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Battles (Full Spoilers)


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People forget how terrible the Aes Sedai actually are in battle, their good moments have all been against limited numbers of troops and any of the major battles have been with the superhero main casts (Rand, Logain, Egwene, Taim etc.). Lot's of them are in non-visible battles with the opposing channellers, cutting and counter cutting weaves. The Asha'man are better, but we've only seen the most powerful ones, the weaker ones are probably only marginally better than the Aes Sedai.

 

A single Aes Sedai down't cut down vast swathes of trollocs continuously, Rand with an angreal cut down 100,000 in an hour (which works out at about 30 a second). This leaves him totally exhausted. Now you look at what an actual Aes Sedai is capable of at the trolloc attacks on the Two Rivers, they're not throwing death gates and blossoms of fire, they're throwing single fireballs that take out 1 or two trollocs, all this while unopposed by other channellers.

 

If the light starts the Last Battle with 3000 exhausted channellers who over the 24 hour battle kill 1 trolloc a minute (assuming they have to counter weave against the dreadlords and rotate in and out of combat etc.) then they kill about 4 million trollocs. You have to ask though, given the numbers they had, and the exhaustion they felt is that 1 a minute really accurate? Especially since quite a few of them would, you know, die? Yes, Egwene and Logain might pad out the average a bit but they are also trying to counter the other channelers as well. Could an Aes Sedai throw almost 1500 fireballs in a 24 hour period (assuming they have decent accuracy and nobody dying)? I very much doubt your average Aes Sedai/Wise One could, even if they weren't also fighting a battle within a battle against the Dreadlords.

 

I have my problems with the book, numerous problems (the placement of the channellers in the early battle for instance) but the effectiveness of channellers present isn't one of them. It's consistent within the series that overall, a few of the key players aside, they aren't all the effective. Demandred might have been able to break an entire army with his Sa'angreal, but he was saving himself for Rand (who he thought wouldn't leave the battle to others unless he absolutely had to like LTT did last time) so was only really being a disruption and certainly not acting at full strength. As for battle tactics, I'm pretty sure he copied tactics from other battles (I spotted Cannae and Austerlitz, two of the most comprehensive tactical victories in history) so you can't really complain about their viability, more their originality. 

 

They split up into 4 because they thought Caemelyn could be won quickly and they could hold back the other two armies until then, thus limiting the damage. As for why did the trollocs not just avoid Mat and attack Randland rather than engage in a battle? I'd have thought that would have been obvious, a) the trollocs are bloodthirsty and hungry b) if they do that Demandred doesn't get his confrontation and it opens them up to dark Rand's plan of just harassing and slowly destroying the trollocs slowly with gateways. With superior numbers it makes sense to force a confrontation.  

 

 

 

I'm honestly surprised at all the moaning about the battles, I'd have thought people would have spent their time discussing actual problems with the book like the lack of build up or explanation for any of the major events. 

Edited by ddidiodion
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They split up into 4 because they thought Caemelyn could be won quickly and they could hold back the other two armies until then, thus limiting the damage.

 

Yes. And then they hatched a strategy that would ensure Caemlyn could not be won quickly. That made no sense to me, even if Bashere was already compromised. Nobody raised the point that waiting a week for the trollocs to chase Perrin back to the Woods would allow several hundred thousand additional trollocs to come through the way gate? And that in the meantime the bulk of the light forces would be standing idle?

Edited by mbuehner
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I'm honestly surprised at all the moaning about the battles, I'd have thought people would have spent their time discussing actual problems with the book like the lack of build up or explanation for any of the major events. 

 

 

Well you know this is the erm battles thread... Should we perhaps go to another thread, perhaps the prophecy thread to discuss it? not that it has anything to do with prophecy but to please people who dont want us to discuss things in the rightful place ;-)

 

The Aes Sedai are meant to be this all powerful force against the shadow, so yeah they should be able to display a decent showing i.e 1 channeller worth 1000 men which is afterall what we've been told over the course of 20 years and 13 books. But in a way the fact that we were shown so much of the battles is the problem, it makes the glaringly obvious plot-holes evident, if we were given more detail on things which were relevent, i.e like you say backstory, demandred, an explanation for why 2/3 of the lights forces did a houdini, why the lights channellers seem so whimpy, why the seanchan were used as a reserve force whilst everyone else was being systematically wiped off of the face of the planet..

 

where the Aiel went to? maybe they all discovered what a bath was and decided to go skinny dipping whilst most of the lights channellers heated the water of a big lake for them?.

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They split up into 4 because they thought Caemelyn could be won quickly and they could hold back the other two armies until then, thus limiting the damage.

