Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:26 am

Dong Zhou wrote:1) I think there was massacre in the north but it wasn't general policy.


Are you referring to the burying of Yuan Shao's captured army by Cao Cao? Just curious.

I do recall in Cao Ren's SGZ I think he advised Cao Cao to stop threatening to murder everyone in Ye while he was laying siege to it.

Sun Fin wrote:Most people here tend to view Cao Cao is the greatest general.


Hmm really? Haha I never noticed. :lol:

I've always felt that he had a resilient knack about him as a commander, he bounced back on so many occasions/defeats to the point where one can't help but be amazed by it, but I wouldn't consider him the greatest general of the era.

And on that note, I find it difficult to narrow "greatest general" down to one figure. There are a ton of stand-outs but usually one can nickel and dime their way into making a case against many of them. And then there are several cases of "so and so was instrumental in X campaign or conquering Y region" and then no details are provided and nothing further is written about the person (re: Zhang Xiu, Cao Chun). I would say it is hard to compare anyone to the likes of Bai Qi and so on, I think the circumstances were different from the late Han/early Three Kingdoms eras. I'd venture a guess that the overall talent level in the Three Kingdoms era was higher than in former times, considering how the civil war dragged on for some 30+ years before some sense of equilibrium was achieved. There really aren't many highly-detailed cases of someone grabbing his army and ROFLstomping through half of China from this period.

Han wrote:According to wikipedia, Mongolian people worship Guan Yu... why??? I mean... the Mongolian people don't really like the Chinese...


I don't know if Buddhism is big in Mongolia, but that is where my thoughts went first, he is a figure in Buddhism. He also is held in pretty high regard throughout Asia from what I've seen, statues and figurines of him can be found all over the place, as he is considered a protective or positive ward of sorts. I'd say that it may very well be the case that Chinese cultural influence has had far more of a long-lasting impact than any (I hesitantly use this word) contemporary grudge between Mongolia and China, so people like Guan Yu because he's...well...he's Guan Yu.

Elitemsh wrote:I'd also add that it was pretty bad of Liu Bei to have so little regard for his own family. I mean he just left them all behind. How can a man claim to care about the common people if he doesn't give a damn about his own children?


Not that I necessarily agree with it, but I could see a case being made for Liu Bei here if one wanted to. One could spin it as if he regarded the people as more important than his family so he was OK with ditching them to focus on retreating with the civilians or something. In reality I agree with the negative perspectives others hold about it. The parallelism with Liu Bang amuses me.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:45 am

Zyzyfer wrote:
Sun Fin wrote:Most people here tend to view Cao Cao is the greatest general.


Hmm really? Haha I never noticed. :lol:

I've always felt that he had a resilient knack about him as a commander, he bounced back on so many occasions/defeats to the point where one can't help but be amazed by it, but I wouldn't consider him the greatest general of the era.

And on that note, I find it difficult to narrow "greatest general" down to one figure. There are a ton of stand-outs but usually one can nickel and dime their way into making a case against many of them. And then there are several cases of "so and so was instrumental in X campaign or conquering Y region" and then no details are provided and nothing further is written about the person (re: Zhang Xiu, Cao Chun). I would say it is hard to compare anyone to the likes of Bai Qi and so on, I think the circumstances were different from the late Han/early Three Kingdoms eras. I'd venture a guess that the overall talent level in the Three Kingdoms era was higher than in former times, considering how the civil war dragged on for some 30+ years before some sense of equilibrium was achieved. There really aren't many highly-detailed cases of someone grabbing his army and ROFLstomping through half of China from this period.


There's actually another thread where we each compiled lists of who we thought were the 10 best generals in the period.

Yeah I'd agree, I think the likes of Bai Qi would have struggled more in the 3K era where the quality of training etc was better.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:03 am

Are you referring to the burying of Yuan Shao's captured army by Cao Cao? Just curious.

I do recall in Cao Ren's SGZ I think he advised Cao Cao to stop threatening to murder everyone in Ye while he was laying siege to it.


Possibly? I'm honestly not sure, I just recall there being some type of mass killing in north.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby DragonAtma » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:10 pm

Cao Cao had losses (just like virtually everyone else), but only two times was he left in a potentially force-ending position (one after losing to Xu Rong, one during the civil war against Lu Bu).

