Bright Blue Eyes

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  1. Both loose. Wars across the Narrow Sea can't be won. Not longterm.
  2. Dothraki vs westerosi infantry

    Sarnor heavily utilized chariots. Chariots, the height of military technology at Megiddo and Kadesch. That's early to mid Bronze Age.
  3. GRRM's mistake: Essos Militaries.

    Urbanization. That is the key difference. Essos concentrates let's say 20% of it's entire population in cities, as well as about 95% of it's wealth. And as merchant cities, most of that wealth is coin. Hard cash. Westeros has about one to two percent of it's entire population in cities, and maybe 4-5% of it's wealth. Everything else is distributed in the countryside, from holdfast to castle to village to mill. And as a primarily agrarian society, most of that wealth is tied up in products, not in coin.
  4. GRRM's mistake: Essos Militaries.

    Not a problem. Just drink more water. As lujo said, the armored knight is basically a Persian invention, straight into the hottest part of the Middle East. Furthermore, there are armored sellswords all over Essos. They've got no problems with that. Please let's exclude Yi Ti, that's so disconnected from everything else, lumping it together with the Free Cities doesn't work. Apart from that, Essos has bigger cities. Yes. Maybe 6-7 millions living in cities, compared to the <1 million in Westeros. But it's rural population is a joke. Where Westeros got 40, 60, 80 or 100 million living in the countryside, Essos got maybe 15 million. It's the main road from Pentos to Ghoyan Droye and then down the Rhoyne. That's the most attractive real estate in Essos, basically the equivalent of the Kingsroad and the Trident - which are very, very densely settled. No. They were devastated by the original Valyrian conquest. The Valyrians committed genocide there (upon the Rhoynar among others) and nobody resettled the area since.
  5. Dothraki vs westerosi infantry

    Ok, let's assume such a stupid, entirely theoretical matchup. So what? Then the infantry will stand around, twiddle their thumbs and wait for the Dothraki to make a move. If the Dothraki close to arrow range, they get nice longbow shafts into their unprotected bodies, while their own horsebow shafts plink of Westerosi armor. If they close to melee range, they die even faster. Yeah, what's the difference between somebody essentially growing up in the saddle and somebody training for mounted combat every day since they started walking? And of course there would be more of them than there are knights. Unfortunately, the knights would trade losses at about 50:1 or worse even if they were completely unsupported. They are the equivalent of 20 billmen, armored, tactically sound infantrymen. Of course the Dothraki would ride with multiple mounts. I never thought or said anything else. By the way, three horses were the minimum for a knight, Mongols were closer to twelve. But: Horses lack endurance. After four hours per day, they are done, whether they are ridden or not. That can be stretched for the first couple of days, but afterwards they will gather injuries real quick. How many humans can do 8-12 hours of work per day? Every healthy one? An army of 50,000 humans and 150,000 horses is even more clumsy and more slowly moving. And requires about ten times the food. Westeros is full of rivers and mountains. armies can cross rivers and mountains only at bridges, fords and passes. Those can be blocked, and often got castles or fortified cities close by anyway. Wait, what, since when do three horses require less space than one human? No. Not even Westerosi longbows at point blank range (< 30 m) will pierce armor. Not even mail. Maybe a padded jack, once in a great while, and only at point blank range. Arrows are a nuisance, not a killer. Sometimes a really, really uncomfortable nuisance, setting up the actual killing stroke, but for that you need a killer force. Heavy cavalry, heavy infantry, those are killers. But the Dothraki haven't either.
  6. Dothraki vs westerosi infantry

    Westeros got cavalry too. Both heavy and light cavalry. And even the light cavalry is armored. Pure cavalry armies retain their mobility advantage for no more than three days. Afterwards, the horses are too tired to keep up. Furthermore, that entire harrying scheme works while defending, but not while invading. Castles, towns, fords, bridges, all that is and will be controlled by the Westerosi and the Dothraki can neither attack them successfully nor ignore them forever.
  7. GRRM's mistake: Essos Militaries.

    Dany's and Tyrion's chapters. There is basically nothing between Pentos and Vaes Dothrak/Pentos and Selhorys. In Westeros, we'd have seen about five thousand villages, five hundred towns or holdfasts, ten castles and two of the big cities or castles. Tyrion's voyage is basically equivalent to Kings Landing to Oldtown, with a stop at Storms End on the way. But there isn't anybody there. Yes, they've got enough hinterland to feed them. But no more. Maybe a 80/20 relation between country and city. In Westeros, it's an 99/1 relation, for a vastly bigger total. The Free Cities did get their military back on their feet. Westerosi style sellswords everywhere you look - but Slavers Bay and the Dothraki haven't fought any war since, they've got no pressure. TWOIAF, the attack on the Tall Men, on Quohor, on Ibb, it was all during the first couple decades after the Doom, and that's it. Nothing since. If they actually have population pressure in the first place. Essos doesn't. It's as empty as Sibiria was. Whom should they have fought before the Doom? The Valyrian dragonlords were their only neighbour left. The Red Waste (and a focus on naval control of the Straits of Quarth).
  8. Dothraki vs westerosi infantry

    Armored cavalry. With lances.
  9. GRRM's mistake: Essos Militaries.

