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    Military, history, military history, politics etc.

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Aldarion's Achievements

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  1. Well, the scenario is impossible to begin with. But even if it somehow succeeds, I do not think people would accept Rhaego, so...
  2. I doubt it. If we look at historical examples of such reforms - which were extremely opposed by the nobility - these included: 1) removing tax privileges of higher classes (in some cases, magnates had to pay no taxes at all, or even profited from state taxation) 2) legal protection of peasants from abuse by their lords 3) increased legal status of cities (a measure, I might add, that was intended specifically to weaken nobility) 4) increased power of central government in terms of administration and military might (a measure which required overall increase in taxation - leading back to point 1) Direct wealth transfers are a very modern concept (closest things we had was using taxation to finance what was basically social state), and having that in a pseudo-medieval setting would be completely out of place. So I certainly hope that wasn't part of the concept.
  3. Because real life heraldry was, in medieval times, actually very simple. https://mythicscribes.com/miscellaneous/basics-of-heraldry/ Heraldry originally (as in, in the time when books are basically copying) served as a principal way of battlefield identification. This meant that heraldic insignia had to be unique but also relatively simple, so as to be identifiable from distance. It only became as complex as you describe later on, when it stopped being used for identification and was mostly used for glamour and prestige.
  4. Because the entire thing reads like a carricature. Unlike his characters, Martin's worldbuilding was never very realistic. But Westeros you can at least pretend that it makes sense. Essos? No way in hell. The entire thing, especially the Slaver's Bay, is worse than modernist art. Slaver Bay's societies are completely unsustainable, and exist entirely to be Daenerys' punching bag. And this is true from the storytelling perspective. Again, Essos is there simply to be Daenerys' punching bag before she lands in Westeros out of literal nowhere. Main story always was in Westeros; the only thing of interest in Essos is Daenerys herself (and I for one didn't find her very interesting until Barristan arrived). Essos has less relevance than Walder Frey's pinky finger. It is an afterthought, and it shows.
  5. It was bureaucracy, yes. But look at how the Roman Empire adapted to Arab invasions: because the Empire had lost Egypt, Africa and Syria, it was unable to finance the army at just the time when it needed more troops than it had. So what the Emperor (there is a discussion whether it was Heraclius or, more likely, Constans II) did was that he reduced the soldiers' wages to a level well below the minimum living wage, and - to compensate for the loss of pay - assigned soldiers lots of land from the Imperial lands. The bureocracy made that possible, but the theme system provided the Empire with both a very large and professional army that could be raised relatively cheaply, as well as significant structural strength. Professional army does not need to be a standing army, by the way. And when I discussed things with Brett, he himself said that he hadn't really studied the Byzantine Empire, though he is at least somewhat familiar with the theme system, as his discussion on organization of Gondor shows.
  6. And even that depends on the context. For purely defensive operations, some sort of semi-professional army (essentially a National Guard equivalent - look at Byzantine themata) was actually superior to a fully professional army, because you have people literally defending their homes, fighting in the terrain they know well. Main disadvantage of feudal military system was not so much the lack of trained soldiers, but the lack of political capacity of the state to fully mobilize the available resources. Generally speaking, the only way to mobilize the entire military potential of the state was to have a large-scale civil war...
  7. First, you are not talking about tactics here, you are talking about combat techniques. Second, it does not work that way. Sure, it may work that way in an RPG... but in reality, everybody will use whatever works within their cultural context. And Westeros has less cultural variation than medieval Europe, so it makes sense that they will all fight in a similar way. Third, related to the above, your suggestions simply would not work. "The Starks generally use greatswords and would probably use honourable tactics and great sweeping motions with their blades, making clear their intentions in a fight and not misleading the opponent." Look at me! I'm a complete dumbass who will telegraph his attacks in advance and refuse to use weapons that actually work against armor worn by my opponents. Yes, Starks may be honorable, but they are not stupid. In a fight, they will use what works. "The Boltons would specialise in blazing speed, utilising razor sharp knives in battle wielded with both hands to slash at an alarming rate. They would trick opponents, exploit openings, inflict bleed damage in conjuction with acrobatics and light armour types like chain mail and leather. " Yes, I'm a cunning, treacherous asshole... yet I will attack my opponents in a way that will allow them to gut me in one move. Knife against sword simply does not work. Swordsman will win 100% of the time unless both combatants are clad in full plate armor, and even in that case swordsman still has an advantage. But an opponent using knives and clad in light armor is called "chopping practice". Idiot like that wouldn't even warrant a worried frown. Also, chainmail is not light. It is much heavier than plate armor. "Heirs of House Lannister could use a battlecry that mimics the roar of the Lion - their sigil - to double attack power, speed and ferocity but at the cost of stamina". So you are thinking RPG? Martin is writing a novel series, not an RPG... but yes, your ideas would work for a game. Again, not in a novel, not in reality, only in a roleplaying game. "Tyrells use horses in Battle and lances to make up for their slight builds and practice against three men in order to bring their skills up to the level of the other great houses. " This is about the only thing that makes some sense... "Greyjoys are thought to be great archers and also use impenetrable iron armor with helmets shaped like krakens to inflict fear against opponents. They never back down from a fight and have massive defense, endurance and are fast learners when it comes to improvising in a fight. Their massive plethora of weapons is axes, swords and spears but they prefer axes which most are very deadly with. " Impenetrable iron armor... impenetrable iron armor... yeah, that doesn't work. By 15th century, Europeans had spring steel, why would you use iron for armor? And unless Boltons are somehow descendant from Cthulhu, they will not have far more massive defense and endurance than other Westerosi. The only thing that makes sense is preference for axes, because, Vikings. "House Martell use throwing spears but also regular spears that they coat in poison (Oberyn Martell - aCoK) which is thickened basilisk venom for a quick or slow death depending on the quantity used. They use a darting motion like the snakes of Dorne with spear jabs and they use metal shields that while heavier than oak sheilds can be used to reflect the sun at opponebts in a fight. They are also proficient swordsmen but are quite rash. Their blades include longswords and scimitars. " I am not aware of basilisks in Westeros, and also, reflecting sun at opponents is not a generally very useful technique. "Baratheons use massive weapons like Hammers with deadly effect in conjuction with exquisite green amd gold stag shaped armor. They have huge attack, strength, stamina and endurance and can increase these attributes in allys with a battle cry. Excellent leadership and lightning fast reflexes make a fully armoured baratheon truly a nightmare made real. " Again, works for an RPG... So I am confused here. Are you asking about combat techniques in Westeros, or are you writing down notes for a role-playing game? Again this myth? That is not what we see at all. As for parchment and ravens, that has nothing to do with how soldiers are recruited.
