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View Full Version : Tam is going to get a lot of people killed with his stupidity


looqas
06-07-2011, 05:41 AM
I've been wondering why Tam is so stupid that he teaches swords to conscripts? Swords truly are inferior weapons. Only in fantasy and anime people can wield swords in a brilliant maneuvers and engage splendid fights. Plus the swords are 1-2 m in length. Well if it's anime then the swords are over 2m :p

If you look at historical swords they are remarkably short and sword fights are mainly about raw power and reach. Hack and slash (or rather stab) instead of Dolphin Catches the Sunray like choreography. Even in Randland learning sword takes years the recruits do not have. So why Tam, who has been a Kapitan in the Illianer army, is so blindingly fool that he teaches swords instead of pikes, crossbows and formations, the very tools that would actually give the poor sods a fighting chance in Tarmon Gaidon against the Trollocs (who are superior in strength and reach). This is going to end badly.

In history Romans had their short swords and they where handy, but it was not their main weapon. It was the spear and tight disciplined formations that won the day. Mat has the right idea. Equip and train masses to use the crossbow. It ain't fancy but it's heck of more efficient.

I know pikes and such are for whimps, but at least you have a chance of making it out alive instead of getting pounded to bits in a gallant sword fight. But it's way more fantastical that way.

David Selig
06-07-2011, 05:56 AM
Even in Randland learning sword takes years the recruits do not have.
No, it doesn't. See Aram for example, he became a killing machine in a few months.

Rand too, though at least in his case we may say it was LTT memories playing a role.

Besides, IIRC the rapid progress of the recruits in Perrin's army in ToM was handwaved as a result of Perrin's ta'veren powers.

looqas
06-07-2011, 06:32 AM
No, it doesn't. See Aram for example, he became a killing machine in a few months.

Rand too, though at least in his case we may say it was LTT memories playing a role.

Besides, IIRC the rapid progress of the recruits in Perrin's army in ToM was handwaved as a result of Perrin's ta'veren powers.

But in other occasions we can read Lan commenting (I'm 97% sure of this) say that it takes years.

Even if you could train swordmen to hold up their own against single opponents, the sword wielding force is rather inferior to the formations and such. By the very nature sword needs space. My main beef is that it's going to be Trollocs they are going to face. Mano i beasto they won't stand a chance and will need every advantage they can get. And swords are not the answer for this.

GonzoTheGreat
06-07-2011, 06:55 AM
Then again, tight formations with pikes and such are not really a good idea when your opponents outnumber you and are fast enough to encircle you before you can withdraw.
Having a pike formation attacked from the rear and the sides is a recipe for disaster.

looqas
06-07-2011, 07:01 AM
Then again, tight formations with pikes and such are not really a good idea when your opponents outnumber you and are fast enough to encircle you before you can withdraw.
Having a pike formation attacked from the rear and the sides is a recipe for disaster.

Unless you train them to do what Mat did with his crossbow men against the Seanchan and have them form a box. Granted having a fixed formation is not the ideal thing to do as it's clumsy and requires tight discipline, but I was thinking more making the most of the recruits in a way of maximizing the effectiveness versus training/effort. Mat's hand-cranked crossbows are a great equalizer as all they have to do is to keep discipline and formation. Real weapons of mass killing with minimum training.

But there is a significant drawback too to the formations. Enemy channelers can rip them apart with ease. All it comes down to is that is the Tarmon Gaidon a massive free for all or is it an encounter of tactics and such.

ChubbyAiel
06-07-2011, 09:18 AM
Then again, tight formations with pikes and such are not really a good idea when your opponents outnumber you and are fast enough to encircle you before you can withdraw.
Having a pike formation attacked from the rear and the sides is a recipe for disaster.

I would have thought such formations would make extra sense when you're outnumbered and might be surrounded on all sides, because you can defend from such a formation equally on all sides, and being tightly packed means your enemy can't get among you and make their superior numbers felt. It's the battlefield equivalent of fighting with your back to the wall or with your back to your mate to make sure no one can get behind you. I thought that with that approach the Greeks and Romans, for example, were able to defeat forces that greatly outnumbered them. (Although there it was the shield rather than the pike that was crucial, it was still all about the tight formation.)

