, she let her hair hang free. No missiles were flying, and the breeze felt nice on her sweaty scalp. The war paint could stay on.

She took a deep breath, and released it slowly through her nose. "Restack," she told Ossomer. "Give K.C. an interceptor stack of blues and pinks. You, Sylvia, Jack... with me. Remount them on top dwagons by hits, disregarding color and level. Fill us out to max with top Archons, but leave one with Leadership with the rest in a single stack. Go."

"Yes, Commander!" barked her latest and biggest. Ossomer was high-level and competent enough, but Wanda disliked this one. It was as if, instead of promoting a warlord from the ranks, someone had gone down to the larder and promoted a side of beef.

Where had she lost Fate's trail...

More importantly, how quickly could she find her way back? This was the thing she seemed unable to explain, even to Parson Gotti.

She was unafraid. Her thread would not end here, whatever the apparent odds. Mathamancy was largely bunk. There had been worse situations. She had once lain broken in the dirt, at the mercy of the enemy Chief, and spoken a challenge. Seal my Fate. Seal yours.

He ran.

One can run from Fate, but suffering follows, and escape is impossible. Ansom ran away that day. Did it save him? Did it keep the Arkenpliers from her grasp? Where had it led him? Croaked at the hands of a lowly henchman, in full view of all of his men.

No. Running toward Fate is the only way to lessen the hardship. But for mortal units, even casters of Fate magic, the view is low to the ground. The way is unclear.

Wanda thought she had found her path over the last few score turns. But the fact that things were going so badly now indicated that she had strayed from her true course somehow. The old, familiar pains in her head and chest and stomach had returned all at once.

She did not know where she had erred, but it surely involved Jillian...

There would be time to consider that later. For now, the task was as always: to muddle through the underbrush and minimize the thorns on her way back to her path. If she did nothing, she would somehow be dragged to her destiny anyway. But units popped with minds and hands, and putting them to use always eased the way.

Ossomer completed his orders swiftly, and she called her stack's commanders into a huddle. Ossomer scowled, Jack observed, and Sylvia always, always burned. Wanda liked Sylvia.

At Gobwin Knob there lived Erfworld's perfect warlord, and she could call him and ask him what to do. Or perhaps he would soon call her with some tactical proposal. But perversely, she did not want Parson's advice this time. Somehow, she felt it was now simply time to apply what he had taught her. She cleared her throat.

"The principal strategic objective here is escape," she began. Sylvia and Ossomer made faces, but Jack suddenly looked attentive, concentrating on her words. "Following that is preserving me, then preserving you, then the preservation of all our other units in the battlespace. We cannot move, and we may be attacked at any moment."

She looked each of them in the eye, a little afraid of what she was about to say. She cleared her throat again. "Let's hear some ideas."

Recent posts... (See full thread)
I have an idea... throw a living unit off a dwagon, see if it can be decrypted, preferably drop it next to Slately, for a sneak attack. If it can be decrypted, croak the dwagons above the tower and drop it down around Slately's head.
Can an archon with limited thinkomancy link up to one or 2 casters to give boost/weaker trimancer?
One thing you guys might not be considering is the fact that Jack is has used much of his juice already. Some of these plans rely heavily on veiling, which seems like it might be juice-heavy.
koga305 wrote:
One thing you guys might not be considering is the fact that Jack is has used much of his juice already. Some of these plans rely heavily on veiling, which seems like it might be juice-heavy.


Are you sure of that? I'm not convinced, based on the text. Wanda tells him to conserve his remaining juice, but at the time I read that I interpreted it as "save your juice for the big fight" rather than "you have little left."

If he didn't have much left, he'd probably not have been brought in for the capital fight - I assumed he had enough to usefully assist in the garrison attack, and therefore has enough to usefully assist in the airspace defense.
ftl wrote:
koga305 wrote:
One thing you guys might not be considering is the fact that Jack is has used much of his juice already. Some of these plans rely heavily on veiling, which seems like it might be juice-heavy.


Are you sure of that? I'm not convinced, based on the text. Wanda tells him to conserve his remaining juice, but at the time I read that I interpreted it as "save your juice for the big fight" rather than "you have little left."

If he didn't have much left, he'd probably not have been brought in for the capital fight - I assumed he had enough to usefully assist in the garrison attack, and therefore has enough to usefully assist in the airspace defense.


I agree. It seemed implicitly clear to me that Jack was being saved up for the Capitol fight, not because he was depleted. If he wasn't imminently useful to the battle, Wanda wouldn't have asked for permission to croak and decrypt much less waste healing magic on him. They'd just have left him in the back rank to heal normally at the start of the next turn. That he was healed and brought along suggests he was still valuable on that turn, which means he must have sufficient juice.
DoctorJest wrote:

I agree. It seemed implicitly clear to me that Jack was being saved up for the Capitol fight, not because he was depleted. If he wasn't imminently useful to the battle, Wanda wouldn't have asked for permission to croak and decrypt much less waste healing magic on him. They'd just have left him in the back rank to heal normally at the start of the next turn. That he was healed and brought along suggests he was still valuable on that turn, which means he must have sufficient juice.

