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The DO will be the underdog in Tarmon Gai'don?


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1. After some no doubt complex maneuvering Egwene will unite the WT. Mat will help Tuon and the Seanchan into an alliance at least for the duration of TG. Berelain will reign in Galad and most the Children of the Light. That the common men and rank and file of the Borderlands will join the fight against the DO in TG is a given. So in essence the whole of the Westlands, the Seanchan expeditionary force, and the Aiel will stand against the DO.

 

2. Having Channelers seems more important than ordinary armies. 30? channelers quickly killed 100,000 trollocs despite the later having achieved surprise in KOD. We do not know how many darkfriends there are in the White and Black Tower but let us say 10% in the White Tower and 30% in the Black Tower. In addition to that there are the Kin, the Seanchan channelers, the Aiel channelers, and the Sea Folk channelers, most of which will not be darkfriends. In short, the DO will be hugely outnumbered in channelers.

 

Now, someone might argue that that Ishy did pretty well in the Trolloc Wars despite likely being outnumbered in channelers. But likely this was due to Ishy having taught the Dreadlords how to Travel, so despite the Dreadlords probable lower total numbers they could usually achieve local superiority in numbers by Traveling. Well, now both sides can do this.

 

3. Shadowspan have the simply enormous disadvantage of not being able to Travel. This means that a somewhat competent general should nearly always be able to achieve local superiority in numbers by traveling in reinforcements. If he is outnumbered he will simply Travel away. Hit-and-run tactics will take on whole new meaning.

 

4. The DO does not have good generals. True, some of the Forsaken may have been good generals in the Age of Legends. But that was high-tech warfare. This will be low-tech warfare which will be very different. The best generals of the light have had many decades (or centuries for Mat) of experience in low-tech warfare.

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1. After some no doubt complex maneuvering Egwene will unite the WT. Mat will help Tuon and the Seanchan into an alliance at least for the duration of TG. Berelain will reign in Galad and most the Children of the Light. That the common men and rank and file of the Borderlands will join the fight against the DO in TG is a given. So in essence the whole of the Westlands, the Seanchan expeditionary force, and the Aiel will stand against the DO.

 

To be quite honest, we don't know how the WT split and the Seanchan attack will end. Any statement about that is purely speculation. There are so many factions among the Westlands that we don't know if there will be any truce between all of them. As long as they are separate, as they are/have been, it is helpful to the Shadow.

 

2. Having Channelers seems more important than ordinary armies. 30? channelers quickly killed 100,000 trollocs despite the later having achieved surprise in KOD. We do not know how many darkfriends there are in the White and Black Tower but let us say 10% in the White Tower and 30% in the Black Tower. In addition to that there are the Kin, the Seanchan channelers, the Aiel channelers, and the Sea Folk channelers, most of which will not be darkfriends. In short, the DO will be hugely outnumbered in channelers.

 

The reason the Asha'man and Aes Sedai were able to defeat the 100,000 Trollocs was because there were no channelers to counter their weaves. That will change at Tarmon Gai'don. You're right that we don't know how many Darkfriends there are but according to Mesaana, the Shadow will have "an entire broad of channelers who—one way or another—will serve our cause in the Last Battle." Mesaana would have no reason to lie as lying to Moridin would not end well.

 

Now, someone might argue that that Ishy did pretty well in the Trolloc Wars despite likely being outnumbered in channelers. But likely this was due to Ishy having taught the Dreadlords how to Travel, so despite the Dreadlords probable lower total numbers they could usually achieve local superiority in numbers by Traveling. Well, now both sides can do this.

 

If I remember correctly, Travelling has not been used since the Age of Legends. The reason that the Trolloc Wars were in favor of the Shadow for so long was because the Shadow not only had numerical superiority but also that they had numerous Dreadlords. So possibly half of the Aes Sedai were Black Ajah along with some male dreadlords.

 

3. Shadowspan have the simply enormous disadvantage of not being able to Travel. This means that a somewhat competent general should nearly always be able to achieve local superiority in numbers by traveling in reinforcements. If he is outnumbered he will simply Travel away. Hit-and-run tactics will take on whole new meaning.

 

While Trollocs can't Travel, they can however, move faster than horses and Aiel and they can still use the Ways (like the 100,000 in Tear). As you can see from the Prologue of TGS, they can still show up unexpectedly.

 

4. The DO does not have good generals. True, some of the Forsaken may have been good generals in the Age of Legends. But that was high-tech warfare. This will be low-tech warfare which will be very different. The best generals of the light have had many decades (or centuries for Mat) of experience in low-tech warfare.

 

One of the key themes of generalship in the WoT is the ability to adapt. It's noticed often in the Five Great Captains and Mat. Demandred is a very capable general. He was most likely the second best general of the Age of Legends. It's been about two years since the Forsaken were unsealed I believe. That is more than enough time for a good general to get adjusted. Although the technology may have changed, the principles remain the same. Also, Demandred is the only "main" general of the Shadow from the AoL meaning the other generals will likely be of this current period.

 

So in conclusion, we don't know what will happen during Tarmon Gai'don. I do believe it will get worse before it possibly gets better. As Robert Jordan said, the Light is on the ropes and the Dark One/Shadow has some nasty surprises for our boy.

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Calling the DO underdog... Well, let me ask this question instead, how do you think the series will end? The DO winning or the light?

Im pretty sure most people think that the Wheel Of Time series will, like most books, end in some kind of happy ending, at least for the world? So in that light you might call the DO a underdog, since the bad guys usually dont win, or well the people you follow usually win.

 

Not sure you can call the DO a underdog with how the world is today though in the books... To me it feels abit chaotic, Rand hardly got anyone he can trust. All sort of people want to guide him or bully him still, even if they by now are abit afraid of him. Also, Rand dont really know how to beat the DO yet, we got no idea what exactly Tarmongaiden will mean, what Rand has to do and where he has to do it. Is it at Shayl Ghul? is all that he has to do is travel over there and seal up the bore perfectly? How exactly are he supposed to do that, will lews therin show him exactly how? can he? is it good enough to bring women aswell to make the seal perfect, can the Dark one do a second counterstroke? if he can, is it possible to do the sealing so it can be avoided etc.

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Your mistake is thinking of Tarmon Gai'don as a war. You don't make war with enemies that are unkillable, entrapped gods. The warfare is, I believe, a distraction. I wouldn't be surprised if, in the end, Tarmon Gai'don is a decision Rand must make. That in the end, it comes down to the person he is. Or not. What is relevent, though, is that the whole Trolloc Wars angle is a red herring the DO wants to distract Rand with- seriously, if the "good guys" win th physical battle but lose the metaphysic, it's all over. If they win the metaphysic, and cut off the DO, then his servants will fall apart.

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1. After some no doubt complex maneuvering Egwene will unite the WT. Mat will help Tuon and the Seanchan into an alliance at least for the duration of TG. Berelain will reign in Galad and most the Children of the Light. That the common men and rank and file of the Borderlands will join the fight against the DO in TG is a given. So in essence the whole of the Westlands, the Seanchan expeditionary force, and the Aiel will stand against the DO.

