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1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:06 am UTC
by SW15243
Image

Title Text: 1. Ne3 ... ↘↘↘ 2. Nc3 ... ↘↘↘ 0-1

Yeah, so this one? Way over my head. Anyone?

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:08 am UTC
by rhomboidal
"If your rooks can pour boiling oil, I resign."

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:08 am UTC
by SiriusBeatz
I believe this is the reference here. I had to look it up myself, too.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:09 am UTC
by Masterfool
That's supposed to be 1. Nf3, by the way.

*pushes glasses up ridge of nose*

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:14 am UTC
by TexasToast
Now who's going to push the pram?

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:15 am UTC
by blowfishhootie
Yeah after skimming that Wiki article, this battle was the first to make predominant use of longbowman. But ... so what? If there is something funny, insightful, or otherwise worthwhile about this comic, I'm not seeing it.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:18 am UTC
by wgrandbois
The Battle of Agincourt represented a fundamental shift in warfare. Previously, knights fought knights and serfs fought serfs. Armor and a horse made you nigh invincible to anything but another knight, anyway. The Brits broke with tradition, and the longbowman cut down the traditionally charging French cavalry. Suddenly, the pawns were every bit as important as the knights.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:19 am UTC
by SW15243
blowfishhootie wrote:Yeah after skimming that Wiki article, this battle was the first to make predominant use of longbowman. But ... so what? If there is something funny, insightful, or otherwise worthwhile about this comic, I'm not seeing it.

Yeah, okay. But then it's not really a 'gambit' is it? It's sort of like the 'bring a gun to a knife fight gambit'. It's not a gambit, it's just good sense.
I also still don't get the title text.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:19 am UTC
by garik16
The alt-text is incorrect. The first move has to be Nf3 - Ne3 is an illegal move as it's not possible.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:19 am UTC
by scfrench
Hmmmm...

I'm pretty sure Ne3 is not a legal opening move for the knight. It should be Nf3.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:20 am UTC
by garik16
SW15243 wrote:
blowfishhootie wrote:Yeah after skimming that Wiki article, this battle was the first to make predominant use of longbowman. But ... so what? If there is something funny, insightful, or otherwise worthwhile about this comic, I'm not seeing it.

Yeah, okay. But then it's not really a 'gambit' is it? It's sort of like the 'bring a gun to a knife fight gambit'. It's not a gambit, it's just good sense.
I also still don't get the title text.


The joke is that "gambit" is a frequent type of Chess opening. So he's combining the battle name with a chess opening.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:24 am UTC
by Waladil
I find it kinda funny. Not his best, but worth a smile.

For those who don't get the title text, it's a reference to chess notation, but I don't think the downward arrows are normal notation, just... arrows. In the knights.

For those looking at the Wikipedia article, it's a joke on the fact that the French had a huge reliance on noble troops (knights), and they got trounced by the "common" longbowmen. (Some sources indicate that the French army actually declined 5,000 Parisian crossbowmen who volunteered to join the army).

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:26 am UTC
by Fire Brns
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.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:29 am UTC
by SW15243
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.

If people could customize their chessboard then you'd have invented 40k a few hundred years early.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:33 am UTC
by Number3Pencils
This is pretty good. But I don't think there should be ellipses in that chess notation. [Oh. And the Nf3 thing. Noticed that when I got ninjaed.] The ellipses are only used when you're talking about a move by Black on its own. Like:
"White played a fairly standard opening with 1. Nf3. But Black countered with the brilliant 1...↘↘↘!"
But if you were just telling what happened in the game,
"1. Ne3 ↘↘↘
2. Nc3 ↘↘↘"

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:39 am UTC
by Shadowlost
While you guys go off about illegal opening moves... Is the black queen not on the wrong spot?

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:44 am UTC
by dawyndham
Shadowlost wrote:While you guys go off about illegal opening moves... Is the black queen not on the wrong spot?


I was wondering when someone was going to notice that. Queens always start on own colour, the black queen and king should be swapped.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:51 am UTC
by Jorpho
Forsooth, I did not get this at all. And the arrows do not render correctly in the alt-text in Chrome or IE9. (Works in Firefox though.)

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:54 am UTC
by StClair
"The flower of French chivalry" are pushing up daisies.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:07 am UTC
by VectorZero
Shadowlost wrote:While you guys go off about illegal opening moves... Is the black queen not on the wrong spot?
Indeed. As is, by necessity, the king.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:12 am UTC
by Masterfool
Not only that, the black pawns have bows!

