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Tanks at the Last Battle? (Minor Spoilers)


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So, as I was walking home today, I realized something shocking; we could see tanks at the last battle. By tanks I of course mean motorized artillery pieces created by combining that dude from Rand's school's steam wagon (which has completed a journey to Tear by KoD) with Aludra's cannons.

 

I don't think this is a huge leap, as I recall Mat saying he'd want two horses to pull his cannon carts, and Rand is aware of the pulling potential of the steam wagons. Plus the people involved with construction of both these devices are pretty ingenious, and its not much of a leap from "Let's pull the cannons with these wagons." to "Let's put the cannons on top of these wagons."

 

So after the explanation, I have a couple questions:

 

Do you think this is a possibility? And if this happens how would you feel about it?

 

I already pointed out why I think its a possibility, and as for how I would feel about it, I'm conflicted....

 

While the idea of Mat standing atop a gleaming steampunk artillery piece ordering a volley of cannon-fire into the black mass of Trollocs in the valley below is kind of awesome, the complete difference from our technological development (motorized artillery before any kind of rifle)is a little off-putting.

 

So yeah, what do you all think of this?     

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I would say it's more of a certainty than a possibility.  Egwene has had dreams regarding Mat teaming up with an illuminator and it costing thousands of lives, and from what we've seen in KoD, cannons will definitely be a big Mat contribution to the last battle.  And as far as the steamwagons, as soon as Mat learns of their existance, he is sure to make the connection.  He's already trying to puzzle out an efficient way to transport them, and he's a very clever boy.  ;)

 

As far as how I feel about it, I think RJ was building up to this idea for quite a while throughout the series, so it's really no big shock.  And it doesn't bother me that they have cannons before rifles.  The way Aludra came to them was described well enough that it seems perfectly plausible, especially in a world where black power (or some variation thereof) is already used by the illuminators.  The only reason projectile weapons haven't been invented before is the illuminators kept their secrets, well...secret.  Aludra was simply the first to come up with the idea of using it for something other than fireworks.

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Why didn't I think of this ???,  It's perfect.  The only question is what they are to be called.  I believe the name "Dragons" is already being used for the cannons themselves, so Aludra will have to come up with a new one.  But as Matt is fond of saying, she likes her names. 

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I really think RJ loved tanks in his life, and so do I! They are flexible (well, somewhat ;D) and highly valuable in combat.

 

Also, I think cannons were invented before rifles were. I think it was like that they had the cannon, but they wanted it to be so portable that it could be carried by one man, and *snap* came the rifle. Ok, so it wasn't by a snap but still :)

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yeah i don't know why i hadn't made this coneections before. Obviously Mat wil be using cannons in the LB but i never thought of putting them on the steam wagons.

 

But how reliable are the steam wagons and how efficiant would it really be to put the cannons on them? Also it would be interesting if they were able to armor them effectively against arrows, which wouldn't be too hard accept you would need guys swarming around them to get to the top of the tube and put another "dragon egg" inside it.

 

I just don't really think the steam wagons would be the most effective way to move the cannons short distances. Its not like they can just start it up to move it a few feet as easily as a horse could just take a few steps. Of course if they were able to refine the wagons to be efective than the crude tanks would be quite devastating.

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Yeah maybe it would have been the case with RJ still around and writing but Sanderson is at the helm now and I don't beileve this guy is going to deliver the finale yall are waiting for. I've read his Mistborn books and they suck to the high heavens; so crappy I felt drained reading them for more than a couple of hours at a time but I still did it. The guy sucks! This final book is going to bomb like a IED :D

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No, I don't think so. I think there will simply not be enough time left. If there was a year left before the last battle, maybe.

 

Right now we have sling launched grenades. Mat might have enough time to get some Dragons made. Certainly he wants to but not everything he has wanted, he's gotten. :)

 

As for Egwene's true dream, so how many died in that "little" campaign he had to free Tuon? It seems to me that just that last battle killed thousands. I'm reasonably sure that part of the dream has already come true. Besides, do you really think Trolloc lives are what she was talking about? If the campaign didn't fulfill the dream, it's more likely referring to the battles after the last battle.

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By context of Egwene's dream of Mat bowling, Mat would cause the deaths a number of different times and that 9000 enemies would die each time.

Not sure if Tarmon Gaidon would be one of those times.

 

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Hmmm i doubt there will be any steam tanks made up for the last battle myself, horses are also still more useful and a good deal more reliable, hell even in world war 1 when tanks were first used, they were damn unreliable. Also the first man portable firearms were smoothbore not rifled. Jere is a nice vid of a matchlock musket, even this is more advanced than anything we are likely to see in WOT before TG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KTS8PQ06Qo

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No, there will be no "tanks" at TG. The recently discovered steam wagone is not very fast, and too clumsy to use for anything other than going straight ahead. Cannons pulled by horses have far greater speed and maneuverability, at least for short distances. Ok, if you were going long distances you could use the steam wagon for transport, and save the horses until it was time to throw down, but I would prefer using Gateways instead of relying on a machine very few people in the word understands how it works.

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No, there will be no "tanks" at TG. The recently discovered steam wagone is not very fast, and too clumsy to use for anything other than going straight ahead. Cannons pulled by horses have far greater speed and maneuverability, at least for short distances. Ok, if you were going long distances you could use the steam wagon for transport, and save the horses until it was time to throw down, but I would prefer using Gateways instead of relying on a machine very few people in the word understands how it works.

