Looking Raja Fine: Crusader Kings 2: Rajas Of India Out Now

By Graham Smith on March 27th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

A logo, yesterday.

I really appreciate the efforts of the voiceover man in this launch trailer for the new Crusader Kings expansion, Rajas of India. He’s doing his very best to make the game sound exciting and dramatic, even as the camera pans slowly across colourful cartography and static menu screens.

Except, as we players of Paradox’s medieval soap opera know, this is exciting. You don’t need to say it in a dramatic voice: Rajas of India adds the Indian subcontinent, three new religions, and a lot of new ways to commit lusty barbarism.

Adam has argued previously that Crusader Kings 2 is 2013′s grandest strategy game, and I find it hard to disagree. The original Crusader Kings was the game which drew me into the nerdier, more historical end of grand strategy – Civilization doesn’t count – and nurtured me there amid its systemic stories of character-driven betrayal, bastardry, a third thing beginning with ‘b’. Crusader Kings 2 polished those mechanics up and made them more easily accessible, while successive expansions since have given you a pallette of sordid misery to paint with larger than a mid-’90s Brookside scriptwriter’s.

Plus it’s got elephants in now.

I’m sure our own Jimmy Corkhill, Adam, will be along in due course with some fine musings on the new addition to the muddled, power-hungry family, but until now, watch the trailer or visit the official CK2 site.

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46 Comments »

Top comments

  1. Lanfranc says:

    It is a strange game. The only winning move is to play it.

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    Philopoemen says:

    I just hope the creators of the AGOT mod can make it compatible right quick – my Vale game is up to the incesty, stabby, murdery part.

    That said, oliphants.

    • Didden says:

      Given AGOT is loosely based on Byzantine history (Chain across the harbour, eunuch’s, lots of royalty killing each other to become emperors, emperors killing their own kids to stay as emperors, emperors dying on hunting trips, former family members exiled and coming back to claim the throne, Vangarian ‘North men’ who knew the meaning of winter is coming, oh and converted muslim Mamluk soldiers who were castrated and highly trained slaves etc) I mean, you may as well play the actual medieval ages – they only thing it doesn’t have is dragons ;-)

      • 11sparky11 says:

        Annnd that is just some random connections made by you and you only. You can’t say it is only loosely based on one thing, it’s fantasy, you have no idea what went through his head when writing it, writers take inspiration from a multitude of things. If he only loosely based it on the Byzantines it would be a bunch of books about pseudo Byzantine history.

  2. Ravenholme says:

    A third thing beginning with B? “Bloodshed” would’ve fit, I would have thought (From my many campaigns attempting to unite a divided Scotland)

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      Skeletor68 says:

      One time I united Ireland and due to a lack of attention I became King of Scotland on my next successor. Unfortunately Ireland was then Scottish and lost that lovely green. It was a bittersweet gain of territory…

      • Ravenholme says:

        You know, that might be a smarter way to go about it. I always start as the Laird of Buchan because that’s where I’m from, and it tickles me that the regional seat is a town I know very well. My most successful game had me become Duke of Moray as well, and then King of Norway via some stealthy marriage deals.

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          Skeletor68 says:

          Yeah, I always start in Munster and Bunratty castle is only a few miles from my house. CK2 is a fantastic achievement in detail and game design.

          Also, the story of Ragnar in the Idle Thumbs playthrough is fantastic. I’d definitely recommend giving it a watch.

        • toxic avenger says:

          As an American, I’m so jealous of you.

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      JamesTheNumberless says:

      As someone who grew up in Glasgow, the immediate attraction for me to playing the Old Gods was not being able to play the pagans but being able to play as an independent Strathclyde. However in practice it’s virtually impossible to survive without having to swear fealty to the bastarding King of Scotland. Even being able to usurp the throne and move the capital to Clydesdale doesn’t make up for having to trade the nice blue for the ugly blue.

  3. Koozer says:

    I do not understand this game at all, even after a few hours with it. I don’t even know if I was winning.

    • MaXimillion says:

      That might be because there is no way to win, other than meeting goals you set for yourself.

