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  1. #1
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    Crusader Kings 2: The cry for help

    Hello,

    I know that many of you fine folks enjoy a bit of CK2 and so do I but I really could do with some help! I've got fairly comfy with the interface and can generally make things happen but I'm still struggling to get to grips with particular areas. I thought that I would specifically ask for help with obtaining titles by marriage.

    I understand how to marry people but I just don't get how to make it work for my benefit. No one with any land seems to want to marry one of my females, definitely not matrilineally, and I don't get how to use my possible male heirs for this purpose. Could someone help as I tend to spend much of my time fabricating claims to get land rather than indulging in real scheming.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Prestige will help with getting landed people to marry your family. You might have to play the chain game with some elder daughters, get them to marry a cousin of a duke, then a brother and then you might get a shot at a duke.

    As far as I can work out, I may be wrong about it. You get weak claim to be pressed for a title, if someone of your dynasty was married to someone that has a claim, as long as they are in your court. I am not sure you can press a claim for someone that isn't in your court, so if you son is married to someone with a claim, and they are not a vassal or in your court, there is nothing you can do.

    Also you don't get the title yourself as far as I know
    Last edited by Kiril; 21-08-2013 at 03:37 PM.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Well nobody with a strong claim is going to marry you matrilineally. That's basically line of succession suicide for them.

    Daughters aren't really any good for getting you claims to anything, as marrying matrilineally the male has to be of incredibly low rank and a normal marriage doesn't get you a claim to anything. What it does do is create alliances and improve relationships with people.

    For directly inheriting stuff via marriage:
    1. Marry your son to the female ruler / only daughter / eldest daughter (and kill her brothers)
    2. Wait for that couple to have a son, i.e. your grandchild
    3. That grandchild can inherit everything, while you play as your own son your wife will likely still be independent of you, though with a strong alliance.

    Otherwise it's mostly weak claims that get passed around.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sinister agent's Avatar
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    One important note about marriages is that they also create an alliance between your family/house and the other's. This can be a major incentive or problem to the other house - alliances are great, but not if they drag you into expensive/unwanted wars, or tie you to a house whose lands you want to invade. Keep this in mind if you're looking at neighbours or people near your neighbours and rivals - it can also be a (only somewhat reliable) way to gauge a neighbour's opinion of you - if you offer them a good marriage without entanglements and they decline, it can sometimes mean that they have designs on something you have.

    One thing to note is that if someone's in your court, they have no choice but to marry someone if you arrange it, so if you can get a skilled courtier to come to your court, you can marry them to whoever you want. They're more likely to come to your court if they like you, they're pissed off with their liege, and/or they have a claim that their liege refuses to press, but that you might be able to. This is a good way to sneak claims into your family, as if your target has an inheritable claim, you can marry them matrilineally to your sister, so the kids will be of your house and inherit a claim that you or your next of kin can press.

    Other than that, there's not a great deal you can do. Matrilineal marriages are by and large undesirable for most characters, as it basically means the end of their house's line, which is a big deal socially and politically in the setting. You generally need to make doing so the lesser evil versus staying where they are, so if the potential spouse is young and amazing, comes from a very prestigious family, and has a liege the target admires compared to the dickhole prince they're suffering under, you might get lucky.

    Also, look out for large/prestigious kingdoms with a lot of princes or king's nephew's and uncles knocking about. They can cause big problems for a king, so they might be all too happy to send them off to someone else. I nabbed an alliance with the king of the HRE this way, which put the shits right up France and secured me a good 20 years without any trouble from their huge empire.

    Zephro's trick is a risky, but very powerful one, too. I united Ireland and three Spanish kingdoms with it. Always be planning a generation or two ahead.
    Last edited by sinister agent; 21-08-2013 at 05:20 PM.

  5. #5
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    Well, I'm not sure if I remember this correctly, but if you click the coat of arms (or whatever you call it) of a title and then click "title claimants" or something, you will be able to see the list of people who have a claim to that particular title. If you invite them to your court, you will be able to press their claim, but they will just get the title and become independent that way. However, if the claimant's claim is inheritable, marry the claimant to a member of your dynasty. Wait for them to have a child, kill the claimant, the child inherits the claim. Press the child's claim and he/she will get the title and become your vassal (unless the title's rank is equal to or higher than you primary title).

