Malazan Empire: Ok, lets get real about the K'Chain Che'Malle for a second - Malazan Empire

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Ok, lets get real about the K'Chain Che'Malle for a second Rate Topic: -----

#61 User is offline   Kanese S's 

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 09:49 AM

I dunno, if I were ruling a bunch of KCCM as matron, which obviously I'm not, I wouldn't want everyone to be a frighteningly capable assassin. Much too difficult to keep track of. Also, the number three is often picked for arbitrary reasons.

Also, undead KCCM are probably less fazed by injuries than mortal ones. And still, as Dolmen notes, three Seguleh did okay against them. The Bonehunters aren't Seguleh, but they're no slouches, either.
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#62 User is offline   Orlion 

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 07:38 PM

A couple of things:

1) The undead KCCM in MoI are deadly, but are dealt with by the actual trained armies at the end and half-wayish, IIRC. They were easy to deal with if you had organization, the right tools, and weren't green. I don't imagine the Short-tails being anymore superior to their long-tailed brethren except for in technology and numbers.... and that's what they brought to bear in the battle.

2) This was foreshadowed. That's right. We knew that there were a bunch of Short-tails up to no good, that they had a bunch of Skykeeps, and that they would be dealt with eventually. Quick Ben may not have thought too much of his view of an army of them in the (Imperial?) Warren, but he also regretted it when they happened to stumble upon them.

3) So they got skykeeps, so what? That doesn't negate the need for a ground army. You'll notice no army on Earth is made entirely of airplanes dropping bombs, why is that? If people are going to claim that these technological advances make foot soldiers unnecessary, they are ignorant of any sort of military history and strategy.

4) Developments that mangle foot soldiers is a common theme in this series, also... I mean, you have read Midnight Tides, haven't you?

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#63 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 08:12 PM

View PostKanese S, on 19 September 2011 - 09:49 AM, said:

I dunno, if I were ruling a bunch of KCCM as matron, which obviously I'm not


Hey, don't sell yourself short. It's not that obvious.
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#64 User is offline   Salt-Man Z 

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 03:31 PM

The dreaded Ch'kin Che'malle!

View Postworrywort, on 11 April 2011 - 06:03 AM, said:

But dinosaurs did keep on evolving:

Posted Image

View PostAptorian Sharktopus, on 11 April 2011 - 06:31 AM, said:

Now imagine that chicken has a proton pack on its back and a raygun in its miniature hands.

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#65 User is offline   Bauchelain the Evil 

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 04:03 PM

That's not a chicken. That is evil incarnate!
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#66 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 04:04 PM

View PostAptorian Sharktopus, on 11 April 2011 - 06:31 AM, said:

Now imagine that chicken has a proton pack on its back and a raygun in its miniature hands.


you mean...

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#67 User is offline   Abberon 

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 06:50 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 18 September 2011 - 03:31 PM, said:

Look it up dude, you were doing it, and don't for a second claim to me that I don't understand something I say.


If you really understood it you would have realized how goofy it was to use on an online fantasy book forum.

View PostQuickTidal, on 18 September 2011 - 03:31 PM, said:

Hmmm, perhaps it was THIS STATEMENT "but it starts to feel like there's no point in having armies in the first place when they're so easily mangled by magic, dragons, or dino-soldiers" Huh...seems to me the subject of THAT sentence is that the BH shouldn't exist to fight such great odds...


It doesn't make sense to me why a leader would arrange his/her forces into armies when a mage or two (or a sky keep) can slaughter hundreds or thousands of soldiers at a time with mere hand gestures.

Once again, I said I didn't like the apocalyptic sorcery, sky keeps, and KCCM. I said that.

View PostQuickTidal, on 18 September 2011 - 03:31 PM, said:

care to try again Aberration?


Okay...that's just the saddest/dorkiest thing I've ever read here. With that sort of wit it's no wonder we don't get along.