 

To be quite honest, we don't know how the WT split and the Seanchan attack will end. Any statement about that is purely speculation. There are so many factions among the Westlands that we don't know if there will be any truce between all of them. As long as they are separate, as they are/have been, it is helpful to the Shadow.

 

Anything regarding the future obviously is speculation but I think that the purpose of Mat marrying Tuon and Egwene taking control of the WT clearly is to help the people unite against the DO. My point was not regarding the situation now but when TG starts.

 

2. Having Channelers seems more important than ordinary armies. 30? channelers quickly killed 100,000 trollocs despite the later having achieved surprise in KOD. We do not know how many darkfriends there are in the White and Black Tower but let us say 10% in the White Tower and 30% in the Black Tower. In addition to that there are the Kin, the Seanchan channelers, the Aiel channelers, and the Sea Folk channelers, most of which will not be darkfriends. In short, the DO will be hugely outnumbered in channelers.

 

The reason the Asha'man and Aes Sedai were able to defeat the 100,000 Trollocs was because there were no channelers to counter their weaves. That will change at Tarmon Gai'don. You're right that we don't know how many Darkfriends there are but according to Mesaana, the Shadow will have "an entire broad of channelers who—one way or another—will serve our cause in the Last Battle." Mesaana would have no reason to lie as lying to Moridin would not end well.

Will it? The Asha'man themselves hold of the Shaido regulars + Wise Ones by creating a dome of air. Then they massacred the Shaido themselves without any help of regular troops.

 

There is nothing in Mesanna statement indicating that the DO will gain a majority of even the WT channelers. Obviously there are a bunch who are darkfriends but that is nothing new.

Now, someone might argue that that Ishy did pretty well in the Trolloc Wars despite likely being outnumbered in channelers. But likely this was due to Ishy having taught the Dreadlords how to Travel, so despite the Dreadlords probable lower total numbers they could usually achieve local superiority in numbers by Traveling. Well, now both sides can do this.

 

If I remember correctly, Travelling has not been used since the Age of Legends. The reason that the Trolloc Wars were in favor of the Shadow for so long was because the Shadow not only had numerical superiority but also that they had numerous Dreadlords. So possibly half of the Aes Sedai were Black Ajah along with some male dreadlords.

We only know that Ttraveling has not been used by the WT since the breaking. Ishy knows Traveling and could thus teach the Dreadlords. A far more likely explanation for the success of the Dreadlords during the Trolloc Wars than that half of the female Aes Sedai were Black Ajah.

3. Shadowspan have the simply enormous disadvantage of not being able to Travel. This means that a somewhat competent general should nearly always be able to achieve local superiority in numbers by traveling in reinforcements. If he is outnumbered he will simply Travel away. Hit-and-run tactics will take on whole new meaning.

 

While Trollocs can't Travel, they can however, move faster than horses and Aiel and they can still use the Ways (like the 100,000 in Tear). As you can see from the Prologue of TGS, they can still show up unexpectedly.

The Ways cannot match Traveling in tactical value in a battle. Outnumbered? Travel away. About equal? Travel away or bring in reinforcements. So you only ever has to fight when you have a clear local superiority. Not to mention you do not have worry about marching, logistics, etc. You can always let your troops sleep in a castle and only Travel away for quick raids etc.

4. The DO does not have good generals. True, some of the Forsaken may have been good generals in the Age of Legends. But that was high-tech warfare. This will be low-tech warfare which will be very different. The best generals of the light have had many decades (or centuries for Mat) of experience in low-tech warfare.

 

One of the key themes of generalship in the WoT is the ability to adapt. It's noticed often in the Five Great Captains and Mat. Demandred is a very capable general. He was most likely the second best general of the Age of Legends. It's been about two years since the Forsaken were unsealed I believe. That is more than enough time for a good general to get adjusted. Although the technology may have changed, the principles remain the same. Also, Demandred is the only "main" general of the Shadow from the AoL meaning the other generals will likely be of this current period.

 

So in conclusion, we don't know what will happen during Tarmon Gai'don. I do believe it will get worse before it possibly gets better. As Robert Jordan said, the Light is on the ropes and the Dark One/Shadow has some nasty surprises for our boy.

Even the most intelligent person cannot a master of a new craft immediately. The Forsaken has many duties, and pleasures, and cannot do full time studying. Even if they try to relearn their old skills by reading theoretical manuals they still do not have the practical experience of low-tech warfare. A limited time of theoretical study during two years is certainly not enough to match decades of real-world experience.

 

I think Crossroads of Twilight was meant to be the lowpoint. Jordan would take a time-out while writing the prequel novels and then return with the situation starting to improve. In KOD the situation improved dramatically in many ways. Andor was united under Elayne, the Shaido and the Prophet decimated, Mat married Tuon, Suroth out, Semirhage captured and losing her influence over the Seanchan, Aran'gar has been forced to flee the Sailar Aes Sedai also losing influence, Galad taking control over most of the Whitecloaks, Loial will be speaking at the Great Stump and likely convince the Ogiers to help, Lan starting recruiting and army in the Borderlands, and Logain taking away more than half the Black Tower from Taim's direct control to Arab Domain and Illian. So I believe we have already seen the worst and the situation will continue to improve.

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Your mistake is thinking of Tarmon Gai'don as a war. You don't make war with enemies that are unkillable, entrapped gods. The warfare is, I believe, a distraction. I wouldn't be surprised if, in the end, Tarmon Gai'don is a decision Rand must make. That in the end, it comes down to the person he is. Or not. What is relevent, though, is that the whole Trolloc Wars angle is a red herring the DO wants to distract Rand with- seriously, if the "good guys" win th physical battle but lose the metaphysic, it's all over. If they win the metaphysic, and cut off the DO, then his servants will fall apart.

 

Calling the DO underdog... Well, let me ask this question instead, how do you think the series will end? The DO winning or the light?

Im pretty sure most people think that the Wheel Of Time series will, like most books, end in some kind of happy ending, at least for the world? So in that light you might call the DO a underdog, since the bad guys usually dont win, or well the people you follow usually win.

 

Not sure you can call the DO a underdog with how the world is today though in the books... To me it feels abit chaotic, Rand hardly got anyone he can trust. All sort of people want to guide him or bully him still, even if they by now are abit afraid of him. Also, Rand dont really know how to beat the DO yet, we got no idea what exactly Tarmongaiden will mean, what Rand has to do and where he has to do it. Is it at Shayl Ghul? is all that he has to do is travel over there and seal up the bore perfectly? How exactly are he supposed to do that, will lews therin show him exactly how? can he? is it good enough to bring women aswell to make the seal perfect, can the Dark one do a second counterstroke? if he can, is it possible to do the sealing so it can be avoided etc.

I am only making claims regarding the overall military situation and military strengths. Obviously if the DO is cast out completely and the damage from the bore repaired this becomes irrelevant. Just pointing out that, beside any expedition to imprison/kill the DO again, the military situation does not look very bad.

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The Shadow will be advancing on so many different fronts that there won't be as much opportunity for traveling around as you imagine.

 

Secondly, the shadow does not need as many channelers as the light, how many times do I have to say it. They only need enough to keep the light side channelers occupied long enough for the Trolloc hordes to close with the human armies.

 

And as already been mentioned, it will be the metaphysical showdown between Rand and the Dark One that is important, not the physical battles.

