Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Discuss Lan/Defense of the Blight Border


Recommended Posts

Lan's got too much of a sense of honor in him... 12,000 borderlanders vs 150,000 Trollocs? Someone should take him aside and tell him to fight in a way that kills more trollocs rather than just charging his army into them.

I thought it was pretty moronic. By far the more logical decision for him to make would be to take his men to Fal Dara and help it hold out, forcing that army to besiege it rather than to move deeper into Shienar.

moving back to a defensive position would be really dumb, and it prevents any chance of aid coming in via gateway since they wouldnt know where he was or heading. By heading into the gap he has a much better chance of substancial aid arriving to save him and his force.

 

not to mention being surrounded by a trolloc horde and trying to hold fal dara he would likely run out of supplies before the actual fighting began, not to mention if the trollocs use the same tactic as before of raining corpses. disease could wipe out his armies before actual fighting begins

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 203
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I agree that it's an idiotic attack, and yet...

 

Someone has to stand up and take the fight to the Shadow. Almost everyone except Rand is focussed on fighting a defensive war of attrition, holding off the hordes of shadowspawn, slowly giving ground as the world is swept under, hoping that the Dragon will save them in the end. The problem with that is that it feeds into the Shadow's more subtle campaign of drowning the world in despair. Faith in salvation is, to me, a form of surrender--it requires that you believe in your own helplessness.

 

Lan's charge is utterly stupid, yet there's also something heroic and inspiring about it. It proves that one can look a nightmare in the face and fight back, even knowing defeat may be inevitable.

 

-- dwn

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that it's an idiotic attack, and yet...

 

Someone has to stand up and take the fight to the Shadow. Almost everyone except Rand is focussed on fighting a defensive war of attrition, holding off the hordes of shadowspawn, slowly giving ground as the world is swept under, hoping that the Dragon will save them in the end. The problem with that is that it feeds into the Shadow's more subtle campaign of drowning the world in despair. Faith in salvation is, to me, a form of surrender--it requires that you believe in your own helplessness.

 

Lan's charge is utterly stupid, yet there's also something heroic and inspiring about it. It proves that one can look a nightmare in the face and fight back, even knowing defeat may be inevitable.

 

-- dwn

 

Just think, dead mules and The Charge of the Light Brigade all in one volume.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that it's an idiotic attack, and yet...

 

Someone has to stand up and take the fight to the Shadow. Almost everyone except Rand is focussed on fighting a defensive war of attrition, holding off the hordes of shadowspawn, slowly giving ground as the world is swept under, hoping that the Dragon will save them in the end. The problem with that is that it feeds into the Shadow's more subtle campaign of drowning the world in despair. Faith in salvation is, to me, a form of surrender--it requires that you believe in your own helplessness.

 

Lan's charge is utterly stupid, yet there's also something heroic and inspiring about it. It proves that one can look a nightmare in the face and fight back, even knowing defeat may be inevitable.

 

-- dwn

 

if it's idiotic, it's idiotic. if there is any better tactical or even strategic option, he should take it. tactically, we have too little information to definitely say either way, whereas strategically it seems stupid, unless we are given some more information.

i guess because it's just a book, the whole heroic-romantic chaaaaaaaaaaarge to your death thing seems forgivable.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gap width is unknown.

 

Rand pulled the mountainsides down on the last Trolloc army that tried to make its way through there. Unless Agelmar found a fleet of bulldozers and scrapers it should no longer be good ground for cavalry.

 

Whether or not the actual gap is still around there'll be a nice wide open space in front of it, so you can use the same tactics as if the Gap was still there.

 

I just read the scene again--Rand doesn't pull down the mountains.

 

"He bruised his hands on the stony soil, and the earth trembled. Ripples ran through the ground ahead of him in ever-rising waves, waves of dirt and rock towering over Trollocs and Fades, breaking over them as the mountains shattered under their hooved feet."

 

After that was done the ground was still plenty flat enough for the assembled armies to charge "Through the mist, as sfrom the far end of the earth, came a cry. "The Light wills it!" The ground rumbled with the thunder of hooves as the forces humankind launched their last charge."

