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Thread: Total War

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Anyone else playing the new Total War? Or any of the older ones I guess. I just picked it up and it's my first Total War game so the learning curve has been ridiculous, but I'm enjoying it. I got my first victory as Liu Bei. I'm not sure about replayability, and I'm sure I'd get annihilated by series vets in online mode, but I enjoyed the game so I'll probably pick up other games in the series.

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    I've been struggling to pick a faction to start with! They're all SO COOL!
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Total War is my favorite game series. I play pretty much all the games, except the Risk-style map of Shogun and Medieval. Doing a Medieval 2 game atm, as Venice.

    I'm going to be doing a Three Kingdoms campaign eventually, but I might wait a bit for DLC, see what factions are added and what gameplay changes are done.
    Last edited by Resileaf; 2019-06-17 at 12:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    I've been struggling to pick a faction to start with! They're all SO COOL!
    Liu Bei is the "good guy" of the story, so you'd probably enjoy him the most given that you typically enjoy those types of characters.

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    Haven't picked up 3K yet, which is what I think you're referring to, although I definitely plan to.

    Currently I'm finishing getting 100% achievements in Total War: Warhammer 2 and then I'll pick up 3K. Anybody wants to do a few multiplayer battles in Total Warhammer 2 let me know, I need a few more wins for the achievements :P

    It's funny how the best Warhammer Fantasy game came out only because Games Workshop burned the franchise to the ground with the garbage fire that was End Times and didn't care about the license anymore.
    Last edited by Olinser; 2019-06-17 at 02:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    Liu Bei is the "good guy" of the story, so you'd probably enjoy him the most given that you typically enjoy those types of characters.
    I know, that's what the advertising WANTS you to think, but he was quick to betray his bosses when it secured him an advantage, and tried to smash a baby (his own SON, I might add) in a fit of pique.

    Honestly, the more I look at them, the more I like guys like Kong Rong and the Yellow Turbans!
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    I know, that's what the advertising WANTS you to think, but he was quick to betray his bosses when it secured him an advantage, and tried to smash a baby (his own SON, I might add) in a fit of pique.

    Honestly, the more I look at them, the more I like guys like Kong Rong and the Yellow Turbans!
    Like everything in history, things are complicated about everyone. Liu Bei is verifiably the only important warlord of the time who did not commit massacres when he took over places, though. That's why so many people were willing to follow him when he was pursued by Cao Cao.

    Sometimes, that's the best you can get when it comes to getting a good guy in ancient history.

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    I know, I'm being facetious.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    I have failed to recognize sarcasm. My shame is immeasurable.

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    As the Shogun's men once said, "SHAMEFUL DISPLAY!"

    I kid, of course, you're cool!

    I gotta say, Three Kingdoms has to be the prettiest Total War game I've ever played. Graphics normally aren't something I pay attention to in gaming (I mean, most of us are still playing Medieval II! ), but Three Kingdoms is GORGEOUS! I'm kind of torn between Romance and Records modes. Most of the forums I've looked in seem to prefer Records mode for better balance and stuff, which I find compelling, especially since I think my most frustrating Total War experience has been with the Warhammer ones, but the times I've peeked at the start of a game in Romance mode (playing the first battle and maybe taking territory or two for most of the factions) have been fun, especially watching the duels!
    Last edited by Archpaladin Zousha; 2019-06-17 at 06:18 PM.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    DruidGuy

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    I've played Rome 1 & 2, Medieval 1 & 2, Warhammer 1 & 2, Thrones of Britannia and Empire and now 3K.

    It has some good points (such as improved diplomacy) and they have fixed up the minor settlement/siege system that suffered a downgrade in recent games, but it also suffers from the boring end game grind that happens to most TW games. 3K is worse in this regards as it is monotonous as well - given it its a monocultural setting there are very few actual troop types and so most battles seem to be a clone of the other. At least with other titles you could expect some different battles as they had a lot more unit types. WH is of course the pinnacle of that given a skaven army fights far different to a high elf army or a dwarf army or a bretonnian army. In 3K all armies just fight the same as each other really.