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I don't think the DO will be the underdog, in fact I think our heroes will be the underdogs.

 

The DO has the Black Ajah, assuming alot of them don't get collerd. The DO has Taim's dark Asha'man.

 

He's going to have PLENTY of Dreadlords.

 

Taim is a great general on his own. Demandred can easily apply his knowledge to 'low tech' warfare. And lets not forget our friend Moridin, who has had countless years experience manipulating and leading the world and before that he /was/ one of the world's greatest generals and channelers, outclassed only by Lews Therin.

 

In the end, the war is going to be horrifying, and they're going to need everything they have to fight it. Ogier with their axes. Human soldiers of all the lands. As many channelers, both male and female, as they can get.

 

The Trollocs have been breeding like mad and reproducing by the thousands. Who knows how long it takes for a Trolloc to go from 'pup' to fully grown and combat ready. Who knows how long it takes a Fade to grow up after being born.

 

As it is, the army will be beyond count. The DO will have all the monsters of the Blight to unleash, and he can start rolling the Blight southward.

 

Coupled with his very ability to alter reality, DO's going to be a horrifying enemy, and his legions will roll across the land.

 

Its going to take all the assembled armies in this side of the ocean to withstand the tide. Even the Aiel will be overwhelmed.

 

Lets just hope Mat can get dozens upon dozens of those cannon made. They'll help swing the tide of battle by giving regular people the chance to deal damage on the level of a channeler.

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Remember RJs blog post just before the release of KOD...

 

The Forsaken are a group of power hungry people who don’t like one another and vie with one another for power as much as they vie with the forces of the Light.  Much like the internal politicking in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.  But look at the situation in the world as it actually stands, from the White Tower divided to crop failures caused by a too-long winter and a too-long summer and people fleeing their farms because the Dragon Reborn has broken all bonds, meaning still less food, and that spoiling at a fearsome rate, from chaos in Arad Doman to a large part of the Borderland armies out of position, from the arrival of the Seanchan focusing too many eyes on them instead of the Shadow to the strongest single nation, Andor, riven by civil war in all but name and Tear split by open warfare, from….  Well, take your pick.  There are lots more to chose from.  Take a step back and look at what the forces of the Shadow have wrought.  The world and the forces of the Light are in bad shape.  At this point, boys and girls, the Shadow is winning.  There are glimmers of hope, but only glimmers, and they MUST pay off for the Light to win.  All the Shadow needs for victory is for matters to keep on as they have been going thus far and one or two of those glimmers to fade or be extinguished.  The forces of the Light are on the ropes, and they don’t even know everything the Dark One has up his sleeve. 

 

Think of it this way.  The bell is about to ring for the fifteenth round, and the Light is so far behind on points the only way to win is a knockout.  Our boy is game, but he’s wobbly on his legs and bleeding from cuts over his eyes.  Now he has three minutes to pull out his best stuff and deliver the punch of his life.  The Dark One has taken a few shots, but nothing that has really damaged him.  He’s still dancing on his toes and talking trash.  His head shots can fracture a skull, and his body punches can break ribs.  And now he’s ready to unveil his surprises.  You didn’t think all it would take is for Rand to show up at the Last Battle, did you?  According to the Prophecies, the Light has no chance without him, but his presence doesn’t ensure victory, just that the Light has a chance.  Gotta stiffen your legs and blink the blood out of your eyes.  Gotta suck it up and find that punch.  Three minutes to go, and you gotta find that knockout.  That’s your only chance.

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The Shadow will be advancing on so many different fronts that there won't be as much opportunity for traveling around as you imagine.

 

Secondly, the shadow does not need as many channelers as the light, how many times do I have to say it. They only need enough to keep the light side channelers occupied long enough for the Trolloc hordes to close with the human armies.

 

And as already been mentioned, it will be the metaphysical showdown between Rand and the Dark One that is important, not the physical battles.

Not much space is needed for hit-and-run Traveling tactics. If outnumbered, Travel away somewhere, Randland is pretty large, the DO cannot post a trolloc behind every tree. If a Traveling scout party finds a small enemy force, travel in reinforcements and massacre. Repeat.

 

Well, at Dumai's Wells the non-channeling troops were simply unable to close due to the dome of air. The battle was decided between the channelers. The regular troops were unimportant.

 

I don't think the DO will be the underdog, in fact I think our heroes will be the underdogs.

 

The DO has the Black Ajah, assuming alot of them don't get collerd. The DO has Taim's dark Asha'man.

 

He's going to have PLENTY of Dreadlords.

 

Taim is a great general on his own. Demandred can easily apply his knowledge to 'low tech' warfare. And lets not forget our friend Moridin, who has had countless years experience manipulating and leading the world and before that he /was/ one of the world's greatest generals and channelers, outclassed only by Lews Therin.

 

In the end, the war is going to be horrifying, and they're going to need everything they have to fight it. Ogier with their axes. Human soldiers of all the lands. As many channelers, both male and female, as they can get.

 

The Trollocs have been breeding like mad and reproducing by the thousands. Who knows how long it takes for a Trolloc to go from 'pup' to fully grown and combat ready. Who knows how long it takes a Fade to grow up after being born.

 

As it is, the army will be beyond count. The DO will have all the monsters of the Blight to unleash, and he can start rolling the Blight southward.

 

Coupled with his very ability to alter reality, DO's going to be a horrifying enemy, and his legions will roll across the land.

 

Its going to take all the assembled armies in this side of the ocean to withstand the tide. Even the Aiel will be overwhelmed.

 

Lets just hope Mat can get dozens upon dozens of those cannon made. They'll help swing the tide of battle by giving regular people the chance to deal damage on the level of a channeler.

Yes, the DO has some channelers, but as noted the Light has many more.

 

Regarding Demandred, see my second post, a limited time of mostly theoretical studies during two years cannot match decades of real-world experience.

 

Now Moridin is more interesting. Not sure how often he has been free but a common guess seem to be that he was free every thousand years. That is after the Breaking, during the Trolloc Wars, and during the War of the Hundred Years, every time causing major problems and warfare. Not unlikely several hundred years of low-tech warfare. Still outclassed in this by Mat.

 

You take up another point. From what we know Mat has the most high-tech low-tech with cannons and super-crossbows. Of course, the DO could be building high-tech equipment, he has the Forsaken with some knowledge. But we have seen no indication from the Forsaken's povs that they have been used for technology improvements. Aginor seems to have been the chief Mad Scientist during the Age of Legends. If the DO had a technology improvement program Aginor would certainly have been where he belongs, in the lab, instead of with the Asha'man and on the battlefield.

 

Yes, the DO may have a lot of Trollocs. But again, they will be sitting ducks for hit-and-run Traveling tactics by channelers or combined channelers/regular troops. The same with Blight monsters.

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Remember RJs blog post just before the release of KOD...