 

Yes. And then they hatched a strategy that would ensure Caemlyn could not be won quickly. That made no sense to me, even if Bashere was already compromised. Nobody raised the point that waiting a week for the trollocs to chase Perrin back to the Woods would allow several hundred thousand additional trollocs to come through the way gate? And that in the meantime the bulk of the light forces would be standing idle?

Pretty sure they were under the impression the trollocs would be hungry and itching for a fight. If the trollocs charge out immediately then it's a decent enough plan. Levelling the city would have been the ideal choice but levelling Caemelyn is easier said than done, even with dragons and channeller it's still a massive job. I would have started to destroy the city if I could get the dragons close enough without the trollocs being able to catch them as a way of drawing them out but drawing them out and destroying them was the best way. 

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Well you know this is the erm battles thread... Should we perhaps go to another thread, perhaps the prophecy thread to discuss it? not that it has anything to do with prophecy but to please people who dont want us to discuss things in the rightful place ;-)

 

The Aes Sedai are meant to be this all powerful force against the shadow, so yeah they should be able to display a decent showing i.e 1 channeller worth 1000 men which is afterall what we've been told over the course of 20 years and 13 books. But in a way the fact that we were shown so much of the battles is the problem, it makes the glaringly obvious plot-holes evident, if we were given more detail on things which were relevent, i.e like you say backstory, demandred, an explanation for why 2/3 of the lights forces did a houdini, why the lights channellers seem so whimpy, why the seanchan were used as a reserve force whilst everyone else was being systematically wiped off of the face of the planet..

 

where the Aiel went to? maybe they all discovered what a bath was and decided to go skinny dipping whilst most of the lights channellers heated the water of a big lake for them?.

 

I'm surprised there is as much talk about the battles as there is, not that the talk is in the battles thread. It's the volume not the location that surprised me. 

 

I don't think the Light's forces were any weaker than the Dreadlord's, the Dreadlord's didn't manage to wipe out a much smaller force because they were engaged with the Light's channellers. I think the interaction between those two is underplayed, it's almost two separate battles, the fact that the lights forces weren't washed away by trollocs is probably down to the fact that their Dreadlords were being repelled by the Light. The Aiel were at Thakan'dar and the last battle unless I've misread something about them being elsewhere, even the best light infantry is going to struggle in a battle like that. This was not a a fight designed for the Aiel, as good as they are, being stuck with rigid battle lines against heavily armoured opponents is going to be a losing fight. 

 
Edited by ddidiodion
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They split up into 4 because they thought Caemelyn could be won quickly and they could hold back the other two armies until then, thus limiting the damage.

Yes. And then they hatched a strategy that would ensure Caemlyn could not be won quickly. That made no sense to me, even if Bashere was already compromised. Nobody raised the point that waiting a week for the trollocs to chase Perrin back to the Woods would allow several hundred thousand additional trollocs to come through the way gate? And that in the meantime the bulk of the light forces would be standing idle?

Pretty sure they were under the impression the trollocs would be hungry and itching for a fight. If the trollocs charge out immediately then it's a decent enough plan.  

You have got to be kidding.

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They split up into 4 because they thought Caemelyn could be won quickly and they could hold back the other two armies until then, thus limiting the damage.

 

Yes. And then they hatched a strategy that would ensure Caemlyn could not be won quickly. That made no sense to me, even if Bashere was already compromised. Nobody raised the point that waiting a week for the trollocs to chase Perrin back to the Woods would allow several hundred thousand additional trollocs to come through the way gate? And that in the meantime the bulk of the light forces would be standing idle?

Pretty sure they were under the impression the trollocs would be hungry and itching for a fight. If the trollocs charge out immediately then it's a decent enough plan. Levelling the city would have been the ideal choice but levelling Caemelyn is easier said than done, even with dragons and channeller it's still a massive job. I would have started to destroy the city if I could get the dragons close enough without the trollocs being able to catch them as a way of drawing them out but drawing them out and destroying them was the best way. 

 

If that were the case and they intended to meet them in the open outside of Caemlyn where the channelers could have at them and gateways could open in their rear to unleash a huge force of cavalry, thats one thing. On the other hand, what they actually did was hide their army in Braem Wood and lure the trollocs there... which by sheer laws of physics took almost a week to march.

 

And they didn't need to level Caemlyn block by block. Just the waygate. After that the trollocs remaining arent really a threat. This was a job for channelers. And before someone chimes in about tiring out the channelers... how much more energy did they end up expending fighting that trolloc army as it chased them across the continent?

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They split up into 4 because they thought Caemelyn could be won quickly and they could hold back the other two armies until then, thus limiting the damage.

