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Tywin Manderly

Robb? Why Not a Fleet of Sellsails?

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When pilliaging the westerlands the northern army has amassed a lot of plunder, including gold from several goldmines. He could have used that loot to pay sellsails from the Free Cities to sail his army out of the riverlands to the North. Alternatively he also might have used that plunder to employ sellswords to drive the Ironborn out of the North. He truly is his father's son not the use the possibillities at your disposal. Yet another textbook example of Robb's ineptitude and Stark blight?

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Would have taken too long. First, send an envoy to the Free Cities to hire sellsails/swords; collect them all at one seaport,  sail across the Narrow Sea and up the Green Fork to the Twins (since he has to go to the Twins to make things right with old Walder), then back down the GF, out the Bay of Crabs, around the Vale and up the White Knife. 

Meanwhile, he already has an army of 10,000 at the Twins, plus another force linking up with the Reeds to take Moat Caillen from the north. By then, of course, the ironmen have already been routed from Winterfell, so all he has to do is liberate Torrhen Square, Deepwood and the Stony Shore. Then he'll have plenty of gold to hire swords/sails for the next phase of the war.

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He probably needed that gold simply to maintain 10,000 men on campaign for several years. Medieval Kingdoms were bankrupted financing similar ventures.

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From what we know he has no naval/admiralty experience. Throw in the fact that he would likely need those ships on the East coast (with no known trading towns) who is he going to hire? 

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On 8/15/2019 at 9:24 AM, Tywin Manderly said:

When pilliaging the westerlands the northern army has amassed a lot of plunder, including gold from several goldmines. He could have used that loot to pay sellsails from the Free Cities to sail his army out of the riverlands to the North. Alternatively he also might have used that plunder to employ sellswords to drive the Ironborn out of the North. He truly is his father's son not the use the possibillities at your disposal. Yet another textbook example of Robb's ineptitude and Stark blight?

He didn't need to. At that point, Manderly was already building ships for months at that point. We know he has 20-25 ships when Davos visits and says he has double that. Any sellsails that Robb would want to hire would be farther away, have to face the Saan gauntlet if they aren't from Braavos, and are still untrustworthy mercenaries. 

We also aren't sure they seized any actual gold. Castermine has mines but it's a ruin and not actively mined. The other two places the GJ seizes are mines but we know nothing about them but their names. Capturing mines doesn't mean you capture significant amounts of gold, not even any. They could hold some scraps waiting to be sent to CR to be minted into dragons or just stored in the Lannister treasury.

He'd already tried to acquire a naval presence from the IB and failed, and the Vale has power at sea too (if FAB holds true to the present day). You can criticize the results and methods, but he definitely realized the importance of naval power and hiring sellsails is basically a non-starter. I swore there was a SSM where Martin basically says "you won't be able to get mercenary companies across the narrow sea in time, so you fight with what's there", but for the life of me I can't find it. If Robb did hire sellsails, there is a very strong probability they would have gotten there after the RW -- akin to the Myrish crossbowmen for the Blackfyre rebellion -- or not come at all.

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Robb already had a fleet at his disposal. White harbour just started building a fleet for the North during ACOK. I reckon at least a third of this fleet would've been done by ASOS. In one of Catelyns chapters Robb tells her that he sent ravens or letters to Lysa, asking for permission to march his army to Gulltown, and sail to White harbour. But whats the point of asking for fleet basing rights from your bash crazy aunt when you can simply use maidenpool and saltpans as a harbour for transporting your armies (or at least a force strong enough to retake Moat Cailin). 

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From ASoS, Catelyn III: 

Quote

"The knights of the Vale could make all the difference in this war," said Robb, "but if she will not fight, so be it. I've asked only that she open the Bloody Gate for us, and provide ships at Gulltown to take us north. The high road would be hard, but not so hard as fighting our way up the Neck. If I could land at White Harbor I could flank Moat Cailin and drive the ironmen from the north in half a year."

Apparently Manderley's fleet (or any sufficient portion thereof) was not ready to sail south to pick Robb and his army up since he had to ask his aunt Lysa to provide him with ships at Gulltown.

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On 8/15/2019 at 10:24 AM, Tywin Manderly said:

When pilliaging the westerlands the northern army has amassed a lot of plunder, including gold from several goldmines. He could have used that loot to pay sellsails from the Free Cities to sail his army out of the riverlands to the North. Alternatively he also might have used that plunder to employ sellswords to drive the Ironborn out of the North. He truly is his father's son not the use the possibillities at your disposal. Yet another textbook example of Robb's ineptitude and Stark blight?

The northern army sacked and pillaged the lands they marched upon.  It's part of soldier's pay.  Greatjon and the smallfolk who left their plows to march for Robb expected plunder.  They don't want hired help to rob them of their share of ill-gotten goods.  It's a way for a warlord to reward his soldiers without paying for it himself.

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3 hours ago, Tywin Manderly said:

From ASoS, Catelyn III: 

Apparently Manderley's fleet (or any sufficient portion thereof) was not ready to sail south to pick Robb and his army up since he had to ask his aunt Lysa to provide him with ships at Gulltown.

Or maybe he didn't know that the manderly fleet was partly ready. But we will never know, since we got no information whether their was any contact between Robb and White Harbour after the taking of the Crag.

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