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Apt has a problem with the Vord SPOILERS to wherever Apt is at

#1 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 10:35 PM

I am 1/3 of the way through the last book in Jim Butcher's Codex Alera Series.

I really enjoy Butcher's writing and I love the character's in this series nearly as much as the Dresden Files but:

DON'T LOOK IN HERE UNLESS YOU HAVE READ AT LEAST UP BOOK 5!

Spoiler

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 11:31 PM

Apt, constantly missing the point since 2005.
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Posted 25 November 2013 - 01:21 AM

View Postamphibian, on 24 November 2013 - 11:31 PM, said:

Apt, constantly missing the point since 2005.


Indeed.

Apt, dude. You KIND of have to read the whole series before making comments that broad about the enemy.

:(
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Posted 25 November 2013 - 02:20 AM

Apt is wrong in the macro sense, but kinda right in at least one micro sense:

Spoiler

They came with white hands and left with red hands.
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Posted 25 November 2013 - 04:53 AM

View PostCrustaceous Apt, on 24 November 2013 - 10:35 PM, said:

I am 1/3 of the way through the last book in Jim Butcher's Codex Alera Series.

I really enjoy Butcher's writing and I love the character's in this series nearly as much as the Dresden Files but:

DON'T LOOK IN HERE UNLESS YOU HAVE READ AT LEAST UP BOOK 5!

Spoiler



Your problem is that the author created a serious challenge for the heroes to overcome?

...ummm...
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Posted 25 November 2013 - 04:45 PM

View PostAbyss, on 25 November 2013 - 04:53 AM, said:

Your problem is that the author created a serious challenge for the heroes to overcome?

...ummm...


Not serious. Impossible.

Spoiler

This post has been edited by Crustaceous Apt: 25 November 2013 - 04:55 PM

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:02 PM

i've moved this to its own thread so we can chastise Apt to a snivelling wreck discuss w/out monopolizing the reading thread....

SPOILERS UNBLOCKED SPOILERS
NO BLOCKS SPOILERS FROM HERE ON


SPOILERS FOR THE ALERA BOOKS
UP TO WHEREVER APT IS AT


THAT MEANS DON'T TELL HIM ABOUT HOW TAVI MERGES WITH A VORD TO BECOME VORDIMUS PRIME DON'T SPOIL WHATEVER HE HASN'T READ YET
UNLESS HE PISSES YOU OFF
THEN IT'S FINE



OK IT'S NOT FINE BUT WHATEVER


SPOILERS


View PostCrustaceous Apt, on 25 November 2013 - 04:45 PM, said:

...]The rate with which they expand is preposterous. From a purely physical, biological point of view that doesn't involve magic, the Vord should not be able to reproduce at the rate they are. The acceleration of growth both in terms of the croach and the warriors themselves is insane. Furthermore, seeing as the Vord are shown as being biological in nature and in need of sustenance, their prolonged existance should be untenable. The croach alone, being a billion square kilometer digestive system, should be unable to feed itself, let alone millions of large animals....


leaving aside that we're arguing the practical reality of a fantasy series, the entire point of the Vord is that they are a vicious, rapidly expanding, all absorbing hive-mind. The croach can grow on grass.

Quote

One soldier among the Vord is shown at various time to be as strong as a powerful earthcaster, faster than a normal human being, has a shell that can't be by pierced by normal weaponry, they don't need sleep or rest and they have no fear.


And the average Aleran has at least one Fury that can overcome most of that.

Quote

Admittedly at other points Butcher ignores these characteristics but that is basically what they demonstrate. There's hundreds of thousands of them if not millions. And that is the work of one queen.


I vaguely recall in bk 4 or 5 there was more than one Queen.

Quote

If Butcher hadn't written in a handicap that meant that the Queens weren't multiplying the entire series should have been over by book 3.


But if that wasn't an issue then they would have won and it wouldn't be much of a story. Isn't that as 'fabricated' as making them weaker?

