Book 2 - Text Updates 023

Book 2 - Text Updates 023

Although it would surely mean the turning point in this war, Tramennis did not relish the coming eradication of the Croakamancer and her flyers. It was not his kind of action.

He wished the wild Queen would have stayed one turn longer, just to advise. But that was what wildcards did. Such players as Jillian act seemingly at random, and Titans help your plans. Besides, while all of Jetstone owed their very lives to that woman's remarkable magic trick, the card shark in him suspected that they should count themselves lucky to have done this well, with her in the game. She was a dangerous force.

No, the invaders in his airspace were his problem. He would lead the fight, He would stack with the casters and shoot down Ossomer. Or what used to be Ossomer...the Queen's attitude about Ansom had also left him many vexing questions. Perhaps he would have to seek some answers before sprinkling the city with Ossomer's dust.

However.

At the moment, on the other side of the river stood a simple ground force that he badly outmatched. This was the kind of fighting the Kingdom was founded upon. This was how Ansom had crushed Stanley time and again, relentlessly overwhelming with mass infantry, bolstered by leadership.

No Jetstone warlord could resist such a target. To be a Prince of Jetstone was to love an infantry fight, and it had been entirely too long.

He only now realized how long. He'd spent sixscore turns or more on Father's diplomatic errands, first forming and then keeping intact the Royal Crown Coalition. He hadn't led a battle of any significance in all that time. How were his instincts?

Fairly sharp, he felt. After a moment's consideration, he ruled out involving the casters. It was tempting, but they were dinner forks, and this was the salad course.

Likewise, the archery units would need to conserve every remaining arrow to put between a dwagon's eyes. They were out, too.

"What we ought to do," he told his leadership council, "is mainly use the heavies."

There were some frowns at that. Ossomer had preached infantry so much that the specialty units had come to be looked upon as a secondary tactical option at best. But Tramennis pointed out that with superior leadership, they could take the sourmanders and cloth golems into the adjoining hex and plow untouched through any unled stacks, take out the enemy's remaining leadership, and it would be over.

"Heavies will be useless against flyers, so let us use them here where they will do the most good," he said, to uncertain nodding.

In moments, they had assembled. There were five stacks of stabbers, led by lower-level warlords who could use the experience. Behind that stood three stacks of heavies with two warlords each. These included several formidable tchotchkes and some really fine cloth golems. There were battle bears, G-RAFs and LFNs. Tramennis chose to ride in the pocket of a tankeroo. He was tempted to bring in the Dollamancer just for healing and leadership bonus to the golems, but this much was already enough to overwhelm.

At his command, horns. The infantry spearhead advanced in ordered silence, so very unlike Haggar. Jetstone did not rock. Behind them, the golems lurched and trundled in.

Ofttimes, as he entered battle, Tramennis would take a moment to think of friends he had lost to the enemy he was about to face. In past turns, this had helped him to focus on sticking his sword through people. But while Gobwin Knob's terrible army of man-golems had certainly claimed his brothers, and many of his friends and compatriots, it did not help to think of them now. He was all too afraid of meeting them again here.

Instead, he spurred his mount and hopped jarringly forward toward the bridge, thinking about salad.

He quite enjoyed a nice appetizer salad, and with the turn coming early, he'd had no opportunity for breakfast.

Comic - Book 2  Text Updates 023

Recent posts... (See full thread)
effataigus wrote:
Yeah, Tram is probably safe. I do think he might underestimate the zeal of the decrypted though. If he is assuming that GK will fight to inflict the maximum traditional damage then he might never see an insane suicide blitz coming.


Thing is, conventional units in Erf would also be able to do the same kind of suicidal tactics. They're all going to croak anyway, so it's a question of what's more valuable - inflicting maximum casualties, or inflicting casualties of highest-value targets. The decrypted aren't doing anything right now that a standard army wouldn't also do - except that they're caring about Wanda rather than Stanley, but at the moment their goals go together.
waynemcdougall wrote:
Technically the term is "card sharp" rather than "card shark". But like misheard lyrics ("Don't bring me down, Bruce!") its is so frequently misused as to have gained a life on its own.


