Headscratchers / Erfworld

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    Parson's bonus 

  • Why don't we know Parson's Chief Warlord bonus a little better? We know that CWs have three separate bonuses - their direct bonus to units in their stack, their hex-wide bonus to units in their hex, and their regular bonus to all units on their side. We know Parson's side-wide bonus is 2, and he's never joined a stack so there's no reason for us to know his direct bonus, but why don't we know his hex-wide bonus? Is it also 2? That really does suck.
    • When Parson leaves Gobwin Knob via the magic Kingdom, Stanley notices because he sees Knob units bonus decrease, and the units he is going to join discuss how having him present will provide a small benefit. His hex bonus is never specified, but it must be above two.
  • We know that a Chief Warlord's bonus varies with his proximity to his units - his direct bonus to his stack is larger than the one he grants to all units in his hex, which itself is larger than the one he grants to all units in his side. We also know that since nobody in Erfworld can see Parson's stats, his bonus can only be measured by its effect on his units. He's never joined a stack, so we don't know his direct bonus - but why don't we know Parson's hex-wide bonus, which would surely be applied to all units in his city?
    • We may soon learn Parson's direct bonus... He's gonna fight in this one.
    • We don't know his hex-wide bonus, but in-universe they know it. It just hasn't come up yet, so it hasn't been mentioned.
    • It was mentioned early on that his leadership bonus is very low.
    • His bonus is 2, the same as his level.

    Haggar's Column 

  • Wasn't Haggar supposed to have a "massive column of heavies and infantry" strong enough to capture Jetstone's capital once Gobwin Knob and Jetstone finished beating the hell out of each other? And all of a sudden Haggar's forces "can't expect to beat" the dregs of Gobwin Knob's strike force?
    • Two things to consider here: First, Haggar's plan was to mop up the forces of whomever won at the capital, after they had sustained a major beating in claiming or defending the area. Secondly, and more importantly, the column Prince Sammy lead to attack Ansom's force may well not be the full column. Given that only infantry has been seen, this seems likely to be the case.
    • And choke-points are a bitch.
    • Since part of Haggar's plan was to have their column operate under the pretense of being just too far enough away to help, it could be that some of the column didn't have the move to engage the Gobwin Knob column when their hand was forced.
    • Prince Sammy was attacking on Charlie's instruction, with exactly the forces Charlie told him to use. Charlie did not intend him to beat the column, only beat it up to the point where Jillian could attack it in relative safety.
    • Sorta. Charlie's plan seemed to be centered around ridding himself of both Ansom and Sammy at the same time. He forced Sammy to charge headfirst into a column led by Ansom (though Sammy's bonus is unspecified, it's likely not on Ansom's tier) without the support of Haggar's heavy units, and instructed Sammy to make a personal mad rush down the center to assassinate Ansom, where he (Sammy) would then most likely get croaked seconds after by Ansom's support units. Of course, Jillian blew that plan to hell, as she does.

    Buying the Perfect Warlord spell 
  • When Wanda tried to convince Stanley to spend the 500,000 Shmuckers on the Summon Perfect Warlord spell, he argued that it would completely empty Gobwin Knob's treasury to do so, but Wanda remained adamant that it was for the best. However, if the treasury had been emptied, how would their side pay upkeep for all of their units- including Wanda herself?
    • Cities produce Shmuckers; after they burned through their savings, they could just use the Shmuckers produced by Gobwin Knob to pay upkeep.
    • Completely empty could just mean "Empty enough that I won't be able to do anything else that requires even a little bit of monetary expenditure after I do this". Heck, it could have been exaggeration (would you put that past Stanley?).
    • The actual wording used was that it would literally empty the treasury. However, the spell is also technically 350,000. They didn't pay for the support plan. That gives them 150,000 Shmuckers to work with. Even the upkeep of the Archons are stated to be around 200-500 Shmuckers. Parson's upkeep, which is over one-thousaaaaaand was considered to be quite high. Decrypted units (and possibly uncroaked and/or low-level units) have a zero Shmucker upkeep. Consuming provisions also reduces upkeep (as you then do not need to pay for food for that unit. So, it's reasonable that they could afford everything with the remainder of the treasury. And after Book 1, Gobwin Knob doesn't have to worry about Shmuckers as much.

    Transylvito, Royalty, and the Coalition 

  • Were Jetstone and the other coalition members ever aware of the fact that Transylvito was in the process of essentially throwing out its own Royalty system?
    • Probably. At least Anson, whose (best?) friend is a Transylvito's chief who is very unformal and openly criticized him after the Prince ranted about the Royalty superiority.
    • A recent text update has King Slately musing that if one good thing has come of Unaroyal, its that Don King has once again seen the importance of a Royal line of succession via an heir. So he was definitely aware that they didn't really take it seriously.
    • They may have tolerated it as an unfortunate eccentricity because Don King's heir designate was still a Noble (if only "barely"). The Royals probably would have looked down on the next leader, but not considered it an affront like having a promoted common infantry unit become Overlord of a major side, such as was the case with Stanley.
    • Besides, past debts come into play here. Stanley never did anything to help the Royal sides and he outright attacked them after (supposedly) killing his own king. Don King is just that, a king who probably been working with the Royal sides for thousands of turns. Hell, he or Stately may have had a fling the queen of Unaroyal, but either way, he and Stately or best friends and, damn it, who would let a small disagreement tear that relationship apart ESPECIALLY after his own royal son tried to murder him. Hey, at least he had an excuse to be leery of his own side's royalty and never took that distrust out on the royals of other sides. Plus, the majority of their warlords were still royalty unlike Stanley who promoted common infantry whose signamancy made them like they would be good leaders.

