Three Kingdoms Redux: A Historical Perspective
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As the reader of this geeklist may already know, we have developed a new board game by the name of Three Kingdoms Redux. It is based on the three kingdoms era, focusing on the states of Wei 魏, Wu 吳 and Shu 蜀. The rules have been posted, artwork is ongoing, some pictures have been shared, and we expect manufacturing to take place in 2014. Whilst we wait expectantly for that, we present to you a historical perspective of Three Kingdoms Redux.

Links:
Three Kingdoms Redux
Starting Player
Three Kingdoms Redux Game Rules
Three Kingdoms Redux Compendium

Further reading:
Records of the Three Kingdoms in Chinese, with some basic description in English
Parts of Records of the Three Kingdoms in English
Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel in Chinese
Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel in English

Geeklists related to Three Kingdoms Redux:
We Are Taking The Plunge! (Part 1)
We Are Taking The Plunge! (Part 2)
We Are Taking The Plunge! (Part 3)
We Are Taking The Plunge! (Part 4)
We Are Taking The Plunge! (Part 5)
Geeklist discussing artwork of generals of Three Kingdoms Redux
Geeklist discussing artwork of state enhancements of Three Kingdoms Redux

The all important Significant Other:
Keng Leong Yeo
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小富靠勤,中富靠智,大富靠德。
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1. Board Game: EuroGame [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
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Eurogame on Managing a State, instead of a Wargame

Most existing literature and board games of the three kingdoms period elaborated extensively on the military campaigns and tended to neglect other aspects of running a state.

We wanted to design a board game with a more balanced view, and therefore included many other elements. The military aspect is still included, but it no longer occupies the centre stage alone. The inclusions led to a more eurogame-like design, instead of a wargame.

The non-military elements included in Three Kingdoms Redux and their historical background are described in the rest of this geeklist.

Further reading:
Summary of the three kingdoms era
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2. Board Game: Geography Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Gameboard and the Three States


Three Kingdoms (262 A.D.) by Yu Ninjie (creative commons)

Historically, Wei 魏 occupied the north, in particular the central plains 中原, Wu 吳 occupied the southeast, also referred to as Jiangdong 江東 or Jiangnan 江南, and Shu 蜀 occupied the southwest, the Sichuan 四川 area.

The gameboard also depicts the three states in their historical positions. When viewed upright, players will observe Wei 魏 at the top, Wu 吳 at the bottom right, and Shu 蜀 at the bottom left.

Further reading:
Central plains 中原
Jiangnan 江南
Sichuan 四川
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3. GeekList: Asymmetric Games
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Asymmetrical Starting Positions

The starting positions of the three states in Three Kingdoms Redux are asymmetrical. Wei 魏 starts the game with the most manpower, followed by Wu 吳 and Shu 蜀 is the weakest.

Historically, Wei 魏 was the first state to develop under Cao Cao 曹操. It was also the first state to reach its peak size, after defeating Yuan Shao 袁紹 and reunifying the north. The head start gave Cao Cao 曹操 the opportunity to consolidate his power and recruit more talents into his administration. Wei 魏 also controlled the highest population from which to draw its army.

Wu 吳 also had the opportunity to develop early, but that was interrupted twice, by Sun Jian's 孫堅 and his eldest son Sun Ce's 孫策 early and untimely deaths. They were aged just 36 and 25 respectively. Sun Jian 孫堅 died in an ambush before he had the chance to secure any significant territory gains. After his death, the teenage Sun Ce 孫策 served under Yuan Shu 袁術 for a number of years. He eventually gathered sufficient men to conquer Jiang Dong 江東 but was assassinated before he could further these initial conquests.

Sun Quan 孫權, Sun Ce's 孫策 younger brother, was only 18 when he succeeded Sun Ce 孫策. He spent most of his initial years consolidating Wu 吳 and did not attempt to expand its borders. By the time his ambitions started to grow, Cao Cao 曹操 had reunified the north and was threatening to march south. This clash of interests would culminate with the Battle of Chibi 赤壁 (Battle of Red Cliffs).