 

Yes. And then they hatched a strategy that would ensure Caemlyn could not be won quickly. That made no sense to me, even if Bashere was already compromised. Nobody raised the point that waiting a week for the trollocs to chase Perrin back to the Woods would allow several hundred thousand additional trollocs to come through the way gate? And that in the meantime the bulk of the light forces would be standing idle?

Pretty sure they were under the impression the trollocs would be hungry and itching for a fight. If the trollocs charge out immediately then it's a decent enough plan. Levelling the city would have been the ideal choice but levelling Caemelyn is easier said than done, even with dragons and channeller it's still a massive job. I would have started to destroy the city if I could get the dragons close enough without the trollocs being able to catch them as a way of drawing them out but drawing them out and destroying them was the best way. 

Several hundred thousand humans had been killed in Caemlyn. The trollocs there were probably the least hungry in the world. Not to mention the people still trapped inside...

 

They could have warded the city like Rand did the waygates, invert weaves on all the exits and the trollocs would die shortly after leaving. it would have hurt them more than just sitting and waiting for them to come after them. Hell use a full circle and ward the entire city so that all shadowspawn inside die and the job is done. But that would mean that trollocs/fades arent as strong as they have been since erm book 1 when they were actually dangerous...

 

Trollocs/Fades should have been the counter to the mortal armies, give them a five-eight million advantage to make up for lack of skilled tactics.

 

But the real battles should have been dominated by channellers, both light and dark, which is what the books have been foreshadowing with how overpowered the OP is.

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They split up into 4 because they thought Caemelyn could be won quickly and they could hold back the other two armies until then, thus limiting the damage.

 

Yes. And then they hatched a strategy that would ensure Caemlyn could not be won quickly. That made no sense to me, even if Bashere was already compromised. Nobody raised the point that waiting a week for the trollocs to chase Perrin back to the Woods would allow several hundred thousand additional trollocs to come through the way gate? And that in the meantime the bulk of the light forces would be standing idle?

Pretty sure they were under the impression the trollocs would be hungry and itching for a fight. If the trollocs charge out immediately then it's a decent enough plan. Levelling the city would have been the ideal choice but levelling Caemelyn is easier said than done, even with dragons and channeller it's still a massive job. I would have started to destroy the city if I could get the dragons close enough without the trollocs being able to catch them as a way of drawing them out but drawing them out and destroying them was the best way. 

 

If that were the case and they intended to meet them in the open outside of Caemlyn where the channelers could have at them and gateways could open in their rear to unleash a huge force of cavalry, thats one thing. On the other hand, what they actually did was hide their army in Braem Wood and lure the trollocs there... which by sheer laws of physics took almost a week to march.

 

And they didn't need to level Caemlyn block by block. Just the waygate. After that the trollocs remaining arent really a threat. This was a job for channelers. And before someone chimes in about tiring out the channelers... how much more energy did they end up expending fighting that trolloc army as it chased them across the continent?

If they just level the waygate that leaves 100k trollocs unopposed to plunder or attack them from the rear at their leisure, they needed to be destroyed.

 

I always thought Braem Wood was much closer than a weeks march, if it was a weeks march away then it does seem rather dubious, I'd have to go back and check though. 

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They split up into 4 because they thought Caemelyn could be won quickly and they could hold back the other two armies until then, thus limiting the damage.

 

Yes. And then they hatched a strategy that would ensure Caemlyn could not be won quickly. That made no sense to me, even if Bashere was already compromised. Nobody raised the point that waiting a week for the trollocs to chase Perrin back to the Woods would allow several hundred thousand additional trollocs to come through the way gate? And that in the meantime the bulk of the light forces would be standing idle?

Pretty sure they were under the impression the trollocs would be hungry and itching for a fight. If the trollocs charge out immediately then it's a decent enough plan. Levelling the city would have been the ideal choice but levelling Caemelyn is easier said than done, even with dragons and channeller it's still a massive job. I would have started to destroy the city if I could get the dragons close enough without the trollocs being able to catch them as a way of drawing them out but drawing them out and destroying them was the best way. 

 

I don't believe they could count on large numbers of reinforcements coming through the Ways. That was a major gamble and effort by the Shadow. Anyway, the Trolloc army at Caemlyn behaved oddly compared to their past experiences. That's exactly because they were literally reading Bashere's battle plans and compelling him. I'd imagine that common experience from fighting in the Borderlands would have led them to believe that the Trolloc army would quickly engaged if driven out and harassed. But the Shadow knew their plan and intentionally held back. Tarwin's Gap was a great defensive position. It makes sense that they wouldn't abandon that front. And while Kandor was already largely overrun, the army hadn't yet dispersed. If the Kandor front had been ignored to concentrate on other fronts first the army would have swept south into other nations or swung around to flank the army at Tarwin's Gap.

