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Old 05-10-2012, 12:30 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Horde Flag ToD: The real reason Doomhammer's Horde lost

OP Summary: Even if Gul'dan had stayed loyal in the Second War and the Horde had sacked Lordaeron, they were so overextended that they probably would have lost the war anyway, eventually. But if Doomhammer had been a better strategist, his Horde might have won even in spite of Gul'dan's betrayal.

(For this topic, I'll be considering information from the novel World of Warcraft: Tides of Darkness. I've only read a SUMMARY of this and not the book itself, so correct me if my premises are wrong. If this is the case, then this is going to be a very embarrassing thread for me!)


Hi there! So I've noticed that within certain communities, there seems to be a certain Stab-in-the-back Myth interpretation of the Horde's defeat in the Second War, one which believes that the Horde had conquered all before them and was on the very verge of victory until the traitorous Gul'dan ruined things for everyone.

I contest this. So let's have some fun.


Warcraft II Game Events vs. ToD Novel Events

There are some who believe that nearly all of the events from the Warcraft II Orc campaign actually happened. They might believe that everything up to the Orc's final level is a part of official lore, and they'd say that the Horde at the end of the Warcraft II Orc campaign is of equal strength as the Horde of the official novel. However, this does not seem to be the case. I want to step back and take a look at the war situation between the two versions of the story, on the eve of the attack on Lordaeron's capital. Which Alliance nations still form a threat to the Orcs?

WAR SITUATION OF THE HORDE, WARCRAFT II, BEFORE THE FINAL ORC LEVEL

Azeroth: Destroyed; survivors escaped to Lordaeron (pre-game)
Ironforge: Destroyed (pre-game)
Stromgarde: Destroyed (Orc Level 7)
Quel'thalas/Silvermoon: Destroyed (Orc Level 11) (The Elfgates etc. were added to lore later)
Alterac: Surrendered
Dalaran: Destroyed (Orc Level 13)
Gilneas: Neutral

Northeron (Aerie Peak): Active - Location unknown
Kul Tiras: Active - South and west of Horde forces, the Great Sea
Lordaeron: Active - Northwest of Horde forces



WAR SITUATION OF THE HORDE, TIDES OF DARKNESS NOVEL, BEFORE THE ATTACK ON LORDAERON

Azeroth: Destroyed; survivors escaped to Lordaeron
Ironforge: Besieged - Behind Horde lines in Khaz Modan
Stromgarde: Active - in Alterac, dividing the Horde Assault force from Horde forces in Quel'thalas and Khaz Modan
Quel'thalas/Silvermoon: Raided but active - deeper in Quel'thalas, sandwiching Horde forces in the Northlands between them and Stromgarde to the west and south

Alterac: Surrendered but occupied by Stromgarde
Dalaran: Raided but active - South of Horde Assault force
Gilneas: Active - Southwest of Horde Assault force
Aerie Peak: Raided but active - East of Stromgarde, dividing the Horde Assault force and Horde forces in Quel'thalas from the Horde in Khaz Modan
Kul Tiras: Active - South and west of Horde forces, the Great Sea
Lordaeron: Active - Northwest of Horde forces



In the events of the Warcraft II Orc campaign, Doomhammer moves his forces like a a steamroller. Nations and kingdoms get conquered and sacked methodically, one after another. And even with Gul'dan's betrayal slowing the Horde down, it proceeds onward to finish off Dalaran and Lordaeron in the final moments. In this campaign, after the destruction of Lordaeron, the only remaining points of Alliance resistance are in Kul Tiras and Northeron (wherever it's meant to be--perhaps off the map near Quel'thalas?). And eventually Gilneas, if it ever wakes from isolationism. On a map, the Horde's forces would fill in a continuous area from Lordaeron through Quel'thalas, Khaz Modan, and back to Azeroth, with only the Great Sea contested.

This is remarkably different from Doomhammer's situation in the novel. In that version, the Horde has left behind Dwarves in Khaz Modan, instead of stamping them out. It has ignored Stromgarde's capital, choosing instead to bypass it. Aerie Peak is now retconned to this region, but the Horde only feigns an attack here---bypassing it for Quel'thalas. And the Horde fought well and took territory in Quel'thalas, but the magic of the Sunwell prevented it from finishing off the Elven kingdom.

At this point, the main Assault Force of the Horde had Silvermoon to its east, isolated from the rest of the Alliance. To its south and southwest were Aerie Peak and Stromgarde. To its west were Alterac, Dalaran, Gilneas, and Lordaeron. The Horde could have attacked its enemies one by one, proceeding methodically and keeping its supply line strong. But because of Alterac's betrayal, that didn't happen.

Instead, the Horde passed straight through Alterac to strike the capital of Lordaeron. We can assume that without Gul'dan's betrayal, Doomhammer would have sacked the Capital City and killed King Terenas, just like in the Warcraft II ending cinematic.