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    I've been working through it and enjoying it pretty well. I managed to wind up with a non aggression pact with one of the 2 other factions that became emperor. normally that doesn't mean anything but Sun Jian had a righteous personality which apparently means he never betrays deals. That let me basically mob Lu Bu down while ignoring my entire southern border until Sun Jian croaked of old age.

    The faction leaders personality thing really does make for some interesting situations. The sneaky ones are always to be dealt with cautiously but sometimes you just have to hope it will play out in your favor if you're pressed on multiple sides.

    Once it gets to the last stages of the endgame though where you have to capture all of the Imperial capitals it can kind of drag depending on where those capitals wind up getting placed.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    I do have to admit that this is the first grand strategy game I've ever played where diplomacy actually seems to matter and work correctly. Giving the faction leaders different personalities is brilliant, although I worry it hurts replayability since you'll always try to ally with the same people. I wish the game had a shuffle option to move the factions around, or perhaps a random mode. I'd also really like the option to create a custom leader like you could in the old Romance of the Three Kingdoms games.

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    I'm starting to think I might not be as good at the game as I previously believed. I'm finding that playing on hard is a bit problematic. Maybe I'm not aggressive enough in my expansion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    As the Shogun's men once said, "SHAMEFUL DISPLAY!"

    I kid, of course, you're cool!

    I gotta say, Three Kingdoms has to be the prettiest Total War game I've ever played. Graphics normally aren't something I pay attention to in gaming (I mean, most of us are still playing Medieval II! ), but Three Kingdoms is GORGEOUS! I'm kind of torn between Romance and Records modes. Most of the forums I've looked in seem to prefer Records mode for better balance and stuff, which I find compelling, especially since I think my most frustrating Total War experience has been with the Warhammer ones, but the times I've peeked at the start of a game in Romance mode (playing the first battle and maybe taking territory or two for most of the factions) have been fun, especially watching the duels!
    I think Romance mode is a lot more fun personally. Balance is all over the place anyway, so I don't think it even matters. Once you get the Imperial units everything else is a joke. The fun thing about the Three Kingdoms era to me is all of the "heroes" and notable figures running around and Records mode misses out on most of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Resileaf View Post
    I'm starting to think I might not be as good at the game as I previously believed. I'm finding that playing on hard is a bit problematic. Maybe I'm not aggressive enough in my expansion.
    I've played a bit with the Legendary difficulty and the battles themselves are ok, but it seems like the whole map just instantly allies against you and all runs at you at once. There have been points where I've had legitimately 20+ enemy armies attacking me at once, even during the early game. I was playing as Dong Zhou though so maybe that's just historically accurate (although they sure don't gang up on him like that when I play other factions!) I may try a legendary Sun Jian or Liu Bei run and see how it goes. I'm betting I get annihilated pretty quickly.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    So I tried out Legendary last night and I was right that the whole map just mindlessly goes to war with you. That said, I'm not sure what Legendary even does in battles because I'm still just rolling right over the AI even when they outnumber me 2 or 3 to 1. They should really work on this AI. There have been times where I messed up my deployment and left a wide open path between my archers and their cavalry...and they just charge into my pikes instead. It's actually ridiculous how bad the AI is once you figure out that the system is just paper rock scissors of cav>bows>pike>cav. They should at least try to prioritize the units they're strong against.

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    I played the old version of the game, very exciting

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    I play the hell out of WH Total war. Currently running a Wood Elf campaign on mortal empires.

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    Something I've been wondering about for Three Kingdoms is retinue composition. Splitting up your forces into groups of 6 each led by a hero/general (unless you're playing as Yuan Shao or I think Sun Jian too) is pretty neat, as it forces me to think smaller in terms of armies when I'm used to not sending armies into the field UNLESS they are 20 units strong. Being outnumbered has scared me ever since Medieval II's Mongols.

