Romance of the Three Kingdoms Wall of Fire Copyright 1997 Koei Corporation **Goal** Expand your kingdom by building a strong military and try to outsmart your rivals during negotiations. Your strength also depends on the economical power of your kingdom and the happiness of your people. **General advice** Pick a strong leader. Scan the scenarios to identify the traditional successors; these tend to be the strongest. Appoint an advisor from among the highly intelligent generals. The higher your advisor's rating in intelligence, the better his advice will be. Develop an expansion plan. Do reconnaissance work, employ diplomatic efforts or try some more covert actions. Before you begin to develop your territory, decide your initial attack strategy. When an officer's Loyalty rating drops below 50, you can fire him and recruit him anew. He will come back with a higher Loyalty rating. You can also boost an officer's Loyalty rating by giving him gold or promoting him. Focus your investments on cities with at least 200,000 people. Smaller cities just cannot develop the goods you need quickly. **Maintaining your cities** Start the game by spending about 1,000 gold in each of farm, economy, dam and technology. Never let these categories fall below 100 gold invested. Use the first 6 months of the game for building up your city. Draft a stable number of troops for defensive purposes, and train them for that period. If you draft too often, your support and spirit ratings will drop. They will then be more likely to flee the scene of a battle or cave into psychological pressure, such as Taunts and Rumors. Counter this by recruiting as many troops as possible at one time and Train the troops. Also use the Staff-Give command, to increase your civilians' support. Always try to increase the number of officers in a city. When you have an unused officer, have him Search neighboring regions for free officers. Send a charming general to other rulers and Recruit; when you Set Terms, Offer lots of gold. Study your city statistics. Identify any problems that may be pestering your city and deal with them before you are attacked. Gold collection occurs every year in January. Prepare for this event by investing in your economy, gaining the people’s support and having a charming governor. The size of the city also determines how much gold you receive. Provisions collection occurs every year in July. Increase your farming level, dam and size of the city to get major provisions. If you do not receive enough gold or provisions from your yearly collections to pay your soldiers and officers, you should use the market to purchase or sell provisions. It is vital that you have the sufficient gold and provisions in January and July to keep your officers happy. Do not spend as much money on Dams in the northern and western region. These areas are less susceptible to flooding. Increase your cultivation. This not only makes the peasants happier, it also increases the value of the property. **Preparing for war** Make sure your troops' spirit is high, or your losses in battle will be great. You can increase their spirit by resting and Training. Do your research before you attack another city. This is best done by using the Army-Spy command with a loyal officer. Take inventory of which of your generals will be good in war. Pick ones with high power and leadership. Combat-based skills (infantry, cavalry, archery or naval) are necessary for your war generals. Use a spy to determine which city has weak support. Weaken your opponents' resources by setting a Plot. Try using the Arson option and burn their food. Purchase or make war resources such as horses, crossbows, catapults and rams using the Build command on your Army or Market menu. Make sure to bring along a good array of weaponry. This will give you more options in combat. Before you attack a neighboring ruler, send gifts to the rulers around his city so their hostility level drops. This will make them think of you as less of a threat and give you a few rounds after your victory to regroup your soldiers before they attack. Start off by attacking a ruler who is less powerful and has fewer allies and resources. It is best to attack a ruler who owns only one city. Often attacking a stronger ruler will result in a nasty counter offensive resulting in loss of any temporary gains or loss of even more. Hide a loyal officer amongst your enemies and you will have an advantage when you go into combat. When you use the Betray command in combat, and your hidden officer is on the other side, he will bring with him some troops and your opponents' spirit will often fall. Assign your officers to positions within cities as you expand(such as civil officer, marshal and general officer). Reward officers with items. If you have items to give to your generals, they will increase their loyalty and other statistics. This is especially useful for commanders going to war. **During war** If you are the defending side and you take an advisor to battle, you may set a Pitfall or Hay trap. You may ignite the hay with the Fire command or by firing a Firebolt at the hay. The fire command may often cause the fire to hit your troops. Use your archers and Firebolt the hay. Position your troops in the best terrain type. The highest terrain effect rating is the mountain region. A higher rating will give your troops defensive and offensive advantages. Use commanders' strengths while in war. Plotting against the enemy's commander will sway the balance of even fights. If an enemy sends in reinforcements that will change the outcome of the battle, you should Plot-Lie to the reinforcements. If they are not threatening to alter the results, allow them to stay and capture their commanders by defeating them. Use the Confuse, from the Plot menu, in a field battle (this will disable an enemy's movement), then start a fire on the enemy's unit. This also works with Cao Cao's ability called Chaos. Placing your forces in a forest or grassland makes them vulnerable to a fire. Placing them below mountains makes them vulnerable to enemy troops hurling boulders. **Foreign policy** If you are not at peace with lesser powered rulers around you, grind down their resources for the year by periodic raids. The troops you send on these raids should be well trained, with high spirit, and the commander should have the appropriate commander abilities( cavalry, infantry or archery). If you are wealthy, you can ask a foreign tribe to Invade some of your opponents. This will slow them down and give you the time to build more forces. Send Gifts to rulers with low hostility. If a rulers’ hostility reaches zero, form an alliance with the Ally command. Keep your spies active in other regions and monitor your opponents. Never Free an officer. Either Recruit him or Execute him. If a ruler proposes to make an alliance and offers you gold or goods, you often cannot negotiate the price. If you turn down an offer, your intended ally makes no counter offer.