0839: "Explorers"

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0839: "Explorers"

Postby Internetmeme » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:08 am UTC

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http://xkcd.com/839/
Alt text: We're going to have to work together to get over our hangups if we're going to learn to move on Catan's hexagonal grid. It's bad enough that we lost our crew of pawns when we passed within firing range of Battleship.

I...is this settlers and chess? I don't get it.
Or, is it chess branching out to the "new world" of gaming (ie battleship and settlers), wherein chess represents Europe and the old world due to the obvious monarchy (king and queen), clergy (bishops), and large peasentry (pawns)?

edited for clearly wrong facts
Last edited by Internetmeme on Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:39 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Spoiler:

thisismactan
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby thisismactan » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:11 am UTC

NO!!! a3 is a BLACK SQUARE god dammit!

Is it bad if I registered simply to whine about that?

lolwut
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby lolwut » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:11 am UTC

the knight can totally get to that square in a few moves

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mdyrud
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby mdyrud » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:13 am UTC

Settlers isn't a computer game. Everything referenced is a board game.

atomfullerene
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby atomfullerene » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:13 am UTC

Randall get out of my head! I've totally been working on a board game mashup strategy game involving elements from Catan.

black_hat_guy
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby black_hat_guy » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:14 am UTC

Knight shouldn't be so upset. The food's blocking Bishop, so Knight can just go to e1 and then capture it. [Edit]: On the other hand, Bishop can just capture the food and trap Knight on e1. Of course, then Bishop would also be trapped.
lolwut wrote:
lolwut wrote:the knight can totally get to that square in a few moves

Only problem is, that section of the board has been disconnected.
Last edited by black_hat_guy on Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:33 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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CorruptUser
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:15 am UTC

The mission ended in disaster when they landed on someone's hotel.

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby darknut » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:17 am UTC

lolwut wrote:the knight can totally get to that square in a few moves


no he can't, didnt fully get it at first but there on a 3x3 board which is supposed to be a boat sailing the coast of catan doing recon work
since its 3x3 it would be imposible for the knight to get to the center square, unless you consider moving off the board legal
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:19 am UTC

Yay! Funny xkcd!
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Steve the Pocket » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:22 am UTC

I could totally see a whole series springing from this. Or even just a text story.
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby black_hat_guy » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:25 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:I could totally see a whole series springing from this. Or even just a text story.

That would be awesome. (If he did it right, of course. Otherwise it would be very repetitive and annoying.) It could happen. "Explorers" is the kind of title that would make sense for a series.
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby StrategyRose » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:31 am UTC

I created an account just to say this: The white and black squares are reversed. The Bishop claims to be on a3, a black square (similarly the knight is on c3, a black square).

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Internetmeme » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:50 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:The mission ended in disaster when they landed on someone's hotel.

And they destroyed their own countries when they landed on a blue square with a hotel on it...and then rolled a two onto the next blue one.
Spoiler:

sjcrowe
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby sjcrowe » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:56 am UTC

I was curious about whether the bishop's claim that he's "this close" to capturing the knight is valid, so I thought it over for a bit:
1. if it's bishop's turn, he should move to the opposite corner.
2. after that (or if it was knight's turn to begin with), knight will have to move to a black square. bishop should move to the middle.
3. knight has to move back to where he started, where bishop can now capture him.

so that turned out to be easier than i thought... but mr. bishop, I hope it helps you take out that obnoxious braggy knight! making fun of your lack of mobility... so insensitive.

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Max2009 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:33 am UTC

It's not sailing anywhere, those are rocket engines in the corners.
And it's impossible for a knight to get to the middle of a 3x3 grid.
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:49 am UTC

All their progress was undone when a rival landed on them and apologized.

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Pifreak94 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:05 am UTC

The bishop's close to "completing the misson alone"...?

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shashwat986
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby shashwat986 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:38 am UTC

Pifreak94 wrote:The bishop's close to "completing the misson alone"...?


The bishop and knight are explorers. They're on the same "team", and they're on a 3x3 'capsule' to the Coast of Catan. Knight's teasing bishop about how he can't go to the black squares, so the bishop keeps their food on the center square, so knight can't get to it. I have no idea why Randall's used a black bishop and a white knight, but it's pretty obvious they're from the same "team"...

EDIT: In retrospect, the team(mission control) referred to is Chess.. so it does make sense..

