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Aulduron

What would you have done differently...

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If you were the Lights main general? 

 

First off, I'd send more channelers to Tarwins Gap, if not the entire Thankan 'dar force. There was an estimated force of 150,000 trollocs there. A couple of dozen channelers quickly killed 100,000 at Algarin's manor. Granted, that group included some of the lights most powerful and experienced channelers, but I still think that force should have been quickly reduced to a point where it took few defenders to hold them bottled up in the gap. There were no dreadlords there at first.

 

Rand told Min that Lans and Elaynes forces were in big trouble. Only Egwenes army was doing well. Why then did he decide to send her the Seanchan? He sent a One Power heavy group to help the other One Power heavy group, leaving two groups with very few channelers. Of course, by the time they arrived in Kandor, they were badly needed, but Rand didn't know that at the time.

 

The thing with the horn was good for the story and made Olver a hero, but I thought it was silly. When Egwene saw Mat, she could have just opened a gateway straight to the horn and handed it right to him.There was no need for the subterfuge and side trip to the blight. 

 

Once word got out about what Androl did in Cairhein, they should have been sending him around to each battlefield, particularly Thakan 'dar. Dumping lava down that narrow valley would have had great affect. Even Aes Sedai, Asha'man and Damane without his talent could have been stationed at the river, ready to open gateways to dump thousands of gallons of water and tons of river rock on any group of dreadlords or Forsaken that started channeling. "Lews Therin, you coward, come face ....glug glug glug".

 

 

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I would also have gone with your suggestions r.e. the horn and the lava-Gateways.  I also wouldn't have had the Seanchan sit out for so long - they seemed to miss a lot of the battle.  And I would have involved the Novices and Accepted.  I think maybe having a circle of 72 to face Demandred's might have been worthwhile too, something to keep him occupied so that he couldn't decimate whatever forces he fancied.

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Matt thought he had a good reason to pull the Seanchan out of it, though I don't agree. However, they should have started off with all those animals. Trollocs did not like them, and they would have made for good fodder.

 

I think healing in Mayene was a good job for undertrained initiates.

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Well...

 

1) the Thakan'dar force was a strategic reserve that was indeed underutilised. It sat still for a week or more, and a quick strike on day one could definately have helped at the Gap. Now, I can see some use to not wiping out the Trolloc army entirely (if it's alive, it can soak up support. If it's dead, the Shadow might decide not to send more troops there) but weakening it significantly would be good.

 

 

But first, I would have launched an assault on Caemlyn. Yes, the walls are high and the rubble messy, so it might be best only to use the channelers and dragons, but even that seems like it would've done better than what eventually happened. Elayne had an excellent plan, also, for forcing the Trollocs out... but that would have been far MORE useful if they had had troops at the exits to stop any attempted breakouts (which would have essentially given both dragons and channelers awesome targeting: narrow passages with tightly packed trollocs).Using my Thakan'Dar force for that, I have now made all of Elayne's army my reserve so the Thakan'dar force is free to go to their target. Elayne's army first slowly and, as it rests, ever more quickly, reinforces the Gap. A handful of dreadlords are now insufficient to wipe out the army, and so any fight will go much worse for the Shadow.

 

Once the AS collapse (as I've done nothing about Shara) I still send the Seanchan there and deploy them into the fight as completely as possible. Given what happened at Merrilor, this should be enough to hold the line against Shara, though possibly it might need some more troops from Elayne's army, and then later the Asha'man.

 

In the process we're now rapidly chewing up the Trollocs, and at some point a victory at Tarwin's Gap seems likely unless more Sharans get deployed there (it's a pass, defended by channelers. At worst you just collapse the pass using a few dozen channelers, as it might be too hard work for only a handful. Maybe collapse two sides, then fry the Trollocs stuck between). When that happens, I throw my reserves into Thakan'Dar, where they sadly get turned into misty zombies.