But what would have happened after that?

Soldiers and citizens in Lordaeron could have fled the battle south, to the safety of Dalaran or Gilneas. Or they could have gone east to meet with Stromgarde's forces, now behind Doomhammer.

Alliance forces, mourning the deaths of King Terenas and Lordaeron's capital, would still be united under the command of Anduin Lothar. One option for them would be to have Stromgarde's, Dalaran's, and Gilneas's forces counterattack the Blackrock Clan on the ruins of Lordaeron---perhaps hoping to wipe out the Orc forces while they're weakened and separated from the rest of the Horde. Another option would be to have Stromgarde and Silvermoon retake Quel'thalas and/or the Thandol Valley, which would finalize the separation of Doomhammer from the Horde in Khaz Modan, perhaps starving his forces for supplies.

Anyway, my main point is that the Old Horde was WAY overextended at the end of the Second War, according to official lore. Because Doomhammer bypassed so many enemy nations instead of destroying them completely, he needlessly stretched his soldiers and was on the way to being divided and conquered.
A better strategy would have been the actual Orc campaign from Warcraft II, which finished off Stromgarde before moving north to Quel'thalas and then finished off Dalaran before moving on to Lordaeron. If Doomhammer had taken this route, it's possible that he could have won the war even if Gul'dan had betrayed him---since his Assault force wouldn't have been so fractured and splintered by surviving nations behind his lines.

What if Doomhammer had moved slower and taken the time to eliminate his enemy nations, instead of rushing through Alterac toward Lordaeron? If Gul'dan had betrayed him while he as still in Quel'thalas, he could have formed a defensive line and held off the Alliance until the Stormreaver were defeated. If the betrayal had come during the invasion of Lordaeron, then Doomhammer could have pulled forces back without worrying about Stromgarde or Dalaran cutting him off--because by that time, Stromgarde and Dalaran didn't exist anymore. Either way, the Horde would have still had a solid chance at victory. Then the Burning Legion could have come to consume the world, and everyone would have been happy!

Well, that's my opinion. Feel free to tear it down.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:43 PM
Timolas Timolas is offline


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Never thought of it that way.

If anything, the Horde would have been pushed back, but the Alliance would never have reclaimed Stormwind.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:32 PM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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The problem with speculating like this is that someone else can speculate differently and be more or less equally correct.

I think if Gul'dan stayed that would mean that not only would Lordaeron fall, and Lordaeron was the gorilla of the Alliance, but the Alliance wouldn't be the only one having troops behind their lines because Gul'dan would be moving west from Quel'Thalas. And if you want to speculate like that then we can speculate that perhaps some of the clans in the south could have helped out and so on.

Sure Doomhammer would have had higher attrition from all those nations he bypassed, but at the end of the day he would have destroyed the linchpin, he would have carved out the heart of the opposition. Can you with certainty say that he was unable to defeat the rest of the Alliance then just like he did in the WCII experience.


Anyway a more interesting idea for me is how would have the world developed if the orcs had won the second war. One of the things that occurred to me instantly was that a lot of half-orcs would be born due to... the ensuing victory lovemaking. Which some years down the line would probably be absorbed by the orcish population leaving us with "orcs" who would be somewhat more human looking, the legacy of the extinct humans.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:41 PM
Thornby Thornby is offline

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The Horde's defeat was assured, the day Thornby stepped into battle. Some softheads might say it was the internal struggle of the Horde, but that is shameless propaganda. Just like any who lay claim to the Horde possibly having a chance at victory so long as I stood in the way of their nefarious conquests.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:53 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Originally Posted by C9H20 View Post
I think if Gul'dan stayed that would mean that not only would Lordaeron fall, and Lordaeron was the gorilla of the Alliance, but the Alliance wouldn't be the only one having troops behind their lines because Gul'dan would be moving west from Quel'Thalas. And if you want to speculate like that then we can speculate that perhaps some of the clans in the south could have helped out and so on.
Ah, but wasn't Doomhammer counting on the Stormreavers and Twilight's Hammers and Black Tooth Grins to reinforce his attack on Lordaeron? I was under the impression that the reason he pulled back, is he was banking on those extra forces to make the attack work in the first place. So that would just be more Horde soldiers in Lordaeron, surrounded by Stromgarde and Dalaran and Gilneas. I suppose they'd have a good chance of breaking out, but the war would still be far from over.


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Anyway a more interesting idea for me is how would have the world developed if the orcs had won the second war. One of the things that occurred to me instantly was that a lot of half-orcs would be born due to... the ensuing victory lovemaking. Which some years down the line would probably be absorbed by the orcish population leaving us with "orcs" who would be somewhat more human looking, the legacy of the extinct humans.
Now THAT'S another topic to talk about! After a total Horde victory (as in, the version at the end of the Warcraft II campaign), I imagine we'd see...

