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Stallion That Mounts Texas

Greatest battle commanders at the start of ASoIaF

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Not too much to go except for the obvious.  But, there were two wars in Robert's Rebellion and the Greyjoy Uprising.

1. Tywin Lannister (not much of a question here)

2. Ned Stark - judging from what we know of Rob and his finishing the rebellion after Robert was injured by Rhaegar on the Trident

3. Randyll Tarly - Dealt Robert his only true defeat during the war, and should have been on the Trident with Rhaegar

4. Robert Baratheon - won three battles in a day and inspirational icon

5. Stannis Baratheon - Held Storm's End and smashed the Iron Fleet of Fair Isle

6. Brendon Tully

7. Hoster Tully

8. Yohn Royce

9. Jaime Lannister

10. Victarian Greyjoy

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2 hours ago, Stallion That Mounts Texas said:

Not too much to go except for the obvious.  But, there were two wars in Robert's Rebellion and the Greyjoy Uprising.

1. Tywin Lannister (not much of a question here)

2. Ned Stark - judging from what we know of Rob and his finishing the rebellion after Robert was injured by Rhaegar on the Trident

3. Randyll Tarly - Dealt Robert his only true defeat during the war, and should have been on the Trident with Rhaegar

4. Robert Baratheon - won three battles in a day and inspirational icon

5. Stannis Baratheon - Held Storm's End and smashed the Iron Fleet of Fair Isle

6. Brendon Tully

7. Hoster Tully

8. Yohn Royce

9. Jaime Lannister

10. Victarian Greyjoy

I wouldn't put Tywin Lannister at the top of this list. Brynden Tully should be on the top of the list, given what he accomplished despite being outnumbered throughout the war. Tywin always has the advantage of numbers and he's still fooled by Robb Stark and defeated by Edmure Tully at different points. Ned, Robert, and Brynden should all be better than Tywin, frankly.

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While I think the world of Tywin's skill I actually don't think he's a particularly great general. His win record doesn't come from being a star class general but by using his political skill to make sure the battle is already won before he sets out and some added ruthlessness to ensure his victory gets burned into people's minds.

I'd say he's still a very good commander but nowhere near the top.

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12 hours ago, Daemon of the Blacks said:

While I think the world of Tywin's skill I actually don't think he's a particularly great general. His win record doesn't come from being a star class general but by using his political skill to make sure the battle is already won before he sets out and some added ruthlessness to ensure his victory gets burned into people's minds.

I'd say he's still a very good commander but nowhere near the top.

I'd put Robert at the top, Tywin's record puts him in the top 3. 

Successful commanders pick when they fight and know when to retreat rather than over commit. 

 

14 hours ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

I wouldn't put Tywin Lannister at the top of this list. Brynden Tully should be on the top of the list, given what he accomplished despite being outnumbered throughout the war.

Which battles are you referring to? 

Brynden enters the war when its two kingdoms versus one, being outnumbered is not his problem.

Quote

Tywin always has the advantage of numbers

That's not true. For most of the war the Crown's enemies heavily outnumbered them. 

But overall the series reflects the reality of the series, commanders with the larger force or superior units won battles.

Quote

and he's still fooled by Robb Stark and defeated by Edmure Tully at different points.

Edmure stops Tywin from crossing the Fords. In the grand scheme of the war it was an inconvenience. 

Quote

Ned, Robert, and Brynden should all be better than Tywin, frankly.

Robert certainly. 

Ned, not better but possibly a similar level. 

Tully not so much. He's older than Tywin with a far less impressive record as a commander. Superior knight no question, but not commander. 

Edited by Bernie Mac

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17 hours ago, Stallion That Mounts Texas said:

Not too much to go except for the obvious.  But, there were two wars in Robert's Rebellion and the Greyjoy Uprising.