Liu Bei, meanwhile, had the loss of Gaotang, Zhang Fei's loss of Xiapi, getting smashed by Lu Bu in Xiaopei, losing after his rebellion in Xuchang, being defeated at Runan, and being crushed at Changban. All of them left him with no land and little to no army -- and in every case he'd bounce back.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Han » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:46 pm

Personal opinion, but I dont think guys like Bai Qi will struggle in this era at all... lol?

The strongest opponent Cao faced was Dong Zhuo and... Yuan Shao?

Han Xin faced Zhang Han and Xiang Yu

Xiang Yu faced Zhang Han and Zhang Liang and Han Xin

Huo QuBing faced a united XiongNu empire and Out-XiongNu them.

Bai Qi faced Lian Po and four great States in total.

And the exploits of the great Yue Fei do not need to be elaborated. His Wiki page is more than enough to showcase his greatness.

The Peak Competition these guys faced was more difficult than Cao Cao. Furthermore, I dont think these guys who are known for their tactical prowess will get ambushed by the likes of Xu Rong and Zhang Xiu.

Lastly, these guys had lesser help(overall) compared to Cao Cao.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:49 am

I would say Cao Cao's biggest foe as the water that protected Wu. :wink: Zhang Xiu was an experienced and able general raising a revolt becuase Cao Cao mishandled things in Wan after Zhang Xiu's surrender (as Cao Cao himself acknowledged), Xu Rong defeated Sun Jian and a somewhat inexperienced Cao Cao as well to be fair to them

I don't know enough about the Liu Bang era to comment but I somehow doubt the three kingdoms lasted so long simply becuase it's miliatry leaders were simply not that good. However the 3kingdoms were lucky the tribes lacked a great leader in that era, one dying just before and the tribes only getting strong (bar brief flash by Kebening) after fall of Shu where Ma Long made his name.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:48 am

I may have spoken out of turn as I will acknowledge I am not knowledgeable on Chinese history outside of the 3K era.

The point I, somewhat lazily and inadequately, was attempting to make is that the top generals from this period had studied their predecessors, had analysised their tactics and techniques and had therefore improved upon them. This is as well as having the advantage of growing up with knowledge of new armour and swords (for example the use of cavalry evolved during the era and the jian was phased out and replaced with the dao). If earlier generals suddenly got thrown in to the 3K era in my opinion no matter who they were they would be initially out-classed. Perhaps given time they might have caught up and then over taken the likes of Cao Cao but they would likely have been destroyed before then. If they'd been born in to the 3K era then it would be different of course.
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby DragonAtma » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:22 am

I should point out that in general, the more population a country has, the better officers they have.

Why? Because if a nation has ten times as many people (say, 100 million vs 10 million), they have ten times as many exceptional people (say, 1000 vs 100). China had at best a quarter many people in 280 as they did in 184, so it's only natural that the later years had at best a quarter as many Cao Caos, Zhuge Liangs, Lu Xuns, and so on. Just take a look at the Top Ten Generals thread; 184-232 and 232-280 are both 48 years, yet there are a LOT more people who were exclusively active 184-232 than 232-280.

Why am I mentioning this? Because technology gradually improved over time, plus China's land area also grew. So while the 2 AD census roughly matched the 140 AD census (meaning the end of the Western Han wouldn't be that far behind the end of the Eastern Han), Liu Bang's era was after a five-hundred-year civil war and the chaos of the Qin dyansty. I'd estimate that china's population around Liu Bang was maybe half of what it was in 184 -- which means they'd have about half as many soldiers and half as many top-of-the-line generals.
Unless I specifically say otherwise, assume I am talking about historical Three Kingdoms, and not the novel.

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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:13 pm

Myself, I would have went head on and criticized the generals Han recommended, but his or her mind seems made up about many things already, judging by how the other thread went.

But yes lol Bai Qi is greatest meatstomper
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Re: Three Kingdoms Questions (You Ask, We Answer)

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:44 pm

I don't think that is fair Zy. If one has a direct source then Han will accept it, even a negative one about Cao Rui who Han really seems to admire. On Cao Shuang vs Sima Yi, that is more a subjective issue and my stance is not the most common one. Where I think Han gets into Han vs everyone here is Han has the modern attitude of "pillaging/abduction is wrong" and sees an outlier that suggests 3kingdom figures felt that was wrong. Which is more comforting then our "it is so wrong but alas they didn't feel that way"
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