The "What If" Thread

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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby VinnyYooo » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:39 am

None taken - all good; thats how I talk normally too lol


Him claiming the throne is him literally NOT RECOGNISING Pi claim. Loyalty to the Han is not loyalty to the Emperor. Its loyalty to the dynasty and loyalty to the people.


No it's not! Sun Quan took away his recognition of Cao Pi without declaring himself emperor. Not recognising a usurper doesn't require you to become one yourself. By that logic, the only way for the warlords to not recognise Yuan Shu when he declared independence is by everyone becoming emperors.

And loyalty to the Han and loyalty to the emperor aren't mutually exclusive. In most cases, they're one and the same. There's no 'loyalty to the people'. That's nationalism. Nationalism wasn't a thing till Napoleon - on the other side of the planet.

Liu Bei said it as a feel good thing. His intentions were to probably ensure that Zhuge would do his utmost for the benefit of the Han.


Lol do you really believe that? Like really? Like how Sun Ce said the same thing to Zhou Yu in order to make him do his best for Wu, right? Oh, right of course, that never happened. Because no emperor would say 'take the throne away from my kid' when what they mean is 'don't take the throne away from my kid'.

Sure, his intentions were 'probably' to motivate Liang, but he could've also intended a lot of other things. Fact's fact - he authorised the removal of a Han emperor. Yes, that's right: Liu Bei authorised the removal of a Han emperor. So much for a defender of the Han.


Once again, nothing wrong with facade. Cao Cao and Sun Quan were the same. And once again, you do not understand the definition of charisma.


Again, not the point ... eh what?? ... In what way were Cao Cao and Sun Quan the same? Quan 1. never portrayed himself as the defender / restorer of the Han and 2. only reluctantly became emperor more to recognise the reality of the situation at the time rather than to serve his personal ambitions.

Cao never wanted to be emperor. He had better things to do.

Err, name me one person who managed to trick Cao Cao and Sun Quan. Name me one person who served so many different people and yet managed to be Emperor at the end.


Firstly, you can't claim that Jing was a brilliant move. He lost Guan Yu (and Zhang Fei?) over Jing. Bad move pissing off the greatest of the three kingdoms. Holding it for as long as he did, yeah ok, good on him. But he would've been better off keeping Guan Yu's head and acting honourably over Jing (because, you know, honour and all that shit - so important to Liu Bei).




Liu Bei at the very least were equals with Yuan Shao.

Yuan Shu gambled wrongly and lost 3/4 of his territory. Liu Bei tricked Cao Cao and Sun Quan and attained two provinces. Yuan Shu had strong support from the southern gentries in the beginning. Liu Bei was a peasent who became Emperor in the end.


Ok, you should ease up on the whole 'he became emperor therefore he must be awesome' argument. It's not even a thing. Yuan Shu became emperor and Cao Cao didn't. Cao Pi became emperor, Sima Yan became emperor - while Sima Yi and Zhao (who were much more able, didn't).

Same thing with your 'starting off as a peasant' argument. His grandad was the freaking emperor! (sth like that).
He always uses the 'my grandad was the emperor' line everywhere he went. He wasn't 'a peasant who became emperor', he was technically a prince - a Han prince who authorised the dethronement of a Han emperor at that! (ref to my rant on Kongming and Adou)

Sun Jian/Ce started off as Yuan Shu's little bitch and made a name for themselves, and Quan became emperor in the end. That's admirable.

Though, yes, on balance I'd probably say Liu Bei and Yuan Shao, overall, would've been comparable in terms of their abilities.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:44 pm

No it's not! Sun Quan took away his recognition of Cao Pi without declaring himself emperor. Not recognising a usurper doesn't require you to become one yourself. By that logic, the only way for the warlords to not recognise Yuan Shu when he declared independence is by everyone becoming emperors.

And loyalty to the Han and loyalty to the emperor aren't mutually exclusive. In most cases, they're one and the same. There's no 'loyalty to the people'. That's nationalism. Nationalism wasn't a thing till Napoleon - on the other side of the planet.


