敌战计 

Confrontation Stratagems

​第七计     SEVEN

无中生有

Create something from nothing

 

wú zhōng shēng yǒu

Act
 

  • A plain lie.
     

  • Make somebody believe there was something when there is in fact nothing.
     

  • Create an illusion of something's existence, while it does not exist.

  • Create an illusion that something does not exist, while it actually does.

  • You never have nothing. Look around you. There are always resources one can use. With a little innovation quite a few things can be created out of 'nothing'.


History
 

In the year 756, Chao Linghu of Qin was besieging Yongqiu, who were running out of arrows. General Chang Shun ordered straw mannequins to be lowered. Chao fired thousands of arrows at them, which the Yongqiu warriors happily collected. Later, when Shun ordered more mannequins to be lowered from the city walls, Chao ignored them. Shun then lowered real warriors who launched a fatal attack on the Qin army.

​第八计     EIGHT

明修栈道,暗渡陈仓

Openly repair the plank roads, but sneak through the passage of Chencang

 

míng xiū zhàn dào, àn dù chén cāng

Act
 

  • Deceive the enemy with an obvious approach that will take a very long time, but meanwhile surprise him by taking a shortcut and sneak up to him.

  • Pretend to take one course of action while you are secretly preparing to take another.

  • It is an extension of stratagem 6, but instead of simply spreading misinformation, physical baits are used to increase the enemy's certainty on the misinformation.

  • While the enemy concentrates on the bait, he will miss you sneaking up to him.

  • Make the false attack seem bigger than it is, meanwhile take clandestine action to achieve your real goal on another front.
     

  • Pretend to care about something that you do not care about, causing the enemy to expend energy and attention to it. Then, when it is convenient, ignore it.
     

  • Attack the enemy with two convergent forces:
    The first is the direct attack, one that is obvious and for which the enemy prepares his defense. 
    The second is the indirect attack that the enemy does not expect and which causes him to divide his forces at the last minute leading to confusion and defeat.


History
 

In preparation for a confrontation with Xiang Lu, Liu Bang sent his men to repair the main gallery roads (which he had destroyed not long before).


Simultaneously, he secretly marched his main contingent through the small town of Chengcang. Xiang Lu, meanwhile, had relaxed as he knew that the gallery roads would take years to repair.

Liu Bang was hence able to take the lightly guarded Guanzhong by surprise.

第九计     NINE

隔岸观火

Watch the fires burning across the river
gé àn guān huǒ

Act
 

  • Delay entering the battlefield until all the other opponents have become exhausted fighting amongst themselves.
     

  • When there are multiple combatants, let them fight one another until they are exhausted, then march in with your fresh forces to win the final battle.
     

  • If in an alliance, you can place the allies at the front or giving them the harder battles to fight.


History
 

During fights between the Chinese states, two Yuan brothers went to Kang Gongsun for help in fighting their third brother, who had allied Cao Cao.

Kang beheaded them and sent their heads to Cao Cao who made him a duke as a reward. Both used the conflict within the Yuan family to further their goals.

​第十计     TEN

笑里藏刀 

Hide a Knife in a Smile
xiào lǐ cáng dāo

Act
 

  • Befriend and charm your enemy. Once you have gained his trust, secretly move against him.
     

  • Behave as if you are harmless in order to get close to your enemy. When he does not suspect, suddenly attack him.
     

  • Plot your moves in absolute secrecy and unleash it at speed so there is no opportunity for reprisals or defending by the enemy.



History


Li Yufu was a cunning Tang minister who knew how to get along with people. He seemed kind and friendly, but merciless to anyone who crossed him. He developed good terms with the Emperor who ignored complaints about him for a long time, but eventually sent him to serve at the frontier.

​第十一计     ELEVEN

李代桃僵

Sacrifice the plum tree to preserve the peach tree
lǐ dài táo jiāng

Act
 

  • Sometimes you must sacrifice short-term objectives in order to achieve the long-term goal. 
     

  • A scapegoat strategy by which someone else suffers the consequences so that the rest do not.
     

  • Accept a small loss in order to make a greater gain.
     

  • You can sacrifice small towns and hills. Better to focus your forces on the bigger fish. Fight hard for really matters.
     

  • Usually can cannot win all battles, so better to ensure the ones you win are the important ones by ensuring the ones you lose are the less important battles.



History

Sun Bin helped Tian Ji to win a horse race by putting his best horse in another race of weaker horses, rather than against horses in the first race.
This principle was implemented in the third and other other subsequent races.

 

At the battlefield, Sun Bin put his weakest troops against Pang Juan's best, his medium troops against the enemy's medium troops and his best troops against the worst of the other side. His best troops quickly destroyed Pang Juan's worst troops and then joined his medium troops to wipe out the opposing medium troops. All Sun Bin's forces then combined forces to defeat Pang Juan's best troops.

​第十二计     TWELVE

顺手牵羊

Take the opportunity to pilfer a goat


shùn shǒu qiān yáng

Act
 

  • When carrying out your plans keep an eye open to take advantage of any opportunity or profit that presents itself, however small.
     

  • While remaining focused on the your current task, keep attention and spot for both opportunities and threats.


History

When Wu Qi was being chased by archers he clung to the dead king's corpse, which was pierced by several arrows. He took an opportunity of a law against mutilating a king's body, which meant that the archers' families were all severely punished.


Once a villager passed through a flock of sheep and emerged with one, as if he had entered the flock this way.

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