1078: "Knights"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
Posts: 196
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:10 pm UTC

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby Velexia » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:57 pm UTC

bisurge wrote:Wow, has a history nerd I found this hilarious.

In the Battle of Agincourt, the French army that outnumbered the English army of Henry the Fifth (the French army also had a significant force of well-trained knights) fought and was defeated by the English because the longbowmen (outranging French archers and crossbowmen) hailed arrows on horses and men. Knights were so heavily armored and their horses were felled from such a distance that they couldn't charge the distance on foot.

I'm late to the thread, but as a non-history nerd, but rather a role-playing game nerd who researches history to create an rpg of my own, I also found this absolutely hilarious... It was totally a gambit, I mean, he invaded France with pretty much nothing but longbowmen, if nothing else to prove a point. He was a king who made bold claims about longbowmen, and preferred them over all else. Back then this was otherwise unheard of.

I thought this comic was brilliant <3

Also, I use this particular battle as my main proof that a longbow with a proper arrow can indeed puncture plate armor ~_^

This battle also happened to be while King Henry was fleeing back to England after nearly conquering France entirely... This was the last major battle (they finally caught up with him, and I am pretty sure he chose the muddy battleground on purpose to slow down the French knights...) and because of his victory he escaped to safety.
Hail Eris!

Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:59 pm UTC

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby jay35 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:23 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:
blowfishhootie wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:Besides the historical context of the joke it's funny because he ignores classical chess rules and replaces pawns with archers.

If people could customize their chessboard I think the game would be popular with more people and teach better strategy.

What, exactly, is stopping people from customizing chess boards?
My king-side zombie is guarded by my velociraptor.

mmm, go on...

Fire Brns
Posts: 1114
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:25 pm UTC

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby Fire Brns » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:51 pm UTC

Sorry for the very late replies.
blowfishhootie wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:Besides the historical context of the joke it's funny because he ignores classical chess rules and replaces pawns with archers.

If people could customize their chessboard I think the game would be popular with more people and teach better strategy.
What, exactly, is stopping people from customizing chess boards?
The availability of usable pieces more than anything.

readin wrote:Shogi! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shogi_variants)

The Japanese did a lot of customizing of chessboards. Other east Asian countries have a version (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiangqi , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janggi ) of chess too.

Having different types of the game is different than different "loadouts" if you will, every chess board is evenly balanced castle to castle, knight to knight it is balanced. Some people can make better use of different pieces. I was aware of most of the varients, shogi is new to me so thanks.
bantler wrote:If people stopped thinking chess represented warfare it would be a lot more popular (It's Space and Time).
People love blood, people hate numbers.
Gye wrote:Not everyone has been stopped.
Thank you for that link.
Netreker0 wrote:I think that FireBrns' comment was referring to each player being able to customize the types and positions of his own pieces and to fight it out within the same game. I think it would be interesting to have a game where the rules were something like "You get a king and any combination of pieces worth 39 points total" or something like that.

These variants are pretty fun, but I don't think they really add a strategic dimension in the same way, unless you count "hey, let's play connect 4 instead because I'm better at that" as a strategy.
this. And I understand your argument against: I for one hate bishops, completely useless to me, for other people they tend to leave knights underused. In all it does less for one's planning as it does shoring up their weaknesses.
Pfhorrest wrote:As someone who is not easily offended, I don't really mind anything in this conversation.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:It was the Renaissance. Everyone was Italian.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:47 pm UTC

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby MrSticky » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:07 pm UTC

The xkcd api for this comic returns the following string for the alt text:
1. Nf3 ... \u00e2\u0086\u0098\u00e2\u0086\u0098\u00e2\u0086\u0098 2. Nc3 ... \u00e2\u0086\u0098\u00e2\u0086\u0098\u00e2\u0086\u0098 0-1

The characters decode to
1. Nf3 ... ↘↘↘ 2. Nc3 ... ↘↘↘ 0-1
instead of
1. Nf3 ... ↘↘↘ 2. Nc3 ... ↘↘↘ 0-1

Does anybody know whom I should report it to?

P.S: I know this is not directly related to the content of #1078 but I don't know where else to post...

User avatar
Posts: 10338
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Postby addams » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:25 am UTC

mcv wrote:
blowfishhootie wrote:Yeah after skimming that Wiki article, this battle was the first to make predominant use of longbowman.

It's not. The Battle of Crecy, the opening battle of the Hundred Years War, was the first to make predominant use of the longbow. There, the French knights also got slaughtered. It was also one of the first battles where all English knights fought on foot instead of horseback. It's possible that the English foot knights played a bigger role in Crecy than in Agincourt, though. So perhaps Agincourt was entirely longbows, whereas Crecy was a mix.