    Stanley and names 

  • Why does Stanley have such a hard time remembering names? Isn't it stated that leaders (and parson with the glasses) can see unit stats, including the name? When Parson looks at Jack with the glasses (through a thinkagram no less) he can clearly see the name.
    • He doesn't care about the name. He's focused on the stats. It's kind of like how in real life, a lot of gamers, particularly strategy gamers or ones focused on numbers won't even both looking at the name, but will instead look right at the stats first. I know I've done this while playing a lot of RPG games - first thing I look at is stats. Stanley just simply doesn't bother looking at names, because he doesn't care about their names.
    • That doesn't work, because you'd expect Stanley to start noticing the name once his life depended on it. It could be that seeing the actual names is something that only Parson can do, and the others can only see stats. Alternatively, it could be that Parson could only see his name because he already knew what it was (Wanda having told him).
    • The latter makes more sense. Stanley would simply see "Caster" or "Foolamancer."
    • Yes, but remember, his life hasn't be in danger for a long, long time. He can't go into battle. However, it could be that he can't see the name if the person who it belongs to doesn't remember it. Like he couldn't see Jack's name when he was insane. However, he made an effort to remember Jack's name after he saved his life. Then he couldn't remember Zhopa's name to save his life even though he was TRYING to remember it. He thinks his name is Zergling at one point. It's all speculation, but it seems you do have to remember the name to see the name. That or the name attached to the stats is the name you think he or she has.
    • The 3D glasses show more info than Stanley and other Erfworld commanders normally see. The wiki gives details.

    Tramennis most worthy son 

  • Why does Slately come to see Tramennis as his most worthy son after the Atrium disaster? I mean, Tramennis is a great guy, but the only reason Jetstone's in their now-hopeless situation is because the Prince insisted on a parley, against the objections of the King, even knowing full well that Parson is willing to violate a truce. That colossal military blunder doesn't really recommend Tramennis as a leader.
    • Because he's the best they've got, and willing to notice other paths than combat to boot, as all of Slately's other sons seemed to have done. He(Slately) was actually surprised, on reflection, to realize that Tramennis had been more effective than all of his previous heirs. Also, nobody not on Gobwin Knob's side (and even a few who were - see Ossomer's expression during, um, "Phase Number Two") saw the "food fight" coming except for Charlie, so that's a little unfair. Furthermore, it wouldn't be possible for them to "pull the same trickery that got Ansom", as Tram put it, and in their situation it would be very difficult to mount any sort of counter-attack (Jack's plan only consisted of "fight until opportunity arises, then cut losses and escape").
    • In all likelihood, he was impressed by the fact that Tramennis immediately realised his blunder, and was ready to stand and fight while covering his father's retreat.
    • Also, regardless of whether or not they parleyed, Parson's plan would have worked. Had they just start blasting away at the dwagons, Gobwin Knob would have just been spared having to harvest them. In-comic, its implied that Slately considers Tramennis to be a leader as opposed to his other, warrior, sons.

    Wrecking everything but the dungeon 

  • During the Last Stand in Gobwin Knob "everything but the dungeon" was wrecked and the whole surface part of the fortress was taken over. Shouldn't that have counted as the garrison falling?
    • Dungeon is a Garrison Zone. As long as they held the dungeon, they still controlled the garrison.

    Living Gobwin Knob Men 

  • In TBFGK page 5, Wanda mentions that Gobwin Knob only has less than two hundred living men remaining among their forces to advance as warlord. And yet... not only are none of these ever seen, but apart from Stanley, Maggie, Sizemore, Wanda, Jack and Misty, no humans are ever seen among Gobwin Knob's forces. Even Stanley's personal knights are exclusively hobgobwins. And Stanley's later suggestion of demoting and replacing Parson doesn't lead to any indication of where any other warlord would have actually come from. So what happened to their other human forces?
    • According to Parson's Stupid Meal there are some 250 Gobwins alone as of Stanley's departure so chances they aren't counted among the candidates for chief warlord what with them being "natural allies" but the list also notes 15 Knights, 32 Archers, 48 Stabbers and 135 pikers which equals roughly 300 and probably represents the chief warlordable pool. Or rather, that number minus the hobgobwin natural allies.
    • Here Jillian discovers some of them as part of the garrison in one of the cities Gobwin Knob captured in the timeskip.
    • Those were popped after the Gobwin Knob battle. At that point, the only survivors of the GK side were the units Stanley took when he fled (himself, Jack, some hobgobwins and dwagons), the units in the Magic Kingdom (Parson, Wanda, Sizemore, Maggie), and a few rock golems and uncroaked.

