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Who is the Greatest General alive?

Who is the greatest general alive right now?  

74 members have voted

  1. 1. Who is the greatest general alive right now?

    • Mat Cauthon
      59
    • Demandred
      2
    • Agelmar Jagad
      1
    • Rodel Ituralde
      6
    • Davram Bashere
      0
    • Gareth Bryne
      2
    • Rand/LTT
      4
    • Ishamael
      0


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You can't really group Rand with LTT. Rand, I believe, is an good general, not great. LTT however is the greatest general from the AoL. He tells Rand in PoD that he's never lost a battle, he's won hundreds of battles and gave orders that led to hundreds of victories, so he would be the greatest "alive." We have seen that the line between Rand and LTT is being blurred (Rand can draw as well as LTT, memories, etc) so it would be cool to see LTT "advising" Rand in batle or something.

First off, I'm fairly certain Mat has commanded more battles than Lews Therin through his memories. He has around fifteen hundred years worth of memories in his head. That's half the time since the Breaking. Not continuous, of course, but still.

 

 

First, while Mat most likely has more memories of battles (although it's not for certain), Lews Therin has never lost a battle. The men from Mat's memories have, especially to Artur Hawkwing. That'd be like saying Julius Caesar is a better commander than Alexander the Great simply because Caesar fought more battles against the Gauls while Alexander never lost a battle while fighting overwhelming odds (like LTT).

 

Secondly, while I agree that Lews Therin was probably a very good tactician, he and the others from the Age of Legends had to reinvent war. You do not polish off a thing like warfare in ten years, or even fifty. It takes centuries, if not millennia.

Demandred is possibly the second greatest general of the AoL so he'd be very much high on the list. Also when you face him in battle you're going against one of the most powerful and lethal channelers of the AoL.

I'm certain he is very good, but that doesn't make him the equal of the five great generals. When everyone else is an idiot, even an average guy can seem like a genius.

 

We are comparing the tactical skills of each general in his age not the methods of the age he fought in. While Artur Hawkwing's time was the highest point of the military arts, you can't discount the deadly warfare of the AoL. To use a familiar example, some would say the Romans were the pinnacle of classical warfare yet Alexander the Great's phalanxes were virtually unbeatable. Look at it this way, does the fact that the height of warfare in Artur Hawkwing's time lessen the skill of the Five Great Captains? No. So you shouldn't do the same for the genrals from the AoL.

 

We are comparing how each general did in his time period and as much as you discount the AoL, the military arts were quite impressive from the limited knowledge we have, as were Demandred's tactical prowess.

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We are comparing the tactical skills of each general in his age not the methods of the age he fought in.

 

Methods are the manifestation of skills. just because I can hit a single-leg whenever i choose doesn't mean my fireman's throw is any good.(backup metaphor for non-wrestlers: just because i can chuck three pointers doesn't mean i can drive the hoop.)

 

We want to know who the best is alive, and that means with "today's" (third age) warfare, with whatever technology or equipment the third age has to offer.  Being as LTT, demandred, and ishy haven't even really tried to become generals in this age, one has to go with Mat and the great captains

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there is no 'greatest'.

 

the last guy standing alive, is the greatest. hawkwing was the greatest of his time, because he was the last one standing.

No. A lesser general can beat a greater one, if the greater is facing worse odds or has a bad day. But you needn't take my word for it:
But what was exceptional was that the two most noted captains of their age met in clinch for the first time in a war of 22 years' duration...Thus far...Napoleon had faced and fought leaders of only moderate abilities, and, in his turn, so had Wellington...

That the greater of the two went down before the lesser...

From Decisive Battles of the Western World, Volume II, by military historian and theorist J.F.C. Fuller, a man whose opinions on the matter are worth a damn sight more than yours. And he says that Napoleon was better than Wellington, even though Napoleon was not the last man standing. We might not have enough to judge the greatest, but being the last man standing might only mean you got lucky and your betters wiped each other out.

 

Just wanna point out about Sun Tzu having read wheel of time would be impossible as he lived during 544 bc, so yeah. Impossible.  :)
If time is a wheel, maybe there'll be a copy left lying around when Sun Tzu comes again.

 

What is impossible is only impossible until it has been done.
If it an be done, it isn't impossible. The impossible is impossible, and it cannot be done, by definition.

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You can't really group Rand with LTT. Rand, I believe, is an good general, not great. LTT however is the greatest general from the AoL. He tells Rand in PoD that he's never lost a battle, he's won hundreds of battles and gave orders that led to hundreds of victories, so he would be the greatest "alive." We have seen that the line between Rand and LTT is being blurred (Rand can draw as well as LTT, memories, etc) so it would be cool to see LTT "advising" Rand in batle or something.

First off, I'm fairly certain Mat has commanded more battles than Lews Therin through his memories. He has around fifteen hundred years worth of memories in his head. That's half the time since the Breaking. Not continuous, of course, but still.

 

 

First, while Mat most likely has more memories of battles (although it's not for certain), Lews Therin has never lost a battle. The men from Mat's memories have, especially to Artur Hawkwing. That'd be like saying Julius Caesar is a better commander than Alexander the Great simply because Caesar fought more battles against the Gauls while Alexander never lost a battle while fighting overwhelming odds (like LTT).

I repeat, if everyone around him is an idiot, even an average man can seem like a genius. Mat, however, can be compared to the five great generals through Bashere, who was utterly impressed.

 

I am certain Lews Therin was good, but that doesn't mean he would be the equal of the great generals in current times. He would have an advantage in that he can combine knowledge of the One Power with tactics, but that's pretty much it -- and Gareth Bryne does that as well.