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      Philopoemen says:

      it’s less to do with success, and more to do with individual stories. My favourite game was as Silesia, then King f Poland, only to have my bastard children murder me, steal the throne and go to civil war with each other. Brilliant fun.

    • Keyrock says:

      It’s not about winning, it’s about amassing as much power and control as you can and then watching it all fall to pieces as your wife tries to murder you and your children declare war on you. Good times!

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I think my favourite game was as count William [FitzOsbern] of Hereford – a favoured count under William the conqueror and quickly given a peerage. As a widower with a single son, i promptly married a fitting bride (should have seen those vital statistics!). Despite an initially happy match, the family was torn asunder after the birth of my second son, as my wife repeatedly attempted to have my first born killed over the course of two decades so that her own child would inherit. It was probably my most successful game overall, despite the family feud. The stories that unfold are often so natural you would think they were scripted

    • Lanfranc says:

      It is a strange game. The only winning move is to play it.

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      JamesTheNumberless says:

      When you play the game of Crusader Kings, you die and then you win.

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      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Even losing is winning, as long as you’re having fun. My dynasty ruled Ireland and Scotland, but a bad outbreak of daggers-in-your-back-itis carved up my line of succession faster than I could plan it and before I knew it I was playing my own grand-daughter, clinging on to power in a couple of counties in Ireland on a legal technicality, subservient to my (old self’s) nephew. Thus began a return to power that was steeped in blood and betrayal, marriages coldly arranged for reasons of state and husbands tragically finding daggers in their porridge, vengeance delayed but no less sweet for it.

      Setbacks, even massive almost-game-ending setbacks, aren’t losing in CK2. They’re the start of the next story.

    • 12inchPlasticToy says:

      Here’s a Wiki page that will explain why you can only win at this game:
      http://crusaderkings-two.wikia.com/wiki/How_to_lose_Crusader_Kings_2

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    SuddenSight says:

    Any word on how well this DLC represents India?

    One of the things I like about Crusader Kings II is how well it evokes the time period. Paradox does their research, so I trust they did a good job.

    But I would like to hear from someone who has played it how well the feudal mechanics fit 1100-1400 AD India.

    • ulix says:

      I’ve only started playing last night (in the 867 timeframe of the Old Gods DLC), and am no expert on medieval (or contemporary) India, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

      But I think they did a great job.
      My Hindu ruler got a huge opinion penalty after marrying a women of the wrong cast. I successfully searched for a Guru as an advisor to my court (who is not part of the regular council). I held several Diwali feast and went on a tiger hunt (which takes place in summer, instead of Winter like in hunts in CK2′s Europe). I chose a personal god from one of six choices Hindu characters have (which all give you +1 in one skill and -1 in another).

      Next I may try to conquer one of the five Hindu holy sites from thos pesky heathens (well… in Rajas’ world I guess Buddhists and Jain wouldn’t be considered “heathens” by Hindus, but whatever), or conquer enough provinces to get one of the three Indian emperor titles (you can even become “Emperor of Emperors” if you can subjugate the whole subcontinent, aparrently).

      I had several flavourfful events pop up, for example when the holy elephants in the local temple became ill and I could pay for a healer, and so on.

      • SuicideKing says:

        I’m not sure if anyone would have wanted to go on tiger hunts in the Indian summer, 40-50*C is hardly what i’d call sporting season.

        Ideally, October to December and then maybe February to April, i would guess. Monsoon’s would be deadly because the rivers would be flowing strong and the last place you’d want to hunt a Bengal Tiger is in a swamp or marsh.

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          I’m finding it amazingly difficult to find out when tiger hunting season is, anywhere in the world, let alone India, let alone in the middle ages.

          • MadMattH says:

            There were a lot more tigers in those days, and the days where a tiger killed someone from your village was a tiger hunting day. Tiger hunting day wasn’t all that great because in those days the tigers hunted back.

    • bstard says:

      The real problem here is India’s writing of the day focused on philosophic mumbojumbo, and not so much on recording events.

    • toxic avenger says:

      They’ve admitted several times that their research consists of little more than looking at Wikipedia.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Which is discouraging me from trying this, because I’ll start nitpicking and that may annoy me.

