Zhang Liao & Zhang He vs. Xu Huang & Yu Jin.
Yu Jin is nowhere near as talented as Zhang He, so he would of course be behind Zhang Liao.
Well, I don't think some kind of generalized aggregate of 'talent' is a good gauge of how a conflict like this would play out. I do think that Yu Jin has some definite strengths in this matchup, especially against Zhang Liao, that shouldn't be overlooked - Zhang Liao never fought an opponent like Yu Jin, whose troops didn't scatter or break formation even when surprise-attacked or when retreating, and who had a ton of energy. Yu Jin didn't defend against attacks -- he repelled them, and then punished the enemy for trying. His counterattack at Yan Ford during Guandu was savage. Yu Jin was no pushover, and I think that he'd have a chance of sending an attacking Zhang Liao home, at least the first time around, should Zhang He and Xu Huang be taken out of the picture.
Xu Huang would be the only one carrying (trying to) balance this fight, and he's definitely no match against the speed and tactics of Zhang He AND Zhang Liao. Which the latter is also considered an inferior version of Guan Yu.
Well if Zhang Liao is inferior to Guan Yu, then Xu Huang should have no problem, should he?
My fault for not specifying, I meant historical, not novel-based (though Zhang He is a liability in the novel so I don't see Xu Huang worrying about him)
Cao Chao wrote:On one side you have Wenze and Gongming. Wenze is known for being steady and not particularly fancy commander, usually unaffected by any circumstances that are thrown in his direction. His steadiness after the defeat against Zhang Xiu and his defense of the Cao encampments at Guandu won him much fame. Gongming was renowned for his ferocity on the battlefield, on numerous occasions driving the enemy to commit suicide rather than face him (Hanzhong and Fancheng). Sent to relieve Guan Yu's siege of Fancheng, Gongming's use of feints allowed his counterattack to completely defeat Yunchang, and forcing many Shu Han soldiers to jump into the river. His feat at Fancheng was compared by Cao Cao as comparable to Sima Rangju's successful defense of the state of Qi during the Spring and Autumn Period and Sun Wu's strategies that allowed a much smaller Wu army defeat two Chu armies at Boju.
This is more along the lines of what I'm talking about. In terms of ferocity, well, Yu Jin did manage to get Zhu Ling, said to be second only to Xu Huang in ferocity and command style, to give up his army simply by showing up with a dozen horsemen and reading Cao Cao's proclamation (I believe the word used to describe him is "majestic"). But honestly, I'm not sure how the generals' reputations would affect each other's morale, as all four were quite renowned (obviously) so their troops might be confident enough to ignore any kind of displays.
Against them, you have a ferocious Wenyuan and an adaptable Junyi. Wenyuan was long tasked with defending the southern frontier at Hefei against Sun Wu. His renown was won through his crushing assault at White Wolf Mountain that forced the Wuhuan to submit to Cao Wei, the courageous advance into hazardous terrain that defeated Chen Lan and Mei Cheng's rebellion, and the mighty feats of arms at Xiaoyao Ford with only 800 cavalrymen. Junyi was compared by Cao Cao to Han Xin for his resourceful ability to readily and quickly adapt to any opponent and his knowledge of geography (and also the original arrow to the knee). Feared by Zhuge Liang and Liu Bei, Junyi steadied the Cao Wei forces in Hanzhong after Xiahou Yuan's death, and successfully defended the northwest against the persistent Shu-Han invasions (including retaking the three commanderies that had surrendered to Shu Han during Kongming's first northern campaign).
For what it's worth, you see the Zhang He and Zhang Liao teamup a bit more in history -- Zhang He accompanied Zhang Liao as the vanguard at White Wolf mountain; He was also Zhang Liao's deputy against Chen Lan and Mei Cheng at Mount Tianzhu (Yu Jin was there too, but that's beside the point)
. I don't recall Xu Huang and Yu Jin campaigning together, at least not in a way where they would directly interact (though I'm not actually sure what Yu Jin did from 209-219).
Comparing the overall body of work of the Zhang's probably outweigh that of Yu Jin and Xu Huang. However, I would say that over the course of individual battles, it is likely that the two sides would be relatively even. Yu Jin's steadiness provides Xu Huang's ferocity and feints a base from which to attack, and would allow the pair to match well against Zhang Liao and Zhang He. Zhang He's caution, geographic knowledge, and adaptability would allow him to counter Xu Huang, while Zhang Liao would undoubtedly focus on the offense. During a single battle, there's enough variables to make the two sides quite even, but over the course of a complete campaign, Zhang Liao's offensive capability and Zhang He's own abilities would likely trump any defense that the other side can mount, and overwhelm Xu Huang's own ferocity and strategy, and Yu Jin's steadiness.
I agree in the context of an individual open battle that it's up for grabs. I still see Yu Jin being able to cause some serious disruption rather than just hanging back. As for a seige, I think that the defenders would win either way. But I feel like an extended campaign, especially in mountainous terrain, could go either way, too, and hinges upon whether Zhang He or Xu Huang takes advantage of some stochastic event first. Which is why I posted this matchup . . . because I still don't know.
Now, I think it would be more even interesting if Wenqian joins Wenze and Gongming.
No Yue Jin allowed! Yue Jin, Yu Jin, and Xu Huang were basically the backbone of the Guandu campaign. But if Yue Jin joined either side, it would turn into a curbstomp - not only would you have three commanders against two, which is an advantage even if the overall troop numbers are the same, but Yue Jin never lost a battle that I can recall. He was a juggernaut. Maybe that's the answer to the question - Cao Cao sends Yue Jin to flank all four during a battle and makes them all go back to work. OKAY.
. . . I don't know who Petyr Baelish is, sorry.
But, speaking of Mount Tianzhu, I was thinking of another versus scenario . . . If all the other commanders involved in the battle of Mount Tianzhu (Zhang Liao, Zhang He, Niu Gai, too, I guess, who might have been Niu Jin's brother, Yu Jin, Zang Ba, and Han Dang) joined with the rebels (Chen Lan and Mei Cheng),who in Wei (circa 209) would take them out, and how long would they hold out?
Keep in mind that Chen Lan and Mei Cheng were enough of a threat that 1) Sun Quan thought their rebellion was viable enough to send Han Dang with 30,000 troops to support them, and 2) Cao Cao sent Zhang Liao, Zhang He, Yu Jin and
Zang Ba to subjugate them - which by 209 is a team of all-stars, so they were no chumps. Terrain:
It's a mountain range. The way up the peak itself (Heavenly Pillar) where the rebels ended up fortifying is extraordinarily treacherous, with narrow paths, steep valleys, and plenty of places to hide an ambush. There are apparently only two ways up; one to the east, and one to the west. Quite a few battles were fought for it and on it throughout history because of its strategically important location. Supplies:
There is fresh water available along the way and at the summit - there's no indication that the rebels were transporting supplies from the bottom, whereas Zhang Liao had to wait for Yu Jin to bring him supplies before being able to climb the mountain, so we'll say that the rebels have a supply advantage.Troops:
We know that Han Dang had 30,000 troops, but that's all we know, and he was backup. (He also never made it, since Zang Ba ambushed him.)
So let's say that they're evenly matched in numbers and training because it's more fun that way.