Sun Quan took away recognition of Cao Pi only AFTER Pi invaded his territory.

Not mutually exclusive? Sure. One and the same? Lmao. Huo Guang was literally praised by the official histories for desposing the Emperor for the betterment of the Han Dynasty.

Nationalism - patriotic feeling, principles, or efforts.
"an early consciousness of nationalism and pride"
synonyms: patriotism, patriotic sentiment, allegiance/loyalty to one's country, loyalism, nationality; More
an extreme form of patriotism marked by a feeling of superiority over other countries.
plural noun: nationalisms
"playing with right-wing nationalism"
advocacy of political independence for a particular country.
"Scottish nationalism"

Loyalty to the people - being concern for them and striving to take care of their needs.

Two completely different things.

Lol do you really believe that? Like really? Like how Sun Ce said the same thing to Zhou Yu in order to make him do his best for Wu, right? Oh, right of course, that never happened. Because no emperor would say 'take the throne away from my kid' when what they mean is 'don't take the throne away from my kid'.

Sure, his intentions were 'probably' to motivate Liang, but he could've also intended a lot of other things. Fact's fact - he authorised the removal of a Han emperor. Yes, that's right: Liu Bei authorised the removal of a Han emperor. So much for a defender of the Han.


Not mutually exclusive. Agree by the way. Liu Bei probably said all that to ensure that Zhuge wont depose but would also strive for the Han.

Sure. But according to yourself: Because no emperor would say 'take the throne away from my kid' when what they mean is 'don't take the throne away from my kid'.

Again, not the point ... eh what?? ... In what way were Cao Cao and Sun Quan the same? Quan 1. never portrayed himself as the defender / restorer of the Han and 2. only reluctantly became emperor more to recognise the reality of the situation at the time rather than to serve his personal ambitions.

Cao never wanted to be emperor. He had better things to do.


Same goes for Liu Bei lmao. If he did not declare himself Emperor, it would be a silent admission that Pi claim was legitimate. By declaring himself Emperor, he can ensure that the Han continues through his lineage. What else do you propose? Liu Bei going around screaming Pi isnt legitimate would not accomplish anything! Him declaring himself the continuator of the Han like GuangWu send a clear message that the Han still existed under his regime. That is the greatest form of loyalty.

Because he didnt need to. Cao Cao frequently purged the gentry which allowed him to be the greatest controller of Han since Wang Mang. Him declaring himself Duke and later on King allows him to enjoy most of the benefits of an Emperor.

Firstly, you can't claim that Jing was a brilliant move. He lost Guan Yu (and Zhang Fei?) over Jing. Bad move pissing off the greatest of the three kingdoms. Holding it for as long as he did, yeah ok, good on him. But he would've been better off keeping Guan Yu's head and acting honourably over Jing (because, you know, honour and all that shit - so important to Liu Bei).


Him attaining Jing was a brilliant move. An unmatched one. Sun Quan forces did the heavy lifting during the ChiBi campaign and later on even the Nanjun campaign. Meanwhile, Liu Bei was able to attain the four southern commanderies of Jing with minimal bloodshed. The following deaths of Liu Qi and Zhou Yu allowed him to fill the power vaccum and he was thereafter able to attain Jiangling. Unmatched move. Cao Cao suffered the most casualties followed by Sun Quan. But the one who gained the most territory? Liu Bei.

Ok, you should ease up on the whole 'he became emperor therefore he must be awesome' argument. It's not even a thing. Yuan Shu became emperor and Cao Cao didn't. Cao Pi became emperor, Sima Yan became emperor - while Sima Yi and Zhao (who were much more able, didn't).

Same thing with your 'starting off as a peasant' argument. His grandad was the freaking emperor! (sth like that).
He always uses the 'my grandad was the emperor' line everywhere he went. He wasn't 'a peasant who became emperor', he was technically a prince - a Han prince who authorised the dethronement of a Han emperor at that! (ref to my rant on Kongming and Adou)

Sun Jian/Ce started off as Yuan Shu's little bitch and made a name for themselves, and Quan became emperor in the end. That's admirable.