Units get decrypted with full hits and clean armor; presumably this mimics the dawn effect and their juice would be full as well.

Also, he was incapacitated. Incapacitated units croak at end of turn when not healed.


That said, I agree that Jack was implied to have noteworthy juice left. From dialogue it sounds like the veil was a significant expense and the displacement intentionally cheaper than whatever else they still wanted him to cast this turn... I guestimated it at 40%/20%/40% in my head.
Hair helmet?? LOL LOL ROFL hilarious!!!! Also very relieved it is so :D:lol:
He has at least enough to travel several squares under a veil: http://www.erfworld.com/book-2-archive/ ... -01-06.jpg

Also, clearly not enough to do that + much more.

Oh how differently this would be going if Wanda had followed Ossomer's advice.

Also, I've been assuming that the flyers were in the Spacerock hex, but rereading it it looks like the parley was done at the city's border. Perhaps all this discussion of air defenses, city zones, and the like is moot.
Answering the general call for strategy.
Firstly, I don't think Wanda's stack is in Jetstone airspace. They're in a hex outside. How do I know? Because they're not already being peppered with arrows, nor have they been hit with air defenses. This means anyone attacking Wanda's group has to enter the hex, and Wanda can attack anything that enters her hex. And for what it's worth, casters have always been able to cast off-turn. They just can't cast anything that crosses hex boundaries, absent extraordinary effects like uncroaking volcanoes.

1. The biggest real threat to Wanda is the archers & dittomancer. A quadrupled volley of arrows can bring down her stack, if it's shooting in the right place. But she's got Archons with foolmancy, plus Jack. I'm just sure Jack has enough juice left to make Wanda look like Sylvia, and vice versa--remember, people see what they want to see. Just putting that stupid hair-helmet on Sylvia would almost be enough. But the pliers can be made to look like a sword, and Sylvia's sword made to look like pliers. Put 'em in separate stacks. That gives Ditto a target, and that's going to be enough for Wanda to do something sneaky.

2. Ansom's toast. Name Sylvia chief warlord, her bonus in-hex may be enough to let her stack survive the barrage. Plus, chief warlord bonus will help disguise the fact there's no artifact bonus in the stack. She and Oss can fight the defenders while the real Wanda hangs out in reserve. That won't even seem out of place, and that stack will be a powerful fighting force. They'll mow through archers, possibly even outmatch a leadership stack.

3. Veil some archons on the ground. Disguise them as shrubbery, put 'em somewhere they'll be able to surprise attack high-value targets (chief warlords, casters). That won't cost any of Jack's juice, and it has the potential to be a real battle-turner. If an Archon can one-hit k.o. a dwagon, you know they can one-hit a caster. Best chance is if they can zap Ditto the moment he steps through the hex boundary.

4. After some high-profile units fall, decrypt 'em and throw 'em back in the mix. Even if it's just dwagons, decrypted dwagons are still going to be powerful units with full hits.

Wanda's force was designed to take the tower by air. It's a powerful force. Not enough to survive if everything in the battlespace hits it at once, but with good tactics and additional decryption, maybe powerful enough to force Tram to withdraw.
1) Wanda's stack is DEFINITELY in Jetstone airspace. They were there when they had the turn force-quit'd on them, so they're there now. They haven't been attacked yet by overwhelming force because a) the archers are in the field with Tramennis, and b) Spacerock is light on anti-air defenses. That's why they thought this decapitation strike would work in the first place.

2) They can name Sylvia or Ossomer CWL if Ansom recroaks, but right now he's providing a +3 to every unit on the side. And is engaged in battle. Wanda's stack cannot be engaged in battle by definition - they can only fight back against a force which is a) in their hex and b) attacks them first, since it's not their turn. Also, the archers sort of pants'd the snatch-and-grab stack, and THAT was shooting blindly. Jack almost died, remember? Wanda is right to be very very afraid if the archers return to the city - and considering there's the hex boundary/bridge bottleneck to deal with, I don't see why they wouldn't already be on their way back because they're not doing anyone a whole lot of good right now.

3) Casters cannot cast in a way that substantively affects other units off-turn. So Jack could veil himself, but not his mount or any other unit. It was said back in TBfGK that you could not veil a stack off-turn. Also, no archons are on the ground and they can't cross the hex boundary (requires move) to get there. Archons and OHKO severely damaged dragons, not a fleet of dozens of fresh mounts, so the analogy doesn't carry perfectly.

4) Decrypting your own fallen units is a great idea, of course, but unless they're already right next to Wanda then she's much better served by keeping her head down. Decrypting definitively gives away her position, and her number one priority is escape.

And again, Tramennis has nowhere to withdraw TO. He's coming back to reinforce the city itself since Wanda & co. are parked over it and looking like bad bad news for the city.