If you had tightly packed pikeman standing shoulder-to-shoulder facing many times their number of Trollocs who are swinging massive swords (and are therefore well spaced out) each Trolloc is in fact facing two (or more) pikemen because his fellow Trollocs can't step close enough to support him properly. You therefore outnumber your enemy in each clash within the battle by staying close in formation with your mates.

As for Tam's approach, I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and think maybe he's teaching them to use the sword as a secondary weapon for if you break the enemy's formation (such as it is) and you get among them, or in case your own formation is broken and a long pike would be too unwieldy a weapon for close-quarter fighting. Are the Randland swords really as big as you say? I always imagined them being like Japanese katana, which only have a blade length of about two-and-a-half feet. That might still be quite a wide arc you need to use it, but it's much more useful for close-quarter fighting than a pike. And even though the swords are slightly curved you can still stab with them. If enemies were able to beat the points of the pikes and get closer to the pikemen, in among the shafts and away from the sharp tips, the pike becomes completely useless (although you still have to worry about the pikes of the next rank in the formation).

And as you pointed out yourself, closely-packed formations could be quite vulnerable to One Power attacks. It's similar to the use of pikemen in the gunpowder age: formations would march strung out or as hollow squares while being shot at, then would form up tighly when expecting a cavalry charge.

ChubbyAiel
06-07-2011, 09:25 AM
In history Romans had their short swords and they where handy, but it was not their main weapon. It was the spear and tight disciplined formations that won the day.

Just as an aside, Wikipedia describes the gladius as the Roman soldier's primary weapon along with his shield:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladius

Now while I don't believe everything I read on Wikipedia, that does confirm what I'd thought previously. So that might support the hope that Tam is training the men to use swords in case their pikes/spears prove unsuccessful.

Kimon
06-07-2011, 09:57 AM
Just as an aside, Wikipedia describes the gladius as the Roman soldier's primary weapon along with his shield:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladius

Now while I don't believe everything I read on Wikipedia, that does confirm what I'd thought previously. So that might support the hope that Tam is training the men to use swords in case their pikes/spears prove unsuccessful.

The Romans didn't make much use of true pikes even during most of the expansionist days of the Republic. The older hasta, which was a thrusting spear gave way to the pilum, which was used as a javelin. Usually the legionnaires would have a few pila, which would be thrown at the enemy. The pila were designed with soft metal at the tip, so that they bent on impact, with the hope that they would render the enemy shields useless, or at least very cumbersome. Then when the fighting got into close quarters, the soldiers would switch to fighting with the gladius.

The Roman maniple formation, while still somewhat similar to the older Greek phalanx upon which it was originally designed, was nonetheless quite a different style of formation. If you want to see what effective pike warfare using a perfected phalanx however, look at the Macedonians, and their primary weapon of choice, the sarissa. Now that is a pike.

Of course, should Demandred get his hands on those cannon designs, use of tightly-boxed hedgehog type formations would quickly become suicidal. Yet even if he doesn't get the "dragons", the shadow will still have quite a few dreadlords, and they are essentially just very mobile, and sentient, artillery.

ChubbyAiel
06-07-2011, 10:47 AM
The Romans didn't make much use of true pikes even during most of the expansionist days of the Republic. The older hasta, which was a thrusting spear gave way to the pilum, which was used as a javelin. Usually the legionnaires would have a few pila, which would be thrown at the enemy. The pila were designed with soft metal at the tip, so that they bent on impact, with the hope that they would render the enemy shields useless, or at least very cumbersome. Then when the fighting got into close quarters, the soldiers would switch to fighting with the gladius.

