Total War: Three Kingdoms – A World Betrayed is the newest expansion for Creative Assembly’s massive historical strategy game. Dong Zhuo has fallen and renegades have kidnapped the Han Emperor. With three new faction leaders (one of which is a freebie FLC), and ten others who are vying for control, China will once again be at the mercy of the warlords. This guides and features hub will help you with various mechanics in A World Betrayed. While we focus primarily on Lu Bu, Sun Ce, and Yan Baihu since they’re the newest additions, we’ll also have mini-guides for other rulers such as Cao Cao, Liu Bei, and more.
Total War: Three Kingdoms – A World Betrayed guides and features hub
Official review – Is the newest expansion worth your while? It’s time to find out in our official review.
Sun Ce: The Little Conqueror of the Southlands faction guide – The scion of the Sun family lays the foundations of Eastern Wu.
Lu Bu: Warrior Without Equal faction guide – The greatest warrior in all of China aims to become a one-man army.
Yan Baihu: The White Tiger of the Shanyue faction guide – The lord of the Shanyue tribe builds his coalition against other rivals. We also detail the changes to bandit factions.
Han factions mini-guides
We also have several mini-guides featuring other Han factions that are part of Total War: Three Kingdoms – A World Betrayed‘s campaign:
- Cao Cao – The Hero of Chaos has the perfect opportunity to take all of Chen and Yingchuan province, but Lu Bu and Liu Bei might have other plans.
- Liu Bei – The charismatic sandal-maker has risen to become a nobleman. He now has Tao Qian’s lands, but Cao Cao and Lu Bu have their eyes on his territory as well.
- Yuan Shu – The scheming warlord holds an ambition like no other, and perhaps he’ll declare himself emperor in due course.
A World Betrayed: General campaign events and scenario transitions
There are a few notable events that take place during Total War: Three Kingdoms – A World Betrayed‘s campaign. As far as I’ve noticed, these aren’t as far-reaching as Mandate of Heaven‘s Mandate War/Yellow Turban Rebellion or Dong Zhuo’s takeover. Instead, you’ll see a smattering of pop-ups and notifications.
Hot potato with the Han Emperor
For instance, Li Jue and Guo Si capture the Han Emperor around turn 5. After that, the Han Emperor is passed around multiple factions such as Li Xian’s and Yang Feng’s. The emperor doesn’t like to stick around and he may end up escaping to another faction regardless of having high prestige. He might also get locked in place once Cao Cao takes control of him.
Emperor Yuan Shu
Since we’re on the subject of emperors, a certain nobleman named Yuan Shu decides that it’s time for him to become emperor as well. This usually happens around or after turn 15. It usually involves him wiping out Liu Chong’s faction first. If Liu Chong gets defeated militarily, he and Luo Jun may end up in another ruler’s court. Alternatively, he could get assassinated via an event which means he’s gone for good.
Once Yuan Shu declares himself emperor, the player will get additional missions focusing on a conflict with him:
Lu Bu, riotous
It’s also possible for players to encounter an event where Lu Bu’s faction gets defeated early on. However, just like in Romance of the Three Kingdoms and in history, he’ll become buddies with Liu Bei only to betray him in the end. Speaking of Liu Bei, he and Kong Rong will tend to form a coalition. Kong Rong will often be at odds with Yuan Tan and there’s a chance that he (Kong Rong) gets confederated via an event. Players can then recruit him as a “turncoat” spy (more on this below).
One last thing: There’s no transition from Total War: Three Kingdoms‘ original campaign to A World Betrayed‘s setting. If you start in 190 CE, you’re not going to get certain event chains that would lead to Lu Bu or Sun Ce having their new DLC mechanics.
New additions via patch 1.5
There are some major changes in Total War: Three Kingdoms with the newly-added patch 1.5. This is a free update available to all players, and it coincides with the release of A World Betrayed.
First off, you’ve got more unique officers and generals such as Da Qiao, Xiao Qiao, Cheng Pu, Han Dang, Chen Gong, and Gao Shun. There are also officers with unique portraits and models, but they aren’t selectable in custom battles (ie. Wang Lang, Li Jue, Liu Yao).
Tech and reforms, likewise, had a minor change. Previously, you could get your first tech on turn 2 and every five turns thereafter. Now, your first tech comes on turn 4. Don’t worry, though, because the advancement in the time period means your faction has already unlocked multiple techs.
Espionage has also had a slight tweak. There are now possible “turncoats” that are part of certain factions. You can recruit these officers to spy for you, and they’re automatically embedded and have additional intel points. Also related to this are new assignments that let you place officers in foreign territories. These assignments affect public order or improve a spy’s capabilities in hostile lands.
Next, there’s a rework to the bandit factions (Yan Baihu, Zheng Jiang, and Zhang Yan). They no longer have a similar playstyle to that of the regular Han warlords. Instead, they focus primarily on a select few unique units (with limited recruitment) and the improvement of bandit networks around China. We explain these mechanics further in our Yan Baihu faction guide.
Another major overhaul is in the form of officer ranks and titles. Previously, all you had to do when officers had low loyalty was to give them gold. This time around, you’ll need to assign ranks/titles. Some are already available at the beginning of Total War: Three Kingdoms – A World Betrayed‘s campaign. Others, meanwhile, still need to be unlocked depending on the requirements. There will be times when you may have the gold, but you don’t have enough titles to hand out leading to low officer satisfaction.
Commandery population has also had an update. Certain commanderies will have a higher population than others, simulating historical development. As you continue to build these territories, more people will flock. Those with a higher population will even let you construct more than one building at a time. You can view more details about the changes in Creative Assembly’s official post and you can also watch the video below:
Total War: Three Kingdoms – A World Betrayed is available via Steam. You can purchase the expansion for $8.99.