Four new Nanman faction leaders join the fray as part of Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild. Meng Huo, Zhurong, Mulu, and Shamoke are all eager to unite the tribes before battling the Han. Here’s our Nanman faction guide to help you out.
Note: This guide is based on Romance Mode and VH/VH difficulty for the 190 CE start date.
Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild: Nanman faction guide
Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild does have several Nanman faction leaders with their own unique buffs, leader mechanics, and starting units, though they all have a lot in common especially when it comes to their start locations and general progression. Since they’re located at the southwestern section of the map, the rivals you face will tend to be similar all throughout. For instance, it’s usually Shi Xie (the FLC lord) who’ll be your first major challenge among the Han leaders. That’s usually followed by either Sun Ce or Liu Biao (or maybe even a misguided Liu Zhang).
The most glaring difference would be when you play as Shamoke since you’re a lot closer to the Han nobles. However, his progression (i.e., subjugating the other Nanman tribal leaders) will still be somewhat similar to the other three chieftains.
Victory conditions: Unifying the Nanman tribes
Meng Huo, Zhurong, Mulu, and Shamoke all have the same victory conditions:
- Occupy all 21 Nanman-type lands.After occupying all Nanman lands, you’ll need to conquer and hold 50 settlements in total.When that’s done, you’ll have to wait for 20 turns, keeping all your territories under your control the entire time.
Expansion and supplies
Nanman Lands are settlements held by the other Nanman chiefs at the start of your Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild campaign. You’ll notice an elephant icon on the settlement’s nameplate to denote this.
Since we’re talking about Nanman Lands, we might as well talk about traversing the terrain. As mentioned in our Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild review, there’s something very weird going on with exploring this region of the map. First off, on the bright side, you’ll notice that Nanman Lands act as a modifier to lower construction costs and construction time — this should help Meng Huo and the gang.
However, many of the settlements — especially the further you head to the southwest, or, in the case of Meng Huo and Zhurong, practically everywhere — will be surrounded by “dense jungle.” It should adversely affect all non-Nanman factions. However, it seems that it also affects our Nanman friends. Indeed, I’ve found myself lacking movement points and supplies to the point that the campaign became a slog very early on.
You could counteract this by stacking a lot of Cunning on your generals or maybe obtaining the Tireless Soul perk. But, that’s about it — which does bring me to our next topic…
Leveling Nanman characters
A unique feature that Nanman faction leaders and characters have is that they don’t get skills automatically from the level-up panel. Instead, the skill points are used to increase the five main classes/stats — i.e., Sentinel/Expertise, Champion/Resolve, Strategist/Cunning, Vanguard/Instinct, and Commander/Authority.
Each skill point raises a chosen stat by 10. It’s even possible to branch out and have 100+ stats in three categories. Although, again, if you’re having problems with supplies, you might want to stack Strategist/Cunning boons.
The section below that shows the “Personal Goals.” These are tallies that Nanman characters can complete passively during your Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild playthrough. Some are easy enough to obtain:
- Marshal (win 15/30/45 battles with this character) – Increases morale; enables “Immune to Fear & Terror” and “Unbreakable” upon reaching the highest rank (45 victories).Butcher (kill 300/600/900 enemies in battle with this character) – +10%/20%/30% armor-piercing damage.Rolemodel (fight 10 battles alongside reinforcements with this character) – Enables “Encourage.”Tireless Soul (fight 10 siege battles with this character) – +15% campaign movement range.
That’s all well and good until you realize that each tally is exclusive to a character. If a general you want to level-up isn’t participating often in siege battles (maybe they’re just ransacking the countryside), they won’t get that bonus campaign movement range. Other perks can sometimes be a nuisance to get:
- Warmonger (occupy 15 settlements with this character) – Enables “Terror” attribute; only works if the character is part of the army that captures and occupies the settlement.Cave Defender (win 10 defensive battles with this character) – Enables “Disciplined” for your retinue; you probably won’t fight in too many of these unless you’re overwhelmed.
