Koei Wiki
Battle of Tianshui
Tianshui in Dynasty Warriors 8
Date 228
Location Tianshui, Nan'an and Anding, Liang Province (southern modern Gansu)
Result Wei victory.
Wei Shu
Cao Zhen
Zhang He
Zhuge Liang

The Battle of Tianshui (天水の戦い, rōmaji: Tensui no Tatakai) is a battle between Wei and Shu. In the Dynasty Warriors series the battle's purpose is similar to the novel: for Jiang Wei to defect to Shu.

Historically there wasn't any battle that happened in Tianshui, just a simple revolt. Zhuge Liang's aim was to capture the cities of Nan'an, Anding, and Tianshui, which would all be pacified by Zhang He later.

Ji Castle (冀城, Kijō, lit. Hope Castle) was a location north of Tianshui close to the region of Xiliang, which before the events of the Northern Campaigns, was a separate battle in of itself that detailed Ma Chao's next dealings vs. the Wei forces after the events of Tong Gate and before serving Zhang Lu's forces.

Role in Games[]

Dynasty Warriors[]

The fourth installment is the stage's debut as a Shu Tales stage, which can only be unlocked when during Shu Act III, if the player does not play Battle of Bo Wan Po and through either having Zhuge Liang and Huang Gai die or defeating Cao Cao before anything happens, to have the fire attack fail when they play Chi Bi.

The initial appearance of the map is an expanded-yet-altered section of the Wu Zhang Plains series of maps, with more emphasis on the eastern side that shows Tian Shui Castle itself; Ji Castle is off in the northwest as it is the castle stronghold for the Wei side of Wu Zhang Plains itself. The battle starts out with Zhuge Liang instructing that Jiang Wei, Yin Shang, and Liang Xu to defect to their side, and thus not to engage them or take any of the two main castles. The player must succeed with this in taking out a few officers while Jiang Wei charges out due to Ma Zun's mistrust of him (as Jiang Wei is paranoid of Zhuge Liang's schemes). Taking this chance without entering Ji Castle off in the west, Zhuge Liang will instruct the player to take out both of Jiang Wei's sub officers (Zhu Ling and Hu Zhi) in order to isolate him and force him to defect. Once successful, Jiang Wei will send in agents (as a player or CPU) into Tian Shui castle in order to oblige Yin Shang and Liang Xu to open the gates to Tian Shui castle, allowing the player to move in to take out Ma Zun. However, should the battle linger during that time, Xiahou Yuan can arrive as reinforcements, which can extend the battle time as the main objective overall is to take both Ji and Tian Shui castle, so killing Ma Zun alone is not enough to finish the stage. Clearing the stage in this manner via making Jiang Wei defect will unlock him.

Should the player enter the castles from the outside or inside via defeating the guard captains, the gates will trigger ambush parties, and prompting Zhuge Liang to state they have no choice but to take the castle(s) and overall forgo their initial plan (this action for both castles is a requirement for Jiang Wei's Lv. 10 weapon). Thus, if this is done with Ji Castle's case, Jiang Wei cannot defect (and by proxy, Yin Shang and Liang Xu will also not defect if Tian Shui Castle is taken the same way), and thus he he won't be unlocked if it's already done so. In Musou Mode, if Jiang Wei is already unlocked, then Cao Ren will take his place with different dialogue from both Ma Zun and Cao Ren himself. Otherwise, in Free Mode, Jiang Wei can face himself via mirror fight if the player is also Jiang Wei themselves and his CPU version will not appear at all when the first defection occurs.

In the fifth installment, while playing the side of the Shu forces, the player needs to defeat Xiahou Mao and Cui Liang to capture Nan An (南安, Nan'an) and An Ding (安定, Antei). Zhuge Liang will order his men to release Xiahou Mao or Cui Liang inside the Tian Shui Castle telling the commander, Ma Zun, that Jiang Wei has defected. This would be the time that Jiang Wei will return to Tian Shui. Defeating him would start Ma Zun's retreat if the player defeats him then the battle has won. In the Wei side, the player needs to rescue Nan An or An Ding from the invaders. If successful, the battle will be an easy win. Sometime, an imposter of Jiang Wei will appear under the Shu forces, to try and get Ma Zun to distrust his servant. If the two castles fall Ma Zun will attempt to retreat and will be confused leading him to Zhuge Liang's main camp. If the player defeats Zhuge Liang the battle will be finished. In contrast to the previous title, Liang Xu and Yin Shang remain loyal to Wei regardless of Jiang Wei's defection.

