The "What If" Thread

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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby greencactaur » Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:47 am

That's a really good point I hadn't thought of that jolt. The novel is very biased against Liu Bei, so it's easy for me to to look at it from a novel stand point and not from reality.

As for He Jin surviving? The man was a chef who had been given a lot of state power so I doubt that Han in itself would've lasted much longer. I imagine rebellions would constantly still break throughout the country. Eventually having the Han decline to the point of completely being obliterated. So I don't know if a Three kingdom situation would occur, but seeing as how the government was in decline even before He Jin I don't think the Han could've lasted much longer.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:03 pm

He Jin wins, it buys the Han time. A capable enough man able to hold the loyalty of his soldiers and generally the officer core though one lacking in self confidence needed to be decisive and family loyalty is a problem. However the Han needed more then that to save it, it needed someone who could use the regency and be a great administrator to reverse decades of decline, deteriorating treasury and political weaknesses. Even the Han armies were starting to be less successful
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Cao Chao » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:56 pm

plunged wrote:What if He Jin had somehow survived the eunuch's assassination? Surely they would've all been executed afterwards, and Lady He and He Miao would not be on their side anymore, so the He's would be one clan again, with Shao in the throne. Also Yuan Shao was already a powerful ally of him, but I don't know how reliable their relationship was

DragonAtma wrote:He Jin reached his position by luck, not skill. He was raised to become a butcher, and as such had no training for leading armies or running politics. He did nothing when correspondence between the eunuchs and the yellow turbans were found. He rejected Yuan Shao's plan to remove the eunuchs. He refused Yuan Shao's request for permission to arrest the eunuchs. He dilly-dallied when he heard about Jian Shuo's plan to kill him. He ignored Chen Lin's advice that summoning Dong Zhuo was a disastrous idea. He let the eunuch battle split him apart form his stepbrother and sister. Fianlly, he fell for the eunuchs' trap to ambush and kill him.

Even if he evaded their plot and managed to kill all the top eunuchs, something else would topple him, as he was waaaaaay out of his league.

Dong Zhou wrote:He Jin wins, it buys the Han time. A capable enough man able to hold the loyalty of his soldiers and generally the officer core though one lacking in self confidence needed to be decisive and family loyalty is a problem. However the Han needed more then that to save it, it needed someone who could use the regency and be a great administrator to reverse decades of decline, deteriorating treasury and political weaknesses. Even the Han armies were starting to be less successful

There are two points that we should all remember. One, Dong Zhuo already arrived at the outskirts of Luoyang. Two, He Jin was being opposed by not just the eunuchs, but also by his sister, Empress He and also He Miao (He Jin's stepbrother). Given He Jin's hesitation and indecisiveness, as well as the existing opposition and the exterior threat, Dong Zhuo would still likely be able to seize power quite easily.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby greencactaur » Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:39 am

What do you guys think would've happened if Li Yan didn't fail to deliver supplies in time? I believe it was the fourth expedition where he failed? Is it true that after he was stripped from power, that his son was given the post instead, and he tied himself up to beg forgiveness from Zhuge Liang?
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby plunged » Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:21 pm

DragonAtma wrote:He Jin reached his position by luck, not skill. He was raised to become a butcher, and as such had no training for leading armies or running politics. He did nothing when correspondence between the eunuchs and the yellow turbans were found. He rejected Yuan Shao's plan to remove the eunuchs. He refused Yuan Shao's request for permission to arrest the eunuchs. He dilly-dallied when he heard about Jian Shuo's plan to kill him. He ignored Chen Lin's advice that summoning Dong Zhuo was a disastrous idea. He let the eunuch battle split him apart form his stepbrother and sister. Fianlly, he fell for the eunuchs' trap to ambush and kill him.

Even if he evaded their plot and managed to kill all the top eunuchs, something else would topple him, as he was waaaaaay out of his league.


What could He Jin have done when correspondence between the eunuchs and Yellow Turbans was found and his Emperor reacted the way he did?

I thought he executed Jian Shi/Shuo, rather than dilly-dallying. He couldn't do much against him when Emperor Ling was still around, especially not when Shi was made Colonel of the First Army. After Ling's death though he had Jian Shi right where he wanted him. He obtained proof and had all the right to execute him. Good, political move. I don't see much wrong in this. Subsequently he became the most powerful man again, and who could fault him? Btw this was proof he never had against the other eunuchs iirc. And he never fell for the eunuchs 'trap'. It was a spontanious action, from the eunuchs, not a planned one. It could not have been foreseen at that time.

