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  1. #1

    Warcraft: The Rules of War?

    I was reading a bit more about Jaina Proudmoore and her reaction to Theramore and got to thinking again about the nature of what happened at the fall of Theramore. For those unfamiliar: Garrosh gathered the Horde to march on Theramore, but held his forces just outside of Dustwallow Marsh for an unrevealed reason. During this time, the Alliance and Kirin Tor responded to the advancing Horde army by sending top military commanders and forces to defend Theramore. This is precisely what Garrosh wanted. After a brief assault with his conventional forces, Garrosh withdrew the Horde military from Theramore in what seemed to be an Alliance victory only to have Garrosh drop a mana bomb on Theramore once his forces were out of the blast zone. That's why Garrosh waited: he wanted the Alliance to muster up its military strength, gather its top Generals in one location, so he could bomb them all, wiping them out with one, quick stroke.

    Personally, I thought it was a brilliant military move. Garrosh played the Alliance like a fiddle; they did exactly what he wanted them to do. However, there has been a list of grievances over the matter:

    1.) This was a "cowardly act." My response: How so? Because the Horde used an explosive projectile against the enemy's military? That happens all the time ranging from mages' fireballs to warlocks flinging chaos bolts to siege vehicles hurling boulders. Why is this explosive projectile "cowardly" and those are not? Jaina herself is perhaps the most powerful mage on Azeroth and has a long history of lobbing things at her enemies instead of fighting them in hand-to-hand combat.

    2.) The bomb was a weapon of mass destruction. My response: Was it? How big must an explosion be before it's classified as a "weapon of mass destruction" (WMD)? Even if it is, what agreement was ever made between the Horde & Alliance that they would never use big weapons against each other? There could be a rational fear of civilian casualties in using a WMD, sure, but in this case, Theramore was evacuated before the bomb hit so that only military personnel remained. That's the fear people have about WMD's - they tend to cause loads of civilian casualties. Yet, according to the book Tides of War, that just didn't happen.

    3.) A mana bomb is too painful to use as a weapon. My response: we're told that it's painful, sure, but so is getting burned to death by fireballs, beaten to death by maces, stabbed by daggers, eaten alive by animals, and whatever other methods the Horde & Alliance have been using to kill each other all this time. The mana bomb exploded and did its work rather quickly - much faster than people bleeding to death on the battlefield or smoldering as charred husks after being engulfed in a mage's fireballs.

    4.) Theramore was not a legitimate military target. My response: militarily, it was. The Alliance was building a highway into the Barrens from Theramore and it was the port by which all the fortresses popping up in the Barrens were being supplied. Don't want people invading your land? Cut off their supply route.

    These are just some thoughts I had on the matter. Garrosh is a douche, sure, but the attack on Theramore wasn't some monstrosity like people make it sound. It was a battle between two militaries and one of them got blown away. Why the big shock? Someone has to lose...

    So what are the rules of war in Warcraft? Who put them in place? By what authority did they do so? If these questions can't be answered, I really don't think there's a strong case against Garrosh's methods in dominating Theramore as he did.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Most of the racial leaders of the Alliance and the Horde do not approve of the slaughter of civilians. Garrosh seems to no longer care. /shrug

  4. #4
    Herald of the Titans inboundpaper's Avatar
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    He killed Marcus Johnson, that shit is an unforgivable war crime.
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  5. #5
    Pandaren Monk gypsybob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daetur View Post
    Most of the racial leaders of the Alliance and the Horde do not approve of the slaughter of civilians. Garrosh seems to no longer care. /shrug
    No civilians in Theramore when it was bombed, read the thing.

  6. #6
    Immortal Nindoriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gypsybob View Post
    No civilians in Theramore when it was bombed, read the thing.
    Don't pretend that would've stopped Garrosh.

  7. #7
    Blademaster Zamalamin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inboundpaper View Post
    He killed Marcus Johnson, that shit is an unforgivable war crime.
    You mean General Marcus Jonathan.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by gypsybob View Post
    No civilians in Theramore when it was bombed, read the thing.
    My point was that Garrosh didn't know and wouldn't have cared.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Nindoriel View Post
    Don't pretend that would've stopped Garrosh.
    Indeed.

    This post smacks of denial. Every single point is essentially 'no it isn't' without a real explaination or justification. Not to mention twisting the facts.

