|Battle of Mt. Xingshi|
The Battle of Mt. Xingshi was a battle between Wei and Shu. Cao Shuang attempted to use the campaign to bolster his popularity, but his defeat only served to cause his eventual downfall.
Role in GamesEdit
The stage is first introduced in Dynasty Warriors 7 in Jin's story. Sima Zhao is first ordered to attack the enemy's supply depot despite both the young man and Deng Ai's concerns for a potential raid. As soon as the pair reach the supply depots, a messenger arrives to confirm that Cao Shuang has fallen victim to a raid, and must be rescued. From that point, the battle's objective changes, and Cao Shuang must be escorted to the escape point. As the Wei troops leave the mountain, Guan Suo appears to ambush them, and must be defeated. Soon more reinforcements from Shu appear to try and surround the Wei troops, and Ma Dai proceeds to seal off the escape route. Defeating Ma Dai will allow the retreat to be completed.
In Dynasty Warriors 8, Sima Yi decides to send his family out in his stead. Like in the previous installment, many of the playable officers show clear doubt in Cao Shuang's actual capabilities in the battle. Cao Shuang's first order is to attack the enemy camp at the mountain. After passing through the first gate, the Shu troops launch a fire attack, and Cao Shuang will immediately begin to struggle, and must be rescued. As the Wei forces attempt to retreat back to camp, Ma Dai appears, and firmly shuts the gates. After defeating Ma Dai, Cao Shuang finally admits defeat, and orders a retreat. Soon Wang Ping closes the gates for the mountain's summit, and must be defeated. After Wang Ping's defeat, more Shu troops spring out at the byroads, and Xingcai will guard the exit of the summit. Once the Wei troops escape the mountain, Liao Hua will order a ballista to attack the Wei troops, while boulder throwers prevent an advance. Liao Hua must be defeated to control the ballista which is needed to eliminate the boulder throwers. Soon after, Yueying appears with her juggernauts, and must defeated. Finally, Guan Suo and Guan Yinping will appear at the escape point, and must be defeated to complete the retreat.
The location is reused in the Xtreme Legends expansion for Shu and Wei's stories. In Shu's story, the location is known as Yong'an, and it is a fictional attack on Shu by Sun Quan during Jiang Wei's absence. Liu Shan, first orders the troops to take the center of the battle, and Lu Xun attempts to exploit this sending out fire engineers. While the Shu troops are busy, Zhu Huan appears and orders an arrow barrage at the Shu main camp, and Quan Cong appears to attack the main camp, but Yueying replies by unleashing her juggernauts. Once the Wu attack force has been defeated, Liu Shan orders the troops to mobilize, and they must defeat Ding Feng to get into the Wu main camp. As soon as they arrive, Lu Xun shuts the camp's gates, and stalls for time while Sun Quan leads an attack on the allied main camp, but he is blunted when reinforcements led by Ma Dai appear. Defeating Sun Quan will end the battle.
In Wei's storyline, the area is searched in order to find the missing Cai Wenji, but the Wei troops repeatedly encounter other "beauties" alongside their loved ones. Initially, three kidnappers will appear, and must be defeated in order to gain new information. The first group of beauties are Wang Yuanji and Sima Zhao, Daqiao and Sun Ce, and Bao Sanniang and Guan Suo. After the kidnappers, handmaidens will appear under attack from bandits, and must be rescued in order for Wei troops to find their mistress. The second group of beauties are Sun Shangxiang and Liu Bei, Zhang Chunhua and Sima Shi, and Xingcai and Zhang Fei. After the defeat of the second group, merchants will appear with tigers and pandas, and the merchants must be defeated to acquire the animals. The third group of beauties are Yueying and Zhuge Liang, and Xiaoqiao and Zhou Yu. After the third groups defeat, a group of men will appear, and the Unit Commanders must be defeated in a quick time in order to get the fourth group of beauties to appear. The fourth group of beauties are Zhurong and Meng Huo, and Guan Yinping and Guan Ping. If all the beauties of the previous four groups were encountered, a messenger will report that a final beauty has appeared in a garrison near the main camp, and it turns out to be Lu Lingqi with Lu Bu. After defeating the last set of officers, the exasperated Wei forces return to camp, and will encounter officers depending on who they defeated earlier in the stage. Defeating the officers that have invaded the main camp will end the stage.
In the third game, the area is searched by Ginchiyo Tachibana in the hopes of finding Muneshige, and she brings along both Xiaoqiao and Sun Shangxiang. Initially Da Ji will appear to attack the coalition, but withdraws, and tells the allied army that Muneshige is in the summit garrison. When the coalition reaches the garrison, Da Ji's forces lock the gates preventing Ginchiyo from reuniting with Muneshige, and Da Ji proceeds to inform a bewildered Muneshige of his wife's predicament, prompting him to advance. After the couple rendezvous, they work together to defeat Da Ji.
