King For Two Days: Crusader Kings II

By Adam Smith on February 16th, 2012 at 4:34 pm.

I haven't actually been a king at all, not even for an hour.
As many of you will have noticed, Crusader Kings II came out on Valentine’s Day. This, as it turns out, was a good thing. I’d already played the beta extensively and have only emerged from the full version when the fact of being a biological entity has demanded that I do so, or when the necessity to write about other things has arisen. I’m not ready to write extensively about wot I think yet – it’s a big game and I’ll be thinking lots about it – but it would be remiss not to acknowledge the release and the hours I’ve already enjoyed.

The original game’s mixture of roleplaying and grand strategy is intact, made more complex I feel but backed up by a robust set of tutorials. There are slight niggles, although the greatest so far is the sheer power of some pagan territories and that’s something that may be necessary for late game balance. To be honest, when that’s my biggest issue so far, I’m probably actively seeking something to grumble about.

I haven’t run into any crashes, and the game is far more in depth and satisfying than Sengoku, which it shares some mechanics and visual stylings with. Over the next few days, I’ll be taking a few different approaches, from forging mighty kingdoms and reclaiming distant lands for the Pope, to eking out an existence as a lowly vassal. I’ll be plotting and indulging in peccadilloes aplenty, but I’ll also make sure to walk the path of virtue and nobility. Here’s the launch trailer, which contains naught of those last two qualities.

What I won’t do in the next few days is experience all the possibilities on show because this, like its precursor, is a game rich with start points, journeys, narratives and glorious ways to decline.

For all that Crusader Kings II is a game about staring at maps and adjusting the flow of numbers, and it is those things, more than anything it is an engine for creating stories. So, while I forge an empire of words, who else has been playing already and what kind of medieval mischief have you been up to?

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65 Comments »

  1. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    Did they ever update/patch sengoku to adress some of the issues? It seemed very interesting but decided to wait until progress was made.

    • MyPetHamster says:

      With Paradox’s policy of requiring you to enter your CD key to gain access to Tech Support and Bug Report forums I’m afraid you won’t know unless you part with your money! Given their reputation for buggy releases this does seem a bit cynical.

      The bad news about Crusader Kings 2 is that it already has 120 threads in the bug report forum compared to 729 for the disastrous SotS2 !

      Come on Paradox, how can we make an informed decision about purchasing your games when we can’t see the forums.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      They patched Sengoku pretty thoroughly, but pretty much only to resolve bugs. It’s still very much “Crusader Kings Lite.”

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      That’s too bad. I was hoping for interface improvements.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Ahh SOTS2, or as I like to call it, ‘The first time I seriously considered demanding a refund from Steam and/or leaving a flaming bag of shit on a developers doorstep:

    • Sarissofoi says:

      And if you do this you will be propably banned and lost only way to patch your other games.

      Paradox SotS2 forum is rulled by fanboys demimoderators, who make themselves involved in petty squable , try to prove that game is excellent or awesome and then ban people who tend not to disagree. And you cant do a shit about that.
      Kerberos forum is worse for reasen that they have Mecron cult and evrything you wrote is treated as personal attack on their idol.
      Seriusly they need a solid punch in the face.

    • coamxzcv says:

      OH COME ON ! It’s got multiplayer too ?

      Screw it, where’s my credit card… http://urldt.com/8945

  2. SanguineAngel says:

    My word I want to buy this game really badly

    Curse the demo’s lack of saving option!!

    • Sarissofoi says:

      Game is playable and can be fun.
      But is completly ahistorical(which can be good) and completly unrealistic(which I cant bear).
      The amount of simplicity and bad mechanics make me puke. Dont even mention battle system.
      I try hard to get into this game and still always I get this feelings of rage rising in my heart.
      Its to ridiculus sometimes. Just plain ridiculus.
      It is a fine example of”Know to much to have fun”.
      Arghh.
      But actually its good game. Can be fun. Its stable and I didnt see any big bugs(strange thing for Paradox game). Still not for me.