 

 

That is a beautiful scene btw. and I hope Rand and Nyneave help Lan and pull his ass out of the fire.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh come on. Doesn't anyone have a love for honor, loyalty, and dedication. Yes it's a dumb idea to charge 10 times your forces, but it's not about that. Lan's doing if or his country, for his parents, and for everyone who died when Malkier was taken. I don't know. I just can't help but love the dedication he shows to his country. And the dedication his people show to him and their country. It's amazing! All of the parts about Lan and the people joining him choke me up. Call me a softy i guess but there just something special to me about what these people are doing to show their love for their love for their country and their king.

 

Sorry i'm rambling now, but it's just so special to me. Definitely one of my favorite hings in the books. I hope everything works out and I believe it will but either way i'm proud of Lan and Malkier :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone know if the kandori prince is the last of the kandori royalty? He joined up with Lan, and stripped away a bunchof soldiers from Kandor so I was just wondering if Kandor still had a government in lieu

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone know if the kandori prince is the last of the kandori royalty? He joined up with Lan, and stripped away a bunchof soldiers from Kandor so I was just wondering if Kandor still had a government in lieu

 

The queen is with the other Borderlanders with Rand. Her son is in charge while she is gone."your grandmother is in the south; I assume your father rules in Kandor" PG 643 stronger than blood. The Kandori prince Kaisel that joined Lan is her grandson. Prince Kendral of Arafel (also a grandson of ruler) joined as well.

 

Jen-

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lan's charge is strategically and tactically foolish, but is require by the canon.

 

"Too few have come. We cannot defeat the armies of Mordor"

 

"No, we cannot. But we shall meet them in battle nonetheless."

 

The rules of the fantasy genre require the charge.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that it's an idiotic attack, and yet...

 

Someone has to stand up and take the fight to the Shadow. Almost everyone except Rand is focussed on fighting a defensive war of attrition, holding off the hordes of shadowspawn, slowly giving ground as the world is swept under, hoping that the Dragon will save them in the end. The problem with that is that it feeds into the Shadow's more subtle campaign of drowning the world in despair. Faith in salvation is, to me, a form of surrender--it requires that you believe in your own helplessness.

 

Lan's charge is utterly stupid, yet there's also something heroic and inspiring about it. It proves that one can look a nightmare in the face and fight back, even knowing defeat may be inevitable.

 

-- dwn

 

if it's idiotic, it's idiotic. if there is any better tactical or even strategic option, he should take it. tactically, we have too little information to definitely say either way, whereas strategically it seems stupid, unless we are given some more information.

i guess because it's just a book, the whole heroic-romantic chaaaaaaaaaaarge to your death thing seems forgivable.

 

On the surface it is tactically foolish. Yet the loss of 12000 isn't going to seriously harm the forces of the light. If that loss--the final act of defiance of the Malkieri--inspires the rest to stand against despair, then it could still be an overall victory for the Light.

 

-- dwn

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at the overall strategic situation (including all of Rand's gathered forces/channelers), it doesn't seem to be the best choice. However, it is the best choice for the immediate situation.

No, Lan shouldn't have ridden to the gap (although the potential morale boosting of this action if all goes well is a huge benefit), however, now that Lan is at the gap, the charge is his only viable strategic option.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, at the gap, the best strategy is to do what the 300 Spartans did against the Persian army. Defend a narrow stretch of dirt and funnel the Trollocs through and killing them, delaying the Trolloc army and forcing them to waste supplies.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, at the gap, the best strategy is to do what the 300 Spartans did against the Persian army. Defend a narrow stretch of dirt and funnel the Trollocs through and killing them, delaying the Trolloc army and forcing them to waste supplies.

 

Wouldn't work. The pass of Thermopylae, at the point where the battle was fought, was only wide enough to allow "for one chariot to pass". It had a defensive wall, and three "gates". At it's widest point, the pass was 100 meters wide. The troops defending it were heavy infantry with long spears and shields, and there were approx 1500 of them (300 Spartans + 1200 others who stayed to help). They were facing an army that used primarily light infantry.

