Prologue - 008

Prologue - 008

Turns since TBfGK: 3

The subject of their conversation meandered, as the time passed.

Time itself was one thing they talked about, since Parson noted the moving shadows as the sun moved across the sky. Erfworlders, Parson found, understood days, hours, minutes and seconds. A second was "one-thousand-one." A minute was sixty of those. An hour was sixty minutes, and a day was twenty-four hours.

At least, within a given hex.

It actually took the better part of an hour's discussion for them to realize their major disconnect. Sizemore seemed to think the concept of a single, universal time that applied to everyone, everywhere was the most ludicrous idea he'd ever heard.

"Time is relative, Warlord!" he practically shouted. The apple brandy was bringing out a certain boisterousness in him, a redness to his cheeks, while Maggie only leaned on her elbows and smiled quietly. "You can't tell me time isn't relative where you come from!"

Parson was also feeling it, but it was kind of a funhouse buzz. Everything seemed strange and amusing, especially Sizemore's sudden agitation. "Time is relative, Sizemore," he said. "To the observer's movement in space."

"No, no, no!" Sizemore made a wave-off gesture with both his hands. "Well, yes! I mean for a unit that is...that is moving, time passes normally, but not relative to units in other hexes. A Lookamancer tracking the movement of that unit may see it move much faster in their time. The time in their hex."

"What?" Parson laughed. "That's crazy."

"That's how it works! You can't have one universal time in every hex. That's crazy, Warlord!"

"Hooooly crap," said Parson, rubbing his forehead. "No wonder I never see a clock around here. You're saying I could walk two hexes...well, if I could move out of the city...I could walk two hexes and think an hour has passed, and you watch me and you think...like, a minute has?"

"Of course! Exactly. How else could you scout?"

"Well that can't be!" Parson frowned. "That can't be. What if I send a message back to you? It'll be like you getting a message from the future!"

"The future of what, Warlord?" said Sizemore pointedly. Parson didn't have an answer for that. "You're going to do what you're going to do on your turn. Only the order of our actions is important. Time isn't. It's not like you're sending a message from future turns."

Parson felt he was either too drunk or not drunk enough to be having this conversation. Lacking a way to sober up, he gambled on it being the latter, and took another pull on the applejack.

"Okay, what about a Thinkagram?" said Parson. Maggie perked up, and without switching gears he started talking to her. "It's an hour ahead for me, a minute ahead for you, and I send a Thinkagram. What then?"

Maggie smiled, lids half closed. "Then, we have a Thinkagram, Lord. We simply have a Thinkagram. Why should it matter that to you that it seems an hour and to me it seems a minute since last we spoke?" Her words were perfectly formed, but had acquired a musical quality, with drawn-out vowels.

Catwoman. She sounded to Parson like an English version of Catwoman. At that picture, he had to laugh again. Maggie giggled too, for reasons unknown but at least partly chemical. This discussion amused her, that much was clear.

"Um, because... Gah," Parson struggled. "Okay, because the sun. Is the sun in a different position in the sky for me when I call you than it is for you?"

"Of course," said Sizemore. "This never happens in your world?"

Parson remembered time zones and the weirdness of the international dateline. Watching the Olympics at 2 am, people running in the hot sun on the other side of the planet, where it was tomorrow. Erfworlders carried their own personal time zones around. Was that odder than anything else about this place?

Yes, yes it was. It meant the whole universe worked differently here, and he wasn't prepared to let it go at that. He leaned forward even farther and put his elbows on his knees. "Aha! What if I come back?"

Sizemore looked at him blankly. Maggie watched them both, a dreamy grin on her face.

"It's four hours later to me, but maybe four minutes to you."

"Yes?" said Sizemore.

Could he really not see the problem? "Where is the sun?" asked Parson in exasperation.

Sizemore squinted at him. "In that hex? Four minutes further along in the sky."

"It jumps backwards when I enter the hex?!"

"Of course! To you," said Sizemore. "Because you traveled and were observed from that hex. If you weren't observed, you would find the sun in the same position as the previous hex."

"Ridonkulous!"

Maggie slumped backward on the blanket and giggled helplessly up at the sunlit sky.

image

Guest art by Joe Zuniga of Made Up.

Recent posts... (See full thread)
moose o death wrote:
Wyvern wrote:
moose o death wrote:
although i'm pretty happy my original claim that turns simply take as long as they take proved valid.


