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Thread: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

  1. #661

    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Quote Originally Posted by ParthianWarrior View Post
    I wouldn't be surprised if CA chooses to focus solely on the Han ethnicity so to speak in this game, which would take out the potential for a variety of foreign factions. The Chinese market is very sensitive to empowering ethnic groups for a variety of socio-political reasons. I would love to see some variety, such as the Nanman or the Xiongnu, so hopefully CA decides to includet them at some point. Surprised no one has really asked this yet.
    To be fair most of the non-Han factions at this point were fairly irrelevant, weak and divided. None of the nomads, Koreans, or southern barbarians ever posed a real threat to a Chinese faction in this period.


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  2. #662

    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Quote Originally Posted by ParthianWarrior View Post
    I wouldn't be surprised if CA chooses to focus solely on the Han ethnicity so to speak in this game, which would take out the potential for a variety of foreign factions. The Chinese market is very sensitive to empowering ethnic groups for a variety of socio-political reasons. I would love to see some variety, such as the Nanman or the Xiongnu, so hopefully CA decides to includet them at some point. Surprised no one has really asked this yet.
    This is simply not true. I do not wish to stray this discussion in the wrong direction, so suffice it to say, The Chinese government is only interested in the contemporary period when it comes to portraying China.
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  3. #663
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    New blogpost with introduction of Cao Cao:

    https://www.totalwar.com/blog/total-...FEglMpatu2Bpxw

    Disclaimer: All details included below are subject to change as development continues and should not be considered final.
    In Total War: THREE KINGDOMS players step into the shoes of one of 11 legendary Warlords in this age of glorious conquest. Although the ultimate goal for each leader is the same: unite China under your banner and forge the next great dynasty, the preferred means and methods can differ greatly. Every Warlord has their own unique personality, motivations, and experience, while all shape the way they play and the kind of conquest they favour.
    With such an iconic and varied cast available, each campaign starts with an important choice, which of these heroes, villains, or murky-shades-of-grey types do you want to lead to glory?
    It’s hard to make that decision without knowing all your options, so over the coming weeks we are taking a deep dive on each playable warlord in “Warlord Legends”, a series of blogs focusing on a specific playable warlord, showcasing their unique personality, story so far, and what that means for gameplay (we’ll also go into more detail on the three playable warlords we’ve already revealed).
    For those unfamiliar with the setting, we’re also going to use archetypes to explain exactly who’s who and why you would want to play as them. These are names defined by gameplay mechanics and aren’t taken directly from the history books, but they should help you figure out which character(s) best suit you.
    Our next warlord is Cao Cao, the Puppet Master.
    Cao Cao, the Puppet Master



    • Hero Class: Commander
    • Nickname: Strategic Mastermind

    Playstyle

    Cao Cao is a brilliant strategic commander, excelling in war and politics. His main strength lies in diplomatic exploitation. He divides and conquers, manipulating relationships between factions by spreading rumours of disunity between them. This can fray their relations to the point where war is all but inevitable. Of course, Cao Cao can also influence relationships to forge stronger bonds between warlords. He’s an excellent melder of emotions and can make others think more positively of himself or his allies, allowing him to get better diplomatic deals from those targeted.
    Playing as Cao Cao is all about long-term strategic planning; preparing for war far in advance by setting the diplomatic stage to strike, while expanding your realm slowly but steadily. His agricultural garrisons help to make his farms more defendable and give stronger boosts to his armies.
    These unique abilities can be taken even further. With Cao Cao’s faction, you can instigate a proxy war between two Warlords. In desperate times when swift action is needed, rather than making two factions like each other less and hoping they might go to war – you can directly trigger it without anyone knowing it was your doing. Because of this, you can conceivably win the game without ever being involved in any major conflicts. By systematically driving factions against each other, by manipulating others into attacking him and calling his allies to defend him, and by later confederating or vassalising the fractured remnants of once-great factions, Cao Cao can grow in territory and power without fighting a single battle.
    Who is he?