 

The primary objective was to delay the Trollocs and to force the Shadow to keep sending forces south out of the Blight, to draw attention away from Shayol Ghul. At the same time, the entire alliance could have fractured if monarchs were told that their nation and people would be abandoned (Kandor had already been lost). They'd have tried to withdraw to defend their own borders.

 

Now, the distribution of channelers and the strategy at Caemlyn is still suspect. Razing Caemlyn wasn't even discussed. Perhaps Elayne would never have considered it herself and Bashere was being compelled anyway. But would razing have worked? Could Caemlyn have truly been leveled if they tried? Literally leveled, not just destroyed. Or would Elayne's forces have been forced into moving into the city in order to truly work? At best, containing the force at Caemlyn wouldn't have been that hard, but that wasn't an option.

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They split up into 4 because they thought Caemelyn could be won quickly and they could hold back the other two armies until then, thus limiting the damage.

 

Yes. And then they hatched a strategy that would ensure Caemlyn could not be won quickly. That made no sense to me, even if Bashere was already compromised. Nobody raised the point that waiting a week for the trollocs to chase Perrin back to the Woods would allow several hundred thousand additional trollocs to come through the way gate? And that in the meantime the bulk of the light forces would be standing idle?

Pretty sure they were under the impression the trollocs would be hungry and itching for a fight. If the trollocs charge out immediately then it's a decent enough plan. Levelling the city would have been the ideal choice but levelling Caemelyn is easier said than done, even with dragons and channeller it's still a massive job. I would have started to destroy the city if I could get the dragons close enough without the trollocs being able to catch them as a way of drawing them out but drawing them out and destroying them was the best way. 

Several hundred thousand humans had been killed in Caemlyn. The trollocs there were probably the least hungry in the world. Not to mention the people still trapped inside...

 

They could have warded the city like Rand did the waygates, invert weaves on all the exits and the trollocs would die shortly after leaving. it would have hurt them more than just sitting and waiting for them to come after them. Hell use a full circle and ward the entire city so that all shadowspawn inside die and the job is done. But that would mean that trollocs/fades arent as strong as they have been since erm book 1 when they were actually dangerous...

Trollocs are always hungry and looking for a fight! It's in their nature. 

 

The second bit is easier said than done and I can guarantee if Rand had done that people would have gone MENTAL on here. I'm guessing you can't just ward every entrance to a city like Caemelyn.  

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They split up into 4 because they thought Caemelyn could be won quickly and they could hold back the other two armies until then, thus limiting the damage.

 

Yes. And then they hatched a strategy that would ensure Caemlyn could not be won quickly. That made no sense to me, even if Bashere was already compromised. Nobody raised the point that waiting a week for the trollocs to chase Perrin back to the Woods would allow several hundred thousand additional trollocs to come through the way gate? And that in the meantime the bulk of the light forces would be standing idle?

Pretty sure they were under the impression the trollocs would be hungry and itching for a fight. If the trollocs charge out immediately then it's a decent enough plan. Levelling the city would have been the ideal choice but levelling Caemelyn is easier said than done, even with dragons and channeller it's still a massive job. I would have started to destroy the city if I could get the dragons close enough without the trollocs being able to catch them as a way of drawing them out but drawing them out and destroying them was the best way. 

 

I don't believe they could count on large numbers of reinforcements coming through the Ways. That was a major gamble and effort by the Shadow. Anyway, the Trolloc army at Caemlyn behaved oddly compared to their past experiences. That's exactly because they were literally reading Bashere's battle plans and compelling him. I'd imagine that common experience from fighting in the Borderlands would have led them to believe that the Trolloc army would quickly engaged if driven out and harassed. But the Shadow knew their plan and intentionally held back. Tarwin's Gap was a great defensive position. It makes sense that they wouldn't abandon that front. And while Kandor was already largely overrun, the army hadn't yet dispersed. If the Kandor front had been ignored to concentrate on other fronts first the army would have swept south into other nations or swung around to flank the army at Tarwin's Gap.

 

The primary objective was to delay the Trollocs and to force the Shadow to keep sending forces south out of the Blight, to draw attention away from Shayol Ghul. At the same time, the entire alliance could have fractured if monarchs were told that their nation and people would be abandoned (Kandor had already been lost). They'd have tried to withdraw to defend their own borders.

