While we have been waiting for update and news for Nanman DLC, Several members of Serious Trivia's Discord and I have a discussion/speculation about what do we want to see in Yuan Shao's & Cao Cao's mechanic in Guandu Chapter Pack DLC. So here, I compiled my idea and their idea (Thank goes to Fuchsy, kevinz and Sad Panda) together to make this. So this post, for the most part, will focus on general start situation for factions that are in the northern theatre and then we will focus on Yuan Shao's & Cao Cao's mechanic. This will be a pretty long post.
My Hypothetical 199 map.
List of factions that involve in Northern Theatre
Cao Cao (Playable)
- Yuan Shao (Playable)
- Yuan Tan (Playable)
- Yuan Xi (Playable)
- Yuan Shang (Playable)
- Liu Bei (Playable)
- Zhang Xiu (Playable)
- Zhang Yan (Playable)
- Gao Gan
- Gongsun Kang
Wuhuan Tribe (FLC) (They are not in the map yet because I don't have any idea about them (somewhere in the north or northwest, I assume.) but I hope to see them added to the game in this DLC)
We took some creative liberty on starting event to make a setting, story and mechanic work together.
Starting Situation: Autumn or Winter 199 AD
Cao Cao: After discovering a plot against him, Cao Cao had once again marched into Xu province. This time, Cao Cao defeated Liu Bie in a decisive battle and drove Liu Bei out of the Xu province for good. After many years, Cao Cao has finally full control over central plaint and his eyes aim north to his old friend, Yuan Shao whose ambition matches of his. However, his old enemy, Zhang Xiu, still poses a threat to his western flank. Although Zhang Xiu is a minor warlord, he has proven himself that he is not easy prey. Now Cao Cao has to decide whatever he will deal with Zhang Xiu now or ignore this minor player and be prepared for the inevitable clash with his old friend.
Yuan Shao: Since receiving a secret blood edict from the emperor, Yuan Shao was ready to march his troop south to meet his childhood friend Cao Cao in a battle, but after several inconveniences, his campaign came to a halt. Despite this minor setback, Yuan Shao is confident in his inevitable victory over Cao Cao. With his vast wealth and army, there is no doubt that he is the most powerful warlord in all of China. However, an internal conflict blooms in his faction. his three sons start to show sign of disharmony to each other. You must act to ensure the legacy of Yuan name lives on.
Yuan Tan: As the eldest son of Yuan Shao, he is the bravest among the three. However, Yuan Tan is not his father favourite son unlike his youngest brother, Yuan Shang. Yuan Tan was sent away far from home. This act of bias angers Yuan Tan. Now he must prove to himself through strength, bravery and fiery passion that he is worthy to become the next head of Yuan clan in this time of chaos, not that arrogant Yuan Shang.
Yuan Xi: Although does not possess a martial prowess or strength like his brother, Yuan Tan, or any love from his father like Yuan Shang. Yuan Xi's intellect is his greatest instrument. He was sent to the border to fight off the barbarian. He knows now his best bet against his brothers is to seek an ally to strengthen his claim, but in this time of strive, ally is hard to find. Maybe, Yuan Xi has to look beyond the northern frontier and find allies among those savages.
Yuan Shang: Yuan Shang is the youngest of the three but has the support of his father to claim the name of the Yuan. While his brothers were sent far away from Yuan's capital. He got his office near his father to observe and learn about the duty to the Yuan clan. However, Yuan Shang cannot rest assured about his future. War is on the horizon from without and within. He must show his brothers that he is the one true heir of Yuan clan with graces and glory or defeats them on the battlefield.
Liu Bei: Beaten and isolated, Liu Bei has once again gone back to zero. Separated from his friends and family, he now has sought refuge under the mighty Yuan Shao. Liu Bei knows that soon a big battle will take china by storm once again, but now his only purpose is to survive to reunite with his brothers in arms once again.
Zhang Xiu: After a long resistance against Cao Cao, Zhang Xiu begins to give his ground. However, Good news came from the north. Yuan Shao seeks an ally against Cao Cao. This is an opportunity that Zhang Xiu has waited for a long time. However, his cunning advisor Jia Xu speaks against this and tries to convince him to surrender to Cao Cao. Now Zhang Xiu is in the middle of a dilemma. Will he accept Yuan Shao's proposal and march his troops to the field once again or surrender to Cao Cao and wait for his next opportunity.
