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Floki of the Ironborn

Battle on the Green Fork casualties

88 posts in this topic

5 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

This post doesn't make sense.

Your argument seems to be that the fewer men a House raises, the larger the portion of horse will be. This might or might not be true in specific instances (because a particular Lord rushed his horse out first, and the infantry from outlying areas are not available yet, or whatever), but it cannot be extrapolated into a general rule. Equally, it cannot be used to try and prove the reverse, namely that a large number of horse automatically means a smaller total host size. I'm not understanding the evidence you try to use to support this argument.

Are you saying that if the North only raised 2000 horse in total, they would have had 50,000 men in the field? Are you implying some kind of sliding scale where the lower the portion of cavalry goes, the higher the overall host size? It is obviously nonsensical.

If a House has a large portion of horse, it is usually due to two possible reasons: The Lord is very wealthy and can afford to equip a disproportionate number of cavalry, or else he could raise his cavalry faster, and the bulk of his infantry have not been mobilized yet.

However, this has a limit. Logic would dictate that the West is the richest and therefore has the highest ratio of cavalry. And yet Tywin raised 10,000 cavalry out of 35000 total forces. Meaning a ratio of 1 horse for every 2.5 infantry. Meaning 28% of his host was cavalry. So I highly doubt any major lord is going to exceed that 28% ratio.

Indeed, we see that Robb's 12k had 3300 cavalry, meaning a ratio of 27.5%. Very similar to Tywin's 28%. However, that is more likely not because they match the West's wealth, but because of the second reason I mentioned above, namely that much of their infantry could not be raised in time. So their cavalry was disproportionately high at that point.

We know the Boltons make up a significant majority of the 4000 men that Theon saw returning up the Neck. Meaning 2500-3000 seems a very reasonable estimate for the number of returning Bolton men. Even they would have had to suffer some losses and desertions along the way, so their original number would have been even higher. And if even 25% of that number was cavalry, well, then they had between 600-800 cavalry with Robb in the South.

 

I'm not saying if North has 2000 horse they would have 50000, I'm not saying as the amount of horsemen increase, total number drops or the other way around. I am making an in region comparison between houses; Unless one of the lords are particularly richer than they'd be with their amount of land, if they have, mines, ports, toll roads for a few examples, the lord with the bigger land would have more men, both in the form of foot and horse, but the amount of his horse would not increase proportionally to his foot. For the purpose of an example, imagine two lords from the smaller one has 100 horse and 500 peasant fso he raises 100 horse and 300 peasants with 200 available to spare but a rate of 1:5 in total. Bigger one has 500 horse and 3000 peasants, he raises 500 and 1500 to get 1:3 rate but in total he has a 1:7 rate while having both more horses and infantry.

In the case of Tywin, he had 500 horse and 3000 foot on his own (perhaps some more foot available to raise, but not many more horse) this is %14 cavalry for men coming directly from Tywin's own lands, half of what his entire western army's horse rate. Now Tywin could have added some more knights to his own forces from Reyne Rebellion to Wot5K and he obviously had quite a lot of mercenaries under his employ; With the quarter of his horse Jaime left at the camps being mercenaries, he possibly had more mercenaries in his horse than westerman. Add to that that Tywin also had mercenaries, I wouldn't be surprised if 2000-3000 of Tywin's horse come from several different mercenary companies. but even if he had as many as 3000 mercenary horse, his army has a greater proportion of horse than he has among his own levy. Which lord is more wealthy than Tywin to make up for this difference?

 

Returning again to my Reach example. Though not all the Reach houses joined, and Renly also had some of his Stormlander vassals, I think we can agree that for the most part Renly's host was formed of Reachmen. This host has the common ratio of 1 horse to 3 foot we see with most lords. But Renly was able to achieve this only after enough light horse and freeriders joined to swell his horse numbers that it needed to be mentioned. He had 10000 lances as seen by Catelyn; without his light horse So if only heavy horse is taken into account he has 1:7 horse to foot.Though what I said Works better for in region comparison, compare this to Robb's WF host of 3300-3400 horse among 12000 total.  He has %~28 heavy horse in his army compared to Renly's  %14 heavy horse (for 10k in 70k, I excluded the 10k light horse and freeriders) then you can see a pattern.

 

As for Roose needing to have 2500-3000 and losing men;

Only time I can remember Roose's men dying/ being on the frontlines is when he takes Harrenhal with 100 men, which included men from several houses. Oh an there's the single guard that Arya killed. The single time we see Roose fighting, his men aren't even on the frontlines and shortly after Gregor's horse breaks the northern lines single hoofedly, Northmen shatter and retreat. No chance for Roose to get casualties with his men on the front of the retreating force and having many more others between them and Tywin's .

Him having more than %50 to make a majority is also not a neccesity; If they took the same casualty rate as Freys, Karstarks would remain with ~1400 infantry after battle. There are a thousand Karstarks searching for Jaime, obviously near 300 were from Robb's army, so 700+ would have to come from Harrion's. Harrion also went to Duskendale with whatever men he had left with him, since he got captured he was obviously in the thick of battle so again high casualties for Karstarks. Robett who has managed to gather whatever survivors there were is also captured later on so I don't think there are many, if any Karstarks are left from the force that went to Duskendale. Even if some survived and somehow went back to Harrenhal, it wouldn't be enough men to worth mentioning, the Karstarks in Roose's army has to be 700 that took off from Harrenhal. If the biggest portion after you only has 700 men and the rest is distributed among so many that none have enough men to be worth being mentioned (for example Roose mentions the 100 Hornwoods in the 600 by name so 1/6 seems worth mentioning), would you still need 1751 men to consider yourself having the majority? Will, 1200 men, more than a third of theentire force and near twice the nearest portion, would not suffice to say "Some five hundred horse and three thousand foot, my lady. Dreadfort men, in chief, and some from Karhold."? I am not saying that Roose has 1200 men by the way, it's just an example, I think his numbers were somewhere near 2000.

For Theon's observation: Firstly I'd like to remind you that you do not accept Theon's five times as many men while he was still Theon, ward of Winterfell, maester trained, fought in a battle numbering near ten thousand men, help manage an army of some twenty thousand strong while you quickly accept his two in five after being reek. Can't see the logic behind this. Returning to the numbers; Theon doesn't say four thousand men, nor does he say one in five. He specifically says two in ten. Saying he has four thousand men is as reliable as we can get in ASOIAF (reminder, forty four hundred can easily be turned into "near" five thousand). With all the round ups and downs, "two in ten" is more accurate than "one in five"; first one means you have somewhere between 1/10 and 3/10 men returning; for "twenty thousand or near enough makes no matter" it is  more than 2000 but fewer than 6000 and the second means between 0/5 and 2/5; more than zero (well, obviously) but fewer than 8000.

For Robb's actual number of men, 19500(without MC garrisoned) what Theon says 1950-5850. To get even more accurate, 2.33 makes 3 (Jaime who had 14-15k had three times as many men as Robb's 6k) so this would narrow down it even more; 2593-4543. This is as accurate as we can get with Theon's observation. For comparison, one in five would get us 1287-5187. Since we can't get closer than this, I'll take the average of the first numbers, 3568, to see how far we can go.

We know Roose had 3500 and lost some men and he also had 200 with Steelshanks, who has returned with Jeyne Pool. If the 600 men never joined Roose again this is very close to what Roose would have and it is very much possible they didn't  as we don't hear from neither Kyle Condon nor Ronnel Stout again. I'd like to remind here that Condons are sworn to Cerwyns, who are only half a day's ride away from Winterfell and being right hand to Lord Cerwyn, Kyle Condon would have been to Winterfell often enough to see through fArya, so one more reason to believe 600 men didn't go back..  Roose and Freys took very few casualties, not even a hundred if I'm not mistaken, but Roose still had men from other houses in his 3500, men he had no reason to spare and men who'd try to defend their lords and fellow soldiers belonging to the same lord. With all these, I'd not be surprised if Roose's two in ten is not 4000 but somewhere between the lower end and the middle.

