02 May 2019

Battle of Winterfell Critiques

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Angry Staff Officer is scathingly critical:

Take the Dothraki cavalry. Putting that squadron forward of the main line of infantry was doctrinally correct, but the allied commanders did not put it to proper use: screening the allied lines and gaining active intelligence on the enemy. Instead, the Dothraki are ordered forward into an attack before the enemy situation is even known. This move, sometimes known as a “Custer,” predictably ends in ruin for the Dothraki cavalry, who get chewed up and spat out in an unsupported frontal attack.

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Robert Farley blames Team Alive’s lack of Dead-Fighting experience, and notes that Team Dead also made mistakes, particularly overlooking their opponent’s possession of Faceless-Trained Special Forces.

Team Dead entered this battle with massive advantages in every category other than cavalry and dragons. It destroyed Team Alive’s cavalry and the bulk of its infantry in short order, and also reduced the formidable fortification of Winterfell. Team Dead nevertheless made mistakes, failing to develop a coherent plan for defeating Team Alive’s dragons and failing to anticipate the lethality of Team Alive’s special operators. The inexperience of Team Alive in waging battle against the dead was palpable, but Team Dead also lacked experience fighting a battle of this scale against a multifaceted force of the living. Unfortunately, the “lessons learned” department of Team Dead likely crumbled to dust shortly after the Night King.

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Schill McGuffin

Not unreasonable observations, but he considers the cavalry from kind of a European perspective. The Dothraki are essentially an all-cavalry force, though, and probably approach things from a different perspective.

Massed charges against approaching infantry forces probably work very well in their experience — They’d prefer to attack infantry forces that are on-the-move, before they could deploy into combat formations (especially anti-cavalry squares). Against opposing cavalry, they’d want to overwhelm any force they encountered. And attacks at night, while difficult to coordinate, probably are more detrimental to their foes than to them. We have, in fact, seen these tactics work for them in past episodes.

The main problem here was facing a foe that didn’t conform to their experience — that can likely see in the dark, doesn’t get confused or demoralized, and probably outnumbered them by a large margin.



bob sykes

And it was boring.



steve walsh

Good critique. I, too, wondered about the wisdom of attacking an unseen and understood foe. That can make sense if done in an attempt to gain advantage from surprise. In this case the Dothraki were wiped out to no demonstrable purpose or gain of advantage.

I enjoyed the episode and especially that Arya was the hero. I’ve always liked that character.



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