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Which region(s) of the Seven Kingdoms would have the best chances to beat an invasion of Daenerys' forces (minus the dragons) ?


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Of the nine kingdoms composing Westeros below the Wall, which ones do you think would fare the best against an invasion of Daenerys Targaryen's essosi forces (Unsullied, Dothraki, sellswords, meereeneese fighters) with her dragons having been removed of the equation ?

Which ones should at least have chances to repel them ? With what strategy and tactics ?

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What I see is that GRRM is creating a situation where there will be little military opposition to Dany's invasion. 

The North, the Riverlands and the Westerlands have lost considerably combating capabilities during the wars. The Crowlands and the Stormlands too, but to a lesser extend.

The Reach will be heavily occupied with Euron forces and the Vale will probably go North with Sansa leaving these lands unprotected. Only Dorne, the Golden's Company and few other forces will remain to defend King's Landing, making the war easy for Dany.

Now, from a theoretical perspective, if the Westeros armies were to be in good shape and Dany doesn't have dragons. Things won't be that easy without a capable military commander who knows the weaknesses of the army.

For example, there are hints that Dothraki are not well suited to fight knights as their main weapon (the arakh) is useless against steel plate (see Jorah vs Quotho and Barristan vs Khrazz). We might see if that it comes to play. The Unsullied are unbreakable, but if they get outflanked by heavy cavalry they will be butchered. Etc.

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I agree that the westerosi situation is built up in a way that Dany shouldn't face any bigger threaths. 

The thing that actually struck me thinking (not so much about this) is the Devil's triangle that could form in case Ramsay or Roose still holds the North when Daenerys arrives and offers loyalty to her, only to later be found out that Jon Snow who's fighting in his name or a Stark's name is Rhaegar's son. (and in this case, Daenerys funds the Boltons, to fight against his nephew). 

I mean, this would be a twist that I would definitely not miss out on. That being said, I see little chance of a Bolton reign at the North when Daenerys arrives. But in that case, it would make a lot of sense. Daenerys wouldn't have a reason to do anything good to the Starks (and with her current knowledge, nobody in their right minds would do any differently), and RLJ would be a twist that would throw Daenerys into a hard situation, as it should, with the possibility of tarnishin her reputation for throwjng away one loyal supporter of her. 

But yea, I don't think it'll happen. 

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Most of them? None of the kingdoms are really that depleted: North is the worst off out of all of them (barring perhaps Stormlands), as for the Reach, there is no logical way in which the Ironborn should be able to occupy most of the kingdom: they might be able to take some towns on the shores, but even whatever forces remain in the Reach should be enough to stop them in any sort of land-based advance. Stormlanders switched sides at King's Landing and are liable to do it again, so their forces should be reasonably intact, Dorne hadn't been to war yet, Vale had also remained out of the war and even if they ride North they shouldn't take much losses. And we see that even North, depleted as it is, still has significant forces available. In fact, kingdoms least likely to be capable of beating Daenerys are likely the Westerlands and the Riverlands: Westerlands should logically be spent from trying to maintain hegemony over Westeros, while Riverlands had been subjected to extensive devastation and... well, it is Riverlands. Expecting these guys to do anything properly is likely a tall order. Crownlands had also likely been spent, and Ironborn are almost useless in land-based fight.

As for Daenerys' forces, Unsullied, Dothraki and Meereeneese fighters should be basically useless in Westeros. The only way they would win is by massive numerical superiority and/or the sellswords providing the advantage. But Daenerys' forces are hugely heterogenous, which is as likely to be a disadvantage as it is to be an advantage.

However, question is more of the strategic situation, and which kingdoms would actually want to do it.

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The Vale and Dorne. The North and the Reach appear to be largely flat, suited to the Unsullied and Dothraki (who are substandard soldiers as explained by one of my rare threads here:

The Vale (theoretically, IMO, the best place to live militarily, from external attack) can apparently produce its own food, and the Bloody Gate is hard to attack (no room to deploy troops, hard to supply for a long siege without the organization to purchase and ship it to the site of the siege). Troops can be concentrated at the ports and vulnerable places (to prevent, but probably not completely block a landing), though for a long term siege this might be difficult, especially since this is the feudal system. 

Dany needs better troops, and a lot of them, ASAP. Hopefully she'll pick some more up, and she does have her dragons. 

Edited by Jaenara Belarys
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As I said before. Archers make it an ez clap.

