Yuan Shao is a Chinese name; the family name is Yuan.
For the faction, see Yuan Shao

Yuan Shao is a playable and historical character featured in Total War: Three Kingdoms. Nicknamed the The Dragon of the Yuan, he is the default leader and one of the Commander class heroes in his faction. Yuan Shao's ultimate aim is to become the emperor of China, a goal that will require all of his strength and mastery to fulfill.

Description[edit | edit source]

As the Han's loyal defender, Yuan Shao stormed Luoyang to liberate the emperor and personally slaughtered the treacherous eunuchs. He rose to power due to his outstanding reputation, wealth, and prestige. Though he lacks in substance, his ostentatious style is beyond doubt.

As the leader of the coalition, the charismatic Yuan Shao will appeal to players with diplomatic flair who want to focus on alliances and political maneuvering. His ability to field military captains as leaders of retinues enables him to build strong forces without the necessity of controlling the satisfaction and loyalties of his generals.

Powerful and ostentatious, Yuan Shao is for those who know they'll make an excellent emperor.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Yuan Shao is a charismatic and noble leader of men whose appeal to the common soldier cannot be underestimated. His unique ability to recruit retinues that are led by a military captain and not by a commanding general provides him with a way to quickly bolster his forces, and as long as he is the faction leader he will also benefit from a reduction in these retinues' cost.

It is primarily his lineage that is the driver of Yuan Shao's significant charisma and influence. Yuan Shao gains lineage when he is in alliances or coalitions, and if the faction leader is leading armies in the field. Bringing characters into his faction means that he must pull some strings and make promises based on his nobility, effectively expending this currency. Yuan Shao can also use his lineage to more effectively pacify captured settlements. Notably, Yuan Shao is one of the few characters able to forge alliances right at the start of the game – only his half-brother Yuan Shu can do this as well.

All this means that Yuan Shao is best suited to focusing on alliance gameplay, so always making sure to care about your diplomatic relationships, and to be involved with as many factions as possible while also building up large forces comprising military captains and their retinues is a wise choice.

General Information[edit | edit source]

Attributes and Traits[edit | edit source]

Main article: Attributes (Total War: Three Kingdoms)

Pending for finalized Attributes and traits data

Skills[edit | edit source]

Main article: Skills (Total War: Three Kingdoms)

Pending for finalized skills data

Retinues[edit | edit source]

Main article: Retinues (Total War: Three Kingdoms)

Pending for finalized retinues data

Ancillaries[edit | edit source]

Main article: Ancillary (Total War: Three Kingdoms)

Pending for finalized ancillary data

Game progression[edit | edit source]

Starting position[edit | edit source]

TW3K Yuan Shao-starting-pos.png

Although the coalition against Dong Zhuo has since broken down, this is the perfect situation for Yuan Shao – there are many advantageous new alliances to be made.

Yuan Shao's starting location is also a relatively safe one that gives him the option to swiftly unify the Wei Commandery. And with plenty of farmlands and agriculturally rich provinces within relatively easy reach, Yuan Shao has lots of resources to draw on in order to forge a strong foundation for a thriving realm. Most of his initial neighbors are relatively minor factions, who can be easily conquered to further increase Yuan Shao's power.

However, once he's laid down the foundations for a sturdy power base, Yuan Shao must expand – an endeavor that could benefit from setting about conquering everything north of the Yellow River. Things get a little more difficult for Yuan Shao when the mid game rolls around after all the minor factions have been snapped up, especially as he will often find himself sandwiched between major players such as Gongsun Zan, Cao Cao, Dong Zhuo, and his half-brother Yuan Shu.

Initial Dilemma[edit | edit source]

TW3K Yuan Shao-dilema.png

Yuan Shao' s initial dilemma focuses around the conflict between Han Fu and Gongsun Zan.

You were able to convince Gongsun Zan about attacking Han Fu, so he is now asking you to aid him in this attack, but at the same time Han Fu is seeking refuge in your realm – and is willing to pass his lands on to you in return.

It falls to you whether to stand by your promise to Gongsun Zan and declare war on Han Fu (thus improving your relations with the former) or to use this opportunity to increase the size of your realm by taking Han Fu into your fold, confederating his faction in yours (which will understandably upset Gongsun Zan).

Biography[edit | edit source]

Main article: Timeline (Total War: Three Kingdoms)

A handsome and charismatic lord, Yuan Shao was He Jin's right-hand man, and instrumental in the defeat of the Ten Attendants.

