Malazan Empire: Who neutered the Malazan army in OST? - Malazan Empire

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Who neutered the Malazan army in OST?

#1 User is offline   Migol 

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 10:23 PM

Two things that really made me scratch my head here:

1) Why did the Malazan army have absolutely NO munitions? I mean, ok, I get that they only had "weak cadre mages"...that apparently couldn't make any difference at all in the skirmish with the Seguleh. But munitions seem pretty prevalent in any malazan force we've ever seen.

Even if you argue that this story takes place a while after the moranth cut communications/stopped/trade/whatever...it's been shown in many places that it was typical of sappers and even regular soldiers to horde munitions for years to use them in last ditch "gonna take them out with me" fashion. A couple of mere sharpers/burners in the seguleh skirmish would have made an enormous difference.

2) Why were the Malazans so incredibly sad and depressed when seeing munitions used (to great effect) on the Seguleh who had just been slicing body parts off them and their squadmates? The malazan army in every book prior has treated munition use (with the flying body parts that it entails) as a combination of the 4th of july and christmas. I expect their reaction to be one of "Beautiful sight, I want to cry at the joy I'm feeling seeing this". Not "I want to cry because it's so awful a thing to do...despite all of us veterans having done it for years to everyone else".
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#2 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 10:47 PM

Glad somebody finally brought this up.
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#3 User is offline   Sinisdar Toste 

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 01:40 AM

this army was the dregs of the genebackan campaign after all the rest got killed off and/or shipped out with dujek for 7 cities. that plus recruits. i'm surprised they did as well as they did. edit: what i'm saying is that if they didn't have any sappers, there wouldn't have been anyone hoarding.

their reaction to the dive bomb was, i dno, over-dramatic perhaps, but it was a dramatic slaughter they witnessed. despite being allied to the moranth, i doubt any of the malazans have seen an out and out bombing run before. they might have seen sorcery, some of the ones who were at pale, and that was scarring enough i'm sure, but it's a new kind of war they're seeing. there had to be some kind of reaction. this isn't some ascendant like rake swooping in and dissolving people, it's WW1 with pleasant fields turned into mud-churned moonscapes. now the skill with which ICE pulls this off is a matter of opinion, but i like that he gambled on something more provocative and extreme by going with the tearful burials. rereading the book, words spent on the event are actually in pretty short supply, but nevertheless they've caused quite a controversy round these parts, which i like too.

This post has been edited by Sinisdar Toste: 04 July 2012 - 01:45 AM

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#4 User is offline   Ivan Kersovic 

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 11:43 AM

The battle in RotCG between the three forces (assuming you've read it if you're here) at the end is a lot more gory and bloody than this. Mage warfare is just as nasty (if not nastier) than munitions. I did think it was a bit overdone, as was the "oh no we can't bomb Daru" thing. As for the whole where-were-their-munitions thing, I guess it's just to make it fit with the plot. I mean realistically speaking there were thousands of malazans. A hail of crossbow fire is hard to avoid. I can just about stretch to imagine that a highly trained swordsman could dodge a single crossbow bolt, but if the air is full of them you're meat no matter how good you are. But it's all a story at the end of the day.
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#5 User is offline   Defiance 

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 04:43 AM

The lack of munitions is something I can overlook; it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it's not something that bothered me. The crying part, though, just jolted me right out of the book. Unless the Moranth have their own super special munitions full of onions and depression-inducing drugs, that scene was far too overdone. I think it would have been a lot more effective if the Malazan soldiers had simply paid their respects to the fallen Seguleh after the battle or something of the sort.
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#6 User is offline   tiam 

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 12:39 PM

Munitions can be explained by one of Aragans first POvs in which he states the Moranth have been ignoring troop requests for a while potentially explaining why the Malazan army on Genabackis has no munitions. Id say its still a stretch with even that in mind but realistically if every sapper in the army had only one sharper it would decimate the Seguleh. The lack of bolts is also mentioned just before the Rhivi are slaughtered I think that the Malazans are running low. So its essentially sword against sword. In that instance you think 10000 charging downhill against individual opponents would be successful but maybe not.

I also thought the crying was too much. You can say that these Malazans were newly recruited and thus were not hardened veterans but even then its out of context. Weve seen utter devastation from both munitions and sorcery multiple times in the series and the reaction has never been as emotional. The closest we get is Picker in MOI noting when they ambush that column of 400 Beklites with muntions that there is a place in hell for the Moranth who created them and the BB themselves as they have been using them. IMO the unleashing of sorcery that seems to dominate warfare is much more indiscriminate and would have yielded a similar response throughout the series. As it didnt the OST crying scenario seemed out of place.
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#7 User is offline   Sanctume 

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 04:10 PM

I imagine SE playing their modified gurps group battle, and the GM is ICE for this round of the campaign.

