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kcf
01-09-2013, 03:40 PM
I haven't listend to it (yet), but in this Wired interview Brandon says that Bernard Cornwell helped out with the battles for AMOL as it's an area that Brandon admits weakness in.

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/01/geeks-guide-brandon-sanderson/

I can't profess to have any great knowledge or understanding of battle tactics (except to notice when they are particularly badly portrayed), but I thought it was a strength of AMOL.

Weiramon
01-09-2013, 03:51 PM
I can't profess to have any great knowledge or understanding of battle tactics (except to notice when they are particularly badly portrayed), but I thought it was a strength of AMOL.

Burn my soul, no need to qualify that statement.

jana
01-09-2013, 04:27 PM
It bored me to f*ing tears and at least 150-200 pages could have been cut and replaced with meaningful interactions between characters. There was way too much skipping forward in time and finding out that such and such a thing happened instead of having us actually read it.

fionwe1987
01-09-2013, 04:55 PM
I haven't listend to it (yet), but in this Wired interview Brandon says that Bernard Cornwell helped out with the battles for AMOL as it's an area that Brandon admits weakness in.

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/01/geeks-guide-brandon-sanderson/

I can't profess to have any great knowledge or understanding of battle tactics (except to notice when they are particularly badly portrayed), but I thought it was a strength of AMOL.

I remembered hearing about it, and I was shocked the aMoL battles worked out the way they did. Specific aspects of these battles were great, but the entire strategy was piss poor. The initial four fronts strategy was utter nonsense. I'm wholly unconvinced the Greens wouldn't have insisted on having an Aes Sedai contingent in every front, the same way it was done in the Trolloc Wars. And that makes excellent strategic sense. By all means, have a stronger contingent in Kandor. But the way the battle was set up, with one front having overwhelming chances of success, made no sense. It made even less sense that Aes Sedai/Asha'man weren't sent to Caemlyn. If the plan was the burn the city, a massive circle with a couple of sa'angreal could have done the trick with the Trollocs still in the city, this saving the need to draw them out and have an extended battle.

Its also shocking that Lan's front was given so few channelers. The early idea was to have them hold as much as possible. Sending five Asha'man and a few Aes Sedai was idiotic, in the face of the almost certain presence of many Dreadlords in the field there.

It made no sense that the two largest groups best capable of dealing with the Dreadlords: the Green and the Reds, were sent to kill the regulars in Kandor. That kind of concentration of strength was bound to draw out the most punishing response from the enemy, and given that Demandred's whereabouts were still in question, Rand at least should have pointed out the stupidity of that strategy. In the event, the Aes Sedai were surprised with a massive attack, and more than a hundred channelers were lost to no good reason.

If they had spread their Aes Sedai, Asha'man and Wise One resources, Demandred would have had no choice but to spread out his forces too. Each front would have seen steady but even success, making it hard for Demandred to focus on one area.

And certainly, the Wise Ones were severely underutilized. There are thousands of them, and there certainly weren't thousands at Shayol Ghul. It made no sense to not have them around.

As for the Last Battle, it was good enough, but a lot of how RJ handled the descriptions of battles was lost. We got metaphors to card games more than we got any actual strategy. And Mat working out minor tactical details was just plain silly. He was overseeing the grand strategy. Ordering individual cavalry companies cannot be his job! Overall, the Last Battle came across as somewhat simplistic, even though the grand design of what was to happen was clear enough. And it certainly could have done with better description, and less fudging of numbers.

EvilChani
01-09-2013, 05:15 PM
I remembered hearing about it, and I was shocked the aMoL battles worked out the way they did. Specific aspects of these battles were great, but the entire strategy was piss poor. The initial four fronts strategy was utter nonsense. I'm wholly unconvinced the Greens wouldn't have insisted on having an Aes Sedai contingent in every front, the same way it was done in the Trolloc Wars. And that makes excellent strategic sense. By all means, have a stronger contingent in Kandor. But the way the battle was set up, with one front having overwhelming chances of success, made no sense. It made even less sense that Aes Sedai/Asha'man weren't sent to Caemlyn. If the plan was the burn the city, a massive circle with a couple of sa'angreal could have done the trick with the Trollocs still in the city, this saving the need to draw them out and have an extended battle.

Its also shocking that Lan's front was given so few channelers. The early idea was to have them hold as much as possible. Sending five Asha'man and a few Aes Sedai was idiotic, in the face of the almost certain presence of many Dreadlords in the field there.

It made no sense that the two largest groups best capable of dealing with the Dreadlords: the Green and the Reds, were sent to kill the regulars in Kandor. That kind of concentration of strength was bound to draw out the most punishing response from the enemy, and given that Demandred's whereabouts were still in question, Rand at least should have pointed out the stupidity of that strategy. In the event, the Aes Sedai were surprised with a massive attack, and more than a hundred channelers were lost to no good reason.

If they had spread their Aes Sedai, Asha'man and Wise One resources, Demandred would have had no choice but to spread out his forces too. Each front would have seen steady but even success, making it hard for Demandred to focus on one area.

And certainly, the Wise Ones were severely underutilized. There are thousands of them, and there certainly weren't thousands at Shayol Ghul. It made no sense to not have them around.

As for the Last Battle, it was good enough, but a lot of how RJ handled the descriptions of battles was lost. We got metaphors to card games more than we got any actual strategy. And Mat working out minor tactical details was just plain silly. He was overseeing the grand strategy. Ordering individual cavalry companies cannot be his job! Overall, the Last Battle came across as somewhat simplistic, even though the grand design of what was to happen was clear enough. And it certainly could have done with better description, and less fudging of numbers.

