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McGuv19

Military of Skagos/ Skagosi Rebellion

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I’ve looked in some other military threads and none of them cover Skagos, so I’m doing one.  Skagosi culture seems similar to free folk culture, so I will assume they have similar weapons and equipment eg. stone weapons and furs, with the minor difference of the Skagosi knowing how to sail and having obsidian blades. The only time we hear of Skagos fighting am actual war was in their rebellion against Winterfell. In the rebellion it was said thousands died, so we could assume their were anywhere from 2,000 - 20,000 participants. According to the wiki a maximum of 20,000 soldiers could be raised at short notice. Due to it only being a mere rebellion of Skagos, its houses not at all considered powerful by the rest of the North, Lord Barthogan Stark would most likely have not raised as many he could have. Furthermore m the Skagosi were known as cannibals, barbarians, and backward folk, so would most likely be underestimated. Also, the Northmen would only have been able to take a limited number of soldiers across the sea to Skagos due to not being a great sea power. For a large scale war or a regional civil war the North would take 20,000. For perhaps a rebellion of a great northern house like Bolton, Manderly, or Karstark it would require 15,000 men. For a rebellion of a lesser house such as the Hornwoods, Glovers, Ryswells, or Tallharts, it would require maybe 10,000. And for a rebellion of a collection of petty lords from a poor, backward, bleak, isle with inferior weapons and equipment one would take a considerably low number, certainly below 10,000.

Also taking 10,000 men would need tons of ships, something which the Northmen didn’t have. Considering Lord Wyman said he had been building ships and had around 25 hidden up White Knife, we could assume that White Harbour normally has 10 warships, plus in wartime commandeered ships, and 1-2 ships from each other castle on the north east coast (Oldcastle, Widow’s Watch, Ramsgate, And Karhold if they take them down the river out into the shivering sea. So that brings us up to a total of 20-25 ships, not including new ships being built, which would have happened since the fighting went on for years. Most of these ships would be galleys, having both oars and sails, and would contain 150 men each. So we would probably be looking at a first wave of the Stark invasion force numbering 3,000-3750. Then as the fight dragged on new ships would’ve been built so later on each wave would be around 4,000-5,000

We are told the rebellion lasted for years before being put down, so it most likely lasted from 3-7 years. This would be enough time for the full power of the North (40,000-45,000 men), rather than the smaller army that would have been gathered quicker (20,000), to come down on the Skagosi. For the rebellion to have lasted as long as it did their was most likely some fighting at sea between Skagosi sailors and White Harbour ships (I know that the Skagosi were banned from using ships by Brandon IX, but I doubt when rebelling against the Starks they would adhere to this), and in the first few years the Skagosi were most likely  underestimated by the Northmen, and also they had the home advantage of knowing terrain, which could have led to them pushing the Northmen back a lot. However then a few years in the Northerners numbers advantages would have started to show, which then would have led to their victory. 

So if the Skagosi defenders were most likely able to hold off at least 3,000 better equipped, better trained soldiers then what would their numbers be like? Examples of wildlings or people like them defending against knights and the like are few, as the wildlings are usually the attackers. One example I found was the Battle of the Bridge of Skulls, in which 390-490 Night’s Watch men defeated 300 wildlings. The commanders were both of equal strength, as the Weeper (commanding the wildlings) is an experienced raider, and Ser Denys Mallister (an experienced commander), the knights Ser Aladale Wynch and Ser Endrew Tarth, and Bedwyck are all skilled rangers. The wildlings probably lost around 200 warriors while the Sworn Brothers lost 100. However, the wildlings were in unfamiliar territory and lacked defensive structures, so we can assume that if the wildlings had forts or defences like the Skagosi would than it would have taken about 800 or so to defeat them. 

So therefore if the ratio of attacking troops to wildling/Skagosi troops is 2:1 then the Skagosi would need about 4,000 to fend off the first wave. Then taking into account them knowing the mountainous terrain of Skagos, having unicorn mounts and obsidian blades, and assuming they had some sea power, I would lower the required number of Skagosi defenders from 4,000 to 3,000. Of the three Skagosi houses we know of (Crowl, Magnar, Stane), they each may have controlled 500 soldiers, and the other soldiers would have been under other Skagos houses. However after the rebellion two things probably would have happened.

1. Lots of the Skagosi would have died, equipment and weapons lost, unicorns killed :( , ships destroyed, and settlements and fields raided. This would have led to the Skagosi economy going into decline, especially as they were not supposed to have any ships.

2. The Starks could have ordered them to limit the number of soldiers they have, like what happened to Germany after WW1 (or like what happened to the Trade Federation after the Battle of Naboo).

1 and 2 combined would lead to a much smaller military for Skagos, and so currently I would place their military strength at  1,000-2,000, taking into account the fact they are more warlike than the rest of the North (excluding the wildlings and possibly the mountain clans, wolfswood clans, or crannogmen, depending in what you think). Houses Crowl, Magnar, and Stane each would currently have maybe 150-400 men each.