1. Tywin Lannister (not much of a question here)

2. Ned Stark - judging from what we know of Rob and his finishing the rebellion after Robert was injured by Rhaegar on the Trident

3. Randyll Tarly - Dealt Robert his only true defeat during the war, and should have been on the Trident with Rhaegar

4. Robert Baratheon - won three battles in a day and inspirational icon

5. Stannis Baratheon - Held Storm's End and smashed the Iron Fleet of Fair Isle

6. Brendon Tully

7. Hoster Tully

8. Yohn Royce

9. Jaime Lannister

10. Victarian Greyjoy

At the start of the first book:

1. Robert Baratheon

2. Tywin Lannister/Eddard Stark

3. Khal Drogo

4. Randyll Tarly

5. Stannis Baratheon

6. Yohn Royce

7. Hoster Tully

8. Brynden Tully/Kevan Lannister

10.  Paxter Redwyne

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At the start of A Game of Thrones:

  1. Khal Drogo
  2. Robert Baratheon
  3. Randyll Tarly

At the end of A Dance with Dragons:

  1. Barristan Selmy
  2. Randyll Tarly
  3. Daenerys Targaryen

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4 hours ago, 867-5309 said:

At the start of A Game of Thrones:

  1. Khal Drogo
  2. Robert Baratheon
  3. Randyll Tarly

At the end of A Dance with Dragons:

  1. Barristan Selmy
  2. Randyll Tarly
  3. Daenerys Targaryen

I refuse to believe that Stannis Baratheon isn’t one of the best military commanders left at the end of the fifth book.

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1- Robert Baratheon

2- Randyll Tarly

3- Robb Stark

4- Stannis Baratheon 

5- Brynden Tully 

6- Eddard Stark

7- Khal Drogo

8- Barristan Selmy

9- Tywin Lannister

10- Yohn Royce

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1- Robert Baratheon. Indeed. Best general of the last war.

2- Randyll Tarly. The man who beat the best general.

3- Robb Stark. I'm not sure. The merit was his or of Blackfish? Also at the beginning of ASOIAF his is still not a general.

4- Stannis Baratheon. Best naval commander. And good at land too.

5- Brynden Tully. Read Robb Stark.

6- Eddard Stark. Nop. Ending the war after the Trident wasn't a victory. It was just moping up. RObert said Eddard won the battle of the Bells, but not sure about this.

7- Khal Drogo. He just won a battle. Also Dothraki battles are simply affairs, AFAIF. Little tactic or manuevers. Remember Dothrakis bells represents duels, combats or simply killling.

8- Barristan Selmy. A warrior, not a general.

9- Tywin Lannister. Tywin was a notable general. Remember his Tarbeck/Reyne campaign.

10- Yohn Royce. Not really. Lack of curriculum.

 

 

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23 hours ago, 867-5309 said:

At the start of A Game of Thrones:

  1. Khal Drogo
  2. Robert Baratheon
  3. Randyll Tarly

At the end of A Dance with Dragons:

  1. Barristan Selmy
  2. Randyll Tarly
  3. Daenerys Targaryen

Dany???? 

 

18 hours ago, James Steller said:

I refuse to believe that Stannis Baratheon isn’t one of the best military commanders left at the end of the fifth book.

The thread is about at the beginning of the series but I agree since someone brought it up.

1 hour ago, the Last Teague said:

1- Robert Baratheon. Indeed. Best general of the last war.

2- Randyll Tarly. The man who beat the best general.

3- Robb Stark. I'm not sure. The merit was his or of Blackfish? Also at the beginning of ASOIAF his is still not a general.

4- Stannis Baratheon. Best naval commander. And good at land too.

5- Brynden Tully. Read Robb Stark.

6- Eddard Stark. Nop. Ending the war after the Trident wasn't a victory. It was just moping up. RObert said Eddard won the battle of the Bells, but not sure about this.

7- Khal Drogo. He just won a battle. Also Dothraki battles are simply affairs, AFAIF. Little tactic or manuevers. Remember Dothrakis bells represents duels, combats or simply killling.

8- Barristan Selmy. A warrior, not a general.

9- Tywin Lannister. Tywin was a notable general. Remember his Tarbeck/Reyne campaign.

