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Battles (Full Spoilers)


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So no we arent nit-picking or Arm-chair Generalling. Merely pointing out inconsistencies between books (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13) and the final book

 

Battles throughout the entire series have been very unrealistic. It's not just the battles in this book. I've complained about tactics, strategy, and most especially logistics for as long as I can remember. 

You can not seriously be saying you didn't notice the issues with battles being far greater in AMoL? Take issue with details in the earlier books by all means but to pretend like there was no problem with numbers and tactics here is absurd.

 

Someone needs to chill out. I actually don't have issues with the overall strategy used, and I've already explained why. I've also already commented on the numbers and logistics of the Wheel of Time--numbers and logistics which have been way off going back to the very near the beginning of the series. 

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The Battle for the White Tower and the Last Battle both seemed incoherent to me. I don't know anything about warfare, but I was able to follow the Battle of Falme and the Siege at Cairhien fairly well.

 

I respect Sanderson for finishing a series that had been stuck in neutral for the past decade, but he definitely follows the Michael Bay school of battle sequences. Lots of flash and bang, but for the most part the camera is so tight on the principals that you can't tell what the heck is going on.

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Personally, the battle plans and descriptions ruined the book for me early on. The whole strategy for the Caemlyn trollocs was absurd. Convince them to attack and then let them chase you 250 miles north to Braem Wood? Of course, there is no detail given whatsoever about how this chase was pulled off or why it was even necessary. In one POV the trollocs are charging Perrin's harrying force, in the next POV they are 250 miles north outside Braem Wood. This would take 1-2 weeks in traveling time for an army. How did Perrin's army prevent from being overrun during this time? It was so poorly written I had to put the book down for a bit at this point.

 

Also, it's noted that the trollocs in Caemlyn number in the "tens of the thousands." In KoD's Rand and a few friends destroy 100,000 trollocs at the manor house, yet in aMoL they decide to kite the trollocs halfway across the continent (which would have taken a good month). Really? They fought the same group of "tens of thousands" of trollocs for a month and traveled over 500 miles despite having dragons and channelers? This whole tactic/battle was so sloppily written it was hard for me to engage myself in the book from that point on. What a massive disappointment. I'm glad we get an ending, but the execution of this book was awful. 

it was 150 miles but still WAY to far.  for any force to travel 150 miles to get some archers.

 

it is like an army attcking London for the people in london to chase them 30 miles north of Nottingham.  go look at google maps it is crazy

 

No it's not. The French let the English march over 350 miles from Harfleur before forcing them to fight at Agincourt. 

These are not the same at all. Yes there have been campaigns that have gone for over 150 miles but this is not what was happening here.

 

Henry V (as i am sure you know) landed in France on 13 August 1415 and fought the battle of Agincourt on 25 October 1415 with lots of stops on the way. It took the trollocs and the forces of the light what...and hour to make that trip. The French did not attack London and drive them out of a fortified position on a 150 mile chase. Henry was the aggressor making these very different. I know you will say that the trollocs are the aggressor but i say they took and held Caemlyn as a staging ground to bring in troops.

 

150 miles is way to far

Per: http://www.amazon.com/Agincourt-Henry-Battle-That-England/dp/0316015040/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1358482481&sr=8-3&keywords=agincourt

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So no we arent nit-picking or Arm-chair Generalling. Merely pointing out inconsistencies between books (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13) and the final book

 

Battles throughout the entire series have been very unrealistic. It's not just the battles in this book. I've complained about tactics, strategy, and most especially logistics for as long as I can remember. 

You can not seriously be saying you didn't notice the issues with battles being far greater in AMoL? Take issue with details in the earlier books by all means but to pretend like there was no problem with numbers and tactics here is absurd.

 

Someone needs to chill out. I actually don't have issues with the overall strategy used, and I've already explained why. I've also already commented on the numbers and logistics of the Wheel of Time--numbers and logistics which have been way off going back to the very near the beginning of the series. 

Chill out? What are you on about mate? We are discussing something on a forum, no need to get eggy.

