Which kingdom had the overall better strategists?

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Re: Which kingdom had the overall better strategists?

Unread postby tnjameskong » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:08 am

I think Wei had the best strategists
Not counting Sima Yi and his clan, but i think Guo Jia was the best of the them all

He was not only young when he died, but even in death he predicted how Yuan Shao's sons end would happen
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Re: Which kingdom had the overall better strategists?

Unread postby jonathan_hili » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:01 pm

Have to concur with the majority that Wei had the better strategists overall. Both Guo Jia and Jia Xu are standouts (especially the former, who I think did more than any other advisor to gain territory for his lord, for instance, in recapturing Xuzhou and then the northern lands from Yuan Shao and family). Furthermore, they had an abundance of talented generals who were strategists in their own right, like Guo Huai and Deng Ai.
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Re: Which kingdom had the overall better strategists?

Unread postby waywardauthor » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:54 am

It feels a little strange to discuss this kind of topic. The argument could be made that during the initial period of conflict that there was not too significant a difference in overall talent, in the long run the available pool that the factions could draw on were limited. I believe it might be a good idea to discuss three different eras of military strategists: The initial free for all, the consolidation, and the regression. The time from He Jin to Emperor Xian fleeing East was a period characterized by chaos, and the forging of short term alliances. Talent here was mobile, and even brilliant men could be snuffed out due to the wanton nature of the conflicts. When there was an opportunity for talent to shine, it did, but most others were looking for positions where they could employ their talents, or even just survive.

The second period of consolidation occurred from Emperor Xian's establishment in Xu to Cao Cao's withdrawal from Southern Jingzhou. This was a time period of emerging stability, and talented people ceased to be mobile. While individuals could bounce from place to place before, after this strong personal ties of loyalty tended to be formed. Cao Cao was able to swallow whole the North and incorporate talent into his reemerging Han, while those who fled found themselves in the service of only a handful of leaders who could resist. Sun Quan primarily, who then went on to establish a pseudo-colonial empire in Southern China, presiding over a demographic revolution talked about in Generals of the South. Liu Bei was an auxiliary who attracted significant attention, but seemed mostly to cannibalize other leaders not under Cao Cao's direct leadership.

The third period lasts until the Jin reunite China, and is a regressive period. There are defectors, but talent largely becomes completely immobilized. The older guard dies off, and it is their children and the people produced from their controlled territories that have to take up the reins of leadership. In this stage, Wei was always going to win. The longer the scenario was perpetuated, the greater the share of talent would be funneled into the north as they had a massive demographic advantage. Should one looks at the institutions and practices that give rise to talented men, as a means to compliment or compensate for demographics, the clear precedent remains with Wei. There were talented men in all of the factions that remained, but the regression to local predominance leaves much to be desired. It was defectors from Wei in Liangzhou that would provide several key members of Shu-Han's last generation of military leaders.

Really, the closest the powers were to being equal would have to be the consolidation period. Before that, there was too much uncertainty with people predominating over faction. Afterwards, there were limited means of attracting and producing talented individuals.

Of course, this just seems to be an impression I've drawn. Feel free to showcase anything I've missed!
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Re: Which kingdom had the overall better strategists?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:22 am

I think that is an intresting argument and so far I agree with it warwardauthor
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Re: Which kingdom had the overall better strategists?

Unread postby lorindir » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:15 am

Dong Zhou wrote:I think that is an intresting argument and so far I agree with it warwardauthor

The man is good, he said everything that everyone wanted to say without any name!
Ok your majesty, now, back to your room!
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