Erk wrote:First, thinking in terms of real-word vocabulary is useless. In fact, it's more confusing. Games use different definitions; this is an old standard. Consider words like "save", "pass", "turn", and "disband", none of which have the same meaning in a strategy game as they do in 'real life'. Also consider erfworldy words like "decrypt", "barbarian", and "pop": once again, they have their own meaning that has nothing to do with the dictionary definition. I think falling to dictionary definitions for erfworld terms is obfuscating and helps not at all: part of the charm of Erfworld is that it is "so close, and yet so far away".
Actually, I'd think not using dictionary definitions for discussing Erfworld terms is a little like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
All of these terms in games are originally based upon the English they came from, yes, they have different connotations in games and in Erfworld they even have differently described definitions to Erflings because the Erflings describe them in ways they understand, based upon their own experience. However the definitions do translate so definitions in English (especially colloquial definitions) have a great deal in helping us to understand.
Take the verb sack
as an example. To plunder (as a town) especially after capture; to strip of valuables, loot. Synonymous with, though not equivalent to, ravage
Basically speaking it implies taking valuables by force as opposed to by stealth. It has little to do with destroying something completely as in razing
Now the context of course is what defines things further.
Dewey wrote:"What'd they pay us to pull out and not sack it last time? Forty grand? Easy money. No risk." Transylvito had been taking Carport and sacking or ransoming it every dozen turns for as long as most of them had been alive.
So sacking in Erfworld terms is not the same as razing in Earthworld terms, basically if Carpool had been repeatedly destroyed what's the value in rebuilding the city? Would they even have the funds? Transylvito would eventually have been unable to use Carpool as a dependable (however tenuously) source of income by repeatedly destroying it. And destroying it without taking it would have likely been a dumb move. Cities one way or another produce money for the side owning it, Transylvito was just "making a withdrawal" from another side's account.
Actually this kind of strategy along with Caesar's mentioning of Benjamin in context lead me to believe that Transylvito might well have a moneymancer. This might be the entire reason they are threatening Carpool like this instead of taking it. Now Ben might just be a Mathamancer... but I think SOMEone in Transylvito has the shrewdness of a banker...
Anyway, long story short I agree with Erk there about the Erfworld definitions with razing and sacking. We don't have any real evidence of the city necessarily being reduced by one level, but this seems likely to be a significant threat to a city and not to mention that a sacking is probably a better solution in the financial long run than razing to keep a city under control, don't let it get high enough level for it to pose a threat.
I do disagree heavily with the idea of ignoring real world vocabulary. You just need to know how and where to apply it.