Quote

Don't get me started on the various ways that the Vord could easily circumvent the normal tactics of armed combat. The taker bugs alone would be sufficient to kill every last living being on the continent. Then you have wasps that act like shrapnel grendades. And flying Vord Knights. And walking tanks. Why doesn't the Vord Queen just spread the Vord into every water source like a water born parasite. From what she demonstrates and what she says she can do with any known human illness this would be easy.


As a starting point, it's pretty clear in the story that the Vord never needed tactics because they could simply overwhelm any opposition with sheer numbers.
As the story progresses that changes and the Vord start to adapt with things like Vord Knights, etc, but slowly.

Now you're going to say 'well that's stupiud why couldn't they adapt faster' but that's sort of like saying 'why didn't they just develop tactical nukes'... they didn't know how but they were learning.

Quote

Basically what I am saying the enemy is so strong that it makes no sense that the Alerans are ever going to win. There is literally nothing that has been shown by the Alerans or Canim during the books that would give them any kind of edge over the Vord.


The Canim had little warning and no Furies, so they lost.

The Alerans have both those things and that's the point of the story, after all.

I mean sure, the thermal exhaust port is always oh so conveeeeeeenient, but someone has to make the trench run and drop a photon torpedo into it and the bad guys don't just sit around staring while that happens.

Quote

I suspect that the Alera God Fury he introduces in book 5 is going to be the deus ex mechanism he uses to solve the problem I'm just waiting to see how it unfolds. Before Tavi gained his powers in book 4 I actually suspected that the way he was going to become First Lord, was some kind of Origin mystery where he has to track down the original source of the Fury's connection to the Aleran/Roman peoples.

(Also it is really pissing me off that Invidia doesn't just incinerate the queen at any given moment)


All will be explained. I can't guess whether you'll be satisfied with it, but the ending is reasonably complete.

Quote

To reiterate I don't like stories where you make the bad guy, or hero for that matter (I am looking at you Superman), so powerful that you have to build in handicaps in the story to make it work. Truth be told I would have prefered a much more mundane "World War" between the Canim and Alerans and maybe a less insane version of the Vord


I'm fine with the measure of the challenge being matched by the measure of the hero of the story. This isn't Abercrombie's THE HEROES, it's a series that was thought up based on Pokemon and Lost Roman Legions... suggest you just go with it.
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Posted 25 November 2013 - 08:22 PM

I'm with Apt on this. (Although I really have a problem with the whole series, but I seem to be alone in that.)

The way the Vord are described in the first attacks, where a very small number of them completely shred a load of Alerans, is really at odds with the way they battle them later on in the series.

They are giant insect tanks (Starship Troopers anyone?) that are fast and all but invulnerable in really small numbers. So I could never quite visualise how hundreds of thousands of these killing machines were being held in check by 'battle lines' of Aleran soldiers, and not just walking right over and through them.

It would have been more believable if the Vord hadn't been quite so overwhelmingly powerful, or if there was a different enemy entirely. As it was based on Pokemon, I think more Fury against Fury battles would have been nice.

This post has been edited by Traveller: 27 November 2013 - 08:14 PM

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 09:07 PM

The Vord don't have autonomous minds.

Butcher built that in from the start that they're less independent than the average bug. Consider the average honeybee. They fly out, find food, bring it back to the hive, eat, defend the nest by flying straight at the enemy and that's it. The queen can direct more creative action, but she has to be there. The vord/human hybrids can think a bit more, but they're still mostly human.

In battle, prepared Aleran soldiers can mash enemies coming straight at them. They do that again and again, especially the noblemen like Kalarus.

This is one of the odder things that Apt has picked to fixate on in a long time.