  3. Anders Wrist says:

    So far the only problems with the game I’ve encoutered, is sometimes when I try loading a saved game, it freezes up.

    • DuddBudda says:

      same – and that might be because I was so paranoid about crshs I was quick saving all the time and now I have half a hundred quick saves at random points from the last thirty years

    • nindustrial says:

      I’ve had a couple bugs; one involving autosaves being corrupted essentially, the other involving revolts spawning even when the revolt risk is 0% (& repeatedly spawning). The former was fixed upon reload of a manual save (though still annoying). The latter may force me to start a new game because as is, it essentially prevents me from conquering any new counties if they simply revolt over and over again. I haven’t played long enough to see if it happens to every county I conquer. Paradox is apparently aware of that one, so hopefully it will be patched shortly.

    • imirk says:

      “now I have half a hundred quick saves at random points from the last thirty years”
      can I get an “And in the game”?

    • thebigJ_A says:

      There’s a bug that causes a crash on loading a save if you set a character as of interest. Maybe that’s what you’ve got. They’ve already fixed it for the first patch, which should be out soon.

      In the meantime, just don’t do that. It’s been completely stable for me so far otherwise.

    • Anders Wrist says:

      @thebigJ_A Yeah, I figured out that was what was causing the freeze. Good to hear they’ve got it in their scopes.

  4. rhizo says:

    I have been spending every spare minute with this game and have been enjoying it so far. I’ve been trying to succeed as one of the independent counts but it’s considerably harder than in the first game, mostly due to revolts in conquered provinces. Grabbing provinces is easy, fighting of the population due to cultural and religious differences not so much. Still haven’t grasped the finer points in levy management either.

    Edit: Also, no more breeding super characters. Or at the very least it’s way harder. Only one genius heir so far.

  5. MrThingy says:

    Absolutely loving the game. Everything I kinda wanted EU3 to be, in a way. Much less micromanagement and the almost RPG-esque aspect to character relations and attributes makes the game fascinating.

  6. Jockie says:

    This looks daunting to get into but probably worth the effort. I guess I will either wait to read someones amazing story that convinces me to buy, or wait for a sale.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Actually not that daunting! The tutorials are really handy and explain things fairly thoroughly. There are things that may remain a mystery but that seems to make it a far more organic experience.

    • nindustrial says:

      It might just be a chicken-and-the-egg thing, but I’ve been playing since the demo and have found it much easier to learn than Europa Universalis III. The tutorials really are very helpful and the Hint/Tips screens attached to each menu when you first start (until you disable them) are likewise very useful. The tooltips are pretty good too in my opinion.

  7. dr_danger says:

    I wish somebody would write a decent set of tutorials. I go through all the ingame tutorials but when it comes to the actual play I just get stuck not knowing where to begin and what to do. How do you begin this story?

    • Adam Smith says:

      I’d say the best way is to accept that you won’t understand everything on the first few games – heck, you might not understand everything for a long time. Things will go wrong and you may not even understand why at the time, but it’ll all become clearer as time goes by.

      Being a struggling leader who can’t track every detail can become part of the story. And, historically, there has never been such a thing as a ruler with perfect oversight.

    • bglamb says:

      I felt the same, but after watching some ‘Lets Play’s on Youtube, I reached a couple of conclusions.

      The main one being not to expect things to always be happening. Setting a couple of courses of action in motion and then just fast forwarding through a month (or even several months) without any other input or events seems to be totally normal, as the game spans such a huge amount of time.

      I would be crawling along at very slow speeds and pausing every couple of days trying to work out what else I was supposed to be doing to make the magic happen, when I should have probably just been letting things tick along at full pace.

      I dunno, any veterans care to weigh in on this?

    • Mr Bismarck says:

      “I’d say the best way is to accept that you won’t understand everything on the first few games – heck, you might not understand everything for a long time. Things will go wrong and you may not even understand why at the time, but it’ll all become clearer as time goes by.”

