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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Decepticons: The literal versions of "The Open Feint"

Literal Translation: 
Deceiving the heavens to cross the ocean

Tactical Classification: 

Historical Basis (Wikipedia):
This stratagem references an episode in 643 AD, when Emperor Tang Tai Zong 唐太宗, baulked from crossing the sea to a campaign against Goguryeo (present day North Korea). His general Xue Ren Gui 薛仁贵 thought of a stratagem to get the emperor across and allay his fear of seasickness: on a clear day, the emperor was invited to meet a wise man. They entered through a dark tunnel into a hall where they feasted. After feasting several days, the Emperor heard the sound of waves and realised that he had been lured onto a ship! General Xue drew aside the curtains to reveal the ocean and confessed that they had already crossed the sea: Upon discovering this, the emperor decided to carry on and later completed the successful campaign.

Stratagem Analysis:
"The Open Feint" is used to deceive the victim by hiding your true intentions under a very common and everyday guise. An example of this would be a teenager requesting money to buy stationery, a common occurrence, but once the money is in hand he buys a pair a movie tickets and asks that hot chick out on a date. The "Transformers" characters are the literal versions of this stratagem, concealing their hidden identities behind everyday vehicles and objects.

Applied to SGS:
To effectively use "The Open Feint", you have to consider your role in the game. This stratagem is most-suited to the Rebels 反贼. Consider this scenario...

Scenario A: Your role is Rebel and there is one other Rebel (Player A) sitting between you and the Ruler 主公. Player A is an idiot of a team-mate and has exposed his identity too quickly. The Loyalists 忠臣 and Defectors 内奸 pounce on him and leave him barely alive. Nobody is sure of your role just yet. You have a pair of "Draw 2 无中生有" and the Zhu Ge Crossbow 诸葛连弩 in hand...

Q: What would you do?

A: Kill the idiot for yourself during your turn and pretend to be one of the good guys. Just hop on the band wagon!

Nobody will be overly stunned by your attack on Player A. You're not the first to attack him so it's not news anymore. You will also likely convince the Ruler that you are on his side, at least temporarily. Then with the newly acquired 3 cards for killing the idiot, place down your Crossbow, use the "Draw2"s to get as many ATTACKs 杀 as you can, poke the Ruler!


Of course, Defectors live through the round as the ultimate feints. However due to the mechanics of this game, the Ruler is constantly aware that a Defector exists, so there really is no element of surprise. Still, with sufficient acting skills, "The Open Feint" is highly effective for Defectors!

If you are the Defector, the trick is really about making yourself believe you ARE the Loyalist. Easier said than done! Consider this scenario...

Scenario B: The Ruler character is Cao Cao and has only 2 units of health. One of the players is using Liu Bei as a normal character and has been helping the Ruler. Liu Bei has only 1 unit of health left and barely makes it to his turn. He only has 1 Peach in hand and gives it to Cao Cao. Liu Bei now has no more cards on-hand and is facing certain death.

Q: Is this the action of a Loyalist or a Defector?

It's really hard to tell isn't it?? If Liu Bei is a Defector, then this is a good feint that would usually deceive the Ruler. By sacrificing himself in this way, it is something only Loyalist would dare to do.

The trickery behind it though, is the Peach was planned for Cao Cao to use to save Liu Bei. It is just a show to win Cao Cao's heart, and if it works, Cao Cao would surely use the Peach to save his loyal Liu Bei. Tactical success!!

Requirements for this Stratagem to work:
- Anonymity - Nobody must know your role!
- Poker face/Acting skills - You need to be able to lie without blinking.
- Timing - The circumstances around the table dictate the feasibility of this tactic. Scenario B would be suicide if there were still 5 Rebels alive. You wouldn't live long enough for your Ruler to save you!


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