Though, yes, on balance I'd probably say Liu Bei and Yuan Shao, overall, would've been comparable in terms of their abilities.


Liu Bei was emperor over 1/4 of China. Thats what seperates him from Shu.

He was never an official Prince. The East Han court never acknowledge him as once. He was never Prince in rank or in name. He was literally born a peasent. A shoemaker.

Quan inherited Jiangdong and a capable group of officials thanks to his father and brother. Bei never had that much support. In terms of quality, the officials he inherited from Liu Biao, Liu Qi and Liu Zhang were all inferior to Sun Jian and Sun Ce officials.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:20 pm

Hey Dong, I truly apologise. I just realised I came across as a total c••• and that was NEVER my intention.

And Vinny, apologies, hopefully none of you here will take it to heart.


Write "Cao Shaung is awesome" a 1000 times. :wink:

You didn't come across as anything more then getting caught up in debate and just needing a gentle tugback. I do always appreciate a "hands up and sorry" so thanks for that

Yuan Shao

Then let me clarify: technically Yan Liang was not alone (he had Guo Tu and Chunyu Qiong with him), but Cao Cao considered it important enough to go personally and bring Zhang Liao and Guan Yu. All three were better than the three Yuan Shao sent, so it's not surprising Cao Cao won. And it wasn't a minor spot, either; according to Carl Leban's Ts'ao Ts'ao and the Rise of Wei: The Early Years it was a vital route between Yuan Shao and Cao Cao's territories -- which was just another reason to send a top-notch general, not two overrated generals and a sycophant.

If Han Meng was a famous officer, what was he famous for? He was not Zhang He, Liu Bei, Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun, Tian Feng, Ju Shou, or Shen Pei; I recognize many three kingdoms names, but not his -- and, indeed, KMA encylcopedia only describes him as that guy who lost Yuan Shao's first grain supply. Remember, when you pick someone based on reputation, not ability you get Cao Shuang and Xiahou Mao -- Wei would be better off picking SoSZ's Xiahou Mao!

I may be wrong about Ju Shou saying Chunyu Qiong was unworthy, but Yuan Shao's SGZ definitely said that Ju Shou recommended Yuan Shao send Jiang Qi to support Chunyu Qiong.


Yes Cao Cao took two guys who had been with him five minutes. Vs Chunyu Qiong a man admired and valued by a Han Emperor, Yuan Shao and Cao Cao was willing to hire him, while it is possible all such men who knew him and saw him fight all had sucky sucky judgement, it is probably wiser to think they might be onto something when speaking of a man who (due to being on a losing kingdom that didn't have a surviving history department) miliatry career we know so little about. Guo Tu who I agree with you on. Yan Liang who was famed in his own time by those who knew him, alas like Chunyu Qiong we don't get a biography of him listing how he got that fame. Unless we are arguing the entire north plains judgement sucks and several thousand years later, we know more based on what scraps we have of his career. Over-promoted one can argue, overatted?

How do I know? We only know anything about him when he turns up in a Wei general's biography. We know nothing of, frankly, most of the Yuan officer cores record in the many wars in the north. Being famous now and being famous among his fellows is a different thing. Though given Xu You's comment, he seems like one great for vanguard but not supply lines (then again, there seems quite a theme of Yuan generals whose flaws seems to be underestimating foes)

ZZTJ suggests that was more of a raid shield which would have been an excellent plan.

The rest feels like your trying so very hard to counter Yuan Shao praise and going too far

====

Liu Bei

On the basic question, Liu Bei was fairly good at a lot of things. He was a famed commander in his own time, though cautoius he showed good ability with tactics, he seems to have been capable enough of running a province, he had the needed ability to be ruthless. So what makes him stand above a jack of all trades?