 

The Forsaken are a group of power hungry people who don’t like one another and vie with one another for power as much as they vie with the forces of the Light.  Much like the internal politicking in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.  But look at the situation in the world as it actually stands, from the White Tower divided to crop failures caused by a too-long winter and a too-long summer and people fleeing their farms because the Dragon Reborn has broken all bonds, meaning still less food, and that spoiling at a fearsome rate, from chaos in Arad Doman to a large part of the Borderland armies out of position, from the arrival of the Seanchan focusing too many eyes on them instead of the Shadow to the strongest single nation, Andor, riven by civil war in all but name and Tear split by open warfare, from….  Well, take your pick.  There are lots more to chose from.  Take a step back and look at what the forces of the Shadow have wrought.  The world and the forces of the Light are in bad shape.  At this point, boys and girls, the Shadow is winning.  There are glimmers of hope, but only glimmers, and they MUST pay off for the Light to win.  All the Shadow needs for victory is for matters to keep on as they have been going thus far and one or two of those glimmers to fade or be extinguished.  The forces of the Light are on the ropes, and they don’t even know everything the Dark One has up his sleeve. 

 

Think of it this way.  The bell is about to ring for the fifteenth round, and the Light is so far behind on points the only way to win is a knockout.  Our boy is game, but he’s wobbly on his legs and bleeding from cuts over his eyes.  Now he has three minutes to pull out his best stuff and deliver the punch of his life.  The Dark One has taken a few shots, but nothing that has really damaged him.  He’s still dancing on his toes and talking trash.  His head shots can fracture a skull, and his body punches can break ribs.  And now he’s ready to unveil his surprises.  You didn’t think all it would take is for Rand to show up at the Last Battle, did you?  According to the Prophecies, the Light has no chance without him, but his presence doesn’t ensure victory, just that the Light has a chance.  Gotta stiffen your legs and blink the blood out of your eyes.  Gotta suck it up and find that punch.  Three minutes to go, and you gotta find that knockout.  That’s your only chance.

Yes, and as I noted previously the situation improved greatly in the KOD. I think the roles and storylines of the various characters, the prophecies, and the happenings during KOD all point to the major non-Dark armies uniting, at least temporarily, before TG.

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Anything regarding the future obviously is speculation but I think that the purpose of Mat marrying Tuon and Egwene taking control of the WT clearly is to help the people unite against the DO. My point was not regarding the situation now but when TG starts.

 

What I'm saying is we don't know what will happen with the White Tower. You're assuming Egwene will unite both the TAS and the SAS. We have no basis for believing to happen. We all want it to happen but we don't know. Also, with the Seanchan about to attack the Tower and Rand having Aes Sedai swear fealty to him makes unification a lot harder between those three.

 

Will it? The Asha'man themselves hold of the Shaido regulars + Wise Ones by creating a dome of air. Then they massacred the Shaido themselves without any help of regular troops.

 

There is nothing in Mesanna statement indicating that the DO will gain a majority of even the WT channelers. Obviously there are a bunch who are darkfriends but that is nothing new.

 

You do realize that Wise Ones barely channel right? Most Aiel did not even know they could. They would not know the offensive weaves that Asha'man and Aes Sedai know. Also, the Asha'man keeping the Shaido out at Dumai's Well is what happens when channelers go against non-channelers without the help of effective channelers.

 

Comment Removed by Luckers: Spoilers.

 

 

We only know that Ttraveling has not been used by the WT since the breaking. Ishy knows Traveling and could thus teach the Dreadlords. A far more likely explanation for the success of the Dreadlords during the Trolloc Wars than that half of the female Aes Sedai were Black Ajah.

 

If that were even true, he could only teach that to the male Dreadlords and that would be only the ones strong to make them. That small percentage of Dreadlords was not the reason they were winning. Also, Traveling is quite uselss as the majority of your forces (Shadowspawn) can't use them. Rather, it was the Shadowspawn's numerical superiority and the fact they had Dreadlords to counter the Aes Sedai. Something that's going to happen at Tarmon Gai'don.

 

The Ways cannot match Traveling in tactical value in a battle. Outnumbered? Travel away. About equal? Travel away or bring in reinforcements. So you only ever has to fight when you have a clear local superiority. Not to mention you do not have worry about marching, logistics, etc. You can always let your troops sleep in a castle and only Travel away for quick raids etc.

 

The Ways are still a viable way of moving troops. Did you not see how 100,000 Trollocs attacked Rand in Tear? By the Ways. Why do you think Rand was so set on sealing all the Ways? Did you not see how the Trollocs surprised Tylee near Ebou Dar? The ways are still a very good way to move troops.

 

As Robert Jordan once said in a question-answer, Traveling is not the end all of warfare. Filing people through a gateway takes time and is quite dangerous after a "raid/battle." Also, Traveling takes a lot out of a channeler and repeatedly making gateways and gateways large enough to transport armies makes those channelers ineffective against other channelers.

 

Even the most intelligent person cannot a master of a new craft immediately. The Forsaken has many duties, and pleasures, and cannot do full time studying. Even if they try to relearn their old skills by reading theoretical manuals they still do not have the practical experience of low-tech warfare. A limited time of theoretical study during two years is certainly not enough to match decades of real-world experience.

 

It's not a new craft! All the  miltary doctrine is based on the same principles regardless of the time period. Why do you think The Art of War and The Prince are still being used? First off, Moridin/Ishamael has experience fighting "low-tech" warfare. Second, as I said, Demanndred was probably the second greatest general of the AoL. He also had a third name meaning he is quite smart enough to transition his knowledge from "high-tech" to "low-tech" warfare in over two years. Also, as RJ pointed out once again, as the War of the Shadow dragged on, making high-tech weapons like shocklances and vehicles like sho-cars were drains on resources, they transitioned to swords and horses and the like towards the end. Also, fighting for the Shadow in the AoL is basically low-tech warfare as Trollocs were not equipped with such "high-tech" weaponry meaning he already has that experience. And finally, he will not be the only commander of the Shadow. There will doubtlessly be many from this Age as I said before.

 

I think Crossroads of Twilight was meant to be the lowpoint. Jordan would take a time-out while writing the prequel novels and then return with the situation starting to improve. In KOD the situation improved dramatically in many ways. Andor was united under Elayne, the Shaido and the Prophet decimated, Mat married Tuon, Suroth out, Semirhage captured and losing her influence over the Seanchan, Aran'gar has been forced to flee the Sailar Aes Sedai also losing influence, Galad taking control over most of the Whitecloaks, Loial will be speaking at the Great Stump and likely convince the Ogiers to help, Lan starting recruiting and army in the Borderlands, and Logain taking away more than half the Black Tower from Taim's direct control to Arab Domain and Illian. So I believe we have already seen the worst and the situation will continue to improve.

 

Andor is in fact "united," but Taim's Asha'man are within striking distance of Caemylyn. Mat is no where near Tuon and the fact that suldam can channel is a secret that can bring the Seanchan society to its knees. Lan might not even survive fighting in the Blight. Moridin has been consolidating his forces there for a while. Etcetera, etcetera. Trust me. It's was bad before, but it's about to get worse. Look at Majsju's quote of Robert Jordan.

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Anything regarding the future obviously is speculation but I think that the purpose of Mat marrying Tuon and Egwene taking control of the WT clearly is to help the people unite against the DO. My point was not regarding the situation now but when TG starts.