      Yes to this. You almost need to go into the game with a Dwarf Fortress-style zen :

      > I am probably not going to “win” this game in any traditional sense.
      > I am probably not going to know everything that’s happening.
      > I am probably not going to understand everything that happens.
      > This is going to be hilarious.

      Just pick some small backwater place in the middle of nowhere so that you don’t get overwhelmed managing vassals and play for a bit and see what happens. Then if things stall, or you die, or you just want to do something else, then start a new game, somewhere else. Every time won’t be perfect, but every time you’ll be learning.

      Before you know it, you’ll be murdering your wife like the rest of us.

    • Fiatil says:

      Somewhere like Wales or Ireland has always been a nice starting spot in my experience. You wont have a liege, and all of your welsh/irish neighbors start out without any allies or lieges of their own. You can basically war whoever you want without consequence for awhile, which helps a lot to make it feel like you’re doing stuff in the early game.

      The northern parts of the HRE that border the pagans are always nice too, though you may get dragged into massive wars from time to time. It seems like military is less of a drain on your budget in the early going than before though, so it shouldn’t be so bad.

    • JB says:

      I agree with Fiatil. Go Wales or Ireland. My current game I started as Count of Tyrone. Then I took enough land to become a Duke. Then I held 2 or 3 duchies. Then I named myself King of Ireland. And Clydesdale. That character lived to 84, siring 4 children between the age of 70 and his death. Now his oldest surviving son is King, but most of the nobles hate him.

      I just need to finish “pacifying” the Duchy of Munster and Ireland is mine.

      Also, the oubliette is a good way to effectively execute someone without the upset that executions can cause.

  8. xian says:

    I have to say that I’m really impressed. This is possibly Paradox’ best game in ages and certainly the best running on the Clausewitz-Engine.

    Soooo smoooooth <3

  9. RogB says:

    only played the demo so far (the ingame music is lovely!), but will pick up the full’un asap.

    (is that Mike Loades doing the VO? sounds very like him)

  10. Maldomel says:

    Brilliant game so far, I don’t understand some parts yet (mainly every militaristic stuff) but I learn. Also, killing your wife is fun.

  11. Tilaton says:

    Very solid release. I’d say best game Paradox has made this far.

  12. Bluerps says:

    I hope I’ll find some time for this in the near future…

  13. NeutronSoup says:

    My favorite moment so far (only 4 or so hours of play) has been when I was searching for a suitable bride for my 16 year old heir. Couldn’t find anyone who wouldn’t end up hating me (that foreigner penalty is pretty harsh), or lose us a ton of prestige (I’m a Duke) until I started looking at betrothal (<16 y.o.) prospects. I noticed that one of the Dukes in my realm had all girls, and his (female) heir was 11 at the time. Turns out he was open to a long engagement, and we made the agreement. As soon as I acknowledged the popup, I paused the game and went to check on his holdings, to see what my hypothetical grandson would be inheriting from his mother. Turns out the Duke had just died. Probably the last act of his life was agreeing to the betrothal that will end up uniting our two dukedoms. Not a huge deal, but just the kind of interesting moment that you don't get from your average strategy game.

  14. BaronWR says:

    Hmm, I had a go at the demo: trying to get the Duke of Bohemia to become ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. Seems interesting, but there’s a lot I don’t understand, or that seems a bit odd: I did end up becoming regent of the Holy Roman Empire, but it gave me absolutely no power at all, for example. And I still have no idea how the plotting is really supposed to work…

    • thebigJ_A says:

      They really should have put a smaller noble in the demo. Starting out as someone big like Bohemia isn’t the best way to learm

      Try playing the Duke of Munster (or another independent Irish lord). You are small enough to be able to keep track of more, there’s opportunity for trying most of the mechanics, and you get left alone unless you decide to stick your nose in. By the time you’ve become king of Ireland, you’ll have a better grasp.