 

Curious as to examples of numbers being off earlier in the series? Care to provide examples?

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I really do think people are not counting the recovery time necessary for channeling.

 

They do not recover in one nights sleep. They were in serious demand for long periods of time, and they would have had to start cycling them in and out after a week.

 

I honestly think they kept "pushing" the one power users too an unrealistic level. It was a lot of "they are exhausted, now they are really exhausted, SUPER EXHAUSTED".

 

I don't recall any exact numbers on how fast an Aes Sedai can recover after going all out in a battle, but I'm confident they are still tired the next day, and there was fighting every day, and demand for waygates/healing constantly.

 

The Seanchan also lost a large number of their military from holding their provinces, and as Tuon/Rand discussed, they could barely MAINTAIN their current borders. They have lost a large majority of their "Return" numbers.

 

Sorry if this was already discussed, just saw a lot of complaints about how channelers should have melted entire armies in the Last Battle. By the time the battle at merrillor happened almost all of them were still recovering.

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There's some oddities from other books then. Like traditionally the shield on a man brought to Tar Valon is done with your full ability--see LoC.

 

Still leaves the overarching problem that channeling is just way too good, and makes everything else pointless excepting very specific circumstances. I have reasons and examples and counterexamples for those examples but I'd rather make a specific topic of it rather than do so here (I guess it could be done now because you don't need AMoL spoilers).

 

Maybe if the last battle revolved around steddings or something (yah, Itulrade, but there's issues with how he beat the seanchan in tGS too).

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I overall liked the battles in general....to me it had that feeling that everything was hitting the fan and that what i kind of wanted to see happen... with 13 books of build up to this battle i would have felt kind of cheated if fighting didnt take up most of the book.. just my 2 cents :)

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Curious as to examples of numbers being off earlier in the series? Care to provide examples?

 

The Aiel is by far the most egregious example. There is absolutely no way that a nation that size can even live in a place as barren as the Waste, much less thrive. Where's the water coming from to drink? Where are they getting their food? Where are the mines for the ore and the foundries to smelt that ore for the blacksmiths to make iron? Where are the forests of trees necessary to make the bows, spears and arrows of this vast nation of warriors?

 

The size of the Younglings is another one. Gawyn brings almost 600 Younglings with him to Dumai's Wells. Presumably this means there was more of them originally, though I wouldn't put the number higher than 700. 

 

We know that there are less than 1000 total Aes Sedai, at least 1/3rd of whom will most likely never bond a Warder (the Red faction with Elaida). The other 2/3rds are composed of Aes Sedai who mostly are either already bonded to a Warder or don't want a Warder. As of TGH, there were only 40 Novices in the White Tower and only 8 or 9 of them will make Accepted. Why in the world do we need almost 1000 Younglings when maybe 3 or 4 Accepted are raised each year? It's not for protection and/or policing of Tar Valon--that's what the Tower Guard is for. 

 

The defense of the Two Rivers (even though it's my all time favorite section in the WoT) also bugs me, but that's just because of the arrow situation. It's like RJ said--yup, we've got unlimited arrows here. We'll have a scene or two showing men fletching arrows and what not, even though that wouldn't begin to cover the demand. An English longbowman was supposed to be able to fire 10-12 aimed (for a loose definition of aimed) per minute. The way that the defense of Two Rivers is described it would take millions of arrows to be able to beat off the Trolloc army. 

 

Where did they get the steel for the arrow heads? The goose feathers for the fletchings? The glue and twine and rope to put the fletchings and arrowheads on? Where are the vast forests of trees that were cut down to provide said arrows and bows?

 

Stuff like this is in almost every single book. RJ is very detailed and precise when it comes to numbers, which is great for a sense of realism, but it totally screws with reality because of the lack of any kind of support system for those numbers. 

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There's some oddities from other books then. Like traditionally the shield on a man brought to Tar Valon is done with your full ability--see LoC.

