GWJ Strategy Club Game 9: Crusader Kings 3

Moggy wrote:

So I completed the tutorial. I then started a new game as the Jarl of Yorvik. Successfully subjugated the north.

Married a daughter off to a Jarl in Iceland, hoping to get be able to use him as an ally when I continue my march north into Scotland. Instead I keep getting pulled into his bs grudge matches with the other side of Iceland and now I'm in debt.

I'm so confused by all the names and titles that I find it hard to decide what to do next. I've got 4 strapping sons who are available to be married, so thinking of marrying into the various Baronies in the north of Wessex (just south of me) to see if I can expand south that way.

If you can get to the point of where your armies aren’t tied up in wars, raise them all as raiders and sail around picking up gold. Just hover over an enemy territory and it will tell you how much you can sack from it. Just look for smaller countries to raid because the king of France will drop the hammer on you if you try to raid one of his wealthy areas.

Just because you joined someone else’s war doesn’t mean you have to raise your army. There is no draw back unless their title is at stake.

I's been a few days, but I got a few more hours into the extended tutorial.

Started a war and took three more counties in Ireland. I then got a pop up that said I could become King of Ireland, if I got some more money, which I was short on at the moment. I did some rough math, and it meant that I have to wait 4-5 years. But then I asked the Pope for 100 gold, which helped. It would still take awhile, though. Also, my wife was plotting to kill my nephew for some reason. I decided to leave it alone, and nothing came of it.

And I married my daughter to the 10 year old prince of England when she turned 16, since that seems like it could be useful down the line. Hopefully it won’t get me pulled into hundreds of wars with Sweden or something. I then started a new bonus war against another tiny county in the north, since my Chancellor or somebody came up with an excuse to fight them through a loophole in a treaty (this was an event, not a planned scheme of any sort).

But then my character died to illness at the age of 61, even through I had my doctor treat me as best he could. So then the reins passed down to the son, Petty King Brian II.

So then begins the scramble to settle things. My council mainly remained unchanged, but I had to put a guy I just conquered onto the council, which promised to be dangerous since he really, really didn’t like our family. But then he immediately died of old age, which solved that issue. And I had to sway the chaplain for a bit to get a positive score with him.

With my focus still on taking all of Ireland, I saved up my money until I could afford the title of king, which gave me the CB to start taking the last few counties. The one thing I can’t figure out is why I would want to create a Dutchy (of three counties, including one I don’t have), when I can just wait awhile longer and get king of the whole island. Is there any upside to taking creating the dutchy first before buying the title of king? I think I get the idea of creating the dutchies after, for inheritance purposes or something. Not super clear on best way to play that.

So even though the directed tutorial ended awhile ago, there are still lots of tooltips and popups walking me through stuff like death and titles and inventory. It’s been worthwhile to keep going.

Also, I got an event where my wife was trying to seduce me. I guess I don’t know why it was necessary. I’ve gotten it from random other people as well, but this one I’m like “why?” I went ahead and let her. I later had another event with her where I told her I loved her, and she basically gave me a “we’re better as friends” speech. Ouch.

But I took all of Ireland around year 1099! Conquered everyone, and have the whole island under my control. I’m not totally sure what would happen if my character were to die, like would some of my counties disappear or split off due to weird factionalism, but I suppose that’s how the game works, anyway. If I were to keep playing, I think I would either start building up some of my holdings to get more men or more money, or to create these dutchies. Any advice on the best way to spend that time and money?

I’ll probably start a real game soon for the achievements, though.

The seduction events with a spouse can be good for building their loyalty, or for revealing issues with the marriage.

As to the duchy, well... First, it's easier to prosecute a claim on a small territory like a county. Doesn't take as much of your, um, renown is it, to start the war. The crown. If you have a claim on a duchy, that gives you claims on the constituent counties as well, and of course you get more renown for being a Duke than an Earl or countess or whatever. So if you are a petty king, you might not be able to Claim a full Kingdom - you would not have enough renown - but you could afford to prosecute a claim on a Duchy. As a Duke, you can compete for a Kingdom.

Of course if you have other CBs you can take over a Kingdom as an Earl.

So creating a Duchy under your control will ensure that you and your heirs have claims to the Counties within it as well as the Duchy. More power, more vassals, more renown, easier to transfer upon death. But it also makes you a bigger target for someone looking to put the Duchies together into a Kingdom.