    Free will 

  • Parson spends a significant amount of time in the first book wondering just how much free will anyone has in Erfworld. Then comes the second book: Wanda has a cool new tool that lets her resurrect a croaked unit. The unit is 100% loyal to her, even if it was formerly an enemy warlord. Can I get a Broken Aesop?
    • I think I missed something here. How is this a Broken Aesop? People in Erfworld don't really have free will unless they're a faction leader. The Arkenpliers simply slave the Loyalty of non-faction-leader units to Wanda. I'm not seeing what you're getting at.
    • What I'm getting at is, in the first book, Parson wonders whether he or anyone else in Erfworld has free will. He even considers the option that only Faction leaders have free will, and if I remember right, he rejects this immediately. He even rejects the sword of ruthlessness to make a point that he's in control of his own life. Then come the Arkenpliers, which are basically one big "boop you" to any discussion or meditation on free will up to that point. Parson wants to think that free will exists in Erfworld, even among lower units (ie the lookamancer), but free will means nothing when your loyalty can be reversed in an instant.
    • I'm not seeing the aesop, broken or otherwise. "Is there free will at all here," "Lolno" isn't much of a Moral of the Story.
    • Besides, there are more than a few stories where free will exists, and there's also some way to brainwash or otherwise remove the free will.
    • The most recent text update indicates that even the Decrypted have some form of free will. Ossomer, even after being decrypted, is ashamed of what he's done and is willing to let his father and his minions kill him without resisting.
    • You can do brain surgery on a person and remove a good deal of their "free will" or saddle them with a crippling chemical dependency that literally rewires their maslow hierarchy but does that mean that debates on free will in our world don't have merit? The issue of free will in Erfworld obviously has a couple of extra dimensions vis a vis mindcontrol and patently divine devices but while Parson has shown free will by breaking the swear filter doesn't automatically make this a free world, nor does it make it a broken aesop when game mechanics are introduced that impinge on free will. In fact if there is an aesop it is that Parson doesn't want to be a tool like seemingly everyone else in the setting.
    • And this strip pretty much completely demolishes this complaint. Decrypted do have free will, they just need to overcome the programming caused by the Arkenpliers.

    Tribes going extinct? 

  • The new Peace Through Superior Firepower updates and the wiki mentions that Wanda, Stanley and Sizemore (and Jeftichew, after the Unaroyal fiasco I'd guess) are all members of extinct or nearly extinct "tribes of men". Okay, it makes sense that sides that get destroyed cease to be, and it's obviously happened before... so... is war on Erfworld slowly killing off "sides/tribes" with no means of introducing new ones? Would there eventually come a time when there would "naturally" only be one side due to attrition?
    • Possibly, but remember, barbarian Nobles that can claim cities can start up a new side (or restart it if they want). That's what Jillian did with Faq and what Tramennis and Slately are planning to do with Jetstone City after Spacerock fell.
    • And barbarian warlords pop randomly (albeit extremely rarely) in wild hexes. I wouldn't be at all surprised if all current sides are descendants of barbarians, maybe with the "royals" simply being a higher species of barbarian.
    • If the population ever gets too low, I suspect Erfworld itself will start popping more tribes. Hell, the Titans could do that if the population gets too low.
    • Peace Through Superior Firepower makes clear that a side can only grow so large before the cities start producing fewer Schmuckers and upkeep becomes too unwieldy. Haffaton is almost against this limit; Jillian notes that most large sides split into two sides.
    • Well, actually, Haffaton is far past the limit, and is cheating the rules with massive amounts of magic and by having basically no army. Gobwin Knob notes that ten-twenty cities is when you start having upkeep problems; Haffaton had over seventy.
    • They do at least seem to have just established with was meant about Tribes of Men: http://archives.erfworld.com/Book%203/44 says that the titans created 99 original royals, and their line of succession is a tribe.