    If you want to actually inherit something, you have more options. Marry your male heir to a daughter of a lord, murder the lord's sons (possibly other heirs) to make his daughter inherit. Their children will be of your dynasty. And this is where it gets a bit tricky. You can murder your heir's wife and your heir's child will inherit. If your heir is landed, kill his child and he will inherit (I don't know why, but if he's not landed, some random courtier of your grandchild will inherit). You can the repeat this. It works if you have a female heir as well, but is trickier.

    Alternatively, do the same thing with any of your children. They will get some land and once you start playing as your heir, you can kill them and inherit their stuff (if you kill their other heirs). You can also do the same thing with your brothers or sisters. But your dynasty will probably be quite small if you do :P

    Also, I have no idea why this game is rated only 12+.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    The character who marries someone with a Title can get a title... but in name only. For example, marrying the Queen of X can give you the title "King of X" and a tiny, tiny prestige increase, but no power in land X. You have to watch for that, occasionally, when looking for titles... you can see someone with such and such a title, but no power or connection to that place, check their spouse and you'll find they're the real power.

    But yes, as Kiril says, marrying someone will NOT give you the Title. Never, no way, no how. But, as long as the person you married didn't have any heirs prior to this, the heirs that you'll (hopefully) be making from the marriage will be the heirs for that title. Quick example, as Norse Emperor of Britain I married the Queen of Norway, and we started having children. The first of these (my son and heir, and the Queen's son and heir) is the important one here. When I died, I became him, and inherited The Empire... when my mother then died a few years after, I inherited Norway as well. That's really how marriages for titles works... it's not THIS generation that's going to bring lands in, but the next. You're looking for the children to bring the new lands in.

    On top of this would be claims (rather than the holders of titles). This works in pretty much the same way, but you have to go to war etc. to press the claims, get the spouse the title, and then the children will inherit. Quick example... King of England has 2 children, a son and heir, and a daughter. Son will get the title, but the daughter will get a claim. You marry the daughter, her father dies, her brother becomes King. She has the claim on the Kingdom, you start a war to press it and win it for her (and not yourself) and she becomes Queen of England. Any children from your marriage to her will then inherit her titles and the next generation will see England brought into your lands (as long as your heir and her heir are the same, ie. no prior marriages/children for either). Alternatively, if you didn't press the Claim while the wife is alive, her (and your) son may also inherit that claim, so you could press it then and bring the lands to you.

    Essentially, Titles and Claims in marriage are for the next generation, really, and not the current. To use it for your advantage, you probably want to find Old Men with only young, unmarried daughters, or those same daughters after the father has died and they've inherited. You sometimes have to be careful, making betrothals and marriages too early, because there's always the chance that Old Man father in law might produce a Son on his deathbed etc., and that definite title then becomes only a claim (depending on succession laws).
    Last edited by Unaco; 21-08-2013 at 04:12 PM.
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  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinister agent View Post
    Zefro's trick is a risky, but very powerful one, too. I united Ireland and three Spanish kingdoms with it. Always be planning a generation or two ahead.
    It can be properly risky as there's an ongoing chance of losing control of the situation. As you often end up with your heirs out of your own court for some amount of time. Which makes it hard to ensure everyone's culture stays the way you want and that they marry who you want.

    I had my heir marry the Empress of the HRE when I was Poland. Except the existence of the Empress was a dangerous sodding thing, so many claimants all pressing claims and spitting out civil wars. Worse than that my grandson became German so when he did become King of Poland it was a miracle anything worked.

    That said he was basically Emperor of the HRE, King of Poland, Ruthenia, Denmark, Italy and Lithuania. Didn't last long though >.>

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    It can be properly risky as there's an ongoing chance of losing control of the situation. As you often end up with your heirs out of your own court for some amount of time. Which makes it hard to ensure everyone's culture stays the way you want and that they marry who you want.
    Here's a guide to what happens to the two parties in a marriage when they get marriage, in regards to which courts they move to etc.

    http://crusaderkings-two.wikia.com/wiki/Marriage_Guide
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  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unaco View Post
    Here's a guide to what happens to the two parties in a marriage when they get marriage, in regards to which courts they move to etc.

    http://crusaderkings-two.wikia.com/wiki/Marriage_Guide
    Yeah I know...
    If your heir isn't personally ruling anything (say like me you betrothed him before he had land). Then the Empress of the HRE marries him, he moves to the HRE to be consort. So long as you give him land first he should stay in your court. The grandchild is also liable to end up in the wrong court if you're not very careful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    It can be properly risky as there's an ongoing chance of losing control of the situation. As you often end up with your heirs out of your own court for some amount of time. Which makes it hard to ensure everyone's culture stays the way you want and that they marry who you want.