  8. I really like the indie artists, as they tend to be even better than traditional ones... anyway, this is one of my favorites:
  9. Where the hell is he going to get 30 000 to 100 000 men? Should be impossible, unless he recruits zombie mermaids. Again, where is she going to get such forces, and how is she going to transport them to Westeros? Half a million Dothraki screamers is likely more than the entire population of Dothraki - even Mongols could not get that many troops overall, let alone in one place. And hundreds of thousands of former slave soldiers - again, from where? And even if she does get such numbers, she wouldn't be able to use them all in Westeros.
  10. Most of them? None of the kingdoms are really that depleted: North is the worst off out of all of them (barring perhaps Stormlands), as for the Reach, there is no logical way in which the Ironborn should be able to occupy most of the kingdom: they might be able to take some towns on the shores, but even whatever forces remain in the Reach should be enough to stop them in any sort of land-based advance. Stormlanders switched sides at King's Landing and are liable to do it again, so their forces should be reasonably intact, Dorne hadn't been to war yet, Vale had also remained out of the war and even if they ride North they shouldn't take much losses. And we see that even North, depleted as it is, still has significant forces available. In fact, kingdoms least likely to be capable of beating Daenerys are likely the Westerlands and the Riverlands: Westerlands should logically be spent from trying to maintain hegemony over Westeros, while Riverlands had been subjected to extensive devastation and... well, it is Riverlands. Expecting these guys to do anything properly is likely a tall order. Crownlands had also likely been spent, and Ironborn are almost useless in land-based fight. As for Daenerys' forces, Unsullied, Dothraki and Meereeneese fighters should be basically useless in Westeros. The only way they would win is by massive numerical superiority and/or the sellswords providing the advantage. But Daenerys' forces are hugely heterogenous, which is as likely to be a disadvantage as it is to be an advantage. However, question is more of the strategic situation, and which kingdoms would actually want to do it.
  11. Actually, they could be. The reason why most soldiers were not from the city is that professional soldiers in the Middle Ages had to live off the land... which generally meant rural areas. Also, some 80% to 90% of people lived in the countryside. But cities fielded militias which were very well drilled, and would (and did) send soldiers when king requested them. In fact, you have outright contracts which state "this city will give X soldiers in time of need". To use Croatia as an example, in 1224. king Andrew II. required the city of Klokoč in Gorice Duchy to send Royal Army 15 armored knights (loricatos) and 200 infantrymen (pedites). Later, around 1440s, city of Šibenik had 87 soldiers, of which 64 crossbowmen and 3 pikemen. That being said... Arming and training a tenth of population is pretty much impossible for a medieval society, even a city. If you look at my Šibenik example, 87 soldiers would have been between 1% and 5% of total population, considering the likely size of the city.
  12. What Martin is doing is what Tolkien was doing with his whole Legendarium. And, arguably, Tolkien's approach was better in some aspects: he did finish the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings... but he never did finish the Silmarillion, or the oh-so-aptly-named Unfinished Tales. In fact, Christopher didn't finish sorting through his fathers unpublished work by the time of his own death. One major difference I had noticed between the two is the nature of the world. For all his descriptions, Martin's worldbuilding is largely a backdrop for the action. Characters are the focus, and the story itself revolves around them. For Tolkien, world itself is a character. This likely stems from what they were trying to do: Martin's books read more like history, while Tolkien's books are mythology (hence the "poetic, sublime nature" of Tolkien's writing you had noted).
  13. There is no "reverse Crusade". Crusades themselves were a response to Muslim Jihad which had conquered most of the Eastern Roman Empire, and if anything is reverse of the other, then Jihad was a reverse Crusade. But yes, I do think that Daenerys' invasion will have religious overtones as well. The Seven are based on Christianity while R'h'llor is basically Zoroastrianism. And these two have a history of fighting: in fact, part of the reason why Islam managed to take off was that Rome and Persia got into a spat which evolved into religious war on both sides. So the R'h'llor will be opposed to the Seven, and since Daenerys is bringing the Reds with her, she will not be popular.
  14. Fundamentally, it is that the story is too wide. Rather, there are too many stories, too many characters, and all of them intertwined. In the end, I think Martin may come to understand why Tolkien didn't care about Aragorn's tax policy: not everything needs to be in the story. Oftentimes, ASoIaF feels to me like a slog as LotR never did, and I suspect it is because Martin went too wide. Also, descriptions of food.
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