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Forums: Index > Lore Discussion > Was the Battle of Ostagar Winnable?
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Suppose Loghain never betrayed Cailan and followed through with the charge the moment the beacon was lit. Would that have really made all the difference in the battle's outcome? Personally I'm not so sure, and I have 2 main reasons for this.

1) The position of the Ferelden army was compromised from the beginning of the battle. If you talk to the tower guard when you first enter the camp, he mentions that they found lower chambers in the Tower, but for some reason nobody seemed to be in the least bit concerned that these chambers may link up to the Deep Roads; or that the Darkspawn may be able to connect them. So sure enough, when the battle started and the Darkspawn began to emerge out of the Tower, the guards that were stationed there were completely unprepared to handle it. By the time the Warden manages to light the Beacon, it's already far to late for Loghain's charge to accomplish anything because the Darkspawn had already outflanked the Ferelden Army.

2) The battle hinged on the Archdemon emerging. What if the Archdemon didn't feel like coming out of the Deep Roads? What would the army have done then? Would they really have been able to fight a battle of attrition against against the Darkspawn? Even if it did come out, what was Duncan's grand plan to kill it? He was very vague on that when asked, trusting that you would let him and the other Gray Wardens handle it.

So what does everyone else think? Could the blight really had been stopped at Ostagar? Was this plan doomed to fail even before the army took the field? Could Loghain really have saved the day? --Serrah (talk) 04:53, June 27, 2011 (UTC)

I don't think it was a winable battle, the army that you rallied was larger than the army that faced the darkspawn at Ostagar, and even so at the battle of Denerim Oghren and Sten basicly stated that we still are to few and if we don't do something (killing the Archdemon) than we will be overrun and the same thing would hapen as in Ostogar.

Also, darkspawn have a near limitless stock of fresh troops, while Ferelden had no such luxury, it just had enough forces to protect it's border, not to wage a long campaigne, even if by great luck Cailan won the battle, it would have by an unrepairable loss of troops while the darkspawn would have been "reorganised" in few weeks.

--Anatolj80.98.75.107 (talk) 11:06, June 26, 2011 (UTC)


First, sign your post (original poster).

Second, the Fereldens were concerned about the Tower of Ishal and its lower chambers. If you speak to the Tower Guard before you go into the Wilds, he will say how they are trying to secure the Tower, and they ARE trying to clear the lower chambers.

But thirdly, yes, it was unlikely that they would have won. The reinforcements from Orlais were incredibly needed. Plus, Eamon's troops also would have helped there be a chance. Cailan did have his doubts too, wasn't it written in his notes from the chest found in the Return to Ostagar DLC?

Fourthly, I think the Wardens did have a plan to stop the Archdemon. Duncan probably didn't want to panic or put in danger the new Warden and Alistair (heir to the throne and all that), hence why he sent them up the Tower instead of in the battle.

User:Eggy2504, 12:17, 26 June, 2011


Maybe Duncan believed that, driven purely by intention, the Warden or Alistair would try to pull a Riordan on the Archdemon from atop the tower, forcing it into ground combat? Noctarius (talk) 13:03, June 26, 2011 (UTC)

"Pulling a Riordan" now the official term for jumping off a building onto a Dragon in flight. Andy the Black (talk) 14:00, June 26, 2011 (UTC)
Better than "Pulling a Teagan" (prancing about under the influence of a demon) or "Pulling an Alistair" (shimmying down the darkspawn line wearing a dress while dancing the remigold). Quirkynature (talk) 14:23, June 26, 2011 (UTC)
I dont know, I think Alisters plan had merit. The Darkspawn would have never seen it coming. Andy the Black (talk) 14:36, June 26, 2011 (UTC)


I don't think the issue can ever be settled, since we lack vital information; as fas as I know, there are only two facts confirmed by Bioware: darkspawn were more numerous than expected, and Loghain never untended to light the beacon. Questions, though, are far too many: 1) do the developers possess the skill and knowledge to actually plan a realistic battle? 2) does the cinematic show the actual proceedings of the battle, or is it just meant to impress? 3) does the fact that the horde was more numerous than expected mean that the battle was unwinnable, or that the victory would be more costly than expected? 4) did Calan make his precautions because he feared the general outcome, or because he expected problems for himself? 4)did Loghain neglect the defence of Ishal because he never meant to carry out the plan, anyway? ... --Ygrain (talk) 14:51, June 26, 2011 (UTC)

