The Unorthodox Thirty-Six Strategies of Erepublik/Confusion 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 "Confusion Strategies" aim to confuse a pursuing enemy to throw him off his guard. In this way, valuable time can be gained in making one's escape.

Stealing the Firewood from Under the Pot

 During the war between Cao Cao and Yuan Shao in the Three Kingdoms period, the warlord Cao Cao received the visit of one of the imperial generals, Xu Yu, who inquired about their current situation. Cao Cao replied, "We have only one month of supplies left while General Yuan has a year's worth of provisions stored within easy access at his garrison at Wu Chao. As it stands now we will be defeated within a month".

General Yu thereupon devised the following stratagem. He ordered a division of his elite cavalry to dress as Yuan troops and to muffle their horses' hooves by wrapping them in cloth. The disguised cavalry set out the next night carrying Yuan banners. Whenever they encountered a real Yuan patrol or checkpoint, the captain would tell them they were safeguarding Yuan's rear against a possible sneak attack. Silently arriving at the garrison by dawn, the elite cavalry took the Yuan troops by surprise and succeeded in setting fire to the stores. When the report made its way through the Yuan army that their provisions had been destroyed, they quickly surmised that they were now the ones at risk of starvation. The Yuan troops lost their will to fight and three days later General Yuan Shao was defeated and killed.

When faced with an enemy too powerful to engage directly you must first weaken him by undermining his foundation and attacking his source of power. The source of an opponent's strength lies in either wealth, resources or manpower. If in wealth, cause him to incur in expenses, if in resources, disrupt the lines of distribution, if in manpower, sow discord.

When you are preparing a war, you can study where is the strength of the enemy and attack that point with unusual strategies.

To attack the wealth, you can attack their monetary market to force their money to lose value. A sharp govern will settle this issue in few moments, but the population and the companies will suffer and weaken their economy (reducing the number of resources they'll be able to buy for the war).

To attack the resources, you can launch some agents, buy or create companies and force an important drop in the prices, when the prices are really low and the war is going to begin you can buy all the stock from other companies and retire your own from the market (you can even sell your own stock in your country). This'll lower the number of items in the market and the global defense.

If you must reduce the manpower, you only have to increase the internal fights and disputes. An ancient proverb says: "A lie told by one, becomes truth when told by hundreds", use the media wisely to create internal discord in the files of your enemy.

Trouble the Water to Catch the Fish

 In the Spring and Autumn period the armies of Jin and Chu faced each other at Chengbu. Chu sent an envoy to Jin requesting to fight a chariot duel the next day to which the Jin ruler, Duke Wen, agreed. In the morning Duke Wen climbed to the top of an observation tower and looking down on his camp's preparations said, "Young and old conduct themselves according to ritual. They are fit for use!". He then ordered his troops to cut down trees to be used as part of an unorthodox tactic.

While the chariot duel was underway Duke Wen launched a sudden cavalry attack against the Chu right wing causing it to collapse in. At the same time as the right was being pushed into the main body, the Jin troops in the center raised the retreat pennants and began pulling back. As the Jin troops retreated they dragged behind them the trees they had cut down earlier that morning. This raised such a dust cloud that the Chu commanders thought Jin were fleeing in panic and eagerly gave chase. When the main body of the Chu army was enveloped in the cloud of dust they were unable to see that the Jin forces had split into two divisions and had turned around. Jin attacked in a classical pincer movement on both of the Chu flanks.

The result was a resounding defeat after which the Chu general was ordered to commit suicide. Duke Wen had taken advantage of the distraction provided by the chariot duel to launch both a surprise attack and a fake retreat, manipulation the Chu forces into a trap.

Before engaging your enemy's forces to create confusion to weaken his perception and judgment. Do something unusual, strange, and unexpected as this will arouse the enemy's suspicion and disrupt his thinking. A distracted enemy is thus more vulnerable. Magicians, card sharks, pickpockets and prize fighters rely on this trait to momentarily trap the person's attention elsewhere while they secretly carry out another action.

In the middle of a war, create commotion and discussions in the enemy's media, to distract them. Comment or PM trolls will distract the enemy's attention and you'll be able to take other actions (like international conversations with other countries or empty their market) lowering the possibilities to be uncovered.

You can also distract the attention of the enemy leaders while you prepare the war. Create flood in their media or inbox to increase their work, and lower their performance. You can also use online chats for this.

Shed your Skin like the Golden Cicada

 During one of the northern expeditions of Zhuge Liang during the Three Kingdoms period, the Prime Minister of the Shu Empire, Zhuge Liang, had the upper hand in front of Sima Yi. Sima Yi uses a traitor to spread rumours in the capital about Zhuge Liang. The emperor of Shu afraid of the rumours recall him to the capital, and take away his military powers so that he cannot rebel.

