A World Betrayed: Yan Baihu’s mechanics and the bandit factions overhaul
White Tiger Confederation
Yan Baihu’s Total War: Three Kingdoms – A World Betrayed campaign predominantly focuses on forming partnerships with other warlords. His White Tiger Confederation mechanic gains a point from each coalition or military alliance member. There are a handful of thresholds, and each one provides bonuses to Bandit Network techs and recruitment costs for non-bandit units. As for vassals (whether your own or another lord’s), these do not count towards the tally.
We’ll discuss the Bandit Network techs in a while. For now, you can see the effects of this feature at rank 3 (White Tiger Union) below:
Note: It’s better to stick to coalitions instead of transitioning into a military alliance. There’s a bug that prevents you from offering peace during an alliance war and you need to wipe out all enemy factions completely. A coalition, meanwhile, still allows you to ask for assistance without the hassles.
Yan Baihu’s unique units and special Bandit Camp buildings
Yan Baihu also has four unique units related to his Shanyue tribesman background. These units are unlocked by certain special buildings or Bandit Network techs:
- Yue Remnant Warriors – sword infantry
- Yue Tribesmen – spear infantry (has guerrilla deployment)
- White Tiger Raiders – hybrid spear and bow infantry
- White Tiger Warriors – two-handed axe infantry
With regards to special buildings, patch 1.5 lets bandit leaders such as Yan Baihu, Zheng Jiang, and Zhang Yan construct additional Bandit Camp buildings in each minor settlement that they control. You’ll need to convert any Han-type minor settlement into its bandit version first (ie. Rice Paddies to Bandit Camp – Rice Paddies) to make the extra slot appear. All of these special buildings cost around 500 gold only, and they add prestige to help you increase your faction’s rank:
- Mustering Grounds – redeployment cost (faction-wide); replenishment (local commandery); decreased public order (adjacent enemy commanderies)
- Preparatory Camp – research rate (faction-wide); spy cover gain per turn (faction-wide)
- Food Tents – population growth (local county); public order (local commandery); loot/supplies (local commandery)
- Black Market – banditry income (local commandery)
- Shanyue Camp (Yan Baihu only) – food production; slight improvement to Tribes & Tradition Bandit Network techs; additional Yue Tribesmen units available for recruitment
Mustering Grounds are the most important minor buildings to have at the frontlines, especially if you’re keen on expanding quickly. Black Markets, meanwhile, help increase your banditry income in your power base. As for Preparatory Camps, Yan Baihu’s White Tiger Confederation mechanic already helps with the research, so you can focus more on warfare and money-making.
Banditry income, sharing the spoils, bandit officer skills
Let’s talk about banditry income now. This source of income is separate from that of the usual concepts you’ve gotten used to in Total War: Three Kingdoms — ie. peasantry (farms), industry (mines/toolmakers), and commerce (ports and markets). Neither Han lords nor bandit lords would be able to increase banditry income via assignments or perks. Instead, this type of income is increased via specific buildings such as those from the Banditry chain in your main settlement, or minor settlements like the Bandit Camp – Livestock Farm.
It can also be increased by switching to a stance called “Sharing the Spoils.” This greatly increases an army’s replenishment while lowering its supplies. Similarly, it boosts the entire commandery’s reserves, food generation, and banditry income generation.
The number of units in a retinue also wouldn’t matter. An army with six units will generate the same income boost as an army with a sole general. You can actually have multiple “lone wolf” armies just sitting around increasing your GPT for several turns. Alternatively, you could switch your armies to this stance just to replenish all its troops quickly. This is one of the most useful (and almost overpowered) campaign mechanics in A World Betrayed.
There’s also a slight change that’ll differentiate regular Han officers from bandit variants. The latter will tend to have some offensive-oriented skills such as “Poison Arrows” or “Gluttony” (increase loot/supplies for your army) instead of “Abundance” (food for your commandery). There’s also an assignment called “Reward the Villanous & Corrupt,” but this might be bugged since I can’t activate the option anywhere.