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31 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

 

I'm not saying if North has 2000 horse they would have 50000, I'm not saying as the amount of horsemen increase, total number drops or the other way around. I am making an in region comparison between houses; Unless one of the lords are particularly richer than they'd be with their amount of land, if they have, mines, ports, toll roads for a few examples, the lord with the bigger land would have more men, both in the form of foot and horse, but the amount of his horse would not increase proportionally to his foot. For the purpose of an example, imagine two lords from the smaller one has 100 horse and 500 peasant fso he raises 100 horse and 300 peasants with 200 available to spare but a rate of 1:5 in total. Bigger one has 500 horse and 3000 peasants, he raises 500 and 1500 to get 1:3 rate but in total he has a 1:7 rate while having both more horses and infantry.

In the case of Tywin, he had 500 horse and 3000 foot on his own (perhaps some more foot available to raise, but not many more horse) this is %14 cavalry for men coming directly from Tywin's own lands, half of what his entire western army's horse rate. Now Tywin could have added some more knights to his own forces from Reyne Rebellion to Wot5K and he obviously had quite a lot of mercenaries under his employ; With the quarter of his horse Jaime left at the camps being mercenaries, he possibly had more mercenaries in his horse than westerman. Add to that that Tywin also had mercenaries, I wouldn't be surprised if 2000-3000 of Tywin's horse come from several different mercenary companies. but even if he had as many as 3000 mercenary horse, his army has a greater proportion of horse than he has among his own levy. Which lord is more wealthy than Tywin to make up for this difference?

 

Returning again to my Reach example. Though not all the Reach houses joined, and Renly also had some of his Stormlander vassals, I think we can agree that for the most part Renly's host was formed of Reachmen. This host has the common ratio of 1 horse to 3 foot we see with most lords. But Renly was able to achieve this only after enough light horse and freeriders joined to swell his horse numbers that it needed to be mentioned. He had 10000 lances as seen by Catelyn; without his light horse So if only heavy horse is taken into account he has 1:7 horse to foot.Though what I said Works better for in region comparison, compare this to Robb's WF host of 3300-3400 horse among 12000 total.  He has %~28 heavy horse in his army compared to Renly's  %14 heavy horse (for 10k in 70k, I excluded the 10k light horse and freeriders) then you can see a pattern.

 

As for Roose needing to have 2500-3000 and losing men;

Only time I can remember Roose's men dying/ being on the frontlines is when he takes Harrenhal with 100 men, which included men from several houses. Oh an there's the single guard that Arya killed. The single time we see Roose fighting, his men aren't even on the frontlines and shortly after Gregor's horse breaks the northern lines single hoofedly, Northmen shatter and retreat. No chance for Roose to get casualties with his men on the front of the retreating force and having many more others between them and Tywin's .

Him having more than %50 to make a majority is also not a neccesity; If they took the same casualty rate as Freys, Karstarks would remain with ~1400 infantry after battle. There are a thousand Karstarks searching for Jaime, obviously near 300 were from Robb's army, so 700+ would have to come from Harrion's. Harrion also went to Duskendale with whatever men he had left with him, since he got captured he was obviously in the thick of battle so again high casualties for Karstarks. Robett who has managed to gather whatever survivors there were is also captured later on so I don't think there are many, if any Karstarks are left from the force that went to Duskendale. Even if some survived and somehow went back to Harrenhal, it wouldn't be enough men to worth mentioning, the Karstarks in Roose's army has to be 700 that took off from Harrenhal. If the biggest portion after you only has 700 men and the rest is distributed among so many that none have enough men to be worth being mentioned (for example Roose mentions the 100 Hornwoods in the 600 by name so 1/6 seems worth mentioning), would you still need 1751 men to consider yourself having the majority? Will, 1200 men, more than a third of theentire force and near twice the nearest portion, would not suffice to say "Some five hundred horse and three thousand foot, my lady. Dreadfort men, in chief, and some from Karhold."? I am not saying that Roose has 1200 men by the way, it's just an example, I think his numbers were somewhere near 2000.

For Theon's observation: Firstly I'd like to remind you that you do not accept Theon's five times as many men while he was still Theon, ward of Winterfell, maester trained, fought in a battle numbering near ten thousand men, help manage an army of some twenty thousand strong while you quickly accept his two in five after being reek. Can't see the logic behind this. Returning to the numbers; Theon doesn't say four thousand men, nor does he say one in five. He specifically says two in ten. Saying he has four thousand men is as reliable as we can get in ASOIAF (reminder, forty four hundred can easily be turned into "near" five thousand). With all the round ups and downs, "two in ten" is more accurate than "one in five"; first one means you have somewhere between 1/10 and 3/10 men returning; for "twenty thousand or near enough makes no matter" it is  more than 2000 but fewer than 6000 and the second means between 0/5 and 2/5; more than zero (well, obviously) but fewer than 8000.

For Robb's actual number of men, 19500(without MC garrisoned) what Theon says 1950-5850. To get even more accurate, 2.33 makes 3 (Jaime who had 14-15k had three times as many men as Robb's 6k) so this would narrow down it even more; 2593-4543. This is as accurate as we can get with Theon's observation. For comparison, one in five would get us 1287-5187. Since we can't get closer than this, I'll take the average of the first numbers, 3568, to see how far we can go.

We know Roose had 3500 and lost some men and he also had 200 with Steelshanks, who has returned with Jeyne Pool. If the 600 men never joined Roose again this is very close to what Roose would have and it is very much possible they didn't  as we don't hear from neither Kyle Condon nor Ronnel Stout again. I'd like to remind here that Condons are sworn to Cerwyns, who are only half a day's ride away from Winterfell and being right hand to Lord Cerwyn, Kyle Condon would have been to Winterfell often enough to see through fArya, so one more reason to believe 600 men didn't go back..  Roose and Freys took very few casualties, not even a hundred if I'm not mistaken, but Roose still had men from other houses in his 3500, men he had no reason to spare and men who'd try to defend their lords and fellow soldiers belonging to the same lord. With all these, I'd not be surprised if Roose's two in ten is not 4000 but somewhere between the lower end and the middle.

I read through this post twice now, but I'm afraid it is trying to cover too much. You have to narrow down your points, because it is not coming across as focused enough. What I understand is that you are trying to suggest certain patterns in the quoted numbers to support a point, but I'm afraid the pattern is not there.

A few points:

1. You have no idea how the fertility of the Bolton lands compares to that of the Karstarks. What we have is that the Karstarks raised 2300 men for Robb's army, and that we have two quotes about the size of the Bolton army. The first that it makes up the majority of the 3500 men with Roose at the Twins, and the second that "2 in 10 of 20,000 men returned from the South, and that they were mostly Dreadfort men".

Both of those happen to paint the same picture, and are consistent with the Boltons have 2500 plus men returning from the South. And any army suffers at least some losses from desertion, disease, accident and the general casualties of war. Even if it was only a hundred or two, Roose would have lost some men.

By the way, the returning 3500 at the Twins must have had VERY few Karstarks, given that the Karstarks first suffered heavy losses at the Green Fork, and then a thousand of them headed out to search for Jaime, and then Roose specifically says that he sent all of those that remained with him to Duskendale with their lord Harrion. Meaning that he had zero Karstarks with him when he left Harrenhal, so any Karstarks that he had with him later on at the Twins must have been a few stragglers or survivors who made it back.