The Roman maniple formation, while still somewhat similar to the older Greek phalanx upon which it was originally designed, was nonetheless quite a different style of formation. If you want to see what effective pike warfare using a perfected phalanx however, look at the Macedonians, and their primary weapon of choice, the sarissa. Now that is a pike.

Thanks for the extra details. Just to clarify, I didn't mean that the Romans used pikes, just that their use of the gladius as a primary weapon shows battle hasn't always been about the spear, and so a sword might have a place in the battles of Randland, i.e. even in a place where you might expect the soldiers to use pikes as a primary weapon.


Of course, should Demandred get his hands on those cannon designs, use of tightly-boxed hedgehog type formations would quickly become suicidal. Yet even if he doesn't get the "dragons", the shadow will still have quite a few dreadlords, and they are essentially just very mobile, and sentient, artillery.

Depends how they march and then change formation as they engage, it depends how big the formations are, it depends on how much elevation Demandred could get on the dragons' shells, and how accurate the dragons are. He isn't going to want to being firing shells in a melee involving his own men. Depending on how well the men are drilled and how quickly they can close up a hollow box, then move back to a hollow box, etc, and how much risk is involved in using dragons over the heads of your own men, a solid hedgehog might still have its place at times in the battle.

You're right about the Dreadlords, but if each formation has its own channellers in or near the hedgehog there is a possibility they would be able to neutralise the enemy channellers. Not really sure how that would work, but it might...

finnssss
06-07-2011, 12:16 PM
Unlike most other weapons, training the Sword, also teaches discipline. It's a more versatile and a more advanced weapon.
The various principles of the Sword transfer easily to almost all other weapons.
Any idiot can pick up a Pike, be trained in its use and how to hold formation in a relatively short time. Hell, learning how to use a Pike is barely a step up on learning how to march in formation heh.

Not to mention, the Pike is at its best when defending, unmoving and set. It is not a very effective offensive weapon due to the slow speed with which Pike formations are restricted to moving at.

If Swords are as weak of a weapon as you seem to think, then why were they used the most and the longest of any weapon? They were only replaced on the battlefield because of the Firearm.

Heinz
06-07-2011, 12:55 PM
I think some are also forgetting that the Two Rivers men, and now those Outlanders marching with them, are primarily archers. Teaching an archer the pike would be rather useless. A short sword of some type is the better melee weapon to learn here. They don't need to be blademasters (which was what Lan said would take a few years), but they can be taught some basic parry and thrust techniques that might keep them alive if/when Trollocs get too close for their bows.

Now, throwing some pikes in front would be a classic formation, of course. If the Legion of the Dragon is not an army of evil-doers as Terez suggests, perhaps we'll see the Two Rivers men and the Legion co-ordinate, or the Queen's army, to form some sort of battle line like this. I'm not real sure how detailed they'll be in describing the battle tactics, however. Sometimes, fine detail. Other times, not much at all. There will be a lot going on story-wise, we might not see much tactical detail.

The Romans, by the way, used the sword to jab and stab over, under, or around their shields within their tightly packed formations. Individually, there would have been some skilled swordsmen, of course. But particular skill with a sword was not required to be an effective legionary. The use of the shield and discipline to stay in their formation was the strength of the maniple.

looqas
06-07-2011, 01:05 PM
Good, good. Interesting discussion and I changed the topic to be more provocative title to rip Tam and just get people in the debate ;)

This discussion has given me more to think and that is good. Thanks for the Legion clarifications. I remembered my history a bit off and was too lazy to check it. A glaring omission when writing to Theoryland! :D

Lately Tam has been training mostly new recruits instead of Two Rivers lads using the long bows which in the books and in the history took quite a long time to train to be effective compared to crossbows.