View PostQuickTidal, on 18 September 2011 - 03:31 PM, said:

My point wasn't to compare, but to say that massive odds are NEVER a reason to count out a force altogether. Just because the US (supported by the Air force) would have a huge tactical advantage DOESN'T MEAN that you could count the Republic Guard out of the equation altogether,


Yes, you can, and if you knew anything about it you wouldn't say that. The Iraqis were fighting aircraft they couldn't see or target, tanks that nothing in their arsenal could penetrate, and were being bombarded by ships and missiles they literally had no counter for. Look up how long the ground war lasted in Desert Storm and the # of American casualties....

View PostQuickTidal, on 18 September 2011 - 03:31 PM, said:

so if you'd actually READ my comment as it was meant to be interpreted, I wasn't comparing, but suggesting that just because the sides are outmatched doesn't mean you can count out the little guy. I realize I just repeated myself there, but I thought a little help might be needed for your getting of it. Get back to ME when you can read and interpret posts properly, okay?


Wait...you're telling ME to read your comments as they were meant to be interpreted? Holy hypocricy. I seem to recall you making it very clear in other threads how wrong it is to do that. I was told I needed to be far more literal right??? lol
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#68 User is offline   Blueiron 

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 05:49 PM

View Postworrywort, on 17 September 2011 - 09:09 PM, said:

Nasty is smashing someone's face in with a brick. Two dorks who don't much care for each other heatedly arguing about dino-warriors in a fantasy book is a breath of fresh air. Even if there's a little sniping thrown in. It's people arguing passionately about books. You ain't gonna see that at the mall most days.


You are right. A little sniping back and forth never hurt in the long run. I'll try to be a little more easy about this kind of thing in the future :harhar:

EDIT: lol. I didn't even read the post right above mine. Oh well. Whatever.

This post has been edited by Blueiron: 02 October 2011 - 05:52 PM

QBFTW!
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#69 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 02:37 PM

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#70 User is offline   Orlion 

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 05:04 PM

I blame Caladan Brood.
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Posted 06 October 2011 - 09:20 AM

View PostOrlion, on 19 September 2011 - 07:38 PM, said:

A couple of things:

1) The undead KCCM in MoI are deadly, but are dealt with by the actual trained armies at the end and half-wayish, IIRC. They were easy to deal with if you had organization, the right tools, and weren't green. I don't imagine the Short-tails being anymore superior to their long-tailed brethren except for in technology and numbers.... and that's what they brought to bear in the battle.

2) This was foreshadowed. That's right. We knew that there were a bunch of Short-tails up to no good, that they had a bunch of Skykeeps, and that they would be dealt with eventually. Quick Ben may not have thought too much of his view of an army of them in the (Imperial?) Warren, but he also regretted it when they happened to stumble upon them.

3) So they got skykeeps, so what? That doesn't negate the need for a ground army. You'll notice no army on Earth is made entirely of airplanes dropping bombs, why is that? If people are going to claim that these technological advances make foot soldiers unnecessary, they are ignorant of any sort of military history and strategy.

4) Developments that mangle foot soldiers is a common theme in this series, also... I mean, you have read Midnight Tides, haven't you?

I now return you to your program all ready in progress :p


On your point 3, and for fancy it may seems for some people here; I do confirm during the last 2 wars I fought on, knife, baionettes and repeers were of great use!!!

Being french, 50 y old, I did have to fight in some conflicts (Lebanon, Chad) and 1 civil war (Central Africa). Those having familly in Beyrouth in the early 80 will comfirm we were using both hight tech and low tech (low tech being often the most efficient when it was a need for a very precise action).

For those wondering, the rapeer was used AFTER Drakkar attack to remove with extreme prejudice (middle east method) those who commited that attack.

So nothing incompatible btw hight tech and an handfull of K'Hunter using swords.
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Posted 06 October 2011 - 03:10 PM

There's a also a basic tenet that goes back to Heinlein in STARSHIP TROOPERS (and further back, but that's just the obvious example) that if you're going to hold ground, sooner or later you need feet and eyes on the ground to do it.

