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Battles (Full Spoilers)

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Odd thought about all the battles...

 

Is the ebb and flow of the four (five, including Merrilor) battles a reflection of Rand's progress in the Pit of Doom, like the battle of Falme reflected in the progress of the first fight between Rand and Ishy in "The Great Hunt"?

 

Same deal writ big, and more subtle?

 

Edited by Monkeyfister

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I remember someone yelling about a full circle of 72, but I think they were confused by Demandred's sa'angreal

 I suspect it was both and it was Demandred opening the worlds biggest waygate, which is the kinda superfocused thing you want to do with a huge circle.

 

Gateway.

 

Not a Waygate.

 

Waygates are the doors to The Ways.

Edited by Monkeyfister

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The way you win a battle is more important than winning a battle - why do you think every army in the world and through out history was to protect there homeland..yes it would be easy for them "nuke it" and move on...but Caemlyn is a symbol to the people...they would fight as much if they lost their morale and they definitely would lose the Last Battle anyway. Think as a solider you just see your home, your future, your life and family destoryed would you really like to move on at full energy and help another nations homeland, as a solider you would be saddened and depressed and lost hope....Plus that would resort to the Dark Ones tactics and that is what they are opposing and Rand has tried to create.

 

Would there be guaranteed victory if they did "nuke" Caemlyn and helped Lan? Then you would have 2 corrupted General Captains leading an army (which would be harder to track and prove there mistakes) and I think the Dark one would then move his forces to counter this and been so close to the Blight etc easier... 

The way you win a battle is immaterial if losing it means the end of existence.

 

Not when it can cost you everything on this earth, stravation, raping, pillaging, more endless killing for survival, diseases...what then is the point of living...to live that life is even worse.

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Battle scenes have never been the WOT's strongest feature. This has really shown up in the MOL as the MOL is essentially one giant battle scene on a scale I have never read personally. 

 

I always thought of the Trolloc's as being over hyped from the outset. They are promoted as creatures of such size and ferocity but more often than not killed off at a much greater rate than the human forces opposing them. Another aspect to Trolloc's I struggled with was that fact that they were made from people and so to have millions of Trolloc's there must be an equivalent loss to a population in the making. There was no mention of female Trolloc's or Trolloc young. I think it would have made more sense to have a lot less Trolloc's that killed four or five men to every Trolloc. 

 

The WOT is a fantastic story but I would never read it for the battle scenes. Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden and Simon Scarrow have written battles that make a person feel like they are there. Yet the WOT is about so much more and RJ and BS have done so very well with the other components of the story. 

.

 

They were originally people, well part people. Due to the creation process they aren't anymore and are outside the soul pool. Female trollocs are mentioned briefly as breeding factories.

Ah I never saw the mention of female Trollocs. That explains that then. 

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Wamphryi,

 

WOT has always been character based, but that's what lends the battle scenes such impact. Even the messy ones, like the battle with the Seanchan outside Illian.

 

It's why I like the series so much (world-building, character, coherent battle sequences rendered breathless by multiple POVs).

 

It's also why I had trouble with the Last Battle; felt like an arcade game to me at times. I had no idea how forces were deployed, and there were always thousands of Trollocs just roaring about. I needed more of the Two Rivers battle tone for sure.

Agreed. A little arcade. 

 

Having said that it is a major accomplishment to have what is essentially a battle spanning several hundred pages. Personally I think Sanderson was a little hampered in having to complete so many threads in one book. Yet the need to actually complete the story meant this book had to be the final. 

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Along with Maradon, and the fact that no less than 5 channelers admit they could level a city with certain items and circles proves it can be done. Why assume it was a plant it something when no evidence points to it?

 

Hell, the queen AS that leveled Manathren did it solo too. She had a Sanangreal too. But she did it. Is that not evidence either?

Doubtful that it will class as evidence to those who feel that the Lights forces didnt have their knee's cut off before the action started.

