Book 3 - Page 75

“Would you do that, Warlord? Do you want to go home?”

Book 3 - Page 75
Comic - Book 3 - Page 75
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That still would leave some unresolved issues, though. If that were the case, PEACE would be the expensive time for a side. In peacetime, a side would have to keep around a large army just in case, and would probably be in the red, and would have low upkeep and save up money during war.

But Don King said the war against carpool was really expensive. And Jetstone was broke at the end of the war before Jetstone fell. If losing units kept them in the black, they would have plenty of cash.

I think there does need to be some other mechanic, which leads to the winning side in a war winning more schmuckers than the losing side losses.
I honestly can't wait until Rob has enough people in the Toolshed for him to be able to make the game. That will solve all these problems when we have the actually rulebook.
ftl wrote:
If that were the case, PEACE would be the expensive time for a side.
We know that peace is expensive because otherwise Parson wouldn't have such a hard time finding a way to pay for it.

ftl wrote:
But Don King said the war against carpool was really expensive. And Jetstone was broke at the end of the war before Jetstone fell. If losing units kept them in the black, they would have plenty of cash.
No one wants to lose units. Aside from mysterious sources of shmuckers, people need to croak to keep Erfworld in the black, but the goal for each side is to make sure that the people who croak are all on other sides and the shmuckers that pay for your upkeep are from foreign cities and treasuries.

From that point of view, the expense of a war wouldn't be judged in comparison to peace. It would be judged in comparison to other wars. An inexpensive war would be an easy conquest with a fat treasury that pays your upkeep and leaves your army mostly untouched so you can go directly to conquering the next side on your list. As long as you are winning your battles, if it turns out that you have more surviving units than you want to pay upkeep for, you can feel free to disband some people.

In contrast, every unit who croaks in a losing battle is a blow to their side's budget because that unit could have croaked taking a city or a treasury that turn. When you are already losing battles, you're not going to want to disband units so you may be forced to pay more upkeep than you can afford.
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That leaves us with two choices: either there is some mysteriously unmentioned source of shmuckers that are generated by wars, or else the extra population is caused by over-producing and croaking. We know that unit production is a real thing and we've seen vast numbers of units croaking. Continuous croaking in large numbers is a natural part of war, and Erfworld is known to be full of war.

The problem with that is that a world like that would not be sustainable.
Leave aside the fact that a world where a substantial part of the population - i.e. enough to pay the collective upkeep for the rest of it - croaks every turn needs production capabilities way beyond what we've been shown in the Comic so far...
Not every side is at war all the time, and even those sides that are at war fight battles every turn - for simplicity ignore minor skirmishes as they won't affect the population that much.
Let's be generous and say that a quarter of all sides are involved in battles on each given turn.
Those 25% of sides would have to incur losses that equal a substantial part of Erfworld's Population, i.e. they'd more or less have to annihilate each other.
In a world like this dozens of sides would fall every day and no side would be able to last as Long as Jetstone did.
Besides that's not what we've seen in the comic. In the Forecastle storyline losing those fleets is seen as a big deal, and they are sailing for many turns without enemy contact at all.
In the Digdoug storyline, Digdoug's side is aggressively expansionistic, and even they don't fight battles every turn.

So I'm very curious what kind of mechanic Rob is going to introduce to explain all this.
Maybe Units generate shmuckers when croaking LOL-style or cities' income increases drastically on turns that there are battles close to them.
The latter would be an Explanation for the diminishing Returns - as the territory grows larger the central cities don't see as much battle and grow less efficient - but it would also be a largely defensive mechanic and afford a substantial disadvantage to offensive sides.

P.S. Please excuse the random capitalization. My browser's autocorrect is running Amok and I'm fed up of Fixing it all :x
Mirage GSM wrote:
Not every side is at war all the time, and even those sides that are at war fight battles every turn.
We know from this update that with currently known strategies every side has two choices: either be fighting wars or be depopulated. That must mean that if you go too many turns without a battle you need to disband some of your army, which is effectively the same as having that portion of your army croak in battle.

Mirage GSM wrote:
For simplicity ignore minor skirmishes as they won't affect the population that much.
We have no way of knowing how many minor skirmishes we would be ignoring. Hundreds of minor skirmishes all across Erfworld could add up to a large number of deaths.

Mirage GSM wrote:
Those 25% of sides would have to incur losses that equal a substantial part of Erfworld's Population, i.e. they'd more or less have to annihilate each other.
It doesn't need to happen exactly that way every turn. Sometimes two sides almost annihilate each other, sometimes it is a one-sided slaughter. How it happens isn't important, so long as a substantial portion of the population croaks on average. I agree that it would probably mean that some sides fall in Erfworld every day, but that's not surprising when every day almost every side is at war with someone.

Mirage GSM wrote:
In a world like this dozens of sides would fall every day and no side would be able to last as long as Jetstone did.
Jetstone is an old and very successful side. It's not fair to compare them to little sides that get wiped out before they even have a chance to establish themselves. Even if an enormous number of sides are being wiped out every day, that doesn't mean that no one can figure out a way to survive. On the contrary, if you're the one razing those cities and stealing those treasuries, then you should be in an excellent position to survive indefinitely.

Mirage GSM wrote:
In the Forecastle storyline losing those fleets is seen as a big deal, and they are sailing for many turns without enemy contact at all.
Forecastle's fleets included many ships and warlords which are surely expensive. That doesn't mean that the low-ranking crew would be hard to replace. Surely they also weren't as heavily populated as other sides since there is a limit to how many soldiers you can fit onto ships.

