11 Wildest Assassinations During Total War: Three Kingdoms' Historical Setting

A lot of wild backstabbing went on during the setting to Total War: Three Kingdoms.

Total War Three Kingdoms

So you're a fan of Creative Assembly's newest title, Total War: Three Kingdoms, are you? Then you certainly know it's based on a real historical time period of ancient China, right? Well then I'm sure you also know that assassination ran wild and rampant during that time.

One of the major changes to the Total War series that came with TW: Three Kingdoms was the removal of 'agents', the little non-combatants that move about the map doing various guerrilla actions. Spying, assassinating, negotiating alliances and trade deals - all of these actions required a new character to be hired/trained and then leveled up in order to get better results.

In TW: Three Kingdoms, instead, you just have a tab for political negotiations and you can send an officer to infiltrate another force's lands and try to get hired. Once they're hired you have a multitude of options at your disposal - from sabotaging their trade routes to poisoning their army provisions; from slandering a general to, you guessed it, assassinating the faction's heir or leader.

Assassination was simply a way of life in court politics during the later years of the Han Dynasty, which TW:3K is based on. So, let's take a look at some of craziest assassinations and backstabbing murders during the China's Three Kingdoms period.

11. He Jin

Total War Three Kingdoms
Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House

You can't have an article about Three Kingdoms assassinations without the one that started it all: He Jin.

He Jin was born into a family of butchers and was a complete idiot, but life had graced him with one bit of luck: his sister was gorgeous. She caught the eye of the Emperor and he married her, subsequently making He Jin an Imperial courtier.

When the Yellow Turban rebellion occurred, he was even made Grand Commander, one of the highest military ranks within the court. But every thing he tried to do he was countered by the corrupt eunuchs known as the 'Ten Regular Attendants'. After several failed assassination attempts from both parties, He Jin got the upper hand and the eunuchs entreated his sister to call him to her side so they could beg for mercy without him ordering their execution.

She agreed – but it was a trap, and He Jin foolishly walked into an ambush. The eunuchs were subsequently all murdered by his subordinates and the rest of the whole story takes place because of this assassination.


Author of Escort (Eternal Press, 2015), co-founder of Nic3Ntertainment, and developer behind The Sickle Upon Sekigahara (2020). Currently freelancing as a game developer and history consultant. Also tends to travel the eastern U.S. doing courses on History, Writing, and Japanese Poetry. You can find his portfolio at www.richardcshaffer.com.