So maybe a number in the low hundreds at best. So it seems clear that a heavy majority of the 3500 were Boltons. Also consider that the Boltons might have had more cavalry with Robb in the West, which could have joined their 3500 to bring it closer to the eventual 4000 who returned up the Neck.

As for the cavalry argument. It just makes no sense. Tywin personally rules Casterly Rock. The richest gold mine in Westeros. Are you suggesting that he can only raise 14% of his personal force as cavalry? Come on. Get real.

It is quite clear that the Boltons can raise a force approaching 4000 men (including Ramsay's 600), with maybe 20-25% of that as heavy cavalry. That is consistent with their historical position as the second strongest Northern House (until the Manderlys arrived), and consistent with the numbers quoted in the text about them.

The Karstarks can raise around 2800, but that includes their reserves. The Umbers we don't know, but if they provided around 2000 men to Robb, then it seems they have raised another 800 between Mors and Hother, to bring their total to around 2800 too. We don't know how many they sent with Robb, however, nor what portion cavalry they raised, exactly. But there are hints that their cavalry percentage was substantial.

As for the Mormonts - how the heck would they transport masses of horses by fishing sloop? And how would the poor House Mormont raise a lot of horses on their wooded island? They almost certainly provided minimal cavalry. Similar to the Mountain Clans and the Karstarks.

The Boltons are logically some of the major contributors to boost Robb's cavalry numbers at Winterfell.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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Just a quick thing. Roose said ~1,000 out of the 2,000 Karstark foot with him deserted after their lord was executed. From that remaining 1,000 you must deduct all the men sent to Duskendale (which GRRM said was most of them) and all the men who died on the Green Fork (probably hundreds since Tyrion observes their banner in the thick of the fighting). So the Karstarks Roose has with him at the Red Wedding cannot possibly number more than a couple hundred or so. He has 3,500 men with him at the Red Wedding which he explicitly says are only Dreadfort and Karhold men- 3,000 foot soldiers and 500 heavy cavalry. He has another 200 men, seemingly mounted, with Jaime.

Assuming he sent no cavalry with Robb, that would put the total number of men Bolton brought south at about 3,500, with ~500-700 heavy cavalry.

Edited by Nihlus

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On ‎09‎.‎09‎.‎2017 at 1:12 AM, Free Northman Reborn said:

I read through this post twice now, but I'm afraid it is trying to cover too much. You have to narrow down your points, because it is not coming across as focused enough.

You are right. I'll try to go piece by piece.

On ‎09‎.‎09‎.‎2017 at 1:12 AM, Free Northman Reborn said:

As for the cavalry argument. It just makes no sense. Tywin personally rules Casterly Rock. The richest gold mine in Westeros. Are you suggesting that he can only raise 14% of his personal force as cavalry? Come on. Get real.

 

My source is below.

 

 

Quote
All eternity lasted not quite a year, Grand Maester Pycelle observed later. Tywin Lannister, who had not been present at the Red Lion's feast, had never weakened in his resolve to bring these overmighty vassals to heel. Late in the year 261 AC, he sent ravens to Castamere and Tarbeck Hall, demanding that Roger and Reynard Reyne and Lord and Lady Tarbeck present themselves at Casterly Rock "to answer for your crimes." The Reynes and Tarbecks chose defiance instead, as Ser Tywin surely knew they would. Both houses rose in open revolt, renouncing their fealty to Casterly Rock.
So Tywin Lannister called the banners. He did not seek his lord father's leave, nor even inform him of his intent, but rode forth himself with five hundred knights and three thousand men-at-arms and crossbowmen behind him.
House Tarbeck was the first to feel Ser Tywin's wroth. The Lannister host descended so quickly that Lord Walderan's vassals and supporters had no time to gather. Foolishly his lordship rode forth to meet Ser Tywin's host with only his household knights beside him. In a short, brutal battle, the Tarbecks were broken and butchered. Lord Walderan Tarbeck and his sons were beheaded, together with his nephews and cousins, his daughters' husbands, and any man who displayed the seven-pointed blue-andsilver star upon his shield or surcoat to boast of Tarbeck blood. And when the Lannister host resumed its march to Tarbeck Hall, the heads of Lord Walderan and his sons went before them, impaled on spears.

From TWOIAF

 

Quote

 

All eternity lasted not quite a year, Grand Maester Pycelle observed later.  Tywin Lannister, who had not been present at the Red Lion’s feast, had never weakened in his resolve to bring these overmighty vassals to heel.  Late in the year 261 AC, with all his preparations complete, he sent ravens to Castamere and Tarbeck Hall, demanding that Roger and Reynard Reyne and Lord and Lady Tarbeck present themselves at Casterly Rock “to answer for your crimes.”  The Reynes and Tarbecks chose defiance instead, as Ser Tywin surely knew they would.  Both Houses rose in open revolt, renouncing their fealty to Casterly Rock.  Tywin Lannister called the banners.

Determined to erase years of humiliation, he did not seek his lord father’s leave, nor even inform him of his intent, but rode forth himself with five hundred knights and three thousand men-at-arms and crossbowmen behind him.  His brothers Kevan and Tygett went with him, one as a knight, one a squire.  Lord Marbrand of Ashmark, Lord Prester of Feastfives, and a dozen lesser lords joined him on the march with their own levies, swelling his numbers.

 

Sample from TWOIAF

 

Unless you take the above information as noncanon, Tywin personal levies has a near identical ratio to that of Karstarks' initial force.

While we do not have enough information on numbers to say there is a pattern for certain, the information we have so far suggests it is very likely.

 

Two other bits of information from the the same source;

 

1. Lord Tarbeck, with Lannister gold, raises his household knights from 20 to 500.

2. Red Lion attacked Tywin's host with 2000 men, only one in ten was a knight.

 

First one clearly shows the impact of gold on how many horseman you can have. The second one adds up to the pattern I'm suggesting; While Reyne's had little time and gathered only a quarter of they could (from their own lands and allies/friends), as you have said yourself earlier, gathering cavalry is easier and faster than gathering foot, so this would be all the horse he would have without his allies.

 

As you said I'm trying to cover too much in a single post, but before ending this post, I can't help but ask this to you; You do not take Theon saying Ramsay having one in five against Rodrik's host as it is but you take Reek thinking Roose returns north with two in ten of the near twenty thousand as it is. Why? They are the "same" person, after all.

 

 

One final thing, do not take this as part of this post, but as a suggestion of another possible, not related pattern to discuss later on;

From what I've seen so far, without adding the impact of gold, especially the southern houses (read it as those living in more fertile and thus populous lands), seem to have roughly1:10 heavy horse to foot ratio, in some situations at least. Could this ratio be the ideal one for the amount of total troops they could raise; Ideally there would be one horsemen for every men of fighting age(without having loads of gold)? Below are a few examples

- Red Lion having one in ten knights in his 2000.

- Lannisters going to the stepstones with 1000 knights and 10000 foot.

- Combined Lannister-Gardener force of 55000 having 5000 knights (There were 3 Reachmen for 2 Westermen)

- Karstarks having a bit above 300 horse (300 with Robb, 12 with Stannis, 3 chasing Alys) for their near 3000 total troops (2300 with Robb, ~450 with Stannis, fewer than 300 in Rodrik's host.)

- Rhaegar having 40000 men from combined forces, only one in ten a knight.

If there is a pattern to this after all, then Renly and Tywin having 1 heavy horse to 6 foot shows how much can gold have an impact (Tywin having 500 horse and 3000 foot personally and Renly having 10000 heavy lancers, near 60000 foot and ~10000 lighthorse and freeriders at Bitterbridge).

 

 

 

 

Edited by Corvo the Crow

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48 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

You are right. I'll try to go piece by piece.

My source is below.

