Awesome: Ravages Of Time
This series, featuring both ridiculously convoluted gambits as well as proficient and nigh-unbeatable warriors, all set in the period of the Three Kingdoms, naturally has quite its share of awesome to boot. Beware of spoilers.
- Half the awesomeness of Ravages can be attributed to the Xanatos Gambit that its Spotlight-Stealing Squad of Bishi-ified strategic geniuses of Three Kingdoms (the Eights and Sima Yi, to be exact) dishes out like free coupons.
- Whenever Zhang Liao announces his Instant Death Radius, you can be sure that awesome will follow.
- ...or whenever Zhang Fei announces he's going to do some painting. With a spear.
- One of the very first signs that this isn't a traditional Three Kingdoms adaptation is the volume-ending reveal that the "dorky" Yuan Dang whose chances with Xiaomeng are immediately shot down by his fellow Handicapped Warriors... reveals himself to be Lu Bu.
Dong Zhuo's Assassination arc (Volume 6-10)
- Even the assassination of Dong Zhuo, which was quite the curb-stomp not-even-battle in the original but rather an assassination, gets turned into an epic battle, with several crowning moments for both participating parties.
- Li Ru turning the tables on Lu Bu and Liaoyuan Huo by revealing that he has placed his troops in the palace — while Dong Zhuo reveals that he had already known that Lu Bu would revolt and that he had just been trying to milk Lu Bu's military prowess for all it was worth first.
- Lu Bu and Liaoyuan Huo kicking ass anyway.
- Zhang Liao killing over a hundred soldiers simply with a one-handed sword.
- Lu Bu's trump card is revealed when the captains of the third camp attack Li Ru's forces, since they're so taken in by Lu Bu that when they see Li Ru's forces attacking Lu Bu, the captains believe that it's Li Ru's coup attempt against Dong Zhuo.
- And finally, Dong Zhuo FACING DEATH WITH DIGNITY.
- Sima Yi appears at the moment of Lu Bu's triumphant gloating and swindles him out of his complete victory with nothing but a bluff about Dong Zhuo's edict — which causes Dong Zhuo and Li Ru to share a dying moment of laughter at Lu Bu's expense that "this kid is more ruthless than you!".
- Jia Xu taking over Chang'An within less than two weeks, with a tenth of the troop strength of the enemy, without losing nearly any soldier besides Niu Fu.
- And, in that context Niu Fu's willingness to sacrifice his own life to make Jia Xu's Darkness strategy work out.
- Finally, the Third Genius closes the curtains on his debut arc with a BANG by driving away Ma Teng and Ma Chao with his revelation of Lu Bu's entire plan to backstab Ma Teng. And he made Lu Bu fall for the same sacrifical strategy again. Kudos to Dong Yue for following Niu Fu's example.
Lu Bu's downfall arc (Volume 28-32)
- Lu Bu's final breakout and Gao Shun's final siege, tear-jerkers that they are, go down in the history of Ravages' awesomeness as the two most emotionally charged and gloriously illustrated battles to date in this troper's opinion.
- Chen Gong defying Cao Cao's present members of the Eight Geniuses (Guo Jia and Jia Xu; Xun Yu is not present) when they try to lure him into changing sides.
- He then publicly and verbally corners Cao Cao into promising to take care of Chen Gong's mother and daughter after his death by publicly staking Cao Cao's good reputation on that patronage — when Cao Cao beseeches to Chen Gong to surrender by asking him what would become of his family, Chen Gong essentially answers "I entrust them to you because you're so benevolent... aren't you?" — and the post-chapter narration declares that Cao Cao kept that promise. Cue Cao Cao's Manly Tears.
Guandu arc (Volume 34-46)
- Guan Yu intercepting Sun Ce's invasion of the northern heartland, followed up by him mounting Red Hare for the first time and Cao Cao's troops beating back the enemy, complete with Cao Cao throwing a zinger at Sun Ce about him not being blessed by Heaven after all for being disloyal unlike his father Sun Jian.
- This one's probably only possible because Yuan Tan had in fact never actually met Lu Bu — but when Liaoyuan Huo single-handedly holds off and defeats Yuan Tan's army commanders with a hoe, then goes on to break through his army, mount a horse and wield a spear... Yuan Tan panicks and mistakenly believes that Liaoyuan Huo is Lu Bu, and that Cao Cao and Lu Bu faked the latter's death to lure the Yuan army into a trap!
- After losing sight of the fleeing Yuan Tan, Huo is subsequently surprised to see Yuan Tan actually fleeing back in his direction, before he catches sight of why: Yuan Tan had to turn around after originally fleeing from Huo right into the path of Zhang Liao trying to exhume his slain comrades. As Yuan Fang subsequently puts it: "Ten thousand elites defeated by two civilians."
- During the Battle of Guandu Cao Cao gets his own moments to prove that he doesn't fall apart without the Three Geniuses actively aiding him, culminating in his putting his formation up against Yuan Fang's formation that had decisively beaten Guo Jia's... and Cao Cao's wins. That's right, the First Genius beats the second Genius, only to lose to Cao Cao.