|Battle of He Fei Castle|
| Sima Yi|
The Battle at He Fei Castle (合肥新城の戦い, rōmaji: Gappi Shinjō no Tatakai) is one of the conflicts during the Battles of He Fei featured in the Dynasty Warriors series. Historically, Sun Quan led an assault on the castle that Wei built within He Fei and it was his last known military conflict with Wei. In the games, the conflict takes place during the final year of the castle's sieges and it is the decisive battle between Wu and Wei.
Role in GamesEdit
In Dynasty Warriors 3, Wei's centered in and around the northern part of the map in a castle. The Wu army leads resistance in the center, and to the eastern and western parts of the stage with Zhen Ji and Sun Shang Xiang respectively. At the northeastern most corner of the stage lies a bridge layer with a drop on each side, at the end of which archers are placed. As gates open, the various set traps in the western part of the stage can be seen (hidden arrows, and gusts of wind). Wu is found along the shoreline of the southern part of the map. In Wu's scenario, players have the option of going either left, right or through the center of enemy resistance. The left path offers hidden arrows and wind gusts, of which cannot be ceased, the right path features high enemy resistance, and the center path triggers a fire attack. Walking on the bridge layer at the northern part of the stage near Wei's main camp triggers an ambush of crossbow troops, however on the other side of the crossbow units is a special item. In both senarios Wei reinforcements will appear in the southeast near Wu's main camp after a set amount of time.
In Dynasty Warriors 5, Wei is within He Fei Castle's inner, and outside areas. Wu's front is to the east and west of the outer region of the castle. Oscillating statues that shoot fireballs can be seen on the east and west sides of the stage, but only damage Wu officers. Rams will try breaking the central outer gates of He Fei Castle. There are critical ambush points in each region that one must be wary of. The inner pathways leading to the courtyard are also filled with fire breathing lion statues.
In Dynasty Warriors 6, the Wu forces besiege the castle from three sides. The castle itself contains three traps ― One central conveyor belt and two fire pits in the western and eastern sectors of the castle. The conveyor belt leads to the inner main gate and activates every ten seconds or so, moving every soldier or item on it into a pool of water below. To deactivate the belt, the player must destroy the inner main gate. The fire pits are courtyards accompanied by traveling machines that are able to breathe fire. In Wu's scenario, the pits can be stopped by destroying all of the courtyard's machines. By contrast, in Wei's scenario, the pits will be stopped if the defending officer is defeated.
The castle siege in Dynasty Warriors 7 takes place after Sun Quan's death. Zhuge Ke leads Wu troops after gaining momentum from Dong Xing. To counter their push towards Wei, Sima Shi reinforces Sima Zhao and Zhuge Dan's whittled armies.
During the first game of the series, it serves as the stage for the last Wei gaiden. Cao Cao leads a siege against Orochi at the castle, telling his army to invade from three different directions. Da Ji acts as the enemy main strategist and triggers the castle's traps as the Wei army moves in. To aid their advance, Cao Cao sends engineers to break the gates blocking the mountain path. Keiji appears to guard it. If the plan succeeds, the ally army will have a morale boost.
As the battle progresses, Sun Ce, wanting to repay his debt to Cao Pi, appears to reinforce Cao Cao from the eastern docks. Lu Bu also tires of Da Ji's orders and charges the invading army at whim. If Cao Cao's earlier plan succeeded, he will be impressed with the invading army after his defeat.
After Sun Quan suppressed the Shan Yue tribes in Jingzhou and the minority in Wiling, he desired to recapture Wu's Hefei Castle and push back Wei. The previous defender of the area, Cao Xiu, died shortly after his defeat at the Battle of Shiting so his position was replaced by Man Chong. In Sun Quan's first offensive in 230, he marched his army near a location that was close to a dam. Since his advisers feared a water attack, he abandoned the expedition. A year later, he ordered Sun Bu to feign surrender to the Governor of Yangzhou, Wang Ling, and sow discord between him and his subordinate, Man Chong. The Wei retainers saw through the plot and ended it before it began.
In 233, Man Chong abandoned Wu's Hefei Castle and decided to build a new castle in Hefei, which became the subject of a long string of defensive and offensive battles. It is generally debated that Man Chong did this on purpose to throw off the Wu army. Researchers note that the older castle would have been difficult to protect in long drawn out sieges and, though its design indicates that it was well defended, it was impractical for the Wei army to keep for long due to Wu's familiarity with the area. The new castle's water ways prevented heavy naval assaults and allowed the Wei army to strategically station ambushes along Wu's retreats. The Wu army continued to attack the fortification but avoided long-term sieges. During the same year, Sun Quan led an army to take the western area around the new Hefei Castle, but was driven back by the military forces that were there.
In 234, Sun Quan gathered an army of 100,000 to take the new castle. This attack happened at the same time as Shu's Fifth Northern Campaign. While Sun Quan stationed himself in Jingzhou with Lu Xun and Zhuge Jin, he ordered Sun Shao and Zhang Cheng to attack from their respective locations. Marching towards the fortification from three fronts, Sun Quan ordered a full-scale charge. Man Chong countered with a massive fire attack, which crippled Wu's siege. After losing one of his nephews, Sun Tai, and additionally seeing his troops plagued by illness, Sun Quan abandoned the idea of taking the castle and ordered a retreat. It is said that the battles made him realize his foes' ferocity and was the reason why he did not commit to waging war with Wei for the rest of his days.
As a side note, Wei had predicted Sun Quan's assault but Sima Yi was busy dealing with Zhuge Liang's offensive. Cao Rui led troops as Hefei's reinforcements yet Sun Quan's army had already retreated by the time he arrived.
Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit
Romance of the Three Kingdoms wrote about the last encounter in chapters 102 and 103. In accordance with their alliance, Zhuge Liang requested for Sun Quan to aid the Shu army by raising arms. The Emperor of Wu agreed to do so and coordinated three hundred thousand men to march immediately toward Xincheng, Xiangyang and Huaiyang. Sun Quan would ride to Xincheng, Lu Xun and Zhuge Jin were to take Xiangyang, and Sun Shao and Zhang Cheng were ordered to take the last location.
As Sima Yi was fighting Zhuge Liang, Cao Rui led a three way defensive force to counter Wu's army. Cao Rui went with Man Chong into Hefei to counter Sun Quan. Liu Shao was sent to Jiangxia and Tian Du led the army at Xiangyang. Spotting a huge fleet from Wu, Man Chong devised a night raid and a fire attack on Zhuge Jin's men. The plan succeeded and Zhuge Jin scarcely fought and fled. When Lu Xun heard of the news, he gathered his officers into a meeting and all agreed to have Sun Quan cancel his siege of Xincheng. He planned to trap the pursuing Wei army in a pincer attack, with himself leading the frontal assault. Lu Xun sent a messenger but his envoy was captured by Wei's army.
With Zhuge Jin's troops suffering from illness and his plot discovered by the enemy, Lu Xun advised the army had best withdraw. Sending a memorial to Sun Quan for a retreat, Lu Xun and Zhuge Jin delayed their departure and feigned a strong front so that the three armies could safely escape.
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