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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Duress 借刀杀人

Posted by Ricky Chua On 10:09 PM No comments
Out of ATTACK 杀 cards to use? Your target opponent out of range? Want to hold a member of the opposite team hostage? This is the tool card to use. Although DURESS can be used on any player, it is most effective when used on LOYALIST 忠臣 or DEFECTOR 内奸 against RULER 主公. The only requirement, though, is that the target player must have a weapon equipped to become susceptible to DURESS. Now sit back, have a cup of tea and enjoy being evil.

What it does:
DURESS forces the target player to use an ATTACK card on another player of the user's choice. Note that the intended recipient of the ATTACK must be within attacking range of the player held under DURESS. If the target player refuses to use an ATTACK card, he or she must give up the equipped weapon to the user. The user then keeps the unethically acquired weapon as an on-hand card. The weapon can also be equipped immediately.

How to use it:
First determine the target to be held under DURESS. This player must have a weapon equipped. Then pick another player (the victim) whom you want the target player to attack. The victim must be within the attacking range of the target player.

The literal meaning of 借刀杀人 "jie dao sha ren" is to kill someone using a borrowed knife, hence the requirement for the target player to have a weapon equipped before DURESS can be used. However the true meaning of 借刀杀人 actually means making use of a third party to carry out an unethical deed. The third party usually already has intentions to carry out the deed anyway. This diverts significantly from the meaning of duress since the true meaning of 借刀杀人 does not carry any implied threat or penalty if the third party refuses. Nonetheless, I decided to translate this card as DURESS because of the obvious tactical play involved and the penalty of losing an equipped weapon.

Historical basis:
In the early days of the Three Kingdoms era, Cao Cao 曹操 had the misfortune to be insulted by a somewhat-prominent scholar called Mi Heng 祢衡. Mi Heng is quite the antagonist (and probably a little tired of living), verbally insulting many generals while carrying an air of elitism. Much as he would love to kill Mi Heng with his bare hands, Cao Cao does not want to be seen as a petty leader. Neither does he want to be known as a leader who does not treasure talent, especially since he wants to convene the best generals and strategists under his leadership.

Cao Cao, therefore, does the next best thing. He sends Mi Heng on an impossible mission to convince a rival ruler, Liu Biao 刘表, to surrender. Liu Biao is enraged by Mi Heng's audacity, but quickly realizes it is a ploy by Cao Cao to have Mi Heng murdered. Liu Biao sends Mi Heng to visit his general Huang Zhu, where Mi Heng again sarcastically criticizes Huang Zhu. Huang Zhu gets pissed and kills Mi Heng, but the son-of-a-gun deserved it anyway. In this way Cao Cao and Liu Biao were both vindicated of killing a talent, while still happy that they got rid of that uppity little fart.Read more about Mi Heng on Wikipedia!


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