What would you do if you were Cao Cao

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Unread postby Xiahou Mengde88 » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:05 pm

I'd do one of two things:

1. I wouldn't attack immediately. Secretly, I'd move some of my northern forces to Mo Ling, Shou CHun, and/or He Fei, and charge through Sun Quan's forces, leaving nobody, except for Liu Biao, that could possibly compete with me. Because, you know what they say: You can't be in more than one place at once, so while Zhuge Liang, Zhou Yu, and a majority of their forces were defending Red Cliff/Chi Bi, I'd be attacking in his weaker areas. I would say that I would pull Zhang Liao from Chi Bi's front line, and move him to He Fei, since he seems to have mastered that area, when it comes to battling, but then again, he wouldn't be at Chi Bi to shoot Huang Gai in the shoulder with an arrow.

or

2. I'd spread rumors to Sun Quan and Zhou Yu, and the others of Wu, saying that Lu Su was secretly planning on defecting to Shu at his first chance, or was just helping Shu, and was basically going to try to sabotage Wu; or alternately that Zhuge Liang was already planning out some complicated plot to destroy Wu, namely, things like getting key officers to defect. And of course, Lu Su was pretty much the only person or thing getting in the way of Wu destroying Shu, and at that point, if you can remember, there was already tension between the two, especially between Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu. Although it may sound complicated, you've got to admit that it is highly possible to believe that the two things might be in the making, especially to Wu.
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Unread postby Shield of Rohan » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:08 pm

If I were Cao Cao, I would pull my armies back and be content with Jingzhou for the time being. I would build up the support of the people by rebuilding the province, try to reform my image as a tyrant, and try to get Liu Bei's support over time, as well as try to force Liu Zhang's surrender. Liu Bei was under the protection of Wu, though some there clearly did not trust him or like him. If I could convince him by example that I would be establishing a new dynasty of wisdom and prosperity for all of China and that Sun Quan just wanted to preserve his own power and exploit the people for the sake of power in order to exploit them more, Bei would join me, after which I would utterly destroy Wu if it refused to surrender.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:07 am

Well remember Rommel,while a mass rush over the river would work since the Alliance navy would not be able to hit everything it also leaves the troops who make it in trouble.
They're now cut off from the main camps with Alliance naval vessels blocking their route of resupply and reinforcement.Since they are already deployed the Alliance knows where supply ships must come ashore and that effectively starve out the army.Not to mention that the northern troops will need to stay near the bank since they will need supplies,if they proceed inland they just doom themselves to starvation.The landed troops are now sandwiched between Alliance land forces and the navy with their backs to the river.

That'd be a serious rout.
Never forget to include logistics in your calculations. :)
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Unread postby LiuBeiwasGreat » Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:08 am

I forget some tell me why couldn't Cao Cao move his armies through southern Jing. If i remember correctly now Cao Cao has territory south of the great river. Couldn't he just move his soldiers down to Chang Sha or Gui Yang and simply march his troops overland? Sure this is a very roundabout way but since he controls all the land in the path to Wu it shouldn't be too hard to move the supplies through. That should lessen the chances of disease and prevent Wu from using her navy.
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Unread postby Rommel » Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:21 pm

Xiahou Mengde88: To my knowledge, Sun Quan had 30,000 men as reserve stationed in Jianye (?). I believe that Sun Quan could mobilize more if situation got worse for Wu. Multiple front offense is possible but they would still face tough resistance as long as Wu's army were deployed on the south side of Yangtze river. Cao Cao still needed to figure out how to cross the river. Besides Yangtze river gets wider and wider when going downstream. Cao Cao didn't want to have Chinese version of "Normandy landing". :lol: From what happened later on I believe that Sun Quan was reluctant to form an alliance with Liu Bei. Once Cao Cao stopped attacking and Sun Quan felt the immediate Cao Cao threat non-existed the alliance would dissolve for personal interests.

Shield of Rohan: I don't think that forcing Liu Zhang to surrender is an easy task. First Cao Cao must take out Zhang Lu in HanZhong, well, he needed a huge army to achieve the goal because only then he could scare Liu Zhang but the defense of the south front would somehow make his offense conservative. Of course Liu Zhang would invite Liu Bei to help as long as Liu Bei was alive. Cao Cao's plan was obvious. Because he had concentrated his force on the south he wanted to take out Liu Bei and Sun Quan while he had no worry on the defense of ChangAn. Once he controlled the South he had more options to attack Liu Zhang. Liu Bei couldn't be convinced no matter what Cao Cao did. Reason is simple: Liu Bei wanted to be emperor too.

Exar Kun: Yeah supply is always the "bottleneck" problem. I have to consider the water current and possible harrass from alliance ships. However, don't you think that if Cao Cao controlled both banks of the river he could basically control the traffic of the river? Cao Cao could install arrow towers and catapults on both banks and throw projectiles to all incoming enemy ships. Don't forget that he had a huge navy too. Moreover the river is not wide. I gave out an estimated # of width it might be less than what I thought. If we look at the map of Heibei we will find many narrow crossing points. I assume that the alliance didn't build up tough defense such as castle along the bank but camps with wooden walls. While alliance needed time to summon navy to interfere with Cao Cao's amphibian attack, Cao Cao had its own navy to cover the land forces. Besides I doubt that the naval technology during 3k period could make Wu's navy duplicate what Kriegsmarine achieved in Atlantic ocean during WW2. In other words, I don't think that sinking a big transporter was easy at that time. Not to mention that the attacker would be under huge cover fire from both banks. The water couldn't be the problem if it was not the flooding season.