That's the thing, though. Turns DON'T take as long as they need to, because Erfworlders have the concept of a 24-hour day. If the Overlord never moves from the capital, he only has six hours (assuming two sides) to make all his decisions. Troop movements just eat into much less of that than it does from their perspective. What I really want to know is what happens if the Overlord himself is traveling...if that travel time eats into his 6-hour turn or not.

still haven't disconnected from earth. if you made a conscious decision to count like that for twenty four hour. you'd look foolish for wasting all that time doing nothing at all. wouldn't stop everyone else working through their own personal time dilations. in their eye's it might sound like your counting very slowly or very quickly.


The passage of time is the same for everyone within the same hex. So if I counted the seconds for a full day without ever leaving my starting hex, everyone else in that hex would experience it exactly the same. Another individual who traveled three hexes away and back might have counted to 20,000 seconds before I got to 1,000, but that's a separate issue. If you remain in one hex, the day passes in exactly 24 hours.

So if I'm the Overlord, and I'm sitting in my throne room in the capital, and I never leave the hex, I have a flat amount of time to give my orders. The day is only 12 hours long, and my turn only lasts 12/number-of-sides hours. If I have a magic stopwatch (like Parson's calculator), I can time it down to the second. I can't take longer than that amount of time to plan just because I need time to think. If I could, the notion of a 24-hour day would be meaningless, but apparently it isn't.
magnutc wrote:
I think the important thing here isn't the relative perception of time by units in different hexes; that's just the intriguing ground-level view of what it feels like to live in a tactical strategy game. The real meat of the update is in the concept that "the only thing that matters is the ORDER of our actions".



Right. It's just Burlew continuing to describe what it would really be like to live inside a board game. I don't think there are any huge, earth-shattering (Erf-shattering?) revelations here. A unit can spend all of it's move, and subjective time, to scout ahead, while the main army just waits for a report that seems to come relatively quickly in their perception.

This will make some nice drama later, when we see one unit on it's own perform a lot of actions, but then we'll shift back to the main action, where time might be different, but the single unit's actions have already taken place. But I think that's all it will really get used for -- drama. As you mention, the order of the actions, just like in a board game, are all that matter.


Quote:
The thing that actually intrigued me about this post is that the sun moves at all in the sky; I'd have guessed, based on prior revelations about turn structure, that dawn is a universal event, and the sun hangs in the sky without moving until some milestone passes (determined by unit order), at which point it cha-chunks into noontime position, until further turn-based actions snap it forward into Sunset mode, signaling end-of-turn-near, then the moon popping up to signify that the turn is over.



Yeah I was thinking the same thing actually, based mostly on an early panel when Ansome ended turn for (I think) the first time. I wonder if that was the original idea, and things got switched around later?
SteveMB wrote:
Wren wrote:
I really like the relative time in each hex, but I think he is setting himself for some huge metaphysical problems later by making the movement of the sun relative to the movement of units within the hex. You could easily have more than 24 hours pass within one hex while no time has passed in surrounding hexes.
this leads to problems of what the sun should be doing in each, as it only becomes night when turns end (as shown in the comic when Ansom ends turn and the sun sets)
i.e.: unit a has 3 move. he moves from hex 1 to hex 2, scouts for 12 hours, circling the hex repeatedly. The sun has gone down. He returns to hex 2 where no time has passed.


If a unit stays in a hex until the sun has gone down, then its turn (and everybody's turn) is over. No moving to another hex until tomorrow.



They explicitly stated that the sun could be different in different hexes, and that the sun changed relative to time passing for a unit in that hex. If this is true, a unit could spend enough time "scouting" in a hex that the sun will be down, while in other hexes the sun is still up in the hex he is reporting to. Either this or the sun will stay at sunset and not go down while time passes. The sun cannot be tied to perceived time passing AND to turn ending and remain consistent.
the scout reports seem all but instant. to me this implies erfworlders just look at the hex stats not waste time wandering around a hex.

failing that scouting a hex would count as move, if one move is moving from one hex to another. that implies it would take an aditional 3 move to scout a hex (1/2 move from the centre to the edges, 2piR, 3.14 move to walk around the hex.

would simply count as an order which subtracts move i would expect combat to subtract move as well or else battlespace would be finalised very quickly within city walls. committing troops to a fight should need to take away from move stats assuming they survive. but i don't play these kinds of game

personally i still don't see the confusion over this. my only problem with it is why they even bothered to have the sun.
moose o death wrote:
my only problem with it is why they even bothered to have the sun.