 

TLDR

Skagosi (people of Skagos) are similar to wildlings.

They rebelled against the Starks a century ago.

I worked out the Starks to be attacking Skagos with up to 20,000 men and the Skagosi defending well against those numbers.

Later on in the rebellion the Starks had had time to gather all their forces and attack with an additional 20,000-25,000.

The Skagosi lost the fight.

I worked out using an example of a Night’s Watch battle against wildlings (Battle of the Bridge of Skulls) that the Skagosi would have needed 4,000 warriors to effectively defend.

I whittled the 4,000 down to 3,000 as the Skagosi had obsidian blades, probably some ships, unicorn mounts, and the home advantage.

I then decided that due to the economic implications (money problems), and ounishments from the Starks due to losing, that the Skagosi would have a total military strength at the time of ASOIAF of 1,000-2,000.

Anyway it was fun writing this so thanks for reading. Also this was 1200 words!!!

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If anyone has any ideas or other stuff about this topic than please comment below

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49 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

In my mind the Skags can probaly raise similar numbers to the Mountain Clans. So 3000+ has always been my view

Yep. Probably with even worst armor, weapons and organization. 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Señor de la Tormenta said:

Yep. Probably with even worst armor, weapons and organization. 

 

 

But how? They were able to rebel and cause the deaths of thousands. Surely they have to have some kind of sizeable force and military advantages, whether it’s brute force, savage ferocity, or an underestimated gift for guerrilla warfare.

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16 minutes ago, James Steller said:

But how? They were able to rebel and cause the deaths of thousands. Surely they have to have some kind of sizeable force and military advantages, whether it’s brute force, savage ferocity, or an underestimated gift for guerrilla warfare.

It seams to me they were not as isoleited as they are now. They are the biggest example of the north de population that seams to be happening since aegon conquest

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I think you're also forgetting one thing that in my mind at least is a certainty: there was a very charismatic leader who rallied a small island to rebel against the Starks. He was probably a gifted commander as well; it's one of the only explanations for them having done so much damage.

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8 hours ago, James Steller said:

But how? They were able to rebel and cause the deaths of thousands. Surely they have to have some kind of sizeable force and military advantages, whether it’s brute force, savage ferocity, or an underestimated gift for guerrilla warfare.

How did America "lose" in Vietnam? Basically those reasons you just laid out. It's hard to defeat locals who simply refuse to yield in the face of what would normally be enough to force surrender. Rocky, isolated Skagos seems the perfect place for a handful of guerrilla warriors to hold out. 

We don't really know squat about the campaign, but if I had to guess, I'd say it took so long because Winterfell didn't realize the extent at first. Maybe sent a smaller force that was defeated, then had to go at it with a bigger force, etc. If the Skagosi could field 3,000 warriors (which seems likely, even higher if they were being invaded) I think it would take at the very least 2-3 times that number to beat them into submission. 

18 hours ago, McGuv19 said:

This would be enough time for the full power of the North (40,000-45,000 men), rather than the smaller army that would have been gathered quicker (20,000), to come down on the Skagosi.

The North brought 30,000 men to the Trident to stand against Aegon The Conqueror, I don't see them getting 45,000 men together just to put down the Skagosi. I mean, the largest host we've ever seen in the books was 55,000 men at the Field of Fire, and that was the combined might of the Westerlands and Reach (hastily assembled but still). I think around 15,000 would be the max they would call out for a fringe rebellion. Standing troops are very expensive. 

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4 hours ago, Lord Vance II said:

How did America "lose" in Vietnam? Basically those reasons you just laid out. It's hard to defeat locals who simply refuse to yield in the face of what would normally be enough to force surrender. Rocky, isolated Skagos seems the perfect place for a handful of guerrilla warriors to hold out. 

We don't really know squat about the campaign, but if I had to guess, I'd say it took so long because Winterfell didn't realize the extent at first. Maybe sent a smaller force that was defeated, then had to go at it with a bigger force, etc. If the Skagosi could field 3,000 warriors (which seems likely, even higher if they were being invaded) I think it would take at the very least 2-3 times that number to beat them into submission. 

The North brought 30,000 men to the Trident to stand against Aegon The Conqueror, I don't see them getting 45,000 men together just to put down the Skagosi. I mean, the largest host we've ever seen in the books was 55,000 men at the Field of Fire, and that was the combined might of the Westerlands and Reach (hastily assembled but still). I think around 15,000 would be the max they would call out for a fringe rebellion. Standing troops are very expensive. 

That’s not true about the field of fire. The largest army we’ve seen is Renly’s combined Reach/Stormlands army, as well as the massive Reach/Westerlands army which defeated Stannis at the Blackwater. I’m assuming that the Reach also had a force exceeding 55000 when they besieged Storm’s End during Robert’s Rebellion. There’s also the large army outside of Meereen which exceeds 50,000.