I'm not a historian and don't know all that much about Agincourt (I don't even know where it is), but I do know quite a bit about Crecy. (Wasn't Crecy also the first non-siege battle to use gunpowder? I think it was.)

But ... so what? If there is something funny, insightful, or otherwise worthwhile about this comic, I'm not seeing it.

Chess is supposed to represent warfare. This comic introduces effective archery.

People play that game to this very day.
A game. I thought it was a game.

Well? Chess is something educated people did.
Chess was something Adults did. or; Not.

It was a Choice! It can not be a choice if you can't do it.
I wanted to learn. I asked. "Please, Teach me to play Chess."
The answer was, "Yes."

Be careful what you ask for. Everyday. It was very nice.
I listened. I played. I listened. I played. I lost.

I lost and I lost and I lost. Then one day I won.
I learned to win consistently. He was not a Chess Master.

Then the Real Education or Uneducation, began.
He knew me quite well.
He had previously explained what each piece means and how that effects the motion of the pieces on the board.

I would pick a picce up to move it and he would say,
"You hold ten thousand men in your hand."
"Are you willing to sacrifice ten thousand men for That?"

Those turned into some weird conversations.
Do you know how much Shit it takes to move Ten Thousand Men?!

Yes? Now think about before the Internet!
Ten Thousand Men? Good God!
Have you ever Seen ten thousand men?

Those conversations made us hungry.
We had a Cook! She was Great!
He was in love with her and for good reason.

I was a child. What were you?

I was going to Study War; No More, No More.
I decided that while playing Chess. I don't play Chess, much.
When I play I usually lose. I don't mind losing. Is it War?

War? We study War? Why? So we can be good at it?
The Arms Race? Strategy? Psychology? War?

Or; A friendly game of Australian Football?
Now; We are going to give them,,,,,what?
What would make the game more interesting?

In my opinion? When it Ends.
I don't care who wins.
Where do we eat?

Edit: I was Remembering those Chess games.
I did come up with New Rules. Don't most people?

I could win. He could win. The regular way.
I went back to being a contented loser.

I played for enjoyment. He figured out what I was doing.
He asked me. I told. I don't have Secrets.

For me wining was Keeping the Good Pieces.
I liked the Queen and the Church.
They could make such wonderful sweeping moves.

The Generals are so Stilted and Rule Bound.
The Rule boundedness also allows them to do The Unusual.
That is true in Chess and it is also true in 3D Real Life.

The Rooks are nice, but not people.
Those are buildings.
They provide protection, provide stability; Not people.

I did not care for the King. He was next to useless.
I would ask for the King to be as unimportant as he really is, sometimes.

If I had both Bishops and the Queen and more pawns than the other guy, I felt like a Winner.
What else do you really need? Without the Queen and the Bishops what is the point?

If I look at a board and the winner has sacrificed The Church: All Faith, All Depth, All Quiet Imagination.
Well; What does that player have left?

I don't dislike any piece. The King is sure a worthless guy.
He can't do much. It does make sense. He is Just a Man.
Like a Pawn. Not much different. We have a bunch of them.

Keep as many of the pawns as possible. Protect the Church and the Queen.
Use the Generals and the Rooks to do it. Every pawn saved is both a joy and a responsibility.

It is so funny. Once we have learned to play the normal way it is natural to protect the King.
I simply found another way. I was a happy loser, if I had the important stuff when the King was all Checked Out.

We talked about War. We talked about What Now?

If we each had the pieces on the board, how would Life begin again, Now that The War is over?
If I had the Queen and the Bishops and a fair number of Pawns, Civility would be easily expressed.

There was less laughing then. I would laugh much more, now.
Then we were talking in serious terms about What brings Meaning into the lives of the Pawns.

The Queen was a female form. The Queen sets the standard for other women.
In our imaginary play world of Chess, Nearly all pawns had a Mrs, Pawn.

What did we do with Mrs, Pawn? Mrs. Pawn was of great interest to The Queen and they were interested in her, too.
Of course, we discussed Religion. Mrs. Pawn, The Queen and the Pawns all turned to the Church, equally.

The Church of the Days of Long ago Forgotten Wars was important.
The Church held hope. The Church held Peace. The Church guided and still does guide the Human Imagination.
The Church had those big sweeping moves.
So like the Real Deal. The Queen, The Men in Dresses and the Pawns. Anything else is Gravy.

Sounds Stupid. I know.

If I were playing that game today we would call the Bishops, Media.
Media; The guardians of our Imaginations. Media; The champions of the Soul.

The Queen? Yes. Those mean Bitches on Reality TV.
The King? Donny Trump. or; That Cheney Look-a-Like.
Worthless as usual.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 119 guests