And while pike is indeed a simple weapon to master I find the lack of formations and such a really glaring omission. Especially when, IIRC, there are no mention of shields which are essential for formations to be effective. Aiel have then, but the conscripts. Two Rivers' folk use the lines when using the bow, but I find it still lacking...

nameless
06-07-2011, 01:43 PM
Training new recruits in yew longbows would be incredibly impractical. The only reason the English were able to make that weapon work is that they made weekly longbow practice mandatory by law. For someone who's never picked one up before it would take years to be able to reliably hit a target.

looqas
06-07-2011, 02:19 PM
Training new recruits in yew longbows would be incredibly impractical. The only reason the English were able to make that weapon work is that they made weekly longbow practice mandatory by law. For someone who's never picked one up before it would take years to be able to reliably hit a target.

I re-read what I wrote about the long bows. My sentence was far from clear. I meant that Tam has been training new recruits (to use swords) and not train Two Rivers people as of late. I never meant that Tam was training others to use Two Rivers' bows, which I take you wrote your comment about.

My bad.

Rand al'Fain
06-07-2011, 03:16 PM
Good, good. Interesting discussion and I changed the topic to be more provocative title to rip Tam and just get people in the debate ;)

This discussion has given me more to think and that is good. Thanks for the Legion clarifications. I remembered my history a bit off and was too lazy to check it. A glaring omission when writing to Theoryland! :D

Lately Tam has been training mostly new recruits instead of Two Rivers lads using the long bows which in the books and in the history took quite a long time to train to be effective compared to crossbows.

And while pike is indeed a simple weapon to master I find the lack of formations and such a really glaring omission. Especially when, IIRC, there are no mention of shields which are essential for formations to be effective. Aiel have then, but the conscripts. Two Rivers' folk use the lines when using the bow, but I find it still lacking...

Actually, during the Medival ages, shields in pike formations became inadequate because;
A. Heavier armor
B. Freed up both arms to use longer pikes.
C. Shields tended to leave one flank particularly vulnerable as men would try to edge over to get behind someone else's shield.
D. There is a difference between pikes and spears, basically being length. Both are great for holding off cavalry charges, but the pikes are able to keep enemy troops further away than spears, allowing missile troops (musketeers, crossbowmen, archers, etc) more breathing room while they reloaded.

But yeah, pikes are best as a defensive formation, especially in squares with missile troop support. Otherwise, you need cavalry and swordsmen to properly support them on the flanks.


Edit*
Also, swords are about the best thing to use when the enemy gets close, as most swords (European or Japanese) are only 2-3ft long and weigh about the same. They just have different skills to use them. Katans-cutting. Straight swords-stabbing.

Kimon
06-07-2011, 03:59 PM
Actually, during the Medival ages, shields in pike formations became inadequate because;
A. Heavier armor
B. Freed up both arms to use longer pikes.
C. Shields tended to leave one flank particularly vulnerable as men would try to edge over to get behind someone else's shield.
D. There is a difference between pikes and spears, basically being length. Both are great for holding off cavalry charges, but the pikes are able to keep enemy troops further away than spears, allowing missile troops (musketeers, crossbowmen, archers, etc) more breathing room while they reloaded.

But yeah, pikes are best as a defensive formation, especially in squares with missile troop support. Otherwise, you need cavalry and swordsmen to properly support them on the flanks.


Edit*
Also, swords are about the best thing to use when the enemy gets close, as most swords (European or Japanese) are only 2-3ft long and weigh about the same. They just have different skills to use them. Katans-cutting. Straight swords-stabbing.

We should probably be looking at the Hundred Years' War when analyzing much of the battle tactics and innovations. After all, the English use of longbows played such a significant role (i.e. the Two Rivers longbowmen), but this long struggle also witnessed increased usage of the crossbow, and was the first major battles to see the use of cannons and artillery.

GonzoTheGreat
06-07-2011, 04:37 PM
A complication when it comes to using tight formations against Shadowspawn is that when Draghkar get involved, your formations will break up a bit. And Trollocs (or Fades) can then jump into those holes and butcher your force from the inside. Having a Fade in the middle of your pike square would be problematical, I suspect.

finnssss
06-07-2011, 05:00 PM
A complication when it comes to using tight formations against Shadowspawn is that when Draghkar get involved, your formations will break up a bit. And Trollocs (or Fades) can then jump into those holes and butcher your force from the inside. Having a Fade in the middle of your pike square would be problematical, I suspect.


