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Friday, August 12, 2011

Cài Wén Jī (Lady Cai) 蔡文姬

Posted by Ricky Chua On 5:42 PM 26 comments
Translated description:
"The Lone Dame in Foreign Lands 异乡的孤女 (yì xiāng dè gū nǚ)"

Who is she:
Like a scene out of a Chinese horror movie, a lone damsel sits in the night out in the woods, strumming an ancient Chinese string instrument. Her long straight hair gently swaying along with the willows, her sharp face pale, white and mournful. Who is Lady Cai? What is her role in the story? Truth be told, the name Cai Wen Ji was complete new to me when I heard about this character in the Hills Pack. As it turns out, she was a very minor character, a musician and poet, but with a sad life story. Married at the age of 15 but widowed soon after, she was then held captive by the Xiong Nu 匈奴 clan chieftain for many years. He then made her his wife and she bore him children, but her heart had always yearned for home. It would be 12 years later before a particular famous warlord ransomed her... but only to fulfill his own agenda. This warlord would go on to become one of the most famous person throughout Chinese history. Who was this warlord? Read on the find out!

Character ability 1: "Dirge 悲歌 (bēi gē)"
Every instance a player suffers damage from an ATTACK, you can discard a card (on-hand or equipped), and the player who suffered the damage flips a judgement card.

If the judgement is "hearts", the victim regains 1 unit of health.
If the judgement is "diamonds", the victim draws 2 cards.
If the judgement is "clubs", the attacker discards 2 cards.
If the judgement is "spades", the attacker flips his/her character card over.

Character ability 2: "Sorrow 断肠 (duan chang)" [Enforced ability]
The player who kills you loses all of his/her character abilities until the end of the game.

Ability's relation to story:
The ability mechanics do not have a direct link to the story, but the names of the abilities do. Both "Dirge" and "Sorrow" relates to the life of Lady Cai. After being imprisoned by the Xiongnu nomads, she composed a series of famous musical pieces known as the "Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute 胡笳十八拍". Later in her life, she wrote some poems with a sorrowful tone, lamenting her turbulent life. See? What did I tell you? The perfect character for a sorrowful female apparition!

Additional info based on story:
Most famous achievement - Composing poems and pieces of music. Lady Cai was a talented poet and musician. After her unfortunate capture by Xiongnu nomads, she composed "Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute", a sorrowful song in the style of nomadic tunes.

It was 12 years later that she was ransomed Cao Cao 曹操, yet Cao Cao did so for his own objectives. She was to a become a pacifier to the spirits for her clan, as by that time Lady Cai was the last surviving member. Even then, Lady demonstrated her memory and was able to recite about four hundred of her father’s lost works of poem and songs.

Cause of death - Unknown. There has been no record of her death, but her legacy lives on. Almost 500 years later, a series of paintings were commissioned by the first emperor of the Song Dynasty called "Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute". It is said that some fragments of these 18 paintings survive till this day in Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Wiki Link:
Cai Wenji Wiki
Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute


  1. 3 words: Overpowered as fuck.

  2. what the hell...
    these new cards are screwing up the game.
    these random characters are soooo overpowered.

  3. You put the tag Wei generals again, it should be Heroes.

  4. I have played Hills Pack for a few times, and I find out that Cai Wenji is not so overpowered as imagined.

    1. To defeat Cai Wenji, the most essential thing to do is to reduce her health to 1, but not directly killing her. By doing so, she cannot hold a bunch of on-hand cards to use "Dirge" but no one will suffer from "Sorrow".
    2. When attacking Cai Wenji, try to refrain from using ATTACK, or discard all her cards before doing so.
    3. Characters who can discard cards effectively, like Gan Ning and Zhang Liao can disable Cai Wenji easily.
    4. If you have many allies, find a character who does not rely on his/her ability too much to kill Cai Wenji i.e. characters with 4 units of health.
    5. Many characters can kill Cai Wenji without hesitation.
    (a) Zhang Chunhua: "Ruthless"...
    (b) Xun Yu: Rouse the tiger (one of your enemy) to eat the wolf (Cai Wenji). The character who kills Cai Wenji will suffer from "Sorrow".
    (c) Dong Zhuo: Killing Cai Wenji by yourself and you will no longer suffer from "Disintegrate"!(and don't forget the ability "Garden of Lust")
    (d) Characters who have a benefit of LIGHTNING, such as Sima Yi. She will be killed by LIGHTNING, not you.

    Even if you cannot kill Cai Wenji, you can reduce her health and disable her, and leave her to be the last one to kill.

