The Lamanites decide that the most appropriate solution to the problem of their missing women is to assume that Limhi's people did it and initiate all-out war without warning. But Limhi happens to notice every single thing the Lamanites are doing to prepare their invasion from his vantage point in the tower that King Noah had built. He even has time to set up an ambush for the Lamanite armies.
How high is this tower? Is there an anachronistic sniper scope in it? Because it's pretty impressive how much Limhi is able to learn from peering out of this tower, especially considering that a lot of the stuff that he sees should be taking place at least a few miles away.
War: A Numbers Game
After the Nephites defeat the Lamanites in battle and capture their king, they bring the king of the Lamanites to King Limhi for a little king-to-king heart-to-heart. The king of the Lamanites explains why they attacked. Limhi insists he has no knowledge of the kidnappings, but vows to conduct an investigation and punish any of his people who were involved. Then Limhi lets Gideon, the guy who almost killed his father, give him some weird advice.
Gideon correctly suggests that it was Noah's priests who committed the crime. But then he urges that Limhi hurry up and let the Lamanite king know because any second now the "numerous hosts" of the Lamanites would come destroy them all unless they convince their king that it's all a misunderstanding.
Are the Lamanites really that much more numerous? Because Limhi didn't see them making preparations for a reconnaissance mission, he saw them making preparations for war.
Therefore they sent their armies forth; yea, even the king himself went before his people; and they went up unto the land of Nephi to destroy the people of Limhi.When the king is leading the attack, it's usually not the second stringers and the bench warmers. And if you're sending "armies" (plural) to "destroy" an entire people, you're not just throwing a few skirmishers out there to test your enemy's strength. It's a proper invasion carrying the full weight of your nation's military power. It's not like you're just going to leave a massive amount of crack troops in their barracks for that kind of thing.
I'm pretty sure the Lamanites hit Limhi with the best they had the first time. So why does Gideon think that there's like a million other Lamanite soldiers ready to kill them?
Not to Beat a Dead Horse, But...
The Nephites just kicked some serious Lamanite military butt. And yet they return to their original agreement of paying fifty percent taxes to the king of the Lamanites. Why? How is "you just tried to slaughter us all and failed miserably, so take your fifty percent tribute and shove it up the back of your loincloth" so difficult for Limhi to say?