He resisted Dong Zhuo's attempts to get him on board with his plans to dethrone the current child emperor and replace him with an even younger, more malleable alternative, opening up a rift between the two of them.

Yuan Shao was then pressed by Cao Cao to call all able-bodied men to join a coalition against the tyrant, joining him in protesting Dong Zhuo's military takeover of the capital. When Yuan Shao and his allies drafted troops to fight against Dong Zhuo, the tyrant attempted to make peace with him – only for Yuan Shao to slay several of the envoys that came to greet him.

With Emperor Xian as Dong Zhuo's puppet, Yuan Shao and Han Fu sought to establish Liu Yu as emperor in his place – a proposal that was abandoned due to the objections of Liu Yu himself.

Yuan Shao is descended from power and prestige. His great grandfather Yuan An is well-known for having built the lofty Yuan dynasty, while his grandfather Yuan Tang is a high-ranking minister of the Han dynasty. However, his father Yuan Feng is something of a controversial figure, with rumours suggesting that Yuan Shao may not actually be his son at all.[1]

Guanxi[edit | edit source]

Yuan Shao's relationship

Main article: Guanxi

Yuan Shao is descended from power and prestige. His great grandfather Yuan An is well-known for having built the lofty Yuan dynasty, while his grandfather Yuan Tang is a high-ranking minister of the Han dynasty. However, his father Yuan Feng is something of a controversial figure, with rumours suggesting that Yuan Shao may not actually be his son at all.

Although Yuan Shao is a charismatic leader of soldiers, he struggled to gain the appreciation of comrades on equal footing. Nevertheless, Wen Chou and Yan Liang have been with Yuan Shao since the very beginning. Xu You is another brilliant asset of Yuan Shao, however two people have difference in personality.

There's also the matter of his rivalry with his half-brother Yuan Shu. Yuan Shu believes that he is the rightful heir to the family name, and that Yuan Shao has stolen his birthright. The two are often at odds – and as Yuan Shao the player must prove that he is the superior candidate.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Alliance Leader is a title given by The Creative Assembly to Yuan Shao after his playstyle.
  • Yuan Shao's English voice actor is Paul Hyu.[2]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Reference[edit | edit source]