I hope that's not too far off. It's what I remember.

After watching the Northman Ive come to realize that as Viking king of Denmark I’m kind of the baddy. Doesn’t help that my current game hack has been raiding Europe, capturing gold and beautiful daughters, then trading said gold and concubines to get all the small tribal chiefs to join my growing empire.

Rather than continue with the tutorial again, I played Ireland again for real, and basically speedran for the Emerald Island achievement with Petty King Murchad. First thing was several people asked to vassalize, so they joined me for free, which saved me some time. Not really sure why/how that happened. In the meantime, I was constantly fabricating claims and stomping on weak neighbors.

Something that really helped in this game as opposed to the tutorial is that I had good steward this time, so I had a bunch of random gifts of 100 and 50 gold, which helped fund improving my infrastructure to get more levies and monthly gold, which helped with the steamrolling. Plus I ransomed everyone I captured in wars for even more gold.

One similarity is that Murchad got sick in his early 60s again, but this time survived with the help of leeches, instead of dying outright.

In the meanwhile, Scotland took Ulster, which was weird and meant I had to fight them. My army was much better than theirs and I had more money, so I started the war. Murchad died during the war of old age (a year or so after his wife), and the son Brian was the new player character. I then stomped their army a couple of times, won the war, took Ulster, and then spent the money to create the Kingdom of Ireland, getting me the achievement.


Poor Murchad; he was like 18 months away from his life’s work of creating the kingdom himself.

I plan to stick with this run for awhile, so I guess the next big mission is to take the isles and form the empire of Britannia. Probably going to work on developing my island to get more money and troops, and maybe try to get a foot in the door of the main island through marriage. If Murchad was the rapid expansion ruler, Brian is going to be the consolidation ruler, before I make my next move in his son’s rule. First issue though, is doling out some titles, since I have too many and everyone is mad. You become a king, and suddenly everyone wants stuff.

I put some more time in today, with some uneven results. I’ve now reached the “I finished newbie island, and now I don’t actually know what I’m doing” portion of the learning curve.

Since I had all these titles and people were mad at me for holding them, I started dishing them out to people to get under the limit. Except with them went all my income; I went from like 8-9 gold per month to 1-2. which is a huge setback for building up the island. And then a series of bad events stressed my king the heck out. I think I got attacked by a Duke of part of Wales, who I beat down and then got some land from; but then I started a war to get the rest, and lost it. Then Brian (and his heir) both died. It was a glorious start to his reign, but sort of turned into a downward spiral after giving away titles that I never really pulled myself out of. I’m not totally sure what the correct play was. Wait it out and create some higher titles instead when I had more money?

Rule jumped to the grandson, so now I’m playing as a a 7 year old High King Folachtach mac Dunacan of Ireland. And in general, and I seem way weaker as a nation than I should be considering where I was not that long ago when we formed the kingdom. Then a faction rose up against me in my chunk of Wales, and we crushed them at high expense and debt (with mercenaries, mostly).

But then I got old enough, and was able to arrange a betrothal to the second daughter of the king of England. I was 11, and she 7, so it’s almost sort of precocious. And my lifestyle choice was Intrigue, so I guess it’s time to get ready for some old fashion murdering to get to the crown. Then yet another faction rose up against me in Wales, but this time my buddy the king of England came to my rescue.

I really need to just get rid of Wales or something. It’s causing me nothing but headache. And one county of the full Kingdom of Wales is sitting in England, so it’s not like I’m taking that by force anyway.

Also, I improved my crown authority, and can maybe start revoking titles. Is that worth doing to start getting my income back? Maybe get some hooks on my vassals and use that to revoke titles? I’m just sort of guessing what to do here.


But then, miracles of miracles, none of that saved for some reason in my ironman mode. So when I booted it up again, I was back as Brian where I had started, with too many dutchies again and people angry about it. And everything that happened above the dotted line got wiped out and is basically just a dream sequence now, for all intents and purposes. I had a great lesson learned, and I'm going to try to not mess that up again.

So the second time, I was able to give away the Petty Kingdom titles (and destroy one), without losing all my income! I’m still not 100% sure what I did differently, but I retain about 7 gold income per month, and everyone is happy. My original plan of building up the island and trying to marry into power is back on track. Especially since all my neighbors on the main island have nearly twice as much manpower as I do (through alliances and the like).

