The 36 Strategies

Lure Your Enemy To Trap With Victory


Cast A Brick To Attract A Gem

Means that you first have to prepare a trap and lure your enemy into it by using bait. In war the bait is an opportunity to take and in life the bait is sex, wealth and power to have. By using the bait; your enemy will fall into your trap and that leads to victory.

Prepare a trap then lure your enemy into the trap by using bait. In war the bait is the illusion of an opportunity for gain. In life the bait is the illusion of wealth, power, and sex.

Use bait to lure the enemy and take them in.


Warring States Era China

The earl of Zhi was preparing to attack Lesser Wei.

To prepare for his attack he presented the king of Wei with four hundred mustangs and a beautiful white jade Bi. The king was overjoyed and his ministers all offered their congratulations, but one minister, Nan-wen Ci looked distressed.

The king seeing his demeanor asked: "The great state is very pleased with us! Why then do you look troubled?"

The minister replied: "One must always examine thoroughly a reward given for no merit and deference shown where no force has been applied. Four hundred mustangs and a white jade Bi constitute the kind of gift a small state might give when serving a great one. But in this case the larger state makes the gift. Your majesty should ponder this."

As a precaution, the king of Wei told his commander of the border guards what his minister had cautioned and ordered his troops to be on full alert. Shortly thereafter, as the minister intimated, the earl of Zhi arrived at the border at the head of a large army. But when the earl saw the border guards posted at full strength, he retired saying: "Alas, there are worthy men in Wei, for they have anticipated my plans."


During the Warring States period, Pang Juan of Wei attacked Han. Tian Ji and Sun Bin of Qi again besieged Wei to save Han. When Pang Juan heard the news, he withdrew from Han to defend Wei.

Sun Bin said, "The Wei troops were reputed to be strong and brave and tend to regard the Qi soldiers as cowards. We can turn the disadvantage to our advantage."

The first day after the Qi army entered Wei, Sun Bin ordered his troops to use 100,000 stoves for camp fire. On the second day, the troops were ordered to use 50,000 stoves. On the third day, 30,000 stoves were used.

After pursuing the retreating Qi troops for three days, Pang Juan counted the number of Qi campsite stove fires. He was overjoyed thinking that the Qi troops feared combat and more than half of them had deserted. Confident of victory, Pang Juan left his foot soldiers behind and led cavalry troops to give chase.

Sun Bin had been tracking the progress of the Wei pursuers. He told Tian Ji, "They'll reach Malin tonight. At Malin, there's a narrow path between two mountain peaks. Let's lay an ambush."

The Qi soldiers hid themselves at Malin to wait for the enemy. Sun Bin ordered his soldiers to strip the bark of a huge old tree there and wrote, "Pang Juan dies here." Sun Bin ordered 10,000 archers to hide on the two mountain peaks and to start shooting when they see fire that night.

The Wei troops indeed arrived after dark. They came upon the huge old tree. Pang Juan ordered the torches to be lit so that he could see the words written on the tree. When the torches were lit, Qi archers began firing arrows. The Wei troops were doomed and Pang Juan took his own life.


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