    Cao Cao was born in 155CE in Qiao county, Han Empire. His father Cao Song was a foster son of Cao Teng, one of the favoured eunuchs of Emperor Huan. It is said that Cao Song’s original family name was Xiahou. This makes Cao Cao related to two of his most trusted generals, Xiahou Dun and Xiahou Yuan. His family was closely intertwined with politics, and Cao Cao studied hard, maturing into a powerfully cunning and shrewd statesman in his own right.
    Cao Cao has seen emperors fall and tyrants rise, he has witnessed power grasped by the undeserving, and it is this world of chaos through which he plots a path to order. Regarded as a strategic genius, Cao Cao pursues victory at any cost, and ensures that the ends always justify the means. Though some call him ruthless, he is nevertheless mindful and considerate, maintaining agricultural garrisons to protect both his supplies and his people during troubled times.
    Ingenious and merciless, he’s known as the Puppet Master and has no qualms in controlling others to fulfill his aspirations. He is a leader who dedicates himself to his ambitions and possesses a unique mindset. Caring little for status or hidebound tradition, he judges men solely on their achievements and skill, and his companions respect him for this reason. Gainsaying his reputation for ruthlessness, he looks out for his followers and treats them with generosity. Despite their rivalry, Cao Cao and Liu Bei are very similar in this regard; they are both supported and trusted by the people.
    Guanxi (Relationships)


    In this section we focus on the heroes and relationships most important to Cao Cao at the start of the game as defined by Guanxi (the Chinese concept of dynamic inter-relationships). Unlike Sun Jian, whose family contains the seeds of powerful characters, Cao Cao has access to skilled officers right from the outset of the campaign who he can trust to execute his will.
    Cao Cao begins with two very powerful generals fighting for his cause: Xiahou Dun and Xiahou Yuan. He’s particularly close to Xiahou Dun, who has served with Cao Cao for his entire military career, and is one of the few who truly understands the reasoning behind his actions.
    Cao Cao is a known for surrounding himself with heroes of great talent. While Cao Cao’s immediate family is still important to him, the support of Xiahou Dun and Xiahou Yuan mean he is a position to deploy more officers earlier in the game than Sun Jian and many of the other major warlords. These officers can be given their own armies to lead, allowing you to expand and defend on multiple fronts.
    Starting Position


    At the start of the game, Cao Cao is branded an enemy of the state by Dong Zhuo, and the tyrant’s henchmen are coming after him. Before he can consider longer-term plans – such as toppling Dong Zhuo – he knows he needs to build a strong foundation. This begins in Chen commandery, south of the Yellow River; a central position with many possible routes of expansion.
    First, Cao Cao needs to defend himself against Han Empire henchmen who are supposed to bring him down. Then, he will have to establish a powerbase in Chen by overcoming the local Han Empire administrators. Only then will he look elsewhere, which is when the Tao Qian incident happens. Remember, the bigger Cao Cao’s empire gets, the more factions will look towards bringing him down when/if he shows weakness…
    Initial Dilemma