 

Tarwin's gap, from the descriptions in TEOTW, is at least 3-400 meters wide, and I expect may be up to a kilometer in width. Lan's force is primarily heavy cavalry, and he is facing ultra-heavy infantry.

If he had a force of some 20k, half pikes half archers, I would advocate holding his position. He doesn't. With a force of Heavy cav, his choices are limited - Charge, defend, dismount and defend or retreat.

His army isn't going to retreat (the whole Malkieri/Borderlander mindset precludes this option), defending would negate the advantage his heavy cavalry have (mass of the horses, momentum) and as he doesn't have time to build barricades, dismounting to defend would put him at an extreme disadvantage against the Trollocs. His only viable option is to charge.

Edited by Erunion
Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone else see the irony in regards to Lan?

 

All the main characters from the first book were forced into positions of authority. They've all since accepted, than embraced their respective positions. Lan, however, although being twice the age of any of them doesn't accept what he is until the 13th book and only right before marching 12,000 men on a suicide mission. He finally accepts leadership and his first action is to ensure the death of him and all his men. Now it's up to Rand and Nynaeve to pull his ass out of the fire.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not that I'm arguing that Rand and Nynaeve will haul Lan's bacon from the coals, but I think that Moiraine will have something to do with setting that in motion, and that she will convince Egwene or the Hall or both that the Tower has to help.

 

Whether or not it's at the Field of Merrilor or later at some other place when Rand and Moiraine have their reunion, but I think that Nynaeve will blurt out that Lan is in trouble and Moiraine, in sentimentality, will explain to Rand and Egwene about the Tower not coming to Malkier's defense in the past like she did with Lan in New Spring.

 

Then Rand and Co. will back up Lan's futile charge and deploy the rest of the armies as needed (Caemlyn) and then Rand will break the seals and enact his own miraculous plan with the help of other channelers, male and female.

 

No idea what Mat and Perrin will be doing, besides the obvious of directing the armies and having a link to Rand and knowing what is going on and what is needed which will assist them to provide the best defense/attack/backup for Rand.

 

Elayne will be busy having a water-birth during the whole thing. ( :biggrin: couldn't help myself, I don't hate Elayne but it just came to me)

Link to post
Share on other sites

This really isn't a bad decision.

 

It's not a mass of calvary charging into cannon fire and musket fire ala the Charge of the Light Brigade. It's not infantry running across no man's land in WWI. It's heavy calvary charging against undisciplined infantry. This infantry doesn't fight in formation, and basically has one strategy--straight ahead combat and overwhelm the enemy with our numbers. They do have polearms, but I can't recall an instance of a single pike or spear.

 

If the Trolloc army were equipped with those and were disciplined enough to stand in formation the charge would be suicidal. As such it's not and is instead a perfect tactic for the ground.

 

The best way to use heavy calvary against infantry is with the charge. This allows the weight of the man and the horse to ride roughshod over any forces in the way, and the combined mass of the charge is even deadlier. Plus a charge of combined heavy calvary is a terrifying thing according to the battle records. Once that initial charge hits the Trollocs they'll fight until near the breaking point, then retreat back into the Gap to regroup and rest up. Presumably there are infantry there as well to act as a shieldwall while the calvary rests.

 

Repeat this strategy over and over again until you're worn out.

 

I doubt any of those men gathered at Tarwin's Gap expect to live through that battle, but that's not why they've come. They've come to strike a final blow against the Shadow as best they can, and this is as good a place as any.

Link to post
Share on other sites

dont forget, the entire force of lan is Heavy cavalry. From what i understood, borderlander heavy cavalry (especially shienaren) is the best in the world, armored tanks. Just to get a picture, its twice the force of the Rohirrim charge in LOTR, and its better equipped and trained cavalry. Of course trollocs are also much bigger, but 12.000 heavy cavalry is NOT a force to be taken lightly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This really isn't a bad decision.