Shu 蜀 did not develop as a state until after Battle of Chibi 赤壁 (Battle of Red Cliffs). The defeat of Cao Cao 曹操 in the Battle of Chibi 赤壁 (Battle of Red Cliffs) afforded Liu Bei 劉備 the opportunity to establish himself in south Jing 荊 province. It was only after his subsequent conquest of Yi 益 province that the state of Shu 蜀 was formally established.

Further reading:
Population of the three states
Short summary of political history of the three kingdoms era
The rise of Cao Cao
Sun Ce's conquest of Jiangdong
Liu Bei's establishment of Shu 蜀
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4. Board Game: The Economy Game [Average Rating:4.23 Unranked]
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Domestic Development

During the early part of the three kingdoms era (late 2nd century), food shortage was a thorny issue faced by all warlords.

Cao Cao 曹操 appreciated the importance of maintaining a strong food supply line and initiated a number of agriculture programs, such as Tuntian 屯田 system, to alleviate the situation. War refugees and peasants were recruited and assigned plots of land for their farming. The government provided the necessary equipment at a low price in exchange for half the harvest. These agricultural programs were successful, allowing Cao Cao 曹操 to build a strong army and to improve the living standards of the people.

Domestic development appears in Three Kingdoms Redux in the form of the "farm development" and "marketplace development" action spaces, and the granary and treasury spaces of each state. It is also a scoring category in the game.

Further reading:
Economy of the three states
Cao Cao's agricultural policies
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5. Board Game: Lords and Vassals [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Christina Ng
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Vassals and Tribute Collection

After Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮 succeeded in suppressing the rebellion in Nanzhong 南中, he left governance of the commanderies to the locals instead of Han Chinese officials. In return, the locals paid regular tributes to Shu 蜀. The tributes include items such as gold, silver, oxen, warhorses etc. These helped Shu 蜀 to prosper and Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮 to prepare for his subsequent northern expeditions against Wei 魏.

Weaker states often made tributes to stronger states in order to stave off invasions. For example, Liu Zhang 劉璋, warlord occupying Yi province, sent his advisor, Zhang Song 張松, to pledge allegiance and make a tribute to Cao Cao 曹操, out of fear of attack from a neighbouring warlord Zhang Lu 張魯.

Tribute collection is included in Three Kingdoms Redux in the form of the "demand tribute" action space.

Further reading:
Zhuge Liang's 諸葛亮 Southern Campaign
Zhang Song
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6. Board Game: Trade [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:11140]
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Trade

There was an increase in trading activities, particularly between Wu 吳 and Shu 蜀 after the formation of their alliance, during the three kingdoms era. Their respective economies prospered as a result.

Trade routes established during the Han dynasty still existed and trade probably continued via them. A prime example would be the Silk Road, part of which ran through Wei 魏.

Trading is included in Three Kingdoms Redux in the form of the "trade rice and/or trade weapons" and, to a smaller extent, "hire instructor and/or import technology" action spaces.

Further reading:
Shu's 蜀 economy and trade with Wu 吳
More discussion on trade between Wu 吳 and Shu 蜀
Discussion of the Silk Road
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7. Board Game: Military Chess [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
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Military

There were a great number of military campaigns fought during the three kingdoms period. The most well-known of these are the Battles of Guandu 官渡, Chibi 赤壁 and Yiling 夷陵.

The military aspect is retained in Three Kingdoms Redux, via the "battle" action spaces and the 15 battle locations. The battle locations were chosen based on the locations along each state's borders where major battles had taken place, e.g. Jieting 街亭, Chibi 赤壁 and Xiaoting 猇亭.

Further reading:
Battle of Guandu 官渡
Battle of Chibi 赤壁 (Battle of Red Cliffs)
Battle of Yiling 夷陵
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8. Board Game: Emperor of China [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:11723]
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Han 漢 Emperor

The power of the Han throne declined alarmingly towards the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty. A number of Han emperors ascended the throne at a young age and governing power usually rested with the regents. These were often the emperors' older relatives. As the young emperors matured, they experienced great difficulty in regaining control of the government from the regents.

