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Miltiades

Does anyone else loathe the Aiel?

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they could kill three Myrddraal and perhaps only take two deaths themselves.

 

So here, one Myrddraal kills seven Fal Dara soldiers.

So the Aiel go into battle believing they might be able to take down three Fades with a minimum of 40% losses, while Shienarans also go into battle, presumably thinking they have some chance to win. The former don't gewt a chance to fight, the latter fight and lose. Hardly an example of Aiel being superhuman.

 

Six Aiel does feats that hundred guards, with Warders among them, have failed to do.
Six Aiel get attacked by Grey Men, some are taken unawares, and they manage to kill them once they know they are in a fight. Wow. Not all that impressive on the part of the Aiel. Nor on the part of the Grey Men.

 

I think Jordan meant for the aiel to be disliked by most.
Clearly, he didn't. They are presented as different, yes, but not as something to be disliked. The Shaido are, and the Seanchan, and the Whitecloaks, and the Shadow, but not the Aiel in general.

 

Anyway, we've still had no reason why the Aiel should be given a "magical" explanation, while other things get a pass. No real difference.

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I did not make it thru all of the post's but I think Jordan meant for the aiel to be disliked by most. A society vastly different and mysterious. Many mention guerrilla tactics, but I think that they were based on the Zulu during the modern age and the Mongols of a past era. We do not actually see much of the tactics of the aiel just impressions. Lan does explain tactics to Rand although Jordan leaves most of it vague to the reader, as he has fought the aiel and is respected by them, but most other scenarios describe simple tactics by the wetlanders and how they do not understand how they are over run. The aiel move in for the attack and then move on, even the aiel that follow the false dragon move quickly compared to the wetlanders (although other aiel may see them as staying put too long) most of the time we see Rand telling the chiefs were to attack he is not deciding tactics he is mandating the goal. The mongols moved in quickly from many directions and in most cases the invaded nations thought there were many times more as the mongols were attacking the next area while people were just getting news of the first attack. Hitler studied Subodei the mongol general and based his blitzkrieg attack on this basis. If he had not been such a micromanaging leader, and so evil that he could not be ignored,  his generals were very capable of winning.

 

Cities breed lazy people even today. We go one place for our food, and to another to have machinery repaired. In these societies a master craftsman may have created the weapons but you still have to be able to do almost everything for yourself.

 

And lastly attitude of a people is the most important. The aiel came from a peaceful society were people could take the greatest hardships to show their pride in belief of were they belonged in the world. The self discipline is key here, we see this in the modern world with the japanese. They were able to be effective and feared in world war 2 because of their belief emperor and nation before self, they kept this philosophy after the war, by realizing they could produce better and cheaper items, by continually trying to improve. Self Discipline! Self Discipline! Self Discipline!

 

The Mongols used cavalry extensively, comparisons with them are inappropriate.

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Anyway, we've still had no reason why the Aiel should be given a "magical" explanation, while other things get a pass. No real difference.

 

It really shouldn't be that difficult to see the point here even if you don't agree with it. Individuals may be exceptional, but a race of people, all of whom are exceptional, is not the human species that I am familiar with.

 

Now I wouldn't mind this as much, if it were not for the fact that the human species as I am familiar with it does exist in the books, they're called non-Aiel.

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The Mongols used cavalry extensively, comparisons with them are inappropriate.

 

Thats very narrow minded said. Obviously nothing written in this thread has made any impact yet on what kind of soldier the Aiel are, im so tired of this thread...

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The Mongols used cavalry extensively, comparisons with them are inappropriate.

 

Thats very narrow minded said. Obviously nothing written in this thread has made any impact yet on what kind of soldier the Aiel are, im so tired of this thread...

 

Then don't answer.

 

But since you did: Why is pointing out that the Mongols are completely different from the Aiel in the way they fight narrow minded? The Mongols had all the things I'm saying the Aiel don't have. Armour, heavy cavalry, even horse archers. There is no comparison.

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The Attila the huns army was mainly horse archers, you dont find any similarities at all with the Aiel?

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Anyway, we've still had no reason why the Aiel should be given a "magical" explanation, while other things get a pass. No real difference.

