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October 09 2017

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This makes me angrier than Star Trek Generations.

Fuck all 25 of those people.

October 06 2017

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Wen Hu’s on first?

October 04 2017

Anyone, wise or foolish, can see that Wu will fall soon. But it will not be this day. My fear is that when the soldiers from the Shu region reach this place, our soldiers’ hearts will be shaken and afraid, and we will not be able to calm them again. But if we cross the Yangzi now, we may still fight a decisive battle. If we should suffer a mournful defeat, then we will die with the state, and there will be no cause for further regrets. But should we win a victory, and the northern foe is driven back, then the strength of our soldiers will swell to unfathomable levels.
— Zhang Ti

October 03 2017

Cao Cao lived at a time when the Dynasty of Han was collapsing and the empire was falling into ruin, and he became a leader in a time of destruction and civil war. He proved himself on the battlefield as a brilliant tactician and strategist, he restored a degree of civil government over the greater part of north China, and not only was he a fine poet in his own right, but he presided over one of the most splendid periods of literature in early China. Few men in any society have demonstrated such talent and achievement, and still fewer have received such attention from posterity.
— Rafe de Crespigny (via daolunofshiji)

September 29 2017

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WASHINGTON—Saying it was time for people to pick up their phones and let themselves be heard, liberal activist Adam Kramer encouraged citizens Friday to call their late-night hosts and urge them to oppose the new GOP tax plan. “Okay, everyone, start dialing and let your talk show hosts know they have an obligation to come out against this new tax proposal,” said Kramer in a Facebook post, providing the phone numbers for Last Week Tonight, Full Frontal, and The Late Show so that progressives could explain why the shows should firmly oppose the proposed plan. “We must band together to put pressure on the entertainers who can effect real change and let them know that we’re looking to them to put a stop to this grotesque redistribution of wealth to the upper class.” At press time, the activists were optimistic but said it wasn’t over until all the monologues were tallied.

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@daolunofshiji make up your damn mind

(9.6) Cáo Zhēn 曹真 [Zǐdān 子丹]

September 28 2017

Official colors of Chinese dynasties and faction colors in Dynasty Warriors and Sanguosha


<Yesterday I’ve accidentally posted the draft of this post. Oops! Please delete if you reblogged the previous version!>

Ancient Chinese believed in the Cycle of the Five Elements idea: the elements are Wood (Green/East), Fire (Red/South), Earth (Yellow/Center), Metal (White/West), Water (Black/North). All Five Elements are in constant move and pass through cyclical changes (phases). The main cycles are the Generating cycle and the Destructing cycle.

The Generating Cycle: one element (serving as parent) strengthens and promotes growth of the following element (serving as child): Wood feeds Fire -> Fire creates Earth (ash) -> Earth bears Metal -> Metal collects Water -> Water nourishes Wood:


The Destructing cycle is when one element suppresses, weakens another element: Wood breaks the ground (Earth) -> Earth soaks up Water -> Water puts out Fire -> Fire melts Metal -> Metal chops Wood:


There is also the Weakening cycle, which is basically the Destructing cycle in reverse order: Earth can bury Wood -> Water washes away Earth -> Fire evaporates Water, etc. 

Because of this belief, each dynasty was associated with one of the elements of the Generating cycle. Therefore flags and formal dress of each dynasty used the color that represented its corresponding element in this cycle: Green for Wood, Red for Fire, Yellow for Earth, White for Metal, Black for Water.

The colors could also be changed during one dynasty’s rule: the Han empire went from Black (Water; inherited from Qin) to Yellow (Earth) in 104 BCE to Red (Fire) in 27CE. But this applied only to the color of the flag: the official dress color of Han always remained Black.

The official color of the Wei empire was Yellow, and its element - Earth, according to the Cycle, since Wei succeeded Han. (I’m not 100% sure, but I believe Wei, like Han, also retained Black as its official dress color, that’s why sometimes Wei colors are said to be Yellow and Black: Yellow flags, Black formal clothes.)

The official color of Shu was Red, since Shu postulated itself as the continuation of Han, not as a new dynasty/empire, and so adopted Han’s color and element.

The official color of Wu was Green. Apparently, they wanted to stress their independence from the North and positioned themselves as a new state completely unrelated to the Han empire, so they “reset” the Cycle and chose its first element.

Jin had Red official color, despite its Cycle element being Metal (White): it was postulated (by Fu Xuan) that the official color should only be changed if a dynasty was destroyed as a result of a war. Since the transition from Han to Wei to Jin was peaceful, the official color was “reset” to that of Han. After Jin, this became customary.