The counter argument runs that if you're only interested in wiping out the other side scorched earth style, superior aerial firepower is going to count for a hell of a lot, subject to the opposition's ability to find cover and dig in. Notice that neither the Bonehunters, nor STormy and Gesler's L'izard Army of Awesome actually had any way to duck the Skykeep bombardment and would have been wiped out if the former hadn't retreated and the latter hadn't gotten some serious backup from Iccy and the mage kids.



Another point is that Kell Hunters are not intended to be infantry. That's the V'gath's job. Kell are fast moving long ranging scouts, shock troops, skirmishers (and arguably 'hunters'). The point is made in DoD that most Matrons (ie: the Pannion's pet in MoI) were content to just make piles of Kell, mostly because they are easier to make than V'gath and served perfectly well for the challenges at the time.

This is confused somewhat by the MT prologue that refers to Kell as K'chain 'elite', but i figure that's a Tiste misunderstanding.
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#73 User is offline   Kelewon 

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 04:34 PM

I'd also like to point out that in RG the Letherii general thinks that the mages on both sides of the battle will cancel each other out. Which makes me think that that happens quite a bit in the world, probably with assassins, otataral and munitions helping equalize the field.

Also Convergence of power is a theme in the books, the people that go around nuking everyone tend to have bad things happen to them (Kallor, Rhugar, Whirlwind) since using power draws powerful people and the result is unpredictable. I think that's why there are very few great swordsmen or mages that walk around looking for fights. The ones that do cause a "convergence" and died. I remember some sort There was a reference to Cowl and Rake duking it out with magic and Rake backed down, even though he has a skykeep, high mages, assassins and elite troops at his disposal.

With this in mind you'd always want to use the least amount of power possible and working your way up, just the way the Malazan Empire (Kellendvad) did it.
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#74 User is offline   Abberon 

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 09:50 PM

View PostOrlion, on 19 September 2011 - 07:38 PM, said:

1) The undead KCCM in MoI are deadly, but are dealt with by the actual trained armies at the end and half-wayish, IIRC. They were easy to deal with if you had organization, the right tools, and weren't green.


Well no...the undead KCCM were dealt with by the gathering T'lan Imass hordes. The Bridgeburners and Onearm's Host in Coral were completely devastated by them. They were the best of the best the Malazans had to offer and single KCCM were slicing up entire squads and sending them into flight. Hedge had to drop a cusser on himself to save his squad from one. I really didn't have a problem with a few hundred of these badasses running around and stuff, but when thousands of them show up in the desert and the Malazan heavies actually stand toe-to-toe with them, I kind of scratch my head and wonder. Were the KCNR just not as tough or something?

View PostOrlion, on 19 September 2011 - 07:38 PM, said:

3) So they got skykeeps, so what? That doesn't negate the need for a ground army. You'll notice no army on Earth is made entirely of airplanes dropping bombs, why is that? If people are going to claim that these technological advances make foot soldiers unnecessary, they are ignorant of any sort of military history and strategy.


One difference: Our airborne weapons of war rely on something called fuel, not magic. They also follow the principles of physics and aerodynamics. When you don't have to worry about refueling, you don't have to worry about airbases. When you don't have to worry about airbases, you don't have to have ground assets to protect them. Also, when your mission isn't to subjugate, but rather to destroy, you don't need soldiers on the ground to search houses etc and you don't need to be careful about your ROE.

View PostOrlion, on 19 September 2011 - 07:38 PM, said:

4) Developments that mangle foot soldiers is a common theme in this series, also... I mean, you have read Midnight Tides, haven't you?


