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Top 10 Generals of the period

Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:50 pm
by Sun Fin
So who do you think are the best 10 generals of the 3K era and why?

My opinion is as followed:

1) Sun Ce - Contreversial not to put Cao Cao here but he suffered some crushing victories (for example Chi Bi) whilst Sun Ce wasn't around long enough. However he also didn't have a Guan Du but I still think that his quick conquer of Wu is underated as an achievement.

2) Liu Bei - Again I know its contreversial to put him higher than Cao Cao but he was nearly always at a severe disadvantage and never suffered a crushing blow. Then the battle at Han Zhong when they met on almost equal footing he won. The blight on his career is Yi Ling but he was beaten as much by natural events as he was by Lu Xun's tactics.

3) Cao Cao - Needs little explanation. The man who beat Lu Bu, Yuan Shao and almost all he turned his hand too. If not for Chi Bi he may have been remembered as one of the greatest commanders of all time and not of the 3K era.

4) Zhuge Liang - I know that he never scored a major victory but I still think that his constant campaigns were conducted with skill that may have yielded results whilst not crippling Shu.

5) Sun Jian - Some of you may be suprised to see me placing him so high after arguing against his accomplishments. I wasn't saying they weren't impressive only Sun Ce was superior.

5) Deng Ai - The man that finally bought Shu to it's knee's. Whilst Jiang Wei had weakened Shu he still had to overcome a lot of talent and its natural defenses.

6) Sima Yi - This guy held Zhuge Liang at bay for many years. Whilst he was never given the chance to attack Shu I believe if Liang had made a critical error Yi had the talent to make the most of it!

7) Zhou Yu - The battle of Chi Bi is the most famous event of the 3K and I believe Zhou Yu deserves more credit then he is given for it. The fire attack wasn't his idea but neither were many of Cao Cao's ploys. Zhou Yu listened to it and maximised the affect in the rest of the battle. People tend to forget that a battle was fought after the fire-ships.

8) Zhang Xiu - Fought very sucessfully against Cao Cao for many years and then for Cao Cao. He had an unturnished career. Would have been interesting to see what he could have achieved if he had had a real land base!

9) Lu Xun - He did beat Liu Bei at Yi Ling. Wu stayed strong under his leadership and any mistakes he made were political in alienating Sun Quan.

10) Wang Ping - The last of Shu's great generals. It would have been interesting to see what if he could have achieved if he'd been in command of the military instead of Jiang Wei. Along with Sun Ce IMO the great 'what if' of the period.

Honourable mentions:
Lu Kang - If he had fought more battles and I knew more about his period he would probably be in the top 10.
Xu Rong - scored a great victory over Sun Jian. If he had had the chance to fight later on it would have been interesting
Zhang Liao - The battle of He Fei was remarkeable. Holding out for that long was truly impressive

Re: Top 10 Generals of the period

Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:52 am
by S.Teague
It's really hard to list ten, especially in any order of countdown style, without much thought put into it. But the following are the ones I respect most for skills as a General:
Lu Xun, Liu Bei, Sun Ce, Cao Cao, Zhang Liao, Yu Jin, Lu Meng, Deng Ai, Zhuge Liang, Sima Yi

Re: Top 10 Generals of the period

Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:38 am
by jiang cheng
In my 2 cents worth of literature with no particular order

1.) Sun Ce - Explained by many before. His military campaigns would usually be successful. In fact i cannot remember any failure campaign that he had made. It is a pity that he had died a tragical ending.

2.) Sima Yi - It may seems surprising to put him but he had came in and rose to position even when Cao Cao was not comfortable in giving him an important role. He had managed to keep the Shu busy for years which bothered Zhuge Liang a lot and that he build the foundation to end the three kingdoms even through he did not directly involved in it.

3.) Cao Cao - His best testimonial was perhaps in Guan Du and his systematic destruction of the Yuan brothers. However he has his flaws which is been seen in the Battle of Chi Bi.

4.) Sun Jian - He build an early foundation for the Wu Empire. He fought against the yellow turbans and volunteer to be the scout forces in Si Shui against Dong Zhuo. I wonder how much more achievement he would have made if he is still alive. A pity that the tiger would be killed by rocks.

5.) Lu Xun - Like Cao Cao his best testimonial was the battle of Yi Ling and that he had caused the Shu Army to be almost wiped out in that campaign without causing too much resources on his side.