 

What I'm saying is we don't know what will happen with the White Tower. You're assuming Egwene will unite both the TAS and the SAS. We have no basis for believing to happen. We all want it to happen but we don't know. Also, with the Seanchan about to attack the Tower and Rand having Aes Sedai swear fealty to him makes unification a lot harder between those three.

Of course we cannot know regarding the future. But I think the situation in the KOD moved slowly towards a united front and reduced pro-DO chaos (see my earlier comment on this). The prophecies hints as future non-violent interactions and help between the major parties (Rand, Egwene, and the Seanchan.) As does the storylines of Mat and Egwene, both moving into positions of power where they can help Rand.

 

Will it? The Asha'man themselves hold of the Shaido regulars + Wise Ones by creating a dome of air. Then they massacred the Shaido themselves without any help of regular troops.

 

There is nothing in Mesanna statement indicating that the DO will gain a majority of even the WT channelers. Obviously there are a bunch who are darkfriends but that is nothing new.

 

You do realize that Wise Ones barely channel right? Most Aiel did not even know they could. They would not know the offensive weaves that Asha'man and Aes Sedai know. Also, the Asha'man keeping the Shaido out at Dumai's Well is what happens when channelers go against non-channelers without the help of effective channelers.

 

Comment Removed by Luckers: Spoilers.

The Wise Ones may not know as much as the Aes Sedai and Asha'man but they have already used the power offensively and extensively in battles. There is no shortage of Wise Ones who can channel. Just the Shaido had 400-500. Learning a wave seems extremely quick once you see it. Just look how quickly the other channelers copied Rand when he used new weaves against the trollocs in tear.

 

At Dumai's Wells the regular Shaido had the help of their channeling Wise Ones doing their best. Dumai's Wells instead shows that the regular troops are unimportant. The battle was decided between the channelers.

 

Luckers: Subsequent Comment Removed--response to spoiler comment. (Though not accurate, if that helps).

 

We only know that Ttraveling has not been used by the WT since the breaking. Ishy knows Traveling and could thus teach the Dreadlords. A far more likely explanation for the success of the Dreadlords during the Trolloc Wars than that half of the female Aes Sedai were Black Ajah.

 

If that were even true, he could only teach that to the male Dreadlords and that would be only the ones strong to make them. That small percentage of Dreadlords was not the reason they were winning. Also, Traveling is quite uselss as the majority of your forces (Shadowspawn) can't use them. Rather, it was the Shadowspawn's numerical superiority and the fact they had Dreadlords to counter the Aes Sedai. Something that's going to happen at Tarmon Gai'don.

Why not? Even if only a few could Travel they take all the other channelers with them. Meaning that the pro-DO channelers could probably nearly always achieve local superiority regarding channeler numbers.

 

The Ways cannot match Traveling in tactical value in a battle. Outnumbered? Travel away. About equal? Travel away or bring in reinforcements. So you only ever has to fight when you have a clear local superiority. Not to mention you do not have worry about marching, logistics, etc. You can always let your troops sleep in a castle and only Travel away for quick raids etc.

 

The Ways are still a viable way of moving troops. Did you not see how 100,000 Trollocs attacked Rand in Tear? By the Ways. Why do you think Rand was so set on sealing all the Ways? Did you not see how the Trollocs surprised Tylee near Ebou Dar? The ways are still a very good way to move troops.

 

As Robert Jordan once said in a question-answer, Traveling is not the end all of warfare. Filing people through a gateway takes time and is quite dangerous after a "raid/battle." Also, Traveling takes a lot out of a channeler and repeatedly making gateways and gateways large enough to transport armies makes those channelers ineffective against other channelers.

Yes, the DO may move troops true the Ways, if those Rand send out will not close them, and accepting the maybe massive casualties from using the Ways. But again, still not useful tactically during a battle.

 

A source for this opinion by Jordan would be nice.

 

Yes, Traveling may take some energy. But the few channelers Rand had with during his campaign against the Seanchan in Tear moved quite a lot of troops multiple times and still had some energy left over for offensive channeling. Similarly with the few Channelers Perrin had who could make gateways. Not to mention those channelers who are too weak to open a gateway but who still can use them. Regarding their capacity I think that their large capacity has also been demonstrated in the gateways attack against Illian and for moving Mat's army.

Even the most intelligent person cannot a master of a new craft immediately. The Forsaken has many duties, and pleasures, and cannot do full time studying. Even if they try to relearn their old skills by reading theoretical manuals they still do not have the practical experience of low-tech warfare. A limited time of theoretical study during two years is certainly not enough to match decades of real-world experience.

 

It's not a new craft! All the  miltary doctrine is based on the same principles regardless of the time period. Why do you think The Art of War and The Prince are still being used? First off, Moridin/Ishamael has experience fighting "low-tech" warfare. Second, as I said, Demanndred was probably the second greatest general of the AoL. He also had a third name meaning he is quite smart enough to transition his knowledge from "high-tech" to "low-tech" warfare in over two years. Also, as RJ pointed out once again, as the War of the Shadow dragged on, making high-tech weapons like shocklances and vehicles like sho-cars were drains on resources, they transitioned to swords and horses and the like towards the end. Also, fighting for the Shadow in the AoL is basically low-tech warfare as Trollocs were not equipped with such "high-tech" weaponry meaning he already has that experience. And finally, he will not be the only commander of the Shadow. There will doubtlessly be many from this Age as I said before.

Obviously there are always some common tactics like concentrate your forces. But that low-tech and high-tech warfare is very similar is like arguing that a master English writer will quickly become a master Chinese writer because there are similarities between languages.

 

Again a quote from Jordan would be nice. We have some scenes from the Age of Legends, and the soldiers seen when the end of the war was announced was still using high-tech equipment. A source for that the trollocs were not using high-tech equipment would also be nice.

 

Yes, there may be commanders from this age leading the DO's armies. But as a general rule there are more non-darkfriends than darkfriends, so the probability is large that more good generals will be among the Light.

I think Crossroads of Twilight was meant to be the lowpoint. Jordan would take a time-out while writing the prequel novels and then return with the situation starting to improve. In KOD the situation improved dramatically in many ways. Andor was united under Elayne, the Shaido and the Prophet decimated, Mat married Tuon, Suroth out, Semirhage captured and losing her influence over the Seanchan, Aran'gar has been forced to flee the Sailar Aes Sedai also losing influence, Galad taking control over most of the Whitecloaks, Loial will be speaking at the Great Stump and likely convince the Ogiers to help, Lan starting recruiting and army in the Borderlands, and Logain taking away more than half the Black Tower from Taim's direct control to Arab Domain and Illian. So I believe we have already seen the worst and the situation will continue to improve.

 

Andor is in fact "united," but Taim's Asha'man are within striking distance of Caemylyn. Mat is no where near Tuon and the fact that suldam can channel is a secret that can bring the Seanchan society to its knees. Lan might not even survive fighting in the Blight. Moridin has been consolidating his forces there for a while. Etcetera, etcetera. Trust me. It's was bad before, but it's about to get worse. Look at Majsju's quote of Robert Jordan.

As stated previously, the Robert Jordan quote is from before the situation improved in KOD. You may nitpick. But hardly deny that the situation improved in many ways for the Light during KOD.