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I might have stationed the dragons in Baerlon and shot them exclusively through gateways. Barring spies, it would have taken a long time for the shadow to find them. Large gateways are also good for blocking trolloc charges in narrow places. Egwene blasted them through a gateway once. She should have done it more.

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Simple. Nuke Caemlyn to destroy the Waygate. Reinforce Lan and crush that army (with channelers this time). Then face up to the last army with your entire force and crush it.

 

This business of dividing your forces when you have instant travel and they dont (and they have huge distances to cover before they threaten anything material) is downright silly.

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Mhmm I really don't get the entire mini-plot with Faile.

 

Mat walks up to Egwene. Without saying a word a small gateway, about the size of a doggie door opens beside her. She reaches her arm in and pulls out THoV and hands it to Mat. Mat notices there's ash/snow/whatever on her sleeve to suggest it was hidden somewhere weird/remote/inhospitable. Done and done.

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  • Chose Verin instead of Moiraine. The four generals' strategy was base on destroying Caemlyn's shadowspawns first. So what about never lost Caemlyn? Moiraine could wait  until TF finished.

Use gateway to destroy trollocs before they reached Field of Merrilor. High mobility was always Mat's battle style, I don't understand why he just waited there.

Open a gateway to where the horn stored. Fetch and blow it.

Ask Androl to open a small gateway in Demandred's heart or brain. 

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I wouldn't have let over a thousand channelers be wasted on Healing and whatever the hell else they were doing. Just make 10 circles of 72 and have the rest mop up. Use gateways to hop this massive channeler force about and crush the enemy in each location...

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I wouldn't have let over a thousand channelers be wasted on Healing and whatever the hell else they were doing. Just make 10 circles of 72 and have the rest mop up. Use gateways to hop this massive channeler force about and crush the enemy in each location...

 

Yeah, real circular logic at work with the healers- the more channelers you devote to healing, the more wounded you are going to end up with that need healing. They should have devoted a handful and reserved them only to heal channelers and critical personnel. Regular medicine works well enough for everyone else.

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Matt thought he had a good reason to pull the Seanchan out of it, though I don't agree.

Having reserves is quite an important resource for a general. It is usually the strongest way for a general to influence a battle once it commenced. To showcase its importance imagine what if the light had the Seanchans as a ready reserve when the Sharans appeared. They could have covered the withdrawal of the Tower forces, or even counter attacked to change the whole outcome of the battle. Alternatively you can view the Sharans as reserves being deployed in battle.

 

However the reserve should have been deployed earlier and the forces that constitute the reserves cycled. Instead of just one huge force sitting and doing nothing...

 

But first, I would have launched an assault on Caemlyn. Yes, the walls are high and the rubble messy, so it might be best only to use the channelers and dragons, but even that seems like it would've done better than what eventually happened. Elayne had an excellent plan, also, for forcing the Trollocs out... but that would have been far MORE useful if they had had troops at the exits to stop any attempted breakouts

 

IIRC the trollocs left Caemlyn only because the farce they were immediately forcing was much smaller, I am not sure they would have left through the gates if the light would have concentrated a larger force on the outside.

I would not have moved any forces into a city. Since the light has the advantage on channeler numbers and dragons they have an advantage in the open where they can utilize the advantage more effectively. There is no harm if the trollocs are sitting in already destroyed Caemlyn. I would have ignored this force for the moment, deploying scouts and channelers to keep tabs.

 

First thing is to get intelligence on the enemy, most important is on the BT. sending small forces of Aiel/Warders in to estimate the situation. Noticing that gateways cannot be opened into it I would have asked Rand if he knows how that might have been done. How much info I would have gotten is debatable, so the following action is uncertain, but I would have resolved the BT either by allying with the loyal Ashaman, and coordinating an attack, or just a full scale surprise attack in case my intelligence gathering efforts would have failed.

At the same time I would have sent some channelers a few tens of thousands of pike and bow/crossbow and the dragons to Tarvins Gap to hold the trollocs. Taking the cavalry away, no need for that guarding a pass.