 

Still leaves the overarching problem that channeling is just way too good, and makes everything else pointless excepting very specific circumstances. I have reasons and examples and counterexamples for those examples but I'd rather make a specific topic of it rather than do so here (I guess it could be done now because you don't need AMoL spoilers).

 

Maybe if the last battle revolved around steddings or something (yah, Itulrade, but there's issues with how he beat the seanchan in tGS too).

 

Think of channelers as artillery on steroids. Just because you have artillery at a fight doesn't mean that the rest of the army is useless. 

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RJ made his magic system so superior that anyone having access was almost unbeatable compared to normal folk.Then he compounded this mistake by having large amounts of channelers in his series.Then when the LB came along poor Sanderson saw that these high no of channelers on the light side would make mince meat out of any no of trollcos.So he brought in a no of dreadlords from Shara and then promptly made 2/3 of the light channelers just disappear without any expanantion.!!

 

Curious how Jordan would have handled this same situation.For whatever his faults,Jordan would have thought up of something else to even the odds.

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Personally, the battle plans and descriptions ruined the book for me early on. The whole strategy for the Caemlyn trollocs was absurd. Convince them to attack and then let them chase you 250 miles north to Braem Wood? Of course, there is no detail given whatsoever about how this chase was pulled off or why it was even necessary. In one POV the trollocs are charging Perrin's harrying force, in the next POV they are 250 miles north outside Braem Wood. This would take 1-2 weeks in traveling time for an army. How did Perrin's army prevent from being overrun during this time? It was so poorly written I had to put the book down for a bit at this point.

 

Also, it's noted that the trollocs in Caemlyn number in the "tens of the thousands." In KoD's Rand and a few friends destroy 100,000 trollocs at the manor house, yet in aMoL they decide to kite the trollocs halfway across the continent (which would have taken a good month). Really? They fought the same group of "tens of thousands" of trollocs for a month and traveled over 500 miles despite having dragons and channelers? This whole tactic/battle was so sloppily written it was hard for me to engage myself in the book from that point on. What a massive disappointment. I'm glad we get an ending, but the execution of this book was awful. 

it was 150 miles but still WAY to far.  for any force to travel 150 miles to get some archers.

 

it is like an army attcking London for the people in london to chase them 30 miles north of Nottingham.  go look at google maps it is crazy

 

No it's not. The French let the English march over 350 miles from Harfleur before forcing them to fight at Agincourt. 

 

You're comparing armies of men to armies of Shadowspawn. Did Perrin's army not make camp? There's no way they could have not been overrun over 150 miles. We've been repeatedly told how trollocs can run down a horse. In EotW the small party couldn't outrun trollocs but we are to believe that an entire army outran them for 150 miles? 

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Exactly. The strategy didn't make any sense. Once they had the trollocs outside of Caemlyn, Perrin's army and a couple dozen channels could have finished off the trollocs in a afternoon.

 

How exactly would this work? The only way for an army of archers to destroy infantry is if the infantry can't get to the archers. This worked for the English at places like Crecy and Agincourt because they had knights, and they were able to use the terrain to force the attacking French knights into a narrow enough space that they couldn't bring the bulk of their army to fight. There's no such terrain available outside of Caemlyn. Archers arrive, Dreadlords sense the channeling, nuke the archers coming out of it, send out Trolloc parties to overwhelm the archers before they can put up their defenses, let the Aes Sedai/Asha'man wear themselves out killing hordes of Trollocs, then kill them, and now you've got still got a vast army of Trollocs with few bowmen, and much depleted in it's heavy artillery. 

 

Perrin's army was not just archers. He had the Whitecloaks, the Mayeners, the Ghealdians, and the Wolf Guard in addition to his Two Rivers men. 

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Curious as to examples of numbers being off earlier in the series? Care to provide examples?

 

The Aiel is by far the most egregious example. There is absolutely no way that a nation that size can even live in a place as barren as the Waste, much less thrive. Where's the water coming from to drink? Where are they getting their food? Where are the mines for the ore and the foundries to smelt that ore for the blacksmiths to make iron? Where are the forests of trees necessary to make the bows, spears and arrows of this vast nation of warriors?

