Book 2 - Page 27

Book 2 - Page 27
Comic - Book 2  Page 27
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Mrtyuh wrote:
This is the type of tactic I could see Parson developing. He could load dwagons with as many men as they can carry and drop them off behind the enemy. I doubt anyone in Erfworld would have ever tried that.


*scratches head*

... well, considering that the Dwagon relay was new to Erfworld, or at least, to these parts of it, that is very plausible ...

... and yet, minor quibble here with "the best Warlord there is" premise.

Erfworld, supposedly, is big. Populated by many people who are at least smart enough to eat their morning rations and maybe tie their own shoelaces. And nobody, ever, even once, tried a flier relay? Or a caster link? Or a <insert tactic* here>?

This is where we can start finding reasons for this surprising turn of events.

Maybe, in Erfworld, the idea of keeping archives and histories is rather alien (seeing as how people pop fully formed); without archives and histories, you cut yourself off from the experiences of others and are forced to reinvent the wheel or stagnate.

Maybe some tactics were tried, but until some special circumstance (tame Dwagons, attuned Pliers etc) they just were not viable.

Maybe some tactics were tried, and are used, just someplace else (reminiscent of how warfare between similar cultures on Earth tended to get into predictable patterns; then when some new challenger appeared, and the old ways of battle appeared obsolete).

Still, it just bugs me. The Greatest Warlord Ever is not necessarily the one who invents the most bizzare strategies; just the one that wins the war with as little damage (and clever use of available resources is surely to come into that).

*: EDIT to correct egregious misuse of language.
BLANDCorporatio wrote:

... and yet, minor quibble here with "the best Warlord there is" premise.

Erfworld, supposedly, is big. Populated by many people who are at least smart enough to eat their morning rations and maybe tie their own shoelaces. And nobody, ever, even once, tried a flier relay? Or a caster link? Or a <insert strategy here>?


I'm thinking it's got to do with "having blinders on" when "things are as you expect them to be" - it's a characteristic of our world that experimentation and inquiry would have some kind of reward, because nobody here sees anybody's stats floating in the air, etc., and people are born and have to learn/be taught. Nobody's popped fully formed and with knowledge - if you are, then it doesn't seem that inappropriate to just assume that everything you know to be, re: "mechanics of the world", is all there is to know about it, and you just don't investigate any further.
multilis wrote:
djones520 wrote:
20 foot tall cloth golems are a differant story though. Against a pike unit in real life, you'd probably be better served to send extremely heavily armored foot soldiers. Knights in full plate on foot comes to mind. The strength of a pike line against mounted calvary is it's stability. On foot, a knight would have a much better chance to avoid the spikey end and get in close.

Strange battle, neither side seems to have shields, or very much armor. Normally side with shorter weapons could better handle a shield with other hand.

If real life then terrain would favour spears more than usual, as flat and less flexible battlefield near mouth of bridge.


If yo'uve been following the discussion about the best tactical approach for close-order combat... The thing is, this isn't Agincourt or Flanders; this is the Kingdom of Unaroyal on the world of Erf. I'll wager combat is more influenced by the hit points and bonuses of small units and the individuals involved than any order of battle or weapons choice. It's more a matter of tot up all the points, add the bonuses and any Specials, roll the dice (Fate at work!) and then look up the results on the damage table. It's why you see Prince Sammy's headbangers armed with spiked truncheons going up against line of pikemen with some expectation of wininng the fray- or at least not being treated like cocktail weenies facing a crowd of hungry folks with forks.

It's likely not as pure as some tabletop TBS encounter, but I'll wager commanders on Erf would immediately understand phrases like smurfing, zerg rushes and Shoot The Medic First, being intimately aquainted with their essential concepts as part of the usual approach to combat. A Stbber would still be a Stabber, no matter if they were equiped with a Great sword, gladius, assegai or a small cocktail fork, and, so long as they had the same hit points, would fare as equals in the battelfield.
JustDoug wrote:
phrases like smurfing, zerg rushes and Shoot The Medic First, being intimately aquainted with their essential concepts as part of the usual approach to combat.


As a fan of the Disciples series, I deeply sympathize with "Shoot the Medic First", but what's smurfing? These days I wouldn't trust google for random searches at work, unless they involve strings of product codes.
BLANDCorporatio wrote:
JustDoug wrote:
phrases like smurfing, zerg rushes and Shoot The Medic First, being intimately aquainted with their essential concepts as part of the usual approach to combat.


As a fan of the Disciples series, I deeply sympathize with "Shoot the Medic First", but what's smurfing? These days I wouldn't trust google for random searches at work, unless they involve strings of product codes.