 

 

From TWOIAF

 

Sample from TWOIAF

 

Unless you take the above information as noncanon, Tywin personal levies has a near identical ratio to that of Karstarks' initial force.

While we do not have enough information on numbers to say there is a pattern for certain, the information we have so far suggests it is very likely.

 

Two other bits of information from the the same source;

 

1. Lord Tarbeck, with Lannister gold, raises his household knights from 20 to 500.

2. Red Lion attacked Tywin's host with 2000 men, only one in ten was a knight.

 

First one clearly shows the impact of gold on how many horseman you can have. The second one adds up to the pattern I'm suggesting; While Reyne's had little time and gathered only a quarter of they could (from their own lands and allies/friends), as you have said yourself earlier, gathering cavalry is easier and faster than gathering foot, so this would be all the horse he would have without his allies.

 

As you said I'm trying to cover too much in a single post, but before ending this post, I can't help but ask this to you; You do not take Theon saying Ramsay having one in five against Rodrik's host as it is but you take Reek thinking Roose returns north with two in ten of the near twenty thousand as it is. Why? They are the "same" person, after all.

 

 

One final thing, do not take this as part of this post, but as a suggestion of another possible, not related pattern to discuss later on;

From what I've seen so far, without adding the impact of gold, especially the southern houses (read it as those living in more fertile and thus populous lands), seem to have roughly1:10 heavy horse to foot ratio, in some situations at least. Could this ratio be the ideal one for the amount of total troops they could raise; Ideally there would be one horsemen for every men of fighting age(without having loads of gold)? Below are a few examples

- Red Lion having one in ten knights in his 2000.

- Lannisters going to the stepstones with 1000 knights and 10000 foot.

- Combined Lannister-Gardener force of 55000 having 5000 knights (There were 3 Reachmen for 2 Westermen)

- Karstarks having a bit above 300 horse (300 with Robb, 12 with Stannis, 3 chasing Alys) for their near 3000 total troops (2300 with Robb, ~450 with Stannis, fewer than 300 in Rodrik's host.)

- Rhaegar having 40000 men from combined forces, only one in ten a knight.

If there is a pattern to this after all, then Renly and Tywin having 1 heavy horse to 6 foot shows how much can gold have an impact (Tywin having 500 horse and 3000 foot personally and Renly having 10000 heavy lancers, near 60000 foot and ~10000 lighthorse and freeriders at Bitterbridge).

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the post. I've been eagerly waiting for it, as I really enjoy this discussion. And thanks for reducing the length of the post, as it makes it easier to address the specific points raised. I will try to do the same from my side, although I am generally a bit long winded in my style of writing.

Anyway, in short, the 10% horse ratio is something I have observed before. If I recall correctly even the Field of Fire (combining the strengths of the Reach and West) had only around 5k horse out of a 55k total host size. However, this is in sharp contrast to Tywin's 10k cavalry out of 35k total Lannister forces in the War of the Five Kings. Or Robb's 3300 cavalry out of 12k men at Winterfell, or Robb's 5k cavalry out of 19500 men at Moat Calin, or the Frey's 1000 knights out of 4000 men at the Twins.

Basically, I have come to the conclusion not to take figures as maximum numbers, as we never know what may have constrained a mobilization in a particular instance.  But we can take figures as minimum numbers, as you cannot raise less than the number you have mobilized. You can potentially raises MORE than them (if for some unknown reason you could not gather all your men). But your potential cannot be LESS.

So in the case of Robb's host, there were 3300 heavy horse in his 12k host at Winterfell. Someone had to contribute that horse to get it up to a 27% ratio. It clearly wasn't the Karstarks. Nor was it likely to be the Mountain clans (who are poor and have no heavy horse) or the Mormonts, who are poor and had to transport their forces by fishing vessel to the mainland.

The Boltons - historically the 2nd most powerful Northern House - are the prime candidates to have contributed a large number of horse. We further know that when Roose arrives at the Twins, he has 500 horse, in a force that consists mostly of Boltons, and some Karstarks. But the Karstark horse was with Robb in the West, so the vast majority of the 500 horse with Roose had to be Boltons. And this was without the 200 who went with Steelshanks Walton to King's Landing.

So to me, this gives us at least 700 Bolton horse (after Walton rejoins them) in the returning Northern army observed by Theon at Moat Cailin. And this after any losses they would have suffered over the course of the campaign. Plus, we don't know if any Bolton cavalry went with Robb to the West, which would add further numbers to the 700.

And as we can see, a number of say 800 Bolton cavalry in Robb's Winterfell force is desperately needed, to get that heavy horse total up to the 3300 number, considering the low contributions from the Karstarks, Mountain Clans etc. So it all just fits together.

Lastly, regarding Theon's numbers at Moat Calin vs his numbers at Winterfell. We have Ramsay directly contradicting Theon's Winterfell estimate. Theon had a chance to see them briefly in the chaos of battle in Wintertown's streets, while Ramsay knows exactly how many men he brought from the Dreadfort. So Ramsay is a more credible source in this case.

At Moat Cailin, however, we know that Roose already had 3500 men when he arrived at the Twins - this without Steelshanks Walton's 200 Bolton men, and without any potential Boltons that had been in Robb's cavalry force in the West. And also without the 600 men left guarding the ford, which Roose logically would have collected on the way back.

So if Theon's 2 in 10 estimate was only a rough guess, it was most likely an underestimate rather than an overestimate, because the returning Northern force was likely closer to 4500 than 4000, based on these logical facts.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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Regarding Tywin's host raised against the Reynes, it's worth considering that "men-at-arms" is used in the novels to represent both men who fight on foot and men who fight on horseback. 500 knights is, literally, 500 knights who generally make up heavy cavalry -- but we don't know what proportion of "men-at-arms" is foot and what proportion is horse. One example of this are the "masterless men-at-arms" who join Robb's all-cavalry force as it sweeps toward Riverrun. Another would be the men-at-arms that were part of Dondarrion's force to bring the Mountain to the king's justice.

 

Their position "behind" the knights could be argued that their usage here is that they're all foot... but it can simply be about the fact that among them were a class of cavalry that were clearly distinct from the cavalry of the knights.

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11 minutes ago, Ran said:

Regarding Tywin's host raised against the Reynes, it's worth considering that "men-at-arms" is used in the novels to represent both men who fight on foot and men who fight on horseback. 500 knights is, literally, 500 knights who generally make up heavy cavalry -- but we don't know what proportion of "men-at-arms" is foot and what proportion is horse. One example of this are the "masterless men-at-arms" who join Robb's all-cavalry force as it sweeps toward Riverrun. Another would be the men-at-arms that were part of Dondarrion's force to bring the Mountain to the king's justice.

 

Their position "behind" the knights could be argued that their usage here is that they're all foot... but it can simply be about the fact that among them were a class of cavalry that were clearly distinct from the cavalry of the knights.

Interesting. George has been at pains to point out "mounted swordsmen" or "mounted bowmen" on a number of occasions, as distinct from mounted lances/knights. In the Manderly host arriving at Moat Calin, as one example. However, it would not always apply, as in the case of the Freys 1000 knights out of 4000 men, where I cannot imagine that there were any additional cavalry on top of the already high 25% ratio of knights.

At the same time, it seems quite unlikely that the Field of Fire only had a 9% ratio of cavalry. Knights in that case must refer to titles, rather than all the cavalry in the host.

Ran, out of interest, what is your take on the size of the Bolton force in Robb's army, and its breakdown of cavalry vs infantry?

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

Regarding Tywin's host raised against the Reynes, it's worth considering that "men-at-arms" is used in the novels to represent both men who fight on foot and men who fight on horseback. 500 knights is, literally, 500 knights who generally make up heavy cavalry -- but we don't know what proportion of "men-at-arms" is foot and what proportion is horse. One example of this are the "masterless men-at-arms" who join Robb's all-cavalry force as it sweeps toward Riverrun. Another would be the men-at-arms that were part of Dondarrion's force to bring the Mountain to the king's justice.

