Officials of the Han Empire

The Han dynasty (Chinese: 漢朝; pinyin: Hàn cháo) was the second imperial dynasty of China (206 BC–220 AD), preceded by the Qin dynasty (221–206 BC) and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms period (220–280 AD).

In Total War: Three Kingdoms[edit | edit source]

The campaign of Total War: Three Kingdoms begins in 190 AD, right before the beginning of the Three Kingdoms period. The once glorious Han dynasty is on the verge of collapse, and the enthroned child Emperor Xian is being manipulated by the warlord Dong Zhuo. Dong Zhuo's oppressive rule leads to chaos. New warlords such as Yuan Shao and Cao Cao rise and form a coalition of warlords to fight against Dong Zhuo. However, since each warlord has their own personal ambitions and constantly shifting allegiances, the future of China is uncertain. The play area for the grand campaign takes place in the concurrent territory of the Han Empire.

The Han Empire (light green) at the beginning of the campaign.

The Han Empire also serves as a faction on the campaign map. It still controls regions with neither rebellion activities nor warlord presence.

At the beginning of the campaign, the Han Empire is the vassal of whoever controls the child emperor, which can be obtained by conquering the capital of whoever currently controls him or by reaching the equivalent rank to/surpassing the rank of the current warlord (though this means the Emperor can flee from the player to another warlord should they reach a rank equivalent to/surpass the players). Dong Zhuo is the default warlord controlling Emperor Xian and the Han at the start of the campaign, but whoever conquers Dong Zhuo's capital – Chang'an – or simply reaches an equivalent rank to/surpasses his rank gains control of Emperor Xian and the Han Empire as a vassal. Control of Emperor Xian and the Han can pass through multiple warlords before the Three Kingdoms are proclaimed. Controlling Emperor Xian is particularly profitable in the early game, when most territories are still under Han control; as more and more regions are annexed by the various factions, the Han Empire becomes a less significant vassal. While the Emperor is in the players control then there is no permanent way to get rid of him (unless the players simply allows another warlord to invade the capital city for which the Emperor resides in or allows another warlord to usurp the players current rank) and the player will have to assist the Han should another warlord go to war against the Han in which controlling the Emperor may result in a large opposition.

When the Three Kingdoms period begins, whatever is left of the Han Empire – if there is any left – following Emperor Xian's abdication continues to exist as an independent faction free from vassalage. The remaining territories become a sort of holdout faction, the last remaining loyalists of the Han Empire.

In Total War: Three Kingdoms - Mandate of Heaven[edit | edit source]

The Han Empire appears as a playable faction in the DLC chapter pack for Three Kingdoms, Mandate of Heaven. It is playable through playing as the Han Emperor, Liu Hong who controls the Empire at the games start, through this players will not directly own all Han Empire territories but these territories which are inhabited by warlords and governors will be subjects to Emperor Liu Hong. Through this mechanic the player can exile governors and warlords from the Han Empire, declare an empire war on another faction which immediately causes all other factions to declare war on the selected faction though this may also have diplomatic penalties with other factions, however warlords and governors can choose to abandon the empire which makes their territory independent from the Han but doing so causes a diplomatic penalty with the Han Empire.

The Han Empire (yellow) in Total War: Three Kingdoms - Mandate of Heaven

The Emperor may also force fighting between two factions to cease in which are called feuds, while a warlord or governor is a subject of the Han Empire, they may only conduct feuds and can not declare war on another faction to which the Emperor can force the infighting to stop. No other factions will get involved within these feuds. As Liu Hong the player can declare what are called "Mandated Powers" which gives the player direct control during state emergencies however after the outbreak of the Yellow Turban Rebellion in 184 AD, these powers are automatically granted to the player. The Emperor also possesses the ability to annex other subjects or a subjects territories at the cost of -20 political influence as long as they are a subject of the Han but doing so will have diplomatic penalties with all other warlords and governors.

The Emperor can also dissolve the Empire through the mechanic "Dissolve Empire", doing so will release all subjects from the Han Empire and grant them independence which effectively ends the Han Dynasty but the player will continue as Liu Hong's faction, this usually results in wars between other warlords upon the dissolution of the Han. Playing as a warlord, the player is a nominal subject of the Han Empire but if the player chooses to abandon the Han they can become an independent faction.

Eventually an event will pop-up in which Emperor Ling will die and Dong Zhuo will seize control over the Han Empire and Emperor Xian will be enthroned. This event can be prevented if the player plays as Liu Hong, upon this event, the Han Empire will immediately become vassalized by Dong Zhuo. Another event which is preventable is the death of Liu Chong which kickstarts the Three Kingdom's period, this event can also be prevented by playing as Liu Chong.

History[edit | edit source]

The state of the Han Empire was considered a world superpower during its time and is considered one of golden ages in Chinese history. To this day, China's majority ethnic group refers to themselves as the "Han Chinese" and the Chinese script is called "hanzi". Even the Chinese language is sometimes referred to as "hanyu".

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Emperor moves along with the capital should the player move it while in control of Emperor Xian.
  • The Han Empire is not actually very aggressive or defensive at all, and the Empire doesn't typically make new armies to defend its territories or go on the offensive.
  • If the player is playing as a Yellow Turban warlord and a rebellion breaks out, then a retinue of Han Empire units, referred to as "Han Empire Renegades," will spawn.
    • Additionally, if a Yellow Turban player captures Emperor Xian before the Three Kingdoms phase of the game begins, they will force him to abdicate immediately. However, this does not trigger the Three Kingdoms and the Han Empire faction continues on independently without the emperor.
vde Total War THREE KINGDOMS locations
Northern China WuweiJinchengWuduHanzhongShuofangAndingChang'an
Central China BaxiChengduJiangyangShangyongBaBadongLuoyang
Southern China YunnanYizhouZangkeJiaozhiFulingWulingCangwuYulin
XinduJian'anTong'anYeDongouJianyeKuaijiYizhou island
Areas of Interest China (Han Empire)・The Great WallYellow RiverYangtze River
Pearl RiverDujiangyan CanalLingqu CanalMount EmeiNorthern Mount HengSouth Great MountainMount HuaMount JiuhuaMount LonghuMount QingchengMount QiyunMount SongMount TaiMount WudangMount WutaiStone ForestWulingyuanZhengguo Canal
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