    Early in a campaign, each playable Warlord will face an initial dilemma after fulfilling certain prerequisite actions. These dilemmas will position the player at a fork in the road, marking a pivotal moment in that Warlord’s story. One of the options available to you is a choice reflecting what happened in history, and the outcomes will follow the events of the period. The other lets you forge a tale of what might have been. Total War is all about giving players the freedom to create their own stories in some of the most exciting periods in human history, and these initial dilemmas epitomise that spirit.
    Cao Cao’s dilemma is about Tao Qian potentially killing Cao Cao’s father, Cao Song. Cao Cao finds out that Tao Qian’s soldiers robbed and killed Cao Song – perhaps on Tao Qian’s orders, but perhaps not…
    You need to decide which course of action will best serve you in your quest for vengeance.
    This is where Cao Cao’s cunning nature comes into play. While dealing with Tao Qian, a shrewd player will already be thinking ahead. Which potential conflicts may follow? Yuan Shao or Gongsun Zan in the north? Sun Jian in the southwest? Depending on the situation, Cao Cao can start manipulating these factions against each other, tying them down in proxy wars and ensuring he has the upper hand when the inevitable conflicts emerge…
    Cao Cao’s diplomatic arsenal will help to keep surrounding factions off his back. His manipulation ability can also be used to make people friendlier with him. In some situations, this can mean the difference between being declared war at, or not – or it can mean that Cao Cao is able to form a powerful alliance that can protect his back. After all, you’ll need every tool available to stay afloat in the simmering diplomatic cauldron that is the centre of the campaign map.
    Once your powerbase is secure, you can look to expand and conquer other territory. Moving north will likely lead to confrontation and battle with powerful warlords in that region, such as Yuan Shao or Gongsun Zan. Forging south, Cao Cao might appeal to other powerful lords in his schemes against Dong Zhuo.
    Your ultimate aims are to build a larger realm in the north of China, forming the Kingdom of Wei, and to conquer the factions that establish themselves in the south, uniting all of China under your rule. The allies and enemies you make during your campaign will play key roles in your pursuit of that goal.
    What kind of player is Cao Cao for?

    He is the choice of corrupters, conjurors and puppeteers. Those who prefer to employ sly methods, pulling strings in the shadows and manipulating others to ensure the future of Wei Kingdom.
    Further Reading:

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  4. #664

    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Those province borders hurt my soul.

    On the plus side, it looks like were finally going back to Shogun 2 provinces! EDIT: Or maybe not. Urrrrgh.
    Last edited by zoner16; October 27, 2018 at 04:11 PM.

  5. #665
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Quote Originally Posted by zoner16 View Post
    Those province borders hurt my soul.
    I feel you on that...
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  6. #666

    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Campaign mechanics sound interesting. Also for people saying what about Sun Yi/Ben, I imagine the Sun Jian blogpost was intended purely to show off the unique characters(with Lady Wu thrown in to show a family tree). Sun Ben will probably be present as a recruitable officer at the start of the game in a pool of officers, and Sun Yi will probably also be there just not with a unique appearance.

  7. #667
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    New blogpost about what are teams working on:
    https://www.totalwar.com/blog/what-t...Al7UtSw_-PLOQo

    There is a few details for 3K:
    We’re just over five months from launch now and the game is in its most intensive development period. We’ve executed some major overhauls of classic Total War features – such as Diplomacy and empire management – and built some entirely new ones, such as the ecosystem of character relationships, and the impact this has on campaign and battle gameplay.


    Which is – granted – a case of us telling, not showing, but that’s all about to change as we enter the stage where the campaign game is looking close to final, and we start showing it off in earnest.


    When we begin marketing a Total War game, we always start with battle as that’s the area that tends to get solidified earlier on, and there are some nice technical innovations going on under the hood this time around. Cavalry units actually wheel around with a real sense of inertia and momentum now. Infantry units consisting of hundreds of entities move and rearrange themselves on the field in a more ‘human’ fashion when given orders. And there’s more besides.


    Once we’ve introduced battle, we roll into showing off the grand campaign, the part of the game that gives context and greater purpose to battle, and defines the stakes of each battle’s outcome. It happens this way around because there’s a metric ton of interlocking features in the campaign game that rely on each other to give you a representative picture of gameplay. Between art, UI design and functionality, campaign system interoperability and a hundred other aspects, there’s a lot of stuff to come together – and be proven out via testing – to show even a modest part of it working according to the vision. That’s doubly true of 3K, as there’s fundamental system redesigns and entirely new features in the mix.


    We’re getting quite close to that point now. Our feature-set is locked, and we’re in the bug-squashing, balancing and polishing stage. There’s still plenty of work to do, but the crosshairs are sharpening up nicely.