10- Yohn Royce. Not really. Lack of curriculum.

 

 

At the beginning of the series Robb still had not used a real sword :).

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10 minutes ago, the Last Teague said:

That's why passing from untested boy to military genius was dificult to swallow, in my opinion.

He must have been first in his class in the Luwin-Cassel school of war.

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If we are going by who is shown winning the most impressive victories by a use of tactical/strategic skill then the answer must be Robb Stark. Although other commanders, such as Robert and Ned are said to have won battles we really don't know anything about how their skill played into the victories. They could have won them while not really being particularly skilled.

It is hinted that Stannis won at Fair Isle because of laying a clever trap, although he was fighting Victarion, who is not terribly cunning. However, if he pulls off what many expect him to pull off in tWoW outside Winterfell then I think he will also have to rank as someone is shown winning impressive victories by use of tactical/strategic skills. 

As for Tywin Lannister, he is not shown winning impressive victories but he is shown to be possessed of strong tactical/strategic skills, and other characters who are good judges of such matters, such as the Blackfish, agree that he is a skilled general. His performance in tWoTFK was unimpressive because he was facing multiple opponents on different fronts. His plans to deal with them were generally sound but were impossible to pull off without a lot of luck, because of the size of the forces opposing him. 

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Robb Stark only won night attacks and ambushes. Sometimes I wonder how he would have fared at pitched battles.

Stannis won at Castle Black against an army ten times bigger than his, at 1.000 km from home. That's more impressive than a thousand Oxcross, in my opinion.

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Robb was the one behind his plans, he was the one with the idea of spliting his army in two, freeing Riverrun from the Lannisters and stoping Tywin to join Jaime, he came with this plan before he even meet Blackfish.

Robb drew a map across the table, a ragged piece of old leather covered with lines of faded paint. One end curled up from being rolled; he weighed it down with his dagger. “Both plans have virtues, but . . . look, if we try to swing around Lord Tywin’s host, we take the risk of being caught between him and the Kingslayer, and if we attack him . . . by all reports, he has more men than I do, and a lot more armored horse. The Greatjon says that won’t matter if we catch him with his breeches down, but it seems to me that a man who has fought as many battles as Tywin Lannister won’t be so easily surprised.”

“I’d leave a small force here to hold Moat Cailin, archers mostly, and march the rest down the causeway,” he said, “but once we’re below the Neck, I’d split our host in two. The foot can continue down the kingsroad, while our horsemen cross the Green Fork at the Twins.” He pointed. “When Lord Tywin gets word that we’ve come south, he’ll march north to engage our main host, leaving our riders free to hurry down the west bank to Riverrun.” Robb sat back, not quite daring to smile, but pleased with himself and hungry for her praise.

Catelyn frowned down at the map. “You’d put a river between the two parts of your army.”

“And between Jaime and Lord Tywin,” he said eagerly. The smile came at last. “There’s no crossing on the Green Fork above the ruby ford, where Robert won his crown. Not until the Twins, all the way up here, and Lord Frey controls that bridge. He’s your father’s bannerman, isn’t that so?”

It was also Robb that set the place where Jaime would be ambushed, Blackfish gave him the tip about Jaime being impatiente, but again is Robb who's make the call.

“He is no man for sitting in a tent while his carpenters build siege towers,” Ser Brynden had promised. “He has ridden out with his knights thrice already, to chase down raiders or storm a stubborn holdfast.”

Nodding, Robb had studied the map her uncle had drawn him. Ned had taught him to read maps. “Raid him here,” he said, pointing. “A few hundred men, no more. Tully banners. When he comes after you, we will be waiting”—his finger moved an inch to the left—“here.

Later on Robb alone came with the plan to take MC, it was never put in pratice because of the Red Wedding, but it was a sound plan, and I belive that it would worked.

 

Tywin is not impressive as a military commander.