He Jin, I feel, suffers a lot from Romance and Koei's depiction of him. Sure, he wasn't great, but imo he was decent. You can get far with luck, but I do not believe that you can go from butcher-in-training to General-in-Chief by sheer luck and no skill. It's also said he was popular among his fellows, which I don't think you'll be when you get into a high position through luck (and thus shouldn't be there. People who should, would've not liked him one bit, but, instead, he was popular).

Furthermore he saved Wang Yun and recommended Dong Fu. The discovery of the Turbans' plot is ascribed to him and he was enfeoffed for it. He purged and protected Luoyang from within. His assigned Major Fan Zeng did well during the Turban rebellion. He tricked Jian Shi to not go on an expedition against the Liang Province rebels.

The man is not without flaws, nobody is. He could not always make up his mind when it mattered. But I think He Jin was a capable man. Not great, but a man of decent talent. Furthermore, had he survived he had a perfect reason to rid the palace of the eunuchs. A reason nobody could go against, unlike Shao's ideas (I think that's what he was after, it would've preserved peace in the palace and not create multiple camps, because He's action would've been 'right'). Then we would've had Emperor Shao on the throne, with He Jin, Lady He and He Miao right next to him. Would Dong Zhuo have come between them? Depose Shao and set Xian on the throne? No way. Not listening to Chen Lin's advice (to not summon Dong) was only bad because He Jin died (in an unpredictable assassination).

Cao Chao wrote:There are two points that we should all remember. One, Dong Zhuo already arrived at the outskirts of Luoyang. Two, He Jin was being opposed by not just the eunuchs, but also by his sister, Empress He and also He Miao (He Jin's stepbrother). Given He Jin's hesitation and indecisiveness, as well as the existing opposition and the exterior threat, Dong Zhuo would still likely be able to seize power quite easily.

But if He Miao and Lady He found out the eunuchs attempted to kill their brother, they would've agreed to dismiss or execute them. He Miao turned against them historically. Yuan Shao and Yuan Shu seemed to be on He's side and not so fond of Dong Zhuo.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Cao Chao » Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:50 pm

Cao Chao wrote:There are two points that we should all remember. One, Dong Zhuo already arrived at the outskirts of Luoyang. Two, He Jin was being opposed by not just the eunuchs, but also by his sister, Empress He and also He Miao (He Jin's stepbrother). Given He Jin's hesitation and indecisiveness, as well as the existing opposition and the exterior threat, Dong Zhuo would still likely be able to seize power quite easily.

plunged wrote:But if He Miao and Lady He found out the eunuchs attempted to kill their brother, they would've agreed to dismiss or execute them. He Miao turned against them historically. Yuan Shao and Yuan Shu seemed to be on He's side and not so fond of Dong Zhuo.

Given how quickly the eunuchs were forgiven after Jian Shuo's execution, I doubt it. The eunuchs relied on Empress He and He Miao's support to oppose He Jin, and at the same time, Empress He and He Miao relied upon the eunuchs. This conflict between He Jin and the eunuchs is basically a proxy conflict between court officials and the inner palace (Empress and eunuchs).

In addition, there is also a familial inner conflict, as well. He Jin was Empress He's half-brother (different fathers, same mother). He Miao was also Empress He's half-brother (same father, different mothers, his original surname was Zhu (朱)), meaning that He Miao and He Jin had no actual blood relation. Furthermore, Zhang Rang's daughter-in-law was actually Empress He's younger sister.
plunged wrote:He Miao turned against them historically.

Actually He Miao turning against the eunuchs does not occur historically. In fact, He Miao was swiftly killed by Dong Min (Dong Zhuo's brother) as an eunuch sympathizer during the turmoil that ravaged Luoyang after Dong Zhuo entered the capital and seized control.
plunged wrote:Yuan Shao and Yuan Shu seemed to be on He's side and not so fond of Dong Zhuo.

Yuan Shao and Yuan Shu's opposition to Dong Zhuo does not occur until after Dong Zhuo seizes control of Luoyang and sought to depose Liu Bian as Emperor. In fact, during the conflict against the eunuchs, Yuan Shao was, along with He Jin, the primary individual who sent the order for Dong Zhuo to lead his Liangzhou army to Luoyang.