 

It's not a mass of calvary charging into cannon fire and musket fire ala the Charge of the Light Brigade. It's not infantry running across no man's land in WWI. It's heavy calvary charging against undisciplined infantry. This infantry doesn't fight in formation, and basically has one strategy--straight ahead combat and overwhelm the enemy with our numbers. They do have polearms, but I can't recall an instance of a single pike or spear.

 

If the Trolloc army were equipped with those and were disciplined enough to stand in formation the charge would be suicidal. As such it's not and is instead a perfect tactic for the ground.

 

The best way to use heavy calvary against infantry is with the charge. This allows the weight of the man and the horse to ride roughshod over any forces in the way, and the combined mass of the charge is even deadlier. Plus a charge of combined heavy calvary is a terrifying thing according to the battle records. Once that initial charge hits the Trollocs they'll fight until near the breaking point, then retreat back into the Gap to regroup and rest up. Presumably there are infantry there as well to act as a shieldwall while the calvary rests.

 

Repeat this strategy over and over again until you're worn out.

 

I doubt any of those men gathered at Tarwin's Gap expect to live through that battle, but that's not why they've come. They've come to strike a final blow against the Shadow as best they can, and this is as good a place as any.

I have to agree here, with a force of only heavy cavalry, the best tactic is always charge. I do not know the level of skill the borderlander cavalry has for horse archery (at which point I would suggest groups harrying from the sides and rear) but I got the impression of a force entirely made up of heavy cav, which only has one viable tactic, the charge. Now, the way you set up your charges, rotations, groupings, etc, will make a big difference, but without infantry support, they will have to do it constantly to have any chance of winning. Jordan used to comment about not spending your horse. Well, expect spent horses after an hour of that kind of exertion, so unless they have remounts the horses will grow tired and slow, and the men will grow tired and they will die. I give the battle a few hours at most. If he rotates groups out of the fight to rest, I give it half a day. Either way, he does nothing for the nation of Malkier, except kill of the last of it's warriors, nothing for the Borderlands, except kill off a small army that could have harried invading forces, nothing for the light, except deny it a fine cavalry force, and nothing for his wife, except make her a widow. You cannot expect to hold anything with a force designed to attack and you never attack where your enemy is strong, especially if he is stronger than you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree here, with a force of only heavy cavalry, the best tactic is always charge. I do not know the level of skill the borderlander cavalry has for horse archery (at which point I would suggest groups harrying from the sides and rear) but I got the impression of a force entirely made up of heavy cav, which only has one viable tactic, the charge. Now, the way you set up your charges, rotations, groupings, etc, will make a big difference, but without infantry support, they will have to do it constantly to have any chance of winning. Jordan used to comment about not spending your horse. Well, expect spent horses after an hour of that kind of exertion, so unless they have remounts the horses will grow tired and slow, and the men will grow tired and they will die. I give the battle a few hours at most. If he rotates groups out of the fight to rest, I give it half a day. Either way, he does nothing for the nation of Malkier, except kill of the last of it's warriors, nothing for the Borderlands, except kill off a small army that could have harried invading forces, nothing for the light, except deny it a fine cavalry force, and nothing for his wife, except make her a widow. You cannot expect to hold anything with a force designed to attack and you never attack where your enemy is strong, especially if he is stronger than you.

 

The biggest gripe I have with the military situation in the Wheel of Time is the apparent disregard for needing remounts. A force of heavy calvary generally needs to have at least 3 horses per knight. You can get by with less if you're a horse archer, but even then you'll probably want at least 2, yet nobody in Randland seems to worry about remounts, or finding grazing for their animals. No comments on the vast herds of horses surrounding the armies, nothing like that.

 

Now Lan's situation is different, since he's not expecting to come back from this battle, and I suspect most of the men there are expecting to die as well, so you won't need remounts. However every other army will, and it's just not discussed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is Tarwin's Gap the only way into the northern lands along the Blight Border that we know of? I'm assuming that the Trolloc attack on Heeth Keep is the same one that Lan Charges at Tarwin's Gap, unless the entire Blight is not blocked off by mountains as I think by JRs map. Help plz.