 

Now, the distribution of channelers and the strategy at Caemlyn is still suspect. Razing Caemlyn wasn't even discussed. Perhaps Elayne would never have considered it herself and Bashere was being compelled anyway. But would razing have worked? Could Caemlyn have truly been leveled if they tried? Literally leveled, not just destroyed. Or would Elayne's forces have been forced into moving into the city in order to truly work? At best, containing the force at Caemlyn wouldn't have been that hard, but that wasn't an option.

What (s)he said ^ 

 

Levelling Caemelyn would have been the obvious solution, but you have to assume that it simply wasn't possible for whatever reason. That's the bit of the plan I can see people having problems with, the fact it wasn't raised pretty much at all, the rest makes sense.  

Edited by ddidiodion
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One thing that bugged me about the battles is, it kind of felt like at the very beginning of the book (like chapter one or two whichever was the first Rand PoV) Rand didn't want to divide his forces. Then they divide their forces. 

 

Like, what? Did I miss something?

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One thing that bugged me about the battles is, it kind of felt like at the very beginning of the book (like chapter one or two whichever was the first Rand PoV) Rand didn't want to divide his forces. Then they divide their forces. 

 

Like, what? Did I miss something?

 

Rand wanted a coordinated effort. What he feared was each monarch retreating to their own lands and making their own decisions about where to commit their forces.

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If they just level the waygate that leaves 100k trollocs unopposed to plunder or attack them from the rear at their leisure, they needed to be destroyed.

 

I always thought Braem Wood was much closer than a weeks march, if it was a weeks march away then it does seem rather dubious, I'd have to go back and check though. 

 

They didnt need to be destroyed... if theyre sitting in Caemlyn they arent a threat. If they leave Caemlyn they are in the open and can be harrassed by an observation force and dealt with at leisure. They are walking, they wont get anywhere vital for many days. The greatest advantages the light has is traveling and a huge cavalry, which would be perfect for dealing with such an isolated trolloc army if and when they decided to move. In the meantime the entire force of the light (less a covering force in Kandor) could have fallen on the trolloc army in Shienar and destroyed it, and then pivoted to deal with Kandor. If that trolloc army flooded south? So much the better, its empty land between Kandor and Tar Valon with hundreds of miles in between. They'd probably starve or if nothing else not arrive until the Last Battle was long over. The depopulation of huge portions of Rand Land was a huge advantage to the light.

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They split up into 4 because they thought Caemelyn could be won quickly and they could hold back the other two armies until then, thus limiting the damage.

 

Yes. And then they hatched a strategy that would ensure Caemlyn could not be won quickly. That made no sense to me, even if Bashere was already compromised. Nobody raised the point that waiting a week for the trollocs to chase Perrin back to the Woods would allow several hundred thousand additional trollocs to come through the way gate? And that in the meantime the bulk of the light forces would be standing idle?

Pretty sure they were under the impression the trollocs would be hungry and itching for a fight. If the trollocs charge out immediately then it's a decent enough plan. Levelling the city would have been the ideal choice but levelling Caemelyn is easier said than done, even with dragons and channeller it's still a massive job. I would have started to destroy the city if I could get the dragons close enough without the trollocs being able to catch them as a way of drawing them out but drawing them out and destroying them was the best way. 

Several hundred thousand humans had been killed in Caemlyn. The trollocs there were probably the least hungry in the world. Not to mention the people still trapped inside...

 

They could have warded the city like Rand did the waygates, invert weaves on all the exits and the trollocs would die shortly after leaving. it would have hurt them more than just sitting and waiting for them to come after them. Hell use a full circle and ward the entire city so that all shadowspawn inside die and the job is done. But that would mean that trollocs/fades arent as strong as they have been since erm book 1 when they were actually dangerous...

Trollocs are always hungry and looking for a fight! It's in their nature. 

 

The second bit is easier said than done and I can guarantee if Rand had done that people would have gone MENTAL on here. I'm guessing you can't just ward every entrance to a city like Caemelyn.  

 

Actually no it isnt in a trollocs nature to fight, its in its nature to slaughter, they are base cowards and opportunists who run away from a challenge if they are not forced by fades.

 

As for the wards, your probably right but it would have been more fitting with how the other 13 books had gone than. "I have a great plan, we shall wait for those cowardly mongrols to attack us, dont worry it wont take long, they have no food in Caemlyn... oh what you say? they will eat our friends/family/neighbours? oh no dont be daft trollocs are vegetarians... they will attack us before the night is done."

 

Its like reading a different series with the names of a few people we've seen in other books. Honestly the battles seem like out of the Stormlight Archive. The difference is that in The Way of Kings, the armies are fighting the wars as a sport and competition, not to win the war, which explains why they fight so stupidly. You dont expect that from people who know they are fighting for the lives of every human alive.