During the initial period of the three kingdoms era, warlords took over the roles of regents. The Han emperor was often kept under control by a powerful warlord. This was done under the pretext of supporting and protecting the Han emperor and the Han dynasty. More often than not, the genuine motivation of doing so was to gain promotions and the legal authority to control the other warlords.

Examples of warlords controlling the Han emperor:

• Dong Zhuo 董卓

After the death of Emperor Ling, there were two main factions in the court, Grand General He Jin 何進 and Empress He vs the eunuchs. They were trying to install their preferred prince, Liu Bian 劉辯 and Liu Xie 劉協 respectively, to the throne. He Jin 何進 preempted the eunuchs by declaring Liu Bian 劉辯 as Emperor Shao and ordered Dong Zhuo 董卓 to lead troops into Luoyang 洛陽 to aid him in eliminating the eunuch faction.

He Jin's 何進 plan was discovered by the eunuchs and was subsequently killed. Yuan Shao 袁紹, then a subordinate general of He Jin 何進, led forces into the palace and eliminated the eunuchs in turn. The remaining eunuchs fled from the palace by taking hostage of both Emperor Shao and Liu Xie 劉協. They met Dong Zhuo 董卓 along the way who escorted them back into the palace.

Dong Zhuo 董卓 was unimpressed with Emperor Shao and deposed him in favour of Liu Xie 劉協, who became Emperor Xian. This was seen as an act to prove to other warlords that he was in full control of the empire. Thereafter, power fell into the hands of Dong Zhuo 董卓, who declared himself Chancellor, sacked Luoyang 洛陽 and moved the capital to Chang’an 長安, and granted himself special privileges.

• Li Jue 李傕 and Guo Si 郭汜

Li Jue 李傕 and Guo Si 郭汜 were generals under Dong Zhuo 董卓. After Dong Zhuo's 董卓 death, Li Jue 李傕, Guo Si 郭汜 and their associates took Emperor Xian hostage. The emperor yielded to their intimidation tactics and granted them high ranks. They subsequently took control of the court.

• Cao Cao 曹操

Loyal court officials were unhappy with the abuse of power by Li Jue 李傕 and Guo Si 郭汜. One of them came up with a plan to drive them apart. It succeeded, but led to a civil war between the pair. Emperor Xian took the opportunity to escape back to Luoyang 洛陽. Luoyang 洛陽 was by then in a bad state and lacking in resources. Emperor Xian sent out emissaries to request for aid from various warlords.

Most warlords ignored the emperor's plea for assistance. The exception was Cao Cao 曹操, who at that time was still a minor warlord based in Xuchang 許昌. He rode to Luoyang 洛陽 and convinced Emperor Xian to move to Xuchang 許昌. He saw the strategic advantage in having the emperor under his control and began to issue imperial edicts in Emperor Xian's name for his own gains.

As a side note, one of the warlords who rejected Emperor Xian's overtures was Yuan Shao 袁紹, who was then a major warlord in the north. Yuan Shao’s 袁紹 advisor, Ju Shou 沮授, had suggested that he welcome Emperor Xian to his province so that Yuan Shao 袁紹 could be in control of the government. This suggestion was opposed by the other advisors and generals such as Guo Tu 郭圖 and Chunyu Qiong 淳於瓊 on the grounds that Yuan Shao 袁紹 would have to yield to Emperor Xian on key decisions.

Yuan Shao 袁紹 subsequently rejected the plea, allowing Cao Cao 曹操 to gain control of the Han emperor instead. This afforded Cao Cao 曹操 the opportunity to consolidate his power and was a crucial advantage leading up to the eventual defeat of Yuan Shao 袁紹 in the Battle of Guandu 官渡.

Control of the Han emperor was a key feature of the three kingdoms era. We included it in Three Kingdoms Redux via the "Control Han emperor" action space and Han 漢 emperor tile. Rank is also a scoring category in the game.