This post has been edited by amphibian: 25 November 2013 - 09:08 PM

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 11:09 PM

He does (brace yourselves) have kind of a point though. Even with slightly superhuman strength and powers, Roman tactics don't account for car-sized sword-proof bugs outnumbering them about one squillion times over. I liked the series, the whole ending thing with hubris and shenanigans was fine, but the vord are just boring to me - why invent the hornets when you could give the takers their wings? Why not let emotional firecrafting disrupt the hive mind locally? What the hell are the vord going to do once they take over the world and cannot sustain the croach anymore with captured animals and they've leeched all nutritional value out of the soil? What is the Aleran continent going to do about Canea when it's outnumbered Australia to infested Asia wise? How did Isana say all those fucking words with a sword in her gut?!
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Posted 26 November 2013 - 07:20 AM

Just a heads up I am not ignoring the replies in this thread. I wrote up a long reply last night and then my browser ate it. I was too irritated to retype it but I'll reply in the evening. I hope.
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Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:13 PM

View PostAbyss, on 25 November 2013 - 07:02 PM, said:

View PostCrustaceous Apt, on 25 November 2013 - 04:45 PM, said:

...]The rate with which they expand is preposterous. From a purely physical, biological point of view that doesn't involve magic, the Vord should not be able to reproduce at the rate they are. The acceleration of growth both in terms of the croach and the warriors themselves is insane. Furthermore, seeing as the Vord are shown as being biological in nature and in need of sustenance, their prolonged existance should be untenable. The croach alone, being a billion square kilometer digestive system, should be unable to feed itself, let alone millions of large animals....


leaving aside that we're arguing the practical reality of a fantasy series, the entire point of the Vord is that they are a vicious, rapidly expanding, all absorbing hive-mind. The croach can grow on grass.


But this is my point, unless the Vord is functioning on magic, it is not even remotely realistic that the can do what they do. The croach isn't just a big root like system like the ones we have in Yellow Stone and the like. It is a digestive system that transports large amounts of nutrients across an unimaginably large network of biological material. If the stuff was an inactive sort of spider web I could understand it but it show to be alive and active. How it is able to absorb enough energy to feed itself I have no idea. But the more crazy part is the very large soldiers and drones that the Queen is churning out. Where does she get the energy and mass from? What is sustaining this million strong army of Vord?

The obvious answer is of course that the Vord are like locust they multiply, consume everything and then die out later but the difference lies in the size of the things. A billion locust will eat an entire countries harvest in a matter of days or weeks. A million human sized (or bigger) locust... what the hell are the living off of? The grass? Sunshine?

View PostAbyss, on 25 November 2013 - 07:02 PM, said:

Quote

One soldier among the Vord is shown at various time to be as strong as a powerful earthcaster, faster than a normal human being, has a shell that can't be by pierced by normal weaponry, they don't need sleep or rest and they have no fear.


And the average Aleran has at least one Fury that can overcome most of that.


And they then go on to kill a couple of Vord or even ten if they are lucky. That's when the other thousand Vord step into the line.


View PostAbyss, on 25 November 2013 - 07:02 PM, said:

Quote

Admittedly at other points Butcher ignores these characteristics but that is basically what they demonstrate. There's hundreds of thousands of them if not millions. And that is the work of one queen.


I vaguely recall in bk 4 or 5 there was more than one Queen.


There was and is. At the end of book 5 they leave the Canim continent with at least one Queen left. How ever all the queens are being born infertile because the proto-queen is protecting herself from assassination. She's stopped making more queens because they all try to kill her.

View PostAbyss, on 25 November 2013 - 07:02 PM, said:

Quote

If Butcher hadn't written in a handicap that meant that the Queens weren't multiplying the entire series should have been over by book 3.


But if that wasn't an issue then they would have won and it wouldn't be much of a story. Isn't that as 'fabricated' as making them weaker?


I see the point but this where I would argue that instead of dialing back the opposition you turn up the defensive position.

It's like that argument I once had with you about Superman. I wanted them to make superman less overpowered in the next movie. More like the old 40s guy who could only jump really high and throw around with big robots (all though that is probably dialing his powers back a bit too far). You argued that it would be much better if they scaled the threat to match Supermans powers instead. Giant Space Robots and Darkseid and Brainiac, etc. An argument I agree with.

The point here is that I feel that they made the good guys chances of survining, not just slim put not existing.