*Update: I just reread introduction, and think I just answered my own question. Heeth tower sends its messengers to the next tower along the line south toward the Aesdaishar Palace in Chachin. At the same time, or perhaps just after, (dang time-line) in Maradon, Ituralde fights an unexpected battle of overwhelming odds. So my guess is YUP, plenty of open ground for hordes of Trollocs to travel tween. My bet is fists are attacking each city along the Blightborder. Which might mean Lans Charge at the Gap may be happening at the same time, as the Trollocs haven't crossed it.

This is a post I just made on the Simple Q&A thread. Yes I quoted myself.

So I think part of the timeline setup is a way of pulling the wool over our eyes as to just how the heck Lan gets out of that mess. I could be wrong though. Anyone reassembled the Trolloc chapters in the timeline?

 

This really isn't a bad decision.

 

It's not a mass of calvary charging into cannon fire and musket fire ala the Charge of the Light Brigade. It's not infantry running across no man's land in WWI. It's heavy calvary charging against undisciplined infantry. This infantry doesn't fight in formation, and basically has one strategy--straight ahead combat and overwhelm the enemy with our numbers. They do have polearms, but I can't recall an instance of a single pike or spear.

 

If the Trolloc army were equipped with those and were disciplined enough to stand in formation the charge would be suicidal. As such it's not and is instead a perfect tactic for the ground.

 

The best way to use heavy calvary against infantry is with the charge. This allows the weight of the man and the horse to ride roughshod over any forces in the way, and the combined mass of the charge is even deadlier. Plus a charge of combined heavy calvary is a terrifying thing according to the battle records. Once that initial charge hits the Trollocs they'll fight until near the breaking point, then retreat back into the Gap to regroup and rest up. Presumably there are infantry there as well to act as a shieldwall while the calvary rests.

 

Repeat this strategy over and over again until you're worn out.

 

I doubt any of those men gathered at Tarwin's Gap expect to live through that battle, but that's not why they've come. They've come to strike a final blow against the Shadow as best they can, and this is as good a place as any.

smileyman, I admire your research. :bandredhand:

I think we also need to account for the forces that are driving these massive forces of trollocs. Remember that a Myddraal can command a only so many Trolloc. From what we've seen, maybe a fist or two. And Trollocs, even connected to a Myddraal, tend to fight one another if no one else is there to satisfy their bloodlust.

 

So there will be Dreadlords and/or Forsaken driving these hoards, at least. Unless the DO's reach is far enough to command the Trollocs at will, there will be many Channelers among them. And we've seen what a few Seanchan can do to an invading Whitecloack army. What if they're Black Tower 13x13s or hell, just BT DFs?

IMO, Lan, romantic swordsman that he is, is heading for a Trolloc cookpot. I may not like it, but whats a war without some suffering. We can't ALL have happy endings, can we?

Edited by Zodd
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

The biggest gripe I have with the military situation in the Wheel of Time is the apparent disregard for needing remounts. A force of heavy calvary generally needs to have at least 3 horses per knight. You can get by with less if you're a horse archer, but even then you'll probably want at least 2, yet nobody in Randland seems to worry about remounts, or finding grazing for their animals. No comments on the vast herds of horses surrounding the armies, nothing like that.

 

Now Lan's situation is different, since he's not expecting to come back from this battle, and I suspect most of the men there are expecting to die as well, so you won't need remounts. However every other army will, and it's just not discussed.

I assumed there were millions of free roaming horses in the borderlands, with acres and acres of grass for pasture. This is the only way to explain the all cavalry armies we have been told about from the borderlands. Even the southern armies have been abnormally cav heavy. eh, I can't get into this,

Link to post
Share on other sites

i just want to say, after the golden crane chapter in KoD, i was really excited to see Lan in this book, and i was pretty dissapointed. his final words before charging at the trollocs were pretty lame, and i was really hoping Lan would yell out 'for the seven towers' or whatever Malkiers battle cry is, and then everyone else would eco him, that would of been awesome, but as it was i was pretty let down. i hope he gets some awesome action in aMoL

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...