    Royals and family 

  • I get that if a Royal Ruler has another Royal popped, that Royal is considered the first Royal's "son" or "daughter". But Wanda's "father" wasn't Royal. Why are she and Tommy considered his kids? If it's just that they were popped in the same city as him, wouldn't the family be a lot bigger? How do family relationships work?
    • It may just depend on the culture and more specifically the ruler of the side whether popped units are considered sons or daughters or not. Since units are popped knowing a lot about their side, this presumably includes whether the ruler considers them a son or daughter. Plus it may be only restricted to Warlords or Casters both being commanders and thus closer to the leader in the command structure. Finally it's a viable tactic for trying to make sure your units won't betray you (although not always perfect), although in some cases a more professional relationship might be better.
    • It seems like Royals can pop Royals (warlords or casters) in a city they are governing, these are probably considered their children and would be a required status to be popped as an Heir by a Royal (as opposed to being designated/promoted to the position). They might also be able to choose to pop Nobles faster and/or cheaper as warlords/casters and maybe non-commander units (we have not seen any explicit examples yet of a Noble or Royal who was not a commander of some kind). Basically Royals>Nobles>Commoners, where each can pop units of status equal to or less than their own in a city they directly govern.
    • In page 66 of Book 0, King Banhammer deduces that Olive Branch is Charlie's daughter due to the fact that she was popped in the capital of his side (it can be assumed that he considered it obvious that Charlie would also be in the capital). So, perhaps familial ties simply involve whether someone is popped in the same city as the ruler? Also, according to the Erfwiki, cities other than the capital can be assigned a warlord to govern them. Perhaps units popped in those cities would be considered their sons and daughters?
    • It can be assumed that everyone popped by someone is considered family to some degree. If a warlord is the one who orders units to be popped, then they are part of his family. Maybe not his immediate family, but that they come from his line. Remember Stanley is a member of the Plaid family, but his King was a Royal OF THE PLAID family. I suspect it's stats that determine if a person is Royal or not. It can even be possible that the higher the stats one is born with, the higher their "education" level and like in the real world, higher "education" means higher rank. There are units that are popped that have a very faint idea what sex is or how they are supposed to use the weapon they popped. Perhaps it's the average of a unit's starting stats that determine his rank.
    • Stanley was of the Plaid tribe, not family. Of course, by some definitions a tribe is just a really big family, but the point is that he was never accused of patricide, only regicide.
    • That would imply, combined with the above, that those ordered popped by someone are of their tribe and a royal or caster ordered popped by someone are their family.


  • Ceasar (I think it was Ceasar) threatened to drink Jillian's blood, but I thought Erfworlders had no blood?
    • It could be that "blood" simply refers to a person's "life points" or "life force". In the summer updates, we see that Vampires and bats "feed" off certain animals through biting. Why they would use the word "blood", however, is not explained.
    • Erfworlders don't bleed. They could have blood that stays in their bodies instead of pouring out on its own when the skin is broken although how that would work is anyone's guess.
    • The above is basically confirmed by Wanda in the Peace Through Superior Firepower text updates. She mentions when using Croakamancy to uncroak a near-perfectly preserved and repaired Tommy that she did such a good job that even his cheeks and face had blood circulation.


  • Is it Sign-a-mancy, or Sig-na-mancy?
    • Sign-a-mancy. Sign magic. (yes, I know that's not what -mancy actually means, it's a parody)

    FAQ Casters 

  • Fridge Brilliance regarding Faq's lack of Casters in Jillian's new reign: Wanda, Maria, and Jack were all popped by that kingdom under her father, which may be why none have popped for her now. Those cities have expended their ability to pop Casters already.
    • Where was it mentioned that a city can only pop a certain number of casters? Faq does have a Turnamancer. And Wanda wasn't popped there.
    • The Turnamancer is a former Unaroyal, and was hired from the Magic Kingdom. Either way, "limited number of casters" is one of the theories that would explain the fact that new sides pop casters more. Others include simply that newer sides have a higher chance of popping casters, which decays with time, and since Jillian essentially re-established Faq instead of starting a new side, it started out pre-decayed. Both are just theories, however.
    • The lack of native casters may be to show contrast between FAQ under jillian, and under king banhammer. As shown in the text updates, banhammer's FAQ had a whopping eight casters, and that was before they got Wanda.
    • Old Faq's abundance of casters can be put down to Banhammer's constant attempts at popping an heir before he got Jillian, it is also mentioned in one of the other text updates that he tries to pop warlords quite a lot in general. New Faq has a lack of casters purely by chance since, as a relatively new force, they have had less time to pop units than most of the sides and they had to focus on normal, more combat effective, units to make up the bulk of their forces rather than obsessively popping warlords like Banhammer did.
    • Definitely this. Remember, casters can only be acquired by popping warlords, and Faq has only popped one warlord at all since Jillian restarted it. Not too surprising that she didn't hit jackpot on her first try.