ICE: Malazan Army vs Seguleh?
SE: Yeah! I'll take my Malazan Army.
ICE: *rolls dice* You're low of munition, and your mage cadre is weaksauce.
SE: Sword fight vs Seguleh, wtf?
ICE: *rolls dice* You have a lot of guys, 10k?
SE: What about crossbow?
ICE: *rolls dice* You're low on bolts too.
...
ICE: LOL, you're getting owned!
SE: I pray / play my Knuckle in the Hole--Moranth Carpet Bomb!
ICE: Umm, roll a 99+
SE: *rolls dice* A WIN BABY!
ICE: *cries*
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#8 User is offline   Orlion 

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 07:57 PM

Yep, in the other series, it's too much munitions, in this one it's not enough. Fantasy readers are a fickle bunch :wallbash:

I do not understand all the negative reaction to the 'crying' reaction. They don't hate the Seguleh, they certainly would never go out of their way to fight them. There's a sort of respect for them, and seeing them get completely mauled like that ought to produce some reaction. I mean, in real life, World War I set off a huge literary movement where all that was great and good has passed away forever and we're left with a sad, gloomy world (modernism was a precursor to emoism :p), thus I don't see the reaction of the Malazans being odd, out of place, etc.
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#9 User is offline   Coco with marshmallows 

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:28 PM

some reaction perhaps...


but they've just been getting absolutely mauled by the Seguleh.

IIRC there's mention of 40% casualties caused?

I seriously doubt they'd be crying, unless it was in relief.
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#10 User is offline   tiam 

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:55 PM

View PostOrlion, on 06 July 2012 - 07:57 PM, said:

Yep, in the other series, it's too much munitions, in this one it's not enough. Fantasy readers are a fickle bunch :wallbash:

I do not understand all the negative reaction to the 'crying' reaction. They don't hate the Seguleh, they certainly would never go out of their way to fight them. There's a sort of respect for them, and seeing them get completely mauled like that ought to produce some reaction. I mean, in real life, World War I set off a huge literary movement where all that was great and good has passed away forever and we're left with a sad, gloomy world (modernism was a precursor to emoism :p), thus I don't see the reaction of the Malazans being odd, out of place, etc.



View PostCocoreturns, on 06 July 2012 - 08:28 PM, said:

some reaction perhaps...


but they've just been getting absolutely mauled by the Seguleh.

IIRC there's mention of 40% casualties caused?

I seriously doubt they'd be crying, unless it was in relief.


The figure is 40% incapacitated from what I remember rather than actual deaths, which makes sense given the Seguleh fighting style

A few people are calling it a natural reaction to this new industrialization of warfare, similar to barrages of artillery in WWI cutting through bodies and minds and making wrecks of good fighting men. This isnt the same however in the Malazan universe. Magic has ben employed on battlefields in the Malazan universe cutting swathes through formations and killing men by the thousand. In fact SE has covered this before on more than one occasion, especially in MT when he focuses on the futility of warfare in the face of such unleashed choas. Utter destruction of men in the past has yielded nothing but relief at an enemy defeated. As I noted upthread Picker provides a passing judgement on Moranth munitions but their ambush of that column in MOI is no different to rogue wave of sorcery that kills hundreds of Onearms host.

The Malazan army were saved by there once allies using the munitions the Moranth are famous for. Crying is out of character.
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#11 User is offline   Baaljagg 

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:58 PM

View PostSanctume, on 06 July 2012 - 04:10 PM, said:

I imagine SE playing their modified gurps group battle, and the GM is ICE for this round of the campaign.

ICE: Malazan Army vs Seguleh?
SE: Yeah! I'll take my Malazan Army.
ICE: *rolls dice* You're low of munition, and your mage cadre is weaksauce.
SE: Sword fight vs Seguleh, wtf?
ICE: *rolls dice* You have a lot of guys, 10k?
SE: What about crossbow?
ICE: *rolls dice* You're low on bolts too.
...
ICE: LOL, you're getting owned!
SE: I pray / play my Knuckle in the Hole--Moranth Carpet Bomb!
ICE: Umm, roll a 99+
SE: *rolls dice* A WIN BABY!
ICE: *cries*


After a really shit day you've just cheered me up a whole fucking lot! Posted Image
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#12 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 09:28 PM

Crying is for human beings that are without testicles for one reason or another.
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#13 User is offline   Migol 