Yes, and the Letheri/Tiste Edur pitched battle in that book was one of the biggest disappointments in the series for me. When a giant battle with tens of thousands of soldiers is resolved in moments by someone waving their hands around and magically annhilating the enemy, I start remembering (not fondly) Robert Jordan's trash. In my humble opinion, if you're going to make a series primarily about soldiers, they should have more practical use than just being dramatic fodder for epic magical conflagrations. I'd prefer to see a lot more of the soldier vs soldier (a la Lord of the Rings or even Deadouse Gates) and less of the soldier vs explosions (a la Wheel of Time or Dust of Dreams).

Weren't the battles in Deadhouse Gates a lot more satisfying than the battles in MT or DoD? Magic was present in DHG as well, but it was supportive. The armies fought the battles and magic (amongst other things) could help tip the outcome one way or another. In later books, the battles start to get over-the-top. It's no longer a matter of soldiers outfighting one another. It's a matter of which mage/spaceship/dragon powered up the most before battle.
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#75 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 10:24 PM

View PostAbberon, on 06 October 2011 - 09:50 PM, said:


Weren't the battles in Deadhouse Gates a lot more satisfying than the battles in MT or DoD?


Not particularly, no.
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#76 User is offline   Sinisdar Toste 

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 11:12 PM

well yes, the last battle of MT was over in under an hour, but there was a purpose to it. it's not just making soldiers into 'fodder'. first, it shows us the power of the CG when channelled through mortal servants, second, it shows us the cost of using chaotic sorcery, literally deforming and corrupting the k'risnan, mind, body and soul. the only other battle with such a high casualty rate was the one in DoD, which had a different purpose, and has been elucidated before. basically, i don't think SE just kills off tons of soldiers with ridiculous sorcerous firepower because he thinks it'll look and read cool.

as for the ground battle... let's look at this from the nah'ruk perspective (which should be easy, because it's all one perspective)

--

so, we want to finish our genocide of the che'malle. we've found their final rooted and we're gonna get em. in the meanwhile, let's have some fun using our superior firepower and our supreme arrogance wiping out these weird little things running all over the place (humans, which nah'ruk have probably never encountered before).

now it's a mere day until we sight the che'malle army, but what's this? a large group of those 'humans' is in our way... well, we'll need a good meal to keep our strength up, let's do this.

things are going pretty well so far. our kep'rah seem to be making them cower... wait, what's that one doing-?? OH DAMN HE'S CHARGING? AND, WHAT? THAT ONE JUST BLEW UP OUR OWN KEP'RAH POWER PACKS? HOW?! CLOSE! CLOSE! CLOSE!

whew.. things are settling down. these humans are getting slaughtered... AAAGHHH!!!! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!? WHAT? ON FIRE? THOUSANDS OF US? DAMN THAT BASTARD! GATH'RAN ONE, FIRE!

NOW WE'RE PISSED. oh wait, hold on, these bastards aren't backing down? who the fuck... oh hey, let's some of us go pick off that small group over there. good idea us, let's go.

HAH, there's only three of them, and two are injured. should be eas-AAAHHHHHHHH! OH GOD SHE'S CUTTING OFF MY EVERYTHING!!

FUCK THESE ASSHOLES! what? they're retreating? fuck it. let em go. we got che'malle to think about.

--

if that wasn't clear, the nah'ruk thought they had an easy kill, wanted some fresh meat, but were buffeted by the successive badassitude of all those humans they thought were gonna be pushovers. and if the che'malle are unimaginative, then the nah'ruk are a one note song. the BB in MoI just wanted to stay alive, they were scrambling through a city with chaos everywhere. the heavies have nowhere to run, they're in a position to protect the marines - who have basically done everything up until this point - and nobody wants to find out what happens when the nah'ruk take a prisoner. it's their job to give the army time to retreat, and there's no fucking way they're going to take a single step back. they will die where they stand.

why is that so hard to believe?
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#77 User is offline   Orlion 

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 02:55 AM

View PostAbberon, on 06 October 2011 - 09:50 PM, said:

View PostOrlion, on 19 September 2011 - 07:38 PM, said:

1) The undead KCCM in MoI are deadly, but are dealt with by the actual trained armies at the end and half-wayish, IIRC. They were easy to deal with if you had organization, the right tools, and weren't green.