  • Erfworld runs on a Command & Conquer Economy; Units dig for gems, gems go in the treasury, the treasury is slowly emptied because they're used for everything. New units pop when gems are spent. Gems are spent as upkeep for units, so food pops for them. Spells cost gems to make and cast. Artifacts cost gems. But unlike the Trope Namer, gems don't grow like weeds. What happens when the gems run out? Parson better get to breaking the very rules of Erfworld, because all life will end if he can't cheat some way of surviving without them.
    • No, popping new units only costs time. Croaking enemy units is implied to give you money, and sacking cities definitely does. It's also implied that natural resources reset when a city is sacked and rebuilt by a new side.
    • There are actually multiple things wrong with both of the statements here: first, cities produce shmuckers; popping units doesn't cost anything besides their upkeep once they've been popped; spells don't cost anything besides juice, the cost came from buying a spell that they didn't otherwise have access to from another caster; artifacts aren't built by by people, they pop into existence, this isn't Exalted; it's never been stated or implied anywhere that croaking units gives shmuckers, nor that natural resources reset; gems are an extra source of income for sides, not primary income sources. Sorry to be blunt, but the problem here stems from misunderstanding things, and I needed to fix that.
    • One more thing to add. Don't mix up artifacts with magic items. They both use magic of course, but magic items are created by casters, link-ups of casters. Artifacts just pop. Arkentools may be considered artifacts, but they are said to have been used to make Erfworld and new Arkentools NEVER pop (it is unknown if they can be destroyed). Magic items and maybe artifacts can be destroyed, however. Parson tossed his sword into lava (the sword could be an artifact since the handle popped in a meal, but Bogroll fabricated the sword itself.) Fabrication is used to make non-magic items, so the sword's nature debatable. The wiki said it is magic, however. Lastly, new gems can be found in a place previously suspected to be mined out as Rockwell found out. All you have to is erupt a volcano to bring the pockets to the surface (just make sure you can escape first...)
    • Bogroll did not fabricate the sword's blade. The three pieces of the sword popped in three of Parson's rations; Bogroll just put them together. It probably is an artifact.
    • Burning a city to the ground supposedly wouldn't destroy the money of the side. Gems can be turned into money and vice versa, so supposedly, destroying the side without taking the shmuckers would cause all the shmuckers to be transformed into gems and buried under the rubble of the cities. In theory.

    No Heir? 
  • Why didn't Stanley appoint an heir between Books 1 and 2? Gobwin Knob has way more than enough Schmuckers, so there's nothing stopping him promoting Ansom or Wanda or Parson, or if he didn't like any of these guys he could just start popping an Heir at Gobwin Knob. It would immeasurably benefit Gobwin Knob by removing their single failure point, which would in turn free Stanley to go conquer some cities or lead an army, thus benefiting him personally as well.
    • Stanley is paranoid, self-absorbed, unimaginative, and only at the end of the Battle of Spacerock did he realize that yes, he actually does like Parson. Parson's the only real option for an heir, since Wanda is already the keystone of their army, making her the heir would be even worse (can casters even be heirs?). Plus, Stanley would probably think popping an heir would be too "Royal."
    • Stanley became Overlord when the king was assassinated. Whether Stanley did it or someone else instigated the rebellion, we don't know, but if Stanley promotes someone, he makes himself wide open for assassination. He no longer trusts Wanda and, Titans know, she would kill him if she thought Parson could use the hammer. He's probably trying to keep the status quo to make his life less perilous. Besides, he has all the time in Erfworld. He doesn't have to make a snap decision to promote anyone. He could spend the money promoting someone and that person could easily be killed, turned against him, or he could decide that person was the wrong choice. Why risk any of those things for a measly leadership bonus when his side is already crushing sides left and right? In short, Stanley has every reason not to promote anyone.

