Crusader Kings II Spirit-all

Sword of Islam and the African Units DLC are now available for download in the CKII Online Store!

Oh and I almost forgot. There's a major content update, v1.06, for those who are not investing in the new DLC module.

Curse Steam for its lethargic Pacific time zone!

I've been painfully delaying starting a new game for the last few days, in order to play with all the new 1.06 and expansion content.

tboon wrote:

I *think* the Duchy of Tuscany will become part of the Kingdom of Poland (assuming he wins the duchy). I'm pretty sure that he will *not* be a vassal of HRE since the higher title is not a vassal title. CK2 won't allow (unless this has been addressed in the latest patch that I am not aware of) one title to be held in vassalage and one in not (nor one person to be vassal of two different people; CK2 likes neat orderly org charts ). If this is the case though, watch out! HRE will have a CB for getting that duchy back.

Either way should be interesting. Please post back and let us know what happens.

Boleslaw I finally died, as he lived, on Horseback conquering Pagans in Lithuania at the ripe old age of 61. Interesting fallout: His son, obviously inherited the Kingdom of Poland and was already the Duke of Firenze - so now Firenze is part of the Kingdom of Poland, and he owes no fealty to the HRE. Another interesting consequence: Boleslaw's second son, under Gavelkind law, inherited a duchy right in the middle of Poland. As a duke, I suspect, he doesn't get out from under the Boot of the Emperor so lightly - so now, there's a four-county duchy in Eastern Europe that's part of the HRE, splitting Poland in half.

Part of me wants to load an autosave and grant the title to that Duchy to my heir to avoid this happening. Another part of me wants to see what actually happens with this island in the middle of the HRE.

Play it out, that sounds like it will be awesome in a couple of generations!

Me too, Lobo, and I have to go work out tonight. ARGH!

I wonder whether the expansion will be discounted during the summer Steam sale. Isn't there usually a big Paradox sale package? As I recall, the individual games in those sorts of packages often receive smaller discounts of their own.

It's a $10 expansion, just released, and about 10 days ago they had the CKII games heavily discounted. I'd put the chance at near-zero. But hey - $10!

I wish Paradox would do their releases on the weekend so I'm not tempted to take a sick day to have a full day of play time. I :p

Tried the Seljuks in 1066, and they start at war with the Byzantine Empire. I did well at first, until the European army showed up (that's what it must have been given the time it took them to show up on the Eastern border.) Outnumbered me 3 to one. I need to figure out how to play the Islamic powers, I suspect there are more differences than I thought.

One thing I noticed is that movement through all those mountains is sloooow. Really changes the pace of campaigns, and puts an emphasis on the concept of "too big to rule" empires. Also, all these old provinces seem to have HUGE freaking fortress cities - 4.5 is the average. Takes forever to reduce them.

So I've been slowly playing through my Icelandic campaign, and finally decided to try to take over East Iceland, and the Duchy of Iceland, with my west-icelanders. I established my claim, and decided that the time was ripe as the Duchess of Iceland was a 6 year old girl with no siblings.

I had superior military strength, and won the initial attack, but my siege has stalled out as I learned to important lessons
1) You can't begin a siege unless you have more units than the garrison+levies in the area you're trying to siege, and
2) You can't raise more levies from a county until you dismiss the current levies from that county.

At this point, I'm not sure how I can get enough units to win the siege given that we're both fairly small counties and the garrison advantage makes a big difference. I can't afford Mercs. (they would be overkill anyways, I just need a couple hundred of them!) All I can think to do is continue to build military buildings to try to outpace my opponent in terms of pure troop size.

Of course, all of this could have been avoided if she just agreed to marry my heir, but nooo, she wants a better alliance.

Random question: Let's say the duchess was crazy and agreed to marry one of my sons who was NOT my heir, in a regular (non matrilineal marriage). They have a son and he becomes duke of iceland, and he's of my dynasty. Do I then control the duchy of iceland? Or am I still stuck controlling just West Iceland?
I feel like I understand succession and so on, but not who "you" control.

You will control your direct heirs, so their son (the hypothetical duke of Iceland) would be your liege. So yes, you are stuck controlling West Iceland.

Also, if you have enough scratch, get some mercs to help with that siege. There are some cheap mercs to be had; scroll to the bottom of the mercs list - like 60 gold and 6-9 gold per month, which ain't chicken feed but still semi-affordable. Pro-tip: don;t run out of money to pay the mercs, they tend to get, uhh, upset.

I second tboon's suggestion.

When I start a game the first things I do is upgrade my castle villages to increase income.

I ran into a brick wall with my Munster dynasty. I had all of ireland and wales when I got really unlucky. My King took a blow to the head making him in capable so I did not get any new heirs. The one I had outlived is insensate father but then was assassinated by his sister who was his heir. So I was stuck with a female ruler, in a regular marriage and she was 40 with no children. GAME OVER!

