Crusader Kings II Sparkle Pony-all

Quintin_Stone wrote:

What's the secret to making alliances useful? You know, allies that actually help out?

Not being a nemeslut named Quintin?

Quintin_Stone wrote:

What's the secret to making alliances useful? You know, allies that actually help out?

My guess is that it's based on whether the ally is currently getting his poop pushed in by an unfriendly neighbor. While playing in Spain I had people show up from Ireland, but allies a couple of territories over in France that vowed to show up were nowhere to be found (though that may also have something to do with them being French.)

I'm guessing that being a nemeslut named Quintin doesn't help either.

In my own experience in Ireland.

1. Having them near enough to get to you before you get swamped.

2. Someone who's not always at war themselves. In my game, England wasn't a good ally as they were always at war with someone (for almost 300 years they had most of Italy, and at least half of Spain for 200), and if it wasn't overseas adventures it was dissension at home, usual Yorkshire based. So their forces were always spread over the map.

3. Someone who doesn't fancy a bit of your territory themselves.

In my game, I tended to rely on mercs, even though at one point I had a list of 17 allies. Only twice did I successfully call in aid - once, early on, from the Scots, and then, in the 1300s from my ally the Duchess of Brittany who responded to my frantic pleas for assistance in putting down a vassal revolt not with a Gallic shrug but with 30,000 troops, who quickly splattered two large-ish armies of rebel dogs giving me time to gather forces and do the rest myself.

When you marry a daughter off to someone of your rank or above who likes you, then you get an alliance that you can use to call them in. This is speaking very high level - as a king, you will want other kings or the HRE emperor allied to you so the response fits the war. (Also, dukes can't always act on their own desires, depending on their own Crown Authority). The response itself depends on the situation of the person you are inviting, and also the circumstances of the war itself. I've found that if I'm behind in the war, or if the enemy is stronger than I am, allies tend to want to avoid helping me out. But then, a king who likes me a lot will step in in those circumstances.

Nothing wrong with greasing the wheels with a gift to the emperor to help him decide that the HRE should march in and save your back

At the same time, it's discovered that the Duke's son is plotting to kill him (seriously, what the hell did this Duke do?), and the proper response is to imprison him. Unfortunately, that means the Duke's sole heir is now locked away for trying to assasinate his father. Ignoring the war against Ormond for the time being, Murchad quickly gets married in the hopes he can produce another son. Luckily he finds a noble woman who doesn't hate him as much as everyone else (and isn't a leper or sterile). Sadly, all the union is able to produce are daughters....

Why all the worry? When you die, your heir will take over, and you'll play as him.

wordsmythe wrote:
At the same time, it's discovered that the Duke's son is plotting to kill him (seriously, what the hell did this Duke do?), and the proper response is to imprison him. Unfortunately, that means the Duke's sole heir is now locked away for trying to assasinate his father. Ignoring the war against Ormond for the time being, Murchad quickly gets married in the hopes he can produce another son. Luckily he finds a noble woman who doesn't hate him as much as everyone else (and isn't a leper or sterile). Sadly, all the union is able to produce are daughters....

Why all the worry? When you die, your heir will take over, and you'll play as him.

That may be true, but I'd still like for the current Duke to be as effective as he could be. It seems a little weird to me game play wise to just kind of mail it in and wait for the heir to take over. Or rather just get in the mindset of not worrying about current consequences because the heir will just take over and continue the father's campaign. I mean, the son didn't like the father to begin with, so why would he continue the war his father started?

CptDomano wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
At the same time, it's discovered that the Duke's son is plotting to kill him (seriously, what the hell did this Duke do?), and the proper response is to imprison him. Unfortunately, that means the Duke's sole heir is now locked away for trying to assasinate his father. Ignoring the war against Ormond for the time being, Murchad quickly gets married in the hopes he can produce another son. Luckily he finds a noble woman who doesn't hate him as much as everyone else (and isn't a leper or sterile). Sadly, all the union is able to produce are daughters....

Why all the worry? When you die, your heir will take over, and you'll play as him.

That may be true, but I'd still like for the current Duke to be as effective as he could be. It seems a little weird to me game play wise to just kind of mail it in and wait for the heir to take over. Or rather just get in the mindset of not worrying about current consequences because the heir will just take over and continue the father's campaign. I mean, the son didn't like the father to begin with, so why would he continue the war his father started?