    Vampire Coast for Warhammer II is next on the release list, so no doubt you’ll have seen that this is our current marketing focus. Once Luthor Harkon and chums have set sail, we’ll be rolling out 3K content in earnest. From mid-November, you can expect to see an increasing number of videos, blogs and let’s plays detailing campaign gameplay. This will kick off with a two-parter scrutinising diplomacy, and how much broader and more deeply functional it’s become (spoiler: region-trading is the very least of its features). We’ll follow up on Diplomacy with videos covering many areas of the campaign game, and we’ll be demonstrating more battle gameplay too.


    In the new year, Youtubers and Press will get hands-on time with the campaign to form their own opinions, and before launch, they’ll have access to the full game. So in short, if you’re wondering where all the 3K gameplay videos are, they’re just around the corner.
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  8. #668
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Total War: THREE KINGDOMS Warlord Legends – Liu Bei
    https://www.totalwar.com/blog/total-...VEWhL9nhG5NogI



    Disclaimer: All details included below are subject to change as development continues and should not be considered final.
    In Total War: THREE KINGDOMS, players step into the shoes of one of 11 legendary Warlords in an age of glorious conquest. Although the ultimate goal for each leader is the same – unite China under your banner and forge the next great dynasty – their preferred means, methods and individual objectives can differ greatly. Every Warlord has their own unique personality, motivations and experience, which shape the way they play and the kind of conquest they favour.
    With such a varied cast of personalities available, each campaign starts with an important choice: which of these heroes, villains, or murky-shades-of-grey types do you want to lead to glory?
    For those unfamiliar with the setting, we’re going to use archetypes to explain exactly who’s who and why you’d want to play as them. These are names defined by gameplay mechanics and aren’t taken directly from the history books, but they should help you figure out which character(s) best suit you.
    Our next warlord is Liu Bei, Leader of the People.
    Liu Bei, Leader of the People



    • Hero Class: Commander
    • Nickname: Virtuous Idealist

    Who is he?

    Liu Bei was born in 161CE in Zhuo County (Zhuo Commandery). Like Sun Jian, he grew up in a poor family, a member of the common class. Liu Bei lost his father when he was still a child. He was a descendant of Liu Zhen, a son of Liu Sheng and a grandson of Emperor Jing. From childhood, he was full of ambition and seemed destined for greatness. Empathetic with the common folk, he easily gained the people’s trust and support. This particular trait made him a feared adversary to his enemy Cao Cao.
    Liu Bei is honest and kind to his friends, and well-liked by his companions. A modest and merciful warlord who cherishes his devoted followers, he is widely known as a benevolent and humane ruler, one who cares for his people and surrounds himself with great advisers. He is a brilliant politician and leader whose caring nature motivates powerful heroes to join his side and fight for his cause.
    For Liu Bei, Dong Zhuo represents chaos, and he wants nothing more than to see corruption uprooted and the Han dynasty restored. The Liu family was only nominally attached to the Han, yet there are those who urge Liu Bei to save China from madness and restore the collapsing dynasty. Humble, virtuous and kind, Liu Bei is an inspiring presence, summoning strength from unlikely places, and forging unshakable bonds with those who follow him. Despite his common roots, the blood of ancient Han emperors flow through Liu Bei’s veins.
    Playstyle