 

The size of the Younglings is another one. Gawyn brings almost 600 Younglings with him to Dumai's Wells. Presumably this means there was more of them originally, though I wouldn't put the number higher than 700. 

 

We know that there are less than 1000 total Aes Sedai, at least 1/3rd of whom will most likely never bond a Warder (the Red faction with Elaida). The other 2/3rds are composed of Aes Sedai who mostly are either already bonded to a Warder or don't want a Warder. As of TGH, there were only 40 Novices in the White Tower and only 8 or 9 of them will make Accepted. Why in the world do we need almost 1000 Younglings when maybe 3 or 4 Accepted are raised each year? It's not for protection and/or policing of Tar Valon--that's what the Tower Guard is for. 

 

The defense of the Two Rivers (even though it's my all time favorite section in the WoT) also bugs me, but that's just because of the arrow situation. It's like RJ said--yup, we've got unlimited arrows here. We'll have a scene or two showing men fletching arrows and what not, even though that wouldn't begin to cover the demand. An English longbowman was supposed to be able to fire 10-12 aimed (for a loose definition of aimed) per minute. The way that the defense of Two Rivers is described it would take millions of arrows to be able to beat off the Trolloc army. 

 

Where did they get the steel for the arrow heads? The goose feathers for the fletchings? The glue and twine and rope to put the fletchings and arrowheads on? Where are the vast forests of trees that were cut down to provide said arrows and bows?

 

Stuff like this is in almost every single book. RJ is very detailed and precise when it comes to numbers, which is great for a sense of realism, but it totally screws with reality because of the lack of any kind of support system for those numbers. 

 

I disagree with a lot of your points here. 

 

Regarding the Aiel, the Waste is a massive area. It's not densely populated but given that it's over a third of the size of the main continent, the Aiel's numbers are not that unrealistic. There is water in the Waste, as we saw in previous books, and this is where the Aiel make their holds. We also saw how they feed themselves with the scene at Cold Rocks Holds. Regarding the iron and wood, it's possible that this is acquired through trade. We don't know all their dealings in detail but they do seem to have pretty regular trade with peddlers from Randland as well as the Sharans. It's also possible that they do have mines. The Waste isn't a purely desert landscape as there are mountainous regions that could supply ore. 

 

For the Younglings, why are you comparing their numbers to that of Accepted and Novices? They don't have anything to do with each other. Sure, potential Warders can come from that group but several men training at the Tower were there simply to learn from Warders. Once the battle of the Tower occurred, Gwayn gathered them together and formed a force but it was clear from the beginning that the Younglings didn't serve a true purpose. They were no Warders to be nor did they fit into the ranks of the Tower Guard. This is part of the reason that Elaida was using them as an escort force. Even going with your Warder argument, you're ignoring that Aes Sedai live much longer than a Warder would. It stands to reason that Warders would eventually be retired and replaced by younger men. With members of the Green bonding several men, it's clear that this pool of candidates would be used by more than just Novices and Accepted as they gain the shawl.

 

In Two Rivers, I don't understand why you think they'd need "millions of arrows" to fight ten thousand trollocs. You also ignore the possibility of arrows already stockpiled. Bows are their main weapon and hunting tool. It stands to reason that each man would already have a supply of arrows prior to the trollocs coming. It's also possible that they were retrieving arrows after each fight. While we only saw a couple fletchers, there's nothing to indicate that Two Rivers doesn't have several dedicated fletchers. They have access to woods, they have access to geese, they have blacksmiths, ore could come down from the mines around Baerlon. Just because RJ didn't describes all these in intimate detail doesn't make the overall concept not believable.

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RJ made his magic system so superior that anyone having access was almost unbeatable compared to normal folk.Then he compounded this mistake by having large amounts of channelers in his series.Then when the LB came along poor Sanderson saw that these high no of channelers on the light side would make mince meat out of any no of trollcos.So he brought in a no of dreadlords from Shara and then promptly made 2/3 of the light channelers just disappear without any expanantion.!!