      You can play as him in the demo, btw. Select one of the characters they let you choose, then click play. Now, IMMEDIATELY click the Duke of Munster. The demo will load as him. It’s a very useful bug for demo purposes. You still can’t save, and are still limited to 20 years.

  15. jackflash says:

    I really adore this game. So much so, that it’s been the first title I pre-ordered and actually paid full price for in over a year. As someone mentioned, you don’t always know what exactly is going on under the hood, but it all becomes clearer with time. And it’s quite entertaining playing the less powerful characters in the game (e.g. a duke rather than a king). One of those games where it’s just as much fun when everything goes horribly, horribly wrong, as when it goes right…

  16. wodin says:

    Excellent release. A little short on events and other content. However I expect mods will sort that out. Oh and DLC.

    Are there any mods out yet?

    • thebigJ_A says:

      On the stream they did today, they mentioned adding events/plots/ambitions in patches, as well as in DLC. So, it’ll get better even without having to pay for anything.

  17. TimA says:

    Really enjoying the game so far. I always seem to be more interested and involved in games that have emergent narrative possibilities than built-in stories (which is why I love Dwarf Fortress so much, but now I’ll stop rambling).

    I started my first game as the Duke of Lancaster, purely because it’s local to me. It is proving to be tricky for me, given the successful invasion by Norway, but my Duke had a fascinating history, outliving two wives and eventually marrying a lady 50 years his junior and having two more children. By now his grandchildren are itching for the Duke’s demise, but he only perishes after receiving wounds in battle while leading the vanguard against Norman invaders, aged 77.

    What a trooper.

  18. Fiatil says:

    This game is twice-refined crack. I managed to form the Kingdom of Wales out of the Duchy of Gwynedd in about 20 years, and now I’m on a mission to unite the kingdoms of Ireland and Wales in an effort to come out on top of this bloody war for the Isles. Lucky for me England is in the midst of yet another bloody civil war, this time with the middle counties under the Duke of Northumberland doing a damn good job of taking territories away.

    My favorite part so far has been how much of a jerk my lustful leader, and now his lustful son, is. Because of his trait I had the option to set his ambition to killing his wife, which I had to give a shot. After 5 years or so he managed to have an affair with his niece, causing her to fall madly in love with him. Because of this I decided to try to convince her to join my plot to kill my wife, which she gladly did, and very successfully. Since then I’ve married her off to the heir to the English throne, hopefully to use her as a sleeper agent sometime in the future.

  19. Discopanda says:

    Right now I’m having a game in the jolly land of Ireland, initially as the Duchy of Munster. My first Duke Murchad, who styled himself Murchad Ua Briain the Monk, was beloved by all and was wily enough to bring the smelly folks in Desmond to their banners.

    His successor Brian was less successful; he was deposed after a few short years, by those BLASTED Desmondians and his infant son Mathgamain was made king. CURSES! Well, Mathgamain was nothing if not a loyal son, and he decided that his daddy should be his chancellor, a job he kept for the rest of his life.

    Upon his death, Mathgamain inherited his father’s titles, and became almost as beloved as Murchad the Monk. He was rather infamous for the amount of children he sired, both legitimate and… otherwise. Perhaps that is why his title was “The Careless.” He ruled until the ripe old age of 71, when his son Mael-Ruinid came in from exile to the deepest, coldest, most northernmost bit of Ireland (Ulster, I believe), and took his rightful place on the throne. For about two years (roughly 10 minutes of in-game time), because that was about as long as it took for his son Conn to dethrone him and stick crotchety old Mael-Ruinid in Desmond to live out his last days in relative comfort.