Also, Brian got ill and the doctor cured him with goat farts, apparently. Going for the radical treatment is a wild ride.

Okay. Now to the second big part of the game design, Sundown, after storytelling. The CK series builds in failure, in order to give you a story build by adapting to it and recovering from it. You are meant to build up when you can, but inevitably after a good run of leaders, their offspring will descend into nepotism and incompetency and venal sinning, after which your stronger subordinates and enemies will reappear in the picture suddenly, usually in the dark or on a deserted forest road. Your lands will slip through your fingers, you alliances will break, you'll be back to marrying your kids off to the Chieftain of Wildershire's cousin's daughter, the one with the webbed fingers and toes who only speaks Latvian and worships disturbingly tentacled icons.

And from there, the story *really* starts to happen.

Emperor Deroch died after a 60-year reign.

Yes, Emperor. They made me Holy Roman Emperor again, despite my wishes. I was by far the biggest kid on the block so there was really no way to avoid it. Fearing another succession mess, I grabbed a few more counties and founded the Baltic Empire, then made that my primary title.

I outlived my wife, and my son and heir Rudolf inherited Hungary as planned. Right on schedule, he got a war with his rebellious vassals, so I helped put it down.

When Deroch died, the Baltic Empire and its massive cash reserve went to Rudolf, while the electors gave the Holy Roman Empire to his brother, Deroch II. Drawing borders in this kind of succession is always messy: Deroch II controls some counties in the Baltic that he inherited directly, along with the de jure HRE, but Rudolf is still the lord of some of the western counties that are de jure part of Francia, besides the Baltic Empire.

Both sons immediately had to put down rebellions. I (Rudolf) requested an alliance, which may have been a mistake as Deroch II drew the much larger opposing force. But, I inherited all the money so it's only fair that I spend some of it bailing my brother out, right? These simultaneous rebellions, along with all the foreign powers that joined through alliances, add up to probably the biggest single war Europe has seen to this point. At this point my brother's war is still going, but I've forced my own vassals to surrender, so I have some titles to revoke and distribute.

Robear wrote:

but inevitably after a good run of leaders, their offspring will descend into nepotism and incompetency and venal sinning, after which your stronger subordinates and enemies will reappear in the picture suddenly, usually in the dark or on a deserted forest road.

Who are you subtweeting? Rudolf is a very good diplomat, but he's also a stressed-out drunkard and I'm not sure how long he'll last. And his children... Prince Deroch is an adulterer who got arrested by his wife. No sympathy there, I disinherited him. Except that makes his younger brother Jenec the heir. Jenec is inbred, for reasons that are not obvious as I look at his family tree. If I end up playing as him it'll be a rough ride. Their sister Katharina, on the other hand, is very talented and promising... and betrothed to a landless 61-year-old former duke but who got his title revoked. So the way forward seems to be break that betrothal or just wait for him to die (or hurry him along), then disinherit Jenec, and leave Katharina in charge.

Inbred, eh? Might be some secrets lurking in *that* court, waiting to be discovered...

I've been playing as Halfdan Hvitserk in the 867 Jorvik start, and while I expected a good situation, what I've got is just an embarrassment of opportunities. The only things holding me back are money and glory (whatever it's called), and Culture. I allied all my brothers and their kids and a few other Scandinavian Viking Chieftains and Thegns, so I can overpower just about any force in England (except the losers who allied with Charles the Bald).

So far I've taken and declared the Duchy of Northumbria, and begun work on assimilating the Anglo-Saxon leaders into my vassals. I'm learning their uncultured language, and I have to keep them happy with money and feasts and titles, and the occasional beatdown, but my Dread helps too, after I captured Petty King Aella and blood-eagled him in the center of Jorvik. (Him and his mythical snakes...) I've also started dueling some terrible Fornicators to make a few bucks, and even raiding into Wessex.

So now I have the ability to declare about 9 wars. I have a strong heir and good family, with ties to other Asatru Norse. I'm looking at land grabs, maybe northern Scotland, maybe Wessex. But I can only take a county at a time unless I can set up a title usurpation. Once I make it to the level where I can capture Duchies, I'll be set, if I live that long.

The game is just soooo rich and eventful now. Everything is well-explained and it's far easier to determine how to attempt tasks, what the results might be and more importantly, how to translate desires into game terms to act on them. Paradox has done incredibly well with this since release; this is my first big foray into it in over a year and I'm just staggered by what they have added and improved.