With pretty much everything you said. I thought that, with the exceptions of a few cases, the whole thing was ridiculous. It also seemed that, suddenly, the good guy channelers (with the exception of one or two) were suddenly underpowered compared to previous books. If the point was to make things desperate for them, then give the Shadow more resources, don't retcon everything because you think it's necessary.

If BS was that uncomfortable writing battle strategy (and I can totally understand that!) then he should have used POVs that would have been ignorant of such things or ones that would focus on specific battles rather than trying to make a strategy "brilliant" simply by having characters tell us that it's brilliant when we're left sitting here going, "why the hell aren't they using their resources??".

Terez
01-09-2013, 05:21 PM
trying to make a strategy "brilliant" simply by having characters tell us that it's brilliant
this

Davian93
01-09-2013, 05:23 PM
this

Telling, not showing is one of the biggest mistakes that some writers fall into...Brandon demonstrated this issue on several occasions in the 3 books he wrote for WoT.

Tedman
01-09-2013, 06:22 PM
Telling, not showing is one of the biggest mistakes that some writers fall into...Brandon demonstrated this issue on several occasions in the 3 books he wrote for WoT.

That is a very clever idea.



All I have to say about the tactics is what Bashere teaches rand.

"When an enemy offers you two targets you..."

Or more appropriate from Sun Tzu


1. By discovering the enemy's dispositions and remaining invisible ourselves, we can keep our forces concentrated, while the enemy's must be divided.

2.We can form a single united body, while the enemy must split up into fractions. Hence there will be a whole pitted against separate parts of a whole, which means that we shall be many to the enemy's few.
3. And if we are able thus to attack an inferior force with a superior one, our opponents will be in dire straits.
4. The spot where we intend to fight must not be made known; for then the enemy will have to prepare against a possible attack at several different points; and his forces being thus distributed in many directions, the numbers we shall have to face at any given point will be proportionately few.

Someone forgot their Comadrin!

Edit: I know what we will do! Lets have a force inferior to the opposing force on every front! ITS BECUZ ITS SO DESPERATES.

Edit 2: Ituralde and Mat both annhilate Seanchan, probably the pinnacle of the light side armies given the channeler integration and experience in war. So then we revert to whatever this was.

suttree
01-09-2013, 08:04 PM
Telling, not showing is one of the biggest mistakes that some writers fall into...Brandon demonstrated this issue on several occasions in the 3 books he wrote for WoT.

+1

kcf
01-09-2013, 11:13 PM
OK, yeah...somehow I forgot the frustrations I had about the lack of sense for the channelers in battle. There should have been thousands of WO channelers - it's the gorram last battle, every one of them should have been ready. There should have been hundreds of Sea Folk channelers. The Seanchan should have brought something exceeding a thousand channelers as well.

While I can understand the reluctance to use Novices and Accepted - they could be used as well (though I suppose they were healers).

Likewise, if Demandred truly controled the whole of Shara, there should have been many thousands of Sharan channelers as well.

The scope of it all was simply way off. The tactics of the book should have been less medieval in nature and more like WWI. But then RJ always had trouble properly explaining the numbers he was throwing around.

And that's forgetting the value that we saw of a few strong channeler in KOD and the destruction they can bring (hell, even what Rand did in Maradon).

Jokeslayer
01-10-2013, 07:02 AM
The scope of it all was simply way off. The tactics of the book should have been less medieval in nature and more like WWI. But then RJ always had trouble properly explaining the numbers he was throwing around.


The population has clearly gone way up (not in-universe) since TEOTW.

And with the square infantry formations etc., I had the impression they were aiming at Napoleonic tactics with crossbows instead of muskets/rifles.

Davian93
01-10-2013, 08:24 AM
The population has clearly gone way up (not in-universe) since TEOTW.

And with the square infantry formations etc., I had the impression they were aiming at Napoleonic tactics with crossbows instead of muskets/rifles.

Yes, there were quite a bit of Pikeman, light cavalry and projectile weapons (cannons, channelers, crossbows) The tactics (and scope) were very 17th to 18th century level...Not quite to the level of Napoleon when it came to weaponry but actually far, far larger than any of his battles when it come to the number of personnel engaged. Even at Borodino, the total number engaged by both sides combined was all of 250,000.

EvilChani
01-10-2013, 11:13 AM
OK, yeah...somehow I forgot the frustrations I had about the lack of sense for the channelers in battle. There should have been thousands of WO channelers - it's the gorram last battle, every one of them should have been ready. There should have been hundreds of Sea Folk channelers. The Seanchan should have brought something exceeding a thousand channelers as well.

While I can understand the reluctance to use Novices and Accepted - they could be used as well (though I suppose they were healers).

Likewise, if Demandred truly controled the whole of Shara, there should have been many thousands of Sharan channelers as well.

The scope of it all was simply way off. The tactics of the book should have been less medieval in nature and more like WWI. But then RJ always had trouble properly explaining the numbers he was throwing around.

And that's forgetting the value that we saw of a few strong channeler in KOD and the destruction they can bring (hell, even what Rand did in Maradon).

Exactly. And, if they wanted to make things dire for the Light, it would've been easy enough to have someone take out a good number of Aes Sedai (or had the Seanchan go through with their attack on the WT and waste everyone there, or get word that Egwene had moved everyone and go take out all of the Healers, novices, and Accepted, leaving them with no Healers). There are ways to even the playing the field, or to put the Light on the defense, without tactics that just ignores most of your forces and takes them out of the game (and that any five-year-old could see was stupid).