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redtree

How come the Reach had never conquered Stormland ?

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I'm talking pre-conquest era when both were still independent kingdom. It was mentioned in Dunk and Egg that Reach had assaulted Stormland multiple times. Assuming that the number of soldiers were the same as now, House Gardener had 100k+ men and 200 warships while House Durrandon only had 30-35k men and possibly much less even no warships. How come they had never won and merged Stormland into Reach dominion ? 

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The Stormlanders are the toughest breed in Westeros. 

But seriously, you have to consider that the Reach was vast and probably didn't have the stability required to get all soldiers to one place at once. The also had to guard the borders to three different kingdoms, discounting the Stormlands. And I think 100k is too much anyway, 60-80k are probably closer to the actual numbers of the Reach. 

And the fleet would have to sail around the whole of Dorne to reach the Stormlands (and they have to leave some ships on their west coast to be able to defend themselves against the Greyjoys), and the Stormlands are called that for a reason. It's not the best region to attack by sea.

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Lord Varys makes a very good point about the Reach being at their peak right now and that in the past, while powerful, were nowhere near as capable as they are in the series as the last few wars in Westeros have not been fought in their lands and their armies largely surviving them. 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, thelittledragonthatcould said:

Lord Varys makes a very good point about the Reach being at their peak right now and that in the past, while powerful, were nowhere near as capable as they are in the series as the last few wars in Westeros have not been fought in their lands and their armies largely surviving them. 

 

 

Also, the Targeryen rule favoured the central kingdoms more than any other, as they had the most to gain from the King's Peace. Being freed from a Dornish threat to the South, a Lannister threat to the West, a Riverlands threat to the North and a Stormlands threat to the East - with the ever present Ironborn threat from the ocean not forgotten - the Reach would now have been able to prosper for 300 years to a much greater extent than was previously possible.

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11 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Also, the Targeryen rule favoured the central kingdoms more than any other, as they had the most to gain from the King's Peace. Being freed from a Dornish threat to the South, a Lannister threat to the West, a Riverlands threat to the North and a Stormlands threat to the East - with the ever present Ironborn threat from the ocean not forgotten - the Reach would now have been able to prosper for 300 years to a much greater extent than was previously possible.

But by that logic, the Stormlords would have been much more hemmed in too. The Dornish were threatening them too. And they also had the Riverlords, Hoares, maybe the Vale men, and also pirates from overseas to deal with. So they're fighting prowess must really be impressive given how they're still around with all that to oppose them.

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6 minutes ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

But by that logic, the Stormlords would have been much more hemmed in too. The Dornish were threatening them too. And they also had the Riverlords, Hoares, maybe the Vale men, and also pirates from overseas to deal with. So they're fighting prowess must really be impressive given how they're still around with all that to oppose them.

The dornish had a much smaller border with the Stormlands than with the Reach. The Riverlords were most of the time in trouble themselves, the Valemen isolated by mountains and the sea and often occupied with the Mountain Clans and the North, and the pirates I assume were much less of a threat to the Stormlords than the Ironborn were to the lords on the other side of the continent. But I also think they had a strong warrior tradition that helped a lot, it's no coincidence that many of the best fighters in asoiaf are from the Stormlands despite of its overall small population.

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47 minutes ago, redtree said:

I'm talking pre-conquest era when both were still independent kingdom. It was mentioned in Dunk and Egg that Reach had assaulted Stormland multiple times. Assuming that the number of soldiers were the same as now, House Gardener had 100k+ men and 200 warships while House Durrandon only had 30-35k men and possibly much less even no warships. How come they had never won and merged Stormland into Reach dominion ? 

It's not binary: either you succeed at conquering an area on the board, and it switches color from red to blue, or you fail and it remains red. It is more of a "fuzzy logic" situation: you stab here and bite there, this field and that village changes hands, the border moves back and forth, the game goes on and on and on for centuries, and at one moment at the time it reaches the state where this area is called "the Reach", that area is called "the Stormlands", and one Aegon the Conqueror enters the game with his three dragons and manages to petrify that division for three hundred years.

Anyway, the Reach did fairly well in the conquering business, succeeding at annexing what today is called the Reach:

THE LARGEST AND most populous of the six southern kingdoms (the North, vast in expanse though thinly peopled, being a land apart) is commonly referred to as the Reach, but this name is somewhat of a misnomer. The domains of House Tyrell, the Lords of Highgarden, now largely correspond with those of the Kingdom of the Reach as it existed for thousands of years before Aegon’s Conquest, but that rich and fertile realm was, in fact, once comprised of four kingdoms:

Oldtown and its environs, bounded by the Red Mountains to the east and the headwaters of the Honeywine in the north.

