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Helman Corbray

Robb's campaign

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Robb was playing the Hannibal with the South, but how could he deal a winning blow with so few resourses? We know how Barca ended up losing by implementing this strategy (The only one available).

- He clearly had a large territory to defend in the form of crucial farmlands and noble seats everywhere in the Riverlands (A place famous for being vulnerable).

- His army from the North was already battered by battles, betrayals and desertions, but still, well commanded. 

- I think some contingent's wavering morale was being held by his sheer inspirational presence.

- Supplies would dwindle as the war would prevent people from plant, harvest and pay taxes. 

Going on the offensive seems clearly the only way of reaching victory, so he attacked the west. But Lannisport might have endured a long siege, and so would the Capital. 

Would burning and looting really bring a rapid conclusion to the war? 

 

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Well the when depends. After the Fords the war in the riverlands was effectively lost (Just to be clear that was Robb's fault not Edmure's). So I'm going to start my proposal after Whispering Woods at the beginning of ACOK. So I'd do as follows.

1. March my combined Northern cavalry and Tully infantry army towards the Ruby Ford. If Tywin is foolish enough to try and intercept then he'll be trapped between two armies as Roose comes and attack him from behind. Presumably Tywin is smart and stays inside Harrenhal. After combining with Roose you should have some 30k men (20k original men +5k Frey plus some 10k riverlords - 5k losses at the Green Ford). The numbers may vary, but one think is clear, you have the numerical advantage. However Tywin knows this and as such is waiting for Stafford Lannister.

2. Bypass Harrenhal and march down the Kingsroad towards KL. Given how devastating it would be for Tywin to lose KL, not to mention losing all his children to you, he'll have no choice but to follow. Turn around and face him in a decisive battle. If he refuses to engage and just shadows you then leave some forces behind to ambush him and create a second Butcher's Ball. Regardless you should be able to decisively defeat Tywin. Renly may have died by now, or he might be still alive. The plan remains the same (given Renly's slow speed and him needing to deal with Stannis).

3. Rush KL. With the added advantage of not having to cross the Blackwater and being able to attack KL from 2 sides (North and West) you should be able to easily take it.

4. Negotiate. Whether it's Renly or Stannis the same statements apply. They probably out number you, but with at least 20k Northmen in the capital they can't storm it. You could also try and garrison the Blackwater from KL to the God's Eye and create another Battle of the Fords. Negotiate giving KL to them in exchange for independence.

Basically Robb should have done exactly what Hannibal should have done. Take the capital when the moment was ripe.

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40 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Well the when depends. After the Fords the war in the riverlands was effectively lost (Just to be clear that was Robb's fault not Edmure's). So I'm going to start my proposal after Whispering Woods at the beginning of ACOK. So I'd do as follows.

1. March my combined Northern cavalry and Tully infantry army towards the Ruby Ford. If Tywin is foolish enough to try and intercept then he'll be trapped between two armies as Roose comes and attack him from behind. Presumably Tywin is smart and stays inside Harrenhal. After combining with Roose you should have some 30k men (20k original men +5k Frey plus some 10k riverlords - 5k losses at the Green Ford). The numbers may vary, but one think is clear, you have the numerical advantage. However Tywin knows this and as such is waiting for Stafford Lannister.

2. Bypass Harrenhal and march down the Kingsroad towards KL. Given how devastating it would be for Tywin to lose KL, not to mention losing all his children to you, he'll have no choice but to follow. Turn around and face him in a decisive battle. If he refuses to engage and just shadows you then leave some forces behind to ambush him and create a second Butcher's Ball. Regardless you should be able to decisively defeat Tywin. Renly may have died by now, or he might be still alive. The plan remains the same (given Renly's slow speed and him needing to deal with Stannis).

3. Rush KL. With the added advantage of not having to cross the Blackwater and being able to attack KL from 2 sides (North and West) you should be able to easily take it.