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i agree that the situation improved in KoD, but i still tend to agree with RJ that the massive turnaround needed for the forces of light to improve to the point where they will be on equal footing with those of evil is not going to happen in time for the last battle, so a great deal is left to rand and his battle, whether at shayol ghul or elsewhere.

 

as far as modern and medieval warfare goes, the basics are the same. i think those arguments are somewhat pointless. certain points, like hold the high ground, etc, never change, and any good general or skilled commander can adapt to the situation at hand, whether they have horse cavalry or helicopter cavalry, automatic weapons or horsebows.

 

as far as the wise ones, i disagree that they have used the power extensively in battle, and while they may be picking up combat weaves from their few encounters, they aren't a patch on an Aes Sedai or Windfinder, as part of their training deals with using the one power in defense or attack.

 

im not trying to get involved in or in the middle of a debate, im just posting my opinions on the discussion at hand. please dont take anything i have said as an assault on your point of view, as it is not meant as such.

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i agree that the situation improved in KoD, but i still tend to agree with RJ that the massive turnaround needed for the forces of light to improve to the point where they will be on equal footing with those of evil is not going to happen in time for the last battle, so a great deal is left to rand and his battle, whether at shayol ghul or elsewhere.

 

as far as modern and medieval warfare goes, the basics are the same. i think those arguments are somewhat pointless. certain points, like hold the high ground, etc, never change, and any good general or skilled commander can adapt to the situation at hand, whether they have horse cavalry or helicopter cavalry, automatic weapons or horsebows.

 

as far as the wise ones, i disagree that they have used the power extensively in battle, and while they may be picking up combat weaves from their few encounters, they aren't a patch on an Aes Sedai or Windfinder, as part of their training deals with using the one power in defense or attack.

 

im not trying to get involved in or in the middle of a debate, im just posting my opinions on the discussion at hand. please dont take anything i have said as an assault on your point of view, as it is not meant as such.

Again, similarities regarding low-tech and high-tech warfare but no way the same if you want to be a master of the art. A high-tech commander would know almost nothing regarding horses: how far can they go in one hour or day, what are there food requirements, how do you scare them, what diseases do they get, how many smiths do you require for their shoes, how high a slope can they charge, how do you judge if a horse is taken care of, and so on. Can be repeated for numerous other things, many which may not be gained by book studies.

 

The Wise Ones, at least the Shaido ones, used their powers extensively during the battle at Dumai's Wells. Reread if you doubt me. Again, they may have less training than other channelers, but we repeatedely seen channelers pick up how to use a weave after only seeing it used briefly, like the other channelers at the trolloc battle in Tear from Rand, so any deficiency may be relatively quickly corrected.

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Not much space is needed for hit-and-run Traveling tactics. If outnumbered, Travel away somewhere, Randland is pretty large, the DO cannot post a trolloc behind every tree. If a Traveling scout party finds a small enemy force, travel in reinforcements and massacre. Repeat.

 

Well, at Dumai's Wells the non-channeling troops were simply unable to close due to the dome of air. The battle was decided between the channelers. The regular troops were unimportant.

 

Yes, the DO has some channelers, but as noted the Light has many more.

 

Regarding Demandred, see my second post, a limited time of mostly theoretical studies during two years cannot match decades of real-world experience.

 

Now Moridin is more interesting. Not sure how often he has been free but a common guess seem to be that he was free every thousand years. That is after the Breaking, during the Trolloc Wars, and during the War of the Hundred Years, every time causing major problems and warfare. Not unlikely several hundred years of low-tech warfare. Still outclassed in this by Mat.

 

You take up another point. From what we know Mat has the most high-tech low-tech with cannons and super-crossbows. Of course, the DO could be building high-tech equipment, he has the Forsaken with some knowledge. But we have seen no indication from the Forsaken's povs that they have been used for technology improvements. Aginor seems to have been the chief Mad Scientist during the Age of Legends. If the DO had a technology improvement program Aginor would certainly have been where he belongs, in the lab, instead of with the Asha'man and on the battlefield.

 

Yes, the DO may have a lot of Trollocs. But again, they will be sitting ducks for hit-and-run Traveling tactics by channelers or combined channelers/regular troops. The same with Blight monsters.

 

The Ashaman beat the Shaido Wise Ones soundly, not because they outnumbered them, though that helped, but because they had much more experience using the power in battle. The difference in experience will either not be there in the last battle, or be on the side of the dreadlords. One can only pick up a weave if you're the same gender. Darkfriend Ashaman against wiseones would be a massacre unless they're massively outnumbered. Only the new weaves they've learned from the Aes Sedai will keep them in the fight.

 

You overestimate how willing people will be to leave their homeland and traveling around. They will want to stay home and protect their own lands and people.

 

Furthermore, in the Age of Legends, the Light had the traveling advantage, and at first the advantage in channelers, but they still would have lost if not for the Dragon's last chance strike.

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Not much space is needed for hit-and-run Traveling tactics. If outnumbered, Travel away somewhere, Randland is pretty large, the DO cannot post a trolloc behind every tree. If a Traveling scout party finds a small enemy force, travel in reinforcements and massacre. Repeat.

 

Well, at Dumai's Wells the non-channeling troops were simply unable to close due to the dome of air. The battle was decided between the channelers. The regular troops were unimportant.

 

Yes, the DO has some channelers, but as noted the Light has many more.

 

Regarding Demandred, see my second post, a limited time of mostly theoretical studies during two years cannot match decades of real-world experience.

 

Now Moridin is more interesting. Not sure how often he has been free but a common guess seem to be that he was free every thousand years. That is after the Breaking, during the Trolloc Wars, and during the War of the Hundred Years, every time causing major problems and warfare. Not unlikely several hundred years of low-tech warfare. Still outclassed in this by Mat.

 

You take up another point. From what we know Mat has the most high-tech low-tech with cannons and super-crossbows. Of course, the DO could be building high-tech equipment, he has the Forsaken with some knowledge. But we have seen no indication from the Forsaken's povs that they have been used for technology improvements. Aginor seems to have been the chief Mad Scientist during the Age of Legends. If the DO had a technology improvement program Aginor would certainly have been where he belongs, in the lab, instead of with the Asha'man and on the battlefield.

 

Yes, the DO may have a lot of Trollocs. But again, they will be sitting ducks for hit-and-run Traveling tactics by channelers or combined channelers/regular troops. The same with Blight monsters.

 

The Ashaman beat the Shaido Wise Ones soundly, not because they outnumbered them, though that helped, but because they had much more experience using the power in battle. The difference in experience will either not be there in the last battle, or be on the side of the dreadlords. One can only pick up a weave if you're the same gender. Darkfriend Ashaman against wiseones would be a massacre unless they're massively outnumbered. Only the new weaves they've learned from the Aes Sedai will keep them in the fight.

 

You overestimate how willing people will be to leave their homeland and traveling around. They will want to stay home and protect their own lands and people.

 

Furthermore, in the Age of Legends, the Light had the traveling advantage, and at first the advantage in channelers, but they still would have lost if not for the Dragon's last chance strike.

 

You can't use the Age of Legends as an example here. The situation was very different, it was a previously utopian setting with the sudden introduction of violence, greed, etc. It took them a very long time to begin reacting to the Shadow. Warfare had to be relearnt and so on. I would put my money on the DO if all 6 gholam was roaming around under Moridin's command, but right now, TG sort of feels like a foregone conclusion.