Her army is unarmored to the point that they are naked. Unsullied are the only ones that I believe have a chance at succeeding in Westeros.

Edited by The Young Maester
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On 2/3/2022 at 4:32 PM, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

Of the nine kingdoms composing Westeros below the Wall, which ones do you think would fare the best against an invasion of Daenerys Targaryen's essosi forces (Unsullied, Dothraki, sellswords, meereeneese fighters) with her dragons having been removed of the equation ?

Which ones should at least have chances to repel them ? With what strategy and tactics ?

The dragons are only going to be removed from the equation if you write the novels.  The dragons are the story.  Take all of the books written and published of the Song of Ice and Fire.  They all have dragons.  Dragon dragons and human dragons.  Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion are integrated into Dany's story.  The dragons will go where the prime protagonist goes.  Where she goes, they go. 

Winter has come.  The forces of Westeros are weak because the Starks and the Lannisters created a conflict which got other houses involved.  So no region at this time can repel a combined force of Dothraki, Westerosi allies, Unsullied, and mercenaries.  Tyrell, Ironborn, and many more will flock to the Targaryen banner to put Dany on the throne. 

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7 hours ago, Rosetta Stone said:

The dragons are only going to be removed from the equation if you write the novels.  The dragons are the story.  Take all of the books written and published of the Song of Ice and Fire.  They all have dragons.  Dragon dragons and human dragons.  Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion are integrated into Dany's story.  The dragons will go where the prime protagonist goes.  Where she goes, they go. 

Winter has come.  The forces of Westeros are weak because the Starks and the Lannisters created a conflict which got other houses involved.  So no region at this time can repel a combined force of Dothraki, Westerosi allies, Unsullied, and mercenaries.  Tyrell, Ironborn, and many more will flock to the Targaryen banner to put Dany on the throne. 

This IS a hypothetical scenario.  No need to get nasty.

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The most vulnerable of the major Westeros regions to invasion has historically been the Riverlands, as far as I can tell. But while that might be Westeros's soft centre, it's not a region that's immediately available to attack, because it doesn't have a coastline that's easily available for Dany to attack.

The Vale was successfully invaded by the Andals, and Dorne by the Rhoynar, neither of whom had dragons. Those are the only two long-term-successful foreign invasions we know of.

There is also a question of what "resistance" means in this context. If we are looking for a Westeros region to defeat Dany in the field, then we would expect the Reach to be the hardest nut to crack: it has the largest army, arguably the best commander, and high-quality troops. But really you want to stop Dany from landing at all, which means fighting her at sea: Dragonstone (to the point that it's separate from the Crownlands) would be best-equipped to do that. The Reach also has a half-decent naval defence system and the Iron Islands obviously do, not that Dany would realistically attack the Iron Islands as a starter.

If Dany lands in force to the point where defeating her in the field seems too much of a risk, then you're looking at the regions best-positioned to outlast her while she traipses around trying to capture enough population centres to sustain a conquest. The North and Dorne have well-earned reputations for being able to resist that.

None of this takes into account the events of the War of the Five Kings, which has obviously had an impact on the ability of each region to defend itself. As at the end of ADwD, Dorne and the Vale have an advantage because they are the only regions unaffected by the war to date: their army, navy and infrastructure (both in command and civilian terms) are all still intact.

All of which suggests that Jon Connington's decision to attack the Stormlands might well have been the right one strategically. It has been weakened by the war more than the Vale or Dorne, and more obviously than the North itself (even if the North has lost men). It also provides readier access to the Riverlands, where an invader can really make their presence felt.

The Crownlands may appear a more tempting target and much of its fleet has been destroyed but that requires breaching King's Landing's defences and there are a lot of troops hanging around nearby to reinforce.

But really the best place to land for Dany would, despite all the above, be Dorne, because that's the friendliest region to her cause, and an unopposed landing would make life a lot easier.

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On 2/4/2022 at 6:02 PM, Aldarion said:

Most of them? None of the kingdoms are really that depleted: North is the worst off out of all of them (barring perhaps Stormlands), as for the Reach, there is no logical way in which the Ironborn should be able to occupy most of the kingdom: they might be able to take some towns on the shores, but even whatever forces remain in the Reach should be enough to stop them in any sort of land-based advance. Stormlanders switched sides at King's Landing and are liable to do it again, so their forces should be reasonably intact, Dorne hadn't been to war yet, Vale had also remained out of the war and even if they ride North they shouldn't take much losses. And we see that even North, depleted as it is, still has significant forces available. In fact, kingdoms least likely to be capable of beating Daenerys are likely the Westerlands and the Riverlands: Westerlands should logically be spent from trying to maintain hegemony over Westeros, while Riverlands had been subjected to extensive devastation and... well, it is Riverlands. Expecting these guys to do anything properly is likely a tall order. Crownlands had also likely been spent, and Ironborn are almost useless in land-based fight.

