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Late Tang and 5 Dynasties Chinese

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago

Later T'ang and Five Dynasties Chinese (III/39)


1. Tibetan allies

2. Subordinate generals

3. Ox-drawn "chariots"


Proposal 1: Tibetan allies for Later Tang


Author: Duncan Head


Synopsis: Tibetan allies should be available in 784 AD.



Add 784 to the dates when Tibetan allies are permitted.

Add to the notes "20,000 Tibetans helped defeat a rebel in 784."




This is a fairly trivial proposal, since Tibetan allies are already allowed at two dates, but for completeness' sake...


The source is "The Early Policy of Emperor Tang Dezong (779-805) Towards Inner Asia", by Martin Slobodník, in Asian and African Studies 6, 1997 – online at http://www.elis.sk/ . This article describes Dezong's pro-Tibetan policy in the early years of his reign, which led to a Tibetan force of 20,000 helping a Tang force of unknown size defeat rebels in the 4th month of 784, at the river Wuting 70km west of Xian. The alliance broke up soon aftwerwards.



Proposal 2: Allow sub-generals


Author: Mat "Chosroes"


Add after:

"Chinese ally-general - Reg Cv(O), Reg Cv(S) or Reg Bd(F) 1-2"

the new line:

"Replace ally-general with sub-general of same classification 0-1"


In Notes, replace:

"so assistant generals are classed as allies"


"so most assistant generals are classed as allies"



While the Late T'ang do not get any, those of the Five Dynasties covered, and the "Ten Kingdoms of the south and the outlying regions" all suffered from a less than loyal military, the "all Ally General" schema may be too harsh historically, as well as making these armies ineffective.


For example, at Changan in 757, the Tang vanguard, infantry with long swords who "advanced like a wall and fearlessly struggled forward", held out thanks to the leadership of their general Li Siye (Li Ssu-yeh in the lists' Wade-Giles spelling), who stood in front of the troops stripped to the waist, shouting orders and encouragement. He was clearly an Imperial loyalist rather than an ally of dubious reliability, and seems to be commanding a force all of Blades, which an ally can't. Probably all armies should be able to replace one ally general with a subordinate. Zhu Wen, founder of Later Liang, also had a number of loyal subordinates, and no doubt other examples could be found.



For Li Siye, see Colin Mackerras, The Uighur Empire According to the T’ang Dynastic Histories (University of South Carolina, 1972), p.16, citing the Ziji Tongjian (Tzu chih t’ung chien).



Proposal 3: Ox-drawn "chariots"


Author: Duncan Head




Add the following lines: 


Only Fang Guan's Tang army in 756 AD:

Ox-drawn "chariots" – Irr Exp (O)                  **10-20


Add to notes:


Minima marked ** apply if any troops so marked are used. All "chariots"

must be in the same command. Fang Guan may not use any foreign allies

or southern tribals.




The first Tang attempt to retake Changan from An Lushan's rebels in

756 was commanded by an elderly civil official, Fang Guan, without

military experience. Drawing on the classical literary tradition, he

had 2,000 war-chariots built, drawn by oxen, and deployed them in

the centre of his army. The oxen were frightened by the rebels

shouting, banging drums and stirring up dust-clouds; then fire-

arrows set the chariots afire.


(R D Sawyer, Fire and Water (Westview 2004), p.75, citing Tang shu

and other sources.)


 Assuming the rules' 25 heavy chariots per element, we'd be talking

80 elements, which is a lot. However a list for these battles would

be double scale or even smaller – armies up to 200,000 are recorded,

and the defeated Tang in this battle lost an alleged 40,000 men. I

assume quadruple scale, 1,000 men or 100 vehicles per element.


The proposed classification as Expendables is to make them vulnerable

to the rebel archers, Exp being much more easily defeated by Bows

than the likely alternatives, at least under DBMM. (Not all Chinese

troops armed with bows are necessarily Bows; indeed An's original

rebel army included many Khitan and Xi tribal troops, who would

mostly be LH (F) horse-archers. But Exp are likely to be more

vulnerable than the alternatives to these as well.) The "chariots"

were used to open the attack, which is also appropriate for

Expendables, and are unlikely to have been well-trained or

particularly manoeuvrable, also apt.


Under DBMM, WWg (I) might seem on the face of it a likely

classification for ox-drawn "chariots", except that they can't

contact the enemy, which does not seem appropriate. Under DBM that

option isn't available anyway: the Irr Kn (I) used for Indian ox-

drawn chariot-substitutes would be possible, but perhaps too

effective against certain targets at least.


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