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Before you count the dark one out...

 

how are those armies of channelers going to work if all of their food starts rotting immediately and there is nothing to eat?

 

...if increasing numbers of them turn into beetle filled sacks?

...if (as has been wondered about the keepings) saidar is actually failing?

...if the DO can expand the source cutoff effect that Shaidar Haran seems to possess?

...if the blight-like plants start growing throughout randland instead of staying in their strange border up north?

 

The dark one has some pretty nasty tricks up his sleeve and I think it is very hard to look at his crudest tool (trollocs) and say that he is the underdog. 

 

Frankly, unless Rand can come up with a way to seal the bore, all the rest is hopeless.  The BEST the light can hope to do is drive the DO's forces back into the blight, but they can't invade the blight effectively - how do you fight against poisoned corrupted plants?  The DO can just win a war of attrition and, if he loses, just regroup in the blight.

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Of course we cannot know regarding the future. But I think the situation in the KOD moved slowly towards a united front and reduced pro-DO chaos (see my earlier comment on this). The prophecies hints as future non-violent interactions and help between the major parties (Rand, Egwene, and the Seanchan.) As does the storylines of Mat and Egwene, both moving into positions of power where they can help Rand.

 

You do realize that Egwene is still very much a prisoner of the WT and she could be executed at Elaida's whim at any time. Mat is heading to the ToG to rescue Moiraine and he just weakened the Seanchan significantly by killing tens of thousands of their soldiers. Mat and Egwene are currently not in any position to help Rand.

 

The Wise Ones may not know as much as the Aes Sedai and Asha'man but they have already used the power offensively and extensively in battles. There is no shortage of Wise Ones who can channel. Just the Shaido had 400-500. Learning a wave seems extremely quick once you see it. Just look how quickly the other channelers copied Rand when he used new weaves against the trollocs in tear.

 

You do realize that Wise Ones never take part in battle prior to Dumai's Wells so how would they be effective in battle? Your reasoning makes no sense. Also, when you are in the middle of a vicious battle would you take the time to see what your enemy was doing? No. You'd do what you were able to do even if it wasn't that effective.

 

At Dumai's Wells the regular Shaido had the help of their channeling Wise Ones doing their best. Dumai's Wells instead shows that the regular troops are unimportant. The battle was decided between the channelers.

 

They're Wise Ones were not doing their best because they not only hadn't taken part in battle before that but they also barerly channeled before that! Since channelers are only a very small percentage of the population, it is a foolish statemnt to say that armies are unimportant.

 

 

Removed by Luckers: Spoilers.

 

 

Why not? Even if only a few could Travel they take all the other channelers with them. Meaning that the pro-DO channelers could probably nearly always achieve local superiority regarding channeler numbers.

 

Even if he did teach Traveling to the male dreadlords who were strong enough to make them (a very small group), they would be ineffective because they could only transport Dreadlords and Darkfriend armies. Not really useful.

 

Yes, the DO may move troops true the Ways, if those Rand send out will not close them, and accepting the maybe massive casualties from using the Ways. But again, still not useful tactically during a battle.

 

A source for this opinion by Jordan would be nice.

 

How are they not useful?!? They are a quick way to move thousands of troops. Mashadar is not as effective as it once was. Look at how the 100,000 Trollocs and the ones that attacked Tylee seemed to spring out of nowhere. I don't get how you don't think they are extremely useful.

 

Robert Jordan's quote on how Gateways are not the end-all of warfare and how their use can be ineffective:

Good question, though not all of the forces involved could use gateways. (Rafo! Rafo!) Think of the ability to Travel in terms of moving troops via aircraft, and you will begin to get the picture. Even with the largest possible circles, there are limits to the size of gateways and thus limits to the front along which you can move troops out through it, the numbers you can commit simultaneously. Of course, you can use multiple gateways, but each is still only so large and can admit only so many soldiers at a time.

 

So-called front lines were very fluid, but you couldn't fling your forces in anywhere without regard to what would be surrounding them or how you were going to re-supply, reinforce or withdraw them. Although no one has shown it so far in the books, there are ways to interfere with the making of a gateway - and ways to defend against interference - so the battle would take place on many levels. Yes, any area you hold can be attacked by your enemy, and you can attack any area that he holds. (Part of the result was great destruction and a great fall-off in the ability to produce high tech items. By the time the Bore was sealed, soldiers were already much, much more likely to ride horses and carry swords than to ride armored vehicles or aircraft and carry shocklances, which had all become very rare.) But holding an area is not impossible so long as you can successfully disrupt your opponent's attempts to make gateways into it. Even if he manages to get those first soldiers in, if you can disrupt his ability to reinforce, re-supply or withdraw, it becomes another Dien Bien Phu for him. Of course, if you fail, then it becomes Gettysburg or Waterloo, a bloody fight that will be decisive for somebody. At least until the next "decisive" battle is fought. Remember, that designation is always given after the fact, by historians."

 

Yes, Traveling may take some energy. But the few channelers Rand had with during his campaign against the Seanchan in Tear moved quite a lot of troops multiple times and still had some energy left over for offensive channeling. Similarly with the few Channelers Perrin had who could make gateways. Not to mention those channelers who are too weak to open a gateway but who still can use them. Regarding their capacity I think that their large capacity has also been demonstrated in the gateways attack against Illian and for moving Mat's army.

 

That is because Traveling short distances does not require a lot of energy or the need to memorize the area. That is why Rand only took a small force of men. He says it right in PoD. Perrin has only been with two channelers who could make gateways, Neald and Grady, and they were used to transport the troops. Mat's army? The only time they were transported by gateway was when rand sent them to Salidar.

 

Obviously there are always some common tactics like concentrate your forces. But that low-tech and high-tech warfare is very similar is like arguing that a master English writer will quickly become a master Chinese writer because there are similarities between languages.

 

Again a quote from Jordan would be nice. We have some scenes from the Age of Legends, and the soldiers seen when the end of the war was announced was still using high-tech equipment. A source for that the trollocs were not using high-tech equipment would also be nice.

 

That is not a good comparison at all. It would be more like an Modern English Professor becoming an Middle English Professor. They're different but one is the basis of the other and their principles remain the same. Two years would be enough for Demandred to become acclimated. If Demandred is Roedran, it makes sense why he'd be reading Comadrin's book.

 

That quote was on wotmania. I'm not sure where to find the quotes since the website is defunct.

 

EDIT: FOUND THE QUOTE.

 

Q105: In the Age of Legends, the soldiers used shocklances. Were they projectile, energy ..?

 

RJ: Think of it as an … energy weapon. Remember, by the time we get to the Breaking, shocklances are actually in fairly short supply and other devices of that sort. Long before we get to the Breaking the industrial base has been enough destroyed that soldiers are once again using bows and spears and swords because there simply aren’t enough shocklances to go around, nor jocars…and there is no industrial base to provide replacement for them

 

It proves that Demndred was well-versed in "low-tech warfare" rendering that argument moot.

 

Yes, there may be commanders from this age leading the DO's armies. But as a general rule there are more non-darkfriends than darkfriends, so the probability is large that more good generals will be among the Light.

