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Author Topic: Homing pigeons (realistic)  (Read 463 times)

Miles_Umbrae

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Re: Homing pigeons (realistic)
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2018, 09:19:47 pm »

Pidgeons are slow moving targets that are the bottom rank of the food chain for anything that flies. Sure flying may sound great until the local bald freedom decides to have a snack and there goes your important message asking for urgent reinforcements.

Besides, you will need someone to carry the pidgeon back anyway, so there's no safety point even for dwarves. Maybe, maybe you can use them if you are besieged, but wouldn't adding dwarven messengers the first logical step before adding the skyrats?
Try shooting down a pigeon in flight using a bow or crossbow.
And then compare that to hitting a messenger...
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Bumber

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Re: Homing pigeons (realistic)
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2018, 12:55:08 am »

Pidgeons are slow moving targets that are the bottom rank of the food chain for anything that flies. Sure flying may sound great until the local bald freedom decides to have a snack and there goes your important message asking for urgent reinforcements.

Besides, you will need someone to carry the pidgeon back anyway, so there's no safety point even for dwarves. Maybe, maybe you can use them if you are besieged, but wouldn't adding dwarven messengers the first logical step before adding the skyrats?
Try shooting down a pigeon in flight using a bow or crossbow.
And then compare that to hitting a messenger...
Use a trained falcon instead.
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Starver

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Re: Homing pigeons (realistic)
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2018, 04:09:27 am »

When times are good, ship pigeons out. The guy shipping them can do double-duty as a messenger, both ways (and, if between allied settlements with the same provisions, carting pigeons both ways) and have make-work messages sent by pigeon just to exercise the system and stop stuffing the settlement(s) with holidaying pigeons, if necessary. If things hot up, foot messengers go missing (with or without successfully releasing "help, I'm being attacked by the vile forces of *ARGH*~~~~" alerts to the skies) you can start to fall back on it for real need, as opposed to being totally out of options.

(It's something that could happen, but I still think that under hard-coded racial characteristics there'd be different unique flavours for each society's settlements to adopt, and under the hyper-procedurally-generated future it'd be many different possible options, at least which handy and compatible creature each civ chooses to use as its message carrier.)
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Dorsidwarf

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Re: Homing pigeons (realistic)
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2018, 07:41:03 pm »

 
Falcons might work for intercepting regular messages, but it’s cheaper to keep pigeons than falcons so the defender can in an emergency just let *all* the pigeons loose with “HELP!” messages and the interception requirements start looking less like Hans The Clever Eagle and more like a flak battery

Seeing as the caverns are open all the way between any fort and the mountain home, dwarves in worlds where they have an underground-friendly pigeon equivalent have a particular advantage here
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KittyTac

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Re: Homing pigeons (realistic)
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2018, 09:57:34 pm »

Seeing as the caverns are open all the way between any fort and the mountain home, dwarves in worlds where they have an underground-friendly pigeon equivalent have a particular advantage here
Cave swallows?
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Homing pigeons (realistic)
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2018, 11:03:57 pm »

Seeing as the caverns are open all the way between any fort and the mountain home, dwarves in worlds where they have an underground-friendly pigeon equivalent have a particular advantage here
Cave swallows?
It seems an obvious substitute, but would a cave swallow have the advantages of a homing pigeon while flying through the caves? A pigeon has the whole sky and other flocks of birds to keep it from being spotted. Cave swallow hurtling down a tunnel towards you is kind of hard to miss.

Something small, quick and intelligent so it knows when to hide or take an alternative path would probably make a better messenger. Like a dwarf. Or a gorlak, I suppose.

Foot messengers are easily blocked from leaving castles by surrounding them. Caves just need a new hole, they're harder to contain so there's less need for animal messengers and probably little speed advantage. Until smart mole-like digging critters become a thing anyway.
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Cathar

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Re: Homing pigeons (realistic)
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2018, 11:20:02 pm »

Homing gorlaks.
Yes. Please.

Dorfs must build a gorlak catapult. This will overcome all the drawback of the inferior homing pidgeon method

Oh man I can't wait to see the face of a hunting hawk trying to intercept a homing gorlak.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 11:29:46 pm by Cathar »
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IndigoFenix

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Re: Homing pigeons (realistic)
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2018, 12:01:50 am »

Of course all this will have to come after runners are implemented, which will have to come after there are more meaningful ways of actively interacting with a world aside from raiding. Edit: Apparently messengers are already a thing. I haven't played fort mode in ages.