In my own gameplay, I tend to roleplay these kinds of situations. That is, when the son takes over, I would have him do a 180 from what his father did, e.g., by abandoning his father's campaign, even if it is counterproductive in terms of "winning." I'm more interested in feeling like what I'm doing in the game is coherent. I do a lot of this in straight RPG's, where I avoid min/maxing in favor of building a character I can identify with.

I agree. Tell a story. Either the son sticks to his own objectives, or he has a roadside conversion upon his father's death and, shaken to the core, dedicates himself to *that* vision. Either way, tell an interesting story and you can justify just about anything.

When my eldest son came of age, I looked at his profile and saw what a useless waste of skin he was. Terrible stats, bad traits. I'm not sure what happened there. Dreaded playing as him, so I had him assassinated.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

When my eldest son came of age, I looked at his profile and saw what a useless waste of skin he was. Terrible stats, bad traits. I'm not sure what happened there. Dreaded playing as him, so I had him assassinated.

I'm guessing his name was Quintin.

Ha!

After the game lost over an hour of my Denmark run, I decided to start up an Ireland game to get a feel for that scale. My first character was doing very well, claiming a neighboring territory without fabricating anything, and inheriting a third after a relative kicked the bucket. I decided to push in to a fourth territory, and managed to win it and show mercy on the regent and make him my vassal. Oops. My guy kicked the bucket and his son took over, no problem. That vassal rebelled later and I fought him back without any trouble. Then I decided to rid myself of him once and for all, so I went and demanded his surrender...

Then he threw me in prison.

I didn't even know what had happened at first! All of a sudden some guy is telling me he's my new regent, and I'm trying to figure out why my map looks so different. I managed to ransom myself out, but my game was over from here. I hired some mercs, and when I couldn't keep up the payment they rebelled on me, and took the remainder of my territories and that was the end of me. I could've tried to bide my time, but this character wasn't much of a schemer, and he'd just seen his father's life's work and his own inheritance turn to ashes in the span of a few weeks. He'd have been pissed and have gone down swinging, which he did.

I'm definitely going to give Ireland another run.

I've been thrown in jail suddenly and for no reason as well. Sometimes there are things that just seem to slip completely under the radar, not showing up in the message queues or even the "universal" game log at the bottom.

I'm still playing my France game. For a while France was going strong, but then the HRE flexed its muscles and bisected it. We've made some progress in regaining territories during internal HRE strife but its solid again. At my peak I was a beloved duke of some 4 duchies. But France was running Seniority inheritance and it was damn mess when you couldn't groom your own replacement. Things went pear-shaped and I ended up as a minor no one liked. I wanted to abdicate to my younger but more respected brother, so I tried to do everything I could to get thrown off the throne! I was an ass, I threw people in prison, made assassination attempts. It was damn hilarious, but when I did finally go down (can't remember if it was a revolt or intrigue) my lovely realm was quite diminished.

France is now Primogeniture and I've built my way back up to a respectable number of counties and can field an army of around 10k. Sadly I'm having trouble gaining more claims and I lost my dad's claim on Scotland.

Also Duke Quintin IV is gay and just got married, so we'll see what happens there.

So just as it looked like my game would be bogged down due to the massive expansion of the Fatamids, the game throws me a bone as a massive rebellion takes place and the Fatamid empire is sent into a huge civil war. As most of the rebels were Italian based, I managed to pick off the last province on the Isle of Silicy, then picked up the toe part of the boot.
Then one of my sons kills my heir, having looked at the stats of the murderer, I decide to aid him in his quest to become heir by imprisioning and executing everyone of my former heirs male children. So now my new heir was uber heir (not one stat below 13 I believe). He came to power after I was killed in battle. Then he finishes off the job and manages to take control of enough provinces to declare himself Sultan of Sicily. The Sultan of Tunisa took exception to this and invades but is beaten off by a large group of well payed mercs. With another province in Italy accepting my kind offer to come under my protection, there just remains about 5 provinces to pick up to have all the Kingdom of Siciliy provinces.

The gods are good!

Quintin_Stone wrote:

I've been thrown in jail suddenly and for no reason as well.

No need to pretend here, Q. We all know you were asking for it.

She said she was 18.

So, my French game was going good, despite all my duchies getting inherited by an underage homosexual. He still sired children. However, somehow the marriage was matrilinear! WTF, not sure how that happened. I probably got a marriage offer when I was his dad and agreed, without noticing the matrilinear bit.