    I guess you left out the part where he did this against the will of the other Horde leaders, threatening them if they didn't go through with it, and ended up with a lot of Horde dead even by his own weapon. Or that he attacked neutral and friendly dragons who were supposedly on the same side as him for the weapon.

    Attacking neutral parties alone is a war crime. All by itself.

    Oh, and by your standard Taurajo isn't a problem either. No WMD's, no cowardice, no trickery, civilians allowed to escape, legitimate military target. Only in that case the Alliance won because they were better then the Horde on that battlefield, no cowardly tactics used at all - infact the whole plan involved leaving a weak point in the line to allow civilians to escape. But how much do Horde players whine about it? Exactly.

  10. #10
    Well, sure. Apparently, using a bomb that not only kills you but also completely destroys your soul, and that also threatens to break the world again (the elemental spirits really didn't like it) is no big deal.

    Also, while we armchair generals can be fine with anything, doesn't mean that the fictional characters on the ground can't be disgusted by something so brutal (in the Alliance's point of view) and so without Honor (in the Horde's point of view).

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsybob View Post
    No civilians in Theramore when it was bombed, read the thing.
    Actually, no. Some civilians stayed behind. Not that it would have stopped Garrosh either way.
    Roll the bones!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Nindoriel View Post
    Don't pretend that would've stopped Garrosh.
    We can only speculate whether or not the presence of civilians would have stopped Garrosh from bombing Theramore. On one hand, he did seem rather peeved at Krom'gar for killing civilians, which suggests he's not into that sort of thing. On the other hand, it does seem Garrosh is getting more and more unhinged and reckless. I don't think such speculation is relevant to the discussion, though: we ought to focus on what did, indeed, happen. We could go on with "what ifs" all day. In the case of Theramore, civilians were evacuated, so that it was only the Alliance military versus the Horde's.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Holtzmann View Post
    Also, while we armchair generals can be fine with anything, doesn't mean that the fictional characters on the ground can't be disgusted by something so brutal (in the Alliance's point of view) and so without Honor (in the Horde's point of view).
    Kosak already tweeted several times that there was nothing dishonorable about the attack on Theramore.

    Garrosh is all about: "Blood and Honor, Victory or Death." He's supposed to be the example of what happens when you take "Blood and Honor, Victory or Death" too far.
    ♦ Scepticist ♦ Critic ♦ INTJ

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Wowpedia View Post
    Because of the use of the Focusing Iris, the mana bomb was so powerful that it tore holes in the fabric of reality, and magically altered the physical structure of those caught in the blast.
    ^Basically it was a magic nuke.

    I can't wait to end up fighting one of the "survivors" who were thrown into an alternate dimension and horribly mutated because of the blast and now wants revenge.
    Last edited by frogger237; 2013-07-05 at 08:07 PM.

  14. #14
    Scarab Lord Kazomir's Avatar
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    It was a valid target.

    Nuking it instead of fighting? Cowardly act indeed. Just as the USA nuked the Japaneese cause they were too sissy to attack conventionally..
    Quote Originally Posted by biolink22 View Post
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Kazomir View Post
    It was a valid target.

    Nuking it instead of fighting? Cowardly act indeed. Just as the USA nuked the Japaneese cause they were too sissy to attack conventionally..
    Good thing Vol'jin wasn't around then to go threaten to kill the US President in front of the Senate.
    ♦ Scepticist ♦ Critic ♦ INTJ

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Jediguy View Post
    We can only speculate whether or not the presence of civilians would have stopped Garrosh from bombing Theramore. On one hand, he did seem rather peeved at Krom'gar for killing civilians, which suggests he's not into that sort of thing. On the other hand, it does seem Garrosh is getting more and more unhinged and reckless. I don't think such speculation is relevant to the discussion, though: we ought to focus on what did, indeed, happen. We could go on with "what ifs" all day. In the case of Theramore, civilians were evacuated, so that it was only the Alliance military versus the Horde's.
    You can't dismiss it. Garrosh had no evidence that the civilians were out of Theramore. It's clear their presence was irrelevant so long as he crushed Theramore, destroyed the Alliance presence in Kalimdor, and wiped out as many military leaders as possible, no matter what it took.

    That's pretty much the entirety of Garrosh's campaign. He gets what he wants by any means necessary, so if it means victory, the ends will justify his means.

