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Lord Highland

Robert's Pyke army invading Pentos or Braavos

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So first of all, does anyone know how large the army that stormed Pyke was? It had the support of all the Kingdoms except the Iron Islands, and since the North managed to get there too, the rest must have had plenty of time to gather large armies. I think it must have been around 150000 just because it is said to have outnumbered the Iron Men 10 to 1, and I don't think the Iron Islands could have more than 15000.

Second, why didn't Robert ever try to invade any parts of Essos? A uniting war would have brought everyone together just like the Greyjoy Rebellion, and he loved war anyway. Plenty of riches to plunder for everyone else too... They could have attacked Braavos, or even easier Pentos, for example, with the pretext of hiding the Targaryens. I mean he even considered invading the Summer Isles, a much more difficult war, on a distant land, with less of an excuse.

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5 hours ago, Lord Highland said:

So first of all, does anyone know how large the army that stormed Pyke was? It had the support of all the Kingdoms except the Iron Islands, and since the North managed to get there too, the rest must have had plenty of time to gather large armies. I think it must have been around 150000 just because it is said to have outnumbered the Iron Men 10 to 1, and I don't think the Iron Islands could have more than 15000.

Second, why didn't Robert ever try to invade any parts of Essos? A uniting war would have brought everyone together just like the Greyjoy Rebellion, and he loved war anyway. Plenty of riches to plunder for everyone else too... They could have attacked Braavos, or even easier Pentos, for example, with the pretext of hiding the Targaryens. I mean he even considered invading the Summer Isles, a much more difficult war, on a distant land, with less of an excuse.

3 good reasons not to invade bravos

1) a faceless man will find you if you begin to plan such a thing amonst your nobles

2) if not a faceless man then theres the enormous wealth of the iron bank to worry about

3)bravos has serious defences and is a sleeping naval superpower due to their superior production facilities ....they could rule the whole seas in our setting if they were more martialy minded....prob as ex slaves the idea of empire building doesnt appeal though.

He attacked pyke as it rebelled ..many high lords and nobles  including robert himself would find attacking a militarly weak trading city like pentos for something as common as cash both distastfull and dishonourable

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Even if Robert could conquer Pentos, he couldn't hold it. Historically, Westeros hasn't even been able to add the Stepstones to the realm and hold onto them.

The people rallied behind him after Pyke because the Iron Islands were part of the Seven Kingdoms, and he put them back under the rule of the Seven Kingdoms. That's a victory. Just attacking somewhere, beating them, and leaving without having won anything isn't a victory people can get behind.

The Summer Isles, he had a king to put on the throne, which would have presumably gained Westeros a useful naval ally, and the story of restoring a rightful king to his throne always plays well with the singers, too. But even that wasn't enough to actually attack, or to do anything beyond idle talk—his advisors were unanimously against him doing any more than that, for good reason.

So, if he'd talked about invading Pentos, without any casus belli that justifies the cost, and with much higher negative repercussions in their relations with the other Free Cities, his advisors would have argued even more strongly against it.

Maybe if, say, Braavos decided to support the Tattered Prince, Robert could argue to jump on that bandwagon, make an alliance with Braavos and as many other Free Cities as possible, and then rush in and invade Pentos before anyone else gets there and hand it over to the Prince. That might be something people would rally behind. But "they've got a lot of silk we could steal" is not.

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4 hours ago, falcotron said:

Even if Robert could conquer Pentos, he couldn't hold it. Historically, Westeros hasn't even been able to add the Stepstones to the realm and hold onto them.

Yeah I didn't mean Robert could keep it, just attack it, with the casus belli being that they sheltered Viserys, and get him either killed in battle or captured. For most people joining in the battle this would matter less than all the looting they would expect.

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18 minutes ago, Lord Highland said:

Yeah I didn't mean Robert could keep it, just attack it, with the casus belli being that they sheltered Viserys, and get him either killed in battle or captured. For most people joining in the battle this would matter less than all the looting they would expect.

That would make a lot of knights happy, but most of the lords (and merchants) in the realm would be pretty unhappy that Robert just screwed up their relationship with almost every trading and diplomatic partner that Westeros has for no real benefit.

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We also have to consider that Robert was constantly self-aware of his status as a usurper.  Robert knows there are Targaryan sympathizers all over Westeros, including those hiding their allegiances (many Crownland and Reach houses) and those not (the Dornish, who openly seeth with anger).  Robert cannot simply gather his friends and go off kicking the shit out of cities on another continent, lest his own kingdom be in peril.  Look what happened to Robb Stark on a smaller scale.  You have to be wary of your enemies (easy) and friends (not).