1) Resilience. He suffered heavy blows, saw some horrible things yet he kept bouncing back. Cao Cao had to be talked out of surrendering, Liu Bei just rolled with the punches (bar one moment of midlife crises under Liu Biao) and unlike Yuan Shu, he had abilities to create something rather then implode

2) Charismatic. Most half successful warlords had some charisma but the sgz makes clear Liu Bei is exceptionally charismatic be it the comparisons like Han mentioned, the tales like charming someone sent to kill him, Chen Shou's comments. He also had the ability to not only hold together his officer core (some left good posts in Wei to be under him again) but recruit people to him when at low ebb. Trying to say who is the most charismatic figure is not something we can really do but if you don't put Liu Bei in the elite list on this, your computer will self combust in shame and the stars will form a message denouncing you :wink:

3) PR. Liu Bei was a wily political figure but he was an expert in PR and I don't mean that as an insult. It was noted repeatedly through the 3kingdoms that he was popular with the people, he was able to build alliances and spin a good tale to justify his actions where needed. It is vitally important skill for a warlord

4) Eye for talent/using them

In terms of the factors Vinny mentioned, not really. His ancestry became a useful political tool later in life but was of minor consequence during most of his life, it more gets spun by novel and culture. I don't think Liu Bei was particularly noted for Confucianism (his chief civil officer was more into legalism and plenty of scholars he picked up were of eccentric Yi branch or new age scholars of Jing). Hypocrite? Yes but the dictionary definition of a half decent 3kingdom warlord is hypocrite, Liu Bei was a skilled warlord and so he was a hypocrite. He only gets it in the neck becuase of the novel/cultural image which has nothing to do with the historical Liu Bei

In terms of kindness, I wouldn't put that as a reason for his rise but yes, by warlord standards he was kind. He doesn't have the dark streak of say Cao Cao, he was noted for his kindness (as was his son Liu Shan). There are horrible things he did (give a person such power and a bad side will emerge) and Liu Bei was ruthless sure but being kind was something he was noted for

On the "should he have taken the throne"? In theory no but I'll very surprised if Guangwu spent years searching for a close more legitimate relative and it wasn't like there hadn't been plenty of manipulation of the Han line in recent decades. Refusing to take the throne would have been absolute loyalty sure but no real advantage to that in practise and if Liu Bei united the land, it would have been a third Han dynasty and like the second, nobody would query to legitimacy. Obviously it suited Liu Bei that he "needed" to become Emperor but I suspect he did also believe that he was doing it for the Han and from what I have recall, where scholars claimed that Shu didn't have mandate in the coming generations (when there was considerable debate on the mandate), Liu Bei was never accused of Han disloyalty for taking throne even by pro-Wei figures.

Because he didnt need to. Cao Cao frequently purged the gentry which allowed him to be the greatest controller of Han since Wang Mang. Him declaring himself Duke and later on King allows him to enjoy most of the benefits of an Emperor.


Frequently purged the gentry? Maybe phrasing there and I'm being picky, Cao cao ruthlessly killed off or sent packing the few remaining Han loyalist figures, wouldn't call it frequent purging. I would more call the factionalism thing during the eunuch days (vs the gentry not vs eunuchs just to be clear) a purge

So I'm not missing anything, then? Just hypocrisy and bias from LGZ? Lol; My criticism isn't about the backstabbing itself - that's not an issue - but about his claim of being upright, honourable and upstanding. He claimed the throne while the rightful Han emperor was still alive - and yet claim to be loyal to Han. He's always had imperial ambitions from the start yet pretended to be a defender of the dynasty.


LGZ rehuals Liu Bei. He takes out most of Liu Bei's abilities for a variety of reasons, makes him speak a thousand times a minute of honour and weep at every crushed petal while flogging the Han relationship to death. The historical Liu Bei didn't particularly claim to be upright and so on, no more then every other warlord.