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:20 am UTC
by CorruptUser
Armored knights weren't nigh-invulnerable on the battlefield; even with all their armor they couldn't just charge into a pike formation as you couldn't train a horse to jump on pikes. They just slaughtered anything that wasn't a disciplined wall of pikes, which admittedly wasn't too common as professional armies hadn't been around since the Roman era.

Generally speaking, knights were useless against well-trained and properly equipped infantry. Just look at what the Roman Legions did to the Cataphracts.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:26 am UTC
by blowfishhootie
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?

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:32 am UTC
by bisurge
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.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:40 am UTC
by CorruptUser
Well, they couldn't charge the distance on foot without getting hit by arrows. Despite what most people think, full plate was maybe 40 pounds (for reference, a US soldier has about 70+ pounds of gear on him). It was enough to slow you down, especially in melee, but it wasn't as severe as people think.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:42 am UTC
by TomRobbins
I don't think Randall actually plays chess.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:43 am UTC
by Pfhorrest
...and then Genghis Khan rode in with some mounted archers and everybody was fucked.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:50 am UTC
by nmp303
Shadowlost wrote:While you guys go off about illegal opening moves... Is the black queen not on the wrong spot?

Yes, she is. Seems like Randal does not know chess very well. Or perhaps he's just getting sloppy.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:53 am UTC
by CorruptUser
Not exactly; Genghis Khan didn't defeat the heavily armor knights with horse archers. He was notorious for fake retreats; the enemy would charge to try and cut his armies down, he'd have his men drop silver or gold coins on the ground, which kind of ensured that the supporting infantry would be rather distracted, and the knights would become exhausted and disorganized from chasing down the Mongols. Then, they'd get swarmed by other cavalry that didn't have winded horses. Afterwards, the remaining infantry were slaughtered by the horse archers, and the coins collected.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:56 am UTC
by mcv
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.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:02 am UTC
by AtG
nmp303 wrote:
Shadowlost wrote:While you guys go off about illegal opening moves... Is the black queen not on the wrong spot?

Yes, she is. Seems like Randal does not know chess very well. Or perhaps he's just getting sloppy.

Outrageous. Regina regit colorem!

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:26 am UTC
by Gye
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?
Not everyone has been stopped.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:28 am UTC
by Ward
For those wondering, the Queen should always be on a square of her own colour. The setup of a game on each side is a mirrored image, not the same setup turned 180 degrees.


Gye wrote:Not everyone has been stopped.


Release the Kraken!

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:35 am UTC
by Eternal Density
We are the knights who say 'knee'!

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:16 am UTC
by blowfishhootie
Gye 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?
Not everyone has been stopped.


Yes, I'm well aware. That's why I questioned the comment.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:23 am UTC
by csoanes
The english longbow was the WMD of it's day, until effective mass musket fire came in. We still have a law on statute that grants every english 'yeoman' (i.e. a 'free' man that owns property) the right to carry a longbow in public. It's also still law that every able bodied man be proficient with the bow, and all other sports are technically forbidden on sunday, to encourage the practise of archery.

Note that being 'proficient' with the longbow required a lifetime of practise, as the draw weight was so large that it would modify one's skeletal structure - enough that it's immediately obvious to archaeologists if the skeleton is dug up today, that it belonged to a bowman.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:04 am UTC
by Netreker0
Gye 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?
Not everyone has been stopped.


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.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:16 am UTC
by Antior
What do those arrows in the chess notation mean?

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:16 am UTC
by Dogfish44
Heh, worth a laugh.

Although as a chess nerd, I'm going to simply say "At least the board is oriented properly..."

@Antior - Those mean The pawns attack with arrows.

Re: 1078: "Knights"

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:22 am UTC
by mvp
As someone who plays chess regularly, I love this comic. Everything makes sense to me, except for the errors already mentioned: 1.Nf3 should be the first move, and the black king and queen should be swapped. But since we're already wasting too much time discussing this, we might as well go to town. For instance, what is the lazy g7 pawn doing without a bow, and how come I'm counting 15 arrows (there appear to me to be two arrows toward the upper right of the c3 knight) when there are supposedly 7 (or 8 if you count g7) archers? :P