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Demandred is overrated


Cem Önal
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In the AoL Demandred would only have had to have been as good as the generals he was up against. Of course the population was huge and the war went on for years, but everyone had no prior experience.

 

Now, on the other hand, there are a lot of experienced generals kicking around. I dare say that Demandred will have it harder now than he did back them, volume withstanding of course.

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In the AoL Demandred would only have had to have been as good as the generals he was up against. Of course the population was huge and the war went on for years, but everyone had no prior experience.

 

Now, on the other hand, there are a lot of experienced generals kicking around. I dare say that Demandred will have it harder now than he did back them, volume withstanding of course.

 

Do the current generals have much experience with massive long scale battles though? Thinking back over recent history, the most recent would have been the Aiel War, and well, they lost that soundly. All the others involved small scale battles, small scale at least involving that seen in AoL and presumably TG. Demandred could easily be better able to handle the tactics involving potentially hundreds of thousands of troops. Its potentially one reason why Mat has a clear upper hand on many other generals as well - he can remember full scale wars such as the Trolloc Wars and War of Hundred Years.

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In the AoL Demandred would only have had to have been as good as the generals he was up against. Of course the population was huge and the war went on for years, but everyone had no prior experience.

 

Now, on the other hand, there are a lot of experienced generals kicking around. I dare say that Demandred will have it harder now than he did back them, volume withstanding of course.

 

I'm pretty sure LTT and Sammael weren't pushovers.

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Good point, it has been a long time since anything like Total War has happened and Demandred will know all about that.

 

I'd say that the quality of the troops available now would be hugely superior to AoL given that the current society structure is very much militaristic.

 

Trollocs appear to be quite a crude instrument of war, no real archers/cavalry etc which you associate with a balanced army. This could be a big problem for Demandred. Unless I'm mistaken about demonspawn but I think they're a blunt force.

 

Regardless of that though Demandred will remember that surprise is important and when he arrives on Seanchan with the red sails everyone will be surprised. I expect he will use the trollocs as the blunt instrument they are and try to drive a wedge between Rands ground forces and cause chaos. Then he will use Sharans who don't care about mainland folks to go and cause more havock, they will maybe see the end times as a chance to expand and Demandred wouldn't have to make them dark friends, just aggressive towards mainland randlanders. Similar to the Seanchan, of course.

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In the AoL Demandred would only have had to have been as good as the generals he was up against. Of course the population was huge and the war went on for years, but everyone had no prior experience.

 

Now, on the other hand, there are a lot of experienced generals kicking around. I dare say that Demandred will have it harder now than he did back them, volume withstanding of course.

 

I'm pretty sure LTT and Sammael weren't pushovers.

 

Of course not, but if no one even has heard of fighting and they have to adapt a ballet style game to invent fighting then I guess Demandred wasn't coming up against a lot of experienced generals. And experience counts for a lot in this scenario.

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Mat is going to be the most effective general on any battlefield he takes charge of - the combination of his memories, natural deviousness, ta'veren influence, and near-godly luck are a nightmare for any opponent. Give him the Seanchan war machine, and ... :mat:

 

I do expect Demandred to have better mechanisms in place for unified command and control, battlefield communications, and the movement of supplies and materiel. What actually happens on the field, though, I expect to be determined by more personal encounters - I don't anticipate that this will be a story about tactics.

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In the AoL Demandred would only have had to have been as good as the generals he was up against. Of course the population was huge and the war went on for years, but everyone had no prior experience.

 

Now, on the other hand, there are a lot of experienced generals kicking around. I dare say that Demandred will have it harder now than he did back them, volume withstanding of course.

 

I'm pretty sure LTT and Sammael weren't pushovers.

 

Of course not, but if no one even has heard of fighting and they have to adapt a ballet style game to invent fighting then I guess Demandred wasn't coming up against a lot of experienced generals. And experience counts for a lot in this scenario.