In the expansion, the map is reused for Husbands and Wives, a contest hosted by Zuo Ci between various couples for the Imperial Seal. Meanwhile, Ji Castle becomes a separate stage as a Legend Mode for both Pang De and Ma Chao, detailing the events just after their defeat at Tong Gate.

The battle was removed in the sixth installment with Jiang Wei.

In the Dynasty Warriors 7, Jiang Wei returns as the enemy commander after the defeat of Ma Zun, Cui Liang and Yang Ling. Instead of simply capturing the bases after defeating the appropriate enemy, as with Dynasty Warriors 5, now the player will be ambushed as they reach the base. The battle also marks the debut of Liu Shan as a warrior in any battle, and gets caught in an ambush. At the end of the battle, Ma Zun will set fire to the base and try to escape.

In Dynasty Warriors 8, the battle still only appears in Shu's story, and first starts out with Zhuge Liang ordering the taking of the outer garrisons. Once taken, Zhao Yun attacks the Wei forces to create a distraction for Zhuge Liang. While travelling to Anding, the Shu forces are ambushed twice by Jiang Wei's men, piquing Zhuge Liang's interest. When they arrive near Ma Zun's castle, Jiang Wei appears for the first time, and is forced to withdraw. From there, Zhuge Liang orders the taking of the castles before Jiang Wei can reach them in order to build distrust. If the castles are Nan'An and Anding are taken before Jiang Wei arrives, Ma Zun will flee from the battlefield, and defeating Xiahou Mao will mean the taking of Tianshui. Upon Xiahou Mao's defeat, Jiang Wei remains defiant in the northwestern garrison, and needs to be defeated before he surrenders. In Wei's side of the battle, Jiang Wei will exit from Ma Zun's castle to launch a surprise attack on Liu Shan. Once Liu Shan's defeated, Zhao Yun will begin causing a ruckus to the allied army, and defeating him becomes the next objective. After defeating Zhao Yun, Xingcai will mobilize, and defeating her will cause Zhuge Liang to begin moving. Defeating Zhuge Liang will end the stage.

The game also reuses the area for "Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin's Rebellion" in Jin's story.

In the Xtreme Legends expansion, the area is reused as the "Battle of Zitong" in Wei's story.

Warriors Orochi[]

In the first game, this stage serve as Chapter 2 for Wei's story, in which where Cao Pi and Da Ji's forces face off against the Oda Army. Before Nobunaga arrives, player must protect three allied garrisons from the enemy. During the defense, Huang Gai will appear and charge towards one of the garrisons, only to be defeated and told off by Cao Pi. After Nobunaga arrives, Da Ji will summon her army, which is led by Zhuge Liang, to attack Nobunaga. Depending on the amount of allied garrisons that are successfully protected, the amount of reinforcement may be low or high. Defeating Nobunaga will complete the stage, while the defeat of Cao Pi or Da Ji will count as a defeat. After the battle, Da Ji decides to let Mitsunari join Cao Pi's forces, and Mitsunari joins Wei.

The Husbands and Wives version of the Tian Shui map is used in the second game, where Xiao Qiao, Zhen Ji and must rescue various captured maidens from Dong Zhuo's grasp.