I get the impression that they needed reinforcements from Orlais to have much of a real chance to come out on top. Probably in terms of a normal army, and of a battalion of Grey Wardens. But with Loghain pulling out it kind of sealed the Ferelden army's fate. Gotta remember the King's army would be the single biggest in Ferelden, so there would've been a heck load of soldiers on the field, but a Blight isn't a normal scenario, the Darkspawn can send any number of units out, and have the advantage of not caring how many are lost. So even if Cailan had command of the biggest human army Ferelden has access to, it wouldn't be enough to fend off a Darkspawn horde on it's own, the king would need to unite all of the troops from the various areas in Ferelden in order to have a chance. Also, isn't it a fact that some didn't seem to think it was a true Blight at that stage? So perhaps the sheer number of enemies they faced wasn't expected. S13Kuro (talk) 15:31, June 26, 2011 (UTC)

You got some points there. To me, the whole battle seemed more like an attempt to stop the darkspawn from entering too far into Ferelden, as the whole army was placed inside this canyon thing at Ostagar. Essentially like a very military way of blocking the door. It is quite obvious that this was never meant to completely destroy the darkspawn. Noctarius (talk) 15:47, June 26, 2011 (UTC)
I wonder how many men Cailan actually had with him, as it seems that his mustering of forces was only at its initial point. Eamon was not there yet, Howe didn't bother to turn up, and the whole lot of the Landsmeet probably were not at Ostagar, either, since they would have known what transpired (or were dead). The only noble mentioned as a casualty at Ostagar was the Arl of Denerim, who must have been in the bait force with Cailan, most probably together with Fergus' troops from Highever. /sorry, didno't notice I was logged out/ --Ygrain (talk) 04:59, June 27, 2011 (UTC)

Fergus's men was lost in the wilds, He says so at the end of the game. Something just came to my attention though. If you speak to the leader of the Ash Warriors he complains about his patrol being changed. Being the fact that Fergus was sent out on patrol as soon as he got there. Could it be that Logain changed the patrol so Fergus would get a sucidal patrol? What I'm thinking is Logain changed the patrol and walked Fergus right into a no win fight in the hopes he would die. BY the way Logain talked and how Howe talked at castle cousland it was obvious they was playing by the same playbook. While I'm at it on coookie ideas i think maybe Zevran killed Arl Urien of denerim because if you talk to Bohain theres a rumor going around about Urien never reaching Ostigar about how he was killed by crows, and when you talk to Zevran for the first time he suggest that he was already nearby on business when the misson came in to kill the wardens. Also you never see Arl Urien at the meeting being a big name like that he would of been there. So i think Logain did not think the darkspawn was a real threat and planned to Kill Cailan and his supporters all along.DarkDabber (talk) 21:29, June 26, 2011 (UTC)DarkDabber

Yes, but I assume that he took with him just a small force for the patrol (a teyrn's army would be tens to hundreds of men, way too many for patrolling, but I may be wrong). - But I believe you are right: Fergus was sent to a suicide mission (or at best, he was sent away so that he didn't start asking questions when his father and Howe didn't turn up. Also, it seems that instead to Ostagar, Howe headed for Denerim instaed, as if he knew he didn't have to bother.
I totally missed the part about Crows and Urien, and you're right that a big name should be present at the council, though this could have been an omission by the developers --Ygrain (talk) 04:59, June 27, 2011 (UTC)

Fergus only took some of Highevers troops most likely the house guards. If you notice none of the soldiers at Ostigar had the Cousland (or Highever) marking on their shields. Elenor Cousland also prefers to them as "Fergus's Men" This makes me think that most of the soldiers you see leaving the castle was in fact just part of his retinue. The Highever army I say would of been in the thousands once the non knights was levied into the army. (I Think I read somewhere that Highever was the second biggest city next to Denerim in the country) It would of been cool to have went back to Highever wouldn't it Ygrain? Atleast I think it would ofDarkDabber (talk) 13:35, June 27, 2011 (UTC)DarkDabber