 

It says in the Strike at Shayol Ghul that the art of warfare was basically perfected during the War of Power. And it's likely there was conflict during the Fall as well. It's hard to say how much experience Demandred has in warfare, but Alexander the Great and Napoleon didn't take decades to become brilliant military commanders either.

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@master ablar

 

I don't disagree, Demandred himself will have perfected the art of war within the contexts of those times, but things are undeniably different now. For 3000 years people have been warring to the extent that societies like the Seanchan exist. Societies based entirely around their military and logistics.

 

Armies which don't use channellers for healing or transporting food, weapons etc.

 

I don't think I was all that clear in my post but a great general is defined as such by his peers, and today there are a bunch of generals who are experienced. demandred is not up against people who have no idea what it means to be flanked or were just handed a sword yesterday. However, Demandred will still be a brilliant general. He was also up against tough forces back in AoL and had decades to develop his skills. Today though he is pretty much the only brilliant general on the dark side and he is up against a good half dozen good ones plus Mat.

 

If he thinks it will be a cake walk he is wrong, he's up against people who were born into war, grew up as a soldier and learned their trade on the field. In AoL he simply wasn't in that situation. Mind you he would have been a hundred years later but initially he wasn't. Maybe I'm putting too much importance on the Lan style mindset of born-to-fight.

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I think you are. There is a great line from Be'lal to Rand in TDR about taking something the world had almost forgotten like war and becoming masters at. One advantage that Demandred has over everyone but Rand (and Mat) is decades upon decades of experience because channelers live far longer than non-channelers.

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I agree with you, Cem.

 

And I agree with the poster that said that Asmo's killer was a fun mystery, but did not, in hindsight, live up to the hype.

 

I am hoping that the Demandred reveal is not like that.

 

I also think that, 1 - Demandred's reveal needs to be EPIC. And now, 2 - beyond the reveal, he needs to become an awesome character. This means important interactions with main characters, internal thoughts regarding his actions and whereabouts during his 13 book stint of off screen antics, and a glorious end/death. I am not talking about the Kirk type death in ST Generations... "it was fun" balogna. A real meaningful death.

 

And please believe me, I have faith in RJ and his notes and intent for the character. I also believe that BS can pull it off.

 

I can't wait!!!!!!

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Well, if Demandred is Roedran, and if he does come to Merrilor, I can see him popping in through a gateway, blowing up a good chunk of armies and land, maybe offing some semi-major characters, and bouncing out. I think that would be one heck of a reveal, not to mention the rest of the book in which there's time for more chaos.

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That would be suicide. If he is Roedran, I don't think he'll come and his accepting the invitation is just a ruse to buy just one more night while he tries to draw Elayne by attacking Caemlyn.

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Trollocs appear to be quite a crude instrument of war, no real archers/cavalry etc which you associate with a balanced army. This could be a big problem for Demandred. Unless I'm mistaken about demonspawn but I think they're a blunt force.

 

Regardless of that though Demandred will remember that surprise is important and when he arrives on Seanchan with the red sails everyone will be surprised. I expect he will use the trollocs as the blunt instrument they are and try to drive a wedge between Rands ground forces and cause chaos. Then he will use Sharans who don't care about mainland folks to go and cause more havock, they will maybe see the end times as a chance to expand and Demandred wouldn't have to make them dark friends, just aggressive towards mainland randlanders. Similar to the Seanchan, of course.

trollocs are essentially a mix between cavalry and infantry, we also have evidence of their ability to use arrows. In fact they are more flexible than humans (they don't require extras for horses) .

 

Besides that I expect darkfriends will be a big turning point, provided that they wherent all pulled from the armies of light (which would be way to rediculous). Especially if they have darkfriends among the pikemen during a trolloc charge.

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Trollocs are ferocious, undisciplined, stupid and cowardly. Not exactly soldier make. They are good for scaring people, and creating chaos. Perfect for use in an attack like Caemlyn, just release them into the streets and let them cause rampage. Their flaws however make them inferior troops in a field of battle. Yes, they can use bows, but that completely undermines the only advantage they have against human soldiers. Since they can't go through gateways, their deployment is problematic as well considering the amount of channelers the Light has.

