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Total War: Three Kingdoms begins its conquest on March 7th

A potential new old world order

An army of ten thousand makes camp for the winter, preparing to unite China as the snows thaw - Creative Assembly's Total War: Three Kingdoms finally has a release date: March 7th, 2019. Below, a new trailer introducing us to the Yellow Turban Rebellion, expendable early-game enemies in many a Dynasty Warriors game, now turned fully playable DLC faction. The Yellow Turban pack will be free for those who pre-order or buy within a week of launch.

Our historical correspondent Edwin Evans-Thirlwell poked around Total War: Three Kingdoms last month, and found there to be some interesting depths under its familiar strategies. At its most basic level it's boilerplate 'archers stand behind a wall of spears' stuff, but many generals have special abilities that border on the magic powers seen in Total War: Warhammer. What impressed Edwin the most was the cloak-and-dagger stuff, with double agents allowing you to pick apart the enemy from within, assuming nothing blows their cover.

In so many Three Kingdoms-themed games (including Koei's Dynasty Warriors series), the Yellow Turban Rebellion is a footnote. A gentle warm-up before you start fighting other kingdoms. They're a messy alliance of peasants, zealots, reformers and even some bandits that plan on ending the Han Dynasty altogether, building a new social order in its place. In history, the rebellion was a twenty-year conflict that claimed millions of lives. In this faction DLC, it's an opportunity to rewrite the history books and see what might have happened if the Han Dynasty had fallen first.

Total War: Three Kingdoms launches on March 7th, 2019. You can find it on Steam and Humble, priced at £45/€60/$60 and published by Sega. Early adopters get the Yellow Turban Rebellion faction free, and they should be available as regular DLC to everyone else after launch.

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