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Re: Most Hated Person

Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:33 pm
by Dong Zhou
Its fair, but you mistaken about what the real battle looked like. It wasn't like games, you send men like Guan Yu to attack, they responded by sending more and more men to defend their base as they turned into mince meat with Guan Yu's attack. If you sending Elites and experienced general with some renown, people would think more carefully how to deal with it, even setting trap to capture the said general. You don't want your elite general to be captured and left you with only good for nothing general don't you?


Yes, I got it solely from videos games, not reading analysis about how warfare worked from the leading expert of the era. Thank goodness you know me, after one month, so well. :wink: My version of Jie Bridge is based on the records and based on how the war was fought in those times according to likes of Professor De Crespigny. Your version of 3kingdoms warfare is based on?

I at no point in any of the discussion suggested that is how battles worked and it earns you no good will to have suggested it. What I did talk about was how the era was fought, where Guan Yu (to use yours) and his "companions"/bodyguard/elite would be used at the focal point of the attack to try to make a breakthrough and hope that the peasant army followed on was the main ways 3kingdom battles were fought.

How many times historically, in the 3kingdoms, did such traps even get set? I'm struggling to think of one within the 3kingdoms era but I may just be having a blank spot.

Using meatshield or Human Shield is tried and true strategy, used by the mongols (Genghis Khan) and some of countries in modern war. You used surrendered soldier or peasant as shield in frontline while your elite unit stayed behind them to make sure they dont retreat, run or surrender to the enemies. While sending another Elites to circle the area far from enemy sight and strike them from behind while they busy fending off the vanguard. If they rode out to fight, they'll fall into pincer attack, if they dont, their retreat/supply route is cut off and that would only give just two option, surrender or dead.


and in 3kingdom china, for which the tactics must suit? How many times was meatshield used?

Armies did use decoy forces or decoy marches but not of meatshield/human shield varieties. The elite troop might be sent to the actual target but not the sheer scale of weakness your suggesting with the other force

the direction is indeed simple and easy to follow. how complicated can it be for peasant troop? retreat and split into two direction, they were to wait until the enemies DID follow them and were to retreat again if the enemies chasing them. then they were to join up when the elite troop DO charged up onto the enemy lines.
If the enemies DID NOT follow them, then they gain merit without doing anything and retreat in orderly fashion, then wait for further instruction.


and, given the era, why would you give tactics that would create panic in your peasant army and see them run for it?

i don't care to surrendered troop, general or a peasant who support my enemy. As i said on one of the thread, im like Cao Cao, i dont easily trust a newcomer, but i'll use them as long as they have use, and cast them away if theyre useless. I'll use them as a human shield to protect my elite men in battle if i have to.


and how many times did Cao Cao use meatshield? Cao Cao's way of testing loyalty and talents of his men (while throwing them in quickly) is different from yours

you mention about those who fought battle after battle and never improved even gets worse. firstly, you need to understand why they lose, what choice do they make so they lose, and to whom they lose against.
You clearly underestimate human ability to learn and to survive.
- An untrained soldier just armed with spear/sword with nothing to lose, can win against a full armed trained soldier.
- Xiang Yi cut off the bridge, a retreat route, in order to unleash his men's potential.
- Starving Yellow Turbans on a castle fought to the death and dealt a massive casualty to imperial army.
and many other.

Humans do improve, they just need a lot of practice in order to make their mind and muscle remember it. Those three men i mention doesnt have any real experience in battlefield.
- Zhang Kai is a bandit, he only know how to plunder and kill.
- Xiahou Mao only sit his butt on the office for long time, he gets jumpy in real battlefield.
- Wang Zhong do indeed survivor of a famine, but he never seen any battle or mostly send just to lose.


People do improve but people also have their limit, some have natural talents for certain spheres, some don't. You could train me day in, day out to be a good warrior or sports star, I would be poor. I lack the basic body attributes like hand-eye coordination, even with improved strength. Sure, I would be better as a warrior then I would be right now but I would still be a poor warrior. I would be better served where my more natural talents have a higher threshold and can be trained

Do or die is a desperate situation to put an army in and was used with care. Desperation can improve an army in short term but is not a long term tactic and won't turn me, for example, into the next Guan Yu.