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Trollocs are ferocious, undisciplined, stupid and cowardly. Not exactly soldier make. They are good for scaring people, and creating chaos. Perfect for use in an attack like Caemlyn, just release them into the streets and let them cause rampage. Their flaws however make them inferior troops in a field of battle. Yes, they can use bows, but that completely undermines the only advantage they have against human soldiers. Since they can't go through gateways, their deployment is problematic as well considering the amount of channelers the Light has.

they can be disciplined thoguh, all it takes is a myrdraal link (or maybe less) or a dreadlord overseeing it. Also the deployment issue is negated by the ways and portal stones, especially since the FoL have positions that they need to defend and the trollocs don't

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Okay, let's go by example. Using waygates, you can only send Shadowspawn by groups of a dozen or two unless you want them become fodder for Machin Shin. Using portalstones, the channeler has to jump back and forth. Either gives the enemy time to mobilize and deploy. The enemy commander is not stupid they will be watching for signs of an invasion, and word can travel instantly. A well disciplined army of humans can break camp and prepare for war in a shorter time than Shadowspawn can deploy.

 

Now the enemy is watching you with their scouts, you can't really catch them because they have the advantage of travelling. So they can make out your path and choose the perfect spot for an ambush and deploy instantly while you have to use your feet by the roads already available.

 

The enemy has chosen its ambush point and sent its troops there. They are waiting for you to come. Presumably they've selected a valley with good vantage points in the flanks. They sent their channelers and archers to those vantage points with some guards to protect them. You have to create discipline by linking and using fear, and that causes another flaw entirely. Flanks can take care of Myrddraal and each one that falls means any Trolloc linked to them dies as well. Your enemy kills one of your troops and that causes instantly a few dozen other of your troops to die. Each Myrddraal that dies also causes your troops to lose cohesion and discipline as well.

 

So with Travelling your enemy has already hit you from the flanks, and is holding you with presumably crossbows and footmen if you decide to head on. Now let's add to the mix a cavalry force to hit you from the behind.

 

Sure your Dreadlords have the same mobility advantage as well, but they can't go with guards to protect them and that means they die after whatever damage they manage. Well, that loses discipline as well.

 

You see what I mean? Yes you can force discipline to Trollocs by linking with Myddraal but you have to use artificial methods to do it. And because of that, you've given another flaw to your army.

 

To summarize, Trollocs are inferior troops to humans unless in very certain circumstances like Caemlyn. Well, solution to that: Ituralde's defense of Maradon.

 

Shadow needs better troops if they want to win this war.

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We can look at what they've been able to accomplish outside early book-isms:

 

- Had siege at Maradon and were able to overcome Itulrade's forces and the defenses which he called impressive. Were capable of some tricks.

- Able to throw the whatever number of trollocs and fades at Algarin's (check my spelling) manor on short notice (consult timeline). Granted it's not a highly populated area, but not much is :) Also this is after Loial and Underhill's waygate mission (spacing on his cool name--and want to see him again because he was pretty cool).

- Raids in the Waste, but that was probably Sammael planning.

- Attack on the Stone, 2 groups.

 

They're not thoroughly useless, and we don't know how many there are (as many as the plot needs to seem scary).

 

Also there's tons of portal stones (well they seem pretty heavy...let's go with there's lots of them, remember 4 within a day's ride of the Stone?)

 

----

 

Oh yah, comment from earlier. There was anti-hype for who killed Amsodean, we knew it wasn't plot significant all along. We'll need to see about Dem, just that BS is hyping it as well as saying it's possible to figure out what he's up to.

Edited by Cybertrolloc
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Okay, let's go by example. Using waygates, you can only send Shadowspawn by groups of a dozen or two unless you want them become fodder for Machin Shin.