Well no...the undead KCCM were dealt with by the gathering T'lan Imass hordes. The Bridgeburners and Onearm's Host in Coral were completely devastated by them. They were the best of the best the Malazans had to offer and single KCCM were slicing up entire squads and sending them into flight. Hedge had to drop a cusser on himself to save his squad from one. I really didn't have a problem with a few hundred of these badasses running around and stuff, but when thousands of them show up in the desert and the Malazan heavies actually stand toe-to-toe with them, I kind of scratch my head and wonder. Were the KCNR just not as tough or something?
Yeah, the KCNR are smaller, don't have swords for hands, and as sind pointed out, have a very single minded methodology. They are literally like lizard ants... with lasers! I think that was their job originally, build and maintain those technologies. I still hold (though corrected on specifics of when and who dealt with the undead K'Chain) that once someone is trained to fight a K'ell Hunter, they can be dealt with (the Letheri natives developed weapons specifically to fight them!). In other words, like with most things, the proper intelligence goes a long way.
So yeah, the disconnect is reconciled when KCNR (though no spring chickens) are not nearly as tough as K'ell Hunters... undead or otherwise. I'm reminded of that line from Independence Day "you just have to get through their technology"... I'll talk about that later.

Quote

View PostOrlion, on 19 September 2011 - 07:38 PM, said:

3) So they got skykeeps, so what? That doesn't negate the need for a ground army. You'll notice no army on Earth is made entirely of airplanes dropping bombs, why is that? If people are going to claim that these technological advances make foot soldiers unnecessary, they are ignorant of any sort of military history and strategy.


One difference: Our airborne weapons of war rely on something called fuel, not magic. They also follow the principles of physics and aerodynamics. When you don't have to worry about refueling, you don't have to worry about airbases. When you don't have to worry about airbases, you don't have to have ground assets to protect them. Also, when your mission isn't to subjugate, but rather todestroy, you don't need soldiers on the ground to search houses etc and you don't need to be careful about your ROE.
There are diffferences in mechanics (both physics wise and machinery wise) but they still run on something, and the cogs still need to be maintained. We don't know what those are, but the KCNR definitely do... they were kinda bred for that. But with different physics come different tactics. So instead of trying to have 'anti-skykeep magic' they actually tried to seal whatever rift they were coming through. They couldn't deal with it then, they weren't going to deal with it then, so try and do something so they can survive, and heavies, try and hold them off just long enough.

Quote


View PostOrlion, on 19 September 2011 - 07:38 PM, said:

4) Developments that mangle foot soldiers is a common theme in this series, also... I mean, you have read Midnight Tides, haven't you?


Yes, and the Letheri/Tiste Edur pitched battle in that book was one of the biggest disappointments in the series for me. When a giant battle with tens of thousands of soldiers is resolved in moments by someone waving their hands around and magically annhilating the enemy, I start remembering (not fondly) Robert Jordan's trash. In my humble opinion, if you're going to make a series primarily about soldiers, they should have more practical use than just being dramatic fodder for epic magical conflagrations. I'd prefer to see a lot more of the soldier vs soldier (a la Lord of the Rings or even Deadouse Gates) and less of the soldier vs explosions (a la Wheel of Time or Dust of Dreams).

Weren't the battles in Deadhouse Gates a lot more satisfying than the battles in MT or DoD? Magic was present in DHG as well, but it was supportive. The armies fought the battles and magic (amongst other things) could help tip the outcome one way or another. In later books, the battles start to get over-the-top. It's no longer a matter of soldiers outfighting one another. It's a matter of which mage/spaceship/dragon powered up the most before battle.


Think about it in a different light: Instead of a Star Warsy laser fight or Robert Jordan, 'wait, I'll just burn you all from the pattern!', look at themes. In Midnight Tides, there's a lot of WWI type themes... soldiers are facing against 'technology' (magic) that they haven't seen before and haven't developed defenses against. They are going to get slaughtered. I find WWI to be interesting and found the fighting in MT, as a result, to be an interesting case study of what it means to introduce new fighting techniques... specifically if used without any moral restraint.

