About the Mantid expansion war...

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Why do they have so much of their forces dedicated to the Gate of the Setting Sun and the Serpent's Spine in general? Why aren't they focusing 90% of their might on Townlong Steppes which doesn't have a wall to stop them in their tracks? Expand north where you can actually take it with relative ease THEN move east towards the wall having doubled your empire beforehand. That seems like a better plan to me.
Probably out of spite since the wall (please correct me if I'm wrong, pretty sure this is right) was made to hold them back.

From a logical stand point, yes taking Townlong Steppes would be a better idea.
Probably out of spite since the wall (please correct me if I'm wrong, pretty sure this is right) was made to hold them back.

From a logical stand point, yes taking Townlong Steppes would be a better idea.


Because of the fear, and the cycle of throwing themselves at the wall till the pandaren kill the weak and the strong return. That and the Empress isn't exactly thinking straight right now.
Probably because the Pandaren Empire has far more valuable infrastructure then compaired with the Towling Steppes. While the only thing holding them back (the Shado-Pan) are at their most vulnerable point in thousands of years since their unprepared, politically compromised, and have to deal with resurgent Sha and Mogu, as well contending with other threats.

Meanwhile the Towlong Steppes would probably take years or even decades of investment to access its full potential. Years which would give the Shado-Pan breathing room to recover and thwart the Mantid's designs for the Steppes. I also think that the Shado-Pan could "aid" (the enemy of my enemy is my friend right?) lingering Yaungol tribes with weapons and even occasional refuge beyond the wall which is a recipe for a nasty guerilla war on par with Afghanistan. So the Mantid might end up losing more then gaining.

It also seems your assuming that more land = more power which is as far from the truth as you could get. Look as South Africa under Apartheid for instance, they were holding onto what would become Namibia since the end of WWI yet the only thing they ever got out of it was more hiding places for rebels. Or read up on Aurangzeb, Emperor of the great Mughal Empire. He spent whole life trying to conquer the Marathas in a war that ultimately ended up destroying his own. The Mughal Empire would probably still be around today if he had wisely spent his reign investing in his own lands then throwing it all away at some vague concept of conquest and glory.
We also push back the Mantid assault on the Townlong Steppes.
We only push them back because they're focusing the vast majority of their forces on the wall. If they were to assault townlong in full force they would easily win. The shado-pan would have to go back to kun-lai. Once the mantid swarm brings in their kunchongs, those things devour everything and their "waste" is used to build new structures and new hatcheries. That doesn't take years and years. Kunchongs are their ace in the hole.
Because rule of cool sadly.
Towlong even has the kypari trees that their cullture centers around! Kunchong don't need to eat specific things. They just devour whatever is in the way when they have their instinctual urge to devour everything in sight. I read "water, land and trees" somewhere. I think it was on the MoP page. Well Townlong has plenty of water, land and trees! Also the way to eastern pandaria through Townlong is weakened because of the massive yaungol advance. Moving north and then east is a better military strategy....but "sha of fear" I guess....Sorry it just doesn't make much sense to me.
10/03/2012 01:36 PMPosted by Linarie
Towlong even has the kypari trees that their cullture centers around! Kunchong don't need to eat specific things. They just devour whatever is in the way when they have their instinctual urge to devour everything in sight. I read "water, land and trees" somewhere. I think it was on the MoP page. Well Townlong has plenty of water, land and trees! Also the way to eastern pandaria through Townlong is weakened because of the massive yaungol advance. Moving north and then east is a better military strategy....but "sha of fear" I guess....Sorry it just doesn't make much sense to me.


Part of it might have to do more with the idea that the Mantid aren't trying to expand so much as wipe out everything else due to the Sha of Fear telling the Queen that everyone's plotting against her people and whatnot.
Well it bugs me. No pun intended! :D
... Couldn't they just... I don't know, fly around the southern edge of the wall and come up through the wilds?
10/03/2012 02:24 PMPosted by Dryker
... Couldn't they just... I don't know, fly around the southern edge of the wall and come up through the wilds?


Not all of them can fly.
10/03/2012 02:24 PMPosted by Dryker
... Couldn't they just... I don't know, fly around the southern edge of the wall and come up through the wilds?


Too many Saurok in the swamps I think.
The ones that can fly, do fly. They use them as scouts as we see in Valley of the Four Winds and in the far western wilds. The bulk of their forces move around on foot. Considering a tribe of yaungol were able to burst through the gate at Kun-Lai, the mantid could move through that same area with relative ease. They have the numbers to overwhelm and the door is already open.
They are pushing through the Steppes. However, the Yaungol are tough opponents, seemingly cappable of keeping the Mantid in check, as well as the resistance from the Shado-pan in the area. Not the mention the presence of an August Celestial in that area.
The Shado-Pan Monastary, which is probably where much of their strength is found, is located in Kun'lai Summit. You'll notice most of the Shado-Pan is located along that section of wall. Yes, they could take Townlong Steppes and throw their numbers against that section of wall.

Another option would be to throw their numbers at a less defended section of wall, break it down, and begin an assault from there. The Shado-Pan would obviously send forces there, weakening themselves in other sections of the wall. While they are moving the Mantid could send a huge attacks against the newly weakened sections of the wall.

Another reason I'm sure they're reluctant to leave a strong presence in the Steppes is because of the Yaungol. If you read the materials and find the lorekeeper scrolls you'll find out that the Yaungol have long been able to hold their own against the Mantid. The Yaungol, plus the sizeable presence of Shado-pan, would be enough to keep them at bay on that front.

You see this in game, They broke through the wall in the Valley but were ultimately pushed back due to the help of the player character. I think their plan might have worked if Shado-pan leader wasn't taken over by the sha, who kept their forces where they were rather than send them out. Even then it might have worked but the player killed the sha and got the guy to clean up his act, who then took the fight to the Steppes and put down the fledgling forces building up there. The player continues on to the Wastes and kind of screws up all those plans as well which would explain why they would be fairly subdued at the moment.
I can't exactly say for sure why they are doing it NOW (though i suspect fear may have something to do with it. They know the enemy they 'fear' is on the other side of the wall, and in a self destructive horde they are trying to destroy the source of that fear, not knowing, of course, that it's the Sha that is the real cause) but the initial reason was the Kunchong.

When the Kunchong migrate, they instinctually go eastward, which is why the mogu built the wall there in the first place. If the migration were to take the Kunchong north, the wall would predominantly be there instead. Being instinctual creatures, rather than intelegent like the true Mantid, theres not much one can do but follow the Kunchong migrations, which means right into the wall.

One explination for why they are attacking the wall and the gate now is that the Sha of Fear has forced the Kunchong to migrate early, and they are just following their normal path. Their focus primarily on the Gate of the Setting Sun is just good tactics, since typically Gate Houses are the weakponts in walls.

It's also clear that they are pushing north as well, but are hindered by the rather deep crevass, which has to be flown over, and a narrow chokepoint held by the Shado-Pan. In the Townlong questline you shore up this choke point, and witness hundreds of Mantid flyers shot down over crevase.

So, not only are they bound by the migratory direction of their living seige engines, but they are geographically directed towards the Serpents Spine and the Gate of the Setting Sun.

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