The "What If" Thread

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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:35 pm

But he never fought on the front lines. :wink: . Isnt that the criteria here?


No but I can see where you got that from. What "fought" means in places like this: was in battle rather then in frontlines. That is what I'm 99% sure Elitemsh means

So common practice but Liu Bei army did it 4 times only ok. Xiahou Ba was highly promoted because he had close ties with the Imperial family and the Xiahou clan was one of the most powerful clans from the beginning of Cao Cao rise in both domestic and military affiats. Jiang Wei was because Zhuge Liang loved him. Wang Ping I will give but that came during a middle of a long campaign spanning months where encouraging defections and weaknesses would be important. Excluding the connections, Pang De was also encouraged to defect through ranks because he was also acknowledged by the Han court as a nobility. So basically these examples werent just 'ranks for defections' and shouldnt be chalk up as such. In reality all of these individuals you mentioned were promotoed/appointed not just because of their defection but mainly their reputation and relationships with the higher ups.


Liu Bei didn't have many defections :wink: It was also common outside Shu, someone defects, you give them high ranks including miliatry, say how awesome they are possibly then... well it depends on the defectors ability and trust. Some quickly prove worthy of that rank, others never get used

So Xiahou Ba is political. Jiang Wei got a nice juicy rank even beyond a "hey this guy has made a good first impression" but that first impression got him onto an actual career path. That is exactly the point of such ranks with Wang Ping. With Pang De there isn't any mention of that being a reasoning for Guan Yu and while nice to get a marquis defecting, wouldn't have been anywhere near as prestige as a Ma Chao. Relations with higher ups is political

Sure. But it would be hypocritical.


Possibly but it would be extremely negligent and bad rulership if he didn't do his job of working out which officers are good enough even if the ruler himself may lack in a particular skill

And his generalship skill, martial prowess, Empire-wide reputation, unification of the ethnic minorities for a short period of time, acknowledged as a noble, ambushed Cao Cao and defeated Xiahou Yuan once and etc etc. Also, his defection wasnt 'recent' it came 5yrs plus ago.


Three and 4 is political usefulness for miliatry rank, marquis in itself isn't that useful but Ma Chao's non-noble rank was (also slightly awkward). Isn't the big 4 thing in the immediate aftermath of taking of Yi and where Guan Yu gets unhappy?
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Han » Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:17 am

Dong Zhou wrote:
But he never fought on the front lines. :wink: . Isnt that the criteria here?


No but I can see where you got that from. What "fought" means in places like this: was in battle rather then in frontlines. That is what I'm 99% sure Elitemsh means

So common practice but Liu Bei army did it 4 times only ok. Xiahou Ba was highly promoted because he had close ties with the Imperial family and the Xiahou clan was one of the most powerful clans from the beginning of Cao Cao rise in both domestic and military affiats. Jiang Wei was because Zhuge Liang loved him. Wang Ping I will give but that came during a middle of a long campaign spanning months where encouraging defections and weaknesses would be important. Excluding the connections, Pang De was also encouraged to defect through ranks because he was also acknowledged by the Han court as a nobility. So basically these examples werent just 'ranks for defections' and shouldnt be chalk up as such. In reality all of these individuals you mentioned were promotoed/appointed not just because of their defection but mainly their reputation and relationships with the higher ups.


Liu Bei didn't have many defections :wink: It was also common outside Shu, someone defects, you give them high ranks including miliatry, say how awesome they are possibly then... well it depends on the defectors ability and trust. Some quickly prove worthy of that rank, others never get used

So Xiahou Ba is political. Jiang Wei got a nice juicy rank even beyond a "hey this guy has made a good first impression" but that first impression got him onto an actual career path. That is exactly the point of such ranks with Wang Ping. With Pang De there isn't any mention of that being a reasoning for Guan Yu and while nice to get a marquis defecting, wouldn't have been anywhere near as prestige as a Ma Chao. Relations with higher ups is political

Sure. But it would be hypocritical.


Possibly but it would be extremely negligent and bad rulership if he didn't do his job of working out which officers are good enough even if the ruler himself may lack in a particular skill

And his generalship skill, martial prowess, Empire-wide reputation, unification of the ethnic minorities for a short period of time, acknowledged as a noble, ambushed Cao Cao and defeated Xiahou Yuan once and etc etc. Also, his defection wasnt 'recent' it came 5yrs plus ago.


Three and 4 is political usefulness for miliatry rank, marquis in itself isn't that useful but Ma Chao's non-noble rank was (also slightly awkward). Isn't the big 4 thing in the immediate aftermath of taking of Yi and where Guan Yu gets unhappy?


He said 'blood sweat and tears' so one would assume frontlines. Regardless, it would be nice if he clarified his own point.