From the start? Liu Bei had imperial ambitions from before the Turbans? The man must have been a greater soothsayer then Nostradamus :wink: I see those sort claims (probably made them myself about Liu Bei in past) but always about whichever figure the user dislikes (Cao Cao or Liu Bei, never Sun family oddly enough) and I don't think they ever been accurate, whichever figure they are about. It requires the figures involved to have had amazing predictive powers given the situation when the Han collapsed and their own situation at the time, it ignores that people evolve and change or the capacity for people to believe whatever they are doing is for the cause (it just so happens to benefit them)

Benevolence in governing? Ok, sure. So that makes him equal to Tao Qian and Liu Zhang. Again, nothing special there (c.f. Qin Shi Huang and Li Si).


Historically, Tao Qian and Liu Zhang are bad examples. Tao Qian could be kind and skilled but he could also be a gigantic git who destroyed Xu with corrupt and bad governance. Liu Zhang was kindly but a weak ruler who didn't bring much benefit to Yi.

His charisma comes from his false pretences, which, I agree, makes him a dangerous person on account of the fact that people (i.e. his followers) are generally gullable to lies (I think this is what Cao Cao sees). His people management is good, but not extraordinary (Mi Fang and Liu Feng lost confidence in him - and that's saying a lot given their background).


Yes, they were all drawn to the hypocrisy and claims of a novel Liu Bei written way after they were all dead. Not their own ambitions, not their belief in Liu Bei's ability to go far or the usual things that draws people to a warlord, they all just happened to be conned. Not a single one of them knew with clear eyes what they were doing :wink:

Liu Feng and Mi Fang bad examples but yes, Liu Bei lost some people. If that means he isn't charismatic then no warlord of the 3kingdoms was charismatic. None

His 'cunning' and 'intelligence' can't be attributed to him personally cause he had good advisors.


Name them. He had no miliatry adviser of note till the invasion of Yi and his first half decent political adviser as Zhuge Liang whose early record was a bit erratic

lso, if restoring the Han was such an important thing for him, then he wouldnt've suggested Zhuge Liang to take the throne for himself had Liu Chan been an idiot. But Liu Bei seemed perfectly happy to end the 'Han' that way - as long as it's on his terms.


As I understand it, this is one of those things that would have made sense back then and wasn't unheard of but can seem strange now. While possibly in some place, somewhere someone made the offer as a genuine one, it was usually a show by both sides, the dying ruler shows his absolute trust to the future regent and grants extra legitimacy, the future regent wails how grateful he is and pledges undying loyalty, he could never take the throne.

I would assume given all Liu Bei has done to get this far, building the Han legitimacy angle and that he had ruthlessly been securing Liu Shan's (who had been successful enough while Liu Bei was away) succession, he wasn't about to really throw away all that (and ensure Shu dies very quickly) all of a sudden. He presumably also felt he could trust Zhuge Liang and that Zhuge Liang was wise enough to know

1) "Oh thank you, I'm willing to overthrow your son" would see Zhuge Liang "accidentally" run into sharp objects and die within a minute.

2) Zhuge Liang trying to take the throne would have killed the kingdom and likely himself very very quickly

No, I'm acknowledging it and saying I agree. But again, would you say that Liu Bei is a cut above the rest based on his military skills alone? Compared to Sun Jian, Yuan Shao, Zhou Yu, etc. etc. Not really ...


Yeah I would certainly say Liu Bei was not an exceptional commander so not on Sun Jian's level.

And yes, he's good at bouncing back from defeat. Tick. Ok, soooo: good at bouncing back from defeat, high personal ambition, military skills, good at convincing followers that he's top shit, respected by one or two important warlords around that time. So basically Liu Bei is like Yuan Shu? Ha!


Nice windup :wink:

Lol do you really believe that? Like really? Like how Sun Ce said the same thing to Zhou Yu in order to make him do his best for Wu, right? Oh, right of course, that never happened. Because no emperor would say 'take the throne away from my kid' when what they mean is 'don't take the throne away from my kid'.