I am reminded of "you've got another think coming" (as opposed to 'thing.')

gazes_also wrote:

I'm a little disappointed there are no ROUS's


Which, really, should be "RsOUS."
noxharrington wrote:
gazes_also wrote:

I'm a little disappointed there are no ROUS's


Which, really, should be "RsOUS."


Depends on your style manual. I dunno, how do you write the initialism for "Weapons of Mass Destruction?"
Reclaimer wrote:
Tram's Attack is incredibly important here, since this fight is going to boil down to his max stack vs. two max stacks of high-level heavies led by Ford and Twenty. This isn't Exalted; his massive infantry force doesn't give him an armor bonus or anything, in fact he himself has no bonuses at all.


That is an interesting point, I'm curious as well. I guess it can't be too bad - Slately didn't have a problem putting him on the front lines with Oss. It could have just been a "well, things are desperate, we need every sword down there" situation, but Slately doesn't seem the type who'd just throw his sons away, if Trem couldn't hold his own he'd have kept him back in capital as "reserves".

And considering the whole plan was for the Jetstone forces to hold GK up and then fall back when Haggar arrived anyway if Trem's attack wasn't all that good he probably wouldn't have made that much difference in the delaying action, so no use risking him (although it could be he was there to be the brain to Oss's brawn, and he'd have hung back).

ftl wrote:
Thing is, conventional units in Erf would also be able to do the same kind of suicidal tactics. They're all going to croak anyway, so it's a question of what's more valuable - inflicting maximum casualties, or inflicting casualties of highest-value targets. The decrypted aren't doing anything right now that a standard army wouldn't also do - except that they're caring about Wanda rather than Stanley, but at the moment their goals go together.


True, true.

effataigus wrote:
Not to speak for Dancing C, but I think he just meant to point out that if skulls are the new shackles, then shackles were the old shackles. This is relevant to the point that he was making that we don't see much evidence to suggest that regular infantry are typically summarily executed after surrendering. No need to shackle the dead.


Yes, that is exactly what I was getting at.

DevilDan wrote:
We always knew that some units were interrogated or turned. But yes, I may have missed the point. :oops:


Heh, I should make more of an effort to make my points clearer. :D
Dancing Cthulhu wrote:
multilis wrote:
Regular units are almost always *killed* rather than turned, even *after* they surrender.


My memory is a bit vague on the subject, but is the reference in the comic to that somewhere? We haven't seen that many regular units captured, though after Caesar's near fatal last battle apparently TV had some 100+ infantry prisoners and we never learnt their fate, but it didn't sound like they were being executed at the time.

And Jack's comments about skulls being the new shackles when observing the prison with Parson sounded like units weren't always killed instantly when they surrendered.


The wiki page "Capturing" is a bit skimpy on sources, but eventually I found one of Parson's Klogs, in which he claims that capture is (usually) reserved for valuable Casters.
I think the math goes thusly,

Capturing units in combat is difficult (megalogwiffs aside). Captured units are difficult to turn and suffer from low loyalty. Thus, only really valuable units are captured and tried to turn in combat.

However, a city's garrison captured means all units still in the city are automatically shackled. So, hey! Captured units, what to do with them.

Turning them is still probably not a good idea. That would seem to leave execution as the only alternative...

Or does it? Historically in warfare, its standard operating procedure to offer captured units back to their side in exchange for an appropriate ransom. This ransom is typically either money or similarly captured units.

The last option being common, or at least not unheard of, in Erf would not surprise me in the least.

However, in Book 1 this was not an option. GK was the last GK city, when it fell there was going to be no one to ransom captured units to. Furthermore, Stanley and eventually Parson's behavior (such as the mass decryption of Jetstone's finest) made Ansom very unwilling to cut the side any slack. Yet, Charlie got Parson's capture out of Ansome regardless.
Capturing for ransom makes excellent sense to me when warfare is often skirmishes between neighboring kingdoms. (I doubt Jill will be leaving anyone alive as she razes her way back to Faq, though. I think we sometimes forget that every person in these cities is a soldier: No civilians, no bystanders, no collateral "damage.")