Smurfing? The name comes from a form of DOS attack, where the attacker spoofs the target's IP "return address" to get a large number of machines to "reply" to the unfortunate's machine, clogging the pipes with traffic.

In gaming, it's akin to a Zerg rush, only as seen in TBS games: a large number of low HP cannon fodder units keep hammering some Major unit one after another, slowly chipping away at it, until it either keels over or some slightly lesser Major unit can swoop in for the kill.

You see it a lot in end game "boss fights," where the Big Bad can probably take out every important, powerful unit you send at it and still be dangerous afterwards. As an example, instead of having your Mage of Light, Elvish Ranger or Paladin eaten for breakfast, you send Archer after Archer at it, wearing it down until you can one-shot it with one of the previous. The Big Bad might have 56 HP, and each Archer's melee might only do 1-2 points of damage, but if you have a LOT of Archers and the game's rules allow for pinning a surrounded unit...
build6 wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:

... and yet, minor quibble here with "the best Warlord there is" premise.

Erfworld, supposedly, is big. Populated by many people who are at least smart enough to eat their morning rations and maybe tie their own shoelaces. And nobody, ever, even once, tried a flier relay? Or a caster link? Or a <insert strategy here>?


I'm thinking it's got to do with "having blinders on" when "things are as you expect them to be" - it's a characteristic of our world that experimentation and inquiry would have some kind of reward, because nobody here sees anybody's stats floating in the air, etc., and people are born and have to learn/be taught. Nobody's popped fully formed and with knowledge - if you are, then it doesn't seem that inappropriate to just assume that everything you know to be, re: "mechanics of the world", is all there is to know about it, and you just don't investigate any further.



Also, on Earth, everybody can think and devise strategies. On Erfworld, only units with leadership (mostly warlords and casters) seem to have the autonomy for things like that. It's probably an oversimplification, but combined with the apparent cultural effects you mentioned, I can believe there's lots of room for someone like Parson to think up things other people just don't.
BLANDCorporatio wrote:

Maybe, in Erfworld, the idea of keeping archives and histories is rather alien (seeing as how people pop fully formed); without archives and histories, you cut yourself off from the experiences of others and are forced to reinvent the wheel or stagnate.

Well, we know that the keeping of archives and histories is, at least to some degree, present in Erfworld. Gobwin Knob had a library filled with the records of wars - though, I admit, Parson describes them as more of high scores than precise "Warlord X did Y, Caster A did B, Side Q did R." And seeing as people pop fully formed, it seems like they'd pop with all the basic knowledge of their station..but the definition of "basic knowledge" may be variable. After all, the "average" person in the 20th century (or 2000th turn since the founding of a side) may have a different concept of "normal" than 500 years (or 2000 turns, perhaps) beforehand. Yes, I know this doesn't necessarily fit with the "gamelike" aspects of Erfworld, but many games have something of an evolution in the capabilities of basic units mission-to-mission, if not moment-to-moment. And, of course, Erfworld is not a game, no matter how much it may seem like one.

Plus, if there are no age limits, and your side has lasted for a long time, it's likely that you'd accumulate a lot of knowledge on your side. Similarly, if the world is constant war, then effective new tactics would rapidly be put to use by all sides, since failing to do so would lead to the rapid destruction of all sides not using said tactics.
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Maybe some tactics were tried, but until some special circumstance (tame Dwagons, attuned Pliers etc) they just were not viable.

Seems likely. We know that Jetstone, at least, knew something of the whole flier-relay tactic (though I think it's currently unknown if they learned the tactic from GK or if they'd always known). After all, Tramennis uses a relay to meet Ossomer at...Dhrystone I think. He's reprimanded for doing so, because it's not practical in terms of move costs (use the move of several flying mounts to move one non-flyer). So it seems like some of these tactics may have been known, but not practiced due to impracticality - if you're not getting 3-4 new flying mounts (Dwagons, in this case) per turn, it becomes expensive and impractical to use the relay for anything but the greatest of emergencies.

And while tame Dwagons may/may not be a new thing to Erfworld, made possible only by the Hammer, we know that wild Dwagons exist. So it's possible that other cities/sides can pop them - we just know that the Hammer allows the taming of wild Dwagons and the complete control of them. We know that Decrypted are brand new, something only enabled by the Pliers. We know that Archons, Charlie's special unit, are available to other sides, if at a greater cost in time (and possibly schmuckers). So in terms of units, it may just be that spending the time/money to pop large numbers of Dwagons (if possible) or archons is impractical.
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Maybe some tactics were tried, and are used, just someplace else (reminiscent of how warfare between similar cultures on Earth tended to get into predictable patterns; then when some new challenger appeared, and the old ways of battle appeared obsolete).