I do agree with everything else though.

Edited by James Steller

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6 hours ago, Lord Vance II said:

I mean, the largest host we've ever seen in the books was 55,000 men at the Field of Fire

How about Renly's host with almost 100k?

Since the rebellion lasted so long we can assume Starks weren't in a hurry to shut it and didn't call much of their banners, but rather had a smaller force fight the Skagosi. Other explanation is that they didn't have enough ships for a full assault so they had no use of calling more soldiers, which lead to a long rebellion of attrition that Skagosi eventually lost.

Edited by Tygett Lannister

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On 5/27/2019 at 5:36 PM, McGuv19 said:

2. The Starks could have ordered them to limit the number of soldiers they have, like what happened to Germany after WW1 (or like what happened to the Trade Federation after the Battle of Naboo).

This is not really an option as nobody in Westeros has a standing army so North would have to limit their male population which would be rather odd and hard to execute unless they just kill them which they just did in a war.

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18 hours ago, James Steller said:

That’s not true about the field of fire.

 

16 hours ago, Tygett Lannister said:

How about Renly's host with almost 100k?

Ah, yep, my bad. Fire & Blood are much fresher on my mind. But still, I don't think anyone expects the North to be able to field an army even approaching the size of those hosts to deal with a backwater rebellion. 

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1 hour ago, Lord Vance II said:

 

Ah, yep, my bad. Fire & Blood are much fresher on my mind. But still, I don't think anyone expects the North to be able to field an army even approaching the size of those hosts to deal with a backwater rebellion. 

From what we know from what George said Dorne, Vale and North have equal army size. Looking at Dorne they appear to have around 20-50k, with 30k being most accurate estimate. Vale Lords Declarant have 20k which means Vale also has around 30k, while leads us to believe North should have around the same number 30k. Semi-cannon sources put them at 45k though. 

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5 minutes ago, Tygett Lannister said:

while leads us to believe North should have around the same number 30k. Semi-cannon sources put them at 45k though. 

I don't doubt the North could raise 30,000 for something big, I'm just saying it's very unlikely they mobilized every able-bodied man to deal with a rebellion on Skagos. In hindsight, maybe they should have considering it took 7 years and the death of the Lord of Winterfell. 

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12 minutes ago, Tygett Lannister said:

From what we know from what George said Dorne, Vale and North have equal army size. Looking at Dorne they appear to have around 20-50k, with 30k being most accurate estimate. Vale Lords Declarant have 20k which means Vale also has around 30k, while leads us to believe North should have around the same number 30k. Semi-cannon sources put them at 45k though. 

Old topic and much debated. 

Dorne now has a smaller population than even the Stormlands, which is itself small and sparsely populated by Southron standards.

It would appear there is a healthy gap between Dorne and the Vale’s military strengths, with the Stormlands placed inbetween them on the ranking ladder.

As for the Skagosi rebellion, I would think the North would have sent maybe 5000 men initially, and mostly from the nearby Umber, Karstark and Bolton lands. With a smaller sprinkling of more distant lords. Logistics is a big factor in the North, and they would try to limit resource requirements as much as possible. Only after the initial thrust failed, would more men have been raised. 

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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20 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Old topic and much debated. 

Dorne now has a smaller population than even the Stormlands, which is itself small and sparsely populated by Southron standards.

It would appear there is a healthy gap between Dorne and the Vale’s military strengths, with the Stormlands placed inbetween them on the ranking ladder.

As for the Skagosi rebellion, I would think the North would have sent maybe 5000 men initially, and mostly from the nearby Umber, Karstark and Bolton lands. With a smaller sprinkling of more distant lords. Logistics is a big factor in the North, and they would try to limit resource requirements as much as possible. Only after the initial thrust failed, would more men have been raised. 

Skagosi probably have some, however meager, strength in the sea since they were able to attack Skane and are trading with Umbers.

Umbers some hundred years later don’t even have longships and are not able to do some themselves.

The whole skagosi rebellion and the problems they caused were something akin to the problems caused by the Ironman I believe. They are small in number, raid small villages here and there but the real damage done isn’t actually much.

As for numbers, Sisterman lost over 3000 men on their hometurf some thousands of years ago and Ironman are able to raise just some 20000 men or maybe lower, can’t recall(~400 ships). So I’d say  for going outside their island, no more than few hundred I’d guess but some thousands on their homeland.

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So I do not think that the Skagosi would be as poorly equipped and everyone else.

I don't see them having castle forged steel and plate mail obviously, but iron weapons, chainmail, leather and furs seem likely. 

Thier isolation is fairly recent and imposed by the Starks, they would have been traders or Sea raiders before that,(they definitely raided Skane), so even if they cant make thses things themselves they can get them.

 

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