Oh Highever, sweet home... it's really a shame there is no chance to revisit the place in the game, though I understand it wouldn't have been possible.
Concerning Fergus's troops, I don't think he retained his own men, but that Eleannor simply used his name as a reference to the leader of the said men. I also believe that he did take the bulk of the Highever army with him, or else Howe's attack wouldn't have been so devastating and so quick. The lack of the Highever soldiers in Ostagar might be ascribed to the fact that they were lodged together with the army in the valley, not in the camp. And I also believe that they were sent to the battlefield with Cailan to die there, and not be able to tell stories how one Arl Howe came for a friendly visit before the Highever castle bathed in blood. --Ygrain (talk) 15:05, June 27, 2011 (UTC)

Theres fighting all through the game in Highever. You keep hearing about it through rumors and secondhand sources. also someone mentions (forgot who it was) that Logain has a huge (up to half) his army there to maintain order. Also in the arl of denerims estate if you sneak in you can hear one of Howes guards talking about it I think the conversation went something like "Up at Highever I hear their still cleaning the blood out of there." the other guy replys "yeah, I wouldnt want to be stationed up there." the firt guy replys "They hate us you can tell by how they look at us." The second guy replys "Do you blame them?" the conversation runs like this give or take. What I really think happen is Highever sent their standing army if you look at them leave they are in formation in matching armors with matching weapons etc etc they looked like a fighting force. The men with Cailin looked like a rabble armed with whatever they could find.DarkDabber (talk) 16:54, June 27, 2011 (UTC)DarkDabber

If it was unwinnable, Loghain wouldn't have stuck around to make sure Cailan died. The signal showed that the Grey Wardens and Cailan were fully engaged, as the anvil. The original plan was to have Uldred give the signal, by some unknown means and for some unknown purpose with some unknown promises made. Perhaps, the fallout from that "failing" would have given Loghain more Chantry support or further marginalized a major threat to his power base.

The internal power struggle, in the government, was between Loghain and Eamon. (If you believe that revisionist bunk in Return to Ostagar, then Eamon was directing Cailan's shadow government, that was operating behind the screen of Loghain's shadow governement, which was operating behind the publicly-known government policies of Anora, who was operating behind the public face of Cailan's government.)
What I find delicious, is that Cailan stymied Loghain's continued stranglehold on Ferelden politics, by keeping Eamon and Alistair out of the battle. My theory is that he did this to prove a point - that he was a big boy now and the true head of the Theirin family line.

If nothing else, the cinematic proves that - without Loghain's leadership - Cailan and Duncan were absolute rubbish at combined tactics. It was just the personal royal guard and the Wardens and they still couldn't get coordinated, beyond the brilliant plan to make their stand in front of the walls. Futonrevoltion (talk) 15:48, June 26, 2011 (UTC)

Elric (the guy who gives you the key for the RTO DLC) says that even had Loghain charged Cailan (and by extension Duncan) would still have died.I think the game is purposely ambiguous on this and other points so one persons regicide is anothers pragmatic battlefield commander.My character has no issue with what Loghain did at Ostagar,it's what he did afterward that ticks me off.I make him a Grey Warden as punishment(just wish there had been a option to give him latrine duty or give Oghren a bath."Be sure to scrub all those hard to reach places,you sodding duster!".Oso27us (talk) 00:36, June 27, 2011 (UTC)
Do you really trust the word of Elric? The man didn't even rate getting his own Wiki entry. Futonrevoltion (talk) 00:53, June 27, 2011 (UTC)


