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Mat vs. Byrne


raydurz
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This is just for fun. Lets say that the Band, led by Mat were to fight the Little Tower's army led by Gareth Byrne (not including any Aes Sedai)...who would win?

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Not even a toughie lol, Mat. He has the battle knowledge of the best generals of all time, not taking anything away from Gareth, but seriously, if we're gonna rate their skill Mat is on a completely different level than any of the other generals, except maybe Ituralde Rodel, whenever we're in his POV (like twice i think?) he seems to have a very exciting way of looking at everything. But who knows, battles are not the kind of thing you can foretell... it's not a basketball game or anything, there's a lot of factors that can muss up the situation right?

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The band hands down. Now if we toss in allies...bryne has white tower, mat has the synchean so agian mat wins. But for real fun, who would win between Mat and one of the forsaken?

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Shen an calhar against Bryne.  Mat:  a.  over a millenia of the best battle knowledge.  This quote says it best, luck his soul, lightning his eye.  As to Mat and a foresaken, it depends a few factors, he bit the big one against Rahvin but Rahvin had the advantage in that Rand didn't want to blow Camelyn to hell.  If it's in close proximity Mat has the edge and besides he has luck and he is Taveren.  Although Female forsaken and Arangar will be a problem because of the menfolk's absurd desire to get killed by a female with a weapon.  My guess is though Mat will kill one or more Foresaken, possibly Demandred and/or Arangar.

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When two battle commanders reach a certain level, external factors come into play to a greater extent.  The Band is better trained and far better equipped ("fast" crossbows and gunpowder) than Bryne's army, so Mat would trounce him, hands down.

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Not to be the odd man out but, it would be a pretty close thing. Byrne's army is larger and I doubt the the Hand is any better trained (most of it was trained when Matt was not there and Byrne and the Shinerians are better "drill sargents" then the misfit gaggle of Tairen and Cairhernen noblemen that officer much of the hand). Now Matt has more experience but the battle usually goes to the army with the better terrain and interior lines. It should also be noted that at the end of KOD Matt's army did not have any cannon and his supply of gunpowder was probably pretty close to nill. Therefore whether these things would give him an advantage would depend when the battle took place. Now, Matt would have the advantage because of his luck, but it would be a bloody and closely disputed battle.

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If its the whole Band, then Bryne's army isn't that much larger ... and Mat has 3,000 mounted men armed with "fast" crossbows ... with the technology available to Bryne, and the type of war he knows, Mat would grind half his army to dog meat before he even really understood what was happening.  Bryne is smart enough that he would figure it out, and get a fair chunk of his army out intact, but it would be a bloody lesson.

 

Mat just killed thousands of Seanchan, and barely took any losses at all ... with just part of the Band.  That's not even counting the ten thousand Altarans, etc, that he butchered with the Deathwatch Guards.  He's getting better than a 10 to 1 kill ratio ... maybe alot better.  Those "fast" crossbows represent power, as much as a few thousand muskets would.  Most people would be hard pressed to get off eight shots per minute with a Civil War era muzzle-loading black powder rifle ... and while those crossbows don't have the range of rifles, they're actually more deadly in volley fire within 200 yards.  Since the men who use them are trained as mounted infantry ... training I guarantee no one in Bryne's army has ... they would be nothing less than devastating.

 

Bryne is building his army for a siege.  Pikemen and other polearm infantry for the most part, and likely very little heavy cavalry, despite having conscripted Uno and the Shienarans.  The Band would rip an army like that to shreds, in the field, and with the crossbows, they could devastate them from a fortified position too.

 

Equipment and training would give Mat's Band an edge that would make Bryne's numbers meaningless.  Mat would grind him up, until Bryne realized what was happening, and then Bryne would high-tail is out of there as fast as he could get the message out.

 

The best army in Randland to defeat the Band would be ... well, obviously, the 200,000 Borderlanders could do it ... but Saldaean light cavalry would be the most effective against what the Band has to offer.  Heavy armor offers little protection against crossbows and, eventually, gunpowder ... speed and maneuverability are the best defense.

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If its the whole Band, then Bryne's army isn't that much larger ... and Mat has 3,000 mounted men armed with "fast" crossbows ... with the technology available to Bryne, and the type of war he knows, Mat would grind half his army to dog meat before he even really understood what was happening.  Bryne is smart enough that he would figure it out, and get a fair chunk of his army out intact, but it would be a bloody lesson.

 

Mat just killed thousands of Seanchan, and barely took any losses at all ... with just part of the Band.  That's not even counting the ten thousand Altarans, etc, that he butchered with the Deathwatch Guards.  He's getting better than a 10 to 1 kill ratio ... maybe alot better.  Those "fast" crossbows represent power, as much as a few thousand muskets would.  Most people would be hard pressed to get off eight shots per minute with a Civil War era muzzle-loading black powder rifle ... and while those crossbows don't have the range of rifles, they're actually more deadly in volley fire within 200 yards.  Since the men who use them are trained as mounted infantry ... training I guarantee no one in Bryne's army has ... they would be nothing less than devastating.