4. Negotiate. Whether it's Renly or Stannis the same statements apply. They probably out number you, but with at least 20k Northmen in the capital they can't storm it. You could also try and garrison the Blackwater from KL to the God's Eye and create another Battle of the Fords. Negotiate giving KL to them in exchange for independence.

Basically Robb should have done exactly what Hannibal should have done. Take the capital when the moment was ripe.

Half disagree with the bolded but other than that yeah basically.

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I don't believe he went West looking to conclude the war but simply to combat desertion and his own supply problems, burning and looting boosts morale whilst feeding his army and damaging the infrastructure of the enemy, he went West out of necessity since the Riverlands could not sustain them. I'm of the opinion that the whole strategy he and Brynden laid out for Edmure was a simple convenience to guilt Edmure into marrying a Frey.

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43 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

Half disagree with the bolded but other than that yeah basically.

Why? How was Edmure to blame for not being able to read Robb's mind. Robb did the best he could with the information available to him. From what he could see Tywin was moving on Robb, with a larger host then his, while Robb was seemingly unaware of that while Edmure held the best position to repel Tywin. From that POV, what did Edmure do wrong?

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Just now, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Why? How was Edmure to blame for not being able to read Robb's mind. Robb did the best he could with the information available to him. From what he could see Tywin was moving on Robb, with a larger host then his, while Robb was seemingly unaware of that while Edmure held the best position to repel Tywin. From that POV, what did Edmure do wrong?

This is a discussion that I've had a lot of times but could you imagine the outrage at Edmure in the fanbase if Edmure had just allowed Tywin to return West and Robb had been annihilated. 

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Trigger Warning said:

This is a discussion that I've had a lot of times but could you imagine the outrage at Edmure in the fanbase if Edmure had just allowed Tywin to return West and Robb had been annihilated. 

Yeah exactly. Robb's master plan was for Tywin to fall in an ambush in his own bloody land. Cause otherwise Robb would be screwed as Tywin probably outnumbered him. Edmure did the best he could with the information available to him. Robb seemed to have expected Edmure to be a psyhic or something.

Edited by Alyn Oakenfist

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Yeah exactly. Robb's master plan was for Tywin to fall in an ambush in his own bloody land. Cause otherwise Robb would be screwed as Tywin probably outnumbered him. Edmure did the best he could with the information available to him. Robb seemed to have expected Edmure to be a psyhic or something.

Yeah the discussion usually ends up about whether or not Robb could pull off his victory but honestly I don't think that evens matters, if you put yourself in Edmure's shoes and what you see is Tywin returning to a place where he controls all the castles, knows the land, had the support of the local populace and outnumbers Robb nearly 4 to 1 then I think it'd be ridiculous to just assume that it'll all work out in Robb's favour, the reasonable thing to do to protect your own King would be to try and stop that unless told otherwise but really the Tyrells could have relieved King's Landing on their own anyway so I'm not too sure that matters either. 

EDIT: If anything it'd work out better for the Tyrells since they'd have sole claim to saving the king and the city. 

Edited by Trigger Warning

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1 minute ago, Trigger Warning said:

Yeah the discussion usually ends up about whether or not Robb could pull off his victory but honestly I don't think that evens matters, if you put yourself in Edmure's shoes and what you see is Tywin returning to a place where he controls all the castles, knows the land, had the support of the local populace and outnumbers Robb nearly 4 to 1 then I think it'd be ridiculous to just assume that it'll all work out in Robb's favour, the reasonable thing to do to protect your own King would be to try and stop that unless told otherwise but really the Tyrells could have relieved King's Landing on their own anyway so I'm not too sure that matters either. 

I agree with almost everything with 2 very minor exceptions. I don't think he was outnumbered 4 to 1 as he also probably had the river levy's with him so he was probably more like 2 to 3 or 3 to 4. Also with the Tyrells even if they did still join (doubtful without Tywin's army) without Tywin's organization genius they might have not made it there in time. It's way to much of a butterfly effect to say how Blackwater would have went. But again in terms of how Edmure saw things I 100% agree.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

I agree with almost everything with 2 very minor exceptions. I don't think he was outnumbered 4 to 1 as he also probably had the river levy's with him so he was probably more like 2 to 3 or 3 to 4. Also with the Tyrells even if they did still join (doubtful without Tywin's army) without Tywin's organization genius they might have not made it there in time. It's way to much of a butterfly effect to say how Blackwater would have went. But again in terms of how Edmure saw things I 100% agree.

