Lord_Cao_Cao wrote:Who's to say that Bo Cai wouldn't manage kill Huangfu Song or Zhu Jun somehow had Cao Cao not arrived with reinforcements? Or what if Jian Shuo's executed uncle had some sort of impact if Cao Cao didn't execute him? Or the Three Excellencies that were dismissed due to Cao Cao's memorial? What if some sort of huge menace had emerged in Ji'nan if Cao Cao hadn't brought order back into the area after defeating Peng Tuo?
You can't really answer these types of questions properly in my opinion. There's too much to be considered.
Yeah that's all true and fair, and a number of the what if questions that get posted on here get hit by the butterfly effect - i.e., if Bo Cao kills Zhu Jun then the Yellow Turbans win, and then A, and then B, and then C, and suddenly we are all speaking Chinese today. And totally eliminating someone so influential is a doozy, we might as well be talking about an entirely alternate reality where red is blue and down is up.
Having said that, it's kind of a bummer of an answer, and by working with generalities (such as the subdued long-term impact of the various YT/rebel remnants, Han's fading power, Yuan Shao's thirst for power), we can at least carve out a sort of simplistic outline, yeah?
Aside for greencactaur: This is an old thread about how Cao Cao's absence would impact things. Might be worth a look for you.