 

Bryne is building his army for a siege.  Pikemen and other polearm infantry for the most part, and likely very little heavy cavalry, despite having conscripted Uno and the Shienarans.  The Band would rip an army like that to shreds, in the field, and with the crossbows, they could devastate them from a fortified position too.

 

Equipment and training would give Mat's Band an edge that would make Bryne's numbers meaningless.  Mat would grind him up, until Bryne realized what was happening, and then Bryne would high-tail is out of there as fast as he could get the message out.

 

The best army in Randland to defeat the Band would be ... well, obviously, the 200,000 Borderlanders could do it ... but Saldaean light cavalry would be the most effective against what the Band has to offer.  Heavy armor offers little protection against crossbows and, eventually, gunpowder ... speed and maneuverability are the best defense.

 

ya, what he said

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I concede the point about fast crossbows. However, as to training and the Hands prowess the actions against the Seanchen and their allies were either mostly ambushes or battles where the choice of terrain and/or  the stupidity of the opposition (the traitor and ten thousand money crazed altarans) was decisive.

 

Moreover, I think that Rand's Aeil have the number, speed maneuverability, and military skill to deal with the Hand. As would a contingent of 20,00 or so DeathWatch Guards especially as they already know the tactics employed by the Hand and they seem quite good about not underestimating the opponents and learning from their mistakes.

 

Now give the Hand a few dozen cannons, some time for Matt to incorporate their use into his tactics and a good supply of gunpowder and cannon shot and only a force of half a million or so Trollics led by 50,00 Fades would be likely to defeat the Hand.

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However, as to training and the Hands prowess the actions against the Seanchen and their allies were either mostly ambushes or battles where the choice of terrain and/or  the stupidity of the opposition (the traitor and ten thousand money crazed altarans) was decisive.

 

Ah, but it is the type of army that Mat has created which allows him the luxury of choosing their ground.  They're faster, as an army, than anyone else from Randland ... which leads to my second point regarding this:

 

Moreover, I think that Rand's Aeil have the number, speed maneuverability, and military skill to deal with the Hand.

 

Yes, of course the Aiel have the numbers to obliterate the Band.  And probably match up better than any other army in existence, even in smaller numbers ...

 

I should have been clearer ... when I said that the Saldaean light cavalry were the best "in Randland" to match up, I should have said "from Randland".  The Aiel aren't from Randland, they don't practice a basically medieval European style of warfare.

 

Mat would crush 20,000 Deathwatch Guards, if he had the whole Band, unless at least 2/3 of them were Ogier Gardeners.

 

And a "few dozen" cannons won't make that much difference.  I don't expect Mat and Aludra's "dragons" to make any impact until he has the entire Seanchan infrastructure behind him.

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Ah, but it is the type of army that Mat has created which allows him the luxury of choosing their ground. 

 

Not to be nit-picky but many great generals have been faced with fighting battles in terrain/ground not of their choosing. Lee at Gettysburg and Napoleon at Waterloo come readily to mind.

 

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Lee got trapped into the ground he fought on at Gettysburg because he was blind without his cavalry, and his men didn't fight as mounted infantry (guns have been cheaper than horses for almost as long as guns have existed).  Also, Lee was stupid, for some reason, in this battle.  He had what he wanted (a way to get his army between the Army of the Potomac and Washington DC) and then didn't take it.  He wasn't outmaneuvered, he had a massive brain fart.  (As now famously depicted in Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels.)  The Band, as described, could run circles around the Army of Northern Virginia (Mat's Band wouldn't win a battle with Lee, of course, but thats a matter of equipment, not maneuverability).

 

Napoleon lost at Waterloo not because of the ground, but because he charged infantry squares with his cavalry and didn't coordinate his artillery properly to break up the British formations (which is out of character ... Napoleon usually used his artillery to great effect). 

 

In short, neither of those examples applies, except in the broadest sense that "ground affects battle".  They both draw from a period in which the tactics of warfare were considerably different than the type of warfare Jordan describes.

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Ah, but both examples show that really good generals make stupid decisions which negate the inherent advantages possessed by their armies.

 

I agree with the description of Lee's brain fart. In a related way I have often been amazed at the venom spewed at Longstreet for suggesting that Lee was somewhat less then a genius at Gettysburg (I know that its partly because of his friendship with Grant and his turning Republican after the war, but still).

 

More on point Lee's entrusting Jeb Stewart with the job of keeping him informed of what they faced is similar to Mat's entrusting parts of the Band to Tairen and Cairhernan nobles.  Yes Mat's two main surviving commanders have shown quite a bit of intelligence but I still doubt some of the subordinates. They have been fools for a long time its almost inbred in them.

 

 

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Ah, but both examples show that really good generals make stupid decisions which negate the inherent advantages possessed by their armies.

 

Well, CUBAREY, if that was your only point, then Bryne is every bit as susceptible as Mat, so your point is meaningless, and all of Mat's advantages still apply.

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Well, CUBAREY, if that was your only point, then Bryne is every bit as susceptible as Mat, so your point is meaningless,

 

We're a bit cranky tonight aren't we? It was a light hearted discussion about an unlikely event. I had already conceded most of your points so why the venom?

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