 

Myself I would have been happier if they had powered up Shara even more and given a bit of back story to it. I.e 2 years training every man/woman and slave to fight in preparation and then drop 4-5million of the best in gateways 5-10 miles from the lights armies and have them totally swarm the light to counter how seriously overpowered the Light would have been.

 

That would have actually been believable and plausible, because we know for a fact that Shara was secretive and that they dealt in slaves, that they specifically bred channellers. Yet managed to field only 400 Ayyad...

 

Sorry but Shara is meant to be larger than Randland, and if they only have 400 yet specifically breed those bloodlines then they would be on similar % as the AoL for channellers which is 2-3x higher than Randland. Add in the larger size, even if the population density was lower they should still have had substantially higher numbers. If Shara's total population was 10million (Which is Andors supposed population) with 3% channellers (Randland apparently has 1% I believe) they should have had 300,000 Ayyad....

 

That quite frankly isnt possible in the WoT universe it would just be too overpowered so drop it to say 0.03% of a 10million population and thats 3,000 which would have been enough when you had 4-5 million soldiers/slaves added with the trollocs it would have been a true last battle where the Light would really struggle to win.

 

Not having 400 Ayyad pop up, yet have the light afraid to use its Seanchan advantage which was the better part of 2x the Sharan channellers.. all of whom were trained as weapons...

 

Im still half expecting that we'll get some sort of "This was a portal stone variant of what was meant to happen, and the forces/abilities/people you were expecting had already died in the lead up to TG."

They bred channelers, but they had 0 male channelers, since they killed them all at 18 or whatever. Some channelers died when Demandred too over, same for when Grandel played around there. Some had too. The while breeding thing, lets be real. The number of channelers and how they're bred makes 0 sense as it is. None at all. But that's another debate. So for now, back to the number they had, it'd be half of what you're thinking due to the lack of males.

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Yeah, we'd be getting into nasty territory if we start to consider the intricacies of slave-channel-breeding. Oh, gross!

 

Also, I just wanted Demandred to surround himself with gateways that led into space, sucking in the light armies around him. That would have been so epic! These rubes barely understand how lightning works! 

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Along with Maradon, and the fact that no less than 5 channelers admit they could level a city with certain items and circles proves it can be done. Why assume it was a plant it something when no evidence points to it?

 

Hell, the queen AS that leveled Manathren did it solo too. She had a Sanangreal too. But she did it. Is that not evidence either?

Doubtful that it will class as evidence to those who feel that the Lights forces didnt have their knee's cut off before the action started.

 

Myself I would have been happier if they had powered up Shara even more and given a bit of back story to it. I.e 2 years training every man/woman and slave to fight in preparation and then drop 4-5million of the best in gateways 5-10 miles from the lights armies and have them totally swarm the light to counter how seriously overpowered the Light would have been.

 

That would have actually been believable and plausible, because we know for a fact that Shara was secretive and that they dealt in slaves, that they specifically bred channellers. Yet managed to field only 400 Ayyad...

 

Sorry but Shara is meant to be larger than Randland, and if they only have 400 yet specifically breed those bloodlines then they would be on similar % as the AoL for channellers which is 2-3x higher than Randland. Add in the larger size, even if the population density was lower they should still have had substantially higher numbers. If Shara's total population was 10million (Which is Andors supposed population) with 3% channellers (Randland apparently has 1% I believe) they should have had 300,000 Ayyad....

 

That quite frankly isnt possible in the WoT universe it would just be too overpowered so drop it to say 0.03% of a 10million population and thats 3,000 which would have been enough when you had 4-5 million soldiers/slaves added with the trollocs it would have been a true last battle where the Light would really struggle to win.

 

Not having 400 Ayyad pop up, yet have the light afraid to use its Seanchan advantage which was the better part of 2x the Sharan channellers.. all of whom were trained as weapons...

 

Im still half expecting that we'll get some sort of "This was a portal stone variant of what was meant to happen, and the forces/abilities/people you were expecting had already died in the lead up to TG."

