I just finished my first game as He Yi on Legendary / Legendary, and I thought I’d share some basic tips about the generals, army composition, and commanderies!
Other Total War: Three Kingdoms Guides:
- Getting Started.
- Advanced Tips and Tricks.
- Beginner’s Guide (Tips and Tricks).
- How to Unlock Dong Faction (Easy Way).
- Sun Jian Legendary Campaign Guide.
- Resources and Campaign Maps.
- Damage Types and Effects.
- Spies & Espionage Guide.
- Zone of Control Guide.
- Administrators Guide.
- Unit Types.
Generals and Army Composition
Generals for the Yellow Turbans are unique – there are only 3 types (Healer, Scholar, and Veteran) but there are several backgrounds for each type that affect the skills they can learn.
Healer (Green / Red) – I used 4 White Wave Veterans + 2 White Wave Horsemen for the entire game. White Wave Veterans have great morale, and White Wave Horseman are the only shock cavalry you can get. Pretty much any background works as a general, but Seers and Fortune-tellers are the worst. I used them for assignments for the whole game. Physicians are the the best generals because they get +10% melee damage, +10% armor-piercing damage, +10% armor, and several other buffs.
Scholar (Purple / Yellow) – 6 Archery Masters, as soon as you can get them. Archery Masters are extremely powerful. Most battles saw them averaging between 200 and 400 kills per unit. You might actually have a hard time leveling up your melee troops because the enemy will route before they reach you. Brewers make the best generals and should usually command the army because they get +10% ranged damage, +10% ranged armor-piercing damage, and +10% ranged fire rate (when commanding). Farmers make the best Administrators, and Potters are good for assignments after they get the +30% income from industry assignment.
Veteran (Blue / Green) – You might want to use Veterans for archers for the first ~50 turns, but after your Scholars unlock Archery Masters you’ll want to recruit 4 Reclaimers + 2 Trebuchets. Monks, Philosophers, and Sorcerers make the best generals because they’re the only Veterans that can unlock Flaming Shot. Writers and Astrologists get pretty good buffs for spear infantry, but no Flaming Shot is a deal-breaker.
For almost every army, I just used 1 of each general. If I was missing a Healer or a Veteran I used a Yellow Turban Warriors Captain, and if I was missing a Scholar I used a Yellow Turban Archers Captain. With 1 Captain you can still beat pretty much any other army you’ll see, but with 2 Captains you’ll probably want to bring another army as backup. If you declare yourself emperor, you’ll be able to field a dozen or more armies like this, which makes it easy to steamroll enemy armies and either vassalize them or wipe them out. On a related note, I noticed that if you have several vassals, it seems to be best to execute everyone you capture because your vassals (who you hopefully called to help you) will love you for it. You can also dump ancillaries on your vassals in exchange for territory or money – this works great with armor, since you can’t equip any of it.
As for commanderies, you can pretty much divide them into 2 types: food and not-food.
Food commanderies are any commanderies that have green resources that produce food. For each one of these, I kept them as a City and built all 3 green buildings + a Garrison. Keeping it as a City keeps public order from being a problem while still giving you plenty of food (playing as He Yi, I had several Imperial Cities and still had enough food to sell). If the green province has Jetties, you can keep growing past City for the commerce income.
Not-food commanderies are anything else, and I just kept growing them to Small Regional Cities to unlock all the building slots, and then maximizing whatever income that was coming from Resources. You’ll want at least 1 public order building to keep the penalties from population down, and Garrisons are always good. Forges are particularly good in industry commanderies, because they give +20% replenishment. Late game, you’ll be able to replenish an entire army in 1 or 2 turns.