The Unorthodox Thirty-Six Strategies of Erepublik/Advantageous Strategies

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The Unorthodox Thirty-Six Strategies of Erepublik

Opportunistic Strategies · Offensive Strategies · Desperate Strategies · Deception Strategies · Confusion Strategies · Advantageous Strategies

The "Advantageous Strategies" are used in situations when time and resources are to one's advantage, when there is no need to rush, and detailed planning can be carried out.

Deceiving the Heavens to Cross the Sea

 General Li Mu was given the command responsible for defending Yanmen (Nomadic horsemen that occupied the central Asian steppes) against the Xiongnu who were constantly raiding the territories. When Li Mu first arrived, all his officials recommended to launch attacks against the local tribes. Instead he focused his efforts on training and nurturing the border troops, ensuring they were well fed and paid. He further ordered that, should the Xiongnu attack, all troops were to retreat into one of the fortified towns that were scattered throughout the countryside and merely defend. Under no circumstances were they to engage the enemy.

For several years, anytime a Xiongnu raiding party entered the territory they found the people and soldiers already holed up behind defensive walls with precious little left in the countryside to plunder. Eventually the Xiongnu and even Li Mu's own soldiers thought that, though he was a virtuous commander, he was also a coward. The border troops, after years of training without engaging in battle, became restless for combat. When Li Mu saw the eagerness for battle amongst his troops he decide to act. First he sent his best troops to set up an ambush several days march away. Then he had herds of cattle and their drivers released to graze in the fields with only a few soldiers to watch over them. When a Xiongnu raiding party happened upon the cattle they attacked and sent the soldiers fleeing. The raiding party sent word back to their Khan that the Chinese had abandoned the country leaving herds of cattle and lightly defended villages behind. The Khan raised a tremendous host to invade the Chinese territory. Expecting no resistance from the 'cowardly' Li Mu, they were easily led into the ambush. More than a hundred thousand Xiongnu horsemen were killed. For ten years thereafter, not a single raiding party dared to cross the border.

With a strong control of media and the actions of soldiers, the military leader can deceive their enemy to lax their guard. A full control of your troops is needed to successfully use this strategy, because you must appear to be a fool unprepared for war.

Your main troops must remain inactive, keeping your wellness high and their better weapons, while they train everyday. The media can't talk about the war during this period of time, and foreign and friendly soldiers must be welcome and encouraged to fight everyday. The military leader can disappear for some days (don't train, work or write comments/articles), and some newspapers write about it, criticizing the military leadership and the govern. You can even give up a minor state to seem more weak. Another way you can use this strategy is to spread misinformation about the planned date for a invasion (even start the war declaration many times without being approved). Repeating this many times, your enemies will grew used to the false information.

After some days or weeks, when both sides are exhausted and without weapons, the foreign troops can announce their withdrawal after a defensive battle. During the next day, the enemy will need to defend their own battlefronts with unprepared and unsuspecting troops. The perfect moment to attack with your fresh soldiers, and demoralize the enemy. During the next days, your troops will have the upper hand, with their military leader at the vanguard and using their best tactics.

Besieging Wei to save Zhao

 Duke Wen of Qin had decided to invade Wei, so he called in the feudal nobles to lay out his plans for attack. However he was interrupted by the laughter coming from one of the nobles named Kong Zichu.

“May I ask the source of your amusement?” asked the duke.

“I was laughing at a man in my neighborhood and some gossip I heard” replied Kong. “It seems one day he was walking home with his wife when he spotted a lovely maiden gathering mulberry leaves by the roadside. No sooner did he escape his wife to go flirt with the girl when, upon turning around, he saw another man making love to his wife. I was just thinking about the story and I couldn't help but laugh.”

Seeing the moral of this story Duke Wen canceled his invasion plans and recalled his army from its march. No sooner had the Qin army returned when they were sent out to stop an invasion on their own northern border by an unexpected enemy.

During the incessant wars between the various kingdoms of the Warring States Period, any kingdom that attacked another was in danger of being attacked by a third country from the rear. This strategy was used to maintain a certain degree of military status quo. If any one kingdom attacked another, the rest would sit back and watch the outcome. But if it looked as though one kingdom was going to become too powerful, then the other kingdoms would unite to cut the ambitious state back down to size.

The same game can be player in Erepublik. When a country attacks another, it's the best time to launch a surprise attack against one of them. Both of the countries will become weaker day after day, but after the war, it can be too late to take action.

Furthermore, to confront a strong opponent in a head to head contest of strength is the most costly and least favorable method of war. Instead, while the enemy is preoccupied with other objectives you must attack something of value that he has left behind unguarded. In this case, if you want to help a friend country against a common neighbor, your best strategy is to wait until your enemy is weakened and then launch a surprise attack. Your common enemy will be demoralized and weak, and you'll be able to achieve a total victory.

Killing with a Borrowed Sword

 One day a fox was wandering through the woods distracted when he was suddenly surprised by a tiger who was to eat him. It was too late to run away, so the fox had to think quickly. Nonchalantly he asked, “Tiger why are you here, are you not afraid of me?”

“Why should I be afraid of you?” asked the tiger.

“Because I'm the king of the jungle”, said the fox.

“Ridiculous!” replied the Tiger. “I'm the king of the jungle.”

“Well if you don't believe me I'll prove it. Just follow me as I walk through the jungle and see for yourself if the other animals do not run away at my approach.”

The tiger agreed and so the fox began to walk, with the tiger following closely behind. As the other animals spotted the fox they also saw the tiger and they ran away. After a while the fox turned to the tiger and said, “See how they scatter when I approach. Do you believe me now?”

