Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Targaryeninkingslanding

The Unsullied: Form, Legend and Future

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

A thought I'll throw into the mix is this.  Dany v enemies in Westeros will, to some extent, be like the Arabs v Romans and Persians.

Her enemies in Westeros will have bled each other white, both financially, and in terms of manpower.  Many of the best and most experienced soldiers in Westeros will have been killed or crippled.  A lot of Great Houses will be desperately short of funds. Dany will likely have a match-fit, well-trained army, an extensive fleet, and enormous funds drawn from the Free Cities, either because their governments have been overthrown, or because they'll have paid her huge bribes to go away.

Nor will I expect her, or her commanders, to adopt the moronic military strategies that the show gave them.

Edited by SeanF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/29/2021 at 7:47 AM, Loose Bolt said:

I disagree.

Reason is that Unsullied do not wear any real armor and their only protection are light shields. So arrows from longbows or bolts from crossbows should kill most of them b4 they could use their main weapons (spears). Besides plate armor should make javelins impotent so old Roman tactic of using pilum/pila should be less effective than it was against enemies that did not use heavy armors. Besides some Westerosi infantrymen are using pikes that are longer that spears and so those formations of pikemen should be able to either kill Unsullied or just to keep them far enough that their archers and crossbowmen has time to wipe out those unlucky eunuchs.

So I think that Unsullied are obsolete as infantrymen and they should be almost useless against armies that use either cross or longbows and pikes and for that reason they should not have any future as a military force.

 

I disagree with you.  Nothing would prevent an Unsullied from wearing armor.  An army of Unsullied can be readily equipped with armor and superior weapons.  The Unsullied are better trained, more disciplined, more dedicated than any army that Westeros can bring to battle.  

The Unsullied are not even close to being obsolete.  It's the Westerosi way that is obsolete.  The part-time soldiers of Westeros and their knights are no match for a trained infantry unit like the Unsullied. It has been shown repeatedly that armor can be penetrated.  Barristan is learning rather quickly that there are other weapons that can be effective against even a skilled swordsman.  Bronn and Oberyn already showed how easily an armored knight can be taken down.  And that is one against one.  The Unsullied will fight as a unit.  The best armored knight is no match for even two Unsullied working together to take him down.  The knight will go down.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

I think problem one and two listed actually have an interesting and inverse implication. If they are becoming more "human" so to speak than that will likely deal with the problem of seeking initiative because now they have a reason to live. similarly I think that by becoming more human they will value Dany more and be more loyal to her. they will die for her, and for other slaves, as greyworm has expressed.

 

More likely than they used to be, yes. But I have my doubts on whether that will be enough - training and culture cannot be erased overnight, and if the new, individualistic Unsullied are to be an effective army, then they have to introduce a new system of behaviour and discipline.

So they have a potential to be more effective than they used to be, but the road there will not be easy.

7 hours ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

As for the baths, that will certainly be more difficult, but given that winter is coming to Westeros, an abundance of water seems obtainable at the least. melting snow should be easy with a dragon about.

 

Baths alone are not enough. They are a good indication of how seriously hygiene is taken, and fact that Unsullied camps tend to be orderly indicates that they do take hygiene very seriously. But they are not the only ones: we see that both the Lannister army and the Golden Company also take their camps and camp hygiene seriously, which means that their campaign casualties will almost certainly be lower than those of Unsullied. Of course, George can simply go and ignore that sort of attrition... but still, camp discipline is a good indicator of overall discipline, and Unsullied are by no means unique there.

7 hours ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

That quote could be foreshadowing, but I think it's fair to be skeptical of the mock battle compared to true war. we may as well take the handmaid at her word. they were no true khalisar

 

Maybe. But to me that sounds too much like No True Scotsman. People do not exactly like to accept reality.

7 hours ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

Regarding the man at arms claim- they are similar to a national guard, but I think they are really more akin to a drafted army. Those who survived prior conflicts, and adult men of certain ages are called to train, but as the battle at Oxcross shows us, that is not always the case. those levies were fresh and untrained and crumbled. and still just as well, we see men of the nights watch, primarily composed of by small folk, often do not have even the slightest training beforehand.

 

Battle of Oxcross actually shows the opposite: it shows very clearly that Westerosi lords are aware that untrained rabble cannot win battles. Oxcross was a host in the process of training, and Tywin refused to deploy it to battle - it was set up far from expected battlefields, where soldiers and units could be drilled away from any sort of imminent danger. So yes, as war goes on, it is likely that more and more conscripts will be used - but untrained peasants they are not.

As for the Night's Watch, that is not an army - Westeros treats it as a penal colony, and you don't give combat training to criminals before sending them to high-security prison. It is up to Night's Watch to integrate them.

7 hours ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

I did mean composite bows. I actually fixed that spelling mistake before you posted your response but never mind. as to the problem with climate, yes in the river lands maybe, but you forget that winter has come. we are no longer dealing with an as humid a climate. and in essos longbows would still be at a disadvantage, where unsullied stood up to them.