What NO! In comparison to Cao Cao definitely. Sun Quan maybe but Liu Bei still received alot of defections

Liu Bei SGZ states

Many of Liu Cong's supporters and the people of Jing province went over to the Former Lord.


To Establish Peace states

Liu Zhang sent his officers Liu Gui, Leng Bao, Zhang Ren, Deng Xian, Wu Yi and others to oppose Liu Bei.14 They were all defeated and came back to hold Mianzhu,15 while Wu Yi went to Liu Bei's camp to surrender. Then Liu Zhang sent Li Yan of Nanyang and Fei Guan of Jiangxia as Protectors of the Army to take control of all the forces at Mianzhu, but they too brought their troops and surrendered to Liu Bei.16 Liu Bei's army
became stronger and stronger, and he sent some of his officers to pacify and overcome the subordinate counties.


Those who defected to Liu Bei but received ranks only after Sichuan was settled includes Fa Zheng, Gong Chen, Li Hui, Meng Da, Wu Yi etc. If Liu Bei wanted to 'send signals' one would think he would give them ranks. Heck, he didnt even affirm their positions much less give them ranks much less give them high ranks much less a high rank on par with Ma Chao.

Affirming current rank? Frequently so. Giving slight promotions? Maybe. Seems to be a case by case basis. But High military rank? No. Ma Chao was a very special case.

Also, Wang Ping wasnt even given a high rank. Major general is high compared to colonel but not in comparison to Ma Chao.

Anyways, Im discussing Liu Bei plus Shu Han. I dont know why you keep mentioning the other Governments while not even mentioning any examples so you are just creating useless noise.

Excluding Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Ma Chao, the only generals that were acknowledged to be nobility by the official East Han court would be Pang De if he joined Liu Bei regime.

Political? Sure. So I guess it isnt 'ranks for defections' :wink: . Remember, I never denied that relations with higher up was political so I dont know why you bring it up? In fact I said in the beginning

Using that logic, every appointment in the period was also because of 'political purposes'.


What I said was that the 4 people that you mention wasnt 'ranks for defections' like you claimed. I in fact agree that their ranks were more 'political purposes' reputation and relationships. Again, not a simple 'ranks for defections'.

I dont disagree with this view. But regardless Liu Bei admired Ma Chao. Excluding the official edict that you so casually dismiss as simple hype, theres also the anecdote that Liu Bei was very pleased that he exclaimed Yi was his due to Ma Chao offer to join him.

Agreed.

I know. Im just listing all possible reasons why Liu Bei would use/admire Ma Chao. As for the big 4 yes it happened AFTER Sichuan. But I was referring to Ma Chao prestige where he was given equal status with Zhang Fei post Guan Yu death during Shu Han Empire hence the statement

when Liu Bei became Emperor of Shu Han
Liu Bei did nothing wrong.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby PyroMystic » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:51 pm

Is this thread still alive?

Just wondering why people often asked "what if Guan Yu wasn' killed after Fan?" I want to ask a similar question: "what if Guan Yu just surrendered to Wu instead of being a stubborn?"

Also, I didn't know if this has been asked before but:

1. What if Zhao Yun actually joined the battle of Yi Ling? Would Liu Bei stand a chance?

2. What if this Cao Chong (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cao_Chong) survived and ACTUALLY became Cao Cao's successor? Cao Pi himself said "My elder brother (Cao Ang) was a xiaolian and had the right to the succession. If Cangshu was around, I'd not have been able to obtain the empire." (Cangshu is Cao Chong style name)

3. What if Sun Quan did sent his son Sun Deng to Wei (after the incident at Fan)?

4. What if the succession struggle in Wu didn't happen? What I mean is that if Sun He just became an emperor, Sun Hao woud still end up being an emperor. I read somewhere that the reason Sun Hao became such a despicable human being is that his childhood is filled with this kind of misery and adversary within his own family. Suppose all this didn't happen, would Sun Hao be a better emperor or was he just predestined to be the worst emperor in 3K ever?
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:31 pm

Guan Yu: His reputation for honour would be hugely damaged, would probably not be used for some time, Liu Bei still attacks Wu due to wider issues

1) A good officer though Zhao Yun was, I'm not sure what he would bring to change the result. Liu Bei needed an offensive strategist to allow him to try to make something happen

2) Chaos, non eldest son doesn't tend to end well. The ambitious or the Han loyal can pick a Cao to challenge Chong for power and how much support will Chong have in court?

3) Hello hostage. Sun Quan would have to pick another heir but always have the awkwardness of his natural heir (till Deng dies) being in a rival state and Wei would try to use that for political advantage. Deng dying before Quan would provide some limit to how much damage could be done

4) It would certainly have helped Wu but fundamental issues brought about by Quan's ageing and declining grip+overly powerful gentry would still be there. Sun He's weak handling, loss of support and failure to win poltically when heir doesn't fill me with encouragement about his skills.

