IsbenFaith wrote:Not to mention, reliable generals dieing off at a pretty consistant rate and having to rely on Li Yan. Unfortunately, Shu lost all of their Tiger Generals except Wei Yan by the time of Wu Zhang so they had to try to accomplish more than ever with less.
I think any Wei general would have known the proper course to take which is to wall up and not make any stupid moves and Zhuge would have to retreat, Sima Yi isn't all that special in this regard.
What generals he had wouldn't make any difference, a great commander knows how to properly use what's given to him. An incompetent Emperor shouldn't make a difference on the field of battle, unless of course the Emperor is on the field of battle. I don't think Liang had to "rely" on Li Yan, there were many other officers he could have chosen, Li Yan let him down. The blame belongs to both, but very little on Kongming.
Anyone can wall up in a city and wait for the enemy to retreat. A select few can ignore the enemy's taunts (because we all know Liang would have riled up the enemy commander somehow no matter who it was), and prevent his generals from responding to them.
Now the question is, with Sima Yi dead, could Wei stand up to Shu. If ZhongDa was not alive for any of ZL's campaigns, then I think (I think), that there wouldn't have been any campaign after the first. Meng Da revolts in Shang Yong, there's no Sima Yi to stop him. In the novel, it's mentioned that a memorial would have to be sent to Cao Rui to attack him, taking a month. Many possible moves could be taken during that time. Kongming could easily make it to Chang An with help from Meng Da, and there probably wouldn't be a Jieting.
I don't think there was any other general in Wei that could have put up a fight against Liang like Sima Yi did.
The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.