    I did find an article that offered these suggestions for retinues for each type (on Romance Mode), and was curious what you folks, the forum experts, thought of them:

    Spoiler
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    Commanders (with fire arrows skill) 3x archers plus either 3x melee infantry or 3x melee cavalry

    Vanguards 3x shock cavalry plus 3x spearmen; alternatively, just field 3x shock cavalry and 3x melee cavalry if your faction has a lot of discounts

    Champions (with spearmen armor skill) 6x spearmen

    Sentinels (with fire arrows skill) 3x archers plus 3x melee infantry; alternatively, have 4x infantry and 2x archers

    Strategists (with fire arrows and flaming shot skills) 5x archers plus 1x trebuchet
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    Something I've been wondering about for Three Kingdoms is retinue composition. Splitting up your forces into groups of 6 each led by a hero/general (unless you're playing as Yuan Shao or I think Sun Jian too) is pretty neat, as it forces me to think smaller in terms of armies when I'm used to not sending armies into the field UNLESS they are 20 units strong. Being outnumbered has scared me ever since Medieval II's Mongols.

    I did find an article that offered these suggestions for retinues for each type (on Romance Mode), and was curious what you folks, the forum experts, thought of them:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Commanders (with fire arrows skill) 3x archers plus either 3x melee infantry or 3x melee cavalry

    Vanguards 3x shock cavalry plus 3x spearmen; alternatively, just field 3x shock cavalry and 3x melee cavalry if your faction has a lot of discounts

    Champions (with spearmen armor skill) 6x spearmen

    Sentinels (with fire arrows skill) 3x archers plus 3x melee infantry; alternatively, have 4x infantry and 2x archers

    Strategists (with fire arrows and flaming shot skills) 5x archers plus 1x trebuchet
    Its a bit more complex than that, you also really should take into account what other generals are in your group. For instance if you have a Strategist you can ignore archers on your non strategists and probably should because you wont have enough of a frontline otherwise. Similarly Crossbows (more range and armor piercing) on strategists don't suck as an option especially if you lack someone with scare or a Vanguard in the army with roar of the beast.

    Of course this kind of goes out the window once you can support armies with emperor units. Just build like 8 or so of the infantry and fill the rest of your slots with cavalry and ranged units.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    I prefer a strategist with archers and trebuchets paired with a sentinel. Strategist buffs ranged units enormously and sentinels are the best duelists in the game and can buff infantry with 50% dodge, which is huge. Vanguard is my preference to round things out with cavalry shock troops since they fill the same role.

    Of course this all goes out the window if you have uniques since I feel obligated to just use them. Also at least one general with night battle and one with reach is completely mandatory for every army.

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    By "Emperor Units" do you mean specifically the Protectors of Heaven and Defenders of Earth, or do you include the various "Dragons" units you can unlock from the tech tree?
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    I prefer a strategist with archers and trebuchets paired with a sentinel. Strategist buffs ranged units enormously and sentinels are the best duelists in the game and can buff infantry with 50% dodge, which is huge. Vanguard is my preference to round things out with cavalry shock troops since they fill the same role.

    Of course this all goes out the window if you have uniques since I feel obligated to just use them. Also at least one general with night battle and one with reach is completely mandatory for every army.
    I tend to try and have a strategist in every group as well since ranged units are so good and the extra ammo cunning gives is great. Other than that I usually have a sentinel or champion for dueling and a commander or vanguard for the third slot. Commanders are crazy good with their defensive buffs and their melee cavalry is devastating to archers since you can get them up to 80% missile block while vanguards are the much more offensive option for breaking enemy melee infantry.

    Also the unique commanders are kind of more fun if you have them so I agree with that, sometimes I'll have to mix up the combos though due to personality issues but that seems to not really matter after midgame when you can stack satisfaction if you have commanders in your faction leader/heir/prime minister slots.

    Quote Originally Posted by Archpaladin Zousha View Post
    By "Emperor Units" do you mean specifically the Protectors of Heaven and Defenders of Earth, or do you include the various "Dragons" units you can unlock from the tech tree?
    Yeah mostly the Protectors of heaven. Theyre basically a hybrid between sword and spear infantry with good damage, massive charge, high armor, and a good block chance. The Dragon units are also really good but id say the straight up infantry units are probably less useful due to being kind of redundant with the Protectors of heaven. The Azure (archers/spears) and Jade Dragon (cavalry) units are really great complimentary options though.
    Last edited by Inarius; 2019-06-20 at 03:01 AM.

