Camping on top of hills - good or bad?

Join the Romance of the Three Kingdoms discussion with our resident Scholars. Topics relating to the novel and history are both welcome. Don't forget to check the Forum Rules before posting.
Kongming’s Archives: Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms Officer Biographies
Three Kingdoms Officer Encyclopedia
Scholars of Shen Zhou Search Tool

Unread postby Marx!_II » Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:07 am

I think the novel makes a number of references to defenders throwing sticks and stones at attackers, per haps this could be used?
User avatar
Marx!_II
Changshi
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 7:45 am
Location: About Seattle

Unread postby FengChu » Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:09 am

Sticks and stones couldn't have killed many people :P
FengChu
Apprentice
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 2:50 pm

Unread postby Po Hsing » Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:16 am

I quite agree with Rommell.

Ma Su got an impossible mission of defending Jieting with so little men against the likes Sima Yi, who was almost the equal of ZGL, and Zhang He.

ZGL never anticipated that Sima Yi would be in the Jieting area, and instead thought that Sima's main force would be facing him. In that respect, Sima was successful in fooling ZGL into believing that he would not be in the Jieting area.

So if would have mattered little if he camped on the hill or on the road. Either way, Sima would have taken it.

It also did not help that Ma Su had cowarderly soldiers who refused to charge down hill and attack.
Po Hsing
Initiate
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 10:29 am

Unread postby Shield of Rohan » Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:22 am

Actually, his soldiers (Wang Ping's unit specifically) offered great resistance that surprised Zhang He and forced him to retreat. Ma Su failed Kongming, but Wang Ping prevented the battle from turning into a rout. Wang Ping was the one who counseled to not camp on the mountain, and demonstrated that he would have been able to provide a strong defense in the face of the Wei attack.
"I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded, what others do only from fear of the law." -Aristotle
User avatar
Shield of Rohan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 2157
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2002 8:48 pm
Location: Atlanta. No, scratch that: Utah.

Unread postby Marx!_II » Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:02 am

FengChu wrote:Sticks and stones couldn't have killed many people :P


Yeah, untill ol' Kongming had the idea to replace sticks with logs and stones with boulders. Priceless.
User avatar
Marx!_II
Changshi
 
Posts: 403
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 7:45 am
Location: About Seattle

Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:26 am

Actually, once there was a seige battle in history with sticks. The defending side was losing so they tried to get a lucky shot on the enemy commander. The commander told his best archers to shoot sticks instead of arrows and only when the oppurtunity presented itself, to let the arrows fly. When they shot the sticks, the enemy general was surprised and went to see himself, then an arrow came that shot the general in the eye, killing him and winning the battle for the defenders.

As for Zhuge Liang, I don't think he knew Sima Yi would be there. First of all, in history, Sima Yi was away at the time and Zhang He defeated Ma Su. Second of all, 250k troops is an exadoration. Since the book is based on history, and in history Zhuge took the Jieting, he probably wasn't up agianst such odds and had chances of victory. The novel for some reason adds these great odds and makes it seem like there was no chance of winning. But if the enemy really did have Sima Yi with 250k, I don't even think Zhuge would bother and abondon the whole region, or leave more troops and commanders in charge for a critical defense.
Lu Xun- "After much observation of how Liu Bei had been leading troops in his career, I see that he had more failures than success; hence, he is not much of a threat."
PrimeMinister Bu Zhi
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1002
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 9:22 pm
Location: Jiao

Unread postby Rommel » Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:31 pm

What? It was Zhang He who defeated Ma Su? Man I really admire LGZ's imagination. He had to make up the action that Sima Yi sent his son to survery enemy camp & Sima Yi himself to survery enemy camp. LGZ even made up Sima Yi's comment that if Ma Su set up camp on road I would be doomed. LGZ you got me again :lol:

Rob said it before that ZGL took different route to attack Chang An. Fengchu said that ZGL wanted Ma Su to hold the Wei's army for a while & he would arrive in JieTing with the rest of his men. Which one is true?

If the previous case is true then Ma Su was unfortunately the scapegoat of the failed campaign.

1) If ZGL knew about the importance of JieTing, which was vital to his campaign, as a commander in chief, he should send a reliable experienced general there. Zhao Yun or Huang Zhong immediately jump to my mind. Instead he sent an inexperienced strategist who hadn't command a battle before. If he knew about history similar case happened in Seven kingdom era. During one invasin by Qin army led by general Bai Qi, King of Zhao kingdom replaced his experienced old general Lian Po with young inexperienced big mouth Zhao Kuo because of Qin's plot. His move led to the death of 400,000 Zhao's soldiers. ZGL didn't learn from history I guess.