With many decades of rule under my homosexual belt, I decided to force my liege to change succession to Seniority, because with the matrilinear marriage, my children and heirs would not be of my dynasty and when I died, the game would end. My liege decided to go to war rather than change succession, so we fought for many years. I was winning but of course died just before I could achieve victory. Game over.

Started over as a Spanish king and been having great success. As king of Galicia, your two brothers are also kings of Castile and Leon. Since I saw that my heir was my brother, king of Castile, I decided not to get married or have kids, so that upon my death the kingdoms would consolidate peacefully. My brother was not so patient, and attacked our other brother, combining Castile and Leon. So when I died, I became the king of all three.

My lowest point came a few generations later when my aunt declared me a pretender of the Castile throne and rebelled with most of the dukes. At the same time, one of the Muslim emirs declared war for Galicia and, like they always do, got all his emir buddies to join him. The war dragged on for a very long time. A Castilian duke had a ridiculous amount of armies. An army 15k strong. I was f*cking floored and almost surrendered when I saw that nonsense.

It turns out he conscripted two holy orders! So he had 15,000 troops that wouldn't even fight against me, only our Muslim neighbors. So bam, I stopped running and smashed their armies instead. Eventually she agreed to white peace and I was able to focus my soldiers on the invasion of Galicia.

With that repelled, I decided to destroy the titles of Castile and Leon! Haha! No claimants to those titles anymore. I created the title of the Kingdom of Portugal and now I am trying to grab enough land to become the Emperor of Hispania.

So, I take it this game meets with your approval?

Yes, though at times it can be very frustrating.

Double posting for posterity!

The frustrations make the good times better!

IMAGE(http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/903236506317622161/4D3801624752EF16634EC5CEBBAB855F1C267EC0/)

Assemble the giant razor slide!

I am finally the emperor of Hispania!

Tagging.

I like this game, it's relaxing and fustrating all together.

And I see Quintin's picture of his game, without knowing what he is doing!

Hi folks - I read some of the tales on this page, and they actually made me register for the purpose of sharing the story of my own, very first game. All was going so well, until it failed EPICALLY. What an awesome game...

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The history of the House of Dukljanin - Dukes of Duklja, and later Kings of Serbia - is long, though at 150 years, not nearly as long as some of the foremost houses in Europe. The Dukljanins did not excel at warfare, but instead at careful and steadfast management of their holdings. And so, their downfall was not to come in war either. No, the real tragedy of the House of Duklajanin was to become known as the "Tragedy of the Nannies". We shall tell you of the end of this proud dynasty, caused by one or two rash and ill-considered choices...

For much of their history Duklja and Serbia's lot was composed of slow, careful building of their holdings, interspersed by extremely irregular and limited wars when a few nearby independent holdings were conquered. Then, nothing would happen for decades and decades, while these conquests were digested and incorporated into Serbia. Substantial changes mostly were limited to slowly increasing taxes on the vassals, and doing away with the Gavelkind succession, which constantly threatened to fracture the land among multiple heirs in the early part of the dynasty.

During all that time, ALL the Serbian kings steadfastly refused all Calls to Arms - "make war like a Serbian" was an epithet in most of Europe's courts when again the Serbian King sent a polite note of apology, instead of troops. But what did the Serbian King in his castle in Cavtat care for some remote relatives calling him craven? They barely knew were he reigned, so what did HE care about THEM? He had to husband the strength of his small kingdom, surrounded by the imperial behemoths of Byzantine and the enormous Muslim Empires - which the Serbian Kingdom kept at peace with via constant flying diplomacy of their various Chancellors. At least in the later years of the Dynasty, the Byzantines started to fade, while the infidels splintered and were no more such a mortal threat...

Probably the most daring thing the dynasty ever did during that period was when Vladmir II broke from the long-held tradition of peace and placating and cajoling, to grab one of the Muslim provinces in Albania while they were busy with one of their internal schisms. And of course, when he conquered Belgrade from a slowly failing Byzantium - to reunify the full extent of the de jure Kingdom of Serbia. Not knowing of course that Countess Demetra of Belgrade would be one of the worst thorns in the flesh of the next several rulers of his house - hanging on to life like a gray spider for many many decades, constantly intriguing against the house that she had (if forcibly) sworn vassalage to.

Vladmir II's son Berbat was a drooling imbecile - a full-grown man needing a regent. However, it was not him, who caused the end of the House. No, he had the decency to die in bed only a month after having become king, to hand his throne to his much more capable twin brother Berbat, who would become known as "Berbat the Fat".