 

Curious how Jordan would have handled this same situation.For whatever his faults,Jordan would have thought up of something else to even the odds.

I don't necessarily disagree but the solution is very easy. Shara is as big as the Randland. They have been breeding channellers for the Light knows how long and they are battle-ready. They could easily counter however many channellers the Light had. The answer was not to make the existing channellers disappear, it was to balance the numbers. 400 was a ridiculuous number for Shara, and that is not even counting the Town.

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Was the number of Sharan channelers given as 400? I could have sworn there were more.

Demandred tells Taim he has 400 channellers with him.

 

Which Ironically would have allowed Taim to 13x13 at over 30x the rate which he managed with the pittiful amount of Black Ajah help he had.

 

Gotta love how Forsaken infight you really do, Taim should have pulled him up on it haha. "I would have had over a thousand had you lent me yours for a few months!" which would have been returned with a wave of the hand and "These are not the Ayyad you are looking for, move along."

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Exactly. The strategy didn't make any sense. Once they had the trollocs outside of Caemlyn, Perrin's army and a couple dozen channels could have finished off the trollocs in a afternoon.

 

How exactly would this work? The only way for an army of archers to destroy infantry is if the infantry can't get to the archers. This worked for the English at places like Crecy and Agincourt because they had knights, and they were able to use the terrain to force the attacking French knights into a narrow enough space that they couldn't bring the bulk of their army to fight. There's no such terrain available outside of Caemlyn. Archers arrive, Dreadlords sense the channeling, nuke the archers coming out of it, send out Trolloc parties to overwhelm the archers before they can put up their defenses, let the Aes Sedai/Asha'man wear themselves out killing hordes of Trollocs, then kill them, and now you've got still got a vast army of Trollocs with few bowmen, and much depleted in it's heavy artillery. 

 

Perrin's army was not just archers. He had the Whitecloaks, the Mayeners, the Ghealdians, and the Wolf Guard in addition to his Two Rivers men. 

So you've got approximately 80k men vs how many hundreds of thousands of Trollocs? Still wouldn't work. 

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Exactly. The strategy didn't make any sense. Once they had the trollocs outside of Caemlyn, Perrin's army and a couple dozen channels could have finished off the trollocs in a afternoon.

 

How exactly would this work? The only way for an army of archers to destroy infantry is if the infantry can't get to the archers. This worked for the English at places like Crecy and Agincourt because they had knights, and they were able to use the terrain to force the attacking French knights into a narrow enough space that they couldn't bring the bulk of their army to fight. There's no such terrain available outside of Caemlyn. Archers arrive, Dreadlords sense the channeling, nuke the archers coming out of it, send out Trolloc parties to overwhelm the archers before they can put up their defenses, let the Aes Sedai/Asha'man wear themselves out killing hordes of Trollocs, then kill them, and now you've got still got a vast army of Trollocs with few bowmen, and much depleted in it's heavy artillery. 

 

Perrin's army was not just archers. He had the Whitecloaks, the Mayeners, the Ghealdians, and the Wolf Guard in addition to his Two Rivers men. 

So you've got approximately 80k men vs how many hundreds of thousands of Trollocs? Still wouldn't work. 

 

And I'm fairly sure he only took relatively small contingents of each for that mission. He did not bring along his entire army. He needed it to be mobile.

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Exactly. The strategy didn't make any sense. Once they had the trollocs outside of Caemlyn, Perrin's army and a couple dozen channels could have finished off the trollocs in a afternoon.

 

How exactly would this work? The only way for an army of archers to destroy infantry is if the infantry can't get to the archers. This worked for the English at places like Crecy and Agincourt because they had knights, and they were able to use the terrain to force the attacking French knights into a narrow enough space that they couldn't bring the bulk of their army to fight. There's no such terrain available outside of Caemlyn. Archers arrive, Dreadlords sense the channeling, nuke the archers coming out of it, send out Trolloc parties to overwhelm the archers before they can put up their defenses, let the Aes Sedai/Asha'man wear themselves out killing hordes of Trollocs, then kill them, and now you've got still got a vast army of Trollocs with few bowmen, and much depleted in it's heavy artillery. 

