Total War: Warhammer III – Zhao Ming the Dragon of Cheese Guide

Zhao Ming the Dragon of Cheese

Note: Credit goes to Will

What Can You Do with the Dragon of Cheese?

Simply put, Zhao Ming does not need an army, he is the one man army. There is no upkeep cost, no archers to be attacked by pesky flying cavalry, no formations to be struck by lucky canon balls or undogeable magic.

No, there’s no God mode at play, Zhao Ming simply kicks ass.

Why Not Skarbrand?

You might as first, be impressed by the 3.2k weapon damage of Skarbrand, and it is true that Skarbrand beats Zhao Ming 1v1 no doubt about it. However killing the enemy lord in 2 swipes achieves very little in terms of winning the battle. Zhao Ming is the lord that can actually win most battles against most AI armies, where as Skarbrand cannot. This comes down to a few very important factors:

  • Skarbrand is very big

Big means big target for missiles, while the AI may be too dumb to focus fire your Skarbrand, the defensive turrets certainly will fire at him. Skarbrand as a result stands no chance at winning sieges by himself.

Being big not long makes you a bigger missile target, you are also a bigger melee target. While a small unit like Zhao Ming may have ~8 infantry attacking him at once, Skarbrand can have ~30 because his much larger circumference on the ground, all while he’s taking all the missile fire.

  • Skarbrand has no magic spells

You cannot flat attack your way to victory when you’re by yourself. It does not matter how high your weapon damage is, they don’t help you kill foot soldiers any faster. Skarbrand simply cannot kill people fast enough to win before he takes too much damage himself.

This is a little experiment in custom battle, what can these lords accomplish before loosing 3000 HP.

While yes Skarbrand killed a lot more people, it also took only 5:30 to drop 3000 HP. Zhao Ming lasted 9:50 before loosing 3000 HP and I did not cast any magic with Zhao Ming because if he did he’s have already killed everyone and won the battle before he lost this much HP. There’s also no missile units in the battle, or Skarbrand would’ve taken much more damage.

  • Skarbrand cannot fly, and cannot retreat

There will be some fights you just can’t win, at least not in this attack. If you’re Zhao Ming you can turn into dragon and fly away. Even if you don’t do that, as soon as your leadership breaks you instantly loose without dying. With Skarbrand you either win or you die.

  • Skarbrand’s army sucks

Having only melee units in your army don’t help you at all. You have no archers, no artillery, no wizards. Every additional unit you bring must join the fight and then you have to consider their weaknesses which is a huge hassle we do not want.

Army Composition

Here, this is the composition:

You might consider bring your alchemist and rocket artillery if you’re in early game, but they’re both weakness the enemy can attack so you might want to do away with.

Zhao Ming the GOAT

In case you’re still not convinced that Zhao Ming is the best lord,

  • Since Zhao Ming is so small, enemy defensive towers in fact help you

Not only are the towers not accurate enough to hit you, whenever they miss they’ll almost certainly hit the blob of enemies around you, and they can do serious damage to YOUR advantage!

  • Zhao Ming starts the game with an Alchemist and a rocket artillery

The Alchemist starts off with Seering Doom, a great bombardment spell perfect for striking the blob surrounding Zhao Ming. As for Rocket artillery, it should be obvious, but it’s also a more vulnerable unit.

  • Zhao Ming starts the game with Dragon’s Breath

He’s a one man army from the get-go, no need to train anything, he can win the first couple battles by himself. Almost no other lord start the game with both tanky stats and AOE dmage spell.

  • Zhao Ming has passive regeneration

Zhao Ming’s skill tree has a skill which grants 0.1% HP per second constant regeneration. Yea there are other lords with regeneration, but which other lord has ALL THREE of tanky stat, AOE damage, and regeneration?

  • Zhao Ming has one of the best AOE damage spells, Constellation of the Dragon

It’s just a big high damage explosion, which is again, perfect for the blob of enemies around you.

  • Zhao Ming has access to two of the cheesiest equipment

The first one auto-cast explosion around Zhao Ming every minute.

The second one deals constant damage to all units around Zhao Ming and applies weakness to fire, which btw includes aforementioned Crystal of Kunlan, Dragon’s Breath, Constellation of the Dragon, and your own flat attacks if equipping the right weapon.

  • The Great Cathay has a banner which gives +20 armor

Yes, probably the best kind of banner to have if you’re only going to have one banner. You also get a banner for +20% range, which is perfect for your starting rocket artillery. Everything fits together like a puzzle so perfectly one has to suspect if any of this was intentional.

Additional Cheese

  • Capture any early game settlement by yourself, and your side kick.

Zhao Ming goes in the city to pull agro, Alchemist stands outside to cast Seering Doom.

While Zhao Ming has Dragon’s Breath, it’s a bit too weak in early game to clear a full stack of enemies.


The ONLY weakness to Zhao Ming the one man army, is hero units, anything that’s just one or a few models, things like lords, mammoth, elemental bear, that kind of stuff. This is because Zhao Ming has no way to kill them quickly. If it’s just a few generic lord/hero it’s no problem he can basically ignore them since his melee defense is so high he’s untouchable. The real problem is with hero units that are either extremely strong, like Skarbrand, or extremely large, like mammoth. This is because large units take up space that would otherwise be filled by small units, which will take much more damage. So while a mammoth wouldn’t exactly kill Zhao Ming very quickly, it also won’t die, and that’s an issue for Zhao Ming’s limited regeneration cap, and magic reserves.

Basically you just have to fight these armies with a regular army…

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3204 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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