A man who quit the battlefield where he was honour-bound to die is really not what I'd call a trustworthy source. It's a common psychological mechanism to convince oneself that he is not to blame and that nothing could have been done - and this may apply to Loghain, as well. As for his pragmatic decision, I recall a discussion where Gaider clearly stated that from his position, Loghain did not have a full view of the battlefield, i.e. could not assess the situation, and that he never intended to stick with the plan, anyway. Even if I give him the benefit of doubt and assume that his was a purely military decision, based possibly on the reports of darkspawn numbers, I still find disturbing the fact that he tried to put the blame on the Wardens and was not frank even with Anora. My interpretation then would be that the battle would have been risky and costly, but that it can't have been clearly assessed as unwinnable before it started. - But yeah, the game is intentionally ambiguous, and Gaider never states clearly it was this way or the other. --Ygrain (talk) 04:59, June 27, 2011 (UTC)

I remember this discussion well: I've argued it with people over and over again. First and foremost: there's no evidence pointing to Loghain being anymore than an accessory to Howe's plans. The developers have told us that Loghain planned to poison Eamon only to get him out of the way, and would later give him the antidote once he was in more firm control of Ferelden. Keep in mind: Loghain is a self-centered patriot. He wants what is best for Ferelden, and he thinks only HE can know what that is. Hence trying to kill off the Grey Wardens at Ostagar because he feared Orlesian penetration. Do you remember how hard he tried to convince Cailan to stay off the field? he didn't want to divide Ferelden by killing its king, but Cailan sealed his own fate by fighting.

Second: The battle was lost due to a lack of siege engines. Seriously, only three ballistae on the walls, and a handful of archers? The Fereldens were doomed from the start.

Third: If Loghain had had his way from the get-go, Ostagar never would've happened. In conversation, Loghain reacts with scorn at the prospect of a big, climactic finish to the "Blight", and insists Cailan isn't in touch with reality. Everyone saying the Fereldens lacked troops were correct: they did indeed. Loghain's policy would have been to keep doing what they had been doing so far: winning minor engagements and keeping the darkspawn off balance. Abandoning Ostagar for guerilla warfare would not have been out of the question.

Fourth, and perhaps the most important: the Warden missed the signal. Assuming Loghain would've charged, the timing was all off. Loghain's charge would've been most effective at the instant the darkspawn were still well and truly engaged with Cailan's army. Any later, and Cailan's men would be too weak to withstand a determined darkspawn zerg-rush. Think Waterloo: the battle was lost in minutes due to a successful charge that demolished Napolean's line. Instead of being caught between two armies, the darkspawn would've just torn through Cailan's men before turning to meet Loghain's futile attack. The battle was lost, one way or another, with the darkspawn taking the Tower of Ishal. Rathian Warrior (talk) 05:23, June 27, 2011 (UTC)

- Yeah, I recall that as well :-) So: 1) No, there's no evidence, just a couple of disturbing fact which may, and may not, be mere coincidence. And I wasn't pointing out that fact that he was responsible for the deaths of the Wardens but that framed them as being responsible for the King's death, which they were not.

2) See above - I don't think the cinematic can be taken as a source of reliable information about the proceedings of the battle.

3) Well, yes. And? It still proves nothing about the battle being unwinnable.

4) The same as before: yes the signal was late, but this does not necessarily mean that it was crucially late. The fact that battles CAN be lost within minutes does not mean they HAVE to be lost within minutes.

- Damn ambiguity :-)) --Ygrain (talk) 06:06, June 27, 2011 (UTC)


Ambiguity is rife in this battle, that's a fact that everyone can agree on. So what about the scenario where the Archdemon doesn't show up? What would happen then? In the game, the Archdemon doesn't even leave the deep roads till well after the battle is over, so it may be safe to say that it had no intention of appearing in Ostagar. Would the army really have been able to repel an endless waive of Darkspawn? If Ostagar is similar to the 'Hot Gates' of 300 fame, then maybe. How ever, as they were able to get around the choke point, I find it unlikely that they would have been able to hold.--Serrah (talk) 06:28, June 27, 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I'm grasping this right but I think that Duncan rather feared the Archdemon's appearance than expected it, and was worried that there was not, in fact, a plan how to deal with it, should it show up. As for the endless darkspawn waves - that depends on exact numbers of both armies, for which there is no clue, but even an outnumbered army could still have won (I don't think that the numbers seen at the final battle of Denerim can serve as a clue; the darkspawn had about a year, and, uhm, access to the means, to increase their numbers)
- Which brings me to yet another point: if we consider what would have happened if Loghain had intended to remain loyal, we should also take into consideration that the battleplan may have been somewhat different. I find it hard to believe that the supposed military genius would assign a crucial role to a location which could not be entirely secured; I believe that he would have chosen another spot for lighting the beacon, or devised other means of signalling, in which case the signal wouldn't have been late. It is even possible that he would have devised another battle plan, one that would take better advantage of the terrain etc. Damn it, we're talking about a guy who was able to come up with a plan to win a battle which was considered unwinnable by nearly everyone, and this was at the time when he had no military experience!
So, I think that instead of one question, there are, in fact, two: 1) Was Ostagar winnable with another plan? - I believe yes; 2)Was Ostagar winnable with Loghain's plan the way it was performed? - no telling. --Ygrain (talk) 09:38, June 27, 2011 (UTC)

