"The Yellow Bearded Son 黄须儿 (huáng xū ér)"
Who is he:
We all have funny nicknames given by our parents, which is their way of personalizing that bond between child and parents. Thus to have Cao Zhang's father, Cao Cao 曹操, endearingly nickname him "my yellow bearded son" was a sign of his father's fondness. In his youth, Cao Zhang was said to have wrestled with live beasts using his bare hands. His ferocity and his courage would make him an excellent general.
But did Cao Cao want Cao Zhang to be a general? No. Instead, Cao Cao wanted Cao Zhang to be a doctor! Cao Zhang gave his father the 3rd century equivalent of the finger, and pursued military warfare against his father's wishes. In later years he would again disobey his father's orders, but for prudent reasons that turn out to be right.
A brave and accomplished warrior with tactical smarts, surely Cao Zhang should have succeeded Cao Cao as ruler of Wei... but why didn't he? Read on to find out!
Character ability: Versatile Fighter 将驰
During the drawing phase, you can choose 1 of 2 options.
1. Draw 1 extra card. If you do so, you cannot use or play any ATTACK 杀 cards until your turn is over.
2. Draw 1 card less. If you do so, any ATTACK cards used during your action phase has unlimited range. You can also use 1 more ATTACK card in that turn. Effects last till your turn is over.
Ability's relation to story:
This ability was meant to show off the military talent of Cao Zhang. According to the character designer, he wanted to depict a general riding and fighting in the Northern regions of China, thus giving the name of this ability.
In addition, I believe 将驰 was a pun on 张弛 "Versatile Fighter", referring to the versatile warrior and the meaning of skillfulness. According to the designer, he must be versatile enough to defeat the normadic tribe known for their high mobility and hit-and-run tactics. When it was not the time to attack, Cao Zhang prepared himself for the coming battle (draw one more cards without attack). When he found chances, he struck his enemies with full strength without hesitation (no drawing cards for more aggressive actions). Being the northern defense line that support Cao Cao's southern campaigns, he could draw more cards to trigger Cao Cao's Ruler ability "Royal Escort 护驾".
You probably know by now that Cao Cao was succeeded by Cao Pi 曹丕 instead of Cao Zhang. There are a few versions of what happened following the ascension of Cao Pi, but all seemed to agree on 2 things:
1. Cao Zhang was away during his father's death. He was on his way back to see Cao Cao but never made it back in time.
2. Cao Pi was paranoid and insecure about Cao Zhang challenging his succession.
History recounts that Cao Pi sent Cao Zhang away to lord over a region of Wei, far from the capital to be a threat. Cao Zhang died soon after due to an illness. However another version of history says that Cao Pi deviously poisoned Cao Zhang over a game of chess. Which is the truth, we may never know. As for ROTK, the author made Cao Zhang's return to the capital seem like a military campaign, bringing with him thousands of troops. However Cao Zhang had no intention to strike Cao Pi, but instead came and left as a mourner, and nothing more.
Personal opinion, I think Cao Zhang would have made a better ruler than Cao Pi, but that's not to say that Cao Pi wasn't successful in his own way.
How to obtain this character:
Cao Zhang is available in the 2012 release of OverKnight Fame, otherwise known as OKF2012 (一将成名2012). Click here to purchase now!