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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Liào Huà 廖化

Posted by Ricky Chua On 8:37 AM 7 comments
Translated Description:
"Put through the Mill of Time 历经沧桑 (jīng lì cāng sāng)

Who is he:
Not many people live long enough to witness the birth, pinnacle, and extermination of a state. This old man is one of those rare people. In fact it is believed that he witnessed the entire ROTK timeline as a soldier. As a child soldier, he served under Zhang Jiao 张角 in the yellow turban rebellion, then under Guan Yu 关羽 and Liu Bei 刘备 under the early Shu formation, then Zhuge Liang 诸葛亮 and Jiang Wei 姜维 in the later days of the kingdom. He was alive for so long that he was still alive when the Jin Empire 晋朝 was formed.

Yet the criticism that some have (which I do not subscribe to) about Liao Hua is that he never did enough for Shu. Those who went beyond and excelled, such as Guan Yu, Ma Chao 马超, died valiantly in battle when they pushed too hard. I disagree with this. After all, Zhao Yun 赵云 did not die in battle. Nonetheless, Liao Hua is definitely one of those names that came up often in discussions of ROTK. This old man, he played one heckuva lifetime.

Character Ability 1: Forefront 当先 (dāng xiān) [Enforced ability]
At the beginning of the turn, you perform an extra action phase.

Character Ability 2: Longetivity 伏枥 (fú lì) [Single-use ability]
When you are on the brink of death, you can regain X units of health (X being the number of allegiances still in play). After which you must flip your character card.

Abilities relation to story:
Literally, 伏枥 means “stabled”. Ironically, 伏枥 comes from one of the sentences in Cao Cao's poem "老骥伏枥,志在千里;烈士暮年,壮心不已: An old war-horse may be stabled, yet still it longs to gallop a thousand miles; And a noble-hearted man though advanced in years, never abandons his proud aspirations". This ability was meant to generalize that Liao Hua possessed a long lifespan and his bluffing death. Liao Hua is the vanguard of Late Shu and he was likely the person with longest lifespan in Three Kingdoms Era (excluding the immortal Zuo Ci 左慈), thus giving the ability “Forefront”.

I felt that "Forefront" was a nice-ability without a suitable name. They could have given that name to any character with Vanguard experience in the story, so I felt it's not really tied to Liao Hua. Liao Hua faked his own death in order to escape from Wu kingdom in order to rejoin Guan Yu. This ability has both the element of "a second life" and longevity. Well linked!

How to obtain this character:
Liao Hua is available in the 2012 release of OverKnight Fame, otherwise known as OKF2012 (一将成名2012). Click here to purchase now!


  1. I would say that this guy is the Ma Su of the 2012 OKF pack, but I think that wouldn't be fair to Ma Su (anyone who has read my other comments on this site knows how I feel about Ma Su, so when I say that I think this guy is even worse you know I am serious!). I would even prefer to use Hua Xiong (someone who I foresee is going to get a lot of flack) over Liao Hua.

    Even though I have used Liao Hua, I still do not understand the the usefulness of "Forefront." I can think of only two advantages: he can attack twice instead of once, and he gets a defense (but not immunity) from acedia. There are other characters that can attack multiple times per turn with a more powerful ability than "Forefront," including Zhang Fei, Tai Shi Ci, Guo Shun, and even Cao Zhang. There also seems to be characters with a better defense against acedia than Liao Hua, such as Lu Xun, Sima Yi, Zhang He, and Jia Xu (IIRC, there are two black acedias and one red suited one, so Jia Xu's "Curtain" gives him immunity to 66% of them). Even though Liao Hua's "Forefront" occurs before the judgement phase, it also occurs before the drawing phase, so he can only use what he already has in his hand.

    When assessing his endurance, I find that "Longevity" is better than nothing, but it is not a very good power either. He gains health, but he does not gain any cards that can be used to keep himself alive. Additionally, he comes back flipped, so he could lose some of those units of health before he gets his next turn. I find that this power frequently only gives him one extra turn before someone finishes him off. Compare this to (non-SP) Pang Tong whose "Nirvana" allows him to come back with three cards and immediately ready to take his next turn. Other characters with a lot of health or defensive abilities like Dong Zhuo, Hua Xiong, Yu Jin, Zhao Yun, Zhou Tai, Lu Meng, and Liu Biao can last just as long, if not longer, than Liao Hua.

    All in all, I have found that Liao Hua is very weak and that there is nothing he can do that some other character can't do better. Am I the only one that feels this way? Is there something that I am missing?

    1. I also think so... His only advantage is his low threat, but it is almost useless. Low threat and no cooperation with allies make your allies more vulnerable to focus fire...and his low combat ability makes him a weak DEFECTOR.

  2. by perform an extra action phase, that basically means he can attack twice?

    also, if a 廖化 failed judgment with 乐不思蜀 , would his
    extra action phase allow him an action phase?

    1. Yes he can attack twice, but the extra action phase occurs before you draw. Basically, Beginning of turn, *EXTRA* action, judgement, draw, play, discard, end.

      So if you fail judgement with 乐不思蜀 you skip the action phase after you draw.

      I think if you have the cards you can use 酒杀 twice in one turn technically? Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

    2. It is not stated, but from the rulebook of SGS Premium Version 2012 (aka Red Box), it is not possible to use WINE boosted ATTACK twice. ATTACK can be used once per action phase, while the first effect of WINE can be used once per turn.

      However, because it is stated that 'the damage dealt by your following ATTACK in this turn is increased by 1',if you use a WINE but do not use an ATTACK in your extra action phase, the effect of WINE remains; if you use an ATTACK in your next turn, its damage is increased by 1. It is stated in the FAQ.


      P.S. Precisely, the sequence of turn of Liao Hua is
      1. The beginning of turn (The extra action phase is inserted in the beginning of turn)
      3. The beginning phase
      4. The draw phase
      5. The action phase
      6. The discard phase
      7. The end phase
      8. The end of turn

      ...but the difference is slight and insignificant...

  3. The ability "Forefront" is granted to Liao Hua due to the Chinese idiom "蜀中无大将, 廖化当先锋", which means "The Shu now has no other big generals, only Liao Hua can fit the (important) position of forefront". This idiom is to describle the weakening status of organization since Liao Hua is never considered to be a big star.

  4. Yes! This is the idiom that descript his "forefront" ability.


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