    I personally think Garrosh's story is summed up in three generalities:
    The path to hell is paved with good intentions.
    Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    The ends justify the means.
    Last edited by Faroth; 2013-07-05 at 08:11 PM.
    "There is good and evil in this world; we must find the black and white in the gray."

  17. #17
    Well, in some regards I'm mildy torn. I'm not 100% sure they made a very good case on why this was so bad. In some regards it's like the Alamo. Americasn had our war cry, "Remember the Alamo!", but what happened at the Alamo could simply be viewed as a large army kick the ass of a smaller army.

    Though maybe Blizzard wanted this to be a more Shades of gray. Where we simply go, "I'm not sure Garrosh was wrong", other than, "That's not how we fight our wars" If you come from a world were everyone marches out onto the battlefield and dukes it out, then Guerrilla warfare may seem dirty or under-handed

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazomir View Post
    It was a valid target.
    Nuking it instead of fighting? Cowardly act indeed. Just as the USA nuked the Japaneese cause they were too sissy to attack conventionally..
    If I recall my history correctly, The US gave Japan several warning that they were going to do it. Japan called our bluff, turns out it wasn't a bluff and the bombs actually worked.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Durandro View Post
    Indeed. This post smacks of denial. Every single point is essentially 'no it isn't' without a real explaination or justification.
    Care to explain how or are we just tossing around baseless accusations because we don't like what we're hearing?

    Not to mention twisting the facts.
    Well then, let's see.

    I guess you left out the part where he did this against the will of the other Horde leaders, threatening them if they didn't go through with it, and ended up with a lot of Horde dead even by his own weapon. Or that he attacked neutral and friendly dragons who were supposedly on the same side as him for the weapon.
    Garrosh kept his intentions secret until he dropped the bomb. Read "Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War" and you'll see this easily enough. Were Horde soldiers killed by the bomb? I don't remember any, but even if there were, it would have been a small number (compared to the larger number of casualties had the conventional fight continued). Further still, this would be an issue of reckless risk-taking by Garrosh than war crimes. As for the dragons Garrosh stole the bomb from, I think you may have something there, but I don't recall anyone getting upset about how Garrosh got the weapon - they seem to be enraged more about "zomg, he bombed Theramore."

    Attacking neutral parties alone is a war crime. All by itself.
    Is it? According to whose laws?

    Oh, and by your standard Taurajo isn't a problem either. No WMD's, no cowardice, no trickery, civilians allowed to escape, legitimate military target. Only in that case the Alliance won because they were better then the Horde on that battlefield, no cowardly tactics used at all - infact the whole plan involved leaving a weak point in the line to allow civilians to escape. But how much do Horde players whine about it? Exactly.
    Whew! Your Alliance fanboy musk is really stinking up with this quote of yours. The Alliance didn't win at Taurajo because they "were better than the Horde on the battlefield." Read the questline, dude: they waited for the warriors and hunters to leave and attacked the town when its defenses were gone. That stinks more of cowardice than dropping a bomb on someone's military forces; avoiding the enemy's strong forces so you can hit a largely undefended target...

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchor View Post
    Kosak already tweeted several times that there was nothing dishonorable about the attack on Theramore.

    Garrosh is all about: "Blood and Honor, Victory or Death." He's supposed to be the example of what happens when you take "Blood and Honor, Victory or Death" too far.
    I find it hard to believe a soldier who isn't completely under Garrosh's spell (for example, all the folks joining the Rebellion now) who were raised to believe in honorable combat (winning by skill and offering mercy to defeated enemies) would think that sort of weapon would be honorable. Specially with all the other side-effects (weakening the world, erasing souls, all that). Hell, if the Alliance had dropped it, everybody would be up in arms about it the same way.
    Roll the bones!

  20. #20
    Brewmaster Phookah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazomir View Post
    It was a valid target.

    Nuking it instead of fighting? Cowardly act indeed. Just as the USA nuked the Japaneese cause they were too sissy to attack conventionally..
    Keep your jingoist bullshit to yourself, this is about WoW.
    By your logic OP, then Taurajo wasn't an issue at all.
    "If MMORPG players were around when God said, "Let their be light"
    they'd have called the light gay, and plunged the universe back into darkness by squatting their nutsacks over it."

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