The fact that I gave a burrowing unit battlecrap is a reflection of my general approach to unit design in this game. Specifically, "know what flavor you want, and then kick the rules until they fit". I wanted to build a gigantic burrowing unit that could utterly shred things by coming up from beneath them and devouring them. So there I am, looking at the unit options- and hey, this ability gives a massive damage boost against ground units only! Could it be any more perfect for that unit concept? Sure, it's called "battlecrap" in the specials listing, but what does that matter? It's just Signamancy, as they say. That statistical bonus could be expressed in hundreds of ways.
0beron wrote:And also, as a rule of thumb, we try and stick as close to the comic evidence as possible, so the hypothetical of a monkey flinging poo isn't really relevant to the spirit of the game.
A giant monkey flinging poo is 100% Erfworld-flavor compliant. There comes a point at which one has to break free of strict comic evidence and start making things up so that everyone can have a better time without sweating the details, and unit design is one of those points. It would be non-fun to only allow the use of units and unit types seen in the comic, so we're making them up- and that demands a certain willingness to be flexible. As long as a unit is flavorful (references and jokes incorporated into its design give bonus points) and within the general ballpark of balanced, it's fine.
Related to this, I would much rather have a couple dozen generically-named specials which we then have individual players provide the flavor for than super-detailed and super-specific specials that only really make sense in flavor when considering the specific unit they were designed for. While Erfgame is intended to accurately model Erfworld as much as possible, it's also intended to be a playable game, and flexibility and generic components are generally good game design features in a large system like this.