Might it be that, at least with the latter two, they were tried in battle situations, rulers noted for their judgement of talent looked at it and decided not to use them in those spheres. Others who initially struggled in miliatry matters they persisted with like Sima Yi becuase they saw potential and worked on it.

im totally agreed with you about the well trained soldier, but you have forgotten where Cao's Qingzhou Elite troop coming from. They were untrained men, yellow turban rebels with just strong and healthy body. however, after facing many battle, they eventually become experienced and strong troop who would braving any danger.


and ones that caused a lot of trouble and not always prone to holding. They were used becuase they were very large in number and gave him an edge (plus it meant he didn't have to fight them), we have very little detail on how they were run or their being notably successful (they only time they get noted tends to be defeats).

Don't get me wrong, expirence is important but they have to have the talent for it in first place. Zhang Wen, an honourable and skilled man, command an army for years and was still bad at it, Zhuge Jin was a limited commander despite expirence, Sun Quan was always a poor offensive commander despite umpteen goes, Liu Shan and Liu Zhang were experienced rulers but aren't going to be top of anyone's list. Cao Cao made some horrific mistakes in his early years in all sorts of spheres so yes, expirence gained meant he learnt from it and helped mold but he also had great talent in miliatry matters that the others lacked.

Re: Most Hated Person

Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:12 pm
by Li_Shengsun
Dong Zhou wrote:Yes, I got it solely from videos games, not reading analysis about how warfare worked from the leading expert of the era. Thank goodness you know me, after one month, so well. :wink: Your version of 3kingdoms warfare is based on?

I at no point in any of the discussion suggested that is how battles worked and it earns you no good will to have suggested it. What I did talk about was how the era was fought, where Guan Yu and his "companions"/bodyguard/elite would be used at the focal point of the attack to try to make a breakthrough and hope that the peasant army followed on was the main ways 3kingdom battles were fought.

How many times historically did such traps even get set? I'm struggling to think of one within the 3kingdoms era.


Ok, first thing first, what i said weren't meant to offend you in some ways though. im sorry, if i do offend you, like i said, my way of thinking is also like Kong Rong, and people would easily offended when they talk to me.

many times, some were narrowly escape by deceiving enemy general, some almost lose their life, some gets deceived and captured, some lose all their men while fleeing, some gets captured and immediately beheaded since they're proven to be a threat, some realize the danger and immediately retreated. You dont need me to spell the name, as your knowledge far more than me.


and in 3kingdom china, for which the tactics must suit? How many times was meatshield used?

Armies did use decoy forces or decoy marches but not of meatshield/human shield varieties. The elite troop might be sent to the actual target but not the sheer scale of weakness your suggesting with the other force


if you're referring to 3kingdom era, no. because that time this kind of tactics has never invented before. If this tactics were already there, you would see a different point of view of Cao Cao. because he would use this strategy to lower enemy morale, like what he did on Yuan Shao's men, and you know what im talking about. again, you know 3kingdom better than i do. my way of thinking is kind of mixed, and i do think what a villain does.


and, given the era, why would you give tactics that would create panic in your peasant army and see them run for it?


Instruction, obedience and loyalty... Why do they need to panic if im the one who gave an instruction to retreat? Are my instruction were that hard to do? were their trust on me are that low?


and how many times did Cao Cao use meatshield? Cao Cao's way of testing loyalty and talents of his men (while throwing them in quickly) is different from yours


why you kept mincing my lines? to whom did he test the loyalty and talents? was it on a people like Wang Zhong? or was it on people like Zhang Liao?


People do improve but people also have their limit, some have natural talents for certain spheres, some don't. You could train me day in, day out to be a good warrior or sports star, I would be poor. I lack the basic body attributes like hand-eye coordination, even with improved strength. Sure, I would be better as a warrior then I would be right now but I would still be a poor warrior. I would be better served where my more natural talents have a higher threshold and can be trained

Do or die is a desperate situation to put an army in and was used with care. Desperation can improve an army in short term but is not a long term tactic and won't turn me, for example, into the next Guan Yu.