Further reading:
Dong Zhuo's 董卓 rise to power
Li Jue 李傕 controlling the Han emperor
Guo Si 郭汜 sharing the control of the Han emperor with Li Jue 李傕
Cao Cao 曹操 securing the Han emperor
Yuan Shao 袁紹 passing on the opportunity to secure the Han emperor
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9. Board Game: Supporters [Average Rating:3.50 Unranked]
Christina Ng
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Popular Support

Many of the wiser warlords and their able advisors espoused the need to win the hearts of the people as a precursor to earning the right to govern. Some examples:

• Liu Bei 劉備 disagreeing with Pang Tong 龐統 on assassinating Liu Zhang 劉璋

Liu Zhang 劉璋, the governor of Yi 益 province, invited Liu Bei 劉備 to help defend against Zhang Lu 張魯 of Hanzhong 漢中. Pang Tong 龐統 advised Liu Bei 劉備 to seize the opportunity by capturing Liu Zhang 劉璋 and forcing the latter to hand over Yi 益 province. Liu Bei 劉備 rejected the proposal on the grounds that he was new to Yi 益 province and had not yet established a strong reputation there.

When Liu Bei 劉備 camped at the border between the Yi 益 province and Hanzhong 漢中, he spent much effort building up relationships and gaining influence around the region. This paved the way for the eventual smooth capture of Yi 益 province.

• Guo Jia 郭嘉 advising Cao Cao 曹操 against killing Liu Bei 劉備

In 196, Lu Bu 呂布 seized Xu 徐 province from Zhang Fei 張飛 (Liu Bei's 劉備 sworn brother) whilst Liu Bei 劉備 was involved in a military campaign against another warlord Yuan Shu 袁術. Without a home base, Liu Bei 劉備 had little choice but to seek shelter with Cao Cao 曹操 in Xuchang 許昌.

An advisor of Cao Cao 曹操 recommended the murder of Liu Bei 劉備. He was of the opinion that Liu Bei 劉備 would develop into a serious threat to Cao Cao 曹操 in the future, and it was better to eliminate him before that happened.

Guo Jia 郭嘉 disagreed. He explained that Cao Cao 曹操 was still a relatively minor warlord and in dire need of talent. Liu Bei 劉備 was reputed amongst the people as a hero. If he was killed after joining Cao Cao 曹操, other talents would think twice about joining Cao Cao 曹操. Cao Cao 曹操 agreed with him and Liu Bei 劉備 was spared.

• Lu Meng's 呂蒙 attack on Guan Yu 關羽

In 219, Guan Yu 關羽 of Shu 蜀 was leading an army to attack Cao Ren 曹仁 of Wei 魏 at Fancheng 樊城 whilst leaving his subordinates to guard Gong'an 公安 and Nan commandery 南郡. Lu Meng 呂蒙 of Wu 吳 proposed setting up a ruse to trick Guan Yu 關羽.

Lu Meng 呂蒙 pretended to be ill and requested for sick leave. After Lu Meng 呂蒙 left Jing 荊 province, Guan Yu 關羽 let down his guard and withdrew his forces from Nan commandery 南郡 to bolster his attack on Fancheng 樊城.

Lu Meng 呂蒙 then returned under cover and captured Gong'an 公安 and Nan commandery 南郡 in a swift raid. Lu Meng 呂蒙 subsequently showed mercy towards Guan Yu's 關羽 subordinates and many surrendered willingly. Upon entering Nan commandery 南郡, Lu Meng 呂蒙 also treated the civilian population well and won over the support of the locals quickly. Many of these families had members still serving in Guan Yu's 關羽 army. Upon hearing that their families were treated better than in the past, Guan Yu's 關羽 army soon lost its fighting spirit and defected over to Lu Meng’s 呂蒙 forces.

This series of events culminated in the capture and death of Guan Yu 關羽 and his son Guan Ping 關平.

On the other hand, leaders who failed to win the people's support often found themselves the common enemy. The result was often a short-lived empire. Some examples of these:

• Dong Zhuo 董卓

After Dong Zhuo 董卓 entered Luoyang 洛陽 and installed Emperor Xian, he promoted himself to Chancellor and took control of the government. He was cruel to his people and soldiers, often enslaving and torturing them for his own enjoyment. Commoners were kidnapped and killed at random during his tyrannical rule.