Finally bought the game and am experience a mix of frustration and fascination. I think the best thing are the stories.

My second attempt at playing had me as a Croatian Count. I survived three generations when my heir was killed. The next heir was the son of my bastard who I sent away to marry the daughter of the Earl of Dublin because I did not want him to cause problems.

So in short, my only remaining heir was a hunchbacked, clubfooted, homosexual who was not of my dynasty. GAME OVER MAN! I just laughed when I saw that.

My next attempt was with a count in northern Italy. I was doing my thing, arranging the marriage of my cousin when I got the game over message. The duke the HRE had later appointed over my domain had subverted my title! GAME OVER. This was not half as satisfying as the attempt above.

I have a question or two.

First, how do implement a plot? I had one of my characters try to kill his wife, I got 5 conspirators with a rating over 100% but I did not see a way to pull the trigger, as it were.

Also, is battle a spectator sport or am I missing something?

Tenebrous wrote:

Also, is battle a spectator sport or am I missing something?


You can somewhat influence the battles beforehand by assigning individual armies to the center or either flank, and assigning NPCs with high martial skills to lead them, but once a battle starts you're just watching until you win, lose, or choose to retreat.

Tenebrous wrote:

First, how do implement a plot? I had one of my characters try to kill his wife, I got 5 conspirators with a rating over 100% but I did not see a way to pull the trigger, as it were.

Also, is battle a spectator sport or am I missing something?

Some plots give you a decision on the intrigue tab in the same place as the "Hold a feast" decision.

Some, like murder, you have to wait for it to get triggered. The higher the percentage the more likely it is to happen and for you to get away with it.

Plus, I almost suggest you try a king early on. I found playing a kingdom much easier, though you do have to deal with kings as neighbors.

Yeah counts are hard to play. I think kings are less hard to play but dukes are the easiest to get started in (depending on where you are of course). Kings have extra complexity dukes don't (more vassals, kingdom laws, etc.). Dukes have enough power not to get steam-rolled like counts but don't have too many vassals you have to keep up with like kings.

Just got this for 10 dollars at amazon. Maybe I'll actually play this one.

Oy, 27 pages! What's a nice easy leader to start for a newbie? Ease me into it.

I started with the king England or Scotland.

I also found starting with a Irish duke was not too bad, though sometimes Scotland or England gets involved in your wars and then you lose.

You'll probably need a few false starts just to learn the interface -- you want to get to the point where the mistakes you make are errors of judgement rather than not realizing what such-and-such a button actually does. Once you start making errors of judgement, that's where the game really gets to be fun.

My first successful game (i.e., where I wasn't tripping over the interface) was as Duke Ramon Berenguer the Old of Barcelona. You're an independent duke, so no liege to worry about, and if you manage your wars carefully, you can carve off some of the smaller Moorish emirates with less effort than it takes to pick wars with Christian rulers. That game ended in 1453 with the House of Barcelona ruling over the kingdoms of Aragon, Portugal, and Mauretania, holding about half of the Iberian peninsula and large chunks of North Africa.

duckilama wrote:

Oy, 27 pages! What's a nice easy leader to start for a newbie? Ease me into it.

I'm a fan of Tekkor's intro series. First video is here.

Edit: Good god, that was a fail in reading. Pick one of the Spaniards. You'll always have some Muslims to declare war on.

How long does the game go to? There is supposed to be some cut off right?

It is 1401 and a member of the de normandie dynasty is emperor of Britannia, in my best game at least.

Duke of Flanders is good to learn on. Nice and (usually) peaceful - all the action is in England or in Spain. Nice opportunity to expand via claims fabrication, too.

I think the most important thing when learning the game is to have as few external things to deal with as possible so you can focus on learning how relationships work, how to do various things (like build, raise armies, marry off your kids, plan for succession, etc), and, hell, just where stuff is located on the UI. You don't have to play a full game just until you get comfortable with the mechanics.

Then go to Spain (or England or Norway or wherever).

Kier wrote:

How long does the game go to? There is supposed to be some cut off right?

It is 1401 and a member of the de normandie dynasty is emperor of Britannia, in my best game at least.

The game ends on January 1, 1453 (the year that Constantinople fell to the Turks).

Thanks for the suggestions.

Amazons paradox sale also has a pack that's mostly just ck2 dlc, but I just went with the base game. $10 was too good to miss.

So after picking up EU3 on the advice of forum members here and dropping 200 hours on it last year, I was really looking forward to this game. Now I finally have a machine that can run it, and I was able to purchase it and most of the early cosmetic DLC last weekend on the cheap from Amazon.

On first impressions this game doesn't disappoint even though I am still working through exactly what is going on. My first attempt was a very short failure. I started out as Duke Something the Old of Barcelona, the independent ruler of four counties squeezed between the French, the Kingdom of Aragon, and a Moorish Kingdom that sat on top of some counties that I had a de jure claim to. The game started out okay as I familiarized myself with my advisors and investigated my family tree. I found I had one slovenly, indolent 21 year old son who was unmarried and seemed unfit to take over rule should I kick the bucket early.

None of my selectable "ambitions" really seemed doable as they were mostly things like gain 500/1000 piety, gold, or prestige. All seemed like unlikely goals for a man already so advanced in years. So, I started out by finding my son a suitable wife. After a bit of bribery, the King of Navarro finally allowed his daughter to marry into my family even though she didn't care for me and was VERY unimpressed by my joke of a son.

So after messing about a bit with domestic issues and my advisors, I thought that I'd try my hand at a bit of warfare while I still had a competent ruler. The Moorish kingdom adjacent to me only had two counties, looked to have a maximum of around 800 men at its disposal, and I assumed he would only be able to muster a little over half that number. On the other hand, I had four counties to draw from and my military advisor had been out training troops in an attempt to maximize how many I could field. I thought it would be a slam dunk and declared war. I was so very, very wrong. I think I fielded around 800 men while he could only manage 500 or so. Unfortunately, every other Moorish ruler on the peninsula also seemed to join in the war with 500-1000 men of their own. Needless to say I was crushed. I chalked it up as a learning experience and started over.

For my second game, I started as Prince Something, the Duke of Moray in Scotland. I hoped that as part of a much bigger kingdom I would have a bit more learning time as I would have a King around to handle some of the bigger external fights while I focused on growing my power internally in the Scottish Kingdom. At the start, I had a young (18?) vibrant prince with no wife, no kids, dead parents, an older sister, and some concerning personal traits. (slothful, deceitful?) My spymaster and chaplain were of particularly poor quality, but a check of my court indicated there really wasn't much other talent there to be had.

I started with two Scottish counties under my control, with de jure claims to two neighboring Scottish counties to the south and east, and with a de jure claim to a Norwegian held county just to the north on the tip of Scotland. A quick check of that foreign county showed that it was owned by a vassal of the son of the King of Norway. So it was the vassal of a vassal of a giant Kingdom that could squash me like a little bug, and I quickly turned my attention to my Scottish neighbors. The one to the south was Atholl which was ruled by an imbecile with a 0 learning stat that I quickly dubbed the Duke of Asshole. To my east was Buchan which was ruled by what looked to be a very capable Earl.

I set my advisors to work and focused my ambitions on first finding a wife and then fathering a proper heir. I married a young lass from Normandy in the hopes that it may pay some dividends after William conquered England. Soon thereafter I took a mistress (I was kind of surprised that the game offered me no choice in the situation) as she came on to me and my only choice was to retire to her bedchamber. This caused some problems for me in the future as she turned out to be my spymaster's wife. Not long after, she gave birth to a daughter that I had to choose whether or not to recognize. I did so because it looked to be the decision that would piss the fewest people off. Soon after, I fathered another daughter with my actual wife.

Then things went exploded on the international front. The Scottish King declared war against Norway over the county to my north, and the king raised my troops. For almost four years a battle between these two great kingdoms raged primarily across my counties. My character was a general in the king's army in this war and seemed to gain +1 to his military ability on a regular basis. Unfortunately, he also added syphilus to his already well earned lustful trait. During the war, my sister tried to have my daughter killed, my wife tried to have me killed, and I had them both imprisoned. Unfortunately, my sister was also apparently married to my chancellor. As one might imagine, her imprisonment further tanked his opinion of me while my wife's imprisonment really didn't help my ambition to have a son.

While things were falling apart at home in my counties, Scotland as a whole began disintegrating. The long and costly war with Norway ground down the realm's supply of troops and poisoned many of the Lords' relationships with the King. He then evidently had the misfortune of dying. The war with Norway ended as "undecided." However, I honestly don't know if it happened automatically upon the Scottish King's death or if his 13? year old heir made a white peace upon ascending to the throne. As far as I could find, the game didn't actually notify me that the King had died so I need to look into exactly what notification options I have in the game.

In any case, the King's death and the years of troop depletion and growing bad sentiment towards the King led to a War of Scottish succession. Both Duke Asshole and Earl something of Lothan fielded armies against the Scottish boy king. They were all grinding each other's forces down, and I thought it might be a great time to enforce my claim against Duke Asshole's county. But a funny thing happened along the way. I noticed that I could declare war on the boy king and claim the Scottish throne. So I hired 1500 mercenaries and joined the fray.