The edict arrived to Zhuge Liang in Qishan. "The Emperor is young, and there are some jealous persons by his side," said Zhuge Liang sadly. "I was just going to achieve some solid success. Why am I recalled? If I go not, I shall insult my Prince. If I retire, I shall never get such a chance again. "If the army retires, Sima Yi will attack", said Jian Wei. "I will retire in five divisions. Thus today this camp goes. Supposing that there are a thousand soldiers in the camp, then I shall have two thousand cooking places prepared, or if there are three thousand soldiers, then four thousand cooking plates shall be got ready, and so on, increasing the cooking arrangements as the troops are sent away."

Yan Yi said, "In the days of old, when Sun Bin was attacking Pang Juan, Sun Bin decreased the cooking arrangements as the soldiers were increased. Why do you reverse this, o Prime Minister?"

"Because Sima Yi is an able leader and would pursue if he knew we were retreating. But he would recognize the probability of an ambush; and if he sees an increase in the cooking arrangements in a camp, he will be unable to conclude whether the troops have gone or not, and he will not pursue. Thus I shall gradually withdraw without loss." The order for retreat was given, and when the Wei scouts told Sima Yi that the enemy's camps were empty, he rode out himself to inspect the camps. Sima Yi count the stoves. Next day he paid a second visit to another empty camp, and again the cooking stoves were counted. The count showed an increase of a half.

"I felt sure that Zhuge Liang would have more troops ready. He has increased the cooking arrangements, and so, if we pursue, he will be ready for us. No! We also will retire and await another opportunity."

So there was no pursuit, and Zhuge Liang did not lose a soldier on his retreat to Hanzhong.

It's a well known rule of war that troops are extremely vulnerable when retreating. When you are in danger of being defeat and your only chance is to escape and regroup, then create an illusion to divert or slow potential pursuers. While the enemy's attention is focused on this artifice, secretly remove your men leaving behind only the facade of your presence. Retreat in Erepublik is very different from real life, troops aren't so vulnerable while retreating. In the game, there are only two situations were a cautious retreat may be needed.

In battle, there are times when you need to retreat your troops from a battle zone without letting the enemy know about that. It can be a withdrawal from a battle to preserve the wellness of the soldiers and their weapons, or a withdrawal of citizens in a state under attack to safer states. You can always create a distraction to hide the withdrawal for some time to the enemy if it can help your plans.

In war, friendly troops, mercenaries or international soldiers may receive orders to withdraw from the battle and leave the country. This can be very problematic for the local troops, and can increase the morale of the enemy. This can be the best time for an enemy attack, so attract their attention to other matters may be the difference between a victory and a defeat. Use the press, menaces from other countries, whatever you can to confuse the enemy and hide the retreat of your allies.

Shutting the Doors to Catch the Thief

 During the Warring States period the state of Wu had invaded the state of Yue and carried off its duke, Guo Jian, holding him prisoner for three years before releasing him back to his kingdom. When he returned, Guo Jian planned his revenge. For seven years he ruled with benevolence and generosity, making a reputation as a wise and virtuous ruler until he felt his loyal subjects were prepared to undergo any hardship for him. He accordingly assembled his forces and attacked Wu, gaining a decisive victory.

The king of Wu had to flee, but it would only be a matter of time before he was caught he sent ambassadors to Guo Jian begging for mercy. They reminded him of how the state of Wu had released him to return to his own state. The king of Wu now asked to be granted the same favor.

Guo Jian was contemplating granting this appeal when his prime minister Fan Li intervened and said, "When heaven gave the duke of Wu the grand opportunity for gaining power, he did not take advantage of it, and so he is a fugitive today. Should you fail to accept what fortune has now give you, you may be driven from your state, and then all the years of hardships you have borne will have been endured in vain". The duke was swayed by the argument and sent the ambassador back with the message that he would not grant any mercy. When the king of Wu received the message he gave up all hope and committed suicide.

If you have the chance to completely capture the enemy, then you should do so, thereby bringing the battle or war to a quick and lasting conclusion. While it's dangerous to corner your opponent into fighting to the death, it's equally dangerous to allow that opponent to escape with a hope of revenge. When you have your enemy cornered, leave a door open until his thoughts turn to escape and freedom, then close the trap and destroy him.

When you are invading an enemy country, you must always let an exit for your enemies, but if you can end the war with a single decisive strike your best option is to defeat your enemy and talk later. After all their expectancies have been lost and their morale is low, it's the moment to strike before they can prepare themselves for a final battle to the death.