2) ZGL dispatched too few troops to guard the important strategic spot. Bu Zhi stated that LGZ exaggerated the number of Wei's army but it is still a risk to send small number of troops under an inexperienced general to guard an critical place without natural barriers. Or ZGL didn't expect that Wei's main force would show up in JieTing at all?

3) ZGL knew that there was no natural barrier in JieTing. I assume that he knew about the map there. Why didn't he inform Ma Su where to set up defense? How many days did he expect Ma Su to hold for reinforcement? Since he only put 10,000 men as reserve I believed that he didnt' expect attack of large Wei's army.

In conclusion ZGL screwed up his own plan but someone needed to take the responsibility, then it is Ma Su :x .

Regarding Wang Ping's victory, where did he set up defense? On the road? I thought that the road camp should be set in front of Ma Su's camp so Wang Ping would be the first one who confronted Wei's army. If Wang's camp was on the other hill, what was the difference between his camp and Ma's? If he set up the camp behind Ma Su's what was his purpose to set up camp there? To prevent Ma's soldiers from running back or prepare for Ma's retreat but Ma was surrounded by Wei's army so Wang's camp shouldn't be near. Why didn't Wang set up camp on the road as he insisted in the first place to prove how right he was?
Rommel
Sage
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 2:57 pm

Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:52 pm

Sima Yi was only commander for the last two campiagns. And Huang Zhong was dead. Zhao Yun was defeated by Cao Zhen and demoted. However, he should have used Wei Yan or Wu Yi. ZGL explained to Ma Su but he did not listen. ZGL is known to have a bad eye for people. As for Wang Ping's victory? He was with Ma Su. Zhang He surrounded Ma Su and was about to pursue their army, Wang Ping told his men to beat the drums and make it seem like morale was still high, Zhang He feared an ambush and withdrew. Wang Ping never fought him in that battle. Though he fought him later and defeated him. After Zhuge Liang died, Wei attacked Hanzhong. Wangping repelled them with little troops. Wang Ping had to follow orders of his commanding officer. If Ma Su if his commanding officer, yet he disobeys ZGL, then Wang Ping must follow or Ma Su can execute him without Zhuge Liang being able to intervene.

Novel troop sizes are very oversized. They are usually in the 10,000s. But if anyone leads 100s of thousands, it's Cao Cao. Shu probably had around 100,000 in total of it's men. Wu had a bit more. Wei had about 400,000 or so. I don't think they would dispatch 250,000 of their men on one front, since they had to defend the Jing and Yang front, also defend against the northern tribes, and leave men to secure their cities incase of rebellion. Zhang He probably did have more men then Ma Su, but defensive will have the advantage if their are barriars and such. Ma Su camped where there is no natural barrier meaning defense will be a lot harder. That's why he lost.
Lu Xun- "After much observation of how Liu Bei had been leading troops in his career, I see that he had more failures than success; hence, he is not much of a threat."
PrimeMinister Bu Zhi
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1002
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 9:22 pm
Location: Jiao

Unread postby robbyjo » Thu Aug 12, 2004 5:04 pm

PM Bu Zhi, can you back up your statements on troop numbers? Do you think that William's map is correct?

-- Rob
:mrgreen:
User avatar
robbyjo
Überducky of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 2767
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 10:17 am
Location: Heaven

Unread postby FengChu » Thu Aug 12, 2004 5:07 pm

Zhang He (I'm not even sure the CIC was him) was in the van, meaning he had all the crack troops, and a HUGE number of them as well. Secondly, it wasn't Zhuge Liang's miscalculation that costed Jieting, but Ma Su's mistake.

Defenders can hold off attackers with twice as many troops. Even more so when they are isolated in a road. Barricade the roads, stay on flat ground, and use a strict defense. Eventually, the large Wei army is going to get lax, and by then, ZGL would have devised another strategy.

Ma Su was a very qualified candidate to guard Jie Ting. Zhuge Liang himself would often consult Ma Su, and they would discuss strategy deep into the night. In addition, Ma Su's older brother Liang served in Shu and was very effective.

On a side note, why does everyone say Ma Su is overrated? He's not overrated in the novel or in history. The only person he's overrated by is Zhuge Liang. Everyone else can see that he's useless, so why say he's overrated?
FengChu
Apprentice
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 2:50 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved