Total War: Three Kingdoms – A World Betrayed brings new challenges for Liu Bei who’s just inherited the lands of Xuzhou from Tao Qian. Here’s our faction guide to help you with Liu Bei’s campaign.
Note: This guide was completed while playing Romance Mode on VH/VH difficulty. For more information, check out our Total War: Three Kingdoms – A World Betrayed guides and features hub.
A World Betrayed: Liu Bei’s campaign moves and events
- Liu Bei’s faction mechanics have already been discussed in detail in our original guide as well as from tidbits of info in Mandate of Heaven. As such, we’ll dive right into his campaign in A World Betrayed.
- Play to Liu Bei’s strengths by using militia units. Keep Unity and satisfaction levels high while looking for unification targets.
- Kong Rong remains a stalwart ally.
- Try to have multiple non-aggression pacts and trade deals running, especially with your neighbors. You don’t want to be surprised by a nasty declaration of war.
- Lastly, although Liu Bei’s mechanics are different from Cao Cao’s, players may encounter similar experiences due to having common enemies.
- Defeat Zang Ba and capture Pengcheng farmland. You’ll get another mission to capture Pengcheng’s temple and Dong’s iron mine.
- Family: Make Lady Mi your heir due to her bonuses.
- Assignments: “Tax Collection” and “Industrial Inspection” in Langye, and “Stimulate Markets” in Donghai.
- Court: Make Guan Yu administrator the of Langye and Mi Zhu the administrator of Donghai (give Mi Zhu the “Scholarship” perk once he levels up). Lastly, you don’t need a Grand Excellency yet since you’re not getting any industry income.
- Officers: Employ Sun Qian since he has “Reward the Filial & Incorrupt” already. Also, remove Mi Fang’s title so it doesn’t waste your gold.
- Buildings: Construct a farm in Donghai and a tax collector in Langye.
- Trade Agreement: One should be with Kong Rong. Combine this with a form coalition offer and GPT.
- Detach Zhao Yun and move him closer to Langye.
Turn 2 to 4:
- Zheng Jiang will capture Pengcheng’s temple after you end your first turn.
- For Liu Bei’s army, try to see if you could afford Zhang Fei’s retinue. For some reason, his retinue (plus a couple of cavalry units) can solo Pengcheng temple’s garrison.
- Deploy Mi Zhu’s retinue with Zhao Yun’s. Continue recruiting and replenishing your troops.
- Lu Bu’s faction will get destroyed on turn 4.
Turn 5 to 7:
- Zheng Jiang will also move out of Pengcheng’s temple and you can capture it with ease. You should also be able to capture Dong’s iron mine to complete the mission.
- Moving forward, try to corner Zheng Jiang’s army so you can eliminate her faction very early in A World Betrayed.
- After she’s gone, take our Zang Ba as well. Now you can have a Grand Excellency since you’re getting more industry income from the mines.
- Don’t forget to convert bandit buildings into the Han versions.
Major event: Lu Bu joins Liu Bei
One of the zaniest moments in Three Kingdoms history is also depicted in A World Betrayed. Lu Bu asks to join your faction around turn 5:
- Accept = buffs to character salary and satisfaction
- Decline = relationship deteriorates
Outcome 1: Lu Bu’s betrayal
A couple of turns later, you’re notified that Lu Bu is abusing other soldiers. Looks like trouble’s brewing. Take note of Lu Bu’s loyalty, it’ll continue dropping until he eventually rebels (around turn 10). He’ll only capture Langye with a half-full stack. Try to have an army ready to take him out.
Outcome 2: Lu Bu becomes “Liu Bu”
Still, it’s possible to keep Lu Bu in your faction for good. You’ll need to save up on a lot of gold to adopt him and make him your heir. Give him an extra officer rank as well once you can afford the GPT hit.
Major event: Kong Rong asks for help
Kong Rong will be at war with Yuan Tan early in A World Betrayed‘s campaign. Yuan Shao will eventually bring his armies. Should any of Kong Rong’s settlements get captured, you’ll be faced with a dilemma:
- Help Kong Rong = war with Yuan Shao; improved relationship with Kong Rong
- Ignore Kong Rong = “follow the story” option; relationship deteriorates
You may also delay the aforementioned dilemma from popping up (which is a bit hard to do) as long as Yuan Shao is unable to capture one of Kong Rong’s settlements. In any case, if you ignore Kong Rong’s plight, he’ll eventually surrender to Yuan Tan, becoming confederated in the process. It’s still possible to recruit him if he shows up as a turncoat spy.
Bug: Before the event fires, Kong Rong might ask you to help him in his conflict against Yuan Tan (since he’s a coalition member). Naturally, you’ll be at war with his dad Yuan Shao. The event will still occur later, but you’ll remain at war with Yuan Shao regardless of your choice.
Major event: Emperor Yuan Shu
As was the case in Cao Cao’s and Sun Ce’s campaigns, Yuan Shu’s imperial ambitions will get the better of him. By turn 14-15, he’ll have eliminated Liu Chong’s faction already. He’ll follow it up by declaring himself emperor.
Note: If Liu Chong is assassinated via an event, he’s gone for good. If Yuan Shu just captures Liu Chong’s last settlement, then he and Luo Jun may still end up in your court.
In any case, you’re given a couple of missions relating to Yuan Shu: defeating a couple of armies or garrisons, and another to destroy his faction completely. You’ll also be presented with a dilemma around turn 17:
- Go to war = kick Yuan Shu’s ass
- Wait and see = relationship deteriorates
Bug: Similar to Yuan Shao, there’s also a bug when it comes to your conflict with his half-brother. If you’re already at war beforehand (ie. Yuan Shu issued an ultimatum for a city and you declined), then your choice wouldn’t matter since the fight will still continue.
Liu Bei and the Kingdom of Shu
You can’t focus on all the above tasks at the same time. Ideally, you should commit to the following actions:
- Turn 1 to 7: Defeat Zheng Jiang and Zang Ba in quick succession.
- Turn 8 to 10: Build up an army and wait for Lu Bu to rebel. Defeat him and recapture Langye. Alternatively, adopt him and make him your heir.
- Turn 11 to 16: Accept Kong Rong’s proposal to go to war with Yuan Tan via the dilemma. Take out Yuan Shao’s vanguard forces and capture Yuan Tan’s bases in Taishan. Keep an army in ambush stance and watch out for any attacks. Don’t make peace with Yuan Shao since he can still attack Kong Rong.
- Turn 17 onwards: You can delay your conflict with Yuan Shu for a short while. Just DOW him when you’re ready.
- Note: Try to have non-aggression pacts with other nearby lords (Cao Cao and Liu Biao) all while looking for opportunities to invite rulers to your coalition or those who may want to accept unification.
It’s likely that Cao Cao will end up fighting with Yuan Shao (their own Guandu Campaign of sorts), and the latter may want to sue for peace. Reject his proposals so you can continue taking his lands while developing your own.
As for Liu Bei’s beloved Han Emperor, he likely won’t escape anymore once Cao Cao has gotten a hold of him. I guess the Hero of Chaos is your next fight. Soon enough, you should be able to proclaim the Kingdom of Shu.
Total War: Three Kingdoms – A World Betrayed is available via Steam. For more information, check out our guides and features hub.