Dingtao (DW8XL)
Date 195
Location Dingtao County, present-day Heze, Shandong
Result Cao Cao retakes Yan Province; Lu Bu flees to Liu Bei
Cao Cao's Forces Lu Bu's Forces
Cao Cao Lu Bu
Chen Gong

The Battle of Dingtao was an engagement between Lu Bu's forces and Cao Cao's forces for Yan Province. In Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Cao Cao is able to deceive Lu Bu by faking an ambush, and proceeding to attack his rear. Lu Bu's defeat at Dingtao meant that he had lost his foothold in the battle for Yan Province, and he fled to Liu Bei.

While there may have been skirmishes in the county, none were recorded to be of the same degree of importance or extent as the one in the novel or in the games.

Role in GamesEdit

Dynasty WarriorsEdit

The stage first appears in Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends as the branch out stage of Lu Bu's story mode. In the historical path, Lu Bu will disregard Chen Gong's advise of allying himself with others to oppose Cao Cao, and immediately moves to save Wu Zi at Dingtao castle. As soon as Wu Zi is saved from Yue Jin, Li Dian appears at Juye castle, and sets it on fire. By the time Lu Bu's forces arrive, Li Dian has already dealt serious damage to the Li Feng and the other defenders. Once Li Feng is saved, a scout will report that the main camp has been overrun by Yu Jin, convincing Chen Gong to order a full retreat through Dingtao, which reveals the southern part of the map. When Lu Bu's forces pass the area, Xun Yu ambushes them with fire arrows and boulders, and must be defeated in order to continue the advance. Xiahou Yuan also arrives to attack Lu Bu while he is dealing with the boulders. Later Cheng Yu will appear to ambush Lu Bu's men. Finally, Xiahou Dun will block the escape point and must be defeated in order to complete the retreat.

If all the star requirements were not completed, then Hua Xiong will die protecting the main camp while Liu Bei and Yuan Shao will appear to help Lu Bu withdraw.

In the hypothetical route, Lu Bu will agree to Chen Gong's counsel, and the strategy changes when the battle starts. Instead of heading to Dingtao castle immediately, Chen Gong predicts Li Dian's attempt to attack Juye castle, and has Hua Xiong pose as Lu Bu in order to get Li Dian to move. Once Li Dian is spotted, he is blunted by both Lu Bu and Liu Bei, and is forced to retreat. After that, Chen Gong predicts a potential raid to the main camp, and Yu Jin appears, but is stopped by Yuan Shao's sudden arrival. Seeing their plan's failure, many of Cao Cao's men begin to panic, and this ends up revealing the location of Cao Cao and his main camp at the northern part of the map. Lu Bu's forces then begin climbing the mountain, but are slowed by Guo Jia's rockslide. Xiahou Dun and Xiahou Yuan, having seen the plan's failure, mobilize their troops to rescue Cao Cao. Cao Ren then appears to ambush Lu Bu's troops near the entrance of Cao Cao's main camp, but is defeated. Guo Jia attempts to stop Lu Bu's men again by unleashing siege weapons, but Lu Bu responds by destroying them. Defeating Cao Cao will end the battle with Lu Bu now controlling Yan Province.

In Cao Cao's side of the battle, Yu Jin will instead act as the commander, and the battle starts before Lu Bu and his men mobilize from their camp. Yu Jin first orders that Dingtao and Juye castles be taken swiftly. Once both are taken, Lu Bu and Chen Gong will be lured out of the camp to retake the castles, leading Yu Jin to order the taking of Lu Bu's main camp which requires defeating Zhang Liao and Cao Xing. Once the main camp is lost, Chen Gong will order a full retreat. The conditions for victory will change to defeating Lu Bu and Chen Gong before either can escape. Though the entire map is revealed, the northern part will be inaccessible throughout the battle.

Romance of The Three KingdomsEdit

Having lost Puyang to Cao Cao, Lu Bu fled to Dingtao with the warlord hot on his trail. Seeing the ripe wheat in the area, Cao Cao opted to camp about 40 li from Lu Bu's camp to reap the grains. Lu Bu saw this suspicious behavior and that Cao had encamped near dense forests; Fearing an ambush, Lu Bu decided to withdraw back to camp.

When Cao Cao's scouts reported this, he deduced that Lu Bu fears for an "ambush" from the forest. Hoping to exploit this, Cao Cao intentionally ordered that a few banners be planted in the area to further aggravate Lu Bu. Meanwhile, Chen Gong, who also heard of Lu Bu's concerns, advised Lu Bu to stay put. Lu Bu refused this advise, and opted to burn out the "ambush" in the forest, leaving Gao Shun and Chen Gong to guard Dingtao.

While Lu Bu was burning the forest, Cao Cao ordered Li Dian, Yue Jin, Dian Wei, Xu Chu, Xiahou Dun, and Xiahou Yuan to charge Lu Bu at once; Cheng Lian was killed in the conflict. The survivors of the initial attack reported back to Chen and Gao of the situation. Knowing the futility of further resistance, Chen immediately took Lu Bu's family and helped them escape. Zhang Chao would commit suicide, and Zhang Miao was killed while trying to reach Yuan Shu.

After regrouping with the rest of his troops, Lu Bu followed Chen Gong's advice, and decided to seek shelter from Liu Bei at Xu Province. Against the advice of both his advisors and his brothers, Liu Bei agreed to shelter Lu Bu out of obligation because it was Lu Bu's attack at Puyang that forced Cao Cao to withdraw the fight against Tao Qian. Lu Bu would eventually turn on his host, and he would seize the province for himself.

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