He also did not hesitate to wipe out those that opposed him politically, such as the Yuan 袁 clan, because Yuan Shao 袁紹 was the leader of the coalition force against him. Many other public servants were wrongly accused and executed.

Huge resentment grew amongst gentries and commoners. Eventually, his foster son, Lu Bu 呂布, assassinated him under a plot by Minister Wang Yun 王允.

• Yuan Shu 袁術

Yuan Shu 袁術 declared himself emperor after obtaining the imperial jade seal from Sun Ce 孫策. This reckless declaration made him a common target amongst the other warlords. Furthermore, his extravagant lifestyle and arrogance led to many desertions amongst his followers.

A coalition comprising of Cao Cao 曹操, Liu Bei 劉備, Lu Bu 呂布 and Sun Ce 孫策 was formed against him. After repeated bruising battles with members of this coalition, his forces were eventually defeated by Liu Bei 劉備. Yuan Shu 袁術 was overcome by grief and died shortly after this defeat.

Popular support from the people was included in Three Kingdoms Redux via the "Win popular support" action space and popular support tiles. Popular support is also part of the civil harmony scoring category in the game.

Further reading:
Pang Tong's 龐統 advice to Liu Bei 劉備 on Yi 益 province
Guo Jia's 郭嘉 advice to Cao Cao 曹操 on Liu Bei 劉備
Lu Meng's 呂蒙 invasion of Jing 荊 province
Fall of Dong Zhuo 董卓
Yuan Shu's 袁術 demise
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10. Board Game: Tribe [Average Rating:4.66 Unranked]
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Relationships with Border Tribes

The states of Wei 魏, Wu 吳 and Shu 蜀 not only faced the threat of war with one another, but also suffered incursions/rebellions from border tribes. The main tribes residing in or near the states of Wei 魏, Wu 吳 and Shu 蜀 were the Xiong Nu 匈奴, Shan Yue 山越 and Nan Man 南蠻 tribes respectively. These tribes enjoyed an uneasy peace with the three states, frequently challenging the states' authority in a bid to reclaim sovereignty. The three states had to maintain a balance in their military allocations between internal and external enemies.

• Xiong Nu 匈奴 and Wei 魏

To prevent the Xiong Nu 匈奴 from rebelling, Cao Cao 曹操 detained the leader of the southern Xiong Nu 匈奴 and divided its followers into five regions. This weakened their forces and allowed Cao Cao 曹操 to use them as auxiliaries in his cavalry.

• Shan Yue 山越 and Wu 吳

Sun Quan 孫權 had launched numerous campaigns against the Shan Yue 山越 but to no avail. The tribesmen of Shan Yue 山越 knew their region well and enjoyed terrain advantages during battle. Ling Tong 凌統 proposed winning the hearts of Shan Yue 山越 tribe instead of using military forces as a means to control the tribe. This plan turned out to be very successful, so much so that another Wu 吳 general, Zhuge Ke 諸葛恪, also adopted the same strategy in later periods.

• Nan Man 南蠻 and Shu 蜀

After the death of Liu Bei 劉備, the Nan Man 南蠻 tribe revolted against Shu 蜀. Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮, the prime minister of Shu 蜀, personally led forces to suppress the rebellions. Ma Su 馬謖, an advisor, advocated winning the hearts of the tribes instead of quelling the rebellion by military force, a proposal Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮 concurred with.

Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮 went on to capture Meng Huo 孟獲, the leader of Nan Man 南蠻, seven times. After each capture, Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮 continued to show compassion towards the Nan Man 南蠻 people and mercy towards Meng Huo 孟獲. After seven defeats and releases, Meng Huo 孟獲 finally conceded defeat and submitted to Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮. Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮 returned the favour by not installing any governor and returning control back to the locals.

After the successful southern campaign, the Nanzhong 南中 region enjoyed relative stability under Shu 蜀.

