Total War: Three Kingdoms has a wide variety of available warlords for players to choose from when they begin their journey to bring a disorganized China back together from the brink of chaos. All of these warlords have unique features and abilities that set them apart from the others. One of the warlords, Liu Biao, focuses on scholarly advances and as such, has specialized experience gaining options he can use to boost his generals and his subjects faster than other factions. Here’s how you can approach this character to receive the best benefits and make your way towards becoming an influential figurehead in a divided China.
Playing Liu Biao in Total War: Three Kingdoms
Liu Biao starts pretty close to the capital in China, right in the middle of the map. His starting position puts him at odds with anyone around him who are looking to expand, or even himself who wants to expand his area. You’ll have to turtle up for a little and acquire territory at a slow crawl, rather than rely on overwhelming force. One of the better ways to do this is by gaining allies on your side and expand your social circle.
Additionally, you’re going to start with two vassals to the south of your main borders. These are excellent barriers to ensure you can expand elsewhere, and keep your enemies at bay should they come for you from that direction. Use them wisely, though, because if they become unhappy towards you, you’re going to find them more than willing to fight back against you. Focus on expanding to the north and reach out to numerous factions you meet to stay on their positive side.
A Mixture of Military and Governance
Liu Biao’s faction has access to several buildings in the Military Doctrines and Philosophy & Trade reform trees that others do not. You’ll want to go through these lines as quickly as possible to acquire them. When you have them built, you can use them as suitable methods to level up your allying generals and higher-ups to ensure they stand out from your opponent’s leaders. You’re not going to have a terrifying force to launch at your enemies, but your leaders are going to assist you slightly weaker forces and push through to victory. You’ll want to have buildings like the Lodging and Tea Gardens built, along with giving lower-leveled generals the Student, Tutor, or Scholar position in your administration so they can level up.
You also do not want to become too attached to your leader, Liu Biao. He’s likely going to die well before you can reach the end of the game. As such, you’ll need to choose your heir wisely from the options available. You’ll want to base it off of how much groundwork Liu Biao has created for his successor. Forging forward without choosing the correct person can cause you to falter.
Forging a Careful Path
You’re going to have difficulty with Liu Biao due to him not being around for most of the mid-game, and then his weakness in war. You’re going to have to rely on building up the generals and supporters around you to correct victory. Additionally, your allies are your most significant victory. They’re going to serve as good shields, up until you need to start expanding. You’ll want to pick your opponents wisely and figure out your place in China.
If you focus more on the military doctrines early on, your successor can lean more towards this direction and based on how well you’ve trained your generals you can set them up with a great army to forge a path to the capital. Alternatively, you can choose to lead a more diplomatic route and try to work with more parties than you’re attempting to conquer.
Players who choose Liu Biao are going to find their preferred playstyle in the middle of their campaign. They’re willing to follow the trends in front of them, and if they want to focus on a particular field, they can excel in it and conquer China.