 

Their position "behind" the knights could be argued that their usage here is that they're all foot... but it can simply be about the fact that among them were a class of cavalry that were clearly distinct from the cavalry of the knights.

Five hundred knights directly implies the existence of five hundred combat-capable squires (i.e. squires in the 16-21+ age range- German has a different word for ones in the 13-15 range) who would also be mounted and armored.

 

On the horse to foot ratios, the most solid figure by far we're given is for Mace and Renly's combined Reach/Stormlands army. Out of a force of 80,000, Renly takes 20,000 (all cavalry, and from his words mostly heavy cavalry) to Storm's End. This is stated to be most, but not all, of his cavalry. Combine that with Tywin's 10,500 cavalry out of his 35,000 initial muster, and the Riverlanders Edmure can call up including 4,000 heavy cavalry put of a force of 15,000 even after severe losses, and that pretty much confirms that the cavalry to infantry ratio of the southern kingdoms is in the range of 25% to 30%. Robb's 3,300 "armored heavy lancers" out of an initial muster of 12,000 at Moat Cailin would heavily imply a similar ratio for the North.

Edited by Nihlus

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1 hour ago, Nihlus said:

Five hundred knights directly implies the existence of five hundred combat-capable squires (i.e. squires in the 16-21+ age range- German has a different word for ones in the 13-15 range) who would also be mounted and armored.

 

On the horse to foot ratios, the most solid figure by far we're given is for Mace and Renly's combined Reach/Stormlands army. Out of a force of 80,000, Renly takes 20,000 (all cavalry, and from his words mostly heavy cavalry) to Storm's End. This is stated to be most, but not all, of his cavalry. Combine that with Tywin's 10,500 cavalry out of his 35,000 initial muster, and the Riverlanders Edmure can call up including 4,000 heavy cavalry put of a force of 15,000 even after severe losses, and that pretty much confirms that the cavalry to infantry ratio of the southern kingdoms is in the range of 25% to 30%. Robb's 3,300 "armored heavy lancers" out of an initial muster of 12,000 at Moat Cailin would heavily imply a similar ratio for the North.

Not all knights in ASOIAF have squires though, do they? The Hedge knights we've met seem to be squireless, don't they? 

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1 minute ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Not all knights in ASOIAF have squires though, do they? The Hedge knights we've met seem to be squireless, don't they? 

Some won't have squires, but others will have multiple squires. I was using 1 per knight as the average.

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The squires may in fact have been included in the "men-at-arms", to be sure. Similarly, the heavy cavalry under Marbrand at the Green Fork was full of knights, but also other heavy cavalry. And yes, at Moat Cailin the Manderley host is specifically broken down into knights, squires, and other cavalry.

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15 hours ago, Nihlus said:

Five hundred knights directly implies the existence of five hundred combat-capable squires (i.e. squires in the 16-21+ age range- German has a different word for ones in the 13-15 range) who would also be mounted and armored.

 

On the horse to foot ratios, the most solid figure by far we're given is for Mace and Renly's combined Reach/Stormlands army. Out of a force of 80,000, Renly takes 20,000 (all cavalry, and from his words mostly heavy cavalry) to Storm's End. This is stated to be most, but not all, of his cavalry. Combine that with Tywin's 10,500 cavalry out of his 35,000 initial muster, and the Riverlanders Edmure can call up including 4,000 heavy cavalry put of a force of 15,000 even after severe losses, and that pretty much confirms that the cavalry to infantry ratio of the southern kingdoms is in the range of 25% to 30%. Robb's 3,300 "armored heavy lancers" out of an initial muster of 12,000 at Moat Cailin would heavily imply a similar ratio for the North.

Yes, a 25% cavalry ratio seems more or less accurate for the primary forces of a region (The West being slightly above that ratio for obvious reasons). However, when a lord then stretches himself beyond his primary forces to maximize his host size, this cavalry ratio tends to drop lower.

We see that Robb's eventual 19500 force had a cavalry number of around 5000 which again reflects a rough 25% ratio rather nicely. I would just point out that for this 25% ratio to have been achieved, a number of Northern lords must have contributed a higher than 25% cavalry ratio, since we know that both the Karstarks and Manderlys contributed around a 13% cavalry ratio only. Similarly, the Mountain Clans are unlikely to have contributed much in the way of cavalry, and I suspect the Mormont cavalry numbers should have been fairly low too, for previously stated reasons.

So mathematically, some Houses must have compensated for those low ratios, in order to bring the overall ratio to 25%.

Lastly, I would just point out that if you calculate a region's cavalry numbers, it seems likely that you can calculate a minimum total strength for the region too, using the 25% as a maximum cavalry ratio, unless there are strong factors countering such an extrapolation (an example being the wealth of the Westerlands allowing them to have a higher than normal cavalry ratio). But in a region like the North, for example, if a lord has a stated number of cavalry, I find it difficult to see how his total primary force numbers cannot be at least 4 times the cavalry number, and his total numbers when stretched to include his reserves, around 5-6 times the cavalry number, as in the case of the Karstarks.

That would also apply to a region as a whole.

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22 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Thanks for the post. I've been eagerly waiting for it, as I really enjoy this discussion. And thanks for reducing the length of the post, as it makes it easier to address the specific points raised. I will try to do the same from my side, although I am generally a bit long winded in my style of writing.

Anyway, in short, the 10% horse ratio is something I have observed before. If I recall correctly even the Field of Fire (combining the strengths of the Reach and West) had only around 5k horse out of a 55k total host size. However, this is in sharp contrast to Tywin's 10k cavalry out of 35k total Lannister forces in the War of the Five Kings. Or Robb's 3300 cavalry out of 12k men at Winterfell, or Robb's 5k cavalry out of 19500 men at Moat Calin, or the Frey's 1000 knights out of 4000 men at the Twins.

Well you can't be enjoying it more than me because on my side it involves reading bits and pieces again to find something that would convince you on Bolton numbers, the only thing I don't agree you with in your posts. But unfortunately it takes a good amount of time, something I don't have with the educational season coming. As for the length of your posts, at least you stay on one thing with your lengthy posts, the longer my posts get, the more I jump from stuff to stuff.

Tywin had a good amount of mercenaries in his both armies, I'd guess 2-3k at the very least judging from the bands with Tywin  and Jaime leaving only/mostly mercenaries in the camp; it is more sensible to take as many mercenaries with you as possible so you'll both get your moneys worth out of them and if you lose men they will not be the ones you're not paying (much). For the rest of Tywin's cavalry force, I'd say it is because the riches of Westerlands allowing them more household knights. The case of Tarbeck going from 20 to 500 is a very good example. I'd not be surprised if Tywin increased his number from 500 too, after his father died.

 

Can't quote this one as there are several people who said the same thing; Cavalry and heavy cavalry are not the same. Cavalry is any men that fights on horseback, even Tyrion's mountain clansmen. From what I've seen so far, heavy cavalry exclusively means armored lancers. In the North that is any men having a mount, a lance and some heavy armor like plate or mail, with or without a title of Ser. In the South, though, anyone who fill the criteria would have the "Ser" before their names, minus a few, very rare exceptions like the Hound. Being (equipped like) a knight is expensive, we are told of old squires simply because they don't choose to be a knight because of the expenses that come with it. If you can afford the cost of being a heavy lancer, might as well become a knight in name and not just the equipment.