6.) Lu Bu - He sucks at loyalty and he sucks at human management. He was even been betrayed by his people in Xia Pi. But he had several good battles and caused problems for Cao Cao for a long while. If only he had listened to Cheng Gong, he would have more roles in the novel.

7.) Cao Ren - Fan Castle was his testimonial and if i remember correctly he had also hold on to Hei Fei long enough for reinforcement to come and help him. I always thought that he was underrated.

8.) Lu Kang - Did well despite of the situations not too well for Wu.

9.) Deng Ai - Even through i credited his success to the fact that they were better prepared and that they had a definite plan with more sources but he did the execution well.

10.) Liu Bei - The novel had made him a crybaby and that before yi ling and the beginning of Shu, he did pretty decent for a shoemaker. He would have done much worse and things would have turned ugly for him early but it did not happen. I do not attribute it to luck.

Re: Top 10 Generals of the period

Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:44 pm
by Crazedmongoose

Cao Cao:

Crowning Achievement: Take your pick, Yan Ford, Guan Du, White Wolf Mountains, Changban
Strength: Military Management, Speed, Strategy, Tactics

For basically writing the textbook on how to beat a more numerous and well supplied enemy across an extensive campaign. Also for being an exceptional military administrator. Half the battle was the ability of a general to keep his army cohesive and maneuverable. Cao Cao could, most people couldn't. Therefor Cao Cao already won half of every battle before it started. His greatest strength is his strategic audacity and decisiveness, best exhibited by his victory over Liu Bei in Xu Province, his victory over Yuan Shao at Wu Chao, his victory over the Wuhuan at White Wolf Mountains, and his victory over Liu Bei (again) at Changban. However his greatest strength also proved to be his greatest weakness. His audacity was often on the verge of recklessness, as shown by his defeat at Red Cliffs and his initial setbacks against Ma Chao.

Cao Ren:

Crowning Achievement: Runan
Strength: Military Management, Versatility

Everybody lists Fan as Cao Ren's greatest accomplishment. But I rate him much earlier. His victory over Liu Bei, Liu Pi and Han Meng in Runan already showed his ability to be a tactically and strategically flexible commander who also is a dab hand at local administration and military management.

Zhang Liao:

Crowning Achievement: He Fei
Strength: Valour

Needs no explanation really.

Deng Ai:

Crowning Achievement: Conquest of Shu
Strength: Strategy

People often, when talking about Shu's catastrophic fall which took only two months, often are quick to point fingers at Liu Shan, Huang Hao or Qiao Zhou. But really, what Deng Ai did was so ridiculous that if it worked the payoff had to be massive. And it was.


Sun Ce:

Crowning Achievement: Anything, really
Strength: Military Management, Speed, Valour, Offensive Operations

No explanation needed, I should think

Zhou Yu:

Crowning Achievement: Red Cliffs
Strength: Strategy

Out Cao Cao-ed Cao Cao at Red Cliffs. Though I still don't rate Red Cliffs an impressive a victory as Guan Du, despite the fact that the numerical disparity was probably larger.

Lu Meng:

Crowning Achievement: Conquest of Jing
Strength: Strategy, Tactics

Conquered the most populous and strategically important province in the Three Kingdoms whilst barely breaking a sweat.

Lu Xun:

Crowning Achievement: Xiaoting
Strength: Strategy, Tactics, Defensive Operations

Probably in my opinion one of the two best defensive commanders in the Three Kingdoms era (the other being Wang Ping of Shu). However his smaller scale commands during Lu Meng's conquest of Jing shows he's not a one trick pony either.


Liu Bei:

Crowning Achievement: Bowang Slopes
Strength: Witchcraft

I'm currently convinced Liu Bei actually practices the Black Arts. It's almost unseemly how much he bounces back from complete and utter defeats. His finest performance tactically is in my opinion Bowang Slopes.

Wang Ping

Crowning Achievement: Shixing
Strength: Strategy, Tactics, Defensive Operations

Won really the most decisive victory in late Three Kingdoms which didn't involve an entire kingdom falling.

I refuse to give Sima Yi much credit. It's not incredible to hold defensive positions when you have huge numerical and supply advantages over the enemy. And his bungle caused the death of Zhang He, arguably the best general in the war against Shu.