* Silvermoon and Gilneas put up a last stand but crumble, just as all the other kingdoms did. Meanwhile, a mysterious prophet convinces Admiral Daelin Proudmoore to lead Kul Tiras and any human survivors west, across the Great Sea to a forgotten land.

* With victory, Doomhammer redivides the lands of continental Azeroth among the Horde. The Stormreaver and Twilight's Hammer no longer exist, but room is made for the successful Blackrock commander (the player character), whom Doomhammer had promised to give his own clan. In my mind, I imagine it called the Darktide Clan and that it forms the naval power of the Horde. But that's just me.

* The Amani Empire of Zul'Aman is proclaimed again, with Zul'jin's trolls gaining control over huge swaths of Quel'thalas and the Northlands. The Goblins are likewise rewarded with control over the bulk of Khaz Modan, where they depart gleefully with Horde soldiers to finish rooting out any remaining Dwarven and Gnomish resistance.

* The Orcs take no prisoners and slaughter any humans/elves/dwarves/gnomes on sight, with the exception of Alterac (though this enrages Zul'jin, who thinks they should butcher all the humans and elves anyway). An agreement is made--the humans of Alterac are allowed to live, but they are forced off their lands and dispersed into the Horde as a new working class, lower in rank than the Peons. These human Slaves are sent to harvest resources in the most dangerous of forests and gold mines, since they are expendable anyway.

* In agreement with the other Horde races, Doomhammer concedes that the Alterac Elves (who also donned orange colors to betray the Alliance, perhaps to save themselves) are not citizens of Alterac and do not fall under special protection, so they are chained and sent to the Trolls and Goblins. Some Elves are included in Amani ritualistic sacrifices, while those who enter Goblin laboratories are never seen again. In fact, over the next few months the Orcs stop hearing about any Dwarves or Gnomes still resisting in Goblin-held Khaz Modan.

* Over time, other races in continental Azeroth petition the Horde for membership. One example is the Darkspear tribe of Jungle Trolls, who offer soldiers to Doomhammer in exchange for him not forcing them to merge with Zul'jin's Amani. Doomhammer likewise makes contact with the dragon Deathwing, and they negotiate the willing membership of the Black Dragonflight into the Horde.

* Eventually, Doomhammer will have to come to terms with the Orcs still in Draenor, especially the Elder Shaman Ner'zhul. Loyalty pledges are made by the Shadowmoon, Warsong, Shattered Hand, Thunderlord, and Bonechewer Clans, and these are allowed to cross over and join the Horde. However, the Laughing Skull Clan stays behind and works to conquer all of Draenor for themselves. Doomhammer responds by ordering the Dark Portal destroyed. Draenor has been a dead world for years; it can rot for all he cares.

* The Horde must always have enemies to conquer, lest they fall into lethargy and suffer. The successful commander from the Second War, now with his own clan, asks Doomhammer for permission to sail west and find new lands to conquer. Doomhammer agrees, sending the new Orc clan along with a number of others across the Great Sea and the Maelstrom.

* Meanwhile, Ner'zhul reminds Doomhammer that this world will eventually run out of enemies, just as Draenor did before. He insists that the Warchief consider a new, daring possibility---opening new portals themselves, so that the Horde can have access to an infinite number of worlds to conquer and thus always be satiated!

* Before long, Horde scouts make contact with the surviving Frostwolf Clan in the Alterac Valley, led by a shaman named Drek'Thar. He has led the Frostwolves since Gul'dan's assassination of its leaders. (The Orcs also eventually find the bodies of Durotan, Draka, and their infant son Go'el, murdered and left for dead in the snow.) Drek'Thar warns Doomhammer that the Blood of Mannoroth still flows through his Orcs, and to be wary of it. Doomhammer responds that he himself never drank the blood. The warchief is laughed at openly--does he really think he has avoided the daemonic bloodlust himself, after all the war and bloodshed he has wrought personally?

* On Kalimdor, the Alliance survivors land on Theramore Isle and start a base camp. The humans soon discover a patrol of Night Elves and clash with them, but Admiral Proudmoore urges the Night Elf natives to relent and allow them sanctuary---for a brutal race of monstrous Orcs has forced them to flee here, and the Orcs would no doubt be right behind them to burn down Kalimdor as well.

* The commander of the new Orc clan lands on Kalimdor with a humongous fleet of ships, carrying an equally large army. They land in the midst of a conflict between a tribe of Centaurs and Tauren. The resourceful, speedy Centaurs are offered membership into the Horde, and together they rout the Tauren forces and burn their village down. The Orc commander constructs a new settlement on Kalimdor, naming it "Ogrimmar" as a testament to his mighty Warchief.

* The Dreadlords make contact with Terron Gorefiend and Ner'zhul, congratulating the Horde on its successful conquest. They are then ordered to begin preparations for Archimonde and the Burning Legion to enter this world, and they are warned of the dire consequences that will come if they fail to follow through. Ner'zhul finds himself uncertain as whether to warn Doomhammer of this new threat or not. But regardless Doomhammer soon learns about the Burning Legion, he learns that the Orcs have just been used as puppets to clear the way for daemonic conquerors, because...