The battle starts with Noh telling Ranmaru to guard the main camp, in which the battle would be lost if he is defeated. Ranmaru also warns that Dong Zhuo and his main army will come soon, with each group coming one at a time, so rescuing the beauties will require fast and speedy pace. As Ina fights off the enemy officers attacking the main camp, Zhen Ji recognize Cao Pi is in one of the garrisons and heads inside. Dong Zhuo's troops then ambushes the couple as the pair fight them off to rescue Cao Pi. After Cao Pi is rescued, he will head to the allied main camp to defend it with Ranmaru. Next, the player will begin rescuing Ginchiyo, Oichi, Da Qiao, and Xing Cai. When the group get to Ginchiyo, the guards refuses to open the door, so the player have to perform a 100 hit combo in 1 minutes to impress them. If successful, Ginchiyo will be rescued and join the players cause. When they get to Oichi, the group found out she has been turn to stone and a spy captain begins to retreat. The player will need to defeat the spy captain in order to prevent him from leaving the battlefield. After that, Sun Wukong will appear and the group must defeat him as well. Oichi is then freed and decides to join the player's cause. After that, Xiao Qiao will work with Da Qiao and defeat Magoichi in order to save her, in which Da Qiao will join the player's cause. After that, the ladies head to the garrison where Xing Cai is captured, in which the guards refuse to open the door, so the player need to defeat 50 enemies in one minute. If successful, the guards will open the door and Xing Cai joins the player's cause. After rescuing all four ladies and defeating the enemy reinforcements, a scout report that Sun Shang Xiang is captured in a large garrison guarded by Kotaro. Xiao Qiao then suggests operation sneaky, but she was too loud, causing the ninja and Kotaro to head outside and attack them, in which the player must defeat. After that, Sun Shang Xiang will join the player's cause and Dong Zhuo will show up with his main army and launch a full attack. Ina and Okuni, who showed up halfway through the battle as reinforcement will attack as well to stop Dong Zhuo. Defeating Dong Zhuo will bring victory to the allied force.

If the player fail to rescue all the ladies in 10 minutes, Dong Zhuo will show up after 10 minute and open the door of all garrison that contain the ladies, only for Dong Zhuo to order the guards to take them somewhere else. The only ladies that won't be taken away is Da Qiao, which will be in grave danger by Magoichi, and Cao Pi, since he is not a lady. The battle will still be won by defeating Dong Zhuo, but the victory won't be satisfying enough.

In the PSP of Warriors Orochi 2 and Musou OROCHI Z, this stage served as one of the new Dramatic Mode stages. This introduces San Zang, who joins the army of Wei, to hunt down Sun Wukong. With the Azai army on the verge of annihilation, the Wei forces first move to rescue their allies. As more of the Azai officers are rescued and begin moving back to aid Nagamasa, Dong Zhuo begins getting more suspicious, so San Zang sends a fake messenger to keep him from mobilizing immediately. Once all the Azai officers are rescued, the Wei army will begin its move and Dong Zhuo. Sun Wukong will then appear after Dong Zhuo's defeat, and must be defeated to complete the battle.


Historical Information[]

In 228, Zhuge Liang declared that he would march through the Xie Gorge to take Mei. He sent Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi as decoys to give the appearance of threatening Mei and to occupy Ji. Cao Zhen led his armies to oppose them. Zhuge Liang personally led the armies to besiege Mount Qi; the ranks were ordered, discipline severe and authority apparent. The three commanderies of Nan'an, Tianshui and Anding all revolted and defected from the Cao Wei side to Zhuge Liang, sending shock waves through Guanzhong. Cao Rui moved to Chang'an to oversee the defense. Cao Zhen secured Mei against Zhao Yun, while a combined cavalry-infantry force of 50,000 under Zhang He went west to oppose Zhuge's main army.

Zhuge Liang ordered Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi to counter Cao Zhen, whilst he himself marched to besiege Mount Qi. The troop strength of Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi were inadequate to that of the enemy. Hence they were defeated at Ji Gorge, but their centre held firm and thus avoided a great defeat.

At that moment, Jiang Wei was patrolling the outskirts with his governor. Afraid that Jiang Wei might be colluding with the Shu army, the governor fled secretly at night. When Jiang Wei discovered about that, it was already too late and on returning to Yi Xuan, his own city refused to open the city gates. As such, Jiang Wei proceeded to meet Zhuge Liang.

There was in fact no battle at Tianshui, only revolt. The area surrounding the city submitted quickly to Shu Han, enabling the army to advance steadily but the Shu army had suffered a setback at Jieting, when Zhang He defeated Ma Su. Zhuge Liang gave the order for a retreat back to Shu territory.