They bred channelers, but they had 0 male channelers, since they killed them all at 18 or whatever. Some channelers died when Demandred too over, same for when Grandel played around there. Some had too. The while breeding thing, lets be real. The number of channelers and how they're bred makes 0 sense as it is. None at all. But that's another debate. So for now, back to the number they had, it'd be half of what you're thinking due to the lack of males.

Maybe we find out more in in River of Souls. Also keep in mind that in the AoL, 2-3 percent of the population could learn to channel. That must be lower now, anywhere in Randland since male channelers die young and cant spend hundreds of years popping out little channelers. I'm not clear on Shara, but I think the Ayyad are only those born with the spark (like Damane), which would reduce that percentage considerably. Without knowing that percentage its a pretty wide open discussion.

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The way you win a battle is more important than winning a battle - why do you think every army in the world and through out history was to protect there homeland..yes it would be easy for them "nuke it" and move on...but Caemlyn is a symbol to the people...they would fight as much if they lost their morale and they definitely would lose the Last Battle anyway. Think as a solider you just see your home, your future, your life and family destoryed would you really like to move on at full energy and help another nations homeland, as a solider you would be saddened and depressed and lost hope....Plus that would resort to the Dark Ones tactics and that is what they are opposing and Rand has tried to create.

 

Would there be guaranteed victory if they did "nuke" Caemlyn and helped Lan? Then you would have 2 corrupted General Captains leading an army (which would be harder to track and prove there mistakes) and I think the Dark one would then move his forces to counter this and been so close to the Blight etc easier... 

The way you win a battle is immaterial if losing it means the end of existence.

 

Not when it can cost you everything on this earth, stravation, raping, pillaging, more endless killing for survival, diseases...what then is the point of living...to live that life is even worse.

How does nuking Caemlyn cost you all of that? That sounds suspiciously like what losing does, assuming the DO can't or doesn't destroy creation.

 

Regardless, by sparing Caemlyn you lost Fal Dara and Fal Mora, basically all of Shienar got scorched earth by the Borderlanders, as well as big swathes of Kandor.  By your logic morale should have ended up in the toilet regardless... without the benefit of conserving tens of thousands of Bashere's men and using them over a hundred thousand of thousands of Lan's.

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All the debates about Caemlyn....

 

Hell 1 channeler could take it out.  Gateway: Drop in something flammable into a building like vats of oil (like Maradon).   Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, etc..   A few fireballs...the whole places goes up in minutes.

 


And who cares if 5, 10, 20 channelers need to link to do this.   One battle won, those channelers can stop and have a breather.  Meanwhile you still have the bulk of your forces to use, with no casualties, and an army decimated.

 

 

 

Honestly, I think it was more ridiculous that you have an army with what 100? AS channelers in it...and you have another army with what a couple Asha'man in it?   Doesn't that seem silly?  Split your channelers, keep a few always 'fresh' so that if a huge push of enemy channelers come you can get reinforcements.   Why keep all channelers in 1 spot when you have the ability to go anywhere anytime? especially when you know the enemy has dreadlords that you may need to counter...

That and the fact that the Damane are built up for 13 books as 'weapons' and then they don't even get a moment to just go Pompeii.    Lines of damane just blowing things up...was REALLY looking forward to that.  Dumani Wells-Ashaman all over again.

Edited by Jak o' the Shadows

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i have a problem with how long the batle lasted.  I mean really, how long did open field battles last?  Not counting the facts that there are people doing magic everywhere.

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yeah i get that desperate times call for sacrifices to be made and push hard but there is so much one can do before man or horse falls down from hard work and fighting is extreme hard work i mean just imagine a fight lasting between two guys hitting each other more than 5mins and they are already exhausted to hardly move... taking that in consideration how many times did Lan's cavalry charge and fight? 
i was expecting to most of those horses to just fall down and die after so many charges...

also what annoyed me was how easy it seemed to reach Dem and challenge him for a dual yeah was one of the best scenes when Lan charged and Tam covered him but still felt it was like beating a dead horse ...yes Dem is a powerful forsaken but still a battle general who was'nt at the front lines so am guessing lots and lots of soldiers infront of him plus after the first failed assassination they would be more alert that no one just get to there general not alone let two more attempts 

 

oh and how did Moghedian stay alive? she was blown by a canon from close range right? and still didnt lose an arm or a leg or anything she seemed like she just took a bump in the head

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Channelers were definitely severely nerfed in both power and number - I feel like with the number of channelers Jordan described, the number of angreal and sa'angreal involved, and how high the stakes were, a true all out war between those forces should have ripped apart the world on the scale of the breaking.  Instead they were relegated to the role of supply and travelling, and cutting each other weaves.  

