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Somehow Yang Zhi is the best choice, but unfortunately started in late scenario.
Wang Qing appear from the start. Although his officers are not as good as Liang Shan, but he has their own compat group, and stay west on the Liu Zhang area, so the rule will be so peaceful. For peace lovers will mostly choose this guy.
The closest to Gao Qiu are
In earlier scenarios: Shi Jin, Lin Chong, Zhou Yuan, Li Kui, Tian Hu.
In later scenarios: Song Jiang, Fang La, Zeng Tu, Li Ying, Chao Gai.
Shi Jin is started around Chang An. He must face the great army of Gao Qiu from his early start.
Lin Chong start on Liu Biao's province. He has a very rich province, and joined by former followers of Wang Lun.
Chao Gai has a very good start, with many good followers (include Hua Rong and Qin Ming), he should able to repel Gao Qiu's early invasions.
Somehow I very enjoyed playing this mod, although I mostly play other games (maybe because I created it, and through dozens of beta testing)
Sometimes I just quit player and watching what will happen next.
In my earlier stats, mostly Song Jiang will dominated the map, although never unite it.
In my latest stats, Gao Qiu always dominated the map. (However we need major villain here, right?)
And somehow there are several things a little bit annoying.
Sometimes that Song Jiang do "LiuBiaoing", this is the greatest problem in the game.
Stockpile more than twenty generals in home province and then do nothing but recruiting and sending messengers.
Imagine if you are Song Jiang's enemy, and he collected 30 generals with full troops, and his generals are among the best in the entire game. Maybe there could be 5-10 generals with war 90+. He is worst than Liu Biao.
And another annoying things, Gao Qiu could aggresively attack Song Jiang and destroy him completely. In this condition, Gao Qiu become extra strong.
But as player, the worst could be Gao Qiu's early attacks.
Or the worst could be: you using Gao Qiu.
Sending Wang Huan to the north, Dang Shi Ying to the west, Dang Shi Xiong to the east, and Tong Guan to the south, and trying to do speedrun to all four direction.
I played Gao Qiu several times, and it's very awesome.
His top advisor is Wen Huan Zhang, and he also have Gao Lian his brother, and some villain there as Cai Jing and Cai De Zhang and Liang Shi Jie.
His top generals are Wang Huan, Wen Da, Dang Shi Ying, Dang Shi Xiong, and Tong Guan.
Let's say these guys are Five Tiger Generals of Gao Qiu.
These guys after power-up-stats, become more powerful and can used more aggresive, although they are still not match against Liang Shan's generals.
One of the disappointment is that Qian Zhen Peng is actually Fang La's general, so I can't add him into Gao Qiu's forces.
Using Gao Qiu is full of boast and cocky.
Start with tons of generals, can very quickly build mighty army to destroy everyone.
I also add so many novel's Gao Qiu's and Tong Guan's original war generals, for example is Yang Wen, Xu Jing, Wang Wen Te, Duan Pengju, Chen Zhu, and many others.
Also I add the most famous son of Gao Qiu. He is called Gao Yan Nei, but I don't know his real name.
It's very interesting that using Gao Qiu can become very boastful, and let's call him Mr Bombastic.
Somehow Gao Qiu is not Cao Cao type, he is more likely similar to Dong Zhuo.
I also used Fang La several times.
But since Fang La is unfamiliar to me, then it's not so interesting to me.
But Fang La's warriors are stronger than Gao Qiu's and only second to Liang Shan's.
Fang Jie, his nephew, are among the stronger generals in the game, his weapon is called the Sky-Piercer.
Fang La, his younger brother, is also a strong general.
Shi Bao, Wang Yin, and Deng Yuan Jue are the warriors who each killed several Liang Shan generals.
And your top hated is Pang Wan Chuen, who shot Shi Jin to death with his first arrow.
The famous Qian Zhen Peng is also Fang La's general.
There also Du Wei, the flying knives.
And about advisors (ex-magician) there are Bao Dao Yi, Lu Shi Nang, Pu Wen Ying, and many more.
But Fang La also has some reinforcement from the novel.
He now also have Si Xing Fang, Zheng Biao, Li Tian Run, and many other powerful generals who each killed several Liang Shan's generals include the famous Zhong Qing.
After seeing Gao Qiu and Fang La has so many generals, you will be shocked when seeing Liang Shan forces.
Generals of Liang Shan are include: Li Kui, Lu Zhi Shen, Wu Song, Yang Zhi, Hua Rong, Qin Ming, Shi Jin, Lin Chong, Guan Sheng, Huyan Zhuo, Zhong Qing, Lu Jun Yi, Yan Qing, and also several more.
Those are the top list of top war generals in the game.
If those are stockpiled within one enemy province, what would you do.
