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Total War: Three Kingdoms Eight Princes - Meet the new warlords

Total War: Three Kingdoms Eight Princes - Meet the new warlords

By Sam Jones

Total War: Three Kingdoms Eight Princes - Meet the new warlords

By Sam Jones - 26th Jul 2019

Get to know the princes coming to the hit action strategy in the latest DLC

Total War: Three Kingdoms Eight Princes - Meet the new warlords

The first exciting Chapter Pack for Total War: Three Kingdoms is on the horizon, and with it comes some fresh faces heading onto the battlefield.

The Total War: Three Kingdoms - Eight Princes DLC adds (as you'd expect) eight new warlords to the action strategy game, as well as a new campaign set in the year 291 CE. One hundred years on from the events of the main Three Kingdom campaign, the Jin Dynasty is divided, and power-hungry princes are preparing for the inevitable civil war bubbling within ancient China.

All eight princes have now been unveiled in detail by Total War developer Creative Assembly. Here, we take a look at the princes, as well as their playstyle, traits and what they bring to the strategy table.

Sima Wei (Hero Class: Vanguard)

Sima Wei (Hero Class: Vanguard)

The 'Tempestuous General' - Sima Wei was given military command of Jing province at the young age of 18, known for his loyalty to the empire. Wei is aggressive when it comes to expansion and is able to field armies more efficiently and cheaply if he can maintain momentum.

This trait results in a big upkeep reduction and replenishment bonus when his Fury is high. His starting position on the map is within grasp of the capital Luoyang, and his powerbase is well-established. He has two vassals, the Prince of Nanyang to the east, and the Prince of Ba to the west - both will initially provide great support and eventually open new fronts against common enemies as well.

Creative Assembly has described Sima Wei as an ideal warlord for players who "like to be driven forward at all times, and who not only want to feel rewarded themselves for taking risks, but who also like to share their spoils with their followers and comrades."

Other key stats:

- Excels at breaking through enemy troops

- Weaker against other generals

- Best grouped with retinues of Shock Cavalry and Polearm Cavalry

Unique units:

- Chu Infantry: (Assault, strong vs infantry)

- Chu Spearmen: (Anti-cavalry, strong vs armoured cavalry)

Sima Lun (Hero Class: Commander)

Sima Lun (Hero Class: Commander)

The 'Usurper Prince' - Sima Lun is the Prince of Zhao and an egomaniac who was willing to go to any length to secure power. Lun is well known for starting a cycle of war and betrayal between the princes that would shake the Jin dynasty for years to come.

Sima Lun is a self-serving schemer, willing to engage in treachery in order to acquire riches and power for himself, even if it means sacrificing the efficiency of his own administration. He builds ‘Subterfuge’ through acts of espionage and by developing his own corrupt judiciary building chain; having plotted sufficiently, he expends this resource in order to control other factions in diplomacy.

Lun's starting position presides over the fertile lands of Shangdang and Ye, north of the Yellow River. Securing the entirety of Shangdang and moving into the Taiyuan mountains will give him a solid power-base and source of income, removing his initial threat and allowing him to focus south towards the capital.

Creative Assembly said that players "looking to double-down on clandestine activity should embrace Sima Lun’s subterfuginous style, driven as it is by performing spy actions and enabling some powerful diplomatic chicanery. Being a sneak has never felt so good!"

Other key stats:

- Excels at inspiring friendly troops

- Weaker in melee

- Best grouped with retinues of Melee Cavalry

Unique units:

- Xiongnu Cavalry: (Shock cavalry, excellent charge)

- Xiongnu Cataphracts: (Assault, excellent charge, excellent armor)

Sima Ai (Hero Class: Champion)

Sima Ai (Hero Class: Champion)

The 'Principled Administrator' - Sima Ai became known as a reformist, and as a diligent administrator with humility and great talent. Brother to Sima Wei, Ai tried to be a driver for a modern approach to liberalism.

Ai's playstyle is focused on the civic side and developing a reformed infrastructure. He is about focusing on a de-centralised government and liberal administration, represented by certain building choices.

He will have to balance the need for centralised infrastructure with other elements and create a balanced approach to commandery management. Ai's starting position is relatively far away from the capital in a good position.

He also has a Master Armourer region in his control right at the start. To the north, the Yangtze river provides a good defence, but the terrain in the south is difficult to manoeuvre, so expansion will be difficult.

Creative Assembly has described Sima Ai as an ideal warlord for the type of player who "focuses a lot on civic infrastructure, and who enjoys administration of their commanderies. He is also for players who believe in political liberalism and who want to reduce direct state-driven control and its corruption."

Other key stats:

- Best used to engage enemy generals

- Weaker against units

- Best grouped with retinues of Spear Infantry and Glaive Infantry

Unique units:

- Infantry of Jing: (Polearm infantry, anti-cavalry, good morale and armor)

- Archers of Jing: (Excellent ranged damage, high ammunition)

Sima Jiong (Hero Class: Commander)

Sima Jiong (Hero Class: Commander)

The 'Imperious Regent' - Sima Jiong was a highly regarded young official who was once considered a proper heir, even to Emperor Wu, though he was eventually expelled from the capital.

His playstyle as a most capable military commander meant that he was known for his domineering attitude, working at his best when taking matters into his own hands. His resource - Control - is won through military feats and by building a network of judiciary buildings, but is diminished by having other characters take up ministerial positions within the faction: nobody can hope to be his equal in government.