So, historically, the colors of the Three Kingdoms + Jin were the following:
Wei - Yellow (with Black for official dress)
Shu - Red
Wu - Green
Jin - Red

Chinese card game Sanguosha basically follows the historical tradition when it comes to colors:
Wei - Blue
Shu - Red
Wu - Green

In Dynasty Warriors the colors are different:
Wei - Dark Blue
Shu - Green
Wu - Red
Jin - Light Blue 

It’s interesting that both games avoid using Yellow for Wei. Probably in order not to confuse Wei with the Yellow Turban rebels. (Or because Yellow has a strong association with the legitimate imperial power.)

As for Wei being Blue in both games: Black lacks shades, so, when you have a whole faction of very diverse characters, Black isn’t the best choice from the design point of view. Since Dark Blue can also serve as the color of the Water element (e.g. in tea ceremony), in both games Blue substitutes Black. Both Blue and Black are also the colors that symbolize North, and that’s where Wei is.

So why did Koei switch colors for Wu and Shu? Actually, I think when Koei started to design factions in DW they didn’t even think about the official colors of Chinese dynasties, and chose color scheme based on directions: Red is the color of South, so that’s Wu, Blue is the color of North, so that’s Wei. According to this logic Shu should have been White (being in the West). But White is as difficult to use as Black, besides Koei needed a bright and contrasting color, so they settled on Green, which has a lot of positive connotations and is suitable for the “hero“ faction.

For Jin color scheme Koei found a perfect solution: they understandably couldn’t use Red as Jin color, so they combined Light Blue as a way to stress Jin being the successor to Wei, and added a lot of White since historically it’s the color of Jin’s Cycle element (Metal). 

A nice article that lists Chinese dynasties colors and talks a bit about color significance in Chinese culture:


(9.5) Cáo Xiū 曹休 [Wénliè 文烈]

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oops, was gonna photoshop a “banana eel” then looked it up and UH OH THEY ACTUALLY EXIST. GOOGLE IT. LIKE A SWIMMIN BANANA. WHAT IS THIS EARTH?!!


yes that was going to be our pun!

September 27 2017

Who is Cao Xiu?

DW9′s latest add is the Wei general Cao Xiu. Most people, if they know of him at all, remember him for being defeated by Lu Xun at Shiting. But that was just the unfortunate end to an illustrious career. Cao Xiu is so much more than that.

This is sort of a simplified retreat of my Cao Xiu Spotlight from some time ago.

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Cao Xiu was a distant relative of Cao Cao - close enough to be part of the family but far enough removed that their exact relationship is impossible to determine. Despite the prestige of the Cao family, his early life was a hard one. He was in his teens when the era of chaos started, and his father died near the start of the civil wars. After personally burying his father and carrying out all the appropriate rites, Cao Xiu and his mother fled to Wu commandery to escape the northern wars.

After some years (probably when he reached adulthood or when the Sun family’s wars made Wu unsafe), Cao Xiu decided to return north to take up service with Cao Cao. Cao Cao was greatly pleased and praised Cao Xiu highly. He treated Cao Xiu like his own son and had him share quarters with Cao Pi and Cao Zhen, sot the three of them were as close as brothers. Even when Cao Pi became the emperor, he would personally see Cao Xiu off before campaigns. When Cao Xiu’s mother died years later, Cao Xiu became depressed and Cao Pi personally comforted him.

After returning north, Cao xiu became an officer in Cao Cao’s elite cavalry unit led by Cao Chun, the  hǔbào jì (虎豹骑) - often called the Tiger and Leopard Cavalry or, more poetically, the Wildcat Riders. Cao Xiu’s exact service during this period isn’t specified, but Cao Chun’s Riders were a key component of Cao Cao’s army and distinguished themselves in several notable battles. Their greatest victories were at Nanpi (205), Mount Bailang (207), and Changban (208). They also fought at Hefei. The unit was disbanded after Cao Chun’s death in 210, as Cao Cao did not think anyone else would be able to replace him. Cao Xiu subsequently came under Cao Cao’s personal command and likely participated in his campaigns in Liang (211), Hanzhong (215), and both battles at Ruxu (213 and 217).

Late in 217, Liu Bei invaded Hanzhong, which was protected by Xiahou Yuan. Cao Cao sent Cao Hong as reinforcements, with Cao Xiu as a subordinate officer and adviser. On Cao Cao’s orders, Cao Hong followed every suggestion Cao Xiu gave as though he were the commander. The two performed excellently on the campaign. In 218, they defeated Zhang Fei and Ma Chao at Mount Gu, shattering one prong of Liu Bei’s attack. Although the defense of Hanzhong ultimately failed, Cao Xiu was highly rewarded for his service.

Under Cao Pi, Cao Xiu received rapid promotions and replaced Cao Ren as the general in charge of guarding the south, with extraordinary authority. When hostilities between Wei and Wu resumed, Cao Xiu led the vanguard. He captured the strategically important crossing at Liyang and was put in charge of operations in the east. During Cao Pi’s Great River Campaign in 223, Cao Xiu led the attack on Dongpu. He achieved some amount of success in the field but was ultimately unable to hold the position and the campaign ended in failure. Despite this, Cao Xiu had again performed well and was rewarded for his efforts.