Strictly speaking, Zhou Yu was away at the time, it was more Zhang Zhao and others

Sun Ce would have been making a really really bad call to do that move at that time. Bear in mind when the "you can take over but if say yes, you die" scenes were when there was clear succession, son succeeded daddy, unlikely to be disputes and a nice secure kingdom. In this case there were multiple (including Zhou Yu) candidates to take over from Sun Ce so no clear line of succession and any such comment would be highly disruptive to a fragile and newly established kingdom (sorry, can't think of a better word), Sun Ce had to throw all his support behind Sun Quan.

Again, not the point ... eh what?? ... In what way were Cao Cao and Sun Quan the same? Quan 1. never portrayed himself as the defender / restorer of the Han and 2. only reluctantly became emperor more to recognise the reality of the situation at the time rather than to serve his personal ambitions.


Sun Quan sucked up on Han loyalty as required as most warlords did and reluctantly became emperor would be amazingly out of character. He was fiercely ambitious and had the most difficult time legitimising becoming Emperor of the three factions, Wu's claim never stuck. I don't blame him for becoming Emperor but he wasn't some petrified man being dragged to doing it by the big meanies of his officer core

Cao never wanted to be emperor. He had better things to do.


Unless your a mindreader, you can't state that (or the opposite) as fact.


Firstly, you can't claim that Jing was a brilliant move. He lost Guan Yu (and Zhang Fei?) over Jing. Bad move pissing off the greatest of the three kingdoms. Holding it for as long as he did, yeah ok, good on him. But he would've been better off keeping Guan Yu's head and acting honourably over Jing (because, you know, honour and all that shit - so important to Liu Bei).


Wu at that point had slipped to third of the three kingdoms as Professor Rafe, the great historian (and Wu inclined man) would say and while Liu Bei (and EU) did not behave well over Jing, that debt was paid in 215.

Same thing with your 'starting off as a peasant' argument. His grandad was the freaking emperor! (sth like that).
He always uses the 'my grandad was the emperor' line everywhere he went. He wasn't 'a peasant who became emperor', he was technically a prince - a Han prince who authorised the dethronement of a Han emperor at that! (ref to my rant on Kongming and Adou)


From Liu Bei's sgz
e First Sovereign’s grandfather was Liu Xiong, father was Liu Hong, and both worked as magistrates in Zhuo. Liu Xiong was chosen as Filial and Incorrupt (Xian Lian) (IV) and worked in Dongjun, Fanling.
Not emperor

and no he didn't. The novel did, the historical Liu Bei didn't and he was never a prince. I do think the peasant angle gets a little oversold (most peasants didn't have the education he had) but he was literally selling sandals as a youngster
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby ky9ersfan » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:21 pm

What if Lu Bu, had Let Ji Ling's army invade and defeat Liu Bei's smaller force? As in he never did the arrow through the crescent halbeard to negotiate a peace settlement??
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:23 pm

Liu Bei would flee to Cao Cao earlier. Lü Bu would still probably be able to rekt Yuan Shu though it will understandably be more difficult. No major changes.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:29 pm

Yuan Shu will have a foothold in Xu and put Lu Bu under real pressure, taking Xu and likely having Lu Bu under his ranks would increase Yuan Shu's prestige and give more chance against Cao Cao
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:54 pm

Just because Shu took Pei doesnt mean he could take Xu. Cao Cao would still sent Bei to Pei. Lü Bu could still bribe Shu surbodinates and rekt Shu.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:08 am

Sure, that is possible and I don't have an issue with your what if answer.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:35 pm

Ah I see. Apologies.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby ky9ersfan » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:52 pm

-What if Sun Jian had defeated Liu Biao in the battle for Jing? As in he never was lured into an ambush and killed. What do you think this would've done long term for the future of Wu?? Does he still go on conquest eastward and liberate Yang, from those unworthy of being a leader???

-What if Fa Zheng had lived longer, and went on Liu Bei's revenge campaign? Would this have prevented the fire attack at Yi Ling??How would this have changed things???

-What if Zhang Ren surrendered to Liu Bei, and joined him? Does he become a tiger general??
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