    I had my heir marry the Empress of the HRE when I was Poland. Except the existence of the Empress was a dangerous sodding thing, so many claimants all pressing claims and spitting out civil wars. Worse than that my grandson became German so when he did become King of Poland it was a miracle anything worked.

    That said he was basically Emperor of the HRE, King of Poland, Ruthenia, Denmark, Italy and Lithuania. Didn't last long though >.>
    It is indeed risky when your children leave the court. I had a son married to the Queen of Hungary, and they were blessed with a son, their only child. As my kingdom was about half the size of Hungary, I was quite pleased with the situation, and made it a point to often raise a glass to their health during dinners with my underlings, and send them gifts for Christmas.

    But it was not to be. My son, the stupid little shit that he was, got in a fatal accident. The good Queen loved their son all the more as they stood united against the world. But not loved enough to give him a fucking coat because he died of pneumonia a few years later. I am not ashamed to say that tears were shed that day as the old king sat on his throne, feeling his crown grow heavy.

    On an unrelated note, at one point I died with the heir being underaged (he was something like 3 years old). As my uncle tried to kill me (repeatedly) I would get description of events, but all written from a childs perspective. I thought it was a very nice little detail, and found it quite funny until at some point the uncle succeeded. Oh, CKII

  11. #11
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    Plan ~3 generations ahead, is my (a beginner myself) advice. At 3rd or 4th in the line for a big title, people might be willing to marry on your terms. Secure a betrothal and marriage seems to be easier (but not 100%).

    I own Cornwall and the county next to it, as a vassal of the HRE (HRE are awesome, they let me do pretty much anything and claim my claims for me). The grandchild of the king of Ireland was in line for the throne. Fight against his prejudice for the marriage to be on my terms: Bribes, Chancellor wooing... Betroth my son to her-... owait, balls, that was my bastard son. Break off betrothal, re-betroth with my other son... who dies within a month. Aha, a grandson is born! Betroth him. Luckily I got in before she was 16 and as snapped up by some claim-hunting predator.
    Fast forward 9 years. A year until he is 16, and marriage is on the cards. Irish civil war. Her father loses the war. Someone else has the throne, and she passes out of the line for it.

    My point is uh... marry everyone?
    Children are like tiny claim-factories.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sinister agent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barnox View Post
    Plan ~3 generations ahead, is my (a beginner myself) advice. At 3rd or 4th in the line for a big title, people might be willing to marry on your terms. Secure a betrothal and marriage seems to be easier (but not 100%).

    I own Cornwall and the county next to it, as a vassal of the HRE (HRE are awesome, they let me do pretty much anything and claim my claims for me). The grandchild of the king of Ireland was in line for the throne. Fight against his prejudice for the marriage to be on my terms: Bribes, Chancellor wooing... Betroth my son to her-... owait, balls, that was my bastard son. Break off betrothal, re-betroth with my other son... who dies within a month. Aha, a grandson is born! Betroth him. Luckily I got in before she was 16 and as snapped up by some claim-hunting predator.
    Fast forward 9 years. A year until he is 16, and marriage is on the cards. Irish civil war. Her father loses the war. Someone else has the throne, and she passes out of the line for it.

    My point is uh... marry everyone?
    Children are like tiny claim-factories.
    Works both ways though, sadly. Kill or exile (either literally, or de facto, by marrying them off to some toothless lesbian/celibate in a shithole province 4,000 miles away) anyone with the "ambitious" trait. If that gets into your family or a vassal's, you'll never hear the end of it.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the helpful replies, I think I'll need to play around with this system a bit more to really understand it. I may throw out to the forum some specific examples from the game I'm currently playing to see how I should go about achieving my goals.