 

It really shouldn't be that difficult to see the point here even if you don't agree with it. Individuals may be exceptional, but a race of people, all of whom are exceptional, is not the human species that I am familiar with.

 

Now I wouldn't mind this as much, if it were not for the fact that the human species as I am familiar with it does exist in the books, they're called non-Aiel.

 

Maybe it's because of the harsh conditions that the Aiel have had to deal with over the three thousand years since the breaking. Unlike wetlanders (and us in our modern day western societies), Aiel die if they are not strong enough to cope with the Extreme conditions of the waste. While not concrete evidence, this is a pretty strong arguement as to why the Aiel are such a rugged people; because they have to be otherwise they would not have survived for as long as they have.

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Anyway, we've still had no reason why the Aiel should be given a "magical" explanation, while other things get a pass. No real difference.

 

It really shouldn't be that difficult to see the point here even if you don't agree with it. Individuals may be exceptional, but a race of people, all of whom are exceptional, is not the human species that I am familiar with.

 

Now I wouldn't mind this as much, if it were not for the fact that the human species as I am familiar with it does exist in the books, they're called non-Aiel.

 

Maybe it's because of the harsh conditions that the Aiel have had to deal with over the three thousand years since the breaking. Unlike wetlanders (and us in our modern day western societies), Aiel die if they are not strong enough to cope with the Extreme conditions of the waste. While not concrete evidence, this is a pretty strong arguement as to why the Aiel are such a rugged people; because they have to be otherwise they would not have survived for as long as they have.

 

As I said before, harsh environments do not produce physically perfect specimens. People don't grow to huge sizes where there is extremely little food or water. If anything they become more compact, hardier, and tougher, they don't turn into Greek Gods. So the evolution argument doesnt work, 3000 years of living in a wasteland doesnt produce a race of 6'6'', stacked superhumans. Populations begin to get that way when they live among plenty, when good nutrition and an adequate calorie intake are guaranteed, not something that has to be scrapped over every day. Look at us now, people are beginning to grow very tall because food is not an issue so the body can grow as much as it likes.

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You're forgetting there's another environmental condition working on their physique: The Aiel themselves. They fight constantly. Anyone who developed into being small and compact would die in battle. You know how evolution works, I take it? Take it to the logical conclusion.

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Its not some arguement Mili... Its a fact.

And its explained in the books. The Aiel themselves is the "people of the dragon", just look at the flashbacks from Rhuidian. They moved from the halls of servants, whereever that was, and inhabitanted the waste and then evolved during 3k years.

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You're forgetting there's another environmental condition working on their physique: The Aiel themselves. They fight constantly. Anyone who developed into being small and compact would die in battle. You know how evolution works, I take it? Take it to the logical conclusion.

 

Sorry, but that's complete rubbish. Being bigger does not automatically mean better in a battle. For example the Romans, who were very short people, kicked the asses of Celts, who were generally much bigger than they were. Greeks prized short and stocky men in their phalanxes because a low center of gravity is better in a pushing match, I know the Aiel dont fight in phalanxes, but still, the claim that those who were shorter and more compact would have a significant disadvantage when fighting is ludicrous.

 

In the waste, tall people would have ended up skinny and emaciated as they wouldn't have found enough sustenance to put muscle across their larger frames. You want your calorie requirements to be a low as possible when your food intake is going to be erratic. You just wont find enough food to fuel a big body.

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You're forgetting there's another environmental condition working on their physique: The Aiel themselves. They fight constantly. Anyone who developed into being small and compact would die in battle. You know how evolution works, I take it? Take it to the logical conclusion.

 

Sorry, but that's complete rubbish. Being bigger does not automatically mean better in a battle. For example the Romans, who were very short people, kicked the asses of Celts, who were generally much bigger than they were. Greeks prized short and stocky men in their phalanxes because a low center of gravity is better in a pushing match, I know the Aiel dont fight in phalanxes, but still, the claim that those who were shorter and more compact would have a significant disadvantage when fighting is ludicrous.

 

In the waste, tall people would have ended up skinny and emaciated as they wouldn't have found enough sustenance to put muscle across their larger frames. You want your calorie requirements to be a low as possible when your food intake is going to be erratic. You just wont find enough food to fuel a big body.