As for Sun Hao, one does wonder how badly everything he saw (the deaths of Emperors, coups, the destruction of his own father) shaped him, dito the dire straights Wu were in. There is also issue that we don't have a 100% trustworthy sources on Sun Hao who is hit by last king trope. It is possible with a better childhood, not the last king trope and a less dire situation, Sun Hao may have been able to use his intelligence to change things
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby PyroMystic » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:46 am

Dong Zhou wrote:Guan Yu: His reputation for honour would be hugely damaged, would probably not be used for some time, Liu Bei still attacks Wu due to wider issues

1) A good officer though Zhao Yun was, I'm not sure what he would bring to change the result. Liu Bei needed an offensive strategist to allow him to try to make something happen

2) Chaos, non eldest son doesn't tend to end well. The ambitious or the Han loyal can pick a Cao to challenge Chong for power and how much support will Chong have in court?

3) Hello hostage. Sun Quan would have to pick another heir but always have the awkwardness of his natural heir (till Deng dies) being in a rival state and Wei would try to use that for political advantage. Deng dying before Quan would provide some limit to how much damage could be done

4) It would certainly have helped Wu but fundamental issues brought about by Quan's ageing and declining grip+overly powerful gentry would still be there. Sun He's weak handling, loss of support and failure to win poltically when heir doesn't fill me with encouragement about his skills.

As for Sun Hao, one does wonder how badly everything he saw (the deaths of Emperors, coups, the destruction of his own father) shaped him, dito the dire straights Wu were in. There is also issue that we don't have a 100% trustworthy sources on Sun Hao who is hit by last king trope. It is possible with a better childhood, not the last king trope and a less dire situation, Sun Hao may have been able to use his intelligence to change things

Hmmm... But Guan Yu could always escape Wu, I think. He could escape Cao Cao with no harm and Liu Bei seems to be okay with that (at least in the novel). I think if Guan Yu surrendered for some time, Yi Ling could be prevented and some time later Guan Yu could return to Shu, effectively avoiding Shu's demise. So, I still think Guan Yu being stubborn is just not a good idea. He could do to Sun Quan what he did to Cao Cao (assuming Sun Quan was willing to accept his surrender).

On a side note, does anyone see the parallel between Lu Bu and Guan Yu? when Lu Bu was captured and Cao Cao was thinking about recruiting him, Liu Bei told him not to do so and causing the death of the greatest warrior of Three Kingdoms. Now when Guan Yu was captured and Sun Quan was thinking about recruiting him (I don't know if this is a novel-only material or historical), Lu Meng told him not to do so and causing the death of the (presumably, of at least what people believe) greatest warrior of Three Kingdoms after Lu Bu?

3) On the contrary, however, perhaps Sun Deng's death could be prevented (the Weis wouldn't kill him, would they? Or perhaps I'm being too optimistic). What I am thinking is that since Lady Sun (Sun Shangxiang) could flee from Shu, Sun Deng being (presumably) stronger than Lady Sun would find it easier to escape Wei if the time is right?

4) Wait, are you saying that Sun He was a weak ruler? I know he could not gain the support of some young officials but the older ones were supporting him. He would be in a pretty strong position, I think, if Sun Luban didn't slander his mother. Also, you seem to be saying that Sun He was not qualified to be the successor because he's incapable of being a strong, charismatic ruler like Sun Quan was. If this is true, how do you know about this? Is there any account saying Sun He not being a good enough successor?
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:08 pm

Cao Cao let him go and Guan Yu would be heavily watched by Wu to prevent such escape. Liu Bei needs Jing and needs to show it is not Wu's puppet after a second invasion in a few years, I can't see Liu Bei letting the loss of Jing go. Guan Yu was a defeated captured general, Sun Quan was a warlord safe in his lands, different kinds of surrender with very different options.

I see the comparison your making and novel only I think

It is possible Sun Deng doesn't suffer the same illness that killed him and given the use of political hostage Sun Deng would be, I doubt Wei would kill him. SSX was in Jing, next to Wu, her own personal bodyguards, probably the element of suprise, Wu navy and she may have used Liu Shan as a hostage. Sun Deng would have had none of these and would have been in Ye or Xuchang so a lot harder to escape

Weak heir, he failed to gain some key figures of Wu's support despite the advantage of being heir. He couldn't command the gentry, he couldn't command family, he allowed things to spiral away from him. I base it on his struggles as heir and there doesn't seem to be anything to suggest Sun He would be a good ruler. Maybe there is something in Sun He's biography or something I missed that suggests he could be a good ruler or had real potential but I haven't seen anything but loss of support and failure in political sphere.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Elitemsh » Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:41 pm

Wasn’t Guan Yu immediately killed upon capture? I don’t think he was given the option (there was some source but was unreliable if I remember right).