LiuBeiwasGreat, Cao Cao had occupied the lands south of the river? If it is true then I have to wonder why Cao Cao wanted to fight a naval war. I understand that he wanted to win a decisive battle against alliance but a naval battle? There are many lakes in HeiBei province. A huge army like Cao Cao's is really hard to maneuver around that area. Cao Cao should find a better spot to attack the alliance main force.
Last edited by Rommel on Fri Sep 10, 2004 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby LiuBeiwasGreat » Fri Sep 10, 2004 4:52 pm

Rommel wrote:LiuBeiwasGreat, Cao Cao had occupied the lands south of the river? If it is true then I have to wonder why Cao Cao wanted to fight a naval war. I understand that he wanted to win a decisive battle against alliance but a naval battle? There are many lakes in HeiBei province. A huge army like Cao Cao's is really hard to maneuver around that area. Cao Cao should find a better spot to attack the alliance main force.


Well since Liu Zhong controlled all of Jing and then surrendered then Cao Cao would get all the land. That included all of Jing south of the river as well. If he waited a while to develop jing a bit and sent in two forces of 100,000 one on the river and one on land then there would be little Sun Quan could do to stop it.
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Unread postby Rommel » Fri Sep 10, 2004 5:20 pm

LiuBeiwasGreat wrote:Well since Liu Zhong controlled all of Jing and then surrendered then Cao Cao would get all the land. That included all of Jing south of the river as well. If he waited a while to develop jing a bit and sent in two forces of 100,000 one on the river and one on land then there would be little Sun Quan could do to stop it.


after years of continous fighting on battlefield, I guess that Cao Cao ran out of patience :) . Well he did slow down & camp on the west bank of Yangtze river. The unfamiliar environment & weather & physical breakdown, however, induced the outbreak of plague. Yeah the warriors from dry & clean plains hated the wet & humid swamps :)
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Unread postby Xiahou Mengde88 » Fri Sep 10, 2004 9:14 pm

Rommel wrote:

Xiahou Mengde88: To my knowledge, Sun Quan had 30,000 men as reserve stationed in Jianye (?). I believe that Sun Quan could mobilize more if situation got worse for Wu. Multiple front offense is possible but they would still face tough resistance as long as Wu's army were deployed on the south side of Yangtze river. Cao Cao still needed to figure out how to cross the river. Besides Yangtze river gets wider and wider when going downstream. Cao Cao didn't want to have Chinese version of "Normandy landing". From what happened later on I believe that Sun Quan was reluctant to form an alliance with Liu Bei. Once Cao Cao stopped attacking and Sun Quan felt the immediate Cao Cao threat non-existed the alliance would dissolve for personal interests.


Yeah, that is most likely true for Sun Quan to have 30,000 troops, but you're forgetting that by this point, Cao Cao's numbers were staggering; Of course, defending against 200,000 troops of Cao Cao's with 50,000 of Liu Bei's and Sun Quan's was possible with Zhuge Liang calling on the winds, and Huang Gai setting his ships on fire as they sail towards Cao Cao's camp. But, there's only one Huang Gai, and only one Zhuge Liang. If it wasn't for these two men, Wu and Shu would have been slaughtered. And although Zhang Liao was the one to shoot Huang Gai after the attack, I don't think him not being there would have affected whether or not Huang Gai was shot, as I'm sure Cao Cao had some other capable archers around, so Zhang Liao, who I see as "The Master Of He Fei" could have lead the assault from He Fei.

But back to the point about Cao Cao's staggering numbers. If you remember, after Guan Du, when Cao Cao attacked Liu Bei at Chang An, he had 1,000,000 troops (remember, the ones that got scared off by Zhang Fei at Long Slope Bridge?) And, seeing as this was the first major battle after Chang An, I don't think Cao Cao had any less, especially after two years. So, I doubt that Cao Cao couldn't bring at least 100,000 troops to the other three or four fronts I mentioned, plus the 200,000 at Red Cliff, itself.

Shu and Wu might be able to repel 200,000 troops with 50,000, but I doubt that they can consistently do that at 3-5 different front line battles at once, especially without Huang Gai and Zhuge Liang (even if Guan Yu loaned Zhuge Liang RedHare), as I've already stated.


And besides, if that plan doesn't work, which I doubt, I still have that other plot, with defecting officers, the foremost important being Lu Su.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Fri Sep 10, 2004 10:39 pm

Rommel wrote:Exar Kun: Yeah supply is always the "bottleneck" problem. I have to consider the water current and possible harrass from alliance ships. However, don't you think that if Cao Cao controlled both banks of the river he could basically control the traffic of the river? Cao Cao could install arrow towers and catapults on both banks and throw projectiles to all incoming enemy ships. Don't forget that he had a huge navy too. Moreover the river is not wide. I gave out an estimated # of width it might be less than what I thought. If we look at the map of Heibei we will find many narrow crossing points. I assume that the alliance didn't build up tough defense such as castle along the bank but camps with wooden walls. While alliance needed time to summon navy to interfere with Cao Cao's amphibian attack, Cao Cao had its own navy to cover the land forces. Besides I doubt that the naval technology during 3k period could make Wu's navy duplicate what Kriegsmarine achieved in Atlantic ocean during WW2. In other words, I don't think that sinking a big transporter was easy at that time. Not to mention that the attacker would be under huge cover fire from both banks. The water couldn't be the problem if it was not the flooding season.


Ah,but the land units of Wei would also be under attack by Alliance land forces.They'd never get a chance to fortify the bank.Wei naval movements would be known to the alliance as they happen.
Even if Cao Cao gets a foothold on the river there's no reason why the alliance can't blockade their position and assail from the land.
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