    Spacerock Battle Strategy 
  • Why did Parson use that nutsy "food-fight"/portal-jumping strategy? It seems to me that a much better maneuver would be as follows: Park Wanda, Jack, their mounts, all the Decrypted Archons, and the toughest dwagons into one max-stack right on top of the walls. Park the yellows, reds, and greens in a second max-stack with Ossomer somewhere else on the walls. Use the remaining dwagons to shield against the tower spells. When Jetstone attacks, the Gobwin Knob forces can counterstrike. With Wanda's bonus to the Decrypted Archons (or at least the ones with Shockamancy) and Ossomer's bonus to the dwagons, they'll be making a lot of kills, and every one of those kills will be getting up and fighting for them. Plus, when the dwagons do croak, Wanda can decrypt them, effectively making them twice as tough. With Jack and a number of Foolamancer Archons in the stack, the tower spells and the archers will have a very low chance of hitting Wanda. The dwagons and Archons would get cut to ribbons, but there's a very good chance of wiping out most or all of Jetstone's infantry and ending up with command of the walls and a near-undefended Atrium. Then on their turn Wanda lands and storms the tower, with the Decrypted heavily buffed by her Croakamancy. Why wouldn't this have worked? Is there something I'm missing?
    • There are multiple strategies and tactics that can be used for any given situation. Given the circumstances, you can use the "food fight" exploit to do any number of things. One of my favorite would be have the dwagons fall on top of the walls and engage the archers who are less equipped to deal with hand to hand combat and that could have worked just as well. The point is that Parson wanted to take the city from the bottom up and get to the portal room first so he can be brought in to give the infantry his bonus. His strategy depended on that small detail and your tactics have to work towards fulfilling your strategic goal in the most effective manner. If Maggie had let Stanley pick someone already on the field to be chief warlord, then the strategic goal and therefore the strategy would be different. Sylvia's tactics, for example, would always have included fire tactics. Jack's plan would've involved large amounts of trickery. Wanda's plan would be vicious fighting and an attempt to decrypt high amounts of units as quickly as possible. It just so happens that Parson was in charge and he wanted to be in the battle personally. If he wasn't, his plan would've probably have had a higher focus on the archers. Killing the archers, destroying the atrium ceiling, and using the decrypted archers on the remaining soldiers would've be a variable plan as well if it didn't conflict with the strategic goal of getting Parson in there. Remember, Parson had no "plan". His plan was to get in there and then... there was nothing beyond that. He just made the rest up as he went along and he was thrown through a loop when Sylvia set the tower a lit.
    • Also remember that units can't cross an enemy zone when it's not their turn. Sure, they had the dwagons, but minimal archers (if they even had any), and it's not clear if you're able to use ranged attacks on a different zone when it's not your turn (you can't use ranged attacks to attack another hex when it's not your turn, and city zones function much the same way as hexes in most respects). The yellows were only able to hit the atrium by using their battlecrap to exploit the fall physics (you can't move between zones, but you can fall), but the archons' magic and the other dwagons' breath weapons likely wouldn't have "fallen" at all. Finally, Wanda almost certainly has to be in same zone to decrypt; it's been shown to be relatively short-ranged. So she couldn't just stay flying and decrypt everything on the ground, since it's a different zone.
    • You're probably right about Wanda needing to be in the same zone, but it's explicitly stated that you can attack or cast off-turn if the person whose turn it is attacks first.
  • The problem with this strategy is that it leaves you with no way to really fight back. Gobwin Knob has minimal ranged attackers, only the Archons and some dwagons can hit outside the airspace and Jetstone is repeatedly stated to have more than enough firepower to kill them all twice over, enough that Foolamancy would only delay the inevitable. Jack's strategy was pretty similar; turtle up as hard as you can, hit back if you can. There are two things of significance here. First, Jack specifically states Wanda must be "quick enough to catch us as we fall." so her Decrypting outside the airspace is impossible. Second, as Jack notes when they have new orders, that plan gives them no way to counter attack until their turn, making winning the battle impossible as they will have lost too many by then to take the garrison. The end result would likely be as Jack predicted, their force would have taken a beating but a few of them might have survived to limp home.

     Transporting the Dead to the Magic Kingdom 
  • Okay, I can see that transporting corpses is one thing and may be a natural way to circumvent the "no non-spellcasters" rule given that corpses are probably considered "objects", but how did Adam Antium get through the portal? He was decrypted and a non-spellcaster, but he's clearly seen on the other side of the portal. How did he not disband? Being decrypted would not have changed his status as a warlord.

     Sizemore Hates Parson 
  • Okay, so Sizemore hates Parson because he forced him to kill people, and basically ruined his life. But isn't Parson going through the exact same thing? He never wanted to kill people, and he's been forcibly ripped from his home world. Why doesn't he point this out? He could at least attempt to relate to Sizemore. It's as if Parson doesn't actually mind his situation, which would be OOC as hell.
    And it's not as if it has no tactical application. As long as Sizemore feels this way, there's a major risk of him turning to the first side that can get him off the battlefield, which could very well be Charlescomm. Parson has very good reasons to try and patch things up with him, and emotional "ammunition" to do so. But he doesn't. Why?
    • First off, Sizemore already knows all that. He is just irrational because before Parson arrived and started utilizing his talents, he had the time of his life. Sure, Stanley had him on "latrine duty" from time to time, but he wasn't taken to battles or had to actually put any real effort into his work, which allowed him to spend extended periods of time in the Magical Kingdom, to study magic and to help around the place. He even noted that he has been doing so many small flavors to everyone in the MK that he was a bit of a celebrity, and it all came crashing down with Parson, especially after Spacerock. He is practically a teenager whose carefree lifestyle was suddenly broken by a boatload of responsibility and fighting, and he is being irrational about it. Parson probably wouldn't be able to patch things up with him just yet even if he tried.
    • Calling it "a boatload of responsibility" is a bit of an understatement. He's a pacifist who now has no choice but to kill. And as for Parson, remember that he's a wargamer with minimal social skills. Sure, he's not a Hollywood Nerd who stammers through every sentence, but when he's in a dangerous situation, his first thought is purely tactical. When Sizemore asked for permission to leave, Parson wasn't thinking "My pacifist friend is having a lot of difficulty with all the killing and chaos, I should let him down easy," he was thinking "One of my greatest assets, one of the first targets for my many enemies, wants to leave. I should tell him no."

     Jillian appointing a Chief Warlord 
  • Why does Jillian appoint Duncan Scone as her Chief Warlord? She's at least three levels higher than he is, which if I've done the math right works out to her side-wide bonus being one greater, and her stack and hex bonuses are even more superior. Since she's leading from the front anyway, wouldn't it be substantially to her advantage to appoint herself Chief Warlord?
    • In all likelihood, it's simply not possible. Rulers are supposed to stay behind and think through strategies for the Side itself, not decide tactics for individual battles—and definitely not fight individual battles. Though this might be one of Erfworld's "It's possible but it never even occurs to anyone, so they don't bother trying" things.
    • Also, if she makes herself Chief Warlord she's not able to split her army to face two different threats.
    • It's also possible the ruler provides his or her own separate bonuses in the same manner.

     Betsy's Dis Loyalty 
  • How was Betsy able to get away with Mind Raping Jillian and attempting to destroy her ability to function as a Warlord? Shouldn't her natural Loyalty have prevented her from doing that, or at least caused her to disband for treason?
    • Units can do stupid things that they think will benefit their side as a whole, including disobeying direct orders if need be (see when Jillian nearly got disbanded for insisting on trying to kill Olive, before eventually standing down). Betsy thought that having a warlord inherit the throne of a pacifist would destroy everything he stood for, and resolved to rectify that mistake.
    • Also Betsy considers what she's doing to be helping Jillian, curing her of the disease of bloodlust. Duty probably never even came into it.

     Rushing the Portal 
  • Okay, so Parson needs to get through the portal to Spacerock but can't because there is a pack of thinkamancers in the way, and they can really mess him up if he tries. But with him is a master hippiemancer who could easily render them incapable of attacking (and does so later to stop a brawl). If wouldn't even be against her non-violence ideals as she does the same thing to Jojo earlier with no hesitation. So why was this a problem.
    • One or more of: 1) Rendering them incapable of engaging would not stop them from physically blocking the portal, and attacking would break the Flower Power. 2) A master-class Thinkamancer could counter/reverse the effect. 3) Janis didn't have enough juice to pacify all of them. 4) The thinkamancers have ways of incapacitating Parson that don't count as engagement (putting him in thoughtspace, for example). 5) Parson simply didn't think of it between when Janis stacked with him and when Marie told him to wait for Fate's aid.
    • Janis could suspend the fight, but the enemy casters would target Parson first. According to Marie, he would be stuck down immediately if he rushed the portal. Janis wouldn't have time to react and couldn't suspend the fight until it actually started. By the time she could, it could possibly be too late for Parson. It doesn't help that Parson is so tall. The casters are much shorter and, while they screen most of his body, his head was clearly exposed. A Hoboken to the face may be capable of putting him down for good especially since he was only level two.
    • Finally, while Olive could have prevented all units in a hex from fighting for a turn, that would make it impossible for Parson to fight once he got through the portal rending all the work moot. Also, even if that was an option, we don't know Janis' level and Olive may actually have been a higher level at any rate. (Olive was level 12.) How a Florist specifies a target may be too finicky. Ie, you could only target a full hex, one person, or suspend one fight, but not a select group. Maybe group effects would have an area of effect radius and can't be specified in a way to make everyone else non-hostile while leaving Parson capable of fighting. If that makes sense.

     Decrypting Destroyed Bodies? 
  • So in the final scene of TBFGK, Wanda mass-decrypts most of the Coalition army. However, the bulk of those bodies died in the volcano trap, which should have burnt them to ash, and it's been established that you can't Decrypt a body unless it's at least mostly intact. So how did all those bodies survive getting burnt by molten lava?
    • It may depend on how MUCH of a body is left. If the skin is burned away, then MAYBE they can be brought back with decyption. If the bones are shattered, maybe it is still possible to decypt. If the skin is burned away and the bones ground to dust, maybe then it is impossible. All we know is that Bogroll's body was annihilated very thoroughly. Bodies can survive extreme heat. We have seen that happen. Some of the bodies would be cooked, but decryption would be able to bring them back from that. It's possible that a grand majority of the bodies were incinerated. All we know is that a lot of them were intact enough to bring back.
    • Have you ever seen the Pompeii body casts? It's perfectly possible for a volcano to kill you while still leaving a mostly-intact body.
    • Actually, those aren't bodies in Pompeii at all. They are casts made by archaeologists by pouring plaster of Paris into the voids left in the pyroclastic deposits when the actual bodies were destroyed. In other words, what you are seeing there is almost exactly the opposite of "a mostly-intact body" left behind by a volcanic eruption.
    • Erfworld physics. Dying leaves a corpse behind unless something explicitly destroys the body to prevent reanimation, and a volcano eruption doesn't fit that criteria. Real world physics of eruptions don't apply to Erfworld.
  • The webcomic actually makes money. It's constantly inserting cameos from other series, from Half Life to Megaman. How has it not been sued into the ground yet?
    • That one's easy: Fair Use. As long as the "borrowed" bits A) are small, B) are "transformative" (i.e. they tweak or alter the source material rather than just flat-out copying it), and C) do not constitute any threat or challenge to the profitability of the source material (i.e. no one looking to buy or read Half Life material would consider Erfworld an adequate "substitute"), then it's fine. The actual doctrine of Fair Use is a bit more complicated and nuanced than that, but the gist of it is - making small references to copyrighted works, especially in the context of humor, is usually A-OK.
      • All of the above is true and should protect the comic. There have been cases where big companies attack smaller groups with supposed copywrite violations when fair use protects them, banking on their power being strong enough that the smaller group gives in rather then fight's it even if they could (most commonly when hosted on third parties like youtube since the third party will remove the content immediately and then force the accused to prove their innocent). However, this is usually only done in a few instances, such as when the individual in question has mocked or given a negative review towards the source material that makes the owners of the material want to silence them. In this case the cameo's not only don't harm the source material, but actually help them; as some may see a reference here and check out the source material; bringing new customers to it. Thus it's in the best interest of third parties not to start a fight, particularly since the negative publicity on doing so would be so huge. Basically, legally Erfworld is protected, and logically everyone that gets a cameo is likely glad to have received it so there are multiple reasons not to fight it.
    Why limit to stack of 8? 
  • Why wouldn't a warlord create one stack with all of his units, to ensure everyone receives both his warlord bonus and the max stack bonus? Anything less leaves vulnerable unled; and yet warlords seem to stick to small stacks and split up stacks in the comic.
    • This is addressed by Word of God here. Once a stack reaches 8 adding more units to the stack will decrease the stack bonus, eventually dropping back down to zero. Thus it's better to have multiple stacks with full stack bonus then one uber-stack in many cases. There is also a max stack size (of some sort) which prevents placing every unit in the stack of the strongest warlord to give everyone on your side a large bonus at the expense of sacrificing stack bonus. The various mechanics are described in more detail in the link.