 

Definitely not consistent with the rest of the series, but what can you do.  

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What I dont get it is (not sure if mentioned before) Why not just get a big bunch of linked channelers, surround the shadow spawn armies with wide large gateways, the exits facing in and just go at them with arrows/fire/weaves/etc, they cant escape...

 

even if done at realativly small sections at a time this seems it should work without a doubt, or even having gates way blocking paths so shadowspawn cant pass that way, even large ones underneath them (androl done it if I remember correctly)...

 

So many options...

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What happened to the missing Ash'aman? Taim said he had close to 1000 in the tower. 100 were with him fighting for the shadow.Around 100 were with Logain.30 odd were with Rand and another 50 were with the AS as warders.Around 800 AM sat out the battle?

 

What happened to the WO's? Only few dozens were with Rand.What happened to the rest?

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Brandon clearly struggled with the battles. What happened to remembering all but the Brute weaves of the OP? Wards that would warn of shadow souled trollocs and fades in addition to scouting? Not to mention wards that would kill them. Ribbons set just right to let the charging trollocs tear themselves to pieces on them. Blossoms of fire, thin red laser-like beams from the hand that burn through the trollocs by the thousands. And circles with thousands of new novices was mentioned once but so much was left out. Mat was even dumbed down while Demanadred sang his praises thinking him LTT. Seems too much was forgotten about with battles and the uses of the OP. Grozzo and his mention of using gateways above also crossed my mind.

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I actually really enjoyed the battle scenes, but not for any sense of actual battle tactics. Wheel of Time battle tactics and logistics (especially logistics) have bothered the hell out of me for as long as I've been reading the series. 

 

Armies the size of the ones mentioned in RL simply don't exist in a medieval world. Even with the benefit of Gateways for transportation you don't have the population resources to arm, clothe, equip, and especially feed that army. This is even more true when you've got a year's worth of drought and food spoilage going on, so that even your stockpiles of food end up being untrustworthy. 

 

Calvary forces the size of the ones mentioned would need tens of thousands of horses. Men can't fight for several hours at a time--it's physically impossible. I was glad to see a mention in AMoL that they fought in shifts, but even those wouldn't be realistic. English longbowmen of the Late Medieval period didn't spend all battle as archers. They would spend the first 5-10 minutes loosing a hailstorm of arrows and then wait for the enemy knights to close on foot or horse and take them out that way. 

 

When Henry V launched his campaign against France he spent two years gathering arrows before he sailed, and he only fought in a handful of major engagements in that campaign (of course the most famous was Agincourt). 

 

As for battle tactics themselves--I actually don't have any issues at all with the original strategy. The whole point of the battle was to delay the forces of the dark until Rand won, when presumably he'd be able to help out. 

 

You can't leave Tarwin's Gap undefended. It's too symbolic a place (and yes, symbolism is stupid from a purely logical point of view, but you can't ignore it when drafting battle plans), and it's also too valuable as a strategic location. They can't simply pull the mountains down to close it off because they don't have any channellers strong enough to do that. Thus you've got do divert forces there. 

 

You can't ignore Caemlyn. Fresh reinforcements could be pouring through at any time to attack the Armies. You can't besiege it because you don't have the manpower to besiege. You also don't have the time, nor the resources (especially food--Trollocs will eat their own dead. Humans generally won't.)

