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Thread: How can this cruel Mongolian tactic be countered?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Candide's Avatar
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    Default How can this cruel Mongolian tactic be countered?

    In ROCH, there was a part where the Mongolians attacked Xiang Yang by forcing about 2000 civilians to go first with their army following closely behind. This led to the scene where GJ was climbing up the wall when the GWM ambushed him and YG rescued him.

    Guo Jing immediately recognised this tactic as he had seen it many times before while he was a general under Genghis Khan, but he didnt know how to effectively counter it. The civilians were usually captured in nearby villages and therefore were likely to be families of the soldiers guarding the fortress. This usually forced the soldiers to open the gate and the Mongolian army would flood the fortress as that happened. Even if it didn't succeed, at least the Mongolians would get a few of their spies inside, not to mention demoralizing the other side.

    If you were General Guo Jing, how would you counter this tactic? Yes you can ask your wife for help.
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    Senior Member Zhuge Liang's Avatar
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    Make small entry points for them to crawl in. Basically you need to let them in but not in volume lest the enemy swarms in too. Then you quarantine the newcomers. Either block the entry points or chop or capture any enemies that try to come through them.

    Otherwise this is the best compromise i can think of. The means of getting them in can vary. Most likely not all of them will get in safely but it beats opening the doors to the enemy and endangering Guo Jing who is their only hope.

    As a preventative measure try to evacuate all families of soldiers inside the city. The impact is slightly less when you don't know the victims.

    Or you can be even crueler and kill the civilians yourself. This tells the enemy you don't care and perhaps they might stop using this tactic in the future if they see that it is ineffective... though unlikely. Then depending on how charismatic and devious your yakker is, you can try to shift the blame onto the Mongolians and strengthen the will of everyone to fight them by demonizing them. A slightly tactic was used by the remaining defenders of Zhao when Qin destroyed Zhao in the Warring States period.

    Or perhaps lay some traps which can be activated to slow the army down, giving you time to get the peasants inside.

    Throw them down some weapons? The anime has the civilians beating the enemies back with rocks etc!
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    Senior Member SkineePanda's Avatar
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    There is no effective way of countering it. The civilians are very screwed. This is a very brutal but effective tactic. If the defenders open the gate, the defenses will likely be breached. If they don't, they will helplessly witness their people being tortured befored their eyes, demoralizing them. But...

    A hardened general will order his troops to kill the civilians themselves(via arrows if possible) to spare them the humiliation and suffering by the enemies. Liu Bang cared even less, when Xiang Yu threatened his father.

    Or they can do a counter-tactic, throw some POWs(if they have any) off the walls to spite the enemy. If there's a VIP among them, do some extra torturing above the walls, then hang his corpse dangling.

    Or riskier: kind of like what Zhuge Liang said but OPEN the gates completely and LET THE ENEMY IN, then ambush them from within, making the gates meatgrinders. Some fortresses have various defense designs such as gates within gates, ambush tunnels, etc. and provided that your troops are capable enough.

    Either way the civillans are very much screwed. Thats why you run like hell when there's a invasion.

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    Member Carefree Assassin's Avatar
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    or you could just bring a lute up onto the wall, hide all the defenders away, throw open the gates while playing happily away on the lute. If the Mongolians knew any chinese history/story they'd seriously slow down a bit and prepare for a kongming style massacre, giving you precious time to slam the gates after the peasants scramble in and laugh derisively in the Mongolian's faces. No ambush required.

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    Senior Member Guo Xiang's Avatar
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    Or riskier: kind of like what Zhuge Liang said but OPEN the gates completely and LET THE ENEMY IN, then ambush them from within, making the gates meatgrinders. Some fortresses have various defense designs such as gates within gates, ambush tunnels, etc. and provided that your troops are capable enough.
    I'm sure the civilians will get killed in the ambush as well. And they will make the ambush alot less effective because the Song soldiers would be trying to avoid them while attacking the Mongolians whereas the Mongolians... Do you think they care? @[email protected];
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    Never have your soldiers kill your own people. That's as demoralizing as you can get. 9/10 of the battle is already lost if you destroy morale that way.