I found most of the battles to be satisfying in their own respects. Deadhouse Gates was good for what it was, same with MoI, though I was starting to get sick of it. The end of HoC was refreshing as a result, as well as MT, Bonehunters, RG, TH, and even DoD. Keep in mind the the KCNR, though foreshadowed to the reader, were a complete unknown variable to the Bonehunters. It was like those friggin storms to the Spanish Armada! And you don't even know if they manage to survive at the end of this book. That was different. That was good.
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#78 User is offline   Kanese S's 

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 08:40 AM

View PostSinisdar Toste, on 06 October 2011 - 11:12 PM, said:

the nah'ruk are a one note song


So... like a vuvuzela?
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#79 User is offline   Kanese S's 

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 08:43 AM

View PostAbyss, on 06 October 2011 - 03:10 PM, said:

Another point is that Kell Hunters are not intended to be infantry. That's the V'gath's job. Kell are fast moving long ranging scouts, shock troops, skirmishers (and arguably 'hunters'). The point is made in DoD that most Matrons (ie: the Pannion's pet in MoI) were content to just make piles of Kell, mostly because they are easier to make than V'gath and served perfectly well for the challenges at the time.

This is confused somewhat by the MT prologue that refers to Kell as K'chain 'elite', but i figure that's a Tiste misunderstanding.

Maybe the K'ell hunters are like marines, and the V'gath are like heavies.
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#80 User is offline   Abberon 

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 08:09 PM

View PostOrlion, on 07 October 2011 - 02:55 AM, said:

There are diffferences in mechanics (both physics wise and machinery wise) but they still run on something, and the cogs still need to be maintained.


You really don't have to explain how they work or anything. The community here is nothing if not creative. It can and has come up with countless different reasons why the KCCM or really ANYTHING in these books was perfectly reasonable and/or even brilliantly written.

View PostOrlion, on 07 October 2011 - 02:55 AM, said:

Think about it in a different light: Instead of a Star Warsy laser fight or Robert Jordan, 'wait, I'll just burn you all from the pattern!', look at themes. In Midnight Tides, there's a lot of WWI type themes... soldiers are facing against 'technology' (magic) that they haven't seen before and haven't developed defenses against. They are going to get slaughtered. I find WWI to be interesting and found the fighting in MT, as a result, to be an interesting case study of what it means to introduce new fighting techniques... specifically if used without any moral restraint.


I'm enormously interested in WWI and WW2 myself, and I guess yours is one way to look at it. Given how powerful the magic in MBotF is, however, I'd venture to guess that even a WW2 equipped army wouldn't have been able to deal with Anomander Rake, Raest or Sky Keeps.

View PostOrlion, on 07 October 2011 - 02:55 AM, said:

I found most of the battles to be satisfying in their own respects. Deadhouse Gates was good for what it was, same with MoI, though I was starting to get sick of it. The end of HoC was refreshing as a result, as well as MT, Bonehunters, RG, TH, and even DoD.


I can almost agree with that. I thought the end of HoC was especially unexpected and satisfying (the whole book leading up to a battle that never happened) and the Bonehunters wasn't bad at all either. It got to the point, however, where every battle ended up being an explosion fight (whether it be munitions or magic or lasers). I'll get negative rep'd in this post as well I'm sure (bring it Kanese...you always do), but I personally can't stand it when authors resolve their battles with all-powerful magic. Either they didn't know how to actually write a battle properly (SE and ICE have clearly shown they can so that's out), or they don't have room or just can't be bothered to actually write it. It's Deus Ex Machina.

100,000 strong army standing in your way? BAM! No problem. Crippled God just wiped the floor with them.

This post has been edited by Abberon: 07 October 2011 - 08:10 PM

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