 

I suspect that the reason the burning of Caemlyn wasn't even brought up was because of the Compulsion being laid on all the Great Captain (such a brilliant stroke by Demandred). The Captains are going to fight well and give commands that make sense, but aren't necessarily the best ones for the situation. Once the decision was made to not burn down the city, then the battle plan made sense. From the beginning Itulrade suggested drawing them out, and everybody just went with that plan without any discussion of alternatives. After all, if one of the Great Captains says that the best option is to draw them out, why argue? In addition when you've got a second Great Captain suggesting Braemlyn Wood as a good place, and a third Great Captain suggesting that Caemlyn offers the greatest chance of a quick victory, well who's going to argue against three Great Captains?

 

However, I still think that drawing the armies out was the best solution. 

 

You can't directly attack the city because you don't have the manpower to do it. Military tactics suggest a 3:1 numerical advantage when attacking a fortified location. The Armies don't know how many Trollocs are in the city, nor how many more are coming through. They don't have siege engines (another thing that's bothered me about warfare in RL), so no battering the walls down. They can try scaling the walls, but that's not very effective. They can try tunnelling, but that takes time. They can attack the gates and the big hole created by the cannon, but that doesn't work because they won't be able to bring their forces to bear. They've already tried taking out they Waygate directly and that failed (three separate times according to Elayne). 

 

However, having said that I don't think that nuking Caemlyn from orbit would actually work. 

 

The first issue is finding channellers strong enough. Sure you could send fireballs into the city to burn down buildings, but it's much harder to destroy a stone city than people realize. Oil and fire would certainly burn up the flammable material, but you're still left with the rubble, and I don't think that any of the channelers available were either A.) strong enough (even with a circle or a s'angreal), or B.) knew the right kinds of weaves to accomplish total destruction Nuking the city would certainly look impressive, but that's no guarantee of destroying the Waygate, which is the real objective. Bombardment might kill Trollocs, but it wouldn't be nearly as effective as would be needed. This is a lesson learned especially from WWI and WWII, where intense bombardment didn't do much damage to fortified positions or the troops protected by those fortified positions. Caemlyn isn't completely fortified like a trench or bunker is, but it's still a stone city and it's still somewhat fortified. The armies would still have to attack the city to finish off the Trollocs.  Plus a Waygate might be near indestructible. It's been mentioned several times in the series that you can't destroy a Waygate. You can lock it from the inside, but that's a path that only the Trollocs can take. 

 

The initial strategy to draw out the Trollocs wasn't a bad one. As pointed out above the Armies couldn't nuke the city (lack of strength), nor burn it (lack of strength, lack of materials, general ineffectiveness in actually burning stone). They can't assault the city (lack of numbers, lack of siege engines), and they don't have time (or the numbers) for a siege (which would be ineffective anyway). So they have to try to draw them out and then have them fight in a location where their size, strength, and numerical superiority are negated. 

 

Kandor is a battle front, but it's not important. They're not focusing much attention there because the nation has already fallen. 

 

Then you've got Shayol Ghul, which is the most important battle front. However it's not the largest (lack of room), so it's not going to have the greatest army there. In addition the forces brought there are constrained by the number of channelers available, their strength, and their knowledge of the right weaves. 

 

 

 

 

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i have a problem with how long the batle lasted.  I mean really, how long did open field battles last?  Not counting the facts that there are people doing magic everywhere.

 

Not long. Culloden (1745), lasted an hour or two. Agincourt (1415), lasted something like four hours before it was all over. Crecy (1346) also lasted just a few hours. The Battle of Barnet (1471), lasted around 3-4 hours and was fought almost entirely in a thick fog. 

 

Medieval battles didn't last long. The armies weren't that big, fighting in armor is tiring, and generally speaking one army or another would break after a few hours and start running, and that's when the real killing would begin. 

