What's with the cartoon?
Look! It's ROCKMAN doing some sort of powerdash... thing. Anyway this deviates slightly from the original portrait because he has lost his weapon, but he does look a lot cooler here!
Who is he:
Perhaps less famous than his cousin Xia Hou Dun 夏侯惇 but a one of the pillars of Cao Cao 曹操's army, Xia Hou Yuan was highly praised for his efficiency in logistics. He has been credited as one of the main reasons Cao Cao rebounded from his defeat at the battle of Red Cliffs 赤壁之战 so quickly, thanks to his reliable and prompt logistics handling. In the battlefield, Xia Hou Yuan earned his nickname "Cheetah of the West 西部猎豹" for his lightning fast capture of the cities on the western border of the Wei Kingdom 魏国. Unfortunately, many of these details would have been left out if you had read the simplified version of Romance of Three Kingdoms. The big highlight of Xia Hou Yuan was his death at Han Zhong 汉中 under the hands of Huang Zhong 黄忠.
Character ability: "Godspeed 神速 (shén sù)"
Xia Hou Yuan can use either or both of the following options listed below. When any of the options below are activated, it is equivalent to using an ATTACK 杀 card on any player (no distance limitations).
1. Skip his judgement phase as well as his drawing phase (no judgement and no drawing of 2 cards from the deck)
2. Skip his action phase as well as discard one equipment card (horse, armour or weapon). This means he can no longer use any other card in his turn. Note that this option can only be used once a turn, regardless of how many equipment cards you have.
Note: Using this ability does NOT count as having used an ATTACK card. Which means to say if Godspeed option 1 is used, the player can continue to use an ATTACK card during the action phase. Both the options can be used consecutively in one turn, thus skipping judgement, drawing and action phase whilst being able to ATTACK twice.
Ability's relation to story:
Xia Hou Yuan was known for his speed in moving his troops and catching his opponents off-guard. In his effort to capture the city of Chang Li 长离, Xia Hou Yuan discarded most of his supplies so as to be able to achieve surprise. This is probably the link behind "Godspeed" option 2 ability. In general, Xia Hou Yuan in the cardgame does bring an element of speed since he can choose to ATTACK immediately even before drawing cards. Though this speed is of no consequence whatsoever in terms of dealing damage, it does make him a very useful character since he will always be able to use ATTACK on any player at least once a turn.
Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - In his attack on Song Jian 宋健, Xia Hou Yuan was able to capture the city within two months, a very short timespan in those days. Song Jian and all his officers were massacred by Xia Hou Yuan, which ultimately scared the balls off the other opponents in the nearby region. Within a year, most of these opponents surrendered to Cao Wei 曹魏 out of fear of Xia Hou Yuan.
2. Cause of death - The tragedy of Xia Hou Yuan is the glory of Huang Zhong from Shu Han 蜀汉. The story goes that Huang Zhong set his troops up a hill overlooking Xia Hou Yuan's camp at Han Zhong 汉中. Xia Hou Yuan got upset that his camp was being spied on and rallied an attack on Huang Zhong. Huang Zhong held firm till Xia Hou Yuan's troops became weary from fighting uphill, then led a massive counter-attack downhill. Huang Zhong himself cut Xia Hou Yuan into two.