Battle of Bowanpo
Bowanpo (DW8)
Date 202
208 in Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Location Bowang Slope, Jing Province (near present-day Fancheng, Hubei)
Result Xiahou Dun is routed, Zhuge Liang becomes respected by both friend and foe.
Liu Bei's Forces Cao Cao's Forces
Liu Bei Xiahou Dun

The Battle of Bowanpo/Bowangpo (博望坡の戦い, rōmaji: Hakubōha no Tatakai) or literally "Battle of Esteem Ambition Bank" is known as Zhuge Liang's first battle in the novel. To prove his intellect to the skeptics beside Liu Bei, he uses his cunning against the larger numbers led by Xiahou Dun. In the games and novel, it predates the army's retreat through Changban. Historically, it was Liu Bei himself who commenced the attack.

Role in GamesEdit

Dynasty WarriorsEdit

The battle is present in the third chapter for Shu in Dynasty Warriors 4. Zhuge Liang acts as the master strategist and asks that the army led Xiahou Dun, Han Hao, and Yu Jin be split into three paths. The traps waiting the first victim is a fire attack or ambushes lead by Guan Ping and Guan Yu respectively. As these plans succeed, Zhang Fei eventually raids the enemies supply depot, setting fire to the enemy supplies. If Zhuge Liang meets Cao Cao in battle, a cutscene will play where he will remark that he is using the conqueror to fulfill his own ambitions for Shu.

During the Wei version of the stage, the players are to prevent the enemy ambushes. Ordinarily, Zhao Yun will lure Wei generals into the fire trap, but reaching him before other comrades results the fire attack failing. This allows the player to personally trigger and ruin the other chances for an ambush. Defeating Guan Yu triggers Zhang Fei's sudden appearance in the ally supply depot. If all of Zhuge Liang's plots are discovered and dealt with, then he will not burn it down. Routing the strategist here beforehand in Musou Mode weakens his health during Wei's version of Chi Bi.

In Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce, it is a rank 5 quest that is available for Shu as soon as a quest is completed in Chapter 4. The quest version of this battle mainly focuses on routing Xiahou Dun and quickly releasing the fire attack. The Wei version is one rank of difficulty higher and can be played after clearing three quests and the Battle of Guan Du in the same chapter. Either version of the battle declares defeat if any one of the players is defeated three times.

Bo Wan Po continues to appear as an extra side event in the Revolution 5 patch for the online adaption.

Dynasty Warriors 7 has Xinye exclusively be focused on Shu's perspective of the battle. The players avatar is Zhang Fei who follows Xu Shu's advice to overturn the Eight Gates Formation and drive off Cao Cao's forces.

Dynasty Warriors 8 features Xinye in both the Shu and Wei campaigns, where Cao Ren has implemented the Eight Gates formation in the center of the battlefield. In the Shu version, Xu Shu introduces himself to Liu Bei and offers to introduce him to Zhuge Liang. With Xu Shu's assistance, Liu Bei's forces successfully break the Eight Gates Formation and rout Li Dian's assault on the Shu main camp. The Shu forces then confront Yueying before being permitted to visit Zhuge Liang.

In the Wei version, Cao Cao arrives with Xiahou Dun, Jia Xu, Zhang He, Li Dian, and Guo Jia (if he survived Mt. Bailang) to aid Cao Ren who is struggling against Xu Shu. One of Wei's hypothetical requirements is to attack Xu Shu before rescuing Cao Ren. Either way, the Shu forces fail to break the formation, Cao Ren is rescued, and Xu Shu is captured. The Shu forces flee after obtaining the aid of Zhuge Liang. If Xu Shu is attacked before rescuing Cao Ren, Cao Cao will convince him to serve Wei instead.

The Dynasty Warriors 4 map of Bowangpo is also featured as a DLC map for Dynasty Warriors 8. Like before, the main objective of the battle for the Shu forces is to lure the likes of Xiahou Dun, Yu Jin and Han Hao into an ambush, before storming the castle and for the Wei forces, is to use the guidance of Xu Shu to thwart Shu's plans. Regardless of the player's effort, once Zhang Fei raids the castle, Xu Shu becomes demoralized and admits defeat to his former friend. Li Dian also acts as an adviser in this version, warning the front lines of potential ambush. An animal battle is also featured here like the other DLC scenarios, and in this one, Liu Shan finds himself surrounded by the Wu forces and garrisons his army within the eastern castle.

For the battle, the player is assigned under the command of Jiang Wei who leads a secondary unit to assault the Wu frontlines and rescue the Shu forces. The player has to thwart many attempts and strategies made by Wu including fire attacks, reinforcements and continuous pressure mounted by the likes of Ding Feng and Zhou Tai. If the player manages to hold Wu at bay, Cao Cao accompanied by Guo Jia also appears and they carry the speckled mahogany horse which can be obtained via their defeat. Once that's done, Sun Ce and Huang Gai appear, along with Sun Quan with various assault units and all three must be defeated in order to finish the battle.

Xinye serves as Shu's fifth scenario in Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed. The first five stages has the player traverse through different sections of the Eight Gates Formation. Enemy troops are numerous and most of the pathways are filled with spike and spear traps.


Despite being distracted by Yuan Shao's overwhelming forces, Cao Cao splits his army between Ru Nan and Guan Du and defeats him. Depending on the scenario, either Wei or Shu will claim a victory at Ru Nan. Regardless of the results, Cao Cao will capture Liu Bei's capital at Xu and the latter will be forced to seek shelter from Liu Biao at Xin Ye. At this time, Liu Bei recruits Zhuge Liang after a cutscene.

