19 "He despises me too much," said Zhang He.20 And Zhang He gave orders to prepare for a night attack on the enemy camp. His own troops in Camp Dangqu should do the raiding, and those from Camp Mengtou and Camp Dangshi were to support them.21 There was little moon that night, and Zhang He took advantage of the obscurity to steal down the side of the hill. He got quite close to the enemy camp and stood for a time looking at Zhang Fei sitting amid a blaze of lamps and drinking. Suddenly Zhang He dashed forward with a yell, and at the same moment his drums on the hill-top rolled out their defiance. Zhang Fei never stirred. Zhang He rushed at him and delivered a mighty thrust with his spear. Zhang Fei toppled over---it was a Zhang Fei of straw. Zhang He checked and turned his steed. At that moment he heard a string of detonations, and a warrior appeared before him barring his way. It was the real Zhang Fei, as the round head and thundering voice speedily made manifest.22 With the serpent halberd set, Zhang Fei rode toward Zhang He. The two warriors fought many bouts under the gleaming lights. No help came to Zhang He. In vain he yearned for the assistance, which the two camps were to bring him. He did not know that his reinforcements had been driven back by Wei Yan and Lei Tong, and that the two camps, Mengtou and Dangshi, were now in possession of his enemies. As the help did not come, Zhang He was powerless; and, to add to his discomfiture, the glare of fire out in the moutains of Dangqu told him of the seizure of his third camp by Zhang Fei's rear force. Nothing could be done, and Zhang He cut an alley, forced out of the press, and fled to Wakou Pass. The victory was all to Zhang Fei.23 The news of the success delighted Liu Bei, and he knew then that Zhang Fei's drinking had been part of a stratagem to entice his enemy into the open and defeat them.24 Zhang He reached Wakou Pass, but with the loss of two-thirds of his army of thirty thousand troops. He stood on defense and sent urgent messages to Cao Hong to come to his rescue.
Many of us know about Zhang Fei coaxing Yan Yan into working for Liu Bei with his strategy which was plainly out of character, but there are other battles that Zhang Fei had partaken in, that were soon forgotten. This exerpt from SGYY shows Zhang Fei's martial prowice battling Zhang He, field commanding ability in setting up Wei Yan, and Lei Tong's armies, and finally his skill in psychological warfare, in letting Zhang He get fooled by his ploy... Zhang Fei is clearly underrated in comparison with the likes of Zhao Yun and Guan Yu, what do the rest of you think?