We know that Jillian was able to sustain herself while on the run from Haffaton, and Jillian was already a high level warlord in Book 0. I don't think we've ever heard anything about why shmuckers become a problem for large sides, but perhaps the invisible connections between the cities of a side need to be maintained by a shmucker cost. I'm going to assume that it's not possible for that cost to be so high that their cities produce negative shmuckers, because that would be a bit strange. If all of that is true (and I have no actual evidence that it is), then it could be that if a single side owned every city site in Erfworld then that side would get exactly zero shmuckers of income from their cities. For any normal side that would mean they were incapable of supporting an army even close to big enough to defend themselves from barbarians, since their only source of upkeep would be farms and any unit they send out foraging is not a unit that's defending a city. None of that applies to Wanda World, since it only has one unit that requires upkeep. A single farm should be more than enough to cover that, and if not then whole armies could be deployed to do nothing but forage for her.0beron wrote:We don't know how much income actually suffers versus how much her upkeep would cost (or if Rulers even HAVE an upkeep), and we don't know if foraged rations can completely replace upkeep.
That's true, but it seems highly unlikely that there actually are different rules. Surely it would have been mentioned if Jillian had reduced upkeep requirements as a fugitive, and there's no one to pay her upkeep other than herself. If her captors had to pay some of it, then no one would ever escape; what chance do you have as a fugitive if you are still dependent on your captor for upkeep?0beron wrote:However, Jillian was a Fugitive at that point, so different rules may apply than normal.
I looked for that. Instead I found Book 0, Episode 45: "For one thing, she was now on her own for upkeep. And she had no purse, like a barbarian would have. So besides escape and evasion, she had her mind on foraging. If she couldn’t hunt or forage enough for a meal, then her move would drop to zero, the chains would reappear, and she would become a captive again. Haffaton would again become responsible for her upkeep, and their Ruler (whoever that was) would know her exact location."0beron wrote:I think she even specifically said she had to fulfill a certain portion of her upkeep, not the whole thing.
0beron wrote:Thanks to the power of dwagon relays, and the absence of a juice cost on Decryption, Wanda COULD travel through the entire world every single turn to Decrypt freshly acquired Barbarians, and in fact would need to in order to financially stay afloat. Jillian made a comment about Haffaton's size that tells us the Diminishing Schmucker point isn't just a flat nerf, but a penalty that continues to worsen the further you go past it. Conquering the entire world would mean that perhaps even paying only Wanda's upkeep is a hard burden to carry. As I see it, this is the only possible known limit to Wanda World, as she continues to increase in level from all the Decryption, her upkeep alone may drive the side income into the red, eventually emptying the Treasury. Unless she is able to forage for enough of her upkeep without any detrimental effect on her body.
ftl wrote:Oh man! That's a limitation that's new and hadn't been thought of!
As Wanda keeps doing the decryption, her level will keep increasing and so will her upkeep, eventually reaching a point where there isn't enough resource production in her decrypted empire to support her!
0beron wrote:There is absolutely no basis for the idea that diminishing schmuckers is dependent on the total combined levels of your cities, this is simply an old theory that someone may have suggested before sufficient evidence arose, and has persisted falsely. Jillian specifically reacted to the NUMBER of cities Haffaton had, without hearing anything about their levels. Moreover, the idea is also counter-intuitive because if that were true, sides would never want to upgrade cities.
Otherwise I agree with you, even if income drops to 0, there should be enough farms to sustain Wanda as the only upkeep-needed unit. Assuming of course that food can totally replace the cost of upkeep, which is an assumption we can probably make safely, but one for which there is not actually evidence.
After a certain number of city levels per side, the Shmuckers each city produced would begin to decline.
Now that we've established that diminishing shmuckers really does result from the sum of the levels of the cities, we're left to figure out why sides would want to upgrade cities. I think the most obvious explanation is that the size and value of the city is not directly proportional to the level, so a single level 2 city is probably more than twice as big as a level 1 city, and produces more shmuckers and units than two level 1 cities. I think this also fits with the fact that there are only 5 levels of city to cover everything from the very smallest outposts to the very biggest cities, and I find it hard to believe that the very biggest cities are just five tiny outposts clustered together.0beron wrote:Moreover, the idea is also counter-intuitive because if that were true, sides would never want to upgrade cities.
Lilwik wrote:Now that we've established that diminishing shmuckers really does result from the sum of the levels of the cities, we're left to figure out why sides would want to upgrade cities. I think the most obvious explanation is that the size and value of the city is not directly proportional to the level, so a single level 2 city is probably more than twice as big as a level 1 city, and produces more shmuckers and units than two level 1 cities.
That's true, but consider Haffaton. That was a side that clearly had plentiful city levels, so much so that they weren't even defending many of their cities, like Diecast (Episode 36), Goodminton (Episode 47) and even Efbaum. Surely by the time Haffaton was destroyed it had long ago stopped expanding and level 2 cities still produce more shmuckers than level 1 cities so there would be little reason to downgrade the cities at that point, but why would they have any level 2 cities like Diecast and Goodminton? When they were still expanding they must have been aware of how they were pushing against diminishing shmuckers, so if two level 1s are just as good as one level 2, I would expect them to make a level 1 out of each city that they conquer before moving on to the next city. These cities were only defended by a handful of units, and that few units could surely live quite comfortably in a level 1 city, and then Haffaton could expand far further before running into shmucker problems. It seems like level 2 is somehow optimal for near-empty cities, even though it contributes twice as much to causing diminishing shmuckers.Chit Rule Railroad wrote:Well, it's certainly true that a level 2 city produces more units than a level 1 city you have and a level 1 city you don't, and each Side's territory only has a limited number of city sites. We don't know if upgraded cities would be a feature of a competition-free Erfworld.
drachefly wrote:Their having L2 cities suggests that:
1) the income doesn't drop to exactly zero, so more is always better, and they were in the middle of a slow-paced upgrading scheme
2) they weren't thinking optimally
3) there are both potentially large resource multipliers on city cites, and site-based level caps
something I haven't thought of
It seems unlikely that those cities were producing units since they were practically deserted. It's possible that downgrading a city doesn't recover shmuckers, but it wouldn't require razing the city, so the units available to the city wouldn't change, except of course that the level 1 city couldn't produce everything that it could at level 2. If they're not actually producing units there, then all they could value is the potential to produce those units, and they would still have that because they could always upgrade the city.Chit Rule Railroad wrote:4) Razing and rebuilding would have replaced the unit types produced by Diecast and Goodminton with the standard Haffaton unit types. If there is no way to recover shmuckers from a city except by razing it, and if Haffaton wanted those unit types, they may have seen keeping the cities at level 2 as a necessary evil.