    Even though Liu Bei hails from a dynasty of Emperors, he rose from humble beginnings, and does so in the campaign as well. Compared to the other warlords, his starting position is very fragile and insecure. He has no powerbase worth mentioning, though he does begin play with the most powerful army on the map.
    Of all the warlords, he has the strongest bonds with his starting characters, his sworn brothers Zhang Fei and Guan Yu. Yet because of his lowly status, Liu Bei is only able to recruit one army at the start of the game. Only after he has established himself can he field more forces and effectively expand his territory. But to begin with at least, it’s safer to play Liu Bei with a low region count and focus on ensuring strong and prosperous governance.
    Liu Bei’s strength is derived from those closest to him, so he must maintain unity and cohesion within his faction. Only by leading a tight-knit band of brothers will Liu Bei be able to emerge victorious from this conflict. Therefore, players will need to be doubly vigilant to ensure his followers are satisfied and happy. If he does so, Liu Bei will benefit from this unity with faster progression through the faction ranks and better government capabilities, such as fielding extra armies and assigning more governors.
    Liu Bei is undoubtedly popular with the masses and, as long as he leads his faction, his militia units do not cost any upkeep. This makes it easy for him to maintain his forces, especially early on.
    Due to his imperial ancestry, many see Liu Bei with more legitimacy than other faction leaders, which allows him to confederate with other Warlords earlier than most factions. And, at the cost of some unity, he can claim territory under the control of the Han Empire without a fight.
    Guanxi (friendship and loyalty system)


    Liu Bei considers his friends as his family. His initial bond with both Guan Yu and Zhang Fei is very strong. The three of them are sworn brothers, a connection between them that holds through thick and thin. Liu Bei benefits from these relationships early in the game (these characters gain buffs when fighting alongside each other in battle, for example).
    It is said that Liu Bei met Guan Yu and Zhang Fei during his efforts to suppress the Yellow Turban Rebellion. The three shared a vision of peace across a unified China, and they swore brotherhood in the legendary Peach Garden Oath. This connection is mutually reinforcing.
    The other major aspect of Liu Bei’s Guanxi is a general focus on relationships through his unity mechanic. Only happy characters will help to increase unity, and to keep characters happy, enabling them to forge relationships is vital.
    Starting Position


    Liu Bei starts in a small part of the Dong province with his brothers Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. At this point, he doesn’t hold any territory – it’s just him and his brothers with a peasant militia army. Remnants of the Yellow Turban rebellion still surround him, so his initial challenge will be to break through these. As the Han Empire collapses, Liu Bei wants to save the dynasty by rooting out rebels and corruption. But first, he needs a power base in order to replenish and build his strength. You’ll have to deal with the local rebels and reinstate law and order. From there, his starting position implies various paths of expansion, the main routes being either south-east toward Langye, or westwards toward Luoyang.
    Initial Dilemma


    Early in a campaign, each playable Warlord will face an initial dilemma after fulfilling certain prerequisite actions. These dilemmas will position the player at a fork in the road, marking a pivotal moment in that Warlord’s story. One of the options available to you is a choice reflecting what happened in history, and the outcomes will follow the events of the period. The other lets you forge a tale of what might have been. Total War is all about giving players the freedom to create their own stories in some of the most exciting periods in human history, and these initial dilemmas epitomise that spirit.
    Liu Bei’s early dilemma is about helping Tao Qian against Cao Cao. Tao Qian had allegedly killed Cao Cao’s father Cao Song, but Tao Qian of course denies this. In any case, it triggers conflict between Cao Cao and Tao Qian, where the latter seeks help from Liu Bei. The player can decide to join this conflict on the side of Tao Qian. This will mean a potentially difficult war against Cao Cao, but if the attack is repelled, he will have proven his worth and virtue. When Tao Qian dies (he is a rather old man already at the start of the game), his followers will offer to join Liu Bei, which will effectively confederate Tao Qian with Liu Bei.
    Your mid-game aim is to acquire as much prestige as possible and disrupt the other key players from getting too big. When Liu Bei gains enough prestige, he able to raise additional armies, and here’s when you’ll start building your real powerbase. A confederation with Liu Biao’s faction after his death can also be a way to expand your empire even further.
    However, with Liu Bei without a wife or children at the start of the game, you’ll also need to focus on building your dynasty and securing a suitable heir to continue your legacy. How will you get there? Will you aim to secure powerful diplomatic marriage? Or by marrying a loyal member of your court? Or will you skip marriage altogether and choose one of your sworn brothers to be your heir and have them lead Liu Bei’s faction after his death.
    What kind of player is Liu Bei for?

    Liu Bei is the choice of the confident, wise and modest ruler. Someone who cares about the people, understands their needs, wants to restore peace in the land and knows when an opportunity for victory shows up to make it so.
    Further Reading:


    • Romance of the Three Kingdoms: Chapter 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 24, 31, 35, 37, 41, 42, 55, 65, 73, 80, 81, 83, 84, 85
    • A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-230 AD), by Rafe de Crespigny (Brill, 2007)
    • Kongming: http://kongming.net/novel/sgz/liubei.php
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  9. #669

    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    They actually just gave Cao Cao's historical start to Liu Bei. I can't even...

    The faction traits are interesting. One army at the start but no upkeep for militia should create some weird strategies.

    He can spend unity to acquire Han Empire territory. Is unity only for him or is it just something he specializes in so can use it for annexing territory too? Also, who counts as "Han Empire?" Dong Zhuo is technically the Han Empire at the start, and his subordinates are definitely not handing their kingdoms over to some peasant from Zhou just because he has the name Liu.

    Legitimacy is mentioned, but it's unclear if it's an in game thing like in Thrones or if it's more of an abstract concept.

  10. #670

    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Can't wait to make Guan Yu Emperor of China.


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  11. #671
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Source: FB total war https://www.facebook.com/TotalWar/po...t=feed_comment
    Guan Yu is a fierce and noble general serving under Liu Bei. One of the greatest warriors in China with a keen intellect, Zhang Fei looked up to him as his older brother. His magnificent beard was known throughout the land and he was often nicknamed "Beautiful Beard" by his peers.



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  12. #672

    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruwind View Post
    with a keen intellect
    By what abysmally low standards? Not even the Romance had him stand out for intellect.

  13. #673

    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    You might want to click on the link and argue there. Interesting note, intellect is not listed as a special attribute.
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  14. #674

    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Quote Originally Posted by PikeStance View Post
    Interesting note, intellect is not listed as a special attribute.
    I believe it's called "Cunning" in the Wu Xing system. He doesn't get any traits that indicate that he's is as such though, and he shouldn't.

  15. #675
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Zhang Fei is a stubborn, strong warrior with a fierce temper who refuses to back down or retreat. Liu Bei and Guan Yu, his oath brothers, command his deepest loyalty and he’d sacrifice himself for them in an instant.


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  16. #676
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Zhuge Liang is the Imperial Chancellor of the state of Shu. An incredibly shrewd strategist and accomplished scholar. Zhuge Liang chose to join Liu Bei after seeing that he was a noble, man of the people. Constantly thinking one step ahead, he remains calm and calculated.


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  17. #677
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    oh my ing god, they couldn't even get the provinces right. The map sucks.

    Is there going to be naval battles or not? Can I just cross the Yangtze River or the Yellow River willy nilly? These waterways were crucial in transporting supplies and aiding in the defense of key fortresses. If there was no Yangtze River or Yellow River Cao Cao would have defeated Sun Quan and the Yuan brothers little difficulty. Or maybe everything would have been harder because they would have no way to transport their supplies?
    Last edited by Lord Oda Nobunaga; November 06, 2018 at 06:09 PM.

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  18. #678
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Oda Nobunaga View Post
    Is there going to be naval battles or not? Can I just cross the Yangtze River or the Yellow River willy nilly? These waterways were crucial in transporting supplies and aiding in the defense of key fortresses. If there was no Yangtze River or Yellow River Cao Cao would have defeated Sun Quan and the Yuan brothers little difficulty. Or maybe everything would have been harder because they would have no way to transport their supplies?
    Real naval warfare like Empire/Shogun 2/Rome 2 not but there were some hints that maybe we will get something like new Warhammer 2 unique island battle maps. When two navies met, they got option to fight it on special ala Island battle map. I can imagine similar option for 3K..maybe some flameable ships platforms for archers, some landings,beaches...not full land battles,not full naval battles.
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  19. #679
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!