    I wouldn't open the gates, but I would order the archers to shoot arrows at the trailing Mongols, not the civilians. Further, the general needs to explain in simple words why the gates mustn't be lowered. He also needs to use the slaughter below to galvanize his troops. If watching your own people get slaughtered by the enemy won't get you angry, nothing will.

    It's a no-win situation, so one should just try to salvage what he can get.
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    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    The worst part is that the city is screwed even if the civilians get in safely. That's 2000+ extra mouths to be fed which is probably going to reduce the food supply by weeks in a siege type situation.

    If this batch of civilians gets in, the Mongolians will simply round up another batch and another and another until the city runs out of food and starves.

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    Senior Member SkineePanda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingfox2002
    Never have your soldiers kill your own people. That's as demoralizing as you can get. 9/10 of the battle is already lost if you destroy morale that way.
    Its not so much that the general and soldiers would be doing it to be completely heartless....it'd be more out of mercy, depending on the situation. Think about it this way, if the Mongols were cutting up a innocent peasant piece by piece(or worse), wouldn't you want to end the poor guy's suffering? I wouldn't want the atrocity to go on and on. And having the entire city hear innocent people scream isn't exactly pleasant for morale neither. Killing them: ease their suffering, deny the Mongols their bargaining chip, and show the resolve not to surrender.

    And I agree the general should speak to his troops very clearly, what they are doing and why. Its very brutal and uncompromising.

    or you could just bring a lute up onto the wall, hide all the defenders away, throw open the gates while playing happily away on the lute. If the Mongolians knew any chinese history/story they'd seriously slow down a bit and prepare for a kongming style massacre, giving you precious time to slam the gates after the peasants scramble in and laugh derisively in the Mongolian's faces. No ambush required.
    I'd go with throwing POWs off the walls.

    I'm sure the civilians will get killed in the ambush as well. And they will make the ambush alot less effective because the Song soldiers would be trying to avoid them while attacking the Mongolians whereas the Mongolians... Do you think they care? @[email protected];
    Yes, some will definitely get killed. Thats why there is no effective way of saving the civillians. But lifting the siege maybe possible.

    I think the Song army should just send in one of their baddest-a$$ generals for a duel, when the Mongols refuse, the Song soldiers can just cheer and laugh at the Mongols' cowardice. Automatic morale-booster.
    Last edited by SkineePanda; 03-21-05 at 06:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkineePanda
    Its not so much that the general and soldiers would be doing it to be completely heartless....it'd be more out of mercy, depending on the situation. Think about it this way, if the Mongols were cutting up a innocent peasant piece by piece(or worse), wouldn't you want to end the poor guy's suffering? I wouldn't want the atrocity to go on and on. And having the entire city hear innocent people scream isn't exactly pleasant for morale neither. Killing them: ease their suffering, deny the Mongols their bargaining chip, and show the resolve not to surrender.

    No matter what the intent, killing one's own people is very demoralizing- if the cries of the dying at the hands of the enemy is disheartening, imagine if they were dying at their own people's hands. Certainly there's better use of ammunition than using it on your own. On the other hand, having the soldiers witness sadistic slaughter of the innocent is likely to fire them up. The good motivator will be able to take the opportunity to victimizing oneself and inhumanizing the enemy. Of course, there will be soldiers who get frightened by the brutality of the Mongols and get weak in the knees, but these same soldiers would have been yellow in battle anyway.
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    most likely the general won't allow the peasants to be carved up slowly into bitty chunks either, since the peasants would be clamouring around at the foot of the walls, and most likely the mongols won't have the time or the fun to chop peasants into chunks if they've got arrows falling on em like rain. and according to the art of war by sun zi, honourable generals fall victim to moral taunts and tricks, and softhearted generals waste time and life trying not to disturb peasants. So a realistic solution is to use the peasants as bait.

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    "The best defense is a good offense." Who the heck knows if that's true but if the Mongols are busy killing peasants, then their defense of overhead arrows aren't as good. In any event, who cares about the peasants when the fate of the country lies in your hands? It's a cruel fact but the lives of peasants are but dirt. The good general keeps sight of the large picture.

    So, the best way is to just shoot arrows at the Mongols while they are trying to torture/kill the peasants. If the Mongols decide to camp and do their sadistic torture of the peasants to try to draw me out of the castle, then oh well, the peasants are out of luck.
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