 

Perrin's army was not just archers. He had the Whitecloaks, the Mayeners, the Ghealdians, and the Wolf Guard in addition to his Two Rivers men. 

So you've got approximately 80k men vs how many hundreds of thousands of Trollocs? Still wouldn't work. 

The trolloc army in Caemlyn was described as "tens of thousands." Not sure where you are getting hundreds of thousands. The forces of the Light could have very easily crushed the Caemlyn army once they were beyond the gates.

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I disagree with a lot of your points here. 

 

Regarding the Aiel, the Waste is a massive area. It's not densely populated but given that it's over a third of the size of the main continent, the Aiel's numbers are not that unrealistic. There is water in the Waste, as we saw in previous books, and this is where the Aiel make their holds. We also saw how they feed themselves with the scene at Cold Rocks Holds. Regarding the iron and wood, it's possible that this is acquired through trade. We don't know all their dealings in detail but they do seem to have pretty regular trade with peddlers from Randland as well as the Sharans. It's also possible that they do have mines. The Waste isn't a purely desert landscape as there are mountainous regions that could supply ore. 

 

It's not the size of the land that's the problem. It's the dryness. Without fail every single one of the Aiel is shocked by even a small stream of water. A land that dry can not support a population the size of the Aiel. The Waste isn't that large, because it only takes a few days-week for the majority of the Aiel to march to Rhiudean, and only a few days-week for them to march from there to Cairhien. Assuming they're travelling at the pace of a horse, you're going to be looking at a maximum speed of 15-20mph. Even assuming that the Waste is the size of the Western United States (Mississippi river west), that's still not large enough to have a nation of millions when the ground is so dry that there are no trees. 

 

It's not acquired through trade because realtively few traders enter the Waste. Conservatively each Aiel warrior has three spears. That means 1 million lengths of wood (assuming that every single length of wood is perfect for making a spear and there are no screw ups when making them). That's not counting the wood for the arrows. Same story for the iron for the arrow heads and spear heads. Yeah it can be gotten through trade, but there's no such existing trade network in the books. 

 

For the Younglings, why are you comparing their numbers to that of Accepted and Novices? They don't have anything to do with each other. Sure, potential Warders can come from that group but several men training at the Tower were there simply to learn from Warders. Once the battle of the Tower occurred, Gwayn gathered them together and formed a force but it was clear from the beginning that the Younglings didn't serve a true purpose. They were no Warders to be nor did they fit into the ranks of the Tower Guard. This is part of the reason that Elaida was using them as an escort force. Even going with your Warder argument, you're ignoring that Aes Sedai live much longer than a Warder would. It stands to reason that Warders would eventually be retired and replaced by younger men. With members of the Green bonding several men, it's clear that this pool of candidates would be used by more than just Novices and Accepted as they gain the shawl.

 

Younglings are Warders-in-Training. Some of them will go to existing Aes Sedai, but not the majority of them. There are maybe three new Aes Sedai a year. So why are there almost 1000 Warders-in-Training? There might be 1000 total Warders (many Aes Sedai have no Warders, some have multiple Warders). Are you expecting 100% turnover every year? Every other year? Additionaly, where are these recruits coming from? Most nations want nothing to do with the White Tower. 

 

 

In Two Rivers, I don't understand why you think they'd need "millions of arrows" to fight ten thousand trollocs. You also ignore the possibility of arrows already stockpiled. Bows are their main weapon and hunting tool. It stands to reason that each man would already have a supply of arrows prior to the trollocs coming. It's also possible that they were retrieving arrows after each fight. While we only saw a couple fletchers, there's nothing to indicate that Two Rivers doesn't have several dedicated fletchers. They have access to woods, they have access to geese, they have blacksmiths, ore could come down from the mines around Baerlon. Just because RJ didn't describes all these in intimate detail doesn't make the overall concept not believable.