Things were going along smoothly, I inherited most of Deheubarth (in wales) through my son for some reason (probably a marriage I forgot about), I spent money building up the infrastructure (now up to 8.5 gold per month, and then my king suddenly died. Thus ended the rule of High King Brian.

With my new king Dunacan leaning towards the diplomatic tree, I starting working on moving the pieces across the chessboard. I married my son to the heir of Gwynedd, and with my own claim on Deheubarth, I basically had a clear shot to all of Wales, in a generation or two. Plus, being a diplomat let me strike up an alliance with Scotland without a marriage (it was with a cousin, I beleive), giving us superior numbers over England between the alliance members. The only thing now was to wait for the right time to try to take a chunk out of England. In the meantime, I was building buildings and holdings everywhere I could, in order to grow my future income and military. Almost all of the money generated or gifted went towards this effort.

But the military situation was nearly taken out of my hands, as Gwynedd wanted to take a chunk out of England that would get them closer to forming the kingdom of Wales themsleves, and called me along for the ride. Minus the Scots, of course, to make it harder. I opted to stay out and take the crown hit, since without the Scots, we didn’t stand a chance. And Gwynedd got stomped, and then England attacked them back, and took a chunk out of them. If you take a shot at the king, you best not miss.

I waited it out, though, and a few years later, decided to finally press a claim I had for one of the counties in England right next to Deheubarth. And this was an absolutely cataclysmic war of attrition, with thousands dying on all sides. I pulled in Scotland and Gwynedd, and England pulled in a couple of random allies, and we took turns throwing our doomstacks at each other and sieging everything. We started off winning the war since we had superior numbers, but it seemed that England was able to replenish it’s men faster than we were, and our side started getting ground down and were at risk of losing the war outright, until a daughter or something was old enough to marry, and I shipped her off to Poland and got their army to help out. That finally turned the tide that I needed to push the English back, and win the war. But it was not without cost. Two of my sons were murdered, including the heir and the one who married into Gwynedd, so my claims there in the future were lost. I’m pretty sure my rival, the Earl of Ormond, was behind it; he had been denied a seat on my council for decades but I had ignored him since his stats sucked, and had started up several factions against me, and was even seen talking with my heir at one point off in the shadows. The bad Earl did die in the war, at least.

So in the end, we were able to take the single county that we wanted, but it’s hard to say it was actually worth it. Even though the game told me we had a superior military force (with all the allies), it was still way too close for comfort. Two lessons learned – don’t mess with England so flippantly, and also I probably need learn how to manage my army better. But Dunancan was hugely stressed out, and after deciding that drinking wasn’t helping, also took up to whipping himself to ease the pain. Shortly after the war, his wife died, and High King Dunacan finally succumbed to drinking himself to death at the age of 65. He oversaw the stabilization and strengthening of the kingdom after it had expanded under his predecessors, with tons of money spent upgrading the infrastructure, so that I was pulling in 16 golf per month, more than double what he started with. He also founded a Holy Order, since that seemed like it’s probably good, although I’m not sure exactly what it is or what to do with it. He also also achieved High Crown authority, to help grow the king’s power further.

His 11 year old grandson, Natfraech would take over as king in his stead. And things area already off to a rough start. All of my available courtiers have terrible skills (except the marshal, who hates my guts), and I’m back to having no income since I only have Thormond in my Domain. Whoops, should have granted more titles to the heir, I guess. In the meantime, England split into England and Northumbria, and Northumbria waged a war to take the county I won in the last war (that I quickly lost, making the whole war his grandfather fought pointless), my Marshall is about to lead a revolt, and I have no troops and no income since I don’t have any titles. And since he took the throne early, he became sort of a mama’s boy, and she expects to have a say in how things are run. In unrelated news, he has an intrigue focus, which gives me an idea on how I may go about trying to rebuild Ireland's wealth and power.

Next up for me, figuring out how succession works going forward, since I’m assuming everyone gets bitten by succession laws some point. It looks like I need heraldry to get High Partitions, but my character isn’t currently the culture head (it’s my uncle and spymaster instead), so I can’t move in that direction for awhile. I guess it's also time to start trying to murder my uncles and brothers who have the lands that I want; everyone is under the age of 26, so no one’s dying of natural causes any time soon. And maybe figuring out how to get courtiers with status above 10. And finally, that I should start forbidding courtiers I don't want to die from being knights, and forcing those I want dead to go out there instead. I think I lost a few good council members in the big war that way.

So many things to think about, but once the game is up and running, it's really not that scary. It's just the constant surprise of things you didn't know about tripping you up, but in a game where you don't really "win," such problems are more acceptable.

That's a great narrative! Very much real life for the time.

I love reading all the narratives! I wish I had better news in my campaign but I made the mistake of being a good 21st guy and allowing women to equally inherit. This was a bad idea on multiple levels - first it created more children to divide titles among. Second and more importantly, it sets up a situation 3 generations down the line where you lose the game because you have no heir (your daughter marries your eldest granddaughter off matrilineally).

Oh well. I’m still debating if I stay in the Viking age, jump forward to 1066 and try a holy land game or just wait till Iberia comes out.

I plan on getting started this weekend. I know, I am on top of things.

Not sure where I will play, maybe a count in the HRE somewhere. Almost certainly will be the 867 start.

Thanks for the write-ups, keep'em coming please!

Young king Natfraech had grown up seeing the glory of his household, and was angered when he found that due to simple succession laws, had barely any land while his grandfathers had been Kings. He was a young boy who would lash out from time to time, and quickly got the taste for blood; at the age of 12 he sent a random prisoner to the dungeons to be flayed to death on a whim, earning himself the nickname ‘The Flayer.’

His Earl and Marshall (the one who hated me) gained enough power to revolt and declare war on me. Allies were called to defend, but they did not send their troops, and so our hero was captured and imprisoned. The Marshall declared himself the new king of Ireland, and made Natfraech a vassal after releasing him from jail. And so our family found itself back where it started several generations ago – holding Munster, with the rest of the island split up. Thus would begin a plan to take back my island. First problem – we could not declare any wars against the other counties, since the new laws forbid it unless I have a hook on my liege. So we were temporarily stuck without the option of expanding.

And to add insult to injury, the new high king (who is extremely fond of Natfraech because he was trying to sway the then-Marshall so he wouldn’t revolt in the first place) makes me his Marshall in turn. Natfraech would not stand for the indignity, and used his natural intrigue and started fabricating hooks against his wife and people around him, and biding his time until I could get the Swift Execution perk from the skullduggery skill tree. Suddenly, there was a 95% success rate for the regicide, so the plan started in earnest. The usurper king's wife was even leveraged in the scheme. I don’t know if he was hearing footsteps or not, but he forged a claim on taking Thormond from, so I eagerly watched as the scheme plot ticked upward. And then suddenly, his convoy was ambushed in the woods by some bandits, and he was tragically slain.

What a shame.

And then the new liege made Natfraech spymaster, since he had a knack for this sort of thing. The offer was graciously accepted, of course. And not long after that, the new king (who’s name I never learned) drank some bad wine and met his end. Strange, that. And then accidents happened to his son. And then his son. But things seemed no closer to throwing off the lieges and earning our freedom. So then, I thought it might be time to press my claim as on the Kingdom of Ireland again, but Natfraech's war failed since his allies did not arrive in time, and with it, his claim to the Kingdom of Ireland was stripped. But rock bottom was not hit yet, since Natfraech suddenly grew ill, and had to summon for a doctor. We were already in debt after the war, so we went with the budget option, and had them try something risky. Yadda, yadda, yadda, now Natfraech only had one leg. And when the new, new, new king tried to depose our protagonist, he resisted (and tried to murder the king and failed on a 95% roll) and got stomped and deposed anyway. And thus ended the reign of Natfreach. He ruled for 18 years and murdered some people, but really didn’t accomplish much else other than dying wounded and alone in a jail cell. Despite all his rage, he was still just a rat in a cage.

Young Duke Doedgus took the throne, and he was worse off than his great-great-(several more greats) grandfather Murchad before him, since he had no money and was in debt, but also couldn’t expand and invade the counties nearby to grow, due to the rules of the kingdom. So he was landlocked to just the original land of Thormond and Ennis, and had no real way to expand back across the island unless he was independent, and didn’t have the military capacity to break away.

Fortunately, he was a much more capable steward of his counties than his forefathers were, so he would focus on growing what little he had, as well as his family.

First he had to stop being broke and getting broker all the time. He did this through several means – first, by downsizing the various military regiments and strip them for parts to stop bleeding money, especially since they couldn't be used. He also had to beg the pope for money several times, and even looked at the Decision to sell worthless titles for cash (he wasn’t that desperate, though). And due to his position, he even had several plots against him, one of which involved a cousin and courtier, the Count of Ennis (the other county in his domain). After finding out and publicly exposing the plot, Doedgus chose to magnanimously forgive his blood relative, but that also earned a loyalty hook on on the cousin that permitted requiring “donation” of 50 gold every 5 years, which Doedgus happily accepted. All of this (over the course of decades) helped turn the finances from a weakness to a strength for the small realm. In time, through outside funding and his own growing ability as a steward of the realm, permitted him to start upgrading his holdings again, particularly the castles – this would make it easier to defend what little land he had in case the family got into another war on the island. You know, if someone wanted to break free for some reason.

And the second part was to grow the family, and have many children to form alliances and gain claims to new lands to get off of this forsaken island. Fortunately, the Irish culture permits polygamy, and so Doedgus took multiple wives (generally having two or three at a time) and fathered many children. so they could be married off to get claims and allies.

He grew his influence by marrying several daughters to the King of Ireland, thus gaining allies and protection on the island, and taking foreign wives for himself, one of which was a princess of Norway. This gave (a now much more mature) Doedgus a claim to the entire Kingdom of Norway. A few other key marriages and alliances were put in place to gain allies near Norway who could help in a war of conquest. And then at the ripe age of 51, he took his first and greatest move, pulling in many allies (and mercenaries) and ground the King of Norway down, rejecting his White Peace offering, and eventually claimed the title of King of Norway for himself. And then quickly learned that there are elections or something crazy going on up north.

But while Doedgus was trying to figure out how elections worked, he died suddenly, and the title of King of Norway went to someone new. At least our dynasty still had a two new counties buried deep in Norway, and we had successfully made it out of Ireland. (see Munster in the bottom left of Ireland and the green part in Norway)

Doedgus started from the bottom, worked slowly but surely to strengthen his small realm, and in one flash of glory became King of a new land. But death before consolidation can lead to problems, as his predecessors had learned.

His son, Doedgus II would take over next, and was trying to figure out how politics and who the players were in his new land. But before long, the rest of Ireland came knocking to take Thurmond, and won with overwhelming force. And with it, and my titles and lands gone (since what I had in Norway didn't count apparently), my game ended.


This was definitely a ride. I think we were on a good footing back when we had the Kingdom of Ireland, but losing a bunch of titles upon death really was the death knell for this run, although I didn't know that when it happened. And I feel like I did a lot of stuff wrong and tried to do some big splashy plays that didn't totally work out, but it was a good learning experience.

I'll probably take a break to work on other things on the pile for a bit, but I plan to get back to this one. And I'm looking forward to the AARs from others in the club.

I bounced off of CK2, but since this is on Gamepass, I’m debating it. Is anyone playing it on the Xbox? I spend all day in my home office and wouldn’t mind a change of venue, but I can’t fathom a Paradox game on a controller.

The game is largely menu-based, so a controller should be no problem.

CK3 is extremely upgraded from CK2, especially in the way it presents and summarizes information for the player. Choices and options are presented as such through a summary pull-down menu, rather than just being implied by information buried 3 levels deep in a list. So where CK2 would have to checking your diplomatic relations and trolling through to find places you could attack, CK3 neatly lists every potential justified war in the pull-down. It's very much easier to play without reducing the complexities that give the game it's interest.

Also, the story-telling components are more rich and there are many more of them. That means that even little things like character quirks and dislikes and rivalries can blossom into realm-threatening issues (or beneficial opportunities) at any time. And of course if you want to go the route of intriguing with witches and giants, well, there's always that chance too.

I've just started a new game in the 800s in Jorvik. I got a big chunk of Northumbria right off the bat, so now I'm picking counties off the Anglo-Saxon neighbors as truces allow. Right now I'm hoping things don't go too far to pieces when my character dies, though I did manage to dispose of a couple of sons in battle. Time to start thinking about succession I think.

Try a Feast to up your fame when you can afford it, qaraq. Try for the ability to declare Duchies as war goals.

I think I stressed out my Jarl by having trouble learning Anglic from his concubine. That must be rough; it was worse than losing a child, really. Might have contributed to his death.

I moved onto my heir and kept most of my lands except for a couple of counties in Ireland, but I don't care much about them. I still own the Duchy of Ulster but none of its counties, so I just gave the title to my brother-in-law and made it his problem. I had too many Duchy-level titles anyway. Unfortunately the new guy lost Illustrious fame before really getting a chance to use it. I have a Blot available so that should give me a chunk of fame if I can afford it.

I did the Danelaw event so now I'm the king of that; there's still a middle-sized Mercia between me and England that needs crushing, but I don't have the money to raise enough armies. That's my main problem now; minimal money and income. Time to do some more raiding into Mercia and Wales I suppose.

Started the tutorial. I've managed to take a few counties (Connacht and Breifne, in particular, in addition to the Desmond/Thomond/Ormond triad you exit the guided tutorial with).

King Aed of Connacht had, some years back, tried to fabricate a claim on Thomond; naturally, I seduced his wife, which he discovered. She was then imprisoned and died there. Enraged, I had my bishop help me "find" historical documents that gave me a claim on Connacht first, which I then invaded and laid siege to. A year or so later, his primary holdings were mine; Aed retreated to Breifne. My chancellor helped to invalidate the peace treaty with Aed, and my bishop repeated the same exercise -- and a few years down the line, I bequeathed the title to Breifne to my second son.

In the wars for Aed's land, my kind was badly wounded and horrifically disfigured, and now wears an iron mask. Not long after, my son and young master of Breifne had an...interesting experience:


Malcolm ever as doggedly, indeed.

The Danelaw is expanding into Wales, so I've had my King busily learning Anglic and Brythonic; an artifact that gives bonuses to language learning has been helpful there.

Some guy came to my court with a claim on one of the duchies in the region so I said sure, it's been a couple of months since we had a nice war. Smacked the locals around a bit and now I have a new ducal vassal... and he immediately drops to -40 with me. Doesn't like me because I'm not Welsh, doesn't like that I'm Asatru, wants a seat on my council, blah blah blah. Buddy, you're duke because I put you there, but only of two counties, and now you whine? Eat me.

Then my player heir started a war for the kingdom that was about 60-40 against me before suddenly my King died. War's moot, new King now.

At this point Scotland and Ireland are a hodgepodge of Viking dukedoms with a smallish Alba, I control the middle, and a large but weak England the south. I don't have the military to take the place or the fame to get it in large chunks yet. So I'm not sure if I'm going to slowly build up money and troops before having a solid go at England, or try to finesse it. If I convert I can start intermarrying and see what I can get that way... is London worth a Mass?

Jarl Halfdan Hvitserk was god-kissed.

After putting his realm in order, he'd solidified about a half-dozen good alliances, both with his brothers and a few ambitious chieftains across the sea in his homeland. He had a credible heir in his very talented daughter, and other children besides, although of course he'd need to work on the old school Asatru believers to put her in place. And fresh off from two successful... no, *three* successful small wars against his neighbors, he was ready to rest a bit.

However, several of his allies were engaged in fighting off attacks, or in one case trying to take over neighbors. Jarl Halfdan magnanimously agreed to help them all; he of course could not be seen to refuse them, but who is to say whether the ships are ready to go? No one; that's the beauty of alliances. People are more understanding of failure in an accepted challenge, than declining that challenge outright. Well, unless the enemy comes calling to your hearth, but that is the warrior-king's risk.

So Halfdan's men spent the next few years campaigning on the peninsula, and a bit across the small sea on the mainland against tribal fanatics. Most of the campaigns - there were four - brought glory and acclaim to his family, but one... Well, one of his allies had tried to eat more than his belly could hold and so, yes, the ships did not sail for him. Many died as a result, but at least Jarl Halfdan's men were not thrown away like cracked dice for a cause that the All-Father had turned his face from.

Instead, the good Jarl instituted a program of building, learned the language of his Anglo-Saxon neighbors, and took a mistress to while away the time. His wife seemed understanding; she was constantly at his side, so doubtless she understood. When the mistress gave birth to a son, everyone celebrated, but after she demanded more privileges, Jarl Halfdan, who she should have remembered was a callous man, dismissed her without delay. She took to wandering and ended up in a foreign court, muttering and speaking against him, while her son lived the life of a Viking heir.