Now of course, some would suspect Berbat of having murdered his twin. But until that time, the House of Dukljanin had become known for one more thing - apart from being craven cowards who never ventured beyond their borders - namely for being a house almost without intrigue, where everyone was (mostly) steadfast to each other, everyone was of Serbian culture, and everyone was of the Orthodox faith (even if the first king of the dynasty had been Catholic, but he was long gone, and seldom spoken about except in legendary terms).

In short, a dynasty at peace with itself - even if bribes were paid and titles rearranged on a seemingly yearly basis - to get ahead in the Serbian Court, they said, you needed to show that you disliked the king. Not really deeply - just enough so he would give you a title, a honour, or some money to become loyal again. It worked for a lot of people over the decades.

So, no, Berbat didn't kill his twin. And Berbat in fact went on to rule Serbia mostly wisely for 28 years, as long as his father, and only 3 years less than Vladmir I, the Old. Berbat's fault was not caring too much about whoever educated his sons...

Bratislav - later to become Bratislav I - was Berbat's firstborn son. The king probably made the fateful decision about his guardian while distracted by the one single long war he fought (conquering Belgrade, followed by hammering down several MORE Byzantine provinces - until the Basileus gave in, and agreed to return Belgrade to it's rightful king).

Bratislav thus was given to be educated into the hands of a Spanish Catholic princess, who had come to the cold, windswept court of Cavtat from the sun-drenched fields of Castille, to marry another minor noble. Young and poetic, she told child Bratislav many stories of her former homeland, and talked to him about the truth of the Catholic faith. Little did Bratislav's father suspect that once his son would become a man, he would feel himself Castilian, and Catholic. A foreigner in the court he had grown up in, surrounded by men who prayed in a different fashion than he did, and pining for a land he had never seen.

Berbat's decision to marry his son off to a Finnish princess didn't exactly help the youth's later adolescence either. It could be debated whether this marriage was a shrewd move or not - when Serbia suddenly ruled a part of Finland, things only got more confused after all. Why did a Castilian Catholic from a Serbian Orthodox dynasty rule amongst the Finnish Pagans? Nobdy knew - such were the vagaries of time and fate. Half a world away, and many worlds apart.

Bratislav hated the icy lake country of Finland, even though it also gave him some of his only pleasures, hunting the mighty stags roaming there. But while his skill at arms, and hearty manner in fighting endeared him to his men at arms, his vassals grumbled. Why would they follow a man who dreamed of a land he didn't belong to, while ruling in another he also didn't belong to? What a confused man. What a confused future king!

The fact that his only son died in infancy, and he only sired daughters otherwise... well, it didn't make things easier when his father died.

And so it came to pass, after a few more years - Berbat the Fat died, and Bratislav I ascended the throne, returning to Serbia from the icy north, leaving behind a possession that the Serbian Court still had little idea what to do with... except banish troublemakers to.

Bratislav's early years - for he was to have no more than a few early years - were hectic. Everyone hated him. If not for his Castilian pretensions, then for his Catholic faith. Or for the fact that his heir was a daughter. Or for his inexperience at ruling - as if there was something wrong with having to start somewhere! Factions sprung up everywhere, noble and burgher and clerical vassals all grumbled (though none rebelled outright - the Serbian tradition of honour still held strong). To make it even harder, various hangers-on from Scandinavia had come with him to his knew court, making trouble and fitting in as badly as he did, and limiting his ability to appoint new advisors.

But Bratislav at least showed some of the aptitude of his family - scheming and cajoling, bribing vassals with sacks of gold like he was handing out waterskins, awarding titles, and giving away some of his own demesne to placate some of the worst enemies. It was a difficult time, and if Serbia's outside enemies had chosen to exploit it, the kingdom might have fallen right there and then.

But Bratislav held on grimly, trying to ride the storm. Knowing that his Castilian dreams were never realistic, he gave his children into the hand of steadfast Orthodox Serbians, so the next generation, at least, might be more at peace with their courts and vassals. But in the end, after only 3 years of reign, depression struck him due to all the hate he was subjected to, and he eventually died of it.

Thus began the reign of the last of the House of Duklja, Queen Anderquina. She was faced with an almost worse situation than her father at the start. At least she was Orthodox, and of Serbian culture - but she was a woman! In the balkans, such foolishness - and on the throne! - was hard to bear for many of the bearded morons that made up her court. Worse, she herself only had daughters in turn - would this nightmare never end? Nobody liked the ruler of Serbia. Again.

