TW3K Dueling

Lu Bu and Zhang Fei are engaged in a duel.

Dueling is one of the highlighted feature in Total War: Three Kingdoms.


When playing Three Kingdoms in Romance mode, your characters appears as powerful single heroes on horseback. Characters may issue challenges to fight one-on-one duels with enemy characters. The only character class that cannot engage in duels is the strategist.\

Dueling has a number of purposes. First and foremost, it’s a way of slaying or routing enemy characters. If a character falls in a duel, that character’s entire retinue will suffer a morale penalty. Secondly, dueling is a way of locking down an enemy character for the duration of the duel, thereby preventing that character from attacking your army.

How does it workEdit

Challenge to duelEdit

To issue a duel challenge, select a character and click the duel button. You will then be presented with a list of characters in the enemy army who are capable of dueling, to the left of which is a power-meter, showing their strength relative to your selected character.

Dueling in processEdit

When a duel begins, regular units will steer a path around the fight to let the two combatants duel honorably. You may attempt to interrupt a duel by ordering your units to attack the dueling enemy character, but this is a deeply dishonorable last-ditch action, and confers a major morale penalty to your entire army, and any allied armies involved in the battle.


You can also choose to withdraw your character from a duel, rather than risk their death, but they will feel great shame and dishonor, flee the battlefield, and the act will deal an alliance-wide morale penalty. However, also note that when a duel is initiated a countdown timer will begin. If your character is weaker than the enemy character, and survives the duel until the timer runs down before withdrawing, the character's retinue will be greatly cheered by the fact he has survived against a more powerful adversary, and will fight harder, faster and with greater morale for a period. Withdrawing a weaker character from such a duel is not considered shameful; after the countdown timer has expired, the character may withdraw without penalty.[1]

Buffs and DebuffsEdit

When a character loses a duel, they will flee the battlefield and their retinue will suffer a morale penalty. The winner will continue to fight in the battle, and their entire army plus any allied armies in the battle will receive a morale boost.

Dueling in records modeEdit

Dueling does work in Records mode but they work differently and follow the historical records for single combat. Firstly, they happen much more organically than in Romance Mode: rather than choosing a duel option, a duel can break out between two heroes whenever they clash on the battlefield. Secondly, as heroes are not single entity units in Classic Mode, when two heroes duel, their two retinues of bodyguards will clash too. The clashing bodyguards will encircle the heroes and face off while the duel takes place. Thirdly, as heroes won't have special combat abilities, there is less focus placed on the actions you take during a duel, and more emphasis placed on how you manage the rest of your army while the duel takes place.[2]


  2. Six Things You’ve Asked About Classic Mode
Total War THREE KINGDOMS gameplay mechanics
Characters AncillaryAttributesBackgroundGuanxiPrestige (Faction Rank)・LegendaryPersonalityResilienceSatisfaction (Title Rank)・SkillSpecialisationTraitsUniqueWu Xing
Campaign AssignmentBuildingsCourt (AdministratorCouncilFamily Tree)・Diplomacy (CoalitionVassal)・Event (Initial Dilemma)・Factions (LeaderHeirPrime Minister)・Mission (Challenge)・RecordsReformsResourcesSeasonsTreasuryUndercover Network
Battle Ability (Unit Ability)・ArmyDuelingFormationFortificationMoraleTerrainSiege (Siege Escalation)・Unit (Hero UnitRetinue)・Weather
Miscellaneous AdvisorDLCsLocations (CommanderyCountySettlement)・Timeline
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.