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Great battle plan! Dubious tactics discussion.

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Except it is not. Army of the dead may be unprecendented, but "Dothraki being unbeatable in the open field" is patently false. We know that they had been beaten by the Unsullied (in the books, at least)

The show is adapted from the books; it's its own thing. Information in the books is irrelevant. In the show, the Dothraki are known by reputation as nigh-invincible on an open field. It doesn't matter what your assessment may be, this is the information available to the leaders of the Winterfell forces.

They had to survive long enough for the Night King to come out so that Jon and Dany can kill him. That is literally the entire point of the battle. If ground troops get slaughtered so quickly and completely that Night King can sit in the background twiddling thumbs and doing nothing, then strategy fails.

If they don't provoke the battle, the Night King can certainly sit back twiddling his thumbs while your troops freeze and starve to death, and the strategy certainly fails. When you have a choice of 100% failure or 99% failure - the latter is the better strategy, even when it's clearly desparately low percentage of success.

I fail to see how Dothraki charge had any influence on the Night King deciding to come out.

It didn't, it provoked the battle which is why right afterward the undead tidal wave rolled into town. It was Bran who taunted the Night King to come out and after him with the ravens.

If I had been in his position...

But you weren't. You're trying to characterize a fictional character as you, but you're not that character. If I was Dany, I wouldn't have torched King's Landing. In fact, I wouldn't have physically hurt anyone by any means; not ever. But my character doesn't have any relevancy to the character of Dany.

They had literally no reason to think NK will come out

They literally were told by Bran that the Night King could possibly (key word) be drawn out by using Bran as a lure. Was it a 100% sure thing? No. Was it the one-and-only potential win-con scenario on which all resources must be critically focused? Yes.

Again, unless they somehow know his personal motivations (in which case it should have been brought up)

It was brought up by Bran.

He could have sent a wight, or another White Walker, in his stead, and plan would have been a failure.

Yep. He coulda. He shoulda. He woulda. But guess what? Yeah, you know how that goes.

But that means that their choice of open battle is even more idiotic than I had thought: they should have at least dug ditches or something

I'm just going to laugh at the idea of thinking ditches is going to have some kind of effect on a tidal wave of undead. But laughing aside, when you say they should've dug trenches or "something" that means you must have knowledge of timing and resource management available to the Winterfell troops prior to the battle. Do you? With what were the troops tasked prior to the battle? How do you guage among necessities in preparation? Did they have the time and available personel to dig, how many ditches? I take it we're encompassing Winterfell with the ditches that will thwart the tidal wave? Or are you just assuming more information out of thin air.

Are you forgetting Nan's stories?

Ah, yes, I had forgot about Nan's stories. They were the factual chronicles of ages past including all information on troop numbers, resources, strategies and such. Seriously how far off the deep end of ridiculosity are you willing to plunge?

And besides, the entire premise of the show goes against "conventional victory is impossible" conclusion

That premise is only relevant to the battle at Winterfell. I have no information whatsoever with which to comment on the viability of conventional victory in legendary events of the past.

And I repeat again: if your strategy relies on the enemy being an idiot, then your strategy is faulty. I do not remember it ever being explained why they expect the Night King to play into their hands.

They do not "expect" it as if it is a certainty. They know that it is the one-and-only win-con on the table. If the Night King doesn't respond to Bran's goading, they're all dead. But guess what? He does. Bran throws down the psychic gauntlet and the Night King picks it up.

what I do have a problem with is that the entire strategy of the living side depends on that one assumption which, as far as they knew, could have been false.

What part of "one" don't you understand? You're basically saying your problem is the fact that there is only one potential win-con and the forces of Winterfell base their strategy on that one potential win-con. And you can look at that statement and not see how off-the-charts ignorant it is? "I can't believe their strategy was based on the one-and-only potential win-con!"

Again, they provided no explanation for how they expected to find the Night King

The expected him to arrive on his dragon. That's why Jon and Dany were positioned where they were.

how they expected to make him come out

Bran would lure him.

what were contingency plans in the case that dragon fire did not work...

Dragonglass or Valerian steel.

Not dragonglass arrows, fire arrows. The point of firing arrows is to set wights on fire so that you can see where the enemy is.

The fires all vanished in the darkness. We saw this when the Dothraki entered the area being obscured.

Even firing blindly, hitting an army should not be impossible, as long as arrows are properly spaced.

Okay great. You would've suggested the strategy of firing arrows blindly into the darkness. What is this supposed to be doing eexactly? It's not providing any illumination so why are you blindly firing arrows? Is this another way of stopping the undead horde tidal wave? Firing arrows at it?

Again, wights are flammable and tightly packed. Just a few arrows hitting would be enough to reveal position of their army, and as far as I know, horses are faster than wights.

Without seeing your opposing force, you can't tell their positions or how "tightly packed" they would be. A few arrows would reveal as much as a sea of flaming Dothraki swords - nothing at all would be revealed. I have no idea what "as far as I know, horses are faster than wights" is supposed to allow me to conclude.

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