    Conn’s reign was fairly unremarkable, he died in battle after taking two successive serious wounds in battle against the hated Scottish at the age of 41 in a reign of about 15 years. Afterward came the reign of his son, Duke Indrechtach. Indrechtach lasted 3 years (maybe 5-10 minutes of in-game time, mind you) before dying almost immediately in a hilariously stacked battle (in my favor, of course) against the foul Ulsterians of northern Ireland. His infant DAUGHTER Gormlaith, came to power…

    Gormlaith, who would be Queen of Ireland! Gormlaith who became known as The Lionheart at the age of 21, after punching a lion to death and eating its heart (or so the bards say)! Her masterful diplomatic skills were only dwarfed by her strategic genius, which allowed her to gain control of half of Ireland, and declare the Kingdom of Ireland to truly be a thing. Gormlaith ruled for 64 years, and after over 200 years, there are now Ua Briains on the thrones of Ireland, Castille, Denmark, and even ENGLAND. All hail the glorious house of Ua Briain!

    I really like this game.

    • Choca says:

      Just so you know, you’re a very efficient marketing campaign and I really hate you for it.

      So many games, so little time.

    • Discopanda says:

      Here are some “Tips and Tricks” for people just starting out on the game. I played dozens of hours on the demo AND the game proper without realizing many of these.

      * When arranging a marriage for a character in your court, go to the character sheet and click the Arrange Marriage wedding rings icon. It will show a list of all potential marriages that would be accepted by foreign leaders. It is FAR more convenient than spamming the character search or, god forbid, marrying a courtier! And don’t be afraid to marry your daughters off matrimineally, if their husband has a claim on a title, you can play kingmaker and install him as a puppet! Or they may end up inheriting the throne legitimately. The possibilities are endless!

      * Focus your building on the CASTLES that your lord owns personally if you’re looking for military might, not the cities and churches that your vassals own. It’s the castle on the top right of your province’s detail screen, easy to miss! Cities will slowly expand on their own, and while Churches don’t seem very interested in building additions on their own, they can be an expensive investment with fewer benefits early in the game.

      * Always try to give landed titles to your kin rather than courtiers. Having a large dynasty will help you out later in the game, and even the cranky ambitious fellows in your family will be grateful for granted titles! You might THINK that they hate you, but granting titles is one of the easiest way to make somebody love you unconditionally. And don’t hang on to more duchies than you can handle, especially the far-off ones. Wouldn’t you rather your smelly brother handle the peasants in Foreigntovia while you take care of the important stuff in your capital?

      * Don’t wait for plots against you to coalesce, end them before they have enough backers to act against you.

      * If you imprison a rebellious vassal (early on in the game it would generally be an earl with a single title), you can revoke ONE title while he’s imprisoned without fear of consequence. And hey, you’re one title richer! If you’d like to banish them afterward, make sure you steal your freebie title beforehand, as banishing makes all his current titles pass on to you, and makes your vassals hate you a bit more. Of course, if you replace a traitor with your relative, your NEW vassal will probably be too grateful to care about your tyranny! Isn’t politics great?

  20. zomgponies says:

    Anyone looking for working multiplayer games can join our Teamspeak server. We’ve got 10-15 player games running consistently with minimal out of sync error, using a variety of game rules. We’re always looking for more mature players to join us in our games, just make sure you’re micced up for diplomacy since the CK2 ingame chat is VERY annoying and the text blocks critical information in the panels.

    ts55.gameservers.com:9330 in the CK2 channel

  21. Wild_Marker says:

    Over here I decided “Hey, let’s start with a small kingdom, for the thrill of playing the little guy who became a massive force”. And so my pick was the Kingdom of Aragón, a 1-province kingdom to the north of Spain, and my character would be King Sancho I

    The first thing Sancho noticed when sitting on his throne was “Hot Damn! I have no children and my kingdom will be inherited to my sister. Well let’s do something about that”. This of course, meant finding a wife, and since his two (yes, TWO) sisters would lose their place in the line of succession, a desicion was made to give them some power. Elsewhere. And possibly power that the Kingdom of Aragón could call upon later.