Note: For Infantry Chief, Missile Chief, and Beast Tamer (boosts capabilities of different unit types), you’ll need to acquire a total number of level-ups for those unit types. For instance, if you want to speed up the acquisition of Missile Chief (+10% ammunition and -15% ranged unit upkeep), then you’ll want to have more ranged units in your retinue.
Tribal Fealties are the bonuses you’ll keep throughout your Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild playthrough. The requirement is to simply gain the fealty of a tribe either by confederation, vassalization, or outright destroying them. The one at the center is always held by your tribe (aka. your faction’s perks). You can see Shamoke’s faction buffs below:
For vassalization, I would advise against this. If Han factions even catch a whiff of your tribal vassal, there’s a good chance they’ll declare war on it and you’ll be dragged into a conflict that you might not be ready for. Instead, just pick confederation. These options will be available once a Nanman tribe is down to their last settlement and you manage to capture it. This even works if the tribe still has an army in the field, so all you need to focus on are their settlements.
Confederated Nanman leaders will appear in your roster. Others that have been destroyed by other factions, meanwhile, might appear in your court menu as people you can hire.
Note 1: You also gain the fealties of Nanman tribes that have been confederated by others. For instance, if you defeat Shamoke after he’s conquered two other tribes, you get the fealty bonuses of all three (Shamoke’s plus the others he’s beaten already).
Note 2: If in case a non-Nanman faction is the one that destroyed a tribe, you can gain their fealty only if you control the last known settlement owned by that tribe. For example, if Sun Ce is the one that destroyed Shamoke’s faction (even if you’re at war with this Nanman chief), you’ll need to control, say, some random settlement in Wuling that’s likely held by Sun Ce now. You could always trade for it if the Little Conqueror likes you enough (spoiler: he won’t).
Nanman faction technologies
Nanman faction technologies are also vastly different in Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild. If you take a look at the tech tree, it looks very unique and somewhat confusing at first.
Here’s the gist:
- Elephant Training is always the default pick which will unlock three branches: Economic, Military, and Political.The Economic branch (left side) primarily has improvements for farms, peasantry income, and construction boons.The Military branch (center), meanwhile, has boosts for your units (i.e., mustering turns), barracks-type buildings, extra numbers of limited units that can be recruited (more on these later), and unit formations.The Political branch (right side), meanwhile, can give you additional trade agreements, cave lord (administrator) positions, and diplomatic deals (i.e., NAPs, alliances, mercenary contracts) with non-Nanman factions.
In the image above, you’ll see Shamoke’s tech tree. You’ve probably noticed a “tribal headdress” symbol on some of the nodes. This is because those techs are locked until you’re able to unite all the Nanman tribes. On a positive note, Shamoke can research Political branch techs a lot faster than his counterparts. Meanwhile, Zhurong and Mulu have faster research for the Military and Economic branches respectively, although other early-game techs will be locked.
Below, you’ll notice Meng Huo’s tech tree. He has broader access to the tech tree since only later techs are locked behind the “unite all Nanman tribes” requirement:
Next, take a look at the tiers/divisions:
- The first three tiers have five techs each.Two of those techs (with larger nodes) are mutually exclusive; you can only pick one.The other three techs aren’t exclusive at all and can be researched without locking you out of the other options.
Note: The fourth and final tier of each branch has two techs on either side that are mutually exclusive; the tech in the middle isn’t.
The tiers themselves will have “unknown missions” for you to complete, made available only once you have access to that tier. For instance, after researching Elephant Training, you’d get these missions which, upon completion, would allow you to research the techs for those branches:
- The Enemy’s Secrets (Military) – Defeat 3 armies or garrisons from the Nanman faction.Keep Your Enemies Closer (Political) – Know 10 factions; have a treaty (NAP, trade agreement, or military access).Prepare The Economy (Economic) – Construct a specific type of building (i.e., Iron Pits); it’s usually a special building that’s chosen, so it’s not from the main settlement.