* The Prophet Medivh appears to him in a dream.


EDIT: Oh, and also?

* People start to hear less and less from the Goblins in Khaz Modan. Within a year, a series of radiation bombs detonate across the region. Nobody knows how or why.
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"The hourglass also measures time, true? Yet here you never know which particle of sand will move from the upper half to the lower half at any instant. Were you to number the sands, the order would be slightly different each time. But the end result is always the same—all the sand has moved from the top to the bottom. What order it happens in does not matter."
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"I've spent my life studying the timeways. If you try to count and compare blades of grass, you'll drive yourself mad."
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Last edited by BaronGrackle; 05-10-2012 at 08:08 PM..
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:29 PM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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Not bad, I suggest we make this the alternate-universes thread, where we pick a Point of Departure from set history and speculate on what happens after. I will come up with my own AH as soon as I get some time.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:49 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Not bad, I suggest we make this the alternate-universes thread, where we pick a Point of Departure from set history and speculate on what happens after. I will come up with my own AH as soon as I get some time.
As thread creator, I declare that all of this is hereby officially on-topic!


In another spin, I can also imagine the armies of Azeroth defeating the Orcs in the First War. The other Nations arrive on Azeroth's shores to see these strange new creatures. When the Great Portal is discovered, the nations find that they disagree on what to do with it. Azeroth wants it destroyed immediately, while Dalaran fears that just tearing the Portal apart will not seal the rift, and that future dangers could emerge if they don't explore beyond.

The nations drift to different factions. Eventually Lordaeron, Dalaran, and Stromgarde find themselves at war with Azeroth, Ironforge, and the Amani Trolls. Kul Tiras urges the factions to work toward peace, but the new Azerothian king (who replaced King Llane and bypassed the young Varian Wrynn to become the nation's new royal line) orders Kul Tiras to stand its fleet down, or be destroyed by a powerful new magic that the other humans had not yet experienced---the Water Elemental.

Before this war is over, Lord Lothar will ride into battle against a Lordaeron force led by the promising young knight Turalyon.
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"I've spent my life studying the timeways. If you try to count and compare blades of grass, you'll drive yourself mad."
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:51 PM
Quirnheim Quirnheim is offline

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So basically, The Horde wins everything and the Alliance sucks?

Also if I recall, Ironforge was portrayed as near impossible to conquer due to it's position. I could see the Dwarves continuing a resistance for years after Lordaeron's fall.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:05 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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So basically, The Horde wins everything and the Alliance sucks?
After reading the first scenario, you shouldn't imply that I'm Horde biased.

No, basically... the Horde wins everything and butchers/enslaves everyone because they are monsters... Kul Tiras and a few others escape to Kalimdor... the Horde must find its purpose among the many different factions, including Ner'zhul and the sons of Blackhand...

And if the Horde keeps "winning", then daemons will destroy everything.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:29 PM
Quirnheim Quirnheim is offline

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Originally Posted by BaronGrackle View Post
After reading the first scenario, you shouldn't imply that I'm Horde biased.

No, basically... the Horde wins everything and butchers/enslaves everyone because they are monsters... Kul Tiras and a few others escape to Kalimdor... the Horde must find its purpose among the many different factions, including Ner'zhul and the sons of Blackhand...

And if the Horde keeps "winning", then daemons will destroy everything.
I didn't imply anything.

I read your post, and some of it makes sense, but I just still see there being resistance for years after most cities fall. Ironforge, for example, I would think would be able to hold off for a few years due to it's fortified position, and the Alliance wouldn't go down without a fight. I could see them going through with guerrilla warfare and the like to start.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:58 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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I didn't imply anything.

I read your post, and some of it makes sense, but I just still see there being resistance for years after most cities fall. Ironforge, for example, I would think would be able to hold off for a few years due to it's fortified position, and the Alliance wouldn't go down without a fight. I could see them going through with guerrilla warfare and the like to start.
Well with Ironforge, I was sort of imagining the Goblins trying to come up with new ways of tunneling and testing dangerous, unpredictable weapons like poison gas.

I also imagine that the Goblins will pillage any Dwarf or Gnome technology they come across, work for months on studying it, reproducing it, upgrading it... and then secede from the Horde. And if the Horde tries to punish them for leaving, then I'm imagining Goblin Gatling Guns. :shock:
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:13 AM
SmokeBlader SmokeBlader is offline

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The Alliance won. Doesn't matter how anymore.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:28 AM
Sa'danak Sa'danak is offline

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The Alliance won. Doesn't matter how anymore.
The thread is about discussion of possibilities. If you don't have any interest in that then go elsewhere, don't try to throw mandates at other users.
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What matters more, Ashenvale or Lordaeron? The debate of 2013 between Financial Adviser Archdruid Sentinel Kyalin Raintree the Tree Hugger of Ashenvale and Supreme Commander Archmage Fojar von Lordaeron the Highlord of Undead Slaying.

