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Oddities. How come Sun Ce never attacked Liu Biao?

Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:19 pm
by Terranigma Freak
I'm strictly talking about the novel right now.

You ever wonder why Sun Ce never attacked Liu Biao? I mean, he was going on about revenge and all that, but not once did he or Sun Quan bother to attack Liu Biao. I can understand that perhaps Sun Ce might have attacked if he had been alive longer, or Sun Quan would have attacked is Liu Biao was alive longer. To me, it seems like the writers (all 3 of them) completely forgot and overlooked that part of the story.

Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:38 pm
by Tarrot
Well, the big problem is that Huang Zu was always in the way. In order to attack Liu Biao, you have to go through Huang Zu, and while not necessarily a good general, he did keep the Suns at bay for a while, so really there wasn't an opportunity.

Novel wise, you have to consider that while the battles might have been blemished a little, almost all of the campaigns happened, sans a few Shu campaigns. Even of the created campaigns, they were designed such to make the victor look stronger, so to speak. A campaign such as that would've only served the purpose of furthering Liu Biao, and it would've been unnecessary for the Suns.

Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:55 am
by Sun Gongli
Huang Zu hardly kept Sun Ce at bay. Sun Ce all but humiliated him at Shaxian. It was only that Sun Ce had more immediate threats to deal with - Liu Biao was a powerful man, and Sun Ce had only just matched him in terms of status and strength when he died. (A truly remarkable feat, by the way - to conquer and unite a territory that constitutes the majority of the largest province in the empire in less than five years isn't something that most 20-somethings can do.)

The problem is, the novel glosses over Sun Ce's later military accomplishments in order to focus on the "Yu Ji" debacle.

Historically, Sun Ce and Sun Quan did attack Liu Biao, both with a good deal of success.

Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:06 am
by Tarrot
I worded that badly. What I meant was that Huang Zu was a buffer who managed to prevent Sun Ce from attacking Liu Biao.

Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:14 am
by Sun Gongli
Huang Zu was part of Liu Biao's forces, so he wasn't much of a buffer. As for Sun Ce, even if Huang Zu weren't in Jiangxia, he wouldn't overextend himself by attacking Liu Biao before he'd completely pacified his own territories first. That would invite disaster from the north.

Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:02 am
by Zeche
That's simple. Liu Biao was too powerful. If Sun Ce was going to defeat Liu Biao he would have to empty the whole Yang province of soldiers which would leave him defenceless to Cao Cao or whoever.

Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:31 am
by man_on_the_pot
how so? Sun Jian almost defeated Liu Biao when he was with Yuan Shu. Sun Ce had pacified the Yang Province, and could have defeated Liu Biao without much effort. Cao Cao was getting ready for a war with Yuan Shao, Sun Ce had crushed Huang Zu, Sun Ce should have moved into Jing, and most likely would have had he not died.

Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:32 am
by Zeche
man_on_the_pot wrote:how so? Sun Jian almost defeated Liu Biao when he was with Yuan Shu. Sun Ce had pacified the Yang Province, and could have defeated Liu Biao without much effort. Cao Cao was getting ready for a war with Yuan Shao, Sun Ce had crushed Huang Zu, Sun Ce should have moved into Jing, and most likely would have had he not died.


When Sun Jian attacked Liu Biao, there was noone as near as powerful as Cao Cao near him ready to take his land. Saying Sun Ce could have defeated Liu Biao easily isn't that reasonable. Yuan Shao should have defeated Cao Cao without much effort. Cao Cao should have won at Chi Bi without much effort. I'm not sure if Sun C had any advantage at all at that time unlike in those 2 situations. Not to mention Sun Ce is the one who is attacking. When has their ever been a battle where the attacker had a weaker force and won (just look at Jiang Wei).

Attacking Liu Biao and taking Jing also leaves him defenceless to Liu Zhang as well as Cao Cao. The soldiers' moral must be low after running all over Jing. Liu Zhang must feel threatened by the bloodthirsty tiger that just killed his relative. He also has a buffer to the north(Zhang Lu) so he won't have to worry about leaving his province defenceless. The battle of Guan Du must have been finished by now and Cao Cao surely won't pass up the opportunity. Sun Ce should have lost at least half his troops fighting Liu Biao leaving him with less than 15000 soldiers to defend such a vast territory. Guess who gets defeated?

Then again there is always the chance that Sun Ce will lose fighting Liu Biao.

Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:19 pm
by man_on_the_pot
i dont see why you are hyping Liu Biao up. I usually give credit to all the rulers in this era, but i honestly think Liu Biao would have been crushed had Sun Ce invaded. Face it, Liu Biao was not known for his military. Hell, he wouldn't take Xu Chang when he had the chance. Not saying Sun Ce would take Jing in a day, but he made quick work of Huang Zu in their encounter, and would have done the same to Liu Biao.

And to the Liu Zhang reference; since when was Liu Zhang ambitious? A buffer in Zhang Lu? Liu Zhang couldnt defeat Zhang Lu. He tried to get Liu Bei to do it for him.. a lot of good that did.

True, Yuan Shao should have defeated Cao Cao, but Yuan rejected good advice. Sun Ce would have listened to Zhou Yu for the most part, and he was not up against a man like Cao Cao.

Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:21 pm
by Sun Gongli
Sun Ce would have easily destroyed Liu Biao, but he would've made himself incredibly vulnerable if he attacked too early. Cao Cao could swoop in from the north, rebels could rise up in the south, and he'd be in a very unfavorable position.

The right time to attack Liu Biao only came after Sun Ce's death.