That's where the bowmen in the middle of the square come into play though. It's very hard to make a gap in an actual Pike square. It's designed to "shrink" as men go down.

A Pike square is also a purely defensive formation that is mostly stationary.
As Rand al'Fain already mentioned, in a regular Pike line, you would have support from regular (light) foot and/or Calvary on the flanks.
If you think about it, what else are any X-bow men going to do in the middle of the square anyway. Unlike longbow men, they can't shoot over the ranks very well and anything from the sky should have their full attention quite easily.

Weiramon
06-07-2011, 10:51 PM
Swords! Pikes! Phaw!

One charge with lances and sabres and the enemy will scatter like quail.

Rand al'Fain
06-08-2011, 12:29 AM
Swords! Pikes! Phaw!

One charge with lances and sabres and the enemy will scatter like quail.

You do that. The rest of the cavalry will hang back and see how you do.

looqas
06-08-2011, 03:37 AM
Swords! Pikes! Phaw!

One charge with lances and sabres and the enemy will scatter like quail.

Thanks for making my day! :D

Anything else than a cavalry charge is just unmanly and most ungentlemen-like!

GonzoTheGreat
06-08-2011, 04:34 AM
That's where the bowmen in the middle of the square come into play though. It's very hard to make a gap in an actual Pike square. It's designed to "shrink" as men go down.

A Pike square is also a purely defensive formation that is mostly stationary.
As Rand al'Fain already mentioned, in a regular Pike line, you would have support from regular (light) foot and/or Calvary on the flanks.
If you think about it, what else are any X-bow men going to do in the middle of the square anyway. Unlike longbow men, they can't shoot over the ranks very well and anything from the sky should have their full attention quite easily.All right, so you're standing in that pike square, with Trollocs roaming around it. Then what?
After how many days will things go wrong?

Pike squares may be fairly good for defense, but I seriously doubt they are anywhere near as good as the Borderland towers were. And those got overrun too, didn't they?

Rand al'Fain
06-08-2011, 09:14 AM
All right, so you're standing in that pike square, with Trollocs roaming around it. Then what?
After how many days will things go wrong?

Pike squares may be fairly good for defense, but I seriously doubt they are anywhere near as good as the Borderland towers were. And those got overrun too, didn't they?

The towers were a more permanant defense. Pike squares are generally used when in danger of being flanked (enemies coming from the sides or behind) or the enemy has a more mobile army (Aiel, cavalry, or Trollocs). The square is for the field and not meant to be a long lasting formation. Look at the Battle of Cairhein, the Pike square was used in a battle as part of a hammer and anvil tactic. The pike square was held there while the the Aiel tried to open and exploit a gap, but since the square was designed to hold against such force, the pikes were able to hold long enough (anvil) that the cavalry (hammer) were able to samsh into the Aiel flanks. The pike square also had the cavalry take out their bows and shoot the Aiel from within the square, giving them a vantage point and a way of assissting the pikes.

Besides, when comparing a defensive structure to a battlefield formation is like comparing apples to watermelons. It just doesn't work.

GonzoTheGreat
06-08-2011, 09:27 AM
It does work when the issue is whether or not the defensive battle field formation would be strong enough, though.
If you know that such a static approach can not work for anything but a last stand (which is not what you want to have as your main tactic), then you need something else in order to do the actual "fight, retreat, fight again" that Trolloc wars tend to be. And for that you need more speed than pikes can manage, which brings you back to a weapon like a sword.

Of course, giving the recruits axes might have been better still, as most already have some experience with that implement, but Tam couldn't think of everything, apparently.

Daekyras
06-08-2011, 09:29 AM
If you look at historical swords they are remarkably short and sword fights are mainly about raw power and reach. Hack and slash (or rather stab) instead of Dolphin Catches the Sunray like choreography. Even in Randland learning sword takes years the recruits do not have. So why Tam, who has been a Kapitan in the Illianer army, is so blindingly fool that he teaches swords instead of pikes, crossbows and formations,.