Later, the coalition returns to the area, and Liu Shan, Xingcai and Nene all work to make a diversion, so that Jiang Wei can enter Xuchang without harm. Zhang He first orders that they create a disturbance in the north, and the coalition ends up attracting Zhong Hui's attention. Soon enough, Jiang Wei appears, and is initially impeded by a few ambushes, but is not seriously hurt. After Jiang Wei's escape, Zhong Hui orders a full assault on the coalition. Defeating Zhong Hui will end the battle, and will allow the coalition to return to the revised Xuchang.
In Ultimate, the mirror realm's Mt. Xingshi had a battle between the forces of Cao Cao, Yuan Shao and Kyūbi. Following Kanbei's plan, Kyūbi's forces first approach Yuan Tan, and convinc him to aid them in the fight against Cao Cao. After defeating much of the Wei forces, but none of Yuan Shao's forces, Jia Xu moves out with his unit to investigate, and must be defeated. After Jia Xu's defeat, Kanbei will send a fake messenger to Yuan Shao to break the alliance of Yuan Shao and Cao Cao. Once the message is delivered, Yuan Shao will turn against Cao Cao. Soon after, Keiji Maeda and Okuni wander into the battlefield, and must be defeated. Once Keiji, Cao Cao and Okuni are all defeated, the stage will end with the recruitment of Yuan Shao and Okuni to Kyūbi's army.
In 244, Cao Shuang "applauded" Sima Yi in scaring away an impeding Wu fleet, and requested Cao Fang to promote Sima to Grand Tutor, an honored role with no actual military power. Through this, Sima Yi was forced to hand over his military power to Cao Shuang.
Against the wishes of many, Cao Shuang opted to launch a campaign against Shu, and he joined his protégés in the campaign that would boost his military popularity. The first course of action was to pick which of the three traditional paths to take to reach Hanzhong. The western path was the Baoxie trail which had the best road conditions of the three, and ensured a quick mobilization of Shu troops in the case they needed to defend or attack. The longest path was the Ziwu trail, which was a straight shot to Chang'an, and was heavily rugged, meaning it was very easy for defenders to set up ambushes. Cao Shuang made the first blunder of choosing the central path, Tangluo trail which, although the shortest, was renowned for having the worst road conditions of the three, and had the least water sources. Many of the Wei army's men and animals would end up dying for this blunder before even meeting the enemy.
Meanwhile, in Shu's side, Wang Ping predicted the that the Wei army would suffer a severe logistics problem, and correctly deduced that Yangping pass be guarded heavily to prevent any pit-stops for the Wei army. Furthermore, he sent Liu Min to Xingshi mountain to set up flags to disguise the Shu army's inferior numbers, and Wang would protect Liu Min's rear in the case of a multiple pronged attack. True to Wang Ping's guess, the Wei troops were stopped at Mt. Xingshi and at Yangping pass, and suffered heavy losses due to supplies alone.
With many of the Wei troops severely starved and exhausted, Wang Ping prepared to switch to the offensive when he heard Fei Yi was coming with fresh troops from Chengdu. Cao Shuang's staff officer, Yang Wei, immediately petitioned that the campaign be aborted, and the army should retreat, but one of Cao Shuang's protégés, Deng Yang, instead refuted Yang for lacking military experience. In response, Yang petitioned that both Deng Yang and Li Feng be executed for their irresponsible behavior, but Cao Shuang refused the proposal.
Later, Guo Huai retreated with his troops, when he realized at how much of a disaster the campaign had become, and Sima Yi sent a letter to Xiahou Xuan citing Cao Cao's previous failure in the area, and only then did Cao Shuang make the order to withdraw.
Fei Yi, and Wang Ping saw the Wei troops retreat, and immediately dogged them in areas where the Shu forces enjoyed absolute geographical advantage. Cao Shuang's humiliating and painful defeat lost him the popularity of both the army and the people of Wei; Sima Yi would later be able to take advantage of this when he launched his coup a few years later.
Due to the lack of famous figures on both sides, the battle is often left out by most ancient historians. Towards Wei, however, the terrible losses that the state suffered because of Cao Shuang would only end up prolonging the Three Kingdoms period, as they would be unable to conquer Shu until decades later. The losses also would indirectly lead to growing insurrections at the Guanzhong area, though the effects would only be seen in the Jin Dynasty many years later.
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