You mean the battle of arsuf where a counterattack by the Christins was almost impossible due to the loss of horses to arrow fire? you make it sound like an easy devastation, but it was a close thing, and it was almost ruined by the knights Hospitaller "taking the initiative" so to speak. Certainly it worked out well for the christians, but I don't think this is quite the Ah-ha moment you think it is.

Winter is nothing if not humid. Human body produces heat, and snow melts in heat.

Battle of Arsuf was not exactly a close-run thing. Yes, it is true that the counterattack was nearly impossible due to losses in horses, but the Crusader army was never in any actual danger of being defeated. At worst, they will have abandoned the idea of counter-attack and marched on until they could enter Arsuf (they were, in fact, entering Arsuf when the battle was finally joined). In the end, Crusaders lost 700 men to some 7 000 Saracen losses. And this shows my point that, prior to the advent of firearms, battles were decided at close range. Attacks by horse archers were what military today would call a "shaping operation", but they were never effective by themselves. And the fact that the Dothraki lack armour - and, indeed, despise using it - means that they never will be able to exploit the opportunities their horse archers create.

7 hours ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

I don't think we have very dissimilar views to how a the Dothraki would behave in Westeros. Having said that, I think it could just as well more closely resemble the invasion of Kievan Rus. simply put the dorhtaki don't need to attack castles, just cities and smallfolk. well there is no way a khalisar would attack Westeros on its own anyways and I don't think I've made any claims to that fact.

 

Cities are fortified as well. And the entire purpose of fortified cities and castles is to provide safe shelters for the populace. The reason why Mongols conquered Kievan Rus were multiple, and none of these is in evidence in Westeros.

  1. Kievan Rus were divided politically. Now, Westeros too is politically divided - but they predominantly tend to follow their great lords (with the exception of Riverlands). Rus principalities were far smaller than Westerosi kingdoms, and their population density was more similar to what we imagine when we think of the North. In short, facing a single average-sized southern kingdom would be rather akin to facing unified Russian principalities.
  2. Eastern Europe, and especially Russia, had very low population density. Again, similar to what we think of with North. This allowed Mongols to inflict what was a strategic defeat-in-detail, taking cities one by one with no real possibility of relief.
  3. Russians back then had no major fortifications. Their "castles" and "fortified cities" were fortified with wooden pallisades. Majority of the fortified places fell in few days of siege, as the pallisades were destroyed by the artillery or simply burned down. Even so, some of the weakly fortified places held out for some time: town of Torzhok held out for two weeks.

This last problem was the most important in the fall of Rus. Walls of cities and forts alike were built by wooden logs atop earthen ramparts - something like Edoras from Lord of the Rings (you can see illustrations here). Almost nobody used siege artillery, and sieges consisted of simply blockading a town. So when Mongols came, the effect was akin to a World War I siege artillery group besieging a 13th century castle. Fortifications were simply brushed aside, with even the best fortified towns falling within four to six days.

But in Westeros, the situation will be an almost exact reverse. Westerosi fortifications are outright fantastical, more comparable to, say, Minas Tirith than to anything that actually existed in Medieval Europe outside Constantinople. Winterfell has a double-circuit wall, with outer wall being 80 feet and inner wall 100 feet tall. That is more than twice the height of the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople - you know, a city that was never captured by a land-based force before the proliferation of gunpowder artillery? Then you have King's Landing, which basically is Constantinople, at least when it comes to fortifications (geographically though, it is more similar to London). Meanwhile, neither Dothraki nor Unsullied have shown any capacity for actually besieging cities - especially the former. In short, as long as adequate garrisons are present, Westerosi cities and castles are immune to attack.

As I said - if they are to succeed, they will need Westerosi allies.

8 hours ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

Yes and when the 3000 made there last stand, instead of breaking, they won. That's the point. if they were routed they would have all died anyways. hell the mongols would have killed them all out of hand. you could even order some to stay behind and die so the rest can retreat orderly.

 

They won mostly because Dothraki were stupid and did not utilize their own strengths. Instead of spending hours or days pelting the Unsullied with arrows, or simply outflanking the Unsullied formation, Dothraki mounted a frontal charge after a frontal charge. A Roman legion, hell, a couple of large hoplite taxis, would have been able to defeat the Dothraki in such conditions.

Apparently Dothraki kinda forgot that they were light cavalry and not Westerosi knights...

8 hours ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

Yup the Dothraki have none of those things you listed. Though the mongol clans didn't have all those things either, initially. it was the rulership of Genghis khan and his implementation of meritocracy for the positions in his atomized army that changed things. right now the Dothraki more resemble the scattered clans pre unification. the stallion who mounts the world is probably the figure to change that.

I disagree with the claim that the Dothraki are not a profession army. Mongols were not at least initially trained as an army, but were taught to pick up a bow and two to ride from a very early age. 

