Ravaging Times

November 19, 2010

post-chapter 324 editorial, page 6

Filed under: Ravages of Time — Tags: — merc @ 4:23 pm

(the 6th page of this editorial piece has some meaningful bits, so I’ll translate the majority of it D:; this is also a continuation of my previous editorial piece translation)

Ravages Biography of the Mighty Warriors
(supposedly this is a series done by the editorial staff in the magazine releases, but I might not see or translate all of them)

The Explanation of the Yuan Army’s Methods of Warfare Part II

Who is Feng Hou?
Legend has it that Feng Hou was a descendant of Fuxi, and that he inherited the scripture “Yellow River Map” that deals with ancient mathematics and mysticism. As an expert in arithmetic, calendar, and methods of war, he was later discovered and appointed by the Yellow Emperor to a governing position, becoming half tutor and half friend to the latter. It is said that he is also involved in the invention of the Compass Cart.

What kind of scripture is “The Principle of Grasping Marvels”?
“The Principle of Grasping Marvels” mainly explains the adaptability (changing nature) of the Eight-Unit Formation, how it can be combined with the Five Movements and Eight Symbols, as well as the importance of the guerrilla force. It is mostly a text about military philosophy. The text was said to be authored by Feng Hou, later expanded upon by Elder Duke Jiang during the Zhou dynasty, and annotated by Gongsun Hong during the Han dynasty. However, there were also Qing dynasty scholars who believed this work was written during the Tang dynasty.

What is the Eight-Unit Formation?
The Eight-Unit Formation is not a group of eight individual formations. As described in “The Principle of Grasping Marvels”:
“Four of the eight formations are straightforward, four are the surprise. The remaining surprise is the grasping of marvel, or as it’s called overall.”
(this is barely a gloss version, since I’m not sure if there is an official English translation?)
Divide the army into 9 sectors (like a tic-tac-toe grid), with the main force in the middle, front/back/left/right as the straightforward, the corner troops are the surprise. They can merge or separate on cue, with specific timing guided by the mobile unit for better support. The invention of the Eight-Unit Formation had a significant impact on future warfare and its methods.

Although there were many one-man-armies during the Three Kingdoms period, commander’s ability and the use of tactics are still more important on the battlefield!

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