The war ground on and on as I nervously looked at my dwindling gold stack and the massive stack of mercenaries that it was paying for. I would have run out of gold, but my spymaster died and for some reason I received close to 30 gold at his death for reasons I really don't understand. (no pop-up explaining my newfound gold, just an extra 30 in my treasury around the time of his death) Eventually, I beat back the King's forces and Duke Asshole's forces. When I made peace with Asshole and threw him in prison, the Earl of Lothan simply went home as I evidently wasn't ever technically at war with him. Then I made peace with the Boy King and claimed the Scottish throne.

Meanwhile, the Earl of Buchan had evidently died at some point, and his child replacement immediately rebelled when I became King. Thankfully, his army had been fairly depleted in the previous wars and the rebellion was quickly put down and he was imprisoned. After dispatching my mercenaries, I then took stock of my new Kingdom of Scotland.

I was nominally king of (10-12?) provinces but only personally held two. My income was tiny as almost nobody liked me, and the bishops absolutely despised me. My treasury was empty from employing mercenaries to gain the crown. My sister had died in prison. My wife, the Buchan boy, and Duke Asshole were all currently in my prisons and complaining. I had two daughters which the game was now informing me would NOT be inheriting Scotland (it would revert to the Boy King), and I was a pitiful, slothful, lustful dude with syphilus. None of the landed Scottish vassals had a positive opinion of me besides the one holding Northumberland. It really did not look like things could get much worse. . .

Then the King of England declared war on me. When I called up the troops, 350 arrived from my own two counties. The rest of Scotland only supplied around 100. I don't know if it was simply because they were exhausted from the earlier wars, because they all hated me, or both. England's first army stack arrived in Northumberland with 2000 troops, and God only knows how many more they had down south. So I did pretty much exactly what I thought my character would do, I sold out the one guy in Northumberland who actually liked me by surrendering and handing his county over to the English.

With the crisis averted, I turned my attention to domestic affairs. I needed to find a way to actually start refilling the treasury. I needed to find a way to start persuading my vassals and the bishops that I wasn't the scum of the Earth. However, the first thing I needed to do was produce a male heir. The game kept prompting me that it would be game over if I didn't get down to business. So I did what every scumbag medieval king with syphilus in my position would do. I executed my imprisoned wife and looked for a young lustful princess to take her place. Unfortunately, my reputation apparently preceded me, and I had to settle for the young lustful daughter of another lowly Norman duke. She's cruel, slothful, and a bunch of other negative things, but you take what you can get. Our son Andrew was quickly conceived, and I now have an heir to my crumbling kingdom.

I then ransomed Duke Asshole, He is definitely not so bright as he is now my only landed supporter despite the fact that I had recently crushed his army, besieged his lands, and imprisoned him. With my "have son" ambition met, I looked through my choices and found one that solved two problems for me. First, I still only personally controlled 2 counties. Second, the boy from Buchan was still in prison and couldn't afford a ransom. Unfortunately for him, the game informed me that I would inherit his county upon his death. So I hatched a plot to have him accidentally die in an attempted prison escape. Thankfully, I found at least one other scumbag (his Marshal) to help me out, and the deed was done quietly.

That's where I stopped playing and went to bed. Things are starting to look a bit better. Sure, I have lousy traits and my new wife has lousy traits. Almost everyone still hates us, and I still have almost no income. However, there is also the bright side. In that gaming session, I went from the Duke of Moray with two counties to being the King of Scotland. I upped my personal holdings to 3 counties. I produced a bright young male heir to hopefully mold into a better man than his father, and I survived Scottish wars against both Norway and England.

I think that my next goal is to somehow kill the still young ex-king who HATES me before he starts rallying forces behind the scenes to knock off my son and I and regain his throne. I also need to search my realm for some talented advisors in order to win the hearts (and money) of my subjects. I THINK that I could probably take some land for myself or my son from some of the vassals that hate me, but I need to consolidate my position first and gain at least a few supporters among my nobles. Otherwise, I think any attempt to take some land will rapidly lead to a civil war where I get stomped by my vassals because I don't have the money to hire mercs to fight them this time.

If you have read this far, sorry for the wall of text. If I really get into the game and think I'll write more session reports, I'll likely start taking screen captures and doing proper write-ups like I did last year in the EU3 thread.

That there is a lot of war. Don't let wars distract you completely from the domestic front as that's really the crux of the game imho. War exists, but unlike EUIII you aren't meant to stay in it perpetually, just, oh, half the time.

garion333 wrote:

That there is a lot of war. Don't let wars distract you completely from the domestic front as that's really the crux of the game imho. War exists, but unlike EUIII you aren't meant to stay in it perpetually, just, oh, half the time. :P

War. War never changes.

Tanglebones wrote:

War. War never changes.

Even better that your avatar is Hellboy, so I hear that voice even clearer in my head now

Jason, that was an awesome write-up! I'd say definitely keep writing some AARs. Always like to see how everyone's games are playing out