Maybe. But Genghis Khan still had some fundamentals to work with - unlike Dothraki, Mongols were not exactly morons - and he actually worked closely with the Jin Chinese as their ally. But then Daenerys is a Queen of Asspulls, so she might well be able to do it.

8 hours ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

I really doubt they keep 3000 guard but perhaps your right. With a better understanding of the numbers we'd probably have a much more clear cut answer to the question of unsullied efficacy...

 

Three thousand was basically an estimate of the largest number that Golden Company will have been able to defeat based on the old adage of attacker needing at least 3:1 advantage. However, there is good possibility it actually is a correct number: Unsullied were the city guard of Qohor ever since the "Three Thousand" thing.

8 hours ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

You're right. the horse archers were a harassment tactic more than anything but still essential to how they fought. I do still believe their training makes the Dothraki on average more dangerous than a westerosi man at arms. And heavily cavalry can't be underestimated in countering them. 

 

Nah, not even close. Dothraki may be more versatile than a westerosi man at arms (spear + whip + bow), but their lack of armour means that they simply do not have the staying power. A Dothraki khalassar simply cannot win a duel against foot archer force of any significant size - Mongol cavalry had armour, even some of their horse archers (if not necessarily all of them). Dothraki do not use armour, and that is a massive disadvantage.

8 hours ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

you're correct that Westeros won't have the weakness of infrastructure or military tech. what will be problematic for them are supply trains and field battles - not for equipment - but for exposure to tactics. The first few years fighting the Dothraki would be strange and probably difficult for Westeros. more so if the Dothraki did not fight alone. I just don't think it will be an easy thing to shrug off.

 

Maybe, but then again, the doctrines of castle warfare are basically perfectly set up to counter the Dothraki. Problem is that apparently Westerosi actually prefer open field battles, so yes, they might have some initial difficulties. But again, Dothraki are not the Mongols, so said difficulties are unlikely to be anything significant.

8 hours ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

years I said, not decades. But the people who fought them had to learn to fight them. The invasion of Kievan Rus shows that clearly enough. and don't pretend unfavorable terrain didn't factor in heavily into those mongol losses. and those places that were not occupied were plundered heavily. The mongols certainly won those conflicts.

 

I wrote about Kievan Rus earlier - they are in no way comparable to either Western Europe or Westeros. Westeros is essentially nothing but an unfavourable terrain, as far as Dothraki were concerned - in both geographical and strategic terms. Fortifications were a massive element in creating that "unfavourable terrain" - it is something Kievan Rus did not have, but Westeros does.

And fact still remains that Mongols were defeated militarily. They had to retreat, both in 1241. and 1285. And while 1241. was kinda a close thing - a Pyrrhic victory, for Hungarians and Poles alike - the 1285. campaign was a very clear victory for the Hungarians. In both cases, it was the fortifications which proved decisive in denying Mongols the victory and creating conditions for their eventual defeat.

8 hours ago, Targaryeninkingslanding said:

Discussing this with you has probably one of the more fun conversations I've had on this forum but it is a bit exhausting...

Agreed - on both counts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Only 89 selfies today said:

There will always be a need for an elite military unit.  If there is a fighting unit that could become obsolete it is the knight class. 

For that to happen in Planetos someone would have to invent black powder, firearms, bayonet and grapeshot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, SeanF said:

A thought I'll throw into the mix is this.  Dany v enemies in Westeros will, to some extent, be like the Arabs v Romans and Persians.

Her enemies in Westeros will have bled each other white, both financially, and in terms of manpower.  Many of the best and most experienced soldiers in Westeros will have been killed or crippled.  A lot of Great Houses will be desperately short of funds. Dany will likely have a match-fit, well-trained army, an extensive fleet, and enormous funds drawn from the Free Cities, either because their governments have been overthrown, or because they'll have paid her huge bribes to go away.

Nor will I expect her, or her commanders, to adopt the moronic military strategies that the show gave them.

The slaves in Volantis, Quarth, and the other slaving cities will revolt against their masters.  They will support Dany in whatever she wishes to do.  Benerro and his church will do the same.  Braavos will support the great Breaker of Chains.  Funding will not be a problem.  Most of Westeros will welcome her arrival.  The only resistance will come from the Starks, Lannisters, and the Baratheons.  I don't really care about those families and would be fine if the wolves, lions, and stags were eliminated for good. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Targaryen Restoration said:

The slaves in Volantis, Quarth, and the other slaving cities will revolt against their masters.  They will support Dany in whatever she wishes to do.

Usually when people rise up and get rid a tyrant leader(s) of successful rebellion become(s) even worse tyrant(s). Or I suspect that only thing happening is that some of slaves will become new masters and some of old masters become slaves. But most of slaving cities will keep their business as slavers.

So I assume that victors of those rebellions will be more interested in securing their own power bases and their business than helping Dany. Naturally assuming that Dany leaves to Westeros. After all if she and her dragons stay in the area she might be strong enough to enforce her laws. But if or when she leaves to Westeros slavery will come back and in the long run everything that Dany had done becomes void.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...