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A General is a leader of an army usually with less than 100.000 men, who uses military tactics, strategies and knowledge to achieve victory on the battlefield. They carry political weight and can wield immense power in some of the warring states. Having a good general is crucial to the defence of a state's territory as well as for offensive campaigns into other states. Few soldiers achieve the position of General due to the difficulty to get the rank.
Types of GeneralsEdit
There are two types of generals: The Strategic type and the Instinctive type. The instinctive type fights battles with the intuition of a wild beast while the other uses tactics to methodically work towards success against the enemy. Duke Hyou is an example of an instinctive type while Go Kei represents the strategic type. Those who lead their armies from HQ will provide a sense of security to their army with the knowledge that they're being guided by good hands. Meanwhile those who lead from the front personally will raise their men's morale with each strike they make alongside them.
Strategy versus instinct is an eternal theme amongst generals, as Ouki commented to Shin in the battle between Duke Hyou and Go Kei.
An example of this struggle is seen in the battle between the two generals. Duke Hyou's actions forced Go Kei down from his camp where he held a terrain advantage and put the fight on terms of military might. This led to his success as he broke through the Wei lines and defeated their great general in combat, causing them to retreat.
It is expected for a general to be the best of the best in all things war related. They must display capable leadership abilities as the numbers of soldiers under their command can vary from thousands to hundreds of thousands. In addition to this, they must use clever or crude tactics (depending on the general) to achieve success on the battlefield. Most generals have been shown to wield their respective weapon of choice with superior skill, though it has been seen that the instinctive type tend to be stronger when it comes to combat. Using the environment to your advantage, predicting what the enemy will do in response, and having tremendous martial talent are the differences between a general and a Great General.
How to Become a GeneralEdit
In Qin, true strength, supremacy and principle have pushed lineage to the back burner. The system that's in place now allows for anyone to go to war, and if they do well they get promoted. If they keep it up, they'll eventually reach the level of general.
The army is made up of men from noble families, and regular citizens who either enlist or are drafted into the army. However, the only ones who can enlist are those who are registered, and they must come from a village that meets certain criteria. If they are servants, like Shin, who don't have a place to live, they can't raise their name through battlefield exploits, they can't even make it to the battles (under normal circumstances). Even to nobles, to becoming a general is a nearly insurmountable task. So for a servant like Shin, it's like trying to reach the stars.
The personalities vary from general to general. Some charge recklessly into battle, while others command from their headquarters. Spending the lives of men is a common tactic used in warfare which cannot be avoided. A general's presence is far above that of the average person to the point where they seem larger to those around them. The pressure invoked by a general's presence puts fear into men and makes some reluctant to fight against such monsters on the battlefield. It is also said that there are two types of generals in regards to the way they affect their troops' moral. Some, such as Geki Shin, control their army through fear or subterfuge. Consequentially once they die, a major portion of their army will lose their morale and will usually surrender on the spot or flee out of cowardice. Others, such as Ou Ki, are predominately charismatic and are a major source of inspiration and loyalty. As a result, if they were to fall in battle, their army would usually go berserk. They will then go on suicidal charges with the intent of taking as many enemies as they can with them before joining their general in the afterlife.
"Ultimately, war belongs to its generals." - Ouki
"The more a general relies on logic, the easier they will be tripped up by feats that surpass logic." - Fuuki