I think in general he might have meant smaller. There is no doubt that larger animals have an advantage against smaller animals and we are talking about fighting; smaller people would be at a significant disadvantage, less mass and shorter reaches are two very significant disadvantages to start off with. Sure there could be some relevant example of where a smaller guy beat a bigger guy because of this one exception, but this is an entire population.

 

Also does it say anywhere that food is scarce in the Waste? Yeah, it's called the Waste, so you can imagine. But it is not like they say "May you always find something to eat." Just wondering.

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Most of the Massai men are a bit above 2 metres tall (6'7''). That's because of climate and protecting their cattle.

 

Fighting Aiel style (=without horses, swords and heavy armor) would probably favor those that are taller than average.

 

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You're forgetting there's another environmental condition working on their physique: The Aiel themselves. They fight constantly. Anyone who developed into being small and compact would die in battle. You know how evolution works, I take it? Take it to the logical conclusion.

 

Sorry, but that's complete rubbish. Being bigger does not automatically mean better in a battle. For example the Romans, who were very short people, kicked the asses of Celts, who were generally much bigger than they were. Greeks prized short and stocky men in their phalanxes because a low center of gravity is better in a pushing match, I know the Aiel dont fight in phalanxes, but still, the claim that those who were shorter and more compact would have a significant disadvantage when fighting is ludicrous.

 

In the waste, tall people would have ended up skinny and emaciated as they wouldn't have found enough sustenance to put muscle across their larger frames. You want your calorie requirements to be a low as possible when your food intake is going to be erratic. You just wont find enough food to fuel a big body.

I think in general he might have meant smaller. There is no doubt that larger animals have an advantage against smaller animals and we are talking about fighting; smaller people would be at a significant disadvantage, less mass and shorter reaches are two very significant disadvantages to start off with. Sure there could be some relevant example of where a smaller guy beat a bigger guy because of this one exception, but this is an entire population.

 

Also does it say anywhere that food is scarce in the Waste? Yeah, it's called the Waste, so you can imagine. But it is not like they say "May you always find something to eat." Just wondering.

 

Anywhere water is scarce, food is scarce. Water is life, no water, no life. We eat other living things to survive, so there is only as much food as there is water to support these other things to be eaten.

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Jordan not having explained in depth how the threshold lands look like and where the Aiel get their food, except plantation/livestock etc that we have seen, doesnt make Aiel superhuman.

 

 

 

And i still say that Cavalery isnt as effective as you keep spamming it is. And Aiel isnt the kind of soldier that you keep trying to niech them into being and that most other things surrounding the Aiel are explained throughly in the books.

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Individuals may be exceptional, but a race of people, all of whom are exceptional, is not the human species that I am familiar with.
No real difference. Some exceptional superhumans get a pass, others don't.

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it might be possible that the aiel didn't become so tall in the aielwaste but rather were so tall in the AoL. that the AoL life was something like ours and that the aiel became as tall as they are now then and not while living in the waste.

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In response to your statement that the human species is not the one that you recognize I have to agree with you. Not only the Aiel are different but all humans are different. Take for example the domineering women in the story. All of the Aes Sedai, (particualy Siuan, Cadsuane, Moraine,) Alivia, Sorilea, Reanne to give a few examples manage to wrap everyone around their fingers through their strength of will. I have never encountered a single individual that possessed this ability. I just assumed that Jordans world was sort of like Tolkian's - that the will was infused with some kind of magical power. Accordingly I simply took Jordan's description of the Aiel at face value. If he wants them to overwhelmingly dominate militarily than I accepted that they would be the way he described them. After all it is one of a writers prerogatives to bend reality however they want it.