While it would have been more difficult for Dong Zhuo to seize control of Luoyang with He Jin still present and without a power vacuum, the troops that he ultimately commanded far outnumbered those under He Jin's command. While it's true that Yuan Shao still supported He Jin, given how badly he bungled the situation with the eunuchs, and later the Alliance against Dong Zhuo, I don't see how he succeeds.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby plunged » Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:08 pm

Cao Chao wrote:Given how quickly the eunuchs were forgiven after Jian Shuo's execution, I doubt it. The eunuchs relied on Empress He and He Miao's support to oppose He Jin, and at the same time, Empress He and He Miao relied upon the eunuchs. This conflict between He Jin and the eunuchs is basically a proxy conflict between court officials and the inner palace (Empress and eunuchs).


Cao Chao wrote:In addition, there is also a familial inner conflict, as well. He Jin was Empress He's half-brother (different fathers, same mother). He Miao was also Empress He's half-brother (same father, different mothers, his original surname was Zhu (朱)), meaning that He Miao and He Jin had no actual blood relation. Furthermore, Zhang Rang's daughter-in-law was actually Empress He's younger sister.
plunged wrote:He Miao turned against them historically.

Actually He Miao turning against the eunuchs does not occur historically. In fact, He Miao was swiftly killed by Dong Min (Dong Zhuo's brother) as an eunuch sympathizer during the turmoil that ravaged Luoyang after Dong Zhuo entered the capital and seized control.


After He Jin was killed and his head was thrown over some wall to his fellows, He Miao joined the party that wanted to kill the eunuchs and avenge He Jin. This is partially why I said what I said.

From Rafe's tome:
"When the eunuchs assassinated He Jin, He Miao joined Yuan Shao in leading troops against the palace to kill them"

He Miao, despite being a "Zhu" (but still having the same Empress sister) was more loyal to He Jin when it mattered, and that shows the strength of their bond imo.

Besides, after this assassination attempt He Jin was pretty much free to do whatever he wished with the eunuchs. And he probaby would've killed them all, except maybe Guo Sheng, the eunuch closely involved with the He-clan fortunes. In the end, this would've been the best way to dispose of all the eunuchs. Nobody could argue against He Jin doing this. Other measures to rid the palace of the eunuchs would've caused more disunity.

Cao Chao wrote:
plunged wrote:Yuan Shao and Yuan Shu seemed to be on He's side and not so fond of Dong Zhuo.

Yuan Shao and Yuan Shu's opposition to Dong Zhuo does not occur until after Dong Zhuo seizes control of Luoyang and sought to depose Liu Bian as Emperor. In fact, during the conflict against the eunuchs, Yuan Shao was, along with He Jin, the primary individual who sent the order for Dong Zhuo to lead his Liangzhou army to Luoyang.

While it would have been more difficult for Dong Zhuo to seize control of Luoyang with He Jin still present and without a power vacuum, the troops that he ultimately commanded far outnumbered those under He Jin's command. While it's true that Yuan Shao still supported He Jin, given how badly he bungled the situation with the eunuchs, and later the Alliance against Dong Zhuo, I don't see how he succeeds.


You're right, they don't until after Dong Zhuo's evil-doing begins. It does show that they wouldn't pick Dong Zhuo's side whenever he would make a move though.

btw I'm not saying He Jin would've ever succeeded (though one could argue if he hadn't already if he survived the assassination, executed the eunuchs and had Shao on the throne), but I just think that with him just surviving that assassination somehow, a lot of things could've gone so different. I actually don't see Dong Zhuo install Xian on the throne for one. At least he couldn't have done it the way he had done it.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby chinesecannibal » Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:20 am

What if Lu Bu and Chen Gong submitted to Liu Bei, and they later met Zhuge Liang. What would the relationship between Zhuge Liang and Chen Gong be like?

Yes, I know Lu Bu's habits will impede a lot of Liu Bei's plans, but suppose, in some alternate universe, where they managed to stay together long enough to recruit Zhuge.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:06 pm

Probably not good given Chen Gong's inability to get on with Lu Bu's own officer core and Liu Bei will probably trust Zhuge Liang more
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:23 am

Dong Zhou wrote:Probably not good given Chen Gong's inability to get on with Lu Bu's own officer core and Liu Bei will probably trust Zhuge Liang more


Plus Chen Gong just really doesn't demonstrate that much talent despite his strong "positioning" in the early days of the era.

Might be more fun to replace Zhuge with Fa Zheng. :twisted:
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