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Total War Three Kingdoms: Coalitions & Military Alliances

Coalitions & Military Alliances

Coalitions and alliances are military agreements between factions. Two factions may initially form one, and further factions may be invited, or can apply to join. Being part of such a power bloc can bring great benefits, such as shared defence, but some relationship management is also required with your allies.

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All parties in a coalition will gain a boost to their diplomatic attitudes towards one another simply by signing the pact. Diplomatic attitudes will also improve between allies over time if you are at war with a common enemy. Armies may gather military supplies when stationed in coalition or allied territory, thereby extending the operational reach of armies. Armies can also switch out characters and retinues in allied territory just as they would in owned territory.


Members of a coalition or alliance who want to execute actions which directly affect their fellow members must submit to a vote. Both coalitions and alliances require an all-parties vote if a faction applies to join, or is invited by an existing member. Members can also call a vote to eject another member. Other actions may or may not require a vote depending on whether the alliance is a coalition or a military alliance; if a vote is required, it will be noted in the diplomacy option.

Voting can have an impact on diplomatic attitudes between members. If a member proposes an action, the result of the subsequent vote affects the attitudes of the voters in line with how they voted. If the outcome matches the way they voted, their attitude will improve towards the Warlord who proposed the action. If the vote doesn’t go their way, their attitude will fall. Sometimes it might be worth lending your support to an initiative you’re not entirely comfortable with in order to keep your relations with other members strong.


A coalition is a non-binding form of alliance, as there is no obligation of mutual defence. This leaves coalition members free to conduct private wars with no commitment required from the others, though a member can of course negotiate military aid with a fellow coalition member in the normal manner.

Your warlord’s faction rank must be second marquis or better to form a coalition, and you do not need a very high diplomatic standing with another warlord to form one. Members gain a mutual boost to their diplomatic attitudes when joining, and a small attitude improvement over time. A member whose faction rank is marquis or higher may call a vote to transition the coalition into a full military alliance.

Military Alliance

A military alliance is a binding agreement, as a member can call on fellow members to join them in their wars. This is not put to a vote; all members are contractually obliged to comply. This simple rule makes military alliances considerably more powerful than coalitions, as declaring war on one member potentially means entering a war against them all. Individual members may still choose to conduct private wars without drawing their fellow members in however.

Your faction rank must be marquis or better to form a military alliance, and you’ll need a relatively high diplomatic standing with another faction to form one, or transition into one from a coalition. The mutual diplomatic attitude gain for joining a military alliance, and the mutual attitude gain over time, is greater than that of a coalition.

Trade Influence

Certain commerce (blue) buildings and character traits contribute towards your trade influence value, which is displayed below your warlord’s portrait in the diplomacy panel. The higher your trade influence, the more you will profit from any trade agreement with another faction.

When a trade agreement is arranged, the share of the overall profit is split according to the two warlords’ trade influences value. For example, if warlord with a trade influence value of 100 strikes an agreement with a warlord whose trade influence value is 200, the second warlord will make twice the profit from the agreement each turn than the first warlord. Everybody profits, but the more influential trader gets the better deal!

Trade agreements between factions provide mutual access to the trade resources owned by both factions. Such resources are key to constructing certain buildings.


Vassal states are factions that have come under the stewardship of another faction. The vassal pays 20% of its income to, and gains military protection from, the vassal master; any third party that declares war on one automatically declares war on both. Likewise, going to war with a vassal master triggers an automatic declaration of war against their vassals.

Vassals are not slaves to their vassal masters. They can still conduct themselves as semi-independent factions – conducting diplomacy and private wars, expanding their territory and so forth. They must however seek permission from their vassal master before declaring war on another faction.

There is an entire category of diplomatic options purely for vassals and vassal masters. One faction can attempt to vassalise another, or choose to become another’s vassal. A vassal may request liberation, or a guarantee of liberation further down the line. They may also declare their independence, which puts them immediately at war with their former master.

A vassal master can liberate their vassal, restoring them to fully-autonomous faction status, or promise to liberate them later on. They may also choose to annex their vassal, taking full ownership of all their settlements, characters and armies and effectively liquidating them as a faction. However, promising to liberate a vassal then later annexing it is a grave act of treachery, and will negatively impact the vassal master’s trustworthiness rating. In addition, a master with multiple vassals who annexes one will suffer a major diplomatic attitude penalty with all his other vassals.

Otherwise, the usual rules of diplomacy apply. Vassals and masters have their own diplomatic attitudes towards one another, and may manage relations, trade food, make trade agreements, lend and borrow money, and in short, conduct diplomacy as normal between themselves and with others.

Written by CA_OtherTom

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