The above three border tribes are also part of Three Kingdoms Redux, in the form of the "Improve tribal relations" action space of the three states. Relations with border tribes are also part of the civil harmony scoring category in the game.

Further reading:
Xiong Nu 匈奴 tribe
Shan Yue 山越 tribe
Nan Man 南蠻 tribe and Zhuge Liang's 諸葛亮 southern campaign
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11. Board Game: Alliances [Average Rating:4.65 Overall Rank:16927]
Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Coalitions and Alliances

The fluid formation and disintegration of coalitions and alliances was another key feature of the three kingdoms era. With so many warlords, especially during the initial chaotic years of the era, it was inevitable that loose alliances were formed to gain advantages or as a defensive measure against stronger warlords.

In the early part of the three kingdoms period, coalitions were formed against Dong Zhuo 董卓 and Yuan Shu 袁術, for their abuse of power. The coalition against Dong Zhuo 董卓 ended quickly, without the defeat of Dong Zhuo 董卓. The coalition against Yuan Shu 袁術 did succeed though. Many other short-lived alliances were also formed amongst the minor warlords.

After the formation of the three states of Wei 魏, Wu 吳 and Shu 蜀, the two weaker states, usually Wu 吳 and Shu 蜀, tended to protect themselves via an alliance. The most prominent example is the Battle of Chibi 赤壁 (Battle of Red Cliffs), where Wu 吳 and Shu 蜀 formed an alliance to defend against Wei's 魏 invasion of the south:

After Cao Cao 曹操 reunified the north, he turned his attention to the south. He sent a letter to Sun Quan 孫權, intimating the latter to surrender. Knowing Wu's 吳 surrender would leave no viable rival to Cao Cao 曹操, Liu Bei 劉備 sent his advisor, Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮, to negotiate and form an alliance with Wu 吳 to resist against Cao Cao 曹操. The alliance was successful and was one of a few crucial factors in the decisive defeat of Wei 魏. As Cao Cao 曹操 retreated back north to recover, this gave breathing space for Wu 吳 to consolidate its position, and Liu Bei 劉備 to realise his ambitions and form Shu 蜀.

With only three surviving states, the make-up of alliances changed occasionally depending on each state’s relative strengths and agendas.

In the Battle of Fancheng 樊城, Wei's 魏 Fancheng 樊城 was under siege by Shu 蜀, with Guan Yu 關羽 as the commanding general. He held firm control over the water routes around the area and maintained a tight encirclement of Fancheng 樊城. Heavy rain in the area resulted in flooding and Wei 魏 generals, Yu Jin 于禁 and Pang De 龐德, were captured by Guan Yu 關羽.

Cao Cao's 曹操 response was to make overtures with Sun Quan 孫權 to break his alliance with Liu Bei 劉備 and form an alliance with him instead. Cao Cao 曹操 was aware of Sun Quan's 孫權 displeasure over Liu Bei's 劉備 unwillingness to return Jing 荊 province. Cao Cao 曹操 would recognise Sun Quan's 孫權 control over Jiangnan 江南 and in return, Sun Quan 孫權 would flank Guan Yu's 關羽 rear. Sun Quan 孫權 agreed with this proposal. This eventually led to the defeat and death of Guan Yu 關羽.

Three Kingdoms Redux allows players to form alliances with one another, via the Alliance tile and choice of an action space as the alliance action space. The make-up of the alliance may also change from year to year.

Further reading:
Battle of Chibi 赤壁 (Battle of Red Cliffs)
Battle of Fancheng 樊城
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12. Board Game: Ancient Generals [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Generals

There are 69 generals in Three Kingdoms Redux, 23 per state. We have posted a selection of general portraits to give you a flavour of the artwork. They are drawn by the very talented Ray Toh.

The scenes depicted in each portrait are based on the results of our research, gleaned mostly from either the Records of the Three Kingdoms or Romance of the Three Kingdoms. They usually describe famous scenes involving the generals and their feats and accomplishments.