Note: These unlock missions are different from the main requirement to “unite all the tribes” that locks the remaining techs. For instance, it’s possible to unite all the tribes later in your Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild campaign. But, you might still need to “construct X building” if it’s part of an unlock mission.
Nanman faction buildings and units
The Nanman faction has some very powerful unique building chains in Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild. Here are some examples:
- Sites of Worship (yellow) – increased prestige, population growth, and public order; lowers corruption.Artisanal Guilds (grey) – increased income from all sources; reduced construction costs; reduced corruption for adjacent provinces.Places of Festivity (blue) – increased population growth, character XP, public order, and commerce income.Military Infrastructure (red) – increased military supplies (adjacent commanderies), industry income, and reserves.
That last one, Military Infrastructure, as well as the other military building (Conscription line), nets you additional units for recruitment. These are special units that are limited in number, but they can be increased via these buildings or certain techs.
Examples include Southern Elephants, Nanzhong Elephants, and Tiger Slingers — they’re slingers who also have tigers; they’re not people who sling tigers at opponents, but that would be awesome.
Your court, administrators, and assignments
Lastly, the court of Nanman faction leaders in The Furious Wild will follow the same core concepts that you’ve come to know in Total War: Three Kingdoms. You’ve got your faction leader and heir, as well as the advisor and seer positions once you’ve increased your prestige rank. The advisor and seer act as prime ministers so take note of character traits and ancillaries for bonuses.
For the Tribal Council, The Furious Wild isn’t Survivor, so no one gets voted off the island. Rather, these are your regular ministerial positions. These only increase trade influence while reducing corruption.
The Cave Lords, meanwhile, are your administrators. There seems to be an issue here as mentioned in our official review. When you select characters, it only shows that they reduce construction costs (this even applies to non-Nanman characters).
However, the bonuses do appear, but only after you’ve placed them in an administrator position. As such, you’ll want to look at a character’s traits first in case they might be disloyal, ambitious, or just plain terrible. Anyway, if they have bad traits, make them a member of the Tribal Council. If they have decent traits (i.e., income from commerce, industry, or peasantry), make them a Cave Lord.
As for your assignments, the Nanman faction leaders have most of these locked behind certain techs save for “Exploit Black Market” (+50% trade influence). Later, I would suggest taking Bureaucratic Reform, a tier 2 Political tech. It unlocks the “Visiting Tribal Leaders” assignment which boosts public order and curbs corruption.
You should also try to employ any Han officers that you find. Their traits and skills will still apply to administrator positions as well as assignments.
Generally, you should be focusing on conquering the other Nanman tribes to obtain their fealty bonuses. When you’re done, you concentrate on shoring up your defenses while bolstering your settlement upgrades. The officers you obtain throughout your Total War: Three Kingdoms – The Furious Wild campaign will be helpful, sure, especially since confederation is almost a given. Unfortunately, they can completely drain your income (character salaries) or they’ll have low satisfaction and you’ll suffer a few penalties.
Your obvious rivals among the Han would be:
- Shi Xie – a lot earlier for Mulu, but not so much for the othersLiu Biao and Sun Ce – a lot earlier for Shamoke, but not so much for the othersAll four will probably earn the ire of either Yuan Shao or Cao Cao (maybe even both) because those two like to beeline towards Nanman lands for no reason. Next thing you know, you’re up against a coalition or military alliance.
The “Nanman Lands” and “Dense Jungle” terrain modifiers should cripple non-Nanman armies. Though, again, I’ve encountered supply and movement range issues with that even for the Nanman generals. In the end, though, you’ll simply want to expand in one direction (until you control 50 settlements). Consolidate your forces and prepare because you’ll likely experience the Han onslaught while you’re waiting for 20 turns to elapse.