The Best Warlords for Beginner Players in Three Kingdoms
Upon booting up Three Kingdoms, you are met with a difficult choice: which of the available warlords will you lead to glory? With each faction playing differently, having different diplomatic relations with their neighbors, and their own unique units it can be quite overwhelming. We thought it might be a good idea to explore which warlords are best for beginners.
Creative Assembly, the game’s developer, recommends several characters and gives each a difficulty rating, but these aren’t great indicators for what is to come. Cao Cao is listed as being “easy” despite him being situated in the direct center of China, and likely to be swarmed by foes in the early-mid game. While it’s true that his manipulation mechanic can help with this, if it is your first game, you are going to have a bad time.
But never fear, we will go through some solid beginner picks below to get your conquests off on the right foot.
Sun Jian is a fantastic pick for new players because of one simple factor: space. Located in the Southlands, a region either held by the weak remnants of the Han or entirely abandoned settlements, play as Sun Jian means you have the space to grow at your own pace, and the time to do it.
Along with space, Sun Jian also has the advantage of having a large family. All of his children, Sun Ce, Sun Quan, and Sun Ren, are legendary characters and powerful right from the get-go. This ensures your forces will be well led, barring some unfortunate accident, for decades to come.
Take your time as Sun Jian, and try and remain aloof from the politics of the Central Plains, where a lot of the early game action takes place. As long as you don’t get drawn into an early war, you can consolidate your position into one of power and strength.
Yuan Shao’s strength comes from his ability to form coalitions and alliances from the very first turn, which gives him a huge advantage in terms of initial threat. There is safety in numbers, after all, and being the first to be able to ”squad up” will limit the number of threats you will need to worry about.
His unique units are halberd troops, which perform well against both cavalry and infantry, and the Defenders of Hebei in particular, are very heavily armored and can take a lot of punishment. These units will give you a significant advantage over your early game opponents, who are mostly Han remnants.
Finally, the northern part of the map that Yuan Shao occupies can be turned into a veritable fortress with relative ease. If you knock out Gonsun Zan to the east, you will have the ocean covering that flank. You cannot move further north, and the Yellow River will serve as a moat to the south. The western mountains are full of bandits, but if they too can be secured, then you will have a very secure location from which to expand.
Kong Rong is a master merchant and scholar, and his strengths as a warlord lie in making money and earning extra experience for your generals. As he is the only starting warlord of the Strategists class, it also means you can start recruiting crossbows and trebuchets from turn one, which will give you the ranged advantage over your foes.
His starting area is a peninsula, and even more quickly than Yuan Shao, can be made very defensible. Kong Rong also starts on good terms with Liu Bei, who will be a close neighbor and a powerful ally if you so choose.
With his bonuses to trade influence, and his ability to maintain a large number of trade agreements, means that you are going to be swimming in cash before long. This, in turn, will allow you to maintain more armies, and more easily defend your borders. This means you won’t immediately be ruined if you lose an army, as you can afford another, thus freeing you to experiment with what works best for you.
Hopefully, this will get your Total War experience off on the right foot. The above warlords have an easier time of the early game, and with a couple of hours under your belt, you will be ready for whatever challenges may come your way.
That is everything you need to know about picking a warlord for your first campaign in Total War Three Kingdoms. For more tips, helpful guides, and info, make sure to search Twinfinite.