Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

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Re: Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby AxeLordGerardo » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:23 pm

A - Yuan Shao´s mistakes: I have to admit that Yuan Shao´s attention were not always in the correct direction. There are more impotant things that avoid to listen your advisors (why they were so much?) or to enrage yourself with them and put one of the most dedicated strategist and good hearted person like Tian Feng (my avatar) and put him in jail. Imagine a new Guan Du, with Yuan Shao and Tian Feng working together much more often... That is the all Yuan Shao´s ROTK game fan´s dream. Change the course of the battle.
We have to remember that it was rumored that Yuan Shao was already ill at his last years, that could justify his change of behavior after the battle at River Pan :idea: . Maybe being ill, he was more inclined to a fast move against :arrow: Cao Cao to ensure the Central plains before he died.

B - Wu Chao: Little to say here, one of the most hilarious events of the novel that I can remember. Xu You is ignored, and as a counter move he goes crying like a baby to Cao Cao, revealing him the location of Yuan Shao´s Forces supplies facility. As we all know, the place was guarded by another early past legend, Chunyu Qiong. I have to suppose the man, years entered, wasn´t expecting a visit that night, so he drank at pleasure :lol: , letting Cao Cao´s disguised troops defeat them and burn it all without almost any resistance. I believe that luck was decisive here. I can barely believe how one thing led to the other... :cry:

C - Yan Liang and Wen Chou: I only say that I will never know what would happened if Guan Yu had not been there. I think Yan Liang and Wen Chou did well, yet without any prepared strategy. For me its 50%-50%

D - Yuan Shao´s regroup: Yet being crushed at Guan Du, Yuan Shao fleed with success to Ye, could be? There he was rearranging the army, so that demostrate that he was no easy prey and that he was ready for continue the war against his nemesis, but death called at his door , and that was his end. :cry:
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Re: Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:54 am

AxeLordGerardo wrote:Well, maybe it is a mix between his murders, when he was with Chen Gong and he executed the entire Lu Boshe family when they were fleeing as fugitives only to "avoid" to be captured and between to be Yuan Shao´s nemesis, the one who cut off his road to conquest. I admit his talent, but I will never admit his methods, he is not too far on cruelty from Dong Zhuo, but at least he recognized an officer´s ability (not was this way with Chen Gong, in other hand).


I agree Cao Cao could be rather brutal though Gong really can't take the highroad on that murder. I don't have much issue, given the standards of the time, for a very scared pair to have sought to protect themselves though there are plenty of other times where even I condemn Cao Cao.

Yuan Shao had plenty of rivals but in the end, despite Cao Cao's darker streak, would say Cao Cao would have been a better ruler. Cao Cao implemented reforms that made lives better, Yuan Shao seemed content with the same old systems only with him in charge.

You are right with the matter of the southern conquests, if you refer at the Jing Province, but we all know that those little good to nothing rulers, like Han Xuan, Zhao Fan, Jin Xuan and Liu Du oppose little resistance, only broken at times for little unpolished diamonds like Wei Yan and Huang Zhong. But a conquest is a conquest so you have a point here.


That was Liu Bei who took over with ease though two of the lords were men of some note historically. I was referring to Sun Quan, through generals like He Qi, who launch campaign after campaign to the south of Wu. They even considering invading Japan they had driven so far south.

This battle is more complicated than we see it. Years ago were much more Yuan Shao´s detractors, so almost everybody said that the defeat was due to Yuan Shao´s indecisiveness. But the truth is that there are a lot of events between mistakes and luck for Cao Cao. (I cannot write more in this one)


True

AxeLordGerardo wrote:A - Yuan Shao´s mistakes: I have to admit that Yuan Shao´s attention were not always in the correct direction. There are more impotant things that avoid to listen your advisors (why they were so much?) or to enrage yourself with them and put one of the most dedicated strategist and good hearted person like Tian Feng (my avatar) and put him in jail. Imagine a new Guan Du, with Yuan Shao and Tian Feng working together much more often... That is the all Yuan Shao´s ROTK game fan´s dream. Change the course of the battle.
We have to remember that it was rumored that Yuan Shao was already ill at his last years, that could justify his change of behavior after the battle at River Pan :idea: . Maybe being ill, he was more inclined to a fast move against :arrow: Cao Cao to ensure the Central plains before he died.