Two enter...and both probably will leave but everyone will be facepalming.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:54 AM
Mark_Romaneck Mark_Romaneck is offline

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The thread is about discussion of possibilities. If you don't have any interest in that then go elsewhere, don't try to throw mandates at other users.
Why put interesting discussion when we can bitch about faction bias and who sucks more ?
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:14 AM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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The Alliance won. Doesn't matter how anymore.
Doesn't matter anymore? And is it the case that no battle or war holds any lessons for those that come after it? Is it instead the fate of all conflicts to be decided randomly by the gods, dismissing any significance to strategy or circumstance for the greater effect of creating more entertaining events for themselves?

If one army says, "I will destroy this one!" And another army says, "I will destroy that one!" Is the victor determined by a mere comparison of fighting spirit and will? Is the true champion he who happens to be favored by the creator?

(Okay maybe so. But we can at least PRETEND that past victories had some basis in strategy and military events, instead of storytelling convenience.)
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:42 AM
Magistrix Verdande Magistrix Verdande is offline

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This baron poster.

I like him.

He shall have a seat in my courtroom.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:52 AM
Kir the Wizard Kir the Wizard is offline

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Both campaigns are not very well thought.

In WC2 both Alliance and Horde steamroll through the areas without much explaining of what happened on the other front. One MIGHT have tried to tie it all up into a nice series of destructive conflicts on Lordaeron during a long time period (and I approve of that), but, oh well, we've got a novel that set the whole war into... what? A month? A week?

In novel the Horde's plans are based on a blitzkrieg to Capital City that somehow ends in a weird route from Hillsbrad to Northeron, with an aboslutely unneeded big stop at Quel'Thalas "because we made a promise to Trolls". That's not how you do a blitzkrieg - if Capital City is the primary target of the campagin then choose the fastest and the safest route to the target out of all. Send scouts. Spies. Emissaries.

And Orgrim actually DID try realpolitik with Alterac, except he didn't count on having Stromgarde and Dalaran behind his army with that choice. And if he settled near Southshore, why not travel west, on the most plain, resourceful and easy to navigate road to the Capital City? All he needed to do so would be an agreement with one stardy king who didn't really want the war or the Alliance's war effort - Graymane. All he needed to do was ask Gaymane for a safe pass and the neutrality pact - because the Horde is here only for those nasty runaway Azerothians, and Lordaeron just happens to be their main benefactor!

With Gilneas out of war, the Horde takes CC and the Tirisfal Glades, PLUNDERS it for resources, sets a port and gets reinforcements, then is all set for new a campaign.

Leave a trail for some Azerothians to escape again, but make it clear that anyone who houses them becomes the next target - create interfighting inside humanity, make them see Azerothians as the main problem ("Why couldn't you just die? Why didn't you surrender to the Orcs so that they would leave us alone? Go away, we don't want to fight the Orcs again!"), show that the Horde is open to deals if you don't want to fight. In that scenario only eastern Lordaeron and Stromgarde become real threats, unless Kul Tiras starts a huge invasion, instead of just helping with its fleet. Then fall the Elves. Then the traitorous kingdoms.

Not sure on the after-victory state. Will post later.

Also, I like Timolas's idea about the Horde staying in Stormwind with refugee Azerothians in Lordaeron. Kinda mirrors what we have right now...
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  #18  
Old 05-11-2012, 09:36 AM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Both campaigns are not very well thought.

In WC2 both Alliance and Horde steamroll through the areas without much explaining of what happened on the other front. One MIGHT have tried to tie it all up into a nice series of destructive conflicts on Lordaeron during a long time period (and I approve of that), but, oh well, we've got a novel that set the whole war into... what? A month? A week?
Well, with the original video game, I don't think any of us at the time thought that BOTH campaigns happened. Sure, there are exceptions... Medivh still got killed in Warcraft I, and the Runestone was still stolen in Warcraft II, but on the whole we saw them as exclusive. The Human Campaign was what the war would've been like if the Alliance were winning one-sided, and the Orc Campaign was how it would've gone if the Horde were beating them down without much fight.

From this perspective, the most important battle of the second war was Tol Barad. Level 5, beginning of the Khaz Modan front. (I find it telling that both versions involve Tol Barad and Dun Modr, but both versions just call the level "Tol Barad").

If the Orcs won Tol Barad, they'd rally forces to destroy Stromgarde and then rampage through Quel'thalas and Lordaeron. (I think the novel does have them winning Tol Barad, but they then bypass Stromgarde and go north to the Aerie Peak and Quel'thalas. Hence the reason this thread exists.)