Few examples of horse below:

A (partial) description of Renly's cavalry

Quote

As the long fingers of dawn fanned across the fields, color was returning to the world. Where grey men had sat grey horses armed with shadow spears, the points of ten thousand lances now glinted silverly cold, and on the myriad flapping banners Catelyn saw the blush of red and pink and orange, the richness of blues and browns, the blaze of gold and yellow. All the power of Storm's End and Highgarden, the power that had been Renly's an hour ago. They belong to Stannis now, she realized, even if they do not know it themselves yet. Where else are they to turn, if not to the last Baratheon? Stannis has won all with a single evil stroke. -ACOK CATELYN IV

Some more description on Renly's (now mostly Stannis') horse.

Quote

"Do you take me for an utter fool, ser?" asked Stannis. "I have twenty thousand men. You are besieged by land and sea. Why would I choose single combat when my eventual victory is certain?" The king pointed a finger at him. "I give you fair warning. If you force me to take my castle by storm, you may expect no mercy. I will hang you for traitors, every one of you."  -ACOK DAVOS II

Stannis would have reached the Rush days ago. The kingsroad ran from Storm's End straight to King's Landing, a much shorter route than by sea, and his host was largely mounted; near twenty thousand knights, light horse, and freeriders, Renly's unwilling legacy to his brother. They would have made good time, but armored destriers and twelve-foot lances would avail them little against the deep waters of the Blackwater Rush and the high stone walls of the city. Stannis would be camped with his lords on the south bank of the river, doubtless seething with impatience and wondering what Ser Imry had done with his fleet. -ACOK DAVOS III

 

Varys gave him a simpering smile. "You would win, my lord. Lord Alester was indeed the first to bend the knee. Many others followed."
"Many," Tyrion said pointedly, "but not all?"
"Not all," agreed the eunuch. "Not Loras Tyrell, nor Randyll Tarly, nor Mathis Rowan. And Storm's End itself has not yielded. Ser Cortnay Penrose holds the castle in Renly's name, and will not believe his liege is dead. He demands to see the mortal remains before he opens his gates, but it seems that Renly's corpse has unaccountably vanished. Carried away, most likely. A fifth of Renly's knights departed with Ser Loras rather than bend the knee to Stannis. It's said the Knight of Flowers went mad when he saw his king's body, and slew three of Renly's guards in his wrath, among them Emmon Cuy and Robar Royce."  - ACOK TYRION VIII

I have noticed this only now, Loras and co. only take a fifth of Renly's knights, not a fifth of Renly's horse. This would make Stannis to not have near twenty thousand, but near twenty thousand in horse alone, he still has his foot too (he originally had 3k men camped in Dragonstone).

I may use these in the military strengths later on.

I'll add some more info to this post soon.


Tywin's army except for Tyrion's side.

Quote

 

His uncle would lead the center. Ser Kevan had raised his standards above the kingsroad. Quivers hanging from their belts, the foot archers arrayed themselves into three long lines, to east and west of the road, and stood calmly stringing their bows. Between them, pikemen formed squares; behind were rank on rank of men-at-arms with spear and sword and axe. Three hundred heavy horse surrounded Ser Kevan and the lords bannermen Lefford, Lydden, and Serrett with all their sworn retainers.

The right wing was all cavalry, some four thousand men, heavy with the weight of their armor. More than three quarters of the knights were there, massed together like a great steel fist. Ser Addam Marbrand had the command. Tyrion saw his banner unfurl as his standard-bearer shook it out; a burning tree, orange and smoke. Behind him flew Ser Flement's purple unicorn, the brindled boar of Crakehall, the bantam rooster of Swyft, and more.

His lord father took his place on the hill where he had slept. Around him, the reserve assembled; a huge force, half mounted and half foot, five thousand strong. Lord Tywin almost always chose to command the reserve; he would take the high ground and watch the battle unfold below him, committing his forces when and where they were needed most..

Now to Tyrion's flank.

Quote

This wing too was all cavalry, but where the right was a mailed fist of knights and heavy lancers, the vanguard was made up of the sweepings of the west: mounted archers in leather jerkins, a swarming mass of undisciplined freeriders and sellswords, fieldhands on plow horses armed with scythes and their fathers' rusted swords, half-trained boys from the stews of Lannisport … and Tyrion and his mountain clansmen.

...

The trumpets blared again, da-DAAA da-DAAA da-DA da-DA da-DAAAAAAA. Ser Gregor waved his huge sword and bellowed a command, and a thousand other voices screamed back at him. Tyrion put his spurs to his horse and added one more voice to the cacophony, and the van surged forward. "The river!" he shouted at his clansmen as they rode. "Remember, hew to the river." He was still leading when they broke a canter, until Chella gave a bloodcurdling shriek and galloped past him, and Shagga howled and followed. The clansmen charged after them, leaving Tyrion in their dust.

A crescent of enemy spearmen had formed ahead, a double hedgehog bristling with steel, waiting behind tall oaken shields marked with the sunburst of Karstark. Gregor Clegane was the first to reach them, leading a wedge of armored veterans. Half the horses shied at the last second, breaking their charge before the row of spears. The others died, sharp steel points ripping through their chests. Tyrion saw a dozen men go down. The Mountain's stallion reared, lashing out with iron-shod hooves as a barbed spearhead raked across his neck. Maddened, the beast lunged into the ranks. Spears thrust at him from every side, but the shield wall broke beneath his weight. The northerners stumbled away from the animal's death throes. As his horse fell, snorting blood and biting with his last red breath, the Mountain rose untouched, laying about him with his two-handed greatsword.

 

From Tyrion's description, ser Gregor only has two dozen or so knights/equivelant with him. Right wing, ~4000 horsemen, has more than 3/4 of Tywin's Knights. Kevan has 300, Tywin surely has some knights in his 2500 horse but most would be "light horse", horseman with swords and axes and such and perhaps bows. Even if all of Marbrands horse were knights and he had exactly 3/4, not more than it, Tywin would have some 5300 knights in total. Tywin has ~7500 horse in his army (Without Tyrion's 300) but less than 2/3 are heavy lancers. Compare it to Renly having only a half, we can see the effect of my proposed pattern or  the gold or perhaps both at work.

To stretch it a bit, Tyrion could have said, for example, "nine tenths" or "four fifths" or the like. So we can tale Marbrand as having more than %75 but less than %80. Again assuming all his men are lancers  Tywin has 5000-5300 knights with him, he would have some with Jaime too but in total he most likely had fewer than 6000 knights/equivelant.

Edited by Corvo the Crow

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5 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Well you can't be enjoying it more than me because on my side it involves reading bits and pieces again to find something that would convince you on Bolton numbers, the only thing I don't agree you with in your posts. But unfortunately it takes a good amount of time, something I don't have with the educational season coming. As for the length of your posts, at least you stay on one thing with your lengthy posts, the longer my posts get, the more I jump from stuff to stuff.

Tywin had a good amount of mercenaries in his both armies, I'd guess 2-3k at the very least judging from the bands with Tywin  and Jaime leaving only/mostly mercenaries in the camp; it is more sensible to take as many mercenaries with you as possible so you'll both get your moneys worth out of them and if you lose men they will not be the ones you're not paying (much). For the rest of Tywin's cavalry force, I'd say it is because the riches of Westerlands allowing them more household knights. The case of Tarbeck going from 20 to 500 is a very good example. I'd not be surprised if Tywin increased his number from 500 too, after his father died.

 

Can't quote this one as there are several people who said the same thing; Cavalry and heavy cavalry are not the same. Cavalry is any men that fights on horseback, even Tyrion's mountain clansmen. From what I've seen so far, heavy cavalry exclusively means armored lancers. In the North that is any men having a mount, a lance and some heavy armor like plate or mail, with or without a title of Ser. In the South, though, anyone who fill the criteria would have the "Ser" before their names, minus a few, very rare exceptions like the Hound. Being (equipped like) a knight is expensive, we are told of old squires simply because they don't choose to be a knight because of the expenses that come with it. If you can afford the cost of being a heavy lancer, might as well become a knight in name and not just the equipment.