I have to disagree with you here. Tam is not taking years to train a bunch of Blademasters or high level swordsmen.

He wants to make them merely proficient enough to not hurt themselves or their own comrades.

In combat the raw recruits have little training. I imagine the same is true for the trollocs. At least I don't think we have read about any great trolloc swordsmen.

Tam is training them in the basics- enough to block, parry and riposte which will be more than a lot of the enemy will know how to do.

In a frontline there will not be room for pikes and crossbows are slow. They will have their place in the overall battle but it is inevitable that the two lines will clash. Tam is increasing the survival rate and chances of success....

Spidy
06-08-2011, 09:55 AM
1. Swords are designed to kill. It does not make them the most efficient killing mechanism. Think of the purpose. They have to kill DL minions. Poke them with a stick designed to kill humans, uh uh. Might slow them them down but they get you too.

2. I bet you someone could train me to use a sword very much faster than any other killing equipment, at close range, so what else would you ask Tam to train them in?

My responses to the Original 1. & 2. were not the starting post and unfair.

Heinz
06-08-2011, 11:25 AM
It does work when the issue is whether or not the defensive battle field formation would be strong enough, though.


I have to admit, I am completely unsure how you are managing to compare defensive fortifications to battlefield infantry tactics to determine if one is worth using based on the other's demise to a heavily numerically superior force. It is two totally different topics in military theory.

A pike square, or a phalanx formation, or a pike wall, or echelon formation, or any other number of formations commonly used by pikemen are meant for units of mobile forces. With Traveling, they would be the forces that could have breakfast on the FoM this morning, and be in Caemlyn or some Borderland field in the afternoon, ready to stop a Trolloc army. This is also a unit that is not meant to stand in one place for more than a day, days, weeks, months, years. A pike formation does not, by itself, withstand a siege. Nor is it meant to. A square formation, by the way, is not just a 'last stand' tactic, but one used to counter forces attempting to flank (as was said by someone else). Once the danger of a flanking attack is gone, the squares typically would reform into their battle lines, more of a pike wall, 3 ranks deep.

A fortified tower, keep, castle, fortress wall, or other fortification construction is a purely defensive object that takes some variable amount of time to build, depending on size, materials, complexity, terrain, funds, manpower, efficiency of the crew and its leaders, etc etc. It can withstand sieges, and typically (hopefully) gives the defenders an advantage, which then requires the attacker to have twice as many or more forces to overwhelm the defense.

If either is attacked by an overwhelming force (see also: fortified towers that we read about in ToM), you are correct, they will fall. So your solution is not to bother with towers or pikemen? The Borderland towers would not have fallen had their been enough numbers of troops to offset the overwhelming force of trollocs, fades, drag'khar (sp?), etc. Pikes or swordsmen. Or in WoT's case, channelers to help oppose the Shadow. But you cannot compare the effectiveness of pikes based upon the failure of the towers to stand up to an attack force meant to be overwhelming enough to defeat the tower.

The pikes are the best bet to stop a charge. Trollocs attack in a rushing charge. And with their increased size, it would be about like stopping a full war mount and rider as well. True, once the armies collide, having the troops trained and equipped with a sword would be more effective at that point, though this still does not completely render the pike useless. Maintaining a pike wall, using the ranks of the pike properly to hold the trollocs at a distance as much as possible, would greatly increase the effectiveness of archers and crossbowmen behind.

GonzoTheGreat
06-08-2011, 11:57 AM
A significant problem is that Trollocs are more fanatical than horses.
One reason why pikes are good against cavalry is that horses just do not want to get impaled on pikes, so they'll stop rather than charge on. Trollocs, on the other hand, once they are in a sufficient frenzy, will run on. That will foul up one or more (probably more) pikes while also killing that Trolloc. But it also means that the Trollocs behind him won't have any pikemen to face, as those pikes are gone (broken or dragged to the ground by the first Trolloc's corpse).