Might it be that, at least with the latter two, they were tried in battle situations, rulers noted for their judgement of talent looked at it and decided not to use them in those spheres. Others who initially struggled in miliatry matters they persisted with like Sima Yi becuase they saw potential and worked on it.

Don't get me wrong, expirence is important but they have to have the talent for it in first place. Zhang Wen, an honourable and skilled man, command an army for years and was still bad at it, Zhuge Jin was a limited commander despite expirence, Sun Quan was always a poor offensive commander despite umpteen goes, Liu Shan and Liu Zhang were experienced rulers but aren't going to be top of anyone's list. Cao Cao made some horrific mistakes in his early years in all sorts of spheres so yes, expirence gained meant he learnt from it and helped mold but he also had great talent in miliatry matters that the others lacked.


Theres a will, theres a way. theres no natural talents, its just a matter whether you want or dont want, trial and error and keep practicing until you can do it.
If you were to think on that way, let me asking this, are the baby born decided which path they would take? to be a great warrior? or to be a great minister? or born to be a fool or smart? or to be good for nothing?
Theres few person ive ever know in 3kingdom era who switched their path and eventually become good at it, but they still possess their other talents and still good at it. Some killing an official to safe a friend but another friend safe this someone's ass from punishment which led this someone onto a different path of life, some are good at combat but eventually convinced by someone to set on different path. Were that because natural talents? or just dumb luck since theyre born with those natural talents?
If the talents were set on the day they were born, im sorry to say this, but i would pity those who were born to be good for nothing, because their natural talents were set on that path. people do have their limit, but is it alright to limit one's own even though they actually still can do it?
i know a great deal of limiting one self just because all of the circumstances were against it. no matter what one do, everything would gone wrong. Then what kind of choice would one make to get out from this situation? were one stay and just go through with it? or make a new innovative, a breakthrough so one can be comfortable in that situation? or they chose another path away from this circumstances?


and ones that caused a lot of trouble and not always prone to holding. They were used becuase they were very large in number and gave him an edge (plus it meant he didn't have to fight them), we have very little detail on how they were run or their being notably successful (they only time they get noted tends to be defeats).


if you're referring to Qingzhou, no. not all these hundred of thousands were chosen though, only the strong and the healthy were chosen, the rest werent told of their fate. possibly sent off home or thrown into jail, they're a criminal after all.

Re: Most Hated Person

Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:41 pm
by Dong Zhou
Ok, first thing first, what i said weren't meant to offend you in some ways though. im sorry, if i do offend you, like i said, my way of thinking is also like Kong Rong, and people would easily offended when they talk to me.

many times, some were narrowly escape by deceiving enemy general, some almost lose their life, some gets deceived and captured, some lose all their men while fleeing, some gets captured and immediately beheaded since they're proven to be a threat, some realize the danger and immediately retreated. You dont need me to spell the name, as your knowledge far more than me.


No problem. It just isn't a good tactic to suggest someone is getting something from video games. Your much nicer then Kong Rong!

Oh generals certainly were at risk in 3kingdoms style warfare but the deaths and capture were not pre battle planned. The other side would certainly hope to kill/capture the other general by winning and then hoping things would fall their way or, in the midst of battle, they might spot an opportunity that emerged but a "right lads, we will capture Zhao Yun by..." wasn't the sort of thing that happened.

if you're referring to 3kingdom era, no. because that time this kind of tactics has never invented before. If this tactics were already there, you would see a different point of view of Cao Cao. because he would use this strategy to lower enemy morale, like what he did on Yuan Shao's men, and you know what im talking about. again, you know 3kingdom better than i do. my way of thinking is kind of mixed, and i do think what a villain does.


Right. The problem is your trying to impose new tactics on a era where the discipline required for such a move wasn't there yet.

