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Monday, July 18, 2011

Chén Gōng 陈宫

Posted by Ricky Chua On 4:38 PM 21 comments
Translated Description:
Upright and Heroic 刚直壮烈 (gāng zhí zhuàng liè)

Who is he:
Here is an intelligent advisor with great capability that, regrettably, served under a mediocre leader, Lu Bu 吕布. Chen Gong aided Lu Bu with sound and prudent advice, but it was Lu Bu who chose not to heed them. Chen Gong would have preferred to work under a stronger leader like Cao Cao. Possibly one of the first few people to see Cao Cao 曹操’s ruthless nature, Chen Gong was first introduced to the story as a magistrate of a county. One fateful day, a lone fugitive stumbled into his county and was recognized by the guards on duty. This fugitive was none other than Cao Cao, wanted throughout the land for the attempted murder of Dong Zhuo 董卓. The guards brought Cao Cao in front of Chen Gong, where Cao Cao lied about his identity and claimed to be a merchant. Chen Gong put Cao Cao in jail and proclaimed that he would bring Cao Cao to Dong Zhuo and receive his reward.

Secretly, however, Chen Gong had a lot more on his mind. Chen Gong despised Dong Zhuo and admired Cao Cao's courage in his murder plot. That very night, Chen Gong did the unthinkable and left his post as magistrate. He then escaped from the county with Cao Cao (the magistrate escapes with the fugitive!) in hopes of working with Cao Cao and achieve great things.

However, just three days after the escape, Cao Cao would do something so unthinkable that Chen Gong would forever abandon his dreams of working with him. What heinous act did Cao Cao do? Read on to find out!

Character ability 1: Brilliant Scheme 明策 (míng cè)
During your action phase, you can give an equipment card or an ATTACK 杀 card to any other player (the recipient). The recipient must then choose between 1 of 2 options.

1. This action would be viewed as having used an ATTACK on another player of your choice within the recipient's attacking range.

2. Draw a card from the deck.

Limited to one use per turn.

Character ability 2: Cerebral Delay 智迟 (zhī chí) [Enforced ability]
Whenever you receive damage during another player's turn, any ATTACK or Tool cards (except Time-delayed tool cards) have no effect on you until that turn ends.

Ability's relation to story:
The mechanics of "Brilliant scheme" is not based on any particular strategy employed by Chen Gong in the story, however this ability is incredibly clever! It definitely does justice to the intelligent advisor that Chen Gong was in his lifetime. By selecting option 1 of the ability, Chen Gong is able to strike almost any player in the entire game (you can give the card to any player), without having to use an ATTACK during his turn. The nasty thing about this ability is that Chen Gong gets to pick who to attack AFTER the recipient chooses option 1. Chen Gong can easily flip sides if he is the DEFECTOR and backstab his teammates at the most crucial moment. Brilliant!!

"Cerebral Delay" is quite messed up. According to the story, the words 智迟 was not a compliment to Chen Gong at all. It was used to describe Chen Gong as having fantastic analytical and intellectual capability, but needing to take a very long time before his strategies are conceived. In fact my initial translation for this ability was called "Sluggish Wisdom", which is a good fit to the story but a terrible clash for the ability mechanics. For whatever reason, the ability creator gave Chen Gong the ability to "delay" ("abort" is more accurate) damage dealt unto him. Thus I thought I would give the translation a touch of X-men while still keeping closely to the literal meaning of the Chinese words (智 = intellect, 迟 = late or to delay).

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Technically what I shall write in this paragraph isn't an achievement, but more a significant highlight that burned into the reader's mind. After Chen Gong escaped with Cao Cao, they needed to find shelter and stay low. Cao Cao recommended that they stay over at his uncle's nearby. His uncle was an aged old man who, despite knowing that Cao Cao was a fugitive, immediately offered both of them shelter and lodging. As is Chinese custom throughout the years, wine is a necessity to welcome guests, what more people of stature such as Cao Cao and Chen Gong. The uncle promptly left to procure wine on his donkey. While the two fugitives sat, they overheard knives being sharpened in the adjacent room and someone saying "bind before killing". The overly paranoid Cao Cao feared they were being betrayed by his uncle. Both of them rushed into the household and slaughtered the entire family. All in all, eight innocent lives were murdered, after which the fugitives saw a pig in the backyard that was meant for the sacrifice.