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    The Defenders of Earth are completely and ridiculously broken. They may not be great against a human player since they're squishy and a human will actually maneuver their cavalry/generals to charge them even if you try to screen, but the AI is dumb as a brick and will just let you bombard them for free. It's not uncommon for one Defenders of Earth unit to have as many kills as the rest of the army combined

    I've tried pretty much all of the tech tree units but they're all just complete garbage compared to the Imperial units. I don't even bother unlocking them anymore unless I want the other reform.

    Balance in general doesn't seem great. I've found that no matter who I play as the same strategies remain optimal. You virtually always want the same unit compositions, and the same reforms, and usually in the same order every game. Or maybe that's just me being in a rut with my playstyle?
    Last edited by Anteros; 2019-06-20 at 09:01 AM.

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    Default Re: Total War

    That was the same with Shogun, Britannia, etc tbh. The major mechanics differences have take place on the campaign map whole the units are largely homogenised, as opposed to say Warhammer or even Rome 2.

    The intentional discrepancies between faction rosters there mean armies play very different. Just restrict yourself if you want.
    Last edited by NatureKing; 2019-06-20 at 09:36 AM.

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    Like it or not, the game does take place solely within China, so troop compositions would be virtually the same for everyone. Like in Shogun, you're fighting in a very secular culture that doesn't interact a lot with outsiders.

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    I honestly feel like when I play I'll only ever recruit one emperor unit (one PoH and one DoE) each, both to keep their SPECIAL factor and as a cost-saving measure.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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    Relatedly to Three Kingdoms, the blood pack is getting released soon.

    Someone got inspired by Mortal Kombat.


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    Quote Originally Posted by NatureKing View Post
    That was the same with Shogun, Britannia, etc tbh. The major mechanics differences have take place on the campaign map whole the units are largely homogenised, as opposed to say Warhammer or even Rome 2.

    The intentional discrepancies between faction rosters there mean armies play very different. Just restrict yourself if you want.
    Quote Originally Posted by Resileaf View Post
    Like it or not, the game does take place solely within China, so troop compositions would be virtually the same for everyone. Like in Shogun, you're fighting in a very secular culture that doesn't interact a lot with outsiders.
    I understand all that, but it doesn't excuse stuff like having the same reform tree routes or troop compositions be optimal no matter what situation you're in. The balance just isn't great. Things like military supply or food reforms are largely worthless since it's almost impossible to run out of them anyway. Meanwhile, income reforms or ones that increase army effectiveness are universally better. The 10% bonus to replenishment is so much better than everything else on the tech tree that the only time I can imagine not making a mad dash to get it first would be in some sort of pacifist run. I'm not expecting Lui Bei's army of Orcs to face off against a pack of dragons, I'd just like for certain playstyles to not be a trillion times better than others.

    Also the city building system is so pointless that I straight up don't bother with it past making sure I have enough food. Any of the income buildings are so expensive to build and fully upgrade that they would take well over 100 turns to repay their investment, and by then the game is decided. It's so much better to put your money into making an army and expanding for income than by building that it's ridiculous. It's actually completely game losing to try to upgrade your cities past a certain point on the harder difficulties. I upgrade the important or vulnerable ones to a small city just to get the wall for sieges and then never touch them again. Corruption is supposed to combat this gameplay, but by late game you're so flush with cash from military victories that it doesn't matter anyway.

    Maybe everyone is already aware of all these problems, but I'm a newbie to the series. I like the game a lot, but it's just frustrating that the majority of the strategic options the game gives you are largely pointless.
    Last edited by Anteros; 2019-06-20 at 06:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Total War

    Some other things I've been wondering, just idly:

    Anyone use the Chinese language dialogue with subtitles instead of the English version? Did you find it enhanced your experience or made it more immersive? I thought it was a nice touch in Shogun II, but at the same time I did struggle a bit to keep up since apart from the subtitled pre-battle speeches I didn't understand what the characters on the map were saying, and it's something that got dropped in Fall of the Samurai, but Three Kingdoms gives you the choice, and I'm wondering if I should take it.

    Second, an expansion of the retinues question I asked earlier, that guide I found doesn't discuss the "hybrid" classes that are exclusive to the Yellow Turbans (Healer, Veteran and Scholar), and I'm sort of wondering what each class is good at recruiting and how to build their retinues to make a Yellow Turban army.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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