Among the 12 available warlords in Total War: Three Kingdoms, the latest installment in the famous strategy series, Liu Bei is the most virtuous one. He is a close friend of Guan Yu and Zhang Fei clans — both are his brothers— and his biggest enemies are Dong Zhuo and Cao Cao.
Liu Bei’s faction has a number of unique features that make it stand out from the rest of the royal families in Three Kingdoms. For example, you start the game with no land of your own, but your army is very strong from the very beginning, which means that you can start conquering right away.
Liu Bei’s army mainly consists of marksmen and archers, and his unique resource, which is called Unity, can help you take over cities without battles. This kind of approach makes Liu Bei’s campaign one of the most unusual in the game. So follow our step-by-step guide below on how to become a truly powerful warlord.
Step 1: Take Over the Iron Mine
You will start at the Dong commandery with your army surrounded by several other factions. The one you need to conquer first is the Yellow Turban Rebellion army under the leadership of Huang Shao.
After defeating the Yellow Turbans, which won’t be hard taking into account the size of your army, you can easily take over the iron mine settlement nearby.
If you decide to offer Huang Shao peace, which he will accept, you will need to let him keep his farmlands.
Step 2: Take Over the Langye Commandery
In the central-eastern part of the map, you can quickly take over a small but very resourceful region: the Langye commandery.
It has a fishing port and a lumber yard, both of which will be of great value to your faction.
During this time, one of your trade partners, Tao Qian, will get into trouble with Cao Cao, who will send an army to take over his land. You can either make sure that you can protect Tao Qian, or you could just let it be since later in the game Tao Qian will try to betray you anyway.
Step 3: Defeat Kong Rong
At a certain point, one of the local warlords named Kong Rong will agree to meet you at the lumber yard in Langye.
Use this opportunity to kill him and quickly take over his city located to the north of Langye. Try not to use your Unity points here; just use your army.
After that, you can use the Unity points to take over the nearby Donglai commandery with all its farmlands.
Step 4: Take Over Pengcheng and Guangling
Now you can move southwards and take two more commanderies with excellent resources.
Pengcheng and Guangling commanderies will be easy to conquer, and all their farmlands, the temple, and the trade port will go under your command.
At this point, the political life of Liu Bei will get more dangerous, necessitating non-aggression pacts (NAP).
Step 5: Sign NAP with Sun Jian and Cao Cao
Until you hit the rank of King, you need to hold off such powerful factions like Sun Jian and Cao Cao. But you can reject offers by such minor factions like Liu Yu, who will attack you and lose the battle.
Simultaneously support and defend your provinces and try to get the best possible generals into your army.
In order to get great warriors like Sun Ce or Lu Bu into your faction, you need to marry one of the daughters of the royal families, such as Liu Dai, Yuan Shu or Ze Rong. These three families are the easiest to marry into.
Then, as soon as you sign the peace treaty with Dong Zhuo or Sun Jian, you can get a divorce and re-marry your wives to one of the generals that will be available to you. For example, Sun Ce can get married on turn 18 already.
If you manage to capture enough resourceful lands, recruit the best possible generals for your army, and keep peace with the strongest factions in Total War: Three Kingdoms, you will have a lot of success playing as Liu Bei.