    Archons and portals 

  • Jack mentions here that archons cannot pass through portals, which is why he is surprised when Marie says Lilith will be coming through to the Magic Kingdom. It turns out that Charlie duped the Charlescomm portal so that any unit could pass through. So then his archons come through, a bunch get croaked and decrypted. But here's the thing—Bonnie then takes the Arkenpliers and jumps through the Spacerock portal. There was no mention of that portal being duped, so how did that work?
    • The issue was entering the MK through a Portal was impossible, exiting is a different issue. Any unit inside the MK can exit through a Portal.

    How do leadership and and stacking bonuses apply? 
  • We know that units can gain a + from leadership and stacking bonuses, but how do these pluses actually apply to unit strength? The naive view, which the comic originally seems to imply is that that a leadership bonus equates to a flat increase to attack/defense scores. However, the math doesn't work out as it makes infantry stacks far stronger then they are in comic. For example the stack bonus offers a full +8, however even high value units are never depicted as having higher then a 16 attack, so if stacking bonus equated to a flat increase to stats that would that the stack bonus that almost every unit will gain is worth more then 1/3 of the stats of any unit in stack, no matter how strong. However, Dwagons take at minimum two turns to pop, while infantry pop in full stacks of 8. This would mean that a dwagon stack would less then 3 times as strong as an infantry stack, but take 16 times as long to pop, making them far from cost effective. If one factors in the side wide chief warlord bonus as another flat bonus any unit would benefit from this would further value infantry stacks over high stat units. On the other hand a mere +1 leadership bonus from a level 1 warlord seems to be worth far less then another stack of infantry, which is inconsistent with sides waiting to pop a warlord because of how imperative it would be to an offensive. (to be specific infantry already has 1 to attack/bonus so the addition of a lvl 1 warlord would double base stats, but a stack of infantry would have stack bonus and chief warlord bonus as well meaning two stacks of infantry would seem more powerful then one stack of infantry with a level 1 warlord)
    • A long forum discussion on this tried a number of explanations but none of them fit the few examples of hard numbers provided in the game. In the end the numbers seem quite inconsistent, making any unifying math nearly impossible to present. The likely answer is that the author is only eyeballing the numbers and the system simply isn't logically consistent mathematically. However, the best hand wave so far seems to be that:
      • leadership bonus scales to unit type, meaning higher value units like dwagons gain a larger increase to stats per leadership level, but with infantry gaining the largest effective boost in power (due to their low stats meaning a better scaling even if they get fewer raw stats per level).
      • It seems likely that the higher one's leadership bonus the more one gains from a further increase in the bonus. That is to say a unit would gain more stats from going from +5 leadership to +6 leadership then going from no leadership to +1 leadership.
      • One good potential explanation, though by no means proven, is that each + from leadership equates to one extra effective level, giving that unit the stats they would have if they one one (or more) levels higher then they are. As it happens higher value units like Dwagons usually gain more raw stats per level gained. Likewise as subsequent levels provide (slightly) more base stats then early levels but this is countered by it being increasingly difficult to gain more levels.
      • Stacking bonus must be completely different bonus then leadership bonus, as a +8 from stack bonus appears to be worth far less then a +8 leadership bonus. Most likely leadership and stacking bonuses are synergistic, the higher the leadership bonus (or raw stats) a unit has the more of a benefit a unit gains from a higher stack bonus, and vise versa. Possible explanation is that stacking bonus boosts "defense" while leadership bonus boosts attack (or all stats), so that the stronger an opponent is the more important it is to gain a stack defensive bonus to ensure they last long enough to dish out their high damage.