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I personally feel that gateways killed the battles in these books.

 

When you can just dump lava on an army.  When you can sit inside a mountain and use gateways to fire out.  When you can use them to view the battle and instantly know what's happening.  When shadowspawn can't cross them.  When you can create gateways to sever a man's heart.  When you can move entire armies instantly anywhere.   They're just TOO powerful.

 


Just SO MANY decisions in the book become circumspect with these super power gateways.


Why didn't they just link to Androl and have him drop a wall of lava on Demandred and his main peeps on the heights?   Why not open a gateway into a trolloc charge that brings the ocean into them?   Why not just setup a long ass gateway in the Gap/SG pass so no Shadowspawn can assualt you?


"Deathgates" was OK.  That was one little attack that mauled a few shadowspawn.  The other the top use of gateways in AMoL...just totally frustrated me.  And then it frustrated me at their lack of use in other situations where they were a last resort rather than an opening salvo.  Super power gateways...shelved.  I'll save that Ace for later.  

 

And maybe it was just my reading comprehension but the inconsistencies:  "Too tired to open a gateway"  "Lan got 1/3 of his troops out of there"  "We can barely channel"  "He was back in Mayene after going through a gateway".   ARGH

Edited by Jak o' the Shadows
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If they just level the waygate that leaves 100k trollocs unopposed to plunder or attack them from the rear at their leisure, they needed to be destroyed.

 

I always thought Braem Wood was much closer than a weeks march, if it was a weeks march away then it does seem rather dubious, I'd have to go back and check though. 

 

They didnt need to be destroyed... if theyre sitting in Caemlyn they arent a threat. If they leave Caemlyn they are in the open and can be harrassed by an observation force and dealt with at leisure. They are walking, they wont get anywhere vital for many days. The greatest advantages the light has is traveling and a huge cavalry, which would be perfect for dealing with such an isolated trolloc army if and when they decided to move. In the meantime the entire force of the light (less a covering force in Kandor) could have fallen on the trolloc army in Shienar and destroyed it, and then pivoted to deal with Kandor. If that trolloc army flooded south? So much the better, its empty land between Kandor and Tar Valon with hundreds of miles in between. They'd probably starve or if nothing else not arrive until the Last Battle was long over. The depopulation of huge portions of Rand Land was a huge advantage to the light.

 

The logic for drawing them to the Braem Wood was that it was more easily defensible and would be difficult for the sheer number of trollocs to overwhelm the forces of Light. This way, they got to choose their battleground and set up a defensive position. Had Bashere not been making "mistakes," they may never have been driven out of the Wood, and have finished there. The trollocs behaved oddly in not engaging Perrin's group immediately. Perrin's long march needs further elaboration, though. It could be done, but not without the best horses and maybe remounts along the way. It would be grueling, and we deserved to see it.\. Trollocs need to sleep, too. I feel that we should also have seen leveling Caemlyn considered, and need a solid explanation as to why it wouldn't work. It's not that what happened is impossible, but some things would be better served with an explanation.

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I personally feel that gateways killed the battles in these books.

 

When you can just dump lava on an army.  When you can sit inside a mountain and use gateways to fire out.  When you can use them to view the battle and instantly know what's happening.  When shadowspawn can't cross them.  When you can create gateways to sever a man's heart.  When you can move entire armies instantly anywhere.   They're just TOO powerful.

 

Heh, some of these are aspects of modern warfare, which I think is part of the point.

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Another question about battles. Why did the Sharans only use their gateways once and then seemingly forget about them(aside from the fact that they could have decimated the lights regular forces)?

 

That is a legitimate criticism, I was surprised Demandred didn't use gateways as flanking tools more often. One big broadside against Mat's army would have probably won the battle. I blame this on BS's overuse of gateways, which he admits he took as his own toy, any inconsistency here you just have to take with a pinch of salt.    

 

 

Actually no it isnt in a trollocs nature to fight, its in its nature to slaughter, they are base cowards and opportunists who run away from a challenge if they are not forced by fades.  

 

As for the wards, your probably right but it would have been more fitting with how the other 13 books had gone than. "I have a great plan, we shall wait for those cowardly mongrols to attack us, dont worry it wont take long, they have no food in Caemlyn... oh what you say? they will eat our friends/family/neighbours? oh no dont be daft trollocs are vegetarians... they will attack us before the night is done."

 

Its like reading a different series with the names of a few people we've seen in other books. Honestly the battles seem like out of the Stormlight Archive. The difference is that in The Way of Kings, the armies are fighting the wars as a sport and competition, not to win the war, which explains why they fight so stupidly. You dont expect that from people who know they are fighting for the lives of every human alive.