On Zhao Yun and Yi Ling. Agree with Dong Zhou that although Zhao Yun was a good general, he‘s more of a warrior. Not a strategist although he could use tactics on a smaller scale. You didn’t ask about this but I’ll say it anywhere, I am one of the rare ones in believing that Liu Bei was completely wrong in attaching Wu. Although, I get that he may have appeared weak if he didn’t, I don’t think that was a priority. Think Zhao Yun’s argument has good merit and more wisdom than it first appears.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:05 pm

Guan Yu's SGZ states:
Quán had already occupied Jiānglíng and captured all the wives and children of Yǔ’s soldiers, and Yǔ’s army therefore all deserted. Quán sent officers to intercept and attack Yǔ, beheading Yǔ and his son Píng at Línjǔ. (3)

Shǔjì states:
Quán sent his Generals to attack Yǔ, and captured Yǔ and his son Píng. Quán wished to keep Yǔ alive to use against Liú [Bèi] and Cáo [Cāo], but his attendants said: “A wolf cub cannot be raised, or else later it will certainly do harm. Lord Cáo did not destroy him, bringing on himself great misfortune so that he even discussed moving the capital. Now how can be be left alive?” Therefore they beheaded him.

Your Servant Sōngzhī comments that according to Wúshū, Sūn Quán sent his officer Pān Zhāng to cut off Yǔ’s escape route, and when Yǔ arrived he was beheaded. Moreover, Línjǔ is two to three hundred lǐ from Jiānglíng. How could there be enough time to kill Yǔ after discussing on whether to keep alive or kill? Also the saying: “Quán wished to keep Yǔ alive to use against Liú [Bèi] and Cáo [Cāo],” this cannot be, and can by no means come from the mouth of the knowledgeable.
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:47 pm

Fair point, I stand very much corrected
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Re: The "What If" Thread

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:04 am

PyroMystic wrote:Hmmm... But Guan Yu could always escape Wu, I think. He could escape Cao Cao with no harm and Liu Bei seems to be okay with that (at least in the novel). I think if Guan Yu surrendered for some time, Yi Ling could be prevented and some time later Guan Yu could return to Shu, effectively avoiding Shu's demise. So, I still think Guan Yu being stubborn is just not a good idea. He could do to Sun Quan what he did to Cao Cao (assuming Sun Quan was willing to accept his surrender).


How can a lone old rebel accompanied only by his son could survive against hundred or thousand of angry and wary soldier chasing him?
Umm, aside of Novel though, the kindhearted Cao let the long beard rebel Yu go. Unlike the angry blue eyed Quan who wanted his head, thats pretty much notable difference.

Okay, here it is:
Cao Cao: "We're cool?"
Guan Yu: "Cool! *:wink:*"

Sun Quan: "We're cool?"
Guan Yu: (glaring at Quan, as if he wanted to behead Quan)
Sun Quan: (felt insulted, glare back, order his men to chase and behead Yu) :mrgreen:


On a side note, does anyone see the parallel between Lu Bu and Guan Yu? when Lu Bu was captured and Cao Cao was thinking about recruiting him, Liu Bei told him not to do so and causing the death of the greatest warrior of Three Kingdoms. Now when Guan Yu was captured and Sun Quan was thinking about recruiting him (I don't know if this is a novel-only material or historical), Lu Meng told him not to do so and causing the death of the (presumably, of at least what people believe) greatest warrior of Three Kingdoms after Lu Bu?


I think it was right Cao Cao kill the man, Lu Bu was only loyal to himself. About Liu Bei advises thing is part of novel i think. i doubt Lu Bu was the greatest warrior anyway, he even lose to Li Jue and Guo Si on Changan so far i know.
I dont think Sun Quan wanted to keep Guan Yu, maybe it's just crosses his mind once. He was beheaded the moment he is captured just like Elitemesh and the annotation from Daolun quote there.

Dong Zhou wrote:As for Sun Hao, one does wonder how badly everything he saw (the deaths of Emperors, coups, the destruction of his own father) shaped him, dito the dire straights Wu were in. There is also issue that we don't have a 100% trustworthy sources on Sun Hao who is hit by last king trope. It is possible with a better childhood, not the last king trope and a less dire situation, Sun Hao may have been able to use his intelligence to change things


Im not sure even with better childhood, that Sun Hao would change things. I remember reading somewhere, it wasn't his intelligence that causes the fall of Wu. It was how he underestimate his enemies is, not to mention his overconfidence on Wu's natural barrier, the River. Wasn't it mentioned he neglecting to station any defense just because he believed Jin wouldn't invade Wu because of those natural barrier?
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