Total War: Three Kingdoms Guide - The Sentinel And The Strategist

We take a look at some of the factions.
We take a look at some of the factions. Creative Assembly

Total War: Three Kingdoms is a game set during Second Century China. Historically, this period is considerd as one of the bloodiest in China. One reason was that there were a number factions that fought to gain a foothold in the country. This is reflected in the game where you as a player get to choose one of the 12 factions. Your goal is, of course, to eliminate other factions in order to unify China and make you the ultimate ruler. There are a total of 12 factions in the game, each controlled by a different warlord. Today we look at two such factions.

The Tiger of Jiandong

Sun JIan is all about taking risks.
Sun JIan is all about taking risks. Creative Assembly

Sun Jian is an aggressive warlord known for taking risks. He gets a lot of perks when going after territories early in the game. Since the gameplay of this warlord takes into account risk vs. reward, he is a good choice for those who already have experienced the previous Total War games or at least won a few campaigns in Three Kingdoms. That doesn't mean you can't choose him at the beginning, but it may not be that rewarding. In terms of hero class, Sun Jian is a Sentinel.

Starting Position:

The reason why Sun Jian is a difficult character for beginners is that he starts in enemy territory. He needs to work his way down south in order to reach his family. The problem is that on one side is Liu Bao, with Yuan Shu on the other side, both Commanders. The thing is, these two are are at odds with each other. This means that you need to carefully choose who to ally with and which one to consider as the enemy.


As a Sentinel, Sun Jian is a character that can hold down the line defensively. In addition, Sentinels have Expertise as their main attribute. This means that not only can he lower the upkeep cost of units, he also improves recruitement. Another bonus is that Sentinels have melee evasion chance. You really need to be aggressive when playing Sun Jian in order to maintain the bonuses.

Additional Information:

When recruiting Mercenary Captain Retinues, Sun Jian doesn't need any mustering time and thus can recruit them at once. To ensure a well-rounded army, you need a combination of cavalry units, infantry, and the unique archer. You need to make sure that you have better units compared to your opponents so that you are able to beat them.

The Master Scholar

Logic, rules, and reason is what Kong Rong is all about.
Logic, rules, and reason is what Kong Rong is all about. Creative Assembly

As a Master Scholar, Kong Rong belongs to the Strategist Class. With Cunning as his main attribute, he relies on planning and strategy. Since Kong Rong typically fights outside the battlefield, he is a good choice for players who want to win without necessarily obliterating the enemy.

Starting Position:

Kong Rong starts at the northeast coast which is surrounded by other factions. He also needs to contend with the Yellow Turban Rebellion. This means that you need to be careful of your early game. That said, he is also a good character for those already familiar with the game. While it is indeed difficult to expand your territory, you need to prioritize what you need to do. usuall taking care of the rebellion helps make things a bit easier.


As a Strategist, he has the ability to weaken enemies while strengthening his own troops. Again, he is not good in direct combat so make sure to place him behind your entire army. However, he is good when it comes to brokering trades so he can help increase the income gathered from trades. This allows him to get rich, though doesn't guarantee that he can immediately win the game.

Additional Information:

Kong Rong comes with two crossbow units that bring excellent range and great attacks, especially agains armored units. His Academy of Culture can help buff the population's growth as well as that of public order and income. His access to Education Program allows him to get increased income from trades

Kong Rong and Sun Jian are two characters that may need to be played if you are already familiar with the game. If you're up for the challenge though, you can always choose them first.

Next time we look at other warlords and see how they fare.

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