Jill was taken captive twice. Now, Wanda aside, if capturing at least warlords (even mercenary barbarians) weren't at least done on occasion — whether they are later on turned or croaked — then Vinny and Ansom would have been overly suspicious of Jill's captures. Castles have dungeons and prisons, so prisoners are certainly part of the system.

Hmmm... without the potential for slavery, would prisoners have been taken in earth's ancient history?
Traditionally holding for ransom was only done with those capable of paying it - nobles and landowners.
At Agincourt Henry V had his men cut the throats the large number of French nobles they had captured when the French king did not withdraw after the first wave had failed. Any nobles had been captured as they became bogged down in the mud. This almost lead to an open revolt by his nobles, not on ethical grounds, but because they were throwing away their main chance of making money out of the venture.

The average peasant who was captured was either pressed into service or stripped of his arms and valuables and released. Most foot-soldiers fought out of obligation to their landowner, and didn't have a huge personal loyalty. Conflicts were between lords; foot-soldiers were game pieces and would serve whichever lord took or held their lands. they were chattels, and changed hands like any other piece of property. they only thing they had of value would be any armour or weapons they had been issued with. If they weren't of any use they were sent home, somebody had to tend the land otherwise the lords wouldn't have any income.

The French were in the habit of cutting off the right index and middle fingers of English archers before releasing them so they couldn't draw a bow. In the 100 Years War English archers would taunt the French by holding up their right hands to show they still had those fingers, giving rise to was is still the Ultimate Rude Gesture in Britain.
Dancing Cthulhu wrote:
Reclaimer wrote:
Tram's Attack is incredibly important here, since this fight is going to boil down to his max stack vs. two max stacks of high-level heavies led by Ford and Twenty. This isn't Exalted; his massive infantry force doesn't give him an armor bonus or anything, in fact he himself has no bonuses at all.


That is an interesting point, I'm curious as well. I guess it can't be too bad - Slately didn't have a problem putting him on the front lines with Oss. It could have just been a "well, things are desperate, we need every sword down there" situation, but Slately doesn't seem the type who'd just throw his sons away, if Trem couldn't hold his own he'd have kept him back in capital as "reserves".

And considering the whole plan was for the Jetstone forces to hold GK up and then fall back when Haggar arrived anyway if Trem's attack wasn't all that good he probably wouldn't have made that much difference in the delaying action, so no use risking him (although it could be he was there to be the brain to Oss's brawn, and he'd have hung back).


Tramennis could have led another stack of elite infantry, and at that point would've received Ossomer's large CW Leadership bonus on top of his own, making him much more potent. At this point though he's not going to be nearly as tough as he was with Big Brother standing beside him. And he's going to stand out more, being the only Jetstone royal on the battlefield, unlike when Ossy was around to split their attention. Remember, GK wasn't supposed to just bypass that large blockade. They expected Ansom to march a big siege-heavy ground force up to their gates, not fly right up to the tower and blow it away.

I do agree with your theory of him being there to keep Ossomer in check. Ossomer had all of Ansom's bravado but none of his tactical genius, at least from what I've seen.
Reclaimer wrote:
I do agree with your theory of him being there to keep Ossomer in check. Ossomer had all of Ansom's bravado but none of his tactical genius, at least from what I've seen.


Oh, I think Ossomer is getting a little short changed. He may prefer straightforward tactics, but we haven't seen very much of him to really judge him as a commander.

Well, he apparently came up with the bridge stall tactic of using Jetstone's mancers in conjunction with high leadership and heavies to keep the assumed numerically superior GK army at bay. Unfortunately, he fell for an elaborate veil. To give Ossomer credit, though, I did to and I have some degree of genre savy that meant I should have seen in coming where Ossomer has his knowledge of Ansom to fall back on.

Then, he's the one who suggested to Wanda that Jillian be attacked directly to quickly wipe out her fliers. Such straightforward thinking may have saved GK's bacon right there.

Finding a useful truisms regarding warfare and pounding them into you subordinate commanders is actually a pretty good way to set up a complex army.