Here are some example artwork:

Cao Cao 曹操, leader of Wei 魏

Sun Jian 孫堅, early leader of Wu 吳, father of Sun Ce 孫策 and Sun Quan 孫權

Liu Bei 劉備, leader of Shu 蜀

Sima Yi 司馬懿, one of Wei's 魏 numerous capable advisors

Zhou Yu 周瑜, naval commander-in-chief of Wu 吳

Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮, prime minister of Shu 蜀

Each general also possesses a skill. As far as possible, we have designed their skills to reflect the nature and strengths of the general historically.

The above for 69 generals contain a lot of details. We will explore these in separate geeklists. Watch this space!

Update: We have posted a geeklist explaining the artwork for 12 of the generals here.
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13. Board Game: Inventions [Average Rating:4.62 Unranked]
Christina Ng
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Inventions and Constructions

Numerous inventions and constructions were made by each state during the three kingdoms period.

Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮, prime minister of Shu 蜀, was the inventor of various items such as the "wooden ox and flowing horse" 木牛流馬, which improved the efficiency of transportation of supplies, and the repeating crossbow, which shot multiple bolts at once, at a faster rate, and over longer distances.

Ma Jun 馬鈞, an official serving under Wei 魏, invented the puppet theatre for Emperor Ming of Wei 魏 (grandson of Cao Cao 曹操). He also constructed the square pallet chain-pump for irrigation purposes.

Wu 吳 had an advanced shipbuilding industry and constructed five-storey ships that could hold up to 3,000 soldiers.

Inventions and constructions by the states appear in Three Kingdoms Redux in the form of the "construct state enhancement" and "hire instructor and/or import technology" action spaces, and the 42 state enhancement cards.

We will be posting a selection of these state enhancements' pictures when they are ready, to give you a flavour of the artwork. They are also drawn by Ray Toh.

The items and building structures picked for the state enhancements reflect those of the late Han and three kingdoms era. In particular, we made it a point to include inventions of the three kingdoms period, e.g. repeating crossbow, or items referenced in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, e.g. bronze sparrow.

The above for 42 state enhancements also contain a lot of details. We will therefore also present these in another separate geeklist. Watch this space too!

Further reading:
Zhuge Liang's 諸葛亮 inventions
Ma Jun's 馬鈞 engineering and technological achievements
Shipbuilding during the three kingdoms era

Update: We have posted a geeklist explaining the artwork for 12 of the state enhancements here.
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14. Board Game: TieBreaker [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:11915]
Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Tiebreaker

As with most eurogames that determines victory via victory points, there is the possibility that players end up with the same victory points at the end of a game of Three Kingdoms Redux. Indeed, we have had a number of such cases during our playtests. It can be a little disappointing for some players to share a victory after spending 2.5 hours on the game.

A tiebreaker was needed. Resources were the natural starting point, but Three Kingdoms Redux contains a variety of these. A player may end the game with some gold, rice, untrained and trained armies, and various weapons. From a thematical point of view, excess gold and rice is probably a sign of good governance in that there is excess buffer to meet military and/or other expenses. Excess armies and weapons, however, suggest an over-focus on the military aspect of the state, and often comes at the cost of the people's happiness.

With the above in mind, we decided to make the total number of gold and rice as the tiebreaker. For the record, we experienced only a couple of games requiring a tiebreaker, and the tiebreaker resolved the otherwise tied game satisfactorily.
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15. Board Game: Three Kingdoms Redux [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:862]
Christina Ng
Singapore
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Just to reiterate, here are some important links regarding the game. We needed a reason to add our own board game to this geeklist so that the list also appears on the board game's page :
Three Kingdoms Redux
Starting Player
Three Kingdoms Redux Game Rules

Other geeklists related to Three Kingdoms Redux:
We Are Taking The Plunge!
We Are Taking The Plunge! (Part 2)
We Are Taking The Plunge! (Part 3)
We Are Taking The Plunge! (Part 4)
We Are Taking The Plunge! (Part 5)
Three Kingdoms Redux: Artwork for Generals Explained
Three Kingdoms Redux: Artwork for State Enhancements Explained

P.S. That's the artwork for Zhou Yu 周瑜, naval commander-in-chief of Wu 吳, on the left.
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