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another likely explanation of why the Aiel are tall would be that they eat better than the wetlanders with less fatty foods (since fat would be used more for candles, some cooking, curing of hides, etc), and so far we havent heard of any Aiel who where starving

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What's this about Aiel in "pajamas?"  What exactly are cadin'sor made of anyway?  I'll have to check in the books.  Also, "Miltiades," are you one of those people who thinks the Persians didn't have their cavalry at Marathon when Miltiades had his hoplites attack.  I'm guessing you are ;)

 

I don't think the Aiel are stupid or blind enough to be caught in the open by cavalry.  I think they are hardly ever caught by surprise.  I know being an invader dictates the terrain you fight on a lot of times, but I think you overestimate the intelligence of the wetland commanders.  I remember in one of the books someone said that only the Great Captains and the Seanchan ever really analyzed their defeats.  That doesn't say much for the rest of the wetlanders.  I doubt the average wetlander commander would be fond of a Fabian strategy, so I think it would be easy to induce one of these commanders to attack you such that you choose the terrain.  Once you decimate their armies, you can move into the open and/or besiege their cities.  Also, I don't think Aiel can adequately be compared to light infantry as, as is pointed out they have amazing mobility for infantry.

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One important thing to keep in mind about the Aiel War is the purpose and nature of the war. Tha Aiel did not come to conquer, they came with the single objective of bringing a criminal to justice. This is crucial, as it makes the difference between an army that must hold position and fend off what is thrown at them, and an army that is constantly moving, without any real interest in fighting for the sake of fighting. If their assessment of a situation was that the odds favoured the opponent, they could take another route attempting to avoid battle, or at least delay the battle until they had taken a position that suited them better.

 

I would say that the really stupid ones during the war where the people of Cairhien. Had it been me, at the first sight of an Aiel army marching towards the city, I would have giftwrapped Laman and had him delivered to them asap. The city and thousands of lives would have been saved. And after all, the only good king is a beheaded king ;D

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You're forgetting there's another environmental condition working on their physique: The Aiel themselves. They fight constantly. Anyone who developed into being small and compact would die in battle. You know how evolution works, I take it? Take it to the logical conclusion.

 

Sorry, but that's complete rubbish. Being bigger does not automatically mean better in a battle. For example the Romans, who were very short people, kicked the asses of Celts, who were generally much bigger than they were. Greeks prized short and stocky men in their phalanxes because a low center of gravity is better in a pushing match, I know the Aiel dont fight in phalanxes, but still, the claim that those who were shorter and more compact would have a significant disadvantage when fighting is ludicrous.

 

In the waste, tall people would have ended up skinny and emaciated as they wouldn't have found enough sustenance to put muscle across their larger frames. You want your calorie requirements to be a low as possible when your food intake is going to be erratic. You just wont find enough food to fuel a big body.

 

What about the Zulu tribes in Africa... who decimated a superior force!

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Quote from: Miltiades on July 11, 2009, 11:07:16 AM

Quote from: dholm on July 11, 2009, 10:10:45 AM

You're forgetting there's another environmental condition working on their physique: The Aiel themselves. They fight constantly. Anyone who developed into being small and compact would die in battle. You know how evolution works, I take it? Take it to the logical conclusion.

 

 

Sorry, but that's complete rubbish. Being bigger does not automatically mean better in a battle. For example the Romans, who were very short people, kicked the asses of Celts, who were generally much bigger than they were. Greeks prized short and stocky men in their phalanxes because a low center of gravity is better in a pushing match, I know the Aiel dont fight in phalanxes, but still, the claim that those who were shorter and more compact would have a significant disadvantage when fighting is ludicrous.

 

In the waste, tall people would have ended up skinny and emaciated as they wouldn't have found enough sustenance to put muscle across their larger frames. You want your calorie requirements to be a low as possible when your food intake is going to be

 

 

You are forgetting in many of your examples the winning forces had much superior technology.  Size depends on fighting style, in the northlands of europe and africa it was more of a brawl than a organized fighting unit thus size was desirable, Rome and other imperial fighting forces conentrated on fighting formations, whcih was why the smaller stature was desirable.

 

From what I see in WoT the only really organized fighting units are the Legion and the Seanchan. The rest just engage and go into a brawl style, which is why the Aiel are effective

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another likely explanation of why the Aiel are tall would be that they eat better than the wetlanders with less fatty foods (since fat would be used more for candles, some cooking, curing of hides, etc), and so far we havent heard of any Aiel who where starving

Food seems to have very little to do with a person's height.

And less fat does not necessary mean becoming tall.  Less fat would more likely mean more fit.

 

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