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          In a way it’s better to play these games with a country that you don’t know so much about. I enjoyed EUIV as England but found my playstyle constrained by what I expected to be able to achieve, based on the history and geography I know . It was much more fun playing as Muscovy and building Russia from the ground up, in lands I knew very little about and didn’t have any preconceptions about.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Lol if memory serves correct we had either the Mughals or Turkish sultans ruling over a majority of the country during that period, so i’m not counting on historical accuracy.

  5. derbefrier says:

    i bought it when it released but haven’t had a chance to jump into it yet. Its on this weekend though. hell i still havent played the last xpack been to distracted with other games lately.

  6. bstard says:

    This DLC is bloody amazing, best so far to this already good game. Not only the pappadan frency but so many improvements and new stuff. Next 2k hours played, here I come!

    • Chalky says:

      I’m really enjoying it too, although it could use a patch to sort out some of the new content balance wise. The Buddhist peasant revolts are pretty insane at the moment, 5 or 6 running at once pretty much constantly unless you’re able to get high moral authority. Makes it pretty hard to play as a low level Buddhist count or duke.

      Loving the new mechanics though, revolts are amazing. Looking forward to playing a Muslim character too to see how the decadence changes alter the gameplay.

  7. Skiddywinks says:

    I bought the main game for this the other day but still haven’t played it. My issue is there are so many add-ons that I don’t know which ones are really worth having/almost necessary.

    What do I need to get the best CK2 experience I can?

    • Keyrock says:

      I would recommend getting Sons of Abraham and The Old Gods.

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      Stellar Duck says:

      Depends on what you want to do.

      Want to play as muslims you need the Sword of Islam expansion.
      Want to play as a republic you need the republic expansion.
      Want to play as a heathen bastard you need The Old Gods expansion. This one also adds an alternate start date in 868 or something like that.

      Legacy of Rome and Sons of Abraham are mostly expansions of flavour and machanics and doesn’t come tied to new factions (aside from Jews, I think, in SoA).

      So, basically, you can play the game with no expansions and have the full experience of playing as christian rulers. If you find that you like the game you can then start adding expansions to suit your taste. But in principle, you don’t need any dlc to enjoy the game. The game is complete as is and the expansions are just that, expansions.

      Sunset Invasion is a historical What If scenario that sees the Aztecs or Mayans or something invade Europe.

      The rest is music, portraits and unit graphics and you can skip them if you don’t want them.

      • Skiddywinks says:

        So do none of them introduce new mechanics or anything like that? That is what I am more concerned with; playing a slightly worse version of the same game due to not having the required packs. From the sounds of it I can jump straight in now and not really be missing anything other than different races and units.

        • King in Winter says:

          As far as memory serves all mechanics are in core. You just don’t get to see all of them without expansions. For example Shia / Sunni rulers are affected by Decadence and AI plays by those rules, but if you don’t have Sword of Islam you cannot play a mohammedan and don’t get to be influenced by Decadence.

          • Skiddywinks says:

            I get it. Thank you very much you guys.

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            Bluerps says:

            I’m afraid that is not entirely correct. The retinue mechanic (basically the only way to have a permanent army) is only in the game with Legacy of Rome. I think Sons of Abraham adds something too, but I can’t remember right now what it was. :/

    • bstard says:

      IMO just go play now, do not buy anything as of yet. You’ll either love the game or will be expelled from it. Once you got hooked, buy a DLC you want to play next. Want to play a muslim, buy The Sword of Islam, want a Republic, buy that, until you old and barely able to move your mouse and have it all.

  8. Quiffle says:

    I wish I could enjoy this game more, but I end up so discouraged once my lands become fractured due to succession issues.

    • teije says:

      But that is really CK2 at the most interesting and entertaining. Without major succession issues, the game is a cakewalk typically. Having an inbred craven idiot heir with an ambitious brave younger brother or two to screw things up is where all the fun is.

      Looking forward to trying out this DLC. Haven’t played CK2 since it was announced because really didn’t see the point…