Zhuge Liang separated his troops in two groups: one led by himself; the other led by Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi. Zhuge Liang encountered Zhang He, so he sent Ma Su to handle him at Jieting, but Ma lost and had to withdraw. Zhao Yun and Deng Zhi's army met Cao Zhen, who defended Mei from them. Zhao Yun and his army withdrew. The commanderies that rose in revolt to join Shu were later pacified by Zhang He and returned to Wei control.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms[]

In chapters 92 and 93 of Luo Guanzhong's historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Tianshui acts as a strategic point in Wei's western frontier, and Zhuge Liang decides to capture the area to gain a foothold for his northern campaign. In the opening battle against Xiahou Mao, the Wei forces sent out Han De and his four sons to do battle with the Shu Forces. Zhao Yun, who led the vanguard, proceeded to duel Han De's sons, and single-handedly slew all four of Han's children.

After this defeat, Xiahou Mao decided to personally enter next skirmish with Han De. On that day, Han De's forces met once again against Zhao Yun's, and Zhao killed Han De like his sons. Xiahou Mao immediately turned tail at Han's death, and the Wei forces broke rank at the sight of their fleeing commander.

Acknowledging Zhao Yun's ferocity, Xiahou Mao decided to feign defeat on their next encounter, and ordered his troops to prepare an ambush. While Zhao Yun did fall for the ambush, timely reinforcements from Guan Xing, Zhang Bao and Deng Zhi easily shifted the tide in favour of the Shu Forces, and Xue Ze and Dong Xin were slain in the process. With his commanders dead, Xiahou Mao finally withdrew back to Nan'an and prepared for a siege. The cities of Tianshui and Anding had also heard of Xiahou Mao's defeat and began barricading themselves as well.

The Shu vanguard proceeded to lay siege to Nan'an, however, the city's defenses proved impregnable, and the the defenders held until Zhuge Liang's arrival. Zhuge Liang convened with the generals, and ordered his troops to bring torchwood in front of Nan'an, to be burned in front of the city's moat. Meanwhile, he gave secret orders for Guan Xing and Zhang Bao to send a fake messenger to Anding under the guise of one of Xiahou Mao's retainers with a letter of reinforcements. Once Cui Liang, the governor, was lured out, Guan Xing and Zhang Bao were to meet him while Wei Yan was to seize Anding.

The next day, when the soldiers burned the torchwood as ordered, Cui Liang, who mobilized his troops at the "messenger"'s request, mistook the smoke from the fire as Nan'an, and was ambushed by Guan Xing while Wei Yan took Anding. Surrounded, Cui Liang surrendered. Zhuge Liang then inquired about Nan'an's defenses, and Cui replied that the city's governor was Yang Ling, a friend of his.

Zhuge then decided to send Cui Liang to Nan'an in order to get Yang Ling to surrender and to capture Xiahou Mao. Once Cui entered the city, he immediately reported his findings to Yang and Xiahou, and the trio decided to turn Zhuge Liang's plan against him.

Cui Liang returned to the Shu camp and told Zhuge Liang that there are too many loyalists within the city for the task to be acted upon smoothly, and asked that Zhuge Liang lead troops to enter the city while he and Yang would open the gates. Zhuge Liang, however, replied that he would instead send Guan Xing and Zhang Bao with Cui Liang so that he can create a diversion instead. Cui Liang was forced to accept this to not arouse the suspicions of the Shu forces.

On the day of the agreement, Cui Liang returned to Nan'an and shot a letter to Yang Ling telling him that Guan and Zhang were a part of his force and had to be killed before they could lure Zhuge Liang in. Yang Ling then opened the gate, however, his forces soon turned against him, killed him and Yang Ling, and cut the scaffolds of the Nan'an's gate. Realizing that Zhuge Liang had not only seen through their deceit but also convinced the people of Anding to fight for him, Xiahou Mao attempted to abandon the city but was captured by Wang Ping during his getaway. With this, Zhuge Liang had captured two out of the three cities in the area.

