"The strength of the aboriginals isn't low. Once they reach adulthood and train a little, they will attain Great Xia's Man Wheel level and can qualify as a junior officers in Great Xia. Also, they do not lack courage.
This could be seen from the way many commoners defended the city at critical times and resisted the invasions of Yusheng City and Liao City.
They merely lack weapons, combat training, and people to organize them.
Although war is the responsibility of the army, at times when the army cannot protect them, the commoners will have to protect themselves.
This will certainly inflict casualties, but it will be better than the present situation.
As long as some elite soldiers form the skeletal system, then the commoners can be used as the flesh. For example, one elite soldier to nine civilian and a combat effective army can be formed in a very short time. If they need even more soldiers, they can recruit them from those staying in the mountains to quickly form new military units," Ren Baqian announced on the radio.
"This plan... is feasible." Hong Wu kept quiet for a long time before gradually opening his mouth. Although he didn't like the idea of sending commoners into the battlefield, he had to find ways to reverse the present situation.
If the army was allowed to destroy the hinterland of Dayao before being driven away, it would take an unknown amount of time for Dayao to recover.
Needless to say, with the 200,000 reinforcement soldiers of Great Xia, just 100,000 of them combined with the 70,000-strong main force outside Liao City would be enough to pin down the winged cavalry and the soldiers from the Protectorate of the Center in Liao City. If the other 100,000 reinforcement soldiers also entered the hinterland of Dayao, the combined force of more than 180,000 soldiers would easily swallow them up even if the 5,000 reinforcement Dayao soldiers from the Protectorate of the South arrived.
In that case, the situation would be even more difficult.
"As long as such a system is implemented, they will lead a normal life during peacetime and be mobilized during wartime. This way, they do not need much food supply and can enlist tens of thousands of troops very quickly during wartimes."
"Great Elder, call Qin Chuan over to discuss this issue," the empress ordered.
"There is another problem regarding the two army troops that have entered Dayao. Since they need to replenish their supplies, we can strengthen the defenses and inform all the people in strongholds to take away all the food supplies to the city centers to let them have nothing in the wild. If a city is invaded, evacuate the people and destroy all the food that cannot be taken away.
"We will ensure that they cannot replenish their rations and that they will gain nothing from us. In that case, they either have to retreat or seek help from Great Xia to supply them with food. In the first scenario, we will cut off their escape route and engulf them. For the second scenario, we can cut off their food supply line, force them to retreat, and intercept them on their way back." Ren Baqian continued.
"We have insufficient military strength," Li Qianqiu stated the current bleak situation.
In the face of the aggressive assault by Great Xia, Dayao entered into a disadvantaged position after just a short time.
"If the 16 cities and towns north of Lan City implement our new plan, we can get at least 3,000 soldiers. Even though most of them are deployed elsewhere from the south of Lan City, we should be able to get another 1,500 soldiers, right? Adding the 5,000 reinforcement soldiers from Protectorate of the South, we will have about 9,500 soldiers altogether. Furthermore, although the empress's winged cavalry seem to be stuck in Liao City, they can be deployed here at anytime. By then, we would have enough strength to defeat one of the two troops.
We also have the means to communicate via the radio station, whereas the other side isn't able to do it."
Everyone was relieved to hear Ren Baqian mention the radio station as this was their greatest advantage over Great Xia right now.
"Why don't we change the method of warfare? We have less people, but our 8,000 soldiers can match the fighting strength of 80,000 of their soldiers. In terms of flexibility, we are also better than them. Furthermore, many people were born in the mountains and are good with bows and arrows.
"We can fight around them, harass them with bows and arrows, and retreat after a wave of attacks. They would not be able to catch us except with their cavalry. However, we can easily defeat a small number of their cavalry soldiers." Ren Baqian said.
"Although our soldiers have stronger arms physically, Great Xia have better made bows and arrows. As a result, the shooting range of both parties are quite close. When we attack them with our arrows, we are exposing ourselves to their arrows, and in such an engagement, our losses will be bigger."
"On the contrary, our losses would be less when engaging in close combat using swords and spears." Hong Wu resolved Ren Baqian's question.
"It's not that we cannot do it, quick maneuvers are good enough. Great Xia's army is overstaffed, and their flexibility is vastly inferior to ours." Ren Baqian pondered for a moment and called to mind the initial exploits of the army of Genghis Khan.
Although the aboriginals depended entirely on their two legs, their running speed wasn't slow at all.
"However, we were discovered by the time we reached the vicinity of the Great Xia army." Hong Wu insisted on his opinion in this matter.
Ren Baqian didn't refute him again because Hong Wu was more familiar with the situation than him. He still needed to go to the frontline to observe for a period before deciding on the next move.
Following this, everyone discussed at length the two issues regarding the militia as well as the the strategy of fortifications and clearing the fields
Ren Baqian heavily favored the idea of naming the militia as the City Management Brigade. The name alone would improve their military strength by at least 30 percent. Unfortunately, the empress immediately vetoed this idea.
Although the strategy of fortifications and clearing the fields is the correct one to take at this juncture, the people of Dayao will be distressed by the thought of destroying unripe crops. Perhaps, the people of Dayao would have to tighten their stomachs after this war.
"Do not worry about the food supply. It will be alright when the sweet potatoes ripen. Anyway, Dayao does not lack food supplies," Ren Baqian comforted the crowd. They just needed to cripple the Great Xia army to reverse the situation. Then, large tracts of land in Great Xia could be utilized freely.
After discussing over the radio, the army worked nonstop to form the militia and transferred the weapons originally meant for the recruits to the cities and towns north of Lan City.
Shi Qing ordered every town and city to gather the commoners from the nearby strongholds, taking along all the food they could bring and destroying the leftovers.
The whole northern region of Dayao began to bustle with activity.
On the other hand, Ren Baqian continued his journey to the northeast. He spent a night in one of the strongholds after travelling for a day.
Early the next morning, an elderly aboriginal asked Ren Baqian and the rest as they were preparing to eat, "Sir, how is the situation now?"
The commoners didn't know the current war conditions, but they had heard about cities in the north being invaded by the Great Xia army.
"The orders to move the food from all the strongholds to the nearest town will arrive very soon. The food that cannot be brought along will be destroyed," said Ren Baqian after he turned his head to speak. Even if he wasn't asked, he would still tell them because their current location was too close to the frontline.
"How could we do this?" The elderly aboriginal was shocked. The vegetables would mature in half a month. Part of the crop would be for their own use while some would be sold in exchange for meat to fulfill half of their food stores. The other half of the food supply consisted of the water buffaloes and domestic animals in the strongholds.
If this half was lost, the future would be tough for them.
"The Great Xia army will be here soon. If we don't destroy the food supply, we will be supplying them with food. Evacuate to the city and the empire will make arrangements for you," Ren Baqian said coolly.
At that moment, an uproar was heard coming from the entrance of the stronghold.
"Sir, the Great Xia army is here!" Shi Hu's face turned pale after hearing this.
Ren Baqian racked his brain.
You guys run faster than Cao Cao?(Cao Cao, courtesy name Mengde, was a Chinese warlord and the penultimate Chancellor of the Eastern Han dynasty who rose to great power in the final years of the dynasty)
"Everyone, winner winner, chicken dinner!" Ren Baqian wasn't too anxious because the Great Xia army they were encountering here should be the scattered and retreating soldiers.