Sometimes is better to obtain the new conquered territories but expel their citizens to avoid a future "independence war". This is common when your country has many citizens and your enemy are few in number. For this, you must destroy all their hopes to play in your country. Tell them, they'll be unable to find workers for their companies, they will not win any local election, and you are going to use your local language to difficult their integration. They'll leave your country and go to others, some of them will maintain their hopes to recover the country in the future, but other will begin to play in their new destiny and forget about the revenge.

Befriend the Far and Attack the Near

 The states of Jin and Qin joined forces to attack the state of Zheng. They laid siege to the capital, trapping the king in the city. Vastly outnumbered, the king of Zheng could not hope to win militarily, the prime minister said, "The state is in imminent peril. If you summon your old adviser, Chu Zhiwu, and send him to Qin, I'm sure he can convince them to depart."

The king agreed and summoned the old advisor to explain his mission. That night Chu was lowered from the walls on a rope and he secretly made his way into the Qin camp. Meeting with the earl of Qin he said, "With Jin and Qin both besieging its capital, Zheng knows that it must perish. If the ruin of Zheng were to be of benefit to you I would not dare to speak to you. But you know what difficulties could arise in trying to maintain such a distant border from your capital. It would be constantly threatened by other states. Of what advantage is it to you to destroy Zheng to benefit your neighbor? His advantage will be your disadvantage. And moreover, previously you helped the duke of Jin to attain his position and he promised you two cities as a reward. But as soon as he was in his own state again he built defenses around the two cities. Surely you can see that he is greedy. If you help him to annex Zheng to his domains, who will be next to lose territory to his insatiable hunger? Furthermore, if you agree to depart, the king of Zheng will give you provisions for your army and gifts for yourself. Surely this is no injury. But I leave it up to you to decide whether to diminish Zhen in order to advantage Jin."

The next morning the Qin army left the field. When the duke of Jin saw them returning he also withdrew and Zheng was spared.

It's well known that a friend of your enemy becomes your enemy while an enemy of your enemy becomes your friend, but it's also true that nations that border each other become enemies while nations separated by distance and obstacles make better allies. When you are the strongest in one field, your greatest threat is from the second strongest in your field, not the strongest from another field. Every powerful person, organization, or state will automatically create people, groups and organizations that stand in opposition to it. To attack any objective, one can enlist the aid of those institutions that are the antithesis of your opponent's.

Borrow the Road to Conquer Guo

 During the Spring and Autumn period, the small states of Yu and Guo bordered the larger state of Jin. Duke Xian of Jin desired to conquer both states. This desire was not unknown to the two smaller states and both had taken steps to defend their borders with Jin. The duke's general, Xin Xi, suggested they make a roundabout attack at Guo through the state of Yu to catch them by surprise. General Xun suggested that since the duke of Yu was a greedy man he could be brided with gifts of jade and horses in exchange for safe passage through his territory. Duke Xian objected to the idea of giving away so much treasure and asked, "What if the duke of Yu accepts our gifts but refuses us passage?" General Xun replied, "If he doesn't intend to let us through, then he wouldn't accept them, but if he does accept the gifts, and he does let us through, then it will only mean that the treasure is stored temporarily in his storehouse rather than ours."

When the bride was sent to the duke of Yu one of his ministers, Gong Ziqi, cautioned against accepting them saying, "Yu is to Guo, like lips are to teeth. Our ancestors had a saying: 'If the lips are gone, the teeth will be exposed to cold.' Guo's existence depends on Yu, while Yu's ability to survive hinges on Guo. If we make way for Jin, then the day will see Guo perish in the morning only to be follower by Yu in the evening. Why should we ever let Jin pass?"

The duke of Yu, however, redused to listen to this advice. Jin was given safe passage and succeeded in conquering Guo. On their way back they stopped to conquered Yu. After taking the Yu capital and recovering the treasure, General Xun returned the jade and horses to the duke. Duke Xian was pleased and said in good humor, "The jade is untouched but the horses seem to have gained some more teeth!".

In the struggle for power, alliances are formed only if both parties believe they can profit from each other. These alliances last until one party no longer finds profit in the other. The aid you lend an ally might as easily be used against you. It depends whether your ally should find it more profitable to return the favor, or become your enemy. If you borrow the resources of an ally to attack a common enemy, you'll be able to use those resources to attack your ally when your enemy is defeated.

The difference with the strategy "Killing with a Borrowed Sword" is that you use another's sword to attack, but do the dirty work yourself, and finally, you attack the person from whom you borrowed the sword.

This can be achieve easily if you convince an ally to lend you their troops. You can let their troops fight, while you reserve your stronger soldiers and best weapons. When that war has ended, you'll be able to attack again your own ally and conquer both countries. This can be easy, when your country is under attack. You can use the MPP to defend yourself, and when the war has ended attack your own allies when they are still weak.