View PostAbyss, on 25 November 2013 - 07:02 PM, said:

Quote

Don't get me started on the various ways that the Vord could easily circumvent the normal tactics of armed combat. The taker bugs alone would be sufficient to kill every last living being on the continent. Then you have wasps that act like shrapnel grendades. And flying Vord Knights. And walking tanks. Why doesn't the Vord Queen just spread the Vord into every water source like a water born parasite. From what she demonstrates and what she says she can do with any known human illness this would be easy.


As a starting point, it's pretty clear in the story that the Vord never needed tactics because they could simply overwhelm any opposition with sheer numbers.
As the story progresses that changes and the Vord start to adapt with things like Vord Knights, etc, but slowly.

Now you're going to say 'well that's stupiud why couldn't they adapt faster' but that's sort of like saying 'why didn't they just develop tactical nukes'... they didn't know how but they were learning.


I agree partially. It does tale them time to adapt. How ever the Queen learned what she needed to when she first faced the Alerans. 2 or 3 years pass after that event in which she could easily have created much more insidious warriors.

They do use tactics, part of those tactics is to create warriors perfectly suited for the task in hand.


View Postamphibian, on 25 November 2013 - 09:07 PM, said:

In battle, prepared Aleran soldiers can mash enemies coming straight at them. They do that again and again, especially the noblemen like Kalarus.


Yet when we see their attacks against Alerans in book 2. both in the Calderon Valley and in the Capital, they are shown to be more than a match for veteran soldiers and elite palace guards.

I realise that the counter argument here is that Aleran soldiers fighting in a unified formation are far more effective but these tactics get thrown out of the window when we see the Vord simply jumping over lines, flying through the air or using takers to create sleeper agents in the soldiers midsts.

The true strength I admit lies in the High Born. From what we see at the Battle of Ceres and the Capital the High Born are ridiculously destructive. It sort of bothers me that they didn't "just" employ hit and run tactics to nuke the Vord again and again instead of relying on footsoldiers.
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Posted 28 November 2013 - 01:39 AM

Apt has a problem with voiding? I'd get that prostate checked man.
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Posted 28 November 2013 - 02:02 AM

View PostCrustaceous Apt, on 27 November 2013 - 04:13 PM, said:

...unless the Vord is functioning on magic, it is not even remotely realistic that the can do what they do.


...ummm...



Quote

...What is sustaining this million strong army of Vord?

... what the hell are the living off of? The grass? Sunshine?


SCIENCE!!!

...and the million or so acres the croach has covered. So yes, grass. And everything else.


Quote

View PostAbyss, on 25 November 2013 - 07:02 PM, said:

...the average Aleran has at least one Fury that can overcome most of that.


And they then go on to kill a couple of Vord or even ten if they are lucky. That's when the other thousand Vord step into the line.


Yes. That's why the Vord are good at being bad.
Unless you take out the Queen.

Quote

...
I see the point but this where I would argue that instead of dialing back the opposition you turn up the defensive position.

It's like that argument I once had with you about Superman. I wanted them to make superman less overpowered in the next movie. More like the old 40s guy who could only jump really high and throw around with big robots (all though that is probably dialing his powers back a bit too far). You argued that it would be much better if they scaled the threat to match Supermans powers instead. Giant Space Robots and Darkseid and Brainiac, etc. An argument I agree with.

The point here is that I feel that they made the good guys chances of survining, not just slim put not existing.


The average Aleran soldier can light things on fire with their mind, punch a rock in half and/or fly. Then there are the High Lords.
Not exactly lightweights waiting to be slimed.

Quote

... It does tale them time to adapt. How ever the Queen learned what she needed to when she first faced the Alerans. 2 or 3 years pass after that event in which she could easily have created much more insidious warriors.

They do use tactics, part of those tactics is to create warriors perfectly suited for the task in hand.


'Easily' according to who. We see again and again that the Queen can't even grasp how the Alerans haven't all been eaten already. She not used to being opposed and adapting to deal with it is a radical species shift.