  1. Total War: THREE KINGDOMS Warlord Legends – Yuan Shao
  2. [https://www.totalwar.com/blog/an-interview-with-three-kingdoms-voice-actor-paul-hyu/ “Please never make me shout as much again!”: an interview with THREE KINGDOMS voice actor Paul Hyu
Total War THREE KINGDOMS factions and leaders
Warlords Cao Wei (Cao Cao)・Dong Zhuo (Dong Zhuo)・Gongsun Zan (Gongsun Zan)・Shu-Han (Liu Bei)・Wu (Sun Jian)・Yuan Shao (Yuan Shao)・Yuan Shu (Yuan Shu)
Governors Kong Rong (Kong Rong)・Liu Biao (Liu Biao)・Ma Teng (Ma Teng)
Outlaws Black Mountain bandits (Zhang Yan)・Zheng Jiang (Zheng Jiang)
Nanman King Meng Huo (Meng Huo)・King Mulu (Mulu)・King Shamoke (Shamoke)・Lady Zhurong (Lady Zhurong)
Other factions Han EmpireCai MaoGongsun DuHan FuHan SuiHuang ZuJia LongKong ZhouLiu DaiLiu Yan (Liu Yan)・Liu YaoLiu YuLiu ZhangShi XieTao QianWang LangWang KuangZe RongZhang ChaoZhang LuZhang Yang
Total War THREE KINGDOMS historical characters
Sentinel Bao XinCai HeCai YangCao RenChang DiaoChang XiaChen HengChen QianChen WuChen XiuCheng PuCongqianCui JunDeng AiDing FengGan LiGao GanGongsun DuGongsun XuGuo XianHou YinHan SuiSHuang SheHuang YueyingFHuang ZhongSHuangfu SongJia LongJian YongLi DianLiang XingLiu ShangLiu YaoLu MengLu ZhiMa MaoQu YingSong JianSui GuSun JianSSun ShaoTaishi CiSTao ShangTian FenWang KuangWang SuWang YuXia ZhaoXiaoqiaoXu HuangSXue LiYan XingYang BoYang HongYang ZhongYin LiYu JinYuan ShangYue JinSZang HongZhang HuZhang LiaoSZhang YaZhao YunSZheng BaoZhu Zhi
Champion Cai ZhongCao AngCao HongCao ShuangCao XiCao ZhangChang XiChen JiuChen LanCheng YiDong FengDian WeiSGao DingGao ShengGuan XingGuan YuSHan FuHan HaoHong MingHuan LinHuan ZhiHuang GaiHuang ZuHuo NuJi BenJiang GongLi DamuLi HuanLi YuLing TongLiu ShaoLu KangPang DeQu GongQuan RouSen PeiSong YangTao YingTuoba LiweiWang XiWei HuangWei JieWen ChouXiahou DunSXianyu YinXin PingXu ChuSXu RongXuan FanYang FengYou TuYu QinZang BaZao ZhiZhang FangZhang FuZhang GuangZhang LuZhang YanSZhao DuZheng YanZheng JiangSFZou LinZuozi Hangba
Strategist Bao XunBian RangBu LianshiFCai YanFCai YongCao ChongCao ZhiChang LinChe ZhouChen BiaoChen DiChen GongChen LinChen QunChen ZhenCheng XuCheng YuCui LinCui YanDiaochanFDing YiDong YunDong ZhaoDu QiongFa ZhengFan QinLady FengFFeng ShuoFu GanFu JiaFu WanGao RouGaotangGongsun XiuGu YongGuan ChunGuan JingGuan LuGuan NingGuanqiu DianGuo JiaGuo TuHan JiHan RanHan RongHan YinHandan ChunHandan ShangHe YanHe ZengHu ZhaoHu ZhiHu ZongHua BiaoHua TuoHua XinHuan DianHuan FanHuan JiaHuang WanHungfu MiJi MiaoJi MuJia ChongJia CongJia XuJiang JiJin YiJu ShouKan ZeKong RongSKong ZhouKuai LiangKuai YueLiu BaLi ChaoLi FuLi KangLi RuLi ShaoLi XiuLiang MaoLiu DaiLiu FuLiu HeLiu JiLiu YanLiu YeLiu YiLiu ZhenLu AnLiu FanLu JiLu KaiLu MaoLu SuLu XingLu XunLu YiLu YuLu ZhengFMa LiangMa MidiMa QiuMa SuMa YuMao JieMi HengMi ZhuMiao XiMin ChunPan XuPang JiPang TongPei JunPei QianPeng YangQi ZhouQiao ZhouQin MiQuan JiQue XuanRen AnRen JunRuan YuShan GuShan TaoShen YouSheng XianShi WeiShi XieShi YiShi ZhiSima FengSima FuSima LangSima YiSSu ShuoSu ZeSun QianSun XuTao QianSTeng YinTian ChouTian FengTian JingWang BiaoWang CanWang DangWang FuWang JianWang LanWang LeiWang LieWang SuWang XiangWei DanWei FengWei ShuWei YouWei ZhaoWei HuiWu FanWu ShuoWu ZhiXiahou RongXiahou XuanXiahou ZuoXiahou LangXin XianyingXing YongXu GanXu JingXu MiaoXu ShaoXu ShuXu TaXu XuanXu YouXue ZongXun WeiXun YuXun YueYan PuYan XiangYan YuYang ChouYang DaoYang XiYang XiuYao TaiYao ZhouYing QuYing YangYing YuYu FanYuan LongYuan YiYue DunZhang ChaoZhang ChengZhang ChunhuaZhang HongZhang JiZhang MiaoZhang MinZhang QuanZhang SongZhang WenZhang YunZhang ZanZhang ZhaoZhang ZhenZhang ZhiZhao AngZhao QiZhao WeiZhao YanZhao YiZheng MaoZheng MoZheng SuiZheng TaiZheng XuanZhong YaoZhongchang TongZhou HuanZhou YuSZhou ZhiZhu EnZhu GuiZhu HanZhuge JinZhuge LiangS
Vanguard Bu JiBu ZhiCai MaoDong ZhuoGan NingGongsun ZanSLiu QiLü BuSMa ChaoSMa TengSSun CeSSun RenSFXiahou JieXiahou YuanSYan LiangZe RongZhang FeiSZhang HeZhang Yang
Commander Lady BianFLady CaiFCai XunCao CaoSCao JieFCao RenDaqiaoFDong PeishanFGuan YinpingFLiu BeiSLiu BiaoSLady LiuFLiu YuLiu ZhangSWang LangLady WuFSun QuanSYuan AnyangFYuan ShaoSYuan ShuSYuan TanYuan Xi
Healer(YTR) Han XianHe YiSLiu PiWang Du
Veteran(YTR) Gong DuSGuan HaiLiao HuaPei YuanshaoSZhang KaiSZhao Bo
Scholar(YTR) Guo DaHe ManSHuang ShaoSWang RaoXu He
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