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Liu Bei

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Liu Bei
Liu bei.png
Name: Liu Bei
Game: Total War: Three Kingdoms
Culture: Han
Starting Faction: The Liu Clan of Zhuo
Faction Leader: Yes
Style Name:Xuande
Title:General of the Left, Emperor Zhaolie of Han

Liu Bei is one of the 12 playable starting warlords in the Total War: Three Kingdoms grand campaign.

Historical Background

An incredibly distant descendant of the imperial Liu clan, Liu Bei grew up in poverty in Zhuo County, Zhuo Commandery, You Province following the death of his father at a young age. He had the good fortune to go to school with a certain Gongsun Zan, who would enjoy a more successful early life and bring Liu Bei under his wing to help deal with the multiple rebellions in the north (including the yellow turbans). During these rebellions, he made several friends who would follow him for the rest of his life and be instrumental in his campaigns, such as Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, and Jian Yong. He would serve under Gongsun Zan for several years until the collapse of the coalition, whereupon, he would join Tao Qian who was attempting to prevent Cao Cao from taking over Xu Province. Though Liu Bei was no match for him, Cao Cao was forced to call off the campaign to deal with Lu Bu, and Liu Bei was made Tao Qian's successor by popular demand.

Liu Bei spent the next several years being betrayed and betraying, usually to his ultimate detriment. He was defeated by pretty much every other warlord in the area, occasionally allying with one before either they were destroyed or he left them. Eventually, he was kicked out of the north entirely after his last master, Yuan Shao, was defeated at Guandu. Despite this, he never lost his core group of followers and retainers, and took them south to join Liu Biao, whereupon he was stationed in northern Jing province, as a defense against Cao Cao. He took on more followers here, including Zhuge Liang, and even managed to defeat Xiahou Dun at the Battle of Bowang before Liu Biao's death and succession by his younger son Liu Cong caused most of Jing province to capitulate to Cao Cao. Liu Bei's army barely escaped annihilation at the Battle of Changban and they managed to hook up with Liu Biao's elder son Liu Qi in Xiakou, which was still loyal to him.

In Xiakou, Liu Bei met the Sun family emissary Lu Su, who, along with Zhuge Liang, managed to cement an alliance between the two clans to oppose Cao Cao. What followed was the climactic battle at Chibi, where the much smaller army of Zhou Yu and Liu Bei managed to destroy the Cao navy thanks to Zhou Yu's brilliance, better naval experience, and good old home team advantage in terrain and disease resistance. Liu Bei immediately capitalized on this by occupying most of southern Jing while his Sun allies were busy fighting Cao Cao's much stronger army in the north. He even convinced Sun Quan to give up half the territory he had conquered in the north, though the details of this arrangement would have dire consequences.

At this point, Liu Bei got some fantastic military strategists in Pang Tong and Fa Zheng, who gave him a plan that would let him conquer Yi province from his relative Liu Zhang in a single decisive campaign. He followed their advice and despite the unfortunate death of Pang Tong, managed to take Yi province, putting him on semi equal footing with Sun Quan in terms of land and people. He then proceeded to conquer the southern part of Liang province, Hanzhong Commandery, killing Xiahou Yuan in the process. However, Fa Zheng died soon after. Liu Bei proclaimed himself King of Hanzhong, the title the founder of the Han Dynasty Liu Bang had once held. However, while he was away, the Jing province situation boiled over. Several diplomatic incidents had turned Sun Quan against him, and Guan Yu's bold attack on Fancheng in northern Jing had left him vulnerable. Sun Quan's best general Lu Meng proceeded to brilliantly conquer almost all of Jing province and kill Guan Yu with almost no casualties.

At this point, Cao Cao died and was succeeded by his son Cao Pi, who forced Emperor Xian to abdicate to him, formally establishing the Wei dynasty. In response, Liu Bei claimed to be the legitimate successor to Han and took the title of Emperor as well. He then went on a punitive expedition against Wu, where, bereft of his best strategists, he was decisively crushed by a fire attack at the battle of Xiaoting by Lu Xun. He died the next year, 223AD, of natural causes. Despite being neither a military or administrative genius, his exceptional charisma and ability to foster personal loyalty despite dire circumstances allowed him to survive countless events that would have destroyed most warlords and eventually established one of the Three Kingdoms.

Start Location

Liu Bei starts as the faction leader of The Liu Clan of Zhuo, as a horde in Dong Commandery.

Start Overview


  • Virtuous Idealist:


  • Humble:
  • Kind:
  • Fraternal:


Liu Bei starts as close friends with Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, his "oath brothers" from the Romance and close comrades in history. He is also friends with Gongsun Zan, his historical classmate, and Kong Rong, whom he fought the Yellow Turbans alongside in the Romance.

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Total War: Three Kingdoms - Yellow Turban Rebellion

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