 

A long battle like those described in the books just wouldn't happen. The battle in FoH at least made partial sense because Mat moved around, and presumably had time to rest. In AMoL there's a scene describing rest periods for the men at Tarwin's Gap, only they don't happen nearly as much.

is a good clip from the series Rome, which shows how a Roman Legion fought so as to not tire out the men. Other Medieval armies would have had something similar. Either men fighting in pairs and switching off, or ranks fighting for a bit and then moving back.  Edited by smileyman

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Rome was a great series, IMO

 

Was anyone else disappointed by the lack of focus in the Seanchan forces?

 

I wanted more Deathwatch Guard, Ogier Gardeners, and raken air movements.

 

Also more Bloodknives, though I suppose that would have taken the impact away from Gawyn.

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What happened to the missing Ash'aman? Taim said he had close to 1000 in the tower. 100 were with him fighting for the shadow.Around 100 were with Logain.30 odd were with Rand and another 50 were with the AS as warders.Around 800 AM sat out the battle?

 

What happened to the WO's? Only few dozens were with Rand.What happened to the rest?

2 out if every 3 Ashaman died in the battle of the black tower which took place off screen. At least that's the assumption.

 

The truth is so many Ashaman and wise ones went MIA because the numbers the light would have had would have made the battles a joke. Taim couldn't have taken more than 200 to 300 men, even with turning. That leaves him outnumbered 2 to 1. The WT lost even less to the dread lords and they killed a few. Even tossing in the Sharans and giving them 1000 channelers, none male they don't reach the numbers of the bt plus wt. add in the 3000 or so wise ones who can channel, and the windfinders and the shadow is gonna get is ass kicked just from the one power. So how do you solve that? Make 2/3rds disappear.

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Instead of culling the light side channelers to make the OP users on both sides equivalent,I wonder why Sanderson did not just bump the no of channelers from Shara to make up the difference.Instead of 400 why not have them bring 3000? 

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Instead of culling the light side channelers to make the OP users on both sides equivalent,I wonder why Sanderson did not just bump the no of channelers from Shara to make up the difference.Instead of 400 why not have them bring 3000? 

Because it wouldn't have been enough. Plus, they had no males. At the most they would have matched the Aiel, which leaves the windfinders, the seachan and the BT/WT to outnumber them. So, still over 2 to 1

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i have a problem with how long the batle lasted.  I mean really, how long did open field battles last?  Not counting the facts that there are people doing magic everywhere.

 

Not long. Culloden (1745), lasted an hour or two. Agincourt (1415), lasted something like four hours before it was all over. Crecy (1346) also lasted just a few hours. The Battle of Barnet (1471), lasted around 3-4 hours and was fought almost entirely in a thick fog. 

 

Medieval battles didn't last long. The armies weren't that big, fighting in armor is tiring, and generally speaking one army or another would break after a few hours and start running, and that's when the real killing would begin. 

 

A long battle like those described in the books just wouldn't happen. The battle in FoH at least made partial sense because Mat moved around, and presumably had time to rest. In AMoL there's a scene describing rest periods for the men at Tarwin's Gap, only they don't happen nearly as much.

is a good clip from the series Rome, which shows how a Roman Legion fought so as to not tire out the men. Other Medieval armies would have had something similar. Either men fighting in pairs and switching off, or ranks fighting for a bit and then moving back. 

yea the rest scence kinda threw me off, i understand in a war sending people to the front lines and pulling squads out for rest.  But this is kinda like everywhere was the front lines right?

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Instead of culling the light side channelers to make the OP users on both sides equivalent,I wonder why Sanderson did not just bump the no of channelers from Shara to make up the difference.Instead of 400 why not have them bring 3000? 

Because it wouldn't have been enough. Plus, they had no males. At the most they would have matched the Aiel, which leaves the windfinders, the seachan and the BT/WT to outnumber them. So, still over 2 to 1

 

They had males channelers.And the difference could be made up by the Aiel red veil channelers. I think Sanderson missed a chance here.

 

And if he wanted to still make the nos equivalent he could have used a powerful forsaken attack which destroys a huge no of light channelers in one shot.That would have been better instead of just forgetting about huge nos of channelers on the light side and inversely making it so that the dark side has an advantage in the no of channelers in every single battlefield.

Edited by XXX47

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