What's with the Cartoon:
With the extra three cards that he picks up with his ability, he can entrench himself behind fortified walls... except he sort of looks like a blue troll that just climbed over a castle wall. The artists should have let him raise the middle finger instead.
Who is he:
Every leader has their most loyal and trustworthy followers. Cao Ren was such a follower of Cao Cao 曹操. From Cao Cao's rise to power, till Cao Cao's death, Cao Ren was a formidable and trustworthy general in his camp that never once showed any signs of disloyalty nor surrender. In fact, Cao Ren saved Cao Cao's ass a couple of times. Yet it must be said that Cao Ren receives a lot less mention in the story than many other of Cao Cao's generals (such Xu Chu 许褚 and Dian Wei 典韦). Perhaps such is the fate of those who keep the world turning behind the scenes. Dr Goh Keng Swee was never as well known as Lee Kuan Yew was he?
Character ability: "Entrenched 据守 (jù shǒu)"
After the discard phase of your turn, you can draw an additional 3 cards from the deck. By doing so, you will skip your next turn. Skip your turn meaning no judgement, no drawing of cards, no using of any cards, nothing what-so-ever!
Ability's relation to story:
This is an interesting one. There actually is one scene in the story where Cao Ren was entrenched in his city, pretty much helplessly on the defensive. When Guan Yu 关羽attacked the city of Fan Cheng 樊城 where Cao Ren was situated, Guan Yu starved the city and flooded it by redirecting river flow. Despite the odds, Cao Ren kept his troops' morale up and held out till reinforcements came. This is probably where the "Entrenched" ability arises from. But if you ask me, it's kinda strange to base an ability on a dire circumstance! I'm not the biggest fan of this ability and i'm still researching (using Cao Ren as often as possible) on how to make this ability work to my advantage.
Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Riding out to rescue his own troops when they were losing the battle against Zhou Yu 周瑜. Right after the battle of Red Cliffs 赤壁之战, where Cao Cao got his ass whooped bad, Zhou Yu pressed on and attacked the city of Jiang Ling 江陵. Cao Ren was tasked to protect Jiang Ling and sent his aide Niu Jin 牛金 and 300 troops to defend, but these troops were losing the fight and could not escape. Cao Ren personally rode out to rescued them. His troops respect Cao Ren so much that after they exclaimed, "General, you are truly a man from Heaven!" This exclamation can be found in its original unabridged form on the card itself just below his character ability description "将军真天人也!"
2. Cause of death - At this current moment i'm not fully sure about the details of his death. All I can gather is that Cao Ren died of sickness at the age of 56. I did not manage to dig out any information about the sickness nor the circumstances surrounding his death. If anyone knows, please leave me a comment and share with all of us.