We can write off the North at contributing in any way to fight for or against Dany. Regarding their forces however, there are not that depleted as GRRM is making efforts to create additional forces for them, including wildings, Skagosi, sellswords and internal forces. They will come into play later on however.

The Stormlands are not very depleted, they have lost many men, particularly at the Blackwater, but otherwise they should be quite fine. I expect that most of them will join Aegon and thus fight against Dany.

The Westerlands have lost the equivalent of two armies in the battles. Two thirds at the battle of camps at Riverrun, another army at Oxcross, many men trying to cross the fords and many more at the Blackwater. They will surely lose more during the insurrection of the Riverlands. They probably can raise another army however, what role it will play remain to be seen.

The Riverlands are however very depleted. They have lost the most and some of the more intact armies like the Freys will be slaughtered during the coming insurrection. The Riverlands are not in good shape to fight. 

The Reach forces are nearly intact, but Euron and its ironborn are a greater threat than people imagine. We can be sure that the Redwyne fleet will be destroyed. Euron has anywhere between 30k to 100k fighting men who can land anywhere. So the Reach need to keep men spread out if they want to prevent massive damage. Furthermore, it might be possible that the army encircling Storm's End will be destroyed by Aegon, unless they surrender (another possibility). Yes, the Reach is up to a nasty surprise next book.

Dorne armies are intact and they will join Aegon and will make the bulk of its armies. No question here.

Vale is a bit of a wildcard. Many people expect that they will go North with Sansa and thus be out of the conflict between Dany and Aegon, but that is not assured.

Overall, Westeros is not in a good shape to face the large Dany's armies

 

On 2/4/2022 at 6:02 PM, Aldarion said:

As for Daenerys' forces, Unsullied, Dothraki and Meereeneese fighters should be basically useless in Westeros. The only way they would win is by massive numerical superiority and/or the sellswords providing the advantage. But Daenerys' forces are hugely heterogenous, which is as likely to be a disadvantage as it is to be an advantage.

 

Yes, I agree here, and a good military commander will be fundamental to make good use of these forces. Numerical advantage is assured however. Dany may have anywhere between 100k to half a million of Dothraki screamers. Hundred of thousands of (former) slave soldiers (think of the Volanese tigers for example), she can hire dozens of sellswords companies and she will have dragons.

 

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11 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

We can write off the North at contributing in any way to fight for or against Dany. Regarding their forces however, there are not that depleted as GRRM is making efforts to create additional forces for them, including wildings, Skagosi, sellswords and internal forces. They will come into play later on however.

The Stormlands are not very depleted, they have lost many men, particularly at the Blackwater, but otherwise they should be quite fine. I expect that most of them will join Aegon and thus fight against Dany.

The Westerlands have lost the equivalent of two armies in the battles. Two thirds at the battle of camps at Riverrun, another army at Oxcross, many men trying to cross the fords and many more at the Blackwater. They will surely lose more during the insurrection of the Riverlands. They probably can raise another army however, what role it will play remain to be seen.

The Riverlands are however very depleted. They have lost the most and some of the more intact armies like the Freys will be slaughtered during the coming insurrection. The Riverlands are not in good shape to fight. 

The Reach forces are nearly intact, but Euron and its ironborn are a greater threat than people imagine. We can be sure that the Redwyne fleet will be destroyed. Euron has anywhere between 30k to 100k fighting men who can land anywhere. So the Reach need to keep men spread out if they want to prevent massive damage. Furthermore, it might be possible that the army encircling Storm's End will be destroyed by Aegon, unless they surrender (another possibility). Yes, the Reach is up to a nasty surprise next book.

Dorne armies are intact and they will join Aegon and will make the bulk of its armies. No question here.

Vale is a bit of a wildcard. Many people expect that they will go North with Sansa and thus be out of the conflict between Dany and Aegon, but that is not assured.