If Robert were to put Jalabhar Xho on the throne in the Summer Isles, it would likely be no more than a 10-20k strong expedition, with Robert being forced to watch from the rear, and someone like Stannis or Ned as regent in King's Landing. 

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The only way Robert would start a war in Pentos or Braavos is if they kid napped his Ned. In which case he'd grab his war hammer and go into full Demon of the Trident mode all over Essos till they gave him back his Ned.

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On 9/20/2017 at 9:28 AM, Lord Highland said:

So first of all, does anyone know how large the army that stormed Pyke was? It had the support of all the Kingdoms except the Iron Islands, and since the North managed to get there too, the rest must have had plenty of time to gather large armies. I think it must have been around 150000 just because it is said to have outnumbered the Iron Men 10 to 1, and I don't think the Iron Islands could have more than 15000.

Second, why didn't Robert ever try to invade any parts of Essos? A uniting war would have brought everyone together just like the Greyjoy Rebellion, and he loved war anyway. Plenty of riches to plunder for everyone else too... They could have attacked Braavos, or even easier Pentos, for example, with the pretext of hiding the Targaryens. I mean he even considered invading the Summer Isles, a much more difficult war, on a distant land, with less of an excuse.

The IB had 10,000 men at the start of the second Greyjoy rebellion. They must have had more the first time around. 
For the rest, of course not. Invading over water is exceptionally difficult and always carries a huge loss of life. Bob wanted to drink and bang whores. War was not his thing  

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That number is way off. The largest army ever assembeled in westeros was the armies that fought aegon at the field of fire and two combined armies of the reach and lannister armies combined were 55,000. So the army at pyke wasn't that big. What you need to remember is the battle at pyke was a battle and that is one island so all the soldiers of the iron isles wouldn't be there so it would likely be 2,000 men that the iron men had at most. And remember that was the last battle of the war.

 

As for why he didn't invade pentos  if he invaded one free city at least two others would join and the others would likely have a trade embargo against westeros. The result would be rebellion in the seven kingdoms because merchants and the wealthy would have none of it. And they would have no chance of holding it.

He could have tried to go after the summer isles with that prince they had and thus gain territory but them going  that far in boats could very well end in disaster.  And unless he made it part of the seven kingdomes and thus rewarding lords who sent men and supplies it would not last. 

As for attacking bravvos I think the problem is they are so rich and the iron bank would not let them do it. The iron bank would wreck the seven kingdoms economy,back viserys with an army of mercs,and likely pay people to raid the seven kingdoms.  I also think that while the seven kingdoms may be able to wreck them on land they would likely get their as*'s kicked by the bravossi. There is a reason the free cities aren't attacked by the seven kindoms much. And messing with bravvos is just insane.

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It's a small island, i don't think you could even fit and feed an army of 15,000 on a campaign against it, much less 1050,000. The battle at Pyke was probably not even the largest land battle happening during that particular month, given that Stannis was subduing Great Wyk at around that time with his soldiers, and Great Wyk is several times the size of Pyke with a similar climate and more known settlements. I also doubt that the Ironborn had much left in the way of soldiers at this point given how much of a complete massacre Fair Isle was. Maybe a few thousand light infantrymen spread throughout the islands, plus local town and castle garrisons (for what few towns and castles they have; they seem rather rural living mostly in fishing villages) maybe adding another couple thousand.

The only indication of the numbers involved in the Battle of Pyke is this from Jorah:

Quote
"I saw you fight a time or two. At Lannisport where you near unhorsed the Kingslayer. And on Pyke, there as well. You do not recall, Lord Mormont?"
 
Ser Jorah frowned. "Your face seems familiar, but there were hundreds at Lannisport and thousands on Pyke. And I am no lord. Bear Island was taken from me. I am but a knight."

So, probably not tens of thousands and definitely not hundreds of thousands. 

Edited by Nihlus

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The Greyjoy Rebellion aside, I am sure that a combined Westerosi military campaign could conquer any of the Free Cities, even Braavos. If the Free Cities banded together it might be a different scenario, but even the much vaunted Braavos could not stand against the might of a united Westeros on its own.

As for the wealth of the Iron Bank. I always wonder. How many tons of gold would it translate to, if all their assets were converted to gold? And how does that compare to the tons of gold inside Casterly Rock and the rest of the Westerlands?

In any case, that question aside, Braavos cannot stand up to the numbers and resources of a combined Westeros. 400k troops. As many ships as Robert chooses to build. They need not be limited to the 200 Redwynne ships and the Iron Fleet. Manderly built 50 ships in a year, on his own and in secret. I am sure if he had all the North supporting him, under the command of Eddard Stark, he could have built 5 times that number.