    Luck was generous with Sancho apparently, as one of the sisters found herself bethored to King Philip of France. Not to brag, but when your neighbour are the muslims on one side, and your power-hungry Cousins on the other, having the entire might of a unified country on speed dial turns out to be incredibly useful. Yes, all my conquests went like this:

    1) Go to war
    2) Enemy turns out to be waaaay stronger than I can handle
    3 Call France
    4) Profit

    And the second sister? Well the second sister is in Jail. Apparently, losing the heirdom to my first born son wasn’t exactly funny for her. Being the year 1076, an age know for Perfeclty Logical Thinking and Peaceful Understanding, she ovbiously tried to kill her own nephew for control of a tiny province. Well sucks to be her, because my spymaster was so idle that I just told him “Go mingle with everyone on my court and then tell me if they’re planning anything”.

    And so continues the reign of Sancho I. Will he prevail over his cousins? Will he finally angre his brother-in-law and be crushed under the weight of France? (probably, as he is taking spanish provinces that at some point, I should have…).

    Oh, and it’s mostly bug free. If there ARE bugs, they are so deep in the mechanics that I haven’t noticed.

  22. JiminyJickers says:

    I love this game. I’m currently a lowly count with only one heir. I had to inprison my nephew for plotting to kill my son so that hey can take my son’s place as heir.

    If only I didn’t spend all my money hiring mercenaries to stop a peasant revolt, he would have been executed already. Unfortunately I also don’t have enough piety to murder my nephew’s offspring.

    Great game. So much easier to get into that the other paradox games and so much fun, as far as I’m conerned.

  23. Crumpled Stiltskin says:

    I am the Duke of Burgundy, forget his name. Ron maybe. I have married the princess of France, Emma. Knocked her up. Started a holy war with some Moor kingdom and took over their provinces. They didn’t like that so I am currently fighting the rebels of each province. Also, I may kill my brother because he is a dick.

    • Discopanda says:

      I recommend not executing your brother, if you’re going to take that route. Executing any member of your dynasty, even a far-off member, gives a -25 opinion penalty and the Kinslayer trait. A good assassin is priceless!

    • imirk says:

      And in the game?

      Common people..

  24. Mitch says:

    Is it so hard to take this engine and use it to simulate middle earth???

  25. bglamb says:

    Just produced my first heir.

    She’s a dwarf.

    ‘Nuff said.

  26. Doctor_Hellsturm says:

    Just one niggle: Anyone know if you can make the text bigger? I’m playing 1900×1080 on a 15^ laptop and some of the writing is making my eyes bleed.
    (And yes if i use anything else than native resolution everything turns as blurry as the skyrim death cam).

  27. NathanH says:

    This game is fantastic. CK1 is one of my favourite games, and this just seems so much better in almost every way.

    I started as Duke Zvonimir in the kingdom of Croatia. I was messing around with plots to see how they worked, and ended up in a war to lower crown authority. It was an evenly matched war that was probably going to end in a white peace, but then I got hit on the head and rendered incapable. I died childless a year later.

    Fortunately my closest relative was the King, so I became him. From there I have been stretching my tentacles in all directions, snaffling territory when someone is distracted. I’ve managed to hold on to a fair bit of land myself so although my kingdom is relatively small I can muster a fair number of soldiers.

    I could become King of Serbia too now but I use elective law and trying to manage elections for two kingdoms seems a bit too much to handle right now.

  28. gritz says:

    I’ve only played a few hours, but I’ve already had a very memorable experience as the Count/Countess of Gelre. Both the first count and his son died in their early 30′s in ill-advised duels. The granddaughter, who was crowned at the age of 2, was an unspectacular child, dimwitted, depressed, and betrothed to her conniving uncle.

    Over the years, this little girl grew up to be a kind and just countess, building massive improvements in her home province and blossoming into an impressively capable diplomat. She shrewdly sent her creepy uncle-husband to spy on (and subsequently be caught and imprisoned by) the Byzantines, thousands of miles from her court. She enamored the duke and became the best friend of the duchess, who gifted her lands in Italy for her kindness.