Every warlord had a whole bunch of advisers, some closer then others. With Yuan Shao, he was very close to Ju Shou but near Guan Du, he effectively demoted Ju Shou which opened the field to other advisers and Yuan Shao didn't have the natrual authority to keep it under control. By the sounds of it, Tian Feng had a habit of annoying people and he did seem to be being a pain up the behind so can see what he was jailed.

I think the rumour is old age/illness began affecting his judgement. I suspect there is some truth in that but it did become a bit too much of a get out clause.

B - Wu Chao: Little to say here, one of the most hilarious events of the novel that I can remember. Xu You is ignored, and as a counter move he goes crying like a baby to Cao Cao, revealing him the location of Yuan Shao´s Forces supplies facility. As we all know, the place was guarded by another early past legend, Chunyu Qiong. I have to suppose the man, years entered, wasn´t expecting a visit that night, so he drank at pleasure :lol: , letting Cao Cao´s disguised troops defeat them and burn it all without almost any resistance. I believe that luck was decisive here. I can barely believe how one thing led to the other... :cry:


Makes me wonder why LGZ wrote the Wu Chao attack as he did.

I agree luck went Cao Cao's way on this, things broke for him but I suppose it could be said, luck favours the bold. He sought to end it quickly with a daring counter-strike and it worked perfectly

C - Yan Liang and Wen Chou: I only say that I will never know what would happened if Guan Yu had not been there. I think Yan Liang and Wen Chou did well, yet without any prepared strategy. For me its 50%-50%


Wen Chou would have got smashed and given Ju Shou's comments, maybe Yan Liang would have been as well. Without the novel Guan Yu, Wen Chou might have survived but his performance was dreadful. Have to wonder why Yuan Shao didn't use his better generals though

AxeLordGerardo wrote:D - Yuan Shao´s regroup: Yet being crushed at Guan Du, Yuan Shao fleed with success to Ye, could be? There he was rearranging the army, so that demostrate that he was no easy prey and that he was ready for continue the war against his nemesis, but death called at his door , and that was his end


Yeah, Guan Du isn't as desicivie in the north as it gets portrayed. Momentum swung to Cao Cao and the Yuan family had lost a lot of their best figures but victory at Canting and the early success of the Yuan sons shows they were still a force as long as they were united.
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Re: Was yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby AxeLordGerardo » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:04 pm

Human5 wrote:I really like Yuan Shao, but I have to admit that he was not nearly as smart as Cao Cao. Here are some reasons:

1. Yuan Shao did not know his armies abilities and weaknesses, because he marched out to unsuited territory.
2. Yuan Shao had many advisors that all wanted power. They all disagreed with each other. Yuan Shao would have been better off if he had listened to Tian Feng
3. Cao Cao can see opportunities. Yuan Shao could not. Yuan Shao could have made an all out attack that would have finished off Dong Zhou, but did not.

Cao Cao would have finished off Yuan Shao sooner or later.

If Yuan Shao was in a 4 Kingdoms, I would say that he would be the first one defeated.


I disagree with that. You cannot foresight the outcome of the battle only for pointing who participates.

I remember you that of those Lords in Yuan Shao´s timeline, Sun Jian was killed, without his son´s ambitions, Wu never had even existed, and Sun Ce was foolishly killed before Yuan Shao´s death, so Yuan Shao survived them, 2 generations of conquerors, Liu Bei even not had a miserable province back then, until Kongming jumped into scene, Liu Bei and his men were always wandering the land with no great task accomplished and always being a guest in another force again and again, under Tao Qian, under Cao Cao, under Lu Bu, under Liu Biao and under Yuan Shao, so i think Liu Bei could be the first in be wiped out, even Dong Zhuo could have last longer than him.