 

It's in their nature to fight until they realise they can't win, even if it was the case they didn't look for fights without fades, there are still fades there to drive them. 

 

And how many people do you think the trollocs had to feed on? Probably close to a hundred thousand if you discount those who escape/died in fires. That's not enough to get them to turn down a fight they think they can win without fades pressuring them to stay put. The trollocs behaved unusually because the Shadow made them, you could argue the light should have seen this earlier and changed the plan, but that's a tactical mistake and the Light had enough reasons to make those by that point. 

 

 

Edited by ddidiodion
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If they just level the waygate that leaves 100k trollocs unopposed to plunder or attack them from the rear at their leisure, they needed to be destroyed.

 

I always thought Braem Wood was much closer than a weeks march, if it was a weeks march away then it does seem rather dubious, I'd have to go back and check though. 

 

They didnt need to be destroyed... if theyre sitting in Caemlyn they arent a threat. If they leave Caemlyn they are in the open and can be harrassed by an observation force and dealt with at leisure. They are walking, they wont get anywhere vital for many days. The greatest advantages the light has is traveling and a huge cavalry, which would be perfect for dealing with such an isolated trolloc army if and when they decided to move. In the meantime the entire force of the light (less a covering force in Kandor) could have fallen on the trolloc army in Shienar and destroyed it, and then pivoted to deal with Kandor. If that trolloc army flooded south? So much the better, its empty land between Kandor and Tar Valon with hundreds of miles in between. They'd probably starve or if nothing else not arrive until the Last Battle was long over. The depopulation of huge portions of Rand Land was a huge advantage to the light.

 

The logic for drawing them to the Braem Wood was that it was more easily defensible and would be difficult for the sheer number of trollocs to overwhelm the forces of Light. This way, they got to choose their battleground and set up a defensive position. Had Bashere not been making "mistakes," they may never have been driven out of the Wood, and have finished there. The trollocs behaved oddly in not engaging Perrin's group immediately. Perrin's long march needs further elaboration, though. It could be done, but not without the best horses and maybe remounts along the way. It would be grueling, and we deserved to see it.\. Trollocs need to sleep, too. I feel that we should also have seen leveling Caemlyn considered, and need a solid explanation as to why it wouldn't work. It's not that what happened is impossible, but some things would be better served with an explanation.

 

I agree with this- but the problem was the Grand Strategy was to devote the lionshare of resources to win fast at Caemlyn. This strategy could never win fast. Certainly not fast enough to finish up and aid Lan. For that matter... lets say it worked like a charm and that trolloc army was destroyed at Braem Wood. Ok- oops, well now its been over a week and at least as many trollocs have reinforced to Caemlyn as there were originally. So you are back where you started. How does that get you anywhere? There was nothing decisive about this plan, and the entire war hinged on winning somewhere decisively so you can reinforce another front.

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If they just level the waygate that leaves 100k trollocs unopposed to plunder or attack them from the rear at their leisure, they needed to be destroyed.

 

I always thought Braem Wood was much closer than a weeks march, if it was a weeks march away then it does seem rather dubious, I'd have to go back and check though. 

 

They didnt need to be destroyed... if theyre sitting in Caemlyn they arent a threat. If they leave Caemlyn they are in the open and can be harrassed by an observation force and dealt with at leisure. They are walking, they wont get anywhere vital for many days. The greatest advantages the light has is traveling and a huge cavalry, which would be perfect for dealing with such an isolated trolloc army if and when they decided to move. In the meantime the entire force of the light (less a covering force in Kandor) could have fallen on the trolloc army in Shienar and destroyed it, and then pivoted to deal with Kandor. If that trolloc army flooded south? So much the better, its empty land between Kandor and Tar Valon with hundreds of miles in between. They'd probably starve or if nothing else not arrive until the Last Battle was long over. The depopulation of huge portions of Rand Land was a huge advantage to the light.

 

The logic for drawing them to the Braem Wood was that it was more easily defensible and would be difficult for the sheer number of trollocs to overwhelm the forces of Light. This way, they got to choose their battleground and set up a defensive position. Had Bashere not been making "mistakes," they may never have been driven out of the Wood, and have finished there. The trollocs behaved oddly in not engaging Perrin's group immediately. Perrin's long march needs further elaboration, though. It could be done, but not without the best horses and maybe remounts along the way. It would be grueling, and we deserved to see it.\. Trollocs need to sleep, too. I feel that we should also have seen leveling Caemlyn considered, and need a solid explanation as to why it wouldn't work. It's not that what happened is impossible, but some things would be better served with an explanation.

