Has anyone here been playing 3 kingdoms yet? I used this long weekend to dive pretty deep in.
I started with Cao Cao, the “easy - recommended” option, and had a ton of issues. His whole thing is being able to manipulate the factions around him to change their opinions of one another (or himself), and even start proxy wars. He’s not a particularly strong faction to start out with, and has enemies on like 3 sides to contend with. I had a lot of issues with making progress with him, and after doing a restart and hitting another wall, I went to the internet.
I learned Sun Jian actually has a way easier start despite being labeled a “normal” difficulty campaign. And it’s true - after an early conflict with some neighbors over a jade seal, Jian has a totally clear south. There’s a bunch of Han Empire settlements, but the Han Empire are extremely passive and do not put up a fight - itsfreerealestate.jpg. Past them there is even more “free” real estate - abandoned settlements that you just have to pay 4-8k to settle.
Being able to keep up with the growing powers in the game has been super satisfying and created a series of game states like Rob describes here and in the podcasts. You get bigger, there’s some people who get pissed off, while others choose to create a coalition with you so y’all can fight something bigger. Cao Cao in my game as Jian has been a total double crosser, shifting his alliances constantly. He spent a lot of time as a vassal of another warlord, and was at war with my coalition along with them. Eventually he grew really big, threw off his chains and went to war with his former oppressor. At this point in my game, I have a lot of Southern China and have vassalized 2 pretty powerful factions (also Lu Bu, who has like one region in the North - been trying to figure out if I can annex him without a big penalty so I can have Lu Bu command one of my own armies; wish you could adopt people or something, I don’t think that’s available). Cao Cao is to my East and is my friend (for now) and we’re fighting the Kingdom of Song, his former overlord who has like 10 vassals of varying strength. While Song is the only “Kingdom” in the game at this moment, I think we may soon get to a literal 3 kingdom situation. I fully expect Cao Cao to turn on me when it’s convenient for him - his whole deal whether you’re playing as him or not is he’s slippery and his allegiances constantly shift.
I’ve had a ton of great battles - nothing extremely dramatic, though plenty of clashes with an old rival who won’t go down. Really excited to get back to the game this afternoon.