Honourable mentions:

Zhang Xiu: for his never to be repeated by anybody feat of repeatedly beating Cao Cao
Zhang He: for his almost single handed defeat of Zhuge Liang's devastating first expedition (barring Meng Da who Sima Yi took care of)

2) Liu Bei - Again I know its contreversial to put him higher than Cao Cao but he was nearly always at a severe disadvantage and never suffered a crushing blow. Then the battle at Han Zhong when they met on almost equal footing he won.

Would disagree that they were on equal footing. I think anybody attacking Hanzhong is at a disadvantage by the terrain.

Re: Top 10 Generals of the period

Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:51 pm
by Sun Fin
I did say 'almost'. I'd call it more equal thena any previous battle between them!

Re: Top 10 Generals of the period

Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:57 pm
by Crazedmongoose
Okay I guess.

But I find we just assume Liu Bei is always at an inferior position. I mean, in quality of troops, then yes, I'd agree. But numerically? At Changban Cao Cao had five thousand cavalry. Liu Bei sent Guan Yu down the Han River and he ended up with ten thousand, so then I don't believe that Liu Bei himself could have had anything less than a few good thousand of fighting men, being that theoretically Liu Bei was the main force and Guan Yu was the detachment. I just think that Cao Cao's troops were of a much better quality and Cao Cao had the advantage of surprise on his side.

And also, for example Liu Bei vs. Cao Ren at Runan. How much could Cao Ren have outnumbered Liu Bei? Liu Bei didn't dilly dally there as an independent underdog. He went from Yuan Shao, who had a numerical advantage, and thus I assume also more men to throw around the flanks.

But I do agree, I think Liu Bei's curse was that he never had a great army. It was always either their loyalty was tenuous (ie. Xu Province) or that they weren't combat effective (Chang Ban) etc.

Re: Top 10 Generals of the period

Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:06 pm
by Jia_Xu
1. Cao Cao - Sure he had more failures than Sun Ce, but he had more success than anyone in that era, and in the end that is what matters. Cao Cao is the hero of the 3K era, easily.

2. Sun Ce - Too bad he didn't live long enough to see where his military career would have gone..

3. Liu Bei - For managing to survive multiple defeats and still established his own kingdom

4. Zhou Yu - If nothing but the Battle of Chibi. He might score higher or lower if he had lived longer.

5. Lu Xun - Prevented Shu from recovering Jing and saved Wu from disaster. He was an able commander for Sun Quan for quite a few years.

6. Yuan Shao - Yea he was defeated at Guandu, but he managed to put the entire area north of the Yellow River under his banner in the 10 years prior to Guandu. Someone had to lose that battle and I really believe it could have easily gone the other way.

7. Zhuge Liang - Nanman Campaign. and while his Northern Expeditions didn't accomplish much, he was trying to do the impossible and probably came pretty damn close on a few of them.

8. Lu Bu - As a warlord he didn't fare so well, but as a General he was quite capable at leading troops. He nearly wiped out Cao Cao's forces in the early times. I mean come on, he wasn't given the reputation he has today because he was a poor general.

9. Zhang Xiu - Was a constant thorn in Cao Cao's side before Jia Xu finally convinced him to give up.

10. Zhang Liao - Guardian of Hefei, enuff said!

Re: Top 10 Generals of the period

Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:13 pm
by mrwongshappymushu
Cao Cao
Sun Ce
Zhou Yu
Lu Xun
Cao Ren
Zhuge Liang
Deng Ai
Wang Ping
Zhong Hui
Zhang Liao

Re: Top 10 Generals of the period

Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:45 pm
by LuXunMaster102
1.Cao Cao- Founder of Wei. Great strategist. Only real blunder was at Chi Bi.
2.Zhuge Liang- Smartest person in three kingdoms, no dispute.
3.Lu Xun- Defeated Liu Bei and nearly claimed his life.
4.Deng Ai- Brought down Shu.
5.Zhou Yu- Chi Bi
6.Sun Ce- Great leader, but temper issues prevent him from going higher on the list.
7.Liu Bei- Founder of Shu. Nic to people
8.Lu Meng- Defeated Guan Yu
9.Sima Yi- Stopped Zhuge Liang
10.Guo Jia- Helped Cao Cao destroy Yuans

Re: Top 10 Generals of the period

Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:50 pm
by mrwongshappymushu
Smartest person in three kingdoms, no dispute.
That can be disputed quite bit my friend :wink:

Great leader, but temper issues prevent him from going higher on the list.

I was gonna wait for Sun Fin to catch ya on that one :) But Sun Ce was one of the best, hands down, he didnt have anger issues historically, unless we're talking novel about all of this? :?