 

As for that, I'm going to need a quote. I believe it is said that during the AoL, half the Aes Sedai were for the Shadow. It's logical to assume half the population then were Darkfriends.

 

As stated previously, the Robert Jordan quote is from before the situation improved in KOD. You may nitpick. But hardly deny that the situation improved in many ways for the Light during KOD.

 

Jordan's quote is from before KoD, but we still haven't seen the Dark One's "surprises." What he said still stands. "the Light has no chance without him, but his presence doesn’t ensure victory, just that the Light has a chance"..."Our boy is game, but he’s wobbly on his legs and bleeding from cuts over his eyes.  Now he has three minutes to pull out his best stuff and deliver the punch of his life."...We're still in the very much same situation. The Light hasn't given its last chance, knock-out punch and the Dark One is still hitting taking shots at it.

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Of course we cannot know regarding the future. But I think the situation in the KOD moved slowly towards a united front and reduced pro-DO chaos (see my earlier comment on this). The prophecies hints as future non-violent interactions and help between the major parties (Rand, Egwene, and the Seanchan.) As does the storylines of Mat and Egwene, both moving into positions of power where they can help Rand.

 

You do realize that Egwene is still very much a prisoner of the WT and she could be executed at Elaida's whim at any time. Mat is heading to the ToG to rescue Moiraine and he just weakened the Seanchan significantly by killing tens of thousands of their soldiers. Mat and Egwene are currently not in any position to help Rand.

 

 

Yeah, but its very unlikely that that will happen. Edit: The soldiers he kills are not Seanchan, they're Taraboners looking for free gold from killing Tuon, IIRC. This matter because the Seanchan are better fighters so are worth more I guess?

 

 

The Wise Ones may not know as much as the Aes Sedai and Asha'man but they have already used the power offensively and extensively in battles. There is no shortage of Wise Ones who can channel. Just the Shaido had 400-500. Learning a wave seems extremely quick once you see it. Just look how quickly the other channelers copied Rand when he used new weaves against the trollocs in tear.

 

You do realize that Wise Ones never take part in battle prior to Dumai's Wells so how would they be effective in battle? Your reasoning makes no sense. Also, when you are in the middle of a vicious battle would you take the time to see what your enemy was doing? No. You'd do what you were able to do even if it wasn't that effective.

 

 

I doubt its hard to pick up battle weaves. Neither the Wise Ones, the Kin, the Wavefinders nor a good many AS know many effective battle weaves. But what about the Seanchan? Their damane are more experienced than the AS at battle channeling.

 

 

At Dumai's Wells the regular Shaido had the help of their channeling Wise Ones doing their best. Dumai's Wells instead shows that the regular troops are unimportant. The battle was decided between the channelers.

 

They're Wise Ones were not doing their best because they not only hadn't taken part in battle before that but they also barerly channeled before that! Since channelers are only a very small percentage of the population, it is a foolish statemnt to say that armies are unimportant.

 

 

Yes but the number of channellers across Randland is not insignificant. There are around 1500 of the Kin, at least 500 Wise Ones (if not more). A similar number of Wavefinders and damane. Then there's the Black Tower. There are plenty of dedicated and soldiers (who are not potential dreadlords, Taim's personal group are the most likely of those), say around 300? Add on the AS and accounting for the BA, I don't see what kind of force the Shadow could come up with to match that. Yes, you could argue that bringing them together, and getting to work together and so on will seem difficult, but the OP mentioned, it looks likely to happen anyway.

 

 

 

As for the gateways, you're forgetting that a good number of the Kin and AS also have to strength to open them.

The battle lines are fluid as RJ said, but doesn't work in the favour of the Light? The only thing the Shadow can do is to attack now, when Randland is in a mess. If the Shadow allows all of Randland to get together, which seems likely, then I don't see how the Shadow can stop them.

 

To the poster who mentioned the food problem, it a very valid point, but I get the feeling that TG will kick up before the long term ramifications of the famine rear up.

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4. The DO does not have good generals. True, some of the Forsaken may have been good generals in the Age of Legends. But that was high-tech warfare. This will be low-tech warfare which will be very different. The best generals of the light have had many decades (or centuries for Mat) of experience in low-tech warfare.

 

Though technology changes with time, the principles of war never do. Even today, military men guide themselves from what happened in history or for example from Sun Tzu's Art of War (which probably was the inspiration for Fog and Steel)

There is actually a good example of this in PoD. During the final battle with the Seanchan, Bashere patterns his movements from tactics used in the Trolloc Wars.

I believe Demandred to be on par with the Great Captains, and maybe even with Mat. He will have no problems leading low-tech troops into war.

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4. The DO does not have good generals. True, some of the Forsaken may have been good generals in the Age of Legends. But that was high-tech warfare. This will be low-tech warfare which will be very different. The best generals of the light have had many decades (or centuries for Mat) of experience in low-tech warfare.

 

Though technology changes with time, the principles of war never do. Even today, military men guide themselves from what happened in history or for example from Sun Tzu's Art of War (which probably was the inspiration for Fog and Steel)

There is actually a good example of this in PoD. During the final battle with the Seanchan, Bashere patterns his movements from tactics used in the Trolloc Wars.

I believe Demandred to be on par with the Great Captains, and maybe even with Mat. He will have no problems leading low-tech troops into war.

See http://forums.dragonmount.com/index.php/topic,48145.msg1291526.html#msg1291526

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Before you count the dark one out...

 

how are those armies of channelers going to work if all of their food starts rotting immediately and there is nothing to eat?

 

...if increasing numbers of them turn into beetle filled sacks?

...if (as has been wondered about the keepings) saidar is actually failing?

...if the DO can expand the source cutoff effect that Shaidar Haran seems to possess?

...if the blight-like plants start growing throughout randland instead of staying in their strange border up north?

 

The dark one has some pretty nasty tricks up his sleeve and I think it is very hard to look at his crudest tool (trollocs) and say that he is the underdog. 

Yes, a reverse siege could be viable tactic for the DO. He causes the starvation in the Westlands while concentrating his troops at Shayol Ghul. So the forces of the Light must storm SH before they starve making hit-and-run tactics against scattered Dark forces impossible.

 

Similarly the Light will have problems if the DO can turn channelers into beetles at will, or remove magic from the world, or transform the whole of Westlands into a Blight zone.

 

But that is Deux Ex machinations. Similarly the DO will have problems if the Creator directly intervenes, or Rand seals the bore, or if Mat blows the horn and kills all Shadowspan everywhere etc. I am only commenting on the relative military strengths of the sides not including such Force Majeure events.

Frankly, unless Rand can come up with a way to seal the bore, all the rest is hopeless.  The BEST the light can hope to do is drive the DO's forces back into the blight, but they can't invade the blight effectively - how do you fight against poisoned corrupted plants?  The DO can just win a war of attrition and, if he loses, just regroup in the blight.

The Blight seems affected by the military situation. It expanded when Malkier was defeated, it retreated after Rand annihilated the trolloc army in the Eye of the World. So not unlikely if the DO just retreats the Blight will shrink. If the DO could just command the Blight border at will he would have conquered the Westlands long ago by turning it all into Blight land.

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