The Arbor, the golden island beyond the Redwyne Strait, famed for wine and sunshine.

The western marches, from Horn Hill to Nightsong.

The Reach proper, a vast expanse of fields and farms, lakes and rivers, hills and woods and fragrant meadows, mills and mines, dotted with small villages, thriving market towns, and ancient castles, stretching from the Shield Islands in the Sunset Sea, up the mouth of the Mander, past Highgarden, to Red Lake, Goldengrove, and Bitterbridge, as far as Tumbleton and the Mander’s headwaters. This latter was the realm ruled by Gardeners of old...

In Real World <TM>, too, X would attack Y dozens of times, not necessarily ending in a total annexation of the weaker country's territory.

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First off the Reach even now doesn't have 100,000 men that's a common misconception because people believe that Renly had 100,000 men when he actually had more like 80,000. Even if you say that only 20,000 came from the Stormlands that gives the Reach 60,000 with Mace Tyrell having another 10,000 at Highgarden and with the Hightowers and Redwynes not being included in that estimate they could most likely reach 80,000. But you have to remember that pre-conquest the kingdoms were constantly at war and the largest army ever essembled was 55,000 at the field of fire. Also every region has its own strength and weaknesses and the strength of the Reach is its numerical superiority but the Stromlands have A). Smallfolk who are very hardened people and know how to fight since because the region is so small more of their people get exposed to Dornish and Reachmen raiding parties as opposed to in the Reach where only the people bordering Dorne have this problem and since the armies of Westeros are largely made up of smallfolk this is a real advantage and B). Unlike most other Kingdoms that have two or three strong castles, an example being the North with Winterfell and the Dreadfort or the Riverlands with Riverrun, Harrenhal and the Twins almost all of the castles of the Stromlands are unusually strong, Nightsong, Blackhaven, Stonehelm, Griffin's Roost, Bronzegate and Storm's End being the greatest means that to conquer those castles you have to sacrifice thousands during a storming of each castle at a time when your largest army is probably around 40,000 or lay siege to each castle which could take years before you even get to the main prize of Storm's End. You also have to remember it's a lot easier to defend your own lands than to conquer someone else's. All of their people know the terrain were at best your top commanders understand your foes terrain, finally with the Reach being so fertile and so rich, to take your full strength away will almost ensure an attack from the Ironborn and the Dornish, and could even tempt the Lannisters to strike and as we saw with Robb's war once your homeland is invaded your first duty is to go back and reclaim it. This explanation varies from region to region but essentially this is the reason why specifics region were able to be united behind a single family but then those region were unable to conquer other realms I hope this helps.         

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The Stormlands were bigger than today: don't forgot that the Crownlans were part of the territory under the lordship of the Storm Kings, giving to them more men to their armies.

Also, it is good to remember that the Reach was ever under the menace of the greedy eyes of the Kings of the Rock, that attacked them in the past, so the Gardeners never had enough strength to conquer the Stormlands; while also keeping an eye on the Dornish (that sacked several times Highgarden) without the defensive bonus of the Dornish Marches that the Stormlands have, and the danger put by raids of the Ironborn in the Mander, directly menacing Highgarden itself.

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The Reach has to many boarders to protect and to many previous enemy's to worry about, sure they may be able to defeat the Stormlands but let's be generous and say they lose half there fighting force they would still need men to lay siege to numerous castles and while they are in the Stormlands the Lannisters and Greyjoys or possibly even Riverlands are attacking the Reach.

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18 minutes ago, JonCon's Red Beard said:

Because for every Randyll Tarly, there are ten Barristans, three Baratheons Durrandons and eight Conningtons.

^_^

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Because conquering territory means nothing if you can't hold onto it. The Reach might have had the strength to temporarily conquer the Stormlands, but making sure the storm lords remained loyal while preventing other powers from taking advantage of such an over-extension of power would be almost impossible.

I can't help but draw a parallel with France in European history. There were several periods during which France was able to field vast armies outnumbering those of its neighbours and thus conquer large portions of their territory (or even... dominate Europe). But many of those conquests proved temporary, because its enemies would strike back, and because the conquered territories were reluctant to be integrated.

In a nutshell, it's a bit like playing Risk. Being the top dog is never enough to win.

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