While other lords simply contented themselves to see their territories well defended like Liu Biao, Liu Zhang and Zhang Lu, Yuan Shao at least had the guts to face the most feared force in the land and try to expand his territories, with misjudgment or not.

Yuan Shao and Cao Cao were the greatest powers in China, and were destined to collide before the era of the 3 kingdoms were stablished. That´s why they collided so early at Guan Du.
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Re: Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby Sun Kuang » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:09 pm

Yuan Shao is, in my opinion is as bad as he seems. I have to agree with Dong Zhou (who, if I might take a wild guess and say is Ma Su from a different forum, and if so GuanXing-Shu if that rings a bell ;) ) that Cao Cao was a much better ruler and commander than Yuan Shao.

Look at it this way, Cao Cao before he managed to gain full control of the central plains had to face Lu Bu, a general that many people underrate due to his novel persona, Liu Bei, one of the most shrewd men of the time period, and Yuan Shu someone who I would equate to Yuan Shao in terms of ability. Heck, I'll even throw Zhang Xiu in there, because he managed to stop Cao Cao from taking Wan.

Now, Yuan Shao had to face a variety of bandit forces and Gongsun Zan, who might have been one of the most ineffective rulers and overrated generals of the time. Let's compare him to the warlords Cao Cao faced:

Lu Bu - Shared his willingness to use his military in a brutal fashion (Lu Bu taking Pu Yang, how he handled Xu, etc), but only attacked Liu Yu, who didn't have a real top notch military and wasn't a great general. Lu Bu was also effective enough that luck was a major factor in Cao Cao's defeat of him (early in the war).

Liu Bei - An effective ruler and commander that was similar to a cockroach, he was really hard to completely kill. Liu Bei would constantly be able to recover and adapt to a situation, Zan could not. The only thing they had in common was they had talented and loyal officers in their ranks.

Yuan Shu - Equal to Yuan Shao in my opinion, managed to gain some dedicated and talented men, but couldn't meet Lu Bu, Cao Cao, or Liu Bei in the field. His rise as emperor also was foolish, but he seemed to share the same regard to the emperor as Yuan Shao did (hence why Shao didn't invite Xian to his lands).

Zhang Xiu - Beat Cao Cao a few times, was useful as a general against Yuan Shao.

If you were to put anyone of those men in the same position as Yuan Shao, they would have not only taken the north like he did, but would have done it much faster.

In short, Yuan Shao was an average general/ruler who had lucky circumstances, he wasn't ever a rival to Cao Cao.
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Re: Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:00 am

Sun Kuang wrote:Yuan Shao is, in my opinion is as bad as he seems. I have to agree with Dong Zhou (who, if I might take a wild guess and say is Ma Su from a different forum, and if so GuanXing-Shu if that rings a bell ;) ) that Cao Cao was a much better ruler and commander than Yuan Shao.


Hah, we are slowly reuniting after the other board konked out :lol:

Dong Zhou = Ma Su (took me a while to 99% confirm this)
Aaron K. = Yue Fei I believe
Scholar = scholar
Zyzyfer (me) = El Jefe

I'm sure there are more but I either haven't worked them out, or do not remember their screen names on the other board. Lord Cao Cao here for instance went by some Cao Cao-related handle there, but mainly posted in the gaming-related areas.

I remember your screen name but not much else... :oops:

-----

As far as Yuan Shao goes, I would hesitate these days to completely write off Gongsun Zan's ability, he did push all the way to Ye at one stage early on if I remember correctly. Yuan Shao does kind of bomb it taking forever to finish Zanny off, but I think he performed acceptably up north otherwise. I will go off on a limb and say that the main divider between Yuan Shao and Cao Cao would be that I doubt Yuan Shao could have handled Lu Bu in the long run if Yuan and Cao's roles were reversed. I highlight this because Cao Cao and Lu Bu were closely matched at first in my opinion, had there not been the bad harvest or drought or whatever, things would have been interesting. But I don't think the competency of Cao Cao and Yuan Shao was extremely drastic...
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Re: Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby Sun Kuang » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:44 pm

