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The Thirty-Six Stratagems by Peter Taylor

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25. Replace the beams with rotten timbers

Disrupt the enemy’s formations, interfere with their methods of operations, change the rules which they are used to following and go contrary to their standard training. In this way you remove the supporting pillar, the common link that makes a group of men an effective fighting force.

Ming Shih Zong was a very superstitious emperor who had a favourite fortune teller by the name of Lan Dao Sing.

Before he became the emperor’s favourite he was required to take a clever test. The emperor sent a eunuch to deliver a confidential letter to him but before he could open and read the letter the eunuch burned it in front of him with the challenge that since Lan Dao Sing was skilled in magic he would know the ...

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