Insubordination Part Two Edit
Okay, I'm going to try and unravel the battle scene. This is probably stupid of me as it'll make my head spin before I slam my head into the wall/table/whatever is hard and handy.
This is going to require a little bit of back tracking.
First off, Nasuda's spies suck ass. They can't tell the difference between three hundred and seven hundred. Not only that Edric's spies suck ass as they appear not to exist at all. If he did have them, there might not have been many problems.
The first directions we get are that there's a trail heading off into the east, the villagers are heading south and have seen the army coming in from the west. Now, the Varden, I suppose, are supposed to be following Galby's army. But if so, then they wouldn't be able to see the villagers heading south because they're behind the army. So, my guess is that they have to be something like this:
In fact they are in the southeast of the village. So they must have gotten ahead of the army going west to see its tracks going east and gone around. The army is on foot, they're on horseback. So the army apparently did not notice the large other army on horseback. Or so They Think. “We’re lucky they’re on foot,” murmured Carn, indicating the red column of soldiers marching toward the village. “We would not have been able to get here first otherwise.”
Right. The village has twenty houses in it. They are close enough to see to the second to the last house and the details of the people taken from it, including the fact that the boy is around eleven and the woman has a torn blouse. Where exactly is this second to the last house? I'm not sure. However, I do know that if they're close enough to be seeing that sort of detail, then Galby's army should be able to see them, hidden in the beech trees or not. And that's a lot of beech trees to hide in. With horses mind you. They're all on horseback as they're trying to hide in the beech trees from the armies. Horses are a lot harder to hide. At least a +10 modifier to your stealth check and then another +10 for your stealth check because you're near a bunch of other people.
Oh, and Edric has no spies.
The soldiers (what appear to be all seven hundred) form a rough semi-circle.
Why a semi-circle? I don't know. I haven't heard any commands from their leader. Or seen any one resembling their leader either. They're more like a hive mind. Just doing things like a bunch of lemmings, in the lemmings game. Also, I'm not completely sure how many buildings there are in this village. I'm told their are twenty houses, but what about things like the smithy and tavern? And of course the allimportant butcher's shop where people can get their need for meat satisfied. Oh wait, there is a leader. He's on horseback and he kills the old man by chopping off his head after talking to him for a moment. There is a black knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail amount of blood spray when the head comes off.
This is when the charge is called.
What we know: The village square is apparently big enough to hold seven hundred soldiers. Roran and Sand have eighty one soldiers with them each. They're coming from the southwest. There are twenty known buildings. They have been watching the soldiers move the entire time.
There are no spies/scouts.
Edric calls charge and they charge out. Sand and Roran are each taking a flank and Edric is going head on.
Wait. They are charging on horseback into a village. Charging into a situation where the horses won't have as much room to maneuver in. You don't charge on horseback if you're going into a village. Hell, you don't charge into a village. That's suicide. On horseback? That's suicide by handing your worst enemy the gun to shoot you with while smiling, kicking the guy in the groin and insulting his mother. Or suicide by Anhk-Moorpark terms.
.... Ooooh I know! Nasuada knew that Edric was an idiot and sent Roran to join his command so that there'd be a 'oops'. That way she'd get rid of Roran and not be the blame for it. After all he went down in battle. That sort of shit happens.
Or maybe it's wistful thinking on my part.
However, it certainly sounds dramatic, doesn't it? The charge into the village screaming while you slice and chop at people. Charges are dramatic. Look at the charge of the Rohan in Peter Jackson's the Two Towers. Starting off on top of the hill, the sun shining behind them casting them into a glow they ride down screaming to save the besieged Helm's Deep. Then there's the charge of the Huns in Mulan, the wildebeest charge in The Lion King, the Charge of the Light Brigade.... oh wait.. forget about the last one.
So, Roran's charging along and he hears strange metallic twanging noises from the other side of the battle where Sands is which leads to screams of pain. He wonders if they've created metal bows and if that's possible. Nowadays it sure is. Then, I don't think so. They continue charging along, Roran fearing that the battle may have already been lost. The streets are apparently very accommodating for a large charge.