About the advisor (ex magician), Liang Shan also has the best, Wu Yong, the most smartest in the game. Also that Gongsun Sheng, Zhu Wu, and Fan Rui.
There could be several more advisors based on maxed RoTK4 stats.
And about Liang Shan rulers, it's Chao Gai and Song Jiang, both have a very good stats (after the upgrade), especially their charm.
However, although Song Jiang are made to be the highest leader of Liang Shan, I still separate several people of them as separate group/forces with leader:
1. Li Zhong
2. Ou Peng
3. Li Kui
4. Zhu Wu
5. Wu Song
6. Lu Zhi Shen
7. Yang Zhi
8. Shi Jin
9. Zhou Yuan
10. Lin Chong
11. Li Ying
12. Yan Shun
13. Pei Xuan
14. Fan Rui
15. Li Jun
Except Ou Peng, I think you know that all of them are goodfellows in BKoAC, although some are unplayable.
Now you know there are more rulers than original RoTK2.
But then I divide the rulers into different scenarios.
About compat value;
Somehow in this game, I divided compat value around four groups
(RoTK2 has maybe about three groups of compat, it's Wei, Shu, Wu. And then Liu Biao is at the middle of Wei and Shu, and then Liu Zhang is at the middle of Shu and Wu).
Those four groups are:
1. Liang Shan
And those people who sympathetic to Liang Shan, or sometimes neutral people
2. Gao Qiu and his gang
3. Rebel leaders include Tian Hu Wang Qing
4. Fang La forces.
There are so many rulers who are belong to Liang Shan group, for example:
Li Zhong, Ou Peng, Song Jiang, Chao Gai, Lin Chong, Zhu Wu, Yang Zhi, Lu Zhi Shen, Wu Song, Shi Jin, Li Kui, Fan Rui, Pei Xuan, Yan Shun, Li Jun.
These guys has very close compats, so whenever they recruit any of 108 bandits, the loyalty would be above 70s.
Gao Qiu also has several member of group, include Zhu Long, Hu Cheng, Zeng Tu, Li Ying (whom was basically former Gao Qiu governor who was forced to surrender)
The rebels group also have several rulers, include Tian Hu, Wang Qing, Cui Dao Cheng, Wang Lun, and maybe more (I forgot).
Fang La is on the edge of the compat list. Somehow you don't need to worry since his war generals are about as solid as Sun Quan's warriors.
So this compat list system is greatly different from BKoAC IMC (Integrity Mercy Courage).
BKoAC divide the people into six group (IMC, ICM, MCI, MIC, CMI, CIM), and that could be messy, in my opinion, so several Gao Qiu closest generals can (compatible and) become Song Jiang sworn brothers, while some prominent members of Liang Shan just (incompatible and) refused to be Song Jiang's sworn brother.
In compat system, people are divided by group.
So those Gao Qiu's corruption commitee would be always higher loyalty when recruited by Gao Qiu.
And those Fang La generals will always hate Song Jiang and Chao Gai, whenever recruited they always have 30s-40s loyalty.
I think compat system is better for RoTK2 engine, while IMC system is used for learning strategies in BKoAC.
Also in this compat system, and also the family members system, some things are changed greatly from BKoAC mode. It's the influence of the family members.
For example is Song Qing. In BKoAC he was just a jerk who is completely useless as whole. But in RoTK2 he is a prominent figure in Song Jiang's forces (despite his awesome ability). Song Jiang will frequently use him as governor, and also appoint him as successor if Song Jiang dies. So that Song Qing become second-in-command.
Another example is the Zeng family.
Those Zengs are stupid. Yes they are nothing worth in BKoAC, and they cannot shoot either, making they are excellent target for guiloutine.
But in RoTK2 engine, those Zengs are essential for Zeng Tu's forces. They has the maximum loyalty, so can be used manipulated for speedrun member.
Since loyalty is a great problem in RoTK2, these family members serves as very important generals for his forces.
Another shocking family member is Li Da.
Who is Li Da? Nobody knows him. Even you played BKoAC for twenty seven years, you will still ignore this guy, or just execute him immediately when you see him.
But Li Da is older brother of Li Kui.
Li Da is very important for Li Kui's forces.
So that's happened when family members are getting regards from the rulers through traditional family ties.
They are not jerk generals, they are family.
The quick issues for BKoAC players when playing this mod is about trust level and dropping-loyalty rate.
In BKoAC, followers will leave when their loyalty is below 30s, and mostly will leave on their own without being hijacked by other rulers.
But now in RoTK2 engine, loyalty below 90 are in danger being targetted by other rulers to recruit.
And more worse is in the battlefield. Everyone who has loyalty below 100 is a great target to being switches sides! And even more worse is those people who has loyalty 100 but has integrity below 56 are still in danger of switches sidings..