Zhang Yan: Defeat after Defeat, Zhang Yan can no longer seek safety in his domain. He is surrounded by enemies. His ally, Gongsun Zan, has fallen. Now, he stands alone in the age of chaos. Zhang Yan knows his days are numbered. However, it seems like fate hasn't abandoned him. There is a mighty warlord south of the Yellow river that can rival with this arrogant Yuan Shao. As the king of bandits, this might mean a new opportunity for him to regain his mountain.
Yuan Clan Succession Conflict Mechanic
For all Yuan clan factions, There will be a new mechanic that involves internal conflict within the Yuan family. Sons of Yuan Shao, Yuan Tan, Yuan Xi, and Yuan Shang will compete for the right to rule the future of Yuan clan. Meanwhile, Yuan Shao can tip the balance and intervene to ensure that the most capable candidate wins the title as the heir of the Yuan clan.
Every Yuan clan factions will have new UI in faction screen. it will show the progression of an ongoing succession crisis. Each son will have a bar-resource called "Favour" which represents Yuan Shao's favour and fondness toward them. All Yuan clan factions included Yuan Shao can see all three brothers' "Favour" from the same tap.
- Playing as Yuan Tan, Yuan Xi, or Yuan Shang
PS. This Yuan Clan Succession Conflict Mechanic is a separated mechanic from Yuan brothers' unique mechanic.
The goal for these three brothers is to fulfil the "Favour" and complete Yuan Shao's ultimate quest before other brothers or before Yuan Shao dies or Yuan Shao faction gets destroyed.
Currently, I have three versions of "Favour" in my mind.
- The Race to 100 "Favour" Version.
- The Competing for Majority of "Favour" Version.
- The Civ 6 Inspired Version.
1. The Race to 100 "Favour" Version.
- Yuan Tan and Yuan Xi start the game with 0 "Favour" but Yuan Shang starts with 10 "Favour" (because he is Yuan Shao's favourite son). "Favour" provides bonuses in a certain threshold (10/20/30/40/50/60/70/80/90/100) and penalties at 50 "Favour" onward.
- "Favour" provides bonuses such as bonus relationship with Yuan Shao and other benefits and penalties like relationship penalty with other brothers. The effective of bonuses and penalties depend on the "Favour" threshold (10/20/30/40/50/60/70/80/90/100).
- "Favour" can be earned through quests, military achievement (win battle with army that Yuan brothers lead, capture settlement with army that Yuan brothers lead, win a duel with Yuan brothers etc.), diplomat achievement (sign trade agreement, secure alliance etc.), assignments and their unique faction mechanic.
- Yuan Tan, Yuan Xi, and Yuan Shang can discredit each other to hurt other's "Favour" via spy but they will have a risk to be exposed and lose their "Favour" instead.
- Whenever one of Yuan Shao's sons reaches 100 "Favour", he can convince Yuan Shao to appoint them to be a legitimate heir of the Yuan Clan. However, to finalise this decision, Yuan Shao will give them an ultimate quest to prove themselves.
The Competing for Majority of "Favour" Version.
- There will be a balance of power bar similar to the MoH's Mandate War Progression Bar. The bar has max value of 100 that is separated into 3 sections for each brothers. Yuan Tan and Yuan Xi start the game with 30 "Favour" but Yuan Shang starts with 40 (because he is Yuan Shao's favourite son).
- Unlike the first version, "Favour" can be earned by stealing other brothers' point through quests, military achievement (win battle with army that Yuan brothers lead, capture settlement with army that Yuan brothers lead, win a duel with Yuan brothers etc.), diplomat achievement (sign trade agreement, secure alliance etc.), assignments and their unique faction mechanic. For example : If Yuan Tan wins a battle, his other brothers lose 1 point each and Yuan Tan gains 2 point of "Favour".
- Whenever one of Yuan Shao's sons reaches a majority of "Favour" bar (around 51-76 "Favour" points), he can convince Yuan Shao to appoint them to be a legitimate heir of the Yuan Clan. However, to finalise this decision, Yuan Shao will give them an ultimate quest to prove themselves.
The Civ 6 Inspired Version.