Pikes worked well when Perrin stationed them atop a steep slope, as there the Trolloc corpses could be rolled down, freeing up intact pikes and dislodging other Trollocs at the same time. But on more level terrain they won't be sufficient if the Trollocs have a two to one advantage, and based on what we've heard, they will usually have 10 to 1 advantage in numbers.

So pikes are simply too slow in most foreseeable cases. Doesn't mean they will never be useful, and having a bunch of pikemen is definitely a good idea. But focusing only on pikes and ranged weapons (bows and such) would be a mistake.

finnssss
06-08-2011, 03:09 PM
Just re-read TOM chptrs 18 and 21, Ituralde's PoV to understand how Pike lines are usually employed and how other types of personnel support and are supported by them.

Getting a lil too hung up on the Pike Square. A square is not the norm, it's situational only.
Mat only used it against the Aiel because it took best advantage of what he had, the terrain he was on and because he was outnumbered.

looqas
06-08-2011, 03:21 PM
Just re-read TOM chptrs 18 and 21, Ituralde's PoV to understand how Pike lines are usually employed and how other types of personnel support and are supported by them.

Getting a lil too hung up on the Pike Square. A square is not the norm, it's situational only.
Mat only used it against the Aiel because it took best advantage of what he had, the terrain he was on and because he was outnumbered.

Mat also used the square against the Seanchan. I can't remember if he did it only with cross-bows or if he had pikes as well.

Heinz
06-08-2011, 03:27 PM
Are you referring to the end of KoD, chapter 'Prince of the Ravens'?

Weiramon
06-08-2011, 05:58 PM
Anything else than a cavalry charge is just unmanly and most ungentlemen-like!

Burn my soul that's right!

Those Illianer hillforts would have fallen to the Horse like autumn leaves in a brisk wind, if the Lord Dragon had not ended the whole campaign with Bashere and those flaming Asha'man.

Rand al'Fain
06-08-2011, 08:10 PM
Mat also used the square against the Seanchan. I can't remember if he did it only with cross-bows or if he had pikes as well.

That really wasn't a square. It was fortification/surprise attack. They had constructed a wall of sorts for protection. It was going to be a defensive fight from the get go, but also a two-pronged attack with Talmanes coming up from behind the enemy force and peppering them with arrows. In essence:
http://s3.amazonaws.com/kym-assets/photos/images/original/000/001/384/Atrapitis.gif

Not a square, as a square is designed to defend from all sides. What Mat did against the Seanchan is set up a barricade, and launched a two-pronged attack that cut down the Seanchan force both from behind and in front.

looqas
06-09-2011, 01:40 AM
Yes. I meant the closing battle of Band's "flight" from Altara against Seanchan. Thanks for answering. I remembered / had pictured in my mind what was taking place quite wrong it seems. :o

The thing that "bothers" me the most actually about Tam's teaching is I don't remember him teaching formations and tactics. But then again maybe it's given that 'teaching sword' also includes those too. Implied but never spelled out. Without teaching formations and tactics parry, riposte and other basic skills will be for naught against those huge trollocs. Can you imagine parrying anything those monsters swing at you? Your swords flies from your grip.

In the beginning of the series you are lead to believe that those trollocs are huge hulking masses of raw strength, but later you get the impression that it's a pretty much even fight strength-wise.

Rand al'Fain
06-09-2011, 01:57 AM
Yes. I meant the closing battle of Band's "flight" from Altara against Seanchan. Thanks for answering. I remembered / had pictured in my mind what was taking place quite wrong it seems. :o

The thing that "bothers" me the most actually about Tam's teaching is I don't remember him teaching formations and tactics. But then again maybe it's given that 'teaching sword' also includes those too. Implied but never spelled out. Without teaching formations and tactics parry, riposte and other basic skills will be for naught against those huge trollocs. Can you imagine parrying anything those monsters swing at you? Your swords flies from your grip. Actually, a parry does not take the full brunt of a blow, but rather re-directs the other sword by using the momentum of the swing. So, it is not like your weapon would go flying all the time.

