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Total War Three Kingdoms: Army Units and their Upkeep

Armies are used to protect your empire from military incursion by other factions, expand your empire by capturing new commanderies and counties, and defeat enemy armies in battle.

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A single organised body of soldiers, armed and armoured identically, is known as a unit. In the campaign, units are recruited into army retinues and cost upkeep each turn to maintain.

In battle, the soldiers in each unit move and fight together, responding to orders as a single entity, and have a single combined morale rating which rises or falls according to the unit’s circumstances in the heat of battle. Units also suffer fatigue over time according to the orders they are given in battle, reducing their movement speed and effectiveness in combat.

In battle, units have a front, a flank and a rear. All units fight most effectively and gain the most defence against enemy weapons in the front. Units attacked in the flank and rear will fight less effectively in those directions, will take a greater deal of damage, will gain no bonus from their shields if they are so equipped, and will suffer extra morale penalties.

Units gather experience through battle, and their characteristics improve in line with their rise in rank. You can check a unit’s specific characteristics by selecting the unit in campaign or battle, and viewing the unit info panel on the left of the screen.


Every unit in an army costs income each turn. This represents wages, maintenance and logistics, and is known as their upkeep cost. More expensive and elite troops have a greater upkeep cost than cheaper, lower-tier units. Disbanding units from idle armies is a useful way to keep your running costs down. This can be done using the disband button which appears in the army panel when a unit card is selected.

You can view a unit’s upkeep cost by mousing over its unit card and scrutinising the unit information panel on the left of the screen. You can view an army’s overall upkeep cost in the left-hand section of the army panel. You can view your factionwide army upkeep costs by hovering over the income symbol at the top-left of the main campaign screen.

You can view a complete breakdown of your incomings and outgoings by clicking the treasury button.

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