I would sit Elayne down and make her create the communication and "far see" teranegreal day and night. If I get the gateway blocking stick (forgot the name) I would make her create those.

Form an Intelligence Corp with a few thousands Aiel and maybe as much as 100 channels or more and clerks as needed for scouting the enemy movements and the conditions of the terrain. Delegating its control to one of the great captains.

I would have deploying a few channelers from the intelligence corps to each of the world big cities and logistics concentrations, so that if the enemy channelrs made a surprise attack there I could get warning quickly and react, I would use channelers with low abilities/training with the teranegreal Elayne is making when possible.

Small mobile forces of Aiel and channelers would be used to harry and slow the Shadow army in Kandor, as well as gather intelligence.

Following the resolution of the BT the next goal would have been smashing the Kandori Shadow force. It's difficult to foresee exactly what should be done since we don't know how would the shadow react thus far, and how would the battles fought thus far were resolved.

All the while I would have kept some reserve force, rotating units from the battle field to reserve, when deploying reserve a new reserve force should be formed from the different fronts as possible per situation.

 

Seanchan - I would have sent delegations, their use depends on their acceptance to take orders from me. If I can't have count on them following orders I would find them a separate roll, like holding Travine's Gap, Something that they can do on their own. I can't rely on a force that won't obey orders immediately when needed. (I have no problem with disagreement or arguing against a move when the time allows, but if they get an immediate order they must obey it without question right away).

 

As someone stated I would only use channelers to heal other channelers or leaders. It shouldn't happen, but in case it does get as desperate fight in the books, I would deploy everything I have. Holding back healers when the result of the battle hangs in the balance is... pointless.

 

If the situation appeared as dire as in the books I would have asked Tuon to send delegation to Seanchan to try and find some factions, even small ones. Perhaps they would listen, see and would come help the fight.

I am surprised that while the Shadow was able to easily take control of Randland nations and apparently at least a fraction of Shara they were unable to take control/use compulsion/promise help to some faction in the Seanchan civil war to get them to fight for them in the LB.

 

As you probably noticed, there isn't much tactics involved, mostly because

a) I don't know the lay of the land except in very general terms.

b) no knowledge of how the Shadow's forces are spread on the battle fields.

 

 

Frankly looking back we can be confident that the Light could have just created a massive force of channelers, as some suggested, traveling from one spot to the other destroying Shadow forces and the Shadow could have not done a lot to counter this. In my mind though I imagine the Shadow could have been a lot more competent and could have had more channerls, making them a real threat.

 

Yeah, real circular logic at work with the healers- the more channelers you devote to healing, the more wounded you are going to end up with that need healing.

 

To an extent this happens in the real world as well. Though the examples I am familiar with are not really sanctioned by the commanders but are the action of small forces (maybe the size of platoons) in battle. There is a strong instinct to help a comrade (or even friend) that was injured even though being still under fire (there is the rest of the force to deal with that). But the more people taken away from combat this way results in more casualties. At least in some armies the soldiers are instructed to ignore the injured while the combat still rages (except for a few medics).

Edited by A Duke

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Reserves are important, but only if the enemy  knows they're there. They have to be in a position to strike if the enemy makes a move. Matt wanted Demandred to think they were gone for good.

 

 

 I am surprised that while the Shadow was able to easily take control of Randland nations and apparently at least a fraction of Shara they were unable to take control/use compulsion/promise help to some faction in the Seanchan civil war to get them to fight for them in the LB.

 

I believe that's what Semirhage was trying to do before Rand killed her.

 

 

 Though the examples I am familiar with are not really sanctioned by the commanders but are the action of small forces (maybe the size of platoons) in battle.

 

 

Killing a man takes one man out of the battle. Wounding a man takes three men out of battle. That's why military bullets don't fragment.

Edited by Aulduron

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Ferret out the dissappearing channelers and Aiel and put them to good use.

 

Conscript anyone beside the infirm and children to the battle.

 

Go from there.