When Cao Rui came to the throne in 226, Sun Quan launched an invasion of way, hoping to take advantage of Cao Pi’s death. Cao Xiu led the eastern defenses and crushed a Wu army near the city of Huan, causing several generals to defect. For this, he was made Grand Commander, the highest rank in the Wei army.

In 228, the Wu officer Zhou Fang initiated an elaborate deception and convinced Cao Xiu that he would turn over the city of Huan if Cao Xiu brought an army to claim it. Cao Xiu beleived him and led a large army as part of a three-pronged invasion of Wu. Sun Quan sent Lu Xun with an army to intercept him. Before reaching Huan, Cao Xiu realized he’d been deceived, so he settled down for battle at Shiting. Lu Xun defeated him there but failed to cut off Cao Xiu’s retreat. With help from Jia Kui, Cao Xiu was able to fight his way free and escape. Cao Xiu sent in a memorial acknowledging his failure.

Although Cao Xiu survived the battle, he did not have the opportunity to redeem his name. He became ill, likely as a result of wounds sustained during the battle, and died before the end of the year.

Cao Xiu deserves to be known for so much more than his famous defeat at Shiting. The whole reason that was such a big deal was because Cao Xiu was a skilled and experienced commander. Defeating him wasn’t easy. During the early years of the Wei dynasty, under Cao Pi and Cao Rui, he was a very pillar of the army. A good man and a good general, Cao Xiu deserves nothing but respect.

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Daily Independent Journal, San Rafael, California, September 8, 1955

September 26 2017

Remember how all those supposed “leaks” never said anything about Cao Xiu?

Let me preface this by saying that I’m happy with all the Wei adds. Cao Xiu, Man Chong, and Xun You were all great men who deserve recognition. And the first two can really help to flesh out eras of the story, as well as characters, who really need it. And even if none of them would be my top choices, they’re all great choices. Nothing against any of these adds.

But I worry that Wei might be getting a disproportionate amount of love in this game. We’ve got 3 new adds just for DW9, as well as Xun Yu (since Empires games don’t count). All great choices, but Wei is’t the faction that’s suffering. Wu and Jin are the ones who really need it, it pains me a little to see more love given to other groups.

We’re still early in the process, of course. Wu could get two more adds, and Jin needs so many more. But if this whole process ends with We getting far more attention than the others, I’m going to be a little disappointed.

Whenever Sun Hao held a banquet for his ministers, he always commanded them to become drunk. He also appointed ten of his Gentlemen of the Yellow Gate as Rectors; after each banquet was over, they would record the names of those who had committed errors or faults, anyone who had cast a disobedient glance or said a stray remark, or anyone who seemed to be hiding something. The greater of these offenders were lead out to execution, while the lesser offenders were registered as criminals. Some had their faces peeled off, and some had their eyes gouged out with chisels. Because of this, everyone became alienated from one another, and no one performed to their utmost.

(via the-archlich)

What I’m saying is Sun Hao really is as bad as you’ve heard.

Whenever Sun Hao held a banquet for his ministers, he always commanded them to become drunk. He also appointed ten of his Gentlemen of the Yellow Gate as Rectors; after each banquet was over, they would record the names of those who had committed errors or faults, anyone who had cast a disobedient glance or said a stray remark, or anyone who seemed to be hiding something. The greater of these offenders were lead out to execution, while the lesser offenders were registered as criminals. Some had their faces peeled off, and some had their eyes gouged out with chisels. Because of this, everyone became alienated from one another, and no one performed to their utmost.

September 25 2017

ZZTJ Book 80 (273-279)

September 24 2017


Let’s all take a moment to enjoy this piece of history: A ‘debate’ on sausage over the existence of Guan Suo (and to a lesser extent Meng Huo). 


I remember lurking on the forums when this was happening, and wishing I had my popcorn in hand… I have corrected that error, and my jiff is ready to be popped!

Sometimes SoSZ really gives me a stroke.

Also gotta love how this started on May 11, 2011 and petered out in June 3, 2013.

That’s over 2 years of people refusing to accept that sometimes things that happen in stories are made up.

September 22 2017

(13.1) Zhōng Yáo 鍾繇 [Yuáncháng 元常]


Keep reading

So glad to see Zhong Yao’s biography finally translated. Maybe now people will start giving him the respect he deserved. An excellent scholar, phenomenal governor, and (when the occasion called for it) able commander, Zhong Yao was one of Wei’s greatest ministers without caveat. He is every bit the equal of Wu’s Zhang Zhao and Shu’s Zhuge Liang. Of all his peers, only Xun Yu and Sima Yi can be called superior, and even that is arguable.

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