The "What If" Thread

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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby greencactaur » Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:13 pm

To elaborate on the topic, I think that Sun Ce and Liu Bei would never had allied with Yuan Shu ever, but if in some hypothetical magic dimension this some how came true, Cao Cao I don't think would be able to hold off Yuan Shao, Liu Bei, Yuan Shu, Sun Ce, and Lu Bu.

oh and for the last thing about Li Yan, I think the northern campaigns wouldn't have worked mainly because Shu would've eventually messed up some how. I think Ma Su would've still had a break down , somewhere else down the road. Liu Bei mentioned his words, out do his actions or something along those lines. Basically saying he was all talk. Probably a good domestic officer, and Zhuge Liang probably loved him because he was Ma Liangs younger brother, who was Zhuge's sworn brother, therefore technically making Ma su his sworn younger brother, and eventually giving him a heavy responsibility task, in which he ultimately would've mentally broken down again.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby ky9ersfan » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:24 am

I didn't add Yuan Shao, because he was Cao's previous ally, and would've been busy on the side, taking care of Gongsun Zan at the time.

But I was thinking along the lines of, Yuan Shu learning from his previous losses to Cao Cao. Yuan Shu being smarter, and taking a page out of Cao Cao's playbook by forming a coalition against a bigger force, full of talent.

With Liu Bei, hostilities didn't commence right away in Xu province, so there was atleast a chance that they could've allied. Strength in numbers, the enemy of my enemy, can sometimes be a friend. They were mutual enemies of Cao Cao, and an alliance would've been mutually beneficial, and also solidified Liu Bei as governor in Xu.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby ky9ersfan » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:38 am

-Continued.

With Lu Bu he previously lost in the battles of Yan province, with Cao Cao's forces, and was given sanctuary in Xiao Pei as a strategic buffer force. This would've put him in immediate danger, and he would've been looking for a better situation. Just like in the novel Yuan could've sent gifts to improve relations, but this time actually followed through, and formed an alliance.

If Yuan didn't declare himself emperor, neighboring relations could've been different with those two. If Liu Bei allied with Lu Bu, there is a decent chance he would've allied with a former late Han commander.

With Sun Ce, Yuan could've sent diplomats, an negotiated another army to be dispatched to Guang Ling (The port city east of Shou Chun). Sun Ce did kind of owe Yuan, AND he was always itching to get in on the central plains battles. Plus him an and Yuan were already on decent terms, if Yuan didn't declare himself emperor, he likely would've been an ally.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Lord_Cao_Cao » Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:55 pm

I don't really know about that.
Yuan Shu and Liu Bei had already been on hostile terms before Yuan declared himself emperor. They fought each other as early as 195, a year after Liu Bei got Xu. Liu Bei was also the successor of Tao Qian, with whom Yuan Shu had already been in a feud over Xu. Yuan Shu clearly had designs on Xu, I find it unlikely that it would have changed in a wink of an eye.

Then there's Lu Bu. If he openly allied with Yuan Shu, he might have become an enemy of Liu Bei at that point, considering the latter's relations with Yuan Shu. Even if he didn't, his territory was so small that he had to expand somehow or otherwise he would have been too weak in my opinion to contribute in any way. He had like 3 options, attack Cao Cao (and probably get defeated again), attack Yuan Shu (since he should ally with him, he wouldn't) or attack Liu Bei (the historical way). Given Lu Bu's nature, I think he would turn against Liu Bei sooner or later if he initially joined the alliance and get him busy.

Finally, Sun Ce. By the point Yuan Shu declared himself emperor, Sun Ce had conquered Jiangdong and was basically building his own power base. He was ambitious on the one hand and smart enough imo on the other hand that he would focus on consolidating his power in Yang. Yuan Shu double-crossed him with Lujiang commandery, if he wanted to send Sun Ce with an army north, far away from his territory, wouldn't Sun Ce suspect that Yuan Shu would do Lujiang all over again and replace him with someone else to keep him on the short leash? If Sun Ce had joined an alliance against Cao Cao, I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't have sent any troops north to aid Yuan Shu on the offensive.

All in all, it would leave Yuan Shu on his own again. Even with Liu Bei's hypothetical support and superior resources, I doubt he'd be able to defeat Cao Cao in the long run. Cao Cao was the better commander and had better officers. It would be different if Sun Ce joined in, but again, I don't see any way that he would do so actively. I think that by the point he conquered Jiangdong, it was already clear that Yuan Shu wouldn't be able to contain him forever.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:18 am

ky9ersfan wrote: What if Yuan Shu was smarter, and had never declared himself emperor, and instead used his wealth to ally with Sun Ce, Liu Bei, and Lu Bu? Forming an anti-Cao Cao coalition?


Until Yuan Shu declared himself Emperor Sun Ce was officially his subordinate. Ce only turned on him when it was clear there would be no repercussions for doing so.

Yuan Shu was also aligned to Gongsun Zan. I struggle to understand some of the other alliances. My understanding is that Liu Bei, Kong Rong, Tian Kai and Zan were all allied againt Yuan Shao/Cao. Meanwhile Yuan Shu was allied to Zan but not all the others.

Meanwhile Yuan Shao and Cao Cao were also allied to Liu Biao at this point.

Does someone else want to clear this up for me?
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Lord_Cao_Cao » Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:51 pm

Liu Bei and Tian Kai were subordinates of Gongsun Zan. Kong Rong was Administrator of Beihai, making him a subordinate of Tian Kai when he was Inspector of Qing. However, he became Inspector of Qing himself for a brief time in 195, but I don't know why (considering Tian Kai here, was he stripped off his position or what?).
At the beginning of the 190's, the power blocks were Yuan Shu, Gongsun Zan and Tao Qian on one side and Yuan Shao and Liu Biao on the other side. My understanding is that by the time Cao Cao defeated Yuan Shu and forced him into Huainan, the Yuan-Gongsun-Tao alliance had pretty much disintegrated; Gongsun Zan and Tao Qian stayed on good terms, but I don't think Yuan Shu had anything to do with Gongsun Zan from then on. He certainly was hostile to Tao Qian due to declaring himself Lord of Xuzhou.

Yuan Shao was allied to Cao Cao and Liu Biao, but Cao Cao and Liu Biao weren't allies as far as I know. IIRC Zhang Xiu was backed up by Liu Biao after he defeated Cao Cao at Wan.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby DragonAtma » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:01 pm

In 190 (I think), Kong Rong was appointed administrator of Beihai; also in 190, incompetent Qing inspector Jiao He died of sickness after being repeatedly defeated by turbans (which prevented him form joining the ADZC).

Sometime later (195), Kong Rong was declared Inspector of Qing, only to lose it all to Yuan Tan shortly afterwards.

I do not know exactly what happened in Qing between 190 and 195; my best guess is that it was a turban-infested mess (sort of like Bing), with both Gongsun Zan and Yuan Shao trying to get their candidate in charge of Qing (Gongsun Zan's officer Tian Kai, or Yuan Shao's son Yuan Tan). Gongsun Du may also have controlled the easternmost commandery, but nobody talks about him.

That said, Kong Rong was probably on Gongsun Zan's side, even if he was not in an formal alliance.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:42 pm

Kong Rong refused sides and executed someone who suggested he ally himself with someone
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby DragonAtma » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:49 pm

...sometime we should make a list of who was on which side for which times in the Yuan Shao vs Yuan Shu war, including the minor forces.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby greencactaur » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:42 am

What if cao cao was never around, how do you guys think things could've panned out?
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