Zyzyfer wrote:
Hah, we are slowly reuniting after the other board konked out :lol:

Dong Zhou = Ma Su (took me a while to 99% confirm this)
Aaron K. = Yue Fei I believe
Scholar = scholar
Zyzyfer (me) = El Jefe

I'm sure there are more but I either haven't worked them out, or do not remember their screen names on the other board. Lord Cao Cao here for instance went by some Cao Cao-related handle there, but mainly posted in the gaming-related areas.

I remember your screen name but not much else... :oops:



-----

As far as Yuan Shao goes, I would hesitate these days to completely write off Gongsun Zan's ability, he did push all the way to Ye at one stage early on if I remember correctly. Yuan Shao does kind of bomb it taking forever to finish Zanny off, but I think he performed acceptably up north otherwise. I will go off on a limb and say that the main divider between Yuan Shao and Cao Cao would be that I doubt Yuan Shao could have handled Lu Bu in the long run if Yuan and Cao's roles were reversed. I highlight this because Cao Cao and Lu Bu were closely matched at first in my opinion, had there not been the bad harvest or drought or whatever, things would have been interesting. But I don't think the competency of Cao Cao and Yuan Shao was extremely drastic...


No problem, just glad to see people here. ;)


I could be a little harsh on Yuan Shao, but I wouldn't ever call them rivals as Axe seemed to put it. I still feel that outside of his army he didn't really have anything special about him. Out of all of Cao Cao's opponents I always felt that he was oddly an uninspiring leader who had great circumstances who lacked the ability to utilize or keep his best officers (Qu Yi, Gao Lan, etc)
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Re: Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:31 am

Sun Kuang wrote:No problem, just glad to see people here. ;)


I could be a little harsh on Yuan Shao, but I wouldn't ever call them rivals as Axe seemed to put it. I still feel that outside of his army he didn't really have anything special about him. Out of all of Cao Cao's opponents I always felt that he was oddly an uninspiring leader who had great circumstances who lacked the ability to utilize or keep his best officers (Qu Yi, Gao Lan, etc)


I think Yuan Shao's problems with handling his personnel was a huge issue for him, and probably the chief reason why he would have never succeeded to the same extent as Cao Cao. But it's not like Cao Cao plowed through Yuan Shao without a second thought; after the loss at Guandu, Yuan Shao managed to repulse further invasions and held fast up north for a bit longer.

Dunno...I guess my point is that I wouldn't, as you put it earlier, say that Cao Cao was a much better ruler and commander. It makes it sound like Yuan Shao never stood any chance whatsoever. :lol:
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Re: Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby Jordan » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:49 pm

I'm somewhere on the fence in this argument. I think that Sun Kuang and AxeLordGerardo both make some good points. I do however completely agree that Yuan Shao made foolish decisions with regard to the way he treated his officers. Killing Qu Yi was a disaster as Qu Yi was far and away his greatest commander. I'm not inclined to say that Yuan Shao was incompetent or mediocre, however, as Yuan Shao did achieve a great deal in his lifetime, even if he was handed many lucky breaks. Cao Cao was extremely lucky as well. In fact, he was practically handed the Battle of Guandu through the defection of Xu You. The way he capitalized on that defection was brilliant, no doubt, but if Xu You had not defected the battle might have gone very differently. In addition, there was evidence of many wavering generals on Cao Cao's own side and Cao Cao just happened to get lucky that somebody defected from the enemy before somebody defected from his allies. Cao Cao was a very capable man (moreso than Yuan Shao), but I'm not sure Yuan Shao was totally lackluster. He built up a kingdom that even survived to some extent after his death, but overall made bad decisions with regard to his officers and doomed his own establishment.
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Re: Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby AxeLordGerardo » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:21 am

Sun Kuang wrote:Yuan Shao is, in my opinion is as bad as he seems. I have to agree with Dong Zhou (who, if I might take a wild guess and say is Ma Su from a different forum, and if so GuanXing-Shu if that rings a bell ;) ) that Cao Cao was a much better ruler and commander than Yuan Shao.

