Book 4 - Page 89

All quiet on the western front

Book 4 - Page 89
Comic - Book 4 - Page 89

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Diodri wrote:

Alternatively, sounds like he was asking the Bracer a lot about this stuff, and the Bracer is already a little suspect.

So what you're saying is that the Bracer was just leading him on to killing all humans. And if the world were to suffer a 90% decline in its population, the remaining ten percent would all be living in Gobwin Knob.
Ansan Gotti wrote:
kkdragonlord wrote:
Charlie only began losing because Parson arrived,

This, I agree with.

and Parson has only won so far because Fate has been throwing wrench after wrench on Charlie's plans.

This, I disagree with. Book One was all about the deck being stacked AGAINST Parson, with every tactic he came up with being countered by Charlie and the RCC, until he realized that just like the game he came up with for his friends, he needed to exercise lateral thinking to win.

And after that, the volcano.

Pft. Parson only came up with the Volcano while his back was against the wall under suspicious circumstances.
No no, all I'm saying is:

If, IF the bracer is really an agent of Fate, and, if Fate's primary goal is to get rid of Charlie while leaving the rest of Erfworld as it was before Parson arrived, then maybe Fate is manipulating the bracer results for it's own ends. Maybe it would not give Parson a solution for permanent peace.

But it's just wild speculation.
ManaCaster wrote:

This was actually my original theory. That peaceful sides are extra vulnerable. But according to Parson, world peace somehow depopulates Erworld.

Peace does not cause depopulation. Peace requires depopulation, because there are too many units for the cities and farms and mines to support. Or at least, that's what we've been told, and not shown.
15 pages for no text?!? SHEESH, how much glue have you been making this episode :-)
keybounce wrote:
15 pages for no text?!? SHEESH, how much glue have you been making this episode :-)

A picture is worth a thousand words. Four pictures--four thousand words. That's a good length for a short story right there...
So I need a 4,000 word post here? Ok, <inhale>:

The whole thing with <blam>

Chiu ChunLing wrote:
First time commenter. I just have never seen anyone point out that all the non-military jobs in Erf are handled automagically, a warlord or equivalent unit can 'supervise' the production facilities (farms, butcher shops, etc.) to increase production but Parson comments on the weirdness of it.

There are no civilians in Erf, when we talk about depopulating Erf, we're talking about a massive drawdown in military forces, and only military forces.

Of course, the military forces are the only ones anyone sees, the possibly imaginary and certainly not visible 'civilians' that do all the productive non-military work to create rations, smuckers, and supplies for fabrication are not really ever discussed beyond Parson noting that it's weird that there aren't any.

And yet...Jed exists and wants his side to defend his city. Maybe he's a civil defense administrator or mayor or something else that's the nearest thing in Erf to a civilian. Or he might just be a new kind of military unit, whatever.

Why can't Erf worlders see these civilians, if they exist? There is a real world counterpart, soldiers just become less aware of civilians, it's part of being in the military. Of course in our world soldiers can't completely ignore civilians, in peace or war. But they don't see them the same way they see other members of the military...any military.

Well, leaving the question of whether invisible Erfworld civilians really 'exist' or not, the point is that in our world, the budget for the military depends on the threat of war. If there is too much peace for too long, you get budget cuts (the real enemy of every military). So it wouldn't be 'weird' or 'nonsense' for Erfworld to have a mechanic that boosted your cities smucker/provision yield if the city was subject to attack. That might be the underlying reason a large side hits diminishing returns and can't afford any units, the cities that are too far from an active front (or at least a border with a different side) might be yielding less in 'taxes'. Or it might just be like a lot of strategy games which have a mechanic that cause uncontested resource supplies fall in value. It's easy enough to have a rule that says your city's resource yield is inversely proportional to the distance to an enemy force, whether or not it's intended to match the plight of real world military budgets facing an outbreak of peace.

Anyway, maybe this has been discussed to death, I've just never seen it mentioned.

Bolded the relevant part .
As far as i can see it hasnt been speculated before .

Nice Idea , but like mine that means that only Border Towns produce more shmuckers
making this effect marginal for big sides

Thread for Economics Discussion :
Courtiers and Jesters aren't civilians, they're REMF's. REMF's don't count as civilians for any purpose of military selective attention, nor do they lack military selective attention.

I imagine that the Erfworld mechanic is more complicated than any one measure of whether a particular city is subject to attack. Bordering the control area of another side seems like a strong candidate, but so does the alliance status and the total size of the side to which a given city belongs. If it was just bordering another side, you should be able to make a side that had tiny one city enemies scattered through it, if cities have a hexagonal distribution (which seems likely) you could out resource the grand total of all those cities 6 to one and thus be able to maintain a pretty vast numerical advantage, especially by leveraging your total caster count to produce lots of low/no upkeep units and defenses in your surrounding cities. You could use that advantage to force all the smaller sides into non-aggression pacts on pain of being wiped out.

If it was only bordering another side that affected income, then having vastly outclassed one city sides forced into effectively perpetual surrender would allow you to have full income at nearly all your cities. You could even force the inferior sides to provide tribute to avoid being curbstomped.

I do think that creating cleverly arranged agreements with nominally sovereign sides must be part of the equation, or the whole SoBeIt Union story would be too irrelevant. But if it was that easy Parson wouldn't have missed it.

But I can't shake the feeling that discovering the reality behind civilians in Erf, like a way to demobilize units without disbanding them, or discovering how to awaken the power of the civilian economy, might be a significant key as well.

Those slot machines in level 40 were especially suggestive to my mind. I believe Charlie has to be using those to get smuckers, but from who? His invisible civilians, perhaps. Or they could just provide some luckamancy function....
Chiu ChunLing wrote:
Those slot machines in level 40 were especially suggestive to my mind. I believe Charlie has to be using those to get smuckers, but from who? His invisible civilians, perhaps. Or they could just provide some luckamancy function....

Or things like slots just generate money out of nothing? Like chickens just generate eggs, or cities generate units?
Er, far as an Erfworlder can tell, civilians don't exist, even conceptually.

But as Parson notes, the infrastructure that suggests the existence of civilian economic activity exists, and he has to go look at it to help generate more smuckers.
There were only a few basic functions of an Erfworld city. All of them were for war. But among the empty cookie-cutter buildings, this city had many oddities: structures that imitated functions it didn't really have.
There was an amphitheater, for instance. It would seat about 800. Why? There was never any reason to go there. Something like a bank or counting house stood on one corner near the garrison, its steel vault bare. There was an ice house, where blocks of burlap-covered ice would pop. When they eventually melted or sublimated, more ice blocks would pop.
And there was also a slaughterhouse and smokehouse. This struck Parson as particularly weird, because of how farms worked. As he understood it, if you had a farm, then one turn a piglet would pop on your farm. It would live there for a few turns, becoming a bigger pig each turn. Then at the start of another turn, it would depop and various pig-related foods would pop in the larder of the nearest city and/or the capital.
Gobwin Knob's slaughterhouse stood clean and empty, fresh sawdust on the bloodless floor.
But he had to go and look at it, or it wouldn't "work" as efficiently. They would get more bacon next turn because he had walked in and out of the slaughterhouse this turn. Or possibly the act looking at it would doom the pigs, cows and chickens on some farm. He wasn't really sure.

I would suspect that, rather than dooming any pigs, cows, or chickens, a warlord (or courtier) 'managing' the slaughterhouse merely ensures more of the output goes to the military rather than being kept by an invisible civilian. I'd think that also extends to farms...and that the crops and animals visible are only the ones destined to military use. Those that would be kept by the invisible farmers anyway aren't visible.