After Xiahou Mao's defeat, he attempted to use the same trick used on Cui Liang, but on Ma Zun instead. Initially, Ma Zun assembled his forces, but the young Jiang Wei stepped up and stopped Ma Zun, telling him that he was falling into Zhuge Liang's plot as a heavily besieged city would've unlikely been able to sneak out a messenger. In response, Jiang Wei created a new plan to deal with this.

According to plan, Ma Zun left the Tianshui in order to "reinforce" Nan'an. As expected, a Shu force, led by Zhao Yun arrived and attempted to take the city, however, the defenders sent out their troops to resist him with Jiang Wei duelling the elder general to a standstill. Meanwhile, Ma Zun turned his troops around in order to sandwich the Shu troops in a pincer attack. Zhao Yun was only barely able to escape the trap thanks to reinforcements from Zhang Bao and Guan Xing.

Suffering his very first defeat in battle, Zhao Yun told Zhuge of the events, who was equally surprised that someone had seen through his tricks. A soldier from the area that had surrendered also told Zhuge Liang of Jiang Wei's filial piety and prodigious talent which was compounded by Zhao Yun's high regard for Jiang Wei's fighting skill.

Forced to a direct fight, Zhuge Liang besieged Tianshui, but its defenders stubbornly held the line. Later that night, while attempting to think of a new strategy, a messenger informed Zhuge Liang that an enemy was raiding the Shu camp. With Guan Xing and Zhang Bao's help, Zhuge escaped. Delightfully impressed by his first true loss on the battlefield, Zhuge Liang then began making plans to subdue Jiang Wei. Learning that his mother was still living in Jicheng, Zhuge Liang sent Wei Yan to attack the city in order to force Jiang out but to also abandon the attack if Jiang Wei really did arrive. This move would isolate Jiang Wei from Ma Zun and keep him in Jicheng.

Upon the completion of Wei Yan's tasks, Zhuge Liang then released Xiahou Mao with a false letter, stating that Jiang Wei would surrender Jicheng if Xiahou Mao was exchanged. On his way to Jicheng, however, Xiahou Mao encountered villagers fleeing from the area, who stated that Jiang Wei had already allowed Shu troops to pillage the town. Xiahou Mao then decided to change course and left to Tianshui to report his findings.

Ma Zun and many of Jiang Wei's friends, who also served at Tianshui, were in disbelief that he would betray them, but on that night, Zhuge Liang sent a man disguised as Jiang Wei to attack Tianshui. This move cemented Jiang Wei's isolation.

On Jiang Wei's end, supplies in Jicheng were running low after Wei Yan's slow siege. Seeing Shu supply wagons, Jiang Wei exited the city and defeated Zhang Bao's forces to seize the grain, but this was all a bait as Wei Yan took Jicheng as soon as Jiang left the city. Heavily surrounded, Jiang Wei returned to Tianshui, however, Ma Zun ordered his troops to attack Jiang on sight. Jiang Wei then attempted to go to the nearby Shanggui, however Liang Qian denied him entry. With no place left to go to, Jiang Wei surrendered to Zhuge Liang.

Zhuge Liang immediately deliberated with Jiang on how to capture Tianshui, and Jiang volunteered to shoot an arrow with a letter to the city. As he still had friends in the city, they would likely come under fire if he were to send them a letter. True to his word, Xiahou Mao and Ma Zun immediately began making plans to kill Yin Shang and Liang Xu. The two, however, caught word of this, and opened the city gates to let the Shu forces in. Unable to fend off the enemy forces, Ma Zun and Xiahou Mao fled to take refuge with the Qiang tribes and were never heard from again. Liang Xu would then convince Liang Qian to surrender Shanggui to the Shu forces.

When a soldier asked Zhuge Liang on why he chose not to pursue and capture Xiahou Mao, to which Zhuge Liang laughed that releasing Xiahou Mao was like releasing a duck, but having Jiang Wei is like having a phoenix.

Ultimately, however, whatever gain the Shu forces obtained at campaigns in the area were immediately lost when Ma Su was defeated at Jieting and Zhuge Liang was forced to abort his first Northern Campaign.


Sword.jpg This battle article is a stub. You can help the wiki by expanding it.