    As an old woman, she focused on the tutelage of her grandchildren, who (unlike her own miscreant sons), will one day grow up to be brilliant leaders in the courts of Europe. At the age of 60, the depression that had plagued her all her life finally lifted, and she spent the last decade of her rule surrounded by the people she loved in a county that had gone from uncertain to thriving.

    She lived to be 74, longer than both her predecessors combined, and I was actually a little sad to see the old girl pass away. The Sims wishes it could create this kind of attachment.

  29. Brise Bonbons says:

    Why did I have to read these comments? I went from complete ignorance of this game, to knowing exactly what my next purchase will be in about 8 comments flat.

    God damn you, RPS. Damn you. And I just started learning Dwarf Fortress, too.

  30. Duffin says:

    Really enjoying it so far. My first time playing a Paradox strategy game so I was a bit daunted about the learning curve. What I will say is the game is not that complex, just the mechanics are not explained that clearly. My advice is to grab the demo and just dive in, read the tooltips and you will gradually put things together, which I’m finding is half the fun. Right; I’m off to kill my step-brothers’ twin baby sons whom stand to inherit the County of Northumberland.

  31. Megadyptes says:

    Loving the game. Best Pox release in years.

  32. Mahmoth says:

    I’m really enjoying this game, thusfar. I’ve started out as a tiny vassal county, down in the southeast of France, barely able to do anything at first but offer up some few soldiers when needed. Now, I’m still stuck on that one county, but I’ve built a great lineage of counts that can raise a personal army of over 1500 in defence of the realm (while getting steamrollered by the 5000 man Royal or Muslim forces) and am only just on the brink of trying my first hostile takeover on a county just across the Pyrenees.

    I’ve also developed a habit of marrying my heirs and vassals off to princes and princesses with no hope of inheriting, mostly because Prestige, but also because it’s fun to have a hobby.

  33. Laurentius says:

    I was sceptical since i thought Paradox was going in cricles with recent strategy games but demo tottally sold me this game out. I love it. Building your dynasty while keeping kingdom intact, fighting off vassals ambitions (often your own family), great fun. Don’t understand Mongol invasion events though, why i am receiving huge armies ( 80k ) of Mongol raiders at my disposal and bunch of Mongol vassals land at my court. Doesn’t make sense but i digress, i agree this is best Paradox’s game in years.

  34. Cheese says:

    Definitely a very clean and solid release. It seems harder to go from ruler of a tiny Balkans Duchy to king of France, which is certainly a good thing though the game is still a bit easy to be reasonably historical, but fortunately I know little about middle age feudal dynasties so it doesn’t ruin it for me.

    Playing as King of Poland, I ended up with my heir being a homosexual with 13 intrigue and 2 or 3 in everything else, betrothed to a Hungarian Duchess who grew to be ambitious, greedy and deceitful meaning she’d probably murder everyone in my Kingdom in order to inherit so much as a Barony. In foresight, my heir had actually been trained to deal with this woman, having such high intrigue relative to his other skills. My other son, of course, was a wonderchild with 22 martial, even higher than his father’s martial skill, and 13+ in everything else, destined to inherit a county or two from the HRE.

  35. Elmokki says:

    It’d be very easy – just time consuming in terms of setting all the history data and map itself – to mod Westeros or Middle Earth or whatever for this. Though I don’t exactly now how orcs/humans/elves/dwarves/hobbits can be handled. Though I suppose if you don’t make orc lords too out of place you might succeed even with racial intermarrying since some of my sons born of a dark skinned woman and a german king of Burgundy were pretty much a mixture of both.

    That said vanilla Crusader Kings 2 is a good game, one of best if not the best Paradox home-developed release ever, but it’s still a rather easy game in the same way EU3 is easy: the only part where you’re seriously limited is the start if you aren’t playing something that’s powerful right away. Here the limits and the definition of expanding is a bit different and you’re going to be far more limited for longer than in EU3, but in general 100-200 years from the start with almost any character in the game you can be a king or emperor of something or at the very least as powerful as most kings and emperors of Europe.