Without knowing the number of troops Loghain had with him, it's hard to tell. But I believe the battle plan was Loghain's, and after reading The Stolen Throne, I have no doubt Loghain could have pulled a victory off. Or at the very least reduced the number of casualties during a retreat. Gruedragon (talk) 13:11, June 27, 2011 (UTC)

Just started reading the Stolen Throne, so I'll reserve any judgement of Loghain till after I'm finished with it. Loghain not bringing his 'A' game to the planning table is another factor to consider. But for this topic, let's just stick with the plan as they had established it in the game. --Serrah (talk) 06:06, June 28, 2011 (UTC)

Exactly. Personally, I feel that his hammer-and-anvil plan was just a way how to stage a defeat and sacrifice only half an army. - But I must admit not being objective when it comes to Loghain,though I try hard. --Ygrain (talk) 13:26, June 27, 2011 (UTC)


I think that if the army had had some sort of military discipline, standardisation in equipment and had held their ground at the tower rather than charge out into the middle of a field then it would have been winnable. I know it's to much for me to hope that a (non-strategy) game would become nerdly tactical and strategic, especially during a cutscene but if the archers had been positioned on the flanks and a shield-wall had been formed in the centre at the choke-point under the tower then the army under Cailan's command could have held the darkspawn in place while Loghains force with the Mabari comes in and rips up the darkspawn flank. Also it would help if the archers realised that bows can be used more than once. HOORAY FOR THE STRATEGY NERD! --DetailedSubset (talk) 15:40, June 27, 2011 (UTC)

Well, I don't think think it's nerdism, rather a common sense - and that's why I'm sceptical about using the cinematics as a reliable source of information. It's not entirely impossible that mob tactics was the main strategic feat of the day, but from what I've glimpsed on the net, I came to the conclusion that at this stage of social development, warfare was somewhat more sophisticated. --Ygrain (talk) 15:51, June 27, 2011 (UTC)
25,000 troops probably would be about the number Cailan could muster. This is roughly the same size of the army that King Charles the VIII of France was able to muster for his campaign into Italy. I consider this a rough real world comparison as this campaign occured some 40 years after the 100 years war, which can be somewhat compared to the Orlesian occupation of Ferelden.--Serrah (talk) 06:06, June 28, 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure it really matters whether the battle was winnable or not simply because, if I remeber correctly, when you first arrive at Ostagar Duncan states that the Darkspawn had attacked every night for the last 4 or 5 days. So, one would assume that even if the army had won then the Darkspawn would've just attacked again the next night anyway. Personally I have to question the decision to engage the Horde in battle in the first place seeing as, without the Archdemon present, fighting the Darkspawn Horde is always going to be a no-win situation. Violet Rogue (talk) 15:41, June 28, 2011 (UTC)