Quote

...
The true strength I admit lies in the High Born. From what we see at the Battle of Ceres and the Capital the High Born are ridiculously destructive. It sort of bothers me that they didn't "just" employ hit and run tactics to nuke the Vord again and again instead of relying on footsoldiers.


They're still vulnerable and can be exhausted, and there is a finite amount of them. And they aren't used to fighting what they're fighting. Plus what good are hitrun tactics when your enemy isn't going to run away, take cover, or even shake morale... but we're getting close to spoiler territory.

Suggest you finish the series and see if any of your questions are answered.
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Posted 15 December 2013 - 10:42 PM

The Vord are actually one of the things that really stood out in the series for me (I'm on record, I believe, as being one of the unbelievers- I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it). It's not the first slavering-mass-of-chitin Zergling-type enemy I've read in fantasy novels (Eddings has done it - in a series far worse, Steph Swainston has done it - in a series overall better, and there have been other, less-insectoid variations like The Enemy in Riftwar) but it's by far the best presented in terms of their seeming implacability and the desperation the protagonists feel when facing them.
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Posted 23 March 2015 - 03:11 AM

My big problem with the series was how they didn't explain why
Spoiler
Unless they did and I'm missing something?

Oh and somewhere in the last book the Queen says they have devoured other worlds before - so the Vord are like interplanetary/ interdimensional locusts that do move on once they're done ravaging. Very reminiscent of Independence Day actually. Which begs the question why the Prime Queen sat quietly in the Wax forest for hundreds/ thousands of years instead of just y'know, going forth and multiplying?

Ha - thread necro FTW. I just finished the series, so...

This post has been edited by Skywalker: 23 March 2015 - 03:11 AM

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 04:10 AM

View PostSkywalker, on 23 March 2015 - 03:11 AM, said:

My big problem with the series was how they didn't explain why
Spoiler
Unless they did and I'm missing something?

Oh and somewhere in the last book the Queen says they have devoured other worlds before - so the Vord are like interplanetary/ interdimensional locusts that do move on once they're done ravaging. Very reminiscent of Independence Day actually. Which begs the question why the Prime Queen sat quietly in the Wax forest for hundreds/ thousands of years instead of just y'know, going forth and multiplying?

Ha - thread necro FTW. I just finished the series, so...


Thread necro respect, y'all. The queen looked like Kitai bcs Kitai was her mother, in that weird vord way because Kit and Tavi were the ones to wake up the sleeping queen in the first book. The sub queens resembled their own queen.
She sat there until something with the right DNA came along and woke her up and no don't overthink it it's not worth overthinking.
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Posted 23 March 2015 - 11:33 AM

View PostAbyss, on 23 March 2015 - 04:10 AM, said:

View PostSkywalker, on 23 March 2015 - 03:11 AM, said:

My big problem with the series was how they didn't explain why
Spoiler
Unless they did and I'm missing something?

Oh and somewhere in the last book the Queen says they have devoured other worlds before - so the Vord are like interplanetary/ interdimensional locusts that do move on once they're done ravaging. Very reminiscent of Independence Day actually. Which begs the question why the Prime Queen sat quietly in the Wax forest for hundreds/ thousands of years instead of just y'know, going forth and multiplying?

Ha - thread necro FTW. I just finished the series, so...


Thread necro respect, y'all. The queen looked like Kitai bcs Kitai was her mother, in that weird vord way because Kit and Tavi were the ones to wake up the sleeping queen in the first book. The sub queens resembled their own queen.
She sat there until something with the right DNA came along and woke her up and no don't overthink it it's not worth overthinking.


Katai's blood woke the queen.
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Posted 23 March 2015 - 09:46 PM

Yah, the bug bit her butt.
They came with white hands and left with red hands.
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Posted 24 March 2015 - 01:50 AM

As said above the Queen had both of their blood and became their de facto daughter. She became "defective" because of the Furies. Yes they are Aliens so the I Day reference is valid.

Also you know this is coming: Alera FUCKING A!!!
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