    Which Westerosi. Name two. Ned considers them a joke and admonishes Robert on his purely emotional reaction to a Targaryen in leadership of anything. Essos is both poorer and less populous. The Free Cities are just city states. Big, wealthy cities with barely any hinterland to back them up. Westeros is about the opposite, with 98-99% of it's population and wealth outside the cities. Furthermore, Essosi military was hit hard by the Doom, requiring a complete restructuring from dragons to the Westerosi model. Which the Free Cities have accomplished in their sellswords. Golden Company, Second Sons, Company of the Rose, all Westerosi outfits, the others are modelled after them. But the Dothraki are still stuck in the postapocalyptic phase immediately after the Doom, while Slavers Bay has gone back 5,000 years to the warfare from before the rise of Valyria, the last combat they've actually experienced. Not during the last ~350 years. Only during the immediate aftermath of the Doom did they raid anybody else (and extinguished that Bronze Age military and their civilians). What for? With what people? Essos is largely empty. Indeed. Loyalty during coups and stuff, not battlefield performance.
  10. GRRM's mistake: Essos Militaries.

    The Lhazarene are the only nation the Dothraki have actually raided in the last ~350 years. All others have bought them off out of spare change, way less than a war would have cost them. The guy trying to sell them makes that very point in his sales pitch. That should tell us something about the extent of it's impact on their performance.
  11. GRRM's mistake: Essos Militaries.

    Nope, GRRM intentionally made the Dothraki and Unsullied suck. He intentionally has Dany misjudge them. He intentionally foreshadows their future bad performance (see: arena fight mock Dothraki against mock Westerosi, utter curbstomp together with a literal True Scotsman Fallacy). He intentionally doesn't have Dany pick up on that. He's building the base for a real bad case of culture shock as soon as Dany leaves Slavers Bay.
  12. Dothraki vs westerosi infantry

    And the other 4 of 10? They were heavy cavalry. The Mongols used combined arms to great benefit. The Dothraki don't. They have nothing beyond the lightest cavalry ever. Jorah has not seen them fight, and he presumably shares the Westerosi nobles' disdain and disinterest in archery. JonCon doesn't, he knows what he's talking about. See: arrow weight. As to boiled leather and chainmail protecting the Westerosi: pretty good. There are reliable accounts of crusaders, just wearing gambesons, not even their mail, being stuck with 20+ arrows without being bothered. Unless the Dothraki hit the face between the rim of the open-faced helm and the collar, no problem. And that's just utterly bad luck. Sure. For a while. But they can't win that way, just postpone the inevitable loss until the Westerosi trap them against a river or whatever. Marching from battlefield to battlefield would be worse for the Dothraki. Horses lack endurance, or rather humans evolved as the toughest perseverance predator on Earth. One week's advantage, that's what their horses get the Dothraki, afterwards it's the other way round. And of course the Westerosi can take the short path, where Dothraki have to circle castles and towns. If the Dothraki change to that amount, they wouldn't be the Dothraki anymore. That's a fundamentel shift (and one that takes literally generations). Jorah is trying to get into Dany's pants. Please re-read that passage and take note of the ~10 ridiculous assumptions Jorah makes. He's telling Dany what she wants to hear (and tries to convince himself of it).
  13. Dothraki vs westerosi infantry

    That's standard procedure for both sides. But the guys with the home advantage gets more of the supplies (language, local knowledge, loyalty...). The ultimate loser is the smallfolk the supplies are taken from. ...and never marching that host into contested territory. That, he did with only about 20,000. Two separate hosts being the keyword. It wasn't the Westerlands that supported these hosts, it was the Riverlands in about 20 miles radius around each of them. Transportation beyond these distances is de facto impossible (unless there's a convinient port). Mance's 100,000 were starving. The forces at the Trident marched in six different columns, uniting only shortly before the battle, and splitting up again right afterwards, distributing the load upon a larger area. The mongols also had heavy cavalry armored from head to toes exploiting that situation. Unarmored horse archers can't. Furthermore, the Dothraki eschew tactics beyond "Charge".
  14. Dothraki vs westerosi infantry

    Sorry, but: No. Simply no. The Unsullied are tactically and strategically outdated by two millennia, with inferior equipment and physically weaker. Their only selling point is their blind obedience, even if that gets them massacred to the last man. Which would happen to them rather quickly.
  15. Dothraki vs westerosi infantry

    That hits the Dothraki worse than the Westerosi. Home ground advantage and all that. Nevermind that 50,000 aren't supportable anyway, about 20,000, mixed cavalry and infantry, seems to be the maximum possible in Westeros, some really rare and rather theoretical circumstances excluded.