Duels System in Total War Three Kingdoms
When playing Total War: Three Kingdoms in Romance Mode, your characters appears as powerful single heroes on horseback. Characters may issue challenges to fight one-on-one duels with enemy characters. The only character class that cannot engage in duels is the strategist.
To issue a duel challenge, select a character and click the duel button. You will then be presented with a list of characters in the enemy army who are capable of duelling, to the left of which is a power-meter, showing their strength relative to your selected character.
Duelling has a number of purposes. First and foremost, it’s a way of slaying or routing enemy characters. If a character falls in a duel, that character’s entire retinue will suffer a morale penalty.
Secondly, duelling is a way of locking down an enemy character for the duration of the duel, thereby preventing that character from attacking your army.
When a duel begins, regular units will steer a path around the fight to let the two combatants duel honourably. You may attempt to interrupt a duel by ordering your units to attack the duelling enemy character, but this is a deeply dishonourable last-ditch action, and confers a major morale penalty to your entire army, and any allied armies involved in the battle.
You can also choose to withdraw your character from a duel, rather than risk their death, but they will feel great shame and dishonour, flee the battlefield, and the act will deal an alliance-wide morale penalty. However, also note that when a duel is initiated a countdown timer will begin.
If your character is weaker than the enemy character, and survives the duel until the timer runs down before withdrawing, the character’s retinue will be greatly cheered by the fact he has survived against a more powerful adversary, and will fight harder, faster and with greater morale for a period. WIthdrawing a weaker character from such a duel is not considered shameful; after the countdown timer has expired, the character may withdraw without penalty.
When a character loses a duel, they will flee the battlefield and their retinue will suffer a morale penalty. The winner will continue to fight in the battle, and their entire army plus any allied armies in the battle will receive a morale boost.