If the Humans won Tol Barad, they'd have the momentum to push the Horde from Dun Modr back across the Thandol Valley (back before Dun Modr was retconned as SOUTH of Thandol) and devastate the refineries of Grim Batol, forcing the Orcs to abandon Khaz Modan. After that, the war is basically won for the Alliance. Human Act III consists of four levels that deal almost exclusively with Alterac, and the Orcs they're secretly aiding---we assumed that the Orc presence north of Khaz Modan was severely reduced by this time. Then Human Act IV ties up loose ends.

And that's how I still see both Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness and Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal. Each campaign is a hypothetical version of how the war would have gone if a superduper Mary Sue Grand Admiral Thrawn commander were leading one of the sides, resulting in a major victory.

Blizzard might tell us that most of the events in each campaign actually happened in lore, but that only works if you selectively ignore a whole lot about what the briefings say. For example, did Ner'zhul steal the Book of Medivh from New Stormwind in a raid, before retreating back to Draenor? Or did he discover that an Alterac spy had stolen the Book of Medivh, and so had to destroy Kul Tiras to cross the Great Sea and negotiate with Alterac to get the book back?

I still believe that in the Orc campaign to Beyond the Dark Portal, the Laughing Skull Clan is wiped out in the very first mission. And I'm pretty sure that random Ogre hanging out with the Death Knights at the Temple of the Damned was meant to be Mogor, before you kill him like the mission briefing alludes to. This would contradict the Laughing Skull helping out the humans in Draenor later on, but that doesn't matter, because in the Orc campaign, the humans never set foot on Draenor, and all of the Alliance heroes are killed on the Azeroth side of the Dark Portal during the final battle. Yet the wikis still say that both campaigns happened, heh.

Quote:
In novel the Horde's plans are based on a blitzkrieg to Capital City that somehow ends in a weird route from Hillsbrad to Northeron, with an aboslutely unneeded big stop at Quel'Thalas "because we made a promise to Trolls". That's not how you do a blitzkrieg - if Capital City is the primary target of the campagin then choose the fastest and the safest route to the target out of all. Send scouts. Spies. Emissaries.

And Orgrim actually DID try realpolitik with Alterac, except he didn't count on having Stromgarde and Dalaran behind his army with that choice. And if he settled near Southshore, why not travel west, on the most plain, resourceful and easy to navigate road to the Capital City? All he needed to do so would be an agreement with one stardy king who didn't really want the war or the Alliance's war effort - Graymane. All he needed to do was ask Gaymane for a safe pass and the neutrality pact - because the Horde is here only for those nasty runaway Azerothians, and Lordaeron just happens to be their main benefactor!

With Gilneas out of war, the Horde takes CC and the Tirisfal Glades, PLUNDERS it for resources, sets a port and gets reinforcements, then is all set for new a campaign.

Leave a trail for some Azerothians to escape again, but make it clear that anyone who houses them becomes the next target - create interfighting inside humanity, make them see Azerothians as the main problem ("Why couldn't you just die? Why didn't you surrender to the Orcs so that they would leave us alone? Go away, we don't want to fight the Orcs again!"), show that the Horde is open to deals if you don't want to fight. In that scenario only eastern Lordaeron and Stromgarde become real threats, unless Kul Tiras starts a huge invasion, instead of just helping with its fleet. Then fall the Elves. Then the traitorous kingdoms.

Not sure on the after-victory state. Will post later.

Also, I like Timolas's idea about the Horde staying in Stormwind with refugee Azerothians in Lordaeron. Kinda mirrors what we have right now...
:| I... I think you've turned Doomhammer into a version of Otto von Bismarck. Forget Thrall and Garrosh. They should create a Horde Warchief that acts like THIS!

EDIT: And with your Gilneas negotiation scenario? Consider that even though Zul'dare had been destroyed my now, Doomhammer probably had the ability to occupy it again (unless Kul Tiras sent their navy there--we never really do know what's going on with Kul Tiras in this war). Since Gilneas claims Zul'dare in current lore, the Horde might have offered the worthless island back to them in exchange for neutrality.
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  #19  
Old 05-11-2012, 12:57 PM
Crazyterran Crazyterran is offline

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Turalyon's forces where arriving from the south, after cleaning up Quel'thalas. Thoras Trollbane had just gotten finished blocking the passes through Alterac and slaughtering all the Orcs inside.

Doomhammer was already in a bad spot before news arrived of Gul'dan's betrayal. It was the last straw that forced the Orcs to quit the field - not the only thing. Capital City was putting up a better fight than Doomhammer expected, and they didn't have a (wo)man on the inside to break Lordaeron's morale.

Besides, even if Doomhammer had taken Capital City, all of Lordaeron's troops wouldn't magically stop fighting. They'd just be a large army of pissed off Humans, instead of just Humans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kir the Wizard View Post
Both campaigns are not very well thought.