    As a follow up question, I've only ever played in Ireland as it's got a reputation as a great tutorial island, which it seems to be. Are there any other fairly easy starting points as I'm getting a bit bored with looking at Ireland?

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    You can play in Spain as Aragon. It's fun, you have a lot of ground to claim (the infidels at the south, other growing spanish kingdoms) and uniting Spain is fun !

    It's much more war-focused than Ireland though. When you're not involved in a crusade, you'll be the target of a jihad or trying to steal counties from all your neighbours.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    If you have the Old Gods expansion, one of the Son's of Lodbrok (Ifar the Boneless or one of the others) is a good, quite easy start... up until succession. Very war focussed, but you get good armies. Surrounded by lands you can just take, as you have so many CBs for conquer, subjugation, invasion etc... easy to carve yourself a Kingdom out, start rewarding vassals, and building up a realm almost entirely of your own making. Norse have Gavelkind though, and much larger short reign penalties than other cultures... so succession is always a difficult time, and Kingdoms can splinter or fly apart very easily. But, pick yourself back up, and go carve it out again.
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    So, in the interests of experimentation I have done the following on which I would appreciate your thoughts:

    I'm the Duke of Connacht and have arranged a betrothal between my grandson and the eldest daughter of the King of England. Assuming they ultimately get married, I'm intending to kill off all of the male heirs so that the eldest daughter inherits. I assume then that any children of the marriage would belong to my dynasty and ultimately I would be able to play as one of those children, who could then become King of England.

    Is that right?

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sinister agent's Avatar
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    I started as Castille in Spain. Uniting the kingdoms is fun, but it can be bloody hard. Although apparently they've improved the AI since then, so that your neighbours and vassals are less likely to start stupid wars with you that will inevitably end up with them getting conquered by someone else (usually the muslims in the south). So it might be a lot easier now - I had to spent about a century propping up my idiot neighbours before I could finally wangle my way into inheriting their crowns, just to keep the muslims from curb stomping us.

    Then France took most of what was left. Bah.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asokn View Post
    So, in the interests of experimentation I have done the following on which I would appreciate your thoughts:

    I'm the Duke of Connacht and have arranged a betrothal between my grandson and the eldest daughter of the King of England. Assuming they ultimately get married, I'm intending to kill off all of the male heirs so that the eldest daughter inherits. I assume then that any children of the marriage would belong to my dynasty and ultimately I would be able to play as one of those children, who could then become King of England.

    Is that right?

    I believe this is correct, however there is always the danger that some other claimant will get there first (or immediately afterwards), or that something might happen to your son. Still, nothing is risk-free, and you have a lot to gain here.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asokn View Post
    So, in the interests of experimentation I have done the following on which I would appreciate your thoughts:

    I'm the Duke of Connacht and have arranged a betrothal between my grandson and the eldest daughter of the King of England. Assuming they ultimately get married, I'm intending to kill off all of the male heirs so that the eldest daughter inherits. I assume then that any children of the marriage would belong to my dynasty and ultimately I would be able to play as one of those children, who could then become King of England.

    Is that right?
    In essence. But you're playing a long game with that. Essentially lots can go wrong over time, being a woman ruler people are more able to press weak claims, so her Kingdom of England will be going through constant rebellions and claimant wars. If you can keep her on the throne of England all that time without anything untoward, you'll be golden.

    Just have another son in backup, or an alliance to call in to reclaim England. That grandson will always have a legitimate claim on the throne, you just need to back it up with an army of bastards.

  19. #19
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    Yes, I think it may be a bit of an ambitious plan but I had a look around Ireland and there didn't seem to be any eligible families to try it with so I thought I'd have a go, at least to try to understand the principle.

    After a short play last night I've now killed off one of the sons, the plot power was something like 180% so it happened quickly, but the plot to kill the new heir has only about 50% power and I've invited all potential conspirators. Can anyone explain how the plot power thing works and what I can do to encourage more people to join? I think I read somewhere that less than 100% means the plot almost certainly won't come to fruition.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    You need to get it to 100% The conspirators tend to be the people at the same court as the heir (so the English court).
    Whether they'll join you or not is mostly based on whether they like you or the victim more. In a foreign court all you can really do to influence that is bribe them and possibly send your spy master or chancellor over there.

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