Eventually, Jarl Halfdan turned his eye towards the South. Wessex's attempted invasion of Northumbria with their Welsh allies had failed years ago, in his youth, but he had never forgotten it. He decided to call his allies and take the Northeastern earldom from the hands of the King. In a quick campaign, he broke the forces of Wessex and did just that. Soon after, a neighboring county fell the same same way.

God-kissed indeed.

And now, one of the other Anglo-Saxon kings brought a proposal. He would declare his kingdom the Land of the Angles - England - and recognize all the lands that Jarl Halfdan held as being subject to the "Law of the Danes" - the Danelaw. They could then each expand into neighboring territories, but not fight against each other; not brothers, but neighbors who had agreed on a peaceable way to split up the island. Nodding his approval at King Alfred's wisdom, Jarl Halfdan agreed, and with the chivvying of King Alfred's allies and the support of his own, he became King Halfdan Hvitserk.

But now, as King, he had certain responsibilities. He established his court, hanging his banner in Jorvik. His advisors soon convinced him to allow his subjects to come to court and have him settle disputes, adjudicate claims, and show that he could act as his people's King according to tradition.

King Jarl assented. God-kissed, he wanted all to know of his fairness and competence.

On the day, though, as the selected supplicants were brought in, a wild-eyed man - still armed - flew into the room seemingly in a rage, with the Jarl's guards in close pursuit. But he stopped short of the King's Champions, who stood between him and the King with bared blades. Eyeing them, he demanded that the King explain the death of his relatives across the sea in a war which had been lost after the King had failed to commit the forces he promised. Screaming his rage, he rejected the King's attempts to placate him, and asked the King to either compensate him then and there, or take his life so he could be with his lost family.

Shaking off his advisors, old King Halfdan took upon himself the memories of his battle-days and grabbed his mace. "I will happily give you the death you seek for your impudence", secure in the knowledge that this tale would be told widely and give him even more glory and notoriety. "Stand forward, and we will make a fighting field".

The fight started off well but the King was unable to break through the stranger's defenses, even though they were of an age. The man just would not leave an opening, and even though they both drew blood eventually, the King noticed that he was tiring from the effort. But how? He redoubled his efforts to no avail. Breathing heavily, he then changed tactics and began taunting and dodging, urging his opponent to greater efforts. At last, as his opponents anger rose red in his face, he judged the time was right and committed completed to the man-killing attack he'd used many times in battle to finish off opponents.

Dimly he realized that his opponent was somehow no longer where he struck, but his sword remained, and in his committed onslaught, somehow Halfdan had taken the sword in his chest. This was new to him and as he marveled, puzzled, and pawed at the hilt buried near his heart, the crowd noise and screams faded into darkness.

The kiss of the gods is perhaps more dangerous than loving.

Now begins the tale of King Knud, Halfdan's Danish nephew, who has come into a windfall inheritance solely by blood relations and the backing of multiple relatives. Is he up to the task? Or will he be a tool of others, unwittingly manipulated to the benefit of unknown forces? Only time shall tell how the chroniclers shall regard his time on the throne.

My Karling HRE run is done and I've finally unlocked the 1453 Era achievement!


By around 1300 or so I was mostly unstoppable so decided to have some fun with the stodgy Karling family and found the Von Zeppelin cadet branch. Converted to Adamitism, became an eager reveler and launched an unsuccessful holy war as first Robert and then Jimmy Von Zeppelin for England.



And my slightly NSFW royal court after my conversion:




Thank you for asking the question about what to do after the tutorial. I just completed the tutorial and was like, huh what exactly is it I am supposed to do now.

Some helpful suggestions in the messages. Thank you!

Sadly - despite voting for CK3, and playing a ton at launch - I failed at this challenge.

I tried the Chola dynasty of SE India, and loaded up the starting position of Dyre the Stranger (ruler of Kyiv in 867). Bounced off and got distracted by other games.

Oh well, another time...

Mind Elemental wrote:

Sadly - despite voting for CK3, and playing a ton at launch - I failed at this challenge.

I tried the Chola dynasty of SE India, and loaded up the starting position of Dyre the Stranger (ruler of Kyiv in 867). Bounced off and got distracted by other games.

Oh well, another time...

No worries if you have a game the college try you’ll get credit with the club. You also have two days left if you wanted to do one last try. The Viking DLC is fantastic and on sale if you’re interested.

I played and as usual I like it. And as usual ADHD led me in other directions. That’s why I’m not claiming a lot of games. I enjoy playing them but often don’t finish them.