Sure, raids, decoy march and ambushes during a planned full scale retreat, that sort of thing is a good strategy and he had time to set the groundwork. It is the retreat within battle and decoys using peasant troops that is just reaching beyond the era capabilities

In fairness, I don't think your plans are villainous, just trying something not yet workable for the era.

Instruction, obedience and loyalty... Why do they need to panic if im the one who gave an instruction to retreat? Are my instruction were that hard to do? were their trust on me are that low?


Most of your army? Has little loyalty to you or to any one warlord. There will be you, your companions, your officers (say, me and zirroxas) with our companions and a lot of peasants of questionable training, expirence and loyalty, here due to promise of loot, desperation, enforced hire. They see men retreating and knowing the high cost if they get cuaght in a losing battle, they will leg it.

why you kept mincing my lines? to whom did he test the loyalty and talents? was it on a people like Wang Zhong? or was it on people like Zhang Liao?


Sorry, I don't know what you mean by mincing your lines?

I gave an awful answer last time, I apologize. Your right, Cao Cao didn't test new figures as such. In terms of how Cao Cao treated new people: with generosity, care, pragmatism and with hostages. Hostages to try to secure loyalty, generosity to persuade others "how look at so and so, joining Cao Cao seems like a good idea", build a good reputation and in early days, you welcome what you can get. Loyalty was either a judgement (key advisers like Guo Jia and Xun Yu were in inner councils very quickly) or built over time, ditto with talent, some were embraced quickly (like Guo Jia) and some had to grind way up to real trust after the "welcome, here is a shiny rank". It was generally not a good idea to be as seen as not trusting new figures though, one can have one or two Zhu Ling type situations but you will need to be seen as trusting and cultivating talent.

Wang Zhong had required a lot of effort to actually get to Cao Cao and brought men, his loyalty seemed good and some rank was required. The fight against Liu Bei, that may have been a test or he had done things since joining to earn a shot but his performance didn't impress.

Zhang Liao? Cao Cao had seen him in battle, Zhang Liao had surrendered with his men and was rewarded with rank+enoffment. With major battles ahead and Zhang Liao an experienced and noted miliatry figure, he was used early on and earnt more promotions and began getting more independent commands.

Theres a will, theres a way. theres no natural talents, its just a matter whether you want or dont want, trial and error and keep practicing until you can do it.
If you were to think on that way, let me asking this, are the baby born decided which path they would take? to be a great warrior? or to be a great minister? or born to be a fool or smart? or to be good for nothing?


The exact path? That isn't decided but I believe in both nature and nurture. Other things are and for some, certain paths are going to be easier then others. 3kingdoms china, to be a warrior would still require certain things (not to be a woman, to be healthy, not to be a eunuch) beyond one's control. Even with modern medicine, I would not pass fit for any armed forces (bar "about to collapse" possibly), one can train to limit some of the damage to my body but can't reverse it. No amount of modern medicine, education or training will make my hand eye coordination normal or the other worse things be fixed.

I was born with a good brain and a poor body. Trying to train into a warrior would be mistaken waste of everybody's time, better to train with what talents I have been given. I will and have been be shaped by other things like society, parenting, education and of course, by myself. People can change and be improved, I believe in education and (for most part) rehabilitation but I don't believe one can be anything one sets their mind to, you do need talent in that sphere. I believe everyone has a talent and skills, it is question of finding it then cultivating it, I don't believe one can make someone a good general (or sports star or accountant) if that is simply not their talent.

Theres few person ive ever know in 3kingdom era who switched their path and eventually become good at it, but they still possess their other talents and still good at it. Some killing an official to safe a friend but another friend safe this someone's ass from punishment which led this someone onto a different path of life, some are good at combat but eventually convinced by someone to set on different path. Were that because natural talents? or just dumb luck since theyre born with those natural talents?


One can be multi-talented and it was good those talent spotters were able to transfer people to better talents.

If the talents were set on the day they were born, im sorry to say this, but i would pity those who were born to be good for nothing, because their natural talents were set on that path. people do have their limit, but is it alright to limit one's own even though they actually still can do it?