 

Secondly, while I agree that Lews Therin was probably a very good tactician, he and the others from the Age of Legends had to reinvent war. You do not polish off a thing like warfare in ten years, or even fifty. It takes centuries, if not millennia.

Demandred is possibly the second greatest general of the AoL so he'd be very much high on the list. Also when you face him in battle you're going against one of the most powerful and lethal channelers of the AoL.

I'm certain he is very good, but that doesn't make him the equal of the five great generals. When everyone else is an idiot, even an average guy can seem like a genius.

 

We are comparing the tactical skills of each general in his age not the methods of the age he fought in. While Artur Hawkwing's time was the highest point of the military arts, you can't discount the deadly warfare of the AoL. To use a familiar example, some would say the Romans were the pinnacle of classical warfare yet Alexander the Great's phalanxes were virtually unbeatable. Look at it this way, does the fact that the height of warfare in Artur Hawkwing's time lessen the skill of the Five Great Captains? No. So you shouldn't do the same for the genrals from the AoL.

That's completely wrong. Look at the topic title. Who is the Greatest General alive. We are comparing them against each other, not against the time they fought in.

 

Not that it matters. If Artur Hawkwing was alive, I would put him second after Mat, and I wouldn't care one iota about the Age of Legends when speaking military.

 

We are comparing how each general did in his time period and as much as you discount the AoL, the military arts were quite impressive from the limited knowledge we have, as were Demandred's tactical prowess.

Uh, no. We have seen absolutely nothing that indicates that the state of warfare was any good in the Age of Legends. They fought battles. Large scale battles. I could plan a dozen large scale battles before breakfast if I wanted. That doesn't mean I have tactical skill.

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Mat Cauthon:  By far the best.  Not even a debate imo.  he has an unfair advantage but that's the way things are.  He came up with the same battle plan that the Aiel clan chiefs made in hours in 5 minutes.  He showed in the fighting around Cairhien that he can adapt to changing circumstances and that he's a good battle leader.  In KoD he absolutely toyed with the Seanchan.  Throughout Mat has shown tactical, operational, and strategic genius.

Demandred:  Don't hear much about him but he was supposed to be up there with LTT and he led the Shadow's forces iirc, so he's probably pretty damned legendary.

Agelmar Jagad:  Don't really see much of anything from him but he earned his reputation somehow.

Rodel Ituralde:  Led a brilliant and complex campaign against the Seanchan to perfection.

Davram Bashere:  He studies history and adapts to changing circumstances.  Definitely deserves the title Great Captain.

Gareth Bryne:  Seems very smart.  Haven't seen him in action but he is a Great Captain.

Rand/LTT:  Rand isn't that great but he's smart enough to listen to the clan chiefs, Bashere, and LTT.  LTT was the greatest general the light had in the AoL so he's definitely legendary.

Ishamael:  lol?

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Mat Cauthon: By far the best. Not even a debate imo.
The only reason it isn't a debate is due to the lack of information on the others.

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both bashere and ituralde has done what mat has done: using smaller forces to pick apart the scattered enemy.

 

but you forgot another great general, karede furyk (or is it the other way round) of the deathwatch guard.  as soon as he realized what was happening, he consolidated and forced a full frontal confrontation, and probably would have won if not for callandor.

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both bashere and ituralde has done what mat has done: using smaller forces to pick apart the scattered enemy.

 

but you forgot another great general, karede furyk (or is it the other way round) of the deathwatch guard.  as soon as he realized what was happening, he consolidated and forced a full frontal confrontation, and probably would have won if not for callandor.

 

I didn't mention him because he wasn't in the poll.

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Mat Cauthon: By far the best. Not even a debate imo.
The only reason it isn't a debate is due to the lack of information on the others.

 

It's true we don't know much about many of the others, but Mat has more memories of battles than all the others combined.

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a  better poll would have been who is the  best general who isnt one of the  wonder boys or  former wonder boys from the AOL and just compare apples to apples. having people like mat  against  normal generals is just to slanted.

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a  better poll would have been who is the  best general who isnt one of the  wonder boys or  former wonder boys from the AOL and just compare apples to apples. having people like mat  against  normal generals is just to slanted.

 

True, but there's still the lack of information.  We know Ituralde and Bashere are brilliant but we don't know a damned thing about Agelmar.

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i still can't see any great capt being chosen above Mat. he makes a battle plan in minutes that all the clan chiefs have been mulling over for days. and i'm sure Rhuarc or another can be the equivalent to a great capt. and Bashere is greatly impressed w/ Mats plans for Illian. even though they formulated them together,(mostly Mat's ideas) he gives the credit for them to Mat. so if Mat is better than Bashere and the great capts are basically at the same level, Mat is greater than any of them. than u have the Seanchan as Rand states their gens are all of the same ability as the the great capts. and yet Mat makes them dance to his tune. so if u pick any other commander it's for popularity/ or u have discounted Mat and chosen the next viable person. as said before Mat being a choice makes it unfair.

 

it should have been a list of all reg generals including seanchan ones and than debate. Mat being a choice leaves no debate he is the greatest.

 

if u take the wonder boys out i would go w/ Karede. ;)

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Perhaps it isn't fair, but who said it had to be?

I think a "who's better" poll is pointless if there's not a level playing field.

 

Sure you can put Deep Blue in a poll asking "who's the greatest chestmaster of all time", but what's the point?

 

Mat is without question the best general living, he could thrash any other general on the list, but he didn't earn his knowledge, he didn't actually have the experiences he draws up to fight with. He's like a computer that's been programed and can't be compared to a real person.

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The point is obviously in answering the question asked.

 

Mat isn't programmed. He has the knowledge from other men, but he uses it.

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