Well if they didn't wait for Tywin they could just head straight there so they might even arrive earlier and they have 60,000 men without Tywin anyway, I doubt whether or not Tywin joins them is going to stop them saving the king they've made a marriage alliance with and beyond that the victory is still pretty much a guarantee, Stannis is incredibly vulnerable not just besieging but full on assaulting a city and they pretty much break under the Lannister-Tyrell vanguard, the bulk of the army doesn't even engage. They waited for Tywin because that's what they arranged and it's an additional 20,000 men quickly available that doesn't mean they wouldn't engage without him and even beyond that the Red Keep is a huge castle, Stannis might not crack that egg for weeks unless of course GRRM uses his castles are useless magic wand. 

Edited by Trigger Warning

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1 hour ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Why? How was Edmure to blame for not being able to read Robb's mind. Robb did the best he could with the information available to him. From what he could see Tywin was moving on Robb, with a larger host then his, while Robb was seemingly unaware of that while Edmure held the best position to repel Tywin. From that POV, what did Edmure do wrong?

Because he gave Edmure instructions to hold Riverrun after dispersing the Riverlands army? That should have been an indicator.

But I did say I only half disagreed. Robb isn't blameless and should have updated Edmure on his plan. Ultimately what it comes down to is Edmure interpretting Robb's orders differently than Robb intended.

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6 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

Because he gave Edmure instructions to hold Riverrun after dispersing the Riverlands army? That should have been an indicator.

To guard his rear according to some book sources.

"Yes, my lady. His Grace left Ser Edmure to hold Riverrun and guard his rear."

So two things are possible, Robb did order the Riverlords, who all agreed with Edmure's plan, to guard his rear or his orders were unclear and they assumed he wanted them to guard his rear. Either way the issue hear is with the order giver and not the subordinates.

It is just bad management to give out unclear instructions, or no instructions in the case of what he asked Roose to do for the entire war.

Robb was a 15/16 year old, so him making mistakes is more than understandable, but the mistakes were on his part not Edmure or the Riverlords.

Quote

But I did say I only half disagreed. Robb isn't blameless and should have updated Edmure on his plan. Ultimately what it comes down to is Edmure interpretting Robb's orders differently than Robb intended.

Not just Edmure, all the Riverlords who agreed with Edmure's plan.

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14 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

I don't think he was outnumbered 4 to 1 as he also probably had the river levy's with him so he was probably more like 2 to 3 or 3 to 4.

Robb allows the river lords to return to their homes after the Battle of the Camps. IIRC, the only known rivermen who accompany Robb to the west are a contingent of Freys (who leave Robb after the Crag) led by Stevron, Ryman, and Black Walder. Edmure recalls the other river lords to Riverrun after Tywin marches from Harrenhal. 

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1 hour ago, Nittanian said:

Robb allows the river lords to return to their homes after the Battle of the Camps. IIRC, the only known rivermen who accompany Robb to the west are a contingent of Freys (who leave Robb after the Crag) led by Stevron, Ryman, and Black Walder. Edmure recalls the other river lords to Riverrun after Tywin marches from Harrenhal. 

I may be misrembering but I think certain Riverlord houses (like Blackwood) send some men with Robb, but yeah not enough to make a difference. Still, Tywin's army is less than 20,000 at this point and Robbs at round about 6k so more like 3-1 than 4-1

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32 minutes ago, Adam Yozza said:

I may be misrembering but I think certain Riverlord houses (like Blackwood) send some men with Robb, but yeah not enough to make a difference. Still, Tywin's army is less than 20,000 at this point and Robbs at round about 6k so more like 3-1 than 4-1

Tywin's army just under 20k after the Battle of Blackwater and the Battle of the Fords. It may not have been under 20k if Edmure did not intervene.