I doubt they could have vanquished the Blight at Ostagar, but the battle itself? Totally winnable. Of course it was highly improbable with they're really good "let's-face-the-darkspawn-in-the-open-like-a-bunch-of-hooligans" tactic, but Loghain was a tactical genious (You can see in Stolen Throne), if he wanted to win from the start, he would begin mounting a good defensable position with the barriers, inflammable grease on the floor, archers, ballistae and mages positioned and the flanks at high ground ready to set the grease on fire, and charge Gwaren's thousands soldiers on the darkspawn rearguard he would win. His soldiers could not charge before the fire was off, nor reach them very soon becouse of the forest, but if Cailan's troops hold the darkspawn for long enough, the artillery would make a heavy damage on the Horde, and coupled with the reinforcements they could have win with acceptable losses.
Loghain perfectly coordinate the battle so that the royal army was defeated, and his was the only remaining, that way his army could maintain the control of Ferelden and later defeat the darkspawn. Arl Howe's culling of Castle Cousland was planned (perphaps not with that much brutality, but planned nevertheless) as much as Arl Eamon's poison was. Without Highever's and Redcliffe's army to challenge him, and Amaranthine forces with him Loghain held immense military power and no one to challenge him.
So to cut it short (Yeah, yeah that ship has sailed) The battle was winnable, Loghain planned a coup when he saw that Cailan would marry the Orleasian Empress and dump his daughter, Howe is deranged psychopath, and Morrigan is hot.

Te Shukalaryc Mand'alor20px 17:40, June 28, 2011 (UTC)

In short, no. First of all no one but the Wardens were concerned sbout the Archdemon, but the point stands. The main issue with me is that the tactic employed by Loghain was meant to flank the hoard and trap them between Cailan and Loghain's forces. Yet when the signal started the hoard was STILL COMING OUT OF THE WILDS! That means they greatly underestimated the darkspawn numbers, since if Loghain tried to attack his men would have just found themselves fighting the hoard attacking Cailan and the darkspawn coming from the forest. Not the best place to be, caught between two armies.--Ironreaper (talk) 05:26, June 29, 2011 (UTC)


Ignoring the previous posts(how DARE I?!?) I would say that I don't think the battle was winnable. With the reinforcement from Orlais they might have had a chance. I don't think it would have been possible without more sldiers, and I actually blame the Cailan more than Loghain, being that he overestimated the power of the Wardens, much like Loghain underestimated them. If Cailan had listened more to Duncan and waited fro reinforcement they would have a better chance at winning.--85.165.27.97 (talk) 16:47, July 1, 2011 (UTC)


Cailan's outnumbered army would've won if the seperate the army by half, the first half will hold the line while the other half will flank them. Judging the darkspawn they're not much of a tactical army. But if Loghain would charge the battle really be won. If they had cavalry they will really win without Loghain. By using their cavalry, it should run to the flanks hiding in the woods, while king cailan's armies were fighting them now, the cavalry will charge from behind crushing the opposition. Think of StarCraft, imagine the terrans base was ostagar, and the zerg are the darkspawn. Gunners will be archers and Flamebats will be the soldiers. now muster a lot of zergs and terrans, make the terrans hold the line while the zergs charge like hell. make sure zergs outnumber the terrans, okay?

No they wouldn't because if they did the story of Dragon Age Origins would have never happened.--残酷に殺害プリンセス (talk) 09:44, July 21, 2013 (UTC)

Two years and twenty days, to come up with that answer. Wow. I'm impressed

Cross Changed Mandalore 06:06, July 22, 2013 (UTC)

All I can say is. If you ask "Duncan can the blight be stopped with the current forces we have". He responds by saying "he would rather wait for the reinforcements from Orlais to arrive". Also, seeing as how everyone was saying that the previous battles were going well and that they had fought the Darkspawn several times before, but to say that King Cailan and the Grey Wardens weren't expecting to see the huge numbers of Darkspawn on the field is not true. Cailan even said himself that "there are plenty of Dakrspawn on the field". I think what it all boils down to is, Cailan wanted a "Glorious battle" like in the story's, wanting glory and so forth for him and the Grey Wardens. If Cailan did win the battle, with the help of Loghain, I don't think Cailan would have had the mental capacity to deal with the rest of the Darkspawn horde, he acted too childish and he use to swade from reality. Cailans "fantasy war" was doomed from the start, pity only Loghain actually did something that saved his troops by pulling them out as he did. If he hadn't, they most likely would have all been slaughtered at Ostagar.