Wonderful comic!!
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby pigsfromagun » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:48 am UTC

shashwat986 wrote:I have no idea why Randall's used a black bishop and a white knight, but it's pretty obvious they're from the same "team"...

EDIT: In retrospect, the team(mission control) referred to is Chess.. so it does make sense..


If they weren't opposite colors, then the Bishop's comment about capturing the Knight wouldn't make sense.
Also: The title text would indicate some sort of tension between the two of them, which would be appropriate if they were originally from opposite teams within Chess, now working together to explore foreign lands.

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Aradae » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:49 am UTC

StrategyRose wrote:I created an account just to say this: The white and black squares are reversed. The Bishop claims to be on a3, a black square (similarly the knight is on c3, a black square).


a3 of the capsule.

The capsule could have been the lower right (from white's perspective) portion of the board and for convenience they decided to rename the squares of the capsule.
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Kanonfutter » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:50 am UTC

I found it weird and funny. Points for getting a mad idea and sticking with it.

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby hydralover » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:52 am UTC

shashwat986 wrote:
Pifreak94 wrote:The bishop's close to "completing the misson alone"...?


The bishop and knight are explorers. They're on the same "team", and they're on a 3x3 'capsule' to the Coast of Catan. Knight's teasing bishop about how he can't go to the black squares, so the bishop keeps their food on the center square, so knight can't get to it. I have no idea why Randall's used a black bishop and a white knight, but it's pretty obvious they're from the same "team"...

EDIT: In retrospect, the team(mission control) referred to is Chess.. so it does make sense..

Wonderful comic!!


THIS. Although I would like to add...

"I'm this close" is a play on words. The bishop is "this close" as in 1 move away from trapping the knight, as well as "this close" as in severely annoyed and about to act on it. They had to be white and black because you can't capture a piece of the same color...

Clever.

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Odal » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:38 am UTC

thisismactan wrote:NO!!! a3 is a BLACK SQUARE god dammit!

Is it bad if I registered simply to whine about that?
StrategyRose wrote:I created an account just to say this: The white and black squares are reversed. The Bishop claims to be on a3, a black square (similarly the knight is on c3, a black square).
I don't know... the squares they're on look white to me.

(and if your extra dense: I'm saying that "a3" and "c3" are obviously in reference to their own 3x3 board, not an actual chess board)

Lo'oris
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Lo'oris » Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:16 am UTC

Are the knight's food and the battleship also references to... something?

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Hamsvlekiss
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Hamsvlekiss » Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:32 am UTC

I would love to see a series of this.

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Kolko » Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:04 am UTC

Lo'oris wrote:Are the knight's food and the battleship also references to... something?

Battleship is probably a reference to Battleship.
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Jamesa7171 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:21 am UTC

shashwat986 wrote:
Pifreak94 wrote:The bishop's close to "completing the misson alone"...?


The bishop and knight are explorers. They're on the same "team", and they're on a 3x3 'capsule' to the Coast of Catan. Knight's teasing bishop about how he can't go to the black squares, so the bishop keeps their food on the center square, so knight can't get to it. I have no idea why Randall's used a black bishop and a white knight, but it's pretty obvious they're from the same "team"...

EDIT: In retrospect, the team(mission control) referred to is Chess.. so it does make sense..

Wonderful comic!!


I believe Pifreak94 was trying to emphasize the typo in the comic. =P
(amazingly, it appears nobody else noticed, including myself, and obviously not Randall)

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:44 am UTC

Jamesa7171 wrote:I believe Pifreak94 was trying to emphasize the typo in the comic. =P
(amazingly, it appears nobody else noticed, including myself, and obviously not Randall)

No, see, a misson is a kind of subatomic particle characterized by its tendency to change velocity in response to the presence of other particles, thereby always avoiding collision or, if you will, missing. The knight and bishop are on a quest to create one of these particles, so uh.... yeah ok I give up now :P
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:26 pm UTC

Why so many references? Isn't the actual joke good enough? Even when Randall manages to create a decent joke, he still doesn't realise that jokes are more important than nerdy references!

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby jqavins » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:10 pm UTC

Am I reading too much into this, or is there an Aliens reference in that one of the explorers is named Bishop, and is cabable of completing the miss[i]on alone?
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby lewikee » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:22 pm UTC

Hello!