In the War of the ninepenny kings, it was Roger Reyne who lead the Lannisters in the war.

against the Reynes it was more about ruthless. He marched against the tarbecks before their rally their support, and against the Reynes he outnumbered them 3 to 1 and the Reynes were tired after a forced march. Sound victory, true, but not a impressive one.

At the green field he faced Roose's host, after the northem had marched all night, were outnumbered and without cavalry. His plan failed, as Roose was not fooled by his "trap" and Bolton manage to fall back in good order.

Tywin was fooled once again when Robb drawed him west away from KL, and only made it back because he once again failed to beat Edmure having twice his numbers. Not a impressive record.

Yohn Royce is only in the list because I couldn't find anyone for the spot... Theon taking Winterfell with 30 dudes seems very impressive but a lot of people would be against putting him in the top 10.

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1 hour ago, Arthur Peres said:

Robb was the one behind his plans, he was the one with the idea of spliting his army in two, freeing Riverrun from the Lannisters and stoping Tywin to join Jaime, he came with this plan before he even meet Blackfish.

(...)

Later on Robb alone came with the plan to take MC, it was never put in pratice because of the Red Wedding, but it was a sound plan, and I belive that it would worked.

 

Tywin is not impressive as a military commander.

In the War of the ninepenny kings, it was Roger Reyne who lead the Lannisters in the war.

against the Reynes it was more about ruthless. He marched against the tarbecks before their rally their support, and against the Reynes he outnumbered them 3 to 1 and the Reynes were tired after a forced march. Sound victory, true, but not a impressive one.

At the green field he faced Roose's host, after the northem had marched all night, were outnumbered and without cavalry. His plan failed, as Roose was not fooled by his "trap" and Bolton manage to fall back in good order.

Tywin was fooled once again when Robb drawed him west away from KL, and only made it back because he once again failed to beat Edmure having twice his numbers. Not a impressive record.

I admit Rob has a sound strategic mind. But is the Blackfish who commands the explorers giving information and position the troops to acomplish the orders. So is 50/50 about the merit.

About Tywin, I admit he is a war criminal, but you are not fair with him:

- During the Ninepenny Kings war he wasn't designated commander. And he fought bravely.

Against the Reynes/Tarbecks he used fast maneuvers, local superiority and careful previous planning.  If the R/T grow confidant after bullying lord Tytos for years, that was their problems. 

If an enemy tries a forced march and fails, it's logical to use the oportunity and attack them then. Waiting for them to rest is foolish.

At the Green Fork he wasn't spectacular, but won the day. If your enemy lacks cavalry, is their problem.

About Robb's "master" plan... We have no proof Tywin was going to the Westerlands. he never said that, AFAIK. If we was trying to catch Robb... Why would he try to cross the rivers in front of the heavy-defended Riverrrun? That's leaving your rearguard exposed, if you manage to cross. Personaly I think he was trying to besiege Riverrun, starting by surrounding it. By cuting Robb's retreat, he was expecting to summon the Young Wolf. 

I don't get why attacking fatigued people is something low and killing them on their sleep (like in Oxcross) is cunning.

People gives all the merit of Blackwater to Tyrion, but without Tywin forced march and flank attack the city would had felt that day. 

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Never said Tywin was bad, but his is not impressive very far from that. He won battles that he should have won. If Roose had beat him it would be impressive, Tywin was the favorite to win against a outnumbered, tired and lower quality army that had no cavalry.

20 minutes ago, the Last Teague said:

About Robb's "master" plan... We have no proof Tywin was going to the Westerlands. he never said that, AFAIK. If we was trying to catch Robb... Why would he try to cross the rivers in front of the heavy-defended Riverrrun? That's leaving your rearguard exposed, if you manage to cross. Personaly I think he was trying to besiege Riverrun, starting by surrounding it. By cuting Robb's retreat, he was expecting to summon the Young Wolf. 

he was trying to cross the Trident and Edmure stopped him. 