Jiong has a powerful starting position, owning properties in two different commanderies - the commandery of Beihai, a valuable breadbasket, and the entirety of Taishan commandery - including its trade port.

Creative Assembly has described Sima Jiong as an ideal warlord for players who "want the challenge of maintaining a faction where the true power lies largely in the hands of a single warlord should opt for Sima Jiong. He’s perfect for the decisive and domineering individual!"

Other key stats:

- Excels at inspiring friendly troops

- Weaker in melee

- Best grouped with retinues of Melee Cavalry

Unique units:

- Qi Guardsmen: (Polearm infantry, good vs cavalry, excellent armor)

- Qi Crossbowmen: (Armored crossbowmen, excellent vs armored units)

Sima Ying (Hero Class: Strategist)

Sima Ying (Hero Class: Strategist)

The 'Beloved Governor' - Sima Ying's playstyle focuses on characters. He has access to a stronger variant of the Government Support agricultural building chain, which grants extra bonuses to income from peasantry and food production from farms in the same commandery.

Ying’s court differs from all others, as characters who are assigned to any ministerial position grant faction-wide effects - a trait normally reserved only for the prime minister, heir and faction leader. Assigning a smart combination of characters to Sima Ying’s court can therefore have a powerful and wide-ranging impact.

Creative Assembly say that Sima Ying is a preferred option for players who "know that a ruler cannot operate on his own. He is for those who believe that a wise ruler surrounds himself with capable allies and loyal followers, and allows these advisors to shape and direct the future of his faction".

Other key stats:

- Able to severely impair efficiency of enemy generals and units in battle.

- Provides use of formations to nearby friendly units, although they're extremely fragile.

Best grouped with retinues of Ranged Infantry.

Unique units:

- Qiang Hunters: (Horse archers, good skirmishers, good melee, fatigue immunity)

- Qiang Marauders: (Shock cavalry, flankers, fatigue immunity, poor defence vs missile)

- Qiang Raiders: (Melee cavalry, flankers, fatigue immunity, poor defence vs spears)

Sima Liang (Hero Class: Champion)

Sima Liang (Hero Class: Champion)

The 'Rightful Regent' - Sima Liang's playstyle focus is lawful rule. His faction has a unique government type called Domain, which restricts the number of counties which can be governed without incurring penalties.

However, his faction also has access to the unique resource of Jurisdiction, which increases his faction’s maximum domain size, and greatly increases income from the faction leader’s estates, replenishment and the chance to capture characters. The main source for Jurisdiction is factions who submit to his leadership through a unique Cooperation vassalage treaty.

Jurisdiction is also generated through Judiciary administration building chain, which also fights corruption.

According to Creative Assembly, Sima Liang’s playstyle is suited to those who "wish to grow tall, preferring slow expansion and a focus on establishing one’s lawful right to rule and developing one’s domain whilst creating a network of vassals to help establish a strong position in the world".

Other key stats:

- Best used to engage enemy generals.

- Weaker against units.

- Best grouped with retinues of Spear Infantry and Glaive Cavalry.

Unique units:

- Imperial Guards: (Frontline infantry, excellent defence)

Sima Yue (Hero Class: Sentinel)

Sima Yue (Hero Class: Sentinel)

The 'Imperial Overseer' - Sima Yue's playstyle focus is politics and internal government. His unique Labour economic building chain boosts population growth and reduces construction costs.

Yue's court also features two unique ministerial positions: the military emissary which reduces recruitment costs and enables the Military Interference assignment, and the Provincial Advisor, which reduces corruption and enables the Provincial Inspection assignment.

Creative Assembly say Sima Yue is most suited to players who are "politically minded, who like to control government and administrative aspects of rulership. As Sima Yue, you will have to concern yourself with maintaining your influence across your realm, and with managing the various positions and tasks for your government officials".

Other key stats:

- Excels at locking down enemy generals or holding a chokepoint for a long period of time.

- Best grouped with retinues of Glaive Infantry and Melee Infantry.

Unique units:

- Xu Raiders: (Assault, shock infantry, good charge)

- Warriors of Xu: (Frontline axe infantry, high health, good missile defence)

Sima Yong (Hero Class: Vanguard)

Sima Yong (Hero Class: Vanguard)

The 'Shrewd Defender' - Sima Yong's playstyle focus is defence and infrastructure. Known for his talent at identifying capable people, Yong has an increased chance for 'Man of the Hour' events triggering after battles.

All garrisoned armies increase reserves and faction support, and help to decrease construction costs in his settlements. His unique Military Security building chain improves noble support, income from all sources, boosts prestige and provides additional garrisons.

Yong's unique Military Supervision assignment further boosts income from all sources, but at the cost of noble support.

Creative Assembly advises that Sima Yong is a preferred character for players who "conservative and defensive playstyle where you progress cautiously, while building up your defences and your infrastructure. Your settlements will generally be better protected from enemies, and you can use your military to make developing your infrastructure more efficient".

Other key stats:

- Excels at breaking through enemy troops

- Weaker against other generals

- Best grouped with retinues of Shock Cavalry and Polearm Cavalry

Unique units:

- Xianbei Horse Archers: (Harassers, high rate of fire and mobility)

- Xianbei Riders: (Shock cavalry, excellent charge bonuses)

Total War: Three Kingdoms Eight Princes - Meet the new warlords

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