    Disclaimer: All details included below are subject to change as development continues and should not be considered final.
    In Total War: THREE KINGDOMS, players step into the shoes of one of 11 legendary warlords in this age of glorious conquest. Although the ultimate goal for each leader is the same – unite China under your banner and forge the next great dynasty – the preferred means and methods can differ greatly. Every warlord has their own unique personality, motivations, and experience, while all shape the way they play and the kind of conquest they favour.
    With such an iconic and varied cast available, each campaign starts with an important choice: which of these heroes, villains, or murky-shades-of-grey types do you want to lead to glory?
    It’s hard to make that decision without knowing all your options, so over the coming weeks we are taking a deep dive on each playable warlord in Warlord Legends, a series of blogs focusing on a specific playable warlord, showcasing their unique personality, story so far, and what that means for gameplay (we’ll also go into more detail on the three playable warlords we’ve already revealed).
    For those unfamiliar with the setting, we’re also going to use archetypes to explain exactly who’s who and why you would want to play as them. These are names defined by gameplay mechanics and aren’t taken directly from the history books, but they should help you figure out which character/s best suit you.
    Our next warlord is Ma Teng, the Loyalist.
    Ma Teng, The Loyalist



    • Hero Class: Vanguard
    • Nickname: Protector of the West

    Who is he?

    Although the exact details of Ma Teng’s birth are up for debate, many believe he was born in 156CE in Maoling County (Fufeng Commandery). His father, Ma Ping, was once an esteemed officer of the Han Empire, but he was dismissed from his post after a mysterious dispute. Ma Ping then went to live among the Qiang tribes in Northern China, married a local woman, and fathered Ma Teng. Ma Teng’s early life was one of great poverty. In his youth he was put to work selling firewood he collected from the mountains to help his family make ends meet.
    He grew up to be an accomplished warrior, and when the Qiang tribes rebelled he enlisted in the Han army to secure the rule of the Han government. His significant martial prowess shone through, and when the rebellion was suppressed, he was granted the title of officer in the Han Empire. It was during this campaign that he met and became great friends with Han Sui, and together they now control much of Liang Province.
    Rising from nothing to a position of power and wealth because of the support of the Han Dynasty, he is keen not to see it fall to pieces. While many others have broken their oaths of fealty, with the echoes of his father’s disgraceful removal still hanging in the air, Ma Teng is keen to avoid the same fate and bring further shame to his family.
    Even as the storm of chaos rolls and thunders over Luoyang, Ma Teng does not let the squalls of the court cloud his mind. Though many say the dynasty is finished, Ma Teng remains loyal to the Han, prosecuting the enemies of the emperor above all else. On the western fringes of the empire, he has long defended China’s most valuable trade routes, holding back hostile interlopers, and will continue to charge into battle in the emperor’s name.
    Ma Teng may treat his friends well, but he remains merciless with Han’s enemies. He was made General of the West and was persuaded, along with Han Sui, to aid Dong Zhuo in battling against the coalition that formed against him.
    Playstyle

    Ma Teng is hardy, and able to survive in many difficult situations and adverse environments. He also keenly understands the importance of military logistics. All armies in his faction gain bonus military supplies, and when encamped, his troops are trained to forage for food. Meaning his armies are strongly equipped to push forward, continue on the front foot, and support a strategy of aggressive expansion.
    Ma Teng’s faction can also construct the unique Xiliang Supply Lines building chain – one of the few food-production chains that can be built in Commandery capitals. This chain also institutes regional cavalry patrols, which improve the military supplies for armies in adjacent commanderies and depletes the military supplies of any invading forces. Ma Teng also benefits from his close connection to the Silk Road, gaining increased income from silk and spice.
    One key differentiator of his playstyle is that he is the only playable faction at the start of the game that is allied with the tyrant Dong Zhuo. Ma Teng is incredibly loyal to the Han dynasty and its regime, so he will support Dong Zhuo as the nominal chancellor of state. He now fights against Dong Zhuo’s enemies because of it. He’s not necessarily on great terms personally with Dong Zhuo, but he is willing to put that to one side in order to do his duty and fight for the Han empire.
    Guanxi