1. Is there something clever about the fact that chess pieces are on a mission to explore the Coast of Catan, other than the mere fact that they're both board games? Is there a joke here that I am missing in terms of the setup (and not the fun interplay between the pieces)?
2. Food's supposed to be in the middle. What is in the middle doesn't look like food. Am I missing a joke about why it doesn't look like food? Or is it just weird food packaging or something?
3. Because of the waves behind them, the thin streams coming from the edges of the board, and the fact they're going to the Coast of Catan, it seems they'd be on water. But because there are tiny rocket-like things on the corners, and the bishop says things like "capsule" and "mission control," (terms more associated with space exploration) I am not sure if this is in space or not. Where is this?

I demand answers to these very important questions!

Felderburg
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Felderburg » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:38 pm UTC

Reminds me of Mousemate by Barats & Bereta: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycM844Bfzsk

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:50 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Why so many references? Isn't the actual joke good enough? Even when Randall manages to create a decent joke, he still doesn't realise that jokes are more important than nerdy references!

If the premise wasn't Chess pieces in a crossover with Settlers of Catan, what would the joke be?
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Semicolons » Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:26 pm UTC

shashwat986 wrote:
Pifreak94 wrote:The bishop's close to "completing the misson alone"...?


The bishop and knight are explorers. They're on the same "team", and they're on a 3x3 'capsule' to the Coast of Catan. Knight's teasing bishop about how he can't go to the black squares, so the bishop keeps their food on the center square, so knight can't get to it. I have no idea why Randall's used a black bishop and a white knight, but it's pretty obvious they're from the same "team"...

EDIT: In retrospect, the team(mission control) referred to is Chess.. so it does make sense..

Wonderful comic!!


This comic and this forum's response to this comic have pushed me to create an account so i can ask you all WHAT THE FLYING FUCK IS GOING ON. How do you get ANY of what you wrote from the comic? Its as if you wrote out a plot for a comic in your post that retroactively explains the random gibberish that is today's comic.

I get what Catan is. Its a board game that is fun. I get chess, also a fun board game. What i don't get is why two chess pieces are riding on a 3x3 chess grid floating through some magical medium (or possibly rockets on the corners) making calls to a mission control about food and Catan. Is this a 99% Catan reference with chess pieces substituted for something else? If so, then I have clearly not researched Catan enough to see the intricate humor woven into the panel.

I can't even properly explain why I find this comic to be the worst possible example of what a webcomic should be. It hits all the points so hard, its dumbfounding. Pointless, wide sweeping references to nerd culture? Check. Lack of effort put into the art? Check. Extremely convuluted and unclear plot (who is mission control? why are two opposite colors on the team? why is one of them being a dick? why is their chess board 3x3? why are they floating through time and space? why are they going to catan? WHY RANDY WHY)? Check.

Fuck it, i'm done. Maybe one day Randy will pull his head from the sand and read the mountain of scathing reviews, and maybe JUST MAYBE this will motivate him back to excellence (or at least some wit http://xkcd.com/138/).

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Tormuse » Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:37 pm UTC

I just played Settlers of Catan for the first time two days ago. Coincidence... or is Randall in *my* head now?
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby cjm » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:13 pm UTC

Yeah, the stacked "food" in the middle of the board has to be a reference to some game, but I can't think what.

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby bluefoxicy » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:53 pm UTC

Aww, we have a reference to a child's game (Chess) now but nothing about a real game (Go)? Guess Randy will tackle Othello next.

(Now if anyone knows the difference between Othello and Reversi...)

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby IceCat » Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:00 pm UTC

Bishop wins in two moves if it's knight's turn and three moves if it's its turn. ^^

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:20 pm UTC

SpringLoaded12 wrote:If the premise wasn't Chess pieces in a crossover with Settlers of Catan, what would the joke be?


The Chess pieces picking on each other and fighting because of their movement patterns is already sufficiently good joke material; either Randall is very unaware that good jokes do work by themselves without the need for references, or the joke is a mere excuse for Randall to namedrop famous board games. But to be fair, most of the "reference overkill" is relegated to the alt text, so the comic itself is quite amusing.

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby SkyllKChagorantis » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:24 pm UTC

This comic was sublime,
and I second any suggestion pertaining to creating a sub-comic devoted to these brave warriors!

PS.
This comic took my xkcd forum posting virginity


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