Only then did they realize they were mistaken, but it was too late. Lives were lost, and they had to escape again. In the dark of night, they encountered his uncle making his way home after purchasing wine. The poor uncle, still oblivious to the fact that his entire family lay dead at home, insisted the pair stay for dinner before leaving. Cao Cao brandished his sword and promptly killed his uncle to silence the only witness, thence he spoke his most famous line:

"I would rather betray the entire world, than to have the entire world betray me."

Chen Gong realized he was on the run with a ruthless and cold-blooded monster, and he part ways with him the next morning while Cao Cao was still asleep. Their paths would cross again in the coming future.

2. Cause of death - Despite giving Lu Bu prudent advice to counter Cao Cao's invading forces, Lu Bu chose to lull in indecision. The defeat of Lu Bu was inevitable, as Cao Cao's forces were dispatched with the sole purpose of crushing him. Chen Gong was captured and Cao Cao offered him a place to serve under his leadership. Chen Gong refused and chose death instead. Cao Cao was impressed by Chen Gong's integrity, and chose to take care of Chen Gong's family after beheading him.

Wiki Link:
Chen Gong Wiki


  1. Wait..... for the first ability, if Chen Gong gives a card to someone (person B) THAT person (person B) will allow you(Chen Gong) to either draw a card or hit people within range of that person (person B).

    Also the kill will count for you (Chen Gong) right?

  2. No that's not correct. That person B is the one that will draw the card if option B is chosen. If option 1 is chosen, it is person B that is the source of the attack and not Chen Gong. Any reward/punishment due to that kill will go to person B.

  3. 'Lu Bu' is different from 'Lv Bu', since it's not easy to express and translate full info from Chinese to English, that's acceptable

  4. Sorry Anonymous, but I don't understand what you're saying. Could you please elaborate? I think by Lv you are referring to Lü?

  5. hi. would like to clarify on the 2nd ability: if chen gong receives a damage during person A's turn, chen gong will be immune to all 'attack' and non-time delay tool cards until person A's turn is over? Isn't this quite useless since most people can only use 1 attack anyway, and to beat the ability, u can use your tool first before damaging him?

  6. If the attacker has a REPEATING CROSSBOW or is Zhang Fei then Chen Gong's ability helps. Also, the ability helps against those able to draw cards in the middle of their turn such as Lu Xun. His last on-hand card could be RAINING ARROWS. After using it, he draws a BARBARIANS but it is now useless against Chen Gong.

    Does this help?

  7. for his first ability is selected as having used an attack, is it still possible for Chen Gong to use another attack on somebody else?

  8. Yes, he can. That ATTACK is considered used by the player that got your card. This skill works good with Lu Bu. No surprise, since Chen Gong was the advisor of the latter :)

  9. For "Brilliant Scheme": If Chen Gong gives a card to another player (not Zhang Fei) who has already used an ATTACK before (no Zhu Ge's Crossbow equipped), can that person still choose Option 1? Similarly, if the card is given to another person who has not used an ATTACK (e.g., player after Chen Gong's turn), can that player use another ATTACK during his turn?

  10. ^the main point is, when Chen Gong is using Brilliant Scheme on another player, it is still Chen Gong's turn. So in other words, the player Chen Gong is using Brilliant Scheme on would be able to use Attack during the player's turn.
    Think as if Liu Bei using his ability to ask Shu characters to play the Attack card for him...hence, the Shu character can still use Attack in his turn.

  11. Option 1. This action would be viewed as having used an ATTACK on another player of your choice within the recipient's attacking range.
    For the 1st option, does the player needs to use an attack card?

    1. No. An imaginary ATTACK would be generated, so the player can keep the ATTACK card given to him/her to use in his/her turn.

  12. Is it Chen Gong or the recipient who can choose one of the two? You can not force someone to attack a player the same way as Duress?

    1. The recipient chooses whether to ATTACK or to draw a card, while Chen Gong determines who is the target of the imaginary ATTACK. It is different from DURESS.

  13. And I also forgot to ask.. do you need to show the given card to everyone or can that be hidden?

    1. Yes, or else it is impoosible to confirm you give an ATTACK or Equipment card.

  14. Must Chen Gong state who will be attacked before or after the recipients choice of options ? For example, if Chen Gong activates the ability, does he say "Attack player B or draw a 1 card" or does he say "Will you attack or draw 1 card". In the second situation he does not know who he will be attacking before they make the decision.

    1. The second situation is true, stated on official FAQ.


  15. Also, does the given equipment card have to be something Chen Gong has currently equipped ? Can it be from his on-hand cards ? Or can it be either on-hand or equipped ?


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