Certainly possible, but since Erf appears to be much more of a continuum than Earth has been (until the last few centuries). There are flyers, there is lookamancy, there is travel via portals. So it's not inconceivable that virtually all sides are known and in communication via a few degrees of separation. Say, Jetstone knows Transylvito who know Jitterati, who know...and so on. So Jetstone may not have ever come into contact with Jitterati, or some side that Jitterati knows, but tactics, (especially effective ones!) battle outcomes, etc. is likely to be passed on one way or another, given sufficient time (especially given the interactions between casters in the MK, which come from all over Erf, and given that there are people like Charlie and sides like FAQ that travel/information gather over enormous areas). So while there are likely predictable patterns, I'd say news of new tactics usually spreads fast, and such tactics are rapidly adapted to become the norm (otherwise, any particularly innovative side would gain such power as to become nigh-invincible). Think about how quickly everyone knew that "some sort of Dirtamancy trap...over multiple hexes" took out the RCC. Think about how fast everyone would learn to watch for, prepare for, and perhaps perform, such actions, if the exact methodology behind it became common knowledge, especially given the rapid transmission of info via Thinkamancy/hats/scouts/etc.
Anias wrote:

Well, we know that the keeping of archives and histories is, at least to some degree, present in Erfworld. Gobwin Knob had a library filled with the records of wars - though, I admit, Parson describes them as more of high scores than precise "Warlord X did Y, Caster A did B, Side Q did R."


Just a note - I didn't interpret that as "archive keeping," in that there aren't any people writing down all that stuff. I got assumed that the library was popped fully formed, as with the rest of the city - and, like the clean slaughterhouses and empty bank vaults, was never *actually* used until Parson tried (and failed). It's full of battle records and, as Parson mentioned, something that looks like "scores." I got the impression that the library is more like a high score list than anything else.

We don't have much detail, but I don't think that's a stretch.
Anias wrote:
...So while there are likely predictable patterns, I'd say news of new tactics usually spreads fast, and such tactics are rapidly adapted to become the norm (otherwise, any particularly innovative side would gain such power as to become nigh-invincible). Think about how quickly everyone knew that "some sort of Dirtamancy trap...over multiple hexes" took out the RCC. Think about how fast everyone would learn to watch for, prepare for, and perhaps perform, such actions, if the exact methodology behind it became common knowledge, especially given the rapid transmission of info via Thinkamancy/hats/scouts/etc.

It took a while before Ansom was known to be leading GK's forces, even though no real effort to hide and earth shaking important to other side.

Possible that some tactics *are* hidden, only used when needed, as otherwise lose edge.

Eg possible that Charlie's turnomancer trick has been known for 100s of turns by a select few, and Charlie stumbled on it himself from spying long ago. Similarly Charlie's abillity to give dance fighting may have been known in select corners for 100s of turns. Charlie gives hints of the secrecy involved, eg not telling *anyone* about importance of Parson, etc.

TV style bat warfare was unknown to Jill before team up on Stanley, as a mercenary she would have had exposure to more tactics than most people, yet TV likely used that trick for 100s of turns. A few smarter generals might know it, but average battle commander likely would have use inferior tactics.
multilis wrote:

It took a while before Ansom was known to be leading GK's forces, even though no real effort to hide and earth shaking important to other side.

Possible that some tactics *are* hidden, only used when needed, as otherwise lose edge.

Eg possible that Charlie's turnomancer trick has been known for 100s of turns by a select few, and Charlie stumbled on it himself from spying long ago. Similarly Charlie's abillity to give dance fighting may have been known in select corners for 100s of turns. Charlie gives hints of the secrecy involved, eg not telling *anyone* about importance of Parson, etc.

TV style bat warfare was unknown to Jill before team up on Stanley, as a mercenary she would have had exposure to more tactics than most people, yet TV likely used that trick for 100s of turns. A few smarter generals might know it, but average battle commander likely would have use inferior tactics.

It seems like overwhelmingly powerful military tactics will take longer to disseminate. In order for other sides to learn specific information or tactics, you need someone who can observe and understand the tactic (i.e. a warlord or caster) and some form of information leakage (i.e. a survivor, a neutral scout/observer, a thinkagram, a hat message, etc). GK's initial victories were massive single-turn assaults with no survivors, and it's unclear whether Unaroyal had any means of getting information out (in book 1 there's mention of a Unaroyal thinkamancer, but there's no mention of a thinkamancer in Bea's letter to Don, which introduced Vanna and the other ex-Unaroyal casters - maybe he was was just hired for contract work during the RCC I campaign?), which is probably why they were able to keep Ansom's involvement a secret for so long.