    Close friends for many years, together Ma Teng and Han Sui govern Liang province and protect the China’s north western borders against invasion. Their tight-knit bond and focus on a strong military alliance goes a long way to ensuring stability in the region.
    Ma Chao is Ma Teng’s son and heir, though at the outset of the campaign he is still a child. It will be a few years before he comes of age, but many within court already believe he has the potential to become a mighty warrior.
    Starting Position


    At the start of the game, Ma Teng is at war with the Yellow Turbans in Wudu commandery. The player will have to conquer the entire commandery to gain a strong foothold in the west. Once the rebels in the area have been dispatched, Ma Teng will have to decide whether to drive his conquest south across the mountains or fight for control of the north-west alone.
    Initial Dilemma


    In each playable warlord’s campaign, they will face a unique dilemma after fulfilling certain prerequisite actions. These dilemmas will position the player at a fork in the road, marking a pivotal moment in that warlord’s story. One of the options available to you is a choice reflecting what happened in history, and the outcomes will follow the events of the period. The other lets you forge a tale of what might have been. Total War is all about giving players the freedom to create their own stories in some of the most exciting periods in human history, and these initial dilemmas epitomise that spirit.
    Ma Teng’s dilemma triggers if/when Dong Zhuo meets his end. Without their tyrannical leader, Dong Zhuo’s faction will splinter as a civil war breaks out between the loyalists and the separatists. This leaves Ma Teng with a major choice. Does he join the conflict and open himself up to a huge war right on his doorstep? Or does he avoid bloodshed and leave Dong Zhuo’s riven faction to its own fate? The former provides him with the opportunity to rescue the child-emperor from the flames of war. But the latter allows him to focus on expanding his holdings elsewhere, biding his time only to strike later on.
    Depending on how your campaign has progressed at this point, a huge war might be exactly what you’re looking for. But war is never without risk, and you must decide which route to take as you fight to bring harmony back to the Han empire.
    Campaign Progression

    In the early stages of the campaign, Ma Teng will need to defeat the rebels in his home commandery of Wudu, and unify it by capturing all settlements.
    As Ma Teng’s campaign progresses, multiple potential paths will become apparent. You could begin expanding southwards into Hanzhong. You might choose to follow history, fighting for supremacy in the north-east by pitting Ma Teng against his former friend Han Sui. Or perhaps challenge Dong Zhuo directly by declaring war against him. Alternatively, Ma Teng can wage war with the enemies of the Han further west, or spend time gathering the support of other warlords in order to strike against Dong Zhou later.
    Your ultimate aim is to build a great realm in the north-west of China, creating your own Dynasty and pushing forth to unite all of China under your rule. The allies and enemies you make during your campaign will have a key role in shaping your pursuit of that goal.
    What kind of player is Ma Teng for?

    Ma Teng is a born survivor. He’s well equipped to withstand the harsh conditions of the arid plains, mountainous regions and the deep jungle. But above all, Ma Teng is driven by loyalty. He’ll fight any faction who challenges the authority of the Han Dynasty, regardless of their motives. If loyalty matters to you, then Ma Teng is the perfect warlord.
    Further Reading

    DMR: (R2) (Attila) (ToB) (Wh1/2) (3K) (Troy)

  20. #680

    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Oh joy it's Romance Ma Teng. I love how they completely omit the fact that he became friends with Han Sui when he defected from the Han army during the Liang revolt, and that he was granted an officer's title as a bribe to buy his loyalty back.

    Anyways, it's good to finally have something of a confirmation that the ThroB supply mechanic is back. Hopefully with some more interesting balance this time.

    Trade goods seem to be confirmed, no surprise there, but it doesn't mention if the Silk Road exists in more than an abstract reference in his bonuses. We'll have to see.

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