These ‘hero’ characters carry specific traits which affect friend and foe alike and shines the brightest when used properly. Colour-coded in red, Vanguards such as Zhang Fei and Lu Bu excel in breaking down enemy lines while the green-coded Champions such as Guan Yu is best used against opposing champions in a one-on-one duel.
These highly stylized, wuxia influenced solo battles are extremely valuable as the outcome can sway the morale of troops. Dominate and you’ll immediately see your army’s morale increase, leading to a win or even change the tide of battle.
As usual, the troops are divided into several main categories – ranged, infantry and cavalry – each with unit variations and tiers. You can raise an army with up to three serving Generals and just like their commanding officers, the soldiers are also colour-coded according to their specific roles on the battlefield.
A quick glance at these colours and roles are as follows:
Green – Champion
Champion Generals are expert duelists and should be mainly used to take down opposing Generals. The Champion-class soldiers which are usually spearmen are the cheapest to raise and should form the backbone of any army.
Red – Vanguard
First to fight. If you’re the sort who love to send your armies straight into the thick of it, then these are your main men. Tasked with taking down the initial defences, red-coded units work best as battle initiators thanks to their high survivability rate.
Blue – Strategist
Weakest in melee, Strategists work best behind the lines as they support their comrades in battle with ranged weapons. They play a role from the rear, providing additional army formations and debuffing enemy units from a safe distance.
Yellow – Commander
Authoritative figures, Commanders ensure the satisfaction of their subordinates and morale of their soldiers high. Soldier units in yellow are generally tasked with guarding important ‘hero characters’ and are expensive to raise and maintain. While they can be considered to be competent fighters, Commander-class troops aren’t as effective going against opponents of the Champions or Vanguard-class units.
Purple – Sentinel
As their name implies, Sentinel Generals and units are best used in a defensive stance. Able to hold their own against superior numbers and perceptively stronger opponents, they work best holding down choke points such as gates and bridges.
Although players can opt to conclude every battle by simulating it with the ‘Delegate’ button – why would you ever do that?
The realistic, real-time battles have always been the bread and butter of the Total War games and in Three Kingdoms, it’s the best I’ve ever played on.
However, I would not call it flawless as I have lost whole units simply due to them standing idle despite having arrows raining down on them. Thankfully, such an issue is more of a rarity than a common occurrence.