There might be a chance that the speed and the maneuverability of the steam engine could be changed by Tarmon Gaidon.

Even if those do not change, the steam engine would be stronger than horses since some portion of it is metal.

Turn the metal parts into cuendillar, then each would be an indestructible weapon.

 

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There might be a chance that the speed and the maneuverability of the steam engine could be changed by Tarmon Gaidon.

 

Um, no.  There seems to be exactly one decently functioning steam engine in existence, and the infrastructure to create a large number doesn't exist.

 

Even if those do not change, the steam engine would be stronger than horses since some portion of it is metal.

 

Um ... irrelevant?

 

Turn the metal parts into cuendillar, then each would be an indestructible weapon.

 

It is far from that simple.  Very few people in the world can make cuendillar, and at a relatively slow rate.  Each piece would have to be turned into cuendillar independently, since if it was done when they were in contact they would bind together and not be able to move.

 

So, we would need a better design, an industrial infrastructure we don't have, dedicated resourceswe don't have, and more channelers who can make cuendillar (which we also don't have), all working full time, for a period of time we probably don't have.

 

No steam tanks for TG.  Probably not very many cannons either.  Most of Mat's cannon work will probably be in Seanchan post-TG.

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    I just love telling you all of my wild ideas on these posts, but I wonder if they could happen anyway. Let's say that a cannon was not only made and working correctly, that there was a way to mass produce them in a short period of time (maybe at Rand's universities). If the steam engines were not ready and horses were a problem to move them for one reason or another, could using the one power either Saidin, or Saidar, or both? I know there are limits to what you can do with the power, but would it be a possibility?

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Turn the metal parts into cuendillar, then each would be an indestructible weapon.

 

It is far from that simple.  Very few people in the world can make cuendillar, and at a relatively slow rate.  Each piece would have to be turned into cuendillar independently, since if it was done when they were in contact they would bind together and not be able to move.

 

That and it would violate AS Oath #2.  Said "tank" would be a weapon for "one man to kill another."  Even if it was built to fight the shadow it could still be use to kill non-darkfriends, after TG or if the shadow captured it.

 

I personally think that helmet ter'angreal Avi said was to operate a machine was used to to operate a AoL mech, and come TG Elyane will be piloting it.

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Most of Mat's cannon work will probably be in Seanchan post-TG.

 

I was gonna bring that up.  He may do something with cannons at TG, but not much.  When he sees how they function at TG he will be more likely to use them more in Seanchan.

 

That and it would violate AS Oath #2.  Said "tank" would be a weapon for "one man to kill another."  Even if it was built to fight the shadow it could still be use to kill non-darkfriends, after TG or if the shadow captured it.

 

This is true, but most of the current channelers have not swore the oaths yet.

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By context of Egwene's dream of Mat bowling, Mat would cause the deaths a number of different times and that 9000 enemies would die each time.
Actually, she says each pin represented thousands, plural, so if you insist on being incredibly literal minded that would mean at least 18,000 each time. And I would recommend not being so literal minded, if you can help it.
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Gunboats, not tanks. I've been obsessing about this for months on this forum. There's mention of a sidewheel paddle, there's a working steam engine, and Bayle Domon and all the rivers in the Westlands. It'll be gunboats.

 

And I disagree with those who think there won't be much cannon action in the last books. I think there will be tons of cannon action in the last books. Too much build up for it in the earlier books to have the subject neglected in the last books.

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Lots of buildup does by no mean necessarily lead to tons of action. I am more inclined to think that we will see rather little use of cannons, but when they actually are used, it will have a huge impact. On the scale of turning a seemingly lost battle around.

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Lots of buildup does by no mean necessarily lead to tons of action. I am more inclined to think that we will see rather little use of cannons, but when they actually are used, it will have a huge impact. On the scale of turning a seemingly lost battle around.

 

Yeah, it could come down like that. But it has been hinted at for so long in so many books and I want some cannon action big time.

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I would like to point out that the steam engines are in fact quite fast and reliable already. In chapter 21 of Knife of Dreams, a child in Tear tells Rand that four steam engines pulled a train of a hundred wagons a hundred miles every day. Judging by the reactions of those present, this is a lot faster than horses could go. As for getting it started, channelers that are to weak to contribute much to a circle or to have a huge effect on the battle might be put to use bringing water in the boilers to an instant boil and igniting gunpowder. So tanks, driven by an engineer and a channeler, are not entirley out of the question.

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I would like to point out that the steam engines are in fact quite fast and reliable already. In chapter 21 of Knife of Dreams, a child in Tear tells Rand that four steam engines pulled a train of a hundred wagons a hundred miles every day. Judging by the reactions of those present, this is a lot faster than horses could go. As for getting it started, channelers that are to weak to contribute much to a circle or to have a huge effect on the battle might be put to use bringing water in the boilers to an instant boil and igniting gunpowder. So tanks, driven by an engineer and a channeler, are not entirley out of the question.

 

When I say that horses are faster, I am talking about shorter distances, in a bit rougher terrain than a nice country road. Try chasing down a horse with a Porsche in a forest or in mountaineus terrain, and you will see what I mean.

 

Outfitting the steam wagon with armour, and send it to battle would work if the war was to be fought in trenches WW1 style.

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