Few examples of horse below:

A (partial) description of Renly's cavalry

Some more description on Renly's (now mostly Stannis') horse.

I have noticed this only now, Loras and co. only take a fifth of Renly's knights, not a fifth of Renly's horse. This would make Stannis to not have near twenty thousand, but near twenty thousand in horse alone, he still has his foot too (he originally had 3k men camped in Dragonstone).

I may use these in the military strengths later on.

You're overthinking it. Davos says later that Stannis has 20,000 men after four-fifths of Renly's knights join him; he started with 5,000 according to Renly, meaning he gained 15,000 men from Renly's 20,000 cavalry. 4/5 of 20,000 = 16,000, 16,000 + 5,000 = 21,0000, about what Davos said Stannis had. I doubt GRRM meant it to be any less straightforward than that, especially since he has characters use "knight" and "heavy cavalry" interchangeably all the time (the only exceptions I would say are people with encyclopedic knowledge and overly literal/blunt wording as a rule, like Stannis and Yandel).

Edited by Nihlus

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1 hour ago, Nihlus said:

You're overthinking it. Davos says later that Stannis has 20,000 men after four-fifths of Renly's knights join him; he started with 5,000 according to Renly, meaning he gained 15,000 men from Renly's 20,000 cavalry. 4/5 of 20,000 = 16,000, 16,000 + 5,000 = 21,0000, about what Davos said Stannis had. I doubt GRRM meant it to be any less straightforward than that, especially since he has characters use "knight" and "heavy cavalry" interchangeably all the time (the only exceptions I would say are people with encyclopedic knowledge and overly literal/blunt wording as a rule, like Stannis and Yandel).

Renly saying he has 5000 is an overestimation, he says it as much; "I'll call them five thousand anf be generous." He also says Stannis has fewer than 400 horse, freeriders with boiled leather, when in fact Stannis has at least a hundred knights(those who could read) from his bannermen alone, so a good portion of his horse would actually be armed and armored properly. Same Renly also says he has 100k in foot alone waiting near Bitterbridge when he has in fact near 60k ( I believe 100k is possible if all lords of Reach and Stormlands gather together but that is for another discussion). 

For some proper Stannis numbers; When Davos returns to Dragonstone in Cressen's POV, Stannis has 3k men camped below the castle, mercenaries included. This may or may not include the garrison of Dragonstone, which was historically 30 knights, 100 crossbowmen and 300 men-at-arms (from Princess and Queen). Even if Stannis had this many men as garrison and 3k count didn't include it, he has ~3400 men, unless you suggest he had more men join him once he set foot land near Storm's End.

Quotes above say Stannis has near 20000 horsemen marching, they are seperate from the fleet. They were expected to have made good time, so it's reasonable to assume foot from his 3k went with the fleet.

Catelyn's 10k lances is the only number we get on how many lancers, so I'll take it as it is, since Renly's host wasn't just knights. If Loras took a fifth of the knights then the calculation is; 10000/5= 20000 went with Loras. 20000-2000= 180000 remain from Renly's host 18000+400 =18400. Stannis has 18400 horse, near twenty thousand. Only knights(and maybe some light horse, though unmentioned) going with Loras makes sense; why would freeriders leave Stannis? With Renly gone they will need a new employer, who will also need their service.

If ywant to includ all the Stannis' forces then again, 18000(8000 knights and 10000 lighthorse and freeriders) + 3000(or 3430) = 21000 (21400).

 

Edited by Corvo the Crow

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6 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Renly saying he has 5000 is an overestimation, he says it as much; "I'll call them five thousand anf be generous." He also says Stannis has fewer than 400 horse, freeriders with boiled leather, when in fact Stannis has at least a hundred knights(those who could read) from his bannermen alone, so a good portion of his horse would actually be armed and armored properly. Same Renly also says he has 100k in foot alone waiting near Bitterbridge when he has in fact near 60k ( I believe 100k is possible if all lords of Reach and Stormlands gather together but that is for another discussion). For some proper Stannis numbers; When Davos returns to Dragonstone in Cressen's POV, Stannis has 3k men camped below the castle, mercenaries included. This may or may not include the garrison of Dragonstone, which was historically 30 knights, 100 crossbowmen and 300 men-at-arms (from Princess and Queen). Even if Stannis had this many men as garrison and 3k count didn't include it, he has ~3400 men, unless you suggest he had more men join him once he set foot land near Storm's End.

More men joining him later is what's implied, yes. Maybe he hired additional mercs, maybe a local Stormlord declared for him.

Quote

Quotes above say Stannis has near 20000 horsemen marching, they are seperate from the fleet. They were expected to have made good time, so it's reasonable to assume foot from his 3k went with the fleet.

Catelyn's 10k lances is the only number we get on how many lancers, so I'll take it as it is, since Renly's host wasn't just knights. If Loras took a fifth of the knights then the calculation is; 10000/5= 20000 went with Loras. 20000-2000= 180000 remain from Renly's host 18000+400 =18400. Stannis has 18400 horse, near twenty thousand. Only knights(and maybe some light horse, though unmentioned) going with Loras makes sense; why would freeriders leave Stannis? With Renly gone they will need a new employer, who will also need their service.

If ywant to includ all the Stannis' forces then again, 18000(8000 knights and 10000 lighthorse and freeriders) + 3000(or 3430) = 21000 (21400).

Since when did he have 3,000 men on the fleet?

I did miss the quote about him specifically having 20,000 cavalry though, on my initial reads of that book I always thought 20,000 men referred to the whole force. Nice find. Someone should edit the wiki pages (e.g. Battle of Blackwater, Siege of Storm's End) accordingly- "near 20,000 mounted soldiers" would mean that all but maybe a few hundred of Renly's cavalrymen joined Stannis, which would put Stannis's true forces at the Blackwater at 23,000-25,000 (depending on whether he had 3,000 or 5,000 men when besieging Storm's End).

It also makes Stannis's confidence in being able to easily crush the Lannisters after taking King's Landing (despite knowing Tywin is still in the field) even more justified. 20,000 men, all cavalry? Mostly heavy cavalry to boot?  On top of his ~5,000 foot? Tywin's own host (with, assuming it took zero losses since Green Fork, 12,000 foot and 7,000 horse) which would be the last Lannister host after Stafford and Tyrion lose their's, would be absolutely no match. 

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22 minutes ago, Nihlus said:

More men joining him later is what's implied, yes. Maybe he hired additional mercs, maybe a local Stormlord declared for him.

Since when did he have 3,000 men on the fleet?

Masseys did join him before the Blackwater (they must have, else why would they join him after it?), perhaps they joined him after he landed?

It's not mentioned anywhere as far as I know, but if he has even a single soldier on foot in his army then he can't march on cavalry speed, they will have to adjust to the pace of the foot soldier. If he is expected to move fast with his cavalry, then he must have sent his foot with the fleet. Is there any mention of men landing from the ships in the fleet? If there is, then it would be another implication of foot soldiers transported on foot.

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4 hours ago, Nihlus said:

Since when did he have 3,000 men on the fleet?

I did miss the quote about him specifically having 20,000 cavalry though, on my initial reads of that book I always thought 20,000 men referred to the whole force. Nice find. Someone should edit the wiki pages (e.g. Battle of Blackwater, Siege of Storm's End) accordingly- "near 20,000 mounted soldiers" would mean that all but maybe a few hundred of Renly's cavalrymen joined Stannis, which would put Stannis's true forces at the Blackwater at 23,000-25,000 (depending on whether he had 3,000 or 5,000 men when besieging Storm's End).

