3-Player Board Game
The initial part of the three kingdoms era was marked by civil disorder and chaos as many warlords fought for power. Subsequent consolidation led to the emergence of the three states of Wei, Wu and Shu. The latter half of the three kingdoms’ era was marked by the intricate balance of power amongst these three states.
We recognise that theme is an important factor for many board gamers. As we wanted to explore the balance of power between the three states, and with theme very much on our minds, we gravitated towards a 3-player game. Whilst we appreciate it limits the number of players, theme is of a higher priority to us.
Asymmetrical Starting Positions
The starting positions of the three states in Three Kingdoms Redux are asymmetrical. Wei starts the game with the most manpower, followed by Wu and Shu is the weakest.
This is in line with history, where Wei was the first state to develop, followed by Wu and Shu. More importantly, we wanted to increase the replayability of our board game. With asymmetrical starting positions. players playing with different states enjoy a different playing experience. Since there are three states in our game, this should hopefully equate to three times the replayability.
The fluid formation and disintegration of coalitions and alliances was another key feature of the three kingdoms era. After the formation of the three states of Wei, Wu and Shu, the two weaker states, usually Wu and Shu, tended to protect themselves via forming an alliance. The most prominent example is the Battle of Chibi (Battle of Red Cliff), where Wu and Shu formed an alliance to defend against Wei’s invasion of the south.
After Cao Cao re-unified the north, he turned his attention to the south. He sent a letter to Sun Quan, intimating the latter to surrender. Knowing Wu’s surrender would leave no viable rival to Cao Cao, Liu Bei sent his advisor, Zhuge Liang, to negotiate and form an alliance with Wu to resist against Cao Cao. The alliance was successful and was one of a few crucial factors in the decisive defeat of Wei. As Cao Cao retreated back north to recover, this gave breathing space for Wu to consolidate its position, and Liu Bei to realise his ambitions and form Shu.
With only three surviving states, the make-up of alliances changed occasionally depending on each state’s relative strengths and agendas.
Three Kingdoms Redux allows players to form alliances with one another, via the Alliance token and the choice of an action space as the alliance action space. The make-up of the alliance may also change from round to round.
Bidding is a core game mechanic of Three Kingdoms Redux. The player with the highest bid for an action space gets to take the action. Bidding introduces more conflict and interaction among the players during the game. Players have to decide which action spaces are higher priorities and to concentrate their generals on these.