    P.S. Ricky, as I have stated in the e-mail of translation, the tag is wrong.

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  6. This is good at fuck....
    Still haven't get to this level in Sanguosha on comptuer yet. Can't wait to touch this fucking good card

  7. If someone deals 1pt damage to a 1hp Cai Wen Ji, can she do the following?
    (1) Discard a card to activate "悲歌"?
    (2) If the answer to (1) is yes, can she then recover 1hp if the judgment card is "hearts"?

  8. If someone deals 1pt damage to a 1hp character bringing that character to brink of death (not Zhou Tai or Pang Tong), can Cai Wen Ji discard a card to activate "悲歌" and get the brink-of-death character to flip a judgment card?
    Further to the above, if the judgment card is "hearts", can the brink-of-death character gain 1hp & recover from brink of death?

  9. ^^
    (1) is right if the damage comes from an ATTACK.
    (2) is right.

    Cai Wenji can only save save the victim after the victim is saved from the "Brink of Death".

    The event "the victim receives damage" has lower priority than "Brink of Death". Only abilities that

    (1)states that it can be activated at Brink of Death, i.e. Hua Tuo's "First Aid" and Lady Wu's "Ammelioration", or
    (2)the ability is not a damage-triggered ability, but a card-triggered ability, i.e. Lu Xun's "One After Another" and Zhang Chunhua's "Bereavement".

    can be activated at Brink of Death. The details of this mechanism is stated on P.9 of official rulebook.

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  11. Question about the ability "DIRGE"

    "Every instance a player suffers damage from an ATTACK"

    What exactly does this mean as I'm a little confused by the wording/ambiguity. Does this mean that anytime someone receives damage, this ability is used? Or does it apply to Lady Cai only when she deals/receives damage?

  12. ^^ Of course I know. "Dirge" is not the ability stated in the 2 sp. cases. The sp. cases are for reference. In fact, 'Cai Wenji can only save save the victim after the victim is saved from the "Brink of Death"', including herself.

    ^ You can use the ability after anytime someone receives damage from ATTACK, including herself. The word every instance is to show that no matter how much damage is dealt through one ATTACK, she can activate "Dirge" once.

  13. doesn't zhang chunhua get affected by her sorrow skill as well if zhang kills her?.. since it doesn't say damage... but rather "kill"

  14. But in order to kill someone you need to deal "final damage", right? :)

    Her skill "Ruthless" implies that she is not the source of any damage she causes. Zhang Chunhua doesn`t get rewards if she kills a Rebel and as a Ruler she won`t lose cards for killing a Loyalist. Same goes for this case - she is not the source of the final damage, so she won`t be affected by "Sorrow". Cai Wenji`s death will be considered a suicide :)

  15. Cai Wen Ji was ransomed by Cao Cao because Cai Wen Ji's father, Cai Yōng,Who was Cao Cao's teacher and close friend

  16. If "Ruthless" allows Zhang Chun Hua to be safe from "Sorrow", would this apply to Yu Ji and Fa Zheng as well since their abilities cause "loss of health" instead of "dealing damage"?

  17. Zuo Ci and Cai Wen Ji. How does this work?


  18. If player A is chained with player B and receive a fire attribute attack from another player, can Cai wen ji use Dirge on both player A and B as both of them suffers damage from the attack?
    Lets say if she can, does that means she has to discard 2 cards to activate Dirge?

  19. what does it mean when the character card is flipped over? I'm seeing this as a pattern in the expansion pack i've bought but i don't read chinese so I don't know what this means.


  20. I played with Lady Cai tonight with the shapeshifter dude and I'm not clear on the explanation of saving from the "Brink of Death". If the player is saved, then I would think the ability "Dirge" would have no effect since they would be saved and the abilities opportune time would have passed already. There were several times I was playing with my friends and did not do the judgement because I assumed it was too late if they were saved from zero. Correct me if I'm wrong on this.

    1. I am afraid I have to say that you are wrong. "Brink of Death" is an event with the highest priority and it is just inserted in the event of "when the character suffers damage". After saved back, you may still activate "Dirge". Or else all other characters with damage-triggered abilities cannot activate their abilities after entering "Brink of Death", such as Guo Jia and Sima Yi.

  21. Hi, let's say I successfully used a Attack, and Lady Cai used her "Dirge" ability. The judgement is "clubs", I have to discard 2 cards.
    If I have no onhand hands but I have equipment like armor/weapon/horse, do I discard 2 equipment?

    1. Yes, you must discard two cards (on-hand or equipped). If you do not have enough cards, discard them all.


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