I dont think so, and that supposing that Cao Cao survived all those times he was about to be killed in battle. I dont remember Yuan Shao being in such foolishly trouble that number of times, like when he was stopped by Guan Yu after his defeat at Red Clifs or when he was trapped in Xia Pi, or when Zhang Xiu almost kill him in Wan. Sorry, but no for me.

Sun Kuang wrote:Look at it this way, Cao Cao before he managed to gain full control of the central plains had to face Lu Bu, a general that many people underrate due to his novel persona, Liu Bei, one of the most shrewd men of the time period, and Yuan Shu someone who I would equate to Yuan Shao in terms of ability. Heck, I'll even throw Zhang Xiu in there, because he managed to stop Cao Cao from taking Wan.

:lol: You cant compare Yuan Shu with Yuan Shao even from the farther distance. Shao´s deeds were much major than his. Only take a look at the roads they take. Please...

Sun Kuang wrote:Lu Bu - Shared his willingness to use his military in a brutal fashion (Lu Bu taking Pu Yang, how he handled Xu, etc), but only attacked Liu Yu, who didn't have a real top notch military and wasn't a great general. Lu Bu was also effective enough that luck was a major factor in Cao Cao's defeat of him (early in the war).


Now this must be a joke.
Lu Bu? Lu Bu was a complete disaster as a warlord as well as any political thing. He was the best warrior in Later Han Period, but his fame came to reality thanks to Ding Yuan and his resistance in the map was thanks to Cheng Gong schemes.

Sun Kuang wrote:Liu Bei - An effective ruler and commander that was similar to a cockroach, he was really hard to completely kill. Liu Bei would constantly be able to recover and adapt to a situation, Zan could not. The only thing they had in common was they had talented and loyal officers in their ranks.

Liu Bei, effective ruler? Or a good way to treat the people, must you say? He was weak of mind and was not capable to maintain his rulership when his oath brothers started to dissapear. He totally crumbled and lost his head when Guan Yu died, and ignored Kongming advice to avoid Yi Ling battle. Kongming was the effective Shu Ruler and Commander.

Sun Kuang wrote:Yuan Shu - Equal to Yuan Shao in my opinion, managed to gain some dedicated and talented men, but couldn't meet Lu Bu, Cao Cao, or Liu Bei in the field. His rise as emperor also was foolish, but he seemed to share the same regard to the emperor as Yuan Shao did (hence why Shao didn't invite Xian to his lands).

A respectable opinion that with my earlier explanation, i dont share.

Sun Kuang wrote:Zhang Xiu - Beat Cao Cao a few times, was useful as a general against Yuan Shao.
Thanks to Jia Xu, of course. But can you say me in which terms was Zhang Xiu useful against Yuan Shao?

Sun Kuang wrote:If you were to put anyone of those men in the same position as Yuan Shao, they would have not only taken the north like he did, but would have done it much faster.
That is again an undemostrated statement, my friend.

Sun Kuang wrote:In short, Yuan Shao was an average general/ruler who had lucky circumstances, he wasn't ever a rival to Cao Cao.

You practically leave things in the way they were, in the same place. All the main warlors had "lucky circumstances".
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Re: Was Yuan Shao really that bad?

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:47 am

Actually AxeLordGerardo, if you are going to argue novel points (Huarong Trail, Liu Bei's meekness) then it kind of hurts Yuan Shao a lot, I would think. Didn't he lose a few more big battles after Wuchao to Cao Cao in the novel? That would kind of bulk up his lack of ability, I would think...

Not to mention, Cao Cao and Yuan Shao apparently were more or less evenly matched in terms of army sizes historically, while in the novel, Yuan Shao had a clear edge here. Having a larger army and losing doesn't paint a flattering picture.
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