Overall, Westeros is not in a good shape to face the large Dany's armies

 

Yes, I agree here, and a good military commander will be fundamental to make good use of these forces. Numerical advantage is assured however. Dany may have anywhere between 100k to half a million of Dothraki screamers. Hundred of thousands of (former) slave soldiers (think of the Volanese tigers for example), she can hire dozens of sellswords companies and she will have dragons.

 

Hum, the Ironborn may represent some danger and they have their naval expertise and mobility for them but they are certainely nowhere near 100k men, it will be already a miracle if they can mobilize 30K fighters given that the Iron Islands are the smallest region of Westeros, possibly the least populated too unless Dorne is really less populated than them, and many of their men aren't mobilized due to them being thralls or fishermen needed to keep the islands working and alive and their losses during the previous rebellion and pointless invasion attempt in the North and Victarion's portion of the Iron Fleet being in Essos waters right now.

The number of soldiers that the Iron Islands can mobilize is certainly closer to 20-25 000 in good periods, 30 000 would be, as I've said before, a miracle. 

And that's not counting the fact that they are hardly suited for land warfare due to them being so specialized in reaving and naval battles, lack discipline, cavalry, archers and siege weapons and sappers. 

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2 hours ago, Terrorthatflapsinthenight9 said:

Hum, the Ironborn may represent some danger and they have their naval expertise and mobility for them but they are certainely nowhere near 100k men, it will be already a miracle if they can mobilize 30K fighters given that the Iron Islands are the smallest region of Westeros, possibly the least populated too unless Dorne is really less populated than them, and many of their men aren't mobilized due to them being thralls or fishermen needed to keep the islands working and alive and their losses during the previous rebellion and pointless invasion attempt in the North and Victarion's portion of the Iron Fleet being in Essos waters right now.

Well, it depends how you do the counting. Reportedly the ironborn have "a thousand ships". In the books it is usually used a 100 warriors per ship, so the 100k upper limit. Now, most ironborn ships are smaller. Theon's was 50 oars IIRC. So you get 50 thousands and if the "thousand ships" is over the top, you will get 25 thousand.

Some ships are larger of course but most of them belong to the Iron Fleet and should be with Victarion. We can expect a few surprises here, but the overall count shouldn't change much, meaning that there should be 15 thousands men with Euron at the lowest and 50 thousands at the highest.

Notice that the Ironborn have a social structure somewhat different than the rest of the Westeros, closer to the wildings or Dothraki, where any able man can become a warrior in some capacity.

Finally, Euron is "doing things" to deal devastating blows to the Reach forces. First against the Redwyne and probably later to Oldtown, so yes. The Reach will be quite occupied with Euron, which is my main point.

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1 hour ago, rotting sea cow said:

Reportedly the ironborn have "a thousand ships".

Dorne also reportedly has 50k spears. But we know it’s just an exaggeration and a chest pumping technique.

I wouldnt believe much of this 1000 ships of thing.

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1 hour ago, rotting sea cow said:

Well, it depends how you do the counting. Reportedly the ironborn have "a thousand ships". In the books it is usually used a 100 warriors per ship, so the 100k upper limit. Now, most ironborn ships are smaller. Theon's was 50 oars IIRC. So you get 50 thousands and if the "thousand ships" is over the top, you will get 25 thousand.

Some ships are larger of course but most of them belong to the Iron Fleet and should be with Victarion. We can expect a few surprises here, but the overall count shouldn't change much, meaning that there should be 15 thousands men with Euron at the lowest and 50 thousands at the highest.

Notice that the Ironborn have a social structure somewhat different than the rest of the Westeros, closer to the wildings or Dothraki, where any able man can become a warrior in some capacity.

Finally, Euron is "doing things" to deal devastating blows to the Reach forces. First against the Redwyne and probably later to Oldtown, so yes. The Reach will be quite occupied with Euron, which is my main point.

The 1000 ships thing is obviously a large exaggeration, and the Iron Islands are far from large, rich and populated enough to give that quantity of warriors, especially when much larger and more populated regions such as the North, Riverlands or Vale give 40-45 000 men at very best and that in truth most of the Ironborn are fishermen or thralls who can't fight and leave home for evident reasons. 

They'll be very lucky to have 25 000 men against the Reach, and even if they beat the Redwyne fleet and to breach Oldtown's naval defenses it will be far from enough to match the bulk of the Reach largely more numerous and powerful on land armies. 

Besides it will be in their interest to retreat from Oldtown as soon as possible because they can't hope to hold the city.

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