In short, most bandit officers your rulers start out with will be terrible. They’re not good for empire management and domestics compared to their Han counterparts. Thankfully, Han officers can still join your court.
Bandit court positions
Bandit factions also have a unique court system. Administrators are now called Underlings. Rather than providing additional commandery bonuses based on their traits, all Underlings simply have the following effects:
- +10% income from all sources (commandery)
- -20% corruption (commandery)
- +10% corruption (adjacent enemy commanderies)
Minister positions have also undergone a rework (note that officer traits don’t provide benefits as well):
- Incense Master – -10% recruitment cost
- Master of Arms – +50% looting income; +50% post-battle income; -20% redeployment cost
- Chief Smuggler – +5% food production; +10 loot/supplies while in enemy territory
- Unbending Negotiator – -10% character salary; +10 diplomatic relations with Han Empire factions
- Relentless Enforcer – +5 morale; characters no longer have a desire to attain higher offices
The only court positions affected by officer traits are those for the Right Hand (prime minister) and Next-in-line (heir). However, once you proclaim yourself as an emperor, this feature changes to the imperial court system. All previous minister positions will gain officer boons.
The Bandit Network: Yan Baihu’s research techs
Perhaps the most important overhaul to bandit faction mechanics in Total War: Three Kingdoms – A World Betrayed is that of research. You’ll now have what’s called a Bandit Network. Each node represents a commandery on the campaign map, providing you with certain perks and upgrades. They also let you recruit faction-specific or Yellow Turban units. Here are some examples:
- “Smugglers of Guanxin” (Yulin commandery) – +5% banditry income; +1 trade agreement; +2 recruitable crossbowmen
- “Warband of Woniu Mountain” (Taishan Commandery) – +2 available armies; +2,000 population growth; -5% corruption; +2 recruitable People’s Warband
- “House of Liu” (Chengdu commandery) – +10% industry and commerce income; +2 spy positions; +2 recruitable Yi Archers
- “League of the Celestial Master” (Hanzhong commandery) – +4 satisfaction; -25% salary; -5% corruption; +2 recruitable Virtuous Noblemen
Controlling multiple settlements in a given commandery will improve your research rate a bit. Combined with Yan Baihu’s White Tiger Confederation mechanic, this can slightly speed up the acquisition of techs. Do note that the values are additive, so Bandit Network techs may still take a few turns to get completed. Here’s an infographic highlighting some important Bandit Network nodes:
Mercenary Contracts: Fame & Fortune
Another important addition thanks to the bandit factions overhaul is the Mercenary Contracts system. This is available to all three bandit rulers as well as Lu Bu. It allows you to offer your services to any warlord, aiding them in a conflict against a specific target.
Defeating a target’s armies nets you Fame & Fortune. This will keep the progress bar high enough so that the contract can last its full duration of 20 turns. You may also gift the target’s settlements to your employer for a lot of gold as well as even more Fame & Fortune, and an event may fire randomly while you have an active contract.
There’s also a major bug related to this feature. During peace negotiations, it’s possible to offer peace while suggesting a Mercenary Contract. If you do this within the same proposal, you’ll notice a very high diplomatic weight. But, this also glitches the contract, preventing you from getting rewards or canceling it. Your turn counter will also reach the negatives. In short, offer peace and add anything that can sweeten the deal; only propose a Mercenary Contract after the peace deal is completed.
Well, that’s quite a lot to take in, eh? And we haven’t even delved into Total War: Three Kingdoms – A World Betrayed‘s campaign yet. Don’t worry, you’ll master Yan Baihu’s and the bandit factions’ mechanics soon enough. With that, it’s time to move on and check out Yan Baihu’s progression and events.
Total War: Three Kingdoms – A World Betrayed is available via Steam. Yan Baihu, meanwhile, can be obtained as free downloadable content (FLC). For more information, check out our guides and features hub.