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 11:26 PM

View PostOrlion, on 06 July 2012 - 07:57 PM, said:

<br />Yep, in the other series, it's too much munitions, in this one it's not enough. Fantasy readers are a fickle bunch <img src='http://forum.malazanempire.com/public/style_emoticons/Malazan/D.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':wallbash:' /><br /><br />I do not understand all the negative reaction to the 'crying' reaction. They don't hate the Seguleh, they certainly would never go out of their way to fight them. There's a sort of respect for them, and seeing them get completely mauled like that ought to produce <i>some</i> reaction. I mean, in real life, World War I set off a huge literary movement where all that was great and good has passed away forever and we're left with a sad, gloomy world (modernism was a precursor to emoism <img src='http://forum.malazanempire.com/public/style_emoticons/Malazan/p.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':p' />), thus I don't see the reaction of the Malazans being odd, out of place, etc.<br />
<br /><br /><br />

The negative reaction to the "crying" is pretty simple to understand. In the story, we have the Seguleh inflicting wicked and demoralizing damage (in the form of surgical strikes that take off hands, arms, eyes, sever arteries/tendons and so on). The Malazans are in retreat, probably expecting to die horribly when the Seguleh re-engage.

Then suddenly a reprieve as their old allies use the same munitions they've always used themselves to decimate the Seguleh and save their asses. Their emotional reaction should have been one of profound relief, gratitude and maybe a bit of cheering at the fireworks display (as has happened on other occasions plenty of times). Maybe a grim tip of the hat to the Seguleh was in order, a solemn burial even. But crying abjectly for the monstrously scary guys that were killing you and your fellow soldiers just a bit ago?
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#14 User is offline   Orlion 

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 02:45 AM

View PostMigol, on 06 July 2012 - 11:26 PM, said:

View PostOrlion, on 06 July 2012 - 07:57 PM, said:

<br />Yep, in the other series, it's too much munitions, in this one it's not enough. Fantasy readers are a fickle bunch <img src='http://forum.malazanempire.com/public/style_emoticons/Malazan/D.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':wallbash:' /><br /><br />I do not understand all the negative reaction to the 'crying' reaction. They don't hate the Seguleh, they certainly would never go out of their way to fight them. There's a sort of respect for them, and seeing them get completely mauled like that ought to produce <i>some</i> reaction. I mean, in real life, World War I set off a huge literary movement where all that was great and good has passed away forever and we're left with a sad, gloomy world (modernism was a precursor to emoism <img src='http://forum.malazanempire.com/public/style_emoticons/Malazan/p.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':p' />), thus I don't see the reaction of the Malazans being odd, out of place, etc.<br />
<br /><br /><br />

The negative reaction to the "crying" is pretty simple to understand. In the story, we have the Seguleh inflicting wicked and demoralizing damage (in the form of surgical strikes that take off hands, arms, eyes, sever arteries/tendons and so on). The Malazans are in retreat, probably expecting to die horribly when the Seguleh re-engage.

Then suddenly a reprieve as their old allies use the same munitions they've always used themselves to decimate the Seguleh and save their asses. Their emotional reaction should have been one of profound relief, gratitude and maybe a bit of cheering at the fireworks display (as has happened on other occasions plenty of times). Maybe a grim tip of the hat to the Seguleh was in order, a solemn burial even. But crying abjectly for the monstrously scary guys that were killing you and your fellow soldiers just a bit ago?


Soldiers they respected, soldiers that are pretty much legendary, that are being devastated quicker, and much more unfairly than the Seguleh were beating the Mazalans. Between those two, it was a matter of training, with the bombing, it was massacre. Add to that solemnity the disfigured, dismembered, surviving Seguleh not giving up and having to be put down, why wouldn't crying be a viable response? Because the reader, comfortable in his armchair, and likely to not have been in any sort of combat comparable to what was going on thinks it's unmanly?

I think of Homer's The Iliad, where right off the bat, the manly, powerful Achilles sobs like a little bitch to his mother over being denied his share of plunder and holds a drama queen grudge that leads to the deaths of hundreds of soldiers (including his best friend/brotherinarms/gaylover) before he mans up and fights the Trojans. I think getting teary because of the pathetic attempts of maimed Seguleh to maintain their prideful prowess at arms is not too far-fetched in the realm of literature.
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#15 User is offline   Sinisdar Toste 

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 01:29 AM

like i said before, the actual words spent on the crying and burials of the seguleh by the malazans were not huge parts. i think the crying is being blown completely out of proportion. it's not like they all sat down and bawled. there's no abject crying. there are tears and shock that the seguleh got blasted to smithereens, and then are still attacking. some people commenting seem to think that there are reactions to shock that are unacceptable among soldiers. this is ridiculous. people don't control how they react to shock. do you think that WJ's squad was stone-faced and dry-eyed while they were digging through the wreckage of the tunnels at pale for their comrades? i highly doubt it.

like orlion, i take issue with people who haven't been in combat designating themselves as the final arbiters of what is and isn't a realistic reaction to a horrific slaughter on the part of an observing army. i'm not trying to take that place myself, i'm just saying that i think a few tears are not unwarranted.