I wouldn't say people were born to be good for nothing. The three (Zhang Kai, Xiahou Mao, Wang Zhong) we discussed earlier, I also said were their talents seemed to be. On someone like Sun Lang (he burnt his own fleet and was disgraced), I would say that was properly not his talent and he never got a chance to show what he might have been able to do. However I don't think one can take someone like Xiahou Mao, who was believed to not be good at miliatry matters by those of his time after he was given a shot at it, and make him a miliatry man. It is better to use him for what he is good at

Sorry I have nothing intelligent to add to your last paragraph

Edit: Sorry missed this
if you're referring to Qingzhou, no. not all these hundred of thousands were chosen though, only the strong and the healthy were chosen, the rest werent told of their fate. possibly sent off home or thrown into jail, they're a criminal after all.


Yep. It is unlikely they were imprisoned, historians seems to agree that Cao Cao and Qingzhou group came to negotiated agreement so those unsuited to fight were likely settled on farmlands within Yan and the Qingzhou troops gained a certain autonomy.

Re: Most Hated Person

Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:23 am
by zirroxas
Li_Shengsun wrote:if you're referring to 3kingdom era, no. because that time this kind of tactics has never invented before. If this tactics were already there, you would see a different point of view of Cao Cao. because he would use this strategy to lower enemy morale, like what he did on Yuan Shao's men, and you know what im talking about. again, you know 3kingdom better than i do. my way of thinking is kind of mixed, and i do think what a villain does.

Instruction, obedience and loyalty... Why do they need to panic if im the one who gave an instruction to retreat? Are my instruction were that hard to do? were their trust on me are that low?


Dong Zhou has mostly covered everything, but there is something I'd like to add in regards to "meat shield" tactics.

While not at all a complicated concept, there's a couple of major issues that keep it as mostly a rather cruel oddity in military history, despite it's prevalence in a lot of discourse.

On the implementation side, you have the very real problem of convincing people to march off to battle knowing that they're essentially human sacrifices. Barely anyone is really looking to die in combat, and most troops are going to be doing their damnedest to survive. You can convince people to take bad odds if they have trust in you, and the occasional suicide mission comes up in warfare, but this usually involves some selection of "die-hard" soldiers who are either volunteers, or really, really disciplined.

A regular peasant soldier, who is looking to go home at the end of campaigning season, is usually not going to consent to being written off before battle is even joined. He and his friends will either likely desert or mutiny if they get the chance, rather than accept a designation as a "meat shield." They'd usually rather be told to fight straight up disadvantageous battles, since humans react better to being given control of their own fate, even if the odds are bad, rather than having that control placed in the hands of someone who has complete disregard for their lives. Passiveness in regards to one's survival doesn't really come naturally.

So you end up having to either force or trick people into being your "meat shield." Beyond the difficulty of pulling either off, this usually ends poorly because without clear delineation of who is prone to being made into a meat shield, the rest of your army may end up getting paranoid after you start pulling this kind of stunt, as they don't know if they may be next.

This brings me to the other problem that is a bit more fundamental, which is that "meat shield" tactics are just not really worth it. I brought up the training angle before, but even beyond that, peasants are a valuable resource to the state. When they're not on the battlefield, the majority of them are doing something productive or making more peasants. Getting them killed, even if you are ultimately victorious, is still a cost for the state. Winning with minimal casualties, even if the victory isn't as complete, is often more sustainable and better value for both the army and the state. There's a reason that battle rewards were often calculated by a ratio of allied dead to enemy dead, therefore putting the impetus on commanders to not waste the lives of their men, lest they miss out on their own commendations.

All of this together is why "meat shield" tactics are generally not used and only confined to specific circumstances. It probably wouldn't be accurate to say that they weren't invented yet, as the concept isn't hard to comprehend and someone had probably thought of it before. It's just that a situation that would make it both feasible and worth it never came up. The Mongols used it because they had a steady supply of terrified and disparate non-Mongol chattel that they could use, but also because they weren't terribly good long term planners at the time, and were more interested in extracting what they could from conquered lands than building a sustainable state on their conquests.