“It seems I was wrong”, said the perplexed Tiger, and he sulked away into the jungle.

To succeed in any endeavor one must be frugal in expending one's resources. Where possible, use trickery and deception to appropriate the strength of others while conserving your own. Trick an ally into attacking him, bride an official to turn traitor, or use the enemy's own strength against him.

Attack your enemy before starting the war. Find out who are the most capable military advisers of your enemy, and spread rumors among their enemies and rivals to difficult their defense. If you achieve to provoke a war between your objective and another country, you'll be capable to attack when they are weakened and conquer both countries. Use the power of others to achieve your goals, and hit when best serves your purposes.

Conserving Energy while the Enemy Tires himself out

 At the Spring and Autumn Period, the state of Qi attacked the state of Lu. When the two armies met at Chang Shao, Duke Zhuang of Lu wanted to beat the drums and begin his advance, but he was dissuaded by his chief advisor Cao Gui who said, “Not yet”. Only after the Qi troops had beaten their drums three times did Cao cry, “now is the time to beat ours!”.

The Lu troops then charged and defeat the Qi. The duke was eager to pursue the retreating Qi troops when he was again stopped by Cao who said, “Not yet”. Cao then dismounted his chariot and went to inspect the tracks made by the retreating Qi troops. When he climbed back aboard he said, “All right, lets pursue them”. The Qi troops were thus driven out of the Lu territory.

After the victory the duke asked Cao Gui the reason for his actions, to which Cao replied: “In battle, it's all a matter of morale. The first beating of the drum is to rouse the soldiers to action. If no action is taken, then, at the second beating, their morale begins to dwindle, and at the third it is gone. When the enemy was at the end of their enthusiasm, we were at the peak of ours. That is the time to attack. Because of this we were able to defeat them. But in dealing with seasoned generals it's often difficult to see through their tactics. I was therefore afraid that they might have made an ambush. But when I found that during their retreat their chariot tracks were disorderly and their banners discarded, I knew we could chase them out.

While there are circumstances when it's necessary for an army to hurry to the battlefield in order to command the advantage of terrain, or weather, it's more often a mistake to rush to battle without a definite advantage for doing so. You must always choose the time and place for battle for your own advantage. In this way, you know when and where the battle will take place, while your enemy does not.

Encourage your enemy to expend his energy and weapons attacking your battle-zones, without attack theirs until you really want. When he is exhausted and confused, you'll be ready to attack with energy and purpose, and use the surprise and your superiority to beat him. Your enemy will taunt and provoke you using the press, but keep your troops in order, and fight only when you want to do so.

Looting a Burning House

 During the Warring States period, Qi and Han were allies when Zhang Yi, attacked Han. They asked Qi for assistance. The king of Qi said, “Han is our ally and since Qin has attacked them, we must go to their rescue”. But his minister Su Tianchen disagreed saying, “Your majesty's planning is faulty. You should merely agree to assist Han but take no action there. However, in the kingdom of Yan, their king has recently resigned the throne to his despised prime minister. This has enraged both the noble and the common people, causing turmoil at court. Now, if Qin attacks Han, Chu and Zhao will surely come to their aid, and this will be as good as heaven bestowing Yan upon us.”

The king approved and promised the Han envoy assistance before sending him back to Han believing he had Qi's backing. When Qin attacked Han, Chu and Zhao intervened as expected. While all the major kingdoms were thrus engaged in the battle for Han, Qi stealthily attacked Yan. Within thirty days Yan was captured.

Through the time, the death of every civilization is brought on by three events: starvation, disease and war. A culture suffering from any two becomes the target for the third. When a country is beset by internal conflicts, when their market is empty of vital products (food, gifts, weapons), when corruption and political division are rampant, then it's the best time to attack.

Wait until your enemy is weak before beat him to death. With internal division they won't be capable to form a common and organized defense, and their soldiers will be demoralized. With an empty market, they'll depend of imports or international travels, and this will increase the prices and the war cost. You can achieve this situations with the other strategies.

Internal disorder can be achieved with spies and local agents, but also with citizens seized when their countries where invaded by your enemy. The local rebels can be devote allies.

Clamor in the East, Attack in the West

 In the year 200 A.D. Yuan Shao was fighting against Cao Cao at the battle of Guan Du. The numerically superior forces of Yuan Shao sent a division to attack the small city of Baima situated to the rear of Cao Cao's army. Yuan Shao hoped this maneuver would cut off his enemy's communications, supply lines and avenue of escape.

When reports came in that Baima was under siege, Cao Cao called together his advisors to plan a way out of their precarious situation. They could not go directly to Baima since they would be vastly outnumbered and surprised by their rear, yet they could not allow Yuan Shao to occupy such a strategic position.

Then one advisor suggested a feint against Yuan Shao's old stronghold at the city of Ye. Cao Cao led personally an army towards Ye. When Yuan Shao heard that Cao Cao had crossed the river and was heading towards Ye, he and half of his forces went with the intention of trapping Cao Cao between Ye and his reinforcements.

Meanwhile, Cao Cao had reversed directions in the middle of the night and, through a forced march arrived at Baima before dawn. There Yuan Shao's remaining troops were completely taken by surprise and annihilated.

In any fight the element of surprise can provide an overwhelming advantage. Even when face to face with an enemy, surprise can still be employed by attacking where he least expects it. To do this, you must create an expectation in the enemy's mind through the use of a feint. Fill a battlefield with your troops or attack that zone constantly, while the others are empty (or doesn't receive attacks). When the right moment arrives, strike with full force against your true objective.

This can be used as an efficient battle strategy. The enemy will expect your final attack in a battlefield, but you'll strike into another, surprising their forces and reducing their defensive response.