Contents Copyright Ricky Chua 2010. Powered by Blogger.


Most Viewed

Latest SGS Questions

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Stratagem 2: Take a Hostage 围魏救赵

Posted by Ricky Chua On 10:56 PM 2 comments

Literal Translation:
Besiege the Kingdom of Wei so as to rescue the Kingdom of Zhao

Tactical Classification:

Historical Basis (Wikipedia):
The origin of this proverb is from the Warring States Period 战国时代 (435 - 221 BC). The Kingdom of Wei 魏国 attacked the Kingdom of Zhao 赵国 and laid siege to its capital Han Dan 邯郸. Zhao turned to the Kingdom of Qí 齐国 for help, but the Qí general Sun Bin 孙膑 determined it would be unwise to meet the army of Wei head on, so he instead attacked their capital at Da Liang 大梁. The army of Wei retreated in haste, and the tired troops were ambushed and defeated at the Battle of Gui Ling 桂陵之战, with the Wei general Pang Juan 庞涓 slain on the field.

Stratagem Analysis:
This is a clever tactic that can get you out of tight spots, and can also be applied in everyday life. The plan is simple, get that rabid monkey off your back by threatening something he holds dear. The catch is being able to identify what is that something you need to take hostage. An example of this at the work place would be threatening to release photos of your boss getting intimate with his mistress (how you can your hands on those is outside of this context!) when your boss seems bent on firing you.

Applied to SGS:
It is clear that this Stratagem serves to keep you alive in the game when all hope seems lost. Picture this scenario:

Scenario A: Your role is Rebel 反贼 and the Loyalist 忠臣 is sitting on your right, throwing his entire arsenal at you. You barely survive the onslaught and you are left with no cards on hand. The Defector 内奸 is still alive and drooling to finish you off and grab his 3 cards. Your teammate is at a distance too far to strike the Loyalist or the Defector, but the Ruler 主公 is within his reach.

To execute "Take a Hostage" Stratagem, your teammate should pummel the Ruler heavily and make it very clear that he is a far bigger threat than you. Placing down the Zhu Ge Crossbow 诸葛连弩 is usually enough to get their attention, but throw in 2 or 3 consecutive ATTACKs on the Ruler for good measure. If executed ideally, you could be spared.

The problem with using this stratagem when you are a Rebel is the reward for your death. Savvy players know that they can quickly finish you off first, grab the 3 cards reward, and still have time and ammo to rescue the Ruler. To overcome this, get your teammates to start suggesting that their hand contains many Peaches (yes, lie if you have to) so your enemies know you are not an easy kill.

Requirements for this Stratagem to work:
- Excellent team communication. This stratagem will fall apart if none of your teammates are on the same page.
- Heavy firepower (real or implied) to threaten the Hostage
- Within range. Your rescuer should be within reasonable striking range so that your attacker can divert his efforts. If your rescuer is too far away, your attacker cannot reach him anyways and will still have his crosshairs fixed on you.


  1. keep up the good work!!!! , ,, I'm not chinese and I can't read chinese, but my friends want me to play sgs with them. I'm so bad at playing identity card game. Your work helps me to improve a lot :)


Site search