 

This seems to be no longer the case. The Shadow seems to have found a way around, over, or through the Black Wind. They have been moving large numbers of Trollocs by Waygate since shortly after the Cleansing of saidin. We do not know if that timing is coincidence or not.

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- Had siege at Maradon and were able to overcome Itulrade's forces and the defenses which he called impressive. Were capable of some tricks.

For weeks they hit the watchtowers with superior forces, battle after battle. Ituralde's forces held them for a very good time. I didn't say they were useless, I just said they are inferior to a well-trained human army. If equally sized armies of Trollocs and humans face each other, humans will have the upper hand most of the time. As for the battle inside Maradon, again Ituralde's forces did very good again. We know that from Bashere's comments when he says he is impressed with the dead Trollocs vs. the men Ituralde had. And remember I did say they are very good at causing rampage inside a city because their superior strength gives them a good advantage in narrow spaces.

 

- Able to throw the whatever number of trollocs and fades at Algarin's (check my spelling) manor on short notice (consult timeline). Granted it's not a highly populated area, but not much is :) Also this is after Loial and Underhill's waygate mission (spacing on his cool name--and want to see him again because he was pretty cool).

Not whatever numbers, they gathered their forces and sent whatever they got to Rand. If they could have, they would have sent another force as large when the channelers were tired. Either case they got their asses handed to them again in Algarin's mansion.

 

- Raids in the Waste, but that was probably Sammael planning.

Didn't really accomplish much. They were beaten again except for the settlement that the group found empty. As far as I remember we didn't really get what happened there.

 

- Attack on the Stone, 2 groups.

Again, I said they are a perfect attack force in a tight space like Stone. They were let in by Darkfriends however, I would have liked to see how well they would do in a siege. Now, compare that with how easily Aiel got inside the Stone with no help from inside.

 

They're not thoroughly useless, and we don't know how many there are (as many as the plot needs to seem scary).

 

Also there's tons of portal stones (well they seem pretty heavy...let's go with there's lots of them, remember 4 within a day's ride of the Stone?)

No, they are not. Their superior strength is useful in some situations. But overall, they are not really that good of a force.

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Okay, let's go by example. Using waygates, you can only send Shadowspawn by groups of a dozen or two unless you want them become fodder for Machin Shin.

 

This seems to be no longer the case. The Shadow seems to have found a way around, over, or through the Black Wind. They have been moving large numbers of Trollocs by Waygate since shortly after the Cleansing of saidin. We do not know if that timing is coincidence or not.

That's a scary thought. Is there any other evidence other than the fact they are moving large forces around? That could have been done via portal stones, takes time but a lot better than risking an encounter with Machin Shin.

On second thought, there is Caemlyn. You might be right about the Machin Shin. Very bad, if that's the case.

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Plus there is the comment in an earlier book by Moridin that someone impersonating Sammael had sent 100,000 Trollocs into the Ways. It is in KoD chapter 3. This appears to the group that emerged apparently unscathed to attack Rand and company at Lord Algarin's manor (where they got rather ... scathed).

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I always thought that was Padan Fain. He is the only one that seems to have control over Myrddraal other than the Forsaken. Maybe he can order the Machin Shin around, too. Remember how it guards the waygates Rand tries to through in order to follow Fain to Falme in tGH?

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I always thought that was Padan Fain. He is the only one that seems to have control over Myrddraal other than the Forsaken. Maybe he can order the Machin Shin around, too. Remember how it guards the waygates Rand tries to through in order to follow Fain to Falme in tGH?

 

No, can't be. Whoever sent them was able to imitate (or, more likely, actually had) the Chosen Mark. Fain can control Myrddraal through fear or his new powers, but he can't trick them into thinking he's one of the Forsaken.

 

Fain does seem to be able to order Machin Shin around, or at least negotiate somehow for it's help. But the Shadow seems to have developed its own method of getting around the Black Wind.

Edited by Neophyte
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