Create noise in the east, but strike from the west.
Distraction + Deception
Historical Basis (Wikipedia):
Various. Again, there is no direct elaboration on Wikipedia. One of the instances where this Stratagem was used in ROTK was at the beginning of the Three Kingdoms era. Zhang Jiao 张角's yellow turban rebellion was at its height and Zhu Jun 朱隽 (loyal to the dynasty) used this Stratagem against the peasant rebels. He gathered his troops secretly at the North-east corner of the fort, yet prepared his drums at the South-west corner. When the drums were struck, the tactless peasants rushed towards the drums, leaving the North-east unguarded. Well... need i say more?
In today's terms, this stratagem is better known as a "diversion". The main aim is to draw the strength of the enemy away from the point you intend to strike hardest. This stratagem is one of the most duplicable in everyday life. Intend to run-off from classes? Set fire to the toilet and distract the teachers. Easy peasy. Ironically, this stratagem is not so easy to pull off in SGS!
Applied to SGS:
The problem with this Stratagem is that it requires the enemy to have its guard down. If the enemy is on high alert for any suspicious activity, you will get seen through right away! Yet in SGS, the nature of the game is that the Ruler 主公 is ALWAYS suspicious of the other players. He should be! Still, with some careful plotting, this stratagem will still work wonders and take everyone by surprise.
Scenario A - The Ruler is Liu Bei 刘备, and across the table is a known Rebel Zhang Jiao. Zhang Jiao has used "Lightning Strike 雷击" on Liu Bei with success and the Loyalists 忠臣 rush to the rescue. But the Loyalist lacks the fire power to subdue Zhang Jiao, and Liu Bei knows this.
Liu Bei then makes the mistake of giving away all his cards to his Loyalists, who are able to reach Zhang Jiao. Liu Bei is now completely naked with no on-hand cards. It just so happens, that you are Lu Meng 吕蒙, you are a Rebel, and you are sitting on Liu Bei's left. You have been lying low all this time, stocking up a pile of cards with the Zhu Ge Crossbow 诸葛连弩 and the Ancient Scimitar 古锭刀 in hand.
Let the slaughter begin...
In scenario A, there was no plot between Zhang Jiao and Lu Meng... or was there? With experience, expert players can make rather accurate guesses about the roles simply based on the chosen character. Lu Meng on the left of the Ruler? Probably not a good guy! If Zhang Jiao made that guess, then perhaps the extreme show of aggression by Zhang Jiao was no flaunt, but a calculated move.
Scenario B - Rebel Lu Meng is on the right side of Ruler Cao Cao 曹操. Cao Cao raises a big verbal hoo-haa that Lu Meng must be a Rebel (without being too sure), and attacks Lu Meng mercilessly. Lu Meng is a Rebel indeed and in retaliation unleashes a barrage of attacks on Cao Cao with the crossbow, but Ruler Cao Cao uses "Royal Escort 护驾" ability and his Wei Loyalists help him dodge most of the attacks. Despite off-loading his entire arsenal, Lu Meng has barely scratched Cao Cao's health.
The player on Lu Meng's right is a Loyalist and makes quick work of killing off the weakened Lu Meng.
Scenario B has happened before, hasn't it? Going head-on with a fully loaded Lu Meng is suicide, but using this stratagem, Lu Meng can be easily defeated!
Requirements for this Stratagem to work:
- Preparation. You need to be armed to strike once the ruckus is raised.
- Acting skills. The ruckus needs to be realistic enough to draw the enemy away. Sharp opponents can see through your ploy if your acting sucks!
- Covertness. The make-or-break factor is keeping your intentions SECRET. Once exposed, even an idiot would guard against you.