Creative Assembly roll back the clock of Total War: Three Kingdoms in the new expansion released today, letting players start eight years earlier in a wee prequel campaign then keep that same save on rolling through regular history. Mandate Of Heaven is its name, and getting stuck into the Yellow Turban Rebellion is its game. Whether you buy it or not, more characters, units, and other newness also arrived today for all players in a free update.
Mandate starts in 182CE, shortly before the Yellow Turban Rebellion kicks off. That lot are a playable faction in another DLC, but this is more about the story of that event. New factions for the Han and Yellow Turbans are in for this, with new resources and units and such. Several existing characters get new unique starting positions and missions too, reflecting their situations at the time.
Total War campaigns in different time periods tend to be separate to the regular story, so it is nice to see this follow more along the lines of Crusader Kings-y expansions which create new start times with new history.
Mandate Of Heaven is out now on Steam for £8/€10/$10. Creative Assembly classify this DLC as a ‘Chapter Pack’, if you’re curious, rather than a full-on expansion.
Also out today for all players is a new content update adding, tweaking, and fixing things. It brings a new playable character, four new legendary characters, a dozen-odd new units. Battlefields get livelier in general too, with Caltrops and Smokescreen abilities coming to lower-tier units and new pre-battlefield deployables in the form of defensive towers, wooden stakes to skewer cavalry, and a slick of oil that can be lit when you want. A fair few balance and system changes are in too, including new diplomatic functions for the Emperor.
See this here video and the version 1.4.0 patch notes for more details.