Mirage GSM wrote:
In the Digdoug storyline, Digdoug's side is aggressively expansionistic, and even they don't fight battles every turn.
How often did Homekey fight battles? Digdoug wasn't involved in battles every turn, but it's hard to say much about the rest of Homekey. In Episode 5 they mention that Carl Tunnel was spending his turns fighting on the southern front. We never hear how much fighting is happening there.
Mirage, slow it up and the math works. I mean, Rob has been scarce on details so he doesn't have to do the math. So we can change the math however we like.

Say a level 1 city could pop a mook every other day, double that for each level so a level 5 can pop a whole stack of 8 a day. Does that work? No? Then slow the math up.

Say a level 5 city could pop a mook a day, or could save up 5 days to pop a stack of 8 siblings.

Still picturing it as too many people? Slow it further or kill off more, because both those variables are sets not constants. We know many Erfworlders lead brief lives, maybe more than we think. We know the cities are mostly for show, with lots of empty room right up until all the away units come back. We know popping cool units takes several turns, and the upper limit is in the mid to high tens for royal heirs, but not much else. We don't even know how much schmuckers cities produce at all, so whatever numbers you assign to everything else, you can set cities to match it.

And Jetstone was rolling in it when they were crushing GK's cities, though they spent it all on elves so they could take GK's treasury. When they didn't, they had to break alliance with the elves, and the remainder mostly died off due to lack of upkeep and those who survived that teamed up and drank a lot and partied like it was the end of the world until Stanley got them this is all besides the point.

The math doesn't work because Rob is making it up, and the math will be made later to match what he has made up.

OR without making the numbers themselves, Rob decided that the sides are on the verge of collapse most of the time, because if you don't spend so much you are on the edge of collapse you will be conquered by someone who is. This is called a schelling point. It is math that works even if you don't know the exact numbers, so Rob started with that assumption and other variables are in a pattern where they will converge on that schelling point- you can convert schmuckers into units with natural allies, but you can't convert natural allies into schmuckers, therefore schmuckers are the scarce thing.

I mean, it strikes me odd to say Rob is making up some aspects of his comic wrong in the context of him making up the whole comic.
I'm not saying Rob has made up some aspects of his comic wrong - I'm saying that with the info we have so far I can't really see how this whole thing is supposed to work.
That said, Rob has pulled up resonable explanations for apparent mysteries before, so I'm giving him a large advance on trust to produce a satisfying solution later on.
He did say, that he has worked out how the system works, so I'm sure he has considered everything that has been said in this thread so far.

Regarding the actual numbers - so far I've been only arguing with relative numbers, as in the number of units produced/croaked relative to the total population, and since the population is also unknown, the absolute unmbers of unit production are not really relevant.
Mirage GSM wrote:
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I expect that in Erfworld it's not just a few sides that have upcoming heavy battles where they expect to lose lots of units. That sounds more like the vast majority of sides in Erfworld on most turns, and any side that is expecting a heavy battle can pop far more units than they can afford to upkeep. There's no cost to disbanding extra units if you have too many after the battle, and if you have too few then you lose the war.

It doesn't work.
It's not possible for all sides - or even a majority - to have substantially more units than they can afford for any length of time if city income and pillaging is the only souce of Shmuckers in Erfworld. If that were the case, the grand total of Shmuckers in Erfworld would decrease every turn until in a few rounds all treasuries would be empty and all sides would have to start disbanding units - or throwing them away in battle - until the population is at a sustainable level.

In stupidworld terms it would be like three nations growing enough food to sustain 1.000.000 people but having a total population of 3.000.000. It doesn't matter if nation A seizes the farms of nation B and C. It will mean less people starve in nation A but more will starve in nation B and C. Without an outside source of food 2.000.000 people will starve in the end.

You (all) are forgetting one thing: Rome didn't fall in a day. Just because you see an economically unsustainable model not lead to one's immediate doom (for what ever reason, they may even flourish, albeit temporarily), doesn't mean that said economic model shalln't eventually doom him.
Even with decryption (heck, especially because of decryption) the population of Erf shall decline until the last turn where the final battle shall be waged between two stabbers auto-engaging eachother.
Well I mean Rome in the form of the Byzantine Empire, or Eastern Roman Empire didn't fall until 1453.
Erfworld is a game and games, especially board games, often have balancing mechanisms. If they didn't the first side to win a victory of any sort will probably win because they'll be ahead. It makes sense Erfworld as a world of war gaming has one because otherwise one side would have won by now (Or at least there would be a small number of epically large sides in constantly shifting alliances).

The simple essence is diminishing smuckers: After a certain point every new city decreases the total amount of smuckers each one generates to the point where you can't afford even the number of units a one side city can support (Like Haffaton).

That's the hard cap: Even if you totally wipe out your enemy you are left with two choices: Take the cities and become weaker or abandon them and spawn new sides. In the short term they maybe weaker that the previous one but eventually they will be united and pose the same problem. Hell, multiple small sides maybe worse because they can fight a war more efficiently than the larger side that has to deal with several separate wars at once against multiple enemies who each fight in a different way.

It also explains why nobles spin off new sides: Hopefully a side with a related royal family will be, in the short term, more friendly and less likely to attack or break an alliance.

Is if you constantly have to fight wars where the loser is annihilated and cannot build a definite advantage you have to win every war. Maybe you can fight for a thousand years and destroy dozens of sides but new ones will always pop and sooner or later you will be unlucky and be yourself destroyed. Even if you only lose a few cities you're now that much weaker and will be an even worse state in the next war.

This also explains why nobles love nobility and it's tied to the religion: It's really the only continuity apart from the books no one ever reads.

I'm not sure I can draw a good real world comparison.