Re: Most Hated Person

Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:37 am
by Li_Shengsun
zirroxas wrote:Dong Zhou has mostly covered everything, but there is something I'd like to add in regards to "meat shield" tactics.

While not at all a complicated concept, there's a couple of major issues that keep it as mostly a rather cruel oddity in military history, despite it's prevalence in a lot of discourse.

On the implementation side, you have the very real problem of convincing people to march off to battle knowing that they're essentially human sacrifices. Barely anyone is really looking to die in combat, and most troops are going to be doing their damnedest to survive. You can convince people to take bad odds if they have trust in you, and the occasional suicide mission comes up in warfare, but this usually involves some selection of "die-hard" soldiers who are either volunteers, or really, really disciplined.

A regular peasant soldier, who is looking to go home at the end of campaigning season, is usually not going to consent to being written off before battle is even joined. He and his friends will either likely desert or mutiny if they get the chance, rather than accept a designation as a "meat shield." They'd usually rather be told to fight straight up disadvantageous battles, since humans react better to being given control of their own fate, even if the odds are bad, rather than having that control placed in the hands of someone who has complete disregard for their lives. Passiveness in regards to one's survival doesn't really come naturally.

So you end up having to either force or trick people into being your "meat shield." Beyond the difficulty of pulling either off, this usually ends poorly because without clear delineation of who is prone to being made into a meat shield, the rest of your army may end up getting paranoid after you start pulling this kind of stunt, as they don't know if they may be next.

This brings me to the other problem that is a bit more fundamental, which is that "meat shield" tactics are just not really worth it. I brought up the training angle before, but even beyond that, peasants are a valuable resource to the state. When they're not on the battlefield, the majority of them are doing something productive or making more peasants. Getting them killed, even if you are ultimately victorious, is still a cost for the state. Winning with minimal casualties, even if the victory isn't as complete, is often more sustainable and better value for both the army and the state. There's a reason that battle rewards were often calculated by a ratio of allied dead to enemy dead, therefore putting the impetus on commanders to not waste the lives of their men, lest they miss out on their own commendations.

All of this together is why "meat shield" tactics are generally not used and only confined to specific circumstances. It probably wouldn't be accurate to say that they weren't invented yet, as the concept isn't hard to comprehend and someone had probably thought of it before. It's just that a situation that would make it both feasible and worth it never came up. The Mongols used it because they had a steady supply of terrified and disparate non-Mongol chattel that they could use, but also because they weren't terribly good long term planners at the time, and were more interested in extracting what they could from conquered lands than building a sustainable state on their conquests.


I see, so it does really needed a men who are volunteer or die-hard to perform those action.

Well, the surrendered soldier would usually forced to do such thing. but to think i would trick people into being a sacrificial pawn is really not my style, especially those who are really loyal toward me.

maybe the word of peasant are really unnecessary and should not be mentioned actually, i simply said send weaker troop with weak general to the frontline as decoy while sending my elite to strike enemy from back or cut their supply route if they took the bait. that's all the general idea of what i said all long page. it doesnt really meant the weak soldier i sent were peasant. perhaps, poorly equipped or untrained like you said are more precise.
well, the conscript were all coming from peasant since you put it that way, maybe weak soldier here were meant peasant, i dont know im kinda confused with it. I just simply replied Dong Zhou since he mentioned the word 'peasant'.

but, since you're mention about my army would start to become paranoid if i pull this stunt, well... i kinda agree with you there. it doesnt really crossed my mind. :|

Re: Most Hated Person

Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:46 pm
by Dong Zhou
Your weak soldiers are essentially peasants. You will have your "companions" (as will your officers retinue) acting as elite forces, if your lucky maybe a small provincial force that was only ever meant to be size to defeat local rebels and majority (including your weak force) will be peasants. That is why, off the top of my head, the term peasants got involved

Li_Shengsun wrote:but, since you're mention about my army would start to become paranoid if i pull this stunt, well... i kinda agree with you there. it doesnt really crossed my mind. :|


It is the good thing about debates, ideas get tested and discussed, new angles found.