So in this RoTK2, the most major problem is the loyalty issue.
These also explains why the family members are very crucial, especially in the starting onths. They will never switches sides unless captured or being tiger-and-wolf tricks.
Now you know the importance of the great legendary hero Song Qing!
Song Qing: "I am the most loyal general in Song Jiang's empire. I want to tattoo my back with famous calligraph 'Jin Zhong Bao Guo' !!"
Yue Fei: "How dare you! I will charge you!!"
And yes I added the famous general Yue Fei in this game.
Because he lived at the same timeline.
The reason I add Yue Fei as new general is maybe because you need someone to counter attack the barbarian invasion.
While in BKoAC, the barbarian come and destroy unstopable, but in this RoTK2 it's a different event, you can counter attack and destroy and also behead the barbarian leader Wanyan Aguda. Or sometimes you can kick him into submission and then use him as 'risky' general to war against other rulers.
This mod have several historical figures, but this mod is mostly based on koei former BKoAC and RoTK4 and the novel.
I haven't add more historical figures, because I still don't interested. I add Yue Fei because I watch the movie. There are also some more figure like Gao Zhong or Yang Zai Xing in the movie, but I'm still not adding those historical figures, because I'm worried it will spoil the game.
In the contrary, I'm still wonder that I could make Wanyan Aguda as another powerful forces, there are several names interesting to patch in, for example Xia JinWu, Wuleng Simou, etc
Yue Fei (singing): "My wrath bristles through my helmet, the rain stops as I stand by the rail."
Northern barbarian soldiers: "Aaargh, it's....it's Lu Bu!! Lu Bu has come to destroy us!!"
Yue Fei: "Hey!! You are mistaken for another game!!"
Somehow the historical figures are:
1. Gao Qiu, he is the grand marshall of the Song dynasty. Although he is portrayed as a very powerful villain, but in history is not much known about him.
2. Tong Guan, he is an eunuch-general, one of the most powerful general and also one of Emperor's most trusted commander-in-chief.
3. Cai Jing, famous senior minister of Song, he advocate to fight against northern barbarians. He is one of Emperor's most trusted minister.
4. Song Jiang, a rebel leader who has powerful forces and destroy many government troops, but historically not much known about him. He surrendered eventually after defeated.
5. Zhong Shu Yie, the governor who defeat the Liang Shan bandits, and completely destroy them.
6. Fang La, a rebel leader from the south, his rebellion halted Tong Guan's expedition against Jurchen, and Tong Guan was forced to send his army to fight him first.
7. Lu Shi Nang, another rebel leader in south. He was an ally of Fang La.
And looks like the others are fictional.
Liang Shi Jie could be based on Liang Shi Cheng, a corrupt minister.
Chen Zhong San (I brought him from novel) could be based on Chen Dong, a minister who oppose Cai Jing.
These could be:
If you wonder about Zhu Wu, Chen Da, and Yang Chun.
I think their names based on Zhu Yuan Zhang, Xu Da, and Chang Yu Chun.
Then Shi Jin come and become their leader.
Shi Jin could be based on Shi Nai An.
Maybe the author admire Zhu Yuan Zhang so much, so he wants that Shi Nai An become good friends with Zhu Yuan Zhang.
If you see there are so many surnames Shi.
Shi En, Shi Qian, Shi Yong, Shi Xiu, etc
These people maybe based on Shi Nai An's family.
Except Shi Xiu, looks like the other Shi have minor role in the story, maybe they are just brothers or cousins or nephews.
Shi Xiu is well praised, maybe based on a family member who is very close relationship with Shi Nai An, maybe his son or maybe a brother who is very close and very admired.
Names surname Li is also very common here, maybe Li family is somewhat related to Shi family in those days.
Maybe Li is surname of his mother or his wife, but more likely his mother.
So the Lis could be his uncles, or cousins, and maybe they are from a very big huge family.
Li Ying, Li Jun, Li Li, Li Yun, Li Zhong, and many more.
Some names like Wu Song, Lu Da (Lu Zhi Shen), Lin Chong, Yang Zhi, Hua Rong, Wu Yong, etc, those closest to Song Jiang,
They could be based on the author's closest friends, maybe childhood friends and closest neighbors.
Unusual names like Guan Sheng, Huyan Zhuo, or Lu Fang.
Maybe the author admire Guan Yu so much, also Huyan Zan, and maybe also Lu Bu's outfit, so he decided to generate their descendants within the novel.
Maybe the author was about to expose Zhu Tong (maybe based on one of his closest friends too, or was) as Guan Yu resemblances, but finally he changed his mind for some unknown reason, and invent Guan Sheng instead.
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