Migol, saying things like "their emotional reaction should have been x, y, and z," is just incredibly presumptuous. you know this how? from a few (barely) similar occurrences in books by a different author? even then, they don't support your argument. one of the first times we see munitions used - outside capustan against pannions - ganoes paran looks at the torn bodies of the pannions and calls the malazans monsters for using the munitions. And please please please, quote me a passage where malazans soldiers have watched people getting killed by munitions and cheered, cuz i can't think of any.

a grim tip of the hat... yeah, lets just see if we can put some of these body parts back into something resembling a body, then we can watch as it's lowered into the earth in a solemn burial and not show a single emotion the whole time. this isn't a goddamn arnold schwarzenegger movie.

edit: and i seriously don't buy that because the seguleh had caused a lot of casualties every malazan would immediately lose every speck of human compassion they possessed. i just reread the passage too, and i'm even more convinced that this is all a major over-reaction. crying is mentioned a grand-total of three fucking times. corporal little fights back tears while bendan sits with their dead sergeant, there is "crying, cursing, and weeping," as one surviving seguleh is butchered by the malazans, and the sergeant hektar cries when he first stands up after the bombardment. a few people talk about how the seguleh had no chance, and that it wasn't right to kill them in that way. also, aragan thinks that he wants no part of a war like what the moranth just did, and honestly, if you think that's an unrealistic reaction to war then we are never going to agree.

This post has been edited by Sinisdar Toste: 09 July 2012 - 01:53 AM

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#16 User is offline   Baaljagg 

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:31 PM

There is also the fact that the Seguleh were to the Malazans what the Moranth were to the Seguleh, devastation. The Seguleh would have destroyed the Malazans in the same way the Moranth destroyed Seguleh. Such devastation is bound to incite high emotions, humans are simply not equipped to deal with that sort of thing in a calm and detached manner.
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#17 User is offline   Fist Gamet 

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:19 PM

The lack of munitions bugged me but, iirc, somebody posted a theory that it was plausible that most of the munitions, as ordered by the Empire, were in fact transported to and hoarded in the Imperial Arsenal in Unta (RoTCG anyone?). Made me think, presumably the Empire pays a fortune for them and would do this. Made sense to me.
Also, I was kinda of the opinion that the Malazan soldiers were the garrison troops left behind, rather than an Imperial army, and would thus be supplied differently. Why would city garrisons in Genebackis need munitions? Also made sense.

The whole crying thing was just poorly handled by ICE, imho. I get what he was trying to do but he didn't manage it well at all.
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#18 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 06:34 PM

Can we at least have Sinisdar Toste's post stickied to the top of this forum so we never have to have this discussion again?
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#19 User is offline   Malaclypse 

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 07:27 PM

I dunno, the Seguleh were ripping through the Malazan lines, which is in itself a bit ridiculous, these are duelists, not infantry soldiers. So let's take it as it was written. These enemies of yours are delivering impossible carnage to your forces, your mates. I do not believe I would shed a tear if they got bombed to fuck while I was waiting for their next ruinous attack, it just doesn't make any sense. And as a reader, I saw that coming from a mile off and it wasn't clever. We've already seen the Moranth do this in Pale, in GotM ffs. I dunno, it was just lame.

#20 User is offline   Sinisdar Toste 

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 01:28 AM

Do i think that it could have been written in a better way? Yes. Do i think it was a lame and immersion breaking misstep? No. If you're going to write about the aftermath of a bombing run among people who've never seen one, shit is going to get heavy! We've seen empathy for enemies before in malazan armies. wasn't it Whiskeyjack himself who told anomander rake that the war between the malazans and the free cities got more civilized as it progressed? didn't ganoes paran take mathok and the others into his army, even though they served the cause that was responsible for putting coltaine on a cross and nailing ten-thousand soldiers to trees? DIDN'T TAVORE TAKE HER ARMY HALF-WAY ACROSS THE WORLD TO FREE A GOD FROM SUFFERING WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SUFFERING OF MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS!!!!!!!!????????


:p

This post has been edited by Sinisdar Toste: 12 July 2012 - 01:31 AM

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