User: Olbricht 4:10, September 09, 2013 (GMT)

I don't think Ostagar was a winnable battle. Firstly, the Archdemon was an intelligent creature (certainly far more intelligent than Cailan) and too smart to stake it's entire campaign on one battle.

Secondly, Cailan overestimated the impact that the Grey Wardens could've had on the battle. They were green recruits fresh out of the Joining who didn't even know much about the darkspawn and even less about the Archdemon. It was a fool's hope on Cailan's part to place so much faith in ones so untrained and inexperienced. That was a testament to his naivety and inept leadership.

Thirdly, the darkspawn had the advantage in terms of numbers. Even if Loghain hadn't quit the field, the slaughter that came was inevitable. --JordanHawker (talk) 18:12, September 9, 2013 (UTC) JordanHawker

Well, the strategy that was being used was one that Alexander the Great used flawlessly for years. It is entirely soundly reasoned to have your infantry charge in and engage the enemy's lines and then have a second force in reserve that charges the enemy's flank, disrupting their lines, and effectively routing the army. The only problem, however, was the sheer number of darkspawn on the field. They HIGHLY outnumbered the Fereldan army, and with the intelligence of an Archdemon to lead them, it is unlikely they would've been defeated in one big battle as Cailan was hoping. The biggest problem with the whole scenario was that nobody was convinced it was a real Blight but the Wardens. Had Loghain charged at the signals lighting, its very probable that they would've won that skirmish, but not the overall battle, as the Archdemon could just whittle them down. I'veDunmerHomework (talk) 19:18, September 9, 2013 (UTC)

It depends on what you would call a "win". If you mean the total eradication of the Archdemon and routing the Darkspawn, no, not a chance- the Archdemon wasn't even on the surface at that point was it? Now, if their terms for winning were simply to repel the Darkspawn horde- or even to just stall them and slowly fall backwards into Fereldan, then yes, the battle could have been winnable. There are several variables that I see; first and foremost, the Darkspawn, how many would have to die before the retreat would be ordered? Would they even retreat at all? Friendlysociopath (talk) 13:22, September 10, 2013 (UTC)

The battle, given the layout of the battlefield, was completely winnable, just not in a heroic sense. The Alexander the Great comparison was actually rather apt, as there is another aspect of his tactics that would have helped immensely: Pikes. A pike is very easy to make in mass quantities, effective pikemen can be trained in a day, and given the lack of outflanking possibilities for the Darkspawn in that canyon, a phalanx completely negates their numbers advantage. Ogres? Doesn't matter how big that thing is, a dozen spears in its chest and it's going down. But even without that advantage, it could have been won with a few simple steps.

1)Using hit and fade strikes, draw the Darkspawn into the canyon before engaging them with the main force once the bulk of the horde has been walled in.

2)Loghain charges their rear, trapping them.

3)The archers that Loghain would have wisely placed on the high ground and bridge en masse would have opened up with everything they had. The entire canyon would become a killzone. Broken masonry would be tossed off the edge, boiling oil would be dropped, area of effect magic would be cast, barrels of gravel and sand would have been rolled down there. Even if the darkspawn outnumbered them 3 to 1, they would not have survived that. And, as they would be trapped on all sides, the ones in the middle would be unable to use their weapons. Ogres would have to kill their allies in order to get to the front lines because they wouldn't be able to move otherwise, only to be peppered with arrows because they're an easy to hit priority target. And their magic users, not intended to be on the front lines, would be in the press as well, unable to see and therefore unable to use magic to their advantage. 74.78.82.119 (talk) 01:17, September 12, 2013 (UTC)BrazenGolem

Battle of Ostagar couldn't have been won without simultaneously decimating the majority of Ferelden's Army had Loghain flanked. This would have left Ferelden open to an Orlesian invasion. This would all have gone down without Urthemiel making an appearance and allowing him to rebuild the Darkspawn horde after the battle. It would have been phyrric at best. Loghain's first (and most dire) mistake was his assumption that the Bannorn would rally around him and Anora after Cailan's death. After that it became one blunder after another. Soulofshezarr (talk) 21:28, October 20, 2013 (UTC)

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