|Game:||Total War: Three Kingdoms|
|Starting Faction:||The Gongsun Clan of Youbeiping|
|Title:||General of the Front,
Inspector of You,Marquis of Yi
Gongsun Zan is one of the 12 playable starting warlords in the Total War: Three Kingdoms grand campaign.
From Liaoxi Commandery, You Province, Gongsun Zan was a well respected young man on the northeast frontier and a schoolmate of Liu Bei. Unlike his friend, Gongsun Zan was able to climb up the ladder of imperial service quite easily and gained a good fighting reputation serving in Liaodong against Wuhuan and Xianbei raiders before being transferred back to Zhou Commandery in You. During the Liang revolt, he was given command of a Wuhuan auxiliary force, but the inability of the imperial government to supply them led to a mutiny that Gongsun Zan had to put down. However, this was a prelude to a much larger rebellion under a former official named Zhang Chun, who had been passed over for said command. Zhang Chun's rebellion spread across the north, attracting bandits and nomads from all over the region. Command was first given to Gongsun Zan's superior, Liu Yu, Inspector of You, but after a mutiny of the vassal Xiongnu kingdom ended with the death of the Xiongnu Chanyu, Gongsun Zan took control over the army. Gongsun Zan was initially victorious, but his counteroffensive into Wuhuan territory ended in failure, and the rebellion was not put down until Liu Yu stepped in to end the situation diplomatically with the Wuhuan, who sent them Zhang Chun's head. Gongsun Zan still wanted to punish the Wuhuan, but Liu Yu overruled him.
Despite Gongsun Zan's inability to defeat the Wuhuan, he was still promoted, enoffed, and stationed at Youbeiping Commandery as thanks for crushing Zhang Chun. After the coups in the capitol, Gongsun Zan was made General who Exerts Military Might by Dong Zhuo, likely to buy his loyalty. It may have not actually worked, but Gongsun Zan never took part in coalition. Once the coalition began falling apart, Gongsun Zan attacked the Inspector of Ji Province, Han Fu, on request of Yuan Shao. After he defeated Han Fu however, Yuan Shao had Han Fu surrender to him instead, thus taking Ji Province while having Gongsun Zan do all the work. Gongsun Zan wasn't able to do anything about this at the time, but eventually, he allied himself with Yuan Shu, who was at odds with Yuan Shao. Following the death of his cousin, Gongsun Yue, against Yuan Shao's men while in Yuan Shu's service, Gongsun Zan invaded Ji personally while sending his subordinates (including Liu Bei) against Yuan Shao's subordinates in Qing and Yan provinces. All these ultimately ended in failure. Gongsun Zan was defeated at Jieqiao by Qu Yi and then again at Longcou by Yuan Shao himself, his men in Qing were defeated by Yuan Tan, and his men in Yan were defeated by Cao Cao. Peace was eventually settled between them, but Gongsun Zan had lost many men for little gain.
No longer fighting Yuan Shao, Gongsun Zan took to fortifying himself in You, which included getting rid of Liu Yu. Gongsun Zan encamped outside of Liu Yu's base at Ji city, and when Liu Yu attempted to dislodge him, he counterattacked and ultimately captured Liu Yu. When a representative of the rump imperial government arrived to promote Gongsun Zan to General of the Front, Gongsun Zan used the fact that Yuan Shao had once attempted to convince Liu Yu to be crowned emperor to justify executing him and his family. Now firmly in control of the northeastern corner of the empire, Gongsun Zan ruled as a despot, which eventually caused a major rebellion to break out against him. Yuan Shao sent Liu Yu's son Liu He along with his own general Qu Yi (who had defeated Gongsun Zan at Jieqiao), to support the rebels. Gongsun Zan was crushed and fled to the fortress of Yi in northern Ji province.
Gongsun Zan cut himself off from the world within this fortress, indulging himself with his concubines and forbidding any male over seven from entering his tower. His generals abandoned him and Yuan Shao eventually arrived with a huge army to finish him off. His son, Gongsun Xu managed to make contact with the Heishan bandits to extract his father, but Yuan Shao intercepted their communication and led Gongsun Zan into an ambush when he tried to link up with his son. Gongsun Zan managed to survive this, but Yuan Shao used sapping to eventually bring down the fortress walls. Gongsun Zan killed his remaining family members and committed suicide in 199AD before Yuan Shao's men could storm his tower. Gongsun Xu was killed by the Xiongnu not long after.
- The Iron Fist General
|Total War: Three Kingdoms - Yellow Turban Rebellion|