Five mighty foreign tribes

In China, there are foreign tribes that surround the factions competing for hegemony. There are five tribes, "Wuhuan", "Xianbei", "Qiang", "Shanyue", and "Nanman", each of which possesses powerful troops. While it has always been important to deal with conflicts in the central areas of China, now players must think twice about strategies on the borders where tense battles can now emerge.
Wuhuan Survivors of the Donghu, who were nearly wiped out by the Xiongnu during the era of the Early Han, and became known as the Wuhuan after the survivors held out on Wuhuan Mountain. They were known for their excellent cavalry, and lived nomadic lives in tents as they searched for water and pasture. They hunted birds and beasts for food, drank yogurt, and wore skin pelts. Those who showed valor or leadership became elders who led the tribe. They had no given names, so they used the names of elders and heroes.
Xianbei Survivors of the Donghu, who were nearly wiped out by the Xiongnu during the era of the Early Han, and became known as the Xianbei after the survivors held out on Xianbei Mountain. The land was wide, extending as far east as the Liao River and as far west as Xiyu. They used the soft fur of martens as premium coats. In addition to hunting and ranching, there were those who practiced agriculture.
Qiang A nomadic tribe in the northwest. During the era of the Early Han, they expanded their forces outside the Great Wall along with the Xiongnu, but in 54 BC, the Xiongnu had a series of internal conflicts that led to the Qiang's decline. They then repeatedly rose in revolt, but were persecuted in the Later Han, and then migrated to stable regions upstream Wei River such as Jincheng, Longxi and Hanyang. Ma Chao, who was of Qiang blood, rose in rebellion when Cao Cao marched on Zhang Lu.
Shanyue The Shanyue were a tribe of people who lived in mountainous regions separated from castles. They had a tradition of cutting their hair short and covering their bodies with tattoos. At the end of the era of the Later Han, when the Han invaded Jiangnan, they regularly stirred up disputes. In order for Sun Ce, Sun Quan, and others to advance north, it was necessary to suppress the Shanyue, leading to frequent battles.
Nanman The tribal states established in the southern region of Yi Province known as Nanzhong. Though governmental forces tried to suppress them during the Early and Later Han, they had difficulties eliminating them due to logistical issues, as well as being resisted with guerilla tactics. In the novel, when Zhuge Liang attacks Meng Huo, the Shu Army is forced to endure harsh tropical weather, forests teeming with beasts, poison swamps, among other trials. They also had trade routes into India and central Asia.

Trade with foreign tribes

If players decide to open trade with the foreign tribes of the region, they can send envoys to develop their relations after acquiring certain geographic advantages. For example: conquering Yo Province allows friendships to form with Wuhuan, while conquering Bing Province allows strong relations to form with Xianbei. Players will also have the option to deploy their troops to conquer these tribes.

Outlander Officers under your command

Once players form strong relations with, or successfully conquer a foreign tribe, an "outlander officer" will join their forces.
As outlander officers who join the player's faction can move freely between their cities and can take the field, they are at a strategic advantage. However, they will return to their tribes if players cannot retain their diplomatic status and/or geographic advantages, or if other tribes conquer their tribes.

Powerful Outlander Officers

Outlander officers utilize the “Siyi” formation to gain the upper hand in mountainous areas or forests. In fact, each tribe has a unique trait assigned to them -- Qiang officers can activate “Bow Cavalry”, while Xianbei officers are equipped with “War Chariot”.
Strategically recruiting outlander officers with desired traits will be pivotal in unifying China, while ensuring the officer’s conditions are favourable will ensure they do not leave the ally forces, as these units can easily turn on the player’s forces if their relationship changes for the worst.

The new “Geographical Advantages” bring dramatic changes to strategies

Players are able to acquire geographical advantages once they have conquered a certain amount of cities within a province, with each province boasting its own unique advantages to help turn the tides in battle. The strategies players should choose will vary dramatically depending on the geographical advantages they aim for. Battles of offense and defense towards the unification of the land will unfold in fresh new ways.

Geographical Advantages

Province Geographic Advantage Effects of Geographical Advantages
You Province Wuhuan Friend Foreign commands can be used with the outlander force 'Wuhuan'.
Bing Province Xianbei Friend Foreign commands can be used with the outlander force 'Xianbei'.
Ji Province Prestige When the price of stipends decrease, the loyalty of officers is less likely to decrease.
Qing Province High Reputation The range of auto-conquer for all area overseers is increased.
Xu Province Craftsman Attacks from bases by your force are strengthened, and the amount of durability restored is increased.
Huainan Spy The execution costs for all sub-commands under the force command 'Plots' are reduced.
Yan Province Trusted When foreign relations improve, the amount of improvement is increased.
Yu Province Community Ties The number of days required for Search, Employ, Plots, Foreign, Trade, Transfer, and Summon is decreased. (The greater the distance, the greater the effect.)
Sili Daqin Trade with Daqin (Rome) is possible.
Jingzhao Anxi Trade with Anxi (Parthia) is possible.
Liang Province Qiang Friend Foreign commands can be used with the outlander force 'Qiang'.
Yang Province Shanyue Friend Foreign commands can be used with the outlander force 'Shanyue'.
Jiao Province Tianzhu Trade with Tianzhu (India) is possible.
Northern Jing province Academic Doctrine EXP obtained and EXP obtained by subordinate officers is increased.
Southern Jing province Rhetorician The chance of successfully employing free officers or prisoners is increased.
Yi Province Guishuang Trade with Guishuang (Kushan) is possible.
Nanzhong Nanman Friend Foreign commands can be used with the outlander force 'Nanman'.

A series first! Trade with Eurasian empires

Once certain geographical advantages are unlocked, players can open-up trade routes with Eurasian countries – a series first! The four great empires that existed during the same era, Daqin (Rome), Anxi (Parthia), Guishuang (Kushan) and Tianzhu (India) can now become trade partners.
More specifically, the geographical advantage of Sili, Jingzhao, Yi Province, and Jiao Province allows trade with Rome, Parthia, Kushan, and India, respectively.

Gains from trade

Through developing strong relations with each empire, players will earn techniques or books, teaching special tactics. Some of these abilities are extremely powerful, so players must carefully consider their relations with Eurasian empires, while at the same time preventing enemy forces from commencing trade.

Trading Goods

Tianzhu

Manusmriti

This speciality increases Politics by 10 and prolongs life.

Arthashastra

All development values will increase for the area.

Garuda Formation

The Manoeuvre, Siege, and Demolish of Crane formations are strengthened.

War Elephants Tome

A tactic is learned that causes damage to durability and enemy area units.

Guishuang

Buddhist Sutra

This speciality increases Intelligence by 10 and prolongs life.

Amitabha

The effect duration for the tactic "Apply all status ailments" is lengthened.

Chakravarti Transportation

Movement is increased for Transport formations on a Mountain Path, Low Mountains, Mountains, or High Mountains.

Asura Formation Tome

A tactic is learned that causes damage to enemy area units and decreases defense.

Anxi

Arash's Bow

This speciality increases Strength by 10 and ensures withdrawal.

Cataphract

The effect of the tactic "Damage" is strengthened.

Persian Cavalry

The defence of Awl formations is strengthened.

Parthian Shot Tome

A tactic is learned that causes damage to enemy area units and makes them disordered.

Daqin

The Art of Tactics

This speciality increases Leadership by 10 and ensures withdrawal.

Legion

The cooldown period between activating tactics is shortened.

Catapult Tactics

Catapult formations can attack from a distance.

Shield Wall Tome

A tactic is learned that increases the defense of allied area units, and recovers wounded troops.