In WC2 both Alliance and Horde steamroll through the areas without much explaining of what happened on the other front. One MIGHT have tried to tie it all up into a nice series of destructive conflicts on Lordaeron during a long time period (and I approve of that), but, oh well, we've got a novel that set the whole war into... what? A month? A week?

In novel the Horde's plans are based on a blitzkrieg to Capital City that somehow ends in a weird route from Hillsbrad to Northeron, with an aboslutely unneeded big stop at Quel'Thalas "because we made a promise to Trolls". That's not how you do a blitzkrieg - if Capital City is the primary target of the campagin then choose the fastest and the safest route to the target out of all. Send scouts. Spies. Emissaries.

And Orgrim actually DID try realpolitik with Alterac, except he didn't count on having Stromgarde and Dalaran behind his army with that choice. And if he settled near Southshore, why not travel west, on the most plain, resourceful and easy to navigate road to the Capital City? All he needed to do so would be an agreement with one stardy king who didn't really want the war or the Alliance's war effort - Graymane. All he needed to do was ask Gaymane for a safe pass and the neutrality pact - because the Horde is here only for those nasty runaway Azerothians, and Lordaeron just happens to be their main benefactor!

With Gilneas out of war, the Horde takes CC and the Tirisfal Glades, PLUNDERS it for resources, sets a port and gets reinforcements, then is all set for new a campaign.

Leave a trail for some Azerothians to escape again, but make it clear that anyone who houses them becomes the next target - create interfighting inside humanity, make them see Azerothians as the main problem ("Why couldn't you just die? Why didn't you surrender to the Orcs so that they would leave us alone? Go away, we don't want to fight the Orcs again!"), show that the Horde is open to deals if you don't want to fight. In that scenario only eastern Lordaeron and Stromgarde become real threats, unless Kul Tiras starts a huge invasion, instead of just helping with its fleet. Then fall the Elves. Then the traitorous kingdoms.

Not sure on the after-victory state. Will post later.

Also, I like Timolas's idea about the Horde staying in Stormwind with refugee Azerothians in Lordaeron. Kinda mirrors what we have right now...
Greymane may have been an ass, but, he hated the Orcs (at the time) more than the Alliance, because he didn't want to lose his kingdom. This was before the wall, after all, and not only that, Genn wasn't stupid, either. Trusting an invader who's brutally slaughtered everyone in their path, or trusting the Alliance, who he could potentially game to his advantage?

The only reason he quit was because Terenas didn't give him his shiny new toy, and they had drawn up plans for the wall.
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  #20  
Old 05-11-2012, 10:01 PM
Kir the Wizard Kir the Wizard is offline

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Besides, even if Doomhammer had taken Capital City, all of Lordaeron's troops wouldn't magically stop fighting. They'd just be a large army of pissed off Humans, instead of just Humans.
Taking Tirisfal means getting a foothold and resources to continue new campaigns from there. Doomhammer was apparently trying a blitzkrieg here, although he could have just continued with a long and steady campaign, conquering everything from south to north, like in the original game.

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Originally Posted by Crazyterran View Post
Greymane may have been an ass, but, he hated the Orcs (at the time) more than the Alliance, because he didn't want to lose his kingdom. This was before the wall, after all, and not only that, Genn wasn't stupid, either. Trusting an invader who's brutally slaughtered everyone in their path, or trusting the Alliance, who he could potentially game to his advantage?

The only reason he quit was because Terenas didn't give him his shiny new toy, and they had drawn up plans for the wall.
Why did he hate the Orcs? BECAUSE the Orcs fought the whole Alliance, and didn't try to divide and conquer. Perenholde wasn't exactly stupid either, and he for some reason threw his lot with the Horde, even so he had no support among the population to really switch sides.

The situation at hand is: some horde destroyed Azeroth and is now pursuing the survivors. They say that this horde will try to destroy everyone if we won't unite, but why would I want to trust the word of my old trade rival kingdom, interestingly supported without word by the strongest, the most imperialistic kindom on the continent, instead of just using those barbarians to weaken them? I mean, they are allied with Trolls, for Light's sake, they can't have goals bigger than "raid, pillage and sacrifice", right?

If Doomhammer actually tried seeking more allies, or at least established neutral relations among the realms of Lordaeron, he could find more dissidents then just Alterac. At the start of invasion nobody on Lordaeron knows who the Orcs are and why did they attack Stormwind. We have the word of CavernsOfTime that without the Horde's evil the Eastern Kingdoms would wage war among themselves - there were prerequisites for a conflict, which could have been used by a cunning warchief.

But the real Doomhammer wasn't one. He was your usual "honorable warrior", who believed in a day's kill for a day's chill. He even hated the fact that Perenholde gives him the path to victory, because, apparently, the Backstabber didn't like betrayers.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:29 PM
Triceron Triceron is offline

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Doomhammer can't be blamed for leading the way he did and not making more alliances with the different human factions or other races.