On top of that Tywin has access to some reinforcements such as the men with Prester Forley at the Golden Tooth (from Jaime's defeated army at Riverrun), men at Lannisport with Daven (from Stafford's defeated army at Oxcross) and the garrisons of the castles and settlements of the West.

I'm not sure Robb would have 6k.

Thirty-five hundred they were, thirty-five hundred who had been blooded in the Whispering Wood, who had reddened their swords at the Battle of the Camps, at Oxcross, Ashemark, and the Crag, and all through the gold-rich hills of the Lannister west. Aside from her brother Edmure's modest retinue of friends

Robb' cavalry took casualties from all the battles he was in before he was about to face Tywin. They were down to 3.500 when they returned. Add the Freys (minus those that stayed at Riverrun [Cat witnesses them leaving in disgust long before Robb returns] and those that would have been casualties in the three aforementioned battles) and 300 Karstarks(who also would be reduced) and it seems Robb has under 5k rather than 6k.

 

Tywin, as well as being in his homelamd, with more horse than Robb, better access to supplies, no need to set up camps and greater access to the scouts of the Westerlands, would have at least a 4:1 to advantage, maybe closer to 5:1

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5 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Robb' cavalry took casualties from all the battles he was in before he was about to face Tywin. They were down to 3.500 when they returned. Add the Freys (minus those that stayed at Riverrun [Cat witnesses them leaving in disgust long before Robb returns] and those that would have been casualties in the three aforementioned battles) and 300 Karstarks(who also would be reduced) and it seems Robb has under 5k rather than 6k.

How exactly are you adding this up? We have the 3.5k Robb has at the end, add to that some 3k Freys (the original 4k minus whatever left behind and was lost), some 300 Karstarks and consider some losses and you get about 8k men for Robb. Still even in this case Robb has 1 men to 2.5-3. Which is pretty bad. Add to that the fact that Tywin has home-field advantage, and that he knows the land far better then Robb, and it's pretty clear that Robb doesn't have that many chances of winning. The Western incursion worked because it killed Stafford Lannister's host, but afterwards it was pure idiocy to keep going. Even if he had retreated the Western incursion wasn't that efficient. It would have been far better to try and force a battle with Tywin who has a far better trained army and is an actually competent military mind, and as such a far greater danger to Robb then Stafford Lannister's halfway army.

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When Robb finally find out that his aunt will not send any troops to support him or her brother? After all during the rebellion Vale was allied with his father and Lysa should have had some kind of moral duty to support her kin.

So I assume that there is a chance that Robb assumed he should have had access at least some more troops. Or Robb found out hard way and too late that Vale did not send any troops and so his original plans did not work anymore. But then he and too many northmen were already in Riverlands.

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1 hour ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

How exactly are you adding this up? We have the 3.5k Robb has at the end, add to that some 3k Freys

With Robb in the Westerlands? No. Robb took a thousand Freys with him, Roose took 2,600 and another 400 stayed at the Twins.

If Robb's original 5k cavalry took casualties at the Camps, Whispering Woods and Oxcross then so would the Freys.

To add to that a contingent of Robb's Frey cavalry stayed behind with Martyn Rivers ar Riverrun. We see them leaving when word of Robb's marrage reaches Riverrun.

What could have made them so angry? Has my brother slighted them somehow, given them some insult? She thought she recognized Ser Perwyn Frey, who had traveled with her to Bitterbridge and Storm's End and back, and his bastard half brother Martyn Rivers as well, but from this vantage it was hard to be certain. Close to forty men poured out through the castle gates, to what end she did not know.

So Robb's Frey contingent in the Westerlands would be around 600 -700.

Quote

 

(the original 4k minus whatever left behind and was lost), some 300 Karstarks and consider some losses and you get about 8k men for Robb.

eh? Really don't know how you came to these figures.

How does Robb go from 8k aftert the battle of Oxcross to only returning with only 3.5k?

 

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