And that's just the North.

What could the Vale, West, Reach and all the other kingdoms do, if unified in a common purpose?

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9 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

The Greyjoy Rebellion aside, I am sure that a combined Westerosi military campaign could conquer any of the Free Cities, even Braavos. If the Free Cities banded together it might be a different scenario, but even the much vaunted Braavos could not stand against the might of a united Westeros on its own.

As for the wealth of the Iron Bank. I always wonder. How many tons of gold would it translate to, if all their assets were converted to gold? And how does that compare to the tons of gold inside Casterly Rock and the rest of the Westerlands?

In any case, that question aside, Braavos cannot stand up to the numbers and resources of a combined Westeros. 400k troops. As many ships as Robert chooses to build. They need not be limited to the 200 Redwynne ships and the Iron Fleet. Manderly built 50 ships in a year, on his own and in secret. I am sure if he had all the North supporting him, under the command of Eddard Stark, he could have built 5 times that number.

And that's just the North.

What could the Vale, West, Reach and all the other kingdoms do, if unified in a common purpose?

Bravos shipbuilding means it should already rule the seas...just another oversight from grmm (not imp to main story )

Hard to say how much wealth it translates to but we know its connections mean no one messes with it esp as bravos is the main operation and training base of the facelessmen.

All this means if it came to it the facelessmen and iron bank alone would kill in the crib any planning to attack bravos direct ,its fleetbuilding and defences(bottleneck any invasion fleet) mean its be a tough nut if not impossible to crack.

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1 hour ago, hodorisfaclessman said:

Bravos shipbuilding means it should already rule the seas...just another oversight from grmm (not imp to main story )

Hard to say how much wealth it translates to but we know its connections mean no one messes with it esp as bravos is the main operation and training base of the facelessmen.

All this means if it came to it the facelessmen and iron bank alone would kill in the crib any planning to attack bravos direct ,its fleetbuilding and defences(bottleneck any invasion fleet) mean its be a tough nut if not impossible to crack.

If you bring Faceless men into it you might as well bring in wargs and greenseers to counter them. So a greenseer could spy out the Faceless Men and neutralize them at their origin.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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5 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

If you bring Faceless men into it you might as well bring in wargs and greenseers to counter them. So a greenseer could spy out the Faceless Men and neutralize them at their origin.

Wargs and greenseers arent an asset 99.99% of westeros even knows ot has met alone can use

By contrast if an invasion of bravos is planned then the fm will hear and act..they cant sit back and let their main training and operations base be possibly destroyed

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Seaborn invasions are notoriously risky without predictable weather or accurate weather forecasts.  It is also incredibly difficult to transport large numbers of forces across even a short stretch of water let alone a large stretch of water that requires several weeks at sea (See the failure of the Spanish Armada or the abandonment of Operation Sealion).  Once a large army is transported the problem of logistics and supply becomes a major issue (See the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown once his supply / escape route was cut).  It's a huge gamble and what would be the point of it?  Robert has no claim to anything in Essos and has the whole of the Seven Kingdoms to get to grips with (or ignore).

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14 minutes ago, the trees have eyes said:

Seaborn invasions are notoriously risky without predictable weather or accurate weather forecasts.  It is also incredibly difficult to transport large numbers of forces across even a short stretch of water let alone a large stretch of water that requires several weeks at sea (See the failure of the Spanish Armada or the abandonment of Operation Sealion).  Once a large army is transported the problem of logistics and supply becomes a major issue (See the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown once his supply / escape route was cut).  It's a huge gamble and what would be the point of it?  Robert has no claim to anything in Essos and has the whole of the Seven Kingdoms to get to grips with (or ignore).

All of this.   Especially think of the supply / escape route as mentioned in the quote.    When Robert invaded Pyke, the last redoubt of the Ironborn, the naval campaign had already been won. If the invasion turned into a prolonged siege or even island-hopping to root out dug-in defenders (a-la WWII Pacific theatre), then all the resources of the Riverlands and Reach were just a short sail away.

Attacking any part of Essos across the Narrow Sea would be much different, as there would be serious naval powers such as Braavos to contend with, not to mention the many pirate fleets with bases a long the Stepstones.  Resupply and escape would by no means be guaranteed.  Maybe if they put together a fast moving strike force and raided one of the cities, by surprise, they would succeed in kidnapping or killing someone specific, and making off with some loot or burning some heathen temples or something, but they'd have to get out quick.  Imho.

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