"Yuan Shao has many soldiers, but his government is not well-ordered. Tian Feng is stubborn and insubordinate; Xu You is greedy and ill-disciplined. Shen Pei is self-opinionated and lacks original ideas; Pang Ji is too adventurous and independent. People like that find it hard to co-operate, and they will certainly disrupt his councils. Yan Liang and Wen Chou have the bravery of common fellows. One battle will be enough to deal with them."
DragonAtma wrote:Can we be certain that Xun Yu was correct? No.
But Xun Yu was incredibly intelligent, and the SGZ says that Yuan Shao treated him an an honored guest -- which probably included introducing him to Yuan Shao's top officers. Sure, he may be underrating Yuan Shao's officers, but I would beware of completely ignoring his criticism -- especially since Yan Liang and Wen Chou both managed to die in minor* skirmishes.
* Yan Liang led 10,000 troops at Doma. Wen Chou led 5,000-6,000 at Yan Ford. Yet Yuan Shao led a whopping 110,000 troops at Guandu -- that's a whopping seven times what "elite" generals Yan Liang and Wen Chou had combined.
DragonAtma wrote:It's not how many troops they had; it's that it was minor skirmishes at best, and nobody important should have died, especially since Yan Liang and Wen Chou outnumbered their foes. Wen Chou, in particular, had a ratio of between 8-1 and 10-1!
But if you prefer, keep in mind that neither Yan Liang nor Wen Chou could handle Cao Cao's ruses. Also keep in mind that no less than the Zizhi Tongjian says that Ju Shou felt -- quite correctly -- that Yan Liang couldn't handle his task alone.
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