    That said, things can backfire and it’s a brilliant game.

    I started a game as the Duke of Provence in 1066. I had played some count games before and it’s fairly easy to become a duke by fabricating claim after claim and getting some good marriages, but essentially it just slows you down by a hundred years or so. Duke of Provence wasn’t a very powerful duke either.

    Well, seeing how I possessed one of the three de jure provinces of the duchy of Dauphine, I figured I’d fabricate a claim on one of the other two, posessed by the same person. It wasn’t too hard to crush him – though I had to use mercenaries due to having only one undeveloped castle under my control and my levy laws being rather light. Lyon was mine along with not one, but two castles in it under my direct control. That allowed me to create the duchy of Dauphine and a bit later force the ex-count of Lyon and Forez, current count of Forez to be my vassal since his county de jure belonged to me.

    This is when things went nasty. Like most titles in Europe, duchy of Provence starts with a gavelkind law, ie titles are spread between all your sons (or daughters or both depending on laws and situation). My duke had gotten five daughters and finally his second wife gave him a son. It seemed like safe bet – the son would inherit all. Sadly four years later a second son was born. The duke tried to assassinate the infant, but failed and ran out of money to try again. Two weeks after this the duke died with two sons still alive – I doubt it was an assassination since even if my attempt was discovered, counter assassinations in these cases are rather rare and my duke was old.

    Now, the thing is, me, the older brother, gained duchy of Provence, which was basically my starting territories minus one vassal. The younger brother gained two provinces less, but it hardly mattered since he had direct control over two castles and he somehow gained a third castle by revoking or inheriting or something a vassal count.

    I waged a failed war against my brother and began to bide my time. 12 years later when the duke of Provence was 16 years old and officially a man I found out my little brother wasn’t very liked by his vassals. I managed to get a 98% plot power plot to kill the 12-year-old Duke of Dauphine up and gained his lands.

    At this time I had managed to bethrothe my duke to the daughter (and only child) of the old Duke of Savoie. Savoie was inherited by this female, but her weak rule turned Savoie into an elective duchy, and it seemed I would only gain two counties and a claim to the duchy itself. I was sure it wouldn’t matter since I could probably win a war once my mother dies and I gain the claim and the counties, but gladly my mother turned duchy of Savoie to a primogeniture (oldest son inherits) in her fifties and I gained it all.

    At this point I had enough land to create the Kingdom of Burgundy. The son of the first king of Burgundy – grandson of the person married to the duchess of Savoie – also gained a claim to the duchy of Upper Burgundy from her mother. Currently about 120 years have been played and the 5 province Bosonid line’s main branch owns four duchies and a kingdom, one province from Italy and there’s also a Bosonid relative ruling the duchy of Apulia in southern Italy.

    Right now the Kingdom of Burgundy is quite centralized due to being a relatively small kingdom allowing me to control the most of my territory and I have no issues in keeping power, but once I expand to where-ever I will expand (Kingdom of Burgundy and Italy sounds good!) it’ll become harder to keep my vassals in line.

  36. karumpa says:

    Im loving this game, its so deep.

    I’m not going to post a long narrative of my numerous characters. Its safe to say I enjoy being a moderately big king over anything else, anything smaller and you are insignificant, anything bigger and everyone has problems and you have to micromanage stuff that an emperor shouldn’t have to deal with. That being said, I actually had to stop playing from excessive laughter when my wife, and spymaster, Queen Whatsherface of Hungary reported a plot that Queen Whatsherface of Hungary was plotting against someone (Mightve been me, not sure). She is either the best or the worst spymaster ever.

  37. actsub says:

    king of ireland, my wife had a son that threatened my first son’s claim to 3 counties
    i assassinated him at the age of 0 and apparently he died choking on his own blood
    i have no regrets

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