Loosely based on Great People from Civ 6
- Like Legacy of Wu, 3 Yuan brothers will have a shared list of quests. There will be 28 quests in total. There will be 4 tiers of quest: 27 Common quests (grouped into 3 categories: 9 Militaristic quests, 9 Diplomatic quests, 9 Economic quests or maybe 9 Easy quests, 9 Normal quests, 9 Hard quests), and 1 Ultimate quest.
- When a quest is completed by one of the Yuan brothers, it’s no longer available for completion by the other two.
- The goal is Yuan brothers must compete to complete 9 Common quests and one Ultimate quest before other brothers.
- Yuan Shang start the game with one quest completed. That quest is called "Favourite Son".
- Whenever one of Yuan Shao's sons completes 9 common quests, he can convince Yuan Shao to appoint them to be a legitimate heir of the Yuan Clan. However, to finalise this decision, Yuan Shao will give them an ultimate quest to prove themselves.
- Now, the Ultimate quest is Defeating Cao Cao and Rescuing the young emperor. The first to complete the ultimate quest will become the head of the Yuan clan and confederate with Yuan Shao's faction. However, within a couple of turns, a civil war will happen between 3 brothers and after hearing about a civil war, Yuan Shao will become heartbroken and die.
- However, if Yuan Shao dies before anyone of his sons reaches 100 "Favour" and completes the ultimate quest, the civil war will trigger instantly and this time, even Gao Gan will join the war for power over the Yuan clan. Yuan Shao's territory will be pass to Yuan clan faction which has the most prestige.
- Moreover, if any Yuan brothers declare war on another brother before they complete the ultimate quest or Yuan Shao dies**.** This time, Yuan Shao won't be heartbroken and die, but Yuan Shao will be furious and declare war on the aggressor instead and the remainder of Yuan brother will join the war against the aggressor too**. If you can defeat all the other Yuan clan, this is also a way to earn the name of leader of Yuan clan.**
Playing as Yuan Shao
Unlike his three sons, Yuan Shao doesn't anticipate in this conflict directly. He can still see all of his sons' "Favour" bar. Yuan Shao also cannot appoint a Faction Heir normally. He must use a special diplomatic option with a son who has fulfilled "Favour". Yuan Shao also comes with an additional unique resource called "Favouritism".
The three circles are "Favour". The lower bar is "Favouritism"
Yuan Shao can choose one of his sons to be his "Favourite Son" and spend his "Favouritism" to give "Favour" to his "Favourite Son".
- Yuan Shao can choose one of his sons to be his "Favourite Son" and spend his "Favouritism" to give "Favour" to his "Favourite Son".
- like The Race to 100 "Favour" Version, Yuan Tan and Yuan Xi start the game with 0 "Favour" but Yuan Shang starts with 10 "Favour" (because he is Yuan Shao's favourite son). "Favour" provides bonuses in a certain threshold (10/20/30/40/50/60/70/80/90/100) and penalties at 50 "Favour" onward.
- The "Favouritism" can be stored up to 100. Yuan Shao will use 50 "Favouritism" point to give 10 "Favour".
- Yuan Shao passively generates 1 "Favouritism"
- Additional "Favouritism" can also be generated by appointing generals who like Yuan Shao's "Favourite Son" into your court positions**. 1 extra "Favouritism" is generated per turn for each general appointed.**
- Appointing generals who don't like "Favourite Son" into your court positions/administrations degenerates "Favouritism".
- Whenever one of Yuan Shao give 100 "Favour" to his "Favourite Son", he can appoint them to be a legitimate heir of the Yuan Clan. However, to finalise this decision, Yuan Shao and his son must complete an ultimate quest to prove themselves.
- the Ultimate quest is Defeating Cao Cao and Rescuing the young emperor. Once, Yuan Shao defeated Cao Cao and recused the emperor. He will confederate with his "Favourite Son" faction. That son will automatically becomes a heir of Yuan Shao faction. Within a couple of turns, Civil war will happen between 3 brothers and after hearing about a civil war. This time, Yuan Shao wouldn't die but he will be granted "Heartbroken" trait.
- The Yuan Clan Succession Conflict Mechanic is only available for player, for player can have more control to the game. If you played as Cao Cao or other factions, there would be series of event that will trigger that lead to Yuan civil war in the end.
What do you guys think? Please comment below. After this, I figure that I have way too much free time. Thanks for reading.