So they could fight in the shade.

...

Sorry, it was just too easy.

That aside, I think of Scout as a special ability, one that allows the unit to quickly survey the hex as it moves across it. Vinnie's bats, for one, did quite a lot of flying round the hex. If it was only a matter of looking at the hex stats, Vinnie would have known about the dwagons in the pincer from the moment they entered the hex. Instead, he received the report as the bats were being destroyed.
MarbitChow wrote:
Krennson wrote:
If the sun ONLY resets if someone else is in your (new) hex, doesn't that mean you can tell if an enemy is hiding in the hex you just entered, based on the sun resetting?


That would require that you leave the hex, the enemy enters the hex, their time passes, and then you reenter the hex, all in the same day.
Since you can only move on your turn, this would not be possible.


no, i mean, what if an illusomancer hides a ground army in a forest, and an enemy air unit flys over them on it's own turn. is it possible that the enemy air unit can't see them, but it CAN see the sun being in the 'wrong' place, thus suggesting that someone it doesn't know about has already observed that sun?
I'm not getting anything you guys are talking about. Vinny's paralleling Jillian over many turns just makes my mind boggle even more. Dr. Heisenberg would froth at the mouth from observing THAT series of actions. As well as Parson's observing the Dwagon Donut of Doom being nibbled at, and then Jillian busting the Wounded Dwagon stack?

If you can explain that in small simple words, you should teach High School Physics.

Personal quote: "Physics is when Science gets drunk, but students get the hangover."
Krennson wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:
Krennson wrote:
If the sun ONLY resets if someone else is in your (new) hex, doesn't that mean you can tell if an enemy is hiding in the hex you just entered, based on the sun resetting?


That would require that you leave the hex, the enemy enters the hex, their time passes, and then you reenter the hex, all in the same day.
Since you can only move on your turn, this would not be possible.


no, i mean, what if an illusomancer hides a ground army in a forest, and an enemy air unit flys over them on it's own turn. is it possible that the enemy air unit can't see them, but it CAN see the sun being in the 'wrong' place, thus suggesting that someone it doesn't know about has already observed that sun?


There's no reason why the sun would have to move. The Foolamancer couldn't have possibly acted since its own turn ended, so the whole hex, and the sun from its perspective, could have just "waited" until it was in a position appropriate for the scout. Nothing of importance happened between the Foolamancer ending turn and the scout's arrival, so there's no reason why it would be otherwise, except just for the sake of being contrary.

So if the Foolamancer hid there at its 11:00 and then ended turn, and the scout arrived at its 4:00, the sun wouldn't be in its 11:00 position. The Foolamancer (and thus the whole hex) would have already waited five hours by the time the scout arrived. If, after that, a fast-moving assault force rushed the hex in less time than it took the scout, THEN the sun might have to move back. Unless it would just appear to move forward for the new stack...I'm not sure which Erfworld finds preferable.

That's my take on it, anyway. Doing anything else would just be needlessly complicated. I figure if things CAN work out without any time-jumping, it'll probably try to, just for everyone's convenience.
Anton Gaist wrote:
moose o death wrote:
my only problem with it is why they even bothered to have the sun.


So they could fight in the shade.

I didn't say no light source. just no obvious sun.
Anton Gaist wrote:

That aside, I think of Scout as a special ability, one that allows the unit to quickly survey the hex as it moves across it. Vinnie's bats, for one, did quite a lot of flying round the hex. If it was only a matter of looking at the hex stats, Vinnie would have known about the dwagons in the pincer from the moment they entered the hex. Instead, he received the report as the bats were being destroyed.


remember erfworld is treated like the dramatic retelling of a fictitious tbs. if the dwagon stack was told to autoattack any units entering the hex. no matter what happened statisticly, those doombats were wiped out before they could blink. it was the loss of doombats and the knowledge of dwagon forces in that area rather than scouting reports that lead one thing to another. although vinny does appear to be able to see through their eyes. but i don't see that as a scouting ability as much as it is a vinny ability.
"Fighting in the shade" would be a reference to a legend about the battle of Thermopylae (of 300 fame). (I think the story traces back to Herodotus, but don't quote me on that.)