The stage itself provides three choke points at the north, center and south with the Wei army being headed by Cao Ren. The player will be given three strategies proposed by Zhuge Liang each requiring Liu Bei to serve as a decoy to lure the enemy into a trap at these locations. Zhang Fei will be ordered to guard the allied flank. During the battle, Zhang Fei will disobey his orders and slay Xiahou Yuan before becoming surrounded by the enemy forces. Zhao Yun will become disheartened once he realizes his lord fights to reclaim Diao Chan rather than for the restoration of the Han Empire.

In Wei's narrative, Cao Ren is surrounded by Zhuge Liang's forces and the player must rescue him. Strategies suggested allow Xiahou Yuan to act as a decoy at one of the stage's choke points. Shu's strategist must be defeated in order to win. Allowing either Cao Ren or Cao Cao to be routed will result in a loss. Should Wei win the battle, Cao Cao will try to pursue the retreating army with Xiahou Yuan. The two are nearly overtaken by an ambush and Xiahou Yuan will sacrifice himself to allow his lord to escape.

Historical InformationEdit

The battle is mentioned in scrolls concerning Li Dian and Liu Bei. The incident occurred when Liu Bei was still serving under Liu Biao. To take advantage of Cao Cao's absence due to his conflict with Yuan Shang, Liu Bei was ordered to invade Cao Cao's location. Cao Cao, who was weary of Liu Bei's growing popularity over Liu Biao, sent military troops to stop Liu Bei. The generals he sent to prevent Liu Bei's advance include Xiahou Dun, Yu Jin and Li Dian.

During their confrontation, Liu Bei set fire to his own base and appeared to have withdrawn. Xiahou Dun tried to pursue. Li Dian, though he doubted that there was an ambush waiting for them, exercised caution to the general. Xiahou Dun briefly was detained by Li Dian until he decided to check their enemy's troops with Yu Jin. As Li Dian had feared, Liu Bei was waiting in ambush and Xiahou Dun's army was pushed against a wall. Li Dian's reinforcements caused Liu Bei to withdraw his troops.

Li Dian's scroll records that he had to return to Cao Cao after the battle in order to attack Yuan Shang in Ye. In Zhao Yun's scroll from the Record of Three Kingdoms, Liu Bei captured Xiahou Lan alive. Zhao Yun, who knew the man from his childhood days, pleaded for the prisoner to be spared. Liu Bei, after careful consideration, agreed and appointed Xiahou Lan as a military judge. To avoid any future suspicion against him, Zhao Yun did not approach Xiahou Lan ever again.

Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

The battle is in chapter 39, soon after Zhuge Liang's official recruitment in Liu Bei's forces. Shortly after Liu Qi's personal conflict, Cao Cao ordered another invasion of Xinye and dictated Xiahou Dun as the army's commander. Xiahou Lan, Yu Jin, Li Dian, Han Hao, and 100,000 troops were ordered to assist him in the assault. He personally marched from a distant lookout point to oversee the actions of the battle. Although Xun Yu and Xu Shu opposed the bold approach, the Prime Minister was confident in his victory and Liu Bei's capture.

Meanwhile, Liu Bei's oath brothers expressed their disgruntled thoughts regarding the young strategist's new place beside their brother. Liu Bei assured them that Zhuge Liang was needed, comparing their relationship to how a fish needs water. Though they acquiesced to their brother's explanation, they bitterly advised for the lad to counter Cao Cao's troops. Zhuge Liang perceived their distrust and asked permission to become the army's commander for the attack.

With his new title and the army officers by his side, Zhuge Liang assigned their positions for the confrontation near the Bowang Slope. Zhao Yun was ordered to feign a tough front but withdraw on purpose, leading Cao Cao's troops into an ambush placed in the Anlin Forest, which was east of the slope. Guan Yu was told to be stationed in Yushan Hills with one thousand soldiers and wait for a fire signal in the south. He would then burn a baggage train. In the meantime, Zhang Fei would circle to the valley behind Anlin Forest and set the old stores depot at Bowang ablaze. Liu Feng and Guan Ping were told to lead five hundred soldiers each to the south and create a fire once the enemies run towards them. Liu Bei would lead reserve troops and Zhuge Liang stayed behind to guard the city. To test the strategist's abilities in battle, the brothers complied with jesting integrity.

Zhao Yun steadily lured Xiahou Dun's army, and, though Han Hao warned the potential danger of Zhuge Liang's schemes, the army commander fell for the ruse and charged forward fearlessly. As Xiahou Dun's army hurried on their march, a great wind began to blow. Liu Bei's troops stayed true to their duties and Xiahou Dun were utterly confused by the ambushes and the fire attacks, which were fanned toward them by the winds. Xiahou Lan was slain by Zhang Fei and the other generals barely escaped with their lives. With a countless mortality rate, Cao Cao's remaining troops made a battered retreat back to Xuchang. Their victory had dispelled Guan Yu and Zhang Fei's doubts for Zhuge Liang.

While the battle took place, Zhuge Liang was occupied with preparing the celebrations for their victory and was done upon the generals' arrival. Riding in a small horse carriage, Mi Fang and Mi Zhu escorted the strategist to greet the returning army and was already planning the next step for their army.

Casualties Edit

Cao Cao's Forces Edit

  • Hundreds of soldiers

Liu Bei's Forces Edit

  • Most of Liu Bei's army
  • Xu Shu - (Captured by Wei, No clear fate)


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