Total War Three Kingdoms - How To Play as Liu Bei
Total War: Three Kingdoms feature a wide variety of different warlords for players to control. These warlords each come with their unique units, specializations, and buildings. These features ensure every warlord you play in Three Kingdoms feels different than another, though it can make it difficult to find what warlord may fit your playstyle. We're going to focus on Liu Bei, the virtuous idealist. There's a focus on Liu Bei's government, and he starts with his two brothers, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei, who begin with the most durable bond between each other. Here's a break down of how to succeed with Liu Bei.
Playing Liu Bei in Total War: Three Kingdoms
Liu Bei begins with the most massive army available, and he's going to need it. He has to take down a nearby Yellow Turban force and then take over their city to establish himself in the region. From there, it's best to start viewing the neighboring territories to see where the other characters are and how they're spread out. While it's essential to focus on your enemy, Liu Bei does best when he's pushing for more government skill trees and buildings. Early on, it's best to push through the Government and Agricultural reforms. Liu Bei thrives when you focus on the people, and his already established territories.
Additionally, Liu Bei can only raise one army at the beginning of the campaign. He and his brothers have the most massive army, but if he doesn't gather up more generals to lead, he'll find his army lacking leaders when he wishes to divide his forces amongst his region. This issue leads to the fact players need to play Liu Bei as someone who's going to focus on the people he can't see and what they need. Ensuring the populace, and his generals, are happy, makes him stronger.
Building Liu Bei's Government
As Liu Bei establishes himself, you'll want to make sure you're not expanding too quickly. Attempting to stretch too far with Liu Bei only makes keeping track of everything more complicated. He's going to benefit the most by having a smaller area, working to build up his internal affairs, and earning more unity. You can view Liu Bei's unity meter at the top. The bar breaks down what benefits he's receiving, and how much of his bar he has filled out. Use this to learn how well you're doing.
Because of Liu Bei comes from a long line of emperors, many of the warlords give him a significant amount of respect. You can use this to your advantage in different areas. The first is with negotiations. They're going to be more welcoming to have Liu Bei at the table, and you can make some great deals with some of the more significant faction early on, granted you don't attempt to make them angry or do something to cross them. The second way you can use it is by having the capacity to conquer the Han Dynasty territories without having to start a war. All of the factions believe Liu Bei has a rightful claim to those areas, and as such can walk across the borders and claim them, if he so chooses. If you find yourself lacking areas, you should peek around the map to see if there are any nearby you because you might be able to take them for yourself.
Expansion and Establishing Liu Bei
After you've spent the first portion of your game building the groundwork of Liu Bei's overall forces, you're going to need to start expanding his armies and making him stronger. You'll want to do this after you've gained the right amount of prestige and can do so. It's essential not to do this too early, because you may have been wasting your income on something that won't start working for you until later on. The only time you need to call more forces to Liu Bei's side is if he's under attack. You'll start expanding once Liu Bei hits the Second Marquis, and when he reaches Marquis status, you can double-down on additional military engagements.
At the same time, if you were able to negotiate with other factions, you may want to hold on to this as much as possible. Liu Bei can hold his own in a fight, by this point, and keeping those established relationships would be wise to prevent multiple factions from ganging up on him. The earlier you build these relationships, the more they're going to benefit you in the late game. You'll want to make your generals strong to ensure they have access to Liu Bei's unique units, the Yi Marksmen. They're an excellent rear unit who can decimate enemy lines, making it easier for your stronger, forward forces to clear a path through the battlefield.
As long as you keep Liu Bei's armies at a distance, sparingly fight others, and continue building your government and policies, you'll find Liu Bei an excellent warlord. He won't do as much fighting as the others would, so if you're interested in politics and keeping your people happy, Liu Bei is going to be the warlord for you.