“We were all horsed,” Ser Brynden said. “The Lannister host was mainly foot. We planned to run Lord Tywin a merry chase up and down the coast, then slip behind him to take up a strong defensive position athwart the gold road, at a place my scouts had found where the ground would have been greatly in our favor. If he had come at us there, he would have paid a grievous price. But if he did not attack, he would have been trapped in the west, a thousand leagues from where he needed to be. All the while we would have lived off his land, instead of him living off ours.”

“Lord Stannis was about to fall upon King’s Landing,” Robb said. “He might have rid us of Joffrey, the queen, and the Imp in one red stroke. Then we might have been able to make a peace.”

Edmure looked from uncle to nephew. “You never told me.”

“I told you to hold Riverrun,“ said Robb. “What part of that command did you fail to comprehend?”

“When you stopped Lord Tywin on the Red Fork,” said the Blackfish, “you delayed him just long enough for riders out of Bitterbridge to reach him with word of what was happening to the east. Lord Tywin turned his host at once, joined up with Matthis Rowan and Randyll Tarly near the headwaters of the Blackwater, and made a forced march to Tumbler’s Falls, where he found Mace Tyrell and two of his sons waiting with a huge host and a fleet of barges. They floated down the river, disembarked half a day’s ride from the city, and took Stannis in the rear.”

Edited by Arthur Peres
.

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3 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

Tywin is not impressive as a military commander.

He is. His record is impressive.  

A 16 year old dying in his first war, after losing his home, is not impressive. A man close to 60 who has commanded in Four victorious wars is impressive.

3 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

In the War of the ninepenny kings, it was Roger Reyne who lead the Lannisters in the war.

Yup.

3 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

against the Reynes it was more about ruthless.

I agree. How does that detract from his record as a commander?

Roger Reyne was also ruthless, being ruthless is not a negative in medieval war. It's bizarre that you are suggesting it is.

3 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

He marched against the tarbecks before their rally their support, and against the Reynes he outnumbered them 3 to 1 and the Reynes were tired after a forced march. Sound victory, true, but not a impressive one.

I'm sorry but it is. He used logistics and speed to defeat an enemy piecemeal before they could do the same to him. 

It was as impressive as Robb and Stannis' most renowned victories (Whispering Wood and Fair Isle) were they outnumbered their enemy and took them by surprise. 

 

3 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

At the green field he faced Roose's host, after the northem had marched all night, were outnumbered and without cavalry. His plan failed, as Roose was not fooled by his "trap" and Bolton manage to fall back in good order.

He was victorious and the enemy army lost around a quarter of its force. 

3 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

Tywin was fooled once again when Robb drawed him west away from KL,

How was he fooled? Was Robb not in the West? Was Robb in communication with Stannis?

According to the author Tywin went to deal with Robb due to Stannis trying to take Storm's End. 

Tywin was fighting a war on multiple fronts he did not have luxury of Robb who abandoned the North to focus on one enemy.

3 hours ago, Arthur Peres said:

 

and only made it back because he once again failed to beat Edmure having twice his numbers. Not a impressive record.

Knowing when to retreat and preserve an army is incredibly important in war. Not all battles are winnable due to strategic position. 

You seem to be naive to many of the facets of actual command. Julius Caesar constantly knew when to retreat when the battle was not going his way, its not something to be ashamed of in war

 

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On 2/24/2019 at 8:43 AM, Stallion That Mounts Texas said:

Not too much to go except for the obvious.  But, there were two wars in Robert's Rebellion and the Greyjoy Uprising.

1. Tywin Lannister (not much of a question here)

Yeaa... NOPE!

 

Tywin is a good campaign leader, combining many aspects to use at his advantage but at best just a decent commander.

Stannis is the best commander.

He shall fight on the seas and oceans, he shall defend his island whatever the cost may be, he shall fight on the beaches and landing grounds, he shall fight on the fields and streets and he will never surrender.

Not only is he the most Versatile commander, but has also excelled in many of his battles. He has commanded a garrison under a siege with no apparent hope of relief, he commanded navies and did so against a seafaring people, he commanded amphibious assaults...

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