 

The Two Rivers bowmen are clearly modeled after the English longbowmen. An English longbowmen was expected to be able to shoot 10-12 arrows in the space of a minute. A battle lasts one hour, and that's 600 arrows per archer per hour. Let's say they're only shooting 1/2 that. So we're still looking at 300 arrows per archer per hour of battle. Assuming 200 archers at Edmond's Field that means in a single 4 hour battle you're talking about 240,000 arrows. Figure several days worth of battles and you're talking millions of arrows--conservatively. A small village like Edmond's Field is really going to have that many arrows stockpiled? 

 

Once the main attack of the Trollocs started they didn't have access to the forests, which was kind of the point. They especially didn't have enough access to be able to send out work parties to chop down dozens of trees to make the shafts, nor did they have time to forge the arrowheads.

 

 

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The trolloc army in Caemlyn was described as "tens of thousands." Not sure where you are getting hundreds of thousands. The forces of the Light could have very easily crushed the Caemlyn army once they were beyond the gates.

 

It was described as tens of thousands by the people who were fleeing the city. By the time of the actual battle it was very much larger due to reinforcements.

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I really tried not to put too much attention to the battle plans. I know its hard, since half the book is pure war, but if you try to analize them you find yourself feeling cold with a book you are supposed to enjoy and wishing RJ was alive every 2-3 pages.

 

Now that I finished, I can think of so many flaws that I have to come here and cry out, I'm sorry you have to listen to me ;)

 

 

1. Androl and the super lava waygate. WTF? I mean, its a great idea for the Cairhien battle. Just one question. Why the hell dont they do the same at the last battle?!?

 

2. Numbers. I find it so disappointing that BS didnt even bother to give us a few figures. Worse than that, that he didnt bother to make those numbers he doesnt really give us (but are implied) consistent with the previous numbers that RJ had actually given us. Many posts in this thread are about suppositions on this matter, but facts that I can remember from previous books talk about 800 Aes Sedai (after the Black Ajah purge), a huge number of Wise Ones (only Shaido there were 400, but, in this book, we only hear about Amys and Sorilea at Shayol Ghul, not one of the 2000+ there should have been make it to the Merrilor's battle), like 1000 damane (some of them, Shaido wise ones), close to 1000 Windfinders and like 400 Asha'Man even if Taim took a good share of them. I also remember words from other RJ books of "about 400.000" Aiel camped outside Caemlyn and Cairhien, and those were just a few clans. What the hell happened to them??

Suddenly, 400 hundred Ayyad (the only number we get at all) come and almost win the battle.

 

3. Plans are good just because we are told so. Demandred is a good general just because we are told so. But... Why the hell would he risk a battle like Merrilor's when he has the numbers to just swarm the continent with trollocs in a way that the Light's Forces could never take care of them before the Dark One breaks free? Because he wanted to fight Lews Therin? Well then, bro, you are a genius. Great plan to leave Shayol Gull unprotected and expect him to come to you against a million trollocs (again a guess, we cant know).

 

4. The Seanchan Army part. Mat is a great general. I really want to believe it. But, why in the hell would he keep 1/4 of his army and 1000 damane to the very end of the battle???? Worst of all, why would he let HIS people die like meat, and preserve until the end the twisted society Seanchan is, letting them just finish the battle with a last sweep? At least use the damane, man!!!! Couldnt they have at least relieved the Aes Sedai when they were exhausted???

 

 

To sum up, no way I can buy this battle.

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t. 

 

You're comparing armies of men to armies of Shadowspawn. Did Perrin's army not make camp? There's no way they could have not been overrun over 150 miles. We've been repeatedly told how trollocs can run down a horse. In EotW the small party couldn't outrun trollocs but we are to believe that an entire army outran them for 150 miles? 

 

In EoTW the small party didn't outrun the Trollocs in a straight race. They hid from the Trollocs and outmaneuvered them. Same thing in AMoL. It's not about being in a flat out foot race against the Trollocs. It's about maneuvering and hiding so they can't spot you. 

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