And yet, she had the blood of her father, and his forefathers - for she did not give up. Never! Initially too young to rule outright, she impatiently waited out the 2 years of regency until she gained maturity. Then she really started into it, scheming, bribing, rewarding, awarding, plotting like the best of the Duklja. Her enemies had given her half a year. She was to last 15-and-a-half years longer on the throne.

But again, she made a mistake, and it was to prove the last dagger in the dynasty's chest. For when it came to marriage - she needed a male heir - she was too trusting, or something went wrong with the papers, or whatnot - for she married the King of Norway. In a traditional marriage!

What foolishness. Had she not realised what she was doing? Had there been some plot? [PLAYER'S NOTE: I THINK I JUST f*ckED THIS UP ROYALLY BY NOT CHECKING THE MARRIAGE PROPOSAL SCREEN CORRECTLY - BUT THEN RAN WITH IT ANYWAY, BECAUSE IN A WAY IT SEEMED FUN AND I DIDN'T WANT TO SAVE-CHEAT]

So she was suddenly married to the King of Norway, and all male heirs she bore would now suddenly be of HIS dynasty. The end of her line was close.

So she set about trying to change things. Necessity caused a horrible thought to grow in her chest - her husband would have to die, so a new husband could be married matrilineally. One who would give her sons of her own name. So she set to work - the first Duklja ruler to attempt murder in her own direct family. A queen to murder her king.

Various means were prepared. Plotters from her court were invited. More men were included in the plot by bribery and cajoling. And more and more. At one point, it seemed like half the courts of Serbia were involved in this new game of regicide, which before, they never had a chance to play at. Mercenaries were hired for enormous costs to ambush the king, but failed several times. A snake was slipped into bed, and yet the king lived still.

At least the plot stayed secret initially, even if Anderquina's heart bled for what she had to do. Confused and feeling the guilt, or maybe trying to hide it, she became particularly close to the man who had by now given her several children - but not of HER dynasty, may God damn him! - until he became besotted with her. Even when one of the plotters, deep in his cups, betrayed the murder plot in public, the King of Noway, her husband, initially stayed faithful to her. After all, she was still young, barely 25. Which, she cycnically considered, showed how little men think with their heads, and how much with their loins.

Soon after, however, her Patriarch reminded her that maybe she would not have to damn her soul to hell, just to keep her dynasty intact. She could just divorce him, on some spurious reason! After all, she was Queen, wasn't that was it was for?

She had to pay a high price in piety to the church, something which she could not have achieved earlier in her reign. But by now, she had been the Queen of Serbia for almost a decade, and was actually quite secure in her seat. So the divorce was granted, and a young noble - of unimportant lineage except for a physique which promised male heirs - was married post-haste.

Yet still, things were not resolved. The damnable laws of succession ensured that one of the King of Norway's sons remained her heir instead. A... DYNASTIC CUCKOO... he had slipped into her lineage! To add to the problems, the King would just not LEAVE HER COURT! Did he not have some Kingdom in Norway to rule or whatever? She should have imprisoned her jilted, divorced, almost-assassinated husband. Instead, she called off the murder plots, and let him alive, even trying to make amends. The tragedy was fast nearing its end.

Her morals must have been addled by years of plotting the death of such a close man, for now she turned on the obstructive child that was blocking the ascendance of the new male heir - which had quickly arrived, for Anderquina was fertile, and had already born half a dozen children, including two new sons. Dynastic sons!

So she turned to the worst of the worst - attempting to murder her own child for a strange and terrible thread of dynasty that must not be interrupted. The assassins were paid a queen's fortune, more than the kingdom made in 3 years. They failed. Several years later, she tried again. They failed once more. Every time, though, she escaped with her reputation intact - probably because the assassins were more concerned with getting away from Serbia with their ill-gotten wealth than they were with spreading the truth about her terrible plots.

Finally, the curtains set one night in the Serbian countryside. Mercenaries surrounded her coach, while her faithless guards suddenly melted away. Thuggish men with swords pulled her from the carriage - and as her death descended, she saw her former husband standing in the treeline, a fixed grin on the face as his assassins slew the woman who had attempted to murder him, and the son of his line.

As she died with a sword through her chest - but her soul free of the stain of successful infanticide - Anderquina thought: "God have mercy on that foolish King, for he and his son will find Serbia hard to rule."

ingolfson wrote:

Great AAR

Daaaaamn.

I love this game.