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** The ''Mandate of Heaven'' DLC takes a spotlight to Liu Chong, a bona fide badass from the Han imperial court that gets overlooked in most Three Kingdoms media. His historical affinity for [[WeaponOfChoice crossbows]] translates to [[RainOfArrows powerful archery bonuses]], which along with his unique design and trophy room mechanic makes him a new favourite among players.


** Emperor Liu Hong is an even worse offender. Ostensibly a "Very Hard" faction, he in fact has one of the easiest campaigns in the game, if not the easiest. Starting off with the massive advantages of a late-game army that only has to pay 20% of its normal upkeep and what's effectively a military alliance with the entire rest of China, his faction is supposed to be balanced by the large negative modifiers incurred thanks to the number of eunuchs within his court, chief among these being the large per-turn deficit incurred on account of their high salaries. Dealing with this problem, however, becomes a cakewalk once you realize that a eunuch can be dismissed every other turn without penalty, and with 100,000 currency in the treasury at the start of the campaign you have plenty of time to do it; with some minor planning, you can have your income back in the green before the Mandate War even starts with a massive reserve to spare. As for the Mandate War itself? The warlords will more often than not prove themselves completely capable of beating the Yellow Turbans with no outside assistance, meaning that it is perfectly possible to win as Liu Hong ''without ever leaving your starting commandery.''

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** Emperor Liu Hong is an even worse offender. Ostensibly a "Very Hard" faction, he in fact has one of the easiest campaigns in the game, if not the ''the'' easiest. Starting off with the massive advantages of a late-game army that only has to pay 20% of its normal upkeep and what's effectively a military alliance with the entire rest of China, his faction is supposed to be balanced by the large negative modifiers incurred thanks to the number of eunuchs within his court, chief among these being the large per-turn deficit incurred on account of their high salaries. Dealing with this problem, however, becomes a cakewalk once you realize that a eunuch can be dismissed every other turn without penalty, and with 100,000 currency in the treasury at the start of the campaign you have plenty of time to do it; with some minor planning, you can have your income back in the green before the Mandate War even starts with a massive reserve to spare. As for the Mandate War itself? The warlords will more often than not prove themselves completely capable of beating the Yellow Turbans with no outside assistance, meaning that it is perfectly possible to win as Liu Hong ''without ever leaving your starting commandery.''

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** Emperor Liu Hong is an even worse offender. Ostensibly a "Very Hard" faction, he in fact has one of the easiest campaigns in the game, if not the easiest. Starting off with the massive advantages of a late-game army that only has to pay 20% of its normal upkeep and what's effectively a military alliance with the entire rest of China, his faction is supposed to be balanced by the large negative modifiers incurred thanks to the number of eunuchs within his court, chief among these being the large per-turn deficit incurred on account of their high salaries. Dealing with this problem, however, becomes a cakewalk once you realize that a eunuch can be dismissed every other turn without penalty, and with 100,000 currency in the treasury at the start of the campaign you have plenty of time to do it; with some minor planning, you can have your income back in the green before the Mandate War even starts with a massive reserve to spare. As for the Mandate War itself? The warlords will more often than not prove themselves completely capable of beating the Yellow Turbans with no outside assistance, meaning that it is perfectly possible to win as Liu Hong ''without ever leaving your starting commandery.''

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** The 1.40 patch accompanying the ''Mandate of Heaven'' DLC sometimes caused a large number of generic officers to spawn with the name "[[OneSteveLimit Ji Ben]]", gaining a MemeticBadass reputation of sorts among players.


* DuelingGames: ''Mandate'' with ''VideoGame/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms XIV'', as both games are set to be released on the same day in Jan 2020.

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* DuelingGames: ''Mandate'' with ''VideoGame/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms XIV'', as both games are set to be released on the same day in Jan 2020.


* AntiClimaxBoss: Dong Zhuo can come off as this to players who aren't familiar with the time period, as the work that the promotional materials put into setting him up as the BigBad is usually undone when he's assassinated by Lü Bu near the beginning of the campaign.

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* AntiClimaxBoss: Dong Zhuo can come off as this to players who aren't familiar with the time period, as the work that the promotional materials put into setting him up as the BigBad is usually undone when he's assassinated by Lü Bu near the beginning of the 190 CE campaign.


* FriendlyFandoms: Between the Total War fans and VideoGame/DynastyWarriors fans since the latter are getting a RTS game set during China's Three Kingdoms period. As well, with the 2010 TV series given that's the largest budget TV adaptation of the novel.

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* FriendlyFandoms: Between the Total War fans and VideoGame/DynastyWarriors fans since the latter are getting a RTS game set during China's Three Kingdoms period. As well, with the 2010 Series/ThreeKingdoms TV series series, given that's the largest budget TV adaptation of the novel.


** Players playing as Cao Cao would almost certainly use Cao Song in some form of marriage diplomacy, [[spoiler: since Song is going to die a few turns into the game.]]

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** Players playing as Cao Cao in 190 CE would almost certainly use Cao Song in some form of marriage diplomacy, [[spoiler: since Song is going to die a few turns into the game.]]