Then they run into an obstacle.
He pulled hard on Snowfire’s reins as they passed the last house, steering him toward the center of the village. Behind him, his men did the same. Two hundred yards ahead, Roran saw a triple line of soldiers positioned between two houses, so as to block their way. The soldiers seemed unafraid of the horses racing toward them.
Roran hesitated. His orders were clear: he and his men were to charge the western flank and cut their way through Galbatorix’s troops until they rejoined Sand and Edric. However, Edric had not told Roran what he should do if riding straight up to the soldiers no longer seemed a good idea once he and his men were in position. And Roran knew that if he deviated from his orders, even if it was to prevent his men from being massacred, he would be guilty of insubordination and Edric could punish him accordingly.
Sooo... they can't go through different places? They're only position between two houses. I'm sure there are more than one path leading to the center of the square.
Also, wouldn't they have noticed the soldiers moving about to take those positions? I mean they did notice the fact that the girl had a torn blouse.
The soldiers reveal crossbows and Roran has enough time to shout 'take cover' before they all become pin cushions. Only one man becomes a pin cushion though as all the others, all eighty of them manage to get under cover without getting hurt. The volley of bolts from three lines of soldiers only hits one of them. Seeing as how the crossbowmen are such lousy shots I don't understand why Roran is so worried. Also, they should be charging ahead now as it takes time to reload a crossbow. Especially the ones that it looks like they used were big ones.
The Varden are looking at Roran with expressions of newfound trust. since he called for them to take cover. Except we never saw that they didn't trust him in the first place. They always trusted him. There was never any grumbling at him being in charge. He's surprised that they're not upset he disobeyed orders. I don't think they care right now about that. I think staying alive is what they care about.
Anyway, I've been thinking. Roran, our free thinking protagonist, has been assigned to the close-minded Edric. Edric's commands are walking suicide. There for, Roran, no matter what he does automatically ends up looking like the hero because he'll get his men out alive from the suicide situation. Also he'll look clever because his tactics are going to be more than just 'charge'. He'll be telling people to go and do things and stuff. Of course if he were that smart he would have been uneasy about the entire thing from before Edric said charge. Well, now he (Roran) has to fix it and look awesome.
First he has archers go up onto the roofs to shoot the crossbowmen. Then he has his ten best swordsmen and spearmen come over to chat. The men aren't shot at. In fact the crossbowmen are just letting them sit around and plan. They're just waiting, I guess. Anyway, it sounds like Roran is going to have the archers distract the crossbowmen while the others charge ahead and stabbity at them. I'm not sure how smart of a plan this is. I think they should get off the horses at least. That would give them more maneuvering ability at least. Also, on the flip side of things, why aren't the crossbowmen on top of the roofs so that they won't get spotted or run over.
Of course, tactics aren't my forte at all. Some of the things that I do know I got from Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series and Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. They may be phone books but... they did make sense when it came to tactic like things. At least they made sense to me.
So, they charge, the archers firing at the crossbowmen. On horseback. This isn't a disaster because Roran does it.
They manage to ride through the crossbowmen and into the square.
Together, he and his men galloped around the side of the house, pulling their steeds into such a tight turn that they nearly fell over. Relying on his speed and the skill of the archers for protection, Roran skirted the soldiers, who were flailing in disarray, until he came upon the site of Edric’s disastrous charge. There the ground was slick with blood, and the corpses of many good men and fine horses littered the space between the houses. Edric’s remaining forces were engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the soldiers. To Roran’s surprise, Edric was still alive, fighting back to back with five of his men.
If they didn't charge into the village with the horses they wouldn't be dead. They being both the men and the horses.
Roran slaughters joyfully all sorts of bad people while Snowfire kicks people. He manages to get his men around the standing Varden and have them retreat. Edric is unhappy that Roran disobeyed him but glad he's around. Edric wants the archers to come down and stabbity at people, while Roran is all but we don't have enough men to fight them hand to hand.
This does not please Edric.
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