The Horde is out for conquest, and the pace had to be kept up to sate their hunger. Doomhammer didn't have the luxury of the Black Dragons for plotting huge schemes. He was leading the Horde by force and example, and he wouldn't have kept his position if all he did was sit back and watch the Alliance tear itself apart from within. Considering the Orcs were already on a rampage, Doomhammer was doing a lot more than expected with bringing the Trolls, Ogres and Goblins into the Horde, something I believe wouldn't have happened if Blackhand or Gul'dan were in charge. Doomhammer's motivations are with the Horde, and he will seek out opportunities as they present themselves.

With Alterac, they simply struck a non-aggression pact so they could reach their destination to siege Capital City. They weren't looking to make Alterac a part of the Horde, or get them to fight their former masters. The Horde has no interest in getting the enemy to destroy themselves, their motivation is to conquer their territory, raze it to the ground and rebuild it in their image. Just like what they did with Blackrock Spire against the Dark Irons formerly residing there.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:51 AM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Doomhammer was doing a lot more than expected with bringing the Trolls, Ogres and Goblins into the Horde, something I believe wouldn't have happened if Blackhand or Gul'dan were in charge.
NEW SCENARIO! Let's go back to the First War and add a twist...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcraft Mission
You are wakened from your nights' sleep by a runner from the War Chief. Blackhand's daughter Griselda has run off with the outlaw Turok's band of Ogres. Our wolfriders have tracked them to the dungeons hidden beneath the Dead Mines. Find Turok's band of rebellious pigs and kill them all -- including Griselda. She must not disobey the commands of her father... ever again.
But the intelligence was wrong, dreadfully wrong. When Blackhand's forces reach the Dead Mines, they discover that Griselda didn't run away with Turok---she ran away with Cho'gall (specifically, Cho) and the entire Twilight's Hammer Clan.

The Warchief's tiny strike force is ambushed by the full might of the Twilight's Hammer, and all are killed--including Blackhand's promising commander, Orgrim Doomhammer. As skilled and powerful as he was, he was just irreconcilably outnumbered and surprised. So here are some things to consider:

1) This is early in the Orcs' invasion of Azeroth. It's the fourth mission, so before Doomhammer's early death he had only built the Swamps of Sorrow base, conquered the Borderlands, and destroyed Grand Hamlet. A lot more has to happen before Azeroth falls. (Incidentally, Medivh is still alive. For now.)

2) Cho'gall and Griselda are genuinely in love with each other, but Cho'gall is still dedicated to Horde conquest and the Shadow Council. Blackhand may be an easily manipulated puppet, but he WILL NOT ALLOW his daughter to marry an ogre--and Rend and Maim support him. Gul'dan must choose between Blackhand and Cho'gall--the two individuals can never be on the same side again.

3) You may be inclined to give Azeroth's humans a huge advantage after this, and that's fine. But, to make things not so one-side, imagine that the ability to Summon Daemons will be a huge tipping point in this war. The Burning Legion really wants the Orcs to win, so imagine that the Orcish Warlocks of the Shadow Council are more powerful now than they ever were in the Second or Third Wars, and that if they can learn how to command the Daemons just like they did historically, then strategies and tactics will not be as huge an issue as you'd expect.


Okay. What happens? I can't decide.
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-Medivh

"I've spent my life studying the timeways. If you try to count and compare blades of grass, you'll drive yourself mad."
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  #23  
Old 05-12-2012, 08:01 AM
Grunn Grunn is offline

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When Blackhand's forces reach the Dead Mines, they discover that Griselda didn't run away with Turok---she ran away with Cho'gall (specifically, Cho) and the entire Twilight's Hammer Clan.

Okay. What happens? I can't decide.
Cho and Griselda separate due to Gal sabotaging their relationship.

"It was like he was two different people" said a tear-stricken Griselda.
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  #24  
Old 05-12-2012, 08:04 AM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Cho and Griselda separate due to Gal sabotaging their relationship.

"It was like he was two different people" said a tear-stricken Griselda.
Cho: "You never let us have nice things!"
Gal: "Nice! Nice! To break the world, you pay a price!"
Cho: "She was beautiful!"
Gal: "Distractions! No distractions!"
Cho: "I don't care what Blackhand says--to have my love, I'd kill every Orc he commands!"
Gal: "Me too! That part was fun! Death and destroy, death and destroy!"
Cho: "You're hopeless."
Gal: "Without hope, without chance, the world will BURN to master's dance!"
Cho: (puts on headphones)
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"The hourglass also measures time, true? Yet here you never know which particle of sand will move from the upper half to the lower half at any instant. Were you to number the sands, the order would be slightly different each time. But the end result is always the same—all the sand has moved from the top to the bottom. What order it happens in does not matter."
-Medivh

"I've spent my life studying the timeways. If you try to count and compare blades of grass, you'll drive yourself mad."
-Kairozdormu

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