* NonIndicativeDifficulty: Sun Jian is supposed to be of "Normal" difficulty, but with him being down south surrounded by only minor factions that are easy to conquer and snowball off of, his faction mechanics being "Play Total War battles at a base level of competency" (It's actually "Inflict more casualties than your enemies in battles", but same difference) and being able to hire mercenaries to dodge most of the caveats of preparation or even replenishment that other factions will have to do to raise an force as long as you've got money to get them, and having excellent children to inherit his kingdom (Sun Ce in particular is in demand for players to recruit regardless of their actual faction for his +100 charge bonus to all cavalry while he is the faction leader, heir or prime minister)...all in all, most consider Sun Jian to be the game's ''real'' easy mode.
* SurpriseDifficulty: Cao Cao is the game's recommendation for an "easy" game. However, this lower difficulty is only apparent if the player uses his unique Credibility to make other factions like him or to incite proxy wars. Location-wise, he actually starts in a crowded neighborhood, and with Yuan Shao not too far away. Moreover, he has ''two'' unique building chains; one of them can only be built over rice/grain settlements, making it easy to miss.

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* NonIndicativeDifficulty: Sun Jian is supposed to be of "Normal" difficulty, difficulty in 190 CE, but with him being down south surrounded by only minor factions that are easy to conquer and snowball off of, his faction mechanics being "Play Total War battles at a base level of competency" (It's actually "Inflict more casualties than your enemies in battles", but same difference) and being able to hire mercenaries to dodge most of the caveats of preparation or even replenishment that other factions will have to do to raise an force as long as you've got money to get them, and having excellent children to inherit his kingdom (Sun Ce in particular is in demand for players to recruit regardless of their actual faction for his +100 charge bonus to all cavalry while he is the faction leader, heir or prime minister)...all in all, most consider Sun Jian to be the game's ''real'' easy mode.
**It becomes more ridiculous in 182 CE, where he's at home in Jiangdong and fighting off bandits. This is considered "hard" difficulty.
* SurpriseDifficulty: Cao Cao is the game's recommendation for an "easy" game.game in 190 CE. However, this lower difficulty is only apparent if the player uses his unique Credibility to make other factions like him or to incite proxy wars. Location-wise, he actually starts in a crowded neighborhood, and with Yuan Shao not too far away. Moreover, he has ''two'' unique building chains; one of them can only be built over rice/grain settlements, making it easy to miss.

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**After ''Eight Princes'' were released, players generally felt that the expansion was merely average, as it did not expand on mechanics used in the original campaign. ''Mandate'' has been stated to specifically address this issue.

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*DuelingGames: ''Mandate'' with ''VideoGame/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms XIV'', as both games are set to be released on the same day in Jan 2020.


** The ''Eight Princes'' DLC. While some of the audience might know that the Jin dynasty was [[HappyEndingOverride merely a respite]] before [[UsefulNotes/DynastiesFromShangToQing an even longer period of fragmentation]], nobody expected the developers to dig up the War of the Eight Princes, which even many Chinese players know little of. At least, not as much as the Three Kingdoms.

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** The ''Eight Princes'' DLC.[=DLC=]. While some of the audience might know that the Jin dynasty was [[HappyEndingOverride merely a respite]] before [[UsefulNotes/DynastiesFromShangToQing an even longer period of fragmentation]], nobody expected the developers to dig up the War of the Eight Princes, which even many Chinese players know little of. At least, not as much as the Three Kingdoms.Kingdoms.
** The ''Mandate of Heaven'' [=DLC=]. Most players expected a new start date, but placed it later than 190C.E.. Very few expected an ''earlier'' start date, or that Emperor Ling himself to be playable.

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** The announcement of ''Mandate of Heaven'' sparked online searches for Liu Chong, the last Prince of Chen, as he was the most obscure among the new faction leaders announced.


* EndingFatigue: Both the ''Three Kingdoms'' and ''Eight Princes'' campaign suffer from this for their Ultimate Victory conditions. That being said, its more basic victory has an advantage compared to most other ''Total War'' games due to only requiring you be powerful enough to declare yourself Emperor, having enough territory and seizing the capitals of other two rival kingdoms - which also may be done simply by killing most of their forces, as that will quickly cause them to concede and give you their faction's holdings.

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* EndingFatigue: Both the ''Three Kingdoms'' and ''Eight Princes'' campaign campaigns suffer from this for their Ultimate Victory conditions. That being said, its more basic victory has an advantage compared to most other ''Total War'' games due to only requiring you be powerful enough to declare yourself Emperor, having enough territory and seizing the capitals of other two rival kingdoms - which also may be done simply by killing most of their forces, as that will quickly cause them to concede and give you their faction's holdings.


* EndingFatigue: Both the ''Three Kingdoms'' and ''Eight Princes'' campaign suffer from this for their Ultimate Victory conditions.

to:

* EndingFatigue: Both the ''Three Kingdoms'' and ''Eight Princes'' campaign suffer from this for their Ultimate Victory conditions. That being said, its more basic victory has an advantage compared to most other ''Total War'' games due to only requiring you be powerful enough to declare yourself Emperor, having enough territory and seizing the capitals of other two rival kingdoms - which also may be done simply by killing most of their forces, as that will quickly cause them to concede and give you their faction's holdings.

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