Warcraft scale

wow seems to use medieval numbers, for battles, according to the chronicle which is only in the couple of thousands for the most part, its very doubtful that wow ever had hundreds of thousands in battles, which before the modern age, was actually hardly ever seen, past the roman era, at least till the age of napoleon.( western history of course)

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Well, I have not read the book myself, but taking all of this at face value and lacking context, consider the following.

Massive World War Between Alliance and Horde, intense fighting in all corners of the world for 4 years. (Cata-Mop)

Invasion from an Alternate timeline, the likes of which Azeroth had never seen since the First and Second War, resulting in a massive interdimensional Campaign of Conquest on an alien planet lasting 2 years. (WoD)

The Largest Demonic invasion in history since the War of the Ancients, resulting in intense fighting on a global scale. Resulting in yet another interdimensional Campaign of Conquest on an alien planet. One far more unforgiving than the last. That was an entire year.

The Battle for Azeroth. A War that resulted in the genocide of the Night Elves. Their Home and the home of the Forsaken was scorched and blighted. Bloody conflicts erupted in every corner of the planet. The Zandalari (Which is just a small Island nation, it’s power mostly derived from cultural, political and religious significance) had a massive civil war against the Blood Trolls, Ghuun, and agents of the Old Gods. Kul Trias has a Civil War against the Coven and the Tidesages. The Naga took sieged the advantage to free an Old God, the first unshackled Old God seen since Primordial Azeroth. It is still unclear how long this went on, but precedent says at least 1 year if not several.

All of this happened in less than a decade. So, can the forces of Azeroth really put forward any massive armies at this point?


I don’t remember the book saying the size of the Horde reinforcements or Telanji’s army but I know the rebels had maybe a few hundred. It grew over time. But the Zandalari troll army was small due to the Blood Troll incursion, Zul’s rebellion, and the seige of Zandalar. They’ve taken some big hits.

There are a few other mitigating factors for the size of the forces, at least described in the story.

  1. Due to the multiple Assassination attempts, whispers of rebellion, etc, the Forces Talanji were drawing upon were reduced to effectively people who would fight these rebels, and it seemed there were a lot of doubts or unease in the ranks because the doubt in the throne.
  2. The military had been spread out massively as the rebels (aided by dark rangers) were attacking over a wide area, mixing in random strikes with targeted ones causing Talanji to have to spread out her army over a wide area to cover multiple points. It was likely that the soldiers she could muster were only from those she could reliably get to in time to respond.
  3. Horde soldiers were drawn from elites, and had to be portaled in, which restricted how many soldiers they could bring. That they could bring so many at all was a testament to the skill of the Nightborne magics.
  4. Ultimately, while the rebellion seemed to be gaining a large base of support, the number of people who actually wanted to fight was on the small side, so they did not actually have a great deal of combatants.

It’s true only arround 40 warrior per faction took part in this “battle”.

There is no explanaition for such stupid numbers. It’s simply a bad joke.


In fact, the Horde sent less than 40 (Talanji had an army of 40 and the book states the horde sent almost the same number).

The problem is Thrall saying that Orgrimmar was going to be undefended if they had sent more troops.

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All numbers there are a problem and silly.
We know Warcraft numbers mean nothing and should be ignored. But “2 Orc raiders are now an army” is definitely taking the cake.


Maybe it’s game reference. 2 mythic raid teams, the rebels didn’t stand a chance.

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I mean the main draw to war stories, to me is big battles. I understand if you can’t really depict a large battle in game, but a book should be the place you really show us the scale. Even if they’ve been in wars, if a superpower cannot supply more than 40 people to a military conflict, can we even call them a superpower anymore?


To be fair, the numbers are fine.
The New Horde was always described as a faction of races near extinction.

The Orcs and Darkspear traveled to Kalimdor in a few boats stolen from Southshore. In “Lords of the Clans” novel, is stated that after the liberation of almost all the internament camps, Thrall had an army of less than 2.000 orcs.

The Darkspear tribe was always small, and lost their capital city twice (against the naga witch and against the kul tiran fleet).

The New Horde (Orcs, Darkspear and Tauren) needed the aid of a ogre clan and the betrayal of Jaina to survive the war against Daelin Proudmoore in Frozen Throne… And even in Wotlk the Blood elves needed the help of a Forsaken garrison to hold the undead.

All those events have happened in less than 14 years, the Horde lost “an entire generation” in Wotlk.

And after all that, in the War of Thorns the entire Horde had an army of only “thousands” and only were 8-1 against the Darnassian Guard, while the kaldorei army was in Silithus. The novella stated that they lost many in Ashenvale and Darkshore.

So if the entire Horde started the Fourth War with “thousands” and lost many in the War of Thorns and all the battles they lost (Arathi, Darkshore, Dazar’alor) then probably their “army” of less than 40 troops is coherent with the story.

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Namzir isn’t an ideal place to construct buildings. They couldn’t build enough burrows.

We know the losses at the Wrathgate battle were something like several thousand for both sides. We do know that Golden is really bad with making scale literal in Warcraft, though. So perhaps she told the author to do that.

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Does it matter? Numbers vary depending on the writer and medium.

No it’s not fair. Those numbers are nonsensical, no matter how hard you try to defend it.

There is no logical way this works in any way what so ever.

It should matter. It only shows ho bad WoW’s story is.


WoW’s always struggled with scale and population numbers might as well be a running gag.

Take the Sin’Dorei. Allegedly 90% of them were wiped out in the Scourge attack, and they’ve been a player in every single conflict since then. So presumably there’s what like, maybe 1,000 or so left at best? But who knows maybe they reproduce in thousand egg clutches and mature extremely quickly.

Likewise the Wars in Warcraft have always made little sense to me. In BFA the Horde seems to have at least a few aircraft carriers and submarines. Which I guess were extremely recent developments as, why would you attack the Broken Shore with regular ole boats when you apparently have the technology to fight in the Pacific Theater of WW2?

And hell in BFA the vaunted Zandalari fleet gets decimated in like one attack. And then I guess ALL the Kul Tirans boats crashed into Nazjatar.

Maybe they’re still operating on RTS logic, where you do send your whole butt army to attack the enemy.


Why do we even have the factions if they just contain such small numbers. I mean the horde and alliance populations as a whole should be in the hundreds of thousands if not a million.

Remember that like doll thing about lordaeron at blizzcon?

where they had like 10k dolls or whatever.

It is bad. They’ve never been consistent, and they won’t start now.

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Not really. I mean, it should be more than a hundred sure, but with back to back wars and destruction, I wouldn’t be surprised if Azeroth has a low population.

Faction numbers have never been so big. The biggest description of the factions in the novels is in Tides of Darkness (Warcraft 2 novel) where the old horde had “dozens of thousands”.

In the novels the numbers have been at least coherent since Tides of Darkness.

Submarines were around since WC2 (sure on animals first) and aircraft since at least WotLK. Aside from those point’s I agree with you on the lack of logic.