It also makes Stannis's confidence in being able to easily crush the Lannisters after taking King's Landing (despite knowing Tywin is still in the field) even more justified. 20,000 men, all cavalry? Mostly heavy cavalry to boot?  On top of his ~5,000 foot? Tywin's own host (with, assuming it took zero losses since Green Fork, 12,000 foot and 7,000 horse) which would be the last Lannister host after Stafford and Tyrion lose their's, would be absolutely no match. 

The most likely scenario is that Stannis has ~21,000 men total, and that Davos is wrong to say that Stannis has 20,000 cavalry waiting for the fleet. That either Martin forgot that a fifth of Renly's horse left with Loras when he wrote it, or it could also be that Davos is intentionally unreliable. He also inflated Stannis' numbers after the Blackwater. Stannis says he has 1,300 men on Dragonstone, and 300 at Storm's End. He never went to Storm's End and stripped it of most of the garrison, he went straight north. So when Davos thinks later that Stannis came north with "no more than 1,500" he is again inflating the figures.

Stannis has 3,000 men on Dragonstone at the start of ACOK, and Renly rounds up his numbers to 5,000 at Storm's End. Renly brought 20,000 horse, and after his death a fifth leave, which leaves Stannis with 5,000 + 16,000 = 21,000 men. Within two weeks Stannis rides for King's Landing while the fleet makes its way around with the landing party = Stannis' original host which was mainly (~4,600) infantry. 

So assuming that Stannis took all the cavalry for speed, he would have had closer to ~16,400 horse waiting on the south bank for the fleet and the rest of his host. Either Martin or Davos forgot that a fifth went with Loras.

 

One alternative is that after Stannis is joined by ~2,000 men near Storm's End, he gathers several thousand more cavalry while on a quick ride north to King's Landing. Seems highly unlikely.

Another alternative is that "a fifth of Renly's knights" is somehow taken to mean a fifth of the knightly class alone while the bulk of the cavalry would not be "knights". This is assuming those to be a few hundred. Again, seems highly unlikely. Tyrell, Rowen, Tarly and a few other lords would have more than a few hundred knights between them, and most of the non-knights would still be their own men, rather than sellswords who would happily jump ship.

3 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Masseys did join him before the Blackwater (they must have, else why would they join him after it?), perhaps they joined him after he landed?

It's not mentioned anywhere as far as I know, but if he has even a single soldier on foot in his army then he can't march on cavalry speed, they will have to adjust to the pace of the foot soldier. If he is expected to move fast with his cavalry, then he must have sent his foot with the fleet. Is there any mention of men landing from the ships in the fleet? If there is, then it would be another implication of foot soldiers transported on foot.

House Massey is never mentioned as having joined Stannis, a knight of House Massey was hie retainer. A leftover of Robert, Justin was likely made a part of Stannis' household around the same time as Horpe. There is a reason why Stannis trusts these two more than all of his lords of the Narrow Sea, or Stormlords and Reachlords who joined later. 

A far more interesting leftover was Cressen. A maester is sworn to the castle, not to be passed down to a younger brother of the same house. Considering that he was the maester of Storm's End during the rebellion, it was very likely to be a personal request to the Citadel to be relocated to Dragonstone when it was given to Stannis. Horpe likely entered service with Stannis after Cersei spoke against him taking a white cloak. Massey seeks a title from Stannis, claiming to be landless. Had he been his father's heir, he would have expected to reclaim his lands in the south once the war was won. As a younger son, or even a cousin or further of the main line, he would have had to look for employment to make his fortune. Being Robert's squire, it would be easy to imagine that he too was passed on to Stannis when he established his cadet branch on Dragonstone, rather than take place in Robert's household. 

And yes, during the Battle of the Blackwater Davos gives us Imry's battle plan: First two lines of 20 ships (40) are to engage Joffrey's fleet (~50).

The rest of the galleys (~20 of the 100s, and ~40 of the smaller Myrish galleys) would stick to the right (north bank) and land troops on the north bank, companies of archers and spearmen - these are in all likelyhood Stannis' original infnatry. We know that Celtigar was stranded on the north bank, and Tyrion faces Velaryon spearmen on the bridge of ships. These ships would then join the first two ranks in battle with the enemy fleet.

The rest of the smaller, slower ships (~70) were to stick to the left (south bank), take on men from the mounted host, and start ferrying them to the newly captured beach-head, now secured by the landing party.

Saan and his fleet (~24 Lyseni galleys, a few cogs to make for 30 ships he has on Dragonstone) would remain in the rear to guard against any potential enemy reinforcements. 

Of Stannis' ~4,600 infantry, it is not known how many were kept on Stannis' fleet for the battle, but likely the bulk were used for the landing units.

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6 hours ago, Nyrhex said:

The most likely scenario is that Stannis has ~21,000 men total, and that Davos is wrong to say that Stannis has 20,000 cavalry waiting for the fleet. That either Martin forgot that a fifth of Renly's horse left with Loras when he wrote it, or it could also be that Davos is intentionally unreliable. He also inflated Stannis' numbers after the Blackwater. Stannis says he has 1,300 men on Dragonstone, and 300 at Storm's End. He never went to Storm's End and stripped it of most of the garrison, he went straight north. So when Davos thinks later that Stannis came north with "no more than 1,500" he is again inflating the figures.

The most likely scenario there is that Stannis actually does have 1,500 or more men and increased his troop count slightly off-screen, maybe another one of his ships full of troops found its way to him. I say this for two reasons:

1. Davos was present when Stannis said he had only 1,300 men in ASOS, and as Hand of the King it's literally his job to be aware of things like this, so I don't buy he'd just randomly forget either.

2. Davos says Stannis brought 1,500 men to the Wall on two different occasions in ADWD. The 1,300 line was once in a ASOS. The former is more up to date information and is used more often... and if we're being completely honest, it's clear Martin thinks of Stannis having 1,500 men at the Wall now since the ASOS figure came 11 years before the ADWD figure. It's just not worth overcomplicating.

Quote

Stannis has 3,000 men on Dragonstone at the start of ACOK, and Renly rounds up his numbers to 5,000 at Storm's End. Renly brought 20,000 horse, and after his death a fifth leave, which leaves Stannis with 5,000 + 16,000 = 21,000 men. Within two weeks Stannis rides for King's Landing while the fleet makes its way around with the landing party = Stannis' original host which was mainly (~4,600) infantry. 

So assuming that Stannis took all the cavalry for speed, he would have had closer to ~16,400 horse waiting on the south bank for the fleet and the rest of his host. Either Martin or Davos forgot that a fifth went with Loras.

...

Another alternative is that "a fifth of Renly's knights" is somehow taken to mean a fifth of the knightly class alone while the bulk of the cavalry would not be "knights". This is assuming those to be a few hundred. Again, seems highly unlikely. Tyrell, Rowen, Tarly and a few other lords would have more than a few hundred knights between them, and most of the non-knights would still be their own men, rather than sellswords who would happily jump ship.

That actually seems really likely. Only a small fraction of the cavalry would be anointed knights, and the line is really quite specific about him having close to 20,000 horsemen. 

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19 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Well you can't be enjoying it more than me because on my side it involves reading bits and pieces again to find something that would convince you on Bolton numbers, the only thing I don't agree you with in your posts. But unfortunately it takes a good amount of time, something I don't have with the educational season coming. As for the length of your posts, at least you stay on one thing with your lengthy posts, the longer my posts get, the more I jump from stuff to stuff.

Just to get back to the Bolton numbers you refer to as a major issue, above. What is it that makes you sceptical of it? Various different sources of information seem to converge quite well on a Bolton presence in Robb's army of around 3000 men, with 700-800 of those being cavalry.

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