 

 

 

It would be so much easier if I had a B2 with nukes. :rolleyes:

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The military scenes/battles were terrible.  Mat is this awesome general that can stand all others on their heads, and he should have been using his smaller forces to great effect and some pretty cool wins, but begins to doubt himself because all his wins are naught as the shadow's numbers are stupidly outrageous.  I'm thinking portal world reinforcements but BS missed out on that one.  Brandon admitted that he couldn't write battles and I thought that he was supposed to have help with that.  Clearly the battles should have been approaching awesomeness with the underlying sense of defeat no matter how many small victories Mat could gain left and right.  If left the book rather bla.  Of course coming from a military historian and battlefield tactitian I know the obvious flaws and blunders.  RJ could write battle, and he was also his own worst enemy.  Lord Algarin's manor.  100k+ trollocs put to shame in minutes.  150k in Tarwin's gap...the arguments have already been made.

 

No word on the Ter'angreal the girls had apart from browns fighting over the library man, no mention of Moiraine's wagons and the carefully selected Ter'angreal on them.  The Tower should have opened its storerooms for the Ter'angreal in addition to the Sa'angreal and the Angreal.  They had a lot of dangerous items apart from Balefire wands in there that could have come into play.

 

I know I'll pick up things I missed my first time through in my next go through AMOL which will smooth some of the complaints out, but some ends didn't match up between BS and RJ's pieces.  An Aes Sedai and a Seafolk run from Caemlyn and wind up with the Dragon Sworn?  Ogier show up and are mostly background sadly.  Rand never fulfills his promise to actually sit down and speak to Loyal of all his doings as he promised time and again, never seeming to have the time or the inclination.  We have death crystals growing suddenly in some randomness like the cropping up of that borderland term for killing a Fade that did not fit the book at all as there was not a hint or mention in all the books previously.  I feel too many ends were left loose so we would all rush to buy the Encyclopedia, shame shame.  Too many missed opportunities for awesomeness and greatness, and too many things glazed over or passed over trusting to long time fans.  The ambushes and battles really need some major overhaul.

 

Of course, this isn't the thread on all the things you liked, so remember that when you get the urge to bash.  Lots of things were pretty good such as using the gateways for scouting and such.  I just don't agree that HOV link was broken as Mat never died by the rules of Randland and RJ so it never happened.  Then again it would have been better played if it came across that the mighty Aes Sedai were wrong again about the rules of the HOV, anyone can blow and no one is ever linked to the horn.  Could have been a rumor the tower let be put about so not every fool clamored to get their hands on it.  Absence of the Dragon banner thought?  In THG the heroes couldn't move without it being present but a hero rushes off to save Olver was nice to see but too many blurred areas.  I'll comment more after my second go, hopefully I just missed a lot of things and it will be awesome this time through.    

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 I just don't agree that HOV link was broken as Mat never died by the rules of Randland and RJ so it never happened.  

 That isn't how balefire works. The link being broken was perfectly inline with the rules.

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Of course, this isn't the thread on all the things you liked

 

It's not about things you didn't like either. ​It's about things you would have done differently if you were Elayne. As a military historian and battlefield tactician, I'd like to hear what you'd do differently if you knew what Elayne knew, when she knew it, or knew what Matt knew, when he knew it.

 

You missed Matt flying the Dragon Banner. He got it out when he sent Lan to check on Mayene, when he got the medallion. Olver blew the horn shortly afterward. Dannil is actually the one who carried it in battle.

 

Identifying terr'angreal is not easy without Avienda. Just ask Setalle Anan.

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Identifying terr'angreal is not easy without Avienda. Just ask Setalle Anan.

 Nyn has a lesser talent for it. It's certainly something they could have made time to do with little problem.

 

Another thing I would have done if I was Elayne is not burn half of Sheinar for no reason...

 

Dom

"Elayne gives the order to burn several cities in Shienar which were in the path of the Trollocs as Lan retreated, incl. Medo, Ankor Dal and Fal Moran. That's not a list of the cities in the Trollocs's path, it's just a lazy list of known cities of Shienar..."

Edited by Suttree

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