But once that's in, it would make sense for the "send message to location" screen to have both a list of sapient runners as well as the option of sending a message by homing animal, provided you have one trained to the particular area you need to send a message to.  Depending on the animal chosen this might have different strengths and weaknesses, like speed, ability to bypass terrain, and the mode of interception being used.  Maybe humans and elves train falcons but goblins don't.

Also, you're forgetting the obvious anti-falcon choice: giant homing pigeons.

FantasticDorf

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Re: Homing pigeons (realistic)
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2018, 02:19:26 am »

I thought the obvious anti falcon choice was a mountain-high firebreathing dragon.

But alas, discretion is more a objective of vermin messengers. Else how are metal barred in prisoners supposed to recieve sneaky messages if the large creatures fall into traps instantly and die.
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Cathar

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Re: Homing pigeons (realistic)
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2018, 02:35:14 am »

I was going to mention the giant hawks as a counter-counter but I must recognize when I'm beat

That said messengers are pretty limited right now are they ? They can request tribute or return of stationned out fortress dorfs if I'm correct ?
I'd say the communication system needs to find a larger purpose before it's extended ; I'd prefer things to go deeper than wider, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me to find alternative for messengers as they are, right now, serving one niche purpose.

Then when you can engage in diplomacy or communicate meaningfully with other holdings/ kingdoms, homing animals would be a good idea. Maybe a special training for animal ("train as a messenger animal") could be implemented as a reaction for animal trainers, then I can subvert my enemy's expectation by sending my homing turtle during siege. It might be slow but they surely wouldn't expect that (if they havent played Fallen London that is).

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FantasticDorf

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Re: Homing pigeons (realistic)
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2018, 02:44:05 am »

That said messengers are pretty limited right now are they ? They can request tribute or return of stationned out fortress dorfs if I'm correct ?
I'd say the communication system needs to find a larger purpose before it's extended ; I'd prefer things to go deeper than wider, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me to find alternative for messengers as they are, right now, serving one niche purpose.

Messengers can recall dwarves, but they can't demand tribute. Im still a little bit dissapointed with Toady that i can't really interact so much with my forced administrators, especially since it tends to take away my most advanced organisers and usuallly the leaders of the squad.

You have to force them into tributary status before conquering them to get the 'occupied tributary' settlement (two seperate trips), even so there's no further options from there to halt the flow of tribute if you no longer want it or interact with your puppet overseer making sure the site stays in your hands, it could really do with some expansion. They don't even get a mention in the Civ screen.

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Then when you can engage in diplomacy or communicate meaningfully with other holdings/ kingdoms, homing animals would be a good idea. Maybe a special training for animal ("train as a messenger animal") could be implemented as a reaction for animal trainers, then I can subvert my enemy's expectation by sending my homing turtle during siege. It might be slow but they surely wouldn't expect that (if they havent played Fallen London that is).

It'd be helpful while you're landlocked in a siege, which is exactly the kind of scenario where youd not want to waste dwarves running to the map edge, but instead put your chips on the table and risk sending out a pidgeon the invaders would start shooting at, one bolt could kill it but its such a small object it would take a elven grand-master bowman to achieve it or a lot of luck and convenience.

Flashing blue (some sort of color or symbol) visibly so you can see its progress and also see incoming messenger vermin sent from abroad with declarations of war and help requested.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 02:50:46 am by FantasticDorf »
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Bumber

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Re: Homing pigeons (realistic)
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2018, 04:17:34 pm »

I thought the obvious anti falcon choice was a mountain-high firebreathing dragon.
Kind of makes the message a moot point, doesn't it?
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THE xTROLL FUR SOCKx RUSE WAS A........... DISTACTION        the carp HAVE the wagon

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Miles_Umbrae

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Re: Homing pigeons (realistic)
« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2018, 04:45:52 pm »

I thought the obvious anti falcon choice was a mountain-high firebreathing dragon.
Kind of makes the message a moot point, doesn't it?
If the enemy has that kind of resources to dedicate to shooting the messenger, I'd say resistance is futile...
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