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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bro fists!! The 36 Stratagems 三十六计 exhibits its brilliance again with this beautifully thoughtful tool card for Kingdom Wars. In a fast-changing landscape with multiple stakeholders vying for dominance, alliances could be your only option to ensure victory... or survival! Embodying the true spirit of the Three Kingdoms era, ALLIANCE allows you to gain an advantage over your immediate enemy while also benefiting a distant ally. You can immediately see the effects of what 36 Stratagems call "Befriend a distant state while attacking a neighbor".

What it does:
To use this card, you must find another player that is from a different kingdom, and allow him/her to draw a card. Afterwards, you get an enormous prize for your generosity... you draw three cards! If used properly, this card can be more powerful than DRAW2 无中生有. If your kingdom is currently forming a strategic alliance with another kingdom, you can use it on your new brethren, reinforcing both sides. But never forget: your objective is to eliminate all other kingdoms, so your temporary ally would eventually point their blades against you.

How to use it:
During your action phase, you can use ALLIANCE on a player of another kingdom that has exposed character cards. The target player draws one card, and then you draw three cards.

Note that there is only one target of this card, that is, the player of another kingdom. Therefore, this card is neutralized completely by one NEGATE无懈可击, and both players cannot draw cards. Also, it is impossible to prevent drawing of one player only.

Historical basis:
Warlords in the Three Kingdoms Era utilize diplomacy for their own benefits, and exploitation was not uncommon. The most significant success in diplomacy is the alliance between Shu Kingdom and Wu Kingdom. Since Cao Cao 曹操 conquered Northern China and became the strongest allegiance, his next step was to wipe out Liu Bei 刘备 and Sun Quan 孙权. Zhuge Liang 诸葛亮 managed to forge an alliance between Shu Kingdom and Wu Kingdom. Under the command of Zhou Yu 周瑜, the united force was able to defeat Wei forces at the Battle of Red Cliffs 赤壁之战. However, Zhuge Liang exploited this chance to take over the majority of Jing Province 荆州, before Wu Kingdom could react. In the story, Zhuge Liang’s cunning action enraged Zhou Yu, and Zhou Yu eventually died of frustration.

远交近攻 literally means “befriend a distant state while attacking a neighbour”. This ploy originated from Fan Ju 范雎, a diplomat living at the Warring States Period 战国时代 (300 years before Three Kingdoms Era). He served Qin Kingdom, which later united the whole China by diplomacy, espionage and military forces.


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