I was under the impression that Elayne took the largest force to Caemlyn. Lans force was the smallest with just the borderland armies which was over 200,000men.

 

and not to be blunt if 200k was the smallest Elayne must have had a good 350-400k, even if they sat near Caemlyn in Square formation with the channellers inside on horseback killing trollocs if would have been quicker and more effective than running for over a week. The battle attrition would have been higher for the battle, but lower for the overall Light because they could have reinforced Tarwins Gap and the other fronts like they were meant to do.

 

It was another plot hole in space which vaccuumed up the lights forces just like it did Machin Shin or they would never have gotten that many Trollocs in Caemlyn anyway

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If they just level the waygate that leaves 100k trollocs unopposed to plunder or attack them from the rear at their leisure, they needed to be destroyed.

 

I always thought Braem Wood was much closer than a weeks march, if it was a weeks march away then it does seem rather dubious, I'd have to go back and check though. 

 

They didnt need to be destroyed... if theyre sitting in Caemlyn they arent a threat. If they leave Caemlyn they are in the open and can be harrassed by an observation force and dealt with at leisure. They are walking, they wont get anywhere vital for many days. The greatest advantages the light has is traveling and a huge cavalry, which would be perfect for dealing with such an isolated trolloc army if and when they decided to move. In the meantime the entire force of the light (less a covering force in Kandor) could have fallen on the trolloc army in Shienar and destroyed it, and then pivoted to deal with Kandor. If that trolloc army flooded south? So much the better, its empty land between Kandor and Tar Valon with hundreds of miles in between. They'd probably starve or if nothing else not arrive until the Last Battle was long over. The depopulation of huge portions of Rand Land was a huge advantage to the light.

 

The logic for drawing them to the Braem Wood was that it was more easily defensible and would be difficult for the sheer number of trollocs to overwhelm the forces of Light. This way, they got to choose their battleground and set up a defensive position. Had Bashere not been making "mistakes," they may never have been driven out of the Wood, and have finished there. The trollocs behaved oddly in not engaging Perrin's group immediately. Perrin's long march needs further elaboration, though. It could be done, but not without the best horses and maybe remounts along the way. It would be grueling, and we deserved to see it.\. Trollocs need to sleep, too. I feel that we should also have seen leveling Caemlyn considered, and need a solid explanation as to why it wouldn't work. It's not that what happened is impossible, but some things would be better served with an explanation.

 

I agree with this- but the problem was the Grand Strategy was to devote the lionshare of resources to win fast at Caemlyn. This strategy could never win fast. Certainly not fast enough to finish up and aid Lan. For that matter... lets say it worked like a charm and that trolloc army was destroyed at Braem Wood. Ok- oops, well now its been over a week and at least as many trollocs have reinforced to Caemlyn as there were originally. So you are back where you started. How does that get you anywhere? There was nothing decisive about this plan, and the entire war hinged on winning somewhere decisively so you can reinforce another front.

 

How long did it take for the trollocs to engage Perrin's forces? How do we define quick? We also know that Lan's forces should have been able to hold much longer than they did at the Gap.

 

As for the bolded. That, I'm not so sure of. It was largely a ploy to disrupt unity for the Light and to cause the alliance to fracture. It seems like forces were sent to Cairhien instead.

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How long did it take for the trollocs to engage Perrin's forces? How do we define quick? We also know that Lan's forces should have been able to hold much longer than they did at the Gap.

 

As for the bolded. That, I'm not so sure of. It was largely a ploy to disrupt unity for the Light and to cause the alliance to fracture. It seems like forces were sent to Cairhien instead.

 

I'm not sure but it didn't seem to me like it was more than a day or two. And Lan holding out was entirely prefaced on how many channelers were sent against his essentially channeler-less force. The entire point of the strategy is to seize the initiative from the Shadow so exactly what happened couldn't happen- IE the Shadow manipulated the battle fields and unleashed their channelers on their schedule. Thats how they broke both the WT and Lan's forces. So whatever they did in Caemlyn... it took FAR too long, and even if everything had gone perfectly well, it would have been FAR too long. They needed to win there as absolutely quickly and decisively as possible, and if possible expect to draw out the Shadow channelers and face them on their own terms instead of letting them mass together and pop up when they chose (which is how it went).

 

And i'm not sure but i got the impression that the second host of Trollocs in Cairhain also came out of Caemlyn.. they just split their armies on the march. Thats my point- as far as the Light knew the supply of trollocs was practically infinite and could be swarming out of that waygate indefinitely.

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