In the beginning of the series you are lead to believe that those trollocs are huge hulking masses of raw strength, but later you get the impression that it's a pretty much even fight strength-wise.
Actually, minus the Aiel, channelers, and the Bordermen, the forces that have gone up against Trollocs tend to get slaughtered unless you have say, Ituralde commanding them. But for examples, the Stone of Tear (the Tairens are being slaughtered until Rand's lightning thing happens), the Two Rivers people until Perrin puts some backbone into them, and there are a couple others, but I'm not sure how far along you are. so I won't spoil it.

sandoz12
06-09-2011, 01:57 AM
A lot has changed since the EoTW. I remember early on in EoTW, Moiraine talking how Trollocs wouldn't like to come near people who touch the one power. That the one power offers protection. Later on this seemed to disappear.

Anon
06-10-2011, 03:58 AM
A lot has changed since the EoTW. I remember early on in EoTW, Moiraine talking how Trollocs wouldn't like to come near people who touch the one power. That the one power offers protection. Later on this seemed to disappear.

I would suggest a lot of this is the Fades driving them in battle, trying to knock the channellers out of the fight. Channellers are incredibly useful; as artillery, Healers and for Gateways. It'll be a pity for the Light if most of the Black Tower has been turned.

GonzoTheGreat
06-10-2011, 04:16 AM
It'll be a pity for the Light if most of the Black Tower has been turned.Well, Rand did want them to be weapons, and that's what he'll get.

sandoz12
06-10-2011, 04:33 AM
Well, Rand did want them to be weapons, and that's what he'll get.

Yes and not only did he want them to be weapons. He left the training of them to someone who he distrusted (with good reason) and then ignored the situation despite repeated warnings.

If the whole Black Tower comes at him he only has himself to blame.

I really like Rand but the whole Black Tower storyline has felt a little unnatural. That he could ignore for so long, such a powerful dangerous force even when warned about what was going in. It's negligence of the highest order and elsewhere we haven't seen Rand be so wilfully stupid. To me it felt like there was no real reason for his neglect of the Black Tower other than to make for the scenario we now have so that there can be a big showdown in the final book. What I am trying to get at is that the Black Tower arc has been somewhat contrived for the sake of the finale.

It's kind of like a government ordering nuclear weapons to be built then just leaving them in hands of a commander they don't trust and never checking up on them and woe and behold suddenly your nukes are being pointed at you rather than by you - it just requires excessive stupidity to allow a situation like this to develop.

Writing this has made me realise that the Black Tower arc has been the weakest of the series. Far more should have been written and seen of the Black Tower - the space could have been made by reducing the arcs of Faile's captivity and Elayne's battle to take the throne of Andor.

Enigma
06-10-2011, 08:21 AM
I wonder could we put Rand's reluctance to deal with Asha'man other than those he knows as individuals as an effect of the taint? I can't really think of anything else to justify it other than the needs of the plot.

Its acknowledged that the Asha'man are one of the most powerful groups among the nations. Even the Seanchan are wary of them and the Aes Sedai who do not always see reality if it does not suit them have admitted that the BT is too strong for them to take in a direct assault.

Yet Rand ignored it until the problem is ready to boil over and bite him in the ass. Now that the Last Battle is so close he really does not have time to deal with it.

Hopefully the last book will show that Logain is up to something at Rand's orders and that he did not completly ignore the situation.

GonzoTheGreat
06-10-2011, 08:39 AM
I wonder could we put Rand's reluctance to deal with Asha'man other than those he knows as individuals as an effect of the taint? I can't really think of anything else to justify it other than the needs of the plot.It might be an indirect effect. LTT reacted with a lot of hostility to Taim. Rand may have then decided that he could not trust his own reactions well enough to risk more than an absolute minimum of interaction, so as to not kill a valuable tool because of Taint induced lunacy.